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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
What it means when occupation is the consensus Mairav Zonszein - +972 - "Surely it is not surprising when right-wing politicians, settlers or advocacy groups attack, slander or delegitimize Breaking the Silence, but the president of a university that stands for academic freedom and independent thought?" - id 29/6/2016
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Clinton declares war on Israeli-Palestinian peace Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Hillary Clinton’s desperation to silence divisions in the Democratic Party so she can focus her attacks against Donald Trump comes with a very high price for many important issues including fighting racism, winning changes to improve immigration, accepting the unacceptable status quo on gun ownership, and preventing peace from overtaking the U.S. orchestrated dysfunction in Israeli-Palestinian relations." - id 29/6/2016
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Four Generals and a Netanyahu Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "They are former chiefs of staff, and they are outraged by the fact that their intractable prime minister has appointed an inexperienced Moldavian as defense minister. Of this man it is said: “The closest he ever came to a bullet was a tennis ball whistling past his ear."" - id 29/6/2016
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Why so many of Israel`s security hawks have become dovesMazal Mualem - Al Monitor - When the chairman of the Likud argued June 25 that serving in the Mossad and the Shin Bet turns their chiefs into leftists, it kicked off a political storm. The public commotion sidelined an opportunity to hold a real and significant discussion of why the Israeli security chiefs have concluded that a peace agreement with the Palestinians will best serve Israeli interests. [bz]28/6/2016
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An Israeli University Teaches a Lesson in SpinelessnessHaaretz Editorial - The decision of the president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Prof. Rivka Carmi, to cancel an award to Breaking the Silence in the wake of a vicious incitement campaign against the organization encourages this unacceptable way of thinking. Instead of reinforcing civil society, Carmi joined with the forces that seek to suppress it while adopting the language of delegitimizing organizations that criticize government policy, in particular with regard to the occupation. The Berelson Prize has been awarded by the university’s Middle East Studies Department for 25 years. The public recognition and modest monetary prize of 20,000 shekels (around $5,000) that it entails are awarded to individuals and nonprofit organizations that faculty members judge to have contributed to the advancement of understanding between Jews and Arabs. [bz]28/6/2016
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Democrats Reject Platform Proposal Calling for `End to Occupation and Illegal Settlements` Ken Thomas--Members of a Democratic National Convention drafting committee considered the amendment pushed by James Zogby, who said Bernie Sanders helped craft the language of the amendment. dn26/6/2016
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Why I’m not discussing genocide in Jerusalem Martin Shaw--Jerusalem is not just a site of ‘conflict’, as the INOGS conference programme says. It is a site in which questions of ‘genocide’, the deliberate destruction of communities, are all too live.dn26/6/2016
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I’m Jewish and I want people to boycott Israel.Rebecca Vilkomerson--In 2009, I was living in Tel Aviv during Operation Cast Lead. During that offensive, Israel killed about 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza. When small numbers of us went out into the streets to protest the war, we were often pelted with eggs or attacked by passersby. When I dropped my children off at their preschool, parents chatted as if nothing unusual was going on. When they asked me what was wrong, I would tell them I was deeply upset about what was happening just 40 miles away. Their response: awkward silence, or an angry defense of Israel’s actions.dn26/6/2016
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Our Girl--Sima Kadmon June 24, 2016--26/6/2016
For Netanyahu, every peace initiative is an anti-Zionist plotYossi Dahan--What kind of hope does the prime minister offer us when every attempt to bring about peace is rejected as a plot to destroy Israel? dn26/6/2016
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The roots of Israel`s most racist lawOrly Noy--With a majority of 65 votes, the Knesset approved last week the extension of an order to prevent family reunification in Israel. Of Palestinian families, of course. Jews are welcome to continue and reunify as much as they please. dn26/6/2016
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The radical Left harms the disciplined LeftShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Today there is no political space between the Occupation and full withdrawal from the Occupied Territories, between the oppression of the Palestinian people and a Palestinian state, between the dispossession of the Palestinians and returning the land that was stolen. Between war and peace. gm 25/6/2016
Abbas Repeats Debunked Claim That Rabbis Called to Poison Palestinian Water in Brussels Speech Barak Ravid,Jack Khoury,Reuters,AP - "Addressing European Parliament in Brussels, Palestinian president invokes false media reports to claim Israelis are inciting for mass murder of Palestinians." ca24/6/2016
