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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    

Who Will Save Israel? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The battle is over. The dust has settled. A new government – partly ridiculous, partly terrifying – has been installed. It is time to take stock" [ry]25/5/2015
Why Sayed Kashua is afraid to give interviewsSayed Kashua--One time, when I was young and naïve, I was asked in an interview a question that journalists typically ask Arabs: “What good things can you say about Israel?” I’m afraid that at the time I ranked freedom of expression at the top of the list. Possibly I had a high regard at the time for freedom of expression in Israel, because in my work as a journalist I had never encountered problems resembling the stories I’d heard in my childhood. Stories about arrests of people who published certain newspapers, about teachers who were fired and arrested only because they dared to deviate from the curriculum, about Palestinian writers and poets who were persecuted and sometimes even liquidated for the views they expressed in their writing. Maybe I had a high regard for freedom of expression in Israel because I tended to draw comparisons with the situation in the Arab world. After all, we Palestinians who dwell in Zion are always being told to be appreciative of our situation, when compared to life in those 22 states in which we are not citizens (all of which we probably can’t even name). Obviously, anyone who grew up watching Jordanian television, with its paeans to King Hussein, will see Israel as a paradise of freedom of expression. dn 24/5/2015
Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United NationsHenry Siegman-The greetings President Obama extended last week to Israel’s new government may have sounded conciliatory, but Mr. Obama no longer entertains any illusions about Israel’s leaders.dn23/5/2015
Reassessing U.S. Aid to IsraelAllan C. Brownfeld - Information Clearing House "In the new government, what Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun, calls “the overtly racist party, HaBayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home),” will control the justice department, the education department and almost all important government offices concerned with the occupation of the West Bank...The new justice minister, Ayelet Shaked, who promises to limit the role of the Supreme Court, became notorious for justifying the burning alive of a Palestinian teenager by Israeli youths in East Jerusalem. She published on Facebook what Rabbi Lerner termed “in effect, genocide for Palestinians.” The posting declared that “the entire Palestinian people are the enemy” and justified its destruction, “including the elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” She also called for the slaughter of Palestinian mothers who give birth to “little snakes.” ca22/5/2015
Breaking the Silence ‘confessions’ part of the problem, not the solutionGhada Ageel and Rela Mazali - Middle East Eye - The Israeli veterans’ group “Breaking the Silence” on 4 May uploaded a collection of testimonies describing Israel’s assault on Gaza last summer. These accounts, the group said, were given by more than 60 Israeli officers and soldiers who took part in the attack and disclose "systematic policies that were dictated to IDF forces of all ranks and in all zones, [… and which] led to massive and unprecedented harm to the population and the civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip”. 21/5/2015
The story behind Palestine`s canonized nunsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - While the Vatican`s recognition of Palestine and canonization of the two nuns raised the political profile of Palestinians, the words of Francis to Abbas provided support for Palestinian efforts toward peace. Whereas former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman last year had described Abbas’ efforts as “diplomatic terrorism,” Francis saw things otherwise, as evidenced by the "angel of peace" moniker. 21/5/2015
Army Kidnaps Eleven Palestinians In The West BankIMEMC & Agencies - Soldiers invaded and searched several homes, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, and kidnapped two Palestinians identified as Monjed Thiab al-Juneidi, 26, and Rashad Erfa’eyya. They also broke into the home of Abdul-Hafith al-Hashlamoun, and handed his son, Eyad, a military order for interrogation. Eyad is a local journalist.-rh 21/5/2015
Canada`s Plan to Make Boycotting Israel a `Hate Crime` is Stupid and Counterproductive Robert Fisk - Information Clearing House - If I decline to buy Israeli-produced oranges at a British supermarket, this doesn’t make me a Nazi murderer. To criticise Israel doesn’t turn Canadians into Jew-haters. A number of liberal Jewish groups have protested against Harper’s proposed extension of existing ‘hate laws’ – far too many Jewish organisations have praised it – on the grounds that it assumes that all Jews support Israel or approve of its actions. And since Jews are also members of boycott-Israel groups, Harper’s expanded definition of the law would have to put Jews on trial in Canada for anti-Semitism.-rh 21/5/2015
Israeli prime minister calls off West Bank bus segregation AP - Cairopost - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called off a proposed plan to segregate Palestinians from Israelis on West Bank buses, overruling his own defense minister following a flurry of criticism in an attempt to avert the first crisis of his new government.-rh 21/5/2015
Is being a critic of Israeli state policies the same as being an anti-Semite? David Palumbo-Liu - Salon - Being an anti-Semite means denigrating, persecuting and victimizing a people solely because of the fact they are Jewish. Being a critic of Israel’s policies means criticizing a set of actions undertaken by a government. This seems self-evident, but those who wish to make the equation between anti-Semite and critic of Israeli state policies care less for accuracy and more about silencing and punishing critics with any means available, legitimate or not.-rh 21/5/2015
Anti-Israel Group Makes Waves With In-Your-Face TacticsNathan Guttman - Forward - Students for Justice in Palestine activists have set up roadblocks on campuses, which they claim resemble those Israel has put up across the occupied territories. They have built so-called “apartheid walls” on campus grounds, symbolizing the barrier Israel has erected — citing security needs — to keep Palestinians within those same territories. Another tactic involves the mock eviction of students from their dorm rooms with leaflets that mirror some of the language Israel’s military authorities use when notifying West Bank Palestinians of demolition orders against their homes.-rh 21/5/2015
Israel’s New Justice Minister Expressed Hatred Against All PalestiniansEric Zuesse - RINF Alternative News - It’s also the mothers of the martyrs, that send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They need to follow them [to die], there’s nothing in it. They need to go [be destroyed], and the physical House [in] which they raised the snake. Other small snakes grow more [if the whole family isn’t destroyed]. … The two houses [both generations] need to [be] bomb[ed] from the air, to destroy and to kill. It’s also the mothers of the martyrs, that send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They need to follow them [to die], there’s nothing in it.-rh20/5/2015
A circus in Jerusalem and cinema among the Gaza ruinsAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Miri Regev....As a Knesset Member she became known mainly for repeated bouts of crude racist demagoguery - against Arab citizens of Israel (in particular, against the Arab woman Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi) and most particularly against refugees from Africa who maintain themselves within the slums of south Tel Aviv." - id 20/5/2015
Israeli soldier testimonials stoke Gazans` claims of war crimesAdnan Abu Amer - Al Monitor - "Palestinians believe a report of firsthand accounts by Israeli soldiers and officers who fought in the 2014 Gaza war prove that Israel committed war crimes in its conduct of the conflict." - id 20/5/2015
Parodies of Parity: Israel & PalestineRichard Falk - IMEMC - "Looked at objectively, by assessing behavior and apparent motivation, it is the Palestinians that have no partner for genuine peace negotiations, and should have stopped long ago acting as if Israel was such a partner." - id 20/5/2015
Film festival opens amid Gaza`s ruinsAsmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - Muzayen told Al-Monitor, “We wanted to hold the film festival in the Shajaiyah neighborhood to draw the world`s attention to neighborhoods devastated by the war and which have yet to be reconstructed. We wanted this event to be very special and to tackle human rights issues to the fullest extent. This is why we organized the festival in Shajaiyah.”-rh 20/5/2015
Confederation Is the Key to Mideast PeaceYOSSI BEILIN - NYT - "My thinking dates from comments Mr. Husseini made to me in 1993, when I was the deputy foreign minister in Yitzhak Rabin’s cabinet, seeking talks with the Palestinians." - id 20/5/2015
Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United NationsHenry Siegman - NYT - Only a far-right government that so deeply offends American democratic sensibilities — as this one surely will — could provide the political opening necessary for a change in America’s Middle East policy. Mr. Netanyahu has wasted no time providing that offense by appointing as his justice minister a Knesset member, Ayelet Shaked, who approvingly posted an article on her Facebook page that called for the destruction of “the entire Palestinian people, including its elderly and its women, its cities and its villages, its property and its infrastructure.” The victory of Israel’s far right has thus provided an unexpected, if narrow, opening for Mr. Obama, allowing him to call for a reassessment of America’s peace policy. [bz]19/5/2015
Judge, settler and demolisherDror Etkes - +972 - The High Court justice who gave the army a green light to expel an entire Palestinian village just happens to live in a nearby settlement, one that thrives on their dispossession. [bz]19/5/2015
