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Even inside Israel, colonialism is far from overEdo Konrad - +972 - The attempt to bar Arabs from buying land in one of the wealthiest, more liberal towns in Israel is a disturbing reminder of Israel’s colonial past — and present [ry]19/3/2018
Israel’s Leaders Argued for Expelling Gazans to Jordan after 1967 WarRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "An Israeli far-right journalist and an academic teaching at Ariel University have exposed plans proposed by Labor governments after the 1967 War to expel the residents of Gaza to Jordan" [ry]19/3/2018
Abbas aide threatens to punish Hamas amid fallout from Gaza attackKhaled Abu Toameh - Times of Israel "The PA will not allow the “assassination attempt” that targeted Hamdallah to go unpunished, another senior Palestinian official warned. “What happened will not pass without a response,” said Mahmoud Habbash, religious affairs adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas.Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj were on their way to inaugurate a wastewater treatment plant during a visit to Gaza Tuesday when a roadside bomb was detonated near their convoy. The two senior officials were not hurt." ca 17/3/2018
In lead-up to mass deportation, Israel closes Holot detention facilityJoshua Leifer - +972 "The Israeli government announced in January that African asylum seekers had three months to leave the country. Those who remained by April 1st would face an impossible choice: indefinite imprisonment in Israel or deportation to Rwanda or Uganda.On Thursday, however, Israel’s High Court of Justice issued an interim injunction against the deportation plan, following a petition filed on behalf of 119 Israeli human rights activists. The court’s decision suggests that it has real concerns about the details of the secret agreement between Israel and Rwanda, which the Israeli government claims allows Israel to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, but which the Rwandan government has repeatedly denied exists." ca16/3/2018
The topsy-turvy world of Jewish-Arab relationsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Although the index points to a serious deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs over the past two years, Smooha does not believe Israeli Arabs have burned their bridges to the Jewish state. He notes that the findings essentially continue to show a strong link on their part to a Jewish and democratic Israel.-rh 14/3/2018
The Great Conspiracy Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Deri himself is the best evidence of how in two or three generations those poor Moroccans who were thrown into the desert are forming a new elite." - id14/3/2018
An explosion has struck the convoy of PM Rami Hamdallah upon his entrance into the Gaza StripAl Jazeera - There are "several sides who are benefitting from this explosion", according to Mustafa Ibrahim, a Gaza-based political analyst. "We will hear Fatah saying that some members of Hamas do not want reconciliation, and likewise, we will hear Hamas saying this could have been a fabricated attack by Fatah`s security services," Ibrahim told Al Jazeera. "The ones who will pay the price are the people of Gaza." [bz] 13/3/2018
Christians emerge as key patrons for Jews moving to IsraelAP - Ynet - Israel’s founding fathers, who etched a commitment to encouraging Jewish immigration into the declaration of independence, might be surprised to find that, seven decades later, the state is relying on Christians to fulfill that promise. What was once a strictly Jewish-funded mission is increasingly being bankrolled by evangelical Christians. [bz]13/3/2018
For Adelson-funded organization, anti-Semitism is not a problemJim Lobe and Eli Clifton - +972 - Right-wing Jews like Sheldon Adelson have no problem shelling out money for the European ‘New Right,’ even if it means flirting with anti-Semites [ry]12/3/2018
Meet Donald Trump’s twin: Benjamin NetanyahuJonathan Freedland - The Guardian - The embattled Israeli prime minister clings on to power despite being mired in scandal. Just like the man in the White House [ry]12/3/2018
Ethiopian-Israelis decry family separation as discriminatoryAssociated Press - Ynet - As some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews wait in Gondar and Addis Ababa to reunite with family members who already made Aliyah to Israel, government expected to vote on issue next week, but no funds have been allocated for it in 2019 state budget [ry]12/3/2018
