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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
Israel’s High Court just made an ICC investigation more likelyMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - The court’s rejection of a lawsuit challenging the shooting of protesters in Gaza is a reminder that the Israeli legal system simply isn’t set up to investigate the policy makers and policies that result in alleged war crimes [ry] 28/5/2018
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After Gaza `Massacre` Israeli Parliament Proposes Bill to Ban Photographing, Recording SoldiersTelesurtv - "B`Tselem a human rights organizations that works in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to end the occupation and raise awareness within Israeli society, Machsom Watch a group of mostly elderly women who accompany Palestinians in their daily crossing of Israeli military checkpoints, and Breaking the Silence an organization of former soldiers, who work to expose the truth of military service in the occupied territory, could all be affected by the legislation." ca25/5/2018
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Until the Palestinian issue is settled, there will always be a crack in Israel’s foundationsJeremy Bowen - The New Statesman "So much has happened in the Middle East since the Arab uprisings began in 2011 that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been almost forgotten by the outside world. The horrible events in Gaza of 14 May, when 62 died during protests at the border, have been a sharp reminder that the conflict never went away..." ca25/5/2018
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Ehud Barak on the crisis in Israel: ‘Netanyahu has to resign’Aida Edemariam - The Guardian "Very few people asked themselves at the time what kind of Israel would result from our holding on to land on which many hundreds of thousands of Arabs lived.” It is the question at the heart of his objection to Netanyahu and the rightwing politicians who will consider nothing but a “Greater Israel” on the biblical land of Palestine, including the West Bank:" ca 25/5/2018
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Gaza`s protest leaders still believe in nonviolent struggleRami Younis - +972 "Despite the bloodletting in Gaza over the past months, the leaders of the Great Return March believe that nonviolent resistance is still the best way to end the siege. Rami Younis spoke to Hasan al- Kurd, one of the leaders of the march about the successes, mistakes, and future of the movement." ca25/5/2018
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The Fraying Ties Between Liberal American Jews and IsraelEric Alterman - The Nation "The 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, coupled with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the mass protests and killings in Gaza, gives every indication of being a turning point. Israel is not divorcing America’s liberal Jewish community quite yet, but it is well on its way to estrangement." ca25/5/2018
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The Donald, Vlad, and BibiAndrew Levine - CounterPunch - “When it goes sour, will Netanyahu be villainized in anything like the way that Putin now is? Don’t count on it. Hell will freeze over before a mainstream Democrat or Republican will have a bad word to say about the Bibster. Corporate media will follow suit; it always does” [ry]21/5/2018
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Memo to Israel: Lebanon is not Hezbollah, Gaza is not HamasHalim Shebaya - Al Jazeera - Israel has tried to bury inconvenient facts about Lebanon and Gaza [ry]21/5/2018
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Stories of the catastrophe: ExileAmena ElAshkar,Ali Ibrahim&Nadine Osama - Electronic Intifada "(Three stories:)"I have one last wish. I am 78. It will be my last wish. There was a berry tree right in front of our house in Tarshiha. I want to go back there and eat one berry. One last berry." "I joined the Arab nationalist movement in 1962 and later the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. I used to host secret political meetings at my house.The right of return is sacred. And if I don’t live to return, you will return, my son. And if you don’t return, your children will eventually return." "For me, Palestinian embroidery reflects identity, society and land. It reflects identity because every village in Palestine had their own style through which they proudly related to their heritage. It is a reflection of society, a kaleidoscope of diverse histories, threads, cultures and colors weaved together." ca18/5/2018
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This is why evangelicals love Trump`s Israel policySean Illing - vox "According to a recent poll released by the Brookings Institution, 53 percent of American evangelicals supported Trump’s decision, while only 40 percent opposed it. (Sixty-three percent of all Americans opposed the decision.)To understand why evangelicals are so enthusiastic about this move, I reached out to Elizabeth Oldmixon, a politics professor at the University of North Texas. Oldmixon studies the rather strange alliance between evangelical Christians and people in the orthodox Jewish community who are stridently pro-Israel." ca 18/5/2018
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VIDEO - Can Palestinian protests achieve anything? | Inside Story YouTube - Al-Jazeera English "Palestinians gathered for the third consecutive Friday at the Gaza-Israel border fence for what was labelled "burning the flag of Israel day". ca18/5/2018
