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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
The Science of TerrorJim Miles - Arabic Media Internet Network - To study ‘terror’ one needs not only to examine the insurgents in occupied countries, but also the terrorists at home, the ones who hide behind the jingoism and rhetoric of western goodness while occupying countries and killing those that get in the way of their military, political, and economic goals. The neocon mind would be a great place to start. The mind – neocon or not - is a difficult thing to study. The mind of terrorism is equally complex and for it to have any validity it needs to begin at home where much of the global terror begins. 31/3/2008
The senator, his pastor and the Israel lobby Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - Since his early political life in Chicago, Barack Obama was well-informed about the Middle East and had expressed nuanced views conveying an understanding that justice and fairness, not blinkered support for Israel, are the keys to peace and the right way to combat extremism. Yet for months he has been fighting the charge that he is less rabidly pro-Israel than other candidates -- which means now adhering to the same simplistic formulas and unconditional support for Israeli policies that have helped to escalate conflict and worsen America`s standing in the Middle East.31/3/2008
Empathy, critique and ideologyHaim Baram - Hagada Hasmalit - We have accustomed the religious Right to keep demanding more and more from us, to obey their settlers at the cost of our own interests in peace and life, and then treat them as "salt of the earth". I never fell for this. The previous century has taught Leftists of my generation to recognize fascists from afar, by their scent, and not to delude ourselves that Jews are incapable of the worst, including adopting the German version of fascism.30/3/2008
Letter to the Italian embassy, LondonGlobal Women`s Strike, Payday Men`s Network - We protest against the outrageous decision of the Turin Book Fair to make Israel its "guest of honour". The Book Fair must be boycotted if its decision to invite Israel is not rescinded. 30/3/2008
"Death to the Arabs!"Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - TOMORROW WILL BE the 32nd anniversary of the first "Day of the Land" - one of the defining events in the history of Israel.30/3/2008
An Open Letter to Ben Dror Yemini Tomer Gardi - Hagada Hasmalit - "You characterize Zochrot`s aim as "transferring power to the enemy." That isn`t my aim. My political vision is that the people who live in the territory to which the laws of the state apply, between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, should have the right to rule and participate in its government... Israel is already a Jewish-Arab state. Why not make it a Jewish-Arab democracy?"29/3/2008
Obama`s Pandering to Israel: The Audacity of HypocrisyJoe Mowrey - the Counterpunch -"Praising Israel in a speech about racism is like praising the history of White South Africa in a speech about civil rights... what is largely forgotten in the little discussion there is of illegal settlement activities being practiced by Israel, is that the settlements themselves are racially exclusive. Jews only need apply. Palestinians aren`t even allowed to drive on the same roads as the Israelis in the Palestinians` own territory. "29/3/2008
A de facto calmKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - `Israel has to show it really believes in a viable Palestinian state because everything they [the Israelis] are doing suggests otherwise." `29/3/2008
No leader to sendLucy Fielder - Al-Ahram Weekly - The summit itself, due to be held in Damascus this weekend, looked likely to be more than usually ineffectual at the time of writing, with Saudi Arabia having announced, as expected, that King Abdullah would not attend in person. Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, accuses Syria of blocking the election of a president in Lebanon. The low ebb of Syrian-Saudi relations was illustrated by the latter`s decision to send its ambassador to the Arab League, Ahmed Qattan, instead of Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal. Egypt is also reportedly planning a low-level attendance.28/3/2008
