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  • The Palestinians who didn’t flee during the #Nakba
    Historian #Adel_Manna tells the story of the 120,000 Palestinians who remained in Israel in 1948 while 750,000 were driven out
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.813251

    Did Prime Minister David #Ben-Gurion pursue a policy or issue an order aimed at getting rid of the Muslims?

    “I am not looking for a directive or a document bearing Ben-Gurion’s signature. He addressed the subject often, and I quote his statements in the book. For example, on September 26, 1948, he declared, ‘Only one task remains for the Arabs in the Land of Israel: to flee.’ The Israeli leadership understood and also concurred that, for the Jewish state, the fewer Arabs the better. The subject was mooted already in the late 1930s. Yosef Weitz, a senior official of the Jewish National Fund, supported extensive expulsion of Arabs and advocated a population transfer. The IDF commanders at different levels knew what the leadership wanted and acted accordingly. Massacres were not perpetrated everywhere. When you shell a village or a city neighborhood, the residents flee. In the first half of 1948, at least, they believed they would be able to return. When the fighting in Haifa ended, many residents tried to return from Acre in boats, but the Haganah blocked them.”

    Does your study confirm, or prove, that ethnic cleansing took place?

    “The book’s goal is not to prove whether ethnic cleansing occurred. My disagreement with [the review of my book in Haaretz by] #Benny_Morris did not revolve around the question of ‘whether ethnic cleansing took place or not,’ but deals with the question of whether the leadership did or did not make a decision in a particular meeting to implement a policy of ethnic cleansing.” In this connection, Manna quotes Daniel Blatman’s response (Haaretz, Aug. 4) to a review of his book by Morris (Haaretz, July 29). One might think from Morris’ book, Blatman noted, that “when Ratko Mladic decided to slaughter over 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995, he made his orders public.”

    Indeed, Manna points out, “The first historian who uncovered the fact that ethnic cleansing occurred and that there were also cases of massacre, rape and expulsion was Benny Morris. He reached the conclusion that there was no [official] policy, in light of the fact that no authoritative archival documentation exists. In one village, they decided a certain way and in another, differently. Still, there is a pattern: The soldiers perpetrated another massacre and carried out another expulsion, and another #massacre and another expulsion, and no one was brought to trial. If there was no policy, why weren’t these war criminals tried?”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/631787 via Kassem


  • http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.813742?v=5257F3A2EA80186C7C9035DA447265E1

    Senator Bernie Sanders arrives to a health care bill news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. September 13, 2017.
    Senator Bernie Sanders arrives to a health care bill news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. September 13, 2017. Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
    Bernie Sanders Says He Would Cut U.S. Military Aid to Israel, Oppose Saudi Ties in Favor of Iran
    In an interview with left-wing website ’The Intercept,’ the former presidential candidate said that the U.S. is complicit in Israel’s occupation of the West Bank

    Amir Tibon

    Senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in an interview published Friday that the United States should “play a much more even-handed role” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that under certain circumstances, he would consider reducing the yearly $3.1 billion in military aid provided by the U.S. to Israel, part of a record $38 billion military aid package over the coming decade.


  • In first, Israel will penalize Amnesty International for anti-settlements campaign - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.811892

    Israel plans to punish Amnesty International for its recent campaign, which encourages people to lobby companies and governments to boycott settlement products, by denying tax benefits to Israelis who donate to the human rights organization.
    It is the first time the government will apply the so-called anti-boycott law, which penalizes organizations and individuals calling for a boycott of Israel or the settlements. The controversial law was passed in 2011.
    Free daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is widely seen as a mouthpiece of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reported in its main story Tuesday that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon has resolved to take action against Amnesty International for its summer campaign “Israel’s Occupation: 50 Years of Dispossession," marking the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The campaign urges people to call on foreign companies and governments to end their trade ties with the settlements.
    Haaretz has confirmed that representatives of the organization will be summoned to a hearing at the Finance Ministry. At press time, a spokesman for Kahlon did not respond to a request by Haaretz for comment.
    The campaign’s website states: “We want governments to stop enabling the economy that keeps these illegal settlements growing and fuels the suffering of Palestinians: and you can help.

    #Israel #Amnesty #settlements #colonies

    https://seenthis.net/messages/629250 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Why Syria hasn’t retaliated to the alleged Israeli strike

    Syria and allies practice restraint after alleged Israeli attack on missile plant

    Amos Harel Sep 10, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/.premium-1.811402

    It appears, however, that the timing isn’t convenient for sabre rattling by the Assad regime and its supporters. The regime scored an important victory last week when the Syrian army and Shi’ite militias took over Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria and drove out Islamic State fighters. Iran is explaining its active military involvement in Syria with the need to help the Assad regime, more than opening a front with Israel, while Hezbollah is playing down the assistance it receives from Iran and Syria.
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    A military retaliation against Israel could create difficulties for the parties bolstering Hezbollah. The response could come at a later stage and indirectly, like the tightening of Russian-Iranian cooperation.
    Recently, reports have said Russia will provide air defense in western Syria, mainly via S-400 missiles, for Iranian arms plants as well. As far as is known, Iran operates such facilities in Syria in coordination with the Assad regime, but so far hasn’t implemented plans to set up similar ones in Lebanon.

