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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil,    but because of the people who don't do anything about it    
Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
Israeli and PalestinianDaniel Barenboim - International Herald Tribune - "In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there was and still is an inability to admit the interdependence of their two voices. The creation of the state of Israel was the result of a Jewish-European idea, which, if it is to extend its leitmotif into the future, must accept the Palestinian identity as an equally valid leitmotif." 31/1/2008
An Experiment in Famine - Hamas is Not the Real IssueNEVE GORDON - Counterpunch - "The experiment in Gaza is, in other words, not really about the bombardment of Israeli citizens or even about Israel`s ongoing efforts to undermine Hamas. It is simply a new draconian strategy aimed at denying the Palestinians their most basic right to self-determination. It is about showing them who is in control, about breaking their backs, so that they lower their expectations and bow down to Israeli demands. The Palestinians understood this and courageously destroyed their prison wall while crying out into the wilderness for international support. Instead of the expected outrage, the only response they received was a weak echo of their own cry for help." 31/1/2008
A break in the siege Osamah Khalil - The Electronic Intifada - "Hamas could destroy the wall, but unless Palestinians were willing to cross the borderline and face the threat of Egyptian security forces it would have been a futile gesture. That Palestinians went over that line again and again illustrates the powerful urge for freedom from oppression and occupation. More importantly, it demonstrates what Palestinians can do when they act as a collective body, not along factional lines but as a people." 31/1/2008
Chocolate for the children - interview with Eyad Sarraj bitterlemons - ` Everything is available in the market now. /. People are almost euphoric since they can get out of the prison, even if it is only for a short respite. People go to El Arish for a picnic, eat fish there and spend a couple of hours. Families sometimes go for the day and come back at night. ..Even if Palestinians want reconciliation, I think there is strong American resistance to the idea of any dialogue with Hamas. ` 30/1/2008
One and Two State Solutions / The Myth of International ConsensusKATHLEEN CHRISTISON-Counterpunch-" The notion of establishing a single state for Palestinians and Jews, although historically not a new idea, has regained currency in recent years as it has become increasingly obvious that Israel`s absorption of more and more Palestinian land in the occupied territories -- land stolen from Palestinians for constantly expanding settlements, a vast network of roads for the exclusive use of Israelis, the monstrously destructive separation wall, and Israeli military bases and closed security zones -- has made the vision of "two states living side by side in peace" a cruel joke."30/1/2008
The prospect of a new Gaza realityby Gershon Baskin- THE JERUSALEM POST -"THE MOST obvious advantage for Israel, and probably for Gaza as well, is if the new arrangements enable the Gaza border to remain open and allow Israel to wash its hand of Gaza entirely. Israel would be able to claim that it is no longer responsible for the welfare of the Palestinian people of Gaza...Egypt would probably not be pleased with such an Israeli declaration. Until now Egypt has said that the Rafah border has remained closed due to Israeli insistence."30/1/2008
Endless Battle Almost a Century of Conflict Resulting From the Effort to Establish Israel as a Jewish StateEdward Jayne-Dissident Voice-"most Americans continue to support Israel’s agenda, but few others do elsewhere in the world. The Israeli government is even beginning to antagonize the most enlightened segment of its public as well as concerned Americans including a large minority of secularized Jews who keep abreast with what is going on beyond the predictable story line promoted by Zionists." 30/1/2008
Short term gain for Hamas, long term gain for Israel Ghassan Khatib - bitterlemons.org - The dramatic recent developments on the Palestinian-Egyptian border are direct and predictable results of the internationally supported Israeli siege on Gaza. It should have been expected that the mounting pressure on Gaza would cause a popular explosion. The Egyptian border was the weakest link in the prison wall, since all other escape routes, including the sea, are blocked by Israel. That the Egyptian border should be the weakest link is not a reflection of the performance of Egyptian security. Rather it is a reflection of Egyptian and Arab public sympathy with the suffering of the Palestinians in Gaza and a sign of support for the challenge they pose to Israel.29/1/2008
