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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
Palestine’s Economic HallucinationSam Bahour - This Week in Palestine - When reality sunk in after the collapsed Camp David II talks in the year 2000, more and more people started to see the artificial economy for what it was - a farce. We were back to hearing: How could we have an economy when every aspect of our livelihood is ultimately micromanaged by the Israeli government? 31/12/2011
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Clock Ticking for West to Act on Iranian Nuclear ProgramJOHN VINOCUR - NY Times - "...a presidential candidate can’t win if he is on bad terms with the majority in Congress that backs Israel, the millions of fundamentalist Christians who are its supporters, and a great part of the Jewish voting public." - id 30/12/2011
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Palestinians talk peace, Israel talks warLarry Derfner - +972 - "Hamas is moving in Abbas’ direction instead of the other way around – which is a big, happy surprise after the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap, which was Hamas’s triumph and Abbas’ (deliberate) humiliation." - id 30/12/2011
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Israel needs to listen to Hamas, and take noticeHaaretz - Editorial - Against the backdrop of the belligerent declarations by the IDF chief of staff, who is threatening that "Israel will have no choice other than another broad operation in Gaza," it`s hard to understand the silence that followed Khaled Meshal`s historic statements. The Hamas leader declared this week that his movement is switching over from the armed struggle to a popular struggle, and that its agreement with Fatah includes the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, without renouncing the right of return. rh 29/12/2011
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Israel’s New House Rules: Deepening AuthoritarianismJonathan Cook - alakhbar english - In recent weeks, the Israeli government has put forward measures to muzzle the media, shut down human rights groups, and seize control of appointments to the supreme court to fill it with rightwing judges. 28/12/2011
Yalla Peace: The abnormality of ‘normalization’ RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "Normalization may not be “normal” in the Middle East or in regard to Palestinians and Israelis relations. But it is the first step towards ending this conflict through compromise and creating a Palestine State while insuring Israel’s continued existence." - id 30/12/2011
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Them Europeans Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "We will stand all alone, in the most relevant of isolations." - id 28/12/2011
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A Pandora`s Box in the Middle EastBENNETT RAMBERG - IHT - "Israel could close Dimona permanently given the plant’s age and mission fulfillment — the old reactor has generated all the weapons plutonium the country requires. Closure would symbolically help to reduce nuclear tensions in the region as well." - id 28/12/2011
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Page by page, Marwan Barghouti`s anti-war tome walked out of prisonJoseph Dana - TheNational.ae - In his book smuggled out of prison, Barghouti sets out to demonstrate how Palestinians can achieve a meaningful non-violent resistance against the military court system. In addition to the practical information of surviving within the Israeli prison system, he details his arguments for Palestinian political unity as a means of resistance to Israeli occupation. 27/12/2011
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Army Radio instructed to call West Bank by biblical ‘Judea and Samaria’Mairav Zonszein - +972 - Even Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon refers to the area as “the West Bank” in his famous “hasbara” (PR) video explaining why the land is in fact not occupied – but I am all for calling the area “Judea and Samaria.” Since Israel looks like a theocracy and acts like a theocracy, it might as well talk like one too. 27/12/2011
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Israeli police officers must obey the law, not rabbisHaaretz Editorial - The goal is to change the police force from within and to produce commanders - including, in a decade or two, the head of the Judea and Samaria District - who represent the religious Zionist public26/12/2011
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Red Rag: Divine TerrorGideon Spiro - Divine terror - All quiet on the Gaza Front - The Great Inventor - another right-wing innovation - The New Year25/12/2011
Newt Gingrich`s controversial statement begs the question: Who invented a nationality? The Palestinians or the Israelis?MJ Rosenberg--It is hard to believe that anyone who defends Israel`s legitimacy as a state would buy into former Speaker Newt Gingrich`s argument that Palestine is an "invented nation".25/12/2011
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Europe can play a vital role in Mideast peaceHaaretz Editorial--The United States is now the only barrier between Israel and international isolation - which borders on strategic danger.25/12/2011
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The World Must Interfere in Israel`s Internal AffairsGideon Levy--The new world will eventually tell Israel: Stay in the occupied territories, but give all its residents equal rights and justice. What will Israel say then? Interference in its internal affairs? Foreign intervention? You`ve got to be kidding. dn25/12/2011
