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  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • How #Israel Spies on US Citizens
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/how-israel-spies-on-us-citizens,2598

    A never-shown Al Jazeera documentary on the pro-Israel #Lobby in the US reveals possibly illegal Israeli spying on US citizens, and the lobby’s fear of a changing political mood. An investigative documentary by Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera scheduled for broadcast earlier this year was expected to cause a sensation. Its four 50-minute episodes centred on the young and personable James Anthony Kleinfeld, British, Jewish, an Oxford graduate who speaks six languages including Dutch and Yiddish (...)

    #Magazine

    / Israel, #Qatar, #Propaganda, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), #United_States, Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS), Lobby, (...)

    #American_Israel_Public_Affairs_Committee_Aipac_ #Boycott_Divestment_Sanctions_BDS_ #Espionage
    « http://www.aljazeera.com/investigations/thelobby »
    « https://zoa.org/2018/04/10377872-zoa-mort-klein-convinced-qatar-to-cancel-anti-semitic-al-jazeera-jewis »
    « https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/al-jazeera-denies-claims-pro-israel-group-lobby-films-180417145630034.htm »
    « https://mondediplo.com/2017/07/02Qatar »
    « https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/rex-tillerson-qatar-saudi-uae »
    « https://mondediplo.com/2017/07/04USSaudilobby »
    « https://www.conservativereview.com/news/inside-qatars-20-million-a-year-lobbying-effort-in-washington »
    « https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/qatar-doubles-down-on-pr-campaign-appealing-to-u-s-jews-d-c-bigwigs-1.57460 »
    « https://electronicintifada.net/content/qatar-funded-zionist-organization-america/24936 »
    « https://mondediplo.com »
    « https://mondediplo.com/subscribe »
    « https://www.richardsilverstein.com/2018/02/08/israel-lobby-pressures-qatar-kill-al-jazeera-documentary »
    « https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-embassy-to-u-s-we-oppose-qatar-s-outreach-to-pro-israel-jew »


  • كيف تتجسس إسرائيل على مواطنين أمريكيين
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/article2602

    الفيلم الوثائقي الذي أنتجته قناة الجزيرة حول اللوبي الإسرائيلي في أمريكا ثم امتنعت عن بثّه يفضح احتمالات التجسس الإسرائيل غير القانوني على مواطنين أمريكيين، كما يكشف خوف اللوبي من تغير الأجواء السياسية حياله ظهر الشاب على الشاشة بمظهر “الجنتلمان” المثالي. سحنته توحي بعفوية طالب جامعي، إلا أن طوني كلاينفيلد، البريطاني اليهودي، الكامل الأوصاف للوهلة الأولى، المُجاز من جامعة أوكسفورد المهيبة، المتحدث بست لغات منها الهولندي واليديش، والمتمرس بشؤون النزاعات في الشرق الأوسط، كان يمكنه بكل سهولة أن يجد عملاً في أحد مكاتب وزارة الخارجية في أي بلد غربي، أو في أي (...)

    #Magazine

    « https://zoa.org/2018/04/10377872-zoa-mort-klein-convinced-qatar-to-cancel-anti-semitic-al-jazeera-jewis »
    « https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/rex-tillerson-qatar-saudi-uae »
    « https://www.conservativereview.com/news/inside-qatars-20-million-a-year-lobbying-effort-in-washington »
    « https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/qatar-doubles-down-on-pr-campaign-appealing-to-u-s-jews-d-c-bigwigs-1.57460 »
    « https://electronicintifada.net/content/qatar-funded-zionist-organization-america/24936 »
    « https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israel-embassy-to-u-s-we-oppose-qatar-s-outreach-to-pro-israel-jew »


  • Netanyahu expands his struggle against EU during Baltics visit -

    Netanyahu said he intended to counterbalance the EU’s ’unfriendly approach to Israel’ through direct contact with European leaders

    Noa Landau
    Aug 24, 2018 4:18 AM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-expands-his-struggle-against-eu-during-baltics-visit-1.6

    In the heart of Vilnius, Lithuania – his ancestors’ homeland, as he often points out – Benjamin Netanyahu formally thanked the country’s prime minister for helping him wage his all-out diplomatic war on the European Union in recent years.
    Netanyahu lauded Saulius Skvernelis on Thursday for his “strong stand” in support of Israel in EU forums. He said it was refreshing to see Skvernelis stand for “clarity, truth and courage.”
    “I want to thank you, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Linas, for the strong position you have taken in the forums of the EU on behalf of truth, on behalf of Israel, on behalf of decency. Israel is often mistreated by the EU in Brussels. There are many distortions that are leveled at us and it’s refreshing to see that you take a stand of clarity, of truth and of courage. And we discussed how that can be expanded,” he said.

    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Netanyahu said he intended to counterbalance the EU’s “unfriendly approach to Israel” through direct contact with European leaders, as he began a three-day trip to Lithuania, where he is set to meet leaders of the Baltic nations.
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    Lithuania helped Netanyahu visit the EU headquarters in December by getting him a breakfast invitation with European foreign ministers before their monthly session. The move was seen at the time as running contrary to protocol and raised considerable anger in the office of the union’s head of foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini.
    Netanyahu has systematically cozied up to the most nationalistic countries of central and east Europe, with the aim of sabotaging the required consensus among the union’s 28 members to pursue a uniform foreign policy. Now he further revealed his strategy to use sub-regional blocs of states, like the Visegrad Forum and its star from Hungary, Viktor Orban, to sway EU positions on the Palestinians and Iran, or at least prevent a consensus, a tactic that would hinder the possibility of advancing new moves affecting Israel.
    “I am interested in balancing the not always friendly attitude of the European Union towards Israel so that we receive fairer and more straight-forward treatment. I am doing this through contacts with blocs of countries within the European Union, Eastern European countries, [and] now with the Baltic countries, as well, of course, as with other countries,” Netanyahu said before boarding his plane.
    Netanyahu is also due to meet Lituhania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite, Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis and Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas. Also, Netanyahu is scheduled to attend a commemoration ceremony at the memorial site of the Jews’ massacre in Ponar, meet the leaders of the Jewish community in the Vilnius’ Choral Synagogue, the only in the city to survive the Holocaust, and visit the gravesite of the Vilna Gaon, where he will no doubt tell his hosts yet again the history of his family, descendants from the sage of Vilna.
    “You know, my family’s from here,” Netanyahu told his Lithuanian counterpart a moment before their meeting. “I know, I know,” the host said.
    Israel’s relations with Lithuania and Latvia have been growing warmer in the last few years. Estonia is seen as cooler in its position and leaning toward a neutral stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – especially during its term as the EU’s president. Unlike West Europe’s larger states, the Baltic states suffer from negative migration to other EU countries, which leads to a brain drain, and Israel is seeking to strengthen its relations with Estonia on the basis of this issue. Also, the complex history of the Baltic states and Russia has led to the rise of ultra-nationalistic views, and, since the Russian invasion of Crimea, deep concern over defense and military power.
    Netanyahu emphasized that, too, in his meetings, telling Lithuanian leaders that like Israel, Lithuania has great national pride, while stressing that this quality stood “alongside democratic values and individual rights.”
    Observers in the corridors of Brussels told Haaretz that Netanyahu’s acts indeed have a “chilling effect” on the ability to publish joint statements in the name of the 28 member states. These dynamics are not new but became more prevalent and assertive in the past two or three years. “It’s more difficult for the EU to speak with one clear voice on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” one observer said.
    Netanyahu’s cultivation of relations with the eastern European and Baltic states at the expense of the large liberal countries, like France and Germany, comes at a price that some would call ideological and others would call strategic. He is doing all he can to undermine Germany and France in a bid to prevent EU support for the two-state solution, which he himself usually supports in statements made to international audiences.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/716978 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Le militant pacifiste israélien Avnery, intervieweur d’Arafat, est décédé
    AFP, publié le lundi 20 août 2018 à 09h37
    https://actu.orange.fr/societe/culture/le-militant-pacifiste-israelien-avnery-intervieweur-d-arafat-est-decede-
    http://media2.woopic.com/api/v1/images/661%2Fafp-news%2F84b%2F8f7%2Fe1476d6af82ee6f330654680d9%2Fle-militant-pacifiste-israelien-avnery-intervieweur-d-arafat-est-decede%7C000_18H1Z9-highDef.jpg?format=470x264&facedetect=1&quality=85

    Le journaliste et militant pacifiste israélien Uri Avnery, durement attaqué dans son pays dans les années 1980 pour avoir rencontré le leader palestinien Yasser Arafat, est décédé dans la nuit à Tel-Aviv à 94 ans, a-t-on appris lundi de source hospitalière.

