Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,


The main news in today’s international press is the protest in Egypt against military rule.  Bravo for the people realizing that a military government will give no more freedom nor better the situation than the previous rule, which was merely Mubarak as head of the military or at least supported by it. When that support fell, so did Mubarak.  What happens in Egypt should of course interest Israel ’s leaders.  If the military falls (which is not likely, but nevertheless possible), then Egypt ’s attitude towards Israel may very well change.  It’s too early to surmise that this will happen, but it is something to keep one’s eyes on.  If Egypt becomes openly pro Palestinian and anti Israel , what will Israel ’s leaders do?


This is not an issue that the 8 items below pursue, but is one worth calling attention to.


Item 1, “A minute before Shabat,” is an appeal from Rabbi Arik for help.  Most of you won’t be able to be there physically to help.  But it won’t hurt to write to your own elected officials and let them know what is happening.  This appeal this time is not solely for Palestinians.  It includes one Palestinian village in South Hebron Hills.  The other 2 are with respect to Jews. 


Item 2 is OCHA’s Protection of Civilians report for November 2-15, 2011.


Item 3 describes how colonists attempted to kill Israeli soldiers.  Fundamentalism is growing in Israel , along with fascist tendencies.  Of course the 2 work well together.  The people who are neither fascist nor fundamentalist lose.


Item 4 is Israel ’s poverty report for 2010.  There was a slight (but really slight) improvement over preceding years.  However, 1 of every 3 children nevertheless lives under the poverty line.  And 50 % of families under the poverty line have jobs.  Much of the situation is due to the government’s neo-liberal economic policy.  But it is also due to where Israel ’s government uses its money.  Apart from the military which takes a large bite of the available money,  Israel keeps on expanding in the West Bank, spending huge sums for construction, while a large segment of the population in Israel starves. 


Item 5 relates that some Jews are challenging Zionist propaganda, in this instance the specific views challenged are about Hebron .


In item 6 Uri Avnery compares Israel ’s right-wing government’s acts to those of the Weimar Republic when it was turning  from a republic to Nazi tyranny.  It is difficult not to compare the two.  There are so many similarities.  Scary? Yes.


In item 7 Neve Gordon poses the question, ‘Is Israel preparing an assault on Iran ?’  He does not answer it, but rather shows how Israel keeps the scare of war and of Iran hot.  I can’t help comparing the disgusting means that Israel ’s government is using to keep Israelis in fear to the means used to prepare the world for the attack on Iraq .  Only after thousands, perhaps more, Iraqis lay dead, and the country was in shambles, did the truth come out that there never were any of those nasty WMDs so touted by the war mongers.  Unfortunately, though preparing the ground does not mean that Israel will necessarily attack, it can use the supposed threat to keep the lid down on social unrest, even though that unrest is just.


The final item is a brief report on the upcoming trial of Tristan Anderson against Israel ’s government.  Tristan was hit in the head by a canister shot at him while he was in a West Bank village during a protest against the theft of land by the wall.  The canister went into his brain.


That’ s it for tonight folks.  Perhaps tomorrow will bring happier news, though looking at things from here, it seems only to get worse.  When will it end?





1.  A Minute Before Shabbat:

Immediate Danger to Homes in Dakeika and Yavneh.  Upcoming Danger in Silwan


Volunteers Needed


Question:  What is the connection between homes in Yavneh, Dakeika in the S. HebronHills, and Silwan?



Answer:  Families are in danger of losing their homes.


We have spoken before about Rachel Levi – A single parent who has been fighting for years not to be evicted from the Amidar (public housing) apartment she grew up in.  A few months ago the threat was temporarily lifted when the mayor of Yavneh intervened and demanded that Amidar not evict Rachel before meeting with him in order to find a solution.  She received a letter from the CEO of Amidar to this effect.  However, she recently received a “flexible” eviction order allowing for eviction for three months starting on November 1st.  On Thursday the court rejected her appeal to have the order frozen.  She has asked for a presence in her home starting Sunday.  You can call Rabbi Kobi at 050-2345251 or our office at 02-6482757.  


