UPDATES ON BLOCKING THE BOAT FOR GAZA

THE EFFORTS ARE WORKING!

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See last night’s post, then see updates on Facebook below …

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UPDATES HERE
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SUPPORT ACTIONS IN NEW YORK YESTERDAY
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Photos © by Bud Korotzer
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#OperationCeasefire ~~ THE TRUCE THAT ALMOST WAS LOOKS UNLIKELY NOW

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Things were almost looking good until Netanyahu realised that Peace could mean the end of his political reign …

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Netanyahu: No Gaza deal without ‘answer’ to Israel security needs

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet
meeting in Tel Aviv on Aug. 10, 2014 (AFP Baz Ratner)
JERUSALEM (AFP) (VIA) — Israel will not agree to any long-term ceasefire in Gaza at indirect talks in Cairo unless its security needs are clearly met, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.”The Israeli delegation in Cairo is acting with a very clear mandate to stand firmly on Israel’s security needs,” Netanyahu told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

“Only if there is a clear answer to Israel’s security needs, only then will we agree to reach an understanding,” he said, as Israel’s negotiating team made its way back to Cairo for indirect talks with Palestinians over a long-term arrangement to end more than a month of bloodshed in Gaza.

The Egyptian-brokered talks, which were due to resume on Sunday, are taking place during a five-day lull in the fighting between Israeli and Gaza’s Hamas de facto rulers which is due to expire at midnight on Monday.

In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinians would not back down from their demands, central of which is a lifting of Israel’s eight-year blockade on the enclave, and that the outcome of the talks was in Israel’s hands.

“We are committed to achieving the Palestinian demands and there is no way back from this. All these demands are basic human rights that do not need this battle or these negotiations,” Abu Zuhri told AFP.

“The ball is in the Israeli occupation’s court.”

But Netanyahu warned that Hamas, which he said had suffered a major military blow, would not walk away from the Cairo talks with any political success.

“If Hamas thinks it will make up for its military losses with a political achievement, it is wrong,” he said.

“If Hamas thinks that by continuing the steady trickle of rocket fire it will force us to make concessions, it is wrong. As long as there is no quiet, Hamas will continue to suffer heavy blows.

“Hamas knows we have a lot of power but maybe it thinks we don’t have enough determination and patience, and even there it is wrong, it is making a big mistake,” he said.

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And from the ziopress
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Netanyahu: Israel’s security needs must be met

As Israeli delegation lands in Cairo for ceasefire talks, Cabinet convenes, minister say Israel’s security must top agreement; Minister: ‘It’s better for us if Palestinians are ones who say no to deal’.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed indirect negotiations currently underway in Cairo regarding a long term ceasefire in Gaza, and said that Israel’s security needs must be addressed. Earlier Sunday, before the Israeli delegation to talks arrived in Egypt, Palestinians said chances to reach a deal were low.

“If Hamas thinks that it can cover up its military loss with a diplomatic achievement, it is mistaken. ,” Netanyahu said.

“If Hamas thinks that continued sporadic firing will cause us to make concessions, it is mistaken. As long as quiet is not restored, Hamas will continue to take very harsh blows. If Hamas thinks that we cannot stand up to it over time, it is mistaken,” he added.

“We are a strong and determined people. We have seen this in the amazing revelations of strength and resilience in the past weeks on the part of both our soldiers and our civilians. We will continue to be steadfast and united until we achieve the goals of the campaign – the restoration of quiet and security for all Israelis,” the prime minister said.

“We are in the midst of a military and diplomatic campaign,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the government’s weekly Cabinet meeting, in which ministers were said to be discussing the ceasefire, as well as a military contingency plan should talks fail to yield results.

“From the first day, the Israeli delegation to Cairo has worked under clear instructions: Insist on the security needs of the State of Israel,” the prime minister said, adding that “Only if there is a clear response to our security needs will we agree to reach understandings.”

According to the prime minister, “In the past month Hamas has taken a severe military blow. We destroyed its network of tunnels that it took years to dig. We intercepted the rockets that it had massed in order to carry out thousands of deadly strikes against the Israeli home front. And we foiled the terrorist attacks that it tried to perpetrate against Israeli civilians – by land, sea and air.”

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who is also a member of the Security-Cabinet, said that “we must demand safety for Israel’s residents. We must make sure that they feel safe and we cannot complete this operation without them feeling secure again.”

Lapid further noted that “we must create an international mechanism to make sure they are safe.”

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said that “the most important thing for Israel is the demand that Gaza be demilitarized.” When asked about the Palestinian demand that Gaza get a seaport, the minister said such a port would be a “duty-free for rockets – and in the future Scuds (missiles).

“We will continue talks in Cairo, but we cannot give up on the issue of demilitarization.”

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who is leading a group of ministers objecting to negotations, called on Israel to leave talks, and implement the unilateral proposal he has been promoting for the last two weeks.

“The current situation in which we are biting our nails waiting for the response of a murderous terrorists group must end. We must stop the negotiations with Hamas and take our fate into our own hands: Humanitarian (aid) yes, terror no,” Bennett said.

Tourism Minister Uzi Landau, a rightist from the Yisrael Beitenu party, slammed the government from the right, and said “Hamas is managing us, we are being led,” he claimed,

“Israel is attempting to reach calm at any price. This is only a temporary calm. In all the previous rounds of fighting after calm was reached we got a more aggressive response. We are turning Hamas into an international player.”

Little optimism as talks start again
Talks in Cairo started again Sunday morning, with the Israeli delegation arriving while the Cabinet convened. The Egyptian government persuaded both sides late Wednesday to adhere to a new five-day ceasefire, extending an earlier three-day agreement in order to allow more time to thrash out a longer-term truce.

But to Egyptian dismay, Palestinians also seem to be playing down the chance a long-term agreement, as international efforts backing Egypt’s proposal have been rising, indicating powers like the US and UN could try to pressure the sides to reach an agreement. The US has already offered Israel assurances over its security, a report claimed.

A member of the Palestinian delegation told The Associated Press on Sunday that the gaps between the sides were still significant and that it was far from certain whether a deal could be reached before the cease-fire expires.

“We are less optimistic than we were earlier,” he said, his comments came after Hamas’ political chief Khaled Mashal said Saturday his group would not back down from a single demand.

A senior Israeli Cabinet minister told Ynet that “it is very possible that talks will end without an agreement, and it is possible that this senior is preferable in comparison to the other options currently on the table.”

A senior political source told Ynet that Israel is mulling its next steps, but said that “it is better for us if the Palestinians are the ones who say no, and this now seems to be the situation.”

Another Cabinet minister said that despite ongoing talks, and past Israeli willingness to ease restrictions on Palestinians, “it is possible we are returning to a ‘calm in return for calm’ formula.”

Cabinet minister, first and foremost Economy Minister Naftali Bennet say that any renewed rocket fire will be met with a massive Israeli response, and the Cabinet is also said to be discussing the possibility of a renewed ground offensive in Gaza should aggressions start again.

Bennett told Ynet that even though he supports unilateral moves which would better the situation for Gaza while undermining Hamas control, he believes a ground offensive could topple Hamas within a number of months.

When fighting began Israel position was that any aggression by Hamas or Gaza militants would be met with aggression, while any calm would be met with calm. The logic behind the formula was Israel’s reluctance to negotiate with Hamas, a group it, the US and many Western nations recognize as a terror organization.

Egyptian diplomats told the Turkish news agency Anatolia that Egypt is making efforts to persuade the two sides to resume the ceasefire until a final agreement is reached, rather than extend the ceasefire for a specified period of time.

ZIONISTS APOLOGISE FOR DOING A GOOD THING

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By ‘accident’, Britain’s Jewish Chronicle ran an ad appealing for aid to the victims in Gaza.

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The weekly paper said running the ad for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Gaza Crisis Appeal was “meant as a purely humanitarian gesture,” BBC reported.

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Jewish Chronicle apologizes for running Gaza aid ad

Editor says ad was not an expression of the newspaper’s editorial view, which he says is different from its commercial aspirations.

