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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
US Out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflictIvan Eland - Antiwar.com - After the Cold War, a U.S. alliance with Israel gets the United States very little and merely antagonizes Middle Eastern oil producing nations. Although the United States gives Israel billions in aid every year, Israel is in the driver’s seat in the bilateral relationship because U.S. politicians – both Democratic and Republican – feel they need the support of the powerful Israeli lobby to get elected. 31/5/2009
Were IDF close-range killings in Gaza justified? Amira Hass - Haaretz - Among the 1,400 Palestinians killed during Operation Cast Lead last December and January, 1,085 died in Israeli air strikes, according to a study by the Gaza-based human rights group Mezan. Israeli soldiers killed 93 Palestinians at close range with rifles, according to the study, which was requested by Haaretz. 31/5/2009
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What if Tzipi Livni were the prime minister of Israel? Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Did you see Tzipi Livni`s speech in the Knesset last week? It was the best show in town. She was outstanding. Sharp as a razor, sure of herself, eloquent, refined, witty and downright venomous. The head of the opposition has come across in her latest appearances as an excellent speaker. "The flip is worse than the flop" and "Be a man and give in" - everyone keen to mercilessly attack the prime minister would use her witticisms, calling him by his nickname "Bibi" as he pretended not to listen. It set off the imagination: What would have happened had Livni formed the coalition? Well, the situation would be even worse. 31/5/2009
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Defending Israeli war crimesStephen Zunes - Foreign Policy in Focus - In response to a series of reports by human rights organizations and international legal scholars documenting serious large-scale violations of international humanitarian law by Israeli armed forces in its recent war on the Gaza Strip, 10 U.S. state attorneys general sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defending the Israeli action. It is virtually unprecedented for state attorneys general — whose mandates focus on enforcement of state law — to weigh in on questions regarding the laws of war, particularly in a conflict on the far side of the world.31/5/2009
"Racists for Democracy"Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - This week, the Knesset voted by a large majority (47 to 34) for a law that threatens imprisonment for anyone who dares to deny that Israel is a Jewish and Democratic State.31/5/2009
Israel: from pride to shame - and back? Zeki Ergas - Media for Freedom - The time has come for the Jews and the Israelis to acknowledge that, in 61 years, from the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, to the establishment of this reactionary government in 2009, Israel has travelled a long road from pride to shame. And, the question really worth asking now is: Will Israel be able to shake itself up, take stock of the disaster, stop the shame and travel back – quickly! for there is no time to waste – to pride again, by doing the right thing. I believe that Israel can. But she will need outside help, which can only come from two sources essentially: the American government led by Barack Obama; and the American and the European Jews.31/5/2009
`Abbas is trying his best` 28 May 09Link to Aljazeera youtube - Nabil Abuznaid, the former chief of PLO mission in Washington, defends the Palestinian president against criticism from the Hamas group over his policies. 30/5/2009
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Humor corner: Palestine’s Island ParadiseMany times we have thought about how unrealastic a Palestinian State in the West Bank would be if it is divided into tiny islands separated by Jewish settlements and Jewish-only roads. This map, drawn by a French artist, says it all. 30/5/2009
Israel should remember Nakba day : Trying to erase Palestinian history by banning Nakba day would not strengthen Israel but undermine itRachel Shabi - The Guardian - Accommodating another people`s history – not resolutely rejecting it – is the real show of strength and security. Israelis don`t have to subscribe to every syllable of the Palestinian side of the story, but they do need to respect the Palestinian right to have a history and a narrative. That`s the cornerstone of reconciliation: acknowledge the other person`s experience, apologise and find a mutually acceptable form of recompense. 29/5/2009
Prussia on the Mediterranean?Roane Carey - The Nation - Whatever you call it, if Israel continues along its current path, the repression will necessarily intensify, and the avenues for free expression will become ever more constricted. The old joke about Prussia was that it was an army masquerading as a state. Is Israel destined to become Prussia on the Mediterranean?29/5/2009
Mr. Abbas Goes to WashingtonAli Abunimah - The Nation - On the Palestinian side, Obama is talking to the wrong man: more than half of residents in the occupied territories do not consider Abbas the "legitimate" president of the Palestinians, according to a March survey by Fafo, a Norwegian research organization. Eighty-seven percent want the Fatah faction, which Abbas heads, to have new leaders.29/5/2009