Israel, Shame on You Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Earlier this month, Israeli occupation forces shut down the Islamic Study Center in the heart of Hebron on claims that the charitable society, which hosts an orphanage, library, bakery and shopping center, is linked to Hamas and even trains young recruits there. The center, which was established in 1962, has provided a home for hundreds of disadvantaged Palestinians who would otherwise have nowhere else to turn. 27/3/2008
To Say Nothing of the Roadmap –The Israeli Media and the Renewal of Construction over the Green Line Keshev Close-Up - Less than four months after the Annapolis peace summit the Government of Israel abandoned its commitment, and on March 9, gave its approval for construction in Givat Ze`ev, which is over the green line. Furthermore, the Minister of Housing, Ze`ev Boim, declared that he intends to bring before the government a request to approve construction of approximately 2,000 additional housing units over the green line, while Minister Eli Yishai declared that he intends to push for the construction of a new Jewish neighborhood in East Jerusalem.27/3/2008
Will Israel Invade Gaza?Huda al Husseini - Asharq Alawsat - According to a Western official who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, the year 2008 will be one in which a number of issues will be resolved. He said that several contentious matters will come to light and that concerned parties will realize exactly what needs to be done. He also added that a military clash with Hamas is highly likely. 27/3/2008
Transforming Israel Miko Peled - The Electronic Intifada - Now that Kosovo is the newest independent state to emerge out of the ruins of the former Yugoslavia parallels are being drawn between the Balkans and the Middle East. One response to this development came from Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who said that as she does not mind if the Palestinians follow the Kosovars and declare statehood; what worries her is that Palestinians will demand equal rights with Israelis. 27/3/2008
The Third ChoiceRoni Ben Efrat - Challenge - Since the early 90’s, the Middle East question has gained in complexity. National struggles that were anti-imperialist have changed their stripes. Yasser Arafat`s move to the American camp, at Oslo in 1993, demonstrated that a national struggle is not per se progressive. His shift harmed his people and bolstered Hamas. What strengthened the fundamentalists even more, however, was George W. Bush`s war on Iraq. 27/3/2008
An Appropriate Jewish ResponseNaftali Rothenberg - "But as we delve deeper into our minds to agonize over this painfully sharp image of murder in the house of study, our field of view is blurred by other pictures that interfere with the age-old world order. A gang of Jewish fascists goes on the rampage in the neighborhood of the murderous terrorist; several hours later we are told, in the name of a leader of the Ultraorthodox Torah world, that yeshivot are forbidden to employee Arabs." 27/3/2008
Lies, Damn Lies, and Supreme Court briefsGershom Gorenberg - South Jerusalem - I’ve found clear historical evidence that the state was lying to the Court in the 1980s when it claimed that the road was primarily for local Palestinians. Rather, the road was planned in the mid-70s as part of a wider plan for Israeli settlement around Jerusalem. In turn, that plan reflected the original Allon Plan, drawn up by the-Labor Minister Yigal Allon in July 1967, immediately after the Six-Day War. The road’s purpose was to serve settlements and the eventual annexation of West Bank land to Israel. Everything else was purely a cover story 27/3/2008
Without a VoiceAya Baker Kaniuk - Mahsanmilim - A part of the Occupation method is to not give private identity to the occupied. To reduce people to their group with its inherent characteristics. This is the principle of racism. Whoever stands there is not an individual with a proper name, but a flattened, stereotyped tag. That person is what rather than who he or she is. 26/3/2008
Bad for the economy, bad for peace Ghassan Khatib - Bitter Lemons - "Studies from across the world show a clear link between economic deterioration and radicalization, and here, where economic deterioration is mostly caused by Israel`s policies vis-a-vis its occupation of Palestinian land, the link is even stronger." 26/3/2008
World is against us, as usualGavri Bargil - Ynet - "Had we invested a small part of the energy directed to identifying and describing dangers to identifying and describing opportunities, things would look a little different." 26/3/2008
