And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…Read More... | 66 Comments
Local residents tell me that previous Israeli attacks on Beit Hanoun had targeted homes much closer to the border. This time, the military took aim at the center of town. Why? As negotiations over a long-term Gaza truce draw to a close in Cairo, their success may hinge on a key Hamas demand – facilitating civilian access to the West Bank. The demand, say observers here, is about more than humanitarian needs. Linking the two territories would strengthen a Palestinian reconciliation deal forged in April – a deal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to recognize. On the ground in…Read More... | 15 Comments
Photos by: Basel Yazouri and Anne Paq/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler The most commonly cited statistic from Gaza is the death toll, now rising past 1,814, according to UN figures. Such numbers can be numbing, as absorbing the reality of so many faces and names is impossible. Yet another staggering figure that is difficult to comprehend is the number of people displaced from their homes, which the UN estimates at 520,000. Gaza's half-million displaced residents are one of the most obvious refutations of the the accusation that Hamas uses "human shields." The Guardian has reported "large numbers of people fleeing…Read More... | 23 Comments
Those who spot an existential threat at every turn, turn their backs on diplomacy and mock peace efforts are now astonished to find that the enemy has sought out their own weapons of attack. The tunnels are a self-fulfilling prophecy; the time has come to look for another way. By Nir Baram It is heartrending and frustrating to see us, citizens of a country full of accomplishment and potential, repeatedly stupefied by a cynical propaganda machine whose real intent is simply inaction. What is meant by “inaction”? To avoid putting forth any solution, to not present any creative initiative or…Read More... | 20 Comments
Israel continued to bombard Gaza overnight, as the Palestinian death toll rose to more than 70 after the collapse of Friday's UN and U.S.-brokered 72-hour ceasefire that was supposed to lead to negotiations to end the Israel-Hamas war. Rockets continued to be fired from Gaza into Israel early Saturday morning, with the Iron Dome intercepting some over Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva. Hamas' armed wing stated Saturday that missing soldier Hadar Goldin may have been killed in Israeli air strikes following the incident in which he was captured and two other soldiers killed Friday. The group claims it has lost contact…Read More... | 4 Comments
The United Nations today confirmed "multiple dead and injured" at its shelter in Beit Hanoun, where Gazan families had sought refuge from non-stop Israeli shelling that has killed more than 700 Palestinians, most of them civilians. Chris Gunness, a spokesperson for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees, said via Twitter that the agency had earlier today passed the shelter's "precise coordinates" to the Israeli military. Fearing an attack, UNRWA had "tried to coordinate with the Israeli army a window for civilians to leave," but "it was never granted," said Gunness. As reported by AP, the attack…Read More... | 21 Comments
Resolutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be reached either by agreement or evolution. As the peace talks stumble toward their formal end point, there are essentially four scenarios for political developments between the river and the sea, excluding resurgent violence: two states by agreement, two states by evolution, one state by agreement, or one sovereign entity by evolution. Policymakers should acknowledge these scenarios openly to assess what each one will mean for the future of the region. I recently proposed using basic values as a guideline to assess the desirability of such scenarios: reducing violence, realizing human and civil rights,…Read More... | 12 Comments
Blaming the peace talks' failure on Palestinian 'rejectionism' is nothing more than a flimsy attempt at flipping reality on its head. With commentators now referring to the peace process as a “corpse,” Israeli talking heads and politicians are scrambling to manage the narrative of the dying animal. The first task today is to finesse the blame laid squarely on Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. One radio commentator spoke quite factually about “Kerry’s mistake.” But it’s hard to finesse an unprecedented shift of tone from an American administration. It isn’t exactly like America suddenly supported a negative UN…Read More... | 36 Comments
How is it that Israel, a state with substantial arms exports, and which demands tight global scrutiny of the weapons purchased by its neighbors, has not signed a UN treaty to reduce violence against women and children? By Smadar Ben-Natan (translated from Hebrew by Ofer Neiman) The Knesset Committee for Advancement of the Status of Women is about to discuss a national action plan, initiated by a wide coalition of feminist NGOs, for the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325. The resolution calls for the adoption of a gender perspective in peace and security issues, or simply put – for…Read More...
Corporations run the world. It’s time we run the corporations. By Paula Schmitt There’s a passage in Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs that is emblematic of the darkness faced by consumers with any social concern. Apple is being visited by Danielle Mitterrand, the wife of the then French president, and while Jobs keeps force-feeding her all his sloganeering about technology and design, Mitterrand interrupts him to ask about working conditions, overtime, holidays. Jobs, of course, doesn’t answer. Proponents of capitalism like to boast that their system is about choice; but choice of what? Of brands? Products? I want to…Read More... | 8 Comments
This week: more holes in the separation wall, protests against the Prawer-Begin Plan, tear gas in Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian passport for a Palestinian citizen, soldier protect settler activists, solidarity with Palestine at the UN, marching against violence against women, Greenpeace targets GMOs in Israeli supermarkets, and clashes after Israeli forces kill three Palestinian militants.Read More... | 2 Comments
Tuesday's New York Times editorial about Netanyahu's "pushback" on Iran at the United Nations General Assembly doesn't say much, except for implying that diplomacy is preferable to military force when it comes to Iran's nuclear program. But what is noteworthy (and irksome) is the way in which the editorial board of the paper refers to the Israeli prime minister: Mr. Netanyahu has legitimate reasons to be wary of any Iranian overtures, as do the United States and the four other major powers involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But it could be disastrous if Mr. Netanyahu and his supporters…Read More... | 19 Comments
While the Israeli public and media failed to take any significant notice of a recent UN report criticizing Israel’s policy on children’s arrests and detention, some European officials and NGOs are speaking out about the abuses. By Galit Saporta (Edited by Ami Asher) It seems that yet another report, this time from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), regarding abuses that occur during arrest, interrogation and detention of Palestinian children by the Israeli army, has failed to generate any public attention in Israel. Only one article in Haaretz (“It’s only Palestinian children,” June 27, 2013) has…Read More... | 18 Comments
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Assault on Gaza
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How the very concept of human rights has failed Palestinians http://t.co/tSFP3abtuh by @nsheizaf http://t.co/y4CUOk8r2I
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RT @MairavZ: Nine more Jewish families take over #Silwan homes in dead of night http://t.co/u8uz0lyUW2 #EastJerusalem My report http://t.c…
Nine more Jewish families take over Silwan homes in dead of night http://t.co/ZiGgYYywc0 by @MairavZ
For near identical crimes, an Israeli and a Palestinian’s fate couldn’t be more different http://t.co/cTxeGpmPoA http://t.co/YpuYnkR8bu