A response to the proposal to ban commemoration of the Nakba on Independence DayEitan Bronstein - Zochrot - The proposal to legally bar the commemoration of the Nakba on Israel`s Independence Day reflects growing trepidation in Israel about the inevitable encounter with the Palestinian Nakba and the understanding that the Nakba is a foundational part of Israeli identity.29/5/2009
How to talk to a right wingerGideon Levy - Haaretz - Do you know what the right is proposing? It is proposing a continuation of the status quo. What was ostensibly good for Israel for 40 years will also be good for another 400 years. For 40 years we were able to deceive ourselves, to mock the world, to occupy, to oppress, to trample and to kill. So why shouldn`t we continue? 28/5/2009
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Hamas claiming IDF troops were `cowards` during Gaza war Amira Hass - Haaretz - Concerning the cowardice of the Israeli soldier, as an individual, opponents to Hamas and supporters of Hamas are in agreement, as witnessed by the joke from Tel al-Hawwa. And as witnessed by the conclusion of five- year-old Tallal when he returned to his home that was honeycombed with bullet holes, after it had served as a military position: "The Jews are cowards. They were afraid that our fighters were in the cupboards, in the washing machine, in the refrigerator, in the walls and in the doors. That`s why they fired so many bullets." 28/5/2009
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`Cry, the Beloved Country` Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Evidence of this is the newest bill being proposed in the Knesset, which has received preliminary approval. The proposal, first brought forth by none other than Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and MK Alex Miller, seeks to ban and criminalize any commemoration of Al Nakba, with a punishment of up to three years imprisonment. According to Lieberman, the Palestinian-Israelis who commemorate the tragedy and loss of their own villages in the 1948 War is "incitement" against Israel and should be punished accordingly. 28/5/2009
Knesset okays initial bill to outlaw denial of `Jewish state` Nadav Shragai - Haaretz - The Knesset plenum gave initial approval on Wednesday to a bill that would make it a crime to publicly deny Israel`s right to exist as a Jewish state, punishable by a sentence of up to a year in prison. The measure was the latest of several introduced in the past week by right-wing lawmakers and denounced by critics as an assault on free speech, particularly for Israeli Arab citizens, most of whom are of Palestinian origin. 28/5/2009
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The PA`s small window of opportunity Mel Frykberg - The Electronic Intifada - The chances of Abbas`s new government winning support from the Palestinian public appear slim even if Israel and its US supporters are pleased. But if it can stand up to Netanyahu by stopping expansion of the settlements, ensuring financial stability, and working towards unity with Gaza, there is a small window of opportunity. 28/5/2009
Public Trial - not wantedRoni Hammermann - Machsomwatch - In the Jerusalem Police Prison we are the only representatives of the public present at the hearings of the remand extension. Family members of the detainees cannot attend, because the Compound is located in Jerusalem and as Palestinians they have no access to Israel. The courtroom is located within a police prison and any unauthorized person has to receive a special permit (which we have). By excluding us, the hearings will be removed from the eyes and ears of any public and the principle of public trial will be overturned. 27/5/2009
Netanyahu Chooses WarehousingJeff Halper - Just the day before the Netanyahu/Obama meeting the building of a new settlement was announced Maskiot, in the Jordan Valley, the first settlement to be officially established in 26 years. Two days after returning from Washington, Netanyahu further declared: United Jerusalem is Israel`s capital.27/5/2009
It is happening in the Jewish and Democratic StateAmos Gvirtz - Don`t say we did not know - Checkpoints at the entrance to the village have been set up by the police, who check every vehicle entering or leaving, and ask - "Why aren’t you leaving this place?" 27/5/2009
Obama meeting: Second round in a long boutDaoud Kuttab - Jerusalem Post - Abbas`s meeting with Obama is likely to be much more cordial than the Netanyahu visit27/5/2009
A history of discrimination Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - That which was prohibited all year was allowed for one day, so they could be allowed to celebrate on their own ruins.27/5/2009
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Israeli Government Obstinance Following Netanyahu’s Return from Meeting in US with Obama Bryan Atinsky - AIC - "What are the substantive results of the meeting? From the US side, we won’t know until we see how Obama’s administration reacts to the actions, or more properly, inaction, of the Israeli government"25/5/2009
Why Netanyahu`s call for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a "Jewish state" has raised alarmsPatrick Martin - The Globe and Mail - ‘These people have a lot of nerve. They take control over our land and insist on their culture being the only one recognized.` 24/5/2009
Scott Horton interviews David BromwichDavid Bromwich - Antiwar Radio - David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses misleading coverage of the Obama/Netanyahu conference in which the New York Times exaggerated Obama’s hawkishness on Iran and the administration’s position on a Palestinian state.24/5/2009