EU lawmaker demands investigation of Israel lobby smearsAli Abunimah - EI - "A prominent member of the European Parliament is demanding an official investigation into the role of a high-level European Union civil servant in an Israel lobby smear campaign targeting her" [ry]12/3/2018
The LobbyFILM - You Tube Al-Jazeera "Al Jazeera Investigations exposes how the Israel lobby influences British politics. A six-month undercover investigation reveals how Israel penetrates different levels of British democracy." ca9/3/2018
What’s in Al Jazeera’s undercover film on the US Israel lobby?Asa Winstanley - Al-Jazeera "Al Jazeera’s film reportedly identifies a number of lobby groups as working with Israel to spy on American citizens using sophisticated data gathering techniques. The documentary is also said to cast light on covert efforts to smear and intimidate Americans seen as too critical of Israel.Israel lobby groups have placed intense pressure on Qatar, which funds Al Jazeera, to shelve the film, fueling speculation it may never be aired." ca 9/3/2018
Slew of anti-Palestinian bills points to impending Israeli electionsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "On March 5, the Knesset gave overwhelming initial approval to proposed legislation allowing Israel to deduct money from various taxes it collects for the PA to punish it for “supporting terrorism.” Fifty-two lawmakers voted for the bill, which openly violates a 1994 interim agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Only 10 refused to greenlight this distortion of the Paris Protocol, the interim agreement regulating economic ties between Israel and the PA under which Israel commits to collect taxes for the Palestinians, such as customs import duties and income tax deducted from the pay of Palestinians working in Israel, and transfer these revenues to the PA." ca 9/3/2018
What’s in Al Jazeera’s undercover film on the US Israel lobby?Asa Winstanley - The Electronic Intifada - "According to a source who has seen the undercover documentary, it contains footage of a powerful Israeli official claiming that “We have FDD. We have others working on this.”" - id7/3/2018
Israeli Parliament Votes on Bill to Cut Funding for Palestinian DetaineesIMEMC - "According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the 2017 payments to these families exceeded $347 million." - id7/3/2018
Paradoxes of UNRWAEsmat Elhalaby - Some opponents see it as a quintessential example of “humanitarian management”: a peddler of aid and promises of development that stultifies dissent. Others see it as exactly the opposite. But UNRWA has never been simply what its detractors contend. John H. Davis, its head from 1959 to 1963, described the agency as “one of the prices—and perhaps the cheapest—that the international community was paying for not having to solve with equity the political problems of the refugees.” Davis’s realization that the fortunes of Palestinian refugees were intimately tied to U.S. support for Israel is as true now as ever. [bz]6/3/2018
New exhibit shows slumping Israeli flag, draws culture minister`s ireItay Blumenthal, Moran Azulay - Ynet -A new controversial art installation of an Israeli flag atop a tilted mast, which appears about to fall, was erected at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv. Sculptor Itai Zlait, who created the exhibit, explained that it signifies the country`s "interim state," between order and disorder, prosperity and austerity, democracy and tyranny. "What I`m trying to do is show the depth of the rift we`re in. We are exposed to a lot of hatred and lack of information, and I`ve tried to show it neutrally." Culture Minister Miri Regev angrily denounced Zlait`s exhibit as "cheap and outrageous political provocation by fringe leftist circles". [ak]6/3/2018
The problem with leftist myths about Syria Loubna Mrie - Al-Jazeera "For me, it is unfathomable how people who have stood up for social justice and human rights across the world remain in support of a regime that has exploited its population economically and tortured and killed innocent civilians in the most horrendous ways possible. Or how people who had seen through US imperial war propaganda cannot see through the Russian equivalent of it. Since I fled Syria in 2014, I have heard two common leftist myths about what is going on in my country. I want to address both of them below." ca 5/3/2018
Israel Plans a New War in Syria – but Not for the Reasons It ClaimsGareth Porter - AntiWar - "The war that Israel is planning in Syria is at least in part a response to its inability to use force against Hezbollah in Lebanon. And it is not going to alter the fundamental power equation either in Syria or between Israel and Hezbollah" [ry]5/3/2018
