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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
Don`t emulate Israel at Guantanamo Lisa Hajjar - EI - "Any information, including hearsay and tortured accounts from other prisoners, can be used to convict or administratively detain Palestinians." 31/10/2007
Analysis: Shoot first and ask questions laterYAAKOV KATZ - J-lem Post - "But if it is just another tactic, then Israel is once again following Hamas`s lead."31/10/2007
JVP news roundup: cutting power to GazaJewish Voice for Peace - The declared reasoning behind Israel`s decision to cut off power to Gaza is absurd on its face. It was said that diminishing the supply of power to Gaza would force Hamas to choose between supplying power for Gaza`s residents or for the missile launchers. While Hamas has not done anything to stop the missiles, it is also well known and universally agreed (including by Israeli military and political leaders) that Hamas is not firing the missiles. Thus, cutting the power will have effect on this.30/10/2007
Condi Rice, Imperial Cheerleader -- Iraq, Iran and the U.S. "Vision"Robert Fantina -- CounterPunch -- "The Bush administration wants countries in the Middle East to `work more constructively to solve problems.` Does this mean, perhaps, not resorting to war when diplomacy has not been tried? Could it mean respecting the differences of others without attempting to kill them? Perhaps working `more constructively to solve problems` means to do it Mr. Bush`s way: if one perceives a problem, attempt to annihilate the other party before one even confirms whether or not a problem actually exists"29/10/2007
Blair`s true coloursSaleh Al-Naami -- Al-Ahram -- The real reason Blair was seconded to the Quartet -- liquidating Palestinian resistance to occupation -- appears ever more clear29/10/2007
Intellectual terrorism Ghada Karmi - Guardian - for the sake of free speech, British organisations should confront pro-Israel bullies, not appease them.28/10/2007
In search of logic about Iran: a political psychodramaAli Moayedian - Counterpunch - Dr. Ali Ettefagh, writing from Tehran in Washington Post, argues that since Iran hasn`t attacked anyone U.S. should leave her alone. This argument will make perfect sense to sane and/or logical people. But based on Brook`s PsychoBush Theorem discussed above, we need to come up with new arguments to deal with psychotic Bushies. All evidence indicates that the Bushies only believe in language of force. To come and say "Iran hasn`t invaded any countries" only aggravates the situation and causes the Bushies to show more teeth. You should instead write about all the times Iran has invaded and conquered others. Feel free to go back a few thousand years!28/10/2007
12 years laterUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The president of the Knesset invited me to take part in the special Knesset session to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. I debated with myself whether to accept the invitation. ... In the end, I decided to stay away from this orgy of sanctimonious hypocrisy. I did not go to the Knesset. Instead I sat at home watching the sea and thinking about the man.28/10/2007
Iran and America: Missed chance? The Economist - Print edition - A lost opportunity before Tehran`s neocons took over28/10/2007
The key: Rebuilding trust - and not making it dependent on reciprocity.Alon Ben-Meir - Ynet - (...) the basic fault in CBM [Confidence Building Measures] behavior is that it is conditional and based on the notion that if one party makes a good-faith gesture, the other party must respond, usually quickly, with its own. Sometimes this is impossible, and yet because there is an expectation of it being possible, the whole cooperative structure can break down.27/10/2007
Rice taps Clinton, Carter for Middle East adviceReuters - Other sources of advice have been former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross and ex-secretaries of state James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright (...) to get what others have failed to attain in the past -- a viable, independent Palestinian state living side by side with a secure Israel.27/10/2007
Ayalon: Invite Hamas to Annapolis parley Khaled Abu Toameh - Jerusalem Post - Minister-without-portfolio Ami Ayalon (Labor) is urging Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to end Israel`s boycott of Hamas and invite representatives of the group to Annapolis. (...) "Such a call by Israel would cause Hamas to crumble because of the internal struggles taking place within the group," Ayalon told Army Radio.27/10/2007
Realizing God`s dream for the Holy LandDesmond Tutu - Boston Globe - I am often accused of siding with Palestinians against Israeli Jews, naively exonerating the one and unfairly demonizing the other. Nevertheless, I insist that the hope in which I persist is not reducible to politics or identified with a people. It has a more encompassing shape. I like to call it "God`s dream." God has a dream for all his children. It is about a day when all people enjoy fundamental security and live free of fear. It is about a day when all people have a hospitable land in which to establish a future. More than anything else, God`s dream is about a day when all people are accorded equal dignity because they are human beings. 27/10/2007
