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Netanyahu government ramps up effort to combat BDS

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Israel to allocate NIS 100 million for BDS battle
Ynet 7 June by Itamar Eichner — “De-legitimization of Israel must be fought, and you are on the front lines,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told attendees in a letter read aloud at a BDS emergency summit organized by Sheldon Adelson in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Thanks to such efforts to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS), “friends of Israel can be armed with facts to defend the truth,” Netanyahu said …  Concurrently Netanyahu held talks with several officials over the weekend regarding the possible plans of action to combat BDS. The talks included Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan, whose office’s purview includes fighting BDS, as well as other officials from relevant ministries. The Israeli government is debating ways to improve cooperation between the different government agencies fighting BDS, and Jewish organizations abroad. The talks included issues of funding and resources for battling the boycott campaign. Netanyahu and Erdan agreed that his office will receive at least NIS 100 million, most of which will go to fighting BDS. Erdan’s office will also receive 10 new positions for employees who will deal solely with the boycott and de-legitimization activities against Israel. The minister mentioned that he is flooded with calls from Jewish leaders from across the globe, who want to join the effort against BDS.,7340,L-4665676,00.html

Hollande reassures Netanyahu of France’s anti-boycott stance
Haaretz 7 June by Barak Ravid — PM expresses opposition to proposed French resolution on conflict in the UN security council — French President Francois Hollande told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening that he categorically opposes boycotts of Israel and expressed the desire to maintain economic ties between the two countries, according to a statement issued by Netanyahu’s office. Hollande made the remarks in a phone conversation that followed the storm over comments by Orange CEO Stephane Richard last week about his company’s ties with Israel. Netanyahu reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians during the conversation, but expressed opposition to the move by France to pass a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the United Nations Security Council, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

AP analysis: Fair to boycott Israel? Global momentum grows
6 June by Dan Perry — In boardrooms and campuses, on social media and in celebrity circles, momentum seems to be growing for a global pressure campaign on Israel. The atmosphere recalls the boycotts that helped demolish apartheid South Africa a quarter century ago. Israel and its partisans can be expected to mount a ferocious defense, but their public relations Achilles’ heel may be the Jewish settlements in the West Bank … Increasingly prominent is the so-called “BDS” (boycott-disinvestment-sanctions) movement, run by Palestinians and leftist activists from around the world. In Israel, politicians have lined up to offer responses, and the talk of the town is how to defend against the boycott peril from abroad … The key part of the Israeli defense rests on Israel’s democratic credentials: the country’s Arab minority, sharing an ethnicity with its enemies, has citizen rights, and in fact, an Israeli Arab political party just posted the third-best result in the election. Critically, however, this argument excludes discussion of the lack of rights for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. Over 2 million Palestinians live in the territory, which was seized from Jordan in a war that began exactly 48 years ago. The Gaza Strip, the other part of the would-be Palestinian state, was also occupied in that war, from Egypt. Israel’s defense, when it claims it is a democracy, is that the West Bank is not part of Israel — just as Iraq was not part of the United States after the 2003 invasion. But there are key differences. Israel builds towns there: about a half-million Israelis live either in West Bank settlements or in former West Bank land incorporated into east Jerusalem, also occupied in the 1967 war. The Israeli settlers can vote in Israeli elections and serve in government as if they live in Israel, but the Palestinians living in the territory cannot….

Israel telecoms firm not satisfied by Orange apologies
JERUSALEM (AFP) 6 June — The Israeli telecoms firm at the heart of a controversy involving France’s Orange that has caused a diplomatic storm said Saturday it is unhappy with Orange’s response to the matter. Partner, Israel’s second largest mobile operator, said Orange chairman Stephane Richard’s declared intent to sever the agreement granting Partner use of the Orange name “continue to cause enormous damage to the Orange brand in Israel and hurt Israeli citizens.” And since making the remarks Wednesday in Cairo, Richard has been contrite. He told Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper “we love Israel,” and the office of Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said he had received a call on Friday to apologise. But Partner is unimpressed. “The recent statements… are nothing more than a smokescreen, the object of which is to manipulate public opinion in Israel and the world,” Saturday’s statement said, slamming what it called Richard’s “offensive statements, apologies and vague and evasive expressions.” “Partner wishes to stress that we have to this day received no official communication (from Orange).”

Violence / Raids / Suppression of protests / Arrests

Israeli forces injure 2 protesters near Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 7 June — Israeli occupation forces opened fire on Friday evening, near Jerusalem, injuring two citizens. Soldiers opened fire at unarmed Palestinian protesters in Abu-Dis, east of occupied Jerusalem, Days of Palestine reports. Witnesses said that the soldiers fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated metal bullets to disperse the protesters. One of the wounded, according to Red Crescent, was hit in the head and suffered a wound was described as moderate, while the other was hit in his waist and suffered “light” wounds. In response to the Israeli aggression, the Palestinian protesters threw stones at the soldiers.

Palestinian man injured in hit-and-run by Israeli settler car
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 June — A Palestinian man was injured late Sunday in a hit-and-run incident involving an Israeli settler near the Ariel settlement, Palestinian officials said. Mustafa Salih Muslih, 56, was taken to a private hospital in Nablus after being knocked down by a settler vehicle, which fled the scene.

Israeli soldiers shoot 2 men in Beit Jala after pipe bomb thrown
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 8 June — Israeli soldiers shot and injured two Palestinian men on Sunday night after a pipe bomb was thrown at the District Coordination Office in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. Medics told Ma‘an that one young man was shot in the foot and another in the shoulder after they threw the explosive device at the base. Israeli forces raided Beit Jala following the incident and temporarily closed a gate on the main road. The DCO is located at the top of Beit Jala near the al-Makhrour valley area.