Anti-BDS bills expected to feature prominently at AIPACDalia Hatuqa - Al-Jazeera " Israel supporters in the US are gearing up for AIPAC`s much- vaunted annual policy conference, with measures to counter the widening campaign to boycott Israel and its West Bank settlements expected to feature prominently in the powerful lobbying group`s agenda." ca3/3/2018
Pushed out by Israel, asylum seekers find only limbo in UgandaOren Ziv - +972 "After visiting Rwanda and Uganda, Weitzen continues, “I understood that Israel is simply committing crimes. According to all of the testimonies from people who were deported, as well as from international aid organizations and local groups, people arrive in Rwanda and are basically smuggled into the country from the airport. They don’t even pass border control in an orderly way. They have no means of appealing to a court. They cannot request status or anything like it. Then they are smuggled again. They are stuck in these two countries without any status.” ca3/3/2018
Images taken week apart show destruction in Syrian enclaveOsama Bin Javaid - Al-Jazeera "Gaziantep, Turkey - Al Jazeera has obtained satellite imagery from areas inside Eastern Ghouta, showing the destruction continuous government bombardment has caused.The Damascus suburb has been targeted by relentless attacks since the Syrian government, aided by Russia, launched an air offensive on the largely rural area outside the capital on February 18." ca 2/3/2018
Tale of Two Anti-Semites: One American, One IsraeliRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Last year, an Israeli teenager was exposed as the author of a series of anti-Semitic threats targeting Jewish institutions including schools, community centers, synagogues and cemeteries. Michael Kadar was a troubled youth whose parents were American, but who was born and raised in Israel. He got involved in the dark web including services which offered customers hacks and other fraudulent acts for a fee...The problem is that there is no extradition treaty between Israel and the U.S. This has proven convenient for Orthodox rabbis charged with child or sexual abuse who are able to flee to Israel and escape justice" ca2/3/2018
Special Report: Pushed out by Iisrael asylum seekers find only limbo in UgandaOren Ziv - +972 - "Rwanda is not a final destination for the refugees Israel is sending there. There is a well-oiled machine that pushes them out of the country as soon as possible. Of the several thousand asylum seekers that Israel has already deported to Rwanda, we are told that only eight remain there. The rest crossed the border into neighboring Uganda." - id 28/2/2018
Under the banner: “Anti-expulsion, pro-south Tel Aviv,” some 20,000 asylum seekers, supporters, participate in protestYnet - Shula Keshet, activist in the movement “South Tel Aviv Against the Expulsion said: “They say that it will begin on Passover, and I say that the Holiday of Freedom will be stained with the disgrace of the expulsion. South Tel Aviv is for renewal, for public housing, for spreading the refugees throughout the country and for a dignified life for all. Zehava Vaknin, another local resident: “Our daily difficulties did not begin with the arrival of the asylum seekers. Why jail people who have fled war? I was scared to walk the streets, not because of the asylum seekers, but because the streets are so dark in the neighborhood.” Tugud Omer Adam from Sudan: “We did not choose to come to south Tel Aviv. They are not handing out maps to Levinski Street in the Sinai Desert. When we arrived in Israel, we were handed a one-way ticket to the New Bus Station.” [The demonstration was supported by the untiring peace group Omdim Yachad (Standing Together)-bz] 27/2/2018
Jerusalem Church leaders score victory over Israeli politiciansJames Macintyre - Christian Today - Two measures have set the Israeli authorities on a collision course with the Christian Churches in Jerusalem: The Jerusalem Municipality moving to tax Church properties, which had been exempt since Ottoman times, and the government proposing a bill to altogether confiscate Church lands in Jerusalem. The heads of the Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian Churches - long mired in bitter mutual rivalry - acted in unison and announced the "indefinite" closing of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, one of the most holy sites for Christians of all denominations. It took only two days for the Israeli politicians to backtrack completely and announce the suspension of the measures which offended the Church leaders. [ak] 27/2/2018
