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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Hamas, the I.R.A. and UsAli Abunimah - NYT - No serious analyst believes that peace can be made between Palestinians and Israelis without Hamas on board, any more than could have been the case in Northern Ireland without Sinn Fein and the I.R.A. 31/8/2010
Brookings` Indyk on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations: No Better Time Than NowThinktanked - Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and present senior researcher at the Brookings Institution presents his reasons for being far more optimistic about the chances of reaching an agreement than are most Israeli, Palestinian and international observers.31/8/2010
Beyond Moderates and Militants - How Obama Can Chart a New Course in the Middle East Robert Malley and Peter Harling - Foreign Affairs / The Magnes Zionist - For the United States, adapting to new patterns of power would at a minimum mean accepting the need for internal Palestinian reconciliation and acknowledging that a strong, unified Palestinian partner is more likely to produce a sustainable peace agreement than a weak, fragmented one. 31/8/2010
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In Israel, Settling for Less Gadi Taub - NYT - Although the occupation and the suspension of Palestinian rights are officially temporary, the right wing aspires to keep Arabs indefinitely in quasi-colonial status. Given the Palestinians’ refusal to sign a peace deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s predecessors, many Israelis who oppose the settlements and occupation in principle have thrown up their hands and accepted this situation, too. [The writer represents the views of the "Nationalist Left", who see an inherent contradiction between settlements and Zionism-ed]31/8/2010
New Israel Fund Caving to Im Tirzu Pressure?Tikun Olam - "The Forward brings distressing news that the New Israel Fund has prepared draft funding guidelines that would bar any Israeli NGO which did not endorse Israel as a Jewish state"30/8/2010
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Impact of Israeli Military Order No. 1650Stephen Lendman - The Palestinian Chronicle - "Order No. 1650 (Prevention of Infiltration) and Order No. 1949 (Security Provisions) were issued in October 2009 as amendments to a 1969 Order No. 329 (Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration), declaring ‘infiltrator’ state enemies from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon would be imprisoned and/or deported. Potentially, all West Bank and East Jerusalemites risk dispossession and expulsion"30/8/2010
Seeing the land as one: Raja Shehadeh interviewed Raja Shehadeh - EI - "I have always thought that the most important thing for the Palestinians is for them to be able to stay on the land, and now with the improvement in security it is more possible to invest, the laws have been developed to allow the everyday necessities of a legal system. The signs we are getting from Israel indicate how difficult it will be to fundamentally change the situation. But I have learned that you must not judge the future only from the present -- things can happen suddenly that make a big change. But the place can explode -- that is very dangerous"30/8/2010
Struggling Over the Right to Struggle - An Assault on Israeli Academic Freedom ... and Liberal Values Neve Gordon - CounterPunch - "While in politics nothing is predetermined, Israel is heading down a slippery slope. Israeli academe is now an arena where some of the most fundamental struggles of a society are being played out. The problem is that instead of struggling over basic human rights, we are now struggling over the right to struggle"30/8/2010
Stalin`s commissar in the PMO Haaretz Editorial - The refusal by actors to perform in occupied territory is not delegitimization of the state, as the prime minister claims, but the expression of a legitimate and worthy position30/8/2010
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Puppet theater Gideon Levy--August 29, 2010 We will know the answer in the coming weeks: Is there genuine theater in Israel, or is it just puppet theater? Are our theater artists really actors, playwrights and directors, or are they marionettes? Israeli theater presents "Moral Blindness" - a play with infinite acts. 29/8/2010
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David Grossman: `I cannot afford the luxury of despair`Rachel Cooke--The Israeli writer discusses his novel To the End of the Land, a memorial to his son who was killed while serving in the army, and why he remains an opponent of his country`s policy towards the Palestinians . . . Grossman started writing and as he did, he, too, indulged in a little magical thinking. He had the feeling – or perhaps it was just a fervent hope – that the novel would keep Uri safe. Every time Uri came home on leave, they would discuss the story, what was new in the characters` lives. "What did you do to them this week?" Uri used to ask. He also fed his father useful military details. This went on for a long time and it seemed for a while as if the charm was working. But on 12 July 2006, following Hezbollah attacks on Israeli soldiers on patrol near the Lebanese border, war broke out. Over the course of the next 34 days, 165 Israelis (121 of them soldiers), an estimated 500 Hezbollah fighters and 1,191 Lebanese civilians were killed.29/8/2010
