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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    

The decline of the Israeli Right and the increasing desperation of the "anti-Semitism" chargeJuan Cole - Informed Comment - The great divide between liberal Jewish Americans and the Israeli Right has lurked as an issue since the Likud Party first challenged Labor dominance in the late 1970s. It is now coming to a boiling point, even as Israel`s reputation in the world is sinking. As rightwing policies more visibly fail, the Likudniks are flailing around making fools of themselves by smearing critics of those policies as racists. (Anyone who knows how Likud supporters talk among themselves about Arabs and other outsiders can only be amused at their impudent hypocrisy in playing the race card.)28/2/2010
White lieUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The Israeli Interior Ministry recognizes 126 nations, but not the Israeli nation. An Israeli citizen can be registered as belonging to the Assyrian, the Tatar or the Circassian nation. But the Israeli nation? Sorry, no such thing. 28/2/2010
Red Rag columnGiden Spiro - Mossad murderers - Why do you love Arabs? - Monkey Trial redux?27/2/2010
Eitan Isaacson: Explaining Refugees, Israeli Propaganda StyleSince the Israeli government is having a very hard time explaining its aggressive, defiant and abusive policies abroad, it is losing international public appeal very quickly. The Israeli ministry of Hasbara (propaganda), recently started a campaign to reach out to Israeli travelers abroad and expatriates, and provide them with resources for “explaining Israel”. They are recruiting citizen ambassadors, if you will. 27/2/2010
Dubai Has DNA, Fingerprint Evidence of Dubai Assassins; Israeli-American Finance Company Provided Killers’ Credit CardsA compilation of latest news about the Mossad Dubai fiasco, with excellent commentary, including deconstruction of the ridiculous Haaretz story that "photos were doctored and hence agents are safe".27/2/2010
Slater on Silverstein on the Goldstone ReportJerome Slater - - If Israel ended the occupation but if Hamas or other attacks nonetheless continued, then it would have a clear right of self-defense. Until it does so, it`s not just Palestinian civilians that it has no "right" to attack, it`s any Palestinians. 27/2/2010
"HERITAGE"Gush Shalom - Weekly ad in Haaretz - The modest “Rachel’s Tomb” in the heart of Bethlehem, sacred to the three faiths, has been turned into a fortified position27/2/2010
Reframing myths and realitySydney Levy - MuzzleWatch - A special prejudice appropriation prize goes to the fake-BBC commercial, where a fake-reporter shares with you a supposed myth about Israel: “This is the camel. The camel is a typical Israeli animal used by the Israelis to travel from place to place in the desert where the live. It is the means of transport for water, merchandise, and ammunition. It is even used by the Israeli cavalry.” Whoever heard of a myth of Israelis riding camels?26/2/2010
No light aheadKhaled Amayreh - Al Ahram - The latest Israeli provocations, however, with regards to the seizure of the two mosques, seem to have poisoned whatever atmosphere of optimism or modicum of goodwill US Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell may have succeeded in fostering during his latest visit to the region. One Palestinian official intimated that Palestinian consent to resume stalled peace talks with Israel would be purely for show. "If we agreed to resume the talks under the present circumstances, we would be doing so solely to please and appease the Americans who apparently want to make an achievement of some sort, however shallow it may be." 26/2/2010
Dispersing white phosphorous clouds over Gaza Gideon Levy - Haaretz - There you`ll find an innovation of global proportions - propaganda intended to mislead propagandists and public relations to deceive PR experts, rather than the target audience. Nicolae Ceausescu couldn`t have phrased it better, and the Cairo radio station that broadcast threats in pidgin Hebrew before the Six-Day War never sounded as ludicrous. The Information Ministry presents: an insult to intelligence, contempt of reason - not only to the intelligence of "people overseas," to whom this cheap propaganda is geared, but to us, self-declared Israeli "ambassadors." 26/2/2010
How the PA helps Israel occupyJesse Rosenfeld - The Guardian - Since the Palestinian Authority`s initial diplomatic disaster over the Goldstone report, it has switched into reverse gear, issuing a barrage of condemnation of Israeli occupation and rhetorical flourishes for Palestinian justice. However, suspected links between PA security forces and the assassination of Hamas`s Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, together with strengthening cooperation between PA security and the Israeli military in the West Bank, reflect a far different reality for Palestinians living under occupation.26/2/2010
Palestinian civil society in search of an identityMaher Issa - Common Ground News - Civil society organisations in the Palestinian territories play a variety of important roles, which make them even more indispensable for Palestinians. Not only do they function as service providers for the population in areas such as psychosocial support for vulnerable groups, re-employment and job creation, capacity building and training, and offering forums for free thinking and free expression, they also serve as watchdogs over government and other official institutions. 26/2/2010
