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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    

Why I am determined to tell Palestinians` storiesJames Zogby- The National "It was 40 years ago that I cofounded the Palestine Human Rights Campaign (PHRC) and wrote Palestinians, the Invisible Victims. I was concerned that in the American mind, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been reduced to a simple equation: Israeli humanity versus the Palestinian problem...This framing of the issue was not by accident. Rather it was the result of a systematic campaign to dehumanise the one side while humanising the other. " ca " 31/3/2017
Another worthless “Arab Summit” of rhetoricRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "The old saying that “the Arabs have the best cause but the worst lawyers, while Israel has the best lawyers and the worst cause” has always been misinterpreted. It’s not “lawyers.” It’s “PR Strategists!”" - id 29/3/2017
Israel`s false narrative on land swapsBen White - Al Jazeera - The idea of future land swaps has been used to justify expanding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, analysts say. They also expect Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deflect pressure from the international community against illegal Israeli settlements by using the concept of blocs and swaps. [bz]28/3/2017
Why is Trump so obsessed with Israeli-Palestinian peace?Orly Azoulay - Ynet - The US president doesn’t really care about the Mideast conflict, he just needs a foreign policy achievement. He wants a grandiose deal and is approaching the issue with no sentiments whatsoever. Failure means a bleeding wound to his ego, and he won’t let that happen [ry]27/3/2017
Israel’s Most Controversial New TV Series Reveals the Lives of Palestinian Inmates Itay Stern - Haaretz  "The creators of `Megiddo,` a film that outraged Culture Minister Miri Regev, spent a year and half at a huge security prison documenting the tense reality there. " ca31/3/2017
Could `regional deal` be behind Israel`s government crisis?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Following the annual Arab League meeting in Jordan this past weekend, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will bring up the issue of the Arab Peace Initiative in his upcoming meeting with US President Donald Trump.- id 29/3/2017
The voices missing from Syria`s peace talksZena Tahhan - Al Jazeera "Other than the fact that the government was sending people to prison for this, the regime outlawed the use of the term `civil society`. Civil society was being likened to Zionism and Masonry. There was a complete criminalisation of the term," Syoufi told Al Jazeera...With the war entering its seventh year, hundreds of civil society organisations have developed both inside and outside of Syria, amid a security vacuum and harrowing bloodshed, to fill the role of state institutions meant to protect and inform civilians." ca24/3/2017
Israel and Hamas need each other — now more than everDoron Matza - +972 "The fact that Israel has no desire to destroy Hamas and re-occupy Gaza means the next round of fighting will end much like the previous ones: a ‘strategic tie’ with enormous human suffering in both Israel and the Strip...It is impossible to understand what is happening in the Gaza Strip without understanding the following paradox: the relationship between Israel and Hamas appears as a “zero-sum game,” yet both sides cooperate with one another." ca24/3/2017
You are here Campaign Against Antisemitism is a campaign against PalestiniansTony Greenstein - Electronic Intifada "The Campaign Against Antisemitism was formed in August 2014 during a major Israeli offensive against Gaza. Its purpose was to paint Palestine solidarity campaigning and opposition to Zionism, Israel’s state ideology, as anti-Semitic.There was massive opposition to the attack on Gaza among the British public; an estimated 150,000 people took to the streets of London in one protest. Such was the climate of opinion that Sayeeda Warsi, then a Foreign Office minister, resigned from the government, describing its support for Israel as “morally indefensible.” ca 24/3/2017
An appalling error Israel simply must apologise forJenni Frazer - Times of Israel - "I am not arguing that Israel should apologise because Dr Abuelaish was a bit of a media star, but rather because there was a terrible error made, in the heat of war. There’s a waiting path here, leading to the right thing to do. Please do it." - id 22/3/2017
Is Palestinian frustration playing into Netanyahu`s strategy?Akiva Eldar - Al MOnitor - "With Palestinian frustration increasing over the hardships of the Israeli occupation, Israeli security experts keep warning of a violent breakout, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps ignoring the warnings." - id 22/3/2017
