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  • What’s so bad about assimilation? -

    Lucy Aharish and Tzachi Halevy may actually spawn a much more moral and civilized race than the one that has arisen here so far

    Gideon Levy
    Oct 13, 2018 1

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-s-so-bad-about-assimilation-1.6552472

    The fear of assimilation is something we’ve all imbibed with our mothers’ milk. Annihilation, destruction, Auschwitz, something like that. Even as proud Israelis with our own country and army, many among us were afraid to enter a church. Long before the latest wave of religious coercion while we were still fearfully kissing bibles that had fallen on the floor, we the children of the false secularism of Tel Aviv would sometimes play with fire: We’d cross ourselves, sort of as a joke. It was a test of courage and test of fate, no less than jumping from a roof or touching the flame of a burning candle.
    On Jaffa’s Yefet Street there’s a threatening school, and we were told it belonged to the “Missionaries.” Missionaries then sounded like the Gestapo. Whenever we’d walk pass it, even when we were already a little older, we would fearfully ponder what was going on within its walls. There was a rumor that a child from our school went there and was never heard from again. We never forgave. We suspected his parents of being Christians. It really frightened us.
    That’s how we grew up, the first generation of the rebirth of the Jewish state – that’s how they brainwashed us with fear. We were never taught a single word of the New Testament. Impurity. “The Narrow Path: The Man from Nazareth” by Aaron Abraham Kabak was the only sliver of information we got about Jesus in the secular, liberal, official school curriculum, long before the advent of Naftali Bennett. We of course heard nothing at all about Islam or the Koran. When Arela (Rela), the daughter of a close friend of my mother’s and a cousin of Benjamin Netanyahu’s, married Donny in San Francisco, we said, it’s not so bad, Donny is nice despite his being a gentile. That’s the way we were.

    >> ’She seduced a Jew’: Lawmaker bemoans wedding of Fauda star to Israeli Arab TV anchor
    We’ve grown up since then and gotten more powerful. Israeliness took root in the country, the world went global, and weddings with gentiles become more common and less threatening at least among a substantial minority of liberals. But the national narrative stayed the same: Mixed marriages are an existential threat, assimilation means destruction. We don’t need an excoriating Oren Hazan to understand how deeply rooted this narrative remains in the Jewish Israeli experience. Ask almost any parent, including most of those who regard themselves as enlightened and secular, and they’ll reply that they’d “prefer” that their son marry a Jewish woman. Why, for God’s sake?
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    The opposition to assimilation is racist and purely nationalistic. Again it’s the superior and pure Jewish blood that mustn’t be mixed, heaven forbid, with any Christian, Muslim or other impurity. After a long history living as a minority under threat, the people can’t shake that survival instinct. But let’s advance on step and ask: What for?
    The state of Israel is the embodiment of Judaism and its values. Here the Jews are a majority, they’re the sovereign, there’s nothing to stop them from achieving their wishes.
    If Israel were a model society or moral country, we could understand the need for the struggle against assimilation for the sake of preserving lofty values. But look at the disaster: Gentile Canada has in the past year absorbed some 3,000 Eritrean asylum seekers fleeing Israel where they were shamefully rejected. Netta Ahituv recently described with what humanity the unchosen country has treated them, and what memories they have of the Chosen Land (Haaretz, September 21). That’s just one example.
    Is the struggle against assimilation a struggle to preserve Jewish values as they’ve been realized in Israel? If so, then it would be best to abandon that battle. The gefilte fish and hreime (spicy sauce), the bible, religion and heritage, can be preserved in mixed marriages as well. While Western countries are becoming multi-cultural and mixed marriages routine, here we fight against any mixing. We view it as an existential threat, with one of the ministers even threatening the children of mixed unions.
    The Jewish state has already crystallized an identity, which can only be enriched by assimilation, which is a normal, healthy process. Lucy Aharish and Tzachi Halevy may actually spawn a much more moral and civilized race than the one that has arisen here so far.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/728899 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli lawmaker’s attack on celebrity Jewish-Arab marriage echoes Nazi ideology

    MK Oren Hazan accused TV anchor Lucy Aharish of seducing Fauda actor Tzahi Halevi in order to hurt Israel – and Netanyahu said nothing

    Yossi Verter SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 11, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-mk-s-attack-on-celebrity-jewish-arab-marriage-echoes-nazi-ideology

    Knesset Member Oren Hazan (Likud), he of the infamous selfie celebrating the passing of the nation-state law, has identified a terrorist cell. This cell has a single member – TV anchorwoman Lucy Aharish.
    This week the Arab journalist carried out a terrorist act intended to lower the Jewish birthrate when she married actor Tzahi Halevi. “She seduced a Jewish soul with the aim of harming our country and preventing more Jewish offspring from perpetuating the Jewish line,” the racist, ignorant and repulsive MK tweeted.
    Substitute the word “German” for “Jewish” here and you’ve got the Nazi racial doctrine. Talk of racial purity, prevention of “assimilation,” seduction of the male and hostile exploitation of his fine, pure seed for nationalist purposes. In the name of such an ideology, six million Jews were murdered in Europe.

    Next week, the Knesset opens its winter session. The Likud MK will address the parliament from the podium. He will vote in committees. No boycott will be imposed on his party faction. He will not be penalized. He will exchange high-fives and pats on the back with the gang who appeared in the selfie. They deserve each other.

    Tzachi Halevy and Lucy Aharish.Vered Adir, David Bachar
    But something can still be done. A few months from now, when an early election is announced, Likud will hold a primary for its slate for the 21st Knesset. Like the rest of the bunch who were elected on the basis of their districts in the last primary, this time Hazan will have to run on the national list. There the hurdle is much higher. The last time around, when he ran in the Samaria district, he needed just 2,000 or 3,000 votes. This time he’ll need 20,000 to gain a top-20 slot (the district winners will be ranked after them). Whoever marks Hazan’s name on the ballot despite this repugnant tweet and everything else we now know about the guy will directly harm Likud.
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    In any event, given the party’s primary system, at least a third of the current MKs will likely be gone in the next Knesset. The math is simple: Twenty-nine will run for re-election (all but Benny Begin). Plus, four candidates not currently in the Knesset are likely to be elected to the list: Gideon Sa’ar, Danny Danon, Yoav Galant and Nir Barkat. That makes 33. The national list that comprises the top 20 will include no more than 18-19 of these people. In other words, we’ll have to bid farewell, happily or otherwise, to some 15 MKs.
    On Thursday we waited in vain for the Likud chairman (and Hazan’s selfie buddy) to denounce the disgusting tweet. Netanyahu chooses his condemnations carefully. What starts with “droves of Arabs are streaming to the polls” culminates in the seduction by Arab women of Jewish men so as to suppress the Jewish birthrate.
    We also waited in vain for any fatherly scolding from the prime minister of his elder son Yair for his hateful, invective-filled Facebook post aimed at Television News Company analyst Amnon Abramovich. No point expecting any such thing from Netanyahu. They are all his sons.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/728528 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Bernie Sanders cites Israel’s nation-state law in slamming Trump for inspiring authoritarianism

    ’There’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,’ said Sanders

    JTA
    Oct 10, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bernie-sanders-cites-israel-s-nation-state-law-in-slamming-trump-1

    In a major foreign policy speech identifying an emerging authoritarian strain around the world, Bernie Sanders included the passage of Israel’s nation-state law as an example of President Donald Trump’s inspiring anti-democratic moves.
    “It should be clear by now that Donald Trump and the right-wing movement that supports him is not a phenomenon unique to the United States,” Sanders said Tuesday in a speech to the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “All around the world, in Europe, in Russia, in the Middle East, in Asia, Latin America, and elsewhere we are seeing movements led by demagogues who exploit people’s fears, prejudices and grievances to gain and hold on to power.”
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    Sanders, the Independent senator from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said Trump by himself was not responsible for the rise of authoritarianism but was spurring it forward.
    “While this authoritarian trend certainly did not begin with Donald Trump, there’s no question that other authoritarian leaders around the world have drawn inspiration from the fact that the president of the world’s oldest and most powerful democracy is shattering democratic norms,” said Sanders.
    He cited as examples the rise in popularity of a far right-wing politician in Brazil, increased repression in Saudi Arabia, and policies of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
    >> There’s a reason the opposition didn’t attend the nation-state protest | Opinion
    “It’s also hard to imagine that Israel’s Netanyahu government would have taken a number of steps— including passing the recent ‘Nation State law,’ which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, aggressively undermining the longstanding goal of a two-state solution, and ignoring the economic catastrophe in Gaza — if Netanyahu wasn’t confident that Trump would support him,” Sanders said.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/728046 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel can ’definitely’ absorb 100,000 West Bank Palestinians, justice minister says - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    ’It’s impossible to ignore the processes taking place in the Democratic Party (in the USA). You know, the party itself is becoming less and less what’s considered Zionist,’ Ayelet Shaked tells The Atlantic