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Will Petty Corruption Bring Down Netanyahu? Uri Avnery - CounterPunch - "Just this week Netanyahu proudly told his party colleagues that he will “never” agree to conduct negotiations based on the Arab 2002 peace initiative, which includes the end of the occupation, the setting up of the State of Palestine and the evacuation of settlements." - id 22/6/2016
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Why this renowned Israeli artist wants his sculpture removed from Knesset Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Famous Israeli artist Dani Karavan suggests that if Culture Minister Miri Regev penalizes those who refuse to perform in the West Bank, artists should "present texts that tell the truth about bloodshed, racism, aggressiveness and injustice."" - id22/6/2016
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The new Hebrew language schools challenging Zionist narratives Laura Selz - +972 - "“I don’t think Hebrew-teaching has to be Zionist,” Janner-Klausner says, and gives an example: “The ‘Hebrew from Scratch’ book, which most of the ulpans are using, shows a map of Israel on the first page. On this map, there is no green line and no Palestinian territory. So with this map they pretend toward the students that Palestinians don’t exist here.”" - id 22/6/2016
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Can Palestinian right of return issue be solved?Uri Savir - Al-Monitor - In return for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines, the PLO would be ready to discuss practical solutions in line with several important elements. (...) and explore the possibility of Israeli-controlled Area C in the West Bank (excluding minor settlement blocs) being designated land on which Palestinian refugees can be resettled in an international effort with Israeli economic contributions. (...) a symbolic (agreed upon) number of the originally expelled Palestinians who are still alive (between 30,000 and 50,000) would be allowed to settle in sovereign Israel within the context of family reunion. [bz]21/6/2016
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Barak and Ya`alon are not the only ones worriedNahum Barnea - Ynet - What was Barak doing as a defense minister in Netanyahu`s government, what did he promote and what did he fail to stop; why did Barak as a prime minister establish settlements that he now seeks to dismantle; what did Ya`alon say and do before falling out with Netanyahu and before being ousted from the Defense Ministry. They each have very good reasons for remorse. But all of this doesn`t negate the value of their words, and doesn`t erase the writing they see on the wall. After a year of ongoing victory celebrations, of being drunk on power, the government is beginning to pay the price for its deviations and incitement. It is paying it on the international stage, and domestically. Barak and Ya`alon are just the tip of the iceberg. [bz]21/6/2016
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Palestinian participation in Israel conference slammedZena Tahhan--BDS groups and activists describe Palestinian leaders` partaking in Herzliya conference as `national betrayal`. dn19/6/2016
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AIPAC Is Destroying Israel, Not Safeguarding It Gideon Levy--AIPAC corrupted Israel, teaching it that everything is permissible: The day AIPAC weakens, Israel will grow stronger, forced to stand on its own two feet and be more moral. (a bit old, but still worth reading DN)19/6/2016
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I Want to Mourn for Orlando, but I`m a Muslim, I`ll Be Accused of Hypocrisy Sayed Kashua--You can’t take even a minute to identify with the shooting victims, and their number keeps rising, as does your feeling of guilt and the feeling of the looming persecution. dn19/6/2016
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Israeli peaceniks release racist video to `save Jerusalem`Mairav Zonszein--A new video portrays a ‘nightmare scenario’ in which Jerusalem residents elect a Palestinian mayor.dn19/6/2016
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The Palestinian leadership. A continuous embarrassmentNadia Harhash--Each time one thinks, things cannot get worse. It only gets worse. This cannot be a coincidence. It cannot be a simple act of fate. It cannot just be mere bad luck. There is a problem in our reality. Our reality as a people that insists on producing such leadership. dn19/6/2016
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A dangerous moment in history: Can the political centre hold? Konrad Yakabuski--As anyone trying to maintain perspective when the whole world seems to be losing it, I owe Joni Mitchell – big time. The reasons are too numerous to list here, but one involves her 1991 recording of the 1919 W.B. Yeats poem The Second Coming. It introduced me to that haunting work, in which post-First World War politics becomes an allegory for the Apocalypse, or vice versa. dn19/6/2016
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Israel`s legal war on terrorTova Tzimuki--Israeli jurists have become in recent years the world`s most in-demand lecturers on all facets of handling terrorism; after a decade of preparation, the draft for a comprehensive anti-terrorism bill is ready dn18/6/2016
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Nobel Laureate`s Love of Israel Has Become a Tormented One, Thanks to the Occupation Gideon Levy - Haaretz "The road Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa has taken with Israel is a sad mirror image of the country`s deterioration." ca17/6/2016
