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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
Red Rag column - the Code of EthicsGideon Spiro - Who said, “I am definitely in favour of students and lecturers holding discussions on various political subjects. For after all, as academics, and in some cases as intellectuals, they are able, and it is their role, and in certain cases their duty, to concern themselves with such ideas, to draw the conclusions that follow from them, and to point out to others those conclusions”? gm30/6/2017
Decades of failed peace talks: How Israel negotiates with itselfNoam Sheizaf - +972 "The “solutions” to the conflict — one state, two states or a confederation — are theoretical ideas about how to more equitably redistribute sovereignty and resources within the territory at hand. They might happen, they might not. But as things stand today we are in a permanent reality of a single state under Jewish control... ca In other words, the Jewish population can change the legal situation on the ground by itself, whereas all the Palestinians can do is try to convince the Jews to do so." ca30/6/2017
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Netanyahu’s empty real estate gesturesNahum Barnea - YNetnews - In English, behind closed doors, the prime minister promises the world; in Hebrew, in front of the cameras, he holds on to every lump of earth. This game is being played even more intensely as he deals with the Trump administration’s expectations on the one hand, and with the ultra-rightist ministers in his government on the other hand.-rh 28/6/2017
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Can young Jews in US turn tide against Israel?Jonathan Cook - The National - Few books on Palestinian history become bestsellers. But one, titled A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era, managed to rocket to the top of Amazon’s charts this month. Its author, Assaf Voll, an Israeli academic, claims to have reviewed "thousands of sources" to explain "the Palestinian people’s unique contribution to the world and to humanity". However, when Amazon realised all the book’s 130 pages were blank, it hurriedly excised the title from its site. But not before hundreds of customers paid nearly $10 to enjoy the puerile joke. -rh28/6/2017
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Netanyahu’s unexpected confrontation with US JewsMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - A deep rift has been emerging in that relationship since June 25. In fact, that rift is so deep that there has never been anything like it in the relationship between the Jews of the United States and the Israeli government. The unrest was instigated by two volatile moves supported by Netanyahu. The first was a surprising decision that the prime minister brought before his Cabinet, suspending the Western Wall compromise, approved by the government in January 2016. This compromise involved the creation of a mixed-gender prayer space at the Western Wall, which would allow all denominations of Judaism to pray there. The American Jewish community faced a second blow soon after that when the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved the Conversion Law, circumventing a Supreme Court ruling and placing exclusive authority over conversions in the hands of the Chief Rabbinate.-rh 28/6/2017
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Abbas Incensed With Kushner, After He Fully Adopts Israeli Talking PointsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Why does anyone believe the Saudis can deliver anything to anyone?" - id 28/6/2017
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Gaza: Darkness before the stormYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "So it will be until Israelis, Palestinians, and especially Gazans become sufficiently fed up to act in concert, ridding themselves of the PA, the Hamas regime, and the Israeli Right." - id 28/6/2017
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The Four-Letter Word Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Nobody will start peace negotiations if they believe that peace is impossible. The belief in peace will not make peace certain. But at least it will make peace possible." - id 28/6/2017
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Gaza residents abandoned by Hamas, Abbas and IsraelAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - How evil does one have to be to ask the same country occupying his people’s land for 50 years to reduce the amount of electricity it supplies the Strip down to three hours of power a day? (...) If Israel has accepted Abbas as a partner in punishing Hamas, why is Netanyahu going out of his way to rule him out as a partner for a negotiated arrangement with Israel? [bz] 25/6/2017
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Red Rag column - exchange of letters with Amos Oz (1986)Gideon Spiro - official Hebrew does not recognize the term “Occupied Territories” but the pastoral and Biblical term “Judea and Samaria”, which instructs that these are ancient territories that were promised to us and have belonged to us since the Divine Promise. Just as there are no occupied territories, nor is there an occupation army, and the Israeli army, even when it is an occupier, continues to be the Israel Defence Force. And if the Israeli army is not an occupier, then naturally it cannot carry out oppression of a civilian population and the denial of human freedoms, but rather concerns itself only with enforcing the law and protecting public order. Clean and pleasant language. 24/6/2017
Heroes of Israel: Meet Eli Bitan, an Ultra-Orthodox Journalist Who Lost His Job for Speaking OutNew Israel Fund - "Bitan, 26, was fired from his job as an editor of “In the Ultra- Orthodox Rooms” website after an online storm about his speech supporting a vision of two states at the Tel Aviv Peace Now demonstration in May...There are hundreds of thousands more ultra- Orthodox youngsters who go out into Israeli society and see the heavy price that they pay for a political alliance with the right. Our role is to make them feel comfortable, to cooperate between the struggles..." ca23/6/2017
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Palestinian press groups blast ban on websites linked to Abbas rivals Daoud Kuttab - Al Monitor "The Palestinian government`s blocking of websites and arrest of journalists is yet another indication of the Ramallah-based leadership`s loss of control. Such acts reflect a leadership that is paying a high price for the internal struggles within the leading Fatah movement and between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Hamas. This toll affects the Abbas administration’s credibility and deteriorates its public support." ca 23/6/2017
