|Flag of warning - about parts which don`t make a whole anymore||Alma Zohar - Yediot Aharonot - I will not hang a national flag in order to celebrate the danger of extinction.
|The Obama-Netanyahu Showdown||Robert Dreyfuss - The Nation - Zbigniew Brzezinski, the veteran strategist and hardliner -- who was Jimmy Carter`s national security adviser -- told a conference yesterday that in the history of US peacemaking in the Middle East, the United States has never once spelled out its own vision for what a two-state solution would look like. That, said Brzezinski, is exactly what President Obama needs to do. And fast.
|Not all is vanity ||Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - Part of the Israeli tastelessness, even regarding things as sacred as the remembrance of the dead, is reflected in the inability to limit leaders` babbling. Like the flags on the cars, they grow bigger every year, and every year fewer people put flags on their cars. ||29/4/2009|
|The Holocaust Connection ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - President Mahmoud Abbas was quick, efficient and to the point in his response. “It is not my job to give a description of the state. Name yourself the Hebrew Socialist Republic — it is none of my business,” he said on April 27 in Ramallah. “I do not accept it.” ||29/4/2009|
|No more make-believe in the Middle East||Norman H. Olsen -
CS Monitor -
"In lifting the veil on Israeli policy and the criticism-stifling fiction of US-Israeli mutual interest, Netanyahu leaves the US open, finally, to voice and pursue its own positions and interests." ||29/4/2009|
|Clinton’s Mideast Pirouette comments ||ROGER COHEN -
"I hear that Clinton was shocked by what she saw on her visit last month to the West Bank. This is not surprising. The transition from Israel’s first-world hustle-bustle to the donkeys, carts and idle people beyond the separation wall is brutal. If Clinton cares about one thing, it’s human suffering."
|The binationalism vogue ||Meron Benvenisti - Haaretz -Nothing serves the interests of Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman better than the demand that they recognize the principle of "two states." What happens if they agree to it? They do not intend to offer the Palestinians any proposals more generous than those Mahmoud Abbas already turned down in talks with Ehud Olmert. And in the meantime, they would have a free hand to expand settlements. Even the impassioned pleas for the Obama administration to finally enforce the "road map" lead to the same smokescreen of imagined progress toward a dead end.
|Living with the contradiction||Uri Avnery -
"A vast chasm stretches between the emotional reality of that time and the objective truth we know today."
|A country forever rebooting||Doron Rosenblum -
"Because all of a sudden everything is returning to square one - all the talk, plans, political activists, ways of life, fears and anxieties that we thought were behind us long ago."
|The ball is in Obama`s court ||Yossi Beilin - Bitterlemons - Obama believes and speaks like members of the peace camp in the US and the Middle East: the only question is, how determined is he to realize this vision. (...) The coming weeks will be critical.||28/4/2009|
|Not all is vanity ||Yitzhak Laor - Haaretz - (...) time for the bad-taste festival -replete with motifs of death and inflationary panic at the service of national politics.
|The Ahmadinejad doctrine||Sever Plocker - Ynet - The Iranian president`s narrative is not perceived as delusional or crazy in the Second and Third World (nor among the radical European Left.) On the contrary, it is perceived as legitimate within the confines of post-colonial discourse - the amelioration of a historical injustice caused by the UN in 1947. (...) In order to fundamentally curb the "Ahmadinejad solution" the Israeli government should secure peace agreements with the Palestinians and with moderate Arab regimes, in order to safeguard the State of Israel.
|A New Front in Gaza`s Conflict - Middle East Spies ||Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch - “On April 13, Israeli news interviewed Shimon Peres, who commended Egypt’s efforts at apprehending individuals active in the Iran-backed Hezbollah infrastructure in Egypt. Peres was quoted as saying, ‘Sooner or later, the world will realize that Iran wishes to take over the Middle East, and that it has colonial ambitions.’ Imagine that; such comments coming from a leader of a nation who up until this point, refuses to define its borders with designs on swallowing up all of historic Palestine. Colonial ambitions indeed”||27/4/2009|
|Why are we fooling ourselves?||Michael Mankin - Ynet - How can one seriously address a decisive conclusion that prompts us to feel good because the IDF hit “only” a few UN buildings? Should we cheer the surprising results showing that we killed innocents (as if this information is new to us)? And besides, is it appropriate for the deputy army chief to praise the “courage” of an inquiry which he himself led in respect to acts he himself was responsible for?||26/4/2009|
|Netanyahu`s diplomacy||Sergio Yahni - Alternative Information Centre - The ban on Hamas is eroding also in the U.S., where Martin Indyk, a former US ambassador to Israel who advised US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her presidential campaign, recently co-wrote a book chapter asserting that "a peace process that excludes" Hamas is "bound to fail."