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Israel cannot afford to abandon its Arab youthMakbula Nassar +972 Blog "Sixty thousand Arab youths in Israel are defined as ‘idle,’ neither working nor studying, a precursor to a life of unemployment and violence. It’s time for the state to take drastic steps to ensure they too have a future." ca17/6/2016
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Israeli official who justified killing Palestinian journalists speaks at museum memorializing the victims Ben Norton - Salon - During Israel’s 2012 war, Leibovich justified the IDF’s intentional killing of Palestinian journalists Hussam Salama and Mahmoud al-Kumi, among others. Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders condemned these attacks as war crimes. Both Salama and al-Kumi are memorialized in the Newseum’s own Journalists Memorial, a wall commemorating slain reporters. This memorial was rededicated on Monday, the day before the museum had scheduled a talk by the Israeli military official that justified the very killings that resulted in those names being put on the wall.-rh 15/6/2016
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Deconstructing Netanyahu`s spin about the Paris peace summitShemuel Meir - +972 - It is difficult to ignore the unbridled joy that took over the Prime Minister’s Office as its spokespeople went out of their way to declare the Paris peace summit, which took place this past weekend, a failure. Their proof? A “shallow” final statement that included neither a defined time table (for further international involvement? For Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank?) and did not mention “1967 lines.” The spokespeople patted themselves on the shoulder, hinting that what they viewed as a meager outcome of the Paris Summit stemmed from Israel’s global diplomatic efforts. A summit of 29 foreign ministers who discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was presented as another “photo op” and a PR stunt by France.-rh 15/6/2016
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Israel`s six options for peace Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Netanyahu has two options from which to choose: He can continue doing more of the same, meaning nothing, the results of which will be identical — that is, bereavement, despair and hatred — or he can take action. He can easily muster a solid majority in the Knesset to take action. If he cannot mobilize this majority within his ruling coalition, he can count on support from the opposition." - id15/6/2016
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Oh the Joys of Dimona! Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olasm - "The subtitle of this post might be the same as the subtitle of the film, Dr. Strangelove: “How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb.” Dimona’s bombs, that is." - id 15/6/2016
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Herzog`s Pipe Dream Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "In fact, Palestinians have ceased to be an Arab problem. They are an Israeli problem." - id 15/6/2016
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Understanding Netanyahu’s Rejection of the Arab Peace InitiativeMitchell Plitnick - Foundation for Middle East Peace - Netanyahu is happy to accept concessions from others, but not make any himself. With this latest evidence of Netanyahu’s rejectionism, he has opened the door for Obama to strengthen the framework for potential negotiations to finally end Israel’s nearly 50-year old occupation. In his waning months, it is time for Obama to step through it. [bz]14/6/2016
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The Settlement Industry Jonah Walters - Jacobin magazine - While residential settlements proliferate in the West Bank, encroaching on Palestinian land and violating international law, this is only part of the story. Far more essential to the settlement project are the “settlement industrial zones” — business districts where Israeli factories and farming enterprises exploit Palestinian land and labor to produce billions of dollars of goods each year. Israel operates about twenty such zones in the occupied West Bank, officially called “industrial zones under Israeli administration.” [bz]14/6/2016
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Red Rag column: two pieces from the archiveGideon Spiro - Boycott of Israel, and "Jerusalem Day": essays from 2003 and 2004, relevant to the current situation. gm13/6/2016
Why Israel can’t kick its addiction to collective punishmentAmjad Iraqi - +972 - Israel’s revocation of permits and closure of Yatta this week reflect its need to keep the Palestinian issue at bay by controlling and threatening their people for every action of a few [ry] 13/6/2016
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Israel and Palestine: Breaking the cycle of violenceDaoud Kuttab - AlJazeera - The attack on Israelis in a Tel Aviv cafe reflects the frustration that Palestinians experience on a daily basis [ry] 13/6/2016
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What Drives Palestinian Women Shot at Israeli Checkpoints to Their Deaths? Amira Hass--The Palestinians fear that talking about personal motives, including domestic violence and depression, will free Israel from responsibility for killing women who approach checkpoints armed with knives; but activists now want to distinguish between those who are planning to attack, and those seeking a way out. dn12/6/2016
