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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 Barenboim controversy – hard cases deployed to make bad laws David L - Jews Sans Frontieres - PACBI was accused of fanaticism because of its position that Daniel Barenboim’s orchestra facilitated ‘normalisation’ and should be boycotted.(...) Of course there will be de facto exceptions in a boycott - the boycott is a tactic after all, not a religion. I do accept that some people think in total good faith that this orchestra should be supported, not boycotted. But the highlighting of hard cases such as this seems aimed at ensuring there will be no coherent boycott campaign at all. Iif we believe in Palestinian ownership of their own struggle, it is something we can’t accept. 31/3/2010
US Concern About Israel’s Illegal Settlements Is 42 Years Too LateAlan Hart - CounterCurrents - "Resolution 242 was, actually, a disaster for all who were seriously interested in working for a just and lasting peace. By stating that Israeli armed forces were required to withdraw ‘from territories’ occupied in the conflict – i.e. not the territories or better still all territories – Resolution 242 put the Israelis in the diplomatic driving seat, leaving them free to be the ones, and the only ones, who would determine (on a take it leave it basis backed by brute force) the extent of any Israeli withdrawals. This fatal flaw in 242 effectively gave Israel’s leaders a veto over any peace process"29/3/2010
Israel`s inclusion in economic organization a threat to democracy Shir Hever - EI - "Membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes 30 of the world`s most developed countries, does not provide money or any special economic benefits. Yet it is easy to see why the Israeli government attributes great importance to Israel becoming one of its members. For Israel, membership in the OECD would mean a victory of legitimacy, and a major setback for the worldwide movement calling on Israel to be held accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people"29/3/2010
It is Back; It is Near - Apartheid on Two ContinentsMats Svensson - CounterPunch - "Apartheid in South Africa had three starting points; to divide the population into groups based on race and give the white race preference in terms of rights, services and privileges. The second starting point was about dividing up the country into geographically segregated areas and transferring the population into these based on race. In addition, a person from one area could not access another area. The third prerequisite was a combination of security laws and rules created to oppress and suppress any resistance and which also strengthened a system of domination based on race"29/3/2010
Israel is sliding toward McCarthyism and racismDavid Landau - Haaretz - "The demonstrations taking place on Fridays at Sheikh Jarrah offer some smidgen of hope that not everyone has been duped and silenced. The Naomi Chazan front was abandoned. The `Nakba Law` front was lost without a fight. The battle line in Israel`s war of survival as a Jewish and democratic state now runs through the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. There, alongside the few brave Israelis out demonstrating, the president of the United States has planted his pennant, too. Is that the line, at last, where Israel`s decline will be halted?"29/3/2010
It cannot happen here!Hanoch Mamari - I refuse to believe those who argue that in a liberal democracy like Israel, a person may disappear altogether for allegedly violating state security. I certainly refuse to accept the disappearance of someone whose trial has already started. This is not Guantanamo, nor Lubyanka nor Tehran. This kind of scenario could not be played out here in the free spirit land of Twitter and Facebook. 28/3/2010
Prime Minister Non GrataGershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - Benjamin Netanyahu`s meeting with Obama was a disaster, and Israel`s other allies are growing increasingly weary of the prime minister.28/3/2010
On the road to CanossaUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - THIS WEEK, Netanyahu went to Canossa in the United States, in order to prevent Pope Obama I from putting a ban on him. The walk to Canossa did not succeed. On the contrary, it made the situation worse. The deadly sword of American excommunication continues to hang above Netanyahu’s head.28/3/2010
Nits breed liceNurit Peled-Elhanan - In memory of four Palestinian children killed this week27/3/2010
US interests require an end to the Israeli occupation by Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons "The recent tension between the US and Israel, which was described by some Israeli diplomats as the most serious in decades, has a direct effect on Palestinian-Israeli relations. "26/3/2010