Israeli forces suppress protest over confiscated West Bank church
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 6 June — Israeli forces on Saturday suppressed a march protesting the recent purchase by Israeli settlers of a church compound in the southern West Bank. The 38-dunam compound, known as Beit al-Baraka, is located to the north of al-‘Arrub refugee camp between Bethlehem and Hebron. It has been in the spotlight since an investigative report by Israeli newspaper Haaretz last month alleged that an American millionaire, Irving Moskowitz, purchased the site through a Swedish company in 2012 with the intention of turning it into a settlement outpost. Dozens of activists took part in the march that was also commemorating the anniversary of the Six-Day War, which began on June 5, 1967, a day known by Palestinians as the Naksa, meaning setback. Israeli forces prevented the march from reaching Beit al-Baraka, reportedly assaulting protesters and injuring one activist identified as Younis Arrar who was pushed to the ground … The march had been called for by the Palestinian People’s Party, local popular committees of Beit Ummar and a committee for defending Hebron.A member of the Palestinian People’s Party, Rashad Tmeizeh, said that the protest took place in front of the church compound to emphasize that the building is part of Palestinian lands occupied by Israel in 1967. A popular committee activist, Youssef Abu Maria, called for more protests in front of the site until the plans to turn it into a settlement outpost are thwarted … The church lies in a sensitive location, which when settled, will see Israeli settlements stretch all the way from the Gush Etzion settler bloc south of Jerusalem to the cluster of settlements around Hebron.

Several kidnapped by Israeli forces across West Bank and Jerusalem
IMEMC/Agencies 7 June — Israeli forces detained eight Palestinians across the occupied West Bank overnight Saturday, the Israeli army said … Witnesses told Ma‘an News Agency that five Israeli vehicles entered Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqiliya, firing tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets before they detained 17-year-old Majid Mahmoud Jumaa, who was out on the street. In Hebron, locals said Israeli troops had detained Zeid Akram al-Qawasmi after ransacking and damaging his house.  A statement from the Palestinian prisoner’s society in Hebron also said that Israeli forces had detained a 25-year-old woman, Sabrin Khalil Abu Sharar, from her house in Dora near Hebron. The woman’s father said Israeli troops ransacked their home at dawn hours before taking Sabrin to an unknown location. The other five Palestinians detained remain unidentified.
Al Ray further reports that Israeli forces had deployed heavily on Sunday morning at the entrance of occupied Jerusalem, where they detained a young man and a child from Al ‘Issawiya, in the Old City … Head of Jerusalemite prisoners committee, Amjad Abu Asab, stated that soldiers detained the minor, Amir Basti, 17, while he was participating in decorating Bab Hetta lane in the old city in preparations for Ramadan month. Abu Asab explained that a group of Mista’arvim [undercover Israeli forces] attacked the young men in Bab Hetta lane, and kidnapped the minor Basti without clear charges. Basti will stand trial in front of the Israeli magistrate court to consider extending his detention. Forces had also detained Mohamed Elian, 21, from Al ‘Issawiya village, and he was taken to Al Maskobia interrogation center. Clashes erupted later, in Bab Hettan and Al Siwan neighborhood, where soldiers fired sound and gas bombs.

Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians across West Bank
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 8 June — Israeli forces detained up to six Palestinian men across the West Bank overnight Sunday, the Israeli army and Palestinian security sources told Ma‘an. Palestinian security sources said that Israeli forces entered the village of Asira al-Shamaliya north of Nablus and took into custody 22-year-old Makin Muhammad Saadah from his house in the village center. Meanwhile, Israeli police officers arrested two unidentified Palestinian men near the town of Beita south of Nablus, sources said. They were reportedly handed over to Israeli forces who took them to a military base in the town of Huwwara south of Nablus. An Israeli army spokeswoman could only confirm that one Palestinian had been detained in the Nablus district. She also said that one Palestinian had been arrested in Tulkarem, one in Ramallah, and one in Bethlehem.


7 Palestinian workers narrowly survive Gaza tunnel collapse
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 7 June – Seven Palestinian workers narrowly escaped death after a smuggling tunnel collapsed beneath the southern Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, sources told Ma‘an. Sources said that Palestinian Civil Defense rescue teams had managed to pull out the workers who were trapped under rubble after the tunnel collapsed while they were inside it. Smuggling tunnels that pass beneath the Egyptian border have served as a lifeline to the outside world for Gaza’s 1.8 million inhabitants since Israel imposed a crippling siege on the coastal enclave in 2007, which is supported by Egypt … The smuggling tunnels are notoriously dangerous, and workers are frequently killed working inside them.The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, Al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400.

Turgeman: Israel won’t launch operation over a few rockets
Ynet 7 June by Matan Tzuri & Elior Levy — The mayors of Israeli towns surrounding the Gaza Strip met with IDF Chief of the Southern Command, Major General Sami Turgeman Sunday night when the IDF official told locals that Israel won’t launch a military operation in Gaza in response to cases of sporadic rocket fire from the Strip that lands in open areas in Israel. Turgeman did stress however, that the military would respond accordingly in such instances, most likely with targeted air strikes as seen in the early hours of Sunday morning. Hamas, claimed Turgeman, is working hard to prevent sporadic attacks like the three instances seen in the last several days – rocket strikes for which ISIS supporters claimed responsibility. The general added that great effort was going toward increasing the IDF’s defense capabilities against such attacks from rockets and tunnels dug by Hamas. The mayors at the meeting told Turgeman that they understood that the situation was complicated and said that they trusted the IDF to act appropriately.,7340,L-4665921,00.html

Israel hits Gaza, closes crossings after rocket attack
GAZA CITY (AFP) 7 June — Israeli warplanes struck Gaza early Sunday for the second time in three days after cross-border rocket fire by an Islamic extremist group which is locked in a power struggle with Hamas. It was the third time Israel had staged retaliatory air strikes on the war torn Gaza Strip in the past fortnight after three instances of rocket fire, all of which were claimed by Salafist extremists loosely allied with the Islamic State group. During the raids, the air force hit “terrorist infrastructure” in northern Gaza, the military said. The government also ordered the closure until further notice of the Erez crossing for people and the Kerem Shalom crossing for goods. Israel said it held Hamas responsible for all attacks emanating from the Palestinian enclave, where it is the de facto power, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that nobody would prevent Israel from defending itself. “I have not heard anyone in the international community condemn this firing; neither has UN said a word,” he told ministers at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. “It will be interesting if this silence continues when we use our full strength to uphold our right to defend ourselves. Let it be clear: The spreading hypocrisy in the world will not tie our hands and prevent us from protecting Israel’s citizens.” Palestinian security sources and witnesses said the raids targeted a training site belonging to Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in the northern Beit Lahiya area.

