Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Guide to Understanding the Peace Talks by the Most Excellent Uri Avnery

Today's column by Avnery in Gush Shalom gives as good information as the "real" news. His is an exercise in imagination--reading the thoughts of Netanyahu, Abbas and Obama--but I find it far more insightful than a lot of news coverage.

If I ever get the courage again, I'd like to write the thoughts of Ismael Hanyeh (the Hamas Prime Minister) and the average Jo (average Mohammed I guess) in the West Bank and the average Amal in Khan Younis.

But I don't have the courage today.
Read Avnery:

Damage Control

A DUTCH journalist asked me last Wednesday to try and divine the thoughts of Binyamin Netanyahu on his way to Washington.

It seems that she was satisfied with the results, because she asked me to divine the thoughts of Mahmoud Abbas, too.

She must have liked that as well, because then she asked me to do the same for Barack Obama.

Here, then, is what I told her:

NETANYAHU’S THOUGHTS on the way to Washington:

The main thing is to minimize the damage.

Just now, someone asked me how I see our situation in four years time. Four years! I am thinking about what is going to happen in four weeks, when the settlement freeze is due to come to an end!

I feel like an officer on the bridge of the Titanic, who sees the awful iceberg looming up.

These settlers (yes, yes, I know I should call them “inhabitants of Judea and Samaria”) cannot be trifled with. Impossible to reason with them and convince them to keep silent while we look for ways to get around the freeze.

Arik [Sharon] tried. When he planned the separation, he told the settlers: let’s sacrifice a dozen small settlements in order to save the hundreds of others. Let’s amputate a little finger in order to save the entire body. It didn’t help. The settlers decided to fight for every single settlement.

Last year, when we started to discuss the freeze, I fought like a lion to limit it to ten months, instead of a year, as Obama had demanded. We both understood the difference: the ten months come to an end at the height of the American election campaign. A year would have finished after the elections. I thought that if the freeze came to an end in September, Obama wouldn’t dare to press me to extend the moratorium. Jewish votes and Jewish money would make the difference.

I grew up in the States. I know how things work. AIPAC rules Congress. The politicians are afraid of us all the time, and even more so at election time. They know very well that if they don’t support Israel, they will be kicked out.

But now we have a mess. Obama wants at all costs to do something that can be presented to the voters as a great achievement. But Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] refuses to negotiate if we restart building in the settlements. So Obama pressures me to continue with the moratorium. If I agree, my coalition will break up. I have not forgotten that last time, in 1999, it was not the left that toppled my government, but my rightist partners.

For sure, Obama and his people will come up with all sorts of compromise solutions. A “symbolic” freeze that will not really prevent us from building. Or a “symbolic” lifting of the moratorium, that will really prevent building. Or something on the lines of the Meridor proposal. That’s a trial balloon I asked Dan to float in his name. [Minister without portfolio Dan Meridor proposed building only in the large settlement blocs that the government intends to annex to Israel.] But the settlers don’t agree to that either.

So what to do? I don’t know. I must rely on my talent for improvisation and get round this obstacle. But even if I succeed in postponing this matter until after September 26, it may blow up then. The main thing is to make sure the blame falls on Abu Mazen.

And peace? Don’t make me laugh. I have no time for such foolishness. Clearly, the maximum I can offer does not even come close to the minimum they can accept. What, I should partition Jerusalem? I should dismantle the hundreds of settlements and outposts? I should give up the Jordan valley? I should agree to the return of even one refugee? Even if I wanted to – and I most decidedly do not! – I would be unable to do it. What, to break up the good coalition I have now and be dependent on that dreadful woman?

I shall not say so, of course. On the contrary, I shall shower them with highfalutin’ words. I shall tell Abu Mazen that he is my partner. I shall talk about painful concessions. I shall sell myself as the New Netanyahu. (My God, how many times must I become the New Netanyahu?)

The main thing is to get safely out of this mess and preserve the status quo. The status quo is the best of all worlds.

ABBAS’ THOUGHTS on the way to Washington:

The main thing is to minimize the damage.

