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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    

Gideon Levy: The IAF, bullies of the clear blue skiesThey are only doing their job, as the saying goes, only following orders like bombing machines. In the past few days they have excelled at this, and the results are there for the entire world to see... Is it really the case that our pilots return safely to base, or are they in fact returning to them as callous, cruel and blind people? 31/12/2008
Secure ceasefire nowAmos Oz - Ynet - "A ground assault on the Strip could lead to entanglement in the Gaza swamp; compared to it, the Lebanese swamp is merely a puddle." 31/12/2008
Falk: Israel’s Attacks on Gaza IllegalWAFA - " United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Professor Richard Falk said that the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip represent “severe and massive violations of international humanitarian law as defined in the Geneva Conventions, both in regard to the obligations of an Occupying Power and in the requirements of the laws of war.” 31/12/2008
The dire cost of domestic rivalriesNeve Gordon - Guardian - " The first bombardment took three minutes and 40 seconds. Sixty Israeli F-16 fighter jets bombed 50 sites in Gaza, killing more than 200 Palestinians, and wounding close to 1,000 more...If the Israeli government really cared about its citizens and the country`s long term ability to sustain itself in the Middle East, it would abandon the use of violence and talk with its enemies. " 31/12/2008
Gaza: The Logic of Colonial PowerNir Rosen - Guardian - " Concepts like terrorism are invented and used normatively as if a neutral court had produced them, instead of the oppressors. The danger in this excessive use of legality actually undermines legality, diminishing the credibility of international institutions such as the United Nations. It becomes apparent that the powerful, those who make the rules, insist on legality merely to preserve the power relations that serve them or to maintain their occupation and colonialism. "31/12/2008
Pity I stayed home and did not go to the demonstration; that way I might have avoided this bloodBy Revital. Transl. Z. Kersh30/12/2008
Israeli electioneering with bombsJonathan Cook - "Livni and Barak pin their hopes on Gaza rampage"30/12/2008
Red Rag – Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - Red Rag – Weekly Column Dec. 21 - transl. G. Malent30/12/2008
Exception From Humanity - The War Against PalestineGeorge Salzman and Manuel Garcia, Jr. - CounterPunch - "In the logic of Zionist exceptionalism, there is nowhere within the limits of their territorial vision where Palestinians have `a right to exist.` What other kind of mentality could inflict modern aerial bombardment of essentially unarmed, corralled masses of people? Our world remains at Guernica, the Stukas and Heinkels are now F-16s and Lavi jets"30/12/2008
A Hundred Eyes for an Eye Norman Solomon - AntiWar - "’An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,’ Gandhi said. What about a hundred eyes for an eye?” 30/12/2008
Déjà vu in GazaB. Michael - YNET - "And again we hear all the great words about courage, surprise, sophistication, and success. Yet the nature of the ‘surprise’ we delivered against Hamas isn’t quite clear. I mean, did the group fail to deploy its airplanes? Did it fail to advance its armored corps in advance? Did it fail to deploy its Patriot missile batteries? Moreover, and there is no need to deny this, there is not too much glory and valor involved in flying over a giant prison and firing at its people using helicopters and fighter jets. So far we have seen sophistication and success mostly in the excited commentary of dozens of generals (res.) who again enjoy the limelight. As always"30/12/2008
How we like our leaders Amira Hass - "Take, for example, Imad Aqel Mosque in Jabalya refugee camp, bombed and strafed shortly before midnight on Sunday. These are the names of the glorious military victory we achieved there - Jawaher, age 4; Dina, age 8; Sahar, age 12; Ikram, age 14; and Tahrir, age 17, all sisters of the Ba`lousha family, all killed in a `precise` strike on the mosque. Another three sisters, a 2-year-old brother and their parents were injured. Twenty-four neighbors were wounded and five homes and three stores destroyed. This part of the military victory did not open our television or radio news broadcasts yesterday morning, nor did they appear on many Israeli news Web sites"30/12/2008