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Israel`s `Ethics Code` to Formally Suppress Academic Freedom, Palestinians Urge Intensifying BDS Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) - Israel’s far-right, pro-settler Education Minister Naftali Bennett is promoting a new “ethics code” that would prohibit Israeli university professors from expressing “political opinions.” The new code would also forbid professors to call for or participate in an academic boycott of Israel, or even of its settlement colleges, and university departments to collaborate with “political organizations.” Academic institutions would be required to institute committees tasked with monitoring political activity of professors, act on complaints from students and take disciplinary action against transgressors.-rh 21/6/2017
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Bennett’s ‘peace’ plan: I’ll dictate, you’ll signAviad Kleinberg - YNet - In Bennett’s world, however, the other side— as well as its needs, its desires, its abilities and its rights— doesn’t exist. We will determine the outlines of the coexistence according to our demographic, security and cultural needs (we will determine, for example, that “Jerusalem is above reasoning and above peace”). We will determine the borders of the Palestinians` autonomy and, of course, the borders of the state and, as a result, the borders of the Palestinian “entity.” If we are strong enough, the other side will be forced to accept this dictation. Peace, in other words, is not a move in which we recognize the other and try to get the other to agree, but a one-sided move which exclusively reflects our needs.-rh21/6/2017
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Are Attacks On Israeli Police In East Jerusalem Terrorism?Rima Najjar - Countercurrents - The nature of Israel’s violence in Jerusalem (as well as in the other occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip) is highlighted by the extrajudicial and brutal erasure of Palestinians who exercise their internationally recognized right to resist as described by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/33/24 of 29 November 1978: Reaffirms the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples for independence, territorial integrity, national unity and liberation from colonial and foreign domination and foreign occupation by all available means, particularly armed struggle;-rh 21/6/2017
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Palestinians failing in telling their storyRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "We’re basically doing the same things today that we did in 1948 and in 1967, with less physical resistance and less violence, of course. But we don’t really need violence. What we need is to do a better job of telling our story." - id 20/6/2017
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The New Wave Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "We need a principled leader like Corbyn or Sanders. A young and idealistic person like Macron. Somebody who will smash all the existing occupation-era parties and start right from the beginning. To adapt Macron`s slogan: Forward, Israel!" - id20/6/2017
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Jewish terrorism is rearing its head again Alex Fishman - Ynet - After two relatively quiet years, a collaboration between radical Yitzhar settlers and groups of teens living in outposts in the Binyamin region has led to the renewal of violent attacks against Palestinians, left-wing activists and members of the security forces. If the political echelon and settler leadership fail to act soon, Shin Bet officials warn, a second Duma murder is only a matter of time. [bz]17/6/2017
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Netanyahu spearheads populist `madness`Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "Netanyahu made the announcement June 11, at a meeting of coalition party leaders. He explained that the existing law, which obligates NGOs to reveal their sources of foreign funding, is still too weak, since it only resolves the problem of transparency. Now the prime minister wants to block the flow of money from overseas to those NGOs that he believes are operating against the Israel Defense Forces." ca 16/6/2017
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Amal Awad: `Arab women have traditionally been written about in a very patronising way`Bridie Jabour - The Guardian "I had read so many books by women who aren’t Arab who go into the Arab world to explore the lives of Arab women – and I found them quite patronising...We are at this crossroads right now: racism is so prominent in our lives as a discussion point and reality for some. This is the time to understand the impact of bringing your culture into another country." ca16/6/2017
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Ashrawi Criticizes Attempts to Expel UN Assistant Secretary General by IsraelIMEMC - "The world needs diplomats and leaders of courage and integrity such as Robert Piper who do not succumb to Israeli intimidation and high- handed methods.” ca16/6/2017
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How Israel’s Occupation Shifted From a Politics of Life to a Politics of Death Palestinian life has become increasingly expendable in Israel’s eyes.NEVE GORDON - The Nation -  During a Labor Party meeting that took place not long after the June 1967 war, Golda Meir turned to Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, asking, “What are we going to do with a million Arabs?” Eshkol paused for a moment and then responded, “I get it. You want the dowry, but you don’t like the bride!” This anecdote shows that, from the very beginning, Israel made a clear distinction between the land it had occupied—the dowry—and the Palestinians who inhabited it—the bride. The distinction between the people and their land swiftly became the overarching logic informing Israel’s colonial project. Ironically, perhaps, that logic has only been slightly modified over the past 50 years, even as the controlling practices Israel has deployed to entrench its colonization have, by contrast, changed dramatically.-rh 14/6/2017
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Netanyahu, Bennett and Regev are afraid of the truth Yoav Fromer - Ynet - "As a government loses ethical legitimacy, its ideological infrastructure turns into a house of cards. Every critical gust of wind threatens to bring it down, forcing it to defend itself through radical measures like censorship and persecution." - id 14/6/2017
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Extremist rabbi indicted for incitement against PalestiniansMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "The indictment, which was approved by Israel’s attorney general, was the result of a years-long petition demanding the state take action. Israel’s quasi-constitution has no explicit protection of free speech." - id 14/6/2017
