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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
DegradationHafez El Barghouthi - Al-Hayat Al-Jadida Even the meteorologists are able to predict rain before it falls, but the citizen who knows when rain will fall and when the cessation of rain will end does not know when the problem of the elections will be solved.- 31/12/2005
Let’s Not Repeat Algeria’s ExperienceAl-Quds Editorial - Despite the major differences between the Palestinian and Algerian experiences, there is a clear common element, which is the western position regarding democracy in the two cases.31/12/2005
No reason for optimismAli Abunimah - bitterlemons.org - "The best that can be hoped for is that the US decides not to interfere with Palestinian elections if they take place."31/12/2005
With no Palestinian state in sight, aid becomes an adjunct to occupationGhada Karmi - The Guardian - "Israeli policy is the root cause of need in the occupied territories, but donors pay up without challenging it...Facing up to the bully is a moral imperative, and, ultimately, the only practical way forward. "31/12/2005
Review of the year: The Middle East Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "The breakthrough that never arrived" 31/12/2005
A letter from JerusalemCommentary on current events by Rev. Clarence Musgrave - "This should have been written last week, in time for Christmas. But sometimes, it is hard to sit down and write about what is really happening, and to try to cope with the realities of the situation here. "31/12/2005
January 25 Elections Will Reshuffle Palestinian Internal Balances of Power Sam Bahour - Palestinians would be better off to start acting like a serious national liberation movement rather than fall for the trappings of statehood without a state30/12/2005
Democracy and US Double Standards: The Palestinian ‘Exception’Stephen Zunes - PMC - At a time of year when Jews and Christians are celebrating the spirit of justice and peace inspired by events in the Holy Land many centuries ago, Congress has been working to insure that the Holy Land of today experiences neither. 29/12/2005
Quartet Dictates to PNA Conditions for Parliamentary Candidates Palestine Media Center - Quartet to Palestiniams: "PNA Should Codify in Law Renunciation of Violence, Recognition of Israel"29/12/2005
Moving forward with Hamas?Shaul Arieli - Sharon`s unilateralism strengthens Hamas; Israeli public falls in line: a recent poll conducted by the Truman Institute revealed that about half of all Israelis would support dialogue with Hamas if it would bring about a peace treaty. 30/12/2005
Beyond "Munich": The Ten Movies Steven Spielberg Has Yet To Make Mas`ood Cajee - Imagine if we were in a parallel universe in which Hollywood gave Arabs and Muslims a fair shake. Here are ten films (all based on true stories) that are just waiting for Spielberg`s magic. 30/12/2005
Palestinian Envoy Brings New Strategy to WashingtonOri Nir - Forward - For many years, pro-Israel activists in the nation`s capital have had it relatively easy, thanks to the failure of the Palestinians to organize an effective lobby or to station an effective spokesman in the United States. With Afif Safieh head of the PLO diplomatic mission it will become much more challenging. 30/12/2005
No reason for optimismAli Abunimah - Bitterlemons International- There can be little doubt that the near collapse in the Palestinian Authority and the stunning electoral success of Hamas are a reaction not only to the PA`s own corruption and incompetence, but also to the fact that after boosting PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the US did absolutely nothing to help him show Palestinians any return for his "moderation". 29/12/2005
Israeli-Palestinian skirmishes take to the airRafael D. Frankel - Christian Science Monitor - "Israel enacted a `no-go` zone to prevent Palestinian militants in northern Gaza from firing rockets." 29/12/2005
Palestinians told to bar violent groupsAljazeera - "The quartet calls on all participants to renounce violence, recognise Israel`s right to exist, and disarm"29/12/2005
Palestinian Confronting the "Bulldozer" Abdullah Iskandar - Al-Hayat - The buffer zone Ariel Sharon has approved in northern Gaza goes beyond "security" objectives, put forth by Israeli military, chiefly Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz, to justify the measure. 28/12/2005
Telling it like it isn`tRobert Fisk - Los Angeles Times - "If Palestinian land is not occupied but merely part of a legal dispute that might be resolved in law courts or discussions over tea, then a Palestinian child w ho throws a stone at an Israeli soldier in this territory is clearly acting insanely." 28/12/2005
