Posts tagged ‘Israel’

2011/03/02

Israel Allowing Gazans To Sell Tomatoes – Issues Worldwide Press Release


Israel today issued a press release to announce it was “answering Western demands” when it “further eased its blockade” of the people of Gaza today by permitting “a truckload of cherry tomatoes destined for Europe.”

The press release provided details of the truck’s route through a main crossing as well as an Israeli Defense Ministry statement explaining how the shipment would go with other the produce to Europe.

Since 2007, 184 truckloads of strawberries, carnations and peppers have been exported via Israel to Europe, the Israeli press release said.

Human rights groups say the embargo has worsened economic conditions for the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza. The United Nations World Food Program estimates 80% of Gaza’s people live in poverty.

Israeli settler groups expressed outrage at the tomato truck, describing it as Israeli “economic aid to the Gaza Strip.”

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2011/02/26

Jonathan Pollard: Israel Should Butt Out

By Frank Anderson, former CIA Chief Officer for Near East and South Asia

In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to President Obama asking for the early release of Jonathan Jay Pollard, who was convicted of spying for Israel and sentenced to life in prison in 1987. The United States has steadfastly refused requests for Pollard’s release; it has every reason to continue that policy.

The Pollard clemency pleas are partly based on the close relationship between Israel and the United States. Under this theory, spying for Israel was not serious because it was on behalf of an ally and a friendly government, rather than an enemy of America.

But espionage on behalf of any foreign power is a serious crime for which there are severe punishments. It is a deed that should “shock the conscience” and evoke strong condemnation.

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2011/02/23

The Palestinian Cage House


The al-Ghirayib family lives in one of the stranger manifestations of Israel’s 43-year occupation of the West Bank: a Palestinian house inside a metal cage inside an Israeli settlement.

The family’s 10 members, four of them children, can only reach the house via a 40-yard passageway connecting them to the Arab village of Beit Ijza farther down a hill. The passageway passes over a road used by Israeli army jeeps and is lined on both sides with a 24-foot-high heavy-duty metal fence.

The same fence rings the simple one-story house, separating it from the surrounding settlement houses. Some of those dwellings are so close that the family can hear the insults shouted by a nearby Jewish neighbor.

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2011/02/16

Israeli FM Says Iran Warships To Transit Suez Canal – Is ‘Provocation,’ ‘Insolence’


Israel’s foreign minister claimed Wednesday that Iran is about to send two warships through the Suez Canal for the first time in years, calling it a “provocation,” but he offered no evidence. The Egyptian authority that runs the canal denied it but pointed out that all ships were free to do so as long as they did not come from a country at war with Egypt.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the ships would cross later Wednesday, en route to Syria. He did not say how he knew it.

“This is a provocation that proves that Iranian audacity and insolence are increasing,” he said in a statement.

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2011/02/15

Brzezinski Discusses Unrest In Mideast

Former US National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski’s comments on the Egyptian Revolution and the US response, as well as the spreading unrest throughout the region.


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2011/02/15

Will Israel Permit Palestinians To Protest?

As Egyptian protesters overwhelmed the streets with celebration at their ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Israel can no longer afford to ignore or stifle the nonviolent, popular resistance movements of the Palestinian people. These groups carry a remarkable message of healing for a region wracked with instability and division – but their ranks are losing hope. And the alternatives for such a deeply frustrated people are not peaceful protests.

Israel should be less concerned with the presence of Palestinian nonviolent demonstration movements than with what it would mean for them to fail.

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2011/02/14

Why Can’t Israel Support People In Egypt?


[Ed. Note: Looking at the world as it once was, as it is today and how it could be tomorrow, one of the most vexing questions I have is “How can Israel be so blind to what it has become?”

I will forever remember a television interview many years ago in which Shimon Peres retold how the Oslo negotiations with Yasser Arafat started off poorly. Peres and Yitzhak Rabin were frustrated by Palestinians disinterest in details of various Israeli proposals.

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2011/02/14

Abu Mazen To Cabinet: Get Out!


Reuters is reporting that the Palestinian cabinet will tender resignations today after which Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will select new ministers at the request of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The shake-up was long demanded by Fayyad and some in Abbas’s Fatah faction, according to the Reuters report.

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2011/02/11

A Free Egypt Can Be Good for Israel

While Israel has legitimate concerns regarding its future alongside an Egypt that will be reflecting the will of its people, democratization could also be to Israel’s benefit. But attention needs to be paid to the opportunity of creating a true peace between two peoples rather than between two governments.

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2011/02/10

Rabbis Want Right To Kill Non-Jews

Seventy Israeli rabbis have signed a protest letter against an arrest warrant issued for a West Bank rabbi in response to his endorsement of Torah Hamelech, a book that promotes the legalization of killing innocent non-Jews during wartime.

