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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
Love letter to a Zionist: NYU project seeks to bridge Israel divide within Jewish familiesShaina Shealy--Selig is critical of Zionism, which has resulted in a chasm of understanding between her and her family. She hopes to bridge this divide and foster productive dialogue by writing a letter to her mother that expresses her feelings as part of the “Love Letter Project” designed by Tammy Kremer, a graduate student at NYU Gallatin’s program for Individualized Studies. The project will result in a collection of published letters from American Jews expressing non or anti-Zionist feelings to loved ones. dn19/4/2015
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Demanding equality - how is that illegal?Ronnie Barkan--Demanding equality - how is that illegal? If the anti-boycott law is ever put to the test, the first cases may provide an even greater boost to the BDS movement. dn 19/4/2015
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Netanyahu must wake up to the new realityNahum Barnea - Ynet - Why does Israel allow itself to do whatever it wants and still expect us to veto a resolution that accurately reflects our long-standing policy? Why should America impose a veto against itself? (Obama according to people who have met with him of late.) [bz] 18/4/2015
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`There Are Still Judges…` Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It seems that even Gronis, the Likud`s protégé, had qualms about this specific decision. He signed [the verdict on the Boycott Law] literally at the very last moment – at 17.30 hours of the last day, just before Israel went into mourning at the start of Holocaust Day. His signature was decisive. The court was split – 4 to 4 – between those who wanted to annul the law and those who wanted to uphold it. Gronis joined the pro-law section and the law was approved. It is now the Law of the Land. [bz]18/4/2015
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Israel`s High Court takes compromised stand on freedom of expressionHaaretz Editorial--. . . the verdict is yet another manifestation, alongside other verdicts handed down this week — like the one barring security prisoners from formal study — of the Supreme Court’s judicial passivity. The court refrains from intervening in important human rights issues due to its belief that it must defer to the legislature and government. dn18/4/2015
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Netanyahu on Time magazine`s list of 100 most influential peopleHa`aretz - "...Barak doesn`t shrink from criticism of the prime minister. "Over time, while thoughtful and an avid reader of history, he developed a mind-set at once pessimistic, passive and anxious," Barak wrote. "Benjamin Netanyahu seems to avoid any initiative." ca 17/4/2015
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Naming and shaming in YarmoukRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram "Some of the culprits for the suffering in Yarmouk are listed below. Israel bears direct responsibility for the plight of the refugees in Yarmouk. The refugees are mostly the descendants of Palestinian refugees from historical Palestine, especially the northern towns like Safad that are now inside Israel." ca17/4/2015
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How Israel Hid Its Secret Nuclear Weapons ProgramAvner Cohen and William Burr - Information Clearing House "An exclusive look inside newly declassified documents shows how Israel blocked U.S. efforts to uncover its secret nuclear reactor." ca17/4/2015
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`Empty words`: Donors fail to deliver pledged Gaza aidMegan O`Toole - Aljazeera - The report from the Association of International Development Agencies, released on Monday, found that only 26.8 percent ($945m) of the money pledged by donors at the Cairo conference six months ago has been released, and reconstruction and recovery have barely started in the besieged coastal enclave.-rh15/4/2015
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Organic farms in the West Bank: Hemmed in by smokestacks, separation wallCreede Newton - Aljazeera America - Qato is a researcher at Brown University’s school of public health who conducted a qualitative study on the societal outcomes of the factories. She said that people from Tulkarem feel as if their health has been compromised, even if they are yet to exhibit signs of illness. Qato added: "The occupation limits access to the tools necessary to complete a thorough epidemiological study."-rh 15/4/2015
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Herzog, the hospital orderlyHaim Baram - Kol Ha`ir - "It’s true that the people chose him, and for us there`s nothing left save for acting like some sort of Greek chorus wailing against the tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes." - id 15/4/2015
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Against the Occupation: Ten Years of Grassroots Resistance L. Michael Hager -Truthout - In the US, Dr. Martin Luther King showed that nonviolent protest works. His Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 inspired passage of the Voting Rights Act that year, a landmark for US civil rights. In Palestine, Iyad Burnat, head of both the Bilin Popular Committee against the Wall and the Friends of Freedom and Justice in Bilin, has followed Dr. King`s example.-rh15/4/2015
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Israeli courts give free hand to Shin BetShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - lawyers specializing in civil rights cases, who represent Palestinians accused of security offenses in military courts, have told Al-Monitor that following the abduction and murder of the three Israeli youths last June, the Shin Bet was granted a sweeping license to conduct interrogations using various pressure methods, which often lead to false confessions obtained under duress.- rh 15/4/2015
Analysis: Palestinian options after the Israeli electionAlaa Tartir - Ma`an News - Palestinians throughout the occupied territories–those under a decade-long siege in Gaza, and losing land, water and homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem–and those suffering in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere, are at the end of their tether. Analysts warn that both Gaza and Jerusalem are at a boiling point, and the West Bank is not far behind.-rh 15/4/2015
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HRW: Settlement agriculture using Palestinian child laborMa`an News - The 74-page report, "Ripe for Abuse: Palestinian Child Labor in Israeli Agricultural Settlements in the West Bank," documents that children as young as 11 are working on settlement farms. The children carry heavy loads, are exposed to high temperatures and hazardous pesticides, and in some cases have to pay themselves for medical treatment for work-related injuries or illness.-rh15/4/2015
Gaza is a TombBel Trew - Foreign Policy - Gaza today is a powder keg waiting to explode. The key aspects of the cease-fire agreement that ended the war last summer remain unfulfilled — both Israel and Hamas feel that only more violence can force their enemy to assent to their demands.-rh15/4/2015
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Gunter Grass became ‘persona non grata’ for 2012 poem exposing Israeli nuclear hypocrisyPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss -In 2012, Mr. Grass found himself the subject of further scrutiny after publishing a poem criticizing Israel for its hostile language toward Iran over its nuclear program. He expressed revulsion at the idea that Israel might be justified in attacking Iran over a perceived nuclear threat and said that it “endangers the already fragile world peace.” 15/4/2015
Abbas’ silence on prisoners astounding, says UK’s Baroness TongeJulie Webb-Pullman - Samidoun - In a telephone link-up with Gaza today Baroness Jennifer Tonge told members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) she was astounded at the silence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the PLC regarding the Israeli kidnapping of PFLP member of parliament Khalida Jarrar on April 02, 2015.-rh 15/4/2015
High Court upholds part of Anti-Boycott Law, strikes part and splits on `1967 Israel` YONAH JEREMY BOB - The Jerusalem Post - Gabi Lasky, one of petitioner Gush Shalom`s attorneys, had said that the law was "a classic example of the tyranny of the majority" imposing its will and that she hoped the court would declare "unambiguously that even a majority in the Knesset is obligated to preserve the principle of fairness" that underlies democracy.-rh 15/4/2015
Smuggled Palestinian prison literature gains outside audienceAsmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - During the 22 years he spent in Beersheba prison, writer Shaaban Hassouna managed to draft five novels, which he sneaked out in capsules for his family to print. One of his novels, “Shade of a Black Cloud,” received critical and local acclaim. -rh15/4/2015
Talking with Israeli journalists about Palestine-Israel Ray Hanania - The Arabv Daily News - "One of the big problems facing the Middle East peace process is that Israelis and Palestinians don’t speak to each other enough." - id for bz14/4/2015
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How will Bibi meddle in next Presidential race?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "...Clinton perceived as an inevitable fate, a bitter pill anticipated in advance, and an obstacle that must be traversed." - id for bz 14/4/2015
