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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
Now Chad, then Mali: Why African Countries Are Normalizing with IsraelRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "Unfortunately for Palestinians, Israel’s new strategy, of seeking separate alliances with UN General Assembly members seems to be paying dividends. Israel now hopes that other countries that have historically stood on the side of Palestinians – voting for Palestinian rights as a bloc at the UN – will follow the Chad and Mali examples." - id31/1/2019
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Pressured by settlers, Netanyahu ejects Hebron observersShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "With elections right around the corner, it has become much easier for the settlers to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do their bidding and let them rule downtown Hebron." - id31/1/2019
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Three positive developments for IsraelRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "Jerusalem can breathe a momentary sigh of relief as certain events in Syria and Gaza seem to be working in their favor." - id31/1/2019
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JVP just declared itself anti-Zionist and it`s already shifting the conversationMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - ‘We often play the role of being able to say things that the rest of the movement cannot say,’ Jewish Voice for Peace director Rebecca Vilkomerson says in a wide-ranging interview about the group’s decision to come out as opposed to Zionism, how to fight the conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, and recent attacks on Black-Palestine solidarity."" - id31/1/2019
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Palestinians have little to expect from Israeli electionsRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Israeli journalist Tal Schneider was the guest in an online forum Thursday hosted by Americans for Peace Now. During the discussion, she observed that the Arab vote, despite uniting, might not be strong enough to refocus the country on addressing the occupation or on the Two-State Solution." - id 31/1/2019
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The future is the center: Meet the parties shaking up Israeli politicsDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Talking to these voters, I found that centrist Israelis who look carefree about the conflict on the surface aren’t as dismissive as they seem. Instead, they seem more depressed, confused and hopeless, gravitating towards issues where they still expect a possibility of change. [bz]29/1/2019
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The 2019 Women’s March: privileging victimhood and the power of class Activism Alice Rothchild - Mondoweiss "Linda Sarsour has been attacked as an anti-Semite because of her support for Palestinian rights and the boycott, divestment, sanction campaign against Israel.This is the same Sarsour who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars through her Muslim organization, MPower Change and other Muslim groups to support synagogues whose buildings or cemeteries were desecrated or in disrepair in St. Louis and Colorado. She is the same Sarsour who raised $239,000 to pay for the burials of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and who has worked with Jewish Voice for Peace and other Jewish organizations." ca "26/1/2019
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IsraeliCriminality, Hubris in Syria InvitesCatastropheFinianCunningham - Information Clearing House "But what’sremarkable about the latest Israeliaggression is the public acknowledgement bythe government in Tel Aviv. Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu, while on an African tourat the weekend, openly acknowledged theIsraeli air strikes, as did the IsraeliDefense Forces (IDF).“We have aset policy, to target the Iranianentrenchment in Syria, and to harm whoevertried to harm us,” said Netanyahu on a visitto Chad." ca 26/1/2019
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How Black Power spread support for PalestineRod Such - The Electronic Intifada - "A professor of history at Randolph-Macon College, Fischbach explores how the Black Power movement of the 1960s embraced the Palestinian cause and how this eventually influenced moderate civil rights organizations that had unquestioningly supported Israel." - id 24/1/2019
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Hoping for the best in Gaza, preparing for the worstElior Levy - Ynet - "Analysis: The Qatari ambassador is in Israel with suitcases of money, while the deputy UN special envoy tries to ease tensions in the Strip; the level of calm surrounding the demonstrations at the border fence will determine whether the money reaches Gaza anytime soon, while the specter of new violence is ever present." - id 24/1/2019
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A Green New Deal, Israeli StyleYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "In Israel, the issue of climate change ebbs in the face of the imaginary existential wave that Netanyahu is riding – the Iranian threat." - id24/1/2019
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Arab Israelis have the power to undermine Israel’s racismRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Arabs in Israel represent more than 20 percent of the total population, but only hold 10.8 percent of the seats on the Knesset, or 13 out of 120 seats. The Arab Joint List consisting of the four largest Arab Israeli political parties ranks as the 3rd largest political group in the Knesset, but could be the largest if the Arab citizens of Israel voted instead of staying home on Election Day." - id 24/1/2019
