Mondoweiss Online Newsletter


Smadar Lavie’s lesson on global neoliberal restructuring, Israeli style
Oct 14, 2012
Annie Robbins

scholar lavie1
Smadar Lavie

Smadar Lavie is an Israeli anthropologist and a visiting scholar at Berkeley. She’s written an important manuscript,The Knafo Chronicles : Marching on Jerusalem With Israel’s Silent Majority, about Israel’s social justice movement viewed thru the sociopolitical context of single mothers from Negev towns used by the Israeli government in the 1950s as a dumping ground for Mizrahim.
But on closer examination it opens an important window into understanding how global neoliberal restructuring takes place utilizing a state’s disenfranchised citizens as pawns furthering geopolitical goals. It’s a jarring read implicating state facilitated or initiated terrorism as a means of stifling dissent, shutting down protest movements, and creating unity around nationalism.
In an email exchange with Mondoweiss Lavie explains:
International media has thus far glossed over or completely ignored this link. With the possibility of an Israeli strike against Iran, it is imperative that this relationship be exposed so that the public can finally understand the rationale of the decision-makers at the highest levels of the Israeli state.”
AFFILIA, the Journal of Women and Social Work (pdf):

On February 21, 2005, I attended a convening of the Israeli Women’s Parliament. The day’s topic was ‘‘Minimum Wage: A Woman’s Perspective.’’ Dr. Linda `Efroni, a brilliant Iraqi economist and labor attorney, was a speaker. She is a prominent consultant for Israel’s major labor unions on issues concerning income and working conditions and a member of the Israeli Council of Higher Education. Yet, she has been only an adjunct at Tel Aviv University. In the discussion after the speeches, she told the following story:

Around 2001, I was invited by the Israeli College of National Security, where military officers are groomed to become generals, to give a lecture at Haifa University. Haifa University regularly hosts events of the college. The audience was made up of students in the special program, but also senior members of the SHABAK—Israel’s FBI—military intelligence, the Israeli police force, and other senior officials in the national security apparatus. There were about 40 people in all sitting around a large conference table.
This was around the time of the social unrest following the collapse of the Argentinian economy. They wanted to know if similar unrest was possible in Israel because of socioeconomic gaps, and how these gaps could be minimized. I offered my analysis. We have problems with security and with borders. These transcend socio-economic protests. It would take a miracle for any social protest to succeed.
If social unrest appeared in the news, I would not be surprised to hear about Hezbollah Katyusha rockets falling on Kiryat Shmona the next day. This would immediately shift public discourse back to security. I could not rule out that the Katyushas on Kiryat Shmona were a response to the IDF Air Force provocation of their fighter jets crossing the border deep into Lebanon. I told them that I didn’t have the knowledge, but my intuition as an analyst told me that.
Everyone was quiet. Everyone was quiet. No one said a thing. And then we broke for a buffet lunch.
At the buffet, a corpulent man approached me. He said, ‘‘Shalom, my name is XY. I was a media adviser for the minister of defense. This is exactly what we did.’’

On October 9, 2010, I called Dr. `Efroni from Minneapolis to verify the quote. She said:

Yes, this is exactly what I said. And this is what he said. He didn’t say that it was off the record. As for Vicky and the end of the hudna, I was in a meeting with Bibi in Jerusalem. She wanted me to join her. The man was very stressed. He sweated a lot. Very stressed. In hindsight, even in the Finance Ministry, they didn’t believe it was going to be so easy. Hok HaHesderim nullifies the legislature. Israel is not a democracy. In the 2003 amendment, they saved 5 billion NIS.
They transferred the money to the upper echelons in the form of a tax refund. They could have done other things with this money. They were so surprised at how easy the transfer was. I think it is not impossible that they let the suicide bomber slip through.”