Parodies of parity: Israel & PalestineRichard Falk - AIC - The relation between oppressor and oppressed is a paramount precondition for sustainable peace. Unless the structural distortion and illegitimacy is acknowledged, no viable political arrangement will be forthcoming [ry]18/5/2015
End the infighting and honour NakbaDaoud Kuttab--Palestinians are divided by political alignment and country of residence but all can unify around the idea of statehood.dn17/5/2015
The Vatican and the PalestiniansNYTimes Editorial Board--The practical effect of the Vatican’s decision to sign a treaty recognizing the state of Palestine is debatable, but it is a symbolic victory for Palestinians who are struggling to keep alive their dream of a Palestinian state, which has been thwarted by the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.dn17/5/2015
A tale of two tragedies: From Beitunia to Vienna on Nakba DayNatasha Roth--On Nakba Day last year, Israeli Border Police killed two Palestinian teenage protesters and gravely injured a third. Two days after witnessing one of the shootings, I find myself at a memorial service in Vienna, honoring my relatives who perished in the Holocaust. The dizzying identity carousel never stops revolving.dn17/5/2015
Boycott, divest and sanction: Zero tolerance for Israel apartheidMurray Dobbin--The CBC`s recent revelation that Conservative Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney has called for "zero tolerance" of criticism of Israel and that Canadian hate laws could be applied to those campaigning for BDS -- Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions -- against Israel is repugnant enough. But the truly disturbing irony in this outrageous declaration is that the more extreme the Israeli government becomes, the more illegal settlements it builds, the more explicit its open contempt for world opinion and the more outrageous Netanyahu`s statements, the stronger is the support from the Harper government. It raises the question: is there any action, including the actual expulsion of Palestinians from Israel and the Occupied Territories that Harper would not support? dn16/5/2015
Nakba.. 67 years and a day after .. a reflectionNadia Harhash--Some parents practically locked up their teen-agers from leaving their homes ( I was among those he literally begged my teenager not to leave the house for any reason . i was into any of his blackmailing tactics in such an occasion ), because the pain of last year two teen-agers in this very timing is still open with its wound. It is not that the loss of one or two is problematic. It is probably about how cheap life passes by. dn16/5/2015
On Nakba Day, Pope Francis Gives Palestinians a Symbolic VictoryJanine di Giovanni and Yemile Bucay--It’s a day of mourning and memory, and one that shows the other side of Israeli independence. In 1948, as war raged across the former British colony, more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced from their homes during the fighting. Few would ever be permitted to return. For Palestinians, Friday was the 67th day of commemoration of this loss, known as the nakba,” which means “catastrophe” in Arabic. It is a solemn day for the Palestinian diaspora and their 7 million descendants—many of whom still carry the keys to their former homes.dn 16/5/2015
Israel’s snub of Carter is a rejection of peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Last week, former President Jimmy Carter traveled to Israel and Palestine but was rebuffed by Israeli leaders. Carter, who ushered in the peace process in the 1970s that Israel has since turned into a circus of rejection, doesn’t want to be reminded that peace requires it to end its war crimes and to compromise by returning Palestinian lands it occupied in 1948 and in 1967." - id15/5/2015
The Real NakbahJafar Ramini - The Arab Daily News - "That day is known as The Nakbah – Catastrophe. That catastrophe was and still is of gigantic magnitude that still affects us all today and will continue to do so for generations to come unless we stem the tide." - id 15/5/2015
It`s not the government system, it`s NetanyahuChaim Weizmann - Ynet - "Instead of creating a stable, functioning unity government with the Zionist Union and Kulanu, Netanyahu decided to let every single MK become an extortionist." - id 15/5/2015
The Israeli nuclear plan is to be addressedMaria Botros - Gulf News - The Israeli nuclear plan is to be addressed because it will be the only nuclear programme located at the centre of the Arab world only a few kilometres away from the Saudi Arabian, Egyptian, Jordanian and Palestine borders, said Amr Mousa, former Secretary-General of the Arab League.-rh 13/5/2015
Israeli General Sees ‘Shared Interests’ With HamasJason Ditz - "In a move that represents a dramatic softening from usual Israeli statements, Major General Sami Turgeman, a top commander, said he believes Israel and Hamas have “shared interests.” ca 13/5/2015
A bold proposal: Palestine should give its refugees citizenshipFateh Azzam - Ma`an News Agency "In fact, Palestine is already a state, under both the declarative and constitutive approaches to state recognition in international practice. The PLO`s Declaration of Independence on November 15, 1988 in Algiers, as deposited with the UN, implied, ipso facto, acceptance of the pre-1967 armistice lines as borders, specifically encompassing Arab Jerusalem. As such, the entire territory of Palestine as declared in 1988 remains under Israeli occupation...What is proposed here is that the State of Palestine can begin conferring citizenship, in accordance with the Declaration of Independence, and in exercise of its sovereign right to do so as a state, albeit still under occupation and even though its citizens are unable yet to exercise their right to return to their homeland. Importantly, this would be the first act by the State of Palestine to give priority to its hitherto almost-forgotten constituency, the stateless refugees. There are of course benefits and risks." ca13/5/2015
America as Dangerous Flailing BeastJohn Chuckman - Information Clearing House "...America has carried on a bizarre relationship with Israel, a relationship which is certainly against the America’s own long term interests, although individual American politicians benefit with streams of special interests exchange for blindly insisting Israel is always right, which it most certainly is not. An important segment of Israel’s population is American, and they just carried over to Israel the same short-sightedness, arrogance and belligerence which characterize America, so much so, Israel may legitimately be viewed as an American colony in the Middle East rather than a genuinely independent state."13/5/2015
Israel Coalition Scrapes By First Knesset TestMaayan Lubell - Forward - The guidelines of the right-leaning government, released on Wednesday, made no mention of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the foundation of U.S.-led peace efforts, which collapsed in April last year.-rh13/5/2015
Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New TreatyGAIA PIANIGIANI and RICK GLADSTONEMAY - The New York Times - Formal recognition of a Palestinian state by the Vatican, which has deep religious interests in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories that include Christian holy sites, lends a powerful signal of moral authority and legitimacy to the efforts by the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, to achieve statehood despite the long paralyzed Israeli-Palestinian peace process.-rh 13/5/2015
Israeli court to rule on minister`s deportation caseDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Abu Arafeh said that if the Israeli Supreme Court fails to redeem the Jerusalemites` right to their birthplace, other protest steps will be taken. “We will not stop our efforts and struggle to accomplish our natural right of living in our city of birth, which we have lived in all our lives,” he said. Abu Arafeh sounded critical of the lack of interest by the Palestinian leadership in their case, saying, “We have met the president twice and he, along with his advisers, have promised to support us, but they have not paid any attention to our case.”-rh 13/5/2015
Palestinians Begin Commemoration of 67th Nakba AnniversaryIMEMC News & Agencies - Marked by Palestinians throughout the world every May 15th, the Nakba represents a historic injustice, where approximately 800,000 Palestinians or 67% of the Palestinian people by 1948, became refugees and approximately 418 Palestinian villages were depopulated and/or destroyed, said PLO Negotiations Affairs Department.-rh13/5/2015
Bedouin village razed 83 times must pay $500,000 for demolitions, Israel saysAllison Deger - Mondoweiss - The unrecognized Bedouin village of al-Araqib was in court Wednesday, where the state of Israel argued the southern desert town must pay $500,000 [2 million Israeli Shekels] to cover the cost of demolitions, and more than 1,000 police deployed to carry out the destruction. Since 2010 al-Araqib has been razed to the ground 83 times, more than any other locality in Israel.-rh 13/5/2015
Making It Explicit in IsraelAnat Biletzki - The New York Times (The Opinion Pages) - Netanyahu voiced an “anti-norm” — what he made explicit were not universal democratic values, which are often loudly touted in official Israel, but the bald, unadorned Zionist norms of exclusive Jewish rights and exclusion of Arab citizens.-rh13/5/2015
Families in Khuza’a forced to live in shipping containers as politics prevent Gaza reconstruction Dan Cohen - Mondoweiss - With their lives hanging by threads, the families living in the caravan are among the most vulnerable Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. Every day is a crisis, and each season brings new difficulties which the residents are ill-equipped to confront.-rh13/5/2015