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Bernie Sanders could be US president in 2020 – and this is what it means for Israel and the Middle EastRobert Fisk - Information Clearing House - Sanders’ campaign is not just going to be about economics or the futility of Mexican walls. It might well be about Iran. It’s going to raise a lot of questions among the Christian fundamentalists. But, most importantly of all, it’s going to be about Israel. And, if this liberal intellectual is going to be a serious candidate for 2020, he’s going to meet plenty of latent anti-Semitism in the United States. It took long enough for John Kennedy, the first Catholic American to become president, to shake off the claim that he would be more loyal to the Pope than to America. Just imagine how Sanders will have to confront the same bigots when they insinuate that he’s more loyal to Israel than to his own country. He’s not – as one television presenter once suggested – a dual national. He’s not an Israeli. He’s the child of Polish Jewish immigrants.-rh22/1/2019
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ILTV debate on the ever hot issues of the moment, (Jan. 13, youtube)Arik Ascherman and Adam Keller vs Martin Sherman and Zohar Tal [bz]22/1/2019
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Time to Break the Silence on PalestineMichelle Alexander - New York Times - Martin Luther King Jr. courageously spoke out about the Vietnam War. And it cost him. But it set an example. So, if we are to honor King’s message and not merely the man, we must condemn Israel’s actions: unrelenting violations of international law, continued occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza, home demolitions and land confiscations. We must cry out at the treatment of Palestinians at checkpoints, the routine searches of their homes and restrictions on their movements, and the severely limited access to decent housing, schools, food, hospitals and water that many of them face. (...) We must not tolerate Israel’s refusal even to discuss the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolutions (...) Many civil rights activists and organizations have remained silent, not because they lack concern or sympathy for the Palestinian people, but because they fear loss of funding from foundations, and false charges of anti-Semitism. They worry, as I once did, that their important social justice work will be compromised or discredited by smear campaigns.[bz]22/1/2019
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2018 was another year of BDS victoriesAsa Winstanley - MEMO - "An old saying attributed to Gandhi goes: `First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you and then you win.` This saying is, broadly speaking, the right way to understand Israel’s response to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, since it was first founded by Palestinian civil society in 2005. As of 2019, Israel is deep into the `fight you` phase – with decidedly mixed results" [ry] 21/1/2019
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The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged NakbaRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "The game is afoot. Israel, believe it or not, is demanding that seven Arab countries and Iran pay $250 billion as compensation for what it claims was the forceful exodus of Jews from Arab countries during the late 1940s" [ry] 21/1/2019
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A crusader in Cairo: Pompeo`s pompous imperialism has no clothesHamid Dabashi - Al Jazeera - The speech Trump`s secretary of state gave in Cairo put the thuggish truth of American imperialism on full display [ry] 21/1/2019
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There Is No ‘Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’Matti Friedman - New York Times "There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think, and this perception gap is worth spelling out. It has nothing to do with being right-wing or left-wing in the American sense. To borrow a term from the world of photography, the problem is one of zoom. Simply put, outsiders are zoomed in, and people here in Israel are zoomed out. Understanding this will make events here easier to grasp.In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides." ca 21/1/2019
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Changes expected in Palestinian Knesset representationDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - "There appears to be a good chance that the Joint List will not be the only party vying to represent the interests of Palestinian citizens of Israel in April elections for the next Knesset." - id 17/1/2019
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Before talks with Palestinians, Israel must fulfill agreementsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Years of occupation and settlement expansion render the possibility of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians very slim, but Israel can reach out to them by implementing past agreements." - id 17/1/2019
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Gantz speaks, and the right goes wildSima Kadmon - Ynet - "Benny Gantz`s choice to make his first public political comments about the Nation-State Law, on which there`s near consensus, could have been his way to ambush the right. Or maybe we`re just putting too much meaning into it." - id 17/1/2019
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Khashoggi Murder Leads to Fundamental Regional Alignment: Public Enemy Number 1 is Now TurkeyRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Middle East Eye asked me to contribute to an assessment of what 2019 will hold in store for the Middle East. I focussed especially on prospects for Israel and its relations with the other players in the region. Please read and disseminate it as widely as you can via social media and other ways." - id 17/1/2019
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Will 2019 see an end to the Hamas-Fatah divide?Yousef Alhelou - The Arab Weekly - Israeli soldiers storm houses and media offices — including the Palestinians’ Wafa news agency — and such acts cannot be prevented by Palestinian security forces due to signed agreements. House demolitions and confiscations of land have become almost daily occurrences. Palestinian national unity is Israel’s greatest threat and most challenging issue. Palestinians must protect their internal and external fronts and realise that the Israeli policy of divide and rule must end.-rh 16/1/2019
