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Palestinian refugees are under attack in Lebanon again Duaa Ardat - Mondoweiss "News reports said a battle had broken out between the Fatah movement and a mysterious extremist named Bilal Badr and his followers. Many people were fleeing the camp under the hail of the shelling; others were stuck in their homes, afraid of being hit by random shots. The Lebanese Army was on high alert at the entrances of the camp. In an agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Lebanese Army agreed to stay out of the Palestinian camps, but we fear that if the fighting gets too out of hand, they will enter anyway, and then we will have another Nahr El- Bared (a camp in the north that was almost completely destroyed in a fight to rid it of extremist elements). The Lebanese media call Ein El-Helweh the “zone without laws,” but it is home to more than 100,000 people (about half of whom are Palestinian). " ca27/4/2017
IOF demolish bedouin village for 112th timePNN - Palestine News Network - "Al-Araqeeb is one of 35 Bedouin villages considered “unrecognized” by the Israeli authorities. Rights groups said that the demolition of al-Araqeeb and other unrecognized Bedouin villages is a central Israeli policy aimed at removing the indigenous Palestinian population from the Negev and transferring them to government-zoned townships to make room for the expansion of Israeli settlement outposts." - id 26/4/2017
A visit to Saint George Church in BurqinMaria C. Khoury- The Arab Daily News - "Saint George is the most beloved saint in the whole Middle East and the patron saint of Taybeh in particular and Palestine in general." - id 26/4/2017
President Rivlin: `Seeing Every Criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism is dangerous, fundamentally wrong` Ha`aretz/Jewish Chronicle: In his speech at the Holocuast Memorial Day, President Rivlin stated that it is `fundamentally wrong` to think that `every Israel-hating leader is a Hitler and any criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism`. In Rivlin`s view, `this approach is dangerous for us as a nation and as a people`. Chemi Shalev of Ha`aretz remarked:`Rivlin Uses Holocaust Day to Challenge Netanyahu’s Darkness and Despair. [ak]25/4/2017
Israel Accepts Chinese Demand Not to Employ Chinese Laborers in Settlements Barak Ravid and Yotam Berger - Haaretz - The official reason given by the Chinese was concern for the workers` personal safety, but officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed the view that the real reason was political, relating to the fact that China and the rest of the international community view the settlements as illegal and their locations as occupied territory. [bz]25/4/2017
Netanyahu warns German FM against meeting left-wing NGOsItamar Eichner - Ynet - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an ultimatum to German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, conditioning their meeting on Gabriel not meeting as planned with representatives of Breaking the Silence and B`Tselem organizations. Gabriel responded saying that it would be "regrettable" if Netanyahu cancelled the meeting due to what Gabriel describes as "completely normal" encounter. "You can`t get a proper and comprehensive picture in any country if you only meet in government offices." [bz] 25/4/2017
Holocaust survivors’ situation is a stain on Israeli societyYehuda Shohat - Ynet - We don’t always have the power to make a real change, but when we have a government whose ministers and MKs are more concerned about their seat than about their citizens’ wellbeing, the power is in our hands [ry]24/4/2017
CIA Fights Disclosure of Secret Aid to IsraelGrant Smith - AntiWar - Legality of aid uncertain amidst public opposition [ry]24/4/2017
Israel-Europe gas deal sparks criticismYlenia Gostoli - Al Jazeera - Palestinians living under occupation will `continue to be further brutalised` by expansion of Israel`s gas industry [ry]24/4/2017
What prompted Assad to use sarin gas?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The use of chemical weapons in Idlib`s Khan Shaykhun has upended this consensus, which had given Assad immunity from both the Social Left - lovers of refugees and the Palestinians - and the anti-Islamic, xenophobic Right." - id 21/4/2017
Sinai festival tackles Egyptian issues through theaterYoussra el-Sharkawy - Al-Monitor “By establishing this festival, we wanted to respond in a cultural way to all the terrorist attacks that have recently taken place, because culture and arts are our way to enlighten the minds of people,” Mazen El-Gharabawy, festival president, told Al-Monitor." ca 19/4/2017
Will Birthright Kowtow To Israel’s Right-wing Government? Rachael Stryer- The Forward "I’m active in the Stanford Hillel and deeply engaged with the conversation about Israel and with Israel advocacy on campus.So what’s the catch? I am a strong supporter of the two-state solution as the only way to secure Israel’s future as the democratic homeland of the Jewish people and to guarantee the rights of the Palestinian people. I see the occupation and the entrenchment and expansion of the settlement movement as a threat to these principles. Because of this, I make the personal choice not to buy products manufactured in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.According to a new law, this position means that I could potentially be banned from entering Israel." ca 19/4/2017
