Dorothy Online Newsletter


Dear Friends,

8 items in this message.

The first two both deal with Iran.  But whereas in item 1 Richard Silverstein cites polls that indicate that most Israelis oppose a war with Iran and support a Mideast nuclear free zone, Israel’s military, in item 2, complains that Iran’s nuclear threat will deter Israel from hitting Hamas and Hezbollah.  My, what a pity!  But then what would the military do without a war?  It is as likely as not that the so called Iranian nuclear threat will turn out to be of the same quality as the WMDs that were used as the excuse to attack Iraq—in other words, nonexistent.  Let’s hope that happens before Israel’s leaders go wild.

In item 3 a French parliamentarian publishes a report accusing Israel of water apartheid in the WB.  The report of course angered Israeli authorities (not because it was incorrect, but because they do not want unpleasant truth revealed).  Thus the Israelis in charge then worked on other members who had signed the report and managed to cause them to renege.  So much for truth and diplomacy.

Item 4 is a lose some/win some item.  The Globe Theatre has decided to host the Israeli Habima Theatre notwithstanding bds objections.

Item 5 and 6 are both about Palestinians holding Israeli citizenship.  Item 5 uses the recent no-unification law to go beyond and argue that Israel’s Palestinian citizens have never been equal to Jew before the law.  How true.  Item 6 argues that a new plan to supposedly aid Palestinian citizens of Israel is in fact intended to criminalize them.  Right.  The plan is not imposed on deprived Jewish.

Item 7 reports that ‘an entire population is held hostage 3 years after the bombs fell on Gaza.’  This among other things is Israel’s shame, and will go down as such in history.  Meanwhile the people in Gaza continue to suffer.

Item 8 is ‘Today in Palestine’ for January 17, 2012.

All the best,


1 Tikun Olam-תיקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place

January 17, 2012

Israelis Willing to Renounce Nuclear Weapons for Mideast Nuclear Free Zone

Shibley Telhami recently released the extraordinary results of a recent poll (see full results) of Israeli public opinion about its country’s nuclear program and Iran’s.  The answers to the poll’s questions showed rather amazing level of pragmatism regarding Israeli attitudes on the subject:

1. Israelis were almost equally divided on the issue of whether Israel should attack [for the remainder see


2.  Washington Post

Tuesday, January 17, 2011

Israeli army says a nuclear Iran could deter Israeli military action against Hamas, Hezbollah

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday,

JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli military official says a nuclear Iran could make it tougher for Israel to act against enemies closer to home.

Military planning division chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel says a nuclear-armed Tehran could constrain Israel from striking Iranian-backed Islamists groups in Lebanon and Gaza — Hezbollah and Hamas respectively.

Eshel said Tuesday that if Israel is “forced to do things in Gaza or in Lebanon, under the Iranian nuclear umbrella it might be different.”

Israel worries that a nuclear-armed Iran could threaten its survival and has hinted it could strike Iran militarily if international sanctions do not halt Tehran’s nuclear program.

Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes, such as energy and the production of medical isotopes.


3 Haaretz

Tuesday, January 17. 2012

French parliament report accuses Israel of water ‘apartheid’ in West Bank

Israeli Embassy in Paris had no foreknowledge of the French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee report, which was published two week ago, and thus did not refute it or work to moderate it.

By Barak Ravid

Tags: West Bank

The French parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee published an unprecedented report two weeks ago accusing Israel of implementing “apartheid” policies in its allocation of water resources in the West Bank.

The Israeli Embassy in Paris had no foreknowledge of the report and thus did not refute it or work to moderate it. Foreign Ministry officials called the incident “a serious diplomatic mishap.”

The report said that water has become “a weapon serving the new apartheid” and gave examples and statistics that ostensibly back this claim.

“Some 450,000 Israeli settlers on the West Bank use more water than the 2.3 million Palestinians that live there,” the report said. “In times of drought, in contravention of international law, the settlers get priority for water.”

The author of the report was Socialist Party MP Jean Glavany, who in the past served as agriculture minister under French President Lionel Jospin and as cabinet secretary for President Francois Mitterrand.

The Foreign Affairs Committee had assigned Glavany to report on the geopolitical impact of water in confrontation zones throughout the world. He visited Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 17-19 of last year and met with several senior government officials, including Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau and Water Commissioner Uri Shani.

