• Toward a democratic, not Jewish, state

    A civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader – is urgently needed, and whoever has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front will win it all
    Avraham Burg
    Jan 25, 2019 1
    Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-toward-a-democratic-not-jewish-state-1.6872815
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6872823.1548369190!/image/3872320177.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/3872320177.jpg

    The spirit in the election atmosphere is the spirit of the time, the insane Netanyahu spirit. That’s the wind blowing in the sails of his fervid supporters and defining his rivals. He is asking for the voters’ confidence to do more of the same and his opponents say “Just not Bibi.”
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    For 35 years Israel has had no opposition. We have no experience and memories of alternative thinking anymore. There is nobody to offer a different kind of hope at the end of all the despair.

    >> Read more: Meretz leader Zandberg shines as stand-up comic in celebrity roast that showcased her party’s sad reality ■ The war that will decide Israel’s future won’t involve airstrikes, tanks or missiles

    Many years ago I contended for the leadership of the Labor Party, which at the time was stuck in the mire of the national unity government. It was characterized by no governance and little unity. That is exactly where the destruction of democracy and the nationalization of the political discourse, together with its turn to ultra-nationalism, began.

    At the time I planned to take Labor out of the government, to turn it into a civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader. I was told then: Your ideas are premature. Today I’m telling us all: In a moment it will be too late. Because this is exactly what is urgently needed, even more than before.

    In this sense Avi Gabbay is absolutely right to make the public commitment he is making – not to join Netanyahu’s next government. But this is an empty commitment. It deals with title and status, not with content. To replace Netanyahuism one must present a comprehensive, complete worldview.

    The right of recent years stands on five legs: sowing of fear, Jewish supremacy, abandonment of Western values, systematic weakening of the institutions of law and divisiveness.
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    After so many years of such thorough indoctrination it’s not enough to say “I won’t sit in the same government with him.” It must be self-evident – what’s needed is to “turn from evil.” But what does it mean to “do good,” what is the ideological content that will heal Israel from Netanyahu’s curse?

    The renewal of Israel must stand on a foundation of civil equality. There is no other supreme value capable of uniting the variety of our identities, with absolute commitment to a democratic way of life. To achieve it we must set up a coalition for civil equality including various parties, movements and interests, all of which have one ultimate goal: changing Israeli discourse from ethnic domination to equal citizenship for all. The coalition’s agenda should include:

    Redefining Israel from “a Jewish-democratic state” to “a constitutional democracy in which part of the Jewish people has established its sovereignty, and which belongs to all its citizens.”
    Proposing a civil constitution including complete civil equality, secularizing the public sphere, separating state from religion, a fair distribution of public resources and decent, fair “rules of the game.”
    Significantly minimizing the Law of Return and closing all the automatic fast tracks granted on the basis of (at times dubious) genetic connection to the Jewish collective.
    Changing the Israeli security concept, from the obsessive amassing of power to the constant striving for long-term political arrangements, including with the Palestinian people.
    Waiving the monopolies and privileges of Israel and the Jews between the Jordan River and the sea. Turning it into a shared space as much as possible, in which every person is entitled to the same rights and every nation has the right to self-determination and confederate partnership in every walk of life.
    Implementing a policy of affirmative action and justice to redress past iniquities to the excluded and discriminated-against populations in Israel, centering on the Arab population, until the goals of civil equality are met.

    Yes, all these things mean a painful parting from the Jewish comfort and supremacy zones. It’s a dramatic evolution from the ideas of 1948 and 1967 to a new model of society, in a world of populistic madness stretching from Washington to Ankara and from Moscow to Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

    Anyone who has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front, and is ready to pay the price, will win it all. And make all of us winners.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/755190 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • François Zimmeray, agent d’influence israélienne en France nommé aux Nations unies ?

    Une possible nomination française à l’ONU fait grincer des dents - P| Mediapart
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/240119/une-possible-nomination-francaise-l-onu-fait-grincer-des-dents?onglet=full
    https://static.mediapart.fr/etmagine/default/files/2019/01/23/zimeray-macron-copenhague.jpg

    24 janvier 2019 Par Thomas Cantaloube

    L’ancien ambassadeur François Zimeray est soutenu par l’Élysée pour devenir haut-commissaire adjoint aux droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Une promotion que les ONG et certains diplomates au Quai d’Orsay souhaiteraient éviter, car le candidat est jugé trop proche du gouvernement israélien.

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    Les candidatures à des postes de l’ONU ne sont jamais acquises d’avance, faisant l’objet de tractations serrées entre pays, comme l’échec de Ségolène Royal à la direction du PNUD (programme des Nations unies pour le développement) l’a montré en 2017. Mais l’éventualité d’une nomination du Français François Zimeray au poste de haut-commissaire adjoint aux droits de l’homme de l’ONU (HCDH, Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies aux droits de l’homme) fait actuellement grincer beaucoup de dents, à la fois au Quai d’Orsay comme dans le milieu des ONG qui défendent les droits humains.

    Selon des sources concordantes, Michelle Bachelet, l’ancienne présidente du Chili et nouvelle haute-commissaire depuis septembre dernier, est actuellement en train de constituer son équipe, dans laquelle elle envisage d’intégrer François Zimeray, qui a reçu l’appui de l’Élysée, étape indispensable pour pouvoir décrocher un poste de cet acabit aux Nations unies. Sur le papier, cet avocat de 57 ans possède un profil idoine, notamment en raison de la fonction d’ambassadeur aux droits de l’homme qu’il a occupée au ministère des affaires étrangères français de 2008 à 2013. Mais en pratique, c’est un homme critiqué par la plupart de ceux qui l’ont côtoyé dans ses fonctions, à l’exception de son réseau d’amis influents.

    Aujourd’hui, ceux qui alertent sur sa possible accession au poste d’adjoint de Michelle Bachelet, qui répond directement au secrétaire général des Nations unies, le font pour deux raisons : son entrisme et son indéfectible soutien à Israël. François Zimeray a fait toute une partie de sa carrière politique dans l’ombre de Laurent Fabius, dont il est très proche : il fut son témoin de mariage et maire du Petit-Quevilly, dans l’agglomération de Rouen, fief de l’ex-premier ministre. Avocat d’affaires reconverti dans l’humanitaire, il a été très actif dans les années 2000 pour mobiliser sur la question du Darfour aux côtés de Bernard-Henri Lévy et de Bernard Kouchner. Ostensiblement socialiste, il est néanmoins nommé en 2008 (sur ordre de l’Élysée occupé par Nicolas Sarkozy et de Kouchner) ambassadeur de France pour les droits de l’homme.

    Cette « décision politique » passe assez mal au Quai d’Orsay, où certains gravissent les échelons patiemment pendant plusieurs dizaines d’années avant de pouvoir prétendre à un tel poste. La CFDT du ministère déposera d’ailleurs un recours devant le Conseil d’État, contestant la manière dont son prédécesseur a été viré du jour au lendemain, sans respecter les formes. Elle ironisera également dans sa lettre mensuelle sur « le Quai d’Orsay, terre d’asile des recalés du suffrage universel, des amis d’amis et des courtisans de tous poils », citant nommément Zimeray.