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Only the settlers are taking Obama seriously in IsraelGideon Levy - Haaretz - The acute shift in the United States` attitude toward Israel interrupted the public in the middle of its springtime nap. This nonstop sleep has continued for at least a decade. Sleep? Heck, this has been a coma.24/5/2009
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THE GLOVES COME OFF Adam Keller/Beate Zilversmidt - The Other Israel - For Obama to bring about a turn in US Middele East policy the Netanyahu-Lieberman crew in Israel may provide the right anvil. 24/5/2009
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US president gives green light for Israel to continue its nuclear arms programSergio Yahni - AIC - According to the Israeli press, US President Barak Obama promised Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would maintain the current understandings between the two countries regarding Israel’s nuclear program. 24/5/2009
Obama and Netanyahu reaffirm status quo in talksJeremy Hammond - Foreign Policy Journal - In opening his remarks to the press [1] following the meeting, Obama reiterated “the special relationship between the United States and Israel”. Netanyahu said he was “particularly pleased” at Obama’s “reaffirmation of the special relationship” and said both nations share a “common threat” of “terrorist regimes and organizations that seek to undermine peace”.24/5/2009
King Abdullah`s 57-state solutionRannie Amiri - Counterpunch - Gazans and other Palestinians, with due respect to fellow Muslims between Morocco and Indonesia, have their own exigent circumstances. Palestine is being swallowed, bit by bit and piece by piece. The separation barrier snaking around Jerusalem and the West Bank is but one form of annexation complementing the expansion and building of settlements there. Gaza remains in rubble, with no construction materials being allowed in and continued difficulties in getting the sick and dying out.24/5/2009
Cheney: support for Israel feeds terrorismRay McGovern - Commondreams - “They have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion … our belief in equal rights for women … our support for Israel … — these are the true sources of resentment …”24/5/2009
Gaza disownedRamzy Baroud - Zmag - "Gaza is not on the Pope`s itinerary, nor will it be. There will be no change in these plans. But I`ll say it very clearly, the Pope is absolutely not going to Gaza." 24/5/2009
Calm voice, big stickUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - BARACK OBAMA is often compared to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but it is from the book of another Roosevelt that he has taken a leaf: President Theodore Roosevelt, who, 108 years ago, advised his successors: "Speak softly and carry a big stick!"24/5/2009
Rethinking the costs of peaceJosh Ruebner - the Detroit Free Press - "In pledging to trim ineffective spending, President Obama declared that “there will be no sacred cows and no pet projects. All across America, families are making hard choices, and it`s time their government did the same." By asking earlier this month for $2.775 billion in military aid to Israel in his FY2010 budget request, it would seem that on this important policy issue President Obama’s commitment is more rhetorical than substantive. "23/5/2009
Why Obama Must Shackle BibiTony Karon - Rootless Cosmopolitan - "If Israel’s own messianic, apocalyptic cult leader is to be prevented from unleashing a catastrophe, the U.S. will have to effectively restrain him. Given the expectations he has created in his own public, doing so publicly may actually help Netanyahu behave more rationally"23/5/2009
Committee Against Torture’s Findings Highlight International Community’s Inaction in the Face of Israel’s Widespread and Systematic Violations of International LawPalestinian Centre for Human Rights - Press Release - On 14 May, 2009, the United Nations Committee Against Torture published its concluding observations on Israel’s fourth periodic report. While the State of Israel was preparing its submission, other elements of the Occupying Power’s administration were, inter alia, reinforcing the siege on the Gaza Strip, solidifying the annexation of occupied East Jerusalem, expanding illegal settlement activities in the West Bank, and preparing for Operation ‘Cast Lead’, the 23 day military offensive on the Gaza Strip21/5/2009
Diaspora Jews find their voice : If diaspora Jews can find the courage to speak critically to Israel, a tipping point may finally be reachedAntony Lerman - The Guardian - Freedland`s dream, predicated on the fact that Israel is heavily dependent on the support of diaspora Jewry to legitimise its actions, was that diaspora Jews would finally turn round to the Israeli government and say "Enough is enough. The occupation must end. The Palestinians must have their independent state. If not, however much we are with you, we can no longer support you." Jacqueline Rose agreed, adding that central to this there had to be a full recognition of the injustice suffered by the Palestinians in 1948. And Freedland accepted this too. 21/5/2009
Netanyahu Adviser Steps Out of the Shadows JONATHAN COOK - Counterpunch - In 2007, before his rise to public prominence, Mr Arad also fuelled worried speculation about Israel’s plans for a military strike on Tehran, after he described it as “easier than you think”. A wide range of non-military Iranian targets were legitimate, he added. But despite Mr Arad’s espousal of opinions that in many respects accord with those of Avigdor Lieberman, leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu Party and Mr Netanyahu’s foreign minister, few doubt the prime minister’s fierce loyalty to him. 21/5/2009