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Hamas’ Meshal Affirms Support for Palestinian State Within 1967 Borders and ‘Popular Resistance’ Richard Silverstein--December 23--An image that makes Israeli hardliners cringe and fear: Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshal making nice during Cairo unity talks25/12/2011
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PALESTINE DONOR OPIUMThis ½ hour video is worth watching. It’s argument is that donor countries instead of aiding the Palestinians are in fact supporting the occupation. Well yes. The Oslo agreements freed Israel from all the obligations of caring for Palestinian welfare—Israel prior to Oslo had to pay for education, health care, and social welfare of the occupied people. This ended with the Oslo accords, which in effect gave the Palestinians nothing, not even the promise of a future Palestinian state (it’s not mentioned in the Accords) and left much in Israeli hands—residency rights, for one, as well as total control of the Palestinian population. A result has been not only land theft but also urbanization of the West Bank, with the urbs being for the most part Israeli colonies. Palestinians who had been farmers suddenly became landless due to theft of their lands by colonies and the wall. This produced a cheap working force for Israel in the OPT and in Israel. Palestinians have built the wall and many homes in the colonies. After all, the men have to feed their families. Qalqilya which was at one time the Palestinian breadbasket lost 40% of its population after the wall cut farmers off from their lands. What is not mentioned in the video (which is well done) is that not only donor countries but also the US by giving Israel $3bilion annually in military aid keeps the Occupation and colonization going. Thanks to Abraham for forwarding this documentary. dn25/12/2011
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How I became a `terrorist`Abdelrahman Al Ahmar - Haaretz - The settlers had won: They had taken over the only thoroughfare serving Deheisheh and the entire southern West Bank, and put us Arabs in a cage. Realizing his invincibility, the father of the settler movement - not a fringe group of radical-right outcasts, but Levinger himself - then set up an "outpost," a new settlement, across the road from the camp. He brought in a mobile home and topped it with an Israeli flag, declaring it the first settlement near Rachel`s Tomb. Guarded by IDF soldiers, he invited his pioneer friends and held loud parties into the night, while we remained under curfew. 24/12/2011
Trapped in a nightmareSima Kadmon - Ynet - At a time when hundreds of settlers break into a military base, Jewish rioters charge at the vehicle of an IDF division commander and hurl a brick at his deputy in the aims of hurting him, a group of youths crosses the border fence near the holy Christian site of Qasr al-Yehud and threatens to complicate our ties with Jordan, a mosque is burned and price tag acts become a matter of routine - and all of this is happening against a backdrop of anti-democratic laws and the establishment of a committee to look into the exclusion of women from the public sphere – we are allowed to admit that, yes, we are scared. 24/12/2011
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Now it`s your turn Avraham Burg - Haaretz - The next diplomatic formula that will replace the "two states for two peoples" will be a civilian formula. All the people between the Jordan and the sea have the same right to equality, justice and freedom. (...) The conceptual framework will be "a democratic state that belongs to all of its citizens." The practicable substance could be fertile ground for arguments and creativity.24/12/2011
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Newt Gingrich May Be Able to Occupy Palestine, But Israel Can`t Bradley Burston - Huffington Post " Your friend Bibi will tell you about our innovative, can-do nature. He may, however, omit this: We have proven ourselves incapable of doing the one thing that has come, against our will, to define us more than anything else we do as Israelis: occupation.Should you become president, and you display understanding for the settlers -- as you will doubtless feel that you need to -- you can bet that they will take that as license to go for the Day of Judgment play: the drive for the Temple Mount. World War III, here we come." ca23/12/2011
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Captain George (aka Doron Zahavi) Rides AgainRichard Silverstein - +972 - Het said Captain George played a role in every interrogation. “He would just come in, burst into the room, grab the suspect, shake him, get him onto the floor, punch him in the chest, yell and threaten,” Het said. Het added that George would enter with a baton, hit the suspect and threaten to insert it into his rectum if he “continued to lie or not talk.” 21/12/2011
PM equates ‘price tag’ attacks with anti-occupation protestsMairav Zonszein - +972 - The prime minister’s Cabinet Secretary, Zvi Hauser, reiterated Netanyahu’s equation of settler violence and nonviolent anti-occupation demonstrations when he told Israel’s Channel 2 News over the weekend that there are “anarchists from the left and from the right,” and that Israel must draw a red line for these groups. He said the government will use an “iron fist” to fight the “radicals” and “anarchists” who are “criminals” that are “defaming” the country. 21/12/2011
About rampaging settlers, paralyzed soldiers and a threatened TV channel Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "...already for decades it has been made crystal clear to soldiers entering service in the Occupied Territories, that their role and function is to help, facilitate and protect the settlers." - id21/12/2011
