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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
Meet the spies injecting Israeli propaganda into your news feedAsa Winstanley - Electronic Intifada "When Sima Vaknin-Gil took over as director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs at the start of 2016, a crucial fact went largely unnoticed.For years, she had been a high-ranking officer with an Israeli spy agency.This means that for the last two years a former intelligence officer has been running Israel’s global war against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Her ministerial boss is Gilad Erdan, a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." ca They were last month revealed to have spent huge sums creating anti- BDS propaganda targeting social media and news media." ca 28/4/2018
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How the Shin Bet Got Unlimited Power to Decide Which Palestinians Are Allowed Into Israel Shany Littman - Haaretz "Israel`s rules for issuing work permits to Palestinians are a mystery, but sociologist Yael Berda asserts it`s not about security at all, but about controlling the local population." ca28/4/2018
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Jewish Home MK says jailed Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecapTAMAR PILEGGI - Times of Israel - Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.” Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.-rh25/4/2018
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Why are chemical weapons worse than other weapons of mass destruction?William Schabas - The Guardian - When the British, French and American governments used force against Syria earlier this month, they claimed they were acting to ensure respect for international law. Yet the use of force without the authorisation of the United Nations security council is contrary to the charter of the UN. There is something bewildering about violating international law in order to promote the enforcement of international law. If there is a taboo on the use of chemical weapons, why is there not also a taboo on the unilateral use of armed force, contrary to international law? Does one taboo trump the other?-rh25/4/2018
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Another Day, Another Mossad AssassinationRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "A professor would never see the equivalence between him or herself and a dead Palestinian professor. It would also seem to me that such Mossad targeting might endanger Israeli academics who themselves specialize in the same engineering fields as those of the murdered Palestinian professors. What’s good for the goose…" - id 25/4/2018
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Israel’s undeclared war on IranYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "A very senior military officer (perhaps the Chief of Staff) openly admitted to Friedman that Israel had targeted a military base in Syria, an assault in which the head of the Revolutionary Guards drone unit, with the rank of colonel, was killed. In other words, from Israel’s most senior officer to America’s most senior correspondent, Israel – without explicitly saying so – declared war on Iran." - id25/4/2018
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The Great DayUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Though we have official peace agreements with two Arab states (Egypt and Jordan) and unofficial cooperation with several more, we are hated by hundreds of millions of Arabs and a billion Muslims. And, even more important: we are at war with the entire Palestinian people." - id25/4/2018
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Why the PA can`t — and won`t — stop paying prisoners` familiesYoni Mendel - +972 - Israel’s demand that the PA stop paying the families of Palestinian prisoners is part of an intentional strategy to block any progress towards resolving the conflict. The problem is that it’s working [ry]23/4/2018
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Are Israeli Jews beginning to accept the right of return?Eléonore Bronstein&Eitan Bronstein Aparicio - +972 "...it was so surprising to discover the results of a new survey, conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group among 500 Jewish Israelis, for our book, Nakba in Hebrew. The survey shows that quite a few Israeli Jews, or at least many more than one would think, support the right of return of the Palestinian refugees." ca20/4/2018
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Netanyahu`s delusions on Saudi ArabiaAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "Alas, hours after Netanyahu was invited to light his regional innovation torch, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud announced, “The Palestinian cause is our number one issue and will remain so until the Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, particularly the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” Salman was speaking in the Saudi city of Dhahran at the 29th Arab League summit, which he dubbed the “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Summit.” ca 20/4/2018