Peace talks yet to burst Tel Aviv `bubble`Seth Freedman--While residents of Israel`s border towns have good reason to perpetually fear for their safety, the "chessboard effect" keeps the half million-strong population of Tel Aviv feeling vastly more confident about their own security. As in a game of chess, where the first aim of defence is to surround the king with several pawns and a rook, the security wall and the ring of troops around the Israeli heartland has helped to achieve the same thing. The conflict has been by and large pushed out to the edge of the board – down south in Sderot, up north in towns along the Lebanese border and in settlements throughout the occupied territories.29/8/2010
Only force will stop force Zeev Sternhell --The threats and pressures on the universities were to be expected. The struggle in the academic world is an integral part of the cultural struggle started by the right, parallel to its political successes. People on the right understand that, just as in the United States and Europe, to survive for long and strike roots they must exploit the regime`s institutions and destroy the left`s hold on the educated sectors of the population.29/8/2010
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The Language of the StateHaaretz Editorial-- As the Arab minority comprises about one-fifth of Israel`s population and Arabic is an official language, teaching the indigenous language is not merely a practical necessity but should be part of our concept of citizenship.29/8/2010
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Studying Arabic in Jewish SchoolsAfter 62 years, the Ministry of Education has finally decided to implement Arabic language studies starting the fifth grade...I was constantly surprised to find out that very few of my Jewish-Israeli university class mates understand/speak Arabic. ao 28/8/2010
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The Book of Amos: On Gideon LevyLevy`s real subject, even when he`s writing about events in Rafah or Khan Yunis, is Israel, its hypocrisy, the myths and delusions with which it cloaks itself.....Levy holds up Gaza like a mirror....Gaza`s streets are thick with trash and sewage, but the real pollution, Levy says, is the moral kind, and it lies on the Israeli side of the wall. 28/8/2010
Israel/Palestine and the apartheid analogy (part 2)Ran Greenstein - In the previous section I made a distinction between historical apartheid (unique to South Africa) and apartheid in its generic form – a structured system of political exclusion and social marginalization on the basis of origins (including but not restricted to race). I concluded that Israel is different from historical apartheid, but it displays characteristics that allow us to define it as a form of generic apartheid.27/8/2010
Red Rag columnGideon Spiro - Occupation Magazine - Sharp Right turn; this is the country we live in; people are the same everywhere26/8/2010
The Israeli Dilemma : Book Review: `The Fear of Peace` by Moshe ZimmermannIna Rottscheidt - Qantara - Hosts of mediators, diplomats and politicians have travelled to the Middle East in recent years in attempts to revive the peace process. There have been many discussions, appeals and plans, but in the end, there has been no movement. On the contrary, the positions of the Israelis and the Palestinians seem more entrenched than ever. This is because Israel has more to fear from peace than from war – a provocative thesis put forward by the Israeli author and historian Moshe Zimmermann in his new book Die Angst vor dem Frieden. Das israelische Dilemma (The Fear of Peace. The Israeli Dilemma). 25/8/2010
Bringing Israel`s Bomb Out of the BasementAVNER COHEN and MARVIN MILLER - NYT - "As long as Israel did not advertise its possession of nuclear weapons, by either declaring it had them or testing them, the United States agreed to tolerate and shield Israel’s nuclear program."25/8/2010
Can talks bring peace at last?Donald Macintyre - The Independent - The question is whether Netanyahu remains, as many Bibi-watchers believe, the opportunistic rightist of old or whether he has decided he wants a real place in history23/8/2010
Mr. Crown and the President - Israel, Big Money and Obama Margaret Kimberley - CounterPunch - "Every American president has wealthy individuals and families dedicated to getting them elected. The reliance of candidates for public office on the largesse of the rich may be common and expected, but it is nonetheless extremely dangerous. This corruption insures access for the rich, which guarantees that their interests are at the top of any president’s agenda, usually at the expense of what is good for everyone else. For Lester Crown the top issue on his agenda is Israel"23/8/2010
Abbas-Netanyahu Summit: Full Speed in Neutral or Humiliation of Abu MazenMichael Warschawski - AIC - "Under substantial American pressure, Mahmoud Abbas agreed to `direct negotiations` with Binyamin Netanyahu. The problem for the latter was never in ‘direct’ but in ‘negotiations.’ He knows, as we all do, that the Israeli government has no intention of discussing a solution that could be accepted even by a Palestinian more moderate than Abbas himself"23/8/2010
