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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
Chomsky: Palestine and the region in the Obama era: the emerging framework 30/11/2009
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Israel`s occupation, linked by railSeth Freedman - The Guardian - The Jerusalem light railway is set to link to illegal settlements such as French Hill. Palestinians need help stopping it30/11/2009
Shulamit Aloni: We are a nefarious peopleNaama Lanir - YNET - Former Meretz leader tells Ynet on 81st birthday that `what we do in West Bank is worse than all pogroms`30/11/2009
The crazy, irrational beliefs of MuslimsGlenn Greenwald of Salon once again exposes the true nature of the deranged Tom Friedman: "Note the morality on display here: Hasan attacks soldiers on a military base of a country that has spent the last decade screaming to the world that "we`re at war!!," and that`s a deranged and evil act, while Friedman cheers for an unprovoked war that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and displaced millions more -- all justified by sick power fantasies, lame Mafia dialogue, and cravings more appropriate for a porno film than a civilized foreign policy -- and he`s the arbiter of Western reason and sanity."29/11/2009
Israel is lying to itself about JerusalemGideon Levy - Haaretz - Jerusalem is a neglected city, filthy and in parts frightfully ugly, stricken by poverty and ignorance. Nationalist, religious and social tensions are tearing it asunder, and part of the city is under the burden of occupation with all its most violent characteristics.29/11/2009
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"... And a little child shall lead them"Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Israel is materially a hundredfold, indeed a thousandfold, stronger than the Palestinians. The fourth strongest army in the world (by its own estimate) dominates the life of a helpless people. The Israeli economy, with some of the most advanced technologies in the world, dominates a people whose resources are next to nil. A 42-year old occupation dominates every single corner of occupied Palestine. This did not come about by a miracle. The huge gap between the strength of the two peoples has also been created by the support of the US for Israel.29/11/2009
Clock ticks for Middle East peaceNeri Zilber - The Guardian - As time marches on, attempts to reach a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict lack any sense of urgency28/11/2009
Lebanon `Accepts` Hezbollah`s Weapons - 52 Words That Shook Washington Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch - "Many people in Lebanon and the region who support Hezbollah do so not because they know all about or even very much care about the pillars of Shia Islam or the role of the Wali al Faque but because they have experienced six decades of Israeli aggression and six wars funded and armed by a US Congress that puts Israel before its own country and way before any Arab country including Lebanon. They realize that 18 years of a fake ‘peace process’ has brought nothing but misery to the Palestinians and Lebanon whereas 18 years of Resistance has freed most of Israel occupied Lebanese territory"28/11/2009
The mission: Saving AbbasAlex Fishman - Ynet "Israel realizes PA’s survival crucial for preserving regional stability for now " 28/11/2009
Video: Benny Morris: `Palestinian Arabs have no respect for democratic values`Interviewer: Jonathan Freedland www.guardian.co.uk "Israeli historian Benny Morris speaks to Jonathan Freedland about his new book, One State, Two States, and discusses why his analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may leave liberals squirming." 27/11/2009
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Where next for Palestinians? by Ghada Karmi - Bitterlemons "Palestinian history is at one of its most serious and important junctures. The peace negotiations that commenced with the Oslo accords in 1993 are at an end. Even hardened devotees of the peace process with Israel have now given up and are adopting positions that threaten to disrupt the cozy status quo of the "peace process". 27/11/2009
PA intensifies attacks on settlement freezeBy KHALED ABU TOAMEH Source The Jerusalem Post "The PA is furious with the US administration for hailing the decision as a step forward toward resuming the peace process in the Middle East." 27/11/2009
Israel offers partial halt to West Bank settlement buildingRory McCarthy - The Guardian - Netanyahu`s offer does not include east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967 and is now home to more than 200,000 Jewish settlers. It also does not include what are thought to be around 3,000 homes where work has already begun or where permits for work have been issued, and nor does it include any public buildings such as schools or synagogues.26/11/2009
Netanyahu Announces 10 Months Settlement FreezeGhassan Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Issa Qaraqi, the Palestinian Minster of political detainees and ex-detainees told IMEMC that Palestinians demand a total freeze: "This announcement is deceptive and just for show, the Palestinian position is clear, we refuse to negotiate while settlements continue to exist. Furthermore what does this freeze means???...It`s just to drive us back to negotiations without reaching an agreement on ending the conflict." 26/11/2009
