|Why Avigdor Lieberman is the worst thing that could happen to the Middle East||Robert Fisk - The Independent - I covered the bloodbath of Bosnia in the early Nineties and I can identify Lieberman`s language – of executions, of drownings, of hell and loyalty oaths – with the language of Messrs Mladic and Karadzic and Milosevic. Lady Hillary and her boss should pull out a few books on the war in ex-Yugoslavia if they want to understand who they are now dealing with. "Unhelpful" will not be the appropriate response.
|After Gaza, Israel Grapples With Crisis of Isolation ||ETHAN BRONNER - The New York Times - Mr. Netanyahu is expected to appoint Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, as his foreign minister. This alone has Israelis and their allies in Europe and the United States worried because of Mr. Lieberman’s views of Israeli Arabs that some have called racist.Mr. Lieberman had campaigned on the need for a loyalty oath in Israel so that those who did not support a Jewish democratic state would lose their citizenship. One-fifth of Israeli citizens are Arabs, and many do not support defining the state as Jewish.
|Deep divisions may see Fayyad return ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The detailed and frank discussions of the four working committees in Cairo, which include representatives of all factions, have until now succeeded mainly in enabling the parties and the Egyptians to identify areas of agreement and disagreement. The parties have disagreed strongly on the nature of a new unity government and its political program. While Fateh wants a non-factional cabinet and prime minister, Hamas insists on repeating, more or less, the experience of the 2007 national unity government||19/3/2009|
|Bedouin Baby’s Power Struggle With Israel||Jonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Mr Abas said the lack of an electricity supply in particular posed a severe threat to the Bedouin community’s health. A fifth of all residents of unrecognised villages suffer from chronic illness, particularly asthma and diabetes, and require a reliable electrical supply to their homes for their treatment. Most must travel long distances, usually over dirt tracks, to reach health clinics and hospitals.
|US Eyewitness in Gaza: `The reality of a very real bloodbath set in...`||Rose Mishaan - Mondoweiss - A few of us went into the next room. There we found Mohammad lying in bed -- heavily bandaged, missing his left eye. He told us the story of how his whole family was burned to death when two white phosphorous shells hit their family car. He was lucky enough to have been knocked out of the car by the first shell. He lay unconscious and burning on the ground, while several neighbors pulled him away. He didn`t see his family die -- both parents, his brother, and his sister. they were in their car driving to a relative`s house to get away from the shelling in their neighborhood. it was during what was supposed to be a 3-hour ceasefire. Their car only made it 70 meters. He and his brother were both in college.||19/3/2009|
|When Others Sacrifice in Our Name ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - It is only fair, in this context, to also pay tribute to those who take the Palestinian cause under their wing as well. These unique individuals consider the Palestinian cause to be interconnected with all other causes for justice throughout the world. Fighting for Palestine and social justice here is a fight for social justice everywhere. It is precisely for this reason that such brave souls should be honored, because their cause is not only to make Palestine a better place but also every other place in the world where injustices run rampant. Unfortunately, fighting for justice in Palestine often means risking one`s own life. People like Tristan, Rachel, Brian and Tom had to learn this the hard way.
|IDF in Gaza: Killing civilians, vandalism, and lax rules of engagement ||Amos Harel - Haaretz - During Operation Cast Lead, Israeli forces killed Palestinian civilians under permissive rules of engagement and intentionally destroyed their property, say soldiers who fought in the offensive. The soldiers are graduates of the Yitzhak Rabin pre-military preparatory course at Oranim Academic College in Tivon. Some of their statements made on Feb. 13 will appear Thursday and Friday in Haaretz. Dozens of graduates of the course who took part in the discussion fought in the Gaza operation||19/3/2009|
|Solutions: One State, Two State, None ||Zalman Amit & Daphna Levit - After giving the history of the two-state concept the authors conclude: The only possible change in the ongoing deadlock would be a hypothetical situation where the world would impose a solution on the warring parties.||17/3/2009|
|Israel was wrong to think time was on its side in Shalit talks ||Yossi Melman - Haaretz - Israeli logic is dictated by the fear that the public will not accept
a bad deal and is driven by the (erroneous) theory that a harder line
at the talks` outset will enable the price of the deal to be lowered
at their conclusion. Time and again Israel has found itself ensnared by its own trap, a pattern which repeated itself time after time since 1970. ||17/3/2009|
|Is a right-wing government the answer? ||Henry Siegman - Haaretz - Without unprecedented U.S. pressure on Israel to reach an agreement approximating the Clinton proposals, [Livni and Barak] are no more likely than Netanyahu to do anything other than use the peace process they champion as a cover for the continued expansion of settlements and the closing off of East Jerusalem to any future Palestinian entity.
|An Interview with Haider Eid - Massacre in Slow Motion||Eric Ruder - CounterPunch - "The war transformed the slow-motion genocide into real genocide--I don`t know what else to call it. During the war, more than 1,440 people were killed. We thought that the end of the war would also mean the end of the medieval siege imposed on Gaza. But unfortunately, that hasn`t happened since the end of the Gaza massacre--and I really don`t want to call it the end of the ‘war,’ because the war has continued but in different forms"||16/3/2009|
|The Rape of Washington ||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "It is important for governments and peoples to know that the unconditional support for the Israeli Right does not represent the majority of Jews in the U.S., the UK, and other countries. The Jewish public is far from monolithic. The majority is liberal and believes in peace and human rights. Until now this was a silent majority, out of fear of a repressive establishment. It is indeed `a time to speak out`"||16/3/2009|
|Don`t protest for Shalit, protest for release of terrorists||Gideon Levy- Haaretz
Peace for peace, Shalit for Shalit. They want to have their cake and eat it too; for Shalit to be released without releasing Palestinians. The media fan the flames, crying that the prisoners have "blood on their hands;" politicians preach that we should stay quiet "lest the price rises." But the price has not risen or fallen, nor will it fall in the future. But how many of Shalit`s supporters even debate that issue?