Erdogan and Israel: glitch or rupture?Assaf Adiv - Challenge Magazine - Turkey appears to be quietly returning its relations with Israel to a normal footing 22/8/2010
Israel/Palestine and the apartheid analogy: critics, apologists and strategic lessons (part 1)Ran Greenstein - University of the Witwatersrand - Is the Israeli system of political and military control over the Palestinians in fact a form of apartheid? What is apartheid? What is Israel?21/8/2010
Economic emptiness in Palestine and Israel Sam Bahour - The Hill - I estimate that 100 more companies would publicly list if indications on the ground pointed to a real end to occupation. And we have scarcely tapped the potential of Palestine’s diaspora community. What Palestine needs is not more peace process but an end to military occupation, which is delaying real progress. 21/8/2010
Week 2254 of Occupation: 9 August-15 August 2010Daniel Breslau - Occupation Magazine - The lack of an agreed endpoint to the drawn out Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has been a major reason for their failure. The lack of a framework based on internationally-recognized boundaries and rights of the parties has been an invitation for Israel to unilaterally create new boundaries and rights by force.21/8/2010
Report Criticizes Gaza RestrictionsETHAN BRONNER - The New York Times - A United Nations report issued on Thursday says the Sweleims are part of the 12 percent of the population of Gaza — 178,000 people out of 1.5 million — who have lost livelihoods or have otherwise been severely affected by Israeli security policies along the border, both land and sea, in recent years. These include the establishment of “no-go zones” and frequent incursions. 20/8/2010
A picture is worth a thousand lives ROI MAOR - The Jerusalem Post - According to information analyzed by the human rights organization Yesh Din, between September 2000 and the end of 2009, less than six percent of nearly 2,000 investigations opened against IDF soldiers suspected of crimes against Palestinians ended in indictments. During the same period, according to various estimates, thousands of Palestinian civilians were killed as a result of IDF activities. How many of these fatalities resulted in convictions? Four. 20/8/2010
Palestine: Occupied, Divided, Isolated, Oppressed And Unaided Stephen Lendman - Countercurrents - Imagine the following: You`re ruthlessly oppressed in an occupied country under a system of institutionalized racism, affording rights solely to Jews. You have no recognized nation, no right of citizenship, no democratic freedoms or civil liberties, including no power over your daily life. You live in constant fear, collectively punished, politically denied, and economically strangled in a continuing cycle of violence. Military orders deny free expression and movement, enclose population centers, close borders, and impose curfews, checkpoints, roadblocks, separation walls, electric fences, dispossessions, land seizures, and domination over all aspects of life under draconian military orders like the following: 20/8/2010
Nowhere to Go Back toOfri Ilani - Blog - where is that kernel located? In Dan Halutz’s bank account? In Ehud Barak’s penthouse? In “General Chiney’s” (*) strip club? In Eyal Arad’s PR office? Maybe deep in Yigal Allon’s grave? Search where you will, you won’t find a salvageable kernel.23/8/2010
Fundamentals of the Israel-Palestine ConflictMichael Neumann - New Left Project - "In this interview with New Left Project’s Edward Lewis, Neumann discusses some of the fundamental concepts at stake in the Israel-Palestine conflict - the legitimacy of Palestinian violence, the principle of self-determination and the case for a Palestinian state." 25/8/2010
An appalling army experienceEditorial - Haaretz - "These "experiences" are no different than those of American soldiers abusing Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison, pictures that shocked the world when exposed in 2004." id18/8/2010
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Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - Hiroshima Day - The Political Commissar - The Volunteers - "The party`s over"17/8/2010
Words without Borders "dialogue" violates Palestinian boycott call Haidar Eid - EI - “Indeed, the guidelines issued by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), explicitly warn against events or projects that promote ‘false symmetry or balance.’ PACBI condemns initiatives ‘based on the false premise that the colonizers and the colonized, the oppressors and the oppressed, are equally responsible for the `conflict,`’ as ‘intentionally deceptive, intellectually dishonest and morally reprehensible’ because they often seek ‘to encourage dialogue or “reconciliation between the two sides"’ without ever acknowledging basic injustices and power imbalances. Thus, such initiatives serve to ‘promote the normalization of oppression and injustice’"16/8/2010
What Jeffrey Goldberg Didn`t Report - Top Israeli Generals and Intel Officials Oppose Striking Iran Gareth Porter - CounterPunch - "Goldberg concedes that Israeli generals with whom he talked ‘worry that talk of an “existential threat” is itself a kind of existential threat to the Zionist project, which was meant to preclude such threats against the Jewish people.’ A number of sources told Goldberg, moreover, that Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli army chief of staff, doubts ‘the usefulness of an attack’. Top Israeli intelligence officials and others responsible for policy toward Iran have long argued, in fact, that the kind of apocalyptic rhetoric that Netanyahu has embraced in recent years is self-defeating"16/8/2010
