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Edo Konrad, +972 Magazine 11/27/2015
Nearly 50 years after the occupation of Hebron, Israel still hasn’t figured out how to stop Palestinian violence.
If you have been attuned to the internal Israeli conversation over the past few days, you’ll have noticed that the drums of war are beating once again.
In a piece published Friday, Haaretz’s military and defense expert Amos Harel describes a growing rift among Israel’s leadership surrounding the recent violence that has, for the most part, moved from Jerusalem to the West Bank — and specifically the area surrounding Hebron.
Following a sharp increase in lethal attacks against Israeli soldiers and civilians in the area, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Education Minister Naftali Bennett have been trading blows over the most effective strategy the IDF should take to quell the violence. Ya’alon believes that the army is doing everything in its power to put an end to the attacks, while Bennett and his backers in the settler movement demand harsher policies against Palestinians in Hebron. Regardless of who prevails, the current assumption, according to Harel, is that “sooner or later the IDF will launch a large operation in the region.”
On the ground, life for Palestinians has become even tougher. The IDF reinforced its troops in Hebron last week with two additional infantry battalions, bringing the number of battalions operating in the area to nine. Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians have been arrested in the city and nearby villages, with soldiers inspecting nearly 1,500 Palestinian cars on a daily basis before allowing them to drive on the main roads in the Hebron and Bethlehem region.
Harel believes that despite increasingly tight security measures, more violence may force the army to go even further.... more.. e-mail Israel, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State bogey
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/26/2015
The terrorist bogeyman de jour is nowadays of course the so-called "Islamic State". Do you remember back in the decade or so following the 9/11 attacks on the US? Back then it was all al-Qaeda, all the time. We were all meant to fear and quake in our boots over them. Ironically, the group is probably more of a threat now than they were then, and the actions taken by western governments back then helped to birth the creation of something of the ven more horrific "Islamic State."
Al-Qaeda were a conveniently ghoulish enemy which tabloid newspapers could use to whip up fear and loathing and which western governments used to build public support for ever-increasing powers for their various domestic spy agencies.
Even though the British media and government constantly obsessed about al-Qaeda and the threat it posed, it was greatly exaggerated. This was especially the case in the aftermath to 9/11 and the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. The so-called War on Terrorism was envisaged as a sort of endless war, in large part for the benefits of western capital, especially the arms firms, and for control of Middle Eastern oil.
Dick Cheney, George W. Bush's vice president (and himself a former CEO of oil and construction corporation Halliburton, which went on to make immense profits from the invasion of Iraq) spelled it out bluntly in October 2001: "it may never end. At least, not in our lifetime."
We were told that al-Qaeda was a threat, that Saddam Hussein was building "weapons of mass destruction" and had to be stopped and that he was even working in alliance with al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Of course, as is now widely know, there was no al-Qaeda operating in Iraq until after in the invasion.... more.. e-mail Maariv: Google Will Censor Videos Inciting Palestinian Violence
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, Intifada-Palestine 11/27/2015
We must not permit this Israeli government to blame anyone but itself for the hatred and violence which it spawns among Palestinians. Google doesn’t cause murder. Israel does.
Bibi Netanyahu has been blaming U.S. internet companies like Facebook for the current Palestinian uprising. I’ve taken to calling it the “Facebook Intifada.” Now there’s a new Silicon Valley target.
Today, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, who’s devoutly wished to see Israel rebuild the Holy Temple (thereby destroying the Haram al Sharif), announced (in Hebrew, English here) that she’d met with YouTube’s CEO and Google’s director of public policy at its Silicon Valley campus. During this meeting, according to a Maariv article, Hotovely schooled the executives about the ways in which pro-Palestine propaganda infects the internet and incites impressionable young Palestinian children to knife innocent victims.
What struck me about the article was the conclusion, in which Hotovely says that Google agreed to create a formal mechanism enabling formal coöperation between the foreign ministry and the company regarding the issue of incitement as played out in YouTube’s video content. In other words, she implied that Google would collaborate with Israel on identifying and removing videos that “incited” violence against Israel.
There are so many problems with Hotovely’s claims, it’s hard to know where to start. But my major problem is with the issue of censorship. Has Google agreed to censor videos? Has it been pressured to remove videos which document violence, whether perpetrated by Israeli security forces or Palestinian protesters?
I sent an e-mail to Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO and to Google’s press office asking whether they agree with Hotovely’s characterization of the meeting and what was agreed during it. We’ll see how or if they respond. more.. e-mail Rebel-linked Israeli businessman has Syrian Jews kidnapped
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/25/2015
A bizarre and disturbing story earlier this month shed a tiny sliver of light on the under-reported and murky role of Israel in the increasingly complex Syrian civil war.
Agence France Presse reported the story of several Syrian Jews who were taken out of the country by rebel fighters hired by Israeli-American businessman (and former mercenary) Moti Kahana.
But a close reading of the text of the story quickly reveals that the headline about a "rescue" of Jews from Syria is highly misleading.
In fact, the report states, "the family did not want to leave" and Kahana even claimed that "it was 'necessary' to scare them into getting in a minibus," according to AFP's Joe Dyke. In the Jewish Chroniclepiece (which apparently was first to break the story) Kahana noted that because the family did not want to leave, the only way he could compel them to do so was to “scare the shit out of them.”
That sounds far more like a kidnapping than a "rescue." The family were, in the process of this forcible "rescue," lied to and told they would be allowed to go to New York, but Kahana then ended up sending them to Israel.
To make matters worse one of the three women was refused a visa to Israel because she was not Jewish enough for the Zionist entity.
There are several shady elements to the story, and Kahana seems like a fantasist and a liar, prone to exaggeration and self-aggrandisement. Even the Jewish Agency (the para-statal Zionist organization responsible for pressuring and scaring Jews from around the world to leave their native countries in order to become colonial settlers in occupied Palestine) criticised Kahana.... more.. e-mail
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