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  • Why Israel is so worried about Qatari outreach to American Jews

    Qatar has been focusing on prominent American Jewish leaders as the isolated Gulf state seeks to repair its image. Why American Jews? It's about Saudi Arabia. By Mitchell Plitnick On January 31, the Israeli embassy in the United States stated that Israel did not approve of several right wing, pro-Israel American Jewish leaders meeting with senior officials, including the emir, of Qatar. “We oppose this outreach effort in the Jewish and pro-Israel community,” said embassy spokesman Itai Bar Dov. It was an unusual, and in some ways bizarre, statement. What was Israel so worried about? [tmwinpost] “There is nothing wrong with analysts…

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  • The end of Israel's 'enlightened' occupation

    A decision to apply Israel's higher education law to the West Bank exposes as a ruse Israel's claims that it administers the occupied Palestinian territories according to international law. By Michal Luft For years, Israel nurtured its image as an enlightened occupier in the Palestinian territories. It not only insisted on portraying itself to the world as an occupying power that rules over the territories according to the laws of belligerent occupation, it also prided itself on how it administered those territories. That job was given to the IDF's regional commander, who was portrayed as someone whose job requires him to work in an…

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  • A Netanyahu indictment won't save Israeli democracy

    In Netanyahu's Israel, checks and balances are irrelevant or corrupt, accountability is conspiracy, and a watchdog media is a national saboteur. Tough times are ahead. There has been no shortage of people who were thrilled by the announcement Tuesday night that Israeli police recommend indicting Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases. A Haaretz headline crowed that “Netanyahu’s countdown has begun.” Opposition figures such as Labor chairman Avi Gabbay said, “the Netanyahu era has ended.” [tmwinpost] But in Netanyahu’s defiant speech moments following the publication of the police recommendations, he insisted that his government would last its full term — through…

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  • As corruption cases close in, Netanyahu will move further right to survive

    Netanyahu is already painting the police recommendation to indict him as a political witch hunt. That will have significant consequences on how the attorney general proceeds, and what Israel's second-longest serving prime minister does to survive. The Israeli police on Tuesday recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption cases, referred to as Case 1000 and Case 2000. In Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of trying to advance the interests of Israeli tycoon Arnon Milchen in exchange for lavish gifts he and his wife demanded; in Case 2000, Netanyahu was recorded plotting to pursue regulatory changes that would have…

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  • Take a look around. This is what annexation looks like

    The annexation of Palestine will not come one day, it is happening every day, and this is what it looks like: legislating mundane changes about higher education councils. There will be no definitive moment, event or a point in history, when we can say that annexation happened. Israel’s annexation is a process — a deliberate process — which has been carefully planned, began a long time ago, and which will continue for years to come. [tmwinpost] It is hard to get too excited over small steps toward annexation, such as a law that moves a university from the jurisdiction of one…

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  • Arab woman MK attacked by Hebrew media for criticizing army policy

    MK Aida Touma-Suleiman, a female legislator from the Arab-Jewish socialist party, criticized the Israeli army's policy toward Syria, warning that it could escalate to a war that would endanger civilians. In response, one veteran male television news analyst ordered her to 'sit down and be quiet.' The Israeli air force has carried out more than 100 bombing incursions deep inside Syrian territory over the past few years, with little acknowledgement from the Israeli media and without suffering any military or diplomatic repercussions.  Meanwhile, Russia and Iran have deployed military forces in Syria, ostensibly to eliminate the Islamic State but in fact to increase their sphere of influence — at the cost…

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  • A downed F-16 and an Iranian drone: The other side always started it

    According to the Israeli narrative, the timeline of violence that resulted in Syria shooting down an Israeli fighter jet began just a few hours earlier. But Israel has been bombing inside Syria for months. Make no mistake: the dramatic escalation of violence on the Israeli-Syrian border Saturday morning was initiated by Israel, and it is Israel's responsibility to end it. [tmwinpost] If the reports are accurate, and an Iranian drone did enter Israeli airspace Saturday morning, then this is indeed a new development, and a blatant and provocative violation of Israeli sovereignty. However, the escalation has been ongoing for several…

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  • The Middle East nearly disappeared from U.S. media coverage in 2017

    Allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. elections dominated the news cycle last year. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict hardly made a dent, confirming that the American public no longer cares a great deal about the issue. By Jim Lobe Except for the ongoing war in Syria, coverage of the Middle East by the evening news programs of the three big U.S. networks virtually disappeared in 2017, according to the latest annual compilation by the authoritative Tyndall Report. [tmwinpost] Russia and Russian-related events — as in the allegations of Moscow’s meddling in U.S. elections — ranked as the top story of the year, while…

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  • Another unnecessary war

    The following is a prediction best left unfulfilled. Faced with the drums of war, one must remain resolute, even if there is no certainty that war will break out. Too much is at stake. And if war does not break out now, it will at a later time. It will materialize one way or another. By Idan Landau The writing is already on the wall: Israel will soon launch a military operation in Lebanon. Not a targeted attack on a weapons convoy or factory, but a simultaneous attack on Hezbollah's missile production and launch sites. The operation will take place at the same…

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  • Defying racist legislation: New bill seeks to turn Israel into a true democracy

    In the face of an onslaught of nationalist, anti-Arab laws, one lawmaker is proposing a simple alternative: transforming Israel into a state for all its citizens. A few years ago, my colleague Noam Sheizaf conducted a fascinating interview with the executive director of Adalah, Hassan Jabareen, in which the former raised the idea that the rise of nationalist and anti-democratic legislation was actually a response to the Palestinian-Israeli public taking its citizenship more seriously — both its rights and the obligations that that citizenship entails. Considering the conduct of the government, as well as that of the Arab public in Israel over…

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