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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    

Meet me on the corner of Ze`evi and KahaneShahar Ilan - Haaretz - on naming of Israeli streets. "What were the members of Or Akiva`s Names Committee thinking when, 15 years ago, they approved naming a street after Meir Kahane, founder of the extreme right-wing party Kach? And why did it take a decade and a half for the matter to become a bone of public contention? It is also difficult to understand why another advocate of implementing a population transfer policy for Arabs who was also assassinated, Rehavam (Gandhi) Ze`evi, was given the honor of having a boulevard in Rishon Letzion, a bridge above Tel Aviv`s Ayalon Expressway and the Jordan Valley highway named after him."27/2/2007
Wide and flexibleInterview with Ghazi Hamad - spokesman for the outgoing Hamas-led government - - "we are not against political compromise or a political solution. We have put the Palestinian demands very clearly: a Palestinian state on 1967 borders, the right of return and so on. ...If Hamas or any Palestinian faction accords recognition [to Israel], then where is the guarantee that anything will change for the Palestinian people? What happens after that? Settlement expansions, incursions, the building of the wall are all ongoing. So while the international community is strong in its support of Israel, no one is looking after the interests of the Palestinian people and their legitimate rights."27/2/2007
In the heart of Palestinian consensus Danny Rubinstein - Haaretz - "Forty years after the Six-Day War, the Palestinian attitude that has become consolidated toward the State of Israel is quite clear: It is possible and necessary to achieve an agreement for coexistence with Israel on the basis of the 1967 borders...What spoils the optimistic picture is the refugee problem and the right of return. But this is a relatively minor problem relative to the Israeli situation that has been created since 1967, which prevents us from even thinking about a return to the Green Line in general, and to Jerusalem in particular. "27/2/2007
Racist minister just what we needYariv Oppenheimer - YNET - "It is difficult to ignore the bad taste associated with the appointment of Esterina Tartman to the post of Israel`s tourism minister.Yet maybe Tartman`s appointment could serve as some kind of full disclosure required for 2007 Israel; a sophisticated way of telling the truth to ourselves and the world: We are an occupying country where racist positions are acceptable and even enjoy proper representation in the government and Knesset; a country whose citizens carry firearms regularly and believe that there is no room for Arabs here. "27/2/2007
`An American strike on Iran is essential for our existence`: AIPAC demands `action` on IranGary Leupp - Counterpunch - Can the American people allow this unelected unpopular administration, headed by a manifestly stupid sadistic fool, to continue to provoke international contempt and fear, while planning more carnage?25/2/2007
Rice Jerusalem summit more about regime change than peaceIra Glunts - Despite the grand and hopeful proclamations of Condoleeza Rice in which she pledged a major US commitment to promoting a two-state solution in the region, the real reason for her visit to Jerusalem this week was to continue the relentless pressure on the Palestinians to replace the democratically- elected Hamas government with one led by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party.25/2/2007
`You and I and the next war`Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - An American and/or Israeli attack on Iran would be a disaster. Bombs can devastate a country, but not a people like the Iranians. Only the wildest imagination can foresee how the more than a billion Muslims in scores of countries - including all our neighbors - would react to the destruction of a Muslim country. This is playing with fire, which may start a world-wide conflagration.25/2/2007
See who is a settlerDror Etkes - Yedioth Aharonoth - The attempt to compare in seriousness the settlement outposts to the illegal construction of the Palestinians is a part of a hypocritical and populist campaign of incitement 25/2/2007
Is "a just solution" a non-starter?Judea Pearl/Ramzi Khoury (debate) - The Saudi Gazette - "Do you know what Israelis see when they read an Arab peace proposal in the newspaper? They skip the text about peace, recognition and security and search for one word: `refugees`. The rest is trivial; if that word appears there explicitly or embedded in `right of return` or `a just solution` or `Resolution 194` or some other phrase that may threaten the demographic makeup of Israel, the proposal is automatically deemed a non-starter." 24/2/2007