    Figure centrale du mouvement pacifiste israélien, Uri Avnery avait causé une tempête en recueillant en juillet 1982 ce qui est présenté comme la première interview de M. Arafat avec un journal israélien, Haolam Haze, qu’il dirigeait.

    Il était l’un des premiers Israéliens à rencontrer M. Arafat, alors considéré comme l’ennemi numéro un d’Israël.

    L’entretien avait eu lieu à Beyrouth, assiégée par l’armée israélienne.

    Avocat de la création d’un Etat palestinien, Uri Avnery avait été soldat et avait même appartenu à une milice de droite avant de devenir une voix éminente de la paix, en laquelle il a cru jusqu’au bout.

    De son vrai nom Helmut Ostermann, Uri Avnery est né en Allemagne en 1923, d’où il émigre vers la Palestine mandataire en 1933 après l’accession au pouvoir d’Adolf Hitler.

    Brièvement membre de l’Irgoun, le groupe clandestin armé de droite qui combat le mandat britannique, il s’engage dans l’armée israélienne après la création de l’Etat d’Israël en 1948. Il est blessé lors de la guerre israélo-arabe.

    En 1950, après sa démobilisation, il fonde Haolam Haze (Ce monde), hebdomadaire critique des institutions israéliennes. Il est la cible de la censure et d’attaques personnelles. Une bombe est placée au siège du journal en 1955, le seul de l’époque à ne pas être sous la coupe d’un parti.

    Il restera pendant 40 ans à la tête de Haolam Haze, publiant des enquêtes et des faits divers souvent sensationnels dans un style inconnu alors en Israël, tout en militant pour la coexistence avec la population arabe et en faveur de la création d’un Etat palestinien. Haolam Haze exercera une influence considérable sur la presse israélienne.

    Engagé tout à la gauche de l’échiquier politique israélien, il est élu au Parlement en 1965. Il y passera 10 ans en tout.

    En 1994, il fonde une ONG pacifiste, Gush Shalom (Bloc de la paix), en marge des autres mouvements pacifistes car plaidant pour le droit au retour des Palestiniens et de leurs descendants sur les terres dont ils ont été chassés ou qu’ils ont fuies à la création d’Israël en 1948.

    Ecrivain prolifique, il écrit une dizaine de livres, dont, en 2014, son autobiographie intitulée « optimiste ».

    Il a reçu de nombreux prix internationaux, dont le Prix de la paix Erich-Maria Remarque en 1995.

    Il avait été admis il y a plusieurs jours à l’hôpital Ichilov de Tel-Aviv à la suite d’un accident vasculaire cérébral.

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    Uri Avnery, Veteran Peace Activist and Among First Israelis to Meet Arafat, Dies at 94
    Ofer Aderet - Aug 20, 2018 7:21 AM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-uri-avenry-veteran-peace-activist-dies-at-94-1.6364250

    The Gush Shalom founder was one of the first Israelis to actively seek a Palestinian state as a peaceful solution to the conflict: ‘The difference between a freedom fighter and a terrorist depends on your perspective’

    https://seenthis.net/messages/716130 via Loutre


  • In nearing deal with Israel on Gaza, Hamas wins achievements through military resistance

    Netanyahu, who has no clear goal on Gaza, prefers to be weak on terror and not find himself in an endless war in the Strip

    Amos Harel
    Aug 15, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-netanyahu-government-warming-to-prospective-cease-fire-with-hamas-

    The two sides clashing in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas, seemed to be closer on Tuesday evening than anytime during the past few months to “the small arrangement” – a full cease-fire that includes a halt to all acts of violence, alongside the first easing of the blockade on Gaza.
    To really understand Israel and the Palestinians - subscribe to Haaretz
    If the efforts to broker the deal by the United Nations and Egyptian intelligence work out, and optimism in Israeli defense circles could be heard for the first time on the matter Tuesday evening, then it is possible that quiet could return to the border between Israel and Gaza for at least a few months.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has examined the possibility of calling early elections over the past few days, because of the coalition crisis over the law on drafting the ultra-Orthodox, along with other considerations. A stable cease-fire in Gaza would allow Netanyahu to conduct the election campaign from a position of relative stability, without having to continually fight back against the accusations that he has abandoned the residents of the south to rockets and incendiary kites.
    >> Hamas is exploiting Netanyahu’s unwillingness to go to war | Analysis

    Minister of Defense Lieberman, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Chief of Staff Eisenkot at the graduation ceremony for officers’ course at Training Base 1.Ariel Hermoni / Ministry of Defense
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    The negative side of the understandings with Hamas for Netanyahu is that he is in practice negotiating with Hamas. His denials haven’t convinced anyone. Netanyahu knows exactly to whom the mediators are delivering his answers. It has happened in the past too, under Ehud Olmert’s government after Operation Cast Lead, and on Netanyahu’s watch too, after both Pillar of Defense and Protective Edge. But it seems that this time it is even clearer and more unforgiving.
    It will also be a victory from Hamas’ point of view. The organization began escalating the tensions along the border with mass protests on March 30, from a position of deep distress. The understandings are expected to ease the Israeli pressure on the Gaza Strip and give Hamas breathing room. At the same time, the understandings promise Hamas another achievement: being identified as an important and legitimate partner for regional agreements. And Hamas achieved all this through military resistance, in complete opposition to the line taken by its rival Palestinian camp, Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.

    The step that is now coming together was woven by the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, with the active help of Egyptian intelligence. The latest round of violence, which came last week, sped up the renewal of contacts and may have even advanced the willingness of the two sides to reach an agreement.
    It seems that Netanyahu has chosen the least bad option. It is very possible he will spare the lives of dozens of Israeli soldiers and civilians, who could very well have died in a wide-scale military conflict in Gaza in the next few months. Because Netanyahu never set a clear and attainable goal for himself for an attack on Gaza, he is willing to endure criticism from both the left and right on his demonstration of weakness in the face of terrorism, and not find himself in the middle of a war whose end, the how and why of it, would be a riddle to him.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/715186 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Palestinian protesters in Gaza: Don’t wound us – kill us -

    How many of the young people protesting at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives? Unfortunately, many

    Amira Hass
    Aug 13, 2018
    Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-palestinian-protesters-in-gaza-don-t-wound-us-kill-us-1.6366805

