FEMALE WORKERS DECLARED ‘NOT KOSHER’ ON THURSDAY NIGHTS

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The above toon is a reminder of the last campaign against women by certain sections of the ultra orthodox community in Israel. Now,less than a week after International Women’s Day, anti-womanhood has taken on a new dimension in Jerusalem. Women will have their working hours cut back at certain eateries to satisfy the whims of the same section of that community.
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Un’f’n’believable but true … read about it in THIS HaAretz report;
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Jerusalem eatery cuts back on female help to meet kashrut restraints

Haredi-owned restaurant to stop employing waitresses on nights when yeshiva boys patronize it; owner blames jealous competitors for kashrut supervisors’ strictness.

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A Haredi-owned Jerusalem restaurant will be restricting the working hours of waitresses in order to receive the strict mehadrin kashrut certificate.

The veteran eatery, Heimische Essen, in Rehavia, will cease employing waitresses on Thursday nights, a favorite time for yeshiva boys to patronize the eatery.

Waitresses at the restaurant, which serves Eastern European specialties to a variety of people, are modestly dressed, although some of them are not Orthodox.

According to the owner, Haim Safrin, zealots, “who are jealous of the place’s success,” pressured the kashrut supervisors of the strict Agudat Israel high religious court, known as the Badatz, to stop waitresses from working on Thursday nights.

The Badatz is a private body which grants kashrut certificates and supervision over and above that provided by the Chief Rabbinate. The demand for waitress-free Thursday nights is unusual, but it is not unusual for bodies granting kashrut certificates, including the state-run Chief Rabbinate, to withdraw or threaten to withdraw a certificate for reasons that have nothing directly to do with food, such as the religious or spiritual affiliation of the owners or event halls that hold weddings for gay couples.

Be Free Israel, a group that advocates religious freedom and pluralism, called for a boycott of the restaurant, and says it plans to demonstrate in front of it tomorrow night.

Safrin, who says he has many non-religious and non-Jewish patrons, says the Badatz’s instruction is not the end of the matter and he wants to find a compromise. “At most, we can move shifts,” he said.

Safrin says the people who complained are mainly Hassidic young men who want to be served by a man. Safrin said that the Badatz’s initial demand was harsher, “but I explained to them that more than 60 percent of my patrons are women, and everyone had to be served. My area is also modern Haredi, not extreme.”

Safrin said the Badatz responded that he was right, but wanted to “give it a few weeks to check it out.” He said that although he had received the instruction three weeks ago, waitresses continued to work on Thursday nights.

He said the boycott Be Free Israel has declared is not based on the facts. “My right as the restaurant’s owner is to do anything I want.”

He also said he had insisted on continuing to employ waitresses, and on the continued employment of the eatery’s only Arab waiter. “Sometimes Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir come in,” Safrin said, referring to two extreme-right wing figures. “They say ‘get rid of the Arab, why do you emply Arabs.’ I told them I wouldn’t get rid of the Arab and that’s what will be with the waitresses.”

This story is by:

  • Yair Ettinger

ZIONISM’S ATTEMPT TO TURN LIES INTO TRUTH

My response to the critics of BDS
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 One example of the lies they spread….
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The Boycott Movement, Israeli Anti-Apartheid Week in particular, seems to have certain sections of the zionist community literally chasing their tails to get attention these days …
Lets start with a report from HaAretz which appeared a week ago; its main claim was that although BDS activists have convinced many to cancel performances here, the movement has not been able to exert the economic pressure on Israel it wishes to achieve. I posted my own response to that ridiculous claim in THIS post.
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Today a new report appears in HaAretz claiming that The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is mounting its annual Israeli Apartheid Week. Yet this year, there is something different – people have begun telling the truth about BDS.
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What is interesting is the main source they use as the ‘truth teller’….
The door was opened by author and lecturer Norman Finkelstein. Earlier this month, Finkelstein, one of Israel’s harshest critics, rocked the BDS movement with a critique devastating in its candor.
 

Finkelstein said he loathed the movement’s duplicity and disingenuousness in hiding the fact that a large part of its membership “wants to eliminate Israel.”
“I support the BDS,” Finkelstein said, but “it will never reach a broad public until and unless they’re explicit in their goal. And their goal has to include the recognition of Israel, or it’s a nonstarter.”

Instead, he said, the movement insists that it’s “agnostic” on whether or not Israel should exist. “No, you’re not agnostic! You don’t want it! Then just say it! But (BDS leaders) know full well, that if you say it, you don’t have a prayer of reaching a broad public … And frankly, you know what, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t reach a broad public, because you’re dishonest.”

Though BDS constantly claims successes, “it’s a cult, where the guru says ‘We have all these victories’ and everyone nods their head,” Finkelstein said. “People promote it as if it’s proven itself and we’re on the … verge of a victory of some sort. It’s just sheer nonsense. It’s a cult. And I, personally, I’m tired of it.”*

In the case of Norman Finkelstein, there too I posted my response in THIS post. Finkelstein  ends his tirade with the words “I’m tired of it.” So are we! We are tired of the lone voices from the ‘Ivory Towers’ trying to dictate to the activists what is right and what is wrong. It’s not only Finkelsein that is guilty of this behaviour, Noam Chomsky, as well, has been playing at that game for years. In both cases, as ‘friends’ of the Pro Palestinian Movements. Friends do not act or speak like they do. We expect this from the Dershowitzes and others connected with the ADL, but when this nonsense comes from supposed friends, all it does is give amunition to the enemy as can be seen in the two HaAretz reports linked. Do read the second link and see for yourself the weakness of those who dare accuse BDS of dishonesty. Their only defence is dishonesty on their own part.*

Here you can see and hear the truth about the BDS Movement and what it is doing in Israel…
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RACISM WILL DESTROY ISRAEL, NOT IRANIAN NUKES

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Israel is self destructing. The hatred, the settlement expansions, the racism, the ‘price tags’ are all part and parcel of the enemy. Iran is not the enemy, it is merely the one to point fingers at for the moment.
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If the truth is to known, the real enemy of Israel is the United States as it is they that support all of the self destructing policies.
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Just today, the following reports appeared in the Israeli press…
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From Ynet…
   Jerusalem: Racist graffiti daubed at Jewish-Arab school

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From HaAretz…*
Israel bars Al-Quds University doctors from practicing in East Jerusalem
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From the Jerusalem Post…
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(Defamation of hatred is criminal)
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From the American Jewish press…
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The Forward…*

Building Barriers to Two-State Solution

The Jewish Week…
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(Attempting to justify the unjustifiable)
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The Godfather of hatred himself, Alan Dershowitz
had his feathers ruffled early last week…
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From Arutz Sheva…*
Alan Dershowitz speaks at U. Penn, in efforts to counter BDS; becomes target of Max Blumenthal’s undue slander
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To condemn hatred is to slander???
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Here is what Blumenthal had to say…*

Max Blumenthal | Torture, violence advocate to keynote anti-BDS event

Alan Dershowitz, supporter of bulldozing Palestinian towns and torturing criminal suspects, is coming to campus

ISRAELI HARASSMENT CONTINUES TO THE GRAVE

Palestinians carry the body of Mustafa Tamimi during his funeral in Nabi Saleh Photo: REUTERS
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One would think murder would be the final act of terrorism and harassment…. not so when it comes to Israeli army’s attitudes… It was reported in the British Daily Telegraph that the murder of Mustafa Tamimi was a source of mockery among some IDF officers …

You can read the report HERE

Israeli military spokesman accused of mocking dead Palestinian protester

The Israeli army was at the centre of controversy on Sunday after a senior military spokesman was accused of mocking a dead Palestinian protester on the social networking website Twitter.

Ynet didn’t seem too thrilled about the foreign coverage and tried to whitewash their reporting…. Their views can be seen HERE

 

British media storm: IDF officer ‘mocks’ protestor’s death

 UK’s Telegraph reports that IDF officer ‘mocks’ death of Palestinian protester on Twitter with his use of word ‘fail'; IDF says sources with a vested interest focused on isolated tweets rather than entire timeline

*The harassment doesn’t end there, it continues to the funeral itself …

IDF fires tear gas, beats mourners after Tamimi funeral

By Mya Guarnieri

On Sunday morning, thousands of mourners lined Ramallah’s streets for the funeral procession of Mustafa Tamimi, a 28-year-old Palestinian who was killed by the Israeli army this weekend. The procession continued to Nabi Saleh, where hundreds attended Tamimi’s burial. The army reportedly fired tear gas on some of the mourners, beat unarmed demonstrators, and arrested seven activists

Mourners carry Mustafa Tamimi’s body through Ramallah (photo: Activestills)

Hundreds of mourners proceeded to Nabi Saleh, Tamimi’s village and the place he was shot by a tear gas canister during the weekly demonstration against the Israeli occupation and the illegal settlement encroaching on Nabi Saleh’s land. Tamimi was shot in the face at close range on Friday and died of the injuries Saturday morning.

Mustafa Tamimi’s funeral procession (photo: Activestills)

Those attending the funeral in Nabi Saleh reported that the Israeli army gathered on the hills nearby. They also said that an armored military jeep used to shoot tear gas–a “tear gas jeep” as Abir Kopty put it–was waiting at the entrance of the village when the funeral procession arrived.