S. African Jewish minister sends support to `Israeli Apartheid Week` organizersJohnny Paul - Jerusalem Post - Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa`s minister for intelligence, wrote "To any fair minded person, this process of colonial-style dispossession is the fundamental cause of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is certainly akin to the racist-style humiliation and brutality of the notorious apartheid system under which South Africa`s landless and dispossessed people suffered".` 24/2/2007
A country for some of its citizens? Shulamit Aloni - Haaretz - In the discussion on the granting of cultural autonomy to the Israeli Arab community, the opposition to this proposal surprised me. Initially, the majority supported it; however, gradually, the discussions exposed all the fears, suspicions and manipulations used to justify discrimination. The question asked by Smooha, who was dominant and frank in the talks, expressed all this. He wondered how much autonomy could be extended to a minority that is suspected of being basically disloyal by the majority. In my view, that question sums up why this project failed. 24/2/2007
Hamas is the missing link in Rice`s plan George S. Hishmeh - Arabic Media Internet Network-"..her commitment to bring about a better life for the Palestinians "free of the humiliation of occupation", as she said when she spoke at the inaugural gala of the American Task Force on Palestine last October. ..But, unfortunately, President George W. Bush seemed to have pulled the rug from underneath her feet just as she was to start her talks in Occupied Jerusalem with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert."23/2/2007
Hamas: Quartet stand encouragingAl Jazeera-"The EU, like Russia, appears to favour a softer line, seeing the new Palestinian unity government as a solution to factional violence, although the EU has not pushed for a resumption of aid to the Palestinians." 23/2/2007
Why the US should talk to HamasJamil Dakwar- Al Ahram Weekly -" deal between Israel and the Palestinians can be reached without Hamas. Hamas and its leadership are key players in the success of any future settlement between Israel and the Palestinian people, .... Engaging with Hamas and recognising its legitimacy as a crucial player representing large segments of the Palestinian people will not only make a future settlement between Israel and the Palestinians more feasible and long-lasting, but it will also improve America`s reputation as a fair broker and improve its standing in the Middle East and in the world at large."23/2/2007
Who Will Protect the Mecca Agreement?Daoud Shirian - Al-Hayat - "The US, however, should not downplay what happened in Mecca, because, for the first time, Hamas has behaved as a political party and has accepted making concessions as a principle of its political action." 22/2/2007
Reinforcing the Occupation: Israel`s High CourtLouis Frankenthaler - The Electronic Intifada - " is clear that the Occupation constructs a situation in which, at least indirectly, Israeli society bears as much responsibility as Israel`s political, military and judicial authorities. Denial and myopia are Israeli pathologies." 22/2/2007
Is Washington Being Sidelined on the Middle East? Leon Hadar - - "But while America`s Arab allies, members of the European Union (EU), and Russia have welcomed the Saudi-brokered deal, Bush administration officials have expressed wariness and have given it the diplomatic cold shoulder. In fact, the lack of diplomatic progress during Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice`s trip to the Middle East was a direct result of Washington`s refusal to back negotiations between Israel and a Palestinian government that includes Hamas." 22/2/2007
Rice holds meetings in Jordan Agencies - Aljazeera - ""The meeting tried to create a political horizon, but instead underlined the fact that there was no political horizon."" 21/2/2007
After the Mecca Accord, Clouded Horizons HELENE COOPER - NY Times - "Put simply, in the past year, Iran has been wooing Hamas, which is Sunni. The Saudis did not like that. So they fought to get Hamas back." 21/2/2007
King Abdullah of Jordan`s peace initiative: scuppered by Abbas signing the Mecca deal Ma`an - "`Maariv` suggested that King Abdullah`s plan would have been accepted by the USA and Israel."21/2/2007
Maintenance is also important Editorial - Haaretz - "The summit gave Olmert and Abbas a grace period of several weeks in which to deal with their internal problems - Olmert in anticipation of the Winograd Committee report on the Lebanon war, and Abbas in his coalition negotiations with Hamas." 21/2/2007
For the PA and Mahmoud Abbas, a bad day on Capitol HillNathan Guttman - Forward - Sometimes it looks like the US Congressional Democrats hate Arabs even more than do the Republicans20/2/2007
Evacuation pampering Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The luminaries of the Israeli left have published a petition demanding that former Israeli settlers be coddled and pampered even more. This petition is a disgrace to its signatories. 18/2/2007
