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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
Two-state Solution: U.S. Jews Won`t Budge. Will It Cost Them Their Relationship With Israel? Allison Kaplan Sommer - Haaretz "Supporting two states was not always a given for American Jews. But once it became the preferred solution, while Israelis grew increasingly skeptical, it drove the two biggest Jewish communities in the world apart " ca 30/3/2019
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This doesn`t need to happen: Another pre-election war on GazaHaggai Matar - +972 - "We need leaders who can talk about ending the siege, about ending the occupation, about equality, freedom, and security as the only solution for both Israelis and Palestinians." - id28/3/2019
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Aipac Conference Ends Amid Dissension and Democratic Presidential No-ShowsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Israel is in the midst of an election campaign which is the most racist in the country’s history. Netanyahu single-handedly promoted the merger of violent Jewish supremacist parties, promising them two ministerial posts in his next government. The Knesset elections committee, with Netanyahu’s approval, rejected the participation of a Palestinian party in the elections, while endorsing an avowed Kahanist who’s advocated violence and hate against Palestinians (this decision was recently overturned by the Supreme Court)." - id28/3/2019
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Trump and Congress: Loving Israel to DeathThomas L. Friedman - NYTimes - "Everyone is getting what they want, at the expense of the Jewish state. " - id 28/3/2019
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Thomas Friedman and the one-state solutionYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "One state “between the Jordan and the sea,” as Friedman defines it, is the only means for making Israel humane and democratic. Providing the Palestinians with equal civil and economic rights will not deprive the Israelis of theirs. Israel will free itself from the curse of Occupation and from the dangers inherent in the nationalism that presently rules it." - id28/3/2019
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Why does Israel sabotage relations with Jordan?Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - When the Jerusalem District Court decided on March 17 to extend the temporary closure order for the Muslim prayer room at the Gate of Mercy (Bab al-Rahma) on the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif to Muslims) for another 60 days, a majority of the Jordanian House of Representatives voted to call on the monarch to sever diplomatic relations with Israel and close the country`s embassy in Tel Aviv. Nothing more, nothing less.-rh 26/3/2019
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This doesn`t need to happen: Another pre-election war on GazaHaggai Matar and Oren Ziv - +972 - There is another way. We can stop the bloodshed. We do not have to wage another pre-election war. We can stop speaking in empty slogans [detailed in the full article-ed] about destroying the Hamas regime. These are lies, they have always been lies. What we need is a leader who can talk about negotiations, ending the siege and the occupation, about equality, freedom, and security as the only solution for both Israelis and Palestinians. [bz]26/3/2019
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AIPAC Is Playing The Victim, But It’s Palestinians Who Are Being SilencedPeter Beinart - Forward - AIPAC President Mort Fridman declared that, “none of us are willing to be silenced.” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer warned of forces that seek “to silence others through exclusion, disenfranchisement, or fear.” But far from being silenced (though being criticized) when it comes to free speech, AIPAC is not victim but victimizer. It is a major force behind the Combatting BDS Act, which in the words of the American Civil Liberties Union, would encourage states to “require state contractors — including teachers, lawyers, newspapers and journalists, and even students who want to judge high school debate tournaments — to certify that they are not participating in politically motivated boycotts against Israel.” [bz] 26/3/2019
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IDF playing the same old game in Gaza - analysis by Yediot military expertAlex Fishman - Ynet - The present operation has begun sooner than Israel estimated, with elections, Eurovision and Passover looming and in inclement weather that is less convenient for achieving the IDF`s goal of destroying Hamas` military force without collateral damage. [bz]26/3/2019
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A War Now Will Strengthen HamasAmira Hass - Haaretz - A new war will silence the voices criticizing it. Those critical voices have become louder over the past two to three weeks. (...) A new war would be the most efficient way to prevent new demonstrations against the horrific economic and mental distress suffered by the Strip’s residents. (...) Please, Israelis, if you believe that one shouldn’t strengthen Hamas, don’t goad Netanyahu into launching hostilities just “to show them.” We cannot let the awful nightmare that Gazans have experienced three times in 10 years repeat itself. [bz]26/3/2019
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In Israel`s elections, only the far right is talking about democracyDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - A new campaign ad by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked signals that this time around, only the far right is talking about democratic norms — and how to undo them. Does the opposition have a response? [ry] 25/3/2019
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Israel`s elections: It`s all about the Benjamins, babyMarwan Bishara - Al Jazeera - Will General Benjamin Gantz be any different than the other generals who entered Israeli politics as would-be saviours? [ry] 25/3/2019
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‘New York Times’ reporter Bergman to speak at AIPAC– though he’s not identified as a Times reporterPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "AIPAC lists Bergman as “Investigative Journalist and Author, Yedioth Ahronoth.” How curious that AIPAC left the Times out. The Times is very clear itself: Bergman is a staff writer for the New York Times Magazine. On twitter, Bergman states that he works for the New York Times as well as Yedioth." ca23/3/2019
