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Israeli Apartheid: Vermonters Don't Buy It - BOYCOTT!
No, Jesus would not be a settler — he’d practice solidarity
Text and photos by Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Activestills, +972 Magazine 7/28/2015
     Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren says Jesus would be considered a settler if he lived in Bethlehem today. Such talk obscures the nature of the settlement enterprise and slanders Jesus.
     Former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren has been saying a lot of obnoxious things lately. His recent book angered Jewish-American journalists by twisting the truth and burning bridges with the liberal Zionist establishment. And while it’s clear that diplomacy is no longer Oren’s priority, he may have crossed the line from belligerence to blasphemy with his latest remarks.While preaching to the choir of the Knesset’s Christian Allies Caucus, Oren took the name of Jesus in vain, using it to defend the settler enterprise.
     “Jesus, Mary, and John the Baptist would today be considered Jewish settlers in Bethlehem,” said Oren, according to The Jerusalem Post.
     Mike Huckabee has been saying some stupid stuff too — essentially calling Obama a Nazi — but such dangerous absurdities are nothing new when it comes to his Middle East policy. The last time Huckabee ran for president, he laid a cornerstone in the East Jerusalem settlement of Beit Orot and expressed willful ignorance of geography and international law:
     "It is inconceivable in many ways that we would have to even argue and debate whether or not Israelis could live in Israel, not just in parts of Israel but anywhere in Israel they wished to live. … I cannot imagine as an American being told that I could not live in certain places in America because I was Christian, or because I was white, or because I spoke English."
     Israelis can live in every part of Israel. It’s just that But Beit Orot is not Israel. East Jerusalem is not Israel. That’s why Israel does not grant the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank the same civil rights as the Jewish Israelis who live in these same areas.
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Israel and Gaza: the BDS Movement One Year After 'Protective Edge'
Peter Makhlouf, CounterPunch 7/28/2015
     This July, Palestinians around the world and those standing in solidarity remembered two poignant anniversaries. The first was the one-year anniversary of the brutal Israeli incursion into Gaza termed, in proper Orwellian fashion, “Operation Protective Edge.” This slaughter, claiming the lives of 2,300 civilians was not the first of its kind and certainly will not be the last. At the same time, the BDS National Committee (BNC) celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the call from Palestinian civil society to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).
     One could argue that this past year has been the most successful year for the BDS campaign in its history, in a large part due to the tragedy of last summer which thrust the full-scale of Israeli state violence into the public eye. Unlike the daily horrors of occupation, both in the West Bank and even more prominently so in Gaza, that operate through a manic labyrinth of Kafka-esque bureaucracy—expropriated property deeds, denied travel permits, unwarranted arrests and detentions—it took the mangled bodies of four Gazan boys upon the beach to catapult the horrors of Israeli policy onto the world stage.
     In turn, BDS, which holds visibility and awareness of the Palestinian struggle for justice as a central tenet of its strategy, came to the forefront both during the onslaught and more prominently after the smoke had cleared. The key tenet of the BDS campaign is to both elucidate and attack the politico-economic implications of such an occupation: who is profiting? how are they profiting? what can be done?
     In a political environment in which the battle is fought particularly intensely on the ideological plane, BDS presents a critical, calculated attempt to betray and attack the material motivations at the heart of the occupation. It enfranchises Palestinians throughout the world with economic leverage against a settler-colony that is based—unlike South Africa, which required black labor—on the exclusion and denial of any economic enfranchisement for Palestinians.
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Netanyahu: An Enemy of Peace
Mel Gurtov, CounterPunch 7/28/2015
     Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has established himself as the biggest enemy of peace in the Middle East. His thoroughly unwelcome and error-marred speech to Congress on Iran, his last-minute racist scare tactics on election eve in Israel, and his disingenuous post-election statement that he really does support a two-state solution all reveal a man who fears a just Middle East peace and will do everything he can to thwart it.
     President Obama has taken the correct position in distancing himself from Netanyahu and, with the usual diplomatic language, making plain that so long as Netanyahu is in charge, the peace process is dead. Their widely reported strained personal relationship is one thing, but the main thing is that the United States and the Palestinian Authority do not have a negotiating partner. What Netanyahu said in the last moments of his electoral campaign simply cannot be walked back: that no two-state solution will ever occur while he is prime minister; and that the Arab vote is a threat to Israel’s political system. This is a man who will say and do whatever it takes to preserve his power and keep the Palestinian people in a subordinate place.