White House backs Israel over air strike on Gaza
KRUEN, Germany (Reuters) 7 June —  The White House reaffirmed on Sunday its support for Israel’s right to defend itself after Israeli aircraft struck the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a series of Palestinian rocket attacks.  “Clearly the U.S. stands with the people of Israel as they defend their people and their nation against these kind of attacks,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest, accompanying President Barack Obama at a G7 summit in Germany, told reporters.

Israel to reopen Gaza crossings after brief closure
AFP 8 June — Israel was to reopen its border crossings with the Gaza Strip on Monday, the IDF said, after closing them in the wake of a series of rocket attacks from Gaza. “I can confirm that they are opening,” an IDF spokeswoman.,7340,L-4666031,00.html

Israel grants 90 permits to Gaza businessmen for 1st time since 2007
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 5 June — Israeli authorities on Friday granted Palestinian businessmen from the Gaza Strip permits for the first time since 2007, officials at the Palestinian liaison said. An official told Ma‘an that Israel granted 90 “BMG” permits to Gazan businessmen to facilitate their movement for 6 months. Businessmen in Gaza have previously been granted “BMC” permits. A BMC permit allows its holder to enter Israel through crossings or checkpoints used by Israelis, for example to travel via Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. The permits were changed however to “BMG” permits, which last for six months rather than a couple days, according to COGAT guidelines for administering the permits. Carriers of BMG permits enable the businesspersons to enter Israel as well to travel via Allenby bridge as “VIP” travelers, however travel via Israeli airports requires a separate approval process. The new permits are being issued amid a reported increase in the detention of Gazan business workers at the Erez crossing in March and February of this year. “The Erez crossing has become a trap for Gaza merchants who have newly received entry permits from Israel,” a Palestinian liaison official told Ma‘an after an electronics salesman was detained in March. Israel, he added, had recently started to issue entry permits to new Gaza traders while veteran businessmen were being denied entry.

Egypt quashes Hamas terror listing
CAIRO (AFP) 6 June — An Egyptian court on Saturday quashed a February decision by another tribunal branding the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas a “terrorist” group, a court official said. He told AFP that the earlier ruling was thrown out because the court that issued it was not “competent” to make such verdicts … The Islamist movement had strongly condemned the February verdict — which came a month after another court ruled Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, a “terrorist group”. Egypt is a traditional broker between Israel and Hamas. On Saturday, the group issued a brief statement saying that the new ruling corrects “a wrong decision.” “Hamas welcomes the Egyptian court’s decision,” it added … Egyptian authorities have accused Hamas of backing jihadists who have carried out deadly attacks on security forces in the Sinai Peninsula that borders the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip … In March 2014, Egypt banned all Hamas activities on its soil and froze its assets.

VIDEO: All aboard. Witnesses of the Mavi Marmara attack (2010)
Published on Jun 4, 2015On May 31, 2010 the Freedom Flotilla was attacked by Israeli commandos in international waters. Three years later, there is still a legal trial in Turkey filed against those who hold responsability of the Mavi Marmara. The case has been taken to the International Criminal Court and there are several cases still open in many parts of the world. The Mavi Marmara survivers demand justice and continue fighting against the impunity of one of the world’s strongest countries.
For more information: Video made by:


Khader Adnan is starving for freedom again
ARRABEH (EI) 6 June by Budour Youssef Hassan — Maali was only 4 years old when her father, Khader Adnan, embarked on a 66-day hunger strike in protest at being held without charge or trial, a practice known as administrative detention, after his December 2011 arrest by Israeli occupation forces. All she could understand back then was that her father was starving himself to be reunited with her and her sister Bisan — and to be next to their mother when she gave birth to baby Abd al-Rahman. Adnan was released in April 2012. Three years later, at age 37, he is being held in administrative detention yet again — and has entered his second month of yet another hunger strike. Maali, now 7 years old, explains that he’s doing it to “demand his freedom and defend the rights of prisoners.” … His wife Randa laments the lack of mobilization in support of Khader Adnan although it has been more than 30 days since he began the strike … Adnan’s father believes that one of the factors contributing to the relative silence is fear. Not fear of Israel, however, but of the Palestinian Authority. “The Palestinian Authority regards my son as a threat because while Khader supports all forms of resistance, the Palestinian Authority supports all forms of normalization,” he said.

Khader Adnan in ‘critical condition’ as hunger strike continues
PSP  7 June — Adnan, who staged one of the longest hunger strikes in history in 2012, is showing sharp weight loss and low heart rate as a result of his ongoing protest of being held in Israeli prison under administrative detention, PA offical Issa Qaraqe said.