Israeli colonialism, plain and simpleAmira Hass - Haaretz - is it relevant that Sohlberg is a resident of a West Bank Jewish settlement? It is no more and no less relevant than the fact that the other justices of the Supreme Court and their families, and every other Jewish Israeli (including myself), are entitled at any time to move to a West Bank Jewish settlement, and that they – we – live on the Israeli side of the Green Line in manicured neighborhoods for Jews only and in some instances on land from which Palestinians were expelled 65 years ago or yesterday. [bz] 12/5/2015
Why does Germany’s young generation hold negative views of Israel? BENJAMIN WEINTHAL - Jpost - The peerless Middle East historian Bernard Lewis wrote nearly 30 years ago in his groundbreaking book Semites and Anti-Semites that German guilt after the Holocaust contributed to the positive response to the founding of Israel. However, he warned presciently that “such feelings are a dwindling asset to Israel, and must inevitably die away as the memory of Nazi crimes recedes into the past.” [bz]12/5/2015
Remember Gaza?Matt Duss - FMEP/Tablet - In the wake of Protective Edge, there was widespread recognition that the status quo could not continue. Then, as after previous rounds, it did. (...) “There have been some baby steps in the right direction: for example, limited ability to sell goods from Gaza in Israel and the West Bank and more travel permits issued to senior traders,” said Tania Hary, deputy director of Gisha, an Israeli NGO that monitors Gaza. “These small adjustments to policy aren’t being felt by most people in Gaza, where unemployment and poverty remain high. Real change requires a shift in the concept that access restrictions are bargaining chips." [bz] 12/5/2015
A Day and Night-mare Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “But there is a much worse day-and-night-mare for Netanyahu: in a 61-member coalition, ‘every bastard is a king’ as a Hebrew saying goes. Each and every member can obstruct any bill produced by the government, allow any opposition motion to win, absent himself from any crucial vote. Every day would be a field day for blackmail of all kinds. Netanyahu would be compelled to accede to every whim of every member. Even in Greek mythology no such torture was ever invented” [ry]11/5/2015
Forcing Arab-Israeli culture to conform - or witherHaaretz Editorial--Fascist-like tendencies are on display in the defunding of Haifa`s politically nonconformist Al-Midan theater. Tendencies that can only be expected to grow stronger under the incoming government. dn10/5/2015
An Initiative Worth SupportingJames Zogby--For his part, Sam made a seamless transition using both his business and political acumen to contribute to setting up the first Palestinian telecommunications company, PALTEL, and the first modern Palestinian shopping center, PLAZA. Sam focuses his organizing around key issues of importance to the Palestinian American community. For many years now, Sam has been the central resource for information on the difficulties Israel has created for Palestinian Americans traveling to and working in the Palestinian Authority areas. When then Senator Barack Obama made his first visit to the West Bank in 2006, Sam joined the Palestinian business community to brief the Senator about the burdens imposed on them by the Israeli authorities. On his return to the U.S., Obama thanked me for the introduction and told me how much he had learned from the group. dn10/5/2015
EU slams Israeli plans to build in east JerusalemAFP--The European Union on Saturday added to United States and Palestinian criticism over Israeli plans to build 900 homes in east Jerusalem. "Israel`s determination to continue its settlement policy despite the urging of the international community not only threatens the viability of the two state solution but also seriously calls into question its commitment to a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians," the EU said in a statement. dn 10/5/2015
Israel and ethnic-based exclusionRachel Shabi--As one commentator has already noted, some appointments in Israel`s new cabinet seem to be a case of letting the fox guard the chicken coop. When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week announced his new government, with a wafer-thin-majority, the rightwards lunge was written all over it - and all over crucial cabinet positions in particular. So, in charge of the justice ministry, meet the settler-stalwart Jewish Home party`s Ayelet Shaked.dn 10/5/2015
An odyssey from Birthright to the BDS movementNaomi Darom--Sussman isn’t the only American to visit Israel on a Birthright or similar program and return filled with questions that morph into criticism. Many of these young people I spoke with say that after Birthright they became activists in left-wing organizations. They reflect the way some people see Israel when visiting for the first time — as well as young American Jews’ changing relationship with the land of their ancestors.dn10/5/2015
Campus Debates on Israel Drive a Wedge Between Jews and MinoritiesJENNIFER MEDINA and TAMAR LEWINMAY--College activists favoring divestment have cast the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a powerful force’s oppression of a displaced group, and have formed alliances with black, Latino, Asian, Native American, feminist and gay rights organizations on campus. The coalitions — which explicitly link the Palestinian cause to issues like police brutality, immigration and gay rights — have caught many longtime Jewish leaders off guard, particularly because they belonged to such progressive coalitions less than a generation ago.dn10/5/2015
Netanyahu coalition to repeal limit on size of governmentMoran Azulay--Incoming government seeks to pass bill allowing unlimited appointments of ministers and deputies, claiming proposal will not affect budget despite expected costs in tens of millions of shekels.dn10/5/2015
Next head of `Civil Administration` said Palestinians are sub-humanJohn Brown*--After the Oslo Accords, the Israeli army renamed the Military Government of the West Bank the Civil Administration. MK Eli Ben-Dahan was just appointed to oversee the Administration, which oversees the theft of Palestinian land, settlement expansion and controls the movement of millions of Palestinians.dn9/5/2015
No Palestinians need apply to new Israeli government– and American liberals don’t noticeJames North and Philip Weiss--How would black Americans feel if they voted and knew that no black person would serve in the U.S. Cabinet? Well, Israel is undertaking just such an exclusion with an even larger segment of its population and the Obama administration is celebrating the process. dn 9/5/2015
Israel`s new and dangerous governmentHaaretz editorial - Habayit Hayehudi people, like many in the Likud faction, want the justice system to serve as a rubber stamp for the coalition’s decisions and not the defender of individual and minority rights. From now on Shaked will head the Ministerial Committee for Legislation and the Judicial Appointments Committee and have considerable influence on the selection of the attorney general who will replace Yehuda Weinstein. [bz]9/5/2015
Israel’s new justice minister considers all Palestinians to be ‘the enemy’Ishaan Tharoor - Washington Post "Shaked is known for her strident (some would say extremist) views regarding Palestinians and the enfeebled Israeli left. In July, in a controversial post on Facebook, the then-member of the Knesset posted the text of an article by the late Israeli writer Uri Elitzur that referred to Palestinian children as "little snakes" and appeared to justify the mass punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The post has since been deleted, but an archived version remains." ca8/5/2015
Probe Gaza rules of engagement, Israel - or face the ICCAeyal Gross - Haaretz "Until now, the number of civilians killed in Gaza and pictures of the destruction left behind by the IDF have cried out to heaven. But now, the chilling testimony that appears in Breaking the Silence’s report completes the picture of the soldiers’ behavior and the orders that, according to this testimony, they were given...Only a serious, independent investigation examining how the rules of engagement were set and the orders these soldiers describe is likely to be considered a genuine investigation. And if that doesn’t happen, the orders described in the report are liable to be the subject of careful scrutiny by Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague." ca8/5/2015
Ethiopian-Israelis` protest against police violence is met with police violenceActivestills - +972 - Police use stun grenades, violence against protest in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, sparked by video of two officers beating a black Israeli soldier. Dozens reported injured, at least 26 arrested.-rh7/5/2015
At this square in the heart of Tel Aviv…Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "Now it`s official: Mohammed Deif lives - and he has resumed his activity in the military wing of Hamas. The State of Israel did not succeed in "eliminating" him." - id 6/5/2015
Double standards and pro-Israel hypocrisy slam al-Jazeera AmericaRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Now, the allegations of one obscure employee is being used to challenge the professionalism of the news organization which provides the only real balanced coverage of Arab, Muslim and Middle East issues in America." - id 6/5/2015
Israeli state pushes Court to take an unusual step threatening immediate demolition of an entire Palestinian villageRabbis for Human Rights - Press Release - By refusing to issue an interim order until the case is heard, the court is allowing for the demolition of the Palestinian village of Susya and subsequent expulsion of its 340 residents to Area A.-rh 6/5/2015
The Battle Between American-Jewish Political Donors Heats UpJonathan Cook - Information Clearing House - With potential candidates for next year`s US presidential elections starting to declare their hand, the chief donors on both sides of the political divide appear to have one issue uppermost in mind: Israel.-rh 6/5/2015
