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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
Until the Palestinian issue is settled, there will always be a crack in Israel’s foundationsJeremy Bowen - The New Statesman "So much has happened in the Middle East since the Arab uprisings began in 2011 that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been almost forgotten by the outside world. The horrible events in Gaza of 14 May, when 62 died during protests at the border, have been a sharp reminder that the conflict never went away..." ca25/5/2018
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Ehud Barak on the crisis in Israel: ‘Netanyahu has to resign’Aida Edemariam - The Guardian "Very few people asked themselves at the time what kind of Israel would result from our holding on to land on which many hundreds of thousands of Arabs lived.” It is the question at the heart of his objection to Netanyahu and the rightwing politicians who will consider nothing but a “Greater Israel” on the biblical land of Palestine, including the West Bank:" ca 25/5/2018
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Gaza`s protest leaders still believe in nonviolent struggleRami Younis - +972 "Despite the bloodletting in Gaza over the past months, the leaders of the Great Return March believe that nonviolent resistance is still the best way to end the siege. Rami Younis spoke to Hasan al- Kurd, one of the leaders of the march about the successes, mistakes, and future of the movement." ca25/5/2018
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The Fraying Ties Between Liberal American Jews and IsraelEric Alterman - The Nation "The 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding, coupled with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the mass protests and killings in Gaza, gives every indication of being a turning point. Israel is not divorcing America’s liberal Jewish community quite yet, but it is well on its way to estrangement." ca25/5/2018
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After Gaza `Massacre` Israeli Parliament Proposes Bill to Ban Photographing, Recording SoldiersTelesurtv - "B`Tselem a human rights organizations that works in Israel, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to end the occupation and raise awareness within Israeli society, Machsom Watch a group of mostly elderly women who accompany Palestinians in their daily crossing of Israeli military checkpoints, and Breaking the Silence an organization of former soldiers, who work to expose the truth of military service in the occupied territory, could all be affected by the legislation." ca25/5/2018
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Israel’s Premature Celebration: Gazans Have Crossed the Fear BarrierRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - The international community has already condemned Trump’s decision to relocate his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, and declared his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital ‘null and void’, but will it go further than mere words? Will the international community remain trapped between hollow statements and no action? Will they ever truly recognize the humanity of Laila al-Ghandour and all the other children, men and women who died and continue to perish under Gaza’s besieged skies? Will they ever care enough to do something? The plight of the Palestinians is compounded with the burden of having a useless ‘leadership’. The President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has been busy of late, demanding allegiance from the occupied Palestinians in the West Bank. Large signs and larger banners have been erected everywhere, where families, professional associations, unions and companies have announced, in large font: the “Renewal of Loyalty and Support to President Mahmoud Abbas.”-rh 23/5/2018
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The Day of Shame Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "But what topped everything was the huge machine of brain-washing that was set in motion. For many years I have not experienced anything like it. Almost all the so-called "military correspondents" acted like army propaganda agents. Day by day they helped the army to spread lies and falsifications. The public had no alternative but to believe every word. Nobody told them otherwise." - id 23/5/2018
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The fight to define the very essence of IsraelBernard Avishai - The Guardian - "Behind the seemingly intractable Palestinian conflict lie deeper questions about what Israel wants to be: an ‘open’ globalised democracy or a ‘closed’ Jewish state." - id 23/5/2018
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Dead in the Water: Trump Middle East Peace Plan and Pompeo’s Iran Plan BRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Trump’s new motto should be: if at first you don’t succeed, fail, fail again. And since he has no sense of pride about these matters, he’ll repeatedly state the same nonsense ad nauseam, even though no one believes him; and he’ll repeatedly put forward the same policy notions which he’s tried and failed to implement in the past. Exhibits A and B are what I would call Trump’s folie à deux: his much-vaunted Israel-Palestine “peace plan” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected Plan B regarding Iran." - id 23/5/2018
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Troubling tactics of the Israeli Police Mazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - Israel Police arrested 19 Arab Israeli activists during a May 18 demonstration in Haifa protesting the killing of Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border fence in recent weeks. When the detainees were remanded two days later, the court ordered the police to release them. The bold decision by Justice Amir Salameh of the Haifa Magistrate Court to reject a police request to extend their detention saved the dignity of the Israeli law enforcement system. All too often, the police succeed in convincing judges to extend the arrest of suspects, using such important but sometimes nebulous claims of their potentially endangering public safety or interfering with legal proceedings. This time the police were publicly humiliated with the media in the courtroom. Salameh emphasized in his ruling that none of the 19 protesters posed a threat to public safety. He also said that some of those suspected of having committed assault required medical treatment themselves.-rh 23/5/2018
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Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas CardSTANLEY L. COHEN - CounterPunch - Over the years, Hamas evolved from a social service network, throughout Palestine, to become an armed guard of the Palestinian people through the discrete Qassam Brigades and an elected political movement swept to power in 2006. That victory came in what was described, then, by former President Carter, as the most transparent and successful electoral process he had observed as a monitor over his many years of such service in the Middle East. Not long thereafter, all of Gaza was punished for the temerity of its electoral will through the imposition of the embargo that a decade later remains in place as an on-going stranglehold on the health, welfare and safety of its two million residents, punctuated by massive deadly Israeli onslaughts every few years.-rh23/5/2018
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In search of Israel’s oppositionNaomi Chazan - The Times of Israel - The arrest of Jafar Farah along with 21 other protestors in Haifa on Friday night and his subsequent beating and hospitalization for a broken knee are the culmination of a series of increasingly violent police efforts to silence what remains of the opposition in Israel. Systematic attempts to quash alternative voices have been a norm for quite some time; the events of the past two weeks have granted a renewed mandate to push almost all divergent voices beyond the pale. Dissent is being presented as betrayal; protest is viewed as treason; criticism has become illegitimate.-rh23/5/2018
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A suicide in GazaSarah Helm - The Guardian - When Mohanned Younis, a 22-year-old student, returned to his home in a relatively prosperous part of Gaza City one night last August, he was in an agitated state. He had been depressed, his mother, Asma, recalled. But she was not too worried when he locked himself in his room. A talented writer whose short stories, many posted on his Facebook page, had won a wide audience, Mohanned was about to graduate in pharmacy, expecting excellent grades. In his writing, he gave voice to the grief and despair of his generation. Only books gave him some escape. He often shut himself away to read and write, or to work out with his punch bag. The next morning, Mohanned didn’t stir. When Asma, helped by her brother Assad, broke into his room, they found him dead. He had asphyxiated himself.- rh23/5/2018
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The bias in Israeli media coverage of Gaza protestsBernard Smith - Aljazeera - Many Israeli journalists rely on the military for information and access to areas where news is happening. Fear of losing that access stops reporters from challenging the military’s narrative that the protesters were trying to invade Israel.-rh 23/5/2018
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Hamas focused on ending the blockadeShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - Hamas is awaiting developments. As far as it is concerned, the “border operation” it mounted this week against Israel with tens of thousands of Gaza residents storming the fence was successful; the eyes of the world are directed once again at the Gaza Strip after a long hiatus of disinterest. Hamas is seeking, obviously, to end the blockade imposed by Israel on Gaza in 2007, and it is operating in accordance with a familiar modus operandi honed over more than a decade. The first stage is to put out feelers to see whether Israel is willing to discuss a long-term cease-fire. When Israel turns them down, Hamas launches a second, violent stage, in a bid to bring Israel to the negotiating table to discuss a deal it failed to achieve with its initial, conciliatory moves.-rh 23/5/2018
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One Massacre, Many Partners in CrimeYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The solution is to create an Israeli-Palestinian political movement that will demand democracy and equality for all. This is the only counter-balance to the Israeli Right, Fatah and Hamas – those who have brought us to this precipice." - id 23/5/2018
