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Below are some scattershot headlines from Israel and Palestine.  This following on a diary yesterday in which I posted some of the headlines and folks were able to discuss them calmly and thoughtfully.  I am violating my standard rule of I/P discussions, which is "always have a concrete point and stick closely to it."  A cursory glance will show that these headlines are all over the small map.  If some folks use that as an excuse to levy the traditional charge that I only wish to damn Israel, well, I suppose I can't cry.  However, that is not my intention.  I simply sought to pull together what I found to be the most important headlines of the day (and a few overlooked ones from earlier) to see if we can, by using a relatively uncontroversial starting point, have a relatively calm discussion.

Cheers.

Textbooks and such

Israel bans use of Palestinian term 'nakba' in textbooks

Israel will remove from school textbooks an Arabic term that describes its creation in 1948 as a "catastrophe", the Education Ministry said on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said when he was opposition leader two years ago the word "nakba" in Israeli Arab schools was tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel.

It’s hard for me to even comment on this action, so perhaps its best if I say little.  Volleyboy1 has already commented on the subject, perhaps more wisely than I can.  I will simply point out that the plight of the Arab population in Israel is bad.  Like many minorities throughout the world, they are significantly poorer than the majority population and face many constraints on their rights and liberties.  The removal of a word from the textbooks may seen minor to an outside observer, but it is an assault on their cultural heritage, a reminder that they are still considered outsiders in Israel, and an act that is guaranteed to increase ethnic tensions within Israel.

Construction in East Jerusalem

Israel presses forward with construction of housing units for Jews in Arab East Jerusalem.  However, France, Russia, Germany, and the EU have joined the US and UN in opposing the construction.  Together, these parties represent the entire "Quartet" sponsoring peace talks, and three out of five UN Security Council members.  If Obama is looking for avenues to pressure Israel on continuing construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Security Council is an obvious choice.  Israel has responded to this pressure by sending around a photo from 1941 in which one of the owners of the land in question met with Adolph Hitler.  It says something about the crassness of this tactic that such a move is considered uncouth even by DailyKos I/P discussion standards.

Support for the Settlements

Again demonstrating that the 400,000 settlers are not isolated extremists, Israeli rabbis called on US Jews to pressure President Obama to support the settlements.

A group of Israeli rabbis, headed by Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have sent a letter to U.S. rabbis and the President's Conference, urging them to exert political leverage in Israel's favor, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

"The American government pressures Israel to prevent Jews from building houses in extensive areas in the Land of Israel, which is very unfortunate," the rabbis wrote. "We ask you to make use of your political power to lobby the American authorities to reconsider this policy in the spirit of truly democratic justice, and give weight to halakhic considerations that are binding for the Jews."

Additionally, the pushback from other Israeli interests continues, as former AIPAC director Steven Rosen writes an op-ed in both Foreign Policy and NPR.  This piece is a little bit smoother than Ehud Olmert’s clumsy bit in the Washington Post last week, but it still contains the same basic flaws: it pines for the good ol’ days of George W. Bush, and it presents no actual solutions.  I remain suspicious that Israeli officials bragging about how well things went for everyone under the Bush Administration will really win them any new friends in Washington or America at large.

Elliot Abrams, meanwhile, takes a potshot at George Mitchell.  Abrams drops hints that Mitchell will soon be retiring (and thus can be safely ignored).   Right-wing Christian pastor John Hagee also joins in the press.

The Israeli government will have a change to press its case more directly when Def. Secretary Robert Gates (and possibly National Security Advisor Jim Jones as well) visits Tel Aviv later this week.

The army and police, of course, continue to protect the settlers wherever they go and whatever they do:

Israeli forces storm Nablus village to protect settlers

Nablus – Ma’an – More than 25 Israeli military vehicles overran the northern West Bank village of Awarta south of Nablus overnight providing security to a group of settlers traveling in the area.

According to Qays Awwad, head of Awarta’s municipal council, dozens of settlers in two buses entered the area to visit two archeological sites from periods of ancient Jewish history. The soldiers tore off the main gate of the village’s boys’ secondary school and used the compound as a military headquarters, he said.

