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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    

Beating Hitler by numbersAnshel Pfeffer - Haaretz "Oren’s love affair: Whatever you think of Oren’s opinions on U.S. foreign policy and the psychological complexes of American Jews, it can’t be argued that these are not detailed and nuanced, if rather misguided. But the chapters which deal with his years in Israel could have been lifted from Leon Uris’ “Exodus.” Oren’s Israel is a country constantly at war while valiantly seeking peace and his Israelis are one-dimensional caricatures, summarised in a few, glowing adjectives...Oren is doing our country no favors. Israel needs politicians, writers, diplomats and historians capable of looking at it without rose-tinted spectacles and demanding that at 67 it finally grows up. He fails us by spinning fairy tales." ca3/7/2015
Baskin’s generous offer: Making peace with Israeli occupationRamzy Baroud - Ma`an News Agency "Baskin is very close to those in power. His initiatives are rarely his own, and the latest is a mere reflection of the political bankruptcy of Netanyahu’s government.Baskin is, of course wrong. Palestinians have shown much willingness to end the conflict in a method that hinges on Israel’s respect for international law, including the ending of the construction of illegal settlements.Now that Netanyahu’s government is stacked with more rightwing zealots - individuals who made careers and gained famed and notoriety, because of their insistence on the maintaining of the occupation, and feeding off, politically and financially, the illegal settlements - a return to the "negotiation table" is unattainable." ca3/7/2015
After UN report on summer Gaza war, Israel Air Force still believes it acted properlyGili Cohen - Haaretz "During the 50 days of hostilities more than 5,200 targets were attacked: tunnels, launching areas, houses and weapons depots. Their number was greater than in the two previous operations – Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense – combined.The army is not turning its back on the results of the war, but even today it is convinced that all the targets went through what they call “the oiled machine.” This air force-speak means that they were researched by intelligence people and approved to the effect that bombing them did not violate international law." ca 3/7/2015
Will Israel Cooperate With ICC Palestinian Probe?Thomas Escritt - The Forward - The Palestinian Authority made its first submission of evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes to the International Criminal Court on Thursday, trying to speed up an ICC inquiry into abuses committed during last year’s Gaza conflict. The move may leave Israel in a quandary since it must decide whether to cooperate with the ICC investigation or find itself isolated as one of a very few countries that have declined to work with its prosecutors.-rh 2/7/2015
Church-run schools in Israel face `death sentence`Jonathan Cook - Aljazeera - Israel is seeking to bring dozens of church-run schools under government control, a move that community leaders have warned will curb the last vestiges of educational freedom for the country`s large Palestinian minority. Most of the 47 schools, which are among the highest-achieving in Israel, were established by Christian orders more than 100 years ago, before Israel`s creation in 1948.-rh 1/7/2015
The West Bank - Gaza DivorceYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "...if Israel continues to make life unbearable for Gazans, it will find itself facing al-Qaeda. In the West Bank, the PA will fall into al-Qaeda’s hands like a ripe fruit. Netanyahu, Abu Mazen and Haniyeh are walking on ice that could break any moment." - id1/7/2015
A home denied: the Zionist ethnic cleansing of PalestineJafar M Ramini - The Arab Daily News - "Looking back at the truth of Zionism and its leaders in ethnically cleansing Christian and Muslims from Palestine to create their exclusive state, Israel." - id 1/7/2015
A most moral occupation: Keeping the prisoners in lineNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "Does Israel have the right to turn millions of the people under its control into prisoners simply because it is afraid of what might happen once they are released?" - id 1/7/2015
The Human Rights Crisis is About Domination, Not PerceptionNEVE GORDON and NICOLA PERUGINI - Counter Punch - "...what happens to human rights once they have been hijacked by the law and become a prism for debating the legality or illegality of violence - namely, they cease to raise questions about the morality and legitimacy of the law itself." - id 1/7/2015
New report outlines Al-Aqsa Mosque recommendationsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - In its summary, the report deals with two issues where it deviates from the accepted opinions of the two conflicting parties. It doesn’t accept the repeated Arab and Muslim claims that Israeli archaeological attempts are aimed at destroying the mosque, and at the same time it accepts Muslim demands that organized and planned visits by Jews to the site should be tightly regulated and that Jews should continue to be disallowed from praying at the compound. Al-Aqsa has banned non-Muslim prayer since 1187.-rh 1/7/2015
Expelled for lifeJen Marlowe - Al-Ahram - Nasser was only four years old in June 1986 when, after the remains of an ancient synagogue were discovered in Old Susya, Israel’s Civil Administration, the military body through which it manages the Occupied Palestinian Territories, declared the village an archaeological site and expropriated it.-rh 1/7/2015
A vicious cycle of lawlessness in the West BankEyal Hareuveni - +972 - For nearly 50 years the Israeli army has been treating settler violence against Palestinians as a decree of fate, some sort of force majeure that trumps it in the territories otherwise under its control and responsibility. In other words, the army has dealt with the phenomenon without actually dealing with it.-rh1/7/2015
Newsletter 30 Jun. 2015B`Tselem - Israel goes to considerable lengths to demonstrate that it administers the occupation, now going on fifty, in a way that does not involve systematic abuse of the human rights of Palestinians, the residents of the occupied territory. One area in which such attempts are focused is the military court system in the West Bank. -rh1/7/2015