Slouching towards AnnapolisReuven Kaminer - (...) even though there is no chance for progress on the Israeli-Palestinian front, Rice is not doing Annapolis just for another photo opportunity. (...) There is a deep connection between the threats of the Bush administration to launch a war against Iran and Rice’s efforts to use Annapolis to mobilize the “moderates”, the anti-Iranian establishments in the Arab world. It is simplistic to assume that the United States and the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority will be unable to do business because Israel is not ready for meaningful concessions. Abu Mazen’s very first requirement for survival is backing against the challenge from Hamas. Annapolis will provide the Bush administration various, sundry ways to express its support and admiration for the moderate Fatah leadership. Such admiration might find expression in a number of more “even-handed” declarations by the US hosts. These words will then be presented by the Fatah people as proof that participation was worth the effort, despite the stalemate on the Israeli front. 27/10/2007
Mideast Hawks Help to Develop Giuliani Policy MICHAEL COOPER and MARC SANTORA-NY Times-"Mr. Giuliani’s team includes Norman Podhoretz, a prominent neoconservative who advocates bombing Iran “as soon as it is logistically possible”; Daniel Pipes, the director of the Middle East Forum, who has called for profiling Muslims at airports and scrutinizing American Muslims in law enforcement, the military and the diplomatic corps; and Michael Rubin, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who has written in favor of revoking the United States’ ban on assassination. "26/10/2007
Images that shockThe Guardian - Editorial - "Gaza is a wound that is being left to fester. Fatah, Israel, the US and the international community have different motives for leaving half of the Palestinian people to rot in this prison, but they are all, for the moment, united in their attempt to isolate Hamas. "25/10/2007
Fresh violence feared if peace talks collapseRory McCarthy and Ian Black - The Guardian - ""We can live without a conference but we can`t live with a conference that fails."" 24/10/2007
Clouded Horizons for PalestineAdel Safty - Z-net - "Assuming that Israeli leaders genuinely want peace-and this is a major assumption- their vision of peace is based not on justice for the Palestinians but on security for their colonial enterprise."24/10/2007
Bold script, weak actorsHenry A. Kissinger - IHT - "American leadership on realistic parameters with Israel and moderate Arab countries is an essential precondition to success in Annapolis. In its absence, deadlock and American isolation beckon." 24/10/2007
A minimum strategic goalDaoud Kuttab - bitterlemons.org - "In all previous attempts at negotiations with Israel, Palestinians have never made any real breakthrough. Progress has only been made on procedural or superficial issues, even if expectations were always raised unreasonably high, which in turn created exaggerated hopes for the peace process. This has been the case since the Madrid peace conference and was true of the Oslo process. Throughout, the Palestinian position was in permanent retreat and concessions were offered Israel at no cost."23/10/2007
Reflections on WallsRyszard Kapuscinsky - excerpt from a book “Travels with Herodot”, translated from Polish by the Editor (VB) - "The worst aspect of the wall is that it induces many people to adopt a posture of defenders of the wall, generates the type of thinking, in which a mental wall separates the world to a base and evil part – on the other side of the wall, and the superior and good part - “our” side. In addition, it is quite unnecessary for the wall defender to be physically at the wall. One can be far away, while carrying in his mind the wall image and complying with the values which the wall logic dictates. "23/10/2007
Jim Miles: Israel/Palestine Question – Book ReviewJim Miles -- Palestine Chronicle -- While Israel may have the physical institutional underpinnings of democracy, its ethnic logic denies equality and democracy to the Arab citizens22/10/2007
No free handshakeDina Ezzat -- Al-Ahram -- Arabs are expecting something but not much out of the forthcoming autumn peace conference22/10/2007
Barak shuns dovish past with eye on old jobAssociated Press -- The Washington Times -- "For Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the future seems to be about the past — and how to disown it. Keen to reclaim the prime ministership he lost in 2001 after just 22 months, he`s cast off the dovish image that defined that brief tenure. Now, the man who offered the Palestinians unprecedented concessions in his last days in office, only to be spurned, is repackaging himself as a hard-liner to compete with the other former prime minister with an eye on his old job, the hawkish Benjamin Netanyahu" 22/10/2007
Campus conflict, USAA video which looks at Campus Watch, Daniel Pipes, Hamid Dabashi, Joseph Massad, Rashid Khalidi, and Hamid Dabashi. It also shows Stephen Walt about the impact of his thesis critiquing the Israel lobby. 21/10/2007
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Academic freedom at risk on campusSaree Makdisi - Seattle Post-Intelligencer - "Academic colleagues, get used to it," warned the pro-Israel activist Martin Kramer in March 2004. "Yes, you are being watched. Those obscure articles in campus newspapers are now available on the Internet, and they will be harvested. Your syllabi, which you`ve also posted, will be scrutinized. Your Web sites will be visited late at night."21/10/2007
