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  • The role Russia played in the Israel-Syria missile clash
    Syria’s missile fire at Israeli warplanes may indicate that Assad and his Russian protectors are not fully coordinated.

    Anshel Pfeffer Mar 19, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.777965

    Over the six years of the Syrian war, dozens of airstrikes carried out against Hezbollah targets there have been ascribed to Israel. Until now the government has refused to acknowledge or deny them. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman have stated publicly that Israel does attack in Syria to defend its strategic interests – in other words, preventing Hezbollah obtaining “balance-breaking” weapons for its arsenal in Lebanon. The attacks that took place early Friday were the first to be confirmed officially by the Israel Defense Forces spokesperson. While it remains unclear what the target or targets were – was it a Hezbollah convoy, a weapons factory or storage, and whether a senior Hezbollah commander was killed in the airstrike as some reports in the Arab media have claimed – a series of important questions arise from the little information that has been published.
    >> With missile fire, Assad is trying to change the rules of the game | Analysis <<
    First, why has Israel changed its policy and suddenly acknowledged an attack? Syria’s air-defense forces launched a long-range missile in an attempt to shoot down Israel’s fighter-jets. The missile was fired much too late to endanger the planes, but could have fallen on civilian areas within Israel and was therefore intercepted by an Arrow 2 missile. The loud explosion which was heard as far as Jerusalem and the missile parts that fell in Jordan meant that some explanation had to be given. But a statement on the missile intercept would have been sufficient. The decision to take responsibility for the attacks as well would have been made by the prime minister and may have been made for other reasons. 
    Exactly a week before the attacks, Netanyahu was in Moscow discussing Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Few details have emerged regarding what was said in the meeting but Netanyahu said before and after that he made it clear that Israel would not agree to Iranian military presence in Syria, or that of Iran’s proxies, now that the civil war in the country seems to be winding down and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s rule has been preserved.
    Whether or not this demand was met with a receptive audience, Netanyahu returned to Jerusalem with the impression that Putin takes Israel’s concerns seriously. An attack carried out by Israeli warplanes flying over Syria (and not using standoff missiles from afar as happened in other strikes recently) may be an indication that there is an understanding with Russia over Israeli operations within the area that Russia protects with its own air-defense systems.
    Friday’s strikes resemble closely the pattern of the attack in December 2015 on a Damascus suburb in which nine operatives working for Iran were killed, including Samir Kuntar, the murderer of an Israeli family who had been released by Israel in a prisoner exchange in 2008 and was believed to be planning new cross-border raids. That strike took place just three days after Netanyahu and Putin had spoken by telephone and was the first to be carried out after Russia had placed an air-defense shield over large areas of Syria, including its capital.

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    It was unlikely then, back in December 2015 and on Friday, that Israel would have attacked in Syria, within Russia’s zone of operations, if it thought the Kremlin would react with anger. The fact that it was the Syrian army which launched a missile against Israel’s warplanes, while there are much more advanced Russian air-defense systems deployed nearby, ostensibly to protect the regime, could also indicate that Assad and his Russian protectors are not fully coordinated. Assad is aware that Putin is discussing his country’s future with other world leaders, including Netanyahu. His belated attempt to shoot down Israeli planes could be a sign of frustration at his impotence to control both his destiny and his airspace.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/579569 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Palestinians urge EU to stop holding official meetings with Israel in #Jerusalem
    http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/.premium-1.778016

    While European representatives serving in Israel avoid holding official meetings or tours beyond the Green Line in Jerusalem, they often visit the Foreign Ministry and other government ministries in the western part of the city. This despite the fact that Europe doesn’t recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and doesn’t have an official mission there.

    Moreover, annual EU reports have carried a recommendation to hold all meetings with senior Israeli officials outside Jerusalem, but it wasn’t acted on. Diplomatic sources estimate that the letter seeks to prepare the ground for the possible transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. By raising the demand, the Palestinians want to equate West Jerusalem to East Jerusalem.

    #UE #Europe #complicité #Israël

    https://seenthis.net/messages/579437 via Kassem


  • In precedent-setting ruling, Israel’s top court recognizes East Jerusalem Arabs as ’native-born residents’

    Over 14,000 Arabs have had their residency rights revoked since 1967 because they were absent from Jerusalem for more than 7 years. Court ruling challenges practice that treated them like immigrants in their own city.

    Nir Hasson Mar 16, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.777750

    In a precedent-setting ruling, High Court justices have ordered the Interior Ministry to restore the residency rights of a Palestinian man born in East Jerusalem who was denied permission to live in the city after being away for many years.
    The ruling challenges a ministry policy of denying residency to many Palestinians born in the city once they’re away for more than seven years.
    A three-justice panel ruled that residents of East Jerusalem “have a strong affinity” to the city which must be taken into consideration with respect to residency rights.
    With the annexation of East Jerusalem by Israel in 1967, Palestinians did not receive Israeli citizenship but the status of permanent residents, entitling them to freedom of movement. In effect, the state has treated them as immigrants rather than native-born residents. 
    Since 1967 the Interior Ministry has denied the status of more than 14,000 Palestinians from East Jerusalem citing various reasons. It has been ministry practice, backed by a previous court ruling, to regard Palestinian residency in the city as having “expired” once the person is gone for more than seven years.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/579107 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • On his first visit to the Middle East, Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt surprises everyone

    Greenblatt leaped effortlessly from a Palestinian refugee camp to meeting settler leaders, making positive impressions on all, along with a clear message: Trump’s serious about peace, and Israel ought to be too.