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Humiliating Obama on Iran could fuel anti-SemitismBen-Dror Yemini - Ynet - "Netanyahu can defeat Obama in battle over Iran agreement, but humiliating president of world`s greatest power will serve as further `proof` that Jews are pulling strings with their fortune." - id for bz 14/4/2015
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S-300 will not prevent potential Israeli strike on IranRon Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "The initial sale was completed in 2007-2010, but never actualized because of Israeli and US pressure. But Monday`s news might not be as dangerous or earth shattering as the Russians and Iranians would want you to think." - id for bz 14/4/2015
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Congress is the Last to Know - Who’s Afraid of the Israel Lobby?Andrew Levine - CounterPunch - "Congress is the last place to look for `the brightest and the best` or the most knowledgeable. Still, most Senators and Representatives are at least somewhat better informed than people whose window on the world is Fox News. Why then did they make spectacles of themselves listening, yet again, to what Benjamin Netanyahu has to say about Iran? Why would they care? Why would anybody care what Netanyahu thinks?" [ry]13/4/2015
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Stop calling us `Israeli Arabs`Rami Younis - +972 "The phrase ‘Israeli Arabs’ is meant to divide us from the rest of the Palestinian people. Thankfully, more and more young Palestinian citizens are no longer scared to openly confront their own Pharaoh and reclaim their story." ca12/4/2015
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Israeli courts convict hundreds of Palestinian childrenPatrick Strickland - Aljazeera "When we got to the police station, he had been beaten up and there was blood on his face," Sheikh told Al Jazeera. "After five court hearings, he was sentenced to four months in prison. How does a 50-year-old man sit on a bench and decide the fate of little children?" ca12/4/2015
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In disregard for Bedouin, Israel is forgetting its foundersSeraj Assi - Haaretz "Israel`s attitude toward the Negev Bedouin is clearly the product of a mentality that fails to see human and civil rights beyond the single prism of Jewish settlement." ca12/4/2015
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Zionist Camp MK: Israel can maximize benefits from Iran dealMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "It’s not too late; there’s still time for damage control of the nuclear deal reached with Iran,” newly elected Zionist Camp Knesset member Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Ben-Reuven said. Ben-Reuven, who is expected to serve on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on behalf of the Zionist Camp told Al-Monitor, with reference to the progress made in the Lausanne nuclear talks..." ca 12/4/2015
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A meeting with the Jews of Iran Orly Azoulay--The day`s last rays of sunshine glimmered over the surface of the Zayandeh-Rood, "the life-giving river," that flows through Isfahan, Iran`s third-largest city. Soon it would be time for the evening prayer service; and I certainly wasn`t going home without visiting at least one of the 17 synagogues in the city and speaking to the members of the second-largest Jewish community in the Islamic Republic. dn I had a note in my pocket with the address of the Keter David synagogue, in the city`s Palestine neighborhood; but when I met my Iranian escort at the entrance to my hotel and told him I was going to take a cab there, the blood drained from his face. In Shiraz (Photo: Orly Azoulay) In Shiraz (Photo: Orly Azoulay) "They won`t let you in," he said. "They are very wary of strangers." 11/4/2015
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Israel As The Crashed Germanwings Airbus A320Alan Hart -Countercurrents - Though it is provocative and contentious I think my headline is appropriate for an article about an Israel in the process of committing suicide. I`d also like readers to know that the inspiration for my headline was an observation made by Uri Avnery, the Israeli writer and founder of the Gush Shalom peace movement. In a post which called for the formation of an Israeli Salvation Front, he wrote: "The country is in existential danger. Not from the outside, but from the inside." (That`s the way it was for the passengers and crew on Germanwings Flight 9525).-rh 9/4/2015
500% increase in Palestinians detained without trial in 2015Ma`an News - Israeli authorities have issued 319 administrative detention orders for Palestinians since the beginning of 2015, a rights group said Friday, six times as many as they did the previous year.-rh9/4/2015
Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbyePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - The president doesn’t use the word hurt. But his confession that overcoming the criticisms of him from Israel supporters has been as “hard as anything I do,” toward the end of the snippet above, is sure to be parsed for a long time. Hat’s off to Tom Friedman for eliciting an emotional response.-rh9/4/2015
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Israel shelling in Gaza war unprecedented despite inaccuracyCharlie Hoyle - Ma`an News - In a new report entitled `Under Fire,` Action on Armed Violence found that Israel has "gradually relaxed" rules regarding the use of unguided high-explosive weapons in populated areas, greatly increasing the risk to Palestinian civilians.-rh 9/4/2015
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Military Action Against Iran Still Possible, Says Israeli OfficialALON BERNSTEIN - Huffington Post - Steinitz, a confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s, said the government would spend the coming months lobbying the world powers negotiating with Iran to strengthen the language in the deal as they hammer out a final agreement. While stressing that Israel prefers a diplomatic solution, he said the "military option" still exists.-rh 9/4/2015
Opinion: A Bad Deal with Iran Is Better than NoneOmid Nouripour - Spiegel Online - Iran cannot be a trusted partner with its support for terrorists, a dire human rights record and it`s denial of Israel`s right to exist. But demonizing the country is not a viable policy. It`s time for the West to reach a nuclear deal with Tehran.-rh9/4/2015
Netanyahu`s alliance with Republicans risks further ire from Obama Chris McGreal - The Guardian - But with Republicans using the agreement as another opportunity to rally against the president and even turn it into an election issue, Netanyahu once again allied himself with Obama’s opponents.-rh 9/4/2015
If Nuclear Iran Is So Scary, What About Israel?Michael Karpin - The Jewish Daily Forward - The main difference between the two is that Iran’s nuclear program makes headline news, while Israel’s nuclear capability remains hidden in the shadows. The Israeli bomb lies in “the Basement.” It’s intended to be a weapon of last resort, the silent guarantor of the country’s existence in the face of hostile neighbors. Iran does not need a weapon of last resort because it is not currently intimidated or threatened by any of its neighbors. This is the basic distinction between the two.-rh 9/4/2015
Obama: Nuclear deal cannot depend on Iran recognizing IsraelDeutsche Welle - US President Barack Obama has said it would be a "fundamental misjudgment" to ask Iran to recognize Israel as part of the nuclear deal. Israel says it is still thinking of military action against the Iran pact.-rh 9/4/2015
Knesset Joint List denounces arrest, detention of Jarrarsamidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network - the Joint List condemned the arrest of Jarrar, calling it a violation of international law and conventions. "The arrest of Jarrar is a repressive and arbitrary step, part of a framework of targeting activists against the occupation.-rh 9/4/2015
PA official: Problem isn`t Netanyahu, it`s IsraelUri Savir - Al Monitor - "...Ramallah-based senior officials who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The peace process is now formally dead.”" - id 8/4/2015
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Joint Arab List must reduce Jews` fear Yaron London - Ynet - "The Arab political leadership`s challenge is to convince the Jews that Israel`s Arab citizens have adopted a political culture which is different from the culture dominating the countries surrounding us." - id 8/4/2015
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Netanyahu`s hypocrisy about intervening in other countries` affairsHaggai Matar - +972 - "What would happen if a foreign country started lobbying for bills in the Israeli Knesset, going so far as to seek the insertion of specific clauses into them?" - id 8/4/2015
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Israeli politician `has a dream` of equality between Jews and Arabs Ben Lynfield - The Independent - "Ayman Odeh cites civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr as his inspiration to close gap." - id 8/4/2015
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Land Day report shows worsening discrimination in IsraelRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - " As Palestinians and the world celebrate Land Day in recognition of the land rights stolen by Israel in occupied Palestine, a new report shows the Apartheid-like discrimination by Israel against Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel and especially against the victims of Israel’s Apartheid-like policies in the West Bank." - id 8/4/2015