12 Palestinian members of parliament are in Israeli prison
+972blog 6 June by Noam Rotem — While we often hear Palestinian prisoners in the news, little is said about the lawmakers currently sitting in Israeli prisons. Many of them have spent years in jail, often as political prisoners in administrative detention, suffering beatings, interrogations and imprisonment in difficult conditions. Yet many of them still see a chance of living side-by-side with Israel, whether in one or two states — An Israeli military court decided last week to continue detaining Khalida Jarrar, a member of the Palestinian parliament, who has been imprisoned by Israel for the past two months. Jarrar was first arrested and put in administrative detention, which in effect meant that she could be held indefinitely without being charged or seeing trial. However, in the wake of a global campaign for her release, the state decided to release her from administrative detention and put her on trial. Jarrar is not the only member of the Palestinian parliament, known as the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), to be held by Israel. Israel is currently imprisoning 12 other Palestinians parliamentarians, who were elected in the last democratic elections to take place in the Palestinian Authority in 2006. Some are in administrative detention, which in the eyes of the international community makes them political prisoners who are being held solely due to their political and social activities. According to statistics published by the Israel Prison Service on April 30, there are 394 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons. The very fact that Israel indefinitely holds Palestinian prisoners without charges is problematic in itself — but when we are talking about elected officials, the problem grows tenfold. Take Jarrar, for instance, who was placed under administrative detention until she was formally charged. Why? Because she belongs to an organization that she represents in the Palestinian parliament to which she was democratically elected.

Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Restrictions on movement

Israel ‘minimising Palestinian presence’ in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM (Al Jazeera) 7 June by Patrick Strickland — The increase in forced evictions is part of Israeli policy to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem, rights groups say — Raafat Sub Laban, 27, is a legal researcher who was born and raised in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s historical Old City. Although his grandparents moved into their home more than six decades ago and passed it on to his mother, the Sub Laban family is now facing an eviction order to make way for Israeli settlers. Standing outside an Israeli court in East Jerusalem, Raafat explained that his family “has nowhere else to go”, adding that his parents, siblings and their children all live in the house. “There are nine of us, including two children aged three and nine years old,” Raafat told Al Jazeera. “Where are we supposed to go? This is our home.” … “Increased numbers of arrests and forced evictions prove that the [Israeli] government remains committed to minimising the city’s indigenous Palestinian population and expanding illegal Israeli presence,” Rima Awad, a member of the Jerusalemites Campaign, a group that advocates for Palestinian rights in the city, told Al Jazeera. The Sub Laban family was secure in their home until last year, when an Israeli court stripped them of their status as protected tenants on the grounds that they hadn’t been consistently living in the home and had allegedly neglected it. The settlers have also argued for the Sub Lubans’ eviction by evoking an Israeli law permitting Jews to make claim to Palestinian property that was registered under Jewish ownership before Israel’s establishment. Passed in 1970 and deemed the East Jerusalem Law, it allows owners to evict residents who have not consistently lived on the premises or paid rent. Settlers have knocked on their door twice this year and tried to take over the property, first in February and again in March.

Donkeys the only means of transportation for Palestinian farmers
[with video] BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 7 June — Uncommon as it may be to see a beast of burden making use of a highway, in the western outskirts of Bethlehem the sight of donkeys walking up and down Route 60 has become a daily occurrence due to Israeli restrictions on movement. Donkeys are in many cases the only means of transportation for Palestinian farmers wishing to access their fields in Area C after Israel closed the main agricultural roads leading to them. Even where it is possible to take tractors and heavy machinery onto the fields, locals have reported Israeli authorities confiscating them, sometimes for lacking proper registration but also for coming too close to illegal Israeli settlements. “I travel tens of kilometers back and forth on the back of my donkey to access my land near the Gush Etzion settlement bloc,” Ibrahim Issa Mousa, a farmer from the village of al-Khader south of Bethlehem, told Ma‘an. He said his donkey is his only means of transportation, without which, “I would never be able to reach my land after the Israeli occupation closed all exits and agricultural roads appropriate for vehicles.” … “Donkey prices range from 250 Jordanian Dinars (about $400) to 800 Dinars (about $1300),” Salah said, adding that farmers are also required to buy specialized equipment, including packsaddles and metal boxes for loading. Omar Naim, who sells and makes packing and tilling equipment, told Ma‘an that he has seen an increasing number of customers in recent years. Al-Khader has seen thousands of dunams of land cut off by the Israeli separation wall, with access only possible through a road connecting with Route 60.


Other news, opinion

Israeli minister calls on world to recognise Golan annexation
JERUSALEM (AFP) 7 June – A far-right Israeli minister on Sunday called for the international community to endorse his country’s 1981 annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights, where he called for increased Jewish settlement.  “I call on the international community… to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan,” Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party, said in a speech at a time of increasing world pressure on Israel over the occupied West Bank and Arab east Jerusalem. Bennett sees the sparsely populated Golan as a very different case from the Palestinian territories and a vital buffer between Israel and the turmoil raging a few hundred metres (yards) away where the Syrian government has lost control of the border region to rebels. “I understand that there is a disagreement on Judaea and Samaria, what the world calls the West Bank. I understand that on this we shall agree to disagree,” he said. “But the Golan, to ban agricultural exports from the Golan? Where is the logic, where is your morality.”

China demands workers sent to Israel not be put in West Bank settlements
Haaretz 7 June by Meirav Arlosoroff — Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s plan to bring Chinese construction workers to Israel to accelerate home building has hit a diplomatic snag as Beijing conditions signing a bilateral labor accord on its nationals not working in West Bank settlements. China’s condition, which it says is due to safety concerns rather than politics, has snagged implementation of a year-old cabinet resolution authorizing an increase in the number of foreign construction workers initially to 8,000 and later to 15,000. The extra workers are part of a range of government efforts to build more homes and bring down prices, but without an accord with China, the 8,000 target hasn’t been reached. The stalemate with China comes as Israel comes under pressure from Europe to distinguish between pre-1967 Israel and West Bank settlements.

Erdogan: Turkey’s abrasive ‘Sultan’ suffers setback
ANKARA (AFP) 7 June by Burak Akinci, Stuart Williams in Istanbul– Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkey for over a decade first as premier and now as president, has suffered the worst election setback of his career in legislative polls amid increasing controversy over his polarising rule. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by Erdogan won the most votes in Sunday’s elections but lost its absolute majority in parliament for the first time since it came to power in 2002. The result has scuttled Erdogan’s plan to push through the constitutional changes he yearns for to create a presidential system that would give him greater powers.