    Syrian soccer fans hold a portrait of President Bashar Assad before a match with Iran in a World Cup qualifier, Tehran, September 6, 2017.Vahid Salemi / AP
    On Sunday, Israel’s military will continue the large drill in the north that began last week; numerous infantry units and aircraft will be involved. The exercise, which is taking place in a Lower Galilee area that simulates Lebanon, will move this week from defense to offense. Presumably, Hezbollah and Syria will also have to take the Israeli army’s high alert into account if they’re considering a retaliation to the airstrike.
    Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said he didn’t know who attacked the plant in Syria, “but whoever it was did Israel an excellent service.”
    As Ya’alon put it, “The Russians, even if they think we did it, aren’t saying a word. There’s a hotline between our defense establishments and understandings that we won’t get in their way and they won’t get in ours. I don’t see a fear of an escalation, but we have to keep evaluating the situation.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/628537 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Stalingrad diaries: The battlefield transcripts that Stalin deemed too true to publish -

    During the most ferocious battle in human history, in 1943, Soviet historians interviewed over 200 Red Army soldiers about the fighting that helped seal Nazi Germany’s fate. Decades later, Prof. Jochen Hellbeck became the first historian to read their stories
    By Michal Shapira Sep 06, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-1.810966

    The book is based on interviews with Red Army soldiers that you found in the archives. They describe shocking violence. Can you talk about the nature of the violence?
    The interviews were recorded in Stalingrad, during the final stage of the battle and its immediate aftermath. They resonate with the din of the battlefield, and violence is everywhere in the picture. Red Army soldiers describe how they fought their way into the city center, blowing up basements and entire buildings filled with Germans after at least some of them refused to lay down their arms. What becomes very clear is the extent to which the Soviet defenders were driven by hatred toward the Germans. In the interviews I was surprised to discover the source of this hatred.
    Take Vassily Zaitsev, the famed sniper at Stalingrad, who killed 242 enemy soldiers over the course of the battle, until he suffered an eye injury, in January 1943. Asked by the historians about what motivated him to keep fighting to the point of exhaustion and beyond, he talked about scenes he had personally witnessed: of German soldiers dragging a woman out of the rubble, presumably to rape her, while he helplessly listened to her screams for help. [Quoting Zaitsev]: “Or another time you see young girls, children hanging from trees in the park. Does that get to you? That has a tremendous impact.”
    German atrocities, which many Soviet soldiers were familiar with, certainly played an important role in mobilizing them to fight, and fight hard. There was in addition ample violence within the Red Army, perpetrated against soldiers who were unwilling to risk their lives. In his interview, Gen. Vassily Chuikov described how he shot several commanders, as their soldiers watched in line formation, for retreating from the enemy without permission.

    Maj. Gen. Ivan Burmakov and Lt. Col. Leonid Vinokur, two of the Russian officers interviewed after the Battle of Stalingrad. Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad
    Until your book came out in Russian translation, in 2015, these interviews had never been published. Why is that?
    The testimonies were too truthful and multifaceted for their times, and Stalin forbade their publication, not least because he alone claimed full credit for the victory at Stalingrad. Little changed after Stalin’s death. Yes, leading generals of the Stalingrad battle, like Chuikov, were able to publish accounts of their role in the battle, but they carefully omitted any reference to executions within the Red Army. In his memoirs, Chuikov writes that he issued “a sharp rebuke” to his cowardly officers.
    Archival documentation tells me that at least some Soviet historians read the interviews, but it seems that they were at a loss about how to integrate individual, “subjective” voices, as they called them, into a mandated “objective” (communist) history of the war, and so the documents were overlooked and forgotten. I was extraordinarily lucky to have been the first historian to fully explore the 215 interviews conducted with Soviet defenders of Stalingrad, and publish them. I found them in the archive of the Institute for Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
    ‘Edge of Europe’
    Who was conducting the interviews and why? Who were the interviewees of these “Stalingrad transcripts”?

    Josef Stalin in 1950. AP
    The interviews were conducted by historians from Moscow who responded to the German invasion in 1941 with a plan to document the Soviet war effort in its totality, and from the ground up. From 1942 to 1945, they interviewed close to 5,000 people – most of them soldiers, but also partisans, civilians who worked in the war economy or fought in the underground, and Soviet citizens who had survived Nazi occupation. These historians hoped that the published interviews would mobilize readers for the war. They also wanted to create an archival record for posterity. I was struck by how they made this decision as early as fall 1941, when the Soviet Union seemed to be teetering under the German assault. But the historians drew confidence from history, notably the War of 1812, when the Russian people had been able to defeat a technologically superior invader. Hitler, they were certain, would meet Napoleon’s end.
    Why did Stalingrad become important to the Nazis and the Soviets in 1942? In what way was it a battle that changed world history?
    When the Germans resumed their offensive, in spring 1942, their strategic target was the oil fields of the Caucasus. Only as Army Group South advanced toward Maikop and Grozny did Hitler order a separate attack on Stalingrad. He banked on the psychological blow that the fall of “Stalin’s city,” which is what Stalingrad literally means, would deliver to Stalin. It was largely because of its symbolic charge that the battle for Stalingrad turned into a decisive showdown between the two regimes.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/628196 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Trump and Putin are the real targets of Israel’s alleged strike in Syria -

    Exceptional strike, attributed to Israel, signals Netanyahu can disrupt a ceasefire in Syria if Israel’s security interests are ignored ■ Incident comes amid anti-Hezbollah war game

