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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    

Zionism is the problemBen Ehrenreich - Los Angeles Times - The Zionist ideal of a Jewish state is keeping Israelis and Palestinians from living in peace31/8/2009
Response to Uri Avnery`s `Tutu`s prayer`Ran Greenstein - The answer is to develop a focused campaign that would clarify the link between `crime` and `punishment`: an initial focus on settlement as both Avnery and Gordon suggest is right, but should go beyond that. The goal of a boycott would not be to convince the Liebermans (an impossible task), but to create a critical mass of minority dissidents: even in SA the majority of whites were opposed to change or indifferent, and only a small but crucial minority got involved in the struggle30/8/2009
Tutu to Haaretz: Arabs paying the price for the HolocaustAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The lesson that Israel must learn from the Holocaust is that it can never get security through fences, walls and guns," Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa told Haaretz Thursday.30/8/2009
Tutu`s prayerUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - HOW MUCH did the boycott of South Africa actually contribute to the fall of the racist regime? This week I talked with Desmond Tutu about this question, which has been on my mind for a long time.30/8/2009
Why Israel will thwart Obama on settlementsWalter Rodgers - The Christian Science Monitor - For the Jewish state, the settlements are eminently sensible and their growth is almost certain to continue, either openly or stealthily. 29/8/2009
Damaging Israel`s priceless assets - Netanyahu`s demonising of human rights groups – and European funding of them – does disservice to a proud Jewish historyAntony Lerman - The Guardian - The fact that Netanyahu makes such a high profile attack on Israeli human rights groups at the very moment that the media are full of speculation about an imminent breakthrough in restarting peace negotiations also calls into question just what kind of peace process the Israeli government wishes to engage in. If you make these groups the enemy, you are setting your face against the kind of essential truth-telling and openness that must underpin the trust both sides need to have in each other if a just peace is to be achieved and sustained. 29/8/2009
The last refugeGideon Levy - Haaretz - Anyone who champions the struggle against the occupation is no less of a patriot than a soldier who shoots a bound Palestinian or a settler who plunders land and builds his house on it, in defiance of every law. They are giving Israel a far worse name than a lecturer who calls for a struggle against the occupation - just ask Israel`s critics. It is precisely the Gordons, those who fight from within, who are repairing slightly the horrific damage that has been done to Israel`s image in the past few years. They are proving to the world that despite everything Israel is not monolithic, that not all Israelis speak with the same voice, that not all Israelis are Liebermans or Kahanists, and that maybe Israel is, after all, a type of democracy with freedom of expression, at least for its Jewish citizens. 29/8/2009
Robinson tells `Post`: Two-state solution in dangerRebecca Anna Stoil - Jerusalem Post - "The balance is tipping and if it tips, there will not be a two-state solution and how would that make Israel safer?" asked former Irish president and UN Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson 29/8/2009
Israel: a stalemated action of historyGabriel Kolko - Counterpunch/Zmag - In late 1949 I worked on a boat taking Jews from Marseilles to Haifa, Israel. Jews from Arab nations were in the front of the boat, Europeans in the rear. I was regarded by many of the Europeans as some sort of freak because I had a United States passport and so could stay in the land of milk and honey. One man wanted me to marry his daughter - which meant he too could live in the land of milk and honey.29/8/2009
No backtracking from Phase III by Akiva Eldar Source: Bitterlemons "Ever since the reins of power in Israel were turned over to Binyamin Netanyahu by Ehud Olmert, the idea of a Palestinian state with provisional borders has again become fashionable."28/8/2009
Hamdan: "Hamas is still waiting for Israel`s response on a swap deal mediated by Germany"by Saed Bannoura Source: IMEMC "Osama Hamdan, head of the International Relations Office of the Hamas movement, stated Thursday that his movement is still awaiting Israel’s response to a prisoner-swap deal mediated by Germany. He also accused President Mahmoud Abbas of attempting to obstruct the deal."28/8/2009
Try a limited Phase III by Yossi Alpher Source: Bitterlemons "In recent weeks, we have revisited phases I and II of the roadmap. In my assessment of the two sides` performance in Phase I, Israel was found most wanting, particularly on the issue of settlements and outposts, with the Palestinians having made a far more serious effort to fulfill their commitments regarding security and institution-building."28/8/2009
Fatah`s post-election reflexesBy Khaled Amayreh Source: Al Ahram weekly "Many passed over in Fatah`s elections are disgruntled while Abbas drops talk of resistance and picks up the prospects of peace with Israel28/8/2009
The pitfalls of Palestinian national consciousness by Haidar Eid Source: The Electronic Intifada "A national liberation movement that started with such slogans as "the only way to liberation is through the barrel of the gun," and "liberation from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean," and "the right of return is sacrosanct," has moved into the post-colonial condition without achieving independence."28/8/2009