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Life in GazaTom Helman, Joshua Grossman and Peter Klotz-Chamberlin - Mondoweiss - UNRWA provides the basic government services for refugees that government would provide—in Gaza, 275 schools for 272,000 children, 22 primary health centers, food aid for 50 percent of the people. This spring the Trump administration it has frozen $305 million from its $360 million budget for UNRWA, placing it ‘under review’ while making it clear they should not expect further U.S. funding this year. From the UNRWA website, one can see that the U.S. was UNRWA’s largest donor in 2017. UNRWA Officials say schools will not be able to open in September without this funding. 272,000 children will have nowhere to go, 9,000 teachers will be unemployed, alongside hundreds of thousands of already unemployed Gaza residents. The Trump administration also froze emergency food assistance in Gaza for the rest of 2018. Matthias Schmale was blunt: “it is a major nightmare when the United States government notified UNRWA that it will not grant emergency food money this year.”-rh23/5/2018
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Blaming the victimDaoud Kuttab - Arabic Media Internet Network - print send by email It is hard to believe that anyone can simply put the blame on the Palestinian side for the mass killings of unarmed protesters by Israeli snipers. How is it the Palestinian fault for being shot. There is no report of a single Israeli soldier or civilian being hurt, yet the Israeli, and even American officials, repeat the very same argument. This reminds us of what Israeli prime minister Golda Meir once said, that she will never “forgive them [the Palestinians] for having forced us to kill their sons”. The US and Israeli talking points are identical. This is a Hamas-provoked violence and that Israel acted in self-defence.-rh23/5/2018
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Health Ministry: “Israeli Army Killed 112 Palestinians, Injured 13190 Since March 30th”IMEMCNews - Dr. Ashraf al-Qedra, the spokesperson of the Palestinian Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip, has reported Sunday that Israeli soldiers have killed 112 Palestinians, and injured 13190 since the Great Return March protests started on the Palestinian Land Day, March 30th, 2018. Dr. al-Qedra said that the soldiers killed 13 Palestinian children, and injured 2096 others, in addition to wounding 1029 women.-rh23/5/2018
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How Easy It Is to Follow Orders, How Hard to Refuse Moria Shlomot - Haaretz - “While I was waiting for another trial here, 42 civilians were killed. I hope my refusal and that of others will help stop this senseless killing. I am more certain than ever that it’s better for me to be in jail than to take part in this system of bloodshed,” CO Ayelet Brachfeld, who already spent three months in military prison. [The writer, former Peace Now director, is her lawyer.-bz]22/5/2018
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The Donald, Vlad, and BibiAndrew Levine - CounterPunch - “When it goes sour, will Netanyahu be villainized in anything like the way that Putin now is? Don’t count on it. Hell will freeze over before a mainstream Democrat or Republican will have a bad word to say about the Bibster. Corporate media will follow suit; it always does” [ry]21/5/2018
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Memo to Israel: Lebanon is not Hezbollah, Gaza is not HamasHalim Shebaya - Al Jazeera - Israel has tried to bury inconvenient facts about Lebanon and Gaza [ry]21/5/2018
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This is why evangelicals love Trump`s Israel policySean Illing - vox "According to a recent poll released by the Brookings Institution, 53 percent of American evangelicals supported Trump’s decision, while only 40 percent opposed it. (Sixty-three percent of all Americans opposed the decision.)To understand why evangelicals are so enthusiastic about this move, I reached out to Elizabeth Oldmixon, a politics professor at the University of North Texas. Oldmixon studies the rather strange alliance between evangelical Christians and people in the orthodox Jewish community who are stridently pro-Israel." ca 18/5/2018
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VIDEO - Can Palestinian protests achieve anything? | Inside Story YouTube - Al-Jazeera English "Palestinians gathered for the third consecutive Friday at the Gaza-Israel border fence for what was labelled "burning the flag of Israel day". ca18/5/2018
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Stories of the catastrophe: ExileAmena ElAshkar,Ali Ibrahim&Nadine Osama - Electronic Intifada "(Three stories:)"I have one last wish. I am 78. It will be my last wish. There was a berry tree right in front of our house in Tarshiha. I want to go back there and eat one berry. One last berry." "I joined the Arab nationalist movement in 1962 and later the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. I used to host secret political meetings at my house.The right of return is sacred. And if I don’t live to return, you will return, my son. And if you don’t return, your children will eventually return." "For me, Palestinian embroidery reflects identity, society and land. It reflects identity because every village in Palestine had their own style through which they proudly related to their heritage. It is a reflection of society, a kaleidoscope of diverse histories, threads, cultures and colors weaved together." ca18/5/2018
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68 Gazans have died while Israel`s High Court deliberates if it`s legal to kill themMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - The High Court has refrained from ruling on an urgent petition about whether it is legal for the army to shoot unarmed, civilian protesters who pose no threat to human life. They have the blood of 68 people on their hands.-rh16/5/2018
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Who is the vassal? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom = "Most people in Israel now believe that Binyamin Netanyahu, Bibi the Great, is really leading Trump on a leash. Bibi has such a magical hold over Trump, that the American president has to follow Israel`s lead." - id 16/5/2018
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How Gaza Became Hell on EarthNeri Zilber - The Daily Beast - "The responsibility for this tragedy can be spread around among all the parties, but it remains, still, a tragedy—growing by the day, just like a mountain of trash overlooking the Mediterranean, with no end in sight." - id 16/5/2018
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Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise UsPeter Beinart - Forward - Long before Israeli soldiers decided whether to shoot at protesters, Israeli leaders decided to bar farmers in Gaza from exporting spinach, potatoes and beans. They decided to bar fisherman in Gaza from fishing beyond six nautical miles. They decided to bar students in Gaza from leaving the Strip to study, to bar spouses from leaving to legally join their husbands or wives in the West Bank, to bar grandchildren from leaving to attend their grandparents’ funerals. They decided to bar people in Gaza from importing the spare parts necessary to rebuild the Strip’s electricity grid. These were not split-second decisions made by young, frightened soldiers. They were policies formulated by politicians in air- conditioned offices. Those politicians responded to Hamas’ victory in the 2006 legislative elections by helping to torpedo a Palestinian coalition government that would have left Mahmoud Abbas as the Palestinian Authority’s President. They rejected negotiations with Hamas until the group met conditions—among them the acceptance of past agreements and support for the two state solution—that Israel’s own current government does not meet. Instead, they chose a policy of collective punishment: a policy that punished the people of Gaza for being ruled by Hamas. More than a decade later, Hamas remains in charge. But Gaza—which has barely any electricity or drinkable water— is on the verge, according to the United Nations, of becoming “unlivable.”-rh 16/5/2018
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West’s failure to act will be cause of the next Gaza massacreJonathan Cook - Countercurrents - There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy too in statements about “defending borders” from a state that has refused to declare its borders since its creation exactly 70 years ago – as well as from a Netanyahu government currently trying to establish a Greater Israel over the Palestinian territories. But the hypocrisy was not restricted to Israel and Washington, which parroted Mr Netanyahu’s talking points. There was an ugly equivocation from other western leaders. They spoke of “regret”, “tragedy” and “concern at the loss of life”, as though an act of God had struck Gaza, not an order from Israeli commanders to quell the Palestinian urge for freedom with live ammunition.-rh16/5/2018
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I FORGOT, LIKE YOU, TO DIE: 12 PALESTINIAN WRITERS RESPOND TO THE ONGOING NAKBA `GAZA MAKES AN AUDACIOUS CLAIM ON LIFE; ITS PEOPLE CONTINUE TO RESIST`Literary Hub - Yesterday, the global Palestinian community marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the catastrophic destruction of the Palestinian homeland and dispossession of over 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and villages. Hundreds of villages were depopulated and razed to the ground, hundreds of thousands of people torn from their country. They were told by subsequent Israeli administrations— and most of their Western allies, chief among them the US government— there is no place for you. But anniversaries are a strange phenomenon when the past is a living, breathing, and unending current event. One has only to contrast the besieged Palestinians of Gaza—the site of months-long mass protests against erasure—with the dystopian paeans to “peace” and “freedom” at the opening ceremony for the new American embassy on stolen Palestinian land in Jerusalem to realize how easily words can be gutted of their meaning. For many Palestinians, the permission to narrate one’s own stories in their own words has been at the root of struggle and survival, as important as delineating a physical space for existence.-rh16/5/2018
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The Two-State Solution: An AutopsyHenry Siegman - London Review of Books - The invocation of Israel’s ‘sovereign right’ is the big lie at the heart of America’s responsibility for the collapse of the peace process. In Gaza, as in the West Bank beyond the pre-1967 armistice line, Israel is acting not in accordance with its sovereign right to protect itself, but to protect its occupation. What Israel’s military restores when it quells Palestinian protests is not law and order, but illegality and repression, reinforcing its theft of Palestinian territory in order to preclude the possibility of a Palestinian state, a goal it has achieved. Lieberman’s opinion of the value of the lives of Palestinians mirrors the view expressed by Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s minister of justice. A year before her appointment in 2015, Shaked posted on her Facebook page an article by Uri Elitzur, a settler leader, in which he said that Israel should target not only militants but the ‘mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which the stakes were raised. Otherwise more little snakes will be raised there.’-rh16/5/2018
