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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    

Sderot and Gaza need to talkEyal Megged--This coming Saturday night a bizarre rally will convene on Kibbutz Zikim in the northern Negev, which will call for a different dialogue with the neighbors from the Gaza Strip. dn29/12/2012
+972`s Person of the Year: The SettlerLisa Goldman and Mairav Zonszein - +972 - The settlement movement registered major victories this year on various fronts. Its representatives are reaching new heights in politics, the judiciary and the media. One out of five residents east of the Green Line is a settler. The expansion of settlements continues unabated, and – most importantly – settlers are in full control of the Israeli national narrative. In 2012, as more and more observers declared the death of the two-state solution, the settler became the new normal31/12/2012
Let our Jewish wombs goRoni Abramson--A new protest has surfaced on my Facebook feed these days. It isn’t over the high cost of living or election nonsense; it`s a different kind of fight. It is a fight by those who`ve decided to take on the aggressive advertisements of Efrat, a non-profit organization whose purported aim is to help young women struggling with an unwanted pregnancy.dn30/12/2012
The New McCarthyism of Jewish Organizations: Where Is Our Murrow?BERNARD AVISHAI--I am just old enough to remember grown-ups speaking with disquiet about McCarthyism--the first thick book I read was Louis Nizer`s My Life in Court, which was largely about the libel case of Quentin Reynolds against Westbrook Pegler, impresario of the scurrilous Red Channels--and I also remember feeling a certain pride in the very large number of Jewish liberals who, like Nizer, helped bring America back to its senses. dn30/12/2012
The Israeli Green Party and Gideon Spiro: a correspondenceGideon Spiro - How can an "Israeli Green Party" that ignores the issue of radioactive waste be relevant?29/12/2012
2012: Eventful for PalestineKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram - "It also witnessed the recognition by the United Nations General Assembly of Palestine as a non-member observer state of the world body. Upset by the overwhelming yes vote, the Israeli government took the rash decision to build a huge Jewish colony in East Jerusalem." - id 28/12/2012
Israel needs life-saving surgeryDavid Harel - Ynet - "The cancerous occupation began spreading within us 45 years ago. Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz and Uri Avneri were among the few who detected the disease when it first appeared. Over the years many people expressed concern and cried out. It was clear that the country was ailing, but it continued to chain-smoke, consume cholesterol in limitless quantities and gain weight with the help of the US` generosity." - id28/12/2012
An order on which a black flag fliesAdam Keller - Crazy Country - ""If, in the army under your command, my conscience is considered to be madness, than I`m proud to be crazy."" - id 28/12/2012
The Politics of Partition of Historic PalestineMAHMOUD N. MUSA- Counterpunch - "Let the Palestinian people decide whether they want to pay the price for a state that, in the words of Mahmoud Darwish: “has no room for intimacy between a male and a female pigeon, a state that you will despise the day it is announced”." - id 26/12/2012
Terror in a Christmas TreeJONATHAN COOK - CounterPunch - "There is plenty of religious intolerance verging on hatred being quietly exercised against non-Jews, mostly behind the scenes so as not to disturb Israel’s “Jewish and democratic” image or outrage the millions of Christian tourists and pilgrims who visit Israel." - id 26/12/2012
The rise of the extreme right is the story of the Israeli electionsNoam Sheizaf - +972 - "The recognition of the college at Ariel as Israel’s first university in the occupied West Bank, or the refusal of Likud leaders to even pay lip service to a Palestinian state, should be seen in this context. - id 26/12/2012
The Hagel Litmus TestLA Times Editorial--Obama’s reported choice to be Secretary of Defense should not be judged on whether or not he is pro-Israel enough.dn23/12/2012
In Israel, our rabbis are our commanders Haaretz Editorial--Conscientious objection is not a crime in liberal society, whose characteristics include an acceptance of views and beliefs that are not the consensus. dn23/12/2012
