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Commentary

TitleDescriptionDate
On victory and arroganceNahum Barnea - Ynet - When Golda Meir was Israel’s prime minister, the Americans loved her: They loved the American chapter in her youth, her English, her rhetoric, the Jewish pride. She was so popular that Andy Warhol chose to paint her portrait alongside Marilyn Monroe’s.
Until the Yom Kippur War broke out.
31/5/2011
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Netanyahu was powerful, and misguidedRami G. Khouri - The Daily Star - The Obama position - that negotiations be based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps - is not new. But it is significant that Obama twice in two years has publicly declared the preferred American policy as one that is independent of Israeli policy. 31/5/2011
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J`lem unsure Obama moved EU against Palestinian UN bid Herb Keinon - Jerusalem Post - The way it stands now, the 1967 language is out there, and there is no certainty the Europeans will support the US position against a Palestinian state at the UN. [Keinon collects in his article rumours and comments circulating in the Hebrew press-bz] 30/5/2011
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U.S. headed for major embarrassment in SeptemberAmi Kaufman - +972 - The reason to keep going with this campaign - to show how ridiculous the policies of this administration are. Obama will once again make the mistake of torpedoing something he believes in. 30/5/2011
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Obama is letting Netanyahu off the hookAkiva Eldar - Haaretz - Netanyahu knows that statements that are not accompanied by political action, and which come with no bill for time lost, are worth about as much as the pledge in the 2003 road map to freeze all settlements and dismantle the outposts. 30/5/2011
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Parallel states: A new vision for peace Mark LeVine and Mathias Mossberg--Two parallel states, Israel and Palestine, should be established, with jurisdictions extending to Israelis and Palestinian citizens whether they lived in Israel proper, the West Bank, or Gaza, scholars say [AFP] [dn]29/5/2011
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A tale from the frontline of Palestinian protestRobert Fisk--More than 100 unarmed protesters were wounded in the Palestinian-Lebanese demonstration to mark the 1948 expulsion and exodus of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in Mandate Palestine – six were killed – and among the youngest of those hit by bullets were two little girls. One was six, the other eight. More targets of Israel`s "war on terror", I suppose, although the bullet that hit Munib, a 22-year old geology student at the American University of Beirut, did awful damage. [dn] [dn]29/5/2011
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Q&A: Eyal Sivan speaks to Al Jazeera Sousan Hammad--Israeli-born documentary maker is no stranger to criticism, having his film `Route 181` banned in France. [dn]29/5/2011
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Freidman`s Bogus Advice on Palestinian NonviolencePeter Hart--In yesterday`s New York Times (5/25/11), columnist Tom Friedman issues yet another call for Palestinians to practice non-violence: [dn]29/5/2011
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Maps, land and history: Why 1967 still mattersTim Lister--On the website of Israel`s Ministry of Foreign Affairs there is a map -- with a message. The map itself is a basic display of how regional borders looked before the Six Day War in 1967. The message is in the distances drawn from those borders to major Israeli cities.[dn]29/5/2011
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Israeli geography 101: songDavid Rovics - For a long time now, every time I hear an Israeli patriot or apologist complaining that such-and-such a group or government won`t recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I always wonder [...] how does one go about recognizing the legitimacy of a state that itself won`t disclose exactly what its borders are?28/5/2011
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Kindly Remain SeatedLamis Andoni--It was shocking, almost surreal, watching the smiling faces of Congressmen and Senators enthralled at Netanyahu`s glorification of the subjugation of another people under the yoke of military oppression. It was the equivalent of celebrating the war of extermination of Native Americans, slavery and racial segregation all at once. [dn]28/5/2011
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Can Obama Beat the Israel Lobby?Henri Siegman - The Nation - In a confrontation between the Israel lobby, on the one hand, and former Presidents Clinton and Bush and President Obama, on the other - who together declare their support for a peace plan they believe to be just, fair to both sides and in America`s national interest - there should be no question about who would prevail. 28/5/2011
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One more victory like that and Israel is done forYoel Marcus - Haaretz - Look how many times Congress decided to transfer the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Well, have you seen them packing their things at the embassy on Hayarkon Street in Tel Aviv? bz 28/5/2011
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A speech isn’t enough[Former PM] Ehud Olmert - Ynet - Israel needs to make peace, agree to withdraw to borders premised on the 1967 lines (...) and ensure that the outcome of the process will preserve the State of Israel as the Jewish people’s national, secure home – not through verbal pledges, but via a reality that will emerge as result of the agreement. bz28/5/2011
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For Palestinians, every day is Nakba DayBy Bradley Burston - Haaretz "And so it was that this month, large numbers of Israelis - many of them for the first time, many of them against their will – found themselves marking Nakba Day. It`s about time. Just as many Palestinians are now beginning to study the Holocaust and the broader realities of the Mideast conflict, and are studying the challenges of a two state Holy Land based on 1967 lines." ca 27/5/2011
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The road to Palestine is becoming clearer by Daoud Kuttab - Aljazeera "While the US (for domestic reasons and the pro Israel lobby) might choose to vote against such a declaration, it is clear that the Obama Administration will understand that this is the only non violent alternative that will be left to the Palestinian leadership if the Israelis refuse to accept the now internationally accepted (including the US) basis for the Palestinian state.Teams of Palestinians along with Israeli and international supporters must start now laying out detailed plans of what to do in the days following the declaration of statehood." ca 27/5/2011