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Golan Heights: Trump aims to `shore up` support for Netanyahu ahead of Israeli voteAli Harb - Middle East Eye "Statement makes `mockery of international law` to help Netanyahu in forthcoming Israeli elections, analysts say." ca 23/3/2019
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Israeli court closes holy site flashpoint, goads Jordan to respond Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "The Israeli courts have been brought into the ongoing pre-election tensions over access to a site within Al-Haram al-Sharif/Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli prosecution has asked the courts to help resolve the conflict that has left the Old City of Jerusalem in constant tension ever since Muslim worshipers decided they are not obliged to accept the unilateral Israeli ban on using the site.Since the newly appointed and expanded Islamic Waqf Council held prayers at Bab al- Rahmeh on Feb. 14, the issue of who has the right to use the location — which lies within the UNESCO World Heritage site — has been a source of controversy." ca 23/3/2019
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You have the power to stop apartheid: An open letter to AIPACMarzuq al-Halabi - +972 "Jewish people across the world have much influence over what is happening in Israel, a fact that to a large degree also affects my fate. Thus, as the third wheel in your relationship with the state in which I live, allow me to ask a few simple, banal questions. Ordinary questions, like those in Darwish’s poem." ca23/3/2019
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Uniting Fatah, Not Palestinians: The Dubious Role of Mohammed ShtayyehRamzy Baroud - Counter Punch - "But Shtayyeh is different from Abbas, at least in the appeal of his own persona. He hails from the First Intifada generation of 1987. He was dean of students at Birzeit University in the early 1990s. Birzeit has served as a symbol of the revolutionary class of Palestinian intellectuals in the West Bank, and even Gaza. Shtayyeh’s ability to connect with young people, as he places constant, but guarded emphasis on the resistance against Israeli Occupation, will certainly bring new blood to the aging, irrelevant PA leadership or, at least, that is what Abbas hopes." - id21/3/2019
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These elections are a choice between resignation and despairMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "Four years ago, the prospect of another Netanyahu government meant perpetuating the status quo. This time, the opposition is offering the status quo — and Netanyahu something far worse." - id 21/3/2019
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Twitter Outlaws “Yid” as “Hate Speech”Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "But apparently the Twitter censor, with a boost from the pro-Israel cabal, has decided that the term “Yid” is anti-Semitic hate speech and outlawed its use. Of course, it is nothing of the sort. It is the word Jews have called each other in major quarters of the European (and U.S.) Diaspora for a thousand years (a koshereh Yid, a prosteh Yid, Yidl mitn fidl, etc.)." - id21/3/2019
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Zehut: The legalization of cannabis and apartheidYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Young secular Israelis flock around Feiglin. In his lectures and interviews, he speaks about his libertarian vision for a Jews-only Israel and the freedom to use cannabis. While the Kahanists are denounced as racist thugs, and rightly so, Feiglin has become ‘cool’ and a ‘superstar’, appearing frequently in television studios and on the front pages of leading newspapers." - id 21/3/2019
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What the candidates in Israel`s elections say about the conflictDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - On Monday night, the Geneva Initiative held an event billed as “the great debate” on policy toward the conflict, scheduled with representatives of Likud, Blue and White, Labor, The New Right (Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked’s far-right party), and left-wing Meretz. Likud and Blue/White cancelled last minute. It appears that the leading parties prefer not to risk losing control over any of the few words they release on this issue. The two most serious contenders for Israel’s premiership may not have shown up, but a look at their platforms shows what the parties claim to stand for. What do they actually propose? Do they differ from one another, and would they truly change current policies? (...) Precisely because Blue and White is not black and white about its vision, the positions of the hypothetical coalition partners could affect the bottom line of its policies. [bz]19/3/2019
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“How we can solve the Palestinian-Israeli problem”Video Documentary by Video Documentary by Sami Moukaddem - "“I simply got tired ofwestern mainstream media presenting the Palestinian-Israeliissue as being complex,” Includes over 35interviews, including: Noam Chomsky Hajo Meyer (Auschwitz survivor), Ilan Pappe (Israeli historian), Omar Barghouti (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) Rabbi Ahron Cohen Denis Halliday (former UN Assistant Secretary General) Brian Keenan Alastair Crooke (former MI6)" ca 16/3/2019
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JVP’s anti-Zionist statement can reach liberal Zionists, and that’s importantLiz Rose - Mondoweiss "Jewish Voice for Peace’s (JVP) recently published “Our Approach to Zionism,” a compassionate and timely stand against Zionism, has the potential to break liberal Zionist consensus within the Jewish community when it comes to Israel and widen the discussion around Zionism. In this document, the progressive organization has unapologetically stated its opposition to Zionism, declaring it a dangerous, settler-colonial movement for Jews because it continues to hurt Palestinian life and steal Palestinian land." ca 16/3/2019
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What`s so scary about a state of all its citizens?Asaf Calderon - +972 - "What sounds like a basic democratic concept is not only at odds with Israel’s founding principles, it is viewed as a direct threat." - id14/3/2019
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Israel is a Kahanist StateRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "With the Israeli public, he spoke candidly and betrayed the racism inherent in his world-view. But abroad, he would talk-the-talk: two states, we’re ready for peace…blah, blah, blah. It was all a sham." - id14/3/2019