|What the Chas Freeman Fight Was Really About||PETER LEE -
any thawing of relations between Washington and Tehran will have to run the multiple gauntlets of opposition, resistance, provocation, and sabotage thrown down by the Israeli government...consider l’affaire Freeman the first conspicuous salvo in the effort to sabotage the Obama administration’s outreach to Tehran.
| The State That Tolerates No Criticism,How Israel Gives Jews a Bad Name||SAUL LANDAU -
Lieberman has acquired a powerful defender in the United States. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, backed Lieberman’s plan to require Israeli Arab citizens to sign an oath of allegiance to the Jewish state.”...
Ironically, in the name of all Jews, Foxman and colleagues in AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and other Israeli lobby groups along with right wing and centrist political parties in Israel invoke the Holocaust to justify the very behavior embodied by Holocaust initiators. Israel calls itself a Jewish state. Yet, one fifth of Israel’s population is non-Jewish. I don’t belong to that state and despise its policies of constant war and occupation.
| The Israel lobby`s Lexington and Concord||Richard Silverstein -
Chas Freeman`s resignation is the first skirmish in what will be a long war between the Obama administration and the Israel lobby...
This is a very sad day for anyone who really wishes for Israeli-Palestinian peace and a vigorous American role in achieving it.
| Building on bold-faced lies||Khaled Amayreh -
Leaked Israeli settlement expansion plans prove that interminable peace talks are but cover for the material destruction of Palestinian horizons...
"Israel`s actions in and around Jerusalem constitute one of the most acute challenges to Israeli- Palestinian peacemaking," the report said.
|Hamas, in rare move, condemns Gaza rocket fire||IBRAHIM BARZAK - AP News in Antiwar.com - The Islamic militant group Hamas made a rare criticism Thursday of Palestinian rocket fire on Israel, saying now is the wrong time as truce talks continue. Hamas, which rules Gaza, appears to be concerned about disrupting talks for a long-term cease-fire with Israel or reconciliation talks with its West Bank-based moderate rival, Fatah.
|Israeli nationalist rising quickly||Steven Gutkin - The Boston Globe - Arab-Israeli lawmaker Ahmed Tibi, who has clashed with Lieberman in parliament, is among those who have compared Lieberman to France`s Jean-Marie Le Pen and the late Austrian ultranationalist Jorg Haider because of his alleged scapegoating of a powerless minority. "It`s a challenge in front of the Arab world and the entire world," Tibi said. "Who will be the Arab official to shake hands with Lieberman?"
|Analysis: Operation Miscast Lead? ||Paul Wood - BBC News - As Israeli commentator Ofer Shelah put it: "In the face of enemies who have opted for a strategy of attrition and attacking from a distance, Israel will present itself as a `crazy country`, the kind that will respond (albeit after a great deal of time) in a massive and unfettered assault, with no proportion to the amount of casualties it has endured."
|Experts to Obama: Political Islam not the enemy ||Ali Gharib - The Electronic Intifada - Scores of Middle East and democracy experts released an open letter to US President Barack Obama Tuesday asking him to focus more of his foreign policy efforts at making reforms in the region, including boosting human rights. Signed by more than 120 academics, scholars, experts and others, the letter said that previous US policy had been "misguided" and "produced a region increasingly tormented by rampant corruption, extremism, and instability."
|Magistrate Court decides Israeli man who killed Arab cab driver “unfit to stand trial”||Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Arab member of Knesset (MK) Dr. Jamal Zahalka, described the court`s decision as racist and as a disgrace to the Israeli Judicial system. “The real mental illness is racism that pushed the killer to commit his crime, he declared and admitted that he had decided to kill an Arab, and he did”, Zahalka stated, “this proves his is not mentally ill, it proves that he is racist, and it seems the Israeli Judicial system is lenient towards those who kill Arabs”.
|Holding the whole||Shelley Ostroff - Common Ground News Service - Peace can rarely last in cultures where there is a sense of injustice, exclusion or disenfranchisement. Peace generally thrives in a situation where everyone has benefit from it. Given the fact that the real threat is the psychological enmity and distrust between the nations, it is shocking that so few financial and brain resources in Israel have been invested in the psychological dimension of peace building in comparison with those invested in reactive defensive military options.||13/3/2009|
|Twilight zone / Preferential treatment||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The world is always against us, period. But the world is not against us - to the contrary: The truth is that there is no other nation toward which the world is so forgiving, even today. Yes, today. Granted, world public opinion is very critical, sometimes in a way that`s unique to Israel, but most governments (except Venezuela and Turkey, but including Egypt and Sweden) are far from being in sync with the public opinion in their countries. The official world continues to be sympathetic to Israel, regardless of its actions. The rise of Hamas, the increase in hatred for Islam in the West, the American hegemony - all this helps in strengthening the support, and we know how to make the very most of it.
