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Engineers in Gaza convert the rubble of war into concrete for rebuilding
Mondoweiss - An all-female team of engineers in Gaza have  invented an affordable new way to produce concrete from the leftover rubble of homes destroyed during the last war in Gaza. And the four women behind the project–Nour Buhaisi, Aya Abu Hashish,...

Jews in Iran: a travelogue
Mondoweiss - Meeting local Jews was one of the goals of my visit to Iran. Besides curiosity and scholarly concern, practical concerns such as finding kosher food and celebrating the Sabbath and the holiday of Purim also brought me in contact with...

‘NYT’ runs Israeli’s op-ed recommending that Palestinians ’emigrate voluntarily’
Mondoweiss - In the last few days T he New York Times has run several opinion pieces from the Israeli or American Zionist point of view. We’ve seen none from Palestinians. Last Wednesday was a low point. Right alongside Tom Friedman urging...

Scholars ask to have their names added to ‘Professor Watchlist’
Mondoweiss - The newly inaugurated U.S. administration has created an atmosphere of violence, racism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. A less discussed aspect of these attacks is on academic freedom. The 2016 election has taken to new extremes the threats to academic freedom. We...

Funeral in Tulkarem for Palestinian man killed by Israelis because he got wrong cab going to last chemo session
Mondoweiss - Violence / Detentions — West Bank / Jerusalem Funeral held for Palestinian shot by Israeli forces 3 months ago while crossing the street TULKAREM (Ma‘an) 18 Feb — Hundreds of Palestinian mourners joined a funeral procession in the city of Tulkarem in...

Impacts of the US-Israel alliance on prospects for peace, US foreign policy, and the integrity of your government.


New FBI Files Alleging AIPAC Theft of Government Property and Israeli Espionage Released
Forbes.com, Washington, March 10, 2010 - PRNewswire-USNewswire Source: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy

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Secretary of State Clinton will give the keynote address at AIPAC's 2010 annual convention.

Declassified files detailing an FBI investigation targeting the American Israel Public Affairs Committee are now available on the Internet. AIPAC was investigated after it acquired and circulated classified government information provided in strict confidence by US industry and worker groups opposed to AIPAC sponsored economic legislation. The 50 pages now available as portable document files (PDF) include:

FBI reports of Israelis circulating classified documents in the US Congress, "compromising" the authority of the U.S. President. PDF

US Trade Representative concerns that AIPAC was tactically "divulging" classified information supplied by US industries opposed to AIPAC lobbying initiatives. PDF

Reports from the International Trade Commission that AIPAC and Israeli operatives "usurped" US government authority and that an Israeli intelligence service operative was working undercover on AIPAC's staff: PDF

Internal Department of Justice prosecutorial opinions that "theft of government property" had occurred: PDF

An FBI director order that the Washington Field office give the AIPAC investigation top priority after Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was caught on video surveillance stealing classified US national defense information: PDF

FBI special agent interviews of Israeli minister of economics Dan Halpern who claimed diplomatic immunity. Halpern admitted passing classified US documents to AIPAC but refused to name his source: PDF

FBI special agent interviews of AIPAC's former director of legislative affairs detailing how he made copies of the classified documents for AIPAC's lobbying use after being ordered to return them to the US government. PDF

FBI interviews of key AIPAC employees involved in handling the classified US government information (full document listing): Link

According to research director Grant F. Smith, the newly released files present startling new insights into AIPAC's activities in the United States. more..

 

The Israel Lobby
By John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, London Review of Books, March 23, 2006

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Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (left), escorts Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon into the Pentagon at the conclusion of a full honor arrival ceremony for Sharon at the Pentagon, 19 March 2001. (Photo: Do/R. D. Ward)

For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.

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Bush Restrains Sharon (Arabia.com)

Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing that given to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance since 1976, and is the largest recipient in total since World War Two, to the tune of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). Israel receives about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, roughly one-fifth of the foreign aid budget, and worth about $500 a year for every Israeli. This largesse is especially striking since Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to that of South Korea or Spain. more..


More about the US Role from our Archives..
 - Palestinian Information Center

Israel should be fearful of Trump
Osama Abu Irshaid, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/20/2017
      Those who followed the press conference that took place last Wednesday in Washington between US President Donald Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, took note, as one should, that the current US administration will show a greater bias towards Israel than its predecessors. There is no debating this.
     This situation does not require “certified facts” to confirm that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which placed all of its eggs in the American basket, is currently living a nightmare. The PA does not know where this path will lead or where it will end. If the situation at hand was limited to the current reality, we would not have been this worried or saddened, but the disaster is that Palestine and its cause and its people are on the brink of a new era of marginalisation and, perhaps, more bloodshed.
     The PA or other similar establishments cannot justify these types of realities. Despite this bleak Palestinian scene, and considering that some of these outcomes surpass Israel itself, Trump is not a normal president. He is quite comfortable with himself to the point of extreme narcissism. This is clearly evident in his run for the presidency and the fact that he did not bother to educate himself on the critical issues he would have to one day deal with.
     Trump offered Israel an amalgamation of gifts though it is highly unlikely that he will follow through on his promises. For example, Trump stated that the US is not adamant about the two-state solution, though it remains the US government’s official stance since Bill Clinton’s second term. Trump’s statements are pointing to the possibility of support for a one-state solution. In an indirect response he gave to one question, Trump said: “So I am looking at two states and one state and I like the one that both parties like. I am very happy with the one that both parties like.” Trump went on to say that the two-state solution seemed to be the easier option for sometime but that he is willing to accept both as long as both sides are happy.
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3 alternatives to two-state or one-state solution for Mideast peace
Al-Monitor 19 Feb 2017 - Ever since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had his meeting in Washington, Israeli efforts have intensified to develop alternatives to the single-state or two-state solutions.


King of Jordan meets with members of US congress regarding Israeli-Palestinian conflict
YNet News, 19 Feb 2017 - ....


The revised US position on Palestine-Israel is likely to create political chaos
Thembisa Fakude, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/16/2017
      Donald Trump met the Prime Minister of Israel in Washington yesterday. The meeting in the White House was followed by a historic press conference between the two leaders. It lasted less than an hour and in that time the hopes of achieving peace in the Middle East were dashed, certainly for the Palestinians.
     Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of hatred and of teaching their children hatred, claiming that the education system pivots around the destruction of Israel. When Trump’s turn to speak came, he continued with the tirade without making exceptions. Nobody, of course, challenged their twisted narrative.
     The conference was historic in many ways. It provided Trump with his first opportunity to set out his position on the Israel-Palestine peace process. Some very important developments arose which look set to define US foreign policy on the issue.
     The US president’s comment about Israel’s illegal West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements caught Netanyahu and, indeed, the audience unawares. “I’d like to see you pull back on settlements for a little bit,” he told the Israeli leader. Netanyahu was visibly flabbergasted. Given that Trump has embraced a transactional and megaphone approach when dealing with various issues, was this the beginning of a negotiation process?
     The second development was a change to the long-held policy of the US regarding the two-state solution. This was possibly the only question for which Trump had prepared. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like,” he said. “I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.”
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Pence: Iran won’t have nuclear weapons to use against US or Israel
Jerusalem Post 18 Feb 2017 - Netanyahu, Trump tout tight security ties as PM returns from Washington.


Analysis: Premature partying and pain
Jerusalem Post 17 Feb 2017 - Contrary to what the Israeli Right and Left's spin doctors are saying, nothing much actually happened in Washington during the joint press conference.


Trump’s dim view of Palestine-Israel
Mondoweiss - When President Donald Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday afternoon at the White House it was unclear what, if any, official administration policy might develop in Washington on the back of the highly anticipated conversation. Trump’s administration has been nothing if not...


US and Israel join forces to bury Palestinian statehood
Daoud Kuttab, Al Jazeera 2/17/2017
      Trump and Netanyahu are trying to push a more blatant and legalised form of apartheid on the Palestinian people.
     Thanks to the lovefest between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump, ignoring the Palestinian national leadership seems to be back on the front burner.
     During both leaders' first meeting since the new United States administration took office, Trump repeatedly talked about the need for the Israelis and Palestinians to make peace but avoided mentioning the Palestinian leadership.
     Apparently fearing the repercussions of Washington's withdrawal of both support for the two-state solution and recognition of the legitimate Palestinian leadership, the US sent CIA chief Mike Pompeo to President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Tuesday, February 14.
     By sending the CIA chief rather than a political figure to visit President Abbas, the US is prioritising security issues - including joint security cooperation with Israelis - over the need to recognise Palestinian political and national aspirations.
     Trump also casually walked away from a long-standing US and international consensus on the two-state solution, which has been the foundation of Palestinian-Israeli conflict. 'Been there, tried that'
     The US president's naive comment on the two or one-state solution - saying he "can live with either one" - means Washington is likely to prolong the status quo of occupation.
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Changing the conversation
Jerusalem Post 16 Feb 2017 - The Trump-Netanyahu era begins with a public display of affection in Washington and the rejection of some long-held assumptions


US envoy to UN: Washington still supports two-state solution
Jerusalem Post 16 Feb 2017 - "We absolutely support the two-state solution but we are thinking out of the box as well."


Former ambassadors say Trump pick for Israel is unqualified
Arab News - Author: RICHARD LARDNER | AP Wed, 2017-02-15 ID: 1487238700751679800 WASHINGTON: Five former US ambassadors to Israel say the man President Donald Trump has selected for the post is unqualified. They say in a letter sent Wednesday to Senate Foreign Relations Committee members that David Friedman has staked...


'Two-state solution was a dream': Arab media on US policy shift
Middle East Eye 16 Feb 2017 - Language Undefined Commentators brand the White House policy shift a betrayal not by Washington, but by Palestinian leaders themselves


Palestinians abroad and their important role in the national project
Mohammad Ayesh, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/14/2017
      Some Palestinians assume that the resolution of the conflict with the Israeli occupation must be by force alone and that we are facing a battle in the traditional and superficial sense. Based on this belief, if power alone is available, then the battle can be resolved, the balances of power are flipped, and the issue is ended. The truth of the matter is that this is an exaggerated simplification of a historical battle that has gone on for a long time.
     The Israeli state was not established in 1948 due to the defeat of the Arabs in the war that occurred that year; a war British Lt Gen Sir John Glubb referred to as a “phony war”. He, Glubb Pasha, led the Arab armies that participated, as a formality, and this phony war in his capacity as commander of the Jordanian army.
     Those who have read history would understand that the establishment of the Israeli state was the result of at least 200 years of pure political and media work. After this hard work on the political and media level, Zionist gangs began to form in preparation to turn into an organised army to protect a state on the verge of establishment. This army (or gang) successfully used force in the appropriate time and place.
     Given these facts and based on this, it does not seem right to look down on the work of Palestinians abroad, or the efforts made by the Palestinian communities in the West, or the formation of political lobby groups by Palestinian communities. This is because without their work, the Palestinian cause cannot be explained, we cannot promote our narrative, nor can we reach the West, including the decision-making capitals to influence them. This is a stage that preceded the establishment of the Israeli state by at least 100 years. The Jewish political organisations were greatly successful in this area and ultimately received international support, allowing them to make the dream written by Theodore Herzl in a book in Austria in 1896 a reality on Palestinian land in 1948, i.e. 52 years later.
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Guterres defends choice of Palestinian as Libya envoy
Al Jazeera 2/13/2017
      UN chief says former Palestinian PM Fayyad was 'the right person for the right job at the right moment'.
     UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has defended his choice to appoint former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya and expressed his "deep" regret over US opposition to his appointment.
     Guterres described Fayyad, a former World Bank official with a track record of fighting corruption, as "the right person for the right job at the right moment" in his remarks at the annual World Government Summit hosted by Dubai on Monday.
     "I deeply regret this opposition and I do not see any reason for it," Guterres said.
     "It is a loss for the Libyan peace process and the Libyan people," he said, adding that the UN "needs to be able to act with impartiality".
     The UN secretary-general on Wednesday had informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Fayyad as a replacement for German Martin Kobler to conflict-torn Libya.
     However, Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, vetoed the appointment, saying Washington did not support the message the move would send.
     Trump's criticism
     US President Donald Trump had criticised the UN, before he was elected, as "just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time" while a spokeswoman said the new administration would "demand some reform and change".
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Washington Watch: Separation anxiety
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2017 - It didn’t take long for the new administration to send a chilling message to the Jews.


Israel’s own Air Force One
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2017 - Israel Air Force One is to make its debut this summer, not in time for the current Washington visit, but ready for the ones to follow.


The carrot, the stick and the narrative
YNet News, 15 Feb 2017 - Op-ed: The change of governments in Washington and in Gaza is both an opportunity and a need to create a change. Israel should respond to the new government in the strip through a change in policy, rather than by just preparing for an inevitable conflict the old way. ....


Trump-Netanyahu meeting will end with no final product
YNet News, 14 Feb 2017 - Op-ed: There will be a lot of goodwill in Wednesday’s Washington meeting, but direction will remain vague; The US president doesn’t have a coherent policy, and the Israeli prime minister is not getting the support he needs from the Right to place a baked product on the White House table. ....


Congresswoman tells Netanyahu to end abuse of Palestinian children
Electronic Intifada - Betty McCollum of Minnesota continues to break silence of most US lawmakers who refuse to challenge Israeli policy.


Jewish groups battle over Trump’s choice for Israel ambassador
Mondoweiss - A big battle is shaping up in Washington this week over the confirmation of David Friedman as Donald Trump’s choice to be ambassador to Israel. The bankruptcy lawyer is a dedicated supporter of the Israeli settlement project, as well as an opponent of a Palestinian state....


The end of the two-state solution - killed off by Trump and Netanyahu
The National 15 Feb 2017 - New York // Donald Trump publicly ended decades of US foreign policy on Wednesday by dropping Washington's commitment to the two-state solution in the Middle East ahead of his first White House meeting with Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu. The mood was warm between the two leaders as...


Congresswoman tells Netanyahu to end abuse of Palestinian children
Electronic Intifada: 15 Feb 2017 - Betty McCollum of Minnesota continues to break silence of most US lawmakers who refuse to challenge Israeli policy. more..


White House signals end of support for two-state solution ahead of meeting
Middle East Eye 15 Feb 2017 - Language Undefined Palestinian leaders criticise White House for saying it will no longer push for two-state solution, as Trump meets Netanyahu in Washington


Israeli govt and its supporters admit the fight to defeat BDS has failed
Mondoweiss - Your enemy’s grudging admission of failure is almost as sweet as your own success. Finally, after lying to their teeth that they have “ defeated ” or “buried” the BDS movement, Israel’s far-right government and its lobby groups in the west are now admitting that they...


White House says Trump to announced new US immigration measures
The National 13 Feb 2017 - WASHINGTON // US president Donald Trump was expected to unveil new measures on immigration as early as Monday to keep Americans safe, as a leading aide insisted he did not overstep his authority with his controversial travel ban. With the ban now frozen by a federal appeals...


‘We See Eye-to-Eye’: Netanyahu Enthusiastic on His Way to Washington to Meet Trump
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Feb 2017 - With things in the international arena apparently changing in Israel’s favor with Obama gone, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to meet his long-time acquaintance, Donald Trump, now in the role of US president, to “upgrade” the US-Israel relationship. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took off for the US capital on Monday, where he is set to meet Trump in the White House on Wednesday. Having known Donald Trump “very well” (according to Netanyahu himself) and even Donald Trump’s father (according to the Washington Post) – since Netanyahu served his country in the UN in New York in the 1980s, Netanyahu spoke about his current expectations while boarding the plane to Washington. Ahead of Trump & Netanyahu meeting this week, remember these recent words by Israel's PM: https://t.co/CwsvUa5MqG pic.twitter.com/w31TWQFDqD — Ben White (@benabyad) February 13, 2017 “I am going to Washington to have a very important meeting with President...more


Netanyahu to tell Trump he supports a Palestinian state
Jerusalem Post 12 Feb 2017 - PM Netanyahu, who departs for Washington today, tells ministers that the new US president won’t give Israel free rein.


Israel Bulldozes Democracy
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Feb 2017 - Ayman Odeh is Chairman of the Hadash party and leader of the Joint List, the third-largest bloc in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament. On Feb 12, The New York Times published an article of his entitled, ‘ Israel Bulldozes Democracy ‘. These are experts from the article: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is expected to visit Washington this week to meet with President Trump, presumably to discuss the political philosophy they share: power through hate and fear. A government that bars refugees and Muslims from entering the United States has much in common with one that permits Israeli settlers to steal land from Palestinians, as a new law that Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition pushed through Parliament last week did. Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Netanyahu used blatant race-baiting tactics to win his last election, in 2015. Since then, he has made discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel central to his agenda. This takes...more


Russia says no substantial difference with USA over Iran: RIA
Daily Star 10 Feb 2017 Russia does not have substantial differences with the United States over the Iran nuclear deal, the RIA news agency quoted Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington, as saying Friday


Welcome to Greater Israel!
Philip Giraldi,  12/27/2016
      The tail will be wagging the dog under Donald Trump
     While the presidential campaign was still in progress it was possible to think that there might be some positive change in America’s broken foreign policy. Hillary Clinton was clearly the candidate of Washington Establishment hawkishness, while Donald Trump was declaring his disinclination for democracy and nation building overseas as well as promoting détente with Russia. Those of us who considered the foreign policy debacle to be the most dangerous issue confronting the country, particularly as it was also fueling domestic tyranny, tended to vote on the basis of that one issue in favor of Trump.
     On December 1st in Cincinnati, president-elect Donald Trump made some interesting comments about his post-electoral foreign policy plans. There were a lot of good things in it, including his citing of $6 trillion “wasted” in Mideast fights when “our goal is stability not chaos.” And as for dealing with real enemies, he promised to “partner with any nation that is willing to join us in the effort to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism…” He called it a “new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past” adding that “We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks.”
     Regarding the apparent inability of governments to thoroughly check out new immigrants prior to letting them inside the country, demonstrated most recently in Nice, Ohio and Berlin, Trump described how “People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East — we have no idea who they are, where they come from what they are thinking and we are going to stop that dead cold. … These are stupid refugee programs created by stupid politicians.” Exaggerated? For sure, but he has a point, and it all is part and parcel of a foreign policy that serves no actual interest for people who already live in the United States.
     But, as so often with Trump, there was also the flip side....
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Trump Criticizes Israeli Settlements
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Feb 2017 - US President Donald Trump criticized the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories for the first time since becoming president on January 20. Trump told Israel Today newspaper: “There is limited remaining territory. Every time you take land for a settlement, less territory remains. I’m not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace. But we are examining a number of options.” Trump’s statements come a few days before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves for Washington to meet with the US president on Wednesday. Responding to the question of whether his administration would criticize Israel, he said: “Israel has a long history of condemnations and difficulties. I don’t want to condemn Israel during my term. I understand Israel very well and have a lot of appreciation for it. Israelis have gone through very difficult times.” “I want peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and beyond that...more


Looking forward to Washington
Jerusalem Post 9 Feb 2017 - While there may yet be some differences on settlements, one point where Trump and Netanyahu are likely to see eye to eye is on Iran.


South Africa: Cosatu On Trial for Its Support for the Palestinian People
allAfrica.com 9 Feb 2017 - [COSATU] The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is effectively on trial for its international solidarity and specifically its support for the Palestinian people.


The Israel lobby: All bark but little bite
Global BDS 8 Feb 2017 - The Israel lobby: All bark but little bite In the News Right To Boycott Al Jazeera's investigation The Lobby shows how weak Israeli propaganda actually is in the face of the BDS movement. February 2, 2017 By: Hamid Dabashi


Washington watch: Netanyahu’s big surprise
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2017 - Netanyahu may be the only world leader eagerly embracing Trump.


Clamoring for Israeli Approval: Trump’s Election Promises Will Haunt Him
Ramzy Baroud, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 2/1/2017
      US President Donald Trump promises to be pro-Israel in every aspect.
     ‘I'm the best thing that could ever happen to Israel,’ he boasted at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum in Washington DC, in December, 2015.
     For a brief moment, Trump appeared as if rethinking his unconditional support for Israel, when in February 2016, the Republican presidential nominee pledged ‘neutrality’ between Palestinians and Israelis.
     “Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” he said during an MSNBC town hall meeting.
     Since then, this position has been surpassed by the most regressive rhetoric, beginning with his speech before the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) conference, the following month.
     As for Israel, its expectations of the US President are very clear: unconditional financial and military support, blank check to expand illegal settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and an end to any form of political ‘pressure’ through attempting to revive the so-called ‘peace process’.
     Not that Trump has had any qualms with these expectations. The real challenge was that his main rival, Hillary Clinton, was an unprecedentedly ardent supporter of Israel.
     She was completely brazen in her groveling before the pro-Israel lobby.
     Reflecting on the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, she told Jewish leaders, “When he spoke, to me it was like listening to a psalm...."
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U.S. Congressman to Haaretz: 'White House in the camp of Holocaust denial'
Ha'aretz - 5 Feb 2017


Is Trump Reversing on Settlements and Iran?
The Forward New 3 Feb 2017 - WASHINGTON (JTA) †Israeli settlements are no big problem. Wait †maybe they are, after all. The Iran deal is trash. No, the deal is here to stay, despite being “weak.” On Thursday, the White House pronounced on Israel’s announced settlement expansion that it “may not...


In surprise move, Trump warns Israel against settlements
Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada 2/3/2017
      The administration of US President Donald Trump surprised many observers on Thursday by issuing a public warning to Israel over its accelerating construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank.
     “The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years,” the White House said in a statement from press secretary Sean Spicer. “While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”
     Spicer reiterated that Trump “hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.” He added that the “administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”
     Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to be in Washington on 15 February for what will now be a closely watched meeting for any signs of tension with Trump. Aggressive land theft
     Since Trump took office, Israel has announced plans for some 6,000 new settler housing units in the occupied West Bank.
     This includes more than 550 in occupied East Jerusalem, and plans for an entirely new settlement deep in the West Bank.
     The new settlement is intended as “compensation” to the settler movement after Israeli police this week implemented the court-ordered removal of settlers from Amona, a colonial outpost built on privately owned Palestinian land north of Ramallah.
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Netanyahu: 'I will speak with Trump about settlements in Washington'
Jerusalem Post 3 Feb 2017 - The PM announced his intention to discuss the settlements issue with Trump after the US administration released two recent statements that were critical of Israel's ongoing settlements construction.


In tense political climate, young Jews turn to volunteering
Jerusalem Post 3 Feb 2017 - Last month, over 10,000 young Jews joined Repair the World’s Martin Luther King day volunteering activities and the organization also held service projects and discussions in Washington DC.


The legislation that will be used to intimidate and imprison members of the Muslim community has been introduced
Mondoweiss - A bill to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization has now been introduced in Congress. It is important to note that this is an exceptional move. If this bill passes and the Muslim Brotherhood is declared a terrorist organization, that determination will be a political...


The Israel lobby: All bark but little bite
Hamid Dabashi, Al Jazeera 2/3/2017
      Al Jazeera's investigation The Lobby shows how weak Israeli propaganda actually is in the face of the BDS movement.
     The Al Jazeera Investigations expose of how the Israel lobby seeks to manipulate British politics has had a global reception far beyond the United Kingdom or the Arab world and revealed for the whole world to see the systemic plots by Israeli officials to sway European and of course American politics in directions that secure the interests of the settler colony.
     A six-month undercover investigation has revealed how Israel relentlessly penetrates different levels of British government and parliamentary democracy to safeguard its continued theft of Palestine with total impunity.
     In four consecutive episodes the world watches with incredulity how pro-Israel groups target the British youth, manipulate the open forums of a Labour Party Conference, and abuse the legitimate fear of anti-Semitism by deliberately conflating it with the equally legitimate critic of Zionism, and indeed plot to "take down" British politicians whom they deem critical of their armed robbery of Palestine.
     What does "take down" mean except target for character assassination anyone who dares to question Israel in any shape or form?
     A key finding of this important piece of investigative journalism is the Israeli propagandists' deliberate conflation of the critic of Zionism with anti-Semitism in order to paralyse the critical discourse and put on the defensive the slightest defence of the inalienable rights of Palestinians to their lives, liberties, and homeland.
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Congress takes aim at UN over Israel stance
Al-Monitor 2 Feb 2017 - Lawmakers are preparing a slew of measures aimed at curbing what they see as anti-Israel discrimination at the UN.


Anti-racist Writer Desmond Cole on Stage with Individuals Supporting Discrimination against Palestinians
Dissident Voice: 3 Feb 2017 - Apology to Warren Kinsella On February 2, 2017, Dissident Voice published this article by Yves Engler that stated “In 2014 Kinsella applauded Israel’s killing of 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza.” As soon as Mr. Kinsella informed us that he objected to the wording of this sentence, in consultation with Mr. Engler, we removed it. We apologize unreservedly to Mr. Kinsella for the original wording of the article. — Dissident Voice and Yves Engler ***** Why would one of Toronto’s leading anti-racist writers share a stage with three individuals who support an explicitly racist institution? Recently radio host and Toronto Star columnist Desmond Cole spoke at a forum put on by the Mosaic Institute titled “Canada in a Trump World”. It was about “increased racist and xenophobic attacks” and offered a “dialogue for communities to come together for honest conversation.” Executive director of the Mosaic Institute and head of the Canadian Jewish Congress...more


Congress kills US regulation on coal mining waste
Jerusalem Post 2 Feb 2017 -


CIA Releases: Franjieh Enlisted Assad’s Help after Failing to Contain Lebanon Civil War
Asharq Alawsat ME News 2 Feb 2017 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Washington- United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) declassified documents exposed details which led and in part contributed to the 1976 … continue reading CIA Releases: Franjieh Enlisted Assad’s Help after Failing to Contain Lebanon Civil War


Flailing Trumpsters Upset a Hijacked Nation
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Feb 2017 - By Ralph Nader The Trump Gang, hardly two weeks in the White House, is giving strong, petulant signals that it is hijacking the checks and balances of our democratic institutions. Coupling the Boss’s easily brusiable ego, marinated in infinite megalomania, with ideologues harboring objectives that would have frightened Nixonites and Reaganites alike, a runaway train is leaving the station. After unexpectedly winning the Electoral College but decisively losing the popular vote, Trumpsters are wasting no time. They are undermining the efficacies of the civil service, the Congress, the media, organized labor, and soon the federal courts, while already betraying desperate Trump voters (many of whom cast a vote against Hillary Clinton) with their version of the imperial corporate state, led by corporatists and militarists. Looking at the Trump regime clinically, there is a method to their madness. Striving to govern early by a stream of poorly written Executive Orders (dictates),...more


Washington Watch: Size matters
Jerusalem Post 1 Feb 2017 - Trump’s fellow Republicans aren’t buying his charges of massive voter fraud.


Trump's pick for Israel envoy to undergo unprecedented Senate grilling
Al-Monitor 1 Feb 2017 - Senate Democrats vow tough hearing on David Friedman as advocates of a two-state solution ramp up their lobbying.


Clamoring for Israeli Approval
Dissident Voice: 1 Feb 2017 - US President Donald Trump promises to be pro-Israel in every aspect. ‘I’m the best thing that could ever happen to Israel,’ he boasted at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Presidential Forum in Washington DC, in December, 2015. For a brief moment, Trump appeared as if rethinking his unconditional support for Israel, when in February 2016, the Republican presidential nominee pledged ‘neutrality’ between Palestinians and Israelis. “Let me be sort of a neutral guy,” he said during an MSNBC town hall meeting. Since then, this position has been surpassed by the most regressive rhetoric, beginning with his speech before the Israeli lobby (AIPAC) conference, the following month. As for Israel, its expectations of the US President are very clear: unconditional financial and military support, blank check to expand illegal settlements in Occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank and an end to any form of political ‘pressure’ through attempting to revive the...more


Congress to introduce bill honoring late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat
Jerusalem Post 30 Jan 2017 - Orthodox Jew behind initiative for ‘one of the greatest statesman of the 20th century’ who ‘bravely reached out to Israel and dedicated himself to peace’


State of Washington says to sue to stop Trump immigration order
Jerusalem Post 30 Jan 2017 -


Bipartisan House resolution on Palestinian youth ‘terror attacks’ fails to say many were executed on the spot
Mondoweiss - Two House members this week introduced a resolution condemning Palestinian incitement to terror, saying that Palestinian leaders are “calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews.” One co-sponsor, Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings, is quoted approvingly by the Israel lobby group AIPAC: Unless the Palestinian government and leaders...


Bipartisan House resolution on Palestinian youth ‘terror attacks’ fails to say many were executed on the spot
Mondoweiss - Two House members this week introduced a resolution condemning Palestinian incitement to terror, saying that Palestinian leaders are “calling on Palestinian youth to murder Jews.” One co-sponsor, Florida Democrat Alcee Hastings, is quoted approvingly by the Israel lobby group AIPAC: Unless the Palestinian government and leaders...


UK Committee to Investigate Israeli Embassy Scandal (VIDEOS)
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jan 2017 - A committee of UK parliamentarians plans to investigate a scandal surrounding an Israeli diplomat who was caught promising to “take down” Britain’s foreign office minister in an Al Jazeera investigation. The parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee intends to examine evidence that the Israeli embassy in London, through senior political officer Shai Masot, attempted to interfere in British politics in order to shape the country’s policy towards Israel-Palestine. “The Government may have formally closed the issue of Shai Masot, but we intend to look into the way foreign states seek to influence UK policy,” said committee chairman and Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, as reported by local media. The Lobby, Al Jazeera’s six-month investigation, exposed Masot’s plans to manufacture a scandal and “take down” Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan. The Lobby also uncovered Israel’s extensive, well-financed propaganda campaign in the UK to counter negative news stories about its policies and to fund...more


Open Letter to Theresa May: Stand up to Trump for Palestine
Undersigned, Palestine Solidarity Campaign 1/27/2017
      Dear Prime Minister,
     As you fly off to Washington for your first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, we wanted to highlight a number of issues that should be part of your agenda.
     Last week, speaking to Andrew Marr, you reinforced the importance of the special relationship between the US and the UK, indicating that this relationship enabled you to raise difficult matters. You would not be afraid, you said, to tell President Trump if he says or does anything you find unacceptable. Although the list of Trump’s unacceptable behaviours is rather lengthy, there is one particularly pressing and grave issue that we are asking you to raise with him.
     During his electoral campaign, and since his inauguration, President Trump has spoken of his desire to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and has stated his belief that such a move would advance the cause of peace. This view has no adherents outside of Israel , except amongst right-wing elements in the United States . Such a move flagrantly disregards international law, Palestinian rights and international opinion, and can only lead to inflamed tensions across the Middle East.
     We hope you can remind President Trump of the facts on the ground and the reasons for the long-standing placement of diplomatic missions and embassies in Tel Aviv. An international consensus on the matter has been clear, and was undertaken to avoid legitimising the illegal annexation of all of Jerusalem by the Israeli government in 1980. When Israel passed the Jerusalem Law in 1980 the Security Council (UNSC) responded by passing resolution 478 condemning Israel’s attempts to effectively annex East Jerusalem populated by 300,000 Palestinians, and called upon all countries to refrain from establishing diplomatic missions or embassies in Jerusalem. The resolution, one of seven similar passed by the UNSC, further described Israel’s actions as constituting a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.
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The US embassy's move to Jerusalem won't happen soon
Daoud Kuttab, Al Jazeera 1/27/2017
      Israel may choose to trade Trump's offer to move the US embassy to Jerusalem for a yet to be known political advantage.
     Signs coming from Washington seem to point out that the intended decision to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem might not be implemented so quickly. But this should not be a reason for complacency.
     In fact, if the embassy is not moved, such a decision might be the outcome of a backroom dealing which may result in a US policy even more biased towards Israel than has been seen from Washington for decades.
     While Israelis are very much in favour of obtaining legitimacy for their insistence that the unified Jerusalem is Israel's capital forever, the embassy move is more of a priority for Donald Trump than it is for Israel.
     Speaking at a Washington, DC, event last December, Israel's Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman didn't list the embassy issue as one of Israel's top priorities. Iran, the Palestinian issue, settlements and Syria were listed by him as his country's "focal points."
     Unlikely to be soon
     The fact that the embassy decision wasn't going to made early on in the Trump administration became clear in the public statements emanating from Washington. The White House spokesman Sean Spicer was asked three times about the issue during his first briefing, but he repeatedly answered that "no decision" was made on this issue.
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Ellison assures Dems he has made up with Haim Saban despite ‘anti-Semite’ accusation
Mondoweiss - Keith Ellison sure knows how to turn the other cheek! Last December at the Saban Forum in Washington , probably the biggest Democratic Party donor, Haim Saban, rose to say that the Minnesota Congressman, who is running to be the next chair of the Democratic Party, is...


‘Infringement of Academic Freedom’: Irish University Cancels Conference on Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 25 Jan 2017 - A university in Ireland has cancelled an academic conference that was scheduled to debate the legitimacy of the state of Israel at the end of March, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) reported. The Irish Times reported that the university advised the organizers to come up with special security plans if they wanted the university to host the event at another date. The conference entitled “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism,” was scheduled to take place at University College Cork (UCC) from March 31st to April 2nd, featuring speakers on both sides of the debate. Israeli embassy & its lobby groups are up in arms over Irish Conference to debate the legal legitimacy of Israel https://t.co/PbNBGC5K63 — Sarah Wilkinson (@swilkinsonbc) January 11, 2017 Contrary to expectations, the UCC Management Team, which is charged with the management of operations, decided at a meeting earlier this week not to...more


U.S. sent $221M to Palestinians in Obama’s last hours
Daily Star 24 Jan 2017 Officials say the Obama administration in its waning hours defied Republican opposition and quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority that GOP members of Congress had been blocking.


Obama sends Palestinians $221 million during last hours as president
YNet News, 23 Jan 2017 - During his final hours as president of the United States, Barack Obama signed off on a $221 million transfer to the Palestinian Authority; so far, the GOP members of Congress have been holding up the money. ....


Obama gives Palestinians $221m before leaving office
Globes Main News - The former president bypassed a Congressional measure aimed at cutting off funds to the Palestinian Authority.


Ellison assures Dems he has made up with Haim Saban despite ‘anti-Semite’ accusation
Mondoweiss - Keith Ellison sure knows how to turn the other cheek! Last December at the Saban Forum in Washington , probably the biggest Democratic Party donor, Haim Saban, rose to say that the Minnesota Congressman, who is running to be the next chair of the Democratic Party, is...


PLO Top Official: U.S.-Sponsored Bilateral Negotiations are no Longer Acceptable
Asharq Alawsat ME News 24 Jan 2017 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah – Palestinians will not accept to return to the direct U.S.-sponsored bilateral negotiations, after Washington has proven not to … continue reading PLO Top Official: U.S.-Sponsored Bilateral Negotiations are no Longer Acceptable


Microsoft kicks off BlueHat cyber security event in Tel Aviv this week
Jerusalem Post 23 Jan 2017 - Like the Washington-based conferences, BlueHat IL calls on cyber security professionals to “come together to tackle the present and peek into the future.”


Ellison assures Dems he has made up with Haim Saban despite ‘anti-Semite’ accusation
Mondoweiss - Keith Ellison sure knows how to turn the other cheek! Last December at the Saban Forum in Washington , probably the biggest Democratic Party donor, Haim Saban, rose to say that the Minnesota Congressman, who is running to be the next chair of the Democratic Party, is...


Trump advisor: ‘We look forward to new ties with Judea and Samaria’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2017 - Dagan’s spokeswoman Esther Alush said that one of the politicians Dagan met with in Washington said, that soon, “we won’t have to call the settlements, settlements.”


Trump to meet with congressional leaders
YNet News, 22 Jan 2017 - ....


'We remember': An international campaign to remember the Holocaust
YNet News, 22 Jan 2017 - The World Jewish Congress's campaign asks people all over the world to post pictures of themselves with a paper reading 'We remember' to reach the younger generation; many of the photos will be projected next to Auschwitz on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. ....


White House vows to fight press 'tooth and nail' over Trump coverage
The National 22 Jan 2017 - WASHINGTON // The White House vowed on Sunday to fight the news media "tooth and nail" over what officials say are unfair attacks on president Donald Trump. A day after the Republican president used his first visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday to accuse the media of...


300 Women Rally in Tel Aviv in Defiance of Trump
The Forward New 22 Jan 2017 - About 300 Americans, Israelis and dual nationals, including a handful in pink pussy hats, waved Hebrew and English signs and chanted outside of the United States embassy in Tel Aviv in a sister rally to the Women’s March on Washington.


Trump invites Netanyahu to meet him in Washington next month
Middle East Eye 22 Jan 2017 - Language Undefined Two leaders discuss nuclear deal with Iran, peace process with Palestinians in phone call


Jewish groups mobilize for march on Washington
Jerusalem Post 20 Jan 2017 - A march is also planned in Tel Aviv, with roughly 250 people registered.


On Inauguration Eve, Trump supporters party in the 'swamp' of Washington
Jerusalem Post 20 Jan 2017 -


Trump, sworn in as US president, promises to put 'America First'
YNet News, 20 Jan 2017 - The 45th president of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump, repeats his campaign foreign policy promise in his inaugural address, promising to value the US above all else; he tells the crowd that he was returning power to them from DC; 44th President Barack Obama departs Washington. ....


Cher, De Niro, Baldwin lead New York rally against Trump
YNet News, 20 Jan 2017 - Watch: A list of socially conscious Hollywood A-Listers speak at an anti-Trump rally in New York on Friday, as celebrations for the inauguration are under way in Washington, DC; 'We are the majority. Don't give up. I won't give up,' promises filmmaker Michael Moore. ....


Israeli ‘human interest’ matters a lot more than Palestinian ‘human rights’ in Washington Post
Mondoweiss - After 17-year-old protester  Qusay al-Umour was killed by Israeli soldiers in occupied territory on Monday, friends waited to see how the American papers would cover it. The Times didn’t do a story on Tuesday. They did get to it Wednesday : “Video of Fatally Wounded Teenager Sparks...


Protesters vent their the fury over Trump presidency
The National 20 Jan 2017 - WASHINGTON // Their grievances varied from climate change to the injustices suffered by Palestinians but they were united in a wish to show their displeasure at the incoming president on his inauguration day. Lively demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints close to the Capitol building as police...


Al-Jazeera revealed much more than one embassy employee’s misconduct
Alastair Sloan, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/18/2017
      For many who follow the Palestinian cause closely, Al-Jazeera’s six-month investigation into the activities of the Israeli Embassy’s political wing feels like a watershed moment. The years of being called anti-Semitic for believing that the pro-Israel lobby has too much sway in Westminster have been vindicated by incontrovertible evidence of the embassy not interacting with the government of the day — which is legitimate diplomatic activity — but actually trying to influence the internal operation of Britain’s political parties; indeed, to “take down” a minister of the Crown.
     The former CIA station chief Robert Grenier wrote perhaps the best response to the scandal for Al-Jazeera; it is worth reading in full, as he summed up the diplomatic angle well: “The fact that Mr Masot, the Israeli operative, is so careful to ensure that Israeli fingerprints are kept hidden, and that his own role, beyond that of an overt advocate for Israel, is both discreet and deniable, may give us a hint — as does the rather unseemly haste with which Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador to Britain, has of late disavowed Mr Masot’s activities.” Grenier then gave an example of perhaps where he had himself contemplated similar actions in his shadowy past. “These activities would be perfectly legal if openly performed by legitimate entities… but would be thoroughly illegal if promoted in secrecy by a foreign power. And therein lay the critical difference.”
     The Jewish Chronicle, which once held a far more questioning view of the Israeli state than it does today, has — surprise, surprise — only published pieces critical of Al-Jazeera, using falsehoods in the process. “Boastful idiots do not a plot make,” judged JC Editor Stephen Pollard. “After six months of secret filming, this is all Al-Jazeera could come up with — the stupid bragging of two junior aides with close to zero influence.” Of course, as Pollard must know very well, the clip of Shai Masot discussing with a former aide to Robert Halfon, the former political director of Conservative Friends of Israel and co-founder of the influential Henry Jackson Society think tank, wasn’t all that the Qatar-based media giant came up with; far from it, in fact. Pollard’s pomposity was his attempt at damage limitation. -- See also: Grenier - Israel Lobby: Insidious threats should be feared
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Interview with Bacevich and Mearsheimer: Welcome to Greater Israel, Apartheid
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Jan 2017 - Derek Davison is a Washington-based researcher and writer on international affairs and American politics. He conducted an interview with two eminent intellectuals: historian Andrew Bacevich of Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies and political scientist John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago. The interview’s focus was US policy in the Middle East. Click here to read Part I of the interview in full. Below are excerpts of the discussions related to Palestine and Israel. Derek Davison: I’d like to talk about the Obama administration’s Israel-Palestine policy, especially in light of the recent UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements and Secretary Kerry’s remarks in justifying the decision not to veto it. Earlier, Professor Bacevich brought up President Eisenhower’s speech on the Military-Industrial Complex as an example of an administration waiting until it was nearly out of office to finally level with the public, and Kerry’s speech struck me as...more


How the Israel lobby fakes anti-Semitism
Electronic Intifada - Labour Friends of Israel chair caught misrepresenting Palestine solidarity activist.


Zionists threaten British government over illegal settlement vote at the UN
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/12/2017
      The powerful pro-Israel Zionist lobby in Britain, which wields money and influence within parliament, is threatening to bring down the entire Conservative-led government over an escalating row which has been simmering for weeks, long before last week’s Israeli Embassy scandal erupted. Zionist support for Israel has often led to accusations of political manipulation inside the British government and the accusations were apparently vindicated when an embassy official was caught on camera plotting to “take down” MPs who are vocal in their support of Palestine.
     However, it has now emerged that while the diplomatic spat between the Israeli Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has been played out in banner headlines across the front pages, a far more sinister row has been brewing behind the scenes over the British government’s support for UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s illegal settlements. In a copy of a redacted email and other material seen by MEMO, a direct threat was made to the chair of Conservative Friends of Israel, Sir Eric Pickles MP, from one of the most senior figures in the Zionist lobby. The email delivers a blunt message: Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should be “made to understand that Jewish support for the Conservative Party at the next General Election is at risk.”
     The explosive threat was sent to Pickles and copied in to Lord (Stuart) Polak, a long-term Conservative Friends of Israel director who was given a peerage in 2015. He stood down from his CFI role ahead of his appointment to the House of Lords.
     With the bold header of “UNSC Resolution 2334”, the email’s author — whose identity is not known by MEMO — wanted to record his “utter dismay” at the British government’s decision to support the resolution, which was passed just before Christmas. The author, whose name is redacted from the email shown to MEMO, lays the blame entirely at the feet of May and Johnson....
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Israel Lobby: Insidious threats should be feared
Robert Grenier, Al Jazeera 1/13/2017
      As Al Jazeera exposes a brazen influence campaign in the UK, a retired CIA official explores the boundaries of lobbying.
     It really should come as no surprise. All the factors are there, and they are known. Anyone who follows the Palestinian issue knows that the Israeli government is currently obsessed with BDS, the worldwide movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
     The Israelis themselves have made it clear that international "de-legitimisation" constitutes the greatest threat to their state, as currently constituted, and they're hardly taking it lying down. And the fact that Israel has a potent international lobbying capacity, particularly in the US and the UK, through which the Israelis have long employed foreign organisations to leverage and enhance their influence in key foreign capitals, is hardly a secret.
     And yet … and yet, Al Jazeera's undercover investigation of Israel's anti-BDS covert influence campaign in the UK still manages to shock.
     The shock I have in mind, though, is one which gradually grows in the mind of the viewer. It is not what one would think - the scandal on which the British press and a number of prominent political figures are focused, albeit with good reason.
     Yes, the idea that a representative of a friendly power would express willingness to support an effort to "take down" a British government politician whose views are deemed inconvenient to Israel is the stuff of classic hostile espionage, and an easy outrage upon which to focus.
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UK parliamentary committee to investigate Israeli lobby scandal
Middle East Eye 15 Jan 2017 - Language Undefined A former Tory minister also attacked Israeli PM Netanyahu over his country’s threat to 'take down' UK deputy foreign minister Alan Duncun


Exposing ‘The Lobby’ – Episodes 1-4 (VIDEOS)
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Jan 2017 - The Lobby episode 1: The battle for Britain’s youth In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera goes undercover inside the Israel Lobby in Britain. They expose a campaign to infiltrate and influence youth groups, including the National Union of Students, whose president faces a smear campaign coordinated by her own deputy and supported by the Israel Embassy. The Lobby episode 2: The training session In part two of The Lobby, Al-Jazeera’s undercover reporter joins a delegation from the Israeli Embassy at last year’s Labor Party Conference. The program reveals how accusations of anti-Semitism were made against key Labor Party members – and how a former official at the Israeli Embassy was upset when her background was revealed. The Lobby episode 3: The anti-Semitic trope In part three of The Lobby, Al-Jazeera’s undercover reporter travels to the Labor Party Conference, revealing how accusations of anti-Semitism by group within Labor...more


The Lobby Episode 1: Young Friends of Israel
AlJazeera 14 Jan 2017 - Al Jazeera Investigations reveals how pro-Israel groups are trying to influence Britain's youth.


Did Al Jazeera infiltrate a UK Labour forum via misled Israeli help?
Jerusalem Post 15 Jan 2017 - The story behind Al Jazeera's confidential documentary series, "The Lobby."


"Die in a hole," Israel lobbyist tells critics
Electronic Intifada - The Electronic Intifada had exposed Jewish Labour Movement director’s former role at Israeli embassy.


The dangerous new myth of 'Palestinian defeat'
Nathan Hersh and Abe Silberstein, +972 Magazine 1/13/2017
      The idea that Israel must ‘defeat’ the Palestinians by demoralizing them until they accept whatever solution is forced upon them is gaining traction on the Right.
     The idea that instead of negotiating with the Palestinians Israel must first “defeat” and thoroughly demoralize them until they recognize its permanent presence in the region, has emerged from center-right policy circles in recent months. This broad idea takes many shapes, the most of extreme of which is articulated in Daniel Pipes’ front page essay in Commentary Magazine, and will presumably have some appeal to the incoming Trump administration. But if President-elect Trump is serious about sealing “the ultimate deal,” a Palestinian-Israeli peace accord, he will reject this line of thinking. Even in its most moderate dressing, it makes little sense.
     In an article for Haaretz, Einat Wilf, a former centrist Israeli politician and fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, offered a conflict resolution strategy along these lines that, paradoxically, amounts to conflict perpetuation. In Wilf’s words, Israel’s strategy should be to compel the Palestinians to “surrender and acknowledge that they aren’t going to get the whole of Palestine.”
     On this matter, we come as the bearers of good news: Not only did the P.L.O recognize Israel in 1993, it has also not tried to “get the whole of Palestine” in any of the negotiations that have taken place since. Indeed, in their much-condemned “unilateral moves,” the P.L.O. leadership has sought no more than the territorial compromise that underpins the two-state solution — a return to pre-1967 borders, with the possibility of mutual land swaps. The recently-passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which was voted through 14-0 with the U.S. abstaining, also condemned terrorism against Israel, and is based on the two-state solution as well.
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UK parliamentary committee to investigate Israeli lobby scandal
Middle East Eye 15 Jan 2017 - Language Undefined A former Tory minister also attacked Israeli PM Netanyahu over his country’s threat to 'take down' UK deputy foreign minister Alan Duncun


Israel Lobby: Headlines, resignations, calls for probe
AlJazeera 14 Jan 2017 - Al Jazeera releases last installment of investigation that explores Israeli attempts to influence British democracy.


The Lobby Episode 4: The Takedown
AlJazeera 14 Jan 2017 - Israeli embassy official in London discusses potential plot to '"take down" UK politicians - including a senior minster.


AIPAC's secretive strategy to transform UK politics
Electronic Intifada - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demands government investigate Israeli interference in UK politics.


"Die in a hole," Israel lobbyist tells critics
Electronic Intifada - The Electronic Intifada had exposed Jewish Labour Movement director’s former role at Israeli embassy.


Meet Jason Chaffetz, the Mormon Congressman Who Converted From Judaism
The Forward New 13 Jan 2017 - Here are a few facts about the Utah Republican, who’s Mormon but has a Jewish dad, and might investigate the Government Ethics Monitor.


The Israel lobby scandal and Labour's anti-Semitism 'crisis' are intimately linked
Middle East Eye 14 Jan 2017 - The manufactured crisis was weaponised against Jeremy Corbyn and pro-Palestinian activists to stifle any criticism of Israel


REVEALED: AIPAC's plans to drag UK into 'US sphere' over Israel
Middle East Eye 13 Jan 2017 - Language Undefined Secret recordings suggest lobbying organisation has established 'AIPAC London' and is funding groups in UK to cultivate US-style campaigning


UK students say union leader involved in Israel lobby plot must go
Electronic Intifada: 14 Jan 2017 - Richard Brooks colluded with Israel lobby to “destabilize the union.” more..


AIPAC's secretive strategy to transform UK politics
Electronic Intifada: 14 Jan 2017 - Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demands government investigate Israeli interference in UK politics. more..


How the Israel lobby fakes anti-Semitism
Electronic Intifada: 14 Jan 2017 - Labour Friends of Israel chair caught misrepresenting Palestine solidarity activist. more..


Will Trump cause a crisis for AIPAC?
Ha'aretz - 12 Jan 2017


Al Jazeera Investigations exposes Israel's fight against BDS in Britain
Global BDS 12 Jan 2017 - Al Jazeera Investigations exposes Israel's fight against BDS in Britain In the News Right To Boycott Al Jazeera Investigative Unit's series "The Lobby" goes undercover inside the Israel lobby in the UK and uncovers a tight web of relations that converges in the Israeli government's plans...


Weeping with Dersh
Paul Gottfried,  1/6/2017
      Sometimes the Outreach Becomes Intolerable
     Lately I’ve been watching the blossoming lovefest between the conservative-Republican establishment and those on the Left who are raging over the Obama administration’s reaction to the UN resolution against Israel. Arguably, this resolution was an attempt to take away Israel’s bargaining chips in negotiating with the Palestinians. The UN Security Council, which passed the resolution, made unmistakably clear that Israel is illegally occupying both East Jerusalem and the territory on the West Bank that had been taken during the Six Day War. The resolution may also have the effect of justifying terrorist acts designed to dislodge Israelis from areas that they’re no longer supposed to be occupying. Finally it challenges Israeli claims to East Jerusalem, although there is no chance that the Israeli government will acquiesce in making Jerusalem once again a divided city.
     Although some of the reactions coming from Republican publicists and politicians have bordered on the hysterical or histrionic, I won’t disagree that the US might have done better by not lobbying for the troublesome resolution, which it appears is the case. And I wouldn’t question the view of the Israeli Premier that the Trump administration would have handled the resolution differently. Trump undoubtedly would have taken a different course, as he indicated in a tweet. But to move on to other matters: I’m appalled by how Fox-news and other disseminators of GOP party-lines have been fawning on leftist politicians and celebrities who share their “indignation” over the Obama administration’s treatment of the Israeli premier. Since the passage of the fateful resolution, we’ve been inundated by expressions of friendship from GOP celebrities for liberal Democrats who have now turned against Obama. For example, Chuck Schumer, Elliot Engel, and Kirsten Gillibrand are all outraged by how the outgoing president has turned on the “only democracy in the Middle East.” As a sign of the new relationship between us and them, we were treated last week on Fox news to a bathetic interview with a longtime political leftist and a bosom buddy of Obama, Alan Dershowitz....
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Exclusive: Israel lobby infiltrates UK student movement
AlJazeera 11 Jan 2017 - Israeli embassy influencing students and founding youth groups in main parties, Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit reveals.


Israel’s most effective political lobby: Right-wing nationalists on social media
Ha'aretz - 11 Jan 2017


Washington Watch: A troubling troika- Trump, Putin, Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 11 Jan 2017 - Netanyahu, who identified with the Republicans, saw in Trump a candidate who didn’t give a hoot about peace talks, settlement construction or the Palestinians.


Chicago’s Congress Members Were Closely Divided on U.N. Anti-Settlements Resolution
The Forward New 11 Jan 2017 - When the U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to condemn a U.N. Security Council resolution denouncing as illegal Jewish settlements in the Israeli occupied West Bank, the voting profile of Chicago-area members differed markedly from the House as a whole.


Enough Fear-mongering: Only One Democratic State is Possible in Palestine and Israel
Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/10/2017
      Long before 28 December, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount.
     In fact, unlike common belief, the push to establish a Palestinian and a Jewish state side-by-side goes back years before the passing of United Nations Resolution 181 in November 1947. That infamous resolution had called for the partitioning of Palestine into three entities: a Jewish state, a Palestinian state and an international regime to govern Jerusalem.
     A more thorough reading of history can pinpoint multiple references to the Palestinian (or Arab state) between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
     The idea of two states is western par excellence. No Palestinian party or leader had ever thought that partitioning the holy land was ever an option. Then, such an idea seemed preposterous, partly because, as Ilan Pappe’s ‘Ethnic Cleaning of Palestine‘ shows, “almost all of the cultivated land in Palestine was held by the indigenous population (while) only 5.8% percent was in Jewish ownership in 1947.”
     An earlier, but equally important reference to a Palestinian state was made in the Peel Commission, a British commission of inquiry, led by Lord Peel that was sent to Palestine to investigate the reasons behind the popular strike, uprising and later armed rebellion that began in 1936 and lasted for nearly three years.
     The “underlying causes of the disturbances” were two, resolved the commission....
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Why the Fear-mongering? Only One Democratic State is Possible in Palestine and Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 11 Jan 2017 - By Ramzy Baroud Long before December 28, when Secretary of State, John Kerry took the podium at the Dean Acheson Auditorium in Washington DC to pontificate on the uncertain future of the two-state solution and the need to save Israel from itself, the subject of a Palestinian state has been paramount. In fact, unlike common belief, the push to establish a Palestinian and a Jewish state side-by-side goes back years before the passing of United Nations Resolution 181 in November 1947. That infamous resolution had called for the partitioning of Palestine into three entities: a Jewish state, a Palestinian state and an international regime to govern Jerusalem. A more thorough reading of history can pinpoint multiple references to the Palestinian (or Arab state) between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The idea of two states is western par excellence. No Palestinian party or leader had ever thought that partitioning...more


Israeli diplomat schemed to ‘take down’ UK’s Deputy Foreign Secretary because he slammed settlements
Mondoweiss - Something is happening in the UK that is not happening in the U.S.: Al Jazeera is about to release a four part investigative series titled “The Lobby,” on the influence of the Israel lobby in British politics. Over the weekend, AlJazeera published one of the more...


Prominent Iranian-Americans to Trump: Keep the nuclear deal
Jim Lobe, +972 Magazine 1/8/2017
      Thirty-seven leading Iranian Americans pen open letter to President-elect Trump, urging him to keep the Iran deal. Abandoning it, they write, will ‘once again put the United States and Iran on the path of war.’
     In a particularly eloquent and straightforward defense of the Iranian nuclear deal, 37 prominent Iranian Americans have appealed to Donald Trump to maintain U.S. compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Iran. The letter comes on the heels of an appeal to Trump by prominent U.S. scientists urging him to support the deal and a recent poll demonstrating that two-thirds of the U.S. public don’t want the Trump administration to withdraw from the deal.
     Washington’s withdrawal from the deal, according to the signers of the open letter, would not only enhance the chances or war with Tehran. It would also strengthen hardliners in Iran who “can easily shut down democracy and human rights activism when they can unite the nation behind the threat of foreign aggression.” It would also “prove that the hardliners were correct to claim that the United States could never be trusted to up hold its end of any deal.”
     Signers include, among others, historians Ervand Abrahamian and Roy Mottahadeh; actress Shohreh Aghdashloo; best-selling authors Reza Aslan and Firoozeh Dumas; Iran (and LobeLog contributor) political analyst Farideh Farhi; comedian Maz Jobrani; artists Shirin Neshat and Rahmanian; as well as a number of well-known musicians, singers, and prominent filmmakers, academics, and business leaders.
     Letter to President-elect Trump
     Dear President-elect Trump....
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Our World: Netanyahu, Congress, AIPAC and the PLO
Jerusalem Post 9 Jan 2017 - The whitewashing of the PLO must end.


Israeli diplomat schemed to ‘take down’ UK’s Deputy Foreign Secretary because he slammed settlements
Mondoweiss - Something is happening in the UK that is not happening in the U.S.: Al Jazeera is about to release a four part investigative series titled “The Lobby,” on the influence of the Israel lobby in British politics. Over the weekend, AlJazeera published one of the more...


Trump-Netanyahu Democrats come to Israel's aid in Congress
Electronic Intifada - Democrats and Republicans join forces against Obama on UN resolution criticizing Israel, but there is growing dissent.


5 Startling Shifts in Pro-Israel Politics After Vote by Congress
The Forward New 6 Jan 2017 - A pro-Israel resolution that condemned the United Nations resolution on Israel passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 342-to=80 majority Thursday night.


Trump-Netanyahu Democrats come to Israel's aid in Congress
Electronic Intifada: 6 Jan 2017 - Democrats and Republicans join forces against Obama on UN resolution criticizing Israel, but there is growing dissent. more..


US Congress certifies Trump's Electoral College victory
Jerusalem Post 6 Jan 2017 -


Netanyahu thanks US congress members for condemning UN
Jerusalem Post 6 Jan 2017 -


Electoral College makes it official: Trump wins presidency
Daily Star 6 Jan 2017 WASHINGTON (AP) - It's official: Congress has tallied the Electoral College votes and Donald Trump has been elected president.


US Congress certifies Trump's Electoral College victory
YNet News, 6 Jan 2017 - ....


US Congress votes to rebuke UN for 'anti-Israel' resolution
YNet News, 6 Jan 2017 - Declaring unwavering support for Israel, the US Congress has issued a non-binding resolution slamming the UN for unfairly targeting Israel; the measure passed 342-80; a similar bill has been introduced to the Senate. ....