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USS Liberty Veterans Association to End 50 year Cover-up and Obstruction of Justice case against USS Liberty CrewEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "Since 2007, Tourney has published two books on topic and is in the pre-production stage of producing a feature length film to bring the true story of the attack and it’s aftermath to the American people." - id 14/6/2017
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Theresa May to be propped up by Christian ZionistsAli Abunimah - EI - "The morning after the vote, it is no wonder that many are describing May’s desperate deal with the DUP to stay in power as the `Bad Friday Agreement`” [ry]12/6/2017
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Red Rag column - Trumpiada - Memories of June 1967Gideon Spiro - Of course the government and its servants in the media would define the visit of President Trump as a “historic visit”. Visits of American presidents to Israel long ago became routine, and Trump is the 6th US president to visit Israel.11/6/2017
New faces from Hamas Ahmed Eleiba - Al-Ahram Weekly "The Cairo-Hamas relationship can be characterised as tepid but it experiences ups and downs which are often reflected in the status of the Rafah crossing and in the arrival of Hamas delegations to Cairo. The Rafah crossing was last opened by Egypt several weeks ago, though only to allow stranded Palestinians to re-enter Gaza. It has not been open in both directions for more than two months now. But who knows? With the election of a new political bureau and the arrival of Hamas’ latest delegation to Cairo tepid might be shifting to something warmer." ca9/6/2017
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Analysts: Qatar supports Gaza not HamasAl-Jazeera - "in the 2017 Arab League Summit in Jordan, Qatar was among the 22 member states that backed the Saudi-brokered Arab Peace Initiative, supportive of a two-state solution in return for normalisation of relations with Israel. "Qatar supports Gaza, not Hamas, and it has supported the Palestinian Authority in Gaza more than once, thus dismissing claims that Doha`s support for Gaza is political support for Hamas," Hebron-based political analyst, Belal Shobaki told Al Jazeera." ca9/6/2017
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The disgrace of the occupationSami Michael - Ynet - "The Iranians are not the ones threatening our existence as a normal, civilized country. The occupation is the sworn enemy that could destroy the State of Israel." - id 7/6/2017
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50 years of failed strategy is nothing to commemorateRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Now, 50 years later, we’re still where we started. No forward movement for Palestine while Israel reinforces its stranglehold." - id 7/6/2017
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Abu Mazen: The peace camp`s partner or gravedigger?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The way to defeat the Right is to find a true partner for building an egalitarian society in a democratic state that honors its citizens without discrimination based on nationality, religion or skin-color." - id 7/6/2017
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Greetings for Diana Buttu Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Both Buttu and Smotrich lead to disaster. After all these years, the only practical solution remains as it was at the beginning: two states for two peoples. Two states that will live side by side in peace, perhaps even in friendship. There is no other solution." - id 7/6/2017
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I Fought For a Better Israel Than ThisHirsh Goodman - Politico - In 1967, we fought armies on distant battlefields. My children, however, have been forced into the role of occupiers contrary to the values we hold at home. My oldest son was inducted into the army about a year into the first intifada. (...) He did his duty as was expected of him, but almost the day after shedding his uniform he slammed the door on the country of his birth. He moved abroad and has not returned. We met in Vienna a few years later and talked about his decision. “I’ll never forgive the country for what it made me do,” he said simply. [bz]6/6/2017
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The Israeli-American Hammer-Lock on PalestineRashid Khalidi - The Nation -  The resolution passed on May 21 by the California Democratic Party is a sign of the times. It condemns the failure of successive administrations, in spite of mild criticisms of the occupation, to take “actual steps to change the status quo and bring about a real peace process.” It goes on to criticize Israel’s “illegal settlements in the occupied territories,” and calls for a “just peace based on full equality and security for Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike,” as well as “self-determination, civil rights and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.” [bz]6/6/2017
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A question of justiceAlain Gresh - Le Monde diplomatique - Fifty years after the June 1967 war, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands continues. Whatever new plan is devised will concern the entire region and the wider Muslim world [ry]5/6/2017
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Palestinian leadership still left guessing on Trump`s vision for the peace processMa’an News Agency - "The United States government has remained elusive regarding “the vision” of US President Donald Trump for Israel and Palestine, the re-launching of peace negotiations, and ending the 50-year Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory, leaving Palestinian leadership guessing, according to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Wassil Abu Yousif" [ry] 5/6/2017
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As 50th anniversary of Six Day War dawns, peace in Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains as elusive as everBethan McKernan - Independent - Israelis reflect on half a century of occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem as prospect of two-state solution appears to fade [ry]5/6/2017
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The prolonged birth pangs of a Palestinian stateSever Plocker - Ynet - [Suggestion of a mainstream Israeli commentator:] Palestinians waive the Right of Return and we`ll give up 97 percent of the West Bank, including the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. [bz for dn]. 4/6/2017
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