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A complicated chess game and a Liberty Holiday in military prison Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "`Then followed an amazing and shocking development` recounted Ralph Hoffman, president of B`nai B`rith in Germany and Europe, `The German embassy in Israel sent email messages to the team managers and told them unequivocally to cancel the visit to Maale Adumim, stating that Ma`aleh Adumim is a settlement in Palestinian territory [...] Can you imagine it? Seventy years since the liberation of Auschwitz, and they behave like this. Is this friendship?`" [ry]7/4/2015
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Will PA focus on settlements at ICC?Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - To start war crimes cases against Israelis involved in last summer`s attack on Gaza, Palestinians would need to show to the ICC`s satisfaction that investigations carried out by Israel`s own judicial system were not effective; this might take years. On the other hand, the case against Israeli settlement activities, land confiscation and the movement of persons from the occupying country to the occupied areas form a much easier case to win. The Fourth Geneva Convention makes very clear that settlements and those directing and protecting the settlers are committing a violation of international humanitarian law — which makes the settlement track stronger for Palestinians, since it is a crime that is still continuing, and no denial of its existence is possible. ak 6/4/2015
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The three benefits of ending the U.S.`s cold war with IranPeter Beinart - Haaretz - What George W. Bush failed to achieve militarily, Barack Obama may now be achieving diplomatically. In recent weeks, American hawks have cited Saudi anxiety about a potential Iran deal as reason to be wary of one. But a big part of the reason the Saudis are worried is because they know that as U.S.-Iranian relations improve, their influence over the United States will diminish. That doesn’t mean the U.S.-Saudi alliance will disintegrate. Even if it frays somewhat, the United States still needs Saudi oil and Saudi Arabia still needs American protection. But the United States may soon have a better relationship with both Tehran and Riyadh than either has with the other, which was exactly what Richard Nixon orchestrated in the three-way dynamic between Washington, Moscow, and Beijing in the 1970s. And today, as then, that increases America’s leverage over both countries. [bz]6/4/2015
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Israel should be grateful to Obama Sever Plocker - Ynet - The day will come when we thank Barack Obama for his enormous contribution to Israel`s national security. The fact that he effectively removed the threat of chemical and nuclear weapons in the hands of our enemies Syria and Iran. We are being ungrateful. [bz]6/4/2015
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Iran nuclear deal: A powerful Tehran turned into America’s policeman in the Gulf? It could happen Robert Fisk--deal could trigger a political earthquake Iran was reborn as a major Middle East nation when it agreed to limit its nuclear ambitions. Despite the “ifs” (if Iran complies with the “key parameters”, if Iran’s Revolutionary Guards don’t try to wreck the agreement, if Israel does not batter Iran’s nuclear facilities in a rogue nation attack) the framework could one day return the 36-year-old Islamic Republic to the status of a regional superpower which last existed under the Shah. dn 5/4/2015
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Eight Urgent ‘Musts’ Needed for Palestinians to Defeat Apartheid: Ramzy Baroud--"ICH" - Waiting on Israeli society to change from within is a colossal waste of time, during which the suffering of an entire nation – torn between an occupied home and a harsh diaspora – will not cease. But what are Palestinians and the supporters of a just peace in Palestine and Israel to do? Plenty. dn5/4/2015
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Bibi talk: ‘New York Review of Books’ trivializes Israeli fascismPhilip Weiss--But guess what: Shulman never calls Netanyahu Bibi in the piece. He uses his actual name, Benjamin Netanyahu. Just what you’d expect from a serious voice on the conflict (Shulman is a Ta’ayush activist and a Sanskrit scholar.) Why would you ever call a leader of proto-fascists “Bibi”? Do Palestinians call Netanyahu “Bibi”– the man who complained that Arabs were voting in “droves”? dn5/4/2015
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Israel needs a reality check on Iran Nahum Barnea - Ynet - Justified Israeli concerns about losing its qualitative edge over its neighbors [bz].4/4/2015
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Don`t be afraid to talk about ZionismShmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Is practical Zionism really over? On the contrary, it looks like it is alive and kicking. Are there no more settlements, no more expropriation of land and denial of equal rights to Palestinians? Does the Occupation really no longer exist? gm 4/4/2015
Red Rag column: not democratic and not legitimateGideon Spiro - I will begin by asserting that the latest elections were not democratic. The elected government, Netanyahu’s dream coalition, the Right and the religious, is not legitimate. For after all, what have the commanders of the majority said? That it is permitted to continue to oppress the Palestinians, to desecrate their human dignity and to trample their natural rights underfoot – all without asking their opinion on whether they have any interest in continued rule by the Israeli military junta. gm4/4/2015
Poof! There goes Netanyahu`s Iran bogeymanRachel Shabi--Long before a historic deal was finally agreed upon, we might have guessed what the Israeli government would make of it. Having warned about the perils of any rapprochement with Iran for some years - going to the US Congress, twice, and to the UN, with the same doom-laden messages - it was probably safe to assume that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s reaction to any agreement would be: We hate it. dn4/4/2015
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Who’s Afraid of Iran’s Big Bad Bomb?Uri Avnery - Counterpunch - To imagine that the present leaders of Iran would even contemplate risking the very existence of Persia out of hatred of Israel is both ridiculous and megalomaniac.4/4/2015
Issue No.1240, 2 April, 2015 02-04-2015 08:56AM ETDina Ezzat - Al-Ahram "As the second and final term of Obama draws to a close, the US president could hardly have any illusions on his chances to achieve the other historic deal he was hoping for: an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict and the launch of an independent Palestinian state."3/4/2015
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A Holidays Message from ACRI President Sami MichaelSami Michael - ACRI 3/4/2015
A step-by-step guide to what the Iran agreement actually meansIshaan Tharoor - Washington Post "Analysts appear surprised by the thoroughness of this framework agreement, which gives proponents of a deal hope that a real pact may be sealed this summer. " ca3/4/2015
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ICC: Palestine is Newest Member : Court Membership Could Open Door for Justice to VictimsHuman Rights Watch - The ICC treaty officially went into effect for Palestine on April 1, 2015, giving the court a mandate dating back to June 13, 2014, over serious crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on or from Palestinian territory.-rh 2/4/2015
The bravery of those many Jews who fight for a fairer Israel : Hamas is a wicked and dangerous force in the Middle East. But Israel is now more wicked and dangerousYasmin Alibhai Brown - The Independent - I wish more of us Muslims acknowledged Jewish men and women who, in spite of intolerable pressures, fight for Palestine, an ethical, just Israel and equality for all. I wish more Muslims were as fair-minded and honourable as these Jewish resistors.-rh 2/4/2015
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Journalists still a target in GazaAsmaa al-Ghoul - Al-Monitor - When asked why a large number of journalists died during the recent war, journalist Sami Abu Salem, who is trained in the safety of journalists, said that the main reason stems from the criminal behavior of the Israeli forces that deliberately target journalists.-rh 2/4/2015
David Shulman’s Appeal on Behalf of the People of Palestinian SusyaDavid Shulman - The Villages Group - About a year ago I reported on a truly astonishing document prepared by the Civil Administration in which they argue, in classic colonial style, that the impoverished Palestinians of Susya do not know what is good for them and that their opportunities will increase if only they are moved to the city of Yata-- in other words, if they are forced to relinquish forever their homes, grazing grounds, and fields.-rh 2/4/2015
Sneaking across Israeli border last resort for desperate GazansHana Salah - Al-Monitor - Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been illegally crossing the eastern border into Israel for years. Yet, what was once a rare phenomenon has now transformed into an almost daily occurrence. Palestinian youths hope to find a better life and jobs across the border, or even obtain refugee status, but they are almost always detained by Israel. Regardless, more and more youths are risking their lives to sneak across the border.-rh 2/4/2015