5 Startling Shifts in Pro-Israel Politics After Vote by Congress
The Forward New 6 Jan 2017 - A pro-Israel resolution that condemned the United Nations resolution on Israel passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 342-to=80 majority Thursday night.


What we can legally do against the anti-BDS campaign?
Salma Karmi-Ayyoub, Al Jazeera 1/6/2017
      Activists need a solid legal strategy to resist states succumbing to Israel pressure and imposing BDS bans.
     In mid-December the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), a campaigning organisation in Britain supporting Palestinian issues, filed a claim in England's High Court challenging regulations issued by the British government prohibiting local government pension schemes from pursuing boycotts, divestment or sanctions (BDS) against foreign nations as part of their investment policies.
     It is clear to most observers that these regulations are intended to prevent boycotts of Israel, although they do not state this explicitly.
     PSC has argued that the regulations prohibit freedom of expression, are so unclear as to be unlawful, are contrary to European Union law governing pensions, and that central government has abused its powers to regulate pensions to achieve other, unrelated objectives.
     The government must formally respond to PSC's claims and then the court will decide whether to grant permission for a hearing of the case.
     The campaign against BDS
     In fact, the pensions regulations are the latest in a series of measures taken by governments in Europe and North America to counter BDS, after Israel created a special task force with a budget of around $25.5m in June 2015, to fight the movement worldwide.
     In February 2016, the British government issued guidance prohibiting pro-BDS policies in public procurement, reportedly after lobbying by the Israeli embassy in London.
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Cruz pushes to move US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
YNet News, 5 Jan 2017 - Bill submitted to Congress calls to recognize Jerusalem Israel's eternal and undivided capital; 'It's finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel,' Cruz says. ....


UN retreat would be harmful, warns envoy
Arab News - Author: Reuters Thu, 2017-01-05 ID: 1483649458333101800 UNITED NATIONS: US interests, including national security, would be harmed if the country retreats from a leading role at the UN, US Ambassador Samantha Power warned on Thursday amid a backlash among Washington lawmakers against the world body. President-elect Donald...


Month after awarding Kerry, Haim Saban repudiates him over Israel actions
Jerusalem Post 4 Jan 2017 - Saban's condemnation of Kerry comes shortly after he hosted the secretary at his annual forum held by the Brookings Institution in Washington.


Democratic politicians want no part of Obama’s courage at the U.N.
Mondoweiss - A largely-overlooked aspect of President Obama’s decision to allow a denunciation of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council ten days ago is the criticism he has gotten from his own party. Only three congressional Democrats have been outspoken in his support, so far as I...


America or Israel?
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 1/3/2017
      Quislings in Congress and the Media need to decide which comes first
     I am reluctant to write about the “Israel problem” at the heart of U.S. foreign policy two weeks in a row but it seems that the story just will not go away as the usual suspects pile on the Barack Obama Administration over its alleged betrayal of America’s “best and greatest friend and ally in the whole world.”
     Even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his gaggle of war criminals continue to foam at the mouth over the United Nations vote it is, in truth, difficult to blame Israel for what is happening. The Israelis are acting on what they see as their self interest in dominating their neighbors militarily and having a free hand to deal with the Palestinians in any way they see fit. And as for their relationship with Washington, what could be better than getting billions of dollars every year, advanced weapons and unlimited political cover in exchange for absolutely nothing?
     Surely even Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows that the settlements are illegal under international law and are an impediment to any peaceful resolution with the Palestinians, which is what Resolution 2334 says. It has been U.S. policy to oppose them since they first starting popping up like mushrooms, but Netanyahu has encouraging their expansion in full knowledge that he is creating facts on the ground that will be irreversible. He has also pledged to his voters that he will not permit the creation of a Palestinian state, so why should anyone be confused about his intentions?
     Daniel Larison over at The American Conservative summed up the situation perfectly, observing that “Calling out Israel for its ongoing illegal behavior becomes unavoidable when there is no progress in resolving the conflict, and the current Israeli government has made it very clear that there won’t be any progress… Israel isn’t actually an ally, much less a ‘vital’ one, and it certainly isn’t ‘critical’ to our security....
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US and Jerusalem: Senators plan to recognise city as Israel's capital, relocate embassy
Middle East Eye 4 Jan 2017 - Language Undefined Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Dean Heller introduce congressional bill on plan backed by president-elect Donald Trump


Republicans start out on the wrong foot
Daily Star 3 Jan 2017 The Republican-led U.S. Congress began its first session of the Donald Trump era in turmoil Tuesday, as the House of Representatives backed away from a decision to defang an ethics watchdog, after public outcry which included...


Congress remains overwhelmingly Christian as U.S. shifts
YNet News, 3 Jan 2017 - ....


Democratic politicians want no part of Obama’s courage at the U.N.
Mondoweiss - A largely-overlooked aspect of President Obama’s decision to allow a denunciation of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council ten days ago is the criticism he has gotten from his own party. Only three congressional Democrats have been outspoken in his support, so far as I...


Israeli Government Outlines Plan to Annex West Bank Settlement after Trump Takes Office (VIDEO)
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Jan 2017 - Plans to annex a large settlement on the West Bank are to be proposed after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, an Israeli minister said. “It does not violate international law because that would suggest that we occupy a state. We don’t. There was never a Palestinian state,” Minister of Education and leader of the Jewish Home Party Naftali Bennett told The Washington Post. Bennett said he would put a vote to parliament after Trump’s inauguration to annex the settlement Ma’ale Adumim. The annexation is the first part of Bennett’s plans to bring full Israeli law to an area designated Area C under the Oslo Accords with a population of 500,000 Israelis and 70,000 to 100,000 Palestinians. “They would represent a 1 percent addition to Israel’s population, which is negligible,” Bennett said. Countdown to Trump: How Palestinians got the UN Security Council to vote on settlements https://t.co/p0C8AYOb69 pic.twitter.com/BW6Z6Fg3jS — Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom)...more


New US Congress prepares to undo Obamacare, weigh Trump personnel picks
YNet News, 2 Jan 2017 - ....


Democratic politicians want no part of Obama’s courage at the U.N.
Mondoweiss - A largely-overlooked aspect of President Obama’s decision to allow a denunciation of Israeli settlements to pass the UN Security Council ten days ago is the criticism he has gotten from his own party. Only three congressional Democrats have been outspoken in his support, so far as I...


Former Australian PM Calls for Moving Embassy to Jerusalem, Cutting Aid to Palestinians
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Jan 2017 - Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott called on his country to cut millions of dollars of annual aid to the Palestinian Authority, accusing Ramallah of funneling the money to “terrorists and their families.” He also called on Canberra to join any move by the incoming Trump administration in the US to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem. In an article penned by Abbott and published in The Spectator Australia weekly on Monday, the former PM said Canberra should offer “unswerving support for Israel as the region’s only liberal, pluralist democracy,” and “join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem.” During the 2016 election, Trump pledged to end a longstanding White House policy to perpetually defer a 1995 Congressional decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the embassy there. Australian FM Julie Bishop slaps down former PM Tony Abbott's suggestion to move embassy to...more


Theresa May`s criticism of John Kerry Israel speech sparks blunt US reply
Occupation Magazine 29 Dec 2016 - Heather Stewart - The Guardian "Theresa May has distanced the UK from Washington over John Kerry’s condemnation of Israel, in comments that appear to be designed to build bridges with the incoming Trump administration." ca


Who’s afraid of the right-wing US ambassador?
YNet News, 29 Dec 2016 - Op-ed: This is the first time Israel can deal with fundamental questions about its future and vision without any pressure from Washington. This is the first time in years that it has an opportunity to put something on the table that is not a repeat of outdated political slogans. Ironically, this opportunity is what people in both the Israeli Left and Right are afraid of. ....


Washington, London, Gulf States Support International Resolution against Israeli Settlement
Asharq Alawsat ME News 29 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Tel Aviv – Recent reports from sources said that Russia has supported Israeli attempts to obstruct the adoption of an … continue reading Washington, London, Gulf States Support International Resolution against Israeli Settlement


Remarks on Middle East Peace: Full Transcript of John Kerry’s Speech on Israel-Palestine (VIDEO)
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Dec 2016 - The Palestine Chronicle is republishing the full transcript of a major policy speech delivered by US Secretary of State, John Kerry on Palestine and Israel on Dec 28, 2016, as appeared in the US State Dept. website . A video link to the full speech is also embedded at the end of the text. John Kerry Secretary of State The Dean Acheson Auditorium Washington, DC December 28, 2016 SECRETARY KERRY : Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very, very much. Thank you. (Coughs.) Excuse me. Thank you for your patience, all of you. For those of you who celebrated Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Happy Chanukah. And to everybody here, I know it’s the middle of a holiday week. I understand. (Laughter.) But I wish you all a very, very productive and Happy New Year. Today, I want to share candid thoughts about an issue which for...more


Divide Washington, says Miri Regev
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2016 - Ministers from the Likud party were quick to sound their criticism of John Kerry's speech regarding Israel's role in the conflict.


Kerry launches blistering - but long-awaited - attack on Israeli settlements
The National 28 Dec 2016 - WASHINGTON // US secretary of state John Kerry launched a blistering attack on Israeli settlement building in the West Bank on Wednesday, saying it made any hope of a two-state solution impossible. In a 70-minute speech that came eight years too late for Palestinians and less than...


Tripwires for the Trumpsters
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Dec 2016 - By Ralph Nader The Trumpsters are coming to town—led by a failed gambling czar, corporate welfare king and major tax escapee—and they are hell bent on unmaking Washington, D.C. With all three branches of government dominated by Republican members of Congress and Republican appointees—due to a mixture of abysmal deficiencies in the Democratic Party and the interloping luck of the atavistic Electoral College—the wrecking crew of Trump’s nominees to high cabinet and other positions brings with it a host of politically perilous baggage. First, the Trumpsters have vowed to dismantle various government programs. They are determined to severely limit the protection of labor, replace public schools with taxpayer-funded vouchers for private schools, and drop regulatory protections in the health, safety and environmental fields, among others. Acting without the requisite legal authority is of little concern to Mr. Trump. Having sworn in their oaths of office (to “faithfully execute the laws...more


US congressman: Israel waging rhetorical 'war' against Washington
Jerusalem Post 27 Dec 2016 - The comments came shortly after Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said that the Israeli government had evidence Washington was behind the UN move earlier in the day.


A message from Cindy & Craig
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Dec 2016 - The Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural in Olympia, Washington. Dear Friends , Late this year, we were privileged to spend several weeks in Palestine/Israel with an Interfaith Peace-Builders’ delegation and reconnecting with friends in the region. At 3:00 a.m. on November 9th, we woke in our East Jerusalem hotel...


Palestine 2017: Time to bid Farewell to Washington and embrace the globe
Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/26/2016
      There is no doubt that the UN Security Council condemnation of Israel on Friday was an important and noteworthy event.
     True, the United Nations’ main chambers (the Security Council and the General Assembly) and its various institutions, ranging from the International Court of Justice to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, have repeatedly condemned the Israeli occupation, illegal Jewish settlements and mistreatment of Palestinians.
     In fact, unlike the 23 December resolution 2334, the past UN condemnations were far stronger – for some resolutions did not just demand an immediate halt of illegal Jewish settlement construction, but the removal of existing settlements as well.
     There are up to 196 illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land, in addition to hundreds of settler outposts. These settlements host up to 600,000 Jewish settlers, who were moved there in violation of international law and, in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention. But what makes this particular resolution important?
     First, the US neither vetoed the resolution nor threatened to use its veto power; nor did it even seriously lobby, as it often does to soften the wording in advance.
     Second, it is the first decisive and clear condemnation of Israel by the UN Security Council in nearly eight years – almost the entirety of President Barack Obama’s terms in office.
     Third, the vote took place despite extraordinary Israeli pressure on the current US administration, on the forthcoming administration of Donald Trump and successful pressure on Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi. Indeed, Egypt delayed the vote, which was scheduled a day earlier, before New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and Venezuela stepped up and put the resolution to a vote, a day later.
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What should Palestinians expect from 2017?
Daoud Kuttab, Al Jazeera 12/26/2016
      While Palestine will be busy with various internal changes, very little is expected to end the occupation.
     The Palestinian issue is likely to get widespread coverage in 2017, but internal issues will mostly dominate the news agenda rather than the external developments. And by the end of 2017 the occupation of Palestine won't end and global powers will continue to play the word game about a peace process that is spinning its wheels.
     However, the Palestinian side will be very active. From President Mahmud Abbas' point of view, the successful conclusion of the Fatah congress paves the way for personnel reshuffles as well as some breakthroughs in the split between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Hamas movement.
     The warming of relations between the groups, which was once marred by animosity, was evident throughout the days leading to the congress and during the deliberations.
     The seventh Fatah congress
     Unlike the previous Fatah congress that was held in Bethlehem in 2009, this time Hamas security officials allowed Fatah delegates to leave Gaza for Ramallah.
     And during the congress, both Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal exchanged public pleasantries. The head of the Hamas politburo sent a message to the Fatah congress congratulating them on holding the event and pledging to work together for reconciliation. Abbas also reciprocated by mentioning Hamas with a positive tone four times during his major congress speech.
     If this rapprochement continues it should produce a breakthrough in terms for the implementation of the Mecca and Cairo reconciliation agreements.
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Palestine 2017: Time to Bid Farewell to Washington and Embrace the Globe
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Dec 2016 - By Ramzy Baroud There is no doubt that the UN Security Council condemnation of Israel on Friday was an important and noteworthy event. True, the United Nations’ main chambers (the Security Council and the General Assembly) and its various institutions, ranging from the International Court of Justice to the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, have repeatedly condemned the Israeli occupation, illegal Jewish settlements and mistreatment of Palestinians. In fact, unlike the 23 December resolution 2334, the past UN condemnations were far stronger – for some resolutions did not just demand an immediate halt of illegal Jewish settlement construction, but the removal of existing settlements as well. There are up to 196 illegal settlements on occupied Palestinian land, in addition to hundreds of settler outposts. These settlements host up to 600,000 Jewish settlers, who were moved there in violation of international law and, in particular, the Fourth Geneva Convention. But what makes...more


Drama in the UN Security Council
Dissident Voice: 24 Dec 2016 - The United States has been sending a message that the settlements must stop privately and publicly for nearly five decades. — Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN Christians following the Gregorian calendar are getting busy to celebrate Christmas, but the business of diplomacy continued in the United Nations. In the Security Council, anticipation about a particular resolution was greater than usual. On Friday, interest was piqued by what the Obama administration’s representative, Samantha Power, would do about a particular resolution that had riled Israeli politicians, US president-elect Donald Trump, and various members of the US Congress. Resolution 2334, as worded, demanded that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” claiming that the establishment of Israeli settlements had “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and...more


Israel lobby group threatens lawsuit if MLA endorses academic boycott
Mondoweiss - The Brandeis Center has sent a letter to the Modern Language Association threatening a lawsuit if the Association passes the resolution to endorse the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. The Brandeis Center is a legal lobby group that represents its mission as...


2016 round-up: Pressure rises against EU funding for Israel's military and security complex
Stop The Wall - Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign interrogation made in israel LAWTRAIN 2016 has been another year of mobilising and lobbying against EU complicity with Israeli violations of international law and human rights, in particular through its Research and Development funding cycle Horizon2020. The European Commission feels the heat of pressure to...


Is Israel’s ambassador to the US a conspiracy theorist?
Alastair Sloan, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/19/2016
      To call Frank Gaffney a wild man of the neoconservative movement is an understatement. Like many neoconservatives he began his career as an aide in the office of Democrat Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who posthumously inspired Britain’s amateurish anti-Muslim think tank, the Henry Jackson Society.
     While working under the fervent anti-communist Jackson, Gaffney hooked up with another employee, Richard Perle, the businessman-cum-political activist who later profited, incidentally, from the Iraq war. Together, they would drift through Washington. Back then, the name of the game was ignoring the fact that the ailing Soviet Union was facing popular revolt in Poland, an expensive and disastrous war in Afghanistan and a collapsing economy, while spreading conspiracy theories about communist control of America and the need for astonishingly expensive missile defence programmes to counteract a communist threat that had largely evaporated by the time Ronald Reagan moved into the White House.
     Gaffney was brilliant at spreading these kinds of conspiracy theories. Eventually, he found himself as Deputy Secretary of State for Defence before a conspiracy – a real one this time – materialised within the Pentagon in late 1987 to have him ousted on the grounds of incompetence and a propensity to fantasy. Getting yourself thrown out of the Reagan administration for being an over aggressive war nut is quite an achievement, but somehow Gaffney managed it.
     Now sixty-three, Gaffney has spent his time since 2001 making up the same kind of conspiracy theories about Muslims as he once did about communists. One organisation recognised as expert on conspiracy theories aimed at religious minorities is the Anti-Defamation League, an American anti-Semitism watchdog which would be utterly brilliant were it not for its belief that criticising Israel equates to the said anti-Semitism.
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The international barriers to Trump’s economic plan
Daily Star 20 Dec 2016 U.S. President-elect Donald Trump should have a relatively clear road ahead at home for the implementation of his economic program: With Republicans holding majorities in both houses of Congress, he seems likely to benefit from a...


Post-truth and lies have always been Israel’s way, and the West plays its role
Ibrahim Hewit, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/19/2016
      With the announcement that Donald Trump’s choice of US ambassador to Israel is a hawkish Zionist, the campaign to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is already in full swing. As is usual these days, British neocons and pro-Israel cheerleaders are jumping on the bandwagon and suggesting that not only should Britain follow suit but also that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth should fly to Jerusalem to open the new embassy “in Israel’s capital”.
     The pro-Israel lobbyists are already missing the point, but then the latest jargon of “post-truth” – what Jonathan Freedland very rightly calls “lies” in the Guardian – is par for the course for them. Lying has always been Israel’s way of getting on in the world.
     Sadly, even the mainstream media is in on the act. It is unbelievable that the Independent’s Jon Sharman couldn’t take the time to discover the real reason why no country has an embassy in Jerusalem – according to international law, Israel’s annexation of the city in 1980 is illegal – and chose instead to claim that “the US embassy is in Tel Aviv because of diplomatic reasons relating to Jerusalem’s significance in all three major Abrahamic faiths…” Fiction passed off as serious journalism.
     Israel, of course, is infamous for ignoring UN resolutions and, indeed, international law itself, and so ignores everything said about Jerusalem being occupied territory; it claims that there is an “inbuilt bias” at the UN and has been dependent on the US veto in the Security Council to protect it from censure.
     There is one resolution, though, which pro-Israel lobbyists use to “prove” the state’s “legitimacy”; it was, in fact, mentioned in Israel’s “Declaration of Independence” on 14 May 1948: “On November 29, 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a Resolution requiring the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine…”
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Fatah seventh conference: What was missing from Abbas’ speech?
Al-Monitor 19 Dec 2016 - In his speech at Fatah’s seventh congress, President Mahmoud Abbas did not tackle the failure of the consensus government and the disruption of the Palestinian Legislative Council.


Want to fight boycotts of Israel? Boycott West Bank settlements instead.
Occupation Magazine 19 Dec 2016 - Nathan Hersh - Washington Post - By boycotting the settlements, Americans would be sending a message of solidarity to progressive Israeli groups such as B’Tselem, Gush Shalom and Peace Now — as well as to Palestinians who suffer the humiliations of the occupation every day. In...


Living on borrowed time: Palestinian village fights for its existence
Max Schindler, +972 Magazine 12/14/2016
      Threatened with their village’s destruction, Palestinians in Susiya live in a political and psychological limbo. While working, studying and trying to lead a normal life, the residents are also fighting to stop their home from disappearing.
     When asked what her family will do if the army demolishes her village, Soraya, 16, hesitates: “We’ll go to Yatta,” she says, gesturing towards the nearby West Bank market town.
     “No,” her mother interrupted. “We’ll stay here. Don’t say that.”
     It’s a question on the mind of every resident of Susiya, a Palestinian village made up of tarpaulin huts and sheep pens that faces pending demolition, after being razed four times by the Israeli army in the past 30 years.
     The embattled, 400-person village has recently attained iconic status in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as both doves and hawks draw lines in the sand over its fate. Supporters of a two-state solution are making a hard-pressed, last-ditch effort to save the village, after years of relentless settlement construction by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Right-leaning Israelis want the Palestinians evicted so they can expand the nearby Jewish settlement, also called Susiya, while Western diplomats drive by weekly in 4-wheelers to the isolated hamlet in the south Hebron Hills, taking case interviews and reporting back to Washington and Berlin about the need for a two-state solution. Other envoys include leftist Israelis and international tour groups who stop by in a show of solidarity.
     The groundswell of international attention on Palestinian Susiya is matched by the Israeli government’s spotlight on the Jewish settlement of Susiya. In a symbolic gesture, Israel’s hawkish defense minister Avigdor Liberman chose to visit the settlement of Susiya on the first day of Israel’s school year in 2016....
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GCC eyes better relations with Washington under Trump
Middle East Eye 16 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Trump's cabinet picks and rhetoric on Iran signal an opportunity to improve US-GCC relations, experts tell MEE


Has Fatah abandoned its founding principles?
Al-Monitor 15 Dec 2016 - The seventh Fatah congress only further confirmed that Fatah is a ruling party, not a liberation movement.


Israeli experts sensed Putin's role in U.S. election ahead of Washington
Ha'aretz - 15 Dec 2016


Protestors Slam Hanukkah Party at Trump Hotel †as Jewish Leaders Celebrate Inside
The Forward New 15 Dec 2016 - Under the banner of “Jewish Resistance,” several hundred activists protested Wednesday evening outside the Trump Hotel in Washington, where the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations held its Hanukkah reception.


The Palestinian leadership that doesn't represent us
Diana Buttu, Al Jazeera 12/15/2016
      The extension of Mahmoud Abbas' rule following Fatah's latest congress hinders Palestinian democracy.
     Last week's Palestinian Fatah conference ended with disappointingly predictable results. Of the 18 members of the Executive Committee, the governing body of Fatah, once again 17 are men, and only one person is in his 40s - he is considered to be part of the "youth" of the movement.
     The average age of the Executive Committee is pushing past 65 and is advancing with each conference, as no new members join its ranks.
     The results were not the only problems with the elections - the process was flawed from the outset.
     With Mahmoud Abbas desperate to cling to and consolidate power despite being in his 80s, and working to quash any opposition to his ineffective rule, he actively set out to undermine Fatah by not allowing dissenting members to attend the conference, disqualifying members and appointing those who would support his oppressive rule.
     And so, unsurprisingly, Abbas was once again elected head of Fatah and, once again, the top 12 members of the Executive Committee are the same members (in the exact order) of the Executive Committee that preceded it.
     But that is not where the disappointment rests, for other political parties around the world have similarly chosen leaders out of touch with their constituents, only to be faced with the wrath of the electorate.
     And herein lies the problem: Abbas, in his quest to consolidate power, has spent years effectively ensuring that there will never be elections as long as he remains alive and that Palestinians will be for ever bound by the failed Oslo Accords that he authored.
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The Palestinians too should take back control of their destiny
Professor Kamel Hawwash, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/12/2016
      2016 will be remembered for a new phrase that came to characterise popular uprisings against “the establishment” in the West. From the UK to the USA, “taking back control” struck a chord with the voters when it was adopted by Donald Trump in America and the leaders of BREXIT in the UK. The now infamous image in the golden lift at Trump Tower of President-elect Trump and UKIP’s Nigel Farage was made possible because voters wanted to take back control and thought they would secure it.
     The Palestinians too want to take back control of their destiny but how can they achieve this?
     In a year which saw their dreams of liberation, freedom and independence dashed once again, they feel their reliance on others to deliver these aims has simply failed. In reality though, it is their leadership which has failed because it has chosen to rely on others to deliver Palestinian rights, but also because it relies on others to ensure its very existence through funding. The Palestinian Authority has also suffocated attempts by the people to rise up against the occupation either collectively or through individual endeavours. As President Abbas has declared repeatedly, the “security cooperation” with Israel is “sacred”, though he does not admit that it only works one way, protecting Israel and never the Palestinians. Fatah’s seventh congress
     Fatah, the ruling party recently held its congress in Ramallah, the seventh since its establishment in 1959. It included a marathon three-hour speech by its past, present and future (elected by acclimation) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in which he reiterated his strategy for delivering Palestinian rights. In summary its internal strategy included reconciliation with Hamas, holding parliamentary and presidential elections, holding the Palestinian National Council. Its external strategy included continued negotiations with Israel, a “smart intifada”, pursuit of Israel through the ICC and continued “internationalisation” of the conflict through membership of organisations.
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Lebanese Fatah delegates visit Palestine for first time
Al-Monitor 15 Dec 2016 - The visit for the first time by Lebanese Fatah delegates to attend the movement’s seventh congress has left them with a bittersweet impression of Palestine.


Abbas comes out of Fatah congress stronger than ever
Al-Monitor 14 Dec 2016 - The Fatah seventh congress concluded without any changes: Mahmoud Abbas strengthened his position within the movement, and the former leaders remained in their positions.


For Congress, defense contracts are like baseball, apple pie
Daily Star 13 Dec 2016 For members of Congress, there’s nothing more American than baseball, apple pie and big defense contracts.


Trump confirms choice of Exxon CEO Tillerson as secretary of state
YNet News, 13 Dec 2016 - The president-elect could face a potential fight with Congress over confirming Tillerson's appointment in light of the businessman's close ties to Russia, and particularly to President Putin. ....


Israel lobby resorting to censorship and blacklisting as it loses control of mainstream discourse
Mondoweiss - From Seattle to Kuala Lampur, via Khartoum, Osaka, and Hamburg,  activists around the world participated last week in a “Boycott Hewlett-Packard Week of Action,” setting up mock checkpoints and apartheid walls, doing flash mobs, and cheerfully belting out BDS carols. In busy shopping centers, on Main...


Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after US 'violation' of deal
The National 13 Dec 2016 - BEIRUT // Iran's President Hassan Rouhani ordered scientists on Tuesday to start developing systems for nuclear-powered boats, in reaction to what he called the United States' violation of a global atomic deal. The announcement marked Iran's first concrete response to a US Congress decision last month to...


Donald Trump and the Palestinian State
Dr Fadi Elhusseini, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/10/2016
      Donald Trump’s election victory was a real shock, not only for decision-makers in every single capital in the world, but also for experts and observers who saw nothing but a win for the Democrats and Hillary Clinton. Shortly after his victory, Trump announced his readiness to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Many Israeli officials weren’t shy about saying that the Trump White House will signal a golden age for Israel-US relations, and that the chances of establishing a Palestinian state had now all but disappeared.
     In Israel, many politicians said that they expect Trump to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Education Minister Naftali Bennett believes that there is a chance for Israel to “retract the notion of a Palestinian state.” In fact, with Trump’s victory, the negative repercussions of the so-called Arab Spring and the ongoing chaos in the Middle East combined to increase the doubt hanging over Palestine, leading many Palestinian observers to bleak conclusions about the prospects for the peace process and their cause in general.
     They had good reason to be pessimistic. During the election campaign, Trump not only committed to moving the US embassy, but also praised the Republican platform that forgets past support for a two-state solution and calls the Holy City Israel’s “undivided” capital. Trump and his aides added that Israel’s illegal settlements are not an obstacle to peace.
     The main characters of the president-elect’s campaign team were staunch advocates and flagrant supporters of Israel and its prime minister’s policies; people such as John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani, candidates for state department roles, not to mention Newt Gingrich and Michael Pence. Needless to say, Trump has been elected as a representative of a party that enjoys a majority in Congress; his administration’s policies will receive support from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
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Iran to work on nuclear-powered boats after US 'violation' of deal
Middle East Eye 13 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined The decision will raise tensions with Washington, where president-elect Trump has vowed to scrap the Iran nuclear deal


Where is Fatah Headed after Its Seventh Congress?
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2016 - By Ramzy Baroud After years of holding the Palestinian struggle hostage to their factional-feud, the current enemy of Palestinian unity today is not just the Fatah-Hamas dispute. According to Mouin Rabbani, writing in Al Jazeera, another pressing problem is the power struggle within Fatah itself. It is unfortunate that the Palestinian leadership often substitutes its failure to address one problem by inviting another. When it comes to leadership, historically, the Palestinian people have always been ill-fated. Part of the reason is that Palestine was always an Arab question as much as it was a Palestinian question. While such solidarity had its own perks, it also meant Arab states have often tried to impose their own political agendas on Palestinians. In turn, many Palestinian leaders proved to be duly corruptible, resulting in factions and organisations striving to win Arab (and now western) support, rather than busy themselves with the question of...more


Palestinians Have Spoken: Poll Shows Majority Thinks Two-state Solution is Doomed
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2016 - Two thirds of Palestinians believe the two-state solution is no longer viable and want Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to step down, a Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) poll revealed on Wednesday, as the public perception of the Palestinian situation remained ever more grim. According to the responses of the 1,270 Palestinians polled by PSR, 64 percent want Abbas to resign, while only 32 percent sad they wanted him to remain president. In the Gaza Strip, the number of respondents who called for Abbas’ resignation soared to 72 percent. In the wake of Fatah’s seventh conference, a majority of respondents expressed dissatisfaction regarding the outcome of the Palestinian Authority (PA) ruling party’s congress. Only 33 percent said they were satisfied with the decision to reappoint Abbas at the head of the party, with 57 percent of respondents saying they were dissatisfied. Poll: 53% of Palestinians don’t want Trump...more


New York Times’ Peter Baker is already done in Israel/Palestine
Mondoweiss - The New York Times announced today that Jerusalem Bureau Chief Peter Baker is being recalled to Washington DC to cover the Trump White House less than four months after he arrived in Jerusalem. Baker had covered the Obama White House for The Times and earlier than that...


Israel lobby resorting to censorship and blacklisting as it loses control of mainstream discourse
Mondoweiss - From Seattle to Kuala Lampur, via Khartoum, Osaka, and Hamburg,  activists around the world participated last week in a “Boycott Hewlett-Packard Week of Action,” setting up mock checkpoints and apartheid walls, doing flash mobs, and cheerfully belting out BDS carols. In busy shopping centers, on Main...


The New UK anti-Semitism Definition Includes Criticism of Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Dec 2016 - British Prime Minister Theresa May today announced the government’s formal adoption of a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of the State of Israel and Zionism. The PM made the announcement in a speech for the Conservative Friends of Israel, selected excerpts of which were released ahead of time by Downing Street. The definition in question was agreed on last May by the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party’s anti-Semitism crisis https://t.co/6yDALFvSNJ #antisemitism #corbyn #labour #smearcampaigns — Palestina Komitee (@Palkomitee) December 5, 2016 The text is based on, and very similarly-worded to, a controversial draft definition published in 2005 by a European Union agency, and which was later abandoned as not fit for purpose. A Downing Street statement said the intention of such a definition was to “ensure that culprits will not be able to get away with being anti-Semitic because the term...more


Netanyahu wants to discuss Iran nuclear deal options with Trump
Middle East Eye 11 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Netanyahu minimizes downside of Washington backing out of accord that includes other world powers, including European allies


Palestinian Authority delegation heads to US hoping to meet with Trump
Jerusalem Post 10 Dec 2016 - The Palestinian side hopes the Washington meetings will result in the establishment of bilateral working committees to manage relations with the US.


Why Congress' new anti-Semitism bill won't protect Jews
Ha'aretz - 9 Dec 2016


Anti-Semitism Bill Will Not Pass Congress This Year
The Forward New 9 Dec 2016 - A controversial anti-Semitism bill backed by mainstream Jewish groups and opposed by civil liberties advocates will not make it through Congress this year.


Will new Fatah leaders` fluency in Hebrew make a difference?
Occupation Magazine 8 Dec 2016 - Daoud Kuttab - Al-Monitor "By spending years in Israeli jails, the top elected candidates in Fatah’s seventh congress speak fluent Hebrew. Both imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti and the head of the Palestinian Football Association and former prisoner Jibril Rajoub can read, write and speak the...


Why didn't Fatah congress discuss report on Arafat's death?
Al-Monitor 8 Dec 2016 - Fatah's general congress has ended without discussion of an official investigation into late PLO leader Yasser Arafat's death, though the topic had been expected to be included in the meeting's agenda.


Defending Ellison, Jewish writers publish ‘apartheid’ description of Israel in ‘Slate’ and ‘Washington Post’
Mondoweiss - In the last 24 hours the Keith Ellison story has changed again. Ellison has agreed to leave Congress if he is elevated to the chair of the Democratic National Committee (thereby removing Ed Rendell and others’ objection that the job needs to be fulltime); and he is...


WATCH: Cabinet Contender Spats With Jewish Anchor Over Putin
The Forward New 8 Dec 2016 - Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican California congressman and a candidate for Secretary of State, clashed with a Moldovan-born Jewish news anchor over Putin’s human rights record.


Fatah: From liberation movement to West Bank government
Mouin Rabbani, Al Jazeera 12/6/2016
      The recently concluded Fatah congress only intensified the aimless drift that characterises Palestinian condition today.
     Amman - To Mahmoud Abbas's credit, he has shown more interest in convening the general conference, the supreme body of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement, Fatah, than did his predecessor Yasser Arafat.
     In 2009, albeit almost five years after taking charge of the movement, Abbas together with his closest associate, Muhammad Dahlan, convened the General Conference for the first time since 1989. Together, they remade Fatah in their image. During this past week, after an interval of seven years, Abbas convened its seventh General Conference. This time Dahlan was absent, which was very much the point of the exercise.
     In years past, Fatah's general conference served to negotiate consensus between the movement's various factions and power centres on issues such as its strategic orientation, political programme and representation on its decision-making bodies.
     While Arafat - as a rule - emerged triumphant from such gatherings, he also ensured that the movement's myriad constituencies were adequately represented, and thus co-opted, in key institutions such as its Central Committee and larger Revolutionary Council, and that the political programme incorporated their divergent core principles.
     As a mainstream national liberation movement open to every Palestinian, irrespective of ideological persuasion, social background or geographical location, Fatah counted among its ranks marxists and millionaires, rebel fighters and bureaucrats, rural refugees and urban notables, and Muslims, Christians and Jews drawn from virtually every Palestinian community on the planet.
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Defending Ellison, Jewish writers publish ‘apartheid’ description of Israel in ‘Slate’ and ‘Washington Post’
Mondoweiss - In the last 24 hours the Keith Ellison story has changed again. Ellison has agreed to leave Congress if he is elevated to the chair of the Democratic National Committee (thereby removing Ed Rendell and others’ objection that the job needs to be fulltime); and he is...


Groundswell for Ellison signals end of the era of political assassination by Israel lobby
Mondoweiss - The most remarkable thing about the attack on Rep. Keith Ellison as an enemy of Israel and anti-Semite, led by the Anti Defamation League and Haim Saban at the Brookings Institution,  is that it has not KO’d the Minnesota congressman’s bid to be chair of the...


UK Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was funded by Israel lobby
Electronic Intifada - A major player in Labour anti-Semitism controversy, Smeeth’s ties to Israel lobby overlooked by press.


It’s junket season again in Massachusetts
Mondoweiss - The time of year when Massachusetts legislators enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel is again upon us.  Once again a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), is planning the itinerary. According to JCRC executive director Jeremy Burton, over the past five years he has...


Washington insiders warn ‘anti-Semitic’ Trump administration could torpedo two-state solution
Middle East Eye 7 Dec 2016 - If Trump kills all prospects of a Palestinian state as Beltway insiders fear, an uprising – and the end of whatever security Israel has – is likely


Iranian top brass meet to discuss response to US sanctions
Al-Monitor 7 Dec 2016 - The Iranian state body tasked with monitoring the implementation of the nuclear deal convenes in response to the US Congress’ extension of the Iran Sanctions Act.


Fake News Versus No News
Philip Giraldi,  12/6/2016
      How Russia is pilloried while real news about Israel goes unreported
     The drama surrounding allegations that the internet is awash with “fake news” is being promoted by the so-called mainstream media which certainly has a lot to answer for when it comes to producing material that does not pass the smell test. Does the name Judith Miller ring any bells? And the squeaks of rage coming from the U.S. Congress over being lied to is also something to behold as the federal government has been acting in collusion with the media to dish up falsehoods designed to start wars since the time of the Spanish-American conflict in 1898, if not before.
     The fake news saga is intended to discredit Donald Trump, whom the media hates mostly because they failed to understand either him or the Americans who voted for him in the recent election. You have to blame somebody when you are wrong so you invent “fake news” as the game changer that explains your failure to comprehend simple truths. To accomplish that, the clearly observable evidence that the media was piling on Donald Trump at every opportunity has somehow been deliberately morphed into a narrative that it is Trump who was attacking the media, suggesting that it was all self-defense on the part of the Rachel Maddows of this world, but anyone who viewed even a small portion of the farrago surely will have noted that it was the Republican candidate who was continuously coming under attack from both the right and left of the political-media spectrum.
     There are also some secondary narratives being promoted, including a pervasive argument that Hillary Clinton was somehow the victim of the news reporting due specifically to fake stories emanating largely from Moscow in an attempt to not only influence the election but also to subvert America’s democratic institutions. I have observed that if such a truly ridiculous objective were President Vladimir Putin’s desired goal he might as well relax....
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What were Abbas’ priorities at the Fatah congress?
Al-Monitor 6 Dec 2016 - The importance that Abbas gave to national issues reflects the priorities that the seventh Fatah congress will give in Palestinian affairs for years to come.


Can Iran moderates hold ground against US pressure?
Al-Monitor 6 Dec 2016 - The US Congress vote to extend the Iran Sanctions Act has provoked harsh rhetoric in Tehran as well as a tempered response from decision-makers.


Fatah: From liberation movement to West Bank government
AlJazeera 6 Dec 2016 - The recently concluded Fatah congress only intensified the aimless drift that characterises Palestinian condition today.


UK Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was funded by Israel lobby
Electronic Intifada - A major player in Labour anti-Semitism controversy, Smeeth’s ties to Israel lobby overlooked by press.


Groundswell for Ellison signals end of the era of political assassination by Israel lobby
Mondoweiss - The most remarkable thing about the attack on Rep. Keith Ellison as an enemy of Israel and anti-Semite, led by the Anti Defamation League and Haim Saban at the Brookings Institution,  is that it has not KO’s the Minnesota congressman’s bid to be chair of the...


It’s junket season again in Massachusetts
Mondoweiss - The time of year when Massachusetts legislators enjoy an all-expenses-paid trip to Israel is again upon us.  Once again a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC), is planning the itinerary. According to JCRC executive director Jeremy Burton, over the past five years he has...


UK Labour MP Ruth Smeeth was funded by Israel lobby
Electronic Intifada: 6 Dec 2016 - A major player in Labour anti-Semitism controversy, Smeeth’s ties to Israel lobby overlooked by press. more..


John Kerry to Israel: Choose Settlements or Two-state Solution
IMEMC - 5 Dec 2016 - Israel cannot have both, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, in unprecedented comments, Sunday, at the annual Saban Forum hosted by the Brookings Institution, in Washington DC. “There is no status quo. It is getting...


Iran vows 'firm response' unless Obama stops sanctions renewal
YNet News, 4 Dec 2016 - Iranian President Rouhani denounces legislation passed by the US Congress to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for 10 years as a violation of nuclear agreement; Tehran lawmakers call for counter measures. ....


Fatah Congress Ends with a ‘Hardheaded’ Statement
Asharq Alawsat ME News 5 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- President of the Palestinian State Mahmoud Abbas, also known by Abu Mazen, boasted about the Palestinian leading party, Fatah, … continue reading Fatah Congress Ends with a ‘Hardheaded’ Statement


Hold your applause, Fatah, the Palestinian body politic is rotten to the core
Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/5/2016
      In July 2003, the then Palestinian Authority Chairman, Yasser Arafat, described Mahmoud Abbas as a “traitor” who “betrayed the interests of the Palestinian People.” Arafat loathed Abbas to the very end. This particular outburst was made during a meeting with United Nations envoy Terje Larsen. The meeting took place a few months after Arafat was coerced by the US, Israel and other Western powers to appoint Abbas as Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority.
     Historically, Abbas has been the least popular among Fatah leaders; the likes of Abu Jihad, Abu Iyad and Arafat himself. These popular leaders were mostly assassinated, sidelined or died under mysterious circumstances. Arafat is widely believed to have been poisoned by Israel with the help of Palestinians, and Abbas has alleged recently that he knows who killed him.
     Yet, despite his unpopularity, Abbas has remained in one top position or another. The power struggle between him and Arafat which culminated in 2003, until Arafat’s death in November 2004, hardly helped Abbas’s insipid reputation among Palestinians.
     At times, it seemed that the less popular Abbas became, the greater his powers grew. Now, he has just been re-elected as the head of his political party, Fatah, during its seventh congress held in Ramallah on 29 November. At 81, he is the leader of Fatah, head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and President of the Palestinian Authority.
     However, his long, drawn-out speech of nearly three hours on 30 November contained nothing new; just rehashed slogans and subtle messages to the US and Israel that his “revolution” shall remain subdued and non-violent. Considering this critical period in Palestine’s history, Abbas’s impractical rhetoric represents the depth of the crisis among Palestine’s political elites. The numerous rounds of applause that his tedious, unimaginative speech received from the nearly 1,400 supporters who attended the conference is a reflection of the deep-seated political tribalism that now controls Fatah....
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Kerry Slams Israeli Settlement Expansion, Says Israel Heading in ‘Wrong Direction’
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Dec 2016 - United States Secretary of State John Kerry delivered harsh criticism of the Israeli government’s settlement expansion policies at the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. on Sunday, saying “things are moving in the wrong direction” regarding Israeli-Palestinian peace. An annual dialogue between American and Israeli leaders from across the political and social spectrum, the Saban Forum is organized by the Center for Middle East Policy — formerly the Saban Center — at the Brookings Institution in the US capitol. It is known for its pro-Israel agenda and close relations with Israeli officials and lobbyists. During a question and answer style talk, Kerry began by expressing his “genuine passion” for the state of Israel as a place where “people could be protected” and “an example to the world of democracy and freedom and rights and rule of law.” John Kerry describes the Israeli govt's contempt for the White House: "We issue a...more


Kerry tells Israeli right it is deliberately sabotaging peace process
Middle East Eye 4 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Washington's top diplomat warns Israeli settlement building undermining hope of two states living side-by-side


Palestine Rights Group’s Public Brawl with the New Statesman
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2016 - Who would pick a pointless fight with an ally like the New Statesman and hand the Israel lobby an open goal just when Tel Aviv’s notorious propaganda chief, Mark Regev, is settling into his new role as Israel’s ambassador in London? Answer: the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), which describes itself as “the biggest organisation in the UK dedicated to securing Palestinian human rights”. It boasts that “we can take on the might of governments, corporations, and the media – and we can win”. Patrons include worthies such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, film director Ken Loach and actress Julie Christie. The website doesn’t say who actually runs it . But here’s the thing, in the PSC’s own words…. PSC commissioned an article from Salah Ajarma, the co-founder and Director of the Lajee Cultural Centre in Aida Refugee camp. The New Statesman published the piece as part of a two year partnership...more


Saban calls Ellison ‘clearly an anti-Semite’ (and not on Wikileaks)
Mondoweiss - The Israel lobby is battling it out inside the Democratic Party; and the US discourse will never be the same again. Last night at a fancy dinner at the Brookings Institution, toymaker Haim Saban, who is one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party, smeared...


‘Fatah Central Committee’ Sees Light Ahead of Preparing For Abbas Successor
Asharq Alawsat ME News 4 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- The Fatah Movement concluded on Saturday its congress by voting for new members of its Revolutionary Council to be … continue reading ‘Fatah Central Committee’ Sees Light Ahead of Preparing For Abbas Successor


Arafat’s Death Handed over to Succeeding Leadership, Elections on Saturday
Asharq Alawsat ME News 3 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- The Fatah-led Palestine congress ended its sessions for government committees, after extensive revision of the work achieved over the … continue reading Arafat’s Death Handed over to Succeeding Leadership, Elections on Saturday


Palestinian President Abbas gets boost in Fatah congress vote
Middle East Eye 4 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Abbas has strived to sideline opposition from Mohammed Dahlan, former security chief and Fatah official living in self-imposed exile


US Senate vote to extend Iran sanctions proves US unreliable, says Iran
Jerusalem Post 3 Dec 2016 - The diplomatic thaw in swing between Washington and Tehran over the past two years looks in jeopardy with US President-elect Donald Trump taking office next month.


US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
Mondoweiss - On Thursday, the US Senate quickly passed the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act , a bipartisan bill proposed by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Tim Scott (R-SC), supported by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which aims to “codify the definition as one adopted by the U.S. State...


Saban calls Ellison ‘clearly an anti-Semite’ (and not on Wikileaks)
Mondoweiss - The Israel lobby is battling it out inside the Democratic Party; and the US discourse will never be the same again. Last night at a fancy dinner at the Brookings Institution, toymaker Haim Saban, who is one of the biggest donors to the Democratic Party, smeared...


Halt settlement vote until Trump takes office: Lieberman
Arab News - Author: Agence France Presse Sat, 2016-12-03 ID: 1480768029616792800 JERUSALEM: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says a parliamentary vote to legalize Jewish settler homes in the West Bank should be put on hold until Donald Trump becomes US president. Speaking at a conference in Washington on Friday...


Arafat’s Death Handed over to Succeeding Leadership, Elections on Saturday
Asharq Alawsat ME News 3 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- The Fatah-led Palestine congress ended its sessions for government committees, after extensive revision of the work achieved over the … continue reading Arafat’s Death Handed over to Succeeding Leadership, Elections on Saturday


US Jewish group slams potential Muslim leader of Democrats over remarks
Middle East Eye 2 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Congressman Keith Ellison said in 2010 that US bases Middle East policy on interests of Israel, according to audio recording


The real link between Israel’s forest fires and muezzin bill
Jonathan Cook, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 11/28/2016
      Israeli legislation ostensibly intended to tackle noise pollution from Muslim houses of worship has, paradoxically, served chiefly to provoke a cacophony of indignation across much of the Middle East. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared his support this month for the so-called “muezzin bill”, claiming it was urgently needed to stop the dawn call to prayer from mosques ruining the Israeli public’s sleep. A vote in the parliament is due this week. The use of loudspeakers by muezzins was unnecessarily disruptive, Mr Netanyahu argued, in an age of alarm clocks and phone apps. But the one in five of Israel’s population who are Palestinian, most of them Muslim, and a further 300,000 living under occupation in East Jerusalem, say the legislation is grossly discriminatory. The bill’s environmental rationale is bogus, they note. Moti Yogev, a settler leader who drafted the bill, originally wanted the loudspeaker ban to curb the broadcasting of sermons supposedly full of “incitement” against Israel. And last week, after the Jewish ultra-Orthodox lobby began to fear the bill might also apply to sirens welcoming in the Sabbath, the government hurriedly introduced an exemption for synagogues. The “muezzin bill” does not arrive in a politically neutral context. The extremist wing of the settler movement championing it has been vandalising and torching mosques in Israel and the occupied territories for years. The new bill follows hot on the heels of a government-sponsored expulsion law that allows Jewish legislators to oust from the parliament the Palestinian minority’s representatives if they voice unpopular views. Palestinian leaders in Israel are rarely invited on TV, unless it is to defend themselves against accusations of treasonous behaviour.
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Iran says extension of sanctions act by US Congress violates nuclear deal
Jerusalem Post 2 Dec 2016 -


ADL is leading ‘witch hunt’ against Keith Ellison over Israel comments, J Street exec says
Mondoweiss - Jewish groups are conducting a “witch hunt” against Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, and it exposes “a very bad tendency” of the Jewish community to drive anyone who has criticized Israel out of public position, the leader of the liberal Zionist group J Street said last night...


Palestinians deserve more than Mahmoud Abbas
+972 Magazine - At the Fatah Congress this week, Abbas’s followers seem to have affirmed a choice Oslo’s signatories made more than two decades ago: that livelihoods matter more than liberation. Palestinians deserve an alternative to this status quo. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech on the second...


US Congress renews sanctions against Iran
The National 2 Dec 2016 - TEHRAN // Iran on Friday warned of an "appropriate" response after the US legislature approved the renewal of sanctions for 10 years, saying it contravened the easing of restrictions promised under a nuclear deal reached last year. "As repeatedly stated by high-ranking Iranian officials, the recent bill...


Palestine Congress Kicks Off Behind Closed Doors
Asharq Alawsat ME News 2 Dec 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- After Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas, also head of the Fatah political party, gave his long three-hour speech on Wednesday … continue reading Palestine Congress Kicks Off Behind Closed Doors


Abbas is top ideological enemy, says Israeli minister
Middle East Eye 1 Dec 2016 - Language Undefined Israeli energy minister Yuval Steinitz's remarks came after Palestinian leaders convened a Fatah party congress in Ramallah on Wednesday


Abbas Addresses Future of Fatah, Palestine during Party’s 7th Congress
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Dec 2016 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech on Wednesday evening during the Fatah party’s seventh congress, addressing a scope of issues ranging from the political movement itself to conflicts in the Arab world. Abbas’ two-and-a-half-hours speech marked the second day of Fatah’s seventh congress, which has gathered some 1,322 members of the party in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas stated that the Fatah conference would reinforce the Palestinian people’s march towards achieving their national goals, stressing that Fatah would not give up on its goals or identity. Palestinians deserve more than Mahmoud Abbas https://t.co/zuMut5bzrc via @972mag #FreePalestine — Charafa (@freeworldun) December 1, 2016 The organization of the congress, the first since 2009, was the embodiment of Fatah’s convictions and commitment to democratic values, Abbas claimed. Abbas was promptly reappointed as chairman of Fatah on the first day of the five-day conference, during which the political faction...more


Reporter's Notebook: Attending the Fatah Congress
Jerusalem Post 30 Nov 2016 - Nikolay Mlandenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said: “Fatah is Palestine’s democracy” and “the mother of the masses for all Palestinians.”


US Congress approves Israel cyber cooperation
Globes Main News - Congress voted by a large majority in favor of two bills to promote US-Israel cooperation on cyber security research.


Why did Rep. Keith Ellison condemn BDS?
Electronic Intifada - Israel lobby pressure mounts on Minnesota congressman who seeks to head DNC.


Fatah Commences 7th Conference by Re-electing President Abbas Head of Movement
Asharq Alawsat ME News 30 Nov 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Ramallah- A leadership congress of the Palestinian Fatah movement has unanimously re-elected President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday to a new … continue reading Fatah Commences 7th Conference by Re-electing President Abbas Head of Movement


Jordan, Fatah’s Achilles’ heel
Al-Monitor 29 Nov 2016 - Jordan is perhaps Fatah’s most strategic geographic partner, and thus it was a no-brainer that Fatah accepted the request by Jordan not to have any Jordanian Palestinian delegates attend the seventh Fatah congress.


Why did Rep. Keith Ellison condemn BDS?
Electronic Intifada: 29 Nov 2016 - Israel lobby pressure mounts on Minnesota congressman who seeks to head DNC. more..


Abbas Re-elected Leader of Fateh Movement
IMEMC - 29 Nov 2016 - After a two-year delay, Fateh’s seventh congress kicked off in Ramallah, today, where the movement has re-elected President Mahmoud Abbas to a new five-year term. Abbas said that 60 delegations from 28 countries will be joining...


Palestinian Authority President Abbas reelected to head Fatah party
Jerusalem Post 29 Nov 2016 - PA congress has brought together some 1,322 Fatah delegates from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Palestinian diaspora.


Abbas re-elected party leader as Fatah opens rare congress
Arab News - Author: Hossam Ezzedine and Sarah Benhaida | AFP Tue, 2016-11-29 ID: 1480432295030326000 RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah re-elected him party head Tuesday as the movement opened its first congress since 2009 with talk mounting of who will eventually succeed the 81-year-old. Abbas was re-elected...


FL State Sen. Dwight Bullard opposed an anti-BDS measure — and lost his job
Mondoweiss - Last week, Congressman Keith Ellison released a statement formally opposing BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), the global, Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality. The statement followed the announcement of Congressman Ellison’s bid for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee and a fairly recent campaign...


Fatah congress to go ahead despite Israeli curbs
Middle East Eye 28 Nov 2016 - Language Undefined Congress is expected to close ranks around Abbas, 81-year-old leader of Fatah, PLO and PA, bolstering his authority without major policy changes


Analysis: Fatah Congress could reveal next Palestinian president
Jerusalem Post 28 Nov 2016 - Approximately 1,400 Fatah members from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Palestinian diaspora will convene at the Congress to elect leaders to the movement’s top two leadership bodies.


FL State Sen. Dwight Bullard opposed an anti-BDS measure — and lost his job
Mondoweiss - Last week, Congressman Keith Ellison released a statement formally opposing BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), the global, Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice, and equality. The statement followed the announcement of Congressman Ellison’s bid for the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee and a fairly recent campaign...


Fatah congress to go ahead despite Israeli curbs
Middle East Eye 28 Nov 2016 - Language Undefined Congress is expected to close ranks around Abbas, 81-year-old leader of Fatah, PLO and PA, bolstering his authority without major policy changes


Fatah in rare congress as succession talk builds
Arab News - Author: Hossam Ezzedine | AFP Sun, 2016-11-27 ID: 1480251133734137200 RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’ Fatah party holds its first congress since 2009 on Tuesday as the 81-year-old leader seeks to close ranks and fend off a key rival. While Abbas’ advisers insist the congress is...


Keith Ellison seeks to placate Israel lobby, by saying he is against BDS
Mondoweiss - A battle has begun inside the Democratic Party over Rep. Keith Ellison’s bid to be Democratic Party chair, and the Israel consensus is again the central question. Ellison is one of the few critics of Israel inside the party. The rightwing Israel lobby is quietly mounting...


Trump chooses Indian-American Nikki Haley to be UN ambassador
The National 23 Nov 2016 - WASHINGTON // US president-elect Donald Trump has chosen an Indian-American, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, to fill the role of US ambassador to the United Nations. She is so far the only women to be chosen for a top-level administration post. The role will be a cabinet-level...


Report: Trump condemns alt-right gathering in Washington
Jerusalem Post 22 Nov 2016 -


Trump aide blows off Zionist gala, and Dershowitz warns that politicizing Israel means ‘we could lose’
Mondoweiss - The Israel lobby appears to be losing power before our eyes. Last night the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) held its gala in New York, and Steve Bannon, the promoter of white nationalism whom Trump has named as a top White House counselor, was invited but...


Trump's pro-torture, pro-Israel CIA chief
Electronic Intifada: 22 Nov 2016 - Mike Pompeo, a Tea Party congressman from Kansas, wants to expand a vast surveillance apparatus. more..


Lapid: Keep Israel-US disputes behind closed doors
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2016 - Yesh Atid leader says going over president’s head to Congress not a good idea


Leaked document confirms Dahlan won’t attend Fatah Congress
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2016 - Dahlan and many of his allies attended and were elected to leadership positions at the last congress in 2009.


Trump Names Mike Pompeo, Iran Deal Critic, as CIA Director
The Foward Breaking News 18 Nov 2016 - (JTA) †An Alabama senator who once reportedly called the NAACP “un-American” and a congressman who blasted the Iran nuclear deal were tapped to serve as attorney general and CIA director, respectively, under the Trump administration. A spokesperson for President-elect Donald Trump announced Friday the selections of...


Killing Arafat: 'Does Abbas have any evidence?'
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2016 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas revives long-held suspicions over Arafat's death ahead of Fatah congress next week.


Why Palestinians are unfazed by calls to cut off US aid
Al-Monitor 17 Nov 2016 - Palestinians don't appear to be fazed by the calls of the Trump administration to cut off aid to the Palestinian government, as some feel that this could be a political relief from Washington pressures.


Brazil anti-government protesters occupy lower house of Congress
Jerusalem Post 16 Nov 2016 -


Trump May Kill Netanyahu with Kindness
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Nov 2016 - By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth While the United States presidential election bitterly divided the American public, most Israelis were sanguine about the race. Both candidates – Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton – were keen to end eight years of icy mistrust between Barack Obama, the outgoing president, and Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli prime minister should – at least on paper – be happier with Trump. Netanyahu, elected four times, has always faced off with Democratic incumbents. Now he has not only a right-wing Republican in the White House but a Republican-dominated Congress too. Standing guard over the relationship will be Sheldon Adelson, a US casino magnate who is Netanyahu’s most vocal supporter. It will not be lost on Trump that the billionaire is one of the Republican Party’s main financiers. Netanyahu was among the first to congratulate Trump by phone. The US president-elect reciprocated by inviting him for talks “at the...more


Republican and Democratic legislators introduce joint anti-BDS bill to US Congress
Jerusalem Post 15 Nov 2016 - The bipartisan bill combats attempts by intergovernmental bodies such as the United Nations to engage in “politically-charged economic warfare against Israel.”


Anti-Boeing Bill Offers Early Iran Test for Trump
IPS By Jim Lobe WASHINGTON, Nov 15 2016 (IPS) Will a President Trump intend to put U.S. business first and preserve and expand the U.S. manufacturing workforce as part of his plan to make America great again? Or will he hold to the reflexive anti-Iran positions of the Republican Congressional majority,...


Will Trump help Israel annex the West Bank?
Electronic Intifada - Powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC drops commitment to two-state solution.


AIPAC removes two-state solution talking point from its website
Mondoweiss - It has long been said that the so-called two-state solution in Israel-Palestine is dead . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in fact re-elected on the promise that Palestinians would never have their own independent state. Now, even the most powerful pro-Israel organization in the U.S. appears to...


Will Trump help Israel annex the West Bank?
Electronic Intifada: 14 Nov 2016 - Powerful Israel lobby group AIPAC drops commitment to two-state solution. more..