Palestinians Try to Prune Branches of Core Party Steven Erlanger - The New York Times - Fatah, the core of the Palestinian national movement for five decades, has the organizational transparency of a Soviet republic and was long run like one by its founder, Yasir Arafat. Talk of reform arose after his death five years ago and again when Hamas defeated it in legislative elections in 2006. But shock after shock has done little to induce change. The movement has been paralyzed by competing personal alliances and a continuing identity crisis, and has not held a congress in 20 years.21/5/2009
A friend of IsraelGideon Levy - Haaretz - We must be thankful to Obama. Four months after taking office, he is trying to rescue Israel, the Middle East, and basically the entire world, whose most dangerous conflict is this one. The threats are many; first and foremost refusals by Israel, a loss of interest by Obama, and Palestinian divisions. The ball is in Netanyahu`s court. If he ends the occupation, he`ll get peace and security; if he doesn`t, he won`t. It`s not about another minor deal, but about the future of the Zionist enterprise. Such an opportunity will not return. Yes, we can. Obama has proved it; now it`s our turn21/5/2009
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Israel`s choice, Obama`s challenge Mustafa Barghouthi - The Electronic Intifada - I am increasingly convinced that if Obama fails to speak out now, it will doom the two-state solution forever. Further fiddling in Washington -- after eight years of it -- will consign Jerusalem, the West Bank and the two-state solution to an Israeli expansionism that will overwhelm the ability of cartographers to concoct a viable Palestinian state.21/5/2009
The US can bring new hope to the Middle EastJonathan Ben-Artzi - The Guardian - Real peace cannot be achieved until Israelis see Palestinians as equals. America can lead the way by engaging with both sides. 20/5/2009
Normalization or sanctions?Michael Warschawski - The Alternative Information Centre - Ending the anti-normalization campaign was not only a moral mistake but also a political failure: as a colonial-militarist state, Israel understands only pressure, and will stop its aggressive behavior only if obliged to do so. It is as simple as that.19/5/2009
One state the alternative to two-state solution - MusaHani Hazaimeh - Jordan Times - "If Israel continues not to accept solving the Palestinian issue on the basis of a two-state solution, then the other option before us is one democratic state in which Muslims, Christians and Jews live side by side enjoying the same rights," Arab League Secretary General Amr Musa said on Sunday.19/5/2009
Obama-Netanyahu must not be Kennedy-Khrushchev Juan Cole - Informed Comment - Far rightwing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is meeting Monday with President Barack Obama in Washington. It is the most fateful encounter of two world leaders since Kennedy met Khrushchev. And Obama absolutely must not allow himself to be cowed or misunderstood as timid by Netanyahu, who is a notorious bully and warmonger. 19/5/2009
Obama and the Middle EastHussein Agha, Robert Malley - The New York Review of Books - The new millennium began with the near-universal acceptance of the idea of a Palestinian state, which is precisely when its support among Palestinians began to slip.19/5/2009
Negotiations - an obstacle to peace Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "If Obama strives to develop mechanisms like the road map, the Annapolis Declaration and task forces, he might go down in history as the American president who put the final nail in the coffin of the Oslo process. The 15 years of `peace process` have served as an alibi to build more than 100 new settlements and outposts, and to enlarge the settler population from 110,000 to nearly 300,000, excluding East Jerusalem"18/5/2009
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EU obligated to prosecute war crime suspects Daniel Machover and Adri Nieuwhof - EI - "Instead of paying lip service to injustices inflicted upon the Palestinian people by issuing statements `deploring the loss of life` and promises to `follow closely investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law,` EU countries would achieve much more by applying the rule of law to Israel, starting with making their laws match their obligations under the 1949 Geneva Conventions"18/5/2009
Playing Tennis While the Helicopters Pass By - On the Beach in Tel AvivMats Svensson - CounterPunch - "The only thing we know is that soon the ground offensive will start again. Every freely thinking fellow being knows that this is a wrong and criminal act. At the same time, we sit in the first stalls, on the beach as the sun sets in the distance. We eat our calamari and sip our wine"18/5/2009
Helping Obama to helpDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram - "Nonetheless, what Obama will say and be able to do will not necessarily be identical, Arab diplomats say. Some suggest that if Obama fails to get the peace process rolling during his first year in office it will be unlikely that he will be able to do so afterwards"18/5/2009
A review of Benny Morris, `One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict`Ran Greenstein - This book is a disgrace. It is difficult to understand why a reputable publisher like Yale University Press would wish to have its name on a book that is so dishonest, ill-informed and which pursues an obvious political agenda.17/5/2009