When the mourners shouted at the soldiers for killing Tamimi, soldiers cursed them.

After Tamimi’s burial, local youth headed in the direction of the spring that belongs to the village but has been appropriated by the neighboring settlement, Halamish. The army fired tear gas and skunk water on the unarmed demonstrators.

Soldiers and protesters clash in Nabi Saleh Sunday (photo: Activestills)

“In Palestine, even anger is not allowed,” Abir Kopty remarked on Twitter.

Fearful of violent clashes with the Israeli army, some residents of Nabi Saleh called on the youth to stop the protest. They attempted to go on with their demonstration, however, and witnesses on the ground in Nabi Saleh said that soldiers beat a protester to the point that an ambulance was needed.

After an ambulance arrived, Diana Alzeer reported on Twitter that the army continued to beat the unarmed demonstrators.  Emilie Baujard, a French journalist, reported that seven protesters were arrested. Leehee Rothschild noted that several Israelis were among those detained.

Several witnesses said that soldiers attempted to choke Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, who was evacuated to the hospital.

Abir Kopty and other witnesses reported that of the seven who were arrested, three were Israeli, one was Palestinian, and the rest were internationals.

A mourner confronts a soldier with a poster commemorating Tamimi (photo: Activestills)

Here are a few additional photos that Joseph Dana, who attended the procession in Ramallah, put on his Twitter account, @ibnezra, shared with permission:

Mustafa Tamimi’s body, wrapped in a Palestinian flag and keffiyeh, being carried in Ramallah (photo: Joseph Dana)
A child overcome by grief as Mustafa Tamimi’s body is loaded into a car to be taken to Nabi Saleh, where he will be buried (photo: Joseph Dana)

GOLDSTONE’S LATEST VIEWS DEBUNKED IN THE JEWISH PRESS

Judge Richard Goldstone continues his long march towards insuring that his name no longer be synonymous with self-hating, Israel-bashing Jew. He has written to argue — from his vantage point of having been a judge in apartheid-era South Africa — that the attempt to label the situation in Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians as a form of “apartheid” is pernicious and destructive and just plain inaccurate.
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Yesterday I gave my 2 cents about Richard Goldstone’s latest attempt to find favour in the zionist community…
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Today, the Jewish Daily Forward debunked his claims as well.
I don’t agree 100% with their views, but they certainly are welcome.
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Another Goldstone Inaccuracy

By Gal Beckerman

getty images

With his New York Times op-ed today, Judge Richard Goldstone continues his long march towards insuring that his name no longer be synonymous with self-hating, Israel-bashing Jew. He has written to argue — from his vantage point of having been a judge in apartheid-era South Africa — that the attempt to label the situation in Israel vis-à-vis the Palestinians as a form of “apartheid” is pernicious and destructive and just plain inaccurate.

He tries to debunk what the headline refers to as “the apartheid slander,” in a methodical way, by looking first at the situation of Israeli Arabs and then at Palestinians in the occupied territories.

When it comes to the first case, it is airtight. As Goldstone correctly notes, “Israeli Arabs — 20 percent of Israel’s population — vote, have political parties and representatives in the Knesset and occupy positions of acclaim, including on its Supreme Court. Arab patients lie alongside Jewish patients in Israeli hospitals, receiving identical treatment.”

Then he turns to the West Bank and Gaza. Goldstone takes as his benchmark of apartheid a definition from the 1998 Rome Statute: “Inhumane acts … committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”

Goldstone writes that “even if Israel acts oppressively towards Palestinians there,” the use of the word “apartheid” to describe Israel’s intentions towards Palestinians is inaccurate. And I agree with him that this word, which comes from a very particular historical context, should not be thrown around as lightly as it has been — and certainly doesn’t capture the complex strategic and defense concerns that make the overwhelming majority of Israelis feel justified in continuing the occupation.

But this does not account for the settlers and their settlements (and the extraordinary government support they have received for decades). Goldstone does not mention any of this — the word “settlement,” so much a part of what makes the occupation feel like apartheid to the Palestinians, appears nowhere in his piece. And it is this politically potent constituency, which would not have a problem with the preferential treatment of a minority at the expense of a majority (in other words, apartheid) that has had an outsized influence on the conflict and is doing its utmost to preclude the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Goldstone is right to say that “Jewish-Arab relations in Israel and the West Bank cannot be simplified to a narrative of Jewish discrimination,” but he ignores completely the settlement archipelago and the preferential Jewish roads that connect them; he ignores the daily experience of occupation that Palestinians encounter at checkpoints while Jewish cars zoom past; he ignores the fact that in the West Bank there is water reserved exclusively for Jewish settlers. This is a function of power maintaining a certain status quo. Call it whatever you want, but it is inaccurate — as inaccurate as the phrase “apartheid” — to see the conflict today the way Goldstone describes it, as simply a matter of “hostility and suspicion on both sides.”

ISRAEL AND AMERICA ARE JUST FULL OF SURPRISES TODAY ….

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Now who could have expected these moves? ;)
(click on headline to see reports)
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U.S. cuts funding for UNESCO after Palestinian vote

White House says approval of Palestine as member of the UN cultural body undermines goal of a comprehensive Mideast peace plan; Germany also says move hinders peace.

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Israel to reconsider cooperation with UNESCO after approval of Palestine membership

After UN cultural agency grants Palestinians full membership earlier Monday, Foreign Ministry issues statement that Israel rejects the decision.

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And the clincher, as predicted yesterday
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Netanyahu: No ceasefire, no negotiations

PM tells Likud faction IDF will continue operations in Gaza Strip as long as terrorists keep launching rockets on south; promises ‘severe response’ if attacks continue

PALESTINE’S OBSESSION WITH ITSELF

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As Palestinian Statehood comes closer to becoming reality, the psychopathic zionists at the Jerusalem Post are trying to figure out why a nation that was erased from the map 64 years ago dares to change the situation.
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Psycho Gal, herself, has the most amusing analysis starting with; In a nutshell, the PA initiative of asking the UNSC, General Assembly to upgrade its status is an act of diplomatic aggression.
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That paragraph starts the dribble of this week’s column. Referring to the Obama administration (which is doing everything in its power to block Statehood) she writes And yet, the Obama administration and the EU have made the establishment of a racist, homophobic Palestinian state the greatest aim of their policies in the Middle East.
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For this the woman gets a salary while the good writers at the Post are out collecting Unemployment Insurance at the moment…
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Her ultimate hope is that Netanyahu will ‘save the day’ next week…… On Thursday, Netanyahu announced that he will address the UN General Assembly in New York next week and put the truth about the Palestinian cause on the table.
Perhaps someone will be moved by his words.
Perhaps not.
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If you want to read her column in its entirety, HERE IT IS
I always think of it as the weekly comic section, hopefully one day we’ll see the likes of a Carlos Latuff in her place editing the comic section.
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Here’s just one example of Latuff’s great work…

IRONY IN GREECE, THE BIRTHPLACE OF DEMOCRACY ~~ TWO TIMELY REPORTS

An AP Report in HaAretz
Greece arrests captain of U.S. ship in Gaza flotilla
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From The New York Times
Dead in the Water?
By PETER CATAPANO

Like they don’t already have enough problems.

A Greek coast guard vessel escorts the
Yiorgos Karahalis/ReutersA Greek coast guard vessel escorted the ship The Audacity of Hope. Greece prevented the boat carrying U.S. activists from sailing as part of a Gaza-bound flotilla.

Greece, the country that is ever revered as the cradle of democracy, philosophy and pretty much the entirety of Western civilization (no oxymoron jokes, please), is having a tough year. A recent economic near-collapse, European bailout, the difficult passage of a raft of unpopular austerity measures and, of course, angry demonstrations, protests and bloody riots in the streets have tested the country’s fortitude. The fact that the world is still forcing its high school kids to read Plato’s “Republic” can hardly be of any solace right now.

Now Greece finds itself squarely in the middle of yet another unwanted international crisis as the home base for the flotilla that has launched a thousand accusations and recriminations, but so far, no actual ships.

The organizers of the group of eight ships now docked in Greek waters, which are carrying hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists from several countries, including dozens of Americans (among them, the novelist Alice Walker), announced plans to sail to Gaza to deliver humanitarian aid in defiance of Israel’s naval blockade there. As of today, they have not. (Two more ships withdrew because of damage, reportedly the work of saboteurs. Last year, nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli forces on a similar mission.) After weeks of an international public relations war involving misinformation, condemnations, ominous warnings, video hoaxes, nautical sabotage and more, Greece announced on Friday that is was prohibiting the boats from sailing. The Coast Guard was forced into action when an American vessel called  The Audacity of Hope left the harbor without permission and had to be turned back. A protest organizer complained that Greece was not within its rights to stop private ships from sailing.
Scott Sayare of The Times reported the latest on Friday, and quoted one activist, who described the situation this way: “It’s like they’ve moved the blockade from Gaza to Greece.”

So with events, for the moment, at a standstill, and poor Greece saddled with another, albeit less ominous problem, we may take a moment to ask essential questions: Is it a “freedom” flotilla, a “peace” flotilla or, as some have called it, a “provocation” flotilla? Who has been telling the truth? And, what is all this really about?