The meaning of assurances given to Israel by European leadersJohn Vinocur - IHT - "It`s a curious aspect of a relationship often described as contradictory, that Merkel and Sarkozy, if unspoken rivals for leadership in Europe, are offering verbal guarantees to Israel almost in concert." 26/3/2008
Israel, Israel Above Everything! Merkel in the KnessetAnis Hamadeh - CounterPunch - "...the Zionist ideology needs anti-Semitism as a legitimation. It is the linchpin of Israeli policy, Likud`s and Labor`s alike. Without the `existential threat`, be it real or propaganda, the Israeli identity breaks down, at least as long as it is Zionist"24/3/2008
Scapegoat upon scapegoat: Merkel addresses the KnessetRaymond Deane - The Electronic Intifada - From a German perspective Merkel`s speech in the Israeli Knesset had one great virtue: it was simultaneously so penitential and so uncritical of Israel that its enthusiastic reception by the Knesset can henceforth make Germans -- or at least German politicians and their stooges in the media -- feel good about themselves.23/3/2008
Merkel not a real friend of Israel - Gush Shalom weekly adGush Shalom - Kanzlerin Merkel made a pilgrimage to Israel and groveled.23/3/2008
Worth the sacrifice? Bush blisters the truth on IraqRalph Nader - Counterpunch Weekend Edition - On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of Bush`s illegal war of aggression in Iraq, the Fabricator-in-Chief made a speech at the Pentagon, whose muzzled army chiefs had opposed his costly, ruinous adventure from the start for strategic, tactical and logistical reasons.23/3/2008
Two AmericasUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "War is much too serious a thing to be left to military men," in Talleyrand`s memorable words. In the same spirit, one could say: The American presidential elections are much too serious to be left to the Americans.23/3/2008
The only lesson we ever learn is that we never learnRobert Fisk- The Independent - ` one of the terrible ironies of our times is that the most bloodthirsty of American statesmen - Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfovitz - have either never heard a shot fired in anger or have ensured they did not have to fight for their country when they had the chance to do so.No wonder Hollywood titles like "Shock and Awe" appeal to the White House. Movies are their only experience of human conflict ...We have dispatched our armies into the land of Islam. We have done so with the sole encouragement of Israel. `22/3/2008
The Children of Palestine and Israel are Cannon Fodder for the RaptureRobert Weitzel - Axis of Logic - Pastor John Hagee, televangelist to 99 million viewers and pastor of the 18,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, established the CUFI in 2005 following the publication of his book, “The Jerusalem Countdown: A Warning to the World.” Hagee envisions CUFI as the Christian version the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobby whose political clout has a significant influence on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. 20/3/2008
Palestinians say `no peace deal this year`MEL FRYKBERG - Middle East Times - "Israel has to stop its military incursions into the West Bank and Gaza as well as abide by a mutual and simultaneous ceasefire with Hamas. The Israelis also have to stop the continued building and expansion of settlements in the West Bank," stated Erekat.20/3/2008
Middle East peace talks stalled, say negotiators· Palestinians see no hope of change on the groundRory McCarthy - The Guardian - Saab Erekat, a senior Palestinian negotiator, admitted yesterday that his side had failed to convince the Palestinians that the current peace process would bring any change on the ground. At the same time, the International Crisis Group thinktank said efforts to isolate Hamas in Gaza were "bankrupt" and had backfired, damaging the credibility of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who is leading the peace talks.20/3/2008
Hillel Exhibit Draws National CriticismBITA ASSAD - The Harvard Crimson - “Breaking the Silence”—a traveling exhibit of over 100 photographs and videos testimonials curated by former Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldiers—drew a crowd of nearly 200 on its opening night on March 1. Critics have said the exhibit portrays only the extremes of military life—such as a picture of an IDF soldier smiling in front of several corpses—and offers little context.19/3/2008
