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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

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Law dividing Christians, Muslims is a classic colonial tacticAmjad Iraqi- +972 "The Knesset this week enacted a new law that legally distinguishes between Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel regarding employment opportunities. Though the law does not make a significant impact on its own, more bills are expected to be introduced that emphasize the same distinction. The Knesset member behind the bill, Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu), believes that such measures promoting the division of Palestinian citizens of Israel will allow the state to use the Christian community as “a counterweight to the Muslims that want to destroy the country from within.” ca28/2/2014
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Abbas: Kerry Framework Plan Is ‘Madness’Jason Ditz - Antiwar.com "In comments in Palestinian newspaper al-Quds today, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas termed Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework plan “madness,” detailing some terms which hadn’t come out before." ca28/2/2014
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Dr. Ashrawi Strongly Condemns Israel’s Racist Laws and PoliciesPLO Executive Committee - Information Clearing House - “These moves demonstrate that Israel is transforming its military occupation into an outright religious confrontation and an ideological component of official policy as demonstrated in its insistence on the recognition of the ‘Jewishness of the state.’”-rh 27/2/2014
Why I Don’t Support The BDS MovementMJ Rosenberg - Tikkun Daily - Where do Americans come by the sheer gall of demanding sanctions on all Israelis when they themselves have never been subjected to sanctions for the crimes of our government? After all, if every Israeli including old socialist kibbutzniks, school kids, and opponents of the occupation, deserve to pay a personal price for an occupation they may not support, shouldn’t all Americans pay a price for American crimes that Israel could not match in a hundred years?-rh 27/2/2014
Palestinians receive little in Israeli-proposed land-swap dealDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - One of the areas where the two sides have a major difference is the future of the Israeli settlement of Ariel, a city of more than 20,000 Israeli settlers, deep in Palestinian territory. The report published in Walla states that US Secretary of State John Kerry is opposed to Ariel being included in the land swap because it divides the northern part of the West Bank.-rh26/2/2014
Uncovering PalestineRichard Falk - Al-Ahram - Omar makes no effort to depict the larger issues of resistance tactics, to portray some vision of a realizable peace, or to bring into play the behavior of politicians, the UN, the international community. Such considerations are ignored, and seem irrelevant to the forces that impact daily on Palestinian lives.-rh26/2/2014
Why Israelis are content to live in a bubble of denialJonathan Cook - TheNational - But the antipathy towards Israel has deeper roots still. Israel has not only evaded accountability, it has been handsomely rewarded by the US and Europe for flouting international conventions in its treatment of the Palestinians.-rh 25/2/2014
Unilateral steps may pave way for lasting Israel-Palestine peaceDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The idea of a unilateral agreement sounds contradictory. But if one can be reached, it would ease points of tension in the occupied territories, lessen the space that Israel commits not to further settle and slowly prepare the public for a much later deal.-rh 25/2/2014
On the Democracy of the One State – being its most important qualityYoav Haifawi - Free Haifa - In order to obtain democracy we should form as broad a front as possible from all the forces, movements and parties who have interest to resist the apartheid regime and struggle for the establishment of democracy. In order to form this Broad Front, the liberation movement should adopt pluralism, dialogue and understanding among all its components. In other words – it should be a profoundly democratic movement in order to achieve democracy.-rh 25/2/2014
Jewish/Palestinian history without bordersAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas should return to the statement made in 2004 by Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat, recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, while Israelis should recognize Palestine as the homeland of Palestinians.-rh 25/2/2014
Is John Kerry Israel`s Last Best Hope?Nir Eisikovits - WBUR - Rebuffing Secretary Kerry will expedite a process of American disengagement that Israel, if it is to survive in any recognizable form, cannot afford. bz 25/2/2014
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Under Merkel, boycott floodgates stay closed Dan Margalit - Israel Hayom - Merkel`s Israeli hosts must take into account that beyond supporting two states for two peoples, the German chancellor would also like to see Jerusalem split into two capitals. bz25/2/2014
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How EU money enables the occupation, allows Israel to avoid its consequencesNoam Sheizaf - +972 - Has the seemingly permanent nature of Israeli control over the Palestinians rendered the legal term ‘occupation’ invalid? [ry] 24/2/2014
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If Bibi wants toYoel Marcus--Bibi will cast a long shadow of weakness over himself if he doesn’t fire Housing Minister Uri Ariel and his ilk, or at least issue an ultimatum: Either you’re in or you’re out. dn23/2/2014
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EU Aid to Palestinians – Help or Hindrance? Andreas Hackl--The European Union (EU) has long been one of the most reliable foreign sources of humanitarian, economic and political aid in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT), providing 426 million euros (US$575 million) in 2013 alone. dn23/2/2014
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Bibi’s Grand DelusionMichael Cohen--Bibi`s grand delusion: `no` is not going to get us anywhere on Iran - or anything The uncompromising worldview of Binyamin Netanyahu diminishes his influence in Israel and the US. Will he wake up?dn 23/2/2014
