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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    

World Bank policies persistently fail PalestiniansAlaa Tartir and Jeremy Wildeman - Ma`an News Agency - The Bank’s growth report is useful only in revealing that the Palestinian economy is in a critical state of disrepair. Its inability to provide policy recommendations that properly account for the effects of occupation renders its advice irrelevant.-rh 31/10/2012
How Israel simulated war with IranDavid Patrikarakos - New Statesman - The conceit here was simple: at around midnight on the 9 November (in game time) three waves of Israeli planes struck Iran’s nuclear facilities, causing significant damage. What happened next would be played out by a number of teams representing Israel, the USA, Iran, the EU, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Russia – the nexus of interlocking relationships that would likely dictate the fallout of any attack in real life.-rh 31/10/2012
Dozens protest pending closure of BGU department Danielle Ziri- The Jerusalem Post - Haim Yaacobi, head of the political science department, told The Jerusalem Post last week that he did not believe the CHE would go through with closing the program, an opinion that most of his staff and faculty share. He explained that he does not think the government could close an academic department over “political interests.”-rh 31/10/2012
Israel Lobby Calls for an ‘Iranian Pearl Harbor’Muhammad Sahimi - Antiwar - "If we could find ways in which these very complicated centrifuges, which are spinning at such high speeds, could develop stability problems and fly apart, and the cascade [of the centrifuges] could be destroyed, I think that would be delightful." id 31/10/2012
This is also war Yaron London - Ynet - "But if war is also constant aerial attacks and tank fire from our territory into theirs – then Netanyahu is misleading the public." - id31/10/2012
Zionist fulfillmentYitzhak Laor - Haaretz - There is not one element of that Zionist ethos represented by the right wing that did not nest for years in the Israeli unsayable.30/10/2012
The Water Regime in the West BankMatthew Richard and Jad Issac - This Week in Palestine - Israel controls almost all the Palestinian water resources and is exploiting around 89 percent of the available water, leaving only 11 percent to the Palestinians. Over the last decade, the water Palestinians are able to pump from the West Bank aquifer system has been declining. The total amount dropped from 138 million cubic metres in 1999 to 93 million cubic metres in 200929/10/2012
Israel`s Grand Illusion on Palestinian UN RecognitionDr. Hanan Ashrawi - Palestine News Network - Palestine is seeking UN recognition in accordance with international law, but Israel claims that this constitutes a barrier to peace, or even "diplomatic terror." The idea that we are supposed to get permission from our oppressor to obtain our freedom is simply absurd.29/10/2012
Palestinians Face ‘Harsh Retaliation’ for Seeking UN RecognitionJason Ditz - - The Palestinian Authority is going to seek formal recognition as a “non-member state” at the UN General Assembly at some point in November. Israel opposes this, of course, but unlike efforts to get recognition from the UN Security Council the United States can’t veto this, so it is certain to pass with an overwhelming majority29/10/2012
Gaza: A Way Out?Nicolas Pelham - The New York Review of Books - The tunnels symbolize Hamas’s paradox: on the one hand, they have enabled Palestine’s main Islamist movement to thrive amid an external siege, and despite a Western boycott. Thanks to Gaza’s supply lines to Egypt, its GDP outpaced by a factor of five that of Hamas’s Western-funded rival, the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank. Yet the tunnels are also a reminder of just how much of a clandestine underground authority Hamas still is. bz29/10/2012
A very brave letter from a conscientious objector explaining why he refuses to serve in the Israeli military. Omar Saad--I’m Omar Saad and I will not be a soldier in your army Omar Saad, a young (Druze) Palestinian musician from the Galilee village of al-Mughar has received a summon to the Israeli enlistment army. The Druze citizens of Israel are forced to enlist in the Israeli military, since 1956, when conscription law applied to Druze men (not to other Palestinians). Recent studies show that two thirds of Druze youth would not enlist in the Israeli military if given the choice, read more here. dn 28/10/2012
Panicked Bibi Shoots Himself In the Foot in Merger with LiebermanMitchell Plitnick - This move is going to backfire: First of all, this is going to alienate a number of very high profile Likud members (...) Second, whereas before the so-called super-bloc of “center-left” parties was largely a media invention, Netanyahu has now given it much more impetus. (...) Third, Bibi has dealt a sharp slap in the face to Shas. bz28/10/2012
JNF’s loss of half UK charity revenue good news for PalestiniansAsa Winstanley - The Electronic Intifada - "At the end of 2007, JNF UK posted an income of more than £8 million, but that yield has slid in successive years. In 2011, donations fell from nearly £2.6 million in 2010 to just over £1.5 million last year, and legacies from nearly £2.5 million to £832,000." - id26/10/2012