    “A person who was shot in the leg and had his leg amputated weeps. Not because his leg is gone, but because the soldier didn’t kill him.”
    How many of the young people protesting Friday at the Gaza border fence hoped the soldiers facing them would pull the trigger and end their lives?
    Many. Many more than is reported or than the Palestinians are prepared to or can admit publicly. 
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    “A person who was shot in the leg and had his leg amputated weeps. Not because his leg is gone, but because the soldier didn’t kill him,” said someone who came out of the Gaza Strip for a few days. He told of a 30-year-old man who went up to the fence a few times, was wounded a few times, until he got lucky and the soldier on the other side finally killed him. We’ll get to the women too, soon enough, but we’re treading carefully.
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    What is the ratio between the number of those seeking to continue protecting the principles of the Palestinian struggle – by protesting at the border fence – and the number of those using the patriotic-nationalistic mantle to commit suicide, knowing that Islam prohibits “ordinary” suicide?
    >> Hamas is exploiting Netanyahu’s unwillingness to go to war | Analysis
    We don’t know. Israel doesn’t allow us to enter the Gaza Strip to ask these questions and seek answers. Phone calls are not enough, and so we depend on reports from people coming out – Palestinians and foreign journalists.
    >> No Fuel, No Gas: Israel Clamps Down on Gaza Over Airborne Firebombs
    Perhaps the protesters are motivated simultaneously by the two goals, and their distance from the fence shows the ratio between their desire to die and their fight for freedom? But many people who are very far from the fence come to see what’s going on, one foreign reporter said. That’s not a struggle, it’s a kind of pastime, because there’s nothing else to do and the sea is full of floating excrement. This journalist, who has known the Gaza Strip for more than 20 years, concludes: When everyone has to find ways to survive, there’s no room for thinking about the national struggle. 
    Many of them are young people who go to the fence to be wounded, thinking that Hamas will pay them, and then they can pay their debts at the grocery store or pay their rent for two months. It’s true: Hamas pays the injured a one-time payment of $200, I’m told. But only if the injury was serious.

    Someone who was slightly injured and went to a Hamas office to ask for money was turned away. Someone else was fortunate – his injury was worth compensation, then he went to the fence to be wounded again, and received compensation again. 
    But the wounded quickly discover what they did not take into consideration at first: Injuries have their own costs (beyond pain and disability). Surgery is covered. But medications are lacking, so their family goes deeper into debt to pay for them, or not. And then the flesh is infested with worms and it rots. And that’s not a metaphor.
    Some people deluded themselves that their family would receive large compensation if they were killed, or that payment for injury would come on a monthly basis. They still think it’s like the second intifada, when Saddam Hussein and Iran sent money for these purposes and the Palestinian Authority bore the burden. Those days are gone forever. 
    On Ramadan the young people went on the marches because a nourishing meal to break the fast was waiting for them, provided by Hamas. On other days they would receive a sandwich and a drink at the protest tents. Yet they are at risk even if they are not standing next to the fence, but rather are some distance away, near the tents, as attested to by a journalist who was standing near the tents last week when a bullet fired by one of our heroic soldiers flew right past his ear.
    Over the weekend, written proof emerged of the mixture of a death wish and commitment to the struggle. Abdallah al-Qatati, 20, was a volunteer paramedic who went every Friday to rescue unarmed people wounded by the strongest army in the region. Ten days ago he wrote a Facebook post, and people who shared it said it was his last: “As on every Friday, I go to the border, but this Friday is different. I’m going like any young revolutionary protecting his homeland and his land. We don’t care about the goals of the march or the goals of any organization in this march. What is important to us is our land and our dignity. And in short, we are fleeing unto death. In the hope that the second death will be more merciful than the first. And that’s the end of the story.” 
    In other words, life in Gaza is also death, of a different kind. On Friday, an Israeli soldier shot the medic al-Qatati and killed him.
    And now to the women protesters: Since they are few, this could seem like an accusation, or scorn, which will draw protests. But a Palestinian woman who spoke with women who go to the fence says she believes that few of them do it for national reasons, or that gradually the national reasons gave way to personal-economic reasons. Some of them went to be wounded and receive compensation. One went to be close to her son who was protesting. And many went to die – one whose husband refused to give her a divorce, another who was unmarried and felt that society considered her damaged goods, a third who was a victim of family violence and a fourth who couldn’t stand the poverty, the constant chasing after a shekel for milk and drops of water from the faucet. We are familiar with the phenomenon of women in the West Bank who committed suicide-by-soldier. 
    Poverty in Gaza has reached unimaginable, indescribable levels, even for people who are allowed to go in and see it. The despair growing there behind the iron wall that Israel has built is still seeking the lexicon with which it can be depicted.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/714668 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israel is using an online blacklist against pro-Palestinian activists. But nobody knows who compiled it

    Israeli border officials are using a shadowy online dossier as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics

    The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis Aug 07, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/the-blacklist-used-by-israel-against-pro-palestinian-activists-1.6359001

    Last December, Andrew Kadi flew to Israel to visit his mother. As he walked through Ben Gurion International Airport, officials pulled him aside and said that the security services wanted to speak with him.
    Kadi is among the leaders of a major pro-Palestinian advocacy group, and border authorities always question him when he travels to Israel to see his family. This time, however, something was different.

    During his second of what ended up being three interrogations, spanning more than eight hours, Kadi realized that much of what the interrogator knew about him had come from Canary Mission, an anonymously-run online blacklist that tries to frighten pro-Palestinian students and activists into silence by posting dossiers on their politics and personal lives.

    Kadi’s interrogator asked question after question about organizations listed on his Canary Mission profile. A pro-Palestinian organization that Kadi had been involved with but that wasn’t listed on his Canary Mission profile went unmentioned. Hours later, a third interrogator confirmed what Kadi had suspected: They were looking at his Canary Mission profile.

    Canary Mission has said since it went live in 2015 that it seeks to keep pro-Palestinian student activists from getting work after college. Yet in recent months, the threat it poses to college students and other activists has grown far more severe.
    The site, which is applauded by some pro-Israel advocates for harassing hardcore activists, is now being used as an intelligence source on thousands of students and academics by Israeli officials with immense power over people’s lives, the Forward has learned.
    Rumors of the border control officers’ use of the dossiers is keeping both Jewish and Palestinian activists from visiting relatives in Israel and the West Bank, and pro-Palestinian students say they are hesitant to express their views for fear of being unable to travel to see family.
    >> Twitter account of Canary Mission, group blacklisting pro-Palestinian activists, deactivated
    Meanwhile, back on campus, pro-Israel students are facing suspicion of colluding with Canary Mission. The students, and not the operatives and donors who run it from behind a veil of anonymity, are taking the blame for the site’s work.