Robert Fisk: Israeli disinformation sullies a rare moment of wartime compassion Robert Fisk - The Independent - When will the Israeli government stop misusing the RAF’s wartime raid on the Gestapo’s Danish headquarters to justify their killing of children? Their shameful and dishonest version of the 1945 air attack in Copenhagen is repeated constantly by Israeli spokesmen whenever the world responds in horror to the country’s pulverisation of Arab civilians. It popped up again last week when the Israeli spokesman, Mark Regev, tried to avoid Channel 4’s questions about the UN’s latest report on the 2014 Gaza bloodbath and the killing of four children on a beach a year ago.-rh1/7/2015
Khader Adnan for Presidentnadiaharhash - In a cynical scene, Saeb Eriqat mentioned the Khader Adnan’s crisis and hunger strike yesterday after a rich Iftar yesterday, condemning Israeli coercive laws and behaviors against Palestinian prisoners. A scene that reflects the bitter reality of Palestinian leadership. Whereas, the single act of one man and his very own family in believing so strongly in the righteousness of his cause, made him eventually defeat occupation. With his meager, sick, body and powerful undefeatable soul. Maybe we should consider. Khader Adnan for the next Palestinian President.-rh1/7/2015
In Gaza, the ultimate humiliation Dan Cohen - Mondoweiss - That Israel allows Palestinians in Gaza to import used goods is not a symbol of goodwill or charitable policy – it represents normalization of the siege. To place this in proper context, remember that basic necessities such as adequate electricity and water are not let into Gaza, and Israel calculates the caloric intake for every Palestinian in Gaza, keeping the population malnourished but above catastrophe.-rh1/7/2015
Islamic State threatens to topple Hamas in Gaza Strip in video statementReuters - The Guardian - The video statement, issued from an Islamic State stronghold in Syria, was a rare public challenge to Hamas, which has been cracking down on jihadis in Gaza who oppose its truces with Israel and reconciliation with the US-backed rival Palestinian faction Fatah.-rh1/7/2015
One sentence that explains the breakdown in US-Israel relationsMax Fisher - Vox World - It is Israel’s policy of continued settlement in the West Bank—settlement that endangers the two-state solution, and therefore Israel’s future as a democracy and as a haven for the Jewish people—that puts daylight between Jerusalem and Washington, not a president who calls Israel out for its settlement policy. [bz]30/6/2015
Bet on popular resistanceRasem Obeidat - AIC - Netanyahu`s plan is to legitimize and further root the occupation in exchange for improving the daily life conditions of Palestinians under its control. The message was transmitted to the PA`s Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al Sheikh, that the PA should desist from international moves to isolate Israel regionally and internationally – they will not succeed, and Israel is able to militarily invade and take control of the West Bank in a matter of hours.
This was a threat to which the Palestinian political parties, including Hamas, did not publicly react. [bz]
War Crimes? Us??? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “War itself is a crime. There are few exceptions. […] This being so, the concept of ‘war crimes’ is dubious. The biggest crime is starting the war in the first place. This is not the business of soldiers, but of political leaders. Yet they are rarely indicted” [ry]29/6/2015
The Human Rights Crisis: A Problem Of Perception?Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini - AntiWar - The main crisis of human rights is not about perceptions, but about its complicity with domination [ry]29/6/2015
Is BDS Replacing Iran as Israel’s Blackmail Card? Alan Hart--Netanyahu has stated that BDS “is anti-Semitic at its core” and his deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, has called it “a tactic of diplomatic terrorism” and “an existential threat to Israel”. A good response to this Zionist propaganda nonsense was contained in a letter from Allan C. Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism which was published, somewhat to my surprise, by The Washington Post. dn 28/6/2015
Canadian aboriginal activist stands up to IsraelAntonia Zerbisias--Robert Lovelace is still haunted by the Palestinian refugees in the grainy newsreels he saw as a boy. Not surprising. For this former Ardoch Algonquin First Nations chief, the footage conjured up images from Canadian history`s darkest chapters - indigenous people being driven from their land and onto reserves.dn 28/6/2015
How the right-wing already won Israel`s culture warAsher Schechter--A great war is being fought in Israel. This time, though, the battle is not between Israelis and Palestinians. For once, it’s about art and culture, with Israel’s artists pitted against the government over the latter’s threats to end state funding for so-called “anti-Zionist” art. In other words, art that doesn’t conform with the worldview of the Israeli right. dn28/6/2015
Israel`s PR gaffes expose its racist atmosphereRachel Shabi - Al Jazeera - Such incidents, part of a wider campaign of public diplomacy, have made Israel look like a strangely disconnected, self-serving echo-chamber. While the government perceives its hasbara efforts to be helping the nation ride high on a wave of righteousness, the sad reality is that the country is increasingly isolated and adrift, cast away on a wave of its own delusion. [bz]27/6/2015
Israeli doctors against `force-feeding` Palestinian prisonersAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "Israeli government representatives have labeled the Palestinian appeal to the International Criminal Court “diplomatic terrorism.” The international boycott of settlement products has been defined as “economic terrorism.” Now Erdan is calling hunger strikers protesting their detention without trial “suicide terrorists.” All that’s left is to convince the ICC that god gave us all the territories from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River (as some of the Israeli legislators believe), that god allowed us to take control over the lives of the territories` inhabitants and that god has permitted us to prevent them from dying." ca 26/6/2015
Israeli lawmaker wants to force foreign-funded NGO officials to wear stigmatizing i.d.’s Philip Weiss - To “increase transparency and the obligation to report,” representatives of these organizations would have to wear identification tags when meeting with government officials, and would have to note in all their publications and advertisements that they are operating with foreign funding.-rh24/6/2015
