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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
What is behind Jared Kushner`s latest Middle East tour?Ibrahim Fraihat - Aljazeera - While the US administration continuously acts as if the big reveal is just around the corner, what these frequent visits really indicate is that the Trump team has not been able to gain the support it needs to announce its plan just yet.Kushner and Greenblatt`s latest visit also aimed at securing political and financial support for the peace plan. However, it seems the visit has also not been successful, as no deal was announced and the US administration continues to increase pressure on those opposing the deal, particularly Jordan and the Palestinian Authority (PA).27/6/2018
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Israel fears exposure of its dirty tactics against BDSAli Abunimah - EI - "Speaking at a conference sponsored by the Israeli government last week, Republican pollster Frank Luntz presented slides showing words he deems most effective for use in Israeli propaganda. At one point, according to the publication The Media Line, Luntz warned audience members not to post photos of the slides online. “If you do, it will end up on The Electronic Intifada, and it will be used against everyone in this room,” Luntz said." - id27/6/2018
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70 years of Arab World failure needs new strategyRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Palestinians should reject rejectionism and get out of the way of the Trump train wreck that promises to achieve little except open the door to more dramatic and widespread changes. The Arab World’s and Palestinian strategies of rejectionism has led us to this place of failure. We weren’t brought there by President Trump, Israel or even the Saudis. Instead of fighting against this slide downward, Palestinians and Arabs who seek peace should step out of the way of this train wreck and let it happen. Once Palestine and Middle East peace hits rock bottom, the region will disrupt in total disarray. Then, we can pick up the pieces in an era of a new start." - id 27/6/2018
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US candidates critical of Israel face political attacksUmar A Farooq - Middle East Eye "Omar Baddar, deputy director of the Arab American Institute, said condemning Israel is not politically safe in the US.“It is conventional wisdom that you cannot criticise Israel in American politics,” Baddar told MEE.However, there has been a recent shift in the political environment that is allowing room for Israel`s opponents, analysts say. It is partly because of a leftward drift of the Democratic Party, along with the leadership of Senator Bernie Sanders. Reactions to the latest violence against Palestinians in Gaza has created a small crack in the American political environment, said Baddar." ca 29/6/2018
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Two Souls Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "There is the ancient belief that God chose us from all the peoples. Why did God do that? God knows. He does not have to explain. The thing is a bit complicated. First the Jews invented God. There are also Egyptian and Mesopotamian claims, but Jews know better. (It has been said that many Jews do not believe in God, but believe that God has chosen the Jew)" - id27/6/2018
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Trump’s Middle East Peace Plan: Doomed To FailureMitchell Plitnick - Lobe Log - As Kushner’s tone-deaf interview demonstrates, the Trump team won’t come up with a plan that could convince Abbas to come back to the table, let alone one that he could accept. In the short term, most Palestinians will welcome his rejection of it, but in the long run, it will only serve to underscore yet again that Abbas’ approach of talking rather than fighting has failed. [bz]26/6/2018
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Ending colonialism in PalestineRod Such - The Electronic Intifada - “The links among resistance movements opposing empire have brought the currents of racial, economic, gender, immigration, education, mass incarceration and climate and environmental global justice together in a way never before witnessed.” The exclusion of Palestine from these progressive currents is finally beginning to end, and its demise can only be hastened by the daily visibility of the Donald Trump-Benjamin Netanyahu alliance. [The writer reviews "Why Palestine Matters: The Struggle to End Colonialism", the 2018 study guide by Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)-bz]26/6/2018
