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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
After Gaza: Sharon`s victory?Jude Wanniski - Al Jazeera - Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the year so far has been Israel’s fulfillment of its promise to clear the Gaza Strip of the 8,000 Jewish settlers. Those of us who doubted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would carry out his plan to completion are now saying this may be his "finest hour." 29/8/2005
European Delegation calls on the European Union and the EU Member States to hold Israel to accountThe European Delegation to thre OPT - Urgently calls on the European Union and its Member States to take immediate action aimed at holding Israel to account for its ongoing violations of International Law, thereby contributing to the preconditions for a just and sustainable peace in Israel and Palestine. 31/8/2005
Rushing after a mirageA critical analysis of Israel`s disengagement from Gaza, comparing it to the withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000. Nimah points out the weakness of the PA causing it to clutch at any straw that might re-open negotiations for a final settlement, despite the fact that the disengagement is merely a smokescreen for Israel`s ultimate territorial aims. 31/8/2005
The Israeli peace camp: dead or alive? Michael Warshawski - Mahsom - "It is our duty to encourage and to strengthen within Israeli society any and all initiatives and all movements that refuse to reconcile themselves with the decree of separation and the philosophy of cultural war on which it is based."31/8/2005
Hamas hopes to display a `softer, more compassionate` side through governanceAgence France Presse - The Daily Star - BANI SUHEILA, Gaza Strip: Mayor Sheikh Abdel-Qadr al-Rigib hollers at litter louts and organizes a school clean-up as he strives to prove the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas can provide responsible government in an Israeli-free Gaza. "Who told you you could dump that scrap metal on the side of the road," the 69-year-old Rigib barks out the car window, as he cruises around the southern Gaza Strip town of Bani Suheila. Rigib represents the gentler face of Hamas. 31/8/2005
The Absence of National Unity: An Interview with Bassam ShakaBassam Shaka last elected Mayor of Nablus who was deposed in 1982 and injured in a terror attack by the "Jewish Underground" in that year, talks about his opposition to Oslo, his reservations about the upcoming Palestinian elections and the problems of disengagement.31/8/2005
Commentary by Marwan Barghouti on Gaza withdrawalNajib Farag - Palestine News Network - In an exclusive statement received by PNN, Palestinian political prisoner Marwan Al Barghouti called upon all Palestinians to share in a feeling that they all contributed to the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.31/8/2005
Israeli Arabs fear for the future Martin Asser - BBC - Arab citizens of Israel feeling the pressure as "demographic" concerns come to the fore in the Israeli discourse31/8/2005
`Wosers` Khader Khader - Bitterlemons - It may be true as the Palestinian Authority says, for once in agreement with all the factions, that the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza Strip settlements, is a national achievement. 29/8/2005
All win or all lose Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The net outcome of the unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will only be determined in its aftermath and will depend on its consequences within the Palestinian and Israeli camps. It will also depend on what the next step in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is going to be. 29/8/2005
Sharon mulls more West Bank pulloutsAgence France Presse (AFP) - Compiled by Daily Star staff - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Israel would not hold onto all of its West Bank settlements, a week after overseeing the pullout of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip. Sharon, in an interview with Channel 10 private television, said that the final map of settlements that Israel would retain would not be presented until final status negotiations with the Palestinians. 30/8/2005
U.S. will not press for marking settlements boundaries in W.B. George Rishmawi - IMEMC & Agencies - The United States has rescinded its demand for Israel to implement the joined, U.S. – Israeli marking of the boundaries of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and American officials said on Monday. 30/8/2005
In West Bank, Israel Sees Room to Grow; Government Moves Swiftly to Capitalize On Pullout From Gaza Despite CriticismScott Wilson - The Washington Post - MAALE ADUMIM, West Bank - In the tan hills a few miles east of Jerusalem, construction cranes dangle over a string of red-roofed neighborhoods that make up the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank. It is here that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is reengaging with his electoral base following Israel`s efficient but divisive exit from the Gaza Strip. 28/8/2005
Gaza diary 6:Hakeem Abu Samra - BBC Online - In the sixth instalment of his diary for the BBC News website, Hakeem Abu Samra, a 47-year-old Palestinian Authority employee living in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, reflects on an emotive day in Gaza as the main settlements were cleared. 29/8/2005
On Egypt`s presidential electionsMohamed Sid-Ahmed - Al-Ahram Weekly - Where does the presidential election campaign head to? 29/8/2005
Disengaging fact from fictionGraham Usher - Al-Ahram Weekly - The most significant thing about Israel`s evacuation of settlements from Gaza was not the trauma - it was that it happened29/8/2005
But what is the other hand doing?Offer Shelach - Translated by TOI from Yediot Aharonot - On the same day that attention was drawn to Kfar Darom and Sa-Nur, accomplished facts started to be created in Jerusalem 28/8/2005
How easily we have come to take the bombs and the deaths in Iraq for grantedRobert Fisk - The Independent - If `we` had not invaded Iraq, 43 Iraqis would not have been pulverised by three bombs last week 27/8/2005