Does Israel Represent the Jewish People?Dan Lieberman - The Palestinian Chronicle - "Israel cleverly tries to use worldwide Jewry to promote its policies. Critics err by publicly pressuring Jewish communities to rally against Israel’s oppressive policies. Pressuring in private has benefits, but public demonstrations promote the concept that world Jewry is indirectly responsible for the oppression. The approach is counter-productive because it reinforces the belief of a close attachment of all Jews with Israel, arouses anti-Jewish sentiments and forces Jews to seek assistance from Israel"29/12/2008
Conflict managementJeffrey Halper - Ma`an News Agency - "The fact that the rocket attacks could have been avoided altogether through a genuine political process means that the people of southern Israel are being held hostage by their government, as well. Their suffering, and the suffering of the people of Gaza and the rest of the occupied territories, must be placed squarely at the feet of the Israeli government. Israel cannot expect security for its people and political normalcy as long as it occupies Palestinian lands and continues its attempt to impose its permanent rule over the Palestinians by military force"29/12/2008
Killing a two-state solutionThe Guardian - "A hammer blow is intended to terrorise and that is exactly what Israel did"29/12/2008
Anne Penketh: Lack of condemnation as good as approval for IsraelAnne Penketh - The Independent - "Israel will consider that it has a green light to pursue its strategic goal of bringing down Hamas in the Gaza Strip in the absence of international condemnation and a power vacuum in the United States for three more weeks"29/12/2008
AIC condemns deadly attacks on Gaza, calls for civil society mobilization, international sanctionsAlternative Information Center - The Alternative Information Center (AIC) condemns today’s deadly attack by the Israeli Air Force on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the killing of (at this moment) over 150 Palestinians. The AIC calls on social movements throughout the world to mobilize against these Israeli war crimes and demands that the international community implement sanctions against Israel and indict Tzipi Livni, Ehud Barak and other Israeli political and military leadership for these blatant war crimes, committed as part of Israel’s election process.28/12/2008
Yet another foolhardy warHagada Hasmalit - Translated by Sol Salbe - Once again Israel has gone to war to defend its “wounded national pride” and to rehabilitate the IDF’s power of deterrence. The government’s decision to go to war, as a superficial response to the problem of the Qassam rockets, reflects weakness. Instead of talking and negotiating and lifting the siege of Gaza, the government is using its military and technological advantages to avoid facing the political reality. In this way it resembles its American patron.28/12/2008
A congress of peace seekersUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “Gush Shalom” has acceded to my wish to mark my 85th birthday not with a public celebration, as on my 80th, but with a brain-storming session devoted to the main issues concerning Israel.28/12/2008
Gaza massacres must spur us to actionAli Abunimah - The Electronic Intifadah - "I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel`s latest massacres were broadcast around the world.28/12/2008
By 12:39, this Sabbath, `Operation Election Campaign` has killed 220 in Gaza.Gideon Gitai - Gaza timeline - "Regardless of what Ehud Barak said --he ordered the Israel Army and Air Force to provoke the Hamas into breaking the truce."27/12/2008
Robert Fisk’s World: How can anyone believe there is `progress` in the Middle East?Robert Fisk - The Independent - "What is this man talking about? "Building on progress?" What progress? On the verge of another civil war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, with Benjamin Netanyahu a contender for Israeli prime minister, with Israel`s monstrous wall and its Jewish colonies still taking more Arab land, and Palestinians still firing rockets at Sderot, and Obama thinks there`s "progress" to build on?"27/12/2008
Unprotected: Israeli settler violence against Palestinian civilians and their propertyOCHA Special Focus-"Settler violence quickly spread to other West Bank areas in protest of the evacuation: groups of settlers threw stones at Palestinian vehicles in more than 12 locations on the day of the evacuation and attacked Palestinian communities, setting fire to Palestinian property and land, cutting down olive trees, slashing vehicle tires and vandalizing other property. The IDF responded by staffing checkpoints and placing jeeps at strategic points to prevent settlers from entering Palestinian communities. Settler actions during and after the Al Rajabi house evacuation highlight trends in settler behavior identified through OCHA’s monitoring of settler-related activity in the West Bank. As this Special Focus indicates, settler violence is a regular occurrence, targeting primarily Palestinian civilians and their property, but also IDF soldiers."26/12/2008