[ed note: Hok HaHesderim (Arrangement Law) is the Israeli version of the U.S. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985—a ‘‘Reaganomics’’ initiative to deregulate government, reduce public spending, decrease taxation of the upper class, and ease inflation through monetary control.]
In summer 2011, tens of thousands of young Israelis, priced out of their rental leases or foreclosed upon, protested the state’s slashing of public services, echoing the Single Mothers’ Protest of 2003, but on a larger scale. The protesters referred to this as ‘‘Tel Aviv’s Tahrir,’’ after the Tahrir Square demonstrations in Cairo, Egypt, that toppled the Mubarak neoliberal regime.
Thanks to a lull in the Israel–Palestine conflict in summer 2011, the protest succeeded in getting international media attention. On August 18, 2011, a suicide attack by Sinai Bedouin guerrillas struck an Israeli bus. This attack prompted the IDF to bombard Palestinian civilian populations in Gaza. Hamas responded by bombarding civilian populations in Israel’s South. The Israeli regime used this attack to divert attention from the protest. But the protest has not completely died as of this writing. So any in-depth analysis of it would be premature. Major mainstream Hebrew media outlets have reported that SHABAK and the IDF both had intelligence on the date, time, and place the bombing would occur. Netanyahu instructed them to shut up when the Knesset inquired about their lack of preventive measures (Azoulay, 2011; Melman, 2011; Pepper, 2011).

Back to our email exchange:
Just last week Netanyahu called for a dismissal of the Knesset in the next couple of weeks, and for early elections closely following the inauguration of the new (or incumbent) U.S. president. The reason for the parliament and government dismissal is the gridlock in the Knesset over Netanyahu’s draconian national budget for 2013. But, conveniently for the regime, the call for elections also defuses the threat of more social protests not only on the budget, but also ever-increasing rent, food, and gas prices. I don’t think the present protest Dafny Leef is organizing will lead anywhere. Presently, due to Bibi’s tough stance toward Iran, he is the leading candidate for the prime-ministership after the next elections. His hope is to once again deflate any social protest movement that could threaten that position.
Moreover, the timing of Netanyahu’s call for new elections is ominous. In 2008, in the months between Obama’s election and his inauguration in early 2009, Israel conducted the bloody military actions of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. The Israeli regime took advantage of George W. Bush’s lame duck presidency to get away with actions that may otherwise be stopped by Israel’s biggest ally, the U.S.
Israel follows the same script over and over again, as my research data shows, and as Dr. Linda `Efroni states outright at the final chapter of the manuscript.
Lastly, my favorite part of The Knafo Chronicles is Lavie’s unveiling thru the diary of a scholar trapped inside the life of a welfare mother. All politics is personal and this is Lavie’s story all the way thru. She offers us a vivid feminist view of the racist misogynistic dismal conditions of Israel’s underbelly scholars rarely expose, probably because few have lived it or if they have, they haven’t written about it or if they did, no one published it. Thanks to the author and a prestigious feminist social work academic journal, we’re afforded a glimpse.

So you avoid me. You make valiant efforts to set yourselves apart from the regime as feminists and pacifists. How long can you keep your lies going? There’s a boycott going on. Academics and NGOs now document your compliance. Never mind that you have cultivated your precious Mizrahi and Palestinian academic pets.
The Education Ministry may surveil your syllabi. But the Propaganda Ministry sends you across the Atlantic to universities that dare let students have an Israel Apartheid Week. The ministry pays your honoraria to entice their cash-strapped Mideast Centers to place you on their speakers’ lists (Traubmann, 2006). But you will not acknowledge that you are willing participants in the Nicer Face of Israel’s antiboycott campaign.
You prattle on in English about transnational feminist alliances. With whom? Your donors? At your conferences abroad, when you schmooze with editors of academic journals to get your papers published? And for whom? Not moms in the ‘hoods. These mothers graduate from underfunded slum schools barely proficient in standard Hebrew. Proper English is not even on the menu. From the podium, you quote Frankenberg (1993), but do you ever contemplate creating a support group to undo your own intra-Jewish apartheid?

