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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    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
The Failure of Israel`s Red Line Policy Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor "Israeli public opinion has been distracted by a new red line, which has pushed the Iranian threat into a corner. Yes, another threat is grabbing all the headlines, though it would probably be more correct to say that it is making the headlines, while it extracts all those Israeli politicians who used the Iranian nuclear campaign to their advantage from a proverbial dead end...And so, one morning the citizens of Israel, who had long been used to living in the shadow of the Iranian threat, woke up to another threat looming across the border: the “Syrian threat.” ca 31/5/2013
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Syria’s rudderless oppositionBassel Oudat - Al Ahram "Now that the US and Russia have agreed to hold an international conference, slated for June in Geneva, to explore a negotiated settlement to the crisis in Syria, unity among the country’s opposition is more needed than ever. However, the task of forming a unified delegation to the conference may be proving too much for the fractious opposition." ca31/5/2013
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Now it’s money, not landSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram "The most interesting thing about the World Economic Forum, held in Jordan Sunday, was the tweets Israeli journalists accompanying Israeli President Shimon Peres wrote. Those tweets poked fun at the initiative US Secretary of State John Kerry proposed for resuming talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Most Israeli journalists were amused by the fact that Kerry totally embraced the position of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu...According to Israeli and Palestinian media, Kerry proposed economic “incentives” to persuade President Mahmoud Abbas to go back to the negotiating table without preconditions." ca31/5/2013
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“The vehicle owner stopped it because he felt unwell”Yossi Gurvitz - Yesh Din - A needless handcuffing is a sort of torture. A needless detainment is abuse of power. Think how much noise would be made if an Israeli citizen would be detained by soldiers and cops, and without any reason or explanation would be handcuffed, put into a hot vehicle, and there loses consciousness. This happens to people who are Israeli residents, by Israeli armed men, without so much of a squeak.-rh30/5/2013
Russia: Iran must join Syria peace conferenceSource: Agencies - Al- Jazeera "France has already rejected the idea of Iran taking part, while the United States has responded to Moscow`s proposal with scepticism.On Monday, Lavrov said that he and US Secretary of State John Kerry had agreed in Paris that more "clarity" was needed about who could take part in the proposed negotiations before a date for them could be set." (ca for id)29/5/2013
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A Worried Israel Prepares for WarShmuel Rosner - NYT "Israeli leaders should be telling the public the truth. Choosing to attack Syria is not opting for a good option over a bad one but rather picking a bad option — the risk of war — over another bad one — the risk of letting Israel’s enemies get new weaponry. “A severe case of brinkmanship is being played at the moment,” said a former U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon. When such game is going on, a sudden state of war can hardly be considered a “surprise.” (ca for id)29/5/2013
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WEF Dreams And Palestinian RealitiesDaoud Kuttab - AlMonitor - "John Kerry’s proposal of investing a whopping $4 billion as part of what Netanyahu said was a plan to introduce an economic peace even if the American diplomat insisted that this will not be on the account of the peace process. Palestinians […] are skeptical that this effort will produce a lasting result; on the contrary, they worry is that it will embolden the Israeli as they can go on for even longer allowing the international community to pay for their illegal occupation"27/5/2013
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Red Rag column: the death-mongersGideon Spiro - The death-mongers - murder in Beersheba - Muhammad al- Dura26/5/2013
The sheer silliness of the `peace process`MJ Rosenberg - Washington Spectator - Although Hamas in Gaza does not recognize Israel, the Palestinian Authority (which controls the West Bank) not only accepts Israel, it essentially patrols the West Bank for Israel. It could not be more accepting of Israel if it adopted Judaism as the religion of any future Palestinian state. gm25/5/2013
