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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    

Emotion and the Arab Spring RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "Israel says it wants to be part of the Middle East. So it should act like it and take some responsibility." - id 31/8/2011
Jerusalem Post fires Larry Derfner over blog postDimi Reider - +972 - "Larry’s main thesis – that Palestinian terrorism is bound to Israeli military violence – is about as old as the state, if not older; even Moshe Dayan has said as much." - id 31/8/2011
Who needs a ceasefire anyway? Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "...who can independently monitor and judge the Security Services of the State of Israel, in exercising their authority to issue and implement death sentences?" - id 31/8/2011
Let us Honor Our Own Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Over the past few months, Israel has been sullying the reputation of yet another aspect of Palestinian governance. In late May, the Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli watchdog organization that tracks Palestinian media for incitement against Israel released a report claiming that the Palestinian Authority is paying salaries to Palestinian prisoners in accordance with a newly published law. 31/8/2011
Edward Said on claims to the land and the occupation of Palestine Mohammed Suliman - Electronic Intifada - In addition to history, the Palestinians have, in Said’s words, the world consensus on their side. In the second half of the video, Edward Said gives his view on how Americans (and the same applies to everyone who believes in the just cause of Palestine) can react to the U.S. biased policies in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian question and its unshakable support of Israel over the fulfillment of the rights of the Palestinians. rh 31/8/2011
I call it national suicideGershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - A situation in which Israel controls the entire territory between the Jordan River and the sea, and allows different sets of rights to exist based on national-ethnic identity, will be called under the best circumstances Israeli apartheid. Israel will lose its moral right to exist as a nation. Israel will lose the ability to claim it is a democracy. 30/8/2011
The Israeli left needs both peace and welfare Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - What`s the big deal? Next month will mark 18 years since the Oslo Accords, which deepened the occupation. The world won`t come to an end if the Palestinians were to wait a few more years29/8/2011
Palestinian state could leave millions of refugees with no voice at UNHarriet Sherwood - The Guardian - Representation solely in West Bank and Gaza could disenfranchise Palestinians living elsewhere, says legal expert29/8/2011
UN envoy Prosor: Israel has no chance of stopping recognition of Palestinian stateBarak Ravid - Haaretz - Under the headline "Report from the frontline at the UN," Prosor - considered one of the most experienced and senior Israeli diplomats - offered a very pessimistic estimate as to Israel`s ability to significantly affect the results of the vote. Even though he did not state so explicitly, Prosor implies that Israel will sustain a diplomatic defeat. bz 28/8/2011
“The longest journey starts with one small step”Akiva Orr - +972 - Most young people in the tents face their first political confrontation in those tents. Before July 14 they were just fodder in politics. Now they are becoming politically critical – and aware. Whatever the outcome of this unique protest – their minds and attitudes are changed and will stay so. They will not be political fodder again. Give them time and many will become anti-Zionist. One cannot be weaned in a week from what one embraced uncritically for many years at home, in nursery and school. This confrontation/protest changes their minds – and lives. Nothing similar ever happened in Israel. bz28/8/2011
With Mideast in Turmoil, Israel Debates StrategyEthan Bronner - NYT - Last weekend, officials were contemplating a major military assault on Gaza. But that plan was shelved by the crisis that emerged with Egypt, by the realization that Hamas itself was uninvolved in the terrorist attack and by the worry about how such an assault would affect other countries’ views during the United Nations debate of a Palestinian resolution in September. 27/8/2011
Interview with Fatah PLC Member Kokali: September, Unity Government and Fatah-Hamas Relations Alternative Information Center (AIC) interview - Because we used violent resistance 30 years ago, we are now able to struggle politically. It`s like a tree: our military struggle planted it and now our political approach is picking the fruits. bz 27/8/2011
