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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
Report: Israeli Occupation Causes TerrorBradley S. Klapper-Associated Press - "As long as there is occupation, there will be terrorism, says the author, John Dugard, an independent investigator on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and a South African lawyer who campaigned against apartheid in the 1980s." 29/2/2008
Poll: Most Israelis Want Truce With HamasCBS-"64 percent of Israelis believe Israel should talk to Hamas now to bring a halt to the steady barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and to win the release of a captured soldier, Cpl. Gilad Schalit..Israel`s military operations in Gaza have not succeeded in stopping or even slowing the rocket fire."29/2/2008
Israel Says `No`Ran HaCohen - ANTIWAR.Com - The Israeli border town of Sderot is under attack. Rockets from Gaza are fired at the civilian population on a daily basis. No country can tolerate that for long, but the attacks have been going on for seven years. Military operations have all failed to stop or even significantly reduce the fire. Any rational adviser would say (1) protect or evacuate the inhabitants of Sderot; (2) talk to those firing the missiles and see what they want. Israel, however, says "no" to both suggestions. 28/2/2008
Listen to the Shunned Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - We are talking about the foundations of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the core of all the subsequent ills it has produced. To the Palestinians, and to many other brave-hearted individuals that dare stand by them, the equation is as clear and simple as black and white. The Israeli occupation – illegal, belligerent and all-oppressing – is the source of almost all that has gone wrong. Remove it and the rest will naturally fall into place. 28/2/2008
Reading the tea leaves : The differing aspirations of Israeli and Palestininian children attending the same charity highlight the dangers of equating their sufferingSeth Freedman - The Guardian - Whilst there are huge similarities between the two groups of children which make Sarah`s project seem entirely worthwhile and valuable, what was clear from reading both groups` responses was that the conflict has taken a far greater toll on the Palestinian youth. This fact shouldn`t stand in the way of the planned collaboration between the two sets of children, but at the same time anyone looking to draw equivalences between the suffering on both sides need only look at the disparity in the dreams and desires of children on either side of the divide. 28/2/2008
To be in favour of peace is not anti-IsraeliDonald Macintyre - The Independent - Is it necessarily "anti-Israel" to suggest that a Gaza ceasefire agreement with Hamas might be a better way of securing the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and bringing peace of mind to the beleaguered citizens of Sderot – one of whom was killed yesterday by a Qassam rocket – than a perilous military invasion, when an opinion poll yesterday shows that 64 per cent of Israelis want just such an agreement? 28/2/2008
The Most Wanted List : International TerrorismNoam Chomsky - ZNet - The Financial Times reports that most of the charges against Moughniyeh are unsubstantiated, but "one of the very few times when his involvement can be ascertained with certainty [is in] the hijacking of a TWA plane in 1985 in which a U.S. Navy diver was killed." This was one of two terrorist atrocities the led a poll of newspaper editors to select terrorism in the Middle East as the top story of 198528/2/2008
Simultaneous implementation is the only hope Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The way to recognize and encourage this progress is for Israel, in turn, to begin to fulfill its obligations under the roadmap by ending settlement expansion--especially in and around Jerusalem--and lifting its systematic restrictions on the movement of Palestinians and goods. Failure to do this will weaken and embarrass the Palestinian negotiators and the leadership behind them. Already, Palestinian negotiators are isolated and under constant criticism. 28/2/2008
Israel Closes Hamas Charity in West Bank AP - NYT - "Since the Hamas takeover of Gaza, Israel has closed a series of charities, offices and money-changing shops in the West Bank and Jerusalem that it says were Hamas fronts." 27/2/2008
Encountering Peace: To save lives - negotiate with the devilGershon Baskin - J-lem Post - "Only an agreed on cease-fire with the Hamas will stop the Kassams." 27/2/2008