|Sderot Journal : An Israeli Playground, Fortified Against Rockets ||ETHAN BRONNER - The New York Times - Israel went to war in late December to put an end to the rockets, and though it pummeled Gaza for three weeks, killing some 1,300 people and destroying hundreds of buildings, the rockets have not stopped. On Tuesday, five fell around the Sderot area. Since the war ended on Jan. 18, some 160 mortar rounds and rockets, including nine long-range ones, have been launched from Gaza at Israel. ||12/3/2009|
|Israel`s iron wall||Carlo Strenger - The Guardian - Netanyahu and Lieberman are deeply influenced by the views of the founder of the right-wing revisionist stream (the Likud`s forerunner), Zeev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky argued that Arabs will never accept Israel as long as they see a chance to defeat it, and that Israel needs to convince the Arab world that it is there to stay through its military might. He called this the "Iron Wall" conception. The question is at what point Israel comes to the conclusion that the Arab world has indeed accepted Israel`s existence.
|Calls for investigation into Gaza attacks : Israel’s war crimes||Richard Falk - Le Monde Diplomatique - Israel blamed its earlier wars on the threat to its security, even that against Lebanon in 1982. However, its assault on Gaza was not justified and there are international calls for an investigation. But is there the political will to make Israel account for its war crimes?
|The Structure of Israel`s Occupation : Toward a Policy of Death ||LUDWIG WATZAL - Counterpunch - Israel has used Gaza as a free fire zone for 22 days and nights. Inevitably, the question arises how could Israel’s occupation become so brutal taking into account the country’s claim of being a “benign occupation power”. Neve Gordon’s book asks exactly that question. Did it happen because of decisions made by politicians or military officers or did the reasons lay in certain elements of the occupation’s structure? The author sees the latter as the main cause of the conflict.||12/3/2009|
|Mixed signals in a complicated reality ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Indeed, financial aid, which is necessary in the Palestinian case, can never be a substitute for a political solution of the kind that will end the Israeli occupation and allow for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the territory occupied by Israel in 1967.
|Sources: Transitional government may be formed within 48 hours ||Ma’an - Sources at the Cairo talks also that Arab leaders have agreed to back the forthcoming government, saying that the topic was raised at Wednesday`s meeting between Saudi King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
|Palestinian Villages Become Israel’s Playground||Jonathan Cook - Countercurrents.org - According to Zochrot, 86 Palestinian villages lie buried underneath JNF parks. A further 400 destroyed villages had their lands passed on to exclusively Jewish communities. Zochrot’s several hundred activists regularly select a destroyed village, taking Palestinian refugees with them as they place a handmade sign detailing the village’s name in Arabic and Hebrew. Within days, the signs are removed.
|Conditional Democracy ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Since Fayyad’s resignation, the United States and assumedly Europe will follow, have made it clear that the only way any new Palestinian government will get the bundles of greenbacks promised to them is if Fayyad is at the helm. This at least, was the message relayed to European and Arab leaders by new US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Sharm Al Sheikh summit at the beginning of the month, just before Fayyad’s announcement||12/3/2009|
|Everyone agrees: War in Gaza was a failure ||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - It was all in vain: no progress made, no goal achieved, nothing. Deterrence wasn`t reestablished, arms smuggling into Gaza was not stopped, Hamas was not weakened and abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit was not freed. On these facts we all agree.
|First blood in the war for Obama`s world-view - the Charles Freeman appointment row||Andrew Sullivan - The Sunday Times - Freeman 2007: â€śWe abandoned the role of Middle East peacemaker to back Israelâ€™s efforts to pacify its captive and increasingly ghettoised Arab populations.â€ť ||10/3/2009|
|Pure and Unadulterated Racism||Reuven Kaminer - One thing is true about Israeli leaders. They have a sixth sense of when Washington is just not serious.||10/3/2009|
|Red Rag Weekly Column: Have they missed the train?||Gideon Spiro - Some on the Left once supported the two-state solution but now despair of it in light of the reality that Israel has created in the Occupied Territories.||10/3/2009|
|Seeking an end to the international double standard ||Rashid Shahin - Ma`an - "When the world refuses to recognize organizations like Hamas on the grounds that they do not recognize the state of Israel, they should apply this same standard to Israeli parties and politicians that do not recognize the Palestinian right to a state. Such a move would include politicians such as Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Leiberman, who called on Israel to use a nuclear bomb to destroy the Gaza Strip"||9/3/2009|
|The Ultimate Earmark : U.S. Military Aid to Israel ||Kathleen and Bill Christison - The Counterpunch - "The United States and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding in August 2007 committing the U.S. to give Israel $30 billion in military aid over the next decade. This is grant aid, given in cash at the start of each fiscal year. The only stipulation imposed on Israel’s use of this cash gift is that it spend 74 per cent to purchase U.S. military goods and services."||8/3/2009|
|Palestinians Need Help, Not Charity||Aijaz Zaka Syed - Palestinian Chronicle- "If the world indeed wants to help the Palestinians, it should go beyond these reconstruction projects and pious peace pledges. There will be no peace in the Middle East as long as Israeli occupation continues and Palestinians remain prisoners in their own land. You rebuild Gaza today; Israel will destroy it tomorrow. So before building peace, prepare Israel for peace. Palestinians do not need our charity. They need our help. "||8/3/2009|
|The rule of fear||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - As Benjamin Netanyahu ascends to power, his message is the danger of a holocaust at the hands of Iran. Avigdor Lieberman emerges victorious and his message is that Israeli Arabs are a cancer. Never before has a government been established here solely based on sowing fear. Devoid of promise or hope, the government being formed offers only the prophecies of apocalyptic doom on whose waves the right rode to power."||8/3/2009|
|Israeli policy gives Jews a bad name||Saul Landau - Progreso Weekly - Most Jews I know get little pleasure from the existence of Israel; just the opposite. They feel disgusted by the behavior of their tribal kin toward Palestinians. This antipathy doesn’t concern Israel’s right to exist, a phony argument still maintained by hard line Zionists.||7/3/2009|
|Must Jews always see themselves as victims?||Antony Lerman - The Independent - Fierce debate has been raging in `The Independent` about Israel`s conduct in Gaza. Here, one leading Jewish thinker argues that until Jews shake off their persecution complex, there can never be peace in the Middle East||7/3/2009|
|This time it`s Mrs. Clinton`s turn||James G. Abourezk - Counterpunch - One More Farcical Tour of the Middle East by a Secretary of State. ||7/3/2009|
|What about the real sins?||B. Michael - Ynetnews.com - Great joy is sweeping through the shtetl. Mr. Navy Commander has been caught looking at boobs. What moral disgrace and educational shame. Our moral army had been tainted with a black stain on its white uniforms.||7/3/2009|
|Israel, apartheid, anti-Semites||Rick Salutin - Rabble.ca - Israel is now a state among nations and must be held to account, not absolved for fear of igniting a new Holocaust.