Deconstructing disengagementAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram Weekly - Despite the smokescreen of his face-off with Gaza`s settlers, Sharon has not changed course from his war on the Palestinians 28/8/2005
The High Cost of OccupationsRachelle Marshall - The Washington report - "I FOUND myself treating Palestinians with an outward contempt that contradicted every instinct my upbringing had instilled in me...I broke into homes after midnight and held women and children under guard....I screamed at old men and bullied teenagers...A majority of my buddies saw nothing wrong with Israel having built a Jewish town in the middle of the West Bank." 27/8/2005
Which Israel Will Prevail: The One Which Wants Normality or the Messianic One?Allan C. Brownfeld - Washington Report - THE DIVISIONS are growing between those Israelis who seek to make their country a normal state, living in peace with its neighbors, and those who see it as the fulfillment of messianic prophesy and reject any territorial concessions.27/8/2005
Gaza first, Gaza last?Rima Merriman - The Jordan Times - In a few decades, when official documents and behind-the-scenes machinations regarding Israel`s unilateral disengagement from Gaza will be revealed, people will know the real story. By then the game will have played itself out - or maybe not. 27/8/2005
In a Ruined CountryDavid Samuels - Arafat`s failure to conquer Jerusalem did not shatter his conviction that history was moving in his favor: under pressure from within and without, isolated in the world, the State of Israel would eventually crack apart and dissolve, to be replaced by Arab Palestine. 27/8/2005
Gaza Disengagement George Bisharat - San Francisco Chronicle - Palestinians observed Israel`s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip with a mix of contradictory emotions. Paramount, perhaps, was relief. Nearly 9,000 Israeli settlers, who had occupied a third of the land there while confining 1.3 million Palestinians to the rest, were finally gone.27/8/2005
Jewish population in West Bank expanding rapidlyDaily Star staff - The Jewish population of the West Bank is expanding rapidly, growing by more than 12,000 in the past year alone, according to new official figures. Further tightening its grip over Palestinian territory, Israel said yesterday that it will continue to control the borders of the Gaza Strip even after its pullout. 27/8/2005
After Gaza, Sharon`s next aim is ... do nothingChris McGreal in Jerusalem - The Guardian - After Gaza, Sharon`s next aim is ... do nothing; Israeli PM stalls while shoring up his party position 26/8/2005
Gaza hysteriaGhada Karmi - Al Ahram Weekly - A duped Palestinian leadership merrily applauded the self-serving media show staged by Israel 25/8/2005
Sharon`s last gambleSamir Ghattas - Al -Ahram weekly - The fallout from the Gaza redeployment will shape Israel`s domestic politics for the foreseeable future 26/8/2005
Abbas: Israel wrecking peace processAl Jazeera - Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has accused Israel of wrecking prospects for peace after soldiers killed five Palestinians and Tel Aviv unveiled plans to expand the largest West Bank settlement. 25/8/2005
With the Israelis gone, what is Gaza`s new legal status?Ruth Lapidoth - The Daily Star - The legal and economic status of Gaza after Israel`s withdrawal presents difficult questions with various possible answers. These require a short recapitulation of the recent legal history of this area. 24/8/2005
Quartet to discuss Palestinian control of GazaDaily Star staff - Russian FM calls on comprehensive Israeli withdrawal, end to illegal settlement 26/8/2005
Israel`s leaders are now freer to make tough choicesHenry Siegman - Financial Times - What will it take to translate this historic dismantlement of Israel`s colonial enterprise in Gaza into a political dynamic that would return the parties to a sustained and successful peace process? For the withdrawal from Gaza is a necessary but hardly sufficient condition for such an outcome. 21/8/2005
How to avoid a third intifadaMarwan Bishara - International Herald Tribune ( NYT) - Like previous withdrawals from Sinai and South Lebanon, Sharon`s evacuation of settlers and soldiers after five years of the current intifada, demonstrates that, unfortunately, Israel cedes only under fire. 25/8/2005
A letter from Jerusalem Rev. Clarence Musgrave - "This week, like many of you, I have been watching the TV screens and reading the papers giving their separate accounts of the evacuation of the Jewish Settlements in Gaza." 20/8/2005
Bi-nationalism in Palestine-Israel: a Palestinian historical choice, not a last resortNasser Abufarha - Znet - "The most threatening aspect of the Oslo `peace process` as far as Palestinians are concerned is that it attempts to finalize the exclusion of Palestinians from their historic homeland in what is now Israel"24/8/2005
The Gaza Evacuations: Disengagement or Tactical Military Redeployment?Shamai Leibowitz and Katerina Heller - Counter Punch - Despite its severe flaws, the Disengagement can be beneficial toward peace if the international community would demand from Israel a complete withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and in the meantime, deploy an international peacekeeping force to serve as a buffer between Israel and the Palestinians. 24/8/2005
Killing of four Palestinian workers: what next?Ahmad Jaradat - Alternative Information Center - All of these events demonstrate that the Palestinians have the right to take the issue of settler violence most seriously. Additionally, human right organizations, the international community and of course the Israelis who believe in a real peace and who oppose the settlements and settlers aggressions call and demand that this issue be taken seriously prioritised on the political agenda.24/8/2005
The remaining 99.5 percentAmira Hass - Ha`aretz - For the sake of about half a percent of the population of the Gaza Strip, a Jewish half-percent, the lives of the remaining 99.5 percent were totally disrupted and destroyed - worthy of wonderment indeed. 24/8/2005
Time to disengage from the outpostsHa`aretz - Israel explicitly committed itself to dismantling 24 outposts immediately after the disengagement - ones that were put up during Prime Minister Ariel Sharon`s term of office.24/8/2005