    Barak Ravid Mar 17, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.777881

    Jason Greenblatt’s Twitter account was the best show in town this week. Anyone following his tweets might have thought he wasn’t the U.S. envoy for the peace process, but the Energizer bunny. 
    Greenblatt didn’t rest for a moment during his four days here. He bounced from Jerusalem, to Ramallah, to Jericho, to Bethlehem, to Amman and back to Jerusalem. After every meeting, he tweeted pictures and updates.
    On the eve of his visit, the New York Times published an article describing him scornfully as a man with no diplomatic experience who landed his job almost by chance. But Greenblatt proved this week that even if he lacks the experience of veterans of the peace industry in America, he is blessed with sharp instincts, seriousness, common sense and a great deal of personal charm and emotional intelligence. Everyone on the Israeli side who met with Greenblatt this week, on both the right and the left, as well as everyone on the Palestinian side, had a positive impression.
    “Greenblatt is a serious, honest envoy,” tweeted MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) after meeting him. “There’s no doubt President Trump is committed to peace, and that’s good news. It won’t be easy – but there’s hope.”
    On his first visit to the region as Trump’s envoy, Greenblatt came mainly to listen and learn. Alongside his meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he held a great many meetings with segments of the population that until now most U.S. envoys had passed over. 
    He surprised many on the Palestinian side by meeting with residents of the Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah, and surprised others on the Israeli side by meeting with two mayors of settlements, Oded Revivi and Yossi Dagan. He met with Palestinian and Israeli students, with residents of the Gaza Strip, with senior Jewish, Christian and Muslim clerics.
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    Wednesday night, Greenblatt took a tour of Jerusalem’s Old City. One stop on the tour was Yeshivat HaKotel, from which he tweeted a picture of the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Five minutes later, he visited the house of a Palestinian resident of Jerusalem and tweeted a picture of the same holy sites from a different angle.
    “Peace and coexistence are not just possible in this extraordinary city, they exist already and have for centuries,” he added in a follow-up tweet.
    The message Greenblatt reiterated against and again, to both Israelis and Palestinians, was that President Donald Trump is very serious when he talks about his desire to make “the ultimate deal” and that Israeli-Palestinian peace is very high on his priority list. Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said after meeting with Greenblatt that he got the impression Trump was very committed to this issue and plans to launch a serious diplomatic process. A senior minister in the ruling Likud party got the same impression.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/579108 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Netanyahu expects to reach deal with U.S. on restrained settlement construction -

    ’There’s no blank check from Trump for construction in the settlements and that was known from the first minute he entered the White House,’ says Israeli official.

    Barak Ravid Mar 15, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.777320

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expects to reach understandings with the United States within a few weeks on curbing construction in the settlements, according to an Israeli official.
    Although the understandings with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration are likely to include Israeli willingness to impose significant restrictions on construction in West Bank settlements, the Prime Minister’s Bureau believes that this will not weaken the coalition.
    “There’s no blank check from Trump for construction in the settlements and that was known from the first minute he entered the White House,” said the official, who is involved in contacts between Israel and the United States on the subject. “We are looking for the common denominator with the Americans that will allow construction on the one hand, and on the other promote with the Trump administration diplomatic moves in many areas.”

    Israeli-U.S. negotiations on restraining settlements.
    Netanyahu met on Monday evening for more than five hours with American envoy Jason Greenblatt. Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, was present for most of the meeting and the most significant part of the conversation dealt with the attempt to formulate understandings on construction in the settlements.
    Netanyahu and Greenblatt are expected to meet again this week before the envoy leaves the country.
    Speaking at a Tuesday press conference at his office, Netanyahu described his conversations with Greenblatt as “good and thorough.” Netanyahu added: “I can’t say that we finished or summed things up; we are in a process, but a process of true and sincere dialogue in the positive meaning of the word. It is not yet open to the press.”

    #colonies #Israël #Palestine #Etats-Unis

    https://seenthis.net/messages/578271 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The Israelis who cultivate connections to Europe’s fascists

    Misguided right-wing Israelis have convinced themselves that anyone who spouts hatred about Muslims is their ally.

    Nitzan Horowitz Mar 14, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.777027

    It’s not only the most sought-after Purim costume, it’s an epidemic. On Wednesday, the Netherlands holds its general election. Why do we even care? Because of the “Dutch Trump,” another politician with a filthy mouth, bleached platinum-blond hair and an Islamophobe to boot – in short, a political hit. Oh, and he’s a “great friend of Israel,” of course.
    The truth is, Geert Wilders should be collecting royalties from U.S. President Donald Trump. Wilders was there first, and he co-owns the copyright for this new, loud, dirty politics that’s sweeping the world. And after its resounding success in the United States, Wilders now hopes to cash in. But even if he doesn’t head the next government, he’s succeeded in dominating the election campaign. He’s also had a pan-European effect: French National Front leader Marine Le Pen is a pussycat compared to him.
    Impassioned citizens across the continent are urging their politicians to “be more like Wilders.” What fun it is to proclaim, without shame, “There are too many Moroccans here.” How liberating it is to say whatever comes into your head, like “Mohammed is a pedophile.” Inciting hatred? Neo-Nazi behavior? What do you mean? We certainly aren’t Nazis! After all, Wilders only declared that “Mosques are Nazi temples,” and that the Koran is a Nazi work “like ‘Mein Kampf,’” which is why its distribution should be prohibited.
    Overall, the Netherlands is in good shape. Growth is up, unemployment is down, investors are streaming in and the standard of living is one of the highest in the world. What’s wrong? Immigration? Note to the demagogues here and there: the real reason for immigration is not imaginary European liberalism. The Dutch simply have fewer children, natural growth is low, and so it needs immigrants to do the hard jobs and to shore up the collapsing pension systems of an aging continent. Even with the immigrants, population growth in the Netherlands is very limited – 0.4 percent last year, compared to 2 percent annually in Israel, for example. Those are the facts. Naturally, Wilders – like many in the Netherlands – knows this.
    By the way, he’s the last person who should be opening his mouth about immigrants. His mother is from Indonesia, his father fled Germany and his wife is from Hungary. But he’s not your typical racist and xenophobe. He’s “just” against Muslims, who in his eyes are all murderous soldiers of jihad.
    So, you may ask, is there no risk of terrorist infiltration or a danger of immigrant groups being radicalized from within? Of course there is. Whoever ignores the danger of Islamic extremism and the phenomena that have already hit Europe is a fool, or worse. But the danger posed by Wilders and his ilk is greater. Wilders is the biggest collaborator to Islamic radicals fighting against integration. He and his sweeping, racist generalizations, dripping with poisonous hatred and incitement, are pushing more and more alienated young people into the arms of the extremists.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/577876 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • A worthy sacrifice for a Judeo-Samarian
    Amira Hass Mar 09, 2017 1:47 AM
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.776072
    http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.776200.1489061883!/image/2349077637.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/2349077637.jpg

