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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    

`Leader of terrorist gang` is now seen as Israel`s saviorNahum Barnea - Ynet - "Israeli government, which waged an international campaign against Palestinian reconciliation government, is now clinging to it with all its might as a dignified way out of Gaza operation." - id 30/7/2014
A tsunami of pent-up animositiesAdam Keller - Crazy Country - ""We set out from Jerusalem towards Gaza in a bus full of flowers and adorned with slogans of peace. Because - it will not end until we talk" wrote the initiators." - id30/7/2014
How Israel Lost the WarReuven Kaminer - Even if Israel wipes out 90% of the Hamas infrastructure in a month of high casualty fighting, in the present diplomatic juncture, Israel has fallen into a deep and dark no-win rut. Hamas will be present in the discussion on the future of Gaza and this means defeat for Israel. Even blaming Kerry will not help.29/7/2014
An Israel Without IllusionsDavid Grossman - NYT - How could [the leaders of my own country] have wasted the years since the last conflict without initiating dialogue, without even making the slightest gesture toward dialogue with Hamas, without attempting to change our explosive reality? Why, for these past few years, has Israel avoided judicious negotiations with the moderate and more conversable sectors of the Palestinian people — an act that could also have served to pressure Hamas? Why have you ignored, for 12 years, the Arab League initiative that could have enlisted moderate Arab states with the power to impose, perhaps, a compromise on Hamas? [bz]29/7/2014
Israel’s Other WarEtgar Keret - The New Yorker - This road is not a circle, it’s a downward spiral, leading to new lows, which, I’m sad to say, we’ll be unlucky enough to experience. [bz]29/7/2014
Bomb a Ghetto and Children Die - Gaza Last TimeAlexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair - CounterPunch - "You say it’s ludicrous to allow Meshal such self-exculpation? No more ludicrous, in fact far less so, than endlessly citing Israeli generals about the essential humanity of their enterprises, since Meshal confesses to the crudity of the Qassams, whereas the Israelis ladle out bosh about the `sophistication` and accuracy of their fusillades" [ry]28/7/2014
Renewed slaughter in Gaza ghettoEli Aminov - AIC - Another round of fighting, another massacre larger than its predecessor, another genocidal war and another failure. This is the future that the state of Jews promises for its citizens and residents of the area [ry]28/7/2014
Israel’s war of deception 2014Gideon Levy--It began as a war of choice: A different Israeli policy in the last few months might have prevented it. It evolved into a pointless war. It’s already pretty obvious that it will not result in any long-term achievements. It could still deteriorate into a disaster, and in the end will turn out to have been a war of deception – Israel lied itself to ruination. The first deceit was that there was no alternative. True, when the rocket barrages landed on Israel, that was the case. But what about the steps that led up to them? They were steps to which there were other options. It isn’t difficult to imagine what would have happened had Israel not halted the peace talks; had not launched an all-out war on Hamas in the West Bank, in the wake of the murder of the three Israeli teenagers; had not held up the transfer of funds earmarked for the payment of government salaries in the Gaza Strip; had not opposed the Palestinian unity government; and had eased up on its blockade of the Gaza Strip.dn 27/7/2014
Ex-Israeli Security Chief Diskin: `All the Conditions Are There for an Explosion`Julia Amalia Heyer--In an interview with SPIEGEL, Yuval Diskin, former director of Israel`s internal security service Shin Bet, speaks of the current clash between Israel and the Palestinians, what must be done to achieve peace and the lack of leadership in the Middle East.dn27/7/2014
Israel: This is what national resistance looks like Rachel Shabi--Israel`s conflation of Hamas, the Islamic State and Boko Haram aims to denigrate Palestinian nationalism. dn27/7/2014
Body and Soul during Operation Unprotected AbyssJulia Chaitin--As we - Israelis and Palestinians - fall into this bottomless abyss of war and revenge that seems to have no end, our bodies and souls are being ravaged. dn27/7/2014
Israel has alternatives to this warNoam Sheizaf - +972 - This operation feels different from previous escalations. A ceasefire may come soon, but we could also be heading for a long period of violence and instability. Another escalation will not be limited to Gaza: the West Bank saw its largest protest since the Second Intifada last night, with two killed by army fire. (...) This war can end and the next one can be avoided by lifting the siege, allowing for imports and exports in and out of Gaza, relieving the pressure on the civilian population, and then embarking on a genuine effort to reach a fair compromise with the Palestinians. [bz] 26/7/2014