To be honest, no amount of time spent in the blogosphere this week could definitively answer those questions, but the commentary surrounding the events, in its very wild inconsistency, at least gives an inkling of the positions staked out.

At the crux: the pro-Israeli position that the flotilla is engaged in an act of provocation, even aggression, not humanitarian aid, versus the pro-Palestinian position that the blockade is unjustified, if not illegal, and represents a brutal suppression and denial of basic goods to residents of Gaza, to be partly and symbolically addressed by their mission.

At The Daily Beast, Dan Ephron put the situation in the perspective of the age-old message war between the two parties. “In trying to understand the brewing confrontation this time,” he wrote, “it’s helpful to keep one thing in mind: The cargo that activists hope to deliver to Gaza in the coming days is beside the point. Palestinians don’t necessarily need it and Israel is not threatened by it.” He continued:

Like with so many other issues Israeli-Palestinian related, these actions are mainly to score points in the public relations battle. The activists are hoping to put a spotlight on the Gaza blockade by provoking another confrontation on the high seas. Israel wants to deflect attention from the siege policy by depicting the organizers as terrorists and their campaign as a mission to help arm Hamas. In recent days, Israel appears to have pressed even its vaunted spy agencies into the service of obstructing the other side. Flotilla organizers say someone sabotaged two of their ships currently docked in Greece.

For both sides, the uproar created by events like the flotilla operation tend to cloud the more germane issues.

Alice Walker, center, and fellow activists on the
 
 
Nadia Shira Cohen for The New York Times Alice Walker, center, and fellow activists on the Audacity of Hope.

At his blog on Wednesday, Max Blumenthal took the Israeli military to task for what he said went beyond public relations into the realm of pure misinformation, for ascribing violent intent to the activists, then broadcasting it:

Despite an apparent lack of evidence, the army’s disinformation found its way into top Israeli newspapers through a select group of military correspondents including the Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Katz. Katz reported that flotilla passengers planned to kill Israeli soldiers and that they were bringing “bags of sulfur” to attack the soldiers. … Yedioth Aharanot’s Hanan Greenberg also reported, “IDF fears flotilla activists will try to kill Israeli soldiers.” And Haaretz hyped the claim in Hebrew.

Today, the army’s story was exposed as disinformation. First, Yedioth Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman reported, “There is no information that there is going to be a group of radicals on board that will form a hard core of violent resistance against IDF soliders. Nor is there any clear information about live weapons that will be on board the ships.” Then, a group of Israeli government ministers accused the army of “media spin” and “public relations hysteria” for claiming the flotilla passengers planned to attack soldiers with chemical weapons. … Unfortunately, many reporters still accept the army’s claims on trust, while others do not even bother to investigate.

(Perhaps the most bizarre misinformation incident was this video hoax, reported on by The Lede’s Robert Mackey, in which an Israeli actor claims to be a gay activist who was banned from the flotilla.)

Juan Cole at Informed Comment drew a connection between the flotilla activists and the civil rights movement in the United States:

The US State Department shamefully fully supports the blockade and the collective punishment, and is threatening US citizens who participate in the attempt to break the siege of Gaza’s children (40% of residents are children). The Israeli Right wing portrays the blockade as a measure against the Hamas Party, which won the 2006 elections for the Palestine Authority. But blockading 1.5 million civilian noncombatants to get out a few thousand party activists and militiamen is illegal, especially for the Occupying Power (which Israel is, since it controls Gaza’s air and water and prevents Palestinians from entering a wide swathe of their own land). …

Since the blockade is both illegal and evil, and since the world Establishment, including the US government, is enabling it, it is only natural that upstanding Americans and members of other nations want to challenge it. It should be remembered that the Civil Rights movement in the United States was mostly illegal and its activists were frequently jailed, beaten, bitten by police dogs, and sometimes shot down by law enforcement.

It’s not inconceivable that Cole may have gotten an inkling of that connection after reading Alice Walker’s explanation on CNN last week of why she decided to join the action:

Alongside this image of brave followers of Gandhi there is for me an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the South in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help – our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protestors-and came to stand with us.

They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few “good ol’ boys” of Neshoba County, Mississippi and were beaten and shot to death along with James Cheney, a young black man of formidable courage who died with them. So, even though our boat will be called The Audacity of Hope, it will fly the Goodman, Cheney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.

That prompted a direct response from Howard Jacobson, also at CNN: “Human beings are seldom more dangerous than when they are sentimentally overcome by the goodness of their own intentions. That Alice Walker believes it is right to join the Freedom Flotilla II to Gaza I do not have the slightest doubt. But beyond associating her decision with Gandhi, Martin Luther King and very nearly, when she talks about the preciousness of children, Jesus Christ, she fails to give a single convincing reason for it.”

How to make it all better? The counterintuitive solution of the week goes to Roi Ben-Yehuda, for his post, “Conflict Resolution Commandos: A Response to the Flotilla,” in which he imagines real life soldiers of peace:

As scholars of conflict resolution, we believe that such situations call for constructive adaptation on the part of those involved. To that end we propose the IDF take initiative and create the first ever Conflict Resolution Commando unit.

Imagine back in 2010 if instead of masked men with guns, trained for intense warfare at sea, boarding a ship in the dead of night, the IDF had dispatched an elite unit of conflict resolution specialists. Could the tragedy at sea been averted? Could it be that new tools must be designed to maximize the possibility of non-destructive outcome to occur? Could it be that a fundamental reframing to many situations could be offered by people willing to die for a cause but not willing to kill for it?

Interesting thought. But it’s not exactly the Hoplite phalanx.

THE WORST AND THE BEST OF THE ISRAELI PRESS

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I know for a fact that my Blog is read at the Jerusalem Post’s Editorial Offices, how else could they attack me as they did two years ago in the following; WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AND DESERT PEACE FEATURED IN TODAY’S JERUSALEM POST
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I can’t complain about their attacks as I expose their morons and psychpaths at least every second week. In fact, when they target me, all it does is increase my readership as can be seen here; JERUSALEM POST BOOSTS MY READERSHIP ~~ THANK YOU
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At the offices of HaAretz it seems some of the staff actually read what I write and seem to get ideas worth writing about from that. I am speaking specifically of one Bradley Burston who obviously read this piece I wrote two weeks ago; EVERY DAY IS HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY
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Today he presents a column of his own which he calls For Palestinians, every day is Nakba Day
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It’s worth the read ….. perhaps even one day the folks at the Jerusalem Post might actually read what I write with an open mind, assuming some of them actually have a mind….
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For Palestinians, every day is Nakba Day

We owe Palestinians what we demand of them: recognition of our right to an independent state, and compromise for the sake of a shared future.

By Bradley Burston

As this month began, Israel marked Yom Hashoa, the annual day of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust. At the sounding of air-raid sirens, the nation shut down and stood in honor.

Who was it for, this day of remembrance? If you ask those Israelis who lost parents, sisters and brothers, grandparents to the Nazi genocide, if you ask people whose parents survived Auschwitz to somehow raise families and resurrect something of a life, they will likely tell you that Yom Hashoa is not for them.

The survivors and their families don’t need a day like this. For them, every single day is Yom Hashoa.

The commemoration is for the rest of us, those of us fortunate to be able to go about our lives most of the time without thinking about the unfathomable tragedy embodied in the concept of the Shoa and the loss, the grief, the sacrifice that it conferred on its survivors and their descendants.

Exactly a week after Yom Hashoa, the country stunned itself once more, as Yom Hazikaron marked the fallen of the nation’s wars and the victims of terror murders. And once again, the bereaved families invited to official memorial services will tell you that this is not for them. They have no need of a day like this. Their wounds, no matter how old, are still too fresh. For them, every single day is Yom Hazikaron.

This year, a third day of remembrance fell exactly a week later. It was Nakba Day, commemorating the displacement and dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from their homes in the 1948 war that established the state of Israel, and the ensuing loss of hundreds of their villages effectively erased by the Jewish state.

It may be fair to assume that Nakba Day is not for the millions of Palestinian refugees and their descendents in Gaza, in West Bank camps, in Lebanon and Syria and Chile and San Francisco. For them, every single day is Nakba Day.

No, Nakba Day is for the rest of us, who go through our lives thinking that we can afford not to give it a second thought. And so it is that Israel’s government – in its zeal to blot out the very concept of the Nakba, in its paralysis in the face of an unprecedented Palestinian drive for statehood, in its inability to anticipate a Facebook-organized mass march past minefields and razor wire and assault-rifle bullets on a northern border – has inadvertently but irrevocably established 2011 as the Year of the Nakba.

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.

What we stand to learn from the three memorial days, each of them singular but all three intertwined, is that we remain, both Arab and Jew, prisoners of our own narratives. In an understandable drive to forge their national and cultural identities, Israelis and Palestinians have ethnically cleansed their own narratives, expelling and erasing that which is messy, morally indefensible, tactically self-defeating. If there is ever to be a solution to the conflict, we must free ourselves from the narratives that rest in part on the lies we like and the truths we don’t.

There will be those in Israel who will immediately dismiss the Nakba Day march as a stunt, a diversion. Just as there is a new chorus of voices on the right citing the resurgence of interest in the Nakba as proof that Arabs will never make peace with Israel.