Rachel Corrie Gets Her Day in CourtRobert Naiman - Just Foreign Policy - When the rule of law in Israel comes into conflict with the policies of occupation, the rule of law often loses. But it does not always lose, particularly when the rule of law gets a boost from vigorous protest and political agitation. This month, Reuters reported, Israel began rerouting part of its "West Bank barrier" near the village of Bilin - the site of many Palestinian, Israeli, and international protests - in response to a petition filed in 2007 by Palestinians whose land was confiscated for the project. This was only a partial victory, because it only affected a minority of the confiscated land. But it shows that the rule of law in Israel is not totally impotent against the occupation, particularly when the rule of law is aided by protest and agitation. 26/2/2010
The Mossad Hit And Israel`s Path Of Self-Destruction Hasan Abu Nimah - Countercurrents - This time, however, Israeli arrogance may have exceeded the limits of what has been tolerated so far, and turned what was supposed to be an "heroic" act into a scandal with far-reaching consequences. There are some specific and general factors that contribute to that. First, the crime was committed on the territory of a moderate Arab country whose support for peace with Israel has been practically translated into unofficial bilateral relations. A high-level Israeli delegation had been in the country only days before the Mossad hit squad arrived. Showing so much contempt for a leading moderate Arab state gives a very bad example for any other state that might consider softening its position toward Israel (as the United States had been demanding as "confidence-building measures" for the "peace process").26/2/2010
Israel compensation payment to UN ignores rights of Gaza victimsAmnesty International - Amnesty International has said it is concerned that the United Nations (UN) accepted US$10.5 million compensation from Israel for UN buildings damaged during last year`s Gaza conflict without securing compensation for any of the actual victims of the attacks. 26/2/2010
Israel`s smiling PR driveSeth Freedman - The Guardian - The ministry for public diplomacy goes to great lengths instructing Israelis how to conduct themselves when engaged in PR on behalf of the state: first listen, then speak; maintain eye contact; use relaxed body language and tone; don`t preach; ask questions; answer points raised; stick to two or three messages you want to convey; and maintain a sense of humour. If such rules are followed, the campaign literature suggests, there is a strong chance of winning over even the staunchest adversary. 25/2/2010
For Israel, defiance comes at the cost of legitimacyHenry Siegman - Financial Times - No country is as obsessed with the issue of its own legitimacy as Israel; ironically, that obsession may yet be its salvation. An international community angered and frustrated by Israel’s disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people, and determined to prevent their relegation to an apartheid existence, may well decide to have the United Nations General Assembly accept a Palestinian declaration of statehood within the pre-1967 borders, without the mutually agreed border changes that a peace accord might have produced. Nothing would challenge Israel’s legitimacy more than its defiance of such an international decision.25/2/2010
Behind Brand Israel: Israel`s recent propaganda efforts Ben White - The Electronic Intifada - "The Delegitimization Challenge" report from the influential Israeli think tank the Reut Institute has put the spotlight on efforts by Israel and the Zionist lobby to counter the growing movement for justice in Palestine, and specifically, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign. The work done by Reut has rightly attracted attention, but it is only one (particularly prominent) example of a wider trend, as the Israeli government and global Zionist groups mobilize to fight the threat to the apartheid system. 25/2/2010
Declare a Palestinian State JEROME M. SEGAL - IHT - "With respect to borders and security issues, the Israelis have often been tone-deaf in previous negotiations, failing to realize how demeaning to Palestinian dignity were their demands to control Palestinian airspace, or to have land swaps on an unequal basis." 24/2/2010
Enough is enough (reaction to smear campaign against members of Congress)Hadar Susskind and Lara Friedman - Jerusalem Post - We don`t need to push people who are supportive of Israel away from us by calling them "anti-Israel" every time someone expresses either concern for Palestinians or opposition to a particular Israeli government position.23/2/2010
Why Bomb Iran When You Can Become Iran? Jeremiah Haber (the Magnes Zionist) - - Lest you think that I am exaggerating, I publish sections of the government-approved legislation below.23/2/2010
What motivates Iran "hawk" Ackerman?Glenn Greenwald - Salon - Once one listens to this, it`s simply impossible to deny that this highly influential American Congressman, devoted to pushing the U.S. to war with Iran, is driven, at least in substantial part, by his fervent devotion to Israel. There`s nothing wrong with that per se, but there is much wrong with trying to force people to pretend it`s not true.21/2/2010
Trial balloons for warRamzy Baroud - Counterpunch - Western media, not Israeli hasbara21/2/2010