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ADC Stands With Congresswoman Ilhan Omar!Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "It is absurd that Representative Omar is being targeted for exercising her legal right to question the influence of AIPAC, one of the most influential special interest groups in the U.S. for the last twenty years." - id14/3/2019
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New wave of Arab popular revolt undermines Israel’s strategy to ally with Arab regimesAssaf Adiv - Challenge - "There is a consensus in the Israeli establishment, including the Labor Party and Benny Gantz’s new party, about Netanyahu’s efforts to recruit Saudi and Egyptian leaders for a regional summit intended to impose an autonomy-without-rights on the Palestinians." - id 14/3/2019
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Israel’s Central Election Committee, at the service of the right? Danny Zaken - Al-Monitor - Attorney Aner Helman, representing Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, presented the panel, comprised of lawmakers from the outgoing Knesset, with examples of Otzma Yehudit’s statements. These included a particularly egregious one from August 2018 by Otzma Yehudit Chair Michael Ben Ari, No. 5 on the United Right-Wing Parties’ Knesset slate. “We have to change the equation regarding anyone who dares to speak against a Jew. [Such a person] is a dead man. He must not come out alive. No expelling him, no stripping him of his citizenship. He does not live! A firing squad takes him out as the Arabs understand [best],” Ben Ari said.-rh 12/3/2019
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Defending nation-state law, PM says Israeli Arabs have 22 other countriesRAOUL WOOTLIFF - The Times of Israel - The claim that there are 22 other Arab states is often used by right-wing Israelis as an argument against Palestinian statehood, but is not generally used as an argument regarding the country’s Arab citizens, who make up almost a quarter of the population.-rh12/3/2019
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Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is ‘not a state of all its citizens’Agence France-Presse / The Guardian - “Israel is not a state of all its citizens,” wrote PM Netanyahu on Instagram, in response to criticism from an Israeli actress, Rotem Sela. “According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people – and only it. (...) There is no problem with the Arab citizens of Israel. They have equal rights like all of us and the Likud government has invested more in the Arab sector than any other government, [but] Israel, a Jewish, democratic state, is the nation state not of all its citizens but only of the Jewish people”. Netanyahu has been accused of demonising Israeli Arabs, who make up about 17% of the population, in an attempt to boost rightwing turnout in elections due on 9 April.[ak] 12/3/2019
Why Benny Gantz is more dangerous than the KahanistsTom Mehager - +972 - Despite taking pride in bombing Gaza to the Stone Age, Benny Gantz is still portrayed by the Israeli media as a dove who wants to end the conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth [ry] 11/3/2019
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Trump is trying to pay his way to an annihilation of Palestinian statehood, and an erasure of Israel’s crimes This was the first time in modern Arab history that America has offered the bribes before anyone has agreed to the termsRobert Fisk - The Independent "But each new war, each new set of casualties, each new UN report has become normal. Or perhaps the word is “normalised”. None more so than the 25 February UN document. The demonstrators belonged to the “terrorist” Hamas, according to Israel. The investigation was a “theatre of the absurd”, announced Israel’s spokesman, “a report that is hostile, mendacious and biased against Israel”.But what did we expect? Ever since Israel trashed and demeaned and politically destroyed that great Jewish jurist Richard Goldstone after his devastating critique of the 2008-2009 Israeli bombardment of Gaza – the accusations by Israel and Jewish Americans of his antisemitism and his innate “evil” (the latter from Alan Dershowitz, of course) make even US Democrat Ilhan Omar’s sins look childlike – UN reports have been little more than wallpaper. Yet none of this matters." ca 9/3/2019
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Israelis’ obsession with generalsYaron London - Ynet - "The electorate ought to be more wary of the enchantment of the uniform. " - id7/3/2019
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Pompeo: If Bibi Wants a Fascist Government, Fine by UsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "So Pompeo has just given a green light to admitting Jewish terrorists into the Israeli government. His argument that this is acceptable because the Israeli voters will have democratically approved such an arrangement is bogus. U.S. and European governments have often declared neo Nazi leaders and governments persona non grata." - id7/3/2019
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Violence is fundamental to Israel’s ‘democracy’ and always has beenRay Hanania - Middle East Monitor - "Israeli soldiers hiding behind bunkers and using long-range sniper rifles have intentionally murdered 35 children, paramedics, journalists and disabled people during its ongoing assault against Palestinian civilian protestors along the Gaza border, a report released by the United Nations concluded this week." - id7/3/2019
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Hoping to gain right-wing votes, Ganz`s program avoids mentioning a Palestinian state Yuval Karni - Y-Net - The Blue and White Party, which headed by former Army Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and which presents a serious challenge to PM Netanyahu, took care in its program to avoid any mention of a Palestinian state and vow "no withdrawal from four strategic areas — the West Bank settlement blocs, the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights". If taken seriously as the binding policy of a potential Ganz government, it would render such a government incapable of reaching any meaningful agreement with the Palestinians. Still, the program refers to "a regional conference to promote Israel`s separation from the Palestinians" - whatever that may mean in practice.[ak] 5/3/2019
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