But a recent poll of Palestinian public opinion coinciding with Nakba Day, indicates a willingness for compromise and a rejection of violence as a means for ending the conflict. The survey, by pollster Nabil Kukali, shows that more than 60 percent said that to a certain degree they expected a peace agreement with Israel in the coming year, and that nearly 70 percent oppose launching Qassam rockets against Israel.

There will be those who argue that Jews owe Palestinians nothing in connection with the Nakba. Not true. At the very least, on Nakba Day and every other, Jews owe Palestinians what Jews demand of Palestinians:

Acknowledgment and compassion for the depth of their grief, the magnitude of their loss. Respect.

We owe Palestinians an honest recognition of their history. We owe Palestinians an apology. We owe Palestinians admission of wrongful acts committed at a time of terrible events.

We owe Palestinians what we demand of them: recognition of our right to an independent state, and compromise for the sake of a shared future. A just and mutually agreed peace. We owe Palestinians, in short, what we owe ourselves.

 

GOLDSTONE’S U TURN; JUSTICE FOR ISRAEL OR INJUSTICE FOR GAZA? … THREE VIEWS


Goldstone reconsideration undermines justice for Gaza
Jonathan Cook

Israeli leaders have barely hidden their jubilation at an opinion article in last Friday’s Washington Post by the South African jurist Richard Goldstone reconsidering the findings of his United Nations-appointed inquiry into Israel’s attack on Gaza in winter 2008-09. 

For the past 18 months the Goldstone report had forced Israel on to the defensive by suggesting its army — as well as Hamas, the ruling faction in Gaza — had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during Israel’s three-week Operation Cast Lead. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed, including hundreds of women and children.

Goldstone’s report, Israeli officials worried, might eventually pave the way to war crimes trials against Israeli soldiers at the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

In what appeared to be a partial retraction of some of his findings against Israel, Goldstone argued that he would have written the report differently had Israel cooperated at the time of his inquiry.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, immediately called on the United Nations to shelve the Goldstone Report; Ehud Barak, the defense minister, demanded an apology; and Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, said Israel’s actions in Gaza had been “vindicated.”

Israel would certainly like observers to interpret Goldstone’s latest comments as an exoneration. In reality, however, he offered far less consolation to Israel than its supporters claim.

The report’s original accusation that Israeli soldiers committed war crimes still stands, as does criticism of Israel’s use of unconventional weapons such as white phosphorus, the destruction of property on a massive scale, and the taking of civilians as human shields.

Instead Goldstone restated his position in two ways that Israel will seek to exploit to the full.

The first was an observation that since his report’s publication in September 2009 “Israel has dedicated significant resources to investigate over 400 allegations of operational misconduct.”

In the past Goldstone has made much of the need for Israel and Hamas to investigate incidents where civilians were targeted, saying that otherwise his report should be transferred to the ICC. In his article he favorably compared Israel’s investigations to the failure by Hamas to carry out any probes.

The significance of Goldstone’s reassessment from Israel’s point of view was underlined this week by comments to The Jerusalem Post newspaper from a senior unnamed legal official in the Israeli military. He said Goldstone’s professed confidence in Israel’s investigatory system would help to forestall future war crimes probes by the UN.

That will be cause for Palestinian concern at a time when, in response to renewed hostilities between Israel and Hamas, some Israeli government ministers have called for a Cast Lead 2.

Another unnamed commander told the popular Israeli news website Ynet earlier this week that Goldstone’s change of tack might lift the threat of arrest on war crimes charges from Israeli soldiers traveling abroad.

However, according to both Israeli human rights groups and a committee of independent legal experts appointed by the UN to monitor implementation of the report, Goldstone’s applause for Israel’s investigations is unwarranted.

Sarit Michaeli, a spokeswoman for B’Tselem, an Israeli organization monitoring human rights in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, said Israel had failed to conduct a prompt, independent or transparent inquiry.

“The materials on which Israel has relied have not been made available to us, so we are not in a position to judge the quality of the investigations or the credibility of the findings.”

Likewise, the UN committee of experts, led by a New York judge, Mary McGowan-Davis, has complained that the Israeli army is probing itself and questioned the effectiveness of the investigations following “unnecessary delays” in which evidence may have been “lost or compromised.”

Human rights groups have pointed out that, despite the large number of deaths in Gaza, only three of the 400 investigations cited by Goldstone have so far led to indictments.

One of those cases involved the theft of a credit card. Another, in which two soldiers used a nine-year-old boy as a human shield, led to their being punished with three-month suspended sentences and demotion.

The second, more significant reassessment by Goldstone is that he was wrong to conclude in his report that Israel intentionally targeted civilians “as a matter of policy.”

Despite Goldstone’s misleading wording in the article, he is referring not to an Israeli order to intentionally murder civilians but a policy in which indiscriminate attacks were undertaken with a disregard to likely casualties among civilians.

Strangely, he appears to base his revised opinion on Israel’s own military investigations, even though no evidence from them has yet been made public.

Rina Rosenberg, the international advocacy director of the Adalah legal center, which has been monitoring Israel’s investigations on behalf of Palestinian legal groups, said Goldstone had given Israel a “gift” with this observation.

“Israel has tried to focus the debate entirely on whether it intended to kill civilians, as though a war crime depends only on intentionality. Israel knows that intention — outside a policy like targeted assassinations — is very difficult to prove.”

She pointed out that there were other important standards in international law for assessing war crimes, including negligence, disregard for the safety of civilians and indiscriminate use of force.

Also, observers have wondered what new information has emerged since Goldstone published his report to justify a rethink on whether Israeli policy left civilians in the line of fire.

His original conclusion drew in part on public statements by Israeli military commanders that in Gaza they had applied the Dahiya doctrine — an Israeli military strategy named after a suburb of Beirut that Israel leveled during its 2006 attack on Lebanon. In his article, Goldstone cast no fresh doubt on his earlier premise that such a strategy would by definition endanger civilians.

In addition, Israeli group Breaking the Silence has collected many testimonies from soldiers before and since publication of the Goldstone report indicating that they received orders to carry out operations with little or no regard for the safety of civilians. Some described the army as pursuing a policy of “zero-risk” to soldiers, even if that meant putting civilians in danger.

Similarly, leaflets produced by the military rabbinate — apparently with the knowledge of the army top brass — urged Israeli ground troops in Gaza to protect their own lives at all costs and show no mercy to Palestinians.

The timing of Goldstone’s article has raised additional concern among Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups that he may have succumbed to political pressure.

Late last month the UN’s Human Rights Council, which set up the fact-finding mission, recommended that the General Assembly refer the Goldstone report to the Security Council — the decisive stage in moving it to the International Criminal Court.

It is expected that the US, which has consistently opposed such a referral, will block the report’s progress to the ICC — further embarrassing Washington after its recent veto at the UN of a Palestinian resolution against Israeli settlements.

Shawan Jabareen, director of the Palestinian legal rights group al-Haq, said Goldstone’s article had provided Israel and the US with a “new weapon” to discredit the report even before it reached the Security Council.


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Goldstone’s shameful U-turn
Ilan Pappe

Judge Richard Goldstone in the Gaza Strip, June 2009. (UN Photo)

“If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone report would have been a different document.” Thus opens Judge Richard Goldstone’s much-discussed op-ed in The Washington Post. I have a strong feeling that the editor might have tampered with the text and that the original sentence ought to have read something like: “If I had known then that the report would turn me into a self-hating Jew in the eyes of my beloved Israel and my own Jewish community in South Africa, the Goldstone report would never have been written at all.” And if that wasn’t the original sentence, it is certainly the subtext of Goldstone’s article. 

This shameful U-turn did not happen this week. It comes after more than a year and a half of a sustained campaign of intimidation and character assassination against the judge, a campaign whose like in the past destroyed mighty people such as US Senator William Fulbright who was shot down politically for his brave attempt to disclose AIPAC’s illegal dealings with the State of Israel.

Already In October 2009, Goldstone told CNN, “I’ve got a great love for Israel” and “I’ve worked for many Israeli causes and continue to do so” (Video: “

Fareed Zakaria GPS,” 4 October 2009). 

Given the fact that at the time he made this declaration of love he did not have any new evidence, as he claims now, one may wonder how could this love could not be at least weakened by what he discovered when writing, along with other members of the UN commission, his original report.

But worse was to come and exactly a year ago, in April 2010, the campaign against him reached new heights, or rather, lows. It was led by the chairman of the South African Zionist Federation, Avrom Krengel, who tried to prevent Goldstone from participating in his grandson’s bar mitzvah in Johannesburg since “Goldstone caused irreparable damage to the Jewish people as a whole.”

The South African Zionist Federation threatened to picket outside the synagogue during the ceremony. Worse was the interference of South Africa’s Chief Rabbi, Warren Goldstein, who chastised Goldstone for “doing greater damage to the State of Israel.” Last February, Goldstone said that “Hamas perpetrated war crimes, but Israel did not,” in an interview that was not broadcast, according to a 3 April report the website of Israel’s Channel 2. It was not enough: the Israelis demanded much more.

Readers might ask “so what?” and “why could Goldstone not withstand the heat?” Good questions, but alas the Zionization of Jewish communities and the false identification of Jewishness with Zionism is still a powerful disincentive that prevents liberal Jews from boldly facing Israel and its crimes.

