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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
Azmi Bishara, my brotherJuliano Mer Khamis - Hagada Hasmalit - "You had the good sense to see what was coming - the security forces in cooperation with the judicial system of Israel decided to take steps against, what they call the "strategic threat", of the Palestinian citizens of Israel, and to do away with their leaders. They want to return us to the days of martial law - to fear, to the permits, to the dark cells of the security forces, to the era in which only collaborators could claim at least some of their rights."31/5/2007
No compensation for substanceGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Perhaps some of those involved in these activities on the Palestinian side were not aware of what should have been clear from the outset: for all the benefits of economic and development aid, job creation, democratization, gender equality and so on, none of these could ever substitute for real, substantive progress in reaching the conclusion of the peace process and the end, for Palestinians, of occupation.31/5/2007
More fraud than friendAkram Baker - Bitterlemons - My sister`s hamster recently dropped another round of babies. Just when she thought life had returned to normal, a new batch of tiny creatures was born, sending the wheel fresh on its never-ending rotation. Looking at the litter, I couldn`t help but think of the plethora of western-funded Palestinian (and Israeli) non-governmental organizations bent on supporting the non-existing "peace process". Just like the hamsters, they run around and around, creating an illusion of forward movement but willfully trading substance for process.31/5/2007
Sharon`s Bastille Day dream materializesFranklin Lamb - Counterpunch - in 1982 Israel asked Bashir Gemayel for an air-base in Lebanon. Now they may be about to get it, with the help of the USA/NATO.31/5/2007
Remember the Liberty! When Israel attacks, the Pentagon retreatsJustin Raimundo - Counterpunch - It was 40 years ago this June 8 that the USS Liberty – a large, armorless, refitted freighter that was gathering intelligence in the Mediterranean at the outset of the Six Day War – was attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedoes. Thirty-four U.S. sailors were killed, and 172 were wounded. The Liberty limped back to Malta. A U.S. Navy court of inquiry was on board investigating the damage, but – for some reason – the investigators were not allowed to proceed to Israel to find out what really went on.31/5/2007
Between Little Isser and Big Yuval Amir Oren - Haaretz - They say democracy, but they mean demography. (...) The Shin Bet, with ideological pretension, may turn into the Inquisition with the notorious Torquemada at its head.30/5/2007
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Israel Attorney General Supports Shabak Mandate to Act Against Legal and Democratic Political Work Adalah - alternativenews.org - According to the GSS, as noted in a letter dated 15 March 2007, "The Shin Bet (GSS) is required to thwart the subversive activity of entities seeking to harm the character of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, even if their activity is conducted through democratic means.” In his response to Adalah, the AG stated that he agreed fully with the contents of the letter30/5/2007
Who is being subversive?Aviad Kleinberg - Ynet - In a letter relayed to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz Sunday, (with the contents coordinated with Mazuz in advance) Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin made it clear that the Shin Bet`s role is to protect the Jewish and democratic nature of the State of Israel against subversive acts.30/5/2007
Democracy for Jews only Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - Israeli law defines the state as Jewish and democratic. The Shin Bet is now trying to turn the "and" into an "or."30/5/2007
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Israeli army storms Rafah as Palestinian president calls for truceRami Almeghari - IMEMC - President Mahmoud Abbas “Israel strikes whenever and wherever it wants, therefore we should do our duties and throw the ball into Israel’s court by stopping the homemade shells fire.”30/5/2007
With all due respect for the `blue box`Meron Benvenisti - Haaretz - "Israel Harel reminds us that we grew up on the ethos of the Jewish National Fund`s "blue box" for donations,....`dunam by dunam, clod by clod,` so they would become the `Jewish people`s eternal property,`.. For Israel Harel`s information: Of the more than 2.5 million dunams owned by the JNF, two million dunams were not purchased with the small coins put into the blue boxes, but were rather lands abandoned by Arabs that David Ben-Gurion, in a typical maneuver, "sold" to the JNF in 1949-1950. "29/5/2007
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A war among crime gangsBenny Ziffer blog - translated by Zalman Amit - "Can¹t you see what kind of an ugly, loathsome and inhuman solution is the attempt to pacify all the complainers in Sderot by throwing in front of them mutilated corpses of Hamas people? Therefore, I do not see any difference, absolutely no difference, between the Hamas crime gangs and the buttoned up crime gang whose name is the Government of Israel. "28/5/2007
