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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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Did you know?

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
"A recent Israeli government report estimated there are…$250 million in annual exports — [only] 0.55 percent of the national total — from the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, territories the international community generally considers illegally occupied."
Jodi Rodoren cited by Richard Silverstein, 22 Jan 2014

Daily acts of violence committed by Jewish Israeli citizens against West Bank Palestinians
"These incidents — now particularly heightened during the olive harvest season — are not the aberration from the norm, but a regular feature of life in the occupied West Bank. In 2012, over 7,500 Palestinian olive trees were destroyed. In the 5-year period between 2007 and 2011, there was a 315 percent increase in settler violence."
Mairav Zonszein, Israel Must Stop Settler Violence, 8 November 2013
Police impunity
After their own investigations establishing a prima facie violation, Btselem has lodged over 280 complaints of alleged police violence in the oPt since the start of the second Intifada: "we are aware of only 12 indictments" Btselem April 2013
Runners in the first ever Bethlehem Marathon were forced to run two laps of the same course on Sunday 21 April 2013, as Palestinians were unable to find a single stretch of free land that is 26 miles long in Area A, where the PA has both security and civil authority. See Marathon report
30th March, land day.
On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinians living as a minority in Israel mounted a general strike and organised protests against Israeli government plans to expropriate almost 15,000 acres of Palestinian land in the Galilee.The Israeli government, led by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and defence minister Shimon Peres, sent in the army to break up the general strike. The Israeli army killed six unarmed Palestinians, wounded hundreds and arrested hundreds more, including political activists. All were citizens of Israel.
* Out of 103 investigations opened in 2012 into alleged offences committed by Israeli soldiers in the occupied territories, not a single indictment served to date
Yesh Din, 3 Feb 2013
* In total, out of an area of 1.6 million dunams in the Jordan Valley, Israel has seized 1.25 million − some 77.5 percent − where Palestinians are forbidden to enter.
Haaretz editorial, 4 Feb 2013


If American Jews abandon Israel….

Akiva Eldar: a growing gulf between Israeli and American Jews

American Jews are giving up on Israel

The most worrying news that came out of the U.S. presidential elections was that American Jews seem to have lost interest in Israel.

By Akiva Eldar, Ha’aretz
November 12, 2012

The most worrying news that came out of the U.S. presidential elections was that American Jews seem to have lost interest in Israel. Just 10 percent of American-Jewish voters said Israel was their highest priority when they went to the polls, according to a recent exit poll conducted by the pro-peace Israel lobby J Street. Nine out of 10 said domestic issues like job rates and health care were their top concerns. This is despite the fact that the Republicans and Jewish activists, many of whom are supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told countless horror stories about what they described as Barack Obama’s plot to throw Israel to the Iranian wolves.

These statistics support the analysis of political commentator Peter Beinart, an associate professor at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism, who argues that the ongoing occupation and the revelations of Israeli racism have distanced American Jews from Israel and from the Zionist idea.

J Street leaders are encouraged by the finding that 73 percent of U.S. Jewish voters approve of Obama’s conduct regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict and note that 81 percent want active U.S. involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Big deal. If that’s the case, why is the Obama administration continuing to fearfully dance attendance on Netanyahu?

What is prompting the administration to order the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, to secure European support to block the Palestinians from upgrading their UN status, thus risking Mahmoud Abbas’ standing as Palestinian Authority president? And who is preventing Obama from giving Netanyahu a similar choice to the one that George H.W. Bush gave Yitzhak Shamir during Israel’s 1992 election season, in which Bush said Israel could choose deadlocked negotiations and settlement expansion or an American “political umbrella” and financial aid? Netanyahu intervened in the U.S. elections so coarsely; why would Obama hesitate to get involved in the Israeli one?

The answers to these questions can be found in a new study of Israeli Jewish views by the Walter Lebach Institute for Jewish-Arab Coexistence through Education, at Tel Aviv University, which – especially when examined alongside other polls of Israeli attitudes toward the U.S. election – demonstrates the marked differences between Jewish Israeli voters and Jewish American ones.

Half the respondents said a majority of Jewish MKs should have to approve the evacuation of settlements, and 20 percent or less are concerned by the prospect of losing a Jewish majority in the country. About a third of secular respondents said the settlements are a legitimate aspect of Zionist history, and 80 percent of Israeli Jews said they don’t think Israel and the Palestinians are likely to reach an agreement – a stark counterpoint to the roughly equal proportion of U.S. Jews who support American involvement in resolving the conflict.

And while nearly three-quarters of the U.S. Jews polled by J Street said they approved of the way Obama has been dealing with the conflict, Israeli polls have shown that most Israelis preferred Mitt Romney to Obama and did not want Obama to intervene in Israeli-Palestinian affairs.

I received an email over the weekend from someone who described himself as a longtime reader and a Meretz voter that shows why cautious Americans would be keeping their distance from Israel: “I realize that the arguments of the left are more complicated to explain than the fear and hatred propagated by the right,” he wrote. “But you and your colleagues, the journalists of the left, have the obligation to analyze and explain, first of all, what has happened so far. What are the Palestinians seeking or suggesting, how has Israel violated the Oslo Accords? Why did the Camp David talks fail and why did the second intifada break out, why is Gaza still our responsibility and why are they firing on us from there?”

Let’s say Haaretz commentators manage to convince every last reader that the injustice of the occupation and the settlements are the primary reason the Oslo Accords fell through; how many seats would this gain the Zionist left in the Knesset? (The Zionist left basically means Meretz, since we must respect Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich’s request to stop labeling the Labor Party as left-wing. ) After all, a single edition of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s right-wing free newspaper Israel Hayom reaches more readers, and potential voters, than do dozens of columns in Haaretz.

J Street leaders may be feeling a bit of schadenfreude now that it has become clear that Adelson, who invested heavily in Romney’s campaign in an effort to advance his right-wing worldview, put his money on the wrong candidate. But Adelson isn’t giving up. He is putting his money – and his newspaper, whose name means “Israel Today” – on the wrong candidate here too, to perpetuate the Israel of today: an occupying, belligerent and racist country. It’s too bad that the American Jews who had hoped for an Israel of tomorrow – a democratic, upright and secure country – are giving up on us.

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