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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
Loyalty to racismAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram - " Israel`s attempt to legislate loyalty to the Jewish state is proof of the failure of the Zionist/colonial project of Israelification...Naturally, no state, however totalitarian it may be, can impose love and loyalty for it by force, let alone a colonialist state that would like to force this on the indigenous inhabitants it had reduced to a minority on their own land. Certainly it would be much easier for Israel to prohibit manifestations of disloyalty than to legislate for forced manifestations of loyalty. "20/6/2009
Arab world sees settlement row as test of Obama`s credibility Akiva Eldar -Haaretz - " Jewish peace organizations and Israeli peace activists are making sure Netanyahu`s representatives and the Jewish lobby don`t feed Obama tales about "natural growth" and worthless commitments by Netanyahu. " 20/6/2009
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Israel`s Crimes, America`s SilenceJohn Dugard - The Nation - The past twenty years have brought important developments in international law in respect to accountability for international crimes. Yet Israel has possibly secured impunity for itself by failing to become a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Nevertheless, its actions may still be judged by the court of public opinion. 18/6/2009
Jealous of the Iranians Gideon Levy - Haaretz - But while Iran`s women are taking a risk and demanding that their voice be returned to them, Israel`s women are wrapping themselves in silence, from the mall to the parking lot. As Tehran`s men cry out "Where is our voice?", here they ask "Where will our next vacation be?" Here in the SUV, there in the streets. Here in front of the stupefying television screen, there in front of the forces of evil. Here in darkness, there in the light of popular protest18/6/2009
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Dexia Israel stops financing Israeli settlementsMartijn Lauwens - The Belgian-French financial group Dexia has announced it will no longer finance Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territorie through its Israeli branch Dexia Israel. This is the result of a months-long campaign in Belgium, supported by NGO’s, political parties, local authorities, trade unions and other organisations. Dexia’s management states that financing Israeli settlements is indeed against the bank’s code of ethics and it will stop giving loans due to this. 18/6/2009
Investigating the InvestigationRela Mazali - New Profile - The series "Investigating the Investigation" hopes to invert the direction of the jailer`s gaze. In these updates, those under investigation, we ourselves, will turn our gaze on the investigators – both the institutions and the people – and follow the reality of investigation in detail. We will be documenting some of the personal experiences, affects, implications, insights and thoughts of those being investigated – both of the men and women who were interrogated by police, who physically sat in front of them and answered questions and of other members of New Profile who are all subject, as a movement, to investigation. 18/6/2009
A farcical position on statehood Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Some reactions dwelt on Netanyahu`s supposed acceptance of the idea of a Palestinian state. But the way he dealt with that issue was farcical. He started by emphasizing his belief that the West Bank and Gaza are part of the historical home of the Jewish people. However, he said, because of the Palestinian presence, Israel had to cede some ground on the Jewish people`s historic rights to those lands. Thus, if Palestinians would recognize Israel as a Jewish state, accept a demilitarized entity, allow Israel and international actors to maintain control over Palestinian borders and air space, accept that Jerusalem be the "undivided" capital of Israel and agree to solve the Palestinian refugee problem outside of Israel`s borders, then he would accept that Palestinians raise their own flag, play their own national anthem and call the areas under their control a state.18/6/2009
We `Dirty Arabs` Have Had Enough Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - This is certainly not the first time an Israeli political or religious figure insults Palestinians or calls them some degrading name. In 2001, the spiritual leader of Shas, Ovadia Yosef called Palestinians snakes and called on God to "annihilate Arabs." In an interview with the Israeli daily Maariv, he said, "It is forbidden to be merciful to them, you must give them missiles, - annihilate them. Evil ones, damnable ones." 18/6/2009
Netanyahu`s "brilliant" peace plan Hasan Abu Nimah and Ali Abunimah - The Electronic Intifada -It would be nice if we could really dismiss Netanyahu`s speech as a joke. But it is an important indicator of a hard reality. Contrary to some naive and optimistic hopes, Netanyahu does not represent only an extremist fringe in Israel. Today, the Israeli Jewish public presents (with a handful of exceptions) a united front in favor of a racist, violent ultra-nationalism fueled by religious fanaticism. Palestinians are viewed at best as inferiors to be tolerated until circumstances arise in which they can be expelled, or caged and starved like the 1.5 million inmates of the Gaza prison.18/6/2009
