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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    

Netanyahu, modern-day Goliath?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "No prime minister threatened that if a Jew tries to hurt us, we will hurt him. After all, we are all sons of King David." - id 30/9/2015
VolcanoAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "...with the occupation going on and no sign of hope on the horizon, sooner or later a bomb would be dropped, not necessarily a diplomatic one." - id 30/9/2015
Jews as Far as PossibleRobert Cohen--LONDON — I should not be writing this column on Yom Kippur, in a break from shul, on an empty stomach, but there we are. Let’s put it down to another inflection in the many inflections of being Jew-ish.27/9/2015
The pontiff should highlight PalestineOmid Safi--Pope Francis should say that Palestinians deserve to have full exercise of sovereignty without occupation, writes Safi [Getty Images] dn27/9/2015
How human rights groups reinforce Israeli colonialismRob Such--The Human Right to Dominate by Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini (Oxford University Press) Coauthored by political scientist Neve Gordon and anthropologist Nicola Perugini, this book is a challenging and unorthodox examination of “how both liberal and illiberal forces appropriate and deploy human rights in a way that corroborates, reinforces and rationalizes domination instead of destabilizing it.”dn 27/9/2015
A Play Date at Al-Aqsa Sayed Kashua--And now they want to take Al-Aqsa away from the children of the eastern part of the city, too? And people ask what’s behind it? I will not talk about Al-Aqsa in any religious sense; call it the Temple Mount, or whatever you want. I will talk about it as the only place where the children of the Old City and the adjacent neighborhoods have to play. The only venue for which a play date can be set. I will talk about it as a garden, as the only place in the Old City that is not choked with buildings, dirt and the distress of everyday life. I used to walk a great deal in the plaza outside the mosque there when I lived in Jerusalem. I never prayed there. I also took my kids there, until they started to ask my daughter to cover her head. Many children go there, because they have nowhere else to go to. It’s a beautiful, magical plaza, far from the overcrowding and duress that lurk behind every Arab door in the Old City. Every child knows that it’s the loveliest place in the Arab part of the city. That you can play there, dream and imagine a different reality there – one with a bit of hope. And even though Israeli police are present at the entrances, the compound is free of direct Israeli rule. But now you won’t even leave that small area to the Arab children, whether in the name of the Temple or in the name of Israeli sovereignty, freedom of worship, archaeology and Israeli security? dn 26/9/2015
PLO: Israel`s new live fire law `dehumanizes a whole nation`Ma`an - Arguing that the new law gifts Israeli soldiers with wide discretion for determining circumstances of threat, Saeb Ereak described the measures as "a mere pretext to justify the escalating Israeli crimes against the people of Palestine." "The Israeli government continues to incite against Palestinian lives, with a culture of hate that dehumanizes a whole nation," Erekat said. [bz]26/9/2015
Israel`s Situation Is Bleak, but Not Necessarily Irreversible Amos Oz - Haaretz - I am very far from confident that the two-state solution will come to fruition anytime soon, but the only thing that’s irreversible apparently is death, and that may well have to be reexamined sometime too. [bz]26/9/2015
Speechless: The farewell address Israel`s UN envoy should have deliveredHaim Ramon - Ynet - It’s a shame that this speech was not delivered by Prosor, and it’s a shame that it has not been delivered yet by Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog, as an alternative to the policy led by Netanyahu. [bz]26/9/2015
Public versus private protocolKhaled Dawoud - Al-Ahram Weekly "Most announcements of last week’s official reopening of the Israeli embassy in Cairo came from Israel. Egyptian officials were silent on the matter, intent to play down the event in an effort to avoid any domestic backlash. The move was criticised by opponents of President Abdel-Fattah Al- Sisi, including the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab nationalists. Both were incensed that it coincided with escalating tensions at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which Muslims consider one of their holiest sites." ca25/9/2015
