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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 Israel lobby`s power comes from the US ruling classJohn Spritzler - Israel`s occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip advances the interests of the US ruling class. US support for Israel provokes Arab/Muslim violence against the US, which makes the US working class hate Arabs/Muslims instead of their domestic class oppressors.28/2/2009
Why must Meretz and Peace Now also be criticized?Michael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - Peace Now and Meretz both supported the Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip. 28/2/2009
Israel`s New Goal: A Palestinian StateYousef Baker-Zmag-"If we understand the Israeli strategy to be the one explained above, then the Palestinians have much to fear even after the bombs stop falling on them in Gaza. Beyond Israel and the US the most dangerous enemies and roadblocks to Palestinian aspirations is Fatah in its current manifestation under Mahmoud Abbas and the Arab states who do Israel`s bidding (due to their convergent interests), namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. "27/2/2009
Position Paper – Israeli Military Attacks on the Civilian Police Force and Government Buildings and Institutions of Hamas in GazaFatmeh El-‘Ajou -Adalah’s Newsletter-"..even in times of war a distinction must be drawn between combatants and military targets on one hand, and civilians and civilian objects on the other. This principle prohibits direct attacks against civilians or civilian objects...This approach was also adopted by the Israeli Supreme Court in HCJ 769/02, The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel v. The Government of Israel (hereinafter: “the assassinations case”), in which the court deliberated on the legality of Israel’s assassinations policy. "27/2/2009
Embrace commandment of war, Hesder students toldYAAKOV LAPPIN - Jerusalem Post - Rabbi Haim Druckman, who heads Bnei Akiva, said that `fighting our enemies is a commandment. To serve in the IDF is a commandment. We must remember that we could not carry out this commandment for 2,000 years. How happy we must be that we live in this great and special time, a time in which we have returned to our land, seen the founding of our state, the ingathering of exiles.` 26/2/2009
Olmert to Hamas: I`m best chance for prisoner dealDan Williams - Antiwar.com - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert urged Hamas on Wednesday to clinch a prisoner exchange with Israel before he leaves office, saying his successor would be less willing to free jailed Palestinians. 26/2/2009
The Governance of GazaMIDDLE EAST TIMES - Editorial - Obama and Mitchell, therefore, have to find a way to deliver their aid to the people of Gaza without seeing that aid strengthen Hamas.. However, the people of Gaza did democratically elect Hamas to lead them by a decisive majority in their 2006 legislative elections. So even if Hamas does not try to divert large amounts of that money to buy new arms and strengthen its hold over Gaza, as long as the group stays in charge, Gazans will be bound to credit it with any significant improvement in their living conditions That is the dilemma Obama`s well intentioned plan now faces. There is no sign that neither he nor any of his senior advisers have given any serious thought to resolving it. 26/2/2009
Amnesty: Obama administration must embargo arms to Israel Daniel Luban - The Electronic Intifada - "As the major supplier of weapons to Israel, the US has a particular obligation to stop any supply that contributes to gross violations of the laws of war and of human rights," said Malcolm Smart, Middle East director for Amnesty International, in a statement accompanying the report. "The Obama Administration should immediately suspend US military aid to Israel." 26/2/2009
Interesting only when they are violent Meron Benvenisti - Haaretz -Ignoring the situation is convenient for everyone, and therefore all are partner to the concept that the Arabs are interesting only when they are violent. Under cover of this lack of interest, the Israeli rule over the West Bank is continuing to deepen. It is commonly believed that the Palestinians will begin a third intifada but perhaps this stems from sticking to the concept that they understand nothing but force. 26/2/2009
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Between war and refusalSahar Vardi - Hagada Hasmalit - This is a period in which there is the greatest need for refusers and when it is most difficult to be one. At this time the refusers are most hated, but their appeal is also the most forceful.25/2/2009
The Crisis in Gaza is Far From Over Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Israel`s arrogance really knows no boundaries. It destroys in the name of its security, feigns apology for any collateral civilian damage and then does not allow others to rebuild Gaza. The best indicator that even Israel has exceeded its own perimeters of self-righteousness is when the United States finds has a word or two to say about the subject. Throughout last week, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made it clear to Israel that it is not doing enough to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza as has US special envoy to the region, George Mitchell. Clinton, who is scheduled to attend the Cairo donors meeting next month on Gaza`s reconstruction, is expected to raise this issue there as well. 25/2/2009
Olmert`s `Ego Problems` Stymie Cease-fireMEL FRYKBERG - Middle East Times - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert`s desperate attempt to leave some kind of legacy to his name before he steps down in a few weeks is supposedly the reason behind his bizarre behavior which has stymied a permanent cease-fire with Hamas, angered Egypt and alienated some Knesset or Israeli parliament members. 25/2/2009
Israel: End Ban on Human Rights Monitors : IDF Denies Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem Access to Gaza B`Tselem - Press Release - “Israel’s refusal to allow human rights groups access to Gaza raises a strong suspicion that there are things it doesn’t want us to see or the world to know about its military operation there,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “If Israel has nothing to hide, why is it refusing to allow us in?” 25/2/2009
