Posts tagged Hasbara

Settling Palestine: The ‘latest colonizing adventure’

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The following is an excerpt from a documentary detailing the tactics employed by Jewish settlers in Palestine:

“When a new settlement is established, it must withstand attack from the very first day of occupation. A system of defense has been evolved, in which these experienced settlers play an important part.

“When the proposed site has been marked out, members of the established settlements in the vicinity move off to congregate in the village nearest the scene of the latest colonizing adventure. From all around they come. Men, who have themselves recently made pioneering history, by cars, lorries and wagons, they all move to the (more…)

Israel admits ‘administrative detention’ is unnecessary

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Less than three weeks after at least 1,400 Palestinians in Israeli prisons launched a widespread hunger strike, Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on Thursday made several astounding admissions regarding Israel’s use of administrative detention. In private meetings with security officials, Aharonovitch called for reducing Israel’s use of the practice, applying it “only if there is a need and not in all cases,” according to a Haaretz report.

He was in effect admitting that the practice is being used even when it is not necessary, assuming it is ever necessary. Furthermore he seemed to be conceding that Israel uses administrative detention instead of carrying out thorough criminal or intelligence investigations.

In a presentation to Israel’s Defense Ministry, Justice Ministry, the IDF, Shin Bet and Prison Service, Aharonovitch recommended that authorities “exhaust investigations and evidence collections” in order to allow the application of criminal proceedings against Palestinian arrestees, something one shouldn’t have to advocate in a democracy.

The official public explanation of the use of administrative detention, the practice of arresting and (more…)

Free Pollard? Fine. But leave US Jews out of it

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The case of Jonathan Pollard, despite having becoming the cause célèbre for Israelis in recent years (especially of late), is one of the most sensitive and uncomfortable topics among American Jewry. For US Jews, Pollard is the ultimate manifestation of suspected dual and conflicting loyalty between the United States and Israel – the Jewish state. While it is the right – and perhaps the duty – of the Israeli government to seek his release, Israelis should be especially cautious about asking their American kindred to take up his cause.

Pollard, at the time of his arrest in 1985, was an American citizen (not a dual citizen) with a high-level security clearance, which he received for his work in US Naval Intelligence. The details of the espionage he conducted against his own country have never been publicly released or confirmed, despite the plethora of information disseminated by his supporters and detractors alike. One narrative tells of a morally conflicted man who was disturbed by the lack of vital information being shared by the US with Israel, who felt he had a moral (more…)

False victories: ‘Mavi Marmara’ and the flotilla

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As result of Israel’s diplomacy, in combination with completely unrelated circumstances, the Turkish-flagged “Mavi Marmara” will not participate in the next flotilla, the Turkish IHH organization announced on Friday. Israel, however, should not be celebrating – it is a false victory.

Last year, in the violence that broke out between a small core group of violent Turkish activists and Israeli commandos aboard one of the six ships in the “Freedom Flotilla” making their way to Gaza, nine people were killed, including one American citizen. In the event’s aftermath, Israel expended great legal and diplomatic efforts to vilify Turkey’s IHH, placing blame for the entire incident on the group, calling it a terrorist organization.

Indeed, some activists on the IHH’s boat were responsible for instigating the violence that took place on the “Mavi Marmara.” But this narrative ignores the other five boats that the Israeli navy prevented from breaking (more…)

The fragility of ‘unbreakable bonds’

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The United States’ veto on Friday of a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning settlements in the West Bank presented a difficult moment for Washington. The resolution, written to mirror much of the language used by the United States over the years, left the White House with a dilemma of whether it should blindly stand by its friends in Israel or stand behind its long-stated position that settlements are illegal and a serious obstacle to a two-state solution. Additionally, by vetoing the resolution, the Obama administration defied nearly every country represented in the UN and took a risk of isolating itself alongside Israel. While the US continues to provide unwavering support for Israel, it is a mistaken assumption that there is an “unbreakable bond” between the two states. If Washington becomes increasingly isolated (economically or politically) as a result of its support and defense of Israel, the relationship may be in trouble.

