Website policy


We provide links to articles we think will be of interest to our supporters, informing them of issues, events, debates and the wider context of the conflict. We are sympathetic to much of the content of what we post, but not to everything. The fact that something has been linked to here does not necessarily mean that we endorse the views expressed in it.
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Posts

Israeli responses to the Egyptian upheaval

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“Given Israel’s complaints over the lack of democracy in the Middle East, one would expect it to be encouraged by the winds of change blowing from Algeria, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, and possibly Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan. But this is not the case.”
Eyal Clyne, Barak Ravid, Zvi Bar’el and Gideon Levy report and ruminate…

The week in brief, 24-30 January 2011 – a summary of recent postings

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Click on the heading above for a summary of, and links to, this week’s main stories and analyses.

The Goldstone Report – “a serious, fair-minded and extremely disturbing document”

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“A new book, “The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict” [to which this essay is an introduction], will allow many more people to read the text of the report, along with contextualizing analysis. And they will be free to make their own judgments about whether Israel has been unfairly “singled out”—or whether, on the contrary, it is finally being held to account.”

Now it’s Egypt’s turn

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Middle East Report Online is extremely disappointed by the Obama administration’s response to the developing protest movement in Egypt and more widely: “With one US-backed Arab despot dislodged and dodging Interpol, and another facing an intifada of historic proportions, many eyes looked to Washington, hopeful that President Barack Obama might reprise his ballyhooed Cairo speech of June 2009, showing the restive Arab masses that he felt and, perhaps, really understood their pain. Instead, Arab populations have heard a variation on Washington’s long-standing theme: ‘The Obama administration seeks to encourage political reforms without destabilizing the region.'”

Amnesty International condemns the Turkel Commission report

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In a hard-hitting statement, Amnesty International has condemned the findings of an Israeli inquiry into last year’s raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla as a “whitewash” which failed to account for the deaths of nine Turkish nationals. The Turkel Commission concluded that, of the 133 incidents of force used by the IDF during the raid on the Mavi Marmara that it examined, 127 were in conformity with international law, while it had “insufficient information” to make a determination on the other six… The report of the International Fact-Finding Mission – the Goldstone Report – came to diametrically opposite conclusions on every issue of substance and it has not been answered in any way.

Open letter to the Board of Deputies

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Last week the Board of Deputies of British Jews voted down a resolution declaring support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the same meeting the Board also affirmed that, “in particular’, it stood completely “behind the courageous stand of the present government as formulated by Prime Minister Netanyahu.” A petition has been raised making the point that a majority of the Jewish community in Britain is in favour of a two-state solution and therefore urging the Board to reconsider its decision.

Boycott Veolia – a fortnight of action

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The protest against Veolia’s involvement with the occupation is intensifying, with five demonstrations in London in February as the North London Waste Authority’s contract comes up for consideration.

Tunisia’s Post-Ben Ali Challenge: A Primer

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It is too early to assess the overall significance of the upheaval in Tunisia in relation to the wider politics of the Middle East but it is an important challenge to all the dictatorships in the Arab world. Amy Aisen Kallander provides a helpful primer on the situation in Tunisia today.

Further vindication for Goldstone

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Adam Horowitz discusses the recently released documentary shot by Israeli filmmaker Nurit Kedar. These testimonies, like those collected by Breaking the Silence, confirm many of the findings of the Goldstone Report, including the intentional targeting of wide swaths of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure…

JNews launches a bloggers’ corner

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JNews has launched a bloggers’ corner.

In the first posting Israeli Eyal Clyne ponders his first encounter with Jews in London discussing a meeting about ‘ashamed to be Jewish': “I quickly came to realize that the discussion had little to do with how Jews feel about Judaism or their identity, and that it had no relevance to questions of pride or shame; rather it was code for gauging attitudes towards Israel… I sat in the audience for a few hours, confused and embarrassed. In front of me others were debating politely, arguing, asking questions, and applauding – about what (they think) is happening in my country. And I insist: MY COUNTRY, not theirs…”
30 January: a response by Brian Klug, one of the original speakers, has been posted as well.

Keeping the Palestinian people in the dark

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Amira Hass argues that the real failure of both the PLO/PA and of Hamas is their inability to translate the personal and collective stamina of the Palestinian people into a strategy of unarmed popular struggle: “Hamas and the PLO are in the thrall of their false status as two governments whose existence and maintenance have become a goal in itself. Had they not given up on their people as a decisive factor, the two rival forces would have listened to it, and before anything else found a way to end the dual rule.”