Mecca opens the way for Europe Henry Siegman - International Herald Tribune - Ehud Olmert destroyed what credibility Abbas had by pressing him to play the role of a Palestinian Pétain who accepts Israeli money and arms in order to kill fellow Palestinians. And the Bush administration has done nothing beyond empty rhetoric about a two-state "political horizon." 18/2/2007
Brandeis defunded by rich LikudniksJuan Cole - Informed Comment - "I have to say it is delicious that [Brandeis University president Jehuda] Reinharz himself is now having the economic plug pulled on him by rich old bullies who think, by virtue of his invitation to Jimmy Carter, that he is anti-Zionist, anti-[US-]American and third rate."18/2/2007
Criminal records and "moral waivers"Paul Street - Znet - According to University of California professor Aaron Belkin, “more than 125,000 [US] service members with criminal histories have joined the military in the last three years.” ... one has to wonder about professor Belkin’s concern that soldiers with criminal records might “disobey orders” and “commit atrocities.” Maybe we need more troops with a history of defying authority on the ground in Iraq . Some orders need to be disobeyed. There is legal as well moral basis for U.S. soldiers refusing to participate in the sort of illegal and atrocious actions they have been commanded to execute within and beyond Iraq.18/2/2007
Palestinians and the "diplomatic horizon": Bush and Olmert get that Peace Process HoodooJames Brooks - Counterpunch - Remarkably, the Quartet (Russia, EU, UN, US) continues to support this pointless campaign to overturn a free and fair election. But there are signs the unanimity won`t last forever. Saudi Arabia, always among the wisest voices on this issue, is now poised to ignore the boycott and resume its financial aid to the PA.18/2/2007
Will the Quartet recognize the changed Palestinian reality?Nadia Hijab - Journal of Palestine Studies/Znet - Palestinians want peace with Israel if it ends occupation. The Quartet should recall that Israel has never asked other Arab countries for advance recognition. [6] Indeed, even Israeli security officials are calling the Quartet conditions "ridiculous, or an excuse not to negotiate."18/2/2007
Israeli policy makes a Two-State Solution less likelyCarlton Cobb - cnionline - The population of the Jewish-only settlements has more than doubled since Yasser Arafat`s PLO recognized Israel, and thus endorsed the two-state solution, in 1988. The wall, the military checkpoints, and Israeli "bypass roads" criss-cross the West Bank and allow settlers easy travel, while carving up the territory and preventing Palestinian freedom of movement [Jeff Halper appearing with Naim Ateek in public hearing] 17/2/2007
Lesson in accountabilityMeir Shalev - Ynet News - Renowned writer plays `the king`s fool` to let Israelis see themselves in the mirror. [ed.]17/2/2007
Raad Salah reaffirms former statements Roee Nahmias - Ynet News - Arab-Israeli Islamic leader denies allegations of anti-Semitic incitement, repeats statements against `occupying establishment` and says he is merely `attempting to fulfill duty to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque` 17/2/2007
Facing MeccaUri Avnery - Gush Shalom website - It is not enough that Hamas recognize Israel in practice. Israel insists that its "right to exist" must also be recognized. Political recognition does not suffice, ideological recognition is required. By this logic, one could also demand that Khaled Mashal join the Zionist movement.17/2/2007
When did Olmert turn into George Bush? Bradley Burston - Haaretz - Together, Olmert and Bush have given new meaning to the concept of non-partisanship: no one wants them. In either party. With critical decisions to be made, with the lives of large numbers of soldiers and civilians weighing in the balance, they do as little as possible, change as little as possible, lead as little as possible. 17/2/2007
Final status in a new era Jerome M. Segal - Haaretz - The real choice facing Israeli policymakers today is whether to limit negotiations to Phase 2 of the road map. This would mean postponing discussion of Jerusalem and of the refugees, and testing the Palestinians with a state with provisional boundaries. The alternative is to negotiate a comprehensive end-of-conflict agreement with Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen], but subject it to performance-based implementation, moving gradually toward full sovereignty and final borders. 17/2/2007
A first step Israel needs to take George S. Hishmeh- "The unexpected success will be crowned once the Quartet members, particularly the United States, and Israel will see the historic compromise as a golden opportunity to move forward and rapidly towards a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, if not a regional pact that will help end Israel`s occupation of Lebanese and Syrian territory."16/2/2007