Switch to digital television faces bumpy road in PalestineDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Abed, who is also responsible for TV licensing at the Ministry of Information, is worried that Israel will not allow this transition to go smoothly. “While we are technically prepared to make the move to digital broadcasting, we can’t predict what the occupation authorities will do.”-rh6/5/2015
We Made A Mistake. It Happens.Nir Hasson - Ir-Amim - Knowing that there was tension, I did not run; I stood so the police would understand that I was not involved. But three border policemen grabbed me and said that I had thrown stones. I tried to tell them that I am a journalist and they began to beat me. One grabbed me by the neck and choked me, and then they took me to the police station.-rh6/5/2015
Bennett to advance Judaism, not democracy, in education systemAkiva Eldar - Il-Monitor - Future Education Minister Naftali Bennett is likely to advance his own ultra-Orthodox perceptions of Jewish heritage at the expense of democratic values and pluralism in Judaism.-rh6/5/2015
Soldiers` Testimonies from GazaBreaking the Silence - All of the testimonies - The testimonies in this collection close the yawning gaps between what the IDF and government spokespersons told the public about the combat scenarios, and the reality described by the soldiers that took part in the operation.-rh 6/5/2015
The Day After : Neve Gordon on the IDF’s new tacticsNeve Gordon - London Review of Books - One thing is immediately clear from the interviews: the IDF’s working assumption was that once the leaflets were dropped, anyone who refused to move was a legitimate target.-rh 6/5/2015
Newsletter 04 May. 2015B`Tselem - Newsletter - Shortly before International Workers’ Day we spoke with four Palestinian workers. Although their homes are only a few dozen kilometers from where they work in Israel, the difficulties involved in reaching their place of work mean they remain there all week, away from their families and home environment6/5/2015
Gunning for destruction in Gaza: ‘You want to see people in pieces’Natasha Roth - +972 - Given that these words come from those responsible for the destruction, this report should introduce – or reintroduce – the sense of shock that was profoundly lacking when images started to filter out of the Gaza Strip during the war. [ak] 5/5/2015
My Palestinian mother was like Baltimore’s Toya GrahamNadia Naser-Najjab - +972 - In the first Intifada, my mother recognized the need to resist but she also wanted to keep her daughter safe — so she locked the doors and hid the keys. But if we are to be consistent, shouldn’t police officers’ mothers be responsible for stopping brutality? Shouldn’t Israeli soldiers’ mothers put a stop the arrests and mistreatment of Palestinian children? [ry]4/5/2015
Red Rag column: nuclear submarines, Mordechai Vanunu etc. Gideon Spiro - A few days ago I read in the news that Israel had taken delivery of the fifth submarine Germany made for it. Like her sisters, that submarine is armed with nuclear missiles, and I wonder if Chancellor Angela Merkel has ever asked herself why a small state like Israel needs to be armed with nuclear-missile-carrying submarines. gm4/5/2015
WATCH: The conflict starts in schoolSocial TV--Documentary filmmaker Tamar Erde went to five Israeli and Palestinian schools to find out what role state education plays in shaping children’s notions about politics. dn3/5/2015
Among Nepal’s earthquake survivors: Israeli gays and their surrogate babiesRuth Eglash--It was Tuesday, 10 days since baby Maya’s birth in Kathmandu, Nepal. But already she and her new family — her two fathers, Amir and Alon Michaeli-Molian, and toddler sister, Shira — had experienced a devastating earthquake, a daring rescue operation and a flight on an emergency medical jet. Now there was the endless stream of Israeli journalists who had been traipsing through their modest apartment since the family arrived home 24 hours ago.dn3/5/2015
A boy called BibiUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Who is this Netanyahu? Contrary to popular opinion, he is a man of very strong beliefs – the beliefs of his far- right father. The entire world is out to kill us at all times, we need a powerful state to defend ourselves, all of the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan has been given us by God (whether he exists or not). Everything else is lies, subterfuges, tactics. When, in a famous speech at Bar-Ilan university near Tel Aviv, Netanyahu embraced the principle of "Two States for Two Peoples", those who knew him could only smile. It was as if he had recommended the eating of pork on Yom Kippur. gm2/5/2015
Palestine and the Injustice of the World CommunityRobert Fantina - PNN - "One asks what it will take for the world to wake up to the horrendous, unspeakable conditions under which Palestinians are victimized by Israel." - id for ca1/5/2015
Another kind of memorialAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Conspicuously absent from the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister was the word "peace" and the phrase "Our hand is always extended in peace to our neighbors," which Israeli Prime Ministers traditionally tend to include in their speeches - even if it often seems no more than lip service. It was the speech of a leader preparing his people for a total war without compromise, without presenting his listeners with the slightest hope of an end to the bloodshed ever." - id for ca1/5/2015
Israel eases Gaza blockade, hopes for Hamas stabilityBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "Israel understands that Hamas is in Gaza to stay and is now searching for balance between easing the blockade for Gaza residents and limiting Hamas` military activity." id for ca 1/5/2015
Israel must seize the opportunity for a deal with the PalestiniansAviad Kleinberg - Ynet - "In the new map of interests in the Middle East, created by radical Islam`s attack on pro-Western Arab states, the price Israel will be required to pay for a solution to the conflict is exceptionally low." - id for ca 1/5/2015
Paying a price for blowing the whistle on Israel’s nuclear weapons, 30 years onRichard Norton-Taylor - The Guardian - Responding to a petition submitted by his lawyers Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard, Home Front Command chief Maj. Gen. Eyal Eizenberg signed an order allowing Vanunu “a chance conversation orally with foreigners, as long as it is a one-time conversation, which takes place face to face, is not planned in advance, is held in a public place open to the general public, and takes place for a period no longer than 30 minutes.”-rh 30/4/2015
Political cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh: Art can change how people view Palestine Alex Kane - Mondoweiss "... the 36-year-old follows in the footsteps of al-Ali by creating political cartoons about the Arab world, and particularly the plight of the Palestinians...His arrest attracted the most attention after the Charlie Hebdo attacks lead world leaders like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to march in Paris for free speech. Netanyahu was called out by Daily Show host Jon Stewart for marching for free speech while presiding over an army that detained Saba’aneh." ca for id29/4/2015
Israeli Right renews its fight on funding for human rights orgsNoam Sheizaf - +972 - The Israeli Right is once again seeking to introduce legislation that would limit the ability of human rights and anti-occupation organizations to seek funding abroad. As part of coalition negotiations with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party is demanding that foreign-government funding of local institutions require approval by the Defense Ministry and the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.-rh 29/4/2015
Turkey joins Qatari bid to broker Israel-Hamas dealAVI ISSACHAROFF - The Times of Israel "Turkey’s contribution to the plan is the idea of creating a floating harbor across from the Strip’s coast, where ships bringing merchandise to Gaza can drop anchor. The merchandise making its way into the Strip would go through a security check. According to the same Palestinian sources, the party responsible for the inspection would be NATO, of which Turkey is a member. However, Israeli strongly opposes the creation of a port, even a floating one across from Gaza." ca for id29/4/2015
Syria’s Nightmarish NarrativeRobert Parry - Information Clearing House "The Saudi-Israeli alliance, in league with other hard-line Sunni countries, is helping Al-Qaeda affiliates advance toward gaining either victory or at least safe havens in Syria and Yemen...Saudi Arabia and Israel have made clear over the past few years that they regard the overthrow of the Iranian-backed Assad government as a geopolitical priority even if it results in a victory by Al-Qaeda or the Islamic State." ca for id29/4/2015
After 15 years some Palestinian doctors now drive into IsraelDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The ministry source told Al-Monitor that the idea of allowing doctors to drive to Israeli hospitals came from Israeli security officials, who decided that this type is travel is necessary in dealing with emergency cases. While Israeli decisions are always explained in security jargon, the real reason for increasing or decreasing restrictions is political. For example, no reason was given as to why Palestinian doctors working for Palestinian hospitals in East Jerusalem were not granted the same permission.-rh 29/4/2015
Campaign lampooning anti-Muslim posters set to debut in NYC subwaysStephen Rex Brown - NYDaily News - Documentary filmmakers Negin Farsad and Dean Obeidallah say they will post 144 posters in 140 subway stations thanks to roughly $20,000 raised through crowdfunding. The posters bear messages like: “The ugly truth about Muslims: Muslims have great frittata recipes.”-rh29/4/2015
How to prevent the next fallen soldierShimon Shiffer - Ynet News - The purpose of the rocket fired at the southern communities on Thursday evening was to serve as a reminder to the Israeli leadership that if it continues to ignore and avoid pursuing a deal with the millions of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, the most horrible scenarios could be realized, God forbid. The knock on the door, therefore, is only a matter of time.-rh 29/4/2015