    Amos Harel Sep 08, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.811078

    The weapons manufacturing plant that occurred early Thursday morning in western Syria is a site clearly identified with the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The exceptional attack, which foreign media are attributing to the Israel Air Force, appears to be a message to the world powers that maintain a prominent aerial presence in the area. Over the past two years, Russia has invested huge efforts in saving and rehabilitating the Syrian president.
    The bombing is not routine, either in its target or its timing. In an interview with Haaretz last month, outgoing air force chief Amir Eshel said that over the past five years, the air force had launched attacks on the northern military theater and on other fronts.
    But most of these forays were designed to quell efforts to strengthen Hezbollah and other terrorist and guerrilla groups. This time, according to Syrian reports, the target was a government one – a missile production facility run by the Assad regime – rather than another Hezbollah weapons convoy destined for Lebanon. 
    >> Analysis: Israel Just Shot Itself in the Foot
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    Over the past year, senior Israelis have highlighted their concerns following the wide steps taken by the Iranians to try and enlarge and upgrade the supply of precision missiles in Hezbollah’s possession. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi have all made reference to this in public appearances. 
    For several years now, Hezbollah has maintained a huge weapons arsenal, containing between 100,000 and 130,000 missiles and rockets (according to various estimates). If the proportion of precision missiles is increased and their precision improved, that could enable the organization to inflict more devastating damage to the Israeli home front in a war.
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    In accordance with its declared policy, Israel is acting to prevent Hezbollah improving the quality of its weapons. The chaos the Syrian civil war has caused, during which serious damage has been inflicted on the capabilities of Assad’s army, has seemingly made this easier for Israel. Syria has for years been a no-man’s-land that no one has controlled. That changed with the arrival of the Russians two years ago. 
    According to foreign media, the deployment of Russian squadrons in northwest Syria since September 2015 hasn’t entirely halted the Israeli attacks. But the strategic reality has become more complicated. The prime Russian interest is the survival of the Assad regime. For Moscow, it is important to show that the regime is stable and that Russia is the party dictating what takes place in Syria. The attack on the facility – the Syrian Scientific Researchers Center – undermines that image, and could concern the Russians.
    skip - Shehab News Agency tweet

    The timing of the action attributed to Israel is sensitive. At the end of July, in a Russia-led effort, the Assad regime reached a partial cease-fire with Syrian rebel groups. Although the fighting has continued in various regions, its intensity has declined in many places. The United States, whose interest in Syria has been on the decline, acceded to the Russian initiative. 
    Washington and Moscow also failed to heed Israeli protests that the agreement to reduce friction in southern Syria failed to require Iran and allied militias to steer clear of the Golan Heights.
    Consequently, the attack attributed to Israel – the first to be reported since the agreement was reached – may be interpreted as an Israeli signal of sorts to the world powers: You still need to take our security interests into account; we’re capable of disrupting the process of a future settlement in Syria if you insist on leaving us out of the picture. 
    Since the attacks attributed to Israel began in January 2012, the Assad regime has shown restraint in the vast majority of cases, other than in one incident in March this year when missiles were fired at Israeli planes after an attack near the town of Palmyra in eastern Syria. One missile was intercepted by an Arrow missile over Israel.
    At first, the Syrian regime totally ignored most of the attacks. At later stages, it would accuse Israel and sometimes even threaten a response, but it didn’t follow through. The reason is clear: The damage sustained by the regime from the responses was marginal compared to the harm to civilians in the civil war, and the last thing President Bashar Assad wanted was to drag Israel into the war and tip the balance in the rebels’ favor.
    Israel will have to see how recent developments are received in Moscow, Washington and Tehran. The response won’t necessarily come immediately.

    Syrian President Bashar Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting in Moscow, October 2015.AP
    Russia is not hostile to Israel but, above all, it looks after itself and Assad. The Russians will also take the consequences on countries in other areas into account, as well as its tangled relations with the United States – which has been acting as a present-absent party in the Middle East for a long time now.
    This comes against the backdrop, beginning Tuesday this week, of a large Israeli military exercise based on a war scenario with Hezbollah. In fact, Israel is taking pains to declare that the exercise was planned nearly a year in advance and that it has no warlike intentions. But the fact that the exercise was carried out has raised the anxiety threshold among Hezbollah’s leaders.
    Al-Manar, the Hezbollah television station, declared Wednesday that Hezbollah isn’t worried about a war. That’s very inaccurate. To a great extent, Hezbollah, like Israel, is worried about a war and would prefer to avoid one – but in the Middle East things sometimes happen when you don’t exactly intend them.
    The early morning attack came exactly 10 years and a day after the bombing of the North Korean nuclear facility in eastern Syria, which U.S. President George W. Bush and others attributed to Israel. Last time (and then too, by the way, an attack came during a major exercise by the air force) a war was averted. That’s the hope this time too.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/628197 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel-Palestine. Trump is wasting his envoys’ time - Haaretz Editorial

    Another round of pointless visits to Israel and the PA and empty words that we’ve heard endless times before will not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Haaretz Editorial Aug 28, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.809457

    The visit to the Middle East of a delegation from Washington, led by U.S. President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, was met by complete apathy in Israel, from both the political establishment and from the public and the media. So, too, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting with Kushner. After the meeting on Thursday, the two men thanked each other for the “effort” and reiterated the mutual American and Israeli “commitment” to “peace.”
    This indifference to the visit by both right and left is understandable. After all, “efforts,” “commitment” and “peace” are nice words, but they aren’t enough to convince anyone that there’s something substantial on the negotiating table.
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is also frustrated by America’s behavior. “I’ve met with [Donald] Trump’s envoys around 20 times since the beginning of his term as U.S. president,” said Abbas. “Every time they repeatedly stressed to me how much they believe and are committed to a two-state solution and a halt to construction in the settlements. I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they refrained. They said they would consider it but then they didn’t get back to me.”
    Abbas’ frustration is also understandable. Another round of pointless visits and empty words that we’ve heard endless times before will not resolve the conflict. It may be fine for those who want to merely manage the conflict and are satisfied with just preserving the security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but it’s not enough for anyone seeking a peace agreement or who dreams of two states for two peoples.
    Anyone who follows Netanyahu’s declarations can discern that even he has stopped believing in Trump’s commitment to a political agreement. Otherwise he wouldn’t have allowed himself to express his hawkish views on the Palestinian issue as he did at a rally two weeks ago, at which he declared his opposition to a Palestinian state and to any withdrawal from the West Bank.
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    If Trump is indeed interested in advancing “the ultimate deal” or a “peace deal” in the Middle East, as he claimed immediately upon being elected, he must back this declaration of intent with real demands from both sides and with a public presentation of an outline agreement, including a map.
    Meanwhile, the U.S. administration hasn’t even expressed public support for a settlement freeze. Trump has been president for less than a year, but the conflict is old, as is the peace “process.” The time for processes is over. It’s time to act. If Trump isn’t capable of doing so, he shouldn’t waste his envoys’ time.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/625329 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Revealed: Nearly 3,500 settlement homes built on private Palestinian land

