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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
Instead of Forceful Repression, Speak to Them!Amos Gvirtz - What we want is to create a process of "non-violent escalation" whereby the non-violent activities of one side encourage the other side to abandon violence and turn to non-violence, until we arrive at the hoped-for peace. In this context, I am happy to hear about the initiative coming from Gaza for non-violent actions in support of the Palestinian Right of Return and ending the siege of Gaza. If they succeed in bringing tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees to non-violently march toward the Israeli border and their former villages in Israel, then maybe they will finally succeed in allowing non-violent struggle to take the lead in Palestinian society` [bz]27/3/2018
Ron Lauder’s two-state epiphany elicits rage and condescension in Israel US Politics Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Liberal Zionists are over the moon about the Lauder piece, hoping that it will spark some real change in U.S. or Israeli policy, thanks to the intervention by “Mr. Establishment,” as Haaretz’s Chemi Shalev calls Lauder: “the closest thing that world Jewry has to a senior statesman who can represent the consensus of the Diaspora as a whole.” ca24/3/2018
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Why I Stay in GazaATEF ABU SAIF - New York Times "I teach political science at Al Azhar University. My introductory course sometimes has 200 students. When I ask them what they want to do after graduation they say, “nothing.” When I meet former students years after they have graduated and ask them, “what did you end up doing?” they, too, say, “nothing.” Even the brightest ones wind up jobless, or at least careerless, scratching a living from dirt." ca24/3/2018
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Israel prepares for `May Madness`Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "The month of May is shaping up to be “May Madness,” a take on the “March Madness” of collegiate basketball. According to Israel’s intelligence and political echelons, President Donald Trump’s policies will be tested in May on numerous fronts that have implications for Israel’s national security. To these assessments one must add the mounting rumors, mainly in the Arab world, about a possible aerial assault — by the United States or Israel or both of them together — against Iranian forces in Syria." - id21/3/2018
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In Israel of 2018, bereavement is a `lifetime achievement`Orly Noy - +972 - "Miriam Peretz’s loss, her grief, are heartbreaking, and her strength is inspirational. But when a state gives awards for bereavement in uniform, it nationalizes the bereavement and assigns a positive value to death itself. It turns death into a source of pride, as long as that death happened in the “proper” circumstances; as opposed to Peretz’s sons, 10-year-old Abeer, the daughters of Dr. Abu al-Aish, and young Aseel were not killed while wearing IDF uniforms on foreign soil, but were killed as unarmed civilians in the face of one of the most powerful armies in the world. They were martyrs on the wrong side of the battlefield. There is no prize waiting for them or their families. Only grief, loss, and institutional abuse." - id 21/3/2018
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BREAKING: Israel to Lift Military Censorship Over 2007 Bombing of Purported Syrian Nuclear ReactorRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Yes, it’s hard to believe but…for the past eleven years, no Israeli newspaper has been able to refer directly to the IAF’s attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor in the desert of eastern Syria, Deir ez-Zor. It was code-named Operation Orchard; or in another variant, Operation Arizona. Of course, every Israeli knows about the attack. But only based on foreign reports. No Israeli reporter may do original reporting on the bombing. They may only quote foreign news reports." - id21/3/2018
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The Fake Enemy Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Real friends of Israel should advise Netanyahu to make peace as long as Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) is still around. In two weeks he will be 83 years old, and he is ailing. He is deeply committed to peace. He has no obvious successor, and his replacement may be far, far less moderate." - id 21/3/2018
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Preparations for the Nakba March: Hamas’s Cognitive CampaignKobi Michael, Gabi Siboni - INSS - The Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip is heavily engaged in preparations for the “Great March of Return,” scheduled for May 14, 2018, when thousands of Gaza’s Palestinians will march toward the security fence and position themselves in tent cities along the Israeli border. Although the move aims for cognitive achievements in Palestinian and international consciousness, it confronts Israel with a challenge that involves a security-physical threat in the form of an attempt to cross the Israeli border. Israeli retaliation would cast Israel in a bad light vis-à-vis the various target audiences. Therefore, Israel must foil this Palestinian effort to organize another form of campaign against it [N.B. the `learned` writers are apparently afraid of Hamas turning to non-violence-bz]. 20/3/2018
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Israel’s Self-Inflicted WoundsRonald S. Lauder - New York Times - Over the last few years, settlements in the West Bank on land that in any deal is likely to become part of a Palestinian state, have continued to grow and expand. Such blinkered Israeli policies are creating an irreversible one-state reality. I am conservative and a Republican, and I have supported the Likud party since the 1980s. But the reality is that 13 million people live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And almost half of them are Palestinian.(...) By submitting to the pressures exerted by a minority in Israel, the Jewish state is alienating a large segment of the Jewish people particularly in the United States. The crisis is especially pronounced among the younger generation, which is predominantly secular. An increasing number of Jewish millennials are distancing themselves from Israel because its policies contradict their values. The results are unsurprising: assimilation, alienation and a severe erosion of the global Jewish community’s affinity for the Jewish homeland. [ak]20/3/2018