Letter from Gaza: On evacuated lands, new challenges planted James Bennet - The New York Times - Israel`s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip has provoked deep questions for Israelis about the direction of Zionism. 23/8/2005
How Sharon and Abbas can overcome the radicalsKhalil Shikaki - The Daily Star - Israel`s policy of unilateral disengagement is a major turning point in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But it is not without precedent. In May 2000, the Israeli government ordered its forces out of South Lebanon without an agreement with Lebanon or Syria.23/8/2005
How much blood should be spilled in vain?Avraham Oz - "After 18 years in Lebanon, the Israeli army has left it within a few hours. After 38 years in occupation of Gaza, all the settlements were evacuated in a few days. How much blood should be spilled in vain, in order for the West bank to be evacuated?"23/8/2005
Settler Attacks EscalatePalestinian Centre for Human Rights - Israeli settlers have escalated their attacks against the civilian population of the OPT.In one serious incident 4 Palestinians were killed by a settler who used weaponry belonging to the Israeli military.18/8/2005
Four murdered Palestinians not considered newsworthy during disengagementMaureen Clare Murphy - The Electronic Intifada - The shooting of four Palestinian laborers by an Israeli settler has not even merited putting the more ideologically extreme settlements under military curfew, which Palestinian population centers have experienced for thousands of hours during this Intifada. 22/8/2005
The New Hamas: Between Resistance and ParticipationGraham Usher - Middle East Report - In March 2005, Hamas, the largest Islamist party in Palestine, joined its main secular rival Fatah and 11 other Palestinian organizations in endorsing a document that seemed to embody the greatest harmony achieved within the Palestinian national movement in almost two decades. 22/8/2005
What the disengagement isn`tRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram Weekly - Freeing five per cent of all occupied lands and involving 21 of 150 illegal settlements, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza is not something to marvel over.22/8/2005
"Praying with Their Eyes Closed: Reflections on the Disengagement from Gaza"Sara Roy - Journal of Palestine Studies - This essay is a refutation of the view that presents Israel’s disengagement plan is as a first step toward the final resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. 20/8/2005
Gaza Evacuation Should Be Americans` Last StrawCharley Reese - Anti War - As I watched the extensive, plainly sympathetic coverage of Jewish settlers being evicted from their Gaza homes, I couldn`t help but take note once again of the striking double standard applied by American news media as well as the U.S. government. 20/8/2005
Stop Your Sobbing Ran HaCohen - Anti War - The way that the evacuation of the Gaza colonizers is being represented right now in the Israeli media seems to confirm that basically, nothing in Israel`s colonialist ideology has changed. 19/8/2005
The settlers` retreat was the theatre of the cynicalJonathan Steele - The Guardian - There was no `sensitivity training` when bulldozers went into Rafah 20/8/2005
Mideast Peace Requires Withdrawal From UnilateralismDaoud Kuttab - the Forward As much as some Palestinian groups would like to claim that Israel`s unilateral disengagement from Gaza this week is a direct result of their military actions, the majority of Palestinians don`t buy into such a simplistic narrative. 19/8/2005
Gazans finally win, but their tormentors get all the attention Greg Felton - Toronto Star editorial - What does the State of Israel stand to gain by pulling its troops and settlers from the Gaza Strip? A lot. It will become "more Jewish, more compact, more secure and defensible and more at peace" with itself. 18/8/2005
Israel`s withdrawal is both historic and deceptiveRami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - Politically, the Israeli evacuation from the Gaza Strip that started Monday is significant, and potentially historic. Morally, for the Israeli government and the settler-colonists, it is a pile of garbage, deception and lies.17/8/2005
End the occupation, not our dreamsMustafa Barghouthi - The Daily Star - A historic moment is taking shape, one that could signal the beginning of the end of Israel`s history of occupation. For the first time, the Zionist dream of a Greater Israel is hitting up against reality, demonstrated in the long-overdue retreat from the Gaza Strip. 18/8/2005
Abbas hails Gaza pullout as `fruit of sacrifice`Agence France Presse (AFP) - The Daily Star - Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Friday hailed Israel`s historic Gaza pullout as the result of Palestinian sacrifice, as Israeli forces hauled out some of the last remaining Jewish settlers. 20/8/2005
Arabs watch drama of Gaza withdrawal and look to next steps The Associated Press - CAIRO - Arabs watched the dramatic television images of Israeli soldiers pulling Jewish settlers from synagogues yesterday, with many in the Middle East cheering what they saw as a victory for the Palestinian cause while wondering how the Gaza withdrawal will reshuffle the region`s politics. 17/8/2005
Gaza Reality CheckNew York Times Editorial - "It cannot be easy to be escorted out of one`s home by soldiers. And there is plenty of reason to worry about how the new Gaza will be governed. But it`s past time - 38 years past, to be exact - to give the Palestinians there a chance at a better life."18/8/2005
Watching the Gazan Fiasco - The Shame of It AllBy Jennifer Loewenstein - Counterpunch. On the shameless media circus associated with the disengagement. 18/8/2005
On disengagement and settlementShulamit Aloni - translation from NRG - "Power has made us lose our minds. We fell in love with it and with the Occupation. And as the Book of Proverbs tells us, there are some things the earth cannot endure. "18/8/2005
The risk of a third intifada Marwan Bishara - The Guardian - "Once Palestinians are preoccupied with rebuilding their shattered lives under international scrutiny, Israel will accelerate the de facto annexation of the settlement blocs in the West Bank and Jerusalem. In the first three months of 2005, construction in the West Bank settlements increased by 83%"18/8/2005
