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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    

Ultra-Orthodox Jews Celebrate Sukkot at Buraq PlazaIMEMC News - "Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered, Wednesday morning, at Buraq plaza, to the west of Al-Aqsa Mosque to celebrate what is called Sukkot, the “Feast of Tabernacles”.By celebrating their rituals, the celebrants ignored a recent UNESCO resolution declaring the Al-Aqsa shrine an Islamic site, and nullifying a Jewish connection to it." ca 21/10/2016
Does Donald Trump Realize Jewish Refugees Were Also Called ‘Trojan Horses’?Marion Kaplan - The Forward "Beginning in 1933 and ramping up as German tanks rolled into neighboring lands, European Jews desperately sought entry into America. Yet, while Jews faced increasing persecution and violence, American leaders worried about “fifth columnists,” alleged Nazi agents who might sneak into the United States as refugees." ca21/10/2016
What Clinton gets so wrong about Israel-Palestine Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "Hillary Clinton believes that the façade of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process is preferable to no peace process at all, we learned this week from the presidential candidate’s private emails, hacked by Russia and published by WikiLeaks.It’s hard to imagine a more troubling statement about Israel/Palestine..." ca 21/10/2016
Palestinian Universities on the Frontline Sam Bahour - - Palestinian universities are fighting an uphill battle on two fronts, one being the Israeli military occupation, and more recently, the other being the Palestinian government. Although each poses two very different sets of challenges, one outcome is clear. If immediate and decisive intervention is not forthcoming, the structural damage that will set back entire generations of Palestinian students will haunt Palestine’s developmental capabilities for many years to come. That is, if the damage has not already been inflicted.-rh 20/10/2016
Art festival explores Palestinian right of returnRich Wiles - Aljazeera - Although Qalandiya International explores concepts of "return" in various Palestinian and international contexts - which is particularly significant amid a global refugee crisis - the biennial`s curatorial statement begins with the question: "Can a word carry the cure to all the ailments, both past and present, of a tragedy? For us Palestinians, return has become the core antithesis to our Nakba."-rh20/10/2016
New initiative aims to protect Palestinian working womenEntsar Abu Jahal - The work environment in Palestine suffers from violations of labor rights in general and women’s rights specifically, as women are the weakest entity in their patriarchal society. Consequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Labor and the National Committee for Women’s Employment (NCWE) coordinated with the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), with the support of the International Labor Organization, to launch the first Guideline for Women’s Employment Rights on Oct. 4 in Ramallah.-rh 20/10/2016
Two new hunger strikers join battle: 6 Palestinians strike against administrative detentionSamidoun - Two more Palestinian prisoners have launched a hunger strike against their administrative detention without charge or trial: Mohammed Khattab, 28, and Majdi Oweidat, 23, who launched their strike on 8 October 2016. Both are from Jericho and their administrative detention orders for their imprisonment without charge or trial have been renewed twice, reported Palestinian lawyer Louay Akkeh. Both are held in the Ofer prison; Khattab and Oweidat are beginning to experience medical consequences of their strike including joint pain, headache, stomach pain and dizziness.-rh20/10/2016
More than 200 Israelis tour Al-Aqsa amid heightened restrictions on Jewish holidayMa`an News Agency - Director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound Sheikh Omar al-Kiswani told Ma’an that “a group of 206 Israeli settlers have raided Al-Aqsa Mosque since Tuesday morning, and toured Al-Aqsa under the protection of Israeli special forces and police,” one day after an estimated 43 Israelis also toured the compound.-rh20/10/2016
B`Tselem`s response to Prime Minister`s attack: We will continue saying the truth in Israel and abroad; the occupation must endB`Tselem - Unlike the Prime Minister and his slander, we believe that the Israeli public is worthy of meaningful discussion of the occupation. And, contrary to the complete overlap the Prime Minister establishes between the occupation and Israel, we insist on saying loud and clear: the occupation is not Israel, and resisting it is not anti-Israel. The opposite is true. -rh20/10/2016
The Death of the Two-State Solution : What the Bankruptcy of White House Policy Means for the Israelis and Palestinians Sandy Tolan - TomDispatch - In a regime of growing confinement, the Israelis have steadily undermined Palestinian sovereignty, aided and abetted by an American acquiescence in Israel’s ongoing settlement project. Now, at least, there is an opportunity to lay the foundations for some newer kind of solution grounded in human rights, freedom of movement, complete cessation of settlement building, and equal access to land, water, and places of worship. It will have to be based on a new reality, which Israel and the United States have had such a hand in creating. Think of it as the one-state solution.-rh20/10/2016
Netanyahu faces off against UNESCO over Jerusalem resolutionAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers to ignore the fact that from a diplomatic-international standpoint, the Jewish holy sites in the Old City are under occupation." - id 19/10/2016