University urges lecturer who endorsed boycott to resignBy Ilana Curiel Ynet:Israel News "Ben-Gurion rector says status of lecturer who spoke in favor of boycott of Israel won`t be compromised, but urges him to reach conclusions. University president: Demand for resignation legitimate." 28/8/2009
Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - The Swedish "blood-libel" - Operation Kinneret - The Nazi Admiral Canaris: Righteous Gentile?28/8/2009
IDF court tosses evidence given by Israeli with poor Arabic Amira Hass - Haaretz - Mizrahi was an investigator at the Israel Police`s Judea and Samaria District for 13 years, until the end of 2007. One of the military judges on the panel, Maj. Amir Dahan, said Mizrahi`s "knowledge of Arabic, which is the primary tool for complex questioning, is under serious doubt, and the remarks he collected during those proceedings do not reflect what was said in the interrogation room." 27/8/2009
Swedish article on organ harvesting was cheap and harmful journalism Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The Israeli occupation is ugly enough without the contribution of Nordic fairy tales. Its wrongs are abominable even without exaggerations and inventions. We, a small group of Israeli journalists trying to document the occupation, always knew that we must not publish an unfounded report. One mistake and the whole journalistic enterprise would fall into the hands of official propaganda, which automatically denies all suspicions and is just waiting for a mistake.27/8/2009
Obama Ruling from the CenterReuven Kaminer - Nothing remains of the sense of shock and urgency after Obama’s Cairo speech. Netanyahu sensed that Obama was really not that serious and Israel commenced the big stall on settlements. If the settlement issue regarding which the U.S. has a clear declared policy is a tough nut to crack for Obama and Mitchell, then you can forget about any serious U.S. pressure to advance peace. Netanyahu, by proving that he knows how to snub Obama, looks good to the Israelis who admire this sort of thing. 27/8/2009
Netanyahu`s Swedish theatre and the reality of the occupation Adam Keller - Gush Shalom website - The leaders of the Jewish community in Sweden were far from pleased with the Israeli overreaction. But the Israeli government did not act out of concern for them. It had its own specific agenda for making the maximum noise. 24/8/2009
Between Boston & Beersheva - a balance sheet of the settlement freeze skirmishAdam Keller - negotiations where Israel would not again "eat the pizza while negotiating on how it would be cut" 25/8/2009
Baseless organ theft accusations will not bring Israel to justice Matthew Cassel - Electronic Intifada - Israel`s tactics of intimidation are not justified by Bostrom`s article, which is nothing more than an example of irresponsible journalism and publishing.25/8/2009
The soft underbelly and the victimYitzhak Laor - Haaretz - "But Lieberman`s logic does not end at the spot from whence he sallies forth to blackmail the Swedes. His knowledge may be Soviet, but his code of ethics is Israeli: Sweden`s past begins at the moment they stop supporting us. We will seek out their soft underbelly the moment our actions fail to find favor in the eyes of Swedish public opinion"17/8/2009
Republicans attack Obama on Palestine policyHelena Cobban - IPS - Former Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee has been in Israel and the occupied West Bank this week, stridently criticising Pres. Barack Obama`s policies of pushing for an Israeli settlement freeze and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.23/8/2009
With baton in hand: that`s usShai Lahav - Maariv - [Middle East News Service comments: Following a wave of murders, the Israeli discourse has been preoccupied with internal violence. It would be wrong to deduce any long-term changes from a particularly bad fortnight but many Israelis feel that their country has becoming more violent. Of course, feminist organisation like New Profile – the committee to civil-ise Israeli society have been connecting the dots for a while but now discussing the relationship between external and internal violence is getting into the mainstream media.]23/8/2009
The Bogie horror showUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The knavish, scheming, cowardly politicians on the one side, the clean-cut, heroic, loyal army on the other – that is a very familiar picture. The best known example was current in Germany after World War I. The “knife in the back” legend was a stepping stone to power for Adolf Hitler: the German army stood up to the enemy and had victory in its sights, when “the politicians”, the Jews, the socialists and the other “November criminals” stuck a knife in the back of the heroic fighters.23/8/2009
The strategy behind Israel`s migrant labour policiesYonatan Preminger - Counterpunch - As an increasing number of people feel the grip of the global financial crisis, Israel’s familiar bugbear has been wheeled out yet again: deport the foreign workers! True to form, the newly appointed Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has decided that the deportation of 100,000 migrant laborers will improve the economic situation.23/8/2009
"Animal Farm" in PalestineFreedom Theatre, Jenin23/8/2009
Israeli academics must pay price to end occupation Anat Matar - Haaretz - The vast majority retains its freedom to be indifferent, up to the moment that someone begs the international community for rescue. Then the voices rise from right and left, the indifference disappears, and violence replaces it: Boycott Israeli universities? This strikes at the holy of holies, academic freedom! 27/8/2009