Every now and again many liberal Jews seem to liberate themselves and allow their conscience, rather than their fear, to lead them. However, many seem unable stick to their more universalist inclinations for too long where Israel is concerned. The risk of being defined as a “self-hating Jew” with all the ramifications of such an accusation is a real and frightening prospect for them. You have to be in this position to understand the power of this terror.

Just weeks ago, Israeli military intelligence announced it had created a special unit to monitor, confront, and possibly hunt down, individuals and bodies suspected of “delegitimizing” Israel abroad. In light of this, perhaps quite a few of the faint-hearted felt standing up to Israel was not worth it.

We should have recognized that Goldstone was one of them when he stated that, despite his report, he remains a Zionist. This adjective, “Zionist,” is far more meaningful and charged than is usually assumed. You cannot claim to be one if you oppose the ideology of the apartheid State of Israel. You can remain one if you just rebuke the state for a certain criminal policy and fail to see the connection between the ideology and that policy. “I am a Zionist” is a declaration of loyalty to a frame of mind that cannot accept the 2009 Goldstone Report. You can either be a Zionist or blame Israel for war crimes and crimes against humanity — if you do both, you will crack sooner rather than later.

That this mea culpa has nothing to do with new facts is clear when one examines the “evidence” brought by Goldstone to explain his retraction. To be honest, one should say that one did not have to be the world expert on international law to know that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza in 2009. The reports of bodies such as Breaking the Silence and the UN representatives on the ground attested to it, before and after the Goldstone report. It was also not the only evidence.

The pictures and images we saw on our screens and those we saw on the ground told only one story of a criminal policy intending to kill, wound and maim as a collective punishment. “The Palestinians are going to bring upon themselves a Holocaust,” promised Matan Vilnai, Israel’s deputy minister of defense to the people of Gaza on 29 February 2008.

There is only one new piece of evidence Goldstone brings and this is an internal Israeli army investigation that explains that one of the cases suspected as a war crime was due to a mistake by the Israeli army that is still being investigated. This must be a winning card: a claim by the Israeli army that massive killings by Palestinians were a “mistake.”

Ever since the creation of the State of Israel, the tens of thousands of Palestinians killed by Israel were either terrorists or killed by “mistake.” So 29 out of 1,400 deaths were killed by an unfortunate mistake? Only ideological commitment could base a revision of the report on an internal inquiry of the Israeli army focusing only on one of dozens of instances of unlawful killing and massacring. So it cannot be new evidence that caused Goldstone to write this article. Rather, it is his wish to return to the Zionist comfort zone that propelled this bizarre and faulty article.

This is also clear from the way he escalates his language against Hamas in the article and de-escalates his words toward Israel. And he hopes that this would absolve him of Israel’s righteous fury. But he is wrong, very wrong. Only a few hours passed from the publication of the article until Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and of course the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate President Shimon Peres commissioned Goldstone with a new role in life: he is expected to move from one campus to the other and hop from one public venue to the next in the service of a new and pious Israel. He may choose not to do it; but then again he might not be allowed to attend his grandson’s bar mitzvah as a retaliation.

Goldstone and his colleagues wrote a very detailed report, but they were quite reserved in their conclusions. The picture unfolding from Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations was far more horrendous and was described less in the clinical and legal language that quite often fails to convey the magnitude of the horror. It was first western public opinion that understood better than Goldstone the implications of his report. Israel’s international legitimacy has suffered an unprecedented blow. He was genuinely shocked to learn that this was the result.

We have been there before. In the late 1980s, Israeli historian Benny Morris wrote a similar, sterile, account of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine. Palestinian academics such as Edward Said, Nur Masalha and Walid Khalidi were the ones who pointed to the significant implications for Israel’s identity and self-image, and nature of the archival material he unearthed.

Morris too cowered under pressure and asked to be re-admitted to the tribe. He went very far with his mea culpa and re-emerged as an extreme anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racist: suggesting putting the Arabs in cages and promoting the idea of another ethnic cleansing. Goldstone can go in that direction too; or at least this is what the Israelis expect him to do now.

Professionally, both Morris and Goldstone tried to retreat to a position that claimed, as Goldstone does in The Washington Post article, that Israel can only be judged by its intentions not the consequences of its deeds. Therefore only the Israeli army, in both cases, can be a reliable source for knowing what these intentions were. Very few decent and intelligent people in the world would accept such a bizarre analysis and explanation.

Goldstone has not entered as yet the lunatic fringe of ultra-Zionism as Morris did. But if he is not careful the future promises to be a pleasant journey with the likes of Morris, Alan Dershowitz (who already said that Goldstone is a “repentant Jew”) between annual meetings of the AIPAC rottweilers and the wacky conventions of the Christian Zionists. He would soon find out that once you cower in the face of Zionism — you are expected to go all the way or be at the very same spot you thought you had successfully left behind you.

Winning Zionist love in the short-term is far less important than losing the world’s respect in the long-run. Palestine should choose its friends with care: they cannot be faint-hearted nor can they claim to be Zionists as well as champions of peace, justice and human rights in Palestine.


Source

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The Goldstone Chronicles

By ROGER COHEN

LONDON — We have a new verb, “to Goldstone.” Its meaning: To make a finding, and then partially retract it for uncertain motive. Etymology: the strange actions of a respected South African Jewish jurist under intense pressure from Israel, the U.S. Congress and world Jewish groups.

Richard Goldstone is an author of the “Goldstone Report,” an investigation of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009. It found that Israel had engaged in a “deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population,” for which responsibility lay “in the first place with those who designed, planned, ordered and oversaw the operations.” It said both Israel and Hamas may have committed crimes against humanity in a conflict that saw a ratio of about 100 Palestinian dead (including many children) for every one Israeli.

Now Goldstone’s volte-face appears in the form of a Washington Post op-ed. It’s a bizarre effort. He says his report would have been different “if I had known then what I know now.” The core difference the judge identifies is that he’s now convinced Gaza “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy.”

His shift is attributed to the findings of a follow-up report by a U.N. committee of independent experts chaired by Mary McGowan Davis, a former New York judge, and what is “recognized” therein about Israeli military investigations. Well, Goldstone and I have not been reading the same report.

McGowan Davis is in fact deeply critical of those Israeli investigations — their tardiness, leniency, lack of transparency and flawed structure. Her report — stymied by lack of access to Israel, Gaza or the West Bank — contains no new information I can see that might buttress a change of heart.

On the core issue of intentionality, it declares: “There is no indication that Israel has opened investigations into the actions of those who designed, planned, ordered and oversaw Operation Cast Lead.”

It says Israel has not adequately answered the Goldstone Report’s allegations about the “design and implementation of the Gaza operations” or its “objectives and targets.” Victims on both sides, McGowan Davis argues, can expect “no genuine accountability and no justice.”

In short there is a mystery here. Goldstone has moved but the evidence has not, really. That raises the issue of whether the jurist buckled under pressure so unrelenting it almost got him barred from his grandson’s bar mitzvah in South Africa. Is this more a matter of judicial cojones than coherence?

The fact that Hamas has not conducted any investigation into its unconscionable attacks on southern Israel — rockets and mortars still fall — is appalling if unsurprising. Goldstone makes much of this. But it does not change the nature of what Israel did in Gaza, nor allay the McGowan Davis concerns about Israel’s investigative failings.

Goldstone, a Jew who takes his Jewishness seriously, has been pilloried by Israel. He fell afoul, as perhaps no other, of the siege mentality of a nation controlling the lives of millions of Palestinians but unsure what to do with them or with the world’s growing disavowal of this corrosive dominion that humiliates its victims and eats into the soul of its masters.

The charges cascaded: He was a “self-hating Jew,” a hypocrite, a traitor. For Alan Dershowitz he was “despicable.” For Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, Goldstone was up there with the Iranian nuclear program and Hamas rockets as one of Israel’s “three major strategic challenges.”

Theories already abound on the Goldstone psyche. It was an emotional meeting last year with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies that set him on the retraction road. No, it was a bruising debate last month at Stanford University. No, it was a rightist Israeli minister telling him his report fueled those who knifed West Bank settlers. He was “broken,” one friend suggests.

I don’t know. I asked Goldstone. He responded in an e-mail that he was declining “media interviews.” I do know this: The contortions of his about-face are considerable.

Goldstone expresses confidence that the Israeli officer responsible for the killing of 29 members of the al-Samouni family will be properly punished. Yet the McGowan Davis report is critical of this investigation and notes that “no decision had been made as to whether or not the officer would stand trial.”

It also notes that more than a third of the 36 Gaza incidents identified in the Goldstone Report “are still unresolved or unclear.” There have been just two convictions — and the one for credit card theft brought a more severe sentence than use of a Palestinian child as a human shield! And this gives Goldstone confidence?

Israel is celebrating what it calls a vindication. It is preparing to welcome Goldstone. It is demanding nullification of the report, even though Goldstone is only one of its four authors. Meanwhile the facts remain: the 1,400 plus Palestinian dead, the 13 Israelis killed, the devastation, the Hamas rockets — and the need for credible investigation of what all evidence suggests were large-scale, indiscriminate, unlawful Israeli attacks in Gaza, as well as Hamas’ crimes against civilians.

To “Goldstone”: (Colloq.) To sow confusion, hide a secret, create havoc.