Why can we talk to Hamas about Shalit, but not peace? Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Yes, we are conducting what we are denying to ourselves: negotiations with Hamas - and the sky hasn`t fallen. Whether direct or indirect, there are talks; whether or not we recognize Hamas, there are negotiations. For us, as usual, the method that should come first waits for last. Only after we try all the rest - killing and destruction, war and starvation - do we turn to the direct route: 26/11/2009
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A desperate throw of the dice Ben White - The Electronic Intifada - The suggestion of any unilateral Palestinian steps has been greeted with scorn and angry dismissals by Israeli officials. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself issued a warning that there would be "unilateral steps from Israel`s side" (somewhat meaningless, of course, given the daily unilateralism of Israel`s occupation, home demolitions and settlement expansion). Other ministers talked about halting the release to the PA of Palestinian tax money collected via Israel, throwing up more checkpoints in the West Bank and annexing settlement blocs. 25/11/2009
Bibi’s BathosphereReuven Kaminer - The Shalit negotiations are a serious boost for Hamas’s Arab and international standing. Islamic radicals, we learn, are just as amenable to diplomacy and hard bargaining as anyone else. The walls of isolation around Hamas are crumbling, as even Israel by virtue of these negotiations, extends de facto recognition. If Israel enjoys its role losing sleep over a single captured soldier, Hamas enjoys showing the only practical way to deal with Israel is by having something that Israel wants very much. 25/11/2009
Israeli prisoner swap with Hamas could herald big Middle East breakthroughIan Black - Guardian - "Intriguingly, signs are multiplying that Israel would free Marwan Barghouti."25/11/2009
Netanyahu Plays Down Talk of a Prisoner Exchange ISABEL KERSHNER - IHT - "“There is still no deal, and I do not know if there will be one,” Mr. Netanyahu said." 25/11/2009
How we became a night unto the nations Yoel Marcus - Haaretz - Before sticking our noses into the problem of Iran`s nuclear program, which is a source of international concern, it would be preferable for our government to discuss how we got to where we are - no longer a light unto the nations - and what needs to be done to stop the freefall in our international image before it`s too late. 24/11/2009
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Book Calls Jewish People an ‘Invention’Patricia Cohen - NYT - There was no sudden expulsion of all Jews from Jerusalem in A.D. 70; modern Jews owe their ancestry as much to converts as to the Jews of antiquity; and many of today’s Palestinians are probably descendents from the ancient Jews. --While these ideas are commonplace among historians, they still manage to provoke controversy each time they surface in public, beyond the scholarly world.24/11/2009
Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - baby-killers? - one state or two - a settler Attorney-General? Militaristic education - municipal apartheid24/11/2009
Palestine`s right to statehoodCurtis Doebbler - Ma`an - Statehood will make Palestine a direct negotiating partner with Israel over issues between those two states, and could lead to using the UN and no longer the biased mediator of the United States or its Western allies as the forum for negotiations of a final settlement to the dispute between Israel and Palestine. 24/11/2009
Status quo is dyingGideon Eshet - Ynet - Israelis must choose: Palestinian state, or one bi-national state 24/11/2009
The New Politics of Conscientious Objection in IsraelGershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - For years, it was the left that argued about selective disobedience -- but the right is now picking up the charge23/11/2009
Jerusalem Syndrome Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "Thus, for example, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat complained loudly about the Obama administration, which he claimed discriminates between the residents of the city `on the basis of religion and ethnicity.` It is hard to imagine that Barkat is not aware that by law, only Israeli citizens, or those entitled to citizenship on the basis of the Law of Return, are entitled to purchase a plot of what is considered state land. Since the Palestinians in East Jerusalem are city residents but almost none are citizens of the country, they are not entitled to purchase plots in a third of the lands that have been expropriated from them in order to set up Israeli neighborhoods/settlements"23/11/2009
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Israel Hayom Deputy Editor: J-Street same as Jews who defended Nazi Germany(story from Noam Sheizaf, Promised Land Blog) Background: The free newspaper "Israel Hayom" ("Israel Today"), owned by Sheldon Adelson and launched by him in 2007, is now Israel`s second-most-circulated daily. It obeys a strict pro-Netanyahu line. For the first time since Ben-Gurion, Israel has an influential media organ that openly parrots the government line.23/11/2009