Both the Foreign Ministry and the embassy in Paris were aware of the visit and knew that Glavany planned to write a report. But Israeli Ambassador to France Yossi Gal did not follow up on Glavany’s work.

No one in the embassy attempted to get a draft copy of the report so as to ensure that its conclusions were not overly harsh. Nor were Israel’s allies on the French Foreign Affairs Committee contacted to ascertain whether the report could be moderated.

The embassy only learned about the report a few days after it appeared on the French parliament’s website, when the Foreign Ministry’s European desk in Jerusalem, which heard about it from an outside source, informed the embassy.

The report states that water is not allocated fairly to West Bank Palestinians and that Palestinians have no access to the territory’s underground aquifers. Glavany said Israel was perpetrating a “water occupation” against the Palestinians.

“Israel’s territorial expansion is seen as a ‘water occupation’ of both streams and aquifers,” the report said.

It also said that “the separation wall being built by Israel allows it to control access to underground water sources” and to “direct the flow of water westward.”

The report accused Israel of “systematically destroying wells that were dug by Palestinians on the West Bank,” as well as of deliberately bombing reservoirs in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09. It also claimed that “Many water purification facilities planned by the Palestinian Water Ministry are being ‘blocked’ by the Israeli administration.”

Senior Foreign Ministry officials said the Paris embassy had been asleep at the switch.

“This report is a serious mishap that has caused diplomatic damage and has seriously damaged Israel’s image in France,” one senior official said.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Glavany had inserted extreme terms into the report on his own, at the last minute, without consulting other members of the report’s working group.

“These unacceptable remarks surprised his colleagues in the working group, who were shocked to find them in the final version after it was published, after Israeli diplomats called their attention to them,” Palmor said.

The report, he continued, “was loaded with the language of vicious propaganda, far removed from any professional criticism with which one could argue intelligently.” Moreover, the report’s author omitted numerous facts and acted “with blatant tendentiousness.”

“After embassy staffers pointed out the exceptional seriousness of the wording … all the working group members disassociated themselves from [the report], including the chairman, who sent an official letter to the ambassador renouncing responsibility for the report’s anti-Israel expressions,” Palmor added.


4 The Guardian

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Globe theatre defends hosting controversial Israeli company

Campaigners criticise programming of Habima’s Merchant of Venice over company’s record of playing Israeli settlements

Matt Trueman

Theatre of conflict … a performance Henry VIII at Shakespeare’s Globe. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

Shakespeare’s Globe has defended programming an Israeli theatre company that has faced criticism for performing to “exclusively Israeli audiences” in West Bank settlements.

Habima Theatre, which was founded in Moscow in 1913 with the express hope of performing in Israel in Hebrew, is scheduled to perform as part of the theatre’s Globe to Globe festival – part of the World Shakespeare festival and Cultural Olympiad.

In its first UK performance since 1926, Habima will present a Hebrew-language version of The Merchant of Venice as one of 37 by international companies, each performing a different Shakespeare play in a different language.

However, the planned performance has been the subject of an open letter by campaign group Boycott from Within, expressing concerns about the company’s record of playing in two Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The letter claims that a number of high-profile Israeli theatre practitioners have rejected invitations to perform there, receiving support from Stephen Sondheim and Tony Kushner among others.

The group argue that the Globe’s programming of Habima’s The Merchant of Venice, which “emphasises the issue of xenophobia”, is incompatible with Habima’s performances on the West Bank: “A theatrical performance in a settlement is by definition a performance to an exclusively Israeli audience, with Palestinians living even in the nearest village being physically excluded from any chance of attending.”

The letter continues: “By inviting Habima to perform in London, you are siding with its administrators in the debate on settlement performances, and you are taking a step against the conscientious Israeli actors and playwrights who have refused to perform in the settlements.”

Responding in an open letter of its own, Shakespeare’s Globe described the festival as “a celebration of language and not … a celebration of nations and states”.

It continues: “Habima are the most well-known and respected Hebrew-language theatre company in the world, and are a natural choice to any programmer wishing to host a dramatic production in Hebrew. They are committed, publicly, to providing an ongoing arena for sensible dialogue between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.”

The letter also points to the inclusion of a Richard II by Ashtar Theatre, “who have done more than any other theatre group to highlight the nature of life in the Gaza strip with their Gaza monologues”.


5 Haaretz

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Israeli Arabs have never been equal before the law

The looming expulsion of thousands will be carried out with the silent agreement of enlightened members of society, because maintaining a Jewish majority is an ideological common denominator for the overwhelming majority of Israelis.