    François Zimeray (main tendue, au centre), accompagnant Emmanuel Macron lors de la visite de ce dernier au Danemark en août 2018. C’est après cette rencontre que le président aurait décidé d’appuyer la nomination de l’ambassadeur au HCDH. © Reuters François Zimeray (main tendue, au centre), accompagnant Emmanuel Macron lors de la visite de ce dernier au Danemark en août 2018. C’est après cette rencontre que le président aurait décidé d’appuyer la nomination de l’ambassadeur au HCDH. © Reuters

    Pendant les cinq années durant lesquelles il occupe cette fonction, il suscite des réactions mitigées. Certains louent le fait qu’il se rend régulièrement dans de nombreux pays pour y visiter des détenus politiques et plaider leur cause. D’autres voient en lui « une crapule comme j’en ai rarement vu », selon les mots du président d’une association de défense des droits humains, qui le juge superficiel et intéressé par sa propre promotion.

    En 2013, Laurent Fabius devient le patron de la diplomatie et Zimeray est nommé ambassadeur au Danemark. En 2015, il se trouve sur les lieux d’un attentat islamiste à Copenhague. Lors de ses premiers témoignages, il raconte ne jamais avoir été en danger puisqu’il était dans une salle fermée où le public était filtré. Par la suite, il se présentera comme une victime du terrorisme qui a failli mourir. À la fin de son mandat, il crée un « cabinet d’avocats international associant ingénierie juridique et savoir-faire diplomatique ».

    François Zimeray remplit bien les trois cases moquées par la CFDT : ami, courtisan et réfugié du suffrage universel. De 1999 à 2004, il a été député européen, placé sur la liste socialiste par Fabius. Mais à la fin de son mandat, il n’est pas reconduit par le PS, qui choisit de l’écarter. Il a fait tiquer beaucoup de socialistes par ses prises de position systématiques en faveur d’Israël et par ses dénonciations de l’Autorité palestinienne. La plupart de ses interventions au Parlement européen concernent en effet ces sujets. Il s’y illustre notamment en dénonçant les manuels scolaires palestiniens, qu’il accuse de prêcher la haine, et pousse l’Office antifraude de l’Union européenne à ouvrir une enquête sur le financement du terrorisme via un détournement des aides budgétaires de l’Europe par l’Autorité palestinienne. Une enquête qui durera une année et ne soulèvera aucun lièvre.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/754732 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Palestinian Authority tells U.S. it will stop taking aid to avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits - U.S. News - Haaretz.com

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-pa-informs-u-s-it-will-stop-receiving-aid-to-avoid-multi-million-d
    https://www.haaretz.com/polopoly_fs/1.6809646.1548037039!/image/211445616.jpg_gen/derivatives/headline_1200x630/211445616.jpg

    WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority informed the Trump administration that it will stop taking any form of government assistance from the United States at the end of the month, as a result of legislation passed last year by Congress.

    The law that led the PA to make this decision is the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act”, known as ATCA, which makes it possible for U.S. citizens to sue foreign entities that receive U.S. assistance for past acts of terrorism.

    The Palestinian decision could lead to the end of the U.S. support for the PA’s security forces. These forces work regularly with the Israeli military to thwart terror attacks. In his last appearance before the Israeli government last week, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the security coordination between Israel and the PA’s forces helps save lives and maintain stability in the region.

    >> Trump’s ’Arab NATO’ push against Iran comes to a head, and he’s the biggest obstacle | Analysis

    During 2018, the Trump administration cut all forms of U.S. civil assistance to the Palestinians, but it did not touch the security assistance, stating that the security coordination between the PA and Israel serves American foreign policy interests. Now, however, U.S. support for the PA security forces could end at the end of January, putting at risk the continuation of efficient security coordination.

    The ATCA bill, which the PA blamed for its decision, was promoted last year in Congress in response to rulings by U.S. courts that rejected multi-million dollar lawsuits against the PA. These lawsuits were filed by American citizens who were injured or lost loved ones in terror attacks committed by Palestinians, mostly during the Second Intifada. The Supreme Court in Washington affirmed a ruling by a lower court that the American legal system does not have jurisdiction to deal with such lawsuits.

    This led members of Congress to promote the ATCA bill, which states that U.S. courts will have jurisdiction to hear terrorism-related lawsuits against any foreign entity reviving U.S. government assistance. This means that if the PA will receive even one dollar of U.S. funding, it could face lawsuits asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. The law has also created concern in other countries in the Middle East that rely on U.S. assistance. It would not apply to Israel, however, because of the specific sources of funding through which Israel receives U.S. security assistance.
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    Only after the bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump, senior administration officials became aware of its possible impact on security coordination. In recent months, the administration tried to negotiate a “fix” to the law together with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. As reported in Haaretz two weeks ago, these efforts have stalled because of the ongoing government shutdown.

    The PA’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was first reported over the weekend by NPR, could create a sense of urgency in Washington to solve the security assistance question.

    Two sources who are involved in the negotiations on the subject told Haaretz that a possible solution could emerge with the involvement of the CIA or the Pentagon, but its exact mechanism hasn’t yet been drawn in full. “Everyone wants a fix, but it’s still not clear how we can get it,” explained one of the sources, who asked not to be named in order to discuss politicallly-sensitive negotiations.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/753857 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Khashoggi Killing Detailed in New Book : ‘We Came to Take You to Riyadh’ - The New York Times

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/world/middleeast/khashoggi-killing-book.html
    https://static01.nyt.com/images/2019/01/18/world/18turkey-khashoggi1/18turkey-khashoggi1-facebookJumbo.jpg

    By Carlotta Gall

    Jan. 17, 2019

    ISTANBUL — A new book written by three Turkish reporters and drawing on audio recordings of the killing of a Saudi expatriate, Jamal Khashoggi, offers new details about an encounter that began with a demand that he return home and ended in murder and dismemberment.

    “First we will tell him ‘We are taking you to Riyadh,’” one member of a Saudi hit team told another, the book claims. “If he doesn’t come, we will kill him here and get rid of the body.”

    Turkish officials have cited the recordings, saying they captured the death of Mr. Khashoggi, a journalist, in his Oct. 2 visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. And intelligence officials leaked some details in a campaign to force Saudi Arabia to own up to the crime.

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    But the new book offers the most comprehensive description to date of what is on those recordings. It sets the scene as a team of Saudi operatives lay their plans before Mr. Khashoggi arrives, and then recounts what happened next.
    A security guard at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after Mr. Khashoggi was killed there.CreditChris Mcgrath/Getty Images
    Image
    A security guard at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after Mr. Khashoggi was killed there.CreditChris Mcgrath/Getty Images

    The three journalists, Abdurrahman Simsek, Nazif Karaman and Ferhat Unlu, work for an investigative unit at the pro-government newspaper Sabah, and are known for their close ties to Turkish intelligence. They said that they did not have access to the audio recordings but were briefed by intelligence officials who did.