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Five Questions For: Rachel Corrie’s ParentsAlexandra Tempus - The Progressive "Q: After the judge cleared the Israeli military of any wrongdoing in Rachel’s case, you were told “There’s no such thing as civilians in Gaza.” Today, we have high-ranking Israeli official Avigdor Lieberman saying “There’s no innocent people in Gaza.” How does that strike you? Craig Corrie: It’s a war crime! He’s admitting to a war crime. Let’s not forget that. As a family we’ve tried to hold them as accountable as we could." ca20/4/2018
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Fisk rips away excuses for air strike on SyriaJonathan Cook - Blog - The air strikes on Syria at the weekend were patently illegal according to international law. That would have been the case even had there been a chemical weapons attack in Douma, in part because it would have been necessary for independent inspectors to determine first whether the Syrian government, and not the jihadists there, was responsible.-rh18/4/2018
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Battle erupts over Israeli High Court’s independenceAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no qualms about threatening Israel’s democracy by advancing a bill bypassing High Court rulings." - id 18/4/2018
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Canadian Press Advocacy Group Denounces Israel’s Attacks on Journalists in Gaza, Then Renounces Statement Under PressureRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "CJFE poster captioned: “When journalists are targeted, the truth dies. Support freedom of expression.” In response to CJFE’s statement, the Israel Lobby group, Honest Reporting, attacked it and the group for violating supposed journalistic standards demanding non-partisanship and objectivity in reporting." - id18/4/2018
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Google discriminates against Arab news sitesRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Google is one of the most important online news and information sites so when it discriminates against pro-Arab writing and promotes pro-Israel writings, there is something wrong. It’s racist, actually, and the Arab World should be aware of Google’s biases. Google needs to change. It’s about fairness, objectivity and non-discrimination." - id 18/4/2018
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Eyeless in Gaza Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "I, Uri Avnery, soldier number 44410 of the Israel army, hereby dissociate myself from the army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief. We don`t belong to the same army, or to the same state. We hardly belong to the same human race." - id 18/4/2018
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When Zionism Rubs Up Against RealityStanley L. Cohen – CounterPunch - “With conscience, and vision as an outsider looking in, today, it is simply impossible not to feel an overwhelming sense of sheer revulsion when, if one is a caring being, an honest scan comes across Israel” [ry]16/4/2018
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US lawmakers urge Israeli soldiers to defy order to shoot Palestinian protestersAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "Meanwhile, five members of the US Congress are breaking the near- silence.They are backing B’Tselem’s call on Israeli soldiers to defy illegal orders to open fire on unarmed Palestinians taking part in protests in the occupied Gaza Strip.“We applaud Israeli human rights groups that are calling on Israeli soldiers to resist such illegal orders from their superiors, and are urging IDF forces to fully comply with international law and exercise utmost restraint in their use of deadly force,” the lawmakers said on the eve of the third Friday of Great March of Return rallies." ca 14/4/2018
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Contextualizing the Great March of ReturnHaidar Eid - Mondoweiss "We have reached the conclusion that our fight on the ground through a series of marches culminating on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, can pose a serious challenge to Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and apartheid if it is accompanied by a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. We do need ordinary citizens of the world to show Israel that we have a common humanity; that they watch what it does and they will not tolerate it because silence is complicity; that there is no place for their kind of war mongering and barbarism in the world and that the people of the world reject it. This is exactly what the global anti-apartheid managed to do in the 1970’s and 80’s of last century until the inhumane apartheid system crumbled. It is time to stand up to the only remaining apartheid regime in the world; for that we need to be united." ca14/4/2018
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Netanyahu invokes Holocaust to sow fear, hateAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor "Fear of a “second Holocaust” is fertile ground for the cultivation of mistrust and hatred of the other, whether that other be Arabs, African asylum-seekers, leftist liberals, judges, human rights activists or journalists. Even Israel’s president, who espouses the ideology of a greater Israel but refuses to toe the nationalist line, is ostracized. Fear is a surefire recipe for the repression of hope, change and tolerance. And fear of losing a great leader, Israel’s one and only defender against annihilation, can defeat the rule of law and bring down the pillars of democracy." ca 13/4/2018