Op-Ed in New York Times

ISRAEL’S NEW ‘KOSHER’ NUMBERS GAME

One can’t help wonder if the following two news items are in any way related to the timing of Goldstone’s latest ‘findings’. If murder is now ‘kosher’, why not the following as well?

How long will the world turn a blind eye to this?

Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates entry of goods between Israel and Gaza, said that Israeli authorities are prohibiting the passage of at least 700 goods into Gaza.

*******

Jerusalem city council on Monday approved the construction of 942 new Jewish-only homes in Gilo settlement in occupied East Jersualem


Israel bans 700 goods from entering Gaza

Israel closes a fourth Gaza crossing after preventing the passage of vital material into Gaza, triggering fears of an impending humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory

By Saleh Naami

Gaza
The area around the Gaza Strip has been declared a “closed military zone” in 2008, (Reuters).

Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh, who coordinates entry of goods between Israel and Gaza, said that Israeli authorities are prohibiting the passage of at least 700 goods into Gaza.  

In a press statement Wednesday morning, Fattouh made clear that the Israeli Occupation Forces are preventing 50 per cent of Gaza imports to pass due to excuses that are unsubstantiated and unconvincing.

Fattouh pointed out that most of the prohibited material belongs to the building and construction sector, which increased the housing problem in the strip that had been piling up for four years.

The Occupation Forces’ decision to close the  Karam Abu Salem crossing into Gaza on Wednesday – the only crossing operating out of four, three of which were already closed – is expected to exacerbate the humanitarian situation in Gaza according to Fattouh.

Fattouh warned that if the International Community does not move to pressure Israel to allow vital and necessary material to pass, a serious humanitarian crisis will take place.

The Palestinian Authority had agreed with Israel three months back to close al-Mentar – the major crossing between Gaza and Israel.

Goods were allowed to pass through Karam Abu Salem instead despite its distant location and its lower capacity for the passage of goods.

Israel had eased its four-year-blockade on Gaza due to the Freedom Flotilla episode in May 2010.

 

Source

 

 

and……

 

 

Israel okays 942 new settler homes in East Jerusalem

By Marius Schattner

JERUSALEM  — Jerusalem city council on Monday approved the construction of 942 new Jewish-only homes in Gilo settlement in occupied East Jersualem, a councillor told AFP. 

Elisha Peleg, from the right-wing Likud party, confirmed that the new construction in Gilo, close to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, had been approved during an afternoon session of the district planning council.

“Of course we approved it, it is only the first step,” he told AFP, saying it was approved by five in favor and one against.

The municipality said this project was in addition to an earlier tranche of more than 900 new homes in Gilo approved in November 2009, which brought sharp condemnation from Washington which expressed “dismay” over the move.

The latest decision came a day ahead of a top-level meeting at the White House between Israeli President Shimon Peres and US President Barack Obama.

Gilo lies in occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured along with the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel considers both halves of the Holy City its “eternal, indivisible” capital, and does not view construction in the east to be settlement activity.

The Palestinians, however, want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and fiercely contest any actions to extend Israel’s control over the sector.

The Palestinians condemned the move and said they would appeal to the international community to pressure Israel to respect international law.

“We strongly condemn the decision of the Jerusalem municipality to build 942 new homes in Gilo,” said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat. “This decision proves once again that Israel has chosen settlements over peace.”

Some 180,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem alongside nearly 270,000 Palestinians.

On Friday Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said that an Israeli landowner was seeking to sell plots for 30 homes in another mainly Palestinian neighborhood of Jerusalem, where 117 settler families already live.

The international community has repeatedly called on Israel to avoid new building projects in East Jerusalem.

US-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are deadlocked over the issue of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Palestinians walked out of direct peace talks three weeks after they started last September when Israel refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank.

They refuse to negotiate with Israel while it builds on land which would be a Palestinian state in a peace agreement.

In March 2010, the interior ministry announced a plan to build 1,600 Jewish-only homes in Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem.

The announcement, which came as US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel, provoked fierce American opposition and soured relations with Washington for several months.

THE ENEMIES OF ZION ARE THE JEWS THEMSELVES

Image ‘Copyleft’ by Carlos Latuff


The above seems to be the conclusion drawn by the Jerusalem Post’s Psycho Gal. In her weekly column rant, she raises much ‘food for thought’ this week….. most of which is not kosher. One claim she makes is WITH AMERICAN Jews taking a lead role in delegitimizing Israel; with the international media ignoring the massacre of the Fogel family and attacking Israel for its response to the event they didn’t cover; and with the US government united with the nations of the world in condemning the government’s decision to allow Israelis who are Jewish to build on land they own, the despair of a growing chorus of Israelis is understandable.

American Jews are delegetimizing Israel? If that were the case why does she go flying off to join them in celebrating Israel’s terror on the seas? How quickly she forgets who has been footing the bill for Israel’s atrocities.

Also targeted in this week’s rant is a HaAretz columnist for daring to express an opinion that makes sense….  On Thursday Ha’aretz columnist Ari Shavit called Israeli communities built beyond the 1949 armistice line the local equivalent of Japan’s nuclear reactors. Like the reactors, he wrote, they seemed like a good idea at the time. But they have become our undoing. Shavit’s column can be read HERE.

How dare he! According to her twisted logic, the settlements are the backbone of the zionist state, without which it could not exist.

Regarding growing Jewish support for the economic boycott against Israel, she cites the following …. According to New York’s Jewish Week, there is a new consensus in the American Jewish community that imposing an economic boycott on Israeli communities outside the 1949 armistice lines is a legitimate position. The paper interviewed Martin Raffel, the head of the new Israel Action Network, a multimillion-dollar effort by the Jewish Federations of North America and other major Jewish groups to counter the delegitimization of Israel.

Delegitimization of Israel? That is done every time the likes of a David Horowitz opens his mouth…. the spouting of racism and ranting like the maniac he is will definitely not win friends over to the zionist cause.

Every time a Horowitz speaks, anti-Semitism grows. His ‘methods’ do not in any way bring new friends to their cause. It thereby brings truth to the wording of this post’s title, THE ENEMIES OF ZION ARE THE JEWS THEMSELVES.

Every time a Caroline Glick writes rants, the same thing occurs. Both need to read the book ‘How To Make Friends And Influence People’ …. as it stands now, the opposite is what is happening.

Her rant of the week can be read HERE if you have nothing better to do.

Image by Skulz Fontaine


BLATHERINGS FROM THE JERUSALEM POST

This weekend’s Jerusalem Post seems like something of a preview of the April Fool’s Edition yet to come.  It has two feature articles that are as much removed from reality as anything published in The Onion

One article deals with Israeli Apartheid Week, featuring a photo of an article written by our Associate Mazin Qumsiyeh;


This ploy, most likely to give the impression that the Boycott is strictly a Palestinian issue with only Palestinians involved.

But, the writer then clarifies this by citing the International character of the Boycott; Feeling confused and disoriented? Suffering from a heightened sense of anxiety? No wonder. It’s March, and the seasonal outbreak of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), now extended to a full month by popular demand, is manifesting itself in college towns everywhere. Eventually it will subside of its own accord, but in the meantime, to alleviate symptoms, keep reading.

He continues with reasons why the Boycott is unnecessary….

First of all, there is our Declaration of Independence, unequivocally calling for “the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants,” and explicitly ensuring “complete equality… irrespective of religion, race or sex.” 

These are not mere words. Through six conflict- ridden decades, we have held tenaciously to the sacred pursuit of “freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel” to which the state was committed at its founding, never resorting either to the repression or expulsion of our Arab population. At every level, the facts belie any possible characterization of Israel as practicing state-sanctioned racism:

• Arab citizens enjoy full and equal voting rights (women as well as men, something still denied them in other Middle Eastern countries). 

• Arabs currently hold 14 of the 120 seats in the Knesset.

• Arabs have routinely served at the highest echelon of the civil, legislative and judicial authorities, filling such positions as minister, deputy speaker of the Knesset, ambassador and Supreme Court justice.

• Laws of compulsory education apply equally to Arabs and Jews and universities are open equally to all citizens.

• Arabs can be found in every sector of the economy, working alongside their Jewish colleagues as doctors, professors, filmmakers, hitech executives and lawyers, with their membership in labor unions taken for granted.

• There are no legal restrictions as to where Arabs may live, and neither religion nor ethnicity may be applied as a basis for denying purchase of land.


The name of the column this appears in is called ‘Keep Dreaming’,  very appropriate title considering it is nothing but….
It can be read in it’s entirety HERE.

Then, there’s my favourite columnist, ‘Psycho Gal’…. this week she blathers on about Netanyahu, ending her tirade with Netanyahu is reportedly considering unveiling his new diplomatic initiative in a speech before Congress in May. If he were to use that venue to unveil this plan and also announce a plan to wean Israel off US military aid within three years, not only would he blunt Obama’s power to threaten Israel. He would secure popular US support for Israel for years to come.

Wean Israel off US military aid within three years??? Reality is they just asked America for an additional 20 BILLION DOLLAR$ to supplement the already 3.5 BILLION they get every year.