Hezbollah vows to displace ‘millions’ in Israel if Lebanon attacked
BEIRUT (AFP) 5 June — The head of Lebanon’s powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah threatened on Friday that his group would displace “millions” in Israel if the Jewish state attacks Lebanon. Hassan Nasrallah made the threat in a televised address weeks after an Israeli army official warned that Israel would “have to” target civilian areas in Lebanon in a future confrontation with Hezbollah. “If they threaten to displace 1.5 million Lebanese, then the Islamic resistance in Lebanon (Hezbollah) threatens to displace millions of Israelis,” Nasrallah hit back. “We are not afraid of your war or of your threats,” he said. “If you assume that we are busy in Syria, then you are wrong — because this changes nothing in how we deal with our enemy.”

Israel’s grip on the Palestinian tourism industry
+972 blog 5 June by Amjad Alqasis — Through a regime of permits, licenses and visas, Israel controls who guides most tourists to the Holy Land, what they are told and where they spend their money. Can Palestinians use tourism to take back the discourse on occupation? — Israel’s occupation and colonization of Palestine is not limited to its military elements — the occupation is also manifested in Israel’s use of tourism as a political tool. Tourism is used to strengthen Israel’s position as occupying power, to maintain its domination over Palestinian land and people, but also as an instrument for the dissemination of propaganda to millions of tourists, including politicians, community leaders and journalists who sometimes receive free-of-charge first-class tours to Israel. All of these trips are accompanied by well-drilled Israeli tour guides spread the official Israeli narrative among visitors. This narrative is crafted through the omission of crucial information, and by ensuring that there is little or no contact between visitors and local Palestinian communities. Simply put, Israel knows that being exposed to the present and historical realities of the occupation would have a transformative effect on the majority of tourists to Palestine. Such tourists might then return to their home countries as opponents to Israel’s oppressive policies against Palestinians — the opposite effect of the tours sponsored by pro-Israel organizations.

Why I won’t be participating in Tel Aviv’s Pride Parade
+972 blog 7 June by Fady Khoury – –Israeli security forces exploit Palestinians’ sexual orientation to blackmail them into becoming collaborators. The Israeli LGBT mainstream’s silence about this persecution exposes a moral lapse — This weekend, LGBT Israelis will take to the streets of Tel Aviv as part of the yearly Pride Parade, this year under the banner, “gender equality and support for the transgender community.” People from all over the world will throng to the streets of Tel Aviv, adorned with rainbow flags and Israeli flags, all in order to take part in the days-long party. It is a massive tourist attraction and the pride and joy of Tel Aviv … However, the Tel Aviv parade is problematic, particularly from the perspective of LGBT Palestinians — which, if you ask me, should be problematic for the entire LGBT community. It is partly problematic because of its official institutional sponsorship. But primarily, it is problematic because while LGBT Jewish-Israelis take to the streets, either to celebrate or as an expression of political protest, the same state that is sponsoring their celebrations within the Green Line is also exploiting sexual orientation to blackmail gay Palestinians on the other side of the Green Line. There, the state threatens to expose Palestinians’ sexual orientation if they don’t collaborate with the security forces, which in certain cases, is a direct threat to their lives.

Study: Israelis, Palestinians would gain billions from peace
AP 8 June — RAND Corp. says two sides stand to receive significant economic benefits if peace deal is reached, and lose much more if not; two-state solution found to be by far the best scenario financially — The RAND Corp., a US-based nonprofit research organization, interviewed some 200 officials from the region and elsewhere during more than two years of research into the costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its main finding was that following a peace agreement, Israelis stood to gain $120 billion over the course of a decade. The Palestinians would gain $50 billion, marking a 36-percent rise in their average per-capita income, the report said. In contrast, the Israeli economy would lose some $250 billion in foregone economic opportunities in a return to violence, and the Palestinians would see their per-capita gross domestic product fall by as much as 46 percent, the report said. The findings are in line with long-time arguments that peace is in the economic interest of both sides.,7340,L-4666053,00.html

Opinion: For the sins of occupation, boycotts are a light punishment / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 7 June — Orange or SodaStream, academic or artistic boycott, the penalties will grow worse the longer Israel persists in settling, exploiting and stealing Palestinian land  — What are you defending? What are you fighting for?Why is the boycott starting to gnaw at Israel now, and is this all worth it? As usual, there are questions that are not even asked. Soul-searching, after all, is a clear sign of weakness. And so an explanation has been invented that absolves us of responsibility: The boycott fell out of the sky, an unavoidable force majeure of Israel hatred, and the only way to fight it is to fight right back at them … The Israelis are fighting for their right to persist in settling, exploiting and stealing land; to continue breaking international law that prohibits settlement, to continue to thumb its nose at the whole world, which does not recognize any settlements. They are now defending their right to shoot children who throw stones and helpless fishermen pursuing the crumbs of a livelihood in the sea off the coast of Gaza, their right to continue snatching people from their beds in the middle of the night in the West Bank; they are fighting for the right to detain hundreds of people without trial, to hold political prisoners, to abuse them. That is what they are protecting, that is what they are fighting for — for an area that most of them have not been to for years, and don’t care what happens there, for conduct that is shameful even to some of them. These are the sins and this is the punishment. Does anyone think that Israel can go on without being punished? Without being ostracized? And to tell the truth, doesn’t Israel deserve to be punished? Hasn’t the world been unbelievably tolerant so far?

