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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    

Whenever possible, this government always thinks the worst of Israel’s Arab citizens.Jeff Barak - Jerusalem Post - In an ideal world, instead of writing a mealymouthed Facebook post raising the possibility of apologizing for his actions, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan would be composing a letter of dismissal to Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich and, immediately afterwards, his own letter of resignation. And, in this ideal world, should Erdan refuse to do so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would step in and sack them both, stressing that the political and professional leadership of the Israel Police cannot be comprised by men who are too quick to jump to racist conclusions. [bz] 28/2/2017
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from ItselfRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “Having Trump by his side, Netanyahu will work diligently to perfect the Palestinian prison in the name of Israel’s security. […] Israel has laid out its dark vision. Palestinians must present the antithesis to that destructive vision: a road map towards justice, equality and peace for all” [ry]27/2/2017
Herzog’s Flawed PlanMitchell Plitnick - The Third Way - This sort of thinking is the inevitable result of the unequal relationship between an occupying power that is a stable, economically healthy, regional superpower and a dispossessed and occupied people. The decision is entirely Israel’s, and it is based entirely on Israel’s concerns, not on any notion that Palestinians have inalienable rights and are entitled to the same freedoms as everyone else. [bz for dn]26/2/2017
Why I oppose NetanyahuDavid Rothfield - Many progressive Jews, in Israel and the diaspora, once hoped for an Israel that would live in peace with its Palestinian neighbours on a basis of mutual recognition and respect. Netanyahu has put paid to those hopes. His dream is different. He wants a strong Jewish Israel ruling the lands of biblical Israel where a Palestinian presence will be tolerated with certain conditions. With agility and resilience, he has pursued that vision for 20 years with great success. Shockingly, he may now have an ally in the White House. It seems Prime Minister Turnbull was unwilling to raise these issues while Netanyahu was here. As a Jewish member of the Greens, I appreciate the strong statements of our Greens MPs Scott Ludlam and Lee Rhiannon criticising Netanyahu and the human rights violations his government is committing. [bz for dn]26/2/2017
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Art of AvoidanceBernard Avishai - The New Yorker - Things did not work out as planned. On Monday night, Michael Flynn, Trump’s national-security adviser, who was expected to amplify Netanyahu’s claims of an Iranian threat, resigned. Washington was in tumult over reports of Flynn and other Trump advisers’ communications with Russian intelligence officials. Netanyahu himself arrived compromised by personal scandal and political strain. He is the target of three criminal investigations, and an indictment in any of them could force his resignation, much as corruption allegations forced the resignation of his predecessor and rival Ehud Olmert, in 2008. The most serious of these accusations has undermined his support in Israel’s security establishment, which he purports to represent. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has been cornered by zealots in his coalition, who had assumed, with his encouragement, that Trump’s election would allow them to freely pursue the settlement project, unhindered by talk of a Palestinian state.-rh23/2/2017
Who are real losers of US veto at UN against former Palestine PM?Daoud Kuttab - Almonitor - The strong reaction to blocking the secretary-general from appointing a qualified Palestinian has left a mark on the Trump administration and has inadvertently resurrected the profile of a Palestinian leader the world had forgotten. It even brought about agreement within Palestinian society and its leadership. Fayyad and Palestinians are not the real losers in this case. Rather, that distinction belongs, unfortunately, to the people of Libya, who have been denied a competent, Arabic-speaking world class talent to help bring their splintered society together.-rh 23/2/2017
Donald Trump`s abandonment of the two-state solution descended into dark comedy very quicklyRobert Fisk - Independent - It was almost as funny to listen to the “experts” on US channels trying to summarise Donald Trump’s ravings on the Middle East as it was to listen to his original gobbledegook at his press conference with Bibi Netanyahu. Unable to understand what the President’s inanities actually meant, the lads and lasses of the satellite channels were telling us that he was not as committed as his predecessor to the “two-state” solution but might favour a “one-state” solution – yet wasn’t ruling out a “two-state” solution. Oh yes, and he’d like Bibi to “hold back” on settlements. Most of the “experts” chose to leave out the pathetic Trump addendum – “for a little bit” – because they had no more idea than Trump what this actually meant.-rh 23/2/2017
Trump`s warm embrace of Netanyahu nothing for Jews to celebrateAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revels over his meeting with President Donald Trump, US and Australian Jews are uncomfortable with his warm relations with a volatile and anti-Muslim leader." - id22/2/2017