|To Palestians: open letter||Farid Esack - Zmag - We continue to draw strength from the words of Nelson Mandela, the father of our nation and hero of the Palestinian people. In 1964 he was found guilty on charges of treason and faced the death penalty. He turned to the judges and said: "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities."
|Can two walk together?||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - I AM not saying that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is an agent of the Mossad.
|As victims, we`re allowed||Ariana Melamed -
Ynet / Middle East News Service - translated from Hebrew by Keren Rubinstein - "For too many years now we`ve been living within a false ethos of victimhood. In the name of those victims - those whose opinions were never sought - youths enshroud themselves in blue and white flags in Auschwitz and most of them immediately understand that a strong military is the key to our continued existence, but too few understand or question the benefit of such an army when our conscience is faltering."||25/4/2009|
|Gush-Shalom [Peace Block] on Ahmadinejad||Ad published in Haaretz||25/4/2009|
|Developing apart ||Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - In trying to understand the situation and any future potential for reconciliation it is important to understand the difference in the realities of the West Bank and Gaza. Both areas are under Israeli occupation, but in the West Bank the Israeli army is operating throughout Palestinian areas, including in densely populated cities and towns. Israel fully controls the land, the expansion of settlements and settlement infrastructure and other infrastructure such as water, electricity and road networks, as well as the separation wall. While Israel keeps the Gaza Strip under a comprehensive siege of its air, land and water boundaries, within the Strip Hamas exercises full control.
|Israeli Military Says Actions in Gaza War Did Not Violate International Law ||ISABEL KERSHNER - International Herald Tribune - Israeli and international human rights groups rejected the Israeli military’s internal investigations as inadequate. Human Rights Watch called Wednesday’s statement by the military “an insult to the civilians in Gaza who needlessly died.” The army leadership, the group said, is “apparently not interested, willing, or able to monitor itself.”
|Jerusalem`s mayor defends demolition of houses in Arab area||Rory McCarthy - The Guardian - Barkat said he wanted to improve the life of all the city`s residents, Jewish and Arab, but that he was committed to maintaining a Jewish majority. Jews make up around two-thirds of the city`s population. He said he could not accept East Jerusalem becoming the capital of a future Palestinian state. "Jerusalem, both ideologically and practically, has to be managed as a united city, as the Israeli capital, and must not be divided," he said.
|No hope left||Saleh Al-Naami = Al-Ahram Weekly - Al-Jamal doesn`t hesitate to hold Hamas and Fatah -- and their leaders -- responsible for the miserable situation he, his displaced family, and tens of thousands of other Palestinians are in. He told Al-Ahram Weekly, "If these leaders had the slightest sense of responsibility towards the Palestinian people, and particularly the families who have undergone the catastrophe of having their houses destroyed, they would have ended the rift between them and led the national dialogue to success."
|Another muted scream ||Sayed Mohamed Dhansay - The Electronic Intifada - The villagers, along with international and even Israeli demonstrators, have faithfully upheld their weekly protests every single Friday, without exception, for the last four years. While these demonstrations are strictly nonviolent and consist mainly of chanting, waving the Palestinian flag and attempting to access the confiscated land, the response from Israeli forces is always harsh.
|Together in pain; together in hope||Maha El-Taji Daghash and Shiri Barr - Common Ground News Service -“Independence” and “Nakba” are two sides of the same coin, because both Arabs and Jews call this land home, and both need to do the internal work necessary to manage existential fears and feelings of oppression and victimization. Both need to think of alternatives that will allow for mutual respect, freedom and equality for both sides. What excites us as organizers is that we are creating an occasion that is broader than the limitations set by particular historic events: a celebration of partnership, responsibility and inclusion.
|Killing and cruelty, but no genocide ||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The targeted assassinations, the separation fence, the mass detentions (some without trial), the blatant and systematic discrimination in employment and in the legal system, the ubiquitous racism - all need to be heeded as early warnings. In Germany, the society sunk into a moral coma, too. The alarm must be raised against this, as much as possible. But a Holocaust it is not. Even Cambodia, Rwanda and the Congo were not Germany and Poland. It`s almost embarrassing that one has to remind people that there is no policy of genocide and no Final Solution. There was ethnic cleansing, there is mass killing and systematic theft, but a Holocaust it is not.
|B’Tselem’s response to the Israeli Military’s investigations of operation “Cast Lead”||B`Tselem - Immediately following the publication of the conclusions, Minister of Defence, Ehud Barak stated that “the IDF is one of the most moral armies in the world”. He made an identical statement soon after the end of the operation. Similar statements, regarding the morality of the Israeli military and regarding the responsibility of Hamas for any harm to civilians, were made by Israeli officials throughout the operation and its aftermath, and it raises the suspicion that the investigations were chiefly aimed at proving these statements rather than ascertaining the truth.