|Remember Ophira?||Uri Avnery - In 1977, Moshe Dayan deserted the Labor Party in order to serve as Foreign Minister and fig-leaf for Menachem Begin, who forcibly prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state. In 2001, Shimon Peres got the Labor Party to join the government of Ariel Sharon, in order to serve as Foreign Minister and fig-leaf to the man whose very name made all the world shudder after the Sabra and Shatila massacre. So why should Ehud Barak not become a fig-leaf for a government that includes outright fascists?
|The Death of Asil||Dudy Tzfati - Arabic Media Internet Network - What can be done? Is there not enough suffering around? Can we demand from the Palestinian Authority to leave the children and sick out of the struggle? Can we demand from the Israeli government to assume responsibility for the Palestinians under its control? Or maybe we can all raise donations for this purpose?
|Opening eyes in Israel : The dominant strand of Zionism does not make a comfortable bedfellow with core Jewish values||Seth Freedman - The Guardian - Participants from Noam have just spent three months volunteering in Tel Aviv`s poorest neighbourhoods, spending time working with hard-up Jewish, Arab and migrant worker communities in dire need of assistance. During that time, several ventured into the West Bank to assist Rabbis for Human Rights in their work with Palestinian farmers, or visited Israeli-Arab cities to see for themselves the corrosive effects of decades of the Zionist project.
|The Obama effect may positively influence Palestinian dialogue ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Indeed, there seems to be a new atmosphere in the region, something that can perhaps best be attributed to what might be defined as the Obama effect. A prominent factor in the regional awakening is the positive signals from President Barack Obama to regional states with which the US has tense relations. These signals have caused those states, including Syria, to reciprocate with positive signals of their own.
|Following Clinton`s visit, Israel says it will allow more goods into Gaza||Rami Almeghari - IMEMC&Agencies - During her recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, Mrs. Clinton urged Israel to allow more goods into Gaza to alleviate the suffering of Gaza residents. Other European leaders including the foreign minister of Norway, who have recently visited the region especially the war-hit Gaza, urged Israel to allow more humanitarian aids into the coastal territory. For more than 20 months now, Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, after the ruling Hamas party seized control over there in June 2007. From December 27 2008, Israel carried out a three-week war on the Hamas-run territory.
|Did Clinton sabotage a Palestinian reconciliation?||Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - While Israeli violence is tolerated or applauded, Israel`s leaders
are not held to any political preconditions. Prime
minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu emphatically rejects a
sovereign Palestinian state and -- like his predecessors -- rejects
all other Palestinian rights enshrined in international law and UN
resolutions. When told to stop building illegal settlements on
occupied land, Israel responds simply that this is a matter for
negotiation and to prove the point it revealed plans in February to
add thousands of Jewish-only homes to its West Bank colonies.
|The return of Benjamin Netanyahu||Mustafa Barghouti - The Huffington Post - "The result of this election will not bring us closer to a one or two-state solution; it will bring us no solution. And if we continue down this path much longer, `no solution` will manifest itself in the death of the two-state dream and continued Apartheid for the Palestinian people."||1/3/2009|
|An ideal medium for a stateless people||Ali Abunimah -
The internet in the Middle East - Ed. 8 -
|Olmert: The lawyer of a fox ||Nasser Al-Lahham -
"In searching for a rationalization to explain the bizarre actions of Olmert, Israeli observers and journalists responded: “Olmert is a deceiver and liar and we deeply believe that Hamas did not abort the swap.""||18/3/2009|
|Discard the mythology of `the Israel Lobby`, the reality is bad enough||Jonathan Freedland -
"Aipac and its allies have had the monopoly on Israel advocacy for too long. Let`s hope the Freeman episode prompts America`s leaders to take a hard look at them, to see them as they really are: not all-powerful - and not always right either."