An empty chair at Peres` funeralYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Odeh is not laying out an alternative approach. It appears he is just giving up. Peace and equality are not on his agenda. Instead there is the Nakba, as well as something deeper and more amorphous: the demand that Israel apologize." - id 19/10/2016
Israel and Its Media Enablers Deliberately Lie about UNESCO Jerusalem ResolutionRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Unlike all the reporters, editors and politicians who wrote this meretricious nonsense, I actually found the resolution (pdf) and read it...Nowhere in the text does it denigrate a Jewish bond to what Israel calls the Temple Mount.  It simply doesn’t address the issue at all.  Nor should it." - id 19/10/2016
Media ignores Christian, Muslim rights in UNESCO assault Ray Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Media outlets like the racist Huffington Post, the biased Washington Post and New York Times, Politico and so many other mainstream news organizations, are ignoring facts to pimp for Israel, and that’s a shame. - id 19/10/2016
Red Rag column: Zvi Razi, RIPGideon Spiro - I am in mourning for the historian Prof. Zvi Razi, a trailblazer in the field of scientific research, human-rights activist, democrat, humanist and socialist. gm18/10/2016
Trapped `from fence to fence` in GazaJehad Abu Salim - +972 - One of the famous common sayings used by Palestinians in Gaza: we’re trapped ‘min al-silik ila al-silik’ (from the fence to the fence). This simple phrase sums up Gaza’s current reality: a fenced place, surrounded by dead-ends and, within it, a caged human sea with almost no hope or future. [bz]18/10/2016
If Israel Lets in Palestinian Refugees, Will It Lose Its Jewish Character?Joshua Schreier and Mira Sucharov - Forward - Consider a post-peace Israel where refugee claims have been settled, where the everyday brutality of occupation no longer precludes normalcy, and where the work of truth and reconciliation has begun. (...) Such an Israel could enable different cultural expressions not only to coexist, but also to inter-twine in creative ways. [bz]18/10/2016
Red Rag column - The Hater in Heaven - Yom KippurGideon Spiro - God hates human beings. He did not stand by the Jewish and Roma victims of the Holocaust. He did not stand by the Cambodians who were murdered by the Khmer Rouge. He did not stand by the Vietnamese who were killed by the Americans. He has ignored the Palestinians for 50 years of Israeli rule. He is indifferent to the fate of the residents of Aleppo in Syria, who are being bombed every day. He has not put an end to war. He abhors Indigenous Americans. He has no mercy on the slaughtered residents of Darfur, he has shown indifference to the fate of the victims of the Armenian Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda. But he is very good to tycoons. gm17/10/2016
`The occupation is sustainable because the world refuses to take action`+972 - Hagai El-Ad`s transcript of the prepared remarks he as B’Tselem`s executive director delivered to UN Security Council members during a special ‘Arria-formula’ session on ‘Illegal Israeli Settlements: Obstacles to Peace and the Two-State Solution’ in New York on October 14, 2016. [bz]15/10/2016
Israelis Can`t Recognize Terrorism Staring Back at Them From the Mirror Amira Hass - Haaretz - Our imposed military rule, now in place for decades, is terror as far as the Palestinians are concerned. I, too, believe it is terror because people are intimidated to the point where their lives are taken and their health, wellbeing and property are damaged, for the benefit of our masters’ rights, for the sake of achieving political, economic and territorial gains such as Sussia or Kfar Adumim, the irrigation of lucrative seasoning herbs in the Jordan Valley or exporting arms. Terrorizing is the meaning of the tens of thousands of armed men scattered across Judea and Samaria, as well as in united Jerusalem. They are frightening because they were sent there in order to preserve an evil order of dispossession. [bz]15/10/2016
The battle over Obama’s legacy, featuring Netanyahu, Zogby, liberal Zionists, and 88 senatorsPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Let’s look at the landscape. Haaretz reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lobbied Secretary of State John Kerry on this issue in a Saturday night phone call. Don’t dare to lift a finger. Barak Ravid reported yesterday:..."ca14/10/2016
Ilan Halevi: In memoriamMichel Warschawski - Alternative Information Center "Already three years since my friend Ilan Halevi passed away, when he was only 70 years old. In a few days, Syllepse Editions will re- publish Ilan`s book, Jewish Question: Tribe, Law and Space. This book was published in French first in 1981 by the prestigious Les Editions de Minuit. For many years now, it has been almost impossible to find a copy. Thanks to his daughter Mariam, Ilan`s book will be again be available." ca 14/10/2016
Hollande: `France has a problem with Islam`Al-Jazeera and Agencies - "President Francois Hollande told the authors of a book just published that France has "a problem with Islam" and there are too many immigrants arriving in the country who "shouldn`t be here".Hollande made the controversial remarks to the authors of A President Shouldn`t Say That... in December 2015, a month after gunmen attacked Paris, killing 130 people. "It`s true that there`s a problem with Islam. No one doubts it," Hollande is quoted as saying in the book published this week...Hollande also told the Le Monde journalists Gerard David and Fabrice Lhomme: "I think there are too many arrivals of immigration that shouldn`t be there." ca 14/10/2016