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Most US Jews oppose embassy move Yael Patir - Ynet - "It’s time Israelis understand that Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem aims to satisfy his evangelical supporters rather than the Jews." - id16/5/2018
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How Gaza Became Hell on EarthNeri Zilber - The Daily Beast - "The responsibility for this tragedy can be spread around among all the parties, but it remains, still, a tragedy—growing by the day, just like a mountain of trash overlooking the Mediterranean, with no end in sight." - id 16/5/2018
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Who is the vassal? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom = "Most people in Israel now believe that Binyamin Netanyahu, Bibi the Great, is really leading Trump on a leash. Bibi has such a magical hold over Trump, that the American president has to follow Israel`s lead." - id 16/5/2018
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Why are Palestinians so outraged - CBS interview with Noura Erakat"What more do Palestinians have to do?" "They are not being given the choice to be free." "Why don`t we shift the conversation and ask Israel why it doesn`t want to negotiate with Palestinians? Why it doesn`t want to recognise their right to exist." [bz]15/5/2018
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We are all accomplices to Israel`s massacre in GazaMairav Zonszein - +972 - This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it. On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way. It is not too late to speak out. [bz]15/5/2018
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Trump Renounces Iran Nuclear DealRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "The last time Trump determined we would remain in the JCPOA, the president was restrained by pragmatists like Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis. Today, two of them are gone, replaced by a lunatic former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, and a militant adherent of bizarre conspiracy theories, John Bolton. They hold the keys to the Trump kingdom. They promise to take our country to dark places we haven’t been before; or at least have not been in many decades." ca11/5/2018
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Trump’s Decision on Iran Deal Spells Disaster for the Middle EastCesar Chelala - CounterPunch - "President Trump’s move was heartily supported by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and opposed by all other governments that are part of the deal. In March 2015, in front of both houses of the U.S. Congress, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”" - id 9/5/2018
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Trump withdraws from imbalanced Iran dealRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Relying on information provided by Israel, Trump said that Iran continues to be the leading voice of violence and terrorism. Trump failed to note that Israel has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and refuses to allow for international inspections." - id 9/5/2018
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That Woman Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Are the present leaders of Israel wiser than Golda? Do they respect the Arabs more? Are they ready to give back the occupied territories? No. And no. And no." - id9/5/2018
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Yes, Netta Barzilai is Cool, but she’s also the representative of an Occupying StateOrly Noy - Sicha Mekomit (+972 Hebrew site) Translation Yoni Molad - The Eurovision Song Contest is yet another stage in which Israel aspires to the normalisation that it longs for so much. Look, here we are normal and beautiful, productive and creative, and even send a specially cool representative to the competition. And in a certain sense it is also true - after all, we live our lives here like every woman and man in the world (...). It`s true that the Israelis don’t live the Occupation at every moment, but the Occupation lives us day by day, hour by hour. We may have succeeded in making a conscious separation between the two things, and this is our tragedy. The boycott movement`s call came to urge the world not to do the same thing. [bz]8/5/2018
Ashrawi slams Israeli passage of `Nation-State` billMa`an News Agency - "Dr Ashrawi response was issued yesterday in a media release: “Once again, Israel has reaffirmed its intent of institutionalizing discrimination, racism and xenophobia against all aspects of Palestinian life, transforming the military occupation into a deliberate sectarian confrontation and establishing ideological beliefs as official policy.” ca4/5/2018
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Time to Say Goodbye to the Two-state Solution. Here`s the Alternative A.B. Yehoshua - Haaretz "A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel`s staunchest fighters for the two- state solution, lays out a proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian partnership." ca4/5/2018