Destination PalestineOmayma Abdel-Latif - Al-Ahram - " Flying an unmanned spy drone over Israel-occupied Palestine is sending a clear message that the Islamic resistance movement has its priorities sorted out." - id26/10/2012
Words better than missiles Orly Azoulay - Ynet - "100 meetings between US, Iranian officials in suits better than 100 missiles on Tel Aviv." - id26/10/2012
The Bibi-Lieberman deal: A wake-up call to the world about Israel Larry Derfner - +972 - "By unifying himself and the country’s ruling party with an internationally despised neo-fascist, Netanyahu has brought Israel a sizable step closer to the limits of Western tolerance. Ultimately, that’s good news." - id 26/10/2012
Israel-Gaza fighting subsides after Egyptian intervention : Militants stop firing rockets and mortars and Israel ceases air strikes after two days of escalating violenceAssociated Press - The Guardian - Both sides confirmed Egyptian involvement in ending the fighting. Amos Gilad, an Israeli defence official told Army Radio that Egyptian security forces had "a very impressive ability" to convey to the militants that it was in their "supreme interest not to attack".-rh 25/10/2012
Fatah, and Lessons UnlearnedJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - The ultimatum – either the wayward candidates ran in Fatah’s official lists or they would be dismissed from the movement – resulted in dozens of longtime loyalists being cast out of Fatah’s rank and file. Not surprisingly, this disunity was reflected in the ballot boxes and Fatah walked away from Election Day with their tales between their legs.-rh 24/10/2012
Jimmy Carter: Israel has dropped the two-state solution for a ‘Greater Israel’Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - "The only result of a one state-move, which I call a catastrophe, will be an inevitable move towards apartheid, or a willingness by the Israelis, by the Jewish citizens of Israel to relinquish political control to perhaps an Arab majority. Those are the only two options. And my prayer is that this will not happen," said President Carter.-rh 24/10/2012
Israeli-Palestinian relations after OsloDAOUD KUTTAB - The Japan Times - With the Oslo Process now clearly dead, two options remain: chaos, extremism, and violence, or a new peace process — ideally one that can end the occupation and allow for Palestinian independence and freedom alongside a safe and secure Israel.-rh 24/10/2012
Israeli Poll: Israelis Support Ethnic Cleansing, Annexation and Apartheid StateRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - The majority of Israeli Jews hold views that are clearly antithetical to democracy. In fact, they’ve largely embraced the agenda of Meir Kahane, who held that democracy was a type of illness imported from the west and alien to the Middle East. Kahane favored a Jewish state that offered no democratic rights to non-Jews. This poll shows that Israeli Jews are rapidly flocking to this point of view.-rh 24/10/2012
Middle East Peace Remains ElusiveIvan Eland - AntiWar - "Despite decades of American efforts under many presidents to pressure Israel to reach a solution with the Palestinians and give back land stolen at gunpoint, it hasn’t happened." - id24/10/2012
The Arab you fear Anas Abu Daabes - Ynet - "I can say with a great deal of certainty that Israel`s efforts to cause people to fear the "Islamic epidemic" are unmatched." - id21/10/2012
Red Rag: can Germans criticize Israel? Gideon Spiro - Is a German allowed to criticize Israel? Reflections on the history of the dehumanization of the Other.20/10/2012
Answering Benny Morris: Historians should have a commitment to the truthArie Arnon and Joseph Zeira - Haaretz - Politicians have no commitment to the truth, either historical or contemporary. However, historians and people of science have a commitment to the truth. In fact, that is their only commitment. And Benny Morris, who since 2000 has been mobilized to defend the Israeli position in the negotiations, is being disingenuous with the truth. He adopted Barak’s stance without examining it factually and in the knowledge that there are testimonies that contradict it. This is regrettable: The important historian has become a committed propagandist.-rh 19/10/2012
Neither "Best Friend" Nor "Anti-Israel"Gil Troy- the Daily Beast "Washington Post editorial on October 16 matter of factly stated the obvious: that President Barack Obama “sought to publicly distance himself from Israel early in his term” and that Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu “have made a mess of their personal relationship.” Both of these statements are quite obvious even to many casual observers of the Middle East. But it contradicts the central claim of many pro-Israel, pro-Obama Democrats that Barack Obama has been “Israel’s best friend,” with some even claiming he is the best presidential friend Israel “ever” had." ca Hebron`s Independent Women, Part I (The Daily Beast) Paid Distribution Court warns of disciplinary action if GOOG doesn`t comply (Investor​Place) The Best Way to Achieve Nothing (The Daily Beast) Paid Distribution The PRV Report Card: Debate Winner & Loser (The PR Verdict) ​ Comments (60) 19/10/2012
It is not only the economy, stupid, it is also peaceGERSHON BASKIN - J-Post - "Peace is not dangerous, the absence of peace is." - id 24/10/2012