Deputy interior minister to Arab MK: Israel is doing you a favor by giving you citizenshipMoran Azulay - Ynet - Mayhem broke out following the controversial remarks, with MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) walking up to the podium with her ID card, while others demanded Mazuz to apologize. Mazuz`s refused to apologize for his remarks and said: "Anyone who supports terrorism won`t be here."-rh 24/6/2015
War Crimes and the Gaza WarTHE EDITORIAL BOARD - NY Times - "The war was the latest in a destructive cycle that will undoubtedly be repeated if leaders on both sides do not hold violators of international law accountable for their conduct, as the report recommended, and, ultimately, find a way to live in peace." - id 24/6/2015
What I learned crossing the Qalandia CheckpointLea Georgeson Caparros - Mondoweiss - My first sight of the wall had been on the other side of the checkpoint. The wall, a sickening sight from any angle anyway, was, on the Ramallah side, covered in scars. Beautifully colourful scars. The kind that tell stories. Stern faces, abstract illustrations and promising words. Some scars hold a more violent undertone, black smoky stains bleeding up from the ground to reach up towards watchtowers as if that was enough to tear them down. Together, they make up a stunning bright canvas to hide the hideous grey beneath it, so you will not forget the wall is there. So you will not ignore it. So you will not ignore the injustice it so clearly symbolises.-rh24/6/2015
Palestinians stand their ground in Wadi FukinAziza Nofal - Al-Monitor - Manasara has a big house in the center of Fukin, but he left it to live in an isolated cave with his wife about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) away from their home. They did this to safeguard their land, which is threatened by expropriation by Israel. The patch of land where the cave is located is a home for old people who cultivate the land and own livestock — which has been deterring Israeli bulldozers from carrying out works in the area, especially as many neighboring areas have been bulldozed by Israel.-rh 24/6/2015
PLC Member Khalida Jarrar Detained IndefinitelyPalestinian Center for Human Rights - 1. PCHR strongly condemns detaining PLC Member Khalida Jarrar by the Israeli authorities and calls for immediately releasing her and all PLC members detained in Israeli prisons. 2. PCHR stresses that the bill of indictment against Jarrar is an evidence that Israel is trying her for her political affiliation in violation of international law and humanitarian law. 3. PCHR calls upon the international community, including the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, to fulfill their obligations and take immediate action to stop violations of international law perpetrated by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians.-rh 24/6/2015
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin calls for removal of Israeli flagPhilip Weiss and Adam Horowitz - Mondoweiss - The following is a thought experiment: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin announced today that he was removing the Israeli flag from his presidential residence in Jerusalem as an acknowledgment of the more than 500 children killed by Israel in Gaza a year ago.-rh 24/6/2015
Think U.N. Gaza `War Crimes` Report Is Biased? Read It First.J.J.Goldberg - Forward - The leaders and friends of Israel’s current governing coalition aren’t in the habit of admitting mistakes, especially where Palestinians are involved. But this one will be hard to dodge.-rh 24/6/2015
Catholic church in Israel badly damaged by suspected arson attackAssociated Press in Tabgha - The Guardian - In recent years, mosques and churches have been targeted by vandals in similar attacks. They are often attributed to extremist Jews from West Bank settlements. Such attacks have been widely condemned across the political spectrum in Israel, though few arrests have been made.-rh24/6/2015
Red Rag: Settlers speak - Correspondence with Amos Oz - Dr. Ilana Dayan, queen of Galei TzahalGideon Spiro to Amos Oz in 1986: `An inextricable part of the corruption I spoke of above is the new language that was created in Israel after the Occupation began. One could call it Colonial Hebrew. Its creators tried to bypass all the ugliness and injustice that accompany the Occupation by using terms that convert the twisted to straight and the ugly to beautiful. Accordingly, official Hebrew does not recognize the term “Occupied Territories” but the pastoral and Biblical term “Judea and Samaria”, which instructs that these are ancient territories that were promised to us and have belonged to us since that Divine promise.`24/6/2015
Of abductors and actors and censorsAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Minister Regev stated: "The question is not of Freedom of Expression but rather of the Freedom of Financing. Does a country have to pay for presenting a play about a man who kidnapped and killed a soldier?"" - id24/6/2015
Israel blames France for anti-Israeli approachAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "While Israeli leaders tend to be open to at least discussing US peace initiatives, European proposals, most recently a French effort, are perceived as anti-Israel." - id 24/6/2015
Presumed Guilty: Remand in Custody by Military Courts in the West BankB`Tselem - To all intents and purposes, the Israeli military court appears to be a court like any other. There are prosecutors and defense attorneys. There are rules of procedure, laws and regulations. There are judges who hand down rulings and verdicts couched in reasoned legal language. Nonetheless, this facade of propriety masks one of the most injurious apparatuses of the occupation.-rh24/6/2015
U.N. Judge Warns Israel It Crossed Line by Bombing Gaza CiviliansBarak Ravid - Forward - “We wanted to make a strong stand that the whole use of explosive weapons in densely populated neighborhoods is problematic and that the policy needs to change,” she emphasized in a phone interview from Geneva, where she presented on Monday the findings of the months-long inquiry she conducted. “Because it is not OK to drop a one-ton bomb in the middle of a neighborhood.” 24/6/2015
Lessons from the UN Gaza report: Next stop, ICC?Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - The UN report notes a number of significant shortfalls in Israel’s systems for investigating its own military. Israel’s Military Advocate General, for instance, faces significant conflicts of interest when deciding when to investigate and prosecute soldiers: the same IDF lawyers that advise soldiers and officers on the legality of their actions in combat are later asked to judge whether their conduct was legal. Secondly, the report notes that war crimes themselves do not exist in Israeli law, making their prosecution understandably difficult. Thirdly, the concept of command responsibility does not exist in Israeli military law, meaning that lowly soldiers are most often those who face consequences for seemingly isolated acts. And lastly, the rates of investigations, indictment and conviction into alleged war crimes are very low. [bz] 23/6/2015