It`s the Societies, StupidHazem Saghieh - Al-Hayat - If it weren`t for the same scene presented by countries that have not experienced Israeli occupation, one would blame the occupation and its harshness for what is taking place with the Palestinians, and their selection of Hamas.27/12/2005
TOI-Billboard - "It`s all known, but who is doing something?"The Other Israel - "In March of this year, the Israeli government had a report produced - the Sasson report - about illegal outposts, and how government bodies give them a helping hand. The report was made public; a ministerial committee was appointed to study the report; after that: nothing. "26/12/2005
Dishonest Brokers Remi Kanazi - Al Jazeera - The European Union (EU) should be ashamed of itself. It has thrown aside the principals of democracy for partisan politics and hypocrisy. In the run up to the Palestinian parliamentary elections, the EU has addressed Palestinian politics and made threats in the process.25/12/2005
Palestinian democracy at crossroadsRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram Weekly - The Palestinian elections show that the democratic process is constantly changing 23/12/2005
Disassembling Likud and GazaGraham Usher - Al Ahram Weekly Ariel Sharon`s new Kadima Party looks set to win the Israeli elections while his actions augur the future beyond them21/12/2005
A political earthquake or just a minor tremor in Israel?Debra Delee - Common Grounds - The most recent political developments in Israel certainly herald significant short-term changes in the Israeli political scene, and also could mark the beginning of a long-term realignment of the political map. Only time will tell, however, if Israel is indeed living through a political earthquake or just a mild tremor. 22/12/2005
Not helping the situation at allDaoud Kuttab - The Jordan Times - RAMALLAH - On the surface of it, the resolution of the US Congress and the statements of Javier Solana, EU foreign policy chief, threatening to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority if it allows the Islamic movement Hamas to participate in the upcoming legislative elections seem in tune with the West`s anti-terror policy.22/12/2005
The EU`s increasing pro-Israel tiltAli Abunimah - The Jordan Times - The European Union, long perceived as being an even-handed and constructive force for Palestinian-Israeli peace, has accelerated its slide towards an open bias for Israel and collusion with Israel`s gross violations of international law and the rights of the Palestinian people. 22/12/2005
U.S., Israel Seek To Delay P.A. ElectionsOri Nir - Forward - WASHINGTON -- Alarmed by growing indications that the Islamist organization Hamas might win the upcoming elections for the Palestinian Authority`s legislative council, the Bush administration and Israel are exploring possible ways to postpone the elections. The elections are currently scheduled for January 25. 22/12/2005
Israel Is Easing Barrier Burden, but Palestinians Still See a BorderSteven Erlanger - The New York Times - JERUSALEM, Dec. 21 - Israel is overhauling its separation barrier along the West Bank and Jerusalem to cut the crossing time for people and goods from hours to minutes. Aimed at easing the burden on Palestinians and softening international criticism, it is also proving contentious by giving the barrier more than ever the feel of an international border. 22/12/2005
Nuclear adventuresGideon Spiro - Hagada Hasmalit - Sharon is likely to order the bombing of the Iranian nuclear facilities if his showing in the polls slips as the election approaches22/12/2005
Palestinian `extremists` could make peaceHasan Abu Nimah - The Jordan Times - "Strangely enough, the "hardliners for peace" notion may apply more to the Palestinian side, whose enormous compromises for peace have been unduly ignored."21/12/2005
Rival Fatah groups to cooperate in Palestinian pollWafa Amr -Reuters - "Rival groups within the ruling Palestinian party Fatah agreed on Tuesday to cooperate as closely as possible, despite their differences, to defeat Hamas Islamic militants in parliamentary elections in January." 21/12/2005
Mission not vision interview with Mahdi Abdul Hadi - bitterlemons - "I look forward with great hope and optimism to see how this election will legitimize a political agenda for political transformation in Palestine."21/12/2005
New frameworks for old problems Akiva Eldar - Bitterlemons - With elections approaching in Israel and the territories, both sides are experiencing shocks that call into question political concepts as well as party frameworks. The ruling parties, Likud and Fateh, are paying a heavy price for their difficulties in adapting their ideologies to changes in the mood of the Israeli public and the Palestinian street. 19/12/2005