Besieging Israel`s siegeOmar Barghouti - The Guardian - " In just a few years the Palestinian campaign to boycott Israeli goods has become truly global..."Besiege your siege" – the cry of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish – acquires a new meaning in this context... many now understand the need to "besiege" Israel though boycotts, raising the price of its oppression...A bill that would impose heavy fines on Israelis who initiate or incite boycotts against Israel has recently passed an initial reading at the Knesset. This underlines Israel`s fears of the global reach and impact of BDS as a non-violent, morally consistent campaign for justice. "15/8/2010
VIDEO "Internet Killed Israeli PR"Presumably, the leftist answer to Latma`s anti-flotilla video. Complete with forgotten 1980`s hit.14/8/2010
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The latency phase - of "terrorist babies" and "dead children strategies"Portraying "enemy" infants as proto-terrorists has obvious propaganda value: if what you thought was an innocent baby is in fact a weapon... you will be less likely to protest when it is killed. Murder becomes self-defence. The slaughter of children becomes disarmament. But there is an extension that’s worth noting: not only are we supposed to view ‘their’ children as latent terrorists; we’re supposed to believe that this is the only value they hold for their parents as well. 14/8/2010
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Mavi Marmara Returns to TurkeyBoat returns to Turkey with some of passengers` belongings in plastic bags. No electronic media was returned. Most boat equipment also missing. Meanwhile, Israel-Turkey blame game continues regarding events during the assault on the ship.14/8/2010
Red Rag column: preparing for war - but with whom?Gideon Spiro - Preparing for war - but with whom? Let them kill Arabs in peace - Right of the Right - Haven for sadists - Al-`Araqib, Mon Amour13/8/2010
Dear citizens: you have been abandonedby Yossi Sarid - Haaretz "It is a matter of life and death to get rid of this government. Don`t ask who the alternative is. If these bunglers have no replacement, the situation is very grave indeed."13/8/2010
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The lie behind the right wing`s truth By Shlomo Avineri - Haaretz "The support for a two-state solution is not the right`s new truth, it`s the old truth wrapped in flowery rhetoric supported even by champions of human rights."13/8/2010
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Fight terror legally : The Shin Bet cannot deny murder suspects basic human rights.Editorial - Haaretz - The Shin Bet must mend its ways. Pearlman is not the only suspect in recent months who was arrested on the basis of serious allegations that quickly turned out to be false. He was preceded by several Israeli Arab detainees; in those cases, a raft of allegations produced little. Before the Shin Bet arrests people and makes false accusations, it should investigate carefully. It should remember that not everything is permitted in interrogations, and that torture - whether psychological or physical - is always unacceptable, no matter the case or the suspect. Even the war against terror must be conducted using legal means. 12/8/2010
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Israeli military chief defends Gaza flotilla raidBBC News - Testifying before the Turkel Commission in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Gen Ashkenazi said he took full responsibility for the army operation and was "proud" of the commandos who took part. He said they had not prepared to meet violent resistance on board the ships, and that live fire was used only after the troops were fired on by pro-Palestinian activists and attacked with knives, clubs and metal rods. 12/8/2010
Israel and Saudi Arabia to Buy Advanced War Planes : The US Arms Bonanza in the Middle EastJONATHAN COOK - Counterpunch - according to the reports, the US has offered Israeli firms defence contracts worth $4bn to supply parts for the F-35 -- a deal some Israeli analysts believe is designed to buy Israel’s silence over the Saudi deal and ensure it gets through the US Congress. 12/8/2010
Older Gazans recall Israelis, youth sees only armyBEN HUBBARD - The State - This means Gaza`s youth - 68 percent of its 1.5 million residents are under 25 - have no contact with people outside, which critics warn could make them more susceptible to militant groups and calls to violence. "We have a whole generation that has no chance to see the other, whether that other is an Israeli, a European, another Palestinian, anyone," said Hamdi Shaqqura of Gaza`s Palestinian Center for Human Rights. "This will push people more and more toward self-containment, further from other communities, and widen the gap with Israel." 12/8/2010
