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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
Is Israel one disaster from collapse?
-Carnegie study gives food for thought-
Ghassan Michel Rubeiz - Common Ground News Service/Arabisto.com - An important Carnegie study recently showed that Israel is precariously open to breakdown. The article “Failed States Index of 2008 July-August" issue of Foreign Policy magazine, gives the Israel/West Bank regime a rank of "borderline" on national security - making it one of sixty fragile countries that are “just one disaster away [from] collapse.” The study measures each country on twelve risk factors. Israel scored high on 8 out of the 12 risk indicators: demographic pressure, group grievance, uneven-development, delegitimisation of state, public service, human rights, factionalised elites and external intervention. 30/9/2008
As peace talks sputter, Israelis and Palestinians eye Plan BJoshua Mitnick - The Christian Science Monitor - Instead of widening the rift between Abbas and Hamas by pushing peace talks that divides the Palestinians into "moderate" peace partners and "extremist" enemies, Israel should encourage Palestinian reconciliation, says Shlomo Brom, a former Israeli general and currently a fellow at the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv. 30/9/2008
Hamas and Israel: a hostile but symbiotic relationshipAli Jarbawi - Bitterlemons/The Daily Star - It is difficult to conceive of two more natural enemies than Hamas and the Zionist movement dominating Israeli politics. In different ways, each is rhetorically committed to the destruction of the other. However, their relationship is much more complex and symbiotic than a casual observer might expect. 30/9/2008
Olmert: Israel should quit most occupied land Ilana Curiel/Ethan Bronner - Y-net/New York Times/Reuters - `We should withdraw from almost all of the territories, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights,` PM tells Yedioth Ahronoth in special Jewish New Year interview. Palestinian FM: we wish we had heard this personal opinion before he resigned 30/9/2008
Palestinian Economy: From Bad to WretchedRamzy Baroud - Ma`an News Agency - "Indeed, Israeli restrictions are not coincidental and hardly confined to the classic rationale of national security. "In reality, these restrictions go beyond concrete and earth-mounds, and extend to a system of physical, institutional and administrative restrictions that form an impermeable barrier against the realisation of Palestinian economic potential," the World Bank said. It concluded that more aid would not revive the Palestinian economy, unless the above restrictions are removed"29/9/2008
After Georgia and GeorgeAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram - Despite projections of a new cold war, the United States remains the power all turn eyes towards -- even those who are opposed to it29/9/2008
It can happen here!Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Ze`ev Sternhell is one of the outstanding guides of the enlightened vision. His positions are bright as the stars, resolute and incisive. Not a surprising target for the Neo-Nazi pipe-dreamers and pipe-bombers.28/9/2008
Middle East updateAvraham Oz - Of all wise people, Professor Zeev Sternhell, our eminent colleague from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, should have been last to be surprised at the attempt on his life three days ago by right wing Jewish fanatics. His entire academic work is devoted to the study of Fascist movements.28/9/2008
Every "terrorist" has a motherDesertpeace - During my first week at the hospital I was witness to the first hand brutality against the people of Palestine. A bed was wheeled into my room by two young Israeli soldiers wearing identification badges of the Military Police. In the bed was a young boy, both legs in casts and signs of beatings on his head and face.28/9/2008
Radical settlers take on IsraelIsabel Kershner - New York Times - A pipe bomb that exploded late on Wednesday night outside the Jerusalem home of Zeev Sternhell, a Hebrew University professor, left him lightly wounded and created only a minor stir in a nation that routinely experiences violence on a much larger scale.28/9/2008
Two articles on Aid and diplomacy: the Palestinian casebitterlemons.org - (1) "Working in the void: views from an international aid worker" - Alexander Costy; (2) "Aid without development" - George Giacaman27/9/2008