Why Israeli occupation of the West Bank is reversible Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "While it seems that the heart of the Israeli people is indeed on the right, at least according to opinion polls, its feet are planted deep on the left side of the map of the land of Israel. The Central Bureau of Statistics` numbers show that there is indeed a way back from the occupation and that the two-state solution is not dead; the settler population in Judea and Samaria is no more than 4.4% of the "Israeli people" (the Jewish population) and only 13% of the population of the West Bank. This is the case after 50 years of efforts to create irreversible facts in the territories, the investment of tens of billions of shekels in infrastructure and incentives, and untold damage to Israel`s international stature. What happened to the 1977 promise made by then-Agriculture Minister Ariel Sharon (later prime minister), who was appointed that year as chairman of the ministerial committee for settlement issues, that within a decade a million Jews would live in Judea and Samaria?" ca 14/10/2016
The left bears responsibility for assassination of the mind! Nassar Ibrahim - AIC "The worst exploitation of humans is exploitation in the name of religion. Charlatans and quacks must therefore be fought till everyone knows that human dignity is the red line and without it there is death” Che Guevara.Yes. The Jordanian left, the Palestinian left and the Arab left also bear responsibility for murdering the mind and culture…including for the 25 September murder of Jordanian writer and political activist Nahed Hattar. And for any bullet that will be shot in the coming days at any head, be it in the name of religion or in the name of any political or social radical thought which aims at murdering the mind, awareness and liberty." ca14/10/2016
Israel: Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong ActionJames J. Zogby - LobeLog - This administration, like those before it, will argue that their hands are tied—that Congress will undercut them or overrule them. But in the last three months of this administration, President Obama has an opportunity to set things right. He can, for example, restate the 1970’s State Department finding (which has never been overturned) that all settlement activity is illegal. He can allow the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the illegality of settlements and imposing international sanctions against Israel for its violations of international law. And he can refuse to block an Arab effort to refer the issue to the International Criminal Court.-rh12/10/2016
Israel demolishes homes, water pipes, and agricultural structures in Jordan ValleyMa`an News Agency - Israeli forces destroyed residences, agricultural structures, solar panels, and water pipes in the occupied West Bank district of Tubas, in the Jordan Valley, on Sunday morning. Bashar Bani Odeh, the head of Khirbet Atuf village council, told Ma`an that four Israeli bulldozers accompanied by 12 Israeli military jeeps raided the area of al-Ras al-Ahmar and destroyed nine structures, including structures used to care for cattle.-rh12/10/2016
Misbah Abu Sbeih `reached breaking point`, says family : The man who killed two Israelis had reportedly been systematically targeted by the Israeli army and police. Zena Tahhan - Aljazeera - The arrests and the bans on his entry to the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Old City, were what pushed him over the edge, his family believes. "It`s like taking a fish out of the water," his son said. They say he was known as "the lion of al-Aqsa". His long-time friend, Amjad, described the mosque to Abu Sbeih as a "red line”. "It was an article of faith to him. He was very protective of al-Aqsa and he would cry when Israel barred him from entering it. There was no way he would give it up.".-rh 12/10/2016
Israel ‘silencing’ Palestinian journalists in `incitement` offences crack down, monitors say Bethan McKernan - Independent - Five radio journalists operating in the Palestinian city of Hebron have been arrested for inciting violence against Israelis, amid growing concerns that the offence is being used to crack down on Palestinian freedom of the press and freedom of expression online.-rh12/10/2016
Israel`s surefire way of keeping its citizens in the darkShuki Tausig - +972 - Once upon a time we used to have the IDF Censor. Well, we still do, but they no longer act like tyrants. The court system — the same one that rushes to issue scandalous gag orders — has restrained the court system and forced it into leniency. If in the past the censor could redact to its heart’s content, the high-profile case Schnitzer v. Chief Military Censor, which reached the High Court in 1989, compelled the military to explicitly state that there is a “near certainty that the publication will cause substantial and grave harm to security.”-rh12/10/2016
Israeli forces arrest 13-year-old Palestinian weeks after shooting him in both legsSheren Khalel - Mondoweiss - In March, 12-year-old Ramzi Abu Ajamia got word that Israeli forces were looking for him. Terrified of getting arrested, Ramzi stopped sleeping at home and going to school. He succeeded in dodging Israeli forces for five months before he was spotted at clashes during an Israeli night raid on Dheisha refugee camp, where the now 13-year-old was born and raised.-rh 12/10/2016
No coverage, no accountability – Palestinian child’s brutal death at hands of Israeli soldiers Ben White - Middle East Monitor - The shocking killing of Abdel-Rahman highlights both the lack of Western media coverage when it comes to the Palestinian victims of Israeli forces’ violence, and the parallel absence of accountability for grave violations of international law and human rights by the Israeli army and its political leaders. No coverage and no accountability means that the killing and maiming of Palestinians – including children – will only continue.-rh 12/10/2016