Israel`s latest provocation at al-Aqsa Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, " The Israeli government has indicated that it will press ahead with a plan to enlarge the Jewish prayer plaza at the Western Wall in Jerusalem`s Old City, despite warnings that the move risks triggering a third intifada." 26/3/2010
PACBI: West-Eastern Divan Orchestra violates boycott Statement, Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, "A recent article criticizing the Palestinian Campaign For the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel`s (PACBI) position on the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO) (Mariam Said, "Barenboim-Said Foundation does not promote normalization," 17 March 2010) is based on false premises, misunderstanding and/or misrepresentation of the PACBI boycott criteria, and a misconception of the recent history of civil resistance in Palestine. Since the article insinuates that PACBI`s position on WEDO is inconsistent with its own principles, the record needs to be set straight." 26/3/2010
`Arab summit is political theatre` By As`ad AbuKhalil - Aljazeera net "Arab leaders are currently meeting in Libya in a ritual summit held almost annually since the end of the Second World War."26/3/2010
Netanyahu and Obama are at point of no return By Akiva Eldar - Haaretz " The strife between Israel and the United States concerns something far bigger than the proximity talks with the Palestinians. As far as President Barack Obama and his senior advisers are concerned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to blame for nothing less than damaging the standing of the the Middle East and the Muslim world." 26/3/2010
Netanyahu: I`m not building in Jerusalem for Lieberman and Yishai By Yossi Verter, Barak Ravid and Natasha Mozgovaya Haaretz Correspondents "In closed talks, Netanyahu clarified that he has no intention of breaking up his rightwing coalition to form a more moderate centrist alliance, despite continuing pressure from the United States for a compromise over Israeli building in east Jerusalem." 26/3/2010
Israel`s interests are not the same as ours on Palestine : Its greatest fear in its relationship with the West is marginalisationAdrian Hamilton - The Independent - The real importance of Benjamin Netanyahu`s visit to Washington, and his uncompromising speech there, is not that it threatens the US-Israeli relations (it doesn`t – no US President would be willing to sanction a real break) but that it does very directly challenge America and Europe`s interests more broadly in the Muslim world, including its soldiers in Afghanistan (as General Petraeus has now pointed out) and its competition with China for raw materials in the Middle East and Africa (including in Iran). 25/3/2010
Israel Won`t Change Unless the Status Quo Has a Downside : Obama`s Peace Effort Is Doomed Because Israel Loses Nothing If It Fails Tony Karon - TomDispatch - There is, as former Secretary of State James Baker has noted, no shortage of chutzpah in this Israeli government. "United States taxpayers are giving Israel roughly $3 billion each year, which amounts to something like $1,000 for every Israeli citizen, at a time when our own economy is in bad shape and a lot of Americans would appreciate that kind of helping hand from their own government," Baker said in a recent interview. "Given that fact, it is not unreasonable to ask the Israeli leadership to respect U.S. policy on settlements." 25/3/2010
Ramallah and Gaza are waiting Amira Hass - Haaretz - The Ramallah government expects that the United States, Europe and the pro-Western Arab states will come to their senses and force Israel to do that which it has avoided since 1968: withdraw ("with slight border adjustments") and bring the settlers back home. The Ramallah government expects that external factors will cause Israel to understand that which it does not understand on its own. There is nothing boastful about this stance; rather, it is one of compassion for the Israeli people, which has encased itself in a bubble of smugness that ignores historical processes. 25/3/2010
The more Things Change, the more they Stay the Same Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - What is even more audacious from the cheeky Bibi is his offer to withhold from publicly announcing settlement construction, especially when US officials are visiting so that nobody would be embarrassed. Talk about an insult. Is this the kind of loyal ally the US is so proud of? Apparently so. Clinton, who last week spurted out some of the strongest-toned language ever towards Israel, heaped loads of praise on the country and reassured it once again of the US commitment to Israel. "Guaranteeing Israel`s security is more than a policy position for me. It is a personal commitment that will never waiver." If this were not clear enough, Clinton spelled it out for the pro-Israel Americans listening to her, just to set their minds at ease.25/3/2010