An Analytical Overview of the Current Situation: Palestinians Under the OccupationKhalil Nakhleh - The Counterpunch - "Unless humanitarian organizations commit themselves to altering the prevalent military and political situation, in order to generate the necessary conditions for “sustainable development”, their main task and responsibility, it seems to me, is to ensure the provision of basic humanitarian support and relief (defined broadly) to the increasing numbers of pauperized, marginalized and incarcerated Palestinian communities, be they “formal” refugees and non-refugees alike. "27/9/2008
Jerusalem is nowMustafa Barghouthi - Al-Ahram Weekly - "One doesn`t need to be an expert in the so-called "peace process" to know that Israel`s aim for the past 40 years has been to deny the Palestinians their rights. Having failed to break the backbone of the Palestinians and end their resolve to resist, Israel resorted to delay tactics. When not postponing urgent issues, it tried to empty from them all meaning. Thus the idea of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state was diluted into that of creating a self-rule entity, shorn of any real authority, over fragmented patches of land."27/9/2008
Zionism`s dying - a change in Israeli perspective?Ray Bergmann-Newsvine.com- “Since it was impossible to take control of the lands legally, a mafia-like culture of theft, lies and deception developed in the territories, in which the various government authorities are still wallowing, from ministers in tailored suits to the last of the policemen sweating on the highways. Contrary to the rules of international and Israeli law, contrary to elementary rules of justice, contrary to all logic and every genuine Israeli interest, broad areas were confiscated for the sake of the settlers and huge sums were poured in.”26/9/2008
The fading common groundAdam Keller - The Other Israel / Occupation Magazine25/9/2008
Quartet `creating power vacuum` in Middle East Donald Macintyre - The Independent25/9/2008
Live and let dieWilliam Parry - EI - "Forty years ago Israel boycotted the Beatles, saying they would morally corrupt Israeli youth. Forty years on, most of Israeli society has morally blinkered itself, yet McCartney still seems determined to rock Tel Aviv"24/9/2008
Israel`s slipping democracy Nir Eisikovits - The Christian Science Monitor - This beacon of freedom is becoming more like its authoritarian neighbors24/9/2008
The One-State SolutionSari Nusseibeh - Newsweek - A two-state solution was a compromise. But talks have gone nowhere, so many Palestinians are giving up.23/9/2008
Abbas: If no agreement soon, parameters of the debate are apt to shift dramaticallyMahmoud Abbas - Wall Street Journal - Oslo offered peace on a timetable, freedom doled out in stages. Its promise was derailed by increased Israeli settlement construction, restrictions on Palestinian movement and, correspondingly, by violent resistance to occupation from some Palestinians. I continue to believe that we can achieve a lasting peace, with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples living as neighbors in two independent states. But if we do not succeed, and succeed soon, the parameters of the debate are apt to shift dramatically.23/9/2008
Investigate the armyB. Michael - YNET - Attorney general should probe army for encouraging draft dodging22/9/2008
A last chance for peace in Israel?Johann Hari - The Independent - "The window of opportunity for a two-state peace is closing. Before it jams shut, the Israelis need to hear the plea coming through the checkpoints. Divide the land. Divide it now. Divide it properly. Or we will all end up battling forever – over nothing but soil soaked in blood and cordite"22/9/2008
Criminalising HamasSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram - Islamist leaders in Gaza are convinced that moves are being made to hold it alone responsible for Palestinian national strife22/9/2008
Palestinian unity: goal or mantra?Ramzy Baroud - ZNet - Palestinian disunity, and political -- if not, geopolitical -- fragmentation is eroding the Palestinian cause more than all Israeli efforts, walls and military incursions combined. The painful-to-watch televised bickering between representatives of various Palestinian factions has led to confusion among traditionally pro-Palestinian groups worldwide.21/9/2008
A new and revealing study of the influence of the neocons: the making of US Middle East policyBill and Kathleen Christison - Counterpunch - Not a few honest political analysts have long recognized the tight relationship between the Israel-U.S. partnership and the disastrous Bush administration adventures throughout the Middle East, including its backing for Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinians. Stephen Sniegoski has had the persistence to ferret out mountains of impossible-to-challenge evidence that this Israel-U.S. connection is the driving force behind virtually all Middle East decisionmaking over the last eight years, as well as the political courage to write a book about it. 21/9/2008