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Breaking the vesselsJeff Halper - Israeli Committee Against Home Demolitions - A unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, if refused by the US with no prospect of genuine negotiations aimed at a Palestinian state in all the occupied territory within a strict time-line, would signal the definitive end of the two-state solution. At that point the Palestinians could unite on a program of a one-state solution, be it a democratic state of equal citizens or, more workable, a bi-national state. Crucial to this shift would be a vigorous Palestinian campaign showing that it was Israel that created a bi-national situation through its settlement project and Israel that eliminated the two-state solution, which the PLO had accepted way back in 1988.22/11/2009
Bantustans and the unilateral declaration of statehoodVirginia Tilley - Countercurrents - The South African comparison helps illuminate why the ambitious projects of pacification, "institution building" and economic development that the Ramallah PA and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have whole-heartedly embarked upon are not actually exercises in "state-building." Rather, they emulate with frightening closeness and consistency South Africa`s policies and stages in building the Bantustan/Homelands. Indeed, Fayyad`s project to achieve political stability through economic development is the same process that was openly formalized in the South African Homeland policy under the slogan "separate development."21/11/2009
Federation? Why not?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - These days mark the 5th anniversary of the murder of Yasser Arafat, and bring back to me our last conversation in his Ramallah compound, a few weeks before his death. It was he who brought up the idea of a threefold federation – Israel, Palestine and Jordan. “And perhaps Lebanon, too. Why not?”21/11/2009
The New York Mets and the business of terrorism Aaron Levitt - EI - "When I first learned that the New York Mets were hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit Hebron Fund at Citi Field in support of the Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, I honestly assumed it was a joke, albeit a poor one. When I realized this was an actual, planned event, I still found it almost impossible to believe"21/11/2009
Obama Returns to Greater Middle East MessJim Lobe - AntiWar - "As Barack Obama arrives home from his weeklong tour of East Asia, he confronts a growing list of ever more urgent problems in the Greater Middle East that he inherited from George W. Bush’s `global war on terror`"21/11/2009
Israel and international lawAmos Gvirtz - The work of soldiers involves the most terrible of all human activities: killing. For that reason they are subject to very serious ethical rules, which stipulate that soldiers who are fighting against other combatants are acting within the framework of the ethic of war. When they against defenceless civilians, they turn from being soldiers to murderers! 20/11/2009
Why the left in Israel has vanished Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - The simplest explanation for our privileges, and one that is becoming increasingly significant, is the religious one - the land is ours, from God, not theirs, so we`re allowed to declare independence or harm civilians. The simplest explanation offered by secular people of those privileges is force - we`re strong. These two explanations are the axis of consensus. In the name of this consensus, the military rabbis and officers in the Israel Defense Forces, equipped with equal amounts of hysteria, set out to incite the units on their way to kill in Gaza. 19/11/2009
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Israel`s Two-Tiered Justice System JONATHAN COOK - CounterPunch - Mr Shadmi wrote in his verdict that, in recent years, the Israeli authorities had been “working on two fundamentally different enforcement levels in relation to crimes perpetrated by [Israeli] minors”. He pointed out that in cases of violence by Jewish youths against the security services, legal proceedings were usually frozen or cancelled before the indictment stage. He said he had not heard of a single instance of a Jewish minor being sent to prison for such offences, even though most Arab minors were convicted and jailed. 19/11/2009
The Latest Palestinian Strategy – Clever Or Stupid Or Both?Alan Hart - Countercurrents - But this latest (proposed) Palestinian initiative could also be stupid. It could tempt Netanyahu to go for broke and say to the Palestinians something like the following. “Okay. You’ve declared your state. We don’t accept its borders as defined by you, but we will recognise it inside borders defined by us (the two or three Bantustans). Now shut up. The game is over. The file is closed. And there’s nothing you or anybody else can do about it.” 18/11/2009
