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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    

Beyond FearFor an oppressive system to work, it doesn`t need an enormous network of spies, of prisons, of torturers and so on needs just one thing: for the great majority of the people to actually _believe_ that the state is mighty and vicious and to be afraid of it.30/4/2011
The Legal Tsunami is on Its WayMichael Sfard argues that those focused on the immediate political meaning of a Palestinian UN membership, overlook the important legal aspects. "The significance of a Palestinian state joining the UN is that, for the first time, it will be the Palestinians who will decide what the international legal framework is that is binding in their territory." ao30/4/2011
The enemy Israel and Hamas once shared by David Harris-Gershon - Jerusalem Post "However, there is another reason Israel fears Palestinian reconciliation: the same UN September date upon which Abbas is so focused. Since 2009, Netanyahu has been leaning heavily on Palestinian disunity – it is one of the principal elements that has allowed him to invest so lightly in peace negotiations with Abbas. Netanyahu understands that without unity on the Palestinian side, a brokered two-state solution would mean nothing." ca 29/4/2011
PA: New unity government to prepare elections and rehabilitate GazaBy Avi Issacharoff - Ha`aretz "The move to reconciliation has been almost entirely a Hamas move, backed by Egypt. But why would Abbas decide to go for reconciliation with Hamas now, with its popularity at its height, and he needs broad international support ahead of his approach to the United Nations General Assembly? The answer is that he had no choice." ca 29/4/2011
Israel can redeem itself by recognizing a Palestinian state Editorial - Ha`aretz "It would be naive to see the establishment of the Palestinian state − especially without prior negotiations or an agreement with Israel − as a magic solution that will abruptly end the conflict. But it is no less naive to think that preventing its establishment is still possible or even helpful. Perhaps the opposite is true: If the land is destined to be divided, maybe Israel will benefit by standing genially beside the nascent Palestinian state’s cradle, even as one of its nurturers." ca "29/4/2011
Time of decision approachesby Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly "President Obama is reportedly slated to deliver a major policy speech on the Middle East that will contain new outlines for a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians. According to sources in Washington, the crux of the Obama initiative is summarised in two points: first, total or semi-total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, which would allow for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. Second, Palestinian recognition that the right of return for Palestinian refugees uprooted from their homeland when Israel was created in 1948 is now unrealistic and should be forgone. This vision is likely to be rejected equally by Israel and the Palestinians." ca29/4/2011
Gush Shalom Welcomes Reconciliation Agreement Between Hamas and Fatah Palestine News Network "Former Knesset Member Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom activist, said "I wholeheartedly welcome the agreement reached by the Palestinians in Cairo. Palestinian unity, overcoming the malignant split, are not a threat to Israel, but a top Israeli interest. “ ca 29/4/2011
Red Rag columnGideon Spiro - We were slaves, and still are - "Jewish Zionist dream" - Villainy - 50 years since the Eichmann trial29/4/2011
Abbas to meet Israeli Peace Initiative signatoriesMa`an - Prominent supporters of the deal include businessman Idan Ofer, former Israeli military chief of staff Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, former Labor party politician Dani Yatom, founder of the Haredi College of Jerusalem Adina Bar-Shalom, former Israeli ambassador to South Africa Alon Liel, Professor Aliza Shenhar and drafter of the plan Koby Huberman28/4/2011
If the rumours and conspiracies are true, then President Assad`s regime is on the road to civil warRobert Fisk - The Independent - But these reports are important. For if the dead soldiers are victims of revenge killings by outraged families who have lost their loved ones at the hands of the secret police, it means that the opposition is prepared to use force against their aggressors. But if there really are armed groups roaming Syria, then President Bashar al-Assad`s Baathist regime is on the road to civil war. 28/4/2011