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The Pro-Israel FreakoutMichelle Goldberg --Earlier this week, New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage cancelled [1] a talk by The New Republic senior editor John Judis about his new book [2] “Genesis: Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli conflict,” deeming it too controversial.22/2/2014
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Abbas won`t agree to a nominal stateAkiva Eldar--During 21 years of partial interim agreements, the PA president has learned that in Israel, there is nothing more permanent than something that`s temporary. A response to Shlomo Avineri. dn22/2/2014
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The Tide Turns Against Israel: Pariah Status And Isolation Lie AheadJonathan Cook -Countercurrents - Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rarely been so politically embattled. His travails indicate the Israeli right’s inability to respond to a shifting political landscape, both in the region and globally. The context for his troubles was his commitment in 2009, under great pressure from a newly elected US president, Barack Obama, to support the creation of a Palestinian state. It was a concession he never wanted to make and one he has regretted ever since.-rh 19/2/2014
Abbas considers sacking Palestinian prime ministerDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah’s days in office are numbered, according to reliable sources in the Muqata (headquarters). The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Al-Monitor that for a convergence of reasons they expect Hamdallah to be replaced by President Mahmoud Abbas within a month.-rh 19/2/2014
`Significant Escalation`: Tensions Flare in German-Israeli RelationsRalf Neukirch - Spiegel Online International - Recent years have seen several instances of tension between Germany and Israel. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have even shouted at each other on the telephone while discussing Israeli policies toward Palestinians. But relations between the two countries have never been as difficult during Merkel`s three terms in office as they are now -- on the eve of German-Israeli government consultations scheduled for next Monday in Israel.-rh19/2/2014
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When a logo on a piece of paper determines livesRay Hanania - Columns - "Palestinians have recognized “Israel’s right to exist,” it’s confiscation of land in 1948 and now has to do even more just to make the Israelis happy enough to sign a peace accord. But can Israelis ever be happy?" - id 19/2/2014
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Beware, J Street: The Kerry deal looks rigged against the PalestiniansLarry Derfner - +972 - " But if expectations are borne out and Kerry’s framework agreement lands as an unprecedented American gift to Israeli hardliners and a bear trap for Palestinian moderates, then J Street and Obama’s other Jewish supporters are going to be in an embarrassing position." - id19/2/2014
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From Canaan to SpainAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Does Saeb Erekat keep in his pocket the detailed lineage which links him with the Canaanites of three thousand years ago ? Probably not. On the other hand , does Naftali Bennett’s pocket contain a lineage culminating with Joshua’s bloodthirsty warriors? That, too, is rather in doubt." - id19/2/2014
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There is a Palestinian Mandela, and he is rotting in an Israeli prisonShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - The Israeli Occupation regime has good reasons to fear Marwan Barghouti and to keep him in prison. After all, he has declared that it is in his power to unite Fatah and Hamas in a joint struggle against the Occupation. Moreover he represents a consistent political programme and path. The Prisoners’ Document of June 2006, signed by activists of all the factions - Fatah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad – states that the objective of the Palestinian people is to end the Occupation in the territories that have been occupied since 1967 and the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem, and a solution to of the refugee problem based on international resolutions. 18/2/2014
Will a middle-of-the-road compromise on anti-boycott law mean no one wins?Yona Yeremy Bob - Jerusalem Post - How did the court move from seemingly leaning toward throwing the whole law out to a possible compromise position? The most effective, albeit less legal, argument that the state raised on Sunday was the dark specter of BDS, which has shaken up much of the country, no doubt flowing to the halls of the High Court as well. bz17/2/2014
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Freedom of expression at stake in Boycott Law deliberationsAeyal Gross - Haaretz - Boycott calls may annoy people, but protecting freedom of expression is particularly necessary when that expression is liable to antagonize and be unpopular. The way to confront criticism and protest is to deal with the content of the criticism in a substantive manner. The High Court ought to rule that the Boycott Law is unconstitutional because it undermines freedom of expression, thought and conscience. bz17/2/2014
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Anti-boycott law breeds boycotts Boaz Okon - Yediot Aharonot - Sanctions against those seeking to protest are like covering a pressure cooker. The boiling continues inside and the steam eventually blows up the pot. If the Supreme Court, which is discussing this law`s legality, fails to save us from it, this pot may also explode in our faces. ... Those preventing people from choosing a non-violent line of action – demonstrations, protests, as well as boycott calls – is calling for a more violent step. bz17/2/2014
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Encountering Peace: A sober assessment Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - It is hard to portray to the world that Israel is the victim at this point in the conflict and that the Palestinians are at fault for not finding a solution to the conflict. bz15/2/2014