A small ray of hopeB. Michael - Ynet - "Perhaps it was a harbinger of things to come? Perhaps the conflict is finally embarking on a new path? Perhaps we will see genuine, non-violent civilian disobedience emerge here after all?" 27/2/2008
Kosovo and the question of Palestine Ali Abunima - Electronic Intifada - Imposed partitions have one thing in common: they are always justified by their advocates with the claim that though perhaps less than ideal, once the initial unpleasantness passes, everything will settle down into a new normality. As Israel`s founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion notoriously said of the Palestinian refugees six decades ago, "the old will die and the young will forget."26/2/2008
Israel Says `No` Ran HaCohen - antiwar.com - Obviously, the true reason not to seriously negotiate – Israel already says the end of the year is much too early to strike a deal even with Abu Mazen! – is that Israel is unwilling to end the occupation. Not only land and water are at stake, but more than 6 percent of all Israeli exports (excluding diamonds) go to the occupied Palestinian market, about $2 billion a year, more than to France and Italy combined.26/2/2008
Olmert doubts deal feasible in 2008 Jerusalem Post - The end 2008 may not be a feasible deadline for a peace deal with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday. (...) On Monday PA President Mahmoud Abbas warned that if the Bush administration didn`t make good on its pledge to "make 2008 the year to broker peace, then there will never be any future chances to achieve this goal."26/2/2008
Israel`s Hamas predicament: shoot or talkTobias Buck - Financial Times - Re-conquering Gaza would mark an embarrassing reversal of the government`s policy of "disengagement" from the strip. Israel pulled all of its settlers and soldiers out of Gaza three years ago, not least because it found that the cost of staying was far higher than the benefits of maintaining a presence in the strip.26/2/2008
The "problem of evil" in postwar EuropeTony Judt - New York Review of Books - On the one hand the Nazi extermination of the Jews is presented as a singular crime, an evil never matched before or since, an example and a warning: "Nie Wieder! Never again!" But on the other hand we invoke that same ("unique") evil today for many different and far from unique purposes. In recent years politicians, historians, and journalists have used the term "evil" to describe mass murder and genocidal outcomes everywhere: from Cambodia to Rwanda, from Turkey to Serbia, from Bosnia to Chechnya, from the Congo to Sudan.24/2/2008
The Holocaust, its exploitation and its denialKhaled Hroub - Dar al-Hayat/Mahsom.com - “In order for the discourse on the Holocaust to become a universal discourse against genocide, racism and other ideologically-based crimes it should be developed in two directions: first, it should include the direct victims of the other stage of the Holocaust, that is the Palestinians. They are the victims of the victims, who had no part in what happened in Europe and are not part of its history. They are now paying the heaviest price.”24/2/2008
If Kosovo, why not Palestine?John Whitbeck - Al-Ahram - ` It is time to kick over the table, constructively, and to shock the international community into taking notice of the fact that the Palestinian people simply will not tolerate unbearable injustice and abuse any longer.If not now, when? ` 23/2/2008
Israel ignores peaceKhaled Amayreh - AL-AHRAM - ` Despite offers of a ceasefire from Hamas, Israel looks set on a full-blown attack on Gaza that could seriously backfire. `23/2/2008
White and Democratic [ Letter to Meni Mazoz, Government Legal Advisor ]Gideon Spiro - Hagada Hasmalit - ` how symbolic is the fact that your decision not to put on trial any of the policemen and officers who shot and ordered the killing of 13 Arabic citizens on the October 2000 demonstrations, was received on January 27, 2008, the International Holocaust Memorial Day. While this day should be a symbol for the struggle against racism, in Israel... the senior member of the Israeli government`s prosecution system issues a racist decision. As it is undoubtedly so, that your decision is pure racism, and it will be listed, so I assume, at the highest rank of institutionalized racism of Israeli governments across the generations. `23/2/2008
Choose Between Peace or ApocalypseMichael Felsen-THE JERUSALEM POST-" As of a few months ago, according to Peace Now, active construction was ongoing in 88 settlements and 10 outposts. ...Ariel`s population has markedly increased in recent years, to almost 20,000. Many residents believe that God has given them the right to remain there. "22/2/2008
