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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    

In Israel of 2018, bereavement is a `lifetime achievement`Orly Noy - +972 - "Miriam Peretz’s loss, her grief, are heartbreaking, and her strength is inspirational. But when a state gives awards for bereavement in uniform, it nationalizes the bereavement and assigns a positive value to death itself. It turns death into a source of pride, as long as that death happened in the “proper” circumstances; as opposed to Peretz’s sons, 10-year-old Abeer, the daughters of Dr. Abu al-Aish, and young Aseel were not killed while wearing IDF uniforms on foreign soil, but were killed as unarmed civilians in the face of one of the most powerful armies in the world. They were martyrs on the wrong side of the battlefield. There is no prize waiting for them or their families. Only grief, loss, and institutional abuse." - id 21/3/2018
BREAKING: Israel to Lift Military Censorship Over 2007 Bombing of Purported Syrian Nuclear ReactorRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Yes, it’s hard to believe but…for the past eleven years, no Israeli newspaper has been able to refer directly to the IAF’s attack on the Syrian nuclear reactor in the desert of eastern Syria, Deir ez-Zor. It was code-named Operation Orchard; or in another variant, Operation Arizona. Of course, every Israeli knows about the attack. But only based on foreign reports. No Israeli reporter may do original reporting on the bombing. They may only quote foreign news reports." - id21/3/2018
The Fake Enemy Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Real friends of Israel should advise Netanyahu to make peace as long as Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) is still around. In two weeks he will be 83 years old, and he is ailing. He is deeply committed to peace. He has no obvious successor, and his replacement may be far, far less moderate." - id 21/3/2018
Israel prepares for `May Madness`Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "The month of May is shaping up to be “May Madness,” a take on the “March Madness” of collegiate basketball. According to Israel’s intelligence and political echelons, President Donald Trump’s policies will be tested in May on numerous fronts that have implications for Israel’s national security. To these assessments one must add the mounting rumors, mainly in the Arab world, about a possible aerial assault — by the United States or Israel or both of them together — against Iranian forces in Syria." - id21/3/2018
Preparations for the Nakba March: Hamas’s Cognitive CampaignKobi Michael, Gabi Siboni - INSS - The Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip is heavily engaged in preparations for the “Great March of Return,” scheduled for May 14, 2018, when thousands of Gaza’s Palestinians will march toward the security fence and position themselves in tent cities along the Israeli border. Although the move aims for cognitive achievements in Palestinian and international consciousness, it confronts Israel with a challenge that involves a security-physical threat in the form of an attempt to cross the Israeli border. Israeli retaliation would cast Israel in a bad light vis-à-vis the various target audiences. Therefore, Israel must foil this Palestinian effort to organize another form of campaign against it [N.B. the `learned` writers are apparently afraid of Hamas turning to non-violence-bz]. 20/3/2018
Israel’s Self-Inflicted WoundsRonald S. Lauder - New York Times - Over the last few years, settlements in the West Bank on land that in any deal is likely to become part of a Palestinian state, have continued to grow and expand. Such blinkered Israeli policies are creating an irreversible one-state reality. I am conservative and a Republican, and I have supported the Likud party since the 1980s. But the reality is that 13 million people live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. And almost half of them are Palestinian.(...) By submitting to the pressures exerted by a minority in Israel, the Jewish state is alienating a large segment of the Jewish people particularly in the United States. The crisis is especially pronounced among the younger generation, which is predominantly secular. An increasing number of Jewish millennials are distancing themselves from Israel because its policies contradict their values. The results are unsurprising: assimilation, alienation and a severe erosion of the global Jewish community’s affinity for the Jewish homeland. [ak]20/3/2018
Forget `Son of a Dog` – Abbas` Speech Was Disconcerting for an Entirely Different ReasonAmos Harel - Haaretz - Headlines are focusing on Palestinian President Abbas calling US Ambassador Friedman "Son of a Dog" - but there are much more serious and worrying aspects. Abbas is caught in a catch-22. On the one hand, he doesn’t believe the Trump administration can serve as a fair mediator. He regards the long touted American Peace Plan, supposedly due to be presented in cooperation with Israel and Saudi Arabia, as a trap designed to force the Palestinians to unacceptable concessions. On the other hand, he doesn`t trust Hamas and regards the Egyptian reconciliation efforts as foredoomed - especially after last week`s attempted assassination of Palestinian PM Hamdallah in Gaza. Abbas may react by cutting off all Palestinian Authority funds to Gaza, making an already very difficult situation completely untenable. [ak]20/3/2018
Confederation: The One Possible Israel-Palestine SolutionBernard Avishai - The New York Review of Books - Today’s South Africa emerged from a system of colonial racial enslavement in a country with a unifying language and a common, if tortured, history—white farm-owners, mine-owners, and industrialists and black, native workers. Colonial Zionist pioneers, in contrast, harmed native Palestinians by working toward Jewish cultural and economic self-sufficiency, and thus the methodical displacement of the Palestinian peasantry—which is why, at least since the Peel Commission in 1937, an arrangement like “partition” could be entertained. (...) Confederal relations had better not mean any false hope for affectionate ones. (...) A truly dignified divorce, in other words, means joint custody where what’s held in common—often what’s most precious—cannot be divided. [N.B.: In this concept the security cooperation stays on, though considered "mutual" - as will the settlements-bz]20/3/2018
