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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Netanyahu`s revamped Jewish nation-state bill won`t constitutionally guarantee equality for all citizensJonathan Lis--Proposal doesn`t take as hard a line as earlier draft, but also doesn`t express commitment to equality of all citizens, as Livni wants. dn22/11/2014
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First Relief, Then Tracing the Roots of Bloody Har Nof AttackJ.J. Goldberg--News of terrorist attacks in Israel can strike us in many different ways. For some the first reaction is anguish; for others it’s rage. There are those who look on with mixed feelings, horrified at the bloodshed yet wanting to understand what drives the killers to such crimes. For still others, it’s that very ambivalence of the onlookers that most infuriates.dn22/11/2014
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Israel`s top news channel: Gov`t asked us to show more Gaza devastationOren Persico - +972 "As someone who sits in front of the screen all day, I see two completely different wars,” the Channel 2 News editor explained. “There is one war that you see on BBC, CNN and all those channels, and another war that you see on [Israel’s] Channel 1, Channel 2 and Channel 10. Totally different pictures.” ca21/11/2014
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Infighting mars memorialAhmed Al-Sayed - Al-Ahram "Mutual recriminations and threats between Fatah and Hamas following the explosions that targeted the homes of several Fatah leaders in Gaza and led to the cancelation of ceremonies to commemorate President Yasser Arafat have revived fears of a return to factional violence in Gaza...Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused Hamas of carrying out the bombings. “Who committed this crime? The leadership of the Hamas movement did, and it’s responsible,” Abbas shouted at a Fatah rally for Arafat in Ramallah." ca21/11/2014
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Israeli security defends AbbasBen Caspit - Al-Monitor "Yoram Cohen, the head of Shin Bet,...appeared before the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset and was asked about this issue on Nov. 18. Cohen remarked that Abbas does not encourage terrorism, not openly and not “under the table.” Knesset members from the left leaked his testimony to the media. They forgot to mention the other part of his testimony, which dealt with the issue of East Jerusalem and Temple Mount. On this issue, Abbas does, in fact, show radicalization in the last few months, especially in his rhetoric." ca 21/11/2014
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Israeli attacks on Al Quds University give new meaning to ‘academic freedom’Kamilah Moore - Mondoweiss - During 2012, 2013 and 2014, the total number of attacks on Al-Quds University main campus was 31. During these attacks 2473 people were injured, 5121 teargas canisters and bullets were shot, and 276 people were called by the Israeli intelligence for investigation.-rh20/11/2014
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Redefining Israel`s Jewish and Democratic Character Bill for a New Basic Law: Israel as the National State of the Jewish People (MK Ze`ev Elkin)ACRI - Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs Sunday 16/11/2014 – Determining the Government`s Position - ACRI’s Position: Put simply – this is a particularly dangerous bill with extremely far-reaching implications. The bill as it stands would subjugate the democratic character of the State of Israel to its Jewish nature and place the democratic rights of all citizens in danger.-rh 20/11/2014
Radical alliance fueling renewed bloodbathTami Arad - Ynet - "A handful of provocateurs on one side and a handful of incited murderers on the other side are dragging the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships by the power of destructive inertia." - id 19/11/2014
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Right-wing Protesters Attack Art Talk in JerusalemYonatan Amir & Ronen Eidelman - Hyperallergic - The night of the event, Monday, November 10, there were roughly 50 people inside to attend our event, while others were left outside after the guards locked the gates as a safety precaution. When police arrived, they recognized some of the protesters — and they suspected things may turn violent — so the police officers stayed at the scene and called for backup.-rh19/11/2014
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Tense calm continues at Al-AqsaDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - With age restrictions dropped, 40,000 Palestinians were allowed into Al-Aqsa Mosque that Friday. A few young people were ordered to temporarily surrender their ID cards to ensure that they wouldn’t participate in any violent demonstrations afterward.-rh 19/11/2014
How to create a terrorist : Jerusalem SkunkAnnie Robbins - Mondoweiss - In the A-Tur neighborhood, the police shot skunk water at four large schools, forcing the parents of 4,500 students to leave their children at home due to the unbearable smell. “It was this past Friday, at around 5:30 p.m.,” says Khader Abu Sabitan, a member of the parents’ committee in the neighborhood. “I was on the road and saw them pass with their machine, and saw how they began shooting water at the school. I’m telling you – there was nothing there. It is Friday at 5:30 in the evening, and there was no one in the school or on the streets. Nothing. Everyone was home. They went to all four schools in the neighborhood, shot the water, and left.”-rh19/11/2014
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Shin Bet chief: Abbas is not inciting to terrorAttila Somfalvi - Ynet News - While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly points an accusing finger at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the head of Israel`s top secret security service said Tuesday he did not believe Abbas was responsible for the current round of terror and violence.-rh19/11/2014
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Jerusalem synagogue attack puts Israel close to brinkPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - Netanyahu called the attack a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers”. In an evening press conference he once again accused the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, of stirring tension in Jerusalem, and called on the international community to express its outrage.-rh19/11/2014
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After attacks in Jerusalem, growing fears of religious warAhmad Melhem - Al Monitor - "“The world has gone through religious wars,” Hussein said, adding, “It now knows their effects and catastrophic repercussions on world peace and security.”" - id 19/11/2014
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Jerusalem terror attack shatters brief remissionBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "Surprisingly, Cohen confirmed the spirit of what was published here last week, citing a security source who said that Abbas does not encourage terror, not openly and not under the table. These statements are perceived as contradicting what Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya`alon and the rest of the right-wing leadership are saying, accusing Abbas of the incitement that brought about the attack." - id 19/11/2014
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Settlers spit on Abu Khdeir family as they exit court; alleged killer refuses to enter plea Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - Abu Khdeir’s alleged murderers were in court today for a second pre-trial. All three defendants were supposed to enter pleas. In the session the self-proclaimed ringleader of the group, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 29, refused to cooperate. His lawyer told the judge he could not give a statement on guilt on behalf of his client, as was the case in the last pre-trial in October. Today, the delay was because Ben-David is no longer speaking.-rh 19/11/2014
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`Home demolitions have not stopped attacks`Dalia Hatuqa - Aljazeera - "Israel has increased its violations against al-Aqsa, and crackdowns on people on checkpoints, and through red-tape. All this leads to violence. All this pressure will ultimately lead to an explosion. As you can see, home demolitions have not stopped attacks. Violence breeds violence."-rh Israel has increased its police force exponentially in Jerusalem in the past few weeks in an attempt to curb the violence, but many Palestinians say their long-simmering frustrations over what they called Israel`s oppressive measures are finally boiling over.-rh19/11/2014
THOSE WHO LAMENT THE DECLINE OF `LIBERAL ZIONISM` ARE ENGAGED IN A FUTILE ENTERPRISEALLAN C. BROWNFELD--THOSE WHO LAMENT THE DECLINE OF "LIBERAL ZIONISM" ARE ENGAGED IN A FUTILE ENTERPRISE---SINCE IT NEVER REALLY EXISTED This article will appear in the January/February 2015 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. dn18/11/2014
Letter from JerusalemDavid Remnick--Israel’s conservative President speaks up for civility, and pays a price. dn18/11/2014
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Palestinians are unheralded guardians of IsraelAmira Hass-It is the Palestinians who are struggling with fervent consistency for Israel as a democratic, law-abiding state, and the day will come when the Jews will thank them for their efforts. dn18/11/2014
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East Jerusalem under `collective punishment` Gregg Carlstrom--Jerusalem`s most disenfranchised residents are being targeted in a `draconian` crackdown, rights groups say. dn18/11/2014
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Is Exile Better? Jane Eisner--The political scientist Alan Wolfe published his latest book about the Jewish diaspora, “At Home in Exile,” in late October, just weeks before Sheldon Adelson uttered his most recent outrageous remarks. Too bad. Adelson’s unfortunate rant would have provided another example to prove Wolfe’s point. dn18/11/2014