Lieberman rejects settlement freeze Al Jazeera - Lieberman rejected a renewed call by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, to halt construction on Palestinian land, following talks between the two in Washington on Wednesday. "We cannot accept this vision about an absolutely complete freezing of settlements," he told a news conference. 18/6/2009
Week 2193 of OccupationDaniel Breslau - Occupation Magazine - Benjamin Netanyahu`s speech of Sunday, 14 June, added the words "Palestinian State" to a policy of continuing occupation, colonization, blockade, and repression. Trying to bridge the demands of the US with those of his right-wing government, he emphasized that a Palestinian State would be part of an arrangement that does not come close to recognizing the rights of Palestinians as they are understood around the world. Netanyahu`s adoption of the two magic words does not appear to have placated his audience in Washington. 18/6/2009
`Palestinians` without `Palestine`Ira Chernus - Foreign Policy In Focus - "He used the word "Palestinians" 27 times, but "Palestine" not once." 17/6/2009
Netanyahu`s message is there will be no peace here David Grossman - Haaretz - "He did not look the settlers in the eye and tell them what he knows full well: that the map of the settlements contradicts the map of peace."17/6/2009
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Bill Clinton: Netanyahu speech is opening actAP - Ynet - Tough terms laid out by prime minister in Bar Ilan speech `just the opening play in a drama that will have a few more acts.`16/6/2009
Limiting a Palestinian stateLamis Andoni- Al Jazeera - " Asking the Arabs and the Palestinians to recognise that Israel is the historic "Jewish homeland" is paramount to demanding that the Arab, Muslim and Palestinians themselves recant their own history, roots and identity...He laid out a vision for an isolated and besieged Palestinian entity that would have no control over the land beneath it, nor the skies above it." 19/6/2009
Israel’s Foreign Minister Cozies Up to MoscowClifford j. Levy - NY Times / International Herald Tribune - "This week, Mr. Lieberman is to visit Washington for talks with American officials, but Mr. Obama is not scheduled to see him. In Russia, by contrast, Mr. Lieberman had a parade of meetings with Prime Minister Putin, President Dmitri A. Medvedev and others. And Mr. Lieberman went to Russia before Washington"15/6/2009
Netanyahu, Mideast peace and a return to the Axis of Evil Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The prime minister`s speech last night returned the Middle East to the days of George W. Bush`s `axis of evil.` Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a patriarchal, colonialist address in the best neoconservative tradition: The Arabs are the bad guys, or at best ungrateful terrorists; the Jews, of course, are the good guys, rational people who need to raise and care for their children. In the West Bank settlement of Itamar, they`re even building a nursery school"15/6/2009
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The same old babbleAriana Melamed - YNET - Netanyahu’s speech a blend of tired clichés we’ve been hearing for decades15/6/2009
Israel should heed the clamour for peaceThe Observer, Editorial - " Israel`s interests are served by the increase of US influence elsewhere in the region, which means acknowledging the wisdom of Mr Obama`s moderate stance towards Iran and the Arab world...Mr Netanyahu could shore up the strategy by making concessions of his own. That is the hope. But experience of the Middle East warns against indulging it. "14/6/2009
A sign of optimism for Palestinian freedomMustafa Barghouthi - Ma`an - " American military aid to Israel may have to be threatened before Netanyahu`s government will agree to a real freeze. The Washington I have known, while often privately supportive of Palestinian aspirations for freedom, will cringe at the prospect of sanctioning Israel. .. But will Netanyahu and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have more say with the U.S. Congress than the president? I do not believe they will...Yes, Israel continues to lurch toward consolidating apartheid. But I have every confidence that this American president will insist on a different path. "14/6/2009
Carter: Netanyahu faces clash with Obama over peace process Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - " "Begin promised me - and Sadat - very clearly that there would be no more settlement building during the time of peace talks," Carter said. "It wasn`t easy to get it, but Begin made that commitment. Shortly after we left Camp David, Begin maintained that his presumption was that peace talks would be over in three months. Obama promised as best as he can to have a comprehensive peace before the end of his term, 2012..."To me, the most grievous circumstance is the maltreatment of the people in Gaza, who are literally starving and have no hope at this time. "14/6/2009