    Haaretz
    Oct 10, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-can-definitely-absorb-100-000-west-bank-palestinians-justice-ministe

    Shaked acknowledged that annexation could put Israel at odds with the United States, especially if Democrats take the White House in 2020. “Sadly, it’s impossible to ignore the processes taking place in the Democratic Party. You know, the party itself is becoming less and less what’s considered Zionist,” Shaked said.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/727972 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • A rational Hamas

    Hamas leader’s interview with Israeli paper caused an uproar. It wasn’t always like that

    Amira Hass

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-hamas-leader-s-interview-with-israeli-paper-caused-an-uproar-it-wa

    The interview with Yahya Sinwar, Hamas chief in Gaza, which was conducted by Italian journalist Francesca Borri and published in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth,” set off a major internet storm in the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian diaspora. What? Sinwar spoke knowingly to an Israeli newspaper? It wasn’t the content that caused the uproar (“A new war is not in anyone’s interest, certainly not our interest”) – only the host.
    >> Israel is incomparably stronger than Hamas – but it will never win: Interview with Hamas leader in Gaza
    Sinwar’s bureau hastened to publish a clarification: The request was for an interview with an Italian newspaper and a British newspaper; the Western media department in the Hamas movement ascertained that the journalist was neither Jewish nor Israeli, and that she has never worked with the Israeli press. There was no face-to-face interview with the above-mentioned journalist, but rather a written response to her questions. The journalist met with Sinwar only for the purpose of a joint photo.

    Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar greets militants in Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, after his release from Israeli prison, October 20, 2011Adel Hana / ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Borri, 38, is a freelance journalist who began writing only about six years ago, mainly from Syria. “I think that Sinwar agreed to let me interview him because he knew that I’m a war correspondent and that I would understand when he told me that he isn’t interested in another war,” she told me over the phone from Italy on Friday.
    Her articles have been published in many languages – including in Hebrew in Yedioth Ahronoth. In June, Borri visited Gaza and published an article that was “tough on Hamas,” as she put it. She was haunted by the sight of little children begging, and in her opinion the Islamic resistance movement is also responsible for the terrible deterioration in the Strip. That article was also translated and published in Yedioth.
    And then Borri received a text message from one of Sinwar’s advisers, she told me. Why are you so hard on the Palestinians, he complained. They exchanged several text messages, until she asked if she could interview Sinwar. In late August she came to the Gaza Strip again, to interview him.

    Yahya Sinwar holds his son Ibrahim while he listens to Khaled Mashaal, the outgoing Hamas leader in exile, during his news conference in Doha, Qatar, on Monday, May 1, 2017Adel Hana,AP
    I asked her whether Hamas really didn’t know that the article would be published in Yedioth. “As a freelancer, transparency is important to me,” she said. “It was clear to everyone that the interview would be translated into other languages, including Hebrew. Everyone in Sinwar’s bureau knew that my articles have been published in Yedioth Ahronoth.”

    What caused the outrage was that the wording of the article seemed to indicate that Borri was sent by the Israeli newspaper, and that that’s how the situation was presented to Sinwar. Here is the wording of her first question: “This is the first time ever that you’re agreeing to speak to the Western media – and to an Israeli newspaper yet.” According to Borri, the words “and to an Israeli newspaper yet” didn’t appear in her original question to Sinwar.
    >> ’We can’t prevail against a nuclear power’: Hamas’ Gaza chief says he doesn’t want war with Israel
    On the other hand, she confirmed that Sinwar’s final remark in the article, “and they translate you regularly into Hebrew too,” really was said. “Sinwar spoke to me, and through me to the world. I had the impression that he’s interested in talking through me to the Israelis too,” she said.
    And was the interview really conducted face-to-face and during joint trips with Sinwar and his aides over the course of five days, or in writing, as Hamas claimed. Borri explains: “I never record. I feel that people’s answers change when they see a recording device.” She didn’t travel with him in his car, but she says she did join a convoy of cars with Sinwar through the Strip, yet preferred not to say where.
    On Thursday, in other words before the publication of the full article in Yedioth on Friday, the Al Jazeera website in Arabic already published the text of the written questions and answers that were exchanged, according to Hamas, between Sinwar’s bureau and Borri. A comparison of the written version with the article in Yedioth reveals great similarity between the two texts, with a few differences – mainly a change in the order of the questions and their answers, sentences, declarations and facts that were deleted from the Hebrew version, and a few sentences that were added to it.
    >> Israeli military strikes Gazans who launched incendiary balloons
    The questions and answers in the Arabic version flow, and there is a connection between the replies and the following questions; in other words, a conversation is taking place. According to Al Jazeera, the written questions and replies were exchanged several times between the parties. There is even mention of how during the interview, Sinwar pointed to one of his advisers and said that his son was killed by Israeli fire.
    Borri confirmed in a conversation with me that she combined the replies received in writing, over a period of time, with answers she received orally. Due to the great similarity between the two versions, my impression is that many replies were sent to her in writing. A Gaza resident told me that he was convinced that most of the answers were given in writing because of “the polished wording, the level-headed replies and the rational explanations.”
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    He believes that an entire team thought things through and wrote the answers, not Sinwar alone. He also said that the message in the interview is addressed to the Palestinians in Gaza “who are sick and tired of Hamas rule,” no less than to readers in the West, whom Borri enables to see a senior Hamas official as a leader who cares about his people, rather than as a caricature of a bloodthirsty fanatic.
    And I was left longing for the period when senior Hamas officials gave interviews to the Israeli press and to a Jewish Israeli like me – including Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Ismail Haniyeh and many others. And I was left with the following conclusion: When Israel doesn’t allow Israeli journalists to enter Gaza, it makes life easy for Hamas.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/727533 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • It’s even allowed to hate Israel

    If cabinet Minister Erdan, scourge of left-wing dissidents, visited Sweden, he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality there, yet Swedish airport officials wouldn’t have asked him about it

    Gideon Levy
    Oct 07, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-it-s-even-allowed-to-hate-israel-1.6532475

    News flash for the minister in charge of combating hatred, Gilad Erdan: One is allowed to hate Israel. Sometimes one must even hate its policies. A democratic country doesn’t ask new arrivals whether they love it. It’s none of their business. The gates of democracy are open to everyone, as long as they don’t endanger its security. That is the test.
    Erdan may also have visited a country whose policies he despised; he certainly did not love the liberalism and equality in Sweden, or Germany’s willingness to take in asylum-seekers – and nobody asked him what he thought. His colleague, Culture Minister Miri Regev, a sworn Arab-hater, intends to fly to Abu Dhabi soon. Will they deport her because of her hatred? If only. Maybe that way Erdan would learn.
    >>Ex-Shin Bet chief on questioning of foreigners at Israel’s borders: Shin Bet becoming a problem
    The world that Gilad McCarthy is building for us now, together with the Shin Bet security service that has long been in charge of this, is motivated by the darkness of a different worldview. Erdan described it well on Friday.
    “Everyone understands,” he wrote, “that these are hypocritical organizations uninterested in human rights. They will never act to help the citizens of Syria or Iran. It’s not human rights that motivate them, but hatred of Israel.” Erdan tried to excuse banning the entry to Israel of the student Lara Alqasem and in so doing revealed his worldview once again.
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    “Everyone understands,” Erdan? Well, almost everyone. Even the minister of strategic affairs can’t yet speak for everyone in Israel. Maybe he will be able to do so soon.
    Meanwhile, there are also some people who don’t understand. Not everyone here has been brainwashed by the propagandistic lies. The “hypocritical organizations” are more interested in human rights than anything else. They are people of conscience. Some are veterans of long-standing work against the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa, some are young people who should be a source of pride. At a time when most Israelis their age are not interested in anything that doesn’t involve them directly, they are fighting for something. They are certainly immeasurably more moral than any settler in the territories.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/727333 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Official documents prove: Israel bans young Americans based on Canary Mission website - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    Some Americans detained upon arrival in Israel reported being questioned about their political activity based on ’profiles’ on the controversial website Canary Mission. Documents obtained by Haaretz now clearly show that is indeed a source of information for decisions to bar entry

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-official-documents-prove-israel-bans-young-americans-based-on-cana

    The Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Ministry is using simple Google searches, mainly the controversial American right-wing website Canary Mission, to bar political activists from entering Israel, according to documents obtained by Haaretz.
    >>Israeli court rejects American visa-holding student’s appeal; to be deported for backing BDS
    The internal documents, some of which were submitted to the appeals tribunal in the appeal against the deportation of American student Lara Alqasem, show that officials briefly interviewed Alqasem, 22, at Ben-Gurion International Airport on her arrival Tuesday night, then passed her name on for “continued handling” by the ministry because of “suspicion of boycott activity.” Israel recently passed a law banning the entry of foreign nationals who engage in such activity.

