Middle East Public date: 24.08.2017 23:12:18

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23 Dec 2010

Israel uses arcane law to try to expel Palestinian

Israel is invoking an arcane military law to try to temporarily expel a Palestinian protest leader from his native east Jerusalem and if successful, Palestinians warn the measure could further hobble efforts to salvage moribund peace process.
Israel is invoking an arcane military law to try to temporarily expel a Palestinian protest leader from his native east...

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15 Dec 2010

Hamas leader in Gaza vows group will never recognize Israel

Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding. "We say it with confidence as we said it five years ago when we formed our government, and we say it today: We will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh told a crowd in Gaza City numbering tens of thousands.
Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of...

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15 Dec 2010

Hamas leader in Gaza vows group will never recognize Israel

Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of the militant group's founding. "We say it with confidence as we said it five years ago when we formed our government, and we say it today: We will never recognize Israel," Haniyeh told a crowd in Gaza City numbering tens of thousands.
Hamas will never recognize Israel, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday at a rally to mark the 23rd anniversary of...
10 Dec 2010

The ‘Real Jew’ Debate

Ira Stup was raised in Philadelphia attending Jewish day school and camps. He found his home in the Jewish community and was intoxicated with Jewish democracy as framed in the ideals of Israel s foundation. Now he has returned deeply troubled from a one-year fellowship based in Tel Aviv.
Ira Stup was raised in Philadelphia attending Jewish day school and camps. He found his home in the Jewish community and...

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8 Dec 2010

U.S. does not, will not condone Israel’s settlement activity, official says

The United States does not and will not accept Israel's continued West Bank settlement activity, a top U.S. official said on Monday, stating that the fact that Washington no longer supports a temporary settlement freeze did not mean it condones continued building.
The United States does not and will not accept Israel's continued West Bank settlement activity, a top U.S. official...
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8 Dec 2010

US scraps demand for Israel settlements freeze

The United States is abandoning efforts to persuade Israel to renew a freeze on settlement-building as part of efforts to revive Middle East peace talks. Washington had been negotiating with Israel to try to meet Palestinian conditions for restarting direct talks.
The United States is abandoning efforts to persuade Israel to renew a freeze on settlement-building as part of efforts...
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7 Dec 2010

Top rabbis move to forbid renting homes to Arabs, say ‘Israel belongs to Jews’

A numbr of leading rabbis who signed on to a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles - a move particularly aimed against Arabs - defended their decision on Tuesday with the declaration that the land of Israel belongs to the Jews. Dozens of Israel's municipal chief rabbis signed on to the ruling, which comes just months after the chief rabbi of Safed initiated a call urging Jews to refrain from renting or selling apartments to non-Jews.
A numbr of leading rabbis who signed on to a religious ruling to forbid renting homes to gentiles - a move particularly...
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7 Dec 2010

Barak U.S. put settlement freeze talks on hold due to WikiLeaks

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that contacts with the United States over a renewed moratorium on West Bank construction had been frozen in the wake of the WikiLeaks crisis and the tensions between North and South Korea. "We have not reached understanding with the United States on how to resume the construction freeze," Barak told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. "The negotiations with the Palestinians are of utmost priority for Israel and we must aspire to make them happen."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday that contacts with the United States over a renewed moratorium on West Bank...

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1 Dec 2010

Defying Obama, Defying Netanyahu – The Latest on Settlement Expansion

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, addressing United Nations members on Monday, called Israel's West Bank settlements a "time bomb that could destroy everything accomplished on the road to peace, at any moment". On Wednesday, defying President Obama's "unhelpful" warning, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee announced its plan to build 625 new housing units in the Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood of East Jerusalem.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, addressing United Nations members on Monday, called Israel's West Bank...

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22 Nov 2010

Netanyahu faces ‘freeze’ opposition

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has reportedly met stiff opposition within his cabinet to a US proposal for freezing settlement construction in the West Bank for 90 days. Netanyahu's cabinet has been mulling the proposal for two weeks, and the stakes for a future peace deal with the Palestinians might be high. Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, on Sunday said he will not return to peace talks with Israel unless there is a freeze on settlement building that includes East Jerusalem.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has reportedly met stiff opposition within his cabinet to a US proposal...

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15 Nov 2010

Deputy PM Israel must cede land to remain Jewish and democratic

On Saturday night, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor attended the meeting of the forum of seven senior cabinet ministers in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described to them the package of incentives being offered to Israel by the American administration in return for extending the construction freeze in the settlements for three months.
On Saturday night, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Dan Meridor attended the meeting of the forum of seven senior...
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15 Nov 2010

Obama has made an offer Netanyahu can’t refuse

The list of defense-related and other gifts the U.S. administration is willing to offer to Israel in exchange for three months of construction freeze in the settlements raises suspicions that someone has gone mad. An additional extension of the freeze, which he has previously rejected out of hand, may spell a political and ideological headache for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - but the offer by U.S. President Barack Obama is very enticing.
The list of defense-related and other gifts the U.S. administration is willing to offer to Israel in exchange for three...