|Human Tragedy on TV as a Catalyst for Change||YIZHAR BE`ER - Middle East Times - Almost every violent national conflict is retained in the public consciousness through an emblematic image which captures the essence of the story. The first Gulf war brought us the pictures of the poor oil-coated cormorants trapped in a slick in the waters of the Persian Gulf. In the second Intifada it was the boy, Mohammed al-Dura, who was caught in the crossfire between Israelis and Palestinians at Netzarim junction and killed in front of a French television camera. Etched in our memory from the most recent war in Gaza is the figure of Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Gazan doctor whose three daughters were killed by Israeli tank fire.
|Durban II: Ahmadinejad`s charade ||Seth Freedman - The Guardian - Ostensibly, the idea of an anti-racism conference is laudable – on paper, at least. However, as was seen during Durban I, and again at the very start of Durban II, the political winds swirling round the event were always going to leave Israel as the focal point of the wrath of the nations, relegating other equally desperate situations round the world to the status of mere footnotes, to the discredit of all parties involved.
|Palestinian olive oil`s Fairtrade journey ||Sarah Irving - The Electronic Intifada - In spring 2008, several years of careful negotiations finally culminated in the first Palestinian olive oil being awarded Fairtrade status. The oil, sourced from the Palestine Fair Trade Producers Company (PFTPC), based in the West Bank city of Jenin, is both the first Palestinian product to receive Fairtrade certification, and the first olive oil to be allowed to use the mark.
|How much Israeli Arrogance will the US Take? ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Our only hope is that President Obama and his administration are not always intimidated by Israel`s self-righteousness and audacity. For the new US President, this will certainly be a challenge given Israel`s new leaders. The Netanyahu/Lieberman partnership is an unpleasant union for the Palestinians, for sure. But we are, without a doubt, the underdog in this mix. The United States is not. It could reign in Israel`s arrogance, call it out on its transgressions and like a responsible parent, discipline it when necessary. Unfortunately, while the United States has the ability and the know-how to do this, it has so far lacked the will.
|Israel Puts Iran Issue Ahead of Palestinians||Howard Schneider and Glenn Kessler -
Washington Post -
"Iran, which unlike Israel has signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, has insisted it has a right to peacefully develop nuclear power and is not developing nuclear weapons capability."||22/4/2009|
|Word games ||Gideon Levy -
"To paraphrase David Ben-Gurion, it is necessary to tell the president of the United States now that it doesn`t matter what the Jews say, it matters what they do." ||22/4/2009|
|An Israeli achievement||Amira Hass - bitterlemons.org - One day, when the archives are opened, we`ll know just how calculated and planned the process [leading to the present Palestinian division] was.||21/4/2009|
|Two States - there is no way out for Netanyahu||Ben Kaspit - Ma`ariv - In the end, Binyamin Netanyahu will have no choice but to recognize the principle of two states for two peoples. And recognizing the priciple in theory without acting on it would also not be enough. Obama is forming a coalition against Iran. He has international backing, including the Arab countries, but he needs goods which only Israel can deliver. ||21/4/2009|
|Netanyahu`s new-old methods of stalling peace talks ||Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - You say that a new government needs a few weeks, perhaps months, to study the situation and to formulate its own peace policy. After all, the conflict with the Arabs is something completely new.||21/4/2009|
|Israel, Iran and Fear ||Roger Cohen - NY Times / IHT - "Closure is the overcoming of horror. It is the achievement of normality through responsibility. It cannot be attained through the inflation of threats, the perpetuation of fears, or retreat into the victimhood that sees every act, however violent, as defensive"||20/4/2009|
|A Lexicon of Disappointment||Naomi Klein - ZNet - "All is not well in Obamafanland. It`s not clear exactly what accounts for the change of mood. Maybe it was the rancid smell emanating from Treasury`s latest bank bailout. Or the news that the president`s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, earned millions from the very Wall Street banks and hedge funds he is protecting from reregulation now. Or perhaps it began earlier, with Obama`s silence during Israel`s Gaza attack"||20/4/2009|
|The suffering of Israel`s Mizrahis||Rachel Shabi - The Guardian - The tales of Jewish migrants from Arab countries challenge those who cling to a monochrome script of Arab against Israeli||20/4/2009|
|Gaza, remember?||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - It`s exactly three months since the much-talked-about war, and Gaza is once again forgotten. Israel has never taken an interest in the welfare of its victims. Now the world has forgotten, too. Two weeks with hardly a Qassam rocket has taken Gaza completely off the agenda. If the Gazans don`t hurry up and resume firing, nobody will take an interest in their welfare again.||19/4/2009|
|A little red light||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - PERHAPS Avigdor Lieberman is only a passing episode in the annals of the State of Israel. Perhaps the fire he is trying to ignite will flicker briefly and go out by itself. Or perhaps the police investigations into the grave corruption affair of which he is suspected will lead to his removal from the public sphere. But the opposite is also possible. Last week he promised his acolytes that the next elections would bring him to power.||19/4/2009|
|A step toward ending Israel`s impunity||George Bisharat - Baltimore Sun - The appointment of Richard Goldstone to head a United Nations fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip represents an important first step toward ending Israel`s impunity from international law. Mr. Goldstone - a former supreme court justice in South Africa and chief prosecutor in the international tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia - and three other esteemed experts will investigate both Israel and Hamas for possible offenses before, during, and after Israel`s invasion of Gaza.||19/4/2009|
| Red Rag weekly column||Gideon Spiro - State plunder under cover of racist law - no singing without serving in the army||19/4/2009|
|Israel`s Political and Moral Regression : The Curious Case of Benjamin Netanyahu ||Rannie Amiri - The Counterpunch - "Israel is regressing; not in age, but politically and morally. And as its enemies become involved in more constructive talks with the U.S. and Europe, Netanyahu – or whoever the prime minister may be – will inevitably seek to instigate a new crisis in order to justify continuing Israel’s aggressive policies.
