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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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Action Alert – URGENT

Posts

The week in brief, 20-27 February 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.

Rift in German-Israeli Association

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“Because of the Holocaust and Germany’s responsibility for World War II, solidarity with the Jewish state founded in 1948 is a fundamental tenet of German policy. Israel’s security is “part of my country’s raison d’être,” Merkel said in a speech to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in 2008.” This interesting report in Der Spiegel Online shows quite how difficult it is for German politicians to make even the slightest criticism of Israeli policy.

US Boat to Gaza

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The US Boat to Gaza campaign gives an update following the recent Madrid meeting of the international flotilla with representatives from 22 countries at the meeting. Current plans are for the flotilla to sail in the second half of May…

“Working around America”

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In the face of the US veto at the Security Council last week, Jeff Halper argues that “the United States simply cannot deliver on a just peace in Israel/Palestine”, that even if Obama, Petraeus and the rest “understand that Israel’s occupation is unsustainable and only isolates the US in the international community”, they cannot deliver – because of the overwhelming support for Israel in both Houses: “Unlike other foreign policy issues, Israel has become a domestic American issue.”

The US should no longer be “seen as the sole and ultimate arbitrator of the conflict”: instead we and the Palestinians should be looking for ways of “Working around America”, with Latin America, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, all of which are making interesting noises about the conflict…

Labour Friends of Israel to reinvent itself

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Labour Friends of Israel is set to rebrand itself, becoming a two-state enthusiast in order to try to stem the tide of criticism and “the erosion in Israel’s diplomatic status”.
This tactical blowing with the wind (or are we being cynical?) was also clear in the Jewish Chronicle of 11 February which was awash with “allowing criticism of Israel” articles…

What Israelis really want is a Middle East ruled by generals

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Asad Geffen writing in Yetnews.

At least someone in Israel has a sense of humour…

Dating site used to organise for freedom

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To avoid detection by Libyan secret police, who monitor Facebook and Twitter, Mahmoudi, the leader of the Ekhtalef (“Difference”) Movement, used what’s considered the Match.com of the Middle East to send coded love letters to rally the revolution.

It was “for the freedom, not for the marriage,” he told ABC News…

Defend Universal Jurisdiction

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Defend Universal Jurisdiction

URGENT – contact your MP now to ask them to sign Ann Clwyd’s amendment to remove clause 152

Update on the Middle-East upheaval(s)

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Events are taking place too quickly and in too many countries for anyone to have a comprehensive, informed overview of developments. We’ve put together a few links to what we hope are useful articles dealing with Libya, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan…

If you read just one thing let it be As’ad AbuKhalil’s 300-word contribution.

Updated Sat 26 Feb 10.4am

Predicting the end of the occupation

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Larry Derfner predicts the end of the occupation. He writes that no good way of ending it was presenting itself: “And then came Tunisia. And Egypt. And Iran, and Yemen, and Bahrain, and Libya, and no one knows where this is going to stop.

And it became pretty clear to me that this is how Israeli rule in the West Bank is going to end – through Palestinian people power. Masses of Palestinians, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, marching to IDF checkpoints and outposts, marching to Israeli-only roads, to settlements, to the security fence – to the nearest Israeli presence and screaming, “Out! Out!””

Unique opportunity to see the real Israel!

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Subscribers to the haaretz.com newsletter have been sent this: “The Ultimate Mission to Israel”. During a week in May you will be briefed by Mossad and Shin Bet officials, observe ‘a trial of Hamas terrorists in an IDH military court’, go ‘jeeping’ on the Syrian Golan Heights and even tour the airforce unit that carries out “targeted killings” (assassinations, to you and me).

Too good to pass up!

The EUMC ‘working definition of antisemitism’

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Critics of Israel are increasingly accused of delegitimising Israel and encouraging antisemitism. This creates a climate of suspicion in which the onus is on critics to somehow demonstrate they are not antisemitic. In this JNews post, Richard Kuper looks at how the EUMC ‘Working Definition of Antisemitism’ functions to delegitimise criticism of Israel.

The assault on Sheikh Jarrar

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Author Mike Marqusee writes of a recent visit to East Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrar. He says of Jerusalem: “The city is a metaphor, an object of longing, a place from which we are all exiled, a better world to which we all aspire. In some parts of the tradition Jerusalem is an ideal of social justice. The literalism of Zionism, and of many pro-Zionist Christians, is very much a modern, reductive twist. At Sheikh Jarrah, Silwan and elsewhere, it is thin cover for a naked land grab.”

The week in brief, 14-20 February 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.

Settler impunity

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Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights, an Israeli NGO that monitors the investigation of offences against Palestinians, finds that very few ever reach the stage of an indictment. Failure to proceed is particularly high in the case of investigations into offenses of violence against Palestinians and damage to their property…

Ian McEwan to accept Israel book award but criticise occupation

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Novelist Ian McEwan is in Israel to receive the Jerusalem prize for literature despite a strong campaign calling on him to refuse to go. Here he defends his decision while taking part in the weekly protest in Sheikh Jarrar and saying he intends to “make my own thoughts clear” when accepting the prize from Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat…

This Is My Land… Hebron (UK premiere, 30th & 31st March)

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A Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International film launch of “This Is My Land… Hebron”. Featuring interviews with both Israelis and Palestinians living in Hebron, as well as activists on both sides, members of the Israeli parliament and prominent Ha’aretz journalists, this film lifts the lid on Hebron as it is today – a city fraught with violence and hate…

US vetoes its own policy at the Security Council!

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So, despite its formal opposition to Israeli settlements, Obama and the US decided to stand alone and veto a resolution at the Security Council condemning Israel’s settlement policy. 14 voted for the resolution, including Britain, Russia, Brazil, 1 against — and no abstentions.
Various commentators give their immediate reactions and assess the implications.

Mero – two new reports on Egypt

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“There are moments in world affairs that call for the suspension of disbelief,” write the editors of the Middle East Report Online. “At these junctures, caution ought to be suppressed and cynicism forgotten to let joy and wonderment resound.” The article “Red-White-and-Black Valentine” is just such a celebration of the Egyptian revolution. The second Mero article crossposted here, “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in the Egyptian Media” argues that “Access to and use of communication and information networks — cellular phone services; the Internet and new social media; TV and newspapers — was pivotal as events unfolded. ” In it Ursula Lindsey explores the possibilities and the contradictions involved in the new battle of the media; the army’s initial attempts to control, by shutting down the phone service, text messaging, the internet — and why that failed to abort the revolution…
Plus: Richard Silverstein writes about digital media in an age of revolution.

Was 1948 a genocide?

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A battle among genocide scholars as to how to characterise the dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948 is aired in the pages of the American paper, the Jewish Forward. It is an issue that has divided genocide scholars for some time, one of the factors that led to criticisms of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the formation of the International Network of Genocide Scholars in 2005.
The arguments are complex…