Benny Morris: One State, Two States: resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict - a reviewTony Klug - Journal of Modern Jewish Studies - Morris devotes almost the entirety of his latest book to shooting down the case for both one state and two states in all their variations. Despite the book`s subtitle, “Resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict”, the writer keeps us in suspense about his big idea until the last three pages when all is finally revealed. Yet the denouement is a huge disappointment.27/4/2011
Why the Israeli-Palestinian conflict refuses to be resolvedA.B. Yehoshua - Haaretz - There is no precedent for a nation that lost its sovereignty 2,000 years ago, was scattered among the nations, and later decided for internal and external reasons to return to its ancient homeland and re-establish sovereignty there. (...) The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not a question of territory, as in the case of many historical conflicts between nations, but a battle over the national identity of the entire homeland - every stone and every part of it. 27/4/2011
The Wrath of AbbasDan Ephron - Newsweek - For the statehood resolution to have more than just symbolic impact, Abbas would have to come back from New York and assert sovereignty over the territory the U.N. just handed him. But that would entail confrontational measures—for instance, ending the security cooperation with Israel. Abbas told me that’s a path he will not take. The danger is that without tangible movement, the disappointment could turn into popular anger—directed at Israel or even at the Palestinian president himself. 26/4/2011
Turkey warns Israel against repeating `flotilla mistake`Ynet - In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald Turkey`s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu urges Israel not to stop next Gaza-bound flotilla. `The Mediterranean does not belong to any nation.` 26/4/2011
Haaretz: Nablus shooting is a deadly mistake, until proven otherwiseSuch mishaps have happened before - IDF soldiers have mistakenly fired at Palestinians. Israeli police officers have also mistakenly fired at Israeli citizens. [This editorial must be seen against the claim of Minister Limor Livat (aunt of the killed) that it is about murder by terrorists disguised as Palestinan police-bz]26/4/2011
Shekels as tools of the regimeSalman Masalha - Haaretz - The issuance of new bills with pictures of writers is a chance for the government to show its concern for Arab citizens - writer Emile Habibi for instance25/4/2011
Obama`s Passover liberation theologyAnna Hartnell - The Guardian - The president`s Passover message drew the ire of Glenn Beck over Israel, but the story of Exodus has a civil rights history too25/4/2011
The era of the urge Uda Basharat - Haaretz - Go and explain to the urge that the classic era of conquests is over, that a sugar-filled bottle of Coke functions better than a nuclear battery; that Google is more effective than the Sixth Fleet25/4/2011
The Middle East`s oldest dictatorship Marwan Bishara--Israel`s resolute occupation of Palestinians in not just historic Palestine, but in the West Bank and Gaza Strip specifically, can be considered the oldest quasi-dictatorship in the Middle East, Bishara argues [GALLO/GETTY] 24/4/2011
US Weapons to Israel Are Disincentives to PeaceJosh Ruebner--Israel may be forgiven for failing to realize the current fiscal woes of the United States. After all, U.S. military aid to Israel not only sailed unscathed through last week’s passage of the 2011 budget, but reached the record level of $3 billion. 24/4/2011
Iinterview of Mirelle Fanon-Mendes FranzAdri Nieuwhof--Interview:daughter of Frantz Fanon on Palestinian Solidarity24/4/2011
Does Israel Intentionally Target Civilians?Roi Maor--Israeli policy (unlike Hamas or Hezbollah) is not intended to maximize civilian casualties. Yet it does intentionally target civilians: it is intended to produce maximal civilian distress, while avoiding mass civilian casualties. 24/4/2011
VIDEO Souad Amiri`s closing speech at TEDx Ramallah April 16 2011, part 2 ao23/4/2011
VIDEO Souad Amiri`s closing speech at TEDx Ramallah April 16 2011, part 1 Author of "sharon and my mother in law". ao23/4/2011
Israel, Extraordinary Rendition and the Strange Case of Dirar Abu SisiOn a cold Ukrainian winter night in mid-February 2011, a Gaza civil engineer named Dirar Abu Sisi was lying in bed in a railroad sleeper car traveling to Kiev to visit his brother, Yousef, whom he hadn`t seen in 15 years.23/4/2011
Netanyahu’s visit and its precedentsDavid Bromwich - Mondoweiss - Is Obama any better prepared than Clinton - politically, temperamentally, and morally prepared - to deflect the stratagems of "scandalous electioneering" by an Israeli politician in America?22/4/2011
Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, Who Owns the World?Noam Chomsky - - The U.S. and its Western allies are sure to do whatever they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. To understand why, it is only necessary to look at the studies of Arab opinion conducted by U.S. polling agencies. Though barely reported, they are certainly known to planners. They reveal that by overwhelming majorities, Arabs regard the U.S. and Israel as the major threats they face: the U.S. is so regarded by 90% of Egyptians, in the region generally by over 75%.22/4/2011
Bibi’s Futile Divide and Conquer Strategy Between Republican Congress and ObamaRichard Silverstein - Tikkun Olam - Some of you may’ve erroneously thought Bibi Netanyahu was the leader of Israel’s Likud party. But you’d be wrong. He’s actually a Republican representing the U.S.’s 51st state, Israel.22/4/2011
Goldstone breathes new life into Gaza reportRichard Falk - Al Jazeera - Ever since it first struck the raw nerve of Israeli political consciousness, I thought it misleading to associate the Goldstone Report so exclusively with its chair, Judge Richard Goldstone. After all, despite his deserved prominence as an international jurist, he was the least substantively qualified of the four members of the mission. 22/4/2011
Recognising Palestine? Ali Abunimah - Al Jazeera - The effort to seek diplomatic recognition for an imaginary Palestinian state on a fraction of historic Palestine is a strategy of desperation from a Palestinian leadership that has run out of options, lost its legitimacy, and become a serious obstacle in the way of Palestinians regaining their rights. 21/4/2011
We have the right to know where Israel is goingGideon Levy - Haaretz - We have never had a prime minister of a government that was so right-wing, nationalist and unified, without any stain of liberalism or blot from the left. No one has had such sympathetic backing from the public, which is also right-wing and nationalist, for the most part. The Israeli right does not have any real opposition. So this is the chance of a lifetime for him to say his peace and carry out his ideas. 21/4/2011
From the slavery of falsehood to the freedom of truthCarlo Strenger - UNRWA teaches children in the schools of Gaza about the Holocaust; Israeli schools need to teach about the Palestinian Nakba. Passover should teach us to live with the truth.21/4/2011
A West Bank anachronism : The PLO goal of statehood has lost its glitter as a new national mood transforms the Palestinian struggleAhmad Samih Khalidi - The Guardian - What is emerging instead is a slow but sure manifestation of a new transnational movement, centred less on statehood and more on forging a national project that will traverse the existing Palestinian divides – diaspora, occupied territories and Israeli Arab citizens – and bypass the notion of an independent Palestinian state on part of Palestinian soil. 21/4/2011
Academic Freedom Under Attack? Interview with Prof. Neve GordonDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - We are seeing a totally new phenomenon in Israeli academia: students sitting in class, filming the classes and then passing information on to the monitor groups and the media. The recordings are almost always edited, so the information doesn’t reflect what really went on in class. Such students consider themselves to be class monitors , rather than people who have come to the university in order to study, broaden their horizon and expand their knowledge…not unlike the McCarthy era in the US, some Israeli student see themselves as agents of the state, as spies. 21/4/2011
ISM COMMITTED TO STAYING IN GAZAISM GAZA - PRESS RELEASE - Following the murder of our comrade and friend Vittorio, we, activists of the International Solidarity Movement, reiterate our commitment to remaining in Gaza. We will continue to work with and live among the Palestinian population as we continue the work to which Vik was so committed. 21/4/2011
The Settler State Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Some weeks ago I wrote that the problem may not be the annexation of the West Bank by Israel, but the annexation of Israel by the West Bank settlers. Some readers reacted with a chuckle. It looked like a humorous aside. It was not"18/4/2011
The Great Israeli Security ScamTom Engelhardt - AntiWar - "…like the other Middle Eastern lands that have been our semi-clients, Israel deserves to have a bright light shone on it, too. While we disabuse ourselves of various Middle Eastern myths, […] it might be time to do a little disabusing when it comes to the encrusted mythology about Israel"18/4/2011
Goldstone: Perceptions and realitiesDaoud Kuttab - Al Jazeera - The retraction of war crimes allegations has led some to believe Goldstone succumbed to pressure from Zionist groups18/4/2011