A blurred distinctionELIAHU ABRAM-Jerusalem Post-" independent examination must be conducted, after the fact, to determine if the "targeted killing" was justified. If it turns out that the military killed the wrong person, or killed someone on the basis of insufficient evidence, the independent examiner will not be able to restore the victim to life .."16/2/2007
War-weary Beirut marks Hariri death with peaceful rally Robert Fisk - The Independent - "So the Lebanese survived. The civil war did not begin. The second anniversary of the murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri was more a festival than a vow of revenge." 15/2/2007
Cracks appear in Palestinian unity Al Jazeera - "Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, has postponed a speech to the nation after coalition talks between him and Hamas reached their first hurdle since the recent power-sharing deal agreed by the two sides in Mecca." 15/2/2007
We Palestinians Will Honor Our Word Afif Safieh - Forward - The absence of a credible diplomatic avenue has allowed for the emergence and the strengthening of radical movements. The electoral defeat of Fatah in January 2006 was caused by a plurality of factors, not least of them the fact that Fatah became identified with negotiations and a peace process that was non-existent for the last six years and totally unconvincing during the years preceding. To the Palestinians, the last 15 years of “peacemaking” were years during which we witnessed the expansion of the occupation — with the number of settlers doubling — not a withdrawal from the occupation. 15/2/2007
Ramzy Baroud Interviewed about the Israeli-Palestinian ConflictRamzy Baroud and Munish Nagar - Znet - "Israel has benefited tremendously from American financial and military aid, in addition to political backing that has shielded it rather successfully from any accountability to international law." 14/2/2007
Time for U.S. Boldness on Israel and Palestine ROGER COHEN - International Herald Tribune - "If you`re serious about a different post-Saddam Middle East, show us that you`re also serious about resolving the nexus of the region`s problems, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." 14/2/2007
Four pieces of commentary on the Mecca agreement, two Palestinian, two Israeli 1) "Cautious optimism" - Ghassan Khatib - - "What the Mecca agreement has achieved is to put President Mahmoud Abbas in a much stronger position."; 2) "Of paramaount importance" - an interview with Asad Abu Shark - - " The only country that will reject any agreement among the Palestinian factions is Israel, which is not interested in Palestinian unity."; 3) "King Abdullah has no intention of compromising" - Smadar Perry - - "Next month, the 22 Arab leaders will convene in a summit designed to revitalize King Abdullah`s peace initiative. The diplomatic equation is simple: the Arab world, which already approved the plan in Beirut in 2002, offers Israel full peace and normalization in return for an Israeli commitment to withdraw to the 1967 lines. Israeli prime ministers have until now evaded responding directly to the initiative." 4) "Who did you say needs recognition?" - Yoel Marcus - Haaretz - " Israel is a political and geopolitical fact, as well as a household name. If there is anyone who needs recognition, it is not Israel but the Palestinians, who will need ours, if they ever have the brains to adopt the UN resolution passed 60 years ago and get around to establishing a state of their own."13/2/2007
Bulldozers doomed for failureTamar Gozansky -- YNET -- Controversial Mugrabi Gate works won`t boost Israeli hold over east Jerusalem12/2/2007
Ramzy Baroud Interviewed about the Israeli-Palestinian ConflictRamzy Baroud to Munish Nagar -- The Palestinian Chronicle -- "Israel is by no means a puppet in American hands. The relationship between the two is rather unique. Israel is not exactly a ‘client regime’ per se, yet it doesn’t necessarily ‘control’ American foreign policy in the region. What is taking place is rather an exchange, equitable or otherwise, where both parties are hoping to advance their own interests in the region, while mutually benefiting from each other’s unique advantages"12/2/2007
The Method in the MadnessUri Avnery -- Gush Shalom -- "Forty years of occupation have created an occupation mentality that destroys all desire and all ability to solve problems by mutual understanding, dialogue and compromise. Both in foreign and domestic relations, Mafia methods reign: violence, sudden blows, targeted eliminations"12/2/2007
Maps, please, nowSerene Assir -- Al-Ahram -- The US may have taken token steps towards scolding Israel for using cluster bombs in Lebanon, but where are the maps of where they were dropped12/2/2007
Israel on the Potomac: power under pressureNorman Birnbaum - Open Democracy - In an interdependent world, the United States cannot and does not act alone. A European contribution to change in its policy is possible; but for that to happen, the Europeans would have to think of themselves as the equals of the US in their right to participate in shaping the Middle East. That would be good for Europe, good for the United States, good for Israelis and Palestinians - and good for American Jews.11/2/2007