Yesh Gvul Page of Shame - Tzipi Livni - in eager anticipationPeretz Kidron - Peretz Kidron - Yesh Gvul - "The initial impression is actually quite amiable...As the Israeli public finds itself drowning in the muddy waters of corruption and misconduct - Zippy Livni seems to offer virtually the only straw to grasp. But a straw is just that - a straw, even when it is alluring in its verdant freshness... It is not hard to discover that, behind the attractive facade, there lurks a grey, run-of-the-mill politician who adheres to all the basic tenets of the political-military establishment of which she is an organic and loyal component."28/5/2007
Blowback in Tripoli?Tony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - a very interesting analysis of the situation in Lebanon - "Last March, I noted Seymour Hersh’s alarming report on the efforts by Dick Cheney and his friends in Saudi Arabia to wage a proxy war against Iran, by enlisting all manner of Sunni fundamentalist jihadis, notably in Lebanon where they would be beefed up as a counterweight to Hezbollah. At the time I wrote: These people have no shame, nor sense of humor or history, it seems: After all, it was a similar strategy in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan that created al-Qaeda in the first place. "28/5/2007
No One is ImmuneJoharah Baker -- The Palestinian Chronicle -- If we are to preserve our national cause, the lives of our citizens and our standing in the international arena, the Palestinians must understand this before everything else. A “house divided” is that much easier to conquer28/5/2007
Twilight Zone / Cry, the beloved countryGideon Levy - Haaretz - interview with Ronnie Kasrils, South Africa`s Jewish minister for intelligence services - `The occupation reminds me of the darkest days of apartheid, but we never saw tanks and planes firing at a civilian population...The wall you built, the checkpoints and the roads for Jews only - it turns the stomach, even for someone who grew up under apartheid... We know from our experience that oppression motivates resistance and that the more savage the oppression, the harsher the resistance... I am very conscious of the Holocaust and of anti-Semitism, but my experience here leads me to one conclusion: that all forms of racism must be fought by means of a common struggle. I have a dream: That you will change your outlook, as happened here, and that change will come. When politicians reach agreements, it`s amazing how fast ordinary folks can come to a change in thinking. Change the leadership and the economic conditions and you`ll see how easy the change is."`28/5/2007
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What Congress Really Approved: Benchmark No. 1: Privatizing Iraq`s Oil for US CompaniesAnn Wright -- truthout -- "On Thursday, May 24, the US Congress voted to continue the war in Iraq. The members called it `supporting the troops.` I call it stealing Iraq`s oil - the second largest reserves in the world. The `benchmark,` or goal, the Bush administration has been working on furiously since the US invaded Iraq is privatization of Iraq`s oil. Now they have Congress blackmailing the Iraqi Parliament and the Iraqi people: no privatization of Iraqi oil, no reconstruction funds"28/5/2007
Gaza disasterGalal Nassar -- Al-Ahram -- Regardless of the pressures bearing down upon them, there can be no excuse for violent Palestinian infighting28/5/2007
Cheney, Israel and IranGary Leupp - Counterpunch - "The thinking on Cheney`s team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran`s nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles This strategy could be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulf as to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war."27/5/2007
It`s better to be orphansGideon Levy - Haaretz - Once again we are being hit by a wave of desire for "a strong man." From every direction, from the left and right, voices that miss former prime minister Ariel Sharon are being heard, like voices of longing for a father who has departed. Let it be said at once: Being orphaned in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert`s shadow is better than the fatherliness of the mythical leader. Those who now miss Sharon are longing for the brute force and bullying that led us to the brink. Israel is nostalgic for its most dangerous leader, for the person who caused it more damage than anyone else.27/5/2007
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"... To the shores of Tripoli"Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - From Tripoli to Sderot, from Riyadh to Jerusalem, the Palestinian refugee problem continues to cast its shadow across the whole region. 27/5/2007
3rd gift for HamasYossi Beilin - Ynet - Hamas wishes to receive the third gift now: A massive IDF incursion into the Gaza Strip [interesting to read how the leader of Meretz tries to "sell it to his fellow Israelis" - ed]26/5/2007
Obstacles to peace: Borders and settlementsMartin Asser - BBC News - The modern Israeli state was forged in the fires of the first Middle East war in 1948-1949, but from the beginning it was a state without clear borders. The fact that complete, permanent borders still haven`t been drawn 60 years later is testimony to the rancour of Israel`s relations with neighbouring Arab states.26/5/2007