Disqualifying Zuabi, forgetting ZionismDmitry Shumsky--While the Central Elections Committee has disqualified MK Hanin Zuabi`s candidacy for the 19th Knesset, it has let the Arab slates Balad and United Arab List-Ta`al contend. These two decisions might assuage Israelis for whom the country`s image as a democracy is dear. These Israelis will say to themselves, "See, while one wayward MK`s candidacy was annulled, the validity of the parties that represent the Israeli Arab community was reaffirmed." dn23/12/2012
A Seed of Destruction in the Middle EastMartin Doerry--Israel is currently ignoring criticism from the West as it continues to pursue its settlement policies in the Palestinian Territories. It is also unlikely to reverse course anytime soon. Prospects for a two-state solution are getting dimmer. dn22/12/2012
An unacceptable disqualification Haaretz Editorial--MK Zuabi has the right to express her views in the Knesset as she sees fit, even if they aren`t music to the ears of many Israeli Jews. Now, the Supreme Court must ensure that this will indeed be the case.dn22/12/2012
Are the US and Israel Heading for a Showdown?Ira Chernus and Tom Engelhardt - "It’s true that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process appears dead in the water. No matter how much Barack Obama might have wanted that prize, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed him at every turn. The president appears to have taken it on the chin, However, the operative word here is “appears.” In foreign affairs what you see — a show carefully scripted for political purposes — often bears little relation to what you actually get." ca21/12/2012
On ``punishment``Melkam Lidet - MIFTAH - If we have to talk about “punishing” then the punishment of both sides should come from a higher entity. Only legitimate international bodies such as the International Court of Justice, the ICC or even the UN (though it is not a judicial body) have the recognized right to “punish”. Israel does not represent the people it wants to “punish”; nor does it provide or take responsibility for them; nor does it have the natural or constructed higher ground to “punish”. It just does so because it can. And this is called arrogance not “punishment”.-rh 20/12/2012
Understanding Hamas At 25: Beyond The Tired LanguageRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - 25-years later, Hamas is still understood within limited confines of an ever-redundant discourse obsessed with Israel’s security, and later with an imagined Iranian threat. A new understanding is desperately required, one that is sensible enough to take into account the uniqueness of the Palestinian narrative itself, Palestinian history, the struggle and rights, as opposed to Israel’s security - the cornerstone of western media reporting on Palestine and the Middle East.-rh 20/12/2012
Arab-Israeli MP may face election banHarriet Sherwood - Guardian - "She is accused of undermining the state of Israel and "inciting against its government, its institutions" and the military, according to a written submission to the committee." - id 19/12/2012
Why I demand the dismissal of Israel’s ambassador to IrelandAmi Kaufman - +972 Magazine - It’s one thing to have to deal with the racism and hatred prevalent here in Israel/Palestine. But it’s another when an imbecile I support with my tax money, who claims to represent me, spreads his venom overseas.18/12/2012
International criminal court is a lever for Palestinians on Israeli settlementsChris McGreal - The Guardian - The UN vote for Palestinian statehood puts ICC action in the frame. Israel`s fear of prosecution may help Obama restart talks17/12/2012
The colonization instinct has not been tamedDimitry Shumsky - Haaretz - It isn`t just Gush Emunim and the fanatics in Hebron who want to colonize the West Bank; Labour politicians have supported the enterprise from the beginning.16/12/2012
Israeli battalion proves women do just as well in a fight as menThe Daily--[Under the guise of feminism women can be war criminals too]dn16/12/2012
Under siege: One Bedouin family’s struggle to live in Israel Paul Karolyi--In its refusal to make compromises on zoning restrictions for an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Galilee, Israel demonstrates that its preferred demographic balance is higher on the list of state priorities than the protection of the welfare of its citizens. dn16/12/2012
US Christians come to Palestinians` aid, and pay the priceJames Zogby--Two weeks ago, 15 religious leaders representing major Protestant denominations challenged one of Washington`s most powerful taboos. They wrote a letter urging Congress to investigate whether unconditional US military assistance to Israel is contributing to violations of Palestinian human rights.dn16/12/2012