AIPAC removes two-state solution talking point from its website
Mondoweiss - It has long been said that the so-called two-state solution in Israel-Palestine is dead . Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in fact re-elected on the promise that Palestinians would never have their own independent state. Now, even the most powerful pro-Israel organization in the U.S. appears to...


The ‘ultimate deal’: Trump’s coming obsession with Palestine
+972 Magazine - Many fear that a Trump presidency will, by default, favor Netanyahu and his policies. But if Trump’s past statements on Israel are precedent, what will matter more is whether the ‘dealmaker’ gets to broker the ultimate deal. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC...


Clinton blames FBI director Comey for loss
The National 13 Nov 2016 - WASHINGTON // Hillary Clinton has blamed FBI director James Comey for her loss in the US presidential race, claiming that re-opening the investigation into her email use broke the momentum towards victory. Mrs Clinton told fundraisers and donors on Saturday that Mr Comey's two letters to congress...


Washington Puts Nusra Front Leaders on Sanctions List
Asharq Alawsat ME News 12 Nov 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Beirut-The United States upped pressure on Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, previously known as al-Nusra Front, by imposing sanctions on four of … continue reading Washington Puts Nusra Front Leaders on Sanctions List


Israel’s wishful thinking over the Trump presidency
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/10/2016
      Speculation among world leaders and political observers is rife over what will happen next now that billionaire businessman Donald Trump has emerged triumphant as the US president-elect. In Israel, for instance, the right-wing Education Minister Naftali Bennett came out within hours of Trump’s victory to declare the demise of the two-state solution for Palestinian-Israel. Since most realistic observers believe that this was dead and buried years ago, his statement was not so shocking, but when Bennett followed it up by declaring, “The era of a Palestinian state is over,” political doves must have winced.
     However, could this be a case of wishful thinking by Bennett and his war-mongering colleagues in Tel Aviv? They and the pro-Israel lobby in Washington may be a little too premature with their joy at a Trump victory. With Hillary Clinton in the White House it would have been business as usual for the Zionist State which, during the Obama years, has continued unabated to slice, dice, steal and occupy huge swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank without US resistance.
     Will Israel be given such a free rein under Trump? For decades under various Democrat and Republican administrations the Zionist war machine has eaten up US tax dollars and Palestinian lands. Most ordinary American voters it seems, while having not the slightest interest or concern about Palestinians living in Gaza or the West Bank, chose Trump because they want a better life and better prospects for themselves and their families. It finally dawned on them that nothing would change as long as the sleazy, corrupt and incestuous “political elite” remained in power, because the politicians on Capitol Hill have all but paralysed domestic decision-making to the detriment of the disenfranchised white, working classes in America’s industrial wastelands.
     Don’t for one minute think that I am a Trump supporter, but the truth is that he could be the first US president to bring about change if all his campaign talk about spending and investment comes to fruition....
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The Iran deal is now in critical danger
Derek Davison, +972 Magazine 11/10/2016
      Whether Trump outright tears up the deal or simply orders his administration to take punitive actions against Iran, the end result may be the same: goodbye to the nuclear deal.
     There will be plenty of time to dissect Donald Trump’s surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential election, and what a President Trump will mean for American foreign policy generally. But one thing is clear: the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 (the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China) and Iran may very well be among the first casualties of the incoming Trump administration.
     Trump has been critical of the deal throughout the presidential campaign. However, as with nearly every other issue, his comments about the deal and what he might do with it in office were often unclear:
     A businessman-turned-politician who has never held public office, Trump called the nuclear pact a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” during his campaign and said it could lead to a “nuclear holocaust.”
     In a speech to the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC in March, Trump declared that his “number-one priority” would be to “dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.”
     He said he would have negotiated a better deal, with longer restrictions, but somewhat paradoxically, he criticized remaining U.S. sanctions that prevent American companies from dealing with Iran.
     By contrast, he has conceded it would be hard to destroy a deal enshrined in a United Nations resolution. In August 2015, he said he would not “rip up” the nuclear deal, but that he would “police that contract so tough they don’t have a chance.”
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The ‘ultimate deal’: Trump’s coming obsession with Palestine
+972 Magazine - Many fear that a Trump presidency will, by default, favor Netanyahu and his policies. But if Trump’s past statements on Israel are precedent, what will matter more is whether the ‘dealmaker’ gets to broker the ultimate deal. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC...


Court cases that 'will follow president into White House'
The National 12 Nov 2016 - Washington // Donald Trump assumes the mantle of the US presidency under an unprecedented cloud of litigation that could weigh on his ability to govern. Just as the newly minted president-elect visited the White House and Capitol Hill on Thursday, two thousand miles away his lawyers were...


Washington Puts Nusra Front Leaders on Sanctions List
Asharq Alawsat ME News 12 Nov 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English . Beirut-The United States upped pressure on Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, previously known as al-Nusra Front, by imposing sanctions on four of … continue reading Washington Puts Nusra Front Leaders on Sanctions List


Millions of Brits back boycott, finds poll commissioned by Israel lobby group
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/10/2016
      Millions of British adults boycott Israeli goods, according to a poll commissioned by Israel lobby group BICOM and carried out by Populus.
     The survey suggests that despite efforts by pro-Israel groups and British government ministers to smear, and undermine the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, support for boycott remains largely unchanged.
     That conclusion was buried, however, as BICOM sought to spin the survey’s results, the third in what have become annual polls commissioned by the lobby group on ‘British Attitudes Towards Israel’.
     Last week, BICOM breathlessly announced that “the number of British people who do not support economic boycotts of Israel has soared over the last year, according to exclusive new polling.”
     BICOM head James Sorene claimed that the poll “shows a very significant shift against the idea of boycotting Israel.” He added: “In a year where we have seen several public figures attempt to explain their hatred of Israel as a political position, the judgement of the British people is stark.”
     Meanwhile, Simon Johnson, head of the Jewish Leadership Council, claimed that the “findings of this report are positive and encouraging”, and a testimony to “the work of various organisations to better inform the British public about the ongoing situation in the Middle East.”
     But is this enthusiasm borne out by the numbers? Let’s take a look....
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Israeli Politicians Enthusiastically Ally with the Temple Movement
IMEMC - 9 Nov 2016 - A conference of Israelis seeking to change al-Aqsa’s status quo takes place in parliament. A Temple Mount Lobby is born. The tenth annual the Seekers of Zion conference was held in Israeli parliament on Monday, Haaretz <...


U.S. election outcome leaves Fed on track to end gridlock
Daily Star 10 Nov 2016 The Republican sweep of the White House and Congress could break the current gridlock over national policy in a potential boon to the U.S. economy, St. Louis Federal Reserve bank president James Bullard said Thursday.


Jewish Democrat Josh Gottheimer Prevails in N.J. House Race
The Forward New 10 Nov 2016 - After an ugly contest that filled the airwaves with attack ads, Democrat Josh Gottheimer has won his New Jersey congressional race against Republican incumbent Scott Garrett.


Trump's first steps on Israel/Palestine
Sam Bahour, +972 Magazine 11/10/2016
      For starters: Make the $38 billion military aid package dependent on Israeli actions to dismantle the occupation, and recognize the State of Palestine already.
     Again, the Republican candidate in the U.S. presidential elections lost the popular vote but won the election. Such is a function of the mechanics of the U.S. flavor of democracy where not every vote matters; only votes in key states matter. Nevertheless, billionaire Donald Trump is heading to the White House.
     Trump’s ascent into the U.S. presidency will be the material for political analysts and historians, not to mention Hollywood, for many years to come. That noted, history has already clearly established that the difference between a candidate’s campaign and their posture once in office are like night and day. This applies to Trump just like it would apply to any other candidate. He should prepare himself to be the tool of a state apparatus which is much more about the U.S. than it will be about Trump the person, despite the best efforts of his public relations spin masters.
     Campaigns are fairy tales driven by the individual candidate, whereas holding the office of the U.S. president offers a 24-hour Ph.D., especially for a non-politician, about how countries, especially the world’s super power, are complicated institutions that require cold, hard calculations built on strategic state interests. In the U.S., the president, the House of Representatives, and the Senate are merely three actors in a pool of variables that define the state’s interests.
     One of these important variables are the lobbies that affect the process. The pro-Israeli lobby is one of the powerhouse lobbies that intrudes in U.S. politics and is driven, illegally, by the interests of a foreign country. For Trump to reach out to king masters in U.S. politics is to be expected given his non-existent political experience and shallow policy capacity. Yet less than 48 hours after announcing his victory, Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to New York for a meeting.
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Republicans retain control of both houses of Congress
YNet News, 9 Nov 2016 - Democratic Party officials hoped to retake the Senate on Election Day, but their candidates in several key races did not manage to overtake their Republican opponents; the GOP, meanwhile, retained its control over the House of Representatives. ....


The military trial that’s tearing Israel apart
Occupation Magazine 9 Nov 2016 - William Booth and Ruth Eglash - The Washington Post - On trial for manslaughter before a military tribunal is a pint-size recruit who sits in the courtroom beside his mother, who wraps her arms around his shoulders and sometimes cries. Such a public trial of a...


Americal Liberals Unleashed the Trump Monster
Palestine Chronicle: 9 Nov 2016 - By Jonathan Cook The earth has been shifting under our feet for a while, but all liberals want to do is desperately cling to the status quo like a life-raft. Middle-class Britons are still hyperventiliating about Brexit, and now middle-class America is trembling at the prospect of Donald Trump in the White House. And, of course, middle-class Americans are blaming everyone but themselves. Typifying this blinkered self-righteousness was a column yesterday, written before news of Trump’s success, from Guardian journalist Jonathan Freedland, Britain’s unofficial stenographer to power and Washington fanboy. He blamed everyone but Hillary Clinton for her difficult path to what he then assumed was the White House. Well, here is some news for Freedland and American liberals. The reason Trump is heading to the Oval Office is because the Democratic party rigged the primaries to ensure that a candidate who could have beaten Trump, Bernie Sanders, did not...more


Netanyahu: Israel thwarts Palestinian bid to join Interpol
Jerusalem Post 8 Nov 2016 - Israel touts its lobbying efforts as leading to the move.


FBI: Latest Clinton emails do not warrant charges
Daily Star 6 Nov 2016 FBI Director James Comey told Congress Sunday a recent review of newly discovered emails did not change the agency’s conclusion that no charges were warranted in the case of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email...


New emails do not incriminate Clinton, FBI chief tells congress
The National 6 Nov 2016 - PHILADELPHIA // FBI director James Comey announced on Sunday that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges related to newly discovered emails from her tenure at the state department, lifting a cloud of uncertainty that has shadowed the final days of her presidential campaign. In a letter...


Israel increasingly defiant as the world loses interest in Palestine
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 11/2/2016
      From the prime minister down, the Israeli government has effectively dropped the charade that the occupation is temporary, or that it actually fears consequences for its intransigence.
     Israel’s leadership wants you to think it is worried about some bold move by President Barack Obama during his lame duck period between the November 8 U.S. elections and his successor’s inauguration on January 20. After all, there’s a compelling argument to be made that it would be bad for Israel if Washington threw its support behind a UN Security Council resolution reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal, or one that codifies a framework for an eventual peace deal.
     Yet the Israeli government doesn’t seem to be worried at all.
     An Israeli prime minister worried about international condemnation of his country’s illegal settlements probably wouldn’t declare that, “[t]here is no government that supports, or will support, settlement more than my government.”
     An Israeli government concerned with the world’s perception of its intransigence wouldn’t send the deputy foreign minister (Netanyahu is technically the foreign minister) and parliament speaker to demand the annexation of Israel’s third-largest settlement. “The answer to the international battle over Jerusalem is to impose sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday.
     An Israeli government concerned with preserving the feasibility of a two-state solution wouldn’t promote an extensive rail project to connect West Bank settlements to Jerusalem, which the transportation minister announced on Tuesday. “If someone comes and says ‘we must place an artificial division since [those Israelis] live beyond what was once defined as the Green Line’ — we won’t accept that claim, of course,” Transportation Minister Israel Katz said, defending the plan.
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LA Fundraising Dinner Raises $38 Million for Israeli Army
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Nov 2016 - A fundraising dinner organized by Friends of the Israel Defence Forces (FIDF) in Los Angeles has raised $38 million, Yedioth Ahronoth has reported. The annual gala event is attended by prominent celebrities, artists and businessmen. The newspaper noted that a number of American celebrities attended the 2016 dinner last night, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert De Niro, television host Larry King, Gerard Butler, Jewish businessman media mogul Haim Saban, and many others. Soldiers with American backgrounds serving in the Israeli army also attended. Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, the founder and head of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, made the single largest contribution of the night of $6 million. #LA fundraising dinner raises $38 million for Israeli army | #Israel #USA #Palestine #IDF https://t.co/cfIUlRNM0r — Middle East Monitor (@MiddleEastMnt) November 5, 2016 “There are individuals working for Israel on the inside and outside by raising donations via the Zionist lobby abroad...more


H to Jake to Malcolm to Maggie to Haim to Huma — resetting the discourse on Israel in 6 easy steps
Mondoweiss - The latest Clinton emails from Wikileaks tell a fascinating story about the time in 2015 that President Obama tried to reset the Israel relationship, and the New York Times and Hillary Clinton and the Israel lobby wouldn’t let him. You surely remember that back in March...


Clinton Staff Kibitz About Abedin and Weiner’s Marriage in New Emails
The Forward New 4 Nov 2016 - (JTA) †In leaked correspondence from 2011, Hillary Clinton associates discussed flippantly their concern for her top aide Huma Abedin over her cohabitation with disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, her husband. The correspondence, released by the WikiLeaks website, took place on June 10 of that year,...


99th Balfour anniversary: Time for Palestine
PSC, Palestine Solidarity Campaign 11/2/2016
      Today marks the 99th anniversary of the Balfour declaration, when Alfred Balfour then British Foreign Secretary issued a letter committing the UK government to the establishment of a national Jewish home in Palestine. The event was once described as a process whereby one group of people pledged the land belonging to a second group of people to a third group of people. The declaration famously stated that in pledging to facilitate the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”. These existing “non Jewish communities” i.e. Palestinian’s constituted 87% of the population but were of course not consulted or even regarded as worthy of consultation in the process by which their land was granted away by the simple issuing of a letter.
     As Arthur Balfour later stated, “The four Great Powers are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, in future hopes, of far greater import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land.”
     Over the next year PSC working with a range of partners including key Palestinian community organisations will seek to mark the centenary of the declaration. We are together organising a series of events which both seek to raise public awareness of Britain’s central role in the dispossession of the Palestinian people, and what Britain’s role is now in fulfilling its responsibilities as a key member of the international community. Britain has a particular responsibility for ensuring that Palestinians are allowed to enjoy the rights that belong to them as a much as any other people.
     On 15th November we will be holding a lobby of Parliament in which we will be pressing MPs to take action against the relentless expansion and maintenance of Israel’s illegal settlement project....
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The Media Must Not be Held Hostage by the Pro-Israel Lobby
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Nov 2016 - By Iqbal Jassat Has President Jacob Zuma ever considered replacing his official spokesperson with David Saks of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies? Perhaps he should, for the two share an apparent desire to muzzle the media. Zuma has many reasons to do so, and thus avoid media coverage of his corrupt administration. Fortunately, his government’s efforts to impose constraints on the media have not succeeded due to stiff resistance by the senior journalists’ organisation SANEF, among others. Is it required of the media to temper its so-called hostile stance on corruption and state capture, if Zuma considers it to be “unfair, lacking balance and harsh”? Does Zuma have a case? As far as David Saks is concerned, this seems to be the demand that he is making in respect of media coverage of Israel. As reported in a local Jewish weekly, members of the Board of Deputies (SAJBD)...more


H to Jake to Malcolm to Maggie to Haim to Huma — resetting the discourse on Israel in 6 easy steps
Mondoweiss - The latest Clinton emails from Wikileaks tell a fascinating story about the time in 2015 that President Obama tried to reset the Israel relationship, and the New York Times and Hillary Clinton and the Israel lobby wouldn’t let him. You surely remember that back in March...


Arab Americans Should Reject Both Clinton and Trump This Election
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Nov 2016 - By Sam Husseini I regularly have breakfast with two other Arab American journalists at the Press Club in Washington, D.C. One is planning on voting for Hillary Clinton because of Donald Trump’s xenophobia and misogyny. The other journalist plans to vote for Trump because he believes Clinton’s foreign policy will escalate the U.S. wars in Syria and elsewhere, which will lead to even more human devastation. Polls conducted by Arab American organizations, including ArabAmerica.com , indicate that their views are not isolated. The Arab American community is split about which of the two candidates are, in fact, the worse of two evils. Rather than voting for either disappointing candidate, I propose the following solution: Arab Americans should unite using VotePact.org and pair up. Instead of voting for candidates they don’t like to try to stop candidates they hate, people can strategically vote for candidates they actually want. What they would have...more


Palestinians aren't counting on Trump or Hillary for their liberation
Samer Badawi, +972 Magazine 10/31/2016
      Americans will still have a long way to go before they can decide what their country represents. Once they do, Palestinians can begin to care again about what happens in Washington.
     As a Palestinian contributor to +972, I have been struggling these past weeks with how to write about the US presidential election. Part of the problem is that this year’s nominees have hardly touched on our part of the world. Beyond the shock-jock antics of the Republican candidate or the very real resurgence of hate among the American electorate, this election has revealed America’s distinct lack of awareness about its role in the world.
     The Palestinian question and the conflict that sustains it are no exception. Despite massive U.S. foreign aid deals linked to the conflict — with Israel and with neighboring countries that have inked peace deals at Washington’s urging — Palestine has hardly figured in the rhetoric of either Republicans or Democrats. But if the candidates have had precious little to say about Palestine, the real story may be how little Palestinians seem to care.
     Consider a poll released this month by Al Najah University. In it, Palestinians opined on British responsibility for their current predicament (79 percent “considered Britain responsible for the catastrophes that befell” them), on a French initiative to restart Palestinian-Israeli talks (63 percent said it would fail), and on a similar Russian call (49 percent supported it).
     There wasn’t a single mention of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. In fact, there was no reference to the United States at all.
     That same ambivalence to the United States seems to prevail among the political elite in Ramallah. Although Palestinian officials may be taking the customary tack of sitting out an American election — the better to not distance themselves from a potential winner — I wonder if there may be more to their silence.
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AIPAC Scraps Ari Shavit Events Amid Scandal
The Foward Breaking News 31 Oct 2016 - (JTA) †The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has canceled Israeli journalist Ari Shavit’s participation in its events after two women accused Shavit of sexual assault. AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, confirmed the decision to JTA after Mondoweiss, an anti-Israel publication, reported that a Nov. 10 San Francisco...


Since Alleged 2014 Sexual Misconduct With Staffer, J Street Has Not Invited Shavit To Speak
The Forward New 30 Oct 2016 - The liberal Israel lobby group J Street has not allowed the high-profile journalist Ari Shavit to speak at its events since a staffer accused him of sexual misconduct in 2014, the Forward has learned.


Since Alleged 2014 Sexual Misconduct With Staffer, J Street Has Not Invited Shavit To Speak
The Forward New 30 Oct 2016 - The liberal Israel lobby group J Street has not allowed the high-profile journalist Ari Shavit to speak at its events since a staffer accused him of sexual misconduct in 2014, the Forward has learned.


Ari Shavit’s humiliating fall from grace: AIPAC, Hillel cancel events in wake of groping story
Mondoweiss - Ari Shavit, maybe the most influential Israeli journalist in the United States in recent years, has been shunned by major Jewish institutions in recent days following his coming forward as the previously-unidentified author who “groped, grabbed and pulled” American journalist Danielle Berrin in 2014. Hillel International...


Clinton campaign calls on FBI to clarify emails claim
The National 29 Oct 2016 - NEW YORK // Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign on Saturday tried to turn the pressure on the FBI to provide more details of the renewed investigation into the former secretary of state's use of private email for government business. Bureau director James Comey told congress in a letter...


Israel lobby lawsuits aim to slow boycott in Spain
Electronic Intifada - Intimidation of city councils only galvanize "Free of Israeli apartheid" campaign.


Cut from Clinton speech: Palestinians ‘yearn for freedom… behind checkpoints and roadblocks’
Mondoweiss - Yesterday we did a post showing that Clinton campaign chair John Podesta wanted lines about “how Israel is treating the Palastinians” removed from a draft of Hillary Clinton’s speech last December to the Saban Forum, a powerful pro-Israel Washington audience. Today another Wikileaks email has been...


As US election looms, FBI reopens investigation into Clinton emails
The National 28 Oct 2016 - WASHINGTON DC // The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reopening its inquiry into Hillary Clinton's use of private email while secretary of state, a politically explosive development less than two weeks before the presidential election. "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the...


Is South Africa’s ambassador to Israel a victim of state capture?
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/26/2016
      Israel’s war of terror against the Palestinians and their land is an unrelenting act of aggression and hostility. That it is ongoing after seven decades, and that the brutality is clearly visible across global media, one wonders why its ability to act with such impunity persists.
     Many reasons have been advanced in this regard. Some talk of the power and leverage of Israel’s lobby in various western capitals, particularly Washington. Studies undertaken by analysts, many of which are authored and published by highly respected academics, bring this discourse to the fore.
     One of the best known studies is The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy. The authors are John Mearsheimer, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, and Stephen Walt, Professor of International Relations at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Published in late August 2007, it was a New York Times Best Seller.
     It portrays the lobby as a “loose coalition of individuals and organisations who actively work to steer US foreign policy in a pro-Israel direction”. Importantly, the book “focuses primarily on the lobby’s influence on US foreign policy and its negative effect on American interests.”
     In explaining the lobby’s makeup, Mearsheimer and Walt note that although “the bulk of the lobby is comprised of Jewish Americans“, there are many American Jews who are not part of the lobby, and it also includes Christian Zionists overlapping right-wingers and neoconservatives.
     If, as Mearsheimer and Walt conclude, US foreign policy is influenced heavily by the pro-Israel lobby, in light of current debates in South Africa about “state capture”, we can conclude safely that Washington is a victim of the same....
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Draft of Clinton letter called BDS ‘odious,’ ‘unconscionable’ attack on ‘legitimacy of Zionism’
Mondoweiss - An email released today by Wikileaks  reveals the strong pressure of the Israel lobby inside the Hillary Clinton campaign. A draft of Clinton’s famous letter opposing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel makes what was actually sent out look almost sweet by comparison. The draft called...


Israel lobby lawsuits aim to slow boycott in Spain
Electronic Intifada - Intimidation of city councils only galvanize "Free of Israeli apartheid" campaign.


Israel is a rogue state; here’s why
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/27/2016
      By any reasonable assessment, any state which treats international laws and conventions with contempt, flouts them with increasing regularity and maintains a brutal military occupation into the bargain has to fit into the rogue category. Israel is one such state.
     Even before it declared its “independence” in 1948, the militias which were the forerunners of the Israeli army committed massacres of civilians and other terrorist atrocities. These included attacks on British forces, the assassination of a British minister, Lord Moyne, and the blowing up of the headquarters of the British Mandate authorities in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel; 91 people were killed and 45 were wounded in the attack.
     All of this is brushed under the carpet by politicians in Westminster who flock to be “Friends of Israel”; it really is quite astonishing, for Israel has never been a “Friend of Britain” nor, it is possibly fair to say, a friend of anywhere else. The state exists for itself; acts in its own interests at all times, regardless of the consequences for anyone else; and insists on its own exceptionalism. That it is allowed to act with impunity and get away — quite literally — with murder suggests that its “friends” in places like Westminster and, especially, Washington agree that Israel is different to other states.
     Indeed it is. As my colleague Nasim Ahmed pointed out in May 2015, “Israel is unique for its doctrinal adherence to a state ideology…” That ideology is Zionism, a pernicious mix of racism and nationalism which quite shamefully depends on anti-Semitism to achieve its own objective of a “Jewish State”. “History,” Ahmed added, “is littered with examples of the horrors that follow when states become instruments for ideological advancement, especially one that is rooted in ethnicity and religion.” Millions of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, suffering under its siege of the Gaza Strip and displaced in neighbouring countries will attest to the truth of that statement.
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Clinton speech was scrubbed of Palestinian rights, emails show
Eli Clifton, +972 Magazine 10/26/2016
      Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair urging speechwriters to tone down language on Palestine, and reveal what language was removed from the candidate’s speech to the Saban Forum last December.
     WikiLeaks released a hacked email this week from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta in which he urged Clinton’s speechwriters to tone down language that might “evoke how people feel about how Israel is treating the Palestinians,” in a speech she was to deliver at the Saban Forum in Washington last December.
     It was unclear what, if any, changes were actually made following his email, and the section in question appears largely unchanged in the remarks delivered at the event hosted by billionaire Haim Saban, who Podesta described in another email as “not [being] with [Clinton] if she wasn’t totally committed to Israeli security.”
     But the new email released this week reveals that an extensive section on Palestinian rights was completely removed from an early draft of the speech.
     Palestinian rights and any acknowledgment of their national aspirations are nearly completely lacking from the final version. The speech only made a brief reference to Israeli settlement construction, which Clinton loosely described as a “damaging action.” It also made only one passing, and indirect, acknowledgement of Palestinian suffering, saying, “Israeli children have been killed as have Palestinian children.”
     The new email from Podesta sheds light on what was removed from an early draft of the speech.
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The War on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is Illegally Occupied
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Oct 2016 - By Ramzy Baroud Did Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, actually read the full text of the UNESCO resolution on Palestine and Israel, before he raved with anger ? “I think this is a mistaken, inconceivable resolution,” he said. “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel. It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position (his country’s abstention) even if it means diverging from the position taken by the rest of Europe,” he added. Renzi, who became Prime Minister in 2014 at the relatively young age of 39 knows exactly how the game is played. In order to win favor with Washington, he must first please Tel Aviv. His country has abstained from the October 12 vote on a resolution that condemns Israel’s violations of the cultural and legal status of Occupied East Jerusalem. This decision...more


Rivals, regional powers grow uneasy with Palestinian leader
YNet News, 26 Oct 2016 - Palestinian power struggle heats up ahead of party congress; Abbas seeks to sideline prominent critics and rivals; Arab states increase pressure on Abbas to reconcile. ....


Cut from Clinton speech: Palestinians ‘yearn for freedom… behind checkpoints and roadblocks’
Mondoweiss - Yesterday we did a post showing that Clinton campaign chair John Podesta wanted lines about “how Israel is treating the Palastinians” removed from a draft of Hillary Clinton’s speech last December to the Saban Forum, a powerful pro-Israel Washington audience. Today another Wikileaks email has been...


France Talks Washington into Overlapping Mosul, Raqqa Offensives against ISIS
Asharq Alawsat ME News 26 Oct 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Paris- France succeeded in convincing the United States with taking a final and outspoken stance on fighting terror group ISIS … continue reading France Talks Washington into Overlapping Mosul, Raqqa Offensives against ISIS


Venezuela's congress opens political trial against Maduro
YNet News, 25 Oct 2016 - ....


Congress May Push for New Iran Sanctions After Election Day
The Foward Breaking News 25 Oct 2016 - The Republican leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives plan a vote as soon as mid-November on a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act, congressional aides told Reuters on Tuesday.


The war on UNESCO: Al-Aqsa Mosque is Palestinian and East Jerusalem is illegally occupied
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 10/25/2016
      Did Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi actually read the full text of the UNESCO resolution on Palestine and Israel, before he raved with anger?
     “I think this is a mistaken, inconceivable resolution,” he said.
     “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel. It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position (his country’s abstention) even if it means diverging from the position taken by the rest of Europe,” he added.
     Renzi, who became prime minister in 2014 at the relatively young age of 39, knows exactly how the game is played. In order to win favor with Washington, he must first please Tel Aviv.
     His country has abstained from the Oct. 12 vote on a resolution that condemns Israel’s violations of the cultural and legal status of Occupied East Jerusalem. This decision has ignited the ire of Israeli Ambassador to Rome Ofer Zaks who riled up the Jewish community in Italy to protest the abstention. Renzi, in turn, was converted into a champion of the ‘Temple Mount,’ the name Israel uses to describe the Palestinian Muslim holy site.
     Renzi cravenly went on damage control mode without truly understanding the nature of the resolution, which merely condemned Israel’s obvious violations of international law, and only calls for Israel to respect the status of Palestinian culture in the occupied city.
     None of procedures that led to the vote on the UNESCO resolution -- voted by 24-6, with 26 abstentions -- violated protocol, nor was any of the wording inconsistent with international law....
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Venezuelan Congress declares that Maduro has staged a coup
YNet News, 24 Oct 2016 - As the Venezuelan declares that Maduro had instituted an un-democratic coup, hundreds of Maduro supporters stormed the Congress in an effor to silence opposition leaders. ....


Opposing the occupation means being anti-Israel, to Netanyahu
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 10/23/2016
      The Israeli right has worked very hard to erase any distinction between Israel and the occupation — between Ariel and Acre, Hebron and Haifa. Ironically, this is the same thing he accuses Palestinians of trying to do.
     Since B’Tselem director Hagai El-Ad spoke at the UN Security Council a week ago calling for an end to Israel’s half-century old occupation, the organization has been subject to vicious attacks and delegitimization, including by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. El-Ad’s very citizenship has been threatened by a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, and thousands of Israelis have incited against him, including death threats. None of this incitement has been condemned by anyone in Israel’s ruling coalition.
     Anticipating much of the backlash, El-Ad went on record throughout the Israeli press just 24 hours after his appearance in New York to clarify why he went to the UN: “I didn’t speak against my country, but against the occupation.” On the face of it, such a distinction seems fairly simple. The director of Israel’s largest human rights organization is lobbying for his country to stop policies that violate human rights, to stop exerting systemic violence against a people with no rights; in short, to stop holding the Palestinian people under military occupation.
     To the establishment, that makes him subversive, unpatriotic, and anti-Israel. Contrarily, being pro-occupation and pro-settlements is indisputably pro-Israel as far as many Israelis and politicians are concerned. No one questions, for example, the patriotism of those – both in Israeli government and civil society — pushing to retroactively authorize settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land that even the government says are illegal. Nobody questions the patriotism of those who want to illegally annex the West Bank without the consent of the Palestinians who live there.
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Argentina looks to battle corporate and public corruption with new laws
Daily Star 22 Oct 2016 The Argentine government sent to Congress this week a series of proposed laws that would heavily sanction businesses found guilty of corruption involving the public sector, according to a document seen by Reuters Saturday.


Washington Watch: Trump Makes History The Wrong Way
Jerusalem Post 21 Oct 2016 - "This was radical, a deliberate threat," said presidential historian Michael Beschloss. "It's horrifying" and will be remembered 50 years from now.


Liberia: Novafone Woe - U.S. Terrorism Sanctions Shadow Liberian Businessmen
allAfrica.com 21 Oct 2016 - [FrontPageAfrica] Washington DC -The United States has imposed sanctions on Lebanese financier Ali Youssef Charara and his telecommunications company, saying they supported the militant group Hezbollah.


Trump’s stance on election threatens to split GOP
Daily Star 20 Oct 2016 Several Republicans Thursday denounced Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to accepting the result of the presidential election, and some worried his stance might make it more difficult for his party to hold onto control of Congress.


Free speech triumphs over pro-Israel bullies in US universities
Electronic Intifada - Israel lobby groups cannot manufacture facts to successfully suppress speech.


Redefining anti-Semitism will not silence Palestinians' struggle for justice
Middle East Eye 19 Oct 2016 - The UK home affairs select committee has fallen for the Israeli lobby's attempt to conflate criticising Israel with anti-Semitism


Free speech triumphs over pro-Israel bullies in US universities
Electronic Intifada: 20 Oct 2016 - Israel lobby groups cannot manufacture facts to successfully suppress speech. more..


Analysis: Saudi lobbyist’s call for alliance with Israel fuels angry response
Jerusalem Post 19 Oct 2016 - Last month, Palestinians were left wondering, as a Saudi newspaper took Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s side in a dispute with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


Redefining anti-Semitism will not silence Palestinians' struggle for justice
Middle East Eye 19 Oct 2016 - The UK home affairs select committee has fallen for the Israeli lobby's attempt to conflate criticising Israel with anti-Semitism


US ‘troubled’ by attacks on Israeli rights group B’Tselem
Occupation Magazine 17 Oct 2016 - Barak Ravid/Rapul Wootliff - Haaretz/Times of Israel - US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said that Washington valued the information provided by B’Tselem about the situation in the West Bank. Reacting to the sharp attack of PM Netanyahu against B’Tselem, Kirby said: “We believe that a...


What Clinton gets so wrong about Israel-Palestine
+972 Magazine - The façade of a peace process is an obstacle to achieving a just peace, for which there can be no alternative. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton watches as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas shake hands, Washington, September 2, 2010. (Moshe Milner/GPO) Hillary...


Lichfield Cathedral stands strong in the face of bullying by the pro-Israel Lobby
Professor Kamel Hawwash, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/15/2016
      A few months ago I was invited to speak at a conference organised by an ecumenical planning group, to be hosted by Lichfield Cathedral on 7-9 October. The title of the conference was interesting: “Holding Palestine in the light: the context of the conflict”. My talk was titled, “Can a just peace be reached in the Holy Land? Reflections of a diaspora Palestinian”.
     In the intervening weeks, I had contact about the administrative practicalities and then the programme appeared on the Cathedral’s website. I thought it looked impressive as it brought together Israelis, Palestinians, a former British Diplomat, Jews, Christians and Muslims, ecumenical accompaniers, a representative of Christian Aid and someone from the Council of Christians and Jews. All this would take place in the amazing setting of Lichfield Cathedral, which I had visited on a previous occasion and which offered a wonderful environment for contemplation, reflection and thought for those involved in the Israel-Palestine conflict thousands of miles away. I knew that I would not agree with everything being said, but would present my view as a Palestinian and not representing any particular organisation or political entity.
     Just a day before the event, I received an email from a member of the planning group explaining that the organisers, the Cathedral and the Council for Christians and Jews (CCJ), had come under a great deal of pressure from Jewish groups. The Dean of Lichfield, Adrian Dorber, confirmed that “there has been much vocal protesting from Jewish groups about the alleged one-sided and biased nature of the Conference. CCJ has been under a great deal of pressure and they have done their very best to mediate.” The Dean agreed to two measures in order for the conference to proceed without disruption. First, Dr Irene Lancaster would join the closing panel and would speak from a pro-Israel perspective. Second, that an observer from the UK Zionist Federation would attend on Sunday and display a poster which sets out its position regarding Israel and the role it has played in the peace process.
     I was not surprised that pro-Israel groups had intervened and bullied in this way, as they have a long track record of such intimidation....
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Palestinian leadership decision long overdue
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 10/13/2016
      The United States is not the only place that will be witnessing a leadership change. Elections for top institutions and the overall leadership will be taking place within the two leading Palestinian political movements. Fateh is expected to hold its seventh congress this winter and Hamas is expected to choose its political bureau sometime before the end of this year. Neither Mahmoud Abbas nor Khaled Mishaal are going to be running for the top leadership position. If it is held as planned on November 29, the seventh congress will be held two years late. But this is a huge improvement over the sixth congress that took place in Bethlehem in August 2009, 20 years after the fifth. The Fateh central committee met in September and took this decision. The actual date will be set in a meeting that is to take place late this October. The plan is that the Palestine National Council, over which Fateh has decisive control, will meet afterwards to elect a new executive committee of the PLO and a new chairman. It is unclear, and unlikely, that Hamas or Islamic Jihad will participate in this meeting if held before a full-fledged reconciliation takes place. Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, holds three key positions: leader of Fateh, chairman of the PLO’s executive committee and president of the Palestinian Authority. It is not clear whether the new leadership will continue this direction....
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US-based BDS group seeks to lobby Congress
Jerusalem Post 12 Oct 2016 - A briefing on Capitol Hill, which was sponsored by the group, was quickly canceled after its hostility toward the Jewish state was revealed by US news outlets.


Republicans urge Trump to quit... then back him
Daily Star 12 Oct 2016 While a host of prominent Republicans in Congress have jumped off the Donald Trump train, some of them are climbing back aboard after taking heat from loyalists of the controversial billionaire candidate.


Israel: Strong Words Must Be Followed by Strong Action
Occupation Magazine 11 Oct 2016 - James J. Zogby - LobeLog - This administration, like those before it, will argue that their hands are tied—that Congress will undercut them or overrule them. But in the last three months of this administration, President Obama has an opportunity to set things right. He can,...


Saudi lobbyist calls for 'collaborative alliance' with Israel
Middle East Eye 12 Oct 2016 - Language Undefined A prominent Saudi lobbyist said Saudi Arabia and Israel have never sought any 'provocative or hostile actions' against each other


UNESCO to vote on resolutions ignoring Jewish ties to Temple Mount
Jerusalem Post 11 Oct 2016 - A bi-partisan group of 39 US Congressmen wrote a letter this week to the Executive Board members asking them to vote against the latest resolution.


Muslim Americans takes center stage in second presidential debate
Mondoweiss - Sunday’s presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican contender Donald Trump was so bizarre it’s hard to know where to start writing about it . The second meeting between Trump and Clinton, held at Washington University in St. Louis, Trump far more composed than in...


Most senior elected Republican in the US will no longer defend Trump
The National 10 Oct 2016 - ABU DHABI // The most senior elected Republican in the United States, House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan, said on Monday he will no longer "defend" or campaign with Donald Trump and instead focus on maintaining his party's majority in Congress. Mr Trump's candidacy suffered a crippling...


There’s nothing secret about the pro-Israel lobby, so why do some journalists deny its existence?
Alastair Sloan, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/10/2016
      Any visitor to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) website will find open and informative accounts of much of the organisation’s activities. Information abounds about trips to Israel on which hundreds of activists, candidates, MPs and peers have been shown carefully around the West Bank and Israel proper. They never go to Gaza, though, where no amount of Israeli spin could cover up the unethical monstrosity that is the illegal blockade.
     The trip which took place in late August, for example, included five Conservative MPs, named and photographed on the CFI website as Stuart Andrew, Conor Burns, Philip Davies, Jonathan Djanogly and John Howell, as well as two peers and CFI officials. In a further tribute to the transparency with which CFI organises these trips, it was happy to reference the positive coverage that the trip received in the Times of Israel, the Jewish Chronicle and the Jerusalem Post. The Electoral Commission register is subsequently populated by new entries, as each MP properly declares that the CFI covered all the travel expenses for the trip; the register is available for anyone to search for free, online. This hardly seems like a secretive organisation, at least not when it comes to organising PR trips to Israel.
     The staff list of such pro-Israel bodies is also no secret; and so it is not controversial to say that some of them are extremely close to the Israeli government. Take the British Israeli Communications and Research Centre (BICOM), for example. BICOM, alongside CFI, is probably the most influential of the pro-Israel organisations operating in Westminster. The lobby group’s CEO is James Sorene, whose career includes being Head of Public Affairs (that is, “lobbying”), for the Israeli embassy in London, from 1997 and 2000, and then heading into a series of increasingly influential roles within the British government, including the Department of Health, working on counter-terrorism at the Home Office, and peaking-out as Head of Communications for the Deputy Prime Minister.
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Lone Jewish Republican in Congress Cruising Toward Reelection †Despite Donald Trump
The Forward New 10 Oct 2016 - In an election cycle that carries very little good news for Republicans and even less for Jewish Republicans, there’s a glimpse of hope from Long Island.


Trump's new tape scandal could decimate GOP and give Congress to Democrats
Ha'aretz - 8 Oct 2016


Clinton aide Huma Abedin's AIPAC snub was unfortunate but not 'hostile to Jews'
Ha'aretz - 6 Oct 2016


The U.S. isn’t going to do a damn thing to end the occupation
+972 Magazine - As long as Washington views ending the occupation as an Israeli problem instead of a Palestinian problem, it will never even consider using its leverage to do so. A view of the Israeli settlement of Shilo in the West Bank, October 6, 2016. The new settlement...


Bill and Hillary Clinton both opposed his invitation from AIPAC in 2010
Mondoweiss - We all know what American politicians say publicly about Israel and its lobby; it’s a giant love affair. But behind closed doors, the temperature goes down, and the politicians are annoyed by the lobby. That’s the news in emails released by a neoconservative website  showing that...


The U.S. isn't going to do a damn thing to end the occupation
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 10/6/2016
      As long as Washington views ending the occupation as an Israeli problem instead of a Palestinian problem, it will never even consider using its leverage to do so.
     The United States issued an unusually sharp rebuke on Wednesday to news that Israel is building a brand new settlement in the West Bank. The State Department sounded mad. The White House sounded mad. Nobody is going to do anything about it.
     It’s not that the United States is powerless in the face of an Israeli government that for nearly four decades has refused to heed Washington’s and the entire international community’s demands to stop building and populating settlements. Both the United States and the United Nations have tools for compelling belligerent states into compliance.
     The problem is a matter of perception will. The United States does not perceive the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — or rather, the Israel occupation of Palestinian land and the denial of basic Palestinian rights — as a Palestinian problem. To the United States, and much of the West, the impetus for ending the occupation and achieving a two-state solution is preserving Israel’s strategic interests, not protecting Palestinian rights.
     “It is deeply troubling, in the wake of Israel and the U.S. concluding an unprecedented agreement on military assistance designed to further strengthen Israel’s security, that Israel would take a decision so contrary to its long term security interest in a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement Wednesday.
     “Israelis must ultimately decide between expanding settlements and preserving the possibility of a peaceful two state solution,” Toner continued....
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Are U.S.-Saudi Relations Finally Souring?
Dissident Voice: 6 Oct 2016 - Pressure from human rights organizations like Oxfam to victims of the 9/11 attacks are helping erode the bond between these old political allies, but the results of this election season could squander our chance at change. Congress recently passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) allowing families of victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue other governments, including Saudi Arabia, for possible damages. Despite threats by the Saudi government to sell billions of dollars’ worth of their assets and reexamine the bilateral relationship with the U.S., Congress snubbed the monarchy and passed the bill, then overturned a presidential veto to it almost unanimously. This is just one of the most overt pieces of evidence that the historically cozy U.S.-Saudi relationship is on the decline. A couple years ago, few questioned the decades-old political alliance between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. But, amidst a heated election season...more


US accuses Israel of betrayal over new settlements
AlJazeera 5 Oct 2016 - Washington denounces plans to build settler homes in occupied Palestinian territory, despite recent military-aid deal.


Washington Watch: Loving Israel is not enough
Jerusalem Post 5 Oct 2016 - Trump says he loves Israel, but what does that mean?


US warns settlements harm Israel's democratic future
The National 5 Oct 2016 - Washington // The United States rebuked Israel on Wednesday for approving more settlement building on Palestinian land, and warned its ally it is endangering its own future as a democratic Jewish state. In a strongly worded statement, the state department said Israel's approval of 300 housing units...


Iran emerges as a top issue in tight congressional races
Al-Monitor 5 Oct 2016 - The pro-Iran deal J Street is spending $500,000 to unseat nuclear deal opponents.


JASTA Opens Many Doors
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 10/4/2016
      Will Israel be sued for 9/11?
     By overwhelming margins the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives voted on September 28th to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA). Obama had noted that the Act would have negative consequences for U.S. officials overseas as it establishes the principle that governments can be held accountable in the courts for what they do. Prior to this legislation Washington generally respected the principle of sovereign immunity, which means in practice that governments resolve issues between themselves by negotiation, not through litigation.
     With Congress now demanding foreign government accountability it is reasonable to assume that other countries might respond in kind by establishing reciprocity based on the language in JASTA, which would mean that serving or former American officials might be detained and tried for criminal actions undertaken by the U.S. in its war on terror. It might also lead to other suits against the United States government that would result in demands for what is already being described as “intrusive discovery” of documents relating to clandestine American operations overseas. In a letter President Obama has described JASTA as allowing foreign litigants to “second-guess our counterterrorism operations and other actions that we take every day” while Secretary of Defense Ash Carter assailed the “ability of foreign litigants to seek classified intelligence and analysis.” CIA Director John Brennan denounced the “associated risks to our national security,” adding that the bill harbored “grave implications” for national security with a “downside [that is] potentially huge.”
     So-called State Sponsors of terrorism Syria, Iran and Sudan can already be sued in American courts but JASTA considerably broadens the playing field to permit additional litigation. Supporters of the Act insist that their intention is only to enable suits directed against Saudi Arabia, which might have been either complicit or negligent....
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Russia prepares for US strike by deploying advanced missile defense system in Syria
YNet News, 4 Oct 2016 - As Putin and Obama duke it out over the Syrian conflict and standing plutonium disarmament agreement between their two countries, officials from both sides claim that Russia has been sending missile defense systems to Damascus; the supposed catalyst to the Kremlin’s latest move are statements made in Washington and London regarding the possibility of striking targets important to Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; as a close US ally and neighbor to war-torn Syria, Israel could very well be affected by these changing power dynamics. ....


Adelson: My ‘most important’ project ups Jewish inmarriage from 42 to 76 percent
Mondoweiss - Sheldon Adelson funds Republican supporters of Israel, including Donald Trump; and here he states that Israel and its role in preserving American Jewish identity is the most important issue to him. This video is from Arutz Sheva ‘s coverage of the Israeli American Council conference in Washington last...


Colombians reject deal to end 52-year FARC rebel war
YNet News, 3 Oct 2016 - The surprising result was likely led by public outcry over the peace deal's stipulations that would have let rebel leaders escape jail and ensured FARC receives seats in the Colombian Congress. ....


Liberia: Liberian Ambassador At Ex-Israeli President's Funeral
allAfrica.com 30 Sep 2016 - [Observer] Liberia Ambassador to the United States of America, Jeremiah C. Sulunteh, is representing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the funeral of the former President of Israel, Shimon Peres, a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. has said.


Supporter of Palestinian Rights Terry McIntosh Running for U.S. Congress
IMEMC - 29 Sep 2016 - Recently, the Obama administration has signed a $38 billion deal to Israeli military aid for the fiscal years 2019- 2028. Following the announcement, an 


Abbas: Fatah will hold major congress this year
Jerusalem Post 29 Sep 2016 - The last Fatah General Congress took place in 2009 in Bethlehem, with more than 1,000 Fatah members participating.


Obama flies to Israel for Shimon Peres's funeral
YNet News, 29 Sep 2016 - The leader of the free world has departed from Washington to pay his last respects to his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Israel's former President Shimon Peres. ....


Ukraine marks Babi Yar massacre's 75th anniversary
YNet News, 29 Sep 2016 - One of the most infamous mass slaughters of WWII, wherein nearly 34,000 Jews were murdered, was commemorated by the Ukrainian and World Jewish Congress presidents. ....


Israel fears FIFA suspension of soccer teams from illegal settlements
PIC - 29 Sep 2016 - Israel has fears that FIFA, the world's soccer governing body, may decide in its upcoming congress to be held next year to suspend six soccer teams from illegal Jewish settlements.


Did AIPAC make a profit off its fight against the Iran deal?
+972 Magazine - AIPAC may have lost the battle against Obama’s Iranian nuclear agreement, but the conservative lobbying group appears to have come out on top nonetheless — to the tune of $30 million. By Eli Clifton Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the AIPAC conference, March 2, 2015. (Amos Ben Gershon/GPO)...


After Congress rejects Obama veto, Saudi Sept. 11 bill becomes law
Ha'aretz - 28 Sep 2016


Congress rejects Obama veto, Sept. 11 bill becomes law
Daily Star 28 Sep 2016 The U.S. Congress Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation allowing relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia, the first veto override of his eight-year presidency.


Bombs at mosque, congress center in Dresden, no one hurt: German police
YNet News, 27 Sep 2016 - The two explosions caused no injuries, but did result in property damage. It is not yet clear who is behind the bombings, but authorities suspect the motive was xenophobic. ....


Security Council Resolution on Israel to be Adopted after U.S. Presidential Polls
Asharq Alawsat ME News 26 Sep 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Tel Aviv-U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro revealed on Sunday that Washington is circulating several proposals to resume the stalled … continue reading Security Council Resolution on Israel to be Adopted after U.S. Presidential Polls


Why is Congress fighting Netanyahu’s battle?
Al-Monitor 27 Sep 2016 - US senators are pressuring the Obama administration to follow policies toward the Palestinians that match those favored by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Shmuley Boteach seeks to blackmail Obama over his legacy
Mondoweiss - Last week, 88 senators, including many progressives, warned President Obama in an AIPAC letter not to lift a finger to try to create a Palestinian state in his last few months of office. Well now the execrable rightwing rabbi Shmuley Boteach joins the fun. This ad...


Security Council Resolution on Israel to be Adopted after U.S. Presidential Polls
Asharq Alawsat ME News 26 Sep 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Tel Aviv-U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro revealed on Sunday that Washington is circulating several proposals to resume the stalled … continue reading Security Council Resolution on Israel to be Adopted after U.S. Presidential Polls


Dear AIPAC, get a life, and stay out of mine
Ha'aretz - 24 Sep 2016


Shmuley Boteach seeks to blackmail Obama over his legacy
Mondoweiss - Last week, 88 senators, including many progressives, warned President Obama in an AIPAC letter not to lift a finger to try to create a Palestinian state in his last few months of office. Well now the execrable rightwing rabbi Shmuley Boteach joins the fun. This ad...


In full page NYT ad, liberal Zionist group calls for ethnic segregation to retain Jewish majority within Israel
Mondoweiss - The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, a prominent liberal Zionist Israel lobbying group, purchased a full-page newspaper advertisement in Friday’s edition of the New York Times , calling for the immediate separation of Israelis and Palestinians into separate countries to keep Israel as a Jewish majority...


Obama vetoes 9/11 bill allowing families to sue Saudi Arabian gov't
YNet News, 24 Sep 2016 - Obama makes the controversial decision which now raises the possibility that, for the first time in his presidency, Congress may override his veto; Obama: 'the bill would be detrimental to US national interests more broadly.' ....


Obama rejects bill that would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi government
The National 24 Sep 2016 - ABU DHABI // Barack Obama on Friday vetoed a bill passed by the US congress this month that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government over alleged ties to the attacks. While expressing "deep sympathy" for the families of the victims, Mr Obama...


US Congress denounces 'ransom' payments to Iran in new bill
Jerusalem Post 23 Sep 2016 - The Washington Post called the bill "a rebuke of the Obama administration's decision to send Tehran what Republicans charge was a 'ransom' on the same day American prisoners were released."


In full page NYT ad, liberal Zionist group calls for ethnic segregation to retain Jewish majority within Israel
Mondoweiss - The Daniel S. Abraham Center for Peace, a prominent liberal Zionist Israel lobbying group, purchased a full-page newspaper advertisement in Friday’s edition of the New York Times , calling for the immediate separation of Israelis and Palestinians into separate countries to keep Israel as a Jewish majority...


Iran's Rouhani uses UN address to denounce US over nuclear deal
Middle East Eye 22 Sep 2016 - Language Undefined Tehran accuses Washington of continuing to block Iran from global banking system, limiting its ability to benefit from end of sanctions


Astonishing as it may seem, chanting ‘Viva Palestina’ could soon be a ‘hate crime’
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/21/2016
      “Viva Palestina” is an enduring chant along with “Long Live Palestine” and “Long Live Gaza”, all of which are often used by human rights activists and others who want to show their support and goodwill for the long life and well-being of the state and its people. However, using such slogans and messages of solidarity could soon become a hate crime in Scotland, a nation which has often been praised for its refusal to give unconditional support to Israel and its brutal military occupation of Palestine.
     To the astonishment of legal observers and human rights activists, a landmark trial is set to go ahead in Aberdeen after Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) member Alister Coutts, 56, was charged with “acting in a racially aggravated manner with intent to cause distress and alarm”. His “crime” was to utter “Viva Palestina” next to the Jericho Cosmetics stall in the city’s Union Square shopping mall.
     His arrest, charge and impending court appearance has now fuelled speculation that pro-Israel Zionist groups in Scotland are exerting undue pressure on the authorities to “get tough” with SPSC and other Palestinian-supporting groups. Following an initial crime investigation the police will send a report to the local Procurator Fiscal, who will consider the content and decide whether to take any further action.
     While such decisions are said to be taken in the public interest, the disclosure of a host of secret email exchanges between the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service on one hand, and Zionist organisations on the other, has alarmed SPSC, which says that they reveal the existence of a “cosy relationship” between the public prosecutor and the pro-Israel lobby in Scotland. The emails came to light after a Freedom of Information request was made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh. SPSC officials are now scrutinising the content of the dossier before making public its findings.
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The MOU between the US and Israel benefits the leaders of both countries
Hisham Munawar, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/19/2016
      The United States and Israel signed a ten-year Memorandum of Understanding on 14 September, under which Washington will provide $38 billion in military aid over the fiscal years 2019 to 2028. The new MOU extends the current one that was signed in 2007 and expires in 2018, enabling Israeli military planners to make even longer-term acquisitions and bolster their technological edge in a turbulent region. Among other things, the money will allow Israel to update its air force by purchasing additional F-35 joint strike fighters.
     The MOU is an important signal of American support for Israel’s security in the years ahead; interestingly, the US has no comparable arrangement with any other country. The agreement is also a message to Israel’s adversaries that Washington’s support for its ally remains uniquely deep, despite recent policy disagreements.
     The 2007 MOU allocated $30 billion over the course of a decade, which translates to $3.1 billion in foreign military financing (FMF) annually. Israel’s entire defence budget this fiscal year is $15.5 billion, so the US assistance is approximately a fifth of what Tel Aviv spends on its own military. According to a White House fact sheet, the new MOU figure is $3.8 billion per annum, “disbursed in equal increments of $3.3 billion in FMF and $500 million in missile defence funding each year for the duration of the understanding.”
     Yet the missile issue has led to differing interpretations of the new annual funding level. Previously, Israel asked the US Congress for missile funding separately; this past year, US assistance totalled $3.7 billion when one factors in the $600 million for missile defence. In total, Washington has provided $1.3 billion for missile defence since 2011, covering most production costs of the Iron Dome system that was so important in preventing Israeli fatalities during its 2014 war against the Palestinians in Gaza....
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AIPAC gets 88 Senators to support continued American veto
Occupation Magazine 19 Sep 2016 - Jerusalem Post - On the eve of Netanyahu`s meeting with Obama, AIPAC once again demonstrated its control of Capitol Hill, getting 88 US Senators to sign a letter calling upon the President Obama to uphold the long-standing US policy of "a veto of any one-sided United...


Congress struggles to finish Zika aid, prevent shutdown
YNet News, 19 Sep 2016 - ....


Obama taught Netanyahu a lesson in negotiations
YNet News, 19 Sep 2016 - Op-ed: The prime minister's Congress address cost Israel a considerable sum, but the most serious blow has been inflicted on AIPAC. Now that Congress is out of the game, half of its lobbyists can stay home and half of its donors can direct their money elsewhere. ....


Passing Palestine’s nightmare to Israel
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/19/2016
      The month of September carries painful memories for Palestinians. It is marked by commemoration activities recalling the horrors of Israel’s brutal and bloody massacres. Without exception, Palestinians as a collective remember those tragic events which robbed them of dear friends and family members.
     One such was the 1982 massacre at the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila in Beirut, when Israeli soldiers facilitated the slaughter of Palestinian civilians in a weekend orgy of bloodshed. Not without reason have historians described Ariel Sharon’s troops as those who “slaughter children” and “rip open the stomachs of pregnant women.” Indeed, what can be more horrific than them actually “betting on the sex of the embryos”?
     The late Professor Edward Said described this massacre as a concerted, deliberate attempt to strip Palestinians of their national identity and, as journalist Robert Fisk has remarked, the stench of injustice still pervades the camps where 1,700 Palestinians were butchered 34 years ago. I can attest to this, having visited Sabra and Shatila in 2003 and being privileged to address grief-stricken families and a huge crowd of activists marking what was then the 21st anniversary of the atrocity. The camps are a memorial to war criminals and their allies in London, Paris and Washington, who continue to evade justice.
     The same can be said of Arab leaders. While these surrogates of the West have regularly expressed grief for the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the US, none has dared to visit Sabra and Shatila’s mass graves. “Arab potentates bleed in their hearts for the Palestinians,” notes Fisk, “but an airfare to Beirut might be a bit much these days – and which of them would want to offend the Israelis or the Americans?”
     As the horrors of various atrocities committed against Palestinians are recalled, it may sound strange....
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J Street, Americans for Peace Now urge Congress not to obstruct Iran deal
Jerusalem Post 18 Sep 2016 - The letter was initiated by NIAC Action, a lobbying group affiliated with the National Iranian American Council.