Nothing good can come out of this. That’s clear. But the blame must not fall on us.

I am sure that Abu Amar [Yasser Arafat] thought the same, when in 2000 he was dragged to Camp David. He knew that Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton would form a nutcracker, with him as the nut to be cracked.

OK, Obama is no Clinton. I trust him. He does indeed want to make peace. But can he? Until now, every time he tried, he gave in to Netanyahu in the end. Now he must compel Netanyahu to extend the settlement freeze. Can he do it?

I can’t retreat from this demand. Hamas, may Allah punish them, is breathing down my neck. They are already cursing me for going to Washington at all (as if I had a choice). It would be ridiculous to negotiate while the settlements are being enlarged. As that young fellow, Michael Tarazi, so aptly put it: “It’s like talking about dividing a pizza while they [the Israelis] are eating the pizza.”

Hamas is trying to undercut me in every possible way. The killing of the four settlers near al-Khalil [Hebron] was designed to hurt the negotiations. It’s really amazing how Hamas and the settlers are cooperating in trying to stop the peace process. But the incident also has a good side: the entire world has now seen what can be expected if I fail.

Hamas says that I serve the Americans. What do they propose as an alternative? To renew the armed struggle? They are even afraid to launch their Qassams! The attacks have achieved nothing. International public opinion cannot be relied on, either. Our only option is to rely on Obama. When they understand in Washington that the conflict hurts their own national interests, as this what’s-his-name general [David Petraeus] has said, they will impose peace on the Israelis.

Abu Amar fixed the parameters, and no one among us can accept less: a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the June 4, 1967 borders, limited 1:1 swaps of territory, the removal of all settlements from our territory, an agreed solution of the refugee problem with a symbolic return of some tens of thousands. I am ready to accept an international force on our land, but definitely not an Israeli armed presence. If I get such an agreement, Hamas will have no alternative but to go along with it. Palestinian public opinion will force them to.

They, too, have read the results of Dr. Nabil Kukali’s poll this week: an unequivocal 2:1 majority of Palestinians support the two-state solution.

Can one rely on Obama? They say that after the elections in November he will be free of Jewish pressure. But then he will already start to think about the presidential election in two years’ time. Only if he is reelected – and I am not at all sure that this will happen – will he be able to act without fear of AIPAC.

In the meantime, we must hold on. That is the main thing: to hold on and wait for time to do its work.

OBAMA’S THOUGHTS on the eve of the conference:

The main thing is to minimize the damage.

Before my election, I believed that one could influence people with logic. After all, peace is essential for the Israelis as much as for the Palestinians. What chance has Israel, if within a few years the entire Arab world falls into the hands of the extreme Islamists? And what chance will moderate Palestinians have? Don’t they understand this? They drive me crazy.

[Henry] Kissinger said that Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy. That is true also for the Palestinians, and – alas – for us Americans, too. Domestic politics is dominant everywhere.

The economy is in a mess. The situation in Afghanistan is as bad as possible. (What the hell got into me during the election campaign, when I promised to go on with this war?!) The crackpots of the Tea Party are gathering momentum. I suspect that the Jewish lobby is secretly helping them. Who is running the campaign about me not having been born in the United States? A Jewish Israeli woman. And the campaign about me being a Muslim? Another Jewish woman. They want to bring me down. And why? Because I want to make peace, which is in Israel’s best interest!

Now the main thing is to get through the elections in November without too heavy losses. As I told Rahm [Emanuel], at this point in time we must suck up to the Jews. That’s why I appeased again and again that repugnant guy, Netanyahu. Now we must find some compromise about the settlement moratorium.

My God, here we are, leaders who are responsible for the fate of nations, busy with nonsense like the freeze, instead of concentrating on forging a peace that will save the lives of thousands and tens of thousands!

The main thing is to get September 26 behind us, when the moratorium comes to an end, and then the November 2 elections. After that, God knows. Perhaps I shall succeed, after all, in creating a situation which will allow me to present my own peace plan and impose it on them. Ever so softly, of course.