By Yitzhak Laor

Tags: Israeli Arab Palestinians

Last week’s decision by the High Court of Justice to uphold the amendment to the Citizenship Law that keeps Palestinians apart from their Israeli spouses has closed a chapter in the life of Israeli democracy. The Supreme Court no longer wants to protect Israel’s Arab citizens.

Racists sitting in the stands at soccer games who yell “Death to Arabs” have never ripped a mother away from her children. But Justice Asher Dan Grunis and his friends have rendered such expulsions kosher, and the representatives of Israel’s Arab citizens will now have to bring the issue to the international community.

Of the amendment upheld by the High Court, Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken wrote in this paper in May 2005: “Ostensibly the amendment to the Citizenship Law is equitable. It prevents a man from Haifa from marrying a woman from Ramallah and living with her in Haifa, and does not distinguish between Jews and Arabs. But it’s clear that it isn’t equitable: Jews rarely marry Palestinians.”

For three days afterward, in a hysterical response, Maariv’s entire opinion page was devoted to wild attacks on Schocken and his piece. Only one of the opinion pieces is even worth quoting: that of Prof. Amnon Rubinstein, author of “The Constitutional Law of the State of Israel.”

“Every state, even if not by law, has the right to prevent immigration of any kind from an enemy state or enemy territory,” Rubinstein wrote at the time. “Must Israel permit immigration from Syria? Of course not. Was England, during World War II, obligated to permit immigration from Germany, or even from German protectorates? Of course not. So why doesn’t this rule apply to Israel?

“It’s true, the Palestinian Authority is not a state, but if a ban on immigration applies to an enemy state, it applies even more so to an enemy territory.”

Afterward, Rubinstein published statements to this effect as part of a scholarly academic article, which expanded the argument with the help of numerous references and citations. He later chaired a government committee that justified this wrongdoing.

Why is Rubinstein worth quoting? Because before leaving the Knesset in 2002, he was an MK representing Meretz, the last significant political party of the Zionist left; because his words are cited by Grunis in his ruling; and because Rubinstein is considered a veteran analyst, a member of a select group of legal commentators who sat quietly for eight years, since the amendment came into force as a “temporary emergency measure.”

Even now, these legal commentators are not commenting. The looming expulsion of thousands will be carried out with the silent agreement of enlightened members of society. This silence does not stem from their deep respect for the High Court of Justice. Its cause is that maintaining a Jewish majority is an ideological common denominator for the overwhelming majority of Israelis, and this ruling is a symptom of the demographic arguments made on their behalf.

But in effect, Rubinstein was lying. In order to discriminate against the Arab citizens of Israel, Rubinstein wrote about residents of the territories, who do not live in an enemy state. They live in an Israeli ghetto, a bantustan, without the right, as blacks had in apartheid South Africa, to earn a living from their masters.

The State of Israel is officially in its 64th year. But it can be more accurately seen as an imaginary entity that existed in reality only for the 19 years between 1948 and 1967.

Temporariness is an illusion. For jurists it’s also a cynical trick.

The expulsion of women and children from their homes will be carried out by a state that has never held Arabs to be equal before the law. That’s the real reason an Israeli constitution was never written. That inequality was the wound. Now it’s just pus.


6  AICAICafeCamp

Sunday, 15 January 2012 16:26

New plan criminalizes Palestinian citizens of Israel

Sergio Yahni for the Alternative Information Center

On the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Minister of Internal Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beteinu), presented a plan to the government today that will essentially criminalize Palestinian citizens of Israel under the guise of “improving personal and community security within the Arab sector.”

Israel will be beefing up police presence in Arab areas (Illustrative photo: flickr/JMR_Photography)

According to the plan, which the Ministry of Public Security has already begun to implement, three special police units, including detective and investigation units, were created in Nazareth, Tayibe and the Bedouin communities in the south. Some 11 additional units will be established within the next two years. According to the plan, neighborhood watches will be strengthened in Arab areas and the Arab sector will be given special priority for programs like “City Without Violence” and the war on drugs.

While the Aharonovitch plan is presented as a service to the Arab-Palestinian community in Israel, it further criminalizes Palestinian citizens of the state without addressing the root causes of crime.