The United Nations will watch over Gaza Shlomo Shamir - Haaretz - Who knows? The UN might one day decide to implement its doctrine of `responsibility to protect` during a Hamas-Israel conflict. Seems unlikely? So did the initiative for a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state a few months ago18/4/2011
Mobilizing for SeptemberJeff Halper--The reconvening of the UN in late September and the possible recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders may be a crucial political moment in the struggle for Palestinian liberation – or not. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has characterized it as a looming “diplomatic tsunami” for Israel; Ali Abunimah, a prominent Palestinian-American commentator, calls it a “sideshow,” an “elaborate farce.” As yet, there has been little if any substantial discussion among activists regarding its significance or lack thereof, or whether and how we should mobilize around it. 17/4/2011
Vittorio Arrigoni, `Hero of Palestine`Pennie Quinton--The murder of a peace activist who fought for Palestinian human rights has left me crying with rage at such cruelty and stupidity17/4/2011
Israel bias-Cantor-productive in WashingtonMJ Rosenberg--House majority leader Eric Cantor works with Israeli prime minister Netanyahu to undermine Obama`s Mideast policies.17/4/2011
Could it happen in Israel? It already has By SUSAN H. ROLEF - Jerusalem Post " If Juliano Mer-Khamis had tried to open a childrens` theater in, say, Safed, it’s likely that the same forces trying to keep Arabs from living in the city, would have done everything in their power to chase him away." ca 15/4/2011
America`s Arab comeback by Daoud Kuttab - Al-Jazeera in English "Without much fanfare, the past few months have seen no anti-American demonstrations and no burning of American flags across the Arab world. Arabs seem increasingly willing to accept – and even applaud – the Obama administration`s policy toward the region." ca 15/4/2011
Spring coming early for Hamasby Khaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly "Meanwhile, both sides seem to be waiting for an active resumption of Egyptian efforts to revive stalled reconciliation talks, earlier held under the stewardship of former General Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. The ruling Higher Council of the Armed Forces (HCAF) in Cairo recently hosted Fatah and Hamas leaders, including Al-Ahmed and Al-Zahar." ca 15/4/2011
Recognising PalestineAli Abunimah--The efforts of the Palestinian Authority to push for statehood are nothing more than an elaborate farce, writer says.14/4/2011
Blowback: Israel`s bogus narrative on Palestinian refugeesGhada Karmi--Ghada Karmi, author of "In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story," responds to The Times` April 7 article on Lifta, the last intact pre-1948 Palestinian village. 14/4/2011
Israel`s leaders sacrifice the people for their own ego Merav Michaeli--"For those who want total quiet, there is Finland and Western Europe, and they can go there," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said this week, apropos the situation in the south of the country, in a radio interview with Aryeh Golan. That`s not a mistake. Barak said that in his own voice. Those who came here, to the State of Israel, in order to set up a national home after 2,000 years, should also be able to face the tests. Those who want total quiet, can go to Finland."14/4/2011
MK Zoabi: I Hope Arabs launch Intifada Mirit Kushnir-Stromatza--Arab MK says `occupiers cannot expect to lead normal lives,` Israelis `shouldn`t be surprised` at attack on bus14/4/2011
US public supports Palestine statehood MJ Rosenberg--It becomes clearer every day that Binyamin Netanyahu`s government is terrified by the prospect that the Palestinians are planning to unilaterally declare a state later this year. In fact, it is safe to say that no other proposed Palestinian action has ever shaken up any Israeli government the way that the idea of a unilateral declaration has.14/4/2011
Israel must recognize Hamas` government in GazaUri Avnery--The new round of hostilities along the Gaza Strip was terrible. A missile was fired at a school bus, critically injuring a teenage boy. At least 15 Palestinians were killed in the retaliation, including civilians, women and children. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis had to hunker down in bomb shelters in constant fear. And all as a result of a childish policy.14/4/2011
A leftist has been murdered: attack the left!Daniel Breslau - ZNet - Fitting the assassination of Juliano Mer-Khamis into Israel`s consensus narrative14/4/2011