Gaza: A World Away Britain Eakin - MIFTAH - The separation of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza serves Israel in numerous capacities, and can be seen as a classic attempt to “divide and rule,” a tactic Israel has long employed in dealing with the Palestinians. This tactic is also evident in the fragmentation of the West Bank due to the settlements, the Wall and the Jewish-only bypass roads that serve the settlements, along with its separation from east Jerusalem. The result is a discontinuous territory with no viability, which is generally blamed on the Palestinians and Israel’s need for security. 18/11/2009
Olive oil and yoghurt, yoghurt and olive oil Hasan Abu Nimah - The Electronic Intifada - Of course Mofaz`s scheme was presented as a great departure -- especially since he suggested that he would talk to Hamas in the course of implementing it. But just like all the previous schemes, Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinian refugees would be off the table. With the Palestinians offered no more than about 15 percent of historic Palestine broken up into isolated enclaves, it was simply a case of Mofaz offering "laban ou zeit," when all the other Israeli schemes offered "zeit ou laban." 18/11/2009
Interview / Reporter Helen Thomas criticizes Obama`s Mideast peace efforts Natasha Mozgovaya - Haaretz - "I think Obama`s people still don`t fully understand how important every decision is. They think they have time, but they don`t have that much time." 18/11/2009
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Is it motivation to serve as a combatant in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me? on Militarism in the Israeli MediaThe top headline of “Yediot Aharonot” is a fun headline to carry home from the corner shop, on an autumn weekend: “A Leap in Enlistment to Combat Service”, and the leading statistic- three out of four with eligible profiles will serve in a combat unit17/11/2009
Cry OutCry out in Arabic, Ahmed, and contaminate their ears Stand at Habima square, and cry out to your friend, who`s on Hertzel street, to bring you the shovel 17/11/2009
Open letter to NetanyahuZeki Ergas - There is a crucial new element on the world stage which means that the strongest player in this conflict may not be, in the future, the American government (and its partners of the Road Map), even if it (and they) will obviously remain an important player. The strongest player in the future will be the civil societies of the world (especially those in the West) which consist of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), groups and associations in a variety of fields including culture, sports, education, labour unions, religion, and so on. 17/11/2009
Debate on Gaza report shows growing resolve to challenge pro-Israeli stanceJames Zogby - The National - "What this debate and vote point to is the growing resolve of some significant members of Congress and some Jewish members to speak out and challenge pro-Israel orthodoxy. It should not go unnoticed"14/11/2009
Shimon Peres: The Small Man in the President’s House Michael Warschawski - AIC - “`Small man` is how Israeli President Shimon Peres described Judge Goldstone in the wake of the report compiled by the latter concerning Israeli war crimes in Gaza last winter. If I was a friend of Judge Goldstone, and not simply one of his many admirers, I would say to him `look who is talking` [...] Honorable Judge Goldstone, when a man such as this calls you a `small man`, believe me, this is not an insult but a compliment"14/11/2009
Abbas must unilaterally declare Palestinian state Yossi Sarid - Haaretz - "And thus, Abbas will become the Palestinian Ben-Gurion. Conditions were no less foggy and circumstances were no more certain when Ben-Gurion declared independence in 1948. But our founding father took the risk, and we are fortunate that he did. The risk Abbas would be taking is much smaller. Of the 192 member states of the United Nations, over 150 would recognize a free Palestine, and it would soon become the 193rd"14/11/2009
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A MATTER OF LEGITIMACY The Other Israel (final issue) - Other countries may be able to remain contemptuous and uncaring when the world casts them in the role of a brutal Goliath. Israel just can`t afford it. 13/11/2009
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Abbas` Shock TreatmentRobert Dreyfuss - The Nation - Precisely because Abbas raised expectations among Palestinians, and because Fatah`s new institutions are more democratic and accountable, Abbas could no longer ignore the widespread perception among his constituents that a Palestinian state was still out of reach. By "shocking the system" Abbas hopes that he can force the United States to look more critically at the need for an Israel-Palestine accord, which will require Washington to turn the screws on its Israeli partner. 12/11/2009
Credit where it`s due Joharah Baker - Bitterlemons - Abbas has no doubt given the Palestinians enough for which to criticize him. However, when it comes to his adamancy in not returning to the negotiating table without a freeze on settlement construction, we should give credit where credit is due.12/11/2009