A must read.
(Hap tip Karen Platt.
Exile and the Prophetic: Who speaks for ‘palestine’?
Oct 14, 2012
Marc H. Ellis
This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit thearchive page.
These last days have seen a serious discussion about the leadership of the Free Gaza movement. Charges of anti-Semitism have been made. Statements condemning anti-Semitism have been issued. I don’t believe what happened in the Free Gaza upper echelons should diminish Jewish commitment to justice for Palestinians – this is not what the discussion is about. I do believe anti-Semitism makes it more difficult to address Israel/Palestine in a mature and bold way.
The difficulty isn’t only that charges of anti-Semitism are used as a bulwark for Israel. The main drawback is that anti-Semitism still exists.
Historically, Jews maintain a special place in the West. Jews are featured prominently in the world religions of Christianity and Islam. Thus, feelings and speech about Jews are global. Anti-Semitism can exist even where Jews don’t.
Jean-Francois Lyotard’s distinction between “Jews” and ‘jews” remains in place. In Lyotard’s understanding, “Jews” are real Jews while “jews” are what Jews represent to others. Sometimes that representation is positive, other time negative. I use Jews/jews to point out that Jews are real and iconic. After this long history it is difficult, if not impossible, to separate the two.
If it was just Jews/jews to deal with the Israel/Palestine issue would be controversial enough. However, Palestine is iconic, too. As with Jews and Israel, real “Palestinians” sometimes get in the way of conceptual “palestinians.” When Palestinians march to their own drummer, they, too, are expendable.
I have written about the division between real “Jews” and “jews” and its relation to the real “Israel” and “israel.” Jews and Israel when capitalized is the real thing. Lowercase jews and israel are the conceptual baggage that each represents. Recently, I have been thinking about the differentiation of “Palestinians” and “palestinians” and its consequences for the fate of the Palestinian people.
The most obvious division is in the West, with “palestinians” predominating over “Palestinians.” On the whole, the conceptual baggage of “palestinians” has been negative. The resultant consequences are obvious. “palestinians” have been seen as anti-Semitic, inheritors of the Nazi vendetta against Jews and as terrorist warriors against the West.
For the most part this Palestine/palestine division is in Europe and America, and no doubt that is the reason that the Russell Tribunal on Palestine held three of its four sessions there. Self-correction of this stereotype is crucial. However, there is another side of the Palestine coin – the positive sense of the world importance of “palestinians.”
I remember making a presentation in a South African mosque during the transition to the new South Africa. I was greeted warmly by some. I was yelled down by others. At the conclusion of my presentation, one person shouted that soon he, with others, would be marching to free Palestine of the Jewish invaders. Fearing for my safety, my hosts hustled me off the stage into a waiting car.
Sitting in the speeding vehicle, I imagined the global march to free Palestine of Jews. Soon blood was flowing in the streets. My first thought wasn’t about Jews. Rather it was about my Palestinian friends. One by one, I saw them slaughtered in the “liberation” of Palestine. Rather than Israelis committing the slaughter, it was the “liberating” forces. “palestine” rather than Palestinians was their issue.
This story is anecdotal yet it also resonates with other experiences I’ve had. Even the anti-Semitism I’ve encountered in Israel/Palestine debates is almost exclusively indebted to the conceptual framework of “palestinians.” Palestinian dissidents I’ve encountered know full well the differentiation between the “Holocaust” and the “holocaust.” They also distinguish ably between “Jews” and “jews.” It seems that often the same people who use “jews” in a negative light use “palestinians” for their own purposes.
Every oppressed community needs all friends it can get. The enemy of my enemy is a friend. I have found it remarkable how Palestinian dissidents have struggled against being associated with such “friends.” The question I pose goes beyond the issue of anti-Semitism. It is the question of whether Palestinians can be liberated as long as iconic “palestine” remains in force.