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Palestine: The History of a PeopleRON JACOBS - Counterpunch - Recently, Zed Books Press published what is perhaps the most comprehensive and complete history of the Palestinian people to date. Titled Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History, the text traces the Palestinian people and their culture from pre-biblical times to the modern day. Author Nur Masalha has composed a narrative befitting a people whose future is ultimately crucial to the world’s. Describing most historical narratives about nations as myths based on religions and folk tales, Masalha rejects this approach and takes the reader through a detailed examination of trade, governance, and various inhabitants’ personal documents. In doing so he describes a history of a people and a place that began long before more traditional histories of either Palestine or Israel start. The result is a history based in verifiable data and unadorned by romantic notions of nationalism and religious mythology.-rh15/1/2019
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Veteran Likud member must raise integrity banner against Netanyahu’s rule Read moreYossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - Begin has already proved that he has no qualms about standing up to the Likud consensus or even to Netanyahu himself. Now that he is about to exit the political arena, this could be his big moment. He could call on Netanyahu to announce that he can no longer function in office and demand that he clear the way for someone else from their party to take over. It would be just like late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin did in 1977, after he was suspected of committing a crime (owning a dollar account abroad — which does not constitute a crime in Israel any more). Back then, Rabin announced that he could no longer function in office and transferred the reins of power to Shimon Peres.-rh 15/1/2019
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In farewell remarks, IDF chief urges cabinet to strengthen PA security forcesTAMAR PILEGGI - The Times of Israel - Outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot reportedly urged the government to strengthen the Palestinian Authority security forces, noting that they had recently thwarted a Hamas terrorist attack in the West Bank. In his farewell remarks to the cabinet on Sunday, Eisenkot said PA forces seized weapons and explosives originating from Hamas’ military wing in Area A of the West Bank several days ago, ministers attending the meeting told Channel 10 news. Area A are parts of the West Bank under full Palestinian control.-rh15/1/2019
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Breaking silence, Gantz says he will ‘fix’ nation-state law to help DruzeRAOUL WOOTLIFF - The Times of Israel - After weeks of refusing to give interviews or make public statements, former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, the chairman of the new Israel Resilience party, offered on Monday a glimpse of his largely unknown political views, breaking his silence with a vow to “fix” the controversial nation-state law to help the Druze community.-rh15/1/2019
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The many battles of Gadi EisenkotYossi Yehoshua - Y-net - Eisenkot inherited a greatly deterred Gaza, but his replacement Aviv Kochavi will have to contend with the significant erosion of that deterrence. In addition, the IDF`s performance and results in recent rounds of fighting against the strip have not been good. But the main problem during Eisenkot`s term is the issue of motivation. The motivation to serve in combat units reached an unprecedented low during his tenure. Even the motivation for enlisted service is constantly in decline; with no other tasks but keeping order in the Territories and skirmishing of Gaza fence, young officers feel less inclined to continue with a military career. [ak] 15/1/2019
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What sustains the Palestinian struggle?Khaled Barakat/Ranjan Solomon - Palestine Update - The stories and experiences of revolutionary strugglers behind bars affect the entire society, as their words and messages escape prison in those secret messages smuggled into open space, reaching the squares, streets, schools, alleys and cafes, from the cells that were intended to serve as narrow boxes of silence and isolation. (...) \It will leave occupation confused especially with its lack of moral grounds. Power may not surrender voluntarily. The pressure will bring it to crumble. [bz] 15/1/2019
When Bolsonaro and Netanyahu Are ‘Brothers’: Why Brazil Should Shun the Israeli ModelRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "Europe’s excitement for Israel’s drone technology is related to mostly unfounded fears of migrants and refugees. In the case of Brazil, Israeli drones technology will be put to fight against criminal gangs and other internal reasons" [ry] 14/1/2019
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Pompeo Ignores Saudi Crimes—and U.S. History—in Middle East SpeechChristopher Dickey - The Daily Beast " The Khashoggi murder exposed the increasingly erratic and dangerous behavior of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS. What Pompeo outlined in his Cairo speech is a posture essentially built on MBS promises that it’s now clear the Saudi ruler can’t deliver.The guts of Pompeo’s speech was this: Iran is the enemy, and that’s the glue that binds together America’s friends..." ca 11/1/2019
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Egypt border closed to Gazans leaving amid Palestinian feudingAFP - "The Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday it would withdraw its staff from the Rafah border crossing -- the only way for Gazans to leave the Palestinian enclave that bypasses Israel.It blamed interference by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, following claims of widespread arrests of members of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas`s Fatah party in the enclave." Ca 11/1/2019