`Failed policy` in mainstream Israeli media + Seedlings for PeaceAmericans for Peace Now - MEPR - Right-wing Maariv columnist Ben-Dror Yemini writes that Israel should have approached the rocket attacks from Gaza differently: “Here is the alternative scenario. The prime minister could have convened a dramatic press conference, summoned all the representatives of the international media when the hail of rockets was at its peak… Then he would have said: We have no desire to harm even a single hair on the head of a child in a refugee camp. All we want is for the residents of southern Israel to be able to sleep peacefully. No more. Therefore, I hereby announce the cessation of all of Israel’s reprisal actions (...)”29/1/2008
Siege doesn’t workChaim Oron - Ynet News - The growing siege imposed by Israel on Gaza must be weighed in line with its ability to bring more security to Gaza-region residents. Yet so far, our experience has shown that this type of cruel collective punishment doesn’t bring results. [The author`s balancing act between `patriotism` and moral/common sense is quite typical - ed.]28/1/2008
Gaza and US presidential candidatesAli Abunimah - ZNet - "I knew Barack Obama for many years as my state senator -- when he used to attend events in the Palestinian community in Chicago all the time. I remember personally introducing him onstage in 1999, when we had a major community fundraiser for the community center in Deheisha refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. And that`s just one example of how Barack Obama used to be very comfortable speaking up for and being associated with Palestinian rights and opposing the Israeli occupation. And just yesterday, he apparently sent a letter to Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador at the UN, to urge the US not to allow any resolution to pass criticizing Israel and saying how Israel was forced to impose this barbaric medieval siege on [Gaza]."27/1/2008
Gaza: then and nowBy: Daoud Kuttab - Zaman - When the Gaza Strip was plunged into darkness last week as a result of an Israeli fuel blockade, many people around the world were surprised. But the optimism produced by the Annapolis peace process, which included US President George W. Bush`s promise of an agreement in 2008 to create a Palestinian state, was clearly unrealistic.27/1/2008
Ending the stranglehold on GazaEyad al-Sarraj and Sara Roy - Boston Globe - Gaza is no longer approaching economic collapse. It has collapsed. Given the intensity of repression Gaza is facing, can the collapse of its society - family, neighborhood, and community structure - be far behind? If that happens, we shall all suffer the consequences for generations to come.27/1/2008
Furlough Day for GazansDaniel Levy - `As Egyptian border crossing events prove, what happens in Gaza will not stay in Gaza. `26/1/2008
In Favor of the Draft-dodgersMeir Margalit - ICAHD. Translated by Tal Haran26/1/2008
The paradox of the vision of two states for two peoples: it serves the right and paralyzes the rest The column of Ofra Ben-Artzi - Occupation Magazine. Translated by George Malent26/1/2008
Gaza’s misery has to be stoppedFinancial Times Editorial - "Arab and international mediators should immediately seek an armistice from Hamas and an end to the Gaza blockade from Israel. They should then seek to revive the year-old Hamas and Fatah unity agreement and set up a joint caretaker government prior to eventual new elections. The Islamists should be brought into talks – on condition they are ready to work for a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza with east Jerusalem as its capital. Only when that is achieved should Hamas, and all Arab countries, be required to recognise Israel – an Israel with fixed borders, not the moving frontiers it keeps pushing into occupied Palestinian land. "26/1/2008
POWER TO THE (PALESTINIAN) PEOPLE!Jeff Halper-ICAHD-"Not only have the Palestinians experienced the dehumanization all oppressed and colonized peoples experience, not only have they been made into the embodiment of the rich and powerful`s greatest fear, evil "terrorists" who may tear down their privileged "civilization," but they have been turned into guinea pigs. Israel is able to gain an edge in the counterinsurgency industry and win entree into the heart of the American military/hi tech complex by turning the Occupied Territories into a laboratory for the development of fiendish weaponry and tactics intended for use against people. "25/1/2008