Fly, Tzipora, fly!Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Tzipi Livni presented herself as the personification of the peace effort, the woman who conducts the negotiations with the Palestinians, who prefers diplomacy to war, who points the way to the end of the conflict. All this may be sleight of hand, pure deceit. Perhaps there is no difference at all between the two. But even if this is so, that is not the most important aspect. The important fact is that the Kadima voters, the most representative group in the country, accorded victory - well, a tiny victory - to the candidate who at least pretended to favor peace. 21/9/2008
Dr. Barghouthi: the question of Palestine is one for the world`s conscience Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi was speaking at the European Social Forum in Malmo, Sweden.20/9/2008
Oslo`s failure led to the rise of HamasGhassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org20/9/2008
The Jewish voteRalph Benmergui-Globe and Mail-"Here is where I must speak up, only for myself. I believe that we have lost our way when we can look at the bodies of dead children and feel so little. I believe, as a religious Jew, that my religion is about ethics and values and that we have an obligation to study, struggle with and act on those structural and behavioural guidelines. What use is a Jewish State if we jettison those values in the pursuit of political goals?"19/9/2008
And so it continues: 26 years after the massacre Laurie King-The Electronic Intifada-"The Lebanese war involved many players and funders, not all of them local. But with the entry of the Israeli army and air force, Lebanon witnessed more death and destruction in three months than it had suffered during the previous seven years. Sabra and Shatila, a Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut, marked the site of the Israeli-Palestinian and the internal Lebanese conflicts` intersection."19/9/2008
Encountering Peace: From Oslo, back to OsloGershon Baskin- THE JERUSALEM POST-"..there are still too many fanatics out there who would prefer mutual destruction to making compromises and concessions for peace. So far those fanatics have won, and in their winning they have transformed the Israeli-Palestinian relationship into a "lose-lose" unbreakable embrace. The chance of a "win-win" mutual liberation is still possible....either we both win, or we both lose. "18/9/2008
Israel -- A State "War" on YouthRela Mazali- Jewish Peace News-"Investigation or none, on dispatching his instructions to conduct a probe he has already determined, "the severity of [New Profile`s] incitement to draft evasion". Parroting rather than scrutinizing the claims of this state official, journalist Amos Harel also has no use for the yet-to-be-held investigation. He proceeds to convict "New Profile" casually, describing it – as if he were simply recounting facts – as a movement that "encourages draft dodging"."18/9/2008
YPU debates IsraelThomas Smyth-Yale Daily News -"Even though the United States’ official policy has opposed the construction of settlements, he said, no president has pressed the issue with Israel. Since 1993, Israel has claimed 40,000 acres of land, doubled the number of settlers and built 30 new settlements, he said. This inaction has sewn anger across the Middle East, which has exacerbated the threat of terrorism aimed at the United States, he said. Israeli settlements may not be in Israel’s best interest, either, "18/9/2008
It`s Time to Mend FencesJoharah Baker - The Palestine Chronicle - "The point to be highlighted here is that political diversity is healthy and should not be discouraged in any way. The fact that Hamas and Fateh espouse different ideologies where liberating Palestine is concerned is not the cause for all of the vicious fighting that ensued. On the contrary, Palestinian diversity should be channeled towards the single goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state where Gaza and the West Bank are not separate entities"15/9/2008
Danger of Jewish terrorMuki Dagan - YNET - Separatist settler camp emerging in West Bank threatens Israeli democracy15/9/2008
Go Home - So you think you can dance?Omar Barghouti - Dance Insider - "...published a statement defending the cultural boycott as "a legitimate, unambiguous and nonviolent way of exerting additional pressure on those responsible."" 14/9/2008
The right of no return Hasan Abu Nimah - EI - "The initiative speaks about a just solution "to be agreed upon," which simply means agreed upon by Israel, and clearly gives Israel the right to veto any proposal that it opposes."14/9/2008