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Toking on the Base in IsraelAmira Hass - The positive interpretation: the soldiers, young and programmed as they may be, feel that what they’re doing is bad: breaking into homes; waking up children in the middle of the night and pointing guns at them; shooting at the inmates in the prison that is Gaza, whether they’re demonstrators, fishermen, shepherds or farmers; securing the demolitions of people’s dwellings and cisterns; or standing idly by under orders while masked Jews attack Palestinian shepherds and farmers. Reinforcement of sorts for this interpretation comes from a soldier named Shira who told that she was suffering emotional problems because of her service, “And then the only thing that comforts you is the toke. Cannabis helps you relax, get through the pain – mental and physical – and thoughts. (...) For a moment you forget all your problems.” Yuval, a combat soldier, explained why soldiers get high: “To get through the situation in a nicer, fun way. Sometimes many things make no sense, annoying orders or all kinds of things we have to do that we don’t agree with. When you’re wasted, it goes right past you.” [bz]26/6/2018
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The US ambassador to Israel is a boon to the far right. He must be stoppedJeremy Ben-Ami - The Guardian - It’s been over a year since David Friedman – long-time settlement movement benefactor and opponent of the two-state solution – took office as the US ambassador to Israel. In that time, Friedman has used the embassy as a personal bully pulpit to reshape US policy and advance his personal far-right agenda – precisely the course he pledged to the Senate foreign relations committee he would not follow. It is time for the Senate to bring Friedman back to DC for tough questioning. [bz]26/6/2018
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Trump and Netanyahu have not learned from history — they`re repeating itMenachem Klein - +972 - Netanyahu and Trump believe that Israel can occupy the West Bank forever. The ‘deal of the century’ that the U.S. plans to present is based on the assumption that the Palestinians have neither the will nor the power to resist [ry]25/6/2018
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A Watershed Moment in Palestinian History: Interview with Jamal Juma’Ida Audeh – CounterPunch - "On the formal political level, the PA is in a crisis. It placed its faith in the US, but now US determination to liquidate the Palestinian cause is very clear. The only real option remaining to the PA is to cast its lot with the Palestinian people and on free people around the world, international solidarity and movements that support us. The Palestinian people have to make a decision, and so does the PA" [ry]25/6/2018
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Crimes Against Humanity. Washington Endorses The State of IsraelDr. Binoy Kampmark - Information Clearing House "The move to withdraw the US received purring praise from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, still glowing with satisfaction at Washington’s decision to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem. For the Israeli leader, the Council had been nothing but “a biased, hostile, anti-Israel organisation that has betrayed its mission of protecting human rights.” ca23/6/2018
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Global Justice in the 21st CenturyRichard Falk - Wordpress "withdrawing from international institutional arrangements, especially those positively associated with peace, human rights, and environmental protection has become the hallmark of what be identified as the negative internationalismof the Trump presidency. The most egregious instances, prior to this move with regard to the HRC, involved the repudiation of the Nuclear Program Agreement with Iran (also known as the JCPOA or P5 +1 Agreement) and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Unlike these other instances of negative internationalism this departure from the HRC is likely to hurt the U.S. more than the HRC, reinforcing its myopic willingness to do whatever it takes to please Netanyahu and the lead American Zionist donor to the Trump campaign, Sheldon Adelson." ca23/6/2018
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Trump Gives Bibi Whatever He WantsGARY LEUPP - Counterpunch - Trump has given Netanyahu everything he ever wanted. Breaking with close allies, he has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and withdrawn from the Iran deal. He has continued deployment of U.S. troops in Syria, having once on impulse announced their withdrawal; ostensibly there to fight ISIL they are really intended to undermine the anti-Israeli regime. He has strengthened ties with Saudi Arabia, now a de facto ally of Israel against Iran. He has withheld criticism of the relentlessly expanding Jewish settlements on the occupied West Bank and praised Bibi to the skies. He’s appointed his Jewish son-in-law, who’s been personally close to Netanyahu since boyhood, as his special envoy to negotiate a solution to the Israel/Palestine problem. For the Israeli prime minister, Trump is manna from heaven.-rh20/6/2018