What did the UN apartheid report expose in reality?Mark LeVine - Al Jazeera - The most damning aspect of the new report by the UN`s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), which accuses Israel of being an apartheid state, is that the authors have used the scalpel of international law and the seemingly moribund International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid to create a new matrix of analysis of the occupation, its generative dynamics, and likely future path that will prove extremely hard for even Israel`s most ardent defenders to refute in the coming years. [bz] 21/3/2017
Does the term `apartheid` fit Israel? Of course it does.Saree Makdisi - Los Angeles Times - It`s obvious, of course, that Jewish settlements in the West Bank aren`t exactly bursting with Palestinians. But also in Israel itself hundreds of communities have been established for Jewish residents on land expropriated from Palestinians, in which segregation is maintained, for example, by admissions committees empowered to use ethnic criteria long since banned in the United States, or by the inability of Palestinian citizens to access land held exclusively for the Jewish people by the state-sanctioned Jewish National Fund. [bz]21/3/2017
UN Removes Report Accusing Israel of The Crime Of Apartheid From Its Web SiteMitchell Plitnick - The Third Way - The report makes more than a few points that I find either valid or, at the very least, troubling enough that a serious discussion about them is not only warranted, but crucial. (...) I have decided to post the report and the executive summary here. Let’s not stifle discussion, let’s not de-legitimatize debate. Let’s examine the substance of the arguments Falk and Tilley make and deal with them. [bz] 21/3/2017
Israel and the A-WordJohn Reynolds - CounterPunch - "There are of course differences in the modalities of Israel’s discrimination against Palestinians – depending on whether they are inside Israel, in occupied territory, or in exile. The crucial point that the UN report highlights, however, is that this is nonetheless best viewed as a single overarching institutional regime which discriminates against the Palestinian people as a whole" [ry]20/3/2017
Red Rag column - the State Comptroller`s report on the Gaza warOpponents of the Occupation did not need the State Comptroller’s Report to know that “Operation Strong Cliff”, was a criminal operation, a failure, unnecessary and completely unjustified. Now we have the report of the State Comptroller, which reveals that the government did not discuss any political alternative to war.19/3/2017
The Conscientious Objectors Threatening the Israeli System David Zonsheine - Haaretz - Tamar Alon, Tamar Ze’evi and Atalia Ben Aba are exceptional not because they decided not to join the army – everyone knows it’s very easy to avoid military service in Israel – but precisely because they decided to enlist in the service of publicly exposing the principal apparatus that inductees serve: Israel’s violent rule over the Palestinian people. The reason the army continues to keep them locked up is simple: they pose a threat to the mechanism. If the three had decided to seek an exemption via a mental health officer, they wouldn’t pose a threat and they wouldn’t have been jailed. [bz for dn]19/3/2017
Donald Trump invites Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to visit White HouseTom Batchelor - Independent - The invite signals an attempt by the Trump administration to improve relations with the Palestinians after a series of controversial statements on geopolitics in the region. During a visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington last month, Mr Trump suggested the US was no longer wedded to a two-state solution.-rh 16/3/2017
Israel’s Ban Of BDS Supporters Stirs Rather Than Stifles DebateLiat Deener-Chodirker - Forward - The bill passed by the Knesset seems to have no tolerance for the views or commitments of people like me. It is an attack on core principles of free speech, democracy, and so many of the values that we as pro-Israel Americans hold up as central to the connection between our countries. It seems designed to exclude and isolate those who combine support for Israelis with support for the rights of Palestinians.-rh 15/3/2017
Bibi Offers Trump Envoy Platitudes About Palestinian Economic BettermentRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Remember those South African Bantustans Ciskei and Transkei?  Well, add to that Palestine as envisioned by Bibi Netanyahu and blessed by Donald Trump." - id 15/3/2017