    >> Are you next? Know your rights if detained at Israel’s border

    Links to Canary Mission and Facebook posts are seen on an official Ministry of Strategic Affairs document.
    The ministry then sent the officials at the airport an official report classified “sensitive” about Alqasem’s supposed political activities, which included information from five links – four from Facebook and one, the main source, from the Canary Mission site, which follows pro-Palestinian activists on U.S. campuses.
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    A decision on Alqasem’s appeal against her deportation was expected Thursday afternoon.
    Canary Mission, now the subject of major controversy in the American Jewish community, has been collecting information since 2015 about BDS activists at universities, and sends the information to potential employers. Pro-Israel students have also criticized their activities.

    Lara Alqasem.
    This week, the American Jewish news site The Forward reported that at least $100,000 of Canary Mission’s budget had been contributed through the San Francisco Jewish Federation and the Helen Diller Family Foundation, which donates to Jewish education. The donation was handed to a group registered in Beit Shemesh called Megamot Shalom, specifically stating that it was for Canary Mission. A few hours after the report was published, the federation announced that it would no longer fund the group.
    Over the past few months some of the Americans who have been detained for questioning upon arrival in Israel have reported that they were questioned about their political activity based on “profiles” about them published on Canary Mission. The documents obtained by Haaretz now show clearly that the site is indeed the No. 1 source of information for the decision to bar entry to Alqasem.
    According to the links that were the basis for the decision to suspend the student visa that Alqasem had been granted by the Israeli Consulate in Miami, she was president of the Florida chapter of a group called Students for Justice in Palestine, information quoted directly from the Canary Mission. The national arm of that organization, National Students for Justice in Palestine, is indeed on the list of 20 groups that the Strategic Affairs Ministry compiled as criteria to invoke the anti-boycott law. However, Alqasem was not a member at the national level, but rather a local activist. She told the appeals tribunal that the local chapter had only a few members.

    Canary Mission’s profile of Lara Alqasem.
    The ministry also cited as a reason for barring Alqasem’s entry to Israel a Facebook post showing that “In April 2016 [her] chapter conducted an ongoing campaign calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus, the American version of Hummus Tzabar, because Strauss, which owns Tzabar, funds the Golani Brigade.” Alqasem told the tribunal that she had not taken an active part in this campaign. Another link was about a writers’ petition calling on a cultural center to refuse sponsorship by Israel for its activities. Yet another post, by the local Students for Justice in Palestine, praised the fact that an international security company had stopped operations in Israel. None of these links quoted Alqasem.
    She told the tribunal that she is not currently a member of any pro-boycott group and would not come to study for her M.A. in Israel if she were.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry report on Alqasem is so meager that its writers mentioned it themselves: “It should be noted that in this case we rely on a relatively small number of sources found on the Internet.” Over the past few months Haaretz has been following up reports of this nature that have been the basis for denying entry to activists, and found that in many other cases the material consisted of superficial Google searches and that the ministry, by admission of its own senior officials, does not collect information from non-public sources.
    skip - Facebook post calling for the boycott of Sabra hummus

    The ministry’s criteria for invoking the anti-boycott law state clearly that in order to bar entry to political activists, they must “hold senior or significant positions in the organizations,” including “official senior roles in prominent groups (such as board members).”
    But the report on Alqasem does not indicate that she met the criterion of “senior” official in the national movement, nor was this the case for other young people questioned recently at the airport. In some cases it was the Shin Bet security service that questioned people due to past participation in activities such as demonstrations in the territories, and not BDS activities.
    “Key activists,” according to the ministry’s criteria, also means people who “consistently take part in promoting BDS in the framework of prominent delegitimization groups or independently, and not, for example, an activist who comes as part of a delegation.” In Alqasem’s case, however, her visa was issued after she was accepted for study at Hebrew University.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/726867 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Netanyahu likely to extend secrecy of some 1948 war documents 20 more years

    Defense establishment asked to lengthen classification period to 90 years, from 70, for material on Deir Yassin massacre, among other events

    Jonathan Lis and Ofer Aderet Oct 04, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-likely-to-extend-secrecy-of-some-1948-war-documents-20-m

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to sign regulations extending the period of confidentiality for information in the defense archives from 70 years to 90 years. The Defense Ministry and other organization requested the extension to prevent the release this year of some materials relating to the period of the War of Independence in 1948.
    The extension is intended to prevent the exposure of intelligence sources and methods that are still in use today by security forces. The archives also include information that was received from foreign sources under the condition that it would not be released, say defense officials. The draft regulations state that even after 70 years have passed, exposure of some of the archival materials could harm national security. In 2010, Netanyahu extended the period of confidentiality for security archives from 50 years to 70 years.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The legal adviser to the Israel State Archives, Naomi Aldubi, circulated a draft of the new regulations to the relevant government ministries Wednesday. The document states that the new regulations will apply to materials held by the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad and the archives of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, nuclear research centers and the Israel Institute for Biological Research. The new rules would also prevent the publication of raw intelligence from Military Intelligence as well as information concerning intelligence gathering for materials classified as secret and higher, along with materials concerning certain Israel Defense Forces and Defense Ministry units.
    The decision is expected to make life much more difficult for historians, other researchers and journalists and would also limit the public’s access to valuable historical information of public interest. For example, the new regulations would prevent the release of certain materials concerning the massacre at Deir Yassin in 1948.
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    In practice, the government will be able to prevent the release of any document related to the War of Independence that it wishes to keep secret. The new rules also contradict the recommendations of the supreme advisory council overseeing the Israel State Archives, which recommended extending the confidentiality of only some of the documents for five years.

    The Archives Law states that any person has the right to examine documents stored in the state archives, but also grants the government authority to restrict access according to the level of classification — for example, materials classified as “secret” — and according to the amount of time that has passed since the materials were created. This period ranges between 15 and 75 years, in accordance with the materials’ source and contents. For example, the classification period for the minutes of classified sessions of Knesset committees is limited to 20 years; for foreign policy documents the period is 25 years; for police archives, 30 years and for minutes of the security cabinet 50 years. Intelligence materials, including those of the Shin Bet, Mossad, Atomic Energy Commission and Biological Institute, remain classified for 70 years.
    Even after this period expires, the state archives and other archives, such as the IDF Archives, have not acted on their own initiative to release the materials. In practice, the end of the classification period alone is not sufficient for automatic declassification of the material. First, the chief archivist must examine the materials. After that, a special ministerial committee, headed by the justice minister, has the right to apply additional restrictions on access to them.
    The committee used its power to prohibit access to the so-called Riftin report on extrajudicial executions carried out by the Haganah pre-independence army. In 1998, half a century after the report was written, its confidentiality period expired, after which it should have been unsealed. In the 20 years that have passed since then, two state archivists requested, and received, extensions of the classification period from the ministerial committee.
    The draft proposal does stipulate that the relevant organizations must draw up new protocols that would enable the unsealing of classified materials after 50 years, on their own initiative. In addition, they would be instructed to conduct an annual review of their classified documents in order to determine whether they can be declassified.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/726648 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Qui en Israël se soucie encore de la mort d’un ado de plus à Gaza ?
    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/edition/les-invites-de-mediapart/article/021018/qui-en-israel-se-soucie-encore-de-la-mort-dun-ado-de-plus-gaza

    Cette tribune a été initialement publiée dans le Haaretz ici. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-who-in-israel-cares-about-another-dead-teen-in-gaza-1.6513910 Sep 28, 2018

    Hagai El-Ad est le directeur exécutif de l’ONG israélienne B’Tselem. Dans une tribune initialement publiée par Haaretz, il s’appuie sur le témoignage inédit de la mère d’Amir al-Nimra, un jeune Gazaoui de 14 ans tué dans une attaque aérienne israélienne à Gaza le 14 juillet dernier, pour dénoncer le désintérêt croissant des Israéliens face à l’évolution de la situation.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/726475 via Loutre


  • The Germans will ignore Israeli apartheid again

    Each day that has passed since May 1999, Europe in general and Germany in particular have crossed another red line in the normalization of the status quo

    Amira Hass SendSend me email alerts
    Oct 02, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-germans-will-ignore-israeli-apartheid-again-1.6515798

    Angela Merkel is the answer to two questions: 1. Will Israel, “having no alternative,” attack the Gaza Strip before Friday, that being “the only possible response” to the multiplying demonstrations at the border fence? And 2. Now that the Monday-evening deadline given to the residents of the West Bank Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar to dismantle their simple structures has passed, will Israel’s Civil Administration raze the entire community Tuesday?
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    It probably won’t happen this week, so as not to embarrass Merkel. The German chancellor and her cabinet are scheduled to arrive Wednesday for meetings with their Israeli colleagues, the seventh such intergovernmental consultations since the tradition began in 2008. In between, the German delegation will visit an exhibition on technological innovation sponsored by the Foreign Ministry, at which six Israeli companies will present their wares.