Jewish Group Releases Blacklist of U.S. Professors Who Back Academic Boycott of Israel Judy Maltz - Haaretz "AMCHA`s list, which includes hundreds of names, comes weeks after Israel barred entry to supporters of boycott. `Knesset travel ban is toothless, unless there are lists,` professor says. Barely three weeks after the Knesset passed controversial legislation that would deny entry into Israel to any foreigners who publicly support a boycott of the country, a small but vocal Jewish organization that fights anti-Israel activism on American college campuses published a list Wednesday of all the professors in the United States who have ever called for an academic boycott of Israel." ca19/4/2017
Protesting the Technion`s `Arms trading course` Shahaf Weisbein - Hamushim/Coalition of Women for Peace - As part of the Global day of Action on Military Spending, Hamushim activists delivered to the Haifa Technion hundreds of letters petitioning against their arms trading course “Defense Strategy for International Markets”, reminding that “Israeli military industries fuel conflicts around the world, and their products are key to almost all mass killers, dictators and those involved in genocides today." [ak]18/4/2017
NYT amends Op-ed by Barghouti, clarifies he’s a convicted terroristYnet - The initial text of the op-ed referred to Barghouti as a "Palestinian leader and parliamentarian," attracting fierce criticism for the crucial key omissions of Barghouti’s past record. The Israeli Prison Services is also checking if the Op-ed was transferred from Barghouti by letter to his lawyer or written by Barghouti’s wife. They will then decide whether to take disciplinary measures against Barghouti [who was meanwhile put in solitary -bz].18/4/2017
Chief Rabbi: When the Messiah comes, Arabs will be expelled Richard Silverstein - Tikkun Olam - The Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef stated that all non-Jews should be expelled from Israel, except for those who "accept the seven Noahide laws"; these would be allowed to stay, but not as equal citizens - rather, they would live "in servitude to the Jews". The Rabbi expressed regret that the above program could not be implemented at the present time, due to the opposition of the non-Jewish world. It would, however, be carried out in full with the coming of the Messiah - a time to which the Rabbi looked forward with great joy and anticipation. Until then, the Rabbi advised Israelis to content themselves with killing out of hand any Palestinian found in possession of any kind of weapon. [ak]18/4/2017
Swiss lawmakers roll back anti-BDS lawAdri Nieuwhof - EI - On 8 March, the lower house of the Swiss parliament passed an anti-BDS bill put forward by the right-wing People’s Party. But now the foreign affairs committee of the upper house has stripped all references to BDS and the Middle East from the text. The upper house will debate the amended measure in May. The motion passed by the lower house urges the government to ban any funding to nongovernmental groups “implicated in racism, anti-semitism, incitement to hatred or BDS campaigns.” Switzerland now joins the European Union, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden in resisting pressure to outlaw or ostracize BDS as a tool to defend the rights of the Palestinian people. [bz for dn]16/4/2017
Undercover Israeli Troops Detained by Palestinian Police Gili Cohen and Jack Khoury - Haaretz - The incident is unusual as rarely do members of the elite undercover unit get discovered while on mission. Soldiers do on occasion enter Palestinian towns by mistake and are then returned to the army, also with the coordination of the civil administration. However, this time, the soldiers were in Nablus on an operation, but were forced to end it and identify as soldiers once they were detained by the Palestinians. [bz for dn]16/4/2017
Palestine Museum of Natural History opens in BethlehemMazin Qumsiyeh - We opened the Palestine Museum of Natural History and our botanical gardens (part of the Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability at Bethlehem University) to the public. This is a dream come true, a culmination of countless hours and countless volunteers. We started preparing and working here in Mar Andrea in August 2014. We had a strategy to officially open the museum after five years but here we are with an opening ceremony in about half the time. We consider this a Palestinian national accomplishment. [ak] 15/4/2017
Libyan chemicals in Syria Editorial - Al Ahram "Now why is it that there was no reaction, here, to those serious claims made by Hersh, famed for the earth shattering journalistic coups he has made since the US’ war in Vietnam? He directly implicates Hillary Clinton, at the time she served as US secretary of state, in the transfer of toxic gas and other weapons from Libya to Syria via Turkey from the period between 2012 and 2013. He adds that a number of Arab parties funded the operation that was carried out under the supervision of the CIA. The operation was to funnel internationally banned chemical weapons into the hands of terrorist groups that the US administration called the “moderate” Syrian opposition, so that they could stage a chemical weapons attack against civilians that the US and its media machine would blame on the Syrian regime and use as a pretext for a military intervention to overthrow Al-Assad, thereby satisfying the aims of the Arab funders as well as the ambitions of both Turkey and Israel." ca14/4/2017
