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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    

Sacred MantrasUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “But was the State of Israel not proclaimed unilaterally?” Our state, it may be remembered, was declared by David Ben-Gurion and his colleagues on Mai 14, 1948, without asking anyone. But who would dare to compare? 30/6/2011
Ben Gurion University: “Disciplinary Hearing for a Lecturer Calling Walla News for Academic Boycott” Rami Shani - Walla News - “Lecturers who will call for an academic boycott will have a disciplinary hearing,” so said yesterday (Sunday) the President of Ben Gurion University, Professor Rivka Carmi. “I think that there is academic freedom, but there is also academic responsibility. If you call for a boycott you cause damage to your colleagues. In essence this means they will not publish articles. If grants are not made, research will not be allowed”. Carmi based her opinion on two articles in the university’s ethical code that was recently approved, which concern the comments of staff members30/6/2011
A bad day for Israeli democracy : “Boycott Bill” updateThe Only Democracy - The bill aims at preventing citizens of Israel from protesting against the occupation by means of initiating or calling for a boycott. It passed first reading in the Knesset plenum on March 7, 2011 and has been deliberated today in preparation for a final vote. The bill defines a call for boycott as a tort, for which the court may rule compensation without obligation to prove damage.30/6/2011
Let the flotilla go Haaretz Editorial - It appears that even though a year has passed since the first flotilla fiasco, Israel is showing that it has learned just one lesson: the military lesson27/6/2011
Theater of the AbsurdMazin Qumsiyeh--The theater of the criminal and absurd continue. [dn]26/6/2011
Netanyahu, Nasrallah, and their words of deathHamid Dabashi--Nasrallah and Netanyahu each walk a tyrannical path as a pair of outdated warriors. dn26/6/2011
No Turkish boat to Gaza as Ankara, Tel Aviv mend fencesBarbara Slavin - EI - "State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland noted last week that “we have seen some warming in relations between Turkey and Israel … We want to see that effort continue.”" 29/6/2011
Perpetual self-sabotage AARON MENENBERG - J-Post - "Despite its legitimate claims of excellence in many regards, Israel is sabotaging itself by enforcing the growing international perception of it as an obstinate and petulant actor." - id 29/6/2011
Israel 2011 - it depends what you are boycotting Adam Keller - If this law is passed, Israeli consumers would be allowed to call for a boycott of products sold at exorbitant price, religious people could continue to boycott non-kosher products, and animal lovers will continue to boycott products tested on animals. Only the settlers, our holy cows, would be immune, and any call for boycotting their products would be illegal. [Appears in Hebbrew at News1]28/6/2011
EU`s Ashton: With its changing neighborhood, now is the time for Israel to moveAkiva Eldar--BRUSSELS - With Greece in turmoil, the Spanish economy collapsing and the French political system in a state of upheaval, the leaders of the European Union are nonetheless putting time and energy into getting the ball rolling again on the Israeli-Palestinian front. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, followed by European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, last week visited the offices of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Both returned to Brussels as confused as ever.[dn]25/6/2011
responses to erroneous statements made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams,Naim Ateek Director, Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center Jerusalem--Last week at Sabeel, we had the privilege of having the Anglican Consultative Council delegation headed by Archbishop Michael Jackson. We seized the opportunity to convey to them our response to your interview on the BBC regarding your concern about the dwindling presence of Arab Christians of the Middle East. The concern is genuine and sincere, unfortunately, your words were negatively received by our people; and we have been asked by our friends - locally and internationally - to make a public response. [dn] 25/6/2011
Before September, Unity must be AchievedJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - We see outdated leaders who have forgotten the demands of their people. While Abbas, Meshal, Fayyad or any other person who has secured a position in Palestine’s decision making bodies are surely united in their desire to rid the Palestinians of Israel’s hegemony, this is not nearly enough. Leaders must tap into the demands, needs and wants of their people, listen to them and channel their strength into responsible decisions. 23/6/2011