Far-rightists tour the Al-Aqsa Mosque

Israeli police allowed 45 far-right Israelis to tour the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem in what Palestinians viewed as a provocation.
...
On Tuesday evening, right-wing Israeli groups rallied inside the Old City of Jerusalem near Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Police closed Al-Wad road to protect them and facilitate the demonstration. Palestinian shop owners were forced to shut down their shops at 6:00pm.

Some of the Israelis assaulted Palestinian Jerusalemites and their properties near the Silwan Girls School in the Mughrebi Gate area. Six Palestinians were injured.

However, there are continuing rumors that the Israeli military and police are planning a joint operation to simultaneously remove 23 of the most isolated "outposts."  While the Army is currently denying that any such order has been given, expect numerous details of the secret plan to be laid out in the weeks ahead.  

For those who have a bit of time, NPR has a story about the expansion of the settlements and the economic advantages for Israelis to move there.  It’s worth a listen.

Changing tone in Gaza

Israeli security chief sees changing tone (and is immediately shot down by Netanyahu)(July 19, 2009)

[Shin Bet security service chief Yuval] Diskin told the cabinet Hamas rhetoric had changed somewhat in recent weeks. "Public statements by leaders attest to efforts by Hamas to appear interested in ending the conflict with Israel, based on the model of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders in exchange for a long-term hudnah [cease-fire]," Diskin said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu silenced Shin Bet security service head Yuval Diskin as Diskin was making a presentation during Sunday's cabinet meeting on intelligence matters, which included references to Palestinian attitudes to Israel and the possible renewal of the peace process.

"First focus on your issues and give an intelligence report. The diplomatic arena is not the responsibility of the Shin Bet, but of the national security adviser," Netanyahu told Diskin.

Hamas PM Haniyeh forswears anti-semitism (This is from July 15, but I haven’t seen it covered here, so I tossed it in)

De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met on Thursday with a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who arrived in Gaza with a US aid convoy.

Haniyeh told the members of the Neturei Karta sect that Jews are not the enemies of Arabs or Muslims. "Our problem is with the occupation, that stems from the Zionist ideology and its desire to disperse all the Palestinians," he said.

(UPDATE: Jay Elias points out that the group Haniyeh spoke to, Neturei Karta, is very far outside the mainstream for world Jewry (he phrased it rather more harshly).  However, this point does not change the fact that Hamas' leadership has made a clear, public, and unequivocal statement quoted here.)

Hamas says it will not block a deal between Israel and the PA

Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshal told a Russian diplomat a few days ago that his group would not stand in the way of a peace deal brokered between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel. Meshal reportedly told Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov in Damascus that if Abbas comes to an agreement on a final settlement of the conflict with Israel, and if the agreement is approved in a Palestinian referendum, Hamas would not try to derail such an accord.

It's hard to say what is going on here.  These three stories all suggest a real softening in Hamas's public position.  Some will simply dismiss this as politics, and of course, to a certain extent they are and must be right.  Everyone is constantly evaluating the situation and making their moves accordingly.  With Netanyahu blocking all of Obama's demands, Hamas likely sees an opportunity to put change its public stance and so open more doors around the world.  And yet, even acknowledging this action has political roots, I would be hard pressed to understand why we should not fully support it and encourage moderates within Hamas by engaging them.

Finally from Gaza, three weeks ago there was significant hope that a deal to get Gilad Shalit released was finally settled on, but hopes seem to have faded.  Interestingly, the Egyptian Foreign Minister claims that the deal is still there, except for the Israeli demand that the Palestinians to be released be expelled from the West Bank:

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit says that most issues concerning a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas which would secure kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's release have already been agreed upon, and the only obstacle left is Israel's insistence on deporting West Bank prisoners to the Gaza Strip.

