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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
After hearing Sara Netanyahu recording, we can no longer say we didn’t knowSima Kadmon - Ynet - "We can pity the prime minister, admire him for functioning under impossible conditions, but we must take into account that Netanyahu is a leader under an influence—especially in light of his wife’s involvement in the most critical and fateful decisions concerning our life." - id31/1/2018
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Israel uses every trick to blame everyone else but themselvesRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "This is Israel’s vicious history. It is a history built on lies and hatred. The Israelis commit egregious crimes and go unpunished, while Palestinians, Jordanians, Arabs and non-Jews are punished to the extreme, usually with their lives in disputed incidents that Israel cloaks." - id 31/1/2018
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The Jumping Parliament Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The visual impact was unequivocal: all the Jews in the Knesset applauded the eviction of all the Arabs. It was a clear national divide, showing that the Arabs are strangers in the "Jewish state" – no matter how many centuries they have lived here." - id 31/1/2018
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One state or two states? You`re asking the wrong questionHaggai Matar - +972 - The question of a political solution ignores the notion that has long been lacking in our political debate: Palestinian rights. To a certain degree, we already have two states. Arguably, there is a Palestinian quasi-state, made out of the besieged Gaza Strip and the isolated and separated Bantustans under the Palestinian Authority’s control in the West Bank. One could also argue that we already live in a one-state reality, in which Israel is the ultimate sovereign power in the land, controlling the lives of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank through a series of direct and indirect mechanisms. If Israeli leaders have their way, either a future one state or two states will be a replication of the current power balance. (...) Let’s first stand up together for Palestinians rights and reject occupation. If that works, any political solution that follows could do just fine. We could save the internal fierce debates within our camp for then. [bz]30/1/2018
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Netanyahu the likely winner in peace talksAlexander J. Apfel - Ynet - Many believe, including the current author, that Netanyahu has never wanted a two-state solution. He wants to banish the term from political discourse and he also wants a US administration to abandon the idea, even though he isn’t quite in a position to say it openly. Not yet, at least. Nevertheless, he knows that Abbas’s repeated affronts to Trump and refusal to come to the negotiating table may just send him over the edge, nudging the president into making the plunge he—Mr. Netanyahu—has long been waiting for, and dragging with him the concept of the two-state solution to its final demise. [bz]30/1/2018
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Israel gets flak over human rights record in GenevaBarbara Bibbo - Aljazeera - "Israel is the only state in the world that can be called an apartheid state," the South African delegate told the Israeli delegation and UN members convened at the Palais des Nations."We remain deeply concerned at the denial of the right of self-determination to the Palestinian people, in the absence of which no other human right can be exercised or enjoyed."-rh24/1/2018
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Amnesty made the right call when it refused to host Israeli apologistsBen White - Middle East Eye - The commendable decision by Amnesty International UK to cancel an event this week organised by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) is an important development in the fight against Israel`s illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The event, which was to focus on the ills of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), featured Hillel Neuer, the head of pro-Israel pressure group UN Watch. Acknowledging that the booking should never have been approved in the first place, Amnesty UK pulled the plug on the event after concerns were raised both externally and within the organisation.-rh24/1/2018
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Trump’s Move to Slash Aid for Palestinian Refugees Will Lead to TragedySara Roy - The Nation - The news dropped on January 16, when the State Department sent a letter to UNRWA announcing that it would be withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million payment to the agency. Two days later, the State Department announced that it would also be halting a $45 million payment it had pledged to UNRWA in December, in that case for food aid for the West Bank and Gaza. While a State Department spokesperson insisted that the cuts were “not aimed at punishing anyone,” punishment certainly seemed to be on Trump’s mind when he tweeted two weeks earlier, “with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” -rh24/1/2018
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Between Poland`s Holocaust revisionism and Israel`s Nakba denialHaneen Zoabi - +972 - Poland’s attempt to scrub clean its role in the murder of European Jewry is, at its core, no different from Israel’s attempt to erase the catastrophe that befell the Palestinians in 1948 [ry]29/1/2018