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Netanyahu says US is part of new ‘axis’!Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - The pressure is increasing on Obama over his foreign policy; and it’s time for supporters of peace to line up behind him. Today in his efforts to counter the Iran deal, Netanyahu called the US part of the “Axis,” a naked reference to Nazi Germany and its allies in World.-rh 2/4/2015
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March 2015 NewsletterWho Pofits Research Center - Israeli news sources report that Max Bögl and Signon Schweiz won a tender for the construction and maintenance of the track and electronic systems of the A1 rail – a new high-speed train built on Palestinian land.-rh 2/4/2015
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Monitoring the treatment of children in Israeli Military DetensionMilitary Court Watch - According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 28 February 2015, there were 5,609 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza) held as "security prisoners" in Israeli detention facilities including 182 children. In the case of children this represents an increase of 12 per cent compared with the previous month and an annual decrease of 8 per cent compared with 2014. According to the IPS, 51 per cent of Palestinian children and 90 per cent of adults continue to be detained in facilities inside Israel, in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.-rh2/4/2015
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Palestine’s lingering water crisisAhmad Melhem - Al-Monitor - “The biggest water catastrophe on earth is in the Gaza Strip, as 97% of the coastal aquifer water is unfit for human use because of seawater intrusion and leakage of sewage water into it,” Ghoneim said.-rh 1/4/2015
Obama, Netanyahu and the Palestinian conflict: What`s next?Noam Sheizaf - +972 - The first policy option the administration has is to publish the parameters for a future Palestinian state. In other words, to let it be known how the U.S. envisions this state (probably pre-’67 borders with land swaps, the division of Jerusalem and no substantial refugee return). Such positions matter because they serve as the starting points for future negotiations. Since Israel is the stronger party, which holds all the cards, publishing parameters is traditionally considered as a move that serves the Palestinians. [bz for id]1/4/2015
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Will the real Isaac Herzog please stand up?Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - Tthe only remaining path to bringing the occupation beyond the Green Line to an end is forcibly removing Israel from the territories. The first, unavoidable step on this path is a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders, together with a specified time frame for negotiations or international arbitration on the details. This is the highest interest of Jewish, democratic, moral and secure Israel. The international community must know that a large proportion of elected officials in Israel, and not only “the usual suspects” such as Meretz and the Joint List of Arab parties, support the immediate admission of Palestine to the United Nations. The heads of the Security Council member states must know that in the eyes of a central group within Israeli society, a vote for Palestine would not be considered an “anti-Israeli” or “anti-Semitic” act. [bz for id]1/4/2015
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Isaac and Ishmael are half-brothers / Time to cut the Gordian knotZeki Ergas - Global Marshall Plan - We have, the declaration, whether an electoral ploy, or not, that Israel will never accept the creation of a Palestinian state. That declaration may well be the straw that breaks the camel`s back (so to speak), that is, bringing about a situation that is not acceptable for the United States, the European Community, and a large part of the international community. [bz] 31/3/2015
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Save Israel from its collective suicide, ObamaRogel Alpher - Haaretz - Are Obama’s eyes blinded to the point where he does not see that his unconditional support of Israel is responsible for creating the conditions that allow and even encourage growth of the apartheid and binational state here? Does he not understand that, without the financial, military and diplomatic assistance that he provides Israel, the settlement and occupation enterprise would collapse? Does he not get that under his leadership, if he were to publicly harden his heart toward Netanyahu and Israel – Europe would follow his footsteps, and economic sanctions and boycotts would be speedily imposed on Israel, forcing its Jewish citizens to change their diplomatic outlook? Does he not know that if he would just stop providing spare parts for fighter jets, the feverish illusion would dissipate, and sanity would once again prevail among us? [bz]31/3/2015
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Netanyahu`s biggest problem: Obama believes himYossi Verter - Haaretz - The lesson Netanyahu learned from his first term (1996-1999), when he headed a right-wing, ultra-Orthodox government, is that a Likud prime minister always has to co-opt a party from the other camp into his government. Otherwise he gets into trouble with the international community. (...) [Obama is] declaring at every opportunity that he accepts without reservation Netanyahu’s eve-of-election statement that a Palestinian state will not be established during his term of office, adding a veiled threat about reassessing Israel-U.S. relations – an expression that is the diplomatic equivalent of the Doomsday weapon. Netanyahu will not be able to offset this with the Jewish nation-state law, promises to build in the territories, and so forth. [bz]29/3/2015
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The Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel: Pointing the Way ForwardJames Zogby - Huffington Post - They are more forward looking on most issues than either Israeli Jews or Palestinians from the occupied territories. They support an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a two-state solution and they support the rights of the refugees--whom they see as their dispossessed kin. They strongly support both the Arab Peace Initiative and the parameters of the Clinton peace proposal. And they insist that their future is in their native land, demanding equal rights on all levels equal funding for education and other public services, and an end to the 50+ laws that discriminate against them in favor of the Jewish citizens of the state. [bz]29/3/2015
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They`re Palestinians, not `Israeli Arabs`Saree Makdisi - LA Times - In fact, to use the ethnic term "Arab" to describe the Palestinians inside Israel is to strip them of any national identity — not only the national identity that they themselves assert, but quite literally any national identity whatsoever, given that, according to a 2013 ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court, "Israeli" is not a national identity. [bz] 28/3/2015
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Analysis: The rise of the Israeli far right and the future of the PA Ghassan Khatib - Ma`an News "The only way to explain this drift in the direction of increasingly rigid and extreme political positions is the absence of accountability. Israelis have been allowed to have their cake and eat it, too. They have been allowed to continue disregarding the expectations of their backers, particularly the US and Europe, and to continue expanding settlements while ignoring their friends` chiding remarks." ca27/3/2015
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UN Mideast envoy asks Security Council to lead on IsraelAss. Press - Ynet "The UN`s top Mideast envoy challenged the Security Council on Thursday to step up and lead the way to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the international community should seriously consider presenting a framework for negotiations that "may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution." ca 27/3/2015
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I want my country backPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "Israeli analysts are now suggesting that Mr. Obama and his aides might be overplaying their hand, inviting a backlash of sympathy for Mr. Netanyahu." ca27/3/2015
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The ire over IranThe Economist - "Although Barack Obama is right to chastise Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister has a point on Iran...Mr Netanyahu is wrong to reject any plausible deal with Iran. His confrontational tactics may do great damage to his country. Yet he is right on at least one point that Mr Obama is wilfully ignoring: Iran’s belligerent behaviour in the Middle East is an increasing menace." ca27/3/2015
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Naomi Klein: Let`s Kick Oil While the Price is DownVIDEO - "Climate change should be a catalyst for a major change, but we`re not treating it as a real emergency. Naomi Klein believes that capitalism is at war with the climate, but she says sometimes it gives us a gift – the sudden drop in oil prices. So let`s not blow what could be our best chance to prevent catastrophic global warming." ca27/3/2015