If You Want an Education in Gaza, Better Cover Up Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - In any case, whether Hamas claims responsibility for the decision or not, the imposition of an Islamic dress code on schoolgirls screams oppression and a strangulation of rights. Unfortunately, women are usually the sector that takes the harshest blows, especially in traditional societies like ours. At this point, those of us in Palestinian society who believe in freedom of choice should not take a back seat to this oppressiveness. Because if we do, there is no telling how much further these impositions will go.27/8/2009
The shape of things to come?Stephen Walt - Foreign Policy - I have three comments. First, as Richard Silverstein points out in his own blog, neither President Carmi nor her spokesperson seem to understand what academic freedom is all about. The tenure system and the principle of academic freedom exists for one main reason: to permit academics to say what they think without fear of retribution (provided, of course, that they aren`t advocating a violent crime or some equally heinous act). Reasonable people can take issue with what Gordon wrote, of course, but nothing he said is even remotely near the boundaries of acceptable discourse in a democracy that values free speech and academic freedom. I`m not quarreling with President Carmi`s right to disagree with Gordon; I`m just saying that her statements are at odds with the core principle of academic freedom, a principle that senior academic administrators are supposed to defend.27/8/2009
The pitfalls of Palestinian national consciousness Haidar Eid - The Electronic Intifada - The opening speech given by Fatah chairman Mahmoud Abbas was approved as the political statement of the conference. The speech itself was the manifestation of what Oslo, Taba, the Road Map and the Annapolis summit aimed at; namely, the transformation of the Palestinian cause from one of self-determination and liberation into a charity case to which the slogan "independence" is applied. Critical appraisal of the last 20 years since the convening of the fifth Fatah congress, or even the period since the disastrous Oslo accords were signed in 1993, was never on the agenda. Questioning the logic of Israel`s tolerance of the conference was also a taboo.27/8/2009
Army`s West Bank Tactics Imported To NegevJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Coils of razor wire encircle much of the village, and children as young as eight have been arrested in a series of night-time raids. �Four-fifths of our youngsters now have files with the police and our drivers are being repeatedly fined for supposed traffic violations,� said Tulab Tarabin, one of Amra�s 400 Bedouin inhabitants. �Every time we are stopped, the police ask us: �Why don�t you leave?�� 27/8/2009
Israeli Report : One-Third Of Israeli Soldiers Might Refuse Implementing Evacuation Orders Palestine Media Center - "Israeli online daily Haaretz stated that a memo distributed among commander of Israeli troops in the occupied Palestinian Territories states that using Israeli soldier to enforce the evacuation of colonies might lead troops and army commanders to refuse such orders." "21/8/2009
What we Palestinians needMustafa Barghouthi - ZSpace - Building Palestinian governing institutions and promoting genuine economic development must occur within the framework of a philosophy of "resistance development". Such a philosophy is founded on the dual principles of supporting the people`s power to withstand the hardships of the occupation and reducing dependency on foreign funding and foreign aid. The strategic aim of the Palestinian struggle, under this philosophy, must be to "make the costs of the Israeli occupation and its apartheid system so great as to be unsustainable". 20/8/2009
Yaalon: "We are not afraid of the U.S."Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - Ya’alon even said that when he served as the Israeli Army Chief of Staff, he repeatedly declared in closed forums that “when politicians bring the Dove of peace, it is up to the army to clean after them”, Haaretz reported. Commenting on Peace Now movement, Ya’alon described the organization 20/8/2009
A tough country Gideon Levy - Haaretz - A country whose official language is force, which conveys to its citizens and its neighbors that violence is a legitimate means of solving problems, cannot be surprised when precisely those methods are adopted by its citizens. It`s not possible that what is right for the alleys of Gaza and the streets of Jenin ultimately would not also be right for the Tel Aviv seashore or the banks of the Alexander River. 20/8/2009
Mobile MadnessJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - Just like trying to explain the complex situation of different-colored ID cards to a foreigner is a long and winding conversation, so is the subject of mobile phones in Palestine. The geographic divisions Israel has imposed have manifested themselves into every aspect of life including mobile companies. So have the imbalances of power between Palestinians and Israelis. According to a July 8 article in Haaretz, Jawwal`s frequency allotment (4.8 megahertz or MHz) is just a fraction of what Israeli cell phone companies are allotted. 20/8/2009