What the hell, aren’t I the goddam President of the United States of America?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Interesting Notes from a Young World Traveler

Well, truth be told, I'm pretty dormant these days in terms of updating this blog.

Why don't you have a look at this young lady traveling the holy land and sharing her thoughts about peace, humanity and it inner contradictions.

Click here to read my favorite entry so far: Dancin' in the Street.

[I discovered she links to presumably a friend of hers - which presents a much more "technical" appreciation of the situation in the land. Worth reading: Hydro-Terrorism.]

I'll get back to writing some time.



Picture Source:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Simple Perhaps Healing Jewish Testimony

Thanks to Sami Awad for pointing out to this resource. Mark Braverman was apparently visiting Holy Land Trust this week. I was stunned by the simplicity and veracity of his short video testimonial.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Robert Fisk: Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives [Robert Fisk - The Independent]

I am foaming at the mouth - so I can't articulate words. Here's a column from Robert Fisk in the Independent.


Western leaders are too cowardly to help save lives

Has Israel lost it? Can the Gaza War of 2008-09 (1,300 dead) and the Lebanon War of 2006 (1,006 dead) and all the other wars and now yesterday's killings mean that the world will no longer accept Israel's rule?

Don't hold your breath.

You only have to read the gutless White House statement – that the Obama administration was "working to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy". Not a single word of condemnation. And that's it. Nine dead. Just another statistic to add to the Middle East's toll.

But it's not.

In 1948, our politicians – the Americans and the British – staged an airlift into Berlin. A starving population (our enemies only three years before) were surrounded by a brutal army, the Russians, who had erected a fence around the city. The Berlin airlift was one of the great moments in the Cold War. Our soldiers and our airmen risked and gave their lives for these starving Germans.

Incredible, isn't it? In those days, our politicians took decisions; our leaders took decisions to save lives. Messrs Attlee and Truman knew that Berlin was important in moral and human as well as political terms.

And today? It was people – ordinary people, Europeans, Americans, Holocaust survivors – yes, for heaven's sake, survivors of the Nazis – who took the decision to go to Gaza because their politicians and their statesmen had failed them.

Where were our politicians yesterday? Well, we had the ridiculous Ban Ki-moon, the White House's pathetic statement, and dear Mr Blair's expression of "deep regret and shock at the tragic loss of life". Where was Mr Cameron? Where was Mr Clegg?

Back in 1948, they would have ignored the Palestinians, of course. It is, after all, a terrible irony that the Berlin airlift coincided with the destruction of Arab Palestine.

But it is a fact that it is ordinary people, activists, call them what you will, who now take decisions to change events. Our politicians are too spineless, too cowardly, to take decisions to save lives. Why is this? Why didn't we hear courageous words from Messrs Cameron and Clegg yesterday?

For it is a fact, is it not, that had Europeans (and yes, the Turks are Europeans, are they not?) been gunned down by any other Middle Eastern army (which the Israeli army is, is it not?) there would have been waves of outrage.

And what does this say about Israel? Isn't Turkey a close ally of Israel? Is this what the Turks can expect? Now Israel's only ally in the Muslim world is saying this is a massacre – and Israel doesn't seem to care.

But then Israel didn't care when London and Canberra expelled Israeli diplomats after British and Australian passports were forged and then provided to the assassins of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. It didn't care when it announced new Jewish settlements on occupied land in East Jerusalem while Joe Biden, the Vice-President of its erstwhile ally, the United States, was in town. Why should Israel care now?

How did we get to this point? Maybe because we all grew used to seeing the Israelis kill Arabs, maybe the Israelis grew used to killing Arabs. Now they kill Turks. Or Europeans. Something has changed in the Middle East these past 24 hours – and the Israelis (given their extraordinarily stupid political response to the slaughter) don't seem to have grasped what has happened. The world is tired of these outrages. Only the politicians are silent.

Diplomatic storms

*Goldstone report, November 2009

Israel launched Operation Cast Lead in December 2008 with the declared aim of halting rocket fire from Gaza into Israel. More than 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the three-week conflict along with 13 Israelis. The South African jurist Richard Goldstone's report into the conflict found both Israel and the Hamas movement that controls the Strip guilty of war crimes, but focused more on Israel. Israel refused to co-operate with Goldstone and described his report as distorted and biased.