Behind the odd progressive divide between senators, intellectuals on Gaza David Palumbo-Liu - Salon "Very recently, former U.S. national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski had this to say about Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brutal attack on and now invasion of Gaza: “He is isolating Israel. He’s endangering its longer-range future. And I think we ought to make it very clear that this is a course of action which we thoroughly disapprove and which we do not support and which may compel us and the rest of the international community to take some steps of legitimizing Palestinian aspirations perhaps in the U.N.” ca25/7/2014
A Plague on One HouseGreg Shupak - Jacobin Magazine "To employ “both sides” rhetoric completely misrepresents the situation. It is not “both sides” who take thousands of political prisoners. Both sides do not systematically torture each other. Both sides do not control each other’s freedom of movement, or access to the sea, drinking water, and education." ca25/7/2014
Hamas, the first Palestinian armyShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "After the disengagement from the Gaza Strip (August 2005), the movement underwent a strategic change: From small terror cells, it developed into a real army. Hamas became an organization of uniform wearers whose daily pursuit was military; they were trained according to the doctrine of a recruited army. They underwent weapons training and developed excellent military skills, together with religious indoctrination to strengthen their faith and adherence to the jihadist cause. Thus, in effect, Hamas created the first Palestinian army." ca 25/7/2014
Tragedy becomes GazaDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "Egypt, too, fears the fallout from the conflict continuing. Cairo, Egyptian officials agree, does not want to find itself in a situation in which it is forced to expand its humanitarian accommodation beyond a certain level." ca25/7/2014
Israel cabinet split on Kerry`s Gaza ceasefire bid Moran Azulay, Attila Somfalvi - Ynet "...the deal could be shot down before it even takes off as some senior Israeli politicians are already vowing to vote against it, only hours before Israel security cabinet was set to convene and discuss the possible deal."ca 25/7/2014
Operation Protective Edge continues cycle of violenceAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Even now, as an extensive Israel Defense Forces (IDF) operation is bombing the Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip, one could risk concluding that Operation Protective Edge will not go down in the history books as one of Israel’s strategic achievements.-rh24/7/2014
Why Do Television Producers Think a Grey Blob Over a Dead Person’s Face Shows Respect? : Cruelly obliterating their image kills the child a second timeRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - If a little body can be shown, but his or her face – the very image of their soul, especially if it is undamaged by the wounds that killed the body – must be cruelly obliterated by a scientific blob, then we kill the child a second time.rh 24/7/2014
Israel warms to Abbas as Gaza mediatorDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Abbas’ political resurrection is more the result of there being no other credible mediator than something of his own doing. What appears to have been the main cause of the war on Gaza — the reconciliation between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas — now appears to offer the potential to end the Israeli assault on the Palestinians.-rh 24/7/2014
International Scholars Lend Support to Dissident Scholars in IsraelDavid Palumbo-Liu - Huffingston Post - One of the ways of silencing dissent is through the demand for loyalty, so that a slogan you hear a lot now is "no citizenship without loyalty". This reflects the inversion of the republican idea that the state should be loyal to the citizen and is accountable for inequities and injustices. The reversal of this relationship between state and loyalty ... is alarming.-rh24/7/2014
Israel, not Hamas, orchestrated the latest conflict in GazaMusa al-Gharbi - A-Jazeera - "Far from acting in self-defense, the crisis is the result of deliberate actions by Israel over the last few weeks — first to stir up anti-Arab sentiment among the Israeli population and then to provoke Hamas into open conflict." - id 23/7/2014
Egypt`s Sisi holds Hamas` fate in his handsShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Hamas and Israel are caught in the grip of a bitter strategic struggle, intended to rewrite the rules of the game, rules that were shaped in the wake of the Hamas coup in Gaza and honed during the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) two previous operations in Gaza, Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense." - id 23/7/2014
Israel`s stick and carrot approach in GazaRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "Israel has something to gain from drawing out Protective Edge, but it also has something to lose." - id 23/7/2014
Walking between the drops while it’s raining death in GazaAdam Keller - Crazy County - "Stop the killing and destruction! Cease the fire, lift the siege, move towards peace!" - id 23/7/2014