Obviously, “palestine” will remain. Icons are a force unto themselves. They are more powerful than the real thing. Once captured as an image, icons don’t disappoint. Reality is always mixed. Why trade in an icon for real life?
Like Jews, Palestinians have to negotiate their own image. But since “jews” and “israel” are so important in the war of icons – perhaps the most important global icon – being associated with them is, iconically speaking, upward mobility. If not for “jews/israel,” Palestine would be relegated to the backwaters of world conflicts. This, too, would be true of Israel. Without its iconic status and its link with ‘jews,” where would Israel be on the global power map? Israel might not even exist.
At the Russell Tribunal on Palestine a curious exchange played out this iconic status of “palestinians.” This came from a supporter of Palestinian rights. Or was it the right of “palestinians?” Nonetheless it was telling.
At the podium was Saleh Hamayel. To say the least he has paid his dues. Hamayel joined the Palestinian national movement in 1968 and was imprisoned three times by Israeli authorities without trial. Active in the PLO, he was also an early critic of Yasser Arafat. As a student at Cairo University, Hamayael was active in both the General Union of Palestinian Students and the Egyptian student movement. For this he was repeatedly imprisoned. Since 1981, he has been a Professor of History and Political Science at Birzeit University and served as Director of Birzeit’s Research Center from 1994–97. Among others, he has written, The Israeli Assassination Policy in the Aqsa Intifada (2001) andPalestinians and the Historiography of the 1948 War(2005).
One of the terms Hamayel emphasizes when referring to Israeli policies in Jerusalem and the West Bank is “sociocide,” especially referring to the pressures of destruction, Judaization, and expulsion imposed on the Palestinian people. One of the terms he doesn’t employ as readily as the Russell Tribunal on Palestine would like is apartheid. This resulted in a sharp exchange with one of the jurists, Michael Mansfield who, among other things, is Professor of Law at London’s City University.
I tuned in late and the live-streaming had some glitches so I missed most of Hamayel’s presentation. I did capture his interaction with Mansfield in the question and answer session. Their interaction was telling. Because Hamayel had deemphasized apartheid, especially the Palestinian situation with regard to apartheid South Africa, Mansfield was furious. Not only did Mansfield challenge Hamayel, he bullied him. There was no way that Hamayel would be allowed to undercut Mansfield’s sense that Israel was practicing apartheid.
At stake was the legal definition of apartheid. Under International Law apartheid is not subsumed by the specific way apartheid was practiced in South Africa. Hamayel either didn’t get Mansfield’s point or had another issue in mind, first and foremost communicating the suffering, survival and flourishing of his people in his own framework. Mansfield’s mission was to hold Israel’s feet to the fire.
I was stunned watching this exchange but hardly surprised. Hamayel’s voice was considered redundant if he didn’t obey guidelines set in advance and by others. In the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, highlighting Palestinian particularity was forbidden.
Other jurists felt Mansfield was too sharp. A white South African jurist intervened and gently massaged Hamayel, thanking him for his passion and patiently explaining the differences Mansfield had demanded. Paternalism rather than dismissal was his course of action.
Do you remember when some Palestinians (correctly) accused Progressive Jews of attempting to manage and thus limit Palestinian voices? It can happen, too, in international tribunals where non-Jews run the show.
Iconic “palestine.” You know it when Palestinians are allowed to speak only when they tell the story that others want to hear.
So, then, who speaks for Palestinians and Palestine?
Video shows Palestinian father confronting Israeli soldier who beat his 7-year-old son
Oct 14, 2012
Today in Palestine
Land Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Restriction of Movement / Apartheid & Occupation
WATCH: IDF declares Palestinian grazing lands closed military zone
Last Saturday, a group of Ta’ayush activists traveled to the South Hebron Hills to provide support to Palestinian shepherds seeking to take their livestock out for grazing. Soon after they reached their destination, a group of IDF soldiers arrived to declare the area a closed military zone. Watch the confrontation transpire. By Israel Social TV.
link to