Caution: Settlers AheadHANNAH MERMELSTEIN-CounterPunch-"So when the prime minister of Israel says that he is personally offended by the settler attacks, when he calls them pogroms, one wonders why the Israeli soldiers largely stood by and watched, or even accompanied the settlers on their attacks. One wonders why the perpetrators are not in prison (unless they also attacked soldiers). One wonders why the settlers have not been removed. And the answer is simple: These settlers serve the interests of the Israeli government."26/12/2008
Security Council undermines justice and UN CharterHasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah-The Electronic Intifada-"If the Security Council were minimally abiding by its own responsibilities it would refer Israeli political and military leaders to the International Criminal Court for arrest and trial at The Hague for these crimes as well as their escalating threats against an occupied, colonized people who have few means of self-defense. Indeed, the resolution does not even mention the word "occupation.""26/12/2008
We can always conquer GazaYossi Beilin - Ynet - "Avoiding a reoccupation of Gaza as long as this is not a must, and the release of Fatah prisoners, would make it easier for us..."24/12/2008
The Arabs` Deadly Silence - All Quiet on the Gazan Shore RANNIE AMIRI - Counterpunch - "Yes, crimes against humanity are being committed in Gaza according to a Jewish-American professor of international law, and nary a peep was heard from Cairo, Amman, Riyadh or Doha." 24/12/2008
US-led siege on Gaza pushes Arab leaders to drown Rice in JewelrySaed Bannoura - IMEMC - " Rice received gem-encrusted baubles worth $316,000 from King Abdullah II of Jordan, and King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia. ..Disappointments from the acts of Arab leaders are nothing new… and oh well… we standing alone, facing aggression, occupation, oppression and ongoing disappointments… well, what’s new in that! "23/12/2008
From Beirut to Gaza: Siege as an Israeli Policy Lubna Massarwa - AIC - "Between Qalandiya and Aram, hundreds of Palestinians are trapped between the Wall on one side and checkpoints on the other. […] Nablus, Hebron and other areas are also under Israeli siege, when the sole passage from these areas is under Israeli control. Israel combines a policy of separation with the creation of crowded and choked off populated areas. Accordingly, the struggle to break the siege is not the sole responsibility of the residents of Gaza, nor is it a struggle only against the existing humanitarian situation in Gaza; it is a struggle against the Israeli policy, a policy of siege through which Israel creates populated Palestinian areas that are cut off from each other" 22/12/2008
Message from Nurit Peled-Elhanan, Sakharov Prize 2001, shared with Izzat GhazzawiNurit Peled-Elhanan - "The pogrom being carried out by the thugs of the Occupation army against the residents of the Gaza Strip is known to everyone and yet the world is impotent as always. I call upon all of us, who have won a privilege as well as duty by receiving the Sakharov prize, to arise and go to Gaza and any other city of oppression and slaughter; to defy all blockades and high walls and not to give up until all barriers are broken."21/12/2008
Talk with HamasGideon Levy - Haaretz - Olmert`s trip to Turkey tomorrow over negotiations with Damascus is praiseworthy, but on his way to Ankara he should visit the Erez crossing with Gaza and call on Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to meet him for talks over the security situation and the Shalit prisoner exchange. That would change everything. Israel has nothing to lose. Our policy is such that we don`t talk to Abbas because he`s too weak and we don`t talk to Haniyeh because he`s too strong. 21/12/2008
Remove the blinkers and see the truthSeth Freedman - Comment is Free / The Guardian - " For two years on Cif, I`ve detailed the miscarriages of justice I`ve witnessed. But many are still convinced Israel can do no wrong"20/12/2008
Jewish Leaders: Condemn Settler Pogromsby Isaac Luria-J Street-"American Jews have a real obligation to speak out on settler extremism. Because, while mainstream Israelis recognize the necessity of reining in the settler movement, a large part of the money supporting the settlers` presence in Hebron is coming from right here in America. The Brooklyn-based Hebron Fund, for instance, has raised at least $6.6 million since 2002 to support the extremist Jewish community in Hebron [4] - and is actively undermining the possibility of a two-state solution with the Palestinians. " 19/12/2008
Israel`s coming test for ObamaWalter Rodgers - Christian Science Monitor - "Bibi might be tempted to try to overpower the freshman American president as Khrushchev did to Kennedy."17/12/2008
