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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
The Israeli ghettoHani Habib - AIC - The Israeli government has built large ghettos by lining the West Bank, the border with Egypt, and the Gaza Strip with fences and walls. Of course, Gaza is the most complete Israeli “ghetto.” The vast majority of Jews somehow fail to connect the situation of Gazans, and all other Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, to their own history of resistance and survival under occupation. This elision has created a twisted drama where Palestinians are sentenced to a Jewish fate. However, the walls and fences also built another ghetto: Israel. [bz]29/2/2016
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Jews were terrorists before State of Israel, says CoppolaTimes of Israel staff - “Terrorism is when you don’t have an army,” said the director, whose ancestors were Italian immigrants. “You use anything else you have. We were terrorists, in the United States. The Jews before Israel were terrorists. What we sometimes call terrorism is the last resort of people who don’t have jet planes, so that they use what they have.” [bz]29/2/2016
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Israel Defies UN Efforts to Bring it into Compliance with Int’l LawWilliam A. Cook--Nearly seven decades after the eruption of what turned out to be one of the longest-running, most violent confrontations of the modern history, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to be on the headlines, and despite the loss of so much political and financial capital, refuses to be resolved in a meaningful and sustainable way.dn28/2/2016
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Israel`s New Line of Propaganda Puts Orwell to Shame Gideon Levy--Israel is resorting to lies and deceit about the occupation and its treatment of the Palestinians to fill the void left by the death of the peace process. dn28/2/2016
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Freedom is a constant struggleFrank Barat--Sometimes events follow each other in a certain way, and start to create a pattern of their own. Everything seems to fall into place, but not the place you had wished for. It is as if the years people have put into activism, fighting for a better and fairer society, a better future and a better world, have failed, and all is left to look at is the worst of human civilisation. dn28/2/2016
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I Am a Palestinian Citizen of Israel, and I’m Not an Enemy of the State Rita Khoury--The prime minister’s speech was not an isolated event but part of a wholesale campaign to confine and define Palestinian citizens of Israel according to the terminology and policies of his government. As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, I would like to respond to the accusations he made at the time. The charges they raise against my community have only been voiced by the Israeli government in louder and more vociferous tones since. dn28/2/2016
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Prominent international writers to write book on `occupation`Merav Yudilevich--Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer Michael Chabon and his wife, Israeli-American author Ayelet Waldman, plan to edit a literary project bringing together writers from all over the world over the world to write a book of essays on “50 years of Israeli occupation”[should be 68 years. dn] The book is scheduled be published in June 2017. dn27/2/2016
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Et Tu, Rivlin? Don`t Bar Israeli Arab Lawmaker From Event at President`s Residence Haaretz Editorial - It is unacceptable for a president to expel from his official residence a sitting Knesset member on account of his opinions or actions. The president has no authority or right to punish MKs. He cannot humiliate them by expelling them from his residence. [bz]27/2/2016
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What Israel must understand about GazaShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Have any members of the most prestigious committee of the Knesset bothered to read the UN report published in September, which determined that if current trends continue, Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020? Or perhaps they thought of the report as another anti-Israel publication from the United Nations. In contrast to these Knesset members, from what the chief of military intelligence said it seems he has actually adopted the report’s conclusions." ca 26/2/2016
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Suspect Arrested for Deadly Arson Attack on Palestinians Was Top Police Target for a Year Gidi Weitz,Chaim Levinson - Haaretz  "`When a man declared a police target manages to commit a significant crime under the law enforcement system’s nose, that’s a failure,` says former police investigator. " ca26/2/2016
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Israel’s Security Establishment Makes Public Plea for a Two State Solution Richard Falk - Palestine Chronicle - Rarely, if ever, has a newspaper ad mobilized such influential backing for a position of prominent Israelis at odds with the elected leadership of the Israeli state. A full page add appeared in the New York Times on February 4, 2016. It was sponsored by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. Considering the main readership of the NYT it is clear that the message was aimed at the American public, and likely, particularly at Jewish Americans and the advisors of the next American president who is to take office a year from now. Its message was proclaimed in large bold type: “Israel’s Security Chiefs Agree: Separation into two States is in Israel’s vital security interest.”-rh24/2/2016