    A Turkish security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed separately that the details described in the book were accurate. The book, “Diplomatic Atrocity: The Dark Secrets of the Jamal Khashoggi Murder,” is written in Turkish and went on sale in December.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/753103 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • La France n’en finit pas de découvrir les violences policières
    https://ehko.info/la-france-nen-finit-pas-de-decouvrir-les-violences-policieres

    [Juste qu’ici tout allait bien] pour une partie de la France volontairement « aveugle » aux violences policières. Elle les voit actuellement. La dernière fois, c’était lors des manifestations contre la « Loi travail ». Leur particularité : la police visait des individus qui ne sont habituellement pas sa cible et faisait démonstration de sa force au coeur de Paris. De nouveau, lors des manifestations de « Gilets jaunes » qui se déroulent non pas selon le parcours classique Nation ou Bastille-République mais dans des lieux où la contestation n’a en principe pas sa place, la répression policière a été pointée. Mais ces violences ne sont pas des bavures, ni l’expression d’une « benallisation des forces de l’ordre », il s’agit de l’illustration parfaite de ce qui est attendu de la police républicaine. Dans le (...)

    https://seenthis.net/messages/753067 via Rezo


  • CNRS - Institut des sciences humaines et sociales
    http://www.cnrs.fr/inshs/recherche/images-archeo-syrie.htm

    Au cours de l’été 2018, l’Institut français du #Proche-Orient (#Ifpo, USR3135, CNRS / MEAE) a mis en ligne sur MédiHAL (archive ouverte de photographies et d’images scientifiques) plus de 6000 images archéologiques de la #Syrie issues de ses fonds documentaires. Ce sont plus de 8500 images scientifiques qui sont aujourd’hui accessibles en libre accès dans la collection de l’Ifpo.

    #archéologie

    https://seenthis.net/messages/752938 via Kassem


  • Are U.S. newspapers biased against Palestinians ? Analysis of 100,000 headlines in top dailies says, Yes – Mondoweiss

    https://mondoweiss.net/2019/01/newspapers-palestinians-headlines
    https://s19453.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Nytimes_hq-e1457102154903.jpg

    A study released last month by 416Labs, a Toronto-based consulting and research firm, supports the view that mainstream U.S. newspapers consistently portray Palestine in a more negative light than Israel, privilege Israeli sources, and omit key facts helpful to understanding the Israeli occupation, including those expressed by Palestinian sources.

    The largest of its kind, the study is based on a sentiment and n-gram analysis of nearly a hundred thousand headlines in five mainstream newspapers dating to 1967. The newspapers are the top five U.S. dailies, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and the Los Angeles Times.

    Headlines spanning five decades were put into two datasets, one comprising 17,492 Palestinian-centric headlines, and another comprising 82,102 Israeli-centric headlines. Using Natural Language Processing techniques, authors of the study assessed the degree to which the sentiment of the headlines could be classified as positive, negative, or neutral. They also examined the frequency of using certain words that evoke a particular view or perception.

    Key findings of the study are:

    Since 1967, use of the word “occupation” has declined by 85% in the Israeli dataset of headlines, and by 65% in the Palestinian dataset;
    Since 1967, mentions of Palestinian refugees have declined by an overall 93%;
    Israeli sources are nearly 250% more likely to be quoted as Palestinians;
    The number of headlines centering Israel were published four times more than those centering Palestine;
    Words connoting violence such as “terror” appear three times as much as the word “occupation” in the Palestinian dataset;
    Explicit recognition that Israeli settlements and settlers are illegal rarely appears in both datasets;
    Since 1967, mentions of “East Jerusalem,” distinguishing that part of the city occupied by Israel in 1967 from the rest of the city, appeared only a total of 132 times;
    The Los Angeles Times has portrayed Palestinians most negatively, followed by The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and lastly The New York Times;
    Coverage of the conflict has reduced dramatically in the second half of the fifty-year period.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/752562 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • « Grand débat » : ce qu’expriment les cahiers de doléances | Mediapart

    le plus frappant, c’est l’absence de toute référence à l’islam

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/140119/grand-debat-ce-qu-expriment-les-cahiers-de-doleances
    https://static.mediapart.fr/etmagine/default/files/2019/01/14/capture-d-e-cran-2019-01-14-a-09-53-07.jpg

    Meuse et Meurthe-et-Moselle, envoyé spécial.– Évidemment, il peut y avoir un petit côté « foire à la Farfouille », l’idée du savant Cosinus qui, d’un coup d’un seul, va régler (presque) tous les problèmes. Ainsi, en mairie de Bar-le-Duc, préfecture de la Meuse, est présentée comme une « évidence » cette proposition inscrite dans le cahier de doléances : « Taxer les propriétaires de chien. » Après tout, ces animaux ne profitent-ils pas gratuitement de nos infrastructures ? À Nancy, Lætitia estime que si « toutes les décorations de Noël fonctionnaient à l’énergie solaire, ce serait déjà un progrès ». Ronaldo assure qu’il est grand temps « d’investir dans des lieux de bonheur ».

    Et puis il y a cette surprise, constatée dans la demi-douzaine de cahiers de doléances ouverts dans plusieurs mairies depuis la fin du mois de décembre et que nous avons consultés à Nancy, à Toul, à Commercy (là, les « revendications » étaient collectées par le groupe de gilets jaunes de la ville), à Bar-le-Duc, soit près de deux cents contributions en tout : c’est l’absence de toute référence à l’islam. Dur camouflet pour tous ceux qui, à l’instar de Manuel Valls, de l’extrême droite et d’une large partie de la droite, ont voulu en faire le problème central du pays.

    De même, l’immigration, les générosités supposées de l’État envers l’étranger, le trop-plein ou la « submersion » ne sont que très marginalement évoqués : dans une dizaine de contributions seulement. Et l’on y retrouve alors quelques-uns des slogans classiques de l’extrême droite lepéniste.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/752458 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Bziz, l’humoriste qui ne fait pas rire le roi du Maroc
    Omar Brousky

    https://orientxxi.info/lu-vu-entendu/bziz-l-humoriste-qui-ne-fait-pas-rire-le-roi-du-maroc,2848
    https://orientxxi.info/local/cache-vignettes/L800xH399/d907a8951b586caa5dd027bc2b33c0-e2396.jpg?1547451554

    Ahmed Snoussi — surnommé Bziz (le garnement) — est un mythe vivant de l’humour politique au Maroc, ce qui lui vaut une interdiction qui dure depuis un quart de siècle. Il vient d’être convoqué par la police judiciaire de Casablanca. Motif ? Il a dénoncé sur sa page Facebook les arrestations arbitraires des artistes du Rif lors du Hirak de 2016-2017. Un texte rédigé il y a… un an et demi. Portrait d’un artiste entêté.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/752169 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Une affaire relativement petite et technique, mais qui démontre le recul des anti-BDS aux États-Unis, pourtant pays leader en la matière :

    Les sénateurs américains rejettent la loi anti-BDS et pro-Israël
    Maannews, le 10 janvier 2019
    http://www.agencemediapalestine.fr/blog/2019/01/14/les-senateurs-americains-rejettent-la-loi-anti-bds-et-pro-israe

    Traduction de :

    US Senators vote down anti-BDS, pro-Israeli bill
    Maannews, le 10 janvier 2019
    https://seenthis.net/messages/750837

    A regrouper avec un autre recul aux Etats-Unis :

    Former legislator in Maryland sues state over anti-BDS law
    Middle East Eye, le 9 janvier 2019
    https://seenthis.net/messages/750709

    #BDS #USA #Palestine

    https://seenthis.net/messages/752002 via Dror@sinehebdo


  • Hamas put on the spot after Palestinian Authority withdraws staff from Rafah crossing | MadaMasr
    https://madamasr.com/en/2019/01/12/feature/politics/hamas-put-on-the-spot-after-palestinian-authority-withdraws-staff-from-raf
    https://madamasr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Fatah-Hamas.jpg

    A January 7 decision by the Palestinian Authority to immediately withdraw its staff from the Rafah border crossing has put Hamas in turmoil.