Israel’s Absurd Identity Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - what is most absurd is the fact that Israel proclaims itself to be “democratic.” Yes, for Israeli Jews, the state of Israel is probably the epitome of democracy. Israeli Jews have the right to return to Israel at any time from anywhere and are given immediate citizenship solely on the basis of their religion, while Palestinians who have lived, harvested and nurtured this land for several generations are banned from returning, again solely on the basis of their identity. 21/2/2008
How Labour used the law to keep criticism of Israel secret - Concern over nuclear arsenal removed from Iraq dossierRichard Norton-Taylor - The Guardain - The document reveals how the Foreign Office successfully fought to keep secret any mention of Israel contained on the first draft of the controversial, now discredited Iraq weapons dossier. At the heart of it was nervousness at the top of government about any mention of Israel`s nuclear arsenal in an official paper accusing Iraq of flouting the UN`s authority on weapons of mass destruction. 21/2/2008
A state of war and peace Hasan Abu Nimah - The Electronic Intifada - The car bomb assassination in Damascus of Imad Mughniyeh has created a heightened state of tension in the region. Almost every commentator, no matter what perspective he/she comes from, expects the killing to spark a fresh round of deadly violence; as if the region had room for more. 21/2/2008
It`s the Empire, Stupid Joel Beinin - During the 12 days from January 23 to February 4 when the prison walls surrounding the Gaza Strip since the early 1990s were breached, some Egyptians and the small Palestinian community in Cairo tried to send supplies to al-`Arish or to travel there to demonstrate support. The Egyptian government tried to block all organized collective expressions of solidarity.21/2/2008
Olmert and Abbas continue Mideast peace talksIsabel Kershner - IHT - "Olmert said that Jerusalem would be addressed only in the "last phase of negotiations" and that Abbas had "accepted it."" "Palestinian officials denied that there was any agreement to delay talks on Jerusalem." 20/2/2008
With negotiations taking place in secret, analysts left guessing about the outcome Ma`an - ""Olmert and Abbas are cooking the chicken and are hiding it in the freezer because the table is not yet ready for the meal."""...it appears that the negotiations have been "secretly" achieving some results..." 20/2/2008
Chose between peace or apocalypseMICHAEL FELSEN - J-lem Post - "In the view of many Christian Zionists, a peace process that includes the return of any part of the occupied Palestinian territory would compromise God`s plan, incur His wrath, and must vigorously be resisted." 20/2/2008
Olmert downplays peace deal chancesAl-Jazeera - Olmert told Jewish-American leaders in Jerusalem that the goal of peace talks with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, was to reach an understanding on "basic principles" for a Palestinian state by the end of 2008, rather than a fully-fledged agreement.19/2/2008
A post-Annapolis breakthrough proposalChuck Frelich - Jerusalem Post - Israel should facilitate resettling Palestinian refugees now, in Gaza and areas of the West Bank, and simultaneously implement a true settlement freeze [Proposal by a former member of Israel`s governmental National Security Council. ed]19/2/2008
The power of déjà vuB. Michael - Yediot Aharonot - As always, everyone will be “exacting a price” and “conveying messages.” The price, by the way, is exacted in corpses, not money. And messages are conveyed in coffins, not through e-mail.19/2/2008
A Hamas-Israel agreed ceasefire now Gershon Baskin - bitterlemons.org - The government of Israel should respond to any Hamas de-escalation by de-escalating in parallel its attacks against Gaza. These steps should be completed by bilateral acceptance of a formal ceasefire that could be based on the Froman-Amayreh document.19/2/2008
Bracing for Revenge Ronen Bergman - NYT - Was it worth the effort and resources and the mortal risk to the agents involved?19/2/2008
Tear Down the WallsNorman Finkelstein to Saeed Taji Al-Farouky, Al Jazeera - ZNet - The suggestion has to be, as I said earlier, God helps those who help themselves. The Palestinians have to find a way to act on their own, and I think what happened in late January [the destruction of part of the wall separating Gaza from Egypt] is a good sign. That is exactly what they should be doing in the West Bank. One million Palestinians armed with picks and hammers should go to that wall and say `The International Court of Justice (ICJ) said this wall has to be dismantled. We are implementing the ICJ decision. We are knocking down the wall`18/2/2008