Women of the Underworld: On Being Thrown Out of Israel Starhawk - Women and Spirituality - "I’ve spent a lot of the last week being searched, questioned, detained, jailed, and ultimately denied entry and deported from the State of Israel--that land which I had been raised to believe would always be the ultimate refuge for anyone born Jewish. But not, apparently, for me." 19/3/2008
Is the Pentagon Policy Shop Funding Likudist Fronts?Jim Lobe - AntiWar - "Now, let us recall what One Jerusalem stands for and who its founders were."19/3/2008
Take off the masks Gadi Gvaryahu - Ynet - "Killing gentiles eventually leads to killing of Jews" 19/3/2008
Mideast Players Differ On Approach to HamasGlenn Kessler - Washington Post - During a trip to the Middle East this month, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice served as an informal go-between for Hamas and its sworn enemy, the government of Israel, helping to arrange a tentative truce, according to U.S., Israeli and Arab officials.18/3/2008
`One-State or Two-State?` - A Sterile Debate on False AlternativesAssaf Kfoury - the Counterpunch - " setting aside a wasteful and useless debate is only one part. The other part is to define a clear agenda ahead so that supporters of Palestinian rights know what they are struggling for. In the long run, the biggest plagues threatening Palestinian existence are the settlements and the Wall. These will all have to go if the dispossession and economic strangulation are to be stopped and reversed. "15/3/2008
Palestinians Unite in Anger Against Israeli Attack Isabel Kershner - New York Times - “The Palestinian Authority doesn’t control an inch of the West Bank,” said Shawqi Issa, the director of the Ensan Center for Human Rights in Bethlehem. “Israel is everywhere.” Nor, he said, does Israel want peace. “Their strategy is to put obstacles in the way every day.”14/3/2008
A recipe for Israel`s security Ghada Ageel - The Electronic Intifada - I am reminded of Socrates` story about the little mouse that annoyed him for a long time. As he carried it in his hand, studying its tiny size and weakness, the mouse bit his finger and escaped. For a minute, he was astonished to be defeated by such a small creature. However, wisely summing up the situation, he concluded that resistance, no matter how small, is a significant step towards change and a path to a new life. The path towards almost any major change is undoubtedly made up of small attempts like those of Socrates` mouse. 13/3/2008
The Silent Violence of Gaza`s Suffering That Candidates and Congress Ignore RALPH NADER - Counterpuntch - The world’s largest prison—Gaza prison with 1.5 million inmates, many of them starving, sick and penniless—is receiving more sympathy and protest by Israeli citizens, of widely impressive backgrounds, than is reported in the U.S. press.13/3/2008
The Man Between War and PeaceThomas P.M. Barnett - Esquire - So while Admiral Fallon`s boss, President George W. Bush, regularly trash-talks his way to World War III and his administration casually casts Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as this century`s Hitler (a crown it has awarded once before, to deadly effect), it`s left to Fallon--and apparently Fallon alone--to argue that, as he told Al Jazeera last fall: "This constant drumbeat of conflict . . . is not helpful and not useful. I expect that there will be no war, and that is what we ought to be working for. We ought to try to do our utmost to create different conditions." 13/3/2008
Egypt tries to broker Gaza ceasefire· Intelligence chief in talks with Hamas and IsraelIan Black and Toni O`Loughlin - Guardian - "Egypt`s role allows both sides to formally deny that they have made a deal or are talking to each other." 12/3/2008
Rocket Endangers Palestinian-Israeli Respite ISABEL KERSHNER and TAGHREED EL-KHODARY - NYT - "Muhammad Dagmush, 45, said if he fed his horse as well as he wanted, “I wouldn’t eat.”" 12/3/2008
The One-State Illusion: More is LessMICHAEL NEUMANN - COUNTERPUNCH - "It places a reliance on good will and moral argument that to me is literally incomprehensible." 12/3/2008
US security envoy said to be frustrated with Israeli disruption of PA`s efforts Exclusive - Ma`an - " One of the main slips of Dayton`s tongue, the source said, was "We are frustrated" referring to himself as well as US Generals Frasier and Jones." 12/3/2008
Senior security official confirms lull agreement with HamasAFP - Ynet - "Senior Defense Ministry official Amos Gilad has relayed to Egypt Israel`s request for a month-long unofficial ceasefire with Hamas in Gaza." 12/3/2008