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When Israel’s bulldozers escape our attentionBarbara Erickson - The Electronic Intifada - "Untold stories of loss haunt these reports from the field — the four vegetable stalls razed near Jericho last May, for instance. It took next to no time to destroy these humble structures that provided support for 11 adults and 15 children. Crews also confiscated or damaged 500 boxes of vegetables in the process." - id 24/2/2016
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Why is Israeli media attacking itself?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Articles sharply critical of Israeli excesses in the occupied territories appear regularly in the Israeli press. Public figures, artists, thinkers and journalists along with peace and human rights activists openly condemn the way Palestinians living in the territories are constantly being robbed, not only of their land but also of their most basic freedoms." - id24/2/2016
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No hope for GazansAlex Fishman - Ynet - "The IDF is preparing for the next round of fighting with Hamas, which is expected to be much more intense than in previous operations. Yet, the spark which may start the fighting this time will be different. The Gazan population is at its boiling point, and when it explodes, the entire region will feel it." - id 24/2/2016
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No hope for Gazans - a cold-blooded analysis by an Israeli military commentatorAlex Fishman - Ynet - Gaza has turned into a human transit camp which every day tests the limits of its population. In Israel, we often see the infrastructure crisis in Gaza - electricity and water shortages, and broken sewage systems. But that only scratches the surface: Gazan society has started to disintegrate. The number of suicides has reached unprecedented levels. The number of instances of murder within the family has grown: for instance, there is a phenomenon whereby women are stabbing their unemployed husbands. Young people who are caught trying to cross the fence into Israel say they do it because there is no food at home, or because they are escaping violence in the family. 50 percent of the youth in Gaza have said in different surveys that they want to leave Gaza forever. [bz] 23/2/2016
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Why Palestinian unity is a misnomerOmar Karmi - EI - “Almost 80 percent of respondents to the September PCPSR poll believe there is a low or non-existent chance of a Palestinian state in the next five years. More significantly, more than 65 percent believe the two-state solution is no longer viable. That is why Palestinian youth are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, outside any political affiliation. It is why more and more now believe — more than 50 percent according to the recent poll — that the PA should be dissolved” [ry] 22/2/2016
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BDS tactics are not anti-SemiticAlastair Sloan--On Sunday evening, the UK Conservative party finally announced plans for the criminalisation of anti-Israel boycotts by public bodies, town councils, libraries, universities and some student unions.dn21/2/2016
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Political persecution won`t stop us from breaking our silenceYuli Novak--Over the last few months, as the Israeli government is less helpless in the face of terror and our foreign relations are at an unprecedented low — we have experienced, for the first time, what political persecution feels like. The ongoing campaign against Breaking the Silence is not intended to criticize or argue over political opinions. The campaign is intended to put a hit on the organization, or at the very least to force us to back down, thus sending a message to all those opposed to the government’s policies. dn21/2/2016
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Pink Floyd star on why his fellow musicians are terrified to speak out against Israel.Paul Gallagher--Exclusive: `If they say something they will no longer have a career – I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite`dn21/2/2016
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Letters: Boycott ban: Tories side with oppressors, againIndependent Voices--We find it incompatible with democratic freedom, and counterproductive, that the Government intends to block ethical investment and procurement decisions by public bodies lest they “poison and polarise debate and fuel antisemitism” (“Boycotting of Israeli goods to be criminal offence”, 15 February). dn20/2/2016
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Israel must not be ‘trigger-happy’ in blocking attacks, defense chief saysTamar Pileggi - The Times of Israel "We must not allow our senses to be dulled and must not become trigger-happy simply because our blood is boiling,” Ya’alon added. “We need to know how to win and still remain human.” ca19/2/2016