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12 Nov 2010

Israel needn’t become as repressive as Iran

Jerusalem is also a city in which, on public transport, men and women are often forbidden from riding in the same part of the bus. And a majority of the country's Jewish first-graders receive a state-subsidized religious or ultra-Orthodox education that deems it self-evident that non-Jews are not human beings, and must never be allowed to be citizens, only subjects.
Jerusalem is also a city in which, on public transport, men and women are often forbidden from riding in the same part...

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10 Nov 2010

Clinton criticizes Israeli expanded building plan

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday criticized Israel's latest building plans in east Jerusalem, an issue that has divided the two governments and imperiled efforts to revive Middle East peace talks. Clinton called the proposed construction of 1,300 apartments "counterproductive" and an obstacle to restarting peace talks with the Palestinians. "The United States was deeply disappointed by the announcement of advance planning for new housing units in sensitive areas of east Jerusalem," Clinton told reporters at the State Department.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday criticized Israel's latest building plans in east Jerusalem, an...
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10 Nov 2010

Israel slammed over settlement plan

International leaders from Europe to the United States have lashed out at Israel's decision to build 1,300 homes in East Jerusalem, warning it risks wrecking an already fragile peace process with the Palestinians. Palestinians see East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mid-east War, as the capital of their future state. The international community has not recognised Israel's annexation of the city's eastern sector.
International leaders from Europe to the United States have lashed out at Israel's decision to build 1,300 homes in East...

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6 Nov 2010

Report Iran gave Hezbollah UAVs, attack aircraft

Hezbollah has obtained a complete aerial array from Iran, including an attack aircraft and several unmanned aerial vehicles, Channel 10 quoted the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa on Saturday.
Hezbollah has obtained a complete aerial array from Iran, including an attack aircraft and several unmanned aerial...
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6 Nov 2010

Barak Iran is trying to deceive the world

Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed little optimism on Saturday about a proposed round of talks between global powers and Iran, which is under pressure over its nuclear ambitions.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak expressed little optimism on Saturday about a proposed round of talks between global powers...

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6 Nov 2010

Netanyahu’s refusal to extend settlement freeze is hurting Israel

Israel must yield to the U.S. proposal to extend its recently expired settlement building freeze by two months, opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Friday, blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rightist government for weakening Israel's security and world standing.
Israel must yield to the U.S. proposal to extend its recently expired settlement building freeze by two months,...

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4 Nov 2010

Israel clashes with UNESCO in row over holy sites

Israel on Wednesday said it would reduce cooperation with the United Nations' cultural watchdog after the body classified Rachel's Tomb in the West Bank as a mosque. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Israel would not cooperate with UNESCO - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - in administering five protected sites in Palestinian terriroty as a dispute that has escalated in recent weeks came to a head.
Israel on Wednesday said it would reduce cooperation with the United Nations' cultural watchdog after the body...

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4 Nov 2010

How will the Republican-controlled House affect U.S.-Israel ties?

The Republicans are expected to take a tougher stance on Iran and put pressure on the Obama administration to be easier on Israel. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), who is expected to become House Majority Leader and thus the highest ranking Jewish member of the House, told Haaretz last week that a "[Republican] Congress would have a tangible impact on improving the U.S.-Israel relationship."
The Republicans are expected to take a tougher stance on Iran and put pressure on the Obama administration to be easier...

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3 Nov 2010

Israel suspends ‘dialogue’ with UK

Israel has postponed all strategic dialogue with Britain in protest at a law which allows UK courts to prosecute visiting Israeli officials for alleged war crimes. Strategic dialogue between the two countries takes place annually and focuses on defence and security issues.
Israel has postponed all strategic dialogue with Britain in protest at a law which allows UK courts to prosecute...

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1 Nov 2010

Israel the Perpetual Victim

On Sunday, Haaretz's Gideon Levy wrote about the role of internal socio-political institutions that "victimise" the "self" and to "demonise" the "other", using the context of the 2008/9 Gaza War in which two soldiers unlawfully sent a 11-year-old child to check for explosives. Levy claims history has witnessed many aggressors who presented themselves as "victims" but it has never seen such an occupier still complaining of being a victim, in this case, the victim of the United Nations' Goldstone Report on the Gaza War:
On Sunday, Haaretz's Gideon Levy wrote about the role of internal socio-political institutions that "victimise" the...