By Haaretz and JTA
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A Palestinian man carries boxes given to him as aid containing sanitation kits and soap

A Palestinian man carries boxes given to him as aid containing sanitation kits and soap at a UN school on August 15, 2014 in Gaza City. Photo by AFP
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The Jewish Chronicle, a British newspaper, has apologized for running an advertisement for a charity raising funds for the crisis in Gaza.

The weekly paper said running the ad for the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Gaza Crisis Appeal was “meant as a purely humanitarian gesture,” BBC reported.

In response to controversy over its decision to run the ad, The Jewish Chronicle’s editor, Stephen Pollard, issued a statement Thursday explaining that the ad was not an expression of the newspaper’s editorial view, which he said is separate from its commercial operations.

“The ad was approved by the chairman of the JC, who has no involvement in editorial decisions, as an ad for humanitarian aid which nowhere makes political or partisan points,” Pollard wrote.

The ad features an image of a Palestinian child and states: “Thousands of children in Gaza … are injured, homeless and living in fear. They desperately need medical supplies, shelter, food and water right away.”

Pollard wrote that he and the newspaper “are entirely supportive of Operation Protective Edge, as our coverage has demonstrated.”

Pollard concluded his statement by writing: “Even if you profoundly disagree with the ad appearing in the paper, I hope this will go some way to explaining its presence and that it is in no way part of our editorial stance.”

After The Jewish Chronicle ran the ad by the Disaster Emergency Committee, a British umbrella organization for international aid organizations, a Facebook ad was set up calling on readers to boycott the website until it issued an apology, BBC reported.

The BBC and other British broadcasters – including Sky News, ITV, Radio Four and Channel Five – agreed to air the Disaster Emergency Committee’s fund-raising appeal. In 2009, the BBC and Sky declined to broadcast a similar DEC Gaza appeal following Operation Cast Lead. The move was widely criticized.

According to ScotlandNow, the current DEC appealraised £8 million within five days.

IN SONG ~~ LOVE AND PEACE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE WALL

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Let there be peace on earth; let it begin in me… for love is all we need.

Moved by a summer of pain and suffering in the Middle East, at home and around the world, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson have responded in the form of a prayerful, riveting and emotionally raw music video, produced by Josh Nelson.

Musical artists with a lifelong commitment to Israel, trans-denominational appeal and a message of unity for the Jewish community and the world at large, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson were compelled to record the legendary melody composed by the late, great Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the midst of the violence in Israel and Gaza…and in the face of the resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world.

“As a Jew, as a mother and as a human being, I am terrified by the escalating hatred that I see in this world,” stated Neshama Carlebach, daughter of Shlomo Carlebach. “I grew up knowing that my father’s family ran from Nazi-occupied Europe and was aware of my deep blessing; that I was living securely and free of fear. I hear his voice in my head. This song is our prayer.”

Individually and as a creative team, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson perform widely across the denominational spectrum of Jewish life and in secular venues as well. Deeply invested in Jewish Peoplehood, they are spiritual role models in their community. As such, they felt the urgent need to call for peace and love in the middle of this time of unprecedented conflict, they said. “We believe that all people have the right to live their lives without fear, and when we decided to speak up, we knew of no text more poignant than this prayer for peace,” said Josh Nelson.

Shlomo Carlebach’s version of “Y’hi Shalom” is beloved and meaningful for millions around the world, Jews and non-Jews alike, explained Josh Nelson. “We hope that this recording will inspire humanity to come together and to begin to move in a new direction. There are no simple answers to the incredibly complex situation in Israel and Gaza, but the message in this song may be a place to start.”

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The words are unadorned, but Eid’s performance is haunting, set against images from Israel’s most recent massacre in Gaza:

Between contractions and pain
We will be reborn

Between contractions and pain
Wisdom will be born
The song of freedom will be born

All that has passed and gone
Is still being born in your eyes

At the end of the video are these words from Eid himself:

The Palestinian people, and Gazans in particular, have been living an unending massacre since 1948. We can no longer negotiate about improving the conditions of oppression; it is either the full menu of rights, or nothing. And that means the end of occupation, apartheid and colonialism.

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BLOCK THE BOAT AND BOYCOTT ISRAEL!

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First a video update on BDS

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A new app called Buycott lets hundreds of thousands of users boycott products deemed to support Israel, something that is gaining popularity in light of the attack on Gaza.

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Why Activists Are Blocking an Israeli Ship From Docking on the West Coast

A coordinated “Block the Boat” solidarity action will leave Israel looking elsewhere to unload its goods.

Amidst the terror Israel has unleashed on Gaza, activists on the West Coast have organized a Palestinian solidarity action that is not only politically symbolic, but economically hits Israel where it hurts.

Starting Saturday, activists in Oakland, Los Angeles and Seattle plan to block an Israeli ship from unloading goods at their city’s ports as part of a larger boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. These “Block the Boat” actions come as a response to the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions’ call for supporters to “educate and build awareness among the labor movements of the U.S., and urge them to condemn the Israeli aggression and to boycott Israel.”

On Saturday, organizers in Oakland will march to the port and form a picket line in front of its gates early in the morning before the port workers, who are members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, are scheduled to begin their shift. Organizers are hoping to stop workers from unloading a ship owned by Zim Integrated Shipping Services, which is the biggest cargo shipping company in Israel and has ties to the Israeli government and military via stock ownership.

More than 1,000 protesters are expected at the Oakland action, said Reem Assil of the Arab Resource and Organizing Center, which is one of more than 70 groups endorsing the event.

“Symbolically for Oakland we can say, not in our name,” Assil said. “We’re not going to be complicit and an accomplice to the ongoing genocide and massacres going on.”

Oakland organizers have coordinated with supporters in Long Beach, CA, and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle in Washington in hopes that Zim won’t reroute to another port on the West Coast like it did four years ago. In 2010, in response to Israel’s attack on a flotilla bringing humanitarian aid to Gaza, Oakland activists and port workers made history by being the first to ever block an Israeli ship in the United States. That ship redocked in Los Angeles a day after, and unloaded there.

“This time, we want to make sure there’s a disruption to Israel commerce all over the West Coast,” Assil said, adding that this would cause a sustained economic burden on the company.

The Oakland organizers’ biggest coordination efforts, however, have been with the labor movement. In fact, the event, which was originally scheduled for August 2, was postponed in order to do more outreach to the ILWU workers.

“We don’t want workers to be alienated, we want workers to be part of the fight,” Assil said. “And so we have spent the last few weeks really honoring that commitment and building with the workers themselves.”

Assil said Block the Boat organizers and active members of the ILWU have been flyering and talking to members about the Saturday action in terms of “worker power”—especially because they are under negotiation for a new contract.

But these negotiations have made the action this year more complicated than in the past. For one, ILWU is unable to take an official stand on the action. Also, during negotiations there is no arbitrator who can evaluate the port during the Block the Boat action and deem working conditions unsafe; this happened in 2010, leaving workers with no option of crossing the picket line.

This, along with a loss of double-time pay for workers, presents difficulties for a successful action. An ILWU port worker named Anthony, who is spreading the word about Block the Boat, said he responds to co-workers’ financial concerns by talking about the bigger picture.

Anthony said, “I ask them, ‘Are you okay with innocent people being killed?’’’

 

Source

#OperationCeasefire ~~ OUT OF GAZA INTO THE WEST BANK

IT AIN’T OVER YET ….

‘Out of the frying pan, into the fire’

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Man injured by live fire in Bethlehem clashes

(MaanImages/file)
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot and injured late Thursday when Israeli special forces raided Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers shot a 24-year-old man from the Abu Srur family in the foot before detaining him.

Clashes broke out in Aide refugee camp and along Hebron road as Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, live ammunition and tear gas canisters.

Israeli soldiers deployed heavily by a military watchtower near Rachel’s Tomb during the clashes.

Witnesses said an Israeli ambulance was seen in the area.