Like Trump, EU aids theft of JerusalemDavid Cronin - EI - "Despite his propensity for telling lies, Trump has been more honest on this particular dossier than the European Union and its robotic representatives. They claim to be pursuing peace and a two-state solution, while aiding Israeli authorities that have no interest in either objective" [ry]19/3/2018
Abbas aide threatens to punish Hamas amid fallout from Gaza attackKhaled Abu Toameh - Times of Israel "The PA will not allow the “assassination attempt” that targeted Hamdallah to go unpunished, another senior Palestinian official warned. “What happened will not pass without a response,” said Mahmoud Habbash, religious affairs adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas.Hamdallah and PA General Intelligence Chief Majed Faraj were on their way to inaugurate a wastewater treatment plant during a visit to Gaza Tuesday when a roadside bomb was detonated near their convoy. The two senior officials were not hurt." ca 17/3/2018
Americans have a constitutional right to boycott IsraelJosh Ruebner - Al-Jazeera "AIPAC conference attendees pressed their elected officials to support the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, sponsored by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). The original, draconian version of this bill, unveiled at last year`s AIPAC conference, proposed to jail individuals for 20 years if they advanced an international organization`s call for a boycott of Israel, or even of products from its illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank...It should be a no-brainer that Americans can boycott whomever or whatever they choose without risking governmental punishment. After all, the Supreme Court ruled that states have no "right to prohibit peaceful political activity" such as a boycott, which is an "expression on public issues" that "has always rested on the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values"." ca16/3/2018
Palestinians pin hopes on PompeoShlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor " After Trump`s election in November 2016, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the establishment of a think tank to examine ways to open new channels of communication with the administration, which was viewed from day one as being a biased, pro-Israel mediator. Even then, Ramallah was hanging all its hopes on Pompeo. It was a gamble, and it succeeded." ca 16/3/2018
Israel passes law to strip residency of Jerusalem`s PalestiniansAljazeera - Despite Israel`s claims that occupied East Jerusalem is part of its "eternal, undivided" capital, the Palestinians who are born and live there do not hold Israeli citizenship, unlike their Jewish counterparts. Palestinians in the city are given "permanent residency" ID cards and temporary Jordanian passports that are only used for travel purposes. They are essentially stateless, stuck in legal limbo - they are not citizens of Israel, nor are they citizens of Jordan or Palestine. The new bill will only worsen the difficult conditions for the 420,000 Palestinians living in occupied East Jerusalem, who are treated as foreign immigrants by the state.-rh15/3/2018
Our Jerusalem — A Reality CheckMenachem Klein - Palestine-Israel Journal - The concept of “Our Jerusalem” underwent a revolutionary change at the end of the 19th century. Until then, conquerors came from outside, one after another, fought over the right to control the city and struggled to determine that it belonged to them. New historical research shows that at the end of the 19th century, it was to the residents of the city and their children, who identified themselves as locals, that the city belonged. The rise of a local patriotic nationalism with Jerusalem at its center occurred before the arrival of Zionism and is connected to the modernization that affected the country. Contrary to the Zionist claim that the Zionist immigrants, together with the British, brought modernization to Jerusalem, the research shows that it was an organic local development which preceded them. The residents of Jerusalem, from all religions, had a place in this new identity.-rh14/3/2018
Ripping the curtains open on Israel`s targeted killingsYaara Shalom - Ynet - "Bergman painstakingly explores the numerous failed or aborted attempts to kill PLO leader Yasser Arafat, but falls short of making any kind of determination on whether the death of one of Israel’s biggest foes was a natural one or foul play (the reason for that, conversely, is the all-mighty military censor, which won’t let Bergman even hazard an educated guess)." - id 14/3/2018
To: The Associated Press and Washington Post Re: Israel’s WMD and Mordechai VanunuEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "Because The Washington Post does not allow republishing their article; and as this reporter’s response could die in the darkness at The Washington Post we publish it at USA’s" - id14/3/2018
Israel`s secret deportation plan faces biggest challenge yetJoshua Leifer - +972 - "Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melcer asked the state attorney how asylum seekers can be sure they will receive what Israel is promising them — legal status and the ability to work — if the Rwandan government denies that any agreement exists." - id14/3/2018
Will Israeli Policies Change If Netanyahu Leaves Office?Ramzy Baroud - Countercurrents - Israeli politics can be complicated, as often displayed in their intricate government coalitions. However, when it comes to Israel’s military Occupation of Palestine, leading Israeli politicians are, more or less, the same. Regardless of Netanyahu’s political future, Israeli policies towards Palestinians will remain unchanged, leaving Palestinians with the urgent responsibility of developing their own unified political strategy to counter the Israeli Occupation, human rights violations and illegal Jewish settlements.-rh14/3/2018
The topsy-turvy world of Jewish-Arab relationsAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Although the index points to a serious deterioration in relations between Jews and Arabs over the past two years, Smooha does not believe Israeli Arabs have burned their bridges to the Jewish state. He notes that the findings essentially continue to show a strong link on their part to a Jewish and democratic Israel.-rh 14/3/2018
Azaria seeks early release: `I shot a murderous terrorist, release me todayYoav Zitun - YNETnews - The Military Advocate General`s Office opposes cutting Azaria`s sentence by half, but its representatives said they will not oppose to cutting it by a third, which means he would be released on May 10.-rh14/3/2018
