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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Israeli Strike on Cross-border Gaza Tunnel May Have Been Too Successful Amos Harel - Haaretz - Attack brings tensions to highest level since 2014 Gaza war. Israel lacks overall strategy regarding Gaza, apparent from the years-long delay in approving projects that would have helped alleviate the enormous civilian distress. [bz]31/10/2017
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It’s time to change Israel’s provincial defense policyAlex Fishman, Ynet`s main military commentator - In the present situation of an unclear nuclear game, countries rely less on the use of military force for solving problems, and more on the use of “soft force”—all the systems that won`t lead to an explosive chain of events to achieve political goals: Diplomacy, media and economic leverages, psychological warfare, cyber warfare (...) so as not to force the enemy to respond. In other words, Less tanks and more thought. But Israel isn’t there yet. [bz]31/10/2017
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Balfour 100 years on: Salvation or betrayal?Al-Jazeera - "What`s fascinating about it is that those two views are completely irreconcilable, which is why people who support Israel, Israelis, Zionists, many Jews are celebrating, and most Palestinians are indeed mourning and protesting ... And in a way, it`s an encapsulation of the deadlock at the heart of the continuing crisis," says Black, who is also the author of a new book on the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict since the Balfour declaration, Enemies and Neighbours: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017. " ca28/10/2017
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VIDEO: Why do Far-Right White Nationalists Support Zionism?SHIR HEVER - IMEMC "The state of Israel is a model for the extreme right in the US and in Europe." ca28/10/2017
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Hamas and Fatah Must Transform to Speak on Behalf of PalestiniansRamzy Baroud - Information Clearing House "However, the recent reconciliation agreement in Cairo is not an outcome of a new commitment to a Palestinian national project. Both Hamas and Fatah are out of options. Their regional politicking was a failure, and their political program ceased to impress Palestinians who are feeling orphaned and abandoned.For the Hamas-Fatah unity to become a true national unity, priorities would have to change entirely..." ca27/10/2017
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DeVos Nominates Islamophobe Hoaxster to Senior ‘Civil Rights’ PositionRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "There are now 20 states with laws endorsing state boycotts of companies which honor the BDS campaign. These laws prohibit any company doing business with the state from endorsing the international human rights effort. Erdan’s efforts no doubt are meant to reinforce this legal project by passing such laws in all states. Once that is accomplished and they feel they’ve achieved a national consensus attacking BDS, I imagine the lawsuits will follow." ca27/10/2017
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Hamas backtracks on charter changesShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Indeed, since the Palestinian reconciliation agreement was signed in Cairo earlier this month, hardly a day goes by without Sinwar making some kind of militant proclamation toward Israel in which he boasts about the might of the military wing, the Qassam Brigades, of which he is a founder." ca 27/10/2017
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Iran-could-humiliate-netanyahu-by-recognizing-israelYossi Beilin - Forward - I would like suggest a test of Iran’s seriousness in its new charm offensive: Iran should declare its commitment to the Arab Peace Initiative (API) of 2002, including its readiness to pay its part to implement it. The initiative, which was a big surprise at the time, assured the world of the Arab states’ readiness to make peace with Israel and to normalize relations. This assurance came on the condition that Israel makes peace with the Palestinians and Syria based on the 1967 borders (the pre-1967 war lines). Israel, under Ariel Sharon’s leadership, dismissed the initiative, but the OIC (the Organization for Islamic Cooperation, with the membership of 57 countries) adopted the interesting offer. Read more: http://forward.com/opinion/israel/385480/iran-could- humiliate-netanyahu-by-recognizing-israel/-rh 25/10/2017
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Fatah, Hamas, Israel and the United StatesRobert Fantina - Counterpunch - "The success of the reconciliation of the Palestinian government would not stop Israeli violence against the Palestinians overnight; it is too deeply ingrained in the government and large swaths of the racist population to allow that to happen. But a unified Palestinian government on the world stage would send an important message to the international community, which might, in turn, turn up the pressure on apartheid Israel." - id 25/10/2017
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Why Does Israel Sell Military Parts to Iran and North Korea that Could Lead to Nuclear Proliferation?Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "This is a country which has two hundred nuclear weapons.  A country whose leaders have seriously contemplated using them against their enemies during past wars (though ultimately they decided not to do so).  A country which defies nuclear safeguards observed by the rest of the world; refuses to join NPT.  It has also refused to consider a nuclear free zone in the Middle East and sabotaged efforts by Arab states to declare one." - id 25/10/2017
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A New Start Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "I believe that there is a right-wing minority and a left-wing minority. Between the two there is the great mass of the people, waiting for a message, desiring peace but brainwashed into believing that peace is impossible ("there is no partner"). WHAT WE NEED is a new start." - id 25/10/2017
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If Breaking the Silence didn’t exist, the prime minister would have had to invent itSima Kadmon - Ynet - If, as Netanyahu implied, the Israeli government seeks to outlaw Breaking the Silence arguing that the publication of their testimonies would lead the IDF to The Hague, it would likely have to outlaw the Military Censor as well. In March 2016, Chief Military Censor Col. Ariella Ben-Avraham cleared Breaking the Silence of all suspicions. Everything Breaking the Silence published was handed over to the censor in advance and approved for publication, as it did "not compromise state security,” she ruled. [bz] 24/10/2017
