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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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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


Settler impunity will lead to murder of another PM, claims former Shin Bet chief


Richard Silverstein: Israel’s Shin Bet has been weakened in its fight against Jewish terror. Former Shabak and Mossad chiefs, Shabtai Shavit and Carmi Gillon, have said that Israel is a land with laws that aren’t enforced when it comes to Jews attacking Palestinians… Gillon has gone as far as to say that “The price tag phenomenon is likely to lead to the murder of another Israeli prime minister.”

One-time friends say Bibi is coward, childish, irresponsible

Here are two opinion pieces from Ynet, Israel’s biggest selling newspaper and not known as a critic of their prime minster: both offer withering critiques of Bibi’s response to John Kerry’s diplomacy – contrasting it with the former bete noir, now new peace-maker, Avigdor Lieberman. While the PM authorises, or tolerates, splenetic attacks on the US’s secretary of state, Lieberman has come up with a new catchphrase: “The unity of the people is more important than the unity of the land.”

Bibi insists on IDF control of Jordan valley – in Rabin’s name

To the military/political command of Israel, the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism has made all peace treaties pointless. Suicide bombers are not bound by them. The Jordan valley must remain under control, said Netanyahu at a memorial event for Yitzhak Rabin, for Israel’s security, and he claimed that Rabin had said the same in his last speech. Read this post for who said what when.

How dare you steal my religion for your lies?

On his Facebook page, PM Netanyahu has spewed hatred about Muslims and vaunted the civilised superiority of Jews through the ages. Like any charlatan, he makes up stuff to sell his product (Israeli ultra-nationalism) while knowing nothing about the tradition which he pretends provides him with the evidence for his patter. Richard Silverstein is outraged at this abuse of his religion and tradition.

Final stages called for MidEast peace

At a meeting of the UN’s General Assembly in New York on Thursday both President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu had a rare chance to discuss the urgent question of Palestine. President Abbas did so, solemnly. Israel’s Prime Minister preferred the delegates to imagine a war with Iran. He provided the pictures with the aplomb of a 7-year old and the conviction of Colin Powell with his WMD dossier.

Attack on Iran: no check or balance in Netanyahu’s decision-making

Larry Derfner is alarmed at the likelihood of an Israeli attack on Iran before November this year with no-one but IDF Chief Benny Gantz able to block it, which he won’t. A report for Congress, 2nd, gives an optimistic assessment of Israel’s decision-making process which, the authors believe, will prevent risky or rash political decisions. See posting for link to report on Israel’s rash, lethal attack on the flotilla.

Attack on flotilla unleashed by ignoring all formal procedures

Israel’s State Comptroller has produced a damning report of the decision-making that led to the lethal attack on the flotilla to Gaza in 2010. He says that all the procedures and safeguards that exist to ensure proper decision-making were ignored. It appears that the decision to attack was neither ‘efficient’ nor democratic in any terms.

Right turns on ‘them’ – Africans and the wrong sort of Jew

Regular readers may remember the times Netanyahu has warned, many years apart, of an ‘imminent’ danger of attack from Iran. Here he, and ministers, are at it again, over black immigrants. In Bibi-speak an ‘existential threat’ to Israel means anything from nuclear annihilation through ‘delegitimisation’ to too many of the wrong people having babies in The Only Democracy in the Middle East™. Reports from Mondoweiss, Times of Israel, Guardian, Haaretz 2010.

Refusal to wave Israeli flag now deemed Holocaust denial

One of the greatest and most unimaginable tragedies in human history – the slaughter of millions by the Nazis – is commemorated in Israel as Yom HaShoah on April 18th. The day has become an occasion for patriotic flag-waving and belligerent speeches about the enemy Iran reports Adam Keller. His reference to ‘Eisner’ is explained by the shocking photos of an assault on a Dutch peace activist in the 2nd item.

Bibi’s Purim gift to Barack – magic glasses to make folk tales real

This year, the Jewish holiday of Purim, which celebrates the delivery of the Jews from a threatened massacre by the ruler of Persia, is observed from sunset, 7 March to sunset on 8 March. Though many Jews dislike the festival for its commemoration of massacres – presumably why Netanyahu gave the Book of Esther, which recounts the tale, to Obama – others have a different way of reading the story. Three of them here.

Calling Netanyahu’s bluff with ten clear questions

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to meet with Canada’s Stephen Harper on March 2nd on his way to meet President Obama. The group Canadians for Peace and Justice in the Middle East has prepared this list of ten questions that should be put to him there – or anywhere.

Israel locked into its stifling fears

The changes known as the Arab Spring offered Israel a unique opportunity, writes Avi Shaim, to make common cause with its neighbours to embed democracy and peaceful relations. Both the Israeli elite and the young protesters of last summer rejected the chance. Fear of not making security the paramaount policy or patriotism the paramount virtue have blocked this route to a freer, safer future

Abbas interview: Ready to negotiate but not as colonial subjects

On the last stage of his European tour, in which he is seeking to increase diplomatic presure on Israel to stop settlement building, the PA President tells Russia’s RT that Israel might withdraw from a few settlements and try to persuade the world that this has changed the status quo of occupier and occupied. Which it won’t. But he remains willing to negotiate on the two things that matter – borders and security.

Netanyahu plans to protect himself against tougher 2nd term Obama

If Obama wins a second term, it is believed likely his policy towards Israeli recalcitrance will become tougher. Bad prospect for Netanyahu who has called a snap Likud leadership election, likely to lead to an early general election. Thus will his position be shored up before Israel is divided by American pressure

The mouth speaks peace while the hand drives the bulldozer: the line of liars

Lampooned as a liar Netanyahu is simply the least convncing of successive lying Prime Ministers – who are cheered in their peace words and violent actions by Israeli voters. It’s the G7 leaders who have an interest in denouncing Netanyahu writes Amira Hass (see also for the military link)

Screws to be kept turned on Abbas

The IDF want to release some Fatah prisoners to bolster Abbas’s weakened Palestinian Authority against Hamas. But Netanyahu and his close advisers are determined to maintain pressure on Abbas as punishment for his unilateral bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state.

Law bent in favour of settlers to ‘legalize’ illegal outposts

Netanyahu has not only reversed the policies of previous Prime Minsters (that outposts – precursors of settlements – were illegal and would be removed) but it is reported that outposts built on privately-owned West Bank land will be ‘legalised’. Report from Peace Now, and Lara Friedman and Hagit Ofran on this abuse of law

Young Arabs change the options for Israel and Palestine

The Arab Awakening has broken all the rigidities of regimes round the southern and esstern Mediterannean. In this (abbreviated) essay, Tony Klug clesely examines the options now facing Israel and the Palestininans – including Hamas which must, he says, ‘openly purge its Covenant of its virulently anti-Semitic content’

Diaspora Jews have not come to terms with disaster of boycott bill

Liberal diaspora Jews who fail to recognse the move of Israel towards repressive policies and the significance of the settlements, epitomised by the boycott act, are part of the problem not part of the solution

Financial chaos makes Greece Israel’s hero and flotilla’s wrecker

Why is Greece doing Israel’s will in seeking to sink the flotilla? Because with unusual diplomaic skill, Netanyahu has taken up Greece’s debt crisis and is forging a new Balkan alliance based on excluding Islamic Turkey. The article from Ha’aretz is followed by one from Yediot