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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
Shaath: Gaza-West Bank split `our major failure`Tim Sebastian - Deutsche Welle - At the heart of the delay? The division between Hamas-led Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, of which Shaath’s Fatah party makes up the most powerful group. "You cannot hold a democracy under disunity. Otherwise you consecrate the division," said Shaath on this week’s Conflict Zone from Ramallah.-rh30/8/2017
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Trump Is Wasting His Envoys` Time Haaretz Editorial - Abbas: “Every time they repeatedly stressed to me how much they believe and are committed to a two-state solution and a halt to construction in the settlements. I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they didn`t. And indeed, Netanyahu has also stopped believing in Trump’s commitment to a political agreement. Otherwise he wouldn’t have allowed himself to express his hawkish views - that he is opposed to a Palestinian state and to any withdrawal from the West Bank. [bz]29/8/2017
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Has Netanyahu Defeated the Palestinians?Daniel Levy - The National Interest - Israel cannot draw upon the reserves of white settlers who facilitated American or Australian pacification of numerically limited and isolated indigenous populations. That makes zero sum so high risk and ill-advised for Israel, even before one enters the ethical, moral or values dimension. [bz]29/8/2017
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Israel’s deafening silence over Charlottesville Akiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - The Charlottesville events will go down in the annals of Israeli history as one of the grimmest chapters in ties between the “Jewish state” and the strongest Jewish community in the world. When Israel is in trouble, American Jews, whether Reform, Conservative or Orthodox, stand by its side. When American Jews found themselves in trouble, Israeli Jews, whether secular or religious, left wing or right, saw nothing, heard nothing, said nothing. Israeli citizens can only hope that the Jewish community in Virginia and the AIPAC offices in Washington have not heard the motto favored by the prime minister of Israel, who presumes to lead the Jewish people in the conflict with the Palestinians: “If they give, they will get; if they don’t give, they won’t get.”-rh 23/8/2017
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PA-Jordan coordination takes shape in wake of Al-Aqsa crisisAhmad Melhem - Al Monitor - "One of the outcomes of a major meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah was an agreement to form a crisis committee to coordinate the positions of both countries regarding incidents at Jerusalem`s holy sites." - id 23/8/2017
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Is Netanyahu’s son pulling him to the far-right?Ben Caspit - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair expresses openly the far-right and Arab-hating positions expressed a bit more discreetly by his father and his official entourage." - id 23/8/2017
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The Egg of Columbus Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "The very fact that the federation idea crops up again and again shows its necessity. The groups of activists who are bringing it up now were not yet born when we first proposed the idea – yet their message sounds new and fresh. May their cause prosper." - id 23/8/2017
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Israel`s problem isn`t Palestinian nationalism — it`s Palestinians themselvesNoam Sheizaf - +972 - Most of the circumstances that made the Israeli- Palestinian conflict ripe for resolution — or at least made the peace process attractive to both parties — have all but disappeared over the past decade [ry]21/8/2017
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What comes after Abbas and Netanyahu?Alaa Tartir - Al Jazeera - A leadership vacuum is looming, and its effect on the peace process and everyday life has alarmed many observers [ry]21/8/2017
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The Israel Lobby vs the First AmendmentRamzy Baroud - nformation Clearing House "In its obsessive efforts to defeat the Palestinian-led boycott movement, AIPAC will soon force the revisitation of a long-dormant debate on the illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestine. US mainstream media has long avoided an honest discussion on Israel and Palestine as if the mere acknowledgment of a Palestinian point of view, let alone Palestinian rights, is in itself a sinister act." ca 18/8/2017
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Trump’s Blindness to Moral Truth: This Cannot Stand J.J. Goldberg - Forward - America was shamed on Tuesday as we have never been shamed before. We were debased as a nation by the words of a president who stood before the world and defended the honor of Nazis. He reduced himself in an instant from alarming buffoon to dangerous villain. We who elected him stand disgraced, humiliated.-rh 16/8/2017