Hamas in Gaza: It all adds up Reuven Kaminer - AIC - The military relations of forces and international isolation dictate that Hamas should not survive the current Israeli attacks on Gaza. Yet Hamas has the wherewithal to keep fighting, as it is doing so for the Palestinian interests and has mass support of the Palestinian people [ry]21/7/2014
Sayed Kashua: why I have to leave IsraelSayed Kashua--"Remember, whatever you do in life, for them you will always, but always, be an Arab. Do you understand?" "I understand," my daughter said, hugging me tightly. "Dad, I knew that a long time ago." dn 20/7/2014
What does Hamas really want?Gideon Levy--Read the list of conditions published in the name of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and judge honestly whether there is one unjust demand among them. dn20/7/2014
Everything You Don`t Need to Know About Israel/GazaJim Naureckas--ABC News (7/15/14) put a piece on its website headlined "Everything You Need to Know About the Israel/Gaza Conflict." What`s interesting about it is all the things they think you don`t need to know.dn20/7/2014
MK Hanin Zoabi in Al Jazeera interview Roi Kais--“Israel wants a short campaign, the home front cannot handle a prolonged conflict,” MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad) said in an interview on Saturday with the Qatari Al Jazeera TV station, comments for which she received praise from Hamas officials. dn20/7/2014
Israel-Gaza fighting: From neighborhood feud to global conflictZvi Bar`el--Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ travels to Egypt, Turkey, Qatar and Bahrain, reports of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Cairo and the phone calls between Iran and Islamic Jihad, draw a kind of “geological map” of the cease-fire negotiations between Israel and Hamas.dn20/7/2014
As a father who lost his children in Gaza, I call for an end to this bloodshedIzzeldin Abuelaish--Insanity, as Einstein said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We Palestinians and Israelis have experienced many destructive wars and the result is always the same: more deaths, more terrible injuries, more bloodshed, more animosity and more hatred. What do we expect to be the result of any war? dn19/7/2014
Ravaging Gaza: The War Netanyahu Cannot Possibly WinRamzy Baroud - Ma`an News Agency "But there is still more to Israel`s war on Gaza than this. Fearing an intifada that would unite Palestinians, threaten the PA, and slow down the construction of illegal settlements, Netanyahu`s war on Gaza means to distract from the slowly building collective sentiment among Palestinians throughout Palestine, and among Palestinian citizens in Israel...A true Palestinian unity culminating in a massive popular Intifada is the kind of war Netanyahu cannot possibly win." ca 19/7/2014
Did Iran train Gaza rocket makers?Ali Hashem - Al Monitor "The war in Gaza seems to be very high on the Iranian agenda. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke twice within three days calling on Muslims to unite..The Iranians essentially smuggled in rockets via the brains of Palestinians, keeping rocket-making knowledge intact despite wars and attacks." ca 18/7/2014
How the West Chose War in GazaNathan Thrall - New York Times "For many Gazans, and not just Hamas supporters, it’s worth risking more bombardment and now the ground incursion, for a chance to change an unacceptable status quo. A cease-fire that fails to resolve the salary crisis and open Gaza’s border with Egypt will not last. It is unsustainable for Gaza to remain cut off from the world and administered by employees working without pay. A more generous cease-fire, though politically difficult for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would be more durable." ca 18/7/2014
Does Hamas provoke Israel to attack Gaza? Hamid Dabashi - Al Jazeera "By far the most consistent and the most definitive aspect of Palestinian resistance to the occupation and theft of their homeland over the decades has been non-violent civil disobedience. Resistance for Palestinians is definitive of who and what they are. They might be a poet like Mahmoud Darwish, a novelist like Ghassan Kanafani, a film-maker like Michel Khleifi, an artist like Mona Hatoum, a feminist like Lila Abu Lughod - but in doing what they do, whatever they do, they oppose and defy the armed robbery of their homeland.But there are also those Palestinians who have taken arms and opposed villainy by violence. As part of this resistance, Hamas is integral to the Palestinian national liberation movement, but like any other forms of resistance, Hamas is not definitive to Palestine." ca 18/7/2014
Gaza Public Rejects Hamas, Wants CeasefireDavid Pollock - The Washington Institute "Today`s headlines are that Hamas has just rejected Egypt`s offer of a ceasefire with Israel and instead continues to fire rockets indiscriminately at Israeli towns and cities. Less known is a crucial fact: the people of Gaza are solidly against these Hamas policies. Indeed, by a very large majority, they oppose Hamas rule altogether.These findings are based on a June 15-17 survey by a highly respected Palestinian pollster." ca18/7/2014
