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The latest from b'tselem
Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish - I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey, Jan. 18, 2011
Memory, Inequality and Power
A Crazy Prophet
"WHY DON'T the masses stream to the square here, too, and throw Bibi out?" my taxi driver exclaimed when we were passing Rabin Square. The wide expanse was almost empty, with only a few mothers and their children enjoying the mild winter sun.
The masses will not stream to the square, and Binyamin Netanyahu can be thrown out only through the ballot box.
Toward Palestine's 'Mubarak moment'
The slow collapse of Palestinian collective leadership institutions in recent years has reached a crisis amid the ongoing Arab revolutions, the revelations in the Palestine Papers, and the absence of any credible peace process. The Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled by Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction has attempted to respond to this crisis by calling elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and the PA presidency.
CAIRO - Egyptian newspapers estimate that two million people took part in the victory celebrations in Tahrir Square. Even if they exaggerate, certainly hundreds of thousands responded to an initiative born, once again, on Facebook: demonstrating in the square every Friday until all the revolution's demands are met.
Egyptians' cynicism was defeated at Tahrir Square
CAIRO - During the revolution, hundreds of people passed through an apartment in one of the tall buildings on Tahrir Square. One friend would bring another and they would go up to enjoy a high vantage point, use the bathroom, catch a fighter's 40 winks on whatever vacant bit of floor remained, escape the bullies down below and somehow remain in the area.
The lighter side of the uprising
CAIRO - At the height of the demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square, people would keep sheets of paper of different sizes on which they wrote jokes that they had invented. Demonstrators would gather round, laugh, take pictures and then invent their own variations.
With the fear gone and no consensus rule, Cairo has become protest city
CAIRO - The groups behind the revolution in Egypt reached an agreement Monday night in negotiations with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: The demonstration in Tahrir Square calling for the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq is to take place Friday and not yesterday, as planned.
CAIRO - While Egypt's new cabinet ministers are promising to meet the demands of the revolution and save the country from disorder and economic collapse, the opposition wants the new cabinet dismissed immediately.
Egyptian army apologizes for dispersing protest near square
CAIRO - The Egyptian army apologized yesterday for dispersing protesters outside a government building near Tahrir Square the previous night. In protest, demonstrators returned to the city square at dawn yesterday, pledging to continue protesting until the revolution's demands were met.
60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Soldiers kill mother and leave body with her children, May 2008
13 year-old beaten during interrogation and imprisoned for two months
Introduction: The "quiet transfer" in Hebron
Army imposes harsh restrictions on fishing in Gaza Strip
OF ALL the memorable phrases uttered by Barack Obama in the last two years, the one that stuck in my mind more than any other appeared in his historic speech in Cairo in the early days of his term. He warned the nations not to place themselves "on the wrong side of history."
Lay Off Amira Hass
"Everyone knows the Israeli left is feeble. Everyone knows that Zionism is hegemonic amongst Israeli Jews. We also know that the Israeli left gets over-promoted, and that people, especially left-liberal Americans and Europeans are quite desperate to hear rustlings of change from within Israeli society. They are not there yet. But I don't see the point of this sort of attack..."
JERUSALEM IS abuzz with brilliant new ideas. The brightest minds of our political establishment are grappling with the problems created by the ongoing Arab revolution that is reshaping the landscape around us.
Here is the latest crop of mind-bogglingly innovative ideas:
Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has announced that he is going to ask the US for a grant of another 20 billion dollars for more state-of-the-art fighter planes, missile boats, a submarine, troop carriers and so on .
At the moment, I've lost my interest in pursuing peace with these people.
"Israeli soldiers hunted Saturday for the killers of five family members who were stabbed to death as they slept in their West Bank home.
Palestinian militants were suspected of killing a husband and wife and three of their children — aged 11, three and four months — on Friday night near the Itamar settlement.
Another family member, a 12-year-old returning from a youth group, found the bodies.
At the moment, I've lost my interest in pursuing peace with these people.
You racist colonial shit. Fuck off and go elsewhere.
I'm sure those grieving the brutal knife murder of a 4 month old little girl, her siblings and parents appreciate your sympathies, Unionist. Your compassion is truly moving.
By the way, read a few paragraphs in.
"In Gaza, residents and Hamas officials applauded the killing of the settlers."
That's who I mean by "these people". These are the people who would be at the negotiating table discussing "peace." The people who rejoice at the murder of children.
Go fuck yourself.
Yeah, I'm the bad guy here. Not the people who murder children. Or the people who pass out candy and baked goods in gaza to celebrate the murder of children. I thought everyone in Gaza was starving, by the way. Seems there's plenty of cake to be passed around to celebrate the murder of a family while they slept in their beds on Shabbos. A family who, by the way, was kicked out of their home in Gaza as part of the "peace process".
They should all be kicked out with the Israelies staying in Israel and the palestinians having Occupied lands back, including East jerusalem.
Khirbet Tana - Before and After Demolitions stills, march 2011
Israel's negative ratings rise sharply in US, UK, BBC global poll finds
Israel remains one of the world's most negatively viewed countries alongside Iran, North Korea and Pakistan, according to the latest annual survey of global opinion by the BBC World Service.
Are you suggesting that Israel is being unfair building 500 houses on the West Bank as compensation for the murder of five Israelies?
It could be an ingenious plan.
As fair as the Israelies are, they nodoubt would allow one hundred Palestinian houses to be build on Israeli property for every Palestinian murdered by one of them.
That should solve the problem sooner then anticipated.
Certainly stabbing a whole family is a lot less efficient than firing a phosphorus shell at a UN school - but no one ever accused the Palestinians of efficiency.