According to Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the criminal justice system is regularly used as a means of delegitimizing Palestinian political acts. Police routinely use force against Arab demonstrators in order to silence voices of protest. Furthermore, Palestinian citizens encounter disproportionate and systematic mass arrests, primarily on the pretense of their mere presence at the scene.

In addition, more than 30 laws discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the current government coalition has proposed new racist and discriminatory bills which are at various stages in the legislative process. They include laws that will place restrictions on freedom of movement, freedom of speech, and access to the political system, including ideological limitations on the platforms of political parties. Such laws are used to curb the political freedom of Palestinian citizens and their elected representatives and are shrinking their already limited space for political action.

In addition to the legal restrictions imposed by the state, the Palestinian community within Israel is subject to constant racist attacks by law enforcement agencies and by Jewish citizens.

According to the 2011 Racism Report, published by the Coalition Against Racism in Israel, 46 Arab citizens have been killed since October 2000, with only two cases involving Israeli police officers ending in conviction. 28 incidents of violence against Arab citizens committed by security forces were recorded during 2011, which is almost double the number of incidents in the previous year. In addition, 68 incidents of racism by Jewish citizens against Arab citizens were reported during 2011.

It is reasonable to expect that the increased number of law enforcement officers within Palestinian communities will also see an increase the number of racist acts by law enforcement officers against Palestinian citizens of Israel. On the other hand, it is doubtful that raising the amount of police officers on the streets, without addressing the root causes of crime, will actually reduce crime.

The Aharonovitch plan is racist because it presupposes that crime in Israel is an Arab phenomenon and that Arabs commit crime because they are Arabs. It does not take into consideration that the state’s discriminatory policies exacerbate and, in some cases, create the social issues that go hand-in-hand with crime.

Over half of Arab families in Israel live in poverty. The figure is far higher among Arab Bedouin families, at 67.2%. The average poverty rate throughout Israel is 20.5%.

The high rate of poverty among Palestinian citizens of Israel is directly related to institutional discrimination which includes land confiscations, evictions and zoning restrictions that prevent Arab localities from developing their own industries or commercial zones. Many employers require potential employees to have completed military service—and as a tremendous majority of Arab citizens do not serve in the Israeli army, this requirement is a euphemism for being Jewish—further restricting job opportunities.

In addition,  Israel ranks local councils and municipalities according to a ten point socio-economic scale: cluster 10 represents the wealthiest localities, and cluster 1 the poorest towns. The 75 Arab localities in the state make up around 87% of all localities within clusters 1-3, around 72% of all localities within clusters 1-4, and 0% of the most prosperous localities in the country, clusters 7-10. As a consequence, the services provided by local authorities are generally both scarcer and of poorer quality in Arab localities.

The Israeli government has proposed no answer to this discrimination. On the opposite, the eviction of Palestinians from their land, and their resettlement in shanty towns is reaching historical heights and no development solutions are proposed for Arab localities. The new plan is not just an innocent attempt to curb crime in Arab localities—rather crime is being used to justify a larger presence of police forces that will deepen repression and curb the right of the Palestinian citizens to voice their protest of Israeli policies.

Design and Support by Germán Krimer

 © The Alternative Information Center Contact.


7 Counterpunch

Thursday, January 12, 2012

20An Entire Population Held Hostage

Three Years After the Bombs Fell on Gaza



It’s exactly three years ago that the ins and outs of the overpopulated strip were sealed off by the Israeli military just as tightly as the entire “International Community” shut its eyes and ambivalently turned its back on a horrifying massacre that was in the making. And it’s three years ago that we’ve used up what little was left of our quota of sympathy and compassion towards the Palestinians and took our collective apathy to a whole new level.

Three years after the “unilateral cessation of military operations” on January 18th, 2009; and the Israeli apparatus of mass murder and annihilation is still roaring at the borders; ready to be initiated at a moment’s notice, the IOF is literally licking its lips, salivating at the chance of yet another vicious round of wholesale slaughter, its animalistic zeal for more bloodletting is as vigorous today as it was only three years ago –if not more-, Israeli political, diplomatic and military officials alike don’t seem to miss an opportunity to beat the war drums – and they do so with an almost reckless abandon.

The day starts and ends with the gloom of impending war amassing over Gaza; on December 27th, 2011 (third anniversary of the war on Gaza), Israeli army Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz stated that another attack on the strip is “inevitable” while southern brigade commander Tal Hermoni was quoted by Haaretz newspaper as saying that another “varied and different military campaign” is being prepared, this is of course not counting the fact that targeted killings, aerial night raids and the occasional ground incursion have already become such horrible albeit daily realities in the strip.

