Israel

Israel’s right wing Zionists, Palestine’s militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter

9/2/14

The polling is in from both sides and it’s clear.

This  Jerusalem Post report on Israeli polling says that Naftali Bennett the champion of annexing West Bank lands is the most popular Israeli politician on the right:

[A] Panels Politics poll taken Monday for the Knesset Channel… asked who best represents the views of the Right, giving Netanyahu, Bennett and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as choices.

Thirty-nine percent said Bennett, 28% said Netanyahu, and 20% Liberman….

The poll shows that rightwing and settler parties have a clear majority of the Knesset, of 68 seats:

The poll found that if elections were held now, Likud would win 26 seats, Bayit Yehudi 19, Labor 18, Yesh Atid and Meretz 10, and Yisrael Beytenu eight….
The Panels’ poll predicted United Torah Judaism would win eight seats, Shas seven..

Meantime, Kahlil Shikaki has polled Palestinians, and Hamas is skyrocketing. Daniel Estrin reports:

The popularity of Hamas among Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip has spiked significantly following the 50-day war with Israel, according to an opinion poll released Tuesday.
The poll, conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research and headed by leading Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki, indicates that 61 percent of Palestinians would choose Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister in Gaza, for president if Palestinian presidential elections were held today.
Only 32 percent would vote for current President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas’ rival, the survey suggested.
The support for Haniyeh marks a stark increase from a poll in June, conducted by the same pollster, which found only 41 percent of Palestinians backed the Hamas figure. At the time, Abbas had 53 percent support.
The poll also suggests a majority of Palestinians – 72 percent – support adopting Hamas’ armed approach in the West Bank.

So Gaza has only accelerated and solidified the polarization of the two communities, the powerful one and the oppressed, and thereby cemented the realistic political view in the west that this is an intractable conflict on which John Kerry sought to apply bandages that did not work. “There is no peaceful resolution of the conflict” — the understanding conveyed to me by a Spanish friend in Jerusalem — gains force. So does the prayer that the Obama administration might have to develop a strategy that does not entail support for the rightwing Jewish state.

Although focus has been on Gaza, Israel’s plan for the West Bank is still in place

9/2/14

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

After Gaza – that sensibility may be premature on many levels. In the last decades has there truly been an after Gaza moment – that lasted?

I remember lecturing in Geneva, Switzerland some months after the 2008-2009 siege of Gaza had(n’t) ended. I was almost hooted off the stage when I said there was more to come. In the audience mind, this was it, way too blatant, the international community wouldn’t allow such carnage and, yes, war crimes, to go unpunished.

Now we have arrived back at the beginning with more or less the same sentiments circulating. But if Israel plays its cards rights it won’t need to go back into Gaza. Especially since the international “Never Again” mantra seeks to cure Palestine’s ills by measuring out large doses of preventive medicine.

“Preventive” here means squeezing Gaza and the West Bank into a controlled militarized zone where only those who seek to discipline resistance has the firepower.

“Preventive” here means negotiating an airport and seaport which if ever built – and if either remained open for any length of time – would be so policed and restrictive it would probably be easier to walk or swim to one’s destination.

Well done, one might say, Israel should claim victory and move on. But Israel isn’t resting content with its victory. Hence the new settlement expansion and the confiscation of land in the West Bank – without leaving out the new nine story yeshiva in East Jerusalem.

So having withdrawn troops from Gaza, though still keeping its (somewhat adjusted) blockade in place, Israel is pushing the international Israel-gets-to-keep-all-it-has-taken envelope. If you noticed this was John Kerry’s envelope as well. Having thumbed its nose at Kerry and tacking on an invasion of Gaza to emphasize its point, Israel is already doing the same to the larger world.

So what to do – after Gaza? Wait and see what Israel plans to do and then watch as more land is confiscated and more settlements are built?

We’ve been there and done that. The end of Israel’s invasion of Gaza – once again – was supposed to change the script.

Yes I’m afraid the reality is wait and see and, yes, condemn. Saying, of course, that the priority has to be rebuilding the shattered lives of Gaza’s population. While understandable, it is, at the same time, an obvious diversion.

Israel thrives on diversions. As sad and painful as it is to even think that this horror is a diversion, it’s important to think the unthinkable.

Israel’s master plan is still in place. Full throttle.

These Photos Capture Life Beyond War and Tragedy in Palestine

9/1/14
This image, simply entitled "Seen in Gaza" shows two Palestinian men in Gaza overlooking their destroyed city which was destroyed by an Israeli attack

This image, simply captioned “Seen in Gaza” shows two Palestinian men in Gaza overlooking their destroyed city which was destroyed by an Israeli attack

Ever since Brandon Stanton‘s hugely popular Humans of New York (HONY) page launched in November 2010, hundreds of pages from around the world followed suit. The theme, which is fairly common to all the pages, is rather simple: a photographer or a group of photographers go around a neighborhood, village, city or country and ask people questions accompanied by a memorable portrait.