|Reckoning nears for the US and Israel||Rami G. Khouri -
Daily Star - "The US has taken a courageous initiative in revising its policy of pressure, threats and boycotts towards Iran and Syria, and that policy will have more chances of succeeding if Israeli-Palestinian and wider Arab-Israeli peace talks proceed in parallel. A critical first step in that direction remains securing Israeli acceptance of equal and simultaneous rights for Palestinians and Israelis - rather than the failed policy of demanding a priori Arab recognition of core Israeli demands on security and statehood, before Arab rights can be discussed or Israeli colonization reversed.
|Non-Violence in Palestine: Timing and Intentions ||Ramzy Baroud - The Palestine Chronicle -
- `Where is the call for Israel to embrace non-violence?` ||18/4/2009|
|Netanyahu`s false promises||Henry Siegman -
"With all due respect, one has to wonder if Blair has lost all touch with Middle Eastern realities."||17/4/2009|
|Solving Palestine While Israel Destroys It ||KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON -
"Any thought of forcing Israel to cease its gross oppression of Palestinians, any thought of doing anything to deprive Israel of the carte blanche it enjoys, was apparently beyond these do-gooders."||17/4/2009|
|Israel to give UN`s Gaza probe cold shoulder ||Amos Harel and Yoav Stern - Haaretz - A senior official in the Foreign Ministry said that Israel will not allow the members of the delegation to enter the country, as the mandate given to it by the UN organization was "one-sided" and made no mention of the missile launches and other Hamas activity preceding and during the Israeli operation. "This is not principled and sweeping lack of cooperation with the UNHRC, and when the sun dawns again over that council we`ll cooperate," the official said. The decision means the committee will only be able to enter the Gaza Strip via Egypt, if the local authorities allow it through.
|How can you trust the cowardly BBC?||Robert Fisk - The Independent -Haaretz gave considerable space to the BBC`s findings yesterday. I`m not surprised. But why is it that Haaretz`s top correspondents – Amira Hass and Gideon Levy – write so much more courageously about the human rights abuses of Israeli troops (and war crimes) than the BBC has ever dared to do? Whenever I`m asked by lecture audiences around the world if they should trust the BBC, I tell them to trust Amira and Gideon more than they should ever believe in the wretched broadcasting station. I`m afraid it`s the same old story. If you allow yourself to bow down before those who wish you to deviate from the truth, you will stay on your knees forever.
|Investigating Israeli War Crimes in Gaza ||Stephen Lendman - Countercurrents - Israel willfully trapped 1.5 million Gazans during the conflict. Border crossings were closed, and Egypt (in compliance with Israel and Washington) refused to open the Rafah one. Israel claimed dropping flyers was enough. False. International law requires that advance warning be given and all precautions taken to protect civilians. Instead they were targeted in their homes, schools, mosques, work places, and UNRWA shelters.
|Neve Gordon`s `Israel`s Occupation`||Yehudit Keshet - Importantly, Gordon points out the underlying logic of the occupation – the separation of the Palestinian people from their land, and not simply by means of land expropriation for colonizing purposes. Already in the immediate aftermath of the Six-Day War, Meir Shamgar, then military advocate general, formulated a policy that ‘rejected the applicability of the 1949 4th Geneva Convention...to the OT’ (P.26) Shamgar maintained that since neither the West Bank nor Gaza had been sovereign areas prior to June 1967, they should be considered disputed rather than occupied territories. This position not only finds its place in Israeli policy, it is frequently voiced in public discourse; it denies the rights of Palestinians to their land and to political self-determination in that land.
|The rhetoric of "peace" ||Ziyaad Lunat - The Electronic Intifada - This mode of thinking -- that the Palestinians can simply be manipulated -- is too naive in its underpinnings. It is linked to an orientalist view of the lesser people, which sees them as devoid of principles, with the assumption that Palestinians with a full stomach will accept their condition of oppression. Israel has butchered the word "peace" with its many strands. Netanyahu`s latest proposal of an "economic peace" will go to the history books as one of the many failed attempts to control a people with a thirst for freedom and justice.