    Hamas sent internal affairs officers to take control of the crossing, which had been administered by PA officers since November last year as part of a PA-Hamas reconciliation deal brokered by Egypt.

    According to a Hamas source speaking to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, its officers have ensured that the crossing’s systems are working, and prevented theft and sabotage during and since the PA’s withdrawal.

    The decision to withdraw PA employees from Rafah came as one of a series of recent PA moves against Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since winning the legislative elections in 2006. These measures suggest that the Egypt-brokered reconciliation efforts are failing.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/751971 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Jocelyne Saab. La résistance tenace d’une cinéaste libanaise
    https://orientxxi.info/lu-vu-entendu/jocelyne-saab-poursuivre-la-resistance,2852

    https://orientxxi.info/local/cache-vignettes/L800xH399/9746327293b6c2c6ce26b26ddc8bbb-22a74.jpg?1547284992

    La cinéaste libanaise Jocelyne Saab est décédée le 7 janvier 2019 des suites d’une longue maladie. Elle laisse derrière elle une œuvre monumentale et l’exemple d’une carrière éblouissante, au plus proche des fractures historiques qui ont déchiré son pays et sa région du monde, toujours du côté de la résistance et de la liberté. Un témoignage indispensable pour l’histoire et nécessaire pour repenser l’écriture de l’histoire des images.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/751327 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Judge Richard Goldstone suffered for turning his back on Gaza – but not as much as the Palestinians he betrayed | The Independent

    by Robert Fisk

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/israel-gaza-war-judge-richard-goldstone-palestinian-conflict-a8709211
    https://static.independent.co.uk/s3fs-public/thumbnails/image/2010/02/02/00/310761.bin

    When a hero lets you down, the betrayal lasts forever. I’m not alone, I know, when I say that Richard Goldstone was a hero of mine – a most formidable, brilliant and brave judge who finally spoke truth to power in the Middle East. And then recanted like a frightened political prisoner, with protestations of love for the nation whose war crimes he so courageously exposed.

    Now, after years of virtual silence, the man who confronted Israel and Hamas with their unforgivable violence after the 2008-09 Gaza war has found a defender in a little known but eloquent academic. Judge Goldstone, a Jewish South African, was denounced by Israelis and their supporters as “evil” and a “quisling” after he listed the evidence of Israel’s brutality against the Palestinians of Gaza (around 1,300 dead, most of them civilians), and of Hamas’ numerically fewer crimes (13 Israeli dead, three of them civilians, plus a number of Palestinian “informer” executions).
    Professor Daniel Terris, a Brandeis University scholar admired for his work on law and ethics, calls his new book The Trials of Richard Goldstone. Good title, but no cigar. ​

    Terris is eminently fair. Perhaps he is too fair. He treats far too gently the column that Goldstone wrote for the Washington Post, in which the judge effectively undermined the research and conclusions of his own report that he and three others wrote about the Gaza war. The book recalls how Richard Falk, a Princeton law professor and former UN rapporteur on human rights in Gaza and the West Bank, described Goldstone’s retraction as “a personal tragedy for such a distinguished international civil servant”. I think Falk was right.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/749441 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Why most new immigrants to Israel aren’t considered Jewish | The Times of Israel

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/why-most-new-immigrants-to-israel-arent-considered-jewish

    JTA — For the first time, Israel announced that Jewish immigrants to Israel were outnumbered by non-Jewish immigrants.

    The headlines might suggest that Christians and perhaps Muslims have been moving to the Jewish state in significant numbers, but the truth is more complicated: According to numbers released Monday by Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, 17,700 of the 32,600 migrants who moved to Israel in 2018 came under the Law of Return but were listed as “having no religion.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/749097 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Palestine Under Occupation : One Village’s Resistance - YouTube

    Très bons reportages sur l’occupation israélienne de la Palestine, autour de la famille Tamini

    PART 1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPhPAHaY82U

    PART 2

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJqH7_xYKi4

    Night raids, child arrests and open fire. Welcome to daily life in this tiny village in the occupied West Bank, home to Palestinian teen icon Ahed Tamimi. Collected form AJ+

    #palestine #ocupation #démolition #colonisation #résistance #tamini

    https://seenthis.net/messages/748662 via Reka


  • Les États-Unis et Israël quittent l’Unesco ce lundi soir
    Gwendal Lavina, Le Figaro, le 31 décembre 2018
    http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2018/12/31/01003-20181231ARTFIG00116-les-etats-unis-et-israel-quittent-l-unesco-ce-lun

    Les deux pays exécutent une décision annoncée en octobre 2017 en réponse à plusieurs résolutions de l’organisation qu’ils jugent « anti-israéliennes ». L’Unesco regrette ces deux retraits mais minimise leurs impacts.

    Certains observateurs craignent qu’au-delà d’affaiblir politiquement l’Unesco, ces deux retraits entament sérieusement le budget de l’organisation. Un diplomate bien informé balaye cet argument de la main et rappelle que les États-Unis et Israël ne payent plus leur cotisation obligatoire depuis 2011. Leur dette auprès de l’organisation s’élève ainsi à 620 millions de dollars pour les États-Unis et 10 millions de dollars pour Israël.

    Feuilleton à plusieurs épisodes :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/636965

    #UNESCO #USA #israel #Palestine #ONU #dette #escrocs #voleurs

    https://seenthis.net/messages/748168 via Dror@sinehebdo


  • Battle brews between French and ultra-Orthodox over Jerusalem archaeology site

    Ultra-Orthodox demands to pray at the Tomb of the Kings – the grandest burial compound in Jerusalem – have kindled fears among the French of an Israeli land grab under their flag in East Jerusalem

    Nir Hasson SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 21, 2018

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-france-orthodox-jews-archaeologists-battle-over-e-j-lem-s-tomb-of-

    In recent weeks, a small group of ultra-Orthodox Jews has been gathering alongside a locked iron gate on Nablus Road in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. They pray and protest alongside the shuttered gate, periodically squabbling with the Palestinian guard, demanding to be allowed inside to pray. The guard refuses, and refers them to the body that owns and administers the site – the French Consulate of Jerusalem.
    These protests are yet another round in a long-standing historic struggle over control of one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in Jerusalem, which has been closed to the public for years. On the one side stands the government of France and on the other, Haredi and right-wing Israeli factions. Israel’s Antiquities Authority is in favor of opening the site to the public, but does share the French concerns that the site might befall the same fate of many other archaeological sites in the city, which were transformed from mere archaeology and tourism sites into holy sites and then appropriated from the public’s domain.
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    The Tomb of the Kings, situated between the Jerusalem District Court and the American Colony Hotel, is considered the grandest burial compound in Jerusalem. The site includes a sophisticated burial cave that has a mechanism for sealing the entrance by means of a stone that rotates on a hinge. It includes a mammoth courtyard carved into the bedrock, a staircase carved into the bedrock that is the second largest in Jerusalem – the only one larger is on the Temple Mount – stone-inscribed ornamentation, an ancient mikveh (Jewish ritual bath) and cisterns.
    The site has been dated to the Second Temple period, and there are various traditions and theories regarding who is actually buried there. According to one tradition, it was the place of burial of Kalba Savua, the father-in-law of Rabbi Akiva, or of Nicodemus ben Guryon – two of the wealthier residents of Jerusalem at the start of the 1st millennium CE.
    The historian Josephus Flavius wrote that this was the burial place of Queen Helena of Adiabene, who converted to Judaism around the year 30 C.E., and some of the site’s investigators say it is reasonable to believe that this is indeed her tomb. An ornamented sarcophagus found here was inscribed with the legend, “Tzadan Malkata,” which is believed to refer to Queen (Malka) Helena. This reinforces the notion that buried on this site were other members of her royal family. The site gained fame in the late 19th century, and among its visitors were the German Kaiser Wilhelm II and Theodore Herzl.