Optional and problematic Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Phase II calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders for a transitional period. From a Palestinian perspective, this has serious problems, but the Palestinian side was able to live with the document because it stipulates that the clause about "provisional borders" was optional and would be implemented only if the parties agreed. In other words, the second phase does not have the same level of binding commitment that the first and last phases embody. 19/8/2009
Quiet slicing of the West Bank makes abstract prayers for peace obsceneSlavoj Zizek - The Guardian - What goes on is the slow work of taking the land from the Palestinians on the West Bank: the gradual strangling of the Palestinian economy, the parcelling up of their land, the building of new settlements, the pressure on Palestinian farmers to make them abandon their land (which goes from crop-burning and religious desecration to targeted killings) – all this supported by a Kafkaesque network of legal regulations. 19/8/2009
Why is Israel limiting movement of Palestinian-Canadian businessman? Amira Hass - Haaretz - Sabawi purchased $500,000 in products and services from an Israeli software company. His company cars are Israeli. Many of his company`s suppliers - machinery, raw materials, etc.- are Israeli, both the importers and the manufacturers. Many Israelis have shown an interest in the subsidiary headed by his son, which develops advanced green technology for heating and cooling homes through use of the ground temperature, but the Sabawis, both Canadian citizens, are barred from meeting with them. 19/8/2009
Fatah`s gauntlet Amira Hass - Haaretz - The decision by Fatah`s Sixth Congress that the movement is sticking to negotiations as a means of achieving independence, statehood and peace is an admission that the use of arms during the second intifada was disastrous. That is a difficult admission for a movement founded on the sanctification of the armed struggle. And despite being tacit, it is a brave admission for Fatah at a time when most Palestinians are convinced that Israel does not want peace. 19/8/2009
Obama and the Israel Lobby - Part two - A strategic relationshipAnthony DiMaggio - ZNews - Also in the news is the attack of a senior Israeli diplomat against right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has long supported settlement expansion in the West Bank. The diplomat, Nadav Tamir, feels that Netanyahu is risking support from American Jews by publicly disagreeing with Obama over the settlements. Tamir aptly points out that American Jews are not unified behind the state of Israel and the Israel Lobby on the issue of settlement expansion. This conclusion is supported by J Street, a Jewish-American political group that supports an end to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, a two-state solution, and an end to settlement expansion. 19/8/2009
Fateh`s Biggest Challenge Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Hamas is not only a power to reckon with, it is one that is turning more and more hostile towards the PA and Fateh each day. This means, the more time goes by with the status quo in place, the harder it will become to bring the two sides together. This will be Fateh`s real challenge but one that is not impossible. As head of the Palestinian people and head of its biggest movement, President Abbas has his work cut out for him. He knows what needs to be done. The question is whether he will do it19/8/2009
`Two-state solution not the answer`Jonah Newman - Jerusalem Post - Lev Grinberg, in his book, Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Democracy versus Military Rule, proposes an "Israeli-Palestinian union." "Everything that can be divided, will be divided," he said. "[But] you have several things that we cannot divide, such as Jerusalem, water, air and - probably - the economy. For this, we need a shared administration." 18/8/2009
Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - The slaughter at the gay and lesbian club - Hiroshima Day - The mobilized press17/8/2009
Privatization to Subvert Palestinian Hopes of Restitution - Israeli Land SaleJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - "Mr Netanyahu and the bill`s supporters argue that the law will cut out a whole level of state bureaucracy, make land transactions simpler and more efficient and cut house prices. In practice, it will mean that the 200 Jewish families of Tzipori will be able to buy their homes, including a new cluster of bungalows that is being completed on land next to the cemetery that belonged to Abu Arab’s parents"17/8/2009
The Israeli High Court: Enlisted in the Occupation Yossi Wolfson - AIC - "The work of military legal advisors, the prosecutors and the judges—the simple soldiers of the occupation’s robe wearing legion—is generally absent from the public eye. In the chapter entitled ‘Catch 44’ in the Yellow Time, author David Grossman provides a rare glimpse into the sad grotesqueness of this enlisted world, which lives in the illusion of legal rule and independence, but is actually led by the nose by the interests of the occupier. How to describe the occupation without these same kids, graduates of law school, who sit in crowded offices in Beit El or in Tel Aviv and draft laconic letters and clever answers that decide fates? And without these military officers, who hold degrees in law, the conductors from the caravans of the military courts on the imprisonment industry of the occupation?"17/8/2009