|Take a Moment to Remember the Prisoners ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - At present, there are close to 10,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. Many have been sentenced, some serving consecutive life sentences, some years and some months. Others are in administrative detention, which allows Palestinians to be held without charge in accordance to a ‘secret file’ for any length of time, usually for renewable six month stretches. According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, as of February, 2009 there were 560 Palestinians in Israeli administrative detention facilities, two people who have served over four years without ever being charged. As for children, classified as those under the age of 18, also according to B’Tselem, there were 346 as of February, 54 of them under the age of 16.
|Our Dissonance ||URI AVNERY -
" An abyss yawns between the emotional reality of those days and the historical truth as we know it now."
|Chance for an inclusive Israeli Left||DANIEL GAVRON -
J-lem Post -
"So we can expect four years of stalemate, where nothing really moves in the Israel-Arab arena."||14/4/2009|
|Bashing the academic Left||DAVID NEWMAN -
J-lem Post -
"The academic McCarthyism of the Right endangers Israeli democracy and society."||14/4/2009|
|The most moral army in the world. Fact ||Yitzhak Laor -
"... every Israeli poll about torture or atrocities would reveal, beyond a shadow of a doubt, simple truths: first, this can`t be so; second, it is right; third, they started it." ||17/4/2009|
|Time to think out of box||Dror Ze`evi -
"...does he expect to keep Arab residents without citizenship rights forever?" ||14/4/2009|
|Hamas Comes Out of Hiding ||PAUL McGEOUGH -
"...it has proved itself capable of negotiating with Israel — albeit through third parties."
|Ha’aretz: The Wish is the Father of the Thought||Reuven Kaminer - Hagada Hasmalit - “As Obama repeats vague ‘two-states’ Bushisms, Lieberman says ‘nyet’ and Netanyahu smiles since he is, of course, willing to work out a compromise between Obama’s pious wishes and Lieberman’s populist stubbornness. When Lieberman said no to Annapolis, Obama answered yes to Annapolis. Thus, the President of the US is reduced to exchanging barbs with a local Israeli racist criminal. This is, in the inimitable words of Hilary about Israeli house demolition in the East Jerusalem, simply ‘unhelpful’”
|A perilous situation||Abdel-Moneim Said - Al-Ahram - As Israel`s new government rejects in advance all prospects of peace, it will be Cairo that pays the final cost||13/4/2009|
|US envoy in fresh bid to kickstart peace talks||Vita Bekker - By Vita Bekker - "Mr Mitchell arrives as Washington finds itself increasingly at odds with Israel on the pursuit of Palestinian statehood. His visit also comes amid escalating pressure from the international community on the government of Mr Netanyahu, who became prime minister on March 31, to resume negotiations on the two-state solution for the long-simmering conflict with the Palestinians"||13/4/2009|
|US: Early Friction With New Israeli Govt||Jim Lobe - AntiWar - "Since taking office 10 days ago, the new government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been slapped down – at least, rhetorically – by the two most senior members of the Barack Obama administration, including the president himself"||13/4/2009|
|Israel investigated, but will it repent?||Ramzy Baroud - ZNet - Israel has denied almost every massacre it has committed. Those too obvious to deny, were "investigated" by Israel itself, which predictably, mostly found its soldiers "not guilty" or culpable of minor misconduct.||12/4/2009|
|The dark religious side of Israel||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - A few days after tens of thousands of Israelis raised their eyes to the heavens at dawn to honor "the return of the sun to the place it stood at creation," and millions of Israelis joyfully read out praise in the Passover Hagaddah for genocide - jihad by means of horrific plagues and drowning infants - it`s time to admit it: We live in a religious country. ||12/4/2009|
|The clash||Gush Shalom - weekly ad: Obama and Netanyahu are about to clash.||12/4/2009|
|One-state supporters make a comeback||Helena Cobban - IPS - President Barack Obama has spoken out forcefully - including this week, in Ankara, Turkey - in favour of building an independent Palestinian state alongside a still robust Israel. However, many Palestinians have noted that President George W. Bush also, in recent years, expressed a commitment to Palestinian statehood. But, they note, Bush never took the actions necessary to achieve such a state - and neither, until now, has Obama. Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to give very generous support to Israel - where successive governments have built Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank and taken other actions that make a viable Palestinian state increasingly hard to achieve.