Settlers Burn Olive Trees Near Nablus
Palestinian media sources reported, Saturday, that a group of extremist Israeli settlers burnt Palestinian Olive trees that belong to residents of Qaryout village, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

IOF soldiers block Palestinian farmers from reaching their olive fields
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) blocked on Saturday Palestinian farmers from reaching their olive fields in Beit Ummar village to the north of Al-Khalil.

IOA prevents solidarity activists from entering Tubas
Israeli occupation authorities prevented on Friday solidarity activists from Spain from entering Tubas and the northern Jordan Valley to support the Palestinian residents and forced them to return.

Israeli & Egyptian Siege on Gaza

Israel launches new military surveillance balloon over Gaza
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) launched a new military surveillance zeppelin over the eastern area of the Gaza Strip on Friday night, the second in 48 hours.

OIC calls for repairing and building houses of poor people in Gaza
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation called on its member states and their humanitarian organizations to repair and rehabilitate the houses of the poor citizens of the Gaza Strip.

Swedish-owned sailing boat left Naples on Oct. 7 with about 20 people from eight countries on board, carrying items including cement, basketballs, and musical instruments.
A number of pro-Palestinian solidarity groups and organizations have coordinated various flotillas to Gaza or “fly-ins” to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport the past few years. The Estelle is the third attempt from the Freedom Flotilla Movement to challenge Israel’s naval blockade on Gaza. The Estelle, a ship originally from Finland, began its journey in Sweden in Umeå where it was renovated before setting off to sail along Europe’s coastline, including Finland, France and Spain. Last week it arrived in the Mediterranean Gulf after having recently rounded the Italian “boot” island of Sardinia.
Nearly once a week clashes break out in East Jerusalem. Settlers live on top of Palestinian businesses or across the street from Palestinian homes, and white security cameras peek over the sides of buildings every 20 feet like, flags in an American suburb. They prowl for arrest around the clock, capturing the faces of Palestinian children. At times the armed private guards in striped t-shirts that tail each settler provoke neighborhood kids. In some instances the children throw stones. In those cases later the same night the police will show up and arrest them, recognizing their faces from the security recordings. In other instances, the children will awaken to tear gas canisters smashing through their windows.
Israeli Terrorism

Three Israeli air raids on Gaza at dawn
The Israeli occupation regime waged three aerial attacks at dawn Saturday on different areas in the densely populated Gaza Strip.

Two Palestinians Assassinated In Northern Gaza
Palestinian medical sources reported that two Palestinians were killed, on Saturday evening, and one child was injured when the army fired a missile at a motorcycle driving in the center of Jabalai town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

IOF assaults school students in Silwan
In new racist attack, undercover units backed up by the occupation forces attacked on Thursday morning a number of students of Silwan school, sparking fear and panic among the students.

Soldiers Attack Bil’in’s Weekly Protest
Several protesters were treated for the effects of teargas inhalation after Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

IOF clashes with young Palestinians in Jenin village
Israeli occupation forces stormed at dawn Saturday four towns west of Jenin and conducted combing operations during which clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces were reported.

IOF soldiers attack Korean delegation in al-Khalil
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) attacked on Saturday a Korean delegation in the city of al-Khalil in the southern West Bank.

Dozens of Jewish settlers attack farmers in Al-Khalil
Dozens of Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian farmers to the west of Beit Ummar village, north of Al-Khalil, on Friday, local sources said.

Palestinian youth wounded in settlers’ attack on farmers
A Palestinian youth was moderately injured in a Jewish settlers’ attack in the city of al-Khalil in the southern West Bank on Friday.

Illegal Arrests

Israeli soldiers show no mercy, take mother from her child
A nine-year-old boy was left alone without any of his parents when Israeli soldiers kidnapped at dawn Saturday his mother Nora Ja’bari, the wife of Mohamed Abu Warda, a leading Hamas figure.

Other Prisoner News

Palestinian children testify about cruel treatment by Israeli soldiers in new short film
Today, Defence for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI) released a short film about Israel’s ill-treatment of Palestinian children during their arrest, transfer and detention.