Michael Oren`s baseless anti-Obama articlesNachum Barnea - Ynet - For some reason, the Americans also expected an apology from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu refused: If he starts apologizing for every unnecessary comment made by a member of his coalition, he won`t have time left to make his own unnecessary comments. [bz]23/6/2015
: Because we are not children of a lesser god Susan Abulhawa--"A million stories are embedded into iron keys that open lost doors and we`ve tucked them all, hundreds of thousands of keys, into the words `Right of Return`" [EPA] dn21/6/2015
The Problem with BDSYacov Ben Efrat--BDSThe specter of BDS is haunting Israel. Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan has been appointed to coordinate the efforts against the boycott of Israel, and the popular daily newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth has launched a wide campaign against it. [I personally do not agree with the analysis presented here, but believe it does raise interesting questions. dn]21/6/2015
Netanyahu refuses to apologize for ex-ambassador’s criticism of ObamaWilliam Booth--JERUSALEM — If there was any lingering doubt that President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are estranged, now comes fresh evidence the two leaders and their proxies are engaged in a remarkably nasty, seriously personal tit-for-tat about who did whom wrong over the past six years. dn21/6/2015
Win for Academic Freedom: Steven Salaita Awarded Back-to-back Victories against University that Fired HimThe Palestine Chronicle--Nearly a year ago Steven Salaita was fired for posting some tweets that were considered by some to be beyond the pale of proper academic discourse; the context for many of these tweets was the ongoing, devastating attack on Gaza by Israel. What makes this case especially interesting, and what the recent court decision and a critical vote by the largest confederation of U.S. professors in the country shows, is the undue and improper interference of wealthy donors on the internal affairs of public educational institutions. dn21/6/2015
IDF Operations Directorate chief: No strictly-military solution for Gaza problemYoav Zitun--After almost a decade of operations in the Gaza Strip since the 2005 Israeli disengagement, the IDF`s outgoing Operations Directorate chief, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Har Even, says there is no ultimate solution to the "Gaza problem." "As a rule, there are no military solutions to political problems. These are always combined solutions. Using military force is only a part of the policy," Har Even says in an interview with Ynet. dn 20/6/2015
Isratin or Palestrael? Uri Avnery - 66 years ago, when we, a tiny group, raised the banner of the Two-State Solution, it was clear to us that the two states, living close together in one small country, must live in close cooperation. Borders must be open for the movement of people and goods, the economies closely intertwined. Some kind of federation is inevitable. [bz]20/6/2015
West has not learned lesson of Holocaust refugeesGershom Gorenberg--Our government takes foreign dignitaries to tour Yad Vashem, but it does not understand the writing on the wall there. It does not need to tell esteemed visitors, "Feel guilty for what you failed to do then," or rather, it does not need to say only that. It needs to say, "Do not pay people to send boats back or to close borders." Our government needs to say, "Grant refuge," and to hear the message itself. dn20/6/2015
Artists` rights and theaters` duty A. B. Yehoshua - Ynet - The fact that the culture minister decided to take revenge against the children`s theater run by Norman Issa in Jaffa just because he refused to perform in front of settlers in the Jordan Valley shows us that it`s not the actual refusal which led to the decision. There is a refusal she accepts from an ideological perspective and maybe even welcomes, and there is a refusal she punishes for from an ideological perspective. And this is something she has no legal authority to do, and that`s what the protest was about. [bz]20/6/2015
It`s time to erase the Green LineNeve Gordon - +972 "If the Israeli government makes no distinction between Palestinians on either side of the Green Line, there is no reason for human rights activists to do so...If once the Green Line was conceived as a border that could provide a just solution between Israelis and Palestinians, it currently serves as a very effective mechanism of colonial control." ca19/6/2015
How Michael Oren sold out U.S.-Israel ties to sell a few more booksBarak Ravid - Ha`aretz "Obama and his staff haven’t enjoyed reading what Oren wrote. Nevertheless, they understood that any response would merely give him more exposure, so they initially decided to gulp down some ice water and restrain themselves. But when Oren published an op-ed under his own name in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, under the headline “How Obama Abandoned Israel,” not all the ice in the White House kitchen was enough to cool their fury...Senior Israeli officials who have been involved in relations with Washington for the past six years raised an eyebrow at many parts of Oren’s op-ed. Off the record, they agreed with the claim by senior Obama administration officials that Oren was left out of the loop on most bilateral diplomatic activity. " ca19/6/2015
Netanyahu is King in a World of Perpetual FearJonathan Cook - Information Clearing House - The Israeli prime minister has proved himself a master of mining the rich seam of fear that dominates Israeli political discourse. It is the source of his power, as he illustrated during the election campaign when he warned voters the country’s Arab citizens were “coming out in droves”.-rh 17/6/2015
The Adalah database of 50 discriminatory laws in Israel Roland Nikles - Mondoweiss - Advocates for a “Jewish and democratic” state admit that even if the occupation of the Palestinian territories ended and there emerged a separate independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, a “Jewish and democratic” state would still necessarily privilege Jewish (75%) over non-Jewish (25%) citizens of the state of Israel: in its symbols (national flag and anthem), in its national holidays, and, above all, in its immigration policy.-rh17/6/2015