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Jeremy Corbyn Calls for Reconsideration of Arms Sales to IsraelIMEMC - "Head of British Labour Jeremy Corbyn has said that Britain should consider halting the sale of arms to Israel, after nine more Palestinians lost their lives on the Gaza border.In a message read at a demonstration outside Downing Street yesterday, Corbyn condemned the violence as an “outrage”, and attacked Western silence over the deaths." ca 13/4/2018
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How Netanyahu plans to bypass High Court rulings Danny Zaken - Al-Monitor - The flip-flop of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the migrant agreement with the United Nations continues to send shock waves through Israeli politics. Perhaps in the end it will turn out that the decisions made by Netanyahu regarding illegal African immigrants — and the agreement`s immediate cancellation — was actually a plan meant to advance the “notwithstanding clause,” an addition to one of the Basic Laws, which would allow the Knesset to override High Court of Justice decisions that nullify or limit laws passed by the parliament.-rh 11/4/2018
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Bennett defends soldiers filmed cheering Gazan’s shootingALEXANDER FULBRIGHT - The Times of Israel - Education Minister Naftali Bennett defended soldiers who have come under fire after appearing to celebrate the shooting of a Palestinian near the Gaza border fence in a video that surfaced Monday. “Anyone who was ever in the field knows that to sit in Tel Aviv or in studios and judge the expressions of IDF soldiers guarding the borders isn’t serious,” Bennett, who heads the right-wing Jewish Home party, told Army Radio Tuesday morning.-rh11/4/2018
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How to Report on GazaVIJAY PRASHAD - Counterpunch - If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, the best thing to do is to treat the Palestinians as a threat.Their bodies are weapons, their existence is dangerous. If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.” Clashes take place when two armed forces confront each other.-rh11/4/2018
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Israeli sniper films shooting of unarmed Palestinian — and celebratesJonathan Ofir and Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - A video clip in which an Israeli sniper filmed himself shooting an unarmed Palestinian across the Gaza fence and then celebrating drew international outrage last night. The two Palestinian targets in the video appear simply to be walking around near the fence.-rh 11/4/2018
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As tensions with Syria, Iran climb, Netanyahu calls in top defense officialsSTUART WINER and TOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday huddled with key defense officials about the security situation on the country’s northern borders as Iran threatened retaliation for a deadly airstrike in Syria attributed to Israel. Netanyahu consulted with IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, head of IDF military intelligence Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman, Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Netanyahu also ordered Likud ministers to refrain from publicly commenting about the security situation because of the “sensitivity of the circumstances.”-rh11/4/2018
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Omar Sharif: Why Google honours him todayAl Jazeera - ""I might have been happier having stayed an Egyptian film star."" - id 11/4/2018
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Gaza`s immense potentialYossi Beilin - Al Monitor - "If Hamas and Israel were to sign a long-term cease-fire, the Gaza Strip could make use of a natural gas field in the Mediterranean, a highly educated population and wonderful beaches to become a pleasant place to live." - id 11/4/2018
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A Song is Born Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Despite the softness of your hands / Your hands have shaken the world / Your hands returned the slap to the occupier / And returned esteem to the nation / Palestine has been planted in us / As a dock for every ship / We are the land and you are the water." If I were an adherent of the occupation, this song would frighten me very much. The story of Ahed al-Tamimi happened in the West Bank. But it resounded in the Gaza Strip, too.[bz] 7/4/2018
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When Israel Shoots Unarmed Protestors, The Terrorists WinBy Andrew Mark Bennett - Forward - (...) But I am no less appalled by those who think the IDF should fire live ammunition at civilian Palestinian demonstrators at the border. In the context of law and of morality, targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian armed groups is little different from targeting of civilians by the IDF. To condemn Palestinians for advocating violence against Israeli civilians while advocating violence against Palestinian civilians is nothing short of hypocrisy. [bz] 5/4/2018