Because of her son`s misdeed, Ma’azuza Abu Jaudah was expelled after living in Israel for thirty yearsIlana Curiel - Ynet - Thirty years ago Ma’azuza Abu Jaudah, born on the West Bank, married an Israeli citizen and came to live with him in the Negev Bedouin town of Kuseife. She had a document permitting her to stay in Israel only in daylight and requiring her to return every night to the West Bank - which she did not do, having a home and a family in Kuseife. This was far from the only such case, and the authorities did not move against her - until her son Khaled was arrested and indicted for stabbing and killing an IDF soldier, Sergeant Ron Kokia. Since then, the police had been constantly harassing Khaled Abu Jaudah`s family. Having found no indication that family members were in any way involved in or had any prior knowledge of Khaled`s plan to attack a soldier, the police took up the issue of Khaled`s mother staying illegally in Israel. She was taken from the family home and expelled across the Sham`a Checkpoint. Ma’azuza’s lawyer, Nasser Mustaffa, pointed out that there were many women from the West Bank who live in the Bedouin community. “In this case, the state is selectively enforcing things because of her son. He will receive his punishment, but why does she have to suffer?” [ak]27/2/2018
A bizarre end to the trial of Palestinian poet Dareen TatourYoav Haifawi - +972 "The defense insisted that the poem is a legitimate expression of protest, which speaks about the occupation’s violence against innocent Palestinians. The defense based its arguments on specific events that were mentioned in the poem: the children who were burned; Hadeel, who was shot; the settler’s robbery; and the violence of the army’s special undercover units." ca24/2/2018
Palestinian protesters egg US politicians visiting RamallahAFP - "Several members of the council and New York civil society groups were meeting a Palestinian polling company in the city of Ramallah, the polling company confirmed. As they left they were pelted with eggs by several dozen protesters, who also chased their bus. Palestinian security forces protected the Americans." CA 23/2/2018
Abbas at UN urges multilateral peace effort, says PA never rejected talksAlexander Fulbright - Times of Israel - Palestinian leader accuses Israel of acting as a “state above the law” and creating “permanent settlement colonization.” Abbas says unilateral recognition of an independent Palestinian state would not undermine negotiations. He calls on Security Council members who do not recognize such a state to do so. [ak]20/2/2018
San Francisco Bay area Jews moving away from attachment to IsraelJudy Maltz - Haaretz - A survey polling the Jewish population in San Francisco`s Bay Area, based on responses from 3,516 interviewees, found that only 21 percent described themselves as `very attached` to Israel and almost as many (20 percent) described themselves as `not attached at all.` While 43 percent said they sympathized with Israelis and only 8 percent preferred the Palestinians, almost half said they either sympathized with both sides, with neither or were not sure. Prof. Steven M. Cohen of the Hebrew Union College, who led the study, said: `We see there are a growing number who are "Israel disengaged", especially among younger people.` [ak]20/2/2018
Will Israel, Qatar cooperate to save Gaza?Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - The donor states that convened in emergency session last month in Brussels have not come through yet, leaving only Qatar that is willing to come to the rescue at once. [bz]20/2/2018
Motorcycle racing star refuses to appear in occupied territory - race movedEdo Konrad - +972 - A Honda-sponsored racing event is moved from a settlement into Israel proper. Organizers admit they didn’t inform the headliner that it was in occupied territory, and the racer says he wouldn’t have participated if he had been told. [ak] 20/2/2018
When Trump officially called Netanyahu a liarOrly Azoulay - Ynet - The White House wasn’t just angered by the prime minister`s lie that he was holding talks with the Americans about applying Israeli sovereignty in the West Bank, but also by the liberty he took to get the US administration in trouble with the world [ry]19/2/2018
Are weapons at the heart of Britain’s romance with Israel?David Cronin - EI - "The pro-Israel lobby in Britain is secretive about its precise activities, including its relationship to the arms industry. For all their talk about beacons of light, Israel’s supporters keep many things in the dark" [ry]19/2/2018