There must be recourse to law Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons -One way of reversing negative trends in both Palestinian and Israeli public opinion is to hold military and political leaders on both sides equally accountable to applicable laws--whether the laws of war, international humanitarian law or UN resolutions.- 25/2/2009
Crime and accountability in Gaza Toufic Haddad - The Electronic Intifada - Information from Israeli sources has also surfaced regarding different aspects of the planning and functioning of the Israeli military during the campaign. It is now known for example that the idea to bomb the closing ceremony of a Gaza police training course was planned and internally criticized within the Israel army months before the attack.25/2/2009
Clinton warns Israel over delays in Gaza aid Barak Ravid and Avi Issacharoff - Haaretz - Sources at the defense establishment confirmed last night that pressure is increasing on Israel to reopen the crossings to larger volumes of aid for the Gaza Strip. Defense sources said that Israel will find it increasingly difficult to counter the pressure, and may agree to more extensive use of the crossings for aid. Currently, fewer than 200 trucks carrying aid are allowed through daily. The U.S., the EU and the UN are demanding that at least 500 trucks carrying aid be allowed into the Strip daily. 25/2/2009
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`Waltz with Bashir`: Invading soldiers as the victims Naira Antoun - Electronic Intifada - The victims in the story that Waltz with Bashir tells are Israeli soldiers. Their anguish, their questioning, their confusion, their pain - it is this that is intended to pull us. The rotoscope animation is beautifully done, the facial expressions so engaging, subtle and torn, we find ourselves grimacing and gasping at the trials and tribulations of the young Israeli soldiers and their older agonizing selves. We don`t see Palestinian facial expressions; only a lingering on dead, anonymous faces. So while Palestinians are never fully human, Israelis are, and indeed are humanized through the course of the film. 24/2/2009
Winslet, `Waltz,` and how Hollywood likes its JewsBradley Burston - Haaretz - Hollywood knows exactly how it likes its Jews: Victims. Civilian victims. Targets of genocide. None of this Goliath stuff. None of these pre-emptive, disproportionate, morally amorphous behaviors. The narrative of Israel has become increasingly uncomfortable for the limousine left of Hollywood. Not necessarily because of the specifics of occupation and overkill. No, there are wider problems with these Israelis. Their story arc doesn`t work. They are neither cutesy, comedic Yiddishers nor noble, chiseled, ascetically moral kibbutzniks. Israelis are complicated, angry, unhappy, family-oriented, insular, often flawed human-beings. Perhaps, in the Hollywood context, the problem with these Israelis, is that they are not identifiable as Jews at all. 24/2/2009
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“Gaza is a normal place with normal people`Mohamed Hassan - Michel Collon`s Blog - For a rat, the most dangerous animal is the cat. He doesn’t care about a lion or a hippopotamus. And for the cat, the most delicious food is a rat. This is the level in which the logic of the Qassam is situated. The Qassam are a defiance of the siege, a sign of the Palestinian people refusing to be concentrated into a ghetto. It’s a message that oppressed people send: “We’re still alive and we will continue the resistance”. 24/2/2009
Gaza War Strengthened Israel`s Far RightRoni Ben Efrat - Challenge Magazine - “The Lieberman surge is largely a result of the Gaza War. His rival parties, Kadima and Labor, timed the offensive prior to elections largely in order to gain popularity, but Lieberman reaped the fruits. The intoxication of force, the abandonment of all restraint –sheer murder – well suited the party of Strong Man Lieberman, who means to teach the Arabs a lesson they won`t forget”23/2/2009
Gaza truce held hostageSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram - As Netanyahu and Livni jockey for position it is the Palestinians who are paying the price for Israel`s domestic political impasse Saleh Al-Naami23/2/2009
Remove our grandmother`s name from the wall at Yad VashemMichael Neumann, Osha Neumann - Counterpunch - In the end, you will give the Palestinians some scrap of a state. You will never pay for your crimes and you will continue to preen yourself, to bask in your illusions of moral ascendancy. But between now and the end, you will kill and kill and kill, gaining nothing by your spoilt-brat brutality. In life, our grandmother suffered enough. Stop making her a party to this horror in her death.22/2/2009
Let Netanyahu winGideon Levy - Haaretz - Benjamin Netanyahu will apparently be Israel`s next prime minister. There is, however, something encouraging about that fact. Netanyahu`s election will free Israel from the burden of deception: If he can establish a right-wing government, the veil will be lifted and the nation`s true face revealed to its citizens and the rest of the world, including Arab countries. Together with the world, we will see which direction we are facing and who we really are. The masquerade that has gone on for several years will finally come to an end. 22/2/2009
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Akiva Orr on the Israeli electionsAkiva Orr - I consider the election results not so depressing as they appear to be because it is quite clear that Obama intends to impose an arrangement based on the Saudi peace offer. The Jewish lobby in the US is much weaker than in the past and will not be able to pressure Obama. He has the Blacks and Hispanics and the single-parents behind him and does not need the Jewish lobby.22/2/2009
The Great GambleUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - �IACTA ALEA EST� � the die is cast � said Julius Caesar and crossed the River Rubicon on his way to conquer Rome. That was the end of Roman democracy. We don�t have a Julius Caesar. But we do have an Avigdor Liberman. When he announced his support the other day for the setting up of a government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, that was the crossing of his Rubicon.22/2/2009