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Is every Palestinian kid who throws stones a terrorist?Smadar Ben-Natan - +972 - In a reality where children aged 10 and 11 are arrested by 18- and 19-year-old soldiers who have been indoctrinated for military service since kindergarten, this kind of discussion seems completely out of place. A human rights attorney spends the day at one of the occupation’s more bizarre PR events [ry]17/11/2014
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Jerusalem: Israel is not crazyNassar Ibrahim - AIC - Israel`s escalation in Jerusalem is not crazy, but logical and consistent political behaviour meant to create new facts on the ground. Nassar Ibrahim explores [ry]17/11/2014
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Settlers mourn their ‘beautiful daughter’ as a Palestinian father sinks into despairPeter Beaumont--While one family has been left grieving by the cycle of violence that claimed Dalya Lemkus’s life last week, another is bewildered about why their ‘happy, normal’ son committed murder dn16/11/2014
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The moral clarity of Richard FalkRod Such--In this wide-ranging book, the professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University embraces the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, advocates abandoning the two-state solution and argues that the best way of understanding Israel is as a settler-colonial state.dn16/11/2014
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The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper handAsher Schechter--The Temple Mount is a powder keg, and arsonists have the upper hand This is no accidental fire. This was (and still is) an arson job. But who are the suspects? dn 15/11/2014
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Kafr Kanna isn`t Ferguson, it`s much worseSeraj Assi and Lawrence McMahon--The two deadly shootings that dominated the Israel-Palestine news cycle this week have three things in common: Israeli police killed an Arab; the entire incident was captured on CCTV; and the shootings were unjustified. dn15/11/2014
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Ex-Australian Foreign Minister announces himself a ‘Friend of Palestine’John Salisbury - Mondoweiss - “Permanent occupation means Israelis get cast as Afrikaners and the world will recognize Palestine and isolate Israel. After all, the alternative would be unthinkable: to accept colonial rule with one religious and racial group enjoying the vote that the majority denied." The impact of this statement is all the greater due to the fact that Mr. Carr - Australia’s Foreign Minister up until September 2013, when Labor lost the last federal election - is an experienced and savvy political figure widely respected by both sides of politics. Moreover, he was the founder of Labor Friends of Israel. 15/11/2014
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Is it effective to throw flowers over the border?Jakob von Uexkull - World Future Council/Right Livelihood Award Foundation - Many years ago in Beirut, Ghassan Khanafani told me he always looked for the most effective strategy of resisting and added with a smile: “If I thought it would be effective to stand at the Israeli border and throw flowers, I would.” Since then, many flowers have been thrown and many compromises offered over the years, culminating in the Oslo accords. But what had been the response? ak 15/11/2014
Israel is lurching toward international isolation Alex Fishman--The Jordanians might be leading the charge, but the entire world seems to think that Israel is becoming increasingly disconnected from reality; meanwhile, both Israeli and Palestinian officials are busy making extreme comments. dn15/11/2014
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Israelis remember Rabin, but many reject his legacyYuval Avivi - Al-Monitor "Dealing with the issue of tolerance is especially relevant in Israel in 2014, with some people in an uproar over the so-called Rabin festival and even expressing a modicum of support for the assassin, Yigal Amir. A survey conducted by the Mako news website found that some 50% of right-wing voters are not sure that Amir assassinated Rabin, and that 14% of the public believes that he should be released from prison." ca14/11/2014
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The new American Jewish struggle over Israel: Hawks versus ultra-hawksPeter Beinart - Haaretz "The most important trend in American Jewish politics today is the collapse of the center. The American Jewish establishment isn’t only being challenged by left-leaning groups like J Street. It also faces a less widely recognized, but equally powerful, challenge from the right." ca14/11/2014
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Holy Land sinks deeper into political turmoilDalia Hatuqa - Al-Jazeera "Israel`s leaders are making a huge mistake if they think they can now establish facts on the ground and divide prayer times at the Al-Aqsa Mosque as they did at al-Ibrahimi Mosque [in Hebron]," Mahmoud Abbas said during a memorial for the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat."By doing these things they are leading the region and the world into a devastating religious war," Abbas added." ca 14/11/2014
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The One-State Reality : Israel’s conservative President speaks up for civility, and pays a price.DAVID REMNICK - The New Yorker - since Rivlin was elected President, in June, he has become Israel’s most unlikely moralist. Rivlin—not a left-wing writer from Tel Aviv, not an idealistic justice of the Supreme Court—has emerged as the most prominent critic of racist rhetoric, jingoism, fundamentalism, and sectarian violence, the highest-ranking advocate among Jewish Israelis for the civil rights of the Palestinians both in Israel and in the occupied territories. Last month, he told an academic conference in Jerusalem, “It is time to honestly admit that Israel is sick, and it is our duty to treat this illness.”-rh 12/11/2014
Group: Barghouthi in solitary after calling for `armed resistance` Ma`an - The Israeli Prison Service on Wednesday moved jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi to solitary confinement in Hadareim prison, a day after he sent a widely-published letter from prison calling for armed resistance against the Israeli occupation, a rights group said.-rh12/11/2014
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Israel`s government and security forces are losing controlAlex Fishman - Ynet - "Palestinian and Israeli Arab incitement, loss of fear, feelings of deprivation and admiration for the Islamic State are the engines of violence leading us to a third intifada." - id 12/11/2014
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Hamas: Israel fails to implement cease-fire dealAdnan Abu Amer - Al Monitor - "Israeli warplanes have returned to the skies of the Gaza Strip, reminding the Palestinians of the war." - id 12/11/2014
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Israeli Assault on Palestinian IdentityNORMAN POLLACK - Counterpunch - "I say: Israel contaminates Judaism with its militarism, arrogance, oppression of the weak, its international role of backing fascist-type governments which themselves murder Jews–Israel, God is watching, will someday pay the price for its Nazi-like conduct toward others in the present day." - id 12/11/2014
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Israeli settlers burn mosque in West Bank : Mosque in occupied region set on fire amid soaring tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers.Aljazeera - The attack on the mosque just before dawn on Wednesday, near the Jewish settlement of Shilo, came after separate Palestinian knife attacks on Monday killed a settler in the southern West Bank, and an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv.-rh 12/11/2014
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Video: Routine exchange on a bus reveals racism embedded within Jewish Israeli society -Annie Robbins - Mondoweiss - I got chills up my spine from watching this exchange. The casualness in which the man expresses his sense of entitlement, reveals something so extraordinary about how racism is embedded and reinforced within Jewish Israeli society.-rh 12/11/2014
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Struggle of Abu Khdeir Family: Pulling Down a Boy’s PhotoTamar Fleishman - The Palestine Chronicle - The explosive reality that formed following the murder of Muhammad in Jerusalem and its surroundings and especially on the border line between the two nations, which some see as a beginning of an Intifada, led to a sequence of incidents in which the authorities harassed the members of the Abu Khdeir family, who only want to find comfort for their souls and commemorate their child in their own modest way.-rh12/11/2014
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How Hamas uses Temple MountShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - "The Temple Mount has become an effective tool of intimidation in the Hamas propaganda, which presents an alarming picture of the catastrophic acts planned by Israel on the Temple Mount, liable to culminate in the destruction of Al-Aqsa Mosque." - id 12/11/2014
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The video of an Israeli cop shooting an Arab citizen that has rocked the countryWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - It is also not unusual for the incidents to be captured on video. But the grainy black-and-white recording of police shooting a man in the Galilee early Saturday has lit a fuse in Israel, sparking praise and condemnation, and raising bigger questions about police conduct, allegiance to the state and who, really, is an Israeli and who is not.-rh12/11/2014
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Israeli Attacks on Fishermen in the Gaza SeaPCHR - Factsheet - Israeli Naval forces continued to carry out attacks on Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip during the reporting period[1] (1 – 31 October 2014), including 18 shooting incidents that resulted in the injury of a fishermen while fishing; destroying 2 fishing boats; chasing incidents that led to the arrest of 7 fishermen; and confiscation of 2 fishing boats belonging to Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip.-rh 12/11/2014