Netanyahu visits the White House: change we can believe in for US-Israeli relations?Phyllis Bennis - Zmag - Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is coming to Washington on May 18, for his first official visit with President Obama. If Obama is serious about achieving a two-state solution in his first term, and therefore serious about bringing real pressure to bear on Israel, there will be no better time to do so.* 17/5/2009
New game for IsraelHaim Baram - Kol Ha-Ir - It is very possible that the settlers in the West Bank will gradually understand that the sole chance to remain in their current place involves the establishment of a bi-national state that will provide democratic rights to all of its residents. Here, fascinating and most unexpected alliances are liable to grow between the radical Israeli Left, which is sick of the traditional solution of two states for two peoples, and the settlers.17/5/2009
Quarrel on the Titanic Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Article X of Annex 1 of the Interim Agreement of September 1995 says: “There shall be a safe passage connecting the West Bank with the Gaza Strip for movement of persons, vehicles and goods…Israel will ensure safe passage for persons and transportation during daylight hours…in any event not less than 10 hours a day.” In practice, the safe passage was never opened. Among all the blatant violations of the Oslo agreements, this was the most severe. Its consequences have been disastrous for both sides.17/5/2009
Pilgrim`s regress Benny Ziffer - Haaretz - "On Tuesday morning, a nation suddenly woke up and felt that the Omnipresent One had not begged its forgiveness. Newspaper headlines reflected the disappointment that he failed to ask for forgiveness. Millions of teeth clucked in disapproval." 16/5/2009
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Obama and Netanyahu: Pressing the right buttons The Guardian Editorial - "Israel has shown a collective continuity of purpose, whoever is in power. Palestinian homes are bulldozed in East Jerusalem, settlement construction continues to throttle the West Bank and Gaza is kept on life support whoever is mayor of Jerusalem or prime minister...Left unchecked, these policies inevitably lead to fresh conflict. To prevent this, Mr Obama must insist on concrete steps."16/5/2009
The subversion of liberationAl-Ahram Weekly - " When leaders in struggle confuse themselves with recognition of the rights of the people they claim to defend, everyone suffers, including the national cause, writes Azmi Bishara"16/5/2009
No hope or change from Obama-Netanyahu meeting Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - "Netanyahu has little to lose by embarking on another "peace process" after making a show of resisting American pressure (or extracting more American concessions or money). He knows the chances of ever getting to the stated destination are nil. Obama will not apply significant pressure, and even if he did, it is unclear on whom he would apply it, since on the Palestinian side there are no leaders ready, willing and able to carry off a second Oslo-style fraud against their people"22/5/2009
Saving Israel from itselfJohn J. Mearsheimer - The American Conservative - The two-state solution is the only way to guarantee the Jewish state’s long-term security — and that of the US.15/5/2009
Anti-Semitism is rearing its head in Tel Aviv Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Anti-Semitism is raising its head. Not in Warsaw, Munich or Paris, and there`s no need for the Anti-Defamation League to wave the evidence around. It`s right here, in our own home, in verdant Ramat Aviv, the most enlightened suburb of Tel Aviv, our most enlightened city. The entry of a handful of ultra-Orthodox Jews to this lovely, modest and tranquil neighborhood has provoked an unlovely wave of racism, tearing the thin veil of openness and liberality from this seemingly left-wing community.14/5/2009
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The newlywed game Aluf Benn - Haaretz - The Israeli delegation, which at such meetings usually has tales to tell of small talk, laughter and the development of a personal friendship between the prime minister and the president, did not even try to peddle any such stories this time. Both Obama and Netanyahu had an interest in looking like they were standing firm and not melting at the first meeting. The serious expression on Obama`s face, even when Netanyahu complimented him on his friendship with Israel, was intended to prove to television viewers worldwide that the new president was not blindly toeing the Israeli line like his predecessor did. 21/5/2009
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New Faces for an Old Struggle Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - In terms of the Netanyahu-Obama meeting, the Israeli prime minister didn`t pull any surprises out of his hat – at least not any pleasant ones. His position vis-ŕ-vis the Palestinians was more or less the same, falling far short of endorsing the two-state solution and remaining adamant about settlements. The most he would offer was to say Israel would work to dismantle illegal outposts and commit to not building any "new" settlements. Anyone who knows anything about Jewish settlements in the West Bank understands that this so-called commitment is nothing more than a brush-off and a whitewashing of any commitment to real progress. 21/5/2009
