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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
Trapped and voiceless: The Palestinians depicted in Trump`s plan Ahmed Abu Artema - Al-Jazeera "I feel the isolation that Palestinians are subjected to most painfully when I travel. What I love most about travelling is the freedom of movement; being able to get in a car, listen to music and just set off. But, more than 70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulated the right to freedom of movement, this is not something most Palestinians can contemplate...In Gaza and the West Bank, a person`s ability to travel is conditional upon obtaining a permit from the Israeli government and then going on a waiting list administered by Gaza`s Ministry of the Interior. As a result, the vast majority of Gazans have not left the Strip since the Israeli blockade began in 2007. The decision to travel is usually made only in cases of extreme need, such as for urgent medical treatment." ca 31/1/2020
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Trump unveils Middle East ‘peace plan’Dina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "On Saturday Arab foreign ministers are expected to meet at the request of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to deliver what the Palestinian Authority (PA) hopes will be a firm rejection of the peace proposal that US President Donald Trump put forward on Tuesday evening...Earlier in the week Abbas refused to take a call from Trump. And on Tuesday, just before Trump made his deal public, Abbas went way beyond the borders of diplomacy, calling Trump a “dog and the son of a dog”." ca 31/1/2020
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What’s New About Trump’s Mideast ‘Peace’ Plan? Only the Blunt Crudity of Its Racism.Saree Makdisi - The Nation "What’s striking about it, then, isn’t the recycled substance, but the language in which the substance is couched. It’s stated more bluntly, with none of the attempts at equivocation, hair-splitting, and prevarication attempted by previous documents." ca31/1/2020
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Questions emerge on Israel`s West Bank annexation plans AFP - Jordan Times "Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat on Thursday called the plan “historic madness”.He told journalists in Ramallah that President Mahmud Abbas had written to Netanyahu threatening to cut off security coordination if Trump’s plan goes ahead.“We’ve told the Israelis the consequences of such an idea and they know it,” he said.The Palestinians have made such threats multiple times before, without following through." ca 31/1/2020
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Trump’s embrace of apartheid was broughtto you by the organized Jewish communityPhilip Weiss - Information Clearing House "Obama and the liberal Zionists crumpled forsimple reasons: because the center of the Jewishcommunity was too far right on the issue, and Obamawas dependent on that community for financial andpolitical support...In short, any real and forceful resistance to theoccupation inside the Jewish community was crushedin the name of Jewish solidarity." ca31/1/2020
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Trump just green-lit annexation. Here’s how Palestinians can stop itMeron Rapoport - +972 "In other words, the “black holes” of Palestinian cities in the West Bank may drive a stake through annexation. If we add the Palestinians of Jordan, who make up the majority of the Hashemite Kingdom’s population and could put immense pressure on King Abdullah to annul the peace agreement with Israel, it is certainly possible that Palestinians will be able to quash Israel’s plans. They have the power to upend the status quo upon which annexation was built." ca31/1/2020
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Trump peace plan: High stakes and low chancesJeremy Bowen - BBC - It has hard to bring dead initiatives back to life. If recent leaks are correct, the US president seems to be preparing to announce a deal that suits his supporters and Israel`s Prime Minister Netanyahu. President Trump may believe, truly and without doubt, that he is offering the "deal of the century". It might be for Mr Netanyahu. Israel may be given the green light to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank based on the areas in which it has settled Jews. Most of the rest of the world believes that the Israelis are breaking international law, which forbids the settlement of an occupying power`s citizens on the land it occupies. Failed attempts at peace can be dangerous. The collapse of the Camp David peace summit in 2000 was followed by a violent Palestinian uprising. The stakes are high, and the chances of success are low. [ak] 28/1/2020
One Person, One Vote for Israel-PalestineGideon Levy - Ha`aretz - Once Trump`s his proposal is made public, no one will ever be able to talk with any seriousness about the two- state solution. It was probably never born, but now it is clearly dead. There is no Palestinian state and there never will be. How would European countries dare mention the two-state solution without disgracing themselves? How would the Zionist left dare speak of the creation of a Palestinian state? Where exactly? Between Bethlehem and Beit Ummar, with the monstrosity of the annexed Gush Etzion bloc in the middle? Between East Jerusalem and Jericho, with greater Ma’aleh Adumim in between? A Palestinian Lilliput, Mini Palestine, a miniature park with tiny-scale models of buildings and people in a grotesque demonstration of a just solution.If the international community, and with it the PA, hope to ever solve the Palestinian problem, they have just one way forward: the establishment of a democracy between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. Nothing else is left.[Ak] 28/1/2020
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Israel braces for dramatic day with PM’s immunity hearing, release of Trump planTimes of Israel - Tuesday was shaping up to be a dramatic day for Israel with the start of Knesset proceedings on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for immunity in his corruption probes. But Netanyahu will be thousands of miles away in Washington where US President Trump was preparing to release his long-promised peace plan later in the day. To add to the tension were fears that Palestinians in the West Bank could hold large-scale protests against the plan, which Ramallah has already rejected, possibly leading to clashes with Israeli forces.[ak]28/1/2020