    The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman

    The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman

    The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman
    The Tomb of the Kings is interwoven into the history of archaeology in Israel. The excavation conducted by Félicien de Saulcy in 1863 is considered the first modern archaeological dig in the country. It is also the first excavation to receive a digging permit from the Turkish sultan.
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    Pressure worked

    The Tomb of Kings archaeological site in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman
    But along with modern archaeology, the protest against it was also born here. “This was the first official archaeological excavation, and also the first time in which the Jews of Jerusalem rose up against the excavation of ancestral graves,” writes a scholar who has studied the site, Dr. Dotan Goren.
    In the wake of the Orthodox Jews’ public protests in the city and pressure from the Jews on the sultan, those excavations were suspended. To the dismay of the city’s Jews, de Saulcy managed to load the queen’s sarcophagus onto a ship anchored in Jaffa port, and it is to this day displayed at the Louvre Museum. Several years ago, it appeared as part of a temporary exhibition in the Israel Museum.
    The basis for the current demand by religious and Haredi circles that the Jews ought to be granted rights over the site has to do with events that occurred following the excavation. In 1878, a woman named Berta Amalia Bertrand, a French Jew who was related to the Pereire brothers, a famous Jewish banking family, purchased the burial compound from its Arab owners. At the time of the purchase, Bertrand dedicated the site in the presence of the chief rabbi of Paris, declaring that it “will become the land in perpetuity of the Jewish community, to be preserved from desecration and abomination, and will never again be damaged by foreigners..”

    The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman
    Eight years later, however, one of Bertrand’s heirs granted the site as a gift to the government of France. At the time of the conferral of the gift, an agreement was signed between the French government and the family, under which France committed to meet several conditions. One was to erect a sign in Hebrew, French and Arabic saying that these are the Tombs of the Kings of Judah. The large sign, made of copper, can still be found set into the wall of the building.
    A few testimonies describe how the site served for prayer and pilgrimage, although it is altogether clear that it was secondary in importance to the neighboring holy site, the cave of Shimon Hatzadik. But in any event, following the battles of 1948, the site was left behind the enemy lines, within the territory of the Jordanian kingdom. “This site was forgotten or made to be forgotten, and there was no one to tell about it,” says Goren.

    An inscription at the Tomb of Kings in Jerusalem, December, 2018. Emil Salman
    Following 1967’s Six-Day War, the site continued to be administered by the French consulate in Jerusalem. Most of the time, it was open to visitors, for a token entry fee. Ten years ago the consulate held a concert there, together with the Palestinian cultural organization Yabous, which advocates a boycott of Israel.
    Apparently that is what has sparked a renewed interest in the site. In 2014, the rabbinical court for “hekdesh” (sacred property) affairs appointed Yitzhak Mamo and Yaakov Saltzman as emissaries of the court in the matter of the Tomb of the Kings sacred property. Mamo is a well-known right-wing activist in East Jerusalem who for years has been engaged in the evacuation of Palestinian families and the resettlement of Jews in Sheikh Jarrah. In 2015, the two men filed a suit in the rabbinical court against the government of France, with a plea to gain possession of the site.
    The lawsuit sparked outrage in Paris and in the French consulate in Jerusalem, as well as in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A letter sent to the court by David Goldfarb of the ministry’s legal department stated that according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, to which Israel is a signatory, consulate employees are not subject to the rulings of a rabbinical court. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also wishes to inform the honorable court that in response to bringing the lawsuit in this case, our office has received a sharply worded letter from the government of France,” Goldfarb wrote.
    The Israeli attorney general also sided with the French, and in a legal opinion submitted to the court, he argued that it was not at all clear that the site can be considered a hekdesh, since the hekdesh was created by the chief rabbi of Paris and not by the Sharia court in Jerusalem, which had been entrusted with the authority to rule on sacred property issues in the city during the period of Ottoman rule. In the wake of these developments, the religious court in Jerusalem rejected the suit.

    FILE Photo: The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem. American Colony

    FILE Photo: The Tomb of Kings site in Jerusalem. American Colony
    The French subsequently announced the closure of the site for renovations. In recent years, there has been practically no opportunity to visit the site. According to parties involved in the matter, the French consulate has invested about 900,000 euros (about $790,000) in a renovation that included construction of a steel apparatus to reinforce the central structure in the event of earthquake, construction of a new stairway, and preservation work.
    In September 2018, the consulate informed the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the work had been completed and that it was now possible to reopen the site. However, the French imposed two conditions: one, that Israel officially recognize French ownership of the site, and two, that they be assured no new lawsuits would be brought against them. Foreign Ministry officials have reported that discussions on the matter are now underway. In the meantime, the place remains closed and the protests have begun again.
    This time around, it was a group of Haredim led by Rabbi Zalman Grossman of Jerusalem that began to arrive on site twice a week and protest its closure by means of prayers and demonstrations. The protest has gained the support of the rabbi of the Western Wall and the holy sites, Shmuel Rabinovich, and of the chief rabbi of Jerusalem, Shlomo Amar, as well as the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
    The demonstrations and the demands to be able to pray on the site have kindled fears among the French that if the site is reopened, it will take on a religious nature and essentially become an Israeli land grab under the French flag in East Jerusalem. As far as France is concerned, this would engender serious political complications with the Palestinians.
    The concerns of the French in this matter are shared by the Antiquities Authority’s Jerusalem district archaeologist, Dr. Yuval Baruch. “There is a trend of archaeological sites taking on a status of holiness, and the problem is if and when that happens, archaeology always loses out,” says Baruch.
    He is concerned about other sites, mainly in the Old City, archaeological-tourism sites that have in the past few years been converted into religious sites, where visitors not coming for ritual purposes do not always feel welcome.
    The phenomenon, incidentally, is not exclusive to Orthodox Jews. This has happened, for instance, in a large section of the Jerusalem Archaeological Park-Davidson Center, south of the Western Wall, which has been turned into the “Ezrat Israel,” a prayer section earmarked for the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism. It is happening on the Hulda steps that ascend to the Temple Mount from the south, which have become a popular prayer site among evangelical Christians. The evangelicals have also adopted the Siloam Pool in Silwan. The plaza just outside Tanner’s Gate, not far from the Western Wall, has become the province of bar mitzvah organizers, and the archaeological site at Nebi Samuel in northern Jerusalem has become a site for prayer and pilgrimage.
    “When all is said and done, there is freedom of religion and the authorities have no ability to control it, but there has to be some regulation,” says Baruch. d”As excavations in Jerusalem continue to proliferate, the more assured it is that there will be continued attempts by religious bodies, and this can be Orthodox, Conservative or Reform rabbis, or evangelicals, it matters not who, to try and take them over. The appeal of sites whose character is becoming more emphatically religious will change. I appeal to the rabbinical establishment and to the leadership of the Christian communities to show more responsibility and greater recognition of the importance of the archaeological values, as well.”
    The official response from the office of the rabbi of the Western Wall in regard to the Tomb of the Kings: “In truth, the site is a holy place for Jews. To that end, the rabbi is acting with all due sensitivity in order that the site also provide free access for Jewish prayer and that its character and its holiness be preserved.”