A West Bank ruin, reborn as a peace beaconEthan Bronner - IHT - "Twelve teams, each made up of one Jew and one Arab, were asked questions in both Hebrew and Arabic about the holy books. A mixed team of Jewish and Muslim teachers acted as judges. An Israeli Arab was the master of ceremonies." 14/9/2008
The Syria-Israel Peace GambitBy Ramzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - "It is clear that neither Israel nor Syria is anticipating a "breakthrough" anytime soon. For now, talking is an end in itself. Concurrently, Israel wishes to woo Syria to break with Hamas and other Palestinian groups, break with Iran and, at least, twist Hizbullah`s arm in Lebanon. Syria, on the other hand, knows well that indirect talks with Israel are an unmatched act of political validation in the West, enough to lessen US threats, win France`s friendship, and appear in a positive light internationally."13/9/2008
Robert Fisk: It`s never good to swap people for bodies Robert Fisk - The Independent - If you get into this grisly game, the result is a murderer released from Israel parading around Lebanon.13/9/2008
Two pieces from bitterlemons.orgEd. 36 - Seven years to 9/11 and the "war on terror" (1) Wholesale change is needed - an interview with Ghazi Hamad; (2) A battleground for the foreseeable future - Chris Toensing13/9/2008
THE PALESTINIANS: WAREHOUSING A “SURPLUS PEOPLE”Jeff Halper - Since warehousing is a global phenomenon and Israel is pioneering a model for it, what is happening to the Palestinians should be of concern to everyone. It may constitute an entirely new crime against humanity, and as such should be subject to the universal jurisdiction of the world’s courts just as are other egregious violations of human rights.11/9/2008
Zionist nationalist myth of enforced exile - Israel deliberately forgets its history Schlomo Sand - Le Monde diplomatique - "And more and more academics are analysing, dissecting and deconstructing the great national stories, especially the myths of common origin so dear to chroniclers of the past." 10/9/2008
Stop the lying!B. Michael - Translator George Malent - " Mendacity long ago became the reflexive first response of the army. Only after filming or stubborn investigations reveal the facts, is the army forced to consider the option of truth. " 10/9/2008
`Barghouti cannot unite Palestinians`YAAKOV KATZ AND TALIA DEKEL - J-lem Post - "Several Israeli politicians, such as National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, favor his release." 10/9/2008
A NEW PALESTINIAN STRATEGY OR THE SAME FAILED ONE?Ali Abunimah - EI - "What is even more shocking is that the Arabic version of this same document contains substantially different language -- as if Israeli and Western audiences were supposed to read one thing, and Palestinian and Arab audiences another." 10/9/2008
Mofaz, Barak unfit to leadShulamit Aloni - Ynet - "Mofaz’s and Barak’s experience is not an indication of leadership, responsibility, or loyalty."9/9/2008
Zionist nationalist myth of enforced exile - Israel deliberately forgets its history Le Monde Diplomatique - An Israeli historian suggests the diaspora was the consequence, not of the expulsion of the Hebrews from Palestine, but of proselytising across north Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East8/9/2008
Large picture lostKhaled Amayreh - With Fatah clamping down hard on Hamas in the West Bank, Palestinian unity is the clearest victim8/9/2008
Lonely riderUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Somebody once told me: But Abie is crazy! Better crazy for peace, was my answer, than crazy for war!7/9/2008
Biden and IsraelRobert Weitzel - Counterpunch - “If I were a Jew, I would be a Zionist. I am a Zionist. You don’t have to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” Senator Joseph Biden7/9/2008
Robert Fisk`s World: Why do we keep letting the politicians get away with lies?Robert Fisk - The Independent 6/9/2008
Joe Biden`s Mixed Bag on the Middle EastNadia Hijab - Agence Global / ZSpace - "Joe Biden`s balance sheet on Israel-Palestine is a little more nuanced than first meets the eye. But a lot more nuance will be needed if an Obama White House really plans to engage early and get results. It would need to go beyond criticizing Israel`s fast-growing settlement enterprise... Otherwise an Obama administration would simply carry on the tradition of the Bush administration, which has bleated so ineffectively about settlements while construction has doubled since 2007."6/9/2008