What Geneva convention

“Since 1967, more than 730,000 Palestinian men, women and children are estimated to have been imprisoned by Israeli military courts. The majority of such prisoners are held in detention facilities inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of these prisoners into Israel.”
IOA renews administrative detention of Hamas leader for 3rd time
The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) renewed the administrative detention of Hamas leader Abduljabbar Jarrar for the third time running.
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian prisoners are in critical condition in Israeli hospitals, the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of prisoners announced Saturday. The conditions of Riyad al-Amour and Muhammad al-Taj are deteriorating rapidly, according to a report from the ministry. The report said al-Amour, 42, who is held in Assaf Harofeh medical center near Tel Aviv, needs urgent open-heart surgery which cannot be performed due to weak coronary muscles. Al-Amour slips into comas at least five times a day and suffers from exhaustion and incontinence.

Ministry of prisoners slams Israel’s use of violence against Shatta detainees
The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs in Gaza strongly denounced the use of violence on Friday morning by Israeli jailers against the Palestinian detainees in Shatta jail.

Protests / Solidarity / Activism / BDS
The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) calls on pro-Palestinian and peace activists from across the Occupied Territories to join Palestinians on 16th October to protest the roadblock preventing access to Jama’in Village. On this day, residents of Jama’in will remove an earthen mound that blocks access to their agricultural lands.

Liberated prisoner Abeer Awda protests in Ramallah
The liberated prisoner Abeer Awda complained from the continued neglect towards her health condition and staged a sit-in in Ramallah protesting the failure of the PA to treat her.

Citing Israeli sponsorship, Palestinian MC Boikutt pulls out of Austria’s Salam.Orient festival, Ali Abunimah
Boikutt: “These kind of events… are used as a propaganda tool to hide the colonial nature of ‘Israel.’”

Hip hop duo Rebel Diaz cancel Creative Time Summit gig over partnership with Israel group, Ali Abunimah
“We made the decision not to participate, that we will show solidarity with the Palestinian community”

Three more Arab performers pull out of Austrian music festival due to Israel embassy sponsorship, Ali Abunimah
Syrian singer Lena Chamamyan, Lebanese MC Malikah (Lynn Fattouh), and Ramallah-based MC DJ Sotusura will now no longer perform at Salam.Orient due to Israeli sponsorship.

To whom it may concern, We are Israeli citizens who are active against our government’s policies of racism, apartheid and occupation towards the Palestinian people. In particular, many of us are veteran activists in the campaign against Israel’s illegal colonization and settlement construction policies in the occupied West Bank. We have learned that Israel’s Cameri Theatre is due to perform in New Delhi on Nov 4th 2012.  Since the Cameri is complicit in grave violations of international law, which amount to war crimes, and since it serves as an official propaganda tool for the Israeli government, we are calling for the invitation to be rescinded.
The Electronic Intifada speaks to people involved in a project to export Palestinian handicrafts to Dutch buyers

The struggle for Palestinian rights is incompatible with any form of racism or bigotry: a statement by Palestinians, Ali Abunimah
Palestinians affirm that “the struggle for our inalienable rights is one opposed to all forms of racism and bigotry, including, but not limited to, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Zionism and other forms of bigotry.”