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Some unclean drops to drinkMel Frykberg - EI - " "It`s a vicious cycle. They refuse to supply more water until the infrastructure is upgraded, but refuse to issue the necessary permits for the upgrading to take place," Barghouti told IPS. The Israeli human rights group B`Tselem says the average per capita consumption for household and urban use in the Palestinian communities is about 60 liters a day, while consumption in Israel is 280 liters a day. "13/6/2009
From Cairo with loveAzmi Bishara - Al-Ahram - " Colonialist hypocrisy was hardly invented by the new US president. Take Napoleon... At the beginning of his expedition against Egypt in 1798, Napoleon addressed the sheikhs and scholars of Al-Azhar and opened what he had to say with the declaration of faith. According to the Egyptian chronicler Abdel-Rahman Al-Jibarti, Napoleon proclaimed, "In the name of God, the Just, the Merciful; there is no God but He..."13/6/2009
"Boycotts work": An interview with Omar BarghoutiThe EI - " most of the weapons developed by the Israeli army are done through the universities, most of the research justifying the repression of the Palestinians and denial of Palestinian rights is done by academics in the universities in academic programs... Our 60 years of experience with Zionist colonial oppression and apartheid has shown us that unless we resist by all means -- particularly through civil resistance -- to force Israel into a pariah status in the world, like South Africa was turned in the 1980s, there is no chance of advancing the prospects for a just peace. "12/6/2009
Waiting expectantly Ghassan Khatib - Bitterlemons - Obama`s speech went much deeper than others in diagnosing regional problems, referring, for example, to the negative impact of globalization in the region, which has swept in western cultural domination and all the resulting negative social and economic implications. This nod, together with prescriptions for improving and investing in education and women`s issues, shows a level of understanding that the people of the region are not used to in American rhetoric. 11/6/2009
Netanyahu to say "yes to roadmap, no to settlement freeze"Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agecnies - Netanyahu will voice support to the resumption of peace talks, but under the condition that the talks would lead to the establishment “of a self government that does not pose any threat to Israel”. 11/6/2009
Meanwhile, back in Israel Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The Palestinians, who cannot travel from one village to another without permission from Israel, who have no basic human rights and who have been trampled underfoot, humiliated and imprisoned without any sign of sovereignty, are already living as a free people in their country. If the defense minister really thinks so, then there is grave cause for concern: Mr. Security is deranged and has lost touch with reality. If he doesn`t think so, then he`s messing with us. Which is worse? 11/6/2009
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Universal jurisdiction once again under threat Sharon Weill and Valentina Azarov - Electronic Intifada - Amendments to universal jurisdiction laws, as well as the actual initiation of investigations by the state prosecutors, have historically been markedly affected by public opinion and action. Pressure of such kind stands to be the most effective means of ensuring that justice is achieved for the victims, and the law is upheld against those who have violated it. This is particularly important when international war crimes and crimes against humanity are at issue. 11/6/2009
Half-measures in the war on terror: An Israeli perspectiveMORDECHAI KREMNITZER AND YUVAL SHANY - J-lem Post - "...thinking on how to reconcile long-term - perhaps permanent - counterterrorism measures with basic democratic principles..." 10/6/2009
The Peril of Forgetting GazaSara Roy - Harvard Crimson - "What possible benefit can be derived from an increasingly impoverished, unhealthy, densely crowded, and furious Gaza alongside Israel?"10/6/2009
Obama leaves settlers with stark choice - apartheid or a bi-national state Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - "The Land of Israel is more important than the State of Israel"9/6/2009
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Turning Point?Noam Chomsky - ZNet - "... the unparalleled services that Israel provides for US militarism and global dominance [...] afford Israel a certain leeway to defy Washington`s orders - though it is skating on thin ice if it tries to push its luck too far, as history has repeatedly shown. So far the jingoist extremism of the current government has been constrained by more sober elements: for example, the shelving of the proposals to require a loyalty oath and to prevent citizens from commemorating the Nakba - the disaster for Palestinians in 1948. But if Israel goes too far, there might indeed erupt a confrontation of the kind that many commentators perceive today, so far, with little basis"8/6/2009
Fool`s Gold in Israel / Palestine - Oslo Redux Remi Kanazi - CounterPunch - "In addition to Washington’s tired strategy being an affront to democracy—and proving to be a complete disaster during the Bush years—it will do little but further stoke tensions and violence between Hamas and Fatah. Furthermore, receding back to Camp David 2000 or the inane Oslo process, where on-the-surface issues of occupation were heralded as the only grievances, does little but put a band-aid on a patient needing an amputation"8/6/2009