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Don`t call it a peace plan!Jeremy Ben-Ami - J Street - A plan to resolve conflict or achieve peace demands engaging - at a minimum - both parties to that conflict. It involves addressing claims and concerns in a manner that allows both sides to feel they derive benefit through agreement. The Kushner/Friedman effort has not been a remotely legitimate attempt to promote the interest of the United States in resolving the conflict or the Israeli interest in gaining international recognition of its borders and in enhancing its security. It hasn’t even pretended to engage with the Palestinians. Instead, the administration has squeezed them economically in a vain attempt to coerce concessions. No - the Trump team’s work must be understood for what it is: an effort to enshrine as American policy the positions on the conflict held by Israel’s settlement movement and its nationalist right-wing. [Ak]28/1/2020
A bridge too far Gush Shalom - Will the Trump Plan / Bring peace with the Palestinians? / Of course not. / Will it bring peace / Between Netanyahu and Ganz? / Also that not. / Will it give Netanyahu / A green light to / Forget about peace / And start all out annexations? / That might be / A bridge too far / Even for Trump. [bz]28/1/2020
With international law under siege, can the ICC bring justice to Palestinians?Amjad Iraqi - +972 "While Israeli and U.S. officials condemned the news, Palestinians praised it as a major step in the fight for accountability and justice. Yet many remain concerned by one caveat: the prosecutor asked the ICC’s pre-trial chamber to “confirm” that Palestine was indeed a “state,” a status it has held since it was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly in 2012. Without that approval, the ICC may not have the jurisdiction to carry out its work. The chamber has till April to give its answer." ca24/1/2020
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By Evicting East Jerusalem Palestinians, Israeli Courts Sweep Historic Injustice Under the Rug Nir Hasson - Haaretz - During the War of Independence in 1948, Jews and Arabs were forced to abandon their property and flee to the other side of the border that had just been created. Numerous Arabs left almost all of their belongings in the areas that became the State of Israel, while a small number of Jews left some property in the areas that would eventually remain under Jordanian control. Immediately after the war, both Israel and Jordan made decisions on how to deal with the property left behind. Israel confiscated and nationalized all the property that the Arabs abandoned under the auspices of the Absentee Property Law of 1950. By contrast, the Jordanian custodian of absentee property was careful to preserve the property of Jews in their names. As a result, after the Six Day War in 1967, only Israeli Jewish citizens or their heirs – or as most often happened, settler organizations acting in lieu of those heirs – were able to demand and receive their property back. [bz] 21/1/2020
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How Israel’s top court outlawed moral opposition to the occupationHagai El-Ad - +972 - In the topsy-turvy world of Israel`s High Court, international law is nothing more than a disguise to delegitimize the state and its settlements [ry] 20/1/2020
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Israeli agritech profits from military occupationMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - “The civilian agritech sector benefits from Israeli government subsidies for research and development in the West Bank and Golan Heights, finding in the framework of occupation ‘a testing ground for the development of products and technologies.’ Who Profits states that the extension of military technology into civilian industries ‘further cements the vested interest of private corporations in the perpetuation of the status quo’” [ry] 20/1/2020
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King of Jordan warns Islamic State on rise againAFP - Al-Ahram "Months after the ousting of IS last year from their last Syrian holdout, Abdullah said his "major concern is that we have seen over the past year the re-establishment and rise of Isis, not only in southern eastern Syria but also in western Iraq."We have to deal with the reemergence of Isis," the king added in an interview with TV channel France 24 ahead of talks this week in Brussels, Strasbourg and Paris. He also said many foreign fighters from Syria were now in Libya." ca 13/1/2020
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You don’t need to mourn Qassem Soleimani to be deeply worriedArash Azizi - +972 - As American teenagers were wistfully joking about “World War Three” on Twitter, even the best-humored people from the Middle East could hardly let out a laugh. (...) For me, the best of the global left has long been its tradition of cosmopolitan solidarity — one that stands up to the misdeeds of one’s own nation abroad. Just as many European Marxists refused to back “their own” armies in the bloodbath of First World War, and just as American socialists stood up to the crimes of the U.S. in Vietnam, it is the duty of Iranian progressives to stand up to the nationalist myths that Tehran propagates and oppose Iranian interventions in the region. (...) the interests of ordinary people of this region, the people of Tabriz, Mosul, Homs, Nablus, and Ashkelon, are one and the same — opposition to war, opposition to economic deprivation, and opposition to autocracy. It is the job of progressives to build a political front that represents these transnational interests beyond the borders that divide us. [bz]7/1/2020
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Israeli Justice… a Futile ChaseStanley L. Cohen - CounterPunch - "Independent of the pervasive culture of military and security violence and its companion lack of fairness and accountability, the Israeli judicial system… both criminal and civil… presents a compelling case study in a double standard delayed and disabled based solely upon one’s faith and national identity" [ry] 6/1/2020
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