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Palestinian armed groups killed civilians on both sides in attacks amounting to war crimesAmnesty International - Report "“The international community must help prevent further violations by tackling entrenched impunity and by ending transfers to Palestinian armed groups and Israel of all arms and military equipment that could be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law,” said Philip Luther." ca27/3/2015
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West sees Palestinians as Israel`s problem Aviad Kleinberg - Ynet - "Europe and US allegedly oppose Israel`s settlement policy, but beyond paying lip service, West`s elites have supported occupation and avoided imposing any significant sanctions on Israel." id for rh 26/3/2015
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Obama: Dim hope for end to Israeli-Palestinian conflictDEB RIECHMANN - Yahoo News - "Obama`s comments at the White House did little to repair rocky U.S.-Israeli relations, which were aggravated by a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday alleging Israel spied on sensitive negotiations about Iran`s nuclear program." - id 25/3/2015
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It`s time for a one-state solutionYonatan Amir - +972 - "The only way forward is to grant full equality to all." - id 25/3/2015
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Netanyahu may have apologized, but the damage has been doneNahum Barnea - Ynet - "The impulsive, demagogic nature of Netanyahu`s moves succeeded in pulling the ethnic demon out of the bottle. It`s an interesting demon: Most of the time, it rests in the bottle without overly interfering in our lives. Every few years, on Election Day, it is pulled out." - id 25/3/2015
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Occupier`s democracyAdam Keller - Crzay Country - "On the one hand there is a multy-party parliamentary democracy in which the citizens of Israel – about eighty percent Jews and twenty percent Arabs – elect the government which governs them and the legislature which makes their laws; and on the other hand a military dictator called the Commanding General, IDF Central Command who is the almighty governor, legislator and judge who rules over the lives of millions of Palestinians." - id25/3/2015
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Get Ready for the Third IntifadaJOHN WIGHT - CounterPunch - "The so-called international community, consisting of Washington and its European allies, has failed the Palestinian people miserably over many years by now." - id25/3/2015
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Israelis elected a non-democracy Mairav Zonszein - +972 - Obama must understand that these elections were more than just a referendum on Netanyahu — they were a referendum on Israel’s character, and Israelis did not vote for democratic ideals [ry] 23/3/2015
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The End of the Liberal Zionist FaçadeNeve Gordon - CounterPunch - “There is, however, one clear advantage to the election results: clarity. At least now there will be no liberal Zionist façade, camouflaging Israel’s unwillingness to dismantle its colonial project” [ry]23/3/2015
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The messages from Israel`s election Ilan Pappe--Those of us who know the nature of the beast could not have been surprised by the results of the Israeli election. Like many of my friends, I was also relieved that a liberal Zionist government was not elected. It would have allowed the charade of the “peace process” and the illusion of the two-state solution to linger on while the suffering of the Palestinians continues.dn 22/3/2015
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Don`t be fooled by Netanyahu`s upcoming charm offensiveDaoud Kuttab--Despite the expectations that the upcoming Israeli coalition government will increase its oppressive acts against Palestinians, my expectations are the exact opposite. But this should not allow anyone to be fooled. dn22/3/2015
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Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for PalestineYOUSEF MUNAYYER--WASHINGTON — IF anyone doubted where Benjamin Netanyahu stood on the question of peace, the Israeli prime minister made himself clear just before Tuesday’s election, proclaiming that there would never be a Palestinian state on his watch. Then he decided to engage in a bit of fear-mongering against Palestinian citizens of Israel in hopes of driving his supporters to the polls. “The right-wing government is in danger,” Mr. Netanyahu announced on Election Day. “Arab voters are heading to the polling stations in droves.” dn22/3/2015
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Israeli elections underscore the importance of JVP`s historic growth and strategy.Rebecca Vilkomerson--Yesterday’s election reaffirmed what Jewish Voice for Peace has been saying for quite some time: The only way to end Israel`s endless settlement expansion and separate and deeply unequal apartheid system is through external pressure. dn 22/3/2015
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Netanyahu Tactics Anger Many U.S. Jews, Deepening a DivideLAURIE GOODSTEIN--Long before the latest election in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu was a polarizing figure among American Jews. But even many of his supporters said this week that they were appalled at his last-minute bid to mobilize Jewish voters by warning that Arabs were going to the polls in droves, and his renunciation of a two-state solution to the Palestinian crisis.dn22/3/2015
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Netanyahu`s victory  what is the cost?Robert Fantina--The victory of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israelfs election may have come at a surprisingly high cost. Mr. Netanyahu publicly proclaimed what every thinking person on the planet always knew, but which most global world leaders chose to ignore: he will never allow the establishment of a free and independent Palestinian state. Now, world leaders, especially those in the United States who have fostered the farce of negotiations between Israel and Palestine, must see two unpleasant facts: 1) the Prime Minister has lied to them for years, and never had any intention of seriously negotiating with the Palestinians, and 2) The problem of the Israeli occupation of Palestine needs to be resolved.dn22/3/2015
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For Liberal Israelis, Netanyahu`s Win Is A Reality CheckDaniel Estrin--TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli liberals woke up after national elections with a demoralizing feeling: Most of the country, in a deep and possibly irreversible way, does not think like they do.dn22/3/2015
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Mr Obama, there is still time to remake the Middle East Afif Emile Safieh--In our unipolar world, non-alignment is no more the policy option of Third World countries who feared the collision or collusion of the two competing superpowers. Rather, it should be what characterises American foreign policy. Because if the US sides with one belligerent player in a regional conflict, not only does it unnecessarily alienate and antagonise all the other countries in the area but it also offends and ghettoises a domestic component of its own national and social fabric. A recent poll showed that 66 per cent of the American public wanted the US to be a neutral in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.dn22/3/2015
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Israel is supposedly the only democracy in the Middle East, yet 4.5 million Palestinians under its control can`t vote Yara Hawari--A state that ignores the rights of its indigenous non-Jewish people is not a democracy Today Israeli citizens are going to vote for their next government in a country often labeled as "the only democracy in the Middle East". Ironically, they will be voting on ballot cards produced in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank by Palestinians, who will have no input in the political process. dn 22/3/2015
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Netanyahu sank into the moral gutter – and there will be consequences Jonathan Freedland--Israel’s prime minister won re-election with a combination of belligerence and bigotry. His opposition to a Palestinian state is a stance the world should not accept. dn21/3/2015
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I support the Israeli boycott - but which one?Liela Sansour--Debate rages over Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement - is it effective or just symbolic? dn21/3/2015
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For Obama and Israel, the party is over Alex Fishman - Ynet "Now that he is free of electoral pressures and has been challenged by Netanyahu, Obama is making it clear to Israel and its supporters that the presidential treatment of the Palestinian issue is about to take on a much more aggressive attitude." ca 20/3/2015
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Israel Election Result Complicates Life for ClintonJASON HOROWITZ - NYT "Mrs. Clinton, the former secretary of state who has long advocated a two-state solution and once took credit for starting what were then secret talks for an Iran nuclear deal that Mr. Netanyahu vehemently opposes, is now likely to be under increased pressure from her own party to speak up against a government that is openly hostile to Mr. Obama." ca20/3/2015