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2011/02/10

Why Israel Needs A Democratic Egypt

From The Christian Science Monitor

Israel’s peace treaty with Egypt once seemed as solid as the stones of the pyramids. It provided a “cold peace” for more than three decades between the former enemies.

But the pact was based on a weak reed – the assumption that a friendly autocrat like Hosni Mubarak would always rule in Cairo.

Now with young Egyptians like Google executive Wael Ghonim waging a pro-democracy revolt in Tahrir Square, the security pact’s future could be sinking like an army tank in the Sinai sands.

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2011/02/08

Did Israel’s Founders Use Terrorism?

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2011/02/08

Rethinking Egypt, Israel Relations

Egypt, Israel And A Strategic Reconsideration
By George Friedman

The events in Egypt have sent shock waves through Israel. The 1978 Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel have been the bedrock of Israeli national security. In three of the four wars Israel fought before the accords, a catastrophic outcome for Israel was conceivable. In 1948, 1967 and 1973, credible scenarios existed in which the Israelis were defeated and the state of Israel ceased to exist. In 1973, it appeared for several days that one of those scenarios was unfolding.

The survival of Israel was no longer at stake after 1978. In the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the various Palestinian intifadas and the wars with Hezbollah in 2006 and Hamas in Gaza in 2008, Israeli interests were involved, but not survival. There is a huge difference between the two. Israel had achieved a geopolitical ideal after 1978 in which it had divided and effectively made peace with two of the four Arab states that bordered it, and neutralized one of those states. The treaty with Egypt removed the threat to the Negev and the southern coastal approaches to Tel Aviv.

The agreement with Jordan in 1994, which formalized a long-standing relationship, secured the longest and most vulnerable border along the Jordan River. The situation in Lebanon was such that whatever threat emerged from there was limited. Only Syria remained hostile but, by itself, it could not threaten Israel. Damascus was far more focused on Lebanon anyway. As for the Palestinians, they posed a problem for Israel, but without the foreign military forces along the frontiers, the Palestinians could trouble but not destroy Israel. Israel’s existence was not at stake, nor was it an issue for 33 years.

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2011/02/08

Queen Isabella: No Regrets

During a visit to the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Spain’s Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez came under verbal attack by members of a settler group that had requested to meet with her. Settlers shouted “anti-Semite,” “Israel-hater” and “Get out of here!” as Jiménez left.

The settler group had hoped to persuade Jiménez to help stop the Spanish government’s support for construction of Palestinian apartments in Hebron, near the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba.

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2011/02/06

AIPAC Zombies Lobby US For Israel

According to the website of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:

More than 400 pro-Israel campus activists gathered in Washington, D.C., for AIPAC’s Saban Leadership Seminar. The Seminar prepares American college and high-school students to advocate for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

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2011/02/06

Israeli’s Right: US Pushes Catastrophe

Israel National News

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer – former Israeli general, Labor Party Chairman and Cabinet minister – praises Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom he has known for many years, and has strong criticism for U.S. President Obama’s abandonment of him.

“I think the Americans still don’t realize the extent of the catastrophe into which they have pushed the Middle East,” Ben-Eliezer said. “It’s still too early to judge, but this is not their first mistake. Unfortunately, they are also the godfathers of the construction freeze in the territories, something that no American administration ever did before…”

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2011/02/05

Who Is Gideon Levy?

Gideon Levy, son of Holocaust survivors and former aide to Shimon Peres, has been a columnist for Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Ha’aretz, for nearly 30 years.

An interview with Levy conducted by Robert Hirschfield for In These Times is available here.

An extensive (and very valuable) video interview conducted by author and Columbia University professor Mahmood Mamdani at an event held at Columbia University in which Levy talks about his coverage of the Israeli occupation of Gaza over the past two decades is available on the Book-TV website here.

2011/02/05

One For You, Fifty For Me, One For You…


Ed. Note: The actual headline read: Netanyahu Commits To Promoting Arab Construction in East Jerusalem. Unfortunately, successive Israeli governments have always made progress in the press. Progress on the ground? That died with the murder of Rabin by Israel’s own terrorist son, Yigal Amir.

My gut tells me this is, like virtually every other “humanitarian” announcement from the Israeli government, all about publicity and not at all about reality. Like the press conference announcing that the children of Gaza can have chocolate –  but two-plus years later they’re still waiting for a handful of M&M’s. Yeah, chocolate can be used in explosives.

Here’s the story anyway, from Ha’aretz of all places, which loyally reported it:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the international community’s Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, announced Friday a series of gestures that Israel will make to the Palestinians, including a promise to support Arab construction in East Jerusalem.

“In respect of East Jerusalem, the Government of Israel has agreed to encourage the implementation of all projects that abide by municipal regulations that will improve infrastructure there for Palestinians, including in particular housing, starting with two projects in East Jerusalem,” Blair announced.

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