Clashes also broke out in the al-Tur area of East Jerusalem late Thursday, with Mahmoud Khalil Abu al-Hawa reported injured after being shot in the stomach with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Settlers from an outpost in the area fired shots into the air during the clashes.

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THERE’S MORE …
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Israeli forces detain 20 in West Bank raids

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NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 20 Palestinians early Thursday in the occupied West Bank, an Israeli military spokeswoman said.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli forces detained Oday Amin Muhammad from Nablus at Yitzhar checkpoint.

In Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained four teenage Palestinian boys from the southern West Bank village of Husan west of Bethelehem early Thursday morning, locals told Ma’an.

Eyewitness Hayda Hamamrah told Ma’an that dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed the village in military vehicles and ransacked several homes for inspection before they detained four teenagers.

He identified them as 17-year-old Haydar Iyad Hamamrah, 16-year-old Muhammad Hasan Hamamrah, 16-year-old Firas Ibrahim Hamamrah, and 17-year-old Bakr Shawasha.

The detainees were taken to an unknown destination.

WHAT GIVES THE BASTARD STATE OF ISRAEL THE RIGHT TO CALL ANYONE ILLEGITIMATE?

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Israel …..

A State that has NOT stood on its own financially since its inception

A State that has ignored EVERY UN Sanction against it since its inception

A State that has sent spies to the very nations that have kept her alive

A State has displace millions of people from their homes and properties

A State that, in this decade alone, has murdered thousands of innocent civilians including women and children

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YET, this is how the zionists portray the latest events …

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Netanyahu: UN Grants Legitimacy to Terrorists

UNHRC overlooks massacres committed by Hamas, IS, in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.
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Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu lashed out Wednesday at the UN Human Rights Council, accusing it of granting “legitimacy to terror organizations” by investigating Israel for alleged war crimes in Gaza.

“UNHRC gives legitimacy to murderous terror organizations like Hamas and Daash (Islamic State),” he said, accusing the rights body ofoverlooking “massacres” committed elsewhere in the Middle East in favor of investigating Israel for defending itself against rocket attacks from Gaza.

The UNHRC has selected Prof. William Schabas to head an investigation into Operation Protective Edge. Speaking in a 2013 panel, Schabas clearly revealed his great eagerness to bring about the prosecution of Israel over its actions in Gaza, even if that involved“twisting things and maneuvering” in the international legal arena.

Asked about the possibility of prosecuting Israel for “ecocide” as well, Schabas expressed optimism on gradually enlarging the scope of legal accusations against Israel. “Years ago there were no courts at all,” he noted. “When [the term] ‘genocide’ was invented there was no court at all. There was no court for crimes against humanity, but we have them now. And with a bit of luck and by twisting things and maneuvering we can get them before the courts.”

Schabas did not deny Wednesday, in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, that the international community has a double standard regarding Israel’s conduct of war.

Channel 2‘s anchor, Danny Kushmaro, asked Schabas if there is not a double standard involved when that thousands of innocent civilians were killed in Chechnya by the Russians, and by NATO forces in Libya, yet there was “not one international investigation,” whereas Israel acted in self defense in Gaza and two investigations have been launched in the course of six years.

“There are a lot of double standards in the international level,” answered Schabas. “This is explained by the relative strength of the powers,” he added, and noted that some claim there is a double standard in Israel’s favor in the UN Security Council, where anti-Israel resolutions are vetoed.

HOW YOU CAN HELP THE PEOPLE OF GAZA

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 PLEASE HELP

As important as the food itself is the voice of hope — our voice! — telling our sisters and brothers in Gaza that we will not abandon them, and they are not alone. Especially now.
 
And spread the word to your friends.
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Please go to Indiegogo and donate what you can for food aid to Gaza – today.

Online contributions HERE

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Details of campaign in the following Jerusalem Post report ...
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Founder of Israeli Palestinian

think tank campaigns to buy

surplus Israeli potatoes for Gazans

By SHARON UDASIN

Online campaign aims to raise $730,000 needed to purchase

5,000-ton surplus of potatoes from Israel Vegetable Growers Association.

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The founder of an Israeli Palestinian think tank who played an instrumental role in

the release of captive soldier Gilad Schalit is working on a new cross-border effort

amid conflict – the transfer of 5,000 tons of Israeli potatoes to civilians in Gaza.

After hearing the idea from Israeli agricultural expert Hillel Adiri, activist

Gershon Baskin, a columnist for The Jerusalem Post, launched an online

Indiegogo campaign aiming to raise the $730,000 necessary to purchase a

5,000-ton surplus of potatoes from the Israel Vegetable Growers Association,

he said. Due to union bylaws guaranteeing farmers a fair price for their labor,

the association cannot simply donate the potatoes.

“They can’t market these potatoes [in Israel] because then the market would

be flooded and the prices would go down,” Baskin told the Post on Wednesday,

explaining that such a scenario would not bode well for the farmers.

While nearly every year such surpluses occur, Baskin agreed that the

regulations of the associations are important in protecting the farmers’ interests.

“We don’t want our farmers to go bankrupt,” he said.

“We have pride in Israeli agriculture.”

Meanwhile, Adiri told the Post that European buyers were not interested in

purchasing more potatoes at the moment because there was also overproduction

there due to good summer growing conditions. Adiri, a senior technical

marketing adviser for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization,

has served a number of agricultural advisory roles both globally and at home –

including a past position as director-general of the Agriculture Ministry.

In light of this situation, Baskin is determined to raise the funds necessary to

buy the surplus potatoes and ship them to Gaza, calculating that $730,000 can

cover the purchase and shipping of 5,000 tons of potatoes.

As of Wednesday evening the “Emergency Food Aid for Gaza” campaign had

attracted a total of $49,236 worth of donations on Indiegogo.

In addition, Baskin said he had received another $10,000 in direct bank transfers.

“There’s more money coming in; it’s coming in every hour,” Baskin said, noting

that the money has come from about 600 donors, predominantly from the US

and Israel.

Meir Yifrach, head of the Israel Vegetable Growers Association, told the Post

that the association’s farmers were more than willing to sell the potatoes for

transport to Gaza for between NIS 0.40-0.50 per kilogram.

At the moment these potatoes are in refrigeration and can stay there until

September, at which point they could technically be sold to the Israeli market

for about NIS 1.60-1.70 per kilo, Yifrach explained. However, due to the

exorbitant electricity costs of cooling these potatoes, it is preferable to sell

them now for civilian use in Gaza and to sell fresh ones to the Israeli market

come September, he said.

The going price for potatoes today in Gaza is between four and six times the

price that Baskin would pay the association, according to his campaign.

Baskin has pledged that all contributions would go directly toward distributing

the potatoes to the neediest members of Gaza society, saying he and his team

members would be working with a “reputable international charitable organization”

that operates in the territory.

Potatoes are one of the main food sources in Gaza and are widely grown by

local farmers, Adiri said. But during the conflict, most of the crops spoiled.

“This will help the impoverished people in Gaza,” he said.

Along these lines, Adiri is also working with Israeli strawberry growers to

bring seedlings to Gaza. Strawberry farmers there buy mother plants from

Israel and plant them at the end of June or July in order to have them ready

to grow in greenhouses in September. Due to the conflict, however, the

irrigation systems failed to work and Gaza’s strawberry seedlings dried out.

“We have an alternative way to help them,” Adiri said. “They can get in

Israel, I hope, plants from Israeli nurseries ready for planting in September.”

As far as the potato transfer is concerned, donors must commit to their

contributions by August 16. The intention remains, however, to purchase

as much as the money allows, even if the total does not reach $730,000.

Baskin stressed that all conveyance of the potatoes to the citizens would

occur by means of international organizations and would be safely supervised

by a coalition of groups.

“You’re not going to use potatoes to make rockets,” he said.