Hundreds mark 13 years of protests against the wall in Bil’inOren Ziv - +972 - The village that managed to unite the world behind the spirit of nonviolent Palestinian protest marks more than a decade of not only tear gas, night raids and tragedy, but also co-resistance and victories in the struggle against settlements, the separation barrier and the occupation.-rh 14/3/2018
Israel`s military checkpoints: `We live a life of injustice` A photo essay by ActivestillsActivestills - Al Jazeera - Every morning, before dawn, tens of thousands of Palestinian workers cross Israeli military checkpoints on their way to their workplaces, in Israeli and Palestinian cities beyond the Green Line.Hailing from across the occupied West Bank, labourers queue before the checkpoints open, in order to reach their workplaces on time. For many, this means getting up and leaving home at the dead of night. About 70,000 Palestinians with Israeli work permits make this daily commute. They work beyond the Green Line due to the high unemployment rate in the Palestinian territories – a byproduct of the 50-year Israeli occupation.-rh14/3/2018
Chuck Schumer: Bowing and Scraping to AipacRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "“Of course, we say it’s our land, the Torah says it, but they don’t believe in the Torah. So that’s the reason there is not peace."" - id14/3/2018
Gideon Levy on Israeli denial: ‘Anyone who raises a question is demolished’Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - Outside pressure is all that will change Israel. BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) is the only game in town. The Jewish lobby in the U.S. is the most important force in supporting Israel. The shameful Israeli propaganda over the attacks on the Tamimi family, the protesters in Nabi Saleh, shows how desperate Israel is, and maybe that offers hope.-rh14/3/2018
Administrative Detainees Continue Boycott Of Military CourtsIMEMC news - Approximately 450 Palestinian detainees, held by Israel under arbitrary Administrative Detention orders without charges or trial, continued their boycott of Israeli military courts for the 28th consecutive day. The detainees declared their boycott of the Israeli military courts on February 15th and are demanding Israel to end the illegal policies of holding them indefinitely, without charges or trial.They are also calling on all legal and human rights groups to submit their cases, and the ongoing violations, to the International Criminal Court.-rh14/3/2018
Netanyahu: Even in peace, the occupation will never endMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "Netanyahu has been saying this for years. In 2014, less than three months after the collapse of the Kerry peace talks, Netanyahu stated that “that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” A year after that, in 2015, Netanyahu declared that a Palestinian state will never be established on his watch." ca 11/3/2018
Chuck Schumer: Bowing and Scraping to AipacRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Sen. Chuck Schumer should join the ranks of U.S. senators who don’t represent their constituents, but rather the largest employer or lobby in their state. Henry Jackson, whose name is immortalized in that neocon bastion of pro-Israel hasbara, the Henry Jackson Society, was the “Senator from Boeing.” Schumer should henceforth be known as the “Senator from Aipac.” The only problem: there are so many other senators and Congress members who deserve this honorific." ca9/3/2018
Gideon Levy: The Zionist Tango: Step Left, Step Right Gideon Levy - Youtube "Speaking on the eve of the AIPAC summit in Washington DC, Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy says that across the mainstream Israeli political spectrum, there is no challenge to the occupation of Palestinian land." ca9/3/2018
One State Foundation launches todayJonathan Ofir - Moondoweiss - We are still in times where speaking about a single democratic and secular state in Israel-Palestine is considered contentious. Just look how former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg was received at a liberal synagogue in NY, when he spoke about this concept – Rabbi Matalon called him a “troublemaker”, and rabbi Cohen said he “pushed all the buttons”. But today, a new foundation is officially launching – the One State Foundation, which boldly and clearly promotes this concept and goal.-rh 8/3/2018
Israel Contemplates a Future Without NetanyahuRuth Margalit - The New Yorker - It is an irony of no small proportions that Netanyahu may, in time, be viewed as the instigator of his own undoing: by neutering political debate in Israel, he has made the focus personal, drawing attention to the murky underside of his governing. Assuming that he will still be at the top of his party’s ticket, the next Israeli election will be less an open race than a referendum on his rule. There is a common saying in Israel: elections are not won; they are lost. With no term limits for Prime Ministers, power is seen as the incumbent’s to lose. This is all the more true these days, with a Prime Minister who has at least four open investigations aimed at him.-rh7/3/2018
I’ve Been ThinkingEileen Fleming - The Arab Daily News - "“I’ve Been Thinking” is Journalist Maria Shriver’s latest book. Maria Shriver’s The Sunday Paper email newsletter is one of my Sunday ‘must reads’ and today’s also provided the inspiration for this article." - id 7/3/2018
Israelis, Palestinians consider alternatives to two-state solutionAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Given the current state of affairs, with Israel ruled by a right-wing, pro-settlement government and the Palestinian areas governed by chaos, any attempt to promote territorial compromise is doomed to fail. With every failure comes more disappointment. More disappointment generates further radicalization. According to a common saying, insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. In this case, one can assume that repetition of the same activity would result in a worse outcome.-rh 7/3/2018
US Jerusalem move is `official adoption of Israeli narrative`Alia Al Ghussain - Aljazeera - Ahmad Tibi, speaking at a conference on Saturday in London titled, Is President Trump legalising the occupation?, claimed: "The most dangerous element of Trump`s embassy decision is that it says Israel has the right to decide where its capital is, simply because parliament and the Supreme Court are there." "This is an official adoption of the Israeli narrative."-rh 7/3/2018