CIA-Trained Security Chiefs Elected to the Palestinian Leadership What Actually Happened in Fatah`s Elections?ESAM AL-AMIN - Counterpunch - " Israel’s occupation and its brutal policies, the expansion of and settlements, the separation wall, the detention of over 11,000 Palestinians, the expropriation of land, the depopulation of East Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents... Simply put, the U.S. wants a Palestinian leadership that will answer these questions in a way that is satisfactory to Israel. As one State Department official said to Vanity Fair regarding American objectives in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, “[W]e care about results, and [we support] whatever son of a bitch [w]e have to support. Dahlan was the son of a bitch we happened to know best.” 16/8/2009
Whose Acre?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - " THE ANCIENT port of Acre is now the object of a fierce battle. The Arab inhabitants of the town want the port to bear the name of an Arab hero, Issa al Awam, a general under Saladin, the Muslim leader who defeated the Crusaders. The municipality of Acre, which of course is dominated by the Jewish inhabitants, has decided to give the port the name of an Israeli functionary. "16/8/2009
The Biden and Clinton Mutinies ALEXANDER COCKBURN - CounterPunch - " Hence Biden and Clinton`s mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama`s popularity weakens. When the results of the latest Rasmussen presidential poll were published, showing Obama`s declining numbers, there were news reports of cheering in Tel Aviv. "15/8/2009
Hamas says US, Israel offer `poisoned peace`YNET -"Hamas rejects the regional peace initiative promoted by the United States and Israel, the Islamic movement`s Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, said in a speech to worshippers in Gaza City Friday." 14/8/2009
Radical in theoryKhaled Amayreh- Al Ahram - "Fatah has been in a jubilant mood having succeeded in holding the movement`s Sixth Congress in Bethlehem in the West Bank despite a host of serious obstacles, including charges by the group`s second-highest ranking leader, Farouk Kaddumi, that Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas had connived with Israel to poison late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat."14/8/2009
Surprise - Fatah isn`t joining the WZOYariv Oppenheimer - Peace Now - " The Fatah convention in Bethlehem is not a gathering of collaborators or Israel lovers, but rather of the leaders of the Palestinian national struggle who believe that peace with Israel is possible and necessary, and that the secular, moderate Palestinian liberation movement is the one that will lead the Palestinian people to independence. Better to face reality and exhaust all possible avenues to reach an agreement now with a moderate, pragmatic Palestinian leadership than to wait until it is replaced by fanatic religious extremists who believe in violent jihad. "14/8/2009
Obama`s America is not delivering the goods Gideon Levy - Ha`aretz -"With great sorrow and deep consternation, we hereby declare the death of the latest hope. Perhaps rumors of its death are greatly exaggerated, to paraphrase the famous quote by Mark Twain, but the fears are being validated day after day. Barack Obama`s America is not delivering the goods. Sharing a glass of beer with a racist cop and a pat on the back of Hugo Chavez are not what we hoped for; wholesale negotiations on freezing settlement construction are also not what we expected. Just over six months after the most promising president of all began his term, perhaps hope has a last breath left, but it is on its deathbed." 14/8/2009
The two-state diversion : That leaders of Israel and Hamas have signed up to the approach is the surest sign it is void of meaningHussein Agha and Robert Malley- The Guardian - The two-state solution has welcomed two converts. In recent weeks, Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas`s political bureau, have indicated that they now accept what they had long rejected. This nearly unanimous consensus is the surest sign yet that the two-state solution has become void of meaning, a catchphrase divorced from the contentious issues it is supposed to resolve. Everyone can say yes because saying yes no longer says much, and saying no has become too costly. Acceptance of the two-state solution signals continuation of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle by other means. 13/8/2009
Beware of Israel`s Border Stamps Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - I am talking about a new Israeli policy – or more precisely, a passport stamp – that limits foreigner passport bearers to Palestinian Authority territories. It is no longer a rumor or a speculation. It is a fact with the stamp to prove it. It is my suspicion that Israel is working up to something much bigger than just a stamp, which primarily targets Americans (or other nationals) of Palestinian origin who frequent Palestine mostly to visit relatives residing in the West Bank. By limiting US nationals who declare their intention to visit the West Bank, Israel can cut off even more Palestinians from entering its territories, thus further consolidating the confined space where Palestinians are allowed.13/8/2009
Israel toughens entry for foreigners with West Bank ties Amira Hass - Haaretz - For about the last three months, border control officials at the Allenby Bridge have been stamping visitors` passports with a visa and the additional words "Palestinian Authority only." Officials from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), who are also present at the Allenby crossing, have in some cases told visitors that they must apply to the Civil Administration for a permit to leave the West Bank and enter Israel. According to Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad, the same procedure also exists at Ben-Gurion International Airport13/8/2009