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Bibi, Obama and Israel’s A-Historical View of Itselfby Assaf Oron - The Only Democracy "What is this History that we are Ignoring? One problem when discussing Israel-Palestine, that the first thing to go down the drain is that simple beautiful principle: “You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.” To try and mitigate this problem, below is a simple (incomplete, time permitting) list of major, glaring, important existential facts that most Israelis nowadays either completely ignore, or brazenly defy that they have any practical implications." ca 27/5/2011
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Prominent Israeli figures urge Europe to recognize Palestinian state By Haaretz Service "Leftist group Solidarity sends letter to EU leaders signed by former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg, Nobel Laureate Professor Daniel Kahneman and more, saying `peace process has reached its end.`" ca 27/5/2011
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Gaza border opening set to hurt Egypt-Israel tiesBy Catrina Stewart - The Independent "Egypt`s ruling generals first indicated that they would open the Rafah crossing last month, distancing themselves from the "shameful" pro-Israel policies of Hosni Mubarak, who was deposed in a popular uprising three months ago. Many Egyptians distrust Israel and remain broadly sympathetic to the Palestinians." ca27/5/2011
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Israel’s siege freed Gaza’s youthMohammed Rabah Suliman - The Electronic Intifada "Despite its many severely negative results, Israel’s siege of Gaza has offered Palestinian youth a service none had offered before. It offered new paths for us in our struggle for freedom, deepened our patriotic sentiment and finally created an environment that fosters a collective sense of selflessness and cooperation. It has created a young generation that truly cares." ca 27/5/2011
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The counter choiceSoha Hesham - Al-Ahram Weekly "Last week at the Cannes Film Festival, writes Soha Hesham, the documentary 18 Days raised controversy on the Egyptian film scene. Four months since the Egyptian revolution, black lists have been put together in a variety of fields -- not only former ministers and corrupt businessmen are targeted but also celebrities. The drive to combat corruption, through Facebook and other sites, has driven calls to boycott supporters of the former regime." ca 27/5/2011
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Former Mossad Chief: Mistake to Oppose General Assembly Vote on Palestinian StatehoodRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam "Former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan has sent a thunderbolt through the Israeli political and security establishment with his statement that opposition to Palestinian statehood in the form of the upcoming September vote before the General Assembly is a serious error of judgment (Hebrew) on Israel’s part. Dagan told his audience that Palestinian statehood is an outcome that is unstoppable. It would be far more in Israel’s interest to come to terms with the declaration of statehood than to oppose.It blows the mind to know that a former Mossad boss has a more progressive view than Barack Obama (or J Street for that matter) on this issue." ca 27/5/2011
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Vice PM Warns Netanyahu: Congress Speech Runs Afoul of Likud PositionsJason Ditz - ANTIWAR.COM - Interestingly, even as members of Israel’s government try to position themselves as even more opposed to a peace deal as Netanyahu, a new poll shows the Israeli public leaning the other way, with a strong majority saying the PM should have endorsed President Obama’s call for peace talks, albeit with “reservations” about the exact terms. Netanyahu, by contrast, condemned Obama’s comments, a position apparently shared by only about 36% of Israelis, but seemingly an overwhelming majority of the American Congress. 26/5/2011
Netanyahu at the Congress: What a Show Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - The bottom line is, the moment Benjamin Netanyahu stood up before the Congress, it was a losing battle of epic proportions for the Palestinians. I mean, if they weren’t happy with President Obama’s speech – which by the way the Palestinians were hardly jumping for joy about – just imagine the level of empathy this Republican-majority Congress had for the Palestinian cause. That’s right – just below zero. 26/5/2011
Netanyahu relegated himself to the footnotes historyGideon Levy - Haaretz - Now it is certain: Netanyahu will go down in the history of Israel and of the world as a forgotten footnote. What did he do? What did he coin? That we live in "the land of our forefathers" and the settlers are not occupiers. Good job, Bibi. That he is prepared to be "generous," without understanding that we are the occupiers and occupiers, just like robbers, can never be "generous." 26/5/2011
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Don`t be fooled by the applause, Binyamin NetanyahuJane Eisner - The Guardian - Jews in the United States do not like finding themselves in the position of choosing between their president and the prime minister of Israel. No matter who is in the White House, no matter who is in charge of the government in Jerusalem, we like to see consensus, a smooth connection, the enunciation not just of shared values, but a shared approach to geopolitical challenges. 26/5/2011
Netanyahu’s speech is a turning point.Micah Leshem - Over 40 years, we have successfully, willingly, deviously and surreptitiously, bound ourselves to a policy of colonial expansion. Israel will extend from the Mediterranean in the west, to the Jordan River Rift Valley in the east. For N, there never was any intention to negotiate peace, his vision is clearer than of all his predecessors.26/5/2011
Bibi and the Yo-Yos Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - What the American Senators and Congressmen feared was a fate worse than death. Anyone remaining seated or not applauding wildly enough could have been caught on camera – and that amounts to political suicide. It was enough for one single congressman to rise and applaud, and all the others had to follow suit. Who would dare not to? 26/5/2011
A fictional Palestine never to become reality and a collision course (Gush Shalom`s reaction to Netanyahu speech) Adam Keller - Gush Shalom - "Netanyahu praised democracy to the skies, while intending to continue occupation rule over millions of people by main force, against their will." 25/5/2011
Palestinians: Netanyahu peace outline unacceptable MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH - AP - ""What Netanyahu said in his speech tonight is a clear rejection of the suggestions of President Obama concerning the borders of 1967."" 25/5/2011