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Israeli MP claims the Palestine Nation cannot exist `because they can`t pronounce the letter P`Matt Payton - Independent - An Israeli MP has caused outrage and bafflement by telling Israel`s parliament that the Palestinian Nation doesn`t exist because Arabic does not include the "P" sound.-rh17/2/2016
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Why Does Israel`s Liberal Opposition Leader Say There`s No Prospect of a Peace Deal?J.J.Goldberg - Forward - Eisenkot reaffirmed the army’s view in his February 9 speech. The army had confirmed a day earlier that it asked the government for 30,000 new permits for Palestinians to work in Israel, in order to improve their economic situation and thus reduce violence.-rh 17/2/2016
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Churches for Middle East Peace: Does Area C = Israel?Warren Clark, Executive Director of CMEP - Israeli expansionism, combined with policies that suppress Palestinian development, has meant the number of Israelis now exceeds the number of Palestinians in Area C. The settler population there is now over 350,000. Estimates of the Palestinian population in Area C vary from 50,000 to 300,000; estimates vary as some Palestinian towns and villages are partly in, and partly out of, Area C. [bz]16/2/2016
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Who`s for destroying democracy?Yoel Esteron - Ynet - The prime minister`s `big plan` is to weaken the political system, debilitate the civil servants and gatekeepers and destroy free press. This is not a delusion thought up in the state of Tel Aviv [ry] 15/2/2016
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Analysis: Why Netanyahu can’t finish West Bank security barrier Jerusalem Post--Construction of the West Bank security barrier has been mostly frozen for nine years, even though some 36 percent has yet to be completed. Nor is it likely to be finished in the near future, despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise last week to wrap a security fence around the entire State of Israel. 14/2/2016
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The roots of Palestinian and Israeli teenage violenceGil Gertel--Three different news items on teenage violence were aired in the Israeli media recently. The first was a hearing in the Special Committee for the Rights of the Child on violence by teachers toward students. Following that came a report by the Education Ministry that tracked the level of violence in schools. Finally, Channel 10 aired a four-part series that looked into what motives Palestinian teens to carry out violent attacks against Israelis.14/2/2016
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Call Apartheid in Israel by Its Name Oren Yiftachel - Haaretz - The occupation has not been defeated or liquidated, but rather has developed into the next stage: civil colonial control, accompanied by a creeping process of apartheid into the entire area controlled by Israel between the Jordan and the sea. ... Apartheid in the West Bank seeps into the entire area between the Jordan and the sea. In the West Bank, the expansion of the Jewish settlements means the erasing of the difference between “there” and “here,” while west of the Green Line, the means of repression are imported from the West Bank, such as the persecution of human rights organizations and removal of Bedouin from their ancestral lands. [bz]13/2/2016
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This land has been here longer than you and meAlex Stein--On one level, these arguments regarding historical claims are irrelevant. Even if one thinks there was no ancient Kingdom of David or that Palestinians didn’t exist before Zionism, it’s possible to acknowledge that there are currently Israelis and Palestinians living here today. But disputes about national legitimacy cut to the bone, and in order for there to be any possibility of a lasting peace, more thought needs to be put into reconciling these historical disputes. To achieve this, we need to get beyond the competing histories of Jews and Palestinians and begin thinking more deeply about the history of the Land itself. dn13/2/2016
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Israel’s Terrorist Journalist: Haggai Segal (& Sons) Ira Glunts--Haggai Segal is a respected Israeli journalist. He is editor of the right-wing national religious newspaper, Makor Rishon. In 1984, Segal admitted to planting two bombs which were directed at two West Bank mayors. Segal, who was a West Bank settler in his 20s was convicted of causing grievous harm and belonging to a Jewish terrorist organization, which operated in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He received a five- year sentence, of which he served two.dn13/2/2016
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No Peace Partner in Netanyahu`s Eyes, Only Wild Beasts Carolina Landsmann - Haaretz - Barkai’s words were interrupted by Erdan’s cries of shock. Barkai tried to explain – “in terms of the families’ feelings” – but it was evident that Erdan couldn’t believe his ears – in other words, not just that this was Barkai’s opinion, but that such an opinion is even possible. There is no question: Erdan’s insides, just like those of Simcha Goldin, are incapable of coping with a comparison between the feelings of bereaved Jewish mothers and those of bereaved Arab mothers. In that sense Netanyahu’s assertion – that we are surrounded by “wild animals” – is an accurate formulation of the Israeli zeitgeist, the essence of the stirrings of the Jewish soul in its land. dn13/2/2016
