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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
+972`s Story of the Year: The Right has officially taken overNoam Sheizaf - +972 - Benjamin Netanyahu and the Right finally took over Israel this year. The right wing successfully isolated and delegitimized the Left, eliminated any serious ideological challengers, put the country’s Palestinian citizens in its crosshairs, and quietly ushered us into an un-democratic one-state era. [bz] 30/12/2015
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East Jerusalem`s youth: Proof that managing the conflict doesn`t workOrly Noy - +972 - For me, the story of the year was the Palestinian uprising in East Jerusalem, which was led by teenage boys and girls, and was nicknamed the “Intifada of the Knives” by the Israeli media. This is the story of never-ending protests in the city’s neighborhoods, of the struggle over Al-Aqsa Mosque, and of those who chose the path of violence — of knives, axes or vehicle ramming — knowing full well that making such a choice will likely lead to the end of their life. This is the story of despair in its deepest sense. [bz]30/12/2015
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Israeli ambassador flings Nazi label at Israeli leaders, after latest authoritarian step Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Caspi has removed the quotation. He clearly intended the comment as a warning to Israeli leaders. He is now under investigation for the statement. The NGO bill is a new law that forces leftleaning human- rights groups that receive substantial funds from overseas to wear labels when they come to the Israeli Knesset. Peace Now continues, “Another hot topic today was the comparisons to Nazis.” ca30/12/2015
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What Can You Actually Do for Syrian Refugees?Daniel Moattar - The Nation "Since the outbreak of Syria’s civil war four years ago, the United States has accepted 2,174 Syrian refugees—fewer people than live in the happening metropolis of Red Lodge, Montana. Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, about one in five people in Lebanon is now a recent arrival from Syria.The EU, where fear of migrants is rampant, even though zero Syrian nationals were involved in the Paris attacks, has committed to resettling 120,000 refugees. Canadian authorities have admitted more Syrians in the last year alone than the United States has since 2011. The UK has already granted asylum or humanitarian protections to 4,200 Syrians. " ca30/12/2015
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Why the Left should be ashamed of itself Nahum Barnea - Ynet - Israel can`t complain about the labeling of products from the territories while it labels human rights activists in the Knesset. Labeling vs. labeling, a badge vs. a badge ...[but] the future belongs to those who fight for their outlook, not to those who sit complacently in their good homes and expect others to do their job for them. [bz]29/12/2015
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Red Rag column: False flag in Paris? Uprising of the knives - Israel police rape culture - Yossi Sarid, RIPGideon Spiro - The Israel Police rape culture is a mirror in which the pathology of the whole country is reflected. For nearly fifty years the State of Israel has been raping the Palestinian people. This cruel and brutal rape has gone on 24 hours a day for the past 48 years. The victims are women, children, babies and senior citizens. No one has been punished because the rulers – the judges, the army, the police, the ISA and the settlers – are all participants in the rape of the Palestinian people. gm29/12/2015
“What is Israel supposed to do?”Miko Peled - American Herald Tribune - In a news program they interviewed the Palestinian Knesset Member Mohammad Baraka from the Joint Arab List, the third largest party in the Israeli parliament. He too was asked, “What is a soldier to do when approached by a Palestinian wielding a knife?” When Baraka began to talk about the occupation he was interrupted and told that what he is saying is not relevant and to stick to the question. In other words, the Israeli occupation in Palestine has nothing to do with any of this, and “what is a soldier supposed to do?” Please say that what Israeli soldiers are doing is justified. [bz]29/12/2015
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NGO labeling: A biased and political bill Adv. Tali Nir - Ynet - This is biased and political law. First of all, the proposal does not apply to many organizations which receive donations from wealthy people, business elements or other interested elements concealed from the public eye. Secondly, the transparency already exists: The NGO law has been requiring organizations for years to report donations in general and donations from foreign countries in particular. Absurdly, the bill completely ignores organizations which fail to report donations in accordance with the law or whose donations are confidential. In fact, the bill has been tailored for specific NGOs, like the ones which have been persecuted in the past two weeks, and can be seen as another stage in the attempts to silence and harm them. [bz]29/12/2015