IN PHOTOS ~~ REMEMBERING THOSE MURDERED IN GAZA

 

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A SILENT VIGIL IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE 

PALESTINIAN PEOPLE OF GAZA   

WHY ARE WE GATHERING:

Shamefully, “over 50 Israeli-associated New York organizations” will be gathering then at the JCC on the UWS of Manhattan to “commemorate Israeli soldiers and civilians who lost their lives during ‘Operation Protective Edge,”‘ the bombing campaign of Gaza, without one mention of Palestinian lives lost. (see photo at bottom)

We are appalled at this blatant valuing of Jewish and Jewish Israeli lives over the nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of children, who have been massacred by the Israeli army.  To express our opposition to a perverse ethic that values only Jewish lives and ignores Israeli war crimes, the siege of Gaza, and an ongoing brutal occupation, please join us in a silent vigil across from the JCC.  

WHAT WE WANT TO DO: 

 

We want to create a silent presence that says loudly and clearly, with our signs and banners and names of Palestinian dead, that many Jews and others on New York’s upper west side stand in solidarity with our Palestinian sisters and brothers and staunchly oppose a politics of ‘Israel right or wrong.’ 

co-sponsored by: Jewish Voice for Peace-NYC, Jewish Voice for Peace–Westchester,  Jews Say No!, Women in Black-NY 

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Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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The zionists mourn their own …. why shouldn’t we all mourn the almost 2,000 murdered Gazans?

NYC Jeweler’s Tribute to Slain IDF Soldiers

Boutique’s front window lists Israeli soldiers killed in recent Gaza operation

#OperationCeasefire UPDATES ~~ WILL THE BILLION$ CONTINUE TO POUR IN IF PEACE BREAKS OUT?

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As the Ceasefire stands at the moment …

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Israel, Hamas agree to extend ceasefire by 120 hours

Egypt says that both Israel and Gaza factions have agreed to extend the current ceasefire by another five days. The threat of renewed war in Gaza loomed on Wednesday as the clock ticked towards the end of a three-day ceasefire at midnight.

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Fear of Peace and the possible loss of the BILLION$ it receives is causing panic attacks throughout the zionist world, so, Israel is preparing itself with the continued cries of Anti Semitism aimed at the International Community …. just in case Peace eventually breaks out in the region.

Gideon Levy details this in his HaAretz Report …

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Whoever is afraid for the Jews’ fate, whoever is shocked by the anti-Semitic incidents, should have thought about it before taking Israel to another runaway war. The world isn’t always against Israel. Suffice it to remember Israel’s status during the Oslo period, when the entire world cheered it, including parts of the Arab world. This world will be happy to embrace Israel again, if this country only changes its bullying, domineering behavior.

Gevalt, anti-Semitism? Maybe. But Israel is supplying the fuse.

Gevalt, anti-Semitism!

Since its establishment, more Jews were hurt in wars and terror attacks in Israel than anywhere else. The war in Gaza endangered world Jews as well, as no other war has before it.

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Pro-Palestinian protester holds a placard reading 'Humanists Not Anti-semites'

Pro-Palestinian protester holds a placard reading ‘Humanists Not Anti-semites’ at Place de La Republique, during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza, in Paris, France, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Photo by AP
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Israel is today the most dangerous place in the world for Jews. Since its establishment, more Jews were hurt in wars and terror attacks that took place in Israel than anywhere else. The war in Gaza took this one step backward – it endangered world Jews as well, as no other war has before it. The Jewish home, the national refuge, not only doesn’t provide refuge, but even threatens Jews everywhere else. When you tote up the results of the war, include that too in the loss column.

A wave of animosity is washing over world public opinion. In contrast to the complacent, blind, smug Israeli public opinion, people abroad saw the pictures in Gaza and were aghast. No conscientious person could have remained unaffected. The shock was translated into hatred toward the state that did all that, and in extreme cases the hatred also awakened anti-Semitism from its lair. Yes, there is anti-Semitism in the world, even in the 21st century, and Israel has fueled it. Israel provided it with abundant excuses for hatred.

But not every anti-Israeli sentiment is anti-Semitism. The opposite is true – most of the criticism of Israel is still substantive and moral. Anti-Semitism, racist as any national hatred, popped up on the sidelines of this criticism – and Israel is indirectly responsible for its appearance.

But Israel and the Diaspora Jewish establishment automatically tag any criticism as anti-Semitic. It’s an old trick – the burden of guilt is shifted from those who perpetrated the Gaza horrors to those who are tainted with so-called anti-Semitism. It’s not us, it’s you, anti-Semitic world. No matter what Israel does, the whole world is against it.

This is nonsense, of course. Just as not every policeman who gives a Jewish driver a traffic ticket is an anti-Semite, as the Jewish organizations try to put it, and not every robbery of a rabbi is a hate crime, so not every criticism of Israel is motivated by hatred of Jews.

These organizations have become the lightning rods of the criticism of Israel and they have brought it on themselves. This is the price of their blind support of Israel, their noisy propaganda campaigns in Israel’s name, their turning of every Jewish community center into a PR agency for Israel, and their unanimous support for everything Israel does. We’re all one people, they say. In that case, if every Jew who dares to censure Israel, even when it’s involved in brutal conduct, is a self-hating Jew – then everyone bears responsibility.

Quite a few Jews abroad sent me frightened messages during the war, pleading me to stop writing my articles, cease my criticism, because the anti-Semites use them. I replied to all of them that all my articles together haven’t affected Israel’s status as much as one news report from Gaza. I also know many who still harbor sympathy for Israel precisely because of the remnants here of a free society, one that allows criticism.

In any case, the address for the Jews’ fear should be the State of Israel. Many Jews now feel afraid. Part of the fear may be exaggerated, part of it is justified. It seems to me that being a Muslim in Europe is still harder than being a Jew. But in Paris, Jews don’t dare wear a kippa, in Belgium a woman wasn’t allowed into a store because she was Jewish and a French journalist who visited Algiers last week told me that the hatred for Israel and the Jews in France has reached an all-time high.

The address for all the complaints is Israel, because Israel is the one to blame for Gaza.

Whoever is afraid for the Jews’ fate, whoever is shocked by the anti-Semitic incidents, should have thought about it before taking Israel to another runaway war. The world isn’t always against Israel. Suffice it to remember Israel’s status during the Oslo period, when the entire world cheered it, including parts of the Arab world. This world will be happy to embrace Israel again, if this country only changes its bullying, domineering behavior.

Gevalt, anti-Semitism? Maybe. But Israel is supplying the fuse.

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Needless to say, the ADL was one of the first echo chambers to join in …

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ADL: Dramatic surge in global anti-Semitism during Gaza op

Jewish group reports serious incidents, directly linked to anti-Israel protests, of attacks against Jews and Jewish property in Europe, South America, Canada, Australia and North and South Africa.

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HERE you can see the ADL Report …..

Heaven help them if the funds are cut off :(

They might actually have to go to work.

 

 

BREAKING NEWS FOR #OperationCeasefire

UPDATE … details to follow

Egypt: Sides agreed to extend ceasefire by 72-hours

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Israel’s version of a ceasefire …

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Thousands of Reservists Deployed to Gaza, Others Told to Prepare

Conflicting reports from Cairo talks, with midnight deadline just hours away. Israeli team flies home. Palestinians giving press conference.
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Tanks gearing up for Gaza
Tanks gearing up for Gaza
Flash 90
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Thousands of IDF reservists were deployed to the Gaza front Wednesday, reported Israel Hayom, which said that the deployment is in preparation for a possible resumption of hostilities. In addition, reported the daily, hundreds of other reservists were told to prepare for possible deployment later tonight.

The IDF says the reservists deployed to Gaza Wednesday are simply replacing other troops who are going home.

DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR TAX DOLLARS ARE GOING?

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

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politicalad081214

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Gaza is a crime made in Washington as well as Jerusalem

The carnage unleashed on the Palestinians is part of a decades-old routine that depends on western support
By Seumas Milne IN
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MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS CONFLICT

An Israeli army flare illuminating Gaza on 3 August. Photograph: Mohammed Saber/EPA

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Global revulsion at the mind-numbing carnage of Israel’s onslaught on Gaza seems finally to have spurred some of the western political class to speak out. The resignation of Sayeeda Warsi, Britain’s first Muslim cabinet minister, inprotest against her government’s “morally indefensible” stance, emboldened Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, to demand the suspension of arms export licences to Israel.