Palestinians Topple Gaza Wall and Cross to Egypt STEVEN ERLANGER - The New York Times - "The prospect of an open border with Egypt was widely accepted as a victory for Hamas and another embarrassment for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, who leads Fatah and is seen as a partner with Israel and the United States and complicit in the closing of Gaza." 24/1/2008
Freedom for Gaza (but for one day only)Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "Egyptian Rafah had never seen anything like it, and by early afternoon many of the stores had emptied of goods. As the Egyptian money changers scrambled through the gate in the wire fence on their side of the border, their pockets stuffed with bank notes, the exchange rate in the micro-market of northern Sinai rose from seven Israeli agorot to one shekel for an Egyptian pound." 24/1/2008
Sword dancing while Gaza starves Osamah Khalil - The Electronic Intifada - "Responding to the crisis, the Arab states again demonstrated their impotence and callous disregard for Palestinian suffering. In the diplomatic equivalent of a sword dance, an emergency meeting of the Arab League was held in Cairo on Monday. The result was a request by the League that the UN investigate Israel`s actions. [1] However, it is unlikely that any such investigative body will be created. Even if impaneled, it is unlikely to have any impact, as was demonstrated with the UN investigative committee into Israel`s 2002 invasion of the Jenin refugee camp." 24/1/2008
The Lessons of ViolenceChris Hedges - Truthdig - "And so it goes on. The cycle of violence that began decades ago, that turned a young Palestinian refugee with promise and talent into a militant and finally a martyr, is turning small boys today into new versions of what went before them. Olmert, Bush`s vaunted partner for peace, has vowed to strike at Palestinian militants "without compromise, without concessions and without mercy," proof that he and the rest of his government have learned nothing. It is also proof that we, as the only country with the power to intervene, have become accessories to murder."22/1/2008
Look who`s talking: Avnery and Olmert on the two-state solutionUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Should I be happy or furious when "Olmert sounds like Uri Avnery?" I remember the words of Rudyard Kipling: "If you can bear to hear the truth you`ve spoken / Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools…"20/1/2008
An independent Palestinian state: this time next year?Daoud Kuttab - Counterpunch - An independent Palestinian state living alongside a secure state of Israel requires political will and an environment that will produce public support for peace. These elements are essential for negotiations in 2008 to succeed. Nothing would provide public support for peace talks more than an end to Israeli settlement activity and the release of Palestinian political prisoners. We can only hope that President Bush toured the West Bank with eyes open to the daily suffering of Palestinian life, and that he matches his commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state with the resolve necessary to hold Israel to its commitments.20/1/2008
Bush`s Middle East trip: still no peaceStephen Zunes - Foreign Policy in Focus - The United States still rejects the application of international law in settling the conflict, opting instead to use as its starting point the status quo based on Israel’s 40-year occupation. This underscores the longstanding and inherent contradiction between the United States simultaneously playing the role of chief mediator in the conflict and being the chief military, financial and diplomatic supporter of the more powerful of the two parties. As a result, Israel, the occupying power, has little incentive to compromise and the relatively powerless Palestinians under occupation have little leverage to advance their struggle for an independent viable state.20/1/2008
Abbas threatens to quit if `escalation` continuesKhaled Abu Toameh - Jerusalem Post - Abbas was particularly enraged that Israel had stepped up its military operations shortly after US President George W. Bush`s visit to the region. Meanwhile, the ongoing IDF attacks appear to have brought Hamas and Fatah closer to each other after months of fighting. Representatives of the two parties have appealed to their leaders to set aside their differences and join ranks to face the Israeli operations. 19/1/2008
The march of cynicsMeron Benvenisti-Ha`aretz-"Bush and Abu Mazen (PA President Mahmoud Abbas), for whom cynicism is their means of survival, are joined by the greatest cynic of all, who has made cynicism into an art. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert can give Bush and Abbas lessons on how to spin a story that exploits the hopes of naive people and relies on the feeling that if important people are busy with something, it is a sign that this something is important."18/1/2008