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and IsraelBINOY KAMPMARK - Counterpunch - "It remains to be seen whether that fateful press conference buried the two-state idea with few funeral rites. If so, such a process can hardy banish the militant misery and indignation that Palestinians will continue to nurse and express. The implacable enemy within remains the most dangerous of all." - id 22/2/2017
Deep State Avenges Bibi’s Rejection of U.S.-Arab Peace DealRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Secretary of State John Kerry organized a secret peace conference last February, including Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s dictator, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi at which he presented a peace plan modeled on the Arab initiative which would’ve guaranteed recognition by all Arab states of Israel as a Jewish state. It also would’ve designated Jerusalem as a joint capital in which international commitments would ensure holy places would be accessible to all parties, the security of any settlement blocs would be guaranteed, all future claims against Israel would be abrogated, and the Palestinian Right of Return would be realized only within the new Palestinian state." - id22/2/2017
Trump opens door to “One State,” riles IsraelisRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Israelis across the board have been attacking Trump and denouncing Netanyahu for failing to confront Trump during their join press conference held on Wednesday in the East Room of the White House." - id22/2/2017
Red Rag column - in Israel it`s hard even to die with dignityGideon Spiro - Seniors in nursing homes, who did not choose their ailments and their suffering, are exposed to humiliation and violence, and live under poor hygienic conditions. Visitors are greeted by the smell of urine and excrement. 21/2/2017
The Middle East `peace process` was a myth. Donald Trump ended it Rashid Khalidi - The Guardian - It matters little whether this travesty is called a one-state or a two-state “solution,” or whether the Palestinians get the right to fly a flag over such a pitiful Bantustan. In this brave new world, it is more urgent than ever for the Palestinians to overcome their crippling internal divisions (...) and produce a clear strategy for a future of complete equality between Palestinians and Israelis. Perhaps Trump has provided the opportunity for them to lay out what a truly just and equal one-state, or binational, or confederal, or two-state solution would look like. [bz] 21/2/2017
How Palestinians should respond to Trump`s `one state`Alaa Tartir and Tareq Baconi - Aljazeera - Palestinians must make clear that the sole prerequisite needed for a lasting peace is justice on their lands [ry]20/2/2017
Do not let go of the Green Line: It is Israel’s Achilles heelMa`an - Nadia Hijab/Al-Shabaka - Today, the Palestinians do not have the power to achieve a political end goal for the foreseeable future. This should not and does not prevent work to achieve interim gains, without compromising basic rights. That is, in fact, the position the BDS movement has taken: It is rights-based and not “solution-based.” By not espousing a political end game, the movement can pull in the largest number of Palestinians and solidarity actors, enabling each to act in their own way to challenge Israel’s rights violations. [bz for dn]19/2/2017
The One-State Two-State BluesRoger Cohen - NYT - Trump’s trashing of two-state doctrinal orthodoxy at least had the merit of constituting a break with a sham. It places Israel and Netanyahu before the choice they face. But his interesting one-state two-state provocation will lead nowhere when at the same time the Trump administration blocks the appointment of Salam Fayyad to head the U.N. mission in Libya on the grounds that, well, he’s a Palestinian. [bz for dn] 19/2/2017
Palestine: Hamas elects new leader in uncertain timeAli Younes - Al-Jazeera "The Palestinian sources, who declined to be identified for this story, said Sinwar could be instrumental in smoothing Gaza`s relations with Egypt and could ultimately play an important role in trying to avoid another costly military confrontation with Israel given his "security background". ca17/2/2017
Trump`s radical message to IsraelHaggai Matar - +972 "I don’t have any illusions about Donald Trump. I am not counting on a misogynistic, racist real estate mogul to save us from ourselves. We cannot pin our hopes on anyone coming to save us. But the fact that even the United States president, on whom the Israeli Right has pinned its hopes, stated that any agreement must be acceptable to both sides is worth praising. This is an approach that, unfortunately, has been missing from the political discourse in Israel, and Trump is right to try and bring it back to center stage." ca17/2/2017
The Trump-Bibi-Murdoch Love Triangle Puts Us All at RiskEric Alterman - The Nation -  But one weapon that both men share and that none of their adversaries, enemies, or even “frenemies” can match is their ability to deploy massive media empires to intervene on their behalf. Each has long cultivated mutually beneficial relationships with powerful right-wing billionaires willing to put their money behind propaganda networks designed to bludgeon the public mind in the service of their business interests and pet political causes. As it happens, Netanyahu and Trump even share the same media cronies.-rh15/2/2017