Rice Hears Palestinians` GrievancesMichael Abramowitz - Washington Post - "Rice described the current negotiations as the most serious effort at settling the Israeli-Palestinian dispute in seven years. She also said that listening to Palestinian civic leaders` complaints was "sometimes sobering," but added that every one of the people present endorsed a two-state solution to the problem. She refused to be drawn into criticizing Israel over the barrier." 18/10/2007
The missing linkGeorge S. Hishmeh - Arabic Media Internet Network - "...it would make sense that the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Annapolis would do well to add one more item on its agenda, namely a commitment by Israel to join the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Israel is the only Mideastern state which has not signed the accord and, curiously, it still escapes any retribution from any party. Such an achievement will add lustre to the anticipated peace trophy." 18/10/2007
A Mountain to ClimbArab News - Editorial - "Possibly, an agreement could be hammered out initially between the Israelis and the Abbas government in the West Bank with Hamas ignored. But it would not last. Palestinian aspirations for full national identity do not allow Gaza to be a permanent prison camp. A mountain to climb, indeed."18/10/2007
The show goes on ... and on Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - "Other key actors include Mahmoud Abbas, a colorless quisling whose only power base is the American and Israeli guns that keep him installed in his Ramallah Green Zone -- filling in for the late Yasser Arafat as leader of the Palestinians, and Ehud Olmert, understudy to Ariel Sharon who left the stage unexpectedly. Special guest star Tony Blair, who just completed a long and controversial run as prime minister of a marginal European power, hopes that by joining the peace process cast as "Quartet special envoy" he can breathe life into a flagging career." 18/10/2007
Iran, the Inflatable BogeyDr. Trita Parsi - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "Dr. Trita Parsi explains the cynicism behind the shrill denunciations of Iran as Nazi Germany and the “1938″ rhetoric of Israel’s Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu. If Netanyahu really believes Iran is Nazi Germany, it may surprise you to know that when he was prime minister of Israel, Bibi not only slapped down such talk by his Labor Party predecessors; he actively reached out to Tehran in the hope of making common cause against Arab rivals. "16/10/2007
When All is Said and Done: It`s the OccupationCarl Bloice - ZMAG - "In May, Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams told a gathering of Jewish Republicans that Rice`s frequent trips to the region is `just process` - steps needed in order to keep the Europeans and moderate Arab countries `on the team` and to make sure they feel that the United States is promoting peace in the Middle East..Abrams` office later recanted the comments"16/10/2007
UN envoy rails at Quartet policies Tim Franks - BBC News - "Dugard special rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council for the Palestinian Territories, the South African law professor wrote a report for the UN General Assembly in which he compared Israel`s actions to those of apartheid South Africa. He has been trenchant in his belief in the past seven years that he has held the UN post that Israel is collectively punishing the Palestinians. Now, though, he has the international community, and the UN itself, in his sights for complicity. A few weeks ago, Mr Dugard was reported to have levelled criticism at the UN secretary general for failing to stand up to Israel." [Editor`s comment(VB): finally, an official with enough courage to say loudly the obvious.] 16/10/2007
Not a care in the worldSeth Freedman - The Guardian "Coment is free" - " It`s alarming that fashionable residents of Tel Aviv can remain so detached from the ongoing conflict on their doorstep. ..`far too busy being agonisingly beautiful to worry about Palestinians` trees being nicked`." 16/10/2007
Two Al-Ahram articles on the Annapolis summit(1) Pearls for coal - Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly - "Israel is offering the Palestinians sandy terrain in the Negev desert along the Gaza borders in exchange for annexing large Jewish settlements, including.. in and around East Jerusalem. As one Palestinian official put it, the proposal is like swapping a pearl for a piece of coal of the same size."; (2) "A third Intifada" - Saleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly - "On the one hand, Olmert proclaims his "absolute" commitment to the success of the summit while on the other is doing all in his power to undermine it."; 16/10/2007
Who rules in Israel? Prof. Gabi Sheffer - Yedioth Ahronoth - translated for OM by Mark Marshall - "In fact, there are four informal "networks" that rule in Israel... The four networks are: "the security network", the network of the Israeli `oligarchs`, the "Haredi rabbi network" and the "senior civil servants` network". But the members of the networks have a shared agenda, shared ideological and practical outlooks, shared interests, shared goals, shared ways of acting and ways of preventing action, and ability to influence the opinions of the public and of course those of the politicians. "16/10/2007
Peace virus is backGadi Baltiansky-- Failure of peace conference in Annapolis could be turning point for the worst 15/10/2007