* The al-Mabhouh assassination, January-May 2010

Britain and Australia expelled Israeli diplomats after concluding that Israel had forged British and Australian passports used by assassins to kill a Hamas commander in Dubai. Israel has neither confirmed or denied a role in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in his hotel room in January. Britain said such misuse of British passports was "intolerable". Australia said it was not the behaviour of "a nation with whom we have had such a close, friendly and supportive relationship".

*Settlements row, March 2010

Israel announces plans, during visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden, to build 1,600 homes for Jews in an area of the West Bank annexed by Israel. The announcement triggers unusually harsh criticism from the United States. Washington said it damaged its efforts to revive the Middle East peace process. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the project was an insult. Netanyahu said he was blindsided by planning bureaucrats and apologised to Biden. Today's meeting with Barack Obama at the White House, called off by Mr Netanyahu so he could return home to deal with the flotilla crisis, was supposed to be another part of the fence-mending between the two allies.

*Nuclear secrecy, May 2010

Israel, widely assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, has faced renewed calls to sign a global treaty barring the spread of atomic weapons. Signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) last week called for a conference in 2012 to discuss banning weapons of mass destruction throughout the Middle East. The declaration was adopted by all 189 parties to the NPT, including the US. It urged Israel to sign the NPT and put its nuclear facilities under UN safeguards.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meanwhile Back at the [Palestinian] Ranch - Israeli Control and Eviction Continues

I've often written that the status quo is not a status quo.
That "freezing" settlements or not freezing settlements is of little consequences.

The heart of the issue is, does Israel have the right and the justification to consider Palestinian Arabs as theirs to be controlled, dominated, told what to do, who to see, where to live, where to go and not go. Basically, as Israel conquers more land, it demands "security" conditions which only those that people with rights can ask of people without rights, and which are only a thin veil for continued control and ultimately expulsion.

In the Torah, after Joshua conquered the Holy Land, foreigners were allowed to live if they accepted the status of wood cutters. I don't know what a "wood cutter" is, but I suspect it's not the same thing as a "Landlord." I actually have come to think that -- although it's not repeated often in polite conversation -- a number of Israeli Jews and their Christian Fundamentalist supporters actually are pretty much in line with that thinking. "We do OK with the Palestinians if they know they have been conquered, if they know their place." Others are more straightforward and advocate loud and clear for "transfer", aka expulsion and accelerated ethnic cleansing. (I once perused a nice glossy brochure which left me absolutely speechless. My Hasidim friend had shared it with me to explain how humane their plans to transfer were!)

Anyway, last week Israel took one more measure -- poorly understood in the US -- to increase pressure, control and prepare for the next step. As the world's leaders came to DC for the Nuclear Summit, there was a full page ad by an Israeli group portraying all the villains here to justify its warmongering (from Nasrallah to Ahmedinejad). And 2 pages later, a small text blurb referred to this new Israeli rule on the life of those it is not supposed to administer, those who live in the Palestinian Territories. Ironic how visible one was--the possible terror of tomorrow; and how invisible the other was--the actual terror of today. Except the Transgressor, just re-equipped with more US weapons for free, prefers to be painted as Eternal Victim.

Read 'Ethnic Cleansing by Another Name' by Yousef Mounayyer to have a clear and paused treatment of this new rule applied by Israel to people living inside Palestine.

There is no status quo. There is conquest and occupation and oppression and dispossession.
Paid by US tax dollars.
The US has taken sides, remember this.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Ordinary Palm Sunday

On that same day, one of my good friends from the US was making his first visit to Israel and Jerusalem, discovering the city, its history, architecture, its smells and colors.
Funny thing -- did I say "funny"?--because he's Jewish, he could apply for citizenship and move to Jerusalem tomorrow. Birthright, some call it.
Those people--on the video below--are from the land; have been for generations.
On Palm Sunday, they tried to walk from the Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem) to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem).