Israel`s Netanyahu attacks `dangerous Iranian tiger`BBC - "The Israeli prime minister was speaking with the huge shadow of potential corruption charges hanging over his head. He is likely to have directed his Munich appearance as much at his domestic audience as to the wider international community" [ry]19/2/2018
New York bookseller bowed to Israel supporters after violent threatsAli Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada - "Columbia University Students for Justice in Palestine and Columbia/Barnard Jewish Voice for Peace are reaffirming a call to boycott the bookseller, Book Culture, unless it rescinds the statement. Book Culture issued the statement in the wake of threats and intimidation because it was promoting a children’s book called P is for Palestine." - id 14/2/2018
BYE BYE BIBI?Olivia Messer - The Daily Beast - "According to the Associated Press, the potential charges do not directly threaten Netanyahu’s position in the immediate future but could hasten the public calls for him to step down. The attorney general must now decide whether to file charges in the cases." - id14/2/2018
Palestinian leader Abbas tells Putin he wants U.S. peace role dilutedReuters, from Moscow - Abbas was quoted as saying he wanted an expanded new mediation mechanism to replace the Middle East Quartet. “For instance, ‘the quartet’ plus some other countries like the model used to achieve the deal on Iran.” [ak]13/2/2018
Stop the hypocrisy: There’s foreign funding in the Right too Mickey Gitzin - Ynet - The Mida website is the online version of Channel 20. Alternatively, it is the Israeli version of the Breitbart website, the mouthpiece of the radical right in the Trump administration. Every day, Mida features attacks on anti-corruption protestors, on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critics and on leftist and centrist parties. [bz]13/2/2018
An atmosphere of extremism and a ‘lynching’ that wasn’t Joshua Davidovich - Times of Israel - The case of two Israeli soldiers straying into Jenin and being surrounded by an angry Palestinian crowd became front-page news in the Israeli press, which repeatedly used the term "near lynch". Yisrael Hayom, considered as Netayhau`s own semi-official propaganda sheet, made the most of the drama - the paper quotes the female soldier yelling, “I don’t want to die,” as “dozens of Palestinians began to attack the car, throwing stones from point blank and hitting them with everything they could find.” The two soldiers had a reason to be thankful to the often derided "security cooperation" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian police forces quickly arrived on the spot, acting firmly to extract the two soldiers and get them safely out of the city. Yedioth Ahronoth notes that Jenin is different now, with anti-Israel sentiment “at a peak” since an army operation in the city last week culminating with a killing of "a terrorist suspect". A Palestinian security source is quoted “I’ve been in the security forces since they were founded and I’ve never seen such an atmosphere of extremism you see on the Palestinian street these days, not even during the Second Intifada." [ak] 13/2/2018
Trump White House charges Netanyahu with spreading `false reports`Sputniknews - Faced with the pressure of hardliners within his own Likud party, who demand annexation of Israeli settlements on the West Bank (while keeping Palestinian cities as non-annexed enclaves), Netanyahu sought to deflect the pressure by asserting that he is in the process of discussing the matter with Trump, and asking the hardliners to wait for the outcome of these discussions. This earned Netanyahu a public rebuff from the normally-friendly Trump White House: "Reports that the United States discussed with Israel an annexation plan for the West Bank are false” said White House spokesman Josh Raffel. [ak] 13/2/2018
Netanyahu`s big and small troublesMoran Azulay - Ynet - If the prime minister’s name is eventually linked to the submarine affair, he is set to suffer huge political damage; meanwhile, the tensions between the prime minister and the Knesset speaker reveal the silent battle taking place in Likud over who will replace Netanyahu if he is suddenly forced to resign [ry]12/2/2018
Israel Launches Large-Scale Attack on Syria After F-16 CrashesJason Ditz - AntiWar - Israeli Officials Try to Spin Attacks as Targeting Iran [ry]12/2/2018
BDS movement nominated for the Nobel Peace PrizeMondoweiss - "Norwegian parliamentarian Bjørnar Moxnes officially nominated the BDS movement for Palestinian rights for a Nobel Peace Prize. He did so with the support of his party, the progressive Rødt (Red) Party, explaining why BDS “should be supported without reservation by all democratically-minded people and states.” ca10/2/2018
