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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
War on in Al-Aqsa: What Price Netanyahu’s VictoryRamzy Baroud - Counter Punch - "While the blood of Palestinians is irrelevant in Netanyahu’s quest for political dominance, the international community should take immediate measures to prevent what could become an Israeli-induced bloodbath in the coming weeks." - id 28/2/2019
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Netanyahu underestimated US Jews` revulsion toward Kahanists Yael Patir - Ynet - "While the prime minister caused dismay among American Jewry by working to bring the racist rabbi`s followers back to the Knesset, they know all too well that this is not an Israeli phenomenon, but rather a malignant tumor growing in its backyard that must be uprooted." - id 28/2/2019
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How to stop Kahanists from taking overRaluca Ganea - +972 - "Twenty-five years after a follower of Meir Kahane massacred Palestinian worshipers in Hebron, Netanyahu is basing his future coalition on a Kahanist party. Now Israelis will have to decide between apartheid and a future of hope and equality." - id28/2/2019
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American Jewry Must Break with Judeo-NazismRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "I’m sad and ashamed to say that Israel under Bibi Netanyahu has become that unspeakable family secret. The one you won’t acknowledge in polite society. It’s a moral stain that causes a strange combination of shame and anger whenever it threatens to rear its ugly head." - id28/2/2019
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The Decisions by Ireland and Chile to Ban Products from the SettlementsAmir Prager - INSS - These decisions, alongside the possibility that the UN Human Rights Council will soon publish a blacklist of Israeli and international companies active in the settlements, may lead to additional steps that could impact negatively on Israel’s global public and political standing, its political freedom of action, and even its economy. Proactive steps should be taken (...) important to urge the [Irish and] Chilean government not to follow through with action in accordance with the proposal; in parallel discussion should take place with elements within the parliament. This may not neutralize the Palestinian influence, but could at least reduce its sweeping impact. [INSS is the Tel Aviv University "Institute for National Security Studies/Strategic Innovative, Policy-Oriented Research"-bz]26/2/2019
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Everyone Is an Anti-Semite; at Least That`s What the Media SaysJonathan Cook - Russia Insider - This degrading of political language to the point of absurdity isn’t accidental. While those claiming to worry about anti-semitism are busy defaming every leftwing argument made against the current neoliberal order, real anti-semitism – the rightwing kind that actually targets and sometimes kills Jews – mostly gets a free pass. [bz]26/2/2019
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Israel`s fascist sideshow takes center stageNatasha Roth - +972 - For the first time in over 30 years, a proper Kahanist party could be entering the Knesset. But is the rise of a party that advocates for Jewish supremacy, theocracy, and ‘total war’ as unprecedented as the outcry has suggested? [ry] 25/2/2019
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Ilhan Omar Owes No Apologies, Apologies Are Owed HerAndrew Levine - CounterPunch - “I have long suspected that the vaunted lobby is a Paper Tiger and that all it would take is some functional equivalent of the little child in the Andersen story to get lawmakers to see that, to see that the emperor has no clothes. Calling the shots out of sight was, and still is, the lobby’s way. Three cheers to Ilhan Omar and her benjamins tweet for changing the ‘conversation’ in ways that will make that harder to do” [ry] 25/2/2019
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Major Jewish Groups Mum On Netanyahu’s Deal With Extremist PartyAiden Pink and Ari Feldman - Forward "Nine major Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Federations of North America, did not respond to questions from the Forward about Netanyahu’s successful efforts to merge the national-religious Jewish Home party with Otzma Yehudit, or “Jewish Power,” a small party led by disciples of Kahane. The merger all but guarantees the Kahanist party a seat in the Knesset." ca 23/2/2019
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Likud`s mainstreaming of West Bank annexationShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - Levin, like other Knesset members and ministers from the Likud (and other parties), have been recruited for the cause of annexing West Bank territories by the Sovereignty Movement, founded in 2010 by the right-wing activists Yehudit Katzover, of the Kiryat Arba settlement, and Nadia Matar, of Efrat, in the Etzion settlement bloc. The two also head a movement called Women in Green, which was established in 1993 following the signing of the Oslo Accords, its followers wearing green hats and demanding that Israel not return to the Green Line (border demarcation) (...) Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked had already promised to apply state laws in civil matters on the West Bank, in January 2018. “We intend to normalize life in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” she had said. “We are in the territory. There’s no occupied state that seeks to regain the occupied land.” [bz]19/2/2019
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Starving the Palestinians of money will cost Israel dearlyAlex Fishman - Y-net - The government`s decision seems logical at first glance. In order to punish murderers and deter others from going down the same path, Israel cannot possibly support them or their families. But reality has its own logic, and Israel will not only eventually have to transfer the money to the Palestinians, but it will also have to pay interest on it. The Palestinian Authority starts 2019 with a deficit of NIS 3 billion, out of an annual budget of NIS 18.5 billion. This deficit is mainly down the fact that the US has stopped pumping $1 billion directly and indirectly to the PA. Add to that the half billion shekels that will be deducted from Israel`s tax rebate and the Palestinians are starting the year with a budget deficit of 30-40 percent. This means that PA currently has no real capacity to keep all of its mechanisms running. (...) These numbers have one outcome: unrest. People will not be working, they will take to the streets, and Israel will be the address for all expressions of discontent. This will inevitably lead to the government in Jerusalem scrambling to find a way to restore the calm, at any price. No one wants another intifada, and certainly not in an election year. [ak] 19/2/2019