Where the Rubber Meets the RoadMike Whitney - Information Clearing House "You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the case against Syrian President Bashar al Assad is extremely weak. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Shaykhun, has produced no smoking gun, no damning evidence, in fact, no evidence at all. Similar to the Russia hacking fiasco, (not a shred of evidence so far) the western media and the entire political class has made the case for attacking a sovereign country on the thin gruel of a few videos of an incident that took place in a location that is currently under the control of militant groups connected to al Qaida. That’s pretty shaky grounds for a conviction, don’t you think?" ca14/4/2017
Israel prosecutes a Palestinian poet over Youtube poemNigel Wilson - AlJazeera "With a flick of her wrist, Dareen Tatour turned a page in her notebook, smoothed the paper and began reading aloud in a slow, steady cadence."The charges are like pieces of clothing. They brought me these clothes and forced me to wear them, from my toes to my head," she said, before bursting into excited laughter at the novelty of her work being translated into English.The lines are from A Poet Behind Bars, a piece that Tatour wrote in an Israeli prison in November 2015 after being charged with incitement to violence and supporting a "terrorist" organisation.Tatour, a Palestinian poet, has since had ample time to work on new material - both during her three-month jail term and, more recently, while under house arrest in the Israeli city of Kiryat Ono, far from her hometown of Reine. "I have been writing a lot about my arrest and everything that happened to me," Tatour told Al Jazeera." ca 14/4/2017
When shooting a teen in the back is a `professional error`John Brown and Noam Rotem - +972 - "An IDF brigade commander shot a Palestinian teen who threw a rock at his jeep, while the boy was running away, and then left him bleeding on the road." - id 12/4/2017
As Hamas Executes Alleged Palestinian Collaborators, Shin Bet Evades ResponsibilityRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Fate of betrayed Shin Bet collaborators doesn’t concern the Israeli spy agency. - id12/4/2017
Campaign prods Hezbollah to address assassination blamed on IsraelRoi Kais - Ynet - "An anonymous online campaign aimed at Hezbollah leaders seems to goad them to address the allegations that they were responsible for the assassination of the former commander Mustafa Badreddine." - id12/4/2017
Open letter to Jeremy Corbyn: "If Jackie Walker & Ken Livingstone are Anti-Semitic, then so are we" Tony Greenstein`s Blog - Dear Jeremy, We attach an Open Letter to you signed by 145 members of the [British Labour] Party, Jews and non-Jews, all socialists, who are alarmed by the treatment of left- wing supporters of Palestine facing victimisation within the party. We began collecting signatures before the NCC’s decision to extend Ken Livingstone’s suspension and your failure to defend him. Of other party members also enduring disciplinary, the most high- profile of these is Jackie Walker. We do not believe that the actions that Jackie has been accused of are, in any way, antisemitic. However, if the Labour Party is to employ an expansive definition of antisemitism that encompasses Jackie’s actions, then all 145 of us too are guilty.[ak]11/4/2017
Australia bars visit by Palestinian prisoner of conscienceAli Abunimah - EI - Australia’s policy of barring Palestinians based on their views aligns the country even more closely with Israel, which earlier this year passed legislation barring entry to advocates of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) measures against the state. On Monday, Israel barred entry to Anuar Majluf, the head of the Palestine Federation of Chile. The South American nation has one of the world’s biggest Palestinian diaspora communities. [bz]11/4/2017
On 69th anniversary, PLO remembers `heartbreaking` Deir Yassin massacreMa`an - “After sixty-nine years, the Deir Yassin massacre still remains an important reminder of Israel’s systematic measures of displacement, destruction, dispossession, and dehumanization,” Ashrawi said. “The calculated efforts by Israel to completely erase the history, narrative and physical presence of the Palestinian people will not be ignored or forgotten. It is time for Israel’s lethal impunity to come to an end.” “We urge all members of the international community to hold Israel to account immediately, to curb its ongoing violations against the Palestinians, and to support our nonviolent and diplomatic efforts to seek justice and protection in all international legal venues," she added. [bz] 11/4/2017
Censored in Israel, praised by Merkel: the novelist who is a ‘threat to Jewish identity’Peter Beaumont - The Guardian - Dorit Rabinyan’s story of an affair across the Israeli-Palestinian divide became a cause célèbre. As the book is published in Britain, she talks about her year in the firing line [ry]10/4/2017
Basel Ghattas officially sentenced to two years in prisonIlana Curiel - Ynet - A Be`er Sheva judge officially accepts former MK Basel Ghattas` plea agreement paving the way for Ghattas for begin a two year prison sentence; Judge: `I don`t think we give enough weight to the offense of breach of trust, where someone exploits their immunity. This is a crime which really bothers me` [ry]10/4/2017