RHR has been working for years to prevent the demolition of Dakeika in the S. Hebron Hills. Like in the entire OT, there is catch-22 situation manipulating zoning laws to make it almost impossible to build legally, and then demolishing buildings without permits.  That is why we have appealed to the High Court to return Palestinian planning in Area C to Palestinian hands.  In the case of Dakeika we received time to create a new zoning plan at our expense.  However, it is not yet ready, and the homes can be demolished as of the 20th.  The High Court, in an amazingly cynical decision, refused to give us an extension because we submitted on the 17th and we had until the 20th.  Call Rabbi Arik 050-5607034 or our office 02-6482757.


Himnuta is a corporation 99%-100% owned by the Jewish National Fund to do work it doesn’t want to be associated with in the Occupied Territories .  Ownership of the Somorin family  home in Silwan was transferred to the Custodian for Absentee Property in 1967 because the owner was out of the country, although the rest of the family was there.  In 1991 the Custodian transferred it to Himnuta instead of to the present family members.  Having exhausted legal remedies, they are in danger of being thrown into the street as of November 28th.  We will be in touch next week about what to do, but you can sign up to be a presence or on call at 02-6482757


 Shabbat Shalom,







 [Keepers of the Law]  ùåîøé îùô

äøëáéí 9 éøåùìéí, 94362   èì: 02-6482757   |   ô÷ñ: 02-6783611   ãåà”ì: info@


2. Published: 2011-11-18    

   Protection of Civilians Weekly Report | 2 – 15 November 2011


During the two-week period, Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in Gaza and injured 40 others throughout the oPt. Settlers injured another two Palestinians. Demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem resumed; overall ten structures were demolished in East Jerusalem and Area C. Also during the reporting period, Israel allows limited entry of basic construction material into Gaza for the private sector.  

  English | Hebrew

United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Mac House
P.O.Box 38712
Tel:++ 972-2-5829962/5853
email:[email protected]


3.  Independent

Friday, 18 November 2011


Settlers ‘attempted to kill’ Israeli soldiers


Donald Macintyre


Though fairly hair-raising, the blog Haim Har-Zahav wrote about how his Israel Defence Forces unit was attacked several times in the West Bank back in September would have gone almost unnoticed – except for one thing.


The attacks were not by Palestinians, they were by Israeli settlers. Mr Bar-Zahav, 33, who has two young girls and loyally does annual reserve duty, is not easy to surprise. A veteran of combat in Lebanon and in the West Bank at the peak of the intifada , he calls himself a “mainstream Israeli”. But today, over a cup of coffee round the corner from the TV station where he works as a successful editor and producer, he says: “All of a sudden you find yourself being attacked literally by the people you left your home to defend… that’s what shocked me. I wasn’t even slightly aware that there was such violence towards soldiers in the West Bank.”


He was on duty when the Israeli military demolished three buildings in the outpost of Migron, a Jewish settlement that is illegal under Israeli and international law. The demolitions sparked a series of “price-tag” (a euphemism for revenge) attacks by extremist settlers on Palestinians and their property. Mr Har-Zahav described in his blog how settlers erected a barricade of burning tyres to block a West Bank road, apparently in a “price-tag” operation.


The military always rushes to dismantle such barriers, used in the past by Palestinian militants, because if a settler’s car is stuck, “he becomes an easy target for terrorists”, Mr Har-Zahav said.


But this time, as soon as the military patrol arrived young teenage settlers in ski masks began pelting it with large stones – Mr Har-Zahav indicates a diameter of about 8in – from the terraces 10 metres above the road. “It’s physics,” he says. “If someone gets banged with one from that height, that person is either dead or seriously injured.”


We know the name of the settlement, but Mr Har-Zahav does not want it publicised in case he is pursued through the courts by its members. But he does not hesitate to specify the attack on the Beit El military base near Ramallah, where, as he wrote in his blog, the settlers – on several occasions he uses the word “terrorists” – not only wrote “price-tag” graffiti, but cut wires under the bonnets, put sugar in the petrol tanks and cut brake cables of the vehicles “the army uses to protect them”.