Dubious in DubaiUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - FROM TIME to time I ask myself: what would happen if the world’s governments decided to abolish all their spy agencies simultaneously? 21/2/2010
From colony to client state...the question posed by al-Jazeera is perhaps the wrong one, since, in many ways, colonial rule has not ended. Although direct rule stopped more than half a century ago, with the exception of Iraq since 2003, indirect rule never ceased. In broad terms, the region`s regimes fall into two general categories: those who have accepted the role of client states and those who have opposed it and been punished and "contained" for stepping out of line. Then, there`s the privatisation and franchising of imperialism to multinationals. So, in reality, today`s Arabs are living under the crushing burden of domestic and foreign imperialism. To my mind, the issue is not which one is better but how to bring both to an end.20/2/2010
On Self-hatingYigal Bronner: be shit-listed, your typical “cowardly boot-licking, spineless, Muslim-butt-sucking” must be a Zukerman, Weisman, Wasserman, Weinstein, Mizrachi, or Dryfus, not to mention Cohen (there are dozens and dozens of Cohen shits). it is all out in the open: undisguised and unambiguous hatred for Jews. So, my brothers and sisters who fight for peace and justice wherever you are: keep at it! And next time when someone calls you self-hating, remember: It is often the wolf that cries “wolf.”20/2/2010
Red Rag columnGideon Spiro - Evil wind over Israel - Dershowitz the liar - letter to a racist judge18/2/2010
Israeli assassinations: passports to killThe Guardian - Editorial - The decision last night to call in the Israeli ambassador to "share information" does not change this basic position. If Britain were less supine in its dealings, it would realise it is not in its interests to let Israel wage its war with Hamas under a British flag. What happened was a breach of trust between two nations who are ostensibly allies. The identity theft endangers not just the lives of six passport holders and their families, but potentially anyone carrying a British passport in the Arab world. 18/2/2010
Passport to the truth in Dubai remains secretRobert Fisk - The Independent - According to a Dubai "source" of The Independent – readers will have to judge what this means – the security forces of the aforesaid emirate informed a "British diplomat" in Dubai (presumably the consul, since the embassy is in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi) of the UK passport details almost six days ago and "did not receive an appropriate reply". If this is true – the Foreign Office will be wrathful in its denials – then why didn`t the British immediately express their outrage at the use of forged British passports and cough up details of the equally outrageous frauds a week ago? This misuse puts every British citizen at risk. 18/2/2010
Hallmarks of a classic Israeli operationBen Lynfield - Independent - "Israel considered Mr Mabhouh the key person in the smuggling of weaponry from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza Strip...he boasted of killing two Israeli soldiers Ilan Saadon and Avi Sasportas in 1989."17/2/2010
The silence of Israel`s liberalsCarlo Strenger - Guardian - "I think that the reason for the political apathy of Israel`s citizenry is not lack of concern, but fear and hopelessness." 17/2/2010
We shouldn`t rush into negotiationsGhassan Khatib - Bitter Lemons - "In all, it is preferable that we continue to work on preparing the ground for successful negotiations, including increasing efforts to secure a complete settlement freeze in addition to setting agreed terms of reference, than to resume talks for the sake of having a process."17/2/2010
Abbas should call Israel’s bluffRAY HANANIA - J-lem Post - "A peace agreement is the only way to freeze Israel’s settlement expansions around Jerusalem."..." What do Abbas and the Palestinians have left to lose that they haven’t already lost?" 17/2/2010
Questioning our special relationship with IsraelStephanie Westbrook - Countercurrents - I have to wonder why US taxpayers are doling out $3 billion a year in direct military aid to a "regional economic power." In August 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding between the US and Israel was signed committing the US to give, not loan, $30 billion to Israel over 10 years. US taxpayers are directly funding close to 20% of Israel`s annual defense budget. No wonder Israel is able to invest in R&D! 14/2/2010
The turtle and the hareAdam Keller - Crazy Country - Once upon a time there were two friends, a hare and turtle, and they both joined the Jerusalem Police. 14/2/2010
A stink bombUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - THIS WEEK the Netanyahu government let off a stink bomb under the chair of Mahmoud Abbas.14/2/2010
Zionism Unmasked: A Fairy Tale By Alan Hart - countercurrents " 12/2/2010
Elton John - Culture and Politics on the Radio (transcription of discussion on boycott campaign)Reshet Bet - Yehuda Nuriel: (...) people who believe, for their own reasons, that it can be effective to turn Israel to a kind of South Africa of the past (...) also very alarming suggestions to stop IDF soldiers or officers that participated, you know….when they go to the Mondial in S. Africa, that is like taking a prize from the poor, a guy goes to the Mondial and……
Keren Noybach: What do we have left if they take soccer from us?