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Most US Jews oppose embassy move Yael Patir - Ynet - "It’s time Israelis understand that Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem aims to satisfy his evangelical supporters rather than the Jews." - id16/5/2018
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Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the dayROBERT A. H. COHEN - Patheos - Because it’s not 1933. Because the Palestinians are not the Nazis. Because we have not been here before. Because this is new. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because you cannot shout about racism here but not there. Because you cannot care about refugees here but not there. Because discrimination at the Western Wall matters less than the Apartheid all around you.Because an Israeli sniper’s bullet is a bigger problem than an antisemitic tweet. Why Jews in solidarity with Palestinians will win the day. Because there’s no safety won by theft. Because there’s no security built on fear. Because democracy for some is not democracy. Because a nuclear armed ghetto does not normalise the Jewish condition.-rh 16/5/2018
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Mass Murder In GazaBill Van Auken - Countercurrents - The two events—occurring on the 70th anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence—were juxtaposed by the media, broadcast simultaneously on split screens by television networks. What could not be concealed was the fact that the opening of the American embassy was entirely in line with and, indeed, a statement of political support for the massacre taking place at the security fence separating the impoverished occupied territory from Israel.-rh16/5/2018
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Here are the questions any journalist talking to the Israeli military should askYossi Gurvitz - Mondoweiss - The questions any journalist talking to the IDF Spokesman should be: How many casualties did the IDF suffer in Gaza? If the number is zero (as it is when these lines were written) or close to it, then the forces were not in danger, and this was not a military action but a massacre. How many weapons did the IDF capture, or at least documented used by the Palestinians? If the number is zero (and currently it is), or less than the number of people killed or wounded, then at least some of those shot were not a danger to the IDF. Given that currently the number is zero, it’s fair to assume none of those shot presented the IDF gunmen with mortal danger.-rh16/5/2018
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The Guardian view on Gaza shootings: stop killing unarmed civiliansThe Guardian - Editorial - t is inexcusable for soldiers of a military, especially those under democratic civilian control, to shoot and kill protesters, almost all of whom were unarmed, and who pose no credible threat. Yet at the boundary between Gaza and Israel today Israeli soldiers seem to have done just that. It should make Israelis quail that demonstrators were sprayed with live ammunition with apparent impunity. There were dozens of deaths and hundreds of maimings among the Palestinians who had marched to the border to make a point about their right to return to their ancestral homes. Israel’s army evinced no shame in committing what looks like a war crime. These are serious accusations. Yet they were greeted with little more than a shrug. By blockading Gaza, Israel imprisoned 2 million people behind barbed wire and military towers. Israel treated the violence as a jailer might a prison riot: a tragic fault of the inmates.-rh16/5/2018
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IDF has ‘enough bullets for everyone,’ senior MK says of deadly Gaza clashesSTUART WINER and TOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - In an interview by Hadashot TV news early Monday afternoon, when the death toll in Gaza stood at 18, MK Avi Dichter, who chairs the powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense committee, brushed aside a question about the prospect of the number of dead mounting and Palestinians storming the border. “[Security forces] won’t let anyone put soldiers, and certainly not civilians, in danger,” he said. “The IDF has enough bullets for everyone. I think that ultimately, the means that the IDF prepared, whether non-lethal, or if needed, lethal, in cases where it’s justified by the open-fire regulations — there’s enough ammunition for everyone.”-rh16/5/2018
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Why are Palestinians so outraged - CBS interview with Noura Erakat"What more do Palestinians have to do?" "They are not being given the choice to be free." "Why don`t we shift the conversation and ask Israel why it doesn`t want to negotiate with Palestinians? Why it doesn`t want to recognise their right to exist." [bz]15/5/2018
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We are all accomplices to Israel`s massacre in GazaMairav Zonszein - +972 - This is a massacre of a stateless population living under military siege. And we are all accomplices for not doing more to stop it. On Monday, Israel’s top human rights organization B’Tselem issued a statement calling the shootings “an appalling indifference to human life.” It’s hard to explain it any other way. It is not too late to speak out. [bz]15/5/2018
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Jerusalem Celebrates, Gaza Bleeds (Haaretz video) 15/5/2018
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Trump Renounces Iran Nuclear DealRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "The last time Trump determined we would remain in the JCPOA, the president was restrained by pragmatists like Rex Tillerson, H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis. Today, two of them are gone, replaced by a lunatic former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, and a militant adherent of bizarre conspiracy theories, John Bolton. They hold the keys to the Trump kingdom. They promise to take our country to dark places we haven’t been before; or at least have not been in many decades." ca11/5/2018
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Trump’s Decision on Iran Deal Spells Disaster for the Middle EastCesar Chelala - CounterPunch - "President Trump’s move was heartily supported by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and opposed by all other governments that are part of the deal. In March 2015, in front of both houses of the U.S. Congress, Netanyahu said, “We’ve been told that no deal is better than a bad deal. Well, this is a bad deal. It’s a very bad deal. We’re better off without it.”" - id 9/5/2018
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Trump withdraws from imbalanced Iran dealRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Relying on information provided by Israel, Trump said that Iran continues to be the leading voice of violence and terrorism. Trump failed to note that Israel has the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons of mass destruction and refuses to allow for international inspections." - id 9/5/2018
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That Woman Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Are the present leaders of Israel wiser than Golda? Do they respect the Arabs more? Are they ready to give back the occupied territories? No. And no. And no." - id9/5/2018
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Yes, Netta Barzilai is Cool, but she’s also the representative of an Occupying StateOrly Noy - Sicha Mekomit (+972 Hebrew site) Translation Yoni Molad - The Eurovision Song Contest is yet another stage in which Israel aspires to the normalisation that it longs for so much. Look, here we are normal and beautiful, productive and creative, and even send a specially cool representative to the competition. And in a certain sense it is also true - after all, we live our lives here like every woman and man in the world (...). It`s true that the Israelis don’t live the Occupation at every moment, but the Occupation lives us day by day, hour by hour. We may have succeeded in making a conscious separation between the two things, and this is our tragedy. The boycott movement`s call came to urge the world not to do the same thing. [bz]8/5/2018
Netanyahu banks on escalation with IranAl-Monitor (THE PULSE OF THE MIDDLE EAST Weekly review, quoting regional commentators) - In Iran, writes Saeid Jafari, “the assortment of broken promises by the United States, Israel`s attacks on Syria and the joint US-French-British missile strikes have all contributed to the emergence of deeply negative views among Iranian political elites. Not only "hawks", also more and more "liberals" see negotiations with the West over the country`s missile program as a pretext for weakening Iran`s capabilities and setting the stage for a more vulnerable Tehran in the future. [bz]8/5/2018
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Ashrawi slams Israeli passage of `Nation-State` billMa`an News Agency - "Dr Ashrawi response was issued yesterday in a media release: “Once again, Israel has reaffirmed its intent of institutionalizing discrimination, racism and xenophobia against all aspects of Palestinian life, transforming the military occupation into a deliberate sectarian confrontation and establishing ideological beliefs as official policy.” ca4/5/2018
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Time to Say Goodbye to the Two-state Solution. Here`s the Alternative A.B. Yehoshua - Haaretz "A.B. Yehoshua, one of Israel`s staunchest fighters for the two- state solution, lays out a proposal for an Israeli-Palestinian partnership." ca4/5/2018
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The ‘One Democratic State Campaign’ program for a multicultural democratic state in Palestine/IsraelJeff Halper - Mondoweiss "While achieving a just political settlement is our most urgent task, establishing a just and working state and civil society requires three more difficult processes: decolonization, restoration and reconciliation. Decolonization does not end the moment one people ceases dominating the others. Indeed, that is the moment it begins. It then continues until all forms of domination – economic and cultural as well as political and legal – are rooted out. Decolonization requires a country to be completely reimagined and reinvented so as to be as egalitarian, inclusive and sustainable as possible. This means, of course, restoring to the expelled, excluded and oppressed their rights, properties (actual or through compensation), identities and social position. Only then can the third process, reconciliation, be pursued. We therefore “bracket” the still open wounds of the Nakba, the Occupation and the suffering they have caused so that we may reach an agreed-upon political settlement." ca4/5/2018
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Young Jews won’t cry over the end of the Zionist dream, Beinart saysPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Peter Beinart has been doing great work lately. Last Friday he had a long piece in the Forward on Gaza that step by step took apart every rationalization for the brutal collective punishment of 2 million people and said American Jews are responsible. “Our community’s complicity in the human nightmare in Gaza should fill every American Jew with shame.” And two weeks ago at J Street, Beinart ran down the American Jewish establishment for its support for the settlement project that has destroyed the two-state solution, for its Islamophobia, for its destruction of American political dissent on Israel. And he called for Democrats to demand that the next presidential nominee state, Not a penny for your illegal settlements.-rh2/5/2018
