Gideon Levy: “Israel has never depended so much on the United States like it does today. Until now Obama has made all the possible mistakes. His first year was wasted… But I’m afraid their main goal now is to get rid of Netanyahu. And if this is the case, it will not lead anywhere. Anyone who will replace him will be more of the same, just nicer. It will be again this masquerade of peace process, of photo opportunities, of niceties which don’t lead anywhere. From this point of view, I prefer a right-wing government. At least, what you see is what you get.
Israeli and Palestinian activists old enough to remember the start of the Occupation will remember Hava Foguel who was fighting it from 1967. Hava passed away earlier this week in Jerusalem. She was a truly amazing woman: always thinking about others, most generous, understanding and accepting of the other and the different; and always thinking about the oppressed, whoever and wherever they are: Palestinians, abused women, minorities and immigrants in the US, and the homeless. She fiercely stood on the side of justice, and for many years fought against the Occupation. (31 March 2010)
BDS demonstration at the Paris H&M store – 20 March 2010
The Brighton PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign) and J-Big (Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods) disrupted yesterday a London concert and live radio broadcast of Jerusalem Quartet, which is closely affiliated with the IDF.
A cross-party group of MPs will call today for a review of the way arms sales are approved after the government admitted British equipment was “almost certainly” used in the assault on Gaza last year… Amnesty International called on the government to act swiftly to close loopholes allowing “brass-plate” companies registered in the UK to trade arms to countries where human rights violations were committed.
Recent poll reveals steep rise in racist views against Arabs in Israel; many participants feel hatred, fear when overhearing Arabic, 75 percent don’t approve of shared apartment buildings. Over half of the Jewish population in Israel believes the marriage of a Jewish woman to an Arab man is equal to national treason, according to a recent survey by the Geocartography Institute.
Norman Finkelstein: “Goldstone did not perform the role of the Jewish liberal… which is to be anguished, but no consequences. And all of a sudden Israeli liberal Jews are discovering, hey, there are consequences for committing war crimes. You don’t just get to walk into the sunset and look beautiful. They can’t believe it. They are genuinely shocked. ‘Aren’t our tears consequences enough?’ Aren’t our long eyes and broken hearts consequences enough?’ ‘No,” he said, ‘you have to go to the criminal court.’”
IOA Editor: Read Chris Hedges’ Is America ‘Yearning for Fascism’?
Netanyahu mixed together Romantic-nationalist cliches with a series of historically false assertions. But even more important was everything he left out of the history, and his citation of his warped and inaccurate history instead of considering laws, rights or common human decency toward others not of his ethnic group.
[T]he signs are that Barack Obama could be just as ready to accommodate the Israeli consensus on East Jerusalem as the previous Bush administration was in backing Israel’s position on keeping the overwhelming majority of West Bank settlers in their homes on occupied Palestinian land.
The biggest Swedish pension fund said Monday it had barred Israeli arms maker Elbit Systems from its investment portfolios… “The Ethical Council recommended that Elbit Systems Ltd should be excluded from each portfolio because it deems that the company can be linked to violations of fundamental conventions and norms.”
MI6 suspects that airline staff working for Mossad may have copied passports of Britons flying to Israel, News of the World reports, adding authorities also concerned about security searches carried out on British officials attending terrorism conference in country last September.
IOA Editor: More on Israeli security services and Israeli airlines cooperation: Israeli spies ‘infiltrate’ Johannesburg airport
On Sunday… the Arab League marked the eighth anniversary of its peace proposals, which offer Israel normalization in exchange for an end to the occupation and an agreed solution to the refugee problem, in accordance with UN Resolution 194. But Israel behaves as if it had never heard of this historic initiative. For the last year, it was too busy realizing its dubious right to establish an illegal settlement in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.
IOA Editor: Eldar’s ‘Passover Special’ is very clearly directed to Israelis.