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31 Oct 2010

Netanyahu risks diplomatic rift with France over settlement freeze

Relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have become considerably tense following a telephone conversation between the two leaders 10 days ago. During that conversation, the French leader apparently asked Netanyahu to extend the settlement freeze in the West Bank so that peace talks with the Palestinians could be resumed.
Relations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have become considerably tense...

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29 Oct 2010

Bill granting Rabbinate monopoly on conversions sparks fiery Knesset debate

The author of a controversial bill that would grant the Chief Rabbinate sole authority over the conversion process in Israel said this week that he has little regard for non-Orthodox streams of Judaism. He also said that he won't be intimidated by threats that world Jewry would withdraw its support for Israel if his legislation passed, provoking hefty protests from opponents of the bill.
The author of a controversial bill that would grant the Chief Rabbinate sole authority over the conversion process in...

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29 Oct 2010

Crunch Time

Every recent Israeli prime minister has done things he never dreamed of doing. I won't go through the whole list, but consider Yitzhak Rabin's pivot from "break their bones" to the prince of peace, Ariel Sharon's decision to withdraw from Gaza, and Ehud Olmert's pained conclusion that an agreement with the Palestinians required "a withdrawal from nearly all, if not all" the occupied territories.
Every recent Israeli prime minister has done things he never dreamed of doing. I won't go through the whole list, but...

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25 Oct 2010

Some Question Insistence on Israel as Jewish State

The more stridently Israel insists on Palestinian recognition of it as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the more adamantly the Palestinian leadership seems to refuse. As a result, some senior Israeli officials are beginning to question the wisdom of the policy of their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made recognition of the legitimacy of the Jewish nation-state a prerequisite for any final agreement with the Palestinians.
The more stridently Israel insists on Palestinian recognition of it as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the more...

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22 Oct 2010

Netanyahu Only when Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state will they be ready for peace

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying that only then they will be ready to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Army Radio reported Friday. Speaking at a meeting of worldwide Jewish leaders in Jerusalem on Friday, Netanyahu said that peace must be based on a mutual agreement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, saying...

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22 Oct 2010

Olives – A Palestinian family affair

Employing an intricate and ever-changing system of permits and movement restrictions, Israeli occupation authorities control when and for how long a Palestinian farmer can access his grove to plant, plough the field, or harvest his crop. Still, despite all these grim realities, olive harvesting remains a festive family affair in Palestine
Employing an intricate and ever-changing system of permits and movement restrictions, Israeli occupation authorities...

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22 Oct 2010

Justice, Israeli style

"Does anyone know the Hebrew word for 'occupation'?" A question from the state assigned Hebrew translator to the packed out courtroom. And that kicked off the trial into the killing of US activist Rachel Corrie, which took her family seven years to secure. Today, several months later, we were back at Haifa District Court to hear from the Israeli soldier who was driving the bulldozer that killed Rachel whilst she was peacefully protesting against Palestinian home demolitions in Gaza in 2003.
"Does anyone know the Hebrew word for 'occupation'?" A question from the state assigned Hebrew translator to the packed...

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22 Oct 2010

Going, Going, Gone

Netanyahu stands at Israel s new political center, which is to the right of where it was five years ago. An iron-clad Israeli narrative exists: We removed settlements from Gaza and look what we got - Hamas rockets! That s the prism through which withdrawal from the West Bank is viewed. You can dispute the narrative but it s there. So Palestinians must deal with it. Their thirst for sovereignty is matched only in intensity by Israel s insistence on security. Here lies the hinge of peace. In reality the Jewish state opening gambit is an attempt to settle the Palestinian refugee issue ahead of discussion of other final-status questions like borders. That can t work. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has said a peace accord would settle all historical demands code for refugees and enough for now.
Netanyahu stands at Israel s new political center, which is to the right of where it was five years ago. An iron-clad...

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15 Oct 2010

Palestinians Netanyahu harming chance for peace by approving East Jerusalem construction

Senior Palestinian Authority officials on Friday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of attempting to foil the peace process, after the premier approved tenders for construction of nearly 240 new housing units east of the Green Line. "The Netanyahu government is determined to thwart any chance of resuming direct negotiations," said chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, hours after media sources reported that Israel was moving ahead for the first planned construction of this kind in months.
Senior Palestinian Authority officials on Friday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of attempting to foil the...

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15 Oct 2010

Israeli housing plan imperils talks

Israel has unveiled plans for around 240 new homes for Jewish settlers in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, in a move that has drawn the ire of Palestinians. The plans for new housing units in the settlement neighbourhoods of Pisgat Zeev and Ramot were approved late on Thursday by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, the Ynet news website of Israel said.
Israel has unveiled plans for around 240 new homes for Jewish settlers in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, in a move...