Israel must allow Palestinians access to adequate water suppliesAmnesty International - "Almost six months after our report, the Israeli government still maintains control over water resources in Occupied Palestinian Territories. Palestinians are allowed only a fraction of the almost unlimited supplies provided to illegal Israeli settlements," said Malcolm Smart, Director of Amnesty International`s Middle East Programme. 25/3/2010
The US` choreographed "outrage" at Israel Stephen Maher - The Electronic Intifada - Clearly, recent condemnations of these projects as "illegal" by Ban and the European Union did not stop Obama from welcoming Netanyahu to Washington on Monday with a private meeting, nor Clinton from proudly sharing the stage with him at the AIPAC conference to reaffirm the US commitment to support Israel`s rejection of the international consensus for resolving the conflict. Though she did say the settlements "undermine mutual trust," she did not acknowledge their illegality and mostly stressed the threat that US support for them poses to its "credibility" as an "honest broker," thus urging Israel to refrain from such flagrantly provocative behavior while reinforcing that the US-Israel relationship is "rock solid." 25/3/2010
NPR, Settlements, and Objective American JournalismLaila El Haddad - A Mother from Gaza - "...immediately Joe Sacco’s words about “objectivity as practiced in American journalism” being unhelpful, non-educational, unfair came to mind."24/3/2010
Israeli Army World’s Most Moral?Mel Frykberg - Antiwar - ",,,the cliché is repeated regularly in Israel...However, following the Gaza war which left 1,400 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians, some Israelis have begun to question this."24/3/2010
Barenboim-Said Foundation does not promote normalization Mariam Said - Electronic Intifada - The terrible irony is that by attacking the WEDO and the vision of Edward [Said] and Daniel [Barenboim], PACBI is doing exactly what Edward saw the western media doing to the Islamic world, as he wrote in his book Covering Islam. When former US President George W. Bush attacked Iraq in 2003, Edward Said responded with a lecture on humanism in Beirut and Cairo. Bush told the world: “you are either with us or against us.” 23/3/2010
Assassinating Hamas won`t work Arik Diamant and David Zonsheine - - Israel`s assassination policy should be understood as a complement to its politics; its refusal to arrive at a compromise with its neighbours is the real story behind the extrajudicial killings. 23/3/2010
A strong Obama is good for Israel Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - While Netanyahu has been careful in what he said in public, politicos surrounding him did not hide their hope that the American president would lose, and arrive weakened at future bouts of arm wrestling with the Israeli PM. 23/3/2010
Cut off the cash and Israel might behaveAvi Shlaim - The Independent - President Netanyahu is undermining US interests. The sooner President Obama makes his support conditional, the better22/3/2010
The doomsday weaponUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - WHAT BEGAN as an insult to the Vice President of the United States is developing into something far bigger. The mouse has given birth to an elephant. 21/3/2010
The break on PalestineDavid Bromwich - Huffington Post - The door to an honest discussion of Israel and Palestine has been opened wide. Too wide for AIPAC, and all its journalistic outlets, to close with their usual dispatch. We are in possession now of the realistic knowledge that Israel`s policies endanger American troops and American interests; that by creating new terrorists, those policies also threaten the security of the United States.21/3/2010
On the Middle East: It`s Palin vs Petraeus MJ Rosenberg - Most American right-wingers cused to be great admirers of General David Petraeus - "America`s man of the year" according to Bill Kristol and "a great American hero" according to John McCain. But now, Petraeus` erstwhile friends are going crazy. General Petraeus is now saying that Israel`s policies in the occupied territories harm US interests and potentially threaten American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was Petraeus` warning that led to the Obama administration`s condemnation of Israel`s settlement policies. 20/3/2010
James Baker`s advice for Obama on forging Middle East peace Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "I don`t fault President Obama for making settlements an issue, but I do fault him for caving in. You can`t take a position that is consistent with U.S. policy going back many years, and the minute you get push-back you soften your position," he said. "When you are dealing with foreign leaders, they can smell that kind of weakness a thousand miles away." 20/3/2010