|An effective drug ||Yitzhak Laor -
"Deterrent power is merely a decision that "we are deterring them." And what is the proof of its existence? That they don`t react to what we do to them?" ||18/3/2009|
|A government, stained with blood, refuses to release `Prisoners with blood on their hands`||Gush Shalom - When the Government of Israel starts speaking of "generous offers", it is time to seek shelter and expect harsh times ahead. Where is the "generosity" when those who keep 11,000 Palestinians imprisoned refuse to set free even 450 of them? ||17/3/2009|
|Israelis react with fury to British boycott call||Donald Macintyre The Independent - Yivsam Azgad, a spokesman for Israel`s Weizmann Institute, said: "We don`t believe that science and politics should be combined. Period." Dan Zaslavsky, professor of hydrology at the Technion-Israel Institute in Haifa and one of Israel`s leading energy experts, said: "It`s ugly and it is 100 per cent certain that this will hurt British science in the long run if the largest group don`t stand up and reject this repulsive stance." ||4/3/2009|
|Gaza needs trust, not just aid||Caroline Lucas - The Guardian - It was precisely the failure of the EU and US to recognise the last unity government that precipitated much of the chaos and conflict that followed in both the West Bank and Gaza. We cannot afford to make the same mistake again.||4/3/2009|
| The monumental folly at Sharm el-Sheikh||Rami G. Khouri -
Daily Star - "Resolving a conflict must start with a clear and honest acknowledgment of the basic causes of the conflict. In this case conflict resolution requires ensuring
the integrity of statehood for Palestinians and Israelis, and removing the causes of their mutual communal exile, disenfranchisement and sense of vulnerability in the recent past. Using billions of dollars in international aid to maintain much of the Israeli siege of Gaza while trying again to prop up the Abbas government and ignoring the role of Hamas will not move anyone closer to genuine peace or security. "||4/3/2009|
|On the dichotomy of the Occupation and its executors||Aya Kaniuk - Mahsanmilim - And I ask you, mother of this soldier: if you, for example, would tell one of the Palestinians who you have had the chance to demonstrate with and for them, that at this very moment your son is shooting children who might be his relatives, and that tomorrow he might shoot him, evict him from his home, and impose upon him the use of side roads so that Jews can travel without seeing him - with your blessing.
| What Bibi faces in liberated Washington||Gershom Gorenberg - Haaretz - One reason for the change is that AIPAC no longer has a monopoly on concern for Israel. J Street, the new, dovish pro-Israel lobby, pressed senators to sign Feinstein`s letter. Members of Congress and their staffers have attended recent briefings held by the new lobby. ||4/3/2009|
|The Israel donors conference ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - During the 1990s it was still possible to describe donations to the Palestinians as an expression of confidence and hope in Israel`s readiness to free itself of the occupation regime it had created. But not in 2009. Support for Israeli policy - this is the only way to understand the fact that other countries keep pouring in hundreds of millions of dollars meant to put out the fires set by this policy, without extinguishing the source of the blaze. ||4/3/2009|
|Did war make any difference?||Haggai Matar - Ynet - Where are all those people who hurled insults and eggs at us? Do they still care about the south? Do they now understand what the traitors from the margins said before the war â€“ that there is no military solution, and that we must end the siege? ||3/3/2009|
|Global systemic crisis paradigm shift and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict||Zeki Ergas - With the global crisis developing rapidly towards the fifth stage, paradigm shift to a better and sustainable world is a necessity. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has lasted such a long time, it is also because it was fully part of the old paradigm.||3/3/2009|
|Israel`s right not to be criticised||Amira Howeidy -
How serious can the international community`s commitment to eliminating racism be taken when it succumbs to Israeli pressure to boycott the Durban II conference... The controversial draft statement says that Israel`s policy in the occupied Palestinian territories constitutes a "violation of international human rights, a crime against humanity and a contemporary form of apartheid". It describes Israeli policy as "a serious threat to international peace and security" and in violation of "the basic principles of international human rights law".||21/3/2009|
|Gazaâ€™s new line of defense: The Money Line||Yair Lapid - Y-Net - Huge sums of money donated by West will make it harder for Israel to bomb Gaza. The next time we wish to launch a military operation, we will have to ask ourselves whether we can afford to destroy the ďż˝Shifa-Berlusconiďż˝ hospital, bomb the Carla Bruni school, or raze the ďż˝Clinton Center for Culture and Arts.ďż˝
|Palestinians are winning the legitimacy war: interview with Richard Falk||Richard Falk (interviewed by Corey Balsam) - "Following from the attack [on Gaza] itself, which was not a justifiable use of force, is the whole question of whether the use of modern weapons in a setting where the civilian population is exposed to the ravages of war can ever be reconciled with the international law of war. I believe it cannot be. That conclusion is somewhat controversial, it hasn`t been formally tested in an international tribunal, but I think the inability to prevent civilian casualties has clearly been established by the results of the attacks on Gaza."||22/3/2009|
|Shooting and crying||Amos Harel - Haaretz - "We were supposed to go in with an armored personnel carrier called an Achzarit [literally, Cruel] to burst through the lower door, to start shooting inside and then ... I call this murder ... in effect, we were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified - we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself: Where is the logic in this?"||22/3/2009|
|IDF has long ceased being the "most moral army in the world"||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - What shock, what consternation. Haaretz revealed grave accounts by officers and soldiers describing the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians during the war in Gaza. ... The IDF knew very well what its soldiers did in Gaza. It has long ceased to be the most moral army in the world. Far from it - it will not seriously investigate anything. ||22/3/2009|
|Think of the future, not the past||Ofra Yeshua-Lyth - Ma`ariv - There is one thing which history teaches and which Israel must come to terms with: It is just possible that those considered today`s ticking bombs might be tomorrow`s partners.