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BDS task force, but what exactly will they do? Doron Peskin - Al-Monitor "Even before the new office managed to come up with any document on the boycott issue, it seems to have fallen victim to a political struggle that casts a heavy shadow on its ability to promote initiatives against the anti-Israeli boycott campaign. The Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which are supposed to cooperate with the new office, have voiced their opposition to its establishment. Thus, for example, according to the Defense Ministry, the Israel Defense Forces` Intelligence Corps is already engaged in operations against the BDS movement." ca 25/12/2015
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Sinai: Extremist fragmentationAhmed Eleiba - Al-Ahram "Jihadists in Sinai constitute the biggest threat the Egyptian state has faced in the peninsula since it was returned to Egypt’s control in 1982. The threat has two components: IS Sinai Province and Al- Murabitun, though the latter uses Libya as a base. While the government will keep its focus trained on Sinai Province, around which the noose is being tightened in Sinai, it will also turn attention westwards, where the security environment in Libya could allow jihadists to operate along the Egyptian border. The prospect of a confrontation on two or more fronts remains a real possibility." ca 25/12/2015
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Israel`s extremists aren`t as fringe as you thinkLisa Goldman - +972 "The message is that the Palestinian murderers of Jewish children are representative, while the Jewish-Israeli murderers are sick, non-representative outliers who are rejected by “mainstream” Israel...Don’t bother trying to tell them they’re wrong, that Palestinian society is just as complex as Jewish Israeli society." ca25/12/2015
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How to revive the Arab Peace InitiativeAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Representatives from Israeli and Palestinian civil societies, together with neighboring and Western peace activists, gathered in Antalya to contemplate ways of promoting the Arab Peace Initiative." - id 23/12/2015
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The Israeli Right goes berserkYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "While the Israeli right-wing is weak and isolated in the international arena, the Left feels discouraged and alone in Israel." - id23/12/2015
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GAZA CHRISTIANS BEGIN CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONSMohammed Asad - The Arab Daily News - "Christians around the world and especially in America should recognize that Christians and Muslims suffer as a result of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the brutal oppression against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip." - id 23/12/2015
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Breaking the Silence have made uncomfortable reading for those in powerDonald Macintyre - The Independent - The purpose of BTS is not to “slander Israeli soldiers”, as Netanyahu put it on Wednesday, but to show the moral price paid by soldiers obliged to enforce an occupation coming to up its 50th anniversary – not to mention protecting those who live in West Bank settlements deemed illegal under international law. Anyone who knows the founding members of BTS well – young men who volunteered for combat service, several of them religious Jews – knows they are patriotic Israelis who want to see the end of occupation in the interests of their own country, as much as that of the Palestinians. Standing their ground under vitriolic attack over recent weeks, they may paradoxically have started to widen that “open debate” it is their mission to promote. [bz] 22/12/2015
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The forced transfer of Palestinian detainees — why it mattersGerard Horton - +972 - International law is clear that prisoners should not be transferred outside of an occupied territory — both to allow their families access to them and to prevent forced population transfer. But that’s not all that’s at stake [ry]21/12/2015
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Israeli Hawks` Call for Transparency Is Hypocritical Gaby Lasky - Haaretz - MK Zehava Galon recently obtained a list of organizations that were exempted from revealing the identities of their benefactors between 2012 and 2014. The list doesn`t include a single organization identified with the Israeli left. Breaking the Silence. Betselem, Rabbis for Human Rights – neither they nor other human rights organizations appear on the list. But the Fund for Nurturing the Zionist Idea, which develops settlements and is controlled by Ze`ev Hever, is there. As is the Ateret Jerusalem yeshiva established by Ataret Kohanim in the Muslim Quarter as part of the efforts to Judaize East Jerusalem. [bz]20/12/2015
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Why it`s time to wake up to the occupationAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "...until the Israeli public understands that the occupation does not beget security, calm will be elusive. As long as Israel is ruled by a leadership that deepens Jewish rule over the Palestinian people, the grip of racism and hatred will tighten." - id 19/12/2015
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What Really Scares Me (And It’s Not Im Tirtzu). I’m afraid of the next 50 years of occupation.Hagai El-Ad - Haaretz - I wish I could rely on one percent of the sympathetic attention I’m receiving now on just another ordinary day in the territories, with nobody getting killed and no headlines. Just another day of masters and subjects, and another week, another year goes by. [bz]19/12/2015