Meshal`s folly Henry Siegman - ATFP/Haaretz - That it was Meshal who engaged in this diatribe is particularly dispiriting, for he has consistently advocated far more moderate views, including Hamas` acceptance of a two-state peace accord that might be reached between Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, if it were approved in a Palestinian referendum. But the self-righteous moral outrage from Israel`s government that greeted Meshal`s recent speech also illustrates dramatically Israel`s and the world`s double standard, which is the real cause of the failure of every previous peace initiative. bz15/12/2012
BBC admits pandering to Israeli propagandaAmena Saleem - The Electronic Intifada - "All of Israel’s key propaganda messages were conveyed, while the reality was carefully hidden. There is, of course, the ongoing reality that Israel is an occupier and a serial violator of international law." - id14/12/2012
The Jurist’s and Ambassador`s DilemmaAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "The Israeli ambassadors heard through the media, without any prior notice, of the decision to build near the settlement of Ma`ale Adumim, in the area known as E-1, a large new settlements which will serve as a barrier to prevent the Palestinians` territorial contiguity between the northern and southern West Bank." - id14/12/2012
Why Obama Will Ignore IsraelPeter Beinart - Newsweek/The Daily Beast - Instead of confronting Netanyahu directly, Team Obama has hit upon a different strategy: stand back and let the rest of the world do the confronting. Once America stops trying to save Israel from the consequences of its actions, the logic goes, and once Israel feels the full brunt of its mounting international isolation, its leaders will be scared into changing course. Benign neglect.11/12/2012
U.S. intel predicts: Palestinian state to exist by 2030, but not peace with IsraelAmir Oren - Haaretz - The report talks about a state of Palestine emerging from Arab-Israeli exhaustion and an unwillingness of Israelis and Palestinians to engage in endless conflict. Issues like the right of return, demilitarization and Jerusalem will not be fully resolved by 2030 and there will be no complete end to the conflict, the report says. A Palestinian state will be achieved via unofficial independent actions known as "`coordinated unilateralism` incrementally leading to statehood. As Hamas moves away from Syria and Iran to the Sunni Arab fold, the potential for reconciliation between the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza" will increase. "Palestine`s borders will be roughly along the 1967 borders with adjustments or land swaps along the green line, but other issues will remain unresolved." bz11/12/2012
Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - Gaza held out - Israel and North America against the world - New face of the Likud - Barak`s departure11/12/2012
Civilian Infrastructure Targeted by Israeli Military - Wrecking GazaJames Marc Leas and Theresa Mcdermott - CounterPunch - "In the cases investigated, Israel’s destruction of civilian property appears to have provided no military advantage. Damage to civilian property was disproportionate and the IDF website admits that some of the attacks were in reprisal. In all of the cases reported here, interviewees reported that no Palestinian fighters were in the property bombed by Israeli forces"10/12/2012
The Arab villages that were: a new Israeli guidebookMoshe Gilad--A new volume in Hebrew and Arabic retraces a past that many prefer to forget.dn8/12/2012
Drying out the Palestinians Haaretz Editorial - Basic moral principles require that Israel cease destroying cisterns that are essential for the existence of dozens of Palestinian communities10/12/2012
Why I am no longer a ZionistWayne Meyers--In this highly personal guest contribution, a British and Jewish blogger reflects on his youth membership of Zionist movements, the recent conflict in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas, and how his relationship with faith changes as he gets older dn9/12/2012
What if Gaza and Ramallah get their act together? Ilan Baruch--On the horizon looms a possible new paradigm in Israel-Palestine relations, one that might lead to a break in the political deadlock, and a reset for peace negotiations.dn9/12/2012
Re-examine police shooting of Lod teen Haaretz Editorial--For nine years the police and state prosecutor`s office have insisted there was nothing wrong with the way police conducted themselves when they shot and killed Mahmoud Al-Saadi, 17, of Lod after stopping the car he was driving at a major intersection in Ramle. For nine years the official version, that the shooting was justified because the policemen feared for their lives, hasn`t wavered.dn9/12/2012