Today, an entire population in Gaza is held hostage to dire living conditions and the Zionist state’s death grip, Israel’s heartless policy of meticulously calculating and determining the calorie-intake for Gazans is still the order of the day; university students are being robbed of their academic futures due to arbitrary travel restrictions, patients denied their right to treatment and systemic disregard for anything even resembling human rights still goes on apace.

Three years after the bombs fell; and Palestinians in Gaza –with so many cards stacked against them- are still trying to piece together the broken shards of their lives and entire families are still living through worn out photographs of their loved ones; those who lost their lives to Israel’s Casting Lead and the rest of the world’s self-incriminating silence.

Three years after the bombs fell; and new injustices heaped on top of ongoing ones. The piercing wail of sirens, keening voices of loss amongst the ruins of the strip still prevail till this very day in the little coastal enclave. Three years after the bombs fell; and the only justice the international community could afford to the people of Gaza was a meek report that was even disowned by its author.

Three years after the sky of Gaza was blanketed with all means of spiraling white phosphorous ammunitions; and the ground of the strip is still littered with leftover shells and unexploded bombs laying in wait for a second chance to claim yet more lives of Palestinian kids. Three years after the bombs fell; and living a normal childhood still remains such a rare feat for Gazan children as the sheer weight of life on Israel’s draconian terms takes its heavy toll on their fragile souls; deathly hues of the last war still take hold of their memories and the overcrowded makeshift classrooms are daily reminders of the horrors they’ve endured in that winter of 2008/2009.

Three years after Israeli “spectators” from nearby southern cities took to hilltops in groups to catch sight of the sky raining death and destruction on defenseless Palestinians, giggling, sharing laughs and passing their binoculars from one person to the next as they cheered enthusiastically for the “might” of the IOF as if the carnage unfolding right before their eyes was a mere sporting event; and killing is still a spectator sport for Israeli authorities, trigger-happy junior Israeli border officers still get their kicks from firing live rounds at Palestinian farmers attempting to harvest their crops near the “buffer zone” while hunting the Palestinians in their tunnels near the Rafah border with unmanned drones is still the “standard operating procedure”.

Three years after the bombs fell – almost one year after the dictatorship of Husni Mubarak was dissolved-; and the crushing weight of Israel’s blockade is still pressing hard against the chests of Gazans, the inhumane siege of Gaza –which has long outserved its theoretical usefulness, if there ever was any to begin with- has gradually morphed into this internationally condoned policy that the world has become, for all intents and purposes, far too comfortable to abandon; eventually this chronic passiveness has sadly maneuvered the Palestinians in Gaza into a seemingly unending life of siege and collective punishment, a life in which they have no choice but to literally tunnel their own way out.

Today “Operation Cast Lead” remains an open wound and a dark stain on the conscience of the world as its sense of morality and justice is rapidly waning and the value of a human life remains gravely skewed. Are Palestinian victims somehow not worthy of mass candle-lit vigils at dusk in honor of their memory? Will they ever have someone to recite each and every one of their names at their own “hallowed ground”? The images of the 22-day long massacre in Gaza are too strong to be forgotten; of grief stricken fathers digging the remains of their loved ones buried under the rubbles of what was once their house, of the injured wheeled into chaotic emergency rooms on office chairs, of unidentified bodies of dead children with the word “anonymous” scribbled in black markers across their tiny bellies at the morgue in the Adwan hospital and of doctors at al Shifa Hospital desperately performing CPR on little infants’ chests to no avail.

Unfortunately the media still has a blind spot when it comes to Gaza; screams of protest from Tunisia, Cairo, Benghazi and Sana’a have drowned out the incessant appeals to lift the blockade. Of course; plenty of exploits to be reaped from the Arab Spring nowadays, where -sadly enough- opportunism and gutter politics reign supreme, and so little time to do so.

Three years after the bombs fell; and it seems that Gaza will remain on the back-burner for a while; largely absent from our TV sets and daily dose of news bites, until perhaps Cast Lead II.

Ahmad Barqawi, a Jordanian freelance columnist & writer based in Amman, he has done several studies, statistical analysis and researches on economic and social development in Jordan


8  Today in Palestine

 January 17, 2012


One thought on “Dorothy Online Newsletter

  1. I enjoy reading through an article that will make people think.
    Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

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