Why the U.S. is a self-serving empireTariq Ali interviewed by Femi Kassim -- The McGill Tribune -- "Empires act in their own interests and like to project these interests as the interests of Western Civilization. That gives their actions a fundamentalism - that because they`re doing it, it`s got to be right. That certainty, which is the hallmark of most imperial fundamentalism, which you see mostly clearly in [American Vice-President Dick] Cheney and [former American Secretary of Defense Donald] Rumsfeld is something that is very similar to the divine inspiration that religious fundamentalists claim"15/10/2007
Nuclear hypocrisyJoe Conason - Salon - To avoid war, Bush should engage in direct negotiations with Iran -- and restore the USA`s commitment to its own disarmament.21/10/2007
The Star of GoliathOriol Poveda -- IMEMC News -- "It is high time for Israel to return to its senses and realize that it is not possible to pretend to be the David of the Middle East and to act as the Goliath of Palestine. The politics of arrogance and fear must give way to the politics of acknowledgement and justice. Until then, in the Israeli flag waving from the checkpoints, the concrete turrets, the detention centres and the military bases we will not see the Shield of David but the Star of Goliath"15/10/2007
The mother of all pretextsUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - WHEN I hear mention of the "Clash of Civilizations" I don`t know whether to laugh or to cry. To laugh, because it is such a silly notion. To cry, because it is liable to cause untold disasters.14/10/2007
Formalizing apartheid masked as a peace initiativeNeta Golan, Mohammad Khatib - ZMag - It is questionable whether Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be able to accept the offer of a "provisional state" without a timeframe for a permanent settlement. But perhaps he is not even meant to accept. For if Abbas refuses another Israeli-American "generous offer" his rejection could be presented to the world as more proof that there are no Palestinian "partners for peace."14/10/2007
The "good Germans" among usFrank Rich - New York Times - Our humanity has been compromised by those who use Gestapo tactics in our war. The longer we stand idly by while they do so, the more we resemble those “good Germans” who professed ignorance of their own Gestapo.14/10/2007
Haniyeh warns against going to summit without Palestinian unity Ma`an - Haniyeh reiterated that Hamas is ready for dialogue with Fatah to discuss unity between the West Bank and Gaza, compliance with the Mecca and the Cairo Accords and the founding of a national unity government. 13/10/2007
`We`ll back Abbas if Hamas included`Tovah Lazaroff - Jerusalem Post - "We tell [Abbas] he has to do what he thinks is right", said Christina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana. (...) Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of former senior US officials and congressmen pushed for dialogue with Hamas ahead of the Annapolis peace conference.13/10/2007
`Taba offers acceptable to Palestinians`JPost.com Staff - Jerusalem Post - "(...) if Israel were to allow a symbolic number of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, the PA would be willing to compromise on other issues"13/10/2007
Land swap could be key to Israel dealDonald Macintyre-The Independent-"He (Saeb Erekat)said that at a time "when [Mr] Olmert and President Abbas have been meeting regularly to rebuild trust between us... the Government of Israel continues to create facts on the ground that are quickly foreclosing the two-state solution"."12/10/2007
An extraordinary opportunityGalia Golan-Bitterlemons-"With the exception of a minority (albeit a highly vocal and wealthy one), Israelis are "finished" with the conflict, with the territories and with the settlements. Few see any of these as contributing to their security or prosperity." (This statement is of course debatable. Ed)12/10/2007
A third IntifadaSaleh Al-Naami-AlAhram Weekly-"Then, to ensure that failure is a foregone conclusion, he vowed that the "loosely worded" memorandum would contain two points: a commitment by the PA to fulfil its obligation under the first phase of the roadmap and, secondly, a reference to US President George Bush`s letter of guarantees to former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of June 2004. Olmert is fully aware these two points guarantee no agreement can be reached with the Palestinians now or in the future."12/10/2007
EU quiet over Israeli land expropriation David Cronin - The Electronic Intifada - "Representatives of the European Union`s two most powerful institutions remained silent this week on new efforts by Israel to expropriate Palestinian villages, triggering accusations that the bloc`s Middle East policy suffers from double standards." 11/10/2007
Mideast accord seen as possible : Negotiator voices optimism on talksKarin Laub - The Boston Globe - "Israel probably will ask to keep chunks of east Jerusalem and the West Bank, in order to incorporate hundreds of thousands of settlers who have moved there since 1967. Palestinian leaders are increasingly promoting the idea of a swap, provided they get comparable land in Israel, even though it implies recognition that large Jewish settlements will remain in place." 11/10/2007
Israel`s rising right wingGregory Levey - Salon News - "When Netanyahu was prime minister from 1996 to 1999, his coalition shared power with more moderate Israeli factions, which constrained him from pursuing the more extreme elements of his agenda. His alliance with Gaydamak, however, may obviate the need for that sort of compromise, because of both Gaydamak`s money and rising political support. " 11/10/2007