How Israeli Militarism Is Driving a Wedge Between American Progressives and the Jewish StateMitchell Plitnick - AlterNet - The long-held epithet “PEP” (Progressive Except for Palestine) tried to shine a light on the difficult tension between liberal values and support for Israel’s excuses as to why it expands settlements and tightens its occupation. But now, Israel has stretched that to such a point that it is becoming impossible for liberals to ignore. bz8/12/2012
The US and Israel: a short quiz on `rogue nation` statusGlenn Greenwald - The Guardian - So essentially, it`s the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north, Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side.-rh 5/12/2012
Netanyahu vetoes left-leaning Israeli academic`s participation in Merkel meetBarak Ravid - Haaretz - Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal`on said: "An evil wind of McCarthyism is blowing from the Israeli government… Professor Feldhay echoes the criticism of Meretz and other Israeli citizens. Every day, Netanyahu is becoming more like his partner, Lieberman."-rh 5/12/2012
The Decision to Call Off the 2012 WMDFZ Conference: An Outcome Destined from the Start?Landau, Emily B. and Stein, Shimon - INSS - The conference would most likely have ended with recommendations for the next NPT RevCon, thus creating a dynamic of conferences under the auspices of the NPT, an undesirable result from Israel’s perspective. (...) Still, the achievement is temporary. The United States will likely come under pressure to moderate its stance, which in turn may generate new pressure toward Israel. bz5/12/2012
Dr. Mustafa Barghouti on Canadian radio: The occupation will eventually end, but... Mustafa Barghouti - CBC (interview by Anna Maria Tremonti) - (...) what I am not sure of: which form this will take. (...) We will never accept to be slaves of occupation or apartheid. But if we are not allowed to have a two-state solution as we are trying to do today, then the only option left will be a one-state solution with full democratic rights for everybody, equal rights and equal duties for Israelis and Palestinians. The two-state solution is a shortcut. My heart wants to see it, as I don`t want my daughter and our younger generation to go through the same suffering we had. (...) The choice is an Israeli one. [The actual interview starts at 1.45 of the recording-bz ] 5/12/2012
`This Time, Israel Has Defied the Whole World`Charles Hawley - Spiegel - "Anyone who gives up on the Palestinian goal of an independent state is arguing against European interests. Of course, a German chancellor must choose her words carefully, given the background of Nazi history. But it is exactly this history that obligates Germany to criticize the repressive measures taken by a government like Netanyahu`s." [Quote from The Financial Times Deutschland. Hawley reviews a variety of commentators.] bz5/12/2012
Thomas Friedman in Tel Aviv: I am stunned at what I see here politically. Thomas L. Friedman - New York Times - While the far-right group running Israel today is so arrogant, and so indifferent to U.S. concerns, that it announced plans to build a huge block of settlements in the heart of the West Bank, the Israeli left and center are not even offering peace ideas but simply conceding the right’s dominance on that issue. 5/12/2012
Freedom, Not Handouts, Will Save Palestine Sam Bahour-Palestine not only has a pie in the sky, it also has one off the coast of Gaza and many more across the land. The pies here are strategic economic assets for a Palestinian economy worthy of a state. But all of them are under total Israeli military control, rendering them paralyzed at best.dn-2/12/2012
Remember the Jewish Labor Bund?Alon Aviram--The Bund was a Jewish socialist, revolutionary party in Eastern Europe dedicated to class struggle. It is all but forgotten in modern day Israel, but a few members are still around to tell the story. dn2/12/2012
A movement grows at American UniversityBenjamin Lawrence--All It is truly amazing what can be accomplished these days when the Internet has given students the power to think for themselves and organize like-minded individuals. Two young adults with nothing to lose and everything to gain have embarked on a journey for peace in the Middle East. Joshua Michaels, a Jewish American, and Ibraheem Samirah, a Palestinian American, are seniors at American University in Washington, DC, and recently founded a campus chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, an organization that deals with the Israel/Palestine conflict. For those of you who don’t know, Jewish Voice for Peace is a democratic community of activists that work within the Jewish tradition of fighting for justice, equality, and human rights in Israel/Palestine. dn2/12/2012