Nothing comes from nothing: Cairo - a post-mortemJohn V. Whitbeck - Counterpunch - Obama obviously believes that America`s unchanged objectives with respect to the Muslim world are more likely to be pursued successfully by being polite and complimentary than by being rude and intentionally insulting. But the mood-music paragraphs dealt with atmospherics or the past. When it came to the present and the future and to concrete matters of American objectives and policies, there was nothing new. Nothing hopeful. Nothing.7/6/2009
Don`t carp, organize. Our convoy to GazaGeorge Galloway - Counterpunch - While Hugo Chavez expelled the Israeli ambassador to Venezuela, the leaders of the Arab League, with a handful of exceptions, spent those murderous weeks in December and January scarcely summoning even the synthetic indignation that has so often attended previous bloody episodes in the Palestinian tragedy. 7/6/2009
Obama in Cairo: high words, low truthsAlexander Cockburn - Counterpunch - There are fine words. There are facts on the ground, and they often strayed far from each other in Obama’s big speech. One 1000-pound bomb or remote-controlled drone trumps 10,000 words on rhetoric about peace. 7/6/2009
Obama emerged in Cairo as a true friend of IsraelGideon Levy - Haaretz - No one can ignore the speech given by Barack Obama: The mountain birthed a mountain. Obama remained Obama. Only the Israeli analysts tried to diminish the speech`s importance ("not terrible"), to spread fear ("he mentioned the Holocaust and the Nakba in a single breath"), or were insulted on our behalf ("he did not mention our right to the land as promised in the Bible").7/6/2009
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Words that could heal wounds of centuriesRobert Fisk - The Independent - Preacher, historian, economist, moralist, schoolteacher, critic, warrior, imam, emperor. Sometimes you even forgot Barack Obama was the President of the United States of America. 7/6/2009
Changing the discourse: first step toward changing the policy?Phyllis Bennis - Znet - Obama moved the discourse significantly by his linking the Palestinian struggle to that of the U.S. civil rights movement and those in South Africa. This gives new legitimacy to the anti-apartheid and "BDS" (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) movements that shape the global civil society mobilizations in support of Palestinian equality.7/6/2009
A Bush in sheep`s clothingAli Abunimah - Guardian - Obama`s speech shows little real change. In most regards his analysis maintains flawed American policies7/6/2009
The grim picture of Obama`s Middle EastNoam Chomsky - Znet - Keeping just to Israel-Palestine -- there was nothing substantive about anything else -- Obama called on Arabs and Israelis not to `point fingers` at each other or to `see this conflict only from one side or the other.` There is, however, a third side, that of the United States, which has played a decisive role in sustaining the current conflict. Obama gave no indication that its role should change or even be considered.7/6/2009
Obama`s Cairo speechGilbert Achcar - Znet - Barack Obama`s speech in Cairo on the 4th of June 2009 definitely lived up to expectations -- provided we agree on what could have been expected: a return to the centre after eight years of dramatic shift of the White House to the far right of the mainstream political spectrum, and a return to the fundamentals of bipartisan consensus in U.S. foreign policy.7/6/2009
Commentary: From the desk of Reuven Kaminer"Obama is not an honest broker, he is not even a biased broker. He is a side to the conflict and he will be one until he, openly and clearly, makes a commitment to cut off the funds and the guns which implement policies that he opposes – ostensibly."6/6/2009
Satire corner: Ban all expressions of mourningElia Leibowitz - Haaretz6/6/2009
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The Tone and the Music: WHILE OBAMA proclaims the 21st century, the government of Israel is returning to the 19th.Uri Avery - Gush Shalom. "Unlike his predecessors, [The President] did not stop at speaking about "Palestinians", but uttered the decisive word: "Palestine" – the name of a state and a territory."6/6/2009
Obama speech reaction, from Gaza to Pakistan and AfghanistanRory McCarthy in Gaza City, Declan Walsh in Islamabad and Jon Boone in Logar province - The Guardian6/6/2009
Obama`s speech: What does it mean?Joel Beinin - Jewish Voice for Peace - " By limiting himself to an apparently pragmatic "first step," President Obama may have made his task harder. If he does not produce concrete results very soon on this limited, albeit it absolutely necessary, measure, then the potential value of his fine words in Cairo will soon diminish. "5/6/2009
The Future of Israel and the Decline of the American Empire ,The Wages of Hubris and Vengeance ARNO J. MAYER - Counterpunch - " Israel is in the grip of a kind of collective schizophrenia...Israel should issue a call for a nuclear-free Middle East along with the announcement of a significant reduction of its own outsized atomic arsenal and armaments industry, which are both counterproductive and provocative. "5/6/2009