To my US friends, please tell me: how do you feel about paying taxes to turn Bethlehem into a prison?

Please watch. Listen to the comments after the first 4 minutes.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Israeli Activist: There is a New Left in Town

There's a moment in history, when young idealists step up. The old crowd smirks - "kids! what do they know? they don't understand the real world." Then the smirk turns to a frown. Then the frown turns to a silent scream. Then the old guard walks away in silence with head bowed in embarrassment and shame. The real world has changed.

This is the first time I hear of Sara Benninga -- an Israeli activist, but she sounds like other young idealists I know. And she's speaking loud and clear. [Text of her speech in Sheikh Jarah pasted below. From]

Mazel Tov Sara. This old guy is smiling at you and your friends.



Sheikh Jarrah, March 6, 2010

There is a new Left in town!

There is a new Left and it is a Left that is not satisfied with peace talks. It is a Left that fights!

There is a new Left that knows there are things you must fight against even when they are identified with the State and even when they enjoy the protection of the law!

There is a new Left that knows that this fight will not be won on paper but on the ground, in the hills, in the vineyards and in the olive groves.

There is a new Left that is not afraid of the settlers, even when they descend on it from the hilltops, blindfolded and armed.

This Left does not surrender to the police’s political repression, and does not care what they write about it in Maariv. There is a new Left in town!

This Left does not want to be loved, does not fantasize about town squares and does not bask in the memory of the 400,000. This Left is a partnership between Palestinians, who understand the occupation will not be defeated by missiles and bombs, and Israelis, who understand that the Palestinian struggle is their struggle.

The new Left joins hands with Palestinians in a cloud of tear gas at Bil’in and gets beaten up together with them by settlers at the South Hebron Mountain.

This Left stands by refugees and labor migrants in Tel Aviv and fights against the Wisconsin Plan.

The new Left is us — all of us!

Everyone who came here tonight. Everyone who dared cross the imaginary line between West and East Jerusalem, despite the threats and intimidation.

We are all the new Left that is emerging in Israel and Palestine.

We are not fighting for a peace agreement. We are fighting for justice. But we believe that injustice is the main obstacle to peace.

There will be no peace until the Ghawi and Hanoun and al-Kurd families return to their homes. Because peace does not grow on a soil of discrimination, oppression and theft.

There is a new Left in town and that Left stands with the people of Sheikh Jarrah tonight and will continue standing with them until justice defeats fanaticism.

But there is also a new Right in town.

A Right awash with fanaticism and racism that seduces the masses with nationalist rhetoric.

The new Right does not care about the welfare and well-being of human beings. The new Right only cares about ethnic, tribal, Liebermanistic loyalty.

For the new Right charity begins at home only for Jews. And what makes a person a Jew is the fact that they are not an Arab.

The new Right has nothing to offer except for endless war.

The new Right is the empty wagon that went off the rails: religious and secular Jews who have nothing but hatred of the other: the Arabs the refugee, the leftist.

That new Right manufactures the deluded settlers, because of whom we are demonstrating tonight.

Those settlers hate Jerusalem. They do not love the Jewish people and they do not love mankind. They love only themselves.

Among the settlers there are many with whom we should speak. But the settlers of Sheikh Jarrah, who sing canticles to Baruch Goldstein — they must be defeated.

The new Right created Nir Barkat. A technocrat who does not understand Jerusalem and does not care about Jerusalem. A mayor who uses administrative terror against the residents of East Jerusalem and neglects the residents of West Jerusalem, while reciting endless clichés.

If Jerusalem is a powder keg, the match that might light it is called Nir Barkat.

But we are not afraid of Barkat, nor are we afraid of the settlers, nor are we afraid of Lieberman.

We will keep coming to Sheikh Jarrah and to every place where justice is trampled by the forces of occupation and oppression.

Look around you. We are not as few as we thought! And we will win!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Reposting: Fear of Peace Will be the Death of Israel"

A thought provoking piece by Bradley Burston in today's Haaretz.
Conclusion from the Israeli Defense Minister?
"The lack of a solution to the problem of border demarcation within the historic Land of Israel - and not an Iranian bomb - is the most serious threat to Israel's future."
No comments.

