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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

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Israel is “infected by the seeds of fascism” and has been taken over by “extremists,” warn ex-prime minister and defense ministers Ben Norton - SALON - Ehud Barak, the former Israeli prime minister and defense minister, said in an interview on Israeli TV on Friday night that fascistic, extreme right-wing politics are on the rise in his country, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.-rh25/5/2016
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Hundreds of academics call to boycott genocide conference in IsraelRami Younis - +972 -Academics condemn decision to hold a conference on genocide in Jerusalem at a time when Israel’s actions are ‘being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide.-rh25/5/2016
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Liberal Democrats, Millenials Massively Increase Support for Palestinians, Decrease Support for IsraelRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The survey notes that among liberal Democrats, for the first time, more favor Palestinians than Israelis by a 40% to 33% margin. In the past year, support for Palestinians in this cohort more than doubled from 20% to 43%." - id 25/5/2016
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Peace with Palestinians not in Netanyahu`s plan Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Whatever the composition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s coalition, it will never aspire to a negotiated peace with the Palestinians." - id 25/5/2016
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Report slams Israel`s military law enforcement systemMegan O`Toole - Aljazeera - "B`Tselem`s cooperation with the military investigation and enforcement system has not achieved justice, instead lending legitimacy to the occupation regime and aiding to whitewash it," the report noted.-rh25/5/2016
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How Netanyahu Showed the Army Who’s Boss by Handing the Keys to the Far RightJ.J.Goldberg - Forward - By removing defense minister Moshe Yaalon, a former career soldier and military chief of staff who’s part and parcel of Israel Defense Forces culture, and replacing him with Lieberman, a frequent critic of the military brass, Netanyahu is showing the generals who’s boss. That may not be what Netanyahu intended in this latest round of coalition musical chairs, but that’s what happened.-rh 25/5/2016
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Why are some Palestinians upset over Nakba commemoration?Ahmad Melhem - Al-Monitor - Al Jazeera correspondent Mirvat Sadeq posted on Facebook May 14, “The Nakba was not a matter of folklore. You cannot commemorate it with dabke dancing and folk songs. It was not a wedding where women wear embroidered dresses. The Nakba is not a celebration. It is a disaster and a continuous massacre against people and lands. Tragedies are not to be celebrated with horns and sirens.” Sadeq was referring to the alarm siren that the commemoration committee played for 68 seconds at noon on May 15 in Ramallah to signal the launching of the Nakba events.-rh 25/5/2016
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Joint List MK: Lieberman deal reveals ‘the real face of Netanyahu’ Emily Mulder - Mondoweiss - Joint List MK Aida Touma-Souliman, who believes the PM carried out the recent government reshuffle solely to secure continuation of his rule, told Mondoweiss the move “revealed the real face of Netanyahu.” -rh25/5/2016
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Why Would That General Compare Israel to 1930s Germany? Hmm... B. Michael - Haaretz - With all the festivals and days of sadness behind us, we can now return to the nagging question: What on earth was going through that anti-Semite general’s head when he dared hint that we, the Chosen People, commit abominable acts like those perpetrated by the gentiles? Really, what`s he talking about?-rh25/5/2016
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Mohammed al-Qeeq, former hunger striker and Palestinian journalist, released from Israeli prisonSamidoun - Palestinian journalist and former hunger striker Mohammed al-Qeeq was freed from Israeli prison on Thursday, 19 May. Al-Qeeq had been held in administrative detention without charge or trial, and engaged in a 94-day hunger strike demanding his release. His strike drew widespread Palestinian and international attention, and highlighted the issue of administrative detention and the imprisonment of Palestinian journalists.-rh25/5/2016
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Skepticism of German-Israeli Friendship Growing in BerlinRalf Neukirch and Christoph Schult - Spiegel - Top Berlin officials are becoming less inclined to unconditionally support Israel. With the two-state solution increasingly unlikely, there is concern that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is "instrumentalizing" Germany`s friendship.-rh25/5/2016
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Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army Jonathan Cook - CounterPunch - "Yaalon is to take a break from politics. With fitting irony, his slot is to be filled on Likud’s backbenches by Yehuda Glick, a settler whose struggle to destroy Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque and replace it with a Jewish temple has the potential to set the Middle East on fire." - id 25/5/2016
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Israeli politics: from tragedy to farce Michel Warschawski - AIC - Now, both far-left activists and the political and military leaders of the Israeli establishment itself warn that the government has gone too far. The appointment by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Avigdor Lieberman as Israel`s Minister of Defense compelled Member of Knesset (MK) Benny Begin to state: "it is mere madness." (...) "Fascism" is a term used more and more by media and an array of politicians to describe the course of the far-right Israeli government. [bz]24/5/2016
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Israel Must Fix Its Flag Haaretz editorial - This Independence Day underscores the need to repair the rents in the blue-and-white flag and to bring under its protection all the groups that make up Israeliness – including those minorities that have trouble identifying with the Star of David in the flag’s center or the “yearning Jewish soul” of the national anthem. Instead of continuing to foment strife, the time has come to once again create an Israeli nation that is proud of its country and its flag. [bz]24/5/2016
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Israeli defense minister resigns citing `dangerous elements` in governmentWilliam Booth--Israel`s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, announced his resignation May 20, citing a lack of "trust" in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the governing party. (The Washington Post)dn22/5/2016
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Israel Has Been Infected by the Seeds of Fascism, Says ex-Prime Minister Ehud Barak Haaretz--Barak tells TV interviewer that `there are no serious leaders left in the world who believe the Israeli government.` dn22/5/2016
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Lieberman`s Lofty Position Means Nothing to Struggling Russian-Israeli Community Liza Rozovsky--“I’ve shattered the glass ceiling for Israeli Russians,” Avigdor Lieberman told Russian-Israeli newspaper Vesti last week, after becoming defense minister-in-waiting. However, his statement is inaccurate. Although the appointment is indeed a personal achievement for Lieberman – who until now always faced stubborn resistance over being named number two in the political hierarchy – he actually broke that ceiling more than two decades ago, after being appointed director general of Likud and, later, director general of the Prime Minister’s Office. dn22/5/2016
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Veteran Japanese photographer Ryuichi Hirokawa says his work is inspired by the history of Palestine.Shatha Khalil--Standing before a photograph he took in 2009 of a Palestinian child in Gaza left speechless after witnessing a shower of human flesh from an Israeli attack on her neighbourhood, Japanese photographer Ryuichi Hirokawa says he decided to become a photojournalist because of Palestinians.dn22/5/2016
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Famed feminist British historian refuses prestigious Israeli awardHaggai Matar--Catherine Hall withdraws from $330,000 prize due to Tel Aviv University’s complicity in the occupation.dn22/5/2016
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PM decides to keep Foreign Ministry, still hopes to bring Labor in to gov`tItamar Eichner, Yuval Karni, Moran Azulay--Despite the fact talks to form a unity government with the Labor party failed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to keep the foreign affairs portfolio under his authority as he believes Isaac Herzog`s party can still be brought into the fold. dn22/5/2016
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Why I`m not afraid of Avigdor LibermanGilad Halpern - +972 - Most chances are that things will remain just as bad as they are – which is, in itself, hardly a reason to rejoice. [bz]21/5/2016
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Why pro-Israel Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton could have a fight about IsraelAnne Gearan--The only Jewish candidate in the 2016 presidential race, who calls himself "100 percent pro-Israel," and one of Israel`s strongest U.S. defenders are nearing a fight over what being a pro-Israel Democrat means.dn21/5/2016
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Israeli officials, diplomats free to speak Netanyahu`s mindAkiva Eldar--When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israeli military officers can express themselves ``in the relevant forums,`` it seems he was really saying that senior officials should not express any opinion that contradicts his own. dn21/5/2016