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The Second Battle of Mohammed al-Dura is a lost cause - just like the firstAnshel Pfeffer - Haaretz - It matters today only to the people who at the time chose to duck the real question, of what Israel was doing in Netzarim and in the Gaza Strip, and are now doing everything in their power to evade the same questions over the remaining settlements across the Green Line. That is the real meaning of the report published by the government on Sunday. It is not about what really happened on September 30, 2000, it is about avoiding the questions. bz25/5/2013
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Jordanian FM hopeful Kerry will relaunch talksHERB KEINON, KHALED ABU TOAMEH, TOVAH LAZARO - Jerusalem Post "“We provide our full support for these efforts, and God willing, they will result in crystallizing an inducing environment for launching these negotiations,” said Judeh after meeting with Kerry." ca24/5/2013
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The nastiest tax of allAriel Rubinstein - Ynet - "Like every `old` politician, Lapid identified the most accessible ATM – Arabs and foreign workers." - id (for rh)23/5/2013
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On the al-Dura affair: Israel officially drank the Kool AidLarry Derfner - +972 - "The mentality here is essentially the same one that drives the 9/11 "truthers," the anti-Obama "birthers," those who say the Shin Bet assassinated Rabin, or those who say ultra-rightists assassinated JFK ¨C a fevered imagination activated by political antagonism that knows no bounds." - id (for rh)23/5/2013
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Report Notes Restrictions On Israeli, Palestinian JournalistsDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "The report notes that Israeli and Palestinian journalists are denied physical access to the other`s territory and at times even the ability to speak to sources on the other side." - id22/5/2013
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The Stone AgeAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Ma`ariv devotes pages upon pages to the cry of the settlers, stridently demanding that soldiers finally start shooting and killing stone throwers." - id22/5/2013
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Borderline Views: Fighting on two frontsDavid Newman - Jerusalem Post - Ironically, BDS and their supporters strengthen the right wing through their activities by hardening mainstream opinion in Israel along the lines of “the whole world is against us.” Equally, the activities of the extremist right-wing groups add fuel to the BDS arguments, as our bastion of democracy appears to be less and less democratic by the day. bz18/5/2013
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Palestinian Investment Fund Omar Shaban - Al-Monitor "The fund`s rules of procedure state that the PIF is as a limited public company, is owned by the Palestinian people and is independent both financially and administratively. The fund has a board of directors and is an independent public body...the fund may be promoting monopolistic practices, which the Palestinians blame the high poverty and unemployment on. This kind of mixing of political power and wealth has characterized the Arab despotic regimes, against which the people revolted two years ago." ca 17/5/2013
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Nakba`s Meaning and Memories Talal Alyan - Al Monitor "To be born in the diaspora can mean to hold memory above location and even, at times, people. It instills in the exiled an acute sense of how ephemeral things can be. The idea that once something has passed, it cannot return is so strongly felt because there is a pre-existing understanding about what happens when things are left behind." ca 17/5/2013
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Israel’s strategy in SyriaRAY HANANIA - Colums - "As most honest people know, Israel is far from a true democracy and more like an apartheid state which bases its social and political policies on race and religion." - id (for rh) 16/5/2013
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Are Israelis Appropriating the Nakba?SUSAN ABULHAWA - Counter Punch - "Why does AJ Stream think it’s appropriate, on this solemn remembrance day for Palestinians, to hold a discussion among Israelis about whether and how their country should acknowledge the savagery they perpetuated against the indigenous people of the land they now occupy?" - id15/5/2013
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The Kotel doesn`t need liberating - we doDror Etkes - Haaretz - "The Western Wall, dear female friends, doesn`t need to be liberated. We must liberate ourselves from the Western Wall." - id 15/5/2013