    The dossiers
    Canary Mission’s profiles, of which there are now more than 2,000, can run for thousands of words. They consist of information about the activist, including photographs and screenshots, cobbled together from the internet and social media, along with descriptions of the groups with which they are affiliated.
    The phrase, “if you’re a racist, the world should know,” appears on the top of each page on the site.
    In addition to the thousands of profiles of pro-Palestinian students and professors, Canary Mission has also added a smattering of profiles of prominent white supremacists, including 13 members of Identity Evropa and a handful of others.
    The site’s profiles appear to be based entirely on open source intelligence that could be gathered by anyone with a computer. But the researchers are thorough, and some of what they post is exceptionally personal. Canary Mission’s profile of Esther Tszayg, a junior at Stanford University whose profile went online in May, includes two photographs of her as a young child and one taken for a campus fashion magazine.
    “It feels pretty awful and I really wish I wasn’t on that website,” said Tszayg, the president of Stanford’s chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace, a pro-Palestinian group.
    Canary Mission’s profile of Rose Asaf, a leader of the local chapter of JVP at New York University, includes nearly 60 photographs of her and screenshots of her social media activities. It went online in November of 2017, when she was a college junior.
    Liz Jackson, a staff attorney at the legal advocacy group Palestine Legal, said that she was aware of one case in which Canary Mission posted old photographs a student had deleted a year before. The student believes that Canary Mission had been tracking her for over a year before they posted her profile.
    Some of what Canary Mission captures is genuinely troubling, including anti-Semitic social media posts by college students. But often, the eye-catching charges they make against their subjects don’t quite add up. A profile of an NYU freshman named Ari Kaplan charges him with “demonizing Israel at a Jewish event.” In fact, he had stood up at a Hillel dinner to make an announcement that was critical of President Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
    “It’s really weird when they’re trying to have someone who looks like me [as] the face of anti-Semitism,” said Kaplan, joking that he looks stereotypically Jewish.
    The border
    It’s these profiles that Israeli border control officers were looking at when they interrogated Kadi, who is in his 30s, and is a member of the steering committee of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. Kadi is a U.S. citizen, but his mother and her family are Palestinian citizens of Israel.
    Kadi’s case is not unique. In April, before deporting Columbia University Law School professor Katherine Franke and telling her she will be permanently banned from the country, an Israeli border control officer showed her something on his phone that she says she is “80% sure” was her Canary Mission profile.
    The officer, Franke said, had accused her of traveling to Israel to “promote BDS.” When she said that wasn’t true, the officer accused her of lying, saying she was a “leader” of JVP. He held up the screen of his phone, which appeared to show her Canary Mission profile, and told her: “See, I know you’re lying.”
    Franke, who had previously sat on JVP’s academic advisory council steering committee but at that time had no formal role with the group, told the officer she was not on JVP’s staff. The officer deported her anyhow.
    “Canary Mission information is often neither reliable, nor complete, nor up to date,” said Israeli human rights attorney Emily Schaeffer Omer-Man, who represents activists and human rights advocates denied entry to Israel. Schaeffer Omer-Man says that the site, as such, shouldn’t legally qualify to be used as the basis for a deportation decision by border control officers, as it doesn’t meet reliability standards set by Israeli administrative law.
    Yet incidents like those experienced by Franke and Kadi are on the rise. Schaeffer Omer-Man said that clients for years have said that they suspected that their interrogators had seen their Canary Mission profiles, based on the questions they asked. More recently, she said, clients have told her that border control mentioned Canary Mission by name.
    Rumors of these incidents are spreading fear among campus activists.
    “I have family in Israel, and I don’t expect I will be let in again,” said Tszayg, the Stanford student.
    Palestine Legal’s Liz Jackson said that a large majority of people who get in touch with her organization about their Canary Mission profile are mostly worried about traveling across Israeli borders. “That really puts the muzzle on what people can say in the public sphere about Palestine,” Jackson said.
    Israel’s Ministry of the Interior, which oversees the country’s border control agency, did not respond to a question about whether it is ministry policy for its interrogators to use Canary Mission as a source of information on travelers. It’s possible that the officers are finding the Canary Mission dossiers on their own, by searching for travelers’ names on Google.
    But absent a denial from the interior ministry, it’s also possible that the dossiers are being distributed systematically. When Schaeffer Omer-Man reviews her clients’ interrogation files, as attorneys have the right to do under Israeli law, she has never seen a mention of Canary Mission. What she has seen, however, in summaries of the interrogations, are references to material provided by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, the arm of the Israeli government tasked with opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement worldwide, largely through a secret network of non-governmental organizations that help it defend Israel abroad.
    The Israeli connection
    When Gilad Erdan, the strategic affairs minister, took over his agency in 2015, the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, as it is officially known in English, had a tiny staff and a small budget. In just a few years, he has turned it into a major operation with a budget of over $100 million over two years, according to reporting by the Israeli investigative magazine the Seventh Eye.
    At the core of the MSA’s operation is a network of more than a hundred non-governmental organizations with which it shares information and resources. “A key part of the strategy is the belief that messaging by ‘real people’ is much more effective than plain old hasbara [propaganda] by official spokespersons,” said Itamar Benzaquen, an investigative journalist at the Seventh Eye, who has done extensive reporting on the MSA.
    The Forward has learned that the people who run Canary Mission are in direct contact with the leadership of Act.il, a pro-Israel propaganda app that is a part of the network, and has benefited from a publicity campaign funded by the MSA, according to Benzaquen’s reporting.
    The founder and CEO of Act.il, Yarden Ben Yosef, told the Forward last fall that he had been in touch with the people who run Canary Mission, and that they had visited his office in Israel.
    Neither Canary Mission nor the MSA responded to queries about their relationship to each other.
    The operators
    Canary Mission has jealously guarded the anonymity of its operators, funders, and administrators, and its cloak of secrecy has held up against the efforts of journalists and pro-Palestine activists alike.
    Two people, granted anonymity to speak about private conversations, have separately told the Forward that a British-born Jerusalem resident named Jonathan Bash identified himself to them as being in charge of Canary Mission.
    The Forward reported in 2015 that Bash was the CEO of a pro-Israel advocacy training organization, Video Activism, that appeared to have numerous ties to Canary Mission. At the time, Bash denied there was any relationship between the organizations.
    Neither Canary Mission nor Bash responded to requests for comment.
    The response
    As Canary Mission has become an increasingly prominent feature of the campus landscape, students have adapted to its threat. Increasingly, student governments vote on divestment resolutions by secret ballot, partly in an attempt to keep Canary Mission from profiling student representatives who vote in favor.
    Student activist groups, meanwhile, strategically mask the identities of vulnerable members. Abby Brook, who has been a leader in both the Students for Justice in Palestine and JVP groups at George Washington University, said that her fellow activists had strategized about who would be a public-facing leader of the group, and shoulder the risk of appearing on Canary Mission. When her profile went up last year, she was ready.
    “We made strategic decisions within our organization about who would be out-facing members and who would be in-facing members, knowing that Canary Missionwould have different consequences for different people,” Brook said. She said that the names of members of her chapter of SJP who are Palestinian are not listed publicly, and that those individuals have stayed off of Canary Mission.
    “We deliberately keep those people private,” Brook said. “I’m not Palestinian; I won’t be prohibited from being able to go home if I’m listed on Canary Mission. It has a lot less consequences for me as a white person.”
    While Brook’s Palestinian colleagues have been able to hide their identities while being active on the issue, others have chosen not to take the risk. Palestine Legal’s Jackson said that she has fielded questions from students who want to take political action in support of Palestinian rights, but have been afraid to do so because of what being listed on Canary Mission could mean for their families. One student activist told Jackson she wanted to be a leader in SJP, but asked Jackson if getting a Canary Mission profile could damage her family’s naturalization application.
    “I said I don’t know, honestly,” Jackson said.
    Another student told Jackson that she had wanted to write an op-ed about the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a controversial piece of federal legislation that critics say could limit free speech, but that she was afraid to be published because she wanted to be able to go visit her grandparents in the West Bank, and couldn’t risk being profiled on Canary Mission.
    For students who do find themselves on Canary Mission, there is little recourse. Canary Mission has posted a handful of essays by “ex-canaries,” people who have written effusive apologies in return for being removed from the site. Jackson said that some profiles have been temporarily removed after the subjects filed copyright complaints, but that they were reposted later with the offending images removed.
    There do not appear to have been any defamation suits filed against Canary Mission. The authors of the profiles are careful about what they write, and pursuing a lawsuit would place a heavy burden on the plaintiff. “Students who are naturally concerned about the reputational damage of being smeared as a terrorist usually don’t want to go through a public trial, because that only makes it worse,” Jackson wrote in an email. “It’s tough to take on a bully, especially in court. But litigation is not off the table.”
    Campus spies
    In the meantime, Canary Mission’s utter secrecy has created an atmosphere of suspicion on campuses. While the operatives behind Canary Mission hide behind their well-protected anonymity, pro-Israel students take the blame for its activities, whether or not they were involved.
    A number of students listed on the site who spoke with the Forward named specific pro-Israel students on their campuses who they suspected of having informed on them to Canary Mission.
    Tilly Shames, who runs the local Hillel at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, said that Canary Mission has led to suspicion of pro-Israel students on her campus. “It has created greater mistrust and exclusion of pro-Israel students, who are assumed to be involved in Canary Mission, or sharing information with Canary Mission, when they are not,” Shames said.
    Kaplan, the NYU sophomore, said that he’s now wary talking to people who he knows are involved in pro-Israel activism on campus.
    “I’ll want to be open and warm with them, but it will be, how do I know this guy isn’t reporting to Canary Mission?” Kaplan said. He said he didn’t intend to let the suspicions fomented by Canary Mission keep him from spending time with other Jewish students.
    “I’m not going to live in fear; I love Jews,” he said. “I’m not going to not talk to Jewish students out of fear of being on Canary [Mission], but it would be better to have some solidarity from the Jewish community of NYU.”
    For more stories, go to www.forward.com. Sign up for the Forward’s daily newsletter at http://forward.com/newsletter/signup

    https://seenthis.net/messages/713517 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli Druze commander quits army over nation-state law in open letter to Netanyahu