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Forget `Son of a Dog` – Abbas` Speech Was Disconcerting for an Entirely Different ReasonAmos Harel - Haaretz - Headlines are focusing on Palestinian President Abbas calling US Ambassador Friedman "Son of a Dog" - but there are much more serious and worrying aspects. Abbas is caught in a catch-22. On the one hand, he doesn’t believe the Trump administration can serve as a fair mediator. He regards the long touted American Peace Plan, supposedly due to be presented in cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia, as a trap designed to force the Palestinians to unacceptable concessions. On the other hand, he doesn`t trust Hamas and regards the Egyptian reconciliation efforts as foredoomed - especially after last week`s attempted assassination of Palestinian PM Hamdallah in Gaza. Abbas may react by cutting off all Palestinian Authority funds to Gaza, making an already very difficult situation completely untenable. [ak]20/3/2018
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Confederation: The One Possible Israel-Palestine SolutionBernard Avishai - The New York Review of Books - Today’s South Africa emerged from a system of colonial racial enslavement in a country with a unifying language and a common, if tortured, history—white farm-owners, mine-owners, and industrialists and black, native workers. Colonial Zionist pioneers, in contrast, harmed native Palestinians by working toward Jewish cultural and economic self-sufficiency, and thus the methodical displacement of the Palestinian peasantry—which is why, at least since the Peel Commission in 1937, an arrangement like “partition” could be entertained. (...) Confederal relations had better not mean any false hope for affectionate ones. (...) A truly dignified divorce, in other words, means joint custody where what’s held in common—often what’s most precious—cannot be divided. [N.B.: In this concept the security cooperation stays on, though considered "mutual" - as will the settlements-bz]20/3/2018
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Like Trump, EU aids theft of JerusalemDavid Cronin - EI - "Despite his propensity for telling lies, Trump has been more honest on this particular dossier than the European Union and its robotic representatives. They claim to be pursuing peace and a two-state solution, while aiding Israeli authorities that have no interest in either objective" [ry]19/3/2018
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Palestinians pin hopes on PompeoShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor " After Trump`s election in November 2016, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the establishment of a think tank to examine ways to open new channels of communication with the administration, which was viewed from day one as being a biased, pro-Israel mediator. Even then, Ramallah was hanging all its hopes on Pompeo. It was a gamble, and it succeeded." ca 16/3/2018
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Americans have a constitutional right to boycott IsraelJosh Ruebner - Al-Jazeera "AIPAC conference attendees pressed their elected officials to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). The original, draconian version of this bill, unveiled at last year`s AIPAC conference, proposed to jail individuals for 20 years if they advanced an international organization`s call for a boycott of Israel, or even of products from its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank...It should be a no-brainer that Americans can boycott whomever or whatever they choose without risking governmental punishment. After all, the Supreme Court ruled that states have no "right to prohibit peaceful political activity" such as a boycott, which is an "expression on public issues" that "has always rested on the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values"." ca16/3/2018
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Ripping the curtains open on Israel`s targeted killingsYaara Shalom - Ynet - "Bergman painstakingly explores the numerous failed or aborted attempts to kill PLO leader Yasser Arafat, but falls short of making any kind of determination on whether the death of one of Israel’s biggest foes was a natural one or foul play (the reason for that, conversely, is the all-mighty military censor, which won’t let Bergman even hazard an educated guess)." - id 14/3/2018
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Israel`s secret deportation plan faces biggest challenge yetJoshua Leifer - +972 - "Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer asked the state attorney how asylum seekers can be sure they will receive what Israel is promising them — legal status and the ability to work — if the Rwandan government denies that any agreement exists." - id14/3/2018
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Chuck Schumer: Bowing and Scraping to AipacRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "“Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace."" - id14/3/2018
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To: The Associated Press and Washington Post Re: Israel’s WMD and Mordechai VanunuEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "Because The Washington Post does not allow republishing their article; and as this reporter’s response could die in the darkness at The Washington Post we publish it at USA’s TheArabDailyNews.com." - id14/3/2018