We are writing to express our concern at the planned exhibition of Israeli Medicine, Science and Technology to be held at the Scottish Parliament in late April. The parliament is not a private venue and this is not an exhibition of science that just happens to have been carried out by Israelis. The exhibits are defined by their Israeli nationality and are being displayed in a building symbolic of the Scottish nation. Despite any protests to the contrary, such an exhibition will be taken to imply tacit approval by the Scottish Government of the actions of the Israeli Government.
IOA Editor: Please add your name to the petition.
My Jewish sisters and brothers, you can continue to look away as Israel claims to speak and to act in your name. It kills and maims in your name. It dispossesses and occupies in your name. It talks peace and wages war in your name. If you turn a deaf ear to their mourning again this year, if you harden your heart again this year, if your voice is not raised this year in protest – then you are acquiescing in the ongoing ethnic cleansing of another people, in your name.
Today at 2:00 PM, Boston University held a memorial service for the late Howard Zinn at Marsh Chapel. It featured 15 speakers, many of which were his personal friends and coworkers, including Noam Chomsky, former professors at Boston University, several current Political Science Professors at Boston University, and one Iraq War Veteran turned anti-war student activist.
Paul Jay asks [Helen Thomas] about her first question for President Obama. The question, asking President Obama to name all the countries in the Middle-East that have nuclear weapons, was avoided by the President, who claimed to not want to “speculate”. Thomas claims that knowledge of Israeli nukes is very public in DC and Obama’s answer shows a lack of credibility. She explains the importance of this question for U.S. policy in the region.
The Military Police interrogation of a key suspect in the killing of American human rights activist Rachel Corrie was cut short by a direct order of then GOC Southern, Maj. Gen. Doron Almog, army documents obtained by Haaretz suggest.
Shamir Salads, an Israeli company located in the West Bank, is marketing its products in Europe using a false address west of the Green Line, violating an agreement between Israel and the European Union.
The strife between Israel and the United States concerns something far bigger than the proximity talks with the Palestinians. As far as President Barack Obama and his senior advisers are concerned, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to blame for nothing less than damaging the standing of the U.S.in the Middle East and the Muslim world.
The Israeli government has indicated that it will press ahead with a plan to enlarge the Jewish prayer plaza at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, despite warnings that the move risks triggering a third intifada. Israeli officials rejected this week a Jerusalem court’s proposal to shelve the plan after the judge accepted that the plaza’s expansion would violate the “status quo” arrangement covering the Old City’s holy places.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington this week absorbing the full wrath of the Obama administration, the Pentagon and Israel’s defense establishment were in the process of sealing a large arms deal. According to the deal, Israel will purchase three new Hercules C-130J airplanes… designed by Lockheed Martin… [and] worth roughly a quarter billion dollars.
IOA Editor: A reflection of the extent of the “full wrath of the Obama administration”: The bucks, billions of them, do not stop there, or anywhere. Importantly, this is yet another US taxpayer subsidy to the US military industry – a double gift: first the sale to Israel, then, as a “teaser,” for subsequent sales of same or lesser equipment all over the world. Thus, business as usual, Occupation as usual.
UPDATE: Despite U.S. anger over settlements, defense ties are flourishing (26 March 2010)
To the Israelis, nothing exists beyond the moment. It’s just like the smugness exhibited by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his private playing field, the AIPAC conference. Have our diplomats been expelled? Is the American administration angry? We’ll bow our heads for a moment, the storm will pass, and we’ll be accepted into the honorable club of the OECD. The main thing is that Israel’s obstinate policy of separation has succeeded and that two adversarial Palestinian entities has been created.
Commander of the United States Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. David Petraeus telephoned IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Wednesday night to reassure Israel that comments attributed to him regarding supposed Israeli intransigence were spun out of context.
Even more interesting is the possibility… that Iron Dome was designed first and foremost for the benefit of Singapore – not for the protection of Sderot and the southern communities in Israel that suffered from Qassam rocket attacks and mortar fire… [T]he Defense Ministry may have given Rafael a development budget as a way of positioning the project as an Israeli military system that is ostensibly being used by the IDF but is really aimed at improving Israel’s chances of selling it to Singapore and other countries.