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The Joint List: Palestinians in Israel come in from the cold?Al-Shabaka - "The Joint List launched on Feb. 14, 2015 by four political parties largely representing the Palestinian citizens of Israel may win enough seats to be the third largest party in the Israeli Knesset.But will this really challenge the second-class status of Palestinian citizens?" ca20/3/2015
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U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign PromisesThe Onion - "said U.S. State Department spokesman Eric Patel, explaining that, realistically, the U.S. would likely have trouble following through on Netanyahu’s repeated vows on the campaign trail to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon at any cost and continuing to thwart the creation of a Palestinian state. “He made a bold personal pledge to every voter that Israel’s military capabilities would be considerably bolstered under his watch, which is going to be real tough for us to accomplish. I’m afraid we might end up having to eat his words.” ca20/3/2015
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Trouble Ahead for Bibi. Plus: Why Herzog LostJ.J. Goldberg - the Jewish Daily Forward "The bottom line: The center-left opposition had a stronger argument on security and peace than Netanyahu did, but it was afraid to make its case. Despite the unprecedented outpouring of anti-Netanyahu protest from retired defense and intelligence chiefs — including nearly every former head of the Mossad and Shin Bet and one-third of all living ex-generals — Herzog and his allies steered clear of them." ca 20/3/2015
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If Israelis want change, they`ll have to let go of fearSamah Salaime - +972 "These elections showed that Israelis are guided by their fears of another Holocaust, ISIS, Arab citizens or left-wing NGOs. Now is the time for it to move beyond the scars of the past and make real change, before it is too late."ca20/3/2015
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How King Bibi survivedRachel Shabi - Al Jazeera - "Observers may have baulked, but Bibi knew what he was doing. Benjamin Netanyahu, incumbent Israeli prime minister, has spent the past few days making alarmingly racist and intransigent statements - and as an election tactic, it worked." - id for rh 19/3/2015
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Bibi Will Make HistoryThomas L. Friedman - NYT - "It is stunning how much Bibi’s actions serve Tehran’s strategic interests."..."I just hope that — somehow — a Jewish democratic Israel survives his tenure." - id for rh 19/3/2015
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Netanyahu’s Win Is Good for PalestineYOUSEF MUNAYYERMARCH - NYT - "This might seem counterintuitive, but the political dynamics in Israel and internationally mean that another term with Mr. Netanyahu at the helm could actually hasten the end of Israel’s apartheid policies." - id for rh19/3/2015
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Netanyahu`s victory is the Israeli media`s failureMazal Mualem - Al Monitor - "While the results are known, they leave one resounding question: How could the media have been so blind?" - id for rh 19/3/2015
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It`s the dawn of an old daySima Kadmon - Ynet - "Nine years of inaction, of international isolation, of serious state comptroller reports and of a feeling of alienation among the Israeli public were not enough for the Israelis to say: No more." - id for rh 19/3/2015
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Bibi is a magician after allNahum Barnea - Ynet - "Netanyahu didn`t steal the elections, he won them. The achievement is his, and only his." - id 18/3/2015
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Red Rag column: Time to decideGideon Spiro - I am faced with three choices: a blank ballot, as the Pirate Party suggests, Meretz, or the Joint List. I have friends in both lists, and I agree with the platforms of both.18/3/2015
Zoabi seeks to force Israel to be a real DemocracyRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Zoabi was kicked off the election ballot by the racist Israeli Central Election Committee which acts more like one of the White Southern segregationist Organizations of the American 1950s. But the Israeli Supreme Court eventually overturned the racist ruling which was driven by Israeli political hatred and apartheid practices in Israel." - id18/3/2015
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AT WHAT COST VICTORY? Bibi’s Ugly Win Will Harm IsraelJonathan Alter - The Daily Beast - "And Bibi and Likud might be in for a rude shock at the United Nations. On Tuesday, moderate Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN that it was “hard to imagine” there would be no consequences from Netanyahu’s new one-state views." - id 18/3/2015
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Redemption from the mouth of a leperAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "If a person who had shed a lot of blood and perpetrated many atrocities can at an advanced age become the standard bearer of the Peace Camp, I will not reject him." - id 18/3/2015
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The PM`s failures have caused damage on security, Iran, peace talks and the economy.Major General (ret.) Amnon Reshef - Ynet - As long as Israel refrains from initiating a serious move for regional peace, the current quiet will not last and harsh wars will follow. [bz] 17/3/2015
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Arab Alliance Rises as Force in Israeli ElectionsDiaa Hadid - NYT - It was Mr. Lieberman himself who inadvertently helped set in motion a political awakening of Arabs in Israel this election year. Legislation he championed to raise the percentage of votes required to enter Parliament threatened the survival of four small Arab parties, so they decided to unite after years of refusing to do so. Now, polls cited by the Israeli media suggest the Arab alliance is likely to become the third-largest faction in Parliament with 13 of its 120 seats, potentially preventing Mr. Netanyahu from cobbling together the 61 seats he needs to form a coalition and stay in power. The same polls show that Mr. Lieberman may have more trouble getting his own Yisrael Beiteinu party across the 3.25 percent threshold he designed. [bz]16/3/2015
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Election preview: Netanyahu`s moment of truthNoam Sheizaf - +972 - The Israeli prime minister called elections hoping to strengthen his coalition, but he underestimated the personal resentment many Israelis feel toward him. One shouldn’t, however, confuse the fierce competition for power with a battle over ideas: even if Labor wins, the end of the occupation is not around the corner [ry]16/3/2015
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David Shulman`s new report from South Mt, Hebron David Shulman, The Villages Group Just when I come to the conclusion that the men with guns have resigned themselves to recalcitrant ovine reality and the danger has passed, they suddenly arrest two more shepherds: Majlis Salim and Jihad Salim. The arrests are swift and brutal, with much shoving and poking. We’re too far away to be of help, but I can’t bear watching this: despair again. Is it the good despair I’ve written about, the kind that makes you act and take risks and not think about results? I doubt it. It’s a black viscous feeling that goes well with the liquid gold washing over the hill.16/3/2015
Flagging as election looms, Netanyahu ramps up rhetoricDan Williams--JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Flagging in opinion polls before Tuesday`s election in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally rightists by casting his center-left challengers as tools of a global campaign to usurp power. dn15/3/2015
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She wished there were more Palestinians like meAmer Zahr--This past Monday night, I participated in a panel debate at the Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The panel consisted of five Jewish Americans and me, a Palestinian American. The audience was almost entirely Jewish, with a couple Palestinians. Somehow, my eyes found them immediately. Basically, it was about two hundred Jews and three of us. It reminded me of my numerous flights to Tel Aviv.dn15/3/2015
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For whom to Vote?Uri Avnery--In Israel, elections are also secret. Therefore I shall not tell you for whom I shall vote. Certainly I shall not be so impertinent as to tell my readers how to vote. But I shall set out the reasoning that will guide me. dn15/3/2015
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A Modern Day WitchhuntDeborah Lipstadt and David Ellenson--Echoes of McCarthyism in Smear Campaign Against New Israel Fund Backers Do Creators of Attack Ads Have No Sense of Decency? Modern Day Witchhunt: Joseph McCarthy hounded honest Americans in misguided hunt for Communists. Are right wing Jews doing much the same to backers of the New Israel Fund? dn 15/3/2015
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How many cars does it take for a Bedouin village to vote?Khalil Alamour and Amjad Iraqi--While the majority of Jewish Israelis will have no problem voting on election day, some Bedouin will be forced to travel up to 40 kilometers [almost 25 miles DN] simply to participate in Israel’s democracy.dn15/3/2015