ISIS executes three asylum seekers deported by IsraelHaggai Matar - +972 - At least three Eritrean asylum seekers who lived in Israel and were deported to a third country were executed by Islamic State militants in Libya this past week, according to family and friends who recognized them in a video released by the extremist Sunni group. The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants is checking the possibility that additional Eritreans deported by Israel were also executed.-rh 29/4/2015
Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (23 – 28 April 2015)Palestinian Centre for Human Rights - ·Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 38 others in the West Bank and Jerusalem.-rh 29/4/2015
UNESCO resolutions raise Palestinian hopesDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - “The resolution requires that Israel, as an occupation force, commit to international decisions and UNESCO resolutions related to the heritage of the Old City in Jerusalem and its walls, which has been on UNESCO`s World Heritage List since 1981 and on the World Heritage in Danger list since 1982.”-rh 29/4/2015
One person shot at protest against Israel’s cancer-causing chemical plants in TulkaremInternational Solidarity Movement - Around fifty Palestinians and international activists gathered today in Tulkarem, east of Nablus, to protest the presence of 11 Israeli chemical plants located in the city. The protest took place outside the Gishuri chemical plant on what is locally referred to as the “death road” due to the health problems caused by the Israeli plants.-rh29/4/2015
Every incident could potentially escalate Yoav Limor - Israel Hayom - It stands to reason that the thwarted terrorist attack on the northern border was an attempt by Hezbollah to execute a low-risk, rapid retaliation over the recent airstrikes in Syria, which the Arab media has attributed to Israel. In the past, Hezbollah has always needed several days to carry out retaliatory attacks, except for when it used rockets, a readily available resource that requires no special preparations. Nevertheless, it is possible that the Shiite terrorist group has prepared several "contingency" attacks, ready to be executed on command, as seen on Sunday. It is unclear whether foiling Sunday`s attack will bring the current round of security escalation on the northern border to its end. [bz]28/4/2015
Labelling Settlement Goods - Europe’s Feeble Efforts to ‘Punish’ IsraelJonathan Cook – CounterPunch – “The few Israelis prepared to break out of the domestic consensus and stand up for Palestinian rights to dignity and justice need all the help they can get. Not least they need the solidarity of European governments, who should be joining them in calling for harsh – not paltry – penalties against Israel” [ry]27/4/2015
Palestinians March in Israel to Mark Historic Displacement MAAN--Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel marched in protest on Thursday as their Jewish compatriots partied, each group in its own way marking the 67th anniversary of the State of Israel’s founding. dn26/4/2015
Can an international boycott of Israeli goods and services help end its occupation of Palestinian lands? Al Jazeera--As Israel`s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands grinds on, economics and commerce are becoming new battle lines, an embargo being the latest weapon of resistance for Gaza and the West Bank. dn26/4/2015
Israel’s Iranian Jews worry about the nuclear dealAdam Taylor--Many Iranian Jews came from conservative religious communities in Iran, Javedanfar said, and often they remain politically or religiously conservative in Israel. Those political leanings probably made them natural supporters of Netanyahu’s hard stance on Iran, said Meir Litvak of Tel Aviv University’s Alliance Center for Iranian Studies. “Historically, most Iranian Jews have voted for Likud in the past 30 years, so they are not likely to dispute Netanyahu’s position,” Litvak said, referring to the prime minister’s political party.dn 26/4/2015
In Stealth Move, Congress Backs Israeli Right`s War on Settlement BoycottsJonatan Cook--The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad. dn26/4/2015
I swear I won’t boycott the Israeli settlementsAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - It is forbidden to encourage a boycott against the settlements and unauthorized outposts which were established through land theft, forgery of documents and paying bribes to collaborators, as well as through the gross trampling of the planning and building laws. We must file away the reports of the state comptroller that describe the injustices of Israeli rule in the West Bank and the report on the unauthorized outposts. It is completely and totally forbidden to say that the settlements are a violation of international law – someone could very well understand that as a call for law-abiding nations to boycott their products. [bz]25/4/2015
Why I won`t be celebrating Israel`s Independence Day this yearAsher Schechter - Haaretz "As Israel continues down its path of isolation and conflict, and does so with renewed verve, I find my disappointment outweighing my sense of national pride...As it celebrates its 67th Independence Day, Israel has never been more "independent" - alienating its closest allies; insisting it can do whatever it wants, regardless of what anyone else has to say." ca24/4/2015
Activists turn to PalestineAmira Howeidy - Al-Ahram "A broad coalition of political parties, groups, student unions and professional syndicates has rediscovered its solidarity with the Palestinians, and is rallying around a campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israeli occupation. The Egyptian Popular Campaign to Boycott Israel (BDS) seeks to name companies operating in Egypt that also work in Israel or do business with the occupation army. Its aim is to pressure them to either stop doing business with the Israelis or to leave Egypt." ca24/4/2015
The grave danger of derailing the Iran deal — an interview with Chas Freeman Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "heldon Adelson and his ilk call the shots, not the American people. Our politics are now so venal that our democracy excites no admiration anywhere. On Israel and many other issues, policy clearly reflects the views of wealthy donors, not the views of any majority. Only a small minority of American Jews stand with Mr. Adelson but his opinions, not theirs, are what matter. America looks like a plutocracy to a growing number of people. That’s how they’ll see us if the Iran deal goes down to Adelson and Israel." ca24/4/2015
Israel Mocks Europe Labels for Settlement Products as `Yellow Star`JTA - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman suggested stamping settlement goods with yellow stars to condemn demands for special labeling in Europe. Liberman sarcastically suggested the move in an interview Friday with Israel Radio about a letter sent out earlier this week by foreign ministers of 16 of the European Union’s 28 member states, in which they asked E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to promote such labeling in store chains throughout Europe.-rh 23/4/2015
Israel Imposed over $30,000 Fines on Minor Prisoners since Start of 2015 WAFA - “Around 500 - 700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are arrested, detained and prosecuted in the Israeli military detention system each year. The majority of Palestinian child detainees are charged with throwing stones. No Israeli children come into contact with the military court system,” said Defense for Children International (DCI).-rh 22/4/2015
Reuven Rivlin Questions Future of Israel Amid `Horrible` Hate — on Both SidesNaomi Zeveloff - Forward - “For me, until now it is not obvious that the Israeli flag is up there, and we are in a position that everyone recognizes that Israel is a fact and Israel will last forever,” he said, holding forth from a plush yellow chair next to a platter of chocolates in his residence in Jerusalem’s Rehavia neighborhood.-rh 22/4/2015
Who wins if Washington loses in the Middle East?Daoud Kuttab - Aljazeera - A stepped-up European role in the Middle East, with France taking the lead in attempting to revitalise the Palestinian-Israeli peace process on the basis of recognising the Palestinian state, will be welcomed in many capitals - not just in the region, but around the world.-rh 22/4/2015
Israel can now legally seize Palestinian homes in Jerusalem under `absentees` property law Lizzie Dearden - The Independent - The Palestinian side of the holy city had previously been exempt from the Absentees` Property Law, brought in after the 1948 war to allow arriving Israelis to move into abandoned homes. But now Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that it can be applied to East Jerusalem, effectively allowing the state to take control of property whose owners live in the West Bank or Gaza.-rh 22/4/2015
You can boycott anything in Israel — except the occupationNoam Sheizaf - +972 - The ‘boycott law’ won’t put an end to the BDS movement — its real importance lies in the criminalization of all opposition to the occupation.-rh 22/4/2015
Israeli forces seal Hizma over alleged stone-throwingMa`an News - Israeli forces blocked all entrances into Hizma town on Wednesday as a punitive measure for alleged incidents of stone-throwing, a human rights group and Israeli media reported.Israeli forces are reported to have placed a large sign at the entrance of the eastern Jerusalem-district town requesting that residents divulge information about those "disturbing the peace."-rh 22/4/2015
Palestinian youth murdered by Jewish vigilantes recorded as terror victim on Israeli memorial Robert Trait - The Telegraph - Hussein Abu Khdeir, the dead teenager’s father, also said he would ask for his son’s name to be erased from the plaque. “We don’t need the recognition ... we’re not Israeli citizens,” he told Ashams, a Nazareth-based radio station. “Instead of this list we want justice and the prosecution of the criminals.”-rh 22/4/2015