Palestinian statehood, the anxiety-free editionShmuel Rosner - Jerusalem Post - Initially, the plan was to seek a two-thirds majority vote - to obtain a nonbinding resolution under the "Uniting for Peace" procedure
The PA has since backed away from this option and is now planning to seek a simple majority in the General Assembly, which would allow Palestine to be recognized as a "nonmember state" of the UN, alongside Kosovo, Taiwan, and Vatican City. [Rosner quoting Khaled Elgindy, Foreign Affairs-bz]
On verge of Gaza warAlex Fishman - Ynet - As September approaches, the IDF is being stretched beyond its means, and there will apparently be no escaping the need to call up reservists. Our leadership is navigating through a minefield. Just like we were on the verge of war Saturday night, with most of the public being completely oblivious to the unfolding drama, it can happen again tomorrow morning. The war book is ready. bz27/8/2011
Social justice also means ending the occupationZeev Sternhell - Haaretz - The establishment of the state was also the hour in which Zionism was supposed to absorb the liberal principles of human rights and civic equality. The terrible disaster of the Six-Day War destroyed this possibility when it turned Israelis into lords over another nation whose rights were denied. bz27/8/2011
IDF`s law enforcement is a joke of a justice systemGideon Levy - Haaretz - It took the prosecution nearly four years to investigate such a clear case, the details of which cried out from the soil of the valley where the shooting of an unarmed person from an illegal distance occurred, without any danger to the soldiers, without any justification. Even this indictment would not have happened had not B`Tselem - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories intervened again and again, demanding the shooter be brought to trial.25/8/2011
Pre-September forecastKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - "The Israeli premier knows well that continued settlement expansion is the easiest way to undermine whatever possibility exists for establishing a viable Palestinian state with territorial contiguity." - id 24/8/2011
The rarity of ‘common’ sense RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "There is much hope the protests will address the failed peace process as much as the failing economy." - id 24/8/2011
Israel`s left now has a chance to awaken the publicAmira Hass - Haaretz - "...there is now a great chance of proving to at least parts of this awakening public that the benefits of occupation today are the strategic danger of tomorrow." - id 24/8/2011
As rockets fly, J14 rallies struggle to put social issues firstAmi Kaufman - +972 - "[Saturday] night’s march was the most important one yet. It was small in numbers, but the biggest effort yet to put social issues in front of security – the toughest task Israel has ever faced. So, did J14 pass its first major test? Yes. Not with flying colors, but yes. Baby steps…"22/8/2011
When Israeli arrogance meets the honor of the Arab street Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - When the neighbors` actions are motivated by honor, rather than by their interests, with Israeli arrogance, we call this `Arab honor`22/8/2011
Israel has no strategyNahum Barnea - Ynet - Op-ed: Our government has sophisticated military means at its disposal but lacks strategy22/8/2011
Israel`s social protests are anything but deadMerav Michaeli - Haaretz - A welfare state is one that strives for genuine peace and achieves it.21/8/2011
Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - Do the people know they want socialism? Hiroshima Day21/8/2011
The return of the generalsUri Avnery - Counterpunch - The recent attack in southern Israel was an incredible stroke of luck for Netanyahu and his government19/8/2011
Does Israel teach anti-Arab bigotry?Lawrence Davidson - Consortium News - Israel is experiencing a protest movement for “social justice” as are other countries in the Middle East and Europe. But the Israeli version seeks a more equitable society for Jewish citizens while sidestepping the plight of Palestinians, the result of intense anti-Arab indoctrination.19/8/2011
Does your Congressperson represent you - or the Likud?Medea Benjamin - Commondreams - Going on an AIPAC-sponsored trip to Israel is the moral equivalent of using an Anglo-Boer travel company to visit apartheid-era South Africa. Although they claim to be visiting leaders “across the political spectrum”, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, you can bet your bottom dollar that AIPAC will not be giving these 81 Congresspeople a fair and balanced view of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.19/8/2011