When Settlers AttackJoharah Baker - MIFTAH - " heavily armed settlers, who have equally heavily armed Israeli soldiers guarding them around the clock, have the freedom to take the law into their own hands whenever they deem in necessary. This week`s incidents only further support this point. Palestinians have no legal recourse against settler rampages. Their lands are burned. Their livelihood ruined, their orchards damaged and their sons and daughters attacked. "5/6/2009
Could it be al-Qa`ida is missing Bush?Robert Fisk - The Independent - While infuriating the Israelis – much to the Arabs` delight – Obama continues to send his men into the graveyard of empires to beat the Taliban, shrugging off any responsibility for those one million Pakistani Muslim refugees whom Bin Laden so shrewdly spotted on the horizon. The only real question, perhaps, is whether Obama has asked himself the most important question: does the "Muslim world" actually exist? 4/6/2009
Obama Turns the Screws on IsraelJerrold Kessel and Pierre Klochendler - antiwar.com - Who could have imagined that when Obama re-engages the U.S. in the region, that he would deliberately not even have made a courtesy stopover in Jerusalem? And, who could have contemplated that, for the first time since former president Ronald Reagan back in 1982 unveiled his now long-demised revolutionary plan for settling the Arab-Israel conflict on the lines of a two-state solution in Palestine, Israel would be kept in the dark about the content of a keynote presidential address — that to be made Thursday in Cairo to the Arab and Muslim world. 4/6/2009
Israeli army top general received death threats for removing outposts in the West BankKatherine Orwell - IMEMC - In the letter officers of the Israeli army were called "a gang of despicable Jew-boys who remind us of the Judenrat (the Jewish administrative bodies which operated under the Nazis)." 4/6/2009
Future of Mideast is a domestic American issue Gideon Levy - Haaretz - Israel`s only real existential danger is losing U.S. support. Yes, there is no Israel without America - not only the $30 billion annual defense aid (without which the IDF would be a shadow of itself), or the market for one-third of Israeli exports, but also international support. Israel, which has become a leper in many circles, is lost without Washington`s sponsorship. There is no alternative superpower - having Micronesia alone on our side at the UN will not get us very far. 4/6/2009
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Barack Obama heads to Saudi Arabia at start of short Middle East tourMark Tran - Guardian - "Saudi Arabia can be expected to press Obama to exert more pressure on the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu." 3/6/2009
Pushing for "normalization" of Israeli apartheid Ziyaad Lunat - EI - "People of conscience around the world should step up efforts for boycott, divestments and sanctions (BDS) of Israel as per the 2005 call of Palestinian civil society organizations. This will ultimately become a powerful force capable of counteracting state-led efforts to legitimize Israel`s system of oppression."3/6/2009
The Road that Should Never be Travelled Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - What is important here is that we do stand together, for better or for worse. We have all heard the unbearable accusations between Fateh and Hamas, even regarding the Israeli onslaught in Gaza. What good has that gotten us, or even worse, what good have these accusations been to those who have lost loved ones, homes and jobs and whose best consolation would be a strong and efficient leadership to navigate us out of this mess. 4/6/2009
Yes, freeze settlements Haaretz Editorial - "Netanyahu wants to get something for nothing. He remains steadfast in his opposition to a Palestinian state, and also wants to expand the settlements"1/6/2009
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Obama`s speech in Cairo: getting the right audienceThe Guardian - "Mr Obama has to start talking to those who have lost their faith in America and every policy it promotes, be they Palestinian, Arab, Sunni or Shia"1/6/2009
AIPAC Wall Beginning to CrackIra Chernus- t r u t h o u t - " Two-thirds of American Jews say they want the US to play an active role in moving Israel toward peace, even if it means the US publicly disagreeing with, and exerting pressure, on the Israelis. That`s according to a poll conducted last summer by J Street, the pro-Israel, pro-peace lobby now widely seen as the counterweight to AIPAC. Contributions to J Street are growing at a rate faster than AIPAC`s. In last year`s election, of 41 candidates endorsed by J Street for their pro-peace positions, 31 were winners. "12/6/2009
Palestinians optimistic after Obama`s speech - 5 Jun 09Link to 2:24 min video - Al Jazeera`s Sherine Tardros reports from Jerusalem. In the speech by Barack Obama, the US president, there was little more than words of comfort for Gazans. Yet Palestinians say its tone has made them feel optimistic. Whether or not his speech goes down in history as a defining moment in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will depend on what happens next. 6/6/2009