    Nir Hasson
    Haaretz Correspondent

    https://seenthis.net/messages/746165 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Yad Vashem teaches the Holocaust like totalitarian countries teach history

    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust

    Daniel Blatman SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 18, 2018
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-what-happened-to-yad-vashem-1.6759139

    The Warsaw Ghetto Museum, which the Polish government decided to establish eight months ago, is now at the center of a debate.
    This debate has political elements, but it’s mainly a clash between two views of what should be stressed when researching and remembering the Holocaust, and above all of what educational messages should be sent – what Israelis like to call “the lessons of the Holocaust.”
    Haaretz’s Ofer Aderet, in his article about the Warsaw museum, mainly discussed the political perspective, giving considerable space to the criticisms by Prof. Hava Dreifuss, a Yad Vashem historian. Dreifuss assailed the Warsaw museum and those who decided, despite all the problems, to take on a project whose importance is hard to overstate. This criticism deserves a response.

    First, the political context. There’s no more appropriate response to Dreifuss’ criticism than the old saying that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
    >> Budapest Holocaust museum: Orban’s grand gesture or a whitewashing of Hungarian history?
    Dreifuss works for an institution that in recent years has functioned as a hard-working laundromat, striving to bleach out the sins of every anti-Semitic, fascist, racist or simply murderously thuggish leader or politician like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte and Italy’s Matteo Salvini.
    My heart breaks when I see my colleagues, honest and faithful researchers of the Holocaust, giving tours of this historic museum, apparently under compulsion, to the evildoers the Israeli government sends to Yad Vashem to receive absolution in the name of Holocaust victims in exchange for adding a pro-Israel vote at international institutions. For some reason, Dreifuss has no criticism about this.
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    But for the Polish government (every Polish government, both the current one headed by the nationalist Law and Justice party and the previous one headed by a liberal centrist coalition), which is spending tens of millions of zlotys every year to preserve historical Jewish sites, Jewish graveyards and countless memorials, she has scathing criticism.
    Fear and demoralization
    A week and a half ago, Matti Friedman published an opinion piece in The New York Times about what’s happening at Yad Vashem, and it made for difficult reading. When you read his conclusions, your hair stands on end. He doesn’t quote a single Yad Vashem employee by name, because no one wanted to be identified. After all, they have to earn a living.
    Friedman described a mood of frustration, fear and demoralization among the employees because the current extremist, nationalist government has turned Yad Vashem into a political tool reminiscent of history museums in totalitarian countries.
    But the most astonishing thing Friedman reported is that the institution’s chairman, Avner Shalev – who turned the museum into an international remembrance empire, and who for years has viciously fought every attempt to present a different conceptual or research approach than that of Yad Vashem – is reluctant to retire, despite having reached the age of 80.
    >> How a Nazi sympathizer helped found one of Sweden’s most powerful parties
    The reason for his reluctance is that many people at the institute fear that when he leaves, his place will be taken by someone nominated by the relevant minister, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who will turn Yad Vashem into a remembrance institute in the spirit of Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi party. It would be interesting to know what Dreifuss thinks about that.
    Yad Vashem is now paying the price of the many years in which it nurtured a one-dimensional, simplistic message that there’s only one way to explain the Holocaust. Today, the institution is apparently willing to place its reputation for Holocaust research, which it has built over many years, at the service of a government that has recruited it to accuse anyone who criticizes Israel of anti-Semitism. So it’s no wonder that its researchers have become partisan explainers of the Holocaust.
    It’s one thing when, at dubious conferences with political leaders whose governments include former neo-Nazis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to pass resolutions calling criticism of Israel the new anti-Semitism. It’s another when a research and remembrance institute doesn’t stand courageously against all such attempts.
    Thus Yad Vashem would do better not to look for evidence that other governments are attempting to distort history and dictate nationalist content – not to mention engaging in Holocaust denial, as Dreifuss charges.
    The Polish angle
    Does any of the above justify the current Polish government’s position on the Holocaust? Obviously not. The Polish government has a problematic agenda in explaining the past, which we aren’t obligated to accept and in fact should even criticize.
    But Poland’s government hasn’t interfered with the work of the museum’s employees, who have now started working, and certainly not with the development of the museum’s narrative. Had Dreifuss and her colleagues gotten involved in this effort, as they were invited to do, they would have been welcomed. Had Yad Vashem offered its help and support instead of giving the project the cold shoulder, nobody would have been happier than we at the museum.
    >> Opening Italy’s ‘closet of shame’
    And now we come to the historical issue. To take part in the effort to establish the Warsaw Ghetto Museum, one has to agree that the Holocaust can be presented and explained from perspectives other than an ethnocentric Jewish, Zionist and nationalist one.
    One has to accept that the Holocaust can be studied in a way that sees Jewish history during this period as an integral part of Poland’s history under the Nazi occupation. One has to agree that the horrific Jewish tragedy that occurred during World War II can and should be understood in part by simultaneously examining – while noting both the differences and the common elements – what befell Poles, Roma, Soviet prisoners of war and others who were murdered alongside Jews in the vast genocidal expanse that occupied Poland became.
    To set up a museum with a humanist, universal and inclusive message about the Holocaust, one has to accept an approach that sees the Warsaw Ghetto – a horrific terror zone that caused the deaths and physical and spiritual collapse of hundreds of thousands of Jews – as one element of a much bigger terror zone in which hundreds of thousands of other people suffered and fought for their existence: the Poles who lived on the other side of the wall.
    The obvious differences between the fates of these two peoples don’t absolve the research historian, or a museum depicting the history of this period, from presenting this complex message and demanding that visitors to the museum grapple with its lessons.
    Therefore, the new Warsaw Ghetto Museum won’t be Yad Vashem. It will be a Holocaust museum in the heart of the Polish capital that remembers the fate of the 450,000 Jews, Warsaw residents and refugees brought to the ghetto.
    After all, the vast majority of them were Jewish citizens of Poland. That’s how they lived, that’s how they suffered, and that’s how they should be remembered after being murdered by the Nazis.
    Prof. Daniel Blatman is a historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the chief historian for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/745683 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Tunisie. La révolution à venir devra être sociale | Thierry Brésillon
    https://orientxxi.info/magazine/tunisie-la-revolution-a-venir-devra-etre-sociale,2821

    Huit ans après l’immolation de Mohamed Bouazizi et le début du soulèvement populaire parti des zones marginalisées du territoire, la question sociale semble toujours attendre sa réponse. La classe politique a-t-elle raté l’occasion de sortir la Tunisie du piège de l’extraversion, à l’origine des disparités régionales ? Le 17 décembre 2010, quand Mohamed Bouazizi s’immolait devant le gouvernorat de Sidi Bouzid, sa protestation n’était pas seulement le résultat ponctuel d’une rupture du pacte moral implicite (...) Source : Orient XXI

    https://seenthis.net/messages/745436 via Rezo


  • In starkest warning yet, EU states say Trump’s Mideast peace plan risks ’being condemned to failure’

    Eight EU member states say ahead of the plan’s publication that any proposal must take into account ’internationally agreed parameters’ – namely, a two-state solution

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Dec 19, 2018 6

    https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-eu-states-warn-trump-s-mideast-plan-risks-being-condemned-to-failu

    Eight European Union member states issued on Tuesday their starkest warning ahead of the publication of U.S. President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan.