IOA Editor: Another case of Israel co-mingling “defense” budget and military armament development funds – a reflection of how war is good for Israel’s national business, the export of military systems to some of the worst regimes on earth.
Scandar Copti: “Successive Israeli governments that prevent the most basic things, such as self-definition, in every way possible, whether through racist laws, the naming of streets, the way the state handles social welfare situations. Racism and discrimination is employed at all levels. I can talk to you about 500 families in Jaffa, in my area, who have received eviction and demolition orders for their homes and are living under an existential threat”
Both events in London and Washington are the marks of an arrogant nation that has overreached itself. The forging of British passports is the work of a country which believes it can act with impunity when planning the murder of its enemies, while simultaneously claiming to share the values of a law-based state. Mr Netanyahu’s statements in Washington, made as he was preparing to meet Barack Obama, are the mark of a leader who thinks he can openly defy the will of Israel’s closest military ally.
The Jerusalem municipality has given final approval to a group of settlers construct 20 apartments in a controversial hotel in east Jerusalem… The announcement comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington smoothing over ties with the United States over the latest settlement-related tensions, and hours before the premier was to meet with President Barack Obama in Washington.
The problem is that the administration’s plan to get to its objective of “two states for two peoples living side by side in peace” looks less credible today than ever. With its aggressive settlement plans, Israel has chosen a one-state solution: but it is an apartheid state.
The detection of phosphorus in the tissue of bomb victims in Gaza Jørgen L.Thomsen, DMSc, FRCPath, DMJ(Path)* Martin Worm-Leonhard, MSc, Forensic Toxicologist*
TORTURE Volume 20, Number 1, 2010
MK Eldad… said that a British diplomat should be expelled in response, “maybe the military attaché”. British media has been covering the crisis since Tuesday morning. “I think the British are being hypocritical and I do not wish to insult dogs here, since some dogs show true loyalty. Who gave the British the right to judge us on the war on terror?”
The foreign secretary confirmed that Britain had demanded the withdrawal of an Israeli diplomat following the “intolerable” use of 12 forged British passports by a hit squad that killed the founder of Hamas’s military wing in Dubai. Miliband attacked the “profound disregard” for UK sovereignty and said the apparent involvement of a friendly nation “added insult to injury”.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told attendees at the AIPAC conference on Monday that the US commitment to Israel is “rock-solid” but Clinton did criticize Israel for continuing to build settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. In a defiant speech hours after Clinton’s address, Netanyahu rejected US criticism and vowed to continue building settlements. Democracy Now! speaks with Norman Finkelstein, author of the new book, “This Time We Went Too Far: Truth & Consequences of the Gaza Invasion.”
Medea Benjamin of Code Pink [said] that the left-wing activist group orchestrated the bogus AIPAC press release [see below] calling for a settlement freeze that got picked up by several major news organizations today.
America subsidises Israel to the tune of $3bn a year. America is Israel’s principal arms supplier, enabling it to retain the technological edge over all its enemies, near and far. In the diplomatic arena too, America extends to Israel virtually unqualified support, including the use of the veto in the UN Security Council to defeat resolutions critical of Israel. America condemns Iran for its nuclear ambitions, while turning a blind eye to Israel’s possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.
The majority of Jewish Israelis are complicit in the perpetuation of the current state of affairs. When growing groups of conscientious people refuse to play the game of building a fictitious democratic sand castle on the shores of the Mediterranean, the Israeli Jew behaves like a spoiled rich brat, who would rather destroy his own castle than see natives share his world and his dreams.
The current Knesset is the most racist Israeli parliament since the country’s founding, according to a report published Sunday by the Coalition Against Racism and the Mossawa Center, which works to promote equality for the Palestinian citizens of Israel.