Quartet calls for settlement freeze Al Jazeera and agenices - "all settlement activity and denounced Israel`s plan to build new housing in East Jerusalem. The Quartet`s comments came at a news conference in Moscow on Friday, following a meeting by the group, which brings together the United Nations, the US, the EU and Russia." 19/3/2010
What next – from crisis to progress?Gershon Baskin - IPCRI-News- "The crisis in relations between Washington and Jerusalem is not necessarily a bad thing in terms of being able to move a peace process forward. There is no doubt that the crisis poses one of the most serious challenges to the Obama administration in its foreign policy agenda in general and potentially could shape and influence the policy of the US in the region for years to come. "19/3/2010
A pillar of state-building by Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons "The main importance of the Fayyad plan is that it allows Palestinians to move toward achieving the objectives of ending the Israeli occupation and establishing their state on two parallel tracks. The first is in actual developments on the ground where the Palestinian government has been taking positive steps readying Palestinians for statehood, not only in their own eyes but also in the eyes of the international community, which has been financing these efforts. "19/3/2010
The Truth About American and Israeli Interests Comes OutBy William Pfaff - Truthdig "The relationship between the United States and Israel has always rested on a number of pretensions, politically useful to politicians on both sides, but because they are untrue, certain eventually to prove destructive to both countries." 19/3/2010
America`s Rude Awakening Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Maybe this recent incident will be the straw that breaks the camel`s back. Israel is clearly concerned with the tense relations with the US, especially since high ranking administration officials such as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are making unusually stiff demands on Israel. Apparently, Clinton, who was extremely miffed by the settlement fiasco, has sent Israel a "to-do" list to try and reverse its bad behavior. Not only did the Secretary call on Israel to make a "substantial gesture" towards the Palestinians, she also said Israel should reverse the decision to approve the 1,600 Ramat Shlomo settlement homes. 17/3/2010
Why Iran smiles on Jerusalem clashesScott Peterson - CSMonitor - "“The Iranians will try to use it as a tool in their box, to define Israel as a pariah state,” says Javedanfar. “Now more people on the Arab street will have more time for what Iran is saying – not Tehran’s streets [where anti-regime clashes have been episodic], but on the Arab street.”" 17/3/2010
Crisis in US-Israeli relations: Barack Obama must not back downEditorial - Guardian - "He blinked once and he can not afford to blink again." 17/3/2010
Where to next in the US-Israel feud?Rami G. Khouri - Daily Star - "We are in uncharted territory, but also prime political real estate – where the character of nations and the political mettle of the men and women who lead them are being tested in a serious way for the first time in two generations." 17/3/2010
US-Israel Tensions Continue to PercolateJim Lobe - Antiwar - ""The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel," added Gen. David Petraeus, the chief of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM). 17/3/2010
Political umbrage in Washington? Robert Grenier - Al Jazeera - The Americans are denied even the illusion of progress. Consider that in the aftermath of such a clear, unequivocal statement of US policy as came in Cairo, the best they could do was to negotiate a temporary – and only partial – pause in settlement construction, with East Jerusalem exempted completely.16/3/2010
Israeli Crackdown Puts Liberal Jews on the SpotChris Hedges - Truthdig - Maj. Gen. Avi Zamir, the head of the Israeli military`s Personnel Directorate, admitted recently to UPI that increasing numbers of Israelis are refusing to serve in the occupied territories. (...) The campaign against Israeli dissidents has taken the form of venomous denunciations of activists and jurists. 16/3/2010
A free people in our land Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - Unfortunately, the government and the media are focusing attention on the relationship with the US and completely missing the real point of our predicament. It is not about our relationship with Washington, it is about our existence in the region and our relationship with our direct neighbors. 16/3/2010
Driving Drunk in Jerusalem Thomas Friedman - NYT - Israel needs a wake-up call. Continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, and even housing in disputed East Jerusalem, is sheer madness.16/3/2010