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Melania Trump’s Immigration Lawyer: Border Policy Is Like NazismThe Daily Beast - First lady Melania Trump’s immigration attorney criticized the “inhumanity” of the administration’s zero-tolerance border policy during an appearance on Fox & Friends on Tuesday. “The inhumanity of what we see is reminiscent of detentions center of Nazi Germany, of the slave trade,” Michael Wildes said. “We can do better when we try to figure out this problem.” The New York lawyer, who represented the first lady, her parents, and her sister during their immigration proceedings, also said the deterrence policy “goes against the very ethos of our founding documents and fathers.” -rh20/6/2018
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Trump’s War on Children is an act of State TerrorismHENRY GIROUX - Counterpunch - State terrorism comes in many forms, but one of its most cruel and revolting expressions is when it is aimed at children. Separating children from their parents is indeed a form of terrorism and it points not only to a society that has lost its moral compass, but has also descended into such darkness that it demands both the loudest forms of moral outrage and a collective resistance aimed at eliminating the narratives, power relations and values that support it.-rh20/6/2018
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World denounces Israel for brutality in Gaza StripRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley denounced the resolution and said the United States stands by Israel’s right to murder unarmed innocent civilians to protect its Apartheid form of government and its racially discriminatory policies against Christians and Muslims inside and outside of Israel." - id 20/6/2018
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The Siamese Twins Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Rabin`s historic mistake was that, after achieving the breakthrough in Oslo, he did not rush ahead and make peace. He was too slow and cautious. I have often compared him to a general who has broken through the enemy lines, and instead of throwing all his forces into the breach, hesitates and stops. That cost him his life." - id 20/6/2018
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Finding the truth amid Israel’s liesIlan Pappe - Electronic Intifada "Carmel’s book and dozens like it – brigade books, memoirs and military histories – could be found on the shelves of Israeli Jewish homes from 1948 onwards. Revisiting them, 70 years on, reveals an elementary truth: it would have been possible to write the “new history” of 1948 without a single new declassified document, but only if these open sources, as I call them, had been read with non-Zionist lenses." ca15/6/2018
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Trump`s Israel-Palestine deal targets Saudi alliance, not peace Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "In this situation, Israel and Saudi Arabia would welcome the US plan and urge the Palestinians to resume negotiations with Israel based on the new blueprint. The Palestinians would flatly reject the plan, claiming that it disregards understandings reached over years of negotiations with Israel. The crisis would result in the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and abrogation of the 1993 Oslo Accord. The Saudis would blame the Palestinians for the collapse of the deal and would renounce the 2002 Saudi-led Arab Peace Initiative that conditions normalization of Arab ties with Israel on its withdrawal from the occupied territories." ca 15/6/2018
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In Memory of Paula Hourani, Founder of Women in Black ViennaThe Palestine Chronicle - Paula Audrey Abrams Hourani, the founder of Women in Black (WiB) Vienna, passed away on June 4, 2018. Paula started WiB Vienna in 2001, coordinating a group of women and men, dedicated to the cause of justice, especially for the Palestinian people. Paula grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, in a middle class, secular Jewish family. She became aware of the horrors of occupation during her frequent travels to Palestine. Paula was untiring in her efforts to help the Palestinian cause and inform the public about the injustices inflicted by Israel to the Palestinian people. -rh13/6/2018
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Why Anti-Fascist and Pro-BDS Work Go Hand-in-HandDavid Palumbo-Liu - Truthout - PUBLISHED June 12, 2018 SHARE A white lower-case t on a black background READING LIST WAR & PEACE Winning the News Cycle: Trump’s Made-for-TV Singapore Summit HUMAN RIGHTS Ten Years After Postville Raid, Immigration Enforcement Returns to Totalitarian Tactics ECONOMY & LABOR Using “Climate Solidarity” to Remedy Climate Alienation POLITICS & ELECTIONS Henry A. Giroux: The Nightmare of Neoliberal Fascism WAR & PEACE With Explicit US Backing, Saudi Attack on Yemen’s Humanitarian Lifeline Begins ECONOMY & LABOR Over 90 Percent of UPS Teamsters Just Voted to Strike Shortly after presidential candidate Donald Trump’s hateful rhetoric and eventual rise to power emboldened a bigoted and anti-intellectual backlash at universities across the US, several colleagues and I who are engaged in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) tactics against the Israeli state established a national network to fight fascism on college campuses, called the Campus Antifascist Network (CAN). Zionists attacked us soon after. They targeted us precisely because we were also active in BDS work. The conservative blog Legal Insurrection sounded the alarm.-rh13/6/2018