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One racist people Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - What`s easier for a secular person to hate than an ultra-Orthodox Jew who sets fire to an Israeli flag on the holiday of Lag Ba`omer? The answer is a religious West Bank Jewish settler who torches a mosque on any old day19/12/2011
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`With Friends Like These `Uri Avnery--Responds to Gingrich dn18/12/2011
Incoming EU president: Europe to block deals with Israel until peace process moves forwardAdar Primor--"As long as the Netanyahu-Lieberman government is in power, even those who theoretically favor Israel`s membership have no chance of persuading others to back the move. Israel cannot become a member of the EU, but may certainly be granted maximal access to the European markets. The Europeans are aware of the fact that they must act in favor of its maximal integration in the framework of the Association Agreement, to which Israel is a signatory." dn18/12/2011
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Israel, wake up and smell the coffeeGideon Levy-- If I could, I`d send a modest bouquet of flowers as a gesture of thanks for the work of the rioters - the ones who infiltrated the Ephraim Brigade base in the West Bank last week. They achieved, at least for a moment, what others had failed to do: stir Israeli public opinion and maybe even the army and government against the West Bank settlers. dn18/12/2011
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The Show Must Go OnThe Freedom Theatre--An appeal for donations18/12/2011
Declaring extreme rightwing activists as terrorist organization is illegitimate way to deal with settler violence .B`Tselem - In response to media reports that the Israeli government is considering declaring extreme rightwing Israeli activists to be a terrorist organization, B`Tselem states that this is an illegitimate way to deal with the phenomenon of violence by Israeli citizens in the Occupied Territories. Instead, this phenomenon must be dealt with through the criminal justice system. 15/12/2011
Israel Fails International Religious Rights Survey, Parents Demand Purifying School After Moslem WeddingRichard Silverstein - +972 - What tipped the parents off about the satanic goings-on in the school was the Arabic music that accompanied the wedding, and which piqued the busybody neighbors’ curiousity. They in turn informed the parents about the schandeh to which their children were subjected. The festivities were interrupted in midstream and the school’s leadership put an end to the nonsense before it could really pollute the minds of the children.15/12/2011
Hebrew U hosts talk on religious laws outlining killing of gentilesMya Guarnieri - +972 - "...wherever the presence of a gentile threatens the life of Israel, it is permitted to kill the gentile even if he is a righteous person and should not be blamed for the situation." - id. 14/12/2011
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IDF on settler stone-throwers: You wouldn’t expect us to shoot a Jew?Yossi Gurvitz - +972 - "Gotta hand it to the IDF. We could never have high-lighted its apartheid policy better." - id 14/12/2011
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Look who`s talking about `invented` peoples! RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "Every candidate for major national office panders to Jewish voters. If I were Jewish, I’d be insulted." - id 14/12/2011
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How we celebrated International Human Rights Day Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "...the government is angry and furious at the actions of human rights organizations which reveal to the world the human rights violations perpetrated by the government and army and police and security services..." - id14/12/2011
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The tale of targeted killingUri Misgav - Ynet - "He is always taken out moments before launching a terror attack (“a ticking bomb”) or moments afterwards (“retaliation”). It always follows an “imminent threat” and an “operational opportunity,” and the consequences be damned." - id 14/12/2011
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The Neocons Have Finally SnappedMJ Rosenberg - Foreign Policy Matters - The right-wing Commentary website called Clinton`s remarks an "anti-Israel" broadside, although thankfully not classical anti-Semitism. Of course, that would require calling the Anti-Defamation League anti-Semitic, because it shares Clinton`s views on the NGO law. 13/12/2011
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Israeli law is powerless in the settlementsAnshel Pfeffer - Haaretz - in the past two years, with the drop in terrorist attacks and improvement in coordination with Palestinian security forces, as well as the continuous rise in "price tag" attacks, most of [the regional brigades] time and resources go to dealing with Jewish terrorism. 13/12/2011
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A courageous Palestinian has died, shrouded in stonesJonathan Pollak - Haaretz - The army spokesman was right. Mustafa died because he threw stones; because he dared to speak a truth, with his hands, in a place where the truth is forbidden (...) where the landlord is forbidden to expel the trespasser. Indeed, the trespasser is allowed to shoot the landlord. 13/12/2011
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`Get to the Damn Table!`Yacov Ben Efrat - So we’ve got news for Bibi. The enlightened world, which Israel likes to identify with, no longer understands his language. 13/12/2011