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Israel election: How Isaac Herzog now holds the key to the country`s futureBen Lynfield--His lacklustre tone betrays a distinguished political pedigree. And this scion of Zion, the son of a former president, may well see off Benjamin Netanyahu His manner is lacklustre, almost bureaucratic at times. Compared with Benjamin Netanyahu, the bullish Likud Party leader who has been Israel’s prime minister for the past six years, he is little known abroad; and at home, his background as a former lawyer and relatively low-key Knesset member from a celebrated Zionist family make him an unlikely revolutionary. dn 15/3/2015
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Binyamin Netanyahu has failed. There’s a better way to achieve security for Israel Avi Shlaim--Israeli voters have to choose between two radically different visions for the future of their country when they go to the polls on 17 March. The rightwing ruling Likud party faces a challenge from the Zionist Union, which was formed by a merger of the Labour party and a small centrist party. Isaac Herzog, the leader of the new party, is a moderate left-of-centre politician who prefers to focus on the socioeconomic issues that are high on the voters’ agenda. His centre-right deputy, Tzipi Livni, was the minister of justice and chief negotiator with the Palestinians in the outgoing coalition government. Their new party is committed to negotiations with the Palestinian Authority with the aim of reaching agreement on a two-state solution to the conflict. Its platform also pledges to submit an Israeli peace initiative to the Arab League.dn15/3/2015
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Final polls show Zionist Camp with biggest lead yetEdo Konrad - +972 - Herzog and Livni may have the upper hand over Netanyahu, but even if they win the election, they won’t have an easy time putting together a coalition. [bz]14/3/2015
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It`s the Palestinian Territories, stupidEran Rolnik--On the eve of the elections to the 20th Knesset, the threat to Israeli democracy is no longer the polarization that reached its peak with the Rabin assassination; it is the obliviousness and self-righteousness that has gripped the country for the past two decades. What, indeed, is it to be an Israeli at this time, if not to dwell within a fragment of yourself, ensuring that the other parts of the picture don’t disturb you; to do whatever strikes your fancy and not understand “what’s wrong with that”? dn14/3/2015
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Hamas and Iran: Rapprochement?Ahmed El-Sayed - Al-Ahram "...the London-based Raialyoum newspaper quoted unnamed Hamas sources as saying that the group is looking forward to new relations with Iran, especially after the war on Gaza. It is also hoping for renewed support for the resistance and its armed wing, including missiles and materiel that could be used in any future confrontation with Israel.However, it does not want this to come at the expense of the Qatar axis opposing the Al-Assad regime, which is Iran’s ally." ca13/3/2015
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50,000 Israelis show up at the wrong protestMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "If 50,000 Jewish Israelis marched on the Qalandia checkpoint demanding an end to the occupation even Netanyahu would take note, Herzog would change his messaging overnight, and the seeds of change just might have a chance of sprouting." ca13/3/2015
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Is It Sheldon Adelson’s World?Thomas L. Friedman - NYT - "No matter what his agenda, it is troubling that one man, with a willingness and ability to give away giant sums, can now tilt Israeli and American politics his way at the same time." - id for rh 12/3/2015
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The strange timing of generals` attack on Netanyahu Noah Klieger - Ynet - "If the Mossad and Shin Bet heads who served under the PM were so concerned by his `irresponsible conduct,` why didn`t they quit and warn us of this great danger earlier?" - id for rh 12/3/2015
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After the Elections the DelugeAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "He came. He saw. He made a speech – he made a speech indeed. Did he also win? That remains to be seen." - id 11/3/2015
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We`re not stuck with Palestinians, we`re stuck in our own fearMairav Zonszein - +972 - "“With Bibi-Bennett, we’ll be stuck with the Palestinians forever.” I noticed a billboard carrying that slogan the other day and was immediately appalled. It is among the most offensive and racist I’ve seen in this campaign — and there is no lack of competition in that department." - id11/3/2015
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Bibi`s fantastic feats of flip-floppingBen Caspit - Al Monitor - "...his campaign announced that his famous Bar Ilan speech, in which he recognized the two-state solution for the very first time, “is no longer relevant.”" - id 11/3/2015
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For Obama and Israel, the party is overAlex Fishman - Ynet - "Dr. Malley .... believes that a dialogue with Hamas is crucial in order to reach a comprehensive agreement with the Palestinians." - id11/3/2015
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Will Herzog compromise party values to join government?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor/Israel Pulse - According to his own statements, his openness to the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders would prevent Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog from joining a Likud-led government after the elections. Herzog, as well as Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon and even Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman have been talking a lot in recent months about a regional arrangement that would include moderate Arab states in resolving the conflict. [bz]10/3/2015
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`Israel Hayom` and Netanyahu`s shared fear of Arab votersOren Persico - The Seventh Eye/+972 - “Millions of shekels from overseas — to raise voter participation for the Left and the Arabs,” was the main headline last week on Israel Hayom, the newspaper funded by millions of shekels from overseas. [Persico also explains Israel Hayom`s practice of "apartheid polls"-bz]9/3/2015
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Netanyahu`s show in Congress: conservative, racist and oppressiveRavit Hecht - For several years now Netanyahu has been on tour with the schmaltz circus with which he intends to perpetuate his rule. Even though the interests are transparent, those present in the hall applauded with programmed fervour, which proved that his words had no meaning except as display. gm9/3/2015
Israeli Veterans Break Their Silence on Life in the Occupied Territories Yehuda Shaul--But by the time I was finishing my life as a combat soldier—as a company sergeant in the infantry—I was questioning most of the military actions I had taken part in. The day I stopped thinking like a soldier I looked in the mirror and saw a different person. And it was terrifying. dn8/3/2015
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Public transport as an instrument of apartheidEli Aminov - Hagada Hasmalit - Public transport planning is used to isolate, disenfranchise and de-urbanize Palestinians in Israel as well as the Occupied Territories. 8/3/2015
Christians Loving JewsFrank Bruni--HE was almost lost in the whirl of lawmakers, pundits, plutocrats and other boldface names who showed up for Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last week. But the presence of Pat Boone was a key to understanding why John Boehner was playing a smart game of party politics to stand so solidly with the Israeli prime minister. dn8/3/2015
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Netanyahu’s Iran ThingRoger Cohen--Let’s begin with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Iran logic. He portrays a rampaging Islamic Republic that “now dominates four Arab capitals, Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Sana,” a nation “gobbling” other countries on a “march of conquest, subjugation and terror.” Then, in the same speech, he describes Iran as “a very vulnerable regime” on the brink of folding. Well, which is it? dn 8/3/2015
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Public transport as an instrument of apartheidEli Aminov--Two researchers from the Sikui NGO, Samah al-Khatib-Ayyub and Abed Kan’aneh, claim in their article, “Arab women want to go to work, but they have no way to get there” (published in “The Marker”, 4/2/2015), that the State’s investment in developing infrastructure and employment in Arab society is inadequate. dn8/3/2015
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The speechUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - If the worst comes to the worst, Iran will have its bomb in the end. So what? I may be an arrogant Israeli, but I refuse to be afraid. I live a mile from the Israeli army high command in the center of Tel Aviv, and in a nuclear exchange I would evaporate. Yet I feel quite safe. gm 7/3/2015