Arabs divided on visiting JerusalemAhmad Melhem - Al-Monitor - Palestinians disagree about Arab visits to Jerusalem from religious and national perspectives. While the Palestinian Authority (PA) encourages such visits — as long as they do not lead to a normalization of relations with Israel — many national and religious figures believe these visits further entrench the Israeli occupation, contribute to the normalization of relations and embellish Israel`s image before the world.-rh 17/6/2015
Israeli report on Children killed at Beach flawedRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Two leading Civil Rights organizations in Israel have challenged and condemned an internal investigation by the Israeli military that the killing of four children on a Gaza Beach on July 16, 2014 was not intentional but an “accident.”" - id 17/6/2015
New bill would ban boycott advocates from entering Israel Patrick Strickland - The Electronic Intifada - If passed, the bill would ban supporters of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) from visiting present-day Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It would also bar foreign nationals of Jewish ancestry who support boycotting Israel from obtaining Israeli citizenship17/6/2015
The Evil That Dare Not Speak Its Name: Israel’s Apartheid Sandy Tolan - Thruthdig - What, after all, to call a system of legalized discrimination based on ethnicity and religion in which one group has full voting rights and the other does not? What to call a system under which one people can travel freely on roads built specifically for them, whisking through checkpoints because of their religion and the color of their license plates, and under which the other must submit to inspection at military kiosks frequently manned by snipers? A system under which one population in hilltop enclaves is protected by troops and military surveillance towers, while the other is subjected to frequent night raids by those same troops? -rh17/6/2015
Israel accused of `war crime` over bulldozing of Palestinian olive grovesBen Lynfield - The Independent - The uprooting operation, the largest of its kind in the southern West Bank in three years, was carried out on Thursday by what farmers said were five military vehicles on land the farmers say they own.-rh17/6/2015
Lieberman to `seriously consider` joining gov`t if construction continues in Ma`ale AdumimMoran Azulay - YnetNews - Israel`s current government may yet be expanded according to a Facebook post on Tuesday by Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman saying that he would consider joining Prime Minister Benjmanin Netanyahu`s government if construction was allowed to continue in Ma`ale Adumim, just East of Jerusalem.-rh 17/6/2015
Netanyahu must prove `good faith` to restart peace talksAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is genuinely interested in promoting a new diplomatic peace initiative, he must demonstrate his willingness with actions, such as releasing Palestinian prisoners and working to bolster the Palestinian Authority rather than Hamas." - id 17/6/2015
Palestinian Bedouin fight for their survivalRich Wiles - Aljazeera - The case of Abu Nuwwar is being seen as a landmark in Israel`s E1 development plan inside the West Bank. The E1 plan is intended to create Israeli territorial contiguity between Jerusalem, Maale Adumim and other Jewish settlements inside the West Bank, thus isolating Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.-rh17/6/2015
Israel says war in Gaza was moral and deaths are the fault of HamasWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - Israeli officials issued a broad defense Sunday over how their country waged the war in the Gaza Strip last summer, making a case that Israel sought to minimize civilian casualties as the Islamist movement Hamas put its people in the line of fire and cynically used the ensuing death and destruction to stoke anti-Israel propaganda.-rh17/6/2015
Political horizon of the Israeli governmentRasem Obeidat - AIC - Israel`s “economic peace” project will allow the occupation to flourish [ry]15/6/2015
Israel can fend off militants’ rockets. But can it stop international boycotts?William Booth and Ruth Eglash--JERUSALEM — Suddenly, again, Israel is seeing new threats everywhere. The latest come not from rockets, the Israelis say, but from students armed with petitions and Palestinians seeking sanctions against the Israeli soccer team. dn14/6/2015
Why Israelis should pay attention to the recent US Supreme Court decisionAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "The US Supreme Court`s rejection of a petition for a Jerusalem-born American to be registered as born in Israel in his passport should make Israelis realize that the only way to gain international recognition of its capital is a compromise with the Palestinians and therefore an end to the conflict." - id 12/6/2015
How every Israeli profits from the occupationNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "Israel’s government, economy and citizens regularly exploit everything they can from the West Bank, leaving the Palestinians the bare minimum for survival." - id12/6/2015
Questions for an Israeli friend who thinks `everything is okay`Gil Rimon - +972 - "You say that Palestinians are to blame for failing to stop terror, for not entering negotiations, for not signing a peace treaty with Israel. I cannot buy this argument. Not anymore. Not after 48 years." - id 12/6/2015
Illinois Governor Rauner can do the right thingRay Hanania - Illinois News Network - "Sadly, Rauner knows little about the Middle East conflict and even less about the civil rights abuses Israel imposes on non-Jews, especially Christian Arabs whose lands have been confiscated to support Israeli settlements." - id 12/6/2015
Falling from graceAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Once again, June 5th. Anniversary of the beginning of that war in 1967, the war whose consequences shaped all our lives. 48th year to the occupation of the Palestinian territories - who would have thought it would last so long?" - id12/6/2015
The Cultural Boycott: Israel vs. South AfricaOmar Barghouti - Hyperallergic - Cultural boycott initiatives against Israel, which come in response to the 2004 call by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) and to the 2005 Palestinian civil-society initiated BDS Call, more often than not cite the boycott of apartheid South Africa as a key reference.-rh10/6/2015