Gaza in the U.S. Media: A Conversation with Omar BaddarOmar Baddar - Palestine Center - During the second Intifada, the narrative in the US media was extremely one sided - that Israel was the victim of Palestinian violence and had to protect itself. Now, it is portrayed as a war between two equal parties. An improvement of sorts, but still a deeply problematic false moral equivalence between an occupier and an oppressed occupied population.(...) Americans were more open to the argument that the Israeli response was disproportionate, but not so much to the idea that Israel was the aggressor to begin with. [ak] 22/9/2015
Dilemmas of the Israeli-Palestinian impasse Natan Sachs - Brookings - Publishing a framework for a two-state solution before Obama leaves office could offer a basis for long-term gains in future conflict resolution. Doing so, however, would also increase the possibility of the short-term danger of each side painting itself further into its corner on the very issues the framework hopes to resolve. [bz]22/9/2015
How to neutralize stone throwers — without killing themLisa Goldman - +972 - End the occupation, and extend full civil rights to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. It’s that simple [ry]21/9/2015
Israeli discourse plagued by hatredMerav Betito - Ynet - It has become perfectly normal for an Israeli to write in a talkback, `All Arabs should be killed,` and then text his mother, `May we have a year of peace` [ry]21/9/2015
There Are Those Who Benefit From Jerusalem Escalation Amos Harel--Tension in Jerusalem, which for the first time has led to rocket fire from Gaza on Sderot and Ashkelon, has broken out at a convenient time for many officials on the Arab side. For various reasons, a focus on the Temple Mount benefits the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. It might even be good for Qatar, which has increased its involvement in events between Israel and its neighbors. An escalation serves the PA somewhat because East Jerusalem is under full Israeli control; the PA can’t be considered responsible for the violence. It also provides a good backdrop for the speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of the month at the UN General Assembly. The elderly rais has promised to drop a bombshell in that speech; it could be that the Palestinians will officially renounce — all or in part — the Oslo Accords. dn 20/9/2015
Paying the price for Netanyahu`s religious warYael Marom--Lacking any ability or will to deal with the political stalemate, Netanyahu has a vested interest in presenting the current situation in Jerusalem as a showdown between radical Islam and the West. Who will pay the price? dn20/9/2015
The Sabra and Shatila massacre is personalSam Bahour--These last few days, as they do every year, weigh heavy on every Palestinian’s heart. For me, and my family, the heaviness is also personal.dn19/9/2015
Misperceptions Regarding Tensions Over the Noble SanctuaryIMEU--Although they often couch their goals in terms of civil rights and religious freedom, the right-wing Israeli individuals and groups that are pushing for more access and Jewish prayer in the Noble Sanctuary want to remove the Muslim holy sites that it houses and replace them with a Jewish temple. On its website, one of the movement’s most prominent organizations, the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement, declares as its objective: Liberating the Temple Mount from Arab (Islamic) occupation.dn19/9/2015
Sabra and Shatilla and the Palestinian ExodusNadia Harhash--We are marking another date in the Palestinian Exodus; Sabra and Shatilla Massacre in Lebanon in 1982 under the auspices of Ariel Sharon. It was among the marking massacres of cruelty and viciousness of a cold-blooded occupation. As years scroll by, the assumed numbers that mounted to thousands of victims in that massacre, seem just another chapter in the exodus of the Palestinian people. As if we are destined to just commemorate miseries of out own life that continues to bring on us worse miseries to add to our mess.dn 19/9/2015
Could these be the final days of the Oslo Accords?Talal Jabari - +972 "Abbas is rumored to be considering putting an end to Oslo in his UN speech later this month. If he does, will Israel reoccupy Palestinian cities? Will he also dissolve the Palestinian Authority? Or will nothing change — as usual."18/9/2015
The future of Gaza looks bleakBen White - Al-Jazeera - "Gaza is in a permanent state of emergency, and without a dramatic change, the worse is yet to come for its residents." - id 17/9/2015
Temple Mount violence escalatesBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "Israel and the Palestinians are stuck together in the same powder keg, and as of now, at least, no one has any cold water to keep the encroaching flames in check. What people do have is oil and gasoline — and plenty of it." - id 17/9/2015
