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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
A Machiavellian Fiasco: How ‘Centrist’ Gantz Resurrected Netanyahu, Israel’s RightRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "It is ironic that the person who resurrected Israel’s political ‘center’ is the same one who eventually destroyed it. By doing so, Gantz has granted Netanyahu a new lease on life and, consequently, strengthened the Israeli right’s grip on power for years to come" [ry]27/4/2020
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Coronavirus a gift to Israeli colonizationMaureen Clare Murphy - EI - "Israel has found propaganda opportunities in the coronavirus pandemic and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has exploited the crisis to consolidate his authoritarian control" [ry] 27/4/2020
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How should Palestinians respond to Israeli threats of annexation?Yara Hawari - Al Jazeera - The international community and its weak condemnations will not help Palestinians. It is time for a new strategy [ry] 27/4/2020
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The occupation has left Israel’s health system unequipped to handle a pandemic Shlomo Swirski and Barbara Swirski - +972 - Endless occupation and neoliberal policies have made it impossible for Israel to maintain a functioning public health system that is able to respond to the outbreak of COVID-19 [ry] 20/4/2020
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More basic than a crisis of faith: Will the virus upend ultra-Orthodox society?Haviv Rettig-Gur - Times of Israel "Haredi culture is not the cartoon its critics imagine. Its failure in the face of the coronavirus crisis has nonetheless been profound. But it is also a culture primed for change. The virus’s real effect may come piecemeal, over time and as part of a broader shift in Haredi culture. It is no earthquake, but could it be a tipping point?“There are too many variables we don’t know,” Brown said. “We may discover that many more Haredim [than we believe] are quietly skeptical. The poverty that may come after the virus may send more people to work. It may be a crack that lets all the other changes — internet penetration, growing skepticism, poverty — turn into a dramatic shift.” ca 10/4/2020
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B’Tselem,Marwa Ghannam - B`Tselem - Fear of the coronavirus has the entire world in its grip, and Israel and the Occupied Territories are no different. Except for one thing: Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are at the mercy of Israel’s government to protect them from the pandemic. And so far, Israel is shirking this responsibility. The Israeli authorities believe that their only duty is to restrict Palestinians from entering Israel proper (while also considering the option of cutting certain East Jerusalem neighborhoods off from the city and evading responsibility for the Palestinian residents there), coordinate with the Palestinian Authority, and issue permits for international entities to bring some equipment into Gaza. 7/4/2020
Ganz gave in on annexation, Netanyahu on the judicial system - but extreme right opposition delays cabinet dealHaviv Rettig Gur - Times of Israel - In the bargain struck between the two parties, Likud seems to have won backing for West Bank annexation, while Gantz had won the power to reverse right-wing reforms of the legal system and judiciary. Blue and White understandably prioritized the judiciary and the legal system. The party was united on the question of pushing back against what it viewed as the right`s anti-democratic legal reforms; it was not similarly united in opposing annexation. Conversely, Netanyahu prioritized annexation, which was a key pledge of his campaign, and for which the Trump years seem to offer a unique "window of opportunity". However, once details of the impending deal leaked to the media, Netanyahu`s extreme right allies made a vehement protest: "Netanyahu has completely surrendered the legal issue to Blue and White. [Former chief justice] Aharon Barak and his judicial revolution are returning to center stage. In exchange, Netanyahu got some vague statement about sovereignty that says nothing. Extreme right opposition seems to have given Netanyahu cold feet - or alternately, Netanyahu`s backing out of the deal might be no more than a last moment negotiations tactic... [ak] 7/4/2020
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A Palestinian guide to surviving a quarantine: On faith, humour and `Dutch Candy`Ramzy Baroud - Middle East Monitor - Lesson number one: Always think ahead and prepare for a longer lockdown than the initial one declared by your city or state. (...) Lesson number two: Take control of the situation – do not panic – and assign specific responsibilities to every family member. This strengthens the family unit and sets the stage for collective solidarity desperately required under these circumstances. (...) Lesson number three: Cautiously use your water supplies during a quarantine, and never, under any circumstance, drink rainwater or, at least, keep diarrhea pills handy. (...) Lesson number six: Be funny, don’t take life too seriously, share a laugh with others, and let humor inject hope in every hour and every day of your quarantine. [bz] 7/4/2020
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For Us in the West, the Lockdown Is Meant to Save Lives. In Gaza It Will Kill ManyNeve Gordon - Haaretz - Not only have Gaza`s health services been starved for decades - but also social conditions determine the health level of a population. While for example the Israeli government stresses the importance of washing yours hands several times a day, Gaza residents are worried about the lack of drinking water (...) and how can the 113,990 refugees living in the Jabalya refugee camp, which sits on 1.39 square kilometers of land, stay physically distant from one another? [bz]7/4/2020
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...but annexation is more importantGush Shalom - For weeks on end/ Netanyahu repeated/ A dramatic call/ To form immediately/ A National Emergency Government/ To fight the Coronavirus Now it turns out/ That what he actually wants/ Is to create/ An annexation government.6/4/2020
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