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Can AIPAC Stop the Obama-Kerry Plan for Israel-Palestine?Bob Dreyfuss - The Nation - While the Saudi visit, and the meetings with other Persian Gulf Arab leaders, will undoubtedly have to deal with the unhappiness among the Sunni kleptocracies over the idea of US-Iran entente—and the related notion that the United States might strike a deal with Russia to settle the war in Syria in a way not completely to the liking of the Saudis—the issue of Israel-Palestine is a huge one. Ever since 2002, Saudi King Abdullah put forward an Arab Peace Initiative for a deal with Israel, and he’s been miffed ever since that first the Bush administration and then Obama gave it short shrift. Now, the Obama-Kerry plan will be based in part on the ideas in Abdullah’s 2002 initiative. bz15/2/2014
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Say a big `thank you` to Martin SchulzAvraham Burg--[scroll to this part ff] Now that the mask has been stripped from the face of the current Israeli government, a rare opportunity has arisen, if only for a moment, to think of an alternative to the built-in Israeli discrimination. For several years now, we – a joint group of Israelis and Palestinians with similar views – have been trying to formulate principles utterly different from the premises of separation, discrimination, exploitation and arrogance. And this is what we have agreed on so far: dn15/2/2014
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John Kerry`s Mideast peace deal is a disasterGideon Levy--Failure is assured even if `success` is achieved. Sooner or later, the Palestinian rebellion will erupt again, as justified as ever.dn15/2/2014
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Labor`s Herzog demands Palestinian recognition of Israel as Jewish stateAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Statements by opposition leader Isaac Herzog supporting the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state might pave his way into Benjamin Netanyahu`s government, but be detrimental to negotiations." - id12/2/2014
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Israeli foreign minister shifts to centerMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - "With perhaps an eye on a future run for prime minister, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is establishing himself as a key player in US-Iran relations and in any eventual agreement with the Palestinians." - id 12/2/2014
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The dreadful and the trivial: A response to Paula Schmitt on Palestinian refugeesDanny Orbach - +972 - "Even those who admitted – usually in private – some kind of consent to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors conditioned it with full acceptance of the Palestinian narrative." - is 12/2/2014
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Negotiating with a gun to the headAdam Keller - Crazy Country - ""Only if both parties to the negotiations feel threatened, it might be possible to eventually reach an agreement whereby both parties gradually lower the gun aimed at the other’s head and gradually build peaceful relations." - id12/2/2014
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Israel fights back as boycott movement gains strengthRuth Pollard - Its supporters say it is a legitimate, non-violent form of protest against Israel`s four-decade long occupation of Palestine. Such is the concern over the movement`s increasing momentum that at least two senior Israeli cabinet ministers, as well as the Prime Minister, have issued statements on the boycotts in recent days. bz11/2/2014
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Another Pipe Dream Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “What’s wrong about the demand that the Palestinian leadership recognize Israel as the ‘Nation State of the Jewish People’? Well, practically everything” [ry]10/2/2014
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A poorer armyAmir Oren--The IDF will not be a barrier to peace but the political leadership in Israel maintains a state of war. dn9/2/2014
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Palestinians in Israel The Struggle for RightsFida Jiryis--“In fact, in the ‘sovereign state of the Jewish people’ there is little hope that Arab citizens will gain equal rights. For the Jewish majority, Israel is comparable in its civil liberties and inequities to Western democracies. But Arabs have no place in the Jewish state, except as a tolerated but essentially foreign element […] There is no substantial segment of Israeli society that opposes or seriously questions the fundamental principle of discrimination.”i dn9/2/2014
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A Jewish and undemocratic billHaaretz Editorial--A new bill wants to direct schools to strengthen the concept of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. dn9/2/2014
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OMAR: Uncovering Occupied Palestine Richard Falk--Alu-Assad . . . has a profound gift for story telling that keeps an audience engaged with the human drama affecting the principal Palestinian characters while illuminating broader issues of profound moral and political concern without stooping to didactic means of conveying ‘the message.’ So understood, Alu-Assad’s achievement is artistic in the primary sense, yet attunes us to the dilemmas of oppression and servitude. dn9/2/2014
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Israeli media ignores a week of non-violent protestsHaggai Matar--The Israeli media gave almost no airtime or print space to two non-violent protests this week, in the Jordan Valley and south Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park. For Haggai Matar, it’s been a heartbreaking sight. dn9/2/2014
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The Third IntifadaThomas Friedman - NYT - You get many explanations from Palestinians [why there is no intifada]: they’re too poor, too divided, too tired or that they realize these uprisings, in the end, did them more harm than good, especially the second. But being here, it’s obvious that a Third Intifada is underway. It’s the one that Israel always feared most — not an intifada with stones or suicide bombers, but one propelled by nonviolent resistance and economic boycott. bz8/2/2014