Don`t be fooled by the applause, Binyamin NetanyahuJane Eisner - Guardian - "Jews in the United States do not like finding themselves in the position of choosing between their president and the prime minister of Israel." 25/5/2011
Lessons From Tahrir Sq.THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN - NYT - "Israel will gradually absorb the whole West Bank, so, together with Israel proper, a Jewish minority will be ruling over an Arab majority. Israel’s enemies will refer to it as “the Jewish apartheid state.”" 25/5/2011
Yalla peace: A declaration of no peace RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "Netanyahu’s vision is a declaration that the only option before us is conflict, telling Palestinian moderates like myself that peace is impossible with Netanyahu’s Israel and that we are headed towards a future of worsening conflict." 25/5/2011
Netanyahu`s speech to Congress shows America will buy anythingGideon Levy - Haaretz - "It was an address with no destination, filled with lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions." id 25/5/2011
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Netanyahu and the one-state solution Neve Gordon - Al Jazeera - Israel`s unwillingness to compromise on key issues might annul a two-state solution, making only power-sharing viable. 24/5/2011
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President Obama scores big at AIPAC by sticking to his gunsMJ Rosenberg - PoliticalCorrection - Politely and nicely, Obama stuck it to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by explaining that Bibi`s faux-outrage over the `67 lines is utterly bogus. This was critical. AIPAC accepted it, even applauded it. The right-wing meme was destroyed, as much by AIPAC`s reaction as by Obama`s explanation. 24/5/2011
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Palestinian Statehood Vote Looms Over U.S.-Israel Rift .Charles Levinson & Jay Solomon - Wall Street Journal - As Mr. Obama began a six-day European tour Monday, some critics said Mr. Netanyahu`s aggressive stance could undermine the Obama administration`s efforts to lobby European leaders to vote against Palestinian statehood. 24/5/2011
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Palestinian unity arose from ruins of peace talksAFP - Ma`an - Obama`s rebuke of the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas stood in stark contrast to the cautious welcome offered by the diplomatic Quartet of Middle East peacemakers. It mirrored the reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.24/5/2011
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Analysis: Obama`s land swap surprise Herb Keinon - Jerusalem Post - Mutually agreed-upon swaps, Obama said, mean the negotiation of a border that is different from the one that existed before June 4, 1967. But it also presupposes that Israel will have to trade land inside pre-1967 Israel for land retained beyond the Green Line – a principle Netanyahu is opposed to. 24/5/2011
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Netanyahu is not ready for any deal with the PalestiniansNehemia Shtrasler - Haaretz - As far as he`s concerned, it`s all the Land of Israel - for both historical and security reasons. All the rest is just words. Just speeches designed to relieve some of the pressure being applied by U.S. President Barack Obama. Just bluff and deception. 24/5/2011
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Obama and the Israel Lobby Glenn Greenwald - Salon - What made this last week significant is that it underscores how politically difficult such an undertaking is for any American President: precisely because of the obsessive, relentless Israel Lobby that Walt and Mearsheimer invented in their conspiratorial, bigoted heads. If even the tiniest step provokes the backlash that we saw this week, imagine the domestic political upheaval which a true effort would engender. The New Yorker`s Hendrick Hertzberg put it this way: The President wants to make peace and presumably knows that it won`t happen without a huge and politically brutal American effort. Such an effort would probably provoke the Israel lobby (a better name for which would be the Likud lobby) into an all-out fight against his reëlection. 23/5/2011
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Obama, the first U.S. president to tell AIPAC the truth Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - Obama did not go to the AIPAC conference to iron out differences between him and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He went there to settle misunderstandings with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas...When Netanyahu returns home, he will have to decide once and for all if he is ready to lose the support of an American president who yesterday went into the lion`s den or enter the corral of negotiations that in the end, and perhaps even from the beginning, will threaten him with political slaughter. Netanyahu`s choice not to attend yesterday`s convention session may indicate which direction he will choose. 23/5/2011
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The hitchhiker`s guide to the Mideast Zvi Bar`el--Once more he gave a speech. And again, the natives listened closely, pulled out their calculators and carefully marked the points the president awarded to each side. A state within the 1967 borders - a point for the Palestinians; chastising Hamas - a point for Israel; belittling the demand for recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations - three points for Israel; support for the Palestinians` political and civil rights - 1.5 points for the Palestinians.22/5/2011
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The third intifada: Inevitable, not imminent Jon Elmer--Despite revolutions in the Arab World, current Palestinian situation impedes likelihood of third intifada.22/5/2011
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Bibi’s White House TantrumMichael Tomasky - Newsweek/Daily Beast - Netanyahu`s rejection of Obama`s Mideast speech underestimated the president`s strength. bz22/5/2011
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Obama creates linkage between Israel and the Arab worldMichael Omer-Man - Jerusalem Post - Obama reminded Israel that it is a part of the Middle East and its fate is inexorably linked to it. bz22/5/2011
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Today`s borders are the `indefensible` onesHaaretz Editorial - The real danger for Israel is not only the crisis in relations with the United States and most of Europe, it`s the deception Israel is trying to market to the Israeli public. According to that deception, a strong stand based only on nationalist slogans can replace a diplomatic solution; all that`s needed to survive Obama`s term with the current borders are well-crafted speeches and the right amount of manipulation. This strategy turns Netanyahu into a real threat to Israel`s security and future. bz22/5/2011