How Israeli settlements stifle Palestine’s economyAl-Shabaka - Ma`an News Agency "Israel claims that the EU move is “discriminatory” and that it is harmful to the Palestinian economy in general and to Palestinian workers in particular. This is clearly an attempt by Israel to divert international attention from the reality of the illegal settlement enterprise, its profoundly negative effects on the Palestinian economy, and the moral and legal obligations of the EU. In fact, Israel’s entire settlement enterprise is illegal under international law, as reaffirmed by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on Israel’s Separation Wall in 2004. Israel’s transfer of its population to the occupied territory is a breach of the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949." ca18/12/2015
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After Odeh`s U.S. visit, the Joint List must step up its gameAmjad Iraqi - +972 "Ayman Odeh’s recent visit to the United States garnered much attention among American audiences. But back home, within his own community, the scant attention given to his visit was mostly critical. Various circles among Palestinian citizens of Israel had characterized Odeh’s visit as a politically futile and undermining exercise, while others made personal attacks claiming that he did not represent Palestinian public opinion and was only doing it for self-promotion...However, despite these criticisms, Odeh’s visit to the U.S. was arguably one of his most important acts since entering the Knesset this year. " ca18/12/2015
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Has Israel`s civil war already started?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Netanyahu has set himself the goal to delegitimize Israel’s left- wing camp. It all began during his first term in office (1996-99). While visiting a synagogue in the Bukharim quarter in Jerusalem in 1999, he whispered in the ear of Rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri — one of Shas Party’s spiritual leaders — “The left has forgotten what it’s like to be a Jew.” This attitude has continued throughout his premierships..." Inspired by Netanyahu, the term “left” has become synonymous with treason, and its use has become widespread. Every human rights organization is stigmatized as a leftist organization. Every left-wing organization — defined as such — is immediately suspected by those who have been persuaded that “left” is a pejorative term as undercutting the state’s very own foundations. And we all know what the punishment for high treason is." ca 18/12/2015
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Netanyahu to Kerry: Israel Will Not Be A "Bi-national" StateIMEMC News & Agencies - "Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Sunday, rejected statements made by US Secretary of State, John Kerry, that Israel is shifting towards being a “bi-national state”...Kerry said that the distrust between the two sides has never been more profound. “President Abbas feels great despair – more than I have ever heard him,” Kerry said." ca 18/12/2015
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FMEP Affirms Support For Israeli Human Rights OrganizationsMatt Duss - Foundation for Middle East Peace - We call on other pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, and pro-peace organizations in the U.S. to join us in standing in solidarity with our Israeli colleagues against the increasing atmosphere of incitement against Israeli human rights organizations.-rh16/12/2015
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Israel`s patriotism policeMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - The bottom line is that it is not at all clear why senior politicians and publicists came out against Haaretz. Logically, it makes absolute sense why Erekat, who serves as the secretary of the PLO’s Steering Committee, would be unwilling to deliver a speech with the flag of Israel, a nation he considers an occupying state, right behind him. His demand was entirely legitimate. He didn’t ask for the Palestinian flag to be placed behind him. What he wanted was reasonable.-rh 16/12/2015
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Which US presidential candidate is good for Israel?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "To most Israelis, a "good president" is one who won`t challenge the current Israeli government." - id 16/12/2015
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Why do so many Israelis hate Breaking the Silence?Haggai Matar - +972 - The organization of former Israeli soldiers is coming under attack from every direction these days — from the Israel’s president to the defense minister to the police. So what’s the deal? [bz]15/12/2015
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Finally, the EU stages an Israel interventionRachel Shabi - AlJazeera - The EU decision to identify and label Israeli products from occupied territories is a brave move to penalise occupation [ry]14/12/2015
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The Palestinian village that refuses to give up on popular struggleHaggai Matar--The year was 2006. The village Bil’in near Ramallah had already marked over a year of weekly protests against the separation barrier that cuts them off from their land. One day, during a hearing at the High Court of Justice over a petitioned against the route of the wall, Justice Aharon Barak wondered aloud: “Why do they protest there so often?” dn13/12/2015