|Barack Obama, torture enabler||Ted Rall - The USA is a nation of laws - laws enforced by Spain.||11/4/2009|
|Dennis Ross` Iran plan||Robert Dreyfuss - The Nation - Diplomats and Middle East watchers hoping Ross would be sidelined are wrong. He is building an empire at the State Department: hiring staff and, with his legendary flair for bureaucratic wrangling, cementing liaisons with a wide range of US officials. The Iran portfolio is his, says an insider. "Everything we`ve seen indicates that Ross has completely taken over the issue," says a key Iran specialist. "He`s acting as if he`s the guy. Wherever you go at State, they tell you, `You`ve gotta go through Dennis.`"
|Why Steve Rosen is suing AIPAC ||Antiwar.com - Grant F. Smith, Director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, discusses Steve Rosen’s lawsuit against AIPAC, the increasing political stakes in the upcoming Rosen/Weissman espionage trial, the questionable determination of Attorney General Eric Holder and the possibility that AIPAC’s function as a foreign agent will be openly discussed. (audio interview: 22 minutes)||11/4/2009|
|Jerusalem should be capital of Israel and the Palestinians||DPA - Haaretz - Jordan`s King Abdullah II pressed on Britain the need for "serious negotiations" between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu`s government and the Palestinians over a two-state solution on Thursday, in a meeting with the British Foreign Secretary. ||11/4/2009|
|Israel cries wolf||Roger Cohen - New York Times - “Iran is the center of terrorism, fundamentalism and subversion and is in my view more dangerous than Nazism, because Hitler did not possess a nuclear bomb, whereas the Iranians are trying to perfect a nuclear option.” Benjamin Netanyahu 2009? Try again. These words were in fact uttered by another Israeli prime minister (and now Israeli president), Shimon Peres, in 1996. Four years earlier, in 1992, he’d predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999.||10/4/2009|
|Lifting the Veil of Secrecy: Challenging Classified Evidence in Court||The Association of Civil Rights in Israel - On March 23, ACRI, together with The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, took an unparalleled step and withdrew a principled petition they had submitted to the High Court of Justice, in protest of the Court`s unprecedented resolution to base its decision on the constitutionality of the law on secret evidence presented by Israel`s General Security Service (GSS) - in the absence of the petitioners.
|Netanyahu and Threat of Bombing Iran -- The Bluff that Never Stops Giving?||Trita Parsi - The Huffington Post - Yet, the threat of military action, or rather the bluff, serves a purpose: Threats of military action militarizes the atmosphere. It creates an environment that renders diplomacy less likely to succeed -- it may even prevent diplomacy from being pursued in the first place.
| In the settlers` sights||Ben White - The Guardian - Those like Mazim Qumsiyeh, a professor, author and Beit Sahour resident, disagree with this assessment because "in our humble opinion the settlers are driven by their own agenda and aren`t driven by what Palestinians do or don`t do". Qumsiyeh believes that "pressure works", and points to places such as Bil`in and Ni`lin where activism has "slowed down" Israeli colonisation and brought about some changes in the path of the wall: "There have been no Supreme Court interventions in other cases where villages didn`t offer resistance, or weekly demonstrations."
|Israel and the Palestinians must assist the UN mission ||B`Tselem - Press Release - B`Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation’s mandate, which covers violations of international humanitarian law by both sides, in the Gaza Strip and in Israel.||9/4/2009|
|Israel’s Two-Sided Coin ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - Like 13 years ago, Netanyahu does not mince words. He is not a fan of the two state solution, or any political solution with the Palestinians, really. He would rather appease them with economic enticements, allowing them to “rule themselves” , that condescending phrase carried over from colonialist times that is based on a the racist notion that the party granting self-rule is more qualified to draw out the perimeters of the others capabilities because of their superior status. ||9/4/2009|
|Civil society shows its moral strength ||Adri Nieuwhof -
The Electronic Intifada -
"Israel does not recognize the authority of the ICC, because it wants to deal with war crimes in its own way."
|A dangerous mentality comes to the fore ||Ghassan Khatib -
Bitter Lemons -
"Lieberman has come up with two very controversial proposals."
|A sad report||Beny Gefen - AS I`VE WRITTEN BEFORE - OUR ONLY HOPE IS THAT OBAMA WILL FORCE US TO SANITY AND JUSTICE.||7/4/2009|
|US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine||Noam Chomsky - ZNet - "But why are we not allowed to listen to Hamas? Well, because they don`t meet three conditions that were established. One is, they have to accept the road map, which we and Israel reject, but they have to accept it, otherwise we can`t allow them into the civilized world. The other is, they have to renounce violence. Well, we don`t have to discuss the question whether the United States and Israel renounce violence, so we can put that aside. Third, they have to recognize Israel, but, of course, we don`t have to recognize Palestine, nor does Israel. So they have to meet three conditions that we don`t meet and that Israel doesn`t meet"||6/4/2009|
|Is the Power of AIPAC on the Decline? Was Gaza Israel`s Waterloo? ||John Goekler - CounterPunch - "Now, the denial many American Jews have maintained around Israel’s immoral and illegal behaviors is evaporating. True change, after all, occurs when the inconsistencies between actual and desired realities become too great – when the resulting tension compels action"||6/4/2009|
|An unhelpful discourse on Israel: Jeff Halper to Australian Jewry||Jeff Halper - "In my view, Israel is being used as the lynchpin of your ethnic identity in Australia; mobilizing around a beleaguered Israel is essential for keeping your kids Jewish. I would go so far as to accuse you of needing an Israel in conflict, which is why you seem so threatened by an Israel at peace"||5/4/2009|
|Israel: transforming international law by violating it||George Bisharat - San Francisco Chronicle/Commondreams - Since 2001, Israeli military lawyers have pushed to re-classify military operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip from the law enforcement model mandated by the law of occupation to one of armed conflict. Under the former, soldiers of an occupying army must arrest, rather than kill, opponents, and generally must use the minimum force necessary to quell disturbances.||5/4/2009|
|Israel on trial||George Bisharat - New York Times - Chilling testimony by Israeli soldiers substantiates charges that Israel’s Gaza Strip assault entailed grave violations of international law. The emergence of a predominantly right-wing, nationalist government in Israel suggests that there may be more violations to come.||5/4/2009|
|Who`s the boss?||Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - On the first day of the new Israeli government, the fog cleared: it’s a Lieberman government.