The test of leadershipGershon Baskin- THE JERUSALEM POST-"This is the moment of truth. There may be no such moments in the near future. Of course there are many risks involved but there are even more risks for both sides if they fail to reach agreement. This is the real test of leadership. " (NB: Baskin`s note re: Gaza/Hamas in point 2 is debatable.! Ed.)11/10/2007
Provocative Ma’aleh Adumim land confiscation lays bare the government intentions.Gush Shalom-Press release- "Not only does this confiscation directly rob many villagers of their sole livelihood, but its main purpose is to facilitate the big annexation plan known as ‘E-1’, which is aimed at linking the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim with Jerusalem and cut the West Bank in two."11/10/2007
Israeli army orders confiscation of Palestinian land in West BankConal Urquhart-The Guardian-"They want to push everything as far as possible before the November meeting because that will be seen as the starting point for everything," he (Jeff Halper) said. "Anything done before that meeting will be set in stone. ...The negotiation affairs department of the Palestine Liberation Organisation said information released by the Israeli ministry of defence showed that the new route would annex 12% of the West Bank, compared with 9% previously. "11/10/2007
In government of the two Ehuds, the mouth speaks peace, the hands conduct war and oppressionGush Shalom - Press release - “In the government of the two Ehuds, the mouth of Ehud Olmert spews peace cliches in highly-publicized meetings with Abu Mazen, but the hands of Ehud Barak conduct ceaseless war and oppression: night raids and detentions deep into the Palestinian cities, daily killings in the Gaza Strip and outright rejection of any Palestinian cease-fire proposal, and ceaseless extension of settlements and robbery of Palestinian lands”10/10/2007
What Israel Wants, Israel Gets Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "When the Aqsa Intifada first broke out, there was no Qalandia or Huwwara checkpoint and there was no separation wall. Jerusalem, although technically closed off to the West Bank by ineffective and extremely liquid checkpoints, was more or less accessible to most Palestinians. Not that the situation was ideal for the Palestinians because if this were the case, there would never have been an Intifada. Still, there is a world of difference between the situation prior to September 29, 2000 and the present, this new reality creeping up on us like slow-growing cancer. Today, the tumor has grown to exponential proportions and will be extremely difficult to excise." 10/10/2007
Our Middle East Reiner Bernstein - "The confrontation and hostility between Israel and the Palestinians is a conflict sui generis, even though it is dyed by political, social and economic manifestations and developments in the region. Being principally supportive of the Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative (GI) and related ventures I try to promote their ideas among the German public in general and with academia and politicians in particular. In other words: I do not claim neutrality and political correctness."10/10/2007
An Israeli Strike on Syria Kindles Debate in the U.S.MARK MAZZETTI and HELENE COOPER - NY Times - "“Some people think that it means that the sky is falling,” a senior administration official said. “Others say that they’re not convinced that the real intelligence poses a threat.”" 10/10/2007
A recipe for failure?Daniel Kurtzer - IHT - "There is no benefit - and great danger - in convening a meeting with limited goals and no follow-up."10/10/2007
Hamas stamps its authority on Gaza Nour Odeh - Al Jazeera - "Their fear is that this may be another step towards formalising the split between Gaza and the West Bank." 10/10/2007
Politics of fear Osamah Khalil - EI - "These are serious times and Palestinians face dire circumstances that require real leadership and effective organizations to represent them in the US and on the world stage."10/10/2007
Take a chance on peace, Mr. AbbasHanania - J-lem Post - "Although the negotiations may not bring about a truly fair division of Palestine and Israel, long-term peace will help counterbalance the sacrifices Palestinians have made since 1948." 10/10/2007
A putative peaceKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - "Abbas insists that Israel and the PA must reach a "general agreement" or "concordance" on the "core" issues that define the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. These include ending the occupation that started in 1967, dismantling Jewish settlements, and determining the status of East Jerusalem and the plight of five million Palestinian refugees. Olmert has a different understanding of what needs to be done at this stage. According to Israeli sources, the Israeli prime minister is pressing the PA leadership to sign up to a declaration of "intent" rather than "principle".. "A declaration of intent is non-binding, general and vague. Olmert doesn`t want to commit himself to anything concrete with regard to ending the occupation." 9/10/2007
Made Love, Got War: Norman Solomon on Close Encounters with America`s Warfare StateTranscript of Norman Solomon interview by Amy Goodman - Democracy Now - "The reality is that the United States is led by people who are, in practical terms and moral terms, deranged. And the prospectus now -- and you had Sy Hersh on yesterday talking about this -- for US attack on Iran, under whatever guise, whatever rationale, is a horrific scenario. There is an axis of fanatics, the small-time ones who are running the Iranian government, the big-time global fanatics of the Bush administration. We have to do all we can to restrain them and roll back this warfare state. " Also, Democracy Now interview "Seymour Hersh: White House Intensifying Plans to Attack Iran"9/10/2007