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Will Israel really outlaw torture?Charlotte Silver - Electronic Intifada "Earlier this month, Israel sent a 13-member delegation to the 57th session of the Convention Against Torture to respond to questions about its record on human rights...last Friday – after spending three days studying Israel’s practice of torture and harsh treatment of Palestinian prisoners – the UN Committee Against Torture issued an unsparing report." ca 20/5/2016
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Israeli ‘chutzpah’ versus Palestinian ‘sumud’Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss "The Palestinians, as a subjugated and militarily-inferior occupied party, had to historically apply a mirror antidote to this Chutzpah. Against the policy of harassment and regular dispossession, they had to apply the attitude of steadfastness. This is the meaning of Sumud. The term Sumud has become enshrined in the Palestinian nationalist awareness particularly since 1967. Palestinians had come to experience the Nakba, the Catastrophe of wide-scale ethnic cleansing in 1948, where many were violently dispossessed or fled due to fear of violence and were not allowed return... Perhaps the most non-physical means of protest that Palestinians have been able to apply in recent times is the BDS – Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. This is a democratic, nonviolent means of protest, which has track record of being successful in Apartheid South Africa. Noam Chomsky, in his most recent interview from two days ago on Democracy Now! says that “as to the tactics of boycott and divestment, they make perfect sense…. Boycott and sanctions make perfectly good sense when these tactics are properly applied, as they often are.” ca20/5/2016
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Israeli Prime Minister replaces Defense Minister with Rightwing ZealotCeline Hagbard - IMEMC "Israelis across the political spectrum have criticized Netanyahu’s decision, including political leaders in his own party. MK (Parliament member) Benny Begin, the son of right-wing Prime Minister Menachem Begin, told reporters that he thought Netanyahu’s move was “delusional”." ca20/5/2016
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If Israel`s generals are moral, let them prove it Orly Noy - +972 - "Let’s not forget that this is the same Ya’alon who called Breaking the Silence “traitors.” He has no real interest in exposing the army’s crimes, nor in changing the policies that make those crimes possible." - id18/5/2016
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San Francisco JCRC Steals “Nakba” Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "...perhaps it’s fairer to say it isn’t stealing “Nakba” but only borrowing it from another pro-Israel businessman who stole it. He’s making a tidy profit from it doubtless (that’s his business after all), just as modern Israel has profited from its expulsion of nearly 1-million Palestinians." - id 18/5/2016
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Palestinian Museum Prepares to Open, Minus ExhibitionsJAMES GLANZ and RAMI NAZZAL - NYT - "The building, designed by Heneghan Peng, an architectural firm in Dublin, will host the high-profile opening ceremony a few days after the 68th anniversary of what Palestinians call the Nakba, or catastrophe — essentially, Israel’s founding and the conflict that followed, which displaced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians." - id 18/5/2016
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As Palestinians mourn their Nakba, the UK must acknowledge its responsibilityAhmad Samih Khalidi - The Guardian - Seven decades after the Nakba and Israel’s creation out of the debris of the Palestinian homeland, there is a valid question as to why and whether Israel is a “special case”. True, many other countries were born of a less-than-immaculate conception, but they do not receive the kind of hostility as Israel. But we are not talking history here. The struggle for the land of Israel/Palestine is an active and continuing one. Unlike the natives of North and South America, Australia and elsewhere, the Palestinians have yet to be defeated and subdued. Furthermore, Israel was born in the full light of the 20th century. Its actions are to be measured by contemporary mores, not by those of the 15th-19th centuries. [bz] 17/5/2016
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How I explained the Nakba to my kidsNoam Rotem--Say Dad, what is independence? An independent person is a person who can do whatever they want. They are free and nobody makes decisions for them. When a state is independent, it means that no one tells it what to do and it can decide for itself what it deems to be good and bad. dn 15/5/2016
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Palestinians on Nakba Day 2016 — Defiant, Undeterred and OrganizingNada Elia--Dima al-Wawi knows what she wants to be when she grows up: “My dream is that when I grow up I can be a lawyer who can defend children who have been oppressed,” the twelve-year old said in an interview shortly after her release from a four-month sentence in an Israeli jail.dn15/5/2016
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Finally, a Ceremony That Lets Me Celebrate Israel While Mourning the NakbaEetta Prince-Gibson--This time of year is always hard for me. In Israel, we move quickly from Passover to Holocaust Memorial Day; a week later, we mark the Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror; a day later we celebrate Independence Day. We go from attending solemn ceremonies as the sirens blare to attending joyful barbecues as the military parades pass. These set rituals are meant to give meaning to us as a society, framing Israel’s official narrative: from slavery to freedom, from victimhood to victory.dn15/5/2016
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WATCH: Israel Prize winner on why he`s giving prize money to Ta`ayushMairav Zonszein--Prof. David Shulman won Israel’s most prestigious prize. He’s giving the prize money to one of Israel’s most dedicated — and persecuted — activist groups. Here’s why.dn15/5/2016
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Interview With BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti: Banned by Israel From Traveling, Threatened With WorseGlenn Greenwald--Despite having lived in Israel for 22 years with no criminal record of any kind, Omar Barghouti (above) was this week denied the right to traveloutside the country. As one of the pioneers of the increasingly powerful movement to impose boycotts, sanctions and divestment measures (BDS) on Israel, Barghouti, an articulate, English-speaking activist, has frequently traveled around the world advocating his position. The Israeli government’s refusal to allow him to travel is obviously intended to suppress his speech and activism. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the world leaders who traveled last year to Paris to participate in that city’s “free speech rally.” dn15/5/2016
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In Our New Sparta, the Militant Brainwashing Starts at 11 Gideon Levy--Israel`s testosterone-happy generals are inculcating their legacy of mostly needless operations to fifth-graders. The results? Maybe by 18 they won`t ask any questions. dn15/5/2016
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Conflating anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism endangers both Palestinians and Jews Matan Kaminer - No more perfect weapon could be sought by those attempting to bring about demoralisation in a movement deeply committed to the struggle against racism, like the one led by Corbyn. As a free added bonus, they receive the hypocritical denunciations of the morally bankrupt Israeli Labour Party, whose leader recently diagnosed his party’s problems as a result of “too much Arab-loving.” [bz]14/5/2016
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To stand, or not to stand? The politics of Israeli memorial daysYuval Avivi Translator Danny Wool--Almost all Israelis do it automatically, without thinking about it. As soon as the siren sounds on Holocaust Memorial Day and on Memorial Day for the Fallen in Israel’s Wars, Israelis get up and stand still. If driving, they pull to the side of the road, get out of their cars or off of their motorbikes and stand beside them. dn 14/5/2016
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Israel and Palestine Without Absolutes Avraham Burg, Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi--We are two. Partners who are still unequal. Similar and different. One, a man from the majority society that has it all, the other a woman from a minority that was left with almost nothing. And yet we are together, for the sake of a humane, just and fair future, for us and our children. dn14/5/2016
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Israel Defense Forces vs. the People of Israel Shmuel Rosner - NYT - "The I.D.F. is facing a barrage of criticism. The army, which historically enjoyed support across the Jewish Israeli spectrum, has become politicized. That this has happened is a failure of the I.D.F.’s leaders, a failure similar to losing in battle. Worse yet, the I.D.F. cannot win on the battlefield without the Israeli public’s trust." - id for ca 12/5/2016
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Israel: `Some NGOs are seen as the enemy from the inside` Holly Young - The Guardian = "While the legislation does not explicitly pick out leftwing organisations, critics argue that in reality it is these organisations that will be impacted if it is passed after its second and third readings." - id for ca12/5/2016
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Most Israeli Jews think there`s no occupation. So what is it? Natasha Roth - +972 - "So what do you call military rule over a captive population that didn’t vote for the army to be there?" - id for ca 12/5/2016
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Is Israel inching closer to fascism? Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Talking to Al-Monitor, professor Zeev Sternhell warns that the values of democracy and liberalism, on which the State of Israel was founded, are being eroded by the nationalistic approach of the Israeli right." - id 11/5/2016
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Political survival at the IDF`s expense Ron Ben-Yishai - Ynet - "The deputy IDF chief`s message was the right one, but he chose the wrong place, time and perhaps historical analogy. Regardless, Netanyahu, who is acting more like a reality TV star than a leader, should not have jumped to publically undermine Maj.-Gen. Golan." - id 11/5/2016