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4 Oct 2010

Israel ‘probes’ W Bank mosque blaze

Israel says it has launched a 'widespread' investigation into an attack on a West Bank mosque blamed on Jewish settlers. According to witnesses, parts of the Al-Anbiya mosque in the Palestinian town of Beit Fajjar was set ablaze by five Jewish settlers early on Monday morning. The arsonists also damaged prayer rugs and copies of the Quran, besides spraying anti-Arab graffiti on the walls.
Israel says it has launched a 'widespread' investigation into an attack on a West Bank mosque blamed on Jewish settlers....

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4 Oct 2010

Netanyahu humiliates Obama again

The Obama administration's attempts at seducing Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, are getting embarrassing. Netanyahu has made it very clear he is not interested. According to Ha'aretz, the latest (and most cringe-worthy) moment in the saga came this week when Dennis Ross, the president's top adviser on Israel-Palestinian issues, convinced Obama that Israel would only agree to an extension of the settlements freeze if Obama would "come off as friendlier" to Bibi. So Ross and his aides (working with the Israelis) drafted a letter to Netanyahu in which the US would give Israel everything it could possibly want in exchange for a two-month freeze.
The Obama administration's attempts at seducing Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, are getting...

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2 Oct 2010

J Street keeps accumulating scandals

These days, J Street, the leftist pro-Israel lobby, is trying to appear business as usual. Following their ad campaign in the newspapers showcasing their support of the peace process and urging leaders to make history, J Street met this week with Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren and with various congressional representatives, in hopes of tightening connections ahead of the November midterm elections.
These days, J Street, the leftist pro-Israel lobby, is trying to appear business as usual. Following their ad campaign...

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2 Oct 2010

Netanyahu pleads to save talks as Palestinians threaten walkout

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late on Saturday urged the Palestinians not to quit peace talks as negotiations hit a crisis point over Israel's settlement construction in the West Bank. Earlier in the day, a senior Palestinian official said talks could not continue unless Israel renewed a 10-month construction freeze that expired last week. In response, Netanyahu accused the Palestinians of violating the spirit of negotiations, which began in Washington a month ago, by imposing preconditions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late on Saturday urged the Palestinians not to quit peace talks as negotiations hit a...

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2 Oct 2010

PLO urges Abbas to quit peace talks

An influential Palestinian body has urged the Palestinian president to quit direct talks with Israel, saying there should be no further peace talks as long as Israel continued settlement construction in the occupied territories. Reading from a statement on Saturday, Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, said Israel's failure to extend a 10-month partial freeze in settlement construction in the West Bank has made the negotiations "devoid of any meaning."
An influential Palestinian body has urged the Palestinian president to quit direct talks with Israel, saying there...

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30 Sep 2010

Dissecting Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman His Latest Speech on the Palestine Question

Possibly the best analysis came from a member of the Knesset, Yoel Hasson, of the Kadima Party:: "Prime minister A, Netanyahu, is talking about a permanent agreement and two states, prime minister B, Lieberman, is talking about an intermediate agreement and population exchanges, and prime minister C, (Shas chairman Eli) Yishai, doesn't believe in an agreement. It appears that Netanyahu is representing his opinion alone. This is proof of Netanyahu's weakness; he can't promote his position among his ministers and collation partners. This is a government without a leader, path or direction.
Possibly the best analysis came from a member of the Knesset, Yoel Hasson, of the Kadima Party:: "Prime minister A,...

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28 Sep 2010

Israel’s Lieberman Distances Himself From Peace Process

Sharp differences within the Israeli government over peace negotiations played out in the unusual venue of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman using the podium to say peace with the Palestinians requires an intermediate agreement lasting decades and that the issue of Iranian belligerence should be addressed first.
Sharp differences within the Israeli government over peace negotiations played out in the unusual venue of the United...

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28 Sep 2010

UN panel Israel suppressing footage of Gaza flotilla raid

A panel appointed by the United Nations' Human Rights Council investigating the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship in May said Tuesday that Israel was suppressing footage its soldiers seized from the boat's passengers. The UN-appointed panel of experts said Israeli soldiers confiscated still photos and video footage from more than two dozen journalists and others aboard the flotilla during the raid May 31 in which nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.
A panel appointed by the United Nations' Human Rights Council investigating the deaths of nine Turkish activists aboard...

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28 Sep 2010

Lieberman presents plans for population exchange at UN

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday presented the United Nations with his draft for a population and territory swap, as part of an eventual peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Under Lieberman's controversial scheme, part of Israel's Arab population would be moved to a newly created Palestinians state, in return for evacuation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday presented the United Nations with his draft for a population and territory...