    Officially, Germany — like all European Union member states — opposes the demolition of Khan al-Ahmar and the forced eviction of its residents, actions that violate international law and Israel’s obligations as an occupying power. Officially, Germany is concerned by the military escalation and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. Therefore, like all European states, it hopes for a nonviolent resolution of the military tension.
    But the consulting cabinet ministers aren’t supposed to delve into the bottomless expectation gap between the parties on the future of the Palestinian territories that were captured in 1967. The Germans are still talking about a two-state solution, even as Israel is realizing the eight-state vision (of defeated, disconnected Palestinian enclaves scattered throughout the expanse of Jewish sovereignty).
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    In any event, the joint consultations address the real issues of mature countries. The parties will discuss their excellent technological, military and intelligence ties, their common place in the advanced industrial world, their cultural and scientific ties — not to mention, of course, the Holocaust and Germany’s eternal obligations to Israel.
    >> Read more: Israel Gives Residents of West Bank Bedouin Village Week to Evacuate
    We can infer, from the slogans inserted in the joint statement after the 2016 consultations, that some German minister will blurt out something about human rights, and the response will be that Israel is the only democracy in the region. An open expression of Israeli military and bureaucratic superiority during the visit wouldn’t go over well with the foreign guests.
    And so, the bulldozers and the deadly armed drones, the pride of Israeli technology, along with our female combat soldiers who operate them remotely, the pride of Israeli feminism, will be forced to wait patiently. Not this week.
    On the other hand, why should they wait patiently? Why shouldn’t it happen this week? The German ministers already ignore that an important part of Israeli technological, military and intelligence development is linked to maintaining the occupation and keeping the permanent conflict on a low flame that occasionally flares up. They must ignore this, mentally and emotionally, to continue cultivating partnerships with Israel. They can also ignore Israel’s use of its military capabilities during their visit.
    Each day that has passed since May 1999 (when the final-status agreement with the Palestinians was to go into effect), Israel has crossed another red line in shaping its unique regime of separation (apartheid, in Afrikaans). None of these crossings or violations of international resolutions led European countries to put genuine political pressure on Israel.
    Each day that has passed since May 1999, Europe in general and Germany in particular have crossed another red line in the normalization of Israeli apartheid. They make a complete separation between their partner in technological, scientific and intellectual progress and the Israel that plans to erase in the near future the small village and other communities, and that for 10 years has imprisoned 2 million people in the biggest concentration facility in the world.
    And the umbrella of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust is used to excuse and explain this intolerable ability to repress and compartmentalize.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/726143 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Saudi Arabia, Germany turn page on diplomatic dispute -
    The spat was triggered last November when Germany’s foreign minister at the time, Sigmar Gabriel, condemned ’adventurism’ in the Middle East

    Reuters
    Sep 26, 2018 5:39 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/saudi-arabia-germany-turn-page-on-diplomatic-dispute-1.6511068

    Germany and Saudi Arabia have agreed to end a prolonged diplomatic row that prompted the kingdom to pull its ambassador from Berlin and punish German firms operating in the country.
    The spat was triggered last November when Germany’s foreign minister at the time, Sigmar Gabriel, condemned “adventurism” in the Middle East, in comments that were widely seen as an attack on increasingly assertive Saudi policies, notably in Yemen.
    The comments, which aggravated already tense relations caused by a moratorium on German arms exports to Saudi Arabia, led Riyadh to withdraw its ambassador and freeze out German companies, particularly in the lucrative healthcare sector.

    Gabriel’s successor Heiko Maas, egged on by German industry, had been working for months to resolve the dispute. Earlier this month, Berlin signed off on the delivery of four artillery positioning systems to Saudi Arabia, a step that officials say accelerated the rapprochement.
    Standing alongside his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir at the United Nations on Tuesday, Maas spoke of “misunderstandings” that had undermined what were otherwise “strong and strategic ties” between the countries, saying “we sincerely regret this”.
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    “We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings between Germany and the kingdom,” he said. “We’ll do our best to make this partnership with the kingdom even stronger than before.”
    Jubeir said he welcomed Maas’ statement and invited him to the kingdom to intensify their ties. He spoke of a “a new phase of close cooperation in all areas” between Berlin and Riyadh.
    Officials told Reuters that the Saudi ambassador, Prince Khalid bin Bandar bin Sultan, son of longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, was expected to return to Berlin soon.
    After weeks of delay, the new German ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Joerg Ranau, is now expected to receive his accreditation and take up his position in Riyadh.
    “The Gordian knot has been broken,” said Volker Treier, foreign trade chief at the German chambers of commerce and industry (DIHK), who is in Riyadh to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the local chamber.
    “The optimism is back. Diplomacy triumphed,” he said. “Everyone we have met here has made clear they want to work closely with us again.”
    The dispute hit trade between the countries. German exports to Saudi Arabia fell 5 percent in the first half of 2018. And companies like Siemens Healthineers, Bayer and Boehringer Ingelheim complained that they were being excluded from public healthcare tenders.
    In a strongly-worded June letter to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, European and U.S. pharmaceutical associations warned that the restrictions could hurt Saudipatients and dampen future investment in the kingdom.
    The dispute with Germany predates one that erupted between Canada and Saudi Arabia this summer after the Canadian foreign minister, in a tweet, called for the release of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia.
    The kingdom responded by expelling the Canadian ambassador, recalling its own envoy, freezing new trade and investment, suspending flights and ordering Saudi students to leave Canada.
    Saudi Arabia’s role in the Yemen war, in which Arab forces are fighting Iran-aligned Houthis, remains controversial in Germany.
    Chancellor Angela Merkel’s new government went so far as to write into its coalition agreement earlier this year that no arms could be sent to countries involved in the conflict. It is unclear how recent arms deliveries fit with this ban.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/724953 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • With Russia’s S-300 in Syria, Israel will have to think twice about the next strike
    The new missile system provided by Russia is not a total barrier to airstrikes, but Israeli jets’ freedom of action will be significantly curbed

    Amos Harel SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-with-russia-s-s-300-in-syria-israel-will-have-to-think-twice-about

    The two latest developments in Moscow – the Defense Ministry’s report that placed full responsibility for last week’s downing of a Russian plane over Syria on Israel, and the announcement of the transfer of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to the Assad regime – shouldn’t surprise anyone in Israel except maybe a few foolish supporters of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. No matter how good his relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin may be, Netanyahu can’t make the problem disappear.
    Russia suffered an embarrassing blow when Assad’s anti-aircraft fire shot down the plane, and it still has widespread interests to promote in Syria. It was quite clear that the affair would lead to a Russian condemnation of Israel and to demands of Israel. The bottom line still depends on Putin, who initially sufficed with a cautiously worded statement the day after the incident. For the time being it seems the result of the Russian steps will be a significant restriction of Israel’s freedom of action over Syria.
    >> Netanyahu warned Putin: S-300 air defense system in irresponsible hands will endanger region
    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced Monday that his country would supply Syria with S-300 ground-to-air missiles. Russia, he said, would also use electronic warfare systems to prevent the activation of satellite tracking systems along Syria’s coast, making it harder for Israel to conduct airstrikes. And Russia will equip Syrian anti-aircraft units with Russian tracking and guidance systems to prevent mishaps in which Syria downs Russian aircraft.

    S-300 Air Defense System infographicHaaretz

    https://seenthis.net/messages/724610 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • J’ai demandé à la seule journaliste israélienne basée en Palestine de me montrer quelque chose de choquant – et voici ce que j’ai vu (The Independent) – Salimsellami’s Blog
    https://salimsellami.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/jai-demande-a-la-seule-journaliste-israelienne-basee-en-pale
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/local/cache-vignettes/L200xH200/v_lmlyii_400x400-c35fb.jpg

    C’est l’ancienne route de Ramallah à Jérusalem, bordée de richesses perdues, de vains espoirs et de maisons autrefois aimées. Tout cela, bien sûr, finit maintenant dans le Mur.