Red Rag Weekly Column: `Eyes right`Gideon Spiro - Occupation Magazine/Hagada Hasmalit - The vast majority of the new Knesset is on a right-wing continuum, from mildly right-wing, through moderately and strongly right-wing to deeply right-wing. The elections concluded with a clear decision: continuation of support for the Occupation and the expansion of the settlements. 22/2/2009
Gaza: Death`s LaboratoryConn Hallinan-Foreign Policy in Focus-"a U.S. "focused lethality" weapon that minimizes explosive damage to structures while inflicting catastrophic wounds on its victims. But where did the Israelis get this weapon? And was their widespread use in the attack on Gaza a field test for a new generation of explosives?..Most of those who survive the initial blast quickly succumb to septicemia and organ collapse. "Initially, everything seems in order…but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all their organs,".."there is a strong suspicion…that Gaza is now being used as a test laboratory for new weapons.""20/2/2009
Fueling the Cycle of HateYIGAL BRONNER and NEVE GORDON-CounterPunch-"No matter how many times the Israeli government tries to blame Hamas for the latest Palestinian civilian deaths it simply cannot explain away the body count, especially that of the children. In addition to the dead, 1,855 Palestinian children were wounded, and tens of thousands of others have likely been traumatised, many of them for life."20/2/2009
A Nation of Animal Lovers Closes Its Eyes to the Massacre at the Gaza ZooBy MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE-CounterPunch-"So, why, given our attraction to animal stories, were news anchors silent on the massacre at the Gaza Zoo by Israeli troops who shot and killed caged animals during Israel’s recent assault on Gaza? The answer, of course, is that we’re supposed to believe that Israeli troops are the good guys. Palestinians are “militants.” Israeli soldiers are, well, soldiers."20/2/2009
Canadian position on humanitarian relief in Gaza an enigmaCJPME- Newsletter-"While any such seizure by Hamas is illegal and immoral, Canada`s swift and disapproving reaction stands in stark contrast to its silence to extended and devastating controls on aid and supplies to Gaza imposed by Israel. The reason for Canada`s differing response remains unexplained...UN agencies regularly protest Israel`s restrictions on their aid efforts, whether limitations on supplies, or personnel. Canada has never once spoken out against Israel`s 20-month siege of Gaza."20/2/2009
In the wake of Gaza, can the world afford to live with a nuclear Israel?Lech Biegalski - Axis of Logic - In the meantime, both US and Israeli governments continue to press the issue of suspected development of military nuclear technology in Iran, slapping three rounds of sanctions against Tehran. Israel openly threatens to attack Iran in order to destroy its nuclear and scientific facilities. 19/2/2009
How Will Obama React to the Israeli Puzzle? GEORGE S. HISHMEH - Middle East Times - Haaretz, the Israeli daily, also underlined a discrepancy in the Israeli position. It said the Olmert government was elected "on the basis of its promise to advance a `realignment` in the West Bank, at the center of which stood the evacuation of dozens of settlements, but it concludes its term without having upheld one of the commitments its predecessor made to the U.S. administration – the promise to dismantle all outposts built since March 2001." 19/2/2009
The Middle East starts to feel the Obama effectThe Independent - Leading Article - Sooner or later it had to happen: someone had to start talking to Hamas. Today we report that a back channel already exists. French parliamentarians have met the Hamas leader, Khaled Meshal, with Syria as the go-between. MPs from other European countries, including Britain, have met lower-level Hamas representatives since the start of the year. This makes perfect sense. It is the way all pariah groups or states are enticed in from the cold. Negotiations begin unofficially, through third parties and with the necessary element of deniability. 19/2/2009
It`s time to rethink ZionismDaphna Baram - The Guardian - In 1948, during its war of coming-to-be, Israel had driven out of its territory 750,000 Palestinians; another 250,000 were pushed out during the 1967 war. Ever since then, the Israeli left-right division has been marked by the desire for territorial expansion, promoted by the right, and the aspiration for ethnic purity, propagated, curiously, by the Zionist "left". It has always been the "left" that pushed for "division" of the land and "separation" between Jews and Arabs in order to secure a big Jewish majority inside Israel. 19/2/2009
Hamas says Israel sabotaged truce effortsSaed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated Wednesday that the decision of the Israeli cabinet to keep the border terminals in Gaza closed until Hamas releases the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, as a act of stabbing Egypt, the mediator, in the back.19/2/2009
Unmanned aerial vehicles and the warfare of inequality management Jimmy Johnson - The Electronic Intifada - Israel, with 41 years of experience in conducting operations inside densely populated urban environments (Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip), is the world leader in urban warfare in areas under occupation. Other governments seek out this experience for use in their own efforts of urban control. 19/2/2009
Tennis Courts, the Latest Battle Ground Nadia W. Awad - MIFTAH - There is no limit to the extent of double standards. Israel can ban anybody it wants from entering Israel for no reason at all, including high-ranking UN officials, but will complain and cry ‘racism’ and ‘anti-Semitism’ when their own citizens are faced with a similar situation. Believing that sports are above politics is an admirable thought, if only it were true. 18/2/2009
A people abandonedSerge Halimi - Le Monde Diplomatique - After 60 years of defeat, humiliation, exile, violation of signed agreements, colonisation and internecine feuding, after governments all over the world have abandoned them to their fate and allowed international law, including international humanitarian law, to be ridden over roughshod, it is nothing short of a miracle that the Palestinians are still determined to assert their national identity in real terms. 18/2/2009