The Spin that refuses to die: Muhammad al-Dura, as exampleYizhar Beer - Translated by Daphna Levit- ` The obsessive preoccupation with the identification of the bullets that hit al-Dura distance the public interest from the important issues regarding the conflict and the horrible price paid by the civilian population. `11/3/2008
Excerpts from Israeli commentatorsOri Nir - Americans For Peace Now - “And perhaps therein lies the problem: the rigid thinking that an assassination in Gaza leads to rocket fire on Sderot, which leads to a ground operation and the death of 120 Hamas members in Gaza, which leads to the detonation of a bomb at Kissufim, which ensures the continued bombardment of Gaza, which leads to the decision by a man with the anti-profile of a suicide-terrorist to set off on a campaign of murder in the center of Jerusalem… And perhaps what we need here is a new way of thinking. To look for the crack we can use to burst forward. After all, it has been clear for a long time that it was a mistake to assume that time was working in our favor, just as it has been clear that the argument ‘when force doesn’t work use even greater force’ was misguided. [Sima Kadmon in Yedioth Ahronott, Sunday March 9]11/3/2008
Tragedy of Israel and Palestine Mark Levine - Aljazeera - Americans have grown so accustomed to the disastrous dynamics operating between Israelis and Palestinians today that the failure to reach a peace deal amid the soaring death tolls assumes an aura of normalcy in their minds. This reflects a situation we imagine ourselves to be powerless to help change and only adds to the tragedy unfolding in the Occupied Territories and Israel as well.11/3/2008
Between black and grey / Barak = Milosevic Akiva Orr - Our attitude to Zionism must nor blind us to internal differences within the Zionist camp. Sharet was different from Ben Gurion and Eshkol was different from Golda. They have Hawks, Vultures, and also Doves. I oppose them all - including the Doves. But I do not ignore their differences. A conflict - even when inevitable - can take various forms. In the current situation in Gaza I prefer - for the sake of the Gaza people and also for the Israeli citizens in their vicinity - a milder form. This is possible. The overall conflict does not necessarily imply daily Israeli killing in Gaza. 11/3/2008
Two articles on political assassinationsbitterlemons.org, Ed. 10: (1) Assassination Middle East-style - Abdel Monem Said Aly; (2) Unpredictable consequences - Waleed Sadi9/3/2008
"Kill A Hundred Turks And Rest…"Uri Avnery - Gush-Shalom - " Hamas is there. It cannot be ignored. We have to reach a cease-fire with it. It must come out of a detailed agreement that will include the cessation of all hostilities, armed and otherwise, in all the territories. The cease-fire will not hold if it is not accompanied by speeded-up negotiations for a long-term armistice (hudna) and peace. Such negotiations cannot be held with Fatah and not Hamas, nor with Hamas and not Fatah. Therefore, what is needed is a Palestinian government that includes both movements. It must bring in personalities who enjoy the confidence of the entire Palestinian people, such as Marwan Barghouti. That is the very opposite of the present Israeli-American policy."9/3/2008
Behind the Current Israeli Escalation in Gaza: Questions and Answers Steve Niva - the Counterpunch - "The deeper reason Israel chooses violence over a cease-fire is that Israel wants to avoid negotiations with a united Palestinian government that holds firm to basic Palestinian rights to a full and sovereign Palestinian state in the lands occupied by Israel in 1967."9/3/2008
Settlers vow revenge over Jerusalem massacreToni O`Loughlin- the Observer / guardian.co.uk - "As violence spirals and calls for peace talks grow, extremists say they will build a new West Bank settlement for each of the eight students killed."9/3/2008
Where do you stand?With scores of Gazans killed by Israel, the position of President Abbas and the PA comes into focusKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - ` with Israel`s Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai threatening them a "bigger holocaust", Palestinians -- intellectuals and ordinary people -- are wondering if the present calamity won`t unite them, whatever will?...Shamelessly, Israel is telling the world that the killing of children, women and innocent civilians is for the sake of peace and in order to "strengthen" Palestinian President.` 8/3/2008