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There is much more to sayNoam Chomsky - Znet - Suppose that during the 1980s, when they were occupying Afghanistan, the Russians had carried out targeted assassinations in Pakistan aimed at those who were financing, arming and training the insurgents – quite proudly and openly. For example, targeting the CIA station chief in Islamabad, who explained that he “loved” the “noble goal” of his mission: to “kill Soviet Soldiers…not to liberate Afghanistan.” There is no need to imagine the reaction, but there is a crucial distinction: that was them, this is us.21/5/2011
Academic freedom and `dangerous ideas` Tarak Barkawi--As much of the West becomes increasingly Islamophobic - universities are assumed "breeding grounds" for radicalisation.21/5/2011
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Lots of rhetoric – but very little helpRobert Fisk--Then we had to hear what America`s `role` was going to be in the new Middle East. We did not hear if the Arabs wanted them to have a role21/5/2011
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President`s fine words may not address the Middle East`s real needsRobert Fisk--OK, so here`s what President Barack Obama should say today about the Middle East. We will leave Afghanistan tomorrow. We will leave Iraq tomorrow. We will stop giving unconditional, craven support to Israel. Americans will force the Israelis – and the European Union – to end their siege of Gaza. We will withhold all future funding for Israel unless it ends, totally and unconditionally, its building of colonies on Arab land that does not belong to it. We will cease all co-operation and business deals with the vicious dictators of the Arab world – whether they be Saudi or Syrian or Libyan – and we will support democracy even in those countries where we have massive business interests. Oh yes, and we will talk to Hamas.21/5/2011
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Netanyahu`s outrage at Obama`s Middle East speech is syntheticIan Black--Binyamin Netanyahu`s outraged rejection of Obama`s words thus appeared both tactical and synthetic. The accompanying notion of "mutually agreed swaps" allows in principle for Israel to retain settlement blocs it has built illegally in the West Bank and around East Jerusalem. The Palestine Papers showed just how far PLO negotiators were prepared to go in 2008 in accepting those "facts on the ground".21/5/2011
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For the Arab world Obama`s speech fell flatJames Zogby--For Americans, then, it might be fair to say that the speech was challenging and uplifting. It may even have been a useful speech for US policy-makers, although our current "slash and burn" Congress may be disinclined to act in support of the president`s initiatives – dooming them before they get off the ground. But if the intended audience was in the Arab world, then sadly, the speech fell flat. 21/5/2011
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Pressure heaped on Netanyahu for Washington visitWyre Davies--Mr Netanyahu says Israel cannot negotiate with Hamas, despite its agreement with Fatah 21/5/2011
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Obama and Netanyahu Are Facing a Turning PointHelene Cooper - NYT "By all accounts, they do not trust each other. President Obama has told aides and allies that he does not believe that Mr. Netanyahu will ever be willing to make the kind of big concessions that will lead to a peace deal. For his part, Mr. Netanyahu has complained that Mr. Obama has pushed Israel too far — a point driven home during a furious phone call with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday morning, just hours before Mr. Obama’s speech, during which the prime minister reacted angrily to the president’s plan to endorse Israel’s pre-1967 borders for a future Palestinian state." ca 20/5/2011
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Unity is not compromiseRamzy Baroud - Al-Ahram Weekly "As the Palestine Papers demonstrated, the major obstacle to a real, lasting and just peace in Palestine is the Israeli leadership`s unwillingness to accept anything less than full domination over the Palestinians. Not only do Israeli leaders refuse to partake in any serious peace talks, they also refuse to agree on universally accepted notions, for example, the law." ca 20/5/2011
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Exposing dangerous mythsAnayat Durrani - Al-Ahram Weekly "Atzmon, who was born in Tel Aviv and served as a paramedic in the Israeli Defence Forces, is known for his no holds barred criticism of Israeli policies. He has a master`s degree in philosophy and is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, and speaker on Israel and Palestine. He is particularly outspoken on human rights denied the occupied Palestinian people.For me the support of the Palestinian cause was a lesson in humanity. Through Palestinian suffering I grasped the supremacy that was inherent in my culture," said Atzmon. "I confronted the tribal and `chosen` in me. I searched for a new meaning of universalism, humanism and empathy." ca 20/5/2011
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Obama speech: USA must `learn from mistakes of past` in Middle East and North AfricaAmnesty International UK - "The US President must make clear that the US has learnt from the mistakes of the past when it supported governments such as those in Egypt and Tunisia whose claim to provide ‘political stability’ was based on wide-scale repression and abuse of human rights.The US administration has rightly condemned the gross abuses that have been committed by Colonel al-Gaddafi`s forces in Libya and the Assad government in Syria, and continuing repression in Iran." 20/5/2011
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The future of the Arab uprisingsJoseph Massad - Al Jazeera - Since the end of World War I, European powers and the United States have appointed and removed Arab kings at will. Their actions were always taken to ensure the persistence of these dictatorial monarchies, rather than their removal, and to strengthen Euro-American control and hegemony over the region. 19/5/2011
Observing the 63rd Nakba Richard Falk - MWC NEWS - One of the many signs of the growing worldwide movement in support of the Palestinian struggle for their rights under international law and elemental morality is the increased awareness of the Nakba. On this 63rd anniversary of the catastrophic Palestinian experience since 1948 when an escaping and expelled 760,000 Palestinians (now this dispossessed population has grown to 4.7 million; the 160,000 Palestinians who managed to stay behind in what became Israel now number 1.3 million) there is an encouraging sense that the destiny of the Palestinian people has entered a more hopeful phase19/5/2011