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed BookStanley L. Cohen - counterpunch - Though each generation has confronted different demons in different ways, at day’s end, it has always come back to the notion of free and robust speech as the best vehicle for knowledge and change. Ironically one of the most eloquent explanations of the First Amendment’s critical role in the search for truth was penned by none other than a Zionist, Justice Louis Brandeis in his concurring opinion in Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 375 (Brandeis, J., concurring).-rh 12/10/2016
Abbas unfazed by criticism of participation in Peres` funeralDaoud Kuttab - Almonitor - In the aftermath of Abbas’ participation at the funeral, a flood of what appears to be raw anger and opposition was part of discussions in shops and homes. While those in opposition were the loudest and most vocal, a number of saner voices have since emerged trying to put the visit in perspective. Much of the opposition appeared to be politically motivated, reflecting fractures in support for Abbas not only in the public at large, but even with the ruling Fatah movement.-rh 12/10/2016
Trump Should Stop Calling Terrorism a Cancer, and So Should Everybody ElseJohn Knefel - truthout - John Horgan is a professor and terrorism researcher at Georgia State University, and has extensively studied strategies for countering political violence. "Metaphor tends to substitute for any serious thinking about counterterrorism," he told me in an email. "There`s no doubt that responses to terrorism sometimes exacerbate and obfuscate the problem. When disease metaphors are used, it can give the impression that there`s a simple cure, but it can also lead to the impression that we need to take drastic action. History has taught us that taking drastic action in responding to terrorism almost always makes things a lot worse."-rh12/10/2016
Occupation denial is pushing me out of my Jewish communityJenn Pollan - +972 - I can no longer remain silent as many in the Jewish establishment continue to support the occupation, publicly reject the Movement for Black Lives, and remain silent on Trump. [bz]11/10/2016
Seeing the Other on Yom Kippur in JerusalemOrly Noy - +972 Magazine - By the time this is published, Israel will have already placed a full military closure on the Palestinian territories ahead of Yom Kippur. East Jerusalem will be completely shuttered. Millions of people will be severely restricted, effectively imprisoned, so that we Jews can speak with God. What value does such prayer have if it necessitates such a violent injustice, one that erases the Other from our field of vision? [ak]11/10/2016
Red Rag column - Shimon PeresGideon Spiro - The words of praise the heads of state gave at Peres’ funeral, as if he were the world champion of peace, made me wonder if they had mistakenly come to the wrong funeral. It was precisely on matters of peace that Peres’ achievements were painfully meagre. gm11/10/2016
The Settlements vs. the Peace ProcessMitchell Plitnick - FMEP - Israel claims that the settlements are not illegal because the laws of belligerent occupation do not apply to the West Bank.” The vast majority of legal opinions, including those of the High Court of Justice in Israel directly contradict this claim. As recently as 2004, the High Court in Israel ruled “…that Israel holds the (West Bank) in belligerent occupation,” and that its authority over the Palestinians “… flows from the provisions of public international law regarding belligerent occupation.” No ruling since has superseded this view. [bz]9/10/2016
It’s not the flotilla, it’s GazaAriela Ringel Hoffman - Ynet - Gaza is a strip choked between the Israeli border and the Egyptian border, without any way out through air or by sea, depending on its enemies’ mercy. How much water it will receive, how much electricity will flow, how much flour and how many matchboxes. If they want, they will give. If they don’t want, they will not give. Israel can soon, if it wants, celebrate a decade since the beginning of the siege, which was declared immediately after Hamas rose to power in legitimate elections. [bz]8/10/2016
At the Boiling Point With IsraelTHE EDITORIAL BOARD - NYT "Mr. Netanyahu, however, feels no real pressure to halt the construction. Certainly not from the Palestinians, who are divided under a weak leader. Certainly not from Arab states like Saudi Arabia, which have shown little real commitment to Palestinian statehood and now are forging business and intelligence ties with Israel, a former enemy that is now a thriving economic and technological hub." ca7/10/2016
Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly: an exercise in absurdity Rasem Obeidat - AIC "But, Netanyahu never asks what the reasons are that compel our children to carry knives. He did not mention in his speech the humiliating checkpoints, or stop and frisks of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers and police alike. Nor did he mention the executions, like one captured on camera of martyr Abed al-Fattah al- Sharif in Hebron. He also forgot 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir, who was burned alive and murdered by Israeli settlers in 2014." ca7/10/2016
How Abbas proved his courage to IsraelisShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Criticism at home did not deter Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from participating at the funeral of President Shimon Peres and demonstrating his commitment to peace." - id 5/10/2016
Pro-Israel? Or pro-Palestinian? What will be Obama’s legacy? Ray Hanania - Arab News - "It is disappointing to see the president fight for Palestinian rights for much of his years, and in failure, take the safe route out by showering Israel with support." - id 5/10/2016