Securing Israeli colonial violence and expansion
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/15/2016
      Rewarding human rights violations is a speciality of the US. History has recorded many precedents of aid flowing to countries in which dictatorships bludgeoned and disappeared their opposition. Israel, however, remains an exception precisely due to the fact that, unlike other scenarios, international law is not a detriment to its colonial violence and its victims are not allowed any semblance of recourse. This should form the premise of how the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the US and Israel will contribute towards the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.
     Despite falling short of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s expectations, the $38 billion deal over a period of 10 years is unprecedented in providing “security” to Israel. In US President Barack Obama’s words, it is “the most recent reflection of my steadfast commitment” to Israel’s permanent, albeit fabricated narrative.
     Israel will almost certainly have qualms over the amount, as well as the stipulated clause that the money be spent on US military industries rather than investing in Israeli military technology. The Washington Post has also reported that limits have been placed upon Israel’s lobbying US congress for more aid “unless it is at war”. However, the fact remains that the US has granted Israel additional power and reward. In the grand scheme of this political treachery, the visibility of Palestinians will once again be dependent upon time, circumstance and exploited opportunity. For both Israel and the international community, settlers take precedence.
     Whether as a subject for criticism, as in the case of occasional international condemnation of settler violence, or as an entity to be lauded for complicity in state atrocities, settlers remain a priority. It is a mistake to separate the military aid agreement from the dynamics that sustain Israel’s presence in Palestine. Legitimising earlier Zionist settler colonisation is the reason why such preferential treatment is given to Israel, which turns out to be more cost-effective than dismantling the entire colonial system and proclaiming the UN and international law a spectacular failure.
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Israel PM defends US aid package against criticism, will meet Obama at UN
Middle East Eye 18 Sep 2016 - Language Undefined Former premier Ehud Barak claimed Netanyahu had 'undermined' Israel's security by souring relations with Washington


Chilean MPs protest Israeli MKs’ Santiago visit
Jerusalem Post 17 Sep 2016 - Likud’s Haskel, Zionist Union’s Yona face angry ‘Palestinian lobby’ on trip to strengthen ties


Colombia's FARC will fight on as political party, rebel leader says
Daily Star 17 Sep 2016 Colombia's Marxist FARC rebels will continue their fight for social justice under a peace deal with the government, its top commander said on Saturday at the opening of the group's final congress as an armed group


Pro-Israel senator says Israel made a mistake by signing security deal
YNet News, 16 Sep 2016 - Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who has reportedly been very unhappy with the US aid deal with Israel, said that US President Barack Obama is trying to 'neuter' Congress and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 'left money on the table.' ....


Congressional Black Caucus denounces Trump
Daily Star 16 Sep 2016 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Friday called Donald Trump a disgusting fraud and demanded he apologize to President Obama for repeatedly challenging the first African-American president’s citizenship before retreating from the claim Friday.


Netanyahu's secret commitment to Obama
YNet News, 16 Sep 2016 - Analysis: Following Sen. Lindsey Graham's objection to the MOU signed between US and Israel, the prime minister was forced to write a letter in which Israel pledges not to request any additional aid from the two Houses of Congress. ....


Colin Powell gets real about Israeli nukes
Eli Clifton, +972 Magazine 9/15/2016
      Leaked emails reveal the former Secretary of State acknowledging Israel’s nuclear weapons, which he claims are all pointed at Iran.
     According to hacked emails reviewed by foreign policy website LobeLog, former Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged Israel’s nuclear arsenal, an open secret that U.S. and Israeli politicians typically refuse to acknowledge as part of Israel’s strategy of “nuclear ambiguity.” Powell also rejected assessments that Iran, at the time, was “a year away” from a nuclear weapon.
     The emails, released by the hacking group, DCLeaks, show Powell discussing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech before a joint meeting of Congress with his business partner, Jeffrey Leeds.
     Powell responded that U.S. negotiators can’t get everything they want from a deal. But echoing a point that many Iran hawks have questioned, Powell said that Israel’s nuclear arsenal and rational self-interest make the construction and testing of an Iranian nuclear weapon a highly unlikely policy choice for Iran’s leaders. Leeds summarizes Netanyahu as having “said all the right things about the president and all the things he has done to help Israel. But basically [he] said this deal sucks, and the implication is that you have to be an idiot not to see it.”
     Powell wrote:
     "Negotiators can’t get what he wants. Anyway, Iranians can’t use one if they finally make one. The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands...."
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US gives Israel biggest-ever military aid package
The National 14 Sep 2016 - WASHINGTON // The White House on Wednesday confirmed it is giving the Israeli military $38 billion during the next 10 years — more military assistance than the United States has ever pledged to any other country. Following months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the state separtment said the two...


Five reasons why US-Israel military deal stinks
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera 9/15/2016
      US' benevolent claims on security, peace, compromise and friendship are false if not intentionally misleading.
     Israel is the largest cumulative recipient of United States foreign assistance since World War II. And this week it received the largest US military aid package ever signed between two countries. This begs the question: why does Israel, whose per capita income is among the world's top 20, receive tens of billions of dollars in military support each decade?
     The official justifications and reactions by the pundits have come mostly in ready phrases and cliches constricted to the ideological confines of the US-Israel "special relationship". The deal is a "win-win" for both the US and Israel.
     It benefits both countries: it's a "compromise" between what Israel asked for, $45bn, and what it settled for in the previous decade $30bn-plus; and it is indispensable for "Israel's security" in a "dangerous neighbourhood".
     We are also told that the US and Israeli governments have put their differences aside to underline the historic and global US strategic commitment to Israel. And if you had any doubts, the two parties underlined their commitments to the peace process.
     But the historic record tells an entirely different story; how those benevolent claims on security, peace, compromise and friendship are false, if not hypocritical and intentionally misleading. Five fallacies
     The first fallacy contends that the deal is a win-win for Israel and the United States. This is rich coming from the pro-Israel lobby that ensured the transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars to Israel both in government and tax-exempt donations.
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U.S. congressman says Russians hacked into Republican Party computers
Ha'aretz - 14 Sep 2016


Landmark defense deal for Israel signed in Washington
Jerusalem Post 14 Sep 2016 - On Tuesday, both countries concluded a landmark aid agreement worth at least $38 billion, the largest pledge to an ally in American history, which will govern their defense relationship through 2028.


Will France adopt controversial Israeli practice to deter terrorism?
Jerusalem Post 14 Sep 2016 - As France is faced with new terror threats, a top counter-terror expert and opposition MP from the country is lobbying for Israeli-style administrative detention.


BDS event on Capitol Hill cancelled after US congresswoman withdraws support
Jerusalem Post 13 Sep 2016 - US Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says she was not aware of the arrangement, claiming a former staffer made the reservation without her knowledge.


Platini in UEFA farewell speech: I have done nothing wrong
Daily Star 14 Sep 2016 Disgraced former UEFA president Michel Platini insisted he had done nothing wrong and said his conscience was clear as he gave a farewell speech to European football’s governing body at their extraordinary Congress Wednesday.


US gives Israel biggest-ever military aid package
The National 14 Sep 2016 - WASHINGTON // The White House on Wednesday confirmed it is giving the Israeli military $38 billion during the next 10 years — more military assistance than the United States has ever pledged to any other country. Following months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the state separtment said the two...


Israel Wins in November
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 9/13/2016
      It doesn't matter who is elected
     There is considerable chatter about who will win in some of the hotly contested congressional races around the country, but one thing is certain: whoever triumphs will soon be receiving a nice all expenses paid luxury trip to Israel to learn all about Benjamin Netanyahu’s views regarding what more Washington can do to support him and his government. The “educational seminars” are organized by the Israel Lobby, more specifically by a tax exempt entity referred to as the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which is a part of the hardline American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Participation in the journey by all freshman congressman is not mandatory but is advisable if one wants to stay on the right side of the Lobby. In August 2015 the class of 2014 only had three abstentions out of 53 new congressmen when it traveled to Israel along partisan lines with a Democratic group followed shortly thereafter by a GOP contingent.
     These orientation trips are in addition to the frequent taxpayer funded visits made by congressmen to update themselves on Israel’s expanding list of “needs.” One such recent excursion involved Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who enthused that “in a region consumed by terrorism and oppression, Israel stands out as a shining beacon of hope and freedom.” Congressman David Rouzer, also from North Carolina, observed that “Any attack on Israel of any kind is an attack on the American people. It was an honor for us to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
     My own congressman, Barbara Comstock, a Republican representing the 10th District of Virginia, made the freshman trip last year. Comstock is a supremely ambitious lawmaker who has proven herself to be a dedicated GOP apparatchik. Recently she supported the presidential candidacy of Senator Marco Rubio, the ultimate Republican establishment candidate, who has appropriately been described as an “empty suit” when it comes to any understanding of the serious issues confronting the American people.
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Israel and the US have completed a new US military aid deal for the next 10 years, signing set for Wednesday in Washington, according to the US State Department.
YNet News, 13 Sep 2016 - ....


Harder times for Palestine if Clinton wins US election
Stanley L Cohen, Al Jazeera 9/13/2016
      It is clear that Hillary Clinton will not be visiting any Arab capital with a proffered fig leaf.
     Have the Palestinians ever faced a worse American electoral season? A sociopathic, New York "strong-man" narcissist versus a neo-liberal Zionist: whoever succeeds - and anything can happen this time - we know it won't be good for Palestine. Both candidates gave almost identical speeches to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee's (AIPAC) convention this spring.
     The temptation is to think Republican Donald Trump - with his love for authoritarian "winners" like Israel, and his vow to "bomb to hell" out of every problem - makes a better friend to Israeli aggression. Yet the record reminds us, with Hillary Clinton's long history of defending Zionism, the Palestinians are between the proverbial rock and a hard place.
     The ironies run deep with this Democratic candidate. Clinton holds the unprecedented distinction of being the only major party nominee, man or woman, ever to have actually visited the Gaza Strip - a historic trip she made at her husband's side in the final weeks of 1998, when US President Bill Clinton faced impeachment at home.
     Together during the first state visit by an American president to the occupied territories they attended the opening of the new Gaza airport, the signing of a revised Palestine National Charter, and meetings to shore up the Wye River Accords. Demolition of Palestinian aspirations
     I recall visiting the new $83m airport with local Rafah friends, months after her visit, and not a single commercial flight had been permitted.
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The Jerusalem Post's top 5 stories of September 12
Jerusalem Post 12 Sep 2016 - Senator holding up Israel defense deal, insisting on role for Congress, Trump says health an issue in US presidential race after Clinton illness, Israel eyeing Gaza-bound women's flotilla, and more.


Senator holding up Israel defense deal, insisting on role for Congress
Jerusalem Post 11 Sep 2016 - Sen. Graham says to Netanyahu: Tell the White House to "go f*** themselves."


Republican Congressmen: BDS akin to 1930s anti-Semitism
Jerusalem Post 9 Sep 2016 - Rep. Doug Lamborn says the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement is the same hatred in "new clothing."


Outrage over Netanyahu's 'ethnic cleansing' remark
The National 10 Sep 2016 - JERUSALEM // Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu faced an outraged backlash after he likened Palestinian refusal to allow Jews to live in their future state to "ethnic cleansing." Washington issued a rebuke, calling his words "unhelpful" and "inappropriate". State department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said, "We obviously strongly...


US congress passes terrorism lawsuits bill
The National 9 Sep 2016 - Abu Dhabi // The lower chamber of the US congress unanimously passed a bill on Friday that will allow families of September 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts, setting up a showdown with Barack Obama who has promised to veto the legislation. The senate...


Israel Whitewashes Genocidal Sudanese Regime 
Tikun Olam - Israel has been lobbying U.S. and EU states to soften their opposition to Sudan, whose leadership has engaged in genocide in Darfur and pursued a violent campaign to suppress a secessionist movement... Read more


Can Congress stop Obama from making payments to Iran?
Al-Monitor 7 Sep 2016 - Congress wants to rein in the White House's legal settlements slush fund. It's a little late for that.


Abbas’s oscillations glorify the betrayal of Palestinian collective memory
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/6/2016
      Following news of renewed attempts at diplomatic negotiations with Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sought to impart a purportedly different stance that is laden with evident contradictions. According to the Times of Israel, Abbas aired his views on Palestine TV, invoking the right to autonomous decision-making as “Palestinians”.
     Both the US and Russia have attempted to arrange meetings between Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The uniting factor between both countries as regards Palestine is their insistence upon the two-state compromise, an impossibility which Abbas and the international community continue to insist upon while Israel occasionally upholds the rhetoric as a strategy to buy more time for settlement expansion and, in turn, contribute to the impossibility of its implementation.
     “Our relations with everyone must be good,” declared Abbas, “but no one will dictate to us any position or idea. Therefore, let us think as Palestinians. I will think about Palestine, not Washington or Moscow.” Expanding this line further, he added, “Release us from the capitals, and from the money of the capitals, and the influence of the capitals.”
     The utterance of such statements is a display of pathetic theatrics. The absence of a revolutionary leader has rendered such discourse abominable and abnormal, given that Abbas is trying to portray a new stance departing from his usual compromised, collaborative foundations. It is possible to create a detailed timeline that would render Abbas’s words invalid, yet even a brief recapitulation will suffice, departing from Palestinian historical memory to the present.
     Colonisation is an external imposition upon Palestinians, as is the ethnic cleansing forced upon them by Israel’s presence in their country. Helping to sustain Israel was normalised through the years, the epitome of which was the creation of the Palestinian Authority and its subsequent role as a willing collaborator....
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Republicans’ Congress lull could impede a Clinton presidency
Daily Star 6 Sep 2016 Republicans in Congress are planning a light legislative agenda as they return from their long summer break Tuesday, a strategy some say is designed in part to bog down Hillary Clinton if she becomes president.


Philippines on damage control after Obama slur
Daily Star 6 Sep 2016 New Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte sought to defuse a row with the United States Tuesday, voicing regret for calling President Barack Obama a son of a bitch, a comment that prompted Washington to call off a...


West Bank settlers to build 463 new houses despite UN, USA condemnation
Matt Broomfield, Palestine Monitor 9/3/2016
      Settlements in the West Bank will be hosting another 463 housing units, after permission for several major building projects was granted by the Israeli Civil Administration on August 31.
     Four illegal settlements in the central West Bank - Elkana, Ofarim, Beit Arye and Giva't Ze'ev - are to expand. Over 2500 new builds have been approved since the start of the year.
     This is despite the fact that a string of UN Security Council resolutions have found the settlements to be illegal under international law.
     Three days before the swathes of new housing were granted permission, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, reminded the Council that the settlements have “no legal validity and are an obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
     On the same day that Israel waved through the new building projects, US State Department spokesperson, John Kirby, expressed similar concerns at a Washington press conference. He added: “We are particularly troubled by the policy of retroactively approving unauthorized settlement units and outposts that are themselves illegal under Israeli law.”
     This policy was most recently deployed in Ofarim, a settlement 32km north of Jerusalem. The 179 new housing units there were already complete by the time the Civil Administration chose to grant planning permission on August 31. Since the start of the year, over 700 new settlement properties have enjoyed this type of back-dated protection.
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US congressman & Holocaust survivor's daughter returns Hungarian award in protest
YNet News, 4 Sep 2016 - Tom Lantos's daughter is joining over 100 in returning a distinguished state award to Hungary to protest its being given to Zsolt Bayer, who has made anti-Semitic and racist references in his articles. ....


Divided Congress upends US-Israel relationship
Occupation Magazine 3 Sep 2016 - Julian Pecquet--Liberal Israel policy advocacy group J Street has endorsed more than half of the Democrats in the US House this cycle, the latest example of continued fallout from last year`s nuclear agreement with Iran. dn


The strange love affair of Putin and Netanyahu
Middle East Eye 3 Sep 2016 - The new friendship is raising alarm bells in Washington, but so far no one has managed to work out the price Israel will pay to Russia


Tim Canova calls Debbie Wasserman Shultz ‘corporate stooge’ after primary loss. But they still agree on Israel.
Mondoweiss - Incumbent Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz defeated challenger Tim Canova, a law professor, in a primary election this Tuesday, disappointing some Berniecrat-boosting voters who want to see the Vermont senator’s policies on Capitol Hill. Wasserman Shultz defended her place in Congress as a proxy for her...


Would This New Jersey Republican Congressman Be a Better Fit for Alabama?
The Forward New 2 Sep 2016 - Supporters of Jewish Democratic congressional contender Josh Gottheimer believe his rival belongs in the Deep South.


BDS activists face challenges in South Africa, but are determined not to stop
Janet Smith, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 9/1/2016
      When he was in South Africa in July 2014, Omar Barghouti told a story about the Second Intifada. It was the early 2000s, a decade which had started with the then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
     For Palestinians living under settler-colonialism in the West Bank and Gaza, this was an act of extreme provocation. They would face the Israeli army’s rubber bullets and teargas with stones, but the war was on. Thousands were dying.
     “I don’t impose my views on my daughters,” Barghouti said, “but I do expose them to reality. My daughters live under occupation and apartheid and there’s no way to hide them from that fact. Neither is it healthy to hide them from that fact”.
     He went on to describe a shouting match that happened at that time inside his apartment in Ramallah, which Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers had occupied. “Children of our neighbours were traumatised. If they heard anyone knocking at the door, they would get into the closet and hide there, but our daughters somehow faced fear.
     “There were nine Israeli tanks and armoured personnel carriers parked underneath our building, but they would go out just to tell the soldiers, we are not scared of you. You have big tanks, we have little flags, but you cannot shut our voices.”
     Barghouti reflected. “We taught them: answer back with power, with dignity.”
     It was a story which potently characterised a man and the international activist movement he has come to represent: Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). In Johannesburg to attend a War Resisters Conference and meet with government and leaders of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Barghouti – a co-founder of BDS — arrived in 2014 just as Israel launched Operation Protective Edge upon Gaza....
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AIPAC, Republicans slam Iran deal, accuse Obama of misleading public amid new report
Ha'aretz - 1 Sep 2016


Canadian teacher fights suspension after Palestine speech
Electronic Intifada - Israel lobby campaign against Nadia Shoufani seen as test for free speech.


Tim Canova calls Debbie Wasserman Shultz ‘corporate stooge’ after primary loss. But they still agree on Israel.
Mondoweiss - Incumbent Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz defeated challenger Tim Canova, a law professor, in a primary election this Tuesday, disappointing some Berniecrat-boosting voters who want to see the Vermont senator’s policies on Capitol Hill. Wasserman Shultz defended her place in Congress as a proxy for her...


Canadian teacher fights suspension after Palestine speech
Electronic Intifada - Israel lobby campaign against Nadia Shoufani seen as test for free speech.


Tim Canova calls Debbie Wasserman Shultz ‘corporate stooge’ after primary loss. But they still agree on Israel.
Mondoweiss - Incumbent Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz defeated challenger Tim Canova, a law professor, in a primary election this Tuesday, disappointing some Berniecrat-boosting voters who want to see the Vermont senator’s policies on Capitol Hill. Wasserman Shultz defended her place in Congress as a proxy for her...


The Obstacle to Peace
Philip Giraldi,  8/30/2016
      Washington's Role as Israel's Enabler
     The persistence of the Israel-Palestine conflict together with its clash of civilizations subplot invites inquiry far beyond the simplistic explanation that it is about two peoples seeking to occupy the same land at the same time. It has spawned hundreds of books and articles, some well informed and others purely polemical. Scores of “experts,” most of whom are advocates for one side or the other, are part of a seemingly vast industry that seeks to understand what has happened in the past and tries to come to grips with what is currently taking place. Some pundits even look ahead, rejecting the view that the conflict is intractable and floating plans to bring about some kind of a solution that is acceptable to both sides as well as to the neighboring and sometimes not-so-neighboring governments that have inexorably been drawn in to the dispute.
     Given the intense focus and the passions aroused by the conflict it is rare to find a book or article that says something new but Jeremy Hammond’s Obstacle to Peace: The U.S. Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict does just that, deconstructing the prevailing narrative on the Middle East while also explaining in meticulous and fully documented detail why and how a succession of United States administrations has actually become the greatest impediment to a just settlement that would benefit both Palestinians and Israelis. Washington, which pretends to be part of a possible solution, is actually the problem.
     Hammond is an award winning investigative journalist and the editor of Foreign Policy Journal. Along the way to his central thesis his book provides an exhaustive history of the Israel-Palestine relationship which, to be sure, will interest many readers. But it is his insight into how Washington’s blatant hypocrisy has been the most significant factor making peace between the two parties impossible that gets to the real heart of the matter.
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Canadian teacher fights suspension after Palestine speech
Electronic Intifada: 31 Aug 2016 - Israel lobby campaign against Nadia Shoufani seen as test for free speech. more..


Occupied Palestinian village coveted by Jewish settlers is dubbed ‘miserable’ in Washington Post
Mondoweiss - Yesterday the Washington Post published a report  from Susiya, a hamlet in the occupied Hebron Hills that Israel is trying to demolish, that called Susiya a “miserable village” in the headline (and the accompanying tweet) and allowed Israeli settler advocates to suggest that Israel is trying to...


Listen: US student politics “rapidly shifting” despite Israel lobby efforts
Occupation Magazine 29 Aug 2016 - Nora Barrows-Friedman - The Electronic Intifada - "Across the country, students are gearing up for another academic year and another season of campaigning for Palestinian rights. They are organizing amidst expanded attacks on free speech waged by well-funded Israel lobby groups on and off campus." -...


Occupied Palestinian village coveted by Jewish settlers is dubbed ‘miserable’ in Washington Post
Mondoweiss - Yesterday the Washington Post published a report  from Susiya, a hamlet in the occupied Hebron Hills that Israel is trying to demolish, that called Susiya a “miserable village” in the headline (and the accompanying tweet) and allowed Israeli settler advocates to suggest that Israel is trying to...


Anthony Weiner’s Semi-Nude Photo Next to Sleeping Son is Last Straw for Huma Abedin
The Forward New 29 Aug 2016 - Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is separating from her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, after the New York Post published semi-nude photos of Weiner taken while he was lying in bed with their sleeping son.


Top Iranian admiral: US lacks the power to confront Iran militarily
Jerusalem Post 28 Aug 2016 - Remarks come days after uptick in tensions between Washington and Tehran after US accuses Iran of harassing American warships in the Strait of Hormuz.


UC Irvine clears students of pro-Israel groups' accusations
Electronic Intifada - Decision deals blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to stifle free speech on campus.


Listen: US student politics "rapidly shifting" despite Israel lobby efforts
Electronic Intifada - Palestinian prisoner solidarity activist was interrogated, denied entry to West Bank.


Democratic Staffers Mocked Jerrold Nadler’s Weight in Leaked Emails
The Forward New 26 Aug 2016 - During the Iran nuclear deal debate, Rep. Jerry Nadler proved to be a valuable asset for the Obama administration. The Jewish New York Jewish congressman, after lengthy deliberations, decided to back the deal.


Listen: US student politics "rapidly shifting" despite Israel lobby efforts
Electronic Intifada: 27 Aug 2016 - Palestinian prisoner solidarity activist was interrogated, denied entry to West Bank. more..


UC Irvine clears students of pro-Israel groups' accusations
Electronic Intifada - Decision deals blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to stifle free speech on campus.


Israel lobby smears Black lawmaker for meeting Palestinians
Electronic Intifada - Florida Senator Dwight Bullard says he saw “segregation and injustice” in Palestine.


Democratic Staffers Mocked Jerrold Nadler’s Weight in Leaked Emails
The Forward New 26 Aug 2016 - During the Iran nuclear deal debate, Rep. Jerry Nadler proved to be a valuable asset for the Obama administration. The Jewish New York Jewish congressman, after lengthy deliberations, decided to back the deal.


UC Irvine clears students of pro-Israel groups' accusations
Electronic Intifada: 25 Aug 2016 - Decision deals blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to stifle free speech on campus. more..


After months of fighting Booker and Boteach seem to have made up
Jerusalem Post 24 Aug 2016 - Booker is in Israel along with Sen. Tim Scott as part of a MIddle East congressional trip. The pair visited a Ramle center for the Ethiopian-Israeli community on Tuesday.


Saudi’s betrayal is about more than getting close to Israel
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/22/2016
      Toenadering is an Afrikaans term which was used as derisively by the far-right to describe the implied closeness between the former Apartheid government of the National Party and the leaders of the African National Congress (ANC). The aim was to discredit the party’s secret meetings with the ANC during South Africa’s Apartheid era.
     In the bad old days of Apartheid in our country, the slogans warned the Afrikaner volk that, “Swart deelname meen swart oorname” (black participation will result in a black takeover). Such rhetoric reflected a period in South Africa’s troubled history during which the battle for the heart and soul of Afrikanerdom was a priority.
     Ultimately, the forces of reason prevailed, and finally saw the emergence of a democratic dispensation. Notwithstanding the scare tactics unleashed by a host of reactionary forces, South Africa remains on a trajectory to fulfil the just aspirations of all of its people.
     Today, we could well say that Saudi Arabia is “toenadering” with Israel and ask if it is a matter solely for the House of Saud or if it has wider ramifications for Palestinians and Muslims around the world. The context of Saudi’s “toenadering” with the Zionist State is entirely different to the South African example, and so it is essential to demonstrate this.
     For example, Palestinians who are aggrieved by Riyadh’s meetings with Israelis are opposed to them naturally by dint of Israel’s ongoing military occupation of their land; they cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, be categorised as right-wingers. In fact the opposite is true. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is governed by an unelected despotic regime while Israel is the embodiment of neo-apartheid. Both share credentials as repressive, autocratic, belligerent and military powers; both have a strong ally in the United States, which in turn invests heavily in equipping them with weapons of mass destruction.
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$25,000 Rosh Hashana party for Israel's US ambassador
YNet News, 23 Aug 2016 - As Foreign Ministry beset by budget cuts, diplomats decry decision to approve a Rosh Hashana party this September in Washington on which $13,000 will be spent on catering alone; Foreign diplomat: 'This could be a modest event. Spending like this is a waste of money.' ....


Are the Clintons Israeli Agents?
Philip Giraldi,  8/23/2016
      Man who "ran the CIA" offers an entirely new perspective
     On August 5th, Michael Morell, a former acting Director of the CIA, pilloried GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, concluding that he was an “unwitting agent of Russia.” Morell, who entitled his New York Times op-ed “I Ran the CIA and now I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton,” described the process whereby Trump had been so corrupted. According to Morell, Putin, it seems, as a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is “trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities… In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
     I have previously observed how incomprehensible the designation of “unwitting agent” used in a sentence together with “recruited” is, but perhaps I should add something more about Morell that might not be clear to the casual reader. Morell was an Agency analyst, not a spy, who spent nearly his entire career in and around Washington. The high point of his CIA experience consisted of briefing George W. Bush on the President’s Daily Brief (PDB).
     Morell was not trained in the arduous CIA operational tradecraft course which agent recruiters and handlers go through. This means that his understanding of intelligence operations and agents is, to put it politely, derivative. If he had gone through the course he would understand that when you recruit an agent you control him and tell him what to do. The agent might not know whom exactly he is really answering to as in a false flag operation, but he cannot be unwitting.
     Morell appears to have a tendency to make promises that others will have to deliver on, but perhaps that’s what delegation by senior U.S. government officials is all about....
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Israel to help Honduras boost its military capabilities
Jerusalem Post 22 Aug 2016 - Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is set to seek congressional approval of a military agreement with Israel.


Knesset plans lobby for return of Palestinians to their villages
Al-Monitor 19 Aug 2016 - An effort to create a majority lobby to force the Israeli government to allow Palestinian citizens of Israel to return to their villages is being advocated.


Why we must see Israeli policies as a form of settler colonialism
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/18/2016
      Israel and its advocates seek to deny the historical record, obfuscate what is happening on the ground today, and undermine strategies for change
     The so-called ‘Israeli-Palestinian conflict’ is not an ancient, tribal conflict, or millennia-old grudge match. Nor, as some propose, is it a tragic clash of competing nationalisms, or a cycle fuelled by religious extremism. The Zionist political project in Palestine has been, and is, a form of settler colonialism. Understanding it as such is important for three reasons.
     First, it provides historical context, and at the heart of it all, is the Palestinians’ Nakba, or ‘Catastrophe’. By which, I do not mean a single, isolated historical event, or even one particular year. The Nakba began long before the formal establishment of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948 – and it has continued ever since.
     The creation of a Jewish state in Palestine flew in the face of the principle of self-determination; when the first Zionist Congress was held in 1897, the population of Palestine was approximately 96 percent Arab and 4 percent Jewish. Even by 1947, Palestinian Arabs constituted a clear majority – two-thirds – of the population.
     The only one way of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine was to remove its non-Jewish inhabitants. As the Jewish National Fund chair put it in 1930: “If there are other inhabitants there, they must be transferred to some other place. We must take over the land. We have a greater and nobler ideal than preserving several hundred thousands of Arab fellahin.”
     By 1949, some four out of five Palestinian villages inside the new Israeli state had been ethnically cleansed, their inhabitants expelled and prevented from returning. City neighbourhoods were also emptied of their Palestinian residents. Palestinians were displaced well before May 15, 1948, – and long after. Al-Majdal – now Ashkelon – was finally ‘cleansed’ of Palestinians in late 1950.
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Catskills Congressional Candidate Takes Aim at Republican Donor Paul Singer
The Forward New 17 Aug 2016 - Eliminating the middleman, a New York Democratic candidate for Congress is going after her Republican rival’s financial backer, Jewish hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer.


With Gove now on the backbenches, the pro-Israel lobby isn’t getting value for money
Alastair Sloan, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/15/2016
      The Henry Jackson Society is a neoconservative London-based think tank set up in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings. Earlier this year it contributed towards the expenses for former Justice Secretary Michael Gove and his family to attend pro-Israel events in the United States. On a trip to receive an award from the right-wing online magazine The Algemeiner, parliamentary records show that Gove, his wife and two children, as well as a member of staff, received thousands of pounds worth of flights, taxi journeys, accommodation and dinners.
     The Algemeiner itself paid £124 for Gove and his entourage to travel in taxis, £2,525 on flights and a dinner costing £856. There was also a huge reception at which Michael Gove, Bernard Henri-Levy and Rupert Murdoch were the speakers. The Henry Jackson Society then topped up the contribution by paying for accommodation, amounting to £2,764 for the week’s lodgings. The Lisa and Michael Leffel Foundation, which is famed for its association with a number of pro-Israel causes as well as support for Israel soldiers’ charities, also took Gove and his political adviser out for a separate meal costing £185. The pair were wined and dined for a third time by Alisa Swidler, also a small-time Tory donor, at a cost of over £200.
     Gove, who has made a flushed retreat to the backbenches following a bungled attempt to become prime minister in the wake of Brexit, and then being fired as Justice Minister by the new Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, has long been a celebrity amongst Algemeiner staff. In 2013, they opined that his views were “more favourable to Israel than those of any other mainstream British politician, current or past.” He has won awards from their editorial board consistently for championing the cause of Israel in London and, particularly of late, trying to delegitimise the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The Henry Jackson Society’s world view has become well-established in Westminster, although the group is small and not well-regarded by many Tory MPs; its pro-Israel stance is well known.
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The Jerusalem Post's top 5 stories of August 16
Jerusalem Post 16 Aug 2016 - Florida's Jewish voters repelled by Trump, congressman says, Russia deploys bombers to Iranian air base, Israel scores success against skin cancer, and more.


Florida's Jewish voters repelled by Trump, congressman says
Jerusalem Post 16 Aug 2016 - Rep. Ted Deutch worries that Trump has tolerated support from the political far right, where white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations have rallied behind his campaign.


Jewish challenger seeks election upset in New York City
Jerusalem Post 15 Aug 2016 - Phil Rosenthal says Congressman Jerry Nadler’s vote for Iran deal made him decide to run.


Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison
Richard Silverstein, The Unz Review 8/15/2016
      How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison
     It’s a long way from the campus of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire’s Great North Woods in 2003 to Tehran’s Evin Prison in 2016. But the path between them led to a fateful intersection of the lives of Michael D. Weiss (the Dartmouth student) and Siamak Namazi (a jailed Iranian-American). It was Weiss who helped put him there.
     Weiss, age 36, has been an itinerant freelance journalist and military interventionist gun-for-hire, plying his trade from Washington DC, to London, to the outlying lands of former Russian empire, to the ruins of Syria.
     With his role as CNN commentator and senior editor at the Daily Beast, he is a leading light among a new young generation of neoconservative intellectuals. These positions offer him the opportunity to shape American political discourse in much the same way Bill Kristol’s Project for the New American Century, shaped U.S. militarist- interventionist foreign policy for a decade or more after its famous 1998 letter to Bill Clinton.
     A disciple of Christopher Hitchens, Weiss shares the late British intellectual’s penchant for intellectual combat and a gift for the deft, savage phrase. Like him, Weiss fancies nostalgic ties to some radical left tradition. Also like Hitchens, he has the knack for popularizing neoconservative ideas in media-friendly sound bytes. Unlike Hitchens, Weiss has proven to be exceedingly opaque in terms of some of the political and financial alliances he’s made.
     ....Around 2008, Weiss moved from New York to London where he became the founding director of Just Journalism, a pro-Israel advocacy group tasked with policing the media for “anti-Israel bias.” It based its model on the U.S. based CAMERA....
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U.S. opposes Israel’s plan to move Amona settlement to Palestinian land
PIC - 14 Aug 2016 - Washington opposes Israel’s plan to move the outpost of Amona to land that belongs to Palestinians who were forced by Israeli army to leave their homes in 1967.


Malaysia stripped of right to host FIFA Congress
PIC - 14 Aug 2016 - FIFA stripped Malaysia of its rights to host the 2017 FIFA Congress after the country refused to give visas to Israeli participants.


Plan to transplant illegal West Bank settlement of Amona to nearby Palestinian land angers Washington
Occupation Magazine 13 Aug 2016 - i24news--The United States opposes Israel’s plan to transplant an illegal West Bank settlement scheduled for demolition to Palestinian land nearby, a senior official in Washington has noted, according to Ha`aretz. dn


Selective criticism and ulterior motives
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/12/2016
      Israel’s recent demolition of five Palestinian dwellings near South Hebron, three of which were funded by the European Union, seems to have attracted a sliver of international attention, particularly in Washington. Given the increase in retaliatory practices against the people of Palestine, it is highly likely that the prominence attached to this human rights violation is due more to EU funding of the structures, rather than genuine concern about the 27 Palestinians displaced by Israel’s criminal action.
     In its communication about the incident, the US State Department deemed the demolitions to be “provocative”. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau used a departmental briefing to declare, “We remain concerned about the increased demolition of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which reportedly have left dozens of Palestinians homeless, including children.”
     Euractiv, which published Trudeau’s comments, also referenced B’Tselem, which stated that the 27 displaced Palestinians had been subjected to previous home demolitions. According to the organisation, 740 Palestinians have been displaced since the start of this year.
     Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah added his voice to the criticism by regurgitating his demand for “the international community to step in and stop Israel’s ongoing violations of international law.” Like those before it, his plea fell on deaf ears.
     It is clear that selectivity continues to direct US criticism of Israel. In this case, it was only the identity of the donor — the EU — which prompted the US to issue a statement against the demolitions. The reaction is reminiscent of the short-lived indignation created by the “Squandered Aid” report issued by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor; that also detailed Israeli contempt for EU funding, as well as Europe’s complacency in the wake of destruction.
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Whether we get Clinton or Trump, Iran nuclear deal is headed for trouble
Middle East Eye 12 Aug 2016 - Would a president Clinton be prepared to fight with Congress over Iran should Tehran flex its muscles with new missiles?


Congress leaders were briefed on Russian hacking of DNC a year ago, sources say
Ha'aretz - 11 Aug 2016


Palestinians welcome Movement for Black Lives platform
Electronic Intifada - “Goodbye, we don’t need you,” say Black activists to Israel lobby groups.


Palestinians welcome Movement for Black Lives platform
Electronic Intifada - “Goodbye, we don’t need you,” say Black activists to Israel lobby groups.


In Florida Congressional Primary, Sanders and Clinton Pick Proxy Fight
The Forward New 9 Aug 2016 -


In Florida Congressional Primary, Sanders and Clinton Pick Proxy Fight
The Forward New 9 Aug 2016 -


Palestinians welcome Movement for Black Lives platform
Electronic Intifada: 9 Aug 2016 - “Goodbye, we don’t need you,” say Black activists to Israel lobby groups. more..


Palestinians welcome Movement for Black Lives platform
Electronic Intifada: 9 Aug 2016 - “Goodbye, we don’t need you,” say Black activists to Israel lobby groups. more..


Palestinians welcome Movement for Black Lives platform
Electronic Intifada - “Goodbye, we don’t need you,” say Black activists to Israel lobby groups.


Obama Justice Dep’t is representing Elliott Abrams against suit by Palestinians opposing settlements
Mondoweiss - President Obama’s Justice Department is representing Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative Republican convicted of lying to Congress, against a lawsuit filed on behalf of Palestinians opposing the settlement project. Abrams’s Justice Department attorney, Paul E. Werner, declined to confirm his role or say who made the decision....


Obama Justice Dep’t is representing Elliott Abrams against suit by Palestinians opposing settlements
Mondoweiss - President Obama’s Justice Department is representing Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative Republican convicted of lying to Congress, against a lawsuit filed on behalf of Palestinians opposing the settlement project. Abrams’s Justice Department attorney, Paul E. Werner, declined to confirm his role or say who made the decision....


Black activists slam Israel lobby attack on Movement for Black Lives
Electronic Intifada - Pro-Israel Jewish groups have long history of trying to police Black activists’ views on Palestinian rights.


Israel lobby panics about ‘spoiled’ next generation of American leaders turning against it
Mondoweiss - Last week the New York Times reported a shocking statement from the former University of California chancellor on the importance of stopping the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) on campus because it threatens to poison the next generation of American leaders against the special relationship...


South Africa's ruling party suffers biggest election setback
The National 6 Aug 2016 - Johannesburg // South Africa's ruling African National Congress suffered a historic defeat in the country's capital to the opposition Democratic Alliance in local elections. In Tshwane, the metropolitan area that includes Pretoria, DA won 43.1 per cent of the vote over the ANC's 41.2 per cent, according...


Black activists slam Israel lobby attack on Movement for Black Lives
Electronic Intifada: 6 Aug 2016 - Pro-Israel Jewish groups have long history of trying to police Black activists’ views on Palestinian rights. more..


Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending ‘oppressive’ settlements
Mondoweiss - Here is another sign that what had been quiet disagreement between American Jews and Israel is breaking out in the open, thanks to the approaching jubilee year of the occupation. Citing “nearly half a century” of occupation, a former AIPAC official comes out for conditioning US aid...


Israel defence ministry compares Iran deal to Munich agreement with Nazi Germany
Middle East Eye 5 Aug 2016 - Language Undefined US President Barack Obama on Thursday defended nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers led by Washington


The Jerusalem Post's top 5 stories of August 3
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2016 - Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief answers criticism from Jeffrey Goldberg, Oren says Israel most open to the world since 1948, Spanish Israel lobby group deals blow to BDS, and more.


Spanish Israel lobby group deals triple blow to BDS movement in Spain
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2016 - ACOM has presented lawsuits against every single city council or public institution that has declared a boycott against Israel.


Republican congressman becomes first to break from party over Trump and endorse Clinton
Ha'aretz - 2 Aug 2016


Candidly Speaking: American Jewish leaders are on the edge of the abyss
Jerusalem Post 2 Aug 2016 - Bodies like AIPAC must begin demonstrating to their Democratic members that the Democratic Party is facing a determined campaign from internal elements hostile or indifferent to Israel.


Jews need to study the Torah if they’re going to criticize Israel, Beinart says
Mondoweiss - Peter Beinart has a well-deserved reputation for eloquence and bravery on the Israel Palestine question. The man who once addressed secret AIPAC gatherings to raise money for the lobby later turned on American Jewish organizations for their support of the brutal occupation in an important article...


Remembering the U.S.S. Liberty
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 6/14/2016
      The power of the Israel Lobby
     Last Wednesday at noon at Arlington National Cemetery I attended the annual commemorative gathering of the survivors and friends of the U.S.S. Liberty. The moving service included the ringing of a ship’s bell for each one of the thirty-four American sailors, Marines and civilians that were killed in the deliberate Israeli attack that sought to sink the intelligence gathering ship and kill all its crew. Present were a number of surviving crewmembers as well as veterans like myself and other Americans who are committed to ensuring that the story of the Liberty will not die in hopes that someday the United States government will have the courage to acknowledge what actually happened on that fateful day.
     It was the forty-ninth anniversary of the attack. In truth the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats on June 8, 1967, has almost faded from memory, with a younger generation completely unaware that a United States naval vessel was once deliberately attacked and nearly sunk by America’s “greatest friend and ally” Israel. The attack was followed by a cover-up that demonstrated clearly that at least one president of the United States even back nearly fifty years ago valued his relationship with the state of Israel above his loyalty to his own country.
     It was in truth the worst attack ever carried out on a U.S. Naval vessel in peace time. In addition to the death toll, 171 more of the crew were wounded in the two-hour assault, which was clearly intended to destroy the intelligence gathering vessel operating in international waters collecting information on the ongoing Six Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The Israelis, whose planes had their Star of David markings covered up so Egypt could be blamed, attacked the ship repeatedly from the air and with gunboats from the sea.
     The incredible courage and determination of the surviving crew was the only thing that kept the Liberty from sinking....
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Punish ruling ANC, says opposition ahead of S. Africa poll
Daily Star 30 Jul 2016 South Africa's main opposition party called on voters Saturday to "punish" the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in a final push to secure votes ahead of fiercely competitive municipal polls.


Faked Labour antisemitism crisis was a stalking horse
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 7/28/2016
      There’s a continuity in what is happening right now in the internal Labour Party attacks on left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn.
     For much of 2016, the prime vector of attack in the right-wing campaign against Corbyn has been false and weaponised allegations of anti-Semitism. Corbyn has decades of experience in the Palestine solidarity movement – anyone seriously involved in campaigning for Palestinian human rights with any sort of public profile will be targeted with a smear campaign making false accusations of anti-Semitism sooner or later.
     It is a standard and habitual tactic of the Israeli government and the Israel lobby around the world. Corbyn is no exception, so has been smeared by association for his long record of supporting Palestinian human rights and opposing Israeli occupation.
     It started at a lower level during his election campaign to win the Labour leadership last summer. He was accused of being close to Hamas and Hizballah, the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements. And he was accused of association with a “notorious” Holocaust denier.
     This was absolutely false. Paul Eisen is certainly a person with despicable views, whose writings have denied or (worse) justified the Nazi Holocaust. But his “association” with Corbyn seems in fact to have limited to the fact that Eisen lives in Islington, the north London constituency which Corbyn represents in the House of Commons.
     When these accusations ultimately gained little traction, and did little or nothing to stop Corbyn winning the leadership, they died down. That is until February, when allegations about the anti-Semitism supposedly in the Labour Party started to increase....
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occupied Palestinian territory: Americans come together provide food assistance to 4,462 Palestine refugee families in Gaza
Relief Web 28 Jul 2016 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory July 28, 2016 Washington, DC With a million Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip facing food insecurity this year, Americans from all backgrounds...


US Congressmen: Gaza pollution threatens Israel
Globes Main News - US Congressmen have written a letter urging Israel to ensure supply of electricity to the Gaza Strip and especially its wastewater purification plant.


Giuliani says Israeli leaders don't want a Hillary Clinton presidency
Jerusalem Post 27 Jul 2016 - “I’ve talked to the members of the Israeli government at the highest levels. I know who they want elected here. It’s not Hillary Clinton. It’s not Obama 3,” former NYC Mayor tells Washington Post.


Does Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Fall Signal Sea Change in Jewish Influence With Democrats?
The Forward New 27 Jul 2016 - In many ways, Wasserman Schultz embodied the enormous influence that American Jews have within the Democratic Party. A Jew with deep communal involvements who was a key pillar of support for the mainstream pro-Israel lobby in Congress and within the party, Wasserman was both chairman of...


Ten years after last Lebanon war, Israel warns next one will be far worse
Occupation Magazine 26 Jul 2016 - William Booth - The Washington Post - When Israeli army commanders describe how the next war against Hezbollah could unfold, they often search for words not used in military manuals. The future conflict, they warn, will be “ferocious” and “terrible.”-rh


Ex-Envoy Michael Oren Refuses Offer To Advise Donald Trump on Israel
The Forward New 26 Jul 2016 - Michael Oren refused to meet with Donald Trump to discuss Israel, reported the Jerusalem Post. The former ambassador to the US and member of the Israeli Knesset turned down the invitation two weeks ago, when Oren was in Washington, D.C.


Sudan: President Abu-Mazin Receives Ibrahim Mahmoud
allAfrica.com 21 Jul 2016 - [SNA] Khartoum -The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas Abu-Mazin, received Wednesday at his residence in Corinthia Hotel the Assistant of the President of the Republic and the Deputy Chairman of the National Congress for Party's Affairs, Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid.


New Israeli law seeks to expel ‘misbehaved’ Arab parliamentarians
Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 7/20/2016
      Plenty of democratic countries have mechanisms for de-seating elected representatives, but those countries don’t have rich histories of trying to ban politicians of one ethnic group. And their laws weren’t designed to target specific unpopular politicians.
     On the face of it, there is nothing wrong with the “Expulsion Law” passed by Israel’s Knesset early Wednesday morning. Lots of other parliaments have mechanisms for expelling elected representatives. In the U.S. Congress, all you need is a two-thirds majority vote determining that a member is guilty of “disorderly behavior.”
     What is wrong with Israel’s new law is that it targets one particular parliamentarian and her party — who just happen to be elected representatives of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.
     According to the new law, 70 (out of 120 members of Knesset, including 10 from the opposition) may ask a parliamentary committee to determine whether a specific member of parliament has incited to racism, or supported an armed struggle, terrorist organization or enemy against the State of Israel. The law does not define what “support” means. After the committee makes its decision, 90 MKs can then vote to expel the offending member.
     Supporting a terrorist organization, supporting an armed struggle against the state, supporting the state’s enemies, and incitement to racism are all already criminal offenses under Israeli law. Furthermore, under existing Israeli law, an elected member of Knesset already loses their position if they are convicted of such a crime. So why the new law?
     Under the new “Expulsion Law” a member of Knesset does not need to be convicted in a criminal court to be expelled....
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‘Monuments to Racism’: Anti-Trump activists and RNC attendees debate separation walls in the US and Israel
Mondoweiss - The first day of the Republican National Convention passed only with new heights of bizarre offensiveness, but not violence. But there are still three more days to go. Melania Trump looks like she plagiarized Michelle Obama’s 2008 DNC speech , Iowa Congressman Steve King went on MSNBC...


Israeli NGOs decry ‘deeply anti-democratic move’ as new law approved
Occupation Magazine 16 Jul 2016 - Ruth Eglash and William Booth--JERUSALEM — Internationally known human rights organizations in Israel reacted with indignation Tuesday to a controversial law passed by the Israeli parliament that singles out groups receiving the majority of their funding from foreign governments. Leaders of the groups, who make up...


U.S. Congress releases long-classified section of 9/11 report
Ha'aretz - 15 Jul 2016


Congress demands true number of Palestinian refugees from UNRWA
Jerusalem Post 15 Jul 2016 - Republicans have launched a parallel effort in the House to compel the State Department to define “refugee,” as the term pertains to the Palestinian question.


39;Forever live by the sword’?
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 7/14/2016
      The American celebration of independence day, on July 4, is an exciting and colourful two-hour evening event held in famous public parks with fireworks, professional dancers performing beautifully, as well as military units and thousands of spectators recorded on television nationwide. Many are wearing shirts or vests with American flags. The joyful event held in Washington next to the US Congress is recorded on television and beamed nationwide. At the celebration, a small group of Arab-Americans wondered when the Palestinians will have a similar opportunity to celebrate their independence promised by the United Nations in 1948. The disappointing view here, and most likely elsewhere, has been that the potential for a two-state solution to decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is “steadily eroding”, The Washington Post reported in a news article on an inside page the following day. The report was highlighting a mild statement from the lackadaisical Middle East Quartet, the sponsor of a peace process which has yet to score any achievement in this respect. Members of the Quartet are the UN, the US, Russia and the EU. Although the Quartet made several good points, it failed to advocate any follow-up since Israel’s appalling recent record this week.
     The New York Times reported a more alarming statement from the White House to Congress....
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European Jewish Congress welcomes incoming British PM Theresa May
Jerusalem Post 13 Jul 2016 -


‘To defend western freedom,’ U.S. must preserve Egyptian tyranny
Mondoweiss - Since 2011, the United States has sent more than $6.4 billion in military aid to Egypt, while continuing to mute criticism of the dictatorship’s massive human rights violations. How much does Israel’s influence explain this inexcusable American policy? Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to Washington,...


Theresa May: Palestinians must have "full civil rights"
Electronic Intifada - New UK PM appears to understand fundamentals of conflict despite close ties to Israel lobby.


False balance helps no one
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 7/14/2016
      One of the lessons professional journalists have learned over the years is that objectivity and balance can sometimes be wrongly used. If, as a journalist, you are witnessing rain, you are not obliged to report that one side says it is raining and the other side says it is not. You have an obligation to your audience to tell it simply that it is raining. Such false balance is often seen in conflict-resolution cases where the side attempting to mediate a case where one side is clearly guilty and failing to act to resolve the conflict, presents a “balanced” solution to a skewed situation, accusing each side of committing some kind of mistake. This false balance naturally produces an angry response from the side that is actively trying to produce a solution. In its attempt at striking balance in the asymmetrical Palestinian-Israeli situation, the Quartet, made up of the US, UN, EU and Russia, balances Israel’s nearly 50 years of military occupation and illegal colonial settlements with Palestinians’ “incitement to violence”. The often-repeated accusations that Palestinian school textbooks and media are instruments of incitement to violence have long been scientifically debunked even though they were regularly repeated by Israeli officials and Israeli apologists. The claim that Palestinians teach their children hate has been rejected by tens of American and European, as well as Israeli and Palestinian, academic studies since the turn of the millennium. A 2005 US congressional bipartisan report asserted that Palestinian textbooks “do not incite Palestinians towards anti-Jewish violence or constitute a ‘war curriculum’.”
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Supporting a righteous fight for freedom
Janet Smith, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 7/12/2016
      Journalists in South Africa under attack for supporting Palestine are not alone. All over the world, we face the same hate, mostly from Zionists. The only differences between our antagonists are that they don’t all speak the same language, and may use different tactics to adapt to their domain.
     Journalists who are interested in human rights don’t have to be Muslim, anti-Semitic or crazy to support the Palestinian struggle. It’s just that, when we do, we’re usually accused of hating Jewish people, being secret supporters of the Islamic State – as if the Islamic State and Palestinians share the same goals, which they do not – or of not understanding history.
     When those accusations fail to gain traction, we sometimes get accused of denying the Holocaust, as if supporting a righteous fight for freedom is the same as being a Nazi. It’s not.
     In South Africa, in particular, the lobby against us is vociferous, often vicious, but also small. Some within that lobby try to use their economic might, if they have any, as a threat. Others who might not have that economic muscle, try to use their influence within their communities to stop others from consuming what they regard as “pro-Palestine” media.
     How do we know this? By the open menace. Lobbyists are seldom the people who hurl peril at journalists on their cellphones in the quiet of the night. But there are those people, too. We shouldn’t have to worry about our safety for expressing our opinion in a country which extols freedom of expression, but on this one, at times we do.
     Certainly, it can sometimes feel surprisingly lonely to speak against Israel’s military, its right-wing leader Benjamin Netanyahu, his representative in South Africa Arthur Lenk and the illegal occupation, while covering the struggle for the liberation of Palestine....
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U.S. Congress members propose Elie Wiesel memorial statue
Ha'aretz - 12 Jul 2016


Theresa May: Palestinians must have "full civil rights"
Electronic Intifada - New UK PM appears to understand fundamentals of conflict despite close ties to Israel lobby.


As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the ‘Vietnam War’ of our time
Mondoweiss - In the continuing saga of the presence of Palestine in the Democratic Party platform, Clintonites on the platform committee yesterday voted down any reference to settlements and occupation and the misery of Gaza in the draft document. Progressives booed and shouted about the influence of AIPAC,...


Being black Palestinian: Solidarity as a welcome pathology
Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 7/12/2016
      Last year, I wrote an article that made many readers unhappy. As soon as it was published, I began receiving messages of abuse and angry, threatening calls.
     I hesitated about reporting the threats to the local police in Washington State and, in the end, I resolved to file the unpleasant experience under a burgeoning folder of ‘controversies’ caused by my writings. The title of the article was: “‘I Can’t Breathe’: Racism and War in America and Beyond.”
     As a Palestinian columnist and a book author over the past 20 years, it has not been entirely easy working in the United States. Nor has it been possible to be embraced by the mainstream while raging against mainstream ideas, constant appetite for war and unthinking support of Apartheid Israel.
     George Orwell once wrote: “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. With time, and with no other alternative, I have decided to comfort myself with that sage realization.
     Having been born in a refugee camp in Gaza, I am the descendant of a generation of refugees and peasants, who once dwelled in a Palestinian homeland before it was brutally vanquished in 1948 and ‘miraculously’ became Israel.
     For the better part of a whole century, generations of Palestinians have experienced every form of oppression that the twisted human mind is able to conjure up: massacres, ethnic cleansing, destruction of property, rape, unremitting war, siege and all the psychological torment that often accompanies such devastation.
     In fact, being survivors of a perpetual injustice has, at least for many of us, become the main frame of reference through which we can understand the world, and ourselves.
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Theresa May: Palestinians must have "full civil rights"
Electronic Intifada: 12 Jul 2016 - New UK PM appears to understand fundamentals of conflict despite close ties to Israel lobby. more..


As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the ‘Vietnam War’ of our time
Mondoweiss - In the continuing saga of the presence of Palestine in the Democratic Party platform, Clintonites on the platform committee yesterday voted down any reference to settlements and occupation and the misery of Gaza in the draft document. Progressives booed and shouted about the influence of AIPAC,...


Washington sees Netanyahu accepting aid package
Globes Main News - The Israeli Prime minister fears that the president elected in November will not offer better aid conditions than Obama.


In vote against Palestinians, Cornel West says Democrats reenact their indifference to ‘these Negroes’ during Jim Crow
Mondoweiss - In the continuing saga of the presence of Palestine in the Democratic Party platform, Clintonites on the platform committee yesterday voted down any reference to settlements and occupation and the misery of Gaza in the draft document. Progressives booed and shouted about the influence of AIPAC,...


AIPAC responds to CAROLINE B. GLICK's opinion piece
Jerusalem Post 8 Jul 2016 -


What’s next for Palestinians and Israelis?
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 7/7/2016
      The American celebrations of Independence Day on July 4 included exciting and colourful two-hour evening events held at famous public parks with fireworks, professional dancers performing beautifully, as well as military units and thousands of spectators — all recorded on television nationwide. Many were wearing shirts or vests with American flags. The joyful event in Washington, held next to the United States Congress was recorded on television and beamed nationwide. But for a small group of Arab-Americans at the celebration, they all wondered when the Palestinians would have a similar opportunity to celebrate their independence, promised by the United Nations in 1948.
     The disappointing view here, and most likely elsewhere, has been that the potential for a two-state solution to decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is “steadily eroding”, according to a Washington Post report the following day.
     The report was highlighting a mild statement from the lackadaisical Middle East Quartet, the sponsor of a peace process that has yet to score any achievement in this respect. Members of the Quartet are the UN, the United States, Russia and the European Union. Although the Quartet mentioned several good points, it failed to advocate any follow up, since Israel’s appalling record this week.
     More alarming has been a statement from the White House to Congress, which revealed an offer “to substantially sweeten a decade-long military aid package for Israel”, reported the New York Times, adding, it was “the latest turn in months of fitful negotiations that have proceeded despite deep divisions over the Iran nuclear deal”.
     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far refused to accept the deal and is counting on the next American president for a better one....
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Know comment: Grand strategy for Israel
Jerusalem Post 7 Jul 2016 - The point missed in Washington is that the main game in the region is no longer Israel versus the Palestinians or the Arabs. It’s Israel and most of the Arabs versus the Iranians and jihadis.


Congress weighs restrictions on Boeing sales to Iran
Al-Monitor 7 Jul 2016 - A number of Democrats appear willing to join Republicans in setting conditions on aircraft sales to the Islamic Republic.


Watch: Congressmen voice concern over Palestinian stipend program for convicts
Jerusalem Post 6 Jul 2016 - House Democrats and Republicans agree to strategize an end to the program, which is sustained indirectly with US foreign aid.


WASHINGTON WATCH: Netanyahu's costly blunders
Jerusalem Post 6 Jul 2016 - Netanyahu wanted to increase Israel’s annual military assistance from the current $3.1b. to $5b. in a 10-year aid deal, not including missile defense funding.


Is AIPAC a Toothless Tiger After Iran Deal Supporters Survive Unscathed?
The Forward New 6 Jul 2016 - AIPAC never spelled the threat out. But Congress got the message last summer. Politicians had to decide whether they would vote yay or nay on President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which lifted economic sanctions in exchange for reductions to the country’s nuclear program.


Lawfare on the run again
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 7/1/2016
      Israel’s strategy of “lawfare” has once again hit the rocks. This strategy is the attempt to use courts and spurious legal actions around the world to attack, sabotage and distract Palestine solidarity activists, and make it sure they cannot carry out their campaigns.
     Unlike the Israel lobby, pro-Palestinian campaigners usually have very little in the way of easily available hard cash. The main asset of the movement is the people in it, and our conviction that we are on the right side of history, and the right side of the moral argument.
     So the prospect of being tied up with expensive litigation for months or even years is daunting. Nonetheless, the lawfare strategy has been failing. Israel has carried it out in a most incompetent way, so that there is no reason to believe they will win many cases.
     And now, it’s been struck another blow in the UK. The last such blow here was in 2013, when the case against the University and College Union for “institutional anti-Semitism” was thrown out by an employment tribunal judge on all grounds. That was such a crushing defeat that this time, they had to try a claim based on a different type legal area: laws around equalities and local government obligations.
     On Tuesday, the high court ruled against a case brought by a group of anti-Palestinian lawyers against three local councils which had passed motions supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
     The case was the first to cite the government’s so-called “boycott ban” which it launched at a press conference in Jerusalem in February.
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AIPAC lauds Senate for additional foreign aid, anti-BDS action for Israel
Jerusalem Post 30 Jun 2016 - The Combat BDS Act smoothed the wheels for state and local governments to legislate against the boycott, divestment and sanctioning of the Jewish state.


Despite backlash over Iran deal, incumbent NY congressmen pummels primary contender
Ha'aretz - 29 Jun 2016


Senator to 'Post': Congress acts to shut loophole on Palestinian convict stipends
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2016 - US Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana) says he is optimistic that the House will adopt his new language for next year's State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.