On October 8, 2012, the Day of the Heroic Guerilla, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine remembers Comandante Ernesto “Che” Guevara, revolutionary leader, fierce fighter, and principled struggler whose true commitment to internationalism and liberation lives on in the struggles of peoples around the world for freedom, justice and socialism.
Political Developments / Other News
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar on Saturday praised Hezbollah for sending a drone aircraft into Israel last weekend, a statement said. Zahhar described the operation as a “strategic achievement” for the powerful Lebanese political group and a successful step in the psychological battle between Iran and Israel. The Gaza official made the comments during a media workshop in Gaza City, adding that Hamas has a balanced relationship with Iran. Zahhar stressed that the Islamist group has a policy of non-intervention in Syria, noting that Palestinians are guests in the country but that the group advises the leadership to listen to the Syrian street.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Brigades in Gaza on Friday said advances in Hezbollah’s weapons capabilities would benefit the Palestinian resistance.  Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on Thursday said his movement had sent the reconnaissance drone shot down over Israel last weekend. The Gaza-based Al-Mujahideen Brigades described Hezbollah’s operation as “unprecedented” and said it proved that resistance was the best way to face Israel and to stop its continuous attacks.
A clip on Hezbollah’s TV station al-Manar shows the unmanned aerial vehicle, shot down last Saturday by the IDF, flying over the Mediterranean and into Israel.
[Haaretz] “… The Iranian-made drone launched by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, which penetrated Israeli airspace last Saturday, served as a reminder of the complicated balance of deterrent power between the sides. That Hezbollah, backed by Iran, looms as the most sophisticated antagonist vis-a-vis Israel in the region is not in dispute.
“It is our natural right to dispatch reconnaissance planes to occupied Palestine [Israel] whenever we want. This was not the first time and it will not be the last,” he said, noting that the Jewish state had violated Lebanese airspace 20,864 times since the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701.
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel is trying to bring chaos to the region by threatening war on Iran but the Islamic republic can defend itself, Islamic Jihad’s representative to Yemen said Thursday. Ahmad Barakeh said Israel was trying to “blow up” the whole region, backed by the US. Islamic Jihad opposes any attack on Iran as it rejects any attacks on Arab or Islamic countries, but Iran is “able to defend itself,” Barakeh told Ma’an.
Hamas releases video of Shalit capture
Hamas’ military wing releases 24-second video featuring alleged preparations for Gilad Shalit’s abduction.

Former Israeli Soldier Shalit Recalls Captivity
Gilad Shalit, who was seized by Palestinian militants in a cross-border raid in 2006, said in a rare interview that he feared that if he were left too long, his captors “would make me disappear.”

MP Abdel Jawad denounces the PA’s blackmail of citizens
MP Dr. Nasser Abdel-Jawad, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council representing Hamas in Salfit, called on the PA security services in the West Bank to stop charging citizens fraudulently.

The Hamas-run government in Palestine’s Gaza Strip will legalize a Salafi party for the first time since it took power in 2006, an interior ministry spokesman said Saturday. “We met today with the founders of the Salafi An-Nur party and briefed them about legal procedures they have to follow before they officially announce their party,” said Islam Shahwan. He added that freedom of expression and the right to establish political parties and other organizations would be “guaranteed” to everybody.
Palestinians in Gaza are having trouble accessing news websites after Hamas introduced a ban on viewing sexual material.
Rizqa: Israeli elections will negatively affect Palestinian issue
Dr. Youssef Rizqa, the political adviser for Palestinian Prime Minister stated that holding early Israeli elections will negatively and indirectly affect the Palestinian issue.

The Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME) fringe event at the Party Conference was arguably the best attended for years. It was, perhaps, suggestive of a noticeable shift in Labour Party attitudes towards Palestine. This was one of four events on Palestine during the week, the others being hosted by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign & Unite; Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP); and a reception by LFPME. Chaired by the Huffington Post’s Mehdi Hasan (the former editor of the New Statesman), the LFPME panel included the Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Rt Hon John Denham MP, Lisa Nandy MP and Shadow Minister for Africa and the Middle East Ian Lucas MP, as well as Dr Hanan Ashrawi via Skype. They addressed an audience of more than 300 people on what the Labour Party’s policy should be for Palestine under the title, ‘Securing Peace and Justice in the Middle East’.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Oct 14 (Reuters) – “Many people still believe the post of mayor is exclusively for men,” says Vera Baboun, aiming to become the first female mayor of the Palestinian town of Bethlehem, and in the process shake up a society where men still make the laws and do the deals. The university lecturer has a good chance of achieving the first goal in municipal elections being held across the West Bank on Oct. 20. She heads a bloc of 12 Muslims and Christians in Bethlehem representing the Fatah movement, which one recent survey found to command 49 percent support in the West Bank.
Analysis / Op-ed / Human Interest

As Palestinian frustration grows, young man considers armed struggle, Mya Guarnieri
Hakem* believes that armed struggle and the strategic use of violence is the only way to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He calls BDS ‘silly’ and says Hamas has gone soft. He calls Israel ‘the entity’ and says it must be dismantled. After that, Hakem adds, Jews are welcome to stay.