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US ex-envoy warns Israeli leaders not to ‘burn bridges’ with DemocratsTOI staff - "Israeli leaders may find it difficult to resist the temptation to ride this wave, embracing one side in partisan US political battles — as when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arranged his speech in Congress against the Iran deal solely with the Republican congressional leadership,” Shapiro said in a new op-ed co-written with Tamara Cofman Wittes and published by the Atlantic. “But that approach comes at the cost of alienating even longtime allies across the aisle, and when the next crisis inevitably hits, Israel’s leaders may regret having burned those bridges.” ca 28/1/2018
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Is Michael Oren a `real` person?Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The final assessment was that Oren ‘apparently is a real person, but slowly, characteristics and bits of crazy that fit the profile [the hasbara machine] sought were ‘annexed’ to him,” +972’s chief investigator said. Nevertheless, she added, “there was no unequivocal conclusion on the matter.” ca28/1/2018
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Red Rag column - new Mandate needed - deportations - Ahed TamimiGideon Spiro - After 70 years of the existence of the State, 50 of which have been years of Occupation and apartheid, a radical change is needed. We need to return the keys to the body that decided on the creation of the State so that authority can be transferred to an international mandate that will be responsible for ending the Occupation and apartheid and instilling democratic values. 27/1/2018
Gazan workers in Israel: A mutual interest Oded Shalom - Ynet - "Farmer Sa’ar Peletz is in desperate need of working hands. “Give me 40 Gazan workers now, and I’ll hire them without thinking twice,” he says, complaining about the high costs of employing Thai workers." - id   24/1/2018
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Is academia the last bastion of progressive thought in Israel?Edo Konrad - +972 - "Israeli universities have long been viewed as a bulwark against extremism. A new database, compiled by a group of Israeli dissident academics, reveals how the academy works in concert with the state." - id 24/1/2018
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Rwanda Denies “Secret Deal” with Israel to Take Expelled African RefugeesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Israel supplies weapons to some of the most corrupt, brutal dictatorships on the continent.  It also supplies computer, networking and technical support allowing these same dictators to claim victory in “democratic elections.”" - id 24/1/2018
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The Rise of Christian Zionism and Vice President Mike Pence Eileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "The White House originally presented Pence’s trip as focused on supporting Christian communities in the Middle East. However, following POTUS Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Palestinians declared that Pence, the ‘guiding light’ that changed decades of USA policy is “not welcome” in Palestine." - id 24/1/2018
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Mahmoud Abbas is angry. So what!Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "In the meantime, this ugly Occupation, which erodes every enlightened part of the Jews-only democracy, and preserves a military dictatorship in the occupied territories, will continue unabated." - id 24/1/2018
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May Your Home Be Destroyed Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "BUT EVEN a person like Abu Mazen may lose patience from time to time." - id 24/1/2018
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Pope renews call for Jerusalem status quoAFP - Jordan Times "Pope Francis has again stressed the importance of preserving the status quo in occupied Jerusalem and urged fresh talks between Israel and Palestinians on a two-state solution, the Vatican said on Thursday.The Argentine pontiff strongly opposed United States President Donald Trump`s bitterly-contested move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and his plans to move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv." ca 19/1/2018
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Abbas` security coordination challengeDaoud Kuttab - Al Monitor "Abbas and his aides extracted a concession from PCC members in the form of a qualifier to the resolution calling for suspending recognition of Israel and ending security coordination. The clause calls for the resolution to be implemented by the Executive Committee of the PLO. With this qualification, the PCC gave Abbas a bit of room in which to negotiate or finesse how exactly the measure should be implemented so as to protect and safeguard the PA, as well as his own life and those of his aides and government." ca 19/1/2018
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U.S. Federal Court Indicts JDL Leaders for Hate Crimes at Washington Aipac ConferenceRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "A U.S. federal district court in Washington DC has indicted two leaders of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), one Canadian and another American. They are accused of committing hate crimes against a Palestinian-American professor and an American Jewish progressive activist during last year’s Aipac conference. Yosef Steynowitz, 32, of Thornhill, Ontario and Rami Lubranicki, 59, of New Jersey are charged with assaulting Kamal Nayfeh, a technical instructor at a North Carolina college; and graduate student, Ben Doernberg, with wooden poles and repeated kicks. They also assaulted Galen Vandergriff in a similar fashion, smashing the video camera he used to record the incident." ca19/1/2018