It`s time for disengagement No. 2Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - If Dayan is so sure that his flock wishes to remain on its land, why does he hold these people hostage? Why does the Yesha chairman fear the evacuation-compensation law, offering settlers on isolated settlements who wish to do so to return to the sovereign territory of Israel and enjoy fair rehabilitation services? 12/4/2011
Encountering Peace: The bombs bursting in air Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - Could it be, as recent Wikileaks documents suggest, that there are people among Israel’s leadership who find it quite convenient to have Hamas next door? A strategy to weaken Hamas would have to be one that empowers the moderates, and the current government of Israel has either decided there is no such thing, or that empowering them might actually lead to peace. 12/4/2011
The Gold and the Stone Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "When the opposition is a resistance movement operating in a densely populated area, the results can almost be calculated mathematically. In Cast Lead, at least 350 Palestinian civilians, among them hundreds of women and children, were killed, together with about 750 enemy fighters. On the Israeli side: altogether 5 (five!) Israeli soldiers were killed by enemy fire (some six more by “friendly fire”)"11/4/2011
Four notes on the upcoming war in Gaza, “Scorching Summer”Yossi Gurvitz - +972 - "This little war is good for everyone, except the civilians who’ll have to pay the price. It’s good for Netanyahu, distracting the public from his and the Lady’s latest flight scandal. It’s good for Barak – he becomes a person of importance again, and, who knows, maybe public support for him will rise so much it may actually reach a positive figure. It’s good for the IDF, because it always likes risk-free wars – and it stopped considering risks to civilians as a factor a long time ago; at the most, it is an excuse to use even more force"11/4/2011
Am I My Palestinian Brother`s Keeper[Forwarded by Elana W]--By Rev. David B. Smith--In the months that followed, and most especially in the lead-up to the State election in the March 2011, Council`s pro-BDS stand came under increasing criticism. Councillors who were party members were put under pressure to publicly withdraw their support for the campaign by senior party officials. Others were threatened with various forms of legal action. Almost all were threatened with physical violence via anonymous calls and emails. 10/4/2011
A storm is coming--what price Palestine?Mikail Jubran--Popular revolt has transformed Tunisia. A budding revolution takes hold in Egypt. Civil war is raging in Libya. Social unrest intensifies in Yemen, and sectarian strife heightens in Bahrain. What this all mean for the Palestinians? 10/4/2011
Israel should recognize Palestinian statehoodZvi Bar`el--Instead of fearing a declaration of Palestinian statehood, Israel could join the international community and accept it, ceasing to view it as an enemy and existential threat.10/4/2011
Israel wouldn`t need propaganda if it changed its policiesGideon Levy--What do Israel and Syria have in common? Not much, but both have ministries of hasbara. No such thing exists in the West. No such thing exists in democracies. But in Israel, we have falafel and a minister of hasbara, who is known as the minister of public diplomacy and diaspora affairs. The Israeli president, prime minister, cabinet members and MKs fly all over the world on useless hasbara missions. Israeli diplomats deal with hasbara from dawn to dusk.10/4/2011
Goldstone report: the unanswered questions Editorial - Guardian - "The report did not in fact claim that Israel set out deliberately to murder civilians. It said that Operation Cast Lead was "deliberately disproportionate" and intended to "punish, humiliate and terrorise"."6/4/2011
Israel criminalizes commemoration of the NakbaJillian Kestler-D`Amours - EI - ""I think that the message is that there is no place for the Palestinian or the Palestinian identity to be a part of this state. It is a kind of political strategy in order to change the laws of the political game. These laws have a political function. It is not a mere expression of Zionism."" 6/4/2011
Prominent Israelis will propose a Peace PlanEthan Bronner - New York Times - The two-page document is billed as a direct response to the Arab Peace Initiative issued by the Arab League in 2002 and again in 2007. It calls for a Palestinian state on nearly all the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in much of East Jerusalem, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, and a set of regional security mechanisms and economic cooperation projects.
- The initiators include former heads of Mossad, Shin Bet and the military as well as the son and daughter of slain PM Yitzchak Rabin.