Mazuz versus Herzl - the JNF controversyIsrael Harel - Haaretz - This judicial establishment is intent on forcing Israel to gradually part with its definition as a Jewish state and become a state of all its citizens [article from the right-winger/ settler point of view - allowing a rare moment of optimism - ed.] 26/5/2007
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Molding a Mideast peace campBoston Globe Editorial- "The initiative offers Israel normalized relations with all 22 Arab states once Israel and the Palestinian Authority negotiate a two-state peace agreement. Earlier Israeli leaders hardly dared hope for such regional acceptance. "25/5/2007
No One is Immune Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "Israel is apparently taking its war on the Palestinians up a notch. As the Gaza Strip continues to burn in the flames of factional infighting and Israeli missile attacks, Israeli officials have announced that no one – including Hamas political leaders – is immune from assassination. " 24/5/2007
Israel weighs tactics toward HamasJoshua Mitnick - The Christian Science Monitor - "There is a dominant reality in the territories. Hamas is the ruling power. We can`t ignore that fact," Mr. Almog said Sunday in an interview with Israel Radio. "The question is whether, through a combination of military and political means, we can reach a long term ceasefire agreement." 24/5/2007
Fatah and Hamas Chiefs Meet on Cease-Fire STEVEN ERLANGER - The New York Times - "Mr. Abbas says he views the rocket attacks as counterproductive, but Hamas defends them as either “resistance” to Israeli occupation or as responses to Israeli military actions in the West Bank and Gaza." 24/5/2007
The end of Sharon`s path Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "To embark on a new path, Israel must take a big step forward, along the route charted by the Arab League`s peace initiative. Opening a channel to Damascus, whether secret or explicit, via which Israel would assure Syria that an accord on the Golan would not lag behind an agreement on the Palestinian territories, would not just calm the northern front; Khaled Meshal`s host could also exert more long-term influence on the southern front than a few Israeli air attacks on Gaza weapons laboratories would." 24/5/2007
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Time for a new lexicon Meron Benvenisti - Haaretz - "Reality has caught up with the lexicon of the conflict, leaving only anachronistic slogans. This contributes to blurring the situation, thus facilitating the continuation of the violent status quo. It would have been fitting if the 40th anniversary of the 1967 war had served as a catalyst for composing a new lexicon." 24/5/2007
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BG Group says progress made on deal for Israel to purchase Palestinian gas Reuters - Haaretz - British gas producer BG Group is making progress in talks about supplying Palestinian gas to Israel from off the Gaza coast (...) A deal would result in $100 million a year in taxes, royalties and equity for the Palestinians. [Sounds nice, but is not so much - as this is a $4 billion deal - ed.]23/5/2007
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Balad launches international campaign for BisharaRoee Nahmias - Ynet - MK Zahalka to tour US, Canada in effort to enlist support of international organizations in battle for Bishara. `World should define Arab public in Israel as minority at risk,` he says 23/5/2007
Two states - or one (transcript of Avnery-Pappe May 8 debate) 23/5/2007
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Factions consider new truce with IsraelAP - Jerusalem Post - Yousef demanded that Israel agree to a comprehensive cease-fire that includes the West Bank, in addition to Gaza. The previous truce was only observed on the Gaza-Israel border, and Israel has said it would not stop its arrest raids in the West Bank. "If it is going to be for Gaza only, then no one will be able to convince the Palestinian resistance factions to commit to that," Yousef said.23/5/2007
Roadmap to Apartheid: Israeli “Peace” Plan Points to Palestinian Prison StateJeff Halper - Indypendent - The two-state solution is gone or rapidly receding, while a new apartheid regime is at the door. Only insistence on three indispensable elements may yet save the two state solution.23/5/2007
When the Cannons Roar: From the Gaza Beach to Beit Hanun – Israeli Media Coverage of Killings of Palestinian Civilians in the Gaza StripKeshev Report - "Keshev’s research finds that in these two events the Israeli media marginalized many important issues: The IDF’s policy of artillery fire in the Gaza Strip, the existence of alternative policies and the security and moral significance of continued killings of civilians. In other words, the media coverage in most cases took its cues from the IDF spokesperson."22/5/2007
Three articles on the Fatah-Hamas conflict in Gaza1) Ghassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - "A complication of adverse conditions"; (2) Mark Perry and Paul Woodward - Asia Times - " Document details `US` plan to sink Hamas"; (3) Laila El-Haddad - The Guardian - "Fanning the flames in Gaza"22/5/2007