What prompted Assad to use sarin gas?Yacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - In the early days of the Syrian uprising, before the name ISIS fell from anyone’s lips, Assad presented the following paradigm to the masses that opposed his terrorist regime: "Assad - or we will burn the country!" Assad promised and Assad delivered. He has raised the ante with the generous help of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah—and with the passive collusion of the rest of the world. We needn`t go back in time and blame the previous president (the present one makes sure to do so at every opportunity) in order to explain Trump’s earlier weakness against the war crimes in Syria. Already in 2013, Trump expressed his firm opposition to Obama`s policy of the Red Line when he tweeted: "Do not attack Syria, correct America." [bz for dn]9/4/2017
Jerusalem mayor cancels on eve of California university talkCharlotte Silver - EI - “By failing to provide the necessary public forum and properly publicize my lecture, the university has contributed to the continuing marginalization and demonization of the Jewish state”, was the excuse. -- A year ago, student groups demonstrated against Barkat’s talk at San Francisco State University in protest of Israel’s policies violating Palestinian rights in occupied East Jerusalem.[bz for dn]9/4/2017
Fatah’s Barghouti pushes hunger strike for 3,500 prisonersShlomi Eldar - Al Monitor "On April 17, about 3,500 Fatah prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons plan to begin a hunger strike. The strike is being organized by the organization’s high-ranking member Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced in 2004 to five consecutive life terms and is being held in a prison in the south of Israel." ca 7/4/2017
Basel Ghattas: Why I brought phones to Palestinians in prisonMiddle East Eye - "In fact, it was a personal act motivated by humanitarian and moral reasons. Palestinian "security prisoners" are denied the right to communicate with their families and relatives by phone - a clear violation of the recently ratified UN `Nelson Mandela` rules for the treatment of prisoners. I several times took up with the prison authorities and the minister in charge the demand that Palestinian prisoners get att least one public phone in each section of the prison under the full surveillance of the prison authorities - as is the practice with (Jewish) "criminal prisoners". To no avail. It was in this context that I finally decided to help Palestinian prisoners communicate with their families." [For the next two years, Ghattas himself will now be denied the possibility of communicating with his family, unless somebody succeeds in smuggling a mobile phone to him. ak]4/4/2017
Will EU take the lead on two-state solution?Uri Savir - Al-Monitor - EU Middle East policy planners are exploring a two-state solution initiative that would probably be launched in June. In essence, the initiative would propose an international peace conference with the participation of the Quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia), the Arab League and the parties based on the Oslo agreement, and the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. [bz] 4/4/2017
Egypt’s Sissi said set to present Trump with Mideast peace planTamar Pileggi - Times of Israel - The Dubai-based al-Khaleej Times said Trump would respond to the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative during his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas tentatively scheduled for later this month in Washington. It said the Trump administration aims to host an international peace conference on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in September. However, it is unlikely that Israel would agree to such moves, particularly the settlement freeze. Recent talks with the Trump administration failed to produce a formal agreement on limited building, leaving the Netanyahu government vowing to build, but with restraint, in order not to antagonize Trump. [bz] 4/4/2017
Hamas `would accept Palestine state within 1967 borders`Middle East Eye - AlMayadeen, a pro-Hezbollah Beirut-based TV channel, leaked a copy of the document on Monday. Although the document refers to Palestine as the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan river, it says the group considers a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip a “national consensus formula” while emphasizing the return of displaced Palestinians and their descendants. The document says Hamas is not at war with Jews but the group is waging a battle against the “occupation and the Zionist project”. [ak]4/4/2017
Israeli cafe orders employees to stop speaking Arabic on the jobYael Marom - +972 - A branch of Aroma Espresso Bar in central Israel tells its Arab workers that speaking their mother-tongue is offensive to some of the customers [ry]3/4/2017
Raja Shehadeh: ‘Once people experience liberation, it’s not easily forgotten’Andrew Anthony - The Guardian - The outspoken Palestinian lawyer and author on reaching out to the young, political change in the Middle East and his optimism about the future [ry] 3/4/2017
Israel’s Most Controversial New TV Series Reveals the Lives of Palestinian Inmates Itay Stern - Haaretz  "The creators of `Megiddo,` a film that outraged Culture Minister Miri Regev, spent a year and half at a huge security prison documenting the tense reality there. " ca31/3/2017