Black AIPAC activist working to undermine Cornel West on Palestine
Electronic Intifada - Clinton surrogate provokes backlash for lobbying DNC to oppose Palestinian rights.


Neocon NGO Pressures Google, Facebook to Censor Content
Tikun Olam - Executives from Google and Facebook have faced enormous political pressure from forces as diverse as Pres. Obama himself to the Israel Lobby, to rid their sites of Islamist content.  Over the years,... Read more


Black AIPAC activist working to undermine Cornel West on Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 29 Jun 2016 - Clinton surrogate provokes backlash for lobbying DNC to oppose Palestinian rights. more..


Neocon NGO Pressures Google, Facebook to Censor Content
Tikun Olam - Executives from Google and Facebook have faced enormous political pressure from forces as diverse as Pres. Obama himself to the Israel Lobby, to rid their sites of Islamist content.  Over the years,... Read more


Meet the Iranian Jew Who’s Running for Congress †Despite the Donald Trump Trolls
The Forward New 27 Jun 2016 - Anna Kaplan is a Jewish Iranian refugee running for congress who says that Donald Trump’s rise †and his anti-immigrant rhetoric †hits especially close to home. She recently found herself on the receiving end of anti-Semitic Twitter attacks, lobbed at her by what she says...


Neocon NGO Pressures Google, Facebook to Censor Content
Tikun Olam - Executives from Google and Facebook have faced enormous political pressure from forces as diverse as Pres. Obama himself to the Israel Lobby, to rid their sites of Islamist content.  Over the years,... Read more


Israel lawfare group plans "massive punishments" for activists
Electronic Intifada - “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” key Israel lobbyist says.


Meet the Iranian Refugee Who’s Running for Congress Despite the Trump Trolls
The Forward New 27 Jun 2016 - Anna Kaplan is a Jewish Iranian refugee running for congress who says that Donald Trump’s rise †and his anti-immigrant rhetoric †hits especially close to home. She recently found herself on the receiving end of anti-Semitic Twitter attacks, lobbed at her by what she says...


Israel and Turkey Agree to Normalize Diplomatic Relations
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Jun 2016 - Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, and Israeli Prime, Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have reached an agreement to normalize ties, a senior Israeli official told reporters. This is aimed at ending the rift over the Israeli Navy’s killing of nine Turkish citizens during a Gaza flotilla raid in 2010. The agreement, which took three years to reach, is expected to be officially announced on Monday, an official accompanying Benjamin Netanyahu said. The restoration of full diplomatic relations that deteriorated after the Israeli navy’s killed nine Turkish and one Turkish-American pro-Palestinian activists in 2010 has been brokered with the help of Washington. Israel and Turkey reached agreement to normalise ties after three years of talks https://t.co/XqTFBxkwux pic.twitter.com/T2vFo2fmgt — AJE News (@AJENews) June 26, 2016 Israel conducted an operation against six civilian ships that belonged to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The ships were carrying humanitarian and construction supplies to...more


‘Washington Post’ publishes article by Jewish leader urging boycott of Israel
Mondoweiss - More progress in American media. The Washington Post on Friday published a piece by Rebecca Vilkomerson titled, “I’m Jewish, and I want people to boycott Israel.” The article had gotten nearly 600 comments the last time I checked, many of them outraged; it is a high-watermark...


Israel lawfare group plans "massive punishments" for activists
Electronic Intifada - “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” key Israel lobbyist says.


I’m Jewish and I want people to boycott Israel.
Occupation Magazine 25 Jun 2016 - Rebecca Vilkomerson--In 2009, I was living in Tel Aviv during Operation Cast Lead. During that offensive, Israel killed about 1,400 Palestinians in Gaza. When small numbers of us went out into the streets to protest the war, we were often pelted with eggs or attacked by...


Impartiality and good faith are alien to the US and Israel; the Palestinians must look elsewhere
Dr Daud Abdullah, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 6/23/2016
      Of all the many massacres committed by Israel and Israelis against the Palestinian people, that which was carried out on 15th Ramadan in February 1994 was unique. Coming as it did just months after the signing of the Oslo Accords it was clearly an attempt to “derail” what then US President Bill Clinton described as “the peace of the brave”. This week’s shooting dead of a Palestinian boy, Mahmoud Rafat Badran, aged 15, by Israeli soldiers on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Hebron massacre was a chilling reminder of the failure of the Oslo process.
     Badran was not a “terrorist” and nor was he wanted for any crime. He was shot while returning home from a visit to a nearby swimming pool. After a swift initial inquiry the Israeli army admitted that it shot him “mistakenly” while pursuing a group of stone-throwers. Like the 29 worshippers who were gunned down in cold blood in the Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, Badran was a victim of a deceitful US policy, for without the military hardware and political support of successive American governments, Israeli settlers and soldiers could not have acted with the unbridled impunity that they have had to-date.
     On the day that the Democrats are holding a sit-in at the US Congress in protest at their liberal gun laws, it is odd that so many Americans call for the tightening of gun control after every mass murder in the US, yet they never feel the need for similar outcries for a review of US military support to Israel after every crime committed against Palestinian civilians. There would be no need for new laws in this respect. The Foreign Assistance Act entrusts the US president with powers to “substantially reduce or terminate security assistance to any government which engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognised human rights.”
     No American president before or after Oslo has had either the moral courage or political will to implement the clauses of the Foreign Assistance Act with respect to Israel....
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Israel's Lieberman, a playground bully, becomes star pupil in Washington
Ha'aretz - 24 Jun 2016


Israel lawfare group plans "massive punishments" for activists
Electronic Intifada - “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” key Israel lobbyist says.


Israel lawfare group plans "massive punishments" for activists
Electronic Intifada: 24 Jun 2016 - “There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” key Israel lobbyist says. more..


Citing heightened security tensions, Israel approves additional $18.6 million to expand settlements in West Bank
Lili Martinez, Palestine Monitor 6/21/2016
      The continuation of settlement activities is killing the two-state solution, and the international community has a very big responsibility to exercise immediately sanctions against Israel.
     The Israeli government on Sunday approved an additional $18.6 million to finance the expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, citing safety concerns for settlement residents stemming from the wave of violence that began in October 2015. The announcement comes as new Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, who is himself a settler, meets with U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter in Washington in his first trip since assuming the position.
     The new funding is in addition to the $87.9 million already allocated to settlements. It includes funding from the Interior Ministry, the Agriculture Ministry, the Health Ministry, and the Welfare and Social Services ministry. A portion of it will be used to create “psychological support centers” for settlement residents, according to the resolution.
     “Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria face a unique security situation on a daily basis because of their geographic location and the fabric of life in the area,” the resolution statement said. According to the statement, the security situation in settlements has grown worse since the outbreak of violence in October — during which at least 200 Palestinians and 30 Israelis were killed — necessitating steps to protect the psychological well-being of residents.
     Centrist and leftist Israeli politicians condemned the new funding, and former Prime Minister Ehud Barak warned that further settlement expansion could lead to a binational state “in which the Jews will become a minority within a couple of generations.”
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Ya'alon is only the latest Israeli security official to back Iran deal
Ali Gharib, +972 Magazine 6/22/2016
      In declaring that there are no existential threats to Israel, the former defense minister joins a litany of current and former security officials who have spoken out in favor of the Iran nuclear deal.
     When world powers led by the United States signed a nuclear deal with Iran, American neoconservatives and other pro-Israel hawks were positively apoplectic. Mark Kirk, the Republican senator from Illinois who enjoys a consistent windfall of pro-Israel campaign cash, said that the deal was worse than the Munich agreement with Nazi Germany. The Wall Street Journal opinion page’s Bret Stephens actually used that as a headline: “Worse than Munich.”
     In fairness, these hawks were just taking their cues from Israel itself. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long regarded Iran as a second coming of the Nazis. He stated this unequivocally when the world was on the cusp of a nuclear deal—and defended the line of argument when it was criticized. That this notion would echo through rank-and-file right-wing Israel supporters in America should be no surprise: they have long been clear in their affinity for Netanyahu and his bankrupt worldview.
     Oddly, however, Netanyahu’s tack seems to have always engendered more detractors in Israel itself — and not just lily-livered peaceniks. One hawkish figure, Netanyahu’s last defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, didn’t ever directly repudiate the comparisons of Iran to the Nazis but never made them himself. An eight-year member of Netanyahu’s Likud party, Ya’alon recently parted ways acrimoniously with the government. At a speech to this year’s Herzliya Conference (the “neocon Woodstock“), he delivered a blistering attack on Netanyahu and his rhetoric. Here’s The Washington Post‘s translation:
     "At this time and in the foreseeable future, there is not an existential threat to Israel...."
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Congress members ask Obama to protect Palestinian children
Ha'aretz - 22 Jun 2016


US lawmakers urge Obama to act on abuse of Palestinian children
Electronic Intifada - 20 members of Congress urge Obama to appoint special envoy to protect Palestinian children’s rights.


Jerrold Nadler Faces First Primary Challenge in Decades After Backing Iran Deal
The Forward New 21 Jun 2016 - For the first time in decades, voters on Manhattan’s West Side and in Boro Park, Brooklyn will have a choice to make in the congressional primary one June 28.


Minister Erdan asks J-Street`s help against BDS
Occupation Magazine 20 Jun 2016 - J.J. Goldberg - The Forward - Gilad Erdan, Internal Security Minister in the Netanayahu government who is also in charge of worldwide efforts to oppose the BDS movement, held a first-ever meeting with a representative of J Street - the self-described "pro- Israel pro-peace lobby". This...


US lawmakers urge Obama to act on abuse of Palestinian children
Electronic Intifada: 21 Jun 2016 - 20 members of Congress urge Obama to appoint special envoy to protect Palestinian children’s rights. more..


New US-Israel 10-year military aid deal said to be 'very close'
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2016 - Israel's new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, is in Washington for talks with his US counterparts.


Lawmakers urge Obama to appoint special envoy for Palestinian children
Mondoweiss - Press Release from Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) and  American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) —  No Way to Treat a Child  Campaign: Twenty members of Congress signed a letter to President Barack Obama on Monday, urging the appointment of a Special Envoy for Palestinian Children to...


Facebook hires longtime Netanyahu adviser
Mondoweiss - Jordana Cutler , who is currently the Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, and a longtime adviser to Netanyahu, has been named as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israel office. The appointment comes amidst growing Israeli government frenzy concerning incitement allegations and BDS,...


Two more ex-defense ministers attack Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 19 Jun 2016 - Former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who has been on poor terms with Netanyahu since 2012, declined to speak negatively about him at the German Israel Congress in Frankfurt.


AIPAC Is Destroying Israel, Not Safeguarding It
Occupation Magazine 18 Jun 2016 - Gideon Levy--AIPAC corrupted Israel, teaching it that everything is permissible: The day AIPAC weakens, Israel will grow stronger, forced to stand on its own two feet and be more moral. (a bit old, but still worth reading DN)


Comments prompted by attack
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 6/16/2016
      Much mystery surrounds the bloodiest massacre in modern US history, which took place in Orlando, Florida, where 49 Americans were killed and 53 others were wounded last Sunday at a popular gay nightclub. The incident prompted various groups to launch conflicting theories about the objectives of the US-born gunman, who two years ago was reportedly in touch with another American who had driven a truck loaded with explosives into a hilltop restaurant in Syria. “FBI agents”, reported The New York Times on Tuesday, “scoured his online postings and interviewed his contacts in Florida in a scramble to determine who, if anyone, might try to launch a similar attack in the United States.” The man they spoke to at the time was Omar Mateen, then a young security guard who frequented the same mosque that the suicide bomber in Syria did. But FBI ended the investigation after finding no significant evidence. Sunday’s horrific incident triggered several oral blasts from American leaders like Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, who, The Washington Post reported, “escalated his already controversial rhetoric about immigrants… even though the shooter was born in New York”. The paper added that in a speech “laden with falsehoods and exaggeration”, Trump accused American Muslims of “harbouring terrorists and blamed them for the Orlando attack as well as for last December’s shooting in San Bernardino, California”.
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White House rejects increased Israel missile defense funding
Jerusalem Post 15 Jun 2016 - The Congressional requested $455 million was an historic quadrupling of the administration's stated proposal request.


White House rejects increased Israel missile defense funding
Jerusalem Post 15 Jun 2016 - The Congressional requested $455 million was an historic quadrupling of the administration's stated proposal request.


Clintonites oppose ‘occupation’ mention in platform– as Cornel West says party is ‘beholden to AIPAC’
Mondoweiss - Last week the Democratic Party Platform drafting committee had a public hearing in Washington in which the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a source of great dispute. Bernie Sanders’ surrogates said that the platform must include references to the occupation and settlements. Hillary Clinton surrogates said they did...


Israel wants to sign US aid deal before Obama departs
Jerusalem Post 12 Jun 2016 - Negotiations over military aid package ongoing in Washington over level, whether part can be spent in Israel.


World Jewish Congress condemns Orlando terror
Jerusalem Post 12 Jun 2016 -


Sanders' hometown proud, but resigned he won't be president
Daily Star 11 Jun 2016 People in this lakeside city that Bernie Sanders helped transform as mayor before embarking on a career in Congress are proud of the mark he's left in the 2016 presidential race even as they recognize that...


‘We are Israel and Israel is us’ — Governor Cuomo couldn’t make things clearer!
Mondoweiss - Folks are talking about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s petulant piece in the Washington Post defending his indefensible executive order barring state business with anyone who advocates Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel. Obviously, he couldn’t get it published in his hometown paper, the New York Times. That’s...


Sanders appointees want Democratic platform to reference Israeli occupation
Middle East Eye 10 Jun 2016 - Language Undefined 'For too long the Democratic Party has been beholden to AIPAC,' committee member Cornel West tells platform meeting


Trump Advisor: Republican Presidential Nominee Will Not Hold a Grudge Against AIPAC
The Forward New 10 Jun 2016 -


Rep. Keith Ellison draws attention to Israeli apartheid in tweet on Palestinian life under occupation
Occupation Magazine 8 Jun 2016 - Ben Norton - Salon - Rep. Keith Ellison shared a photo on Twitter on Thursday that refers to Israel’s illegal military occupation of the Palestinian territories as apartheid. Ellison, a Democratic congressman representing Minnesota, said he took the photo as he walked down a segregated street...


25-year-old targeted with anti-Semitic abuse fails to become youngest lawmaker in Congress
Ha'aretz - 8 Jun 2016


Washington Watch: Will Netanyahu endorse Trump?
Jerusalem Post 8 Jun 2016 -


Rep. Keith Ellison draws attention to Israeli apartheid in tweet on Palestinian life under occupation
Occupation Magazine 8 Jun 2016 - Ben Norton - Salon - Rep. Keith Ellison shared a photo on Twitter on Thursday that refers to Israel’s illegal military occupation of the Palestinian territories as apartheid. Ellison, a Democratic congressman representing Minnesota, said he took the photo as he walked down a segregated street...


Iran calls US congressmen's visa request 'publicity stunt'
Al-Monitor 8 Jun 2016 - Iran’s Foreign Ministry has denied the visa request of three American congressmen.


Jewish congressman: Trump isn’t a racist, but Obama is
Ha'aretz - 7 Jun 2016


WATCH: Jewish Long Island Congressman Insists Donald Trump Isn’t a Racist †but Obama Is
The Forward New 7 Jun 2016 - New York Congressman Lee Zeldin said that Donald Trump’s questioning of a Mexican-American judge’s ability to rule fairly due to his heritage did not make him a racist and said Barack Obama was the actual racist.


Activists meet with the White House and Congress to stop Israeli demolitions in the West Bank
Mondoweiss - “Why is this happening now?” That’s the question a senior adviser to President Obama asked when my team and I met with him last week to urge the President’s leadership to stop the crisis of demolitions underway in Area C of the West Bank. Tangible action...


Flanked by AIPAC and Israeli consul, Cuomo signs anti-BDS order
Mondoweiss - You’ve all heard by now of NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s historic Israel-loving move: he signed an executive order yesterday making it illegal for NY state entities to do business with companies or organizations that boycott the state of Israel. The order targeting BDS (boycott, divestment and...


Does the UK Conservative party have an Anti-Palestinian problem?
Russell Patient, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 6/4/2016
      In recent months every major media outlet has been falling over themselves to report that the UK Labour party is ‘apparently’ infested with anti-Semitism. An intelligent human being would have paused for a moment and actually considered the evidence of such accusations before burning MPs at the stake. Yes, a few were undoubtedly guilty of making heinous remarks that anyone would find abhorrent and deservedly paid the price of suspension, however, most were guilty of simply criticising the Israeli government.
     Obviously you do not need to be a genius to realise that, nowadays, any criticism of the ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ will have you tarred and feathered with the anti-Semite brush instantaneously. You can no longer preach anti-Zionism because, of course, we all know that anti-Zionist is secret code for ‘anti-Semite’. Well done to the Zionist lobby for conflating the two so seamlessly in the minds of the public.
     Yet, whilst the Labour government is in disarray and leader Jeremy Corbyn is left to wonder which of his colleagues is waiting to knife him in the back next. The Conservative party, and more specifically, the Home Office immigration and visa department, is quietly and happily refusing the standard entry visas of Palestinians.
     When you consider that it was recently reported that some 375 British citizens known to have ventured to Syria to fight alongside Islamic State were somehow allowed back into the United Kingdom by our crack team of border guards it seems rather odd that they would have any issue with allowing a few Palestinians to visit one of the world’s supposedly great democracies.
     Now, were these Palestinians planning to arrive in the UK with the intention of orchestrating some major terrorist event then you could forgive the Home office for rejecting their applications to visit....
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Jewish congressional hopeful decries haters: This 'goes far beyond anti-Semitism'
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2016 - Erin Schrode, who hopes to be the youngest woman elected to Congress, was recently bombarded by a slew of hate mail from alleged neo-Nazis.


No room for Palestinians at Tel Aviv Pride Parade
Fady Khoury, translated by Tal Haran, +972 Magazine 6/2/2016
      Until the Israeli LGBTQ community truly begins caring about Palestinian oppression, Palestinian queers will have to keep checking our identity at the door.
     This past March I took part in a panel as part of Washington D.C.,s Independent Film Festival, where Jake Weisfeld,s new documentary, “Oriented,” was screened. The film, which was also screened this week as part of Tel Aviv,s LGBTQ film festival, TLVFest, tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv.
     I assume that plenty has and will be said about the movie itself, but the point I wanted to focus on during the panel was the complete disregard by the creators from one of the central, recurring issues when it comes to LGBTQ rights in Israel: “pinkwashing,” namely the Israeli propaganda efforts to rebrand itself as a liberal democracy by focusing on LGBTQ rights in order to shift the international discussion away from the issue of occupation. One major theme in these propaganda efforts is branding Tel Aviv as a Gay Safe Haven.
     I do not intend to write a film review of Oriented. I do, however, wish to deal with Friday,s pride parade in Tel Aviv vis-a-vis LGBTQ Palestinians. I also want to talk about the intersection of how Pride views Palestinians with major elements that simply do not exist in the film, which purports to present a “new generation of gay Palestinians” living in Tel Aviv, all while showing the complexities of the characters, lives without seriously dealing with the wider political context in which Tel Aviv plays a central role.
     Shelter for dogs, not for Gazans
     Oriented was filmed over a period of three years, with some of the shooting taking place during the last attack on Gaza in 2014...
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No room for Palestinians at Tel Aviv Pride Parade
Fady Khoury, translated by Tal Haran, +972 Magazine 6/2/2016
      Until the Israeli LGBTQ community truly begins caring about Palestinian oppression, Palestinian queers will have to keep checking our identity at the door.
     This past March I took part in a panel as part of Washington D.C.,s Independent Film Festival, where Jake Weisfeld,s new documentary, “Oriented,” was screened. The film, which was also screened this week as part of Tel Aviv,s LGBTQ film festival, TLVFest, tells the story of three gay Palestinian men living in Tel Aviv.
     I assume that plenty has and will be said about the movie itself, but the point I wanted to focus on during the panel was the complete disregard by the creators from one of the central, recurring issues when it comes to LGBTQ rights in Israel: “pinkwashing,” namely the Israeli propaganda efforts to rebrand itself as a liberal democracy by focusing on LGBTQ rights in order to shift the international discussion away from the issue of occupation. One major theme in these propaganda efforts is branding Tel Aviv as a Gay Safe Haven.
     I do not intend to write a film review of Oriented. I do, however, wish to deal with Friday,s pride parade in Tel Aviv vis-a-vis LGBTQ Palestinians. I also want to talk about the intersection of how Pride views Palestinians with major elements that simply do not exist in the film, which purports to present a “new generation of gay Palestinians” living in Tel Aviv, all while showing the complexities of the characters, lives without seriously dealing with the wider political context in which Tel Aviv plays a central role.
     Shelter for dogs, not for Gazans
     Oriented was filmed over a period of three years, with some of the shooting taking place during the last attack on Gaza in 2014...
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Venezuela's Maduro takes legal action against congress
YNet News, 3 Jun 2016 - ....


US, UK and Israel still Iran's 'main enemies': Khamenei
Middle East Eye 3 Jun 2016 - Language Undefined Supreme leader accuses US of breaking promises over nuclear deal as details emerge of predecessor's secret negotiations with Washington


The 25-year-old Jewish woman who could become the youngest ever elected to U.S. Congress
Ha'aretz - 2 Jun 2016


Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate protest to Newseum invitation of Israeli war crimes suspect
Global BDS 2 Jun 2016 - Jeffrey Herbst President and CEO of Newseum Washington DC May 31, 2016 Re: Newseum event with former Israeli army spokesperson Avital Leibovich Dear Dr. Herbst, The Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate is writing to you to express our shock that you are hosting Avital Leibovich, a former spokesperson...


Israel’s colonialism is failing and falling
Zaakir Ahmed Mayet, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/30/2016
      It is often easy to be absorbed by plebeian geopolitics, the sectarian divides plaguing Syria or the outward lack of unity amongst various resistance movements within the Middle East and North Africa. On the face of it, the situation is particularly bleak. The factors often missed in these calculations are twofold, the first being the pendulum effect and the second the phoenix effect; both dictate a positive change from a weaker position.
     The growing Palestine solidarity movement has commemorated the 68th year of the Nakba (the Catastrophe). This was the forceful displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people in favour of a Zionist state founded on the principles of dispossession, colonialism and violence; in short, apartheid. It is thus no wonder that the colonialist outpost’s behaviour has been characterised by brutish and barbaric actions throughout its existence. However, the world has unmasked the state as one which cannot function within the fabric of normal society. It has become harder to protect and defend the outlandish action of Israel, be it the continued illegal blockade of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and slow strangulation by the Apartheid Wall of those in the West Bank; the occupation in contravention of international law; or the continued development of colonial-settlements on stolen Palestinian land. The dire state of affairs for Israel is compounded further by its diminishing capacity to influence political decisions on an international level, such as the P5+1 negotiations with Iran, the net result of which was the defusing of a regional if not global war in favour of a deal favouring Tehran, albeit begrudgingly. This failure to influence political decisions marks a catastrophic inadequacy of the pro-Israel lobby and has signified its isolation in the global arena.
     The Zionist colonial state was established on the principles of deterrence capacity and terror. This doctrine, referred to by the late, unlamented Ariel Sharon, has been the cornerstone of Israeli militarism; it has failed since 2006, when Israel faced defeat at the hands of the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah....
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US thinktank report, co-authored by Israelis, urges collecting ‘biometric data’ on Palestinians
Mondoweiss - The Center for a New American Security is a Washington thinktank started by Clintonite liberal interventions (who work  very well with neoconservatives) . It has just released a new report  aimed at reviving the two-state solution by addressing the security needs of Israelis and Palestinians. The chief...


Israel’s future is terrifying: Moshe Ya’alon and Israel’s disconcerting ‘morality’
Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/31/2016
      Israeli society is constantly swerving to the Right and, by doing so, the country’s entire political paradigm is redefined regularly. Israel is now ‘ruled by the most extreme rightwing government in its history’ has grown from being an informed assessment to a dull cliché over the course of only a few years.
     In fact, that exact line was used in May 2015, when rightwing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, formed his thin majority government of like-minded right-wingers, religious zealots and ultra-nationalists. The same sentiment, with almost the exact wording, is being infused again, as Netanyahu has expanded his coalition by bringing to the fold the ultra-nationalist, Avigdor Lieberman.
     As of Wednesday May 25, Lieberman has also become Israel’s Defense Minister. Considering Lieberman’s rowdy and violent politics as demonstrated in his two terms as Foreign Minister (from 2009 to 2012 and, again, from 2013 to 2015), being a Defense Minister in Israel’s ‘most extreme rightwing government in history’ harbors all kind of terrifying prospects.
     While many commentators rightly pointed to Lieberman’s past provocations and wild statements – for example, his 2015 statement threatening to behead Palestinian citizens of Israel with an axe if they are not fully loyal to Israel; advocating the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian citizens of Israel; his death ultimatum to former Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, and so on – his predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon, was spared much blame.
     Worse, the former Defense Minister, Ya’alon, was regarded by some as an example of professionalism and morality. He is ‘well-regarded’, wrote William Booth in the Washington Post, compared to the ‘polarizing maverick’ Lieberman. But ‘well-regarded’ by whom? By Israeli society, the majority of whom support the cold-blooded murder of Palestinians?
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Netanyahu tells U.S. congressmen: Reconciliation agreement with Turkey is very close
Ha'aretz - 30 May 2016


Republicans join Democrats in anger at AIPAC
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2016 - Lobby shirking mission on host of battles – GOP members


BDS isn’t fostered by anti-Semitism, but Israeli house demolitions and killing of innocents, says AJC leader
Mondoweiss - It turns out that Israel’s actions aren’t just indefensible for young American Jews, they’re indefensible to older Jews. And the political crisis of supporting Israel has begun inside the Israel lobby itself. What’s my proof? Last Monday night a number of major Jewish organizations including stiffnecked...


Hezbollah is broke thanks to US sanctions, says White House official
Jerusalem Post 27 May 2016 - Congress expressed concerns about reports that the US is going out of its way to accommodate Iran in the sanctions relief for nuclear rollback deal.


‘Why is water dangerous?’ a Palestinian plea to the US Congress
Mondoweiss - There’s a crisis of demolitions underway in the West Bank’s Area C. We need your help. We’re walking the halls of Congress this week on behalf of Al Aqaba Village and on behalf of all Palestinian villages the West Bank’s Area C. Dr. Ahmad El-Atrash, senior...


Avigdor Lieberman’s Return to Israel Government Fails To Make Waves in Washington
The Forward New 26 May 2016 - Across the spectrum, Israelis see their new defense minister as a dangerous extremist. But Washington is taking a pragmatic let’s-do-business approach.


In the spirit of Clovis Maksoud, diehard supporter of Palestinians
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 5/25/2016
      It was significant that Dr Clovis Maksoud, the former Arab League ambassador and a diehard supporter of Palestinians, passed away on May 15. This is the day in 1948 that Palestinians and all other Arabs call Al Nakba (The Catastrophe), when Israel was established in accordance with the United Nations Partition Plan, which unfairly awarded the Jewish people 55 per cent of the British mandate and the indigenous Arabs only 45 per cent — mostly mountainous areas.
     That coincidence further underlined the great affection, respect and admiration for the 90-year-old US-born Lebanese-American and former diplomat who was greatly admired in the Arab and Muslim worlds, having served as ambassador to India and Southeast Asia, the US, the UN and the 22-member Cairo-based League of Arab States.
     Besides his diplomatic career, he also served as senior editor of the prominent Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, as well as the Lebanese weekly Al Nahar. Following the devastating so-called Six-Day War with Israel in 1973, which the Arab world lost badly, ambassador Maksoud was sent to the US and the UN to combat what has been described as “the negative Arab stereotyping in the American media”.
     An English translation of his pace-setting memoir, From the Confines of Memory: My journey with Arab Nationalism, is expected to be released shortly, which, hopefully, may encourage other envoys to follow in his footsteps.
     Dr Maksoud has also marvelled in the US academic world. Dr Michael C. Hudson, a former professor of Arab studies at Georgetown University, told a full house of mourners last week at the St Peter’s and St Paul’s Orthodox Church in Washington suburb that Dr Maksoud played “an indispensable role in the establishment of our Centre for Contemporary Studies at Georgetown University”....
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Failure to quickly ratify TPP will delay deal by ‘at least a decade’
Daily Star 26 May 2016 A failure by Congress to speedily ratify a free-trade agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations will mean that it would take at least a decade to muster the political capital needed...


Rank and file challenge US union bosses over BDS
Electronic Intifada - Israel lobby group welcomes decision to overturn democratic vote by US union


Rank and file challenge US union bosses over BDS
Electronic Intifada: 26 May 2016 - Israel lobby group welcomes decision to overturn democratic vote by US union more..


Does Obama administration oppose key Iran bill?
Al-Monitor 25 May 2016 - Congress blows up over the administration's refusal to endorse renewal of the expiring Iran Sanctions Act.


Hundreds of academics call to boycott genocide conference in Israel
+972 Magazine - Academics condemn decision to hold a conference on genocide in Jerusalem at a time when Israel’s actions are ‘being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide.’ Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) during a Washington, D.C., protest against Israel’s offensive on Gaza,...


Does Obama administration oppose key Iran bill?
Al-Monitor 25 May 2016 - Congress blows up over the administration's refusal to endorse renewal of the expiring Iran Sanctions Act.


Clinton campaign is ‘nervous’ Sanders will push ‘divisive’ battle over Democratic platform on Israel
Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss 5/20/2016
      In the Washington Post, Abby Phillip and Anne Gearan report on the concessions that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is willing to make to Bernie Sanders to try and placate his hordes at the convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. DWS wants to give Sanders “seats on a key convention platform committee,” but that might not stop Sanders from picking a fight over the party’s policy positions, including our focus:
     "Even with the committee assignments, Sanders plans an aggressive effort to extract platform concessions on key policies that could prompt divisive battles at a moment when front-runner Hillary Clinton will be trying to unify the party. Among other issues, he plans to push for a $15 national minimum wage and argue that the party needs a more balanced position regarding Israel and Palestinians, according to a Sanders campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly."
     Go to the bottom of the story and you get the Israel Palestine news.
     "Clinton aides have said that on a slew of issues, Sanders is not far from the party. But the issue of U.S. policy toward Israel — which a Sanders adviser said “absolutely, legitimately will be a point of conversation” — has made some of Clinton’s backers nervous.
     "Sanders is seeking a more “even-handed” U.S. approach to Israeli occupation of land Palestinians claim for a future state. The current platform does not address the nearly five-decade occupation directly, but it endorses “a just and lasting Israeli-Palestinian accord, producing two states for two peoples.”
     "Speaking last month during a contentious debate with Clinton, Sanders — who declared himself “100 percent pro-Israel” — said that Israel’s 2014 military assault on the Gaza Strip was “disproportionate” to the threat posed by Hamas rockets launched from the Palestinian territory into Israel.
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Ramallah Asks Washington to Intervene so That Agreements With Israel Are Re-evaluated
Asharq Alawsat ME News 24 May 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Palestinians asked the United States to intervene so that the Paris economic agreement can be re-evaluated at the first high … continue reading Ramallah Asks Washington to Intervene so That Agreements With Israel Are Re-evaluated


Hundreds of academics call to boycott genocide conference in Israel
+972 Magazine - Academics condemn decision to hold a conference on genocide in Jerusalem at a time when Israel’s actions are ‘being viewed through lenses of ethnic cleansing and genocide.’ Protesters hold signs calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) during a Washington, D.C., protest against Israel’s offensive on Gaza,...


Bernie Sanders Takes Feud With Democratic Establishment to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Florida Home Turf
The Forward New 23 May 2016 - Two of the most prominent Jewish Democrats are engaged in an ugly battle, which is playing out on national TV, at party headquarters, and on the battlefield of a Florida congressional district.


Ross: White House took 'conscious decision to try to distance itself from Israel'
Jerusalem Post 22 May 2016 - The veteran diplomat, who used the occasion of the conference to promote his latest book, said that Washington has failed to gauge the priorities of Arab regimes.


Israeli defense minister resigns citing `dangerous elements` in government
Occupation Magazine 21 May 2016 - William Booth--Israel`s defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, announced his resignation May 20, citing a lack of "trust" in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the governing party. (The Washington Post)dn


Why pro-Israel Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton could have a fight about Israel
Occupation Magazine 20 May 2016 - Anne Gearan--The only Jewish candidate in the 2016 presidential race, who calls himself "100 percent pro-Israel," and one of Israel`s strongest U.S. defenders are nearing a fight over what being a pro-Israel Democrat means.dn


Sheldon Adelson backs Trump trip to Israel after $100m pledge, sources say
The Guardian 20 May 2016 - The multibillionaire and Republican Jewish Coalition are arranging visit before July convention, as Adelson also plans to donate millions to Super Pacs for GOP congressional campaigns, conservative sources told the Guardian Conservative and big-money allies of...


Clinton campaign is ‘nervous’ Sanders will push ‘divisive’ battle over Democratic platform on Israel
Mondoweiss - In the Washington Post, Abby Phillip and Anne Gearan report on the concessions that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz is willing to make to Bernie Sanders to try and placate his hordes at the convention in Philadelphia at the end of July. DWS wants to give...


Who is Israel’s Biggest Enemy?
Tony Cartalucci,  5/15/2016
      The ongoing conflict consuming the Middle East is the result of Western hegemonic designs aimed at reordering the region and beyond, into a geopolitical structure more suitable for its own interests. In accomplishing this, the centers of power across the West – Washington, Wall Street, London, and Brussels – have elected several nations as intermediaries through which various aspects of this process are being implemented.
     Saudi Arabia has contributed significantly in the indoctrination, financing, and arming of terrorists sent across the region and indeed the world. Turkey has likewise served in arming and supplying terrorists, as well as staging them ahead of operations launched into Syrian territory and even resupplying them once in Syrian territory. To a lesser but still notable extent, Jordan has done this as well.
     One nation often either neglected or analyzed inappropriately – but very much involved – is Israel. The Israeli Regime’s Role
     The government of Israel has also colluded with the West regarding the ongoing conflict across the Middle East, likely in a way most Israelis are either not aware of or are not in support of.
     Israel would be implicated in Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh’s 2007 article, “The Redirection,” in which he reported:
     "To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran...."
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For Washington Post, cheap labor is key to Mideast peace
+972 Magazine - A recent article in the Washington Post praises efforts by the Israeli government to bring in cheap labor from Jordan as a sign of growing peace. The problem? It all comes at the expense of Palestinian workers. By Hagar Shezaf Palestinians workers walk next to the...


ADL’s Armenian genocide recognition sends powerful statement — to Israel
Dahlia Scheindlin, +972 Magazine 5/15/2016
      A major Jewish-American organization breaking with Israeli policy, especially regarding Jewish universalism and the Holocaust, is a statement in and of itself.
     The Anti-Defamation League, American Jewry’s foremost civil rights organization, has made a powerful statement recognizing the Armenian genocide by the crumbling Ottoman regime in the early 20th century. Last Friday, CEO Jonathan Greenblatt posted a blog on the organization’s website in which he stated:
     “What happened in the Ottoman Empire to the Armenians beginning in 1915 was genocide.” He reviewed the methods, from death marches to torture, massacre and starvation, and then restated the point: “What happened to the Armenian people was unequivocally genocide.”
     The statement will certainly be cathartic for Armenian advocates in the diaspora who have made genocide recognition absolutely central to their national identity – even to a fault, as the highly thoughtful Armenian-American writer Meline Toumani has written. But the vast majority of Armenian activists have been frustrated for years by the reticence of ADL’s longtime previous director, Abe Foxman. Greenblatt ended years of just such equivocation under Foxman’s leadership (though the latter eventually used the word in a 2014 speech). The public support of a major Jewish organization could lend clout to the Armenian attempts to attain Congressional recognition, a cause generally stymied by the sensitivity and importance of U.S.-Turkey relations. That’s why Armenian activists watch for such statements with extreme play-by-play attention.
     But the recognition may prove to be more important for Jews and for Israel than for Armenians themselves....
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US anti-Muslim groups fund Europe's Israel lobby
Electronic Intifada: 18 May 2016 - A new report lifts the lid on the shady dealings of the Israel lobby in Brussels. more..


US anti-Muslim groups fund Europe's Israel lobby
Electronic Intifada - A new report lifts the lid on the shady dealings of the Israel lobby in Brussels.


New report breaks down the Israel lobby in the European Union
Jessica Purkiss, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/13/2016
      Today in London a new report entitled The Israel lobby and the European Union is being released. Researched and written by Public Interest Investigations and Spinwatch and published by EuroPal Forum, it seeks to explore a number of Israel lobby groups in the European Union, the power they wield and the dubious sources that fund them, while also uncovering the secretive transatlantic networks behind them.
     A series of pro-Israel lobby groups have sprung up in Brussels in recent years. Some of the most influential being the European Friends of Israel (EFI), modelled on the UK’s very successful Conservative Friends of Israel, and Friends of Israel Initiative (FII). The report manages to dissect the support base for these groups and others, including detailing their links with far right groups across Europe. It cites a former director of a London think tank relating to anti-Semitism who pointed out that many far-rightists and former neo-fascists seeking political respectability “now support Israel and see Israel-supporting Jews as potential allies in their fight against the “Muslim threat”.
     The establishment of similar pro-Israel groups in Brussels is part of efforts over the last decade to create what the report terms “a powerful transatlantic lobby in the heart of the European Union”. This has direct links to the Israel lobby in Washington, as well as American funders. These funders have been shown to routinely support organisations engaged in the occupation of Palestine and policies that directly harm the potential for peace. For example, a notable donor to FII is the Middle East Forum; a think-tank based in Philadelphia which the report says is a “distributor of funding to the transatlantic Islamophobia network”. The group finances the establishment of Israeli settlements through its support for the Central Fund of Israel and Friends of Ir David. The Ir David foundation, baked by right-wing American Jewish millionaires and Israeli government money, appropriates Palestinian land and properties for the settlement enterprise.
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Iran nuclear deal challenged in the US, promoted abroad
Middle East Eye 17 May 2016 - Language Undefined Republican congressmen have introduced efforts to limit the scope of the Iran nuclear deal


A Book Talk: America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 13 May 2016 - (A Book Talk at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, May 12, 2016, Washington, D.C.) By Ambassador Chas W. Freeman Since the end of the Cold War, we’re had a lot of very instructive experience in the Middle East. Back in 2010, I compiled the real-time analyses I had made of our policies and their results in a book titled America’s Misadventures in the Middle East . The book holds up well as an explanation for the origins and evolution of most of our difficulties in the region. Unfortunately, both the situation in the Middle East and our position there have continued to deteriorate. This has led me to write to a new book, America’s Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East , which picks up where the first book left off. I’d like to thank everyone who has said nice things about it. What we’re up to now in the region raises...more


Why is Congress keeping its powder dry on Iran sanctions?
Al-Monitor 11 May 2016 - Republican leaders are determined to craft the most comprehensive legislative package they can get through Congress.


Tell Congress to Support Palestinian Children's Rights!
US Campaign to End the Occupation 11 May 2016 - Representative Betty McCollum has recently initiated a letter urging President Obama to appoint a Special Envoy for Palestinian Children. Ask your Representative to sign on to this letter today!


It will be business as usual for Israel despite the rhetoric of the Quartet’s upcoming report
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/10/2016
      A report to be issued by the moribund Middle East Quartet on 25 May is being touted as employing a harsher tone with regard to Israel’s colonial expansion. It has, as a result, ushered-in a period of renewed lobbying by Israel. The report’s publication was announced in February during a meeting of the Quartet in Munich, when the possibility of the group cooperating with the UN Security Council was also discussed.
     According to Haaretz, unnamed diplomats, including three US officials, have described the report as “largely symbolic, requiring no action.” Another anonymous diplomat elaborated upon the “balanced” stance of the report, citing criticism of Palestinians for alleged “incitement and violence against Israeli citizens” while stating that “the focus on Israel will be its most contentious aspect.” The newspaper quoted a senior Israeli government official as stating: “The main question is how harsh criticism of the settlements will be. All the members of the Quartet can rally around this issue without a problem.”
     Israel’s main concerns are the possibility of the US shifting its rhetoric to declare the settlements to be illegal — as per international laws and conventions — rather than the usual “not legitimate and an obstacle to peace”. There is also the possibility of the report being presented to the Security Council, which raises the issue of additional resolutions or international efforts to decide on Israel’s — and thus a future State of Palestine’s — borders. This is an issue that Israel has so far avoided in concordance with its “Greater Israel” agenda; it remains the only UN member state which has no declared and internationally-recognised borders.
     Although referred to as the Quartet report, American envoy Frank Lowenstein is responsible for its composition. Hence, it is basically a US publication interspersed with contributions from the other members representing the UN, EU and Russia.
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Lauder: Israel was built to be a democracy in a sea of intolerance
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2016 - World Jewish Congress president says anti-Semitism in Europe demands action


Ron Dermer: Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is highlight of my DC tenure
Jerusalem Post 10 May 2016 - Dermer rejected the criticism that Netanyahu’s decision to go ahead with the speech against the Iran deal despite US President Barack Obama’s bitter opposition was a colossal mistake.


Dutch diplomat joins leading Israel lobby group
Electronic Intifada - The American Jewish Committee has exploited the recent explosions in Brussels to promote anti-Muslim bigotry. 


Dutch diplomat joins leading Israel lobby group
Electronic Intifada: 10 May 2016 - The American Jewish Committee has exploited the recent explosions in Brussels to promote anti-Muslim bigotry.  more..


North Korea expels three BBC journalist as party congress proceeds
Ha'aretz - 9 May 2016


Speaker annuls Rousseff’s impeachment
Daily Star 9 May 2016 The acting speaker of the lower house of Brazil’s Congress on Monday annulled last month’s vote for impeaching President Dilma Rousseff, potentially delaying and complicating the process that was widely expected to see the embattled leader...


Oslo’s Roots: Kissinger, the PLO, and the Peace Process
Al-shabaka policy brief, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 5/14/2014
      Overview
     U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s highly publicized efforts to foster negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. The conventional wisdom is that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — weakened and on the verge of bankruptcy after the end of the Cold War and the first Gulf War — signed the Oslo Accords to stave off the emergence of an alternate leadership from the occupied Palestinian Territories and irrelevancy.
     However, Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Osamah Khalil draws on declassified U.S. diplomatic documents to argue that the roots of Oslo can be traced to the aftermath of the 1973 October War. He demonstrates that the PLO’s willingness to make considerable concessions occurred before entering negotiations or being recognized by the United States. Nor did these concessions occur when the organization was at its nadir, but rather after its most notable diplomatic achievements, securing United Nations and Arab League recognition as “the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”
     Khalil also shows that the PLO leadership, in particular key figures in Fatah, sought to establish a relationship with Washington at the expense of other Palestinian factions. These private conversations were in sharp contrast to the revolutionary rhetoric espoused by the PLO to appease its supporters, revealing a consistent pattern over four decades. In addition, while Israeli leaders often claimed there was “no partner for peace” during and after this period, the archival record reveals that the PLO leadership was eager for negotiations and confirms that American and Israeli intransigence delayed a resolution to the conflict.1
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Here’s what happened when some famous writers went to visit some hardcore Jewish settlers
Occupation Magazine 7 May 2016 - William Booth--HEBRON, West Bank — Arriving aboard a tour bus, accompanied by a former Israeli machine-gunner turned human rights activist, an international delegation of pretty famous writers came to the heart of this old city to see for themselves how 850 hardcore Jewish settlers, protected by...


Dutch political parties call for sanctions on Israel
Global BDS 7 May 2016 - Two Dutch political parties are calling for sanctions on Israel for its ongoing violations of Palestinian rights. At its national congress on 16 April, the liberal party D66 – short for Democrats 66 – called on its lawmakers to promote European Union demands that Israel halt...


Israel-US deal mired with disagreements
YNet News, 3 May 2016 - As the two nations are negotiaing the largest arms deal in its history, Washington wants all money to be spent inside the US, while Jerusalem wants a 400% increase in anti-missile defense funding. ....


European Jewish Congress president warns Sweden of anti-Semitism among refugees
Ha'aretz - 3 May 2016


North Korea's ruling party to hold first congress in 36 years
Ha'aretz - 3 May 2016


Letters to the Editor: Beinart is wrong about AIPAC members
Ha'aretz - 2 May 2016


Michelin Criticized for Not Publishing Israel Dining Guide
The Forward New 3 May 2016 - The president of the World Jewish Congress is taking the Michelin travel company to task for not including Israel in its repertoire of prestigious travel and dining guides.


UK Labor Party Witch Hunt: “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been Anti-Zionist?”
Tikun Olam - The UK Tory press and the Israel Lobby have lit a match under the Labor Party, which is led by its left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.  Rump forces within the Party who oppose his left-wing agenda have... Read more


US yet to take stance on French initiative
4/29/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The US has yet to take a position on French efforts to respark peace negotiations through a new initiative that has been embraced by the Palestinian Authority but rejected outright by Israel. US State Department Spokesman John Kirby during a press briefing in Washington, DC Thursday remained markedly ambiguous regarding official US line on the French initiative."We're certainly....


How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis
Electronic Intifada - False allegations are being used as weapons against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.


How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis
Electronic Intifada - False allegations are being used as weapons against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership.


Obama and Congress hurtle toward showdown over Israel missile defense
Al-Monitor 27 Apr 2016 - Lawmakers are feeling a lot more generous than the Obama administration when it comes to Israel's safety.


How Israel lobby manufactured UK Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis
Electronic Intifada: 28 Apr 2016 - False allegations are being used as weapons against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. more..


The French initiative will mean the liquidation of the Palestinian cause
Dr Fayez Rasheed, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/26/2016
      The Palestinian, French and possibly European and global diplomatic focus is on the French initiative that will be proposed to the UN Security Council as a solution to the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel.
     We are used to Western officials making sweet talk to begin with when it comes to finding an agreement in the Middle East. Such talk includes a degree of justice and fairness regarding some of the Palestinian national rights, made in order to lure the Palestinians back into negotiations with Israel. After this is “achieved” the officials will more than likely back down from their promises and support the Israeli vision of the future. There are a number of reasons for this, perhaps the most important of which is the external and domestic pressure applied by Israel and its lobby groups in the US and Europe, Christian Zionists and Israel’s friends in the international arena, including senior government officials.
     This has been the case with Obama, who backed down from all of his promises, just as it was with Clinton, George Bush Jr and others before them. All ditched their promises to the Palestinians, in favour of Israel.
     Look at what has happened, for example, with what is known as “the first French initiative” during President Nicolas Sarkozy’s time in office. It was launched after the resumption of Palestine-Israel negotiations, and was based on a Palestinian state on the 4 June 1967 borders and the negotiation of other major issues, such as the refugees and Jerusalem. An international conference on the Middle East was held in Paris attended by the Israelis and Palestinians, as well as international parties. It was not, of course, a success. The new initiative, moreover, shrinks the Palestinians’ rights even more than the new plan.
     The visit made by former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories in June last year was part of the efforts made to get an international consensus for the approval of the initiative in the UN Security Council.... -- See also: The French plan
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From a Stateless Palestinian Refugee to Signers of the “Leahy letter” in the US Congress
Dissident Voice: 27 Apr 2016 - The following letters are from 22-year-old Amena Ashkar and 86-year-old Mariam Fathalla, stateless Palestinians from the refugee camps in Lebanon.  They are addressed to the eleven Congressional signers of the “Leahy letter”, asking secretary of State John Kerry to report on Israeli and Egyptian violations of human rights.  Amena and Mariam personally took the letters on April 26, 2016, to members of the US Congress and their staffers.  In at least one case, this act brought tears to the eyes of a staffer. April 25, 2016 Hon. [name] Congressional address Washington, DC Dear [title] [name], I know that you asked John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, to report to you about gross human rights violations committed by Israel.  My entire life is the result of such violations, so I would like to report to you about it. I was born in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, as were...more


Moving history
Jerusalem Post 25 Apr 2016 - Lula Washington Dance Theater arrives in Israel for the first time.


Israel feels vindicated by congressmen pushing for more US military aid
Jerusalem Post 25 Apr 2016 - 83 senators send president letter asking to approve new defense package; Oren mocks Obama for saying world more peaceful; Shai: PM playing ‘dangerous game.’


Who agrees with Bernie Sanders on Israel? Large numbers of Americans.
Occupation Magazine 25 Apr 2016 - Dina Smeltz - - By flipping the script, Sanders’s comments help to highlight the nuances of American attitudes on Israel. Americans do not necessarily see any conflict in expressing support for a two-state solution, concerns about the treatment of Palestinians and concerns about Israeli settlements —...


23 young Jews arrested in anti-occupation protests across U.S.
Edo Konrad, +972 Magazine 4/24/2016
      Hundreds hold ‘Liberation Seders’ outside (and inside) major Jewish American institutions in five major cities, demanding that the Jewish community take a stand against Israel’s occupation. ‘The history of Jewish oppression is not an excuse to oppress Palestinians, but rather an imperative to fight for freedom for all people,’ one arrestee tells +972.
     BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA — Twenty-three American Jews were arrested over the past week in a series of anti-occupation demonstrations across the United States.
     The protests, which took place in major American cities ahead of the weekend’s Passover holiday, brought out over 500 members of the Jewish anti-occupation collective, IfNotNow. Demonstrators used civil disobedience to push major American Jewish institutions to publicly end their support for Israel’s occupation policies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Protests took place in Washington DC, Boston, New York City, Chicago, and Berkeley.
     The demos followed a similar formula in every city: demonstrators who were willing to be arrested usually tried to enter a major Jewish institution and lead a “Liberation Seder” — a take on the traditional Passover meal, in which the Jews recount the story of their enslavement and struggle for freedom in Egypt. The Liberation Seders, however, fused the traditional ritual with Jewish freedom songs, chants against the oppression of Palestinians, and calls for the collective liberation of all those living in Israel/Palestine.
     The first demonstration took place on April 19th, when over 100 activists demonstrated in Washington DC outside the headquarters of Hillel International — the largest Jewish student organization in the world. Later that afternoon Jewish activists in Boston chained themselves to the entrance of the local AIPAC office....
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Israel, Golan Heights and the Syrian endgame
Geoffrey Aronson, Al Jazeera 4/24/2016
      With the demand for recognition of the Golan Heights' annexation, Netanyahu is one of many circling war-torn Syria.
     As the beginning of the endgame on Syria commences, Israel is signaling its intention to join in the feasting on Syria's decaying sovereignty - demanding international recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights captured from Syria in the June 1967 war.
     The occasion for this demand was an extraordinary cabinet session in on the Golan plateau - the first ever - where, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's reckoning, 50,000 Israeli settlers reside.
     "I chose to hold this festive cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights in order to deliver a clear message," Netanyahu declared at the outset of the meeting. "The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israel's hands. Israel will never come down from the Golan Heights."
     This Israeli message bears repeating, particularly now when the parties to the war in Syria are jockeying for advantage in the first stages of the diplomatic battle to end the war and to design Syria's future.
     Netanyahu, no less than the multitude of players circling around the decimated Syrian state, is determined to place its maximal demands on the diplomatic agenda now being fashioned in Washington and Moscow.
     The Golan Heights' annexation....
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No Reward for Sanders’s Israel Stance
Robert Parry, Consortium News 4/20/2016
      Exclusive: Sen. Sanders showed guts when he broke from the political lock-step of unrestrained praise for Israel, but his loss in the New York primary shows there’s little reward for such courage.
     So much for political bravery! Sen. Bernie Sanders had the audacity to say that the Palestinians are human beings, that there are two sides to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “not right all of the time” – and lost the New York primary by more than 15 percentage points.
     Obviously, there were many other factors, including the tightly closed rules for the New York primaries, requiring voters to have declared their party affiliation by last October or be barred from participating.
     But still New York Democrats did not appear to reward Sanders for breaking with Official Washington’s orthodoxy on Israel, which holds that the only permissible political stance is total obeisance to Netanyahu and his government. Whether Sanders’s stance hurt him may be debatable but the election result could resonate nonetheless with future candidates who might be more chary about taking a more even-handed position on Israel-Palestine.
     In one of the sharper exchanges from last Thursday’s Democratic debate, Sanders, who is Jewish and once worked on an Israeli kibbutz, chided his rival, Hillary Clinton, for appearing before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee last month and giving a speech that “barely mentioned the Palestinians.”
     While political insiders gasped at his heresy, Sanders plunged on, “All that I am saying is we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue.…There comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time.”
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Dying to Forget the Israel Lobby?
Harry Clark, CounterPunch 4/22/2016
      Irene Gendzier makes two main claims about US Middle East policy in the late 1940s in her book Dying to Forget. Oil, Power, Palestine and the Foundations of U.S. Policy in the Middle East. One is that there was no contradiction between US support for Zionism and its goal of establishing a Jewish state in Arab Palestine, and US interest in the region’s oil reserves. This claim is based on heretofore unexamined contacts between Max Ball, who headed the Oil and Gas Division of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Eliahu Epstein, Washington representative of the Jewish Agency, the Jewish state in the making in Palestine. Gendzier argues that these contacts, outside official foreign policy, enabled the Jewish Agency to address US concerns about the impact of Zionism on US oil interests, and to insert its arguments into the discussion in the Truman White House. The “encounter between Max Ball and Eliahu Epstein in 1948 forms the basis of the ‘oil connection’ discussed in this book. The encounter. . . revealed that major U.S. oil executives were pragmatic in their approach to the Palestine conflict and were prepared to engage with the Jewish Agency and later with Israeli officials, albeit within existing constraints.” (xxi)
     The second is that Israel’s military prowess in the 1948 war showed the Pentagon that Israel had changed the regional balance of power, and should be included in US military planning, and oriented toward the West and away from the Soviet Union. The USSR had supported partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, and Czechoslovakia in the emerging Soviet bloc had supplied Israel with arms. These “strategic” concerns about Israel’s potential role, Gendzier claims, outweighed US concerns for the effects of the war that established Israel: the destruction of Arab Palestine, the creation of a large refugee population, the antagonism of the Arab world, and potential “instability,” the hegemon’s bugbear, with consequences for US interests. The Pentagon’s judgment about Israel’s military ability has been noted by other writers, but Gendzier makes stronger claims. These “strategic reasons,” she argues, “undermined Washington’s critical position on Israeli policy toward refugee repatriation and territorial expansion. These vital factors in the conflict between Israel-Palestine and the Arab world thereby assumed a subordinate position.”
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Lebanon’s Banking System on the Verge of Collapse
Asharq Alawsat ME News 23 Apr 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Beirut- Economic experts in Lebanon warned of the Lebanese banking system collapsing, after the implementation of the U.S. congressional legislation … continue reading Lebanon’s Banking System on the Verge of Collapse


Israel should stop playing the victim card, MK tells Washington audiences
Jerusalem Post 22 Apr 2016 - Getting out the message of an Israel that still needs improving was Zionist Union MK Merav Michaeli’s goal during a visit to the US this month.


Don't mess with Putin
YNet News, 21 Apr 2016 - Op-ed: If there's reason to believe Israel will pay a price as part of an agreement between the world powers on Syria, we should raise these concerns in Washington and Moscow. But public, provocative declarations about the Golan Heights are counterproductive. ....


Jewish anti-occupation activists arrested blocking ADL offices during Passover protest
Mondoweiss - Birthright got what it wanted — American Jews who care about Israel. Encouraging young American Jews to take an interest in the affairs of the Jewish state brought 17 of them on Tuesday to walk into the lobby of the Anti-Defamation League’s offices in New York...


Iran Pays the Price of Terror: $2 Billion in Compensation for Victims of Beirut, Khobar and Jerusalem Attacks
Asharq Alawsat ME News 21 Apr 2016 - From ASHARQ AL-AWSAT . Washington- The US state supreme court, yesterday, pushed forth with the verdict penalizing Iran with a 2.65 billion dollars fine, … continue reading Iran Pays the Price of Terror: $2 Billion in Compensation for Victims of Beirut, Khobar and Jerusalem Attacks


Obama: US and Gulf united in fight to destroy IS
Middle East Eye 21 Apr 2016 - Language Undefined GCC leaders expected to press US president over Washington's warming relations with regional rival Iran during talks in Saudi Arabia


Why Israel fears nonviolent resistance
Middle East Eye 20 Apr 2016 - Israel is running scared. How else to explain the rising barrage of law fare, lobbying and accusations of antisemitism directed at any criticism?


A new era of anti-occupation Judaism
+972 Magazine - American Jews have long overwhelmingly supported an end to the occupation, but increasingly, we are building an organized critical mass who are also willing to push our institutions and politicians in the same direction. IfNotNow takes its Passover message of liberation to Hillel and AIPAC. By...


6 Jewish Anti-Occupation Protestors Arrested at Boston AIPAC Office
The Forward New 20 Apr 2016 - Six young Jews were arrested Tuesday night at AIPAC’s Boston office after they chained themselves to a Seder table in protest of the organization’s support of Israel.


Why Israel fears nonviolent resistance
Middle East Eye 20 Apr 2016 - Israel is running scared. How else to explain the rising barrage of law fare, lobbying and accusations of antisemitism directed at any criticism?


Sanders Changes the Rules – Israel Shamir
MyCatBirdSeat.com 20 Apr 2016 - by Israel Shamir You have to pay obeisance to Israel if you want to become the US President. You have to swear your full compliance with Israel’s demands. You have to run to AIPAC (Israel Lobby) and declare your eternal love of the Jewish state. This...


WATCH: US Congressional panel holds hearing on BDS movement
Jerusalem Post 19 Apr 2016 - The hearing, titled “Israel Imperiled: Threats to the Jewish State,” is taking place before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.


In Brooklyn, Sanders stand on Israel attracts support despite controversy
Mondoweiss - “Is your bed made? Is your sweater on? Do you want to fuck? Like you know I do[oooo]. Like you know I do[ooooo],” sang Ezra Koenig, frontman for Vampire Weekend, at a Washington Square rally for Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders in New York City last...