Judge: `Israel has different laws for Arab, Jewish youth` Eli Ashkenazi - Haaretz - Moreover, Shadmi said, he had not seen a single verdict sentencing a Jewish minor to prison, although dozens of Jewish teenagers had committed the same offense as this Arab teen had. Yet most Arab minors charged with this offense are convicted and sentenced to prison. These things "are common knowledge, and nobody denies them," the judge wrote. "This sectorial discrimination can no longer be tolerated." 12/11/2009
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Is Israel threatened by the BDS movement?Mya Guarnieri - Ma`an News Agency - Israel`s attempts to silence Othman have only strengthened the voice of non-violent resistance. Othman`s continued detention has gained sympathetic coverage from a variety of media outlets. In mid-October, a protest calling for Mohammed Othman`s immediate release was held in Manhattan, outside of the Madison Avenue jewelry store owned by Africa-Israel mogul Lev Leviev. The action, organized by the New York City based NGO Adalah-NY, brought publicity to both the BDS movement and Othman`s important place in it. 12/11/2009
The new convertsGideon Levy - Haaretz - Ehud Olmert strove for a so-called shelf agreement, built settlements and launched two unnecessary wars. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made lofty statements about a Palestinian state and didn`t agree even to a temporary settlement freeze. Mofaz suggests talking to Hamas, but it doesn`t occur to him to try to do it here and now. Let`s see him try to meet the elected prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh12/11/2009
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Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - The settler who unsettled Israel - Fourteen years since Rabin`s assassination - To the glory of peace-seekers - Yael Lotan, R.I.P.12/11/2009
How Israel Won The Settlement Battle Again Ramzy Baroud - Countercurrents - Considering that Israel is under no serious pressure, but occasional lip service to the peace process, from Washington, and London, the rightwing government of Benjamin Netanyahu has no reason to stop, or even slow down its illegal settlements project and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. 11/11/2009
J Street: A New Voice in Washington Britain Eakin - MIFTAH - As someone who does care about justice for Palestine, I would prefer to see J Street endorse the Goldstone Report outright and take bolder positions on American political initiatives such as House Resolution 867. Moreover, I would have preferred to see them take a stronger stance in opposition to Operation Cast Lead. Obviously they are not going to be able to please everyone. Those on the far-right accuse J Street of being anti-Israel, while those looking at things from the Palestinian perspective might say they don’t go far enough. 11/11/2009
Mideast Path: Step Up or Step Back?Jimmy Carter - NYT - "....the Palestinians, who are suffering horribly in Gaza and are oppressed and deprived of freedom and human dignity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem." 11/11/2009
Department of meaningless gesturesStephen M. Walt - FP - "Israel is going to get what it has long sought: permanent control of the West Bank (along with de facto control over Gaza)." 11/11/2009
Israeli Jews and the one-state solution Ali Abunimah - EI - "Palestinians and Israelis are no less capable of writing themselves a post-colonial future that gives everyone a chance at a life worth living in a single, democratic state." 11/11/2009
US diplomat: PM trying to maneuver usJPOST.COM STAFF - Jlem Post - "The diplomat also mentioned the prime minister`s apparent efforts to pressure the US administration through Washington lobbying." 11/11/2009
Netanyahu Offers No Advance in Peace Talks JAY SOLOMON - WSJ - ""We had an idea that he might bring something out to push the process forward," one U.S. official said. "But he`s kept it in his pocket."" 11/11/2009
The Israeli perversion Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "In his book ‘The Social Order of the Multiple Selfs,’ Prof. Shlomo Mendlovic, who heads the psychotherapy program at Tel Aviv University, takes on the characterization of perversion. The similarity between what defines perversion and the characteristics of the collective Israeli behavior makes one nauseous: an attack of forces that can assist a person (or society) to survive; collapse of the distinction between what is useful and damaging, between life and death; confronting fear and suffering by retaining the status quo and the struggle against ideas that suggest change; and undermining necessary, painful processes in order to achieve change"9/11/2009
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A Line in the Sand Uri Avnery - If peace is to be achieved within two years, as Obama’s people assure us, why worry about another few houses in the settlements that will be dismantled anyway? So there will be a few thousand settlers more to resettle. Big deal.
But the freezing of the settlements has an importance far beyond its practical effect. To return to the metaphor of the Palestinian lawyer: “We are negotiating the division of a pizza, and in the meantime, Israel is eating the pizza.”