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Hamas Defector, Sami Atawna, Exposes Location of Second Hamas Tunnel; Israel Lies About Its Discovery Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the discovery, saying, “the state of Israel has achieved a global breakthrough in the ability to locate tunnels.”" - id 11/5/2016
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Israel Is the Last Remaining, Active Settler-Colonialist Project
--Ilan Pappe about Chomsky, Sanders and post-Zionism--
Eli Massey interview - In These Times - The two-state solution is based on the idea that there is a certain aspect of the Zionist community or history or ideology that is reasonable enough to enable normal life with the Palestinians. I don’t agree. You have to de-Zionize Israel to enable normal life for the Palestinians. [bz]10/5/2016
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Letter to American Marine whose shirt CO Tair Kaminer is wearingTair Kaminer - It is not safe here. For anyone. And the reason that this is connected to you is that your government is very involved. The taxes you pay support these wars, meaning, we receive a "security" budget, and in Israel, the meaning of "security" is really "occupation", a siege and closure of the Palestinian population. For the security of Israelis, of course. 10/5/2016
The problem is real but also exaggeratedTony Klug - Jewish Chronicle - The deeper truth is that latent anti-Jewish feeling has always resided in some segments of British civil society. In recent times, it has been inflamed by the rising passions surrounding the unresolved clash between Palestinians and Israelis, which in turn have unleashed more sinister impulses that sometimes have revived old anti-Jewish tropes of hidden influence and control, including over governmental policy and the media. The lamentable bottom line is that until that conflict is resolved fairly, anti-Jewish feeling is likely to continue to grow. [bz]10/5/2016
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America Must Tell Israel: Annexing the West Bank Is Our Red Line Steven Klein - Haaretz - The message of America’s inaction or endorsement of Israeli policies in the West Bank have reinforced and emboldened Israeli leaders to believe that they can take one step after another. Now they believe that they can shift gears from creeping annexation to virtual annexation. [bz]10/5/2016
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Where are the lives of Jews safest? (Is Israel the safest place for Jews?)Shmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Those who claim that only in Israel are Jews safe need at least to remember that we declare here nearly every day that we are in danger of destruction and that we are destined to live by our swords. gm9/5/2016
Here’s what happened when some famous writers went to visit some hardcore Jewish settlersWilliam Booth--HEBRON, West Bank — Arriving aboard a tour bus, accompanied by a former Israeli machine-gunner turned human rights activist, an international delegation of pretty famous writers came to the heart of this old city to see for themselves how 850 hardcore Jewish settlers, protected by 650 young Israeli soldiers, live among 200,000 angry Palestinians. The writers didn’t like what they saw. dn 8/5/2016
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UN leader on PM`s invitation to Jewish history lesson: No thanksAFP--After Netanyahu offered a seminar for all UN personnel in Israel on the Jewish people`s historical connection with the land, their leader replied with a firm no. dn8/5/2016
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Ken Livingstone: `Creation of Israel was fundamentally wrong`Ynet news--The former Labour mayor of London calls Israel a `mistake,` argues there was no anti-Semitism in the Arab world until founding of the Jewish State in interview with UAE-based news network. dn8/5/2016
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A review of Salman Abu Sitta’s ‘Mapping My Return: A Palestinian Memoir’Vacy Vlazna--‘I spent the rest of my life on a long, winding journey of return, a journey that has taken me to dozens of counties over decades of travel, and turned my black hair to silver. But like a boomerang, I knew the end destination, and that the only way to it was the road of return I had decided to take.’ – Salman Abu Sitta.dn8/5/2016
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`US getting tougher with Israel over settlements`Associated Press--On Feb. 16, Israel Hayom celebrated Netanyahu’s seeming victory over the enemies of the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians: “Merkel: Now is not the time for 2-state solution,” read the headline in the daily that reflects the winds blowing from the office of the prime minister. At the end of a meeting with Netanyahu, Shlomo Cesana, the paper’s correspondent who covered the prime minister`s visit to Berlin, quoted him as saying that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had “admitted that this is not the time for the two-state solution.”​ Netanyahu did not conceal his satisfaction with what he perceived as the chancellor’s updated insight. “We have here a more realistic approach to the situation in our region and to the situation between us and the Palestinians,” the prime minister told reporters. “I said this a year ago and everyone ranted and raved against me,” Netanyahu bragged.dn 7/5/2016
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Will European pressure push Netanyahu on right track?Akiva Eldar--On Feb. 16, Israel Hayom celebrated Netanyahu’s seeming victory over the enemies of the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians: “Merkel: Now is not the time for 2-state solution,” read the headline in the daily that reflects the winds blowing from the office of the prime minister. At the end of a meeting with Netanyahu, Shlomo Cesana, the paper’s correspondent who covered the prime minister`s visit to Berlin, quoted him as saying that German Chancellor Angela Merkel had “admitted that this is not the time for the two-state solution.”​ Netanyahu did not conceal his satisfaction with what he perceived as the chancellor’s updated insight. “We have here a more realistic approach to the situation in our region and to the situation between us and the Palestinians,” the prime minister told reporters. “I said this a year ago and everyone ranted and raved against me,” Netanyahu bragged. In February 2014 during a visit to Jerusalem, Merkel had said, “Part and parcel of the secure future of Israel is obviously the two-state solution: a Jewish State of Israel and alongside it, a Palestinian state.” Sadly for Netanyahu, however, the alternative to the “ranting” at him about the burial of the two-state solution is not a funereal silence. France is promoting an international conference that would seek ways to revive the 2003 two-state road map. Paris does not appear to be overly bothered by Israel`s opposition to the initiative, and the Obama administration is not pulling Netanyahu’s irons out of the European fire as it usually does.dn 7/5/2016
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What Israel seeks is not peace but pacification.Sharif Nashashibi--Under US auspices, Israel can act as belligerently as it likes towards the Palestinians, because there will be no consequences. The most that can be expected is relatively soft verbal criticism, couched in terms of having Israel`s best interests at heart. That, ultimately, is the point of US mediation - an outcome that primarily benefits its ally. dn7/5/2016
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Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken LivingstoneJohn Wight - CounterPunch - "...in subjecting Ken Livingstone to trial-by-media over his comments on Zionism, his detractors have also unwittingly placed Zionism itself on trial, with the question of Zionism, as mentioned, undoubtedly now being pondered by millions of people who previously would have had zero interest in the subject." - id 6/5/2016
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100,000 IDF Troops “Maintain Quiet” in West Bank at Nearly $600-Million Annual CostRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The IDF is now truly an army of Occupation. It is not a fighting force. Not a people’s army. It’s sole goal is to subdue a captive people. Israel is without doubt, a latter-day Sparta: a garrison state." - id 6/5/2016
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Gaza: A hot potatoYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "...despite the illogicality of a war this summer, someone in Gaza could be crazy enough to start one." - id 6/5/2016
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Erekat: “All Security Meetings With Israel Have Been Ceased”Saed Bannoura - IMEMC "Erekat told the Palestine Radio that the decision to suspend all security coordination with Israel was made after Israel clearly and officially informed the Palestinian Authority it is not committed to the signed peace agreements, and insists on continuing its invasions into all communities that are under full Palestinian “control.” ca4/5/2016
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A Palestinian View on the Antisemitism Row Kamel Hawwash - Information Clearing House "I remind all who are interested in peace in historic Palestine that we Palestinians did not choose our occupiers. They chose Palestine knowing it was not an empty land but one that had a people, my people, the Palestinians that have paid with their land, lives and rights. As we approach the 68th anniversary of our catastrophe or Nakba, our occupiers need to acknowledge the wrong they did to us..." ca 4/5/2016
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Killing the Count Al Jazeera - "Bernadotte negotiated the release of more than 30,000 prisoners, one third of them Jews, from German concentration camps, in an extraordinary humanitarian effort which would come to be known as the `White Buses campaign`...three years later, as the United Nation`s first mediator in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his assassination four months later in September 1948 by Zionist extremists during an official visit to Jerusalem." ca4/5/2016