No matter who wins the US Presidential election, Palestine has already lostal-Khalil team - International Solidarity Movement - "Since the US gives more aid money to Israel than any other country through its government and countless zionist charities, the political course of the US is the number one factor determining the future of the occupation." - id 5/10/2016
Shimon Peres: The Peacemaker Who Wasn’tHANAN ASHRAWI - New York Times - Now that the funeral of Shimon Peres, the former Israeli president and prime minister, is over and the effusive praise of world leaders has subsided, it’s time for a critical look at his legacy. While many remember him as a courageous and tireless advocate for peace, Palestinians recall a different man — one who was very good at talking peace but not so good at walking the walk. bz]4/10/2016
A man of peace? Not exactly. But still… Adam Keller - Crazy Country - Would he have succeeded? Would we now be living in a completely different situation, in a real New Middle East? Or would Peres have wasted this chance, too... [bz]2/10/2016
Shimon Peres` Funeral Proved That anti-Semitism Is DeadGideon Levy - Haaretz - It’s true that Israel is already one of the most pampered nations; the world heaps more money and indulgences on it than on any other state, and lets it go as crazy as it wants. But Israel chooses to spit in the world’s face and then cries that the world hates it. On Mount Herzl, the world once again proved how easy it is to go back to a situation where every Israeli could be proud of being Israeli and not have to hide it out of fear and shame. How much Israel’s fate is in its own hands depends on its behavior. If it wants, it can be admired. And if it wants, it can be a pariah. [bz]2/10/2016
Why Nahum Barnea is not for evacuating AmonaNahum Barnea - Ynet - From an ethical perspective, whoever petitions the High Court over outposts built on private land is helping legitimize settlements in the rest of the area; from a practical perspective, the greater the protest in the settlement sector, the larger the compensation that will be paid for evacuation by consent. [bz]1/10/2016
World Leaders Gather to Mourn Shimon Peres, and Possibly His DreamPeter Baker - New York Times - In his eulogy, Mr. Netanyahu welcomed by name many of the foreign figures in attendance without mentioning Mr. Abbas. It was left to Mr. Obama to acknowledge the Palestinian leader, saying that his “presence here is a gesture and a reminder of the unfinished business of peace.” For his part, Mr. Abbas, in a move perceived by some analysts as a jab at Mr. Netanyahu’s government, brought along an adviser, Mohammed al-Madani, who was barred by Israel last summer for “subversive” activities. [bz] 1/10/2016
A Jewish and democratic state – how to live with the oppression of the minority and still feel goodShmuel Amir - the only way to turn Israel into a democratic state that cannot be undermined is simple: expel all the Palestinians from here. Then there will be no one left to discriminate against, to marginalize and from whom to deny rights generally. We will remain here by ourselves to be as democratic as we want with ourselves. Surely it should be clear that as long as there are Arabs among us we will be unable to be a democratic state, even if we want to be. Our entire past proves that. gm29/9/2016
Netanyahu’s “happy talk” campaign to destroy peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Benjamin Netanyahu has done everything possible to destroy the peace process and prevent the establishment of a Palestinian State, but cleverly disguises his nation’s brutality with “happy talk” and disingenuous pleas for I“peace.”" - id 28/9/2016
Why is Congress fighting Netanyahu’s battle?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "US senators are pressuring the Obama administration to follow policies toward the Palestinians that match those favored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu." - id28/9/2016
IDF Censors Reporting on Mossad “Mole” Who Spied for Iran, Prisoner X2Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "While I railed against the past censorship regime run by Sima Vaknin- Gil, at least she permitted journalists to hint at the truth about sensitive matters. Ben Avraham has not only put the genie back in the bottle, she’s sealed it shut." - id 28/9/2016
`Not Done With Life Yet`Alice S. Yousef - Review of Wafa Darwish`s autobiography, "Not Done With Life Yet", for "This Week in Palestine - Wafa Darwish had to contend not only with the general situation of growing up under Israeli occupation, but also with the personal tragedy of gradually losing her eyesight.(...) Far from the classic romanticization frequently associated with writings about Palestine, and far from political diction and jargon, the book is written in a simple manner, narrated as if spoken, and packed with action and movement. There’s a whiff of every place: the jasmine of summer and taste the mujadara made for friends in Lebanon. Despite extensive losses, bitterness rarely exists, and the tone of the writing tends to be lighthearted, at times even funny.[ak] 27/9/2016
Don`t Call Us `Israeli Arabs`: Palestinians in Israel Speak OutSam Bahour - epalestine blog (also in Haaretz) - For over half a century, Israel has preferred the designation Israeli Arabs, focusing on their Israeliness and attempting to obliterate any trace of their Palestinian identity. Among Palestinians in exile or the West Bank, they’re referred to as ‘48ers, referring to the year of the Nakba, or as those living “on the inside,” meaning inside the 1949 armistice line, better known as the Green Line. Now, a new cohort of Palestinian thinkers inside Israel writing 68 years after the Nakba reaffirm that they are not just Arabs, but Palestinian Arabs, and that while they may be “in Israel,” they are not Israel’s: they are their own masters. [bz]27/9/2016