Mental disability on the rise under the Israeli siegeMiguel Hernandez - ISM - The number of mentally disabled people in the Gaza Strip has increased substantially in the last years.It so happens that 70% of the cases come from the communities located near the fence that separates Gaza from the territories occupied in 1948. Such data is surprising, as most of Gaza’s population lives on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, relatively far from the fence.-rh 10/6/2015
People behind BDS are also responsible for 9/11 attack, Israeli centrist tells NY synagoguePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Yair Lapid, the former Israeli finance minister and head of a centrist Israeli political party (who is just as hawkish as the government but in opposition), made news this weekend at the Jerusalem Post conference in New York saying that the BDS — Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions– campaign against Israel is a puppet of Hamas and describing BDS leaders as “outright antisemites” linked to the “Palestinian Mufti who collaborated with the Nazis.” ca10/6/2015
ANALYSIS: Is Netanyahu waging ‘war’ on critics at home? The Israeli government has indicated it is preparing to take a hard line against human rights groups, the media and Supreme Court Jonathan Cook - Middle East Eye - Israel’s rightwing coalition, which was formed last month, has already indicated it will make a priority of tackling three fronts – human rights organisations, the media and the Supreme Court. All repeatedly clashed with Netanyahu during his previous terms in office.-rh10/6/2015
Netanyahu cabinet members reject two-state solution; call for annexation of occupied territories Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - Hotovely closed by stating her opinion was that the Palestinians and Arab countries would not meet these tenets, therefore the issue of two-states was closed with the Palestinians to blame. In response, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Xavier Abu Eid told Mondoweiss, “she [Hotovely] is basically saying that the solution for our conflict is to have the Palestinians disappear.”-rh10/6/2015
Military Court Watch Newsletter Mai 2015Military Court Watch - According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 30 April 2015, there were 5,554 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 164 children. In the case of children there was a 10 per cent decrease in the numbercompared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 8 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 52 per cent of Palestinian children and 91 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.-rh10/6/2015
Gaza`s crowded political sceneMohammed Othman - Al-Monitor - There are dozens of political and military factions operating on the Palestinian scene. Factions working under the auspices of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Gaza account for more than 10, such as the Fatah movement, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Palestinian People’s Party (PPP). This is in addition to factions independent from the PLO, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other smaller factions, such as the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), the Popular Resistance Movement, the Mujahedeen Brigades and the Ahrar movement.-rh 10/6/2015
A Jewish reporter in Gaza responds to Jane EisnerDan Cohen - Mondoweiss "Eisner’s assumption is that Gaza is a dangerous place for a Jewish journalist to visit, even for a couple of interviews on a subject as non-controversial as psychological trauma. This viewpoint is shared by Eisner’s colleague at the Forward, JJ Goldberg, who put it into blunt terms last summer while debating The Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah on Democracy Now!, claiming “I’d be shot” upon stepping foot into Gaza. Ironically, Goldberg’s claim is a succinct description of Israel’s “buffer zone” policy, in which any Palestinian who walks within a loosely-interpreted 300 meters of the border is shot by an Israeli soldier or remote-control machine gun." ca10/6/2015
Anti-boycott call rings hollow as village awaits demolitionAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Susiya is located in desert terrain, part of which still retains a biblical character. Its Palestinian agricultural communities, which maintain a traditional way of life, live in caves and tents. The village has been inhabited for hundreds of years. Documentation of habitation in the region dates back to 1839, and the village is included on 1917 maps, from the British Mandate. Even Plia Albeck, the “Mother of the Settlements,” wrote from the state prosecutor’s office in 1982 that the village lands are the residents’ private property. None of this, however, has made a difference.-rh 10/6/2015
Study: Israelis and Palestinians would be $173 billion richer with a Palestinian stateWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - Rand concludes that a two-state solution, with a sovereign state of Palestine as a demilitarized next-door neighbor to Israel, based on previous U.S. proposals about following 1967 armistice lines with land-swapping to include most of the Jewish settlements, is the best financial option for both economies.-rh 10/6/2015
Fall of the Israeli Foreign MinistryUri Savir - Al Monitor - The traditional roles of the ministry — namely building bridges of common interests with the international community or engaging in a viable Middle East peace process — have evaporated with Israel`s most right-wing government. [bz] 9/6/2015
For the sins of occupation, boycotts are a light punishment Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The nation can fight against the position of the whole world. It can stand up for its rights (which are not its rights) and think that it is fighting for its survival. But do the Israelis know what they are defending now? What they are not willing to surrender? Is all this worth it to them? That discussion has not even begun here. [bz] 9/6/2015
The economic costs of military ruleShlomo Swirski and Yarom Hoffman Dishon - +972 - Israelis cannot treat the occupation as something that merely affects them in the eyes in the world while their economy keeps paying a heavy price for its continuation [ry]8/6/2015
A banner day for BDS — though you’d have to read the Jewish press to know itPhilip Weiss--Today is a big day in the western movement for Palestinian solidarity. Why? Because of two important pieces published in the Jewish press explain that the BDS campaign, or boycott, divestment and sanctions, is gaining traction right here in River City. And it’s a measure of the poverty of the US mainstream press that this news comes to us from the Forward and Haaretz.dn7/6/2015