Bush’s New World Order?Ramzy Baroud - Khaleej Times - "the upcoming US president will find himself face-to-face with a drastically new world order, one that is defined by military pandemonium, national and global economic declines, and the rise of new powers, all vying to fill an increasingly widening, chaotic power vacuum, courtesy of the Bush Administration"6/9/2008
Why Don`t Palestinians Adopt Gandhi`s Methods?Philip Weiss-"supposedly Kharaz incriminated Ghassan Khaled in channelling a specified funding to student members of the Kutla-Islamia [Hamas group]: well, strange enough there was no mention of this in the original interrogation report, although this “fact” constituted the pedestal of the prosecution’s claims. The witness now clearly stated that he had never uttered anything of the sort in his Shabak interrogation nor elsewhere!... It was quite clear to anyone in his right mind that the prosecution possessed nothing of substance in its hands."5/9/2008
Israel Asserting Jurisdiction In and Over the Palestinian Authority: Intrusive or Inclusive? Valentina Azarov - Alternative Information Centre - A recent decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice manages to boldly reject any claim to sovereignty, however partial, of the governing bodies of the Palestinian Authority, thereby also sustaining in practice the claims of many human rights and humanitarian organizations which attest to the unquestionable control of Israel over the administration of all areas of the occupied Palestinian territories, both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including those areas and institutions Israel claims to have transferred to the PA following the Oslo Accords).3/9/2008
Sari Nusseibeh and his disappointed Zionist friendsMichel Warschawski - Alternative Information Centre - Some on the Zionist Left are angry at Sari Nusseibeh for raising the possibility of the one-state solution.3/9/2008
Palestinians reject partial peace accordMark Lavie - AP - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel`s idea of an interim peace agreement at a Sunday summit, a Palestinian negotiator said, insisting on an all-or-nothing approach that virtually ruled out an accord by a January target date. 3/9/2008
Parallel constructionEditorial - Baltimore Sun - Our view: Israeli settlement expansion undermines Palestinian state, peace efforts2/9/2008
Danny Ayalon: Galilee Arabs could declare stateHAVIV RETTIG - Jerusalem Post - " "If the Israeli government doesn`t make sure there is a Jewish majority in the Galilee, the Arab majority could declare independence and [demand] international recognition based on the precedent of [breakaway Georgian provinces South] Ossetia and Abkhazia... "I went to Israel Beiteinu after reading its platform and getting to know Yvette [Lieberman] personally," ... Lieberman welcomed Ayalon`s membership, saying, "He is a professional diplomat. "1/9/2008
An optimistic perspective: "Despairing of the state" as leverage to end the religion/state fixation Ofra Yeshua-Lyth - Haifa Conference- " With Jews and non-Jews receiving such a different treatment by the state apparatus, the military and the legal system... the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is basically a religious conflict... something Israeli secular Jews find very hard to accept...One political entity is the only true solution if one wishes to see peaceful civil existence between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea. The way to establish this One State must go through a deep reform of the present political entity controlling this area, which is the state of Israel. "1/9/2008
West Bank and Jerusalem Map ,Population MapNew Map produced by the Settlement Watch Team, Peace Now 4/9/2008
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Calculating the next moveSam Bahour- Ma`an - " the approach of the international community is one of creating a dynamic whereby Palestinians co-exist, not with their Israeli neighbors, but rather with the system of Israeli military occupation...an alternative to an official but impotent Palestinian discourse that will very shortly, in the judgment of most Palestinians, run head-on into a brick (cement) wall. "4/9/2008
Oslo`s final tragic-comic stage [ a project to end Palestinian national principles ]Mustafa Barghouti - Maan News - " The Israelis are preparing, with US support, to take any agreement they reach to the UN for its blessing, thereby canceling all previous international resolutions and laws in support of Palestinian national rights. The price Israel is exacting, alongside removing Jerusalem from the equation of Palestinian rights, is to put an end to the demands of Palestinian refugees once and for all. "1/9/2008
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