The Romance of Birthright IsraelKiera Feldman - The Nation - Today, at a time of rising criticism of Israel, the program has taken on a different meaning. No longer is it simply a project to shore up Jewish identity; Birthright has joined the fight for the political loyalties of young Jews. It invites travelers to “explore Israel without being force-fed ideology,” but you don’t have to be Althusser to know that ideology almost always calls itself nonideological.23/6/2011
The greening of Palestine GERSHON BASKIN - J-Post - "With the small size of the current Palestinian economy, it is quite possible to advance both solar and wind energy at a time when the international community is willing to provide financial support." id 22/6/2011
Don’t count on the Arabs - Part 2 of analysisRoee Nahmias - Ynet - "The Middle East is withdrawing, with each leader preoccupied with his own affairs. A statesman who may influence Abbas and the Palestinians may be found, if at all, in other theaters." id 22/6/2011
What to Do With LemonsThoman L. Friedman - New York Times - Why don’t we just update Resolution 181 and take it through the more prestigious Security Council? 21/6/2011
The US and French negotiations initiatives Bitterlemons - Yossi Alpher: Why more pathetic attempts to revive a dead process? // Ghassan Khatib: The European position is key // Amnon Lord: What next? // Sam Bahour: Political art at its worst 21/6/2011
Egypt`s Evolving Foreign PolicyRichard Javad Heydarian - Foreign Policy in Focus - As well as domestic factors, Mubarak’s downfall was hastened by his foreign policy, for example complicity in the siege of Gaza and growing reliance on the US. The Armed Forces which currently rule Egypt show no sign of a decisive break with the past, but are more wary and sensitive to the qualms of the people. Two important policy shifts include re-opening the Rafah border and Egypt`s active role in facilitating the unity deal between rival Palestinian factions. 21/6/2011
Why is this UN vote different?Adam Keller - A state recognized by the International Community has various new possibilities open to it, even if its full membership in the UN was stopped by an American veto. Such a state could lodge a complaint to the International Court in the Hague for the violation of its sovereignty. A sovereign Palestine is entitled to issue its own currency, with vast economic effects unforeseen and uncontrolled by [Bank of Israel`s] Stanley Fisher.21/6/2011
The morning after the UN vote Daoud Kuttab - Jerusalem Post - President Barack Obama is right about one thing. Going to the United Nations General Assembly and extracting a majority vote in this international body will not, by itself, end the Israeli occupation. A UN vote, however, could be key to statehood if it were part of a larger strategy. 21/6/2011
The real meaning of defensible borders Shaul Arieli - Haaretz - The Palestinians agreed that their state would lack an army and heavy weapons, while NATO would deploy troops on their territory and Israel would use their air space. But Netanyahu keeps trying to obscure his basic opposition to a Palestinian state and continues to claim that only Israeli control of territory equivalent to at least 20 percent of the West Bank will give Israel security. rh20/6/2011
September: The rules of the game have already changedDimi Reider - +972 - Israel’s new ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, gave a fumbling interview to Haaretz, illustrating the panic growing in Israeli diplomatic circles ahead of September. The vote won’t bring the Palestinians a state – but rules of the game have plainly already changed, before the vote even happened20/6/2011
The Palestinian Authority’s Historic Mistake - and OpportunityJeff Halper - The Israel Committee against House Demolitions - The Palestinian struggle is not simply a local one between Palestinians and Israelis; it has become global on the order of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. It cannot be by-passed. Even though there are larger and bloodier conflicts in the Middle East, until the Palestinians signal the rest of the Muslim world that they have arrived 20/6/2011
Palestinian economic boom unsustainable without overseas donationsAmira Hass - Haaretz - whenever donations from abroad are delayed, he notes, so are salary payments. "Without annual external assistance to the tune of about $1 billion from the donor countries, this is not a sustainable situation. I`m not the only one saying this. So is the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and [Palestinian Prime Minister] Salam Fayyad." rh 20/6/2011