                                                                              Montrez-moi quelque chose qui va me choquer, ai-je demandé à Amira Hass. La seule journaliste israélienne qui vit en Cisjordanie – ou en Palestine, si vous croyez encore en ce mot si peu orthodoxe – m’a donc emmené sur une route à l’extérieur de Ramallah qui dans mon souvenir était une autoroute qui menait à Jérusalem. Mais maintenant, sur la colline, elle se transforme en une route à l’abandon, à moitié goudronnée, bordée de magasins fermés par des volets rouillés et des ordures. La même odeur putride d’égouts à l’air libre plane sur la route. L’eau puante stagne, verte et flasque, en flaques au pied du mur.

    Ou Mur avec une majuscule. Ou, pour les journalistes prudents, « Mur de sécurité ». Ou, pour les âmes délicates, « Barrière de sécurité ». Ou pour les plumes désinvoltes, simplement « Barrière ». Ou, si ses implications politiques vous font peur, « Clôture ». Une clôture, comme ces clôtures de bois qu’on voit dans les champs. Ou – si vous voulez vraiment faire peur aux journalistes de la télévision et mettre en colère les Israéliens – le « Mur de la Ségrégation » ou même le « Mur de l’Apartheid ». Eh bien oui, nous allons parler des « bantoustans » palestiniens coupés par le Mur et les routes réservées aux Israéliens, et du vaste empire des colonies juives sur les terres arabes.

    On peut faire confiance à Amira pour ouvrir le feu. Elle crache avec colère les mots « bantoustan palestinien » encore et encore en me faisant faire, en voiture, le tour des enclaves palestiniennes de Cisjordanie pour arriver, au bout d’une heure ou deux, au Mur : il nous domine de ses 8 mètres, austère, monstrueux de détermination, il serpente entre les immeubles, se glisse dans les oueds et revient sur lui-même de sorte qu’il y a parfois deux murs, un double mur mais le même mur, comme si cette créature imitait les méandres d’une route sinueuse des Alpes. On secoue la tête, incrédule, pendant un moment et tout à coup, bizarrement, il n’y a plus de Mur, rien qu’une rue commerçante ou une colline aride, couverte de broussailles et de rochers. Puis on voit grossir une énorme colonie de peuplement d’Israël, avec de beaux arbres verts, des maisons aux toits rouges et de belles routes et, oui, encore des murs et des clôtures de barbelés et d’autres murs plus grands. Et puis le monstre en personne. Le Mur.

    Mais la section du Mur où Amira Hass m’emmène – être guide touristique et analyste de la société israélienne, admet-elle, ne va pas de pair – est un endroit vraiment misérable. Pas aussi épique que Dante. Peut-être qu’un correspondant de guerre pourrait mieux décrire l’endroit. C’est l’ancienne route de Ramallah à Jérusalem, bordée de richesses perdues, de vains espoirs et de maisons autrefois aimées, et tout cela finit, bien sûr, dans le Mur. « Si ça, ce n’est pas choquant, je ne sais pas ce qui l’est, dit Amira. « C’est la destruction de la vie des gens – c’est la fin du monde. Tu vois ça ? C’était la route pour Jérusalem. Plus maintenant. C’était une route très fréquentée et tu peux voir que les gens avaient construit des échoppes et des maisons de pierre de taille, élégantes et solides. Regarde les panneaux en hébreu qui montrent que ces Palestiniens avaient beaucoup de clients israéliens. Même le mot ‘menuisier’ est en hébreu. »

    Mais presque toutes les maisons et les magasins sont fermés, il y a des mauvaises herbes et des arbustes secs sur la bordure en ruine du trottoir. Les graffitis sont hideux, le soleil est impitoyable, l’air est si brulant que le gris du mur se confond avec la pierre grise du ciel. « Quelle tristesse« , dit Amira Hass, sans émotion. « Cet endroit, je le montre toujours aux gens, tu sais, je l’ai montré probablement une centaine de fois déjà, et ça ne cesse de me choquer. »

    https://players.brightcove.net/624246174001/SydS6Pxaf_default/index.html?videoId=5072479471001&customParams=videoID%253D507247
    La puanteur des eaux d’égout, une fois qu’on s’y est habitué, ne paraît plus incongrue. C’est un endroit où l’imagination s’assèche, ne laissant subsister qu’une petite mare sinistre dont la couleur verte est d’autant plus brillante que le Mur s’est patiné avec l’âge.

    Le silence n’est pas oppressant – on n’est pas dans un roman – mais il exige une réponse. Que nous dit le Mur, demandé-je à Amira ? « Pour moi… » commence-t-elle, « comme il réalise qu’il ne peut pas chasser les Palestiniens, il essaie de les cacher. Il faut qu’il les dissimule à nos yeux. Il en laisse sortir quelques-uns pour aller travailler là-bas pour les Juifs. C’est considéré comme une faveur. Les Israéliens n’entrent pas, parce qu’ils n’ont pas besoin de ces zones – nous n’en avons pas besoin – ce sont des décharges – ce sont des égouts à l’air libre. Le Mur révèle notre obsession de pureté. Combien de personnes ont participé à cet acte de violence ? Ils disent que c’est à cause des attentats suicides, mais l’infrastructure juridique et bureaucratique de la séparation existait avant le Mur. Le Mur est donc une sorte d’expression graphique, plastique ou concrète des lois de séparation qui existaient auparavant. »

    C’est une Israélienne qui me parle, la fille solide et inébranlable d’une résistante bosniaque qui a dû se rendre à la Gestapo et d’un survivant juif roumain de l’Holocauste, une fille à qui le socialisme a donné, à mon avis, un courage marxiste inflexible.

    Elle ne serait peut-être pas d’accord, mais je la considère comme une enfant de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, même si elle est née 11 ans après la mort d’Hitler. Elle pense qu’il ne lui reste plus qu’entre 100 et 500 lecteurs israéliens ; Grâce à Dieu, pensent beaucoup d’entre nous, son journal, Haaretz, existe toujours.

    Lorsqu’on l’a emmenée de la gare à Bergen-Belsen en 1944, la mère d’Amira, a été frappée par les ménagères allemandes qui venaient voir la file de prisonniers terrorisés, toutes ces Allemandes qui les « regardaient de loin« . Je crois qu’Amira Hass ne regardera jamais de loin. Elle s’est habituée à être haïe et insultée par son propre peuple. Mais elle est réaliste.

    « Tu sais, on ne peut pas nier que, pendant un certain temps, [le Mur] a eu un impact sécuritaire, » dit-elle. C’est vrai. Il a stoppé la campagne palestinienne d’attentats-suicide. Mais le Mur a aussi un objectif expansionniste ; il a confisqué des terres arabes qui ne font pas plus partie de l’État d’Israël que les vastes colonies qui abritent aujourd’hui environ 400 000 Juifs à travers la Cisjordanie. Pas encore, en tout cas.

    Amira porte des lunettes rondes qui la font ressembler à un de ces dentistes un peu déprimés, qui inspectent avec tristesse et cynisme votre dentition en perdition. C’est comme ça qu’elle écrit. Elle vient de terminer un long article pour Haaretz qui sera publié deux jours plus tard ; c’est une dissection féroce de l’accord d’Oslo de 1993 qui n’est pas loin de prouver que les Israéliens n’ont jamais voulu que l’accord de « paix » permette aux Palestiniens d’avoir un État.

    « La réalité des bantoustans, réserves ou enclaves palestiniens, écrit-elle à l’occasion du sombre 25ième anniversaire des accords d’Oslo, se voit sur le terrain… il n’a été précisé nulle part que l’objectif était la création d’un État palestinien dans le territoire occupé en 1967, contrairement à ce que les Palestiniens et beaucoup de gens du camp israélien à l’époque et dans les pays européens avaient imaginé. » Amira me confie : » Le problème, c’est que les rédacteurs en chef d’Haaretz, – je les appelle les enfants – changent de couplet tous les deux ans et à chaque fois ils me demandent : » Comment sais-tu qu’Oslo n’avait pas la paix comme objectif ? Il y a 20 ans, ils pensaient que j’étais folle, maintenant ils sont fiers d’avoir eu quelqu’un au journal qui avait tout compris dès le début. »

    La tournée d’Amira Hass nous amène vers ce qu’elle appelle « la prison cinq étoiles« . Nous nous arrêtons au-dessus de la ville de Ramallah, pseudo-capitale temporaire de l’État-palestinien-qui-n’existe-pas. Elle imagine – elle le fait souvent – un extraterrestre atterrissant en Cisjordanie. Il remarquerait, dit-elle, que les maisons palestiniennes ont des réservoirs d’eaux noirs sur leur toit – parce que l’Autorité palestinienne impose des quotas d’eau aux Palestiniens – alors que les colonies juives ont l’eau courante à volonté. « Les colons n’ont pas à s’inquiéter. » Les colonies, sur les collines, « sont luxuriantes, attirantes, l’air y est pur« , elles ont des toits rouges, en pente, de style européen. Aujourd’hui, les familles palestiniennes les plus riches copient les toits rouges de leurs occupants.