Gaza lull is dyingAlex Fishman - Ynet - "So now Israel is starting to build international legitimacy for a military blow in Gaza against Hamas." 17/12/2008
Encountering Peace: The emerging bi-national realityGERSHON BASKIN - J-lem Post - "Along with those settlers in their segregated communities comes a whole system of infrastructure, roads, public transportation, water, sewage, post offices, police and more." 16/12/2008
Invoking the Holocaust to Defend the OccupationJohn Mearsheimer - TPMCafe Book Club - review of Avraham Burg`s book "The Holocaust is Over". - `The Shoah is the weapon that Israelis and their supporters in the Diaspora use to fend off criticism and to allow Israel to continue committing crimes against the Palestinians. Burg writes: "All is compared to the Shoah, dwarfed by the Shoah, and therefore all is allowed -- be it fences, sieges, crowns, curfews, food and water deprivation, or unexplained killings. All is permitted because we have been through the Shoah and you will not tell us how to behave.` 13/12/2008
A message from Enid Gordon, from BethlehemEnid Gordon-"At 4.30am already between 500 and 800 men have assembled, some arriving as early as 1am in order to gain a place at the front of the queue. Vendors line the road selling bread, humus, coffee and tea. Bright security lights shine from above the wall, which stands nearly nine metres high. Parallel to the wall are two high rows of iron railings forming an 80 metre long corridor which feels and looks like a cage. Here the men wait and smoke and try to keep warm in the bitter cold night air. ..The wall has strangled the town’s economy and taken 87% of its land. "12/12/2008
Israel Must End the Gaza BlockadeBill Fletcher, Jr.-Black Commentator-"one need only read the April 2008 Vanity Fair article "The Gaza Bombshell" for a remarkable exposure of the US-led plot to carry out a coup against the Hamas government. Once Hamas got a hint of the plot, a semi-civil war unfolded which resulted in Hamas military units taking over Gaza, and the further splintering of Palestine."12/12/2008
Shame on Europe: The Upgrade in EU-Israel Relations Voids the Substance of the International Legal System Sergio Yahni - Alternative Information Center - Europe’s decision to upgrade its relations with the state of Israel and to award its apartheid regime is unsurprising. When Sarkozy’s policies aim to deport from France more “illegal” immigrants than the Vichy regime, when Berlusconi’s Italy fingerprints Gypsies and Eastern Europe criminalizes workers’ parties, we cannot expect from Europe but to condone deportations, pogroms and unlawful executions by Israel. 11/12/2008
Obama Ought to Stop Gaza SiegeGEORGE S. HISHMEH - Middle East Times - Israeli actions, official and unofficial, in the Palestinian areas are now facing tougher scrutiny. A European Union draft document has reportedly called for increased pressure on Israel to reopen Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem, including Orient House, which formerly served as the Palestinian Authority`s headquarters in the Holy City. "A key part of building the Palestinian state involves resolving the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of the two states," the French-authored document declares. 11/12/2008
Protecting Palestinian rights is a universal obligationKaren AbuZayd - Ma`an News - Fatality figures for the occupied Palestinian territory must surely make us question our commitment to upholding the right to life, that most fundamental of all rights, protected by a broad range of international legal instruments. More than 500 Palestinians have been killed this year alone, 73 of them children, as a result of the conflict; more than double the figure for 2005. Eleven Israelis have lost their lives this year. 11/12/2008
Behind Israeli Bars: Palestinian Child PrisonersJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - ccording to Israeli Military Order 132, a Palestinian child is defined as anyone under the age of 12. A teenager is between the ages 12-14, an adolescent 14-16, while an adult is any Palestinian aged 16 or above. Furthermore, according to Section 78 of Military Order 378, a Palestinian child can be detained by an ordinary, low ranking Israeli soldier or police officer for 96 hours. Afterwards, a child can be held for interrogation for eight days prior to being taken to Court through a formal detention order made by a higher ranking military official. A judge of the military court has the power to extend this period of detention for interrogation up to 90 days. A judge of the military court of appeals has the power to extend this 90 day period further, to a period of up to three months. (DCI) 11/12/2008