Her column can be read HERE if you have nothing better to do…

zionism is definitely not a joke, but it is good for a few laughs every now and again ;)

ISRAELI ARMY CONTINUES TO LIE ABOUT DEATH OF TEAR GAS VICTIM WHILE ISRAELI PRESS CONTINUES TO SPREAD THOSE LIES


A photograph of Jawaher Abu Rahmah hangs at her funeral on 1 January. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills)

Two weeks ago I posted a piece very critical of both HaAretz and Ynet News. At the time, the IDF went as far as to claim the victim, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, wasn’t even at the demonstration in question.

The day after my post, HaAretz changed its tune and actually reported the truth about the situation. But, they are back at their old game of once again spreading the lies of the IDF as if it was the true version of the events. Ynet Joins them in this endeavor.

As was written in the first post I mention above;
Let me state here that Palestine does not want martyrs. Palestine wants FREEDOM! Palestinians want STATEHOOD!!

Israel will and is doing everything in its power to prevent either from becoming a reality. Now the Israeli press is following suit by joining the chorus of lies being sung by the IDF and the government itself.

HaAretz which is supposedly the voice of the Left in Israel has also joined in as has YNet which normally publishes opinions just left of centre. Perhaps this is a result of fear stemming from a Bill which most likely will pass in the Knesset today, a proposal by Yisrael Beiteinu to establish a parliamentary committee of inquiry into Israeli organizations it says participate in delegitimization campaigns against Israeli soldiers.

Once again, I say shame on both of these news outlets. The IDF has its own line of publications, let them print all the lies they want there. The rest should concentrate on real news, not lies.

The shameful reports of today can be seen below, will we see the truth tomorrow on their pages or only here on the Blogesphere?

From HaAretz …..

IDF: Death of Bil’in woman caused by poor medical care in Ramallah

From Ynet …..

IDF findings: Palestinian woman died of Atropine overdose

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Army confusion over Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s death

Last night, the army released a statement to the Israeli press about the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah in Bil’in. For the past two weeks, the army has been spreading lies and half truths about her death ranging from suspected cancer to Abu Rahmah not being present at the demonstration on New Years Eve. The most recent army statement actually catchs the army in its own web of lies. The IDF now confirms that Abu Rahmah was at the demonstration (exactly where in the demonstration they are still speculating) she was in fact tear gassed and she was admitted to hospital for the effects of tear gas. This is in stark contrast to the statements that central commander Avi Mizrahi passed to unvetted right wing bloggers and subsequently to the media after Abu Rahmha’s death.

Like previous statements, the current one is full of inconsistencies and half truths. The army is claiming that Abu Rahmah received an overdose of a drug that is used to treat nerve and tear gas. So, according the army, her death is completely the responsibly of the hospital and tear gas played no role. However it was the gas that put her life in danger and the reason she was in hospital in the first place. The current report must be treated with extreme caution based on the track record of blatant lies that the army has spread about this story. As the statements continue to roll out, the Palestinians version of events has been vindicated. The army is making a last ditch effort to try and create an atmosphere of confusion in the hopes that the story will dissolve by itself.

The Israeli strategy of confusion of facts has been so successful that press articles in today’s Israel papers make little rational sense. They appear as a mash up to lies and half truths that contradict one and other. Ynet, citing army reports, is reporting that Abu Rahmah was not at the demonstration but was admitted to the hospital because of the effects of tear gas. The newstream is now so polluted with disinformation from the army that the story will most likely die out with each side holding to their own version of story regardless of the facts. This is exactly the army’s strategy.

HaARETZ FINALLY TELLS IT AS IT IS

A post I wrote yesterday was fairly critical of Israel’s ‘Left’ newspaper HaAretz, accusing them of allowing McCarthyism to dictate what to print or not. They changed their tune a bit and finally got back to telling it as it is…..

Haaretz Knocks Haaretz On Israeli Coverage of Death of Bil’in Woman

by Alex Kane

Two days ago, the Israeli daily Haaretz added to the Israeli media’s shameful reporting on the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, a Bil’in village resident who was killed at last Friday’s anti-wall demonstration due to Israeli Defense Forces-fired tear gas.  Ironically, in a separate article today on Abu Rahmah’s death, the paper slightly knocks Israeli media coverage that repeated the IDF’s claims as fact–something that Haaretz did itself.

On January 3, 2010, Anshel Pfeffer wrote:

The Israel Defense Forces said on Monday that the medical report on the death of a Palestinian woman said to have been killed at a West Bank protest contains significant inconsistencies regarding the circumstances of her death…

Military sources said, however, that there was no evidence that Abu Rahmah even participated in Friday’s demonstration against the security barrier in Bil’in – nor that she died from inhaling tear gas.

The army’s claims have quickly been discredited by eyewitnesses who were at the demonstration against the separation barrier.  Haaretz catches on today with a stellar piece of reporting by Avi Issacharoff:

The Palestinian woman who died last weekend from smoke inhalation was indeed hurt by tear gas in Bil’in, according to new evidence provided to Haaretz. The evidence has also made it clear that the woman, Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, had been standing near youths throwing stones at Israeli soldiers on Friday.

This new information runs contrary to claims made in the media, which are allegedly based on military sources.

Haaretz should stop repeating the IDF’s claims as fact in articles until they do their own investigation.  What a difference two days makes.

 

 

Posted AT

PSYCHOANALYSIS ~~ ISRAEL CAN ONLY RELY ON ITSELF TO DEFEND ITS INTERESTS

What about the BILLION$ being poured in via the US taxpayer?


Back from a whirlwind tour where she was this year’s ‘Honoree’ at the ‘Settlers Flotilla’ Fundraiser, the Jerusalem Post’s resident psycho, Caroline Glick, shares her weekly bitterness with its readers…..

In today’s column entitled  Why Latin America turned she attempts to analyse why Brazil and Argentina unexpectedly announced they recognize an independent Palestinian state with its capital city in Israel’s capital city. Needless to say, she omits the facts, but in their place gives reasons totally divorced from the reality of the situation…

Some examples;
Israelis can be forgiven for being taken by surprise by their move and by the prospect that Uruguay, and perhaps Paraguay, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and El Salvador, will be following in their footsteps because the Israeli media have failed to report on developing trends in Latin America. (she was the only one taken by surprise it seems).

And this is not surprising. The media fail to report on almost all the developing trends impacting the world. For instance, when the Turkish government sent Hamas supporters to challenge the IDF’s maritime blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza coastline, the media were surprised that Israel’s ally Turkey had suddenly become Hamas’s ally and Israel’s enemy. (she seems to forget who boarded the Turkish Humanitarian Flotilla and murdered 9 of the passengers in cold blood).

The impression that Obama is completely committed to the Palestinian cause was reinforced this week rather than weakened with the cancellation of the Netanyahu-Clinton deal regarding the banning of Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. The deal was to see Israel banning Jewish construction for an additional 90 days, in exchange for a US pledge not to ask for any further bans; to support Israel at the UN Security Council for a limited time against a Palestinian push to declare independence without peace; and to sell Israel an additional 20 F-35 fighter jets sometime in the future. (I read this paragraph 10 times and it still makes no sense…. can anyone understand what she is trying to say?)

Her bottom line is: When we understand the trends that led to Latin America’s hostile act against Israel, we realize two things. First, while Israel might have come up with a way to delay the action, it probably couldn’t have prevented it. And second, given the US policy trajectory, it is again obvious that the only one Israel can rely on to defend its interests – against Iran and the Palestinians alike – is Israel. (pathetic, to say the least).

Surely there are medications that could help such a person cope with reality, Israel has a pretty good health care programme, I am certain she has medical coverage through her employment at the Post.

If anyone really wants to read her article in full, click HERE.

ISRAELI VOICES OF REASON

Not every Israeli is a racist and not every rabbi is a fool….
This can be seen in the following articles from today’s Israeli press…..

‘Past experiments have taught how important and fragile the values of coexistence are,’ Holocaust memorial says in response to religious ruling signed by dozens of prominent rabbis.


Racism at the expense of Israeli citizens

Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi must now bring disciplinary measures against the instigating rabbis as the first step in their dismissal.


Chairman of Holocaust survivors’ association condemns letter signed by rabbis, which prohibits rental, sale of property to non-Jews. ‘I remember Nazis throwing Jews out of apartments to create ghettos,’ he says

 

Rabbis’ ‘racist ruling’ slammed

Ban on selling homes to non-Jews under fire. Ruling gravely twists Torah, says rabbi

SHOULDN’T WIKILEAKS BE RENAMED ZIOLEAKS?

Israel is in it’s full glory today because of the latest Wikileaks ‘leaks’. As was said in a previous post, Had WikiLeaks didn’t exist, Israel would have had to invent it. It appears that in reality, it was.

Even the Palestinian Authority, Israel’s puppet, has it’s strings tangled over the latest accusations… Cable among hundreds of thousands revealed by WikiLeaks says that Israel tried to coordinate Operation Cast Lead with Fatah and Egypt. A full report from HaAretz can be read here…. Palestinians: Gaza war claim exposed by WikiLeaks is untrue

Israel’s rejoicing in the matter can be seen in a number of articles from the Israeli press…

WikiLeaks fiasco doesn’t embarrass Israel one bit

Netanyahu: WikiLeaks cables prove Israel is right on Iran
 

Analysis: Wikileaks vindicate, don’t damage, Israel

PM on WikiLeaks: ‘Now World Knows what Arabs Say About Iran’

WikiLeaks: Ahmadinejad Is Hitler

 

Bottom line is…. not a single criticism of Israel appears anywhere in this latest dump; an impossibility in the wake of the lethal Israeli attack on the aid flotilla last May! Makes one question the validity of the ‘leaks’.  