Palestinians are Not Just About the Occupation Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - To better understand this, one only has to surf Facebook to know that Palestinians have a lot more going on than just politics. In Ramallah, almost every night there is a poetry reading, a standup comedian or a music performance. Jerusalem, where Israel’s hold is even tighter, there are French film festivals and book launches. There is whole list of activities one can find in Ramallah or Jerusalem that have nothing to do with the occupation or the political strife between Palestinian factions. 12/8/2010
Al-Quds University flouts own academic boycott Jillian Kestler-D`Amours - The Electronic Intifada - Al-Quds University is maintaining a joint Israeli-Palestinian master`s degree program with Haifa, Hebrew and Tel Aviv universities, despite a decision taken by its own University Council in February 2009 to distance itself from Israeli academic institutions. 11/8/2010
Week 2253 of OccupationDaniel Breslau - Occupation Magazine - It`s not the timing - Take part in sham talks, or else! - Hamas always pays the price11/8/2010
With Arab opinion like this, Obama needs media advice Jonathan Steele - Guardian - "In fact US publishers, editors, and reporters carry the biggest responsibility for the rotten state of US policy in the Middle East."11/8/2010
IDF is an army obsessed with its imageAluf Benn - Haaretz - "...a lack of sophistication, dismissiveness toward the enemy and obsession with image and spin..." 11/8/2010
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Israeli and Palestinian Women find new way to challenge the OccupationAssaf Oron - The Only Democracy? - All of these rights are denied the civilian Palestinian population living in the occupied territories under Israeli military control: Their lives, dignity and property are violated; their privacy and intimacy is not respected; and their private premises are entered without their consent. But, above all, their liberty is restricted: They are not free to leave their country, to move within it or to choose their place of residence at will. …the state is persistently and systematically, in contravention of the international conventions, employing collective punishment against a civilian population.10/8/2010
Is the Israeli academy facing a McCarthyite era?Matthew Reisz - Times Higher Education - When it comes to the Israeli academy, said David S. Katz, director of the Lessing Institute for European History at Tel Aviv University, “we are entering a McCarthyite phase – and I do not exaggerate”. “There is legislation being discussed that would limit freedom of expression in universities,” he said. “The education minister [Gideon Sa’ar] has expressed satisfaction with a report that looks at the course content of professors, sniffing out ‘anti-Zionist’ ideology. The Knesset Education Committee is behind this initiative as well. It is very bad indeed, and the universities have done little to reject this, apart from the rector of Haifa University [Yossi Ben-Artzi], who was very forthcoming.” 9/8/2010
Tolerance is Always the Better Option Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Next week, as Ramadan starts, I think it is imperative that the customs of our society are respected and honored whether you chose to observe the month of fasting or not. This means that disrespecting those who fast is just as inexcusable as forcefully imposing it. If Palestinian Muslim women choose to don a headscarf or pray or fast, that is their choice and their way of expressing their devotion to their faith. However, expressions of faith are not one-dimensional. Spirituality has been embraced throughout the ages by various means and by various religions and faiths. It is not for humans to dictate to other humans how to connect with their higher power. Likewise, it is not for people or governments to impose (even unofficially) a code of dress or conduct that then becomes the primary marker for their morality.9/8/2010
Israel`s Teenage Barbarians , Flattening the Bedouin Village of al-ArakibLAWRENCE DAVIDSON - Counterpunch - " The cheering civilians were all Israeli Jewish high school students who had volunteered as "police civilian guards" to take part in this assault... These teenagers did more then cheer. "Prior to the demolitions, the student volunteers were sent into the villagers’ homes to extract their furniture and belongings." In the process they vandalized the sites, "smashing windows and mirrors...and defacing family photographs." With the furniture piled up outside, the students "lounged around" on it while waiting for the bulldozers. This was done "in plain sight of the owners."9/8/2010
A Jewish and democratic restaurant Salman Masalha - Haaretz - " There is no such thing as a Jewish democratic state, just as there is no Muslim democratic state. Religion and democracy can never dwell under one roof." ob 9/8/2010
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WE DO NOT OBEYIt is not us who break the law - the State of Israel has been the chief lawbreaker for decades. It is not us, women with a civic and democratic awareness, who have gone too far. The State of Israel has gone too far and is driving us all off a precipice, perhaps even into self-destruction. -ao7/8/2010
In NY harbor, Palestinian-Americans take leadership role in US campaign for Gazaour country can make no progress until the Palestinians whom Palestinians choose to represent them are granted expertise and authority in the American discourse. It`s that simple. - ao7/8/2010