A Letter to President Obama : `It is Innocence which Constitutes the CrimeMaya Rosenfeld -Middle East Policy Council - In Cairo you gave your word that “America will not turn her back on the legitimate Palestinians’ aspiration for dignity, opportunity and a state of their own.” In reality, you kept your back turned on the Palestinians throughout. You had the power, the legitimate authority and the international support needed to change the course of history and trace Israel’s path out of the occupied Palestinian territories. Instead you got trapped in Netanyahu’s plan of deception.-rh17/10/2012
Iranian and Israeli activists should form a new alliance for peace Shirin Barghi, Keith Kahn-Harris and Joel Schalit - Guardian - "An Israeli-Iranian war risks a near-apocalyptic conflagration that will strain already tenuous Jewish-Muslim-Christian relations to breaking point. This flies in the face of the deep commonalities between the Abrahamic faiths and the yearning of many for reconciliation – a desire that seems lost on the Israeli and Iranian political establishments, but not Iranians and Israelis." - id 17/10/2012
Where were the Palestinian voices at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine?Elisha Baskin - +972 - The Russell Tribunal is meant to expose and provide accountability for human rights abuses committed by Israel against Palestinians. But in privileging ‘expert’ voices over those of the victims, does it actually reinforce dominant power structures? bz15/10/2012
One big yawnGideon Levy - Haaretz - "The elections are going to be boring. They will be boring because no one will do anything new. They are going to be boring because most of the future players are past players." - id 14/10/2012
So, what the hell are these elections about? Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "Already for some years most of the politicians in Israel - and with them, in fact, most of the people – decided to sweep the Palestinians under the carpet. Not to deal with them, not to talk seriously with them or about them. Not to talk about forty-five years of occupation over millions of people, nor on repression and violations of Human Rights, nor of settlements growing and expanding." - id14/10/2012
A year after his release, freed Israeli soldier discloses details of Hamas captivity in GazaAssociated Press - The Washington Post - He said they let him watch Arabic news on TV, and he started to pick up a little Arabic. Later he was given a radio, which he used to listen to Israeli news. He said he and his captors would sometimes share a laugh watching televised sports matches and movies together.-rh 13/10/2012
Israel: Has Our Expiration Date Arrived?Kobi Niv - Information Clearing House - And if you raise your eyes above the walls that we have built to hide reality from ourselves, what will you see there? Will the Gaza ghetto disappear and its hostility fade away if we continue to ignore it? Will the Palestinians in the West Bank become more Zionist the more settlements there are? And if we bomb Iran, will that improve our ties with the peoples of this region, or might it not do so?-rh 12/10/2012
Israel PM denies plan to return the Golan Height to SyriaReuters - The National - The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, denied a newspaper report yesterday that said he had agreed in principle to hand back land annexed from Syria as part of secret US-mediated peace talks.-rh 12/10/2012
Hezbollah admits launching drone over IsraelBBC News - Sheikh Nasrallah said the drone was assembled in Lebanon but made in Iran - a rare reference to his organisation`s military support from Tehran, the BBC`s Jon Leyne in Cairo says.-rh12/10/2012
Netanyahu’s dilemma: Campaigning on a security ticket when Iran calls the shotsDEBKAfile - "The rumor mills in Jerusalem, Washington and Tehran are buzzing with speculation about what to expect in the days ahead. " ca12/10/2012
Of Bombs and Comics Uri Avnery - Antiwar - The first camp worries that our Prime Minister is really off his rocker. That he is obsessed with Iran, perhaps clinically unbalanced, that Iran has become an idée fixe. The other camp believes that the whole thing was, right from the beginning, a hoax to divert attention from the one issue that really matters: Peace with Palestine.-rh10/10/2012
Obama’s Iran Policy: Why Diplomacy Remains the Only OptionTony Karon - World Time - The Israelis may be trying to make military action seem more palatable to the Administration, but diplomacy and sanctions will likely remain Washington`s focus well into next year.-rh 10/10/2012
Official move to close politics department threatens academic freedomHelena Flusfeder - University World News - “As a person who spends much of his time involved in combatting boycotts in Europe, I can tell you that from responses we are receiving from friendly academics throughout the world, the Council for Higher Education is doing more damage and harm to the name of Israel’s universities than all of our enemies put together.”-rh 10/10/2012
Israeli Counter-Intellectuals Take Aim at Academic FreedomGadi Taub - Dissent - The damage done to thought and research by political meddling can be devastating, whichever side of the political spectrum it comes from. It can be devastating when self-proclaimed radicals indulge in infantile provocations and try to indoctrinate students rather than teach them. But it is exponentially more devastating when government itself intervenes.-rh10/10/2012