Donald Trump says US not committed to two-state Israel-Palestine solution Julian Borger and Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - The US president, speaking on Wednesday at a joint press conference with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, did not rule out a two-state solution but stated that his administration had no preference when it came to the final geographical shape of the region. Asked what he thought about a two-state solution on Wednesday, Trump said: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” he said.-rh 15/2/2017
Why Arab Autocrats Haven’t Confronted TrumpRobert Fisk - CounterPunch - "The potentates have been overwhelming the White House switchboard with calls, both Egypt’s Sissi and the Gulf Arabs. The Emirates actually expressed approval of Trump’s policies. The Jordanian monarch, who of course got to Washington first, is being followed in quick succession to the Trump throne room by Benjamin Netanyahu." - id 15/2/2017
Netanyahu won`t cut any deals in Trump`s officeAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s commitment to the two-state solution changes entirely depending on the public or person he is trying to please, and he couldn`t advocate it at his Feb. 15 meeting at the White House even if he wanted to." - id 15/2/2017
Red Rag column - Murder in broad daylight in Umm al-Hiran - Racists of the world, unite!Gideon Spiro - The story of the destruction of the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran includes elements of Ku-Klux-Klan-style police lynching, with an admixture of blood-libel from Israel Police General Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, which are reminiscent of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. gm12/2/2017
Moving the US Embassy to JerusalemEditorial Al-Ahram Weekly "To move the embassy to East Jerusalem, a territory occupied by force, would constitute a flagrant violation of international law and UN resolutions. This might not mean much to the new US president but it does mean something to the standing institutions immediately responsible for the promotion, safety and wellbeing of US interests at home and abroad which, in this region, depend on maintaining good relations with a number of moderate Arab states, foremost among which is Egypt." ca11/2/2017
To oppose Trump, Jews must join the fight against fascism and Zionism Yoav Litvin - Mondoweiss "As the blooming relationship between the Trump administration and Israeli politicians and apologists shows, the ethno-centric character of Israel shares many attributes with- and has been a source of inspiration for- American White nationalism, now embodied in Trump’s administration. In order to effectively fight this new administration and protect community members against the growing tide of anti-Semitism, American Jews need to recognize these parallels, come to terms with the failure of political Zionism and renounce collaborators such as Alan Dershowitz and David Friedman." ca 11/2/2017
The age of Trump spells the end of the Zionist dreamBen Lorber - +972 "As we all weather the short-term shocks Trump inflicts upon the political and civic institutions of American life, the full reverberations of this longer-term shock have yet to be felt by American Jewry. In the future, the era of Trump will be remembered as the end of the Zionist dream." ca11/2/2017
Israeli Land Law is Final Nail in the Two-state Solution CoffinJonathan Cook - Information Clearing House "The Israeli parliament passed the legalisation law on Monday night – a piece of legislation every bit as suspect as its title suggests. The law widens the powers of Israeli officials to seize the last fragments of Palestinian land in the West Bank that were supposed to be off-limits. Now, almost nowhere will be out of the settlers’ reach.Palestinian leaders warned that the law hammered the last nail in the coffin of a two-state solution. Government ministers gleefully agreed. For them, this is the extension of Israeli law into the West Bank and the first step towards its formal annexation." ca 10/2/2017
Israeli peace camp should use language Trump understands: Private property Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "With President Donald Trump in the White House, the Israeli peace camp should focus its strategy on highlighting the theft of Palestinian lands for settlement construction." - id 8/2/2017
Why Israel is in for a Rough Ride Under TrumpRobert Fisk - CounterPunch - "So that’s it. The guy is crackers. There’s no stopping him. And Steve Bannon appears to have his hands on the levers. Poor old Jared Kushner, the son-in-law with the much-trumpeted power to “tame” the American president, couldn’t prevent that disgraceful White House Holocaust statement which somehow just failed to mention the Jews of Europe. Don’t tell me it was left out to appease the Armenians" [ry]13/2/2017
Netanyahu’s price tag attackSergio Yahni - AIC - The ‘Regularization law’ exacts an inestimable price against Palestinians for resisting illegal Israeli settlements [ry]13/2/2017
Israel Bulldozes DemocracyAyman Odeh - New York Times - The reality for Arab citizens is Kafkaesque: The state refuses to create municipal plans to accommodate growing communities, and instead destroys homes that are built without permits it makes impossible to obtain. The government must meet the housing needs of Arab communities. I have proposed a two-year moratorium on demolishing illegally built homes, together with a public campaign to discourage illegal building. During that time, the state should create municipal plans for every Arab city and town and ensure that there is proper accommodation for expected growth. This plan has the support of both relevant ministries. But Mr. Netanyahu is ignoring it. [bz for dn]12/2/2017