Shooting Children Becomes Israeli PolicyPHILIP GIRALDI - The UNZ Review - An Alternative Media Selection - "Israel is the ugly face of a fascist state and calling it apartheid is to minimize its criminality as it does not even necessarily seek to set up a parallel state for the Arabs it controls. A number of leading Israeli politicians and journalists seek to remove them completely." - id 16/9/2015
Israel, “Securocratic” Warfare and the Pacification IndustryJONATHAN COOK - Counter Punch - "Israel spends about 8 percent of its GDP a year on the military, about twice the per capita expenditure of the United States. Despite its size, Israel has more military aircraft than any European country." - id 16/9/2015
Four lessons that Netanyahu must learn from his failed strategiesAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Throughout this past Jewish calendar year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s strategic failures have rendered Israel more isolated in the diplomatic arena and more fragile in terms of deterrence, while the political echelon blames the media for it all." - id 16/9/2015
Red Rag column: On turning 80Gideon Spiro - To all my well-wishers, thanks from the bottom of my heart. A few words about old age. At age 20 I could not have imagined what life would be like at age 80. It looked to me then like a passage to the mountains of darkness.16/9/2015
How Obama Can Save The Two-State Solution Before He Leaves OfficeSam Bahour - TPM - simply recognizing Palestine, an act in total alignment with the historic U.S. foreign policy principle of two states for two peoples. Some may think this would be too risky a move for the Democratic Party, given the elections. I disagree. His administration has done more for Israel than any other president. Among other things, he increased financial aid; used the almighty U.S. veto power in the UN Security Council to protect Israel from a growing global frustration with its refusal to end its military occupation of Palestine; and armed Israel to the greatest extent possible. So when segments of the Jewish American establishment cry foul when the United States recognizes Palestine, Obama can make note of which side of the conflict he and the United States have consistently engaged. Other segments of the Jewish American community, possible the silent majority, will support such a move. [bz]15/9/2015
Are Israelis too scared to have opinions anymore?Dahlia Scheindlin - +972 "Only 42 out of Israel’s 120 legislators were present and voting at that hour: 25 supported it, with 18 opposed. Journalists were furious and instantly dubbed it a “gag law.” Radio hosts joked that they could no longer say things like “very interesting!” to their guests. Public radio and television in Israel offers high-quality reporting and hard-hitting interviewers who lean both left and right." ca11/9/2015
Controversy continues about PNC meetingAhmed Al-Sayed - Al-Ahram Weekly "Hamas warned of “the risk of holding a PNC meeting unilaterally that contradicts all national agreements”, saying that Abbas is “erasing national agreements and destroying national unity, and forming the PLO according to his personal and partisan taste”. It called on Palestinian factions and PNC members to boycott PNC meetings to block “these absurd policies”." ca11/9/2015
Netanyahu is all talk and no action when it comes to helping refugees, asylum seekersAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Benjamin Netanyahu talks about “empathy for a human tragedy,” but when it comes to actions, as in the case of the Gaza Strip or the asylum seekers from Africa, he turns his back." - id 9/9/2015
Chicago rabbi establishes non-Zionist congregationChris Sweda--Rabbi Brant Rosen and friend Anita Weinberg, left, join in a July 24, 2015, Shabbat dinner at Rosen`s home in Evanston. Rosen is establishing a new synagogue in Chicago`s Lincoln Park neighborhood that seeks to separate Judaism from Jewish political nationalism.. . Members of the non-Zionist congregation — believed to be the only one of its kind in the U.S. — seek to separate their Judaism from Jewish political nationalism. Instead, they hope to focus their energy and efforts on relieving poverty, engendering equality and fostering peace and justice both locally and worldwide.dn13/9/2015
Israel`s `Jewish Majority` Obsession …Gideon Levy--What We Can Learn From One Courageous Jewish History Teacher … What can we say about the Jewish majority if it`s a majority for fascism, racism and hatred of Arabs and foreigners? . . . It`s all based on an obsession: Israel must be a Jewish state at any cost. Just or unjust, good or not good, flourishing or not flourishing — the main thing is that it be Jewish. And as with any obsession, few can explain why and no one is allowed to doubt it. dn 13/9/2015
