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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    

Saeb Erekat speaking on Israel`s seizure of Palestinian moneySaeb Erekat- WAFA VIDEO - The decision in the Knesset to withhold money for the salaries of Palestinian prisoners and martyrs...tantamount to the destruction of the Palestinian Authority." ca31/8/2018
Israel, US seek to redefine Palestinian refugeesBen Caspit - Al-Monitor "Al-Monitor reviewed in an earlier article the issue of cutbacks in the UNRWA budget. Meanwhile, it turns out that the American course of action will be sharper and more aggressive than was originally assessed in Israel. The watershed will be breached on Sept. 1, exactly when hundreds of schools in Gaza and the West Bank operated by the UNRWA are due to open. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet warn that UNRWA cutbacks are likely to cause the security situation to deteriorate unless an alternate program is presented." ca 30/8/2018
A new Israeli campaign against CorbynFayez Rasheed - MIDDLE EAST MONITOR - The Israeli occupation state recently announced that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, is an enemy of Israel and an anti-Semite. It also said things about him that even a drunk wouldn’t say. The new Israeli campaign is a continuation of the fierce movement launched by the occupation state in September 2016, when he won the leadership of the Labour Party. Corbyn is known for his solidarity with the Palestinian cause and Arab issues, and the British Labour Party is also known as the largest political party in Western Europe.-rh29/8/2018
BDS targets may differ, but our goal is the sameNada Elia - MIDDLE EAST EYE - The distinction between settlement products and products from "Israel proper," however, is one that only functions in a context where such products are indeed available to the consumer. In Arab countries that are implementing the Arab League boycott, the criteria have always been different. I was directly aware of that when I recently attended a presentation by Swedish activist Benjamin Ladraa at Dar El Nimer in Beirut, in which he urged everyone to do everything within their power to bring attention to the plight of the Palestinians. As I watched him using a Hewlett-Packard laptop to project his PowerPoint slides, I was reminded of the difference in the criteria between the BDS movement in the US, where I reside, and the boycott movement in Lebanon and the Arab world generally.-rh29/8/2018
Why dismantling the PA could advance two-state solution Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - On the other hand, drying up the PA’s funding could lead Abbas to “hand over the keys” to Israel and letting it run the PA. The Americans have conceivably failed to consider such an option, although it may be the only one left for the Palestinian leadership. The PA cannot afford deep cuts in US aid that would leave it only with money to train its security forces and coordinate between them and Israel, bolstering its image as Israel’s sub-contractor in the occupied territories. If this ends up being the outcome of the American move, the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will emerge bruised.-rh 29/8/2018
Words can killCarmi Gillon - Ynet - "Im Tirtzu`s actions are reminiscent of world fascist movements, it sows divisions among all sectors of Israeli society through systematic demonization; in contrast, the New Israel Fund stands firm as a symbol of a democratic Zionist society." - id29/8/2018
Israel`s new gun reforms will end in bloodRela Mazali - +972 - "Over the past few years, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has been gradually making it easier for average Israelis to obtain gun licenses. But instead of increasing security, it will only put more people, especially women, at risk." - id29/8/2018
Lipinski urges humanitarian aid for Palestinians in face of Trump cutsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Conservative Democrat Dan Lipinski urges immediate humanitarian aid to Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip, warning of dire consequences that not only threatens the life of the nearly 2 million civilians but also jeopardizes the chances of peace between Israel and Palestine. Americans for Peace Now also issued a statement in support of continuing humanitarian aid." - id29/8/2018
As US buries era of evenhandedness, will shift bring Palestinians to the table?Ron Kampeas - Times of Israel - Radicals would be “empowered,” said Peter Lerner, a former longtime Israel Defense Forces spokesman. “Hardballing the Palestinians into submission is likely to blow up on Israel’s doorstep.” It’s also not likely to bring the Palestinians on board, said Yousef Munayyer, the executive director of the US campaign for Palestinian rights. “When you want coercion to lead to a change of behavior, the actor has to see there’s something to lose,” he said. “In the case of the Palestinians they’re already the party living under military occupation. It’s a people that has lost faith in the ability of the United States to deliver anything for them. [bz] 28/8/2018