    The demolitions of Palestinian structures are easy prey. The horns of the altar shout: More. Harder. Bigger. It is not enough to destroy, people must be evicted, driven out, uprooted.

    While you recite Emmanuel Levinas and boast of his being Jewish, and while you prepare the list of guests to invite to celebrate our passing from bondage to freedom, the Jewish high priest sharpens his knife. And while you update the anti-Semitism index with another shattered tombstone and read out poetry on Friday nights in Ashkenazi and Sephardi style, your smug faces are reflected in the gleaming blade. And while you beam with joy at the cleverness of the grandson and youngest daughter and book seats for a show in London, the blade moves closer to the neck of the victim tied on the altar in Amona.

    How can we appease you, Judeo-Samarian, how can we placate your wrath, god of vengeance, if not by destroying 10 times more and by the falsehood of symmetry. Kalansua. Umm al-Hiran. Issawiya. Beit Hanina. Jabal Mukkaber. But Moloch is not satiated. The demolitions there are easy prey. The horns of the altar shout: More. Harder. Bigger.

    The knife moves closer and closer, the blade is shining, the saliva is dripping. It is not enough to destroy, people must be evicted, driven out, uprooted. Moloch wants to see the children wet themselves at night, the women waking up in alarm, the shepherds impoverished and selling their goats to pay the court fee, the old men imagining the army loading them on trucks, while you board a plane for a trek in Chile.

    The newspaper reported: The Civil Administration converted the stop-work orders into demolition orders for some 150 structures in the Jahalin community in Khan al-Ahmar (the village whose school is made of tires). The newspaper also reported: The Civil Administration wants to gather all the Bedouin and settle them permanently on Area C in two or three townships. It also said: According to Israel’s laws these structures are illegal.

    The newspaper didn’t report that these are laws of evil and wickedness, which discriminate between one person’s blood and another’s, between one person’s child and another’s. These laws that have evicted the Jahalin time and again, restricted them, and allowed the children of Adumim who came dozens of years later to build and prosper. And now they have their eye on the Bedouin’s little huts as well.

    The newspaper will report: On Thursday the state prosecution will respond to the village of Sussia’s petition against the state’s intent to uproot it for the fourth or fifth time. It will probably say: The state insists on going ahead with its plan. The master plan the villagers proposed is unacceptable. The newspaper has already reported: The state knows it’s better for Sussia residents to move to a place near their brethren in the city of Yatta, with their power and water. The school will be close, and this proximity will empower the women. In secret ink it will say: Jews need living space and a view that’s cleansed of Arabs and a pleasant breeze blowing between the rocks and the vineyards, and this land will be only for us and our seed.

    This fact, too, wasn’t written in the newspaper: As a prelude to carrying out the court’s order – tearing down the Amona houses that were built in good faith and a pure soul on the enemy’s land – it was agreed and decided to sacrifice the Khan al-Ahmar community on the altar. Only its complete destruction will be accepted as a worthy offering.

    And on the way, we’ll teach the Supreme Court judges another lesson. Granted, they have never intervened to thwart our holy determination to deny the Bedouin water and power and building rights. But the judges have also ruled that houses should not be demolished as long as there’s no alternative. Now we’ll show them that it’s possible to destroy and uproot even without an alternative.

    Sussia and Khan al-Ahmar have become symbols of the struggle against the laws of wickedness, a subject of international interest and statements against forced uprooting, which is a war crime. When these communities are defeated and destroyed and torn out, we’ll prove that the world is good only at making statements.

    We will then find time for all the other communities we aim to wipe out. Arab a-Ramadin, Abu Qubeita, Khalet Hamad, Khatib on Hizme and dozens of other families and communities, for whom the knives are being sharpened. While you’re hurrying to a concert.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/577650 via Loutre


  • British royal family may visit Israel to mark Balfour Declaration centenary - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.776883
    http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.776942.1489402803!/image/1525355058.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1525355058.jpg

    The British royal family may visit Israel in an official capacity later this year, on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, according to British media reports.

    “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““
    Quand Israël et la Grande-Bretagne célèbrent le traumatisme historique des Palestiniens
    16 février 2017
    par Samah Jabr
    https://seenthis.net/messages/571941

    https://seenthis.net/messages/577646 via Loutre


  • An Arab-free Knesset - Haaretz Editorial
    It is outrageous to demand that the elected representatives of Israel’s non-Jewish minority swear loyalty to the ’Jewish state.’