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Netanyahu: Even in peace, the occupation will never endMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "Netanyahu has been saying this for years. In 2014, less than three months after the collapse of the Kerry peace talks, Netanyahu stated that “that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” A year after that, in 2015, Netanyahu declared that a Palestinian state will never be established on his watch." ca 11/3/2018
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Chuck Schumer: Bowing and Scraping to AipacRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Sen. Chuck Schumer should join the ranks of U.S. senators who don’t represent their constituents, but rather the largest employer or lobby in their state. Henry Jackson, whose name is immortalized in that neocon bastion of pro-Israel hasbara, the Henry Jackson Society, was the “Senator from Boeing.” Schumer should henceforth be known as the “Senator from Aipac.” The only problem: there are so many other senators and Congress members who deserve this honorific." ca9/3/2018
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Gideon Levy: The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right Gideon Levy - Youtube "Speaking on the eve of the AIPAC summit in Washington DC, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy says that across the mainstream Israeli political spectrum, there is no challenge to the occupation of Palestinian land." ca9/3/2018
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Israel Contemplates a Future Without NetanyahuRuth Margalit - The New Yorker - It is an irony of no small proportions that Netanyahu may, in time, be viewed as the instigator of his own undoing: by neutering political debate in Israel, he has made the focus personal, drawing attention to the murky underside of his governing. Assuming that he will still be at the top of his party’s ticket, the next Israeli election will be less an open race than a referendum on his rule. There is a common saying in Israel: elections are not won; they are lost. With no term limits for Prime Ministers, power is seen as the incumbent’s to lose. This is all the more true these days, with a Prime Minister who has at least four open investigations aimed at him.-rh7/3/2018
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I’ve Been ThinkingEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "“I’ve Been Thinking” is Journalist Maria Shriver’s latest book. Maria Shriver’s The Sunday Paper email newsletter is one of my Sunday ‘must reads’ and today’s also provided the inspiration for this article." - id 7/3/2018
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Because there is NothingUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "BINYAMIN NETANYAHU`S main occupation, between criminal interrogations, is traveling abroad and meeting with the world`s leaders. One week in Paris meeting President Macron, the next in Moscow meeting President Putin. In between, an African country or two. What is achieved in these multiple meetings? Well, nothing to speak of." - id7/3/2018
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Paradoxes of UNRWAEsmat Elhalaby - Some opponents see it as a quintessential example of “humanitarian management”: a peddler of aid and promises of development that stultifies dissent. Others see it as exactly the opposite. But UNRWA has never been simply what its detractors contend. John H. Davis, its head from 1959 to 1963, described the agency as “one of the prices—and perhaps the cheapest—that the international community was paying for not having to solve with equity the political problems of the refugees.” Davis’s realization that the fortunes of Palestinian refugees were intimately tied to U.S. support for Israel is as true now as ever. [bz]6/3/2018
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It’s Time For AIPAC To Register As A Foreign AgentM.J.Rosenberg - Forward - It’s precisely this kind of overidentification that George Washington warned against in his 1796 farewell address. “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists… betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” Today, Netanyahu and AIPAC (which has kept the United States government firmly behind Netanyahu’s policies) have turned Israel into a source of dissension even among American Jews. [bz]6/3/2018
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Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe?Shir Hever - +972 - Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing to exactly where it benefits Israeli interests [ry]5/3/2018
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Netanyahu’s Corruption: How Israeli Journalists Project Israel’s Crimes Onto PalestiniansRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “This is also why Israelis refer to their country as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. It is a defense mechanism to divert from the fact that apartheid, racially-structured political systems are inherently undemocratic. So, Israel resorts to belittling its neighbors to confirm its own self- worth” [ry]5/3/2018
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We are the radicals: Netanyahu and the invention of terrorismShoshana Gabay - The successful ideology of “war on terrorism” that the Netanyahu family formulated for the Americans in the 1970s, at the centre of which was Islam as the enemy of the West, is based on the principle of the ethnic-genetic hierarchy the family believes in. The Netanyahus’ doctrine of the sovereign being above the law and the media’s subjugation to it was already consolidated back then.4/3/2018
In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as ‘troublemaker’ at liberal NY synagoguePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "The most significant element of the evening was how much discomfort the two liberal sponsors had with Burg. Here is a true aristocrat of Israeli society (Burg has religious, Ashkenazi and political pedigree out the yingyang, he was an interim President of Israel) offering the most reasonable answers to Israel’s problems– Palestinians are our equals, there is no such thing as a Jewish democracy– and his hosts needed to distance themselves from him." ca2/3/2018
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