Life has value and human beings are not instruments for leveraging pressureMichael Sfard - Haaretz Hebrew (translation Sol Salbe/Facebook) - Quietly, without media reports and without a public storm, Dr Avichai Mandelblit defended a policy that can only be described as criminal in the High Court of Justice. The policy calls for the prevention of passage of Palestinian women from Gaza who suffer from brain cancer and who are in need of life saving medical treatment in East Jerusalem, in order to leverage the pressure on members of their family. [bz]28/8/2018
Only the Likud Party can do itNahum Barnea - Ynet - A right-wing government has more room to maneuver than a center-left one does when it comes to agreements with enemies. As long as the hate-filled rhetoric remains the same, Netanyahu`s base will stay loyal to him [ry]27/8/2018
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break SiegeRamzy Baroud - Telesur "Whether the boats arrive on the Gaza coast or are hijacked by the Israeli navy, it makes little difference...And this is precisely the real mission of the Gaza flotillas: While Israel wants to normalize the Gaza siege as it is currently normalizing its Occupation and Apartheid regimes, the solidarity movement has created a counter-discourse that constantly foils Israeli plans." ca24/8/2018
Israeli Central Bank Criticizes Netanyahu’s Plan to Increase Military SpendingJason Ditz - "Indeed, they warned that the plan was directly contrary to existing law calling for a declining government deficit, as well as promised infrastructure investments.This is very unusual for the Israeli Central Bank, which rarely directly criticizes the government, and in recent years has saved its public comments for some smaller arguments with the Finance Ministry." ca 24/8/2018
UN Proposes Peacekeepers for Palestine, Trump Foresees Israeli Prime Minister Named “Mohammed”Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Israel, of course, rejected the proposal out of hand. And Guterres covered all the bases by acknowledging his proposal would only work if both sides agreed to it. The Palestinians would embrace it readily. So that left Israel to be the rejectionist party (as usual). At some point in the future, the world will tell the parties that they have no choice and the UN or some other international force will be stationed there whether they agree or not. Unfortunately, there is literally no chance any Israeli government would ever agree to this plan. Which is why it will eventually have to be imposed, probably after Israel engages in the sort of massacre Milosevic orchestrated in Srebrenica. It gives me no comfort to predict this. But it will happen. It’s only a question of when and how bad it will be." ca24/8/2018
Israel`s justice minister wishes a happy Eid al-Adha — to Druze only Oren Ziv - +972 "While Muslim holiday greetings from Israeli politicians and IDF officers have become a regular occurrence on social networks over the past few years — and despite the stark contrast between those greetings and the conduct of said leaders during the rest of the year — it appears the Shaked has broken the record for bluntness." ca24/8/2018
Erekat: `Israeli settlement expansion result of US encouragement of Israeli violations`Ma`an News Agency - "Erekat said that settlement expansion by Israel "is not only a serious violation of the international humanitarian law, but a war crime that would not have taken place without the granting of immunity and treating it as a state above the law by the international community." ca 24/8/2018
Abbas last obstacle against killing hope for peace Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Hebrew-language headline "The Abbas Obstacle" blared on the front page of Israel Hayom, the pro-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu newspaper. The article itself reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was "trying to torpedo" the emerging Israel-Hamas truce agreement on the Gaza Strip. Indeed, Abbas is refusing to go along with what Israel euphemistically dubs the "arrangement" with Hamas. However, contrary to the impression government mouthpieces are trying to make, the Palestinian president is not a pyromaniac. On the contrary.-rh 22/8/2018
Uri Avnery: One of My Few Heroes in the Middle EastROBERT FISK - CounterPunch - He often pondered the demise of the Israeli “Left” – they were “hibernating”, he said after Ehud Barack, the (Israeli) Labour leader, had come back from the Camp David talks in 2000 as self-proclaimed leader of the “peace camp”, “and told us we have no partner for peace”. This was a death blow. It was not Netanyahu who said this, but the leader of the Labour Party. This was the end of “Peace Now”.-rh22/8/2018
In Detaining Peter Beinart, Israel Has Declared it No Longer Represents Millions of Jews OverseasJONATHAN COOK - CounterPunch - "There are few places in Israel where its apartheid character is more conspicuous than the imposing international airport just outside Tel Aviv, named after the country’s founding father, David Ben Gurion." - id 22/8/2018
