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Anti-Israel activists urge Leonard Cohen to nix Tel-Aviv show

A recent letter, co-signed by a hundred Israelis and Palestinians, stated that Israel’s “ruthless, criminal bashing of the Palestinians has met with little international criticism.”

IOA Editor: Using “anti-Israel,” rather than “anti-occupation,” activists, even when referring to Jewish Israelis, reflects the difficult challenges facing boycott activists: On this matter, Haaretz echoes Israel’s official propaganda machine.

Parks Fortify Israel’s Claim to Jerusalem

UN Special Coordinator: “Everything Israel does now will be highly contentious,” warning the Israeli authorities “not to take actions that could pour oil on the fire.”
Israel’s Interior Minister: “This is the land of our sovereignty. Jewish settlement there is our right.”
Tel Aviv University Archeologist: “The sanctity of the City of David is newly manufactured and is a crude amalgam of history, nationalism and quasi-religious pilgrimage... the past is used to disenfranchise and displace people in the present.”

Daniel Levy: From ’comfort zone’ to ’decision zone’

With renewed American interest in delivering a two-state reality, the leaderships in both Jerusalem and Ramallah appear to share one common goal: finding a comfort zone, a place where the peace process can continue ad infinitum, and hard decisions can be avoided.

Netanyahu: Israel will never withdraw from Golan

“Remaining on the Golan will ensure Israel has a strategic advantage in cases of military conflict with Syria,” Netanyahu said during a briefing he gave to the reporters.

Settlement expansion seeing biggest boost since 2003

West Bank construction has been accelerating for several months, putting Israel on a collision course with a U.S. administration taking a hard line on settlement expansion...

IOA Editor: The extent of this widely predicted “collision” remains to be seen.

UN demand for IDF compensation in Gaza could reach $11m

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accused Israel Tuesday of lying about attacks on the facilities, including one said to have killed more than 40 people outside a school compound... [A] UN investigation found conclusively that Israel was responsible for attacks on several schools, a health clinic and the organization’s Gaza headquarters. Some of the weapons used in these attacks contained white phosphorous.

Hasan Abu-Nimah: Ban Ki-moon’s moral failure

The UN does not exist only to protect its personnel and installations. The UN flag alone ought to provide that kind of real protection... But Israel has repeatedly attacked UN facilities, schools, peacekeeping forces and personnel in Palestine and Lebanon knowing full well that it, not the UN, enjoys immunity for its actions. The next time Israel attacks a UN facility, part of the responsibility will lie with those who failed to act correctly this time around.

Rela Mazali: Israel’s war against youth

Protesters, activists and draft evaders are being targeted by a broad programme of state repression.

Dahpna Golan: For sale – Great location

[The White House] could also inform the Israeli prime minister and his cohorts that they will be welcome to come and discuss continued American support once construction for Israelis in the occupied territories has truly come to an end.

PA working to root out Hamas, Hezbollah secret agents

Israeli security sources said that the PA has made a focused effort to uncover foreign agents... Israel passed on the handling of the containment effort to the PA... [T]he Palestinians are more effective in this role than the Israel Defense Forces or the Shin Bet security services.

Bashir Abu-Manneh: The Lessons of Gaza 2009

Months before the expiration of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, which Israel violated and refused to renew, the IDF began its preparations. Palestinians needed to be punished for supporting and democratically electing Hamas, for resisting the Israeli occupation, and for believing that their national rights are within the realm of possibility.

Stephen R. Shalom: The United States and Gaza

But in creating this nightmare for the people of Gaza, Israel didn’t act alone.

It had the support of Egypt, which kept the Rafah crossing closed. It had the support of the European Union, which joined in the shunning of the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

And most importantly, Israel had the decisive support of the U.S. government. Many of the weapons used by the Israelis in their ferocious assault were provided by the United States: the aircraft, the helicopters, the bunker-buster missiles. But the United States provided as well crucial diplomatic backing, making sure that no resolution would emerge from the Security Council that could interfere with Israel’s agenda.

Palestinian and Israeli Human Rights Organisations call for End to International Donor Complicity in Israeli Violations of International Law

[A]s Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations, we must note that by agreeing to reconstruction without specific, binding assurances from the State of Israel, international donors are effectively underwriting Israel’s illegal actions in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Poll: Most Jewish Israelis back attack on Iran

A large majority of Israeli Jews support military action aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear facilities, according to a survey sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League.

David Shulman: Pogrom at Um Safa

For the last ten days or so, settlers from Bat 'Ayin in the so-called Etzion Bloc have been paying violent daily visits to their Palestinian neighbors in Um Safa... They've already killed four innocents, and another eleven or twelve have been wounded by gunfire... the soldiers have apparently been making common cause with these settlers, opening fire readily at the villagers.

Gideon Levy: Poets beware

Yitzhak Laor, our best protest poet, may soon face arrest. On Independence Day eve he published a poem in Haaretz's literary supplement with the lines: “Perhaps shame prevents me from getting up to embrace my son / And warning him of those who want to enlist him.” Arresting Laor for having written such lines may sound like fiction, but something similar has already happened.

Regrettable statistical error

B. Michael says official Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics annual Independence Day report claiming that Jews comprise 75% of Israel’s population is inaccurate.

End Palestinian demolitions in Jerusalem, UN tells Israel

Dozens of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem are demolished each year because they do not have planning permits. Critics say the demolitions are part of an effort to extend Israeli control as Jewish settlements continue to expand.