Abbas expects Arab summit backing ahead of talks with TrumpAssociated Press - Ynet News "The Palestinian president said he expects this year`s Arab League summit to deliver a `clear message to the world` about Palestinian rights; Abbas initially feared he would be sidelined by the Trump administration, which early on embraced Prime Minister Netanyahu, but Trump has since invited Abbas to the White House." ca31/3/2017
Arab MK: Israel must `pay a price` for occupationDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, believes that a two-state solution is still the best way to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In an Al-Monitor interview during Tibi’s short visit to Amman March 15, he acknowledged the declining fortunes of the two-state solution, but added that “despite a slow erosion of support among Palestinian citizens of Israel and despite not having a good chance of it ever being accomplished, I am still in support of the two-state solution."-rh 30/3/2017
Only 12% of Israelis believe full West Bank withdrawal would end conflictHerb Keinon - Jerusalem Post - While 17% of the Jewish population said Israel should agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in all of the West Bank, fully 77% said it should not. When the settlement blocs were excluded from a future Palestinian state, the numbers changed dramatically, however, with 37% saying Israel should agree to that situation, but a majority of 57% saying it should not. [bz]28/3/2017
U. Professor Falk blocked from lecturing in UK over anti-Israel reportAbhiram Karuppur - The Daily Princetonian - “As far as I can tell, there is a growing kind of feeling that the educational establishment in Britain, specifically in England, has been kind of intimidated in dealing with those who are seen as critics of Israel," says Falk. He sees his treatment as endemic of the trend of restricting academic freedom on university campuses. [bz] 28/3/2017
Political poetry as a crime: Inside the surreal trial of Dareen TatourYoav Haifawi - +972 - Arresting a Palestinian for publishing a political poem is extraordinary. Having to prove at trial that police mistranslated her poem is nothing short of surreal [ry]27/3/2017
David Friedman confirmed: Man who said liberal Jews worse than Nazi collaborators to be US ambassador to IsraelRichard Lardner - Independent - Democrats claim that he lacks the temperament for such an important diplomatic post [ry]27/3/2017
Richard Gere on segregation in Hebron: It`s exactly like the Old SouthLisa Goldman - +972 - In the report, broadcast during the prime time evening news hour Wednesday, Gere responds to what he sees in blunt terms. He compares occupied Hebron to the Jim Crow era in the southern United States. "Blacks knew where they could go: they could drink from that fountain, they couldn’t go over there, they couldn’t eat in that place. It was well understood — you didn’t cross over if you didn’t want to get your head beat in, or to get lynched.” [bz for dn]26/3/2017
Human Rights Council Urges States and Businesses to Cut Off Ties to Israeli Settlements Barak Ravid - Haaretz - Thirty-six member states voted in favor of the resolution criticizing Israeli settlements, including Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, China, India, Japan, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil. [bz for dn]26/3/2017
More Palestinians in Jerusalem seek Israeli citizenshipAP - Ynet - Fearing they would lose their residency rights and the freedom of movement these rights entail, Palestinians seek citizenship in greater numbers. But Israel was apparently dragging its feet in granting it, according to those who track Palestinian applicants. Lawyers said their Palestinian clients now wait months for an appointment with the Interior Ministry and an average of three years for a decision. [bz]25/3/2017
Former Dutch Ambassador, Son of “Righteous Gentile,” Apologizes for Ethnic CleansingJonathan Cook - Washingotn Report on ME "Erik Ader, a former Dutch ambassador to Norway, said the trees were his way of apologizing for a similar number of pine trees planted in Israel in the 1960s to honor his father...Ader said he had been shocked to discover a decade ago that under the small conifer forest dedicated to his father were concealed the ruins of a Palestinian village. All of the 2,400 Palestinian inhabitants of Bayt Nattif, southwest of Jerusalem, were expelled in 1948, the year Israel was established. The Israeli army destroyed the 350 homes there, and none of the villagers has ever been allowed to return." ca 24/3/2017
Israel`s human rights spies: Manipulating the discourseNeve Gordon&Nicola Perugini- Al Jazeera "A fascinating expose in Haaretz reveals how, in the mid-1970s - not long after the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and Golan Heights - Israel used university faculty members to infiltrate Amnesty International. The state thus actively intervened in order to shape human rights activism, just as the rights discourse was becoming one of the most popular forms of political struggle against injustice around the globe." ca 24/3/2017