Slicing off Gaza is just a diplomatic nose jobSharif Hamadeh - The Electronic Intifada - A teenage soldier in Tapuah, a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank, shot to death four Palestinian citizens of Israel and injured several others last Thursday on a bus in Shafa`amr, a quiet Arab town in the north of Israel where I work. 15/8/2005
Anatomy of a Frame-Up: Camp David ReduxKathleen Christison - Counter Punch - Aaron David Miller admitted that Clinton and company followed Israel`s lead "without critically examining what that would mean for our own interests, for those on the Arab side and for the overall success of the negotiations." 15/8/2005
The Big FreezeAri Shavit - Haaretz - Friday Magazine section 8 October 2004 - reminder for people with short memories on the Weisglass interview "The disengagement is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that`s necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians." 16/8/2005
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The Pullout of Gaza: Its Real MeaningBaruch Kimmerling - Dissident Voice - Why has Sharon, who is considered a vehement enemy of the Palestinian people and the major engine behind the settlement process of the occupied territories, made such a considerable unilateral concession? Did Sharon indeed undergo a deep metamorphosis to become the big peacemaker and play the role of an Israeli De Gaulle or De Klerk? A careful examination of Sharon’s steps, lead to completely contradictory conclusions. 19/8/2005
Cheap labor, cheap deal Amira Hass - Haarerz - Omar had a reason to laugh: Good people from Tel Aviv are agitated that the Evacuation Compensation Law passed by the Knesset discriminates against Palestinian and foreign workers, on the one hand, compared to Israeli workers. 17/8/2005
Disengagement should be a step towards full implementation of the Road MapDepartment of Arab and International Relations (DAIR) 18/8/2005
ISM DigestISM - The smoke screen of the Gaza Disengagement: A fact sheet19/8/2005
The mother of all smokescreens Antony Loewenstein - The withdrawal of 8500 settlers from Gaza is being portrayed as a trauma engulfing the Jewish state, and the world`s media have descended to report the inevitable struggles between Messianic Jews and Israeli forces. 17/8/2005
The settlers` retreat was the theatre of the cynical Jonathan Steele - The Guardian - "There was no `sensitivity training` when bulldozers went into Rafah " 19/8/2005
Make sure `Gaza first` is not `Gaza last` Mustafa Barghouthi - International Herald Tribune - "Today we celebrate the removal of illegal settlements from Gaza. But we must remain vigilant in order to harness the momentum of this process and take it to its logical conclusion - a sovereign Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. " 19/8/2005
Mideast Peace Requires Withdrawal From UnilateralismBy Daoud Kuttab - Forward Forum - "The withdrawal from Gaza can be a real and meaningful step toward a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinian — but only if our leaders forego the unilateralist tendencies that for too long have resulted in policies of convenience. "19/8/2005
How we left GazaTanya Reinhart - Yediot Aharonot - "We will never know with certainty what took place in the mind of Ariel Sharon. The scenario that makes most sense is that Sharon believed that this time, as before, he would find a way of evading the plan. But when the U.S. really does exert pressure, no Israeli leader would dare defy its injunctions. And so we have pulled out of Gaza.19/8/2005
Press release by Ta’ayush – Arab-Jewish Partnership - following the mortal terrorist attack at Shilo settlement. "In this moment of profound identification of the Israeli media with the evacuated owners of fancy villas and the exploiters of Thai and Palestinian workers at Gaza, it is worth remembering that the settlements are the main obstacle for any possible peace agreement."18/8/2005
Israel`s unilateral `disengagement` lacks serious coordinationGAZA UPDATE Palestinian Technical Team on Israel`s Gaza Evacuation - Israel has yet to respond to whether freedom of movement for Palestinians will be guaranteed 13/8/2005
Brutality that BoomerangsSaree Makdisi - The Los Angeles Times - "I am angered and sickened by the bombings here in London on July 7, but I am equally angered by the unthinking reactions in the United States and Britain to those disgusting attacks. "9/8/2005
Goodbye to Gaza The Economist - But it is still Israel that can do most to improve the economic lot of the Palestinians: not only in Gaza, where it will continue to control the flow of people and goods across the border, but also in the West Bank, which despite the ceasefire remains under a harsh regime of closures and roadblocks. 12/8/2005
Days to come Graham Usher - Al-Ahram Weekly - Less than a week before its execution, disengagement from Gaza is already fracturing Israeli politics and society, writes Graham Usher from Jerusalem 12/8/2005
Gaza pullout will make history, not peace Matthew Tostevin - Jordan Times - Momentous though Israel`s withdrawal from occupied Gaza is, anyone expecting a quick return to Middle East peacemaking is likely to be disappointed. 14/8/2005
Loyalty! To whom, to what, and why?Abeer Kopty - NRG/Ma`ariv - Can a state that deprives another people of its liberty, and turns its own people into occupiers, oppressors, assassins, and enemies, truly be a state that is loyal to its citizens? 14/8/2005
When is a terrorist a soldier? When he`s Israeli, of courseAzmi Bishara - Al Aharam Weekly - Ariel Sharon condemned the Jewish terrorist attack against a bus in Shfaram last Thursday in the harshest terms. His vehemence, however, was not inspired by any compassion for the Arab victims but by the opportunity to turn this event to his advantage. 14/8/2005
Onus on GazaMustafa Barghouti - Al-Aharam Weekly - Factionalism equals disintegration, and internecine strife is precisely what Sharon wants 10/8/2005
Egypt in Gaza - Dina Ezzat - Al-Aharam Weekly - Why is Egypt facilitating the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza? 10/8/2005