The US-Arab disconnectRamzy Baroud - Counterpunch - Arabs discovered - or rediscovered - that not only were there no meeting points between their aspirations and US policy, the two were actually on a collision course.19/8/2011
Yisrael Beiteinu MK: Tent organizers are like PalestiniansMairav Zonszein - +972 - "Kirshenbaum makes a clear divide between the powerful and the powerless, whereby she not only clearly identifies the government as the powerful entity whose job it is to quell any and all demands made by the powerless." - id 17/8/2011
Donors help keep Palestinians in cages Charlotte Silver - EI - "If development aid programmes set freedom — rather than the introduction of a neo-liberal state — as their principal objective for Palestinians, then they may begin to counter the 63-year process of confiscation and colonization." id 17/8/2011
Racism and the Israeli housing crisisLaila El-Haddad - Gazamom - Blog - "... are they going to say: "Hey, we’ve got to do this without expanding into the West Bank?”" -id 17/8/2011
Arabs failed to get their story out first RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "It is not what you say, but how you say it. The goal of a successful debater is not simply to win the argument, but to win over the audience first. Perception is reality, and the Arabs have never bothered to understand this simple concept." - id 17/8/2011
Not Jewish enough for Glenn Beck – nor Israeli enoughBradley Burston - Haaretz - Undeterred by being dropped from Fox, or by the fallout from having compared the victims of July’s Norway massacre to Hitler Youth, the media personality has assumed a prophet`s intonation in urging his followers to stand with him in Jerusalem on August 24. But Beck, true to mercurial form, could not resist taking a potshot at Israelis before boarding a jet to save Israel. 16/8/2011
Arab youth and social protest in IsraelAsma Agbariyeh-Zahalka - Challenge - This new era will bury the fanatical nationalism and extremism of Arabs in Israel, just as it will bury Jewish fanatical nationalism, which is being driven into a corner. 16/8/2011
Can J14 turn the tables for the progressive cause within Israel?Haggai Matar - +972 - “We can’t help but feel that social justice is not something that can stop on the Green Line.”16/8/2011
Israelis Sick and Tired – but of What?Ran HaCohen - AntiWar - "Obviously, life in Israel is economically much better than in neighboring countries. Why do Israelis expect more? Why do they compare themselves to Europe and North America, not to Egypt or Turkey? Because that’s what the Israeli state (all Israeli governments from the mid-1980s on have had precisely the same policy) has persuaded us to do. The Israeli ruling right wing (call it Labor, Likud, or Kadima; they’re all the same) has persuaded Israel’s middle class that peace is unnecessary: we can both run the occupation and have a Western standard of living. The idea sounds perfect: the regime knows that the Israeli middle class would refuse to pay for the occupation. The regime is unwilling to give up the occupation, so it convinces the masses that the occupation has no economic price for them"15/8/2011
Dichter`s Law Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “Fortunately, the Knesset has gone on a prolonged vacation, three months. For as Mark Twain quipped: ‘No man’s life or property is safe while the legislature is in session.’ As if to prove this point, MK Avi Dichter submitted, on the very last day of the outgoing session, a bill so outrageous that it easily trumps all the many other racist laws lately adopted by this Knesset”15/8/2011
Robbing Peter to Pay IsraelJosh Ruebner - FPIF - In total, 81 representatives, nearly one-fifth of the entire House, will participate in visits to Israel organized by the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), a so-called charitable affiliate of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Of course, these congressional delegations are not all fun and games. Members of Congress will be expected to sing for their lavish dinners by honoring President Bush’s 2007 pledge to provide the Israeli military with $30 billion of tax-payer-funded weapons between 2009 and 2018. So far, proposed increases in military aid to Israel have been spared from the budgetary chopping block by President Obama and a compliant Congress that treats Israeli militarism as more sacrosanct than medical care for seniors.