Ahed’s Generation: Why the Youth in Palestine Must Break Free from Dual OppressionRAMZY BAROUD - Counterpunch - While Palestinian officials continue to pay lip service to Ahed Tamimi and thousands of young Palestinians who continue to endure imprisonment and ill treatment by Israel, in truth, Ahed epitomizes the antithesis of everything that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah stands for. She is strong, morally-driven and defiant; the PA is subservient, morally bankrupt and quisling. Palestinian youth already understand this, and it is mostly up to them to free themselves from the confines of military occupation and corruption.7/3/2018
Because there is NothingUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "BINYAMIN NETANYAHU`S main occupation, between criminal interrogations, is traveling abroad and meeting with the world`s leaders. One week in Paris meeting President Macron, the next in Moscow meeting President Putin. In between, an African country or two. What is achieved in these multiple meetings? Well, nothing to speak of." - id7/3/2018
Israeli Army’s Lies Can No Longer Salvage Its ImageJONATHAN COOK - Counterpunch - A half-century of occupation has not only corrupted generations of teenage Israeli soldiers who have been allowed to lord it over Palestinians. It has also needed an industry of lies and self-deceptions to make sure the consciences of Israelis are never clouded by a moment of doubt – that maybe their army is not so moral after all.-rh7/3/2018
Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe?Shir Hever - +972 - As long as Gaza remains on the brink of collapse, international donors keep the flow of humanitarian aid money going. If the crisis were ended and the siege lifted, it is safe to assume that that the international donors would change the type of aid they provide and return to focus on the development of the Gazan economy (as they did from 1994—2000, until the outbreak of the Second Intifada). This type of aid would likely compete with certain branches of Israeli companies and therefore threaten the Israeli economy. Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing exactly to where it benefits Israeli interests.-rh7/3/2018
An intimate portrait of Palestine: Ramzy Baroud’s ‘The Last Earth: A People’s Story of Palestine’Vacy Vlazna - Mondoweiss - With alchemical brilliance, he has, in the crucible of his art, purified hours of recorded interviews on love stories, generations of births, childhoods, disappearances, adversity, torment, deaths into the essence of Love and Truth and the magic is – we too are purified and illumined by a powerful knowing that can never be un-known.-rh7/3/2018
Universities are demanding professors disavow BDS before being allowed to speak on campusNada Elia - Mondoweiss - So far, every case of anti-BDS legislation has been successfully challenged. But for now, we must make it crystal clear to our representatives that BDS should not be denounced, let alone criminalized. With the Israeli lobby pushing hard to pass the Israel Anti-Boycott law, now is the time to challenge this twenty- first century McCarthyisim, in the form of anti-BDS legislation, and the imposition of a political litmus test on campuses across the country. And now is the time to remind our legislators that the right to boycott is constitutionally protected, and that we must not prioritize a foreign nation seeking to defend its apartheid system, and legitimize its illegal settlements, over the legal rights of US citizens enacting their solidarity with an oppressed people.-rh7/3/2018
Paradoxes of UNRWAEsmat Elhalaby - Some opponents see it as a quintessential example of “humanitarian management”: a peddler of aid and promises of development that stultifies dissent. Others see it as exactly the opposite. But UNRWA has never been simply what its detractors contend. John H. Davis, its head from 1959 to 1963, described the agency as “one of the prices—and perhaps the cheapest—that the international community was paying for not having to solve with equity the political problems of the refugees.” Davis’s realization that the fortunes of Palestinian refugees were intimately tied to U.S. support for Israel is as true now as ever. [bz]6/3/2018
It’s Time For AIPAC To Register As A Foreign AgentM.J.Rosenberg - Forward - It’s precisely this kind of overidentification that George Washington warned against in his 1796 farewell address. “Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists… betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” Today, Netanyahu and AIPAC (which has kept the United States government firmly behind Netanyahu’s policies) have turned Israel into a source of dissension even among American Jews. [bz]6/3/2018
Who profits from keeping Gaza on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe?Shir Hever - +972 - Keeping Gaza on the verge of collapse keeps international humanitarian aid money flowing to exactly where it benefits Israeli interests [ry]5/3/2018
Netanyahu’s Corruption: How Israeli Journalists Project Israel’s Crimes Onto PalestiniansRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “This is also why Israelis refer to their country as ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’. It is a defense mechanism to divert from the fact that apartheid, racially-structured political systems are inherently undemocratic. So, Israel resorts to belittling its neighbors to confirm its own self- worth” [ry]5/3/2018
We are the radicals: Netanyahu and the invention of terrorismShoshana Gabay - The successful ideology of “war on terrorism” that the Netanyahu family formulated for the Americans in the 1970s, at the centre of which was Islam as the enemy of the West, is based on the principle of the ethnic-genetic hierarchy the family believes in. The Netanyahus’ doctrine of the sovereign being above the law and the media’s subjugation to it was already consolidated back then.4/3/2018
In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as ‘troublemaker’ at liberal NY synagoguePhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss "The most significant element of the evening was how much discomfort the two liberal sponsors had with Burg. Here is a true aristocrat of Israeli society (Burg has religious, Ashkenazi and political pedigree out the yingyang, he was an interim President of Israel) offering the most reasonable answers to Israel’s problems– Palestinians are our equals, there is no such thing as a Jewish democracy– and his hosts needed to distance themselves from him." ca2/3/2018