    These illegal structures could be legalized under Israel’s contentious ’land-grab’ law, whose validity is now being determined by the High Court of Justice

    Yotam Berger Aug 23, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.808442

    There are 3,455 residential and public buildings built on private Palestinian lands in the West Bank, according to Civil Administration data. These illegal structures could be legalized under the expropriation law, whose validity is now being determined by the High Court of Justice in response to Palestinian petitions against the law.
    Extensive details on the scope of illegal structures on private Palestinian land were revealed in an appendix to the state’s response to the petitions.
    The law allows the state to expropriate Palestinian lands on which settlements or outposts were built “in good faith or at the state’s instruction,” and deny its owners the right to use those lands until there is a diplomatic resolution of the status of the territories. The measure provides a mechanism for compensating Palestinians whose lands are seized.
    According to the Civil Administration, the 3,455 structures fall into three categories. The first includes 1,285 structures that are clearly private land. These are structures built during the past 20 years on land that was never defined as state land and all have had demolition orders issued against them. The second category comprises 1,048 structures that were built on private land that had earlier been erroneously designated state land. The third category contains 1,122 structures that were built more than 20 years ago, during a period when planning laws were barely enforced in the West Bank.
    The structures on clearly private land are within the jurisdictions or adjacent to the jurisdictions of 74 settlements throughout the West Bank. Of these, 874 are in outposts – small, illegal satellites of larger settlements. One example would be the Tzur Shalem outpost near Karmei Tzur in the Etzion Bloc. Amona, which was evacuated in February, was another example. The other 411 are individual structures that were built on enclaves of private land within various legal settlements that were planned in accordance with Israeli law.
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    Of the 1,285 structures built on clearly private land, 543 are built on what the Civil Administration calls “regularized private land,” meaning lands whose owners are known and whose ownership is formally registered. The other homes are built on lands recognized as private after aerial photos proved that these lands had been cultivated over the years, but there is no definitive registry of who was cultivating them. Cultivating land establishes ownership in the West Bank in accordance with the Ottoman-era laws that still prevail there.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/624046 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • In blow to Iran, Egypt becomes surprise new player in Syria - Syria - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/.premium-1.808039

    A new and surprising player has recently entered the Syrian arena and has already contributed to establishing local cease-fires: Egypt received Saudi and Russian “permission” to conduct negotiations between the rebel militias and the regime, both in Ghouta al-Sharqiya (east of Damascus) and the northern neighborhoods in the city of Homs. In both cases, it managed to get a cease-fire deal signed – in the former on July 22, in the latter in early August.
    Both areas are part of the de-escalation zones on which Russia, Turkey and Iran agreed in May, in consultation with the United States. But this is the first time Egypt has played an active role in diplomatic negotiations between the warring parties that produced positive results.
    From Israel’s standpoint, Egypt’s involvement is important. Any country engaged in blocking Iran’s influence in Syria serves Israel’s interests. But that’s especially true when said country is Egypt, which is Israel’s partner in the war on terror in Sinai and an ally (together with Saudi Arabia and Jordan) with whom it sees eye to eye about both the Iranian threat and the danger of Syria disintegrating into cantons.
    Israel is also involved in discussions about the de-escalation zone in southern Syria that runs along Syria’s borders with both Israel and Jordan. Over the weekend, an Israeli delegation headed by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen began talks on the issue with senior U.S. officials in Washington, and a meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    During these discussions, Israel will presumably push the superpowers to encourage Egypt’s involvement in Syria, thereby ensuring another Arab partner (alongside Jordan) that will be sympathetic to its interests.

    #Egypte #Syrie

    https://seenthis.net/messages/623488 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The Hebrew neo-Nazis -
    By Gideon Levy | Aug. 20, 2017 | 4:43 AM
    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807833
    http://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.807887.1503206589!/image/3652053350.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3652053350.jpg

    Why Israelis are remaining silent about U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments about ’many fine people’ taking part in the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville

    Israel has no moral right to judge U.S. President Donald Trump over his forgiving remarks about the neo-Nazis in his country. First, Israel wasn’t really shocked by what he said. After all, it is willing to accept anything from anyone who supports the Israeli occupation. That’s axiomatic at this point. Whether it’s a Hungarian fascist or an American neo-Nazi, as long as they support the occupation – even if they secretly hate Jews – they are considered friends of Israel and moral people.

    The best of the “friends of Israel” today are fascists and evangelicals, xenophobes and Islamophobes. What’s most important is that they support the occupation. It’s only opponents of the occupation who are anti-Semites, and we will mount a special effort to combat them. We will forgive everyone else.

    But there is also another reason for Israelis’ silence. It recalls the Yiddish saying about betrayal of one’s own guilt – that the thief thinks his hat is on fire. Neo-Nazis? We have a lot of our own “Made in Israel,” Hebrew equivalents of neo-Nazis, and the opposition to them in Israel is less than to neo-Nazis in the United States. A resolute counter-demonstration was organized by liberals in the face of the march in Charlottesville. What about here?