An "existential" conflict: charging Iran with "genocide" before nuking itGary Leupp - Counterpunch - "Notice how the case against Iran articulated in Israel forms the bulk of the Bush administration`s brief. It runs something like this. Iran is a radical Islamist theocratic state that supports terrorists, including Lebanon`s Shiite Hizbollah (which follows the teachings of Ayatollah Khomeini), and various Palestinian organizations. It is large, powerful, and hostile to Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The Iranian regime is anti-Semitic; President Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust and calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." Iran is concealing the existence of an illegal nuclear weapons program, a program that threatens the existence of the Jewish state. Therefore it is guilty of "planning to commit genocide"---just like that universally acknowledged incarnation of evil, Nazi Germany."11/2/2007
Pre-emptive strike against Chirac: frenzy in France over `Iranian threat`Diana Johnstone - Counterpunch - "Plaques are being placed on schools as a reminder of the number of Jewish children who were deported [during World War II]. In these same schools, the commemorations of the annual holocaust day become increasingly elaborate. What is the effect on the children? This sets Jewish children apart in a way that is likely to give them a sense of insecurity and distrust. As for the children of immigrants from African and Arab countries, this stimulates an unhealthy competition in victimism."11/2/2007
Regional war or peace? Israel, Iran and the Bush AdministrationGabriel Kolko - Counterpunch - Israel`s power after 1947 was based on its military supremacy over its weaker neighbors. It is in the process of losing it-if it has not already. Lesser problems, mainly demographic, will only be aggravated if tension persists. It simply cannot survive allied with the United States, because the Americans will either leave the region or embark on a war that risks Israel`s very existence. 11/2/2007
In Palestinian accord, devil in the detailsSteven Erlanger - International Harald Tribune - "The agreement in Mecca between Fatah and Hamas on how to form a unity government was greeted with relief by many Palestinians on Friday, as their best hope for an end to the fighting that has killed 100 Palestinians since December. But the details of a government remain unfinished and its program vague. While the United States, Israel and most European countries were cautious in their first reactions, it was clear that this new government, should it be formed, will not meet the international community`s three benchmarks for normal relations." 10/2/2007
Helping Israel Die Ray McGovern - - "President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are unwittingly playing Dr. Jack Kevorkian in helping the state of Israel commit suicide. For this is the inevitable consequence of the planned air and missile attack on Iran."10/2/2007
Olmert Leads Israel into a Five-Front WarReuven Kaminer - "Olmert, who already bears direct responsibility for the Lebanon war fiasco last summer, is developing the appetite of a glutton for armed confrontation. In his short premiership, he has gone to war at the drop of a hat and seems to consider it a great success. Why, just last week he told the press that the committee that he had appointed to examine his conduct of the recent war, was totally satisfied by his explanations of his role in the war. With such a success under his belt, no wonder that Olmert has no qualms about leading Israel into a four, or even a five front war." 10/2/2007
Palestinian aid policies `backfiring`Harvey Morris -Financial Times-" "The way that European aid is currently being delivered is undermining Palestinian basic services and damaging a highly fragile economy," said Barbara Stocking, Oxfam`s director."9/2/2007
Carter Enters Lions` DenPaul Findley"The Israeli press uses the term, as do Israeli politicians. ... Pro-Israel lobby groups have not debated the credence of these claims. Instead, they lob accusations and insults, even insinuating that Carter is anti-Semitic. They do not prove him wrong with facts. They seek to discredit him with innuendo."9/2/2007
Occupation and Aid Shir Hever - Alternative Information Center (AIC)- Israel ’s responsibility for the wellbeing of the Palestinians is not diminished by its disregard for their lives, and the debt of Israel to the Palestinians continues daily to swell. It can only be paid in full once the occupation ends. 8/2/2007
Experts Question Wisdom of Boycotting HamasOrly Halpern - Forward -"Only a country that suffers from an inferiority complex demands that everyone like it," said Gazit, currently an analyst at Tel Aviv University`s Institute for National Security Studies. "We must negotiate on concrete problems-- not on declarative issues. I am in favor of starting negotiations today, while the violence continues, and to sign an agreement which will go into effect when it stops. Why should Palestinians stop fighting against us until they know we are willing to make an agreement?" 8/2/2007