Arab woman MK attacked by Hebrew media for criticizing army policySamah Salaime - +972 - MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, a female legislator from the Arab-Jewish socialist party, criticized the Israeli army’s policy toward Syria, warning that it could escalate to a war that would endanger civilians. In response, one veteran male television news analyst ordered her to ‘sit down and be quiet.’-rh28/2/2018
Israel’s Chief Justice Aware Netanyahu Crony Offered Bribe, Never Reported ItRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The political process is shot through with greed and corruption. The army and intelligence services are riddled with sexual violence, financial chicanery, and genocidal boasts. These are the leading institutions of Israeli society. And the fish always stinks from the head." - id 28/2/2018
Gaza update: Children killed by Israeli fire as healthcare continues to declineMedical Aid for Palestine - Update (22 February): MAP`s team in Gaza have provided an additional update from the Health Cluster. Just 315,000 litres of fuel remains for hospitals in February, though funding from Qatar and UAE, when hopefully delivered in March, will be enough for 5-6 months. A donation from Qatar will procure 52 (of 516) essential drugs and 48 (of 853) medical disposables. There has been no additional procurement of cancer drugs (62% out of stock), primary healthcare drugs (54% out of stock) or immunology drugs (61% out of stock). Gaza hospitals and primary healthcare centres need USD$3.8 million monthly for drugs and disposables, or more than US$40 million per year. US$1.5 million is needed for spare parts and US$3 million to replace obsolete equipment at the Ministry of Health. The cleaners` strike is ongoing, with growing fears of the spread of infections in hospitals. Catering is currently only available in seven out of 14 hospitals.-rh28/2/2018
Netanyahu will leave a gaping holeYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "It is not a question anymore of finding partners to make peace on the basis of separation – partners for that no longer exist. But there are Palestinians who want to establish a new democratic social order as part of the Middle East and the emerging new world, and this is the true challenge we are facing." - id 28/2/2018
Israel’s entire legal system has been polluted Nahum Barnea - Ynet - "There is no law and no justice when a judge lets the state representative guide her on the number of days she should keep suspects in custody. If the public reaches the conclusion that it’s all fixed, we will no longer have a legal system, because without faith there is no law." - id 28/2/2018
Trump peace plan could recognize Palestinian state – reportKHALED ABU TOAMEH - The Times of Israel - The Trump administration’s plan for peace in the Middle East may include US and international recognition of a Palestinian state and acceptance of East Jerusalem as its capital, the London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Wednesday. The plan, the report said, calls for placing the Old City of Jerusalem under “international protection.” The report quoted “knowledgeable Arab diplomatic sources” in Paris as saying that the US is planning to present its plan in the framework of an international conference that would be held in one of the Arab capitals, most likely Cairo, with Israelis in attendance.-rh 28/2/2018
Following brutal attack on teenage son, Palestinian family sues Israel and Dutch company that supplies military dogsYumna Patel - Mondoweiss - When he was 15 years old, Hamza Abu Hashem was attacked by Israeli military dogs, and left with serious injuries on his legs, arms, and shoulder. In a video of his attack, which took place on December 23, 2014 in the southern occupied West Bank village of Beit Ummar, Israeli soldiers can be heard saying “give it to him, son of a bitch” and “who’s afraid?” as the teenager cried and screamed in pain.-rh28/2/2018
Israeli justice minister`s stealthy plan to annex the West Bank Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor - On Feb. 25, a government panel approved proposed legislation that would transfer jurisdiction over certain petitions filed by West Bank Palestinians from the Israeli Supreme Court to the Jerusalem District Court. The bill, sponsored by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, is a precedent-setting move that would de facto impose Israeli law on the West Bank. It would validate the “creeping imposition” of Israeli law for the benefit of the hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers living among the Palestinians. The settlers are currently governed largely by military law, which applies in the West Bank since it is legally considered occupied territory.-rh 28/2/2018
Why the Experience of Ahed Tamimi Matters So MuchRichard Falk - Axis of Logik - It is now known by virtually everyone who follows the Palestinian struggle that a 16-year-old girl named Ahed Tamimi, who is now 17, confronted Israeli soldiers on her family’s land shortly after her cousin, Mohammed, was shot in the face with a rubber bullet, causing a coma. The video of her actions has gone viral, showing the world a courageous young woman engaging in nonviolent acts of resistance, and then a day later in the middle of the night being arrested in her home and then charged with a series of crimes; as is standard Israeli practice in the arrest of children, Ahed was hauled off to an Israeli prison facility out of reach of her family and then denied bail.-rh28/2/2018
Israel Extracts “Confession” From Badly Wounded Cousin of Ahed Tamimi, Jailed Protest IconROBERT MACKEY - The Intercept - The mystery as to why Israel would inflict such an obvious blow to its own image, by arresting a boy with severe head trauma, was resolved late Monday night in a Facebook post from Major General Yoav Mordechai, the senior Israeli official who oversees the military rule of Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank. Maj. Gen. Mordechai revealed that during Mohammed’s interrogation by the military on Monday, without the presence of a parent or lawyer, the boy had “confessed” that “he was injured while he was riding his bicycle and fell off it.”-rh28/2/2018
Amnesty International: Israel Carried Out Extrajudicial Executions, Tortured ChildrenIMEMCnews - Israeli authorities and armed forces carried out extrajudicial executions, tortured Palestinian prisoners and targeted human rights defenders, Amnesty International’s new annual report says.- rh28/2/2018