The End of the Road for George W. BushChris Hedges-Truthdig -"The roadblocks, he told Abbas, are necessary for Israeli security. .. the 1949 Green Line, the borders established by the United Nations, would never be restored. .. no discussion, he said, of the status of Jerusalem. And the plight of Palestinian refugees would be solved by setting up an international fund, meaning, of course, that none would ever return. In short, he offered an unequivocal endorsement of right-wing Israeli policy with not a murmur of dissent. And the Palestinians can either have it rammed down their throat or rot."18/1/2008
Clueless in GazaUri Misgav-YnetNews-"One cannot kill 18 Gazans in air strikes and then express stunned lamentations after Hamas renews its impressive launching capability. One cannot move troops and embark on operations in the morning, and then express “serious concerns over the Gilad Shalit deal” at night. "18/1/2008
Economic Warfare in GazaYossi Wolfson-Challenge_"before Israel hardened its measures, 87% of Gazans lived beneath the poverty line, which was reckoned at $2.40 per day. Already then there were perceived shortages in basic products, and food prices rose by tens of percentage points. According to figures of the World Food Program, 85% of Gazans depend on aid to purchase food. In the view of Israel, however, the existing supply of goods is above what the law obligates it to allow, and the supplies of electricity and gasoline are even twice the minimum required."18/1/2008
Olmert’s Conundrum Caelum Moffatt - MIFTAH - "G. W. Bush, almost overemphasizing his close personal relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the hope of offering credibility to the unpopular prime minister, appealed to the Knesset to stand by the Kadima leader and allow him to direct them to a peace agreement before the end of 2008. President Bush must have been overly confident and, in the process, overestimated the effect his attendance would have on the Israeli MK’s. Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, evidently did not feel compelled to abide by the president’s words and resigned from the coalition, taking with him the 11 Knesset seats allocated to his right-wing Yishrael Beiteinu party"23/1/2008
A Mideast lesson for BushH.D.S. Greenway - The Boston Globe - The biggest lesson that Bush might have learned from Israel`s example is that overdependence on brute force to solve complicated problems does not always provide a solution, and usually makes things worse as Lebanon and the occupied territories have so amply demonstrated. 23/1/2008
Israel Resumes Fuel Shipments to Gaza STEVEN ERLANGER - The New York Times - "Israel has refused to supply gasoline, with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert telling his Kadima Party on Monday, “As far as I’m concerned, the residents of Gaza can walk if they don’t have gasoline for their cars, because they have a murderous terrorist regime that won’t let people in the south of Israel live in safety.” 23/1/2008
Making peace Israel styleKhaleej Times Online - Editorial - " PERHAPS the region’s most enduring irony is that the more things change with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the more they remain the same. Apparently no measure of political will can budge Tel Aviv from its decades-old modus operandi of keeping the Palestinians provoked enough for the violence to drag on. Tuesday’s incursion into Hamas-held Gaza, and the subsequent strike that killed 16 was, therefore, only more of the same." 17/1/2008
In Mourning, Perhaps a New Dawn Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - "Television footage last night of the carnage in Gaza proves one thing. Whether Fateh reviles Hamas or not and whether we back the fiery statements of Mahmoud Zahhar or reject them, in the end this Hamas zealot is a Palestinian father grieving for his dead son. The fatal bullet that took this man’s life made no distinction whether its owner pledged allegiance to the deposed government in Gaza or to the up and coming one in Ramallah. The point is that ironically, Israel may have brought us together by knocking us down." 17/1/2008
Mr. Bush`s trip to Ramallah Anne Paq - The Electronic Intifada - " I found myself taking the same type of pictures that I take at demonstrations against the Wall, only this time it was Palestinians oppressing Palestinians. The Palestinian Authority used the same tactics as the Israeli soldiers. The pushing, crushing, the gas. They even had some special forces in civilian dress to identify the most active demonstrators." 17/1/2008
Israelis defend Arabs to protect IsraelMEL FRYKBERG - Middle East Times - " "I`m fighting for the security of Israel and the future prosperity of the Jewish state by fighting for the human rights of Palestinians," said Jessica Montell, executive director of the internationally renowned and respected Israeli human rights organization, B`Tselem." 17/1/2008