The EU`s blind eye to IsraelDavid Morrison - The Electronic Intifada - n April 2008, the European Commission, the EU`s secretariat, published a progress report on Israel`s implementation. It concluded that there had been "little concrete progress" on the issues cited in the 2004 action plan. Yet, just months after it reported this lack of "concrete progress," the EU took its decision to further "upgrade" its relations with Israel. 11/12/2008
Instead of AuschwitzAmira Hass - Haaretz - The committee coordinating the struggle to free Gilad Shalit went all the way to Auschwitz where, it is reported, its members distributed 888 yellow flowers. That was in October, and we can only hope that this media gimmick will not be repeated, either because an agreement will be reached in the near future or because the organizers will understand how lacking in taste that move was.11/12/2008
Tel Aviv turns rightKhaled Amayreh- Al Ahram Weekly-"..the bulk of party (Likud) members are opposed to the peace process as well as the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. Some actually support ethnic cleansing of non-Jews from Palestine-Israel."I think this man (Netanyahu) represents real Zionism that believes in ethnic cleansing of non-Jews in this country. He does speak smoothly to a Western audience, but in terms of his real thinking, he doesn`t differ much from Meir Kahana.""10/12/2008
The man who would tear down `scaffolding` of ZionismPATRICK MARTIN-Globe and Mail-""Give me a break, Mr. Netanyahu," Mr. Burg says. "Did we have a state in `38? Did we have an omnipotent army in `38? Did we have the entire Western superpower world supporting us in `38? No we did not." "And to equate Ahmadinejad to Hitler is actually diminishing Hitler," he insists."10/12/2008
Encountering Peace: Who owns the water?Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - Every project concerning water in the West Bank and Gaza requires the approval of the JWC. This is not the case for any water project in Israel, even though the same water resources are in question. Israel relates to all of the water resources, which are all essentially shared, as under its exclusive ownership. 9/12/2008
Extreme Right, settlement-friendly candidates do well in Likud primariesAttila Somfalvi - Y-Net - Netanyahu`s ploy in the past weeks was to present a galaxy of "stars" adhering to the Likud, who were intended to give the party a "moderate, right of centre" image. This was foiled by the organized extreme right faction of Moshe Feiglin, active as "a party within a party", succeeded to get many of its nominees placed in prominent positions in the Likud list of candidates and push aside Netanyahu`s favourites. 9/12/2008
The Holy Land Foundation Convictions - Perverse Justice Wajahat Ali - CounterPunch - "The Bush administration`s `war on terror` paraded a feather in its tattered cap with the Holy Land Foundation convictions delivered last week. Most observers accurately characterised this legal charade as a witch hunt, using Muslims and Arabs, specifically Palestinians, as its targets. In doing so the administration shamelessly abuses to advance its failed security measures and pro-Israel policy initiatives that systematically punishes Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank"8/12/2008
Longing for the settlers of yore Zvi Bar`el - Haaretz - “It was quiet in Hebron before the army decided to evacuate the ‘House of Domination,’ the elders of the settlements lamented last week, as if they had managed after generations of efforts to set the rules of the game and a ceiling for protection money. Everything was so wonderful, the Arabs knew their place, the torched vegetable stand knew what crime it had committed and the soldiers knew whose orders were supreme. Now the leftist High Court comes along with the damned police and they mess it all up”8/12/2008
The "other", older Palestinian coup d`etatNicola Nasser - Alternative Information Center - On 23 November, PA President Abbas convened the rubber stamping Fatah-dominated Central Council of the PLO in the West Bank city of Ramallah to elect him also President of the State of Palestine. 7/12/2008
Sanctions now - upgrading, Hell no!Michael Warschawski - Alternative Information Center - “Gaza is burning,” writes French activist Liliane Cordova Kaczerginski, using the very words of a famous song of a Jewish village destroyed by the Nazis. Like sixty years ago, Gaza is burning and the world is silent, waiting for the outcome of a non-existent peace process.7/12/2008
Israel`s occupationAudio interview with Prof. Neve Gordon7/12/2008