Israel`s false narrative on land swapsBen White - Al Jazeera - The idea of future land swaps has been used to justify expanding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, analysts say [ry]27/3/2017
Women and the armyAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Under the slogan in the "Neither secretary nor tank crew – a refuser and a Feminist", three young women this week repeated the ritual which the IDF forces upon those who were examined by the army’s "Conscience Committee" and ruled to be lacking a conscience." - id15/3/2017
Comptroller`s report on the last Gaza war: More is hidden than revealedYacov Ben Efrat - Challenge - "Operation Protective Edge, which began in July 2014, was the result of a clear policy to thwart the unity government that Fatah and Hamas had recently established." - id 15/3/2017
Coming to terms with the death of a former partner in struggleAviv Tatarsky - +972 - Before he was killed in a gunfight with Israeli forces, Basel al-Araj was a nonviolent activist who fought for his village. His transition from nonviolence to armed struggle feels like a personal defeat for me. [bz for dn]12/3/2017
Basil of Al-Walaja: RIPMazin Qumsiyeh - Popular Resistance blog - “The new Al-Walaja represented a threat to Jewish colonial settlements and West Jerusalem (because of its geographic location) but we had so many problems…the displaced and the refugees, the taking of our water rights, the wall built on our land, home demolitions, apartheid, residency rights. ….Resistance is a normal reaction [to this]….. Palestine is a microcosm of the world, its history that of mankind. What happens here is an indicator of things to come around the world.” These prophetic words rang in my ears when I heard of Basil’s martyrdom. [bz for dn] 12/3/2017
A Palestinian state now or equal rights until there is a solution -- “we can accept either but we cannot accept neither”Tony Klug - SISO panel, J Street conference - After half a century, Israel’s “occupation-chickens” are coming home to roost – creeping isolation, growing challenges to the state’s legitimacy, rising anti-Jewish feeling, spreading accusations of apartheid, to say nothing of the blossoming of religious zealotry and radical nationalism. In the wake of the celebrated military victory of 1967, a number of Israeli voices rose above the exultant mood of the time to warn of the perils of triumphalism, hubris and complacency. [bz] 11/3/2017
Only the Israeli Dead Matter: Israel’s Failure at Investigating Its Bloody WarsRamzy Baroud - Information Clearing House "At a glance, Israel appears a true democracy. Take a closer look and that facade of democracy will soon dissipate, turning into something else entirely. Tuesday 28 February was one of those moments. The chain of events was as follows: An official Israeli State Comptroller issued another report on the Israeli government’s handling of the July 2014 war on Gaza; it chastised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon – among others – for the lack of preparedness and for their mishandling of the subsequent 51-day conflict; Netanyahu reacted angrily; Ya’alon took to Facebook to defend his record; the opposition in the Israeli Knesset went on the offensive; politicians lined up, taking sides; a media frenzy followed; the country was in an uproar." ca 10/3/2017
Trump to Speak With Palestinian President Abbas for First Time on Friday Amir Tibon - Haaretz "The conversation with Abbas comes ahead of an expected visit by Jason Greenblatt, one of Trump`s top diplomatic advisers, to the region. Abbas will be one of the last Arab leaders to speak with Trump on the phone, after the president has already spoken with the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries in the region." ca10/3/2017
I Support Boycotting Settlements — Should I Be Banned From Israel With My Children?Peter Beinart - Forward - In 2012, I wrote a book that urged American Jews to buy products from “democratic Israel,” the territory inside Israel’s original boundaries in which Jews and Palestinians live under the same law, but not “nondemocratic Israel,” the West Bank, where Jews enjoy citizenship and Palestinians live under colonial rule. So while I oppose boycotting Israel as a whole, I support boycotting Israeli settlements, which I believe threaten Israel’s moral character and its long-term survival.-rh 8/3/2017
Can international force save Gaza?Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "Halevy based his March 1 closed-door briefing to members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, among other things, on a 2015 United Nations report warning that if current trends persist in the Gaza Strip, by 2020 Gaza will not be fit for human habitation." - id 8/3/2017