Will you quit already?Meir Shalev - Shas leader Eli Yishai’s constant resignation threats becoming ridiculous18/2/2008
"Good News," Iraq and BeyondNoam Chomsky - ZMag - Though the wreckage of Iraq today is too visible to try to conceal, the assault of the new barbarians is carefully circumscribed in the doctrinal system so as to exclude the horrendous effects of the Clinton sanctions - including their crucial role in preventing the threat that Iraqis would send Saddam to the same fate as Ceasescu, Marcos, Suharto, Chun, and many other monsters supported by the US and UK until they could no longer be maintained.17/2/2008
Disengagement and the frontiers of zionismDarryl Li - Middle East Report - “Disengagement” is the name Israel gave to its 2005 removal of colonies and military bases from the Gaza Strip. But rather than a one-time abandonment of control, disengagement is better understood as an ongoing process of controlled abandonment, by which Israel is severing the ties forged with Gaza over 40 years of domination without allowing any viable alternatives to emerge, all while leaving the international donor community to subsidize what remains.17/2/2008
Blood and champagneUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - A mixture of blood, champagne and folly is an intoxicating but toxic cocktail. 17/2/2008
Options for Europe in GazaStuart Reigeluth - Al-Ahram Weekly - ` The more Europe stands idly by, watching Israeli war crimes and collective punishment in Gaza, the more its foreign policy aspirations fall apart before its eyes. ` 16/2/2008
The Siege and the Chancellor Yael Lotan - Hagada Hasmalit- ` It`s difficult to say this politely, but Germany`s Chancellor should really have been the last person to justify Israel`s mistreatment of the population of the Gaza Strip. Not that anyone should justify the violations of international law committed by Israel against the Palestinian people as a whole, in the occupied territories in particular, and against the Gaza Strip especially. But Ms Merkel should have thought twice before opening her mouth. `16/2/2008
Talking to a Wall : Palestine in the Mind of AmericaKATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON - Counterpunch - ` We have shown maps and pictures like these myriad times before, but have never been received with quite such disinterest. Here was a group of mostly retired U.S. government officials, academics, journalists, and business executives, as well as a few still-working professionals ... the cream of informed, educated America, the exemplar of elite mainstream opinion in the United States. Their lack of concern about what Israel and, because of its enabling role, the U.S. are doing to destroy an entire people and their national aspirations could not have been more evident. `16/2/2008
Photostory: A day in Ma`ale Adumim Slideshow, Toon Lambrechts - `Although Ma`ale Adumim looks like a sleepy suburb, the settlement is of great strategic value to Israel because of its location east of Jerusalem. Israel has a long-term plan to connect the Ma`ale Adumim settlement with the ring of Israeli settlements surrounding East Jerusalem, also occupied in 1967, in an effort to undermine Palestinian claims to this part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state. ` 16/2/2008
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The Arc of Insurgencies: An End Foreseen?URI AVNEY-Counterpunch-" If not for the terrible tragedies we witness every day, we could smile at the pathetic helplessness of our politicians and generals, who are rushing around without knowing where their salvation should come from. What to do? To starve all of them? That has led to the collapse of the wall on the Gaza-Egypt border. Kill their leaders? We have already killed Sheik Ahmed Yassin and countless others. To execute the "Grand Operation" and re-occupy the entire Gaza strip? "15/2/2008
The Siege and the ChancellorYael Lotan- Hagada Hasmalit-"Germans should understand this - when their own people were killed or wounded by the local inhabitants in the Nazi-occupied countries they retaliated by wiping out entire villages - for example Oradour in France and Lidice in Czechoslovakia. So when an Israeli Cabinet minister proposes wiping out an entire Gaza neighborhood in retaliation for the Qassam casualties in Sderot, the idea should sound familiar to German ears. "15/2/2008