Will he meet the challenge? Obama could end the Israeli-Palestinian conflictYinon Cohen and Neve Gordon - Counterpunch - As Barack Obama enters the oval office he will face a series of daunting challenges. One of these is confronting the age old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been seriously, yet unsuccessfully, tackled by every American president since Jimmy Carter. The inability to reach a peaceful solution has not only had fatal repercussions for the people residing in Israel and the Occupied Territories, but has also been detrimental to Middle East stability and to vital US interests in the region. 7/12/2008
Action, not wordsKaren AbuZayd - Commondreams/The Guardian - The noble spirit of the universal declaration of human rights is betrayed by a lack of help for Gaza7/12/2008
Robert Fisk’s World: Whenever I`m in Tajikistan, my mobile phone says I`m in DubaiRobert Fisk - The Independent - Just look how we’ve forgotten the CIA’s secret prisons in Afghanistan7/12/2008
Memo for ObamaUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - The following humble suggestions are based on my 70 years of experience as an underground fighter, special forces soldier in the 1948 war, editor-in-chief of a newsmagazine, member of the Knesset and founding member of a peace movement.7/12/2008
Obama`s Victory and What It Means to UsMiko Peled - `Instead of fighting to end the occupation, we must bring an end to apartheid.` 6/12/2008
My Palestinian WifeCharley Reese-LewRockwell-"Yes, Jews used terrorist tactics against the British occupation, and now Palestinians are using terrorist tactics against the Israeli occupation....All Americans should feel a great deal of sympathy for the younger generations of both Palestinians and Israeli Jews. These young people were born into a conflict started by people long dead or now in their dotage. The issue is simple: It`s land. Both sides are dying over land. Unless some outside power forces an agreement on them, they will go on dying, generation after generation after generation."5/12/2008
Renegotiating the ceasefireGhassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Why does a ceasefire that lasted successfully for five months face these problems only a month before it was due to end or be extended? The answer would seem rooted mainly in domestic Israeli politics and to a lesser extent in Gaza. This is primarily because Israel is the determining factor in deciding the state of relations with Gaza, whether peaceful or violent. Hamas, furthermore, has benefitted from the ceasefire and is clearly interested in renewing it, particularly because the calm enabled the Islamist movement to consolidate its power in Gaza.4/12/2008
Palestinian youth `should be heard`Alex Sehmer - Al Jazeera - The Palestinian leadership needs to know "when to step aside" and make way for younger leaders, Hanan Ashrawi, the noted Palestinian legislator and rights advocate, has said in an interview with journalists and students in Doha.4/12/2008
Recipe for a Riot: Parsing Israel`s Yom Kippur UpheavalsPeter Lagerquist - Middle East Report - Tawfiq Jamal was hauled in front of a Knesset Committee to expiate his transgression of Jewish religious norms, which he did, profusely. Upon his return home he was arrested, after his son had been similarly detained, on charges of driving too quickly, hurting religious sensibilities and endangering life -- presumably his own. Next in the dock were Arab community leaders in Acre, eleven of whom volunteered a letter apologizing on Tawfiq`s behalf for affront to Jewish religious beliefs. Mayor Lankry, as well as the city`s main rabbi, who felt transported to "Nazi Germany" by the riots, declined to accept the apology. Carried by the media and the machinery of state, the blame for what had happened had finally settled squarely on the "Arab sector" writ large. 3/12/2008
Try Tough Love, HillaryROGER COHEN - NYTimes - " Getting to such a two-state deal at, or close to, the 1967 borders will require concerted U.S. involvement from day one of the Obama administration. Its tone should be one of tough love, with the emphasis on tough. "3/12/2008
Report: Israel to release 250 while it kidnapped 330 Palestinians last monthPalestinian Information Center - Palestinian citizens kidnapped during the last month included more than 60 minors and a number of women from Gaza, faction leaders, activists, journalists and students2/12/2008
About contours of the desirable and possible, and the lacking political willAfif Safieh - Palestinian Embassy, Moscow/Annie`s Letters - The major flaw in the peace process was leaving it to the local parties to sort it out, which allowed the Israelis to be under the illusion that they could dictate and decide the ceiling of the possible and of the permissible. That they could decide the pace of progress. And we were left to negotiate at the mercy of a suffocating balance of power. The international community forgot that in matters of war and peace, the international will should prevail over a national whim. 2/12/2008
The lesser of two evils
or: How to tell it to Israelis [ed]