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Israel, Assad, and the worldYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - The Israeli bombardment does not contribute to regional stability, nor even to the security of Israel itself. It is the latest chapter in a lengthy process, which began when Israel stuck its hand into strife-ridden Lebanon in the early 1980`s, supporting the Maronites, an act that would spawn the Hezbollah and years of bloodshed. bz14/5/2013
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Missing from the Arab peace plan: an Israeli partnerJonathan Cook - UAE The Nation - Already in 1973, a few weeks after the end of the Yom Kippur War, the Arab League quietly offered Israel a regional peace agreement that would recognise its pre-1967 borders. But the Arab states were rebuffed. Israel`s obduracy was confirmed in last month`s disclosure by WikiLeaks of classified US diplomatic cables from that period. The cables describe Israel as hellbent on self-destruction, suffering, in the words of US officials, from a "Masada or Samson complex". 12/5/2013
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Never a dull moment in this crazy country (week review)Adam Keller - Crazy Country - The Shamasnah family in the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood of East Jerusalem is far from sure that next year on Jerusalem Day they will have even the option of closing themselves up in their home while the settlers and their flags come flooding the street. Settler associations have marked the family home as next in line to be taken over.12/5/2013
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Red Rag column: The secret planGideon Spiro - The secret plan - Racism in the Knesset, the religion, Orit Struk and Shai Dromi - Purity of the race - May Day - Gideon Spiro`s judicial victory11/5/2013
Opinion: Israeli Messages in Several Directions Eyad Abu Shakra - Asharq Al-Awsat "I believe that Israel, through the dual airstrike, wanted to send several messages and in several directions.In a message to the Israeli interior—only days before John Kerry’s meetings in Moscow—Israel wanted to drive home that it is able to strike when it wants and where it wants in the Middle East, and that it is a key player in the projects of the region.In a message to the Syrian regime, Israel conveyed that it monitors all details and chooses the targets and the timing of its actions in line with its interests regardless of its allies’ and opponents’ stances, in the knowledge that Assad’s army is dedicated solely to maintaining internal security, rather than liberation.In a message to Washington, Israel confirmed that it has its own take on the situation whether or not Obama chooses to be a backseat driver, and that its decision to get involved in the crises of the Middle East is not a matter only for the White House.In a message to Tehran, Israel attempted to probe the seriousness of Iran’s commitment in supporting Assad’s regime, and how far Tehran—and its allies in the region—can go when the situation reaches a decisive stage." ca 10/5/2013
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Stephen Hawking`s message to Israeli elites: The occupation has a priceNoam Sheizaf - +972 "By choosing to avoid the Presidential Conference – an annual meeting of Israeli generals, politicians and business elites with their international fans, Prof. Hawking reminds that the occupation cannot be forgotten or avoided. A response to Haaretz’s Carlo Strenger." ca By Noam Sheizaf10/5/2013
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Israel`s Syria Strategy to Weaken Hezbollah and Profit from ChaosShir Hever - The Real News - The Israeli government is in a tight position at the moment, because John Kerry, secretary of state for the U.S., had some visits to the region, tried to restart the peace negotiations. And in so doing, he mentioned and tried to revive the Arab peace initiative. And that puts Israel in a very difficult position, because the Arab peace initiative is a very reasonable offer. Israel has no intentions of accepting it. And if this sort of pressure continues, Israel will be exposed as unwilling to work with the United States and unwilling to negotiate with the Palestinians.-rh9/5/2013
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Israel Fumes Over ‘Google Palestine’ : Foreign Ministry Accuses Google of Meddling in International PoliticsJason Ditz - antiwar.com - Israeli officials are nowhere near so keen on this, insisting that Google’s name “pre-judges” the outcome of any future peace talks on Palestinian statehood by assuming the Palestinians will ever actually get a state.-rh 9/5/2013
Israel tries to lower tensions with Syria after reports of airstrikesWilliam Booth - The Washington Post - If Israel’s role is confirmed, the attacks would be the second and third Israeli airstrikes in Syria this year. In January, Israel conducted an airstrike that is said to have targeted an arms shipment headed for Hezbollah.-rh 9/5/2013