He wrote: “I don’t know how it works… in the parallel universe. But in the universe I come from, the State of Israel, when someone cuts your brakes, it is an attempt to kill or assassinate.” Normally Mr Har-Zahav’s blog gets 20,000 hits. This one got 44,000. By some on the far right he was accused of treachery; by some on the far left he was criticised for serving in the West Bank at all.


The pro-settler newspaper Makor Rishon published the blog, fuelling an already lively debate among its readers about the “price-tag” tactic. “I didn’t write the blog just to put down the settlers or smear mud in their faces,” Mr Har-Zahav says. “It’s far more important to me that the settlers discuss it than the readers of The Independent or, for that matter, Maariv or Yedhiot Ahronot. Much of the response, he says, was “apologies and shame” and he says that relations between the IDF and settlers have traditionally been good.


But he also says that while “officially” there is no difference in the constraints on the way soldiers confront Palestinians and settlers, “actually there is a huge difference. You still think two, three, four, five, six times more [before shooting at settlers] than if you encounter Palestinians”. He cites the recent example in which a soldier is facing trial for accidentally shooting dead a settler rabbi who failed to stop at a makeshift checkpoint and one of his own in which a Palestinian was shot dead in similar circumstances, when there was no official investigation.


Mr Har-Zahav, who testified to the veterans’ organisation Breaking the Silence after writing his blog, feels he performed a public service by highlighting a topic seldom discussed. “I told the truth,” he says.


4.  Haaretz

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Report : Israel poverty levels fall to lowest since 2003

Annual poverty report published by the National Insurance Institute says 2010 level slightly lower than 2009; Welfare and Social Services Minister says one fifth of families, one third of children still live in poverty.


By Dana Weiler-Polak

Tags : Israel health


Israel poverty levels fell slightly in 2010, and is now at the lowest level since 2003, according to the annual poverty report published by the National Insurance Institute on Thursday.


According to the report, 19.8% of Israeli families suffered from poverty in 2010, compared to 20.5% in 2009.


The number of children living below the poverty line fell from 36.3% in 2009 to 35.3%, and the overall percentage of Israeli citizens living in poverty also fell – from 25% in 2009, to 24.45.


There were total of 433,300 poor families in 2010, comprised of 1,733,400 people. Of these, 837,300 were children.


These new figures bring Israel back to same levels they were at between 2007 and 2009. The main reason for the change, according to the report, is an expansion of employment data. Despite the drop in the number of Israelis living in poverty, however, the measures that estimate the severity and depth of poverty have not seen significant change, even rising a little from 35.5% to 35.9%.


The slight drop in poverty levels was evident across the majority of social sectors, including the elderly, single-parent families and large families. Despite this, the percentage of working families in poverty rose from 49% in 2009, to 50.6% in 2010.


Following the publication of the report, Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon said “despite the drop in poverty levels in 2010, the differences in poverty from year to year do not manage to change the sad situation in recent years. One fifth of families and around one third of children in Israel are poor, therefore I turn to the government to intervene in a more meaningful and widespread manner in order to fight and reduce poverty.”


National Insurance Institute director general Esther Dominissini on the other hand, said that “although there was a drop in poverty levels in most communities in 2010, and this is really good news, poverty levels in Israel are still high and they are in double figures. Inequality is too high, both in absolute terms in in comparison with the OECD.”



5.From on site in Nablus , Palestine




 YouTube: eibieman


 Jews and Arabs are United – Israel ‘S Wrongs Must be Righted



Thursday, November 17 2011|Mairav Zonszein

Forwarded by Abraham Weizfeld



WATCH: Alternative Jewish interpretations seek to counter settler

takeover of Hebron


6 interview videos at link.