After 115 Days in Jail, Conscientious Objector Tamar Zeevi Released From Israeli Army Gili Cohen - Haaretz "Zeevi, who refused to enlist in the IDF last November, was consequently sent to military jail for lengthy periods. At the beginning of the week, she appeared in front of a military panel authorized to grant service exemptions for reasons of conscience, and on Thursday was told that she will be discharged from the army for that reason.Another conscientious objector, Tamar Alon, who was meant to enlist in the army at the same time as Zeevi, did not receive such an exemption, spending 118 days in military prison. Alon also testified in front of the military panel, which decided not to grant her an exemption for reasons of conscience, claiming that her refusal to enlist was inconsistent and was based on political motives." ca " 24/3/2017
The voices missing from Syria`s peace talksZena Tahhan - Al Jazeera "Other than the fact that the government was sending people to prison for this, the regime outlawed the use of the term `civil society`. Civil society was being likened to Zionism and Masonry. There was a complete criminalisation of the term," Syoufi told Al Jazeera...With the war entering its seventh year, hundreds of civil society organisations have developed both inside and outside of Syria, amid a security vacuum and harrowing bloodshed, to fill the role of state institutions meant to protect and inform civilians." ca24/3/2017
The Persecution and Assassination of Omar Barghouti by the Inmates of the Asylum of Israel Under the Direction of the Marquis de MillikovskyRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "What a clever way to destroy the career of a Palestinian activist. He founded an international movement, BDS, so arresting him for espionage or on a political pretext would bring the wrath of the world down upon Israel. So you look for an alternative and rip a page from the early FBI, which couldn’t topple Al Capone by conventional means. So it chose an alternative: taxes." ca24/3/2017
IDF Chief’s Disinformation Seeks to Obscure Mossad Assassination of Hezbollah CommanderRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "What has been fast emerging in recent months is that Israel may have badly misjudged the potential outcome of the Syrian war." - id 22/3/2017
Israel-funded “infiltrators” behind London campus “provocation”Asa Winstanley - EI - "“It’s a violent religion” — video still shows former Israeli foreign ministry fellow Elliot Miller abusing student protesters he perceived as Muslim. An Israeli soldier’s controversial appearance at University College London (UCL) involved provocations by groups funded from Israel, a journalist for Israeli state media is alleging." - id 22/3/2017
Israel plans mass evacuation if war erupts againAssociated Press - Ynet - "If Gaza or Lebanon`s terrorist organizations decide to go to war with Israel, they could find their usual targets empty, as Israel draws up plans to evacuate up to a quarter-million civilians from border communities." - id 22/3/2017
UN Removes Report Accusing Israel of The Crime Of Apartheid From Its Web SiteMitchell Plitnick - The Third Way - The report makes more than a few points that I find either valid or, at the very least, troubling enough that a serious discussion about them is not only warranted, but crucial. (...) I have decided to post the report and the executive summary here. Let’s not stifle discussion, let’s not de-legitimatize debate. Let’s examine the substance of the arguments Falk and Tilley make and deal with them. [bz] 21/3/2017
Israeli Ministry Trying to Compile Database of Citizens Who Support BDS Barak Ravid - Haaretz -  Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who are involved in promoting and supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel or the settlements. But Attorney General Mendelblit told the government that the only body with the authority to collect this type of information on Israelis is the Shin Bet security service, and that “setting up such a database by collecting material on Israeli citizens would undermine their right to privacy.” [bz]21/3/2017
FIFA delay on Israeli settlement decision fuels concernNigel Wilson - Al Jazeera - World football body will soon have to resolve the status of six Israeli football teams based in the occupied West Bank [ry]20/3/2017
Netanyahu on the road to self-destructionNahum Barnea - Ynet - The prime minister’s sudden concern for the Israel Broadcasting Authority workers is completely false. The only rational explanation for his conduct can be found elsewhere—in the police investigations. But even if he does decide to resign and call elections, the Knesset doesn’t have to be dissolved, and the president can task a different MK with establishing a new government [ry]20/3/2017
In bid to expel Arab MK, Israel manages to break its own recordOrly Noy - +972 - MK Basel Ghattas will serve two years for smuggling cellphones to Palestinian security prisoners. That’s a longer sentence than the one handed down to an Elor Azaria, who executed an incapacitated Palestinian [ry]20/3/2017
Text of Resignation Letter by ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima KhalafJadaliyya - I cannot but stand by the findings of ESCWA’s report that Israel has established an apartheid regime that seeks the domination of one racial group over another. The evidence provided by this report drafted by renowned experts is overwhelming. Suffice it to say that none of those who attacked the report had a word to say about its content. I feel it my duty to shed light on the legally inadmissible and morally indefensible fact that an apartheid regime still exists in the 21st century rather than suppressing the evidence. [bz for dn]19/3/2017