Since the late 1960s, the “unbreakable bond” between the United States and Israel has been based on four main points. Firstly, Israel was one of the only Middle Eastern states (more…)

What occupation looks like

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No words for now.

This is what occupation looks like:
(The video loads slowly, please be patient)

Via Joseph Dana at +972 on Vimeo.

What Lieberman doesn’t understand about human rights NGOs

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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) party this week initiated a parliamentary enquiry into many of Israel’s civil and human rights organizations. Speaking to his party after the vote, Lieberman said: “It is clear that we are talking here of organizations which are pure accomplices to terror.” He added, “Their entire aim is to weaken [the Israeli military] and to weaken its resolve to defend citizens of the state of Israel.”

Likud MK Danny Danon argued for the necessity of the investigative committee in a Jerusalem Post op-ed on Monday, accusing what he calls “extreme left-wing organizations” of working “nonstop to weaken the very state they live and work in.” The MKs are especially perturbed by the idea that foreign governments (in Europe) are funding the NGOs. The Right in Israel truly believes that the Left’s goal is to weaken and eventually destroy the State of Israel. Here lies the problem.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding among the Right about these organizations. Regardless of where their funding comes from, they do not want to destroy Israel. The organizations (more…)

The West Bank barrier: Land grab?

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West Bank Barrier (Wall)

West Bank Barrier (Wall) - by "Wall in Palestine" (CC)

I stumbled upon this gem while looking for something else.

Dan Meridor, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy, admitted that the current route of the “security fence” is the ideal eastern border for Israel, in a Haaretz interview yesterday. This is not a relevation, but rather an assumption of many that has been denied by the government time-and-again since the barrier was first erected. It was the route of the barrier that the International Court of Justice ruled was illegal in 2004, calling it, “tantamount to annexation.” Israel has denied this claim, saying the barrier is needed to keep terrorists out. To this, the world asked, “then why don’t you build it on the Green Line?” The official Israeli response has always been that, “the fence is a temporary, defensive measure – not a border.” Until now…

Here is the excerpt:

What should the future border look like?

I haven’t drawn a map, and I don’t know from what percentage of the territory it will be necessary to withdraw. It would also not be right to go into this topic in a newspaper interview. I think the new border has to be based on the principle of the security fence route and the settlement blocs. That is what we have to aspire to. (more…)

Nov 13: Weekend Reading

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The New York Times ran an editorial on Friday calling out Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for deciding that “his hard-line coalition is more important than working with President Obama to craft a peace deal,” and acting as if the new Republican House majority means he will enjoy American support “no matter what he does.” The Times editorial concluded by calling on Bibi to “stop playing games, reinstate the moratorium, get back to negotiations and engage seriously in a peace deal.”

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Young California Jew Matthew Taylor discussed the tensions between the aging American Jewish establishment and younger Jewish voices calling for just Israeli policies in an Haaretz Op-ed on Friday. Taylor was one of the hecklers attacked and thrown out of the  North American Jewish Federations General Assembly last week after interrupting Netanyahu’s speech with shouts of “The occupation delegitimizes Israel” and “The settlements betray Jewish values.” Lamenting how critics of Israeli policies are dismissed as “delegitimizers” sans any calm discussion on the merits of the criticism, Taylor recalled a Ghandi quote: “First they ignore you, then they (more…)

Israel’s loyalty oath: What’s the controversy and why is it wrong?

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The “loyalty oath” approved this week by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s cabinet has quickly – and for good reason – become extremely controversial. Most western and liberal states require those seeking citizenship to take an oath of loyalty upon becoming naturalized citizens. Israel already has a loyalty oath on the books that one must take when naturalizing. So what’s the big deal?

The United States requires that naturalized citizens declare [by oath] to “support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” It further requires them to pledge to bear arms and serve in the armed forces if required by law.

The United Kingdom requires new citizens to swear their “allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth,” to “respect its rights and freedoms,” to “uphold its democratic values,” and to fulfill their “duties and (more…)

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