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Father of Tel Aviv attacker: If I had the chance, I`d ask Khaled why he did itFather of Tel Aviv attacker: If I had the chance, I`d ask Khaled why he did itShlomi Eldar--The father of Tel Aviv attacker Khaled Mahmara told Al-Monitor he did not know ahead about the intentions of his son, who was expected to return to Jordan this summer and obtain his engineering diploma. dn12/6/2016
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Why the Tel Aviv Terror Attack Is Different — and What Comes NextJ.J. Goldberg - Forward - Now Yaalon is gone and the fiery hardliner Avigdor Lieberman has taken his place. Lieberman has long advocated relentlessly iron-fisted measures to cow Palestinians into submission. The military and intelligence branches view such strategies as recipes for increased Palestinian rage and violence, but they’re popular with voters. [bz]11/6/2016
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Tel Aviv mayor says the occupation is a cause of Palestinian terrorEdo Konrad - +972 "Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai shocked many Israelis Thursday morning when he cited Israel’s occupation as one factor that leads Palestinians to turn to terrorism. Speaking on Army Radio about Wednesday’s deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv and reported celebrations of it in the West Bank and Gaza, Huldai argued that Israelis should focus instead on the fact that Israel is “perhaps the only country in the world holding another nation under occupation without civil rights.” ca10/6/2016
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Joining Sweden & Netherlands, Ireland says BDS a ‘legitimate political viewpoint’PNN - "the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, said that “Statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.” Revealing that Israel regularly raises the topic of BDS in bilateral meetings with the Dutch government, Koenders reiterated his government’s opposition to the boycott of Israel but insisted that “endorsing BDS falls under freedom of expression.” ca 10/6/2016
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Why the far right is on the riseSerge Halimi - Le Monde Diplomatique - Imposing cruel sacrifices on entire nations in the name of rules that you don’t understand, and forgetting about those rules as soon as your political cronies break them, creates the climate of amorality and cynicism in which the far right advances.-rh8/6/2016
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Bibi’s New Faux Peace InitiativeRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "I would call Bibi’s and Yvet’s latest quasi peace initiative an act of political theater, except that it does an injustice to real drama, which may move humanity to powerful action. This plan announced by Bibi today is more like performing anesthesia on a corpse (the peace process, that is)." - id 8/6/2016
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Is B’Tselem Right To Quit Playing ‘Middle Man’ for the IDF?Mira Sucharov--The numbers are grim. With 739 cases since 2000 in which soldiers are alleged to have “killed, injured, or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields, or damaged Palestinian property,” in only 25 cases did the military bring charges against soldiers, with an additional 13 being “referred for disciplinary action,” the report says. dn18/6/2016
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Good diagnosis, bad treatmentNahum Barnea - Ynet - Ross and Makovsky`s diagnosis speaks of several developments: The Obama administration may remove its veto of international initiatives, which could cause the French to convene a second Paris conference, which could lead to a UN Security Council resolution enforcing the new peace plan by year`s end. Why is this bad? In their opinion, there are four reasons. [bz] 7/6/2016
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Israel 2016: A house dividedAdam Keller - Jerusalem Post - Israelis who still adhere to such concepts as democracy, or human rights, or simply common decency, increasingly feel beleaguered and threatened – and not only left-wingers. 7/6/2016
The Shampoo SummitIris Zaki--My hometown, Haifa, in Israel, is very proud of its legacy of peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs. But I think it is more divided than it can seem. For example, as a Jew I don’t remember ever chatting with my Arab neighbors growing up. But I knew there had to be arenas in this city where the different groups intersected, connected through the simple rituals of everyday life. I decided to try and find them. dn5/6/2016
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My Role With the Democratic Platform Drafting CommitteeJames J Zogby--I wasn’t going to write about this subject, but something happened yesterday over lunch that prompted me to reconsider. dn5/6/2016
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Gaza… The ResilienceNadia Harhash--The nostalgia I carry within me to Gaza is mixed with compassion and melancholy of a mother to her sons, a family to its reunion, and a nation to its pulse. dn4/6/2016
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Saeb Erekat: Paris Peace Summit Will Equalize Power Between Israel and Palestine Saeb Erekat - Haaretz "Secretary General: 20 years of bilateral negotiations have failed. The international community must compel Israel to accept its responsibility as the occupying force and implement the two-state solution...It is the responsibility of the world to ensure that Israel may not continue to deny a people of its most fundamental and precious rights, including the right to be free." ca3/6/2016
