SINCE 1964, THE NEWS WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
Israel & Palestine Undernews
Philip Weiss, Mondoweiss - Everything thats wrong with the Israel lobby and U.S. public policy and Zionist Israel is in this story: An Israeli government minister whom the U.S. secretary of state had the fortitude to snub on his latest visit to the U.S. has come out for segregated bus lines in the West Bank. And were supposed to feel defensive about snubbing this character? And ambassador Samantha Power was compelled to meet with him? Cry my beloved country.
First, heres the Kerry snub. Back in the spring Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon called Kerry messianic in his pursuit of a peace plan. Arutz Sheva reports:
Yaalon was denied meetings with top American officials during his visit to the United States this week, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Friday, citing officials in Washington.
While Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry.
A pro-Israel news site is affronted by this treatment:
The Obama administrations mass snubbing of Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon last week was designed to humiliate him, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, adding that Obama officials would continue to ostracize him until Yaalon further apologizes for off-the-record comments he made about Kerry more than nine months ago.
Barak Ravid, the diplomatic correspondent for the newspaper, compared the Obama administration move to a hazing.
Yes but who are we hazing? Haaretz reports that Yaalon has come out for segregated bus lines in the occupied West Bank at the urging of the colonists there: Yaalon bans Palestinians from Israeli-run bus lines in West Bank, following settler pressure. Yes, thats the Defense Minister, making policy for brown people in the colonies who cant vote.
Following intense pressure from settlers, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has issued a directive that bans Palestinian workers from traveling on Israeli-run public transportation in the West Bank .
The new guidelines prohibit Palestinian workers from using buses that run directly from central Israel to the West Bank; instead they will have to arrive at the Eyal Crossing, near Qalqilyah and far from populated settler areas, and continue to their final destination from there.
The Samaria Settlers Committee and local Jewish authorities have conducted an aggressive campaign in recent years aimed at banning Palestinian workers from public transportation used by Israelis in the West Bank.
Currently, Palestinian laborers who work in central Israel can enter only through the Eyal Crossing, where they undergo security checks and swipe a biometric I.D. card before continuing to their workplace.
The workers are not allowed to sleep in Israel, however they can return to the West Bank through various crossings. Hundreds of Palestinians who live in the central West Bank prefer to return on buses that run from Tel Aviv or Petah Tikva along the trans-Samaria road through the settlement of Ariel and on to their villages.
The settlers have tried on multiple occasions to prevent the Palestinians from commuting on those buses, and have released a video calling for them to be banned
Independent, UK - Parliament took the historic step of voting unilaterally to back the recognition of Palestinian statehood.
Voting by 274 to 12, a majority of 262, MPs on all sides urged the Government to recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as part of a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.
Support for the motion, while symbolic, marks a significant change in the political landscape, following the failure of successive peace negotiations and the bitter conflict in Gaza over the summer.
Significantly Labour whipped
its MPs to vote in favour of the resolution, raising the prospect
that the party would defy Israels wishes and recognise
Palestine as a state should it come to power at the next election.
Over 250 anthropologists join the call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions
Swedens new centre-left government has indicated that it intends to formally recognise the state of Palestine making it the first major European country to do so.
Global Research - Sami Miaari was looking for a new home for his family when he first made enquiries about moving to Misgav, in Israels north, two years ago.
The first step for the lecturer, who works at Tel Aviv University, was to approach the offices of the Misgav Regional Council. There, he thought, hed find the forms to apply to one of Misgavs Admissions Committees the bodies that screen potential new residents of Israels small community towns.
But the staff at the office, Miaari told Middle East Eye, said they couldnt help. He should go, they said, directly to the villages themselves.
Miaari did just that. But at the first village, he was again told that the forms he needed were unavailable. At a second community town, he says, he was directed back to the offices of the regional council. In a third, he found another dead end. The door to the communities of Misgav, it seemed, were barred shut.
Wondering where the problem lay, Miaari asked a Jewish friend for some help. The admissions offices are lying, the friend told him. They dont want to give you the documents.
Thats when I got to the point where I thought: I really need to start legal proceedings against these communities, Miaari said. He believes he was prevented from living in Misgav because he is Arab a Palestinian citizen of Israel. Misgav Regional Council did not respond to Middle East Eyes request for comment on the claims.