To learn more about Project Hayei Sarah


Within the litmus test that is the “pro-Israel” paradigm, even

young devout Jews dedicating their lives to religious study and

community are often attacked for being hostile to Israel , as became

clear when an American Rabbi living in Israel wrote an essay last summer

accusing young rabbis of being “anti-Israel.” A group of Jewish students,

professionals, rabbis and activists who have lived in Israel and seen the reality in the West Bank are challenging common (mis)conceptions of Jewish connection to the


This Saturday, the week of Parshat Hayei Sarah (weekly Torah portion),

thousands of Jews will travel to Hebron to affirm Jewish ownership of

the ancient city. Citing the portion’s description of Abraham buying

what is considered to be current-day Hebron , the settler movement will

use the Torah portion as a proof text for their heavily-armed presence

in the middle of a Palestinian city. This week, members of a group

called Project Hayei Sarah will stand up in communities around the US

and Israel to offer different interpretations of Parshat Hayei Sarah, of

Jewish values and of the situation in Hebron .


Project Hayei Sarah is a grassroots initiative, started in 2009 by

students studying in Jerusalem who visited Hebron with Breaking the

Silence or Encounter. Its nearly 50 members are young Jewish leaders who

are struggling to reconcile the Jewish values they have learned through

Torah and the grisly reality on the ground in Hebron , in which

Palestinian residents are subjected to separation, humiliation and

military occupation. As part of their efforts to reclaim the parsha and

challenge the political situation, Project Hayei Sarah members and

friends have shared thoughts on the Torah portion and the situation in

Hebron in a series of video blogs. Here are a just a few. More will be

posted in the coming days:”


To learn more about Project Hayei Sarah



6.  Hi,

Hope this may interest (and sadden) you.

Shalom, Salamaat,




Uri Avnery

November 19, 2011


                                                Weimar Revisited


“YOU AND your Weimar !” a friend of mine once exclaimed in exasperation, “just because you experienced the collapse of the Weimar Republic as a child, you see Weimar behind every corner.”


The accusation was not unjustified. In 1960, during the Eichmann trial, I wrote a book about the fall of the German Republic . Its last chapter was called: “It can happen here”

Since then I have come back to this warning time and again.


But now I am not alone anymore. During the last few weeks, the word Weimar has popped up in the articles of many commentators.


It should be sprayed in huge letters on the walls.



ISRAELI[] DEMOCRACY is under siege. No one can ignore this anymore. It is the main topic in the Knesset, which is leading the attack, and the media, who are among the victims.


This does not happen in the occupied territories. There, democracy never existed. Occupation is the very opposite of

democracy : a denial of all human rights, the right to life, liberty, movement, fair trial and free expression, not to mention national rights.


No, I mean Israel proper, the Israel inside the Green Line, The Only Democracy In The Middle East.


The attackers are members of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government coalition, which includes semi-fascist and openly fascist elements. Netanyahu himself tries to remain discreetly in the background, but there can be no doubt that every single detail has been orchestrated by him.


In the first two years of this coalition, attacks were sporadic. But now they are determined, systematic and coordinated.


At this moment, the anti-democratic forces are attacking on a wide front, The three main pillars of democracy – the courts, the media and the human rights organizations – are under simultaneous, deadly assault. (Remember Weimar ?)



THE SUPREME COURT is the bastion of democracy. Israel has no constitution, the Knesset majority is totally unbridled, only the court can (if reluctantly) check the adoption of anti-democratic laws.


I am not a blind admirer of the court. In the occupied territories, it is an arm of the occupation, devoted to “national security”, approving of some of the worst incidents. Only in rare cases has it come out against the worst practices. But in Israel proper, it is a stout defender of civil rights. 


The extreme rightists in the Knesset are resolved to put an end to this. Their front man is the Minister of Justice, who was appointed by Avigdor Lieberman. He is pushing a series of scandalous ad hominem bills. One of them is designed to change the composition of the public committee that appoints the judges, with the undisguised intention of bringing about the appointment of a particular right-wing judge to the Supreme Court.


Another bill has the undisguised purpose of changing the existing court rules in order to put a certain “conservative” judge in the chair of Chief Justice. The declared purpose is to abolish the rule of an independent court which dares, though only in rare cases, to block “anti-constitutional” laws enacted by the Knesset majority.