     Netanyahu has a lot of help in achieving those objectives, both in Congress and from his embassy in Washington. The Israel Lobby remains powerful and well funded, with many resources for ensuring that military and economic aid to Israel continues, that the Palestinian cause is ignored, and that Israel’s nuclear weapon arsenal is never a fit topic of debate. Netanyahu’s faithful front man–the American-born Israeli ambassador, Ron Dermer–is a key figure in the lobby—a man who, like his boss, never takes a backward step when it comes to promoting an expansive notion of Israel’s security needs. He is reportedly working tirelessly to restore Bibi’s credibility and embolden Congress members to maintain sanctions on Iran. Unless and until the Israel Lobby is reined in, significant change in US policy is hard to imagine.
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Israel’s small but genuine peace camp
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 7/23/2015
     Their numbers might be small but their presence is, and should be, publicly acknowledged and encouraged. They are the small group of dedicated Israelis who make it their goal to be present physically to express solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied territories. They are regularly sharing with the people of Bilin, Nabi Saleh or Nilin their Friday protests against the separation wall and settlements. Now they are present in the south Hebron village of Suisia, supporting Palestinians whose presence is being threatened by oppressive Israeli measures. The culprit this time is the Israeli army itself which is eager to use the lightly populated area as military target practice. They probably prefer Suisia to locations in the Negev because it is close to their homes and more comfortable than the hot desert! Israelis who show solidarity with Palestinians often face dual discrimination. By taking a strong and public stand with Palestinians they are automatically in the minority in a country that was built on military power and is focused on the love and adoration of its army. While it is true that many Israelis don’t very much like the radical settlers that the army is protecting, nevertheless, these peace activists are on the fringe because they are courageous enough to confront their own soldiers and provide protection for Palestinians by their mere presence. At the same time, some of these solidarity groups face direct or indirect attacks by Palestinians who are wary of any action that might give the appearance that the occupation is normal and that such superficial Israel protests actually strengthen the Israeli occupiers....
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Western Saharan star Aziza Brahim cancels Israel concert
Electronic Intifada: 30 Jul 2015 - Sarah Irving 30 July 2015 Singer announces withdrawal from September “Festival of Sacred Music.”
Israel intentionally killed civilians after soldier's capture in Gaza -- Amnesty
Electronic Intifada: 30 Jul 2015 - Rania Khalek 30 July 2015 A 55-day-old baby was among the scores of civilians bombed during Black Friday in August 2014. 
Palestinians revolt in Israeli prisons
Electronic Intifada: 29 Jul 2015 - Maureen Clare Murphy 30 July 2015 Prisoners lit rooms on fire after massive late-night raid.
Newly engaged 19-year-old shot dead by Israel
Electronic Intifada: 29 Jul 2015 - Budour Youssef Hassan Qalandiya 29 July 2015 Muhammad Atta Abu Latifa was killed as he tried to run away from Israeli troops who invaded his home.
Despite objections, Obama to allow notorious Israeli spy to go free
Electronic Intifada: 28 Jul 2015 - Ali Abunimah 28 July 2015 Damage Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard did is so great that many senior US officials believe he should never go free.
In Gaza's ruins, "we will think of those we lost"
Electronic Intifada: 28 Jul 2015 - Charlotte Silver and Ezz Zanoun 28 July 2015 Families struggle with lack of shelter after 2,500 homes were destroyed.
Apartheid Wall: 10 years of existence
Palestine Monitor: 12 Feb 2015 - June 18, 2012-Under the slogan ‘Annexation Wall: Ten Years Too Long’, the Palestinian NGO for the protection of human rights Al Haq launched ...
Community Center Targeted 1
Palestine Monitor: 12 Feb 2015 - June 20, 2012-Community Center Targeted 1
Community Center Targeted 2
Palestine Monitor: 12 Feb 2015 - June 20, 2012-Community Center Targeted 2
Alliance Blackmail: Israel’s Opposition to the Iran Nuclear Agreement
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Jul 2015 - By Richard Falk The Vienna Agreement [formally labeled by diplospeak as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)] reached by the P5 + 1 on July 14, 2015 has been aptly hailed as a political breakthrough, not only because it calms regional worries about Iran’s nuclear program, but more so because it has the potential to remove an ugly dimension of conflict from the regional turmoil in the Middle East. Such a diplomatic success, after so many years of frustration, chaos, and strife, should be an occasion for hope and celebration, and in many venues it is, although not in Israel or Saudi Arabia or among the neo-con kingpins in Washington think tanks and their numerous Republican allies in the U.S. Congress. Which side will prevail in this dysfunctional encounter is presently obscure, which itself is an indication of the dismal conditions of political life in America. Many unanswered and unanswerable...