What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple? Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - These Jews explained that when the temple is rebuilt, no Muslim holy places would remain on the Temple Mount– or Haram al Sharif, as Muslims describe the site. How the Muslim sites would be removed these Jews could not say. “We don’t know the exact detail,” said a psychotherapist who gave his name as Yechiel Israel. There are hints, he said: earthquake or war. He pointed out that a Lubavitcher rabbi advised in 1967 that the Israeli army blow up the Al Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock—and the Six Day War had been a “window of opportunity” that wasn’t taken (video below).-rh12/11/2014
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Israeli ministers pass bill jailing stone throwers for 20 yearsRT - Government ministers in Israel have voted to increase penalties ten-fold on people convicted of throwing stones at vehicles from two to 20 years, in a move designed to deal with a wave of violence that has hit some of Jerusalem’s Arab districts.-rh12/11/2014
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"One-State Solution" For Israel/PalestineLudwig Watzal - Countercurrents - Israel`s economy minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing party "The Jewish Home", published an article in the New York Times in which he buried the concept of a "two-state solution" as a way out of the Israeli Palestinian conflict. Bennett does not belong to the radical Zionist fringe. Although he is an advocate of extremist colonial Zionist ideas, he is considered to be the successor of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.-rh 12/11/2014
The countdown to the next war has already begun Shimon Shiffer - Ynet - Without an Israeli initiative, without pursuing an agreement, our leaders` refusal to look reality in the eye is leading us to another violent conflict with disastrous results. [bz]11/11/2014
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The Politics of Self-Delusion - The Peace Process HustleLawrence Davidson - CounterPunch - "An intractable process, one that never seems to resolve itself, is either no process at all or a fraudulent one contrived to hide an ulterior motive. The so-called Israeli-Palestinian (at one time the Israeli-Arab) `peace process,` now in its sixth decade (counting from 1948) or fourth decade (counting from 1967) is, and probably always has been, just such a fraud" [ry]10/11/2014
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Netanyahu: Those who call to destroy Israel should have citizenship revoked Mairav Zonszein--Just hours after thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel demonstrated in the northern Israeli village of Kafr Kanna Saturday in response to the overnight killing from close range of 22-year-old Khir Hamdan by police, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following statement: dn9/11/2014
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How a minister called for on-the-spot death sentence for murderersHaaretz Editorial--“A terrorist who attacks civilians should be sentenced to death,” the minister ruled following the terror attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday. He added that he wished all such events would end that way. dn9/11/2014
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Naftali Bennett’s Wake-up Call to the WestJohn V. Whitbeck--In this article, Mr. Bennett argues that “for its security, Israel cannot withdraw from more territory and cannot allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank” and then proceeds to propose his own “four-step plan” for peace. dn9/11/2014
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Netanyahu may go down in history as prime minister who lost JerusalemShimon Shiffer - Ynet - On Wednesday, Netanyahu lashed out at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas again, accusing him of incitement. But conversations with senior European diplomats, who are monitoring the situation in Jerusalem with a lot of concern, reveal that Europe and the United States mainly hold the Israeli side fully responsible for the deterioration due to, among other things, the announcement of construction plans within Palestinian population centers in East Jerusalem and what appears as a change in the status quo in the city`s holy sites. [bz]8/11/2014
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Has Israel become the black sheep of the North American Jewish family?Allison Kaplan Sommer--Nothing brings a family together like a new kid- but kids grow up, and one can`t always expect them to stay young and adorable forever. dn8/11/2014
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Censorship in the American Jewish communitySeth Morrison - +972 "The past year has seen increasing efforts within the American Jewish community to censor anybody who believes that boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) are the way to end the occupation — censorship that is most often targeted at Jewish Voice for Peace. And yet, JVP continues to grow. JVP is not anti-Israel, it is anti-occupation." ca 7/11/2014
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Strange bedfellowsLubna abdel Aziz - Al-Ahram Weekly "And if the US is Israel’s “best friend”, is Israel America’s best friend? If you think so, think again! Israel has no ’best friends’. Israel only looks out for Israel. The US has shielded Israel from accountability and its brutality goes unchallenged." ca7/11/2014
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Europe Is Blocking Mideast PeaceNAVI PILLAY - NYT "Europe should support Palestine’s bid to join the court because I.C.C. jurisdiction could become the ultimate deterrent that breaks the cycle of conflict.It could ensure that both Palestine and Israel are held accountable for future war crimes. After decades of impunity, and no redress for crimes committed — including indiscriminate firing of rockets, bombing of civilians and targeting of hospitals and schools — I.C.C. accession would deter the worst violence." ca 7/11/2014
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Israeli forces displayed ‘callous indifference’ in deadly attacks on family homes in GazaAmnesty International - Israeli forces have killed scores of Palestinian civilians in attacks targeting houses full of families which in some cases have amounted to war crimes, Amnesty International has disclosed in a new report on the latest Israeli operation in the Gaza Strip.-rh5/11/2014
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Militarized Parenthood in IsraelRuth L. Hiller - New Profile - But the tragedy does not just lie in the loss of a life or in an old man`s belief that every young man and woman must join the army no matter the circumstances. The tragedy is in the conditioning and ongoing indoctrination. The tragedy lays in the way we; as citizens, adults, parents and so-called free thinkers, totally accept the call to the arms.-rh 5/11/2014
Israeli Man, Palestinian Driver Killed, Several Injured In JerusalemIMEMC & Agencies - In what has been confirmed as a "deliberate attack," Israeli sources said an Israeli man was killed, and several others injured, when a Palestinian driver rammed them with his car in Sheikh Jarrah, in occupied East Jerusalem. The Palestinian man was later shot and killed by the Israeli Border Police.-rh 5/11/2014
How Likud became the Almightly`s contractor at the Temple MountTomer Persico - +972 - "Welcome to the end times." - id 5/11/2014
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‘There’s no such thing as illegal houses, there is such thing as racist laws`: Israelis demonstrate against collective punishment in East JerusalemSarah Levy - Mondoweiss - About 80 Israelis rallied last Wednesday night outside of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat’s house, chanting and banging drums in protest against the intensified attack on East Jerusalem that has taken place over the last week and to demand an end to what they call the policy of collective punishment toward the residents of East Jerusalem.-rh 5/11/2014
Gaza isn’t just a physical wreck. The psychological damage is even worse.James S. Gordon - The Wadhington Post - “The psychological damage is even greater,” says El Najaar, who is leading some local reconstruction efforts. “And it will take much longer and be far harder to repair.” It’s a tragically common refrain here — from political leaders, homeless women, university officials and my own team of trauma counselors from the Center for Mind-Body Medicine.-rh5/11/2014
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IDF Generals` Letter: `Embrace Saudi Plan`J.J. Goldberg - Forward -the letter raises the Arab Peace Initiative directly and forcefully, not implicitly. It’s fair to say that the existence of the initiative (text here) is central to the generals’ argument: The Arab states have announced unanimously (with the Palestinian Authority included as a voting member) that they are willing to make full peace with the state of Israel and “consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended” under certain circumstances, and that the circumstances can be negotiated-rh 5/11/2014
Gaza: The Murderous MelodramaDavid Shulman - The New York Review of Books - Hamas, battered, isolated, and impoverished, had little to lose and, as things turned out, much to gain in popular support by launching missiles and mortars at Israel and inviting another round of severe Israeli punishment. Benjamin Netanyahu, by ordering a large-scale attack on Hamas activists and institutions on the West Bank in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers on June 12, gladly accepted the invitation.-rh5/11/2014
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Newsletter 03 Nov. 2014B`Tselem - It is the gradual, creeping impact of the occupation that we present in our new report on the village of Burqah: B’Tselem’s first comprehensive attempt to examine the occupation’s effect on the development of a single Palestinian village.-rh5/11/2014
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History shows current Jerusalem crisis not its lastDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The closing of Al-Aqsa Mosque by the Israelis seems to be in line with the objective of a radical Jewish group to build a third temple in Jerusalem and replace the Jordanian authority at the compound.-rh 5/11/2014