    Haaretz Editorial Mar 12, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.776614

    This morning, a few days after Likud MK Miki Zohar proposed annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians the right to vote, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation is scheduled to discuss a bill that could harm the right of Arabs who are citizens of Israel to vote and to run for office. The proposed amendment to the Basic Law on the Knesset would add to the oath of office sworn by Knesset members — “to be loyal to the State of Israel” — the phrase “as a Jewish and democratic state, in accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, to preserve and to respect it symbols.”
    It is not by chance that the preamble to the draft law contains no mention of the purpose of the change. After all, it is obvious that no declaration of loyalty has the power to increase loyalty to the state. At best, the bill will cause hatred, anger and rebellion of Israel’s Arab minority. At worst it will reduce this community’s participation in the electoral process, thus dealing a mortal blow to Israeli democracy. From this it follows that the aim of the draft law is not to solve a problem, but rather to spark outrage and to impinge on the right of Arabs to vote and to run for office.
    For a large portion of Arab Knesset members, the oath’s revised version requires them to be untrue to themselves: For years, the term “Jewish state” means exclusion and discrimination. Even if it’s possible for a national home for Jews to exist here in the framework of a Jewish and democratic state in which all citizens enjoy complete equality, that is not the situation in practice. That being the case, it is outrageous to demand that the elected representatives of Israel’s non-Jewish minority swear loyalty to the “Jewish state.”
    In addition, since the interpretation of the concept “Jewish and democratic” is so controversial, there may also be Jews who are not willing to swear loyalty to it. If “Jewish state” might also include religious content, then what about atheists who call for absolute separation between religion and state? Other communities, such as ultra-Orthodox Jews, might not identify with the concept “Jewish and democratic.”
    President Reuven Rivlin, in his “four tribes” address to the Herzliya Conference in June 2015, said that we must accept that non-Zionists are a part of Israel, that the definition of a national home for the Jewish people in a Jewish and democratic state is a definition of Zionism, and that we cannot force all citizens to be Zionist against their will. In a democratic state, everyone has full freedom of conscience and no one is forced to swear loyalty as a condition for participating in the game of democracy and exercising the right to be elected. The frequent attempts to pass such laws only send a message of insecurity, as if Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity were in doubt.
    It is unwise to create a problem where none exists. The oath sworn by Knesset members today, of “loyalty to the State of Israel,” is sufficient. The government must reject the legislative proposal and stop passing laws whose sole purpose is to sow hatred and cause provocation.

    #apartheid #racism

    https://seenthis.net/messages/577206 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • For first time, Hamas prepared to accept pre-1967 borders for Palestinian state -
    Hamas soon expected to approve document summarizing the organization’s political and strategic positions, including declaring its independence from any outside party such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Jack Khoury Mar 09, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/1.775939

    Hamas is formulating a new outline of its policies, which will reportedly include an acceptance in principle of Palestine within the 1967 borders but not a recognition of Israel. According to reports, the document will also state that the organization was not a part of the Muslim Brotherhood.
    According to the London-based Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, sources in Hamas say that officials from the organization’s political bureau, Chairman Khaled Meshal and his deputy Ismail Haniyeh, as well as other officials from the military and political leadership, were involved in formulating and amending the document, which is still being worked on. Final approval is expected at the end of this month or early next month, when the Hamas internal elections for the political bureau and Shura Council conclude.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Palestinians: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    The report says the document will make clear that Hamas is an independent organization not tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and this will help it in its contacts with the Egyptian authorities who are demanding that Hamas be fully disconnected from the Muslim Brotherhood, which is banned in Egypt.
    Hamas officials believe acceptance of the principle of a Palestinian state with the 1967 borders will help it break the boycott from foreign countries and international organizations.

    Sources in Hamas say that the document will define the fight against Israel as a fight against the occupation and not against Jews, whereas the organization’s platform that was passed 29 years ago defined Hamas as an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine, defined the Palestinian issue as a religious issue and said that the struggle was against the Jews.

    An official with the political wing of Hamas in Gaza told Haaretz that the document that will be approved in the coming weeks will not present new positions, but will summarize positions and principles that came up over the last few years, in the talks for reconciliation and understandings with the other various Palestinian factions, and in the talks with Egypt and other Arab countries.
    “Anyone who has followed the statements of Khaled Meshal and the Hamas leaders will not find anything different, but in light of the major changes that have occurred in the region and within the Palestinian arena, Hamas has formulated this document to stand as an ID card for the movement and its principles,” the official said.
    Last month, Hamas completed its internal elections in Gaza, including the election of Yahya Sinwar as Hamas head in Gaza, and by early next month should complete its election process abroad. In the West Bank, it is not certain there will be such an election, due to organizational difficulties presented by Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
    Haniyeh is widely expected to be elected head of the political bureau in place of Meshal who is stepping down, and Hamas will try to present an agenda that will help its standing in relation to the international community and Arab countries, chiefly Egypt.
    At this stage it is not clear how much Hamas wants to end its rift with Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, but it is possible that its agreement to a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders and defining the fight against the occupation in terms of a popular resistance alongside the military struggle, could serve as a basis for national agreement with the other factions, especially Fatah.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/576546 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The privilege and responsibility of Jewish ’Whiteness’ -
    We white Jews have the choice of navigating our lives without ever having to grapple with our racial identities and our place in a racially hierarchical system. A university class gave us this chance.

