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Dorothy Online NewsLetter

NOVANEWS

Dear Friends,

Another 5 items below.  They begin with positive news (for a change)!

Item 1 contains 2 reports on demands to label products that come from the Opt—one from England, the other from Belgium.

And item 2 reports on criticism of Israel by Spanish artists.  Finally, we are beginning to see reactions additional to the protests in many countries.  Let us hope that there will be many more open letters as these!

Item 3 is less pleasant.  A recent poll shows that the large majority of Israelis are with the government in this horrid attack on Gaza. Well, most Israelis don’t know the whole story—why it began at all, so of course they stand up for their government, just as Gazans stand up for Hamas.

Item 4 is from an Israeli who speaks of “Israel’s tarnished moral calculus.  Good points.  But he misses when he doesn’t ask why Hamas has been successful in keeping Palestinian public opinion on its side.  The population suffers terribly from the blockade, which Hamas justifiably opposes.

Item 5 reports that the IOF hit Gaza’s main power plant, leaving even those in Gaza who still have homes without electricity.

That’s it for this round.

Wish this would end before more people get killed or injured and before more destruction takes place.  Enough!

Dorothy

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1 Ynetnews

July 29, 2014

Off the Shelves

Photo: Ilan Arad, lowshot.com Settlement of Karnei Shomron Photo: Ilan Arad, lowshot.com

http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-4551661,00.html

UK retailer Tesco to stop sales of settlement produce

Jewish Chronicle reports British supermarket giant Tesco to suspend sales of products originating from West Bank starting this September. Chain says ‘decision was not political, has nothing to do with Gaza’

Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket chain, has decided to cease all sales of products originating from the West Bank, the Jewish Chronicle reported on Monday. The decision will go into effect starting this September.

According to the report, a Tesco spokesman stressed that the decision was not politically motivated” and not related to the current Gaza-Israel conflict during Operation Protective Edge, but rather was made as part of a “regular product review process”. The news website said that the only product sourcing in the West Bank that the chain currently stocks was dates, and that it will cease its importation.

However, the Jewish Chronicle also reported that two healthcare and beauty product companies told its reporters that Tesco had requested that they provide them with lists of all products and ingredients they import from Israel and the Palestinian territories, and that the chain had asked for the said information in light of inquiries from customers.

The chain spokesman said: “We have received some questions from customers about products we sell that are sourced from Israel or the West Bank.”

“To make sure we answered their questions with the most accurate and up to date information, we contacted suppliers to double check our own information, particularly for branded products.

“We have no plans to change our position on sourcing from Israel.”

__

Haaretz

July 29, 2014

Belgium advises retailers to label products from Israeli settlements

The non-binding recommendation has nothing to do with escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the Belgian Economics Ministry says.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.607864

By Robert-Jan Bartunek

REUTERS – Belgium advised retailers on Tuesday to clearly label the origin of products made in Israeli settlements that are in occupied territories where Palestinians seek statehood.

The non-binding recommendation has nothing to do with escalating conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the Belgian Economics Ministry said, noting that Britain and Denmark already had similar labelling in place.

“It’s a non-binding advice to state on labels that products originating from occupied territories come from there,” a ministry spokeswoman said. “We don’t see this as a sanction against Israel, but EU rules stipulate that consumers have to be informed of the origins of products.”

The ministry planned to send a letter to retail federations on Tuesday recommending the use of such labels. Belgian retail federation Comeos and the Israeli Embassy in Brussels said they would not comment before the letter was issued.

Israel has been critical of any move to label produce from Jewish settlements clearly or distinguish them from goods produced by Palestinians, arguing that the distinction is part of a larger effort to impose a Palestinian state on Israel.

The labels Belgium has in mind would mainly apply to fruit and vegetables grown in Jewish settlements in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank. But they could include products such as sparkling water made by SodaStream and cosmetics by Ahava which both have production facilities in the West Bank.

Palestinians have limited self-rule in areas of the West Bank not taken up by Israeli settlements.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as their capital, but the latest round of U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed in April. Palestinians fear the settlements, which the European Union views as illegal and an obstacle to peace, will deny them a viable country.

Israel took the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem in a 1967 war. It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally. More than 500,000 Jews now live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem alongside some 3 million Palestinians. Israel withdrew from the tiny Gaza Strip in 2005.

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2 Haaretz

July 29, 2014

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Pedro Almodovar denounce Israel’s ‘genocide’ in Gaza

Open letter signed by dozens of Spanish stars blasts Israel’s actions in Gaza and urge EU condemnation.

http://www.haaretz.com/life/arts-leisure/1.607866

By Haaretz

Dozens of stars from Spain’s cultural scene have added their names to an open letter blasting Israel’s Gaza operation, and denouncing Israel’s actions as “genocide.”