East Jerusalem – A Socioeconomic DisasterWAC-MAAN and Ir Amim - n occupied East Jerusalem (EJ) reside 300,200 Palestinians, 37% of Jerusalem’s population. Of them, 77% are beneath the poverty line (according to figures of Israel’s National Insurance Institute). The Separation Barrier (SB), which runs through EJ, cuts whole neighborhoods off from municipal services. On the side of the SB that does get services, there is a severe housing shortage, and on the side that doesn’t, construction is wild and unsupervised. This reality has brought the outside-SB neighborhoods to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.-rh5/11/2014
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Red Rag weekly column: the face of a Chosen PeopleGideon Spiro - The attempt on the life of Yehuda Glick by a Palestinian assailant who was identified within a few hours as Mu’tazz Hijazi and executed by police who surrounded his house in East Jerusalem has unleashed a filthy wave of Jewish racism.4/11/2014
Why are Israelis sleepwalking toward a one-state solution?Sever Plocker - Ynet - The advantage – from the government`s point of view – of a specific economic protest is that it is undamaging in governmental terms and can be quickly quelled at a minimal cost. The price of pudding will be reduced, and to hell with the state. [bz] 4/11/2014
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UN Report: Israeli settlements have doubled in the last four yearsMiddle East Monitor - The number of Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land have doubled in the last 54 months, UN Commission on Human Rights member Cees Flinterman said at a press conference held at the UN Geneva headquarters, presenting a new report. ak 4/11/2014
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The only way to stop stone throwing is to end the occupationMairav Zonszein - +972 - If Israel was serious about restoring security to its capital, it would recognize the Palestinian claim to East Jerusalem and find a way for all residents to live in dignity [ry]3/11/2014
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Chickenshit Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “In Netanyahu`s view, in any confrontation between Congress and the White House over Israel, the President is bound to lose. So there is nothing to be afraid of. Netanyahu, in fact is playing roulette with all the capital of Israel in the vast casino called the USA. Perhaps he has been infected by his mentor and protector, the Casino Czar Sheldon Adelson, who has a hand in conducting Israeli policy in the US” [ry]3/11/2014
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Remembering Rabin: The last of the non-chickenshitsAsher Schechter--Yitzhak Rabin was murdered 19 years ago next week. In his death, he left us with people who are too afraid to decide. dn2/11/2014
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Netanyahu`s self-serving conflict with US Yuval Diskin - Ynet - So if the prime minister realized that a quiet freeze is needed, and if the prime minister realized that such an exposure (just like during his meeting with the president) would be met with harsh reactions and jeopardize the State of Israel`s interests – how does he explain the decision to advance the planning of 1,060 apartments in East Jerusalem, which is currently on fire? What kind of logic can explain this lack of logic? [The writer is a former Shabak head-bz]1/11/2014
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The political orphans of Jerusalem revoltDaoud Kuttab - PNN - "Israel will soon realise that it will have a harder time dealing with the unorganised local leadership than it could have had if it dealt honestly and fairly with the Palestinian and Jordanian leaderships regarding Jerusalem." - id 31/10/2014
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Israel/Palestine Conflict: Time now to change to a human rights approachEdith Garwood - The Daily Arab News - "“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” — Albert Einstein" - id 31/10/2014
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A fiery devotee on the Temple MountNahum Barnea - Ynet - "We must put out this fire, not add fuel to it." - id 31/10/2014
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Is a Netanyahu-Obama accident waiting to happen?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "A Jewish terrorist attack on the Temple Mount has always been the Shin Bet’s worst nightmare." - id31/10/2014
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Israeli President’s Diagnosis — ‘Israel is a Sick Society’Philip Weiss - Information Clearing House - “The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,” he said. “We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides. The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”-rh 30/10/2014
Neglect, provocation feed East Jerusalem unrestShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - “NGOs like Lehava, El’ad and Ateret Cohanim buy houses in sensitive, even strategic, areas of the neighborhood. Even when the purchase is legal, members of these NGOs move into the houses with great fanfare and parades, irritating the Arab residents with provocations, that here they come to ‘Jewify’ Arab Silwan.-rh 30/10/2014
Red Rag weekly column: Haneen Zoabi, Azmi Bishara and Hani ZubidaGideon Spiro - The pilot, the airplane and the missile are all products of the scientific era, everything is digital and functions flawlessly. Gideon Spiro - One push of a button and the missile is released and liquidates ten children, or an entire family of 15 souls at one blow. And in attacks like that there are always corpses with parts torn off, a head or an arm or a leg, or an abdomen ripped open with all the internal organs splattered all about. Now try to imagine, Haneen, how hard that ISIS throat-cutter would have to work to get such a result.30/10/2014
U.S. will continue to ostracize Ya`alon until he apologizesBarak Ravid - Haaretz "Ya’alon has managed to do the impossible and make quite a few people long for Ehud Barak’s years as defense minister. Barak had many faults, but he made a decisive contribution when it came to ties with the United States." ca29/10/2014
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Fatah’s Revolutionary Council grapples with growing issuesAdnan Abu Amer - Al-Monitor - The last meeting of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council held in Ramallah on Oct. 18-19 and presided over by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas enjoyed exceptional importance, distinguishing it from previous meetings. This meeting discussed vital internal and external issues related to the relationship with Israel, the future of bilateral negotiations, the fate of reconciliation with Hamas and the consensus government, as well as the settlement of Fatah’s internal dispute with Mohammed Dahlan’s movement.-rh 29/10/2014
Israeli restrictions on movement strangle Palestinian lifeDaoud Kuttab - Ma`an News Agency - But for many Palestinians living in the besieged homeland, the right to movement guaranteed in the University Declaration of Human Rights (Article 13) is just ink on paper.-rh29/10/2014
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Government must take responsibility for Jerusalem terrorShimon Shiffer - Ynet News - I would like to suggest that all those who are responding, from the prime minister to the very last minister, stop babbling. Take responsibility.-rh 29/10/2014
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Israel `assumes` Hezbollah is digging tunnelsAljazeera - An Israeli army general has said his country believes Hezbollah may have dug tunnels across the border from Lebanon in preparation for any future war, but added that there was no conclusive evidence.-rh 29/10/2014
House Demolition in Umm al-Kheir October 27 2014Erella and Ehud - These last actions are part of an ongoing wave of house demolitions carried out by the Israeli Civil Administration and Army that seek to drive out the inhabitants of the western parts of Umm al Kheir that have been living there for more than sixty years. The main cause for these actions is the proximity of Um Al Kheir to Karmel, the Israeli settlement that was built some thirty years ago.-rh 29/10/2014
Netanyahu insists he is `under attack for defending Israel` after remarks from US official : Quotes from senior Obama administration figures damn Israeli prime minister as ‘chickenshit’ over stance on settlements and peace with PalestiniansPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - The remarks are particularly telling in having been made to Goldberg, a Washington insider who has interviewed both Obama and Netanyahu, and who warned US-Israeli relations were in a “full-blown crisis” that could only get worse after the midterm elections.-rh29/10/2014
The Genius Of Israeli Evil: It Poses As ConcernAmira Hass - Information Clearing House - Our compassionate and generous army allows tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank to work their land for only three or four or five days per year in order to protect them from attacks by Israelis, colonizers, settlers – in short, Jews. For the rest of the year, the land is a mirage.-rh 29/10/2014
Organised Hypocrisy on a Monumental Scale
on the Economic Occupation of the West Bank
Robert Wade - London Review of Books - It almost seems as if the Israeli state has mapped the entire Palestinian economy in terms of input-output relations, right down to the capillary level of the individual, the household, the small firm, the large firm, the school, the university, so as to find all possible choke points, which Israeli officials can tighten or loosen at will. [bz]28/10/2014
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Major Israeli construction company pulls out of settlement industryHaggai Matar - +972 - Lev Leviev, one of the most prominent tycoons in Israel, did not wake up one morning and understand, by chance, that the occupation is a terrible injustice. No. Leviev discovered that he could not continue building in the settlements while enjoying legitimacy in the international business world. This comes after years of protests, pressure on the British government to cut business ties with Leviev, and divestment from his company. [bz]28/10/2014