Palestinian Pinochet Making His Move?Tony Karon -- Signs of the Times -- "The Fatah gunmen who are reported to have initiated the breakdown of the Palestinian unity government and provoked the latest fighting may profess fealty to President Abbas, but it`s not from him that they get their orders. The leader to whom they answer is Mohammed Dahlan, the Gaza warlord who has long been Washington`s anointed favorite to play the role of a Palestinian Pinochet. And while Dahlan is formally subordinate to Abbas, whom he supposedly serves as National Security Adviser, nobody believes that Dahlan answers to Abbas - in fact, it was suggested at the time that Abbas appointed Dahlan only under pressure from Washington, which was irked by the Palestinian Authority president`s decision to join a unity government with Hamas”21/5/2007
A kind of military coupHaaretz -- “While ministers speak about a two-state solution, a kind of military coup is taking place in the West Bank, in which the Israel Defense Forces are turning the area into the state of the settlers. While the Palestinian population is being suffocated, the settlements are flourishing”21/5/2007
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First, we`ll shoot a bit, flex a muscleZvi Bar`el - Haaretz - The reason for the state`s prestige being in question is its need to justify the decision not to recognize the Hamas government and to impose an economic siege on the territories. At the same time, Israel has conditioned the Palestinians` ability to exist on a matter of honor - on Hamas` recognition of Israel. How ridiculous now is the tally of triumphs and defeats of Fatah versus Hamas, of corpses on one side versus corpses on the other side, and the mathematical determination that Hamas is winning on the street.20/5/2007
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A Swiss cheeseUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The Winograd committee of inquiry is not a part of the solution. It is a part of the problem. Now, after the first excitement caused by the publication of the partial report has died down, it is possible to evaluate it. The conclusion is that it has done much more harm than good.20/5/2007
The spirit of the commander prevailsMeron Rapoport - Haaretz - "There is a military policy that is causing the Arab population to leave the center of Hebron. It`s a clear plan, it`s a fact. Everything would be all right [sic] if they would say so openly, if our policy were to create Jewish contiguity in Hebron, and the government were to tell the army to do so: We would go to elections over that. But that is not the policy of the State of Israel. The problem is that under military rule the spirit of the commander is stronger than anything else."20/5/2007
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Who`s normal here?Aviad Kleinberg - Ynet/Yedioth Aharonoth - IDF violence and lying politicians have become the norm in Israel20/5/2007
SOS from PalestineKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - The worst incident in the latest round of infighting occurred Tuesday morning when anonymous gunmen attacked a Presidential Guard vehicle carrying a dozen Fatah security personnel near the Mintar border crossing with Israel. Eight people were killed. Nearby Israeli soldiers opened fire on two gunmen as they were fleeing the scene, killing one and injuring the other. Hamas denied any link with the attack and accused the Israeli army of being responsible. Fatah blamed the ambush on Hamas.19/5/2007
Bombarding Gaza in the abscence of anti-rocket system protecting people in Sderot.[1] JERUSALEM POST- Peretz: limited operations [i.e.: bombardments] to continue in the coming days [2] GHASSAN BANOURA- IMEMC - in Beit Hanoun village one killed, evacuating the injured with great difficulty due to the continued shelling. [3] B`TSELEM to Israeli Defense Minister: the government cannot compensate for its failure to protect residents of Sderot by intentionally causing suffering in Gaza. 19/5/2007
Gaza: Who`s fighting whom?Khaled Abu Toameh - Jerusalem Post - Some Hamas and Fatah operatives in the Gaza Strip have accused followers of PA National Security Adviser Muhammad Dahlan of instigating the latest cycle of violence. They claimed that Dahlan`s supporters in Fatah and some of the PA security forces were trying to drag Hamas into an all-out confrontation with the help of the US and Israel.19/5/2007
Who’s normal here?The IDF was quick to investigate the incident where IDF soldiers recently attacked protestors on Mount Hebron. There was a indeed a problem: the fact that the event was caught on camera and aired in news broadcasts. The courageous company commander suddenly looked more like a cruel militarist. He forgot to wait for the media to leave (closed military zone, state security, you know). This was indeed a professional hitch. 19/5/2007
No more security plans -an interview with Abu Obeidahbitterlemons-"But the Palestinians are not fighting just to open two checkpoints near Jenin or Nablus and then forget about their basic rights. The Palestinians have been suffering and resisting for a long time to get their independence, restore their lands and achieve the basic rights that all Palestinians have reached consensus on. "18/5/2007
