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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
Israeli Attempts to Overthrow Corbyn and Other Foreign LeadersBy Richard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "It is quite a jump from ginning up a fake charge of tax fraud against Omar Barghouti, as Israeli authorities have done, as part of such a campaign; and quite another to attempt to destroy the career of Britain’s Opposition leader. That takes Israel into far more dangerous territory, the sort of operations that most democratic nations hesitate to entertain, as they cross over from intelligence work into outright violations of sovereignty." ca17/8/2018
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Army braces for fresh Gaza violence amid reports of imminent truceTOI staff - Times of Israel "The IDF was bracing Friday for a renewal of the so-called “March of Return” border demonstrations amid reports of a truce agreement about to be inked between Israel and the Hamas terror group. Gazan protesters were gathering at several points along the border with Israel and some had launched balloons carrying pictures of so-called “martyrs” who had been killed by Israel... Military source says border demonstrations will be test of Hamas`s intent and ability to ensure calm." ca 17/8/2018
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Tel Aviv Diary: Why Would Netanyahu Increase Israel`s Defense Budget? | OpinionMarc Schulman - Newsweek "Two seemingly unrelated, but in fact, very related events took place earlier in the week that disturbed many. First, was a very public campaign by right-wing organizations (led by “Im Tirtzu,” which is said to have direct ties to the Prime Minister) against General Yair Golan, one of four candidates to become the next IDF Chief of Staff. Why? ...Second, was the detention of well-known journalist Peter Beinart for questioning by the security services, when he tried to enter the country last Sunday...The fear today is that the burden of too many years of war, and politicians who exploit that fear, is slowly chipping away at the very foundations of the liberal society, whose liberties so many cherish." ca17/8/2018
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Israel`s nationality law knows no boundariesAkiva Eldarm- Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Minister Ayelet Shaked delivered a chilling threat to the country’s Supreme Court, warning that a ruling overturning the law would be tantamount to an “earthquake, a war between the authorities.” Her words prompted a public and media storm, and rightfully so. Such a direct hit on the judiciary breaches a red line that even the radical right is wary of crossing. The law, which defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, threatens to cross other red lines, as well." - id 15/8/2018
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Welcome to Netanyahu`s fortress stateLisa Goldman - +972 - "The detention and interrogation of high-profile figures such as Peter Beinart and Reza Aslan at Israeli entry points is causing liberal American Jews to understand what Israel is becoming." - id 15/8/2018
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Lauder helped make Netanyahu prime minister. Now he’s publicly opposing himBEN SALES - The Times of Israel - On Monday, Netanyahu was the target of a scathing column by Ronald Lauder, the cosmetics heir who heads the World Jewish Congress. Lauder lamented Israel’s recent nation- state law, which Netanyahu defends as a safeguard of Israel’s Jewish character but critics see as a slap in the face to the country’s minorities. Lauder wrote that Israel’s turn to the nationalist right is betraying its — and the Jewish people’s — commitment to democratic, humanistic ideals.-rh15/8/2018
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How Israel Delegitimizes ItselfRon Forthofer - The Palestine Chronicle - Despite Israeli claims, Gaza is an occupied territory and, in actuality, Palestinians and their leadership have little control over their lives. For example, Israel, abetted by Egypt, controls all of Gaza’s borders and determines what and who may or may not enter the area. Israel’s control has turned Gaza into what many call the “largest open-air prison in the world” while others call it a concentration camp. Making matters worse, the two major Palestinian groups, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, have been at odds for years and their in-fighting adds to the incredible hardships Gazans face.-rh15/8/2018
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Palestinian diplomatic campaign gaining tractionYossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - As far as the Netanyahu government goes, this is a minor inconvenience. However, anyone who sees the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians as a zero-sum game would regard this development as a blow for Israel. The Palestinians regard it as an important contribution to their national struggle. Palestine’s Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour told The New York Times that while Israel and the United States “are still denying we are a state, we walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”-rh 15/8/2018
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Israel Is Not a Liberal DemocracyPaul R. Pillar - The National Interest - sraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in Israel) making the right of national self-determination “unique to the Jewish people” and not applicable to all citizens. The law further enshrined religiously based discrimination, including a clause that points to priority for Jewish-only communities by declaring “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value” and promising “to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.” The law has been a subject of much controversy in Israel. It passed the Knesset by the narrow margin of sixty-two to fifty-five. Opponents argue that it constitutes a step away from democracy. But this was one more item on the agenda of the ruling right-wing coalition that, given the rightward move in Israeli politics in recent years, the coalition was able to push through.-rh15/8/2018
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Mission Accomplished: Why Solidarity Boats to Gaza Succeed Despite Failing to Break SiegeRamzy Baroud - telesur - And this is precisely the real mission of the Gaza flotillas: While Israel wants to normalize the Gaza siege as it is currently normalizing its Occupation and Apartheid regimes, the solidarity movement has created a counter-discourse that constantly foils Israeli plans. In other words, whether the boats arrive on the Gaza coast or are hijacked by the Israeli navy, it makes little difference. The power and effectiveness of this kind of solidarity go even beyond Gaza and Palestine. “Our involvement in international solidarity endeavors, such as the Freedom Flotillas has, in turn, sparked a resurgence in other important elements of building the strength of the worldwide movement for justice”-rh15/8/2018