Red Rag column: Obama: the god that failed. The return of Barak. Gideon Spiro - Obama is continuing the policies of his predecessors, with generous economic and political support which have permitted Israel to continue its policies which have amount to a massive and brutal violation of human rights that has lasted for 50 years. Indeed Obama has occasionally made declarations that were pleasing to the ears of lovers of peace, but they have never been translated into real change on the ground in terms of support and aid. 26/9/2016
Netanyahu`s Right: The Occupation Can Actually Go on Forever Gideon Levy - Haaretz - It’s discouraging for anyone who believed in the world, who believed in President Barack Obama or in Europe, who believed in the power of public opinion in the West to impact governments. It’s disheartening for anyone who believed there would be no more colonialism in the 21st century, that a brutal military occupation could not continue into its third generation. All the prophecies of doom that were a source of hope for those who believed the Israeli occupation must come to an end have dissipated. [bz]25/9/2016
A `wave of violence` that never actually endsHaggai Matar - +972 - "When the Israeli media talks about the latest ‘wave of violence,’ it leaves out the five unarmed Palestinians who were shot to death by soldiers and police officers in the past few months." - id 21/9/2016
How Israel is turning one Arab party into a security threatOrly Noy - +972 - "Balad isn’t the first political party in Israel to be suspected of violating campaign finance laws. But it is the first one to have its members arrested in overnight, commando-style raids." - id21/9/2016
So Let the Settlers Stay. They Won`t.Gershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - Netanyahu`s "ethnic cleansing" bluff should be called. Like other residents of newly independent Palestine, settlers who decide to stay put will become Palestinian citizens, their position the mirror image of that of Israel`s Arab citizens. The former settlers will live under Palestinian law and the authority of Palestinian courts. They should be prepared for lawsuits by Palestinians with very strong claims to ownership of the land on which large parts of the settlements stand. Where they don`t have such legal problems, they should know that Palestinians will be moving in next door, into homes that belonged to Israelis who chose to return to Israel.The number of settlers who would stay under those conditions could meet in a small cafe in Ramallah, perhaps at one table. All the rest would do the Zionist thing and move to the state of Israel.[ak]20/9/2016
Begin and My Father Had the Courage to Be Real Leaders. Netanyahu Hasn`t Yuval Rabin - Haaretz - In the interests of accuracy and perspective, the Oslo interim accords did not deviate from the right-wing Likud`s endorsement of the 1979 “Framework for Peace in the Middle East,” better known as the Camp David Accords, in which Israel agreed to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza. [bz]17/9/2016
Red Rag column: the robbed occupier; force-feeding; Women`s Boat to GazaGideon Spiro - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s manipulative use of the loaded term “ethnic cleansing” while discussing a hypothetical evacuation of settlers from the West Bank has already redounded to his discredit, as befits one who makes false use of historically emotive concepts. He has already been reminded that ethnic cleansing is what Israel did in 1948, when it expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and barred their return. 16/9/2016
Is Israel on the Brink of Tearing Itself Asunder?Jonathan Cook - Information Clearing House "On one side is a new peace movement, Decision at 50, stuffed with former political and security leaders. Ehud Barak, a previous prime minister who appears to be seeking a political comeback, may yet emerge as its figurehead.The group has demanded the government hold a referendum next year...On the other is Benjamin Netanyahu, in power for seven years with the most right-wing government in Israel’s history. On Friday he posted a video on social media criticising those who want to end the occupation." ca16/9/2016
UN chief slams Netanyahu over `ethnic cleansing` remarkAFP - "UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday took a swipe at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying it was "unacceptable and outrageous" to claim that opposition to settlements was tantamount to ethnic cleansing." ca 16/9/2016
Colin Powell gets real about Israeli nukesEli Clifton - +972 "Leaked emails reveal the former Secretary of State acknowledging Israel’s nuclear weapons, which he claims are all pointed at Iran." ca16/9/2016
The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti‑Semitism Nick Cohen - The Guardian - "Dave Rich’s new history reveals the origins of Labour’s recent antisemitic scandal in a wider leftwing revival of prejudice." id14/9/2016
Knesset Member: Comparing Palestinian Citizens of Israel With Illegal Israeli Settlers Is Immoral, Irrational and AhistoricalWAFA - "“He [Netanyahu] should realize that no matter Israel`s institutionalized system of discrimination, this is our homeland and we are here to stay.”" - id14/9/2016
The Human Rights of the SettlerNEVE GORDON - NICOLA PERUGINI - CounterPunch - "Netanyahu depicts Israeli and thus Jewish settlers’ disengagement from the occupied West Bank, which constitutes a mere 22 percent of Mandatory Palestine, as an egregious violation of the rights of Jewish settlers.| - id 14/9/2016