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The ‘One Democratic State Campaign’ program for a multicultural democratic state in Palestine/IsraelJeff Halper - Mondoweiss "While achieving a just political settlement is our most urgent task, establishing a just and working state and civil society requires three more difficult processes: decolonization, restoration and reconciliation. Decolonization does not end the moment one people ceases dominating the others. Indeed, that is the moment it begins. It then continues until all forms of domination – economic and cultural as well as political and legal – are rooted out. Decolonization requires a country to be completely reimagined and reinvented so as to be as egalitarian, inclusive and sustainable as possible. This means, of course, restoring to the expelled, excluded and oppressed their rights, properties (actual or through compensation), identities and social position. Only then can the third process, reconciliation, be pursued. We therefore “bracket” the still open wounds of the Nakba, the Occupation and the suffering they have caused so that we may reach an agreed-upon political settlement." ca4/5/2018
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Europeans cast doubt on Israel`s claims about Iran nuclear breachesPatrick Wintour and Saeed Kamali Dehghan - The Guardian - European leaders have pushed back against Israel’s claims that it has new evidence showing that Iran is breaching the nuclear deal with the west which was signed in 2015. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, hailed the Israeli claims as significant, as the 12 May deadline approached for the US president, Donald Trump, to decide whether to pull out of the deal. But Pompeo declined to say whether they represented proof that Iran was violating the deal. The overall initial view in European capitals was that the documents did reveal new material about the scale of Iran’s programme prior to 2015 but that there was nothing showing a subsequent breach of the deal.-rh2/5/2018
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The Real Victor Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "On the fifth day of the six-day war in 1967, I published an open letter to the Prime Minister, Levy Eshkol. The Israeli army had just conquered the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and I proposed that Eshkol immediately offer the Palestinian people to establish the State of Palestine there, in return for peace with Israel." - id 2/5/2018
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Why rules of engagement on Gaza border must be revokedGilad Grossman - Ynet - The IDF, the Border Guard and the police have a variety of non-lethal means for dealing with protests, and these means can also be used to prevent damage to the fence or an infiltration into Israel. Firearms should only be used to defend soldiers’ lives and civilians’ lives. This is not only argued by human rights organizations and the law; it’s the IDF’s spirit as well. “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants… and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property,” the IDF’s Code of Ethics and Mission states. Nevertheless, the defense minister and the senior military command have chosen to ignore the law and allow the soldiers to shoot anyone who approaches the fence or is perceived as a “main instigator,” even if he is unarmed and poses no risk to anyone. [The writer is the spokesman of Yesh Din, one of the organizations that petitioned the High Court of Justice against the rules of engagement on the Israel-Gaza border.-ak] 1/5/2018
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Netanyahu Tries but Fails to Bury Iran Nuclear Deal Before Trump Actually Kills It Chemi Shalev - Haaretz - A different video clip, of a Netanyahu appearance before Congress when he exhorted the U.S. in 2002 to make the “good choice” of invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein, might prove more popular and go viral over the coming few days. “There is no question” Netanyahu asserted then, that Saddam is hell bent on building a nuclear weapon, which means that “the terror network” would soon have its hands on a bomb. Netanyahu went so far as to “guarantee” American lawmakers that Saddam’s removal would have “positive reverberations” throughout the Middle East, a prediction that did not pan out as expected. (...) The price for Netanyahu’s overconfidence, tendency to ignore doubts and dismiss criticism as well as his theatrical compulsion to cast himself in a leading role may ultimately have to be paid by Israel as a whole.[bz]1/5/2018
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Knesset authorizes PM and defense minister to declare war aloneMoran Azulay and Shahar Hay - Ynet - As Knesset kicks off summer session, 62 MKs back, 41 oppose law spearheaded by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Avi Dichter permitting cabinet to launch military operations without government approval, and in extreme cases, only requires green light from prime minister and defense minister; `We must adapt ourselves to the present state security requirements,` Shaked says. [bz]1/5/2018
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Netanyahu is playing to Trump’s abject ignorance — and it might workJennifer Rubin - Washington Post - In short, it’s no news that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, although it’s impressive the Israelis were able to lift the documents evidencing this. What Netanyahu did not display and what we have yet to find evidence of is Iran’s cheating on the terms of the JCPOA. [bz]1/5/2018
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For Gaza Protester, Living or Dying Is the ‘Same Thing’Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger - NYT - The protest, which grew out of a young activist’s Facebook page and was a grass-roots initiative before being embraced, organized and publicized by Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, has hardly scared the Israelis into altering their basic policy. Israel continues to treat the tiny coastal enclave like a deadly virus to be quarantined and, other than that, more or less tunes it out. But it has been a success in one important respect: It has cast a light onto the unsolved problem that is Gaza, and reminded a world that had seemed to move on to more urgent crises that its two million people, deprived of clean water, freedom of movement and a steady supply of electricity, are sliding steadily into despair.[bz]1/5/2018
