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This week’s postings, Feb 22 – Mar 1, 2015 on JfJfP.com

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This week, February 22-March 1st, 2015, we have excluded most of the the latest twists and tails of the two Netanyahu stories – his speech to Congress and the abandonment of bipartisanship, and the sense of entitlement which allowed him and his wife to claim such high expenses – various polls attached to both stories. […]

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Haters from Jewish Defence League found guilty of racist attacks

A chink of light fell on the warped world of the Jewish Defence League when two JDL members (one of them non-Jewish, he just likes the anti-Muslim action) were found guilty of assaulting two people at the Palestine Literature Festival in Tottenham last September. Asa Winstanley reports.

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US court finds PA liable for attacks in Israel

The near-bankrupt PA has been ordered by an American court to compensate American families who were affected by the second intifada. Lieberman and Netanyahu are delighted at this ‘moral victory’ – though will not be pleased if their security force in the West Bank is unable to operate.

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Counting the dead

These charts, posted by Vox on July 14, 2014 give as accurate account as possible of the numbers of Israelis and Palestinians killed by the other side since 2000. It does not include the 72 Israelis and ‘at least’ 2,104 Palestinians killed in the IDF assault on Gaza last summer.

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Jewish values v. Jewish identity

Values and identity are in conflict for Jews of the diaspora who regard Israel as their own, as emblematic of Jewish identity. But, argues Ilan Baron, the connection with Israel is now silencing many Jews and tearing apart Jewish communities.

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What’s the best place for the votes of Jews outside the ‘tribal camp’?

There is still a Jewish Left in Israel which puts co-existence with Arabs as their electoral priority. They are considering whether the Arab-led Joint List is the best vehicle for their aspirations.

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Israel’s new brothers-in-arms

The Israeli government is giving up on its costly efforts to persuade people in the EU and US that it is a nation of sweetness and light and the West’s main defence against Islamist violence. It is now being carried by its defence industry into the weapons-hungry arms of India and China – traditional supporters of the Palestinians.

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No more Mr. Nice Guy

The Obama administration and PM Netanyahu are so angry with each other their staff no longer bother with the smooth talk that usually glosses over disagreements. The US government says Bibi has broken the bipartisanship on which US support for Israel rests. In the short term it might not matter as Bibi is relying on a Republican Congress to give him all the support he wants. Democrats might not forgive him.

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EU MEPs call for end of special trade association with Israel

The preferential EU Israel Association Agreement has been controversial since it was signed in 1995. There has been a variety of protests since against treating Israel as a European country and the only colonial power with which the EU has a formal trade agreement. Now 63 MEPs have called for the agreement to be ended, or at least for ‘restrictive measures’ to be imposed, as the EU was quick to do with Russia.

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IDF’s official doctrine of creating maximum terror and destruction

Despite their highly sophisticated military systems, Israel doesn’t do ‘smart’ bombing. Instead, it follows the Dahiya doctrine established in the 2006 attack on Lebanon. This is that ‘We will apply disproportionate force on [any place from which anything is fired] and cause great damage and destruction there. ‘

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What are you? An Arab?

Someone took a video and posted it on Youtube showing what presumably passes for normal in Israel: an outburst of petulant, obscene and racist remarks uttered by passengers who couldn’t wait for a bar of chocolate. Decades of customary racism seems to have stripped some Israelis of all civility.

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Claiming equal rights – is this the best strategy for change?

Our younger sister, Independent Jewish Voices, is holding a two-day conference on how far pursuing equal rights can cut to the chase while diplomats and politicians get nowhere (even when they want to). All the people you want to hear.

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Building like there’s no tomorrow

The rate of Israeli building on Palestinian land increased by 40% last year says Peace Now in a new report. The PA condemns the construction as a ‘war crime’ but most Israeli parties know there are no votes in ending this means of providing cheap housing for Jewish citizens.

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Israel urged to get closer to the EU

In the last decade, the EU has edged towards making trade with Israel conditional on its reaching an agreement with Palestinians, while Israeli politicians regard Europe as the bad old past which must be left behind. Now a group of academics has advised that Europe is not nearly as hostile as many Israelis think and it is in Israel’s interest to get to know the EU better and establish better relations with its biggest trading partner.

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Dangerous illusion of calm in Silwan

Police and Jerusalem city council have reported that they have successfully re-asserted their authority and the city is calm. Ynet finds this is an illusion – stone-throwing, firebombs and firework attacks continue to occur on a daily basis. No surprise there.

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Reckless call to the right

Since last December Israel has not handed over the tax revenues it collects for the PA. Forcing the PA into insolvency is a punishment for joining the International Criminal Court. PM Netanyahu fears he’ll look soft to the right wing if he authorises the fiscal transfer. John Kerry and IDF strategists have warned that the collapse of the PA is in no-one’s interest.

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Making up the Iranian threat

When Bibi made his dramatic announcement to the UN in September 2012 that Iran was on the threshold of making nuclear weapons he knew that the state intelligence agency, Mossad, disagreed with him. That did not act as a deterrent to his war-mongering.

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This week’s postings, Feb 16th-22nd, on JfJfP.com

This week. February 16th – 22nd, 2015, we have our second Signatories Blog, from Prof. Lynne Segal How Israel tries to instil despair, on the importance, but difficulty, of not succumbing to despair when the power you’re opposing, for example Israel’s over the Palestinians, takes many forms and many routes. This space is open to […]

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Netanyahu alienates leaders round the world

Netanyahu’s hectic attempt to make the international headlines are souring his relations with many national leaders. He has broken the bi-partisan support for Israel in the US by accepting a Republican invitation to speak to Congress – but upset many by his rudeness to Americans’ President. He is insulting leaders of European nations by suggesting they cannot protect their Jewish citizens and indeed suggesting Europe should be ethnically cleansed of all Jews – in their own interest of course. He is banking on all this pleasing Israeli voters.

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Economy or security?

Perhaps for psephological wonks, assessments of the polls on how Israelis will vote in the March election. As we have posted before, only the Joint List makes racism and the treatment of Palestinians its prime issue, but because Likud is so identified with Netanyahu, his slow drift from grace will have effect. Polls which ask what issue is most important get the result ‘the economy'; polls which ask about Palestinians get the result – outside intervention needed.

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