Joshua Gleis - Jerusalem Post - Marwan Barghouti is going to be set free, either now as a goodwill gesture to Abu Mazen or later as part of the prisoner exchange with Hamas. The only question is who on the Palestinian side will get the credit.2/12/2008
Gaza Strip blockade immoral, won’t put end to Qassam attacksOrly Noy - Ynet - President and Nobel Prize Laureate Shimon Peres (...) would do well to also listen to the words of another Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mairead Maguire, who called for revoking Israel’s UN membership in light of its blatant disregard for resolutions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.2/12/2008
Is Anyone Listening? Gaza`s Death Throes Sonja Karkar - CounterPunch - "What is truly astonishing is the world’s silence in the face of all this. The shameful rush to grant Israel every honour and recognition so that it will be saved from the historical ignominy of having orchestrated the destruction of Palestinian society, is nothing short of unconscionable"1/12/2008
Cluster Bomb Treaty and the World`s Unfinished BusinessRamzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle - "The cluster munition industry is thriving. The weapon was used in massive quantities by the US army in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel in Lebanon and both parties in the S. Ossetia conflict. The British also used it in Iraq, making handsome deals with the weapons’ Israeli manufacturer"15/12/2008
Equal before BeethovenDaniel Barenboim - The Guardian - In the realistic utopia of this orchestra, Israelis and Arabs learn the music of human rights15/12/2008
With elections in February, Israel searching for its ObamaDion Nissenbaum - McClatchy Newspapers - "But the mad rush by Israeli politicians to wrap themselves in Obama sloganeering hasn`t obscured an uncomfortable reality recognized by most pundits: There is no Israeli Obama poised to become a transformative voice in the Middle East. [...] If there were to be an Israeli Obama, some think the leader would have to come from among Israel`s Arab minority - an idea that isn`t within the realm of possibility in the current political climate"15/12/2008
The one-state solution: succumbing to despair?George Malent - Occupation Magazine - "One can understand the appeal of the OSS. At first glance it looks like an elegant solution to an intractable problem. The proposed OSS would not involve a futile Arab military struggle against the overwhelming military superiority of the State of Israel; rather, it would use the State of Israel’s own military strength against it." 14/12/2008
An Israeli in Gaza: interview with Jeff HalperFrank Barat - Jeff Halper - Counterpunch - "We all received a tremendous welcome from the Palestinian Gazans – 40,000 came out to greet us as we entered the port! As, unfortunately, the only Israeli Jew (two more have since sailed to Gaza), I was sought out by Gazans who wanted to communicate with me – in Hebrew – how much they yearned for a just peace in which all the inhabitants of the country could live together in peace. I was struck by how non-political their discourse was. No accusations, no political programs, just a deep desire to get beyond this superfluous conflict to a life good for everyone. This, it seems to me, is a solid foundation upon which a just peace can be built."14/12/2008
Tzipi`s nation-stateUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - It sounds like an invented story. And indeed it is. In this tale, an American politician gets up and declares: "The United States was founded by British Protestants who were persecuted in Europe for their Puritan beliefs. Therefore, the United States is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant state."14/12/2008
60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the pogrom of 5769 – state terrorism.Gideon Spiro - Red Rag (column) - On 10 December 1948 the world experienced a moment of grace when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. East and west, north and south united around that magnificent document. Since then that date has been commemorated as International Human Rights Day. 21/12/2008
How a shoe put the boot to Bush`s Iraq legacyOlivia Ward - Toronto Star - U.S. claims of progress after `surge` ring hollow amid angry protests21/12/2008
Spot the differenceUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - A man was asked about his sons. “I have three,” he said, “but one of them is a complete idiot.” “Which one?” they asked. “Take your pick,” he replied. In 51 days, we shall vote for a new Knesset and a new government. Three big parties are competing for the prize: Kadima, Likud and Labor. From there on, see the joke.20/12/2008
Hurtling towards a showdown in GazaMarwan Bishara - Al Jazeera20/12/2008
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