Row with U.S. questions Netanyahu`s fitness to lead Yoel Marcus - Haaretz - Had Bibi apologized immediately for Yishai`s lapse and promised not to undertake any construction unilaterally, it might have been possible to weather the incident. But by attempting to do damage control and by running off to tell "the gang" that everything is fine, he further enraged the president, who has not scored many successes and who does not really like us.16/3/2010
Obama has failed to bring peace to the Middle EastBruce Anderson - The Independent - When it comes to peace terms, most Israelis are wholly unrealistic15/3/2010
Flouting its own laws, EU accommodates "Made in Israel" David Cronin - EI - "`Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one`s mind simultaneously and accepting both of them,` George Orwell wrote in Nineteen Eighty-Four. That is the kind of duplicity Britain tries to get away with by embracing the very same Israeli firms whose theft of Palestinian land it professes to disdain"15/3/2010
A Dangerous Prelude? The Dubai DebacleConn Hallinan - CounterPunch - "So what was the message of Dubai? Maybe nothing more than simple incompetence and arrogance. But maybe the Israelis want Iran and the U.S. to think Tel Aviv is a little out of control and quite capable of doing something really bonkers, like whacking Iranian nuclear power plants. […] Maybe the Israelis are looking for a quid pro quo: ‘We don’t attack Iran and make your life difficult. In turn, you keep your mouth shut about what we are doing on the West Bank, and maybe send us some new military toys’”15/3/2010
Taboo thwarts candor on Israel/IranRay McGovern - Counterpunch - Participants at an otherwise informative discussion on “Iran at a Crossroads” at the Senate on Wednesday seemed at pains to barricade the doors against the proverbial elephant being admitted into the room — in this case, Israel. ... Even Secretary of State Hillary Clinton let drop last month that, even if Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon, this does not “directly” threaten the United States.14/3/2010
Women miss SaddamAbdu Rahman, Dahr Jamail - - the US/UK aggression has caused a deterioration in the status of women in Iraq14/3/2010
Netanyahu must choose between ideology and US supportAluf Benn - Haaretz - A direct link to the article discussed above14/3/2010
`Crisis` in US-Israel relations: is it different this time?Sol Salbe - Middle East News Service: This sounds like a story that we have read before (and on more than one occasion): A crisis between Israel and United States. The US is finally putting its foot down and reminding Israel just who is the superpower with the economic and political power. And we have also got used to the next part: Israel using the power of its friends in the Congress to overrule the US administration which quickly folds up. But like in the story of the boy who cried wolf there finally comes a time when the real wolf does appear, and the story changes direction.14/3/2010
A matter of timingUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It’s all a matter of timing. The Government of Israel has insulted the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, one of the greatest “friends” of Israel (meaning: somebody totally subservient to AIPAC) and spat in the face of President Barack Obama. So what? It’s all a matter of timing.14/3/2010
Joe Biden attacks Israeli plan for East Jerusalem homesJeremy Bowen - BBC - "Speaking earlier, Joe Biden said Washington had a total commitment to Israel`s security." 10/3/2010
Our love is blindEyal Megged - Ynet - To this day, when I arrive in east Jerusalem, at least twice a week – whether to the Old City or to the city outside the ancient walls – it looks unbelievable. This city is the Levant, Arabia, the big world outside, and it’s a walking distance from my home; a sort of Damascus, or Amman, or Baghdad. I love wandering through it, eating there, and getting lost in the crowd. It is a hospitable Arab town that usually welcomes guests. Yet we must keep in mind that this city is not part of the Jewish people’s eternal capital, but rather, an Arab city.8/3/2010
Rise Above the Prize - Mordechai Vanunu`s Nobel StandRannie Amiri - CounterPunch - "The Nobel Committee should not only continue to consider Vanunu however, but award its Peace Prize to him […]. An ignominious spotlight would then shine on Israel for preventing Vanunu from traveling to Norway to accept it, although he would still likely decline the Prize. If permitted to hold a press conference, it would give Vanunu the opportunity to tell the world of Peres’ shameful role in introducing nuclear weapons to the Middle East, to talk of the massacre at Qana that occurred under his leadership, to speak about the war crimes committed in Gaza and of Israel’s brutal occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank"8/3/2010