Lawfare, Israel’s Continuation of War by Other Means Jonathan Cook - Information Clearing House - Right-wing Israeli organisations have been quietly escalating “legal warfare” against the Palestinian leadership in an attempt to dissuade it from bringing war crimes charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court. The latest case against the Palestinians, filed in the US, threatens lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines against Hamas leaders, including Khaled Mashal, for briefly closing Israel’s only international airport during Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer.-rh 22/4/2015
Slow violence, cold violence – Teju Cole on East JerusalemTeju Cole - The Guardian - Why the viciousness of modern Israeli law directed against Palestinians must be taken as seriously as the cruelties of war [ry]20/4/2015
Demanding equality - how is that illegal?Ronnie Barkan--Demanding equality - how is that illegal? If the anti-boycott law is ever put to the test, the first cases may provide an even greater boost to the BDS movement. dn 19/4/2015
Love letter to a Zionist: NYU project seeks to bridge Israel divide within Jewish familiesShaina Shealy--Selig is critical of Zionism, which has resulted in a chasm of understanding between her and her family. She hopes to bridge this divide and foster productive dialogue by writing a letter to her mother that expresses her feelings as part of the “Love Letter Project” designed by Tammy Kremer, a graduate student at NYU Gallatin’s program for Individualized Studies. The project will result in a collection of published letters from American Jews expressing non or anti-Zionist feelings to loved ones. dn19/4/2015
`There Are Still Judges…` Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It seems that even Gronis, the Likud`s protégé, had qualms about this specific decision. He signed [the verdict on the Boycott Law] literally at the very last moment – at 17.30 hours of the last day, just before Israel went into mourning at the start of Holocaust Day. His signature was decisive. The court was split – 4 to 4 – between those who wanted to annul the law and those who wanted to uphold it. Gronis joined the pro-law section and the law was approved. It is now the Law of the Land. [bz]18/4/2015
Israel`s High Court takes compromised stand on freedom of expressionHaaretz Editorial--. . . the verdict is yet another manifestation, alongside other verdicts handed down this week — like the one barring security prisoners from formal study — of the Supreme Court’s judicial passivity. The court refrains from intervening in important human rights issues due to its belief that it must defer to the legislature and government. dn18/4/2015
Netanyahu must wake up to the new realityNahum Barnea - Ynet - Why does Israel allow itself to do whatever it wants and still expect us to veto a resolution that accurately reflects our long-standing policy? Why should America impose a veto against itself? (Obama according to people who have met with him of late.) [bz] 18/4/2015
Naming and shaming in YarmoukRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram "Some of the culprits for the suffering in Yarmouk are listed below. Israel bears direct responsibility for the plight of the refugees in Yarmouk. The refugees are mostly the descendants of Palestinian refugees from historical Palestine, especially the northern towns like Safad that are now inside Israel." ca17/4/2015
How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons ProgramAvner Cohen and William Burr - Information Clearing House "An exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked U.S. efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor." ca17/4/2015
Netanyahu on Time magazine`s list of 100 most influential peopleHa`aretz - "...Barak doesn`t shrink from criticism of the prime minister. "Over time, while thoughtful and an avid reader of history, he developed a mind-set at once pessimistic, passive and anxious," Barak wrote. "Benjamin Netanyahu seems to avoid any initiative." ca 17/4/2015
HRW: Settlement agriculture using Palestinian child laborMa`an News - The 74-page report, "Ripe for Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank," documents that children as young as 11 are working on settlement farms. The children carry heavy loads, are exposed to high temperatures and hazardous pesticides, and in some cases have to pay themselves for medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness.-rh15/4/2015
Herzog, the hospital orderlyHaim Baram - Kol Ha`ir - "It’s true that the people chose him, and for us there`s nothing left save for acting like some sort of Greek chorus wailing against the tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes." - id 15/4/2015
Organic farms in the West Bank: Hemmed in by smokestacks, separation wallCreede Newton - Aljazeera America - Qato is a researcher at Brown University’s school of public health who conducted a qualitative study on the societal outcomes of the factories. She said that people from Tulkarem feel as if their health has been compromised, even if they are yet to exhibit signs of illness. Qato added: "The occupation limits access to the tools necessary to complete a thorough epidemiological study."-rh 15/4/2015
Against the Occupation: Ten Years of Grassroots Resistance L. Michael Hager -Truthout - In the US, Dr. Martin Luther King showed that nonviolent protest works. His Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 inspired passage of the Voting Rights Act that year, a landmark for US civil rights. In Palestine, Iyad Burnat, head of both the Bilin Popular Committee against the Wall and the Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin, has followed Dr. King`s example.-rh15/4/2015
Israeli courts give free hand to Shin BetShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - lawyers specializing in civil rights cases, who represent Palestinians accused of security offenses in military courts, have told Al-Monitor that following the abduction and murder of the three Israeli youths last June, the Shin Bet was granted a sweeping license to conduct interrogations using various pressure methods, which often lead to false confessions obtained under duress.- rh 15/4/2015
Analysis: Palestinian options after the Israeli electionAlaa Tartir - Ma`an News - Palestinians throughout the occupied territories–those under a decade-long siege in Gaza, and losing land, water and homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem–and those suffering in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere, are at the end of their tether. Analysts warn that both Gaza and Jerusalem are at a boiling point, and the West Bank is not far behind.-rh 15/4/2015
Gunter Grass became ‘persona non grata’ for 2012 poem exposing Israeli nuclear hypocrisyPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss -In 2012, Mr. Grass found himself the subject of further scrutiny after publishing a poem criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program. He expressed revulsion at the idea that Israel might be justified in attacking Iran over a perceived nuclear threat and said that it “endangers the already fragile world peace.” 15/4/2015
Smuggled Palestinian prison literature gains outside audienceAsmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - During the 22 years he spent in Beersheba prison, writer Shaaban Hassouna managed to draft five novels, which he sneaked out in capsules for his family to print. One of his novels, “Shade of a Black Cloud,” received critical and local acclaim. -rh15/4/2015
Abbas’ silence on prisoners astounding, says UK’s Baroness TongeJulie Webb-Pullman - Samidoun - In a telephone link-up with Gaza today Baroness Jennifer Tonge told members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) she was astounded at the silence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLC regarding the Israeli kidnapping of PFLP member of parliament Khalida Jarrar on April 02, 2015.-rh 15/4/2015
Gaza is a TombBel Trew - Foreign Policy - Gaza today is a powder keg waiting to explode. The key aspects of the cease-fire agreement that ended the war last summer remain unfulfilled — both Israel and Hamas feel that only more violence can force their enemy to assent to their demands.-rh15/4/2015
`Empty words`: Donors fail to deliver pledged Gaza aidMegan O`Toole - Aljazeera - The report from the Association of International Development Agencies, released on Monday, found that only 26.8 percent ($945m) of the money pledged by donors at the Cairo conference six months ago has been released, and reconstruction and recovery have barely started in the besieged coastal enclave.-rh15/4/2015
High Court upholds part of Anti-Boycott Law, strikes part and splits on `1967 Israel` YONAH JEREMY BOB - The Jerusalem Post - Gabi Lasky, one of petitioner Gush Shalom`s attorneys, had said that the law was "a classic example of the tyranny of the majority" imposing its will and that she hoped the court would declare "unambiguously that even a majority in the Knesset is obligated to preserve the principle of fairness" that underlies democracy.-rh 15/4/2015
Humiliating Obama on Iran could fuel anti-SemitismBen-Dror Yemini - Ynet - "Netanyahu can defeat Obama in battle over Iran agreement, but humiliating president of world`s greatest power will serve as further `proof` that Jews are pulling strings with their fortune." - id for bz 14/4/2015
S-300 will not prevent potential Israeli strike on IranRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "The initial sale was completed in 2007-2010, but never actualized because of Israeli and US pressure. But Monday`s news might not be as dangerous or earth shattering as the Russians and Iranians would want you to think." - id for bz 14/4/2015
How will Bibi meddle in next Presidential race?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "...Clinton perceived as an inevitable fate, a bitter pill anticipated in advance, and an obstacle that must be traversed." - id for bz 14/4/2015
Talking with Israeli journalists about Palestine-Israel Ray Hanania - The Arabv Daily News - "One of the big problems facing the Middle East peace process is that Israelis and Palestinians don’t speak to each other enough." - id for bz14/4/2015