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Shocking Quotes: Was Every Israeli Prime Minister A Racist?Robert Inlakesh - Almasdarnews - Most nation states in our world today have dealt with their fair share of institutionalized racism and bigotry, and Israel is no exception. However when it comes to Israel, the volume of racism expressed by prominent political figures is both astounding and concerning.-rh15/8/2018
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The danger of conflating anti-Zionism with anti-SemitismIan Almond - Aljazeera - Enfolding criticism of Israel within the definition of anti-Semitism would risk rendering the word meaningless.- rh15/8/2018
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Think Airport Interrogations In Israel Are New? Ask An Arab Seth J. Frantzman - Forward - recent detentions of several American Jewish activists have turned a spotlight on the interrogations. But the spotlight has a blind spot. It has focused on the experience of a few Americans while ignoring the treatment of other, more vulnerable, communities such as Palestinians, foreign workers, students, locals and particularly young women traveling alone. Even when those detained, as Peter Beinart recently was, acknowledge their privilege, they still make the story about themselves rather than the plethora of others, mostly non-Jews, who have had the same experience over the last decades.-rh 15/8/2018
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Seeing through anti-Trump anger to achieve peaceRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "You can’t write Trump off, just because he is one of the most brutal and sometimes vicious public wars with both America’s Democratic political establishment and America’s biased, pro-Israel mainstream news media." - id15/8/2018
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Jewish Nation State Law: Q&A with Adalah’s Hassan JabareenHassan Jabareen - Mondoweiss - Adalah’s General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen offers a probing analysis of the “Basic Law: The Jewish Nation-State,” which, he argues, calls for a shift in how one conceptualizes the Israeli regime on both sides of the Green Line. He contends that the enactment of the law gives Palestinians everywhere the occasion to evaluate the Israeli regime based on its laws, not only its practices, and that the Israeli regime faces questions about its legitimacy following the enactment of this racist legislation.-rh15/8/2018
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BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debateNathan Thrall - The Guardian - Progressives, centre-left pro-Israel groups are increasingly viewed as Aipac-lite, supporting two states in name while in practice protecting Israel from any sort of pressure that might induce it to end a very comfortable occupation. [An in-depth long read-bz]14/8/2018
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Why Arab citizens waved Palestinian flags in central Tel AvivHaggai Matar - +972 - Tens of thousands of Palestinians and Israelis protested and marched against the Jewish Nation-State Law Saturday night, demanding full civil equality for all residents of this land. It was a spectacular and rare showing, yet most of Israel’s top politicians (including on the Left) and media outlets were concerned with one thing only... [bz]14/8/2018
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Israeli, Palestinian support for two states hits record lowHenriette Chacar - +972 Magazine - Support for a two-state solution is at the lowest level among both Israelis and Palestinians in almost two decades, according to a public opinion poll published on Monday. It began to steadily decline more than 10 years ago, but first dropped below 50 percent for both populations last December, following Trump’s controversial announcement recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The research team attributed the declining support for two states to perceived lack of feasibility and lack of trust. They found that 47 percent of Jewish Israelis and 56 percent of Palestinians believe the two-state solution is no longer viable due to extended settlement expansion. Both sides believe the other side is untrustworthy – a quarter of Jewish Israelis trust Palestinians, while only 11 percent of Palestinians trust Jewish Israelis. The preeminent belief is that what is good for one side is bad for the other – almost half of Jewish Israelis (47 percent) and nearly three-quarters of Palestinians (71 percent) believe the conflict is zero-sum.[ak]14/8/2018
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To maintain occupation, Israel will need to bolster Hamas in GazaMenachem Klein - +972 - While Egypt and the UN have their own plans to solve the crisis in Gaza, both have one thing common: strengthening Hamas at the expense of the Palestinian Authority. In order to maintain its hold on the West Bank, Israel will prefer the option that will give Hamas autonomy [ry]13/8/2018
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There`s a way out of our shared hell with GazaEric Yellin - +972 "For over a year, my friends in Other Voice, comprised of residents of the towns and communities surrounding the Gaza Strip, have been protesting the government’s inability to find a viable solution for our situation. For more than a decade, members of Other Voice have been in touch with people in Gaza, and we believe it is possible to live in peace with our neighbors. Life there is unbearable, and without resolving the crisis in Gaza, our lives will continue to be a living hell." ca10/8/2018
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As Russia Negotiates Separation of Forces in Syria, Netanyahu Threatens War Against Iran Over Yemeni WaterwayRichard Silverstein — Tikun Olam "Netanyahu, whose premiership seems built upon the premise of constant war or threat of war, today turned to his southern flank. He told a military ceremony that if Iran’s Houthi allies continued to threaten shipping in the Bab al Mandab waterway separating Saudi Arabia from Iran, the IDF would join or lead a Sunni coalition which would break such a blockade and counter-attack against Iran. This is precisely the response Israel’s Saudi allies expected when Houthi forces fired a missile at a Saudi oil tanker headed to Egypt." ca10/8/2018
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The Apartheid State of Israel: Decoding the ‘Basic Law’ and the Meaning of a ‘Jewish Nation’N.D. JAYAPRAKASH - CounterPunch - "Unfortunately, the new “Basic Law” has brought about a profound change in this apparently contradictory interpretation of the nature of Israel: it is no longer “Jewish and Democratic” but has been pruned to being just “Jewish”, which reveals its real character." - id 9/8/2018