Israel Is Committing A Holocaust In Gaza: Norman FinkelsteinSelcuk Gultasli - Countercurrents - "First of all, we have to use proper language. There is no operation, and there is no war. What is happening is a slaughter, a massacre."18/2/2009
Israel is trapped, and the chance of peace is ever more remote Bruce Anderson - Independent - "They want to enjoy security and they insist that their neighbours recognise their rights to do so. That does not seem unreasonable. But it is. It fails the highest test of political rationality. It is not realistic." 18/2/2009
Bottom Shekel / A vote for a rough divorce lawyer Elah Alkalay - Haaretz - If the international community does manage to arrange a separation, the peace premium for the region could be exactly the medicine the doctor would prescribe to prevent the epidemic afflicting the global markets from hitting the region. [Election results analysis from the point of view of a business development manager-ed]17/2/2009
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Gaza And Its Aftermath - Noam Chomsky interviewed by Assaf KfouryNoam Chomsky - ZNet - "Before Israel`s massive victory in 1967, Israel was largely ignored by intellectual opinion, consistent with the US stand of mild but not particularly strong support. But after Israel`s triumph of arms, everything changed. Israel had performed a major service to US power by destroying the center of secular Arab nationalism (represented by Nasser`s Egypt) and protecting the radical Islamists of Saudi Arabia who were Washington`s primary ally. That service established the US-Israel relationship in its current form"16/2/2009
The new scapegoat / Establishment`s new toyB. Michael - YNET - "As long as we don`t need to get entangled with some kind of decision in respect to the future of the territories, the outline of a future agreement, the evacuation of settlements, the moral decline of religion, corruption, the spread of fascism, the fundamentalist takeover of the army and education system, and other bothersome trivialities of this sort. Because there is no time for all of these. We need to ‘change the system.’ Not too quickly, however. At least two years shall be required to do it. Perhaps more that that"16/2/2009
Israeli Professor Neve Gordon and Palestinian Lawmaker Mustafa Barghouti on the Israeli ElectionsTranscript of an interview by Amy Goodman - Democracy Now - "[N. Gordon]: I think what we see in these elections is that the whole political map has turned even further right than it was. We have to remember that Kadima, which basically won the elections by one point, most of its members were Likud members. And so, we have the Likud, and then we have the Likud II, and then we have Yisrael Beiteinu. Together, they form probably close to 80 percent of the electorate." [M. Barghouti:] "with Livni and Netanyahu—and here I would agree that there aren’t much differences between the two. Maybe you can say that both of them are racist. Only, Netanyahu is a blunt racist, and Livni is a racist with some makeup. But they both represent the same."13/2/2009
Israel Sought ‘Politicide’ Through Gaza AttackSaree Makdisi - Bloomberg.com13/2/2009
Gaza 2009: Culture of resistance vs. defeat Haidar Eid-Electronic Intifada-"They maintain that the only way to reach independence is through negotiations, though more than ten years of negotiations have not moved the Israeli position at all. The establishment of a Palestinian state is not mentioned in any of the clauses of the Oslo agreement, thus leaving the matter to be determined by the balance of power in the region. This balance tilts in favor of Israel, which rejects the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state, in spite of its recognition of the Palestinian people and its national movement the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). No Israeli party, neither Labor, Likud nor Kadima is ready to accept a Palestinian state as the expression of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The impasse negotiations have reached has proven the oppositional camp correct."13/2/2009
Post-election ThoughtsReuven Kaminer-"Given the poisonous concoction of militarism and chauvinism that goes for democratic process in present day Israel, it would take more than a miracle for these elections to produce any government conducive to meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians. ... the substance of political life in this country is to convert Israel`s special relationship with the United States into a privileged strategic, economic and political formation and state-apparatus."13/2/2009
Israel vote bad omen for Obama peace plansLachlan Carmichael - Yahoo News - "Bill Clinton must be hoping, on behalf of his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, that the next prime minister of Israel is not Benjamin Netanyahu," said the Washington-based non-partisan grassroots organization. "He had several bitter experiences in negotiations with him 11 years ago. The Obama team could have similar experiences with the American-born Netanyahu," it argued in a commentary on its website.12/2/2009
Reasons for War and LiesDominique Vidal - Agence Global - Self-defence The key word. Israel repeatedly stressed that no state would sit by and allow its population to live in fear of enemy rockets. It goes without saying that any government faced by such a situation would react -- but how? By starting a much bloodier war, or by negotiating a lasting truce? 12/2/2009
Does Zionism legitimize every act of violence and injustice? Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Anyone who wants a meaningful left must first air out Zionism in the attic. Until a movement that courageously redefines Zionism arises from the mainstream, there will be no broad left here. It is not possible to be both leftist and Zionist only in accordance with the right`s definition. Who has decided that the settlements are Zionist and legitimate, and the struggle against them is neither? 12/2/2009
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Few Peacemakers in Israel`s KnessetNeve Gordon - The Nation - Obama`s political vision has engendered hope not only in the United States, but around the world. My expectation is that he will make good on his promise for change and introduce a courageous initiative that will finally bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians. He has both an opportunity and a responsibility to do so.11/2/2009