The World According to Washington Noam Chomsky ZNET - ` The Financial Times reports that most of the charges against Moughniyeh are unsubstantiated... To repeat once again, we can distinguish three categories of crimes: murder with intent, accidental killing, and murder with foreknowledge but without specific intent. Israeli and U.S. atrocities typically fall into the third category... If, for a moment, we can adopt the perspective of the world, we might ask which criminals are "wanted the world over". 8/3/2008
Nakba again Jonathan Cook - Al-Ahram Clearing the Palestinians out of Gaza appears the ultimate aim of Israel`s declared strategy of genocide in the Strip...The ultimate goal appears to be a variation on Vilnai`s "shoah": Gaza`s depopulation, with the Strip squeezed on three sides until the pressure forces Palestinians to break out again into Egypt. On that occasion, it can be assumed, there will be no chance of return. `8/3/2008
Israel attack threatens wide fallout Jonathan Marcus - BBC - ` The Merkaz Herav Yeshiva - a Jewish religious seminary - is the place from where the religious-inspired Jewish settlement movement in the West Bank sprang. It is the very centre of religious Jewish nationalism and its symbolic importance may well not have been lost on the organisation which ordered this attack... Anyone counting on progress on the peace front this year looks to be betting against the prevailing trend. `8/3/2008
Seeking alternatives : Unilaterally declaring independence is consistent with international law. Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons- ` While the first two options--dissolving the PA and declaring independence--are in the hands of Palestinian politicians and diplomats, who have become increasingly dependant on Israel and the United States, the third-resistance--is not. The failure of the peace process to bring Palestinians closer to an end to the occupation is already leading the motivation for resistance. .. such resistance will most likely take the form of violence. This option remains the most probable scenario, especially with Israel continuing to provoke and encourage Palestinian violence. `8/3/2008
Gaza conditions `at 40-year low`BBC News-"Unless the blockade ends now, it will be impossible to pull Gaza back from the brink of this disaster and any hopes for peace in the region will be dashed," 7/3/2008
Thinking the Unthinkable The Jewish Daily Forward-Editorial-"the Israeli public is ahead of its leaders. A new poll conducted by Tel Aviv University and published this week in Ha’aretz shows that 64% of Israelis favor talks with Hamas, and only 28% are opposed. Several Israeli Cabinet ministers have come out in favor, as well."7/3/2008
To blame the victims for this killing spree defies both morality and senseSeumas Milne - The Guardian - The attempt by western politicians and media to present this week`s carnage in the Gaza Strip as a legitimate act of Israeli self-defence - or at best the latest phase of a wearisome conflict between two somehow equivalent sides - has reached Alice-in-Wonderland proportions. Since Israel`s deputy defence minister, Matan Vilnai, issued his chilling warning last week that Palestinians faced a "holocaust" if they continued to fire home-made rockets into Israel, the balance sheet of suffering has become ever clearer.6/3/2008
Dahlan denies report of US-backed plan to overthrow Hamas Ma`an News Agency - Dahlan told Ma`an that the administration of US President George W. Bush did not offer political support to the Palestinian Authority during his tenure as Palestinian national security advisor. [see http://www.kibush.co.il/show_file.asp?num=25570] 6/3/2008
Transforming IsraelMiko Peled - Now that Kosovo is the newest independent state to emerge out of the ruins of the former Yugoslavia parallels are being drawn between the Balkans and the Middle East. One response to this development came from Israeli foreign Minister Tzipi Livini who said that as she does not mind if the Palestinians follow the Kosovars and declare statehood; what worries her is that Palestinians will demand equal rights with Israelis. 5/3/2008
`Guardian` editor apologizes for Jenin editorialJONNY PAUL - J-lem Post - "Jewish Book Week, one of the highlights of the UK`s Jewish community`s cultural calendar, was a huge success, according to the organizers." 5/3/2008