Noted Arab Citizens Call on Israel to Shed Jewish IdentityISABEL KERSHNER - The New York Times - A group of prominent Israeli Arabs has called on Israel to stop defining itself as a Jewish state and become a "consensual democracy for both Arabs and Jews," prompting consternation and debate across the country." 8/2/2007
Israel and the rule of law. In the occupied territories, human rights principles have been thrown to the windsGeoffrey Bindman - The Guardian - "The paradox of Israel - internal democracy married to repressive occupation of Palestinian land - is mirrored in its legal system. The legal foundations of the state are derived largely from the Anglo-American model of constitutional democracy." 8/2/2007
Military rule of West Bank surpasses South Africa`s apartheidJ. Zel Lurie - Jewish Journal - "Is Carter offensive and inaccurate? No he is not. But he might have found a stronger term because the Israel Army`s regulations exceed the apartheid imposed on the Blacks in South Africa. " 8/2/2007
How Jimmy Became a Holocaust DenierTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "Zionism makes instrumental use of anti-Semitism, as a garbage pail into which all opposition can be thrown, and a germinator of fearfulness around which to rally Jews. This is not to discount the menace posed by anti-Semitism nor the need to struggle vigorously against it. But the greater need is to develop a genuinely critical perspective, and not be bullied into confusing critique of Israel with anti-Semitism. "6/2/2007
Hebron reflection: Did they see what I saw?Art Gish - CPT - "I was leaving Hebron to go to Iraq, and decided to take the Israeli bus. As we left Hebron and drove through the Kiryat Arba settlement, almost every scene brought back powerful memories of experiences from the past. I remembered my conversations with settlers in Kiryat Arba, settler attacks on Palestinians and Palestinian attacks on settlers, and places where our Christian Peacemaker team tried to get in the way of the occupation..." 6/2/2007
`Hamas and the world, one year later` - two thoughtful articles1) "Is Hamas becoming more pragmatic?" - Reuven Paz - "In the course of 2006 there was a chance that Hamas would become more pragmatic in return for satisfaction of one of the most important elements of the Palestinian mindset - recognition of its legitimate victory. Yet Israel, the United States, most of the Arab world and Europe joined in pushing the Hamas local collective leadership into the arms of Iran, Khaled Meshaal and other hard-liners." 2) "Turmoil and confusion" - Ghassan Khatib - - "All interested parties have to shape their policies around the fact that Hamas came to power through free and legitimate democratic elections."6/2/2007
Prominent Jews call for open debate on IsraelJulian Borger -- The Guardian -- Pinter and Farhi among signatories to open letter · Institutions accused of not representing community5/2/2007
Silencing critics not way to Middle East peaceJoel Beinin -- San Francisco Chronicle -- "Why discredit, defame and silence those with opposing viewpoints? I believe it is because the Zionist lobby knows it cannot win based on facts. An honest discussion can only lead to one conclusion: The status quo in which Israel declares it alone has rights and intends to impose its will on the weaker Palestinians, stripping them permanently of their land, resources and rights, cannot lead to a lasting peace" 5/2/2007
Bigots and historyAzmi Bishara -- Al-Ahram -- "Israel has made itself a forum for economic liberalism and the politics of globalisation (to be read as Americanisation), without self-criticism inside the conference hall and without demonstrations outside. Herzliya, after all, is not Vancouver where people are mad enough to protest against this type of conference. It is located on the most extreme and most extremist fringe of Western colonialist culture; it is, according to Zionism`s self-definition, the West`s `spearhead against Eastern barbarianism`" 5/2/2007
40 years of aggressivenessMeron Benvenisti -- Haaretz -- "The Palestinian public [in Jerusalem], which is caught between the separation wall and the Jewish neighborhoods that do not want it nearby, and which is neglected and discriminated against, must announce the creation of a separate municipal authority, which will offer to cooperate with the Jerusalem municipality, but will operate even without it"5/2/2007
The not-so-great interruptionJohn Gittings - The Guardian - It emerged recently that Israel and Syria had held peace talks - and there are strong suggestions that they failed because of US hostility. John Gittings4/2/2007