    Josh Rosenbaum Mar 02, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/1.774853

    I have been hesitant to respond to a recent op-ed in Haaretz (“What Happens When a Tulane Student Queries Jews’ ‘Whiteness’”), since Carly is my friend, but I feel since she chose a public forum for this opinion, it warrants a public response.
    I too am a Jewish student who took this class, and I believe my experiences directly contradict her conclusions. Critical Race Theory was one of the most thought-provoking, engaging, and inclusive classes I have ever been in. Our professor did not demand a monolithic view of race and racism, and I never once heard a thoughtful opinion rejected out of hand.
    When our professor asked, “What’s a Jew?” he did not do so in a way that challenged our history of victimhood to oppression and genocide. He did not do so in a way that negated the real experience of anti-Semitism today. He did not do so in a way that belittled the faith or questioned its validity. He did so in an attempt to open our eyes to the very real ways in which white Jews (i.e. the ones he was discussing, as opposed to Mizrahi Jews or Jews of color), like Carly and I, have been incorporated into a racially hierarchical system. He did so in a way that exposed the very real ways in which we benefit from institutionalized white supremacy and anti-blackness in the United States. This is, as she says, how he sees it “in his eyes.”
    But he is using his eyes to see the truth—that we are safe: on this campus, in this country, and at least comparatively speaking, in this world. She writes that “today more than ever Jewish people grapple with their racial identity,” but this simply is not true. Like all white people, we are granted the unfathomable privilege of navigating our lives without ever grappling with our racial identities, should we choose not to. But we should. This classroom offered us one place to do just that, led by a brilliant and empathetic scholar.
    Anti-Semitism exists, and when demonstrated, we should fight against it with as much rigor and passion as any injustice. I’ll be there with Carly at the front lines. But as white American Jews, we face a choice of feigning an oppressed identity that flies in the face of our actual structural positioning or expressing genuine solidarity with people of color. We cannot have it both ways. Deepening our analyses of our own positioning allows us to serve as stronger, more informed allies.
    I believe her when she says she wants to learn. But learning needs to start with listening. Listening must preempt, and then fuel, dialogue. She discusses her “desire to learn, study, expand my views and test [her] knowledge,” but I do not believe this desire is what she displayed in her article.

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    Our professor gave us the opportunity to do exactly these things, but she did not like the answers. She writes that she “punctuate every lecture with a raised hand,” but maybe instead it’s time to punctuate every lecture with an open ear and an open mind.
    As current Tulane University President Michael A. Fitts emphasized, “while we stand ready to enter into respectful debate with others, Tulane will never cease to defend the principles of non-discrimination, mutual respect and open inquiry upon which our university, our country and the international community of scholars are built. ”
    I’ll hold you to it, Carly.
    Josh Rosenbaum is junior at Tulane University studying Political Science and Gender and Sexuality Studies. He is a senator in the Undergraduate Student Government.

    Josh Rosenbaum
    Haaretz Contributor

    Send me email alerts

    https://seenthis.net/messages/575273 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel loves wars - and does nothing to prevent them -

    There’s no other way to read the state comptroller’s report on the 2014 Gaza war and there’s no more important conclusion that arises from it.

    Gideon Levy Mar 02, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.774709

    Israel loves wars. Needs them. Does nothing to prevent them, and sometimes instigates them. There is no other way to read the state comptroller’s report on the 2014 Gaza war, and there is no more important conclusion that arises from it.
    All the rest – the tunnels, the National Security Council, the cabinet and the intelligence – are trifles, nothing more than efforts to distract us from the main thing. The main thing is that Israel wants war. It rejected all the alternative, without discussing them, without interest in them, to fulfill its desire.
    Israel wanted wars in the past as well. Since the 1948 war, all its wars could have been avoided. They were clearly wars of choice, although most of them were of no use and a few of them caused irreparable damage. Israel usually initiated them, sometimes wars were forced on it, but even then, they could have been avoided, like in 1973. Some of the wars ended the careers of those who started them, and yet, time after time Israel chooses war as the first and preferred option. It is doubtful that a rational explanation can be found for the phenomenon, but the fact is, every time Israel goes to war it receives sweeping, automatic and blind support in public opinion and the media. Thus not only the government and the army love war, all of Israel loves war.
    This is proven by the fact that committees of investigation publish almost identical reports after every war – the report on the Gaza war is almost plagiarized from the Winograd Commission report after the 2006 Second Lebanon War. (“The war was embarked on hastily and irresponsibly.”) When nothing is learned and everything is forgotten, it’s clear that something strong is pulling Israel to war.
    That’s also the way it was in the summer of Operation Protective Edge, when there was no reason at all for war. And that’s the way it will be in the next war, which looms ahead. What a pity that the “red alert” in the south on Tuesday was a false alarm. It was almost the opportunity to strike a disproportionate blow on Gaza, the way Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israel love, the kind that drags Israel down to the next war.

    #Gaza #Israel #war

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  • The Syrian war shakeout is changing the Mideast’s balance of power - Middle East News

    Turkey’s intervention has created a rift with Iran, Jordan-Syria ties are tightening and America’s absence could weaken the Saudis. The alliances emerging in Syria will determine the fate the region.

    Zvi Bar’el Feb 27, 2017 1
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/.premium-1.773974