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Red Rag ColumnGideon Spiro - Who`s the traitor here? - Oy, Obama! - Learning from the Nazis - Eliminating the poor instead of poverty - Don`t compare! - Shir Regev - Letter to the Supreme Court7/8/2010
Keshev calls for action against media personality Avri GiladDaniel Breslau - Occupation Magazine - Keshev, The Center for the Protection of Democracy in Israel, has issued a formal complaint to Galei Tzahal overcomments6/8/2010
Politics of brinkmanshipby Amira Howeidy - Al-Ahram Weekly "The flare-up on the Israeli-Lebanese border cannot be divorced from mounting regional tension"6/8/2010
Backed to the wallby Saleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly "Regardless of Israel`s intentions, no doubt these events give rise to the following question: Can the Gaza Strip continue to be the main battleground of the military confrontation with Israel? One of the main flaws of Palestinian resistance groups is the fact that they did not modernise their military doctrines, despite many developments that require this advance. The Palestinian resistance has not reassessed the use of missile attacks from Gaza after Israel`s "disengagement plan" by which it dismantled settlements in the Gaza Strip." 6/8/2010
Abbas`s impossible decisionby Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly "Submit to Washington and keep the Palestinian Authority afloat, or follow the Palestinian street and see the Ramallah government implode? Khaled Amayreh weighs Abbas`s choices in Ramallah "6/8/2010
UN: Israel was on its own side before border clashRobert Fisk - The Independent - The real problem is twofold. The "Blue Line" was inadvisedly drawn on the orders of an ambitious UN civil servant who would one day like to be UN Secretary General. In his haste to draw an "accurate" border, for example, he put the entire area of Shebaa farms – which was Lebanese during the post-First World War French mandate – south and east of the line, effectively putting it under Israeli occupation (which had in military terms been the case since the 1967 Middle East war). 5/8/2010
Hamas "morality" campaign restricts civil liberties in Gaza Mel Frykberg - The Electronic Intifada - Gazans are caught between a rock and a hard place. While Israel continues to apply a crippling siege on the coastal territory, Gaza`s Hamas government is cracking down on civil and political liberties in what appears to be a campaign to slowly Islamicize Gaza. 4/8/2010
Former Intelligence Officers warn Israel may attack Iran this month and drag US into another war; discuss ways to stop it Ray McGovern - Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity - We write to alert you to the likelihood that Israel will attack Iran as early as this month. This would likely lead to a wider war. Israel’s leaders would calculate that once the battle is joined, it will be politically untenable for you to give anything less than unstinting support to Israel, no matter how the war started, and that U.S. troops and weaponry would flow freely. Wider war could eventually result in destruction of the state of Israel. This can be stopped, but only if you move quickly to preempt an Israeli attack by publicly condemning such a move before it happens. 4/8/2010
Is Israel singled out - and why?Adam Keller - "The State of Israel has been vociferously criticized for planting settlers in the occupied territories - which it can be argued that China is also doing in Tibet; and for killing civilians in the bombings of Gaza, which it can be shown that Americans and Europeans are also doing in Iraq and Afghanistan; and for lethally raiding the Gaza Aid Flotilla, for which some apologists also tried to find various precedents and parallels. Yet Israel is singled out because it, and it alone, is in obvious default of a fundamental obligation, an obligation which was the condition for Israel coming into being in the first place"2/8/2010
Coercive diplomacyAbdaljawad Hamayel - Ma`an News Agency = "American pressure on the PA to accept direct talks without a complete freeze on settlements seems to be misplaced and strategically flawed. It only aims at presenting the world with what is perceived as progress and in giving President Obama a foreign policy win without arousing the fury of Israel’s comrades in the US before he and the Democratic Party enter into a heavily contested midterm election"2/8/2010
Profs against free speech Chaim Gans - Haaretz - Freedom of expression and academic freedom mean that people have the freedom to say things that are mistaken2/8/2010
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Israel has crept into the EU without anyone noticingRobert Fisk--Or, more to the point, what on earth is the EU doing when it cosies up to the Israelis? In a remarkable, detailed – if slightly over-infuriated – book to be published in November, the indefatigable David Cronin is going to present a microscopic analysis of "our" relations with Israel. I have just finished reading the manuscript. It leaves me breathless. As he says in his preface, "Israel has developed such strong political and economic ties to the EU over the past decade that it has become a member state of the union in all but name." Indeed, it was Javier Solana, the grubby top dog of the EU`s foreign policy (formerly Nato secretary general), who actually said last year that "Israel, allow me to say, is a member of the European Union without being a member of the institution".1/8/2010