Netanyahu’s real crime: Plundering land for settlersAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - In response to the Feb. 13 police announcement of sufficient evidence to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on charges of bribery and breach of trust, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said, “Receiving gifts so extensively for so long does not meet the expectations of the citizenry of the State of Israel.” Polls conducted since then suggest that Bennett is wrong. According to a survey by the pollster Yossi Sarid for Reshet TV, although only 29% of Israelis surveyed believe the prime minister is innocent, more Israelis want him to stay in office than want him to resign or take time off, 49% versus 43% respectively.-rh 28/2/2018
Go in Peace! Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "In a normal country, after the almost incredible series of corruption affairs, the opposition would assume power, and one of its leaders would become Prime Minister. Simple. But Israel is not a normal country." - id28/2/2018
Israel backtracks on plans that enraged Christian Churches in JerusalemDeutsche Welle - Israel`s government on Tuesday said it would suspend a controversial tax and expropriation bill that Christian leaders in Jerusalem had earlier described as a "systematic and unprecedented attack against Christians in the Holy Land." The Greek Orthodox, Armenian and Roman Catholic churches closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on Sunday in protest against the Jerusalem municipality`s tax and land right plans. However, Christian leaders reversed their decision on Tuesday following the Israeli government`s decision to suspend the measures.-rh28/2/2018
The end of the Netanyahu era is an unexpected gift to Mahmoud AbbasMenachem Klein - +972 - Any move Netanyahu makes — peace or war, annexation or withdrawal — will be interpreted as an attempt to escape the stink of corruption. Thereby was foiled the “deal of the century” that Trump intended to present to Abbas this coming spring, allowing him to negotiate not over details of the deal, but only over its implementation. The “deal of the century” was planned in coordination with Netanyahu’s administration. The political uncertainty in Israel makes it impossible for Trump to put the blame on Abbas. [bz]27/2/2018
Case 5000: Just When Bibi Thought It Couldn’t Get WorseRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "In Israel and other corrupt states, it’s not hard to imagine how. But Israel touts itself a democracy upholding the rule of law. This incident further substantiates the rot that is at the heart of key Israeli institutions, whether they be the army, judiciary, or Knesset. We’ll see how much, if any pressure is exerted on the Chief Justice to quit her job.It does seem like the police could have a criminal case against her. Though if she helps in the case against Bibi, they might arrange a deal for her." ca 24/2/2018
Wilkerson: The Trump-Netanyahu Iran Plan Means War VIDEO INTERVIEW - Aaron Mate "As Benjamin Netanyahu threatens war, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson says that in targeting Iran, the U.S. and Israel are threatening wider conflict in Syria and Lebanon." ca23/2/2018
The Coming Wars to End All WarsEdward Curtin - Information Clearing House "The Trump and Netanyahu governments have a problem: How to start a greatly expanded Middle-Eastern war without having a justifiable reason for one. No doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem. If they can’t find a “justification” (which they can’t), they will have to create one (which they will). Or perhaps they will find what they have already created. Whatever the solution, we should feel confident that they are not sitting on their hands. " ca23/2/2018
Failed British politician hired by leading Israel lobbyist David Cronin - Electronic Intifada "Natascha Engel, the politician in question, lost her parliamentary seat in last year’s general election. Since then, she has been appointed to the advisory board of Polak’s consultancy firm TWC Associates.The firm’s clients include Israel’s Elbit Systems, a manufacturer of drones and white phosphorus and other munitions which Israel has used while attacking Gaza.Elbit stated last year that it wished to regard Britain as an “actual home market,” because its activities have grown significantly in that country." ca 23/2/2018
The Boomerang Effect: How Netanyahu Made Israel an American Issue, and LostRamzy Baroud - DISSIDENT VOICE - Despite massive sums of money spent to channel public opinion in the United States in favor of Israel, unmistakable trends in opinion polls are attesting to the changing dynamics of Israel’s support among ordinary Americans. Not only is Israel losing its support and overall appeal among large sections of American society, but among young American Jews, as well — a particularity worrying phenomena for the Israeli government.The trend promises to be a lasting one, since it has been in the making for years, starting some time after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.-rh21/2/2018
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? JUDITH DEUTSCH - counterpunch - The book primarily investigates the official reports about Operation Cast Lead (2008-09), the Mavi Marmara (2010), and Operation Protective Edge (2014). Finkelstein attributes these assaults in part to Israel’s intention to prove its deterrence capacity after its defeat by Hezbollah in 2006. A pattern emerges of Israel’s surreptitious provocations that conceal its own aggression, use of disproportionate military force and targeting of civilians, specious legality, and lies that exonerate Israel and permit ever- increasing brutality. The Dahiya doctrine refers to Israel’s military strategy of acting immediately, decisively, and with disproportionate force. Dahiya is a suburb of Beirut that was flattened by Israel in the 2006 war.-rh21/2/2018
The last days of NetanyahuJOSHUA DAVIDOVICH - The Times of Israel - If papers can be believed, the one that struck Tuesday is The Big One, and their pages are filled with almost nothing else other than the news that Communications Ministry head Shlomo Filber is becoming or has become a state witness. (Never mind the fact that there is not a single source for the news, which doesn’t mean it’s not true, but that’s not quite how journalism is supposed to be done.) Piling on top of that is a fresh scandal in which an adviser for the Netanyahu family is alleged to have tried to bribe a judge to get the prime minister’s wife out of her own legal mess, all of it swirling into a morass that will leave Netanyahu’s term in rubble in the near future, according to the pundits.-rh21/2/2018