Mission not vision Bitterlemons - An interview with Mahdi Abdul Hadi - Mahdi Abdul Hadi is the head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA) in Jerusalem. 19/12/2005
Shaking out of stagnation Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Beyond a similarity of name and the fact that their creation is potentially hugely significant for the future, the two new parties recently established in Palestine and Israel have nothing in common. 21/12/2005
America kidnapped meKhaled El-Masri - The Los Angeles Times - KHALED EL-MASRI, a German citizen born in Lebanon, was a car salesman before he was detained in December 2003. 18/12/2005
US Corporate Media Erases Israeli Role in Rise of HamasPatrick O`Connor - The Electronic Intifada - The US corporate media has started to examine Hamas`victories in Palestinian municipal elections last Thursday. However, if The New York Times` coverage is any indication, an honest evaluation of Israel`s role in increasing Hamas` popularity is unlikely.20/12/2005
Solana exposes European bias towards Israel once againArjan El Fassed - The EI - The European Union threatened to curb aid to the Palestinian Authority if Hamas wins next month`s Palestinian Legislative Council elections.At the same time the EU backtracked on publishing a highly critical report of Israeli policies in East Jerusalem.20/12/2005
A letter from JerusalemRev. Clarence Musgrave - "It has been suggested that some of us may gather at the Jerusalem side of the Wall to sing carols on Christmas Eve – hoping to be joined by others on the Bethlehem side of the Wall, so that together we can at least sing along and reflect for a moment on the current state of the road to Bethlehem."20/12/2005
Elections time in the wild Middle EastThe Other Israel Billboard - The elections` background: the restarted IDF assassinations policy - always accounts are found to be settled; Fatah`s most popular leader, Marwan Barghouti, is languishing in prison; The Israeli call to exclude Hamas from the general elections spills more oil on the fire; 20/12/2005
Israel`s grim designRima Merriman - The Jordan Times - Turning a blind eye to Israel`s rapacious design, the international community continues to doctor the patient`s arteries, in the matter of the Palestinians vs. Israel, when it is the heart that`s diseased. 15/12/2005
All issues must be on the tableDaoud Kuttab - Bitterlemons - today the world, for all its pressure, cannot push the Israeli government to talk with the Palestinians. 19/12/2005
It`s good to talk Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - everybody would prefer to achieve their aims through negotiations. Different parties, however, may differ in terms of what the end result of negotiations should be and what their terms of reference are.19/12/2005
Iranian president calls holocaust a `myth` in live TV broadcast Robert Tait - The Guardian - "Iran`s ultra-Islamist president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, triggered a fresh wave of international outrage yesterday by dismissing the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Jews to be moved to Canada and Alaska." 15/12/2005
ElBaradei implies Israel should not bomb IranJerusalem Post/AP - "You cannot use force to prevent a country from obtaining nuclear weapons. By bombing them half to death, you can only delay the plans"13/12/2005
The disappointing trajectory of Amir PeretzIlan Pappe - London Review of Books - Israel needs a greater revolution than the election of Amir Peretz. The peace initiatives – or at any rate their short-term goals – have not changed since Israel occupied the territories in 1967. What is new is the growing realisation among grass-roots organisations worldwide, led by the hundreds of NGOs which now constitute Palestinian civil society, that previous methods to bring peace have failed.13/12/2005
After elections, prepare for a new springtime intifadaAli Al-Jarbawi - Al Ayyam - It should be noted, however, that the current transformation in the Israeli political system is not based, as many think, on a shift by Sharon from the right to the center, but rather on a shift of the center toward Sharon, whose real place is still in the Israeli right-wing camp. 13/12/2005
Twilight Zone / Dusty trail to death Gideon Levy - Haarerz - On Sunday morning of last week Mahmoud Shawara, a laborer, mounted his mule and set out from his home in the village of Nuaman to look for work in the neighboring village of Umm Touba. At about 9 A.M., he was arrested by a Border Police unit that detains workers who do not have an entry permit to Israel every morning. 25/12/2005