Israel: the March of FollyEmad Omar-Arab Media Internet Network-"This is the time for Israel to leave behind the trap it stepped into in 1967. Now is the time for Israel to act in its own best interests by ending the occupation and making peace with the Arab nations. This is the feasible alternative to the folly."18/5/2007
Words instead of actionsAmira Hass- Haaretz -"The countries issuing the warnings continue to purchase Israeli manufactured arms and other security-related products. They host military officers who are directly responsible for the killing of hundreds of Palestinian citizens and fervently implement the siege policy. They invite Israeli ministers who are responsible for the economic and social de-development of a whole people. Their representatives also meet with ministers whose remarks and actions negate the rights of the Palestinian people with no less determination than those of Hamas ministers, who refuse to declare their recognition of Israel`s right to exist. ....They thus signal to Israel that it may adhere to the same policies whose impact the reports are warning against. " 18/5/2007
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The Death of Samir DariNeve Gordon and Yigal Bronner - Dissident Voice - "Judge Solburg’s verdict sends a message to Samir’s family and all Arab citizens of Israel: they should not expect justice and protection from the Israeli state. While the law’s role is to protect citizens and the police’s responsibility is to uphold the law, often these basic truths are ignored when it comes to Arabs. Since September 2000, thirty-four Arab citizens have been killed at the hands of the police, security guards and soldiers. Nonetheless, only four indictments have been issued, and only after a vigorous public campaign. Not one of these cases has resulted in a conviction." 17/5/2007
Gaza fighting raises fears for unity deal Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "Mr Abdel Shafi said one problem was that the national unity government had not been based on a joint political programme but only on the urgent need to lift the international economic siege on the PA and end the infighting." 17/5/2007
Analysis: With Hamas dominant, is there salvation in occupation? Avi Issacharoff - Haaretz - "The Gazans are repeating one clear message: only Israeli occupation will save them. There is no other solution on the horizon." 17/5/2007
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The Leader Israel DeservesYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The public blissfully forgot to count itself among the "failures." Those standing shoulder to shoulder in Rabin Square had also stood thus, figuratively speaking, on July 12, 2006 when they backed the decision to pound Lebanon. The Israeli consensus was seamless then too, only in the opposite direction."16/5/2007
Remembering `Al-Nakba`, the great Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 Ma`an - ""For 59 years, the 15th of May has evoked painful memories for some 750,000 Palestinians and their descendants.""16/5/2007
What if they spoke to each other? By Zvi Bar`el - Haaretz - "There is a great temptation to raise an eyebrow or wink to indicate that "they can`t pull the wool over our eyes" - especially after they tried to instill in the public the Pavlovian law that instructs Israel to quickly flex its military muscles every time a diplomatic rustle is heard on the Arab side. After all, Assad can only want war, Iran only wants to blow up the world, and the Arab initiative is aimed at placing the blame on Israel. This leads to the preordained consequences: regarding Syria - war in the summer; regarding Iran - bombing; regarding the Palestinians - more targeted killings, more tunnel explosions, and certainly no discourse with Hamas. "15/5/2007
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Two articles from bitterlemons.org on `The US `benchmarks` Plan `1) "New dates, old commitments" - by Ghassan Khatib; 2) "Benchmarks to nowhere" by Alon Pinkas 15/5/2007
Don`t believe the Shin Bet Amnon Levy - YNET - "I decided to overcome the fear and write. For too long we have allowed what is referred to as "classified security considerations" to scare us. Too often the public debate had been silenced because of secret evidence that nobody saw, but security officials who waved it in our faces promised that it included clear-cut proof of a grave offence. Azmi Bishara was a Knesset member. A legitimate, publicly elected official. If there is proof, it should be submitted immediately." 15/5/2007
For Palestinians, memory matters. It provides a blueprint for their futureGeorge Bisharat -- San Francisco Chronicle -- "Unfortunately, remembering the Nazi Holocaust -- something morally incumbent on all of us -- has seemingly become entangled with, and even an instrument of, the amnesia some would force on Palestinians. Israel is enveloped in an aura of ethical propriety that makes it unseemly, even ‘anti-Semitic’ to question its denial of Palestinian rights”14/5/2007