[For explanations about Sheikh Jarrah, the neighborhood of Jerusalem being forcibly ethnically transformed, see a report by Tony Davis, with pictures and maps, or a blog by Marijke Peters.]

Picture source - Palestine Think Tank.

Fear of Peace will be the Death of Israel - Bradley Burston

SHEIKH JARRAH, Jerusalem - As the grandson of anarchists, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for fanatics. Expressions of extremism, and passionately reasoned, exquisitely twisted world views make me feel, how shall I put this, at home.

So it was with a certain relish that I approached the cover story of a recent issue of Commentary, "The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace," written as it was by a talented colleague and friend, Evelyn Gordon.

The thrust of the piece, which Commentary Editor John Podhoretz understandably calls "groundbreaking," is that Israel's international standing has plummeted to an unprecedented low - and the number of Palestinians killed by Israel has concurrently soared - specifically because of Israel's having done much too much for peace.

"The answer is unpleasant to contemplate, but the mounting evidence makes it inescapable," she writes. "It was Israel's very willingness to make concessions for the sake of peace that has produced its current near-pariah status."

The essay has the seamless, compellingly elegant, hyper-lucid, parallel universe logic of a hallucination - or a settlement rooted in the craw of the West Bank. Until I read it, it was difficult for me to comprehend the current runaway-freight recklessness of Israeli authorities and a certain segment of the hard right, bolstered by shady funding from abroad.

It was hard to fathom why Israeli police in this quiet hollow of the Arab half of Jerusalem, would choose to openly flout and violate the rulings of an Israeli court. I was unable to grasp why they would manhandle and arrest non-violent demonstrators - among them the executive director of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel - for protesting the official expulsion from their homes of more than two dozen Palestinian families here, driven out and into the street, so that subsidized and sheltered settlers could move in.

It was beyond my understanding why an Israeli government which views the idea of a Palestinian Right of Return as tantamount to annihilation of the Jewish state, would set a legal precedent that paves the way for just such a right.

Just as I was clueless as to why the Knesset was to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make aiding asylum seekers fleeing African genocide, granting them shelter, medical care, food, a crime subject to up to 20 years in prison.

Or why there were vigorous new campaigns to increase gender segregation at the Western Wall and on public buses, and why women have been arrested and interrogated on suspicion of having worn prayer shawls while praying on their side of a barrier raised so that they would no longer be able to watch their sons' bar mitzvah on the mens' side.

Or why a sudden and ferocious campaign against human rights organizations and charity work agencies in Israel is coinciding with new human rights outrages against Palestinians and foreigners, some of them unable to leave, others forced to.

It was not until I saw the title of the Commentary piece that it all made sense.

The right is terrified of peace. And, in the end, the right's fear of peace will be the death of Israel.

They are afraid of peace, in part, because it threatens the core of what has come to replace other values as the goal of Judaism: permanent settlement of the West Bank. But that is only a part of it.

They are afraid of peace because they are afraid of the world. They dismiss fellow Jews who want to see a two-state solution - a majority of Israelis - as unrealistic, as living in a bubble. The name of the bubble these moderates live in, however, is planet Earth.

The right, meanwhile, wants to wall off Israel as the world's last remaining legally mandated Jewish ghetto. A place where all the rules are different, exit and entry, citizenship and human rights, because the residents within are Jews. A place where non-Jews, dehumanized as congenital Jew-haters, are rendered invisible. A place which, if suffocating and insufferable, still seems safer than the scary world outside.

A place which, because of its walls and its politics and its cowardice, is losing its ability to function as a part of the world, reveling in cheap-shot humiliations of key foreign ambassadors, deliriously proud of its sense that of all the world, including most of its Jews and Israelis - only the right sees the real truth.