[An example of Israeli mainstream discourse-ed.]
Challenge to Israel’s legitimacy Linda Heard - Arab News - A succession of Israeli leaderships have believed they could get away with just about anything without incurring too much international censure. But times they are a changing! Israel’s reluctance to offer land for peace coupled with Operation Cast Lead during which 1,400 defenseless Palestinian residents of Gaza were killed have incensed ordinary people all over the world. 16/2/2010
Can Israel survive this coalition? Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - I have little faith in the ability of the current government to make peace with the Palestinians or with Syria. It seems that the international community largely shares this assessment and as a result Israel is on a collision course diplomatically with much of the world.16/2/2010
The new McCarthyism sweeping IsraelDonald Macintyre - The Independent - To disagree with the state is to `delegitimise` the state: that is the increasingly strident response of the country`s political and military establishment to those who dare to criticise its conduct15/2/2010
Elie Wiesel’s Ignoble RecruitsJohn V. Walsh - AntiWar - Nobel laureates sign on to "harsher" Iran sanctions – and more15/2/2010
The Netanyahu-Fayyad "economic peace" one year onZiyaad Lunat - The Electronic Intifada - The results of the first year of Netanyahu`s economic peace are visible. While there has been no progress on the political front, security and economic cooperation with the PA has never been better. The American-trained security forces have kept a tight grip over West Bank towns squashing dissent and keeping "order." When the Israeli army invades during the night, Palestinian security forces swiftly retreat. Intelligence sharing has enabled joint campaigns of arrest against members of the resistance. The Guardian newspaper reported that Palestinians security forces have been working closely with the CIA to torture Palestinian dissenters. When Palestinians killed a settler last December, Abbas` forces worked "overtime" to find the culprits arresting hundreds in the process. 11/2/2010
Let This be Clear: No Palestinian is Looking to Make Israel Feel Better Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - There is one fundamental problem in all of this, however. It has never been our job or our responsibility to ease Israel`s conscience. In what rule book does it say that the Palestinians - the people who are under occupation, who have endured oppressive measures for over half a century and who continue to fight against a powerful current of international bias - should compromise the most basic of their rights so that Israel can feel better about itself? Apparently, this is a special rulebook written exclusively for the Palestinians.10/2/2010
Gaza`s defiant tunnellers head deeper undergroundRobert Fisk - The Independent - They are the real resistance. They are the lung through which Gaza breathes. True, missiles must pass along their subterranean tracks, Qassam rockets, too, Kalashnikov ammunition, explosives. But by far the greatest burden of the tunnellers of Gaza is the very life-blood of this besieged little pseudo-Islamic statelet: fresh meat, oranges, chocolate, shirts, trousers, toys, cigarettes, wedding dresses, paper, entire motor-cars in four bits, car batteries, even plastic bottle tops. The tunnellers of Gaza are bombed by the Israelis, they die in their own collapsing tunnels – and now they face a new Egyptian wall, even the fear of drowning.10/2/2010
Abunimah: Jews can report on Palestinians, but the other way ’round?Ali Abunimah - Mondoweiss - The New York Times has a long history of appointing reporters who are Jewish and/or Israeli to the Jerusalem bureau (...) but has never had a Palestinian, Palestinian-American or Arab-American reporter of stature report on the conflict. 10/2/2010
Israeli-Palestinian peace would neutralize Iran threat A.B. Yehoshua - Haaretz - A joint peace front by Israelis and Palestinians could cause the Iranian people to recoil from the madness that has taken over the religious leadership of this great and honored nation. Therefore, the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have a much greater impact than any Israeli or American military operation. That would only perpetuate this region`s pain and suffering. 10/2/2010
A dark day for democracy Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - As for The Jerusalem Post, it is not too late to rescind the decision to cancel Prof. Chazan`s column.9/2/2010
Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - Holocaust Remembrance Day - Occupation University - Racist Rabbi - Letter to Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch9/2/2010