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Rabbi Aviner: Don`t bow down to ObamaKobi Nahshoni - YNET - " Israel must deal with the Americans like Mordechai dealt with Haman, when he refused to bow down to him ...Israel should not accept financial aid from the US at all, saying that according to the Gemara accepting charity from a non-Jew equals blasphemy. "5/6/2009
In Memory of Prof. Victoria Buch, Occupation Magazine`s Founder (a statement and an article).27/6/2009
In Memory of Prof. Victoria Buch, The Occupation Magazine`s Founder.1/6/2009
Analysis: Diplomatic faux pas, or calculated message?Yaakov Katz/Yariv Oppenheimer -Jerusalem Post - On Monday, the Defense Ministry revealed in a court affidavit it had approved the construction of 50 homes in a West Bank settlement - just hours before Defense Minister Ehud Barak left for New York to meet with the US Special Envoy Mitchell to discuss America`s demand for a settlment freeze. Just a bad timing, or a calculated and dliberate message? 30/6/2009
Red Rag Weekly Column: Citizen NawiGideon Spiro - Citizen Nawi - Hypocrites - Netanyahu at Bar-Ilan - B. Michael - Victoria Buch, of blessed memory30/6/2009
Editor`s CommentVictoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the current events is the disconnect from reality of the Israeli public, educated people included. We had a ceasefire with Hamas, which worked reasonably well. The ceasefire was deliberately broken by the Israeli leadership. 27/6/2009
PLO: Vicious Israeli incursions are way to avoid peace obligationsMa`an - The DAIR – PLO said that the Palestinians are making huge progress towards the establishment of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders; in the form of the government of national unity and the revivification of the Arab Peace Initiative. The statement said Israel has been presented with the opportunity to hold dialogue with the Palestinians in order to develop a `comprehensive peace agreement`, but instead Israel has opted to channel all efforts into avoiding peace.27/6/2009
Palestinians: 6 killed in the Occupied TerritoriesZvika Gottlieb, Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel - Haaretz - Six Palestinians, including a 17-year-old girl, were killed Saturday by Israel Defense Forces and Border Police troops in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said.27/6/2009
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Friends, I think I finally got it about Sharon`s disengagement planVictoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - Raises a few thoughts and suggestions as to what may stand behind Sharon`s "disengagement" plan, based among other things on the linked article by Ephraim Sneh.27/6/2009
What for?Victoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - In my opinion, it all begins with “a long standing Zionist tradition”. That tradition is based on two main premises: (a) Israeli Jews are a peace-loving people. In recent times, they have been regretfully forced to fight for their very existence, with the help of a moral and heroic army. (b) Palestinian Arabs are a natural born threat to the existence of Israel, and thus a pest to get rid of, from Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea. Nothing Palestinian leaders may say or do should alter this point of view, since (in the words of Sharon) “Arabs are not to be trusted”. 27/6/2009
Clashes in the Gaza StripRami Almeghari/Agencies - IMEMC/Haaretz - Palestinian media sources said that the Israeli army shot to death a Palestinian resistance fighter and injured another in northern Gaza Strip, just close to the Jabalya refugee camp. 27/6/2009
NOW, pleaseVictoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - Please request from the Israeli government to get out of the West Bank to the 67’ borders – NOW. Not – “pending Abu-Mazen’s crack-down on terror”. As you all well know, Abu Mazen cannot crack-down on terror as long as the Israeli army controls the West Bank and denies weapons to his security forces. And Israeli policies in the Occupied Territories have nothing to do with the fight against terror (quite to the contrary), and everything to do with annexation designs.27/6/2009
`What next?`Victoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - After the Tel Aviv terror attack, a Palestinian friend called. We were swearing in unison at the terrorist, at the people who sent him, and at the bloodthirsty sharks of all denominations who ruin our world. I have nothing good to say at people who perpetrated that last criminal attack. But let us not forget the following: Since the beginning of the Intifada, Sharon has pursued a systematic policy of destroying lives of millions of Palestinians.27/6/2009
"The Peace Process"Victoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - Most Israelis around here believe that positive developments towards peace are now taking place. During the Oslo years, the optimistic Israeli public also thought so. The Israeli government was therefore at leisure to cover a large fraction of the West Bank with settlements and settler roads.27/6/2009