    In a Facebook post, Capt. Amir Jmall calls on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israeli Druze

    Yaniv Kubovich
    Jul 30, 2018 5:36 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-israeli-druze-quits-idf-over-nation-state-law-in-letter-to-netanya

    In the letter, Jmall also called on leaders of his community to work toward putting an end to the compulsory conscription of Israel’s Druze. The Facebook post has since been removed.
    “This morning, when I woke up to drive to the [army] base, I asked myself, why? Why do I have to serve the State of Israel, a state that my two brothers, my father and I have served with dedication, a sense of mission and a love of the homeland, and, in the end, what do we get? To be second-class citizens,” Jmall wrote.
    >> ’When we’re in uniform they treat us well’: Israel’s Druze no longer feel like blood brothers
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    "Continue serving the country? I do not want to continue and I am sure that hundreds more people will stop serving and will be discharged from the army following your decision, Netanyahu, that of you and your government,” he continued.
    "After many thoughts ran through my head, I decided to let go and to discontinue serving the country, a country that has a government that takes and does not give back.”
    In conclusion, Jmall wrote: “I ask everyone who is against the nation-state law to share and share my proposal to community leaders to stop the conscription law for members of the Druze community.”
    The Basic Law: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, also known as the nation-state law, approved by the Knesset on July 19, affirmed that only Jews have the right to self-determination in Israel. It also downgraded Arabic to a language with “special status,” among several other controversial measures that affect the Israeli Druze.
    The nation-state law is designed to alter the application of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty in court rulings, and permits judges to give priority to Israel’s Jewish character in their rulings.

    Last week, Druze lawmakers were the first to file a High Court of Justice petition against the legislation. A hundred Druze Israel Defense Forces reserve officers added their voices to that effort on Wednesday, prompting Education Minister Naftali Bennett to speak out in support of “our blood brothers” on Twitter.
    Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon echoed similar sentiments on Thursday, telling Israeli Army Radio, “The enactment of the nation-state law was done hastily,” and adding: “We were wrong and we need to fix it.”
    On Saturday, Israeli Arab lawmaker Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) announced his intention to resign from the Knesset in protest of the law. "The law oppresses me and oppresses the population that sent me to the Knesset,’’ he said.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/711918 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Once again, Israel denies the Bedouin what it grants the settlers
    On Wednesday the High Court will hear petitions against the demolition of the Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar, while two Palestinian villages request that the state demolish illegal structures in a nearby settlement
    Amira Hass Jul 27, 2018 10:23 PM
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-once-again-israel-denies-the-bedouin-what-it-grants-the-settlers-1
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6317368.1532711095!/image/1276407587.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/1276407587.jpg

    Two Palestinian villages, basing their request on Civil Administration data, are asking the Israeli authorities to demolish illegal structures in the settlement of Kfar Adumim and outposts around it. In question are about 120 villas and other buildings in the settlement against which demolition orders have been issued (though, as of the beginning of 2017, at least half the structures had been approved retroactively), and in four outposts.

    In the outposts, most of the structures have been built on land defined as state land back in the days of Jordanian rule, and a smaller number have been built on land privately owned by village residents. This past Tuesday, at the Justice Ministry High Court department, Attorney Tawfiq Jabareen filed this request for the villages of Deir Dibwan and Anata, east of Ramallah, as the prelude to petitioning for the villages and some of their residents, owners of private land.

    In a preliminary argument, Jabareen talks about Israel’s “selective enforcement” policy. And as a reverse example — of “legalizing” the illegal construction in Kfar Adumim — he mentions the Bedouin village at Khan al-Ahmar, which existed long before the settlements were established and is now threatened by demolition, along with the expulsion of its residents. Before this request, a team of lawyers headed by Jabareen submitted two new petitions on behalf of the residents of Khan al-Ahmar.

    The deliberations on these petitions will be held this Wednesday, at a time when Khan al-Ahmar has become a focus of international interest and hosts protest gatherings every day. This comes against the backdrop of European and UN condemnations of the planned demolition and, in general, of Israel’s policy of thwarting Palestinian construction in the West Bank’s Area C, which is under exclusive Israeli control.

    Thus, three months before the law comes into effect denying the High Court authority to deliberate on matters concerning West Bank land and techniques for grabbing it from the Palestinians, a team of Palestinian lawyers who are Israeli citizens insists on bringing to the High Court matters of principle concerning discrimination, inequality and government arbitrariness.

    Settlements’ concerted action

    For its part, Kfar Adumim continues to demand implementation of the decision to demolish Khan al-Ahmar. This past Sunday, the settlement and two of its offshoots — Nofei Prat and Alon — asked to join the Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration as respondents in one of the two new Khan-al Ahmar petitions. This is the petition that asks to oblige the Civil Administration to relate to the detailed master plan recently submitted by the village. On behalf of the three settlements, attorneys Avraham Moshe Segal and Yael Cinnamon asked that the petition be rejected.

    A concerted legal and media battle by the three settlements over the past decade, as well as pressure from the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s subcommittee on West Bank affairs, led to the Civil Administration’s decision to demolish the village. During all those years, the previous attorney for the Bedouin village, Shlomo Lecker, managed to delay implementation of the demolition orders, including the order against the ecological school made out of tires.

    But in May a panel of justices headed by Noam Sohlberg, a resident of the settlement of Alon Shvut, ruled that there was no legal reason to intervene in the state’s decision to expel and forcibly transfer the village’s residents to an area the Civil Administration has allotted them next to the Abu Dis garbage dump.

    His partners in the decision were justices Anat Baron and Yael Willner; Willner has a brother and a sister living in Kfar Adumim, but she did not recuse herself from deliberating on the fate of Khan al-Ahmar, nor did she agree to attorney Lecker’s request that she do so. About a week after the High Court’s green light for the demolition, the Civil Administration’s Supreme Planning Council approved the construction of a new neighborhood for Kfar Adumim called Nofei Bereshit about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the Bedouin community at Khan al-Ahmar.

    Preparations for the demolition and eviction began at the end of June, but the new petitions have halted them. It was Baron who issued a temporary injunction that has suspended the demolition.

    Attorneys Segal and Cinnamon, acting on behalf of the three settlements, write that the new petition (asking that the Civil Administration consider the master plan for the village) “is part of a broader move by the petitioners and influential elements on the ‘left’ side of the political map to ‘leave’ the ‘Palestinian construction criminals’ adjacent to the Israeli locales there and adjacent to Route 1 in order to create contiguous Palestinian settlement there.” (The internal quotation marks are in the original document).

    The settlements say that this is an illegitimate way to deliberate; it will let any judicial ruling be reopened in the hope that a different panel of judges will make a change. Regarding the matter at hand, the settlements note that the High Court has already addressed the possibility of preparing a master plan for the village at its current location and has ruled that there is nothing wrong with the state’s intention to demolish it.

    In their statement accompanying the request to join the respondents, the settlements write that the petitioners from Khan al-Ahmar are “construction criminals who have made a law unto themselves and have wittingly and without building permits built on lands that do not belong to them, adjacent to a major transportation artery [and then] brazenly applied to the honorable court to help them prevent the implementation of the demolition orders.”

    The settlements argue that the petitioners built the structures without any building permits and on land that “no one disputes that they do not have even a speck of a right to claim as theirs.”