On an old anniversary, a new sense that change is possibleJonathan Cook - The National - As Israel violently cracked down on Sunday`s protests on many fronts - in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and on the borders with Syria and Lebanon - it looked less like a military superpower and more like the proverbial boy with his finger in the dam. 19/5/2011
Abbas to let Israel keep settlements even if UN recognizes "state" Ali Abunimah - Electronic Intifada - There is nothing new in Abbas’ approach. The only thing that could be gained from UN recognition is for Abbas and his entourage to obtain international recognition for themselves as leaders of an imaginary “state” while nothing changes on the ground for Palestinians19/5/2011
Israel turned the Nakba into a 63-year processAmira Hass - Haaretz - And what is the sickening similarity between the pressuring of Bedouin away from Negev lands today and the removal of 1948 refugee Bedouin in the Jordan Valley? How is it that after 1967 tens of thousands lost their right to live in the West Bank (including Jerusalem ) and the Gaza Strip? Israel did not overcome its instinct to expel, and is today focusing on the Palestinian citizens of Israel. 19/5/2011
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Hamas and Fatah can work togetherTareq Baconi - Guardian - "Rather than immediately adopting a rejectionist stance – as happened after Hamas`s election victory in 2006, the EU should resist Israeli and American calls to boycott a unity government." 18/5/2011
Toward a `Palestinian Spring`Jamil Hilal - EI - "What will happen to the PLO when the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, one that is under occupation without sovereignty over territory, borders, skies, and without the necessary aspects of statehood, and that jeopardizes the right of return? This is exactly what Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is seeking: a state with temporary borders." 18/5/2011
The Jordanian street and the pro-democracy protests RAY HANANIA - J-Post - "True democracy will not come to a significant part of Jordan’s population, at least not before a Palestinian state is created." 18/5/2011
What Obama Wants From UsMJ Rosenberg - Foreign Policy Matters - There is nothing good about perpetuating the occupation and President Obama knows it. (...) It`s time to raise our voices so Obama can hear us, whether he still wants us to or not. bz17/5/2011
Arafat adviser: Mitchell resigned over deputy`s `bias`Ma`an - "How can Dennis Ross assist in the peace process when he refuses to meet with the Palestinians, when he despises their leadership and hates their president?" bz 17/5/2011
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The Long Overdue Palestinian StateMahmoud Abbas - New York Times - Once admitted to the United Nations (...) Palestine would be negotiating - not as a vanquished people ready to accept whatever terms are put in front of us, but from the position of a United Nations member state whose territory is militarily occupied by another. [Abbas accepts in this article the UN 1947 Partition Resolution, which at the time was unacceptable to the Palestinian side, a fact which he avoids mentioning-bz.] 17/5/2011
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Netanyahu: Israel willing to `cede parts of our homeland` for true peace Haaretz - "This is not a conflict about 1967 but about 1948, when the state of Israel was established," said Netanyahu. (...) A Palestinian state should be created only through a peace agreement, Netanyahu said, adding that Israel could not make peace with an entity intent on its destruction. [This is a factual report, not expressing OM`s position-bz] 17/5/2011
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The Root of the Conflict is the War of 1948; the resolution of the conflict - the territories occupied in 1967.Palestine News Network - Gush Shalom responds to Netanyahu`s speech:
"The only possible way to peace is through a historic compromise in which Israel would give up the territories occupied in 1967 and in return the Palestinians would give up their claim to the territories lost in 1948." bz
17/5/2011
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Fatah-Hamas Deal Calls Israel`s BluffHenry Siegman - The National Interest - "If Prime Minister Netanyahu were more interested in the security of Israel’s citizens [...] than in holding on to Israel’s colonial project in the West Bank, he would have welcomed the reconciliation of Fatah and Hamas and their decision to rely henceforth on diplomacy and nonviolent resistance to the occupation for the achievement of a Palestinian state"16/5/2011
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Israel better prepare, for a Palestinian state is on the way Zvi Bar`el - Haaretz - Israel has always tried to convince that it is reaching out for peace into the void. But this policy is about to sustain a shock16/5/2011
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Red Rag Weekly ColumnGideon Spiro - The end of a dream (for now) - Holocaust Remembrance Day - Another Remembrance Day - A new catastrophe for Israel: Palestinian reconciliation - The slaughter in Syria16/5/2011
Reflections after the Israeli-Palestinian Remembrance DayNurit Peled-Elhanan - Combatants for Peace - By their actions of confession, dialogue and reconciliation, the Combatants for Peace remind all of us that the Jews in the group – us – have not yet earned the right to ask for forgiveness and forgetting.16/5/2011
Israeli Jews should mark Nakba Day, tooGideon Levy--It is possible and necessary to teach that this glory that is the establishment of Israel also has a dark side - so we can know our history, and understand the wishes of the Palestinians. 15/5/2011
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Why I blew the whistle about Palestine Ziyad Clot--Earlier this year the release by al-Jazeera and the Guardian of 1,600 documents related to the so-called peace process caused deep consternation among Palestinians and in the Arab world. Covering more than 10 years of talks (from 1999 to 2010) between Israel and the PLO, the Palestine papers illustrated the tragic consequences of an inequitable and destructive political process which had been based on the assumption that the Palestinians could in effect negotiate their rights and achieve self-determination while enduring the hardship of the Israeli occupation. 15/5/2011
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In Israel, you`re not somebody until your deadNehemia Shtrasler--The special week in which we mark Memorial Day and Independence Day has brought to new heights the morbidness prevalent here − venting our emotions about death. Fewer and fewer bereaved families recall the Torah’s injunction “Therefore choose life,” nor does one hear it said, “By their death, they bequeathed us life.”15/5/2011