    Secondary relationships born of the Syrian civil war could have a greater impact on the future of the country and the region than the war itself. While the warring parties are busy holding onto and expanding territorial gains, finding funds and arms and jockeying for position in future negotiations, the smaller players are crafting long-range strategies that will divide the region à la the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement.
    The secondary relationships are alliances and rivalries that developed between global powers such as Russia and the United States, and between local powers such as Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. But the term is inaccurate in a sense because the Syrian war has long become a proxy war in which the payer of the bills dictates the military movements while changing proxies based on battlefield success.
    More importantly, the alliances between the sponsors and “their” militias create the balance of political forces between the powers. For example, Russia uses the Kurds in Syria as a bargaining chip against Turkey, whose cooperation with the Free Syrian Army creates a rift between Ankara and Tehran. Meanwhile, Jordan’s strikes on the Islamic State in southern Syria boost the Russian-Jordanian coalition and Jordan’s ties with the Assad regime − and everyone is looking ahead to "the day after.”
    The latest development puts Turkish-Iranian relations to the test. Speaking at the Munich Security Conference a week ago Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Iran to stop threatening the region’s stability and security. The remark wasn’t only unusually blunt but also seemed to come from an American talking-points page. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi responded the next day, warning that while Turkey was an important neighbor, “there is a certain cap to our patience.”
    Tehran and Ankara are deeply divided over the Assad regime, and particularly over whether the Syrian president should stay on after a negotiated settlement. But these disagreements didn’t affect the two countries’ bilateral trade of some $10 billion a year.
    Iran was the first country to denounce the failed coup attempt in Turkey last July, and President Hassan Rohani is on track for a fourth visit to Ankara in April. Tehran and Ankara share an interest in preventing the establishment of an independent Kurdish region in Syria that could inspire the Kurds in Iran and Turkey.
    But Ankara and Tehran are each deeply suspicious of the other’s strategic ambitions. Turkey believes that Iran seeks to turn Iraq and Syria into Shi’ite states, while Iran is sure that Turkish President Recet Tayyip Erdogan dreams of reestablishing the Ottoman Empire.
    The Iranians were apprehensive about the liberation, by Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army, of al-Bab, a city around 30 kilometers from Aleppo, even though the defeated party was the Islamic State. The Iranians were worried because control over al-Bab, whose liberation the Free Syrian Army announced Friday, opens up the route critical to retaking Raqqa, the Islamic State’s capital in Syria. Control over al-Bab is also key for taking control of the Iraq-Syria border, which Tehran views as critical.

    #syria #russia #iran

    https://seenthis.net/messages/573537 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Should Jews have a problem with the term ’Islamophobia’?

    The decision by a major Canadian Jewish organization to oppose a parliamentary motion condemning Islamophobia after a shocking mosque attack, because the term is ’politically charged and imprecise,’ has vocal challengers.

    Mira Sucharov Feb 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.772853

    When a multicultural country like Canada faces a stark rise in hatred targeting one ethnic group, it’s social and ethical solidarity is put to the test. The question for Canada’s Jewish establishment is: How will it respond to the shocking spike in hatred targeting the Muslim community?
    On the heels of the Quebec City mosque shooting, which left six worshippers dead, and then a hate-filled protest outside of a Toronto mosque last Friday, a private member’s motion to condemn Islamophobia was introduced in parliament. Regrettably, CIJA (the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the organized lobbying arm of the Jewish Federations in Canada) is opposing the motion, at least in its current form.
    Liberal MP Iqra Khalid introduced the non-binding motion (M-103) urging the government to “better reflect” the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by “quell[ing] the increasing public climate of hate and fear,” while “condemn[ing] Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination.” Her motion also asks parliament to convene a study to address these issues and “to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities.”
    As the motion - intended to express the will of parliament but falling short of having any legal force - acknowledges, there are already Charter provisions for opposing racism and discrimination. And Section 319 of the criminal code already outlaws “communicating statements in any public place, incit[ing] hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.”
    But sometimes the law is not enough to signal collective revulsion.
    skip - Video

    The Friday demonstrators outside a downtown Toronto mosque held signs such as “Ban Islam” and “Muslims are terrorists.” Interviewed on camera, one of the protestors make the following chilling observation: “They [she presumably means Muslims] start out friendly, and before you know it, they grow so much in population that they take over.” The interviewer challenges her: “This sounding a lot like what people said about Jews at one time,” to which the protestor replies: “There’s no comparison. Jews were not evil.”

    For its part, CIJA calls M-103 “flawed.” As CIJA head Shimon Koffler Fogel writes, the motion “requires us to silence legitimate concerns or suppress a public conversation about those strains of Islam that pose a real and imminent threat to Jews around the world,” adding that the motion “denies space and opportunity within the Muslim community to confront those strains of Islam that do indeed exist and do indeed cause harm to the majority of Muslims who do not subscribe to an extremist ideology.” For these reasons, CIJA is urging lawmakers to oppose it.
    It’s not the first time a private member’s motion has been introduced to focus Canada’s attention on a specific form of hatred. In 2015, Conservative MP James Bezan asked “all members [of parliament] and all Canadians [to] join me in denouncing anti-Semitism.” In 2015 Liberal MP Irwin Cotler asked the “House [to] condemn the alarming development of a new anti-Semitism….” And then, of course, there’s the 2010 Ottawa Protocol on Combatting Antisemitism, which convened parliamentary representatives from an array of countries to call out anti-Semitism.
    CIJA Director of Communications Martin Sampson shared with me the amended text of the motion CIJA proposed to Khaled, including trying to add a clause that would “recognize that criticism and condemnation of any and all forms of extremism is not only acceptable but necessary in a free and democratic society; and tasking the proposed study to define “Islamophobia in Canada.” “
    Bernie Farber, former head of Canadian Jewish Congress and now head of the Toronto-based Mosaic Institute, a diversity, peace and justice organization, says he is “baffled and stunned” by CIJA’s opposition to the motion.
    Is the lack of explicit acknowledgment of the legitimacy of criticizing religion a problem, as CIJA is suggesting? No. Parliamentary motions have no legislative force. The existing criminal code — including laws governing freedom of expression — will remain unaffected. Fogel’s claim that the motion will silence criticism by force of law is simply wrong. It may serve to dampen enthusiasm for the kind of hateful anti-Muslim demonstrations we saw in Toronto, but that is the point.
    Or perhaps the vagueness of the term ‘Islamophobia’ is a problem. Sampson calls the word “politically charged and imprecise.” Former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler, for instance, is suggesting that M-103 be amended to say “anti-Muslim bigotry.”