Extremism goes mainstream: Violence at Al Aqsa Mosque
Every year, the Jewish holiday of Sukkot brings with it groups of Jewish worshipers who try to penetrate security at the Al Aqsa compound, disregarding the sanctions of this Muslim holy place.

Civil courage is when civilians stand up against something that is deemed unjust and evil, knowing that the consequences of their action might lead to injury or even death. The Palestinian villagers of Al Aqaba, a little town in the Jordan Valley of the West Bank, are standing up as peacefully and courageously as they can, to build their homes on the land they own, knowing that Israeli Army bulldozers may come at any time. They are “rebuilding to remain.”
Here’s some high level intrigue, with the stakes being no less than Our Next War. You might have seen the bombshell piece by Foreign Policy editor David Rothkopf, “A Truly Credible Military Threat To Iran,” saying that Obama and the Israelis are at last getting on the same page for a surgical strike on Iran that would only last a couple of hours and bring regional benefits to everyone.

Russell Tribunal has placed Palestinians in tradition of Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks, Sherry Wolf
Sherry Wolf helped organize the lately-concluded Russell Tribunal on Palestine in New York. Here she offers some context, at her site: Debates should and will rage in the blogosphere regarding both legitimate and irrelevant critiques of what is essentially the highest profile event to have ever taken place in the United States regarding US and UN complicity in Israel’s violations of international law.

Last month, the South African international lawyer, Professor John Dugard, spoke at the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine fringe meeting during the party’s annual conference in Brighton, co-sponsored by MEMO. Professor Dugard has published the definitive work on the law of apartheid, and was for seven years Special Rapporteur to the UN Human Rights Council on the Human Rights Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Serial criminality against humanity is official Israeli policy. Punishment never follows. Ruthlessness best describes these type abuses. Committing them without accountability is unconscionable. It goes on daily. Western media scoundrels ignore it. Too few people understand what everyone should. Militarized occupation is hell. Terrorizing civilian men, women, and children is worst of all. In early October, Israeli air strikes and artillery attacked Gaza. At least one death and numerous injuries followed. On October 11, Israeli aircraft struck again.

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J Street sells its soul, completes evolution to AIPAC lite
Oct 14, 2012 09:18 am | M.J. Rosenberg
It was inevitable. Constantly under pressure from the Jewish center-right (Reform rabbis, for instance), J Street has thrown in the towel. Read its document of surrender. 
In response to the letter from Christian denominations urging that aid to Israel be compliant with U.S. law, J Street has joined Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation league and the half-million a year hacks that run the other Jewish organizations to blast the Christians. (See Foxman letter).
J Street agrees with them that aid to Israel is an entitlement. It must never be questioned unless you also add ” criticism of Israel’s behavior with appropriate criticism of, for instance, rocket fire from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas.” You must also  ”put the present situation into a historical or political context that might provide a fuller appreciation for the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over many decades. “
Blah, blah, AIPAC, blah. The church letter is about the $2.5 billion aid package to Israel. As far as I know, the U.S. does  not provide the rockets fired from Gaza. As for putting the current situation in a context that “ might provide a fuller appreciation for the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over many decades,” I say tell that to the people of Gaza, including the 1400 civilians (300 kids) who heard all about that context in 2009-2010.

I have no doubt that the people who run J Street fought the rabbis and donors to avoid having to put out this statement. They always fight. They always give in. (I hear that Rabbi David Saperstein of the Reform movement threatens to pull “my rabbis” out if J Street strays too far from AIPAC. He’s the lobby’s enforcer)

So I feel sorry for J Street. But I do not see any reason to support it. It is, at the end of the day — in fact, long before the end of the day — just another Jewish organization that lacks the courage of its supposed convictions.
If Israel attacks Iran, I am sure Saperstein will demand that J Street will go along with that too. It will only stand tall when it has permission.
J Street: Epic Fail.

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