Honoring the Turkish Sacrifice Lawrence Swaim-- Although the Gaza Freedom Flotilla was not an official project of the Turkish government, the willingness to criticize Israel’s Gaza policy has been a defining political initiative of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdođan. His party, the AKP, is heir to several important Islamist groupings, and has been remarkably successful in defining itself as a politically-astute, moderate Islamist party. Erdogan is strong on human rights, has more female representation in Parliament than any other party, and has brought the Kurdish parties into parliament. But it is his courageous and unprecedented defiance of Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza that has won him the most respect—in Turkey, in other Muslim-majority countries, and among human rights activists in the West. 1/8/2010
Sokolow`s niece `not Jewish enough` to marry here by Raphael Aren-- "I`m furious with this country right now," the 29-year-old international relations student told Anglo File this week. "I`m the great-great-niece of a prominent Zionist and I am always a supporter of this country, but this really frustrated me and I can totally understand why a lot of my Anglo friends left this country."1/8/2010
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Blockade helps Hamas recruit, says ambassadorBy Catrina Stewart In Jerusalem--Tom Phillips, UK ambassador in Israel, said Gaza`s private sector had been destroyed and radicalism was on the rise 1/8/2010
Arab Spy Arrests, ‘Payback’ for Decades-Old Shin Bet Murder Scandal? Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - An Israeli source brings me a fascinating take on the recent arrests of two Golani Druze and an Israeli Palestinian for allegedly spying against Israel on behalf of Syria. The Shin Bet arrested two residents of the village of Majdal Shams and one from the Triangle charging them with espionage. The case has all the markings of the trumped-up charges for which the security services are known, especially regarding Arab victim/suspects. 12/8/2010
Poll: Arab Confidence in Obama Collapsing...it is the administration`s failures on the Israeli-Palestinian front which drove the collapse in Arab attitudes towards Obama. 61 percent of the respondents say that this is the area in which they are most disappointed - ao7/8/2010
The Annapolis testAkiva Eldar - Bitter Lemons - "To this day, no one knows what map of a Palestinian state Netanyahu had in mind when he spoke more than a year ago at Bar Ilan University of two states for two peoples. Some of his confidants argue that the prime minister himself still doesn`t know what he really wants." 25/8/2010
Israel, Turkey and the U.N.EDITORIAL - NYT - "It took too long, but Israel made the right decision in saying it would cooperate with a United Nations-led investigation into its disastrous attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship." 4/8/2010
Everything points to the Middle East conflictRAY HANANIA - JPost - "“Arabs and Jews are basically the same. We’re both human beings. People. We just believe in different things.”"4/8/2010
Recruiting Brecht to Whitewash Occupationby Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam " Haaretz reports that four major Israeli theater companies will grace the boards of the new cultural center in Ariel, satirically referred to in one blog post on the subject as “the capital of Samaria.” It will be the first time any major Israeli company has performed in the Conquered Territories. Ironically, one of the plays to be performed is The Caucasian Chalk-Circle by Brecht.27/8/2010
After the Middle East peace talks fail a unilaterally declared Palestinian state, run for a time without major security incident, offers the only possible path to peaceCarlo Strenger - The Guardian - The only scenario that could conceivably lead to positive results is the option that Fayyad has been working towards in recent years by improving enormously on Palestinian governance and creating a viable Palestinian security force. After the talks fail, Palestinians will unilaterally declare a state along the 1967 borders next year, and seek international recognition while implementing de facto sovereignty over the territories currently under Palestinian control. 26/8/2010
Palestinians tell U.S.: Israeli settlement freeze must include East JerusalemAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - During preparatory talks ahead of the summit due in Washington next week, the Palestinians made it clear they refuse to accept any softer formula on the building freeze. They expect that even after the September 26 deadline, when the 10-month moratorium ends, the United States will support their demand to continue the ban on all construction outside the Green Line, including in the settlement blocs.26/8/2010
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Will the real McCarthy please stand up Haaretz By Joel Golovensky "Haaretz`s editors may be the only reputable people in the country who genuinely believe that there is no serious anti-Zionism bias in Israel`s sociology departments"20/8/2010
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The Forgotten AmericanRoger Cohen - New York Times - Furkan Dogan was 19. He was proud of his American passport. He answered an online advertisement for volunteers to deliver aid to Gaza. Five Israeli bullets - at least two of them to the head - ended his dream of completing medical school. Would so few Americans have heard of how that Ameican died, if he had not been a Muslim? 3/8/2010