From Outposts to The Hague: The Illegality of Israel’s Land-grab Law Aeyal Gross - Haaretz - One can argue that some players in the current Israeli government coalition would be happy for the court to save the government from itself by holding the law as unconstitutional. Then, they can have twice the fun: show their right-wing base they supported the law and then show that same base their enthusiasm in attacking the “liberal”, “lefty” judges. Trump himself could take lessons from the Israeli right in this area. But the Israeli court may not be the only one looking at the law. (...) The new law may end up driving the Hague prosecutor to shift from a “preliminary examination” to a full investigation, which in turn may lead to the indictment of Israelis responsible for settlement policy at the International Criminal Court. [bz for dn] 12/2/2017
Trump`s message to both Israel and Palestinians: I’m in no one’s pocketOrly Azoulay - Ynet - "If Netanyahu thought he had the ‘green light’ to expand settlements and build new ones as soon as Trump took office, the US president has made it clear in recent days that he is the one setting the tone." - id8/2/2017
Israel “Legalizes” Settlements Built on Privately-Owned Palestinian LandRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "I really wanted to use the term “steals” in the headline.  But I figured I better use a slightly less confrontational term there and then really let loose in the post itself." - id8/2/2017
Amona`s evacuation is no victoryOrly Noy - +972 "The Israeli legal system has never been neutral in everything having to do with the settlement enterprise. It certainly does not see itself as responsible for bringing about justice vis-a-vis the settlements, and its famed judicial activism has been expressed mainly in authorizing land theft on both sides of the Green Line... But an effective struggle requires a wider strategy — one which, first and foremost, requires of us to understand our reality. In this reality, the legal system, the state, the police, and the settlers are all on the same side — and it’s not our side." ca3/2/2017
Netanyahu, master of `alternative facts`Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "The brilliant newspeak term “alternative facts” that Kellyanne Conway coined in a Jan. 22 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” rocketed George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984” to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long made use of "alternative facts" when in dealing with settlement construction and building by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians." - id 1/2/2017
All Israeli ministers keep silent on Trump’s Muslim entry curbsRaoul Wootliff - The Times of Israel - As President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending refugee arrivals and barring visas for travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries continued to send shock waves across the US, Europe and Middle East Sunday, Israeli ministers maintained complete silence over the move.-rh 1/2/2017
Is the media to blame for Netanyahu’s irresponsible tweet?Sima Kadmon - Ynetnews - He has no shame, Israel’s prime minister. No shame and not an ounce of integrity. And this is no longer about post-truth, or even about alternative facts. It’s a lie. A bald-faced lie. Benjamin Netanyahu sat in front of the cameras on Monday and threw the entire responsibility for the crisis with Mexico on the Israeli media. First he denied that there was a crisis, and then he blamed the press for the non-crisis.-rh 1/2/2017
How a Photo of Jewish and Muslim Kids Protesting President Trump Went Viral Olivier Laurent - Time - The little girl is wearing a hijab and the little boy a kippah. Both are sitting on their father`s shoulders, smiling to each other and holding signs in protest of President Donald Trump`s immigration order. The photo, shot by Nuccio DiNuzzo, a staff photographer at the Chicago Tribune, and published on Monday night, has since gone viral, with people praising the universality of its message. "I think that the picture speaks for itself," DiNuzzo tells TIME.-rh 1/2/2017
Trump approach may not help Israel-Palestine peace processGhassan Michel Rubeiz - The Arab Daily News - "Had Trump been cognizant of what it takes to resolve this conflict, he would not have assigned the task of mediation to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. His background does not make Kushner the new Kissinger. Had Trump been serious about peace mediation, he would not have chosen the pro-settlement activist David Friedman to be the next US Ambassador in Israel." - id 15/2/2017
Netanyahu’s Trump predicamentOmar Karmi - The Electronic Intifada - Netanyahu “understands that we are on a slippery slope to some sort of one-entity reality,” said Alpher. And members of Israel’s influential security establishment are already sounding that alarm. Trump – who in the Israel Hayom interview published Friday observed that “every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left” – may get on board to save the charade for another while. But it is ultimately an unsustainable charade that settlers and their supporters are now rudely exposing. [bz]14/2/2017
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