The new Jewish vanguardGraham Usher - Al-Aharam Weekly - The most explosive locale may not be Gaza - it might be the West Bank. 10/8/2005
No resurrection in the Holy LandAlia Malek - The Daily Star - Western countries are walking on eggshells to see that Israel undoes what it should have much earlier, after it occupied and put settlers in the Gaza Strip almost 40 years ago.13/8/2005
Egypt prepares for key role in Gaza after Israel`s pulloutAgence France Presse (AFP)- Egypt is actively preparing for a key role in the Gaza Strip after the pullout of Israeli settlers this month, with the future of the territory just as important for Egypt as it is to Israel, albeit for different reasons.13/8/2005
Another Conscientious objector To The Occupation enters jail From Avi Mograbi - Today another conscientious objector to serving the Occupation is entering jail while another refuser is returning for a sixth term of imprisonment 12/8/2005
You Should Have Heard - Report + call For DonationsRabbi Arik Asherman - You should have heard the anger and disgust in the voice of Tzvi Schneider, when I showed him at 6:30 AM the court order denying him the ability to demolish yet another home, this one the meager and unfinished home of Muna Somrin12/8/2005
Banksy vs. The West Bank "Guerilla" artist Banksy has decorated the Annexation Wall with satirical images of life on the other side. Link to the photos12/8/2005
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Terrorism Confrontation GuideBassam Abu Sharif - Amin.org - The Arab emergency summit was held at Sharm El Sheikh to look into one issue; Terrorism and the way it should be confronted although the announced agenda by the Arab summit included two other subjects : the situation in Iraq and the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza stripe and the north of the west bank. 11/8/2005
Getting away with it Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The unilateral approach to dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a right-wing Israeli invention that at the time it was first proposed was justified because of the "absence of a Palestinian partner" for bilateral negotiations and agreements. 8/8/2005
Palestine: the economy of despair Benjamin Barthe - Le Monde diplomatique - The West Bank city of Nablus is relatively calm at present. Anyone who can raise money, even by selling their jewellery, is investing in the stock market. They want to make enough for a one-way ticket out of Nablus. 7/8/2005
Through the looking glass Graham Usher - Al-Ahram Weekly - Don`t be fooled by appearances -- it is Abbas rather than Sharon who is in trouble, writes Graham Usher in Jerusalem6/8/2005
Moreh Nevochim*Haim Baram - The wailings of the subsidized rebels and their repulsive happening in Kfar Maimon, trigger mostly revulsion in the mind of every decent Israeli. We are fairly used to the outburst of self righteousness on the part of the settlers and their friends. Kol Ha’ir, Jerusalem5/8/2005
Erektat slams Israel’s decision for a new settlement in Jerusalem Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies - " Palestinian Cabinet Minister, Saeb Erekat, said on Thursday that the Israeli decision to construct a new settlement in Jerusalem is considered a direct violation to the International Law, and negatively affects the final status solution."4/8/2005
Israel insists on keeping control of Gaza crossingsGeorge Rishmawi- IMEMC & Agencies4/8/2005
Three ways to make us all saferKen Livingstone - the Guardian - "But if supporters of the Palestinians should be banned on the grounds that Palestinians kill civilians, then consistency would require banning Israeli leaders, who have been responsible for killing several times more Palestinian civilians. Someone advocating that both Sharon and Qaradawi be banned would be wrong, but at least they would be consistent."4/8/2005
The Narrow Gate to PeaceJeff Halper - Sojourners Magazine - "Sanctions, divestment, and boycotts are absolutely legitimate means at everyone’s disposal for effectively opposing injustice. As penalties, protest, pressure, and resistance to policies that violate fundamental human rights, international law, and U.N. resolutions, they are directed at ending a situation of intolerable conflict, suffering, and moral wrong-doing, not against a particular people or country. When the injustice ends, the sanctions end. "4/8/2005
The Narrow Gate to PeaceJeff Halper - Sojourners Magazine - "Sanctions, divestment, and boycotts are absolutely legitimate means at everyone’s disposal for effectively opposing injustice. As penalties, protest, pressure, and resistance to policies that violate fundamental human rights, international law, and U.N. resolutions, they are directed at ending a situation of intolerable conflict, suffering, and moral wrong-doing, not against a particular people or country. When the injustice ends, the sanctions end."4/8/2005
Vote, baby, voteMark Perry - Palestine Report - "The bombing of cafes and buses cannot be excused. The wanton slaughter of innocents cannot be ignored, or explained away. There is simply no guarantee that Hamas will dampen its tactics in exchange for full participation in the political process... Yet, experience shows that the systematic denial of fundamental rights - including the central right of any democracy, the right to vote - is the one sure way to institutionalize violence and to guarantee the continuation of politics by other means."4/8/2005
Gaza pullout no harbinger of Mideast peace Marius Schattner - Agence France Presse - "Seen as an unavoidable necessity by most Israelis and Palestinians, the end of Israel`s 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip inspires little hope for reviving the stagnant Middle East peace process. "4/8/2005
Can an Arab role be reconstituted?Hasan Abu Nime - Jordan Times - "Any possible progress towards solutions for the issues of Iraq and Palestine would greatly help the war on terror. It would reduce its danger to very controllable limits in no time.It may be likely that if the Arabs act, they will fail. But not acting is simply unacceptable. Arab governments can no longer be bystanders as the region burns. The situation is bad enough but there is plenty of room for it to worsen." 4/8/2005