Silence Gives Consent - The US and Israel’s Syrian AirstrikesROBERT FISK - Independent - "Let’s see if the US and the EU condemn Israel’s air attacks. I doubt it. Which would mean, if we are silent, that we approve of them. Silence, to quote Sir Thomas More, gives consent." - id 8/5/2013
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Drones, knives and peace initiativesAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Borovsky’s fellow settlers cried out vociferously that the authorities’ failure to treat stone-throwing as terrorism was to blame for things getting worse. In proof of which the settlers proceeded to engage in a particularly heavy bout of …stone-throwing, at Palestinian school buses carrying girl students." - id8/5/2013
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Analysis: Fayyad’s resignation is a crisis for AbbasGhassan Khatib - Ma`an - Fayyad’s loss has severe consequences outside the internal Fatah struggle. First, it will remove the minimal but sole aspect of non-Fatah checks and balances on the political system. The resignation will also further expose Abbas and Fatah to public criticism at a time when there is a great deal of internal turmoil -- over the budget, over the government’s political program and over the remaining division with Hamas. Among his other roles, Fayyad was a buffer zone, providing Abbas and Fatah with a shield against the intensifying domestic unrest. bz7/5/2013
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The Israeli-Jihadist AllianceJustin Raimondo - AntiWar - Israel bombs Damascus – and the cat is out of the bag6/5/2013
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No, We Can’t!Uri Avnery - If President Obama has the will and the power to compel the government of Israel to make this historic decision and choose peace, may the political price for the president be as it may, then he should proceed. If this will and this power do not exist, the whole great peace effort is an exercise in deception, and honorable men should not indulge in it. bz4/5/2013
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Fayyad: Palestinian leadership a failureMa`an (quoting NYT interview) - "Let`s make sure our Bedouin population in the Jordan Valley has access to drinking water before we discuss final arrangements." bz4/5/2013
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The Albatross of Israel : Military Judaism and the Celebration of May DayNORMAN POLLACK - Counterpunch - I remain defiant when I say, not only can and should Judaism be disentangled from Israel in all things pertaining to its militarism and the persecution of others, but also, that Judaism as a noble religion cannot survive with the albatross of Israel around its neck—and the corresponding rightward turning of Jews in America.-rh 2/5/2013
US visa-free travel plan for Israelis angers some AmericansTaimur Khan - The National - Proposed legislation that would grant Israeli citizens visa-free travel to the US, while exempting Israel from extending the same courtesy to US citizens, troubles Palestinian-Americans like New York pastor Khader El Yateem.-rh 1/5/2013
Beinart Peels Open the One-State CurtainSCOTT MCCONNELL - The American Conservative - In the absence of a two-state solution, then what? A significant barrier was breached this week when Peter Beinart’s Open Zion site published Daniel Gavron’s provocative column, “Time to Stop Demonizing the One-State Solution.”-rh 1/5/2013
With an empty stomachAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "One shouldn’t underestimate the Israeli government’s public relations headache caused by one young Palestinian who is tightly incarcerated behind bars and who confronts the entire might of the state, its government and army and security services, his only weapon being – an empty stomach." - id 1/5/2013
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Domestic fissures in Israel will not benefit PalestiniansJonathan Cook - For those seeking to decipher the deeper trends in Israeli society, a more useful barometer is a wave of recent attacks directed at vulnerable non-Jewish groups. bz28/5/2013
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The State of Whom? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Can a law be both ridiculous and dangerous? It certainly can. Witness the ongoing initiative of our government to enact a law that would define the State of Israel as `The Nation-State of the Jewish People`”27/5/2013
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Are we closer to a Middle East regional war? Sergio Yahni - AIC - "Local and international analysts believe the rising military tensions along the Israel-Syria cease-fire line are an outcome of the ongoing war in Syria and Israeli attempts to block delivery of Syrian weapons to Hezbollah. However, latest developments may indicate that Israel is preparing for a war it believes will entrench its regional interests"27/5/2013
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