This is merely the latest story about Shalit and the prisoner swap negotiations.  A quick search will turn up others that blame Hamas (or Fatah or Egypt or the US).  Nonetheless, there remains hope that the two parties are in fact not far off.  If we can get just a couple of days where both sets of leadership believe a swap is in their self-interest, we may actually have a "surprise" deal without any direct warning.  It's a hopeful thought in a diary that needs such.

Originally posted to weasel on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:39 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Today.. (17+ / 0-)

      ..Daniel Levy thoroughly debunks the smearing of HRW by the Israeli right, and the "pro-Israel" right (including "our own" deaniac) that somehow HRW's objectivity has been compromised.

      The "Swiftboating" of Human Rights

      A few excerpts from the piece:

      Last week witnessed a concerted attack against the credibility of the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), seeking to link supposed fundraising activities in Saudi Arabia with that organization’s criticism ("bias", according to its detractors) of Israeli practices in the occupied territories, also claiming HRW is soft peddling on Saudi violations.

      [..]

      The apparent trigger for this assault on a group that represents the global gold standard in human rights monitoring, analysis, and advocacy, was a visit by HRW’s Middle East-North Africa director, Sarah Leah Whitson, to the Saudi kingdom. I happened to find myself on a panel at The Century Foundation discussing the Middle East with Whitson just days before this storm broke—I went back and watched tapes of that panel discussion. To accuse Whitson of being soft on the Saudis or somehow singling out Israel for criticism is quite astonishing as I’m sure you’ll agree if you take ten minutes to listen to her presentation.
      [..]

      According to reports Whitson was hosted one evening in Riyadh by prominent businessman and intellectual, Emad bin Jameel Al-Hejailan, for a private dinner which included business leaders, civil society leaders, and well-connected Saudis. It was not a fundraising event. HRW was certainly not fundraising from the Saudi government. Spencer Ackerman of The Washington Independent quotes Whitson—"We have never raised any money from the Saudi government or any other agency in the world." That HRW does not take government money is something that is already well-known.

      [..]

      HRW does, of course, receive contributions from individuals and foundations—something that does not prevent them from producing releases and reports critical of the states from whence donors hail.

      The most perfunctory fact-checking debunks the claim of HRW having an anti-Israel obsession as being patently absurd. As Ali Gharib of IPS has pointed out, of more than 30 releases in June and July (so far) about the region, Israel was criticized three times, Saudi Arabia five times, and Iran on nine occasions....

      •  Good (12+ / 0-)

        It's absurd that this even needs debunking, but I guess where there is so much bunk being tossed around, it has to be done.  

      •  well Kenneth Roth disagrees with this: (0+ / 0-)

        and Kenny Roth is the executive director for HRW:

        Did your staff person attempt to raise funds in Saudi Arabia by advertising your organization's opposition to the pro-Israel lobby?" Goldberg asked Roth, in the exchange that he posted on his blog Wednesday.

        "That's certainly part of the story
        ," Roth responded. "We report on Israel.

        Roth admitted to Goldberg that the dinner included people connected to the government, including "a guy from the national human rights commission," which is a government body, and "someone from the Shura Council."

           The Shura Council is Saudi Arabia's state-appointed religious leadership, a council which, as Goldberg pointed out, oversees, on behalf of the monarchy, the imposition in the kingdom of the strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islamic law.

        but of course the article you cite, posted on HuffPo, of course adds

        According to reports Whitson was hosted one evening in Riyadh by prominent businessman and intellectual, Emad bin Jameel Al-Hejailan, for a private dinner which included business leaders, civil society leaders, and well-connected Saudis. It was not a fundraising event. HRW was certainly not fundraising from the Saudi government.

        Ken Roth calls the writer of this a liar. not to mention the obvious "lady duth protest too much" style of those two lines both in blatant contradiction to the head of HRW.

        You can read the whole story here which is a blogger's correspondence with Kenneth Roth, in which Roth does not deny fundraising in Saudi Arabia based on Israel's actions in Gaza or that a man from the Shura council was there. But of course Roth didn't consider the guy to be part of the government.