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28 Sep 2010

Israel Stops Activists’ Boat From Entering Gaza

Israeli navy commandos peacefully commandeered a catamaran sailed by an international group of Jewish activists on Tuesday trying to break Israel's blockade on Gaza.   The 10 activists, from Israel, the United States, Britain and Germany, among them an Israeli 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, responded defiantly to the Israeli navy when it hailed to them from a frigate demanding they identify themselves and give their destination.
Israeli navy commandos peacefully commandeered a catamaran sailed by an international group of Jewish activists on...

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27 Sep 2010

Top Likud minister: Obama knows settlements are part of Jewish homeland

"I want to praise the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who in his address to the United Nations recognized Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people," Katz told his guests. "I am sure he knows that Hebron, Shiloh and Beit El are also part of this historic homeland that belong to the Jewish people," he added, referring to three contentious settlements
"I want to praise the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who in his address to the United Nations recognized...

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27 Sep 2010

Bulldozers roll out across West Bank as settlement freeze ends

Building work at the West Bank settlement of Ariel restarted Monday morning after a 10-month construction ban expired at midnight on Sunday. Construction of dozens of housing units also resumed in the settlements of Ravava, Yakir and Kochav a Hashachar, where bulldozers began clearing ground for new developments, which received permits before the freeze began.
Building work at the West Bank settlement of Ariel restarted Monday morning after a 10-month construction ban expired at...

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27 Sep 2010

Finding strength in absurdity

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has called on the Palestinians not to quit direct negotiations while at the same time refusing to extend a moratorium on Jewish settlement construction that ended on Sunday. Settlers have reportedly resumed building in different parts of the occupied West Bank, making it difficult, if not impossible, for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to continue participating in the US-sponsored talks.
Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has called on the Palestinians not to quit direct negotiations while at...

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27 Sep 2010

Education Ministry bans use of text book that offers Palestinian narrative

The Education Ministry summoned the principal of a Sderot area high school for consultations after the school was found to be using a banned textbook that includes material on the Palestinian narrative of the Israel-Arab conflict.
The Education Ministry summoned the principal of a Sderot area high school for consultations after the school was found...

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26 Sep 2010

Deadline Approaches for Settlements What Are the Options for Palestinians

In the end the Palestinian president would be foolish to end the talks. In so doing, he would leave Israel free to proceed with unchecked settlement construction while postponing Palestinian statehood indefinitely. He would also place himself at greater domestic political risk, since the end of negotiations would empower Palestinian militants. If he stays in the talks, Mr. Abbas can oblige Mr. Netanyahu to spell out his specific terms for Palestinian statehood, something he has yet to do. If they resemble those offered by previous Israeli governments, it might be possible to move relatively quickly toward an accord on borders and security.
In the end the Palestinian president would be foolish to end the talks. In so doing, he would leave Israel free to...

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26 Sep 2010

Abbas Says No Peace Without Moratorium on Settlement Construction

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly Saturday that there cannot be peace with Israel unless the Jewish state ceases settlement construction in areas they claim for a future state. President Abbas said Israel must halt construction in areas in the West Bank and East Jerusalem which Palestinians want to see as the capital of their future state. He said Israel's choice is clear.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly Saturday that there cannot be peace with...

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22 Sep 2010

Clashes in Jerusalem as Peace Talks Hit Snag

With Israel s construction freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank due to end this weekend, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were seeking an elusive formula on Wednesday to keep their new peace talks going while both sides warned that if the talks ended, violence could erupt.
With Israel s construction freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank due to end this weekend, Israeli and...

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19 Sep 2010

Carter in new book Obama turned back on settlement freeze

In his new book, former United States president Jimmy Carter criticizes President Barack Obama over his policy on Israel's settlement freeze, writing that the President has backed away from his initial commitment to a complete halt to building in West Bank settlements.
In his new book, former United States president Jimmy Carter criticizes President Barack Obama over his policy on...

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19 Sep 2010

Lieberman Palestinians use settlement freeze as an excuse to undermine peace talks

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his British counterpart William Hague over the weekend that Israel could not possibly extend the moratorium on construction in West Bank settlements beyond the agreed upon September 26 deadline.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told his British counterpart William Hague over the weekend that Israel could not...

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15 Sep 2010

In whose name do they talk

A second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking place under the auspices of Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Washington says it hopes the talks will lead to an agreement within a year. But Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, are notably absent from the discussions and George Mitchell, the US' Middle East envoy, has said that they will play no role. Al Jazeera asked Palestinians in Gaza to share their views on the negotiations.
A second round of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are taking place under the auspices of...