Congress is the Last to Know - Who’s Afraid of the Israel Lobby?Andrew Levine - CounterPunch - "Congress is the last place to look for `the brightest and the best` or the most knowledgeable. Still, most Senators and Representatives are at least somewhat better informed than people whose window on the world is Fox News. Why then did they make spectacles of themselves listening, yet again, to what Benjamin Netanyahu has to say about Iran? Why would they care? Why would anybody care what Netanyahu thinks?" [ry]13/4/2015
In disregard for Bedouin, Israel is forgetting its foundersSeraj Assi - Haaretz "Israel`s attitude toward the Negev Bedouin is clearly the product of a mentality that fails to see human and civil rights beyond the single prism of Jewish settlement." ca12/4/2015
Israeli courts convict hundreds of Palestinian childrenPatrick Strickland - Aljazeera "When we got to the police station, he had been beaten up and there was blood on his face," Sheikh told Al Jazeera. "After five court hearings, he was sentenced to four months in prison. How does a 50-year-old man sit on a bench and decide the fate of little children?" ca12/4/2015
Zionist Camp MK: Israel can maximize benefits from Iran dealMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "It’s not too late; there’s still time for damage control of the nuclear deal reached with Iran,” newly elected Zionist Camp Knesset member Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven said. Ben-Reuven, who is expected to serve on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on behalf of the Zionist Camp told Al-Monitor, with reference to the progress made in the Lausanne nuclear talks..." ca 12/4/2015
Stop calling us `Israeli Arabs`Rami Younis - +972 "The phrase ‘Israeli Arabs’ is meant to divide us from the rest of the Palestinian people. Thankfully, more and more young Palestinian citizens are no longer scared to openly confront their own Pharaoh and reclaim their story." ca12/4/2015
A meeting with the Jews of Iran Orly Azoulay--The day`s last rays of sunshine glimmered over the surface of the Zayandeh-Rood, "the life-giving river," that flows through Isfahan, Iran`s third-largest city. Soon it would be time for the evening prayer service; and I certainly wasn`t going home without visiting at least one of the 17 synagogues in the city and speaking to the members of the second-largest Jewish community in the Islamic Republic. dn I had a note in my pocket with the address of the Keter David synagogue, in the city`s Palestine neighborhood; but when I met my Iranian escort at the entrance to my hotel and told him I was going to take a cab there, the blood drained from his face. In Shiraz (Photo: Orly Azoulay) In Shiraz (Photo: Orly Azoulay) "They won`t let you in," he said. "They are very wary of strangers." 11/4/2015
Obama: Nuclear deal cannot depend on Iran recognizing IsraelDeutsche Welle - US President Barack Obama has said it would be a "fundamental misjudgment" to ask Iran to recognize Israel as part of the nuclear deal. Israel says it is still thinking of military action against the Iran pact.-rh 9/4/2015
Israel As The Crashed Germanwings Airbus A320Alan Hart -Countercurrents - Though it is provocative and contentious I think my headline is appropriate for an article about an Israel in the process of committing suicide. I`d also like readers to know that the inspiration for my headline was an observation made by Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. In a post which called for the formation of an Israeli Salvation Front, he wrote: "The country is in existential danger. Not from the outside, but from the inside." (That`s the way it was for the passengers and crew on Germanwings Flight 9525).-rh 9/4/2015
If Nuclear Iran Is So Scary, What About Israel?Michael Karpin - The Jewish Daily Forward - The main difference between the two is that Iran’s nuclear program makes headline news, while Israel’s nuclear capability remains hidden in the shadows. The Israeli bomb lies in “the Basement.” It’s intended to be a weapon of last resort, the silent guarantor of the country’s existence in the face of hostile neighbors. Iran does not need a weapon of last resort because it is not currently intimidated or threatened by any of its neighbors. This is the basic distinction between the two.-rh 9/4/2015
Knesset Joint List denounces arrest, detention of Jarrarsamidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network - the Joint List condemned the arrest of Jarrar, calling it a violation of international law and conventions. "The arrest of Jarrar is a repressive and arbitrary step, part of a framework of targeting activists against the occupation.-rh 9/4/2015
Netanyahu`s alliance with Republicans risks further ire from Obama Chris McGreal - The Guardian - But with Republicans using the agreement as another opportunity to rally against the president and even turn it into an election issue, Netanyahu once again allied himself with Obama’s opponents.-rh 9/4/2015
Opinion: A Bad Deal with Iran Is Better than NoneOmid Nouripour - Spiegel Online - Iran cannot be a trusted partner with its support for terrorists, a dire human rights record and it`s denial of Israel`s right to exist. But demonizing the country is not a viable policy. It`s time for the West to reach a nuclear deal with Tehran.-rh9/4/2015
Military Action Against Iran Still Possible, Says Israeli OfficialALON BERNSTEIN - Huffington Post - Steinitz, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s, said the government would spend the coming months lobbying the world powers negotiating with Iran to strengthen the language in the deal as they hammer out a final agreement. While stressing that Israel prefers a diplomatic solution, he said the "military option" still exists.-rh 9/4/2015
Israel shelling in Gaza war unprecedented despite inaccuracyCharlie Hoyle - Ma`an News - In a new report entitled `Under Fire,` Action on Armed Violence found that Israel has "gradually relaxed" rules regarding the use of unguided high-explosive weapons in populated areas, greatly increasing the risk to Palestinian civilians.-rh 9/4/2015
Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbyePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - The president doesn’t use the word hurt. But his confession that overcoming the criticisms of him from Israel supporters has been as “hard as anything I do,” toward the end of the snippet above, is sure to be parsed for a long time. Hat’s off to Tom Friedman for eliciting an emotional response.-rh9/4/2015
500% increase in Palestinians detained without trial in 2015Ma`an News - Israeli authorities have issued 319 administrative detention orders for Palestinians since the beginning of 2015, a rights group said Friday, six times as many as they did the previous year.-rh9/4/2015
Joint Arab List must reduce Jews` fear Yaron London - Ynet - "The Arab political leadership`s challenge is to convince the Jews that Israel`s Arab citizens have adopted a political culture which is different from the culture dominating the countries surrounding us." - id 8/4/2015
PA official: Problem isn`t Netanyahu, it`s IsraelUri Savir - Al Monitor - "...Ramallah-based senior officials who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The peace process is now formally dead.”" - id 8/4/2015
Netanyahu`s hypocrisy about intervening in other countries` affairsHaggai Matar - +972 - "What would happen if a foreign country started lobbying for bills in the Israeli Knesset, going so far as to seek the insertion of specific clauses into them?" - id 8/4/2015
Land Day report shows worsening discrimination in IsraelRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - " As Palestinians and the world celebrate Land Day in recognition of the land rights stolen by Israel in occupied Palestine, a new report shows the Apartheid-like discrimination by Israel against Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel and especially against the victims of Israel’s Apartheid-like policies in the West Bank." - id 8/4/2015
Israeli politician `has a dream` of equality between Jews and Arabs Ben Lynfield - The Independent - "Ayman Odeh cites civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr as his inspiration to close gap." - id 8/4/2015
A complicated chess game and a Liberty Holiday in military prison Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "`Then followed an amazing and shocking development` recounted Ralph Hoffman, president of B`nai B`rith in Germany and Europe, `The German embassy in Israel sent email messages to the team managers and told them unequivocally to cancel the visit to Maale Adumim, stating that Ma`aleh Adumim is a settlement in Palestinian territory [...] Can you imagine it? Seventy years since the liberation of Auschwitz, and they behave like this. Is this friendship?`" [ry]7/4/2015
Will PA focus on settlements at ICC?Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - To start war crimes cases against Israelis involved in last summer`s attack on Gaza, Palestinians would need to show to the ICC`s satisfaction that investigations carried out by Israel`s own judicial system were not effective; this might take years. On the other hand, the case against Israeli settlement activities, land confiscation and the movement of persons from the occupying country to the occupied areas form a much easier case to win. The Fourth Geneva Convention makes very clear that settlements and those directing and protecting the settlers are committing a violation of international humanitarian law — which makes the settlement track stronger for Palestinians, since it is a crime that is still continuing, and no denial of its existence is possible. ak 6/4/2015