Since he was refused, Miaari has been working with Adalah, the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, to fight his case. They hold that Admissions Committees like the one operating in Misgav discriminate against minorities: people with disabilities, gay people, Mizrahi Jews and, most of all, Arabs. Since 2011, Adalah has petitioned for the cancellation of the Admissions Committees Law, which legitimises these institutions, arguing that its primary objective is to marginalize Arab citizens and prevent them from accessing housing on state land in many communities.
The fight, however, has just been dealt a serious blow: last week, Israels Supreme Court voted to uphold the Admissions Committees Law, enshrining the legality of the controversial legislation.
That means that 434 community towns in the Negev and Galilee will continue to screen new arrivals, accepting or rejecting applications to allow them to settle in these small communities. Decisions are made by a committee that includes representatives from the World Zionist Organisation and the Jewish Agency. The committee bases its choice on a range of criteria, including suitability to the communitys social life and the social and cultural fabric of the town.
Mairav Zonszein, NY Times - The aggressive silencing of anyone who voices disapproval of Israeli policies or expresses empathy with Palestinians is the latest manifestation of an us-versus-them mentality that has been simmering for decades. It is based on the narrative that Palestinians are enemies who threaten Jewish sovereignty and are solely to blame for the failure to achieve peace. The Israeli peace camp which remains obsessively focused on stopping settlement expansion and pursuing the ever-elusive two-state solution while ignoring Israels failure to separate religion and state and guarantee equal rights for Arab citizens has been incapable of challenging this mentality.
Israeli society has been unable and unwilling to overcome an exclusivist ethno-religious nationalism that privileges Jewish citizens and is represented politically by the religious settler movement and the increasingly conservative secular right. Israels liberal, progressive forces remain weak in the face of a robust economy that profits from occupation while international inaction reinforces the status quo. In their attempt to juggle being both Jewish and democratic, most Israelis are choosing the former at the expense of the latter. Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Israel has never, for example, genuinely addressed the fact that non-Jewish Arabs who generally identify as Palestinian account for about 20 percent of the population (this excludes the approximately three million Palestinians living under Israels control in East Jerusalem and the West Bank). Israel has also never clearly defined its borders, preferring to keep them vague and porous. Nor has it defined what it means to be Israeli, as distinct from being Jewish, leaving a vacuum that has been filled by nationalist and religious ideologues.
This has allowed the us-versus-them mentality to bleed into Israeli Jewish society. Us no longer refers to any Jewish citizen, and them to any Palestinian. Now, us means all those who defend the status quo of occupation and settlement expansion, including many Christian evangelicals and Republicans in America. And them means anyone who tries to challenge that status quo, whether a rabbi, a dissenting Israeli soldier or the president of the United States.
Perhaps this shouldnt come as a shock. For most of Israels existence, the majority of Israelis have allowed the state, in the name of Jewish sovereignty and security, to violate Palestinians basic human rights including access to water and the freedom of movement and assembly. The state has killed unarmed protesters and then failed to carry out investigations; it has allowed settlers and soldiers to act with impunity; and it has systematically discriminated against non-Jewish citizens. After so many years of repressing those who stand in the way, the transition to targeting one of your own isnt so difficult. Now it is the few Jewish Israelis who speak the language of human rights who are branded as enemies.
Zeev Sternhell, a political scientist and an expert on fascism, believes that radical nationalism and the erosion of Enlightenment values have reached new heights in Israel. To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already a subversive act, treason, he told Haaretz. Mr. Sternhell has experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand; in 2008, a settler planted a bomb in his home that wounded him.
Carter criicizes Netanyahu, Obama
Israeli police torture handcuffed Palestinian
Road to Apartheid: a new documentary by a South African and a Jewish Israeli
Budrus is an award-winning documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israels Separation Barrier.
END THE OCCUPATION
God appointed America to save the world in any way that suits America. God appointed Israel to be the nexus of America's Middle Eastern policy and anyone who wants to mess with that idea is a) anti-Semitic, b) anti-American, c) with the enemy, and d) a terrorist." - John le Carr, London Times, 2003