The project reached all corners of the planet from Rio De Janeiro to Tehran, passing by most countries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The projects’ awareness raising potential haven't gone unnoticed, as one commenter on a recent HONY image said: “I look forward to these posts every day now. They restore my faith in humanity.” This comment received over 7,000 likes.

In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, awareness-raising is certainly needed. And that's what “Humans of Palestine” set out to do. When Global Voices Online asked Jafar Zuabi, one of Humans of Palestine's team members, to describe the idea behind Humans of Palestine, he explained:

Humans of Palestine was created to reflect the dreams of Palestinian people and their daily lives. But since the offensive started, the page aims at restoring the humanity that is often stripped away when Palestinians are reduced to calculative deaths, forgettable names, and burned and mutilated bodies, rather than people who shared loved ones, stories, dreams and aspirations.

The image, shared on August 15, is captioned: "This is the first baby to be delivered by me. His name is Mazen. The labor was under the supervision of Dr. Nashwa Skaik at al-Shifaa hospital. This is one of the greatest moments in my life."

“This is the first baby to be delivered by me. His name is Mazen. The labor was under the supervision of Dr. Nashwa Skaik at al-Shifaa hospital. This is one of the greatest moments in my life.”(link)

The page, which boasts over 22,000 followers on Facebook and 7,500 on Twitter, stands out from other HONY-type pages in its coverage of both Palestinians in Palestine as well as those in the diaspora, both refugees and emigrants. Indeed, the Humans of Palestine team covers Gaza, the West Bank, Israel, Palestinian refugee camps across the Arab world and the Palestinian diaspora.

How does it work? Jafar replied:

We at Humans of Palestine work as a team of five: The founder of the page, Anas Hamra from Gaza; We'am, Haneen and myself from Ramallah; and Niraz from the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria.

We ended our conversation with a touch of optimism:

We think we are making a difference. Our message is reaching the Arab and the western countries more and more every day.

Here are a few of the photographs shared on the page:

"Noor, is a passionate young girl from Gaza, she's always wanted to start her own Palestinian English channel in Gaza, but she didn't know that the first news to report would be a "War" on Gaza! Noor stands where Israeli military destroyed a whole neighborhood called Shujaiya and she is making a report about it" (link)

“Noor, is a passionate young girl from Gaza, she's always wanted to start her own Palestinian English channel in Gaza, but she didn't know that the first news to report would be a “War” on Gaza! Noor stands where Israeli military destroyed a whole neighborhood called Shujaiya and she is making a report about it”
(link)

"I was sitting opposite  Naji Al-Ali's (Palestinian cartoonist) grave, thinking of all the great people Israel had wiped off the map, and how they all stay in our lives. When I think of those people, I don't think of them as 'dead'. So what's death after all? It is as Ghassan Kanafani deliberately put it: "A man is, at the end of the day, a cause." When I think of martyrs, I don't think of them as numbers. They are people with collective memories, families, dreams- which all was simply taken away from them. The idea brings my defenses down. For those who gave their lives ardently, for those whose dreams were brutally taken away, all the tears of the world will not bring your pure souls back. I salute you"

“I was sitting opposite Naji Al-Ali's (Palestinian cartoonist) grave, thinking of all the great people Israel had wiped off the map, and how they all stay in our lives. When I think of those people, I don't think of them as ‘dead'. So what's death after all? It is as Ghassan Kanafani deliberately put it: “A man is, at the end of the day, a cause.” When I think of martyrs, I don't think of them as numbers. They are people with collective memories, families, dreams- which all was simply taken away from them. The idea brings my defenses down. For those who gave their lives ardently, for those whose dreams were brutally taken away, all the tears of the world will not bring your pure souls back. I salute you” (link)

- How would you describe yourself? - I am not as sneaky and demanding as most people would think

- How would you describe yourself?
- I am not as sneaky and demanding as most people would think (link)

Israel seizes 1000 acres from 5 Palestinian villages to build new settlement in response to teens’ abduction

9/1/14

Land, property theft & destruction / Restriction of movement

Israel appropriates massive tract of West Bank land
Haaretz 31 Aug by Chaim Levinson — The appropriation of just under 4,000 dunams (988 acres) of West Bank land between the Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem was announced on Sunday by the Israel Defense Forces’ Civil Administration. The appropriation was decided on by the cabinet last week as a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June, according to the administration’s announcement. Anti-settlement group Peace Now said it was the largest land appropriation in 30 years. The intention of appropriating the land is to create territorial continuity between the Green Line and settlements of Beitar Illit, Kfar Etzion, and Gvaot. The appropriated land belongs to five Palestinian villages in the Bethlehem area: Jab‘a, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin. Most of the land does not fall under any local authority at this stage. Following the announcement, settlement bodies are now able to submit plans for the development of the land. The announcement is the latest of a series of plans designed to attach the Etzion settlement bloc to Jerusalem and its environs. Some 984 dunams in the area were declared state land last April. Construction of a major settlement at the location, known as Gvaot, has been mooted by Israel since 2000. Last year, the government invited bids for the building of 1,000 housing units at the site and 523 are currently under construction. Ten families currently live on the site, which is adjacent to a Jewish seminary. David Perl, head of the Gush Etzion local council, said that the “declaration of some 4,000 dunams as state land paves the way for the establishment of Gvaot, a new city in Gush Etzion. I want to congratulate the prime minister and the government of Israel on their promotion of the initiative and the defense minister and head of the civil administration on getting the decision approved. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Israel to cancel the appropriation. “This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza,” Abu Rudeineh said.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.613319

