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Scholars condemn attack on academic freedom at UC-Santa Barbara

Chomsky: “They try to label any criticism as anti-Semitic, but they never respond to the criticism itself, because they can’t… Decades ago, the ADL was an authentic and serious organization that defended civic rights, but in the last 40 years it’s become a Stalinist-style organization dedicated to supporting anything Israel does and to destroying all opposition to Israeli policies.”

Growing Majority of Americans Oppose Israel Building Settlements

A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll finds that three-quarters of Americans think that Israel should not build settlements in the Palestinian territories. This is up 23 points from when this question was last asked in 2002.

Israelis call on musician Leonard Cohen to cancel concert

“It is left for us, citizens of the world, to condemn Israeli atrocities and crimes against humanity. Dissociating ourselves from Israel’s brutal policies is the only nonviolent way now to avoid becoming complicit in the killing, the wounding and the maiming, and the robbing of Palestinians… [G]iven your longstanding, vocal commitment to justice, we cannot envision you cooperating with continued Israeli defiance of justice and morality; we cannot envision you playing a part in the Israeli charade of self-righteousness.”

Uri Avnery: Witchhunt against peace seekers

Police offensive against New Profile activists – a violation of the freedom of speech. This assault on the adherents of peace and democracy follows after Lieberman took over the police and state prosecution.

Egypt selling goods seized on way to Gaza

Egyptian authorities invite local merchants to participate in auctions of goods confiscated before being smuggled into Gaza. Palestinians furious as they are paying for merchandise they will never receive… Egyptian business sources reported that most of the products offered in the auctions are food products, led by the rice, biscuits, beans, candy and salt. They are followed by household utensils and electrical appliances, including computer equipment.

Gaza merchants urge Israel to release goods

Palestinian traders have had enough of seeing their merchandise rot in containers at Ashdod Port, call on international community to find urgent solution.

Haaretz Editorial: Unsatisfactory Probes [on IDF ’Self-Investigation’ of Gaza War Crimes]

The fact is, soldiers who took part in the operation, and not only Israeli and foreign observers suspected of self-righteousness or hypocrisy, were revolted by what they saw, heard, and sometimes even did in the Gaza Strip. This revulsion, which the IDF officially rejects and seeks to contain, was recorded in Haaretz… and stirred up a storm. The presentation of the probes’ findings sounded like a belated defensive move, partly because senior people in the army and government are concerned about legal measures against them overseas.

Akiva Eldar: Netanyahu’s Mideast policy threatens EU ties

An internal [Israeli] Foreign Ministry document last week stated that following Operation Cast Lead, diplomatic bodies in a number of European countries have called for a freeze on the upgrade, citing the pressure of domestic public opinion. Four European states have already said that if Israel did not agree to a two-state solution, they would oppose upgrading relations.

Barak: Gaza probe shows IDF among world’s most moral armies

The Israel Defense Forces announced on Wednesday that an internal investigation has determined that no civilians were purposefully harmed by IDF troops during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip.

Gideon Levy: Word games

Twenty evacuated settlements are worth more than a thousand peace formulas, and 2,000 released prisoners will move the sides forward more than 10,000 words. If only Israel agrees to implement what it has agreed to, from the release of prisoners to a freeze on settlements.

Elia Leibowitz: Naboth of Bil’in

On Friday evening, television news viewers witnessed the ultimate reality show – the murder of a human being on camera. The site of the killing was next to the West Bank village of Bil’in, 80 kilometers south of the ancient city of Jezreel, where a murder was committed under similar circumstances some 2,800 years ago. Bil’in is located 10 kilometers south of the village of Qibya, itself a notorious locale in Israel’s history for the 1953 IDF raid in which 69 Palestinian civilians, some of them children, were killed by troops commanded by a young Ariel Sharon.

Yossi Melman: Let Vanunu go

The authorities consider him a traitor, even though he did not betray secrets to enemy countries, a terrorist organization or foreign security organizations. He exposed Israel’s nuclear secrets to the British Sunday Times… The justifications are weak and exaggerated. The claim is that Vanunu holds more secret information about Israel’s nuclear program. The entire world assumes Israel has nuclear weapons, so what further damage can he cause to the security of the state? Based on this logic, he may never leave Israel.

Upper Nazareth city councillor: May the Arabs disappear

A complaint of racism and incitement has been lodged against an Upper Nazareth city councillor who called for Arabs to “disappear,” in an Independence Day greeting to local residents… Upper Nazareth is a sister city to Nazareth, the largest Israeli Arab municipality in Israel.

IOA Editor: Referring to Upper Nazareth as a “Sister City” to Nazareth is quite remarkable: Might the Haaretz editors mean the younger sister who sneaked up behind her older sibling, stabbed her and grabbed her jewelry?

Olmert, Livni may face war crimes charges in Norway

Lawyers accuse Israel of “massive terrorist attacks” in the Gaza Strip,” stating “[t]here can be no doubt that these subjects knew about, ordered or approved the actions in Gaza and that they had considered the consequences of these actions.”

Israel’s MI Chief: Obama’s Mideast policy threatens Israel

Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said Monday that the Middle East policy of U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration could endanger Israel… In a surprising shift, Yadlin also said that the Islamist Hamas movement has been deterred and is now interested in reaching a peace settlement with Israel.

IOA Editor: It is unclear precisely what the surprise or shift is. As indicated elsewhere on these pages, agreement with Hamas was possible in the past, well before Israel’s massive killing of Gaza civilians. As to Obama’s ’threat’ to Israel, nothing the new administration has said or done so far suggests a meaningful change from past US attitudes, especially towards the Israeli occupation and the basis for a peaceful resolution of the conflict.

Merav Michaeli: From Kasztner to Shalit

The answer to this question can be found in Israeli culture, in which the sanctity of life is pretentiously discussed, while only death is really held sacred. Holocaust Remembrance Day is a good example of how in Israel the dead become heroes who get commemorated, honored and glorified, while those who survived, those who were saved, those who are alive but not fully intact mentally and physically are ignored or humiliated.

World stands by as Gazans sift through rubble 3 months after ceasefire, warn aid agencies

A coalition of international aid agencies today warned that tens of thousands of Gazans are still homeless and without basic services such as piped drinking water three months after the 18 January ceasefire.

Israel could have made peace with Hamas under Yassin

“So the father of the Hamas movement told you he recognized the State of Israel? ’Yes. He was smart and brave. Cruel, but credible. He gave his life in the war for the freedom of his people. I tend to think that if we had tried for an agreement with him, we would have succeeded. He thought the reason the Israelis were dealing with [then PLO leader] Yasser Arafat is that they were very smart, because we knew we would get nowhere with him. In his opinion, Arafat was thoroughly corrupt.’”