Speaking of Palestinians - are we sure this is a politically motivated act? Once they find the perpetrator (and they will, even if they have to jail and beat hundreds) I would not be surprised to find that he (if it is a he) is someone who is profoundly ill, and the motivations are lost in the mess of a sick mind.
If some of the actions of the IDF are touted as rogue occurances, and Abu Ghrab is just a few bad eggs - is it not believable that this is a 'one offer'?
Certainly the Israelis are treating it as a political .... making it so .... yet, I for one, would like to see some evidence.
Maybe an Israeli stabbed that family.
A Dirty Word
ON THURSDAY EVENING I could not think of anything except Libya.
First I heard the blood-curdling speech by Muammar Qaddafi, in which he promised to occupy Benghazi within hours and drown the rebels in a bloodbath.
I was extremely worried and extremely furious with the international community and especially with the US, which had wasted days and weeks of precious time with empty phrase-mongering, while the dictator reconquered Libya bit by bit.
Who is annexing Whom?
IN A rare late-night session, the Knesset has finally adopted two obnoxious racist laws. Both are clearly directed against Israel's Arab citizens, a fifth of the population.
The first makes it possible to annul the citizenship of persons found guilty of offences against the security of the state. Israel prides itself on having a great variety of such laws. Annulling citizenship on such grounds is contrary to international law and conventions.
IT WAS Napoleon who said that it is better to fight against a coalition than to fight as part of one.
Coalitions mean trouble. To conduct a successful military operation, one needs a unified command and a clear, agreed upon aim. Both are rare in coalitions.
On Land Day, Budour Hassan (@Budouroddick on Twitter), visited Lifta, the village where my mother was born, just outside Jerusalem, and planted an olive tree in honor of my mother and me, as the photo shows.
The Gold and the Stone
THERE IS something tragicomic about the persona of Richard Goldstone.First there was a veritable storm of fury when the original Goldstone report was issued.What a fiend! A Jew who claims to be a Zionist and an Israel-lover, who publishes the most abominable slanders about against our valiant soldiers, aiding and abetting the worst anti-Semites around the world! The very prototype of a self-hating Jew! Still worse, a "mosser" - a Jew who turns another Jew over to the evil Goyim, the most detested figure in Jewish folklore.
THE OTHER day, the almighty General Security Service (Shabak, formerly Shin Bet) needed a new boss. It is a hugely important job, because no minister ever dares to contradict the advice of the Shabak chief in cabinet meetings.
There was an obvious candidate, known only as J. But at the last moment, the settlers’ lobby was mobilized. As director of the “Jewish department” J. had put some Jewish terrorists in prison. So his candidature was rejected and Yoram Cohen, a kippah-wearing darling of the settlers was appointed instead.
That happened last month. Just before that, The National Security Council also needed a new chief. Under pressure from the settlers, General Yaakov Amidror, formerly the highest kippah-wearing officer in the army, a man of openly ultra-ultra nationalist views, got the job.
AMRAM MITZNA is a nice guy. He is modest and radiates credibility. He reminds one of the late Lova Eliav, the Secretary General of the Labor party who quit the party in disgust. Like Eliav, he has a lot of practical achievements to his credit - Eliav built the Lakhish area villages in South-Central Israel, Mitzna volunteered to administer the remote town of Yerucham deep in the Negev.
Tahrir Square, Tel Aviv
On Friday night, two men—presumably Palestinians—entered the West Bank Jewish settlement of Itamar. The settlement of 1,000 was established in 1984, deep in occupied land (28 km from the Green Line). It is named after the son of the biblical Aharon, Itamar, whose grave—according to a 13th-century legend—is located in the adjacent Palestinian village of Awarta (population 6,000), 8 km southwest of Nablus.
The men entered the home of the Fogel family. Using knives, they murdered in their sleep Udi (37), his wife, Hadas (36), and three of their children: Yoav (10), Elad (4), and Hadas (3 months old).
Convergence Northwest: Commentary by Jeff Halper
Fatah, the Palestinian political organisation, has reached an agreement with its rival Hamas on forming an interim government and fixing a date for a general election, Egyptian intelligence has said.
The news about the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas is good for peace. If the final difficulties are ironed out and a full agreement is signed by the two leaders, it will be a huge step forward for the Palestinians - and for us.
“REJOICE NOT when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth, / Lest the Lord see [it], and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.”.
This is one of the most beautiful passages in the Bible (Proverbs 24:17-18), and indeed in the Hebrew language. It is beautiful in other languages , too, though no translation comes close to the beauty of the original.
I COULD not restrain myself. Though I was alone in the room, I burst out laughing.
I was reading a newspaper report about the latest poll. People were asked to evaluate the nation’s leaders.
It appears that the President of the State, Shimon Peres, is by far the most popular leader in Israel. 72% of those polled approve of him, only 20% disapprove. The runners-up were far behind: 60% for the Knesset speaker, Reuven Rivlin, the same for the Governor of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer, and 57% for the aggressive State Comptroller, Micha Lindenstrauss. The President of the Supreme Court, Dorit Beinish, was already under the 50% approval rate: she got 49%, followed by Tzipi Livni with 48%
Expansion in East Jerusalem: Jeff Halper & Alison Weir
Jeff Halper - the siege of Gaza
THE GENERAL'S SON
Unity statement - followed by the Kathleen Wells interview with Uri Avnery (audio)
Israeli humor - Hope kindergarten
Occupation 101 | Full Documentary
Bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell, who was held in Israel for participating in the Gaza-bound aid flotilla in 2010, plans to be aboard a new Gaza aid convoy to sail this June.
Organizers say the convoy will be double the size of last year's effort, which was stopped by Israeli commandos.
Mankell, 63, is among 20 other Swedes expected to take part. Other participants will come from Europe, Canada and the U.S.