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Why Trump`s plan to shut UNRWA is not the solutionYossi Beilin - Al Monitor - "Instead of cutting US funds for the UNRWA or allocating them to states, the Trump administration should encourage phasing out the agency while implementing a comprehensive settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue." - id9/8/2018
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ICC Reaches Out to Palestinian Victims as War Crimes Case Enters Pre-Trial PhaseRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "An Israeli news report called the move “unprecedented.” A three- judge panel has been appointed to hear the case: Peter Kovacs (presiding judge), Marc Perrin de Brichambaut and Reine Adélaïde Sophie Alapini-Gansou." - id8/8/2018
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Who the Hell Are We?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "So what is new about the new law, which at a first glance looks like a copy of the declaration? It contains two important omissions: the declaration spoke of a "Jewish and Democratic" state, and promised full equality between all its citizens, without regard to religion, ethnicity or sex.All this has disappeared. No democracy. No equality. A state of the Jews, for the Jews, by the Jews." - id8/8/2018
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Exercising the Privilege of Going to Jail Amira Hass - Haaretz - These two brand-new conscientious objectors aren’t just on “the stronger side of the national hierarchy,” as Garmi put it. They’re also on the stronger side of the social hierarchy. This ensures that the “stain” of imprisonment won’t harm them in the future the way it reproduces the repression of society’s oppressed groups, like impoverished workers, Jews of Middle Eastern or North African origin and the Druze. Nevertheless, jail is a price they are paying consciously. Both have decided to use their double privilege to publicly oppose the violent hierarchical order. May there be many more like them. [bz]7/8/2018
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Who needs a Nation-State Law? What Israelis really thinkDahlia Scheindlin - +972 - Several polls show that a surprising coalition of Israelis oppose the Jewish Nation-State Law, or at least think it is unnecessary and harmful [ry]6/8/2018
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Why Israel’s Nationality Law could be good for Palestinians Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor " The Palestinians are by no means saints, yet this week one can certainly cite the famous saying “the work of the righteous is done by others” (Midrash Talmudi, Brachot 35). The work of the Palestinians was done by someone else, i.e., Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.In fact, surely unintentionally, Netanyahu extracted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from a trap Netanyahu himself laid for the Palestinian leadership." ca 3/8/2018
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`The Arab International Forum for Justice for Palestine’ (Beirut, 29 July 2018) Richard Falk - Wordpress "Of course, not a word in theNY Timesabout Ahed’s release, while papers in Lebanon wrote complementary feature stories with sympathetic pictures of this heroine, and in every Turkish paper I saw her release was a front page story. Ahed seems comfortable with the prominence of her role despite being so young. As far as the eye can see, Ahed seems completely unintimidated by the immediate shadows cast by the harshness of Israel’s response to this totally innocent gesture of resistance." ca2/8/2018
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Palestine says good-bye to the US-led peace process Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - " “We need to have a clear strategy that can help us deal with the huge challenges ahead,” said former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, now a visiting professor at Princeton University. “The number-one priority must be to find ways to unify the splintering Palestinian population and leadership.”" - is2/8/2018
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Israel’s `UNRWA dilemma`Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "The government’s claims against UNRWA have succeeded in convincing an absolute majority of Israelis that the agency is little more than a respirator that keeps the Palestinian refugee issue alive.There is another side to the coin, however, and it involves a single date: Sept. 1. On that day, tens of thousands of Palestinian students are scheduled to start the new school year. As of now, however, they won’t." - id2/8/2018
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Israeli Press Freedom Under Fire: Jerusalem Post Sacks Long-Time Political CartoonistRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "In response to his sacking, some long-time contributors to the Jerusalem Report like Haim Watzman, have resigned and announced they will no longer write for either publication. However, as a far-right publication there aren’t many journalists there who object to Katz’s demise. The paper is an ardent supporter of Likud’s ultra- nationalist policies." - is 2/8/2018
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Adolf and Amin Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “According to [Netanyahu’s] story, until the meeting Hitler did not even think about exterminating the Jews, but only about their expulsion from Europe, preferably to Madagascar, then a French colony. But then came the Mufti and told him something like ‘if you expel them they will come to Palestine. Better kill them all in Europe’ `What a wonderful idea!` Hitler must have answered, `Why did I not think of that myself?`” [ry]31/7/2018
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A common Enemy: Why Israel is embracing fascism in EuropeRamzy Baroud - MEMO - Orban said, “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not honest but base; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world” [ry]31/7/2018
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Trump`s funding cuts to Palestinian refugees put lives at riskZaha Hassan - Al Jazeera - UNRWA is not a political organisation and should not be used in political games [ry]31/7/2018
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Yes, Corbynism poses a threat — but not to Britain`s JewsMatan Kaminer - +972 - Smearing Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite has become a popular hobby among members of the British establishment — perhaps because what he stands for is a direct threat to their ideological and economic interests [ry]31/7/2018