Week 2252 of Occupation Daniel Breslau - Occupation Magazine - When talks are bad for peace - The prison diet improves - Wave of West Bank demolitions continues2/8/2010
Why Wikileaks must be protectedJohn Pilger - Dissident Voices - On 16 August, the Guardian, citing Daniel Ellsberg, described the great Israeli whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu as “the pre-eminent hero of the nuclear age”. Vanunu, who alerted the world to Israel’s secret nuclear weapons, was kidnapped by the Israelis and incarcerated for 18 years after he was left unprotected by the London Sunday Times, which had published the documents he supplied. 19/8/2010
Israeli settlers expand campaign to manipulate entries on WikipediaSaed Bannoura - IMEMC News - This is not the first time that right-wing Israelis have been exposed trying to manipulate wikipedia. In 2005, 5 high-level editors were removed from their positions when they were discovered to be working for the right-wing Israeli group CAMERA to “surreptitiously coordinate editing by ideologically like-minded individuals”, an objective which was found to be at odds with the open nature of wikipedia. 19/8/2010
Israel keeps evidence of ethnic cleansing locked away Jonathan Cook - The Electronic Intifada - However, a very different picture emerges from Haaretz`s interviews with the participants. These insiders say that all but 6,000 of the Golan`s 130,000 civilians were either terrorized or physically forced out, some of them long after the fighting finished. An army document reveals a plan to clear the area of the Syrian population, with only the exception of the Golan Druze, so as not to upset relations with the loyal Druze community inside Israel. 19/8/2010
Rights groups: Controversial photos are `the norm` Liel Kyzer and Anshel Pfeffer - Haaretz - Breaking the Silence and B`Tselem yesterday published photographs taken by soldiers that showed them near handcuffed Palestinians and even dead bodies as well as abusing prisoners, in order to emphasize that Abergil`s photos did not reflect an unusual situation. 19/8/2010
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And The State, Is It Loyal?Neve Gordon - Countercurrents - What is the meaning of loyalty? And who is supposed to be loyal to whom? Surprisingly, the answer to these questions is not particularly complex. According to the republican tradition, the state is first and foremost obliged to be loyal to its citizenry and is held accountable for inequities and injustices. Yet we are currently witnessing a complete reversal of the republican relationship between state and loyalty and the adoption, instead, of a proto-fascist approach. 18/8/2010
The `Banality of Evil` Must Not Take Root Here Leah-Hunt Hendrix - MIFTAH - In 1963, Hannah Arendt, a German Jewish political theorist, wrote of the “banality of evil” – the condition in which evil actions become so normal that they begin to go unnoticed. One need not be a malicious person to participate in implementing an unjust regime. But after some time, one’s perception of oneself and others becomes altered and the limits of morality and the boundaries around what is appropriate begin to blur. Physically serving this system, which is built on the destruction of another population, begins to shape one, morally and mentally. Justifications take the place of principles and a casual frivolity eclipses integrity. 18/8/2010
No to the thought policeYossi Sarid - Haaretz - But why should we complain about the hidden anti-Semites when prominent officials are openly jumping on the bandwagon - for instance, Education Minister Gideon Sa`ar? Two months ago, he told the Knesset that while he had "not yet had time" to read Im Tirtzu`s report on the universities` political science departments, he deemed it important, because it "is sparking public debate." And he added, "it`s important to look into the issues it raises." 18/8/2010
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Palestinian Legislators From Across Political Spectrum Opposed To ‘direct Talks’by IMEMC Staff "Mustafa Barghouthi wrote that these negotiations without preconditions, "are more dangerous than the Camp David talks, since they are not based on the cessation of settlement activity, have no clear guidelines and can only lead to a dangerous failure." 27/8/2010
Abbas: Negotiations despite oppositionMa`an News Agency "His comments came hours after opposition parties held a conference in Ramallah to denounce the talks as unrepresentative. Organizers said the event was infiltrated by undercover Palestinian Authority intelligence officers, who incited participants to march in a rally which was then quashed by police forces as "illegal." 27/8/2010
Netanyahu proposes bi-weekly meetings with Abbas during direct peace talksBy Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis Haaretz "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proposed to the U.S. administration On Thursday that he hold a face-to-face meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas every two weeks to try to forge covert understandings and set principles to solve every issue. "27/8/2010
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