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Netanyahu, Accept the French Peace Initiative Haaretz Editorial -  It would behoove Netanyahu to openly state if he would be prepared to compromise on territory in exchange for peace. If there is no substance to allegations against him as rejecting any diplomatic solution, he should stop hiding behind the “Without precondition” cover – a phrase that in and of itself is a precondition that up till now has halted continued negotiations. [bz]3/5/2016
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The American Jewish scholar behind Labour’s ‘antisemitism’ scandal breaks his silence Norman Finkelstein and Jamie Stern-Weiner - Open Democracy UK - Ironically, in light of the current hysteria in the UK, the most vociferous and vehement opponents of the Balfour Declaration were not the Arabs, about whom almost nobody gave a darn, but the upper reaches of British Jewry. [bz]3/5/2016
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Mimouna, a Jewish-Muslim festival everywhere except IsraelSamah Salaime - +972 - The harmonious relationships between Jews and Muslims in the Arab countries are all but wiped out. One should be careful not to idealize that period: There were plenty of difficulties and crises. But 50 years on, looking at the racism and hostility around me today, I can safely say that our ancestors did a better job. I’ve never taken part in Mimouna celebrations. When the day comes, I hope for myself and my Jewish friends that I’ll do it for the right reasons: respect, friendship and good neighborliness. [bz]3/5/2016
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Boycott Is the Only Way to Stop the Israeli Occupation Gideon Levy--BDS has not yet begun to lick at our lives here. Meanwhile there is no real economic warfare, rather only movements that are only gradually changing international discourse about Israel. On the edges there are perhaps some elements of anti-Semitism, but it is basically a protest movement by people of conscience who want to do something. Economic decline as a result of it might occur quickly, not necessarily gradually. In South Africa the business community came to the government and said: Enough, this cannot go on. That could happen here too. That actually imbues me with great hope, Benn, I don’t see any other alternative. dn1/5/2016
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Skepticism of German-Israeli Friendship Growing in BerlinRalf Neukirch and Christoph Schult--Top Berlin officials are becoming less inclined to unconditionally support Israel. With the two-state solution increasingly unlikely, there is concern that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is "instrumentalizing" Germany`s friendship. By now, Angela Merkel is used to it. Whenever she meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the confidential content of their discussion appears in an Israeli newspaper a few days later. dn 1/5/2016
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One Legal System, for Both Israelis and Palestinians Shuki Friedman--These legal revisions should lead to the creation of a clear and coherent book of laws that will give expression to the Supreme Court rulings and the various norms that already apply in the territories. But this book cannot only be a copy of the existing structure. Wherever the existing situation requires change and a single law can be forged, this must be done. The legal aspect is just one — albeit significant — facet of maximal normalization of life for all the people living in the West Bank. Similar action should also be taken in other areas. Even if creating fair and equal living conditions for all people in the territories is not a solution to the conflict, it is necessary in order to offer a better life, for Palestinians too, during the interim period — whose end is nowhere in sight at the moment. dn1/5/2016
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Report: Germany considering stopping `unconditional support` of IsraelEldad Beck--Der Spiegel reports senior officials in the German government believe Netanyahu is `instrumentalizing` Berlin`s friendship, while the magazine quotes Merkel as saying she understands `why President Abbas continually seeks out the Security Council.` dn1/5/2016
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How education became an Israeli political toolAkiva Eldar--Minister Naftali Bennett and his colleagues from other Orthodox parties know that teaching their ideology to school children will benefit themselves politically in the long run. dn30/4/2016
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Gazans` Only Possible Collective Act of Defiance Against Blockade Amira Hass--If not for the tunnels and rockets, the Gaza Strip would never be mentioned in the Israeli media. From our perspective it nearly fell into the sea, together with its almost two million residents. So even if we don’t openly acknowledge the Gazan skills behind the tunnels, they are the only beneficiaries of free publicity from the Israeli machine for generating panic and concealing the true causes for concern. Occasionally Gaza pops up in our media as a mute or inarticulate community of welfare cases that needs the world’s generosity and the kindness of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (which rescues sick lions from Gaza’s zoo and facilitates their transfer to Tul Karm, in the West Bank). dn30/4/2016
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First food truck rolls into Palestine : Two former prisoners have launched an environmentally friendly mobile kitchen in the occupied West Dalia Hatuqa - Aljazeera - Onlookers and elderly men sitting at a cafe across the street appear intrigued. "What is this?" someone yells. "It`s a food truck," shouts back owner Khaldoun Barghouti, a 43-year-old from Kobar, a village near Ramallah. This is the first mobile kitchen in the West Bank.-rh 27/4/2016
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In Israel, an ugly tide sweeps over PalestiniansJonathan Cook - The National - Attacks on soldiers were wrong, said Mr Bahloul, but a Palestinian such as Mr Al Sharif – who tried to stab soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Hebron – was not a “terrorist" by any normal definition. Terrorists target civilians, Bahloul noted, not soldiers enforcing an illegal occupation.-rh27/4/2016
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An Israeli journalist asks, ‘What happened to the people in the photographs?Michaela Whitton - Mondoweiss - The uncommon scenario of an Israeli Jew attending a wedding in a Palestinian refugee camp meant Kratsman was accepted by locals immediately. He quickly found himself the centre of attention as people clamoured to spot themselves in his photos. As the Palestinians pored over the images taken during a 2007 parade of militia, he handed out pens and they circled the faces of those they knew were dead. Returning home with 20 martyrs identified and keen to locate more Palestinians in his archive, Kratsman soon realised he couldn’t carry thousands of images all over the West Bank and Gaza. Then, prompted by his wife, he quickly understood the potential Facebook had to help in his quest. - rh27/4/2016
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Jerusalem at the center of Palestine-Israel naming disputeDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Shortly after Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967 it faced a problem in how to refer to Jerusalem in Arabic. Not wanting to use the Arabic name al-Quds, the Israelis came up with a compromise by inserting the biblical Jewish name Urashalim. Listeners to Israel’s radio broadcasts in Arabic, for instance, were informed before and after every news bulletin that the station was reporting from Urashalim al-Quds. Combining the Jewish and the Arabic term reflected what then was the prevalent Israeli attitude of treating the holy city as a crucible of religions. Israel’s mayor of Jerusalem at the time, Teddy Kollek, regularly referred to the mosaic of the city in reference to its diversity and pluralistic nature, residents and religions.-rh 27/4/2016
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Israeli police detain 2 Palestinians, evacuate 9 Israelis from tense AqsaMa`an News Agency - Israeli police continued heightened security measures in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City early Sunday morning following tension surrounding the Jewish holiday of Passover on Friday. Witnesses told Ma’an armed Israeli forces escorted a group of right-wing Israelis to the area, who were stopped by guards after they attempted to carry out “rituals” in the compound. Following a verbal and physical confrontation between Palestinian youths and the group of Israelis, two Palestinians were detained and five Israelis were evacuated from the compound.-rh27/4/2016
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Massive collective punishment: homes of 149 Palestinians suspected of no wrongdoing demolished since Oct. 2015; hundreds more under threatB`Tselem - Since October 2015, Israel has stepped up use of house demolitions as a way to punish the families of Palestinians who perpetrated attacks against Israelis or are suspected of perpetrating or aiding such attacks. Since then, the authorities have demolished or fully or partially sealed 37 apartments. Fourteen of these apartments were not under demolition orders and were damaged simply because of their proximity to apartments slated for demolition. As a result of this large-scale punitive action, 149 people, 65 of them minors, have lost their homes. Four of these homes were issued demolition or sealing orders prior to October 2015. Ten more families are currently waiting ruling by Israel’s High Court of Justice (HCJ) in petitions they filed against orders issues for their homes. One more home is expected to be demolished, as the HCJ rejected the family’s petition. Since October 2015, the HCJ revoked six demolition orders. In this time, 53 apartments have been demolished or issued demolition or sealing orders.-rh27/4/2016
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Has the countdown to next Hamas-Israel war begun?Adnan Abu Amer - Al-Monitor - Despite the growing mutual warnings between Hamas and Israel about an imminent confrontation, a number of factors might prevent its outbreak, at least for now. The Israeli army is preoccupied with the growing unrest in the West Bank that began in October. Also, Israelis seem to doubt how much the IDF could actually achieve in Gaza — in terms of completely eliminating the Palestinian factions’ missiles and toppling Hamas — except for killing and wounding thousands of Palestinians. The Israelis must wonder whether it is worth getting pulled back into the Gaza quagmire.-rh 27/4/2016