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The Corporate Media’s World of IllusionsJonathan Cook Information Clearing House - For several years now, I have been writing these regular blog posts with one end in mind: to help open a door for readers and encourage them to step through. I select issues, usually those that dominate western media coverage and represent a consensus that we might term the Great Western Narrative, and try to show how this narrative has been constructed not to inform and enlighten but to conceal and deceive. It is not that I and the many other bloggers doing this are cleverer than everyone else. We have simply had a chance – an earlier one – to step through that door ourselves, because of a jarring life experience that the Great Western Narrative could not explain, or because someone held the door open for us, or more usually because of a combination of the two.-rh13/6/2018
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When the Media Collude with the IDF to Whitewash Gaza War CrimesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "A professor who is a friend sent me an invitation he recently received to participate in a conference in Israel later this month. He was so shocked by the agenda that he sent me the e-mail. It’s being organized by the Tel Aviv University think tank, the Institute for National Security Studies. There is no such thing as an Israeli think tank that is non-partisan or independent. Virtually all have a strong agenda and are funded by foundations, individuals or entities aiming to promote their own agendas. INSS is no different. In its case, its intellectual patron is the Israeli military-intelligence apparatus." - id13/6/2018
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Even Kites ShootYacov Ben Efrat 0 Challenge - "In order to deal with kite terror there is no need to sink billions into developing a sophisticated counter-punch, it’s enough to beef up the fire department. However, thousands of fire trucks, underground barriers, and sophisticated missile systems will not extinguish the great ball of fire that is just about to roll over Israel – an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that is presently erupting in Gaza. Every Israeli air force raid deep inside the Gaza Strip, which varies from 5 to 12 kilometers in width, only adds destruction and worsens the humanitarian disaster." - id13/6/2018
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Are YOU Brainwashed? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "It`s frightening. Unprincipled psychologists, in the service of a malignant regime, use sophisticated techniques in order to control the mind of a person from afar." - id 13/6/2018
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Why else had Aref Jaber and his wife to be beaten?Amos Gvirtz - The Israeli media claim that on Saturday, June 2, 2018, Rami Sabarna tried twice to run over soldiers in Hebron before being shot to death. According to Palestinian sources, on the other hand, Sabarna was working for the City of Hebron with his Bobcat (a small, very noisy bulldozer) in the Jaber neighborhood, along the road to the Cave of the Fathers, accompanied by another worker. Soldiers instructed them to stop from a distance of about 10 meters. The other worker stopped, and Rami did not hear them and continued working. Soldiers shot him to death. The soldiers then prevented a Palestinian ambulance from approaching to help and took his body away. They also arrested Aref Jaber, a Palestinian when he began filming the event. On Friday, June 8, soldiers entered Aref`s home and beat him and his wife up. He was taken to hospital. Sadly, this validates my belief that the Palestinian version is the correct one. [bz]12/6/2018
Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It MainstreamPeter Beinart - The Forward - Last month, Sanders crossed one of the red lines demarcating politically acceptable Washington discourse about Israel. He organized the first letter written by multiple senators criticizing Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Then, last week, he raced past that line again with a video that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen from an American senator - a video in which Gaza Palestinians speak for themselves and tell of the prison in which they are living and of the deep despair which leads people to risk their lives walking towards the Israeli snipers and give the lie to the version that "it is all the fault of Hamas". For decades, the conventional wisdom has held that a video like Sanders’, which focuses without equivocation or apology on Palestinian human rights, is political suicide. But that conventional wisdom had rarely been tested. [ak]12/6/2018