Last week it was Ed Miliband who condemned Israel’s invasion and the prime minister’s “silence on the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians”. Even the United States administration denounced its strategic protege’s“disgraceful” bombardment of a school, while Barack Obama described Palestinian suffering as “ heartbreaking” – as if he had nothing to do with it.

Now that Israelis and Palestinians have arrived in Cairo to turn the ceasefire into something more long-lasting, perhaps it feels safer to take a stand. But a month of indiscriminate brutality in which 1,875 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed is still presented, grotesquely, as a war of Israeli self-defence – rather than as a decades-long confrontation between occupier and occupied, in which western governments stand resolutely on the side of the occupier.

And while the overwhelming majority of Palestinian dead are civilians – 430 of them children – and 64 of the Israeli dead are soldiers, it is Hamas that is branded terrorist, rather than the Israeli armed forces armed with the most sophisticated targeting technology in the world.

It’s only necessary to consider for a moment what the reaction would have been if the death toll had been the other way round to realise how loaded are the scales of western moral outrage and selective the appetite for action. And it’s only by ignoring the entire history of the conflict that it can be portrayed as the result of some wearisome ancient ethnic hatred.

This week’s centenary of the outbreak of the first world war should help. David Cameron claims it was fought for freedom. In reality, it was a savage industrial slaughter perpetrated by a gang of imperial powers to carve up territories, markets and resources.

Far from defending democracy or the rights of small nations, Britain and France ended the war divvying up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Iraq to Palestine. A century on, we’re still living with the consequences.

In my own family, both my grandmothers lost brothers in the 1914-18 war. One was George Mackay Clark, who fought with the Royal Scots in Gallipoli and the campaign to conquer Palestine. He was killed in November 1917, just outside Gaza.

Ten days earlier, a British foreign secretary had signed the Balfour declaration, which on behalf of one people promised to a second the land of a third. Palestine would be a “home for the Jewish people” provided that nothing would prejudice the rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities”, as the Palestinians were described.

So began its full-scale colonisation by mainly European settlers – something that could have happened only under colonial rule – which three decades later would lead to the establishment of Israel and the dispossession or expulsion of the majority of the Palestinian people.

Four Arab-Israeli wars on, the 44% of Palestine allocated to the Palestinian majority under the 1947 UN partition plan had been entirely occupied by Israel – and the Palestinians were fighting a guerrilla war for self-determination and the refugees’ right of return.

The other day I came across a copy of Newsweek magazine from March 1978, with a picture of an Israeli tank on the cover under the headline “Israel strikes back”. Then it was south Lebanon that Israel was punishing, not Gaza – and the “terrorists” of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation, not Hamas, that its forces were targeting.

Israel staged an even larger-scale invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and occupied the south for another 18 years. Since the Oslo agreement of the early 1990s failed to produce the Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza it was supposed to, Israel has colonised, bombed and reinvaded the Palestinian territories it illegally occupies (along with Syria and Lebanon) time and again: in 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

The justification is always the same: the security of the occupier must be upheld against the resistance of the occupied and blockaded population. And at every stage Israel has had the military, financial and diplomatic support of the west, the US above all.

Despite the hand-wringing, that backing has been unwavering throughout the past month’s devastation of Gaza. Not only is Israel’s right of “self-defence” in a territory it illegally controls upheld, while the same right is denied to the Palestinians, but the US, whose military aid to Israel runs to $3bn a year, has been re-supplying it with weapons as its troops and aircraft pulverised and massacred their way through an impoverished territory from which its captive people are unable to escape.

Europe is in the same game. Britain has licensed the sale of a startling£8bn worth of military or dual-use equipment since 2010, and £42m of direct arms sales – including parts for drones and tanks used in the destruction of Gaza.

But a month on, Israel has failed to achieve its objectives. It has “mown the lawn”, as Israel’s military likes to describe its campaigns of destruction and bloodletting. But Hamas has been strengthened by its defiance and military performance; itsrate of rocket fire was barely reduced by Israel’s attacks; and the united front with other Palestinian groups Israel is so keen to destroy has been shored up by the campaign.

If the Palestinians are going to break out of their current subjection, that will have to go further. For the rest of the world it’s the outrageous big-power backing for Israel’s 47-year illegal occupation, colonisation and denial of Palestinian rights – while orchestrating an endless phoney peace process that simply allows the land grab to continue – that has to be challenged and dismantled.

Global public opinion has shifted decisively in favour of justice for the Palestinians. What’s needed is to turn that into unrelenting pressure for an end to support for occupation, an arms embargo and sanctions, from above and below. The horror of Gaza is a crime made in Washington and London, as well as Jerusalem.

 

#OperationCeasefire ~~ HOW ABBAS CAN PUT AN END TO IT

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AS THE SITUATION STANDS AT THE MOMENT VIA

From demilitarization to UN control, Israel’s leaders have their own ideas on Gaza

Relying on the Saudis, granting Abbas more power, UN control of Gaza – while senior ministers propose their plans for the days after Operation Protective Edge, yet Prime Minister Netanyahu has preferred to remain silent.

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The military campaign has not officially ended and already ministers, members of Knesset, researchers, and foundations – both in Israel and abroad – have proposed a variety of plans to change the face of the Middle East and promote a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is directly responsible for the negotiations in Cairo, has barely said a word about the end of Operation Protective Edge.

Some of the proposals are innovative while others are rehashed iterations of the same proposals which have been part of the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians over the past two decades.

It remains to be seen whether the proposals are feasible, whether they are acceptable to Netanyahu, and whether they have any legitimacy with the Palestinians.

Regardless it appears that Netanyahu, who is supposedly the top policy maker, cannot prevent his ministers from suggesting alternatives – that may make it more difficult for Israel in the negotiations and in the international arena.

Peri’s Plan: Committee to demilitarize the Strip

Former Shin Bet chief and current suggested his plan even before the fighting paused and the talks in Cairo were attended by officials. During an interview with Ynet, Peri proposed an international committee to deliberate on demilitarizing the Strip and rehabilitating the war-torn territory.

Science Minister Yaakov Peri
Science Minister Yaakov Peri

“We have an opening here not only to renew the peace process but for an agreement or a regional council which will begin deliberating on an end to the conflict,” he said in the interview.

“There is an opportunity here because a moderate axis has been created in the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority. Israel must make use of this moderate axis.”

Livni’s Plan: Let Abbas rule Gaza 

A few days after the interview with Peri, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – who has ceaselessly worked on the negotiations with the Palestinians – offered her own plan.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Resuming peace process (Emil Salman)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. Resuming peace process (Emil Salman)

As Israel’s chief negotiator to the peace process, she presented a number of principles for a new arrangement in Gaza, which may win wide support in the world.

  • Immediate humanitarian assistance to residents
  • Economic support in return for demilitarization
  • Recognition of PA authority, legislation, and security forces
  • Ending of terror funding (using observers to ensure aid reaches residents and not Hamas)
  • Rehabilitation of Strip by Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas
  • Opening of border crossings under supervision to prevent transfer of materials for terror
  • Resuming peace process between Israel and PA

Lapid’s Plan: Four point draft

Finance Minister Yair Lapid also delved into the diplomatic arena with a political proposal, similar to the one presented by his Yesh Atid colleague, Peri. The minister offered an international committee which included countries from both the Middle East and the West, convened to draft a proposal for the demilitarization and rehabilitation of Gaza.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Photo: Nimrod Glickman)
Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Photo: Nimrod Glickman)

Lapid’s plan included four points: 

  • Returning control of the Rafah border crossing to the Palestinian Authority
  • Giving the PA control over the rehabilitation of the Strip to prevent funds from reaching Hamas
  • Stipulating that safety of Israeli civilians was a condition of the rehabilitation process
  • Cementing principles to prevent the reinforcement of terror – demilitarization of Gaza, removing threat posed by tunnels and rockets

Lieberman’s Plan: UN control of Gaza

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman raised the possibility of having the UN take control of Gaza in a Knesset committee last week. “We should consider returning the mandate for the Gaza border and the Strip to the UN. This might be one of the ideas that can actually be implemented,” Lieberman said to the committee.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. UN control of Gaza (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. UN control of Gaza (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

During an interview with Ynet on Monday, Lieberman focused less on the day after the operation and emphasized the conditions Israel must achieve before Protective Edge can end.