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Red Rag weekly columnGideon Spiro - robbery by tycoons - Israeli ghetto - betrayal by doctors - 99.7%12/12/2011
Israel’s eroding democracy: A shadow is castTobias Buck - Financial Times - Hagai El-Ad, the director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel: “This is not just about anti-democratic bills, this is about anti-democratic society. It is about the idea that human rights are somehow synonymous with treason, and about creating an atmosphere of suspicion. (...) Eventually, if the vast majority of Israelis does not want democracy, they will get what they want.” 10/12/2011
Palestinians` Statehood Bid Part of ChristmasTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS - International Herald Tribune - Volunteers will distribute postcards with the Christmas motto in the courtyard of the Church of the Nativity, built over the grotto where tradition says Jesus was born. Visitors can then mail them at the Manger Square post office, using Palestinian stamps, another symbol of the state in the making. 8/12/2011
Netanyahu shelves cabinet discussion on bill to limit foreign funding to NGOsBarak Ravid - Haaretz - According to sources in Netanyahu`s bureau, the prime minister decided to suspend the discussion following a warning by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, who said in a letter to Netanyahu that he would not be prepared to defend the proposed legislation in the High Court of Justice should it pass the Knesset vote. rh 7/12/2011
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Israel’s Grand Hypocrisy : Netanyahu Slams ‘Anti-liberal’ Arab SpringJONATHAN COOK - Counterpunch - It takes some chutzpah – or, at least, epic self-delusion – for Israel’s prime minister to be lecturing the Arab world on liberalism and democracy at this moment. 7/12/2011
Is Israel guilty of the crime of apartheid? Richard Falk - Al Jazeera - The most controversial, and at the same time far reaching feature, of the RToP finding was to conclude that Israeli responsibility for establishing an apartheid regime applied not only to Palestinians living under occupation, but also to the Palestinians minority living with discriminatory regulations in Israel and to the Palestinian diaspora consisting of 4-5 million refugees and exiles. 7/12/2011
Come Home to IsraelROGER COHEN - NYT - "Here’s a suggestion for an ad campaign that might fly: A smiling Netanyahu shaking hands with the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, beside the slogan: Come home to peace. Forgive me for dreaming." - id 7/12/2011
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Israel`s chilling relations with the US Jonathan Guyer - Guardian - "That Clinton rebuked Israel`s sequence of "anti-democratic" legislation, though, signals that Washington is taking note of the shrinking space for dissent in Israel." - id 7/12/2011
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JNF losing the battle for its reputation Adam Keller - Crazy Country - ""Wait a minute, you`re an Arab, aren`t you? Then it is impossible. The rules are that JNF land may not be sold or leased to Arabs`."" - id 7/12/2011
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Tug-of-war over Israeli democracy Uri Yaacobi Keller - Alternative Information Center - It is yet to be determined which side’s pull is stronger - the Israeli right, which wants to outlaw any dissent, or the Western politicians who want to keep everything politically correct so that they can keep treating Israel like the democracy it is not. 6/12/2011
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The common cause of Netanyahu and AhmadinejadKhaled Diab - Haaretz - Both Netanyahu and Ahmadinejad have, ironically, found common cause in mutual confrontation to manufacture domestic consent. That is not to say that the concerns and worries of the Iranian and Israeli peoples are entirely unjustified, but their two governments are going about resolving the issues in the wrong way, only furthering their peoples` international isolation. 6/12/2011
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The King’s SpeechUri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "This week one of the hyperactive and mentally handicapped right wing parliamentary thugs submitted another of those bills. It is called ‘Jordan – the Nation-State of the Palestinian People’. Apart from the curiosity of one country enacting a law to define the character of another country, it was politically embarrassing. Yet instead of just throwing it out, it was transferred to a sub-committee where the deliberations, such as they are, are secret"5/12/2011
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U.S. Jews, use your influence to stop Israeli incitementAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - It turns out that a little tension in relations with America`s `Jewish leadership` troubles the prime minister more than a crisis in relations with President Obama5/12/2011
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Israel has responsibilities as a U.S. allyAmir Oren - Haaretz - A close ally has responsibilities. It must take into account American interests, especially when it is defined as "essential." [bz]4/12/2011
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At last, the hard left and hard right agree Bradley Burston - Haaretz "Zionism is truly coming to an end," veteran New York journalist and avowed anti-Zionist activist Philip Weiss wrote this week. The pro-occupation right, meanwhile, churns out articles on a near-daily basis on the death of the two-state solution and the closing of the window for Palestinian statehood. The fact is that both extremes may, in the end, get their wish." ca 3/12/2011