Tutu reaffirmed as Holocaust Foundation patron

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The attempt by prominent Zionists in South Africa to denounce Archbishop Tutu as antisemitic and force the South African Holocaust Foundation to dismiss him as a patron has been seen off. Thanks to the over five thousand who signed a petition in his support, including former chief justice Arthur Chaskalson, human rights lawyer Joel Joffe, Annie Lennox, Adam Hochschild, Andrew Feinstein, Neve Gordon, Justice Albie Sachs, Zackie Achmat, Justice Dennis Davis, Geoff Budlender, Barbara Hogan, Pregs Govender and Jan Kavan.

The Palestine Papers

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Over 1,600 PLO Negotiation Support Unit’s documents from 1999-2010 were leaked, published online by Al-Jazeera, and in print in a Guardian exclusive on 24 January. We provide a link to the documents and to some articles discussing their significance – including contributions by Nadia Hijab, Karma Nabulsi, Alastair Crooke, Akiva Eldar, Richard Silverstein the Magnes Zionist, Ali Abunimah and others.

More reactions to the Turkel Commission

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Further reactions to the publication of the Turkel Commission’s interim report on the Mavi Marmara/Gaza flotilla fiasco. We’ll add to these as they come in, but for now here are: a BBC annoncement of the publication; a stinging criticism by Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam; and a press release by Adalah stating what is for most of us the blindingly obvious, viz. “the conclusions reached by the Turkel Committee completely contradict international law and the findings released in September 2010 by the International Fact-Finding Mission to Investigate the Israeli attacks on the Flotilla, which was established by the UN Human Rights Council…”

The week in brief, 17-23 January 2011 – a summary of recent postings

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Click on the heading above for a summary of, and links to, this week’s main stories and analyses.

Building a police state in Palestine

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Aisling Byrne, Projects Coordinator with Conflicts Forum, provides a depressing analysis of what is being built in Palestine: it is, she argues, nothing less than a police state. “The transition from the lofty aspiration of statehood to a scheme intended to usher West Bank Palestinians into a new alleviated containment — a new form of remotely-managed occupation — is not some unfortunate error” but something which has arisen from both US and European acquiescence to Israel’s self-definition of its own security needs. The developments of a security apparatus and of an oligarchy dominating key political, economic and security positions in Palestine is funded largely by USAID – but the EU and even the UN are also involved…

Gisha on Turkel Commission’s interim conclusions

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In an immediate response to the Turkel Commission ‘s interim conclusions about Israel’s attack on the flotilla last may, Gisha notes that “No commission of inquiry can authorize the collective punishment of a civilian population by restricting its movement and access, as Israel did in its closure of Gaza, of which the maritime closure was an integral part.”

Delegitimisation and the end of the “peace” process

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The Magnes Zionist, Jeremiah Haber, writes: “In a recent, and soon to be much-quoted article in the New York Review of Books, Robert Malley and Hussein Agha offer their typically dismal prognosis for an Israel-Palestine just peace. Their bottom line, literally, is ‘It won’t get better anytime soon’. ”
Haber agrees with their analysis in many ways, but takes issue with them on “the campaign to delegitimise Israel”. “Neither the human rights organizations inside and outside Israel, or for that matter, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against Israel, seek to delegitimize it in order to make it more amenable to a just peace deal with the Palestinians.” It is, he argues “not about peace; it’s certainly not about “delegitimization”; it’s about calling attention to the bad behavior of a state and calling that state to conform its behavior to international norms…”

IDF offers a fourth version as to how Jawaher Abu Rahmah died!

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The IDF has excelled itself this time – it is now on its fourth explanation for Jawaher Abu Rahmah’s death. She died after inhaling CS (tear) gas in Bil’in, but the army first claimed she wasn’t there, then that she had cancer and died; now it appears her doctors killed her with atropine, according to a new IDF “investigation published in Israeli media outlets. But the official IDF spokesman’s office denies it! The investigation, it says, is ongoing… The author if the earlier briefings was the commander of the Central Command, Major-General Avi Mizrahi. He seems to operate quite independently of the IDF Spokesman’s office, telling lies and sewing doubts and confusions which the Israeli hasbarista bloggers seize on with relish.

Racism in Israeli schools

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Israeli outlet Ynet has reported a worrying increase in expressions of racism among Israeli schoolchildren. A teacher in central Israel reports: ““When issues of equality are discussed, the lesson immediately goes out of control. The pupils attack us, the teachers, and accuse us of being leftists and antisemites, saying that all Arab citizens of Israeli should be transferred out of the country because they want to destroy Israel”…