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu `to introduce law making it easier to declare war`BETHAN MCKERNAN - Independent - Israel’s Channel 2 - known for its political coverage - said it had learned that over the last few weeks Mr Netanyahu has been pushing for an amendment to the Basic Law Concerning the Government which would allow him to “declare war or to launch a military operation, without the need for its approval by the government, and in certain cases, without the presence of the entire [Security] Cabinet.”Israel’s Channel 2 - known for its political coverage - said it had learned that over the last few weeks Mr Netanyahu has been pushing for an amendment to the Basic Law Concerning the Government which would allow him to “declare war or to launch a military operation, without the need for its approval by the government, and in certain cases, without the presence of the entire [Security] Cabinet.”Israel’s Channel 2 - known for its political coverage - said it had learned that over the last few weeks Mr Netanyahu has been pushing for an amendment to the Basic Law Concerning the Government which would allow him to “declare war or to launch a military operation, without the need for its approval by the government, and in certain cases, without the presence of the entire [Security] Cabinet.”Israel’s Channel 2 - known for its political coverage - said it had learned that over the last few weeks Mr Netanyahu has been pushing for an amendment to the Basic Law Concerning the Government which would allow him to “declare war or to launch a military operation, without the need for its approval by the government, and in certain cases, without the presence of the entire [Security] Cabinet.-rh16/8/2017
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The Zionist-white supremacist alliance in Trump’s White HouseAli Abunimah - Lobby Watch - EI - ""A cornerstone of Israel’s policy today is to cement ties with other ultra-nationalist, racist and Islamophobic forces around the world – even if they are also anti-Semitic." A striking example is Netanyahu’s own embrace of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban." - id16/8/2017
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Israel pushes security ties while Cairo, Amman embassies sit emptyAkiva Eldar - Al Monitor - "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to care little about Israel’s diplomatic ties with Egypt and Jordan so long as security ties are maintained." - id16/8/2017
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It`s not Netanyahu — it`s a country drunk on powerMarzuq Al-Halabi - +972 - "Even if Netanyahu’s corruption scandals force him out of office, Israeli politics will still be guided by the idea that Palestinians must be pummeled into submission." - id 16/8/2017
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The ‘diplomatic tsunami’ that never came Hagai El-Ad - +972 Magazine - Last week PM Netanyahu, speaking to a cheering crowd of Likud party loyalists, made a myriad of manifestly false accusations against the media and “the left". But Netanyahu did state one essential truth: the world can bring an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Back in 2011 former PM Ehud Barak had warned that Israel was about to face a “diplomatic tsunami”, an overwhelming "international movement towards recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders…". As Netanyahu correctly noted, there was no tsunami, nor even a strong rainstorm. [ak]15/8/2017
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Why I Cannot be a Zionist: an Open Letter to Emmanuel MacronShlomo Sand - Counterpunch - I stopped being able to understand you when, in the course of your speech, you stated that “Anti-Zionism … is the reinvented form of anti-Semitism.” Has this former student of philosophy, Paul Ricoeur’s assistant, read so few history books that he does not know that many Jews or descendants of Jewish heritage have always opposed Zionism, without this making them anti-Semites? (...) And finally I wonder if you seriously expect of the Palestinians that they should not be anti-Zionists! [bz]15/8/2017
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Israel would use nuclear weapons to keep refugees from returning — Noam ChomskyPhilip Weiss - Mondoweiss - "BDS tactics in the Israel Palestine case, were actually initiated in 1997 by an Israeli group, Gush Shalom, Uri Avnery’s group, a militantly anti-occupation group which played a significant role. They proposed boycott of the settlements and divestment from anything involving the settlements. And I myself have been involved in– it’s really BD activities, there are no real sanctions, that’s a state matter. But I’ve been involved in these things since the late ’90s, when it took off, aimed at the settlements. The BDS movement, which developed in 2005, has a different approach. That’s the movement, not the tactics. [bz]12/8/2017
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Netanyahu`s legacy will haunt IsraelAkiva Eldar - Al-Monitor - "In his many years as Israel`s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to destroy relations between Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs and the right and left." - id 11/8/2017
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Washington and Jerusalem: Two leaders, one fate?Orly Azoulay - Ynet - "Neither of them is capable of taking the final bow and getting off the stage, realizing that the party is over. They will keep whining until the blow arrives, instead of doing what each of them is required to do: Just go." - id 11/8/2017