Israel Is Wary of Calm Days That May End in Turmoil ETHAN BRONNER - IHT - "Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, for example, that the positions taken by Fatah put off by some years any possibility of a peace deal." 12/8/2009
Diplomats who promote our mind-set Editorial - Haaretz - "The message implicit in the foreign minister`s threat to his workers was that there is no place for reports and assessments that do not satisfy their political bosses, and anyone who does not toe the line will be ousted." 12/8/2009
Hope from BethlehemYariv Oppenheimer - Ynet - "At times, being a Fatah member is worse in Palestinian eyes than being a leftist is perceived in the eyes of some Israelis." 12/8/2009
The emerging Fateh Ziad Abu Zayyad - - The new leadership will not agree to carry on negotiating indefinitely without real progress and while Israel continues its settlement activities (...) Maybe Fateh will become a sort of a political party, but the lack of progress toward a political solution will inspire some of its members to long for the old days of underground struggle. 11/8/2009
Lover of the Country Uri Avnery - Gush-Shalom - " ON THE morrow of the Six-day War, Amos Kenan came to my editorial office. He was in a state of shock. As a reserve soldier, he had just witnessed the emptying of three villages in the Latrun area. Men and women, old people and children, had been driven out in the burning June sun on a foot march in the direction of Ramallah, dozens of kilometers away. It reminded him of sights from the Holocaust. "9/8/2009
Familiar EnemiesJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - " Saying I am from Jerusalem, Palestine to an Israeli Jew always boosts my sense of pride like nothing else...As the small talk continued, another quirky exchange occurred. "Where did you learn your Arabic from?" I asked. "The army," he said...Such anecdotes illustrate the highly entangled relationship between Israelis and Palestinians. First and foremost, we are "enemies", the oppressed and the oppressor, occupied and occupier. All other expressions of the relationship are overshadowed by this fact. " 9/8/2009
As Georgian MDs come in, Palestinian docs kept out Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - " Israeli authorities are refusing to allow dozens of Palestinian doctors to take its licensing test despite chronic shortages ..."The professional level of the doctors who graduate from Al Quds University is not inferior to that of East European countries,"...Nassar Al Din, 29, who graduated from Al Quds` medical faculty, has an Israeli identity card and speaks fluent Hebrew, but he is not allowed to practice medicine in Israel. He and other Al Quds graduates are not recognized as trained physicians because the Council for Higher Education does not view the Palestinian university as an institution whose graduate MD are eligible to practice medicine in Israel. "9/8/2009
Freezing for failure Zvi Bar`el - Haaretz - " It should be said from the onset: Do not freeze settlement construction, do not stop it in part or periodically, not for six months, not for a single day. As long as the U.S. administration does not present a comprehensive plan that explains its endgame - what the end will look like and what the shape and character of the Palestinian state will look like - the demand for a cessation of construction is pointless. It is a pathetic return to the doctrine of "confidence-building measures," which led nowhere. `9/8/2009
Obama`s Israel AlbatrossBy ELAINE C. HAGOPIAN - CounterPunch - " Although Israel has an “unshakeable” alliance with the US, a strong alliance with Turkey, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, and the fourth strongest and technologically advanced military in the world, it still feels insecure. Its insecurity stems from two factors: 1) as a colonial settler state founded on ethnic cleansing, its leaders know its legitimacy is questioned; and 2) in order to maintain its statehood in the face of challenges to its legitimacy, Israeli leaders have striven to make Israel exclusively indispensible (one way or another) to the US, its major guarantor. Hence Israeli leaders fear Obama may try to return to some semblance of the Eisenhower period . "8/8/2009
"Breaking the Silence" or silencing the critics?Louis Frankenthaler - EI - " Why then is the Israeli government waging a battle against this organization, trying to thwart its funding and, essentially, to shut it down?The answer, perhaps, lies in the genealogy of the occupation. For 42 years Israel has argued its one acceptable and official truth: "Israel is not an occupier and it is not violating international law."8/8/2009
How Could They?Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - " According to eyewitnesses, the settlers actually facilitated the eviction, hauling the families` belongings into trucks so they could swoop in and start their new lives in these homes. They also came with shovels, ladders and drills, most likely to alter the Palestinian home as quickly as possible to a Jewish abode, erasing all remnants of its rightful inhabitants. "7/8/2009
The Lack of a Vision: Utopia and Peace in Israeli Discourse Amnon Raz-Krakotzkin - Tikkun - " Nothing better clarifies this notion of peace than "the demographic discourse" that is associated with the peace process. When peace is perceived and legitimized only as a means to protect the Jewish majority, it explicitly excludes Israeli Arabs...As long as we do not have a vision of partnership and coexistence, any process will fail. As long as we seek "solutions" and "ends," produce virtual "agreements" and documents that try to escape the main issues and avoid responsibility, we will experience a continuous deterioration and barbarism. "7/8/2009