U.S. State Dept. reports grave violations against Palestinian kidsDCIP - The report noted a “significant increase in detentions of minors” in 2016, and that “Israeli authorities continued to use confessions signed by Palestinian minors, written in Hebrew.” N.B.: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson refrained from participating in the launch of the 2016 State Department Human Rights Reports. [bz for dn]19/3/2017
Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of ApartheidUN Beirut 2017 - ESCWA - After pressure from Israel and the US, the PDF document was removed from the UN website, but you may want to read the text for yourself. [bz]18/3/2017
Apartheid Israel: Public Broadcasting Suspends, Demotes Palestinian News Anchor for “Terror Retweet” Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Bibi Netanyahu let loose a barrage off incendiary rhetoric claiming that the new public broadcasting authority was a nest of leftist vipers; and that she had “praised a terrorist.” The real insanity here is this is the same broadcasting authority Bibi proposed when he wanted to “reform” (i.e. neutralize) the leftist propaganda supposedly spewed by the Israel Broadcasting Authority. He later thought better of the notion, then tried to kill it. But his own nationalist allies said “not so fast.” So now Bibi assaults the very Golem he himself created to flatter himself...Returning to Wattad, in apartheid Israel a Palestinian walks through a perpetual minefield without a map. She stepped on an explosive device. When far-right reporter Kalman Liebskind discovered her tweet, he went to town."ca17/3/2017
Arab Diplomat Resigns UN Post Amid Pressure to Pull Report Accusing Israel of `Apartheid` Reuters,Haaretz,The Associated Press - "The head of a Lebanon-based United Nations agency that promotes development in Arab countries has resigned, after refusing to withdraw a controversial report that concludes that Israel has established an "apartheid regime."...Rima Khalaf, a Jordanian who heads the Beirut-based ESCWA, announced her resignation at a hastily-arranged press conference in the Lebanese capital Friday." ca17/3/2017
How a small-town street sign became center of latest Israeli-Palestinian disputeDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The mayor of the Palestinian town of Jatt in Israel is caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, the last thing a Palestinian patriot and representative of a nationalist community wants is to take down a street sign bearing the name of Yasser Arafat. On the other hand, the local official has to respect the law and the order by the Israeli minister of interior that requires governmental approval prior to posting any street sign.-rh 15/3/2017
Apartheid Israel seeks to expel non-Jewish Knesset member Editorial - The Arab Daily News - "This law, enacted in 2016, allows a majority of 90 Knesset Members (MKs) to oust a serving MK for denying the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, and/or for supporting the armed struggle of an “enemy state” or a “terrorist organization” against Israel." - id15/3/2017
Palestinians protest over PA-Israel security tiesHisham Abdallah - Al Jazeera - "The recent incidents reveal the cracks in the current status quo where the Israeli occupation and the PA work hand in hand to suppress Palestinians who dare to speak out." - id 15/3/2017
Israel denies entry to prominent British boycott activist AP / Ynet - Ahead of anti-BDS law`s approval, Hugh Lanning of the UK Palestine Solidarity Campaign was prohibited Sunday from entering Israel. The BDS movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a nonviolent way to promote the Palestinian struggle for independence. It has urged businesses, artists and universities to sever ties with Israel and includes thousands of volunteers around the world. [bz] 14/3/2017
Trump mulls Middle East peace conferenceOrly Azoulay & Elior Levy - Ynet - The White House said in a statement that the two leaders (Trump and Abbas) on Friday discussed ways to advance peace throughout the Middle East, including a comprehensive agreement that would end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world," the White House clarified. [bz for dn]12/3/2017
Richard Gere calls for an end to `the occupation`Tzipi Shmilovitz - Ynet - "The occupation must end. The occupation is ruining everyone on both sides. A bi-national state won`t solve anything, and it will only turn Israel into an apartheid state. There needs to be two states for two peoples, with Jerusalem as the capital of both nations. In his comments, Gere also referred to the issue of settlements, saying, "Why do you need all these provocations? How is it that the settlers are running the government? During his visit to Israel, Gere is also planning on meeting members of Breaking the Silence. [bz] 11/3/2017
Is an `Arab NATO` in the works?Ahmed Fouad - Al-Monitor "Sisi had raised the idea of the Arab military alliance on Feb. 22, 2015, in a recorded speech broadcast on Egyptian state TV. He said the need to form a joint Arab military force is increasing by the day, at a time when the Arab region is facing the risk of militant groups." ca 10/3/2017
Look on my works, ye mighty … Ozymandias statue found in mud Reuters in Cairo - "Archaeologists believe eight-metre statue found in Cairo slum is of Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt in 13th century BC.Archaeologists from Egypt and Germany have found an eight-metre (26ft) statue submerged in groundwater in a Cairo slum that they say probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago." ca10/3/2017