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Europeans cast doubt on Israel`s claims about Iran nuclear breachesPatrick Wintour and Saeed Kamali Dehghan - The Guardian - European leaders have pushed back against Israel’s claims that it has new evidence showing that Iran is breaching the nuclear deal with the west which was signed in 2015. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, hailed the Israeli claims as significant, as the 12 May deadline approached for the US president, Donald Trump, to decide whether to pull out of the deal. But Pompeo declined to say whether they represented proof that Iran was violating the deal. The overall initial view in European capitals was that the documents did reveal new material about the scale of Iran’s programme prior to 2015 but that there was nothing showing a subsequent breach of the deal.-rh2/5/2018
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The Real Victor Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "On the fifth day of the six-day war in 1967, I published an open letter to the Prime Minister, Levy Eshkol. The Israeli army had just conquered the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and I proposed that Eshkol immediately offer the Palestinian people to establish the State of Palestine there, in return for peace with Israel." - id 2/5/2018
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Early elections: This is what Netanyahu is afraid ofAmnon Abramovich - YnetNews - Analysis: The day after the elections, we’ll likely see the formation of a rightist-centrist group—including Bennett, Lieberman, Kahlon, Levy-Abekasis and Ya’alon—which will offer Likud the rule, as long as Likud replaces Netanyahu as its leader.-rh2/5/2018
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For Netanyahu, Israel’s only problem is IranAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - “We have three problems,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman quipped during an April 29 speech in New York, “Iran, Iran, Iran.” Israel does not have a Palestinian problem, nor problems of poverty and corruption. Fortunately, there is Iran. Liberman did not invent the Iranian magic bullet for every ailment. That patent is registered to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the country’s top presenter who on April 30 recycled information about Iran’s nuclear program using amateurish show-and-tell aids. Here is what the prime minister said three years ago in response to a sharp rebuke by the government’s watchdog agency, the State Comptroller, on housing policy failure: “When we talk about the cost of housing, cost of living, I never forget for one moment life itself.” This is how Netanyahu dismissed his critics for dealing in minutiae. And what is “life itself”? The struggle against Iran, of course. “The biggest threat to our lives now is Iran’s nuclear armament,” Netanyahu went on to explain on his Facebook page.-rh 2/5/2018
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Cops and Robbers : Distribution of Israel Police stations throughout the West Bank/ April 2018Kerem Navot - On June 14, 1967, a week after the onset of the occupation of the West Bank, Uzi Narkiss, former IDF commander of the Central Command, signed an order allowing the Israel Police to operate in the West Bank, despite the fact that it was not part of the sovereign territory of the State of Israel. As such, the Israel Police were not authorized to operate there to begin with.This report we’re releasing today is devoted to surveying the geographical distribution of dozens of police stations, all of which are located within settlements or areas subject to full Israeli control in Area C.-rh2/5/2018
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How American Jews Enable Bibi’s Never-Ending Cycle Of Abuse Anshel Pfeffer - Forward - To Netanyahu, Jews who don’t support him and his vision for Israel are weak, lacking in identity and unlikely to persevere for another generation. And who says Netanyahu doesn’t listen to American Jews? Just look at so many of the advisors he has surrounded himself with over the years, like Ron Dermer, Naftali Bennett, Ari Harow, Dori Gold, and David Keyes. He has so many American Jews in his employ that meetings in his office are often conducted in English instead of Hebrew.-rh 2/5/2018
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Why rules of engagement on Gaza border must be revokedGilad Grossman - Ynet News - The IDF, the Border Guard and the police have a variety of non-lethal means for dealing with protests, and these means can also be used to prevent damage to the fence or an infiltration into Israel. Firearms should only be used to defend soldiers’ lives and civilians’ lives. This is not only argued by human rights organizations and the law; it’s the IDF’s spirit as well. “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants… and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property,” the IDF’s Code of Ethics and Mission states.-rh 2/5/2018
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Knesset gives power to PM to declare war with single vote backingAljazeera - The Israeli parliament has voted in favour of granting Israel`s prime minister the power to declare war, solely with the approval of the defence minister.The vote on Monday amended a law which previously required the whole cabinet to vote on such a move, transferring that authority to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman, his defence chief.-rh2/5/2018
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Arab Leaders Have Abandoned Gaza, TooJEET HEER - The New Republic - Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s foreign policy, for instance, is geared towards creating a coalition to contain Iran, which the crown prince sees as the root of most evil in the region. In an interview with The Atlantic, he said that “the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good.” Thus, he seems intent on pursing a policy of normalizing relations with Iran’s enemy, Israel, even if it means sidelining the cause of Palestinian statehood and abandoning Palestinian human rights. “In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” Bin Salman reportedly told a group of Jewish organizations in New York last month in a private meeting. “It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”-rh 2/5/2018
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Jerusalem Residency Revoked for Three Palestinian MPs, One Former MinisterIMEMCnews - Israeli occupation authorities decided, on Sunday, to strip four Jerusalemite MPs of their permanent residency, under the pretext of not being loyal to Israel. Lawyer Fadi al-Qawasmi said that Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri decided to revoke the residency of MPs Mohammed Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, and Mohammed Toutah, as well as that of the former Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, Khaled abu-Arafa.-rh2/5/2018
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Are Palestinian Journalists Being Targeted by Israeli Snipers?Ben White - Palestine Chronicle - With two journalists dead and at least 12 others injured, international criticism of Israeli tactics grows. Some Palestinian journalists are accusing Israel of “deliberately” targeting them as they cover the ongoing protests at the Gaza border. In just five short weeks, two Palestinian journalists have been killed by Israeli snipers and at least 12 others injured.-rh2/5/2018
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Why rules of engagement on Gaza border must be revokedGilad Grossman - Ynet - The IDF, the Border Guard and the police have a variety of non-lethal means for dealing with protests, and these means can also be used to prevent damage to the fence or an infiltration into Israel. Firearms should only be used to defend soldiers’ lives and civilians’ lives. This is not only argued by human rights organizations and the law; it’s the IDF’s spirit as well. “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants… and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity and property,” the IDF’s Code of Ethics and Mission states. Nevertheless, the defense minister and the senior military command have chosen to ignore the law and allow the soldiers to shoot anyone who approaches the fence or is perceived as a “main instigator,” even if he is unarmed and poses no risk to anyone. [The writer is the spokesman of Yesh Din, one of the organizations that petitioned the High Court of Justice against the rules of engagement on the Israel-Gaza border.-ak] 1/5/2018
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Netanyahu Tries but Fails to Bury Iran Nuclear Deal Before Trump Actually Kills It Chemi Shalev - Haaretz - A different video clip, of a Netanyahu appearance before Congress when he exhorted the U.S. in 2002 to make the “good choice” of invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein, might prove more popular and go viral over the coming few days. “There is no question” Netanyahu asserted then, that Saddam is hell bent on building a nuclear weapon, which means that “the terror network” would soon have its hands on a bomb. Netanyahu went so far as to “guarantee” American lawmakers that Saddam’s removal would have “positive reverberations” throughout the Middle East, a prediction that did not pan out as expected. (...) The price for Netanyahu’s overconfidence, tendency to ignore doubts and dismiss criticism as well as his theatrical compulsion to cast himself in a leading role may ultimately have to be paid by Israel as a whole.[bz]1/5/2018
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Knesset authorizes PM and defense minister to declare war aloneMoran Azulay and Shahar Hay - Ynet - As Knesset kicks off summer session, 62 MKs back, 41 oppose law spearheaded by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Avi Dichter permitting cabinet to launch military operations without government approval, and in extreme cases, only requires green light from prime minister and defense minister; `We must adapt ourselves to the present state security requirements,` Shaked says. [bz]1/5/2018
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Netanyahu is playing to Trump’s abject ignorance — and it might workJennifer Rubin - Washington Post - In short, it’s no news that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, although it’s impressive the Israelis were able to lift the documents evidencing this. What Netanyahu did not display and what we have yet to find evidence of is Iran’s cheating on the terms of the JCPOA. [bz]1/5/2018