8/11/2009
Who Killed Abu Mazen? Who Caused His Death?Reuven Kaminer - Clinton’s knife in Abu Mazen’s back may well be a faithful reflection of US policy and practice all over the place. Obama’s rhetoric notwithstanding, his administration, so far, is a continuation of Bush’s. Obama is indeed under tremendous pressures and he may well decide on an orderly retreat. But so far, things gets worse and worse and the waters of the Potomac get muddier by the day. Hope, yes – illusions, no.8/11/2009
Top Israeli lawmaker wants talks with HamasMa`an - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum noted that Mofaz` plan came suspiciously in tandem with Abbas` retirement, the timing of which he said was yet another reason to reject the proposal. `The best way we can respond to these proposals is to fortify the home front by finalizing [Hamas-Fatah] conciliation, and recommit ourselves to Palestinian rights, the national project, and resistance.` 8/11/2009
In the garden of bigotry and extremismLarry Derfner - Jerusalem Post - Today there`s nobody with any influence, not among the religious and not among the secular, who will say that the reason every single Jewish political murder is committed by one and only one kind of wild weed - the right-wing Orthodox kind - is that the garden is lousy with bigotry and extremism.8/11/2009
Who needs Rabin rally?Ziv Lenchner - Ynet - The tearful rallies are the fig leaf serving to hide the inaction of the “New Left,” the camp that votes for Kadima and fails to see what’s strange about that.8/11/2009
Israel`s apartheid is worse than South Africa`s Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - The shock that gripped the shrunken peace camp following Hillary Clinton`s statement that the settlement construction freeze is not what we thought it would be, but rather what Benjamin Netanyahu thought it would be, is reminiscent of other shocks generated by American peace plans ever since the 1960s. 8/11/2009
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House Shames Itself on Goldstone ReportMatthew Rothschild - The Progressive - "Shame on the House of Representatives, and on the Democratic leadership of the House, for pushing through a resolution once again blindly taking the side of Israeli aggression"7/11/2009
Broken Pledges - Obama`s Mid-East Mess Franklin Lamb - CounterPunch - "U.S. Mid-East policy clearly in disarray, from Iran to Palestine. Time is running out if Obama’s claimed vision of dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality does not collapse into complete derision and caricature"7/11/2009
Obama Fails in Middle East Robert Dreyfuss - The Nation - "The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he will not run for reelection is the exclamation point on the utter collapse of the Obama adminstration`s Middle East policy"7/11/2009
International law is keySam Bahour - opendemocracy - Without a third party baseline, we are left with backroom wheeling and dealing, a model that no matter how well intentioned, will reflect the existing balance of power. In other words, Israel, being the regional military might, and its key ally the US, will impose a resolution that fits their liking and narrow interests. No need to note that such a "resolution" is no resolution at all, and thus the six decade conflict survives. 6/11/2009
Goldstone and Gaza Jimmy Carter - NYT - Another winter is now approaching, and neither the Israelis nor the international community has taken steps to alleviate the Gazans’ plight. Several hundred thousand homeless people suffered through last winter in a few tents, under plastic sheets, or huddled in caves dug into the debris of their former homes. Now and for the past 10 months, Israel has not permitted cement, lumber, panes of glass, or other building materials to pass their entry points into Gaza.6/11/2009
Future of Palestinian Authority Is in QuestionEthan Bronner - NYT - “I think he is realizing that he came all this way with the peace process in order to create a Palestinian state, but he sees no state coming,” Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian peace negotiator, said in an interview. “So he really doesn’t think there is a need to be president or to have an Authority. This is not about who is going to replace him. This is about our leaving our posts. You think anybody will stay after he leaves?” 10/11/2009
Is using aid to Israel as leverage becoming a mainstream idea?Glenn Greenwald - Salon - Two establishment columnists raise what has long been a taboo topic when it comes to Israel9/11/2009
Israel`s worst enemies are those who support its policies, claims ChomskyPAUL CULLEN - The Irish Times - ISRAEL’S GREATEST enemies are those who support its decline into moral degeneration and destruction, philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky has told an audience in Dublin. Chomsky, who is retired professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Israel was once a civilised society similar to those found in Scandinavia. Now, however, that has changed. There is high inequality just as in the US, and the social security system has collapsed, he said. 5/11/2009
UN set to call for investigations into Gaza war by Israel and Palestinians : General assembly expected to back resolution endorsing Goldstone report on alleged war crimesRory McCarthy -The Guardian - A resolution from the general assembly would not be legally binding, but would be easier to reach than one before the security council, where it is likely to be opposed by the US and China. 5/11/2009