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Trump move to pressure Palestinian leadership will ‘take away food and education from vulnerable refugees’Allison Deger - Mondoweiss "“The U.S. Administration seems to be following Netanyahu’s instructions to gradually dismantle the one agency that was established by the international community to protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees and provide them with essential services,” the PLO said in a statement.“This administration is thereby targeting the most vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people and depriving the refugees of the right to education, health, shelter and a dignified life,” the statement continued." ca 19/1/2018
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What is next for Palestine?Ramzy Baroud - AlJazeera "In this article, I sought the opinion of 14 independent Palestinian intellectuals from across Palestine and the diaspora. Although they subscribe to different ideological schools of thought and come from different generations and locations, they shared a lot of ideas. Palestinians are demanding change, or, in the words of renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta - interviewed below - they want to "go back to the roots"." ca 19/1/2018
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Israel: On the Way to a Theocratic StateIsrael Rafalovich - Lobelog "Israel is facing a rise in the influence of ultra-orthodox Jews. Their effort to impose their strictly conservative worldview has led to growing tensions with the country’s secular society. Radical rabbis are expanding their influence particularly when it comes to women. Jewish religious extremists are trying to impose gender separation in public, in elections, on buses, and in the street, all in the name of a morality that is supposedly agreeable to God." ca19/1/2018
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Homeless in GazaSarah Helm - The New York Review of Books - On November 11, 2017, the gray streets of Gaza suddenly turned yellow as tens of thousands of people came out to wave the flag of Fatah, the party of their former leader Yasser Arafat. This was the thirteenth anniversary of Arafat’s death, and, for the first time since 2007, when the Islamic resistance movement Hamas defeated Fatah in the bloody civil war that followed Hamas’s electoral victory the previous year, it had permitted a public commemoration of Arafat Day. By allowing the celebration, Hamas had given the first substantial sign that it was serious about a new reconciliation deal, signed with Fatah in October.-rh 17/1/2018
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It`s a Family Affair: Corruption Runs Deep in the Netanyahu FamilyRamy Khoury - ALBAWABA - In the latest development of the ongoing moral corruption of the Netanyahu family, the eldest son, Yair Netanyahu, was recorded nonchalantly offering to trade his girlfriend for money to pay back debts, bragging about knowing strippers and prostitutes, and asking his friend to pay for a stripper because after all, Yair’s dad snagged his friend’s dad, who is an oil tycoon, a multi-billion dollar deal.-rh17/1/2018
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Defying Israel’s Civil Rights abuses through Martin Luther King Jr.Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Palestinians should turn away from violence and embrace the same strategy of civil disobedience to confront Israel’s racist practices, policies and discriminatory government practices." - id 17/1/2018
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Martin Luther King and the Israel FraudRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "...over time, King surely would have developed a much stronger appreciation of the injustices Israel meted out on its Palestinian minority population.  He would likely have understood viscerally that its suffering was akin to that of American Blacks over the course of their own experience first as slaves, and later as second class citizens." - id 17/1/2018
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Banning the Quakers won`t stop our struggle for justice in Israel-PalestineBrant Rosen - +972 Magazine - The inclusion of the AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) in the blacklist published by the government of Israel affects me directly, as a rabbi who works for AFSC, and who is proud of the important historical connections between the Jewish community and our organization. The AFSC helped get Jewish refugees out of Nazi Europe and got them settled in the US. A few years later, the AFSC helped Palestinian refugees who got in increasing number into the Gaza Strip. These were not contradictionary acts, as asserted by some apologists for the Israeli government. Helping Jewish refugees and helping Palestinian refugees derived from the same humanitarian commitment - which later led the AFSC to support the BDS call - a cri de coeur by Palestinians who were denied justice for many decades and who use a legitimate menas of non-violent struggle to demand rights which International Law should have guaranteed to them. [ak] 16/1/2018