Amnesty: Israel Committed War Crimes during Rafah ‘Carnage’
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Jul 2015 - There is overwhelming evidence of war crimes commissioned and committed by the Israeli military in Rafah last August, a new report by Amnesty International has concluded. In what the global human rights NGO has described as a “cutting edge investigation”, the Israeli army was found to have conducted “disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets and in vehicles and injured many more.” Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International, described a “relentless and massive bombardment of residential areas of Rafah”, carried out “without distinction between civilians and military targets.” The events in Rafah, so-called ‘Black Friday’, have attracted attention for the army’s application of the controversial ‘Hannibal Protocol’, a secretive doctrine designed to thwart the capture of an Israeli soldier by the application of overwhelming force. On August 1, 2014, the Israeli military implemented...
The Stalemate in the Palestinian Political System
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jul 2015 - By Majed Kaylai  The Palestinian political system is characterised by a statute of limitations due to the fact that the same factions have formed the ruling elite and the same tactics have been implemented for decades. At least, this is what can be said since the establishment of the Palestinian territories over the course of the past quarter of a century. The majority of the Palestinian establishment, from the Palestinian Authority to political factions to popular organisations, are exhausted and no longer hold the same standing in Palestinian communities. The PLO no longer holds the same prestige as it did before it transformed itself from a liberation movement into a political party. Since the situation continues to deteriorate, the Palestinian political system is at an impasse; moreover, the prevailing political elite have now become too conservative in terms of their policies. The reality on the ground has remained the same....
Palestinian Girl Reduced to Tears by Merkel Speaks Out
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jul 2015 - The 14-year-old Palestinian girl with cerebral palsy who hit the headlines after Angela Merkel explained Germany’s tough asylum policy toward refugees in camps, reducing her to tears, said she hopes that Israel disappears and there will be only Palestine. “My hope is that at some time, [Israel] is no longer there, but only Palestine,” Reem Sahwil told German Die Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “This country should no longer be called Israel, but Palestine.” When asked if Germany is her home, Sahwil answered “No,” adding that her home is Palestine. “I will live there [Palestine] at some point,” she said. The Die Welt reporter asked her if she was aware of the “special history” between Israel and Germany. #merkelstreichelt . @Martin_Lejeune hat Reem Sahwil getroffen: http://t.co/pAjw4TYgz7 pic.twitter.com/LH12TvMbor — KenFM.de (@TeamKenFM) July 20, 2015 “Yes, there is freedom of speech,” Reem said, “Here I am allowed to say that. I am prepared to...
Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jul 2015 - By Ramzy Baroud As much of the Middle East sinks deeper into division between competing political camps, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’) continues its unhindered march towards a twisted version of a Muslim caliphate. Many thousands have lost their lives, some in the most torturous ways, so that ‘IS’ may realize its nightmarish dream. Of course, violence meted out by ‘IS’ is hardly an anomaly, considering that the group was spawned in a predominantly violent environment. It is difficult to imagine, for example, that, if the Syrian regime and its opposition had sought a political solution from the early days of the uprising, ‘IS’ would have found a stable foothold for itself in Syria. It was during the emergence of violence by the Syrian regime that ‘IS’, a dark force that neither believes in democracy, civil rights nor co-existence, appeared. The same scenario was repeated in Iraq and a host...
Besieged Yarmouk Camp No Longer Besieged, UN Rules
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Jul 2015 - By Joe Dyke The United Nations has quietly removed a major Palestinian camp from its list of besieged areas in Syria, despite not being able to deliver aid there for four months, and to the shock of residents. The Yarmouk camp, a sprawling residential area on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, was home to over 200,000 Palestinians before the country’s civil war began in 2011. The vast majority of the population has since fled, but around 18,000 people have remained trapped inside by a government siege for more than two years. Earlier this year, militants from the self-declared Islamic State (ISIS) briefly infiltrated Yarmouk and seized a large part of it. Control of the camp is still disputed but government forces maintain checkpoints around the area preventing people from coming and going. The UN continues to have no direct access, but has been able, with partners, to deliver...

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