Gagging the Written Word Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Banning Al Ayyam newspaper is a violation of our freedom of expression, no doubt. But this is a principle that should apply across the board. Just because we do not necessarily agree with the ideas put forth by this party or that or like what we read in black and white, it does not mean we should relegate these efforts to the recycle bin. Laws, rules and regulations are there for a purpose – to organize our civic life and to ensure that we stay within respectable boundaries. Still, let’s not abuse the system. 14/2/2008
Bloody end of man who made kidnapping a weapon of warRobert Fisk - The Independent - Mougnieh, Lebanese by birth, was a man of frightening self-confidence, of absolute self-belief, something he shared with Osama bin Laden and – let us speak frankly about this – with President George W Bush. Islamic Jihad, it was said, tortured its enemies. So does al-Qa`ida. And so, as we all now know, does Mr Bush`s army. 14/2/2008
Palestinian divisions serve no one Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The Israelis are mistaken, however, if they think Palestinian disarray will serve them in the long run. On the contrary, if the two-state solution is the only viable option to end this conflict as most countries in the world seem to think it is, then Palestinian unity, both politically and territorially, is vital for all concerned.14/2/2008
Falling into a trap Rafiq Husseini - Bitter Lemons - "It is our obligation, and it is because we are wise, that we continue talking in spite of the conditions Israel is creating around us." 13/2/2008
Don’t march into GazaAmos Oz - Ynet - "We can and should reach a ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza. Such ceasefire, of course, comes with a difficult political price. Yet out of all the prices that Israel may pay for a false and hasty decision, this is the least lethal and most tolerable price." 13/2/2008
After Winograd, the International Court of Justice Michael Warschawski - alternativenews (AIC) - While the Winograd Commission acted in accordance with its limited mandate as given by the government that appointed it, it failed as the body responsible for examining the subject of human rights and the heavy suspicions concerning war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Lebanon.12/2/2008
Israel`s `next logical step` Ali Abunimah - Electronic Intifada - With its escalation in Gaza and refusal to accept a ceasefire, Israel may be trying to provoke more rocket attacks and force Hamas into abandoning its political strategy altogether to provide the needed pretext to "decapitate" the organization. Unfortunately, there are signs that Hamas is jumping into the trap.12/2/2008
Amos Oz against Gaza invasion: `Ceasefire with Hamas`Kol Israel radio interview - We had armistices for thirty years with Arab countries which did not recognize us, and declared their wish to destroy Israel, but the ceasefires worked. 12/2/2008
Challenges on the ground threaten progress in negotiationsGershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - The bombing in Dimona is only the latest example of the difficulty of Israel in leaving the work of security to the PA alone [but] there are many examples of continued Israeli control over the lives of Palestinians that can easily be removed. For example: a new school being built in the village of Dir Balout near Salfit (a town between Ramallah and Nablus) is facing a demolition order from the Civil Administration because of various bureaucratic issues. Why? 12/2/2008
A discussion with Walt and MersheimerWajahat Ali - Counterpunch - A point we make in our book and make all the time is that the Israel Lobby in pushing for unconditional American support for Israel, and in some elements, pushing for hair-brained schemes like invading Iraq, it has been bad for the United States and unintentionally bad for Israel, too. It`s incorrect to see the Lobby as always pro-Israel. A lot of what they are supporting is very bad for Israel.12/2/2008
Louis Frankenthaler: Yes, Canada, There is Torture in IsraelLouis Frankenthaler - The Palestine Chronicle - The Ambassador claimed that allegations of torture, such as those made by The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), are questionable 11/2/2008
Striving for Justice in GazaCaelum Moffatt - MIFTAH - According to the Israeli Supreme Court, Gaza is `controlled by a murderous terror group which operates incessantly to strike the state of Israel and its citizens and violates every precept of international law with its violent actions`. Representatives from Gisha and Adalah, the two leading human rights organizations in the case, rebutted, warning that the outcome is a `dangerous legal precedent that allows Israel to continue to violate the rights of Gaza residents and deprive them of basic humanitarian needs in violation of international law`11/2/2008
