Tag Archives | Israel

A Sick Society

Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In a stunning indictment of the Gaza assault as the act of a savage nation, even its president has proclaimed Israel a “sick society” incapable of dialogue with those around them and in need of treatment. In a speech at the opening of a conference aptly titled, “From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin – who as head of state has little real power compared to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with far too much – suggested Israel has become a nation without humanity or empathy that has “forgotten how to be decent human beings.” If you need further evidence of the justice of his claim, here’s video of Israeli soldiers arresting an 11-year-old, mute, developmentally disabled boy near Hebron for the possible crime of throwing a stone as neighboring Israeli settlers cheer. This makes us sick.

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Chomsky: The Crass and Brutal Approach Used to Keep Gaza Mired in Misery

By Andrew Rusk via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

By Andrew Rusk via Flickr. (CC by 2.0)

via AlterNet:

On Aug. 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind.

The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.

This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel’s periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.

Since November 2005 the terms of these agreements have remained essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it – as Israel has conceded – until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality.

These escalations are called “mowing the lawn” in Israeli parlance.

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Jews To Israel: If Not Now, When

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Abby Zimet writes at Common Dreams:

In the wake of ongoing abuses by Israel against the Palestinian people – from the most recent devastation in Gaza to the brute fact of the Occupation itself – a growing number of Israelis and other Jews are renouncing, often with a mix of sorrow and anger, a Zionist project most have grown up supporting. The flood of leave-takings has come from all sides, starting with the rapid growth of Israeli peace organizations, mostly notably If Not Now.
Then came the decision by leading Israeli human rights group B’Tselem to stop cooperating with Israel, which recently banned several independent human rights groups, in its so-called “investigation” of abuses in Gaza. The group cited the IDF’s well-documented  history of “whitewashing,” arguing, “Common sense has it that a body cannot investigate itself…Based on past experience, we can only regretfully say that Israeli law enforcement authorities are unable and unwilling to investigate allegations of breaches of international humanitarian law (in) Gaza.” Around the same time, an even more startling rejection came from a group of Holocaust survivors and their families, who wrote an open letter calling Israeli conduct in Gaza “genocide.”
This week, they were joined, in his fashion, by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author and illustrator Art Spiegelman, who became one of the most acclaimed voices of the Holocaust when he told the story of his father’s survival at Auschwitz with his extraordinary graphic novel Maus.
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The Danger of “Us” VS “Them”

This post was originally published on “Consciousness is Everything.”

To paraphrase Nietzsche, the danger in fighting monsters is that of becoming a monster oneself. Why do we feel the need to fight monsters? First we must perceive “I” as distinct from “an other”. At the heart of the matter, all is resolved into Oneness.  But when we fail to perceive this, the sense of separation prevails. This is the root of all of our troubles. When we perceive some other who is somehow deemed a threat or is sufficiently “bad”, the tendency is to get up in arms. This fuels the psychology of separation even further. There arises a battle between “us” and “them”. In a neat little twist of irony, Reality proves that, ultimately, we are all One…even via the medium of our misguided efforts at preserving the separate self at the expense of the others who threaten it.… Read the rest

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Israeli Finance Minister Calls for International Aid Package to Gaza if PA Rule is Restored

Yair_Lapid_-_portrait

Will it happen?

via Bloomberg News:

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday called on the international community to pull together a massive aid package for Gaza conditioned on the Palestinian Authority returning to power in place of the Islamic militant group Hamas.

Lapid said that the Western-leaning Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is the legitimate authority in Gaza, which was been blockaded since Hamas seized control there in 2007. If Hamas were removed, the blockade would end, achieving Hamas’ own stated purpose in its firing of rockets on Israel, Lapid said.

In a phone interview with the Associated Press, the finance minister argued that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations currently being mediated by Egypt should lead to a reopening of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza, with the Gaza side controlled by the Palestinian Authority instead of Hamas. As a next step, he said, Abbas should be in charge of any aid the world community donates to the rehabilitation of Gaza, he said.

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Israeli Official Calls for Full-Blown Conquest of Gaza

Photograph of Moshe Feiglin taken by David Rabkin at Manhigut Yehudit meeting, Jerusalem, March 1, 2009. Via Wikipedia.

Photograph of Moshe Feiglin taken by David Rabkin at Manhigut Yehudit meeting, Jerusalem, March 1, 2009. Via Wikipedia.

The Victim becomes the Abuser once again.

Andrew Sullivan writes:

What is one to make of the fact that the deputy speaker of the Knesset has called for ethnic cleansing in Gaza?

He’s not an obscure blogger for the Times of Israel. He is a luminary of the Likud – a man who got 23 percent of the vote in a contest for the Likud Party leadership. He was appointed to his current high position by Benjamin Netanyahu. And this is his proposal for Gaza:

a) The IDF [Israeli army] shall designate certain open areas on the Sinai border, adjacent to the sea, in which the civilian population will be concentrated, far from the built-up areas that are used for launches and tunneling. In these areas, tent encampments will be established, until relevant emigration destinations are determined.

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Personalizing Propaganda – Is the Disinformation Our Fault?

Are we creating personalized propaganda bubbles? Do you only follow news outlets that pump out the same rhetoric?

A display of crossed Israeli and Palestinian flags with the word for peace in both Arabic (Salaam/Salam السلام) and Hebrew (Shalom שלום). By Westonmr

A display of crossed Israeli and Palestinian flags with the word for peace in both Arabic (Salaam/Salam السلام) and Hebrew (Shalom שלום). By Westonmr via Wikimedia Commons

via io9:

New data visualizations give a startling picture of online activity during the latest conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. And they reveal just how much online media and social networks help us to create our own information bubbles, customized to reinforce our political beliefs.

Gilad Lotan is the chief data scientist at betaworks, which has launched high-profile companies that include SocialFlow and bitly. Looking at Lotan’s network graph of Twitter traffic from his blog i love data, I can’t help but feel that we really are living in a version of The Matrix. The media constructs our reality and we’re plugged into it 24/7.

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Holding Israel Accountable From Bottom Up: What You Can Do | Interview with Rania Khalek

Abby Martin speaks with journalist, Rania Khalek, about the latest ceasefire announced between Israel and Gaza highlighting the disproportionality of the conflict and the collective punishment falling on Palestinian civilians, as well as going over the ways people to help residents of Gaza.

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