Forecast poorGhassan Khatib bitterlemons.org - Annapolis - Ed .37 - "As the Annapolis meeting approaches, Palestinians grow less enthusiastic over its prospects. One can think of a number of good reasons for this pessimism, primary among them the bitter experience Palestinians have had with such summits in the past, especially when sponsored by the US..Another good reason is the complete disconnect between the political discussions over and preparations for this meeting and the increasingly difficult situation in which Palestinians live. The latest report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs indicates that there are greater and greater Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank, while Israeli organizations are documenting an increase in settlement activity."9/10/2007
My Favorite ‘Anti-Semite’Tony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "The utterly charming thing about the Zionist Thought Police is their apparent inability to restrain themselves, even from the very excesses that will prove to be their own undoing. Having asked sane and rational people to believe that Jimmy Carter is a Holocaust denier simply for pointing out the obvious about the apartheid regime Israel maintains in the occupied territories, the same crew now want us to believe that Archbishop Desmond Tutu is an anti-Semite. No jokes!"9/10/2007
Several insights into the Israeli society and the collapse of the Oslo agreementsZakaria Flavin - Al Tsad Smol - translated for OM by Mark Marshall - "a triumphalist feeling has established itself among us, in the name of which we do not hesitate to decide the fate of others (Jews as well as Arabs), and we feel that this kind of thinking constitutes a part of our identity. As long as that feeling guides us, we will proceed, like the “blind goat” from the sayings of the Rabbi,* towards the dark side of the road. Withdrawal from the Territories will acquire persuasive energy when it is seen as an act of liberation. "9/10/2007
Haider Abdul-Shafi: Passing UndefeatedRamzy Baroud -- ZNet -- “[Abdul-Shafi] saw clearly that while Palestinians may not be able to control Israel`s actions, they were certainly capable of coordinating and correcting their own fallouts. This was really all that he asked. In stark contrast, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to use the Israeli colonial project to his own advantage. Unlike Abdul-Shafi, who would have challenged Israeli domination with a collective Palestinian stance of complete cohesion at home and abroad, Abbas (dubbed a ‘moderate’ and ‘pragmatic’ leader by mainstream media) opted for the deadly option; he collaborated with the enemy. As Palestinians in Gaza are murdered at will, completely besieged and denied the most basic human rights, Abbas`s ‘pragmatic’ advisors appear to have warned him against locking horns with the US and Israel. This approach overlooks the fact that defeatism has never helped an oppressed nation recover its lands, its rights and its freedom”8/10/2007
Israel’s Colonial Siege and The PalestiniansBashir Abu-Manneh -- ZNet -- "Still missing, however, is a comprehensive liberation strategy. Neither elite nationalism nor religious fundamentalism has succeeded in this task. The elections of January 2006 have again re-opened the question of resistance as a political project. […] Collective mobilization by all Palestinians around coherent national objectives is still necessary, as is clear elaboration of both short-term tasks and long-term strategic goals. These cannot be achieved without democratic re-activation of grassroots forces both inside and outside Palestine"8/10/2007
A Bittersweet HomecomingJoharah Baker -- MIFTAH -- “Limited prisoner releases, financial aid or humanitarian assistance are all positive in and of themselves. But what the Palestinians – both people and leadership – must realize is that these ‘gestures’ are far from our demands and from our national aspirations. Eighty-six prisoners is hardly an ‘achievement’ when 11,000 others who also served their country continue to languish in Israeli cells”8/10/2007
De facto recognition for the Zionist entity?Dina Ezzat -- Al-Ahram -- "...a clear Arab position was reached. The main demand was that there needs to be an agreement that the objective of the Washington meeting is to achieve a final and comprehensive settlement for the Arab-Israeli conflict within a reasonable and agreed upon time frame. Also requested by the Arab side were clear dates for the commencement of negotiations and a coherent follow-up mechanism with a visible role for the UN"8/10/2007
Breaking the taboo: why we took on the Israel lobbyJohn Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt - interview with their editor Eric Chinski: "We focus on Israel’s policies in this book not because we have any animus toward Israel or because we regard its behavior as worse than other states’. Rather, we focus on it because the United States has long focused so much of its financial, diplomatic, and military attention on Israel. Israel is often said to deserve this support because it supposedly acts better than other states do, but we show that this is not the case. It has not acted worse than other states, but neither has it acted significantly better. Regrettably, uncritical U.S. support has led to policies that are harmful to the United States and Israel alike."7/10/2007