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The Apartheid Prime MinisterHaaretz Editorial - The vote on the law has updated the political fault line in Israel: the discrimination camp vs. the equality camp; the supporters of apartheid against the supporters of democracy. It is true that Israel’s Arab citizens have been discriminated against since the state’s establishment by the governments on both the left and right. But liberal basic laws and High Court of Justice rulings during the past generation advanced the drive toward equality and integrating the minority, which Netanyahu is now seeking to destroy. [bz]30/7/2018
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Did Israel Just Stop Trying to Be a Democracy?Omri Boehm - NYT "Israel’s policy of promoting Jewish settlements has created de facto apartheid in the occupied territories of the West Bank. The nation- state law now formally endorses the use of similar apartheid methods within Israel’s recognized borders. What was long suspected has finally been made brutally clear: Israel cannot be both a Jewish state and a liberal democracy." ca30/7/2018
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Ex-IDF chief, Golani vets back Druze ‘brothers’ amid fury over nation-state lawAlexander Fulbright - Times of Israel "We, the officers, commanders and soldiers from generations of the Golani Brigade, wish to embrace, support and share in the pain of our Druze, Bedouin and Circassian brothers and sisters, as well as all the ethnic groups that serve in the various security forces and who have tied their fate to the [Jewish] people dwelling in Zion since the establishment of the state,” the letter read." ca27/7/2018
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Three Israeli Supreme Court justices greenlight state to commit war crime B`Tselem - "Justice Sohlberg, who wrote the ruling, stated that the “undisputed” premise of the examination is that “construction in the Khan al-Ahmar compound, both the school and the dwellings, is unlawful,” ...In so ruling, the justices chose to confine their role to handling mere bureaucratic issues, yet that is not why they were appointed to the Supreme Court. Choosing this technical approach enabled them to ignore the context of Israel’s longstanding policy vis-à-vis the people living in Palestinian communities in the West Bank and set aside the directives of international humanitarian law (IHL). Yet this judicial formalism only thinly veils the heart of the matter: the fact that Israel intends to commit a war crime." ca27/7/2018
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What My Escape From Hitler’s Germany Taught Me About Trump’s AmericaHenry Siegman - The Nation "And what Trump’s America teaches us about Netanyahu’s Israel." ca27/7/2018
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Israel forces teachers to leave Palestine Nora Barrows-Friedman - Electronic Intifada "Israel has completely shut down a Palestinian university in Jerusalem amid a series of assaults on academic freedom.On 14 July, Israeli police raided and shut down the Hind al-Husseini college in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, prohibited an academic conference from taking place and detained 15 participants of the conference... Israel’s closure of Hind al-Husseini college “is one more manifestation of Israel’s relentless assault on Palestinian education and culture, a systematic assault that is tantamount to cultural genocide,” Nada Elia, an organizing committee member of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI), told The Electronic Intifada." ca27/7/2018
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The March of Folly Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The Israeli authorities pretended to take this seriously. A frightening picture was painted for the Israeli public: 1.8 million Arabs, men, women and children, would throw themselves on the border fence, break through in many places, and storm Israel`s cities and villages. Terrifying." - id 25/7/2018
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An Israeli twist on homophobia and racismYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The people who stand behind these laws – as well as laws changing the face of the High Court, religionizing the army and the schools, applying Israeli law to the West Bank settlements, and preferring “Zionist” culture – are not the ultra-Orthodox. They are the Jewish Home and the Likud: Israeli fundamentalist parties that are closely connected to the populist Right in Europe and the United States." - id 25/7/2018
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Video Exposes Netanyahu Invoking God to Destroy Iran RegimeRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "It’s not clear whether the PM knew he was being videotaped or not. Probably not, otherwise he would never have said what he did. Or possibly, unencumbered by his new-found bromance with Donald Trump, he’s emboldened to say things he would never have thought of saying publicly." - id25/7/2018
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Israel helps White Helmets, but rejects Syrian refugeesAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "The evacuation of White Helmets members and their families from Syria was an admirable gesture by Israel, but hardly enough to compensate for the expulsion of Syrians from the Golan Heights after the 1967 war." - id 25/7/2018
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Tisha B’Av and the mainstreaming of the Temple discourseYudith Oppenheimer/Ir Amim - +972 - The further Israel moves from a solution to the conflict, the more it finds itself in need of the symbols of the religious right. As long as liberal Israelis do not fully renounce the sanctification of blood and land, they will be unable to present a real alternative. [bz]24/7/2018
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This racist new law makes me ashamed to be Israeli Daniel Barenboim - Guardian/Haaretz - We have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It follows that this is a very clear form of apartheid. I don’t think the Jewish people lived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. [bz]24/7/2018
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Trump Is Israel’s “Useful Idiot” Philip Giraldi - Information Clearing House "It would probably surprise most American friends of Israel to learn that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Moscow three times so far this year, particularly as Russia has been getting vilified in the U.S. mainstream media on an almost daily basis. There is a reason for the Russophobia beyond what Moscow might or might not have done in the 2016 election. Russia has become a particular target of hostility for the burgeoning number of neoconservative foundations, also closely linked to Israel, whose funding from defense contractors depends on having a powerful enemy. The ability of Israel and its supporters to play both sides regardless of what the accepted perception of what American interests might be should therefore be an issue of some concern." ca20/7/2018