 

PSYCHOTIC FEARS OF PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD

I remember the weekend editions of newspapers in the United States, especially the comic sections in most papers.

In lieu of a comic section the Jerusalem Post has Carolyn Glick as a co editor, which guarantees at least one column worth a  good chuckle.

Today was no different with her analysis of the upcoming American election, truly an amusing viewpoint from our resident psychopath herself….

The section dealing with her fears of a free Palestine follow, at the end is a link to the entire rant.


Israel must craft policies that maximize its advantage on Capitol Hill and minimize its vulnerability to the White House

To date, Obama’s demands on Israel have focused on blocking construction and delegitimizing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem. And as far as he is concerned, Israel’s response to his demands to date has been unsatisfactory. In light of this, at a minimum we can expect that in the immediate aftermath of next Tuesday’s elections, Obama will deliberately provoke a new crisis in US relations with Israel over Jewish building in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.But of course, this isn’t his only option. Indeed, he has nearly unlimited options for making life unpleasant for Israel. Obama doesn’t even have to be the one to provoke the next crisis. He can simply take advantage of crises that the Palestinians provoke. 

THE PALESTINIANS are threatening to provoke two such crises in the next several months. First, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is threatening to ask the UN Security Council to pass a resolution declaring all Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines illegal and requiring the expulsion of the 450,000 Israeli Jews who live in them.

Second, the PA’s unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is threatening to declare independence without a treaty with Israel next summer.

Simply by not opposing these deeply aggressive initiatives against Israel, Obama can cause Israel enormous harm.

Other outlets for pressure include stepping up harassment of pro-Israel groups in the US, holding up the transfer of arms to Israel, pressing for the IDF to end its counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria, and expanding US financial and military support for the Palestinian army. All of these moves will doubtless be employed to varying degrees in the next two years.

This onslaught on Israel will be implemented against the backdrop of a dynamic regional strategic environment. The evolving threats that Israel faces include among other things, Iran’s acquisition of a nuclear arsenal, and Iran’s takeover of Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. Israel also faces the likelihood that instability and fanaticism will engulf Egypt after President Hosni Mubarak dies and that Jordan will be destabilized after US forces vacate Iraq.

Over the next two years, Israel will be required to contend with these developing threats in profound ways. And over the next two years, all of Israel’s actions aimed at mitigating these threats will need to be taken with the certain knowledge that the country will be in and out of crises with the Obama administration throughout. Whatever military actions Israel will be required to take will have to be timed to coincide with lulls in Obama-provoked crises.

The one good thing about the challenge Obama presents to Israel is that it is a clear cut challenge. The Scott Brown precedent coupled with Obama’s track record on Israel demonstrate that Obama will not modify his anti-Israel agenda to align with political realities at home, and there is nothing that Israel can do that will neutralize Obama’s hostility.

By the same token, the massive support Israel enjoys among the incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives is a significant resource. True, the Republicans will not enjoy the same power to check presidential power in foreign affairs as they will have in domestic policy. But their control over the House of Representatives will enable them to shape public perceptions of international affairs and mitigate administration pressure on Israel by opening up new outlets for discourse and defunding administration initiatives.

Against this backdrop, Israel must craft policies that maximize its advantage on Capitol Hill and minimize its vulnerability to the White House. Specifically, Israel should adopt three basic policy lines. First, Israel should request that US military assistance to the IDF be appropriated as part of the Defense Department’s budget instead of the State Department’s foreign aid budget where it is now allocated.

This change is important for two reasons. First, US military assistance to Israel is not welfare. Like US military assistance to South Korea, which is part of the Pentagon’s budget, US military assistance to Israel is a normal aspect of routine relations between the US and its strategic allies. Israel is one of the US’s most important strategic allies and it should be treated like the US’s other allies are treated and not placed in the same basket as impoverished states in Africa.

Second, this move is supported by the Republicans. Rep. Eric Cantor, who will likely be elected Republican Majority Leader, has already stated his interest in moving military assistance to Israel to the Pentagon budget. The Republicans wish to move aid to Israel to the Pentagon’s budget because that assistance is the most popular item on the US foreign aid budget. Not wishing to harm Israel, Republicans have been forced to approve the foreign aid budget despite the fact that it includes aid to countries like Sudan and Yemen that they do not wish to support.

When the government announces its request, it should make clear that in light of Israel’s economic prosperity, Israel intends to end its receipt of military assistance from the US within five years. Given the Republicans’ commitment to fiscal responsibility, this is a politically sensible move. More importantly, it is a strategically critical move. Obama’s hostility demonstrates clearly that Israel must not be dependent on US resupply of military platforms in time of war.

The second policy direction Israel must adopt involves stepping up its efforts to discredit and check the Palestinian political war against it. Today the Palestinians are escalating their bid to delegitimize Israel by expanding their offensive against Israel in international organizations like the UN and the International Criminal Court and by expanding their operations in states like Britain that are hostile to Israel.

Israel must move aggressively to discredit all groups and individuals that participate in these actions, and cooperate with its allies who share its aim of weakening them. For instance, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is expected to be elected chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has been seeking to curtail US funding to UN organizations like UNRWA whose leaders support Hamas and whose organizational goal is Israel’s destruction.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his ministers must lead the charge discrediting groups like UNRWA, the ICC and the UN Human Rights Council. Since the Obama administration seeks to empower all of these organizations, at a minimum, such an Israeli policy will embolden Obama’s political opponents to block his policies by curtailing US funding of these bodies.

 

The Palestinians’ threats to declare independence and define Israeli communities as illegal are clear attempts on their part to shape the post-peace process international landscape. Given their diplomatic strength and Israel’s diplomatic weakness, it is reasonable for the Palestinians to act as they are. 

But two can play this game.

ISRAEL IS not without options. These options are rooted in its military control on the ground, Netanyahu’s political strength at home, and popular support for Israel in the US.

Israel should prepare its own unilateral actions aimed at shaping the post-Oslo international agenda. It should implement these actions the moment the Palestinians carry through on their threats. For instance, the day the UN Security Council votes on a resolution to declare Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and Israeli neighborhoods in Jerusalem illegal, Israel should announce it is applying Israeli law to either all of Judea and Samaria, or to the large Israeli population centers and to the Jordan Valley.

If properly timed and orchestrated, such a move by Israel could fundamentally reshape the international discourse on the Middle East in Israel’s favor. Certainly it will empower Israel’s allies in the US and throughout the world to rally to its side.

The challenge that Washington now poses to Israel is not unprecedented. Indeed for Netanyahu it is familiar.

During his first tenure as prime minister, Netanyahu faced a similar predicament with the Clinton administration. In October 1998, thenpresident Bill Clinton was about to be impeached. The Republicans stood poised to expand their control over the House of Representatives. Paralyzed domestically, Clinton turned to Israel. He placed enormous pressure on Netanyahu to agree to further land concessions to Yasser Arafat in Judea and Samaria. In what became the Wye Memorandum, Clinton forced Netanyahu to agree to massive concessions in exchange for which Clinton agreed to free Jonathan Pollard from prison.

 

At the time, Israel’s allies in Washington enjoined Netanyahu not to succumb to Clinton’s pressure. They argued that in his weakened state, Clinton had limited capacity to harm Netanyahu. Moreover, they warned that by caving to his pressure, Netanyahu would strengthen Clinton and guarantee that he would double down on Israel. 

In the event, Netanyahu spurned Israel’s allies and bent to Clinton’s will. For his part, Clinton reneged on his pledge to release Pollard.

Netanyahu’s rightist coalition partners were appalled by his behavior. They bolted his coalition in protest and his government fell. Rather than stand by Netanyahu for his concessions, Clinton and the Israeli Left joined hands to defeat him in the 1999 elections.

The lesson Netanyahu learned from this experience was that he cannot trust the political Right to stand by him. While not unreasonable, this was not the main lesson from his experience. The larger point is that Netanyahu must not delude himself into believing that by falling into the arms of the Left he will win its support.

The post-election Obama administration will make the lives of Israel’s leaders unpleasant. But Netanyahu and his ministers are not powerless in the grip of circumstances. They have powerful allies and supporters in Washington and the confidence of the Israeli people. These are formidable assets.

 


The rest can be read HERE

WIKILEAKS ‘LEAKS’ THE TRUTH ABOUT THE WAR IN IRAQ

The War Logs
A trove of nearly 400,000 secret field reports from Iraq, obtained by the group WikiLeaks, sheds new light on such issues as civilian deaths, detainee abuse and the involvement of Iran.  | Overview »

Reports Detail Iran Aid to Iraq Militias

By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ANDREW W. LEHREN

Civilians Paid War’s Heaviest Toll

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDREW W. LEHREN

Detainees Suffered in Iraqi Hands

By SABRINA TAVERNISE and ANDREW W. LEHREN


All of the above from the New York Times
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Also see the following Reuters report that appeared in HaAretz….

Leaked Iraq documents depict abuse in Iraq

Files also detail well-known U.S. concerns about Iranian training and support for Iraqi militias.

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