Israeli Elections Prove Things Really Can Get Worse Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Hence, it is fair to say that the Palestinians find little solace in either candidate. Each has proven their “sincerity” to any real peace with the Palestinians. Still, the fact that Israel is moving more and more to the right does not sit easy with any of us. 11/2/2009
The War in GazaDaniel Bar-Tal - Open letter - The brutality and scope of the Israeli actions testify to deeper roots that are founded in the darker side of human beings. They express the wish to erase the feeling of failure in the Second Lebanese War during the summer of 2006; they reflect a deep sense of collective victimhood because of the continuous firing of rockets on civilian settlements in the south by the Hamas military organ-- this sense of victimhood led to the urge to revenge in order to punish for the harm done and prevent further firing. In addition, they are derived from the continuous dehumanization of the Hamas organization11/2/2009
Two parties claim Israel victory - but the kingmaker will be the man in third placeJonathan Freedland - Guardian - "At a victory celebration he said he held "the key" to Israel`s next government." 11/2/2009
Prospects for Peace Deal Appear to DimGlenn Kessler and Griff Witte Washington Post - ""You are going to have a very wobbly, dysfunctional, survival-minded coalition in Israel," said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli peace negotiator." 11/2/2009
GAZA - Spinning the Vicious CircleAmos Oz - IHT - "Disproportionate military operations are basically no more then revenge, and revenge is no more than satisfying base primitive instinct." 11/2/2009
Israel moves to the right Alex Sehmer - Al Jazeera - "Before the elections began on Tuesday, the headline of the Arabic newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat read: "Elections in Israel: Between Right and extreme Right."" 11/2/2009
Encountering Peace: Spins and lies: Gilad Schalit, Hamas and Olmert Gershon Baskin - J-lem Post - "Hamas was willing to open a direct secret back channel for a package deal that would include the renewal of the cease-fire, the ending of the economic siege and the prisoner exchange for the release of Schalit."11/2/2009
Analysis: Will the US and Israel now be able to tango?Hilary Leila Krieger - Jerusalem Post - Netanyahu`s skepticism on diplomacy "could create tension between a US government determined to push ahead and an Israeli government determined to dig in its heels``, yet (...) the history of peace-making in Israel is a history dominated by the Right.10/2/2009
Report: Terms for 18-month truce expected within daysMa`an - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit pointed out that reaching such an agreement [between Israel and Hamas] will move along Palestinian dialogue and open terms for a unity government, “another step schedule for April that will lay the groundwork for a serious peace agreement.”10/2/2009
The elections are not importantYossi Sarid - bitterlemons - If the world chooses to intervene directly and, as President Barack Obama states, "aggressively", then there is still a slim chance of a way out. If it does not--if it continues to make do with sanctimonious statements--then this chance too will disappear and the conflict will remain in a dead end until the next big war breaks out. 10/2/2009
Not a mild movement, a violent shake-upAir Force pilot Major R - Yedioth Aharonoth - Here is my definition of what is allowed and what is forbidden: if you need to get legal advice to perform a military action – the action is improper.10/2/2009
Shame on you, old Europe! Michael Warschawski - AIC - "Shame on you old Europe, whose Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid (sic) Louis Michel, has the chutzpa to `recall, at this time, the overwhelming responsibility of Hamas` for the terrible conditions in which the Gaza residents are trying to survive"9/2/2009
If not fascism, what is?Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - Without censure, a growing current in Israeli politics is calling for the outright killing of Palestinians 9/2/2009
Teens: war or peace?Marjorie Miller - The Los Angeles Times - In interviews at schools in the West Bank and Israel, 11th-graders talk about their views of the future9/2/2009
Herzl`s vision of racism Shlomo Avineri - Haaretz - "As one who had seen for himself the anti-European, anti-Jewish racism, he [Herzl] imagined that Jews could also be racists and inserted into his utopia the errant and disturbing image of a Jewish racist. But in contrast to Europe, where racism was victorious, in Zion and Jerusalem, it was defeated and the principles of equality and liberalism won"9/2/2009
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Kahane wonGideon Levy - Haaretz - Rabbi Meir Kahane can rest in peace: His doctrine has won. Twenty years after his Knesset list was disqualified and 18 years after he was murdered, Kahanism has become legitimate in public discourse.8/2/2009
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Observations on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict following the Gaza attacksAhmad Jaradat - Alternative Information Center - Palestinians, together with Arabs worldwide, consider this war to be a war against Gaza, the West Bank, and their national project, and not against Hamas. Now the resistance is on the front line. The PLO failed in playing its role of political leadership: they did not represent the Palestinians as they were expected to do and they failed in the negotiations for a peace process.15/2/2009
The significance of Israeli dissidentsMichael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - The presence of Israelis and Western Jews in the demonstrations against the Israeli massacre in Gaza helps to break this image that the neo-conservative ideology is trying to impose on us. It also helps to fight, in our own ranks, what I call war-anti-Judaism. War-anti-Judaism is different from classical (Christian) anti-Semitism because it is not based on the discrimination of Jews as such, but on a hostile attitude towards a (false) concrete enemy in a concrete conflict, on an incorrect identification between Jews, Israelis and Zionism – a confusion cynically built by the Zionist ideologists themselves.8/2/2009