Life in the Bubble: At Home in the Israeli Settler StateEd Kinane - Dissident Voice - One way I’ve come to visualize the Occupation is to imagine the indigenous Onondaga Nation here in Onondaga County (NY), a Nation that white settlers long ago reduced to a fraction of its former territory. But to make the situations more comparable, suppose a 25-foot wall separated the Onondagas from the surrounding white-controlled county. Imagine that the Onondagas risked being shot from sniper towers or detained for months without trial if they somehow passed thru the wall without a permit. Imagine further that within the Onondaga Nation there were numerous militarized roadblocks cutting Onondagas off from their neighbors or their crops. Such a bizarre scenario would be a microcosm of the occupied West Bank. 6/8/2009
US Seeks One-Year Israel Settlement Freeze : Unclear What Will Happen After the Year, HoweverJason Ditz - - The fact that the US is seeking only a one year freeze now, instead of a permanent cessation of expansion, is likely to be seen as a serious concession from the Obama Administration and a political victory for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government, amid concerns that their hardline position would harm US ties. 6/8/2009
Hostage to Israeli intransigence Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Now the current US administration seems to have a more reasonable understanding of the first phase and expects the two parties to make simultaneous efforts to fulfill their obligations. However, while both American and Israeli security officials have repeatedly commended the Palestinian side for its efforts to fulfill its phase one obligations, the US faces serious difficulties in convincing Israel to comply with its obligations regarding freezing settlement construction and dismantling outposts.6/8/2009
Israel targets human rights groupsJonathan Cook - Institute for Middle East Understanding - Other groups reported to be in the foreign ministry`s sights are: B`Tselem, whose activities include providing Palestinians with cameras to record abuses by settlers and the army; Peace Now, which monitors settlement building; Machsom Watch, whose activists observe soldiers at the checkpoints; and Physicians for Human Rights, which has recently examined doctors` complicity in torture. 6/8/2009
A crucial test Mkhaimar Abusada - Bitter Lemons - "Whether the United States and the Quartet will be able to enforce the roadmap on Netanyahu, or Netanyahu and the pro-Israel lobby will succeed in pressuring Obama to retreat, remains to be seen, but not for much longer."5/8/2009
Religious fundamentalism in IsraelStephen Lendman - Al-Ahram - " Since the origin of the Zionist enterprise, fundamentalism has been part of the Jewish state project. Until now, this largely goes unacknowledged...The difference between a Jewish soul and souls of non-Jews -- all of them in all different levels -- is greater and deeper than the difference between a human soul and the souls of cattle` -- Rabbi Abraham Kook "22/8/2009
Verbal riotingHaaretz Editorial - " Ya`alon is also a member of the forum of six ministers that is supposed to decide on fateful issues. If Netanyahu settles for a clarification and condemnation rather than immediately removing Ya`alon from decision-making positions, the Israeli public and the rest of the world - mainly the U.S. administration - will conclude that such bizarre verbal attacks represent the stance of Netanyahu`s government. "22/8/2009
Israel Still Strangles the Palestinian Economy SAM BAHOUR - Wall Street Journal- " Israel`s stranglehold over Palestinian economic resources is ongoing. Israel occupies or controls Palestinian land, airspace and electromagnetic spectrum used for telecommunications. By refusing to permit an already-licensed second Palestinian cellular operator to launch, Israel is putting hundreds of new jobs on hold and blocking the first step to liberalizing the Palestinian telecommunications market. I was personally involved in establishing the first Palestinian telecommunications operator in 1996 and can attest to the ongoing hinderance of Israeli practices. "22/8/2009
Israel`s strategic necessityALON BEN-MEIR - J-lem Post - "The US remains indispensable to Israel`s national security and is ultimately the last line of defense against any threat, including Iran`s, so for Israel to appear flippant at this juncture is a dangerous gamble." 5/8/2009
Words aren`t enoughOrly Azoulay - Ynet - "When you push Israelis into a corner, their response is reflected by two constitutive statements: "I won`t be a sucker" on the one hand, and "I`ll show you who`s the boss" on the other hand." 5/8/2009
Encountering peace: Conclusions from a very hot summerGershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - From what the US officials heard in Jerusalem and Ramallah last week, it should be clear to them that it is pointless to call for renewed direct bilateral negotiations of the kind that have existed throughout the Oslo and Annapolis processes. There is no chance of reaching a bilateral negotiated agreement without an American mediator in the room putting US bridging proposals on the table that force the parties to make decisions.4/8/2009
Leonard Cohen and Amnesty International - An Unholy Alliance Tali Shapiro - Zblog4/8/2009