Fatal kissUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - IT SOUNDS like a promo for a second rate soap opera: a 21- year old woman appears with a much older celebrity, who grabs her, forces a kiss on her and pushes his tongue into her mouth. This might have been nothing more than a juicy piece of gossip, except for one small detail, which has hardly been mentioned: the fateful kiss took place in the room adjacent to that where a cabinet meeting was due to start, and in which it was decided to start the war in Lebanon.4/2/2007
Thoughts on the rights of existence, self-determination and returnSean Meredith - It is sometimes argued that the refusal of Palestinians and their supporters to acknowledge the State of Israel’s right to exist is a major obstacle to peace. In addition to being accused of obstructing peace, international supporters of the Palestinians are also accused of hypocrisy, because in denying Israel’s right to exist, they are denying for Jews what they affirm for Palestinians and other ethnic groups - the right of self-determination.4/2/2007
Israel never liked Bush`s democratization schemeBy Yossi Alpher-The Daily Star- "That he (Olmert) actually invoked Bush as his rationale for ignoring Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad`s offer to reopen peace negotiations portrays the Israeli prime minister as an amateur on strategic issues. ""...It`s not too late for Olmert to put Israel`s case to Bush - first discreetly, then, if necessary, publicly. He should start with the issue of negotiating with Syria ..."2/2/2007
For Palestinians, the World is a Dangerous Place Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "When people say the world is a different place after September 11, 2001, they are absolutely right. Of course, there have been changes at several levels, which have run deep beneath the subcutaneous layers of politics, mentalities and behaviors. However, one acutely tangible ramification of the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon is the manner in which non-whites, especially Arab and Muslim peoples are perceived and subsequently treated in the United States and in other western parts of the world. " 1/2/2007
The Mecca agreement: what should we expect?Ramzy Baroud - Alternative Information Centre - Palestinians can never, under any circumstances and no matter how great concessions are; meet Israeli expectations, for these expectations are crafted in so clever a way that makes is practically impossible for any Palestinian leader or government to comply.20/2/2007
The Mecca agreements: the future remains bleakRon Jacobs - Counterpunch - Although Washington, Tel Aviv and President Abbas all agree in principle to a two-state solution and a Palestinian state not born of violence, the Mecca agreements are agreements that neither Washington or Tel Aviv plan to respect. This fact alone points out the true nature of the Palestinian Authority. After all, what genuine government must depend on its greatest enemies in order to gain international legitimacy?20/2/2007
In place of appeasementAzmi Bishara -- Al-Ahram -- "The Palestinians and Arabs have put forward more than enough initiatives and proposals for settlements and interim phases. Israel has consistently refused to take them up; clearly, it is waiting for more, undoubtedly out of the conviction that with every new proposal the ceiling of demands will lower. Surely it is about time for the Arabs to wait for Israel to come to them with proposals or initiatives that they can either accept or reject, as opposed to letting themselves be pushed around by the logic of unilateralism and the construction of separating walls"19/2/2007
Rice`s road map is full of holesZvi Bar`el -- Haaretz -- "How easy it is for the United States to deal with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: It is both sticking to the road map and not committed to it; Washington seeks democracy but can also dismiss its results; it is opposed to settlements, not to speak of outposts, but has already accepted them as a fait accompli"19/2/2007
Shaath holds the U.S and Israel responsible for internal unrestSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - "Expressed hopes that the talks between Hamas and Fateh will end the state of chaos, internal clashes, and insecurity." 7/2/2007
Now, more than ever: Strengthen AbbasGershon Baskin - THE JERUSALEM POST - "It is a confrontation which may have reached the point of no return, despite both Egyptian and Saudi attempts to reach a cease-fire." 7/2/2007
The Road to Hell is Paved with Personal CommitmentsTimothy Seidel - EI - "Palestinian livelihoods are devastated by military occupation and their experience of dispossession continues unabated."7/2/2007
Shameless in Gaza Ramzy Baroud - Ma`an - "The most recent fighting in the Gaza Strip, which has left many people dead, confirms that the internal strife plaguing the Occupied Territories since the advent of Hamas to power in January 2006 was not entirely the outcome of outside meddling in Palestinian affairs. It is, in most part a violent expression of the already existing weaknesses and disunity that has sadly defined the Palestinian political milieu for generations." 6/2/2007