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Israel Wants to Treat Sweden as a Banana Republic Daud Abdullah--Diplomatic spats between Sweden and Israel have become a regular occurrence. Ever since the Scandinavian country recognised the state of Palestine in October 2014 relations between Stockholm and Tel Aviv have gone from bad to worse. At the heart of this stand-off is Sweden’s determination to pursue an independent foreign policy without diktats from any quarters, including Israel.dn13/12/2015
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Can Americans Save Israel from Its Own Extremism?Friend in need (Aluf Benn) - The Daily Beast - Progressives in Israel feel powerless and contemplate leaving Israel for good. We need to get out of this melancholy spiral, stand up for peace, democracy and equality and reach out to like-minded people abroad, particularly in the United States, who worry about the direction of Israel in Netanyahu’s fourth term.[bz]12/12/2015
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How the Human Rights Industry Undermines Palestinian LiberationBudour Hassan--The establishment of the Palestinian Authority following the signing of the Oslo peace accords between Israel and the PLO ushered structural transformations in Palestinian politics, society, and struggle. The struggle for liberation was then transformed into a diplomatic quest for statehood on 22 percent of Palestinian land; the revolution was hijacked and the Palestinian masses were gradually sidelined from political action and public space altogether. dn12/12/2015
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Does the Israeli Legal System Provide Justice for Palestinians? James Marc Leas - Truthout - The Israeli legal system has allowed Israeli political and military leaders and military personnel to enjoy impunity notwithstanding six assaults on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Gaza since 2006.-rh9/12/2015
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Israel loses its last champion of political integrityAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "A eulogy of Yossi Sarid is taking leave of a vanishing turn of phrase, of a dying form of discourse and of a sinking political culture." - id9/12/2015
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The two-state bluffNahum Barnea - Ynet - "As far as Israeli government is concerned, two-state solution is dead. Nonetheless, Americans will keep holding on to this formula, as it`s easier than searching for other solutions." - id 9/12/2015
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KERRY: ISRAEL HEADED TO BI-NATIONAL STATEHOODRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry threw cold water in the faces of rightwing fanatics in Israel’s government who are closing the door on peace based on “Two-States” and are urging a continuation of the Apartheid system that favors Jews over non-Jews in Israel, and oppresses non-Jews in the occupied territories captured in 1967." - id 9/12/2015
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YouTube becomes Israel’s new battleground against PalestiniansJonathan Cook - Redress Information & Analysis - Most Palestinian videos are simply a record of their bitter experiences of occupation at the hands of soldiers and settlers. It is these experiences, not the videos, that drive Palestinians to breaking point. A “war on incitement” waged through YouTube and Facebook won’t change Palestinian suffering. But it may, Netanyahu presumably hopes, conceal Israel’s brutality from the eyes of the world. Unrest has escalated of late not because of social media but because Palestinians, faced with an Israeli government implacably opposed to ending the occupation, are losing all hope. [bz]8/12/2015
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Abandoning The Quartet In Favor Of The Arab Peace InitiativeDr. Alon Ben-Meir - Middel East Online - Netanyahu supports the Quartet’s preconditions because he knows full well that Hamas will not accept them. Thus, the Quartet has de facto been providing Netanyahu with the political cover he needs to forestall any substantive negotiations, claiming that the Palestinians are bent on destroying Israel while playing Hamas against the PA and vice versa. [bz]8/12/2015
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Institutional Evil / How to bring about `voluntary transfer`Amos Gvirtz - It is not an individual case of a wicked psychopath. It is State policy, aspiring to remove as many Palestinians as possible from Area C (which is under full Israeli domination) and force them to move into Areas A and B (partially in Palestinian control) of the West Bank. All this is done so that eventually Israel will annex Area C with as few Palestinians as possible. And indeed, the system works. Slowly people do break and leave, [but] when there is no `blood` shed, the mainstream media simply do not report. [bz] 8/12/2015