Netanyahu heading to warEyal Megged - Y-net - Enough has been said about the war mongers, ranging from Yossi Peled to Avigdor Lieberman. These are honest and transparent people. However, at this time we must raise a hue and cry vis-à-vis the peace imposers. We must scream in the prime minister’s face: You are not heading towards peace, so stop talking nonsense. You are heading towards war with Syria. 9/2/2010
The Citron Turned into a Bitter Lemon Alex Fishman - Yedioth Ahronot - Over the years, the security establishment regarded PM Salam Fayyad as being a well-educated, non-charismatic and pro-American, a man who could be relied on to fight Hamas and maintin order in the West Bank cities. But now, instead of being a tenant he wants to be a landlord, makes bold plans for independence with or without Israeli consent and wages international campaigns against Israel. The dear citron has become a bitter Citrus aurantium.9/2/2010
Fear of peace will be the death of Israel Bradley Burston - Haaretz - "The fear of peace has left Israel as a country which is prepared for nuclear warfare but not for non-violent protest on behalf of Palestinians. The fear of peace, and the blackmail of the right on behalf of settlement, has contorted Israel into a body which, unable to countenance the perils of treating the sickness of occupation, will eventually be killed by it"8/2/2010
Berlusconi, Israel and the Big BrotherMaria Chiara Rioli - Alternative Information Center - The reference to Italy as a Big Brother of Israel reminds one more of the Orwellian 1984 scenario, rather than the particular “brotherhood” between Israelis and Italians.7/2/2010
Im Tirtzu hides behind respectable mask of "Zionism"Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Im Tirtzu, which deceptively calls itself a "moderate, centrist movement," gives a bad name to Herzl, a democrat and liberal, who coined the phrase "Im tirtzu, ain zo agada" (If you will it, it is no dream). The group`s latest trick: a dirty war against the New Israel Fund for its funding of 16 organizations that provided documentation used in the Goldstone report. 7/2/2010
A four-letter wordUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - In Israel, peace has become a four-letter word (In Hebrew, the word for peace - shalom - indeed consists of four letters) A decent person does not want to be seen in its company. It should not be uttered in polite society. 7/2/2010
Please, Mr. President, stop talking nonsenseAlan Hart - Countercurrents - There are no more concessions the Palestinians can make for peace. President Obama’s statement that they must is absurd and obscene. Unclear is whether he was speaking out of ignorance of real history or from Zionism’s script7/2/2010
Two senior Maariv reporters attack the anti-NIF campaign sponsored by their newspaperCoteret`s Didi Remez translates an op-ed by Merav David and Maya Bengel: "Is the death of eight members of a single family, one of whom was a two-year-old toddler, by a phosphorous bomb, not a complaint that ought to be looked into?...Only after [the IDF prosecutor] refused [to investigate the killing] was the information passed onto the Goldstone commission."6/2/2010
Gaza And Lebanon: Beware The Iron Wall, By Ramzy Baroud - "Deciphering the available clues regarding the nature of Israel’s immediate military objectives is not always easy, but it is possible. One indicator that could serve as a foundation for any serious prediction of Israel’s actions is Israel’s historical tendency to seek a perpetual state of war. Peace, real peace, has never been a long-term policy. " 5/2/2010
Lieberman: Syria-Israel war would topple Assad regime Haaretz Service and News Agencies -Haaretz - Lieberman`s comments drew harsh criticism on Thursday from a range of Knesset members, some of whom urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to rein him in. "Netanyahu must stop war instigator Lieberman," said Labor MK Eitan Cabel. "We cannot have someone in such a sensitive position who lacks inhibition and understanding, someone who does not understand the importance of peace with Syria and the risk or war with it. A reasonable prime minister would have gotten rid of him," said Cabel, who added that Lieberman crossed all boundaries with his remarks. "In the absence of clear political leadership, every minister is irresponsibly speculating about threats of all-out war," the statement said4/2/2010
The message is clear: Israel must not strike Iran Gideon Levy - Haaretz - His message was clear and razor sharp - Israel must not attack Iran. This would only cause harm. If anything could bring Iran closer to the bomb, it would be an Israeli offensive, which seems imminent. The European diplomat is convinced that Iran does not intend to produce a nuclear bomb, only to walk on the edge and prepare for the option of developing it. This has become a matter of national honor for the Iranians. Advertisement The diplomat knows there is also another possibility, that Iran could be heading toward the bomb, and he realizes there is no guarantee this will not happen. And yet he is profoundly convinced that Iran will not do so. 4/2/2010
