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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
On the 10th anniversary of ‘Cast Lead’ — Palestine’s Sharpeville massacre Israel/Palestine Haidar Eid - Mondoweiss "This week marks the 10th anniversary of the horror inflicted on the people of the Gaza Strip when Israeli war planes launched massive airstrikes on the besieged strip. Nothing has changed! To add insult to injury, and because the so-called “International Community” did absolutely nothing to put an end to Israel’s war crimes, the latter repeated the attacks in 2012 and in 2014 killing more than 4,000 civilians and injuring tens of thousands... Israel could not have carried out its brutal assault, preceded and followed by a punishing siege, without a green light from leading world powers. The urgent question is how to hold Israel accountable to international law and basic principles of human rights in order to forestall further escalation and a larger bloodbath now that Israelis are preparing themselves for new Knesset elections in April. We do know what that means: more Palestinian suffering as the competing Zionist parties will use that to guarantee more votes." ca 29/12/2018
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Remember: Christ was a Palestinian refugeeHamid Dabashi - Al-Jazeera "And when the angels said, `O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah]" (The Quran 3:45)...Jesus was a Palestinian Jew who spoke Aramaic, a language in the same family as Hebrew and Arabic. He came from the same prophetic tradition as Prophets Moses and Mohammad...Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University." ca22/12/2018
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Can Russia succeed with Palestinians where Egypt has failed? Marianna Belenkaya - Al-Monitor "Moscow has expressed its interest in facilitating an intra- Palestinian reconciliation as well as furthering Palestinian-Israeli relations, but Israel remains wary of such efforts." ca 22/12/2018
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Mahmoud Abbas and the veneer of democracyMenachem Klein -+972 "Mahmoud Abbas’ decision last week to dissolve the Palestinian parliament and hold elections within half a year are meant to give the Palestinian president a veneer of democracy and the rule of law. Abbas’ decision appears to be a response to a ruling handed down by the Palestinian Constitutional Court, yet it is clear to all that the decision to dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council was his and his alone." ca22/12/2018
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Israel holding elections for sake of Netanyahu`s personal interests Sima Kadmon - Ynet - "Only a month ago the prime minister scolded Lieberman and Bennett for attempting to topple the coalition at a time when Israel found itself on the brink of war. But now, motivated mostly by his legal woes, he`s decided to call early elections anyway." - id 27/12/2018
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The most critical issues Israelis won`t be voting on in the next electionHaggai Matar - +972 - "The vast majority of political parties running in the upcoming elections — and which are slated to gain the majority of Knesset seats — will not offer a different vision for a reality that has become almost natural in Israel. A reality in which we lord over millions of Palestinians who lack basic civil or human rights." - id27/12/2018
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Netanyahu Government FallsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The prime minister’s strategy is to pre-empt the AG by winning the next election (which he’s almost assured of doing) and then daring the government’s chief legal officer to prosecute him in the face of a popular mandate. Winning the next election would give him his fourth consecutive victory and his fifth term as national leader. This is a feat even David Ben Gurion, the “father of his country,” didn’t achieve." - id27/12/2018
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Not Right, Not Left, YellowYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Israel warmly embraced the neoliberal market system that the United States imposed on the world in the early 1980s. This system is the target of a working-class wrath that long remained invisible to the establishment." - id27/12/2018
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Israel’s Government Collapses Amid Corruption Charges and Trump’s Mideast ChaosNoga Tarnopolsky - The Daily Beast - "The next three months will see Bibi, as Netanyahu is widely known, confront unprecedented tests, none more challenging than his own precarious legal predicament." - id 27/12/2018
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A message of encouragement for the ‘self-haters’Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - I am sure that there are many Jews out there who have simply kept their silence about such matters, knowing that even critique of Israeli practices (not even mentioning of Zionism) in the wrong place, can have detrimental consequences to one’s reputation, also to one’s career. Indeed, I know such people, and I don’t blame them. But it appears that this is beginning to change. People can now begin to come out in the open, out of the closet. You’re not a bad person if you’ve come to question Zionism or even oppose it. In fact, you might really be onto something, and I want to be your friend.-rh25/12/2018