    The sacred symmetry that Trump tried to create between attacker and attacked, between assailant and defender, between incitement and protest, between justice and evil – that was invented in Israel. Here we have the occupier and the occupied, a violent and at times even murderous right wing and a left wing that has never murdered, but they are deemed comparable.

    Any assault by settlement thugs on Palestinian farmers on their own land is deemed a “clash.” Any Palestinian protest against the violence of the occupier is considered a “disturbance of the peace.” It’s a symmetrical brawl between the two peoples’ shepherds. After all, there are good and bad people among the settlers – just as Trump said with regard to his “alt-right.”

    The Israeli alt-right is not neo-Nazi. But a thousand neo-Nazi flowers bloom on its margins that no one thinks about weeding out. Fascism in Israel has long been accepted. Neo-Nazis haven’t, but the distinction between the two is vague. If the extremist Lehava organization isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If Beitar Jerusalem’s La Familia fan group isn’t neo-Nazi, what is? If the firebombing of the Dawabsheh family home in the West Bank village of Duma and the kidnapping and murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir aren’t neo-Nazi acts, what are? And what about the Arabic-language highway sign near the settlement of Halamish declaring: “This area is under the control of the Jews. The entry of Arabs is forbidden and constitutes a risk to your life!”

    The flag parade by Jews on Jerusalem Day is a state-sponsored neo-Nazi provocation, like the Purim rioting in Hebron. The Jewish community in Hebron is in essence neo-Nazi. Go see, judge for yourself. And the pools and Jewish communities along the way that are closed to Arabs? What will they do to any Arab who breaks the rules and sneaks into the Jewish swimming pool in Kochav Ya’ir – an Israeli community of people from the virtuous center-left, where a majority of voters support the enlightened Yesh Atid and Zionist Union parties? And what will they do in the Galilee community of Nofit if Arabs build houses there after expansion plans? After all, it’s not hard for us to imagine these people on the Zionist left objecting, even using unpleasant means, to Arabs coming into their communities.

    The plan for surrender proposed by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) is neo-Nazi, despite all his protests. Among the three options he would provide to the Palestinians, there isn’t even one that is humane – and the third calls for their expulsion and destruction. What else do we need? And his wife’s objection to giving birth in the same room as a woman of the inferior race is also neo-Nazi.

    Social media is full of frightful neo-Nazi statements – from wishing for the death of every dying Palestinian child, to similar wishes to those who tell the children’s stories. You cannot write this off as just as “a handful of deviants.” That, too, is the spirit of the times.

    We cannot ignore the sentiments in this country, where there is a policy of organized and institutionalized racism against African asylum seekers. Pre-fascist sentiments are taking hold here – with manifestations of state-sponsored neo-Nazism – more than in any other Western country.

    In the West, most contemptuous efforts are directed against foreigners. In Israel, they are directed mostly against the people who are native to the country. Complaining about Trump? That would already be the height of hypocrisy.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/623322 via Loutre


  • Europe must not buy what Israel is selling to combat terror
    Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry, and is now selling the concept of a police state to the world

    Jeff Halper Aug 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807941

    Whenever a terrorist attack happens such as the one last week in Barcelona, Israel politicians and security “experts” get on TV to criticize European naïvité. If only they understood terrorism as we do and took the preventive measures we do, they say, they would suffer far less attacks. Most infamous in this regard were the remarks of Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz after the Brussels bombing in March 2016, in which 34 people died.
    Rather than convey his condolences in the name of the Israeli government, he scolded the Belgians in the most patronizing way possible. “If in Belgium they continue to eat chocolate, enjoy life and parade as great liberals and democrats while not taking account of the fact that some of the Muslims who are there are organizing acts of terror,” he pronounced, “they will not be able to fight against them.”
    The Belgians reacted angrily, and asserted the position of most European governments: While we will continue to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions, we are not going to forsake our freedoms and political openness to become copies of Israel. For they understand that Netanyahu’s government is peddling something far more insidious than mere precautions – even more than the weapons, surveillance and security systems and models of population control that is the bread-and-butter of Israeli exports. What Israel is urging onto the Europeans – and Americans, Canadians, Indians, Mexicans, Australians and anyone else who will listen – is nothing less than an entirely new concept of a state, the Security State. 
    What is a Security State? Essentially, it is a state that places security above all else, certainly above democracy, due process of law and human rights, all of which it considers “liberal luxuries” in a world awash in terrorism. Israel presents itself, no less, than the model for countries of the future. You Europeans and others should not be criticizing us, say Katz and Netanyahu, you should be imitating us. For look at what we have done. We have created a vibrant democracy from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River that provides its citizens with a flourishing economy and personal security – even though half the population of that country are terrorists (i.e., non-citizen Palestinians living in isolated enclaves of the country). If we can achieve that, imagine what we can offer those of you threatened by terrorist attacks?
    In a brilliant shift in imaging, Israel has managed to turn 50 years of Palestinian resistance to occupation into a cottage industry. By labeling it “terrorism,” it has not only delegitimized the Palestinian struggle but has transformed the occupied territories in a laboratory of counterinsurgency and population control, the cutting edges of both foreign wars and domestic repression. It has transformed tactics of control and their accompanying weapons of surveillance systems into marketable products. No wonder, as Netanyahu constantly reminds us, “the world” loves Israel. From China to Saudi Arabia, from India to Mexico, from Eritrea to Kazakhstan, Israel supplies the means by which repressive regimes control their restless peoples.