Latest Israeli response to Gaza investigations totally inadequateAmnesty International USA - Press release - The limited details released indicate that the Israeli authorities are failing to credibly address grave concerns about the army’s use of white phosphorus in densely-populated areas. Attacks on UN facilities and other civilian buildings and infrastructure, as well as direct attacks on Palestinian civilians, including ambulance crews have also not been adequately investigated by Israel. 4/2/2010
Laws of conflict do not allow for killing civilians in this wayMichael Sfard - The Independent - The laws of armed conflict do not allow the killing of civilians just because they chose not to leave their homes which became a war zone. Of course there is a dilemma for soldiers confronting an unarmed man in civilian clothes who may have some other means of threatening their lives. But that is a risk of combat. International law requires that combatants run risks to reduce harm to civilians. The principle of distinction is not a suggestion but the product of the experience of the whole of humanity throughout centuries of bloodshed and a means of putting some limitations on warfare as it affects civilians. 3/2/2010
Israel feels under siege. Like a victim. An underdogRobert Fisk - The Independent - So the propaganda war is on. Forget Israel`s invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the 15,000 Lebanese and Palestinian dead. Forget the Sabra and Shatila massacre that same year by Israel`s militia allies as their troops watched. Erase the Qana massacre of 1996 – 106 Lebanese killed by Israeli shellfire, more than half of them children – and delete the 1,500 in the 2006 Lebanon war. And forget, of course, the more than 1,300 Palestinians slaughtered by Israel in Gaza last year (and the 13 Israelis killed by Hamas at that time) after Hamas rockets fell on Sderot. Israel – if you believe the security elite of Israel`s right wing here in Herzliya – is now under an even more dangerous, near-unprecedented attack.3/2/2010
Not valid forever Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The main argument against the concept of a land swap that is gaining prominence among Palestinians is that it has been used by Israel to legitimize its illegal settlement expansion by arguing to the international community that such territory will be swapped anyway. It is partly through such means that the country has escaped international censure for its illegal practices in occupied territory. Hence, the argument runs, while the idea was meaningful during negotiations and as a way out of obstacles to certain issues, it cannot remain valid forever absent a comprehensive negotiations approach. Moreover, continued settlement expansion lessens the practical possibility of a land swap. 3/2/2010
Israel owes over NIS 8.3 billion to Palestinian workers from the Occupied Palestinian Territories Hanna Zohar and Shir Hever - The Alternative Information Center - “This is theft, pure and simple,” notes Shir Hever, Economic Researcher with the Alternative Information Center and co-author of the research. “92.4% of the deductions taken from workers for National Insurance related social rights, for example, were transferred instead to the coffers of the Israeli Ministry of Finance. Palestinian workers from the OPT did not—and do not—receive the vast majority of social rights for which they are legally mandated to pay.” 3/2/2010
Stability on the Edge of a VolcanoReuven Kaminer - What is the practical meaning of this dogma of a “de facto bi-national regime” compounded out of disappointment and despair. MB’s [Meron Benvenisti] thesis exaggerates the victories of the Israeli regime and its dwindling list of friends and enhances them with a permanence that is far from having been proven. At the same time it minimizes the successes of the political and moral opposition in Israel and its allies abroad in exposing the true nature of Israeli expansionism. It supposes that Israel operates in a calm, benevolent environment while in truth it passes from one militaristic panic to another. Even if the author did not have such an intention, MB’s thesis is an ode of surrender to the unbearable status quo. The victory of Israeli expansionism is neither inevitable nor irreversible. The struggle continues 2/2/2010
Did Israel`s army target civilians? J. Zel Lurie - Meretz USA - The government of Israel, which had boycotted Goldstone’s inquiry, was forced to take notice. The Goldstone report will not go away. It is anything but a vicious lie.2/2/2010
It`s all Obama`s faultZvi Bar`el - Haaretz - "It may be that Obama is only an orator and not a statesman. But Israel is the last one who can judge him for that. Israel is very pleased with the cage in which it has trapped him. The question is what will Israel be left with after this success. Indeed, the threat of peace was nearer a year ago. We nearly fell into the trap when Netanyahu announced the freeze in settlement construction. We were on the verge of another Masada. But thank God we pulled ourselves together. Certainly we will survive this American president, too"1/2/2010