 They want the court to “represent the will of the people”.

(Remember Weimar ?)


Until now, since the first day of the state , the justices have been, in practice, chosen by cooptation. This has functioned perfectly for 63 years. Israel ‘s Supreme Court is the envy of many countries. Now this system is in mortal danger.


Another bill, which would have compelled candidates for the Supreme Court to undergo grilling by a Knesset Committee chaired by another Lieberman appointee, and obtain their approval, was withheld at the last moment by Netanyahu himself, He had already given his approval, but shrank back after the almost universal condemnation – and is now posing as the defender of democracy from his own underlings.


The chairman of the Judicial Committee of the Knesset, another Lieberman appointee, is rushing these laws through his committee, contrary to established procedures. In a stormy session this week, a female member called him “a coarse thug”. He replied: “You are not even a beast”.


A minimal purpose of these bills is to terrorize any judges considering vetoing the other anti-democratic bills that are being enacted. Some say that the effects are already being felt. 


In several famous cases, the government openly flouts the Supreme Court’s orders, especially concerning the evacuation of “settlements outposts” built on lands belonging to Palestinian farmers.


Who will defend the court? The former Chief Justice, Aharon Barak , who was hated by the rightists because of his pioneering “judicial activism”, once told me: “The Court has no army divisions. Its power rests solely on the

support of the public.”  



THE ASSAULT on the media started some time ago when the American casino baron, Sheldon Adelson, a close friend of Netanyahu, started a daily tabloid paper with the express purpose of helping Netanyahu. It is being distributed for free and now has the biggest circulation in the country, threatening the existence of all the others (but also bribing them by giving them huge printing orders.) Money is no object. Huge sums are being spent.


That was only the beginning.


In 1965 the Labor party government enacted a new libel law (called literally “the Law of the Evil Tongue”) which was then clearly designed to muzzle “Haolam Hazeh”, the mass- circulation news magazine I was editing, which had introduced investigative reporting to Israel . I appealed to the public to send me to the Knesset in protest, and 1.5% of the voters were incensed enough to do so.


Now the right-wing gang in the Knesset wants to sharpen this anti-media law even more. The new amendment grants up to $135,000 damages to anyone claiming to be hurt by the media , without their having to prove any damage at all. For newspapers and TV channels, which are already in a precarious financial position, this means that they better give up all investigative reporting and any criticism of influential politicians and tycoons.


The new winds are already being felt. Journalists and TV editors are cowed. This week, a program on Channel 10, considered the most liberal, gave five minutes to a song glorifying the late “Rabbi” Meir Kahane, who was branded by the Supreme Court as a fascist, and whose organization was outlawed  for advocating what the court called “Nuremberg laws”. An avowed member of this organization, which is alive and kicking under another name, is now a vocal member of the Knesset. (Remember Weimar ?)


A major purge of TV journalists is already underway. One by one, directors of all TV channels are being replaced by confirmed rightists. It was openly admitted that the government would force the closure of Channel 10 by calling in outstanding debts if a certain journalist were not fired. Though generally an establishment type, this reporter had irked Netanyahu by exposing his and his wife’s luxurious traveling style at government expense.



AT THE same time, human rights and peace NGOs are under heavy attack. The Knesset gang is producing bill after bill to silence them.


One bill already under way forbids human rights associations to receive donations from foreign governments and “state-like organizations”, such as the UN and the EU.

Right-wing organization receive, of course, huge sums of money from Jewish American billionaires, who fund the settlements (which are also indirectly financed by the US treasury, which gives tax-exempt status to the so-called “charitable organizations” that fund the settlements.)


The law which levies huge indemnities on organizations and individuals who advocate a boycott on the products of the settlements is already in force. The hearing of an application submitted by Gush Shalom to the Supreme Court against this suppression of political protest has been postponed by the court again and again and again.


This parliamentary terrorism is accompanied by the accelerating violence of fascist gangs from the settlements. These SA-like gangs call their actions “Price Tag”. Usually, they react to the isolated cases of the army demolishing a few “illegal” buildings in a settlement by attacking a neighboring Palestinian village, setting fire to a mosque or carrying out what can only be described as a pogrom. (Remember Weimar ?)