Book Review: How the Israeli-Palestinian conflict divided US Jews and blacks / Alex Kane
Haaretz 7 June — ‘A Shadow Over Palestine’ by Keith P. Feldman probes how the conflict affected political thinking of American liberals, black radicals and Arab activists and how they then informed the contested terrain of race in the U.S. — The annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee [AIPAC] policy conference in March featured tributes to the famous 1965 march in Selma, Alabama to demand expanded voting rights for black Americans, including a particularly stirring speech from U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice. “The Jewish community amplified the rightness and the urgency of the civil rights movement with its own unassailable moral compass — guided by the basic principle that people should be free in their own land,” she told the crowd. “I stand before you knowing that I and many others would not be where we are today without all those who fought for equal rights — African Americans and white Americans, including so many Jewish Americans.” Rice is right: Liberal Jews did march in Selma alongside black civil rights activists. However, this narrative of two minorities working together for the betterment of America papers over real conflict that has existed over the years between blacks and Jews in the United States. Some of the friction between blacks and Jews, most of whom are considered white, stemmed from economic inequality, while some resulted from political differences …  Feldman ends with a look at how different groups in the United States continue to link Palestine with domestic issues, an internationalist vision that owes much to the ‘60s and ‘70s-era movements he writes about. Academic groups like the American Studies Association, concerned with U.S. settler colonialism that eviscerated indigenous cultures in America from the 16th century onward, have endorsed the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement targeting Israel over human rights violations. Meanwhile, the U.S. establishment has looked to Israel as a source of inspiration. The New York Police Department’s surveillance of Muslims was modeled on Israel’s methods in the West Bank, while the neoconservative movement, empowered under the Bush administration, figured Israel as the front lines of the U.S. “war on terror.” (listserv) (archive)


American; political science major, M.A.; former ISM volunteer in the West Bank

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21 Responses

  1. a blah chick on June 8, 2015, 10:37 am

    I’m sure Kate would have put this following story up but it just broke.

    CNN)The Supreme Court struck down part of a federal statute that allowed Americans born in Jerusalem to list “Israel” as the place of birth on their passport.

    The decision is a victory for the Executive Branch and affirms that “the power to recognize foreign states and governments and their territorial bounds is exclusive to the Presidency.”

    The case was brought by the family of a 12-year-old boy born in Jerusalem who sought to list Israel as his place of birth in passport.”

    The vote was 6-3.

  2. just on June 8, 2015, 10:57 am

    Dan Perry needs some education:

    “The key part of the Israeli defense rests on Israel’s democratic credentials: the country’s Arab minority, sharing an ethnicity with its enemies, has citizen rights, and in fact, an Israeli Arab political party just posted the third-best result in the election.”

    If that is “the key part of the Israeli defense”, then woe unto them!!! (Israel’s got “democratic credentials”? lololololol!

    “The best moment took place at 11:00, after Erakat, correcting Rosenbaum– who had said that Israeli Palestinians enjoy the full “panoply” of Israeli rights– said, “They are absolutely not treated the same as Israelis within Israel itself.” She went on to explain that there are 30 laws that advantage Israeli Jews or disadvantage Palestinians, and the state bifurcates nationality from citizenship; so even if you’re an Israeli citizen, you’re not eligible to be a Jewish national, with a “whole host” of rights non-Jews don’t have. She mentioned the 40,000 Palestinian citizens in the Negev who are being forced out of their villages and into urban townships.” – See more at:

    There are more discriminatory laws now than the 30 that Erekat spoke of in 2013, btw:

    “In March 2013, Adalah launched the Discriminatory Laws Database, an online resource that collects more than 50 Israeli laws enacted since 1948 that directly or indirectly discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in all areas of life, including their rights to political participation, access to land, education, state budget resources, and criminal procedures. Some of the laws also violate the rights of Palestinians living in the 1967 OPT and Palestinian refugees.”

    Thanks, Kate. I posted the article elsewhere, but Amira Hass is a must- read, imho:

    “The rational response to state terror: boycott
    People from Western countries whose taxes are being used as hush money for Israel are beginning to fight back.”

    • just on June 8, 2015, 11:13 am


      “U.S. court invalidates law that let Jerusalem-born citizens list Israel on passports
      Congress passed the law in 2002, but the government has never enforced it; in ruling, court says the president has exclusive power to grant formal recognition to a foreign government.

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that would allow American citizens born in Jerusalem to have Israel listed as their birthplace on passports.

      The ruling was a victory for the administration of President Barack Obama, which said the law unlawfully encroached on the president’s power to set foreign policy and would, if enforced, undermine the U.S. government’s claim to be a neutral peacemaker in the Middle East.

      In a ruling by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court said the president has exclusive power to grant formal recognition to a foreign government. Kennedy signaled some support for the government’s position when the case began, saying if the case rests on the determination that the law indicates recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, the State Department “should be given deference.”…

      …Seeking to remain neutral on the hotly contested issue of sovereignty over a city holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, the State Department allows passports to name Jerusalem as a place of birth, with no country name included.

      The parents of a Jerusalem-born 12-year-old boy, U.S. citizen Menachem Zivotofsky, have waged a long court battle to have his passport state he was born in Israel.

      At issue was the longstanding U.S. policy that the president, not Congress, has sole authority to provide American recognition of who controls Jerusalem, a city claimed both by Israelis and Palestinians.”

      This is HUGE! Yay!

      • just on June 8, 2015, 11:55 am

        I’m a tad curious as to why international law wrt Jerusalem is left out of the SCOTUS decision article above, but I guess they were only dealing with the US ‘recognition’ issue…

        There’s a good piece up at Haaretz by Jack Khoury:

        “Trapped in Gaza: Meet the faces behind the blockade of the Strip

        From a U.S. resident who came for his father’s funeral and isn’t allowed home, to a rights activist unable to attend conferences, Haaretz speaks to five Gazans who can’t leave.