An eventful, yet typical, day out with Our Man in JerusalemRobert Fisk - The Independent - I meet our Gaza correspondent, Fares Akram, whose father – a 48-year-old judge in the Palestinian Authority with no connections to Hamas – was killed in the Israeli onslaught in January of last year. What reader can forget his front-page story "The Death and Life of my Father"? Banning foreign correspondents from covering the Gaza war was the worst thing the Israelis could have done. For the first time we heard the voices of Palestinians reporting their own tragedy. 24/2/2010
The `grocery list` of the Shin Bet and the IDF Amira Hass - Haaretz - In Bil`in, where the security forces launched their campaign of arrests beginning in June 2009, a substantial amount of incriminating information came from police interrogations of four minors, between ages 16 and 17 (under Israeli military law, a Palestinian is no longer a minor at 16, not at 18 as under civil law). But even a Palestinian whom military law recognizes as a minor is interrogated as an adult, and not according to the strict regulations that apply, for example, to the interrogation of a Jewish minor, under 18, who lives in a settlement. The Palestinian minor is typically arrested in the middle of the night, after soldiers, whose faces are concealed, have burst into his house, conducted a search, brandished weapons, shouted, and used tear gas and stun grenades. He is removed from the house, frequently without being allowed to put on warm clothes, and is led away for questioning, handcuffed and blindfolded. In contrast to the civil procedure for questioning a minor, the interrogation can take place at an unorthodox hour and without a parent being present.24/2/2010
Abbas says Palestinian state `vital interest` for IsraelisAFP - Daily Star - "Abbas stressed that these could not begin “while Israel continues the colonization” of the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem through the building up of Jewish settlements." 24/2/2010
State of denial: Robert Fisk searches for peace in IsraelRobert Fisk - The Independent - The truth is that Israel has destroyed many mosques, that the original Palestinian Arab victims of the 1947-8 war did not all flee, as Ben-Gurion suggested; many, like the doomed men and women of the Deir Yassin massacre, were murdered in their villages. The Israeli army, to some of us who have watched it in action, is a rabble, little different from the Arab armies of the Middle East. The numbers of civilian dead in the Gaza war were as much an outrage as the Sabra and Chatila massacre of 1982 when Israeli soldiers watched – quite literally – as the Lebanese militia they had sent into the refugee camps eviscerated the Palestinian civilians inside. Foreign journalists continue to prattle on about the supposed purity of Israel`s soldiers. 11/2/2010
Israel: Attacks on New Israel Fund, Critical Groups, Threaten Civil Society Human Rights Watch - In response to a private report accusing NIF of supporting groups that gave Justice Goldstone information relating to abuses in the Gaza conflict, Member of Knesset Otniel Schneller proposed a parliamentary commission to specifically examine the conduct of NIF and its grantees in "transferring false, exaggerated, and non-credible information, to Justice Goldstone, thus harming the national interest of the State of Israel." The debate and vote on this commission is slated to take place the week of February 8, 2010. A parliamentary subcommission has already been established to examine foreign funding of Israeli organizations in the wake of similar allegations that local groups provided information to Goldstone`s inquiry. The Israeli Government Press Office has several times singled out articles detailing private allegations against NIF and other nongovernmental groups for translation and circulation. 11/2/2010
Talk to Hamas Arik Diamant and David Zonsheine - - A year after this brutal war, a change of strategy is needed. Israel should commence immediate talks with Hamas.16/2/2010
Mossad is supposed to gather intelligence, not sow death Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Let`s suppose the Dubai operation had worked out well and the suspicion that the Mossad had a hand in it proved correct. Do we really want to live in a country that has death squads, that sends the cream of its youth to suffocate people with pillows in hotel rooms, that has a man who craves adventurous actions as head of its intelligence organization and a man who approves them as its prime minister? 18/2/2010