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Becoming post-Israeli: Why I immigrated to BerlinNa’aman Hirschfeld--Although like many Israelis of my generation I was experiencing financial difficulties, that was not my reason for leaving for Berlin. The reason was and is the feeling that there is no future in Israel.dn26/10/2014
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The Palestinians’ right and duty to resistGideon Levy--Faced with a reality in which Israel is strong and the United States is in its pocket, it is the duty of Palestinians to resist the occupation. The only question relates to the means.dn26/10/2014
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Shaking the campus from the US to PalestineKristian Davis Bailey--Last week, I was one of four members of National Students for Justice in Palestine on the ground in Ferguson. We participated in Ferguson October as members of the Palestine Contingent for four days of resistance to police brutality. Local organizers in the Organization for Black Struggle (OBS) specifically made a call for Palestinians and solidarity activists to join the weekend, as a result of years of local cooperation between OBS and the St. Louis Palestine Solidarity Committee, in addition to the more recent support people in Palestine gave to demonstrators in Ferguson as they faced tear gas, rubber bullets and a militarized occupation.dn26/10/2014
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Groundbreaking Israeli Documentary Intifada-Palestine--SYNOPSIS | Former West Bank settler Lia Tarachansky looks at Israelis` collective amnesia of the fateful events of 1948 when the state of Israel was born and most of the Palestinians became refugees. She follows the transformation of Israeli veterans trying uncover their denial of the war that changed the region forever. dn 25/10/2014
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Jerusalem is a time-bomb, and Israel can`t hear the tickingAlex Fishman - Ynet - When a carpet catches fire on the Temple Mount and we wake from our hibernation, we`ll find that the regime in Jordan is wobbling, and that the PA no longer exists, that we`ve erased it; but it`ll be too late by then. Perhaps then, when we look to the east and see radical Islam on our doorstep, we`ll realize how stupid and arrogant we were and still are. [This warning comes from a mainstream military commentator-bz]25/10/2014
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`Klinghoffer`: New York’s Jewish right goes to the operaLarry Derfner - +972 "Until Monday night, when the “The Death of Klinghoffer” opened at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, people knew it was being attacked by many Jews for supposedly being anti-Semitic and for defending terrorists, and they didn’t know if the accusations were true or false. But now that the opera has opened, and it’s been widely reviewed, and audience members have been interviewed, it’s becoming clear to the mainstream public that pays attention to such issues – and this controversy has attracted a lot of attention – that these claims are total bullshit." ca24/10/2014
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For the Israeli media, Gazan lives are little more than expendable Haggai Matar - +972 "the Yedioth Ahronoth daily did not even report on the deaths of the family. Not a single word has been written about the bombing since. Even media outlets that initially reported on the deaths of the family members did not come back and demand answers from the army.And really, why should they demand them? It’s just another incident, after all. Another family. One of more than 70 families who were bombed in a similar fashion, some of them much larger." ca 24/10/2014
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Jerusalem is divided, and Netanyahu remains out of touchBarak Ravid - Haaretz "The prime minister sees the incidents happening in Jerusalem purely as a security problem – disturbances of the peace that must be suppressed, terrorist attacks that must be thwarted. His solutions begin and end with using force – more policemen, more Border Police units, more involvement by the Shin Bet security service, more arrests. But all these are liable to lead only to an even more serious escalation, and cause the violence to spread to the West Bank to boot." ca24/10/2014
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Eyeing the dividendsDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "Egyptian diplomats are confident the Gaza Reconstruction Conference, held on Sunday, has confirmed Egypt’s re-emergence as a key regional power.The conference, which was opened by President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, attracted 50 delegations, including the foreign ministers of the US, Qatar and Turkey, three states whose take on political developments in Egypt over the past two years can hardly be described as supportive. The high profile turnout, say senior state officials, has ended any debate about the legitimacy of Egypt’s new regime “once and for all”." ca 24/10/2014
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For near identical crimes, an Israeli and a Palestinian’s fate couldn’t be more differentJohn Brown - +972 - A Palestinian hit-and-run suspect is sent to prison and winds up dead; a Jewish suspected of a similar but deadlier crime in the West Bank is sent home to his family.-rh 23/10/2014
Donor pledges not enough to rehabilitate GazaOmar Shaban - Al-Monitor - The Palestinian Authority needs at least $15 billion to properly restore Gaza’s economy, while donors have only pledged $5.4 billion for interim reconstruction.-rh 23/10/2014
Family of Mohammed Abu Khdeir continues to wait for justice as Israeli court again postpones trial for his killersAllison Deger - Mondoweiss -Four months after the grisly slaying of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, his killers faced Jerusalem district court judges today to enter their pleas. Instead of responding to the charges, Yosef Haim Ben-David, the 29-year old settler from the Adam settlement and ringleader of the abduction, and two 16-year-old Israeli accomplices were all granted continuances.-rh23/10/2014
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The Cold Realities of US Policy in Israel-PalestineMitchell Plitnick - MERIP - One should not, however, exaggerate the weight of the “Israel lobby” in the making of US Middle East policy writ large. Policy is largely made and carried out by the executive branch, which is guided by geostrategic concerns that may or may not correspond to the concerns of the lobby at any given moment. Domestic forces like AIPAC are important in shaping discourse and some short-term decisions, but they do not determine the direction of US strategy in the region.-rh 23/10/2014
Police: Infant killed in Jerusalem attack, Palestinian driver shot Ma`an News Agency - An Israeli infant died and at least eight others were injured when a Palestinian driver slammed his car into a light rail station in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli officials said.-rh23/10/2014
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Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma receives guilty verdict from military courtInternational Solidarity Movement - Press Release - “Demonstrating against the occupation cannot be a criminal offence. Finding Abdallah guilty only shows that the [Israeli] military force is a tool to perpetuate the occupation.” Stated Gabi Lasky, lawyer of Abdallah Abu Rahma, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).-rh 23/10/2014
Diplomatic terrorism and wings over the Iron WallAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "In Ya`alon`s vision...The conflict with the Palestinians will continue "until the last of our enemies understands that we are here to stay." But that will probably never happen because "They are not truly concerned with establishing a Palestinian state, but with destroying the Jewish state”. Therefore “we must learn how to manage this conflict without illusions" and to barricade [ourselves] behind “An Iron Wall"." - id22/10/2014
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Harper’s ‘Orwellian’ Foreign Policy From Israel to ISISMURRAY DOBBIN - Counterpunch - "By declaring repeatedly (and even threatening supportive legislation) that criticism of Israel was anti-Semitic Harper hoped to establish what Orwell referred to as “protective stupidity” – a kind of mass denial of the obvious. Freud referred to it as “knowing with not knowing”." - id22/10/2014
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Gazans at risk as winter loomsRasha Abou Jalal - Al-Monitor - Every day, Mohammed Maqadima, 14, must carry water in gallon bottles from a water tank 500 meters (546 yards) from his home in the Sha`af neighborhood east of Gaza City. This is so his mother can do the housework. He also spends hours collecting firewood for heating, with the weather getting colder as winter approaches.-rh 22/10/2014
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With US-led air strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be an arms giant like Lockheed MartinRobert Fisk - The Independent - So who is winning the war? Isis? Us? The Kurds (remember them?) The Syrians? The Iraqis? Do we even remember the war? Not at all. We must tell the truth. So let us now praise famous weapons and the manufacturers that begat them.-rh22/10/2014
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How the very concept of human rights has failed PalestiniansNoam Sheizaf - +972 Magazine - People tend to confuse “permanent” with “eternal.” The Israeli occupation is not eternal — no institution is — but it is as permanent as can be in this world. It’s already lasted longer than the post-WWII Soviet bloc, for example. Israel itself stopped treating the OPT as occupied, now viewing them as territories held by Israel under a different status than the rest of the state. Therefore, the act of revoking the rights of an entire category of people is also permanent. ak 21/10/2014