    First construction, then legalization

    The Bedouin village’s tents and makeshift shacks are on plots of land belonging to residents of Anata, for which they have received the owners’ permission. These plots include a are part of a large area of lands under private Palestinian ownership listed in the Land Registry, which Israel expropriated in 1975 but has not used since. Route 1, which links Jerusalem to Jericho, was far from Khan al-Ahmar, and only when the road was widened was the distance decreased.

    One of the founders of Kfar Adumim, current Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, submitted an action plan to the IDF back at the end of 1978 or the beginning of 1979. The plan confirms that Bedouin communities were living in the area before the settlements were established, but the plan demands that these communities be expelled, Palestinian construction be curtailed and contiguous Jewish settlement be established.

    On the basis of Civil Administration data, the planning rights group Bimkom published an opinion in 2010 on the pattern of planning and construction in Kfar Adumim and its offshoots: first construction without permits and only then planning that legalizes it.

    The settlement was established in 1979 but a detailed master plan was approved only in 1988. New homes were built without permits, awaiting legalization in another master plan approved years later. Before all the possibilities for construction in the 1988 plan were used up, detailed master plans were advanced aimed at establishing Alon and Nofei Prat, which are called neighborhoods even though they are not contiguous with the mother settlement. Each of these “neighborhoods” spawned an illegal outpost of its own.

    In his preliminary argument to the High Court, Jabareen mentions the Civil Administration’s demolition orders against large private homes in Kfar Adumim. He also mentions the legalization of at least half the structures against which orders were issued, and the four outposts created by the settlement and its offshoots Alon and Nofei Prat. The information about the outposts is based on Civil Administration and Peace Now data.

    The outpost Givat Granit was established in 2002 on about 70 dunams (17.3 acres) of land, of which 10 are privately owned land and the rest is state land from the Jordanian period. Five residential structures and part of the approach road are located on privately-owned land.

    The outpost Haroeh Ha’ivri was established without a master plan in 2015 on about 20 dunams of state land and serves as an educational farm school. The road to the outpost runs along private land, and the outpost receives funding from the Education Ministry. An events venue and desert field lodge was established on about 15 dunams of state land in 2012, and the outpost Ma’aleh Hagit was established in 1999 on about 70 dunams of state land with incursions onto privately-owned parcels.

    In the Kfar Adumim statement to the High Court, the attorneys write that the Khan al-Ahmar petition is political, “and to this will testify the deeds of the petitioners who exploited the temporary order they received for purposes of opening the school year and populating the school building (made of tires) with pupils . The entire aim of the petition is to advance the petitioners’ political agenda and their attempt to create contiguous Palestinian settlement in strategic areas of Judea and Samaria. The petitioners’ attempt to depict the issue as a legal issue is flawed to a large extent by artificiality and testifies to the petitioner’s lack of good faith.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/711301 via Loutre


  • Why the expected wave of French immigration to Israel never materialized

    It seemed as if the Jews of France would come to Israel in droves after the 2015 attacks in Paris. It turns out that these expectations were exaggerated - here’s why
    By Noa Shpigel Jul 25, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-why-expected-wave-of-french-immigration-to-israel-never-m

    It was early 2015 in Paris and the attacks came one after the other. On January 7, there was the shooting attack on the editorial offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo that took 12 lives; the next day a terrorist shot a policewoman dead, and the day after that brought the siege on the Hypercacher kosher supermarket that ended in the deaths of four Jews.
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    On January 11, some four million people marched through the streets of Paris and other French cities in a protest against terror; some 50 world leaders marched in Paris, among them Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who a few hours later spoke at the Great Synagogue in Paris and urged French Jews to make aliyah.

    [You have] the right to live in our free country, the one and only Jewish state, the State of Israel,” he said, to applause from the crowd. “The right to stand tall and proud at the walls of Zion, our eternal capital of Jerusalem. Any Jew who wishes to immigrate to Israel will be welcomed with open arms and warm and accepting hearts.” The Immigration Absorption Ministry estimated that more than 10,000 French Jews would make aliyah that year.
    That forecast was premature. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in 2014, there were 6,547 olim from France, while in 2015, the number rose only to 6,628. In 2016, the number of immigrants dropped to 4,239, and last year, there were only 3,157. Based on the first five months of this year, it seems that the downtrend is continuing; in the first five months of 2018, there were 759 olim from France, while during the comparable period in 2017, the number was 958.
    Joel Samoun, a married father of four from Troyes and a nurse by profession, remembers Netanyahu’s speech. “The speech definitely moved me. It was also a period when we weren’t feeling safe in France,” he says. He began the aliyah process: He made contact with the Jewish Agency and even had his professional credentials and recommendation letters translated into Hebrew. But when Samoun discovered what a lengthy procedure he would have to undergo to work in his field in Israel, he decided to give up on the dream, at least for now. “It’s somewhere in my head,” he said. “Maybe when I reach retirement age.”

    Nor is Annaell Asraf, 23, of Paris, hurrying to leave. Her sister made aliyah four years ago, did national service, and somehow managed. She herself worked in Israel for six months, then returned to France, finished her degree in business administration and founded an online fashion business.
    “I have a good life in France,” she told Haaretz. Many of her friends, she said, “tried to make aliyah, waited two years to find work, and came back. On paper it looks easy, but it’s much more complicated.”

    Annaell Asraf, 23, of Paris, prefers to remain in France Luana Hazan
    What are the primary obstacles? Gaps in language and mentality that aren’t easy to bridge, she says, plus, for anyone who didn’t serve in the army, it’s harder to find work. Moreover, she now feels safe in France. “Maybe someday,” she says, when asked if she sees herself returning to Israel to live.
    Ariel Kendel, director of Qualita, the umbrella organization for French immigrants in Israel, says, “On the one hand, we see that aliyah is down, but on the other hand, the potential is great. If you know Jews in the community in France – it’s hard to find people who’ll say they don’t want to come to Israel.”
    According to Kendel, the drop in aliyah has a number of causes. The primary ones are absorption difficulties; transitioning from the welfare state they are used to; and the fact that there are no aliyah programs tailored specifically for the French. “Where will I live, how will I make a living, what happens to my kids between 2 and 6 [P.M.],” he says. “In France, there is a developed welfare state. We don’t expect it to be like that here, but you can’t tell an immigrant at the airport to take the absorption basket [of services] and that’s it. Apparently every office in Israel should be asking itself these questions.”
    Another problem he cites is the process of having professional credentials recognized in Israel. Although certification for physicans has been streamlined (to a trial period), nurses must undergo a test.
    “People are asked to take an exam after 30 years of experience, it’s a scandal,” says Kendel. “We have at least one hundred nurses – 50 in Israel and 50 in France – who cannot work here. I don’t think that anyone in France is afraid to go to the hospital; [health care] is not at a low level. You can’t tell someone, ‘come, but chances are that we won’t accept your diploma.’”