UN Proposes Peacekeepers for Palestine, Trump Foresees Israeli Prime Minister Named “Mohammed”Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Note that the Israeli version of the ceasefire (actually Israel is denying it’s even negotiating such a plan) essentially returns to status quo ante. In other words, Gaza gets nothing except a few palliatives (a few more trucks bringing goods in or out) and Israel gets everything it wants. This is a recipe for more of the same bloodshed." - id22/8/2018
Peace activists mourn passing of Uri AvneryRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Avnery was also one of the loudest voices denouncing the Israeli government and military policy of using snipers to shoot and kill civilians who were protesting on the Palestinian side of the Gaza- Israel border." - id 22/8/2018
In advocating for a Palestinian state, Haaretz forgets about the PalestiniansMeron Rapoport - +972 "According to Haaretz, all Israel has to do to maintain the relevance of the two-state solution is evacuate 9,800 Jewish families from the West Bank. How do the Palestinians factor into this vision? They do not...The article showcased a map of the West Bank that was supposed to demonstrate that Israel would only have to evacuate 33 “isolated settlements” — a concept that was stretched to the limit in order arrive at this low number — so that the Palestinians can have a contiguous territory of their own." ca21/8/2018
Uri Avnery, Israeli Journalist and Peace Activist, Is Dead at 94Isabel Kershner - New York Times - A left-wing thorn in the government`s side, he called for a Palestinian state and challenged the notion of a strictly Jewish nationality. In his last column, published on Aug. 7 in Haaretz, he attacked the Israeli Parliament’s recent enactment of a contentious nationality law, which anchors Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people and enshrines the right of national self-determination as “unique to the Jewish people,” not to all citizens. Mr. Avnery described the law as “clearly semi-fascist.” [bz] 21/8/2018
Tel Aviv Diary: Why Would Netanyahu Increase Israel`s Defense Budget? | OpinionMarc Schulman - Newsweek "Two seemingly unrelated, but in fact, very related events took place earlier in the week that disturbed many. First, was a very public campaign by right-wing organizations (led by “Im Tirtzu,” which is said to have direct ties to the Prime Minister) against General Yair Golan, one of four candidates to become the next IDF Chief of Staff. Why? ...Second, was the detention of well-known journalist Peter Beinart for questioning by the security services, when he tried to enter the country last Sunday...The fear today is that the burden of too many years of war, and politicians who exploit that fear, is slowly chipping away at the very foundations of the liberal society, whose liberties so many cherish." ca17/8/2018
Israeli Attempts to Overthrow Corbyn and Other Foreign LeadersBy Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "It is quite a jump from ginning up a fake charge of tax fraud against Omar Barghouti, as Israeli authorities have done, as part of such a campaign; and quite another to attempt to destroy the career of Britain’s Opposition leader. That takes Israel into far more dangerous territory, the sort of operations that most democratic nations hesitate to entertain, as they cross over from intelligence work into outright violations of sovereignty." ca17/8/2018
Army braces for fresh Gaza violence amid reports of imminent truceTOI staff - Times of Israel "The IDF was bracing Friday for a renewal of the so-called “March of Return” border demonstrations amid reports of a truce agreement about to be inked between Israel and the Hamas terror group. Gazan protesters were gathering at several points along the border with Israel and some had launched balloons carrying pictures of so-called “martyrs” who had been killed by Israel... Military source says border demonstrations will be test of Hamas`s intent and ability to ensure calm." ca 17/8/2018
The danger of conflating anti-Zionism with anti-SemitismIan Almond - Aljazeera - Enfolding criticism of Israel within the definition of anti-Semitism would risk rendering the word meaningless.- rh15/8/2018
Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break SiegeRamzy Baroud - telesur - And this is precisely the real mission of the Gaza flotillas: While Israel wants to normalize the Gaza siege as it is currently normalizing its Occupation and Apartheid regimes, the solidarity movement has created a counter-discourse that constantly foils Israeli plans. In other words, whether the boats arrive on the Gaza coast or are hijacked by the Israeli navy, it makes little difference. The power and effectiveness of this kind of solidarity go even beyond Gaza and Palestine. “Our involvement in international solidarity endeavors, such as the Freedom Flotillas has, in turn, sparked a resurgence in other important elements of building the strength of the worldwide movement for justice”-rh15/8/2018