        You've debunked nothing. Now HRW has been caught in lies and scandal, and there's no way to hide. Why the problem with raising money for Saudi elites while bashing Israel, to fight the "pro-Israel lobby" shows obvious political motivation, and the fact that HRW is raising money from the elite of a country with one of the worst human rights records in the world today. Also, why was a Shura council guy at a fundraising dinner which featured obvious political motivated Israel-bashing against the "pro-Israel lobby?"

        "Like America, Israel is a strong democracy, a symbol of freedom, and an oasis of liberty, a home to the oppressed and persecuted." -President Bill Clinton

        by deaniac20 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 07:51:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  also, got to love how the author of the (0+ / 0-)

        piece you post never rebuts or addresses the actual dialogue between Roth and Goldberg. Shame to try to white wash the obvious conflict of interests here. Shame. I really want a true human rights group that doesn't raise money from the most oppressive regime's elites to help improve the world.

        "Like America, Israel is a strong democracy, a symbol of freedom, and an oasis of liberty, a home to the oppressed and persecuted." -President Bill Clinton

        by deaniac20 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 08:01:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the edit in the diary n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weasel, capelza, unspeakable

      The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

      by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 01:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for providing the articles and ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, sofia, Fire bad tree pretty

      your take on them.  You brought up a large number of important issues -- which seem to come up daily in the I/P conflict.

  •  Yeah... (8+ / 0-)

    ...I don't know how there is anything in the least bit newsworthy in a meeting with Neturei Karta, "Jews United Against Zionism".  These are the scumbags who went to Ahmedinejad's Holocaust denial conference.  They will give cover to anyone who claims to not be anti-Semitic so long as they share their commitment to the elimination of Israel, which they see as an abomination.

    Your post would be much, much improved if this story was eliminated, or at least gave an even-handed explanation of what that actually means.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:46:28 AM PDT

    •  I think an explanation would help (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza

      But I think the inclusion of the story is useful.  This is as much a public relations battle as it is anything else.  Whatever one thinks of them, the fact that they attended the conference means that they are part of the equation.  

      What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

      by Alec82 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:49:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well (10+ / 0-)

      You don't like them, and that's fine.  That's generally true of anyone from the outside world who goes to Gaza, though (I'm guessing you are not a fan of George Galloway).  I don't know them, so I can't comment on them.  I highlighted the comment not to talk about Neturei Karta, but because the public comment was from Haniyeh directly (as opposed to some minor spokesman), it explicitly disavows that which many people here have demanded Hamas disavow (anti-semitism), and it seems to fit in the larger pattern of Hamas trying to moderate its public position.  

      •  regardless of the forum (6+ / 0-)

        the policy statement is clear.  Hamas is stating they aren't about exterminating Jews.   We hear a lot about that here, as if it was their reason for existence.  what if that wasn't true?

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:54:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I may not be a Galloway fan... (5+ / 0-)

        ...but it is entirely a different order of magnitude between how I feel about Galloway and how I feel about Jews who help promote denial of the Shoah.  And the difference between disavowing anti-Semitism to Holocaust denialists and to anyone else at all is pretty huge in my opinion.

        Just so you understand where I'm coming from.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:54:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  N Karta (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, Tom J, Bidet

          "Helped promote denial of the Shoah"  In what way?  I don't believe they ever did say or do such a thing.  

          Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

          by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:58:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think he means by (8+ / 0-)

            attending the conference.  Attending it gives it legitimacy thus helping to promote it.  

            Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

            by Dexter on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:59:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The conference was about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Bidet

              the impact of the Holocaust on the Middle East.  Ant rational person would conclude that it was an acknowledgement of the historical reality of the Shoah, not a denial.

              If Elias has issues with actual Holocaust Deniers, let him go after Abbas who wrote his PHd thesis on denying the Holocaust

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:07:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The ostensible "purpose" of the conference... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                volleyboy1

                ...has only the vaguest relationship to what it was about.