|Worried about apartheid? Too late, Mr Olmert, itďż˝s already here||Tony Karon - The National - "What Mr Olmert and others are really saying, without realising it, is that Israel is already in an apartheid situation ďż˝ and that if it doesnďż˝t end that situation soon, the world will notice and begin to respond accordingly"||23/3/2009|
|Is Hamas more of a threat to the US than the Taliban and Iran? How can the US justify talking to one group categorized as a terrorist entity but not another one?||Osama Abu Katta - Ma`an News Agency - "Is Hamas more of a threat to the US than the Taliban and Iran? How can the US justify talking to one group categorized as a terrorist entity but not another one?"||23/3/2009|
|Enough with the cosmetics ||Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The New York Times correspondent in Jerusalem, Ethan Bronner, reported last week that after the right-wing election victory, the Foreign Ministry was given another $2 million in order to ‘improve Israel`s image around the world.’ The deputy director general for cultural affairs, Aryeh Mekel, said that the ministry intends to dispatch well-known authors, artists, theater and expositions to ‘show Israel`s prettier face.’ The ministry has a special department for ‘rebranding’ Israel. This is straightforward cosmetics. Negotiations for territory and for freezing settlement construction may cause wrinkles. It is much better for the skin to send hardworking artists to perform from New York to Los Angeles"||23/3/2009|
|Galloway: Canada can`t muzzle me||George Galloway - The Guardian - To ban a five-times elected British MP from addressing public events or keeping appointments with television and radio programmes is a serious matter. Kenney`s "spokesman" told the Sun, "Galloway`s not coming in ... end of story." Alas for him, it`s not. Canada remains a free country governed by law and my friends are even now seeking a judicial review. And there are other ways I can address those Canadians who wish to hear me.||22/3/2009|
|The Freeman affair||Robert Dreyfuss, Tom Engelhardt - Tomdispatch.com - Judging by the outcome of the Charles W. ("Chas") Freeman affair, it might seem as if the Israeli lobby is fearsome indeed. Seen more broadly, however, the controversy over Freeman could be the Israel lobby`s Waterloo.||22/3/2009|
|After the assault on Gaza||Leonard Schwartz - Common Ground News Service -Buber wrote: Every responsible relationship between an individual and his fellow begins through the power of genuine imagination, as if we were the residents of Palestine and the others were the immigrants who were coming into the country in increasing numbers, year by year, taking it away from us. How would we react to events? Only if we know this will it be possible to minimize the injustice we must do in order to survive and to live the life which we are not only entitled but obliged to live, since we live for the eternal mission, which has been imbedded within us since our creation.
|Gaza probe / Either troops are liars, or the IDF is pure as snow ||Amos Harel - Haaretz - One would be hard-pressed not to express astonishment at the speed and efficiency demonstrated by the Military Advocate General, Brigadier-General Avichai Mendelblit, and the Military Police investigation unit in probing the "combat soldiers` testimonials affair" that took place at the Rabin pre-military training academy.
|Calls for independent investigation into military’s conduct during Operation Cast Lead ||B`Tselem - Israeli human rights organizations say, in response to the Israeli Army`s speedy closing of internal investigation files about war crimes in Operation Cast Lead: The speedy closing of the investigation immediately raises suspicions that the very opening of this investigation was merely the army`s attempt to wipe its hands of all blame for illegal activity during Operation Cast Lead.
|Israel Ends Inquiry Into Abuse in Gaza ||ISABEL KERSHNER - The New York Times - The Israeli military said Monday that its advocate general had decided to close an investigation into allegations of abuses by soldiers during the recent campaign in Gaza. The allegations arose from the accounts of soldiers at a conference of graduates of a premilitary course at an academic college in northern Israel.
|Israel`s Covert War on Iran Faces Disapproving White House||RICHARD SALE - Middle East Times - Regarding Israel`s policy of targeted killing, it began seriously after the murder of Israeli athletes by members of Black September, a radical Palestinian group, which was "basically the PLO," according to former CIA agent Bob Baer.
Since then it has been used to eliminate Palestinian or Islamic militants in the West Bank and Gaza. Israel`s prime minister personally approves each killing, and the work is done by "hit teams" that are made up of squadrons of Kidon, a sub-unit of Mossad`s highly secret Masada department which stages the operations, former U.S. officials said. Kidon is a Hebrew word meaning, "bayonet."
|More of the same ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - In the meantime, however, Netanyahu has been talking about "economic peace". From the little detail he has given, it seems that he will in fact continue, more or less, the same policy of unilateralism that Ariel Sharon started and Ehud Olmert continued. This approach is based on avoiding serious political negotiations while proceeding with changing the reality on the ground in the form of settlement building and expansion, construction of the separation wall and other practices that arise from the consolidation of a military occupation.