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Finally in GazaLuisa Morgantini-- 80 people mostly italian are in Gaza now in the name of Vittorio. they will stay there till the 17 of may. 15/5/2011
Israel has to choose: Mideast peace or apartheid Saeb Erekat--The choice is not between Hamas and Israel; the choice is between settlement-colonies or states: between accepting two states with the 1967 border or maintaining an apartheid regime. 15/5/2011
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Israel opens its gates to the world, shuts them to PalestiniansHaaretz Editorial--The covert deportation of West Bank residents in order to increase the number of Jews in the West Bank, like the declaration of land as “state land” to build settlements on it, is an example of the occupation’s rotten fruit.15/5/2011
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Fida Zeidan`s Alternative Remembrance Day speechFida Zeidan - Combatants for Peace - I am a Palestinian Arab, my brothers [who were killed while serving in the IDF] are victims of the realization of the Zionist dream. 14/5/2011
Ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, or, democratic Israel at workGideon Levy - Haaretz - While we are still desperately concealing, denying and repressing our major ethnic cleansing of 1948 - over 600,000 refugees, some who fled for fear of the Israel Defense Forces and its predecessors, some who were expelled by force - it turns out that 1948 never ended, that its spirit is still with us. 12/5/2011
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Israel is getting away with robbing Palestinian taxesAmira Hass - Haaretz - Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz instructed Israeli treasury officials to freeze the transfer of the money because of the reconciliation agreement signed between Fatah and Hamas. Ostensibly, the goal is to ensure that the money does not reach terrorist hands. This is not merely robbery; it is also a false pretext. 12/5/2011
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My Reaction To Osama bin Laden’s DeathNoam Chomsky - Guernica Magazine - It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. 12/5/2011
Israel at 63: What part of Shut Up do you not understand?Bradley Burston - Haaretz - the Interior Ministry announced that its controversial new biometric national identity cards would begin with the serial number 6,000,000, to honor the victims of the Holocaust – this as tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors living in Israel have been neglected, forced to subsist on meager food and insufficient nursing care, as officials bickered over and sat on the compensation payments which could have made their lives much more comfortable. 11/5/2011
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For Hamas, United is so much Better Joharah Baker - MIFTAH - In all of the vicious propaganda swirling around the Palestinians’ newly found reconciliation, there is one point that needs to be emphasized if the propaganda is ever to be dismissed, especially about Hamas. While Israel, the United States and pretty much the entire western world is more than comfortable with designating Hamas as an irreversible terrorist organization, the fact remains that Hamas is first and foremost a political movement. 11/5/2011
More mainstream than mainstreamGisha - Gisha is not alone. Over the last year, a growing number of voices in the Israeli media have called for an end to the closure of the Gaza Strip. The speakers – foremost among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – represent a broad spectrum of opinion in the Israeli public. 11/5/2011
Christophobia in the Muslim WorldJohn Eibner - IHT & Wordpress "Last weekend’s scenes of anti-Christian mob violence in Cairo, against a background of churches in flames, is a powerful reminder of a grim reality: Non-Muslim communities have become endangered species throughout much of the Islamic world." ca 13/5/2011
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Israel`s blockade of Gaza is cracking Noura Erakat - Aljazeera "Egypt has announced that it will open its border crossing with Gaza on a permanent basis, thereby reversing Egypt`s collusion with Israel`s blockade regime. The interim Foreign Minister, Nabil al-Arabi, has described support for the blockade by the previous Egyptian regime as "disgraceful". While Israeli officials have responded to this announcement with alarm, they have limited capacity to undermine the new Egyptian government`s prerogative." ca 13/5/2011
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Israel`s new laws promote repression Neve Gordon - Aljazeera.net "As Arabs across the region struggle for freedom and democracy, Israeli law seems to be headed in the opposite direction." ca 13/5/2011
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Uncertain road ahead for Fatah-Hamas pactMel Frykberg - EI - "There is disagreement over the identity of the unity government’s next prime minister, who will belong to neither faction. Hamas wants somebody from Gaza to fill the position, while Fatah wants somebody from the West Bank." 11/5/2011
Israel`s new laws promote repression Neve Gordon - Aljazeera - "...in this so-called free and democratic country, there are in fact two books of laws, one liberal for its own citizenry and the other for Palestinians under its occupation."11/5/2011
Blue and white axes and black balloons Adam Keller - Crazy Country - "...anyone who dares mention after sixty-three years the painful price paid by the Palestinians for the creation of Israel may be punished by severe cutting of funds."11/5/2011
What kind of independence is this?Merav Michaeli - Haaretz - Thanks to the Nakba Law, this will be my first Independence Day during which I think more about the Nakba than about Independence Day. 10/5/2011
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In depth interview: Kathleen Wells talks with Uri Avnery about Israel and Palestine"[To have the Palestinian people recognize Israel as a Jewish state] is complete nonsense. It’s like demanding that one makes an agreement with Mexico on the condition that Mexico recognize the United States as a white Anglo-Saxon protestant country. It`s nonsense. It does not concern the Palestinians. Whether we want to be a Jewish state or a Buddhist state or an atheist state or whatever does not concern the Palestinians. It’s our choice. We Israelis must decide what kind of state we want to have. And there is a discussion in Israel about it. 10/5/2011
Paradigm Shift - Palestinian Unity and a New Middle EastRamzy Baroud - CounterPunch - "The greatest Israeli gain of the Camp David agreement (1979) was not of bringing peace to the region - for no regional peace truly followed. It was the total marginalization of Egypt as a powerful Arab party from virtually all Arab affairs of concern to Israel. […] Now Egypt is back - not merely in terms of a return to the `Arab fold` - but as the party that will increasingly define the new Arab reality. The signing of the Hamas-Fatah deal [...] was really a predictable consequence in a chain of events that signaled the remaking of a region"9/5/2011