    The joint statement by France, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Italy follows a United Nations Security Council session on the situation in the region during which outgoing U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley praised the “thoughtful” plan.
    The EU states, all members of the Security Council, warned that any peace plan that would disregard “internationally agreed parameters,” namely a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, “would risk being condemned to failure.”

    >> Netanyahu is risking Israel’s interests by riding the European nationalist tiger | Analysis ■ U.S. evangelicals out their faith in Netanyahu as Trump readies Mideast peace plan
    They also reiterated “the EU’s strong continued commitment to the internationally agreed parameters for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law, relevant UN resolutions and previous agreements.”
    The statement went on to read: “The EU is truly convinced that the achievement of a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both States, that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation and resolves all final status issues, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2334 and previous agreements, is the only viable and realistic way to end the conflict and to achieve just and lasting peace.”
    The member states added that the EU “will continue to work towards that end with both parties, and its regional and international partners”, and called for restring “a political horizon” on this issue.
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    Nikki Haley said earlier Tuesday that the proposed U.S. plan to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians “brings new elements to the discussion, taking advantage of the new world of technology that we live in.” However, she gave no details of what was in the plan.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/745325 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Un intéressant éditorial du New York Times contre les tentatives du Sénat américain de criminaliser BDS

    Opinion | Curbing Speech in the Name of Helping Israel - The New York Times

    A Senate bill aims to punish those who boycott Israel over its settlement policy. There are better solutions.

    By The Editorial Board
    The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/18/opinion/editorials/israel-bds.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

    One of the more contentious issues involving Israel in recent years is now before Congress, testing America’s bedrock principles of freedom of speech and political dissent.

    It is a legislative proposal that would impose civil and criminal penalties on American companies and organizations that participate in boycotts supporting Palestinian rights and opposing Israel’s occupation of the West Bank.

    The aim is to cripple the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement known as B.D.S., which has gathered steam in recent years despite bitter opposition from the Israeli government and its supporters around the world.

    The proposal’s chief sponsors, Senator Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat, and Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, want to attach it to the package of spending bills that Congress needs to pass before midnight Friday to keep the government fully funded.
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    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a leading pro-Israel lobby group, strongly favors the measure.

    J Street, a progressive American pro-Israel group that is often at odds with Aipac and that supports a two-state peace solution, fears that the legislation could have a harmful effect, in part by implicitly treating the settlements and Israel the same, instead of as distinct entities. Much of the world considers the settlements, built on land that Israel captured in the 1967 war, to be a violation of international law.

    Although the Senate sponsors vigorously disagree, the legislation, known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, is clearly part of a widening attempt to silence one side of the debate. That is not in the interests of Israel, the United States or their shared democratic traditions.

    Critics of the legislation, including the American Civil Liberties Union and several Palestinian rights organizations, say the bill would violate the First Amendment and penalize political speech.

    The hard-line policies of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, including expanding settlements and an obvious unwillingness to seriously pursue a peace solution that would allow Palestinians their own state, have provoked a backlash and are fueling the boycott movement.
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    It’s not just Israel’s adversaries who find the movement appealing. Many devoted supporters of Israel, including many American Jews, oppose the occupation of the West Bank and refuse to buy products of the settlements in occupied territories. Their right to protest in this way must be vigorously defended.

    The same is true of Palestinians. They are criticized when they resort to violence, and rightly so. Should they be deprived of nonviolent economic protest as well? The United States frequently employs sanctions as a political tool, including against North Korea, Iran and Russia.

    Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman say their legislation merely builds on an existing law, the Export Control Reform Act, which bars participation in the Arab League boycott of Israel, and is needed to protect American companies from “unsanctioned foreign boycotts.”

    They are especially concerned that the United Nations Human Rights Council is compiling a database of companies doing business in the occupied territories and East Jerusalem, a tactic Senate aides say parallels the Arab League boycott.

    But there are problems with their arguments, critics say. The existing law aimed to protect American companies from the Arab League boycott because it was coercive, requiring companies to boycott Israel as a condition of doing business with Arab League member states. A company’s motivation for engaging in that boycott was economic — continued trade relations — not exercising free speech rights.

    By contrast, the Cardin-Portman legislation would extend the existing prohibition to cover boycotts against Israel and other countries friendly to the United States when the boycotts are called for by an international government organization, like the United Nations or the European Union.

    Neither of those organizations has called for a boycott, but supporters of Israel apparently fear that the Human Rights Council database is a step in that direction.
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    Civil rights advocates, on the other hand, say that anyone who joins a boycott would be acting voluntarily — neither the United Nations nor the European Union has the authority to compel such action — and the decision would be an exercise of political expression in opposition to Israeli policies.

    Responding to criticism, the senators amended their original proposal to explicitly state that none of the provisions shall infringe upon any First Amendment right and to penalize violators with fines rather than jail time.

    But the American Civil Liberties Union says the First Amendment wording is nonbinding and “leaves intact key provisions which would impose civil and criminal penalties on companies, small business owners, nonprofits and even people acting on their behalf who engage in or otherwise support certain political boycotts.”

    While the sponsors say their bill is narrowly targeted at commercial activity, “such assurances ring hollow in light of the bill’s intended purpose, which is to suppress voluntary participation in disfavored political boycotts,” the A.C.L.U. said in a letter to lawmakers.

    Even the Anti-Defamation League, which has lobbied for the proposal, seems to agree. A 2016 internal ADL memo, disclosed by The Forward last week, calls anti-B.D.S. laws “ineffective, unworkable, unconstitutional and bad for the Jewish community.”

    In a properly functioning Congress, a matter of such moment would be openly debated. Instead, Mr. Cardin and Mr. Portman are trying to tack the B.D.S. provision onto the lame-duck spending bill, meaning it could by enacted into law in the 11th-hour crush to keep the government fully open.

    The anti-B.D.S. initiative began in 2014 at the state level before shifting to Congress and is part of a larger, ominous trend in which the political space for opposing Israel is shrinking. After ignoring the B.D.S. movement, Israel is now aggressively pushing against it, including branding it anti-Semitic and adopting a law barring foreigners who support it from entering that country.
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    One United States case shows how counterproductive the effort is. It involves Bahia Amawi, an American citizen of Palestinian descent who was told she could no longer work as an elementary school speech pathologist in Austin, Tex., because she refused to sign a state-imposed oath that she “does not” and “will not” engage in a boycott of Israel. She filed a lawsuit this week in federal court, arguing that the Texas law “chills constitutionally protected political advocacy in support of Palestine.”