Media Language and War: Manufacturing Convenient Realities Ramzy Baroud -- Ma`an News Agaency -- Israel has mastery over the language of the Western media, which, again, helped create a paralleled universe that has little relation to reality. That alternative universe only exist on the pages of New York Times, the images of CNN, and the blabber of Fox News "experts". According to that narrative, Palestinians, are, like the Iraqi women suicide bombers, "demonic", "mad", "extremist", "irrational", self hating, and all the rest11/2/2008
Mazuz Spurs on the Arab StruggleAmir Mahul - Trans. Judith Green - ` The release from the illusion of democracy in Israel and from the expectation that the Israeli system can defend us is an important gain for the future. Because we are indeed talking about an essential element in our future vision and in our building up the strategy of our struggle. `11/2/2008
Sovereignty by stealth: Eyal Weizman`s "Hollow Land"Ben White - The Electronic Intifada - This architecture of occupation is thoroughly analyzed in the Israeli-born architect Eyal Weizman`s Hollow Land. The study takes us to the heart of a conflict which has always been about land, where "the mundane elements of planning and architecture have become tactical tools and the means of dispossession." Behind the headlines, the reality on the ground (as well as above and beneath it) continues to be reshaped daily.10/2/2008
Potholes bigger than ever for PalestiniansBill Christison - Counterpunch - The competition between the Republicans and the Democrats over which party can demonstrate the greater support for Israel has grown stronger and stronger. The competition, which overrides everything else in the U.S. affecting Palestine, will not just be important from now until the presidential election in November. It will last well beyond that and will still be important in future elections through 2012 and beyond. The Republicans are trying to replace the Democrats as the party receiving the most support from Jewish-Americans, and Democrats are trying to prevent that from happening.10/2/2008
Can I have my change backRemi Kanazi - ZNet - Senator Obama is not anti-war, nor does he genuinely seek appropriate alternatives to militarism in the Middle East. Arab-Americans and putative leftists naively, and sometimes willfully, overlook the fact that he is an ardent supporter of the invasion, bombing, and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan.10/2/2008
An end foreseenUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It is an iron rule: an insurgency supported by the public is bound to win, irrespective of the tactics adopted by the occupation regime. The occupier can kill indiscriminately or adopt more humane methods, torture captured freedom fighters to death or treat them as prisoners of war - nothing makes a difference in the long run. The last of the occupiers can board a ship in a solemn eremony, like the British High Commissioner in Haifa, or fight for a place in the last helicopter, like the last American soldiers on the roof of the American embassy in Saigon - defeat was certain from the moment the insurgency had reached a certain point.10/2/2008
Israel may target Hamas headsHerb Keinon & Yaakov Katz - Jerusalem Post - According to the officials, Israel has in recent weeks gradually stepped up its response to the Kassams, first targeting only those involved in firing rockets, (...) then going after symbols of Hamas power in Gaza, such as the strike on a Hamas police installation in Khan Yunis on Thursday that killed seven people [if they would kill 7 Israeli policemen it would be called "terrorism" - ed.]9/2/2008
The loneliness of the one-issue voterLaurie King-Irani - The Electronic Intifada - The fact that no candidate dares to speak out against US-funded Israeli violations of international humanitarian law and a raft of UN resolutions is a primary index of something horribly wrong at the heart of American politics.10/2/2008
Dark Truths About the Israeli OccupationDaniel Levy-AlterNet/Washington Monthly- "The other side of the settlement coin is the State of Israel, and the keyword here is complicity. Nothing would have been possible -- or permanent -- without the cooperation of Israel`s army, legal system, and government bureaucracy, and the political leadership of all mainstream parties." (Excerpt from article. )8/2/2008
Why I Will Not Participate in the Turin Book FairTARIQ ALI-Counterpunch-" It was European anti-semitism that tolerated the judeocide of the second world war of which the Palestinians have now become the indirect victims. Many Israelis are aware of this fact but would rather not think about it. Many Europeans regard Palestinians and Muslims today as they once regarded the Jews. "8/2/2008