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For Gaza Protester, Living or Dying Is the ‘Same Thing’Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger - NYT - The protest, which grew out of a young activist’s Facebook page and was a grass-roots initiative before being embraced, organized and publicized by Hamas, the militant Islamist group that rules Gaza, has hardly scared the Israelis into altering their basic policy. Israel continues to treat the tiny coastal enclave like a deadly virus to be quarantined and, other than that, more or less tunes it out. But it has been a success in one important respect: It has cast a light onto the unsolved problem that is Gaza, and reminded a world that had seemed to move on to more urgent crises that its two million people, deprived of clean water, freedom of movement and a steady supply of electricity, are sliding steadily into despair.[bz]1/5/2018
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Meet the spies injecting Israeli propaganda into your news feedAsa Winstanley - Electronic Intifada "When Sima Vaknin-Gil took over as director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs at the start of 2016, a crucial fact went largely unnoticed.For years, she had been a high-ranking officer with an Israeli spy agency.This means that for the last two years a former intelligence officer has been running Israel’s global war against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Her ministerial boss is Gilad Erdan, a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." ca They were last month revealed to have spent huge sums creating anti- BDS propaganda targeting social media and news media." ca 28/4/2018
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How the Shin Bet Got Unlimited Power to Decide Which Palestinians Are Allowed Into Israel Shany Littman - Haaretz "Israel`s rules for issuing work permits to Palestinians are a mystery, but sociologist Yael Berda asserts it`s not about security at all, but about controlling the local population." ca28/4/2018
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Israel defence minister gives ‘absolute support’ to snipers shooting Palestinian protestersMiddle East Monitor - Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman yesterday expressed his “absolute support” for the Israeli soldiers who have been shooting Palestinian protesters in the occupied Gaza Strip in recent weeks. On Friday, Israeli snipers shot and killed four Palestinians (with a fifth succumbing to his wounds on Sunday night), including a 14-year-old child, Mohammad Ayoub. Lieberman said that Israeli soldiers had done nothing wrong. “I was there myself and saw how the soldiers were operating. The way our soldiers function inspires respect,” the defence minister stated, adding that “there is absolute support for IDF soldiers and every incident is investigated."-rh25/4/2018
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Israel’s undeclared war on IranYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "A very senior military officer (perhaps the Chief of Staff) openly admitted to Friedman that Israel had targeted a military base in Syria, an assault in which the head of the Revolutionary Guards drone unit, with the rank of colonel, was killed. In other words, from Israel’s most senior officer to America’s most senior correspondent, Israel – without explicitly saying so – declared war on Iran." - id25/4/2018
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Palestine: MSF teams in Gaza observe unusually severe and devastating gunshot injuriesMedicins Sans Frontieres - Since 1 April, MSF teams in Gaza, Palestine, have provided post-operative care to more than 500 people injured by gunshots during the March of Return demonstrations. The number of patients treated in our clinics over the last three weeks is more than the number we treated throughout all of 2014, when Israel’s military Operation Protective Edge was launched over the Gaza strip. MSF medical staff report receiving patients with devastating injuries of an unusual severity, which are extremely complex to treat. The injuries sustained by patients will leave most with serious, long-term physical disabilities.-rh25/4/2018
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The Great DayUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Though we have official peace agreements with two Arab states (Egypt and Jordan) and unofficial cooperation with several more, we are hated by hundreds of millions of Arabs and a billion Muslims. And, even more important: we are at war with the entire Palestinian people." - id25/4/2018
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Another Day, Another Mossad AssassinationRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "A professor would never see the equivalence between him or herself and a dead Palestinian professor. It would also seem to me that such Mossad targeting might endanger Israeli academics who themselves specialize in the same engineering fields as those of the murdered Palestinian professors. What’s good for the goose…" - id 25/4/2018
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Revealed: Israeli Justice Ministry directly involved in international ‘lawfare’ activities against BDS movementJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - In September 2016, Attorney Eitay Mack filed a FOI request on behalf of several Israeli human rights activists to the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry for Strategic Affairs in an attempt to discover their links with possible funding of foreign bodies to combat BDS. To their surprise, it was revealed that the Justice Ministry is directly involved.-rh25/4/2018
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Why are chemical weapons worse than other weapons of mass destruction?William Schabas - The Guardian - When the British, French and American governments used force against Syria earlier this month, they claimed they were acting to ensure respect for international law. Yet the use of force without the authorisation of the United Nations security council is contrary to the charter of the UN. There is something bewildering about violating international law in order to promote the enforcement of international law. If there is a taboo on the use of chemical weapons, why is there not also a taboo on the unilateral use of armed force, contrary to international law? Does one taboo trump the other?-rh25/4/2018
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J Street celebrates 10 years changing Washington’s outlook on Israel Jonathan Broder - Al Monitor - “The fact that J Street has become a viable voice and that everyone now knows their name speaks to their success over the past 10 years,” The Forward’s Goldberg said. “But they’re trying to do something that’s much bigger than anybody realizes, which is to change the reality on the ground both in Israel and America, and to get Washington to become more active in pushing Israel toward peace.”-rh 25/4/2018
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Deaf teenager is latest Palestinian to die of wounds sustained during Gaza protestsMa`ans News Agency - Two Palestinians, including a deaf teenager, succumbed to wounds sustained during the ongoing “Great March of Return” protests in the besieged Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that 18-year-old Tahrir Mahmoud Wahba, who was deaf, died on Monday morning. The teenager was shot with live ammunition by Israeli forces during protests on Friday April 13th in the southern Gaza Strip district of Khan Younis, near the al-Awdeh refugee camp. Late Sunday night, the ministry reported that a Palestinian “youth,” identified as Abdullah Muhammad al-Shamali, succumbed to wounds he sustained last Friday. Al-Shamali was a resident of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah. According to the Ministry of Health, the deaths of Wahba and al-Shamali brought the total death toll in Gaza since the “Great March of Return” began on March 30, to 41 Palestinians including at least three minors and a journalist.-rh25/4/2018
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In Photos: While the world watches Gaza, Israeli forces invade Nabi SalehAnne Paq and Heidi Motola - Mondoweiss - Nabi Saleh, a small village of 600 inhabitants, has been recently in the headlines, following the arrest of the young activist, Ahed Tamimi (17), who slapped an Israeli soldier in front of her home last December. However, there is little attention to the fact that the village is regularly invaded by the Israeli army, days and nights, triggering clashes with the youth, who confront the soldiers with stones. The arrests takes place mostly during the nights and currently, acording to Belal Tamimi, 19 residents of Nabi Saleh are imprisoned by the Israeli authorities.-rh25/4/2018
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Germany`s Largest Public TV News Broadcaster: Syria Chemical Attack "Most Likely Staged"Tyler Durden - Zero Hedge - A senior correspondent for German state media broadcast ZDF heute stunned his European audience during a report from on the ground in Syria when he gave a straightforward and honest account of his findings while investigating what happened in Douma. The veteran reporter, Uli Gack, interviewed multiple eyewitnesses of the April 7 alleged chemical attack and concluded of the testimonials, "the Douma chemical attack is most likely staged, a great many people here seem very convinced."-rh25/4/2018
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The Guardian view on the Gaza protests: a new challenge to Israel’s blockadeThe Guardian - Editorial - This weekend the United Nations Middle East peace envoy asked: “How does the killing of a child in #Gaza today help #peace? It doesn’t! It fuels anger and breeds more killing.” Nickolay Mladenov was right to be outraged. He tweeted after a Palestinian teenager was shot in the head apparently by Israeli army snipers while peacefully protesting near a border fence. The Israeli government at first dismissed calls for an investigation, only to concede to one after the international community called on the military to “stop killing children”. The soldiers’ use of live ammunition against unarmed demonstrators is an affront; but it is in line with the brutal attitudes towards Palestinians that have become normalised by Israeli politicians.25/4/2018
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Jewish Home MK says jailed Palestinian teen ‘deserved a bullet’ in the kneecapTAMAR PILEGGI - Times of Israel - Jewish Home lawmaker Bezalel Smotrich on Sunday said he was “very sad” that a Palestinian teen protester who was filmed slapping Israeli soldiers was jailed and not shot, saying Ahed Tamimi deserved a bullet to the kneecap, “at the very least.” Responding to a tweet from ex-Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal, Smotrich lamented that IDF troops did not maim the 17-year-old in the December 2017 incident.-rh25/4/2018
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Israeli soldiers cheer after shooting a Palestinian protester in the village of Madama (including video)B`Tselem press release - Joyfully cheering about shooting a person trying to clear the access road to his home and calmly discussing other ways to hit him and the other people with him are part of the discordant soundtrack accompanying 51 years of occupation. [bz]24/4/2018