NO PARTNER FOR PEACE: OUR AMERICAN PROBLEMJeff Halper - The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions - It was as if some official, perhaps one of President Obama’s “czars,” like the Czar for Demolishing American Credibility, had orchestrated a systematic campaign to isolate the US from the rest of the world, make it a political laughing-stock and, finally, render it a second-rate power capable of throwing around tremendous military weight but absolutely incapable of leading us to a better future. 5/11/2009
How To Create A TerroristLazar Simeonov - Palestine Monitor - This dramatic incident could have been avoided very easily because the Palestinian girl, a university student and not a terrorist like she was called by some Israeli media in their articles, had no plan to stab an Israeli soldier when she arrived at the checkpoint. But everything she went through during those thirty minutes in the security area; the confusion, the humiliation, the anger and finally the fear, made her lose her mind and do something horrible that she will now regret and pay for for the rest of her life...5/11/2009
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J Street conference only step one Max Ajl - The Electronic Intifada - Last month, J Street held its inaugural conference in Washington, attracting more than 1,500 individuals who gathered to listen to such liberal Zionist luminaries as Katrina vanden Heuvel, Bernard Avishai, J.J. Goldberg and Akiva Eldar, and a keynote address by Obama Administration National Security Advisor General James Jones. Several members of Congress attended and spoke, and more than 100 were listed as honorary hosts. 5/11/2009
The doomsday weaponGideon Levy - Haaretz - Every few weeks you have to sow fear, every few months you need to make threats, and once every year or two you have to have another little war. Blind cooperation between the defense establishment and the media holds the promise of another round of fighting. In that way, it`s possible to escape some of the blame from the Goldstone report and wallow in the conditions we love best: being the victim, feeling threatened and uniting in the face of the great external danger allegedly in the offing5/11/2009
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Israelis and ObamaHENRY SIEGMAN - The New York Times - Israelis do not oppose President Obama’s peace efforts because they dislike him; they dislike him because of his peace efforts. He will regain their affection only when he abandons these efforts. 5/11/2009
Israeli physicists supply solar and wind power to Palestinian herders Mel Frykberg - The Electronic Intifada - But following the intervention of Comet-ME, one of 12 finalists of the BBC`s World Challenge, a global competition aimed at projects showing enterprise and innovation at a grassroots level, Susya made international headlines. Israeli physicist Elad Orian together with fellow physicist Noam Dotan, both pro-peace activists and founders of Comet-ME, have spent the last two years installing a high-grid wind and solar system free of charge in Susya. 4/11/2009
Ashkenazi: “Next Battle Likely In Gaza”Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, stated Tuesday that he believes a new war in Gaza is nearing, and that the army is readying to target Qassam launching pads, located in densely populating areas in the Gaza Strip. He said that the army could be fighting in cities, mosques, hospitals, schools and even kindergartens and added that "the enemies want to force us to fight this way". 4/11/2009
Stop treading water Haaretz - Editorial - A year after Barack Obama`s election as president of the United States, it has become clear that with regard to the Israeli-Arab conflict, the change he promised boils down to high-flown rhetoric and a confused policy. Instead of restarting negotiations on a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and promoting the two-state solution with all his might, the world`s greatest power is treading water in the swamp of the settlements.4/11/2009
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Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel - Haaretz - Yadlin`s announcement should be seen as part of an attempt by the military to prepare the public for a new attack against the Strip. The General Staff is not remotely eager for another round, especially with the Goldstone report conclusions still haunting commanders of the previous operation when they travel abroad. 4/11/2009
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General Assembly Must Vote To Fight Impunity and Uphold the Rule of LawPCHR - Press Release - On 4 November 2009, a plenary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly will discuss the Report of the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone Report). This discussion offers an unparalleled opportunity for the General Assembly, and the United Nations as a whole, to address the situation arising from Israel’s longstanding belligerent occupation through the lens of human rights and international law. 4/11/2009