Some Israeli leaders do sometimes tell the truthAlan Hart--Still today, 48 years on, there are relatively few people who know the whole truth about how Israel set the stage for war in June 1967 to grab more Arab land. The single most decisive event that made war inevitable happened on Thursday 1 June, four days before Israel launched its attacks. What was it? dn7/6/2015
Magazine: Meet Israel`s boycotters Carlo Gianferro--Some of the Israelis urging the world to get behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement explain their reasons for supporting it. dn6/6/2015
The real NaqbaUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "we must beware of looking at 1948 through the eyes of 2015. Difficult as it may be, we must try to transport ourselves to the reality of then. Otherwise we shall be unable to understand what actually occurred. The 1948 war was unique. It was the outcome of historical events which had no parallel anywhere. Without taking into account its historical, psychological, military and political background it is impossible to understand what happened. Neither the extermination of the Native Americans by the white settlers, nor the various colonial genocides resembled it." gm6/6/2015
The myth of the beautiful IsraelNahum Barnea - Ynet - From Orange to Obama, the actions of Israel in the settlements have a fundamental role in the world`s perception of the Jewish state, and no amount of rhetoric by Netanyahu and his associates will change that. [bz]6/6/2015
Listen up, Canada: You can`t advocate free speech and criminalize dissent at the same timeHadani Ditmars - Haaretz "Following the lead of Israel, where a law criminalizing participation or encouragement of BDS was recently upheld by the High Court of Justice, in a majority ruling equating boycotts with “political terror,” the Canadian Conservatives are now conflating the advocacy of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign with hate speech." ca5/6/2015
Sheldon Adelson`s anti-BDS summit is doomed because he offers no alternative to occupationBenjy Cannon - Haaretz " if American Jewish leaders want to succeed, there is a truth they must confront: Convincing liberal college students to reject BDS requires recognizing the occupation and touting the promise of a more just and democratic Israel. If they are serious about defeating BDS, American Jewish leaders must forfeit Adelson`s money for the sake of engaging in honest conversations that generate positive results. And the outcome of these conversations must offer a credible alternative to BDS, articulating a vision for Israel’s future – and a path for working toward it – that progressive students can get behind." ca5/6/2015
Israel, Republicans push Palestinians into cornerAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "...the Palestinians recognized Israel within the 1967 borders and pledged to stop their armed struggle. In September 1993, they signed an agreement at the White House that to their understanding was supposed to set them free. Instead, the agreement pushed them into the cages of Areas A and B, and deepened Israel’s hold over 60% of the West Bank..Ever since President Mahmoud Abbas replaced late Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat more than 10 years ago, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has aspired to exchange violence for diplomacy. Since then we’ve had the 2003 Road Map, the 2007 Annapolis talks, negotiations in Amman and eventually the 2014 Kerry initiative. What they all have in common is zero progress toward ending the occupation and hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank and Jerusalem." ca 5/6/2015
Israel`s Christian schools demand equality with Jewish schoolsDaoud Kuttab - Al Monitor - Christian school founders say that their schools were created before the creation of the State of Israel and have their own religious specificity. They feel this is an attack on them as an Arab Christian minority in the Holy Land. Most of the Christian schools were established in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Catholic order of Nazareth Nuns was founded in France in 1822. In 1854 a delegation was sent to bring education to the Holy Land. In 1855 the first school was founded in Nazareth and the school in Haifa was established in 1858. The Baptist School in Nazareth was established in 1936.-rh 3/6/2015
Israeli military court goes back on Jarrar releaseMa`an - An Israeli military judge reversed a ruling to release Khalida Jarrar on bail, deeming the Palestinian parliamentarian a "security risk" based on secret evidence, prisoner rights group Addameer told Ma`an.-rh 3/6/2015
US Obama: Israel Continues to Lose Credibility over PeacemakingWAFA - United States President Barack Obama Tuesday blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s terms for diplomacy for failing to advance peace with the Palestinians, saying Israel seems to have lost its international credibility as a potential peacemaker.-rh3/6/2015
I never thought it would end like this, says minor at Abu Kheidr murder trial Aviel Magnezi - Ynet News - "I gave the boy three kicks to the legs, and saying as I did `This is for Eyal, and this is for Naftali, and this is for Gil-Ad`." Ben-David said, referring to Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-Ad Shaer, the three Israeli teens abducted and murdered in the West Bank in June 2014. "I took a lighter, I set the boy alight."-rh 3/6/2015
Israeli leadership ignores international warning signsAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "After the Palestinians withdrew their proposal to suspend Israel from the international soccer association at the very last minute, the gleeful reactions of Israeli politicians and officials seemed disproportionate, even unhinged from reality."3/6/2015
“The worst spot in Gaza”: “You will not understand how hard it is here” until you see this checkpoint Ghada Karmi - Salon - Looking at the scenes around me I might have been in a poor Indian city: cracked pavements, mounds of rubble and sand, overflowing rubbish bins. A young boy passed by me, barefoot, sooty black with dirt, his blue eyes and fairish hair suggesting his normal complexion underneath was also fair; a grubby T-shirt and short trousers clothed his angular frame. The beaches were deserted; no throngs of skinny boys like him splashing and running in and out of the waves.-rh 3/6/2015
Tony Blair Quits As Middle East Peace Envoy – Only Israel Will Miss Him Robert Fisk - Information Clearing House - Tony Blair’s time as Middle East envoy representing the US, Russia, the UN and the EU has finally come to an end. Eight years after he took up the role, Blair tendered his resignation and left one question: how come a war criminal ever became a “peace envoy” in the first place?-rh 3/6/2015