    Daniella Hadad, a bookkeeper who made aliyah with her husband and five children in 2015, works now in childcare. “When we made aliyah, there was a lot of terror and they said that we should immigrate more quickly,” she says. “They told me to work as a bookkeeper I would have to take all the courses from scratch, and that’s hard in Hebrew.” Now she’s looking for new avenues of employment and wants to improve her Hebrew.
    Hadad is convinced that being able to make a living is the most important element in a successful landing in Israel. “I know a woman who made aliyah with her husband and children, but they had a hard time and now they are going back after two-and-half years.
    Olivier Nazé, a father of four, is a dentist who made aliyah eight years ago. He had to invest a great deal in order to be able to work in his profession in Israel. Before moving the family, he came a few times on his own, to pass the required exam. He says his brother and family are worried about making aliyah as a result.
    “If you have a profession, and you’re making money, it’s hard to get in because it’s like starting from zero,” he says. “In France I made a lot of money, and in Israel at the beginning, I was making a tenth of that. Now it’s slowly rising, but not everyone can afford to wait.” Despite everything, he says, “the quality of life is better here, for the children as well.”
    According to a survey conducted by Zeev Hanin, the Absorption Ministry’s chief scientist, the results of which were published in June, 47 percent of French immigrants say their standard of living is not as good as it was in France, while 32 percent said their standard of living had improved. In terms of income, 80 percent responded that their situation was less favorable than in France, whereas 5 percent reported an improvement. But while many people indicated a worsening of various conditions compared to what they had in France, 67 percent said that they felt more at home in Israel, and 78.3 percent said they do not intend to leave.
    Drop in incidents
    It’s not surprising to learn that a drop in the incidents of anti-Semitism in France has been accompanied by a lack in emigration to Israel. Riva Mane, a researcher at the Kantor Center for the Study of European Jewry at Tel Aviv University, says that in 2015, the French Interior Ministry reported 808 anti-Semitic incidents in the country, whereas, in 2016 the number dropped to 355, and in 2017 to 311. Although not all incidents are reported, she said, the trend is clear.
    Nevertheless, Mane says, “There is an increase in the number of violent attacks on Jews; 97 such incidents were reported in 2017, compared to 77 in 2016.” She added that there is still a sense of insecurity in the Jewish community, and that in recent years there has been an increase in internal migration. “Tens of thousands are leaving the poorer neighborhoods that also have a significant Muslim population and where there have been many incidents, for central Paris and other wealthier areas, where there are fewer Muslims,” she says. She also noted that Jewish pupils are increasingly leaving the public schools for private ones, where they are also likely to encounter fewer Muslim students.

    Olivier Nazé, a father of four, is a dentist who made aliyah eight years ago Rami Shllush
    “There’s always a reason for a wave of aliyah,” explained Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver. “Not all the olim come because of Zionism. There was a reason for this wave from France – fear of terror. Olim came from Ukraine a year ago when there was a security crisis there vis-à-vis Russia. And now people are coming from Argentina and Brazil due to the economic situation.”
    Landver says that her ministry is fighting to remove barriers to successful absorption. “I’m out in the field and I meet with olim from France who are very satisfied,” she reports. Although the minister knows that the immigrants from France cannot receive what the welfare state provides there, such as schools that are open late and two years of unemployment payments, her ministry continues to encourage aliyah.

    Landver says that she has instructed ministry staff to make home visits to people who have opened an aliyah file, and that the ministry provides money for the translation of documents and removes employment barriers insofar as possible. “We, together with the municipalities, are doing everything possible to increase the number of olim. I really want them here and I’ll do everything to ease their absorption and to support this aliyah.”

    Valerie Halfon, a family financial consultant from the organization Paamonim, said she has met with hundreds of families in France before their aliyah, helping them to prepare an economic assessment, so they’ll know what to expect. For example, she says, she consulted with a young couple who were hesitant, because friends told them that they would need 20,000 shekels a month ($5,500) to get by. She said that after making their calculations, “we got to 8,000-9,000 shekels. There are rumors, and they’re not all true. You have to adapt, you have to make changes.”
    Still, whether it’s the improvement in the security situation in France, or the fear of making a new start – or a combination of these – there has been a decline in aliyah. “Today there’s a feeling that things have calmed down in France,” says Arie Abitbol, director of the European division of the Jewish Agency’s Masa programs. “There’s a president [Emmanuel Macron] who’s empathetic, and there’s a sense that he cares about the Jews and wants them to stay. The feeling is that the threat of Islamic extremism is a threat to everyone, and not only to the Jews.”
    He says that from his experience working with young people in France, “People don’t say that they don’t want to come, they say that at the moment the circumstances are unsuitable and they’ll wait a little more – maybe in a few more years.” He doesn’t blame only the Israeli government and absorption difficulties: “When there’s a trigger of a security situation, people find the strength to leave, but the biggest enemy of aliyah is the routine. From 2014 to 2016, there were unusually high numbers, and now there’s a return to ordinary dimensions, because as far as they’re concerned, the situation is back to routine.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/710779 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Planted by Netanyahu and Co., nation-state law is a time bomb exploding in Israel’s face

    Even die-hard American Jews were forced to admit this week that something is rotten in their favorite Jewish state

    Chemi ShalevSendSend me email alerts
    Jul 21, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-planted-by-netanyahu-and-co-nation-state-law-is-a-time-bomb-1.6294

    Israel’s new nation-state law is loathsome, damaging, divisive and mainly superfluous, but its passage won’t make Israelis’ blood boil. Some agree with the law and others are apathetic, while its staunch opponents quickly recognized that the campaign to fight discrimination against gay men, sparked by the concurrent passage of a new Knesset bill on surrogacy, has a greater potential of sparking mass protests. The nation-state law injects poison into the country’s relations with its non-Jewish minorities, but in the final analysis, after the removal of some of its more controversial clauses, it won’t make much of a difference in the day-to-day lives of most Israelis.
    Nonetheless, as far as Israel’s standing and image are concerned, the new law is a mega-attack, a thermo-nuclear onslaught, a landmark that will henceforth divide before and after. Benjamin Netanyahu was right, therefore, to describe it as a “defining moment.” Scores of Breaking the Silence activists, hundreds of B’Tselem reports on the occupation and thousands of BDS proponents, all of which the government cynically holds responsible for its bad name, could never have inflicted such profound, comprehensive and long-lasting damage as Netanyahu and his coalition did by passing the new bill. In Donald Trump’s America, they might have been accused of treason.
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    The damage won’t be expressed in the few formal protests issued by foreign governments, especially European. The international community has other, more existential concerns right now, emanating from the growing awareness that the world’s greatest superpower is headed by a president who is unintelligible, at best, unstable, at worst and possibly beholden to a foreign government. In any case, the only protest that Netanyahu and most Israelis care about would have to come from the White House: Barack Obama personally blocked passage of the nation-state law, but Trump probably hasn’t heard about it, and if he has, is clueless as to what it all means, and even if he understands, then he doesn’t give a hoot. This is the glory of what Netanyahu describes as the greatest era of relations between the two countries: Israel can cut its wrists to its heart’s content, and America won’t lift a finger.
    But a dearth of diplomatic démarches won’t mitigate the inherent destructiveness of the nation-state law. It comes with a built-in time-release mechanism that ensures that it will taint Israel’s good name for many years to come. The law, in fact, marks the ground zero of a new Israel. Its first clause grants the Jewish people exclusive rights to self-determination, and Netanyahu’s coalition was quick to self-determine, in essence, that Israel is arrogant, belligerent and ethnocentric. This is the country’s new reflection in the mirror, and even if most Israelis prefer to look the other way, the whole world is watching, and reaching its own conclusions.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/709723 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Israel passes controversial nation-state law defining country as Jewish national homeland

    62 lawmakers vote in favor of the bill after a stormy debate ■ Arab lawmakers tossed out after they tear bill in protest, call it ’apartheid law’

    Jonathan Lis and Noa Landau Jul 19, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israel-passes-controversial-nation-state-bill-1.6291048

    The Knesset passed early Thursday a controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and asserts that “the realization of the right to national self-determination in Israel is unique to the Jewish people,” with 62 lawmakers voting in favor of the legislation and 55 opposing it.
    The nation-stae law also includes clauses stating that a “united Jerusalem” is the capital of Israel and that Hebrew is the country’s official language. Another says that “the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”
    It passed after a long and stormy debate that began in the afternoon, with lawmakers voting on hundreds of clauses presented by the opposition that objected to differents parts of the bill. 
    >> Nation-state bill heralds the end of Israel as a Jewish, democratic State | Analysis ■ As an Arab, I support Israel’s Jewish nation-state bill | Opinion ■ Israel’s nation-state bill betrays insecurity about its right to the land
    Immediately after the law passed, Arab lawmakers tore copies in protest, and were subsequently removed from the Knesset plenum hall. Lawmaker Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, released a statement saying that Israel “declared it does not want us here” and that it had “passed a law of Jewish supremacy and told us that we will always be second-class citiziens.”