In the letter, which was published on Monday, Oscar-winners Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, and the feted Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, were joined by a long list of names, in calling for the European Union to condemn “the bombing by land, sea and air against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip.”

They urged a truce by the Israel Defense Forces, which the letter refers to as the “Israel Occupation Forces,” and for Israel to “lift the blockade, which the Gaza Strip has suggered for more than a decade.”

“Gaza is living through horror these days, besieged and attacked by land, sea and air. Palestinians’ homes are being destroyed, they are being denied water, electricity [and] free movement to their hospitals, schools and fields while the international community does nothing,” the letter said.

Other signatories included directors Montxo Armendariz and Benito Zambrano and actors Lola Herrera, Eduardo Noriega and Rosa Maria Sarda.

Israel’s Operation Protective Edge entered its 22nd day on Tuesday, the 12th day of Israel’s ground incursion in the Strip. Some 1,100 Palestinians have been killed since the operation began, along with 53 IDF soldiers and three civilians in Israel.

The open letter blamed the current round of hostilities on Israel, saying that “Israel keeps advancing and invading Palestinian territories instead of withdrawing to the 67 borders.” The letter said that Israel “humiliates, detains, and tramples on the rights of the Palestinian population in all of the West Bank ever day, also causing many deaths.”

Bardem is well-known for his political activism, according to the Hollywood Reporter. On Friday, the star of “No Country for Old Men” published a letter in eldiario.es, in which he said, “In the horror happening right now in Gaza there is NO place for distance or neutrality.”

Earlier this month, sixty-four public figures, including seven Nobel Peace Prize winners, called for an international arms embargo on Israel for its “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity” in Gaza in a letter published in the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.

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3 Ynet

July 29, 2014

Operation Opinions

Photo: AP IDF tank on Gaza border Photo: AP

Poll: 90% of Israeli Jews believe Gaza operation is justified

A new survey by the IDI shows that most Israeli Jews predict further fighting with Hamas, do not expect long-term quiet.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4551824,00.html

Ynetnews

An overwhelming number of Israeli Jews believe that the ongoing military operation in Gaza is justified and that the IDF has not used excessive firepower, according to a new series of polls by the Israel Democracy Institute.

Over the course of three surveys conducted in the past two weeks, an average of 95 percent of respondents said that Operation Protective Edge was justified, while only 3-4 percent said the IDF has used excessive firepower in Gaza. According to the poll, an average of 48 percent of Israeli Jews think the IDF is using an appropriate level of firepower and an average of 45 percent think the IDF is using insufficient firepower.

IDF tank and spent ammunition on the Gaza border (Photo: Getty Images)

The respondents also looked relatively favorably on the government throughout the conflict, grading its performance, on average, 7.3 out of 10. The Home Front Command also scored highly, receiving an average grade of 8.9 out of 10. Local governments also performed well in public opinion, receiving an average mark of 8.3 out of 10.

The survey, however, did hint at a schism within Israeli society, with the Israeli Jewish respondents ranking the behavior of the Israeli Jewish public at 8.6 out of 10, but the Israeli Arab public at 3.6 out of 10.

The respondents also indicated a reluctance to halt the operation even temporarily as long as the rocket fire on Israel from Gaza continues. An average of 80 percent were opposed to a unilateral ceasefire lasting up to 48 hours if the rockets did not stop, and an average of 65 percent disagreed with an immediate ceasefire so as to negotiate a long-term calm. Furthermore, an average of 60 percent of respondents said there should be a ceasefire only after “an agreement on the conditions for sustaining quiet is reached.”

A majority of respondents also believed that the operation would not put an end to the fighting with Hamas, with an average of 64 percent predicting a further clash. Only an average of 18 percent of respondents said they believed there would be long-term quiet similar to that which came into effect after the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The three-poll survey was conducted among Israeli Jewish adults on July 14 (246 people), July 16-17 (185 people) and July 23 (216 people).

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4 Israel’s tarnished moral calculus

We used to shoot and cry, as the old Si Heyman song says. Now we kill and justify. Hamas is out to kill Israelis, but when did we lose our interest in minimizing brutal tactics?

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.607824

By Don Futterman

I watched the first 18 days of our latest nightmarish war from Down Under, on the other side of the world.