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Israel to escalate fight against Iran in Syria after U.S. exit - NetanyahuDan Williams - Reuters - Israel will escalate its fight against Iranian-aligned forces in Syria after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday. Several hours after he spoke, Netanyahu’s office said he had spoken with U.S. President Donald Trump about Syria and “discussed ways to continue cooperation between Israel and the United States against the Iranian aggression”.-rh 25/12/2018
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The most critical issues Israelis won`t be voting on in the next electionHaggai Matar - +972 magazine - The occupation is the most critical issue we won’t vote on in the upcoming elections — but it is not the only one. Like Israel’s military regime, the country’s lurch toward neoliberalism does not seem up for debate. Those running are either in bed with Israel’s biggest tycoons, are former tycoons themselves, or are stars of the Israeli hi-tech scene. Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor remains, living costs are skyrocketing, and public housing is disappearing. Not a single prominent politician has suggested raising taxes on the wealthy, creating more public housing, raising the minimum wage, strengthening unions, or policies that will help fight the looming climate disaster. [bz]25/12/2018
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In the West Bank, the Israeli Army Works for the SettlersAmira Hass - Haaretz - On Tuesday morning the activists accompanied shepherds Ayman and Diab, who come from the small village of Samra and were grazing their sheep and goats on the western side of Route 5788. A resident of the outpost drove his van past two activists who were standing on the road near the entrance to the reserve. He stopped, photographed something, was seen phoning someone, then drove away (...) “A military Hummer passed us by,” Banai told Haaretz, “and drove towards [a settler outpost,‘Uri’s Farm,’ illegal according to Israeli law]. About 10 minutes later the Hummer returned and stopped next to us. A masked male soldier and a female soldier got out. The female soldier waved several papers at us and said: ‘You’re not allowed to be here, this is Uri’s territory and you aren’t allowed to enter here without permission from him.’” [bz]25/12/2018
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Who benefits as US withdraws from Syria? Not Israel Ron Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "Washington`s decision is counterproductive: it gives Iran a second front in its war against the Jewish State and leaves IS active, whatever Trump says—it erodes US standing on the world stage and gives Putin even more power in the Mideast." - id20/12/2018
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Why Netanyahu likes Salvini: He’s a ‘racist neo-fascist’Michele Giorgio - Il Manifesto - Yitzhak Laor has no doubt. “In Israel, Salvini is starting his campaign aimed at becoming the Italian Prime Minister,” he told us with full conviction when I interviewed him in Tel Aviv, at the same time that the Italian vice-prime minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini was starting his official visit to Israel. A poet, essayist and writer for the newspaper Haaretz, Laor, now 70, represents a powerful and constant historical voice in the country. He had recently returned from a trip to Italy: “I know Italy, and I went on this last trip not only for tourism, but also for political and social research. I tried to understand the context in which the advance of the populists has taken place.”-rh18/12/2018
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I Feel No Sympathy For (illegal) Israeli `Settlers`Gideon Levy - Information Clearing House - I do not sympathize with people who profiteer from tragedy. I have no sympathy for robbers. I have no sympathy for the settlers. I have no sympathy for the settlers not even when they are hit by tragedy. A pregnant woman was wounded and her newborn baby died of its wounds – what can be worse than that? Driving on their roads is frightening, the violent opposition to their presence is growing – and I feel no sympathy for their tragedy, nor do I feel any compassion or solidarity. They are to blame, not I, for the fact that I cannot feel the most humane sense of solidarity and pain. It’s not just that they’re settlers, violators of international law and universal justice; it’s not just because of the violence of some of them and the settling of all of them – it’s also the blackmail with which they respond to every tragedy, which prevents me from grieving with them. But beneath the veil of sanctimonious and hypocritical unity, and the media’s fake show of national grief to advance its own commercial goals, the truth must be told: Their tragedy isn’t ours.-rh18/12/2018
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How did revenge become a military objective?Orly Noy - +972 - — There is something almost spellbinding about the speed with which the Israeli government is tearing off the masks that once afforded its policies a veneer of decency. (...) This trend is also being reflected in the operations and policies of the Israeli army. (...) When Israeli military commanders call bereaved families from the field to confirm they’ve gunned down their child’s accused killer, security considerations are not at play. [bz]18/12/2018