    Speaking moments after the bill passed into law, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “This is a defining moment – long live the State of Israel.”

    Arab lawmakers tear the nation-state bill in protest after it passes in the Knesset.
    Netanyahu further said that “122 years after Herzl made his vision known, with this law we determined the founding principle of our existence. Israel is the nation state of the Jewish people, and respects the rights of all of its citizens.”
    The prime minister also said that "in the Middle East, only Israel respects [rights]. This is our country, the Jewish state. In recent years there have been those who have tried to undermine that and question the principles of our existence. Today we made it into law: This is the country, the language, the anthem and flag. 

    As they left the Knesset plenum, Arab MKs from the Joint List party confronted Netanyahu. MK Ahmed Tibi and MK Ayeda Touma-Souliman yelled at Netanyahu: “You passed an apartheid law, a racist law.” 
    MK Tibi lashed at Netanyahu: “Why are you afraid of the Arabic language?” The premier retorted by saying: “How dare you talk this way about the only democracy in the Middle East?” 
    Opposition head Isaac Herzog also spoke up at the plenum, saying that “it’s a little sad to me that the last speech I make will be against this kind of backdrop. The question is whether the law will harm or benefit Israel. History will determine. I really hope that we won’t find the fine balance between a Jewish and democratic state to be hurt.”
    The sponsor of the bill, MK Avi Dichter, said during debates that took place prior to the vote that “unlike the disinformation and fake news that were tossed around [regarding the bill], this basic law doesn’t hurt the culture of minorities living in Israel, doesn’t hurt their sabbaticals and holidays and certainly doesn’t hurt the Arabic language, which remains a mother tongue for 1.5 million of Israel’s citizens.”
    The draft bill the Knesset voted on is fundamentally different form the version the coalition had sought to advance in the past decade. Its main clauses were moderated following pressure within the coalition ranks and beyond.
    Initially, the bill was intended to significantly limit the discretion of Supreme Court justices’ decisions, requiring them to set the state’s Jewish character above its democratic character in rulings where the two clashed. This clause was removed from the bill already in May.

    The most controversial clause, which appeared to pave the way for the creation of communities segregated by nationality or religion, was removed from the legislation earlier this week.

    The nation-state law establishes as a basic law, or quasi-constitutional law, a set of values, some of which already appear in existing laws. The law stipulates that Israel is the Jewish nation’s historic homeland and that this nation has the singular right to national self-determination in it. The law anchors the flag, menorah, Hatikva anthem, Hebrew calendar, Independence Day and Jewish holidays as national symbols.
    The law states that the “whole and united” Jerusalem is the state’s capital, which appears today in Basic Law: Jerusalem. The nation-state law further grants the status of an official language only to Hebrew.
    Another controversial clause stipulates that the state will invest resources in preserving Israel’s affiliation to world Jewry, but not in Israel. This wording was demanded by the ultra-Orthodox parties to prevent the state from linking up with the Reform and Conservative communities in Israel.
    As part of the protest against the law, Peace Now activists waved a black flag in the Knesset balcony during the debate, until security guards made them leave the room. Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh also raised a black flag during the debate against the legislation.
    “As [the 1956 massacre] in Kafr Qassem was a blatantly illegal order, with a black flag over it, so is a black flag hoisted over this evil law,” he said.
    J Street’s president and founder, Jeremy Ben-Ami, harshly criticized the nation-state bill and Netanyahu’s government: “It was born in sin, its only purpose is to send a message to the Arab community, the LGBT community and other minorities in Israel, that they are not and never will be equal citizens. Two months ago we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Israeli Declaration of Independence, where it was written that the State of Israel ’will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or gender.’ Today Netanyahu’s government is trying to ignore those words and the values that they represent.”
    On Monday, Netanyahu said the bill was “very important to guarantee the foundations of our existence, which is Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people” – though critics say he is mainly keen to drum up support before the next Knesset election, due by November next year.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/709115 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Ireland approves bill boycotting Israeli settlement goods - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-ireland-approves-bill-boycotting-israeli-settlements-1.6265672

    Ireland’s Senate approved on Wednesday a bill to boycott products from West Bank settlements.
    The bill passed with 25 lawmakers voting in its favor, 20 against it and 14 abstaining. The legislation prohibits “the import and sales of goods, services and natural resources originating in illegal settlements in occupied territories.”
    Earlier this year, a vote on the bill was delayed at the Irish government’s request. The government, at Israel’s urging, then sought to soften the language, but was unable to reach a compromise.

    The bill has passed thanks to votes from opposition legislators and independents. Senator Frances Black, the independent who sponsored the bill, recently posted a video urging the Irish to pressure their representatives to support it.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/707802 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Israeli plan to jail anyone filming soldiers in the West Bank hits legal wall
    Attorney general says new legislation that outlaws documenting soldiers is unconstitutional; government to vote on bill anyway

    Jonathan LisSendSend me email alerts
    Jun 17, 2018 12:51 PM

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/israeli-plan-to-jail-anyone-filming-soldiers-hit-legal-wall-1.6179262

    The present version of the proposed law to ban the filming of Israeli soldiers carrying out their duties is problematic from a constitutional standpoint, so much so that it may not be able to be enacted into law, said Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.
    The bill will be brought on Sunday for approval of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which would give it official government backing.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    The committee is expected to approve the bill in its present form, after which it will go to the full Knesset for its preliminary vote. The bill is expected to pass this reading too.
    But a senior politician in the government coalition told Haaretz that an agreement has been reached with MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu), the sponsor of the bill, that after the bill passes its preliminary vote in the Knesset, it will be changed significantly in committee. The new version will ban interfering with IDF soldiers carrying out their duties and not a full ban on filming and documentation, a change that could pass constitutional muster.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/702463 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Dutch TV comedian blasts Israel with spoof of Eurovision winner ‘Toy’ -

    Sanne Wallis de Vries’ pastiche of Netta Barzilai’s winning song criticizes Israeli army for killing of Gazans and has the chorus ‘Look how beautifully I launch missiles’

    Itay Stern May 21, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-dutch-tv-comedian-blasts-israel-with-spoof-of-eurovision-winner-to

    A satirical Dutch TV show has lampooned Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest-winning song “Toy,” with new lyrics that harshly attack Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.
    Popular Dutch comedian Sanne Wallis de Vries, starring in the eponymous “Samme Wallis de Vries Show,” appeared looking like Israeli Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai in the spoof, sporting both a kimono and similar distinctive hairstyle.
    skip - Sanne Wallis de Vries’ version of Toy
    Sanne Wallis de Vries’ version of Toy - דלג

    The first verse of her song, freely translated from the original Dutch, says: “Look at me, I’m a very sweet country / The world’s leaders are eating out of my hand / With one kiss I put out every fire. We’re throwing a party, are you coming? Later, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which will be empty soon anyway.”
    >> Eurovision organizers tell fans to hold off on booking flights to Israel - sparking instant controversy
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    Just before the chorus, De Vries replaces the original transition that mentioned Wonder Woman with the words: “From Haifa to the Dead Sea, there are fireworks and kosher satay / Come dance with me to the music.”
    Instead of the chorus where Barzilai sings “I’m not your toy,” the Dutch comedian sings, “Look how beautifully I launch missiles.”
    The video accompanying De Vries shows footage of the Palestinian protests on the Gaza border last week, including scenes of smoke and Gazans being taken to hospital on stretchers.
    When De Vries sings about Israel’s 70th anniversary, she notes, “The Palestinians aren’t invited to her party.” As she sings, in the background viewers are shown the opening ceremony for the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, with special emphasis on President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

    The spoof version triggered much discussion online, with some Dutch viewers tweeting that the song was “anti-Israel” and also “Jew-hating.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/696451 via Nouvelles d’Orient