Israel’s Tahrir [1]: Will the Revolution End “Bibinomics”?By his “second coming”, the economic elites and the Treasury/Israel-Bank fanatics have recognized what an immense asset Bibi is for them... His deeds can be summarized... as a massive transfer of wealth from the lower and middle classes to the rich, and extensive deregulation and privatization. With a stern face, he inflicted austerity after austerity... then back in the PM seat, he set up one of the most ridiculously bloated governments in Israel’s history. All the while, he has continued to pour billions into the wasteful and politically controversial Occupation-Settlement project, economic considerations be damned. “Bibinomics” are a display of self-contradictory hypocrisy at its crudest ugliness. But many of Israel’s economic analysts have continued to sing Bibi’s praise.13/8/2011
Kelly James Clark interviews Nurit Peled-Elhanan regarding her new book, exposing racism in Israeli text books - on youtube 13/8/2011
Israel’s foreign policy linked to its growing social inequalityJean Shaoul - ICFI - The 2010 Adva report shows how the occupation’s costs have been placed squarely on the backs of the Israeli working class, via a sustained assault on its wages, working conditions, social, education and health care. Adva board member, Dr. Shlomo Swirski, says that both sides are paying a heavy price, although “Palestinians are paying the heaviest price”. 13/8/2011
Settlements or Peace?By Meg Walsh - MIFTAH "The settlements, their infrastructure, and the military presence that must protect and guard them, ruin the plausibility of a viable Palestinian state—and judging from the evidence, this is Israel’s purpose." ca12/8/2011
An end to the Dahlan saga?Khaled Amayreh - Al Ahram Weekly "The recent raid on the home of Mohamed Dahlan on the West Bank has upped the stakes in the conflict with PA President Mahmoud Abbas."ca 12/8/2011
Palestinians and the U.N.Editorial - NYT - "The best way, likely the only way, to head off this debacle is with the start of serious negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The two sides haven’t even been in the same room together since September 2010." - id10/8/2011
Israel sinking into religious-fundamentalist swampSalman Masalha- Haaretz - "Now they want to exchange the impossible mantra "Jewish-democratic" with something new." - id 10/8/2011
Religious Israelis, wake upEfrat Shapira-Rosenberg - Ynet - "All the chants, signs and slogans were in favor of justice, equality, compassion and fraternity. And anyone who says these are hollow slogans and clichés apparently did not listen to the exact same words read Saturday morning in the timeless, mythical speech of Prophet Isaiah at the synagogue." - id 10/8/2011
The Tent Protests In Israel: Can They Break Out Of The Zionist/security/neo-Liberal Box? Jeff Halper - Ironically, it is the settlers who are pushing the protest into taking a stand on the Occupation.9/8/2011
The people of yesterday Yair Lapid - Ynet - “They’re leftist,” say the people of yesterday. "How can you not get that they’re leftist?"
Yes, some of the protestors in the boulevard are part of the Left. What does that have to do with the housing question? With the state of the [sinking] middle class? With doctors’ salaries? With the price of cottage cheese? (And please allow me to add the issues of tomorrow to the list: The salaries of teachers and police officers, and then the equality in bearing the national [military service] burden.) [bz]
Scandal in the rawAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram Weekly "Vaunting themselves as peers of Israel, Ramallah`s leaders and their lackeys in Geneva are a disgrace to the Palestinian national struggle and are leading the Palestinian people to disaster, writes Azmi Bishara." ca5/8/2011
A Strike Against Free SpeechAHMAD TIBI - New York Times - this new legal limit on free speech could bankrupt me. Israeli officials will not throw me in jail for publicly supporting such boycotts, but settler groups can claim financial damages without even having to show any harm done. Furthermore, organizations supporting boycotts could be denied tax-deductible contributions and state funding. This week, I appealed the law to the high court. 4/8/2011
Maariv Political Correspondent Warns of ‘Military Adventure’ to Distract from Tent Protest MovementRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - Our politicians are cynical enough to initiate a political or security initiative designed to destroy the protests threatening to overturn them. We are here to restrain them from pursuing this. 4/8/2011