Religious leaders ask Congress to condition Israel military aid on human rights complianceJerry L. Van Marter - Presbyterian News Service - The signers urge an immediate investigation into possible violations by Israel of the U.S. Foreign Assistance Act and the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, which respectively prohibit assistance to any country which engages in a consistent pattern of human rights violations and limit the use of U.S. weapons to “internal security” or “legitimate self-defense.”-rh 10/10/2012
The PA`s desperate UN featKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - "In New York, Mahmoud Abbas renewed the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition. Whether anything will come of it remains to be seen." - id 10/10/2012
61 seats - mission possible Sefi Rachlevsky - Haaretz = "Sixty-one is the magic number - a Knesset majority. It`s not sufficient, it`s essential. No right-wing or religious party will let the non-right-wing bloc set up a government if it doesn`t have a majority of its own." - id10/10/2012
Demystifying one-state, acknowledging facts Dahlia Scheindlin - +972 - "The question is no longer about whether one state should be considered, as there is only one state which governs over two people." - id10/10/2012
Red Rag Weekly Column: Gunter Grass and VanunuGideon Spiro - Gunter Grass and Vanunu; Gilad Shalit and Mahmoud Sarsak; Netanyahu the nuclear clown10/10/2012
Time to dump the Oslo AccordsYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge Magazine - It is ironic that Netanyahu who at the time opposed Oslo and made every effort to prevent its implementation, now insists on maintaining the PA as a cover for continuing Israeli settlement and de facto control of the Occupied Territories.9/10/2012
Between Naples and GazaAdam Keller - Crazy Country - The Israeli Navy gunboats are equipped with high-quality radar, and it is not difficult to detect a ship which makes no effort to hide (quite the opposite, in fact).8/10/2012
Rights are the key — and they`re mutualDimi Reider - The Jewish Chronicle - If a man takes over a house with a gun, he will eventually be kicked out - when he runs out of bullets or his neighbours become willing to risk their own safety. (...) A far better prospect for long term security is offered on the basis of rights which invite reciprocity and interdependence, and exist only so long as they are mutually respected. 8/10/2012
Warning from above Alex Fishman - Yediot - Israel, which threatens Iran and flies regularly over Lebanon to take photos, received a warning on Saturday: We too can fly above you, take photos and reach your most sensitive sites, so don`t mess with us; (...) the drone was shot down only after flying for 20 minutes over populated Israeli areas, an army base and near sensitive facilities such as the Dimona reactor. [Yediot`s Military Commentator Fishman is considered by many the army`s unofficial mouthpiece. bz]8/10/2012
Ginger from Tekoa Gideon Levy--By opposing the marking of products from the settlements, Jerusalem is telling European consumers they should not make a distinction and in this way is exposing all Israeli produce to a boycott.dn7/10/2012
We are being marked Haaretz Editorial--European Union is preparing legislation to oblige stores to designate products coming from Jewish settlements in the West Bank.dn7/10/2012
This Land is MineNina Paley--video of a difrerent sort with unusual message. dn7/10/2012
The slandering of Gaza flotilla activist Greta BerlinLarry Derfner - 972magazine - Berlin’s explanation is that the tweet and video don’t represent her views – they represent views she considers extremely dangerous. Do you believe her? I do, absolutely. I don’t agree with the overall view of Israel-Palestine held by Berlin and the Free Gaza Movement (although I do support the mission of their flotillas, which is to break the blockade of Gaza) – but to think that she believes in this psychotic, frothing-at-the-mouth garbage about Jews? No, I do not. bz 6/10/2012
Political and Market Forces Hobble Israel’s Pack of Ink-Stained WatchdogsIsabel Kershner - NYT - Media experts here speak of an ominous trend: a once-diverse news bazaar that is becoming more concentrated and prone to political influence. In particular, they say, the economics of the print media have been skewed by the arrival five years ago of Israel Hayom, a free national newspaper owned by Sheldon Adelson, a conservative American billionaire who is a staunch supporter of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. bz6/10/2012
Seven Deadly MythsLia Tarachansky - Indiegogo "VIDEO - This film tells the stories of four veterans of the 1948 war that erased from the Israeli landscape hundreds of Palestinian villages and connects their stories to the modern-day Palestinian dispossession through the occupation and settlements. The film also profiles my personal journey from a place of denial, growing up in a settlement in the heart of the occupied West Bank, to confronting a landscape of erasure and denial." ca5/10/2012