Palestinian prisoners resort to hunger strikesAhmad Melhem - Al Monitor - Based on statistics Al-Monitor obtained from the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Israeli forces have used administrative detention since occupying the West Bank in 1967 — which culminated in the first intifada in 1987, when the number of administrative detainees reached more than 20,000. During the second intifada (2000-2007), Israel issued roughly 18,000 administrative detention orders.-rh 3/6/2015
The traditional view of Israel is dying a slow deathJoseph Dana - The National - Liberal Zionists have for decades lent a veneer of liberalism and democratic language to Israel’s brutal occupation. They have found many friends, especially in the US, to help them perpetuate a fairy tale conception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Selling the logically inconsistent idea that Israel can be both a democracy and an ethnocratic colonial state has been one of their greatest triumphs.-rh3/6/2015
This land is ours. All of it is ours`: Meet the Netanyahu cabinet members focused on fighting BDS & annexing the West Bank Allison Deger - Monndoweiss - Israeli elections ended two months ago, but there still are a few minister spots open that could shape the direction of the country. Most of the top-ranking slots are filled, given away weeks ago to members of right-wing parties during coalition negotiations, and this week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will complete his cabinet, promising the remaining seats–which could include the four cabinet positions he gave himself–to rank and file hardliners from within his own party. They support annexation of the West Bank and are fiercely opposed to any form of Palestinian statehood.-rh3/6/2015
No to segregated buses; yes to segregated courtsMilitary Court Watch - Although segregated buses provide a clear and obvious picture of discrimination, applying different laws, with different rights and protections, to individuals living side by side based on nothing more than their race, may prove to have far greater legal, ethical and strategic consequences for Israel.-rh 3/6/2015
An international roller coasterAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "US President Barack Obama ... did express his growing concern with the direction Israel is going: “When I think about how I came to know Israel, it was based on images of … kibbutzim, and Moshe Dayan, and Golda Meir, and the sense that not only are we creating a safe Jewish homeland, but also we are remaking the world." - id3/6/2015
The Soldier`s Story Gershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - When a mike was passed to the audience, Shachar stood and said, "I propose that what makes a country good isn`t whether a country is happy or not; it`s the ethics and morality of a country," and went on to talk about what occupation duty does to soldiers and gave examples he`d witnessed. The army`s hasty response brought him Israeli media coverage. Ironically, the people who wanted him punished for standing and speaking insured that he was better heard. [bz]2/6/2015
Red Rag column: Israeli antisemitism; Vanunu`s wedding; Moshe Levinger; Ethiopian protestsGideon Spiro - Not only is Mordechai Vanunu not broken, but he is looking to the future with optimism. This week Mordechai married his girlfriend Kristine, a professor of theology at the University of Oslo, a wonderful woman whose love story with Mordechai is an inspiration to all who believe in universal humanity that transcends continents and nations. 2/6/2015
Palestinian FIFA move hit an Israeli nerveAmira Hass - Haaretz - “Historians disagree on the extent sanctions in general, and in sports in particular, contributed to the downfall of the apartheid regime,” researcher Tamir Sorek said. “But there is no doubt that the ruling party believed that the boycott was influencing public opinion.” (...) “If pressure builds in the future to suspend Israel from sports organizations, the public effect will be huge compared to the effect of blocking researchers’ access to funding.” [bz]2/6/2015
BDS is an asymmetric war for world opinionYoaz Hendel - Ynet - The biggest problem with the BDS movement is that it isn’t an armed conflict but a conflict of the consciousness. [bz]2/6/2015
Israel`s `war on BDS` misses the pointTomer Persico - +972 - What is taking place in Israel these days is reminiscent of what took place in South Africa in the 1980s and in Yugoslavia in the 1990s: international pressure is understood by those states’ citizens as an assault against the entire country, evidenced by the world’s irrational loathing and hatred of it. As a result, nationalism grows, internal dissent is silenced, and various democratic characteristics become weaker, or are weakened - meanhwile ignoring the driving force behind boycott and isolation — the occupation. [bz]2/6/2015
Netanyahu’s declaration of war on BDS is its first major victoryChemi Shalev - Haaretz - Adelson and his wife Miriam are looking to appoint their favorite Rabbi Shmuley Boteach to lead legions of boycott-fighting students tentatively known as “Campus Maccabees”. Adelson’s generous funding could ensure that such a group would be able to organize impressively massive events – like the one put on by the Adelson-funded Israeli American Council (IAC) in honor of Israeli Independence Day in New York on Sunday – but it would equally also deter moderate students from joining the cause. [bz] 2/6/2015
US Rebukes Israel While Showering It With Arms and Favors - Israel’s Government of ZealotsJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - “The irony is that, just as the White House gears up for another 18 months of humiliation and sabotage from Netanyahu and his government, Obama is showering Israel with gifts, as part of its long-standing ‘security’ doctrine. Last week, it was reported, the US agreed to provide Israel with $2 billion worth of arms, including bunker-buster bombs and thousands of missiles, to replenish stockpiles depleted by Israel’s sustained attack on Gaza last summer that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians. The news broke just as United Nations officials reported that unexploded ordnance was still claiming lives in Gaza nearly a year later” [ry]1/6/2015
The Map on the Wall Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "History shows us that there are (at least) two kinds of peace agreements. One kind, the stupid one, is based on power. The other, the intelligent, is based on common interest" [ry]1/6/2015
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