Resignation of hardliners leaves Israel coalition in disarray Donald Macintyre - The Independent - " The move came amid continued violence in Gaza during which a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, his father and his uncle were killed in an air strike that the Israeli military said had "unintentionally" had hit their vehicle." 17/1/2008
Palestinians Collectively Reject Bush ProposalAli El-Saleh - Asharq Alawsat - "The proposal by US President George Bush during his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories of laying down an international mechanism to compensate the Palestinian refugees has aroused Palestinian reactions that could be described as homogenous in their content, whether at the official, unofficial, or opposition levels. The Palestinian stance can be summarized by saying that this proposal if it indicates anything, it does indicate an attempt to bypass the resolutions of the international legitimacy, especially Resolution 194, which gives the refugees the right to choose between return and compensation for those who do not want to go back." 16/1/2008
Bloody reality bears no relation to the delusions of this President Robert Fisk - The Independent - "As a bomb explodes in Beirut and Israel kills 19 in Gaza raids, Bush takes his Middle East peace mission to Saudi Arabia (and signs off $20bn weapons deal with repressive regime)" 16/1/2008
The Fading of the Two-State SolutionYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge-Magazine - "It has become clear in recent years that Israel`s drive to separate the two peoples is not meant as penance for its crimes of forty years. The desire for separation results rather from the evaporation of the Zionist ethos. This ethos once embraced all Jewish citizens of the state, but it has shriveled to embrace the successful alone. From a nation for all its Jews, Israel has become a nation for all its rich. The classes that have lost strength in recent years, such as workers who could not make the transition to high-tech, or those displaced by foreign labor, or single mothers, have become a burden on the state (that is, on the rich), just as the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are a burden."16/1/2008
Voices from the past pose questions in the present Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - "However, in the period since the Peel Commission published its report, the behavior of the parties and the role of the international community have not been conducive to implementing a just solution. Israeli practices in Palestine, both the part that was taken and became Israel in 1948, and the rest--the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip that were occupied in 1967--reduced the practical and political feasibility of partition, or in modern terminology, the "two-state solution". 15/1/2008
Olmert Is Cautious as Talks With Palestinians Begin ISABEL KERSHNER - The New York Times - "Ophir Pines-Paz, a Labor legislator, said: “The disgrace is the helplessness and idleness displayed by Olmert on the issue of outpost evacuation. Olmert has turned the promises made by Israel into a joke.” 15/1/2008
Israeli Conductor Barenboim Takes Honorary Palestinian Citizenship Palestine Media Center - "I hope that my new status will be an example of Israeli-Palestinian co-existence," said Barenboim, who received a passport at the end of a Saturday night concert he played in Ramallah in the West Bank. 15/1/2008
The Hands of Esau Uri Avnery - Gush-Shalom - But Olmert needs the presence of Bush at his side, because his position is not much more secure than Bush`s. Bush is bankrupt in a big way, after starting one of the most pointless and unsuccessful wars in US history. That is true for Olmert in a small way. He is bankrupt too, and he also started a pointless, failed war. 15/1/2008
Voices from the past pose questions in the presentGhassan Khatib-BitterLemons-"the statements of US President George W. Bush during his recent visit to the region were not at all helpful. First, he dismissed the legal right of return of Palestinian refugees by saying that a solution to their plight should be sought in the context of a Palestinian state. He then expressed near-formal acceptance of the illegally built Israeli settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank. Finally, he adopted the Israeli position that Israel is a "Jewish state", ignoring not only the right of return of Palestinian refugees, but also 20 percent of the country`s population."14/1/2008
Bush`s weepy visit to Yad VashemAndrew Silverstein - Counterpunch - Bush`s comments at Yad Vashem provide yet more evidence that in his primitive little mind, there is no problem that cannot be solved by throwing bombs at it.13/1/2008