February 10, 2018: Susya, Twaneh, Tuba David Shulman - Touching Photographs - I suppose by now everyone knows the Susya story of repeated expulsions and continuous harassment and demolitions. For years nearly every structure in the village has had a demolition order hanging over it. The legal excuse for this act of gratuitous and extreme cruelty is that these shacks and tents and latrines and wind turbines were built without a permit. That’s because Palestinians living in Area C on the West Bank cannot get permits. Beneath the thin veneer of legality lies the true reason. The government is now keen on driving out entire Palestinian communities, not simply on making their lives miserable and destroying homes one by one. The pace has accelerated, and the goal is clear.-rh21/2/2018
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held without trial or charge launch boycott of Israeli courtsYumna Patel - Axis of Logik - Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli prisons under administrative detention — Israel’s widely condemned policy of detention without charge or trial — launched an open-ended boycott of Israeli courts on Thursday. The 450 administrative detainees released a joint statement announcing the boycott, saying “the core of resisting administrative detention policy comes from boycotting this Israeli legal system.”-rh21/2/2018
Israeli Warplanes Pound Gaza After Border Bombing :Two Palestinian Teens Killed in Tank AttackJason Ditz - ANTI WAR.COM - The attacks started after a bombing at the Gaza-Israel border. Israeli Army officials say Palestinians rose a flag inside Gaza, but near the border, and planted an explosive device on it. The device detonated when Israeli troops crossed into Gaza after the flag.-rh21/2/2018
Why ‘Milchan law’ at core of PM graft case is about so much more than tax breaksSIMONA WEINGLASS - The Times of Israel - It is a law that is proving central to the corruption case against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been dubbed “the Milchan law” because of its centrality to the investigation of the alleged illicit interactions between Netanyahu and Israel-born Hollywood mogul Arnon Milchan. But its widely misunderstood provisions extend far beyond the prime minister and his associates, and now threaten to derail years of effort by Israel’s financial oversight authorities to reverse Israel’s reputation as a haven for criminal money launderers.-rh 21/2/2018
MORE PALESTINIANS ARE DYING WAITING TO GET MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE ISRAEL WON’T GIVE THEM TRAVEL PERMITSCRISTINA MAZA - Newsweek - Palestinians are dying at an increasingly higher rate because Israel is issuing fewer travel permits for people seeking lifesaving medical care, according to a group of human rights organizations. At least 54 people died in 2017 while waiting for an Israeli travel permit to seek medical treatment outside of Gaza, according to a joint statement released Tuesday by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Physicians for Human Rights Israel, among others.-rh21/2/2018
Dozens of Settlers Intrude on Al-Aqsa MosqueIMEMCnews - Extremist Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli special forces and rapid intervention troops, continued on Wednesday morning with ritual intrusions into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound, via the Moroccan gate. Jerusalemite sources reported, according to Al Ray, that Israeli police opened the gate at 7:30 am, in preparation for the settlers’ arrival.-rh21/2/2018
Will the Israeli-Iranian Showdown Be in Syria — or New York?Trita Parsi - Information Clearing House "According to the Iranian foreign ministry and Tehran’s ally Hezbollah in Lebanon, the events of Feb. 10 signify that the “era of Israeli strikes on Syria is over” — and mark a further reduction in Israel’s maneuverability, who for years have freely bombed targets in Syria without significant repercussions.But despite the tough rhetoric, few see much appetite in Israel or in Iran for a direct military engagement." ca 16/2/2018
Trump opposes Netanyahu on annexation plansMazal Mualem - Al-Monitor "The Israeli opposition was quick to take advantage of Netanyahu’s humiliation by celebrating the slap across the face he just received from his “good friend.” But within a day, the entire incident had died down, and the Americans announced that it was closed, as far as they were concerned." ca 16/2/2018
Shabak Claims Erdogan Government Funds Hamas Terror CellRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - " Shabak, like the Canadian Mounties, always get their man–whether the man is guilty or not." - id 14/2/2018
What the Hell? Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "An Israeli? A Jew? A peace activist? A Journalist? An author? An ex-combat soldier in the Israeli army? An ex-terrorist? A…? All of these and more. OK. OK. But in what order? Which is the most important component?" - id 14/2/2018
An atmosphere of extremism and a ‘lynching’ that wasn’t Joshua Davidovich - Times of Israel - The case of two Israeli soldiers straying into Jenin and being surrounded by an angry Palestinian crowd became front-page news in the Israeli press, which repeatedly used the term "near lynch". Yisrael Hayom, considered as Netayhau`s own semi-official propaganda sheet, made the most of the drama - the paper quotes the female soldier yelling, “I don’t want to die,” as “dozens of Palestinians began to attack the car, throwing stones from point blank and hitting them with everything they could find.” The two soldiers had a reason to be thankful to the often derided "security cooperation" between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian police forces quickly arrived on the spot, acting firmly to extract the two soldiers and get them safely out of the city. Yedioth Ahronoth notes that Jenin is different now, with anti-Israel sentiment “at a peak” since an army operation in the city last week culminating with a killing of "a terrorist suspect". A Palestinian security source is quoted “I’ve been in the security forces since they were founded and I’ve never seen such an atmosphere of extremism you see on the Palestinian street these days, not even during the Second Intifada." [ak] 13/2/2018
Another Unnecessary WarIdan Landau - Informaiton Clearing House "Israel has a long history of fabricating “grounds for war.” The Israeli-British-French conspiracy (the Protocol of Sèvres) that led to the Sinai Campaign was hidden from the public for many years; instead the government resorted to the excuse of “preventing infiltration of terrorists from Sinai.” The Oranim battle plan (Hebrew) for the First Lebanon war, which sought to replace the government in Beirut, was hidden from the public. Instead the pretext for the invasion was said to be the removal of Fatah from the area 40 kilometers north of the border.11/2/2018