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Arabic was an official language in Israel for 70 yearsMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The Jewish Nation-State Law states, implicitly and explicitly, that Israel belongs not to all of its citizens, over 20 percent of whom are not Jewish. Instead, it declares that Israel belongs to the Jewish people, some half of whom are not Israeli citizens." ca20/7/2018
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Israel nation-state law serves as rallying cry for each side`s political baseOren Liebermann - CNN News "Ahmad Tibi, a member of Knesset from the Joint Arab List party, yelled at the Israeli leader, "You passed a racist law, an apartheid law! Why are you so afraid of Arabic?" Tibi and virtually every other member of the opposition -- Israeli and Arab -- had lambasted the nation-state bill as, at best, unnecessary and, at worst, blatantly discriminatory." ca20/7/2018
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Video Exposes Netanyahu Invoking God to Destroy Iran RegimeJuly 20, 2018 VIDEO - Tikun Olam "Israel’s Kan TV news ran a video recorded two weeks ago at a gathering of Likud Party activists which Bibi Netanyahu addressed. It’s not clear whether the PM knew he was being videotaped or not. Probably not, otherwise he would never have said what he did. Or possibly, unencumbered by his new-found bromance with Donald Trump, he’s emboldened to say things he would never have thought of saying publicly." ca20/7/2018
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Israel declares itself apartheid state, and gov’ts must hold it accountable Omar Barghouti, Press Release - Mondoweiss "Omar Barghouti from the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) commented:Israel has dozens of racist laws, including some which strikingly fit the UN definition of apartheid. But with the constitutional power of this Basic Law, Israel is effectively declaring itself an apartheid state and dropping its worn-out mask of democracy.From now on, it will not just be legal to racially discriminate against the indigenous Palestinian citizens of the state. It will be constitutionally mandated and required. This should stir people, institutions and governments to take effective action to hold Israel accountable." ca 20/7/2018
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The ‘ultimate deal’? For Israel, maybe. We Palestinians will never accept it Hanan Ashrawi - The Guardian "The US should abandon its misguided assumption that anyone, whether in the region or beyond, can “deliver” the Palestinian people or sign up on our behalf. This approach, concocted by a team of US “peacemakers”, is one-sided, misplaced and totally divorced from genuine peacemaking. It has only reaffirmed that Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, are extensions of the most extreme rightwing Israeli government coalition and its active lobbyists and campaign donors in the US. One would have to be totally delusional to expect any kind of justice or genuine peace from such “peacemakers”, who are complicit in financing the illegal Israeli settlements that are forcibly built on stolen Palestinian land." ca20/7/2018
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Why Irish sanctions on settlement products don`t scare IsraelAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the Senate in Dublin was backing a “populist, dangerous and extremist anti-Israel boycott initiative that hurts the chances of dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians; it will have a negative impact on the diplomatic process in the Middle East.” Who, exactly, is Israel’s dialogue representative? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has pledged that a Palestinian state would not be established on his watch?" - id 18/7/2018
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The new era of Jewish terrorAviad Mendelbaum - Ynet - "It is clear that a handful of fringe elements who either perpetrate or support Jewish terrorism are an exception to the rule, but ... the tolerance for radical views in the Israeli public is growing." - id 18/7/2018
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Paramedic Rozan a-Najar was killed by deliberate fireB`Tselem press release - The IDF Spokesperson tried to clear the military of responsibility for a-Najar’s death, initially saying that soldiers did not fire at the spot where she had been standing. Later, the military said a-Najar might have been killed by a ricochet, before finally accusing her of serving as a human shield for rioters. Contrary to the many versions offered by the military, the facts of the case lead to only one conclusion. An investigation conducted by B’Tselem proves 20-year-old a-Najar was fatally shot by a member of the security forces who was aiming directly at her as she was standing about 25 meters away from the fence, despite the fact that she posed no danger to him or anyone else and was wearing a medical uniform. [bz]17/7/2018
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How a West Bank Highway`s Roadsign Captures the Israeli Psyche Amira Hass - Haaretz - The subconscious becomes fully visible in the language in which the [warning] sign is written: Hebrew only. In my same query, four months ago, I asked Netivei Israel’s spokespeople why the sign wasn’t written in Arabic as well. Here’s the answer I received: “Due to your inquiry, which drew our attention to this, we will consider adding Arabic-language writing to informational signs in areas with a mixed population.” But the signs remain just as they were. In the Israeli consciousness, Palestinians are happenstance people who have no rights in the place where they live. In the Israeli subconscious, as reflected by this Hebrew-language sign and the explanation for it, the Palestinians have completely disappeared from this place. They don’t exist. [bz]17/7/2018
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Netanyahu’s War on TranscendenceMarilyn Garson - CounterPunch - “I have always refused to refer to Gaza as an open-air prison. Prisons are permanent institutions in our societies. Individuals are convicted and sentenced to prison for a time […]. Gaza is a ghetto. […] A ghetto is, by definition, a crime. When we call Gaza a ghetto, we begin by acknowledging that the occupation and blockade are massive crimes, inexcusable and escalating” [ry]16/7/2018
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Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century CollapsesSheldon Richman - AntiWar - "Thus the Trump-Kushner strategy may be to destroy, in the name of humanitarianism, any prospect of genuine Palestinian liberation. The effect could be to dump the Gazans in Egypt, effectively if not physically, while Israel continues to gobble up the West Bank" [ry]16/7/2018