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Why the PA can`t — and won`t — stop paying prisoners` familiesYoni Mendel - +972 - Israel’s demand that the PA stop paying the families of Palestinian prisoners is part of an intentional strategy to block any progress towards resolving the conflict. The problem is that it’s working [ry]23/4/2018
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Are Israeli Jews beginning to accept the right of return?Eléonore Bronstein&Eitan Bronstein Aparicio - +972 "...it was so surprising to discover the results of a new survey, conducted by the Geocartography Knowledge Group among 500 Jewish Israelis, for our book, Nakba in Hebrew. The survey shows that quite a few Israeli Jews, or at least many more than one would think, support the right of return of the Palestinian refugees." ca20/4/2018
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Netanyahu`s delusions on Saudi ArabiaAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "Alas, hours after Netanyahu was invited to light his regional innovation torch, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud announced, “The Palestinian cause is our number one issue and will remain so until the Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, particularly the establishment of an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.” Salman was speaking in the Saudi city of Dhahran at the 29th Arab League summit, which he dubbed the “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Summit.” ca 20/4/2018
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Five Questions For: Rachel Corrie’s ParentsAlexandra Tempus - The Progressive "Q: After the judge cleared the Israeli military of any wrongdoing in Rachel’s case, you were told “There’s no such thing as civilians in Gaza.” Today, we have high-ranking Israeli official Avigdor Lieberman saying “There’s no innocent people in Gaza.” How does that strike you? Craig Corrie: It’s a war crime! He’s admitting to a war crime. Let’s not forget that. As a family we’ve tried to hold them as accountable as we could." ca20/4/2018
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The Search for the Truth in DoumaRobert Fisk - Counterpunch - How could it be that Douma refugees who had reached camps in Turkey were already describing a gas attack which no-one in Douma today seemed to recall? It did occur to me, once I was walking for more than a mile through these wretched prisoner-groined tunnels, that the citizens of Douma lived so isolated from each other for so long that “news” in our sense of the word simply had no meaning to them. -rh18/4/2018
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Google discriminates against Arab news sitesRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Google is one of the most important online news and information sites so when it discriminates against pro-Arab writing and promotes pro-Israel writings, there is something wrong. It’s racist, actually, and the Arab World should be aware of Google’s biases. Google needs to change. It’s about fairness, objectivity and non-discrimination." - id 18/4/2018
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Canadian Press Advocacy Group Denounces Israel’s Attacks on Journalists in Gaza, Then Renounces Statement Under PressureRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "CJFE poster captioned: “When journalists are targeted, the truth dies. Support freedom of expression.” In response to CJFE’s statement, the Israel Lobby group, Honest Reporting, attacked it and the group for violating supposed journalistic standards demanding non-partisanship and objectivity in reporting." - id18/4/2018
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Battle erupts over Israeli High Court’s independenceAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no qualms about threatening Israel’s democracy by advancing a bill bypassing High Court rulings." - id 18/4/2018
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Bernie Sanders: Ending Israel`s Occupation of Palestine Is in American`s InterestsAmir Tibon - readersupportednews - "The presence of Hamas members among a crowd of tens of thousands does not justify the level of violence we saw, and frankly it’s amazing to me that anyone would find that point controversial," Sanders said. "I have condemned Hamas’ use of terrorist violence and will continue to do so. But that violence cannot excuse shooting at unarmed protesters, and it cannot excuse trapping almost 2 million people inside Gaza.".-rh18/4/2018
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Some Israeli soldiers on Gaza border have reached out to ‘Breaking the Silence’Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - When you look at what is happening in Israeli society you would expect after these two years of attacks, that soldiers would stop coming to Breaking the Silence. I was actually fearful of that,” he said. But that has not been the case, and he thanked many organizations for blunting these attacks, including the Meretz Party, Yesh Din, Peace Now, B’Tselem and “our mother and father,” the New Israel Fund.-rh18/4/2018
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Eyeless in Gaza Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "I, Uri Avnery, soldier number 44410 of the Israel army, hereby dissociate myself from the army sharpshooters who murder unarmed demonstrators along the Gaza Strip, and from their commanders, who give them the orders, up to the commander in chief. We don`t belong to the same army, or to the same state. We hardly belong to the same human race." - id 18/4/2018
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Fisk rips away excuses for air strike on SyriaJonathan Cook - Blog - The air strikes on Syria at the weekend were patently illegal according to international law. That would have been the case even had there been a chemical weapons attack in Douma, in part because it would have been necessary for independent inspectors to determine first whether the Syrian government, and not the jihadists there, was responsible.-rh18/4/2018
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Yitzhar settlers assault residents of Palestinian village of ‘Urif; soldiers stand by, later fatally shoot a resident and injure a 14-year-old boyB`TSELEM - At about 5:30 P.M. on 10 March 2018, a group of some twenty to thirty settlers walked over from the settlement of Yitzhar to the Palestinian village of ‘Urif, which lies close to Nablus. They came to the easternmost of the village lands, which are located about one kilometer away from the settlement. Some of the settlers were masked, some carried wood or and metal clubs, and at least two carried guns. Three armed Israeli soldiers escorted the settlers.-rh18/4/2018
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Gaza: Palestinians Continue "Great March of Return" Protests for Third Straight WeekAmy Goodman - Truthout - Palestinians gathered at the Israeli-Gaza border for a third Friday in a row as part of the ongoing "Great March of Return" protests. Paramedics say at least 30 Palestinians were injured by Israeli soldiers during Friday`s protest. Israeli soldiers have killed at least 34 Palestinians since the wave of protests against Israel`s occupation began on March 30. We get response from Ramah Kudaimi, director of grassroots organizing at US Campaign for Palestinian Rights. She is also a member of the Syrian Solidarity Collective and on the National Committee of the War Resisters League. She calls for the US to end its military support for Israel, and argues that Palestinian rights cannot be separated from US actions in the region.-rh18/4/2018
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Trailblazing Israeli-Druze photo artist fights against tradition Danny Zaken - Al-Monitor - Virtually all of Ziyan’s photographs focus on her experiences as a woman in a conservative Druze society. But Ziyan is not an “ordinary” Druze woman. She is trying to instigate change, particularly in the attitude of Druze society toward art in general and photography in particular. In its broadest sense, the change constantly hovering in the background involves the status of Druze women and their ability to use their passions and skills in order to express themselves.-rh 18/4/2018
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Israeli Officials Commend Soldier Cheering after Sniping Palestinian Boy (VIDEO)IMEMCnews - Several Israeli ministers and Knesset Members praised an Israeli sniper who cheered after shooting an unarmed Palestinian boy near Gaza’s borders. (See video below.) Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that the soldier “deserves an appreciation certificate” for doing his job properly.-rh18/4/2018
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Palestinians are killed not because Israeli soldiers disobey orders but because they follow themBen White - MIDDLE EAST EYE - More than half a century into a military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities are constantly looking for ways to justify policies of discrimination, exclusion and brutality, including through reinterpretations, even if not revisions, to international law. If you do something for long enough, the world will accept it," a former head of the international law division in the Israeli Military Advocate General`s Office once candidly put it. "The whole of international law is now based on the notion that an act that is forbidden today becomes permissible if executed by enough countries…International law progresses through violations.".-rh18/4/2018
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Force And More Force – Then What?Odeh Bisharat - Information Clearing House - Is there no other doctrine than the doctrine of force that’s being used by the government here? What about the doctrine of common interest, for example? Or the doctrine of negotiation, rather than confrontation? After the October 1973 war, a department was set up in Military Intelligence called Ipkha Mistabra (Aramaic for “on the contrary”), whose job was to put forward and explore ideas and directions that contradicted widely held assumptions.-rh18/4/2018
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When Zionism Rubs Up Against RealityStanley L. Cohen – CounterPunch - “With conscience, and vision as an outsider looking in, today, it is simply impossible not to feel an overwhelming sense of sheer revulsion when, if one is a caring being, an honest scan comes across Israel” [ry]16/4/2018
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Video: Why is Israel so Threatened by Unarmed Gaza Protesters? (Part 1/2)The Real News - Despite the mounting Palestinian death toll, mass protests continue in the Gaza Strip. Why is Israel using lethal force on unarmed protesters? TRNN`s Shir Hever explains why nonviolent protest is infuriating the Israeli government [ry]16/4/2018