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Dead in the Water: Trump Middle East Peace Plan and Pompeo’s Iran Plan BRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Trump’s new motto should be: if at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. And since he has no sense of pride about these matters, he’ll repeatedly state the same nonsense ad nauseam, even though no one believes him; and he’ll repeatedly put forward the same policy notions which he’s tried and failed to implement in the past. Exhibits A and B are what I would call Trump’s folie à deux: his much-vaunted Israel-Palestine “peace plan” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected Plan B regarding Iran." - id 23/5/2018
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One Massacre, Many Partners in CrimeYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The solution is to create an Israeli-Palestinian political movement that will demand democracy and equality for all. This is the only counter-balance to the Israeli Right, Fatah and Hamas – those who have brought us to this precipice." - id 23/5/2018
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The fight to define the very essence of IsraelBernard Avishai - The Guardian - "Behind the seemingly intractable Palestinian conflict lie deeper questions about what Israel wants to be: an ‘open’ globalised democracy or a ‘closed’ Jewish state." - id 23/5/2018
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The Day of Shame Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "But what topped everything was the huge machine of brain-washing that was set in motion. For many years I have not experienced anything like it. Almost all the so-called "military correspondents" acted like army propaganda agents. Day by day they helped the army to spread lies and falsifications. The public had no alternative but to believe every word. Nobody told them otherwise." - id 23/5/2018
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How Easy It Is to Follow Orders, How Hard to Refuse Moria Shlomot - Haaretz - “While I was waiting for another trial here, 42 civilians were killed. I hope my refusal and that of others will help stop this senseless killing. I am more certain than ever that it’s better for me to be in jail than to take part in this system of bloodshed,” CO Ayelet Brachfeld, who already spent three months in military prison. [The writer, former Peace Now director, is her lawyer.-bz]22/5/2018
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Netanyahu, Lieberman ignore US efforts for peace dealAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "On the Facebook page of Yisrael Beitenu, Lieberman pledged, “We will continue developing Judea and Samaria in practice.” He, too, obviously believes that developing Jewish settlements in areas where the Palestinians seek to create a state somehow contributes to peace." - id 30/5/2018
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BREAKING: Israeli Media Exposes Identity of IDF Commander Whose Unit Kidnaps, Assassinates PalestiniansRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Palestinian villagers hate these nighttime raids in which their fellow residents are kidnapped, dragged for questioning, and often imprisoned for months or years either without charges or on trumped-up charges. Duvdevan personnel in particular often disguise themselves as mistarvim (dress as local Palestinians) to arrest and even assassinate targets. That’s why local residents engage in acts of resistance, including rock throwing, at the unwelcome Israeli troops." - id 30/5/2018
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The Luck of the Gambler Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Inside Israel Netanyahu has unlimited power. Emperor Bibi and his wife look like a royal pair. He has no competitors. Every possible competitor was purged from the ruling party long ago. The remaining Likud functionaries look like dwarfs compared to Giant Bibi. The coalition partners are a miserable lot of small factions, whose leaders know that they have no chance against Bibi. The "opposition" is pitiful, at best." - id30/5/2018
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Along the Gaza border, they shoot medics (too), don`t they? Amira Hass - Haaretz - Any healthcare system in the West would collapse. Yet Gaza`s medical system, which for years has been on the brink of collapse, coped amazingly well with the challenge. It was the number of people injured by gunfire, more than the high body count, that was so shocking: Nearly half of the more than 2,770 people who sought emergency care had gunshot wounds. "It was clear that the soldiers are shooting above all in order to hurt rather than to kill, to leave as many young people as possible with permanent disabilities. (...) Each of the stations erected near the protest sites was staffed by paramedics and volunteer medical students. Within six minutes, on average, they managed to examine each patient, to determine the type of injury, to stabilize the patient and decide who needed to be treated in a hospital. (...) The first to be treated were people with injuries to blood vessels. Hundreds of people with less critical injuries waited in the hospital corridors for their turn... [bz] 29/5/2018
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