    L’extraterrestre, dit Amira Hass, « verrait une grande ville [Ramallah], avec de beaux immeubles, des cinémas, des boutiques et des commerces. Et tu as vu toutes les voitures. Notre extraterrestre dirait : « Où est le problème ? Pourquoi tu te plains de l’occupation ? » Le problème, c’est qu’ici, dans cette cage dorée, cette prison cinq étoiles, on a l’illusion qu’on n‘est pas sous occupation… Les contours, les frontières sont très clairs. Mais les gens à l’intérieur des frontières se sont habitués à une sorte de normalité à laquelle il leur est très difficile de renoncer.

    « En fait, ils craignent, s’ils s’engagent dans une nouvelle vague de résistance, de perdre ce qui leur reste, cette apparence de normalité… Une des meilleures preuves pour moi de cette ‘normalité’, c’est que les Palestiniens qui sont des citoyens israéliens viennent chaque week-end dans ce bantoustan palestinien pour échapper à l’arrogance et au racisme auquel ils sont confrontés quotidiennement en Israël – ils viennent ici pour se retrouver dans une atmosphère entièrement palestinienne« .

    Son analyse est sans concession mais elle garde une certaine distance historique. « Les Palestiniens savent que ce n’est pas l’indépendance. Mais à l’heure actuelle, ils se disent que ça ne vaut plus la peine de se battre. Les gens ne sont pas restés indifférents, loin de là, lorsque, ces deux ou trois dernières années, des jeunes hommes ont fait des attaques au couteau ou que des étudiants se sont rendus aux postes de contrôle pour s’opposer à l’armée israélienne. Mais on n’a pas vu les masses sortir dans la rue pour affronter l’armée. Aujourd’hui, ce n’est pas la peur, ce n’est pas la police palestinienne qui les arrête. Avec les Palestiniens divisés entre le Hamas et le Fatah, et avec l’Amérique – Trump –, avec tout cela, les Palestiniens, que l’expérience a rendu sagaces en matière de politique, se disent que cela ne servirait à rien de se sacrifier. »

    Amira dépasse une base militaire et elle me fait voir l’inscription – en anglais – qui est peinte au pistolet sur le mur. « Les Juifs sont responsables du 11 septembre. » Comment les Palestiniens pourraient-ils se faire plus mal voir de l’Occident qu’en écrivant ce genre de chose ? Mais il n’y a pas qu’eux qui font des graffitis. Dans un petit village palestinien situé à environ deux cents mètres de la colonie juive de Beit El – des caméras pointant vers l’extérieur le long de sa clôture – elle me montre du doigt les mots peints sur le mur d’une maison palestinienne par des colons qui ont attaqué le village. Il est écrit en hébreu « Judée et Samarie« , pour parler de la Cisjordanie, et « Le sang coulera. » Aisha Fara nous montre le toit de sa maison, où son panneau solaire a été brisé à coup de pierres – tirées à la fronde par des étudiants religieux, dit-elle, trois jours auparavant – et malgré ses 74 ans, elle ne mâche pas ses mots. Je l’écoute en silence me raconter qu’elle est née en 1944, pendant le mandat britannique sur la Palestine, l’année même où la mère d’Amira Hass a été envoyée au camp de Bergen-Belsen.

    « Les voleurs sont arrivés avant le coucher du soleil« , dit Fara à propos des lanceurs de pierres. « Ils ont brûlé nos arbres trois fois. Mais les voleurs ne seront pas toujours là. Et les Palestiniens dispersés dans le monde entier reviendront chez eux, si Dieu le veut… Vous me demandez qui ils sont [ces colons] ? C’est vous qui les avez envoyés. Vous avez tout filmé… Je veux le dire à ces cochons d’Américains – nous ne sommes pas des Amérindiens ! » Amira l’écoute attentivement.

    « Pour Aisha Fara, l’histoire est comme une longue, longue, longue, longue chaîne d’expulsion… Il y a des choses dont on finit par arrêter de parler. La ‘normalité’ nous rattrape, » se désole Amira.

    Je pense que cela perturbe Amira Hass, le fait que des exactions soient passées sous silence parce qu’elles sont devenues habituelles. Lancer des pierres, mettre le feu, construire une nouvelle colonie. Et les privilèges omniprésents des citoyens israéliens. Elle me confie : « D’une certaine façon, quand on était bombardé, c’était plus facile, parce que j’étais comme eux. On partageait la même peur des bombes. Mais la clôture, par exemple, ce n’est pas pareil, c’est plus difficile pour moi de me rendre compte. Pour moi, ce mur, c’est juste quelque chose de hideux que je traverse pour aller à Jérusalem. Mais pour les Palestiniens, c’est la fin du monde. Quand je vais à Jérusalem, je n’ose pas dire à mes voisins que j’y vais – cela me gêne… parce que pour eux, Jérusalem est aussi loin que la lune. »

    Va-t-elle vivre toute sa vie parmi les Palestiniens de Cisjordanie, elle, la seule journaliste israélienne à se trouver sur le fil de l’histoire ? « Je n’aurais jamais pensé que je vivrais à El-Bireh, mais c’est là maintenant que j’habite depuis plus longtemps que n’importe où ailleurs« , me répond-elle. « Je ne l’ai jamais planifié, mais c’est ce qui s’est passé. Et je sais que si quelque chose arrive – si je dois partir, soit parce que je perds mon travail, soit parce que les Israéliens m’obligent à partir, soit parce que les Palestiniens me demandent de partir, je ne pourrai jamais retourner vivre dans un quartier purement juif. J’irai à Acre ou à Haïfa… À Haïfa, il y a des Palestiniens. »

    En retournant à Jérusalem, sur la « lune », je remercie Amira Hass pour sa visite guidée, aussi bien culturelle que journalistique. ainsi que pour ses analyses qui justifient aux yeux des Israéliens qui la haïssent sans la lire, le courrier haineux qu’ils lui envoient. « J’ai tendance à dire aux gens ce qu’ils ne veulent pas entendre « , me dit-elle. Pour moi, Amira est une vraie journaliste. Et s’il y a une chose dont je suis sûr, c’est qu’elle ne regardera jamais passer l’injustice sans rien faire.

    Robert FISK

    Traduction : Dominique Muselet

    EN COMPLEMENT :Suivez Amira HASS sur twitter :
    @Hass_Haaretz 
    https://twitter.com/hass_haaretz
    Articles publiés dans Haaretz :
    https://www.haaretz.com/misc/writers/WRITER-1.4968114

    Quelques articles d’Amira Hass traduits : 
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/_hass-amira_.html

     » » https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/amira-hass-robert-fisk-west-bank-
    URL de cet article 33837
    https://www.legrandsoir.info/j-ai-demande-a-la-seule-journaliste-israelienne-basee-en-palestine-de-


  • Why did Israel handcuff and deport a French-American law professor? -

    The military arrest of Frank Romano, a French-American citizen who was protesting Israeli policy, raises many disturbing questions

    Mordechai Kremnitzer SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 18, 2018 1:51 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-why-did-israel-handcuff-and-deport-a-french-american-professor-1.6

    The case of Prof. Frank Romano, a dual French-American citizen who was arrested on Friday at the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, raises a number of questions.
    Why was it documented and reported that the professor attacked a police officer, and based on this report a military arrest warrant for 96 hours was issued, when no such attack had occurred? The attorney representing the state admitted to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court that there had been no attack. Rather a soldier had been hindered in carrying out his duties, when apparently the movement of a tractor was blocked as part of a protest against the intention to evacuate the village and destroy its homes.
    What steps will be taken against those who gave false testimony?
    How long will the practice continue in Israel of law enforcement officers providing false reports against citizens or tourists to lead to their false arrest?
    Was the use of a military arrest order intended to enable a longer detention without judicial oversight? Was it intended to allow for a hasty deportation from Israel? Is this the way Israel treats the right to liberty?
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    Why wasn’t Romano afforded a proper hearing on his deportation, including representation by his attorney? Was the deportation process intended to prevent a hearing in the court in Jerusalem over the legality of his detention, by making such a hearing unnecessary?

    Israeli border police arrest American university professor Frank Romano in the West Bank Bedouin community of Khan al-Ahmar, September 14, 2018. Nasser Nasser/AP Photo
    Why and on what basis was Romano deported?
    How did it happen that for hours, no official body was found to take responsibility for Romano’s custody after a deportation order was issued against him, and as a result, the short trip from Ramla,where he was being held, turned into four hours.