And Who Shall I Say Is Calling? Dear Leonard - by Udi Aloni"But then my daughter looked me right in the eye, and said in her straightforward way: “Daddy, write to Leonard and explain to him why the Palestinians are right to cancel his concert. They don’t have the privilege of free access to culture that we have in Tel Aviv or New York. They’re tired of all the goodwill gestures and the petty benefits we concede to as an alibi for our own dirty consciences."7/8/2009
Israeli activist recounts an attack by Israeli soldiers, detention and then abuse at the... Ichilov hospital in Tel AvivHaggai Matar - "Tell me, are there any Arabs who love peace and who demonstrate?" I knew the last barb had been directed at me. I have a clear memory of observing to myself throughout the entire procedure that I felt as if I was being raped: `He`s leaning over me, stitching me up, and all along he`s mocking me, humiliating me, degrading everything I stand for.`"31/8/2009
Spinning the OccupationAnthony DiMaggio - ZNet - "Taking the passion out of reports on atrocities committed against Palestinians prohibits readers from understanding the brutal nature of this conflict. Those interested in peace should recognize the disservice that corporate media outlets commit by politicizing this conflict in favor of an Israeli narrative, and in favor of the fallacious notion that the U.S. is an "honest broker" in a conflict that it has worked to escalate for over forty decades - increasing military aid to Israel and consistently voting against U.N. resolutions seeking peace"3/8/2009
On the Fatah convention and on PalestineMazin Qumsiyeh - Ma`an News Agency - "We as Palestinians have unique advantages and disadvantages in our struggle for liberation. We must analyze these scientifically and act accordingly. For example we need to leverage the tremendous sympathy and solidarity of people around the world to produce power (e.g. through better managed campaigns of boycotts, divestments and sanctions). And as the geopolitical landscape shifts around us (e.g. due to the failure and shedding of militarism or the mistakes of Israel with Turkey), we do need to take advantage in strengthening our position" 3/8/2009
A JeremiadUri Avnery - DEAR DOV YERMIYA, I have received the distressing letter that you recently sent :"Therefore I, a 95 year old Sabra who has plowed its fields, planted trees, built a house and fathered sons, grandsons and great-grandsons, and also shed his blood in the battle for the founding of the State of Israel,declare herewith that I renounce my belief in the Zionism which has failed, that I shall not be loyal to the Jewish fascist state and its mad visions"1/8/2009
Official propaganda Is telling the world That the Israeli public Is united in opposition To President Obama -> totally falseGush Shalom3/8/2009
In the grocerymahsanmilim - aya kaniuk & tamar goldschmidt - a young man stood in line – unmistakably a Palestinian. He held a loaf of bread, a bottle of Coke and cottage cheese. I suppose this was a worker, buying food for the day. Just as his turn came up at the cash register, a man (Jewish) came up with a basket full of things and stood behind him. The Palestinian who had already begun to place his few items on the counter for the cashier immediately picked them up and signaled to the man to overtake him. And so the man did3/8/2009
Dear Leonard Cohen - a letter These figures alone tell you that the Zionist dream of a safe haven for Jews is a myth. It has never occurred. In fact, since WWII there is no place in the world (excepting war zones as Afghanistan, et al) less safe for Jews than is Israel.3/8/2009
What`s new?Is Washington retreating in the face of Israel`s refusal to halt settlement building?Khaled Amayreh - "Al-Ahram - " "In order to make the future round of negotiations successful we need to have a framework that can lead to a final resolution," said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat. "Israel has failed to fulfil any of its roadmap obligations, including a settlement freeze, the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, removal of outposts, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the return to the situation as it was before September, 2000...If the US can`t force Israel to stop the construction of building in East Jerusalem, then it becomes futile to count on any American role." 1/8/2009
Netanyahu`s ministers contradicting his moderate message [division of tasks? -ed]Barak Ravid and Nir Hasson - Haaretz - Interior Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) visited the West Bank settlement of Ma`aleh Adumim and publicly urged the government to finally build the controversial E-1 neighborhood, which would link Ma`aleh Adumim with Jerusalem. Plans for this neighborhood have existed for years, but due to vehement opposition by successive American governments, construction has never begun. Yishai said (...) "there is no doubt that the new American administration is different from its predecessor," and "if there is no other choice, Israel must build on the basis of previous American commitments." 11/8/2009
Obama and the Israel Lobby, Part One - Origins of PowerAnthony DiMaggio - CounterPunch - " Israel�s favored position in U.S. politics arose not out of the infinite power of a small lobby, but from the support afforded to Israel by sympathetic political officials who utilize Israel�s power to further U.S. geopolitical interests"10/8/2009
Same As It Ever Was?Michelle Goldberg - The American Prospect - The pro-Israel lobby, long seen as an immutable part of American politics, may be headed toward obsolescence10/8/2009
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