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Jewish left and Israeli Arabs must uniteDr. Alon Liel - Ynet - "The Israeli left is in such a dire state that the only thing that could resurrect it is a proactive cooperation between Jewish and Arab blocs on this side of the political spectrum — namely, the Joint List and Meretz." - id17/2/2019
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It’s time to stop asking why the Israeli left has disappearedDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - "There is one thing shared by nearly every Israeli who does not define her or himself as right-wing: a profound desire to oust Benjamin Netanyahu. And yet, despite all their efforts, none of the left-wing parties today look capable of doing so." - id17/2/2019
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ADC Stands With Congresswoman Ilhan Omar! Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "As, Palestinians continue to endure violations committed by Israel with impunity, Representative Omar’s questioning of the U.S. role should be applauded. Just last week, Israel shot and killed two Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, including a 14-year-old Palestinian boy." - id17/2/2019
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Who’s for a Palestinian State?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "There is no reason young Israelis should care about a Palestinian state when their Palestinian peers have stopped believing in it. Abbas is irrelevant not only to Israelis but to Palestinians as well. With ample help from President Donald Trump and the Israeli Right, the Palestinian state has received a pauper’s funeral." - id17/2/2019
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What Ilhan Omar Said About AIPAC Was RightAdy Barkan - The Nation "AIPAC and its partners, which include Christian Zionists and military contractors, are a central pillar of the Israeli occupation. Without congressional support, the Likud/anti- Palestine/pro-occupation project would be radically undermined. The money that AIPAC and the rest of the lobby spend is indispensable to that work. That’s why they spend it. Pointing this out is not anti- Semitic. "ca16/2/2019
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‘There are no foreigners left’: Israeli settlers rampage in Hebron following expulsion of human rights observersYumna Patel - Mondoweiss "Israeli settlers launched an attack on Palestinians in the Old City of Hebron in the southern occupied West Bank on Tuesday night, yelling “death to Arabs!” in the street and hurling rocks at Palestinian homes. Badee Dweik, co-Founder of the Human Rights Defenders group in Hebron, says the attack was a direct result of the lack of international human rights observers who had been expelled by the Israeli government." ca16/2/2019
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Nationalistic Motives, IndeedAmira Hass - Haaretz - The nationalistic coloring allows the Palestinian family and society to repress a troubling question about a son who had already been arrested for carrying a knife near Israeli security positions at the Cave of the Patriarchs and the entrance to the Al-Aqsa plaza. Had the suspect been seeking a way to commit suicide by cop or soldier, like other frustrated, desperate young Palestinians who lack a political perspective or personal future? The rape and murder took place near the Border Police checkpoint on the road leading to the village of Walaja, which is closed off by a wall, and the settlement of Har Gilo, which is expanding onto its lands. Was he hoping to reach the checkpoint, wave a knife and be shot to death, but then happened upon the young woman? Both suicide by cop and rape-murder, even if cloaked in patriotism, betray the weakness of the present Palestinian struggle. On the scale of victimhood, too, a nationalist-motivated murder is considered more prestigious than an “ordinary” murder or sexual assault committed by a man, as a man, against a woman. For the Israeli planning authorities in the West Bank, this will be an opportunity – which they will justify in somber, fateful tones echoing with history – to steal more Palestinian land on the pretext of security. Just yesterday they demolished another home in Walaja. [bz]12/2/2019
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The international observer mission in Hebron acted as a restraint on the worst excesses of Israeli settlers. Now that has come to an endJonathan Cook - The National - TIPH faced an impossible task from the outset: to “maintain normal life” for Palestinians in the face of Israel’s structural violence [ry] 11/2/2019
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As Abbas Ages, Fatah Moves to Consolidate PowerRamzy Baroud – CounterPunch - “Palestinian divisions have never been as pronounced as they are today. While all Palestinian factions, Hamas and Islamic Jihad included, bear part of the blame for failing to unify their ranks and form a single national strategy to combat Israeli colonialism and occupation, Abbas bears the largest share” [ry] 11/2/2019