Candidates` unconditional support isn`t right for IsraelJohn J. Mearsheimer - The Oregonian - Once again, as the presidential campaign season heats up, the leading candidates are going to enormous lengths to demonstrate their devotion to the state of Israel and their steadfast commitment to its "special relationship" with the United States. 13/1/2008
Double standard on divestmentJosh Reubner - Institute for Middle East Understanding - Today, two movements for the promotion of human rights in Sudan and Palestine seek to emulate the successful role played by boycotts, divestment and sanctions in achieving democracy and equality in South Africa. The two movements, however, have received radically different receptions on Capitol Hill. This double standard testifies to Washington`s selectivity when it comes to promoting human rights around the globe and its tendency to overlook the faults of its allies while using human rights as a pretext to punish its adversaries.13/1/2008
The hands of EsauUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - While Olmert anointed Bush with flattery that would have made a Byzantine emperor blush, it was quite clear that it is Olmert who decides policy, while Bush humbly accepts the Israeli diktat. And Bush`s flattery of Olmert exceeded even Olmert`s flattery of Bush. Both, we learned, are "courageous". Both are "determined". Both have a "vision". The word "vision", once reserved for prophets, starred in every second sentence. (Bush could not know that in Israel, "vision" has long become a jocular appellation for highfaluting speeches, usually in combination with the word "Zionism".)13/1/2008
The sword is mightierSeth Freedman - The Guardian - It`s easy to claim that the pen is mightier than the sword from the safety of a university lecture hall, or a middle class soiree in a suburban dining room. However, in the bandit country that is Hebron, the adage rings somewhat hollow, as I found after spending a day out on patrol with Temporary International Presence in the City of Hebron (TIPH). What I saw during my six-hour shadowing of the dedicated yet ultimately toothless members of the TIPH team made me question the wisdom of their presence in the troubled city.13/1/2008
Bush speeches and Gaza reality Sam Bahour - ISM - If I were President Abbas I would tell the world that the Palestinian people will remain committed to the two-state solution until the end of 2008, and after that, if the international community fails yet again to end this nightmare of occupation, the Palestinian people will return to their original strategy of calling for one democratic secular state, where Palestinians and Israelis of all religions can live in dignity and mutual respect as equals. 12/1/2008
UK applauds resumed fuel flow to GazaItamar Sharon - Jerusalem Post - The decision was part of the state`s reply to the Supreme Court to petitions submitted by the Gisha and Adala NGOs that both demanded an injunction forcing the state not to cut the supplies (...) the renewed supplies would be enough to maintain electricity flow to institutions such as hospitals and infirmaries. 12/1/2008
Reporter offers Bush a Gaza, West Bank misery tourBen Wedeman - CNN - I spend a lot of my time covering the West Bank and Gaza: here`s what I see, and he won`t. Bush didn`t go to Gaza (...) He didn`t see Nablus...12/1/2008
Israel’s Forgotten Debt to the Palestinians: A Policy Paper of the Alternative Information CenterAlternative Information Center-"USD 50 million was further paid to the Israeli private sector, particularly the Dor fuel company, in the first quarter of 2006. The Israeli private sector received these payments from the Israeli government, which deducted them from the monies it collected and illegally withheld from the Palestinian customs revenues. The Israeli government withheld a total of USD 700 million in customs revenues in the first five months following the January 2006 election of the Hamas government..A conservative estimate of Israel’s aforementioned debt to the Palestinians is USD 25 billion."11/1/2008
A `helping` handKhaled Amayreh-Al Ahram- "In addition to the daily military incursions in the West Bank, the Israeli army continued to demonstrate to the Palestinians that Abbas and his government have no shred of authority save what Israel and its occupation army are willing to accord him."11/1/2008
Israel`s false friendsJohn J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt-Los Angeles Times -"In short, the presidential candidates are no friends of Israel. They are like most U.S. politicians, who reflexively mouth pro-Israel platitudes while continuing to endorse and subsidize policies that are in fact harmful to the Jewish state. A genuine friend would tell Israel that it was acting foolishly, and would do whatever he or she could to get Israel to change its misguided behavior. And that will require challenging the special interest groups whose hard-line views have been obstacles to peace for many years. "11/1/2008