    #islamophobie #canada

    https://seenthis.net/messages/571850 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Kerry offered Netanyahu regional peace plan in secret 2016 summit with al-Sissi, King Abdullah - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.772531

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took part in a secret summit in Aqaba a year ago where then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented a plan for a regional peace initiative including recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a renewal of talks with the Palestinians with the support of the Arab countries.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the U.S.: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi were also present at the meeting in the Jordanian city.
    Netanyahu did not accept Kerry’s proposal and said he would have difficulty getting it approved by his governing coalition. Still, the Aqaba summit was the basis for the talks that began two weeks later between Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) on establishing a unity government.
    Details about the summit and the plan emerged from conversations between Haaretz and former senior officials in the Obama administration who asked to remain anonymous. The Prime Minister’s Bureau refused to comment.
    It was Kerry who initiated the conference. In April 2014, the peace initiative he had led collapsed, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a deep freeze and U.S. President Barack Obama declared a time-out in U.S. attempts to restart the peace process. Over the next 18 months Kerry focused on attaining an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program; an agreement was reached in July 2015 and ratified by Congress in mid-September.
    In October that year, Kerry renewed his work on the Israeli-Palestinian process following an escalation of tensions over the Temple Mount and a wave of violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
    At the end of October, Kerry was able to achieve understandings confirming the status quo on the Temple Mount by Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan. As part of these understandings, Israel and Jordan launched talks over the placement of closed-circuit cameras on the Temple Mount, an idea that was never implemented.
    Two weeks later, Netanyahu came to Washington for his first meeting with Obama in more than a year – a period when the two leaders badly clashed over the nuclear deal with Iran.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/571334 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Le Pen: French Jews will have to give up Israeli citizenship

    Leading contender in French election tells interviewer she won’t allow dual citizenships with non-European countries. Asked specifically about Jews and Israel, she said: ’Israel isn’t an EU member.’

    Roni Bar Feb 10, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.770915
    http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.770915

    In a France ruled by the far-right Marine Le Pen, Jewish citizens will be forced to give up their Israeli citizenship, the Front National party leader said on Thursday.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Jewish World: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Le Pen, a leading contender in the upcoming French presidential contest, told France 2 TV that if elected, she will not allow French citizens to hold on to any citizenship in a non-European country. When asked specifically about Israel and Jews, who form a large community in France, the Front National party leader responded: “Israel isn’t a member of the European Union, and doesn’t consider itself as such,” and therefore a dual French-Israeli citizenship will not be allowed.
    >> Israel or France? Dual citizens appalled after Le Pen says they may have to choose >>
    Le Pen said that the ban will also apply to citizens of the U.S. and North African countries, but that dual citizens of the EU and of Russia, which she said is part of she termed the “Europe of nations,” will be exempted.
    A recent poll showed Le Pen advancing to the second round of balloting in May but still losing handily to front-runner Emmanuel Marcon. Her political party, the National Front, was founded by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who routinely minimized the Holocaust.

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    The younger Le Pen has sought to move the party past her father’s controversies, but French Jewish leaders still consider the National Front anti-Semitic.
    Last week, Le Pen said French Jews should give up the wearing of yarmulkes as part of the country’s struggle to defeat radical Islam.
    In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2, Le Pen expressed support for banning the wearing of yarmulkes as part of her broader effort to outlaw religious symbols in public.
    “Honestly, the dangerous situation in which Jews in France live is such that those who walk with a kippah are in any case a minority because they are afraid,” Le Pen said, using the Hebrew word for yarmulke. “But I mainly think the struggle against radical Islam should be a joint struggle and everyone should say, ‘There, we are sacrificing something.’”
    Referring to French Jews, Le Pen added: “Maybe they will do with just wearing a hat, but it would be a step in the effort to stamp out radical Islam in France.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/569087 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • For us Jews, our Land Registry is with God - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.770356

    There’s a name for the reality in which a government that sees itself as representing only one nation determines the future of two nations and creates two separate and unequal systems.

    Amira Hass Feb 08, 2017

    They settled there in good faith; there’s a consensus on the settlement blocs; previous governments took care to build only on state land; it’s all the fault of the Palestinian law against selling land to Jews; property rights are sacred. These are few of the positions that have been tossed into the air in recent days, before and after the Knesset vote on the land expropriation law. The internal Israeli dispute created a cacophony of deceptions from both the bill’s supporters and its detractors from the center-right (Zionist Union, Yesh Atid). Both camps seemingly speak in parallel tracks that never meet, but only seemingly.
    The law’s supporters speak of good faith and of settlements without malice aforethought. If it was indeed in good faith, then how is it that the builders of the outposts have created rings upon rings of violent harassment around them and, with the aid of their private army (the Israel Defense Forces), prevent Palestinian farmers from reaching the parts of their land on which innocent mobile homes and villas have not yet been erected?
    The law’s detractors say that up to now, Israeli governments were careful not to establish settlements on privately owned land. Really? How many times do we have to repeat that this is a fiction? Beit El sits entirely on private land, as does Ofra. There are dozens more thriving settlements and outposts that were built in part or entirely on private Palestinian land that was seized for military needs – even after the Elon Moreh ruling of 1979, in which the High Court of Justice prohibited construction on privately owned land. Fertile agricultural lands were confined within the borders of settlements such as Elkana and Efrat, where they became recreation areas for Israeli walkers and lovers.
    The law’s supporters say that nowhere on earth is it impossible to purchase private land. But when British nationals buy homes in France and in Spain, it isn’t for the purpose of imposing British sovereignty.
    The law’s detractors make a distinction between state-owned land and privately owned land. A reminder: All seizure of land and construction in occupied territory, against the will of the conquered population, is illegal according to international law. The Jewish mind has come up with innumerable inventions, as the saying goes, in order to declare Palestinian-owned land as state land. Those for whom only private Palestinian ownership is sacred devalue international law and the tradition of sharing public land. They prove that to them, the Palestinians are a random collection of individuals, not a collective with historical, material and cultural rights to the area in which it was born and has lived for centuries, irrespective of any real estate classifications. The distinction between private and public, which the High Court of Justice makes with such joy, portrays the Palestinians as being entitled to live only within the crowded confines that conform to the records of the Land Registry Office. For us Jews, our Land Registry is with God.
    The law’s detractors say there’s a consensus on the settlement blocs and the land expropriation law messes things up for us abroad. Consensus? By whom? Not only the settlers but also the law’s detractors fail to count some six and a half million people, Palestinians, on either side of the Green Line (and us, a handful of Jewish Israelis). Both camps, the right and the center-right, simply do not see any problem with the fact that it is only the Jewish consensus that decides what will happen to both Jews and Arabs. After all, it’s been that way for decades, and that is the essence of the celebrated Jewish democracy.