Impressions of a visitor in IsraelMark Rudd, a Jewish liberal activist from US wrote the following letter after a visit in Israel4/8/2005
Report from Khirbet TanaBy Nina Mayorek - MachsomWatch. On the recent destruction of a Palestinian village of Khirbet Tana. (pdf file,1.1 MB) 4/8/2005
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The Jerusalem Powder KegInternational Crisis Group - Middle East Report N°44 - "While the world focuses on Gaza, the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations in fact may be playing itself out away from the spotlight, in Jerusalem. With recent steps, Israel is attempting to solidify its hold over a wide area in and around the city, creating a far broader Jerusalem. If the international community and specifically the U.S. are serious about preserving and promoting a viable two-state solution, they need to speak far more clearly and insistently to halt actions that directly and immediately jeopardise that goal."3/8/2005
Israeli Wall Continues to Devastate East Jerusalem CommunitiesThe Palestine Monitor - Israel is surrounding Anata and the Shaufat Refugee Camp, two communities in the western part of East Jerusalem, with concrete Walls on all sides. The Wall`s route will isolate he communities both from Jerusalem and from the community`s own land. 3/8/2005
Israeli Wall Continues to Devastate East Jerusalem CommunitiesThe Palestine Monitor - Israel is surrounding Anata and the Shaufat Refugee Camp, two communities in the western part of East Jerusalem, with concrete Walls on all sides. The Wall`s route will isolate he communities both from Jerusalem and from the community`s own land. 3/8/2005
Is their bombing worse than ours?Saree Makdisi - San Jose Mercury News (relayed by EI) - I am angered and sickened by the bombings here in London on July 7,but I am equally angered by the unthinking reactions in the United States and Britain to those disgusting attacks. 3/8/2005
Boycott - yes or noOn July 19, 2005 took place at the Left Bank Club (Hagada Hasmalit) in Tel Aviv an open discussion on the issue of boycotts and sanctions against the Israeli occupation policy. The following is translated from the notes in Hebrew which Adi Dagan of the Women`s Coalition for Peace sent out. Courtesy of TOI16/8/2005
Report: Israel`s moves to tighten hold on Jerusalem risk `explosion`Reuters - Israel`s moves to cement its hold on Jerusalem could drive Palestinians in the holy city to violence and damage prospects for a comprehensive peace deal, a leading think tank said on Tuesday. 3/8/2005
On Racism and SecurityJafar Farrah - Maariv/NRG - Jafar Farrah attacks the amendment to the Citizenship law whose goal is to enable the Sha”bak to replace the Welfare Services in the country. 1/8/2005
Israel threatens `massive assault` in GazaDaily Star - " Israel threatened a massive ground offensive into the Gaza Strip should Palestinian militants open fire on soldiers or settlers during next month`s withdrawal from the occupied territory. Such an assault, similar to March 2002`s "Operation Defensive Shield," which saw troops re-occupy most of the West Bank after numerous suicide bombings, would delay the historic withdrawal by up to two weeks, Deputy Defense Minister Zeev Boim said, outlining the military`s plans for the first time. "1/8/2005
Disengagement countdownKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly - "Recent meetings between Palestinian officials and their Israeli counterparts, at various levels, have so far utterly failed to make any progress regarding coordinated handling of Israel`s proposed disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Israel, the Palestinians complain, is adamantly clinging to its unilateral approach as if the Palestinian side didn`t exist. "1/8/2005
An Interview: with Mohammad Samhouri the PA`s pull-out coordinator in GazaAljazeera.net interviews Mohammad Samhouri in his Gaza office about the disengagement that is set to start on 15 August, the importance of free access for Palestinians and the future of Palestinian economy1/8/2005
Invasion of the SettlersDr. Yossi Dahan - Ma`ariv/NRG - Accuses the settlers of cynically exploiting the development towns, although they were the chief backers of the policies that caused their collapse. 1/8/2005
Remi Kanazi: Annexing JusticeRemi Kanazi - Palestine Chronicle - After 38 years of unwarranted occupation, the Palestinian people deserve to live peacefully in the remaining 22 percent of historic Palestine. The expansion of the Annexation wall is the newest obstacle in the Palestinian’s quest for legitimacy. 1/8/2005
Disengagement?Phyllis Bennis - Institute for Policy Studies - Israel has a unilateral obligation to withdraw its troops and settlers and end its occupation of Gaza as well as of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But the Gaza "disengagement" is not designed to, and will not result in an end to occupation. 1/8/2005
Ghosts of the leftAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram Weekly - The left is in crisis and the only way out is to embrace democracy, for which read the people. 21/8/2005
Arabic press focuses on Gaza withdrawal Thamer Abu Baker - Jordan Times - The launch of Israel`s evacuation of the Jewish settlements in Gaza was the major issue tackled by the Arabic press last week. While some commentators argued that this pullout was a positive step, others asserted that the withdrawal was designed to expand Israeli control over the West Bank. 21/8/2005
Comments: Beginning of the EndMustafa Barghouthi - Al-Ahram Weekly - The dismantlement of the settlements in Gaza and the departure of the settlers have ushered in the beginning of the end of the history of the Israeli occupation. 18/8/2005
Immorality of occupationGeorge S. Hishmeh - Amin Org. - The Israeli settlers who are being evacuated from the Gaza Strip`s 21 settlements in fulfillment of the Israeli government`s unilateral “disengagement” plan, a process that is due to end in three weeks time, are receiving an unbelievably sympathetic but myopic coverage in the media. 20/8/2005