The next great confrontation Menachem Klein - Haaretz - "The question is not whether the settlements can be dismantled in the first place, but whether the state institutions can be disbanded and re-established. It is easy to argue that it won`t happen, precisely because of the symbiosis between those state institutions and the settlers, and their overlapping interests. But the above examples show that one day Israeli society may have to face up to the problem in all of its severity. It is also impossible not to wonder if decision makers are making the threat from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah seem greater than it really is in order to postpone or prevent the great internal confrontation"8/3/2010
The harlot`s graveUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - A few weeks ago, Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turk who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in Rome, was released after serving 28 years in prison. The motives for his act have never been clarified. But a Palestinian leader once told me his version: God appeared to Agca in a dream and told him: Go to the Holy City and kill that damn Pole. But the Turk misunderstood, so instead of going to Jerusalem and killing Menachem Begin, he went to Rome… 7/3/2010
Israeli Group New Profile Urges UN to Hold Israel AccountableOn January 28th 2010, New Profile, a feminist movement working to demilitarize society and state in Israel, dispatched a letter to a list of top U.N. officials urging the U.N. General Assembly and the U.N. Security Council to intervene to ensure implementation of the recommendations made by the U.N. Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict.6/3/2010
Interview - Jeff Halper - The Global Pacification Industry 5/3/2010
From Ireland to IsraelZION EVRONY - IHT - "A key lesson is that the essential interest of each side must be respected and safeguarded."5/3/2010
Time to go, LiebermanNahum Barnea - Ynet - "A whole society is afflicted with Liebermania." 5/3/2010
Truth and Consequences in the Gaza Invasion NORMAN FINKELSTEIN - Counterpunch - Public outrage at the Gaza invasion did not come out of the blue but rather marked the nadir of a curve plotting a steady decline in support for Israel. As polling data of Americans and Europeans, both Gentiles and Jews, suggest, the public has become increasingly critical of Israeli policy over the past decade. The horrific images of death and destruction broadcast around the world during and after the invasion accelerated this development. “The increased and brutal frequency of war in this volatile region has shifted international opinion,” the British Financial Times editorialized one year later, “reminding Israel it is not above the law. Israel can no longer dictate the terms of debate.” 4/3/2010
Israel and apartheid: A fair comparison? Edward C. Corrigan - Rabble - It is interesting to see what South Africans who actually lived under the apartheid system have to say about Israel`s treatment of the Palestinians. The natural basis of such kinship between the policies of Israel and South Africa was apparently recognized by the virulent supporter of apartheid and prime minister of South Africa, Hendrik Verwoerd. He noted in 1961 that Jews "took Israel from the Arabs after the Arabs had lived there for a thousand years. In that I agree with them, Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state." 4/3/2010
Growth that Palestine can believe inSam Bahour - The Guardian - A serious misconception is being propagated by the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah. Media, international organisations, foreign governments and Palestinians-at-large are being coaxed into believing that the flurry of economic activity in the West Bank is economic development towards statehood. The facts on the ground rip this argument to pieces, just as Israel continues to micromanage the economic pieces of the intended future state of Palestine towards systemic stagnation. 3/3/2010
Dividing Palestine: The Drought of ’48 Hajr Al-Ali - MIFTAH - In slicing Palestine up, Israel has cut Palestinians off. Surrounded by the boundless sea shores, I could not help but think of how Israel has appropriated the majority of Palestinians’ water-rich land and barred Palestinians from accessing it. According to a recent report by Amnesty International, “Israel uses more than 80 percent of the water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, while restricting Palestinian access to a mere 20 percent.” 3/3/2010
Israel`s new war on Islamic sites Daud Abdullah - Aljazeera - In a move that appears to be a celebration of the 16th anniversary of the massacre of 29 worshippers by the terrorist Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli government has proclaimed that the Ibrahimi Mosque in Khalil (Hebron) and Masjid Bilal ibn Rabah (mosque) in Bethlehem are "Jewish Heritage sites". 3/3/2010