Options for a non-Zionist Israeli voterOfra Yeshua Lyth “This is not something we should be discussing” is the limiting mantra that unites Israeli discourse across left and right, with the obedient complicity of the media. Debate about superfluous elections, corruption scandals, wars, verbal and personal brutality, the high cost of living and the housing crisis, extreme social gaps, the lack of compassion for the weak: all these can be understood easier when placed against the background and core principles of the Zionist state. All are linked, in one way or another, to that unique political innovation that charges a high price in return for the perks it claims to bestow on its chosen demographic. The one hundred and five Knesset seats [out of 120] reserved for the Jewish majority squabble furiously over the prime minister’s empty bottles, over the misery of incarcerated political refugees. They are, however, united – from the radical right all the way to the so-called radical left (and Zehava Galon is truly nice and sincere) – concerning the “existential” need to avoid pushing too hard for the over-democratic measures that may jeopardize the eternal existence of a secure “Jewish majority”. 7/3/2015
Is the Oslo process really over?Daoud Kuttab - Al Monitor`s Palestine Pulse - Despite the many Palestinian skeptics, there is no doubt that a clear shift in Palestinian public opinion is being taken seriously by the leadership. While Abbas might try to pressure Israel before revealing when and how this decision will be implemented, it`s clear that he can no longer push this popular demand under the rug for too long. [bz]7/3/2015
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Questioning our ‘Birthright’JULIA WEDGLE and Chase Carter--We write this op-ed as Jewish Tufts students who went on Taglit-Birthright Israel. In sharing some of our experiences, we hope other students may begin to question Birthright. Birthrightexposed us to the facts on the ground in Israel/Palestine and forced us to confront and reject the Zionist ideologies we grew up with. It showed us that Israel is doing the exact opposite of what our Jewish values teach us. Birthright led us to stand in solidarity with Palestine. dn7/3/2015
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The Joint List: The Israeli Left`s last hope?Louis Fishman - +972 - In light of the Joint List’s newfound strength, it might be high time for centrist and leftist parties to renegotiate their understanding of what it means to be Israeli. [bz]6/3/2015
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We, the people of Israel, will pay for Netanyahu`s arroganceGershon Baskin - Jpost - It is a fantasy to imagine that anyone serious in the world will buy the Netanyahu-Bennett charade that Israel does not rule over the Palestinians because the PA is control of 98% of the Palestinian people in the West Bank. This is nothing more than a lie. [bz] 6/3/2015
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Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu’s argumentsBy Editorial Board - Washington Post "Nevertheless, Mr. Netanyahu’s arguments deserve a serious response from the Obama administration — one it has yet to provide." ca4/3/2015
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With Netanyahu, confrontations are a feature, not a bugNoam Sheizaf - +972 "On foreign policy, Netanyahu is playing on the old “the entire world is against us” theme — focusing specifically on “Old Europe” and the “anti-Israeli” Obama administration, as they are commonly referred to in the pages of the free Israel Hayom...." ca4/3/2015
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Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as `insult to intelligence of U.S.`, Amanpour calls t `dark ,Strangelovian"Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss "But sanity is breaking through. Christiane Amanpour called the speech "dark Strangelovian" in its hysteria about Iran as Nazi Germany." ca4/3/2015
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Netanyahu’s Nuclear DeceptionsGHOLAMALI KHOSHROO - NYT " In the address on Tuesday to the United States Congress by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, we witnessed a new peak in the long-running hype over Iran’s nuclear energy program. Yet all his predictions about how close Iran was to acquiring a nuclear bomb have proved baseless." ca4/3/2015
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Netanyahu Is “The Right Man” to Address the US Congress on IranProf. Yakov M. Rabkin - Global Research - The phenomenal growth of Daesh graphically shows what demodernization and the ensuing despair in that part of the world may entail. We need only to look at Iraq, Libya and Syria, all three subjected to outside military intervention, and at the subsequent emergence of Daesh, to understand that destabilizing a country or region has far-reaching sinister consequences. Israel’s Prime minister invokes the alleged Iranian threat in order to slow down or reverse Iran’s policies of modernization. The forced demodernization of Iraq, Syria and Libya, the most secular and educated countries in the Arab world, has certainly benefited Israel’s strategic position in the area. Mr. Netanyahu must now explain how exactly demodernization of Iran will benefit the United States. [bz]3/3/2015
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Noam Chomsky: Opposing Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel`s Goal Isn`t Survival -- It`s Regional DominanceDemocracy Now video interview [bz] 3/3/2015
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The Real Existential Threat Is Not Iran. It’s Bibi.Lisa Goldman - The Forward - More recently, the Israeli prime minister has amped up his fear message with his frequent insistence that the only safe place for Jews to live is the state of Israel. In reality, Israel is a far more dangerous place for a Jew to live — just look at the relative casualty counts. And Netanyahu has not only made Israel a more dangerous place for Jews, but he has made them more vulnerable in the Diaspora as well. [bz]3/3/2015
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Herzog must support the Joint List — and vice versaRon Gerlitz and Nidal Othman - +972 - Before the 1992 election, Rabin apologized for the discrimination against Palestinian citizens, thus paving the way for a ‘golden age’ in relations between the Arabs and the state. Twenty years later, the ‘Zionist Camp’ and the Joint List can stand to learn a thing or two. [bz]2/3/2015
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Guarding Denmark’s Jewish HeritageBO LIDEGAARDFEB--COPENHAGEN — The attack on Copenhagen’s synagogue earlier this month that left a volunteer Jewish watchman dead is a tragedy for a society that, for more than two centuries, has insisted that there is no tension between being Jewish and being Danish. It was precisely this sense of national solidarity across religious lines that helped save Denmark’s Jews from the Nazis during World War II. And that’s why it rubbed many Danes the wrong way when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Danish Jews to “come home” to Israel after the attack. dn1/3/2015
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British Jews ever so carefully begin to criticize the occupationDaniella Peled--Earlier this month, Laurence Brass, treasurer of the Board of Deputies, Anglo-Jewry’s main umbrella organization, said he would stand down from its executive and not seek reelection. “I felt constrained not to have been able to speak out on subjects that are close to my heart, such as the treatment of the Palestinians in the occupied territories and the discrimination still being suffered by Arab citizens of Israel,” he told a plenary. His speech was reportedly followed by a standing ovation. dn 1/3/2015
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Israel is tearing Jewish communities apartIlan Baron--When it comes to Israel, Diaspora Jews have to tread a difficult path. On the one hand, we are largely expected to support the world’s only Jewish state. Having our own state is something to be proud of, and it provides our people with an important voice in international affairs. On the other hand, Diaspora Jews find themselves wanting to speak up when Israel acts in ways they find morally questionable. It used to be that Diaspora Jews were expected to support Israel. There were the occasional critical voices that emphasized the cultural and ethical values of living in the Diaspora as opposed to having control over the apparatuses of violence and oppression that comes with nation-statehood, and there have always been Jewish critics of Zionism. Yet, in the last 20 to 30 years, something more dramatic has taken place that has built on a combination of historical debate and more recent Israeli policy.dn 1/3/2015
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The US, Palestine and the pursuit of justiceDaoud Kuttab--US court ruling against PLO and Palestinian Authority maybe the best thing that has happened to Palestinians in years. dn 1/3/2015
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Netanyahu’s address to Congress will be most important speech of his lifeWilliam Booth--On Tuesday morning, Netanyahu will confront an American president and insist that the future of the State of Israel, and the world, is imperiled by a pending “bad deal” with Iran on its nuclear program. Also hanging in the balance is Netanyahu’s own political future. Just two weeks after the speech, Netanyahu will either be reelected to a historic fourth term as prime minister or be out of a job. dn 1/3/2015
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