Pre-packaged opinions on Israel and Palestine: Jeffrey Goldberg`s prisonNorman Finkelstein - Counterpunch - In his hatchet job for the New Republic on Mearsheimer and Walt`s new book The Israel Lobby, Jeffrey Goldberg dismisses their depiction of the Israel-Palestine conflict as "simply unrecognizable to anyone halfway fair and halfway learned about the Middle East," and he recommends instead his own book on the "moral failings of israel`s occupation of Palestinian lands." It happens that Norman Finkelstein, who is more than halfway fair and halfway learned about the Middle East, has plowed through Goldberg`s book. Here is his entirely irrefutable and absolutely devastating report. 7/10/2007
So who`s afraid of the Israel lobby?Ray McGovern - Consortiumnews - It turns out that virtually everyone is: Republican, Democrat—Conservative, Liberal. The fear factor is non-partisan, you might say, and palpable.7/10/2007
Draft evasion, refusal and the real problemAssaf Oron - Yesh Gvul - I enlisted in February 1985 and volunteered to "Givati" - a newly-forming infantry regiment. My decision had no specific reason; I was just being naive. What I didn`t know (and would never have known, unless I bumped a few years later into a former commander who told me about it) is that I was also a guinea pig. 6/10/2007
Boycott threat has been lifted, but occupation continuesUri Ram - Ynet - There is no room here for the joy expressed by the education minister and top education officials. What are they so happy with? The fact that universities in the territories are unable to function? Or maybe it is the fact that, on the other hand, we are seeing an Israeli academic institute being increasingly established in the central occupation town of Ariel.6/10/2007
Interview with Marwan Barghouti translated by Diana Buttu, IMEUYediot Aharonot / Institute for Middle East Understanding - Israeli authorities have prevented interviews with [Marwan Barghouti] in an Israeli prison. This interview was done through the assistance of his lawyer Khader Shkirat. We sent the questions through him and in this difficult way we cannot challenge Barghouti on his answers. We could not ask follow-up questions. But, through his answers we can understand a few things about his political opinions and personal life.6/10/2007
Israel, Palestine and the Hypocrisies of Power – an interview with Noam ChomskyNoam Chomsky and New Internationalist-Share the World`s Resources- "The punishment of Palestinians for the crime of voting the wrong way was severe. With constant US backing, Israel increased its violence in Gaza, withheld funds that it was legally obligated to transmit to the Palestinian Authority, tightened its siege and, in a gratuitous act of cruelty, even cut off the flow of water to the arid Gaza Strip. The Israeli attacks became far more severe after the capture of Corporal Gilad Shalit on 25 June, which the West portrayed as a terrible crime. Again, pure cynicism. Just one day before, Israel kidnapped two civilians in Gaza – a far worse crime than capturing a soldier – and transported them to Israel (in violation of international law, but that is routine), where they presumably joined the roughly 1,000 prisoners held by Israel without charges, hence kidnapped. None of this merits more than a yawn in the West." 5/10/2007
The Greatest Story Never Told (The media and `truth` about Israel-Palestine conflicts .)Stephen Lendman-Countercurrents-"Reporting children`s deaths was even more skewed, coming in at a ratio of 6.8 for Israeli children compared to Palestinian ones and then at 7.3 in the later study. The latter ratio is particularly startling since 22 times more Palestinian children were killed, in fact, than Israelis in 2004 according to B`Tselem - the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Terroritories. The Times simply ignored them."5/10/2007
Ali Abunimah debates Avika Eldar on Canadian radio DebateAli Abunimah and Avika Eldar- CBC Canada-"All this has many -- once again -- questioning the viability of a two-state solution and whether the controversial one-state proposal is even worth talking about. The Current hosted Abunimah and Eldar to discuss the feasibility, desirability and seeming impossibility of a one-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."5/10/2007
Two Knights and a DragonUri Avnery on Mearsheimer-Walt. And the Gush-Shalom Weekly Ad3/10/2007
Gideon Levy should focus on Israel`s brutality Walid M Awad - Ma`an - "Gideon Levy should concern himself with the intransigence of his own government and the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation army against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Palestinian people are able to take care of their internal problems." 2/10/2007
‘Challenges facing the Palestinian-American community’ Rafi Dajani and Ghaith Al Omari - The Jordan Times - "While the noise created by one staters in the US is considerable, this vision has almost no support among Palestinians living in the occupied territories, who understand that realistic solutions, not idealistic fantasies, be the way out of their daily misery and humiliation." 2/10/2007
We Get ReligionJOHN FEFFER - World Beat - "There is often more resemblance across fundamentalisms than between fundamentalists and their less orthodox co-believers." 2/10/2007
Barak shuns LeftItamar Eichner - Ynet - "The logic behind his conduct is that on the one hand, Barak must erase from public memory the far-reaching concessions he offered when he was serving as premier, which led to his ousting from the Prime Minister`s Office, while on the other hand he must distinguish himself from Olmert, who is currently proposing a diplomatic process." 2/10/2007