Did Trump Warn Israel Against Annexation?Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - " Why would Trump even care at this point about annexation? It isn’t yet on the table in a serious legislative way in Israel." - id8/3/2017
Red Rag column - Hassan Nasrallah: ally of Israeli civil societyGideon Spiro - Politics sometimes produce strange alliances and collaborations between erstwhile deadly enemies. For many years environmental protection organizations have been campaigning for the removal of the ammonia tank in Haifa, which could cause mass casualties in the event of its being the target of a terrorist attack. The owners of the ammonia tank, who belong to the tycoon class, succeeded in ridiculing the leaders of the campaign and with the help of the authorities implemented the classical capitalist maxim according to which profits are more important than human life. Until, that is, Nasrallah came along and changed the rules of the game. gm 7/3/2017
Unlearning apartheid apologism: A Jewish response to Israeli Apartheid WeekSophie Edelhart, Eliza Moss-Horwitz, Jack Snyder - Columbia Spectator - We had been lied to, but more than that, we had been raised in a community that failed to face the anti-democratic reality of the State of Israel. Rather than being taught to pursue justice for all—Palestinians and Israelis, Jews and non-Jews—we had been told to defend Israel at all costs. [bz]7/3/2017
UN agency labels Israel ‘apartheid regime’– and Israel likens organization to Nazis Allison Deger - Mondoweiss "Apartheid, the report described, is “a crime against humanity” and defined as: “[I]nhuman acts…committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial groups or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.” ca17/3/2017
Trump warns annexation of West Bank will cause ‘immediate crisis’ between US and Israel – Lieberman Annie Robbins - Mondoweiss - The warning came after Likud KM Miki Zohar, who advocates annexation, stated on Israeli television Channel i24 last night that the two state solution was “dead” and Palestinians, while not having full citizenship, would nonetheless enjoy rights like every citizen, except for the right to vote for the Knesset — unless they serve in the army or to “serve the country” which he hastened to assure viewers they would not do. Lieberman noted he’d been getting calls from “all of the world wanting to know if this is the position of the coalition,” continuing,“[W]e need to separate from the Palestinians and not to integrate them. The decision to annex Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] would mean the integration of 2.7 million Palestinians in Israel.”-rh 16/3/2017
Has Israel recognized link between Gaza blockade, security threat?Shlomi Eldar - Al Monitor - Retired judge, now State Comptroller, Joseph Shapira dares to confront the fact that all recent Israeli governments energetically denied: that there is a direct link between the siege, the growing military strength of Hamas and the rockets fired at southern Israeli towns and villages. "The security-diplomatic Cabinet, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself, did not give any consideration to the fact that Israel itself was creating an imminent major security threat from Gaza and endangering Israeli lives." [bz] 4/3/2017
No leader at the end of the tunnelNahum Barnea - Ynet - "The overall impression from the state comptroller’s report on Operation Protective Edge is that Netanyahu isn’t functioning as a leader: He isn’t outlining a policy because he has no policy; he isn’t imposing his opinion because he has no opinion. The amazing thing is the gap between his image as ‘Mr. Security’ and his real involvement in security management." - id3/3/2017
Anti-Semitism in the U.S. doesn’t make me want to move to IsraelSarah Stern - +972 - "Why would American Jews be any less repulsed by the ultra-nationalist tendencies rampant in Israel than they are by those taking hold in America?" - id 3/3/2017
Divide and Conquer: Israel Learns from the ‘Best’Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "The concept of divide and conquer has been used successfully by colonial power for centuries, perhaps even millennia...Israel too has employed divide and conquer to weaken its enemies almost since its founding. When it found Arab minorities like the Druze or Bedouin whom it could co-opt, it offered them benefits and superior status. It recruited them to serve in the army, where they fought against their fellow Arabs. But when he couldn’t co-opt, Ben Gurion simply bared the claws of the state and expelled hundreds of thousands of indigenous inhabitants in the Nakba (a word Bernie Sanders almost used in his J Street speech!!)." - id 3/3/2017