An Electoral Rehearsal with RocketsZouheir Kseibati - Al-Hayat - Beyond wondering about the fate of Palestinian elections, it has become evident that the national Palestinian Authority (PA), headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, is facing quite a predicament which the Israelis call a "turning point". 25/12/2005
Tampering with the Palestinian ElectionsAbdel Wahab Badrakhan - Al-Hayat - It is clear that the US Administration does not want Palestinian elections because Israel does not want them. The reason is not the possible victory of "Hamas", but merely because it is participating therein.23/12/2005
"The Main Thing is to Have No Fear!"Uri Avnery - "SOMETHING BAD is happening to the election campaign of Amir Peretz. It is just shuffling around...Two weeks ago, Amir Peretz gave in to his advisors and repeated the sacred mantra: he, too, is for the United Jerusalem, Capital of Israel for all Eternity. Amen."24/12/2005
CEASE FIRE!Weekly ad of Gush-Shalom - "The vicious circle goes as usual: "targeted killing", revenge action, response to the response."24/12/2005
Noam Chomsky v. Alan Dershowitz: A Debate on the Israeli-Palestinian ConflictDemocracy Now - Rush Transcript of a debate between Noam Chomsky and Alan Dershowtiz - "Dershowitz argued for a political solution based on an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and a mobile security fence to protect Israel`s borders, while Chomsky insisted that the main obstacle to peace in the region is U.S.-Israeli insistence on maintaining settlements and rejecting minimal Palestinian rights."24/12/2005
A letter from JerusalemRecent commentary by Rev. Clarence Musgrave12/12/2005
Either Zionism or SebastiaGadi Taub - Maariv - A majority of Israelis know why the settlement enterprise is not doing “exactly what the Labor movement did” in the early 20th century. The Labor movement aspired to establish a Jewish and democratic state. The settlement enterprise is leading us towards a bi-national state. 1/12/2005
Peretz Against the Road MapYuval Karni - Yedioth Aharonot - If elected prime minister, Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz intends to reach a final status arrangement with the Palestinians within one four-year term. 11/12/2005
The Curse of the GodsUri Avnery - "Peres committed an act of political prostitution."12/12/2005
Art, Truth & PoliticsHarold Pinter – Nobel Lecture by the receipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2005. Not exactly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but very much worth reading.12/12/2005
The Other Israel Billboard - 11.12.05 "Nothing like a suicide bomb in an election campaign"12/12/2005
PNA: Israeli Threat to Blockade Gaza ‘Unacceptable’PMC - The Palestine Media Center - UN envoy David Welch to Quartet: US Determined to See GS-WB Link Run by Dec. 15 11/12/2005
The Palestinian LeftBen White - Palestine Chronicle - The demise of the Soviet Union deprived the Palestinians of a key backer of their struggle, and ushered in the age of the US as hyperpower.." 11/12/2005
Agreement on Gaza Border Crossings Institutionalizes Israeli Occupation Raji Sourani - PCHR, Gaza - Raji Sourani: "The Israeli military occupation of the Gaza Strip is still effective in its physical and legal forms. Israel controls the airspace, sea, borders and crossings of the Strip. " 11/12/2005
Occupation dragging down IDF moralsDavid Zonshein - Is our army as ethical as we think? 8/12/2005
Syria ready to reopen Israel peace talks: Assad hopes to head off UN sanctions Simon Tisdall and Ewen MacAskill-The Guardian - "Bashar Assad, the Syrian president, is being urged by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan to restart bilateral talks with Israel that collapsed in 2000." 8/12/2005
No peace with Sharon Gerald Kaufman - The Guardian - "The Gaza withdrawal has been a veil for continued persecution and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians "7/12/2005
Democracy and colonialismRan Hacohen - Counterpunch - Peretz was quoted saying his Labor cabinet would take even harsher measures against the Palestinians. That`s the classic left-wing false consciousness: the voters allegedly love hardliners, so we leftists should be even more catholic than the Pope, and then weep behind closed doors why no left-wing alternative is heard, and why the voters move even further to the right.7/12/2005
Setting the stage for a springtime intifada Ali Jarbawi - Bitterlemons - The results of the Palestinian elections will lead to a core change in the nature of the Palestinian political system and the fashion in which it operates. These parliamentary elections, and not the presidential elections, are the key to the crucial democratic transformation this "patriarchal" system needs.7/12/2005