Why is Mahmoud Abbas negotiating on behalf of Gaza? Samer Badawi - +972 "But one untouched article, number 30, caught my eye: "The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them." Had Mahmoud Abbas affirmed that right, clearly and forcefully, on day one of Israel’s Ramadan Massacre, he might have had the ear of its battered survivors." ca 18/7/2014
Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations Amnesty International - The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling of a hospital, add to the list of possible war crimes that demand an urgent independent international investigation, said Amnesty International. The third floor of the Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir al-Balah was struck by Israeli shelling, killing four people and wounding dozens, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson. “Today’s attack on the Al-Aqsa hospital is the latest in a series of attacks on and near medical facilities in Gaza, which have been struggling to cope with thousands of injured people since the Israeli offensive began on 8 July,” said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. [bz]22/7/2014
Some thoughts this morningGershon Baskin - The ceasefire agreement should address all 3 elements that will change life in Gaza and in Israel: the political, security and economic. 22/7/2014
Reaping What We Have Sown in GazaAmira Hass - Common Dreams - “We have a hut near the beach, with some land and cats. We’re going to feed the cats and come back. We’re going together. If the car gets blown up, we’ll die together.” [bz]22/7/2014
Israel showed restraint in Gaza before attacking? You must be kiddingAmira Hass - Haaretz - Israel still controls the population registry for Gaza and the West Bank. Every Palestinian newborn in Gaza or the West Bank must be registered with the Israeli Interior Ministry (via the Coordination and Liaison Administration) to be able to obtain an ID card at age 16. The information typed into the cards is also in Hebrew. Have you ever heard of an independent state whose people must register in the “neighboring” (occupying and attacking) state — otherwise they won’t have documents and won’t officially exist? When experts like Giora Eiland, a retired general who helped plan the Gaza disengagement, say Gaza is an independent state that’s attacking us, they’re trying to expunge the context of this round of bloodshed [bz]22/7/2014
The ‘terror tunnels’: Another Israeli self-fulfilling prophecyLarry Derfner - +972 - There were non-lethal ways to preempt Hamas’ underground attacks, but the Netanyahu government rejected them all [ry] 21/7/2014
FAQ on Failed Effort to Arrange Ceasefire Between Israel and HamasInstitute for Middle East Understanding - Question - Why do you think Hamas didn`t accept the terms of the ceasefire? Rashid Khalidi - "Hamas has insisted that there be a lasting resolution of the basic problem of Israel`s siege of Gaza, as was promised as part of the 2012 cease-fire, but never implemented in spite of Israel`s recognition that Hamas scrupulously maintained the cease-fire until quite recently. The Egyptian proposal makes lifting of the siege conditional on Israel`s approval, which means never."-rh 16/7/2014
Egyptian press repeat Israeli lies as Sisi keeps Gaza border closedJihad Abaza - EI - "Palestinians in Gaza have little hope that Egypt will provide any support or assistance." - id 16/7/2014
Why there is no room for diplomacy in GazaSamer Badawi - +972 - "With or without a ceasefire, the brutality of the last week will be revisited upon the Palestinians of Gaza – a fact that, unsurprisingly, leaves no room for diplomacy." - id 16/7/2014
On the third dayAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "How many more people will die before Ya’alon gets a satisfactory cease fire offer from Gaza?" - id16/7/2014
What does Israeli `acceptance` of ceasefire really mean?Mya Guarnieri - +972 Magazine - Israel`s cabinet accepting the Egyptian- brokered ceasefire means Israel is willing to return to a status quo that serves Israeli interests: Occasional rocket fire from Gaza actually helps Israeli hawks strengthen their case for holding on to the West Bank (“Look, we withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and all we got is rocket fire!”). Ceasefire and returning to the status quo would put an end to the immediate damage to Israel’s image caused by the horrific photos and footage coming out of Gaza, going back to a status quo where Israel occasionally kills Palestinian civilians in both Gaza and West Bank without much international media scrutiny. ak 15/7/2014
Ending oppression to end violence: The Gaza escalation in contextUS Labor Against the War - American Friends Service Committee - The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) joins our voice with those who say that violence and killing must end. Military escalation in Gaza, particularly a ground offensive, must also be avoided. However, calling for an end to current violence is not enough. [bz]15/7/2014
Netanyahu finally speaks his mindDavid Horovitz - The Times of Israel - At his Friday press conference, the prime minister ruled out full Palestinian sovereignty, derided the US approach to Israeli security, and set out his Middle East overview with unprecedented candor. His remarks were not widely reported; they should be [ry]14/7/2014