Palestinians must prepare for statehood Hussein Ibish - The Guardian - The worst misapprehension Khalidi harbours is the idea that the programme is essentially "apolitical" and plays into Netanyahu`s ridiculous idea of "economic peace". In fact, building Palestinian institutions is one of the most radical and effective acts of resistance to occupation imaginable. It will demonstrate the Palestinians are effectively governing themselves, and building the practical framework for a state supported by an overwhelming international consensus. 3/11/2009
Fight for survival in the West Bank Phoebe Greenwood - Al Jazeera - They have farmed these fields for 300 years. They once owned 60 dunums (60,000 square metres) but now have four (4,000 square metres) - the rest has been confiscated by Israeli settlers. The Jabers fight to farm on the land they have left. 3/11/2009
America, stop sucking up to Israel Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Barack Obama has been busy - offering the Jewish People blessings for Rosh Hashanah, and recording a flattering video for the President`s Conference in Jerusalem and another for Yitzhak Rabin`s memorial rally. Only Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah surpasses him in terms of sheer output of recorded remarks. 3/11/2009
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`Bush-isms` are Causing Trouble in Palestine Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - As much as George W. Bush is not missed especially among the Palestinians, there is one legacy he left behind which has unfortunately spilled over into Palestinian society. Bush`s post-September 11 mantra of "You are either with us or against us" has sadly infected our mentality when it comes to our own house.3/11/2009
When Hillary broke bread with Bibi on the illegal coloniesPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is completing the Obama administration’s humiliating retreat from the principles set forth in the president’s Cairo speech of less than five months ago," writes Steve Walt (who is emerging more and more as a progressive realist). Look at that press conference in Jerusalem on Saturday night. Mark Landler of the Times asked Clinton about the fact that that she’d condemned house demolitions in E. Jerusalem last March but was silent now. 3/11/2009
My problem with J StreetPhilip Giraldi - Antiwar.com - I believe that J Street is just another Israel advocacy group with a slightly more progressive and politically correct and therefore acceptable message. J Street wants carte blanche United States support for Israel and, indeed, it might reasonably be described as little more than a spin-off of the existing Israel Lobby to make it more palatable to the liberal Democrats that make up the Obama Administration.1/11/2009
Count me outUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Reminiscences about Yitzhak Rabin as the 14th anniversary of his assassination approaches.1/11/2009
The community leadership we deserveAntony Lerman - The Guardian - Jewish leaders too often lose their moral compass over Israel, but we ourselves are to blame if we do not hold them to account16/11/2009
Palestinian push for an independent state causes Israeli alarmDonald Macintyre - The Independent - Netanyahu to denounce Prime Minister`s drive to sidestep Israel and secure support from UN Security Council16/11/2009
Peres, not Goldstone, is the small manGideon Levy - Haaretz - President Shimon Peres considers Richard Goldstone a "small man, devoid of any sense of justice, a technocrat with no real understanding of jurisprudence." Same to you, we used to say when we were kids. Indeed, it`s amazing to see how aptly these harsh remarks describe Peres himself, a small man, devoid of any sense of justice. 15/11/2009
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Scoundrel with permissionUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - An immigrant from the US called Jack Teitel, an inhabitant of one of the most extreme West Bank settlements, has now confessed to the killing some years ago of two random Palestinians. He returned briefly to America, and, after coming back, put bombs into police cars. Why? Because the police were protecting gays and lesbians. He is also suspected of killing two traffic policemen for the same reason.15/11/2009
Israel`s "pathology"Ira Chernus - Truthout - The impulse to see enemies everywhere, bent on exterminating Jews, may grow out of centuries of persecution in diaspora (although part of the pathology is a tragic forgetting of the many diaspora Jews who lived relatively undisturbed, and sometimes even befriended, by their gentile neighbors). But one leading symptom of the syndrome emerged only when Jews moved out of diaspora into their own state, with their own military machine. It`s Israel`s eleventh commandment, overriding all the other ten: Give no ground; make sure Jews are mightier than their enemies; fight back and win, at all costs.15/11/2009
Is It Really Over? The Disastrous Presidency of Mahmoud Abbas Rannie Amiri - CounterPunch - "Symbolic of his behavior over the past five years, Abbas’ stance on the Goldstone Report brought to the fore the embarrassment and shame many Palestinians have long felt over his actions. Capitulation to Presidents Bush and Obama, and Israeli Prime Ministers Sharon, Olmert and Netanyahu, has only led to the unabated expropriation of Palestinian land and progressively worse relations between the rival elected and appointed governments"14/11/2009
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