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Hamas and Fatah`s Step Forward Takes Palestine a Step BackDana El Kurd - Foreign Affairs "Of course, Hamas may be acquiescing only strategically, so that it can appear serious to the Palestinian public about reconciliation and secure an end to the siege. Also, because Hamas is being compromising, the public would blame the other parties and not Hamas if the talks were to fall apart. Although it is possible that Hamas is making such calculations, the group’s latest concessions are in line with its increasing acquiescence and its decline as a resistance movement over the past ten years. " ca20/10/2017
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A Smackdown on ISIS... Over PizzaDina Badie - Huffington Post "Let’s be honest with ourselves. There is no chance of successful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations with the Likud Party in power in Israel and Hamas controlling Gaza...In terms of Iran, a temporary partnership could work in our favor. Rather than impeding nuclear diplomacy, working together against ISIS would help alleviate Iranian fears that the West is out to get them (which is part of the reason why they want nuclear weapons). Finally, working with “moderate” Syrian rebels (which won’t begin for months) is counterproductive. Just because it is already our policy, doesn’t mean that it’s a good one." ca20/10/2017
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Pitfalls of the Fateh-Hamas ReconciliationKhalil Shaheen IMEMC News & Agencies - "The Fateh-Hamas reconciliation announced on October 12 may sound like a breakthrough, but many questions remain. Of course any progress bridging the two sides is a welcome development for people in Gaza, who have suffered since 2007 from Israel’s cruel blockade and, more recently, from the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) draconian cuts to their electricity and salaries. However, the longer-term effects of a Hamas-Fateh rapprochement – if done in an incomplete way – may be more devastating than what Palestinians experience today." ca20/10/2017
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Palestinian official: Unity deal will aid peace processZena Tahhan - Al-Jazeera "Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasmeh told Al Jazeera that the agreement is an "internal Palestinian matter" that will help bring peace."The deal that we signed with Hamas talks about building a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 borders - which is in line with international law," Qawasmeh said when asked about Greenblatt`s comments." ca 20/10/2017
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The real reasons Trump is quitting UNESCOJonathan Cook - CounterPunch - "Trump’s confected indignation at Unesco, and his shrugging off of its vital global programmes, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation." - id 18/10/2017
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With Netanyahu, it’s all about political survivalSima Kadmon - Ynet - "Instead of resting on the laurels of a successful diplomatic weekend, he is busy lashing out at the police and the media and settling personal scores." - id 18/10/2017
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Netanyahu compares human rights groups to Russian election interferenceMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "The prime minister is trying to turn human rights and anti-occupation groups into a subversive boogie monster, this time by conflating them with Western democracy’s contemporary super-villain — Russian election interference. What if he’s right?" - id 18/10/2017
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The Closure of the West Bank and Gaza Has Lasted 26 Years Amira Hass - Haaretz - Several of my colleagues rightly criticized the order to prohibit the exit of Palestinians from the West Bank during the entire Sukkot holiday. The writers noted the cruelty of harming the livelihood of tens of thousands of workers with collective punishment. But these articles created the false impression that the checkpoints are open to everyone normally... The closure is the reinstatement of the Green Line - but only in one direction. [bz]17/10/2017
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Palestinian reconciliation could work this time. Israel must support itAshraf al-Ajrami - +972 - In its most recent internal elections, the Hamas movement chose a young leadership composed of charismatic and influential figures, among them several who spent time in Israeli prisons, like Yahya Sinwar, who was elected to party’s top post in Gaza. One of the first things the new leadership did was to take a hard look at reality in the Gaza Strip. [The writer is a former PA minister-bz]17/10/2017
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Trump’s Iran deal speech: A recipe for a regional explosionAlex Fishman - Ynet - Even if nothing practical comes out of the speech, the fragile structure of calm around the nuclear agreement, which is based on conflicting interests, has already been undermined. - The president’s inability to deal with North Korea is encouraging the Iranians to challenge him. And that’s the exact recipe which could lead to instability, to security tensions, to military escalation and to a regional explosion. [The writer is the military expert of Yediot Ahronot-bz]17/10/2017
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The slow death of Israeli citizenshipMarzuq Al-Halabi - +972 - As the Right consolidates its power over nearly every sphere of Israeli politics, it is slowly turning citizenship into a matter of ideology. Non-Jewish citizens aren’t the only ones who will suffer [ry]16/10/2017
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Much optimism, little confidence in Hamas-Fatah dealOmar Karmi - EI - “But while the weakness of both sides provides some common ground, mutual confidence remains low. And where Hamas is isolated, Abbas’s PA is largely dependent on funding from the US and EU, giving both undue leverage. […] And even if all those potential stumbling blocks can be cleared, any progress toward lasting reconciliation can at any moment be canceled by Israel” [ry]16/10/2017
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A hopeless reconciliation agreementAlex Fishman - Ynet - "Israel cannot accept the agreement between Fatah and Hamas, as it would force it to stop treating the West Bank and Gaza as two separate entities. Regardless, Israeli officials believe the agreement would collapse within 3-4 months, so there is no reason to try and sabotage it." - id 14/10/2017
