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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
Congress is poised to pass far-reaching Israeli wish listJOSH RUEBNER - Mondoweiss "With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s passage of the United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2020 last week, the current Congress is now poised to enact with little transparency its most far-reaching bill related to Israel at the height of a national public health emergency. According to Lara Friedman, President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP), the committee vote took place “without even bothering with a pretense of public discussion” and was especially egregious because the committee voted on a wholly new version of the bill which “was not made public until long after the hearing ended.” ca29/5/2020
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Late to Realize the Cost of Trump`s Plan, Israeli Settlers Aren`t Going to PayNoa Landau - Haaretz "Who would have believed that out of all those opposed to the Trump administration’s Middle East plan, it would be the settler leadership that would head one of the most aggressive and passionate campaigns against it?" ca28/5/2020
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European leaders said to implore Netanyahu not to advance annexationRAPHAEL AHREN - Times of Israel "I ask you, in a spirit of friendship, that your new government not take unilateral action [in the West Bank]. Such a move would destabilize the Middle East,” French President Emmanuel Macron told Netanyahu, according to a report aired Tuesday on Channel 13. “Only dialogue with the Palestinians and a just and balanced solution will provide Israel with peace, security and stability...Several European nations are currently considering ways to deter Israel from moving forward with its declared intention to apply sovereignty to the entire Jordan Valley and all settlements across the West Bank — territory much of the international community wants to see become a Palestinian state — and how to punish it if it ignores their warnings and carries out the annexation, according to the report.” ca28/5/2020
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Israelis, drop your denial and recognize the Nakba (includes reactions to `Neither Intractable nor Unique`)Dahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Some criticized my choice of cases, which they thought favored the Palestinian argument. Others criticized the attempt to document and empathize with the Israeli national consciousness and fears. I also suggest that a political mechanism acknowledging the separate national identities of both sides is the more politically realistic approach. [bz]26/5/2020
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For a new political imagination, Israeli Jews must unlearn ZionismNorma Musih - +972 - As Israelis, our task is not only to recognize the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 — it is to train our imagination to build a shared place to live in freedom and equality [ry] 25/5/2020
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Will Mahmoud Abbas really stop PA collaboration with Israel?Ali Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "The only meaningful move Abbas could make would be the one the PA leadership has ruled out: dissolving the authority and forcing Israel to bear the full legal responsibilities, costs and consequences of its occupation of millions of Palestinians and their land...Meanwhile the European Union appears to have completely backed off any threat to hold Israel accountable over its annexation plans." ca22/5/2020
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Palestinian leaders` confused messaging over next steps with Israel Ahmad Melhem - Al-Monitor "Ghassan al-Khatib, a former Palestinian planning minister and a former director of the government media office in Ramallah, told Al- Monitor this is the first time that Abbas had used the language he did in his speech; Khatib said the Palestinian position is not an escalation but rather a result of Israeli policies that abolished the implementation of all agreements...He said Israel is dragging the PA away from cooperation and into conflict. He also said the announcement that security coordination is stopping does not harm Israel but would rather be painful to the PA, which he said benefits from it more than Israel does." ca 22/5/2020
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Netanyahu will do ‘crawling annexation’ of colonies near Green LinePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "...Trump and Pompeo have given Israel a semi-OK to move toward annexation, Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer is lobbying administration officials and conservative politicians/influencers to back Israel on annexation, and AIPAC has said whatever Israel does the U.S. has to stand by Israel.In Israel, Netanyahu’s political opposition says that annexation will move forward. Though it is likely to be piecemeal.Here are Yair Golan of the Meretz party and Aida Touma- Sliman of the Joint List speaking on an Israel Policy Forum call two days ago." ca22/5/2020
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Pompeo’s Visit to Israel Signals a Green Light Turns Yellow on Annexation, New York Times - What was so urgent and sensitive, in the middle of a virus pandemic, that America’s top diplomat had to make a 16-hour trip to Israel instead of simply picking up the phone? Although Mr. Pompeo took pains to avoid publicly addressing annexation, analysts suggested that a goal of the trip was to caution Israel’s leadership against moving too quickly.Mr. Pompeo met first with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had campaigned on a promise to push ahead with annexation as soon as possible, and later with Benny Gantz, alternate prime minister in the new government, who had campaigned against unilateral annexation. Without explicitly suggesting that Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz slow the process, Mr. Pompeo seemed to signal as much, telling Israel Hayom, a pro-Netanyahu newspaper, that Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Gantz “will have to find the way forward together.”“To the extent that in the coalition agreement, Gantz waived his veto right over annexation, Pompeo is handing it back to him,” said Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst at the International Crisis Group. [ak]19/5/2020