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Israel`s empty threat to `shut down` Al JazeeraMoshe Ronen - +972 - "In practice, the State of Israel has no legal tools that allow it to limit Al Jazeera’s Israeli-citizen journalists to do their work as long as they don’t violate some other law. Walid al-Omari, Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem bureau chief, is an Israeli citizen." - id 11/8/2017
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Bibi: “This is the End, My Friend”Richard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - "Deposing him will not lead to any change in Israeli politics.  Undoubtedly, when the ax does fall you will find the liberal Zionist journalists from the NY Times, Haaretz, and other foreign publications writing rapturously about the chance for a “new beginning.” How Israel can “make a fresh start.”  How it can now approach the Palestinian issue with fresh eyes.  Mainly they will carry on about how much hope there now is for a change in Israel’s posture toward the Palestinians. And they will all be wrong." - id 11/8/2017
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Wistful Eyes Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "FROM WHATEVER angle one looks at it, the death sentence is a barbaric and stupid measure. It has been abolished by all civilized countries, except some US states (which can hardly be called civilized.)" - id 11/8/2017
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Netanyahu`s money man set to tell allBen Caspit - Al-Monitor - On Aug. 4, the investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned from dark clouds hovering over his head to the perfect storm. Netanyahu’s twice former chief of staff Ari Harow, the person who served as Netanyahu’s ultimate confidante, with access to all of his most intimate chambers, signed an agreement with the State Attorney`s Office. Harow agreed to be a state witness against Netanyahu. It is hard to imagine Netanyahu receiving any more of a resounding blow. Harow gave detailed testimony against the prime minister, giving a major boost to Case 1000 (the gifts allegedly received by Netanyahu from businesspeople in exchange for favors) and Case 2000 (Netanyahu`s conversations with the publisher of Yedioth Ahronot Arnon Mozes for a positive coverage deal). It is also conceivable that Harow will provide information on other cases involving Netanyahu, such as the submarine affair or the far-reaching investigation into Bezeq phone company and the Ministry of Communications.-rh 9/8/2017
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As Investigations Intensify, Israel Imagines Life After NetanyahuISABEL KERSHNER -The New York Times - A black curtain went up a few months ago near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence on Jerusalem’s leafy Balfour Street. It screened pesky protesters from Mr. Netanyahu’s view — and prevented the public from seeing lawyers and detectives come and go as criminal investigations of the prime minister intensified.-rh9/8/2017
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Netanyahu investigations have reached the point of no returnSima Kadmon - YnetNews - The state’s witness deal signed with Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff and close aide, Ari Harow, is not just the game changer in the Netanyahu affairs. It’s also a personal-family rift as big as the Great Rift Valley, and the beginning of a realization among the family members that Netanyahu is facing an indictment.-rh9/8/2017
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The Trumpeter and Violinist Can`t Leave Gaza for the West Bank (for Jordan no problem!)Amira Hass - Haaretz - The two young musicians, with the help of attorney Moran Gur of Gisha, still hoped that the High Court would explain the absurdity of the situation to the state. But the judges found that "the petitioners have no legal reason for which this court should intervene (...) musical development not necessarily [being] dependent on location." So, in Ramallah and Nablus the Palestine Youth Orchestra had to perform without them. [bz] 8/8/2017
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The End of This Road: The Decline of the Palestinian National MovementHussein Agha and Ahmad Samih Khalidi - The New Yorker - Israeli settlements may have all but erased the 1967 borders in one direction, but fifty years of occupation have helped to erase the border in the opposite direction as well. The broader Palestinian public has slowly begun to recognize the national role and place of its brethren in Israel. (...) With the expiration of the national movement “outside” the West Bank and Gaza Israel’s Palestinian citizens have inherited a new share of the struggle. [bz] 8/8/2017
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What is behind Israel`s attempt to ban Al Jazeera?Mark LeVine - Al Jazeera - Does Netanyahu need a smoke screen for his corruption scandal or is there a more sinister reason for banning Al Jazeera? [bz] 8/8/2017
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If you can’t say ‘equal rights,’ I can’t work with youRobert Cohen - Mondoweiss - There is a paradox at the heart of modern Jewish identity. It goes like this: “We wholeheartedly support equality in every land apart from the place we call our national home. There we claim privilege, we claim superior rights, we claim a superior history, we claim a unique story of oppression which, we argue, requires a unique and discriminatory response.” The seamless merger that has taken place over the last 70 years, between Judaism and Zionism and modern Jewish identity, has taken us down a moral cul-de-sac that’s now very difficult to walk back out from.[ak] 8/8/2017