    #Europe #Israel #terror

    https://seenthis.net/messages/623383 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • This Israeli mixed Arab-Jewish city is in denial
    Nearly a quarter of the residents in Upper Nazareth, founded as a Jewish suburb of the Arab city below, are now Arab – yet it doesn’t have a single Arab school or Arabic on the municipality website
    By Noa Shpigel Aug 20, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.807855

    Four years ago, leaflets were distributed around Upper Nazareth calling for an end to the application of the law allowing Israelis to live wherever they wanted. “Now is the time to defend our home!” the flyers declared. They were part of Upper Nazareth Mayor Shimon Gapso’s 2013 election campaign and were accompanied by billboards declaring “Upper Nazareth – Jewish forever.”
    Gapso won the election, although his term was cut short after he was jailed following a bribery conviction. His electoral pledge wasn’t the first on the subject. A year earlier, the chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party in city hall tried to initiate a plan that would have provided grants to Arab residents who sold their homes to Jews and then left Upper Nazareth. In fact, a decade ago, Gapso initiated a competition to choose a new name for the city so it didn’t sound like Nazareth – the Arab city in northern Israel it was established next to.
    Nevertheless, over the past decade there has been a substantial increase in the Arab population of Upper Nazareth: in 2015 the Central Bureau of Statistics said that 23.1 percent of the city’s residents were Arab. Yet there is a lack of recognition of the city’s diversity. By contrast, in Haifa – which is considered a mixed Jewish-Arab city – Arab residents comprise only 11 percent of the population.
    Haifa, though, has a different history and different customs. In the northern coastal city, there is no attempt to counter the statistics. In Upper Nazareth, there are more than 2,000 Arab schoolchildren but not a single Arab school, where Arabic would be the language of instruction. And, also unlike Haifa, there are no Christian or Muslim religious institutions - not even a cemetery.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/623384 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Les foudres de Donald Trump menacent le département d’État
    http://orientxxi.info/magazine/proche-orient-le-departement-d-etat-americain-reduit-au-role-de-figurant

    Le projet de budget 2018 de l’administration Trump prévoit une importante réduction de l’aide économique et militaire aux pays étrangers. Le Congrès réprouve, tandis que le département d’État, dans le collimateur de la Maison Blanche, pourrait voir son rôle et ses moyens considérablement restreints. Notamment au #Proche-Orient, où sa volonté de rester "neutre" dans le conflit entre les pays du Golfe se heurte aux déclarations à l’emporte-pièce du président américain en faveur de l’Arabie saoudite. « (...)

    #Magazine

    / Proche-Orient, #Qatar, #Diplomatie, #Relations_bilatérales, #Nationalisme, #Arabie_saoudite, #États-Unis, Aide (...)

    #Aide_financière
    « http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.805656 »
    « https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/06/us/politics/rex-tillerson-state-department.html?ref=todayspaper »
    « http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/08/04/why-has-rex-tillerson-belly-flopped-as-secretary-of-state »
    « http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/31/how-the-trump-administration-broke-the-state-department »


  • An Israeli Arab’s encounter with Jaffa’s finest

    ‘You’re suspected of stealing a motorcycle,’ one of the cops said as he beat me. I told him I owned the bike and I was the one who’d called the police, but he kept calling me ‘Mohammed” and two other cops started kicking me.

    Michael Mansour Aug 18, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.807516

    You never know how an evening might turn out that begins with an intimate dinner along the Israeli sea. The Manta Ray restaurant, located where Tel Aviv and Jaffa meet, was full on that Sunday evening three weeks ago, as it always is, with the elegant, international clientele that frequents it. The fish that I ordered was delicious and the atmosphere was serene. There was no hint I would end the evening wallowing in my own blood, humiliated and in restraints.
    Because I had drunk a little over dinner and the sun had not yet set, I decided to take a walk on the seafront promenade and leave my motorcycle at the restaurant, which I had driven there. A short time later I got a call from a friend who works there. “Michael, listen,” he said. “Your motorcycle isn’t here. I think it’s been stolen.”
    Because I was no longer near the restaurant, I called my brother, Peter, and asked him to go to Manta Ray. He rushed to the area and after talking to several passersby, told me that some of them had seen people dragging the motorcycle away.
    In the past, every time the pampered cats that hang around outside the café that I own in an expensive, mixed Arab-Jewish part of Jaffa spread themselves out on my motorcycle, I would get a notification from my alarm company. But this time, even though the cycle was dragged a considerable distance, I never heard from them. I called the company to notify them of the theft, but a short time later I was pleased to be informed that Peter had already found it — thrown on a sidewalk. My helmet was missing.
    I grabbed a cab and called the police to let them know that the motorcycle had been found, and I asked that they come to take fingerprints. It was already dark when I saw three men in civilian clothes approach me. In truth, I didn’t attach any particular importance to them. My sights were set in the distance, looking to see if the police were getting close.
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    The three men came closer and one of them started rushing at me. With great force, he knocked me to the ground, turned me over and handcuffed me. He identified himself as a policeman and started punching me in the back. Three or four other men showed up suddenly behind my brother, who was standing closer to the motorcycle. They pounced on him, handcuffed him and started hitting him. One of the men also called for reinforcements.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/622968 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • How America’s most controversial ’non-Zionist’ comic sparked outrage with his new ’bigoted’ book on Diaspora Jews

    Eli Valley’s goal with ’Diaspora Boy’ is to energize a ’besieged Jewish left’: ’We’ve been told we’re self-haters and Jewishly ignorant, and my book says, enough of that shit’

    Debra Nussbaum Cohen Aug 15,
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/features/1.806807