Mohammad Diab - Film makerBBC - Hard Talk - VIDEO "HARDtalk`s Stephen Sackur speaks to Egytpian film director, Mohamed Diab. Freedom of expression is severely curtailed in Egypt. Journalists, bloggers, civil society activists and political dissidents have been locked up by the thousand under the Sisi regime. Which makes the Egyptian movie, Eshtebak, or Clash all the more important. The much lauded film paints a remarkable picture of the tumult in Egypt which led to the military takeover in 2013. The director, Mohamed Diab is our guest today. What has happened to the spirit of the Tahrir revolution?" ca10/3/2017
Top Israeli university marketing country`s arms industry to the worldShimrit Lee - +972 "Contrary to popular belief, Israel’s military-industrial complex doesn’t run on government and arms manufacturers alone. Academia, a sphere often imagined as a bastion of free speech, independent from corporate interests, plays a crucial, though less visible, role in the establishment. Its complicity in violence shouldn’t be ignored." ca10/3/2017
Malta and Palestine Search for New Ways to Facilitate Tourism Investments IMEMC - "The Maltese Middle Eastern Tourism Corporation had organized a second meeting and cultural dinner for a group of businessmen in the city of Bethlehem, where they discussed ways and mechanisms of creating an economic investment between the two countries in general, in the tourism field in particular." - id 8/3/2017
Wikipedia Censors Mordechai Vanunu and “The Samson Option” May Provide an ExplanationEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "Wikipedia claimed “we don’t need a quote from unreliable sources” - id8/3/2017
Character assassination as a tool to silence a Palestinian activistMalaka Shwaikh - Altahrir News - I believe the attacks against me have been an attempt to defame my character, particularly as a Palestine activist and as a Muslim woman. It is no coincidence that they coincide with my election to various positions in Exeter University Students’ Guild. [bz]7/3/2017
Lieberman rejects idea of Israeli sovereignty in West BankMoran Azulay - Ynet - `We need to separate from the Palestinians, not absorb Palestinians into us.` The Defence Minister strengthened his point quoting a `direct message from the United States` saying that Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank will lead to a crisis with the new administration. [bz]7/3/2017
White House calls on UN Human Rights Council to end ‘obsession with Israel’Andrew Buncombe - Independent - UNHRC’s statements on Israel’s actions in Gaza and the West Bank prompt riposte from US [ry]6/3/2017
WATCH: Trump Israel envoy praises Israeli leftists — for sending kids to the armyMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - + 972 - "Donald Trump’s nominee to be the next American ambassador to Israel has come under intense criticism for, among other things, saying the Jewish American pro-peace lobby J Street is “far worse than kapos – Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps.”" - id3/3/2017
Israel`s hateful posts target Palestinian politiciansNigel Wilson - Aljazeera - A Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament since 2009, Zoabi has been verbally and physically assaulted since she participated in a flotilla attempting to break the blockade of Gaza in 2010. She has also received threats by telephone and email to her office. According to a recent study by the Palestinian digital rights group 7amleh, Zoabi was the subject of 60,000 hateful online posts in 2016. Her fellow Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, was the subject of 40,000 posts, while President Mahmoud Abbas appeared in 30,000 posts.-rh 2/3/2017
Pro-Israel Activists Deliver 40,000+ Signatures Opposing Friedman Nomination to SenatorsPress Release - J-Street Conference "The petitions were delivered to Senate offices today by more than 600 members of J Street, who held more than 150 meetings on Capitol Hill today as part of the organization’s National Advocacy Day. In their meetings, J Street advocates expressed strong concerns over Friedman’s extreme ideological agenda and long history of offensive and fundamentally undiplomatic rhetoric." ca1/3/2017
Two dead in Ein al-Hilweh fightingMaureen Clare Murphy - Electronic Intifada "Fierce fighting in Ein al-Hilweh, the most populous Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, left two dead, including a child, before a ceasefire was declared on Tuesday afternoon...The fighting on Tuesday prompted civilians to flee Ein al-Hilweh, as well as the closure of schools and universities outside of the camp, located near the southern coastal city of Sidon.A general strike is to be held in Sidon on Wednesday in protest of the violence." ca 1/3/2017
Elor Azarya’s ‘normative’ support for genocideJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss "Let us pay particular attention to the sentence “positive personality and his being a normative person until his current complication”. Below are two exchanges between Elor Azarya and his family – that is, his parents (Charlie and Oshra), on Facebook, July 2014. The first is from July 15th, with the background of a discussed ceasefire with Hamas in the midst of the 2014 Gaza onslaught. The second is from July 30th." ca1/3/2017
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