Eyeless in GazaDaoud Kuttab - Amin Org. - Thirty-eight years after Israeli troops rumbled into the Gaza Strip, Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan Heights, real change on the ground is taking place. Israel is adding the Gaza Strip to Sinai (as well as south Lebanon) on the list of occupied areas that it has decided to abandon.20/8/2005
Palestinians in Lebanon see hopeAl Jazeera Net - "Israel is drawing back because of the resistance," he said. "That`s why we must keep up the armed struggle, then we will regain the West Bank and the rest of Palestine." 19/8/2005
Israel threatens `massive assault` in GazaDaily Star staff - Palestinian Authority denounces warning as `dangerous`1/8/2005
`Quartet` envoy promises Palestinians in Gaza a `better life`Agence France Presse (AFP) - GAZA CITY: Middle East "Quartet" envoy James Wolfensohn promised Palestinians in the impoverished Gaza Strip a "better life" after Israel`s planned pullout, following talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.1/8/2005
Israel and Egypt finalize deal to deploy troops along Gaza borderDaily Star staff - Israel and Egypt have finalized an agreement to deploy hundreds of Egyptian troops along the border with the Gaza Strip after Israel`s upcoming withdrawal from the area, Israeli defense officials said yesterday.2/8/2005
Report from Khirbet TanaBy Nina Mayorek - MachsomWatch. On the recent destruction of a Palestinian village of Khirbet Tana. (ppt file,1.57 MB) 3/8/2005
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Disengagement From JusticeLaila El-Haddad - Washington Post - " I spent eight hours at Gaza`s Erez border crossing with Israel last month, waiting for Israeli approval to attend a reception in the West Bank, only to be denied entry based on dubious "security reasons." Being Palestinian is enough, an Israeli army spokesperson told me. "As a Palestinian from Gaza, you are considered a security threat first, a journalist second." 3/8/2005
Gaza Will Be `Vacated But Still Occupied`Ushani Agalawatta - IPS -3/8/2005
A letter from JerusalemReflections on current events by Rev. Clarence Musgrave 3/8/2005
Committed to political pluralism Bitterlemons - An interview with Ismail Haniya, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip2/8/2005
In a state of limbo Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Although the recent infighting (in Gaza and Jenin) was politically inspired, there has also in the last weeks and months been violence that is based neither on political nor ideological differences. 2/8/2005
With settlers, no peace Issa Samandar - Bitterlemons - Israeli strategists are not mistaken in identifying the settlement project as an intrinsic component in defining the territory of the Jewish state. 2/8/2005
Fostering hatred Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The Israeli settlements and the Israeli settlement expansion process in the occupied Palestinian territories have been and will continue to be the most problematic aspect of the conflict and the greatest obstacle to making peace, even when the two sides are ready for that. 2/8/2005
Don`t Think of a Jewish State! Can Palestine be Put Back Into the Equation?Kathleen Christison - Counter Punch - "When we demonstrate non-violently the world at least is with us," a young Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Bilin recently told British journalist Graham Usher. "When we resist violently, it isn`t." 28/8/2005
Without HypocrisyHaim Baram - Hagada Hasmolit - Some of the settlers of Gush Katif, maybe not all of them, openly applauded when children were shot, blown up from the air, and humiliated in the name of the greater Land of Israel. Not one of them protested when more than thirty thousand Palestinians were evicted from their homes in the Gaza Strip. 28/8/2005
Without HypocrisyHaim Baram - Hagada Hasmolit - Some of the settlers of Gush Katif, maybe not all of them, openly applauded when children were shot, blown up from the air, and humiliated in the name of the greater Land of Israel. Not one of them protested when more than thirty thousand Palestinians were evicted from their homes in the Gaza Strip. 28/8/2005
What next?Joharah Baker - The Palestine Report - IN THE Gaza Strip, Jewish settlements have finally become a thing of the past. On August 24, the Israeli army announced that all 21 settlements in Gaza and four in the northern West Bank had been completely evacuated less than a week after the disengagement process started.24/8/2005
Between the devil and the deep blue seaGhazi Hamad - The Palestine report - THE FISHING industry has been severely damaged in the past five years of the Intifada. Fishermen have been prohibited from reaching anywhere meaningful in the Mediterranean Sea and its abundant stocks of fish. They have been subjected to a siege, their boats have been shot at, some have been confiscated, and they have been subject to arrest. 24/8/2005
Quiet, We’re Disengaging!Keshev Report - Israeli Media Coverage of the Tense Ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian Authority following the Sharm e-Sheikh Understandings 28/8/2005
The Legal Status of Gaza: Gaza remains occupied Saeb Erekat - Bitterlemons - Israel`s "disengagement" plan states that, upon the completion of the withdrawal from Gaza, "there will be no basis to the claim that the Gaza Strip is occupied land." This is simply incorrect. After "disengagement," Israel`s colonization of Gaza will have ended, but because it will still control Gaza, Israel`s occupation will remain. 28/8/2005
The Legal Status of Gaza: No Change Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - The starting point when looking at the legal status of any part of the Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip, is that the occupied Palestinian territories are, legally speaking, one integral unit. This is how the Oslo agreements, which were endorsed by the United Nations and recognized officially by all countries, defined the Palestinian territories. 28/8/2005
Israeli pullout from Gaza and the new Iraqi constitution in the Arabic press Thamer Abu Baker - The Jordan Times - a media overview28/8/2005
Keeping up the pressure Musa Keilani - The Jordan Times - American pressure only forced Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to implement the withdrawal from Gaza, a fact that cannot be denied by either Hamas jihadists or Palestinian moderates. 28/8/2005