Election feverGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - It is election season in both Palestine and Israel, and this time change could be on the horizon. Hopefully, a new dynamic can be created as a result, because the last few years of stagnation on both sides have been of use to nobody. 7/12/2005
A letter from JerusalemRecent commentary by Rev. Clarence Musgrave - Circular Letter No 244 - "It is a beautiful land, there are people of great integrity in both major communities, and yet it is hard to escape the feeling of gathering doom as one sees the Wall around such places as Jerusalem, inexorably dividing the two peoples, and also cutting parts of East Jerusalem off from other parts where there are schools hospitals, shops, and all the components for “normal” life. "6/12/2005
Praise Where Praise is DueMIFTAH - "The chorus of criticism that has been showered upon Fatah for its aborted primaries has failed to pay adequate attention to the fact that Fatah is currently the only political group in the Palestinian Territories that has attempted, however feebly, an open and democratic method of choosing candidates for the upcoming Palestinian legislative elections. "6/12/2005
New party-old faces & human rights activists` plightThe Other Israel`s weekly updates6/12/2005
A shot in the footBy Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly - Charges of election fraud in its primaries raise again the question of whether Fatah can continue to dominate Palestinian politics, 5/12/2005
Springtime for SharonGraham Usher - Al-Ahram Weekly - Ariel Sharon has forged a new party and a new creed to pursue an old political ambition - the exclusion of the Palestinians5/12/2005
Al-Quds: Where Are America and Europe? WAFA_ In its editorial,"Where Are America and Europe?," AL-Quds daily said that, once again, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened fire and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists protesting the construction of the Apartheid Wall in Bil`in and Aboud villages of Ramallah, resulted in wounding a journalist with a live bullet in his hand. 4/12/2005
Palestinian children protest checkpointsAljazeera image from Hebron1/12/2005
The Choice to be Struck?Farid Esack, a South African academic - Electronic Intifada - "For a South African the sense of deja vu is inescapable - almost immediately upon arrival in the land of Palestine/Israel... For a South African who has lived - or just survived - under Apartheid or who acted in solidarity with those who did - it is a fairly simple matter to be struck by this enforced separateness." 3/12/2005
Transport to Link Gaza, West Bank Remains Elusive; Stalled Talks Delay Planned Bus ServiceDaniel Williams - The Washington Post - "Thursday was set aside by Israelis and Palestinians, with all-night encouragement from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, for a single bus with 50 passengers to travel from Gaza to the West Bank. But the wheels won`t roll until next week at the earliest, Israeli officials said Wednesday." 15/12/2005
Palestinian `third way` rises : A new political group offers voters a choice between Fatah and Hamas.Ilene R. Prusher - The Christian Science Monitor - "Hamas and Fatah have a new political rival. A group of respected Palestinian leaders and intellectuals has formed an independent list to run in January`s elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council. The new "party" presents a potential challenge to the two major forces of political life here: Fatah, the ruling Palestinian faction, and Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement." 14/12/2005
Bloody MofazShulamit Aloni - Ynet - IDF elite sent to kill, be killed for Defence Minister`s satisfaction. More than that: these actions are in order to preserve the wartime tension and make terror attacks against us possible – in order to justify continued occupation, enslavement, theft and expulsion. 14/12/2005
The fate of GazaConn Hallinan - Znet - "Whatever else it claims to be, the Gaza Disengagement plan is, at heart, an instrument of Israel`s continued annexation of West Bank land and the physical integration of that land into Israel" - Sara Roy 13/12/2005
Should Israel give up its nukes?George Bisharat - Commondreams - [N]o U.S. administration has effectively pressured Israel to either halt its program or to submit to inspections under the International Atomic Energy Agency. Nor has Israel been required to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The apparent rationale: Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of an ally are simply not an urgent concern.13/12/2005
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