    NEW YORK – Eli Valley’s book is hard to read. His comics are dense and intense, a bloody steak compared to the amuse-bouches of The New Yorker’s single-panel witticisms. But, like after eating a steak, reading Valley’s “Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel” leaves you feeling sated. And maybe a bit nauseous.
    The dozens of cartoons Valley includes in the soft-cover, large-format book, which is out August 31 and includes a forward by political commentator Peter Beinart, are sardonic and ironic. Valley’s commentaries on contemporary Zionism as taught by the American Jewish establishment are bitter, not amusing. “I consider comics to be activism,” he told Haaretz in a recent interview.
    Valley takes aim at the Jewish world’s sacred cows, including American organizational leaders like Abe Foxman and Malcolm Hoenlein, tycoon Sheldon Adelson and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Since 2007 his cartoons have been published in outlets ranging from Jewcy and +972 Magazine to The Village Voice, Gawker and The New Republic. He was The Forward’s artist-in-residence from 2011 to 2013.
    Though in person an affable presence, Valley uses a pointed poison pen to create cartoons that are “alarming. Stark. Like a car accident you can’t look away from,” as Eddy Portnoy, a senior researcher and curator at YIVO in Manhattan, put it in an interview.
    To Portnoy, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on Yiddish comics, Valley’s comics resemble the Yiddish political cartoons that flourished from the late 19th century through the 1960s. “His work is really compelling,” Portnoy told Haaretz. “It’s a type of criticism that hasn’t existed since the advent of Yiddish political cartooning which was intensely communal, and extremely critical in similar ways to Eli’s.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/622471 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • More Israelis left Israel than moved back in six year record - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    16,700 left and 8,500 came back in 2015, in first year since 2009 that more Israelis exited than returned

    Lior Dattel Aug 15, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.806869

    After years of a decline in the numbers of Israelis leaving the country for an extended period, the trend reversed itself in 2015 and for the first time since 2009 the number of leavers grew. 
    Approximately 16,700 Israelis left the country to live overseas on a long-term basis in 2015, mostly with their families, while only about 8,500 returned after living abroad for at least a year, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday. 
    The latest figures for the immigration balance are for 2015 because the statistics bureau figures for immigration only include Israelis who have lived outside of Israel for a continuous period of one year or more, so they have to wait a full year to do the calculations. 
    The year 2015 also saw the lowest number of Israelis returning home any time in the past 12 years. The numbers of those returning has been steadily decreasing since 2012. 
    Among those leaving, in 2015 the average age was 27.6 years and 53% were male. Among returnees, the average age was a slightly older 29.8 and 55% were male. Nearly two thirds of the returnees had been abroad for no more than three years.
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    The latest CBS figures show that two Israelis out of a 1,000 leave Israel to live overseas for an extended period, while only one out of 1,000 return.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/622472 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The wall of insanity -

    Israel has opted for another wall, this time around Gaza. Israel will pay for it

    Gideon Levy Aug 13, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.806489

    The next time a cap gun is fired or a toy balloon is launched at Israel from the Gaza Strip, the army will start building a steel dome over the Strip to prevent it. The ceiling will also cut off the territory from the sky. After all, we’re talking about national security. When the first crack forms, and another balloon is launched or cap gun fired, the defense establishment will proceed to the next phase: flooding the Gaza Strip with water until it is completely submerged. After all, we’re talking about Israeli security.
    Until that happens — the plans have already been drawn up — the modest, hard-up Israeli army is making do with smaller measures: It’s building a new “barrier” around the Strip, the father of all the fences and the mother of all the walls with which Israel is surrounding itself, six meters high and reaching tens of meters underground. Israel is becoming a state with a wall at its heart: There’s nothing it likes more than to surround itself.
    History is replete with megalomaniacal rulers who built palaces. For now, Israeli megalomania settles for walls. The separation barrier and the border fence, the Good Fence on the Lebanese border and the bad fence, the entire country is fences. Just give defense officials an excuse and they will surround us with a fence costing billions. For that, money can always be found.
    The fence of horrors on the Egyptian border to keep out African refugees and the separation wall facing barefoot residents of the Deheisheh refugee camp in the West Bank. Now it’s the turn of the Gaza border fence to stop tunnels from being dug under the fence that it is replacing. Next thing you know, there will be an electronic fence around the Israeli-Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, in response to the terrorism emanating from there as well.
    The chief of the Southern Command made the announcement, the military correspondents quoted him slavishly and Israel responded with either a yawn or a Yes!. The method is tried and true: First you create a demon (the tunnels); then you find it a megalomaniacal solution. And there you have it, another $800 million Zionist project, to be built by workers from Moldova and asylum seekers from Africa. There we have it: another wall.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/622095 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel: Courageous selfishness -

    Those who refuse to serve in the army spare themselves the experience of jolting awake one morning with the realization that they were directly involved in a crime

    Amira Hass Aug 09, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.805852

    Military prison can be a place worthy of esteem and pride, when the reason for incarceration is refusal to become a soldier. This is particularly true when the person imprisoned is openly refusing to take part in the well-oiled machine of dispossession and oppression of millions of people.
    On Monday, Hadas Tal of Kibbutz Yifat in the Jezreel Valley joined the too-meager list of Israel’s conscientious objectors: 10 in 2016 and the same number expected this year. (There are more who don’t wish to take part in the occupation, whom the army quietly exempts from service.)
    “Enlistment is not a neutral act,” Tal wrote in a Facebook post explaining her actions. “Actually, if you think about it, enlistment is more political than conscientious objection.” How accurate. Participation in denying another people’s freedom is a clearly political act. Even when you are just 18 years old.
    Refusal to serve in the army of the occupation is a selfish act. The conscientious objectors spare themselves the experience of jolting awake one morning at age 24 or 30, with the realization that they were directly involved in a crime. Minor or serious. They won’t have to soothe their conscience, repress feelings or recite justifications. They may also be sparing themselves from the discomfort of having to stand trial, locally or abroad, when the era of impunity finally comes to an end, or from painful revelations in something like a “truth and reconciliation committee.”
    The parents who with full knowledge send their sons and daughters to persecute and expel people from their land, as they themselves did 20 or 30 years ago, are not altruists. They are very selfish: They’re thinking about the prestige, about the career boost that military background provides, about the shame they would feel if their child didn’t follow in this set path. They know that the chances are very good that their child will return safely from his or her service. The high-tech Israel Defense Forces knows how to kill thousands without being killed. But this is selfishness that sustains injustice and nurtures privilege. Unlike the selfishness of the conscientious objectors that seeks to break the Israeli-settler pattern.
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    “I am refusing to serve in order to oppose a system that looks after the interests of small groups of people and not of all Israelis. The army is one of the most prominent, destructive and violent arms of this system. The main role of this system is to maintain the occupation,” Tal wrote.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/621460 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel: The Cluster-Bomb Nation