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Trump Won`t Just `Allow` Netanyahu’s West Bank Annexation – He`ll Force ItChemi Shalev - Haaretz - Trump’s scandalous mismanagement of the coronavirus crisis makes his reliance on evangelicals absolute. Without their full and enthusiastic enlistment, up to and including the very last believer, not only does Trump stand a good chance of losing the swing states that enabled his victory in 2016, he could very well be beaten in longstanding Republican strongholds as well, including North Carolina and Texas, in which evangelicals comprise about a third of the voting public. Which is why the very thought – or hope – that Trump will behave like a responsible statesman and stop the new Netanyahu government from annexing the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the West Bank is ludicrous. With a crumbling economy, an ongoing epidemic and the death of tens of thousands of Americans blamed on his mismanagement; with his back to the wall, polls in free fall and GOP colleagues starting to voice concerns about losing the Senate – Trump won’t dare disappoint his loyal evangelical legions. They want annexation, and annexation they will get. [bz]12/5/2020
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Not a terroristNir Gontarz - Twitter - "The Palestinian who threw a brick at the soldiers who were walking around in his neighborhood last night is not a terrorist. Anyone who targets IDF soldiers while they are outside the borders of the state and in the midst of a civilian population is not a terrorist. Soldiers who die during such activity - are not murdered. They are killed. None of this detracts from the intensity of grief for a soldier`s death. (Signed:) Nir, father of a combat soldier" [bz] 12/5/2020
Sergeant Amit Ben Yigal was sacrificed by the State of Israel on the altar of occupationAdam Keller - Gush Shalom - Gush Shalom mourns the unnecessary death of Staff Sergeant Amit Ben Yigal who fell in battle at the village of Ya’bad, where the State of Israel sent him to enforce occupation rule. Amit Ben Yigal joins a very long and painful line of young victims who were sacrificed by the State of Israel on the altar of a 53 years old occupation, on the altar of settlement expansion, on the altar of the annexation plans of the government which is to be inaugurated his week.[ak]12/5/2020
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100 Years of Shame: Annexation of Palestine Began in San RemoRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "In fact, one could argue that the West’s long engagement in the question of Israel and Palestine has followed the same San Remo prototype: where the Zionist movement (and eventually Israel) is granted its political objectives based on unenforceable conditions that are never respected or implemented" [ry] 11/5/2020
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A moment of truth for Israel-PalestineMarwan Bishara - Al Jazeera - The story and logic behind Israel`s `annexation government` [ry] 11/5/2020
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A Call to Collective International ActionDr. Hanan Ashrawi - PLO Dept. of Public Diplomacy - The Palestinian leadership welcomes important statements made by many states and regional organizations, including the European Union, Russia, China, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Italy, and Norway rejecting Israeli plans for the annexation of Palestinian territory as illegal and unacceptable. These statements reflect a global and principled commitment to the standing and universal application of international law, which strictly prohibits annexation. Immediate corrective measures are required to confront unilateralism, annexation, and land grab and save the prospects and requirements of peace. It is time for preemptive and concrete measures that can change the dangerous dynamics on the ground and restore the relevance and effectiveness of accountability and international responsibility, as they are detailed in international and European laws. States need to individually and collectively honor their domestic laws and international obligations in relation to human rights violations, annexation, and other illegal actions Israel is undertaking. The international community can and should leverage its collective influence to chart a new and credible multilateral political, legal, and financial approach that stops Israel’s illegal and toxic actions from condemning the region to perpetual conflict. [ak]9/5/2020
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The High Court didn’t stop Netanyahu. It won’t stop annexation eitherMeron Rapoport - +972 - Fighting corruption is not much of a political platform. It does not have the ability to provide answers to complex questions that plague Israeli society. The story that has animated Israel’s existence for the past 52 years is the occupation. This, and the notion of “Jewish supremacy,” in which this country belongs solely to one ethnic group, is what defines the State of Israel. This is precisely why as soon as the 61 Knesset members — from Avigdor Liberman to the Joint List — vowed to not sit with Netanyahu and rallied around Benny Gantz, the entire camp crumbled to pieces. As Haggai Matar wrote on these pages in late March, the minute Gantz had to make a choice between corruption and sitting in a government backed by the Joint List, he went with the former. Of course, a center-left government would not have brought about the end of the occupation. But a coalition that would have included nationalists like Liberman alongside Israel’s Palestinian leadership would have posed a significant challenge to the notion of “Jewish supremacy,” and could have opened the door to potentially ending the occupation and Israeli apartheid. [bz]9/5/2020