Hamas Claims Responsibility for Blast ISABEL KERSHNER - The New York Times - Shortly before the Hamas claim was made public, seven of the group’s policemen were killed in an Israeli airstrike against a Hamas police post near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza. Israeli soldiers killed two more Hamas militants before dawn in the south of the strip. Army officials said the soldiers had shot two suspicious people who approached them while they were on a routine operation inside the strip, which is controlled by Hamas.7/2/2008
The Illusion of the ‘Palestinian State’Ghali Hassan - Axis of Logic - Israel’s policy of isolating Palestinian communities from each others by the Apartheid Wall, Jewish-only roads and by a policy of military control and collective punishment made the idea of a viable Palestinian state an impossibility.7/2/2008
Annapolis Hopes Withered by Gaza Crisis Khody Akhavi - AntiWar.com - "The escalation of the siege in Gaza was of course inhuman, but it also did nothing to improve the security of the neighboring Israeli population," wrote former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy in the American Prospect magazine. "It undermined the peace process that was supposed to have been relaunched and weakened the ability of the Arab states to support that process." 7/2/2008
The fate of the two-state solution hangs on Jerusalem Mousa Qous - Bitterlemons - peace can only be achieved if Israel ceases to act as a settler state and moves to build trust instead of settlements. Since Israel has failed to do so in the past 40 years of occupation, it is time for the international community to act to end Israel`s monopoly over the spiritual capital of the three major monotheistic religions.7/2/2008
Obama`s Israel Shuffle Justin Elliott - Mother Jones - What ensued in the 10 months between then and now is an object lesson in the intense pressure under which presidential candidates stake out ground on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the extraordinary effectiveness of the self-styled "pro-Israel" movement. This high-pressured atmosphere goes a long way to explaining why the candidate with the most liberal foreign policy views went out of his way to take a hard line on Gaza. 7/2/2008
Hamas admits suicide attack as Israel retaliatesDonald Macintyre - Independent - "It was not clear whether the claim reflected a clear decision by Hamas to return to a policy of suicide attacks, which it had abandoned before winning the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006." 6/2/2008
Thank God it’s overB. Michael - Ynet - "To begin with, there was no real reason for it to exist. After all, the failures of the Second Lebanon War were obvious and known from day one." 6/2/2008
Robert Fisk: Torture does not work, as history shows - The Americans are just apeing their predecessors in the InquisitionRobert Fisk - The Independent - Torture does not obtain truth. It will make most ordinary people say anything the torturer wants. Why, who knows if the men under the CIA`s "waterboarding" did not confess that they could fly to meet the devil. And who knows if the CIA did not end up believing him. 5/2/2008
Let`s end the siege, and talkLynne Segal - Guardian - Israel, supported by US and EU boycotts, refuses to enter into any discussions with Gaza`s elected representatives in Hamas, including their offers to negotiate an end to rocket attacks, instead kidnapping and imprisoning many of their elected members. Commenting on the strategic blindness of this stance, Middle Eastern scholars suggest that the rise of the more militant Hamas group in Gaza itself resulted in part from Israel`s earlier intransigence towards Fatah, when it was the governing party in the Palestinian territories. 5/2/2008
A Prison State -- Life in Occupied GazaStephen Lendman – CounterPunch -- Israel makes no distinction between civilians (including women and children) and resistance fighters, and B`Tselem stated that Yuval Diskin, head of the Israel Security Agency (ISA), "defines every Palestinian killed in the Gaza Strip as a terrorist," including small children and the elderly infirm. The world approves, the Security Council debates and abstains, the dominant media is silent, and innocent Palestinians suffer and die - over 75 killed in January and several hundred injured. Who cares and who`s counting. They`re just Arab Muslims4/2/2008
