Categorized | Middle East





How much public influence does a pro-Palestinian Israeli have?

Amira Hass – Haaretz – I don`t know what other option there is in so extreme a situation, in which four million people are being kept under a military regime without democratic rights by a country that is interested in presenting a democratic image. In a situation where there is a blockade and collective punishment of 1.5 million people, can one hesitate at all whether to hold a very minimalist protest in Tel Aviv? It seems to me part of the duty of a human being, the least we can do. The question is not why I need all this mess but why so few people join in.



`Am al-Ara`is and Bi`r al-`Id

David Shulman – By now a truly amazing caravan of military and police vehicles have descended upon us; among the several dozen soldiers is Moshe, a portly major in the Civil Administration, which is in charge of arbitrating claims such as these. He knows the case. He approaches Yohanan, and we overhear him say to him in a low voice: “You know this fence is illegal.” But make no mistake. This doesn`t mean the field will be restored to its rightful owner. All it means is that, on some abstract level, someone high up in the Civil Administration has recognized, in a fleeting and perhaps unrepeatable moment, this theoretical truth.



On the Anniversary of the Israeli Offensive on Gaza, Addameer Calls Attention to the 686 Gazans Detained in Israeli Prisons

Addameer – In June 2007, as part of its policy of treating the Gaza Strip as an enemy entity following the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, Israel implemented a total prohibition on family visits to prisoners from Gaza. In addition, starting in November 2009, Israel has effectively prevented these prisoners from receiving money from their families to buy basic necessities by requiring that transfers of money be conditional on the physical presence of a family member at an Israeli bank—an impossibility for families residing in the Gaza Strip.



Israeli leftists have a racist past, too

Yitzhak Laor – Haaretz – Here, with the exception of a few enthusiastic young people, there is no struggle. Even the trickle of people refusing to serve in the army has dried up. The politicians benefit from this dead end: It lets them run from microphone to microphone and organize “coalition crises.” The military leadership prattles on about our “damaged deterrent capabilities” like a beggar with his cup. And the rabble are brought into the streets to demonstrate about Jewish virgins.



Iranian General Murdered in Israel’s Ayalon Prison? 

Richard Silverstein – Tikun Olam – Ali Reza Asgari, Iranian general murdered by Mossad in Ayalon Prison? Did such an agency have an interest in silencing the detainee? And if so, was a death declared a “suicide,” really murder? In the case of the death of a prisoner under special treatment [held by the security services], why it was not within the power of the Prison Service to prevent the suicide or some other form of violent death.



Christian extremists assist Israel in displacing Negev Bedouin 

Jonathan Cook – The Electronic Intifada – Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba, said the JNF, which has semi-governmental status in Israel, had set a “dangerous precedent” in accepting money from God-TV. “The Israeli authorities are playing with fire,” he said. “This dispute between the Israeli government and the Bedouin is a long one that until now focused on the question of land rights. But the involvement of extremist Christian groups like God-TV is likely to turn this into a religious confrontation, and that will be much harder to resolve.”



Adnan Gheith withdraws appeal to High Court: Will be expelled for four months

Mairav Zonszein – +972 – The decision, according to his lawyer, stems from the fact that Adnan was convinced he would lose the appeal, among other things, because Israel’s General Security Service was expected to submit classified documents that he would not be able to view and therefore not be able to refute – effectively barring him from due process in making a case in his defense. Furthermore, he argued, the legal proceedings would constitute recognition of the court’s authority and would set a legal precedent for more Palestinians like him to be expelled on the same grounds. Rumors have been going around that the GSS has composed a list of a few hundred Palestinian residents in East Jerusalem to be targeted for similar expulsion orders



The drums of war are heard again in Israel

Ilan Pappe – Mondoweiss – The drums of war are heard again in Israel and they are sounded because once more Israel`s invincibility in is question. Despite the triumphant rhetoric in the various media commemorative reports, two years after `Cast Lead`, the sense is that that campaign was as much of a failure as was the second Lebanon war of 2006. Unfortunately, leaders, generals and the public at large in the Jewish State know only one way of dealing with military debacles and fiascos. They can be redeemed only by another successful operation or war but one which has to be carried out with more force and be more ruthless than the previous one with the hope for better results in the next round.



Four Cases against Israeli Democracy

Jesse Bacon – The Only Democracy – While I was away on vacation, four cases of the continuing slow death of Israeli democracy occurred. Taken together, they represent a good spectrum of the responses to democracy activists by Israel, all negative. First, Matan Cohen, Israeli-American activist, member of Young, Jewish, and Proud, and one of the people behind the push for divestment at Hampshire College. He attempted to return home as he often does. He was taken aside on December 17 by Israeli security’s “Jewish division” and accused of “hostile terrorist activities,” ie nonviolent organizing.



Israel applies the “price tag” strategy in East Jerusalem 

Ir Amim – Ir Amim sharply condemns the decision to stipulate the eviction and sealing off of Beit Yehonatan on the eviction of additional Palestinian families in East Jerusalem, and calls on the Israeli authorities to come to their senses and apply sound judgment in the most sensitive area of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



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