                Do you want me to write about how Abbas et al are terrible human beings?  I can, although I don't see the point.  And, as I said, I have a big double standard on this issue between Jews and non-Jews.  NK violates a Jewish obligation which is greater to me than what Abbas did.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:15:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  They were the Jewish participants... (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            weasel, capelza, sofia, Alec82, canadian gal

            ..at the Iranian Holocaust conference.  That is helping promote the denial of the Shoah, in a manner which I don't really think is in dispute.

            It would be a step too far to say that they actively deny the Shoah themselves.  They simply are willing to help promote any anti-Zionist group which does.

            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

            by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:00:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  These NK bastards (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, Bidet, Conure

              wrote this letter to the Sec' General of the UN

              Even today, as we write this letter, the Zionist regime is waging an unrelenting war of starvation and suffering against the people of Gaza. In the name of the sacred values of the Jewish religion we cry out to the international community and especially the great powers and the United Nations: Please use your skills to finally stop the vicious and insane campaigns of the State of Israel against the Palestinians whose suffering worsens from one day to the next under the heavy hand of occupation and oppression, ethnic cleansing and discrimination!

              Jay I've been to a lot of conferences where I throughly diagreed with the organizers, yet I spoke, and attended.  

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:05:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  David Duke.... (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                corvo, sofia, volleyboy1, canadian gal

                ...and various other Holocaust deniers attended as well.  Some members of Iran's Jewish community objected as well.  

                What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

                by Alec82 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:06:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bidet

                  It was attended by some deniers, but it wasnt the purpose of the meeting, as some would lead you to believe.

                  It was clearly a provocation on Ahmadenijads part, but looking at the program, it was more an exploration of the impact on the ME of the Shoah

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:08:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I don't think there is any room on this (0+ / 0-)

                Saying you "thoroughly disagree" with denial of the Shoah, but will attend and speak is simply not satisfactory.  You don't disagree with the Klan but still show up at the Klavern meeting and give a speech.

                I will speak of for the nuances of Hamas long before I will speak up with anything but condemnation for Neturei Karta.  They are not defensible, in my opinion.

                The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:11:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Did you read the address of the NK (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bidet

                  rep to the congress?

                  Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

                  by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:14:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    volleyboy1, canadian gal

                    I'm just no so thick as to believe that this is in any way meaningful.

                    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                    by Jay Elias on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:15:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I wish you could provide something (0+ / 0-)

                      more substantial to condemn this group than the fact that they attended the same conference as a few individuals who are known to be anti-semitic. Y'know, for us thickie's.

                      It's been pointed out repeatedly that the agenda of the conference was not Holocaust denial, yet just attending it is apparently so terrible. Why?

                      If this group regularly provides "cover" to anti-semitists, can you link to or quote some authority about this? Preferably without an axe to grind?

                      I don't know one way or another myself, and would like to learn from you, but all I'm hearing is unsubstantiated talking points repeated at length.

                      •  I haven't bothered to respond... (0+ / 0-)

                        ...to the suggestions that the agenda of the conference itself was not Holocaust denial because I haven't seen them, besides Eiron's which is amply responded to above.  But I also am not responding to them because they are obviously and blatantly false, to the extent to which they don't need to be debunked in the least.

                        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                        by Jay Elias on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 01:02:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The organizers stated a different purpose. (0+ / 0-)

                          The attendees in question stated a different purpose, and in fact explicitly disclaimed your accusation at length.

                          And you've got nothing?

                          I'm disappointed; my impression was that you were one of the pro-I guys who dealt with facts and sourcing, not hyperbole.

                          •  And they can bite me (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            canadian gal

                            Do you really need me to explain how inviting Holocaust deniers to your conference effectively legitimizes them as a part of the debate?  

                            I do deal in facts and sourcing, on anything which is seriously in dispute.  Find me a case for this not being what I claim it is which isn't the organizers own statements, and I'll debate it.  I don't need to look up sources for every spurious claim that exists, mate.

                            The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

                            by Jay Elias on Thu Jul 23, 2009 at 10:29:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

            •  N Karta on why they went to Iran (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              litho, weasel, zannie, Bidet

              In their presentation they thoroughly affirmed the historical reality of the Shoah.  Not denied it.