Jewish Nation State Law: Q&A with Adalah’s Hassan JabareenHassan Jabareen - Mondoweiss - Adalah’s General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen offers a probing analysis of the “Basic Law: The Jewish Nation-State,” which, he argues, calls for a shift in how one conceptualizes the Israeli regime on both sides of the Green Line. He contends that the enactment of the law gives Palestinians everywhere the occasion to evaluate the Israeli regime based on its laws, not only its practices, and that the Israeli regime faces questions about its legitimacy following the enactment of this racist legislation.-rh15/8/2018
Israel Is Not a Liberal DemocracyPaul R. Pillar - The National Interest - sraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in Israel) making the right of national self-determination “unique to the Jewish people” and not applicable to all citizens. The law further enshrined religiously based discrimination, including a clause that points to priority for Jewish-only communities by declaring “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value” and promising “to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” The law has been a subject of much controversy in Israel. It passed the Knesset by the narrow margin of sixty-two to fifty-five. Opponents argue that it constitutes a step away from democracy. But this was one more item on the agenda of the ruling right-wing coalition that, given the rightward move in Israeli politics in recent years, the coalition was able to push through.-rh15/8/2018
Lauder helped make Netanyahu prime minister. Now he’s publicly opposing himBEN SALES - The Times of Israel - On Monday, Netanyahu was the target of a scathing column by Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics heir who heads the World Jewish Congress. Lauder lamented Israel’s recent nation- state law, which Netanyahu defends as a safeguard of Israel’s Jewish character but critics see as a slap in the face to the country’s minorities. Lauder wrote that Israel’s turn to the nationalist right is betraying its — and the Jewish people’s — commitment to democratic, humanistic ideals.-rh15/8/2018
Israel`s nationality law knows no boundariesAkiva Eldarm- Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red lines, as well." - id 15/8/2018
Welcome to Netanyahu`s fortress stateLisa Goldman - +972 - "The detention and interrogation of high-profile figures such as Peter Beinart and Reza Aslan at Israeli entry points is causing liberal American Jews to understand what Israel is becoming." - id 15/8/2018
Seeing through anti-Trump anger to achieve peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "You can’t write Trump off, just because he is one of the most brutal and sometimes vicious public wars with both America’s Democratic political establishment and America’s biased, pro-Israel mainstream news media." - id15/8/2018
Why Arab citizens waved Palestinian flags in central Tel AvivHaggai Matar - +972 - Tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis protested and marched against the Jewish Nation-State Law Saturday night, demanding full civil equality for all residents of this land. It was a spectacular and rare showing, yet most of Israel’s top politicians (including on the Left) and media outlets were concerned with one thing only... [bz]14/8/2018
BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debateNathan Thrall - The Guardian - Progressives, centre-left pro-Israel groups are increasingly viewed as Aipac-lite, supporting two states in name while in practice protecting Israel from any sort of pressure that might induce it to end a very comfortable occupation. [An in-depth long read-bz]14/8/2018
To maintain occupation, Israel will need to bolster Hamas in GazaMenachem Klein - +972 - While Egypt and the UN have their own plans to solve the crisis in Gaza, both have one thing common: strengthening Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority. In order to maintain its hold on the West Bank, Israel will prefer the option that will give Hamas autonomy [ry]13/8/2018
As Russia Negotiates Separation of Forces in Syria, Netanyahu Threatens War Against Iran Over Yemeni WaterwayRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Netanyahu, whose premiership seems built upon the premise of constant war or threat of war, today turned to his southern flank. He told a military ceremony that if Iran’s Houthi allies continued to threaten shipping in the Bab al Mandab waterway separating Saudi Arabia from Iran, the IDF would join or lead a Sunni coalition which would break such a blockade and counter-attack against Iran. This is precisely the response Israel’s Saudi allies expected when Houthi forces fired a missile at a Saudi oil tanker headed to Egypt." ca10/8/2018
There`s a way out of our shared hell with GazaEric Yellin - +972 "For over a year, my friends in Other Voice, comprised of residents of the towns and communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, have been protesting the government’s inability to find a viable solution for our situation. For more than a decade, members of Other Voice have been in touch with people in Gaza, and we believe it is possible to live in peace with our neighbors. Life there is unbearable, and without resolving the crisis in Gaza, our lives will continue to be a living hell." ca10/8/2018