From Palestinians, Harsh View of Bush ISABEL KERSHNER - The New York Times - "...many ordinary Palestinians are angry with Mr. Bush for, among other things, going to war in Iraq and spurning Mr. Arafat while he was alive. They point to the many checkpoints and the West Bank separation barrier, and they say that Mr. Bush’s support for Israel comes at their expense." 10/1/2008
Differing opinions fail to dent Israel`s love affair with Bush Donald Macintyre - The Independent - "The Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, declared last night that Israel reserved the right to expand existing Jewish settlements in Arab Jerusalem and in parts of the West Bank that it hopes to retain in any final peace deal. In terms which appeared to defy earlier sharp criticism by the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, Mr Olmert made it clear in front of President George Bush that he regarded such expansion as outside the "moratorium" he has promised on new settlement building. His declaration came as the US President, on his first visit in office to Israel, used some of his strongest language yet in demanding the dismantling of separate settlement outposts which are illegal even under Israeli law."10/1/2008
To invade or not to invadeSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly - "The Israeli press has indicated that the Israel army leaders have told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that any military operation against the Gaza Strip would result in the death of scores of occupation soldiers with no guarantee that such a campaign would lead to a halt in the firing of missiles. Ron ben Yeshai, the well-known Israel commentator, holds that Olmert fears facing the same scenario he faced following the end of the second Lebanon war, when the official Winograd Commission report accused him of shortcomings in the conduct of the war."10/1/2008
Why Tzipi Livni Won`t Fly - The Case of the White BirdURI AVNERY - Counterpunch - "Livni`s problem is common to all of Israel: the inability and unwillingness to see the point of view of the other side, especially if the other side is Arab." 9/1/2008
Action, please Ali Jarbawi - Bitter Lemons - "We always hear a lot of talk and promises but on the ground we see the opposite......We need action rather than words." 9/1/2008
Citizenship, Zionism, and separation of religion and stateMichael Warschawski of the Alternative Information Centre argues that if Israel is to become truly democratic, it first must become secular8/1/2008
Israel`s provocative Nablus invasionSaed Bannoura - IMEMC News - So why invade now? Could it be, perhaps, that Israeli authorities do NOT want calm in Nablus? […] But if they invade Nablus, as they have done this week, no one will report it in the major media worldwide…..but what WILL happen is that the young guys in Nablus will get more resentful, more angry, and sooner or later, one or another of them is going to fight back. If they do, you can be sure that that attack will be splattered all over the world`s headlines, and will be used to justify Israel`s `response` 7/1/2008
Christian Zionists Gain Israel`s Inner SanctumBill Berkowitz - IPS - After raising more than two hundred million dollars for various projects in Israel, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (IFCJ), the organisation he founded and is president of, has hit pay-dirt7/1/2008
It`s all right, I`m only bleedingRick Salutin - Globe and Mail Canada - "In 1999, its [Hamas] leader, later assassinated by Israel, said, "Let`s end this conflict by declaring a temporary ceasefire. Let`s leave the bigger issues for future generations." When Hamas was elected two years ago, they offered a 10-year truce. They supported the "prison document" that involves a two-state solution based on 1967 borders. They kept a self-imposed ceasefire for 16 months."... "it`s a reminder not to rely on the normal versions, from official sources, relayed through the media."26/1/2008
Worse than a CrimeUri Avnery - Gush-Shalom - "Sderot is only a pretext - much like the two captured soldiers were a pretext for something else altogether. The real purpose of the whole exercise is to overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza and to prevent a Hamas takeover in the West Bank. In simple and blunt words: the government sacrifices the fate of the Sderot population on the altar of a hopeless principle."26/1/2008