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The Sly Effort to Criminalize the BDS Movement in the U.S.Scott McConnell - The American Conservative - BDS may well be conceived and supported by some who don’t want Israel to exist at all. But support for it would dry up overnight if the occupation ended and Palestinians had their own sovereign state. [bz]8/8/2017
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Israel is going to miss Mahmoud AbbasRonni Shaked - Ynet - It’s true that Abbas annoyed us with his de-legitimization moves and with his battle against the occupation in the international arena, but even without him, there would have been an opposition to settlements and there would have been international support for the two-state solution. Contrary to the Right’s mantra, Abbas could have been the best partner for negotiations. The government missed the opportunity of his days in power to try to advance an agreement. [bz]5/8/2017
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Geopolitical Dirty Dreams: Israel’s ‘Victory Caucus’Richard Falk -Wordpress - On an international level Trump will be expected by Zionist forces to translate the UN-bashing of Nikki Haley into concrete reality by defunding any organ of the UN (e.g. Human Rights Council, UNESCO) that dares document and censure Israeli wrongdoing under international law. And regionally, Trump seems determined to champion the dangerous Saudi/Israel agenda of anti-Iran war mongering, a posture that threatens to convert the entire region into a war zone.-rh 2/8/2017
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Archives belie Israel`s narrative of Palestinian conflictDaoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - The efforts by Sela, Hassan and others to search, document and present the public with hidden images of Palestine and the Palestinians flies in the face of the prevailing Israeli narrative, which aims to negate the Palestinians and therefore justify the continued occupation and colonization of the land and the people. Ongoing attempts to muzzle information and keep the truth hidden from a curious public will not succeed in erasing the memories and images that show what Palestine was before the Zionists and Israelis attempted to erase its history and with it the Palestinians` presence and rights in Palestine.-rh 2/8/2017
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It’s time to bid farewell to the Elor Azaria affair Nahum Barnea - Ynet - "The lessons from the Hebron shooting incident cannot end in the IDF. The entire political system—the entire Israeli society, in fact—must draw conclusions. If we fail to maintain the norms of a law-abiding state, we will undermine the foundations this country is built on." - id 2/8/2017
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The craziest things Netanyahu has said this summer, so farMichael Schaeffer Omer-Man - +972 - "From outlawing foreign funding for human rights NGOs to reviving the death penalty (for Palestinians), to population transfer and more, Benjamin Netanyahu is going a little wild. It probably isn’t unrelated to the multiple police investigations into him and his friends." - id 2/8/2017
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Israeli settlements and Palestinian terror: a moral equivalence?Ghassan Michel Rubeiz - The Arab Daily News - "To people in despair the world looks different." - id 2/8/2017
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The March of Folly Uri Avnery - Gush Shalom - "Netanyahu does not fear God or the Arabs. He fears Naftali Bennett. Bennett is the leader of the "Jewish Home" party.".."Now they are the most extreme right-wing party. It is a small faction, with only eight Knesset members (out of 120), but that is enough to break up the coalition and bring the government down. Netanyahu is mortally afraid of them." - id 2/8/2017
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The Next War in Gaza Is Brewing. Here’s How to Stop It.NATHAN THRALL and ROBERT BLECHER - NYT - First, Israel — which refuses to engage with any Hamas-led government — could transfer tax revenues on Gaza-bound goods to the people of Gaza (...) by using the tax revenues to pay for increased electricity. Second, Egypt could export more goods to Gaza, thereby reducing the amount taxed by Israel and increasing the amount taxed directly by Gaza’s government. [bz]1/8/2017
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Radiohead is art-washing Israeli apartheidOmar Barghouti - Al Jazeera - At concerts throughout Europe, Radiohead fans raised Palestinian flags, yet Radiohead went on with their show in Tel Aviv, allowing Israel to use their brand for whitewashing, or art-washing, its siege of Gaza, forced displacement of Palestinian communities in Jerusalem, the Negev and the Jordan Valley, and incessant construction of illegal settlements and walls in the occupied Palestinian - and Syrian - territory.[bz]1/8/2017