Is interior minister deceiving Israelis about deportation of migrants? Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri claims that additional working permits will be issued for Palestinians to replace deported African migrants...Work permits allow a Palestinian to remain in Israel only until the evening; laborers must return to their homes in the territories at the end of a work day. African migrants work in different sectors, and many of them are employed during nighttime hours, in restaurants, hotels and leisure venues. Palestinians could not replace them." ca 10/2/2018
The Sinister Reason Behind Qatar`s Wooing of the Jews REUTERS - Haaretz "Doha wants to influence D.C. elites. But rather than targeting Congress or the media, they`re lavishly, and disproportionately, focusing on right-wing, pro-Israel Jews A debate over the good name of Qatar has become a burning issue in Washington. The Emirate has been waging an all out charm offensive aimed at convincing Americans not to back Saudi Arabia’s efforts to isolate it. " ca9/2/2018
Israel’s growing ties with former Arab foesIshaan Tharoor - Washington Post "A number of recent reports have appeared to confirm one of the worst-kept secrets in the Middle East. In coordination with Egyptian authorities, Israel has for months been conducting clandestine airstrikes against jihadist groups operating in northern Sinai. The Israelis used unmarked drones, helicopters and jets to launch at least 100 strikes on the peninsula, all with the apparent blessing of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi." ca8/2/2018
ADL Wastes Time Demanding Apologies from Barack Obama Instead of Exposing Jew-KillersRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "As for me, I remain deeply suspicious of permitting Islamophobes and their academic partners determine what can be said and can’t, about Israel on social media platforms. As for the ADL, it’s always Israel, Israel, Israel. First and last. And when the subject they address isn’t directly related to Israel it’s indirectly related to it." - id 7/2/2018
Netanyahu in Russia: The starling went to the ravenYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "While Israeli headlines were captured by Poland’s new law (exonerating that country from involvement in Nazi crimes), by the prospect that Netanyahu may be questioned under caution in a bribery scandal (the submarine affair), and by plans to expel thousands of asylum seekers, Netanyahu conducted a diplomatic blitz." - id7/2/2018
A History of Idiocy Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Poland never made peace with the Nazis, unlike several other European countries. The Polish government fled to France and then to Britain, from where they directed the Polish resistance. Actually, there were two Polish underground organizations, a national and a communist one. Both fought the Nazis and paid a heavy price." - id 7/2/2018
Israel demolishes another EU-funded school, but no EU statement condemning the demolitionTamara Nassar - EI - The school was built with funding from the European Union and the Palestinian Authority in September, but neither have done anything to hold Israel accountable for the destruction of the classrooms. This is in keeping with the EU’s inaction over the tens of millions of dollars of projects it has funded that Israel has destroyed in recent years. [bz]6/2/2018
Secret Alliance: Israel Carries Out Airstrikes in Egypt, With Cairo’s O.K.DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK - NYT "The jihadists in Egypt’s Northern Sinai had killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, briefly seized a major town and begun setting up armed checkpoints to claim territory. In late 2015, they brought down a Russian passenger jet.Egypt appeared unable to stop them, so Israel, alarmed at the threat just over the border, took action.For more than two years, unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and jets have carried out a covert air campaign, conducting more than 100 airstrikes inside Egypt, frequently more than once a week — and all with the approval of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi." ca 3/2/2018
Hamas chief`s inclusion on US terror list will further derail peace efforts Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "Hassan Abu Hanieh, an independent expert on Islamic political movements, told Al-Monitor that Haniyeh was the strong voice behind attempts to tone down the anti-Israeli ideological positions of Hamas.“By rejecting Haniyeh and the moderate wing in Hamas, US President Donald Trump and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are trying to radicalize Hamas by making it clear that even moderate voices are no longer legitimate.” ca 3/2/2018
Genocide Victims as Refugee Dealers Yair Auron - Haaretz "It`s hard to believe that the people behind the deal to expel asylum seekers from Israel to Rwanda are the leaders of two peoples who suffered genocide recently." ca2/2/2018
Israel embarrassed by its Holocaust-denying allies in PolandAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "From Israel’s perspective, the problem is how to appear sufficiently upset in order to maintain the self-declared Jewish state’s self-appointed role as the guardian of the memory of the millions murdered.It’s an awkward balancing act since in the 21st century, anti-Semites and even some Holocaust deniers are among Israel’s closest and most fervent allies." ca 2/2/2018
Israeli Physicians NGO Demands Revocation of License of Doctor Directing Expulsion of African RefugeesRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "It was Mor Yosef’s unit which advertised for bounty hunters to capture refugees off the streets and whisk them back to Africa, in much the same way that 19th century slave catchers were dispatched by white plantation owners to capture runaway slaves and return them to their southern owners.It was also Mor Yosef who announced that in its infinite mercy, his agency would not deport every single African refugee, but only those who were single males. In the mind of this brilliant pencil-pusher, only single males leave their homes looking for work, thus making them economic migrants, rather than true refugees." ca 2/2/2018
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