Israel Gets More Comfortable with Status QuoTony Karon - Time - The peace process of the 1990s collapsed in a spiral of bloodshed, and most Israelis have simply moved on. Opinion polls indicate that they would prefer a peace deal with the Palestinians, but also that most don`t believe such a deal is possible. Yitzhak Rabin in the old days promised to "pursue peace as if there was no terror and fight terror as if there is no peace," but now that terror has been largely subdued, Israelis feel no urgency about peace. 17/2/2010
Arab Politicians Face Tide Of ‘Persecution’ In IsraelJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - Nazareth: Leaders of the Arab minority in Israel warned this week that they were facing an unprecedented campaign of persecution, backed by the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu, designed to stop their political activities. The warning came after Said Nafaa, a Druze member of the Israeli parliament was stripped of his immunity last week, clearing the way for him to be tried for a visit to Syria three years ago. 3/2/2010
Blair: Gaza`s great betrayerAvi Shlaim - The Guardian - One reason for Blair`s disappointing results is that he wears too many hats and cannot, as he promised, be "someone who is on the ground spending 24/7 on the issue". Another reason is his "West Bank first" attitude – ­continuing the western policy of bolstering Fatah and propping up the ailing Palestinian Authority against Hamas. His lack of commitment to Gaza is all too evident. During the Gaza war, he did not call for a ceasefire. He has one standard for ­Israel and one for its victims. His attitude to Gaza is to wait for change rather than risk ­incurring the displeasure of his American and ­Israeli friends.3/2/2010
Refugee Youth: Living in Israel’s Punch Line Hajr Al-Ali - MIFTAH - I first came across Jalazone’s children as a volunteer for Inspire Dreams Inc, a small NGO which holds a summer and afterschool program called Camp “I Have a Dream” for Palestinian youth living in refugee camps across the West Bank. For two days I participated as a camp counselor, engaging children between the ages of 6-12 in a range of activities from fitness to art. Yet, in those two days it was the theater activity that was the most powerful. Divided into groups, given a scenario, and instructed to create a story, Jalazone’s kids weaved an intricate array of narratives which illustrated their everyday struggles and exposed their most intrinsic dreams for themselves and their community. 3/2/2010
Israeli commander: `We rewrote the rules of war for Gaza`Donald Macintyre - The Independent - Until now, the testimony has been kept out of the public domain. The senior commander told a journalist compiling a lengthy report for Yedhiot Ahronot, Israel`s biggest daily newspaper, about the rules of engagement in the three-week military offensive in Gaza. But although the article was completed and ready for publication five months ago, it has still not appeared. The senior commander told Yedhiot: "Means and intentions is a definition that suits an arrest operation in the Judaea and Samaria [West Bank] area... We need to be very careful because the IDF [Israel Defence Forces] was already burnt in the second Lebanon war from the wrong terminology. The concept of means and intentions is taken from different circumstances. Here [in Cast Lead] we were not talking about another regular counter-terrorist operation. There is a clear difference." 3/2/2010
False hopes for Palestine : Reports of optimistic developments in the Palestinian Territories are premature – they are still crushed by Israel`s control regimeBen White - The Guardian - Another problem is that the Palestinian economy continues to be kept afloat by external sources, particularly in that the Palestinian Authority – and all the salaries it sustains – is heavily supported by international donations. On a smaller scale, a city such as Jenin has benefited from Palestinian citizens of Israel coming through a checkpoint to shop – but this is not helping self-sufficiency. Driving north out of the city takes you past rows of shuttered-up businesses and workshops, and even the promised "industrial zone" is as yet unrealised. 3/2/2010
Could it be the end of Israeli democracy?Aeyal Gross - Coteret - A letter from human rights groups to the Israeli prime minister described a chain of attacks on HR organizations. The arrests of demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah and the attack on the New Israel Fund are two important and recent developments in this context. The arrests continued even though the courts have repeatedly stated that the protest vigils held there are legal and require no permit. The arrests of demonstrators gained some media attention after ACRI Executive Director Hagai El-Ad was arrested too, though the point was not, as El-Ad remarked, the fact that he was placed in custody. These arrests cannot be dissociated from the attacks against human rights organizations, on which I elaborated in a previous article. Again, they go after the messenger. 3/2/2010
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