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How one law exposes what Israel has always tried to hideOrly Noy - +972 "From the moment it was established, Israel granted its Jewish citizens privileges at the expense of Palestinians. The ‘nation-state bill’ reveals the choice Israelis have to make about the future of their country." ca13/7/2018
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Return To The Ghetto: Israel’s Nation State Law Would Make Early Zionists Turn In Their GravesRebecca Stead - Information Clearing House "Whichever strand of Zionism these thinkers adhered to, they were united in the perceived need to rid Jews of anything that made them different and therefore singled them out for ridicule, abuse and, at its most extreme, violence and death. All envisaged an end to the ghettoisation of Jews in Europe, both physically and culturally. Over 100 years later, Israel’s “Nation State” law threatens a repeat of this dark period in Jewish history and would leave Zionism’s founding thinkers turning in their graves." ca13/7/2018
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Can Ethiopia-Eritrea Reconciliation Offer Hope for Israel-Palestine? Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Over the past few days, I’ve watched as something unimaginable has happened. Two countries engaged in war for two decades, who have together killed 80,000 of each other’s citizens, have reconciled." - id11/7/2018
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A Very Intelligent Person Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "SO, COME next election, would I vote for Barak? The opportunity would arise only if Barak decides to accept the challenge and succeeds in uniting behind him all the opposition parties, which hate each other. That by itself would be a Herculean task. If that happens, I would recommend voting for him. To be honest, I would recommend voting for anybody who seriously challenges Bibi. I believe that Bibi is leading Israel toward an abyss – an eternal war against the Palestinians, a war nobody can win." - id 11/7/2018
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Israeli president slams bill that could lead to Jewish-only communitiesAFP, Jerusalem - Alarabiya - The so-called nation-state law, which the government hopes to have approved by the end of the month, could become part of the country`s basic laws which serve as a de facto constitution. The clause Rivlin criticized would allow the state to “authorize a community composed of people having the same faith and nationality to maintain the exclusive character of that community.” That was seen as allowing towns to exclude Arab citizens, who account for some 17.5 percent of Israel`s population, or even other Jewish communities. Rivlin said that the legislation “could harm the Jewish people worldwide and in Israel, and could even be used as a weapon by our enemies.” -rh11/7/2018
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Palestinians fear recent aid cuts could expandRasha Abou Jalal - Al-Monitor - The Australian government announced July 2 its decision to cut direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), citing fears that the funds are paid as monthly salaries to Palestinian nationals convicted of carrying out attacks against Israel. The decision is another challenge to the PA, which is already suffering from a steady decline in foreign funding and an estimated budgetary deficit of around $1 billion this year.-rh 11/7/2018
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Speaker at Israeli gov’t conference promotes genocide against Arabs and non-JewsJonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - On the stage was an aging terrorist, Moshe Zar, a former founding member of the Jewish-terrorist movement “Jewish Underground” (in 1980’s), who said the following: “I am known for saying ‘Build a house, it’s like you wiped out a hundred Arabs. Build a settlement, it’s like you wiped out tens of thousands of goyim [‘non-Jews’]’. That’s the truth”. His words were applauded by a considerable number of the public, including the settler standing beside him, Yael Shevach, the widow of rabbi Raziel Shevach, who was murdered in January on a road in the occupied West Bank outside the settlement he lived in. Israeli journalist David Sheen has provided the video with subtitles here. -The immediate context within the conference was about settlement in “Judea, Samaria and Gaza”. After a video was screened, Zar told about an attack that had occurred in a settlement and said that construction of the settlements is “our sweet revenge”. “Our revenge, the revenge of all of us, will be only in the settlement of Eretz Israel” [the land of Israel]. -rh11/7/2018
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Mediterranean Sea – The Largest Graveyard in Modern HistoryPeter Koenig - Information Clearing House - In June 2018 alone, more than 500 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Their boats were refused access to land in either Malta, or Italy. They were force- driven back by gun-boats to the North African shores they came from, mostly Libya, but many boats capsized and countless refugees didn’t make it. These are de facto murders, high crimes against humanity, committed by the very European Union. The same “leaders” (criminals, rather), whose forebears are known to have raped, exploited, tortured, ravaged peoples and their lands of Asia, Africa, Latin America over the past 1000 years of abject colonization.-rh 11/7/2018
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Yad Vashem slams ‘highly problematic’ Israeli-Polish Holocaust statementRAPHAEL AHREN - The Times of Israel - A joint declaration issued by Warsaw and Jerusalem “contains highly problematic wording that contradicts existing and accepted historical knowledge in this field,” the institution said in a press release. The statement is an embarrassing blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who last week hailed the agreement and the joint statement that was issued on the occasion as safeguarding “the historic truth about the Holocaust.”-rh 11/7/2018
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UNRWA does not perpetuate the conflict, the conflict perpetuates UNRWAMarilyn Garson - Mondoweiss - In January, without warning, Donald Trump declined to pay $305 million of his country’s $365 million commitment to UNRWA. UNRWA, the UN agency serving Palestinian refugees, remains $200 million short of the funds it needs to provide humanitarian services for five million people, including two-thirds of the population of the Gaza Strip. This is not really a story about under-funding UNRWA. This is about the people who strenuously seek to eliminate it.- rh11/7/2018