FM sanctions Al-Jazeera because of biased coverageHERB KEINON - J-lem Post - ""More than 120 people were killed in Gaza, and three Israelis were killed. That`s the situation in the Middle East, we are just delivering the news.""5/3/2008
Rice: Peace deal possible in 2008Reuters - Ynet - "She added: "We look forward to the resumption of those negotiations as soon as possible."" 5/3/2008
PLO official: Rice has `nothing to sell in the region` Ma`an - Tayseer Khalid also urged the Palestinian leaders to seek a long term ceasefire with the Israelis that guarantees and end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.4/3/2008
The Middle East`s asymmetric warJeremy Bowen - BBC - It looks as if the United States now believes that Israel has made its point, and that it should stop before any more damage is done to the peace talks (...). The last few days have shown how vulnerable the talks are to events - especially when Hamas in Gaza, who are boycotted by Israel and the big western countries, have no interest in seeing them succeed.4/3/2008
Abbas Needs a MiracleRamzy Baroud - ZNet - Time is running out for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Although both men are still committed to their risky venture of marginalising Hamas at any cost, the latter’s obduracy and recent events in Gaza point to the inescapable conclusion — the undertaking was doomed from the start3/3/2008
About Israeli JournalismYonatan Mendel - London Review of Books - Israeli correspondents on Arab affairs must of course speak Arabic […] and they need to know the history and politics of the Middle East. And they have to be Jews. Strikingly, the Israeli-Jewish media prefer to hire journalists with average Arabic rather than native speakers, since they would be Palestinian citizens of Israel. Apparently, Jewish journalists are better equipped than Arab Israelis to explain ‘what Arabs think’, ‘Arab aims’ or ‘what Arabs say’. Maybe this is because the editors know what their audience wants to hear. Or, even more important, what the Israeli audience would rather not hear3/3/2008
Saving the Palestinian sinking ship Lamis Andoni - Al Jazeera - Both leaderships are in the same boat: Abbas`s niceties no longer please the Israelis, while Hamas`s obdurate position of proving to the world that they are the alternative partner comes with a high price tag that threatens its legitimacy. As the situation stands, and unless the two leaderships get serious about a national reconciliation, a frustrated and angry Palestinian population will take the initiative and erupt in a third intifada3/3/2008
Leading article: Only a new President can end Gaza`s nightmarethe Independent - …between 54 and 61 killed on the Palestinian side in a single day. On the other side, two dead, both soldiers. Can this be termed a fight? Given that half the dead Palestinians were incontrovertibly civilians […] it might be thought Saturday`s events in Gaza deserved to be termed a massacre. Yet there is no sense of real urgency in Western capitals about Gaza, nor contrition on the part of Israel over what its forces are doing. […] the Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, yesterday declared that military operations will not only continue but grow in scale in pursuit of the goal of "bringing down" the Hamas-led government in the strip. […] This is the counsel of madness and despair, a kind of desperate macho politics that must end in more killings on the same monstrous scale as Saturday`s3/3/2008
Truce or bloodbathAzzam Tamimi - The Guardian - Ignoring its own people`s wishes in attacking Gaza, Israel leaves Hamas no choice but to fight back 3/3/2008
The time for worldwide boycott is nowOmar Barghouti - EI - South African apartheid crimes were challenged not only by the heroic struggle of the oppressed masses on the ground in South Africa; they were also fought by worldwide campaigns of boycott, divestment and sanctions against the regime, with all its complicit economic, academic, cultural, and athletic institutions. Similarly, international civil society can, and ought to, apply the same measures of non-violent justice to bring about Israel`s compliance with international law and basic human rights. Even the threat of sanctions has proven effective enough in the past to halt Israel`s repeated campaigns of death and devastation3/3/2008