“We must not end the operation before the bodies of our soldiers, Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, are returned. It is unacceptable that all of Hamas’ members will receive their paychecks while the bodies of IDF soldiers have not been laid to rest in Israel.”

The foreign minister then categorically rejected a number of Hamas’ conditions for an extended ceasefire. “We do not agree to any release of terrorists, and we will not even agree to discuss the opening of a seaport or an airport in Gaza.”

Herzog’s Plan: Advance the two-state solution

The chairman of the opposition, Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog, also presented a proposal. Herzog said that a new coalition with similar interests had risen in the Middle East, which included Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority – and was backed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog. Two-state solution (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog. Two-state solution (Photo: Gil Yohanan)

Herzog offered a multi-step proposal that begins with an immediate ceasefire and emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

The second step would involve a diplomatic agreement which included the entry of PA security forces to the border crossings and granting Abbas the authority to rule Gaza as part of the unity government formed before the operation.

The third step calls for a convention of donor countries in Norway at the beginning of September, to launch an emergency fundraising campaign for the rehabilitation of Gaza.

Herzog believes that a billion dollars needed to be raised as soon as possible through the Palestinian Authority.

He said a political proposal must be drafted to lift the blockade of Gaza by opening border crossings and building a seaport under Abbas’ authority – based on international legislation and supervision – with a binding international agreement based on a Security Council resolution, which would demand demilitarizing the Strip and an end to the funding of Hamas.

The end of the multi-step process, according to Herzog, would allow for the inclusion of Hamas in the political sphere. “We cannot operate only through force,” he explained.

“We need to start a political process immediately with the aim of raising a Palestinian state. Israel must submit a far-reaching plan under which a state will be created which would maintain our security interests. It forces the administration to make a bold move.”

Netanyahu’s silence

And what about the prime minister? Up to now, despite the opportunities presented after Protective Edge – first and foremost reinforcing the relationship with Abbas – Netanyahu has no political plan.

At least, not one expressed to the public. Netanyahu has remained silent even about the day after the operation in Gaza, except for Israel’s demand for calm and an end goal in Gaza – demilitarizing the Strip.

Netanyahu. Remained silent (Photo: Yogev Atias)
Netanyahu. Remained silent (Photo: Yogev Atias)

The prime minister has hinted in one of his speeches during the operation of his close ties to various nations in the Middle East, but he has not yet presented a diplomatic draft to take Israel off the course towards international isolation towards which it is currently walking and which would improve its relations with Washington and with other Western nations.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that “the operation continues, that is why we are not discussing the day after. We note the statements made by the prime minister a few days ago, in which he spoke of the new opportunities that will appear after the operation.”

ROBIN WILLIAMS ….. HE MADE US LAUGH, HE MADE US CRY

And then he died :(

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Enjoy one of his funniest moments here

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And a more serious moment

Robbin Williams on picket lines during 2007 writers’ strike

Embedded image permalink

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 Nanoo, nanoo, RIP XOX

DAFFYNITIONS ~~ ‘OPERATION PROTECTIVE EDGE’ WAS NOT A WAR

cartoon (1)

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After 29 days of fighting, 64 fallen IDF soldiers, and more than 1,900 Palestinians killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government insists that Operation Protective Edge was not a war.

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Israel insists Protective Edge was ‘not a war’

State Attorney rejects petition to High Court of Justice, claiming financial assistance not dependent on declaration of war.

Aviel Magnezi FOR

After 29 days of fighting, 64 fallen IDF soldiers, and more than 1,900 Palestinians killed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government insists that Operation Protective Edge was not a war.

In responding to High Court of Justice petition calling for the operation to be declared a war, the State Attorney claimed Tuesday that the petition must be rejected outright for two main reasons.

The State said the petition does not provide a sufficient cause for the court to order the government to announce the declaration of war  a widely-shared opinion in the coalition on every foreign and defense policy in general, and the declaration of war in particular.

The State Attorney also claimed that the fundamental assumption underlying the basis of the petition  which said “the necessity of declaring the start of war is a social and financial need of the highest order”  was mistaken.

“The declaration of war in and of itself does not necessarily guarantee compensation or financial aid to citizens harmed by the conflict,” wrote the State Attorney in the response.

“Given that, not declaring war does not signal that there would be such compensation. The matter of compensation for direct or indirect damages from war are regulated by the law, and it does not require a declaration of ‘the start of war’ to decide on compensation.”

The State Attorney emphasized that the “State worked quickly to implement regulations from the legislation on property tax during Operation Protective Edge, and it has taken and it will take many steps to provide a wide-reaching response on additional financial and social issues, and its actions are not dependent on whether or not a war was declared.”

In the response to the petition, the State Attorney stressed that “the decision to identify the campaign in 2006 as a ‘war’ was symbolic and ceremonial, and had no budgetary or legal significance.”

Labor Party members of Knesset first called on the prime minister to declare Protective Edge a war as early as three and a half weeks into the fighting, to enable the government to widen its assistance efforts.

GAYS YES! ~~ PALESTINIANS NO!!

right-of-return

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“The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle.”

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Still no to this ….

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The Palestinian right of return (Arabic: حق العودة‎, Ḥaqq al-ʿawda; Hebrew: זְכוּת הַשִׁיבָה, zkhut hashivah) is a political position or principle asserting that Palestinian refugees, both first-generation refugees (c. 30 to 50,000 people as of 2012) and their descendants (c. 5 million people as of 2012), have a right to return, and a right to the property they themselves or their forebears left behind in what is now Israel and the Palestinian territories (both formerly part of the British Mandate of Palestine), as part of the 1948 Palestinian exodus, a result of the 1948 Palestine war and due to the 1967 Six-Day War.

Proponents of the right of return hold that it is a “sacred” right, as well as an inalienable and basic human right, whose applicability both generally and specifically to the Palestinians is protected under international law. This view holds that those who opt not to return or for whom return is not feasible, should receive compensation in lieu. Opponents of the right of return hold that there is no basis for it in international law, and that it is an unrealistic demand.  

The government of Israel regards the claim as a Palestinian ambit claim, and does not view the admission of Palestinian refugees to their former homes in Israel as a right, but rather as a political claim to be resolved as part of a final peace settlement.

Other disputed aspects include the issue of the territorial unit to which Palestinian self-determination would attach, the context (whether primarily humanitarian or political) by which the right is being advanced, and the universality of the principles advocated or established to other (current and former) refugee situations.  (from)

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BUT this is OK

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Right of Return Extended to Gay Couples

Interior Minister rules that Jews in same-sex marriages can immigrate to Israel – even with a non-Jewish partner.
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Israel’s Right of Return also gives citizenship to spouses of the same sex when Jews choose to immigrate to Israel together, Interior Minister Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) decided Tuesday.

According to Sa’ar’s decision, gay and lesbian Jews married abroad wishing to immigrate to Israel could do so – even if one of the partners is not Jewish – and both would receive Israeli citizenship.

“The gates of Israel will be open to every Jew and his family without any discrimination against his lifestyle,” Sa’ar stated, in the precedent-setting decision.

Sa’ar penned a letter to the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption codifying the law, writing that “the business of the Law of Return is an issue of kibbutz galuyot, bringing the Jewish people from exile, and the purpose of the 1970 amendment to Right of Return was to allow the families of Jews to immigrate to Israel as well, as equals, to encourageimmigration in general.”