How will the next Palestinian uprising look? Amira Hass - Haaretz - The truth is that the suicide attacks on civilians gave Israel a golden opportunity to implement plans, which had always existed, to confiscate more and more Palestinian lands, using the excuse of "security." The use of weapons did not stop the colonialist expansion of the Jewish settlements. On the contrary. And the use of weapons only accelerated a process Israel began in 1991: disconnecting the Gaza Strip from the West Bank. 3/3/2010
It is time for Israel`s friends to condemn its acts of terrorismAMIN SAIKAL - SMH - "If indeed Israel is responsible for the killing of Mabhouh, the state may have gone too far."3/3/2010
Growth that Palestine can believe inSam Bahour - Guardian - "...slow but steady exodus is emptying Palestine of its human capital which is already severely depleted by the restrictions placed upon us." 3/3/2010
Australia’s strong response to Israel comes after years of uncritical support Ross Burns - The Age - In the course of a career in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, much of it spent handling Middle East matters, I rarely heard language as portentous as the statements on relations with Israel from Australian political leaders in the past couple of days. 2/3/2010
Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - `olei ha-gardom - dubious trustworthiness - put Dagan on trial - Nuri al-`Uqbi17/3/2010
In Search of the Jewish PeopleShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - "Zionism was created on the foundation of the Enlightenment and modernity. The national idea was not derived from the past but from the European national present. Zionism set out to invent the past, as did the nationalisms of the European peoples among whom the Zionists lived"1/3/2010
Israel`s NGOs must operate freelyAntony Lerman - The Guardian - Following attacks on the New Israel Fund, a Knesset bill restricting rights organisations risks eroding democratic culture1/3/2010
No country would accept Netanyahu`s conditions for peace Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The decision to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel`s Tomb to the list of historical heritage sites up for renovation was not made with the intention of inflaming tempers and sabotaging efforts to revive final-status talks with the Palestinians. It was merely a routine move by a rightist government, further proof that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s `two states` speech at Bar-Ilan University was a milestone on the road to nowhere"1/3/2010
Netanyahu has never been a peacemaker Joharah Baker - Bitterlemons - In a highly provocative move that was certain to call any promise of peace into question, the Israeli premier declared two West Bank holy sites part of a list of Israeli heritage sites. The Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, known to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Bethlehem, or Rachel`s Tomb, have long been flashpoints of confrontation between Israeli settlers and troops and Palestinian worshippers. Needless to say, Netanyahu`s announcement fanned these flames tenfold, with clashes occurring almost daily in Hebron near the mosque since. 11/3/2010
Israel must change to change its imageAbdaljawad OA Hamayel - Ma`an News Agency - The new youth culture in the West of ‘seeing before believing’ and of seeking alternative sources for information has added to the degradation of the Israeli image, out of the control of its spindoctors who have until now controlled the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More than ever, westerners are traveling to the Palestinian territories and Israel to witness the circumstances in which Palestinians live. The rise of the internet and the challenges it poses to mainstream media is another piece of the puzzle. 11/3/2010
P.A Decides Not To Hold Talks With IsraelSaed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - The Arab League’s Peace Initiative Committee, recently decided to support the decision of Abbas to enter indirect talks with Israel, but it held an urgent meeting on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s decision to build 1600 homes of settlers in East Jerusalem. The Committee said that holding Israel indirect talks with Israel is irrelevant at the current stage amidst the ongoing Israeli violations. 11/3/2010
Thank you, Eli Yishai, for exposing the peace process masquerade Gideon Levy - Haaretz - What would we do without Yishai? Biden would have left Israel propelled by the momentum of success. Netanyahu would have boasted of a renewed close friendship. A few weeks later, the indirect talks would have started. Europe would have applauded, and Barack Obama, the president of big promises, would even have taken a moment away from dealing with his country`s health-care issues to meet with Netanyahu. George Mitchell, who has already scored quite a few diplomatic feats here, would shuttle between Ramallah and Jerusalem, and maybe Netanyahu would eventually have met with Mahmoud Abbas. Face to face. Then everything would have been sorted out. 11/3/2010