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Goldberg-Gorenberg Lib-Zionist Love Fest Featured in NY Times Book ReviewRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam "Of course, it would’ve been a lot more illuminating, and many more sparks would’ve flown, had they assigned the review to Stephen Walt, Tom Segev (who incisively reviewed Benny Morris’ last book for the Times) or Rashid Khalidi, someone who would’ve truly grappled both with Gorenberg’s ideas, giving credit where it was due and noting their insufficiencies when they arose. Alas, that didn’t happen. So we’re left with the ideological clichés that pass for analysis coming from Goldberg’s pen." ca3/12/2011
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+972 readers weigh in on Zionism debateJoseph Dana - +972 "Yesterday, I wrote a strongly worded critique of Bernard Avishai’s new piece on the Palestinian Right of Return (RoR), which appears in this month’s edition of Harper’s Magazine. I accused Avishai of sloppy reporting, given the paucity of critical Palestinian voices in his piece. I argued that Avisahi abandoned a broad factual discussion of this complex issue in favour of pushing a tired Israeli narrative, often used by liberal Zionist writers, which assumes symmetry between the players and downplays the crucial barriers to the resolution of the issues on the ground.While pointed, the piece was part of a larger attempt to expose the working conditions which many liberal Zionist writers employ when analysing Israel/Palestine." ca 2/12/2011
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The Unmaking of IsraelGershom Gorenberg - Harper-Collins Publishers "Prominent Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg offers a penetrating and provocative look at how the balance of power in Israel has shifted toward extremism, threatening the prospects for peace and democracy as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensifies." ca2/12/2011
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PM, Lieberman join to revive NGO-funding bill LAHAV HARKOV - The Jerusalem Post - The new draft, which is signed by both Akunis and Kirschenbaum, forbids any foreign- government donations to NGOs that rejects Israel’s right to exist; incites racism; supports violence against Israel; supports putting Israeli politicians and IDF soldiers on trial in international courts; calls for boycotts of the state; or for IDF soldiers to refuse orders. 1/12/2011
We Are PalestiniansDAOUD KUTTAB - International Harald Tribune - The historian Rashid Khalidi, in his book “Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness,” argues that the fierce conflict between Palestinians and Israelis is one reason why the Palestinian identity is so poorly understood. He traces the development of the Palestinians’ identity to the late Ottoman area, “when they had multiple loyalties to their religion, the Ottoman state, the Arabic language, and the emerging identity of Arabism, as well as their country and local and familial foci.” 15/12/2011
Israel right-wing activists clash with Jerusalem police following price tag attackOz Rosenberg and Haaretz - Haaretz - The rioters, some of whom reside in the capital`s Kiryat Moshe neighborhood after being forced to leave the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, slashed the tires and smashed the windows of several police cars. Six rioters were arrested and taken under custody. rh 15/12/2011
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Veteran Israeli activist warns against `neo-fascist` legislationOfra Edelman--Veteran Israeli activist warns against `neo-fascist` legislation Uri Avnery, whose Haolam Hazeh magazine was the target of past anti-libel legislation, says the current `anti-democratic` wave of bills will affect all levels of society, and the media aren`t doing much to help the situation dn 11/12/2011
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In Israel, `fascist` is not a rude word Amira Hass--Hillary Clinton had not yet finished voicing her concern about what is happening in Israel before that industrious Knesset member from the Likud, Danny Danon, started rattling off another version of the list of bills about loyalty to the state (which have meanwhile been dropped ): "Every certificate issued by the state will oblige [the recipient] to sign a document with a clause declaring loyalty to the State of Israel."dn11/12/2011
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How to change a preset futureYaron London--Israel may be doomed to become less democratic but something can still be done dn11/12/2011
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Palestinians react with dismay to Gingrich calling them ‘invented’ peopleAssociated Press--JERUSALEM — A slew of Palestinian officials reacted with dismay Saturday to Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s statement that the Palestinians are an “invented” people.dn11/12/2011
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The paradox of a `responsible` arms maker NAJ Taylor--Melbourne, Australia - This is the first in a three-part essay that explores an often neglected aspect of corporate responsibility: the paradox of being a "responsible" arms maker. The author argues that the "negative externalities" - or the impact on society - inherent in the deployment and threat of the use of weapons makes the standard of corporate responsibility difficult to apply. Instead, the author argue, those interested in corporate behaviour should view such firms through a "corporate social irresponsibility" lens, a strategy that identifies and allows a response to be made to normative developments, through proactive engagement and divestment strategies.dn11/12/2011
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