The dreaded known has occurred: for the friends and parents, the bodies of three dead boys have been found near Hebron. It appears they were shot immediately after their seizure. For the Palestinians, Israel’s security junta is planning its response. There have been many warnings about collective punishment.
Thousands of people are paid by governments, think tanks, NGOs to advance the ‘peace process’. Why do they exist? Israel and the PNA will, or will not, find a reason to make a deal. Is this charade created by Chomsky’s ‘manufactured consent’ in which Palestinians have no voice?
How absurd and cynical it is to maintain an occupation for 47 years and expect the Palestinians to simply obey and feel sanguine about it says Alon Ben-Meir. Netanyahu has no strategy, only a tactic of torpedoing any peace talks. It’s a master-class in losing friends. Will he be surprised or pleased if the Palestinians rebel?
The governments of Spain, Italy and France have now joined those of the UK and Germany warning individuals and companies not to have financial dealings with Israeli settlements. Because of the illegality of Israeli property and entities established there, no trade or investment can be protected by law. A warning from the EC is anticipated.
If you look through the media serving the biggest city in Pacific NW in the land of free speech you will find no mention of its public event on BDS – except for dire warnings from the Jewish establishment. So here you can read an account which includes how Palestinians recovered from disastrous embraces (like the Irish) of the Nazis and then violence to its current strategy of peaceful popular pressure for BDS.
A group of people well-informed on Middle East issues (not just the usual suspects) has written an open letter to the Quartet asking them to dismiss Tony Blair as their special Envoy. Apart from the havoc in Iraq, the letter-writers say his success in improving the economic plight of Palestinians has been negligible. Tony Blair’s office replies.
Perhaps the cabal of western countries that got Israel elected as Vice-Chair of the UN’s decolonisation committee this month thought it would be a good laugh or Israel – as the last country with a colony – would learn something. Or perhaps it was a planned snub to Arab countries which are getting uppity. Or perhaps there was a deal about which we know nothing.
In April, Board of Deputies member Laurence Brass went on a Yachad visit to the West Bank – where he witnessed the destructive acts of settlers. He was shocked and said so. Eric Moonman has led the right’s attack on him for speaking out – but now Israel diplomats have defended the propriety of his criticisms.
The focus on turning over Hamas premises, the lacklustre coverage of the search for the lost Israeli boys, confirm Richard Silverstein’s reports – that the boys are known to be dead. Shin Bet has produced two names – which may or may not relate to the search. The UN has warned against the unrestrained nature of the operation.
Beating the people down is so bloody bloody. A few firms in Israel, Germany and the USA make new crowd control weapons which the IDF uses to combat the bad publicity of guns. A new report from Who Profits tracks the firms and the effects of their weapons – which can be lethal – and cause indiscriminate harm to all Palestinians within range. IDF success helps global sales.
Governments which have been happy to intervene in Libya and Iraq have left it to human rights organisations to speak out about the aims and effects of Operation Brother’s Keeper and the toll taken on Palestinians: three deaths, uncounted homes searched, over 280 arrests, harsher conditions imposed on prisoners, all free movement stopped in much of the West Bank. Only a fit, secretive, group of people could have kidnapped the Israeli boys. The IDF operation seems to have less and less to do with finding them.
As the FT reviewer wrote in 2011 ‘Alice Goodman’s libretto does not argue a case but rather lays out the elements of a deeply pessimistic reality’. The decision by the Met opera house, after ADL lobbying, to cancel a broadcast of The Death of Klinghoffer is a refusal to allow us to consider that reality. A specious argument by Noreena Hertz – that in Europe there is only one proper reaction to Islamic terrorism and that is – well it’s not clear, but is not an attempt to learn anything about it. Does such silencing of public debate really enhance the security of Jews – or the Muslims who have been the primary targets of Islamic terrorism in the last decade? Article and letters.
Norman Finkelstein was rare in thinking the Kerry talks might succeed – because of the unprecedented weakness of the Palestinians, which would have produced a deal based on Palestinian capitulation. But he failed to see that Netanyahu was under no pressure to make a single concession – he has what he wants already. The next step? A universal cry of ‘enforce the law’ he tells the New Left Project.
In its attempt to crush the Palestinians, Israeli government and security forces have pioneered many innovations which have been eagerly copied by the US in its war against terror’. The first is to be above the law – any law; the second is to permit torture; another is targeted killings (she might have mentioned administrative detention which is what kept so many in Guantanamo).
Jay Michaelson mourns the withering of the American-Jewish radical traditions – support for civil rights, trade unions, against injustice. In a sharp revolt against that and an eager embrace of establishment values and businesses, American Jews are now more associated with the harsh policies of neo-conservatism. Given the havoc these are wreaking, this may create an abyss for the neo-cons.
The more bureaucratic rules a regime imposes to restrict life the more bureaucrats it has to employ to enforce the rules and process the people. Too expensive? Make the people wait. Tamar Fleishman records a particularly shocking day at Qalandiya checkpoint when 20 people, from infants to the elderly, who had been in West Bank hospitals, were kept waiting all day to get the permits which would allow them to go home to Gaza.
JfJfP Exec has issued a statement deploring “all use of children and young people as political pawns and bargaining chips in international disputes. We condemn the kidnapping of the Israeli Jewish teenagers Gilad Shaarh, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrah. But we also condemn the Israeli government’s exploitation of their disappearance in order to impose an illegal collective punishment on the Palestinian people and to attack Hamas and attempt to wreck the new Palestinian unity government.” Israel’s use of ‘administrative detention’ also amounts to the routine kidnapping of hundreds of Palestinians, adults and children.
On Thursday 12th June, 3 boys from a yeshiva in a West Bank settlement disappeared when they were hitchhiking home, assumed abducted following a phone call from one of the boys (treated at the time as a hoax). Since then, this has been, in essence, the only subject of news and comment in Israeli and, to a lesser extent, Palestinian media. As has been pointed out, the abduction of young men is a routine practice by Israeli security. It’s called ‘administrative detention’, the cause of the current hunger strike in Israeli prisons. What news outlet broadcasts its outrage at such kidnappings or the need for such desperate protests? The profound media distortions compound the injustice. As B’Tselem and JfJfP state, the abduction of any person is an absolute violation of their human rights; it seems more grievous when those abducted are more frail through age (as here) or sex or health or disability, than usual. The search for the boys has been added to a planned extirpation of Hamas from the West Bank. This posting provides an index, by category, to the many postings this week on these issues.
Long before the 3 Israeli boys disappeared the security junta planned to eliminate Hamas from the West Bank and thus destroy the Palestinian Unity government. They renamed the plan Operation Brother’s Keeper, with the add-on aim of finding the missing Israeli boys – whom, says Richard Silverstein, they already know to be dead.
It is not to disparage the concern and outrage being shown in Israel about the disappearance of the three Israeli boys to contrast it with the virtual international silence about the annual abductions of thousands of Palestinian boys (administrative detention) – as well as about the many who are shot dead. Israel has ordered the removal of the camera which, rarely, recorded the killing of two Palestinian boys last month.