The full story behind the war against free speech in Israel’s universities Jonathan Cook - The Electronic Intifada - "The universities have become the particular focus of the right’s ire since a lecturer at Ben Gurion’s politics department, Neve Gordon, expressed support three years ago for the international campaign for an academic boycott of Israel." - id24/10/2012
The Entebbe Option: How the U.S. military thinks Israel might strike Iran Mark Perry - Foreign Policy - The war talk in Jerusalem has eroded the views of many senior U.S. military officers who were once strongly committed to Israel, but who now quietly resent Netanyahu`s attempt to pressure the United States into a war that it doesn`t want. "Our commitment to Israel has been as solid as with any ally we`ve ever had, and a lot of officers are proud of that," Lt. General Robert Gard, a retired Army officer, said. "But we`ve done it so that they can defend themselves. Not so they can start World War III." ak1/10/2012
Palestinians set for Pyrrhic victory in United NationsCrispian Balmer - Ma`an News - "The strategy is getting by and trying to prevent a blow-up. But one day there will be a blow-up and ... sadly, the situation is going to get worse before it gets worse", says Aaron David Miller, a former senior State Department adviser on the Middle East peace process. bz1/10/2012
What Netanyahu got wrong about us `medieval` ArabsAmer Zahr - +972 - Then Bibi said, “I brought a diagram.” Now this is new. Israelis are not known for diagrams. They usually hate maps and annoying things like borders. This was totally new for me. I started to get interested. bz1/10/2012
Cold peace better than nothingRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - Even a "cold" and fragile peace, such as the one that exists between Israel and Egypt, is preferable to having direct control over the Palestinians. And it would certainly be better than our twisted relationship with the Hamas government in Gaza, which was established after we unilaterally withdrew from Gaza without an agreement. bz1/10/2012
Red lines, black portraitHaaretz Editorial - By showing a childish drawing of a bomb on the podium of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and drawing a red line across it, the prime minister drew the audience`s attention to the part of his address that dealt with Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu ignored Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas` call, from the same podium, for a peace agreement based on the Arab initiative. That proposal includes Arab recognition of Israel according to the Green Line border, and normal relations with all Arab states. The prime minister did not even mention the Palestinian leader`s warning of the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority and elimination of the chance to achieve a two-state solution. bz1/10/2012
Capitulation speechSever Plocker - YNet News - For the past year and a half Israel`s citizens have been going to sleep at night thinking there is a chance that during the night the bombers will take off from their bases and we will wake up to the reality of a major war. And now, with a single stroke of a magic marker the Iranian threat has dissipated and been put off indefinitely.-rh 4/10/2012
Israel`s impossible plan for refugees is just a stalling tacticJonathan Cook - The National - Israel`s goal is transparent: it hopes the international community can be persuaded that the suffering of Palestinian refugees is effectively cancelled out by the experiences of "Jewish refugees". If nothing can be done for Arab Jews all these years later, then Palestinians should expect no restitution either.-rh 4/10/2012
Palestinian activist Zubeidi freed on bail before trial for shooting at Jenin governorAmira Hass - Haaretz - Zakaria Zubeidi, Jenin chief of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs` Brigades during the second intifada, was released last night on bail from the Palestinian Authority`s Jericho prison after five months in custody. Zubeidi was indicted last week on suspicion of taking part in the shooting attack on Jenin Governor Kadura Musa.-rh 4/10/2012
Israeli Universities and American FreedomsTodd Gitlin - The Chronicle of Higher Education - Of the current academic situation in Israel, Lustick told me, “there’s a real witch-hunt.” These are the tactics of a government that throttles liberties and punishes opponents. Such developments, if they took place in Egypt or Russia, would constitute plain human-rights violations and would—I hope, at any rate—elicit protests from the State Department. Not only the State Department but all lovers of freedom should be heard from now.-rh 3/10/2012
Israel’s Hypocrisy on a Nuclear Middle EastThalif Deen - AntiWar - "Most Middle East leaders, speaking during the high-level debate, seem to have accepted Israel’s double standards on nuclear politics — and with hardly an aggressive response to Netanyahu’s address to the Assembly." - id 3/10/2012
Why US won`t attack Iran Avraham Zilkha - Ynet - "The violent protests that erupted in the Arab and Islamic world recently serve as a reminder to the US of what may happen should it attack Iran. If this was the reaction to a primitive movie about the prophet Mohammed, how will the Muslims respond to a strike on Iran`s nuclear installations?" - id3/10/2012
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