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14 Sep 2010

Peace Talks What’s on TV

Question: What kind of government has its prime minister and foreign minister on different planets, spans secular-Labor to rightist-religious parties, and talks of peace within a year as it calls peace impossible for generations?
Question: What kind of government has its prime minister and foreign minister on different planets, spans secular-Labor...
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14 Sep 2010

Settlers receive 22% more budget grants than other Israelis, probe shows

Every Israeli settlement in the West Bank, including those that are relatively well-off, is entitled to receive a "balancing grant" from the Interior Ministry to help it balance its budget, even though such grants mainly exist to help less well-off communities.
Every Israeli settlement in the West Bank, including those that are relatively well-off, is entitled to receive a...

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14 Sep 2010

Netanyahu’s embrace of peace talks keeps Israelis guessing

Reporting from Jerusalem Israelis have seen it before. A hawkish leader expected to be tough on the Palestinian issue instead embarks on a game-changing path to end the conflict. Menachem Begin did it. So did Yitzhak Rabin. Ariel Sharon split apart his right-wing Likud Party by withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
Reporting from Jerusalem Israelis have seen it before. A hawkish leader expected to be tough on the Palestinian issue...
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8 Sep 2010

Saudi Time

Even if the two sides swap land and 80 percent of the Israeli settlers in the West Bank get to stay put, 60,000 will have to be removed. Many will leave peacefully if Mr. Netanyahu strikes the land-for-security deal he wants but thousands will not. They will have to be forcibly removed from Biblical sites by the Israeli Army, and the process will not be pretty. Even if President Abbas gets 100 percent of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, or its equivalent, Hamas will denounce any peace deal that is more than a temporary cease-fire with the Jewish state. And, with Iran s help, Hamas will employ whatever violence it can to overturn any deal. It will not be pretty.
Even if the two sides swap land and 80 percent of the Israeli settlers in the West Bank get to stay put, 60,000 will...

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31 Aug 2010

Not guilty. The Israeli captain who emptied his rifle into a Palestinain schoolgirl

An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court yesterday. The soldier, who has only been identified as "Captain R", was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza a year ago.
An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and...

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30 Aug 2010

U.S. Rabbi’s ‘offensive’ remarks harm peace efforts

The United States on Sunday condemned remarks by the spiritual leader of Israel's leading ultra-Orthodox party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who said the Palestinians should "perish". "We regret and condemn the inflammatory statements by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef," U.S. State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley. "These remarks are not only deeply offensive, but incitement such as this hurts the cause of peace."
The United States on Sunday condemned remarks by the spiritual leader of Israel's leading ultra-Orthodox party, Rabbi...

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26 Aug 2010

Leaked CIA memo cites U.S. Jews among exporters of terrorism

The Wikileaks website released a CIA document on Wednesday that examines the trend of Americans committing terrorist acts overseas, including American Jews in Israel. American Jews in Israel were one of four groups mentioned in the classified report, titled "What if Foreigners See the United States as an Exporter of Terrorism?"
The Wikileaks website released a CIA document on Wednesday that examines the trend of Americans committing terrorist...
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21 Aug 2010

Netanyahu has won, for now

Netanyahu's big achievement of the past few months has been his ability to re-direct American pressure: After more than a year of President Barack Obama leveraging heavy pressure on Netanyahu, the U.S. president has begun to apply pressure on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to submit to direct peace talks.
Netanyahu's big achievement of the past few months has been his ability to re-direct American pressure: After more than...
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16 Aug 2010

Storm over Israeli ‘abuse’ photos

A former Israeli soldier has sparked controversy after posting pictures of herself on Facebook posing with bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoners. The photographs show Eden Abergil positioned provocatively with the men, prompting lurid comments from other users of the popular social networking site. The pictures, which were uploaded into a folder entitled "Army - the best time of my life," and associated comments were discovered by bloggers, who circulated them on the internet on Monday. Palestinians have long claimed that they are subject to humiliating and degrading treatment while held in Israeli custody, but Israeli authorities have always rejected such allegations.
A former Israeli soldier has sparked controversy after posting pictures of herself on Facebook posing with bound and...

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11 Aug 2010

President Abbas and Peace Talks

Making peace between Israelis and Palestinians is somewhat like solving a Rubik s Cube. You get one colored square lined up but the next one just won t fall into place. So it is now. After three months of American-mediated proximity talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has agreed to direct negotiations on a two-state solution; the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, is stubbornly resisting. It is time for him to talk.
Making peace between Israelis and Palestinians is somewhat like solving a Rubik s Cube. You get one colored square lined...