MARTIN NIEM?LLER, a German U-boat captain and later pacifist pastor, who was thrown into a concentration camp by the Nazis , coined the famous lament: “When the Nazis came to take the Communists, I was silent. After all, I was no Communist. When they took the Jews, I was silent. I am no Jew. When they arrested the Social Democrats, I was silent. I was no Social Democrat. When they came to take me, there was no one left to protest.”


What we are witnessing now are not isolated attacks on one or another human right – what we are seeing is a general attack on democracy as such. Perhaps only people who have experienced life under a fascist dictatorship can fully realize what that means.


Of course, the similarity between the collapse of the German republic and the processes in today’s Israel does not mean that the same events must follow. Nazism was unique in many ways. The end of real democracy may be followed by different systems.  There are many models to choose from: Ceausescu, Franco, Putin.


Certainly, there is no similarity between the small German town called Weimar and Tel Aviv. Except perhaps the fact that many houses in Tel Aviv were designed according to the Bauhaus architectural school – which originated in Weimar .


Weimar was once a cultural center, where geniuses like Goethe and Schiller produced their masterpieces. The German republic which was founded in 1919, after World War I, was called by this name after the national assembly which framed its very progressive constitution there.


On these lines, the endangered democratic State of Israel, whose Declaration of Independence was signed in 1948 in Tel Aviv, could rightly be called the Tel Aviv Republic .


We are not yet in 1932. The Storm Troopers are not yet roaming our streets. We still have time to mobilize the public against the looming danger. The demonstration taking place today in Tel Aviv against the de-democratization of Israel may mark a turning point.                           


7.  Al Jazeera

Friday, November 18, 2011


Is Israel preparing an assault against Iran ?  

The IAEA report on Iran ‘s alleged nuclear programme was surrounded by a media frenzy in Israel supporting an attack.


Neve Gordon


Test firing missiles that could carry nuclear warheads is part of Israel preparation to attack Iran [GALLO/GETTY]


Skimming the newspapers as I rushed to get my children ready for school, I suddenly understood that Israel might actually be preparing for a military attack against Iran . “[United States Secretary of Defence Leon ] Panetta Demanded Commitment to Coordinate Action in Iran ” read one headline, and ” A Bomb at Arm’s Length” read another.


Feeding this hype were a series of military events that had been planned months in advance yet mysteriously coincided with the publication of the International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran ‘s efforts to produce a nuclear bomb. For four days straight all of the major television channels repeatedly showed images of Israel preparing for war.


It began with a report on Israel ‘s testing of a long-range ballistic missile, which emphasised the missile’s capacity to carry nuclear warheads. This was followed by interviews with pilots who were part of a comprehensive Israeli Air Force drill on long-range attacks carried out at an Italian NATO air base. Archival images of a missile being launched from an Israeli submarine were also shown. Ha’aretz readers were told that the submarine was important because it would enable Israel to carry out a second strike in case of a nuclear war.


These images of offensive arrangements were followed by images of Israel ‘s defence preparations. On November 3rd, the three major news channels dedicated several minutes of air time to covering a drill simulating an attack on central Israel ; these clips showed people being carried on stretchers and soldiers treating casualties who had been hit by chemical weapons. A day later, Ha’aretz reported that the military preparations against Iran had indeed been upgraded.


Iran with nuclear capabilities has been continuously presented as an existential threat to Israel . On October 31, in the opening speech of the Knesset’s winter session Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that a “nuclearised Iran will constitute a serious threat to the Middle East and to the whole world and obviously also a direct and serious threat against us,” adding that Israel’s security conception cannot be based on defence alone but must also include “offensive capabilities which serve as the basis for deterrence.”


Analysts repeatedly mentioned that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier and Reuven Barko from Yisrael Hayom even compared Iran to Nazi Germany. One cannot underestimate the impact of this analogy on the collective psyche of Jewish Israelis.