“I see no basis for distinguishing between heterosexual marriage married Jews, and Jews living abroad in same-sex marriages, according to the law,” he continued. “Both fulfill the purpose of the Right of Return, to ‘bring their children home’ .”

The landmark decision surfaces amid ongoing tension over what defines a “family” in Israel, and as debate rages over whether or not same-sex marriages should be recognized in Israeli law.

Gidon Sa’ar’s Likud has a Mizrahi and traditional voter base, but he and other members of the faction toe an extremely liberal line on family values that is no different from that of Meretz.

Currently, same-sex couples in Israel cannot legally marry, but they have recently started to receive limited recognition.

In June, Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) faced immense backlash after stating in an interview with Arutz Sheva that “it was the right of Israel, perhaps even its obligation, to tell same-sex couples that they could not be considered ‘families.’ However, we would grant them full economic rights.”

Piron, himself an ordained Orthodox rabbi, was later forced to backtrack slightly after enduring harsh criticism from liberals, for placing gay couples outside the definition of marriage, and from conservatives, for agreeing to give them full economic rights.

“There is a constant tension between religious belief and liberal society,” he told Channel 10 at the time. “All I said was that it was possible to debate the question of ‘familyhood’ for homosexuals. I will not allow anyone to disqualify anyone for that standing, or for anything else, but that does not mean that the tension is not there.”

When asked what he thought about “gay families,” Piron said that a same-sex couple “is, from a civil, social, economic, and cultural point of view a family for all practical purposes. Religiously there is an issue, and this is a problem that must be solved.

“What most bothers me about this incident are the feelings of the children and adults I have hurt,” Piron said. “I look at them directly and say ‘I am sorry.’ I am conducting an ongoing dialogue with the gay community,” Piron added, “unlike what any other religious leader is doing in Israel today.”

 

Source

#OperationCeasefire ~~ HOW THINGS STAND AT THE MOMENT

peace-between-israel-and-palestine-thumb17548004_0.dem-trans-slideshow

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As of today ….

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Demanded by Israel:

  • A complete halt to firing and hostile action from Gaza.
  • Israeli control of border crossings to be opened between Gaza and Israel in the framework of the agreement.
  • Payment of money and any other cash transfers to public workers in Gaza will be carried out only via the Palestinian Authority.

    Demanded by Palestinian negotiators:

    • Expansion of the coastal waters permitted by Israel to Gaza fishermen. The new limit to be determined by Israel according to its security needs.
    • Reopening by Egypt of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Sinai. Egypt conditions this on the placement of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority security forces on the Gaza side. Egypt is reportedly demanding 1,000 troops, a number that might be beyond the authority’s capacity.
    • Significant expansion of the range and quantity of goods imported from Israel to Gaza. Ynet reports that the number of trucks entering Gaza daily will be roughly doubled to 600.

The Palestinians have agreed to drop for now their demands for a Gaza seaport and reopening of the Dahaniya airport in Gaza. Israel and Egypt had opposed the opening of a Gaza seaport out of fear that Hamas would use it to import weapons. Israel’s position is that it will not agree to opening a Gaza seaport until agreement has been reached on a verifiable, enforceable disarmament of Hamas and demilitarization of Gaza.

For the present, Israel is said to have dropped its demand for demilitarization of Gaza. There was never any chance that Hamas would agree to it, and as such it would require a complete reconquest of Gaza and defeat of Hamas. That, as the heads of the Israel Defense Forces warned the cabinet last week, would require a massive operation that would devastate Gaza and lead to Israel’s complete isolation internationally.

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Another issue close to agreement is that Israel will double the number of trucks entering Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing to approximately 600 trucks per day. Similarly, a decision by Israel to increase the monthly quota of permits for entry into the Gaza Strip through the Erez crossing is also close to being finalized. At the same time, criteria for entry into Israel from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will be broadened. 

In the negotiations held Monday, the parties did not reach an understanding regarding the Gaza ports. Hamas sources in the Gaza Strip said Monday evening that it would be possible to delay in dealing with the airport and seaport if Israel agrees to the rest of their requirements. The sources noted that such a situation would still require an agreement in principle for the establishment of the ports.

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WITH DERSHOWITZ’s RETIREMENT, ISRAEL FOUND A NEW LAWYER

You’ll never guess who ….

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unclesam1

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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton

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REMEMBER THAT WHEN YOU VOTE FOR A US PRESIDENT!

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Israel’s new lawyer: Hillary Clinton

She sees the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through Bibi’s eyes, which could be the reason she gets so much wrong.

By Peter Beinart IN
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Clinton and Netanyahu.

Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo by GPO
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Who’s the Israeli government’s best spokesperson? Ron Dermer? Michael Oren? Bibi himself? Nope. It’s Hillary Clinton. In her interview on Sunday with Jeffrey Goldberg, Clinton offered the most articulate, sophisticated, passionate defense of Netanyahu’s conduct I’ve heard from a government official on either side of the Atlantic. Unfortunately, important chunks of it aren’t true.

Let’s take her claims in turn.

In his first term, Netanyahu moved towards a Palestinian state

Clinton began her defense of Bibi by noting that in his first term, in the late 1990s, he had “give[n] up territory” and “moved in that direction [towards a Palestinian state], as hard as it was.”

That’s extremely generous. It’s true that in 1997, Bibi withdrew Israeli troops from most of the West Bank city of Hebron (though they can reenter any time Israel wants) and the following year signed the Wye River Accords, under which Israel was supposed to hand over 13 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority (though Bibi’s government fell before it could do so).

What Clinton leaves out is that Bibi only agreed to these withdrawals to forestall the far larger ones envisioned under the Oslo Accords he inherited from Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. In 1993, when Oslo was signed, Bibi publicly compared it to Neville Chamberlain’s surrender of the Sudetenland to Adolf Hitler.

He accepted Oslo in the 1996 election campaign only because he couldn’t repudiate a process endorsed by the Israeli center and championed by the United States. So Bibi sabotaged Oslo by accelerating settlement growth and minimizing the amount of land Israel relinquished. “Before I took office,” he later boasted, “the conception was to give away everything except for two percent [of West Bank] while I turned everything around and gave just two percent to [full control] of the Palestinian Authority.” Or as he told settlers after leaving office, “I stopped the Oslo Accords.”

The Clinton administration officials who dealt with Bibi in his first term understood this all too well. “Neither President Clinton nor Secretary [Madeleine] Albright believed that Bibi had any real interest in pursuing peace,” writes Dennis Ross in The Missing Peace. Ross’ deputy, Aaron Miller, adds in his memoir that, “all of us saw Bibi as a kind of speed bump that would have to be negotiated along the way until a new Israeli prime minister came along who was more serious about peace.”

That’s a far cry from what Hillary told Goldberg. Then again, Ross and Miller aren’t running for president.

Bibi agreed to a settlement freeze but Abbas wouldn’t negotiate

Fast-forwarding to the Obama years, Clinton claims that, “I got Netanyahu to agree to the unprecedented settlement freeze… It took me nine months to get Abbas into the negotiations even after we delivered on the settlement freeze.”

What’s striking, again, is what Clinton leaves out. The settlement freeze was indeed, unprecedented. Unfortunately, it didn’t actually freeze settlement growth. It’s not just that, as Clinton admits, the “freeze” exempted East Jerusalem. Even more importantly, it exempted buildings on which construction had all ready begun. This loophole proved crucial because, as the Israeli press reported at the time, settlers spent the months preceding the “freeze” feverishly breaking ground on new construction, on which they continued to build during the ten month “freeze,” before breaking new ground once it expired. As a result, according to Peace Now, there was more new settlement construction in 2010 – the year of the freeze – than in 2008. As Obama administration envoy George Mitchell admitted to Palestinian negotiator Saab Erekat, the Obama administration had wanted a freeze that truly stopped settlement growth but “we failed.”