Congress unblocks $108 million in Palestinian aid
Al-Monitor 19 Apr 2016 - The release follows months of pressure from the State Department.


Congress puts stranglehold on Palestinian aid
Al-Monitor 18 Apr 2016 - Key lawmakers are incensed with terrorism support and statehood bid.


Anti-BDS legislation faces crucial hearing tomorrow in California Judiciary Committee
Mondoweiss - It’s crunch time in California as the ongoing legislative assaults  against BDS,  introduced in multiple states  including bills in Congress, intensifies. The latest incarnation in California’s anti-BDS attack is  AB 2844 “California Combating the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions of Israel Act of 2016 ,” introduced by Assembly...


What Bernie Sanders gets right about Israel
Jamal Zahalka, +972 Magazine 4/17/2016
      The candor and critical tone with which the Democratic presidential candidate discusses Israel and the occupation points to the start of a new era. Can the Palestinian struggle for justice find an ally in the American people?
     Bernie Sanders remarks on the last Israel attack on Gaza raised controversy and led to a series of angry responses by both the Zionist lobby in the United States and the Israeli public. His opponents took advantage of the fact that he mistakenly told the New York Daily News that 10,000 innocent Palestinian civilians were killed in the attack (despite Sanders clarifying in the interview that he is not sure of the numbers, and asked the interviewer to correct him if necessary). Many demanded that Sanders not only correct his mistake, but also retract his statement that Israel bombed Gaza indiscriminately, leveling entire neighborhoods, hospitals, and schools.
     The important part of the story is not the mistake in the number of deaths, but the fact that a presidential candidate is criticizing Israel at the height of election season. This is no inconsequential matter, especially considering the influence of Zionist organizations in the U.S. and their involvement in electoral politics. These organizations are well-positioned in the American media and corridors of power, and it is clear to all that they are putting pressure on Sanders to toe the line and blindly support Israel.
     There is also no doubt that Sanders is a supporter of Israel. In his youth he volunteered on a kibbutz. He repeats the holy mantra that Israel has the right to defend itself. And he declared his opposition to putting Israel war criminals on trial at the International Criminal Court.
     Sanders, however, also refrained from attending the annual AIPAC conference, and has called for the evacuation of all settlements from the West Bank....
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Former head of BBC TV joins Zionist onslaught on Jeremy Corbyn
Nureddin Sabir, Redress 4/16/2016
      Like the contents of a poorly-flushed toilet, Danny Cohen, the former director of BBC Television, has resurfaced once again.
     In his first interview since leaving the BBC under a dark cloud in November last year, Cohen told The Times that being Jewish and voting for the British Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump.
     If you are Jewish how can you vote for them? How could you? For me it would be like being a Muslim and voting for Donald Trump, how could you do it? You have to feel absolutely confident that it is totally unacceptable and it won’t be tolerated and I personally haven’t felt comfortable that it is happening yet in the Labour Party.
     Cohen, a prominent figure in London’s Jewish community, joins a chorus of Zionist lobbyists within Labour who claim that the party is tolerating “anti-Semitic” behaviour.
     On 21 March Michael Levy threatened to resign from Labour unless Corbyn makes a speech denouncing “anti-Semitism” immediately.
     Levy is a staunch Zionist and was principal fundraiser for war crimes suspect Tony Blair’s New Labour Party.
     In the Zionist lexicon, any criticism of Israel or of any public figure who happens to be Jewish is defined as “anti-Semitic”, irrespective of the merits of the criticism.
     Jeremy Corbyn is a longstanding campaigner for justice for the Palestinian people. His landslide victory in the Labour Party’s leadership election in September 2015 was a humiliating defeat for the Zionist lobby....
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US Congress members urge Obama to veto UN resolutions for Palestine
4/16/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- More than 90 percent of the United States House of Representatives have signed a letter urging Obama to veto "any resolution at the United Nations that sets parameters for Israeli-Palestinian talks."Release of the letter comes as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to present a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements to the UN Security Council in New York later this....


What Bernie Sanders gets right about Israel
Occupation Magazine 15 Apr 2016 - Jamal Zahalka--Bernie Sanders remarks on the last Israel attack on Gaza raised controversy and led to a series of angry responses by both the Zionist lobby in the United States and the Israeli public. His opponents took advantage of the fact that he mistakenly told the...


The Jewish community must choose, between Sanders and AIPAC
Mondoweiss - As an anti-zionist Palestinian living in the West I often get interrogated about my identity in relation to the Jewish community. The scenario where I am accused of being anti-semitic arises as much as the one where I am asked if I’d ‘bring up politics’ if we go...


Israel's US missile defense grant could rise to $600m
Globes Aerospace & Defense - Congress wants the Obama administration to quadruple aid for Israel's missile defense, "Defense News" reports.


Israel's missile defense grant from US could rise to $600m
Globes Main News - Congress wants the Obama administration to quadruple aid for Israel's missile defense, "Defense News" reports.


A new phase in Israel’s ’lawfare’ strategy
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/9/2016
      Facing pressure from the Israel lobby, Southampton University blocked an academic conference about Israel from taking place, on health and safety grounds
     For the last decade, a central plank of Israel’s strategy to combat its global critics has been something it terms “lawfare” – using courts around the world to attack, defame, silence and intimidate its enemies.
     Since Israel is addicted to real life war, it’s no surprise to find that even its diplomats and ambassadors are seemingly unable to think and act in terms other than purely military ones (most of them are former soldiers after all). Take its response to the BDS campaign – the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel until it respects Palestinian human rights.
     A reporter for liberal Israeli daily Haaretz, on a recent visit to the Israeli embassy in London, noted a map that was “like the war room of a brigade on the Lebanese border.” This map showed the “front” (another military term) which consists of “the main campuses, the deployment of pro-Israel activists and the location of the ‘enemy forces.’”
     Amongst such “enemy forces” are those well-known dastardly anti-Semitic hate-mongers: peaceful campaigners, academic critical of Israel (many of them Jewish) and university students.
     Just this week the new Israeli ambassador Mark Regev visited the SOAS campus, in a low-key meeting with university director Valerie Amos. This prompted noisy protests by students, who objected to Regev’s presence on campus and to top-management’s coddling of this high-profile apologist for Israeli war crimes. -- See also: Israel's Friends Against the First Amendment and British police guidance equates anti-Zionism with ‘new anti-Semitism’
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Israel’s Friends Against the First Amendment
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 4/12/2016
      Criticism of Israel becomes a crime
     Regular visitors to this website can confirm that I am not at all shy about whacking Israel and its nearly omnipotent Lobby in the United States. Take that as a given. But even while whacking I try to base my invective on what I see as the fundamental issue: while I grieve for the Palestinians my role as an American must be to assess the damage that Israel is doing to my own country, which most recently includes insufferable demands for yet more U.S. taxpayer dollars to compensate for the “damage” done by the Iran nuclear deal.
     In that light I try to keep my critique on a rational and proportionate basis. While I have sometimes suggested that those who are over the top in love with Israel should consider moving there and have also not hesitated to describe the behavior of certain congressmen like Senators Cardin, Menendez and Schumer as something akin to treason, I have never called for confiscation and destruction of property, denial of citizenship, or exiling the miscreants that I identify. I will leave those sorts of things to the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which is very good at it.
     But sometimes the actions of the friends of Israel in the United States are so truly outrageous that they seem to invite a reaction that is more explosive, like petitioning the Strategic Air Command to nuke AIPAC when it next gathers here in Washington. A couple of recent Israel first initiatives that are aimed at denying first Amendment rights to anyone but those who are supporters of Israel fall into the category that seems to demand a really strong response. Like, what the hell is going on here? Is anyone in Congress and the Judiciary awake?
     Last week a billboard was taken down in New Bedford Massachusetts. The billboard read “Help the USS Liberty Survivors – Attacked by Israel".... -- See also: A new phase in Israel's 'lawfare' strategy and British police guidance equates anti-Zionism with ‘new anti-Semitism’
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Sanders calls himself 'more balanced' on Israel, Palestinians
Jerusalem Post 10 Apr 2016 - Several public officials in Israel– including the country's former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, during US President Barack Obama's first term– called on Sanders to apologize.


Washington Post propagandist for Israel warns Sanders to stay away from the subject, forever
Mondoweiss - “Sanders faces denunciations for ignorant remarks about Israel” is the headline in the Washington Post , on a column by Jennifer Rubin about Bernie Sanders’s comments about Israel and Palestine to the Daily News. It is propaganda from start to finish, beginning with the headline. Let me...


GOP candidates are sounding a lot like Israel’s leaders
+972 Magazine - Remarks by the most outlandish Republican candidates represent, in the best case scenario, the more moderate positions of Israel’s prime ministers since the state’s founding. By Abed Abu Shehada Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC Police Conference in Washington D.C., March 21, 2016. (...


Palestinian running for Congress in Nevada says Harry Reid told him a Muslim can’t win
Mondoweiss - Should a Muslim Palestinian-American be blocked from running for Congress because of his religion and ethnicity? The question would be absurd if you substituted the terms “Roman Catholic” and “Irish-American.” But Jesse Sbaih, a Nevada attorney running for Congress in the state’s open Third District race,...


The world and Israel: Complicity in Zionism’s crimes and why
Alan Hart, Redress 4/7/2016
      I must begin with a clarification. “The world” of my headline is inhabited only by our so-called leaders and their governments, not the civil societies of nations. And the complicity of our so-called leaders and their governments in Zionism’s crimes is in my view more by default, out of fear of offending Zionism, than design. But that doesn’t make the complicity any less real in effect.
     The fear Western leaders and their foreign policy advisers have of offending Zionism is more complex than even some of the most informed and perceptive critics of Israel’s policies and actions seem to appreciate.
     Yes, one part of the reason for the refusal of Western governments (the one in Washington DC especially) to use the leverage they have to try to cause Israel to end its defiance of international law and denial of justice for the Palestinians is fear of losing election campaign funding and votes, and fear of being overwhelmed by false charges of anti-Semitism.
     But the other, and in my view the biggest part of the reason, is fear of what Zionism’s nuclear-armed monster child might do if it was pushed further than its deluded leaders were prepared to go for the sake of peace based on an acceptable amount of justice for the Palestinians and security for all.
     The leader who alerted me to this fear was President Jimmy Carter in a private conversation my wife and I had with him and Rosalynn after they were denied a second term in the White House. (Carter invited me to meet him to brief him on my experience when in 1980 I accepted the challenge of being the linkman in a secret, exploratory dialogue between Yasser Arafat and Shimon Peres. At the time Peres was Israel’s main opposition leader and believed that he would win Israel’s next election and deny Begin a second term by becoming prime minister himself. When Carter invited me to meet him, he asked me to bring my wife because, he said, he and Rosalynn worked as a team.)
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Washington Watch: Meddling
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2016 - Netanyahu may not have any friends in the White House, but he does among Republicans.


Legitimizing Iran: The US administration’s Middle East agenda
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2016 - The time is now for Congress to act, to assert its constitutional responsibility regarding foreign policy in the name of American national security interests.


NGO to be honored for education work
Daily Star 6 Apr 2016 The United Lebanon Youth Project will be honored later this month at the 18th annual Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards Gala in Washington D.C. for its groundbreaking work providing educational services and support to marginalized...


American Democracy at Its Worst
Dr. Elias Akleh, Intifada-Palestine 4/4/2016
      In all its activities AIPAC functions as a “foreign agent” working for the interests of the government of another country. Due to the fact that Zionist Jewish billionaires, not Israeli government, are financing AIPAC, this lobby was able to escape the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 and avoid registering as a foreign agent.
     Every four years the American people go through what I would call a charade event called presidential election. This election is supposed to reflect the alleged democratic spirit of the American system, where people elect “a government from the people for the people”. Sadly it is only few people, who understand that this American election is just an auction, where nominees vie to sell their hopeful future political policies for the support of the higher bidder of corporations, military industrial complex, bankers and special interest powerful political organizations.
     American election is actually a quasi-democratic process established by the so-called founders of the country. Those founders; an elite on the top of the power pyramid, were colonial racist figures, who established this quasi-democratic process as a peaceful power competition among themselves. They were slave owners and feudal land lords who initially restricted voting to land owners only. Later, when they established and controlled two major political parties; Republican and Democratic parties, they allowed the tax payers to vote to appease their anger and demands for reform (no taxation without representation)....
     ....Still this is not a real democratic system; one person one vote. Many are not cognizant that the outcome of the primary election is based on the delegate system. Delegates are people from each state, who attend the conventions to select the presidential nominees for their respective parties. They are the most important figure for determining which candidate wins the primary election....
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Congress split over Iran's access to the dollar
Al-Monitor 5 Apr 2016 - Key lawmakers disagree on whether banking restrictions would violate nuclear deal.


The lies you were told about AIPAC's invitation to Trump
Ha'aretz - 5 Apr 2016


New PM spokesman 'unequivocally' denies sexual assault allegation
Jerusalem Post 5 Apr 2016 - Army Radio initially reported allegations by unnamed American woman, who was later revealed to be an activist who was denied entry to Israel and protested at AIPAC confab.


Palestinian running for Congress in Nevada says Harry Reid told him a Muslim can’t win
Mondoweiss - Should a Muslim Palestinian-American be blocked from running for Congress because of his religion and ethnicity? The question would be absurd if you substituted the terms “Roman Catholic” and “Irish-American.” But Jesse Sbaih, a Nevada attorney running for Congress in the state’s open Third District race,...


Jewish son-in-law Kushner guided Trump's triumphant AIPAC speech
Ha'aretz - 4 Apr 2016


Speaker of the US House decries 'ridiculous and counterproductive BDS shenanigan'
Jerusalem Post 4 Apr 2016 - Ryan's comments came after he, and the senior bipartisan congressional delegation he is leading, met with PM Netanyahu.


ICBGS declares the formation of Int’l lobby to break Gaza siege
PIC - 4 Apr 2016 - The International Campaign to Break Gaza Siege (ICBGS) declared Monday the formation of an international and regional lobby to break the Israeli 10-year siege on Gaza.


The Zionist educator we should have listened to
Gil Gertel, +972 Magazine 4/2/2016
      At a time when Israel’s education minister sees only Jews as moral, it is worth remembering a prominent Zionist educator who taught us that things could have turned out differently.
     This past week marked “Land Day,” in which we commemorate and decry the dispossession of Israel’s Arab citizens of their land. Fate also had it that on that very same week, the Israeli public found itself a new national hero, who took the slogan “death to Arabs” and made it a reality.
     On the day following the Hebron shooting, Education Minister Naftali Bennett attacked those who hurried to seal the fate of the soldier, supporting him half-heartedly because he “protects each and every one of us.” Last Saturday night, Bennett figured out which way the wind blows, joining the chorus of those who decided on their own that the soldier did not commit murder.
     Since we lack any real prominent educators in the present, we must dust off the writings of Yitzhak Epstein, a distinguished and pioneering educator who was one of the first Hebrew educators in pre-state Palestine. He came to Palestine in 1886 at age 23, serving as an agriculture guide at the behest of Baron Rothschild. Five years later he began working in education, when he was appointed as teacher and principal at a girls’ school in Safed.
     Epstein, in one sentence, asked us to look at things from the perspective of the other. This ability is necessary for a society based on institutions of justice, and, surprise surprise, it is the basis for all processes of learning and education. At the Seventh Zionist Congress in 1905, Epstein gave a speech titled “The Hidden Question,” which was published in print in 1907. “Among the difficult issues regarding the rebirth of our people in its homeland, one issue outweighs them all: our relations with the Arabs...."
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AIPAC polarizing US Jews
Occupation Magazine 2 Apr 2016 - Yossi Shain--Op-ed: The purportedly bipartisan pro-Israel organization has become increasingly identified with right-wing politics, and its recent conference provides evidence of that. dn


Washington’s Failure to Stem Material Support for Israeli Settler Extremists
Occupation Magazine 2 Apr 2016 - Sarah Marusek--US rhetorical opposition to illegal Israeli settlements rings hollow while it lays favors on settler organizations that fund them. dn


From the West Bank to NYC: Challenge Dani Dayan wherever he goes
Yonah Lieberman, +972 Magazine 3/31/2016
      Now that settler leader Dani Dayan has been appointed as Israel’s consul general in New York, will Jewish leaders wake up and realize that the Israeli government supports indefinite occupation over freedom for all?
     In 1963, Bull Connor became an international symbol of racism and white supremacy. A year earlier, as commissioner of public safety in Birmingham, Alabama, he shut down all of the city’s 67 parks and eight public pools, rather than desegregating them as ordered by the court. He soared to notoriety when, the following year, he oversaw legions of police officers as they blasted fire hoses on African American children and set dogs on civil rights protesters.
     In contrast with white moderates across the South — who silently supported and upheld systems of segregation — Connor’s support for violence and unabashed disdain for the civil rights movement helped bring an unbearable status quo to the nation’s attention. The resulting backlash galvanized opposition to segregation and led to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
     Now the New York Jewish community has our very own Bull Connor: Dani Dayan.
     For 15 years, Dayan was a leader of the Yesha Council, the umbrella organization representing the settlements of the West Bank, serving for six of them as chairman. Currently a resident of the settlement of Ma’ale Shomron, he has for years taken his pro-occupation message to the opinion pages of the New York Times, Boston Globe, LA Times, USA Today, and more, and has even flown to Congress to lobby representatives against the two-state solution.
     In one piece for the New York Times titled “Israel’s Settlers Are Here to Stay,” Dayan wrote....
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Frontline: East Jerusalem
Jennifer Loewenstein, CounterPunch 4/1/2016
      At the United Nations back in October, many people expected Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to drop a ‘bombshell’; a message that would shake up the status quo in Palestinian-Israeli relations. Restrained by the usual parties, Abbas’ message was no different than his usual, mealy-mouthed utterances that ‘we’re really not so thrilled about what’s happening’; that mock defiance and say nothing. It is no surprise that his popularity continues to drop at a time when furious outcries are breaking out of another decade of degradation.
     Funnily enough, writers and activists long familiar with Israel’s endless record of brutality in Palestine still refer to escalating violence as a result of ‘the failed peace process’. The what? When was there a ‘peace process’ between Israel and the Palestinians? Does anyone still believe that a ‘just peace’ process was put in place in 1993 or 1995 – or at any time before or after those dates? If that myth hasn’t been blasted away by now, it is because bobble-heads in Tel Aviv and Washington have created a fun-house looking glass through which Americans are made to understand a seriously distorted picture of the outside world.
     Is it any wonder that US-Israeli actions over the past 22 years have significantly worsened? That a United Nations report concludes that the continued deterioration of conditions on the ground for approximately 4.5 million people in Gaza Strip will render it “uninhabitable” by 2020 (UN UNCTAD Report, Sept 1st, 2015)? and that the ongoing denial of basic human rights in the West Bank have made the atmosphere there more heated and tempestuous than it has been since the military crackdowns of the second Intifada (uprising)? Surely Abbas recognizes that his “security arrangements” with Israel transformed his own fighting forces into Israel’s proxy police. If he isn’t there yet, he is miles behind his own people and gradually falling out of sight.
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What motivates US policy toward Israel?
Dr. Lawrence Davidson, Intifada-Palestine 4/1/2016
      Part I – Richard Falk
     In early March Professor Richard Falk, former United Nations Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, wrote an essay explaining that American foreign policy generated by Democratic Party presidents has been much to blame for the disastrous fate of the Palestinians. The Democrats have allowed themselves to be suborned by Zionist special interests for reasons we will explore below. It is Democratic officials who also verbally attack any American who stands up for the rights of Palestinians, and do so, if anything, more strongly than their Republican competitors.
     Falk worked tirelessly from 2008 to 2014 to bring about justice for the Palestinian people – something that, if achieved, would have raised the esteem of both the U.N. and the U.S. among millions of Arabs. Officials appointed by Democratic President Barack Obama, including national security advisor Susan Rice and current U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, repaid Falk for his efforts with insulting ad hominem attacks. For instance, Power celebrated Falk’s departure from his post by asserting that, “his publication of bizarre and insulting material has tarnished the U.N.’s reputation and undermined the effectiveness of the Human Rights Council. The United States welcomes Mr. Falk’s departure, which is long overdue.” It is to be noted that at no time did Professor Falk issue a report, or even make a public statement, that was not based on documented fact and a clear understanding of international law. One suspects that Ambassador Power knew this to be so and that her vitriol against Falk was the act of an amoral political agent of an amoral government....
     Part II – Hillary Clinton
     Watching the distressing kowtowing this past week to that same lobby by Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has proven Richard Falk undeniably correct....
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What it really means to be a friend of Israel
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 3/29/2016
      The humbug of “shared values”
     Once again the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual pantomime in Washington DC has played itself out while the world outside watches aghast at the gullibility of America’s political elite. And how they flocked to hear Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech.
     Whatever happened to the Un-American Activities Committee set up to investigate disloyalty and subversive activities on the part of private citizens and public employees, one wonders? Who is this “we”?
     “The terrorists have no resolvable grievances. It’s not as if we could offer them Brussels or Istanbul, or California or even the West Bank,” said Netanyahu. “That won’t satisfy their grievances because what they seek is our utter destruction and their total domination. Their basic demand is that we should simply disappear.”
     Funny, the Israelis have been working for nearly 70 years to make the Palestinians disappear. Domination is their specialty.
     “The only way to defeat these terrorists is to join together and fight them together… with political unity and with moral clarity. I think we have that in abundance…” Achingly funny.
     “The chain of attacks from Paris to San Bernardino to Istanbul to the Ivory Coast and now to Brussels, and the daily attacks on Israel… This is one continuous assault on all of us.” No it isn’t.
     And who is this “we”? It’s Netanyahu’s endless attempt to push the old hasbara line to make us think we’re all in it together....
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US Congressmen Call for Investigation into Israeli Crimes
IMEMC - 30 Mar 2016 - US Senator Patrick Leahy, along with 10 other Democratic congressmen, have called on the US to investigate the possibility of "gross violations of human rights" by Israel's and Egypt's security forces, including "extrajudicial killings." ...


Netanyahu spars with US senator over Israeli army's rights record
3/31/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Senator Patrick Leahy went head to head on Wednesday, after the senior Democrat and 10 other congressmen called for the US to investigate the possibility of human rights abuses by Israeli forces. In a joint letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry that was published Tuesday, the group of congressmen suggested that some....


Way to go, AIPACers: Cheering Trump undid years of work against BDS
Ha'aretz - 31 Mar 2016


Turkey's Erdogan sees positive outcome to talks with Israel next month
Jerusalem Post 31 Mar 2016 - Erdogan makes remarks at Brookings institution in Washington.


Grapevine: Foreign dignitaries flock to Israel
Jerusalem Post 31 Mar 2016 - This week, in addition to Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and various American VIPs, including a six-member congressional delegation visited the Jewish state.


US congressmen seek investigation of Israel's 'extrajudicial killings'
3/30/2016 - BETHLEHEM -- US Senator Patrick Leahy along with 10 other Democratic congressmen have called on the US to investigate the possibility of "gross violations of human rights" by Israel's and Egypt's security forces, including "extrajudicial killings." Leahy, who has in the past sought a greater role for human rights in US foreign policy, made the request in a joint letter sent to....


The fourth pilgrimage holiday – AIPAC 2016
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2016 - First, I could not help being impressed with Washington, which is so grand, so aesthetic, so powerful.


The New Unions are officially recognised as trade union confederation
Stop The Wall - Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign New Unions Saturday, March 26, the Palestine New Federation of Trade Unions (New Unions) have celebrated their official recognition as trade union federation by the Palestinian authorities and at the same time have held their annual congress, voting for a new union council and executive...


US congressmen call on Kerry to probe Israeli 'extrajudicial executions'
YNet News, 30 Mar 2016 - In letter, Dem. Senator Patrick Leahy urges State Department to investigate allegations of 'gross violations of human rights' by Israel and Egypt, and reexamine military aid to the two countries. ....


Israel’s killing of Hadeel Hashlamoun, 18, is cited as possible ‘gross human rights violation’ by group of Congresspeople
Mondoweiss - The horrifying killing of 18-year-old Hadeel al-Hashlamoun at an Israeli checkpoint in occupied Hebron last September has at last become a public issue in the U.S. Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has called on the State Department to determine whether the killing, and several other Israeli “extrajudicial...


US Congress candidate says senior Democrat told him not to run 'because he is Muslim'
The National 30 Mar 2016 - WASHINGTON // A Democrat running for US Congress in Nevada has claimed that Senate minority leader Harry Reid discouraged him from running because he is Muslim. Jesse Sbaih said the comments from his fellow Nevada Democrat came during a meeting the two of them had at a...


CENTER FIELD: AIPAC’s student activists: Pro-Israel, pro-active, and often progressive
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2016 - Feeling intimidated by propagandizing professors and hostile students, many Jews are abandoning Israel and even denying their Judaism.


In Israel, BDS is winning
Occupation Magazine 28 Mar 2016 - Mairav Zonszein - +972 - It was a tell-tale sign that the global movement to boycott Israel has become significant enough to warrant such an event, whose speakers included President Reuven Rivlin, senior Knesset ministers, members of the opposition, World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder and...


AIPAC polarizing US Jews
YNet News, 28 Mar 2016 - Op-ed: The purportedly bipartisan pro-Israel organization has become increasingly identified with right-wing politics, and its recent conference provides evidence of that. ....


Sanders proposes full reversal of US policy in the Middle East
berniesanders.com, Intifada-Palestine 3/27/2016
      Senator Bernie Sanders has made a historic speech about relations with Israel, Palestinians, Iran, Russia and the whole Middle Eastern situation.
     The speech contains the more detailed, concrete and comprehensive alternative ever presented to the policy Washington is following in the Middle East after September 11th, under the influence of the Neoconservatives. Among other things, Sanders is proposing to pay attention to the rights of the Palestinian people and to work closely with Moscow and moderates in Teheran, in order to find a peaceful, stabilizing way out of the extremely dangerous situation prevailing now in the Middle East.
     We call the speech “historic” for many reasons. It is the first time, as far as we remember, that a US presidential contender has the courage to use such a frank language speaking about relations with Israel and the Palestinians. We have to be a friend to Israel, Sanders stressed in his speech, but we have also got to be friends “to the Palestinian people” and, “when we talk about Israel and Palestinian areas, it is important to understand that today there is a whole [lot] of suffering among Palestinians...You can’t have good policy that results in peace if you ignore one side”, said the Senator, asking for the respect of the right of Palestinians to self-determination.
     Having said that, Sanders went on saying that he is “proud” for his opposition to the invasion of Iraq. Here you have no more half-truths and indirect words. This language can be used only by somebody who really wants to shift in a radical way the direction US policy in the Middle East has taken long ago. If and in what extent he can succeed, is of course another story. But it is already very important that even an “outsider” in the main political arena affecting US politics, the campaign for the presidential nomination is advancing such ideas. (It is also an indirect proof of the dynamism some sections of US society still keep, in spite of a general climate of decline of this great country).
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Israel’s opportunistic exploitation
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/25/2016
      Capitalising upon atrocious acts of terrorism remains a priority for the Israeli government. Following the terror attacks in Brussels, shifting the focus towards Israel was an easily-accomplished feat that included a recapitulation of rhetoric about affront, grievances and opportunity.
     In the aftermath of the attacks, Israeli Minister of Science, Technology and Space Ofir Akunis made the ludicrous suggestion that the EU’s concern about the boycotting and labelling of illegal settlement produce contributed to the atrocities in Belgium. “Many people in Europe have preferred to occupy themselves with the folly of condemning Israel, labelling products and boycotts,” he claimed pompously before adding that the focus upon Israel resulted in misplaced priorities.
     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also linked the issue of global terrorism to the Jerusalem Intifada during a televised speech to the AIPAC conference on Tuesday. Addressing America’s most influential pro-Israel lobby group, he persisted in the intentional distortion of Palestinian resistance and providing the foundations for further exploitation of both Palestine and Europe. His motive was to increase Israeli exports of military and surveillance technology. While the statement from Netanyahu’s office contained the usual obscure and perfunctory rhetoric about Israel offering “help and cooperation in the war on terror” without any specific details, it is possible that it refers to another amalgamation of military and surveillance technology boosting Israel’s economy as well as its colonisation of Palestine.
     A recent report by Reuters states that Israeli-owned Elbit Systems is expecting “renewed interest in its technologies in Europe.” The report also refers to statements by the company’s CEO, Bezhalel Machlis, who declared that, “The migration crisis and security fears create big opportunities for Elbit in Europe.” As far as Israel is concerned, wherever there’s human misery, there’s money to be made.
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Clinton promises to take US-Israel relationship to the next level
PIC - 26 Mar 2016 - At this year's AIPAC conference, Hillary Clinton made it clear that Palestinian lives don’t matter. Instead, she pities the Israeli occupier.


Israel’s next steps in the West Bank
Geoffrey Aronson, Al Jazeera 3/26/2016
      Israel is charting a future in which the tattered Oslo deal with the PLO is viewed as long-outdated.
     US Vice-President Joe Biden was not revealing a secret when, during a recent speech to the pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC, he observed that there is "no political will at this moment among Israelis or Palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations".
     Washington has no expectations. It sees no opportunities, and it has exhausted its energy or interest to create them. The Obama White House simply hopes that it can put the conflict on autopilot, and pray that nothing happens to force it to pay Palestine serious attention.
     Palestinian institutions too are immobilised. The Palestinian Authority has been debilitated by endemic conflict between Fatah and Hamas; the PA's president has remained in office well past his "sell-by" date and the institutions he leads have been enervated by the endless and losing battle with Israel's military occupation.
     Then too, Israel's voracious settlement enterprise in the past half century has transferred more than one half million Israelis to the West Bank and East Jerusalem, while the random attacks of recent months attest to the absence of direction and leadership that is the disheartening legacy of the PLO's tottering experiment in limited self-rule. Israel in the driver's seat
     This sorry state of affairs leaves Israel in the driver's seat - a role it has held with only brief and fleeting challenge since June of 1967.
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Hillary’s Latest Bow to AIPAC
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Mar 2016 - By Ralph Nader It is well known to Washington political observers that politicians invited to speak at the annual, giant AIPAC convention ask for suggested talking points from this powerful pro-Israeli government lobby. Hillary Clinton’s pandering speech must have registered close to 100% on AIPAC’s checklist. Of course, both parties pander to AIPAC to such depths of similar obeisance that reporters have little to report as news. But giving big-time coverage to sheer political power is automatic. Compare it to the sparse attention given to the conference a few days earlier at the National Press Club on the Israeli lobby featuring scholars, authors and the well-known Israeli dissenter, Gideon Levy of the respected Haaretz newspaper. But Mrs. Clinton’s speech was newsworthy for its moral obtuseness and the way in which it promised unilateral White House belligerence should she become president. A reader would never know that her condemnation of Palestinian...more


Why I chose to get arrested at AIPAC
Mondoweiss - On Monday March 21, hundreds of human rights activists gathered outside the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) annual policy conference at the Verizon convention center in Washington DC. Protesters sang song about peace and justice and chanted “From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have...


AIPAC, Israel and the U.S: an Unholy Alliance
Robert Fantina, CounterPunch 3/25/2016
      The annual Israeli-lobby love fest is in full swing, the highlight of which may be the sight of most of the candidates for the highest office in the land groveling before their financial masters. The annual AIPAC (Apartheid Israel Political Affairs Committee; oops! That is, officially, the American Israel Political Affairs Committee) orgy always draws the United States president and every member of Congress worthy to be called a lackey for Israel, and their name is legion.
     But during what the U.S. calls an election year, that quadrennial event when a four-year lease for the White House is auctioned off to the highest bidder, excitement at AIPAC is at a fever pitch. And this year, the thrill is even greater, since this is the first major meeting of this unholy lobby since the passage of the Iran agreement that moderates that nation’s nuclear ambitions, an agreement that the Israeli lobby found most unpalatable. Also, in January of next year, Israel will have a brand new president, when that odious Barack Obama, with whom Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu has a most uncordial relationship, will be replaced.
     It is amazing to anyone who is not besotted with Israel, anyone who recognizes its constant, ongoing war crimes and violations of international law, to observe this spectacle. And what a spectacle has been brought to us thus far this year! A few gems will suffice to help the reader know what he or she is missing.
     * The frontrunner for the GOP nomination, businessman and erstwhile reality television star Donald Trump, wowed the audience by promising to dismantle the nuclear agreement with Iran, and condemning Palestinian violence while he commended Israeli moderation. ‘The Donald’, famous for saying whatever his racist audience, be it an all-white one in Middle-America or a Zionist one in the nation’s capital, wants to hear, certainly delivered for AIPAC.
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EXCLUSIVE: Jordan's Abdullah claims Iran exporting weapons to Africa
Middle East Eye 25 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Jordan's foreign minister lauded Saudi for 'clipping the wings' of Iran in a meeting with congressmen in the United States


At the Intersection of Zionism and Social Justice
Dissident Voice: 25 Mar 2016 - In her oily, cringe-inducing and totally predictable speech to AIPAC on March 21, Hillary Clinton argued that, since (according to her) “anti-Semitism is on the rise across the world… we must repudiate all efforts to malign, isolate and undermine Israel and the Jewish people.” In other words, we must do what we can to shut down any legitimate criticism of Israeli policy. A reliable means of doing so is to conflate said criticism with anti-Semitism and thus vilify the critic in question. This particular strategy has been perfected and institutionalized for decades, and was perhaps best deconstructed by Norman Finkelstein in “The Holocaust Industry.” By dismissing BDS advocates as irrational, Jew-hating troublemakers, Hillary Clinton, the great bastion of liberalism and progress, makes common cause with the jingoist far right (where she actually belongs). But she also makes common cause with a good chunk of US academia, where criticism of Israel...more


No holds barred: Purim makes it harder for me to forgive Cory Booker
Jerusalem Post 24 Mar 2016 - When hundreds of people at AIPAC asked me why not simply forgive Cory for Iran and resume a friendship that made us indivisible soul-friends, I tell them it’s a lot more complicated than they think.


The AIPAC rabbi walk-out that wasn’t
Mondoweiss - There was a very special episode Monday of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC), starring presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. All had came to Washington, D.C. to speak to thousands of members of the lobbying group. I didn’t apply...


The moral crisis exposed at AIPAC
+972 Magazine - What happened at AIPAC was shameful and frightening. Liberal Jews are horrified and the ones who are not seem pretty smug in their lack of self awareness. Welcome to the schism. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC Police Conference in Washington D.C., March...


Aipac: Kashering Trump
Tikun Olam - it’s trump’s bar miztvah and i think he went with “fascist dystopian horrorscape” as his theme! pic.twitter.com/ZHyHwlHb0T — Adam Freelander (@adamplease) March 21, 2016 In... Read more


Israel-Palestine: The delusion of a two-state solution
Sharif Nashashibi, Al Jazeera 3/24/2016
      The one-state debate for both peoples is moot given that the two-state solution is no longer feasible.
     It is duplicitous enough for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to convince audiences outside his own country from time to time that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state. Worse still is that he portrays his efforts in this regard as being constantly thwarted by the Palestinians themselves.
     In other words, Netanyahu would have us believe that he is a greater proponent of such a state than those who have been denied it by almost half a century of Israeli military occupation and colonisation.
     He reiterated this fallacy on March 22, while addressing the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, Washington's most influential pro-Israel lobby group.
     He said he was willing to resume talks on a two-state solution "immediately … anytime, anywhere", if only his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas was willing to do the same.
     This just one day after the Israeli government issued notices to seize nearly 120 hectares of land from Palestinian villages in the northern West Bank, and days after it declared more than 2,300 dunums of land in Jericho as "state lands", which are then usually granted to Jewish settlers.
     Never mind that in the same speech, Netanyahu urged the United States to oppose any UN resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. It seems no one else apart from him - not the international community or even the Palestinians - is allowed to seek such a state.
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AIPAC can’t distance itself from Trump any more than the GOP can
Noa Yachot, +972 Magazine 3/23/2016
      Considering the Israel lobby’s history of confrontation with Obama and the roars of approval its members gave Donald Trump for bashing him, AIPAC’s apology rings hollow, to put it mildly.
     In a strange twist to the theater that is the annual AIPAC conference, Donald Trump’s attacks against President Obama during his speech on Monday brought the lobby’s president to tears.
     Lillian Pinkus issued an emotional apology on Tuesday, the day after Trump celebrated onstage – with a “yay” – Obama’s looming departure from office. “There are people in our AIPAC family who were deeply hurt last night and for that we are deeply sorry,” she said.
     This rings hollow, to put it mildly. AIPAC has made no secret of its disdain for Obama and his less-than-cuddly approach to Israel’s leadership. And Trump was met with standing ovations and roars of approval when he spoke at the lobby’s conference. AIPAC can’t distance itself from Trump any more than the GOP can.
     Actually, Trump’s AIPAC speech was remarkable for how unremarkable it was. It had all the swagger of a typical AIPAC spectacle – garish praise for the U.S.-Israel alliance, doomsday warnings of the threats both countries face, and blame for the conflict squarely on the Palestinians. He stayed within AIPAC’s playbook – and he even used a teleprompter. The annual Israel love-fest is no time for improvisation.
     Hillary Clinton’s performance was more startling for its jingoism and distortion of reality. To hear her speak, it would seem that tolerant Israeli Jews are cowering in their homes as bloodthirsty Palestinian masses roam the streets and American anti-Semites plot a BDS-fueled takeover. There is, of course, no human rights problem. There is no occupation.
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The moral crisis exposed at AIPAC
Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine 3/23/2016
      What happened at AIPAC was shameful and frightening. Liberal Jews are horrified and the ones who are not seem pretty smug in their lack of self awareness. Welcome to the schism.
     On Monday night 18,000 Israel supporters, mostly Jews, sat in a Washington D.C. stadium and applauded for Donald Trump, a man whose candidacy for president of the United States is supported by neo-Nazis.
     Let’s leave aside Trump’s misogyny, his vulgarity, his racism against non whites and his encouragement of violence. Let us leave aside, for a moment, the point that he is unabashedly a spectacularly ignorant man who has the attention span of an adolescent with an addiction to junk food and first-person shooter video games. Let’s just focus on one salient, astonishing and monumentally shameful fact: a stadium full of Jews sat, (and sometimes stood) and applauded for a man who does not deny that he sleeps with a book of Hitler’s speeches next to his bed, and who refuses to disavow his neo-Nazi supporters.
     The organized, actively pro-Israel American Jewish community has been teetering on the edge of a full blown crisis for many years. You can’t vote Democrat, recycle your waste, buy your kids gender-neutral toys, advocate for immigration, and look the other way as the Israeli army kills over 500 children in Gaza — and not be at serious risk for a moral crisis. But, let’s say these Progressives Except for Palestine (PEPs) are just misguided. Because they don’t speak Hebrew and never lived in Israel and are badly informed. For the sake of argument, I will cut them that slack.
     But not for those who sat and let Donald Trump speak....
     ....The truth is that Donald Trump’s speech was not significantly different from those delivered by Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Paul Ryan or John Kasich....
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The biggest hit at AIPAC: Trump campaign kippot
Ha'aretz - 23 Mar 2016


Trump at AIPAC: A Jewish Betrayal of the United States
Ha'aretz - 23 Mar 2016


Washington watch: AIPAC celebrates Panderfest ’16
Jerusalem Post 23 Mar 2016 - If the AIPACers genuinely believe Trump’s scripted speech means he’s had a change of heart about the Jewish state, they haven’t been paying attention.


Podcast: Did AIPAC tame the Donald?
Jerusalem Post 23 Mar 2016 - Washington Bureau Chief Michael Wilner joins to discuss the controversy around Trump’s appearance on the stage of the largest pro-Israel lobby in the US.


Netanyahu to AIPAC: UN resolution would kill chance for peace
YNet News, 22 Mar 2016 - Prime Minister tells pro-Israel conference he hopes the US will continue to reject Security Council attempts to back Palestinian statehood, saying he was ready for talks with no preconditions. ....


What if Bernie Sanders had delivered his speech at AIPAC!?
Mondoweiss - What if Bernie Sanders had actually spoken at AIPAC, by Katie Miranda Unlike the other four presidential candidates, Democrat Bernie Sanders declined the invitation to speak at the AIPAC– American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference– in Washington on Monday, and instead delivered a foreign policy address...


AIPAC can’t distance itself from Trump any more than the GOP can
+972 Magazine - Considering the Israel lobby’s history of confrontation with Obama and the roars of approval its members gave Donald Trump for bashing him, AIPAC’s apology rings hollow, to put it mildly. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign event in Las Vegas. (Photo by Joseph Sohm /...


The moral crisis exposed at AIPAC
+972 Magazine - What happened at AIPAC was shameful and frightening. Liberal Jews are horrified and the ones who are not seem pretty smug in their lack of self awareness. Welcome to the schism. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the 2016 AIPAC Police Conference in Washington D.C., March...


Trump Pledges to Dismantle “Catastrophic Deal” with Iran
Asharq Alawsat ME News 23 Mar 2016 - Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) afternoon general session in Washington March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Washington-The presidential race shifts west on Tuesday, with voters in both parties deciding in Arizona and Utah, and Idaho Democrats holding caucuses....


Trump Puts Divide Between Israel Lobby and American Jewry on Vivid Display
The Forward New 22 Mar 2016 - Donald Trump’s ad hominem attack on President Obama from the AIPAC stage, and the group’s extraordinary apology, exposed the difficulty it faces in trying to win back its bipartisan credentials.


Trump no longer 'neutral' on Israel
Al-Monitor 22 Mar 2016 - Republican and Democratic presidential candidates vied to prove their pro-Israel credentials before the annual AIPAC convention, with Ted Cruz threatening to shoot down Iranian ballistic missiles and Hillary Clinton channeling her inner Queen Esther and Golda Meir.


AIPAC slams Trump over 'attacks levied against Obama from our stage'
Ha'aretz - 22 Mar 2016


The candidates at AIPAC: Pandering by numbers
Ha'aretz - 22 Mar 2016


Trump’s hypnotic gig at AIPAC will go down in history - or infamy
Ha'aretz - 22 Mar 2016


AIPAC apologizes for Donald Trump’s attack on President Obama
Jerusalem Post 22 Mar 2016 -


PM sends signal to AIPAC supporters: Lobby against new UN Mideast resolution
Jerusalem Post 22 Mar 2016 - Netanyahu, in a live address from his office in Jerusalem, said that the UN has “a shameful record singling out Israel for castigation and condemnation.


European Jewish community condemns ‘Islamic fascism and terror’ after Brussels attacks
Jerusalem Post 22 Mar 2016 - The European Jewish Congress (EJC) expressed shock and revulsion at the attacks, calling them “shots at the heart of Europe,” which must countered.


What Sanders said on Israel in AIPAC speech that he was not allowed to deliver
Jerusalem Post 22 Mar 2016 - Democratic presidential candidate sought to address conference remotely, but lobby group turned him down.


Netanyahu to AIPAC: Brussels attack and terror in Israel part of same assault
Jerusalem Post 22 Mar 2016 - "In all these cases the terrorists have no resolvable differences," Netanyahu tells conference.


Aipac: Kashering Trump
Tikun Olam - it’s trump’s bar miztvah and i think he went with “fascist dystopian horrorscape” as his theme! pic.twitter.com/ZHyHwlHb0T — Adam Freelander (@adamplease) March 21, 2016 In... Read more


Trump Says He Loves Israel, but Does Israel Love Him?
The Forward New 22 Mar 2016 - “I love the people in this room. I love Israel. I love Israel,” Donald Trump told a convention of pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington this week. But the feeling still isn’t quite mutual. At least not yet.


Absent from AIPAC, Sanders slams Israeli occupation, ‘disproportionate’ use of force
Occupation Magazine 21 Mar 2016 - Rebecca Shimoni - Times of Israel - While declaring his commitment to Israel’s security, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders accused Israel of using disproportionate force in its military operations and pilloried the settlement policies of the Netanyahu government, in a speech released Monday while the...


Bad news for Palestinians: Clinton promises to take US-Israel relationship to the next level
Middle East Eye 22 Mar 2016 - At this year's AIPAC conference, Hillary Clinton made it clear that Palestinian lives don’t matter. Instead, she pities the Israeli occupier


Trump no longer 'neutral' on Israel
Al-Monitor 22 Mar 2016 - Republican and Democratic presidential candidates vied to prove their pro-Israel credentials before the annual AIPAC convention, with Ted Cruz threatening to shoot down Iranian ballistic missiles and Hillary Clinton channeling her inner Queen Esther and Golda Meir.


Are you now or have you ever been an anti-Zionist?
Asa Winstanley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/20/2016
      Last month the American reporter Eli Clifton revealed a secret "Anti-Israel" enemies list maintained by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
     The ADL was founded 103 years ago as a civil rights organisation to defend Jews in America from then-rampant anti-Semitism. However, long ago, it all but abandoned this mission.
     Instead, its main function today is to act as one of the main lobby groups for the continuation of Israeli war crimes and apartheid in the Unites States. It even works hand in glove with both American and Israeli spy and police agencies.
     Any genuine civil rights group would be aiming to hold such agencies to account, not cosying up to them.
     The list of "Anti-Israel Groups" was presented in a series of PowerPoint slides (see pages 69-70) seemingly intended for internal presentation only. It was apparently leaked to Clifton. It lists 12 such enemies, including Al-Awda, the Palestine Right to Return Coalition; CODEPINK: Women for Peace; Jewish Voice for Peace; Students for Justice in Palestine and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.
     It's far from the first time that the ADL has come up with such blacklists, and it has even published them in the past. In 2013, it published a list of "top ten anti-Israel groups based in America." The list was quite similar to the secret one revealed by Clifton.
     Back in 1983, the ADL distributed a more extensive enemies list, in the form of a booklet entitled Pro-Arab Propaganda in America: Vehicles and Voices....
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Sanders calls for end to Israeli occupation in AIPAC snub speech
Middle East Eye 21 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Vermont senator stresses need for Palestinian security, water rights and end to blockade of Gaza in final peace deal


Donald Trump shifts towards Israel at annual AIPAC meeting
Middle East Eye 21 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Billionaire Republican became less 'neutral' about the decades-old dispute when addressing pro-Israel lobby


Trump wins over AIPAC audience with strong pro-Israel stance
Ha'aretz - 21 Mar 2016


In dig at Trump, Clinton tells AIPAC she won't be neutral on Israel
Ha'aretz - 21 Mar 2016


Ready, aim, fire! Hillary Clinton targets Donald Trump in rousing AIPAC address
Ha'aretz - 21 Mar 2016


If Trump's good enough on Israel for Adelson, Jews should give him a chance at AIPAC
Ha'aretz - 21 Mar 2016


Rubio missing from AIPAC: The end of the 'good for Israel' neocons
Ha'aretz - 21 Mar 2016


Republic presidential candidate Ted Cruz begins AIPAC speech with Purim analogy
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2016 -


Trump takes to stage at AIPAC
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2016 -


Speaker of House of Representatives Paul Ryan begins speech at AIPAC
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2016 -


Republic presidential candidate Governor John Kasich begins AIPAC speech
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2016 -


WATCH: GOP presidential battle takes AIPAC by storm
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2016 - Follow the JPost's live updates of the pro-Israel lobby's annual policy conference.


Trump tries his hand at foreign policy in speech to skeptical Aipac crowd
The Guardian 21 Mar 2016 - Republican makes pledges to Israel in first foreign policy speech of election but gets mixed reaction after branding Hillary Clinton a ‘disaster’ as secretary of state Donald Trump vowed to stand with Israel and branded Hillary...


Trump aims to woo pro-Israel donors at Aipac despite their lingering worries
The Guardian 21 Mar 2016 - Republican frontrunner reportedly consults with prominent GOP fundraisers for help with crafting remarks but many still fear his divisive ‘dog whistle’ rhetoric As Donald Trump prepares to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the...


Palestine PM longs for AIPAC-like influence
Daily Star 21 Mar 2016 As foreign assistance dwindles and credit limits hold back growth, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah sees little chance of salvation coming from U.S. presidential front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.


Illinois lists 11 companies banned from doing business with state due to BDS
Mondoweiss - Illinois becomes first state to list companies banned for business  due to BDS WASHINGTON (JTA) 20 Mar — An Illinois state agency named 11 companies barred from doing business with the state for boycotting Israel or its settlements, the first such designation by an official US...


Trump ‘has no business being president’ because he would be ‘neutral’ to Israel — Clinton tells AIPAC
Mondoweiss - If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton is running to the right of Donald Trump on Israel, she removed it this morning with a fist-pumping hard-right speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC that mentioned Israeli settlements just once, in passing, and continually derided the...


Black student leader disinvited from AIPAC for opposing Hillary Clinton
Electronic Intifada - The powerful Israel lobby group is protecting Clinton and Trump by probing the activist histories of Black students, effectively shielding the candidates from the risk of dissent.


STREAMING LIVE: Donald Trump Speaks At AIPAC Confab
The Forward New 21 Mar 2016 - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday unveiled a partial list of his foreign policy advisers in an interview with The Washington Post, after saying last week that he mostly consults himself on international affairs.


Hillary Clinton Slams Donald Trump’s Israel Policy As ‘Dangerously Wrong’
The Forward New 21 Mar 2016 - Hillary Rodham Clinton derided Donald Trump as a feckless negotiator and told AIPAC that “walking away” from the Middle East was not an option for the United States, a broadside against the Republican front-runner that signaled her general election strategy.


VIDEO: Joe Biden at AIPAC Scolds Israel for Expanding Settlements
The Forward New 21 Mar 2016 - Vice President Joe Biden called on Israel’s government on Sunday to demonstrate its commitment to a two-state solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians and said settlement expansion is weakening prospects for peace.


AIPAC Acts to Manage Trump
The Forward New 20 Mar 2016 - The pro-Israel lobby group worked to contain the controversy around Donald Trump’s appearance by asking participants for civility †and subtly criticizing his message.


Clinton or Trump, it will be a sad day for the future of occupied Palestine
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/21/2016
      Hillary Clinton: "[Israel] must be closer than ever and stronger than ever...to prevail against our common adversaries and advance our shared values."
     US presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton has made her extreme pro-Israel credentials clearer than ever as she seeks campaign donations and votes from lobbyists in America. According to a report in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper, she has said that America and Israel “must be closer than ever and stronger than ever… to prevail against our common adversaries and advance our shared values."
     She then went on to criticise Palestinians for the “brutal stabbings and shootings" which are, she claimed, “incited” by the leadership in Ramallah. Furthermore, she condemned the Palestinians for “celebrating terrorists as martyrs” and “paying rewards to their families.”
     In doing so, she was parroting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as ignoring the uncomfortable - for anyone concerned with reality in this world - fact that Israel has indeed glorified terrorists, “naming not only streets after them but also electing them to the highest office,” as journalist Mehdi Hassan has demonstrated.
     Highlighting the “brutal stabbings and shootings" while failing to condemn Israel’s brutal military occupation and extra-judicial murder of Palestinian teenagers by security forces who are incapable, apparently, of disarming and arresting them, demonstrates that if she ever had a head and a heart filled with concern for humanity, Clinton has lost both. She is in the pro-Israel Lobby’s financial and electoral grip, and Zionism is a pernicious ideology.
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Biden warns AIPAC that Israeli settlement building erodes chances for peace
Middle East Eye 21 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Neither Palestinians or Israelis have 'political will' for peace, said Biden


Black student leader disinvited from AIPAC for opposing Hillary Clinton
Electronic Intifada: 20 Mar 2016 - The powerful Israel lobby group is protecting Clinton and Trump by probing the activist histories of Black students, effectively shielding the candidates from the risk of dissent. more..


Clinton Tells AIPAC: Trump ‘Has No Business Being President’ because He Would Be ‘Neutral’ to Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2016 - If there was any doubt that Hillary Clinton is running to the right of Donald Trump on Israel, she removed it this morning with a fist-pumping hard-right speech to the Israel lobby group AIPAC that mentioned Israeli settlements just once, in passing, and continually derided the idea of American “neutrality” in the conflict, which Trump has embraced. “We need steady hands, not a president who says he is neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything is negotiable!” Clinton said. In clear reference to Trump, she went on,”Well my friends, Israel’s security is not negotiable.” The comments were a clear reference to Trump’s assertion that he wants to be neutral in what he says about the conflict because he aims to negotiate a deal between the sides as president, the hardest deal in the world. “America can’t ever be neutral when it comes to...more


US Congress blocks $159 million in aid to PA
3/20/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Members of the United States Congress are delaying a payment of $159 million in aid allocated for the Palestinian Authority in effort to pressure the PA to relaunch negotiations with Israel, the PLO ambassador to Washington said Saturday. Maen Erekat confirmed earlier reportsthat US Congress was blocking the payment, which came at the request of House Republican Kay Granger, the Chairwoman....


AIPAC attendees face Donald dilemma: Stay polite or walk out
Ha'aretz - 20 Mar 2016


Trump set to dominate the AIPAC conference - whether they like him or not
Ha'aretz - 20 Mar 2016


AIPAC activists head to Washington with an app, but no Iran agenda
Ha'aretz - 20 Mar 2016


Trump offers a peek inside his AIPAC speech, vows to broker peace between Israel, Palestinians
Ha'aretz - 20 Mar 2016


AIPAC is destroying Israel, not safeguarding it
Ha'aretz - 20 Mar 2016


Combustible mix of protesters descending on AIPAC
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2016 - While many Jewish groups supportive of AIPAC and Israel plan to protest Trump, many others plan on using the opportunity to highlight their opposition to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.


Protesting Bigots and Demagogues at AIPAC? Don’t Stop at Trump. Call Out Netanyahu Too
Occupation Magazine 19 Mar 2016 - Roy Isacowitz--Many American Jews are angered at the prospect of Donald Trump addressing the AIPAC policy conference in Washington this coming week and are promising to abstain from attending, walk out of the hall or protest his presence in other ways.


No to normalisation
Seif al-Din Abdel-Fattah, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/18/2016
      Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon admitted in his speech at the annual AIPAC conference, the largest Zionist lobby supporting Israel in the US, that the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the installation of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi was planned, in cooperation with generals in the Egyptian and Gulf armies and intelligence agencies. He also said that Israel’s interests will always be served by having military regimes in the Arab world, especially in Egypt.
     He apologised that the military regimes usually disregard democracy in Egypt but called on the lobby to provide more support for Al-Sisi. Ya’alon also explicitly said: “We decided to allow General Al-Sisi, who was the defence minister at the time, to take over power by mobilising the army in order to become a president. The West should consider this of strategic interest for them as well.”
     This is not the first testimony made by the Israeli occupation’s generals and rabbis regarding the need to keep Al-Sisi as president of Egypt in order to serve Israel’s interests. The archive of relations between the two countries is full of flattery and statements of complete support for this government, which Israel has dreamed about for years, according to Wael Qandil. The coup was an opportunity for Israel to practice its extortion in order to continue its normalisation strategy.
     With regards to relations between Arab countries and Israel, normalisation means that these countries, or their institutions or figures carrying out cooperative projects, have economic and trade exchanges and spread the culture of acceptance of the enemy in a context of political poisoning and cultural normalisation while the occupation continues. Normalisation in this case not only means allowing for natural relations to develop between the oppressor and the oppressed in the absence of justice and continued occupation and settlement activity. It also means that those who normalise relations with Israel are voluntarily stripping Israel of its label as an enemy and instead accuses those resisting the Israeli occupation of hostility.
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Protesting bigots and demagogues at AIPAC? Don’t stop at Trump. Call out Netanyahu too
Ha'aretz - 19 Mar 2016


Why is AIPAC legitimating Donald Trump’s bigotry?
Mondoweiss - Critics of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee have long contended that the lobbying group puts Israel’s interests before America’s. AIPAC’s invitation to Donald Trump to speak at its annual conference next week in the face of his bigoted comments about Muslims and Mexicans and endorsement...


Bazooka Joe Biden goes ballistic… with hypocrisy
Finian Cunningham, Intifada-Palestine 3/10/2016
      While on a visit to nuclear-weaponzied Israel this week, US Vice-President Joe Biden threatened Iran with unspecified “action”over its testing of two long-range ballistic missiles.
     Biden, who is nicknamed Bazooka Joe for his blunt rhetorical style, displayed typical American hypocrisy over his warning to Iran. He issued his admonition while in Tel Aviv alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose state is known to be armed with as many as 300 nuclear warheads in defiance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
     Earlier, Iran reportedly tested the ballistic missiles on its own remote territory. Each were said to have range of over 1,000 kilometers, and an Iranian military spokesman said the weapons were capable of hitting Israel.
     Biden did not specify what the US action towards Iran would entail. But given that Washington has repeatedly violated international laws forbidding the mere verbalizing of aggression by threatening that “all options are on the table”with regard to Iran, the US action could mean a military response. Or it could mean the US blocking the lifting of economic sanctions as part of the international nuclear accord signed last July with Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers.
     For its part, Iran said that the missiles tested this week were for conventional, non-nuclear warheads. Tehran rejected US claims that it had violated the P5+1 nuclear accord, which mandates that Iran foregoes any nuclear weapons development. Iran says it has the right to develop all conventional weapons for defensive purposes.
     Given that Israel actually does possess nuclear missiles and, like the US, has illegally threatened Iran on countless occasions with pre-emptive military strikes, one could reasonably expect Iran to develop long-range missiles for defense.
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Bernie Sanders says he will not attend AIPAC conference
Middle East Eye 18 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Sanders' decision comes days after thousands signed a petition urging him not to attend


Appointment of Israeli Spokesman viewed as Snub to US
Dissident Voice: 19 Mar 2016 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of a new foreign media adviser and spokesman this week, the latest in a series of moves viewed as snubs to the Obama White House. US-born David Keyes replaces Mark Regev, who became familiar to English-language audiences as the voice of the Netanyahu government during Israel’s repeated attacks on Gaza. Regev will be Israel’s new ambassador to the UK. Keyes, aged 32, has been plucked from his current position as executive director of Advancing Human Rights, a New York-based lobby group he founded in 2010. He also heads a web operation known as Cyberdissidents, which claims to connect political dissidents around the world. Keyes took Israeli citizenship nearly a decade ago, and then served as a spokesperson in the Israeli army. Netanyahu’s office said Keyes would start in his new role “very soon”. Rumours of the appointment had been circulating since January....more


How groups plan to protest Trump at AIPAC: Walk out, stay away, study Torah
Ha'aretz - 18 Mar 2016


Nu, Bernie Sanders, instead of shvitzing you can still come talk to AIPAC
Ha'aretz - 18 Mar 2016


Bernie Sanders declines AIPAC invitation, citing campaign schedule
Ha'aretz - 18 Mar 2016


Stand up to Trump: Not for AIPAC, not for the Jews, but for something much greater
Ha'aretz - 18 Mar 2016


John Kasich to address AIPAC conference
Ha'aretz - 18 Mar 2016


Bernie Sanders turns down invitation to address AIPAC confab
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2016 -


Jewish leaders plan to protest Donald Trump at AIPAC confab
Jerusalem Post 18 Mar 2016 -


Sanders will not attend AIPAC, offers to share remarks
Mondoweiss - For the last several weeks there has been much speculation over whether presidential candidate Bernie Sanders would address the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, DC. A petition calling on Sanders to skip the conference has gathered over 5,000 signatures so far leading Fortune magazine to declare,...