    What justified keeping Romano handcuffed during the hearing? What were those who cuffed him afraid of? And in how many other cases are detainees cuffed unnecessarily, except for the illegal purpose of causing them to suffer?
    How long will the stupidity persist that is behind the government’s persecution of people in Israel and abroad who oppose the occupation, the expulsion of Palestinians and the Israeli government’s contempt for international law? When will it become clear what huge damage this causes to Israel’s image as a free country and its international standing? When will the impact of these steps — which change the attitude of those who are its victims from a critical stance to a completely negative view of Israel — be understood?
    How good it is that there are judges in Jerusalem, including the Magistrate’s Court, whose insight has not deserted them, despite the demands on them by the government to function as automatons in the service of brutality.

    Mordechai Kremnitzer
    Haaretz Contributor

    https://seenthis.net/messages/723206 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • The strong earn respect - Haaretz Editorial

    Palestinian diplomacy is perceived as weakness whereas violent struggle is treated with reverence

    Haaretz Editorial

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/the-strong-earn-respect-1.6466404

    The demonstrations along the Gaza border have resumed amid a lack of progress in negotiations on easing the Gaza blockade and achieving calm on the border for the long term. Along with the protests has come a resumption of the violence and killing that are only expected to intensify now that the United States is ceasing funding for the UN agency that aids Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.
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    The latest reports have all the ingredients of a recipe for escalation: the navy fired at a protest flotilla, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated along the coast with the army shooting at them, Palestinians tried to breach the border fence and were arrested by the military, an Israeli plane fired at a squad launching incendiary balloons and fires broke out on the Israeli side of the border, dozens have been wounded and three young people have been killed, including one shown on video waving his arms before being shot dead.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/721424 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • UNRWA’s teaspoon of fish oil and glass of milk: The protective framework that millions of Palestinians remember
    Even if the United States and Israel manage to scuttle the refugee agency’s efforts, this assault strengthens the ties that bind Palestinians – despite their weakening political leadership
    Amira Hass Sep 08, 2018 12:40 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-unrwa-the-protective-framework-that-millions-of-palestinians-remem
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6463942.1536393009!/image/3572566430.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3572566430.jpg

    Gazans in their 50s still remember, with a smile and a bit of disgust, the glass of milk and the spoonful of fish oil they had to drink at UNRWA schools every morning. As adults, they’re able to appreciate the supportive framework the UN Works and Relief Agency for Palestinian refugees gave them, and which that daily dose reflected.

    A resident of the Gaza Strip’s Al-Shati refugee camp, who studied math at Birzeit University in the West Bank in the 1980s, said half the students in his class were from Gaza, and most were refugees. “It’s thanks to the omega-3 in the oil they got from UNRWA,” he joked.

    The children of Gaza’s old-time residents, who aren’t refugees, envied the refugee children because UNRWA schools were considered better than government ones and even provided free notebooks and writing implements including crayons. But the difference also apparently stems from the refugees’ aspirational mantra. After the immediate trauma of losing their land and property, they educated their children in that mantra’s spirit: Study, because now education is your land.

    Good early education (compared to their surroundings, as one graduate of the UNRWA system stressed) was the basic service UNRWA gave and still gives Palestinian refugees, alongside health care. Most UNRWA employees, some 30,000 people in several different countries, work in these two departments. When residents of refugee camps have more employment opportunities, they have less need of services like food packages. And when UNRWA has to invest in emergency services, this weakens its essential education and health services.

    Even though the United States stopped its financial support for UNRWA, the new school year opened on schedule last week in the agency’s 711 elementary schools located in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza. Every day, 526,000 Palestinian students leave there homes in these diverse lands’ almost 60 refugee camps and attend schools with uniform characteristics – doors and windowsills painted turquoise, the UN flag, a few trees in the schoolyard with whitewashed trunks, photographs of the tent camps of 1949 on the walls.

    These uniform characteristics have been maintained for almost seven decades. Millions of Palestinian children became acquainted with the UN flag before that of their host country, or even that of Palestine, and before they encountered the Star of David that they learned to hate so deeply as a symbol of daily military violence. They saw the characteristic turquoise whenever they went to the refugee camp’s clinic or ate lunch in the dining hall reserved for children of unemployed parents.

    The spontaneous architectural process that these camps underwent is also similar – from rows of tents with taps and toilets at the outskirts; less organized rows of a few rooms around an interior courtyard, which stole a few centimeters from the alleys and made them even narrower; the multistory buildings that arose in the 1990s to house grown-up children. The savings of family members who found jobs made this possible (in Gaza, the West Bank and pre-civil war Syria much more than in Lebanon).

    Beyond the clan

    The refugee camps initially maintained geographic divisions among the original villages from which residents were expelled, and even subdivisions among extended families. But with time, and marriages between people from different villages, these divisions blurred.

    In a society that to this day retains both ties of loyalty and material ties to the extended family, the refugee camps created more modern communities because they expanded the bounds of foundational social loyalties beyond the ties of blood – that is, the family and the clan – to a large group of people who were living through the same difficult experience and had to make do with living spaces several times smaller than what they or their parents had before. The social and national consciousness of a shared fate that goes beyond the shared fate of family members and village members was bolstered there, beyond any doubt.

    This happened even before the Palestinian political organizations became established. Until the Palestinian Authority was created, these organizations weren’t just a vehicle for resistance to Israel and the occupation, but also a kind of super-clans that created their own internal loyalties and developed networks of mutual aid and protection.

    The Palestinian dialect was also preserved in the camps, and people from different villages or regions even preserved their own unique accents. Over time, the Palestinian accent in every host country has absorbed some of the country’s unique variety of Arabic, but it’s still easy to tell a Palestinian in these countries by his accent.

    Some refugee camps underwent a similar sociological process of absorbing poor people who weren’t refugees. That happened in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus, before the civil war destroyed it, in several camps in Lebanon and in the Shoafat camp in Jerusalem. But at the same time, anyone who could left the camps.

    Residents of the West Bank’s Deheisheh camp built an offshoot of their camp on the other side of the road, and today it’s a large, separate community called Doha (named for the capital of Qatar, which helped finance the purchase of the land from Beit Jala residents). The Shabura and Jabalya camps in Gaza also have offshoots that are slightly more spacious. But the ties to and affection for the camp – no less than for the village of origin – remain.

    The uniform framework UNRWA has provided for millions of Palestinian in the camps over the last 70 years has undoubtedly helped them retain these affinities. But had it not been for UNRWA, would they have assimilated completely into their different environments (especially outside Palestine) and forgotten that they are Palestinians, as anti-UNRWA propagandists hope or claim?

    There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in South America who aren’t refugees (they mostly emigrated voluntarily) and never lived in refugee camps. But they haven’t abandoned their Palestinian identity. It has even strengthened among the second and third generations, along with their political consciousness. And if they don’t speak Arabic, they’re trying to learn it now.

    Collapse of traditional political system

    Without UNRWA, would the Palestinian refugees not have maintained their emotional ties to their towns and villages of origin? Would they not have made this the basis of their political demand for a right of return?

    Anyone who thinks so is confusing the framework with the content. Even if the United States and Israel manage to destroy the framework, UNRWA, this political and material assault is merely strengthening the ties that bind Palestinians to one another. This is happening despite, and in parallel with, the collapse of the traditional political system of the past 60 years that united Palestinians wherever they lived, inside and outside the refugee camps.

    The parties that comprised the PLO are either nonexistent or weak, divided and strife-ridden. The PLO itself has lost its virtue of being an organization that nurtured Palestinian identity and culture and tried to create a system of social and economic solidarity. It has become a thin shell of gray, anonymous bureaucrats and is completely dependent on the Palestinian Authority.

    The PA, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas admitted, fulfills its purpose of coordinating with Israel on security issues. It’s a provider of jobs pretending to be a political leadership. It’s also feuding with its rival, Hamas, and that group’s government in Gaza.

    Hamas is even weaker financially. And it maintains its image as a resistance movement mainly in the eyes of those who haven’t experienced the results of its military adventures and delusions on their own skin – that is, people who don’t live in Gaza but in the West Bank or the diaspora.

    In this situation, the framework that U.S. President Donald Trump and former Labor MK Einat Wilf want to destroy remains what it has been for 70 years – an economic and, to some extent, social stabilizer.