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Abbas’s speech is a grenade in the Israeli right’s lapAvi Issacharoff - Times of Israel - The conclusion of the Abbas era, even if only in the symbolic sense, shouldn’t be cause for celebration on the Israeli side, not even among annexationists. On the contrary, there are more reasons to be worried. In recent years, the PA and Abbas have been the main buffer preventing violent and bloody outbursts against Israel. The Palestinian security forces prevented hundreds of terror attacks, stopped mass demonstrations and thwarted potentially volatile events. Simultaneously, the PA supplied a livelihood to a majority of West Bank residents.[bz]16/1/2018
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Israeli Opposition Slams Ban on Pro-Boycott NGOs : Lapid: `Idiotic` to Fight Boycotts With Another BoycottJason Ditz - AntiWar.com - Minister Gilad Erdan was responsible for a new, and controversial ban on members of a list of NGOs that are seen as pro-BDS, favoring boycotts to protest Israeli misdeeds.This has fueled a lot of opposition backlash, with many waring that it’s just going to further distance those NGOs from the situation inside Israel and make changing their minds harder. Yair Lapid called the bill “idiotic,” saying it was absurd to try to fight boycotts with another boycott.-rh10/1/2018
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Israel`s betrayal of African refugees Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - On Dec. 11, the Knesset plenum passed, by a 71-41 vote, a law that would deport and imprison thousands of refugees living in Israel. This month, Netanyahu directed the National Security Council to formulate a plan to forcibly deport those refugees who refuse to “voluntarily be removed.” That is, the fate is sealed even for those who prefer living in an Israeli prison to dying somewhere in Africa.-rh 10/1/2018
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When one side’s bravery is another side’s humiliation Nahum Barnea - Ynet - "The Ahed Tamimi affair isn’t unusual, but the unusual attention it has received exposes the distortions of the occupation: The separate legal systems for Jews and Arabs in the territories, and the fact that a settler who kicked and cursed a police officer was sentenced to three months of community service, while the Palestinian girl will likely spend several months in prison."- id 10/1/2018
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Foreign Policy Elite Abandons Two-States, but Refuses to Envision OneRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The NY Times, owned by the Sulzberger family, has been a bastion of liberal Zionism for all of that period and longer.  That is what makes the op-ed by Michelle Goldberg and the news analysis of David Halbfinger so remarkable.  It’s not so much what they said, but that they said it at all.  The process by which this is happening is like a massive dam slowly developing fissures as it gradually implodes from the pressure of the tons of water behind it."" - id 10/1/2018
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Harsh anti-Normalization undermines Palestinian interestsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Anger and emotion has driven many Palestinians to oppose any contacts with Israelis, calling it “normalization.” That’s a errant policy and a mistake, and it is misleading. Normalization is used by extremists to block any contacts between Palestinians and Israelis regardless of the intended outcome under the misleading belief that contacts will strengthen Israel’s influence and undermine Palestinian rights. In truth, contacts with Israelis can help Palestinians strengthen not only their base of support, it can weaken Israeli extremism by undermining their false base built on lies and facts."- id 10/1/2018
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The Iranian threat is in dangerYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The fact is that Israel, the start-up nation and the “only democracy in the Middle East,” views benighted regimes such as the military dictatorship in Egypt and the Saudi royal family as strategic allies, and their possible fall as an immediate and tangible danger. In the Arab region, a reality will be created in which the “only democracy in the Middle East” will be judged according to what it is: a colonialist and fundamentalist state, a remnant of the last century. And who knows, perhaps the Spring will also knock on its door."- id10/1/2018
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Why I am Angry Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Being despised by the "superior" Ashkenazim, the Mizrahim started to despise their own culture. They tried to become Europeans, more anti-Arab, more super-patriot, more right-wing."- id 10/1/2018
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Why has Israel banned Jewish leftists but not members of Nazi-linked groups?Natasha Roth - +972 - Israel has banned leaders and key activists from Jewish Voice for Peace, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, among other groups that support BDS, from entering the country. So why doesn’t it extend the same restrictions to members of Nazi-affiliated groups? In its choices over who and who not to ban from the country, the Israeli government has demonstrated that its concern is not what Nazis and the rest of the far-right think about Jews, but rather what they think about Muslims, leftists. [bz]9/1/2018