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Israeli Supreme Court Gags New Permissive Police Open Fire RegulationsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth to know that the Israeli Supreme Court now walks hand in glove with killers like Azarya and offers a judicial fig leaf in the form of this gag order, which prevents the Israeli public from knowing the terms under which its officers will kill in their name." - id 14/10/2017
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The Terrible Problem Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Quoting numerous Palestinian texts, speeches and even schoolbooks, Begin shows that the Palestinians will never, never, never give up their "Right of Return"." - id 14/10/2017
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No, Catalonia isn`t PalestineNoam Sheizaf - +972 Magazine - Some in Israel are drawing parallels between the Catalonian demand for national self-determination and Palestinian demands. These wonder out loud how Spain and Europe could push Palestinian independence on Israel when they oppose the independence of minority groups within their own borders. The two situations are nothing alike, however. Catalonians are already full citizens in Spain, like the Kurds in Iraq, Tibetans in China, and most of the minority groups in the world that are demanding independence. If we were to imagine a parallel situation in Israel, it would be if Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Galilee or the Negev were to demand independence. Alternatively, another comparable situation would be if following Israel annexing the Palestinian territories and giving citizenship to all of its residents, Palestinians within the resultant one-state solution were to hold a referendum on secession. That might not be the worst idea in the world.[ak]10/10/2017
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Has Palestinian unity finally arrived?Omar Karmi - The Electronic Intifada "You sit around for ages, the old joke goes, waiting for a bus, and then three come along at the same time.Something like this seems to be happening right now on the internal Palestinian political front. Until June, Palestinian politics seemed deadlocked, with no prospect of unity, no progress with Israel and no hope for Gaza. Then, two initiatives, both involving Hamas, and the latest promising a breakthrough on reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, came along right after each other." ca 7/10/2017
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As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting ‘Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism’ Jonathan Cook - Mondoweiss "A strange, if largely obscured feature of the supposed anti- semitism crisis – set out at length in my first Mondoweiss article – is that so many of those accused and convicted in Labour of this hate crime are Jews. The latest person accused by the party of anti- semitism – and this week expelled – is Moshe Machover, a mathematician and philosophy professor at the University of London. He was born and raised in Israel. " ca7/10/2017
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Keeping Palestinian Women in Israel on the Economic MarginsIMEMC News & Agencies - "In this brief, Suheir Daoud discusses the marginalization of Palestinian women in the Israeli labor market. She examines Israel’s lack of support for Palestinian women working in the public sphere as part of a both historic and current policy that aims to isolate and control the potential of the Palestinian minority to serve the interests of the Jewish majority. She concludes with recommendations for what Palestinians can do to promote Palestinian women’s empowerment and employment in Israel." ca7/10/2017
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It’s time for self-examination, Mr. Prime Minister Sima Kadmon - Ynet - "Is his wall of cynicism and constant preoccupation with survival ever penetrated by different thoughts? Like regret, remorse, shame and a recognition that this is not how he hoped things would turn out." - id 4/10/2017
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BREAKING THE GAG: Secret Israeli Supreme Court Ruling Approves Massive Arms Sale to Genocidal Burmese JuntaRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Earlier this week, the Israeli Supreme Court made its ruling in a case brought by Israeli human rights activists against Israeli arms sales to the Burmese military junta, which has ethnically cleansed 400,000 Rohingya Muslims in the past few months.  But officially, we don’t know anything about the decision.  The Court has placed a gag order on it so no Israeli journalist may report the result." - id 4/10/2017
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A Tale of Two Stories Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "NOT a day of quiet in this country, a state without borders and without a constitution, where every story has two totally different sides, where nice and quiet people suddenly become raging martyrs. There will be no quiet until there is peace, with each of the two peoples living in their own state, a situation where real friendship has a chance of blooming." - id 4/10/2017
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That ‘Israel Lobby’ Controversy? History Has Proved Us RightStephen M. Walt - The Forward - Despite the lobby’s continuing influence, there is a more open discussion of Israel-related issues today.The taboo of publicly criticizing Israel, the lobby or the "special relationship" has been broken. More Americans have become aware of the complexities of life in Israel-Palestine and more sympathetic to the needs and desires of both populations.There is also a growing divide within the American Jewish community over what is best for Israel itself. American Jews today are less reluctant to criticize Israel’s policies or the actions of the Israeli government. Reflexive support for whatever Israel does is no longer the default condition for many American Jews. These developments are especially evident among young people. [ak]3/10/2017
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Red Rag column - The Year of the RightGideon Spiro - The outgoing year, 5777, was a year of rejoicing for the Right and mourning for the Left. Netanyahu was an honoured guest on five continents: Australia, Africa, Europe, Asia and America. 2/10/2017
The Israeli army is now justifying expulsion with feminismOrly Noy - +972 - Netanyahu vowed this week that Israel would not uproot any more Arab communities. He seemed to forget two Palestinian villages fighting for their existence at this very moment [ry]2/10/2017
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