The West Bank checkpoints: report and analysisVictoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - So what is the objective [of the checkpoints]? I think that the aim is quite obvious - the Greater Israel (`Eretz Israel HaShlema`) from Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, in which the Palestinians will be supplanted by settlers. For Sharon and Mofaz, the Palestinians are a pest by definition - not potential partners for coexistence.27/6/2009
The advancing ethnic cleansingVictoria Buch - Occupation Magazine - "The stage for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians has been set in the Occupied Territories, and ethnic cleansing is in progress. At present, this is the major project of the State of Israel."27/6/2009
Two speeches: Obama in conflict with Netanyahu?Shmuel Amir - Hagada Hasmalit - Netanyahu’s speech [of 14 June 2009] was perceived in Israel and the world as a reply to Obama’s speech in Cairo, and as such it has rightly provoked a great deal of interest. 27/6/2009
Israel and America: stopping the settlementsThe Guardian - Editorial - Israeli defence ministry proposals for many more houses at a settlement north of Ramallah may not have been intended to throw the gauntlet down before Obama, but that could be the effect. The Israeli government says no approval has been given for new houses. It could well be true that the plan was just wending its way through the administrative pipeline like so many settlement programmes before it. But now the scheme is out in the open, the question is whether Israel backs off, in which case Obama will have shown he can bend Netanyahu to his will, or whether it goes ahead.25/6/2009
Lawbreakers in the Supreme Court Gideon Levy - Haaretz - The Supreme Court now appears to be the settlers` next illegal outpost. They will get their wish, nothing will stop them. This couldn`t happen in a state of law. We`re not talking about the candidates` opinions or religion - those have a place on the Supreme Court. It`s not their skullcaps that threaten the rule of law, but the bulldozer that built their illegal homes. The fact that they are settlers automatically disqualifies them from a judge`s position. 25/6/2009
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Settling for Radicalism : How the Israeli government has fostered religious extremism and fractured its own democracy Gershom Gorenberg - The American Prospect - Any peace agreement with the Palestinians would require removing not only outposts but also large, long-established settlements. It would mean direct confrontation with an ideological community that the state itself has fostered, with too little consideration of the consequences. And if fear of that confrontation is a consideration for politicians as they weigh the country`s direction -- as it surely must be -- then Israeli democracy has already been wounded. 25/6/2009
That`s how Vita`s colleague described herRoi Baer - I see in Victoria a real scientist. She did not follow trendy puffs of wind; she chose instead to grapple with the more basic, deep and difficult scientific questions of chemistry. She had the "nose" for asking those really interesting fundamental questions in her field and the creativity to develop theoretical and computational methods to answer them. Some highlights of Victoria`s career include the brilliant diffusion Monte Carlo method she developed for rigid bodies and her many important landmark works on the structure and spectroscopy of ice and water, their surfaces and their chemistry. 25/6/2009
Fictions on the groundTony Judt - New York Times - Israel needs “settlements.” They are intrinsic to the image it has long sought to convey to overseas admirers and fund-raisers: a struggling little country securing its rightful place in a hostile environment by the hard moral work of land clearance, irrigation, agrarian self-sufficiency, industrious productivity, legitimate self-defense and the building of Jewish communities. But this neo-collectivist frontier narrative rings false in modern, high-tech Israel. And so the settler myth has been transposed somewhere else — to the Palestinian lands seized in war in 1967 and occupied illegally ever since.24/6/2009
Israeli leader reveals why Israel shuns negotiationIra Chernus - Commondreams - In a rare moment of unguarded honesty, Israel’s second ranking leader, Ehud Barak -- Defense Minister, former Prime Minister, former head of the military -- has let the truth slip out. According to Israel’s premier newspaper, Ha’aretz, Barak told reporters: “In negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel is the ‘only one that can give, the Palestinians are the underdog and the talks are asymmetrical.’ But in regional talks, Barak said, it becomes clear that Israel is the isolated party.”24/6/2009
Obama`s approach: incremental or detrimental?Lincoln Z. Shlensky - Jewish Peace News - The Obama administration`s insistence that Israel halt further settlement construction in the occupied West Bank has sparked predictable outrage from the Israeli and Jewish right, but it has also provoked some sharp criticism from those on the left who feel that the President`s first overture was not nearly sufficient.24/6/2009