              For those who took time to bypass the media blizzard of disinformation, several things about our trip should have been clear. Our position as stated throughout the conference was explicit and free of any ambiguity. We affirmed the reality of the mass murder of Jews during the Second World War. And we were not the only speakers there who did so. But (also of enormous significance) we told those assembled that the reality of the Holocaust should not be used as a pretext to strip the Palestinian people, either as individuals or collectively, of their property and land.

              It is our Torah based obligation to constantly declare before all humanity that the deeds done to the Palestinian people throughout the last century and continuing to this day are unconscionable. Our experience has shown that the fulfillment of this obligation yields only positive results.

              Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

              by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:13:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Nah weasel (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dexter, Borat Sagdiyev

        with all due respect - the Neutari Karta are exactly what Jay says they are. They are a joke who provide cover for Anti-Semites.

        I agree with you that Hamas' public face has been more moderate, I don't trust them but, for instance in today's Ha'ertz Hamas was disarming an extremist group

        http://www.haaretz.com/...

        I just don't know what to make of them at this point but overall, I just don't like them - but, if they can enforce this newest cease-fire for longer then perhaps they can be talked to.

        Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

        by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:53:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the question though (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, Karmafish

          While I would like to see Hamas continue enforcing the ceasefire, how long do they have to enforce it before Israel is willing to talk to them?

          Text "Justice" or "Justicia" to 69866 to get action alerts on federal immigration legislation and campaigns

          by Dexter on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 01:28:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good question - of course if I were them (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dexter

            I would make it last forever. A. Because violence does not help in this situation and B. because if they tempt fate they will get hit again and this time HARDER than Cast Lead.

            Pigs are not notably aerodynamic, are they?

            by volleyboy1 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 01:38:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Worth nothing in this regard (5+ / 0-)

        that Haniyeh's remarks are nothing new. Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mesha'al has stated, for example, that the conflict with Israel is not "theological" but "political", emphasising that "we do not fight you because you belong to a certain faith or culture . . . We have no problem with Jews who have not attacked us".

  •  Any thoughts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    weasel, capelza

    on the Fatah elections and congress?

    Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

    by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:51:10 AM PDT

    •  Not yet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, corvo

      I haven't seen enough to have anything thoughtful to say on it yet.

      •  Might be diaryworthy (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zannie, capelza

        to look at changes/divisions within both Hamas and Fatah and prospects for a untiy government.

        Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

        by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:57:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Christ (9+ / 0-)

          You too?  Everyone wants me to talk about the prospects for elections and unity government.  Granted, it is the single most important issue in Palestine, and so we could do ourselves the credit of trying to deal with it.

          Frankly, I get so depressed every time I look at the prospects for a unity government that I give up.  That's why I write these crappy diaries that are just collections of headlines.

          It's strange, Ariel Sharon was always such a brilliant tactician but such a terrible strategist.  His strategy always followed his tactics (attack strongly and less the cards fall) and led Israel into disaster.  However, his most brilliant strategic move was the withdrawal from Gaza.  At the time, I argued with everyone who would listen, including Ali Abunimah and an Israeli government spokesman (I'm blanking on the name), both of whom happened to give lectures in Austin that year, that the move was intended to and would create differences on the group between the West Bank and Palestine, and would create a fundamental divergence in Palestine.  Both sides told me I was crazy at the time, but today I feel the pathetic cynic's self-righteousness.

          Sigh.  Sorry I'm not able to offer anything useful on the subject, but take that at least as a recognition of the fact that I understand just how important it is.  

  •  Shin Bet (4+ / 0-)

    Was it not the head of the Shin Bet that briefed the Israeli cabinet that Hamas wanted to renew the ceasefire in exchange for Israel keeping its side of the original deal and lifting the siege? He was rejected then as, presumably, Cast Lead was .. er cast in stone.