What `no country in the world` should tolerateRyan Rodrick Beiler, - +972 - Israel says that ‘no country in the world’ would agree to live under the threat of Gaza’s rockets, but ignores its own culpability in its 100-eyes-for-an eye spiral of violence [ry]14/7/2014
Covering for Israeli War Crimes - CNN: Palestinians Want to DieDavid Swanson - CounterPunch - "In this video from Thursday on CNN, Jake Tapper interviews Diana Buttu, a former advisor to the PLO. After failing to persuade her of Israel’s complete innocence, he tells her that Hamas is instructing women and children to remain in their homes to die as Israel bombs them. She responds by expressing doubt that people want to die. Oh no, says Tapper, Palestinians live in a culture of martyrdom; they want to die" [ry]14/7/2014
In the house of mourningGideon Levy and Alex Levac--Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose son, Mohammed, was burned alive, 
has no faith in the Israeli judicial system. A visit to a house in mourning. dn12/7/2014
Blame Israel and Hamas both for Gaza’s civilian deathsLarry Derfner - +972 - The problem is not that the Israeli army is unusually brutal, as armies go; if anything, the opposite is the case. The problem – in Gaza and the West Bank, now and before – is that the IDF is a colonial army, which is an inherently brutal role, one that other armies were ordered by their governments to give up decades ago. [bz]12/7/2014
The Gaza conundrum: To invade or not to invade Marwan Bishara - Aljazeera - The Netanyahu government probably believes it has the most to gain for a number of reasons. (...) For the Palestinians, the situation is dire and escalation costly, even for the many in Gaza, for whom it couldn`t get much worse. However, if Hamas and the other factions endure, and Israel is unable to achieve its military objectives, the movement could see improvement in its rather poor standing among the Palestinians and in the region. [bz]12/7/2014
Gagged! Are the police and courts untenably handcuffing the media?Mitch Ginsburg - The Times of Israel "A look at the controversial and commonplace tool of the gag order, which has come under particular scrutiny after the triple murder that inflamed the region." ca 11/7/2014
Killing of Palestinian Youth Puts an Israeli Focus on ExtremismSTEVEN ERLANGER - NYT "Deborah Weissman, an educator and president of the International Council of Christians and Jews, said the Palestinian teenager’s killing showed that “we are not immune to extremism, that extremist, religious terror can occur in many, maybe in any, religion.” She said that though the killers appeared to represent “a very marginal phenomenon,” their very existence demanded that Jewish Israelis reflect on their identity and history." ca 11/7/2014
Israel steps up Gaza offensive and prepares for possible ground invasionPeter Beaumont - The Guardian - Rocket attacks from Gaza – initially from Islamic factions other than Hamas – have been increasing in recent weeks against the backdrop of a major Israeli operation against Hamas on the West Bank following the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers whose bodies were found last week. Air strikes by Israel, both following the discovery of the bodies and in response to rocket fire, have escalated in recent days despite assessments by analysts in Gaza and Israel that neither Hamas nor Israel wants a prolonged or bloody conflict. [bz]8/7/2014
Abbas’ cooperation with Israel sinking him at homeAmira Hass - Haaretz - “For the past 25 years we [Fatah] have aided Israel in postponing the decision on ending the occupation,” said the senior Fatah official who called Abbas’ faith in the Americans a “false hope.” Like others, he says only a combination of militant diplomacy and the strategy of an unarmed popular struggle (and many think also without stones and Molotov cocktails) will rescue the Palestinians from the present dead end. But Abbas opposes not only an armed struggle but also a popular, unarmed intifada, on the assumption that as in the past, Israel will repress it with lethal force, kill many Palestinians and in so doing bring about an armed Palestinian response — and the cycle will return. [bz]8/7/2014
The Watch on the Jordan Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “The Arab world is in turmoil. Syria and Iraq are breaking apart, the thousand-year old conflict between Muslim Sunnis and Muslim Shiites is reaching a new climax. A historic drama is unfolding around us. And what is the reaction of our government? Binyamin Netanyahu put it succinctly: ‘We must defend Israel on the Jordan River, before they reach Tel Aviv.’ Simple, concise, idiotic” [ry] 7/7/2014
A Proportionate Response?Toby Cadman--Almost a decade later, on June 26, the UN Human Rights Council deliberated on the situation in Palestine and other Arab-occupied territories. During the deliberations, the council issued a warning to Israel that there may be serious repercussions as a result of its campaign against the Palestinian people, which constituted a continuing violation of international humanitarian law, following the abduction of three Israeli teenagers. dn 6/7/2014