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Israeli pronouncement on policing West Bank solidifies one-state apartheid regime — Erekat Allison Deger - Mondoweiss - Despite protocol, Israeli forces do enter Area A nightly, mostly for arrest operations. Palestinians leaders regard this as a tell-tale sign of Israel’s lack of seriousness in working towards a Palestinian state now, or at any point in the future. More to the point, Palestinians see Israeli soldiers in their cities as why they want out of Oslo and a driving cause of their forays at United Nations for a Security Council resolution to order Israel to turn over the keys to the West Bank and Gaza.-rh 27/4/2016
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Palestinian woman, teen shot dead after alleged stab attempt at QalandiyaMa`an News Agency - Israeli forces on Wednesday shot and killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother after they allegedly attempted to carry out a stab attack on border police at Qalandiya military checkpoint near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, police and witnesses said. Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri said two suspects -- a woman and a youth -- approached the vehicular path leading through the military checkpoint and walked towards border police officers, the woman with her hand in her bag and the youth with hands behind his back. Officers ordered them to halt several times and they began to turn back before police said the woman threw a knife at an officer. Police opened fire, killing the woman immediately. The youth`s death was confirmed shortly after.-rh27/4/2016
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Why President Rivlin supports Israeli-Palestinian confederationAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Perhaps it is maturity, or perhaps the move from the Knesset to the presidency that has transformed him." - id27/4/2016
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The Return of the Desert GodAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "A Jewish organization called "If Not Now" who tried to hold a Liberation Passover Seder on the premises of AIPAC"..."A statement issued by the organizers read: "Thousands of American Jews will do what it takes to make sure the next President – whoever they may be – knows that the strongest movement in history to end the occupation is rising in the Jewish community"." - id 27/4/2016
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Israel bulldozes scores of EU-built Palestinian homes in bitter dispute over control of West Bank Raf Sanchez, Jabal al-Baba - The Telegraph - Simple homes like this are at the heart of a bitter argument raging between Israel and the EU. So far this year, Israel has bulldozed more than 65 of these houses in the West Bank, arguing that they were constructed illegally and the EU has no right to build in the area without permission. Some Israelis even accuse Europe of building its own version of "settlements" .-rh27/4/2016
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Why Would Netanyahu Want to Remind the World of the Golan Heights?Gershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - In principle, no country in the world accepts Israel`s rule of the Golan Heights. In practice, this is the least burning issue on the agenda regarding Syria. Surely no sensible Israeli politician would want to spoil this situation by calling attention to it. Perhaps no sensible Israeli politician would. But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just has. [bz]26/4/2016
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Who agrees with Bernie Sanders on Israel? Large numbers of Americans.Dina Smeltz - - By flipping the script, Sanders’s comments help to highlight the nuances of American attitudes on Israel. Americans do not necessarily see any conflict in expressing support for a two-state solution, concerns about the treatment of Palestinians and concerns about Israeli settlements — all the while maintaining support for Israel. Time will tell if this frees up other political leaders to challenge the status quo. [bz]26/4/2016
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Indignity, grief and mourning on the Gaza borderNomi Heger--Over the last two weeks, while everyone in Israel was talking about the segregation between Palestinian and Jewish women in post-natal care, we here at Gisha (an organization that promotes the freedom of movement of Gaza residents) provided legal assistance to one pregnant woman, who just happens to be Palestinian and could not care less who was lying next to her, where that woman was from or what sort of partying her hospital room mates would be doing. These privileges were the last thing on her mind. She wanted one thing and one thing only – which to us seems self-evident – she wanted to hold her spouse’s hand while the doctors induced her fetus’ demise.dn24/4/2016
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Were Bibi`s Golan comments a `death blow` to peace?Akiva Eldar--The declaration by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel will hold on to the Golan Heights forever threatens any possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians and Arab states. dn24/4/2016
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Israel`s covert war against Palestinian mediaNoam Rotem--Palestinian journalists are increasingly threatened, arrested and interrogated just for doing their jobs. And for the most part, Israeli journalists remain silent. dn24/4/2016
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Speaking Arabic while flyingKhaled A Beydoun--Will it soon be necessary to check in one`s Muslim identity before boarding a plane? dn24/4/2016
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This Passover, We’re Joining Simone Zimmerman To Fight for Freedom for AllEthan Miller and Sara Sandmel--When the American Jewish establishment went after Simone Zimmerman, Bernie Sanders’s recent pick as his liaison to the Jewish community and a longtime social justice activist and organizer, it made a clear statement to an entire generation of young Jews: If you dare to depart from our position on Israel, you are not welcome in our fold.dn24/4/2016
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Next year in rebuilt Jerusalem: A Passover call for justiceOren Kroll-Zeldin - +972 - The seder is a ritual that foregrounds the act of asking questions and we should participate in and encourage this important aspect of the seder. This year, ask the people around your seder table what Jerusalem means to them – reflect on what it means to you and what it might mean for others. What does Jerusalem symbolize? Who is permitted to go to Jerusalem— for work or school or to visit with family—and who is forbidden from entering the city? This year when you end your seder, think about what it means to say, “Next year in Jerusalem.” What would it mean to truly “rebuild” Jerusalem? How can true freedom, justice, and liberation be achieved? [bz]23/4/2016
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Closing ranks before overwhelming challengesSayed Abdel-Meguid - Al-Ahram Weekly "A resolution is expected on Palestine that will set priorities for political action to champion Palestinian rights and affirm OIC support for international efforts to revive the peace process within a set timetable with the goal of ending the Israeli occupation. The summit will also consider supporting an international peace conference to end the Israeli occupation, the establishing of a ministerial liaison team on Jerusalem and approval of a strategic plan for the development of the city." ca22/4/2016
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Marwan Barghouti is planning a comeback — from behind barsMenachem Klein - +972 "He may be serving five consecutive life sentences in an Israeli prison but Marwan Barghouti is the only leader who has a chance to succeed Mahmoud Abbas and unite the Palestinian people. This is how he plans on doing it." ca22/4/2016
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Who is really inciting violence in Israel-Palestine conflict? Shlomi Eldar - Al-Monitor "The Palestinian Information Ministry in Ramallah has in recent months been compiling materials it claims are proof that the Israeli media incites hatred against Palestinians in general and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in particular." ca 22/4/2016
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Sanders vs. Clinton: Palestinian Defender vs. Israeli Apologist by MARJORIE COHNMARJORIE COHN - CounterPunch - "An amazing thing happened at the prime-time Democratic debate in Brooklyn on Thursday. A few days ahead of Tuesday’s delegate-rich New York primary, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders dared to criticize Israel. Rival Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, stood firm as an uncritical apologist for Israel." - id 20/4/2016
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Literary Stars Learn ‘Occupation 101’ Firsthand in Tense Tour of West BankNaomi Zeveloff - Forward - The American writer Ayelet Waldman was on a tour near the Hamra checkpoint, deep inside the Palestinian West Bank, when a silver car with Israeli plates pulled over. The driver, an Israeli Jew, got out and began taking photos of Waldman’s tour group, which included the Austrian author Eva Menasse and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks, as well as a bevy of photographers and anti-occupation activists.-rh 20/4/2016
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From Israeli jail, ‘nonviolent’ bid to ‘free Palestine’ takes shapeAvi Issacharoff - The Times of Israel - A group of people close to leading Fatah activist Marwan Barghouti, jailed in Israel for murder, have reached an understanding with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaderships overseas on a comprehensive plan to jointly campaign against the Israeli occupation until it is brought to an end, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel.-rh20/4/2016