        …Behind the dry data are tens of thousands of people with tens of thousands of stories. Over the last week, Haaretz spoke with 10 Palestinians stuck in Gaza, trying to get out, some of them for the first time in their lives. Here is the first part in a series of articles about “…

  3. Kay24 on June 8, 2015, 12:53 pm

    Israel is one of the most disliked nations in the world, especially after their massacre in Gaza last year, their brutality is still in the minds of many people. Netanyahu is a well known liar and trouble maker. Making a big deal about BDS will bring more focus to Israels crimes, because the world will become aware of this on going effort to stop Israel’s apartheid policies.

    Like hasbara, this too may come to nothing. Israel seems to be liberal in spending the aid we keep sending them. This will cost them much, unless of course Adelson is going to foot the bill.
    Netanyahu lives to fight wars, sees danger all around him, and wages war on those trying to stop his dangerous policies. Go for it Chickenshit.

  4. amigo on June 8, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Israel claims he thinks now is the time to beat the BDS campaign before it takes hold .Seems to me , this is the time to up the ante and double the efforts to bring the zionist entity to heel.Another upside is watching Addle-son investing his cash in a lost cause.Same goes for Saban et al.

    I wonder if the US is being asked for money to fight odd BDS.

    One thing for sure–the zionists are all in a tizzy.

  5. just on June 8, 2015, 4:37 pm

    “UN chief leaves Israel and Hamas off children’s rights blacklist

    United Nations Secretary General Bank Ki-moon has decided not to include Israel or Hamas to its “blacklist” of states and/or organizations that systematically and continuously harm children during times of conflict.

    The secretary general’s decision to leave the Israeli military off of the list was made against the recommendation of his special envoy on the matter, Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, following intense pressure from both Israel and the United States.

    UN agencies in Israel and the Palestinian territories reported an alarming number of child victims in last year’s war in the Gaza Strip but were split on whether Israel should be put on a list of violators of children’s rights, a UN document said. The final decision on the report was left up to Ban.

    Nevertheless, in the report – a copy of which Haaretz has obtained – Ban leveled harsh criticism over Israeli policy, which caused harm to children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and called on Israel to reexamine its policy to ensure that past such incidents do not repeat themselves. …

    …The UN chief also mentioned in his report that 63 Palestinian children were wounded as a result of violent settler activity in the West Bank, including one incident in which settlers from Yitzhar attacked a school in the village of Urif. It also mentions that 16 Israeli children were wounded in the West Bank from stones or firebombs hurled by Palestinians.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon responded to the report, saying “Israel should never have been part of the UN’s ‘blacklist’ and therefore it is natural that it is not included in the list.”

    According to Nachshon, “Israel works to protect civilians from the murderous aggressions of terror groups that have no issue placing Palestinian civilians, including children, in the line of fire. This group, Hamas, does not hesitate to use children as human shields and sacrificing their lives on the altar of hatred of Israel.

    “On the other hand, Israel does everything it can to prevent civilians from being harmed. This is our moral obligation and we act accordingly and with deep commitment to it,” he said.”

    This is beneath contempt, and I have nothing but contempt for the UN chief, for Samantha Power, and for Nachson et al. Israel is a serial violator of rights, and if it is not to be on the blacklist of states/organizations “that systematically and continuously harm children during times of conflict”, then nobody is. They do it all the time~ even as I write this!

    • bintbiba on June 8, 2015, 6:46 pm


      “This is beneath contempt, and I have nothing but contempt for the UN chief, for Samantha Power, and for Nachson et al. Israel is a serial violator of rights, and if it is not to be on the blacklist of states/organizations “that systematically and continuously harm children during times of conflict”, then nobody is. They do it all the time~ even as I write this! ”
      – See more at:

      Outrageously, incomprehensibly “beneath contempt'”…!! How do these people sleep at night !!!

  6. Bornajoo on June 8, 2015, 5:34 pm

    “This is beneath contempt, and I have nothing but contempt for the UN chief, for Samantha Power, and for Nachson et al. Israel is a serial violator of rights, and if it is not to be on the blacklist of states/organizations “that systematically and continuously harm children during times of conflict”, then nobody is. They do it all the time~ even as I write this! ”

    Well said Just!

    Unfortunately it was obvious that they would be left off the list because in contrast to what pro israel supporters believe, israel is not being singled out. In fact israel is almost unique in never being punished for the crimes it commits DAILY with total and absolute impunity. You only need to read Kate’s compilations every few days.

    Nobody else gets away with so much, nobody. When the big Don Daddy of planet earth gives you unlimited and unwavering financial and political support you can do what you want and become more and more sadistic along the way.

    Thanks Kate

    • amigo on June 10, 2015, 12:41 pm

      “Israeli army recruits thousands of soldiers with criminal records ” just

      Nothing new here.Israel learned this tactic from the British who instituted the “Black and tans” amongst whose ranks were many criminals .These criminals were responsible for the death of many civillians who were murdered in revenge attacks .You see , the British also did not understand that an occupied people have a right to resist and they the occupier does not have the right to collectively punish the civillian population.

      Hopefully Israel will end up at the same end of their occupation as did the British in Ireland.

      Apologies to Bornajoo for bringing this up as we are all good friends nowadays–thank God.I am just pointing out the similarities.

      • Bornajoo on June 10, 2015, 4:42 pm

        “Apologies to Bornajoo for bringing this up as we are all good friends nowadays–thank God.I am just pointing out he similarities.”

        No apology required Amigo. Many thanks for pointing it out!

      • amigo on June 10, 2015, 5:05 pm

        Thanks Bornajoo .

  7. just on June 8, 2015, 7:52 pm

    No surprise, really:

    “Israeli army recruits thousands of soldiers with criminal records

    Thousands of Israel Defense Forces soldiers have criminal records, but only a few dozen of them seek to have their records expunged by a military council. According to the IDF, 3.8 percent of male recruits last year had criminal records or committed crimes before their military service, while only 0.3 percent of female recruits had records.

    Most of the offenses range from drug offenses and theft to violent crimes. However, there are also cases in which the army takes recruits convicted of more serious crimes, including sex offenses.