The three benefits of ending the U.S.`s cold war with IranPeter Beinart - Haaretz - What George W. Bush failed to achieve militarily, Barack Obama may now be achieving diplomatically. In recent weeks, American hawks have cited Saudi anxiety about a potential Iran deal as reason to be wary of one. But a big part of the reason the Saudis are worried is because they know that as U.S.-Iranian relations improve, their influence over the United States will diminish. That doesn’t mean the U.S.-Saudi alliance will disintegrate. Even if it frays somewhat, the United States still needs Saudi oil and Saudi Arabia still needs American protection. But the United States may soon have a better relationship with both Tehran and Riyadh than either has with the other, which was exactly what Richard Nixon orchestrated in the three-way dynamic between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing in the 1970s. And today, as then, that increases America’s leverage over both countries. [bz]6/4/2015
Israel should be grateful to Obama Sever Plocker - Ynet - The day will come when we thank Barack Obama for his enormous contribution to Israel`s national security. The fact that he effectively removed the threat of chemical and nuclear weapons in the hands of our enemies Syria and Iran. We are being ungrateful. [bz]6/4/2015
Iran nuclear deal: A powerful Tehran turned into America’s policeman in the Gulf? It could happen Robert Fisk--deal could trigger a political earthquake Iran was reborn as a major Middle East nation when it agreed to limit its nuclear ambitions. Despite the “ifs” (if Iran complies with the “key parameters”, if Iran’s Revolutionary Guards don’t try to wreck the agreement, if Israel does not batter Iran’s nuclear facilities in a rogue nation attack) the framework could one day return the 36-year-old Islamic Republic to the status of a regional superpower which last existed under the Shah. dn 5/4/2015
Eight Urgent ‘Musts’ Needed for Palestinians to Defeat Apartheid: Ramzy Baroud--"ICH" - Waiting on Israeli society to change from within is a colossal waste of time, during which the suffering of an entire nation – torn between an occupied home and a harsh diaspora – will not cease. But what are Palestinians and the supporters of a just peace in Palestine and Israel to do? Plenty. dn5/4/2015
Bibi talk: ‘New York Review of Books’ trivializes Israeli fascismPhilip Weiss--But guess what: Shulman never calls Netanyahu Bibi in the piece. He uses his actual name, Benjamin Netanyahu. Just what you’d expect from a serious voice on the conflict (Shulman is a Ta’ayush activist and a Sanskrit scholar.) Why would you ever call a leader of proto-fascists “Bibi”? Do Palestinians call Netanyahu “Bibi”– the man who complained that Arabs were voting in “droves”? dn5/4/2015
Who’s Afraid of Iran’s Big Bad Bomb?Uri Avnery - Counterpunch - To imagine that the present leaders of Iran would even contemplate risking the very existence of Persia out of hatred of Israel is both ridiculous and megalomaniac.4/4/2015
Israel needs a reality check on Iran Nahum Barnea - Ynet - Justified Israeli concerns about losing its qualitative edge over its neighbors [bz].4/4/2015
Poof! There goes Netanyahu`s Iran bogeymanRachel Shabi--Long before a historic deal was finally agreed upon, we might have guessed what the Israeli government would make of it. Having warned about the perils of any rapprochement with Iran for some years - going to the US Congress, twice, and to the UN, with the same doom-laden messages - it was probably safe to assume that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s reaction to any agreement would be: We hate it. dn4/4/2015
Don`t be afraid to talk about ZionismShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Is practical Zionism really over? On the contrary, it looks like it is alive and kicking. Are there no more settlements, no more expropriation of land and denial of equal rights to Palestinians? Does the Occupation really no longer exist? gm 4/4/2015
Red Rag column: not democratic and not legitimateGideon Spiro - I will begin by asserting that the latest elections were not democratic. The elected government, Netanyahu’s dream coalition, the Right and the religious, is not legitimate. For after all, what have the commanders of the majority said? That it is permitted to continue to oppress the Palestinians, to desecrate their human dignity and to trample their natural rights underfoot – all without asking their opinion on whether they have any interest in continued rule by the Israeli military junta. gm4/4/2015
A step-by-step guide to what the Iran agreement actually meansIshaan Tharoor - Washington Post "Analysts appear surprised by the thoroughness of this framework agreement, which gives proponents of a deal hope that a real pact may be sealed this summer. " ca3/4/2015
Issue No.1240, 2 April, 2015 02-04-2015 08:56AM ETDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "As the second and final term of Obama draws to a close, the US president could hardly have any illusions on his chances to achieve the other historic deal he was hoping for: an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the launch of an independent Palestinian state."3/4/2015
A Holidays Message from ACRI President Sami MichaelSami Michael - ACRI 3/4/2015
Sneaking across Israeli border last resort for desperate GazansHana Salah - Al-Monitor - Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been illegally crossing the eastern border into Israel for years. Yet, what was once a rare phenomenon has now transformed into an almost daily occurrence. Palestinian youths hope to find a better life and jobs across the border, or even obtain refugee status, but they are almost always detained by Israel. Regardless, more and more youths are risking their lives to sneak across the border.-rh 2/4/2015
The bravery of those many Jews who fight for a fairer Israel : Hamas is a wicked and dangerous force in the Middle East. But Israel is now more wicked and dangerousYasmin Alibhai Brown - The Independent - I wish more of us Muslims acknowledged Jewish men and women who, in spite of intolerable pressures, fight for Palestine, an ethical, just Israel and equality for all. I wish more Muslims were as fair-minded and honourable as these Jewish resistors.-rh 2/4/2015
Journalists still a target in GazaAsmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - When asked why a large number of journalists died during the recent war, journalist Sami Abu Salem, who is trained in the safety of journalists, said that the main reason stems from the criminal behavior of the Israeli forces that deliberately target journalists.-rh 2/4/2015
David Shulman’s Appeal on Behalf of the People of Palestinian SusyaDavid Shulman - The Villages Group - About a year ago I reported on a truly astonishing document prepared by the Civil Administration in which they argue, in classic colonial style, that the impoverished Palestinians of Susya do not know what is good for them and that their opportunities will increase if only they are moved to the city of Yata-- in other words, if they are forced to relinquish forever their homes, grazing grounds, and fields.-rh 2/4/2015
Netanyahu says US is part of new ‘axis’!Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - The pressure is increasing on Obama over his foreign policy; and it’s time for supporters of peace to line up behind him. Today in his efforts to counter the Iran deal, Netanyahu called the US part of the “Axis,” a naked reference to Nazi Germany and its allies in World.-rh 2/4/2015
March 2015 NewsletterWho Pofits Research Center - Israeli news sources report that Max Bögl and Signon Schweiz won a tender for the construction and maintenance of the track and electronic systems of the A1 rail – a new high-speed train built on Palestinian land.-rh 2/4/2015
Monitoring the treatment of children in Israeli Military DetensionMilitary Court Watch - According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 28 February 2015, there were 5,609 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 182 children. In the case of children this represents an increase of 12 per cent compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 8 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 51 per cent of Palestinian children and 90 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.-rh2/4/2015
ICC: Palestine is Newest Member : Court Membership Could Open Door for Justice to VictimsHuman Rights Watch - The ICC treaty officially went into effect for Palestine on April 1, 2015, giving the court a mandate dating back to June 13, 2014, over serious crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on or from Palestinian territory.-rh 2/4/2015
Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What`s next?Noam Sheizaf - +972 - The first policy option the administration has is to publish the parameters for a future Palestinian state. In other words, to let it be known how the U.S. envisions this state (probably pre-’67 borders with land swaps, the division of Jerusalem and no substantial refugee return). Such positions matter because they serve as the starting points for future negotiations. Since Israel is the stronger party, which holds all the cards, publishing parameters is traditionally considered as a move that serves the Palestinians. [bz for id]1/4/2015
Palestine’s lingering water crisisAhmad Melhem - Al-Monitor - “The biggest water catastrophe on earth is in the Gaza Strip, as 97% of the coastal aquifer water is unfit for human use because of seawater intrusion and leakage of sewage water into it,” Ghoneim said.-rh 1/4/2015
Will the real Isaac Herzog please stand up?Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - Tthe only remaining path to bringing the occupation beyond the Green Line to an end is forcibly removing Israel from the territories. The first, unavoidable step on this path is a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders, together with a specified time frame for negotiations or international arbitration on the details. This is the highest interest of Jewish, democratic, moral and secure Israel. The international community must know that a large proportion of elected officials in Israel, and not only “the usual suspects” such as Meretz and the Joint List of Arab parties, support the immediate admission of Palestine to the United Nations. The heads of the Security Council member states must know that in the eyes of a central group within Israeli society, a vote for Palestine would not be considered an “anti-Israeli” or “anti-Semitic” act. [bz for id]1/4/2015
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