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A Confederation of Israel and PalestineUri Avnery - antiwar.com - This week, President Rivlin published a peace plan. That is not a usual act by a president, whose office is mainly ceremonial. His plan is based on a federation of two "entities" – a Zionist-Jewish entity and an Arab-Palestinian one. He did not go into detail. He obviously believes that at this stage it is better to float a general idea and get the people used to it. This may well be wise.However, it also makes it difficult to judge the plan seriously. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. It can be a very good plan or a very bad plan. Depends. Depends on the details.-rh 20/4/2016
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As Hamas grows stronger in Gaza, IDF prepares for future conflict Yoav Zitun - YnetNews - Hamas has upped the number of fighters in its elite and commando units and is testing short-range rockets with a heavy payload in an effort to restore its strength to what it was before summer 2014; the IDF, meanwhile, is planning to defeat Hamas`s military wing and set them back years; `We`ll defeat them by offense, not defense,` says senior officer.-rh20/4/2016
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How many Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel?Megan O`Toole, Konstantinos Antolopoulos - Aljazeera - After ramping up arrests in recent months. Israel is currently holding about 7.000 Palestinian Prisoners.-rh20/4/2016
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Israel Sentenced a 13-year-old Palestinian Girl to PrisonGideon Levy - Information Clearing House - S. is not home. She is in Sharon Prison. A 13-year-old girl, in the seventh grade, she is an inmate in an Israeli jail. Last Thursday, S. was sentenced to four-and-a-half months in prison and a fine of 7,000 shekels ($1,860). If the fine is not paid – and for this family it’s an absolutely unimaginable amount – S.’s mother, Amna Takatka, will be sent to jail for up to seven months: one month for every 1,000 unpaid shekels, for what her daughter did. That was the sentence handed down by military judge Lt. Col. Ami Navon.-rh20/4/2016
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Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel Phil Weiss and Jonathan Ofir - Mondoweiss - The medical establishment insisted on Wednesday that there was no segregation between Jewish and Arab women in maternity wards. However, Arab doctors complained of racist and discriminatory treatment by medical staff in the country’s hospitals… For many years the health establishment has been segregating Arab and Jewish mothers who come to deliver their babies, particularly in hospitals and maternity wards that serve mixed populations. While this may not be official policy, it is implemented by nurses on these wards, with doctors and hospital management turning a blind eye.-rh20/4/2016
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Netanyahu Claims Syria ‘Occupies’ Golan, Despite International Recognition of Syrian SovereigntyRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "In a total charade-provocation, he brought his entire cabinet to the Golan, that is sovereign Syrian territory Israel wrested from Syrian control during the 1967 War." - id20/4/2016
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Bernie`s Israel HeresyRoger Cohwen - NYT - "..we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignitu." - id20/4/2016
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World Bank: Raw Deal With Israel Costs Palestinians $285 Million in Annual RevenueJack Khoury - Haaretz - Israel continues to withhold payment of $669 million in accumulated Palestinian tax revenue. This sum includes pension payments by Palestinians working in Israel and their employers, as well as deductions meant to cover the workers’ health insurance and other benefits. [bz]19/4/2016
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Israel-Palestine: Social Media As a Tool Of Oppression - and ResistanceNadim Nashif - Huffington Post - The most important role of social media seems to be that it is opening new opportunities for Palestinians who are separated by the many physical borders Israel has erected to freedom of movement, including the Separation Wall and checkpoints, to connect and build solidarity movements with one another. [bz] 19/4/2016
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Criticizing Israel, Bernie Sanders Highlights Split Among Jewish DemocratsJASON HOROWITZ--Senator Bernie Sanders at Thursday night’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn. In response to a question about Israel, Mr. Sanders said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is not right all of the time.” Credit Chang W. Lee/The New York Times dn17/4/2016
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Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems George Monbiot--Financial meltdown, environmental disaster and even the rise of Donald Trump – neoliberalism has played its part in them all. Why has the left failed to come up with an alternative? dn17/4/2016
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What Bernie Sanders gets right about IsraelJamal Zahalka--Bernie Sanders remarks on the last Israel attack on Gaza raised controversy and led to a series of angry responses by both the Zionist lobby in the United States and the Israeli public. His opponents took advantage of the fact that he mistakenly told the New York Daily News that 10,000 innocent Palestinian civilians were killed in the attack (despite Sanders clarifying in the interview that he is not sure of the numbers, and asked the interviewer to correct him if necessary). Many demanded that Sanders not only correct his mistake, but also retract his statement that Israel bombed Gaza indiscriminately, leveling entire neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools.dn16/4/2016
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PALESTINIANS NEED A CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "BUT WHAT PALESTINIANS NEED IS A CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT THAT IS TRULY DRIVEN BY PEACEFUL PROTEST AND THAT CAN HELP RESTRAIN THE URGE TO VENGEANCE AND REVENGE." - id15/4/2016
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The Israeli Right`s historic ties to European fascismNoam Rotem - +972 - "The ruling Likud party welcomed to Israel members of the far-right Austrian Freedom Party, whose founders were high-ranking officials in the Third Reich. But the Israeli Right’s ties to fascist movements stretches back as far as the 1920s." - id 15/4/2016
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Netanyahu: Ethnic CleanserRichard Silverstei - Tikun Olam - "“Israel should have exploited China’s suppression of the demonstrations [Tienanmen Square], at a time when the world’s attention was devoted to events in that country, in order to conduct mass expulsions of the Arabs [sic] of the Occupied Territories. However, to my sorrow, they [government ministers] didn’t support the policy I espoused and whose implementation I continue to recommend.”" - id15/4/2016
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Do Israelis lack empathy for Palestinian suffering?Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "While Israeli Jews have always demonstrated solidarity with Jews around the world, they reject demonstrations of solidarity by Israeli Palestinians toward their brothers under occupation." - id15/4/2016
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Surge in demolitions leaves more Palestinians homelessDalia Hatuqa - Aljazeera - Everyone at Umm al-Khair knew why they had come, and a woman started yelling: "May God judge you for what you will do". As the roosters crowed, the bulldozers advanced on the first of six small, metal sheet homes, crushing its walls, and turning the entire structure on its side. Within minutes, 35 people were rendered homeless. The tiny village had been through this before, their ramshackle tin sheds and metal dwellings destroyed numerous times.-rh 13/4/2016
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Why more Israelis are shying away from interaction with Palestinians Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor "Of course I’m frustrated with our lack of success in breaching the walls of Israeli fear and loathing, but I’m not completely surprised,” said Zananiri. “What do you expect of Jewish citizens whose leader questions the basic democratic rights of Israel’s Arab citizens?” ca 13/4/2016
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 Did Bernie Sanders Commit ‘Blood Libel’ Against Israel?an G. Finkelstein - The Nation - The criminal dimensions of Protective Edge can be gleaned from these Israel Defense Forces (IDF) testimonies: When we left after the operation, it was just a barren stretch of desert…. We spoke about it a lot amongst ourselves, the guys from the company, how crazy the amount of damage we did there was. I quote: “Listen man, it’s crazy what went on in there,” “Listen man, we really messed them up,” “Fuck, check it out, there’s nothing at all left…, it’s nothing but desert now, that’s crazy.”-rh 13/4/2016
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How Hebron shooting highlights shift in Israeli societyMazal Mualem - Al Monitor - It becomes obvious how much Israeli society has changed when comparing the public’s attitude toward soldiers convicted of excessive force during the first intifada and the transformation of the Hebron shooter into a national hero. There are, of course, many reasons for this, ranging from the rise of the right in Israeli politics to the longstanding Israeli feeling of exhaustion and fatigue resulting from Palestinian terrorism despite the 1993 Oslo Accord. The prevailing mood in the country is that there is no one to talk to on the other side. It is a reality in which an organization like Breaking the Silence is branded a group of traitors, while left-wing, human rights or simply critical civil society groups become targets of incitement.-rh 13/4/2016
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Isolated Palestinian prisoner Shukri Khawaja launches hunger strikeSamidoun - Al-Khawaja’s isolation was extended on Thursday by an Israeli military court in Eshel prison for an additional three months, prompting his hunger strike. He has been held in solitary confinement sine 17 December 2014, and has received only one family visit since that time.-rh13/4/2016