Israel doesn`t have peace because peace and fear don`t mix wellAvraham Burg--What really lies behind the fact that there is no peace here yet? What are the origins of the pervasive brutality which permeates the state’s policies and our political life? Is our downtrodden past at the root of the prevalent violence? And, if so, how does one break this pathological cycle? dn6/7/2014
As teenager is buried, Palestinians ask as one: Why are his killers still at large? Ben Lynfield--CCTV cameras are everywhere in Jerusalem, but police are no closer to finding gang behind the apparent revenge murder. dn6/7/2014
This cycle of vengeance could spark a third intifadaJonathan Freedland--The faces are, if not the same, then similar. The smiling boys in the photographs look like each other and like teenage boys everywhere: eager, amused, naive. They are brimming with life. Except these four boys are dead. Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were murdered first, their bodies found on Monday, and Mohamed Abu Khdeir was murdered after that, his life apparently taken in revenge for the other three. All four, the three Israelis and the Palestinian, have something in common besides those teenage smiles: their lives were ended by people capable of believing that to slaughter an innocent child is a noble act of service, somehow a good deed in the cause of the nation. dn6/7/2014
Politics of madnessAdam Keller--It is becoming clear that the government, army and security services assumed from the start that the three boys were no longer alive. Probably, it was no surprise for them that there did not come any claim of responsibility, and no proposal of negotiating their release. The soldiers who conducted the searches on the ground were instructed to turn every stone, quite literally, and also to empty water holes and search their bottoms. The soldiers were sent to look for dead bodies, not for hostages. But on the media were imposed gag orders, preventing them from publishing information pointing to the death of the boys. The Israeli public was called to take part in mass prayers and rallies on city squares with the call "Bring back our boys" and one gets the impression that also the three families going from hope to despair were not informed to the full. dn6/7/2014
The Israeli nation collectively mourns - but why?Inna Michaeli - +972 - Paradoxically, the feeling that those who were killed could have been our children – feeling as though they are our children – is one of the mechanisms that convinces people to send their children to kill and to die [ry]7/7/2014
Israel`s High Court of Justice is a collaborator of the occupationGideon Levy--The High Court of Justice deserves a pat on the shoulder for a job well done. Once again it has proved it is unequaled in preserving glorious judicial traditions. Court presidents have come and gone, justices have changed, the glittering, lofty team of Meir Shamgar, Aharon Barak, Mishael Cheshin and Dorit Beinisch has been replaced by Asher Grunis’ group of gray clerks. But the court hasn’t stopped the music. The golden tribunal has proved yet again that it is no more than a wimpy rubber stamp. The beacon of justice has long flickered out. In fact it has never been one when it comes to the occupation. There, of all places, where it is so needed, the beacon became a blackened, humbled matchstick. dn6/7/2014
Lieberman: Israeli-Arab rioters don`t belong in IsraelJonathan Lis--The Arab-Israelis who rioted in the north of the country on Friday do not belong in Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday. "It`s good the police arrested the Arabs who rioted yesterday [in Israel`s north]. We now expect the justice system to also do its part decisively and, through harsh punishements, deliver a clear message to those who enjoy Israeli citizenship and act as terrorists," Lieberman the post, dn 6/7/2014
How the public was manipulated into believing the teens were aliveNoam Sheizaf - +972 - Details under gag order could have suggested early on that the abducted teens were murdered. The government-led campaign calling for their release helped the legitimacy of Israel’s military operation in the West Bank. Local and even international media played along. [bz]5/7/2014
Israel does not want peaceGideon Levy--But the settlements were only a touchstone of Israel’s intentions. Its rejectionism is embedded far more deeply – in its DNA, its bloodstream, its raison d’être, its most primal beliefs. There, at the deepest level, lies the concept that this land is destined for the Jews alone. There, at the deepest level, is entrenched the value of “am sgula” – God’s “treasured people” – and “God chose us.” In practice, this is translated to mean that, in this land, Jews are allowed to do what is forbidden to others. That is the point of departure, and there is no way to get from there to a just peace. There is no way to reach a just peace when the name of the game is the dehumanization of the Palestinians. No way to achieve peace when the demonization of the Palestinians is hammered into people’s heads day after day. Those who are convinced that every Palestinian is a suspicious person and that every Palestinian wants “to throw the Jews into the sea” will never make peace with the Palestinians. Most Israelis are convinced of the truth of both those statements. dn5/7/2014