American Jews should protest AIPAC, not Trump
+972 Magazine - AIPAC has never cared about Israel’s disregard for civil and human rights. So why should it care about Trump’s? Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign event in Las Vegas. (Photo by Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com ) Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump has been making headlines for weeks...


Bernie Sanders says he will not attend AIPAC conference
Middle East Eye 18 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Sanders' decision comes days after thousands signed a petition urging him not to attend


No to Normalisation
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Mar 2016 - By Seif al-Din Abdel-Fattah  Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon admitted in his speech at the annual AIPAC conference, the largest Zionist lobby supporting Israel in the US, that the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the installation of Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi was planned, in cooperation with generals in the Egyptian and Gulf armies and intelligence agencies. He also said that Israel’s interests will always be served by having military regimes in the Arab world, especially in Egypt. He apologized that the military regimes usually disregard democracy in Egypt but called on the lobby to provide more support for Al-Sisi. Ya’alon also explicitly said: “We decided to allow General Al-Sisi, who was the defense minister at the time, to take over power by mobilizing the army in order to become a president. The West should consider this of strategic interest for them as well.” This is not the first testimony made...more


On Palestine: Be Warned of ‘Solidarity Capture’
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Mar 2016 - By Iqbal Jassat As South Africa emerged from the annual calendar event known as #IsraelApartheidWeek (IAW) , the country has plunged into an abyss of shame following huge controversies arising from allegations of “state capture”. Dark, threatening clouds gathered around the Presidency and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to come clean on whether key ministerial positions are “selected” by an unelected family who are known to wield enormous financial clout. Known as the Gupta’s, the family which originates from India, has acquired a sizable chunk of wealth in a relatively short time since setting up in SA during the post-Apartheid era. In the midst of the current political storm which has consumed public interest and media content, fortunately, the Palestinian question remains alive. In addition to the current distraction, South African supporters of Apartheid Israel also tried to derail IAW. By pulling off a diplomatic stunt in the middle of it, they hoped to distract public attention away from IAW and claim “victory” of sorts. Whether...more


Let Trump speak: The case against disrupting his AIPAC speech
Ha'aretz - 17 Mar 2016


Jewish group vows to protest Trump's AIPAC speech
Ha'aretz - 17 Mar 2016


Protests planned at Trump AIPAC appearance
Jerusalem Post 17 Mar 2016 - Both religious and lay leaders will mobilize thousands of attendees to stage a silent walkout before Trump’s speech, and hold an independent session on human rights and dignity outside the venue.


Latin American MPs sign resolution supporting Israel and opposing boycotts
Jerusalem Post 17 Mar 2016 - Venezuelan opposition member calls to strengthen ties with Israel; Argentinian congressman says government confirmation of Nisman assassination could free country from Iranian influence.


Rabbis plan boycott of Trump speech at AIPAC Conference
YNet News, 17 Mar 2016 - ....


As Trump heads to AIPAC, Netanyahu stands to benefit
Mondoweiss - In the surreal universe of the Republican presidential primaries, some believed that the dramatic standoff at Donald Trump’s chaotic rally in Chicago and its consequent cancelation signified his campaign’s welcome demise. However, the results from the primaries on March 15th proved to the contrary; states continued...


Jewish Group Plans To Protest Donald Trump’s AIPAC Speech
The Forward New 16 Mar 2016 - Donald Trump’s appearance at the upcoming AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington has at least one Jewish group planning to protest.


Zionism and Campaigns of Delegitimization: a Very Rich History Indeed
Thomas S. Harrington, Intifada-Palestine 3/16/2016
      Demonstrating once again the sniveling and shameless fealty to the wealthy that she and her husband have elevated to a high art over the last 30 years, Hillary Clinton wrote a letter to Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban last July 6th in which she said that:
     "I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority. I am seeking your advice on how we can work together across party lines and with a diverse array of voices to reverse this trend with information and advocacy, and fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel."
     One of the key reasons for the extraordinary success of the Zionist lobby in America over the last six decades or so has been its ability to generate and repeat sound bites whose discursive purpose is not to enrich the breadth and texture of a debate on the Middle East, but rather to impoverish and attenuate it.
     Long before GOP operative Frank Luntz began trawling focus groups for emotionally-charged terms capable of crippling the public’s rational faculties during political campaigns, the people at AIPAC and the many pundits in the mainstream media who faithfully carry their water (e.g. ex-AIPAC employee Wolf Blitzer) were already experts at this game.
     Perhaps the most well-known of the tropes employed by Israel’s more fervent advocates is to challenge someone who is criticizing its policies if they support that state’s “right to exist”.
     The beauty of the query, at least from the point of view of those that deploy it, is its seeming innocuousness. We all, especially Americans, have an instinctively positive relationship to the idea of “rights”.
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Why BDS Cannot Lose
Dissident Voice: 16 Mar 2016 - A foray of condemnations of the boycott of Israel seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Calls from Western governments, originating from the UK, the US, Canada and others, to criminalize the boycott of Israel have hardly slowed down the momentum of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). On the contrary, it has accelerated. It is as if history is repeating itself. Western governments took on the pro-South African Anti-Apartheid Movement, fighting it at every corner and branding its leaders. Nelson Mandela and many of his comrades were called terrorists. Once he passed away in 2013, top US politicians vied for the opportunity to list the late African leader’s great qualities in their many press conferences, speaking of his commitment to justice and human rights. However, Mandela’s name was not removed from the US terrorism watch list till 2008. The Reagan administration called the African National Congress –...more


American Jews’ fight-back against Trump starts at AIPAC
Ha'aretz - 16 Mar 2016


1965: LBJ gives speech written by 'liberal Jew' to Congress
Ha'aretz - 15 Mar 2016


WASHINGTON WATCH: Time to end tyranny of the minority
Jerusalem Post 16 Mar 2016 - Aryeh Deri, the convicted felon who heads Shas, wants to derail the government’s plan to establish a pluralistic prayer area at the Western Wall where Jewish men and women can worship together.


Head of Israel Allies Caucus in Congress applauds Arizona's anti-BDS law
Jerusalem Post 16 Mar 2016 -


Kerry to miss deadline for decision on whether ISIS atrocities are genocide: US official
Daily Star 16 Mar 2016 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will not have a decision on whether atrocities committed by ISIS constitute genocide by a March 17 deadline set by Congress, but he should have a decision soon, the State...


Netanyahu is pouting, Ya'alon is negotiating
YNet News, 16 Mar 2016 - Analysis: While the prime minister decided not to travel to the US to discuss the new 10-year military aid package to Israel, his defense minister did fly to Washington to talk business with his American counterpart. ....


Steamrolling on, Donald Trump Leaves Jews With No Easy Answers
The Forward New 16 Mar 2016 - Among the hundreds of supporters who came to what turned out to be Marco Rubio’s farewell from the presidential race at Florida International University in Miami, were three Jewish high school students, preparing to attend next week’s annual conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC.


Does ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ really matter?
Ibrahim Vawda, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/15/2016
      The South African contribution to international “Israeli Apartheid Week” (IAW) has come and gone. Each side will claim “victory” for whatever reasons they may choose. IAW, though, is about more than who wins or loses. The question should really be, has the situation on the ground changed?
     The Zionist lobby groups around the world, including South Africa’s, used the opportunity to try to shut down open debate on the Palestinian issue. The global Zionist conversation during IAW was not about Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, its illegal settlements and its human rights violations. Instead, its tirade accused all who dared to criticise Israel of being “Jew-haters”, “Israel-haters”, “Anti-Semites” and even “Holocaust-deniers”. Why? Quite simply, the pro-Israel Zionist lobby was always going to lose any honest debate about settlements and the occupation.
     A study concluded by the South African Human Sciences Research Council in 2009 (“Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law) stated: "Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories). At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law.”
     All human beings are entitled to basic human rights, including Palestinians. The human rights violations against the Palestinians are well-documented by respected organisations, including B’Tselem and Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel. These organisations, plus some Jewish journalists, get attacked by the lobbyists, who claim that they are prejudiced and one-sided; sometimes they too are labelled “anti-Semitic”.
     Reading the comments made by Zionist lobby groups in South Africa is bewildering....
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Congress threatens to go ballistic over Russian arms sales to Iran
Al-Monitor 15 Mar 2016 - Lawmakers demand tough sanctions on conventional weapons violations.


AIPAC Is Coming to Town
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 3/15/2016
      The annual grovel begins next week
     I am reluctant to write two weeks in a row about Israel’s malignant influence over the United States but as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is meeting in Washington for its annual Summit beginning next Sunday some commentary would seem desirable. AIPAC’s website claims that its “…mission is to strengthen, protect and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship in ways that enhance the security of Israel and the United States. Our staff and citizen activists educate decision makers about the bonds that unite the United States and Israel and how it is in America’s best interest to help ensure that Israel is safe, strong and secure.”
     That is, of course, a self-serving bit of nonsense. U.S. national security would be best enhanced by telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a hike and never come back. AIPAC is a political pressure group, not an educational foundation, which is purely a pretext exploited to secure it tax exemption. It uses every means, fair and foul, to influence and even intimidate the U.S. government and media to maintain the fiction that Israel is somehow America’s “best friend” and “closest ally” even though it is neither. Its objective is to maintain the flow of U.S. dollars from the U.S. Treasury while keeping the firewall of political protection in place to insulate Israeli politicians from the consequences of their own actions.
     This year AIPAC, which has an annual budget of $70 million and more than 200 employees, is expecting 16,000 supporters and two thirds of Congress. It will be featuring a keynote speech by Hillary Clinton, which should be fascinating. As Hillary and her husband Bill already constitute a fully owned subsidiary of the Israel Lobby and New York financial services interests, which often amount to the same thing, her attendance might be regarded as de rigueur. And she has already pledged to invite Netanyahu to the White House during her first month in office....
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Five Reasons Why Presidential Candidates Should Not Speak at AIPAC
Dissident Voice: 16 Mar 2016 - On Wednesday March 9 the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) announced that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has accepted an invitation to speak at their March 20-22 annual policy conference in Washington DC. Two days later they announced that Republican candidate, Donald Trump has also accepted their invitation to speak. AIPAC relishes its ability to trot out leading politicians who then jostle to outdo each other in proving their “pro-Israel” credentials. But AIPAC’s unquestioning support for Israeli policies that undermine any hope of peace in the region and that undercut even the modest pressure the Obama Administration has brought to bear against Israel’s settlement expansion is something to be protested, not applauded. Here are five reasons why Presidential candidates should not speak at AIPAC: 1. AIPAC promotes Israeli settlements in direct opposition to international law. Currently there are more than 650,000 Israeli settlers living in more than 100 settlements...more


Biden to join Trump and Clinton as speakers at AIPAC
Ha'aretz - 15 Mar 2016


1965: LBJ gives 'liberal Jew's' civil rights speech to Congress
Ha'aretz - 15 Mar 2016


Los Angeles Jews raise $17 million at gala for Israeli American Council
Jerusalem Post 15 Mar 2016 - Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, US members of Congress Ted Lieu, Ed Royce, and Tony Cardenas attended event


Why BDS cannot lose: A moral threshold to combat racism in Israel
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 3/15/2016
      A foray of condemnations of the boycott of Israel seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Calls from Western governments, originating from the UK, the US, Canada and others, to criminalize the boycott of Israel have hardly slowed down the momentum of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS). On the contrary, it has accelerated.
     It is as if history is repeating itself. Western governments took on the pro-South African Anti-apartheid movement, fighting it at every corner and branding its leaders. Nelson Mandela and many of his comrades were called terrorists.
     Once he passed away in 2013, top US politicians vied for the opportunity to list the late African leader’s great qualities in their many press conferences, speaking of his commitment to justice and human rights. However, Mandela’s name was not removed from the US terrorism watch list till 2008.
     The Reagan administration called the African National Congress -- the main platform for the anti-apartheid struggle -- a terrorist group, as well. The ANC’s strategy against the apartheid government was "calculated terror," the administration said in 1986.
     Many South Africans would tell you that the fight for equality is far from over, and that the struggle against institutional apartheid has been replaced by equally pressing matters. Corruption, neoliberal economics, and disproportionate allocation of wealth are only a few such challenges.
     But aside from those who are still holding on to the repellent dream of racial superiority, the vast majority of humanity looks back at South Africa’s apartheid era with revulsion.
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Why Bibi snubbed Obama and is skipping next week's AIPAC conference
Al-Monitor 14 Mar 2016 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to cancel his US trip so that he could avoid meeting with both President Barack Obama and the US Jewish community.


Reform Judaism’s chiefs say they'll oppose Trump at AIPAC conference, but don’t explain how
Ha'aretz - 14 Mar 2016


Reform movement pans Trump, accuses candidate of ‘hate speech’
Jerusalem Post 14 Mar 2016 - The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobbying group in the United States, invited Trump to its annual policy conference.


Ya'alon in Washington says 'there's a great understanding for our security needs here'
Jerusalem Post 14 Mar 2016 - Israel and the US have been locked in negotiations on the shape the next package will take.


The U.S. will not end the occupation
Hani Habib, Alternative Information Center 3/14/2016
      Despite alleged tensions, the U.S. shields Netanyahu from criticism and foils international peace initiatives to end Israeli occupation.
     On Tuesday of last week, Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The meeting was conducted in an atmosphere rife with rumors and uncertainty: uncertainty about whether Israel would (again) embarrass Biden during his visit with an announcement of settlement expansion; whether Obama had indeed planned to meet Netanyahu in Washington D.C. later this month; and whether Netanyahu really did cancel his visit to the U.S. so as to avoid influencing the U.S. presidential primaries.
     Prior to Biden's arrival in the area, it was clear his agenda would ignore the Israeli occupation and focus on American-Israeli cooperation in Syria, Iran and ISIS, and the perpetual question about (the size of) American military aid to the Jewish state.
     However, while these issues are important to Netanyahu, the symbolic significance of Biden’s visit is what mattered most. Recently, Netanyahu has been the recipient of stinging criticism for ostensibly causing the destruction of Israel’s special relationship with the United States and thus contributing to Israel’s global isolation. Avigdor Lieberman, leader of Yisrael Beitenu, and Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid, are his primary skeptics. To counter their criticisms, Netanyahu emphasizes in his speeches his many visits with presidents and prime ministers in Israel. Biden's visit provided Netanyahu with new material to refute these charges and demonstrate that he can prevent an international political blockade of the state.
     Israeli and American newspapers claim that up the Obama administration’s sleeve is the possibility of both the United States approaching the United Nations Security Council to craft a resolution to kick start peace in the region....
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Why Bibi snubbed Obama and is skipping next week's AIPAC conference
Al-Monitor 14 Mar 2016 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to cancel his US trip so that he could avoid meeting with both President Barack Obama and the US Jewish community.


American Jewish Congress lists 'Donald Drumpf' as runner up in poll
Ha'aretz - 13 Mar 2016


PLO's Ashrawi meets with US officials in DC visit
3/12/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi conducted a series of meetings this week in Washington, D. C. , to discuss the latest political developments in the occupied Palestinian territory and the escalation of Israeli violations of international law, a PLO press release said on Saturday. In a meeting with US officials working on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Ashrawi called for the....


McGraw-Hill destroys textbook to placate pro-Israel bloggers
Occupation Magazine 11 Mar 2016 - Rania Khalek Lobby Watch--The publisher McGraw-Hill Education is destroying all copies of a political science textbook after receiving complaints from hardline supporters of Israel that it features a series of “anti-Israel” maps.dn


Trump confirmed to speak at AIPAC conference
Ha'aretz - 11 Mar 2016


Roger Waters urges Bernie Sanders not to speak at AIPAC conference
Jerusalem Post 11 Mar 2016 - Waters first endorsed Sanders for president in October 2015 while speaking with Rolling Stone magazine, saying he was the only candidate “that I see with any credibility."


Petition urges Sanders to snub AIPAC, hotbed of Clintonism and neoconservatism
Mondoweiss - A petition has been started urging Bernie Sanders to reject the invitation from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, to speak at the leading rightwing Israel lobby group in ten days. Max Blumenthal writes: AIPAC has invited Bernie Sanders to participate in its 2016...


Understanding the fundamental roots of conflict and suffering: An interview with Rich Forer
Mondoweiss - Rich Forer is a former member of AIPAC who has orthodox relatives living in West Bank settlements. Still, after a dramatic spiritual awakening in 2006, he was transformed into an advocate for Palestinian rights. He is the author of  Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion A New...


What Trump Means for Israel
Lawrence Davidson, CounterPunch 3/11/2016
      On 3 March 2016 Chemi Shaley, the U.S. correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, wrote an interesting piece on what the Donald Trump phenomenon means for U.S.-Israeli relations. Here are some of his points:
     1. Trump’s insistence on staying “neutral” when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian problem has not cost him any popular support. Both Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have “sneeringly lambasted” Trump for not supporting Israel, but to no avail. Trump just “laughed all the way to the top of the Republican presidential field.”
     2. Republican evangelicals are paying no mind to Trump’s equivocations about Israel. They vote for Trump despite this. “Evangelical leaders … are heartbroken that so many Believers are flocking after the thrice married, dirty-talking reality star. They are less perturbed by his deviation from the strict pro-Israel party line, however, and more by the sinful ways for which he has not asked forgiveness.”
     3. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy decision to “put all of Israel’s eggs in the GOP basket” – a decision confirmed when he appeared before Congress in 2015 to denounce the Iran nuclear agreement – has turned into a political disaster.
     Waning Interest in Israel (U.S. Gentiles)
     The rise of Donald Trump certainly suggests that the right-wing Israeli politicians badly misread the Republican political scene. Trump has tapped into a large and growing stratum of citizens who never cared very much about foreign policy, much less Israel-Palestine specifically. And, now that that indifference has been plainly revealed on the Republican side of the ledger, it may not be long before Democratic voters also start to say....
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Hillary Clinton to address AIPAC Policy Conference
Ha'aretz - 10 Mar 2016


Speaker Paul Ryan among top House leaders to address AIPAC conference
Jerusalem Post 10 Mar 2016 -


Netanyahu canceled U.S. trip over aid
Daily Star 10 Mar 2016 A holdup over a new U.S. defense package for Israel was behind Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to forgo a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington this month, a senior Israeli official said Thursday.


Clinton’s date to pander at AIPAC leaves an opening for Sanders, you’d think
Mondoweiss - Notice something about this election? The Washington establishment IS the Israel lobby. Millions are pouring into Republican establishment candidate Marco Rubio’s feckless campaign in an effort to guarantee and preserve a neoconservative foreign policy. Jeffrey Goldberg, who once served in the Israeli army, explains to a...


March 10th – April 10th: A time of rebirth and reflection
Rachel Corrie Foundation 10 Mar 2016 - Click the image to help us reach our matching goal! Dear Friends, Here in our hometown of Olympia, Washington, another spring unfolds with persistent showers, daffodils along the roadsides, and trees blooming more vibrantly with each passing day. It’s March again, a time of  rebirth. In our...


Hating on Trump
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 3/8/2016
      It could be about Israel
     Now we all know that many of those who are hating on Donald Trump are doing so because he is threatening the cozy-crony-politico-predatory-capitalist system that has made so many of them fat and rich. He is intending to break their rice bowls as the Chinese would put it or, in a more American vernacular, the gravy train might be ending. To be sure The Donald is warning that he will do just that, even if he will find in practice, if elected, that turning the ship of state around might well be a task beyond the ability of any aspirant to the presidency.
     But while pure self-interest might well be driving many of the chattering nonentities that populate our congress and the senior political appointee ranks in government there is something nevertheless extraordinary in the level of venom and sheer hatred that is being spewed at random about a potential Trump administration. It is not uncommon to read or hear that Trump is seeking to overturn the Constitution of the United States and establish a dictatorship that will promote his allegedly warped views of what must be done to correct America’s domestic and foreign policies, suggesting that our form of government is so fragile that it can be subverted by one man.
     The anger directed against Trump is unique, one might note, as it also includes demands to somehow overturn the popular will expressed in primaries and caucuses to obtain a candidate that is more in tune with what the Republican establishment is seeking to promote as the “national consensus.” That Trump is voicing an overwhelming American middle class perspective on the evils of mass illegal immigration matters not a whit to the Mandarins whose only concerns on that issue center on the availability of a supply of cheap labor to clean their McMansions and swimming pools.
     The anti-Trump effort is being well funded, has included notable defections to the Democratic Party....
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Poll: Half of Israeli Jews want Palestinians expelled
AlJazeera 9 Mar 2016 - Findings by Washington-based research centre reflect gulfs between Jewish citizens and Arabs amid increase in violence.


Washington Watch: Who would Netanyahu vote for?
Jerusalem Post 9 Mar 2016 - Netanyahu would probably prefer Bloomberg to all those running because of his longtime unequivocal support for Israel.


Netanyahu's prediction of Biden presidency - 25 years ago
Jerusalem Post 9 Mar 2016 - Netanyahu and Biden first met when the future prime minister was a diplomat at Israel's embassy in Washington.


Washington Raises Iran Missile Tests at Security Council
Asharq Alawsat ME News 9 Mar 2016 - ballistic missile being launched during a test in an undisclosed location London, Washington-A US State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said Washington will review the firing of several missiles by Iran and, if confirmed, will raise it in the UN Security Council and seek an “appropriate response”....


Iran missile tests fuel sanctions push in Congress
Al-Monitor 8 Mar 2016 - Lawmakers demand response after latest rocket launches.


Netanyahu snubs White House invitation as Biden heads to Israel
Middle East Eye 8 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Obama aide says White House learnt that Israeli prime minister had cancelled requested Washington meeting from media reports


Another instance of Israel lobby influence in this election no candidate will bring up
Mondoweiss - PhillyVoice is reporting that a Penn student who is head of the Marco Rubio campaign on campus is undertaking the unsavory work of trying to get John Kasich removed from the Pennsylvania ballot for the April 26 primary. Michael Tanenbaum reports (emphasis mine): Nathaniel Rome, a...


Most Israeli Jews reject claim settlements boost security: poll
The National 8 Mar 2016 - TEL AVIV // Most Israelis are unconvinced by right-wing claims that expansion of West Bank settlements bolsters the Jewish state's security, according to a survey by a US institute published on Tuesday. The Washington-based Pew research centre said its research showed 30 per cent of Jewish Israeli...


Netanyahu snubs White House invitation as Biden heads to Israel
Middle East Eye 8 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined Obama aide says White House learnt that Israeli prime minister had cancelled requested Washington meeting from media reports


White House surprised Netanyahu nixed meeting with Obama
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2016 - PM will address the AIPAC conference via satellite.


Another instance of Israel lobby influence in this election no candidate will bring up
Mondoweiss - PhillyVoice is reporting that a Penn student who is head of the Marco Rubio campaign on campus is undertaking the unsavory work of trying to get John Kasich removed from the Pennsylvania ballot for the April 26 primary. Michael Tanenbaum reports (emphasis mine): Nathaniel Rome, a...


Pro-Israel NGO puts pressure on UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees
Middle East Eye 7 Mar 2016 - Language Undefined UN Watch, an NGO that monitors the UN and has ties to Israeli lobby groups, has criticised UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees


‘Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel’
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Mar 2016 - Israel is “a failure,” the Zionist dream has curdled into Jewish selfishness, a major Jewish leader writes in an important article published yesterday. “After a life and career devoted to Jewish community and Israel, I conclude that in every important way Israel has failed to realize its promise for me,” David Gordis states. Gordis is a former executive at the American Jewish Committee, a central organization of the Israel lobby, and former president of the Hebrew College and a former vice president of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He published his article yesterday at Tikkun under the title, “Major American Jewish Leader Changes His Mind About Israel.” Gordis, who is in his late 70s (and the uncle of rightwing Zionist Daniel Gordis ), writes that he completely believed in Israel when it was founded and through his adult life, but that the spiral of that society into occupation and Jewish particularism has...more


Justin Trudeau’s Shame: Extending Carte Blanche to Israel
Murray Dobbin, CounterPunch 3/4/2016
      Here’s a Middle East multiple choice question for you (warning: one of these will get you condemned by the government of Justin Trudeau).
     Would you rather that the Palestinian people 1) once again take up armed struggle in order to end Israeli occupation of their land or 2) pursue a non-violent strategy of Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions (BDS) until such time as Israel recognizes the rights of the Palestinian people?
     Advocating a return to the use of violence against Israel may or may not get you condemned by the Prime Minister. But it is definitely not okay to advocate for the non-violent BDS campaign. This was made clear by the government’s support of a Conservative resolution opposing the campaign “which promotes the demonization and de-legitimization of the State of Israel,” and called upon the government “to condemn any and all attempts by Canadian organizations, groups or individuals to promote the BDS movement, both here at home and abroad.”
     This is a sickening violation of Canadians’ basic rights enshrined by Justin’s father 35 years ago. As the NDP’s Thomas Mulcair (who once described himself as an “ardent supporter of Israel”) said, the resolution “makes it a thought crime to express an opinion.” The NDP and the Bloc, joined by three Liberals, voted against the resolution.
     That the Liberal government is so in alignment with Israel lobby groups raises a number of questions: Just who actually makes Canadian policy towards Israel? Did Trudeau think this through at all – such as, is this in Canada’s interests? But perhaps more to the point, is it even in Israel’s interests? Does the Trudeau government have some brilliant ideas about how to get Israel to the bargaining table? Or does it believe the current situation doesn’t need resolving?....
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Iran Deal Feud Looms Over Chicago Congressional Battle
The Forward New 4 Mar 2016 - The aftershocks of the Iran nuclear deal, which tore the American Jewish community apart, are still rippling through the tranquil boulevards of Chicago’s upscale northwest suburbs.


First Jewish congressman backs Sanders' White House run
Ha'aretz - 3 Mar 2016


American Jewish Congress lauds Indiana for anti-BDS initiative
Jerusalem Post 3 Mar 2016 -


Meanwhile in Syria, the pseudo-ceasefire
YNet News, 3 Mar 2016 - Op-ed: The Americans are not talking about any violations of the 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria, because to them, there aren't any. Europe pays the price of Washington's failed foreign policies, while Israel stands firm. ....


Why I’m going to DC
Mondoweiss - On March 20 th , I will be going to the National March to Support Palestine and Protest AIPAC in Washington, DC . Why am I going? I’m going as an American, to say no to the lobbying regime, to government by money, and to the undue influence...


Obama, congressional leaders talk Supreme Court nomination
Ha'aretz - 1 Mar 2016


Why I’m going to DC
Mondoweiss - On March 20 th , I will be going to the National March to Support Palestine and Protest AIPAC in Washington, DC . Why am I going? I’m going as an American, to say no to the lobbying regime, to government by money, and to the undue influence...


Obama’s trip to Cuba may put kibosh on Netanyahu attending AIPAC event
Jerusalem Post 27 Feb 2016 - Biden expected in Israel in March.


Congress goes after Assad for war crimes
Al-Monitor 27 Feb 2016 - A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Feb. 29.


How the Iran deal unexpectedly brought Israel and black lawmakers closer
Jerusalem Post 25 Feb 2016 - Dermer held meetings throughout last year with most of the 46 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.


Kerry urges Congress not to rush to renew Iran sanctions measure
Jerusalem Post 25 Feb 2016 -


Reuters reporter detained by Hamas officials in Gaza
Jerusalem Post 25 Feb 2016 - Incident takes place two weeks after Israel Police detained a reporter from "The Washington Post" along with an Arab colleague in Jerusalem.


France, Israel and Palestine: Same as it ever was?
John Bell, Al Jazeera 2/21/2016
      The French initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace follows a familiar pattern - and it's outdated.
     While Syria burns and great powers run towards collision there, the French government has formally put forward a new initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace. The three-step process (consult with both sides, convene an international support group, and convene an international summit to restart talks) is the brainchild of now former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
     Despite Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, the French government feels that this ageing conflict is central to the problems of the region and needs to be resolved. In this view, disenfranchised and occupied Palestinians remain at the heart of Arab grievance.
     The proposed initiative follows a familiar pattern, and indeed some would say it is outdated. So far, there is no reason to believe it will go anywhere because the political stars are not aligned today in its favour.
     There is no real interest in it on the Israeli side, and Palestinian demands have not changed. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has said that Palestinians will "never" return to direct talks with Israel; they naturally seek the multilateralism that France is proposing. US won't give up primacy
     The Americans are also not likely to give up their primacy in this process to the French. Instead, Washington promises future re-engagement, possibly, a la Clinton 2000, in the narrow and tricky window between the November elections and the January presidential inauguration.
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WASHINGTON WATCH: Seventy-three days
Jerusalem Post 24 Feb 2016 - It is no secret that the president feels the prime minister has blocked every attempt he has made to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


U.S. President Obama urges Congress to give 'fair hearing' to plan to close Guantanamo
Ha'aretz - 23 Feb 2016


Pro-Palestine congress to be founded in Europe
PIC - 23 Feb 2016 - A two-day workshop was organized by EuroPal Forum on February 21-21 in Malmo to discuss ways to develop the mechanisms of pro-Palestine activism in Europe.


Visiting GOP congressman from Florida: Israel has done its utmost to promote peace
Jerusalem Post 22 Feb 2016 - "Having a partner and ally in the Middle East who will stand strong for our values is critical and important."


US Reportedly Reissues Labeling Orders from Settlements
IMEMC - 17 Feb 2016 - US Customs has reportedly reissued orders to importers to label all products from West Bank settlements as not being from Israel, Israeli channel 2 said Tuesday, slamming the move as deceiving Congress. ...


Washington Watch: Netanyahu’s ‘hondling’ is a mistake
Jerusalem Post 17 Feb 2016 - Netanyahu twice last year turned down Obama’s offers to open talks on the aid package and a strategic agreement.


Israeli police arrest American journalist, question him for 40 minutes
PIC - 17 Feb 2016 - Israeli police officers on Tuesday detained and questioned the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Occupied Jerusalem and his Palestinian colleague for 40 minutes.


Reinterpreting Truman and Israel: A review of Irene Gendzier’s ‘Dying to Forget’
Mondoweiss - A story amongst Washington, DC, foreign policy cognoscenti goes like this. In 1947, Truman, under vast domestic pressure, rammed through the United Nations General Assembly Resolution authorizing the partition of Palestine. From 1947-1948, the new Israeli state carried out cleansing operations, disturbing regional stability and setting...


Israel detains Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem accusing him of ‘incitement’ –updated
Mondoweiss - William Booth, the Washington Post ’s Jerusalem bureau chief, was conducting interviews by the Damascus Gate outside of the Old City’s walls in Jerusalem this afternoon when Israeli border police detained him and accused the journalist of incitement. A statement released by the police said officers detained...


BDS tactics are not anti-Semitic
Alastair Sloan, Al Jazeera 2/16/2016
      Criminalising political dissent is only going to reinforce perceptions of Jewish conspiracy theories - so why do it?
     On Sunday evening, the UK Conservative party finally announced plans for the criminalisation of anti-Israel boycotts by public bodies, town councils, libraries, universities and some student unions.
     "We need to remind people," a prominent Conservative supporter of the policy said in September 2014, "that what began with a campaign against Jewish goods in the past ended with a campaign against Jewish lives."
     While the move reflects deeply held political views of the Conservative politicians involved, the legislation is also partly a response to lobbying from Daniel Taub, the former Israeli ambassador, who has portrayed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as motivated by a desire to destroy the Jewish people, and an existential threat to the state of Israel.
     This distorted understanding of BDS is grossly unfair. The BDS movement does favour a one-state solution called Palestine, but not one achieved through violence and not one where Jews are second-class citizens or are denied access to their religious sites. Its manifesto is a radical political position, but it is not anti-Semitic.
     Offensive and insensitive
     BDS supporters do not boycott Jewish shops - what they do is boycott shops that buy goods from Israel, and a proportion of these shops are, unfortunately, Jewish.
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Israeli police briefly detain Washington Post bureau chief
2/16/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police briefly detained the Washington Post's Jerusalem bureau chief and West Bank correspondent for alleged "incitement" on Tuesday, prompting the Foreign Press Association to decry Israel's "heavy-handed tactics."The FPA said bureau chief William Booth and West Bank correspondent Sufian Taha were detained while interviewing Palestinian and Jewish residents of Jerusalem at Damascus Gate outside the....


If Michelle Obama behaved like Sara Netanyahu, Congress would be talking impeachment
Ha'aretz - 16 Feb 2016


'Washington Post' Jerusalem bureau chief detained by police
Jerusalem Post 16 Feb 2016 -


BDS vs Bruce: Boycott activists urge Springsteen not to play Israel
Jerusalem Post 16 Feb 2016 - Social media campaigns lobby Springsteen to stop considering Israel show.


Washington Post journalists briefly held by Israel
Daily Star 16 Feb 2016 Israeli border police Tuesday briefly detained a pair of Washington Post journalists, including the newspaper’s bureau chief, as they were reporting on recent violence in occupied East Jerusalem.


Israel detains Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem accusing him of ‘incitement’ –updated
Mondoweiss - William Booth, the Washington Post ’s Jerusalem bureau chief, was conducting interviews by the Damascus Gate outside of the Old City’s walls in Jerusalem this afternoon when Israeli border police detained him and accused the journalist of incitement. A statement released by the police said officers detained...


Panama Detains Lebanese Man over Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking for Hezbollah
Asharq Alawsat ME News 16 Feb 2016 - Panama Detains Lebanese Man over Money Laundering and Drug Trafficking for Hezbollah London- The search after suspects, affiliated to financial activities for the benefit of Hezbollah around the world, is ongoing; thus effecting US resolutions, which were issued lately by the Congress. The resolutions aim at...


Israeli police briefly detain Washington Post bureau chief in Jerusalem
Middle East Eye 16 Feb 2016 - Language Undefined William Booth and his colleague Sufian Taha were held for approximately 40 minutes on suspicion of incitement before being released


US informs Israel that it will not increase its military aid
Zuhair Andraos, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/12/2016
      According to Haaretz, US officials recently confirmed speculations that Israel receives more than 50 per cent of the aid given by the US globally each year.
     It was revealed on Monday in Tel Aviv that after nearly three rounds of negotiations between the US and Israel regarding American support for Israel, the path has lead to a dead end. As a result, there are high levels of tensions between the two sides.
     Haaretz newspaper recently re-iterated statements made by sources in Washington and Tel Aviv indicating that senior officials within the American administration informed the Israelis that they would not get bigger benefits if Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to wait until a new US president is elected before signing a new agreement. Due to the economic problems facing the United States at the current moment, the American government has stated that it will not increase its aid or support for Israel.
     According to a correspondent on political affairs at Haaretz, senior officials within the Obama administration recently confirmed speculations that Israel receives more than 50 per cent of the aid given by the US globally each year. In fact, the majority of the US aid given to Israel was so that the Israel could defend itself against the Iranian nuclear threat, which has since diminished after the nuclear deal was signed. And yet, as a result of this deal, a serious discussion has begun between the two sides: the US and Israel. Israeli Minister of Defence Moshe Ya’alon placed Israel’s demands on the table in Washington and the ball is new in America’s court as Israel is currently fearful of the US changing its preference from offensive weapons to defensive ones.
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Why Obama's military aid to Israel is breaking all records
Electronic Intifada - Despite the boasts by its lobby, Israel is a very small, barely significant US client state.


Why Obama's military aid to Israel is breaking all records
Electronic Intifada: 15 Feb 2016 - Despite the boasts by its lobby, Israel is a very small, barely significant US client state. more..


WATCH: U.S. Congress' first Muslim member endorses Bernie Sanders for president
Ha'aretz - 14 Feb 2016


Reported details emerge on aid package to Israel from Obama administration
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2016 - Although the package will include more money, Israel will have to forfeit annual Congressional “plus-ups” to the president's annual budget except in extreme emergency cases.


Likud MK to form Israel’s gun lobby
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2016 - lobby to be named “the caucus for creating policies for bearing firearms in Israel.”


Is it too late for peace in Israel/Palestine?
Alan Hart, Redress 2/12/2016
      Before I offer my own answer here’s a quick review of how things are and look like going.
     - President Obama is not going to use the leverage he has to cause or try to cause Israel to end its defiance of international law and denial of justice for the Palestinians.
     In the past I entertained some hope that in the last year of his second term he would do so, and there was quite a good reason for a small degree of optimism on my part. It was in what President Jimmy Carter once said to me. He explained that any president has only two windows of opportunity to take on the Zionist lobby and its stooges (I prefer to call them traitor-agents) in Congress.
     The first window is the first nine months of his first term because after that the fundraising for the mid-term elections gets underway. (In his first nine months Obama tried and failed to get a settlement freeze).
     The second window is the last year of his second term if he has one (President Carter didn’t).
     Because Obama has nothing to lose personally (except perhaps his life), I think it’s not impossible that he would like to confront the Zionist lobby and those who do its bidding in Congress, but he knows that doing so would almost certainly have disastrous consequences for some Democrats who are seeking election or re-election to Congress. So he won’t.
     - There is no reason to believe that Obama’s successor or any future president will ever have the freedom and the will to put America’s own best interests first and do whatever is necessary to try to oblige Israel to make peace on terms the Palestinians could accept.
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Likud MK to form Israel's gun lobby
Jerusalem Post 13 Feb 2016 -


Obama to sign AIPAC-promoted trade bill that legitimizes Israeli occupation and fights BDS
Mondoweiss - Yesterday the Senate passed the  Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015  by a 75-20 veto proof margin. The large trade policy bill includes  anti- BDS trade legislation  promoted by  AIPAC  and introduces new U.S. policy language by including all “Israeli-controlled territories” as part of Israel. President...


Congress encouraging US states to “combat BDS”
Electronic Intifada: 12 Feb 2016 - Pro-Israel bills would seek to authorize violations of US constitutional rights. more..


Congressional Black Caucus endorses Hillary Clinton for president
Ha'aretz - 11 Feb 2016


1928: The only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress is born
Ha'aretz - 11 Feb 2016


URGENT: Don't Let Congress "Combat BDS"!
US Campaign to End the Occupation 11 Feb 2016 - Take action to stop Congress from "authorizing" states and local governments to unconstitutionally penalize entities that support BDS.


War Is Realizing the Israelizing of the World
Dan Sanchez, The Unz Review 12/23/2015
      Divide, Conquer, Colonize
     As US-driven wars plummet the Muslim world ever deeper into jihadi-ridden failed state chaos, events seem to be careening toward a tipping point. Eventually, the region will become so profuse a font of terrorists and refugees, that Western popular resistance to “boots on the ground” will be overwhelmed by terror and rage. Then, the US-led empire will finally have the public mandate it needs to thoroughly and permanently colonize the Greater Middle East.
     It is easy to see how the Military Industrial Complex and crony energy industry would profit from such an outcome. But what about America’s “best friend” in the region? How does Israel stand to benefit from being surrounded by such chaos?
     Tel Aviv has long pursued a strategy of “divide and conquer”: both directly, and indirectly through the tremendous influence of the Israel lobby and neocons over US foreign policy.
     A famous article from the early 1980s by Israeli diplomat and journalist Oded Yinon is most explicit in this regard. The “Yinon Plan” calls for the “dissolution” of “the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula.” Each country was to be made to “fall apart along sectarian and ethnic lines,” after which each resulting fragment would be “hostile” to its neighbors.” Yinon incredibly claimed that:
     “This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run..”
     According to Yinon, this Balkanization should be realized by fomenting discord and war among the Arabs....
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Washington Watch: Israel in 2016 campaigns
Jerusalem Post 10 Feb 2016 - Most Jewish voters want to know where the candidates stand on Israel, particularly peace and security, even if that is not anywhere near the top issue on their agenda.


Israel’s International Conspiracy
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 2/9/2016
      Nearly every western country has an Israel lobby
     Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom recently suggested an inquiry into a surge in Israel’s reported extra-judicial killing of Palestinian demonstrators after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a harsh response and told his police and soldiers that those opposed to the continued occupation of the West Bank were “terrorists.” Almost immediately, the Israeli government denounced Wallstrom as engaging in “political stupidity,” banning her from travel to Israel, while one newspaper close to the government suggested that she might be assassinated, as fellow Swede Count Folke Bernadotte was by Jewish militants in 1948, because anti-Semitism appears to be in the Swedish DNA.
     All of that outrage and personal ridicule is pro forma for an Israeli government that reflexively smears and denigrates any and all critics, but the more interesting epilogue was the unanticipated discovery by the Swedish and international media that Wallstrom has not been paying the full rent on the subsidized government apartment that she occupies. The revelation follows a familiar pattern, where critics of Israel suddenly find themselves being discredited for something completely unrelated to the Middle East. President George H. W. Bush (the good Bush) suffered a similar come to Jesus moment in 1991 when he went on national television to denounce the pressure tactics of the Israel lobby. The Israeli government was demanding U.S. Treasury backed loans to construct illegal settlements. President Bush, who was running for reelection and far ahead in the opinion polls, suddenly was confronted by a well-funded and organized opposition raising doubts about him and his record. And President Bush was not reelected, presumably learning along the way that one does not trifle with the Israel Lobby, to be replaced by the enthusiastically Zionist Bill Clinton.
     United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also wondering about Israel’s alleged commitment to peace....
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Israeli Arabs take their message to the White House
Al-Monitor 8 Feb 2016 - Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) tells Al-Monitor that Obama administration officials he met with in Washington are concerned about discrimination against Israeli Arabs.


Anti-Zionist protest at LGBTQ conference was smeared as anti-Semitic
Mondoweiss - The press is awash with (mostly) terrible articles about a demonstration at the LGBTQ conference in Chicago, January 20-24, called Creating Change. At that conference, hundreds of anti-Zionists demonstrated against an appearance by A Wider Bridge, an Israel lobby group. Under pressure, conference organizers canceled a...


Israeli Arabs take their message to the White House
Al-Monitor 8 Feb 2016 - Arab Knesset member Ahmad Tibi (Joint List) tells Al-Monitor that Obama administration officials he met with in Washington are concerned about discrimination against Israeli Arabs.


U.N. vows to punish NKorea over rocket
Daily Star 7 Feb 2016 The United Nations Security Council Sunday strongly condemned North Korea’s latest rocket launch and promised to take punitive steps, while Washington vowed to ensure the 15-nation body imposed serious consequences on Pyongyang the soonest.


South African government action on Palestine is overdue
Iqbal Jassat, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/2/2016
      For how long will the South African government remain a bystander while Israel keeps colonizing ever more land in Palestine? This is a question asked not only by Palestinian victims of Israel's land grab policies, but also by local solidarity activists.
     The argument made in favour of more effective action is informed by the support shown for Palestine by the ruling party, the African National Congress. The rationale used is that while the ANC has adopted a number of significant resolutions backing Palestine, the same cannot be said of the government.
     This disconnect between the party and the state is glaring. It suggests that the divide reflects rhetoric on the one hand and indecisiveness on the other. While such procrastination continues, Palestine's hope of securing any of its legitimate rights keep fading away.
     More importantly, the conviction displayed by Palestinians, especially since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, has always been simple: a free South Africa will accelerate their freedom. Didn’t the late Nelson Mandela imply as much? The government’s lack of action has severely dented that optimism.
     Who's to blame for this? The current Zuma administration, or were the seeds of inaction planted during the Thabo Mbeki presidency? Both may argue — correctly — that as leaders of the ANC, their commitment towards the Palestinian struggle cannot be questioned. Both will also maintain that the historic ties between the liberation movements in South Africa and Palestine have a solid, unshakeable foundation. Yet, to date, active support for Palestine has been confined to words recorded in brilliant resolutions.
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Three US congressmen ask to visit Iran to monitor upcoming elections
Middle East Eye 4 Feb 2016 - Language Undefined Among the other requests asked by the congressmen includes meeting with top Iranian officials and visiting the country’s main nuclear facilities


World Jewry needs an AIPAC-style lobby in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz - 4 Feb 2016


The Apartheid Fear
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/29/2016
      Apartheid, in the words of the Rome Statute, is when inhumane acts are committed “in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime.”
     Increasingly, Israel’s “inhumane acts” against the Palestinians are being understood not as mere aberrations or excesses, but as part of a system of discrimination and segregation: an Israeli form ofapartheid. In response, support for campaigns like Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) is growing.
     Recognising these developments, pro-Israel lobby groups are worried. In 2014, one such organisation, the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre, orBICOM, published a booklet called ‘ The Apartheid Smear’, written by staffer Alan Johnson.
     The publication, intended to be “a vital tool” in fighting BDS, has been “circulated [worldwide] by Israel’s foreign ministry”, and distributed on British campuses. Yet this so-called ‘significant’ booklet is strewn with easily identifiable errors, distortions and omissions. The following are three examples – there are many more.
     1. Disappearing international law
     It is difficult to put a positive spin on Israel’s deliberate and persistent violations of international law. Alan Johnson’s strategy is to ignore it and hope that no one notices. In a booklet straining to appear serious and academic, the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is not mentioned once.
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France puts a spoke in Israel’s wheel
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 2/1/2016
      The world is growing weary of Israel’s ongoing settlement activity which continues unabated. It is a bitter irony that while the settler-colonial construction in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem is illegal and unnecessary, thousands of Palestinian families in the war-torn Gaza Strip are still living under canvas almost 18 months since their homes were destroyed during Israel’s summer 2014 offensive. They are desperate for contractors to begin the reconstruction of their neighbourhoods.
     Not even 1 per cent of the building work promised since Israel’s war has been delivered to those living in the besieged Gaza Strip despite all the pledges and funding offered by the international community. As the Palestinians struggle through their second bitter winter in temporary shelters, they face the real possibility of yet another Israeli military offensive looming on the horizon.
     Meanwhile, Israel’s demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank, which accompanies settlement construction as part of Tel Aviv’s ethnic cleansing process, is speeding up. It is probably no coincidence that the latest spurt of development is happening during the political spectacle of the US presidential candidates’ selection debates.
     While Washington and the rest of the world focuses on who will be the next leader in the White House, Israel is busy rolling out its illegal building programme. The start of every presidential hustings appears to be a signal for Israel to do what it wants, even if that includes making war on Palestinian civilians. The pre-election road show has in previous years enabled Israel to unleash its weapons of mass destruction with impunity on neighbouring Gaza three times within the past decade.
     Even though Israel consistently refuses to follow international laws and conventions, it continues its illegal activities largely unchallenged by the international community....
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Palestine: SA Government Action Overdue
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Feb 2016 - By Iqbal Jassat  For how long will the South African government remain bystanders while Israel keeps gobbling up Palestine? It’s a concern expressed not only by Palestinian victims of Israel’s land grab policies, but also by local solidarity activists. The argument made in favour of more effective action is informed by the support shown for Palestine by the ruling party, the African National Congress. And the rationale used is that while the ANC has adopted a number of significant resolutions backing Palestine, the same cannot be said of the government. The disconnect between party and state is glaring. It suggests that the divide reflects rhetoric on the one hand and indecisiveness on the other. And all the while such procrastination continues, Palestine’s hope of securing any of its legitimate rights, keep fading away. More importantly, the conviction displayed by Palestinians, especially since the dawn of democracy in SA, that a free...more


The Obama Administration Is Right to Reject the “Settlements=Israel” Conflation
Occupation Magazine 1 Feb 2016 - Lara Friedman - Lobelog - Congress, in both bills, has passed language explicitly defining actions “against Israel” to mean not only against the sovereign state of Israel, but also actions against “Israeli-controlled territories.” This is the very definition of conflating. President Obama stands on the firmest...


US Hawks Ignore Top Israeli Official on Iran
Ali Gharib, LobeLog 1/27/2016
      Last week, Israel’s top military official made some staggering comments during the course of a security conference in Tel Aviv. Here’s how The Forward‘s JJ Goldberg reported the comments of Lieutenant General Gadi Eisenkot, Israel’s chief of staff, which seem as of yet to be unavailable in a full English translation from the original Hebrew:
     "Eisenkot said there were two 'existential threats' to Israel, and both are currently 'declining.' One was the threat of nonconventional weaponry, including both Iran’s nuclear program and Syrian chemical weapons…
     "First, he said Israel faces no existential threats right now, because Obama’s Iran nuclear deal has removed the greatest threat to Israel’s existence…
     "As for the Iranian nuclear agreement, he said it is “a strategic turning point” that includes 'many risks but also opportunities.'"
     These comments should be unremarkable, since Israel’s security establishment has long given support, if cautious support, to diplomacy with Iran and the accord reached as a result. But Eisenkot’s remarks are still worth pointing out because of the sad state of affairs in the American discourse about Iran.
     The Silence of the Hawks
     Take, for example, the many adherents of a right-wing pro-Israel worldview—including Washington’s neoconservatives. They now dominate the Republican Party and make up a large, pro-Israel circle of hawks in the Democratic Party as well—both on Capitol Hill and beyond. What are the chances that this esteemed class of commentators, pundits, and politicians will even begin to address the remarks that Eisenkot just made?....
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After ‘tepid’ welcome at Israeli Embassy, Obama’s pro-Israel speech brought down the house
Mondoweiss - As you know, President Obama gave a speech about the Holocaust at the Israeli Embassy in Washington on Wednesday night, the first time a president has made a speech in that venue. The president gave his speech in the very place where Israeli officials plotted against...


Obama's Jewish heart
YNet News, 28 Jan 2016 - Op-ed: Even those who see Obama as hostile to Israel have to admit he went all the way in his expressions of affection during a ceremony marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC. ....


Obama kisses up to foreign leaders who lobbied against his signature achievement
Mondoweiss - Last night Barack Obama made an appearance at the Israeli embassy in Washington on Holocaust remembrance day in an event meant to show the unity of Israel and the United States. A few months ago, Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer lobbied against the Iran deal on Capitol...


'Zionist lobby' an obstacle to US-Iran relations, Rouhani says
Jerusalem Post 27 Jan 2016 - Speaking in Rome, Iranian president places onus on Washington to better relations with Tehran.


Moshe Kantor reelected as European Jewish Congress chief
Jerusalem Post 26 Jan 2016 - Elections for EJC President had been moved up by nearly a year and were originally slated to be held in late 2016.


Phyllis Bennis on “ISIS and the New Global War on Terror” in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia, and Tacoma
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Jan 2016 - American author, activist, and political commentator  Phyllis Bennis  will appear at several venues across western Washington next week to discuss her recent book,  Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror , including the origins of ISIS ,  U.S. military strategy ,  the refugee crisis , and ...


Seeking Bibi’s Favor
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 1/26/2016
      It's a waste of time...
     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu certainly knows how to return a favor. To express his gratitude for the United States having engaged in laborious 17 month multilateral negotiations that succeeded in eliminating Iran’s ability to construct a nuclear weapon, Netanyahu is now demanding more money from Washington because the agreement has, in his esteemed opinion, made Israel more vulnerable. As Israel is already the largest recipient of United States military assistance at $3.1 billion a year the jump to $5 billion might seem relatively inconsequential, but for Netanyahu it will mean that 25% of his entire defense budget will now come from the United States, enabling Israel to free up funds to provide free university education and medical treatment for its citizens, something that the American taxpayers who come up with the money do not enjoy. And our government has repeatedly expressed its disapproval of the Israeli settlements for the building of which there is no shortage of funds in the Israeli budget, some of which surely comes from us. We are helping them to do what we ask them not to do. Insanity?
     And it seems that beyond that there is no limit to Israel’s own particular form of expressing “thank you America.” Even as Israel prepares to accept the additional money it seems disinclined to restrain either its actions or its rhetoric towards anyone who questions its behavior, including the President of the United States. One would think the prospect of receiving an extra $20 billion dollars would produce at least a little moderation but the Israeli government appears to be intent on sending a message to the Barack Obama White House telling the world who is really in charge.
     Last Tuesday, with Netanyahu off attending a meeting of global movers and shakers in Davos Switzerland, the Israeli government announced that it would be seizing from Arab owners 380 acres of arable land near Jericho in the Jordan River valley....
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UK’s Leading Pro-Palestine Campaign Group Blocks Call to Expel Israel From the UN (Again)
Dissident Voice: 26 Jan 2016 - At its Annual General Meeting last weekend the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) threw out a proposal to seek Israel’s expulsion from the United Nations. Chairman Hugh Lanning is reported to have kicked off proceedings on a positive note saying: “Let us recommit to Palestine to make sure that we make a difference in the coming year.” But the mask slipped when a motion was put for the PSC’s Executive Committee to “request the Government of the United Kingdom, enforced by a petition and lobbying, to submit a motion to the Security Council recommending that the General Assembly expel Israel from the UN in compliance with the UN Charter, Article 6.” The motion failed — 76 in favour, 116 against. A statement by its main sponsor, Blake Alcott, says that an identical motion to the AGM a year ago was likewise opposed by the PSC leadership who felt “the time is...more


Protest shuts down Israel lobby group at Chicago LGBTQ conference
Electronic Intifada - Dozens of activists occupy hotel where pinkwashing group was holding event.


Protest shuts down Israel lobby group at Chicago LGBTQ conference
Electronic Intifada: 23 Jan 2016 - Dozens of activists occupy hotel where pinkwashing group was holding event. more..


Obama to visit Israeli embassy in Washington
1/23/2016 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- United States President Barack Obama is expected to attend a Holocaust remembrance ceremony in an "unprecedented" visit to the Israeli embassy in Washington D. C. Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said in a statement on social media that the US president would make an appearance at the event which will posthumously honor four non-Jews who saved Jews during the....


United Airlines will have no service in Washington area until Monday
YNet News, 23 Jan 2016 - ....


Protest shuts down Israel lobby group at Chicago LGBTQ conference
Electronic Intifada - Dozens of activists occupy hotel where pinkwashing group was holding event.


Steve Israel Takes Parting Shot at Influence of Big Money (But Don't Mention Israel Lobby)
The Forward New 23 Jan 2016 - Since announcing his plans to retire from Congress, New York Democrat Steve Israel, one of his party’s chief fundraisers, has been megaphoning his hatred of the role that big money and major donors play in American democracy. But in an exit interview with the Forward, the...


US 'still concerned' by Iranian activities, Kerry tells Saudi hosts
Middle East Eye 23 Jan 2016 - Language Undefined US Secretary of State seeks to reassure Gulf counterparts over Washington's improved relations with Tehran during flying visit to Riyadh


Gaza activists' lawsuit argues Israel attacked US territory in raid on ship
The Guardian 12 Jan 2016 - Three Americans and a Belgian are suing the state of Israel in Washington, arguing that the violent raid on a US-registered aid ship violated US sovereignty Four activists are attempting to make legal history by arguing...


Banks succeed in amending U.S. action
Daily Star 22 Jan 2016 Lebanese banks succeeded in amending the first draft of the U.S. Congress act against Hezbollah to protect the country and the local lenders, the chairman of BLOM said.


What’s unknown about Oslo?
Dr Fayez Rasheed, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/22/2016
      Twenty-two years have passed since the ill-fated Oslo Accords were signed. Despite the Palestinian struggle over the past century and its many sacrifices, including the 170 souls lost during the current — and third — intifada, 68 per cent of our people would like to abolish the agreements with Israel. In addition, 70.5 per cent of the population would like to see an end to the Palestinian Authority’s security cooperation with the occupying power, while 72.3 per believe that it is essential to have an armed struggle if Palestinian rights are to be achieved.
     Nevertheless, the PA is still holding on strongly to ill-fated Oslo even though it has been worse for Palestine’s situation than the 1917 Balfour Declaration or the UN Partition Plan of 1947. After all, these two texts, though they meant to establish a Jewish “homeland” then state in Palestine, had no intention to prejudice or deprive the Palestinians of their civil and religious rights.
     I would like to ask the Palestinian delegation which negotiates on our behalf in all the secret as well as public negotiations in Oslo and Washington, where is your slogan for freedom and independence? Did you sacrifice our liberation slogans for your own benefit when you signed the Oslo Accords? We know for sure that legal advisors who sat in on the Palestinian delegation’s meetings in Washington (but not in Oslo) advised you to accept certain legal points that were sent to you. Did you place those in the wastebasket where you put all the other factors you ignored? It was for these reasons that the head of the delegation at the time, Dr Haider Abdulshafi, resigned and the result of this is that you gave the Palestinian people semi-autonomous rule. On the shallow level it is called self-rule but in reality it is not autonomous by any means, as it caters for Israeli security.
     Joel Zenger, who was an adviser to Shimon Peres (and has authored several publications for Hebrew University Press and Oxford University Press), has stated that Oslo was meant to ensure the establishment of a military occupation....
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Gaza activists' lawsuit argues Israel attacked US territory in raid on ship
The Guardian 12 Jan 2016 - Three Americans and a Belgian are suing the state of Israel in Washington, arguing that the violent raid on a US-registered aid ship violated US sovereignty Four activists are attempting to make legal history by arguing...