Apartheid in Palestine | Wayne State University PressEd Corrigan--Here is an item of interest. A new book will be released very shortly the title is, "Apartheid in Palestine: Hard Laws and Harder Experiences," edited by Professor Ghada Ageel. I have contributed a chapter, titled "Israel and Apartheid: A Framework for Legal Analysis." The other contributors are Ghada Ageel, Richard Falk, Samar El-Bekai, Reem Skeik, Tali Shapiro, Rela Mazali, Huwaida Arraf, James Cairns, Susan Ferguson, Abigail B. Bakan, Yasmeen Mayya Abu-Laban, Keith Hammond, Sherene Razack, Ramzy Baroud and Rafeef Ziadah, The University of Alberta Press, December 2015 which includes a blurb by Noam Chomsky and a list of the contributors. This info can be also found on Amazon , indigo and Wayne State University. dn6/12/2015
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Putin and Netanyahu: Minds alike over Syrian skiesGeoffrey Aronson--Israel views Putin`s Syria move as an opportunity to cement its interests in the post-Assad era. dn6/12/2015
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Open letter to Rabbi Susan Talve from St. Louis JewsSt. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace--Rabbi Talve has also been an outspoken pro-Israel advocate during this same period — including inviting AIPAC to speak at her synagogue during Israel’s attack on Gaza last summer –and increasing her Zionist advocacy in recent months, sparking controversy. As local politics with national implications reach a breaking point, St. Louis Jewish Voice for Peace issued this open letter. dn6/12/2015
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Mr. Odeh Goes to Washington (and not everyone`s happy about it)Samah Salaime--Joint List head Ayman Odeh headed to the United States this week, prompting mixed reactions from Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Odeh: ‘I am here to tear the mask off of Netanyahu’s lies.’ dn5/12/2015
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House Demolitions, a Barbaric Practice Haaretz Editorial--. . .Since the start of the latest wave of violence, 10 homes have been demolished and one was sealed. House demolitions are legally and morally unacceptable. They constitute collective punishment without trial, and generally harm innocent family members. Such punishments are forbidden under human rights and international humanitarian law, and also flout the principles of Israeli constitutional law. dn 5/12/2015
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Open letter from NYU Law Students for Justice in PalestineAzadeh N. Shahshahani--The Law Students for Justice in Palestine writes this open letter to express concern and provide context regarding the upcoming iTrek Israel spring break trip advertised for NYU Law students. dn5/12/2015
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Israel’s open season on ArabsJeremy Salt - Al Ahram - "Nowhere else in the world could an armed gang, 20 or 30 men, storm into a hospital in the middle of the night. But Israel is nowhere else. It gives itself the right to do whatever it wants." - id 4/12/2015
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Why young Gazans need cement to get marriedShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - "In an attempt to curb the use of cement in tunnels Hamas has been building to attack Israelis, Israel restricts the importation of cement to Gaza, limiting the possibilities for many young people in Gaza to build homes." - id 4/12/2015
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Greetings from the Middle AgesNahum Barnea - Ynet - "Instead of the government and Knesset taking over the street, the street has taken over them. Knesset members are encouraging the public to act in a way which necessarily leads to manslaughter and murder offenses." - id4/12/2015
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House Demolitions, a Barbaric Practice Haaretz Editorial--. . .Since the start of the latest wave of violence, 10 [Palestinian dn] homes have been demolished and one was sealed. House demolitions are legally and morally unacceptable. They constitute collective punishment without trial, and generally harm innocent family members. Such punishments are forbidden under human rights and international humanitarian law, and also flout the principles of Israeli constitutional law. dn 4/12/2015
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Israel fans flames as Palestinian death toll soarsMaureen Clare Murphy - Rights and Accountability - "Last week the Israeli rights group B’Tselem excoriated Netanyahu for “the transformation of police officers, and even of armed civilians, into judges and executioners.”" - id 2/12/2015
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Netanyahu plans to `punish` the Europeans over settlement labelingAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s announcement that Israel will distance the European Union from the diplomatic process makes no sense, in view of the ongoing diplomatic stalemate." - id 2/12/2015
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When a child is the enemyYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Now the right wing has pure power, for no leftist coalition partner is there to restrain it. Netanyahu will prove to the world, at last, how to tame the tiger and turn it into a kitten." - id2/12/2015
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So what is to be done?Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "Obama came to the conclusion that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would not come to an end during his tenure, and that the maximum which could be done would be "damage control"." - id 2/12/2015
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