Israel`s self constructed image is crumbling Sam Bahour - Open Democracy - The reignited cycle of violence in Palestine and Israel provides the Israeli government with exactly what it has been begging for months for, violence. However, for once, Israel may be facing a new fact of life—as the sole military power in the conflict, it has the full ability to start a widespread campaign of violence, but it may no longer be the party who single-handedly decides how it ends. This particular round of violence has the potential to surprisingly end with political progress towards peace. [bz]5/7/2014
It`s Time to Talk About GazaHaggai Matar - 972 "For the sake of both the residents of Israel’s south and the Palestinians, we must speak about Gaza as a place with real people, rather than as a science experiment." ca4/7/2014
Why this isn`t a `new` intifada Samer Badawi - +972 "What we’re seeing today is not a new intifada, but an ever-more sophisticated version of the one Palestinians have been fighting all along." ca4/7/2014
Dream and Reality in Israel/Palestine: Excerpt from Marc Ellis’ ‘Future of the Prophetic’Marc H. Ellis - Mondoweiss - Fundamental issues lie at the heart of the Israeli–Palestinian crisis. Yet the foundational issue of the conflict, the 1948 war that founded Israel and dispossessed the Palestinians, remains outside the parameters of Jewish thinkable thought. At the same time, binational and homeland alternatives to state Zionism, exemplified in the work of Jewish luminaries such as Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, Hannah Arendt, and Albert Einstein, are buried. The silence surrounding the founding of Israel is connected with the silence on the historic alternatives offered to state Zionism.-rh 2/7/2014
After West Bank Kidnapping, 2 Mothers Embody a DivideJODI RUDOREN - The New York Times - More than two weeks after the abduction of Naftali and two other Israeli teenagers, Israel’s security crackdown has raised questions about the asymmetry of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the value of lives on both sides. Mohammed, who witnesses said was among a crowd of youths who hurled stones at Israeli soldiers storming their neighborhood that morning, is one of five Palestinians fatally shot by soldiers in the West Bank; three more have been killed by airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.-rh 2/7/2014
EU warnings to Israel remain unheardAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "The people sitting in Tel Aviv’s cafes are constantly hearing the call, “Wolf! Wolf!” but the European wolf is turning out to be a sheep." - id 2/7/2014
Teens` murder was an attack against the calmBen-Dror Yemini - Ynet - "Those who kidnapped and killed the Israeli teens sought to inflame the situation. There`s no need to give them what they want." - id 2/7/2014
Our problem with selective sympathy for young victimsAmjad Iraqi - +972 - "...while everyone will remember Gilad, Naftali and Eyal, no one will remember Ali, Mohammad or Mustafa." - id 2/7/2014
Analysis: The end of the `cheap occupation` eraNoam Sheizaf - +972 - One Palestinian I spoke to called it “room service occupation,” meaning that “Israel could pick up the phone and the PA would hand it a wanted man on a plate.” Under such circumstances, the Israeli right was able to market the West Bank to the public as the local Tuscany, and consider the comfortable status quo to be a legitimate, long-term solution. Israeli Right: Hit Palestinians hard in response to abductees’ murder Yet what justified the existence of the Palestinian Authority – let alone its policies – was a promised endgame in the form of a Palestinian state. Now that it is clear a state is not around the corner — and may never be established at all. [bz]2/7/2014
At this tragic momentGush Shalom - (...) Also and especially on this harsh and tragic moment, it must be said: only the achievement of peace between enemies can end conflicts and put a stop to bloodshed. [ak]1/7/2014
Our Wretched Jewish StateGideon Levy - Information Clearing House - In a Jewish state, the High Court of Justice approves the demolition of a murder suspect’s family home even before his conviction. A Jewish state legislates racist and nationalist laws.-rh 10/7/2014
How it started in Gaza Ahmed Moor--Beginnings matter. Questions about culpability and responsibility, about the narrow cynicism that defines so much of life in the Gaza Strip, sequence and motive - they all go to beginnings. Why are Israeli men and women battering and gnashing lives and livelihoods in that prison camp? How did it start? Why are they killing? What are they after? How will it end? The answers are embedded in our crusty beginnings. dn13/7/2014
Israel`s dissenting voices get lost in the war echo chamber Neve Gordon--However, not only have the dozens of Grads been fermenting the spirit of war - government ministers, members of Knesset and leading media commentators have also been consistently pouring oil onto the fire. Indeed, it seems the only vocal criticism against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is that he is too soft on the Palestinians. There is no public debate about the necessity of another war, but only about how punitive Israel should be. dn13/7/2014