Free of the albatross of moral one-upmanship and PR positioning, Australians responded like decent, thinking and feeling people: No one should have their children kidnapped or killed; no civilians should have to endure rocket attacks, and no government would be expected to stand idly by; and no army should massacre whole families or scores of bystanders in efforts to kill individual operatives.

Aussie television had reporters stationed both in Gaza and Jerusalem, and with the nightly images of dead and maimed children and their dismembered families, public sentiment began to shift. The pendulum swung from overwhelming Australian support for Israel to revulsion over the carnage in Gaza.

My first concern while I was away naturally was for my children, my family and friends back in Israel under attack. I am humbled by the courage of those on the front lines, by the tributes to every fallen soldier, by the tens of thousands who showed up for funerals of strangers. And I took l pride in how calmly and responsibly my own kids behaved, assuring us that we need not rush home.

Just as the Gaza death toll reached 300, a Malaysian airliner on its way to Australia was shot out of the sky. For a weird and disconcerting moment, there were competing stories, each featuring 300 dead people.

As Australian rage brewed at the baffling and meaningless murder of its own civilians, Gaza was bumped off the front page, becoming the transition segment on the TV news between the Russian-Ukrainian cover-up and the latest Aussie football and rugby results.

Meanwhile, in Gaza, the number 300 receded into the distance of our rear-view mirror. We arrived home to the strange mix of anxiety, calm and sadness, sirens and funerals.

We used to shoot and cry, as the old Si Heyman song says. Now we kill and justify. We have a case. Hamas is the governing agency in Gaza but diverts massive resources to building tunnels and rockets to try to kill Israelis, so Israel has no choice but to try to destroy them. They continue to attack us and Israelis are not willing to be terrorized, and since this is war, not a soccer game, we have no interest in a fair fight or proportionate response.

But it does not take a military expert to know that we are not doing our best to prevent civilian casualties on the other side. We are operating under a new moral calculus, which gives carte blanche to “collateral damage,” to killing any and all Palestinians who might be in the line of fire of targeted Hamas operatives.

We have made a choice to inflict pain on the people of Gaza and to blame the other side for the brutality of our tactics. And since a high proportion of Gazans are kids, this means that the Jewish state is murdering many children.

It is a horrible calculus, an evil and deadly calculus, and we will not come out of this war untarnished.

For many Israelis, the masses of Palestinian dead present no problem beyond image management; Hamas is forcing us to kill civilians, including children, by using them as human shields, and raising the stakes for Israel’s image by daring us to attack their arsenals stashed in schools and hospitals.

As much as we would like to avoid killing civilians, our soldiers are us – our family and friends – so our primal concern is that the Israel Defense Forces does everything possible to minimize the casualties on our side.

But most Jewish Israelis I know are much more conflicted, and our empathy for the faceless and nameless dead on the other side still flickers, if not enough to demand an end to the war on purely moral grounds.

We don’t know if there is another way to prosecute a war against Hamas, but we know these killings are awful.

I don’t expect we will own up to our changed calculus. It certainly won’t happen now, while we are running for cover several times a day, while we are losing our own boys, while anyone who expresses empathy for Palestinians is attacked in the social media or by politicians. In war, jingoism rules the day.

Once this is all over, we will remember the moment before, the impotence of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, how our government exploited the kidnapping-murder of three innocent teens as a pretext to attack Hamas in the West Bank, and how our prime minister stood by while Jews hunted Arabs down in the streets in Jerusalem, in response to the revenge kidnapping and murder of an innocent Palestinian teen.

Even Netanyahu’s belated condemnation of that atrocity as a terrorist act was undermined by his claim that Jews worship life while Arabs worship death, the message of a man incapable of seeing beyond Jewish pain.

Hamas has nothing to offer the Palestinian people other than its failed strategy of violent resistance. The pride they instill through standing up to Israel is a legacy of the doomed, creating hopeless tales of a last stand.

If the Palestinians want to restore hope to Gaza, they will have to depose Hamas. But if we want anything better than the status quo ante, we will need leaders with a different vision as well.

Don Futterman is the Program Director for Israel for the Moriah Fund, a private American Foundation, which works to strengthen democracy and civil society in Israel. He can be heard weekly on TLV-1’s The Promised Podcast.

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5  Ynetnews

July 29, 2014

IDF hit Gaza power plant, cutting electricity to parts of Strip

Palestinian death toll rises to 1,110; Gaza reports claim IAF hit Hamas’ Gaza leader’s home, as well as Hamas’ radio and television stations; Gaza’s main power plant also hit in morning attack.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4551526,00.html

[To view photos below, click on the above link. D]

Yoav Zitun

The IDF renewed airstrikes and artillery fire at the Gaza Strip Tuesday, hitting the Strip’s main power plant and cutting electricity to many parts of Gaza, indicating hopes of a swift end to 22 days of fighting were unlikely to actualize.