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Contextualizing the Great March of ReturnHaidar Eid - Mondoweiss "We have reached the conclusion that our fight on the ground through a series of marches culminating on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, can pose a serious challenge to Israel’s system of occupation, colonization and apartheid if it is accompanied by a global campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. We do need ordinary citizens of the world to show Israel that we have a common humanity; that they watch what it does and they will not tolerate it because silence is complicity; that there is no place for their kind of war mongering and barbarism in the world and that the people of the world reject it. This is exactly what the global anti-apartheid managed to do in the 1970’s and 80’s of last century until the inhumane apartheid system crumbled. It is time to stand up to the only remaining apartheid regime in the world; for that we need to be united." ca14/4/2018
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US lawmakers urge Israeli soldiers to defy order to shoot Palestinian protestersAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "Meanwhile, five members of the US Congress are breaking the near- silence.They are backing B’Tselem’s call on Israeli soldiers to defy illegal orders to open fire on unarmed Palestinians taking part in protests in the occupied Gaza Strip.“We applaud Israeli human rights groups that are calling on Israeli soldiers to resist such illegal orders from their superiors, and are urging IDF forces to fully comply with international law and exercise utmost restraint in their use of deadly force,” the lawmakers said on the eve of the third Friday of Great March of Return rallies." ca 14/4/2018
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Netanyahu invokes Holocaust to sow fear, hateAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor "Fear of a “second Holocaust” is fertile ground for the cultivation of mistrust and hatred of the other, whether that other be Arabs, African asylum-seekers, leftist liberals, judges, human rights activists or journalists. Even Israel’s president, who espouses the ideology of a greater Israel but refuses to toe the nationalist line, is ostracized. Fear is a surefire recipe for the repression of hope, change and tolerance. And fear of losing a great leader, Israel’s one and only defender against annihilation, can defeat the rule of law and bring down the pillars of democracy." ca 13/4/2018
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Jeremy Corbyn Calls for Reconsideration of Arms Sales to IsraelIMEMC - "Head of British Labour Jeremy Corbyn has said that Britain should consider halting the sale of arms to Israel, after nine more Palestinians lost their lives on the Gaza border.In a message read at a demonstration outside Downing Street yesterday, Corbyn condemned the violence as an “outrage”, and attacked Western silence over the deaths." ca 13/4/2018
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Hebrew University Recruits Future Shin Bet Torturers and AssassinsRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - There are myriad ways in which Israeli academic institutions promote the Occupation and the national security state. From embedding the IDF in technical high schools from which the army recruits its future cyberwar hackers, to hosting glorified job fairs at which the intelligence agencies recruit their future assassins and torturers.-rh11/4/2018
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T4 too The Israeli Airstrike on Syria Monday: A Message to Iran, Russia—and TrumpCharles Lister - The Daily Beast = "The days of “rolling back” Iran in Syria are arguably long gone, but containment and deterrence may be all that is left to prevent what could be a debilitating Israeli-Iranian conflict fought on multiple fronts, sucking in multiple adversaries and resulting in a further destabilization of the region." - id 11/4/2018
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Gaza cries out for bread, Israel responds with bulletsYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Why did the initiators of the March of Return choose to focus on the demand to implement Resolution 194 and the Right of Return, rather than issues such as the basic human right to clean drinking water, electricity, health, freedom of movement and employment?" - id 11/4/2018
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Western media provides cover for Israeli violenceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The Western news media is stoking the violence in the Middle East by defending Israel and ignoring facts. That was obvious in the coverage of the protests to mark the 42nd anniversary of “Land Day” and the 70th Anniversary of Israel’s war against freedom." - id 11/4/2018
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Gaza`s immense potentialYossi Beilin - Al Monitor - "If Hamas and Israel were to sign a long-term cease-fire, the Gaza Strip could make use of a natural gas field in the Mediterranean, a highly educated population and wonderful beaches to become a pleasant place to live." - id 11/4/2018
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Omar Sharif: Why Google honours him todayAl Jazeera - ""I might have been happier having stayed an Egyptian film star."" - id 11/4/2018
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Israeli sniper films shooting of unarmed Palestinian — and celebratesJonathan Ofir and Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - A video clip in which an Israeli sniper filmed himself shooting an unarmed Palestinian across the Gaza fence and then celebrating drew international outrage last night. The two Palestinian targets in the video appear simply to be walking around near the fence.-rh 11/4/2018
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Palestinian ‘return’ touches Israel’s deepest anxietiesZvi Schuldiner - Il Manifesto global edition - The 343-square- kilometer Gaza Strip, in which two million Palestinians live in poverty and on the threshold of an enormous humanitarian crisis, is surrounded by a closed-off military zone, which is not, however, airtight, and some Palestinians often manage to cross it. But in recent weeks, the nervousness of the Israelis had grown to a fever pitch, as everyone feared what would happen when a mass of Palestinians would engage in a peaceful march to try to create a visual representation of what the “return” would mean.-rh11/4/2018
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Israel and Annexation by LawfareMichael Sfard - The New York Review of Books - I always thought that if Israel were to unilaterally annex the occupied Palestinian territories, it would come under an international spotlight, with denunciations and protests around the world. I was wrong. Annexation is underway, but out of the spotlight, away from international attention. In the dismal offices of the fortified Justice Ministry in East Jerusalem, in the cramped meeting rooms of the Knesset, and in the august chambers of the Supreme Court, Israel’s finest lawyers are working around the clock to shape the biggest paradigm shift since the West Bank was conquered in 1967.-rh11/4/2018
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How to Report on GazaVIJAY PRASHAD - Counterpunch - If you are a Western journalist and you have to report from Gaza, the best thing to do is to treat the Palestinians as a threat.Their bodies are weapons, their existence is dangerous. If a Palestinian is killed by an Israeli soldier, the most appropriate thing to do is to call it a “clash.” Clashes take place when two armed forces confront each other.-rh11/4/2018
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Bennett defends soldiers filmed cheering Gazan’s shootingALEXANDER FULBRIGHT - The Times of Israel - Education Minister Naftali Bennett defended soldiers who have come under fire after appearing to celebrate the shooting of a Palestinian near the Gaza border fence in a video that surfaced Monday. “Anyone who was ever in the field knows that to sit in Tel Aviv or in studios and judge the expressions of IDF soldiers guarding the borders isn’t serious,” Bennett, who heads the right-wing Jewish Home party, told Army Radio Tuesday morning.-rh11/4/2018
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How Netanyahu plans to bypass High Court rulings Danny Zaken - Al-Monitor - The flip-flop of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the migrant agreement with the United Nations continues to send shock waves through Israeli politics. Perhaps in the end it will turn out that the decisions made by Netanyahu regarding illegal African immigrants — and the agreement`s immediate cancellation — was actually a plan meant to advance the “notwithstanding clause,” an addition to one of the Basic Laws, which would allow the Knesset to override High Court of Justice decisions that nullify or limit laws passed by the parliament.-rh 11/4/2018
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The Blockade on Israel`s HeartGideon Levy -Information Clearing House - It’s hard to understand how one can look at tens of thousands of people in their cage and not see them. How is it possible to look at these protesters and not see the disaster wrought first and foremost by Israel?-rh 11/4/2018
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From Gaza border to Ahed’s prison cell, Palestinian youth united by pain and resistanceRamzy Baroud - Al-Arabiya - The current generation of Palestinians is embarking on the task of discovering and fulfilling their mission. This mission of Palestinian youth under siege in Gaza is the same as that of Palestinian youth under military occupation in the West Bank. Indeed, the arrest and prolonged detention of Palestinian teen, Ahed Tamimi, starting December 19, highlight the nature of the challenge facing Palestine’s budding generation. They are faced with a brutal Israeli military regime and a self-serving Palestinian leadership.-rh11/4/2018
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As tensions with Syria, Iran climb, Netanyahu calls in top defense officialsSTUART WINER and TOI STAFF - Times of Israel - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday huddled with key defense officials about the security situation on the country’s northern borders as Iran threatened retaliation for a deadly airstrike in Syria attributed to Israel. Netanyahu consulted with IDF Chief of Staff Eisenkot, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, head of IDF military intelligence Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman, Air Force chief Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Netanyahu also ordered Likud ministers to refrain from publicly commenting about the security situation because of the “sensitivity of the circumstances.”-rh11/4/2018
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Dublin city council votes to support BDS, call for expulsion of the Israeli AmbassadorIreland Palestine Solidarity Campaign / The Irish Examiner - Adopted by a clear majority, the text of the resolution starts with "Dublin City Council votes to support Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement aimed at pressuring Israel to end occupation and obey international law". The vote took place after Dublin Mayor Mícheál Mac Donncha, of the Sinn Féin Party, rejected out of hand a call by the Israeli Embassy to block the issue from coming on the city council`s agenda. Indeed, the city council went to vote on a separate resolution calling upon the Government of Ireland to altogether expel the Israeli Ambassador. While that is mainly declaratory, for its own part the Dublin City Council concretely resolved to severe all business contact with the Hewlett- Packard company and its HP spin-off DXC Technology, since "HP and DXC provide and operate much of the technology infrastructure that Israel uses to maintain its system of apartheid and settler colonialism over the Palestinian people.” [ak] 10/4/2018