Red Rag weekly column: The Hour of the RightGideon Spiro - The power of the racist incitement against the Arabs has reached nearly 10 on the Incitement Scale, much to the satisfaction if the Israeli Right. Burning hatred of Arabs is one of the fuels that feed the colonization project. It was clear to all whose eyes had not been dazzled that this wave of hatred that flooded the Internet would not remain within the digital realm and that some would translate it into permission to attack Arabs. And then came the worst of all: six Jews kidnapped the young Muhammad Abu Khdeir from his home in Jerusalem and murdered him with indescribable cruelty – burned him alive, for the sole crime of being an Arab. 13/7/2014
Israel’s Strategy and America’s MythologyIra Chernus - - The New York Times’ Isabel Kershner briefly mentioned one criticism: “Israeli experts often describe Israel’s periodic campaigns in Gaza in terms of ‘mowing the grass,’ with the limited goals of curbing rocket fire, destroying as much of the militant groups’ infrastructure as possible and restoring deterrence. Critics say the use of such terminology is dehumanizing to Palestinians and tends to minimize the toll on civilians as well as militants.” But anyone reading Kershner’s report, or viewing the Times’ web video on “Mowing the Grass,” is likely to conclude that, even if the terminology is dehumanizing, the practice makes perfect sense, because the war can be understood only as “tit for tat” or “good guys against bad guys.” In such a war, the stronger nation would naturally want to “mow the grass” every so often. [bz]12/7/2014
Nothing New Under the Gaza-Sderot SunJulia Chaitin-- “The temperatures keep rising in the hot Gaza-Sderot region; after all it’s July. But it’s not the heat that is making our lives unbearable; it’s the renewed terrifying and senseless violence that within 24 hours spun out of control, affecting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and points further north. It’s the ‘here we go again’ lethal ping pong of Israeli bombings in Gaza and rocket attacks on Israeli communities.” dn 12/7/2014
Israel Provoked This War : It’s up to President Obama to stop itHENRY SIEGMAN - Politico Magazine - Israel’s assault on Gaza, as pointed out by analyst Nathan Thrall in the New York Times, was not triggered by Hamas’ rockets directed at Israel but by Israel’s determination to bring down the Palestinian unity government that was formed in early June, even though that government was committed to honoring all of the conditions imposed by the international community for recognition of its legitimacy.-rh30/7/2014
Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of RabbisPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - When you are part of an election process that asks for a terrorist organization which proclaims in word and in deed that their primary objective is to destroy their neighboring country and not to build schools or commerce or jobs, you are complicit and you are not a civilian casualty.-rh30/7/2014
Institutionalised Disregard for Palestinian LifeMouin Rabbani - London Review of Books - There seems to be no Israeli child in harm’s way that Barack Obama will not compare to his own daughters, but their Palestinian counterparts are brushed aside with mantras about Israel’s right to self-defence. The institutionalised disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence, but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip.-rh 9/7/2014
Netanyahu government knew teens were dead as it whipped up racist frenzyMax Blumenthal - The Electronic Intifada - "Critical details that were known all along by Netanyahu and the military-intelligence apparatus were relayed to the Israeli public only after the abduction of more than 560 Palestinians, including at least 200 still held without charges; after the raiding of Palestinian universities and ransacking of countless homes; after six Palestinian civilians were killed by Israeli forces; after American-trained Palestinian Authority police assisted Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian youths in the center of Ramallah; after the alleged theft by Israeli troops of $3 million in US dollars; and after Israel’s international public relations extravaganza had run its course." - id 9/7/2014
Netanyahu under pressure for a large military operationBen Caspit- Al-Monitor - "Representatives from all over the world gathered in a Tel Aviv hotel to talk about peace, while just a few kilometers away — in the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rehovot and in many other places — preparations were underway for war, which at the exact same time was slowly progressing toward us." - id 9/7/2014
Macabre prophecies coming trueAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "PM Netanyahu announced sternly that “The gloves are off”. With Israeli combat planes flying non-stop bombing missions over Gaza, and Palestinian rockets launched into Israel, and tens of thousands of ground troops mobilized and poised to invade." - id9/7/2014
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