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Gantz was an island of sanity during the Gaza warMatan Tzuri - Ynetnews "These days, we are witnessing attempts at a political targeted assassination of Benny Gantz by the Likud upper echelon, which promises to "expose" embarrassing details about his performance in the 2014 conflict. There is no dispute that the Gaza operation could have been handled differently, however, the political echelon should be held responsible for its own failures. The top military brass did nothing but follow their instructions." ca11/1/2019
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The Zionist fallacy of `Jewish supremacy`Yoav Litvin - Al-Jazeera - "Framing Zionism as Jewish and not white supremacy is a dangerous proposition." id 10/1/2019
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Will Abbas go through with legislative elections without Hamas?Rasha Abou Jalal - Al Monitor - "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to hold legislative elections within six months, the first since the last Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, to the dismay of Hamas." - id 10/1/2019
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Can Qatar help Hamas without embarrassing Netanyahu?Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "The Qatari emissary asked the Hamas leadership to give him and Israel time to come up with creative ways to transfer the Gaza aid money without causing public opinion in Israel to explode." - id 10/1/2019
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Israel`s left wing must have the courage to tackle the big issueYaron London - Ynet - "The left must clearly state, without obfuscating in the name of political correctness, what it believes is the long-hungered solution for good relations between Israel`s Arab and Jewish citizens, instead of providing superficial and hysterical solutions to the country`s rising fascism." - id 10/1/2019
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Israel and US officially withdraw from UNESCO over ‘anti-Israel’ biasYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - Israel and the United States have officially quit the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), citing “anti-Israel bias.” The decision, which was announced by the two countries in October 2017, officially took effect at midnight on New Year’s Day. UNESCO was co- founded by the US after World War II with the mission of seeking to “build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.”-rh8/1/2019
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Who is Being Held to Account for Palestinians’ Food Insecurity?Ramona Wadi - The Palestine Chronicle - "It is a mistake to focus on Palestinians’ food insecurity only in light of the WFP’s reduction in aid. In its latest report, the Programme stated that 22.5 percent of Palestinians suffer from food insecurity due to limited access, lack of mobility and economic restrictions, as well as the discrepancy between income and food prices. All of this should be blamed directly on Israel" [ry] 7/1/2019
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Why Trump’s Middle East peace plan is just a sideshow Oliver Holmes - The Guardian - "Palestinian leaders have rejected Washington as a mediator and Israeli politicians openly deride peace efforts." - id 3/1/2019
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No one cares as Trump plan delayed againOmar Karmi - EI - "What’s left? The booming settlement construction sector? What harm to Israel could possibly arise from a plan put together by settlement benefactor Jared Kushner, settlement advocate David Friedman, and settlement guard Jason Greenblatt?" - id3/1/2019
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A most unflattering investigationOded Shalom - Ynet - "As an Israeli journalist I can only envy the thorough work of Halbfinger and his colleagues. Having the time and resources for such investigative work should not be taken for granted. While the Gaza Strip remains closed to Israeli journalists—on the orders of the Israeli security forces — the foreign media is free to enter. Us Israeli journalists have to rely on announcements from the IDF Spokesperson, and have no way of properly cross-referencing information." - id3/1/2019
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The IDF doesn`t investigate Palestinian deaths — it whitewashes themHagai El-Ad - +972 - "The Israeli army says it would like to conduct thorough investigations of the Palestinians it kills or wounds. The only problem? It is unable to do so honestly." - id 3/1/2019
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Israel Supreme Court rejects “equality for all” billRay Hanania - the Arab Daily News - "In doing so, the Supreme Court refused to even allow a discussion of equal rights and a state for all of its citizens in the Knesset.": - id 3/1/2019
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Law Clashing with Morality - The Case of Sheikh SayyakhAmos Gvirtz - In 1952 the Israeli military governor of the Negev came to the Sheikh of the time and said that the Israeli army is about to have maneuvers there and the Bedouin tribesmen must leave. He promised that after half a year, at the end of these maneuvers, they would be able to return. When they wished to do so, the Sheikh of the time was told they must pay for leasing the land. Naturally the tribesmen refused to pay lease for their own land. In 1953 the Israeli Knesset (parliament) passed the Land Purchase Law that, among other things, stipulated that lands not used in the period of time specified by the law would become state land. Thus, by Israel’s military force and legislation, the state claimed the lands inherited by the tribe members and headed by the Sheikh. [bz]1/1/2019
A Day, a Life: When a Medic Was Killed in Gaza, Was It an Accident?David M. Halbfinger - New York Times - A detailed reconstruction, stitched together from hundreds of crowd-sourced videos and photographs, shows that neither the medics nor anyone around them posed any apparent threat of violence to Israeli personnel. Though Israel later admitted her killing was unintentional, the shooting appears to have been reckless at best, and possibly a war crime, for which no one has yet been punished. [bz] 1/1/2019
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