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Palestinian unity has cast Netanyahu adriftZvi Bar`el - Haaretz - Premier doesn`t care whether the two sides of the Palestinian state manage to merge, nor does he care who will be their leader. As far as he is concerned, this is neither a Palestinian nor an Arab story - it`s all about Israel or, more precisely, it`s all against Israel9/5/2011
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Press ReleaseGideon Spiro--The Israeli Committee for A Middle East Free of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Arms-- Morderchai Vanunu demands to apply a recently passed law and revoke his Israeli citizenship. "I have no interest in Israeli citizenship, I don`t want to go on living here". 8/5/2011
America --The malaise behind CUNY`s affront to Tony KushnerSarah Wildman--[Since this report, CUNY has decided after all, and after severe pressure, to award Tony Kushner his honorary degree from City University of NY -- http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/report-cuny-to-rescind-decision-withholding-honor-from-kushner-over-anti-israel-views-1.360375 Nevertheless, the arguments below are worth our attention. DN] 8/5/2011
The purposive destruction of natural Palestineby Mahmoud Bakr - Al-Ahram Weekly "Over the past decades, the Palestinian territories have faced an array of environmental problems that have polluted and destroyed the environment quickly and severely, primarily because of policies pursued by the Israeli occupation. Increased population also raised pollution, waste and attrition of various natural resources. To protect the Palestinian environment and what resources are left, the Palestinian Authority (PA) created the Environment Quality Authority (EQA) in 1996. This is the government body responsible for strategic planning, legislation, and monitoring and regulating all environment issues. It is also responsible for coordinating among all local, regional and international bodies to protect and develop the Palestinian environment." ca6/5/2011
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Palestinians hail rapprochementKhaled Amayreh - Al-Ahram Weekly "Having been taken by surprise by the Egyptian-brokered reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Israeli leaders nearly lost their composure, threatening the Palestinian Authority (PA) with "grave consequences" if the agreement went through and materialised on the ground." ca 6/5/2011
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Joyous at reconciliationSaleh Al-Naami - Al-Ahram Weekly "Indeed, Palestinians across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank expressed jubilation as soon as the deal was announced. In several main squares in Gaza City, residents handed out candy, and the youth set off fireworks to mark the occasion. These scenes were repeated in most cities of the West Bank, which witnessed a number of marches supporting the agreement." ca 6/5/2011
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Abbas, Mash`al meet, agree to swift govt creationMa`an News Agency - Following the formation of a transitional government, the leaders said an agreement on a leadership framework would be reached, setting out the agenda for the new cabinet. The agenda is nominally laid out in the Egyptian Unity Paper signed Wednesday, but the document mandates the approval of this agenda by the secretaries-general of all Palestinian political factions. Third on the agenda was an agreement to release all of the political detainees in the West Bank. 5/5/2011
Israel’s Campaign Against PalestineRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - Israel is attempting to ratchet up pressure against tomorrow’s historic signing of a reconciliation pact between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo. It has announced it will begin withholding $90-million per month in taxes which it collects on behalf of the PA, which is in violation of international agreements it has signed to pass this revenue directly on to the Palestinians. Israel’s argument that the funds, which now go to the PA, would somehow end up in the hands of Hamas is ridiculous considering that Fatah currently runs the PA, and even the transitional government which will take over for the next year will contain solely independent figures with no formal loyalties to either party. 5/5/2011
Farewell to GeronimoTHOMAS L. FRIEDMAN - The New York Times - To understand that challenge, we need to recall, again, where Bin Ladenism came from. It emerged from a devil’s bargain between oil-consuming countries and Arab dictators. We all — Europe, America, India, China — treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations, and all of us sent the same basic message to the petro-dictators: Keep the oil flowing, the prices low and don’t bother Israel too much and you can treat your people however you like, out back, where we won’t look. 5/5/2011
A window of opportunity for IsraelGisha - We at Gisha believe that this moment is an opportunity for the Government of Israel to initiate cooperation with the PA, Egypt and international parties over operation of the border crossings. Such arrangements should guarantee freedom of movement between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under reasonable conditions, while addressing Israel`s security interests recognized by international law. 5/5/2011
The day after Bin Laden diedKathleen Kern - CPT AL-KHALIL/HEBRON - The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie nor establish truth. Through violence, you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 5/5/2011
New Israeli Discriminatory LawsStephen Lendman - Countercurrents - In April, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel discussed six new laws passed during the Knesset`s 2011 winter term "that directly or indirectly target the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel." Overall, they`re treated like a fifth column, denied equal rights as Jews in a country just as much theirs. More so, in fact, as their forebears lived there for centuries or longer. 5/5/2011
Palestinian joy as rivals Fatah and Hamas sign reconciliation pactIan Black and Conal Urquhart - The Guardian - Mowayad Aish, an engineering student, was waving a Hamas flag a few metres away. "This is the first step towards ending the occupation of Palestine. It is true there have been difficulties in the past and there will be obstacles in the future but we must remember it is for the people that we want to end the division." 5/5/2011