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Diary of the Tel Arad (Khan al-Ahmar) PalestiniansRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Anne Frank’s story is not about life in the death camps or about the atrocities committed by the Nazis at their concentration camps, where 6 million Jews and millions of non-Jews were murdered. Her story is the substance of life during the Holocaust, about the fear and the fright that human beings experience under the oppression of a brutal military regime that hunts them down, expels them, forces them to flee their homes, and destroys all their property. For the people of Khan Al-Ahmar, the oppression they are experiencing echoes that. Stealing a person’s land, home and possessions, and forcing them to flee in the face of military threats, is in fact a form of death." - id 11/7/2018
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By Razing Khan al-Ahmar, Israel Will Bulldoze Illusions of Peace ProcessJonathan Cook - Common Dreams - It would be gratifying to believe that Western governments care about the inhabitants of Khan al-Ahmar – or the thousands of other Palestinians who are being incrementally cleansed by Israel from nearby lands but whose plight has drawn far less attention. (...) As Khan al-Ahmar demonstrates all too clearly, there will be no end to the slow-motion erasure of Palestinian communities until western governments find the nerve to impose biting sanctions on Israel. [bz]10/7/2018
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Secrecy a sign of seriousness in peacemakingDaoud Kuttab - Arab Media Internet Network - In today’s Washington- sponsored attempts at peacemaking, we are seeing the total opposite, a sign that those behind peace efforts are more interested in pleasing their boss, President Donald Trump, or in some cases aimed at pleasing Trump’s major funder Sheldon Adelson. Ever since the high-profile rejection of US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley of the appointment of Salam Fayyad as the UN special representative to Libya because he is Palestinian, to the almost daily Tweets of US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and the latest interview of Trump’s senior adviser Jered Kushner with Al Quds newspaper, a pattern emerges that reflects lack of seriousness. The US president himself publicly shot down his own so-called efforts to peace when he contradicted his earlier efforts on Jerusalem by boasting publicly that he “took Jerusalem off the table”.-rh4/7/2018
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Princely Visits Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Yared Kushner may well be a genius, just like his father-in-law. But even his brilliant Jewish brain will not find another solution. And all the power of the United States will not suffice to keep the Palestinian people down forever. The Big Plan is just another prescription for eternal war. I wish that Europe, including the post-brexit Britain, were willing and able to prevent this catastrophe. If I had met the prince on the sandy seashore, I would have told him just that." - id4/7/2018
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Prominent Jewish BDS activist denied entry to IsraelTOI STAFF - The Times of Israel - Israeli officials barred a Jewish pro-Palestinian activist from entering the country late Sunday and began proceedings to deport her over her support for a boycott of the country. Ariel Gold said that she had arranged her visit ahead of time with Israeli authorities, in line with a demand by Jerusalem after her last visit to the country, but was being deported anyway after landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport.-rh4/7/2018
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Kushner, Greenblatt, Friedman and the absent Palestinian presidentYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "The perplexing thing is that although Kushner and Greenblatt were sent to discuss a plan that concerns the Palestinians, they view Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) as an absentee landlord." - id4/7/2018
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Settler Terrorists Call for Burning Palestinians Alive Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The vanguard of Israel’s youth are no longer on kibbutzim or even in Unit 8200 or in the vaunted high-tech sector. Instead, they are in the yeshivot of Yitzhar, they sit learning the Torah of genocide at the feet of “rabbis” like YItzhak Shapira, Yitzhak Ginsburg, Dov Wolpe, and Dov Lior. They and Judeo-scum like them participated in the pulsa di nura which passed a sentence of death on Yitzhak Rabin, weeks before his assassination." - id 4/7/2018
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`For many young American Jews, the Trump-Bibi axis is the enemy`Edo Konrad - +972 - "Bradley Burston insists that his views about Israel haven`t changed since he moved here in the 1970s. It`s Israel which has changed. `I would like to have two states. But hundreds of thousands of Israelis said ‘you can’t have it,’ and they run the country.`" - id4/7/2018
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The brief but exciting life of the bill to outlaw filming IDF soldiersHAVIV RETTIG GUR - The Times of Israel - MK Ilatov did, in fact, pen a bill of the sort that Sokatch warned about. But he didn’t do so because he thought it might pass, nor even because he wanted it to pass. As anyone with more than a passing familiarity with Israeli politics of the past decade can attest, right-wing lawmakers use such bills to get their names in the newspaper in a nation where news events come at a fevered pace and no mere press release from a junior politician has much hope of getting noticed. The most effective way to get noticed, right-wing lawmakers have discovered, is to trigger the left into a public relations campaign against them. Countless right- wing bills have been proposed, but only an infinitesimal number have passed into law. Those that did were so gutted by the time they became law that they have not been enforced, usually because the final version negotiated by lawmakers during the legislative process was carefully constructed to ensure they could not be enforced.rh4/7/2018
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‘Deal of the Century’ is Not New and the PA Leadership is Not a VictimRamzy Baroud - Countercurrents - The order of that anticipated failure is likely to go something like this: the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah is likely to reject the deal once the full details of the US administration’s plan are revealed; Israel is likely to withhold its decision till Palestinians rejection is exploited thoroughly by pro- Israel US media.-rh4/7/2018
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Greenwashing the Nakba: The Real Story Behind Israel’s “Blooming Desert”Whitney Webb - Axis of Logic - There is, however, another side to this story, one that shows that the “blooming desert” of Israel is a convenient disguise for the degradation and destruction of Palestine’s natural resources, a means of obfuscating the worst of occupation by wrapping it in the cloak of Zionist mythology. While a central theme of Zionist mythology has long been the need for the Jewish Diaspora community to re-establish itself by returning to agricultural labor, the truth of Israel’s agricultural “success” involves the unsustainable use of occupied resources and the deliberate destruction of the land and water still used by Palestinians today.-rh 4/7/2018