Human Rights Watch`s double standard on Israel and Palestine: a new low on Gaza?Mouin Rabbani - Counterpunch Weekend Edition - Given that Israel is reliant on US subventions and public goodwill to a degree without precedent in the history of American foreign policy, there is considerably more than vanity at stake. If Israel’s stature in the United States were to be reduced to that of South Africa during the apartheid era, or Serbia during the Balkan wars, this would almost certainly have material consequences for the “special relationship”.8/2/2009
No more charades, please! Obama, Mitchell and the PalestiniansJames Abourezk - Counterpunch Weekend Edition - As the establishment continues to blather about achieving “peace,” Israel continues to swallow up Palestinian lands.8/2/2009
President Obama`s inaugural speechShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - In his inaugural speech, Barack Obama pathetically evoked the names of the Founding Fathers, without the name of Martin Luther King ever crossing his lips.8/2/2009
Avi Shlaim: `Israel needs Turkey more than Turkey needs Israel`Avi Shlaim - Today`s Zaman - His popularity skyrocketed after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was interrupted while trying to refer to his now famous article, published in The Guardian on Jan. 7, strongly condemning the Israeli operation.8/2/2009
Dirty socksUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “I have some good news and some bad news,” the sergeant in the joke tells his men. “The good news is that you are going to change your dirty socks. The bad news is that you are going to exchange them among yourselves.” I am not the only person who is reminded of this old British army joke by the current elections.8/2/2009
Bibi? I believe him Nehemia Shtrasler - Haaretz - "Netanyahu has never accepted the principle of "two states for two peoples." He does not believe in a negotiated solution to the conflict. He has no desire for any talks with the Palestinians. He is opposed to disengagement and he is opposed to withdrawal. He is seeking "might and not weakness," "war and not ingratiation." He is looking for force, and we know that when force doesn`t work, use more force. Bibi has no intention of relinquishing one square millimeter of West Bank land."7/2/2009
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The Middle East: What Next?By Hugh Eakin, Robert Malley - New York Review of Books7/2/2009
It`s Declared Policy Now: Israel`s Disproportionate ResponsesJules Rabin - The Counterpunch - "I can think of two examples of "harsh and disproportionate" response on the part of a nation finding itself under attack. The first occurred.. when 1300 Palestinians, confined by blockade to the crowded and desperately under-provisioned territory of Gaza, were killed in the course of massive Israeli attacks over a period of 22 days. 1300 lives in 22 days was the price paid for 28 other lives taken over a period of 8 years. The other example of a "harsh and disproportionate" response that comes to mind occurred on June 10, 1942. In retaliation for the assassination by Czech resistance fighters of Reinhard Heydrich, "All the residents of Lidice, a village ten miles outside of Prague, were taken from their homes [and] shot.."7/2/2009
Time for a change of western policyJonathan Steele - bitterlemons.org - "While Israeli hardliners, regrettably supported by most Israelis, have special reasons for not recognizing Hamas since they want to maintain the fiction they have `no partner for peace`, other governments should not let themselves be tied to that policy. Within western foreign ministries and the EU that point is increasingly accepted by diplomats. The difficulty is that their political masters do not yet have the courage to say this openly and change the line that was set in 2006."7/2/2009
Waltzing With Ariel: Will Obama, Too, Indulge Israeli Rejectionism?Tony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "Israeli government appears to have only tactics to fight the next battle, but no strategy beyond an improvisational combination of expanding the occupation of the West Bank, cynically chanting the benedictions of a two-state divorce that will come, one day (like the moshiach) while getting on with the “iron wall” business of creating expansive “facts on the ground” and trying to crush Palestinian resistance. There’s no “peace process” at work in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nor as there been for the past eight years."6/2/2009
Operation Lead and Impunity: Galeano on PalestineEduardo Galeano-PalestineThinkTank-"When they vote for those they should not, they are punished. Gaza is being punished. It turned into a mousetrap without exit since Hamas cleanly won the elections of 2006. Something similar happened in 1932 when the Communist Party triumphed in the elections of El Salvador. Drenched in blood, the Salvadorans atoned for their bad behaviour and since then have lived under military dictatorships. Democracy is a luxury which not everyone deserves."6/2/2009
Gaza war changes Middle East equation at Israel`s expenseAlain Gresh-Le Monde Diplomatique-"The day after the offensive was launched on 27 December, Erdogan said: “This attack, coming while we are making such efforts for peace, is a blow against peace” (6). Not only did Turkey, the mediator which had brought Israel and Syria to the verge of resuming direct negotiations, suspend its efforts, it also called for Israel’s suspension from the UN the day after it fired on UN buildings in Gaza."6/2/2009
An Open letter to an Israeli Reserve SoldierZalman Amit & Daphna Levit-Letter to reserve soldier-"Our reality is miserable, worse than that, desperate, but no, Hamas is not our enemy, you are. You are and you were our enemy since 1948 and all the stages that I, my original town Magdal and my current town, Gaza underwent since then are merely worsening stages in the same decade long tragedy caused exclusively by you."6/2/2009
Are the Tables Turning on Israel?GEORGE S. HISHMEH - Middle East Times -The price that Israel has paid for its disproportionate assault on Gaza has been costly, particularly in public opinion in the United States and overseas. The current issue of Newsweek carried the following headline on one of its features: "Israel Has Fewer Friends than Ever, Even in America." 5/2/2009