Palestinians seem not even to have the right to non-violent protest!Democracy Now / JVP youtube - Glenn Greenwald on how the world is finally waking up to the fact that "Palestinians have just the same rights as anyone else to protest and resist." [bz]10/4/2018
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A Sense of Victory on Both Sides: A Recipe for Escalation in Gaza?Amos Yadlin, a former major general, now director of The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS): In the case of such a blatantly asymmetric conflict between parties with opposing aims, both sides can indeed claim victory. Israel operates largely on a physical dimension (protecting its sovereign territory), while Hamas works mainly on the cognitive-political level. (...) While focused on the immediate challenge of mass demonstrations on the Gaza border, Israel must continue to address the basic issue in this context: the growing distress in Gaza and the collapse of its infrastructures. Temporary success in containing the new challenge posed by Hamas will not defuse the social-economic-military time bomb ticking in the Strip. [bz]10/4/2018
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On the Jimmy Dore Show: a sharp, sarcastic analysis of news about the Gaza border confrontations Jimmy Dore - The Jimmy Dore Show - Jimmy Dore is an American stand- up comedian and political commentator, with clear and outspoken views. In the 2016 Presidential elections he was a staunch supporter of the Left wing candidate Bernie Sanders. In this week`s edition of The Jimmy Dore Show he presents mainstream news reports and footage from the Gaza Strip border, punctuated by his incisive and sarcastic commentary. [ak]10/4/2018
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A Song is Born Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Despite the softness of your hands / Your hands have shaken the world / Your hands returned the slap to the occupier / And returned esteem to the nation / Palestine has been planted in us / As a dock for every ship / We are the land and you are the water." If I were an adherent of the occupation, this song would frighten me very much. The story of Ahed al-Tamimi happened in the West Bank. But it resounded in the Gaza Strip, too.[bz] 7/4/2018
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Time for Churches to join protests against Israeli oppressionMaria Khoury - The Arab Daily News - "Israeli killings mar Easter celebrations." - id5/4/2018
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When Israel Shoots Unarmed Protestors, The Terrorists WinBy Andrew Mark Bennett - Forward - (...) But I am no less appalled by those who think the IDF should fire live ammunition at civilian Palestinian demonstrators at the border. In the context of law and of morality, targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian armed groups is little different from targeting of civilians by the IDF. To condemn Palestinians for advocating violence against Israeli civilians while advocating violence against Palestinian civilians is nothing short of hypocrisy. [bz] 5/4/2018
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After the Gaza killings, it’s time to crack down on IsraelDiana Buttu - Washington Post - An independent investigation would highlight that all of the Palestinians killed were killed inside Gaza, and within the undefined Israeli-imposed “buffer zone” that further cuts into Gaza’s territory, in many places by as much as 1,000 feet. In the words of one protester friend shot on Friday, “We did not go to the buffer zone; the buffer zone came to us.” [bz]5/4/2018
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This Is Zionism as Racism. This Is Israel at 70 Bradley Burston - Haaretz "It hurts me to write what I`m about to. But it also hurts me to live in this place today. To open my eyes and see what`s right here, right now." ca5/4/2018
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Bibi Backpedals on African RefugeesRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The country was not made for Africans–or Arabs for that matter. It was made for Jews and only Jews. And don’t you forget it, Mr. Prime Minister. We poor Mizrahim made you and we can break you." - id5/4/2018
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B`Tselem urges soldiers to refuse to shoot protestors in GazaAmit Gilutz - B`Tselem - Tomorrow (Thursday) B`Tselem will launch a campaign entitled “Sorry, Sir, I can`t shoot”. The campaign will include newspaper advertisements clarifying to soldiers that they must refuse to open fire on unarmed demonstrators. The organization is taking this unusual step following last Friday’s events, when soldiers used live fire against unarmed demonstrators. Of at least 17 Palestinians killed that day, 12 were killed at the protests. Hundreds more were injured by live gunfire. Ahead of the expected renewed demonstrations this Friday, B`Tselem is again clarifying that shooting unarmed demonstrators is illegal and that orders to shoot in this manner are manifestly illegal.[ak]4/4/2018
Israel Courts Catastrophe in Gaza ProtestsThe Editorial Board - New York Times - Palestinians in Gaza are among the world’s most desperate people, blockaded for more than a decade by Israel and Egypt, sharply restricting the flow of goods and people, with unemployment reaching more than 40% for the general population and nearly 60% among youths. Under such conditions it is no wonder that pent-up frustrations would erupt in protests, as they did last Friday. Responding to the demonstrations, Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians at the border fence that separates Israel from Gaza and injured more than a thousand. (...) On May 14 and 15, Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its independence, the US will formally open its Embassy in Jerusalem while Palestinians in Gaza will observe the 70th anniversary of what they call the “nakba,” or “catastrophe,” when 750,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes in what is now Israel by trying to break through the border fence and march toward their former villages. Unless someone steps up to end Gaza’s humanitarian disaster, ensure Israel and the Palestinians act with restraint during the protests and set a credible peace process in motion, both sides could face a new catastrophe. [ak] 3/4/2018
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A week of unbearable heartbreak in Israel-Palestine+972 Magazine - This past week has been one of the more heartbreaking recent periods in Israel-Palestine. First, and this seems surreal to write for the umpteenth time, the Israeli army dispatched 100 snipers to open fire into a crowd of unarmed protesters last weekend, shooting over 700 people, killing at least 16. Some were shot in the back while running away. Then there is the way that Benjamin Netanyahu toyed with and ultimately broke the hearts of tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers — people who fled horrors most of us should be relieved we cannot imagine, and many of whom endured torture and other unimaginable horrors just to reach Israel. To find relative safety and security. Monday night Netanyahu announced a deal that would have found a decent and dignified resolution for almost all of the tens of thousands of African asylum seekers in Israel. The mass, forcible deportation of refugees to Rwanda is off the table. And then, just as quickly, just as much out of thin air as the solution had appeared, it was yanked away. Almost like a sick joke. While the world is facing its biggest migration and refugee crisis since the Second World War, Israel, a country of 8 million people, a country comprised almost entirely of refugees of some form or another, declared it is unwilling — not unable, but unwilling — to give refuge to a meager 16,000 people.[ak]3/4/2018
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How can we be joyous on Seder night while Palestinians are killed in Gaza? Jewish Voice for Labour (UK) - We stand for justice for all. Many Jews across the world have felt unable to fully share in the usually joyous nature of our Seder nights while on the same night 16 Palestinians were killed and the over fourteen hundred reported wounded by the Israeli Army. Each year we are asked to recite the words of the Haggadah as though we ourselves were slaves in Egypt. Many families link those words to recent and current struggles – the anti-apartheid struggles, those for civil rights in the US, and, increasingly, the plight of the Palestinian people living under Occupation. We hope that other Jewish organisations mindful of our historic suffering will join with us in condemnation of the Israeli actions.[ak]3/4/2018
Dying on the fence of the Gaza prisonHagai El-Ad - Ynet - From time to time, control over another people requires days of killing and slaughter. More bloody days lie ahead. But don`t expect accountability. `Investigations` are merely a routine stage in the organized whitewash [ry]2/4/2018
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How Gaza clashes could ignite flashpoints all over the Middle EastSimon Tisdall - The Guardian "But for Israel’s generals, the main threat is Hezbollah’s modernised stockpile of an estimated 130,000 short-, medium- and long-range missiles and rockets, and its 50,000 fighters, many of them battle-hardened in Syria.If the Gaza violence continues and spreads, Hezbollah hardliners can be expected to try to intervene. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly warned, in turn, that unlike the last Lebanon war in 2006, it will directly assist Hezbollah in any fight. Israel, it says, will be “eradicated”." ca 2/4/2018
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Gaza`s Passover massacreNeve Gordon - Al Jazeera " An estimated 30,000 Palestinians joined the nonviolent March of Return, which aimed to set up a few camps several hundred meters from the militarised fence surrounding the Gaza Strip. Their goal was to protest their incarceration in the world`s largest open-air prison as well as the massive confiscation of their ancestral land - after all, 70 percent of Gaza`s population are 1948 refugees whose families had owned land in what became Israel." ca1/4/2018
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Why everyone loves Israel nowShai Feldman&Tamara Cofman Wittes - Brookings "But if the change is real, it’s also very easily misunderstood. At a conference held at Brandeis University’s Crown Center for Middle East Studies last year, an Arab colleague was asked, “When will Arab states finally accept Israel?” His concise, and accurate, response: “When they realize that they are better off with Israel there than had Israel not been there.” ca1/4/2018
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