    The latter was revealed during the investigation of a recent sexual assault case at Hatzerim, an Israel Air Force base. It came to light that the soldier accused of raping two female soldiers was not discharged from the army, despite having a criminal history that included sex offenses.

    The IDF maintains that it only recruits soldiers with criminal records after they have gone through rehabilitation. In the army’s view, military service is a second opportunity for troubled youths, many of whom are able to complete their full military service, sometimes in combat units.”…


    “Reports deputy Knesset speaker pimped prostitutes, used hard drugs shocks Likud

    Senior Likud officials are aghast at the findings of Monday’s Channel 2 television report on Likud MK Oren Hazan, which alleged that Hazan pimped prostitutes and used hard drugs at the casino he managed in Bulgaria before entering politics.

    “This is a blow to Likud,” one senior party official said. “If the details are correct, Hazan is one of the most embarrassing MKs Likud has ever put into the Knesset. This is an embarrassment for the Knesset as a whole. This information raises questions about Hazan’s ability to serve on sensitive committees, first and foremost the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.””…

    • a blah chick on June 8, 2015, 9:43 pm

      I think it was last year that I read an article that said the IDF was going to alter its standards and allow crazier people in the military. Yeah, that should cause no problems.

      As for Hazen he was the guy who tried to punk Breaking the Silence. He dressed up in his reserve uniform and using a different name went to them and tried to give “testimony.” His plan was to show that BTS did not check out the people who came to them but things did not work out for him. Take it away Times of Israel.

      “An investigation by Channel 10 published Tuesday revealed that the fabricated account had been given not by Asaf Hazan, but rather by Oren Hazan, who was elected to Knesset last month on the Likud party’s 30th slot. Hazan later admitted he had provided false testimony to Breaking the Silence, but insisted that his made-up description had in fact been published.”

      It wasn’t but then what can you expect from a man who supplied prostitutes to gamblers and may have took meth. What a guy

      • just on June 8, 2015, 11:02 pm

        Wow. Thanks abc. Heck, the previous FM is a bouncer from Moldova who has a less than spotless record.

        wrt Hazan:

        “Likud MK lied to Breaking the Silence for left-wing NGO probe”

        Wonder what other rot lies beneath the rulers of Israel beyond the obvious?

      • RoHa on June 8, 2015, 11:08 pm

        “the IDF was going to … allow crazier people in the military. ”

        Are there any?

      • just on June 9, 2015, 9:52 am

        Good point, RoHa.

        In BDS news found in The Guardian:

        “We, the below listed artists, producers, and concerned citizens, are disappointed and saddened to see that Curzon, Odeon, Bafta and other cinemas are hosting the London Israeli Film and Television Festival.

        This comes at a time when the global boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is gaining unprecedented momentum, and the Israeli government is finding itself increasingly isolated for its systematic violation of Palestinian human rights, the Geneva conventions, and international law. The Israeli state is promoting this festival and supporting it financially. By hosting it, these cinemas are ignoring the 2004 call by Palestinian civil society for sanctions against Israel until Israel abides by international law and ends its illegal displacement of Palestinians, discrimination against them, and occupation of their land.

        This festival comes in the aftermath of the wanton destruction and killing in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military in 2014, and the re-election of an Israeli prime minister who denies Palestinians their equal rights and self-determination.

        The festival is co-sponsored by the Israeli government via the Israeli embassy in London, creating a direct link between these cinemas, the festival screenings and Israeli policies. By benefiting from money from the Israeli state, the cinemas become silent accomplices to the violence inflicted on the Palestinian people. Such collaboration and cooperation is unacceptable. It normalises, even if unintentionally, the Israeli government’s violent, systematic and illegal oppression of the Palestinians.”…

        @ the end of the article is this: “• This letter was amended on 9 June 2015 to remove the name of one signatory that was included in error, and to add three others that were omitted in error.”


  8. just on June 10, 2015, 10:18 am

    “Israel spied on Iran talks by planting computer virus at hotels, WSJ reports
    Researchers at the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, who identified the virus, have concluded that it was an improved version of a spyware first detected in 2011 by the codename ‘Duqu.'”

    Such an ‘ally’!
    “Massive fire erupts at Israel Chemicals factory near Dimona
    There were fears of people trapped at the Rotem Amfert factory, which produces fertilizer and phosphates.

    …Some 20 firefighters were on the site fighting the flames.”

    Massive fire with “20 firefighters”??? Wonder where those toxic fumes blew, and what “chemicals” really burned…

    • a blah chick on June 10, 2015, 1:00 pm

      “20 firefighters?”

      Maybe they could only call the one’s with a security clearance. Let’s hope they fight this blaze better than they did the Carmel fire.

  9. piotr on June 25, 2015, 12:10 pm

    100 million shekels is a paltry sum when existence of the state is at stake. I think the problem is in finding productive ways to spend it.

    Prime minister hinted at two issues. Jews on campuses have to stand tall and proud, plus they have to be armed with facts. Concerning the first issue, some are vertically challenged. I myself use a plastic stool to reach on top of the kitchen cabinets (from Home Depot, 8 dollars = 25 shekels) but while lightweight, it is not particularly portable for a convenient use at a university campus. Concerning the second issue, apparently, more facts are needed. Both issues can be addressed by much admired Israeli arm industry that could produce better stools and better facts. Thus we need to spend 100 million shekels on R&D, and then sell improved stools and facts to proud Jews at campuses.

    However, from engineering stand point, making convincing brand new facts and lightweight, inexpensive and portable stools are both rather complicated, as they have to perform in adverse environment. My stool somewhat resembles up-side down milk crate and it folds to a rather bulky shape, but any attempt to make it fold more would make it weaker, so you would need to use a more expensive plastic and more intricate construction. Making up convincing facts is even harder, as they can be subjected to scrutiny. An argument like “even Rav Shmuley says so” does not always work (I got a number of e-mails from Values Network).

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