Top defense official: Israel faces isolation `no less severe than war`Barak Ravid - Haaretz - "If you don`t enter negotiations, you gain stability, but also international isolation," said Gilad. "The isolation will legitimize the clashes that could erupt from a coincidental event or incident that with Twitter and Facebook could spark an entire fire." 5/4/2011
Goldstone op-ed misrepresented but also misleadingJerry Haber - +972blog - It is the unfortunate fate of Judge Richard Goldstone to be condemned and praised for what he doesn’t write. The responses to his op-ed in Washington Post from the Israel advocates are laughable. Even a superficial reading of the op-ed shows that he has not retracted a single comma in the Goldstone Report, nor does he express any regret for having written the report the way it was written. He simply says that had he known then what he knows now, the report would have been different.5/4/2011
Heading toward an Israeli apartheid stateDaniel Blatman - Haaretz - Israeli racism, whose natural `hothouse` is the colonialist project in the territories, has long since spilled over into Israeli society and has been legitimized in the series of laws recently passed in the Knesset4/4/2011
Goldstone’s Tawdry Turn, Israel’s False Dance of VindicationTikun Olam - "In short, Goldstone, though he hasn’t entirely retreated from the findings of his original inquiry, has so qualified them that he’s essentially neutered himself and his original sterling work. All that being said, it’s important to remember that Goldstone hasn’t exonerated Israel, hasn’t clearly said he accepts Israel contention that it didn’t deliberately attack civilians, and didn’t say he’s completely happy with the quality or progress of Israeli investigations to date"4/4/2011
An Interview with Ilan Pappé - Why Israel is Not a DemocracyIlan Pappé - CounterPunch - "In fact Israel is, what we use to call in political science a herrenvolk democracy, its democracy only for the masters. The fact that you allow people to participate in the formal side of democracy, namely to vote or to be elected, is useless and meaningless if you don`t give them any share in the common good or in the common resources of the State, or if you discriminate against them despite the fact that you allow them to participate in the elections. On almost every level from official legislation through governmental practices, and social and cultural attitudes, Israel is only a democracy for […] one ethnic group"4/4/2011
Israel`s state prosecution is guilty of corruptionHaaretz Editorial - The State Prosecutor`s Office continues to defend ministries that violate the law and government decisions. Elected officials and their deputies routinely stick to their agendas despite the censure by the Supreme Court president and the other justices4/4/2011
Our Brothers, OurselvesNoam Sheizaf--Will American Jews be able to continue to support Israel if it maintains its current political, social and religious orientations? Yes - and no - it depends on whom you ask 3/4/2011
At A Loss For WordsMatthew Berkman--A congressional double standard on incitement3/4/2011
Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimesRichard Goldstone--We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document. 3/4/2011
Red Rag columnGideon Spiro - New chief, same methods - Syria is here - Apartheid South Africa is also here - defeat Hamas? - Occupation, here and in Afghanistan3/4/2011
BloodlineSara R:"Wine flows at fancy parties for hip, affluent Jews like you and glossy philanthropy is easier to swallow than the hard pill of living for justice. The velvet rope you place between me and home is an air-filled capillary: my blood does not flow there... no one`s does."2/4/2011
Palestinians on the brinkA newly elected representative Constituent Assembly would need to act immediately to establish a mandate that would end Israel’s occupation -- not negotiate with it. This entails truly creative methods of struggle, that fully mobilizes all Palestinian resources available to isolate and make untenable the main aspects of the occupation. 2/4/2011
VIDEO: Flash Mob in front of Denver TIAA-CREF HQHow long will it take Lady Gaga`s handlers to invoke "copyright violation"? ao2/4/2011
Arab Spring: what the neocons never saw comingTodd Thompson sets the records straight vis-a-vis neocon efforts to spin recent events: "What conservatives never saw coming, along with the majority of American foreign policy analysts, was the manner in which the Arab world has changed in recent months. It turns out America was not the essential catalyst for change that everyone assumed."2/4/2011
A PALESTINIAN VIEW: Ongoing, but more complex by Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons "While the situation in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip is very different, this regional wave hit Palestinians as well. Palestinian youth, also encouraged and inspired by the sprit and tools of the movements in Arab countries, especially Egypt, translated their anger and desire for freedom into the issue that they identified as the greatest domestic priority: the reconciliation of Palestinian factions." ca 1/4/2011
Revisiting assumptions, old and newMohamed Anis Salem - Al-Ahram Weekly "If the Egyptian revolution has taught us anything it is that traditional assumptions can be reversed." ca1/4/2011