Palestinian statehood: Individual nations, not the U.N., will have the final sayVictor Kattan--In their Op-Ed articles on Palestinian statehood, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook and John R. Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, both misunderstood the nature and function of U.N. recognition in international law. Bolton`s claim that President Obama is "the most anti-Israel president since 1948" was particularly galling. Was it not the president of the administration in which Bolton served who claimed to have had a "vision" of an Israeli and a Palestinian state "living side by side in peace and security," exactly as Obama wants? dn18/6/2011
The truth should be taught about the 1948 warShlomo Avineri - Haaretz "Just as nobody, even in German schools, would dream of teaching the German `narrative` regarding World War II, the 1948 war should also not be taught as a battle between narratives. In the final analysis, there is a historical truth." ca17/6/2011
1967, 44 years onSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly "The 44th anniversary of the 1967 war has highlighted the importance of the democratic revolutions sweeping the Arab world, and the expectations that they will result in comprehensive changes getting rid of a defeatist environment." ca 17/6/2011
The case for UN recognition of PalestineVictor Kattan - The Electronic Intifada - Netanyahu wants to divide the Palestinians. Before Congress he pointedly called upon Abbas to tear up his unity agreement with Hamas. Netanyahu knows full well that such an action would divide Palestinian society, possibly provoking civil war. Abbas must not fall for any attempts to cajole him away from his current strategy. If he is serious about seeking statehood, then Palestinians must remain steadfast and united and the PLO must secure as much support as it can before the UN vote.16/6/2011
Analysis: Even democracy can be scaryNidal Alayasa - Ma`an News Agency - The situation is not boiling between Israel and Egypt. It is not even near boiling. However, the pieces are in motion, perhaps, and hopefully, reversible motion. Unless Egypt`s transition into democracy is monitored, eased and most importantly true and structural, the new regime might be a threat to stability. On the other hand, as long as Israel`s policies present it as the obvious enemy to the Arab populace, it will always be a threat to this very fragile stability. 16/6/2011
Netanyahu says there`s no solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflictEtgar Keret - Haaretz - The only person who treats the whole thing with patience and seriously is Netanyahu. “This is an insoluble conflict because it is not about territory,” he says. “It is not that you can give up a kilometer more and solve it. The root of the conflict is in an entirely different place. Until Abu Mazen recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, there will be no way to reach an agreement.” rh 16/6/2011
Yalla Peace: The challenges of Arab-Jewish matrimony RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "We’re too smart for our own good, and sometimes we don’t follow our hearts, but rather our fears." id 15/6/2011
Myth of indefensible bordersAvi Yesawich and Daniel Nisman - Ynet - "Martin van Creveld, arguably Israel’s most prominent military historian and strategist, laid out a compelling case that illustrated the negligible effects of giving up the West Bank." id 15/6/2011
From Safed to Rome and Obama can wait Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "Come on, who wants to talk with the Palestinians?"15/6/2011
Netanyahu has joined his buddy Berlusconi in an alliance of rejects Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - Both the Israeli and Italian leaders feel the media is hunting them down due jealousy; they are both covered in elephant skin and they are both mainly busy with political survival. 14/6/2011
Solidarity with Palestinians and Anti-SemitismMichael Warschawski - AIC - The struggle against anti-Semitism must be part of the struggle that every leftist party must wage, with zero compromises, against racism. Solidarity with the Palestinian people is part of the anti-colonial struggle to which every leftist party is committed. The two arenas complete and strengthen each other. bz13/6/2011