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`A diplomatic storm is coming in January`Itamar Eichner - Ynet - Changes in the makeup of the UN Security Council have made Israel`s diplomatic stance worse and strengthened the Palestinians` position on the world stage. This will not only play a part in the vote on accepting the Palestinians into the UN, but in other resolutions concerning Israel, like condemning settlement construction or military operations, calling for UN inquiry committees on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and more. [bz]21/10/2014
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Mustafa Barghouti: US-Palestinian ties strongShlomi Eldar - In an interview with Al-Monitor, Barghouti acknowledges that following the troubled relationship between the US administration and Israel, the United States has drawn closer to Abbas and the PA. Barghouti feels that the test of the relationship will come on the day that Abbas begins the process for recognition of the Palestinian state in the UN institutions. “The Israeli provocations against John Kerry and President Barack Obama are leaving their mark,” Barghouti said. “I assume that the Americans can’t talk much [publicly], but they [are frustrated with] the Israeli government.” [bz]21/10/2014
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A changing Israel-Palestine global dynamicLinda S. Heard - Gulf News - Due to the prevalence of social media, mainstream news outlets can no longer control the message. Ordinary folk around the world were incensed by the horrors inflicted upon the residents of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army, seen graphically in videos posted on YouTube. The unvarnished truth has left the Israeli government on the back foot and has embarrassed the US for its unfailing support of the Jewish state. The groundswell of public anger has impacted politicians and decision-makers to the extent that Israel is no longer sacrosanct. [bz]21/10/2014
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Most Jewish Israelis oppose Palestinian state, new poll showsMairav Zonszein - +972 - No poll is perfect, but this one happens to be an accurate reflection of the Israeli government’s policies, much of its rhetoric, and the reality on the ground [ry]20/10/2014
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Palestine moves towards post-Oslo phaseRichard Falk--On October 13, the UK House of Commons by an overwhelming vote of 274-12 urged the British government to extend diplomatic recognition to Palestine. At first glance, it would seem a rather meaningless gesture. It is a non-binding resolution, and Prime Minister David Cameron has already declared that this expression of parliamentary opinion will have no effect whatever on existing government policy. So far Britain - along with the states in Western Europe - adheres to Israel`s stubborn insistence, echoed by Washington, that Palestinian statehood can only be established through a solution to the conflict negotiated by the parties.dn 19/10/2014
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Eichmann before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass MurdererRichard J Evans--Before the war, Adolf Eichmann, born in 1906, was the acknowledged "Jewish expert" of the SS, in charge of carrying out various schemes to remove the Jews from Germany, such as encouraging – or forcing – them to emigrate, or transporting them to Madagascar. When the Germans invaded first Poland in 1939, then the Soviet Union two years later, Eichmann organised the concentration of the millions of Jews who lived in eastern Europe into ghettos, and then ensured they were taken, along with Jews from every part of Europe under Nazi control or influence, to camps such as Auschwitz, to be murdered. After Germany`s defeat, Eichmann went underground and then escaped to Argentina, where he joined a number of other senior Nazis in exile, living under an assumed name. During the 1950s, however, his whereabouts were discovered, and, in 1960, he was kidnapped by Mossad agents and smuggled out to Jerusalem, where he was put on trial for mass murder, found guilty, and, in 1962, hanged. dn19/10/2014
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Recognition of a Palestinian State Without Full Rights Is MeaninglessOmar Barghouti--The British Parliament’s overwhelming vote to recognize a “State of Palestine” may indeed be a sign of “where the wind is blowing,” as the British ambassador to Tel Aviv has commented – a reflection of the significant erosion of public support for Israel’s regime of occupation and denial of Palestinian rights. But it should not be seen in black and white. dn19/10/2014
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Decent Respect Uri Avnery--IF THE British parliament had adopted a resolution in favor of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the reaction of our media would have been like this: "In an atmosphere of great enthusiasm, the British parliament adopted with a huge majority (274 for, a mere 12 against) a pro-Israeli motion…Over half the seats were occupied, more than usual…the opponents of Israel were in hiding and did not dare to vote against…" dn 19/10/2014
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Ethnic Cleansing by All Means: The real Israeli ‘peace’ policyIlan Pappé and Samer Jaber--Pine trees in the Yatir Forest which is being used to displace the Bedouin residents of the unrecognized village of Atir. The original caption on the photo from the website israeltoday.co.il read, “Since the formation of the State of Israel, tree planters have been busy creating forests in the holy land, which was a barren wasteland for centuries.” dn18/10/2014
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The Strip of SlaughterB. Michael--More than 100 years ago, the Kishinev pogroms shocked the world. Yet we have managed to forget the innocent dead of Gaza after less than two months. dn18/10/2014
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Israel must stop pressuring asylum seekersHaaretz Editorial--Attempts to pressure asylum seekers into leaving Israel by detaining them indefinitely reveal the hypocrisy and illegality of government policy. dn18/10/2014
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IN THE WAKE OF THE ASSAULT ON GAZAJeff Halper--This is the first newsletter since the conclusion of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which obviously preoccupied our attention. It showed the political bankruptcy of all the actors. For Israel, it was an attempt to finally break all Palestinian resistance – mopping up in Gaza after Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank in 2002 destroyed Fatah resistance there. Then the idea was to create “industrial quiet” with the Palestinian Authority serving as Israel’s policeman and enforcer in all the Occupied Territory so that the Palestinian issue would simply disappear from view as the world’s attention moves to ISIS, the Ukraine, China and Russia, Ebola and all the other urgent problems. As I wrote in this piece, the situation in Israel/Palestine has gone way beyond the two-state solution, beyond even apartheid (which would have at least a symbolic Palestinian Bantustan) to outright warehousing. Its message to the Palestinians: There is no longer any “peace process.” You have three options, submit, leave or die. dn18/10/2014
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Instead of voting to recognize Palestine, vote against occupationMairav Zonszein - +972 - The British Parliament’s non-binding vote to recognize the “State of Palestine” was not as significant as the debate that preceded the vote. [bz]18/10/2014
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Christian Evangelicals Increasingly Support Palestinian Human RightsAlison Weir - IMEMC "An article in Middle East Quarterly, a pro-Israel publication, reports that support for Israel is eroding among American evangelical Christians, with only 30 percent in a recent survey stating support for Israel above Palestinians." ca 17/10/2014
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Eyeing the dividendsDina Ezzat - Al Ahram Weekly "Things are getting back on track as far as foreign relations are concerned: on that there is almost unanimous agreement among Egyptian diplomats both at home and abroad. Some add that positive movement on the foreign policy track, and the first signs of a more encouraging economic outlook, are no small victories for the new regime." ca17/10/2014
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Now Britain has recognised Palestinian statehood, it`s time to forget about a farcical two-state solution Yara Hawari--Instead of Israel and Palestine living side by side, a one-state solution based on equality and freedom of movement is what the region needs. dn16/10/2014
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Recognizing PalestineJOHN FEFFER - Counterpunch - "At his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu said that it was time to “think outside the box.” The Palestinians, by pursuing statehood by all means necessary, are doing just that, as are several European countries. It’s time for Israel to do the same." - id 16/10/2014
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From Stockholm to Khirbet Um al-Jimal and backAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Already several times this small village was razed and destroyed, and each time the residents rebuilt their meager huts and sheds as soon as the soldiers and bulldozers departed. It`s not so much because they are determined to confront and defy strategic plans of the government of Israel and its armed forces. It is mainly because this god forsaken small village is their home and they have nowhere else to go." - id 15/10/2014
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Can Israel, Palestine exist as parallel states on same land?Arad Nir - Al Monitor - "And when Jews are fasting to plead with their God, while Muslims indulge in a lavish feast to please their God in such a close interval of time, it`s an almost sure recipe for a flare-up, all the more so just a few weeks after the conflict in Gaza. As it turns out, however, the gloomy predictions have proven wrong." - id 15/10/2014