Crawling on hands and kneesKhaled Amayreh -- Al-Ahram -- "The nearly total PA dependence on the Americans to get an extremely parsimonious Israel to be more forthcoming with regard to the core issues has already forced the PA leadership to `beg for` rather than `demand` Israeli good- will, whatever that means. But, for most Palestinians and Arabs, `Israel` and `good-will` are oxymorons that shouldn`t be used in the same breath"1/10/2007
The Lobby on TrialJustin Raimondo – Antiwar – “More than three years ago, the news that Rosen, the number-one lobbyist for Israel in Washington, and his sidekick Weissman had been indicted for violating the Espionage Act, for handing over top-secret intelligence to Israeli embassy officials, broke like a thunderclap over official Washington. Today, its echoes have petered out almost entirely, as news of the case has sunk so far beneath the media`s radar that developments in what is an important and fascinating story are no longer reported. I`ll do my best to rectify that”1/10/2007
Speak out, to make Annapolis a successDebra DeLee - The Jewish Week - When Israel faces military threats, diplomatic threats or public-relations embarassments, we American Jews lobby, we demonstrate, we mobilize, we make our voices heard in the media, we organize emergency missions to Israel. But when it comes to supporting the efforts of Israel’s democratically elected government to start a process that might, hopefully, end up resolving Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians - under the supportive umbrella of the international community and the League of Arab States - most American Jewish groups are silent. 20/10/2007
Revisiting the partition of Palestine Henry Lowi - Redress - This past summer, I read several newspaper articles on the 60th anniversary of the partition of British colonial India into independent India and Pakistan. Much was made of the mayhem, the chaos and the deaths that occurred 60 years ago on the Indian subcontinent. In numerous in-depth pieces, the distinction was drawn between the “secular” republic of India and the “Muslim” republic of Pakistan. Comparisons were made of subsequent developments in the spheres of economic growth, political democracy, human rights and international relations. The questions were raised: was partition justified? What other options were there? How has partition played out? This coverage has provided valuable food for thought, about postwar decolonization, its successes and failures.20/10/2007
Why failure is not an option at AnnapolisDavid Kimche - Jerusalem Post - "October 2009: After the failure of the Annapolis conference two years ago, the two-state solution has finally been buried. The Palestinian Authority has disbanded itself, proclaiming that the official policy of the Palestinians will henceforth be a one-state solution, a democratic state with the right to vote for all its citizens over the age of 18. `The battle of the womb,` they call it. (...)"20/10/2007
Just talkKhaled Amayreh-Al Ahram- "Lieberman explained to Rice that, "priority should be given to healing the Palestinian economy." Coming from a man who only a few weeks ago was urging the Israeli army to strangle Palestinian population centres and sever food, water and electricity supplies to the estimated 1.5 millions residents of Gaza, the statement was curious at best. Rice thanked him for his "valuable ideas"." 19/10/2007
US presses Palestinians and Israel to find common groundIan Black - The Guardian - "And amid the wrangling, there was a reminder of the gap between rhetoric and reality on the ground with a warning from John Dugard, the UN`s special rapporteur on the rights of the Palestinians." 17/10/2007
Qurei threatens to withdraw from negotiationsNisreen Qumsieh - IMEMC - "...he thinks the Israelis and the Americans are trying to turn the November summit into a celebratory occasion for Olmert and Bush."17/10/2007
How about a peace lobby?Daniel Levy - IHY - "Settlements, land confiscations, the resulting anger, violence and internal moral decay: Many Israelis now recognize that the entire accessories catalog of a continued occupation is terribly self-destructive." 17/10/2007
An extraordinary opportunity Galia Golan - Bitter Lemons - "If Olmert and his colleagues in Kadima understand the extraordinary opportunity awaiting Israel, the upcoming conference could, indeed should, mark the beginning of the end of the conflict." 17/10/2007
`Islamo-Fascist Awareness Week` in US university campuses??Some editorial comments on the subject, and a related article by G. Leupp in Counterpunch "Who Wants to "Rule All the World"?"16/10/2007
Transformational diplomacy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflictMichael Marten - Ekklesia - Contrary to popular opinion, Tony Blair`s mandate is not as a ‘peace envoy’, but as an envoy towards ‘good governance’ - a man who has himself done so much damage to good governance in the country he led. The more fundamental irony: pursuing good governance of a people under military occupation whilst not seeking to undo the occupation itself. 4/10/2007
Gaza kids don`t playRoy Peled, YNET - " According to army, children killed by IDF are part of Palestinian war machine..And an update: As this article was being published, the IDF investigation showed that the three Palestinian kids who were killed were playing catch. Imagine that. Palestinians? Catch? Children? The surprises just never end."3/10/2007
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