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Syria’s Torture Photos: Witness to AtrocitySusie Linfield - NYReview of Books "As with photographs of cruelty from the Nazi ghettos and concentration camps, and from the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 death camp, bewildering questions arise: Why were these photographs taken? Why would a state record its barbarism, even if its rulers never imagined that the photographs would be disseminated? Caesar himself wonders about this, and has no definitive answer. In part, the photographs may have been made because of the longstanding practices of the competing intelligence agencies within Syria, none of which trusts the others and each of which seeks to protect itself by documenting its activities. In addition, the photographs have reportedly been used by the intelligence services to inform families of the fate of their loved ones without having to produce an actual, mutilated body—and, perhaps, to warn relatives of their own possible fates. The photographs are also, I think, a sign of the Assad regime’s disconnection from the larger world, which—as with the Nazis and the Khmer Rouge—has led to a kind of moral dementia. Whatever the case, they clearly manifest the regime’s sense of impunity and its not-unearned confidence that it will emerge victorious from the war." ca9/2/2019
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Israel lobby fakes campus anti-Semitismsay US journalistsMEMO - Information Clearing House "Details of how pro-Israeli lobby groups havefabricated accusations of anti-Semitism onUS college campuses in order to inciteofficial crackdowns against Palestinesolidarity activism were revealed earlier inthe week during a political talk show hostedby prominent American journalist ChrisHedges. The author and a visiting Princetonuniversity lecturer discussed the Israelilobby with co- founder of the ElectronicIntifada, Ali Abunimah and journalistMax Blumenthal, on his talk show “OnContact”." ca9/2/2019
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The Empathy of the Irish for Palestinians is in No Way Anti-SemiticRonit Lentin - CounterPunch - "I am a Palestine-born Israeli Jew, indoctrinated with the dual message of Jewish victimhood and Jewish supremacy throughout my youth, and a citizen of Ireland for the past 50 years. Like increasing numbers of American and European Jews, I am an active supporter of Palestinian rights." - id7/2/2019
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Holocaust scholars slam Netanyahu`s deal with the devilAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Historians warn the upcoming summit of the Visegrad Group in Jerusalem is a cynical play by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to ally himself with human rights abusers and Holocaust deniers for political gain." - id 7/2/2019
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Netanyahu, Trump and the league of suspectsNahum Barnea - Ynet - "Last week, several huge billboards sprung up along the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv, showing two men in business suits: Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump. The posters are part of the Likud election campaign, currently directed by the man in the solid red tie in the picture (which for once is not Trump). The slogan reads: "Netanyahu, a different league." Since the highway was bumper-to-bumper traffic — also thanks to the man in the red tie — I had time to stare at the poster and mull over its meaning, and over what exactly these two men have in common except their age (Netanyahu is 69 and Trump 72) and sex." - id7/2/2019
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Media hypocrisy puts pressure on Arabs but not Israeli activistsRay Hanania - the Arab Daily News - "You are right on ... they are desperate ... just look at all their name calling ... name calling is a replacement for facts. When they can`t respond to facts that attack people personally. The Israeli extremists do it all the time." - id7/2/2019
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After expulsion of West Bank observer force, Israel’s commitment to Oslo under fireMary McAuliffe - i24NEWS - For 22 years, Palestinians have welcomed the presence of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) as a necessary force for safeguarding their well-being in a city gripped by tension and whose adversaries are protected by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Jewish settlers in Hebron, however, spent years lobbying for their removal having long reviled the international force which they see as a nuisance. (...) Both Jews and Arabs in Hebron say they expect a significant shift in the lives of residents following TIPH’s exit. [bz]5/2/2019
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10 years since `Cast Lead`: How Israel first declared total war on GazaAvihai Stollar - +972 - Former IDF Spokesperson, Brig.-Gen. Avi Benayahu, said at the time: “Our first priority is [to save the lives of]our citizens, second come our soldiers, third come their civilians, and fourth — their terrorists.” Since then, the tactics(i.e. the firepower, scale of destruction, and numbers of Palestinians killed) have become part of the IDF’s arsenal in its wars on Gaza. [bz]5/2/2019
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Is this a Tourist Attraction or a War Crime? AirBnb and TripAdvisor Don`t Care| OpinionGabriela Quijano - Newsweek - In Kfar Adumim, tourists can organize expensive camping expeditions which allow them to “experience life as it was in biblical times.” On land which was stolen from Palestinians and an easy walk from the condemned homes in Khan al-Ahmar, tourists from all over the world pay to sleep and eat in traditional Bedouin-style tents. [bz]5/2/2019
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Deep empathy of Irish for Palestinians is in no way anti-Semitic Dr Ronit Lentin - The Irish Times - Irish society is not out of step with European civil societies. In fact, responding to public opinion and grassroots campaigning, the EU itself has recently introduced rules prohibiting itself from funding Israeli companies and bodies based in illegal Israeli settlements, and has warned businesses about the risks of doing business with illegal Israeli settlements. [bz]5/2/2019
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Gaza war takes center stage in Israel`s election campaign Ben Caspit - Al-Monitor " Israel is the only place where a military operation that occurred almost five years ago could resurface and feature in a crucial election campaign, with the army and defense chiefs who commanded it — both running for high office — coming under intense fire from the politicians who directed them. The fallout from Operation Protective Edge continues." ca 4/2/2019
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