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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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Posts

The “plan to save the two-state solution”

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There is a strong current of opinion among those working on Israel-Palestine that the two-state solution is dead. Long time peace activist Gershon Baskin believes otherwise.The Palestinians are seeking recognition from EU countries and are drafting a Security Council resolution which, Baskin argues, has every chance of being adopted. This, together with a growing boycott movement and increasing pressure for sanctions could, believes Baskin, be a game changer.

Steep rise in settler attacks – Palestinians fight back

The rise in settler attacks on Palestinians escalates – Israeli government deplores but does nothing other than allow the IDF to protect the attackers. Except for in Al Qusra where photos of settler thugs with bloody noses shocked Israelis. But, as Amira Hass points out, there has been no government response to the many attacks on Al Qusra. Given this history, the Palestinian response has been remarkably kindly.

Doublethink on UN membership for Israel and Palestine

Doublethink was George Orwell’s term, in 1984, for “the acceptance of contrary opinions or beliefs at the same time, especially as a result of political indoctrination”. A new paper reported by MERIP contrasts the arguments Israel used to gain admission to the UN in 1948-49 (essential for the peace process) with the arguments used by the US/Israel against Palestine gaining even UN Observer status in 2012 (it would harm the peace process.) Hat tip to G. Orwell.

What the UN can do for a Palestinian country

Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, has delivered his last report to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. In it, he returned to the issue of corporate responsibility for Israel’s power to maintain the occupation and break international law. Diplomats don’t have the answer; opposition to complicit corporations plus popular resistance and with UN backing may be the only way.

The tireless effort the US and Israel put into defaming their critics and deflecting their criticism

If it weren’t so serious it would be comical watching how the US and Israeli do elaborate dances to ensure they and their vassals never have to hear, or judge by the standard of international law the daily breaches of Palestinian human and political rights carried out by Israel. But it’s not comical and former UN Special Rapporteur Richard Falk has been on on the receiving end of their tactics of ignorance. Palestinian passivity does not help – but then political passivity has become the hallmark of western ‘civilisations’, unnervingly like the 1930s.

Profiting from the Occupation challenged in Canada and the UN

The Palestinian village of Bil’in has filed a complaint with the United Nations against Canada for failing to prevent Canadian-based companies from aiding and benefiting from Israel’s settlement enterprise.

France, UK ready to back Palestinians at UN this week

The governments of France and the UK will back the PA in its bid for UN observer status later this week, although for the UK this is conditional on the PA agreeing not to pursue Israel for war crimes. Campaigns to get the UK to recognise its historic responsibility for Palestine, and the need to boost Abbas’s status after the gains for Hamas in the Gaza war may have led to this change. Hamas now also supports the bid.

Findings on Palestine: crimes of ignoring or assisting international law violations

The final international session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, considering “US Complicity and UN Failings in Dealing with Israel’s Violations of International Law Toward the Palestinian People”, was held in New York city, October 6-7. Its conclusions include the use of social media to arouse public knowledge. UPDATE Frank Barat responds to criticisms.

US can never escape its Mid-East history of onslaught and exploitation

American diplomatic policy is still driven by its notion of being the chief actor in finding a peace settlement; but, writes Ramzy Baroud (1st), the country cannot play this role, so complicit is it in past oppressive policies. Waiting in the wings is China, free of that history. But, 2nd, writing in 2011, Nima Khorrami Assl, points to China’s strategic interests, its support for the ‘peace process’ and reliance on US security in the region..

Three men executed by Hamas, UN and EU condemn

Hamas continues to carry out the death penalty – three men were executed on 7 April – for crimes of violence, drug trafficking and collaboration with Israeli state agencies (1). Both the UN Human Rights office (2) and the EU (3) deplore the practice, especially where trial proceedings fall below accepted standards. Accurate figures on the use of the death penalty worldwide are hard to get. Known figures are given in (4).

Israeli bigwigs demand sacking of Palestinian human rights worker

Khulood Badawi is an employee of OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), occupied Palestinian territories. She has been suspended from her job since March and Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, is demanding she be sacked. Her offence? She briefly uploaded a photo of a dead Gazan child which (like Reuters) she attributed to Israel’s March attack on Gaza. It wasn’t, and she removed it. She remains suspended and under investigation.

War through social media now main role of Israeli agencies

The ‘independent’ Jewish Agency, whose job was once to help Jews move to Israel, has changed its role to become ‘first responder to crises in Israel’ amongst other things (2). This means, says Richard Silverstein (1), prowling the social media to find enemies whom they can ‘skewer’. They found one in the UN’s Khulood Badawi – until their rebuttal was rebutted with some facts.

‘Security’ no excuse for holding adolescents in solitary confinement

The continued imprisonment of teenagers held in solitary confinement by the Israeli government has sparked a concerted protest by professional people in the USA and Israel concerned with the welfare of young people. The psychological wounds inflicted constitute, in their view, cruel and inhuman treatment. This is not justified by Israel’s acknowledged security concerns.

Palestine in the UN: still a hot debate

Six months after the Obama administration scuppered Palestine’s bid for UN recognition saying negotiations with Israel should be the path, Americans are returning to the debate about what diplomacy can achieve. Slate organized the sold-out debate on 10th January – speakers’ advance positions are here. In the posting Daniel Kurtzer’s presents his strategy for a negotiated two-state deal

UN, Clinton demand Israel hands over Palestinians’ tax money

For the second time this year, Netanyahu has used his power as the tax-collecting authority for Palestinians to withhold their income. It is not clear whether this is to punish them for being accepted by UNESCO, or the PA’s bid to join the UN or for its imminent talks with Hamas. Reports from IMEMC and Ynet

Claim that Palestine supporters accomplices to genocide is ‘crackpot’

Last week we posted a Washington Post opinion piece by Robert Bernstein attacking the UN and Human Rights groups for their attitude to Israel and Palestine, and a rejoinder by the Economist: http://jfjfp.com/?p=25704. Here Mouin Rabbani of Jadaliyya adds his voice to the outrage. Wikipedia’s entry on Palestine Media Watch is at the bottom

Claim that giving PA legitimacy fuels hate speech, anti-semitism, genocidal threats

A founder of Human Rights Watch has moved from complaints of a general anti-Israel bias to accusing the Arab media of genocidal propaganda and the UN of fuelling anti-semitism and sees no gulf between Mahmoud Abbas and those who make their name through hate speech . 1st, an Economist critique of the article by Robert L. Bernstein, 2nd.

Palestinian statehood: US Jews-for-peace split on tactics

A split has opened on Palestine at the UN between J Street, founded 2008 to press for American diplomatic leadership in resolving the Israel/Palestine conflict (3), and less-establishment peace groups, represented here by Tikkun, founded 1986 as a new voice for the Jewish left. (1) and their petition of support for the bid, (2)

New sound of acclaim for Abbas, NY to Ramallah and Jerusalem

Rare and immense applause for Mahmoud Abbas’ speech at the UN is reported, along with some diplomatic repercussions, in the NY Times, Al Jazeera, AFP, and New Middle East News. Last, the manifesto for a Palestine state, signed so far by over 80 leading Israelis

First stage all over bar the shouting – and voting

A mass rally in Ramallah marks the passage of the statehood bid into the UN chambers, 1; a perceptive account of the forces that have brought the Pa to this position by Phyllis Bennis, 2; and for those who have floundered in the mass of material, a clear guide from the Afro-Middle East Centre