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8 Aug 2010

Turkish group may re-send flotilla aid ships to bust Gaza siege

The group behind a flotilla of ships that sailed to Gaza in May despite an Israeli naval blockade and ended when Israeli forces stormed the ships and killed nine activists said on Saturday it may use the vessels for another run on the blockade
The group behind a flotilla of ships that sailed to Gaza in May despite an Israeli naval blockade and ended when Israeli...

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2 Aug 2010

Israel to co-operate with UN probe into Gaza flotilla

Israel has announced it will co-operate with a UN investigation into its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. "Israel has nothing to hide, the opposite is true," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. The four-member panel, announced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, will include an Israeli and a Turkish member.
Israel has announced it will co-operate with a UN investigation into its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May....

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27 Jul 2010

The Forgotten American

The young American, who had just completed high school with excellent grades in the central Turkish town of Kayseri, had seen an online advertisement for volunteers to deliver aid to Gaza. The ad, from a Turkish charity called the Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or I.H.H, said the goal of the trip was to show that Israel s embargo/blockade can be legally broken.
The young American, who had just completed high school with excellent grades in the central Turkish town of Kayseri, had...

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21 Jul 2010

Israel ‘taking steps’ to reduce civilian casualties in future wars

A new Israeli report on the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip says that the Israel Defense Forces is taking steps to reduce the number of civilian casualties in future wars and will restrict the use of white phosphorous. The 37-page report, which was posted on the Foreign Ministry's website, was delivered to the office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday in compliance with a General Assembly resolution, UN officials said.
A new Israeli report on the 2008-2009 war in the Gaza Strip says that the Israel Defense Forces is taking steps to...

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21 Jul 2010

IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it military zone

The IDF's Civil Administration destroyed a Palestinian village Monday morning that had earlier been cleared out when its water supply was cut off. The IDF demolished about 55 structures in the West Bank village of Farasiya, including tents, tin shacks, plastic and straw huts, clay ovens, sheep pens and bathrooms. These structures served the 120 farmers, hired workers and their families who lived in the Jordan Valley village.
The IDF's Civil Administration destroyed a Palestinian village Monday morning that had earlier been cleared out when its...
20 Jul 2010

Netanyahu: I deceived US to destroy Oslo accords

Netenyahu, seated on a sofa in the house, tells the family that he deceived the US president of the time, Bill Clinton, into believing he was helping implement the Oslo accords, the US-sponsored peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, by making minor withdrawals from the West Bank while actually entrenching the occupation. He boasts that he thereby destroyed the Oslo process.
Netenyahu, seated on a sofa in the house, tells the family that he deceived the US president of the time, Bill Clinton,...

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19 Jul 2010

Israel attack wouldn’t stop Iran nuclear program, says U.K.study

The Oxford Research Group, which promotes non-violent solutions to conflict, said military action should be ruled out as a response to Iran's possible nuclear weapons ambitions. 'An Israeli attack on Iran would be the start of a protracted conflict that would be unlikely to prevent the eventual acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran and might even encourage it,' it said in a report. It would also lead to instability and unpredictable security consequences for the region and the wider world, it added.
The Oxford Research Group, which promotes non-violent solutions to conflict, said military action should be ruled out as...

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17 Jul 2010

U.S. official More U.S. aid will help Israel make ‘tough’ decisions

An expanded security aid package would allow Israel to reach tough decisions in its peace talks with the Palestinians, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew J. Shapiro said Friday, adding that Washington planned to provide Israel with its most extensive security aid package in history.
An expanded security aid package would allow Israel to reach tough decisions in its peace talks with the Palestinians,...

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17 Jul 2010

Worrying signs at sea

The report prepared by the committee led by Maj. Gen. (res. ) Giora Eiland on the Gaza flotilla episode leaves the Israel Defense Forces with slight, tolerable bruises. While Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi disagrees with some of its conclusions, describing them as too harsh, the committee did provide him and the IDF with a verdict that is close to an acquittal. The full report has not been made public: Only the main points were presented in the media briefing.
The report prepared by the committee led by Maj. Gen. (res. ) Giora Eiland on the Gaza flotilla episode leaves the...
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16 Jul 2010

A Special Place in Hell Israelis need a Gandhi of their own

The more insoluble a conflict, it seems, the more durable the axioms that help keep a solution at bay. Israeli protesters in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan Photo by: Oliveier Fitoussi All too often, the problem is not that the axiom is unhelpful or untrue, but that over time it has come, ploughshare into sword, to be adopted by one side or the other as a weapon. So it is, that dyed-in-the-wool anti-Palestinians have long delighted in denouncing the Palestinian movement for having failed to produce a home-grown Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King.
The more insoluble a conflict, it seems, the more durable the axioms that help keep a solution at bay. Israeli...