President Obama needs to force peace upon region using US soldiers Oron Greenbaum - Y-Net - Mr. President, if you want peace here, you need to force it. You need to come up with a plan and with 30,000 soldiers, who will constitute a buffer between the two peoples for several years. Until the people understand that it is possible to co-exist, and until both of them have something to lose when this togetherness is violated. 23/6/2009
When He Says Yes – What Does He Mean?Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - “Netanyahu Declared that ‘our hand is extended for peace.’ In my ears, that rang a bell: in the 1956 Sinai war, a member of my editorial staff was attached to the brigade that conquered Sharm-al-Sheikh. Since he had grown up in Egypt, he interviewed the senior captured Egyptian officer, a colonel. ‘Every time David Ben-Gurion announced that his hand was stretched out for peace,’ the Egyptian told him, ‘we were put on high alert’”23/6/2009
Updated Right Wing Versus The Traditional Radical Right in IsraelHaim Baram - Kol Ha-Ir/ AIC - “The Lieberman-Barak axis, and the larger public of journalists and ordinary people following the two leaders, is liable to enjoy a great future in Israeli politics. In recent years, almost the entire Jewish religious population has moved to the Right, and only a few of their leaders still act to distance themselves from racist expressions. For their part, Lieberman and Barak have freed the energies of the two strongest communities of the secular Right: former members of the Labor movement (including those from Kibbutzs and moshavs), and the Russian intelligentsia” 23/6/2009
History and `Morals` of Ethnic Cleansing We here re-publish Victoria Buch`s article of January, which is still highly relevant. 23/6/2009
Work for Justice, Go to Jail? (Ezra Nawi )Rebecca Vilkomerson - Jewish Peace News - The first time I was ever in the West Bank, I drove with Ezra Nawi in his truck, known to almost everyone in the South Hebron Hills. I remember so clearly the scene David Shulman describes and how it shocked me: the rickety shacks pieced together from tin and rags where the Palestinians lived, pressed up against the edges of the settlement, with its large houses with red roofs and green lawns.21/6/2009
Obama`s "interference" in Israeli politicsGlenn Greenwald - salon.com - if Israel wants to be free of what it and some of its U.S. supporters call "interference" from the Obama administration, that’s very easy to achieve: Israel can stop asking for tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayer money, huge amounts of military and weapons supplies for its various wars, and unyielding American diplomatic protection at the U.N. But as long as Israel remains dependent on the U.S. in countless ways, then Obama not only has the right -- but he has the obligation -- to demand that Israel cease activities which harm U.S. interests4/6/2009
Articles by Victoria BuchThe editors of Occupation Magazine are mourning the recent loss of our friend and co-editor, Professor Victoria Buch. Here are links to some articles and commentaries she wrote over the years. 28/6/2009
Bibi`s missed opportunityThe Forward - Editorial - Much has been made of Netanyahu`s first-ever acknowledgment of a Palestinian state: “In my vision of peace, in this small land of ours, two peoples live freely, side-by-side, in amity and mutual respect. Each will have its own flag, its own national anthem, its own government. Neither will threaten the security or survival of the other.” Yet this lovely statement only puts Netanyahu on par with his predecessors, only echoes Israel’s past commitments and America’s firm policy. It doesn’t even signal a bold move within his own right-wing party — the Haaretz survey showed that 90% of Likud voters agreed with the speech. No risk there. 28/6/2009
My talk with Hamas about peace with IsraelHelena Cobban - Christian Science Monitor - The US should follow the Northern Ireland and South African models – which had principles, not preconditions.28/6/2009
Palestinian violence overstated, Jewish violence understatedIra Chernus - Commondreams - The Israel Project hired pollster [1] Stanley Greenberg to test American opinion on the Middle East conflict -- and got a big surprise. In September 2008, 69% of Americans called themselves pro-Israel. Now, it`s only 49%. In September, the same 69% wanted the U.S. to side with Israel; now, only 44%.28/6/2009
Black on white (wash)Gideon Levy - Haaretz - It might be useful to recall who this Tamir is. From his stint as commander of the Golani infantry brigade - when his troops twice shelled the Jenin market (2002), killing several children, including two small brothers - to Operation Autumn Clouds in Gaza (2006) which he commanded, he has been responsible for wanton bloodshed, with at least half the 80 Palestinians killed on his watch being civilians.28/6/2009
...
History and `Morals` of Ethnic Cleansing We here re-publish Victoria Buch`s article of January, which is still highly relevant.27/6/2009
...
"Cancer of occupation"Victoria Buch (interviewed by BBC) - "Victoria Buch cited the Jewish philosopher, Yeshayahu Leibovitz, who opposed holding onto Palestinian land after the 1967 war. He said the occupation was a cancer which would eventually destroy the state of Israel."27/6/2009
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