Poll: Most Israelis don’t know Jordan Valley is occupiedDimi Reider - +972 - A majority of Israelis support a two state solution, and know the right answers necessary to confirm this believes in themselves and in their listeners. The more curious questions will be that of what they’re meaning to do about it: Would they take to the streets, go on strike, or bring down a government that would not withdraw from the valley? 13/6/2011
Where Words Can Never Do JusticeARTHUR S. BRISBANE--LAST week’s coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict brought out passionate reader complaints, on both sides of the issue — as usual. [dn]12/6/2011
Failed favoritism toward IsraelTurki al-Faisal--President Obama gave a rousing call to action in his controversial speech last month, admonishing Arab governments to embrace democracy and provide freedom to their populations. We in Saudi Arabia, although not cited, took his call seriously. We noted, however, that he conspicuously failed to demand the same rights to self-determination for Palestinians — despite the occupation of their territory by the region’s strongest military power. [dn]12/6/2011
Palestinian statehood: What is the U.N.`s role?Mousa Abu Marzook and John R. Bolton--two conflicting views [dn] 12/6/2011
Challenging Israel’s stacked discourse on the right of returnEitan Bronstein--On this last Nakba Day (May 15, 2011), we witnessed the spectacular return of Palestinian refugees in real life. Thousands upon thousands of uprooted Palestinians gathered in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, near the borders of the Jewish state and challenged the boundaries of its civic and national identity. Several hundreds of Palestinian from Syria crossed the northern border unwavering in declaring their intention to return to their homeland. Thus, in a popular act of self-determination that seemed in like an ordinary trip, the many Palestinian refugees simply returned to their rightful place. Meanwhile, although this was a temporary and very symbolic return, we hear and anticipate that the next return is being organized for June 5th, the day that marks the completion of the occupation by Israel in 1967. [dn] 12/6/2011
Turning the `right of return` into reality Ben White--Myths perpetuated by Israel as to why the "right of return" is impossible are easily debunked when looked at logically. [dn]12/6/2011
Looking beyond Obama to `The Golden Age` Paul Rosenberg--The majority of Obama`s campaign promises remain unkept, and many are now looking to new sources for change [GALLO/GETTY] dn12/6/2011
The Foreign Ministry`s futile UN campaignGideon Levy--This campaign to thwart the Palestinian campaign to gain recognition for statehood at the UN is certain to yield fruit, but it will be rotten fruit, empty results for a futile policy. dn12/6/2011
Beyond Survival Tal Becker--For many years now, the conversation about Israel in the Jewish world has taken a familiar form. With rare exceptions, our sovereign project is spoken of in Jewish communities across the globe with pride about the past and anxiety about the future. 12/6/2011
Tamimi`s Statement to Military Court, with some more Background"I was born at the same time as the Occupation and have been living under its inherent inhumanity, inequality, racism and lack of freedom ever since. Yet, despite all this, my belief in human values and the need for peace in this land have never been shaken"... Shortly after demonstrations in the village began, the Israeli Civil Administration served ten demolition orders to structures located in Area C, Tamimi’s house was one of them, despite the fact that it was built in 1965.11/6/2011
A Brown-haired Young ManUri Avnery--MY HERO of the year (for now) is a young brown-haired Palestinian refugee living in Syria called Hassan Hijazi. [dn] 11/6/2011
Israel`s right to exist does not mean its government can act with impunityPeter Beaumont--Legitimacy in international relations relates not to a single idea but to overlapping concepts, one of which is appropriate conduct [dn]11/6/2011
Palestinians predict next Intifada will be non-violentBy ARIEH O’SULLIVAN / THE MEDIA LINE - Jerusalem Post " Poll shows majority believes Intifada will erupt if deadlock with Israel continues, but some say this time uprising will be more peaceful." ca10/6/2011
Syrian slaughter and Israeli restraint Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Demonstrators in the Syrian city of Hama and protesters on the Golan border are similar not only in their nonlethal means, but also in their aims. Both are trying to change the established order. And the authorities` response in both places - live fire on demonstrators - is amazingly similar. 9/6/2011