|UN: ex-prosecutor to lead Israel-Gaza probe||BRADLEY S. KLAPPER - AP News - According to the mandate, the investigation should focus on Palestinian victims of the three-week war between Israel and Hamas earlier this year. But Goldstone, a Jewish former judge of the South African constitutional court, said his team would investigate "all violations of international humanitarian law" before, during and after the conflict that ended Jan. 18.
|“WE ALL KNOW THAT ISRAELI SOLDIERS DON’T KILL ON PURPOSE”: THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE MEDIA DISCOURSE TO UNAWARENESS ||Keshev - The recent Gaza war, like the war that came before it, began with inflammatory, militant and jingoistic media coverage. Then, as now, troubling details about the conduct of the IDF were revealed only later. How the media discourse clouds public perceptions...
|Last Chance for Peace||GEORGE S. HISHMEH - Middle East Times - Netanyahu is due in Washington in May to meet with President Barack Obama. The Israeli prime minister will face a very different White House than his predecessor did when meeting with Obama`s predecessor. Obama will have just returned from his European tour where EU and Turkish leaders will most certainly share their growing concerns over the lack of progress in the Middle East and their reservations over Israel`s new foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman. The leader of the ultra-nationalist Israel Beiteinu party wants to administer an unprecedented oath of loyalty for all citizens, particularly the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel.
|The great irony||James Zogby -Al Ahram Weekly - It may be, as in Ireland, that a hardline Israeli coalition and a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas elements are the necessary preconditions for a real peace process to work. While Olmert and Abbas may have been able to reach a meeting of the minds, they could not deliver an agreement. The more complex situation ahead may be the step backward that enables forward movement in the peace process. It won`t be easy; but then peacemaking never is.
|Not an analogy: Israel and the crime of apartheid ||Hazem Jamjoum - The Electronic Intifada - I have argued that the question of whether apartheid applies cannot be determined by means of comparison with South Africa, but rather by legal analysis. This, however, does not mean that comparative study is not useful. Comparison is in fact essential to the process of learning historical lessons for those involved in struggle. A central point of comparison with South Africa is the fact that it was, and for the indigenous people of Palestine and the Americas, continues to be a struggle against colonialism.
|Responsible journalism series: Reaching people on both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide||Ghassan Rubeiz - Common Ground News - Another group of readers simply does not expect me, as an Arab, to strongly criticise other Arabs. The idea that “Arabs should not criticise each other in public” is out-of-date. The notion that Israel does enough damage to the Arab image, that Arabs should not add insult to injury, does not hold water. It is my deep belief that the Arabs’ lack of self-criticism is perhaps the most serious social problem that we have continued to ignore since liberation from the Ottoman Empire.
|Why are there no more worthy Zionists? ||Zeev Sternhell - Haaretz - The second reason is that here, unlike in Europe, there was no historic working class with a militant ideology, whose residual thought patterns remained even after it disappeared in its original form.
In the distant past, "working-class rule" was a code name for rule by the bureaucracy of the Histadrut labor federation, and "socialism" was a myth that was co-opted to conquer the land. From the start, the government was identified with the Histadrut and Mapai. Sixty years after the founding of the state, Labor still clings to power at any price. If partnership with Avigdor Lieberman is not too high a price, then no price is too high.
|Palestinian orchestra leader deported after death threats||Ben Lynfield - The Independent - The 50-year-old music teacher said she was unfazed and would continue her teaching "after the storm dies down". She says that the aim of last week`s performance in the city of Holon was not at all political and was designed to "revive the hearts of the elderly". "My calling is to serve the Palestinian cause and to prove to the whole world we are a people of culture and that we love music which is the language of peace," she said.