Concern among Britain`s Jews as Israel critic elected opposition chiefItamar Eichner--Far-left lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, who is a staunch critic of Israel, and has previously referred to himself as a "friend" of Hamas and Hezbollah, was elected leader of Britain`s opposition Labour Party on Saturday, causing consernation to some in the nation`s 290,000-strong Jewish community. dn13/9/2015
America’s Jewish establishment is out of touch with U.S. JewsHarold Meyerson--Most of the organizations that make up the American Jewish establishment have opposed the nuclear arms control agreement that the Obama administration and the governments of five other nations negotiated with Iran. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee and its affiliates have spent tens of millions of dollars to persuade Congress not to ratify it.dn13/9/2015
Palestine is a Global, Not a Western Issue Ilan Pappe--A few weeks ago, a very important conference took place in London organised by the NGO, Middle East Monitor, focusing on Latin America’s engagement with the cause of Palestine. The most striking feature of the conference was the ease with which several speakers, who came from the continent, spoke of Palestine, totally liberated from the inhibitions that obfuscate the discourse on the issue in the West.dn13/9/2015
Labeling settlement goods does little to challenge the regimeHaggai Matar - +972 - All of this seems very far from where we find ourselves today and it certainly does not bring Palestinians any closer to freedom, independence, and equality. The solution they need is somewhere between two sovereign, interconnected democratic states and one state for both nations. But in order to get there, we must first recognize the fact that today there is only one state, which includes islands of pseudo-autonomous prisons for Palestinians. This is the same state on both sides of the Green Line. [bz]12/9/2015
Netanyahu Makes Quick Pivot From Loss on Iran DealJODI RUDOREN--JERUSALEM — In the week since it became clear that Congress would not block the Iranian nuclear deal he loathes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has largely toned down his rhetoric on the issue and pivoted to others.dn12/9/2015
Gaza`s female fixers__Meet the women behind the news.Ylenia Gostoli, Edmee van Rijn--Behind most of the news reports filed by a foreign correspondent from the Gaza Strip is a fixer: sometimes a local journalist, or simply someone with a good command of the English language, extensive contacts and knowledge.dn12/9/2015
Will American Weapons Flood Middle East After Iran Deal?Nathan Guttman--. . . But both sides agree on one thing: The new Middle East will be flooded with conventional arms from America. The region is about to enter a new arms race fueled by U.S. efforts to reassure Israel and various Sunni countries that feel threatened by the Shi’ite Islamist government in Tehran.dn12/9/2015
And little Ahmad remains all aloneOded Shalom - Ynet - "How much do Israel`s security organizations really know about the activities of young radicals operating in wild outposts in the territories?" - id 9/9/2015
A very educational week, indeedAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "The Nabi Saleh protests are distinguished from those at Bil`in and other villages by an especially conspicuous participation of the village women." - id 9/9/2015
US-Israel spat over Iran deal may sideline PalestiniansDan Perry and Josef Federman - AP/Yahoo News - "An honorable Israeli leadership, if there were one, would ... find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in partnership with the United States and Europe," said Shabtai Shavit, a former director of the Mossad intelligence service, addressing a counterterrorism conference on Monday. On the Palestinian side, the frustration is compounded by a sense that their moment may have passed as the world`s attention moves on to the many other wars and crises across the Arab world. [bz]8/9/2015
Is Abbas truly resigning? And if so, what will change?Kobi Michael - INSS Insight - The recent developments in the PA and PLO, be they authentic or little more than a political tactic, indicate a deep crisis in the Palestinian arena resulting from processes of ongoing disintegration and loss of legitimacy. A comprehensive public opinion survey showing only 16 percent support for Abbas. He has not succeeded in significantly improving the welfare of the Palestinian population. Palestinians find the diplomatic struggle advocated by Abbas purposeless and yielding little benefit. Furthermore, Abbas feels that the international community is losing interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and fears that the US administration will abandon any effort to restart the political process. [ak] 8/9/2015