The myth of irreversibilityDaoud Kuttab - In the mid-80s Meron Benvenisti, an Israeli researcher on the West Bank and Gaza, came up with the term irreversibility when referring to the difficulty that will be met to reverse the trend of Jewish settlement activities in the Palestinian territories. His concept, which was well intended and has a lot of merit, has been dealt a blow by the Israeli government and army. 28/8/2005
Punishment depends on nationalityAmira Hass - Ha`aretz - Shortly after the murders in Shfaram, it was reported that those wounded and the families of the murder victims would receive recognition as victims of terrorism, dealt with and compensated accordingly. And the question immediately arose, since when do you highlight as a news item something that is self-explanatory and common sense? Except that equality among Jews and Arabs in Israel is not something self-explanatory.10/8/2005
A Colonial DisengagementBashir Abu-Manneh - Znet - " One thing is clear: Israel is not relinquishing its control of Gaza, and Palestinian sovereignty is still as far away as ever. "23/8/2005
Palestinian Authority: `Banishment and defeat`Khaled Abu-Toameh - The Jerusalem Post - The Arabic word indihar is being used these days by Palestinians who view Israel`s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank as a victory for the al-Aksa intifada, which erupted in September 2000. And there appears to be a growing number of Palestinians who are truly convinced that the pullout is nothing but a retreat achieved through the blood of thousands of shahids, or martyrs.12/8/2005
Rafah 2005 Dinarzhade - The view of the shattered city of Raffah after the recent Israeli incursion and massive destruction. 1/8/2005
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Misplaced optimism Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Whenever Palestinians complain to the international community about the consolidation of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the response is invariably that this is an issue to be taken up after the Gaza withdrawal is completed.15/8/2005
Gaza should not mean the `road map` goes into deep freezeDaoud Kuttab - The Daily Star - The withdrawal of Israeli troops and the evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza, after 38 years of occupation, is the most recent proof of the limits of military power, even when that power is overwhelming. 22/8/2005
Victory for the resistance, but only a small step towards peace Brian Whitaker - The Guardian - In general Arabs see the withdrawal as a victory for the Palestinian resistance but it is a small step, said Ali Muhsin Hamid, the Arab League`s ambassador in London. "Arabs look at the [Israeli] occupation as a whole and are more pessimistic in terms of Sharon`s statements. We want a real change in Israel`s policy on colonisation," he said. 19/8/2005
Positive signs in GazaJeremy Bowen - BBC Middle East editor - What next? A well-placed Israeli sat in a sunny courtyard in Jerusalem at the start of the week and told me that the withdrawal from Gaza could turn into a big turning point in the history of the conflict - or it could become just a footnote. 20/8/2005
Anxious Gaza awaits next steps Paul Adams - Defence Correspondent - The settlers suspect that other West Bank communities will eventually be sacrificed, while the Palestinians fear that they will be offered an unviable "state" made up of cantons with little or no territorial continuity and doomed to collapse. 18/8/2005
Fact Sheet: Gaza Disengagement - Facts, History, Political Reality Palestine Report - The Gaza Strip is located on the Mediterranean Sea and borders Israel to the north and east and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the south. It is inhabited by 1.4 million Palestinians (including nearly one million refugees from the 1948 war in which Israel conquered 78% of historic Palestine) and around 8,500 illegal Israeli settlers. 22/8/2005
Buying fish in the seaPalestine Report - An interview with Ghassan Khatib - This week Palestine Report Online interviews Minister of Planning, Ghassan Khatib, on the Palestinian Authority`s plans for lands following the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. 17/8/2005
All about GazaOmar Karmi - The Palestine Report - THE EVACUATION of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip began in earnest on August 15, with Israeli soldiers and police handing out eviction orders as the final two days of voluntary eviction were entered. 17/8/2005
Peace process reduced to rubble Aluf Benn - Bitterlemons - Ariel Sharon`s disengagement plan has an important side effect. It forces the Israeli and Palestinian governments to tackle their respective rejectionists. 2/8/2005
No "concessions" intended Hisham Ahmed - Bitterlemons - One of the reasons Benjamin Netanyahu cited when he tendered his resignation on August 7 was that he did not want to be a party to what he called "concessions" to the Palestinian side without Israel getting anything in return. 8/8/2005
Disengagement must lead to a negotiating process Shlomo Brom - Bitterlemons - Forgoing the negotiating process is a certain way of missing the chance that the disengagement plan will jumpstart a process of settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict-an opportunity that was enhanced by the death of Arafat and the changes in the leadership of the Palestinian Authority. 8/8/2005
Rice turns heat on IsraelYitzhak Benhorin - YnetNews - According to New York Times report, U.S. Secretary of State adopted ‘forceful’ stand in recent dealings with Israeli officials, rejected requests for aid 7/8/2005
Child gravely hurt in shootingEfrat Weiss - YnetNews - Palestinians open fire at Israeli vehicle traveling on Highway 60 north of Jerusalem, near West Bank settlement; 10-year-old child sustains serious head wounds, taken to hospital by helicopter. Adult lightly injured 7/8/2005
A Massacre Foretold Uri Avnery - "It was all expected: both the massacre and the questions it raised. But behind the easy questions that practically posed themselves, much more difficult and unasked questions are hidden. "11/8/2005
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