|Talking to Hamas||Robert Dreyfuss - The Nation - Given that the new Israeli government is an inflexible bunch of hardliners, the best area for the Obama administration to make progress in the Israel-Palestine conflict is for the United States to either encourage or accede to the creation of a Palestinian unity government.||26/4/2009|
|Empire and agency: "A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East" ||Muhammad Idrees Ahmad -
"...the political-strategic case for breaking with Israel is just as compelling as the moral one."
|Thank God, It Was Only Rumors ||STANLEY HELLER - Counterpunch - Thank God for that. Those shells were just rumors, the ones that hit the U.N. warehouse and the al-Quds Hospital. It wasn’t white phosphorus. The jellyfish-like white tentacles that are a signature for a white phosphorus burst were probably a Palestinian fireworks display. The Abu Halima family was wrong. There was no shell that exploded in their house killing four children. Human Right Watch made a mistake. It must have been a sandstorm or a jinn.
|Exposed, but still immune to pressure : an interview with Mkhaimar Abusada ||Mkhaimar Abusada - Bitterlemons - As for a ceasefire, as I understand it according to the coalition agreement between Netamyahu and Lieberman, the next Israeli government wants to put an end to Hamas rule in Gaza. I`m not sure whether or not Netanyahu can do this, but I don`t think Netanyahu will tolerate any rockets from Gaza. I think the relationship between Gaza and Israel under the new government will be a very aggressive one.
|Lieberman: Israel not bound by Annapolis; Palestinians not surprised ||Ma`an News Agency - During a Wednesday news conference Lieberman stressed that Israel was not bound by the Agreement, which called for a cessation of settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and aimed at building a separate state for Palestinians alongside Israel.
|Disposable justice ||Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The message to soldiers is just as clear: Kill as much as you please, no wrong will come to you, the army won`t even bother to look into it. Now, after 1,300 deaths in Gaza, the military advocate general confirmed this policy. Any adherent of the rule of law in Israel should have been shocked by this rash decision, but our army of lawyers is concerned with other things.
|This Time, Israel should Listen to the Arabs ||Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - At the Beirut Arab summit in 2002, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz presented the Arab Peace Initiative, which received the full backing from the 22 Arab member states. In a nutshell, the Initiative offers normalized relations between the Arab world and Israel in exchange for a full Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in the 1967 war. Given the fact that among the Arab states, only Egypt and Jordan have signed peace agreements with their Jewish neighbor, the initiative marked a major change in possible Arab relations and a softening of their staunch [albeit theoretical] stance that began after Israel`s creation in 1948. This was the first time that the Arab world officially recognized Israel and offered it "normalization" in the context of a comprehensive peace that would put the Palestinian problem – a nagging nuisance to the Arabs - to rest once and for all.
|Nation of citations||Aviad Kleinberg -
"...failure to kill innocents is perceived as such an unusual and surprising incident that it deserves a medal."
|Benjamin Netanyahu`s Recipe for Disaster||Alex Massie -
"In an ideal world Iran would not develop a nuclear capability. Of course in an ideal world, Bejamin Netanyahu wouldn`t be Prime Minister of Israel either." ||1/4/2009|
|Al-Sharq al-Awsat editor: Ahmadinejad only helps Israel||Roee Nahmias - Ynet - "How will the Iranian president`s speech contribute to the Palestinian issue or the good of the occupied Arab lands?" wondered Tariq Alhomayed, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic newspaper in an opinion article published on Tuesday. ||21/4/2009|
|Encountering Peace: Multilateral engagement, involvement and imposition||GERSHON BASKIN -
J-lem Post -
"...a future Palestinian state would have no control over its external borders, not be allowed to have an army, not be allowed to determine its own foreign policy, not have control over its airspace or its electro-magnetic sphere."||8/4/2009|
|Holocaust museum opens in Palestinian village ||Sharon Roffe-Ofir - Ynetnews - "The whole world knows what we don`t know because there`s no material in Arabic that explains about the Holocaust," said Mehamid. "I believe that only by learning about the Holocaust and understanding the magnitude of the tragedy can there be peace and security."
|Lieberman`s illusory view ||Haaretz - Editorial - In Lieberman`s illusory view, Israel is a superpower that can dictate its policy to the United States - "America accepts all our decisions" - and its international role is "to bring America and Russia closer." The foreign minister extends the spectrum of threats against Israel to include Pakistan and Afghanistan, which worry him even more than Iran||23/4/2009|
|Saving Lives in Gaza ||SONIA NETTNIN - Counterpunch - Gilbert’s perspective on the health and humanitarian conditions of the Palestinians comes not only from his recent experiences during Israel’s latest assault; but his many years of solidarity work in the region. He published his experiences in The Lancet. Americans should hear his investigative presentation, based on information from various news sources and eyewitness accounts. Part of the presentation involves actual recordings of gunfire, bombs and Israeli drones flying over Gaza during the attack.
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