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16 Jul 2010

Poll Most Americans would back Israel attack on Iran

More than half of Americans would support Israel taking military action against Iran, according to a poll released on Wednesday. The poll was conducted by TIPP, the polling unit of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, a U.S. research firm of both syndicated and custom Market Research solutions
More than half of Americans would support Israel taking military action against Iran, according to a poll released on...

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16 Jul 2010

Israel’s ‘street apartheid’

Traffic jams are just one of the many problems that plague infrastructure and services in Palestinian areas of Jerusalem. Roads are poorly maintained. They are narrow and bumpy, riddled with cracks and potholes. Street signs and sidewalks are almost non-existent. Trash containers are usually communal and there are often too few to meet the needs of the neighbourhood. Pedestrians, forced to walk on the shoulder of the road, wade through garbage.
Traffic jams are just one of the many problems that plague infrastructure and services in Palestinian areas of...

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16 Jul 2010

Sponsor of Flotilla Tied to Elite of Turkey

ISTANBUL - The Turkish charity that led the flotilla involved in a deadly Israeli raid has extensive connections with Turkey s political elite, and the group s efforts to challenge Israel s blockade of Gaza received support at the top levels of the governing party, Turkish diplomats and government officials said.
ISTANBUL - The Turkish charity that led the flotilla involved in a deadly Israeli raid has extensive connections with...

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16 Jul 2010

Sponsor of Flotilla Tied to Elite of Turkey

ISTANBUL - The Turkish charity that led the flotilla involved in a deadly Israeli raid has extensive connections with Turkey s political elite, and the group s efforts to challenge Israel s blockade of Gaza received support at the top levels of the governing party, Turkish diplomats and government officials said.
ISTANBUL - The Turkish charity that led the flotilla involved in a deadly Israeli raid has extensive connections with...

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10 Jul 2010

Libyan aid ship sails for Gaza

A Libya-sponsored ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of aid has set sail from Greece for the blockaded Gaza Strip in spite of warnings from Israel not to approach the Palestinian territory. The captain of the Al-Amal vessel, a Cuban national, confirmed to Al Jazeera on Saturday shortly before leaving the Lavrio Port, in southeastern Greece, that he planned to head for Gaza.
A Libya-sponsored ship carrying 2,000 tonnes of aid has set sail from Greece for the blockaded Gaza Strip in spite of...

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10 Jul 2010

Peace bullish or ‘bullshit’

Obama also called for "direct talks" between Israelis and Palestinians irrespective of the continued illegal settlements. All of which begs two questions: How does a defunct and discredited diplomatic process continue to masquerade as a success despite its utter failures? And why the US and its Western allies continue to finance and pamper it when it creates more instability and conflict than peace and progress?
Obama also called for "direct talks" between Israelis and Palestinians irrespective of the continued illegal...
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8 Jul 2010

Shatil

Shatil, The New Israel Fund s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel, was established in 1982 to strengthen civil society efforts and promote democracy, tolerance, and social justice in Israel. Each year, Shatil provides close to 1,400 nonprofit organizations with consulting, training, coalition-building assistance and other services. In addition, Shatil reaches out to disadvantaged populations - like new immigrants, Arab Israelis and residents of development towns - to help them realize their rights and play an active role in determining the policies that affect their lives.
Shatil, The New Israel Fund s Empowerment and Training Center for Social Change Organizations in Israel, was established...

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8 Jul 2010

Rabbis for Human Rights

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) was established with the purpose of giving voice to the Zionist ideal and the Jewish religious tradition of human rights. Since its inception in 1988, RHR has championed the cause of the poor in Israel, supported the rights of Israel s minorities and Palestinians, worked to stop the abuse of foreign workers, endeavored to guarantee the upkeep of Israel s public health care system, promoted the equal status of women, helped Ethiopian Jews, battled trafficking in women, and more.
Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) was established with the purpose of giving voice to the Zionist ideal and the Jewish...

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8 Jul 2010

In Israel, the Noble Vs. the Ugly

Israel goes out of its way to display its ugliest side to the world by tearing down Palestinian homes or allowing rapacious settlers to steal Palestinian land. Yet there s also another Israel as well, one that I mightily admire. This is the democracy that tolerates a far greater range of opinions than America. It s a citadel of civil society. And, crazily, it s the place where some of the most courageous and effective voices on behalf of oppressed Palestinians belong to Israeli rabbis like Arik Ascherman, the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Israel goes out of its way to display its ugliest side to the world by tearing down Palestinian homes or allowing...
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