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World’s delayed reaction to Gaza war kicks inLarry Derfner - +972 - "...just in the last week there have been a number of delayed international reactions (and even one from Israel) to the Gaza war, and they add up to what I see as a critical mass of encouraging signs that is weighty enough, at least, to argue against despair." - id 15/10/2014
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Former UK Minister: a wicked cocktail of occupation and illegality akin to apartheid South Africa Nicholas Watt - The Guardian - Sir Alan Duncan, Former Tory minister, delivered one of the strongest attacks on the Netanyahu government by a front line UK politician: “Occupation, annexation, illegality, negligence, complicity: this is a wicked cocktail which brings shame to the government of Israel. It would appear that on the West Bank the rule of international law has been shelved. This illegal construction and habitation is theft, it is annexation, it is a land grab – it is any expression that accurately describes the encroachment which takes from someone else something that is not rightfully owned by the taker. As such it should be called what it is, and not by some euphemistic soft alternative." 14/10/2014
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Former Israeli Ambassador to Washington: `UK vote - bad news for Israel`Attila Somfalvi - Y-net - Michael Oren, former Israeli ambassador to the US, warns that "Israel is sticking head in the sand" - since "British support for establishment of the Palestinian state is much more important than the Swedish. Britain is a member of the UN Security Council. The Palestinians are going to the UN in November and they want at least nine votes in the Security Council (to force Israel to commit to a timeline for withdrawing from the West Bank.) There is a chance America will abstain, but a lot of it is up to us." Oren - who had been nominated by Netanyahu and enjoyed the PM`s confidence while on the job - lamented the lack of "a unilateral initiative by Israel, responding to the Palestinian diplomatic offensive". According to Oren, that idea "inspires discomfort here in Israel" since "Israel has never clearly said what its interests are. We need leadership and a little courage, so as not to stay inactive in the face of recent developments." ak 14/10/2014
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Extremist settler Moshe Feiglin, Likud MK, allowed to invade Al Aqsa CompoundSaeb Erakat - PLO Negotiations Aairs Department - As instructed by The Israeli Government, Israeli Police in Occupied East Jerusalem allowed settler Moshe Feiglin - Likud Knesset Member living in the illegal settlement of Karnei Shomron - to invade Al Aqsa compound, the third holiest site in Islam and a symbol for all Palestinians, in company with other Israeli extremists. This is an extremely provocative action, especially considering Feiglin`s inflammatory statements such as his call during the recent bombings to evict Palestinians from Gaza and settle Jews in their place, and such statements as "You can`t teach a monkey to speak and you can`t teach an Arab to be democratic. You`re dealing with a culture of thieves and robbers. Muhammad, their prophet, was a robber and a killer and a liar." ak14/10/2014
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What are the implications of U.K. parliament`s recognition of Palestine?Matthew Kalman - Ha`aretz - Israeli officials would say, correctly, that it was a non-binding vote - but but can the Israeli government afford to ignore the signals coming from Westminster? In the debate, Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood opposed the motion, but made an impassioned denunciation of Israeli settlement activity. The motion won the full backing of the British Labor Party’s shadow cabinet – who may well be running the British government by this time next year. And Matthew Gould, British Ambassador to Israel - who is committed to promoting the best possible relations between the two countries - sounded a warning about the erosion of Israel`s position in British public opinion, following the war in Gaza and the burst of settlement activity which followed. ak 14/10/2014
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A siege of inertia: Israel`s non-policy on GazaItamar Sha’altiel - +972 - One government inherits the siege from another, the prime minister admits it’s more harmful than helpful, the cabinet never formulates or even discusses a policy, and one minister goes as far as admitting that the only driving force behind Israel’s Gaza policy is inertia [ry]13/10/2014
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Beyond Occupation - Israel and the G-WordJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - "Israeli officials were caught in a revealing lie late last month as the country celebrated the Jewish New Year. Shortly after declaring the most popular boy’s name in Israel to be `Yosef`, the interior ministry was forced to concede that the top slot was actually filled by `Mohammed`” [ry]13/10/2014
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Israel vague about new `diplomatic horizon`Gregg Carlstrom - AlJazeera - Israeli PM appears eager to strengthen regional ties, while postponing discussions on Palestinian statehood [ry]13/10/2014
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Prophetic comments by 4 eminent Jews: 12/10/2014
Did Israel have the right to kill this childJames M. Wall--“Israel has the right to defend itself” was the Orwellian doublespeak Israel used to justify its latest invasion of Gaza, carried out at the same time as its under-reported increased military action inside the West Bank. dn12/10/2014
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Suha Arraf on her "stateless" Palestinian filmPatrick O. Strickland--“They want to view me as a ‘good Israeli Arab director’ or a ‘nice Israeli Arab,’” says filmmaker Suha Arraf, who recently came under attack by the Israeli government and its supporters for labeling her latest work a Palestinian production. dn12/10/2014
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Hundreds of Israeli public figures call upon Members of the British Parliament to vote in favor of recognizing the State of Palestine"We, Israelis who worry and care for the well-being of the state of Israel, believe that the long-term existence and security of Israel depends on the long-term existence and security of a Palestinian state. For this reason we, the undersigned, urge members of the UK Parliament to vote in favor of the motion to be debated on Monday 13th October 2014, calling on the British Government to recognize the State of Palestine alongside the State of Israel". 12/10/2014
Weapons of mass distractionGideon Levy--Hmmm. Weapons storage in a kindergarten? A weapons hiding place under a clinic? The entrance through the kindergarten toilet? Woe to the eyes that read such words! The Haganah [the pre-state Jewish underground army] used the civilian population as human shields. It took cynical advantage of that population, hiding weapons in clinics and kindergartens, and thus endangered their lives. dn12/10/2014
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Formal British recognition would be a powerful, progressive step in the right directionThe Observer view on Palestine--Pledge: Ed Miliband has vowed to make the two-state solution `an important task` for a Labour government. dn12/10/2014
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Ex-PLO legal adviser says two-state solution "dead"Diana Buttu - "The only configuration that`s going to work is a one-state solution in which Palestinians and Israelis live together in a situation of peace and equality."11/10/2014
Money pledged at Gaza donor conference could take decades to reach peopleOxfam - "Unless donors step up pressure to end the blockade, many children made homeless by the recent conflict will be grandparents by the time their homes and schools are rebuilt. (...) Winter is coming and people without homes cannot afford to wait [bz]11/10/2014
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Nothing about us without Us: The Token Palestinian and Authentic Narrative Ramzy Baroud--The “adversarial” Palestinian is one who is invited to speak to the media, only to be chastised publically. (Fox News) dn11/10/2014
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Hillel, intimidation and ‘free speech’ for Jewish students on IsraelMartin R. Federman--A former Hillel director asks Hillel International’s CEO why his organization’s Israel guidelines seek to limit free speech and critical views of Israel by Jewish students on campus.dn11/10/2014
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Netanyahu`s rejectionist policies forced Abbas` handEphraim Sneh - Al-Monitor "Throughout the recent 50 days of combat in the Gaza Strip, Abbas acted responsibly. He confronted Hamas and publicly chastised the organization for the unnecessary bloodshed. That is not exactly a recipe for popularity on the Palestinian streets, but Abbas consistently took this tack...The damage inflicted by Abbas’ UN speech is the artificial life support of the current Israeli right-wing coalition, and Israelis are the ones who will suffer from it." ca 10/10/2014
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Former Labor politician faults the left for supporting NetanyahuMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "Jewish tenants who moved into 25 apartments in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sept. 30 really irked former Labor Party Minister Ophir Pines. Not because it was a provocative move by the right wing designed to make it hard to divide the city; there have been similar actions in the past. What upset Pines is the silence of the center-left parties." ca 10/10/2014
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Poisoned atmosphereAdam Keller - Crazy Country - ""Hamas is ISIS and ISIS is Hamas and Iran is both Hamas and ISIS, they are all the same, they are all malevolent Muslim extremists and enemies of humanity against whom all-out war should be fought."" - id8/10/2014
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Israel`s war with the USBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "...the war is the one that Israel is waging of its own choice, and that is the war with the United States." - id 8/10/2014