Putin to Europe's Jews: 'Come to Russia to escape anti-Semitism'
YNet News, 20 Jan 2016 - The Russian president met with members of the European Jewish Congress and heard about the rise in anti-Semitism across the continent. ....


Arab Spring: A New Page in History That Failed to Turn
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Jan 2016 - By Hasan Afif El-Hasan The advent of the US-British occupation of Iraq and the humiliating capture, trial and execution of Saddam Hussein, the most feared dictator in the region, while the rest of the Arabs were either helping the invaders to dismantle a member of the Arab League or just helpless spectators, showed the Arab youth that their dictators were just pitiful paper tigers. They serve at the pleasure of their masters in Washington and London or Tel Aviv or Moscow, and when they are not needed, they are discarded like trash. Arab youth discovered the truth about their dictators, their regimes have no public support, and they should not be feared. That almost certainly inspired demands for overthrowing the authoritarian regimes and the establishment of participatory institutions and economic reforms. Middle East youth led “Arab Spring” that began in 2010 demanding freedom from authoritarian rule and repressive governments. They...more


AIPAC-Drafted US Aid to Israel Illegal
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Jan 2016 - By Grant Smith The Israel lobby’s biggest and longest-running Washington boondoggles are the massive annual weapons and economic packages to Israel. Tightly coordinated campaign contributors ( both individuals and political action committees) and the Israeli government’s own quiet demands manifest themselves within AIPAC-drafted foreign aid legislation. The U.S.-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 forces Americans to fork hard-earned tax dollars over to Israel’s coffers on the pretext that it is in eminent danger. Yet declassified documents reveal that even the current prime minister once worked inside the state’s clandestine nuclear arms smuggling rings. Transferring foreign aid to the Middle East’s sole nuclear weapons state — which can obviously take care of itself — is not just unseemly and unnecessary. It is illegal. AIPAC’s publicly available tax return [.pdf] reveals it has now become as seamlessly linked to its foreign principal as its parent organization — the American Zionist Council —...more


Reporter Jason Rezaian in good spirits after release from Iran - Washington Post
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2016 -


Washington lifts ban on foreign units of U.S. firms operating in Iran
Ha'aretz - 16 Jan 2016


AIPAC: Lifting of Iran sanctions a dangerous moment for US and allies
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2016 -


Iran to release jailed Washington Post journalist, 3 others
Middle East Eye 16 Jan 2016 - Language Undefined Seven Iranian prisoners held in the United States will also be freed in exchange for the release of four Iranian-American nationals


Iran frees five Americans as nuclear deal goes into effect
Al-Monitor 16 Jan 2016 - Iran has released five American prisoners including Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, in an apparent swap with Iranians jailed in the United States for sanctions violations.


Israel sued in Washington over attack on Gaza-bound US ship
Electronic Intifada - Israeli forces used extreme violence against US citizens, lawsuit alleges.


The response to an Israeli official’s ban on a Jewish-Arab love story? A video of Jews and Arabs kissing
Occupation Magazine 12 Jan 2016 - Ruth Eglash - The Washington Post - How have Tel Aviv’s young liberals responded to a decision by Israel’s conservative, right-wing education minister to ban from the official reading list a novel about forbidden love between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Muslim? They`ve made a...


US lawmakers slam EU to defend Israeli settlements
US Campaign to End the Occupation 12 Jan 2016 - Policy Director Josh Ruebner asks why Congress is trying to censure the EU for labeling Israeli settlement goods when US policy is similar.


Israel sued in Washington over attack on Gaza-bound US ship
Electronic Intifada: 12 Jan 2016 - Israeli forces used extreme violence against US citizens, lawsuit alleges. more..


Gaza activists' lawsuit argues Israel attacked US territory in raid on ship
The Guardian 12 Jan 2016 - Three Americans and a Belgian are suing the state of Israel in Washington arguing that the violent raid on a US-registered aid ship violated US sovereignty Four activists are attempting to make legal history by arguing...


Gaza activists' lawsuit argues Israel attacked US territory in raid on ship
The Guardian 12 Jan 2016 - Three Americans and a Belgian are suing the state of Israel in Washington arguing that the violent raid on a US-registered aid ship violated US sovereignty Four activists are attempting to make legal history by arguing...


Concern over Israel’s attacks on NGOs betrays anti-Palestinian racism
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/5/2016
      Two weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet gave its approval to proposed legislation that would “impose new regulations on Israeli non-profit groups that receive funds from foreign governments.”
     The ‘Transparency Bill’ will compel NGOs that receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments to state so in all official publications, and to “provide details about that funding in any communication with elected officials.”
     Representatives of the groups “would also be required to wear a special tag at Knesset sessions.” An NGO violating the law’s provisions can be fined.
     The move came at the end of a year when deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely – currently Israel’s de facto senior diplomat – had urged her European counterparts to “freeze funding to left-wing organisations.” Meanwhile, there is support within the Knesset for even stronger measures against groups “involved in activity deemed hostile toward the state.”
     Coverage of this new law in the West has demonstrated, once again, the continued potency of the myth of Israel’s ‘democracy’ and, in parallel, just how little weight is given, intentionally or otherwise, to what Israel’s settler colonialism has meant for Palestinians. An editorial in The Washington Post on January 2 provides an instructive example.
     The paper wrapped its criticism of the proposed new law in a paean to what it called Israel’s “stubbornly free society” and “core values as a democratic state.” It is Israel’s “bedrock commitment” to freedom, said the Post, which is now threatened by the legislation.
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Congress votes again to dismantle Iran deal
Al-Monitor 9 Jan 2016 - A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Jan. 11.


The two-state solution has failed, so what now?
Adel Shadeed, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/8/2016
      Palestinians and Israelis alike have become increasingly convinced that the two-state solution is no longer an option due to Israel’s policies which continue to see settlements built across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. The latter is supposed to be the capital of the Palestinian state to be established on the 1967 borders.
     It is important to consider that the two-state solution was never really a serious option in any case in the minds of Israel’s leadership and public. All that was proposed was a Palestinian Authority with limited security and economic responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This was planned in order to divest Israel of its legal and moral responsibilities to provide the Palestinians with healthcare, education and other basic necessities as the occupying power. Instead, Israel wanted to occupy and maintain full control, especially the area known as Area C which covers around two-thirds of the West Bank, without having to bear the full cost of the occupation. It also wanted to maintain its control over border crossings, Jerusalem, the airspace, the water sources and other Palestinian resources.
     In this context, the statements made by US President Barack Obama a few weeks ago to Benjamin Netanyahu, that it is no longer possible to return to negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis during what remains of his presidential term, could be understood as Washington abandoning the political process in the Middle East. It has reached an impasse and failed.
     The statements made by several US officials and analysts concur with this; the two-state solution has ended, not only as an Israeli option, but also as an international option. A few days ago, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that the establishment of a Palestinians state is no longer a valid matter and is not beneficial, rather it is harmful in light of the fragmentation of Arab countries that have been established for decades and centuries....
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Unholy Alliance: Christian Zionists and the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
Michael Welton, CounterPunch 1/8/2016
      Imagine thousands of people cheering and shouting for Israel in the huge Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. On stage, Ehud Olmert, the mayor of Jerusalem, proclaims: “God is with us. You are with us.” The crowd hollers, whoops and some blow the shofar. But none of those present is Jewish. Outside the auditorium Leanne Cariker from Oklahoma is carrying a placard that reads, “Just say No! to a Palestinian state.” Next to her stands another group of demonstrators, Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn. They oppose the state of Israel.
     This conference, the annual meeting of the U.S. Christian Coalition for Israel, began with a video-taped benediction from the White House. When Tom DeLay, the powerful, born-again majority whip in the House of Representatives, addressed the audience, he asked them, “Are you tired of all this? Are you?” “Nooo!” they roared back. “Not when you’re standing up for Jews and Jesus, that’s for sure!” he replied. DeLay was followed by Pat Robertson, the coalition’s founder, who dwelt on Arab plans to drive Israel into the sea and the sins of Arafat and his “gang of thugs.”
     At another rally in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2002, thousands of miles away from the ruins of Nablus and Jenin, tens of thousands of American Jews (and many of their non-Jewish supporters) gathered to show solidarity with Israel. Speaker after speaker had one simple message: “America and Israel united against terrorism.” Janet Paraschall, representing Christian broadcasters in the U.S., made it clear in her speech that support for Israel was now a litmus test for those who claimed to be America’s moral majority. “We represent millions of Christian broadcasters in this country. We stand with you now, and forever.”
     Since September 11, 2001, there has been an explosion of Christian fundamentalist support for Israel in America. The Christian Right (there are approximately 40 million on this side of the political spectrum in the U.S.) has had some influence on U.S. policy over the last three decades....
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Medical marijuana lobby launched in the Knesset
Jerusalem Post 7 Jan 2016 - Israel is considered a leader in cannabis research for medical uses, but many Israelis still face heavy bureaucracy to obtain the treatment.


Medical marijuana lobby launched in the Knesset
Jerusalem Post 7 Jan 2016 - Israel is considered a leader in cannabis research for medical uses, but many Israelis still face heavy bureaucracy to obtain the treatment.


Venezuela opposition swears in MPs barred by court
Daily Star 7 Jan 2016 The new opposition-dominated congress Wednesday swore in three lawmakers barred by the Supreme Court from taking their seats, setting up a confrontation with the ruling socialists in this oil-exporting nation mired in deep economic troubles.


Venezuela opposition swears in MPs barred by court
Daily Star 7 Jan 2016 The new opposition-dominated congress Wednesday swore in three lawmakers barred by the Supreme Court from taking their seats, setting up a confrontation with the ruling socialists in this oil-exporting nation mired in deep economic troubles.


Let's Stop this Latest Anti-BDS Congressional Resolution
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Jan 2016 - Rep. Nita Lowey wants to officially condemn the EU for labeling Israeli settlement goods.


Let's Stop this Latest Anti-BDS Congressional Resolution
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Jan 2016 - Rep. Nita Lowey wants to officially condemn the EU for labeling Israeli settlement goods.


Congress sets up first showdown of the year over Iran deal
Al-Monitor 6 Jan 2016 - The Obama administration says it "strongly opposes" sanctions bill scheduled for an initial vote Jan. 7.


Congress sets up first showdown of the year over Iran deal
Al-Monitor 6 Jan 2016 - The Obama administration says it "strongly opposes" sanctions bill scheduled for an initial vote Jan. 7.


European Jewish Congress to hold snap election almost a year early
Jerusalem Post 6 Jan 2016 - “Kantor's big fear is that Lauder will be able to find an attractive candidate that will tip the scale and take Kantor's position away from him.”


US Congress Reacts with Horror to NSA Surveillance of Israel
Wayne Madsen, Intifada-Palestine 1/5/2016
      NSA has been at the forefront of identifying, based on their telephone conversations, faxes, and emails, Israel’s agents buried within the US executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.
     (Strategic Culture Foundation) – Members of the US Congress have reacted in horror to published reports that the US National Security Agency ensnared a number of House of Representatives and Senate members in communicating directly with members of the Israeli government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on sabotaging President Barack Obama and the P5+1 agreement with Iran on nuclear power development. Some members of the Congress, who receive significant campaign contributions from Israeli and Jewish lobbying organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and the Zionist Organization of America are calling for hearings and official investigations.
     Such histrionic reactions from American elected representatives who are more loyal to Israel than to their own nation are par for the course in Washington, DC. Like the child caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar, US politicians in the pockets of Israeli lobbyists put on animated displays of angst and grief over reports they put the interests of Israel over those of the United States but when all is said and done, the US intelligence community usually builds up a strong case for criminal indictments of the congress members but politics usually rules out any grand jury probes let alone actual criminal charges.
     Israel, which has an agreement with NSA that provides raw signals intelligence from the United States to Israel while, at the same time, conducts vigorous hostile intelligence gathering against America, reacted predictably to the story of NSA surveillance. Yisrael Katz, the intelligence and transport minister of Israel, said Israel will demand that if such surveillance is occurring, it should cease immediately....
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Israeli military confronts violent protests with increasingly lethal force
Occupation Magazine 4 Jan 2016 - William Booth and Ruth Eglash - Washington Post - Over the past three months, Israeli forces have shot and killed more than 46 Palestinians during clashes. Most were killed by a single shot to the head or chest, suggesting lethal intent. A handful of others died...


Suing the Israeli Settlers
Philip Giraldi, The Unz Review 1/5/2016
      Lawfare might work in two directions
     Shurat HaDin, the Israeli government funded Lawfare center, has been busy filing lawsuits to take away the assets from groups, individuals and even governments that it considers to be “terrorist” connected. That includes anyone opposed to Israel’s existence but it also extends to groups that are critical of Israel for some of its actions as an occupying power as well as for its reported war crimes in dealing with its neighbors. Shurat HaDin has also been using similar tactics to attack supporters of peaceful protest, to include the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which has been seeking to put economic pressure on Israel to comply with United Nations resolutions relating to Palestine, as well as against groups on campus seeking to criticize Israel and its policies, claiming that such activity creates a threatening environment for Jewish students.
     Sometimes the lawsuits are frivolous. In the past year Shurat HaDin has, for example, “challenged the tax exempt status of the Presbyterian Church that declared its intent to divest from the Jewish State.” But sometimes they are more serious. On May 15, 2012 a Washington D.C. court awarded $332 million in damages to an American family whose sixteen year-old son had been killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Israel.
     The court determined that Syria was guilty even though it had directed no terrorist activity and would have to pay the judgment due to its allowing various Palestinian resistance groups to have offices in Damascus. The point of law involved, that supporters of militant groups, no matter how far removed, can be held legally responsible for the consequences of that support is a fundamental principle exploited by Lawfare.
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‘US seek prisoner swap with Iran for jailed reporter’ - video
The National 4 Jan 2016 - A senior Iranian official is quoted as saying that unnamed Americans have contacted Iran for a deal to swap jailed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian for other unspecified detainees.


Washington Post: 'Transparency Bill' is a danger to Israeli democracy
Ha'aretz - 3 Jan 2016


Krugman’s economy: I will spend zero political capital to criticize Israel or its lobby
Mondoweiss - Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman just wrote a column for the New York Times called “Privilege Pathology and Power,” lamenting Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer’s influence in the Republican Party and he did not mention Israel in the column. Israel is a core concern to...


Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps
James North and Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss 12/30/2015
      You’d think that there would be widespread outrage over the story everyone’s talking about today, the Wall Street Journal scoop that the Obama administration spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during the Iran Deal negotiations so as to counter his efforts to sink it. The wiretaps reveal that Israeli officials were up to their necks in the US political process; they “coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.”
     The president approved the wiretaps.
     "Privately, Mr. Obama maintained the monitoring of Mr. Netanyahu on the grounds that it served a 'compelling national security purpose,' according to current and former U.S. officials."
     That’s right; there’s a compelling national interest in stopping the Israel lobby.
     Many have said that President Obama lacks spine? Well, it sure looks like the leak to reporters Adam Entous and Danny Yadron came from the administration, and it’s hard to believe that a leak of this magnitude was not approved by the president. Just when the Israel lobby thought that it was starting to get back to business as usual, the Obama administration has reminded them that something has fundamentally changed in the U.S.-Israel relationship. Not only did we beat the lobby and Israel on the Iran Deal, but: we’re exposing your tactics, and patriotic Americans are going to be very upset by what they see.
     Remember that Obama in his highlight moment of the Iran Deal told Americans it would be an “abrogation of my constitutional duty” to defer to Israel’s interests on the Iran Deal. You’d think it would be a scandal that the Israeli PM was intriguing with Republicans — and surely some Democrats....
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The Mossad Caucus Exposed
Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com 1/1/2016
      Israel’s fifth column in Congress caught with pants down
     Once again, a scandal involving spying and the state of Israel is rocking Capitol Hill, with one big difference. This time, instead of the usual scenario where Israel is spying on us, the tables are turned and it’s those usually hapless Americans who have been secretly looking over the shoulder of their “ally.” The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) not only eavesdropped on the private communications of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but that
     “The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears – an ‘Oh-s – moment’ one senior US official said – that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.”
     At the time, Netanyahu and his government were engaged in an all-out campaign to torpedo the nuclear agreement with Iran, and that effort wasn’t limited to using their American fifth column to put pressure on Congress and the Obama administration. Israeli intelligence planted malware in the hotel computers where US negotiators were staying during the negotiations in Switzerland: they intercepted highly sensitive inside information on the talks, and leaked it. Did they leak to members of Congress opposed to the Iran deal? It no doubt occurred to the US intelligence community to ask this question, and answering it was a matter of national security. As the Journal reports:
     “Stepped-up NSA eavesdropping revealed to the White House how Mr. Netanyahu and his advisers had leaked details of the U.S.-Iran negotiations – learned through Israeli spying operations – to undermine the talks; coordinated talking points with Jewish-American groups against the deal; and asked undecided lawmakers what it would take to win their votes, according to current and former officials familiar with the intercepts.
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There would have been 'something wrong' if the US had not bugged Netanyahu
Alan Hart, Redress 1/1/2016
      When Republican Representative Devin Nunes informed the media that the House Intelligence Committee of which he is chairman will look into the Wall Street Journal report that the US spied on (bugged) Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during the discussions and negotiations for a nuclear agreement with Iran, he said: “We’re going to play this right down the middle and determine whether or not somebody did something wrong.”
     The case for the assertion proclaimed by my headline is as follows.
     Though the White House declined as it always does to comment on specific intelligence activities carried out by the National Security Agency (NSA), a spokesman for it did say this: “The US doesn’t spy overseas unless there’s a specific, validated national security reason to do so.” And this principle, the spokesman also emphasised, “applies both to world leaders and regular citizens.”
     False flags and traitors
     The truth is that the Obama administration’s decision to bug Netanyahu’s private conversations, including those he had with members of the US Congress, was driven by genuine national security concerns.
     The plain fact of the matter is that a nuclear agreement with Iran was in the real and best interests of all: America and the other members of the P5+1 and all the nations and peoples of the whole world, including (although most of them are too brainwashed by Zionist propaganda to understand why) Israel’s Jews; and Netanyahu was plotting with the Zionist lobby and its stooges in Congress to prevent President Obama concluding an agreement.
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White House delays plans to hit Iran with new sanctions: Report
Middle East Eye 31 Dec 2015 - Language Undefined Such a step could present a major barrier to the nuclear deal's implementation and harm relations between Tehran and Washington


Overcoming Jewish America’s Israel fantasy
Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine 12/31/2015
      The idea of Israel has long been an integral part of Jewish-American identity. But with a generational change among American Jews and increasingly stark political differences with Israel’s leadership, could this be the dawn of a new era?
     Last summer Michael Oren, who served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009-13, blithely offended virtually the entire policy, journalism and government elite in New York City and Washington, D.C. with a series of accusations directed at President Obama and liberal Jewish Americans.
     In a nutshell, Oren accused Obama of deliberately sabotaging relations with Israel in order to achieve the goals of ingratiating himself with the Arab Muslim world and negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran. He also suggested the president was soft on terror — because he had Muslim daddy issues (his father, who had not been present when he was growing up, was a Kenyan Muslim). Oren also characterized American Jews who criticized Israel as anti-Israel and/or insufficiently Jewish.
     Oren offered up his frank opinions and amateur psychoanalysis in a controversial Wall Street Journal op-ed and in a Foreign Policy essay – both of which acted as pre-publication publicity for his memoir, “Ally.”
     The response of the foreign policy people who figure so prominently in the discourse about Israel in the so-called Acela Corridor (the name of the rapid train that links New York and D.C.) was one of outrage and betrayal. They had regarded Oren as an ally who shared their worldview. Instead he had ripped off his mask of moderation to reveal a strident nationalist who was carrying some heavy baggage packed with Hebrew warrior fantasies, a Holocaust obsession and a fortress mentality.
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Shrugs in Israel to report that US eavesdropped on Netanyahu
Jerusalem Post 30 Dec 2015 - WSJ report also concluded Boehner, not Dermer, initiated PM’s controversial address to Congress.


Israel and its lobby lose the Iran Deal all over again, in news of damning wiretaps
Mondoweiss - You’d think that there would be widespread outrage over the story everyone’s talking about today, the Wall Street Journal scoop that the Obama administration spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu during the Iran Deal negotiations so as to counter his efforts to sink it. The wiretaps...


Israel Disgraces Judaism: Militarism + Orthodoxy = Authoritarian Mindset
Norman Pollack, CounterPunch 12/29/2015
      Where else in the world is Occupation given a free pass by the global community? Why? Lingering guilt over the Holocaust? Geopolitical reality, in which the US has established a wedge of support for its never-ending confrontation with Russia and China? Oil politics run amuck, where Middle East dominance is a prerequisite for America’s hegemonic plans and aspirations? Or merely, the minutia of power-considerations, from, e.g., AIPAC lobbying to relentless media iteration of a bastion of freedom standing valiantly against the twin evils of Arab nationalism (read, Muslim extremism) and the still-communistic menace of Russia and China (a distorted conjuring of Stalin and Mao)? Take your pick, probably all of the foregoing, for allowing Israel to drop below the moral radar and emerge scot-free as a member of the international community in good standing. And no doubt, other factors I’ve omitted, as in the skillful use of charging opponents, including Jews, with the tar brush of anti-Semitism.
     Ganugh, enough already. Judaism is precious to the history of freedom, inscribed in the sublime thoughts of Torah, where persecution had the effect of chastening the ancient Hebrews to welcome and respect the stranger and to feel a special obligation to uphold moral standards through living exemplary lives. This has come down until recent times as a mandate, whether secular or religious, to amplify the gifts of civilization for all humankind as in the contributions made to philosophy, literature, painting, and music—a tangible presence on the world scene that, in the 20th century, could but anger the forces of totalitarianism and mediocrity and lead directly to the Evil of the Holocaust itself. World Jewry paid the penalty for, by its conduct and values, opposing the retrograde forces spawned by the difficulties attendant on the industrial transformation, on which fascism thrived: a manure pile of resentments, conspiracy theory, fears of democratization, the plebeian accommodation to monopoly capitalism as though identifying with The Leadership and with conquest would restore meaning to life.
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Experts: 'Iran has achieved a major victory'
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2015 - Head of Washington think tank tells ‘Post’: Tehran traded away easily-reversible nuclear concessions like enriched uranium and first-generation centrifuges.


Nancy Spielberg soars into Israel to speak at Birthright Cinema Day
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2015 - Billed as Birthright’s Cinema Day, the group turned the Cinema City lobby into an Israeli job/ education/aliya fair.


Perpetuating distrust and conflict: Israel’s use of character assassination
Rich Forer, Redress 12/27/2015
      The government of Israel has always taken pains to disparage Arabs and attribute to them the genocidal designs of the Nazis, history’s most infamous mad men. This character assassination has kept world Jewry fearful of another holocaust and acquiescent when it comes to Israeli actions executed in the name of security, no matter how inhumane these actions are, and no matter how ultimately self-destructive and insecure they make Jews.
     Even before Israel’s establishment, Jewish leaders had begun targeting one Palestinian in particular, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. For Jewish leaders, Al-Husseini symbolised the apparent Arab thirst for the extermination of the Jewish people which, in turn, stimulated Jewish fear and hatred of Arabs.
     Under Ottoman law, which the British had largely incorporated into their administration of mandatory Palestine, a Muslim electoral college was responsible for nominating three candidates to the position of Grand Mufti. Although Al-Husseini was not among the nominees, in 1921 British High Commissioner Herbert Samuel, a Jew, rejected tradition and unilaterally named the 24-year-old to the post.
     Two months ago, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking at the 37th Zionist Congress, made the following unproven and dubious allegation:
     "Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time, he wanted to expel the Jews, and Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, 'If you expel them, they’ll all come here.'
     “'So what should I do with them?' [Hitler] asked....
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Analysis: Proud Democrat, proud Zionist
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2015 - Visiting Congressman Eliot Engel talks about Obama, Clinton, Iran and how Israel doesn't benefit when one party tries to sell itself as the pro-Israel party.


U.S. State Department rejects calls by Congress members to close PLO office
Ha'aretz - 22 Dec 2015


U.S. State Department rejects calls by Congress members to close PLO office
Ha'aretz - 22 Dec 2015


US State Department rejects lawmakers' calls to close PLO office
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2015 - "Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, DC provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process," letter from US lawmakers reads.


US State Department rejects lawmakers' calls to close PLO office
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2015 - "Allowing the PLO to maintain an office in Washington, DC provides no benefit to the United States or the peace process," letter from US lawmakers reads.


US congresswoman: Jerusalem’s archaeological discoveries prove historic Jewish ties
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2015 - "Denying the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem is false," says Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa.


US congresswoman: Jerusalem’s archaeological discoveries prove historic Jewish ties
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2015 - "Denying the historic connection of the Jewish people to Jerusalem is false," says Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on the Middle East & North Africa.


Obama vetoes anti-climate change measures passed by Congress
Daily Star 19 Dec 2015 President Barack Obama has vetoed two measures that would have blocked steps that his administration is taking to address climate change.


California shooter's visa request was missing key information: politician
Daily Star 19 Dec 2015 A member of the U.S. Congress Saturday accused immigration officials of allowing California attacker Tashfeen Malik into the country despite critical missing information in her request for a fiancee visa.


Former UC president comes out openly as Israel lobbyist
Electronic Intifada - Mark Yudof will use his connections in higher education to fight boycott movement.


Congress Passes Bill Targeting Hezbollah’s Finances
The Forward New 17 Dec 2015 - Legislation targeting the financing of Hezbollah passed both houses of Congress.


Obama to sign bill targeting Hezbollah financing
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2015 - The White House worked closely with members of Congress to craft the bill, which earned overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses.


U.S. Congress votes to sanction banks dealing with Hezbollah
Daily Star 16 Dec 2015 The U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously Wednesday to impose tough new sanctions on banks that knowingly do business with the Lebanon-based movement Hezbollah.


Israel Supports Islamic Terrorists
Washington's Blog, Zerohedge.com 12/14/2015
      Israel claims that it’s in a mortal struggle with Islamic terrorists …
     But as we reported last year, the Israeli military has admitted to supporting Syrian Islamic jihadis. And see this.
     Last week, Daily Mail journalists embedded with Israeli troops reported:
     Almost every night, Israeli troops run secret missions to save the lives of Syrian fighters, all of whom are sworn enemies of the Jewish state.
     Analysts suggest the Jewish state has in fact struck a deadly ‘deal with the devil’ – offering support to the Sunni militants who fight the Syrian ruler Assad in the hope of containing its arch enemies Hezbollah and Iran.
     Many of the casualties rescued by Israel belong to Salafist groups …. Some may be members of Jabhat al-Nusra, a Syrian group affiliated to Al Qaeda that has kidnapped scores of UN peacekeeping troops in this area, and has massacred Christians deeper in Syria.
     In the three years that Israel has been running these operations, it has saved the lives of more than 2,000 Syrians – at least 80 per cent of whom are male and of fighting age – at a cost of 50 million shekels (Ł8.7 million).
     ‘Above all, Israel wants to prevent Hezbollah from gaining control on the other side of the border,’ said Michael Stephens, Research Fellow for Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).
     ‘The Sunni militants are fighting Hezbollah, so for now they share the same objectives as Israel. That’s why we’re seeing this odd cooperation between people who would be enemies under any other circumstances....'
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57 Congress Reps Taken to Israel
Dissident Voice: 14 Dec 2015 - In August, 2015, 57 brand new members of the U.S. House of Representatives bowed their heads and promised to obey their Israeli overlords. They allowed themselves to be taken to Israel, plied with good food and propaganda. They then returned home to do Israel’s bidding in the Congressional seats that Israel helped them win. Sixty were invited, but only three decided not to go, for unknown reasons. But isn’t there a more innocent explanation? Perhaps they just wanted to learn more about the issue and would equally have accepted an invitation to visit Palestine and see it from a Palestinian point of view. Nothing wrong with giving equal opportunity to both sides. The Free Palestine Movement tested this theory and found it wanting. We sent a personalized invitation to exactly the same members of Congress to come to Palestine at our expense. Not a single one accepted. Although we sent...more


At Hanukkah parties in Washington, signs of healing from rifts over Iran
Jerusalem Post 11 Dec 2015 - Many treated this holiday as a moment to take stock of a fight that traumatized the community, that shook its confidence in itself and that drew in a president.


Donald Trump postpones Israel trip
The National 10 Dec 2015 - WASHINGTON // Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has scrapped a planned trip to Israel, saying he will reschedule “at a later date after I become President of the US” Mr Trump tweeted Thursday that he is postponing the trip, which had become problematic for Israeli prime minister...


Kerry enlists Netanyahu in congressional fight over UNESCO funding
Al-Monitor 11 Dec 2015 - Israel has dropped its opposition to restoring UNESCO budget despite Palestinian statehood vote.


Rivlin seeks to eliminate geopolitical reality
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/11/2015
      Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s op-ed in the Washington Post has clarified another issue that was always implied within the diplomatic negotiations that have deprived Palestinians of their territory. Discussing the current absence of negotiations, Rivlin stated: “Israel must take steps to improve the situation independent of the geopolitical territorial debate – steps that every sensible person understands serve simultaneously Israel’s moral and practical interests.”
     While it is obvious that any mention of morality on Israel’s behalf is a sinister euphemism for the planning of further restrictions, especially alongside the concept of “practical” as articulated by Rivlin, the brief op-ed clearly describes how Israel manages such dissociation tactics. “Morality” is an enhanced manner of seeking to promote Israel’s demands at the expense of Palestinians at a time when, despite repeated insistence upon a return to negotiations, the international community is set upon delaying its perfunctory role.
     However, whether the international community actively seeks rapprochement or not, bolstering Israel’s supremacy remains a priority. The current impasse and slight shift in what is visible of diplomatic engagement will ultimately convey another series of restrictions imposed upon Palestinians. Rivlin’s tactic of addressing specifics away from the wider context is one that the international community has consistently applied. While seemingly veering away from previous reservations regarding the hypothetical two-state compromise – Rivlin has actually echoed Martin Schulz’s idea of a confederation – the underlying rhetoric still builds upon the foundations of colonialism.
     An example of self-serving interests is Rivlin’s mention of Rawabi – the new Palestinian city in the West Bank that, in Rivlin’s words “is in Israel’s interests”. Hailed as an epitome of economic cooperation, the op-end seeks to use the example of Rawabi to gloss over other discrepancies that are of greater importance to Palestinians....
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Ayman Odeh has a dream, but not all American Jews like it
Lisa Goldman, +972 Magazine 12/11/2015
      The leader of the Joint List got a rude awakening on his first official visit to the U.S. after being falsely accused of refusing to meet the leaders of a major Jewish organization in New York. ‘I have actually found that Jewish Americans are more progressive than Jewish Israelis. But the problem is with the leaders of the community. They want to tell me how to behave and what to think.’
     NEW YORK — “I believe in talking to everyone,” said Joint List leader Ayman Odeh. “In the Knesset, I speak with everyone.” He added, with a half smile, “Except [Avigdor] Lieberman. But that’s only because he refuses to speak to me.”
     Odeh, a Palestinian citizen of Israel whose non-Zionist party is the third largest in the Knesset with 13 seats, is currently visiting Washington and New York for a series of meetings with diplomats, Jewish community leaders, journalists, think tanks and NGOs. But so far the only meeting that has been reported by Jewish media outlets is the one that controversially did not take place — at the New York office of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations.
     Upon arriving Thursday morning at the organization’s midtown Manhattan building, Odeh discovered that the umbrella group shared its office with the Jewish Agency. The Agency is affiliated with Israel’s Ministry of Absorption and with the Jewish National Fund (JNF), which is involved in initiatives to displace Palestinians from their homes in favor of Jews.
     Staffers for the umbrella group suggested moving the meeting to another office on a different floor in the same building — specifically, to the offices of the Reform Jewish Movement. But Executive Vice President Malcolm Hoenlein rejected the suggestion. He then sent out a press release in which he wrote that he was “deeply disturbed and shocked at the refusal” of Odeh to meet him.
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Israel lobbyist doubles up as adviser to European Parliament
Electronic Intifada - Nuno Wahnon Martins, a representative of the European Jewish Congress, is directly influencing the EU’s relations with Israel. 


Israel lobbyist doubles up as adviser to European Parliament
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2015 - Nuno Wahnon Martins, a representative of the European Jewish Congress, is directly influencing the EU’s relations with Israel.  more..


Why ISIL won't be defeated
AlJazeera 8 Dec 2015 - John Mearsheimer speaks with Al Jazeera about the war on ISIL, the Israel lobby and the Palestinian question.


Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrives in Washington ahead of Obama meet
Ha'aretz - 8 Dec 2015


Brookings conference on ‘future for Israelis and Palestinians’ featured zero Palestinians
Mondoweiss - Last weekend the Brookings Institution in Washington hosted a three-day US-Israel conference that focused on such issues as the “future for Israelis and Palestinians” and, according to its own published agenda, there were no Palestinian speakers. Brookings is a leading liberal thinktank. Its annual Saban Forum,...


Yair Lapid on Hillary handshake: ‘I met my buddy’s wife…’
+972 Magazine - Israel’s Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he’s seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill’s wife, you guys know Bill.  Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title...


Why is The Guardian excluding Palestinians from its comment pages?
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/7/2015
      The Guardian, often accused of bias by pro-Israel lobby groups, is excluding Palestinian voices from its comment pages, an examination of two years of coverage has revealed.
     Out of 138 op-eds on Palestine/Israel published by the paper in its ‘Comment is free’ section from October 2013 to November 2015 (which includes both print and online-only articles), just 20 were written by Palestinians – 15 per cent of the total.
     By contrast, 39 op-eds (28 per cent) were written by Israelis, while the majority, 79 pieces or 57 per cent, were contributed by international journalists and analysts, most of them British.
     Amongst the pieces authored by Israelis were six by state representatives, including four by the then-Israeli ambassador to the UK Daniel Taub and his embassy colleague Yiftah Curiel. There were also op-eds by Israeli minister Gilad Erdan and president Reuven Rivlin.
     In addition, The Guardian published four pieces by opposition politicians, including former-minister Yair Lapid, and Labor MKs Hilik Bar and Michal Baran. Thus the number of pieces by Israeli embassy staff and serving politicians – 10 – is equal to half the total number of op-eds by Palestinians.
     The most prolific single contributor (Israeli or Palestinian), with seven by-lines, is Anshel Pfeffer, a journalist with Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz – whose editor, Aluf Benn, himself wrote two pieces. The other Israeli contributors are mainly journalists, analysts, and academics.
     Amongst the 20 op-eds by Palestinians, three were by West Bank-based politicians (Jibril Rajoub, Saeb Erekat, and Mustafa Barghouti), as well as a piece by Fatah prisoner Marwan Barghouti, and Hadash party leader Ayman Odeh.
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Pandering on Israel, Clinton equates BDS to extremism and Iran as threats to U.S.
Mondoweiss - Yesterday Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Washington at the Saban Forum of Brookings that included more pandering to Israel than any speech I’ve heard from any American politician. It was endless. Israel is a brave democracy, a light unto the nations, a miracle, its “prowess...


Yair Lapid on Hillary handshake: ‘I met my buddy’s wife…’
+972 Magazine - Israel’s Mr. Liberal went to the Saban Forum in Washington D.C. and met this woman he’s seen somewhere, a lawyer maybe? Bill’s wife, you guys know Bill.  Yair Lapid, leader of the third largest party in the opposition (a far cry from his briefly held title...


AIPAC and Stealth Israel Political Action Committees from IRmep
MyCatBirdSeat.com 7 Dec 2015 - Janet McMahon of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs explains the history and impact of “stealth PACs.” Why has the American Israel Public Affairs Committee spawned a network of PACs across America? Why don’t any claim affiliation to their creator or use descriptive names? Shouldn’t...


Kerry: Israel 'imperiling' two-state solution
12/6/2015 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Saturday that key Israeli policies were "imperiling" the viability of a two-state solution and pushing the Palestinian Authority toward collapse. Speaking at the Brooking Institution's annual Saban Forum in Washington D. C. , Kerry said there were "valid questions as to how long the Palestinian Authority will remain if the current situation continues....


LSE chills Palestinian students’ speech on ‘intifada’ under pressure from Israel lobby
Mondoweiss - This is a dismal story, about the resistance of the western mainstream to an understanding of the occupation of Palestine. It is reminiscent of the Salaita case in Illinois; but it took place at the London School of Economics. In October, the Palestine Society staged an...


Mr. Odeh Goes to Washington (and not everyone`s happy about it)
Occupation Magazine 4 Dec 2015 - Samah Salaime--Joint List head Ayman Odeh headed to the United States this week, prompting mixed reactions from Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Odeh: ‘I am here to tear the mask off of Netanyahu’s lies.’ dn


Mr. Odeh Goes to Washington (and not everyone’s happy about it)
+972 Magazine - Joint List head Ayman Odeh headed to the United States this week, prompting mixed reactions from Israel’s Palestinian citizens. Odeh: ‘I am here to tear the mask off of Netanyahu’s lies.’ Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh speaks on a panel during the Peace Now conference, July...


LSE criticised by students for bowing to pro-Israel ’lobby groups’
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/4/2015
      The London School of Economics (LSE) has been accused of bowing to external “lobby groups”, following the university’s public criticism of the student Palestine Society.
     The controversy centres around an exhibition held by the Palestine Society in the SU building on October 22, intended to raise awareness about Israel’s repression of Palestinians living under military occupation, particularly in light of recent unrest.
     On the day, exhibition organisers were confronted by supporters of Israel, including one who demanded that a Muslim student “denounce terrorism” on camera. Later, it was reported that the LSE Israel Society had complained to both the LSESU and the university authorities.
     The LSESU investigation, however, found that the Palestine Society had “followed all…existing processes in setting up this exhibition” and that allegations the Palestine Society was “glorifying terrorism” were unfounded. LSESU did, however, conclude that in future, students should have a choice whether or not to view “distressing” images.
     Yet a month later, in a statement published on November 30, LSE declared that the university was “deeply troubled” by the Palestine Society exhibition. Despite emphasising that “the law was not broken”, LSE said that “the apparent celebration, even if unintended, of violence and perpetrators of violence caused significant distress to students who identify with victims of that violence.”
     When I queried the lack of specifics, an LSE spokesperson told me that the statement “reflects the concerns raised that the exhibition strongly appeared to be commemorating the deaths of individuals who were involved in violent attacks against civilians.”
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GOP contenders highlight Obama as a wedge in Jewish support
Jerusalem Post 3 Dec 2015 - Republican presidential candidates address Jewish lobbying group in Washington.


In Washington, Ya'alon says Iran deal still the focus of Israel's concerns
Jerusalem Post 3 Dec 2015 - In Washington, defense minister notes the new set of challenges facing Israel now that the nuclear deal brokered last July is proceeding toward implementation.


5 Cringeworthy Things Donald Trump Has Said About the Jews
The Forward New 3 Dec 2015 - Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, a Presbyterian and self-declared best friend of Israel, came off as anything but mishpachah when he started talking about money and the art the deal at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference Thursday in Washington.


Israel’s army is no longer a deterrent, even to Palestinian children
Motasem A Dalloul, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/28/2015
      Following the three Israeli wars waged on the people of Gaza between 2008 and 2014, dozens of political, strategic and military analysts acknowledged what is a bitter pill for the Israeli army to swallow: it is no longer a deterrent to the Palestinian fighters in the beleaguered coastal territory, not even the children.
     Writing after the end of the 2008/9 Israeli offensive, David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said, “Israel believes its deterrence was lost in that war.” During last year’s 51-day Israeli war on Gaza, when more than 2,260 Palestinian were killed, Israeli columnist Shlomi Eldar wrote, “Israel lost its power of deterrence and the leaders of the strongest state in the Middle East are in a quandary.”
     The senior researcher of the Washington Institute and the Israeli columnist reached their conclusions after looking at the outcome of the conflicts, where Israeli soldiers faced armed Palestinian fighters. It has to be remembered that these were asymmetrical in terms of the armaments and personnel available to the two sides.
     The current uprising - intifada - in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem has also been notable for the Israeli army losing any deterrent factor that it once had. The image of the Israeli soldier has changed from one who is “invincible” to one who is weak and scared.
     This new image is depicted in several examples of footage showing little Palestinian boys and girls running after well-equipped Israeli soldiers in attempts to stab them. Their weapons are clearly small kitchen knives, which would probably have difficulty cutting very thin string.
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Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11
Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report 11/25/2015
      A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford
     In debunking Donald Trump’s big lie about Jersey City Muslims celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center, the corporate media have told an even bigger lie of omission. There was, indeed, shameless cheering on the banks of the Hudson River on 9/11. But it was by young Israelis, as was widely reported at the time. Fourteen years later, corporate media are covering up for Israel – which makes them even bigger liars than Trump.
     The corporate media don’t like Donald Trump. They used to like him a lot; in fact, Big Business Media are responsible for making this minor multi-millionaire into a household name. But Trump is on their hit list, nowadays, because the Republican presidential candidate insists on telling his own lies, rather than sticking to the list of official lies parroted by corporate media every minute of every day.
     Donald Trump told a really “HUGE” – as he would put it – lie when he claimed to have watched thousands of Muslims cheering in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the World Trade Center came down on 9/11. Every corporate news outlet in the country rushed to debunk Trump’s fictitious account. The Washington Post offered psychological theories for why Trump gets away with telling fantastic lies. The New York Times said there was no evidence that Jersey City Muslims cheered the destruction on 9/11. CNN said it never happened. And, they were right.
     However, by making only a partial correction of Donald Trump’s prevarication, the corporate media were telling their own lie about what happened on 9/11. There was, in fact, celebration in Jersey City on that fateful morning, and the incident did, briefly, make a major news splash. But the people doing the cheering weren’t Muslims: they were five young Israelis in a white moving van.... -- See also: Five Dancing Israelis - 9/11 - "Our Purpose Was To Document The Event"
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‘Foreign Policy’ says ‘Israel lobby’ donors are making ‘pro-Israel the new circumcision’
Mondoweiss - Another marker of change in the Mainstream media: Foreign Policy has run an article decrying the strongarm tactics of the Israel lobby and the orthodoxy of the campus organization Hillel International in support of Israel. An anonymous Jewish official tells the publication he’s afraid of being...


Siegman says Palestinians are turning to violence ‘to achieve freedom and self-determination’
Mondoweiss - Henry Siegman has an important piece up at the Nation in which he explains the recent Palestinian violence as a natural political response to an unending occupation. Siegman is a former head of the American Jewish Congress who has expressed more and more sympathy for Palestinians...


Why is AIPAC silent on Syrian refugees?
Ha'aretz - 25 Nov 2015


US anthropologists back Israel boycott in landslide vote
Electronic Intifada - Ali Abunimah 23 November 2015 American Anthropological Association move is blow to Israel lobby groups that stepped up efforts to combat BDS.


Massachusetts state senators urged to cancel trip to Israel
Mondoweiss - All-expenses-paid junkets to Israel organized for elected officials and community leaders by a lobbying group, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Boston, have generally attracted little public comment. But that is changing. On October 29, Boston Globe staff reporter Frank Phillips raised the ethical...


US anthropologists back Israel boycott in landslide vote
Electronic Intifada - Ali Abunimah 23 November 2015 American Anthropological Association move is blow to Israel lobby groups that stepped up efforts to combat BDS.


Tehran incarcerates WP reporter
Arab News - Sun, 2015-11-22 22:13 TEHRAN: Iran on Sunday confirmed that it had sentenced Iranian-American Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges...


Iran sentences Washington Post reporter to jail term
The National 22 Nov 2015 - TEHRAN // Iran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian state TV reported on Sunday. Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary, announced the punishment in a statement...


Political Salafism Has Failed Lebanon’s Palestinians
Franklin Lamb, CounterPunch 11/20/2015
      Following the June 6, 1982 Yawm an-Naksa (‘day of the setback’) of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, I began to notice that youngsters in the camps in Lebanon, and in the Palestinian diaspora, specifically in Washington DC where I worked, were identifying more with scholars from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University and with Political Salafism. They would explain to me the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood and of a new Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement called Hamas, which was created as a direct result of the 1982 Israeli aggression against Lebanon.
     A few indicated that they wanted to study at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which was established around 970 by the Fatmids as a center of Islamic learning and where students studied the Qur’an and Islamic law. Salafism was part of their education. For centuries the mission of al-Azhar was to propagate Islam and Islamic culture. Until today its Islamic scholars counsel students on Islam and even render edicts (fatwas) on disputes submitted to them. Requests for their fatwas come from all over the Sunni Islamic world regarding proper conduct for Muslim individuals and societies and how to achieve justice for all people of good will. Al-Azhar also trains Egyptian government-appointed preachers in the best ways to achieve proselytization (da’wa).
     In light of the failure of Arab political elites, including Lebanese and Palestinian leaders, to provide an alternative model for peaceful political change and for acquiring elementary civil rights, including the right to work in Lebanon, many of the angry Palestinian youth in Lebanon are concluding that they have few options to achieve civil rights and are listening to the new chorus siren calls from Jihadist Salafism.
     With respect to the differences between Political Salafism and Jihadist Salafism, all Salafists take the same basic approach to Islam, emulating the Prophet Muhammad and his earliest followers....
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Has the Zionist Lobby Hijacked the US Congress?
Dissident Voice: 21 Nov 2015 - When US President Barack Obama and Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met the other day in Washington they tried to get along fairly well. The fundamental conflict between the US superpower and its political client state was watered down and rhetorically whitewashed. Obama has put up a brave front because he thinks of the day after leaving the White House and the election chances of Hillary Clinton. And Netanyahu was in great shape because he got all his wishes fulfilled. A 50 % increase in subsidies, plus the most sophisticated warplanes in order to test them on the Palestinians and the neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Syria, or Iran. For a foreign observer of US foreign policy, it’s elusive that a sassy leader of a tiny country, who behaves like a political madman, can push a US President around and gets amply rewarded for his sass. Just before Netanyahu set off...more


US think tank says Israel has around 115 nuclear weapons
11/21/2015 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Washington-based think tankpublished a study Friday reporting Israel's possession of around 115 nuclear weapons, despite the country's ongoing policy of ambiguity regarding its nuclear capacities. According to the report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), Israel has produced 660 Kg of plutonium in a nuclear reactor located in Dimona, near the city of....


Israel divides the Jews
Lawrence Davidson, Redress 11/19/2015
      Something significant recently happened in the ongoing political-ethical drama that grips Israel and, by extension, Jewish communities worldwide. As reported by the Jewish Daily Forward on 6 November 2015, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism (a position that makes him the leader of largest Jewish denomination in the United States), publicly broke with Israel’s political and religious leadership. In a major speech at the Union’s biennial conference he said:
     "Asking Jews around the world only to wave the flag of Israel and to support even the most misguided policies of its leaders drives a wedge between the Jewish soul and the Jewish state."
     Going public in this fashion is significant and welcome. However, as we shall see, this aspect of his critique has a long history.
     Jacobs then got more specific: “the treatment of Israel’s minorities” and the “way ultra-Orthodox views of Judaism are being enshrined in secular law” are indications that Israeli society is “broken” and that Reform Jews will not be quiet about this.
     Jacobs offers the concept of Tikkun olam or “good works that benefit the wider community” and the “power and wisdom of pluralism” as antidotes that can help “repair” Israel.
     This is potentially powerful stuff for the situation here in the US, if not in Israel itself. If Jacobs moves to mobilise America’s Reform Jews behind a campaign opposing present Israeli behaviour, it will constitute a major challenge to Zionist tribalism. It might also help liberate the US Congress from its present role of accomplice to Israeli crimes.
     The past as prologue....
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Is Palestine the answer?
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/18/2015
      In the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities, the then US President George W Bush convinced his fellow Americans that revenge was the only way to respond, and so he unleashed his never-ending War on Terror. No one stopped to ask why the attacks in New York and Washington took place, and the resultant retaliation was justified by primitive rhetoric that could have come straight from the script of a Spaghetti Western.
     Thus, when French President François Hollande, regarded until now as more of a dove than a hawk, described last week’s terror attack in Paris to be “an act of war” by Daesh there was surprise and dismay in equal measures. Syria has been bombed several times by France since Friday and other NATO countries are being urged to join the French and American air raids on so-called key Daesh targets. So far, so predictable.
     However, at least one European country appears to be resisting the battle cries; step forward non-NATO Sweden. Not only is the Scandinavian country stepping back, analysing and evaluating the fallout from the horrors of the attack on Paris last week, but its foreign minister has also broken ranks in the international community to draw a link between the ongoing injustices imposed on the Palestinian people by Israel and the carnage wreaked upon the French capital.
     Margot Wallström told television network SVT2T that the hopelessness of the Palestinian people was a factor which could not be ignored. Asked if she was worried about the radicalisation of young Swedes who might join Daesh, the foreign minister replied, “Obviously, we have reason to be worried, not just in Sweden but across the world, because there are so many that are being radicalised. Here, once again, we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there is not a future. We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
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Ten Jewish groups urge Congress to allow Syrian refugees into U.S.
Ha'aretz - 18 Nov 2015


Hey Hillary Clinton, Palestinian lives matter too
Leanne Gale, +972 Magazine 11/15/2015
      You claim to support peace, but your words imply that Palestinian lives are less valuable to you than Israeli lives. I implore you: please do better.
     Dear Secretary Clinton,
     I have faith that you want to stand with the Jewish people as we work toward peace with the Palestinians. But your recent article in The Forward did exactly the opposite.
     You glorified Israel without mentioning its nearly 50-year-old military occupation and outlined how you plan to “reaffirm our unbreakable bond with Israel” without addressing its rightward anti-democratic spiral. This was a faulty political calculation, marginalizing a powerful progressive constituency in the American Jewish community. Further, your rhetoric on the situation in Jerusalem deliberately ignored critical context, fanning the flames of incitement. I implore you: please do better.
     Over the past decade, the community of American Jews who oppose the Israeli occupation has built impressive political power. Perhaps most obvious is the rise of J Street, the “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby that supports a two state solution. In synagogues, community centers and college campuses across America, J Street has become a part of the Jewish mainstream, creating space for activism critical of Israeli policy. J Street has also flexed its muscle in Washington, notably in a massive campaign to secure the Iran nuclear deal. Make no mistake—the Iran deal was no less a victory for the Obama administration than for the progressive American Jewish community, exercising our growing strength in the pursuit of peace.
     And there are more examples. Following Operation Protective Edge—an unprecedented Israeli assault on Gaza leaving over 2,100 Palestinians dead—the membership of Jewish Voice for Peace swelled....
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Paris terror attacks expose American failures: U.S. lawmakers
Daily Star 15 Nov 2015 The U.S. strategy against ISIS came under growing fire in Washington Sunday with one prominent Democrat calling it a failure that could lead to more attacks by the extremists like those in Paris.


Will Obama Give Israel Even More American Weapons and Dollars to Kill Palestinians?
Ann Wright, CounterPunch 11/13/2015
      President Obama met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on November 9 in the White House and is considering the Israeli request to give a 50% increase of nearly $1.5 billion in U.S. military funding bringing the U.S. donation to the killing of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to $4.5 billion a year.
     As it stands now, more that half of the U.S. foreign military spending for 2016 goes to Israel. As in all things, Israel gets special treatment by the U.S. allowing Israel to spend 25% of its gift from the U.S. to pay itself for buying weapons from its own weapons industry!
     According to a recent congressional report, Israel has received $124.3 billion in military assistance from the US since its founding in 1948.
     The report states that “strong congressional support for Israel has resulted in Israel receiving benefits not available to any other countries; for example, Israel can use U.S. military assistance both for research and development in the United States and for military purchases from Israeli manufacturers.
     In addition, U.S. assistance earmarked for Israel is generally delivered in the first 30 days of the fiscal year, while most other recipients normally receive aid in installments, and Israel (as is also the case with Egypt) is permitted to use cash flow financing for its U.S. arms purchases.
     In addition to receiving U.S. State Department-administered foreign assistance, Israel also receives funds from annual defense appropriations bills for rocket and missile defense programs. Israel pursues some of those programs jointly with the United States.”
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What Obama Should Have Told Bibi - And also the World Jewish Congress
Occupation Magazine 12 Nov 2015 - Philip Giraldi - Information Clearing House "And how to fix things? Lauder claims that Netanyahu has “the greatness, the vision and the courage to move this relationship forward on a positive path.” Sure. And pigs have wings. Let’s face it Ron, Bibi is quite likely clinically...


The secret weapon in the fight for the labeling of Israeli settlement goods
Jerusalem Post 12 Nov 2015 - Meet the non-governmental organizations behind the European labeling lobby.


As I see it: Congress helps fund attack on Zionism
Jerusalem Post 12 Nov 2015 - Zionism, the movement for the self-determination of the Jewish people, has been turned into a stick with which to beat up Israel, and the movie is but another example of this disgusting pathology.


The titter-tape charade
Mondoweiss - The Center for American Progress is obviously reeling from the disgraceful performance on its main stage yesterday, in which its president Neera Tanden kissed up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a series of softball questions in an effort to assure the Israel lobby that...


Criminalising medics who help Palestinians
Yvonne Ridley, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/12/2015
      Helping Palestinians in Gaza is not officially a crime; not yet, anyway, but the reaction of the British government and pro-Israel lobby towards those who use their medical skills to try and save Palestinian lives is disturbing.
     Earlier this week the government refused to give visas to a group of Palestinian medical experts from Gaza which would have allowed them to participate in an international conference on trauma in war zones. Three doctors and a nurse who work for the Ministry of Health in Gaza were effectively banned from attending the conference at Kingston University just outside London in a move which has been condemned by campaigners. Sponsored by the World Health Organisation, the four were due to give presentations at the conference taking place this weekend until their visa requests were blocked by the British government.
     A letter by the UK Palestine Mental Health Network, co-organisers of the conference, published in the Independent, says: “It is beyond our comprehension how such an interference with intellectual and clinical discussion on such an important topic could be justified. This is a measure that further isolates clinicians from Gaza, already struggling under the impact of military assaults and siege.”
     Meanwhile in America, a Norwegian surgeon with international accolades and ringing endorsements from royalty to politicians for his work in Gaza, has been given a rough reception by pro-Israel supporters. Dr Mads Gilbert needs little introduction among Palestinians or human rights groups. He has risked his life trying to save others during Israel’s repeated brutal assaults against the civilians of Gaza and he is regarded in some circles as a living legend. As a medical man of such high regard you’d think his reputation would be untouchable, but while he has received international awards and recognition for his surgical skills and humanitarian dedication, there are those who wish him nothing but ill.
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Netanyahu’s Washington triumph
Lamis Andoni, Al Jazeera 11/12/2015
      His visit not only kicked off a process of changing his image, but also asserted Israel's role in the region.
     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is right to gloat on his Twitter account about his achievements in the United States capital, as he was able to milk to the maximum Washington's need for his silence, even acquiescence, on the Iran nuclear deal.
     His official visit not only kicked off a process of changing his image but, more significantly, asserted a practical Israeli role in shaping the region, especially Syria, thus giving a new meaning to the US-Israel strategic partnership.
     Emboldened by his victories that all appeared to have been agreed upon even before his arrival in the US, Netanyahu brazenly demanded American recognition of the Israeli annexation of the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. This after all the Palestinian lives ended by the Israeli army and settlers, and even after US President Barack Obama's dignity was thrown ruthlessly under the wagon of consolidating the US-Israeli imperial goals and interests. Arena: Debating the pro-Israel lobby in the US
     Obama did not confine himself to the usual refrain of "Israel has the right to defend itself" but almost went as far as to condone the Israeli army's brutal suppression of Palestinians by saying "Israel has not just the right, but the obligation to protect itself."
     Determinant bargain
     But that was not all, as Palestinian blood is the cheaper part of an undeclared but obvious bargain....
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Israel’s unilateral solution in the West Bank
Dr Youssef Rizqa, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/12/2015
      I have said in previous articles that Netanyahu does not refuse the American deal with Iran, but is opposed to it, or at least has reservations about it, in order to use it to serve the interests of Israel. After the agreement, some have said that there is a serious disagreement between Netanyahu and Obama, and that Netanyahu is playing in the backyard of the Democratic party, i.e. recruiting Congress members to work against the Iranian deal. I believe that there is a game being played and recruitment, but not to reject the agreement on principle, but to use it to blackmail the White House on one hand, and receive extra guarantees from Iran and utilise his position to create a partnership with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states on the other.
     Netanyahu is governing a nuclear state that is ranked sixth in the world militarily, so he is not afraid of Iran’s military threats. He is investing these threats in more than one regional issue, and it seems that his current visit to the White House and his meetings with American and Jewish parties have revealed some of these investments.
     In the issue of the American agreement with Iran, Netanyahu suggested cooperation with the Obama administration for both sides to obtain assurances from Iran that it would not acquire nuclear weapons. Such assurances include not supplying Israel’s enemies with weapons.
     In terms of the Syrian issue, Netanyahu said that a political solution is being prepared and agreed upon, and that he does not know what the map of Syria would look like and if it would go back to the way it was. Of course he does not support the restoration of its unity and he is asking Obama to agree to Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
     News agencies quoted Netanyahu at the Centre for American Progress on 9 November when he said: “I don’t want Syria to be used as a launching ground for attacks against us. We will not allow Iran to set up a second front in the Golan...."
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Is it from Israel or Palestine? EU labeling guidelines spur more controversy
Al-Monitor 11