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After the Gaza killings, it’s time to crack down on IsraelDiana Buttu - Washington Post - An independent investigation would highlight that all of the Palestinians killed were killed inside Gaza, and within the undefined Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” that further cuts into Gaza’s territory, in many places by as much as 1,000 feet. In the words of one protester friend shot on Friday, “We did not go to the buffer zone; the buffer zone came to us.” [bz]5/4/2018
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This Is Zionism as Racism. This Is Israel at 70 Bradley Burston - Haaretz "It hurts me to write what I`m about to. But it also hurts me to live in this place today. To open my eyes and see what`s right here, right now." ca5/4/2018
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Bibi Backpedals on African RefugeesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The country was not made for Africans–or Arabs for that matter. It was made for Jews and only Jews. And don’t you forget it, Mr. Prime Minister. We poor Mizrahim made you and we can break you." - id5/4/2018
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Time for Churches to join protests against Israeli oppressionMaria Khoury - The Arab Daily News - "Israeli killings mar Easter celebrations." - id5/4/2018
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A week of unbearable heartbreak in Israel-Palestine+972 Magazine - This past week has been one of the more heartbreaking recent periods in Israel-Palestine. First, and this seems surreal to write for the umpteenth time, the Israeli army dispatched 100 snipers to open fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters last weekend, shooting over 700 people, killing at least 16. Some were shot in the back while running away. Then there is the way that Benjamin Netanyahu toyed with and ultimately broke the hearts of tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers — people who fled horrors most of us should be relieved we cannot imagine, and many of whom endured torture and other unimaginable horrors just to reach Israel. To find relative safety and security. Monday night Netanyahu announced a deal that would have found a decent and dignified resolution for almost all of the tens of thousands of African asylum seekers in Israel. The mass, forcible deportation of refugees to Rwanda is off the table. And then, just as quickly, just as much out of thin air as the solution had appeared, it was yanked away. Almost like a sick joke. While the world is facing its biggest migration and refugee crisis since the Second World War, Israel, a country of 8 million people, a country comprised almost entirely of refugees of some form or another, declared it is unwilling — not unable, but unwilling — to give refuge to a meager 16,000 people.[ak]3/4/2018
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How can we be joyous on Seder night while Palestinians are killed in Gaza? Jewish Voice for Labour (UK) - We stand for justice for all. Many Jews across the world have felt unable to fully share in the usually joyous nature of our Seder nights while on the same night 16 Palestinians were killed and the over fourteen hundred reported wounded by the Israeli Army. Each year we are asked to recite the words of the Haggadah as though we ourselves were slaves in Egypt. Many families link those words to recent and current struggles – the anti-apartheid struggles, those for civil rights in the US, and, increasingly, the plight of the Palestinian people living under Occupation. We hope that other Jewish organisations mindful of our historic suffering will join with us in condemnation of the Israeli actions.[ak]3/4/2018
Israel Courts Catastrophe in Gaza ProtestsThe Editorial Board - New York Times - Palestinians in Gaza are among the world’s most desperate people, blockaded for more than a decade by Israel and Egypt, sharply restricting the flow of goods and people, with unemployment reaching more than 40% for the general population and nearly 60% among youths. Under such conditions it is no wonder that pent-up frustrations would erupt in protests, as they did last Friday. Responding to the demonstrations, Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians at the border fence that separates Israel from Gaza and injured more than a thousand. (...) On May 14 and 15, Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its independence, the US will formally open its Embassy in Jerusalem while Palestinians in Gaza will observe the 70th anniversary of what they call the “nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes in what is now Israel by trying to break through the border fence and march toward their former villages. Unless someone steps up to end Gaza’s humanitarian disaster, ensure Israel and the Palestinians act with restraint during the protests and set a credible peace process in motion, both sides could face a new catastrophe. [ak] 3/4/2018
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Dying on the fence of the Gaza prisonHagai El-Ad - Ynet - From time to time, control over another people requires days of killing and slaughter. More bloody days lie ahead. But don`t expect accountability. `Investigations` are merely a routine stage in the organized whitewash [ry]2/4/2018