    UNRWA’s budget totals $1.2 billion. Its regular budget is $567 million, of which $450 million goes for education, and another $400 million is an emergency budget, of which 90 percent goes to Gaza. That enormous sum reflects the state of this tiny coastal enclave and the ruinous impact of Israel’s assaults and, even more, its restrictions on movement and trade that have left half the workforce unemployed. The rest of UNRWA’s budget is earmarked for various projects (for instance, in Lebanon’s Nahr al-Bared camp, or what remains of Gaza’s reconstruction).

    Eight months ago, when the United States first slashed its contribution by $300 million, UNRWA’s budget deficit was almost $500 million. With great effort, and with countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates contributing $50 million each for the first time, the deficit has shrunk to $270 million.

    UNRWA had to immediately cut its emergency services, of which one of the most important is the Cash for Work program that provides temporary jobs for unemployed Gazans. Other emergency projects were also suspended: psychological treatment for people traumatized by Israeli attacks; help for the Bedouin in Area C, the part of the West Bank under full Israeli control; help for farmers whose lands and income are imprisoned on the other side of the separation barrier; mobile clinics. What is still being funded is the distribution of food and sanitary products such as diapers to 1 million Gazans once every three months.

    Because of the cuts, UNRWA couldn’t renew the contracts of 160 temporary workers in Gaza. It also reduced the salaries of several hundred people employed on its emergency projects.

    The big question is what will happen to its 2019 budget, and whether UNRWA will have to cut or even close its education and health services.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/720671 via Loutre


  • Israel is too strong
    If Israel were weaker, it would work harder to be accepted in the region. If it were less strong, Israel would have had to put an end to the curse of the occupation
    Gideon Levy | Sep 08, 2018 11:36 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-israel-is-too-strong-1.6464641
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6464648.1536437744!/image/611577387.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/611577387.jpg

    In the end, after deducting all the other ills, we find that the worst of them all, the mother of all disasters, is that Israel is too strong. If it weren’t so strong – too strong – it would be more just. If it couldn’t do whatever it felt like doing, its conduct would be more moral and more considerate. A good part of its crimes and whims comes from its power drunkenness. A good part of what it does stems from the fact that it simply can. It can thumb its nose at the whole world; ignore international law; control another people by force for generations; infringe on the sovereignty of its neighbors; act like it’s the be-all and the end-all, only because it has the power to do so.

    Like any other country, Israel needs to be strong. Weakness might indeed lead to its destruction, as Israelis are told constantly from the day they are born. But too much power has ruined it and caused it damage of a different kind. It’s not its weakness, as it describes itself – surrounded by enemies that seek only to destroy it, little David facing Goliath – that molded its character. It’s the overabundance of power that it has accumulated that has molded it more than anything else. If Israel were weaker, it would work harder to be accepted in the region. If it were less strong, Israel would have had to put an end to the curse of the occupation.

    Even if it was born in sin, Israel is not a country of particularly bad people. Even the arrogance Israelis show the whole world is not an inborn trait. Israel probably did not intend to become what it is: a regional power, which largely dictates to the most powerful country, the United States, how it should conduct itself; a country that many others court and even fear and at the same time is considered an outcast by anyone with a conscience. Israel has become this way because it is brimming with power. It accumulated it gradually, and today it has reached its zenith.

    Israel has never been stronger. It is not by chance that now its image is at the lowest point in its history. That’s the price of too much power.

    Israel is walloping the whole world. Not only with the occupation, which it continues undisturbed despite the opposition of most of the world; not only in the horrific siege on Gaza and its cruel attacks on it, which include war crimes that Israel is never punished for; not only with the settlements, whose legitimacy most of the world also doesn’t recognize – the entirety of its foreign policy says hubris.

    The daily bombings in Syria and other countries and regular flyovers of Lebanon as if there were no border and no tomorrow; arrogant, criminal, unrestrained international assassinations; leading the world to fight the Iranian nuclear program; the shocking international criminalization campaign against the BDS movement; the fact that it refrains from signing international treaties to which all democratic countries are signatories; that it endlessly disregards resolutions by international bodies; attempts to interfere in the domestic matters of its neighbors, becomes involved in wars that have nothing to do with it and even attempts to stir things up in the European Union and lead to disunity there; takes subversive action against the (former) president of the United States and closes its embassy in Paraguay only because the latter took a step that Israel didn’t like – doing all of these things like it’s a superpower.

    It’s hard to think of another country that is not the United States, Russia or China that would dare to act like this. Israel can.

    Ostensibly, this is a dizzying success of the Zionist enterprise. Who would have dreamed that we’d become like this? In fact, this is the greatest threat to its justness. Except for a few mishaps, like in 1973, this power drunkenness has so far continued without Israel having to pay any significant price, except in terms of its image, which it has also learned to disregard.

    On the eve of the new year, Israel is not facing challenges that endanger its belligerent super-powerful status. It seems that it can probably go on doing what it is doing – in the occupied territories, the Middle East and the whole world.

    Only history itself insists on reminding us from time to time that such shows of unbridled power drunkenness usually end badly. Very badly.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/720664 via Loutre


  • BDS success stories - Opinion - Israel News | Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-bds-success-stories-1.6455621

    More than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in undermining the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world.

    Gideon Levy SendSend me email alerts
    Sep 05, 2018

    Gilad Erdan is a great success story of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, as is the Strategic Affairs Ministry that he heads. So is the anti-boycott law. Every human rights activist who is expelled from Israel or questioned at Ben-Gurion International Airport is a BDS success story. The European Broadcasting Union’s letter is another success of the global movement to boycott Israel.
    More than Lana Del Rey canceling her visit, more than SodaStream moving its factory from the West Bank to the Negev and more than the achievements of the economic, academic and cultural boycott, BDS has succeeded in a different area, effortlessly and perhaps unintentionally. It has undermined the greatest asset of Israeli public diplomacy: Israel’s liberal and democratic image in the world. It was the European Broadcasting Union, of all things, a nonpolitical organization, very far from BDS, that best described the extent of the damage to Israel: The organization compared Israel to Ukraine and Azerbaijan in the conditions it set for these countries to host the Eurovision Song Contest.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Ukraine and Azerbaijan, which no one seriously considers to be democracies, in the same breath as Israel. This is how the Eurovision organizers see Israel.
    The song contest was held in Jerusalem twice before, and no one thought to set conditions to guarantee the civil liberties of participants. Now it is necessary to guarantee, in advance and in writing, what is self-evident in a democracy: freedom of entry and freedom of movement to everyone who comes for the competition.
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    In Israel, as in Ukraine and Azerbaijan, this is no longer self-evident. In the 13 years since it was founded, the BDS movement couldn’t have dreamed of a greater triumph.
    The main credit, of course, goes to the Israeli government, which in declaring war on BDS and made a great contributions to the movement. With a commander like Erdan, who is outraged over the interference with the “laws of a democratic state” and doesn’t understand how grotesque his words are, and with a ministry that is nothing but an international thought police, the government is telling the world: Israel isn’t what you thought. Did you think for years that Israel was a liberal democracy? Did you close your eyes to the goings-on in its backyard? Did you think the occupation was separate from the state, that it could be maintained in a democracy, that it was surely temporary and would be over momentarily? That at least sovereign Israel is part of the West? Well, you were wrong.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/720326 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Eurovision’s demands should serve as wake-up call for Israel - Haaretz Editorial - Israel News | Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/eurovision-s-demands-should-serve-as-wake-up-call-for-israel-1.6450815

    In a different time, the demands of the European Broadcasting Union, the organizer of the Eurovision Song Contest, would have been received in Israel with a shrug, as self-evident.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    According to a report by the Israel Television News Corporation, the broadcasting union is asking for an Israeli authority, preferably the prime minister, to promise that Israel will grant entry visas for the event regardless of applicants’ political opinions; that visitors be able to tour the country regardless of their political opinions, religion or sexual orientation; that there be freedom of the press and complete freedom of expression for all participants; that there be no religious restrictions on rehearsals on Saturday; and that Israel’s public broadcasting company, Kan, be given complete independence in editing the broadcasts.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/719812 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Kerry reveals details of Assad’s secret letter to Netanyahu in 2010 - Israel News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-kerry-reveals-details-of-secret-2010-assad-netanyahu-letter-1.6448

    WASHINGTON – Syrian President Bashar Assad sent U.S. President Barack Obama a secret proposal for peace with Israel in 2010, which was also shared with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Secretary of State John Kerry writes in his new memoir published Tuesday.
    According to Kerry, Netanyahu found the proposal “surprising” because it showed that Assad was willing to make more concessions than in previous negotiations.
    The letter was drafted by Assad a year before the start of Syria’s civil war; Syria and Israel did engage in American-mediated negotiations up until early 2011, but eventually did not reach any agreements or understandings.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/719519 via Nouvelles d’Orient