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Doomed from the startDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram Weekly "While neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis will take part in the talks a high-level Palestinian delegation is expected to be in Paris for the duration of the conference.Israel has turned down French Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ request that it support the initiative and there are no signs Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will change his mind. Any consultations with the Israeli side will have to be conducted by telephone or through the Israeli Embassy in Paris." ca 3/6/2016
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Israeli authorities hold secret meetings with US in advance of Friday’s peace talksCeline Hagbard - IMEMC "As thirty nations prepare representatives to meet in Paris Friday for talks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that high-lecel Israeli officials have been meeting secretly with US agents in advance of the talks.Publicly, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has condemned the talks" ca 3/6/2016
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How Israel Lost Its Latest Chance for a Peace ProcessBernard Avishai - Information Clearing House - So Netanyahu may keep power for a while, but in losing the Army he has lost a major source of his legitimacy. Ya’alon himself has called for the formation of a new center-right movement to challenge Netanyahu. Livni told Channel Two last Friday night that her chief goal is to unite all democratic parties in a single opposition bloc. Moshe Kahlon, the finance minister and the leader of the centrist party Kulanu, remains the linchpin of Netanyahu’s majority; his views, and those of his voters, are certainly closer to Ya’alon’s than to Bennett’s or Lieberman’s.-rh1/6/2016
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South African Nobelist Coetzee on Israel and apartheid: ‘Draw your own conclusions’ Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - “Apartheid was a system of enforced segregation based on race or ethnicity, put in place by an exclusive, self defined group in order to consolidate colonial conquest particular to cement its hold on the land and natural resources,” Coetzee said, relaying this definition almost verbatim in application to Jerusalem and the West Bank, minus the word apartheid.-rh1/6/2016
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How Israeli soldiers became `children of the nation`Nurit Canetti - Al Monitor - This affair, which pitted supporters of the uniformed shooter against the military establishment that denounced him and dragged the Israel Defense Forces into a growingly radicalized social discourse, provided an opportunity to examine current public attitudes toward IDF soldiers: a warm, supportive, parental approach that puts the soldiers first at the expense of civilians and, as in the latest case, at the expense of democratic values, the IDF code of ethics, open-fire regulations and the authority of the military chain of command. Defense Minister Moshe Ya`alon and Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot had condemned the act.-rh 1/6/2016
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Wide Skepticism Over Benjamin Netanyahu’s Claim To Back Arab Peace PlanJeffrey Heller - Forward - Netanyahu’s partial embrace of the Arab plan comes after far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman was sworn in as defense minister in a broadened coalition on Monday, an appointment that has raised concern at home and abroad. Israel fears it could face strong world pressure for concessions towards the Palestinians once foreign ministers, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, convene in Paris on June 3 in preparation for a full conference in the autumn. 1/6/2016
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Fabricating facts: An old-fashioned political tool Geoffrey Aronson - Aljazeera - "For almost half a century, and in the teeth of unanimous international opposition to its policy of permanent occupation, Israel has successfully managed to "create facts" that the international community - led by the United States - has either accommodated or proved unable to or not interested enough to challenge." 1/6/2016
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Has Netanyahu`s political credit expired? Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - " 1/6/2016
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Israelis are no longer buying what Netanyahu is selling Alon Mizrahi - +972 - "Israeli Jews want to feel special and in danger...Every step taken under the guise of these fears is justified: the occupation itself, of course, justified but so are other acts of cruelty against non-Jews, as well as the arrogance vis-a-vis non-Jews abroad." - id 1/6/2016
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Shabak Publicly Identifies U.S. Liaison Agent, Six Years After I Did Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The most mysterious, important guest was the Shin Bet’s Washington DC liaison, Avi Arieli. That’s because the cult of secrecy requires that the identities of all intelligence agents except for the Shabak and Mossad chiefs be held in absolute secrecy." - id 1/6/2016
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Netanyahu sacks Ya`alon and makes new enemies Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Since the outbreak of a third Intifada last October, preceded by the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir and the firebombing of the Dawabsheh family, Netanyahu urgently needed the Labor Party to add a semblance of sanity to his ultra right-wing government." = id 1/6/2016
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