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Bibi on ‘Face the Nation`: And the Lies Go OnRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - Netanyahu speaking on ‘Face the Nation` and accusing President Obama of "UnAmerican behaviour" is definitely a first. Some Americans have in some notorious past occasions made such accusation against other Americans, but this is the first time that a foreign leader does it against the President of the United States. Interesitingly, while this row was published prominently in the Israeli media, major American papers virtually ignored it. ak 7/10/2014
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Swedish clarification of ‘Palestine’ fails to weaken declarationHerb Keinon - Jerusalem Post - According to the first version of the statement, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be resolved through a two-state solution, the prime minister said, negotiated in accordance with the principles of international law. It must guarantee the legitimate demands of both the Palestinians and the Israelis for national self-determination and security. A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to coexist peacefully. Consequently, Sweden will recognize the State of Palestine, the prime minister concluded.” The use of the word “consequently” left the impression that Sweden had back-peddled on its pledge, and would only recognize the state of Palestine after an agreement is negotiated. Queried by The Jerusalem Post about whether this was indeed the meaning of the rather vague statement, a representative issued a corrected version of the statement, replacing the word “consequently” with “therefore,” and as a result leaving Löfven’s statement intact. [bz]7/10/2014
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5 Quotes About “United Jerusalem” That Will Help You Understand the Recent Takeover in SilwanMoriel Rothman-Zecher - The Leftern Wall - From ELAD to Arieh King to “Kendall/Kendal Finances” to MK Yogev to Rehavam Ze’evi and onward to so many more governmental, quasi-governmental and governmentally-sanctioned individuals and organizations, the plan for Jerusalem (and most of the West Bank, too) has, both in theory and praxis, been one of “Judaization” and transfer, “voluntary” or otherwise. [bz]7/10/2014
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A couple of Netanyahu`s not-so-white lies to AmericansNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "In the past week or so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated a couple of talking points that diverged from the truth, but few people called him out on it" [ry]6/10/2014
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No one is talking about peaceSever Plocker - Ynet - After the Yom Kippur War, like now, the concept of `land for peace` was never taken seriously by Israel`s leadership; then, like now, Israel was blinded by hubris [ry]6/10/2014
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Red Rag weekly column: Netanyahu the propagandist; ISISGideon Spiro - The Israeli Prime Minister’s speech at the UN (29 September 2014) was typical propaganda. Any propaganda speech worthy of the name will include a large helping of lies, deception and falsification, along with an admixture of true facts. That admixture is intended to win the hearts of the public. All Israeli television channels and most of the radio channels broadcast the speech live. There were no surprises. All of Netanyahu’s usual clichés appeared in the speech multiple times.5/10/2014
Eyes Finally Open to Syrian Realities Robert Parry - ICH "In a column on Friday, Ignatius faulted not only Syria’s squabbling “moderate opposition” but “the foreign nations — such as the United States, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan — that have been funding the chaotic melange of fighters inside Syria. These foreign machinations helped open the door for the terrorist Islamic State group to threaten the region.” Ignatius acknowledged that the earlier depiction of the Syrian opposition as simply an indigenous movement of idealistic reformers was misleading." ca 4/10/2014
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Why Bibi is wrong to subsume the Palestinian issue under `militant Islam`Peter Beinart-- “The old template for peace must be updated,” declared Benjamin Netanyahu this week at the United Nations. “It must take into account new realities.” In his speech, Bibi didn’t utter the words “Palestinian state.” That’s passé. Instead he called for Israel and “moderate” Sunni regimes like Egypt and Saudi Arabia to “recognize the global threat of militant Islam [and] the primacy of dismantling Iran’s nuclear weapons capability.” Once those primary issues are solved, perhaps Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh can put their heads together and figure out something for the Palestinians.dn4/10/2014
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Keeping Gaza in a StrangleholdNoam Chomsky--Israel’s brutalization of Palestinians through exercises in “mowing the lawn” like Operation Protective Edge will persist without a change in U.S. policy. dn4/10/2014
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Two state solution still on table? Sergio Yahni - AIC - Netanyahu`s UN speech is hailed as end of two state solution, and his meeting with Obama focused on issues other than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While lip service to the two state solution is still paid, ending the conflict is no longer a priority. [bz]4/10/2014
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Mr. Netanyahu’s Strange CourseEditorial Board - New York Times "Mr. Netanyahu blamed the Israeli group, Peace Now, for trying to sabotage the White House meeting with Mr. Obama by calling attention to an official notice from the Israeli government approving the housing project. But the problem is not the disclosure but the fact of the project itself." ca3/10/2014
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Gaza war deals blow to Israel`s tourism industryTIA GOLDENBERG - Yahoo News - Israel`s war against Hamas came at the beginning of the peak tourist season, which includes July and August and runs through the Jewish High Holiday season and early winter.-rh2/10/2014
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If talks fail, Hamas says it will not return to warAdnan Abu Amer - Al-Monitor - “The failure of negotiations in Cairo and not lifting the blockade could lead to another war, even though we do not want this. I think that the Israelis do not want to see this war happen again,” said Abu Marzouk.-rh 2/10/2014
About budgets and growling belliesAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Western newspapers are supposed to abide by the rule that a suspect is considered innocent until proven guilty in court - but not in the Israeli press and in this case." - id1/10/2014
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Netanyahu`s UN speech: All talk, no actionNahum Barnea - Ynet - "It`s only natural that after many years in power, the leader feels there is no one else but him, that he is growing – in his own eyes and in the eyes of his followers – and that the state, weak and flaccid, is barely trudging behind him." - id 1/10/2014
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Bibi`s UN speech misses againBen Caspit- Al Monitor - "At the UN General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accomplished what he is best at: delivering speeches and identifying threats, without identifying opportunities or making any historic decisions — again." - id 1/10/2014
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Newsletter 22 Sep. 2014B`Tselem - Israel’s last military operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, ended over a month ago. In the course of the fighting, B’Tselem received reports of grave harm to civilians. In some cases, Israel violated international humanitarian law; in many others, breaches of the law are suspected.-rh1/10/2014
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Another western war won’t end terror in Iraq or Syria. It will only spread it. Bombing and more intervention can’t destroy Isis. The US is at the heart of the crisis in the Middle EastSeumas Milne - The Guardian - What has been launched by the US and its allies this week is in effect their third Iraq war in a generation. It follows the US-led war to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991 and the cataclysmic US-British invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. Now Obama has launched yet another intervention to rid the country of the direct consequences of the last one.-rh 1/10/2014
Abbas makes last-ditch effort to win Palestinian independenceDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is possibly making his last effort to try to bring about an independent state. The odds are against him, but he has a plan and he appears to be set to giving it his last best shot.-rh 1/10/2014
Why Don’t We Negotiate With Isis: Why don’t we do it and save some lives?Robert Fisk - Information Clearing House - The Lebanese government has one tough man who deals with kidnapped civilians. He’s called Abbas Ibrahim, a brave man who used to walk, unarmed, into the Ein el-Helweh Palestinian camp in Sidon to talk to Osama bin Laden’s men. He’s now head of the Lebanese “General Security”. And yes, he is a general.-rh 1/10/2014
Is Israel Trying to Force Palestinians into the Sinai?JONATHAN COOK - Counterpoint - "According to the reports, the territory in Sinai would become a demilitarised Palestinian state – dubbed “Greater Gaza” – to which returning Palestinian refugees would be assigned." - id 1/10/2014
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‘Only a suicidal country doesn’t recognize the Bedouin problem`: Israeli minister seeks ways to lower Bedouin birthrateKate - Mondoweiss - Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir said during a visit to the south on Sunday that he was examining ways to lower the birthrate of the Bedouin community. Shamir heads the ministerial committee on Bedouin resettlement arrangements.-rh1/10/2014
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