The Tent IntifadaYacov Ben Efrat - Countercurrents - On the 14th of July (Oui, Bastille Day), without advance warning, when the Israeli economy seemed far more stable than Greece`s or Spain`s, the dam of obedience burst. A group of young people who had organized in Facebook decided to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard, an avenue boasting some of Tel Aviv`s best architectural attractions and which has become, in recent years, a symbol of the city`s impossible real-estate prices. The bug that had spread from Tahrir Square in Cairo to Del Sol in Madrid now landed in Tel Aviv. The slogan coined in Cairo, "Social Justice!" became the main slogan in Israel 4/8/2011
A different kind of housing crisis Gisha - The changes Israel announced in June 2010 to `ease` the closure policy (letting in otherwise banned construction materials for international projects approved by the Palestinian Authority) have not significantly helped alleviate Gaza`s housing crisis, as international agencies (the only ones who can get materials transported through Israel) have mainly addressed other urgent needs for re-building (hospitals, schools, clinics, civilian infrastructure, etc). 4/8/2011
Uncertainty in IsraelSamih A. Sherif - NYT - "Even if Washington vetoes the resolution in the Security Council, the Palestinians will have advanced their cause. It is anyone’s guess where the next steps will lead but certainly America and Israel will come out the losers." - id 3/8/2011
A tainted justice system Editorial - Haaretz- "The Courts Administration and the Bar Association did well to commission the study. But now, it is incumbent upon the court system to eradicate this plague of systematic discrimination." - id 3/8/2011
Muslims or Arabs? RAY HANANIA - J-lem Post - "Bin Laden, who tried, after the fact, to claim his attacks were intended to “help” the Palestinians, only reinforced public feelings in favor of Israel and against Palestinians." - id3/8/2011
The housing protests and the defense budget Amos Harel - Haaretz - The IDF’s main problem is that, this time, the public will not automatically take its side. Two ‘Tammuz’ rockets that were fired yesterday during the exercise cost around one million shekels (close to US$300 000), or as one of the journalists described: the same as a small apartment in central Tel Aviv. bz 2/8/2011
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Arab Awakening Joel Beinin - MERIP - Solidarity members look forward to continuing joint popular Palestinian-Israeli action parallel to the PA’s request for UN membership. The road ahead is full of pitfalls, however. On July 20, Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian leader with the most legitimacy and popularity, called from Israeli jail for peaceful demonstrations to support the UN bid. One day later, the prison authorities placed him in solitary confinement. bz2/8/2011
Shin Bet accused of exceeding its authority in Mer-Khamis murder caseAmira Hass - Haaretz - Abeer Baker, representing Mer-Khamis` family, and Smadar Ben-Natan, who represents one of the suspects, argued that because the murder is not classified as a security crime, the Shin Bet has, by law, no authority to investigate. 18/8/2011
Social protestors: Do we share a vision for Israel’s future?Dahlia Scheindlin - +972 - If “social justice,” is a true symbol, one that stands for a whole set of values and even a minimally coherent worldview – let’s say, modern social-democracy with a liberal/progressive agenda grounded in human rights and equality – then it stands a chance of overthrowing the current free-market individualism - mixed with passive victimization. 9/8/2011
The Israel Palestinians Know Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - So, when Israeli commentators balk at comparisons between the Arab spring and what some have dubbed the Israeli spring, they should think again. True, the Israeli government does not crush its own people in their protest of housing prices. That sort or repression is what Arab peoples have been rebelling against in the first place. But they shouldn’t balk too much. Just cross the “border” into Palestine and Israel has a whole new face. The sort of crack down seen in Gaza, in Nabi Saleh, in Hebron and in Bilin is not too far from the scenes of repression we all cringed from in Tahreer Square, in Diraa, Syria or in Sana, Yemen. Here, Israel is not the democracy the Israelis praise or the world sees on the streets of Tel Aviv. Here is the Israel the Palestinians know. Here is repression at its worst. 8/8/2011