 

IAF aircraft hit Tuesday the house of Hamas Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh before dawn on Tuesday, causing damage but no casualties, Gaza’s interior ministry said, as well as government offices and the headquarters of the Hamas satellite TV station.

In the past hour, with the help of leaflets and phone calls, the IDF has called on the residents of Gaza neighborhoods located east of Khan Younis to cuate immediately to the city’s center, ahead of a possible attack.

Haniyeh: My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people

Hamas leaders remained defiant in the aftermath of the Israeli onslaught.

“My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people, destroying stones will not break our determination,” Haniyeh said in a statement.

Speaking to a Hamas website, he added that “The destruction of stones will not break our will and we will continue our resistance until we gain freedom.”

According to the IDF, 70 targets were struck in Gaza through the night. At least 30 people were killed in the assaults from air, land and sea, residents said, after a night of the most widespread attacks so far in the coastal enclave.

IDF attacks Gaza overnight (Video: Ido Becker)

IDF tank shells hit a fuel tank of the Gaza Strip’s only power plant on Tuesday, forcing the plant to shut down, a spokesman for Gaza’s electricity distribution company said.

There was no immediate word of casualties and the IDF had no comment. According to Jamal Dardasawi, the spokesman of the electricity distribution company, the shells hit one of three tanks in the plant compound that currently store fuel.

Deputy chairman of the Gaza Energy Authority said the power plant was the only one in Gaza and would be disabled for the entire whole year following damage caused to the gasoline tanks as a result of IDF attacks.

Even before the strike, Gaza residents had electricity for only about three hours a day. The strike is bound to reduce supplies even further.

Smoke rises over Gaza (Photo: EPA)

Eleven people were killed in a strike on a house in the Bureij refugee camp in Gaza City as IDF forces hit targets across the territory in the most widespread night of attacks so far in the coastal enclave.

IDF forces fired hundreds of flares that turned the night sky bright orange. By daybreak Tuesday, a cloud of thick dust from the explosions hung over Gaza City. A Palestinian health official put the overall Gaza death toll at 1,110.

The IDF said five soldiers had died in a gun battle with militants who crossed into Israel via a tunnel near the community of Nahal Oz, close to the border with the Gaza Strip. The incident on Monday raised to 10 the number of military fatalities for the day. Fifty-three Israeli soldiers have been killed since Israel launched its offensive on Gaza.

Hamas said that its broadcast outlets, Al-Aqsa TV and Al-Aqsa Radio were also targeted. The television station continued to broadcast, but the radio station went silent.

Hamas-run Al Aqsa television (Photo: AP)

At dawn Tuesday, plumes of smoke rose above the Al Shorouq media building in central Gaza City which houses the offices of the Hamas-run Al Aqsa television and radio.

Overnight attacks on Gaza (Photo: Ido Erez)

Hours earlier, at least two major explosions hit the media building, one of the tallest in Gaza, starting a fire on the roof and shaking surrounding buildings.

Gaza media building (Photo: AP)

AP video showed a massive flash as the first strike hit the top of the building, sending debris raining down. The building also houses offices of a number of Arab satellite television news channels.

The Abu Khadra government complex in Gaza City was also badly damaged by the Israeli attacks.

Photo: AP

Israel launched its offensive on July 8 with the aim of halting rocket attacks by Hamas and its allies. It later ordered a land invasion to find and destroy the warren of Hamas tunnels that cross-crosses the border area.

In a televised address on Monday night, a grim-faced Netanyahu said any solution to the crisis would require the demilitarization of the Palestinian territory, controlled by Hamas Islamists and their militant allies.

“We will not finish the mission, we will not finish the operation without neutralizing the tunnels, which have the sole purpose of destroying our citizens, killing our children,” Netanyahu said, adding that it had been a “painful day”.

The overnight strikes came after a day of heavy Hamas-Israeli fighting in which nine children were killed by a strike on a Gaza park where they were playing, according to Palestinian health officials – a tragedy that each side blamed on the other.

Israeli tanks also resumed heavy shelling in border areas of Gaza, killing five people, including three children and a 70-year-old woman, and wounding 50 in the town of Jebaliya, which was among the areas warned to evacuate, the Red Crescent said.

Many Jebaliya residents said they did not dare attempt an escape. Sufian Abed Rabbo said his extended family of 17 had taken refuge under the stairway in their home.

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report

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