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Neo-Liberalism and the Retreat of DemocracyDAVID SCHULTZ - Counterpunch - Democracy across the world is under siege. This according to the latest Freedom House report documenting that for 2017, “democracy faced its most serous crisis in decades” as seventy-one countries experienced declines in freedom or fair government, including the United States, and only thirty-five an improvement. This was the twelfth consecutive year of decline in democracy world-wide.-rh4/7/2018
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Bill to bar left-wing groups from schools cleared for final readingsSUE SURKES - The Time of Israel - A controversial bill empowering the education minister to ban organizations critical of the Israeli military from entering schools was approved Tuesday by the Knesset Education Committee for its second and third readings at the plenum. The committee voted in favor by seven votes to five.-rh4/7/2018
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Targeting The Most Vulnerable: Children in Detention In The US and PalestineAlice Rothchild - Information Clearing House - Interestingly, there is much we can learn from research in the US and from the Israeli experience with regard to children and prisons. The US and Israel both perceive themselves as enlightened “western democracies,” yet both have high incarceration rates, particularly for children of color, sometimes involving the same global prison industries. In both countries, these kinds of children are perceived as the “other,” the “enemy,” the “invading hordes ready to destroy America,” the “Muslim terrorists seeking to kill Israelis.” They are presented as less human and less deserving than white and/or Jewish children and less likely to evoke an empathic reaction.-rh4/7/2018
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Israel’s nuclear ambiguity policy blocks diplomatic processAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - In early May, as the world held its breath in anticipation of the nuclear disarmament discussions between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and struggled to digest Trump`s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal, an international meeting on the subject was winding up in Geneva. Over several days, representatives of dozens of states discussed preparations for the fifth review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) scheduled to take place in 2020.-rh 4/7/2018
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Newsletter - June 2018Military Court Watch - Detention figures –According to the Israeli Prison Service (IPS), as of 31 May 2018 there were 5,732 Palestinians (West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza) held as “security prisoners” in Israeli detention facilities including 291 children(12-17 years). In the case of children there was an 8% decrease in the number compared with the previous month and an annual increase of 4% compared with 2017. These figures include 3 children heldin administrative detention. According to the IPS, 52% of child detainees were unlawfully transferred and/or detained inside Israel in violation of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention during the month. Child detention rates are currently up 62% since UNICEF published its child detention report in 2013. -rh 4/7/2018
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Is Israel`s justice minister determined to undermine the judicial system? Yossi Beilin - Al-Monitor - The Knesset’s Justice Committee hasn’t had a meeting like Monday`s in a very long time. On June 25, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked of HaBayit HaYehudi submitted legislation that would allow each minister to select the legal adviser for his ministry. She faced opposition from three senior figures — the current and two former attorney generals. In the administrative hierarchy of government, the current attorney general serves under the minister.-rh 4/7/2018
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Australia’s decision to end direct aid to PalestineDr. Hanan Ashrawi - PLO Department of Culture and Information - I would like to remind Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that since 1948 Israel has imprisoned more than one million Palestinians without due process and killed roughly 75,000 Palestinians. Every single Palestinian family has thereby been affected by this longstanding injustice. It is disconcerting that the Palestinian leadership is being charged with ‘politically motivated violence’ by Foreign Minister Bishop. We have been committed to non-violent resistance and to legal and responsible forms of countering Israeli violations and violence. It is ironic that Israel has not been held accountable for its ‘official and unofficial’ violence carried out both by its occupation army and extremist settlers, while the Palestinians are expected to remain docile and subservient victims. We strongly urge the government of Australia to reconsider its decision and not embolden Israel in its unilateral and illegal policies. Bringing Israel to compliance with international law and international humanitarian law would be the most constructive action for governments interested in peace and justice.” [ak]3/7/2018
Between Adelson and BDS, Birthright Has Become a Political BattlefieldAllison Kaplan Sommer - Haaretz - Birthright Israel has done its best to stay above the political fray ever since its founding in 1999. Like most major institutions, though, in these divisive times it is losing the struggle to remain detached from deep political differences. Over the past months, it has been targeted directly by young activist Jews, angry over what they believe is the program’s refusal to deliver a balanced message to its participants regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The activities have ranged from protests against the Birthright gala in New York, to leafleting Birthright participants boarding their flights to Israel, to the high-profile walkout of five female participants toward the end their trip to Israel last Thursday, opting instead to join a Breaking the Silence tour in Hebron. This last event kicked off what the activist group IfNotNow predicts will be a long, hot summer against the program.[ak]3/7/2018
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The Peace Deal That is All IsraelStanley L. Cohen - CounterPunch - "The notion the United States can or will play a role as a fair and honest broker in seeing that justice be had for Palestinians is so much doctored myth and little else" [ry]2/7/2018
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