Are American Jews beginning to distance themselves from Israel? Finkelstein in the NetherlandsJelle Bruinsma, Norman Finkelstein - Counterpunch - "If the Palestinian leadership had a drop of intelligence (I`m not talking about the people, the people are perfectly intelligent) and if they were committed to being leaders, not just being collaborators of the Americans, once they had that wall advisory opinion [by the International Court of Justice] you organize several hundred thousand Palestinians, just with picks and hammers and we`re going to the wall and knocking it down; the international court said, the wall has to be dismantled, we`re simply enforcing the court`s decision. Israel would have had a terrible time. If it starts shooting at the demonstrators, the Palestinians hold up this document, the World Court opinion." 6/1/2008
The case of the white birdUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni`s provocation of Egypt is unnecessary and dangerous6/1/2008
Nurit Peled-Elhanan to the Women in Black: in Israel the Jewish mother is disappearingNurit Peled-Elhanan - "In the State of Israel the Jewish mother is facing extinction. The Jewish mother of today is closed off in neighbourhoods like Mea Shearim, there the mothers protect their children from the army, and outside those neighbourhoods the voice of the Jewish mother is not heard except in organizations like Women in Black, which the society in general condemns and vilifies."6/1/2008
Palestine Is Being Destroyed Mark Braverman - theday.com - `Accepting responsibility for the injustice done to the Palestinian people will not destroy Israel. On the contrary — it will save Israel. My roots go deep in the Holy Land. So do those of my Palestinian brothers and sisters. If we Jews cannot learn to share this land with the Palestinians, we will never have the secure homeland we desire.`4/1/2008
Gush-Shalom commentary on 2007The headlines proclaim: "2007 was a good year" - A year of improved security, Economic prosperity, And generally. The people of Sderot Did not suffer From the rockets. The elderly Did not seek for food In the trashcans. The millions of Palestinians Did not suffer under the occupation. The million and a half inhabitants Of the Gaza strip Were not starved by the siege. What a wonderful year! 4/1/2008
Ungenerous occupier: Israel`s Camp David exposed Jonathan Cook - The Electronic Intifada - "Barak, backed by the US president of the time, Bill Clinton, pushed Palestinian Authority President Arafat into the hurried final-status negotiations, even though the Palestinian leader believed more time was needed to build confidence between the two sides. Contrary to the spirit of the Oslo agreements, Israel had doubled the number of illegal settlers in the occupied territories through the 1990s and failed to carry out the promised withdrawals in full.`" 3/1/2008
Deadly EmbraceJacqueline Rose - London Review of Books - a still relevant 2004 review of books on suicide bombers1/1/2008
Naomi Klein on the Shock Doctrine Link to a wide-ranging interview with Truthout`s Geoffrey Millard, bestselling author and investigative journalist Klein explains that the rise in "disaster capitalism" is also leading to an increase in worldwide violence that will only get worse. She refers to the issue as "The Shock Doctrine," which is also the title of her groundbreaking new book.` 1/1/2008
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Beware of BarakRan HaCohen - Antiwar.com - "Israeli "Defense" Minister Ehud Barak is definitely the most dangerous politician in the Middle East . Ahmadinejad can only dream of having the powers – political and military, conventional and non-conventional – that Barak already possesses. Netanyahu and other far-right Israeli politicians say what they think and are earmarked as extremists, so they are under permanent scrutiny. Barak is more extreme than Netanyahu, but he`s an extremist in disguise."1/1/2008
Red Rag - The Justice of Occupation: Gideon Spiro - Hagada Hasmalit - transl. Daphna Levit - one hundred years in prison for the assassin of Zeevi 1/1/2008
The fascistization of IsraelYigal Laviv - Al Tzad Smol - In the Israeli public discourse, the Palestinians are tormenting Sderot and the surrounding area for no reason; for after all, Israel withdrew from Gush Katif. Nobody mentions the occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the annexation of Arab Jerusalem and the settlements, the dismemberment of the West Bank and the oppression of those who live there.27/1/2008
The People in Gaza Challenge Sham Peace ProcessJoel Beinin - Informed Comment - It appears that the Annapolis summit and the sham "peace process" it was supposed to have reinvigorated are dead -- killed by tens of thousands of unarmed Palestinians crossing the boarder into Egypt to meet their basic human needs.27/1/2008
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