No one has the right to speak for British Jews on Israel and ZionismBrian Klug - the Guardian - "We will not accept the vilification of those who protest at injustices carried out in the name of the Jewish people "6/2/2007
Challenging Israel to become democraticAmal Helow - Bitterlemons - With the release of a highly anticipated document, the "Future vision of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel", the Palestinian community within Israel has taken its first steps toward full empowerment. 3/2/2007
Israel`s Kafkaesque `Matrix of Control`Stephen Lendman - - Israel must be subject to strong international sanctions, identical to those that were imposed on Apartheid South Africa3/2/2007
What`s "new" about the alleged New Anti-Semitism?Michael Lerner - Tikkun - The most destructive impact of this new Jewish Political Correctness is on American foreign policy debates. We at Tikkun have been involved in trying to create a liberal alternative to AIPAC and the other Israel-can-do-no-wrong voices in American politics. When we talk to Congressional representatives who are liberal or even extremely progressive on every other issue, they tell us privately that they are afraid to speak out about the way Israeli policies are destructive to the best interests of the United States or the best interests of world peace—lest they too be labeled anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. If it can happen to Jimmy Carter, some of them told me recently, a man with impeccable moral credentials, then no one is really politically safe.3/2/2007
Carter Is No More Critical of Israel Than Israelis ThemselvesYossi Beilin-The Forward-"Carter’s use of the word “apartheid” is first and foremost metaphorical. Underlying Israel’s policy in the West Bank, he argues, is not a racist ideology but rather a nationalist drive for the acquisition of land. The resulting violence, and the segregationist policies that shape life in the West Bank, are the ill-intended consequences of that drive." 2/2/2007
THE REDIRECTIONSEYMOUR M. HERSH -New Yorker-"The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat. They have been involved in direct talks, and the Saudis, who believe that greater stability in Israel and Palestine will give Iran less leverage in the region, have become more involved in Arab-Israeli negotiations."28/2/2007
Criticizing Israel is Not an Act of BigotryJASON KUNIN-CounterPunch-"A growing number of Jews around the world are joining the chorus of concern about the deteriorating condition of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories as well as the inferior social and economic status of Israel`s own Palestinian population."28/2/2007
Iraqis are People, tooCindy"...median number of Iraqis killed that those polled guessed was: 9890. A recent very scientific (yes, science does work, George) study put the median Iraqi death toll at 655,000, and my contacts in Iraq, including the Sheik who spoke yesterday claim that it is well over one million. An equivalent amount of Americans would exceed ten million! I don’t think that anyone would call that an “unfortunate circumstance of war.” "28/2/2007
The Cultural Connection, Zionism and the United StatesLarry Portis -- CounterPunch -- "When we speak of the colonizers, of America and Palestine, it is logical to forget the indigenous inhabitants of both places, for it was the land that was colonized--not the people living on it. The importance of the American Indians and the Palestinians comes from the fact that they have figured as obstacles to the fulfillment of the missions in question"26/2/2007
How to Live With HungerRan HaCohen --AntiWar -- "Palestinian suffering is not perceived as a human catastrophe, but as a political argument. It`s as if the Israeli propaganda machine managed to turn off the most basic human solidarity within the Israelis, replacing it by cynical sophistry devoid of any humanity. Hungry Palestinians are merely an attack on Israel`s righteousness, and they are confronted as such"26/2/2007
The Carter effectShahira Samy -- Al-Ahram -- "“Interestingly, the many reviews flooding the world press have either emphasised the truth of the grim situation of occupation in Palestine or Carter`s ‘biased’ position towards Palestinians. None or few have dwelt on the peace blueprint Carter proposes. […] From the very beginning Carter emphasises international law as a basis for solving the conflict. Yet he fails to explain what international law is in more concrete terms, letting it span a wide variety of norms, principles and issues ranging from relevant United Nations resolutions to state responsibility to reparations to self-determination -- to name just a few. Carter also declares a penchant for Security Council resolution 242 of 1967 and stays mute on General Assembly resolution 194 of 1948. One of the reasons for this may be to avoid delving into the Palestinian refugee problem”26/2/2007
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