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47 years a slave: A new perspective on the occupationEva Illouz--Very few struggles in history have centered on how a nation should treat a third group of people, but there are strong parallels between black slavery and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. dn8/2/2014
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A victory for transferHaaretz Editorial--By despairing of providing emergency shelter to Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, the Red Cross is signaling that Israel`s policy of dispossession has gone too far. dn8/2/2014
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On sanctions, Israel hasn`t seen anything yetDaniel Levy--Clumsy Israeli propaganda campaigns won’t obscure the realization in Europe and among Palestinians that the occupation must cease to be cost-free for Israel.dn8/2/2014
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After year one, John Kerry`s a surprise successDavid Rothkopf - CNN "He is viewed as a man who has effectively built on the work Hilary Clinton did to restore diplomacy to the center of U.S. foreign policy and, in fact, as a greater risk taker than she was.He has shown creativity, tenacity, the courage to stand up to leaders overseas and his would-be minders in the administration and has won widespread kudos for it." ca 7/2/2014
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Where is the Palestinian candidate for Israel’s presidency?Ilan Manor - +972 "Of course it is hard to imagine a Palestinian citizen being elected president in today’s political and social climate. But public figures often run for office not in order to win but in order to stimulate public debate over their status as minorities. Such a debate is crucial in Israel given the continuing exclusion of the Palestinian minority from Israeli society." ca7/2/2014
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Obama not abandoning the Middle EastRay Hanania - Saudi Gazette - "But when Obama did say the word “Palestinians” this time, I thought I saw him wink. Can’t be too careful when the powerful Israeli lobby is breathing down his neck and the weak, non-existent Arab lobby is, well, non-existent." - id 5/2/2014
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Not reading the map – Scarlett and the bubblesAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "In line with Birnbaum, Scarlett Johansson explained that she “supports economic cooperation between a democratic Israel and Palestine." But where exactly would the democratic Palestine be located? Where would be its border with the democratic Israel? Would it have a territorial continuity, or be broken up into a series of disconnected enclaves?" - id 5/2/2014
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Kerry’s Israel-Palestine Plan Will Challenge AIPACBob Dreyfuss - The Nation - Based on initial reactions so far, the Palestinians seem mostly willing to play along, and President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has even specified how long he’d accept the presence of Israeli forces in the West Bank and those forces transition out—either three or five years—and he’s expressed willingness for a US-NATO role in the Jordan River area. But the Israelis, led by a fervently right-wing, ultranationalist government, are not so willing to play along—and that’s where AIPAC may have to weigh in. Unfortunately for the Israel Lobby, however, its credibility is nearly shot. bz4/2/2014
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A star stumbles in the settlementsEditorial Financial Times - Ms Johansson says the company is “building a bridge to peace between Israel and Palestine”. That is naïve. (...) It is disingenuous to romanticise settlement enterprises. The occupation imprisons thousands of the Palestinians’ young men, gives their land and water to settlers, demolishes their houses and partitions the remaining territory with scores of checkpoints and segregated roads. ... The way to create Palestinian jobs is to end the occupation ... not to build “bridges to peace” on other people’s land without their permission. [Full text can be read after registering with FT free of charge-bz]4/2/2014
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What’s wrong with BDS, after all?Avraham Burg - Haaretz - Israel will be helpless when the discourse moves from who’s stronger/tougher/more resilient to a discourse on rights and values [ry]3/2/2014
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Red Rag weekly column: Shulamit Aloni RIP; Mordechai Vanunu`s latest appealGideon Spiro - Shula Aloni passed away and my first feeling was that Israel without Aloni is an Israel that has been maimed. She introduced the discourse of human rights into Israeli politics and was a beacon and an inspiration to many.2/2/2014
Who’s afraid of a binational state?Gideon Levy--Jews and Arabs have lived together in one state since 1948 - the one state solution is already here. [Actually, Jews, Muslims, and Christians have lived in Palestine since at least as early as the Crusades. dn]2/2/2014
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Why the Boycott Movement Scares Israel*Omar Barghouti--JERUSALEM If Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempts to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority fail because of Israel’s continuing construction of illegal settlements, the Israeli government will likely face an international boycott ‘‘on steroids,’’ as Mr. Kerry warned last August. dn2/2/2014
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Will the Israeli peace process talks prove to be a turning point or a crisis?Peter Beaumont--A small but growing number of European businesses and pension funds have begun to drop investments or limit trade with Israeli firms involved in West Bank settlements. At a security conference in Germany this weekend, Kerry warned that a breakdown in Israeli-Palestinian talks would accelerate this trend.dn2/2/2014
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Israel has no right to censor an artist over his politicsHaaretz Editorial--It is not legitimate to question whether Bakri - or anyone else whose opinions are considered by someone in power to be unacceptable - can perform in a play put on by a theater that receives funding from the Culture and Sports Ministry. dn2/2/2014
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