Al-Hudood: the Onion-style website poking fun at the Middle East Kareem Shaheen - The Guardian "Satirical news site set up by Isam Uraiqat uses black humour to take aim at region’s absurdities." ca9/2/2018
Rallies against Israel`s refugee removal plan expectedJillian Kestler-D`Amours - Al Jazeera - "On Wednesday, rallies are expected in Tel Aviv, London, New York, Paris, Berlin, Toronto and more than a dozen other cities to protest Israel`s effort to deport asylum seekers to third countries in Africa, namely Rwanda and Uganda." - id 7/2/2018
Palestinian official Erekat tells UN Ambassador Haley to “shut up”Alex Christoforou - The Duran - Veteran Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat blasted the American UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for a recent speech, which he said amounted to fomenting a coup against Palestinian Authority Presdident Mahmud Abbas: “Nikki Haley called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president. She needs to shut up and realize that the Palestinian leadership is not the problem.(...). We don’t seek a confrontation or a fight with the US administration. On the contrary — they are the ones taking several steps, since the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel`s capital. The US administration is itself saying that it’s not an honest broker in the peace process. Therefore, we are seeking, together with international parties, to convene an international conference for peace.” [ak]6/2/2018
BDS Opponents Want Israel Held To A Lower StandardLara Friedman - Forward - Too many are still unwilling to talk about the key related factor causing the estrangement of Democrats, and American progressives in general, from Israel: the gradual redefinition of “pro-Israel” to mean support for extremist, anti- democratic policies not just in Israel, but in the United States as well. [bz] 6/2/2018
IDF chief: Gaza war likely if humanitarian crisis persistsStuart Winer - The Times of Israel - IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot reportedly warned ministers during a cabinet meeting on Sunday that Israel could soon face another war with the Gaza-based Hamas, as a result of the deteriorating humanitarian and economic conditions in the coastal enclave. In his briefing, Eisenkot pointed to the lack of electricity, drinkable water, and food in the Gaza Strip. The IDF chief favored stepping up aid to Gaza, but conditioned the full rehabilitation of the Strip on the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, killed in the 2014 war. According to Israeli radio, there is tension between Eisenkot and the political echelon, who accuse the IDF chief of "getting Israel blamed for the conditions in Gaza, while the real blame falls upon Hamas and the Palestinian Authority". [ak] 6/2/2018
`They told me to go to a third country. I won`t go. I`ll go to jail.`Oren Ziv - +972 - Israel begins issuing deportation notices to African asylum seekers: leave the country within two months, or face indefinite imprisonment [ry]5/2/2018
Israel using tourism to legitimise settlements, says EU reportOliver Holmes - The Guardian - Exclusive: European Union Heads of Mission warn ‘touristic settlements’ are being used as a political tool [ry]5/2/2018
Secret Alliance: Israel Carries Out Airstrikes in Egypt, With Cairo’s O.K.DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK - NYT "The jihadists in Egypt’s Northern Sinai had killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, briefly seized a major town and begun setting up armed checkpoints to claim territory. In late 2015, they brought down a Russian passenger jet.Egypt appeared unable to stop them, so Israel, alarmed at the threat just over the border, took action.For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi." ca 3/2/2018
BREAKING: Israeli Security Forces Arrest Turkish Professor and Cultural Official; Gag Order Slapped on Reporting StoryRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam "Two weeks ago, the Shabak arrested a Turkish professor, Cemil Tekeli, from Medeniyet University. He was arrested at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport before boarding a flight to Istanbul...This story has been banned from the Israeli media under a judicial gag order sought by the Shabak. If you are Israeli, this is your only way to find out why this story remains unreported there." ca2/2/2018
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