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Can Israelis notice the Palestinians only under tragic and violent circumstances? Noam Rabinovich - The Geneva Initiative - This weekend’s surge of violence in the West Bank has reminded Israelis of the existence of Palestinians. It is time to recognize that Palestinians exist the rest of the time, as well. If Israel continues to ignore its neighbors, without advancing any kind of agenda or making progress toward peace, this cycle of violent flare-ups and loss of life will repeat itself over and over again. As we witness difficult days on the ground, we are reminded of the necessity and urgency of bringing this cycle of bloodshed to an end. We mourn the needless loss of life. These tragic events serve as a reminder of the importance of the work we do; it is more crucial than ever to bring Israelis and Palestinians together in educational and partnership forums, to inform people about the feasibility of promoting the two-state solution and reconciliation, and to confront the dangers and costs of delaying peace. [ak]18/12/2018
BDS Isn`t anti-Semitic, Says Gideon Levy. Listen to Our Podcast, While It`s Still LegalHaaretz weekly - Audio recording: Simon Spungin talks with Gideon Levy. [bz]18/12/2018
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IDF races to contain Ramallah violenceBen Caspit - Al-Monitor "Hamas is playing a clever game. In the Gaza Strip, it has given Egypt and Qatar a free hand, accepting a monthly $15 million Qatari stipend under Israeli auspices, keeping its head above water and keeping local militants under control. Hamas is now devoting most of its efforts to the West Bank. If it cannot set Gaza on fire, due to various constraints, it is determined to stir up trouble in Ramallah. Such unrest could endanger Netanyahu himself." ca 15/12/2018
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Israel 2050 and the invisible PalestiniansYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The problem is that while the world seeks to battle against a one-degree rise in temperature. Israel is grappling with an equally complex problem not raised at the third Israeli climate conference: In 2050, experts say, there will be 16 million Israelis. But what about the 10 million Palestinians next door in Gaza and the West Bank? How many of the 16 million Israelis will be settlers? What will happen in Gaza when the wells dry up and sewage flows freely? How much electricity will the Gazan power plants generate? How will the city of Jerusalem function with a million Palestinians (whose poverty rate even now is more than 70%)?" - id13/12/2018
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Netanyahu’s Negotiating With Neo-Fascists for a ‘Consensus View’ of the HolocaustNoga Tarnopolsky - The Daily Beast - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen an improbable way of celebrating the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding: He’s palling around with neo-fascists and coddling Holocaust revisionists." - id 13/12/2018
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Suspected of Crimes, Netanyahu Is Also Suspected of Fear-Mongering Isabel Kershner - The New York Times - More than the tunnels, the operation has exposed the extent of Mr. Netanyahu’s problematic situation — a potentially noxious mix of national security and personal and political expediency that risks damage to Israeli public confidence. In legal terms, there is nothing to prevent Netanyahu continuing in office,” said Shlomo Avineri, a professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “But there’s also a question of the public standing of a prime minister and minister of defense under investigation. There have been prime ministers who have resigned for much less.”-rh11/12/2018
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The Hezbollah tunnels / The Hamas resolution that failedITV weekly right-left debate - starting here with Adam Keller`s tunnel statement [to hear the program from the beginning: https://youtu.be/oMZJm-dQ68E -bz]11/12/2018
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It`s time to divorce the PalestiniansGadi Shamni - Ynet - The Commanders for Israel`s Security movement and its hundreds of members, who are former defense establishment officials, know what they are talking about: It is essential to begin a civil separation process, while maintaining the security control in the West Bank until an agreement is reached... [or the Messiah comes-bz]11/12/2018
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US scrambles to save funding for PA security forcesMaureen Clare Murphy - Electronic Intifada "Aid to PA security forces amounted to $61 million this year alone, according to the Associated Press.“Security coordination” between Israel and PA forces plays a primary role in suppressing Palestinian resistance to Israel’s military occupation.Israel frequently arrests Palestinian activists after their release from Palestinian Authority detention.The PA also passes information it obtains on Palestinian activists to Israeli interrogators who routinely use torture.In 2015, the Obama administration warned that the forced “insolvency and collapse” of the PA would harm the interests of Israel and its settlers in the occupied West Bank."ca 8/12/2018