Notes on Obama-Netanyahu MeetingReuven Kaminer - Since he walked out of the White House, Bibi has been working overtime to soft pedal the differences that were the central aspect of the meeting. But he seems to speak with authority of gaining full US support on a number of critical issues. Netanyahu plays the media well and more often than not everything he says about what Obama said is accepted as fact. 21/5/2009
Reclaiming Einstein: new book reveals famed scientist as opponent of IsraelJaisal Noor - Indypendent - review of Einstein on Zionism and Israel: His Provocative Ideas About the Middle East. By Fred Jerome, St. Martin’s Press, May 200917/5/2009
In Bethlehem, Pope Benedict XVI makes strongest call yet for a Palestinian homelandRory McCarthy - The Guardian = 14/5/2009
Poll: 58% of Israeli Jews back two-state solution Ynet - Survey conducted ahead of Netanyahu`s visit to Washington shows secular, religious Israeli Jews split over US-backed plan to establish an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel 14/5/2009
Hostage to Israel’s far rightJoseph Algazy and Dominique Vidal- Le Monde Diplomatique - Following the Israeli elections the far-right leader Avigdor Lieberman has become foreign minister and deputy prime minister. His views on the Arab-Israeli conflict have provoked a clash with President Obama. And he is calling the Israeli Palestinians’ citizenship into question, even talking of eventual ‘transfer’ 14/5/2009
Obama warns Netanyahu: Don`t surprise me with Iran strike Aluf Benn - Haaretz - The message from the American envoy to the prime minister reveals U.S. concern that Israel could lose patience and act against Iran. It is important to the Americans that they not be caught off guard and find themselves facing facts on the ground at the last minute. 14/5/2009
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The Wrong Target: Air Strike, Legal Limit, Human Voice John Wooding - Countercurrents - "This brief article poses the question: how can the protection afforded to non-combatants against "accidental" air-strikes and other military attacks be improved?" 13/5/2009
Israel weighs peace with all MuslimsAbraham Rabinovich - Australian - "It is considered possible, perhaps likely, that he will feel obliged in his meeting with Mr Obama to shift his position." 13/5/2009
When leaders fail Sayed Dhansay - Ma`an - "While Israeli forces systematically violated every tenet of international law, our leaders sat by and left the defenseless people of Gaza to face the fury of the world’s third largest army on their own." 13/5/2009
Peace in our time?Ben White - The Guardian - There is growing speculation about a revamped peace plan for the Middle East. But what will it contain – or achieve?11/5/2009
Fatah, Hamas and Flawed Language - War Without Context Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "But neither the inhumane siege and murder of Gazans, nor the suffocating occupation – with all of its lethal and non-lethal manifestations – of the West Bank seem to awaken the curiosity of many, who foolishly, or cunningly blame the victim for his own misery" 11/5/2009
Will Abbas do it?Saleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram - Palestinian national dialogue hangs by a thread as leaders in Ramallah suggest that unilaterally they will form a new Palestinian government outside its framework11/5/2009
Israel knows that peace just doesn`t payAmira Hass – Haaretz – “Successive Israeli governments since 1993 certainly must have known what they were doing, being in no hurry to make peace with the Palestinians. As representatives of Israeli society, these governments understood that peace would involve serious damage to national interests”11/5/2009
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The paradox of Israel`s pursuit of mightMax Hastings - The Guardian - Forty years ago, I was enraptured by Israel`s courageous sense of mission. For me today, as for many, that idealism has palled 10/5/2009
Ask your sons about what they did in GazaGideon Levy - Haaretz - It is behavior well known to every police investigator: First the suspect denies everything, then attacks his interrogators, then admits to a small portion of the accusations (saying he merely did what everyone does), and finally breaks down and confesses. 10/5/2009
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Scott Horton interviews David BromwichScott Horton - Antiwar Radio - David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses the standard Israeli practice of making incongruous conditional demands to avoid serious discussion of a Palestinian state, the propaganda and fundraising boon Ahmadinejad has been to AIPAC, the radicalizing effect recent Russian immigrants have had on Israeli politics and how the Iranian nuclear scaremongering may be designed for American consumption.10/5/2009
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Israel`s bad-faith negotiating positionWilliam Pfaff - Antiwar.com - Israel has set two conditions for new talks, both conflicting with U.S. policy. The first is Iran’s effective nuclear disarmament, which is impossible because of those Iranian facts on the ground, and because the U.S. has set itself against military action. The second demand is also made for propaganda purposes, and is of transparent bad faith. It is that Israel be "recognized as a Jewish state" by all its interlocutors.10/5/2009