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Goodbye, Ambassador Lenk, you won’t be missed in South AfricaAzad Essa - Mail and Guardian/The Daily Vox - Arthur Lenk, Israel’s representative to Pretoria, was astutely ambassadorial. Mention Israel on Twitter and Ambassador would pop around to “celebrate” or “correct” the perception. He was a one-man PR stunt. In parting from us you say “South Africa’s liberation story still has resonance and inspiration for so many of us around the world.” Is this why you continue to build settlements in the West Bank despite your closest ally, the United States, asking you not to do so? This is your inspiration from South Africa? [ak]1/8/2017
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At Palestinian Assailant`s Village, Locals Lament Israeli Army`s Nightly Raids Amira Hass - Haaretz - Between the previous Friday, when 20-year-old Omar al-Abed killed three members of the Salomon family in the settlement of Halamish, and the following Thursday, the army raided the village every night except Wednesday. Last Sunday morning it was still possible to hear a few reservations about Abed’s act. By Wednesday, a veteran Fatah activist said, “The Shin Bet security service and the army think they’re deterring people, but they’re also causing people who don’t support violence to do so.” [bz]1/8/2017
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Netanyahu is silent for 3 days over neo-Nazi violence, while his son says Black Lives Matter and Antifa are the real threatAllison Deger - Mondoweiss "Bradley Burston wrote in an op-ed for Haaretz, “This is the message of Netanyahu’s silence regarding Charlottesville: I am not the prime minister of the Jewish people. I am the prime minister of all of the Jewish people who are right-wing, pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian, pro-Me.” ca18/8/2017
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Criticism grows over Netanyahu`s response to US neo-Nazism AFP - Al Monitor "Criticism of Netanyahu among opposition politicians and others has grown louder over the last couple of days, particularly after Trump`s comments on Tuesday in which he said there was "blame on both sides." Perhaps the harshest criticism came from Shelly Yachimovich, a parliament member and former leader of the opposition Labour party." ca 18/8/2017
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Making It a Crime to Support Palestinian Human RightsJames J. Zogby - LobeLog - It is fascinating to watch some US senators tripping over themselves as they attempt to defend their support for or opposition to proposed legislation that would make it a federal crime to support the international campaign to Boycott, Divest, or Sanction (BDS) Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian lands. What ties these officials up in knots are their efforts to square the circle of their “love of Israel”, their opposition to BDS, their support for a “two-state solution”, and their commitment to free speech.-rh 16/8/2017
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Al Jazeera gains from Israel’s attempts to close it Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor - Despite Israel’s public statements about closing down Al Jazeera’s offices in Jerusalem, it appears that the execution of such a decision will require a great deal of legal work on the part of the Israeli government. The decision, if implemented, will do little to reduce the coverage by the most-watched Arab satellite TV station. The move seems particularly odd since it would not be favorable to Israeli officials, who used to provide some kind of balance to Al Jazeera’s stories, which allowed them to speak unfiltered in its reports.-rh 16/8/2017
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Left wing Israeli think tank trolls Benjamin Netanyahu and his son Yair in libel suitBethan McKernan - Independent - Molad, a left-leaning institution which describes itself as ‘the centre for the renewal of Israeli democracy’, decided to sue the younger Mr Netanyahu for libel last week after he refused to apologise for comments in a Facebook post which branded the organisation “The Fund for the Destruction of Israel, funded by Soros and the European Union.” -rh16/8/2017
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Does It Really Matter If Netanyahu Ends Up Behind Bars?Neve Gordon - Palestine Chronicle - Netanyahu’s 11-year rule thus appears to be fast approaching an inglorious end. The more interesting question now, however, is what the significance of these developments will be. Two points are worth making: First, Netanyahu is not really an outlier. Many leaders and politicians across the globe, particularly those who, like Netanyahu, have managed to stay in power for many years, have also become corrupt by abusing the privileges and responsibilities bestowed upon them by their office. Yet what is unusual about the Israeli case is that some of the corrupt protagonists actually end up in jail.-rh16/8/2017
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Elizabeth Warren opposes Israel Anti-Boycott ActAli Abunimah - Electronic Intifada "VIDEO: I think the boycott is wrong, but I think outlawing protected free speech activity violates our basic constitutional rights,” Warren told constituents in Massachusetts on Friday...The powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC has made the bill one of its top legislative priorities." ca9/8/2017
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