Divisions Arise In PA Over Plans For SeptemberKevin Murphy - IMEMC and Agencies - Opponents of the move in the PA leadership such as Fayyed as well as former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia and the former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa have expressed concerns that the plan may alienate US support. The group has also voiced fears that any recognition of Palestinian statehood would be within provisional borders that may lead to the perpetuation of the status quo on East Jerusalem and Palestinian refugee’s right of return. 9/6/2011
Palestine’s own springAlain Gresh - Le Monde Diplomatique - The agreement between Fatah and Hamas surprised all observers of the negotiations between them over the years. It is hard to see to what extent it will be put into effect, as many points remain vague and there is still deep mistrust. But it has come about as the result of powerful factors, relating to the Palestinian scene and developments in the region. The refugees, who had been the most noticeable absentees from the last 20 years of negotiations, have now been invited in. 9/6/2011
What have Obama and Netanyahu wrought?Henry Siegman - Foreign Policy - Indeed, Netanyahu`s address to the U.S. Congress, no less than Congress`s reaction to that speech, effectively buried the Middle East peace process for good. If Netanyahu succeeds in his objective, these members of Congress will be able to take credit for an Israeli apartheid regime that former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, and Ehud Olmert predicted would be the inescapable consequence of policies the congressmen cheered and promised to continue to support as generously as they have in the past. 9/6/2011
On deaf ears: Obama`s message to IsraelRobert Grenier - Aljazeera - Late May`s extraordinary sequence of speeches and meetings involving Obama and Netanyahu did not make for an edifying interlude. We saw brash, unapologetic chauvinism from Netanyahu, an outright refusal of moral leadership from Obama, and acts of political cowardice and opportunism from the US Congress. That is not to say that the week`s display was not useful. Now, more clearly than ever, we can see the future. 7/6/2011
We must help Vanunu live in peaceDuncan Campbell - - Indeed, no one – unless they are completely ignorant of the case – genuinely believes that he has any secrets up his sleeve. He is refused permission to leave the country not for security reasons but as a further penalty, a punishment for coming out of prison as committed to his non-violent, anti-nuclear-weaponry principles as when he went in. bz 7/6/2011
Do The American People Support the `Special Relationship?`Stephen M. Walt - Foreign Policy - If Americans were exposed to a more open discourse -- such as the discourse that prevails in Europe or in Israel itself -- Israel`s favorable image would almost certainly decrease (though by no means disappear). bz7/6/2011
Dagan, Ashkenazi, Diskin, Peres Likely Foiled 2010 Netanyahu-Barak Attack on IranRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - Two Israeli newspapers have begun to outline a major internal struggle at the highest reaches of the Israeli government about a 2010 plan by Bibi and Barak to wage war against Iran. It almost seems fictional (& one of the accounts IS at least partially), but apparently is very true. bz6/6/2011
The battle for SeptemberAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - If Netanyahu stands by his refusal from May to adopt the June 4, 1967 lines as the basis for negotiations on the permanent status agreement, Obama will be able to explain why he is not imposing a veto in September - says Prof. Gabriela Shalev, until September last year Israel’s ambassador to the UN. 6/6/2011
Can equality exist in the Jewish state? Kieron Monks--As right-wingers dominate the Knesset, Arab citizens of Israel say institutional discrimination is getting worse. [dn] 5/6/2011
A Palestinian call to engage with the ‘Jewish question’Marzouq El-Halabi--The Palestinian discourse must leave denial behind and engage seriously with the Jewish and Zionist questions. No more talk of the victorious and the defeated, victims and victimisers, but a new narrative shared by both sides of the conflict. [dn] 5/6/2011
Israel should heed ex-Mossad head`s Iran attack warning Gideon Levy--There is no clearer symptom of the sickly state of public discourse in Israel than efforts at silencing Meir Dagan.5/6/2011
Israelis must brace for dark timesCarlo Strenger - Haaretz - Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and company are selling Israel’s citizens an illusion: they are positioning themselves as Rambo-heroes who will win against the world. bz4/6/2011