Israel`s punishment Haaretz Editorial--The other side said its piece loud and clear: Yes to a two-state solution. But Israel`s government responded with a step that, first and foremost, punishes Israel.dn2/12/2012
Israel to build new Jewish settlement homes after UN Palestine voteChris McGreal--[An analysis worth reading dn]1/12/2012
European warning shotAttila Somfalvi - Ynet - The message the European governments sent on Monday, in coordination with the US, was meant to inform Netanyahu that they too know how to intervene in a country`s internal elections. During such sensitive political times, turning Israel into a pariah state and isolating it diplomatically can affect the results of the upcoming Knesset elections – not to mention what might happen here if the trade and export agreements between Israel and Europe are hurt. bz4/12/2012
"We dream of a normal life, in freedom and dignity.” Palestine 2012 — Gaza and the UN resolutionNoam Chomsky - Information Clearing House - An old man in Gaza held a placard that reads: “You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back.” bz4/12/2012
Following E1 decision, Israel is more isolated than ever but not likely to change course Noam Sheizaf - The Palestinian problem is a human and civil rights problem disguised as a diplomatic issue. An adequate approach to the occupation would focus on the problem at hand and not the desired solution, which at the moment seems more like a fantasy. The problem is the military control over the lives of millions which has lasted for over half a century, and the absence of political and human rights that comes along with said rule. A Palestinian state is one possible solution to this situation, but it shouldn’t be a policy objective on its own. Treating it like one gives the Israeli leadership an incentive to use the Palestinians as prisoners and their land as a bargaining chip. bz 4/12/2012
`U.S. angered by claim that new building at E-1 aimed at Obama, not Palestinians`Chemi Shalev - Haaretz - Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Kurtzer told Haaretz on Monday that the Administration was angered by a background briefing in which an Israeli official was quoted as saying that since the Obama Administration refused to reaffirm Bush’s 2004 letter “we no longer feel that we are bound by any commitment on E-1.” “What that suggests to Washington is that Jerusalem was waiting for an opportunity to do this, that it was designed to provoke anger in the Administration, and that they picked what they thought was a convenient moment,” Kurtzer said. “It was a low blow." bz4/12/2012
William Hague’s unlawful preconditionsNadim Souss - Why did Foreign Secretary William Hague request that the Palestinians give him assurances that they would not seek to try Israeli war criminals at the ICC if granted observer status at the United Nations?3/12/2012
Netanyahu: Settlement Green Light Not the Same as ConstructionJason Ditz - AntiWar - Facing International Condemnation, Israeli PM Tries to Make a Distinction3/12/2012
Red Rag: A toothless condemnationGideon Spiro - Toothless condemnation - corrupt politician - in praise of fear - heroism - "No miracle happened here" - visit to Ramallah24/12/2012
Two years of Arab Spring: Tunis, Cairo ... Ramallah? Amira Hass--The inspiration for the Arab Spring came from young people in the street, but it seemed to bypass the West Bank and Gaza. Haaretz tracks down the Palestinians still talking about a revolution. dn23/12/2012
Bombs AwayReuven Kaminer - Israel wants to bomb. The strategic differences of opinion between Obama and Bibi regarding the next step against Iran are well known. The Israelis would like to see Obama leading the charge but if the US insists on leading from behind, Israel wants US backing for it to start bombing Iran. Israel will bomb and Obama will hold the umbrella.-rh 13/12/2012
Four More Years Mouin Rabbani,Chris Toensing - MERIP "President Obama stands before a fundamental choice: He can revamp the US approach toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or he can watch American influence over both the main parties and related actors such as Europe and the Arab world wane at an accelerated pace." ca7/12/2012
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