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Why Herzog`s diplomatic plan looks an awful lot like apartheidNeve Gordon - +972 "Looking closely at Labor’s plan, the logic behind it becomes clear: since it is difficult to envision a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future, Israel should no longer be ashamed of putting Palestinians in Bantustans." ca12/2/2016
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Next Onslaught in Gaza: Why the Status Quo is a Precursor for War Ramzy Baroud - Information Clearing House "After his most recent visit to Gaza, Robert Piper, UN envoy and humanitarian coordinator for the Occupied Territories, left the Strip with a grim assessment: only 859 of homes destroyed in the last war have been rebuilt. He blamed the blockade for Gaza’s suffering, but also the lack of communication between the Ramallah- based government and Hamas movement in Gaza. ca12/2/2016
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The State of Israel is changing its natureMichel Warschawski - Alternative Information Center "Like in previous cases in modern history, the majority of people are not fascist, and even despise fascism. The problem is the lack of a sense of urgency that we need to mobilize and unite, now. In few years, it may be too late." ca12/2/2016
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Israel`s New McCarthyismPeter Dreier - American Prospect - This week, the Knesset is expected to take up a bill backed by Netanyahu and his allies that will require Israeli nongovernmental organizations that expose and challenge the government’s human rights abuses against Palestinians to register, in effect, as foreign agents. Some Israeli activists call the legislation their country’s version of McCarthyism.-rh 10/2/2016
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‘Let the one-state era begin’– Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Our politicians are living in dreamland when it comes to the Middle East, Friedman says. Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.10/2/2016
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Israeli bill targeting leftwing NGOs passes first hurdle Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - The legislation has been criticised as it would only affect leftwing Israeli organisations, many of which are funded by EU countries, and not rightwing NGOs, which are supported by private donations from wealthy supporters of Israel. MPs who oppose the legislation described it as “political persecution” and an erosion of Israeli democracy.-rh10/2/2016
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The death of the Arab Israeli dreamMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - "The views of HaBayit HaYehudi have permeated everywhere — “We are not occupiers, we have returned to our homeland” — and anyone who says otherwise is kicked out of the circle. He is said to be an informer, a plant, unpatriotic, an Israel hater. More and more red lines are being crossed every day." - id 10/2/2016
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One correction on `Israeli Labor Party adopts the apartheid mantra`Ran Greenstein - The Bantustans were kept afloat economically through migrant labour (and to some extent border industries), not through state subsidies. This made for greater freedom of movement in South Africa: black people depended on jobs in the white-dominated economy, white people depended for their prosperity on cheap labour supplied by Bantustan and township residents. This allowed black workers to organise and undermine the system from within. 9/2/2016
Israeli Labor Party adopts the apartheid mantraNeve Gordon - Al Jazeera - It does not seem likely that a just solution to the Palestinian plight will come from within Israel. [bz]9/2/2016
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Jewish politicians meet with terrorist families tooEdo Konrad - +972 - Netanyahu wants to kick Arab MKs out of the Knesset for meeting with families of Palestinian terrorists. Will the same standard be upheld for those who meet with Jewish terrorists? [bz]9/2/2016
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Time to divide: The answer to terror Efraim Sneh - Ynet - To stop individual terrorism requires a sharp change of mood in the territories. Only dramatic political action can do this. Many talk today about disengagement from the Palestinians. They can succeed if they call it what it is – the division of the country. This includes the division of East Jerusalem, where more than 300,000 Palestinians live. [Sneh apparently disagrees with his party, The Zionist Camp (Labor Party), which this week voted for a more meagre plan-bz]9/2/2016
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Israel shoots the messenger: An open letter to Ban Ki-MoonRichard Falk--What intrigues and appalls me is that while I was special rapporteur for Occupied Palestine during the period 2008-2014, you chose to attack me personally in public on several occasions, joining with US and Israel diplomats calling for my dismissal and doing the utmost to undermine my credibility while discharging this unpaid UN job under difficult conditions. At the time, I was doing my best to bear witness to some of the same truths about Israel’s unlawful and immoral behavior that recently got you in similar hot water. My UN mandate was to report upon the reality of Israeli violations of international law while sustaining their apartheid regime of oppressive control over the Palestinian people.dn 7/2/2016