    The cluster bombs are aimed mainly at densely populated areas. There they can kill most effectively. That’s why the Israeli army wants them.

    Gideon Levy Aug 10, 2017
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.806016

    Israel wants to kill as many innocent people as possible. Under no circumstances does it want to belong to the community of enlightened nations. There is no other way to understand Gili Cohen’s chilling report (Monday’s Haaretz) that the defense establishment decided to prefer an Israeli-made cannon that has yet to be completed to a German one, merely to sidestep the international ban on cluster bombs.
    More than 100 states signed the international treaty banning the use of cluster bombs; Israel, as usual, isn’t one of them. What has Israel to do with international treaties, international law, international organizations – it’s all one big unnecessary nuisance. Israel’s fellow rejectionists are, as usual, Russia, Pakistan, China, India and of course the United States, the world’s greatest spiller of blood since World War II. This is the company Israel wants to keep, the club it belongs to.
    Cluster bombs are an especially barbarous weapon, a bomb that turns into countless bomblets, spreading over a wide area, killing and wounding indiscriminately. They sometimes explode years after were fired. The world was appalled and disgusted by such a weapon of mass destruction, and for good reason. The world – but not Israel. We’re a special case, as is commonly known. We’re allowed to do anything. Why? Because we can.
    This has been proved. We used cluster bombs in the Second Lebanon War and the world was silent. We also use flechettes, unmercifully. In 2002 I saw a soccer field in Gaza hit by IDF flechette shells, which spray thousands of potentially lethal metal darts. All the children playing on it had been hit.
    Another time I saw the thousands of darts sprayed by the flechette shells stuck into the walls of houses in Gaza. It wasn’t hard to imagine what those darts did to people’s bodies.
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    Flechettes are also banned in the world but permitted to Israel. Why? Perhaps because we’re the Chosen People, perhaps because we’re allowed to do anything. We fight for our desperate, precarious existence, flimsy leaf in the wind that we are, so we’re allowed to use cluster bombs, flechettes, white phosphorus, you name it. We are, after all, fighting for our survival against the advanced army of the Republic of Gaza and the terrifying divisions of the West Bank armies. We’re pitted against the Balata air force and the Deheisheh naval fleet, and above all against “the appalling brutality” of the Palestinians. So we need weapons, as many as possible, with no restrictions.

    The cluster bombs sowed shocking mayhem and destruction in Kosovo, Laos, Afghanistan and Iraq. Israel wants to do the same. The killing fields in the next war for the occupation, which will certainly come, will be like the killing fields in Laos, thanks to the cluster bombs fired by the new, sacred Israeli-made cannon. Otherwise, why do we need cluster bombs? Don’t we have enough regulation weapons in our arsenal? The cluster bombs are aimed mainly at densely populated areas. There they can kill most effectively. That’s why the IDF wants them.
    The next time you use the argument that the whole world is against us and the criticism and animosity against Israel don’t stem from its actions – remember the cluster bomb. Israel is excluding itself with its own hands from the family of nations, joining the most brutal states, flouting international decisions – and then moaning that the world hates it for no reason. The next time you think of the IDF, the most moral army in the world, think about the cluster bomb.
    The cluster bomb affair is no less atrocious than the submarines affair, yet sparks no interest in Israel. The submarines are money, state witnesses and suspects. It’s sexy to deal with them. The cluster bomb concerns the lives of innocent people, and who cares about that?
    The submarines are the corruption, which the nation is against. The cluster bomb is the arrogant, ongoing disregard for international law, which doesn’t interest anyone in this country. That same defense establishment, rotten to the core, is behind both deals – corruption of one kind in the submarines case, and corruption of another kind in the cluster bombs case. But the defense establishment can calm down. Nobody will be put on trial for using cluster bombs.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/621463 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli army buying local cannons to sidestep international ban on cluster bombs - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.805662

    The Israeli army will soon put into use new artillery cannons purchased from local defense company Elbit rather than a German firm over concerns that the latter would restrict the cannons from firing cluster bombs.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the IDF: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    The use of cluster bombs is banned by an international treaty signed by more than 100 countries, including Germany, because of the high rate of civilian casualties and injuries associated with them. According to a now-retired Israel Defense Forces officer familiar with the matter, Israel was concerned that the Germans would not give the army the “complete independence” it sought in the use of the cannons. In light of this, the Defense Ministry recommended purchasing Israeli cannons, without inviting bids.
    The South Korean firm Hanwha Techwin was also approached but ultimately rejected because the cannons it manufactures are semi-automatic, while the Artillery Corps wants an automatic weapon that has a faster firing rate and requires a smaller team to operate.
    Cluster bombs cause extensive damage because they release a large number of bomblets and unexploded ordnance. Israel’s wide-ranging use of cluster bombs in the Second Lebanon War drew international criticism. After the war, 46 people were killed by bomblets and some 300 were injured according to figures published in Haaretz at the time.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/620961 via Nouvelles d’Orient