Israel partly at fault Amos Oz - Ynet News - The time has come to openly admit that we are partly responsible for the plight of the Palestinian refugees. (...) The State of Israel is mature and strong enough to admit its partial guilt and to also accept the inevitable conclusions: We would do well to take upon ourselves part of the effort to settle these refugees outside of Israel`s future peace borders, in the framework of future peace agreements. [Editor`s comment: Amos Oz can be considered a barometer of Israeli liberalism - and its limitations.]12/5/2007
Flee, Freedom Fighter, FleeYonatan Pollak - Znet - Those who escape from the clutches of a repressive regime, whether they are guerrilla fighters or political leaders, deserve support and even admiration from dissidents for the sacrifice they made. Exile, one must remember, is not an easy choice even for those who despise the political regime in their country of birth.12/5/2007
`I feel a great sadness`Akiva Eldar-Haaretz- "I find it very hard to understand how Jews can surround people with cement walls and barbed-wire fences. ...I believe wholeheartedly that if Israel`s citizens knew what was happening in the territories, they would show more sensitivity and change their view concerning the government`s policy in these territories. ...If I could, I would take groups of Israeli citizens and show them how the checkpoints destroy the economy and the fabric of Palestinian life, and how the fence divides mother and child, a farmer and his land. These are destructive actions. "11/5/2007
`Diminishing’ peace chance must be seized — KingJordan Times-"The Israeli opinion leaders held talks with their Jordanian counterparts on ways of reviving the stalled Middle East peace process and agreed to meet again next week with Palestinian counterparts, Agence France-Presse said."11/5/2007
Give the Arab Peace Initiative a ChanceFUAD SINIORA-NY Times-" The Winograd Commission’s failure to discuss the war’s implications for peace prospects leads one to wonder whether Israel would rather allow this conflict to fester as long as it is under relatively controlled conditions. Its goal should be regional peace and security, which can be realized only through a just resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. The inevitable alternative is increased extremism, intolerance and destruction."11/5/2007
In Israel, Not All Blood is the Same-The Death of Samir DariNEVE GORDON and YIGAL BRONNER- Counterpunch-"The doctor`s report was unequivocal: Samir had been shot in the back from short range."11/5/2007
The UN must drive Middle East peaceHelena Cobban - Christian Science Monitor - "The size of this settler population considerably complicates the search for a solution. The settlers now form more than 5 percent of Israel`s electorate. And their appropriation of huge quantities of the West Bank`s land and water makes it hard to imagine how any viable Palestinian state could be established on the land that the settlers have not (yet) taken."10/5/2007
Failure to act is not an optionGershon Baskin - J-lem Post - "Palestinians will enter the process with the understanding that Arab and Muslim Jerusalem will be returned to Arab sovereignty, that the Palestinian independent state will be finally established and that the Israeli occupation will end."9/5/2007
Undermining nascent political efforts Ghassan Khatib - Bitter Lemons - "More than ever, the international community, especially Europe and the US, is invited to make Israel understand that escaping its obligation to end the occupation in order to make peace will negatively affect world relations with Israel."9/5/2007
Herod`s tomb `found` in West Bank Al Jazeera - "...the find "constitutes new proof of a connection between Gush Etzion and the Jewish people and Jerusalem."" 9/5/2007
Group claims it has BBC reporter Al Jazeera - "Al Jazeera received a tape purportedly from the group and informed the BBC, which said it was investigating but would not comment further." 9/5/2007
Dayton Plan: Benchmarks won`t work in the Middle EastYAAKOV KATZ - J-lem Post - "The plan, which was approved by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, stipulates precise dates for when its clauses must be implemented."9/5/2007
Enough confusionGideon Levy - Haaretz - " "Steaks for the air force but no water, weaponry and ammunition for the infantry," read one placard, expressing the sentiment that was felt here more than anything else: The last war was not managed properly. Had it only been managed properly, had we only killed and not been killed, there would have been no demonstration. "8/5/2007
Buying the War on Palestinians: The US Media, The New York Times and Israel Patrick O’Connor - ZMAG - "Of 1085 Times articles, 133 mentioned Palestinian “radical(s)”, while only four articles mentioned Israeli “radical(s).” Colonizing settlers are neither radical nor violent, but colonized Palestinians are...Palestinians’ lived experiences - that they are under attack, being killed, impoverished, having their land taken, denied their rights, and the victims of a discriminatory system - are drowned out by the drumbeat of Palestinian terrorism, even when few Israelis are being killed. As with Iraq, this racist narrative of inherent Arab violence is being exploited to justify domination of one people by another. "8/5/2007