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Has Israeli army become defender of democracy?Uri Savir - Al-Monitor - Israel’s democracy is in a crisis mostly due to its occupation policies. Its alleged executions of Palestinian terrorists, settlement expansion, demolition of houses and Palestinian land expropriations cast heavy clouds over Israel’s identity as a Jewish democracy. There is a regional and international price to pay for these flaws in the democracy. The Palestinians perceive themselves as the victims of these policies, and most of the international community is critical of the policies as well.-rh 13/4/2016
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Ex-Abu Ghraib Interrogator: Israelis Trained U.S. to Use "Palestinian Chair" Torture DeviceEric Fair - Democracy Now - As a former interrogator in Iraq working as a military contractor for the private security firm CACI, Eric Fair was stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison and in Fallujah in 2004. While in Fallujah, he witnessed a torture device known as the Palestinian chair. He writes in his new book, "Consequence: A Memoir," that the chair was a way to immobilize prisoners in order to break them down both physically and mentally. He also wrote that the Israeli military taught them how to use the Palestinian chair during a joint training exercise.-rh13/4/2016
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Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program and the Displacement of Palestinian BedouinsIMEMC News - Lance Bartholomeusz, Director of UNRWA Operations in the West Bank condemned Israel’s latest round of large scale demolitions of homes in the Palestinian Bedouin refugee community Um al-Khair in the occupied Palestinian West Bank. Israel uses parts of the Negev desert for testing weapons with nuclear material and to dispose of nuclear waste from its not-IAEA monitored Dimona nuclear facility.-rh13/4/2016
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Israel`s ‘Bible Trail’: Demolishing Palestinian homes to make national parksJonathan Cook - Middle East Eye - Planners and human-rights group accuse the Israeli authorities of increasingly using such parks as a tool to grab control of Palestinian land and demolish homes, under the guise of archaeological preservation and tourism development.-rh13/4/2016
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Amid the bloodshed, Palestinians and Israelis are giving up on themselves Jonathan Freedland - The Guardian - The case has sparked huge controversy. Unexpectedly perhaps, the army and the military establishment has been loud and clear in its moral condemnation of the soldier’s conduct. Israel’s defence minister (and former army chief of staff) Moshe Ya’alon delivered an impassioned denunciation of the crime. In parliament he warned of “an army that is becoming bestial”, one “an army that has lost its moral backbone”.-rh13/4/2016
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Israeli Demolitions Displace 124 Palestinians in Just One Day The Palestine Chronicle - The details have been revealed in a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA): “In total, 54 structures were demolished in nine different communities in Area C, displacing 124 people, including 60 children.” The statement, issued on Friday, added: “A further 293 people, including 98 children, were otherwise affected.”-rh13/4/2016
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Furtive Jewish wedding held on Temple MountSTUART WINER and JUDAH ARI GROSS - The Times of Israel - The announcement of the wedding came hours before Palestinian leaders, apparently unaware of the wedding, warned that Jews visiting the compound during the upcoming Passover festival will inflame tensions.-rh 13/4/2016
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Israel Should Let Conscientious Objector Serve Both Society and Her Conscience Haaretz editorial - IDF officials hinted to Tair Kaminer that “there are ways to get out of the IDF,” by seeking a mental-health exemption, for example. But her honesty, conscience and declared principles frighten the IDF and cause the military system to continue abusing her. [bz]12/4/2016
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Obama, Support Abbas` UN Resolution, No Matter What Netanyahu SaysHaaretz editorial - The resolution calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, with a one-year deadline to complete them and reach a final-status arrangement based on the principle of two states. It would (...) condemn continued Israeli construction in the occupied territories, as well as any action whose purpose is to change the demographic balance in the area. (...) The Security Council must demonstrate daring that will breathe new life into the peace process. [bz]12/4/2016
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What happened to all the stabbing attacks?Yoav Zitun - Y-net - The last substantial attack took place more than two weeks ago. Ironically, what happened 11 minutes later could have escalated the violent uprising; a Kfir Brigade soldier shot one of the terrorists, lying neutralized on the ground. Despite fear of reprisals, Palestinians have not carried out new attacks. According to Palestinian officials the Israeli public and military response to the incident has calmed Palestinian desire to exact revenge. [ak]12/4/2016
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Israel’s Unsung Protector: ObamaLara Friedman - NYT - Netanyahu’s policies, words and actions — especially continued settlement expansion and new land confiscations — proved that Mr. Obama’s tactic had been ineffective, perhaps even counterproductive. There is reason to hope that Mr. Obama, having achieved nothing by shielding Israel, is now ready to embrace constructive Security Council action related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Lara Friedman is the director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now-bz]12/4/2016
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Lawfare and the threat of human rightsNeve Gordon - MEMO - “From the Israeli government’s perspective, the human rights organisations in Europe which submit petitions to national and regional courts are involved in ‘lawfare’, a compound term which combines law and warfare and is defined as the use of law for realising military objectives. Lawfare refers to the attempt on the part of individuals and groups to file suits in international courts against state violence emanating from the so-called global war on terrorism, practices that include torture, extra-judicial executions and the bombing of civilian urban infrastructure” [ry] 11/4/2016
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What`s so threatening about human rights?Dror Etkes - +972 - The Right doesn’t reject the concept of universal human rights because it threatens the Zionist project, they do so because it would mean seeing Palestinians as equals [ry] 11/4/2016
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What Happened at This Once-idyllic West Bank Spot Embodies the Israeli Occupation`s Evils Gideon Levy and Alex Levac--As of this week, Israeli authorities have demolished structures in a Palestinian hamlet near the Jordan Rift Valley four times this year. An improvised school and a small swimming pool also fell victim to the bulldozers. . . The embodiment of evil is on display in Khirbet Tana. If you want to see evil in its most distilled form, visit the heap of ruins that until two weeks ago was a small swimming pool here. Sheer malevolence and nothing else motivated those who destroyed it. No bureaucratic or legal justification can account for this act of brutality – the destruction of a tiny, unique leisure site in the heart of one of the most spectacular areas of the West Bank, not long after its construction, financed by donations from Palestinian sources. dn10/4/2016
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MK Zouheir Bahlou defends remark that Hebron stabber is not a terroristAhiya Raved--When Dichter later discussed a nationality bill, Bahloul responded, “Then why are you attacking me when I say this is your state? This is your state! You are making the definition of the state more radical. Instead of a democratic and Jewish state, you say the state of the Jewish nation.” dn10/4/2016
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The Case of ‘Soldier A’Uri Avnery - Antiwar, Gush Shalom - For the first time in the history of Israel we are witnessing a full-fledged mutiny. A group of soldiers, supported by a major part of the political scene, has mutinied against their commanders. This is a major menace to the structure of the state, a challenge to what remains of our democracy. gm9/4/2016
Nothing Justifies Palestinian Stabbings, Nothing Justifies Israeli Executions Rita Khoury--Palestinians are losing hope I`m a Palestinian citizen of the State of Israel. I speak and understand both Arabic and Hebrew. I follow both sides’ commentaries on events. I can understand how the two sides think. I feel obliged to use this special position, this bridge, to show empathy and criticism for both sides. I have no interest in the State of Israel disappearing or in expelling the Jews. I am a Palestinian with many Jewish friends: we work with and respect each other. But I have my hard moments. When I’m in a business meeting with Jewish colleagues in Tel Aviv, working together, joking around, then I hear about a security incident in Jerusalem, blood flowing in the streets. I try to stay quiet, to continue the meeting, but I run to the washroom crying, asking myself why this is happening. dn 9/4/2016
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Will Israel’s power cuts leave West Bank towns in the dark? Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor "One thing is clear: Any punitive measure against the PA, even cutting off the power supply 24/7, will not make the Palestinians pay their debt. According to the IEC’s announcement, the PA owes 1.74 billion Israeli shekels (about $430 million) — practically equal to all the funding the PA gets annually from the European Union states... The official Palestinian argument, according to which the PA’s debts to the power company are the result of this Israeli conduct, only partially explains the huge debt it has racked up. Actually, the Palestinian electric company, which supplies the power it gets from Israel to Palestinian consumers, cannot collect bills from extensive areas of the West Bank due to the economic distress of most households." ca 8/4/2016