Barko went on to connect Hamlet’s phrase “to be or not to be” to Israel ‘s current situation, while posing the existing dilemma confronting the State as “to hit or not to hit”. President Shimon Peres claimed that Iran is the only country in the world “that threatens the existence of another country”, but neglected to mention that for generations, the Palestinians have been deprived of their right to self-determination.


On the day when the International Atomic Energy Agency report was finally published practically all Israeli media outlets described it as a ” smoking gun”. The report, according to the media, provides concrete evidence that Iran ‘s nuclear programme is also aimed at producing weapons. Zvi Yechezkeli from Channel Ten described it as “the end of the era of Iranian ambiguousness”, but failed, of course, to remark that Israel’s own ambiguity regarding its nuclear capacities continues unhindered; Roni Daniel from Channel Two declared that “we are relieved” by the report, suggesting that Israel’s claims have now been corroborated and that the report can serve to justify both the imposition of harsher sanctions against Iran and even an attack.


Notwithstanding the endless war mongering, most Israeli commentators claimed that the frenzy was no more than a “nuclear spin”. The majority of political analysts tended to agree that the media campaign , which presented Israel as seriously preparing to attack Iran , was orchestrated just in order to pressure the international community to impose harsher sanctions against Iran . Channel Ten’s Or Heller put it succinctly when he said: “It appears that neither Iran nor the Israeli public is the target of what is going on here, but first and foremost it is the international community, the Americans, the British.”


The commentators also noted that there is wall-to-wall opposition to an Israeli assault, including the US , Europe, Russia and China . Alex Fishman summed up the international sentiment when he wrote: “If someone in Israel thinks that there is a green or a yellow light coming from Washington for a military attack against Iran – this person has no inkling whatsoever of what is going on; the light remains the same, a glaring red.”


The portrayal of Israel as a neighbourhood bully who feigns a rage attack while calling out to his friends to hold him back is not particularly reassuring, however.


After 10 days of media frenzy, Defence Minister Ehud Barak tried to calm the public by saying that ” not even 500 people would be killed” in the event of an attack – but he failed to say that there would be no attack.


Yossi Verter from Ha’aretz explained that the media hype serves Barak’s interests. “A successful attack on the Iranian nuclear facilities under his ministerial leadership can rehabilitate his personal status, and help him recover the public’s trust.” Verter cites a leading member of the political system, who claims that “Barak is convinced that only a person of his security stature can lead perhaps the most fateful battle in Israel ‘s history since the War of Independence.”


Regardless of whether Netanyahu and Barak are already set on launching an assault, the media hype and the portrayal of Iran as constituting an existential threat to Israel surely help to produce the necessary conditions for a military campaign.


What is remarkable about this saber rattling is its abstraction. Not a single analyst noted that entering war is easy but ending it is far more difficult, particularly if on the other side stands a regional power with vast resources and a well-trained military (unlike Hamas or Hezbollah). And, of course, no one really talked about the likelihood of a gory future or what kind of life we were planning for our children. This kind of abstraction makes war palatable, providing a great service to the war machine.


Neve Gordon is the author of Israel ‘s Occupation and can be reached through his website.


The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.



8.  Nov. 14, 2011 SF Chronicle


A brief report on Tristan Anderson’s upcoming trial.

.3 ..(11-14) 02:30 PST JERUSALEM , Israel (AP) —


An American badly injured by the Israeli military during a pro-Palestinian demonstration will have his first day in an Israeli court.


Tristan Anderson, of Oakland , Calif. , was hit in the head with a tear gas canister fired during a demonstration against Israel ‘s West Bank separation barrier in March 2009.


He lost an eye and suffered brain damage that paralyzed part of his body.


Anderson ‘s Israeli lawyer Ghada Hlehi says the hearing will be held on Nov. 24 in Jerusalem . She says he is suing the Israeli government for unspecified damages.


Israel ‘s justice ministry has maintained there was no evidence of wrongdoing by the military.


Anderson ‘s supporters say he was standing on the sidelines of the protest, which involved rock-hurling youth and soldiers firing tear gas.


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