A Palestinian View -- Winograd report serves the `peace-makers` Khader Khader -- bitterlemons.org -- "Experience has taught the Palestinian people that whenever the peace process is activated, an Israeli prime minister resigns or a Winograd report is published. This leads to early elections in Israel and Palestinians are made to wait"7/5/2007
For Barack Obama, a careful courting of Jewish voteAriel Sabar -- The Christian Science Monitor -- The Democratic presidential hopeful has recalibrated his words about Israel and the Middle East peace process7/5/2007
Tale of a midgetB. Michael -- YNET -- "...when he [Olmert] faces the voters once again, the way failed leaders tend to do around here after a short break used for making money, he would be able to showcase the commission`s conclusions and declare in a certain, resonating voice: Give me your vote! There`s nobody better than me, because I`m a man of experience"7/5/2007
The real problem with the Arab initiativeHasan Abu Nimah - The Electronic Intifada - Pleading has never been an instrument of policy. It encourages opposite results.6/5/2007
Israeli tycoon Idan Ofer: joint business - a way of fostering peaceSimon Clark - bloomberg.com - ``If I was a Palestinian businessman, I wouldn`t live in the territories,`` Ofer, 51, says. ``How much can you suffer and hope all the time?`` 5/5/2007
Remember the siegeYehuda Litani - Ynet - There were numerous signs – the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, the First Lebanon War – but we didn’t pay heed: More settlements, more outposts, more land expropriation. Next month too, many will be quick to mark 40 years of "emancipation" of the Territories and the "unification" of Jerusalem while millions of Palestinians are still subjected to humiliating occupation. (...) It is the occupation that has transformed the job of the "Israel Defense Force" into a "police force"– with soldiers at checkpoints, apprehending wanted persons, searching for explosives laboratories and serving as prison wardens at detainee camps – instead of training for battle against Arab armies.5/5/2007
The Winograd Report v. The New York TimesHoward Friel -CommonDreams.org -"Yet, the Times’ editorial page not only supported Israel’s illegal military reprisals against Lebanon as “justifiable,” it misidentified a key sequence of events by reporting on July 13 that Hezbollah’s missile attacks on Israel came before Israel’s airstrikes in Lebanon."4/5/2007
THE LIVNI-RICE PLAN: TOWARDS A JUST PEACE OR APARTHEID?Jeff Halper-ICAHD - "In that way the Palestinians get their state, albeit with “provisional borders,” Israel expands onto 82-85% of the country while still conforming to the Road Map and apartheid – in the guise of a “two-state solution” – becomes political reality. And that’s where we stay forever. "4/5/2007
Why Israel is after me Azmi Bishara -Los Angeles Times -"Immigrants might be asked to give up their former identity in exchange for equal citizenship, but we are not immigrants."4/5/2007
The price for IsraelAyman El-Amir - Al Ahram -"There was a time when the US edged towards an "even-handed" policy in the Middle East. In the mid-1970s, the US went as far as voting for Security Council resolutions that branded Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as "illegal and an obstacle to peace"."4/5/2007
Absent / The wrong demonstrationEhud Asheri-Haaretz - "..there is a need to impose civilian limits to the dangerous monopoly of the army over security doctrine and diplomacy, which in fact brought about the results of the war. We did not need a protest to know that its political impact would be close to zero. "4/5/2007
Embracing our Right to Free Expression Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "Palestinians’ freedom of opinion and expression are not only compromised by the Israeli occupation. Since the inception of the Palestinian Authority, and more precisely since incidents of anarchy and lawlessness have escalated in the Palestinian territories, the Gaza Strip in particular, Palestinian, Arab and foreign media outlets have been firebombed and ransacked and media figures have been subjected to attacks and kidnappings by militant Palestinian groups. " 3/5/2007
Balad: Chasm between charges, evidence Yoav Stern - Haaretz - "There is a gaping chasm between the serious accusations and the absence of evidence," the party said in a statement. "This is about the distortion of Bishara`s regular conversations during the war, not about real evidence." 3/5/2007
Hezbollah chief `respects` Israel for war reportYahoo News - "It is worth every respect when an inquiry commission ... is appointed by (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert ... and it condemns Olmert," Nasrallah said at a book fair in Beirut`s southern suburbs, a Hezbollah stronghold. 3/5/2007
Above the Law Adalah - Newsletter - "The General Security Services (GSS or “Shabak”) alleges that former Arab MK Dr. Azmi Bishara is guilty of one of the most serious crimes in Israeli law: assisting the enemy during wartime. The punishment for this crime is the death penalty or life imprisonment. Dr. Bishara explained in a recent interview that the GSS is trying to twist regular discussions he held with his friends and colleagues during the war on Lebanon last summer, wire-tapped by the GSS, into a serious crime." 2/5/2007