A Tale of Two Richards: Mr. Goldstone and Mr. Falk NADIA HIJAB - Counterpunch - They hail from opposite parts of the globe, but they have much in common: Jewish; experts on and passionate defenders of international law; and pummeling bags for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And the future of the law of war lies at the heart of the campaigns against them.10/3/2010
How green is my valley Amira Hass - Haaretz - Even before the West Bank was divided into Areas A, B and C, in accordance with the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement, Israel used various means to keep the Palestinians from developing their lands in the valley. Large tracts were declared state owned even though up until the Six-Day War, they were known and treated as the grazing lands of the villages on the ridge. Other areas were declared military training and firing zones, and shepherds and their flocks were forced to leave. 10/3/2010
Bibi`s snub to Biden may backfire : Intentional or not, the announcement of new settlements in East Jerusalem may push the US into a tougher stance towards IsraelSimon Tisdall - The Guardian - Despite the evident embarrassment and considerable political damage caused by the decision, Netanyahu has so far made no move to repudiate it. Lesser figures, such as welfare minister Isaac Herzog and Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev were deployed on firefighting duties on Wednesday, dutifully uttering conditional words of contrition. "We have to express our apologies for this serious blunder," Herzog said. 10/3/2010
I will mourn on Nakba DayNurit Peled-Elhanan - The “Nakba law” passed in a first reading last Tuesday. The law forbids mourning the Nakba on Israel`s Independence Day. Breaking the law will result in high fines and withdrawal of government financing from municipal authorities. 18/3/2010
Obama won`t restrain Israel - he can`tRupert Cornwell - The Independent - More than a week on, the in-your-face effrontery of the announcement that a new swathe of Israeli homes will be built in disputed East Jerusalem still amazes. Not only was it another pre-emptive strike on one of the toughest issues to be resolved in the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to which even Mr Netanyahu pays lip service. It came just 24 hours after painstaking diplomatic efforts by Washington had secured agreement on "proximity talks" in which both sides agreed to talk to each other, albeit indirectly. The fate of even these modest contacts are now in the balance. 18/3/2010
IDF vs. democracy and freedom of speech Haaretz - Editorial - The Israel Defense Forces decision to declare the Palestinian villages Bil`in and Na`alin closed military zones on Fridays for the next six months is a serious anti-democratic move. The order issued by the GOC Central Command implementing this restriction is an act against the freedom to demonstrate. The fact that the army issued such a sweeping order, and that it is supposed to be in effect for such a long period, requires an immediate petition to the High Court of Justice asking it to block this dangerous and damaging move, which lacks any justification. The freedom to demonstrate is a basic right and an extension of freedom of expression. 18/3/2010
The Jewish National Fund`s project of dispossessionHaya Noach - Haoketz - The JNF is going ahead with a project to dispossess the people of al-`Araqib in the Negev of their lands, even though the project has not yet received legal approval.31/3/2010
Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - Fata Morgana - News from Strasbourg - Informing - Albert Speer - Light trigger-fingers31/3/2010
On the Danger of Wrong Reasons to do the Right ThingReuven Kaminer - The most prevalent example of an argument designed to convince people to do the right thing for the wrong reason is the employment of the "demographic threat" argument for making peace. The idea is that people will support a peace initiative out of racist motivation, but trying to win over people based on their racist bias actually reinforces racism in society at large. 30/3/2010
Israel fears Obama heading for imposed Mideast settlement Ari Shavit - Haaretz - U.S. President Barack Obama`s demands during his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Tuesday point to an intention to impose a permanent settlement on Israel and the Palestinians in less than two years, political sources in Jerusalem say. Israeli officials view the demands that Obama made at the White House as the tip of the iceberg under which lies a dramatic change in U.S. policy toward Israel. 30/3/2010
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