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Knesset blocks bill defining Israel as ‘country of all citizens’Middle East Monitor - A bill calling for Israel to be defined as a state of all its citizens was stopped before it reached the Knesset for discussion yesterday. Submitted by three Joint List Members of the Knesset, the Basic Law: A Country of All Its Citizens stood contrary to efforts to define Israel as “the state of the Jewish people” thus denied equal rights to its non-Jewish citizens.-rh6/6/2018
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The most radical thing you can say in IsraelMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "The Knesset won’t even allow this law to be discussed, let alone voted on, because it proposes making Israel a ‘state of all its citizens.’ Why is that so threatening?" - id 6/6/2018
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Israel’s Strategic Dead End in GazaGershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - The people of Gaza will remain Israel’s neighbors forever. They are not going anywhere. The combination is highly unlikely of a meaningful cease-fire; the limited ability of Hamas to increase its military power; the possibility of Egyptian and perhaps even Saudi observers in Gaza; a significant decrease in the economic blockade; and the return of the bodies of Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al Sayed to their families. However, to accomplish this last item – even if Israel has to release a few tens of Palestinian prisoners who did not kill Israelis, including most of the Schalit deal prisoners who were rearrested in 2014 but did not really return to terrorism – it is the right thing to do. [bz]10/6/2018
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Strong as Death Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The Gaza Strip could have turned into a blooming island. Optimists spoke about a "Second Singapore". They spoke about a Gaza harbor, with due inspection of incoming goods either in Gaza or in a neutral port abroad. A Gaza airport, with appropriate security inspection, was built and used and then destroyed by Israel. And what did the Israeli government do? The very opposite, of course. The government subjected the Gaza Strip to a stringent blockade." - id 6/6/2018
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The Israeli Right’s campaign against IsraelBen-Dror Yemini - Ynet - A mainstream commentator laments: Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil won’t come to Israel. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe decided to postpone—and perhaps cancel—his visit to Israel, which was scheduled to take place this week. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a sincere friend of Israel, postponed his visit as well. This all happened, and there is more, on the backdrop of black Monday in Gaza two weeks ago. These are harbingers, and not of spring. They are making us realize that we are losing in the international battlefield. Mainly in Europe, but also in the United States, where the Democratic Party is becoming a European branch concerning Israel. And the Democrats will rise to power again sometime, maybe even in the not-so-distant future. [bz] 5/6/2018
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Sacrificing Gaza: The Great March of Zionist HypocrisyJim Kavanagh - Counterpunch - All unarmed, non-violent but disruptive, Gandhian strategies to eliminate entrenched systems of colonial-apartheid rule will knowingly sacrifice many lives to attain their victory. Call it a politics of human sacrifice if you want. I won’t make any ingénue objections. But it’s not a sign of the subjugated people’s cynicism; it’s a result of their predicament. “Human sacrifice” defines the kind of choices a desperate and subjugated people are forced to make in the face of armed power they cannot yet overcome. A militarily-weak insurgent/liberation movement must use an effectively self-sacrificing strategy of moral suasion. That is now a standard and powerful weapon in political struggle. (...) At a crucial moment in history, it was Zionists who practiced a foundational “human shield” strategy, holding the victims of Nazism “hostage” to the Zionist “statehood” project – as none other than the publisher of the New York Times, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, recognized and criticized.[bz] 5/6/2018
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Finding the truth amid Israel’s liesIlan Pappe - EI - “These violent acts against the Palestinians had very little to do with finding a haven from anti-Semitism. The Zionist project was, and still is, a project of de-indigenizing the Palestinian population and replacing it with one comprised of Jewish settlers” [ry]4/6/2018
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