The Apartheid State of Israel: Decoding the ‘Basic Law’ and the Meaning of a ‘Jewish Nation’N.D. JAYAPRAKASH - CounterPunch - "Unfortunately, the new “Basic Law” has brought about a profound change in this apparently contradictory interpretation of the nature of Israel: it is no longer “Jewish and Democratic” but has been pruned to being just “Jewish”, which reveals its real character." - id 9/8/2018
Why Trump`s plan to shut UNRWA is not the solutionYossi Beilin - Al Monitor - "Instead of cutting US funds for the UNRWA or allocating them to states, the Trump administration should encourage phasing out the agency while implementing a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue." - id9/8/2018
ICC Reaches Out to Palestinian Victims as War Crimes Case Enters Pre-Trial PhaseRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "An Israeli news report called the move “unprecedented.” A three- judge panel has been appointed to hear the case: Peter Kovacs (presiding judge), Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou." - id8/8/2018
Who the Hell Are We?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "So what is new about the new law, which at a first glance looks like a copy of the declaration? It contains two important omissions: the declaration spoke of a "Jewish and Democratic" state, and promised full equality between all its citizens, without regard to religion, ethnicity or sex.All this has disappeared. No democracy. No equality. A state of the Jews, for the Jews, by the Jews." - id8/8/2018
Exercising the Privilege of Going to Jail Amira Hass - Haaretz - These two brand-new conscientious objectors aren’t just on “the stronger side of the national hierarchy,” as Garmi put it. They’re also on the stronger side of the social hierarchy. This ensures that the “stain” of imprisonment won’t harm them in the future the way it reproduces the repression of society’s oppressed groups, like impoverished workers, Jews of Middle Eastern or North African origin and the Druze. Nevertheless, jail is a price they are paying consciously. Both have decided to use their double privilege to publicly oppose the violent hierarchical order. May there be many more like them. [bz]7/8/2018
`The Arab International Forum for Justice for Palestine’ (Beirut, 29 July 2018) Richard Falk - Wordpress "Of course, not a word in theNY Timesabout Ahed’s release, while papers in Lebanon wrote complementary feature stories with sympathetic pictures of this heroine, and in every Turkish paper I saw her release was a front page story. Ahed seems comfortable with the prominence of her role despite being so young. As far as the eye can see, Ahed seems completely unintimidated by the immediate shadows cast by the harshness of Israel’s response to this totally innocent gesture of resistance." ca2/8/2018
Palestine says good-bye to the US-led peace process Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - " “We need to have a clear strategy that can help us deal with the huge challenges ahead,” said former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, now a visiting professor at Princeton University. “The number-one priority must be to find ways to unify the splintering Palestinian population and leadership.”" - is2/8/2018
Israel’s `UNRWA dilemma`Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "The government’s claims against UNRWA have succeeded in convincing an absolute majority of Israelis that the agency is little more than a respirator that keeps the Palestinian refugee issue alive.There is another side to the coin, however, and it involves a single date: Sept. 1. On that day, tens of thousands of Palestinian students are scheduled to start the new school year. As of now, however, they won’t." - id2/8/2018
Israeli Press Freedom Under Fire: Jerusalem Post Sacks Long-Time Political CartoonistRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "In response to his sacking, some long-time contributors to the Jerusalem Report like Haim Watzman, have resigned and announced they will no longer write for either publication. However, as a far-right publication there aren’t many journalists there who object to Katz’s demise. The paper is an ardent supporter of Likud’s ultra- nationalist policies." - is 2/8/2018
Who needs a Nation-State Law? What Israelis really thinkDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Several polls show that a surprising coalition of Israelis oppose the Jewish Nation-State Law, or at least think it is unnecessary and harmful [ry]6/8/2018
Why Israel’s Nationality Law could be good for Palestinians Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor " The Palestinians are by no means saints, yet this week one can certainly cite the famous saying “the work of the righteous is done by others” (Midrash Talmudi, Brachot 35). The work of the Palestinians was done by someone else, i.e., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In fact, surely unintentionally, Netanyahu extracted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from a trap Netanyahu himself laid for the Palestinian leadership." ca 3/8/2018
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