States of confusionKhaled Diab - The Guardian - One option I have advocated is to transform the conflict into a civil rights struggle dealing with concrete civil rights. In addition, the embattled and shrinking Israeli peace movement needs to be strengthened, and one way to achieve that is for Palestinian and Arab peace activists to join their Israeli counterparts in an umbrella movement built around civil rights. 5/2/2009
Can Mitchell Turn Jerusalem Into Belfast? Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - Had its recommendations been followed -- cessation of all violence and a full freeze of Israeli settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land -- the peace process might have made progress. Mitchell, who is already in the Middle East, helped broker the 1998 Belfast Agreement, the key to ending decades of strife in Northern Ireland. Because of historical similarities, that peace agreement is an important precedent for Palestinians and Israeli Jews. 5/2/2009
Is an Israeli Jewish sense of victimization perpetuating the conflict with Palestinians? Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - A pioneering research study dealing with Israeli Jews` memory of the conflict with the Arabs, from its inception to the present, came into the world together with the war in Gaza. The sweeping support for Operation Cast Lead confirmed the main diagnosis that arises from the study, conducted by Daniel Bar-Tal, one of the world`s leading political psychologists, and Rafi Nets-Zehngut, a doctoral student: Israeli Jews` consciousness is characterized by a sense of victimization, a siege mentality, blind patriotism, belligerence, self-righteousness, dehumanization of the Palestinians and insensitivity to their suffering.5/2/2009
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Israel and the politics of friendship Joseph Massad - EI - "a quarter of a million West Bankers work in the bureaucratic and security apparatus of the PCA and receive salaries which feed another three quarters of a million West Bankers, makes them fully dependent on the continuation of PCA rule to ensure their continued livelihood. This structural and material factor is indeed paramount in assessing the contemptible quiescence of West Bankers during the recent carnage in Gaza."4/2/2009
Israeli elections; an open season for racismSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - "...several right wing parties started competing on which party carries more hatred towards the Arabs and Palestinians, and which party is capable of expelling them once and for all." 4/2/2009
Israel and Hamas won, so who lost?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge Magazine - On the one hand we have aimless negotiations, and on the other, hopeless resistance. Together these have bred internal schism, blockade, unemployment, innumerable victims and untold suffering. The struggle between Fatah and Hamas has been disastrous for the Palestinian people.1/2/2009
Black flagUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - A Spanish judge has instituted a judicial inquiry against seven Israeli political and military personalities on suspicion of war crimes and crimes against humanity.1/2/2009
Abe Foxman`s `Anti-Semitic Pandemic`Ran HaCohen - Antiwar.com - "If there were a Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy, Abraham Foxman would have been a great candidate. "21/2/2009
Fatah’s Long MarchTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "The rank-and-file of Fatah has long known that Mahmoud Abbas’ habit of jumping through hoops for Condi Rice was political suicide, and that much has been confirmed in recent weeks: Hamas has emerged from the Gaza war stronger than ever politically, and Abbas’ blaming of Hamas for the carnage at the beginning of Israel’s operation cast him as a collaborator in the eyes of many of his own people."21/2/2009
Much depends on the AmericansGalia Golan - bitterlemons.org - "It may be hard to believe at this time, but neither the conflict nor the region nor international politics is static. It was the dynamic in the region and the world, as well as locally, that brought about the Oslo process, mutual recognition and ultimately a Likud-led government that favored the creation of a Palestinian state. If Hamas need not be the end of the road for Palestinian efforts for peace, then the expected Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition need not be the end of the road for Israeli efforts. Many more factors are at play that can turn these seemingly hopeless developments into an opening for something else."20/2/2009
Who is the Judge Who Judges? Who is a Terrorist?Mats Svenson - The Counterpunch - "Mandela had to wait until 2008 before he was removed from the USA terror list. Mandela fought the evil of the time, the oppression of the time. It took almost 50 years before the world finally rallied round him. It was also then that the world finally understood that Mandela had been a free man all along. Confined but free. A freedom that he gave to de Klerk in 1990 and to the USA in 2008. To receive that freedom one first has to want to receive it. In Israel there are also free people... During the last war, the occupied were bombed to pieces by the occupying power. Most Israelis backed their government and their soldiers. But not everyone.There was a shrinking group of free people, people who believe in a context with everyone’s equal worth. "20/2/2009
Unanswered questionsJordan Times - "Sadly, underlining yet again the banality of evil, Israel’s war was probably, in the end, just about votes. Otherwise, why engage in something so destructive and violent when, at the end of it, you come out with a result you could have reached without that war?"20/2/2009
Twilight Zone / Medal of dishonor Gideon Levy - Haaretz - "For the first time in the movie [at its end], we not only see real footage, but also the real victims. Not the ones who need a shrink and a drink to get over their experience, but those who remain bereaved for all time, homeless, limbless and crippled. No drink and no shrink can help them. And that is the first (and last) moment of truth and pain in "Waltz with Bashir."20/2/2009
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Israel has maneuvered itself into a real messAmos Harel and Avi Issacharoff - Haaretz - Exactly a week before the elections it is already impossible to know which way is up: Political considerations and strategic indecision are being used to add to the the chaos of Israeli decision making. What is much more clear is that Israel, in stark contrast to its hopes at the end of Operation Cast Lead, has maneuvered itself into a real mess. 3/2/2009