Breaking the perceptual circle Ami Ayalon, Gilead Sher, Orni Petruschka - Ynet - A proposal for principles of a permanent agreement of two states for two people, as long as it takes into account Israel`s national interests as well as self-determination for the Palestinians and which will be accepted by the United Nations Security Council, will serve as the required defined objective capable of getting the sides out of the negative spin they have been caught in. And Israel should make an effort to influence the international proposal so that it will not harm its vital interests, rather than settling for a condemnation of any international involvement. [bz]13/9/2016
Obama & Palestine: The Last ChanceNathan Thrall - The New York Review of Books - By pointing to Israel’s receipt of the largest package of military assistance ever granted by the US, Obama could be more free to take steps not to Israel’s liking, including a last-gasp effort to secure a different sort of Palestine legacy. What legacy might Obama try to leave? Only one option isn’t seen as unrealistic: to set down the guidelines or “parameters” of a peace agreement—on the four core issues of borders, security, refugees, and Jerusalem—in a US-supported UN Security Council resolution. Once passed, with US support, these Security Council-endorsed parameters would become international law, binding, in theory, on all future presidents and peace brokers. [bz] 13/9/2016
Between Warsaw and the NakbaYaron London - Ynet - Anyone demanding that his fellowman beat his breast should demand it first and foremost from himself. A strong and confident nation can recognize the wrongs it has done without undermining the foundations of its existence. Is that what we are doing? The political establishment`s attempts to forbid Israel`s Arabs to express the loss of their homeland in any way show that we do not trust ourselves. [bz]13/9/2016
Peace Now: Proposing a referendum on ending the occupation Ori Nir - Americans for Peace Now - Peace Now, in cooperation with other Israeli civil society organizations, launched a new initiative demanding a referendum on the future of Israel’s rule over the West Bank and on peace with the Palestinians.The referendum initiative, anchored in a new organization, Decision at 50, will collect signatures of Israeli citizens, demanding a voice in deciding on the future of the Occupied Territories – a decision until now dictated by the settlers and their allies, through establishing facts on the ground, with an immense impact on the national security and wellbeing of the state of Israel.Many prominent Israeli public figures have joined the initiative, including current and former Knesset members, former security officials, as well as prominent academics, entertainers and writers.[ak]13/9/2016
Naomi Chazan: Against a referendum on ending the occupation Naomi Chazan - Times of Israel - The idea of a referendum is motivated by the need to challenge the foot-dragging of the Netanyahu government. Referenda, however, are very fickle political instruments. To conduct the first referendum in Israel’s history on the most essential and contentious question on the public agenda is foolhardy at best, if not downright irresponsible. Moreover, The notion that Israelis have the right to decide the political destiny of Palestinians is beyond absurd.It assumes that Israel possesses all the lands in question and can retain or discard them at will. Worldwide, referendums on the future of a specific territory are conducted among the residents of the areas affected - not among their overlords.[ak] 13/9/2016
A crime committed nearly every weekAmos Gvirtz - A group of armed men escorted by destruction machines enters a village, approaches the compound of a certain family (or families), force the members of the family out of the house and demolish it: including the sheep pen, storerooms and water tanks. Such a crime committed in a Jewish settlement (illegally built in the Occupied Territories) would face organized resistance, be widely covered by the media, and the victims would receive immediate compensation. When the victims are Palestinians, they would not dare resist and know full well that the media (except, perhaps, for Amira Hass and Gideon Levy in! Haaretz) would not cover it, and that they would not receive any compensation. The assistance that would arrive from the Red Cross or other aid organizations will also be demolished. 13/9/2016
Palestinian Hunting SeasonYoav Litvin - CounterPunch - “[…] the present moment leading up to the inauguration of the next President of the United States may serve as an opportune time for a weak Benjamin Netanyahu and an insecure, thuggish Avigdor Lieberman to join forces and wage a new war against the quintessential Israeli scapegoats and victims, the Palestinians. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be only too happy at the distraction from their corrupt and sluggish campaign performances” [ry] 12/9/2016
Ukrainian Orphan`s Tragic Life Takes Turn for Worse as Israel Orders His Deportation Ilan Lior--Last week, Samuel Gumeniuk received a notice ordering him to leave Israel within two weeks. Samuel’s father died when he was 18 months old. When he was 6, his mother became ill and Samuel was taken in by his aunt and uncle, Xenia and Valentin Kravchenko, who had three children of their own. Samuel’s mother died a few months later. dn11/9/2016
"A Continuous War Mentality": Richard Falk on Israel`s Human Rights AbusesC.J. Polychroniouand Lily Sage, Truthout | Interview--Israel`s treatment of Palestinians mirrors the abominable system of apartheid in South Africa, but many members of the "international community" who fueled the gradual delegitimization and eventual collapse of South Africa`s apartheid regime are failing to apply similar pressure against Israel. In fact, many nations are even strengthening their ties with the Israeli government. dn11/9/2016