Israel`s narrowing optionsby Saleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly "When Foreign Minister Nabil El-Arabi warned Israel last Thursday of the consequences of attacking Gaza, the Palestinians were thrilled. El-Arabi`s statement was brief, but it drew a lot of comments among the Palestinian public, and many started comparing his tone with that of his predecessor, Ahmed Abul-Gheit. Suleiman Al-Awawdah, 53, owner of a workshop in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, said that El-Arabi`s statements dissuaded Israel from taking large-scale action against Gaza. Other factors, however, may have combined to thwart Israel`s belligerent tendencies." ca 1/4/2011
Israel holds secret Russia talks in bid to thwart recognition of Palestinian stateby Barak Ravid - Haaretz "The results of Molho’s mission remain to be seen, but Lavrov’s statements during the meeting may mean Russia will be reluctant to block the initiative. Lavrov told Molho that continued efforts to find a way out of the impasse were important, and that trust between Israel and the Palestinians needed to be restored. Quartet envoys are expected to visit Israel next week, to prepare the foreign ministers’ summit." ca1/4/2011
My travels: Mark Thomas on walking Israel`s West Bank barrierMark Thomas--Comedian Mark Thomas found his idea of rambling along the Israeli barrier in the West Bank even more fraught than it sounds24/4/2011
Juliano Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "His co-workers, the young Palestinian actors , the friends of the Freedom Theater of Jenin Refugee Camp will have to carry on without him, strenghtened by the enormous outrage at the terrible news."6/4/2011
Returning to our references Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - After 20 years, Palestinians do not see themselves nearer to achieving their legitimate objective of ending the occupation--nor do they see the conflict nearing a settlement. Therefore, there seems to be a consensus that Palestinians need to return to the international community to report on the failure of this peace process and to discuss fresh ideas and approaches that might be more effective, based on our experiences. 5/4/2011
Statement issued by members of UN mission on Gaza warWe regret the personal attacks and the extraordinary pressure placed on members of the fact-finding mission since we began our work in May 2009. This campaign has been clearly aimed at undermining the integrity of the report and its authors. Had we given in to pressures from any quarter to sanitise our conclusions, we would be doing a serious injustice to the hundreds of innocent civilians killed during the Gaza conflict, the thousands injured, and the hundreds of thousands whose lives continue to be deeply affected by the conflict and the blockade.16/4/2011
Optimism and change The winds of change are blowing. Israeli elites are shaken and have begun to debate among themselves what to do (maybe even accept a larger Bantustan and call it a Palestinian state without the refugees allowed to return). But it is too little, too late. A global intifada is ongoing. We the people, insist on justice (which brings a durable peace).16/4/2011
EU turns blind eye to Palestinian citizens in Israel ...the rights of the Palestinian minority in Israel are not even mentioned in the "association agreement" between the EU and Israel that came into effect in 2000 and sets out the main contractual basis of relations between the two sides.16/4/2011
REMEMBERING VIKVik, who like me received Palestinian citizenship and a passport when we broke the siege of Gaza and sailed into Gaza port in August, 2008, was a peace-maker exemplar. Though having a family in Italy, he cast his lot with the Palestinians (with his whole heart, as was his wont. On his facebook page is written: “lives in Gaza”).16/4/2011
Red Rag columnGideon Spiro - Juliano Mer-Khamis, of blessed memory - Goldstone`s contrition - Kidnappers Inc.9/4/2011
Justice for Gaza conflict victims: a response to Richard GoldstoneThe intentional targeting of civilians, which was the central element of your op-ed, is only one among 13 headings dealing with violations of international law perpetrated by Israel during Operation Cast Lead...Unfortunately, your op-ed diverts attention from this main issue: justice for victims....the victims of this conflict – who continue to live in difficult and unsafe conditions under an illegal blockade and without any effective remedy – have been completely neglected by Israeli investigations, which lack transparency and effectiveness.9/4/2011
Goldstone`s Statement: NOT a Free Pass for Israel`s Future ConductIn the operation, according to rigorous research by B’Tselem, Israel killed at least 758 Palestinian civilians who did not take part in the hostilities; 318 of them were minors. More than 5,300 Palestinians were injured, over 350 of them seriously. More than 3,500 houses were destroyed...the Gaza Strip has yet to recover... Goldstone’s praise of Israel’s investigations seems a bit premature. Of the 52 criminal investigations Israel opened into incidents in Cast Lead, only three have led to indictments...There have been no investigations into the policy questions.9/4/2011
Statement from `Juliano`s Children` of the Freedom TheaterJuliano, your mother’s children have passed away, your mother Arna has passed away and so did you - but your children are going to stay, following your path on the way to the freedom battle, and we will go on with your revolution’s promise, the Jasmine revolution.9/4/2011
Israel`s next warYoel Meltzer - Ynet "Op-ed: Paradoxically, UN endorsement of Palestinian state may prompt outbreak of war." ca 8/4/2011