Weak EU move too late for family burned alive by Israeli settlersAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada - In 2013, the EU itself introduced a policy barring funding or allowing Israeli participation in EU projects if such participation amounted to recognition of Israeli sovereignty over occupied territories. But the EU continues to flout these rules, providing funding to numerous Israeli institutions directly complicit in the occupation, including arms makers Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, and also to the Hebrew University, which is partially based in occupied East Jerusalem. [bz]8/9/2015
Israel lobby`s power waning after Aipac failure to block Iran deal Karoun Demirjian,Carol Morello--Not since George H W Bush was president has the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) sustained such a public defeat on an issue it deemed an existential threat to Israel’s security.dn6/9/2015
Gaza Attack Pushed US Electrical Workers’ Union to Back Israel boycottAli Abunimah--Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 people was the breaking point that pushed UE to support boycott. (Photo: Mohamad Asad/APA images)dn6/9/2015
Chinese purchase of Israel’s Ahava shows boycott is hurtingAli Abunimah--The owners of boycott-hit Dead Sea cosmetics maker Ahava have announced a deal to sell a majority stake in the Israeli company. Palestinian rights campaigners are giving the news a cautious welcome as a sign that Ahava’s brand has been damaged by its complicity in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.dn 6/9/2015
It starts early: Netanyahu warns first graders Hamas is trying to kill them Or Amit--Some behaviors are so bizarre that they require no commentary except by qualified psychiatrists. I shall therefore not comment on a speech Benjamin Netanyahu gave on September 1st, the first day of the Israeli school year, to a classroom of first-graders in Ashkelon. I shall simply translate and emphasize that he is speaking to six-year-old boys and girls. dn6/9/2015
Israel in Palestine: Separating fact from fictionMarwan Bishara--The diplomatic process also became a big hit, as long as it maintained the appearance of a peace process. But as Mrs Bucket, - excuse me, Madame Bouquet - described her husband, it was like a gold card, but without the money. dn5/9/2015
Israeli Terrorists, Born in the U.S.A.SARA YAEL HIRSCHHORN--Jerusalem — ON July 31, in the West Bank village of Duma, 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh was burned alive in a fire. All available evidence suggests that the blaze was a deliberate act of settler terrorism. More disturbingly, several of the alleged instigators, currently being detained indefinitely, are not native-born Israelis — they have American roots. dn5/9/2015
BDS is here to stay: Message to a CT synagogueRobert Gelbach--Editor’s note: A few days ago Rabbi Rachel Goldenberg and Andy Schatz published an essay in the Forward revealing that they had held a groundbreaking forum on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) at their Reform Connecticut synagogue, Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek. The August 2 event featured an argument for BDS from Jewish Voice for Peace and against it from the Zionist group, J Street. Goldenberg and Schatz (who chairs the ACLU in CT) assured readers that they came away from the forum still against BDS. But they said that the Jewish community must not excommunicate pro-BDS Jews because doing so will only alienate young Jews from Israel and feed the anti-Semitic perception that Jews are a “monolithic” community.dn5/9/2015
Analysis: Future Israeli governments - including those on the Right - will miss Abbas Yossi Melman - Jpost - Ultimately, Israel may find itself in a predicament in which the Palestinian Authority will be dismantled and Hamas will enter the vacuum. Perhaps this is what Israel`s right-wing leadership really wants. [bz]4/9/2015
Red Rag column: new police commissioner; US youth volunteer for the Occupation army; observations on MeretzGideon Spiro - This week 160 young Jews arrived in Israel from the United States in order to volunteer to serve in the Israeli Occupation Army. The absurdity cries out to the heavens. Jews who have full human and civil rights in their own countries are coming to Israel in order to participate in the crimes of denying others the rights that they themselves enjoy. [gm]4/9/2015
Fear, Trauma and Healing: a Scientific Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian RelationshipYOAV LITVIN - Counter Punch - "Ultimately, after several generations of peace the fear of the other will have been permanently extinguished and Israelis and Palestinians can coexist in a society that emphasizes empathy and cooperation." - id 30/9/2015
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