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Red Rag column: Ezra Nawi`s arrest; Tair Kaminer; Natali Cohen VaksbergGideon Spiro - Ezra Nawi is a friend of mine, and I am not in the habit of throwing friends to the dogs just because fascist contamination has entered the system. The activism of Ezra and his friends to help the occupied population in face of hostile and trigger-happy soldiers and settlers constitutes lifesaving in the most basic sense. For similar activism Mother Theresa received the Nobel Peace Prize. 6/2/2016
The emperor has no clothes: The West Bank, settlements and the two State Solution Miko Peled - American Herald Tribune - Not a single inch of the West Bank or the Gaza Strip is under Palestinian sovereignty. All of the Palestine, from the River to the Sea is controlled by Israel. So when European countries recognize Palestine they too are behaving like fools in a magic show, happy to be part of the illusion of some great master of deceit. And indeed, as the world is led by the nose, fooled by the illusion of a Palestine that exists, Israel, the master of deceit, continues to shrink what little is left of Palestinian life. [bz]5/2/2016
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Why one Israeli campaign is calling artists `traitors`Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians have condemned the Im Tirtzu campaign labeling Israeli artists as traitors, but the group`s activities against human rights activists continue unabated." - id 3/2/2016
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Welcome to the state of walls and barricadesTami Arad - Ynet - "Netanyahu is a sober leader who believes there`s no solution to the conflict unless an app is found that could make the Palestinians disappear. Until then, he says no to a diplomatic process, separation, or annexation - and yes to entrenchment." - id 3/2/2016
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How Im Tirtzu dominates Israel`s public debateMairav Zonszein - +972 - "The idea that it is somehow disloyal to criticize Israel outside the country is an old and very popular trope. It was not created by the Right, but by Israel’s founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion, to cover up for massacres against Palestinians that took place upon the state’s establishment." - id 3/2/2016
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NOTHING HOLY ABOUT THE HOLY LANDRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "“Normalization” is the king of hatred. It represents a path to peace, but it’s not just Arabs who are against it. Israelis oppose it too. Israel is the master of anti-normalization. It blends the semantics of anti-normalization and transforms the innocent into terrorists." - id 3/2/2016
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When equality is the biggest existential threat of allNatasha Roth - +972 - In these days of entrapping human rights activists and blacklisting ‘traitors,’ the concept of equality has become as radical as it gets — and a threat to everything the governing regime stands for [ry] 1/2/2016
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Complex problematics of Palestinian representationRichard Falk - AIC - This issue of representation has been rendered acute partly due to Israeli policies of fragmenting the Palestinian people, and then complaining that they have no partner with whom to make peace [ry] 1/2/2016
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Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli OccupationGlenn Greenwald - The Intercept - There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding.-rh17/2/2016
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How to reverse engineer Israeli-Palestinian peaceAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "With Israelis and Palestinians dubious of the "peace process," a new approach is needed to restore some hope in resolving their conflict." - id 17/2/2016
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The man behind the future of education in PalestineDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - In a comprehensive interview with Al-Monitor, Saidam, who was appointed in August 2015, also wants to use changes to the controversial test to introduce a much more effective education system. The test results often determine people`s future and ultimately can bring great benefits to their families or keep them in poverty. Scholarships are available to students who get high grades. “This [testing] system divides society on the basis of the results of the tawjihi, which does not allow the students to express themselves and does not provide any space for analysis or interactive learning,” Saidam explained.-rh 3/2/2016
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The Obama Administration Is Right to Reject the “Settlements=Israel” ConflationLara Friedman - Lobelog - Congress, in both bills, has passed language explicitly defining actions “against Israel” to mean not only against the sovereign state of Israel, but also actions against “Israeli-controlled territories.” This is the very definition of conflating. President Obama stands on the firmest possible ground in rejecting the current congressional effort to use its legislative power to change U.S. policy on settlements. [bz] 2/2/2016
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