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Trump Could Be the Best Thing That Ever Happened to BDSBradley Burston - Haaretz - Freed by Trump: Day by day, Netanyahu and his coalition lurch further and further to the right. As they do, the contentions of BDS activists are brought closer and closer to a simple recognition of reality. Buoyed by Trump: Thankful for his declarations marginalizing Palestinians and rendering peace talks impossible, Netanyahu moves to make Israel into a one state reality, even as Israeli officials get ready to waste an additional $72 million dollars – critically needed for Israel`s own social ills – on accusing BDS activists of seeking a one-state reality. [bz]9/1/2018
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Trump, The UN, And The Future Of JerusalemRichard Falk - Countercurrents - This post is the modified text of an interview on behalf of the Tasnim News Agency in Iran as conducted by Mohammed Hassani. It tries to assess the wider implications of the UN reaction to Trump’s December 6th decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to follow this by relocating the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.]-rh3/1/2018
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Trump’s Jerusalem Decision and Ongoing U.S. DeclineGary Leupp - CounterPunch - "What the president announced as a “new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians” and “a long-overdue step to advance the peace process and to work towards a lasting agreement” is in fact another step down the slope." - id 3/1/2018
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Israel ignores Iran’s support of Arab Peace InitiativeAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Israel keeps silent while Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signs onto the resolution of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation supporting Israeli-Palestinian peace based on a two-state solution." - id 3/1/2018
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The Man Who Jumped Uri Avnery- Gush Shalom - "What would life be like in the Israeli apartheid state? One thing is certain: it would not attract masses of Jews. The split between Jewish Israelis and Jews in the USA and other countries would widen slowly and inexorably. Sooner or later, the disenfranchised majority would rise, world opinion would condemn and boycott Israel, and the apartheid system would break down. What would remain? What would remain is the thing almost all Israelis dread: the binational State. One person – one vote. A country very different from Israel. A country from which many Israeli Jews would depart, either slowly or rapidly." - id 3/1/2018
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Trump’s gift to AbbasAlex Fishman - Ynet - In November, Abbas met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh. The two revealed to him parts of Trump’s “major plan”, under which the capital of the Palestinian state would not be in east Jerusalem but in Abu Dis. Up to an already deep down Abbas to market the loss of the capital in east Jerusalem to the Palestinians. And that was not all. The plan also included a cession of the right of return, a recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a recognition of parts of the settlements? And then the miracle happened: On Dec. 6, Trump gave Abbas a “golden ladder” he could never have dreamed of. Abbas is now enjoying an upsurge in his popularity like never before - he, the man who managed to subdue and isolate Trump and enlist nearly the entire world around the Palestinians` right for a capital in Jerusalem. [Fishman is Yediot`s respected military commentator - bz]2/1/2018
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Criminalizing the VictimAmos Gvirtz - A state dispossesses people of their lands, and then in the very sites to which it transferred them, it declares them invaders! [bz] 2/1/2018
Israeli Jews will never accept Palestinians as equals Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Jim Klutznick, the chairman of the liberal Zionist group Americans for Peace Now (and a political player in Chicago and an early Obama supporter), yesterday dismissed the idea of a one-state outcome in Israel and Palestine because Israelis will never accept Palestinians as equals." ca 14/1/2018
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Silence as Israel Destroys Academia Amiram Goldblum - Haaretz "A bill that would make Ariel University in the West Bank a de facto part of Israel is a guaranteed formula for a tsunami against science in the country." ca   14/1/2018
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Book review: fresh thought on Israeli colonialism offered by “Global Palestine”Jimmy Johnson - Electronic Intifada "Settler colonialism — or the relationship between the Israeli settler and indigenous Palestinian societies — remains peripheral to mainstream discourse, even in the Palestine solidarity movement, but some exciting analysis has resulted from its study. Joseph Massad’s 2005 essay “The Persistence of the Palestinian Question” and Gabriel Piterberg’s 2008 book The Returns of Zionism are just two of the works helping put Zionism in a new, critical light.To this we can add John Collins’s latest book Global Palestine."ca 13/1/2018
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Palestinians seek to join UN as full member – reportTOI STAFF - The Palestinian Authority intends to try to upgrade its status at the United Nations and become a full state member, it was reported Sunday, as Ramallah looks for ways to respond to a series of setbacks. In a unilateral step, the PA intends to apply to the UN Security Council to upgrade it from observer status to full membership in the international body, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported.-rh10/1/2018
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