The war to begin all warsGershom Gorenberg - New York Review of Books - A review of "1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War" by Benny Morris; "Making Israel", edited by Benny Morris, and "A History of Palestine: From the Ottoman Conquest to the Founding of the State of Israel", by Gudrun Krämer10/5/2009
Sir Winston Peres Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Posing as a new Winston Churchill, the man who warned the world against the rise of Nazi Germany, Shimon Peres informed Obama with solemn bombast: “As Jews we cannot but compare Iran to Nazi Germany.” About this sentence at least three things must be said: (a) it is untrue, (b) it trivializes the Holocaust, and (c) it reflects a catastrophic policy. 10/5/2009
Gush on Peres declarationGUSH SHALOM - Ad published in Haaretz9/5/2009
Heed voices calling for justice for Palestinians Huwaida Arraf - The Seattle Times - "The United States continues to supply Israel with approximately $3 billion in military aid annually, which allows Israel to continue abusing Palestinians and preventing any meaningful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict"9/5/2009
Allow Hamas some `ambiguity` too Abderrahim Sabir - The Guardian - "If Israel can be `constructively ambiguous` ahead of Netanyahu`s meeting with Obama, Hamas should be granted the same right"9/5/2009
Will Israelis ever accept the Arab Peace Initiative?Gershon Baskin - Open Democracy - After 16 years of Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations for peace there is a growing realisation that there is very little likelihood of a bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiated agreement. This realisation seems equally evident in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Brussels, Moscow and now in Washington. 8/5/2009
Netanyahu is throwing obstacles in the way of peace Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Palestinians and Arabs have three major problems with the Israeli demand to be recognized as a Jewish state. The first is that such recognition will undermine and further marginalize the position of the non-Jewish minorities in Israel, especially the Palestinian minority, which constitutes 20 percent of the population, but also of what appears to be a significant Christian minority among recent Russian immigrants. 7/5/2009
Israelis Nervous Over Possible ‘Showdown’ With USJerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler - Antiwar.com - The country’s mainstream media seem to have little doubt. "Collision course" has become the routine fear about how the two new administrations — in Jerusalem and Washington — are contemplating their respective Middle East strategies. And, more pointedly, over what the U.S. expects of Israel to help transform its strategy-in-the-making into a new reality for the region. 7/5/2009
Introducing the propaganda ministerGideon Levy - Haaretz - We`ve had better and worse presidents, but we`ve never had a president who served as government propagandist. Now we do: Shimon Peres has appointed himself to the unworthy task. Since the new government formed - the most right-wing government in Israel`s history - the (seemingly) left-wing (former) peace man has become its public relations agent. 7/5/2009
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Obama’s Low Rating with Netanyahu’s New Government Reuven Kaminer - "Lieberman is no genius but he can pick up on a racist strain in US-European thinking. Bibi is a bit more elegant, but he is following the very same scenario as his buddy."6/5/2009
Netanyahu, listen to ObamaEditorial - Haaretz - "Instead of going to Washington as someone who refuses to make peace and is attempting to thwart United States policy in the Middle East, Netanyahu needs to seek paths for cooperation and understanding with Obama." 6/5/2009
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Revisiting The Age Of Innocence Zeki Ergas - It may appear naïve, just when Israel has sunk so low in what can be described only as an Age of Deceit -- and Conceit, to wish for the emergence – before it is too late -- of a new zeitgeist inspired from the Age of Innocence 5/5/2009
Hamas: seeks ceasefire / wants to be part of (two-state) solution Taghreed El-Khodary and Ethan Bronner - New York Times - “We are with a state on the 1967 borders, based on a long-term truce. This includes East Jerusalem, the dismantling of settlements and the right of return of the Palestinian refugees.” (...) Regarding recognition of Israel, Mr. Meshal said the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and Mr. Abbas had granted such recognition, but to no avail. “Did that recognition lead to an end of the occupation?" [with links to the references in Jerusalem Post, Ynet, IMEMC]5/5/2009
Obama and Two States-seamless continuity from Bush timeEllen Cantarow - Counterpunch - Obama’s reference to the Arab Peace Initiative was crucial for what it omitted 5/5/2009
Obama gets tougher with Israel on Palestinians, Iran Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya - Haaretz - "There is a chance for the most serious dispute between the U.S. and Israel in the entire 61 years of relations."5/5/2009
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UAE "torture" scandal and cover-up sparks outrage in the USGlenn Greenwald - Salon - As more videotapes emerge documenting the torture inflicted on numerous victims by Sheikh Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a prince of the United Arab Emirates, the controversy is beginning to jeopardize the UAE`s relationship with the United States, a country that absolutely loathes torture and demands real accountability for those who do it.3/5/2009