Israel believes Hamas trying to establish `balance of terror` By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff - Haaretz "According to senior defense source, Hamas` prime minister has no control over the situation in Gaza; information gathered from Thursday`s bus attack show the shooters knew the target contained children." ca 8/4/2011
The price is not rightSherine Nasr - Al-Ahram Weekly "In his first appearance as minister of petroleum, Abdallah Ghorab was affirmative that while Egypt respects its natural gas export agreements signed with different countries, the Ministry of Petroleum (MP) will activate certain mechanisms that will enable the country get a better return on its gas exports abroad. " ca 8/4/2011
War on memoryby Ramzy Baroud- Al-Ahram Weekly "Palestinian citizens of Israel can be proud of the fact that their collective tenacity has always proved stronger than any Israeli attempt at dislocating them from their rightful historical narrative. Now, they are being told to cease and desist from commemorating the Nakba, the Catastrophe of 1948, which saw the brutal seizure and depopulation of most of Palestine in order to construct the Israeli "miracle". ca 8/4/2011
Israel and the Arab revolutionsby Galal Nassar - Al-Ahram Weekly "Israel has been panicked by recent events in the Arab world, causing it to demand ever-greater deliveries of weapons" ca8/4/2011
Past Holds Clue to Goldstone’s Shift on the Gaza WarETHAN BRONNER and JENNIFER MEDINA - NYT - "The year and a half since the Gaza report was published have been hard on Mr. Goldstone. Hailed by the Arab world and the anti-Israel left, he has been censured by those with whom he had always identified."20/4/2011
Pro-democracy protests vs protests of angerRAY HANANIA - J-Post - "Free speech in an environment of intolerance is not free speech at all. And, it will not result in democracy.I wish for real democracy in Egypt and throughout the Middle East." 20/4/2011
A license to killSusie Becher - Ynet - "Everyone remembers that journalist Anat Kam leaked classified military documents, but few recall that the documents reportedly exposed illegal targeted killings of Palestinian militants." 20/4/2011
Gaza Chad GadyaEric Yellin - Other Voice/Crazy County - The demagoguery of "this is the only language they understand" does not work anymore. It leads us again and again to dead ends, to relative and temporary calm which but sets the scene for the next violent outburst which is followed by another relative and temporary calm and another violent outburst… 12/4/2011
Reflections on academic boycotts in the wake of the UJ-BGU campaignRan Greenstein - South African Review of Sociology (Israeli Occupation Archive) - The past few years have seen an increase in calls for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. This is part of a broader campaign to apply pressure on the Israeli state and its agencies. A recent initiative to suspend relations between the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and Ben-Gurion University (BGU) in Israel received much media attention in South Africa and gave rise to controversy.7/4/2011
It`s the plutocracy, stupid!MJ Rosenberg - - I received an email from a Capitol Hill aide who thinks my criticism of AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, is overly simplistic. He doesn`t dispute the fact that AIPAC has a disproportionate influence on our Middle East foreign policy. He argues, however, that AIPAC is no different than other powerful special interest lobbies.7/4/2011
Hamas-Fatah reconciliation a Palestinian form of Arab spring Agreement between the two rival groups will strengthen the Palestinians who can now pose a challenge to Israel, US and EUIan Black - The Guardian - If implemented, the unity agreement will make it easier for the Palestinians to go to the UN in September and demand international recognition for an independent state – without negotiations with Israel that seem doomed to failure28/4/2011
Netanyahu fell into the Palestinians` diplomatic trapAluf Benn - Haaretz - He will not be able to prevent the third intifada, and like its two predecessors, it will cost Israel unnecessary victims and ultimately lead to the withdrawal Netanyahu tried to prevent. 27/4/2011
Whiff of Desperation - Michael Oren`s unconvincing argument for the U.S.-Israel special relationship. Stephen M. Walt - - In his view, there is no linkage whatsoever between U.S. support for Israel, Israel`s treatment of the Palestinians, and the widespread hostility that the United States faces in the Arab and Islamic world. 27/4/2011
American-Israeli bluffs and the success of Palestinian unilateralismNoam Sheizaf - +972 Magazine - American administrations have been demanding Israel to stop building its settlements – and protesting when Jerusalem ignored them – for decades. All President Barack Obama did was try to actually uphold the stated policy. The result was a major crisis between Jerusalem and Washington, which hurt the President even in his own party. In other words, the demand to freeze the settlements revealed that all previous demands and condemnations were no more than lip service. 27/4/2011
Goldstone`s Edit Changes NothingMJ Rosenberg - Foreign Policy Matters/Huffington Post - This "exoneration" has Netanyahu and Barak and their defenders in Israel and the United States crazily dancing. You see, they shout, Goldstone lied all along. We didn`t kill all these 400 children on purpose. It was just collateral damage. Hooray for us. 5/4/2011
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