|It has Always been about Land ||MIFTAH - Land Day is significant to the Palestinians on a number of levels. For the Palestinians who remained in their homes after the horrors of the 1948 War, it is a reminder of their existence, of the right to their own land and their own identity. The protests of March, 1976 marked the first major protest against Israeli rule by the indigenous||31/3/2009|
| Rule now, liberate later ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - If they really aspired to liberation, the two Palestinian leaderships would break a few rules in the Oslo game. They would give up the process of Western-style elections, which is essentially divisive. They would find other means of expressing differences and consensus, and also of encouraging public discourse concerning all the methods of liberation that have failed so far.
|Calls for a boycott not motivated by antisemitism ||Dror Etkes - Middle East News Service - "in sharp contrast to the artificial hubbub created by various sponsored producers in the death camps in Poland, the question raised in the West today by those who deny Israel’s right to exist is completely different: while they do not doubt the right of a large Jewish public to exist in Israel, their doubts are increasing as to this public’s right to manage a regime which grants Jews certain rights over the Palestinian population between the Jordan and the sea. The global debate regarding Israel therefore centres on the political context in which the Israeli Jewish public is sustained, and sees once more the demand to do away with Israel ’s ethnocentric regime and replace it with a bi-national one."||28/3/2009|
|Netanyahu And The ‘Future Of The Peace Process’ ||Ramzy Baroud
- Countercurrents.org - "Overlook the names and the titles, most Israeli major party leaders are one and the same; even their language is equally archaic and confrontational. Therefore, one fails to appreciate the panic over the `future of the peace process.` As far as Gaza, for example, is concerned, it matters little whether the over 1400 people killed in 22 days were blown up by a Likud Revisionist, pulverized by a Labor dove, or bombed by a Kadima peacemaker, a fact that an envoy like Blair doesn`t seem to understand"||28/3/2009|
|Some Israeli soldiers say military rabbis cast the offensive against Hamas rockets as a fight to expel non-Jews||Chicago Tribune||26/3/2009|
|The Lobby Falters||John Mearsheimer - London Review of Books - Freeman will continue to speak out about Israel and
the lobby, and maybe some of his natural allies inside the Beltway will
eventually join him. Slowly but steadily, space is being opened up in
the United States to talk honestly about Israel.||26/3/2009|
| Israel violated humanitarian law in Gaza – interview with Israeli lawyer Michael Sfard||www.russiatoday.com - "I have no doubt that Israel has the right to use force. That`s not the question. The question is what kind of force and what kind of ammunition and which targets to choose."||26/3/2009|
|Book review of Zeev Maoz`s Defending The Holy Land: A Critical Analysis Of Israel`s Security & Foreign Policy||www.jewishpeacenews.net - Not surprisingly, the book was ignored by mainstream media when it came out. Cantarow conjectures that Maoz`s "unimpeachable credentials" have made the book most threatening:||26/3/2009|
|In the Labour Party Kingdom of Prostitutes, Barak is the undisputed King||Michael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - The Israeli political leadership is full of prostitutes, ready to sell themselves for a handful of shekels or a chair in the cabinet. But few are as politically corrupt as Ehud Barak. He would be ready to sell his father and mother to remain minister, and if possible Defense Minister.||29/3/2009|
|Being a Partner for Peace ||New York Times Editorial - "We would like very much to take Mr. Netanyahu’s words at face value, and it would be a lot easier to do that if he had not worked so assiduously to build his reputation as a hard-liner with deep misgivings about the very peace process he now claims to be willing to embrace. "||28/3/2009|
|“A last chance for a two-state Israel-Palestine agreement.” ||Text Bipartisan Statement on U.S. Middle East Peacemaking - pdf file 86kB - The 10 signatories — of both the four-page letter and the report — include Volcker himself, former national security advisers Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Senator Chuck Hagel, former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills , former Congressman Lee Hamilton and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Pickering. ||28/3/2009|
|The Fierce Urgency of Peace ||Roger Cohen - The New York Times - "Pressure on President Obama to recast the failed American approach to Israel-Palestine is building from former senior officials whose counsel he respects".."Deploring “seven years of absenteeism” under the Bush administration, they call for intense American mediation in pursuit of a two-state solution, “a more pragmatic approach toward Hamas,” and eventual U.S. leadership of a multinational force to police transitional security between Israel and Palestine.
My understanding is their thinking coincides in significant degree with that of both George Mitchell, Obama’s Middle East envoy, and Gen. James Jones, Obama’s national security adviser"||28/3/2009|
|A judicial document||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - THE JUDICIAL debate concerns one of the most revolting laws ever enacted in Israel. It says that the wife of an Israeli citizen is not allowed to join him in Israel if she is living in the occupied Palestinian territories or in a “hostile” Arab country.||22/3/2009|
|From Belfast to Jerusalem: Lessons From Northern Ireland for Israeli-Palestinian Peace||J. J. Zogby - truthout||28/3/2009|
|Israel accused of `reckless` use of white phosphorus||Donald Macintyre - The Independent - Israel "deliberately and recklessly" fired white phosphorus shells in densely populated areas of Gaza in an "indiscriminate" way that killed and wounded civilians and is "evidence of war crimes", Human Rights Watch said yesterday.A detailed report from the agency says the Israeli military knew white phosphorus`s lethal capacity to cause intense burns, and that the firing of it in airburst artillery shells revealed a "pattern or policy of conduct rather than incidental or accidental usage."