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`Exterminate all the brutes`: Gaza 2009Noam Chomsky - ZNet - On 27 December 2008 it took only a few minutes to kill over 225 people and wound 700, an auspicious opening to the mass slaughter of defenseless civilians trapped in a tiny cage with nowhere to flee. ... Meanwhile we are quietly observing a rare event in history, what the late Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling called "politicide," the murder of a nation - at our hands.3/5/2009
The emperor’s old clothesUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Netanyahu has already presented one of the ingredients of his "plan": the demand that the Palestinians and other Arabs must recognize Israel as “the State of the Jewish People”. Most of the media in Israel and abroad have distorted this demand and reported that Netanyahu requires the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish State”. Either from ignorance or laziness, they obliterated the important difference between the two formulas.3/5/2009
Let us remember and not forgetB. Michael - Yediot Aharonot - Let us remember our fathers, who were persecuted and humiliated and exploited from generation to generation. ... Let us remember the wicked regulations that fenced our fathers in, and forbade them to pass through the gates without a permit written by the soldiers of the Emperor and his policemen. 2/5/2009
Clinton`s rough startRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram Weekly - "For a US administration supposedly set on peace, baiting Israel with the lure of isolating Iran seems a curious beginning, writes Ramzy Baroud"2/5/2009
An Open Letter to Barack Obama from a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: Stand Up to Israeli ApartheidBy MAIREAD MAQUIRE - Counterpunch2/5/2009
One Voice: manufacturing consent for Israeli apartheidAli Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - "If the Fafo poll confirms that the Western-backed effort to destroy Hamas, impose quisling leaders, and blockade and punish Palestinians until they submit to Israel`s demands has failed, a useful conclusion from the One Voice survey is that given a free choice, Israelis reject all solutions requiring them to give up their monopoly on power and to respect Palestinian rights and international law."2/5/2009
Shulamit Aloni / Sadly, Israel is no longer democraticShulamit Aloni - Haaretz - " Is there really a democracy that is not a state of all its citizens? After all, Jews living today in democratic countries enjoy the full rights of citizenship."1/5/2009
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Twilight Zone / Waiting for the all clear Gideon Levy - Haaretz - "Fear is the devil`s refuge. As far as we`re concerned, it explains and justifies everything."1/5/2009
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Prof. Suleiman against Mossad T-ShirtRamzi Suleiman, Shraga Elam - Shraga Elam`s blog - Unlike the other workers in the restaurant, who were wearing black t-shirts with the logo of the restaurant printed on them, the bartender was wearing a black t-shirt with the legend: "Institute for Special Children" The crosshairs that appeared in the word "institute" left no room for doubt that this was one of those shirts that glorify the murder of children in the killing fields of Gaza.10/5/2009
Israel`s Right-Wing Wrong Politics Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - The winds of change seem to be blowing however, at least in the form of a tiny breeze over Capitol Hill. In the past few weeks, there have been more positive statements coming out of Washington than in the whole eight years of President George W. Bush`s term in office. One cannot help but ponder the possibility that the more intransigent the Israeli government becomes vis-ŕ-vis the Palestinians, the more pressure it feels in the opposite direction.6/5/2009
Biden tells AIPAC: Israel must support two-state solution Natasha Mozgovaya and Barak Ravid - Haaretz - Israel has to work for a two state-solution. You`re not going to like my saying this, but not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts and allow Palestinians freedom of movement ... and access to economic opportunity," Biden told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). 6/5/2009
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Change meets challengeGhassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - "There is no credibility in talking about two states as long as Israel continues to undermine that very possibility by expanding settlements"1/5/2009
Obama`s 100 days: Beyond Palestine... the 23-state solutionDonald Macintyre - The Indpendent - "By linking Israel`s concerns about a nuclear Iran to his search for a solution to the Palestinian conflict, will Barack Obama finally bring peace to the Middle East?"1/5/2009
A Recognition Israel Doesn’t Need YONATAN TOUVAL- NYTimes - "The demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish state is dangerous."13/5/2009
Hizballah today, Hamas tomorrow Shourideh Molavi - EI - "...the international community cannot choose its negotiating partners if it is serious about achieving peace." 13/5/2009
Iran and the Israel Lobby`s Frustration - Dropping the AIPAC Spying CaseGary Leupp - CounterPunch - "It’s a sop to the Lobby, and apparently the president had a personal hand in it. If the U.S. will not bomb Iran for Israel, neither will it prosecute AIPAC members for spying for Israel. Fair enough?"4/5/2009
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