From Stalingrad to WinogradUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - When Judge Winograd tried to explain why a part of the report (on Israel`s 2006 war against Lebanon) must be kept secret, the words he used attracted no attention: "The security of the state and its foreign relations". Foreign relations? What foreign relations? Relations with whom? There is only one reasonable answer: relations with the United States. That could be the crux of the matter: Olmert fulfilled an American wish. President Bush wanted to install his protégé, Fouad Siniora, as ruler in Beirut. For that end, Hizbullah, the main Lebanese opposition force, had to be eliminated.3/2/2008
Red Rag: Warning: James Bond is backHagada Hasmalit - Gideon Spiro comments on the recent Israeli bombing raid in Syria, the arrest of a group of neo-Nazis in Israel and the Israeli/International movement of solidarity with the people of Bil`in village.3/2/2008
The strangulation of GazaSaree Makdisi - The Nation - The Israeli siege on Gaza is supposed to be in response to Palestinian militant groups` firing of crude homemade rockets into Israel, which rarely cause any actual damage. There can be no excuse for firing rockets at civilian targets, but Israel was squeezing Gaza long before the first of those primitive projectiles was cobbled together. The first fatal rocket attack took place four years ago; Israel has been occupying Gaza for four decades. The current squeeze on Gaza began in 1991.3/2/2008
Rebel from a bygone eraKarma Nabulsi - The Electronic Intifada - One doesn`t have to be a Marxist to appreciate the value of his extraordinary force. For 60 years Habash engaged in a non-stop struggle for Arab unity, human progress, women`s rights, liberation and equality. By founding the anti-colonial Arab Nationalist Movement, he lit a fuse throughout the region, from Yemen, where forces he trained and organized liberated the country from British rule, through the battle for Egyptian-Syrian unity, and Kuwait -- which only has a parliament thanks to the movement`s impact -- to the founding of trade unions across much of the Gulf.3/2/2008
George Habash`s contribution to the Palestinian struggleElectronic Intifada - An affectionate but critical and unsentimental obituary for the late PFLP leader George Habash, by As`ad AbuKhalil3/2/2008
Giving Israel a passBarry Lando - Truthdig - It’s as if, because of the horrendous suffering of Jews in the Holocaust, Israel has won the right to ignore international law, to visit mayhem on civilians and terrorist fighters alike in the name of national survival. It’s been given a free pass. Those attacking the country’s policies are either hopelessly naive, anti-Semites or self-hating Jews.3/2/2008
Not just the government, not just the media - it`s most of the publicAmnon Levy - Ynet - We all saw what we were doing, to them and to ourselves, yet we still demanded more. And more. The typical discourse in those days was belligerent and merciless: How we were going to blow the hell out of them.2/2/2008
A third wayHaidar Eid -- EI -- Here comes the importance of the secular interested who are neither with Bush, nor with the terrorists. They are for international peace and security that protect all and favor none. Terrorism should not be tolerated. Nor should it be defined only by those who see their mission as a "crusade"25/2/2008
Gaza’s future – not to mention the rest of the worldHenry Siegman - London Review of Books - Olmert’s statement that Gaza’s residents could not expect to lead normal lives while missiles from Gaza were hitting Israel would have been perfectly reasonable if Gazan residents had indeed been allowed to live ‘normal’ lives before the most recent tightening of the noose (...) A simple statement of recognition of Israel’s statehood should suffice. No US government has ever asked anyone to affirm the legitimacy of the dispossession of America’s Indians as a condition for the establishing of normal relations.2/2/2008
Genocide In Gaza, Ethnic Cleansing In The West BankIlan Pappe-The Indypendent/Countercurrents- "Israel responded with operation “First Rain.” Supersonic flights were flown over Gaza to terrorize the entire population, succeeded by heavy bombardment of vast areas from the sea, sky and land. The logic, the Israeli army explained, was to weaken the community’s support for the rocket launchers. As was expected, by the Israelis as well, the operation only increased the support for the rocket launchers. "1/2/2008
Shulamit Aloni’s message at Erez Crossing Shulamit Aloni-Axis of Logic-" The time has come to drop the Jewish self-righteousness and the nurturing of fears that are used as the excuse for what the army, settlers and politicians are doing, as if everything is being done to improve our security. Let our Defence Minister kindly invest his ambitions in building peace instead of constructing settlements and Apartheid roads."1/2/2008
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