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A masterclass in Palestine solidarityAmjad Iraqi - +972 "Watching Marc Lamont Hill’s speech at the United Nations on Wednesday was like a breath of fresh air. Unlike the mundane and repetitive remarks made by aging diplomats, Hill delivered a powerful articulation of the Palestinian struggle and how he, as a Black American, identifies with their cause." ca8/12/2018
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Why did CNN fire a pro-Palestinian commentator? Cornel West - The Guardian - "The recent firing of Marc Lamont Hill by CNN for calling for a free Palestine once again opens up this Pandora’s box – with little, if any, hope left for a non-violent solution. Many supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, such as Hill and myself, see this strategy as a last-ditch effort to avoid more bloodshed. This is especially important in the US context, as $3.1bn dollars of military aid currently goes to Israel to support such an unjust and inhumane occupation." - id 6/12/2018
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Tunnels are only a precursor to the real threatRon Ben Yishai - Ynet - "Hezbollah will take time deciding how to respond to the tunnel discovery; the fact the tunnels cross into Israel will allow diplomatic—and perhaps military—action against the greater danger: precision missiles in the hands of Hezbollah." - id 6/12/2018
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IDF Chief of Staff: Iran Hasn’t Engaged in First-Strike in 1,400 YearsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The standard anti-Iran line offered by the Israel Lobby and Israel’s far-right leadership is that Iran is the world’s greatest terror state and that it seeks to “wipe Israel off the map” (this is the claim, not my belief). But Iranians retort that Iran has no such history of invading its neighbors. When it has fought wars they have always been in self-defense, after being attacked. That’s why Eisenkot’s statement is so refreshingly candid." - id6/12/2018
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Netanyahu’s nonsensical occupationYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "“The occupation is nonsense.” This is not a slip of the tongue or a jab at the Left. On the surface, it is a reasonable statement backed by facts. First, the three Jewish wise men responsible for American policy vis-à-vis the Palestinians – Kushner, Greenblatt, and Friedman – are acting on the assumption that the occupation is nonsense. Their puppet master in Washington, Donald Trump, believes he took the occupation off the table when he transferred the American embassy to Jerusalem. He also concocted the “deal of the century” aimed at “recognizing reality,” that is, allowing West Bank settlements to remain intact. According to Trump’s plan, the Palestinian Authority will become an extended autonomy, a state-minus." - id6/12/2018
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Rivlin says Israel wants nothing to do with ‘neo-fascists’ who support itSTUART WINER - The Times of Israel - President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday said Israel must not work with neo-fascist forces — even if they support the Jewish state — because it must take a clear stance against racism and anti-Semitism.-rh5/12/2018
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Opposition accuses Netanyahu of trying to bury legal woes with tunnel operationTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - Knesset member Yoel Hasson, the chairman of the opposition Zionist Union’s group of legislators, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday of orchestrating a major operation on the Lebanese border for political gain, in a bid to divert attention from police recommendations that he be indicted for bribery.-rh4/12/2018
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Sheikh Sayakh will Go to Prison, the Disgrace to His JudgesAmos Gvirtz - facebook - He returned to his village and land and reconstructed it. The state now comes and demolished the village time and again and tries to expel Sheikh Sayakh and his people from the village. It has now charged and convicted him for invading the very lands it robbed from him. [bz]4/12/2018
Netanyahu’s Predicament: The Era of Easy Wars Is OverRamzy Baroud - AntiWar - "As for Palestinians, Gaza has demonstrated that only Resistance, popular or otherwise, works. It is the only language that registers with Israel, who must understand that the age of easy wars is long gone" [ry]3/12/2018
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This is how to fight Israel`s Jewish Nation-State LawSaid Zeedani - +972 "What can be done? It goes without saying that a serious struggle should be conducted to abolish this ominous law, which undermines the basic principle of equal democratic citizenship. It will need to take place both locally and internationally; it should be waged by civil society, in the legal system, and legislatively. There are many Israeli Jews, as well as many proponents of democracy and human rights worldwide, who are potential partners in such a struggle." ca 1/12/2018
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