Ex-Mossad chief`s comments on Iran place him on collision course with Netanyahu Aluf Benn - Haaretz "Meir Dagan`s public warnings that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is leading Israel into disaster places the former Mossad chief in a new role - head of the opposition. After two years of the prime minister`s complete control over the political message coming out of Jerusalem, there is finally someone who is standing up and warning the public of the risks inherent in a leadership that "is absent of vision and responsibility." ca 3/6/2011
The Israeli right`s refusal to accept other versions of Zionism Carlo Strenger - Haaretz - "Israel’s right is not confident enough to accept the truth of the country`s history, and instead propagates stories that no historian on earth would support." ca 3/6/2011
Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - The Israeli Empire and the American Dwarf - "Restraint" - Dogs - Transfer - Police against Workers - Vanunu - 5 June 3/6/2011
Are Palestinian children less worthy? Joseph Massad - Al Jazeera - What is it about Jewish and Arab children that privileges the first and spurns the second in the speeches of President Barack Obama, let alone in the Western media more generally? Are Jewish children smarter, prettier, whiter? Are they deserving of sympathy and solidarity, denied to Arab children, because they are innocent and unsullied by the guilt of their parents, themselves often referred to as "the children of Israel"? Or, is it that Arab children are dangerous, threatening, guilty, even dark and ugly, a situation that can only lead to Arabopaedophobia - the Western fear of Arab children? 2/6/2011
Making history : A call for a shared narrative of the conflictMarzouq El-Halabi- +972 - The Palestinian discourse must leave denial behind and engage seriously with the Jewish and Zionist questions. No more talk of the victorious and the defeated, victims and victimisers, but a new narrative shared by both sides of the conflict. 2/6/2011
Is an attack on Iran in the works?Victor Kotsev Asia Times - "In the past, Israeli analysts have speculated that the government would try very hard to free Shalit before any attack on Iran, because a regional war could mean that a deal is put off indefinitely." 8/6/2011
UN’s 193rd member: Palestine?Ronen Medzini - Ynet - “The rules of the game around here are about to change,” an official in Jerusalem summed up the issue." id 8/6/2011
Israel`s PR victory shames news broadcasters Our latest analysis of news bulletins reveals how Israel continues to spin images of warGreg Philo - The Guardian - Images of suffering do not now in themselves affect how audiences see the validity of actions in war. People see the images as tragic, but judgments as to who is right and wrong are now firmly in the hands of the spin doctors. 2/6/2011
The Middle East: all process, no progressCarne Ross - The Guardian - The next few months will see yet more activity and diplomacy, risking distraction from the reality of continuing settlement building and mounting frustration of ordinary Palestinians living under an occupation that promises no end. With tension rising between Israel and its neighbours, and with it the risk of international conflict, no one can regard this situation as acceptable. 2/6/2011
Palestinian statehood and bypassing Israel Lamis Andoni--Israel breaks international law and UN agreements under the guise of "protecting state legitimacy". dn19/6/2011
If only Israelis cared about more than cottage cheeseEditorial--The cottage cheese protest was preceded by a campaign against an increase in gasoline prices, but consumer protests, for all their importance, just exemplify public apathy on crucial issues that will influence the future much more than the price of cottage cheese. [dn]19/6/2011
BDS call in actionVideo--It is a pride to be an Oregonian. [forwarded by Anwar] [dn]19/6/2011
2 videosforwarded by Greta Berlin--each video about 5 minutes, one is a bds call, the other about Gaza. The latter combines an animated video with live acts [dn]. 19/6/2011
Israel has no right to stop Gaza aid flotillasGideon Levy--Israel cannot be hurt by any imaginary danger the ships pose. Here from Sweden comes a final appeal to those who would block the flotilla: Please, just once, act with prudence, and abide by international law and simple justice. [dn]19/6/2011
Red Rag: report from a police holding-cellGideon Spiro - At 11 AM on Monday 6 June, a policeman knocked on my door and gave me an “invitation to report to the police for questioning” by 11:30.19/6/2011
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