    But yes, it is a problem. On the piece of land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea live two nations. There is a name for the reality in which a government that sees itself as representing only one nation determines the future of two nations and creates two separate and unequal systems of rights, laws and infrastructure, with the eager support of its people. It’s called apartheid – a crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and also according to a global consensus that was created over the years.

    #apartheid #palestine #israel #ICC

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  • Israel backtracks, delays vote after initially agreeing to EU program that excludes settlements - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Following Haaretz report, Israel changes course on proposal for joint culture program that would have effectively endorsed European boycott of the settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

    Barak Ravid Jan 29, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.768161

    Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev said on Sunday morning, following a report in Haaretz, that she objects to a proposal set to be brought to the cabinet on Israel joining an EU cultural initiative since it would exclude the settlements. Since then, the cabinet secretariat announced that the issue will be taken off the agenda of Sunday’s cabinet meeting. 
    Regev published her statement despite the fact that the official document on the government proposal, circulated to ministers by the Prime Minister’s Bureau on Wednesday, clearly states that she supports the move.
    The EU program, called Creative Europe, involves cooperation between EU and non-EU countries in the areas of culture and media. The significance of the proposal is that the government of Israel would in effect be agreeing to a European boycott of the settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.
    “The culture minister supports international cooperation in the field of culture. However, if the agreement with the European Union that the Foreign Ministry is proposing includes a boycott of Judea and Samaria – Minister Regev will oppose it and the Culture Ministry won’t be a party to this agreement,” the statement said, referring to the West Bank settlements.
    Regev’s office also said that she plans to turn to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is to submit the proposal in his capacity as foreign minister, clarify her opposition and ask to remove the topic from the cabinet meeting’s agenda.
    By joining the initiative, Israel would be showing its willingness to accept the exclusion of cultural institutions from the settlements in exchange for EU funding of institutions within Israel.

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  • Why Jewish leaders rally behind a Palestinian-American Women’s March organizer -

    Linda Sarsour makes no secret of her opposition to Israel and support of BDS, the women’s rights activist kept that rhetoric out of the event — to the relief of her Jewish allies.

    Debra Nussbaum Cohen
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-1.767407

    NEW YORK — When online attacks against Women’s March co-chair Linda Sarsour started this week, progressive Jews were among the first people to back her on social media.
    “Jews are some of my biggest supporters,” Sarsour told Haaretz in an interview. Sarsour, a born-and-bred Brooklynite whose parents are of Palestinian origin, directs the Arab American Association of New York, an advocacy and social services group, and is considered a rising star in city politics.
    She has for several years worked closely with groups on the far-left edge of the Jewish community, like Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. Because Sarsour is an outspoken critic of Israel and backs boycotts, divestment and sanctions, mainstream Jewish groups have long held her at arms’ length.
    But that is changing as mainstream players like Rabbi Sharon Brous of Los Angeles’ Ikar and the National Council of Jewish Women work with Sarsour on issues of shared concern, like the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., which attracted hundreds of thousands of participants on January 21. NCJW was one of dozens of partner organizations and helped ensure substantial Jewish involvement.
    Sarsour was a Women’s March national co-chair. Early Monday, politically conservative publications and figures began publicly attacking her. Their charge? That she supports Hamas and favors sharia, or Islamic religious law, because she opposes municipalities and states banning it. That, say sources, is a dog-whistle way of suggesting that someone is an ISIS-type extremist, though in many respects sharia parallels halacha, the system of Jewish law.
    First out was an article in online Front Page Mag, titled “The Anti-Semite Who Organized the ‘Women’s March on Washington,’ and the half-million lemmings who showed up in ‘solidarity.’” Front Page is part of hard-right conservative David Horowitz’s “Freedom Center School for Political Warfare,” a network that includes anti-Muslim websites “Jihad Watch” and “Truth Revolt.”

    Backed by Sanders
    That article’s allegations spurred others that quickly circulated online. But it also galvanized others to stand behind Sarsour.

    From left: Carmen Perez, Gloria Steinem and Linda Sarsour onstage during the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017Theo Wargo/AFP
    Among those tweeting their support for Sarsour are former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders — for whom Sarsour spoke as a surrogate after his final debate with Hillary Clinton — and actor Mark Ruffalo.
    So did Brous, who Sarsour invited to speak at the Women’s March in Washington D.C. They have known each other since starting as Senior Fellows at Auburn Seminary, an interfaith institution in New York, in 2015.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/564367 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli embassy official caught on camera discussing ’taking down’ British lawmakers - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.763613
    http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.763614.1483841638!/image/3746778998.PNG_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3746778998.PNG

    The official, Shai Masot, was recorded by an undercover Al-Jazeera reporter apparently discussing his wishes to engineer the downfall of several British Members of Parliament, including Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan, a supporter of a Palestinian state and outspoken critic of the Israeli settlements.

    C’est un agent russe ?

    https://seenthis.net/messages/558537 via Kassem