    "Israel was born out of Jewish terrorism." Sir Gerald Kaufman, British MP and son of Holocaust survivor.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:51:35 AM PDT

  •  I oppose the term "Nakba" (3+ / 3-)

    because all it does is inflame and escalate the conflict that we're trying to resolve.  A more neutral term for the events of 1948 would do its small part in contributing to negotiations without fights breaking out.

    Pragmatic progressivism is the future.

    by Pragmaticus on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 11:55:42 AM PDT

  •  haniyah did not foreswear anti-semitism (3+ / 0-)

    that is blatant misleading. He met with Jews who are far and away from the mainstream. he has not called back his sick and hateful genocidal charter.

    "If someone was sending rockets on my house where my daughters were sleeping at night, I would do everything to stop it"-Barack Obama, Sderot, Israel

    by deaniac20 on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:08:44 PM PDT

  •  What does this mean, in terms of settlements: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, bicycle Hussein paladin

    We ask you to... give weight to halakhic considerations that are binding for the Jews."

    It seems to be a claim of a binding legal requirement for Jews to take a particular position on settlements -- but what legal requirement is he claiming in particular?

    •  He is saying (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza

      that their deity commands them to live in all parts of Israel.

      Not clear if that necessarily entails governance or residence

      Those who hear not the music-think the dancers mad

      by Eiron on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:37:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sure the claim is much more specific (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        than that! This is rabbinical lawyerese -- there must be some specific claim that some specific part of halakhic law specifically require that all Jews must support some specific geographic and political distribution of the community.

        I'd be particularly curious since he chose ambiguous lawyerese, rather than a more explicit "Hillel says" type construction.

        •  google Eretz Yisrael or (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza

          greater israel. scroll to the promised land.

          there are different interpretations of god's instructions, hence some religious jews are anti zionist for religious reasons. as far as i know god's instructions were specific, but the interpretation of them isn't. wrt the area

          The Bible contains three geographical definitions of the Land of Israel.

          IOW not specific. some people think this has to do w/the reluctance of israel to have defined borders. lately, lots of rightwing speak reference the west bank as samaria and judea, this alludes to those areas as being part of israel. i'm not jewish, so maybe someone else could explain it better, but that's a start.

  •  thanks for the news. ain't your fault it's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, corvo, Eiron

    so very bad.

    "The sword of murder is not the balance of justice." Mom's Day Statement

    by Tom J on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 12:32:28 PM PDT

  •  thanks again! (0+ / 0-)

    the comments aren't quite as amiable as yesterday - but no matter, rec'd.

    "Democracy! Bah! When I hear that word I reach for my feather Boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

    by canadian gal on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 02:10:01 PM PDT

  •  Why don't you save everyone the trouble (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Borat Sagdiyev

    and once a day publish the same diary....Israel and her supporters BADDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!

    A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

    by Doodad on Wed Jul 22, 2009 at 02:18:05 PM PDT

  •  thanks so much, again (0+ / 0-)

    these diaries are a great addition. i hope you do another tomorrow.

    rosen's article is gruesome.

    The Obama people might actually learn something from Abrams, who warns that, when eventually there is a compromise between the Obama and Netanyahu governments regarding settlements, the two sides will put "contrasting spins" on the agreement for their respective audiences. It will be difficult for the Obama administration to explain why there are what will be depicted by critics as loopholes. Maybe then they will ask themselves whether they were wise to do it with a public fight?

    there's no end to the hasbara spin.

  •  oh my (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Alec82

    IDF mulls possible US aid halt effects

    jpost

    Amid growing tension between Jerusalem and Washington, the IDF and Defense Ministry have held brainstorming sessions to discuss the possibility that the United States would cut military aid to Israel......According to defense officials, the Pentagon informed the Defense Ministry that the foreign military financing (FMF) needed to be used strictly for weaponry and defense-related projects.

    The discussion in the Defense Ministry came just hours before a State Department spokesman said at a press briefing that it was still "premature" to talk about financial sanctions against Israel for its refusal to freeze settlement construction.

    Israeli defense officials said it was possible to interpret the remark as meaning that now it is premature, but that at a later date sanctions might be realistic.  

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