    Any anti-boycott legislation enacted by Congress is also likely to face a court challenge. It would be more constructive if political leaders would focus on the injustice and finding viable solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rather than reinforcing divisions between the two parties and promoting legislation that raises free speech concerns.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/745317 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Délires d’extrême droite du Kepel

    Le Figaro Premium - Gilles Kepel : « Pour les islamistes, la fête de Noël
    qui approche est impie »

    http://premium.lefigaro.fr/vox/societe/2018/12/12/31003-20181212ARTFIG00287-gilles-kepel-pour-les-islamistes-la-fete-

    Il faut se souvenir que le soulèvement des « gilets jaunes » est parti d’une augmentation insupportable du prix du carburant liée aux taxes, mais aussi aux fluctuations du marché pétrolier. La situation politique et sociale dans toute l’Europe a aussi été marquée par la révolte des classes populaires paupérisées à la suite des gigantesques flux migratoires causés par les guerres civiles qui ont suivi les printemps arabes.

    https://seenthis.net/messages/744319 via Nouvelles d’Orient



  • Americans Are Increasingly Critical of Israel – Foreign Policy
    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/11/americans-are-increasingly-critical-of-israel

    The firing of Professor Marc Lamont Hill as a CNN contributor after his speech at a United Nations event commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has generated considerable debate about free speech that goes beyond the case itself—what is legitimate criticism of Israel, and what constitutes anti-Semitism. A recent University of Maryland public-opinion poll indicates that many aspects of Hill’s views are widely shared among the American public—and that these views are not reflective of anti-Semitic attitudes, or even of hostility toward Israel as such. On these issues, there is a gap between the mainstream media and U.S. politicians on the one hand, and the American public on the other.

    While many issues were raised about Hill, the part of his speech that received the most criticism was his call for a “free Palestine from the river to the sea,” which was seen by some as calling for the end of Israel. Hill himself clarified almost immediately that “my reference to ‘river to the sea’ was not a call to destroy anything or anyone. It was a call for justice, both in Israel and in the West Bank/Gaza.” In an op-ed he penned later, he acknowledged that the language he chose may have contributed to the misperception that he was advocating violence against Jewish people—and apologized for that.

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    But, perceptions aside, are Professor Hill’s views exceptional?

    The first issue to consider is advocacy for a one-state solution, from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, with equal citizenship for all, which would in effect threaten Israel’s status as a Jewish-majority state, as Arabs might soon outnumber Jews on that territory. In fact, this solution has considerable support among the American public, as revealed in a University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, fielded by Nielson Scarborough, which was conducted in September and October among a nationally representative sample of 2,352 Americans, with a 2 percent margin of error. When asked what outcome they want U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to seek in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Americans are split between one state with equal citizenship and two states coexisting side by side: 35 percent say they want a one-state solution outright, while 36 percent advocate a two-state solution, 11 percent support maintaining the occupation, and 8 percent back annexation without equal citizenship. Among those between 18 and 34 years old, support for one state climbs to 42 percent.

    Furthermore, most of those who advocate a two-state solution tend to choose one state with equal citizenship if the two-state solution were no longer possible; the last time the survey asked this question, in November 2017, 55 percent of two-state solution backers said they would switch to one state in such circumstances. Bolstering this result is Americans’ views on the Jewishness and democracy of Israel: If the two-state solution were no longer possible, 64 percent of Americans would choose the democracy of Israel, even if it meant that Israel would cease to be a politically Jewish state, over the Jewishness of Israel, if the latter meant that Palestinians would not be fully equal.

    When one considers that many Israelis and Palestinians, as well as many Middle East experts, already believe that a two-state solution is no longer possible, especially given the large expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, it’s not hard to see why more people would be drawn to a one-state solution—or see the advocacy for two states as legitimizing the unjust status quo through the promise of something unattainable.

    Second, while most Americans have probably never heard of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement that Hill backs, our poll shows that a large number of Americans support imposing sanctions or more serious measures if Israeli settlements in the West Bank continue to expand: 40 percent of Americans support such measures, including a majority of Democrats (56 percent). This comes as senators, including Democrats, are proposing, despite continued ACLU opposition, to delegitimize and criminalize voluntary boycotts of Israel or settlements through the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, while not differentiating between Israeli settlements in the West Bank from those in Israel proper.

    Third, there is a growing sense that the Israeli government has “too much influence” on U.S. politics and policies: 38 percent of all Americans (including 55 percent of Democrats, and 44 percent of those under 35 years old), say the Israeli government has too much influence on the U.S. government, compared with 9 percent who say it has “too little influence” and 48 percent who say it has “about the right level of influence.” While the number of Jewish participants in the sample (115) is too small to generalize with confidence, it is notable that their views fall along the same lines of the national trend: 37 percent say Israel has too much influence, 54 percent say it has the right level, and 7 percent say it has too little influence.

    These results indicate neither a rise in anti-Semitism nor even a rise in hostility toward Israel as such. As analysis of previous polls has shown, many who espouse these opinions base them on a principled worldview that emphasizes human rights and international law.

    Keep in mind that, in a polarized America with deep political antagonism, it’s hardly surprising that Americans would have sharply divided views on Israelis and Palestinians. What many read as a rising anti-Israeli sentiment among Democrats is mischaracterized; it reflects anger toward Israeli policies—and increasingly, with the values projected by the current Israeli government.

    On the question of whether Americans want the Trump administration to lean toward Israel, toward the Palestinians, or toward neither side, there is a vast difference between Republicans and Democrats in the new poll: While a majority of Republicans want Washington to lean toward Israel outright (57 percent), a substantial majority of Democrats (82 percent) want it to lean toward neither side, with 8 percent wanting it to lean toward the Palestinians and 7 percent toward Israel. Still, it’s inaccurate to label the Democrats’ even-handedness as “anti-Israel.”

    https://seenthis.net/messages/743439 via Nouvelles d’Orient


  • Le gilet jaune interdit de vente en Égypte
    Valérie Cantié, France Inter, le 11 décembre 2018
    https://www.franceinter.fr/monde/le-gilet-jaune-interdit-de-vente-en-egypte

    Les autorités égyptiennes restreignent la vente de gilets jaunes par peur d’une envie de l’opposition de copier les « gilets jaunes » français.

    El-Sissi a récemment accusé la révolution de 2011 d’avoir entraîné son pays dans une crise à la fois économique et politique. Les manifestations sont sensées être interdites en Égypte et El-Sissi rappelle souvent que la dureté est nécessaire à la stabilité du pays. Depuis son arrivée au pouvoir, il n’y a pas eu de grande manifestation dans le pays malgré la crise.

    C’est cohérent avec cette autre « information » : Les frères musulmans seraient derrière les gilets jaunes, d’après une consultante Cnews
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxNvKR14zss

    #Gilets_Jaunes #France #Egypte

    https://seenthis.net/messages/743152 via Dror@sinehebdo