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Israel`s war on the Arabic languageJonathan Cook - Al-Jazeera "The hostile attitude of official bodies, including municipalities like Tel Aviv, encourages a general climate that treats Arabic as an alien and despised language.”...Worse, the same survey found that half of Israeli Jews with a western heritage wanted Arabic scrapped as an official language, while the figure rose even higher - to 60 percent - among Jews whose families originated from Arab countries." ca 8/4/2016
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Will a two-state solution be announced in November? Akiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "The US administration is discreetly testing Israeli and Palestinian reactions to three options it is currently contemplating to advance the two-state solution." - id 6/4/2016
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How Netanyahu sows fear among IsraelisMazal Mualem - Il-Monitor - Like an articulate Middle East commentator, Netanyahu sounds like he knows what he is talking about. But Netanyahu does not provide any solution — he only scares. Inside, the nicely wrapped package of words is hollow. There is no solution there — only a void. Netanyahu simply blinds the public with more words and more slogans.-rh 6/4/2016
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Between Betrayal and BrutalizationYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "All attempts to make the occupation “normal” explode daily in the face of the current government. The army is brutal. People are brutal and extremism rules." - id 6/4/2016
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Is BDS such a bad thing? Sima Kadmon - Ynet - "The boycott movement is greatly feared and hated in Israel, but what does it really look like, and what would its victory really mean for Israel?" - id 6/4/2016
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Nowhere to run: Palestine marathoners race on short trackDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Local Palestinian organizer George Zeidan told Al-Monitor that this year’s marathon was the biggest. Zeidan proudly noted the participation of more than 2,000 women, nearly 46% of all registrants. While a large number of participants completed part of the marathon, 298 men and 89 women ran the entire 42-kilometer run. Runners of 64 nationalities participated in the marathon, which 450 volunteers helped make a major success.-rh 6/4/2016
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B`Tselem’s Camera ProjectB`Tselem - In 2007, B`Tselem’s Video Department launched its innovative camera project. The organization distributes video cameras and provides training to Palestinians living in areas in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip where tensions are high and clashes are commonplace.-rh6/4/2016
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Execution of Palestinian Exposes Israel’s Military Culture Jonathan Cook Counterpunch - "For decades Israel has trumpeted its army as uniquely “moral”. The claim was always risible. But in an era of phone cameras, hiding the systematic crimes of a belligerent occupying power has proved ever harder." - id 6/4/2016
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Private Security companies and the Israeli OccupationWho Profits - Private security companies in Israel play an active role in the occupation of Palestinian land and control over Palestinian people. Private security guards operate checkpoints and guard settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These security guards have policing powers, they bear arms and are entitled to use force in performing their duties. In the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the private security guards, who are hired by the state of Israel to guard the settlements, de facto serve as a private police force that serves the settlers population. The employment of private security guards enables state authorities to provide security services only to the settlers, without acknowledging or meeting the security needs of the Palestinian communities around the settlements. This situation creates an inherent inequality between the Palestinian and the Jewish population in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.-rh6/4/2016
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Fighting Israeli Occupying Forces Is “Terrorism.” Boycotting Is “Anti-Semitism.” What’s Allowed?Glenn Greenwald - The Intercept - THAT “TERRORISM” IS a malleable term of propaganda, with no fixed meaning or consistent application, is now quite well-established. Still, its recent application to a spate of violence targeting Israel’s occupying soldiers in the West Bank is so manipulative and extreme that it’s well worth highlighting.-rh6/4/2016
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Frontline: East JerusalemJennifer Loewenstein - Counterpuntch - Is it any wonder that US-Israeli actions over the past 22 years have significantly worsened? That a United Nations report concludes that the continued deterioration of conditions on the ground for approximately 4.5 million people in Gaza Strip will render it “uninhabitable” by 2020 (UN UNCTAD Report, Sept 1st, 2015)? and that the ongoing denial of basic human rights in the West Bank have made the atmosphere there more heated and tempestuous than it has been since the military crackdowns of the second Intifada (uprising)? Surely Abbas recognizes that his “security arrangements” with Israel transformed his own fighting forces into Israel’s proxy police. If he isn’t there yet, he is miles behind his own people and gradually falling out of sight.-rh6/4/2016
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Who Occupies Whom in Israel-Palestine? Don’t Ask an AmericanEric Schuler - ANTIWAR - That reality is why the recent poll on Americans’ understanding of Israel is both important and depressing. Facts shape our opinions. When those facts are wrong, the opinions tend to reflect that.-rh6/4/2016
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Israel`s top court to discuss release of Palestinian bodiesMA`AN News - A joint statement released earlier this month by Addameer and the Israeli minority rights group Adalah condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as "a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture."-rh6/4/2016
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The source of Palestinian incitementRami Younis - +972 - Israelis are right, there is dangerous incitement among Palestinians. Here’s what they can do to fight it [ry] 4/4/2016
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The Ultimate Trial of Israeli SocietyYoav Litvin - CounterPunch - “But what is the significance of yet another injustice in an endless list of those committed as a result of the occupation? While cold- blooded murder is an ‘official’ taboo for the ‘most moral army in the world’, last week’s execution and Israeli society’s response to it may serve as a milestone on the long and ugly road toward complete dehumanization of Palestinians and the resulting collapse of Israeli society” [ry] 4/4/2016
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Arrest of soldier filmed executing Palestinian was just public relationsMaureen Clare Murphy--An Israeli soldier shown on video executing an incapacitated Palestinian last week was arrested only “to avoid embarrassment in front of the world,” according to the human rights group Al-Haq.dn3/4/2016
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AIPAC polarizing US JewsYossi Shain--Op-ed: The purportedly bipartisan pro-Israel organization has become increasingly identified with right-wing politics, and its recent conference provides evidence of that. dn3/4/2016
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Donald Trump or Ted Cruz: Pick your poisonGeoffrey Aronson--There is nothing that is funny or even enjoyable about this campaign season. Personalities like Cruz and Trump are not cardboard characters, but serious contenders to be president of the US, writes Aronson [AP] dn3/4/2016
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From the West Bank to NYC: Challenge Dani Dayan wherever he goesYonah Lieberman - +972 "For 15 years, Dayan was a leader of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization representing the settlements of the West Bank, serving for six of them as chairman. Currently a resident of the settlement of Ma’ale Shomron, he has for years taken his pro-occupation message to the opinion pages of the New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, USA Today, and more, and has even flown to Congress to lobby representatives against the two-state solution...Dayan, the champion of the settler movement, is now headed straight into the epicenter of the American Jewish diaspora." ca1/4/2016
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The only way to ensure Palestinian lives matterMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "The IDF’s decision not to charge Abed Fatah al-Sharif’s killer with murder should not surprise anybody — it is entirely consistent with the impunity Israeli security personnel have enjoyed for decades when it comes to killing Palestinians." ca1/4/2016
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Inside the Mind of the Budding Fascist B. Michael - Haaretz "In the neofascist Israeli consciousness, the Palestinians are like cockroaches. Even when they lie on the ground, helpless, their heads must be crushed with a slipper, or punctured by a bullet...All doubt has therefore been removed; we can check off the “dehumanization” box and move to the next stage." ca1/4/2016
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American lawyers request investigation into the Jewish National Fund statusPalestine News Network - "The U.S. National Lawyers Guild (NLG) on Wednesday submitted a regulatory challenge to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requesting an investigation into the charitable status of the Jewish National Fund (JNF) on grounds of discrimination and contravention of U.S. policy. According to the NLG, the JNF enjoys tax-exempt status as a charitable organization in the United States even though the reality of its work- supporting Israel’s ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine – is anything but charitable." ca 1/4/2016
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