Clinton’s claim that Abbas refused to negotiate until the last minute is disingenuous too. In fact, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met repeatedly during the “freeze.” In January 2010, just over a month after it began, veteran Israeli columnist Ben Caspit reported that, “In the past weeks, Israeli representatives, including Netanyahu, have repeatedly rejected official documents that their Palestinian counterparts have tried to submit to them, with details of the Palestinian positions on all the core issues. The Israeli representatives are completely unwilling to discuss, read or touch these documents, not to speak of submitting an equivalent Israeli document with the Israeli positions.”

While reporting my book, The Crisis of Zionism, I heard four different Obama officials confirm this account. During the settlement “freeze,” the Palestinians submitted to Netanyahu and his aides the same positions they had submitted to Netanyahu’s predecessor, Ehud Olmert. These included a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with a 1.9 percent land swap for territory inside Israel proper, Israeli control of all the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, international troops in the Jordan Valley and the return of 150,000 Palestinian refugees over ten years. The Netanyahu government, by contrast, steadfastly refused to discuss the parameters of a Palestinian state.

In her interview with Goldberg, Clinton never mentions that.

Netanyahu’s views on Palestinian statehood resembled Ehud Barak’s.

Given the evidence that during her time as secretary of state, Bibi refused to discuss territory, Clinton’s claim that “I saw Netanyahu move from being against the two-state solution to…considering all kinds of Barak-like options” is bizarre. Whatever you think of Ehud Barak’s offer at Camp David in July 2000, it was a detailed offer. Netanyahu, by contrast, refused put forward a territorial proposal not merely during Clinton’s term, but during John Kerry’s far more aggressive effort to broker a deal. During the Kerry negotiations, according to Haaretz’s Barak Ravid, Netanyahu “flatly refused to present a map or even to discuss the subject theoretically…throughout the nine months of the talks Netanyahu did not give the slightest hint about the scale of the territorial concessions he would be willing to make.”

It’s too bad Goldberg didn’t press Clinton on what kind of “Barak-like options” she heard Netanyahu propose, because the best reporting we have suggests he offered no territorial “options” at all.

Netanyahu is right to demand indefinite control of the West Bank

Most remarkable of all, Clinton tells Goldberg that, “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have security [control over the West Bank].” What makes this statement so remarkable is that earlier in the interview, Hillary praised the Clinton parametersoutlined by her husband in December 2000. Those parameters permit Israeli troops to remain in the Jordan Valley, along the West Bank’s border with Jordan, for three years. Later in the interview, Clinton claims that she convinced Abbas to agree to allow Israeli troops to remain for “six, seven, eight years” and that she “got Netanyahu to go from forever to 2025” as a date for their withdrawal. Even this, from a Palestinian perspective, represents painful backsliding from the position outlined by Hillary’s husband. But as Hillary must know, Bibi three weeks ago said that in light of regional developments, “there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan.” Which is to say that, as of now, Bibi’s position really does seem to be “forever.” Yet rather than challenge that stance, Clinton endorses it.

Why does Clinton again and again endorse Netanyahu’s view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict even when it contradicts long-standing American positions? Because she’s so willing to see the world through his eyes. Notice how she begins her statement about security control of the West Bank: “If I were the prime minister of Israel.” There’s nothing wrong with that. U.S. officials should understand, and empathize with, Israeli leaders, even right-wing ones. But what’s missing from Clinton’s interview is any willingness to do the same for Palestinians. If it’s so easy to understand why some Israelis might want perpetual military control of the West Bank, why can’t Clinton understand why Palestinians – after living for almost fifty years under a foreign army – might not want it to indefinitely patrol their supposedly independent state.

One of the hallmarks of Barack Obama’s statements about Israel and Palestine, going back to his 2008 presidential campaign, has been his insistence on giving voice to the fears and aspirations of both sides. Writing about his trip to Israel in The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote that, “I talked to Jews who’d lost parents in the Holocaust and brothers in suicide bombings; I heard Palestinians talk of the indignities of checkpoints and reminisce about the land they had lost.” In Jerusalem last March, he spoke movingly, and in detail about the Jewish story, but also asked Israelis to “put yourself in their [the Palestinians] shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.” In her interview with Goldberg, that’s exactly what Clinton does not do. Her interpretations of recent Israeli-Palestinian history reflect from a deep imbalance: a willingness to see reality through Israeli eyes and an almost total refusal to do the same for Palestinians.

“For far too long,” wrote Aaron Miller in 2005, “many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.” From the beginning, Barack Obama has tried to avoid that. Although he hasn’t brokered Israeli-Palestinian peace, he has tried to make good on his campaign promise to“hold up a mirror” to both sides. In Hillary Clinton, by contrast, at least judging from her interview on Sunay, Israel has yet another lawyer. And a very good one at that.

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Bibi just might need a good lawyer soon …. Read THIS Ynet report.

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HillaryforPrison2016

REMEMBER THIS THE NEXT TIME YOU CHEER FOR THE YANKEES

The-Boys-of-Summer

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Having been born and bred in Brooklyn, I was an avid Dodger fan in my youth ….

NOW I KNOW WHY

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New York Yankees Host Future Israel Soldiers

40 Making Aliyah To Serve in IDF

By JTA

The president of the New York Yankees hosted some 40 young men and women who are making aliyah and plan to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Randy Levine and his wife, Mindy, hosted the future soldiers at Yankee Stadium on Sunday prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians.

Many of the young guests were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday as part of an aliyah charter flight. Of the 338 people arriving on the flight, 108 will be joining the IDF.

The flight was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel in cooperation with The Jewish Agency for Israel, JNF-USA and Tzofim Garin Tzabar.

The new soldiers will be taken care of, in part, by the Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program.

BROOMSTICKS OVER GAZA

VYING FOR THE ZIOVOTE

“I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets,” Clinton said. Israel, she added, may have made some mistakes that led to civilian casualties, but that is what happens in the “fog of war.”

“I don’t know a nation … that hasn’t made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas,” Clinton said, pointing to the terrorist group’s rocket attacks against Israel and the way its fighters base their operations in civilian areas.

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Hillary Clinton Backs Israel’s Handling of Gaza

Blames Anti-Semitism for Some Criticism

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GETTY IMAGES

By JTA VIA

Hillary Rodham Clinton defended Israel’s handling of the Gaza conflict and said anti-Semitism was possibly behind some of the criticism of Israel.

Clinton also appeared to back Israel’s insistence on maintaining a security presence in the West Bank and stopping Iranian uranium enrichment.

The former U.S. secretary of state made her remarks in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for The Atlantic.

“I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets,” Clinton said. Israel, she added, may have made some mistakes that led to civilian casualties, but that is what happens in the “fog of war.”

“I don’t know a nation … that hasn’t made errors, but ultimately the responsibility rests with Hamas,” Clinton said, pointing to the terrorist group’s rocket attacks against Israel and the way its fighters base their operations in civilian areas.

Clinton criticized the “enormous international reaction” against Israel, calling it “uncalled for and unfair,” especially in comparison to the relatively more tepid responses to the far greater death toll in Syria and Russian aggression against Ukraine.

“You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism,” she added, “especially with what’s going on in Europe today.”

Clinton, who butted heads as secretary of state with Netanyahu over settlements, said that “dealing with Bibi is not easy.” But she noted that he endorsed a two-state solution and in 2009 accepted a 10-month settlement freeze in the West Bank.

She also voiced support for his position on several fronts.

Citing the instability and fighting in Iraq and Syria, Clinton said Netanyahu was right to insist that Israel maintain a military presence in the West Bank along the Jordan River.

“If I were the prime minister of Israel,” she said, “you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security.”

Clinton also praised Israel and the Gulf states for insisting that Iran not be allowed to enrich uranium — a position that appears to be at odds with the direction that the Obama administration is heading in the international negotiations aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program.

“I am well aware that I am not at the negotiating table anymore, but I think it’s important to send a signal to everybody who is there that there cannot be a deal unless there is a clear set of restrictions on Iran,” Clinton said. “The preference would be no enrichment. The potential fallback position would be such little enrichment that they could not break out. So, little or no enrichment has always been my position.”

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HillaryforPrison2016

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