Right of return is the heart of Palestine’s struggleMohamed Mohamed--As a descendant of Palestinians from a village in what is now known as Israel, the barrage of Israeli propaganda attempting to bury the history of our existence is not surprising. One can expect no less from a state that was created through the expulsion and subjugation of an existing population. dn11/9/2016
Netanyahu’s ‘ethnic cleansing’ video earns strong rebuke from State DepartmentPhilip Weiss--Today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted another of his English language videos about the conflict. This one said that those who want to create a Palestinian state are seeking “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from the occupied territories, and some enlightened countries are supporting this program.dn11/9/2016
Like a wave that builds slowly, inexorably on the ocean`s horizon, . . .Andrew Mitrovica--Like a wave that builds slowly, inexorably on the ocean`s horizon, the BDS movement is a cresting force that is destined to have a profound geopolitical impact, writes Mitrovica [Getty] dn11/9/2016
How Israeli Politicians Took Peace With the Palestinians Off the Table Daniel Bar-Tal - Haaretz - These ideas are not foreign to Jewish society. They have already been created and have coalesced in Israel in the past. Prime Minister Rabin expressed them on May 4, 1994, in his remarks at the signing the Cairo Agreement: Our Palestinian neighbors, one hundred years of bloodshed implanted in us hostility toward one another. For one hundred years we lay in wait for you, and you lay in wait for us. We killed you, and you killed us… Today, you and we stretch out our hands in peace. Today, we are beginning a different reckoning. [bz]10/9/2016
Don`t call it a comeback: Really, please don`t come backDimi Reider--It seems Ehud Barak is planning a return to politics: posters have appeared calling on him to “run” (where exactly is unclear), and now even Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy reluctantly voiced the opinion that for all his faults, Barak is “the only hope” to defeat Netanyahu because he is “so much more brilliant than his politician peers.” But before the buildup of yet another great white hope commences, a reminder might be in order. dn10/9/2016
Is Israel Pushing for a Palestinian Civil War?Ramzy Baroud - Common Dreams - From Lieberman’s viewpoint, the opportunity must be ripe for refining and re-imposing the ‘Village Leagues’. Whether it works in its original form or fails, it makes no difference, since the idea is to engender further division amongst Palestinians, sow social chaos, political conflict and, perhaps, duplicate Gaza’s brief civil war in the summer of 2007. [bz]10/9/2016
Like a wave that builds slowly, inexorably on the ocean`s horizon, the BDS movement is a cresting force that is destined to have a profound geopolitical impact, writes Mitrovica Andrew Mitrovica--This slightly amended phrase, appropriated from another equally succinct and now universally recognised adage, is perhaps the philosophical clarion call at the moral centre of a worldwide movement that seeks, peacefully, to redress the grim injustices endured by Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.dn10/9/2016
Why it`s crunch time for the Israeli leftMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor - "The Israeli left is at its lowest point in its history and must reinvent itself to survive." - id9/9/2016
Breaking out of the stagnant Palestinian-Israeli status quo Ghassan Michel Rubeiz - The Arab Daily News - "Breaking out of the stagnant Palestinian-Israeli status quo. As long as Israel is comfortable with the occupation it will opt to maintain it. But Palestinians can radically change their predicament with a paradigm shift in their resistance." - id 9/9/2016
Red Rag column: Syria and Israel; Holocaust denial and Nakba denial; Uzi BaramGideon Spiro - In recent days we have been hearing about populations being starved due to siege, which brings to mind the siege of Gaza. Israel is exhibiting insensitivity to this terrible disaster which is the lot of the Syrians and Iraqis. More than once have I heard this hair-raising statement: “What do we care if Arabs kill Arabs.” And then they’re astonished at those who were silent during the Holocaust. gm8/9/2016
What it would cost Abbas to reconcile with Dahlan Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Regardless of what he actually meant, it is clear to everyone that the Palestinian president confirmed that he is the target of a serious onslaught by all the Arab states in regard to Dahlan, whom several Arab leaders consider to be Abbas’ inevitable heir." ca 7/9/2016
What is Israel`s place in the Middle East?Assaf David - +972 "The following talk was presented, in Arabic, at a conference titled “Winds of Change in the Middle East” at Ben Gurion University on January 26, 2015." ca7/9/2016
Red Rag column: new school year and ongoing conflictGideon Spiro - Over 30 years ago, when my spouse and I accompanied our children to grade 1, I was troubled by anxiety about what kind of education system we were sending them to. Who would win out, the education system that volunteers students to be part of a colonialist racist system, or the system of humane values of their home? gm5/9/2016
Civil War Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “A lot of Israelis have begun to talk of ‘two Jewish societies’ in Israel, some even talk about ‘two Jewish peoples’ within the Israeli Jewish nation. What holds them together? The conflict, of course. The occupation. The perpetual state of war” [ry] 5/9/2016
Divided Congress upends US-Israel relationshipJulian Pecquet--Liberal Israel policy advocacy group J Street has endorsed more than half of the Democrats in the US House this cycle, the latest example of continued fallout from last year`s nuclear agreement with Iran. dn4/9/2016
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