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Is there no limit to the anti-Palestinian racism of The New York Times?Michael F. Brown - The Electronic Intifada/Media Watch - Liberal Zionists still believe in a Jewish state that grants special and better rights to Israeli Jews than to Palestinians. But they have lost the argument among Zionists that the best way to achieve this is through ethnic separation in the form of a two-state solution. Pipes is now a means to an end: soft Zionist bastions like The New York Times op-ed page will tolerate his toxic anti-Palestinian incitement as long as he can be recruited in the cause of protecting the Zionist dream of an exclusivist* Jewish state. [*"an exclusivist state" isn`t what liberal Zionists dream of, but they do insist on "a Jewish majority state", yes-bz] 9/5/2020
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Netnayahu can implement annexation - but will he?Judy Maltz - Haaretz - The coalition agreement allows Netanyahu to introduce a West Bank annexation bill, starting July 1, and Benny Gantz can`t veto it. But will he actually go through with it? Shaqued Morag, executive director of Peace Now, has no that he will. “Bibi is a different person now. In the past, he might have considered annexation an irresponsible move and more cautious – but today, what motivates him is his legal and political survival and hhis trial in the Jerusalem District Court, beginning on May 24, in three separate cases involving bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, currently a visiting fellow at Tel Aviv University, is not so sure. "The Israeli security establishment is opposed to annexation, which might undermine the peace with Jordan and the security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. Even if Gantz has no veto, with him as Defense Minister the opinion of the army would get voiced. Also, there might be pressure by the settlers to extend the annexation far beyond the 30% of the West Bank promised by Trump, which could slow down the entire process. And Netanyahu might hesitate to carry out annexation with the approval of Trump two months before the US election where Trump might be replaced by a Democrat who might reverse approval for the annexation. It would be more sensible to wait until the November Presidential Elections. [ak] 5/5/2020
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Annexation of the West Bank will have catastrophic consequencesGershon Baskin - The Jerusalem Post - Let it be known and crystal clear that the unilateral annexation of the West Bank or parts of it will be catastrophic. The idea that Israel can get away with such a unilateral move is based on little more than when our outgoing health minister declared that the coronavirus pandemic would be resolved by the coming of the Messiah. Annexation will lead to probable unified Palestinian violence of the Second Intifada type; and/or the collapse of the Palestinian Authority and forcing the responsibility of governing an unwilling population of millions of Palestinians on Israel; and/or the collapse of the peace treaty with Jordan; and/or the final end of Israel as a democracy. [ak] 5/5/2020
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What will happen to Palestinian land the day after annexation?Ziv Stahl - +972 - The exact shape that annexation will take is still unknown. One thing is certain: Israel will use it to facilitate the theft of Palestinian land across the West Bank [ry] 4/5/2020
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Hating Arabs as a Common Ground: Why Israel’s Coalition Government is Likely to SurviveRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “Shortly after an agreement to form a ‘national emergency government’ in Israel, leader of the Blue and White […] party, Benny Gantz, tweeted triumphantly that ‘democracy’ in Israel has been ‘safeguarded’. […] By making such an assertion, Gantz is simply deluding himself, following one the most disgraceful acts of political betrayal in the country’s modern history” [ry] 4/5/2020
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11 European ambassadors warn Israel against West Bank annexationTOI STAFF - "The envoys from the UK, Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and the EU issued a formal objection to the Foreign Ministry against the move, Channel 13 reported...Also on Thursday, the Arab League said that the planned annexation constituted a “new war crime” against the Palestinians during a virtual conference chaired in Cairo." ca1/5/2020
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Israeli attorney general clears Netanyahu to head new government Rina Bassist - Al Monitor "It was a dramatic day on Israel’s political scene. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit wrote to the High Court today that in his opinion, there are no legal obstacles to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming the next government, despite the criminal charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust he is facing. Mandelblit also argued that despite the legal difficulties, the unity deal should be accepted and not invalidated by the court. The attorney general stated, “Despite the significant difficulties that arise in this matter, they do not constitute grounds for judicial intervention.” ca 1/5/2020
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