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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 Alerts


The BEDOUIN

We have posted more than 30 articles on The Bedouin of the Naqab/Negev over the last three years

See the JfJfP briefing note on Bedouin Palestinians of the Naqab and download our 2013 leaflet on the Prawer plan
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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
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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
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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
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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.
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* 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
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* 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
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Posts

AIPAC ups its pressure for ‘military option’ against Iran

AIPAC basks in the image of being the most powerful lobby in the USA. It possibly has more Christian members than Jews who are, in the USA, a largely pro-peace body. It is lobbying against any diplomatic rapprochement with Iran. It has come up against the growing view that, in the Middle East, the US must pursue its own interests – which may not coincide with Israel’s (which may not be to bomb Iran). MJ Rosenberg in Tikkun.

How Obama’s grand strategy for MidEast failed

President Obama’s attempt to reverse US policy and institute normal relations with moderate Muslim leaders, such as PM Erdogan of Turkey have, according to the Wall Street Journal failed abysmally. Walter Russell Mead, for some time a critic of the gap between Obama’s rhetoric and his abillity to follow through, chastises the president for neglecting its most important allies: Israel and the Egyptian military. Don’t try to change the status quo.

Big powers must now act on Middle East’s wars

Israel has shown the way, says the NY Times – Syrian air defences can be easily penetrated, so now the West (the USA, with France and the UK) can intervene. Obama is reluctant – who would be helped? Robert Fisk argues that by stopping a weapons supply to President `Assad, the Israelis are directly helping the rebels – which the West has been dithering about doing. All agree on one thing: Israel’s airstrike spreads the conflict beyond any national boundaries.

Obama feels the fears of the Israelis. He feels nothing for the Palestinians

It has seemed odd that the USA’s first President with a black African father and a childhood spent partly in an Asian Muslim country and partly as one of a beleaguered ethnic minority, should seem to have so little feeling for the Palestinians. Uri Avnery, pondering on his lack of empathy, attributes it to the Zionists who surround him. Or perhaps, like many, he sees the Zionist and the American story as the same – building a state in an ‘empty’ land and bossing the neighbours.

Israelis to Obama: we don’t care, don’t bother us

Putting hope in the Israeli people, as President Obama did in his Jerusalem speech, is a waste of hope. The Israeli public is, says columnist Zev Lenchner, “indifferent, conservative, not daring, and excels in passing the time somehow with minimum disorder”. And so they will continue until they are shocked out of their passive complacency. Like human beings everywhere?

At last minute Bibi bows to Obama and says sorry for Mavi Marmara

From a trailer at Ben Gurion airport and a mobile phone, President Obama effected an unheralded reconciliation between the Turkish and Israeli governments, who had not been on speaking terms since the lethal IDF raid on the Turkish boat Mavi Marmara in 2010. Given the importance of Turkey’s status with Mediterranean Muslim governments, the renewed contact confers benefits on the Israeli and American governments; PM Erdogan clarified his hostile remarks on zionism a few days earlier so restoring his status with western governments.

Dreaming and screaming

Experienced journalist Haggai Matar is startled when he observes young children in Hebron, already set in a pattern; the settler children, backed up by several soldiers, scream abuse, the Palestinian children are cowed in front of them, but apart they dream “we shall overcome”.

No power, no glory

Netanyahu has kept domestic conflict in check by telling Israelis the only alternative to Jewish ethnocracy is annihilation. President Abbas has no such stick, or trick. He appears paralysed by the irreconcileabe pressures on him. What possible ‘peace plan’ can Obama produce when he visits Israel next month asks Jonathan Cook?

Hope for negotiations rises at new start with Kerry and Obama visit to Israel

The discovery that the Israeli public is not as right-wing as polls had predicted has encouraged the White House to believe Netanyahu has been so weakened that diplomatic progress is possible. Obama will visit Israel and John Kerry is said to be determined to kick-start political negotiations. Israeli papers are hopeful that at last outside help is coming, the New York Times is less upbeat.

Obama: the block to change

In a harsh critique, Henry Siegman argues President Obama has blocked the 2-state solution both by failing to press Israel to stop building settlements and by blocking the UN from acting on its own charter. However, his administration has joined European governments (see above) in censoring Israel for its punitive new plans.

How much Sheldon Adelson will pay to big up Israel and knock down Obama

The Republican gambling billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is pouring money into Mitt Romney’s campaign. For his money he wants Obama defeated. He wants – and expects – his favourite to be his puppet and ‘commit to moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and to declare the Palestinians as unwilling to make peace’. Report by Ron Kampeas, JTA.

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.

Palestinians are Israel’s human shield against attack from Iran

Iranians, Israelis and their various agents and allies are using the high tension between the two states to gamble on what threats will gain most popular acclaim and diplomatic leverage. While no-one gains from nuclear war, will Obama dare to call Netanyahu’s hand if he threatens an attack on Iran before the US election? Yousef Munayyer looks at the cards.

Humbler USA reaches out to Islamists

Since the popular overthrow of Arab dictators – also the west’s henchmen – the USA has been left without powerful allies in much of the Middle East. The Obama administration has held high level talks with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a move condemned as naive by Israel. Islamist parties are seen by pragmatists as the face of the future in contrast with the Quartet’s ‘peace partners’. From Time and the NY Times

Obama claims ‘unprecedented’ support for Israel in bid for Jewish vote

Obama wins standing ovation from Reform Jewsin USA for insisting his adminstration’s support for Israel has had no match. It’s all in the name of mutual 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

Netanyahu abandoned by all

As Haretz reports (2), not only has Netanyahu found neither President Obama nor Sarkozy can deal with him, he has now lost the ony two EU leaders who have dealt with him recently- PMs Berlusconi and Papandreou. We leave it to the Anti-Defamation League (1) to blame it on the Presidents’ loss of manners.

Why Israel reduces America’s presidents to Jell-O

Obama is condemned by the tea party and Israel for appeasing Palestinians – and by everyone else for doing Israel’s bidding. The shift of Israel from left-leaning to right-wing ethnic nationalist has made it the darling of the US right – and ‘Islamo-fascist’ the name of all its critics. Ian Buruma, Erasmus prize winner, pinpoints the realignment

Palestinians hoped for so much from Obama but get only silence

From eager first talks to having nothing to say, the collapse of hopes for Obama and Palestinian rights has been fast and, it seems, decisive. But some on the Palestinian side believe Obama will be different in a second term writes Ziad Asali, President, ATFP

What Palestinians want as their country

Palestinians do not want for themselves what Europeans want for them Polls (from 2010 and 2007) show a clear majority for a single democratic state, writes Mahmoud Musa, a critic of the PA. A second poll report shows nearly all Palestinians think Obama is biassed in favour of Israel