Everyone is guiltyGideon Levy - Haaretz - "Why are they picking only on Ehud Olmert? Why are they tearing strips off Amir Peretz and Dan Halutz and no one else? True, this unholy trinity bears most of the responsibility by virtue of the positions they held. But at this time when they are justly being bled dry politically, it is impossible not to be reminded of the rest of the mob. The hands of the vast majority of us are covered in this war’s blood. The time has come to get even with this cheering, supportive majority who have been inflicted with selective blindness since the war’s first day."2/5/2007
Parallel to Winograd Report, Media Conduct in Second Lebanon War Should Also Be Investigated Keshev - Press Release - Turning to editors at the major media outlets in Israel, Keshev called for an investigation of the Israeli media`s conduct during the war, parallel to the Winograd commission`s investigation of political and military officials. "Appropriate conduct by the media in the stages before the war and in its first days could have provoked a public debate that might have led to a different turn of events – and might even have prevented the war," 2/5/2007
The commentators` betrayalAmnon Levy - Ynet - "Just like a herd running after its shepherd, the press chased our blind leadership. We can count on one hand the journalists who dared object to the war. The overwhelming majority of Israeli journalists preferred to give up on the role of "guard dog." Instead of barking, they preferred to suck up. Instead of criticizing, they preferred to advise. They preferred to forget that patriotism doesn`t only mean to push forward; at times it means to yell out: Stop!" 2/5/2007
Olmert`s legacy could yet be the failure that forces something betterJonathan Freedland - The Guardian - "As a result, Olmert is a dead man walking."2/5/2007
Olmert Facing Effort in Party to Oust Him Over ’06 War STEVEN ERLANGER and ISABEL KERSHNER - NY Times - "“I don’t trust any of them, I’m sorry to say. Every 18 months they have elections, and then it’s no good again.”" 2/5/2007
Olmert also wants to be an etrog Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The last word has not yet been said on the size and seriousness of Olmert`s mistakes." 2/5/2007
We haven`t learned a thingYigal Walt - Ynet - "Both Olmert and Peretz must go. Yet more than anything, it is the flawed decision-making process still prevalent around here that must go."2/5/2007
The One-State solution: my interview with Ali AbunimahInterview by Laila El-Haddad. "In his new book, One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse, Ali Abu Nimah (a Palestinian-American writer and commentator on Middle East and Arab-American affairs and co-founder of the Electronic Intifada site) argues that the “conventional wisdom” of the two-state, land-for-peace equation [in which he used to believe (VB)] needs to be drastically re-thought. Partition, he argues, is a flawed idea that is ultimately doomed to fail. The only viable choice is to a return to the proposal of a one-state solution-one country with equal rights and votes for both Israelis and Palestinians. "1/5/2007
Why Boycott Israel?By Richard Cohen - Washington Post - an article opposing the boycott, and a response comment posted in WP by the Occupation Magazine editor (VB)1/5/2007
What lessons?Gideon Levy - Haaretz - [Editor`s comment (VB): This article appeared before publication of the Winograd report, but its conclusions remain valid] - "[Publication of the report] is a marginal event. Except for the fate of several individuals, who at most will be replaced by similar ones, nothing will be different the day after. The generals and politicians who cheered for the war from its outset, in a frighteningly unified chorus, will again fill the television screens, this time in the role of admonishers.. Even if those who conducted the war are forced to step down in the wake of the report, none of their replacements will be someone who opposed the war from the start. Therefore, what was, shall be, even after the report, even in the next war."1/5/2007
The Road from MeccaHussein Agha, Robert Malley - The New York Review of Books, May Edition - "The idea that negotiations conducted bilaterally between Israelis and Palestinians somehow can produce a final agreement is dead. The world, slowly, is coming to this realization. Its fate was sealed in part because neither side has the ability, on its own, to close the gaps between the positions they have taken. The two parties also lack any sense of trust, but that, too, is not an overriding explanation. If bilateral negotiations have become a fast track to a dead end it is because today neither the Palestinian nor the Israeli political system possesses the requisite degree of coherence and cohesion."1/5/2007
Cry, the beloved countryGideon Levy - Haaretz - PRETORIA, South Africa - It was like being in the movies. Only there would you see an inert photo suddenly come to life. We were standing at the memorial museum in Soweto, next to a photo of a dead boy with other children around him, and our guide Antoinette was telling us about it. Antoinette said that the young girl in the picture was her.24/5/2007
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