|Waiting to enter Gaza||Kris Petersen - The Electronic Intifada - If there is a single act that characterizes the plight of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, it is waiting: waiting in lines to pass through the hundreds of checkpoints scattered across the West Bank, waiting for Israel to issue an identification card, waiting for permission to travel to the next village or out of the country, waiting for loved ones languishing in Israeli prisons to be released -- waiting for peace, waiting for justice. And for nearly two months, I found myself sharing the experience of waiting -- for Israel to allow me into Gaza.
|Encountering peace: Olmert`s scorecard - failure!||GERSHON BASKIN -
J-lem Post -
"Ehud Olmert was one of the worst prime ministers in Israel`s history." ||25/3/2009|
|Israel violated humanitarian law in Gaza – Israeli lawyer ||Paula Slier -
"Because they have something to hide, because they don`t want anyone outside the Israeli army apparatus to look into the deeds of the army and I believe that this is in itself a violation of international law."
|Blood on their hands: the demonization of the Palestinians||Shmuel Amir - The blanket condemnation of people fighting for their independence as criminals has always been part of colonial strategy. Turning POWs into criminals with blood on their hands tells us more about the colonial character of Israel than it does about the captive prisoners.
|Avigdor Lieberman: Israel`s shame||Neve Gordon - Counterpunch - Imagine a country that appoints someone who has been found guilty of striking a 12-year-old boy to be its foreign minister. The person in question is also under investigation for money-laundering, fraud and breach of trust; in addition, he was a bona fide member of an outlawed racist party and currently leads a political party that espouses fascist ideas. On top of all this, he does not even reside in the country he has been chosen to represent.||29/3/2009|
|Biberman & Co.||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - THE PINNACLE of Netanyahu`s achievement was the acquisition of the Labor party for his government. In one stroke he turned a government of lepers, which would have been viewed by the whole world as a crazy bunch of ultra-nationalists, racists and fascists, into a sane and balanced government of the center. All this without changing its character in the least.
|Blood on their hands not on ours||Aya Kaniuk - Mahsanmilim - But in spite of all the folds of language and discourse, the moral superiority, the self-righteousness, the murderousness and the treason, the different moral vocabulary attributed to the other, still and in spite of it all, shooting is shooting. And the other is dead because someone shot him, whether in defense or offense, whether the dead man`s blood had to be shed or not, whether he belonged to them or to us. His blood has been shed. And the person who fired the shot and caused his death has blood on his hands. Even if the shooter was Jewish and the dead man, `only` a Palestinian.
|Which Strategy to Heal the Middle East?||Arthur Waskow and Naomi Klein - ZNet - These reports have greatly strengthened my (already strong) conviction that those American Jews who have seen Israel as "HaTikvah, "the hope," of fulfilling Jewish values, not negating and destroying them, must act vigorously to uphold those values, even and especially against the will of the Israeli government. I continue to believe that the most effective path to doing so remains the one I have sketched below. And I welcome the kind of dialogue, on this and other issues, that Naomi Klein and I had. Shalom, salaam, peace -- Arthur]
|We are all Palestinian||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - In effect, Palestinian citizens of Israel must fight battles on two fronts. First, they must endure the daily sting of discrimination meted out to them by the state and constantly go against the hostile current of Israel`s exclusive Jewishness. Emotionally, they are forever pulled in the direction of their Palestinian brethren in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem not to mention those in the Diaspora, which is not a welcomed sentiment in Israel.
|Lieberman is no abnormality ||Nimer Sultany - EI - "The movement to the right wing within Zionism cannot be reduced to Lieberman, and what is troubling about Zionism cannot be reduced to its right-wing side only"||30/3/2009|
|From Tehran to Tel Aviv ||Roger Cohen - New York Times - Americaâ€™s Israel-can-do-no-wrong policy has been disastrous, not least for Israelâ€™s long-term security.||24/3/2009|
|Israeli war crimes allegations: what the law says||Afua Hirsch - The Guardian - The use of drones, targeting of medical staff and facilities and use of human shields raise numerous issues of international humanitarian law, the body of law concerned with the treatment of individuals during international armed conflict.
|New Poll of American Jewish Community||J Street - A new J Street poll shows strong continued support among American Jews for assertive American diplomacy in ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as in the Middle East generally. The results, which you can read in full below, demonstrate an understanding that difficult compromises will have to be made by both sides in order to bring true peace and security to Israel, the Palestinians, and the entire region||26/3/2009|
|Israel’s Labor Party Votes to Join Netanyahu Coalition ||ISABEL KERSHNER -
"Ophir Pines-Paz, a lawmaker, said Mr. Barak did not win a mandate to throw Labor “into the garbage bin of history.”"
|Rights group not the enemy||Elhanan Miller -
"... the attempt to stifle an honest and coolheaded human rights debate in Israel expresses critics` lack of confidence in the Israeli ability to rectify its mistakes,"||25/3/2009|
|Oh Barak, how you’ve fallen||Yoram Kaniuk -
"The man whom people were waiting for to plan a powerful and wise operation for years prompted wall-to-wall hatred against Israel, and even destroyed part of the army’s internal structure." ||25/3/2009|
|Time to believe Gaza war crimes allegations ||Amira Hass - Haaretz - Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has difficulty believing the soldiers` testimonies that they intentionally harmed Palestinian civilians, because the Israel Defense Forces is a moral army, he said on Sunday.
On the other hand, he believes the soldiers because they "have no reason to lie." Then again, Ashkenazi is convinced that if what they said is true, these are isolated incidents.
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