Palestinian reconciliation may lead to Israel`s Palestinian separationAmira Hass - Haaretz - On yet another hand, we still don`t know what this "opening" implies. Will Gazans not have to request an entry visa into Egypt in advance and be granted one immediately upon arriving at the terminal? Or will the visa be granted easily and swiftly, and not merely to "important people," the sick and the very affluent, as is the case today? Will entire families be able to board a bus in Khan Yunis and travel to Alexandria without coordinating and planning ahead and without enduring the nerve-wracking wait for replies from Egyptian intelligence? 5/5/2011
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Security through peace Matthew Gould - Ynet - "I want to see the peace talks get moving. And I want to see Israel drive those talks, taking the initiative to reach the peace that its people want." 4/5/2011
What Israel wants Sefi Rachlevsky - Haaretz - "Israel wants a racist messianic state, one in which Jews are citizens and non-Jews are subjects." id 4/5/2011
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The Fatah-Hamas Reconciliation Agreement Shlomo Brom - INSS - Participation in the Palestinian government and the holding of elections will create more serious pressure on Hamas to work for quiet in the Gaza Strip, which in turn can help advance the diplomatic process. It appears that the Obama administration has elements that could support this approach; it is doubtful that there are counterparts in the current Israeli government. bz 3/5/2011
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For most Arabs, bin Laden and his views are long-deadDaoud Kuttab - Washington Post - In fact, nonviolence and the absence of fundamentalist Islamic ideology have been hallmarks of the Arab Spring, [in spite of] dictators’ claims to the contrary. The demographics of the demonstrators across the Middle East also show a turn away from Islamic fundamentalism. 3/5/2011
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Hamas-Fatah reconciliation: Opportunity or disaster?Gershon Baskin - Jerusalem Post - The taxes collected by Israel (by agreement) do not belong to Israel. This is Palestinian money. (...) If the US and other Quartet members also freeze donations to the PA, the economic successes which have paved the road of stabilization will collapse. bz3/5/2011
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Obama must bring his daring to Israeli-Palestinian peace Haaretz Editorial - First and foremost, bin Laden`s assassination will have an effect on U.S. domestic politics. (...) If Obama becomes stronger domestically, that could - and should - drive his administration to make a more aggressive effort to bring peace to the Middle East. bz3/5/2011
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Our freedom is now closerAzzam Tamimi - The Guardian - The popular revolutions across the Arab world have given Palestinians a new sense of hope2/5/2011
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IN ONE word: Bravo!Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The emergence of Palestinian unity should be welcomed by Israel, as well as by the European nations and the United States. They should get ready to recognize the State of Palestine within the 1967 borders. They should encourage the holding of free and democratic Palestinian elections and accept their results, whatever they may be. The wind of the Arab Spring is blowing in Palestine too. Bravo!"2/5/2011
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Nothing but empty words Oudeh Basharat - Haaretz - "Nevertheless - and because of `the international situation that has been created` - with amazing generosity, Netanyahu has declared he will give the Palestinians, who turned up out of nowhere, the right to run their own lives, granting them powers equivalent to those of a local council - or at most a regional council"2/5/2011
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Phony Baloney--Judge Goldstone`s Bogus Test of War Time CulpabilityLynda Brayer--Wikileaks has once again brought attention to the question of Israel`s war crime culpability in the military “Operation Cast Lead” it conducted from 27th Dec 2008 - 18th Jan 2009, a period of twenty three days, against the Palestinian population living in the Gaza Strip. The American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, unsuccessfully tried to prevent a commission of inquiry into this war because of an obvious finding of culpability. Now, more that one and a half years later, Justice Goldstone, the head of that UN Commission seeks to introduce a peculiar twist into his original findings by raising the question of Israel`s intentions with respect to the killing of Palestinian civilians during that war. 1/5/2011
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The ghost town between Palestine`s past and its futureCatrina Stewart--Catrina Stewart visits an abandoned settlement, frozen in time 63 years ago, that may soon become a luxury housing development1/5/2011
Obama and the PalestiniansGhada Karmi - Counterpunch - Pondering Osama Bin Laden`s killing on 1 May, I found myself linking that event to another that took place 63 years ago in Palestine. It was not that Palestinians ever supported Bin Laden significantly, although some of his messages resonated with them. For example, in October 2010, he wrote to French citizens, "how is it right for you to occupy our countries and kill our women and children and expect to live in peace and security?"14/5/2011
Why no outcry over these torturing tyrants?Robert Fisk - The Independent - [B]ecause Bahrain is one of our "friends" in the Gulf, an eager arms buyer, home to thousands of Brit expatriates who - during the mini-revolution by Bahrain`s Shia - spent their time writing vicious letters to the local pro-Khalifa press denouncing Western journalists. And as for the demonstrators, I recall a young Shia woman telling me that if only the Crown Prince would come to the Pearl Roundabout and talk with the protesters, they would carry him on their shoulders around the square.14/5/2011
Israel opens its gates to the world, shuts them to PalestiniansHaaretz editorial - As revealed now 140,000 Palestinian West Bank residents who traveled abroad were stripped of their residency rights. This cannot be anything but an illegitimate demographic policy and a grave violation of international law. Israel must immediately rectify the ongoing injustice, restore their residency status and permit them to return home and unite with their families. 14/5/2011
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Israel has to choose: Mideast peace or apartheid Saeb Erekat - Haaretz - Only days before our national reconciliation, Prime Minister Netanyahu complained to the international community regarding the lack of a unified Palestinian government. He asked, “Shall I make peace with Gaza or with the West Bank?” 14/5/2011
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