The New Anti-Semitism Uri Avnery - Countercurrents - It is the beginnings which are critical, when political opportunists realize that arousing fear and hatred is the easiest way to fortune and power, when social misfits become nationalist and religious fanatics, when attacking helpless minorities becomes acceptable as legitimate politics, when funny little men turn into monsters. 8/8/2011
Is Israel Officially Giving Up On Democracy?MJ Rosenberg - Forein Policy Matters - In this context, Netanyahu`s supposed softening should be seen for what it is: a total farce. The Palestinians` hope is to go to the United Nations, which they hopefully will do. As for Israelis, they should keep taking to the streets in protest8/8/2011
New Knesset bill is a danger to Israeli democracyHaaretz - Editorial - The things endangering the support of the nations of the world for Israel - and among marginal elements also the recognition of Israel as the national home for the Jewish people - are the occupation and the many blows to Israeli democracy. rh 8/8/2011
The Arab citizens must join the social struggleOudeh Basharat - Haaretz - "The young people of Rothschild, like the young people of Tahrir, have proved that revolutions bubble like subterranean currents, and even when they are not visible they continue to flow. This outburst will grow even stronger and will start to raise fundamental questions about the connections between the huge investment in the settlements and the worsening plight of other citizens. This outburst will yet lead the Rothschild revolutionaries, who are fighting against the tycoons` exploitation, to conclude that they cannot fight their exploiters and at the same time be the exploiters of the another people`s young population"8/8/2011
“How Goodly Are Thy Tents” Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "No need to push the protesters. In due course, they will reach the conclusion that the money for the major reforms they demand can only come from stopping the settlements and cutting the huge military budget by hundreds of billions – and that is possible only in peace"8/8/2011
Jewish sharia Zvi Bar`el - Haaretz - `The National Home of the Jewish People` bill presumes to represent Diaspora Jews; they will have to decide whether they want to continue living abroad in a democratic country that lets them practice their faith as they wish, or in a Jewish state that robs the foundations of democracy from them8/8/2011
Antisemitism and Political Blogging: Personal Reflections[combating Antisemitic expressions] is not a simple uni-directional problem of "more enforcement is good, less enformcement is bad". There is more here than meets the unitiated eye. Sometimes ovezealous enforcement can turn into persecution. Or even worse: sometimes bigots can use a "pro-enforcement" atmosphere to further their twisted agenda. I know this from my own, real (not meta, not virtual) experience... ao6/8/2011
A changed agenda? Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "...and who would now dare demand a cut the in the defense budget in order to promote social causes?" - id 24/8/2011
Don`t believe the hypeGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The first problem Israel has with this discussion at the UN is that its political strategy in dealing with Palestinians is based on power politics and evasion of the international consensus. Any discussion in the United Nations about the conflict will expose Israel`s illegal positions and behavior to international criticism, embarrassing it and its ally the United States, which has been ignoring Israel`s role in stalling 23/8/2011
Bibi and Barak’s Terror Fraud: Egyptian News Reports Attackers Were Egyptian, Not GazanRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - Egyptian authorities have identified three of the people responsible for carrying out a terrorist attack in Israel, just north of Eilat, on Thursday, in which seven Israelis were killed, according to an Egyptian security source. The same source added that one of the men identified is a leader of terrorist cells in Sinai, while another is a fugitive who owns an ammunition factory. 23/8/2011
Yes, apologize to Egypt : Peace agreement with Egypt more important to Israel than its national honor Eitan Haber - Ynet - A mishap happened. Egyptian soldiers were hurt and killed. We are not at fault, apparently. We are never at fault, so let’s apologize and get it over with. We have already apologized for smaller and greater things. So what? Oh, that national honor needed for the poets of glory and victory albums. Yet we want to live. The altar of the homeland can wait. 23/8/2011
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