This braid of thought was venomously endorsed this week both by an uncharacteristically Kahane-sounding Alan Dershowitz, and the obscenely infantile Im Tirtzu movement. According to them, where Cast Lead was concerned, the real war criminals are Richard Goldstone and Naomi Chazan - two people who are open about their love of Israel, and who have worked their whole adult lives for its well-being.

The fears of the right are not mere devices of rhetoric. The risks of making peace are real. Every bit as real as the risks of failing to make peace.

It all comes down to belief. It comes down to the kind of country the believer wants Israel to be. And for that reason, there is a civil war going on for Israel's soul.

It will not be weaponry that decides this war, but courage. People who care about the direction that Israel is moving, and whose watchword is moderation, would do well to choose one facet of the fight, and join. One place to start, is to support the New Israel Fund and the groups it supports.

Another place to start is this one. At the weekend, challenging the threats of rightist thugs and law-scorning police, the weekly demonstration on behalf of the Palestinian residents of Sheikh Jarrah doubled in size. The police backed down on their vow to break up the protest, and the Kahanists barely showed.

If non-violent peace activism scares the right to this extent, there must be a great deal of power in it.

After all, most Israelis can sense that if peace is to be the enemy, more dangerous even than the threat of war, this is one doomed ghetto.

Things have reached such a devastating point, that for the first time in recent memory, even Ehud Barak is beginning to get it: "The simple truth is, if there is one state" including Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, "it will have to be either binational or undemocratic," Barak told the Herzliya Conference Tuesday.

"If this bloc of millions of Palestinians cannot vote, that will be an apartheid state."

The fear of peace has left Israel as a country which is prepared for nuclear warfare but not for non-violent protest on behalf of Palestinians. The fear of peace, and the blackmail of the right on behalf of settlement, has contorted Israel into a body which, unable to countenance the perils of treating the sickness of occupation, will eventually be killed by it.

Israel's defense minister, for one, is convinced: "The lack of a solution to the problem of border demarcation within the historic Land of Israel - and not an Iranian bomb - is the most serious threat to Israel's future."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Les mots de la propagande.

Alain Gresh du Monde Diplomatique présente un résumé du manuel de communication pour les blogueurs et internautes recrutés par Israel pour avancer sa propagande. Blog très instructif à lire ici.

C'est vraiment the B-A-Ba de la propagande. Mais ça marche.

Le manuel "The Israel's Project 2009. Global Language Dictionary" peut être téléchargé également.


In English - click here.

Words of Propaganda

Read about the Propaganda 101 Manual for bloggers and Internet debaters put together by the "Israel Project'. Very educational.

Dan Ephron writes a short analysis, which you can access here.

The manual itself can be downloaded here. You will find in it such innate wisdom as:
“The arguments about demolishing Palestinian homes because they are not within the Jerusalem building code tested SO badly that we are not even going to dignify them with a Word’s That Don’t Work box. Americans hate their own local planning boards for telling them where they can and can’t put swimming pools or build fences. You don’t need to import that animosity into your own credibility issues. Worse yet, talking about ‘violations of building codes’ when a TV station is showing the removal of a house that looks older than the modern state of Israel is simply catastrophic.”
Guess we all have problems eh?


EN FRANCAIS - Cliquez ici.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Israeli Army attack on Village of At-tuwani

Samuel Nichols writes a direct witness of the events here.

See US Campaign update and call to action here.

Remember, today the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not in the news.
"Nothing" is happening.
Tomorrow, we'll wonder again why people are so hungry and what's wrong with them.
We'll have to wonder because "nothing" happened today.
"There was an army invasion in the village last night, and today there was this. It was the ugliest thing I have ever seen, yet that's a superlative, but so be it. It was evil I tell you, evil. Pushing old women, throwing tear gas at kids, concussion grenades at pregnant women, throwing men to the ground, hitting them in the back with rifles, breaking cameras. It was like a mob of angry "professional"-soldier-thugs. The soldiers were holding each other back from doing worse things. Why did they do this? Because Palestinians were trying to feed their goddamn sheep. Unbelievable.
This occupation has to end, it has to. People can't endure this forever."
Elrig - voice in the desert? Cassandra?

Watch a little recent history about At-tuwani.