Ralph Nader is the best antidote to US imperialismKathleen and Bill Christison - Obama has taken an extremely immoral stand on the Palestinian-Israeli issue by, among other positions, actually applauding Israel`s siege and starvation of 1.5 million innocent Gazans, and by mourning Israel`s losses to Palestinian rocket fire (12 people in seven years) without bothering even to mention the approximately 2,600 Gazans killed by Israeli rocket fire, airstrikes, and assassinations in those same seven years. He made one reference last year to Palestinian suffering, was immediately dumped on by Jewish leaders, and has since said nothing honest about the occupation.2/3/2008
Good morning, HamasUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Those who did not want the PLO, got Hamas. If we don`t come to terms with Hamas, we shall be faced with more extreme Islamic organizations, like the Taliban in Afghanistan.2/3/2008
Israeli minister threatens "holocaust" as public demand ceasefire talks Ali Abunimah - EI - ` Vilnai said, "the more Qassam [rocket] fire intensifies and the rockets reach a longer range, [the Palestinians] will bring upon themselves a bigger shoah because we will use all our might to defend ourselves." ... Incitement to genocide is a punishable crime under the international Genocide Convention, adopted in 1948 after the Nazi holocaust. `1/3/2008
Big Bang or chaos: What`s Israel up to?Ramzy Baroud - IMEU - "The facts - as demonstrated by the US-Israeli role in the turmoil in Lebanon, the consistent attempt to arraign Iran, and the Israeli provocations and bombings in Syria - all indicate that Israel`s plans are regional, with Gaza being a testing ground, and the least costly target to isolate and brutalize. Already a massive concentration camp with a largely starving population, Gaza has provided Israel with a perfect opportunity to start sending stern messages to the other players in the region"17/3/2008
`Greater Jerusalem` Means Fewer PalestiniansJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - "Israel is obviously trying to create as many facts on the ground in Jerusalem before it is on the negotiating table in the context of a final agreement. It should not be allowed to expand the borders of a city it alone acknowledges as its undivided and eternal capital while the world watches on with indifference and more Palestinian land is snatched"17/3/2008
Ilan Pappe: I`m not a traitorAyelet Negev - Ynet - Controversial historian Ilan Pappe left Israel last year after his endorsement of an academic boycott of Israel exposed him and his family to death threats. Now a professor in England, Pappe maintains that a cultural boycott on his homeland is the only way to end the occupation: "As the son of German Jews, I know how important it is for our elites to be a part of Europe."16/3/2008
"The one-state illusion" - an exchange between Michael Neumann and his criticsCounterpunch - On 10 March Prof. Michael Neumann wrote an essay arguing that the one-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict is an illusion. Subsequently Jonathan Cook, Cathy Christison and Assaf Kfoury responded to his arguments, and Neumann replied to their critiques. 16/3/2008
"I came, I saw, I destroyed!"Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - WHAT HAPPENED this week is so infuriating, so impertinent, that it stands out even in our familiar landscape of governmental irresponsibility. On the near horizon, a de facto suspension of hostilities was taking shape. The Egyptians had made great efforts to turn it into an official cease-fire. The flame was already burning visibly lower. The launching of Qassams and Grads from the Gaza Strip into Israel had fallen from dozens a day to two or three. And then something happened that turned the flame up high again: undercover soldiers of the Israeli army killed four Palestinians militants in Bethlehem. A fifth was killed in a village near Tulkarm.16/3/2008
The Illegality of the Imad Mughniyeh AssassinationBy Yoram Barsheshet - Translated by Daphna Levit- ` Israel attacked Mughniyeh, a Lebanese citizen, in the territory of a third country, Syria. This is the second time that Israel invades the territory of a sovereign country and executes a hostile military action, following the attack in Syria of September 2007. .. One can be reminded at this point of the howls that were heard from Israel after a Hezbollah action in which uniformed Israeli soldiers were captured and killed, that Hezbollah violated Israel’s sovereignty by crossing the blue line that symbolizes the border between Israel and Lebanon. According to Israel, the crossing of this border justified nothing less than a war. `1/3/2008
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