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How Gaza clashes could ignite flashpoints all over the Middle EastSimon Tisdall - The Guardian "But for Israel’s generals, the main threat is Hezbollah’s modernised stockpile of an estimated 130,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and rockets, and its 50,000 fighters, many of them battle-hardened in Syria.If the Gaza violence continues and spreads, Hezbollah hardliners can be expected to try to intervene. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly warned, in turn, that unlike the last Lebanon war in 2006, it will directly assist Hezbollah in any fight. Israel, it says, will be “eradicated”." ca 2/4/2018
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Gaza`s Passover massacreNeve Gordon - Al Jazeera " An estimated 30,000 Palestinians joined the nonviolent March of Return, which aimed to set up a few camps several hundred meters from the militarised fence surrounding the Gaza Strip. Their goal was to protest their incarceration in the world`s largest open-air prison as well as the massive confiscation of their ancestral land - after all, 70 percent of Gaza`s population are 1948 refugees whose families had owned land in what became Israel." ca1/4/2018
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Why everyone loves Israel nowShai Feldman&Tamara Cofman Wittes - Brookings "But if the change is real, it’s also very easily misunderstood. At a conference held at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies last year, an Arab colleague was asked, “When will Arab states finally accept Israel?” His concise, and accurate, response: “When they realize that they are better off with Israel there than had Israel not been there.” ca1/4/2018
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Western media provides cover for Israeli violenceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The Western news media is stoking the violence in the Middle East by defending Israel and ignoring facts. That was obvious in the coverage of the protests to mark the 42nd anniversary of “Land Day” and the 70th Anniversary of Israel’s war against freedom." - id 11/4/2018
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Gaza cries out for bread, Israel responds with bulletsYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Why did the initiators of the March of Return choose to focus on the demand to implement Resolution 194 and the Right of Return, rather than issues such as the basic human right to clean drinking water, electricity, health, freedom of movement and employment?" - id 11/4/2018
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T4 too The Israeli Airstrike on Syria Monday: A Message to Iran, Russia—and TrumpCharles Lister - The Daily Beast = "The days of “rolling back” Iran in Syria are arguably long gone, but containment and deterrence may be all that is left to prevent what could be a debilitating Israeli-Iranian conflict fought on multiple fronts, sucking in multiple adversaries and resulting in a further destabilization of the region." - id 11/4/2018
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A Sense of Victory on Both Sides: A Recipe for Escalation in Gaza?Amos Yadlin, a former major general, now director of The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS): In the case of such a blatantly asymmetric conflict between parties with opposing aims, both sides can indeed claim victory. Israel operates largely on a physical dimension (protecting its sovereign territory), while Hamas works mainly on the cognitive-political level. (...) While focused on the immediate challenge of mass demonstrations on the Gaza border, Israel must continue to address the basic issue in this context: the growing distress in Gaza and the collapse of its infrastructures. Temporary success in containing the new challenge posed by Hamas will not defuse the social-economic-military time bomb ticking in the Strip. [bz]10/4/2018
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On the Jimmy Dore Show: a sharp, sarcastic analysis of news about the Gaza border confrontations Jimmy Dore - The Jimmy Dore Show - Jimmy Dore is an American stand- up comedian and political commentator, with clear and outspoken views. In the 2016 Presidential elections he was a staunch supporter of the Left wing candidate Bernie Sanders. In this week`s edition of The Jimmy Dore Show he presents mainstream news reports and footage from the Gaza Strip border, punctuated by his incisive and sarcastic commentary. [ak]10/4/2018
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Palestinians seem not even to have the right to non-violent protest!Democracy Now / JVP youtube - Glenn Greenwald on how the world is finally waking up to the fact that "Palestinians have just the same rights as anyone else to protest and resist." [bz]10/4/2018
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Video: Why is Israel so Threatened by Unarmed Gaza Protesters? (Part 1/2)The Real News - Despite the mounting Palestinian death toll, mass protests continue in the Gaza Strip. Why is Israel using lethal force on unarmed protesters? TRNN`s Shir Hever explains why nonviolent protest is infuriating the Israeli government [ry]16/4/2018
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