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Israel`s Key Election Issue: Did War End Too Soon?Griff Witte - Washington Post - ""They`re two faces of the same coin," said Hanaa Mahamid, 24, a student and an Arab citizen of Israel. "All of them are war criminals."" 2/2/2009
Israeli army lawyer who sanctioned bombings under attack over university post Dina Kraft - Telegraph - ""One of the important reasons not to appoint Sharvit-Baruch to the law faculty is her sanctioning of the killing of hundreds of Palestinian civilians," said an editorial in Ha`aretz." 2/2/2009
New Attacks From Gaza and Israel Test Truce ISABEL KERSHNER - NYT - "Taher al-Nunu, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called the Israeli threats of sharp retaliation a “campaign stunt.” In a statement released Sunday, he said Israel was trying “to find a false excuse to escalate the aggression against the Palestinians” and “to destroy the Egyptian efforts to improve the calm.”" 2/2/2009
Not war by other meansAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - "Whether Livni likes it or not, Cast Lead had political goals, and they ran counter to the strategic goal she is supposedly striving for - a Jewish and democratic state." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060821.html id 2/2/2009
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Not war by other means Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "Whether Livni likes it or not, Cast Lead had political goals, and they ran counter to the strategic goal she is supposedly striving for - a Jewish and democratic state." http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1060821.html id2/2/2009
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The silence of the juristsGideon Levy - Haaretz - The Israel Bar Association cannot be bothered with the issue of war crimes. With the exception of a few courageous lawyers, nobody is disturbed by the worrying legal aspects of the war. Hundreds of children killed are not a sufficient reason to cry out when one is busy with flower design. 1/2/2009
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Israel: Land of the toxic kingmakerThe Independent - The controversial right-wing politician Avigdor Lieberman holds the balance of power after Israel`s election last week. Donald Macintyre visits his West Bank home of Nokdim16/2/2009
BARACK OBAMA AND THE UNTYING OF THE GORDIAN KNOT OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICTZeki Ergas - Media for Freedom - "Some 2,400 years ago, in Asia Minor, Alexander the Great, with a well-aimed stroke of his sword, untied the Gordian knot. Barack Obama can do the same to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with well-aimed words and action. He must, unequivocally, boldly and clearly, declare that there has been a quantum change in the way that the U.S. government views that conflict. That continuing with the policy of talking about peace while acting in a way that completely contradicts that speech is no longer acceptable"16/2/2009
Israel, think again about IranGideon Levy - Haaretz - If Netanyahu does indeed become prime minister, we should forget about the threats of the past. In its place, he must rush to send a message to the U.S. president: "Speak with Iran, for the security of Israel and the world."15/2/2009
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Observations on the situation following the Gaza attacks: Michael WarschawskiMichael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - The reaction of Mahmoud Abbas and the PA establishment was an outrage: they didn`t do anything to try and protect their own people in Gaza, and made Israelis feel that they support it, hoping that a blow to Gaza will hasten the end of the Hamas elected government and bring back the Mahmoud Abbas gang to Gaza. In reality, Hamas has strengthened its popularity, including in the West Bank, while Abbas has become totally irrelevant.15/2/2009
Israel`s elections: not a shift to the rightShraga Elam - Barak’s “Labor” actually gained because of the Gaza war, because before “Operation Cast Lead” the polls projected that it would win 6-7 seats and the elections it got 13 seats. One can say that Kadima and Labor gained because of the Gaza war and Netanyahu continuously lost support since the beginning of the war15/2/2009
A new Jewish stateAnshel Pfeffer - Haaretz - Since the exit poll results were published at 10 P.M. on Tuesday, I have heard more than one liberal-minded Israeli frantically trying to find a silver lining to the storm cloud that is the elevation of Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman to the nation`s kingmaker. Their source of optimism? The party`s policies on state and religion. But Lieberman is no secularist.15/2/2009
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Eretz Nehderet: Israeli "explanation" (propaganda) - satireIf you ask why we fight, we say: "They started it!" If you ask why we bomb, we say: "They started it!" If you ask what we want, we say ... ah ... we say ... erm15/2/2009
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Shift to the rightAkiva Orr - many Israelis reasoned as follows: We evacuated GAZA and handed it back to them thinking they would be satisfied and peaceful and what do we get?? Rockets. This means that handing back territory does not satisfy them, they want to kill us despite all our concessions. Handing back territory does not guarantee peace; it initiates further terrorism. So no more handing back territory. So no more handing back territory. 15/2/2009
Ms TantalusUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The two “Zionist Left” parties have been decisively beaten. Both Labor and Meretz have collapsed. Their two leaders who called for the Gaza War and supported it – Ehud Barak of Labor and Haim Oron of Meretz – have received the punishment they richly deserve. In a normal democracy, both would have resigned the day after the elections. But our democracy is not normal, and both leaders insist on staying on and leading their party to the next disaster. 14/2/2009
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