The Hypocrisy of the anti-Trump hatersRay Hanania - The Arab Daily News - "Nothing exposes hypocrisy of anti-Trump activists than rejection of Keith Ellison. When the Democrats and the anti-Trump haters have put meaning in their words but instead chose to expose their hypocrisy by back-stabbing the candidacy of the First Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison to become the DNC Chairman. They “love” Muslims but only enough to exploit it." - id3/3/2017
Scales of JusticeAdam Keller - Crazy Country - "Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked redressed this negative tendency, making a successful effort to change the composition of the Supreme Court and include more conservative judges, especially some who belong to the Religious-Zionist sector. A particular success was recorded with the appointment of David Mintz – a British-born jurist who came to Israel in 1970 and immediately moved to the West Bank settlement of Dolev." - id3/3/2017
Bernie Sanders Electrifies J Street With Emotional Message On Israel — And TrumpRon Kampeas - Forward - “Now, as many of you know, I have a connection to the State of Israel going back many years,” Sanders said, addressing the liberal Jewish Middle East policy group’s annual conference.“In 1963, I lived on a kibbutz near Haifa,” he said. “It was there that I saw and experienced for myself many of the progressive values upon which the State of Israel was founded. I think it is very important for everyone, but particularly for progressives, to acknowledge the enormous achievement of establishing a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution, and particularly after the horror of the Holocaust.” Sanders said that recognizing the ensuing Palestinian suffering should not diminish support for Israel.-rh 2/3/2017
Netanyahu and the `apartheid state`Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come up with a new, supposedly sophisticated answer for pesky journalists who ask whether he still supports the two-state solution. If Netanyahu responded that he hopes for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, he would incur the wrath of his friends in the government, the Likud and the Knesset. On the other hand, if he said the two-state solution is dead in the water, he would face condemnation by the entire international community. He cannot, however, simply ignore the question. So what can he do? Throw out the response, “Rather than deal with labels, I want to deal with substance.”.-rh 1/3/2017
The 50th anniversary of the occupation will rock the Jewish establishment Philip Weiss - Mondoweiss - †Ê …Y †Ô ‡ç ‡í In three months the American Jewish community is going to hit an iceberg called the Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of the occupation/Six Day War. The collision is going to change the Jewish establishment. The fractures that have been developing for years over Israel are going to break out in public agony. The anniversary will change the American Jewish relationship to Israel for a long time, as the Six Day War did 50 years go. Young Jews will take charge, young anti-Zionists will be welcomed into some synagogues, and some will speak up for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.-rh1/3/2017
How Israel’s Gaza War report became a political battlefield Mazal Mualem - Al Monitor "Bennett`s new status as the political beneficiary of the criticism surrounding Operation Protective Edge bolsters his standing within his party and among the right at large. When confronting Netanyahu and Ya`alon, his two main rivals for the leadership of the right, he can now present himself as a security hawk who has a better understanding of the threats posed by the campaign in Gaza. Along the way, he is also firing off a warning shot at an emerging political threat by challenging the professionalism of Gantz, someone frequently mentioned as a candidate for Labor Party leadership." ca 1/3/2017
Could a Palestinian politician best represent American Jewish values? Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 "Delivering a keynote address at the annual J Street conference in Washington this weekend, Ayman Odeh, leader of the third-largest bloc in Israel’s parliament, the Joint List, described a Jewish-Arab agenda to advance true and full equality, social justice, and peace.I asked Odeh if, in the wake of Herzog’s plan to defer peacemaking, he believes there is a unique opportunity to present himself to progressive American Jews as the Israeli politician who is most closely aligned with their values.1/3/2017
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