US urges Israel to reverse planned West Bank land appropriation
WASHINGTON (Reuters) 31 Aug — The United States sees Israel’s announcement on Sunday of a land appropriation for possible settlement construction in the occupied West Bank as “counterproductive” to peace efforts and urges the Israeli government to reverse the decision, a State Department official said. Israel laid claim to nearly a thousand acres (400 hectares) in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem, a move which an anti-settlement group termed the biggest appropriation in 30 years and a Palestinian official said would cause only more friction after the Gaza war. “We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” the U.S. official said. “ This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tender they issue is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians.”
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/31/us-palestinians-israel-settlement-usa-idUSKBN0GV0WO20140831

Palestinian officials slam Israeli land confiscation in West Bank
JERUSALEM (AFP) 31 Aug — Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat called for diplomatic action against Israel in response to its move to annex 4,000 dunams (1,000 acres) of Palestinian land south of Bethlehem in the West Bank on Sunday. “The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land,” Erekat told AFP. “The international community should hold Israel accountable as soon as possible for its crimes and raids against our people in Gaza and the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of constant settlement expansion on land the Palestinians claim for a future state is deemed illegal by the European Union and an “obstacle to peace” by the United States and opposed by both. “Today’s announcement clearly represents Israel’s deliberate intent to wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land and to willfully impose a de facto one-state solution,” senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724585

Protests in Hebron as Israeli checkpoint closure enters 9th day
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Dozens of Palestinians protested on Hebron’s Shuhada Street Sunday morning after Israeli forces maintained a closure of a city center checkpoint for the ninth day, disrupting life and commerce in the southern West Bank city. Residents say that because of the closure, they have been forced to take a 3-4 kilometer route around the entire area, even though their homes and businesses are located only meters away … The checkpoint was initially closed after a Molotov cocktail was hurled at it, but a local told Ma‘an that the damage had since been repaired and concrete barriers added, as well a new watchtower added overlooking nearby Beersheba street. “The Israeli occupation is seeking to force Palestinian residents to leave their homes in Shuhada Street so that settlers can easily lay hold of the area,” an activist from Hebron’s Coalition of Youth Against Settlements told Ma ‘an. Despite the pressure from the occupation and settlers in Shuhada Street and nearby Tel Rumeida neighborhood, he said, the Palestinian population is adamant on staying in their homes and will never leave them to settlers. An activist from Hebron’s Coalition of Human Rights Defenders told Ma‘an that after earlier preventing them, Israeli forces allowed students at the Qurtuba School — which is surrounded by an Israeli settlement — to cross the checkpoint, despite the closure. In addition, the activist said elderly people above the age of 70 were allowed to cross the checkpoint as well.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724433

Israeli forces bar Palestinian women from Aqsa compound
JERUSALEM (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Israeli forces on Sunday morning denied Muslim women entry into al-Aqsa Mosque compound while allowing Israeli Jews entry. Palestinian security guards at the compound told Ma‘an that Israeli police officers erected checkpoints at all gates of the holy compound and that starting at 7 a.m. all women were denied entry. Men were allowed to enter the compound after inspection, meanwhile, although some were asked to leave their identity cards at the checkpoints. On the other hand, more than 30 Israeli Jews entered the compound through the Moroccan gate and toured the holy place heavily escorted by police officers. Muslim women gathered near the main gates and shouted slogans in protest against the Israeli restrictions against them.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724440

Violence / Raids / Illegal arrests

Group: Israel arrests nearly 600 Palestinians in August
RAMALLAH (AFP) 30 Aug — Israeli forces detained 597 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in August, raising the number of Palestinians in Israeli prisons to more than 7,000, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. The majority of the arrests took place in East Jerusalem and Hebron, which is situated in the south of the West Bank, the NGO, based in Ramallah, said in a statement. Many were arrested during demonstrations in support of Palestinians in Gaza, which was the focus of a deadly 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the de facto ruler of Gaza. Since the June kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the southern West Bank, at least 2,000 Palestinians have been questioned and detained, according to the NGO.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724330

Israeli forces detain 7 Palestinians in Nablus refugee camp
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Israeli forces raided the al-Fara refugee camp in Nablus overnight and detained seven Palestinians, locals said. Witnesses told Ma‘an that 15 military jeeps and armored personnel carriers raided the camp from several directions and broke into dozens of houses. The home of a senior official from the Palestinian People’s Party, Muhammad Mansour, was raided and Israeli forces questioned him in the street and confiscated several flags from his house. Ali Wakid, 45, his sons Imad, 26, and Ahmad, 22, Farouq Abu al-Hasan, 42, Muhmmad Salah Sawalma, 20, Asim Mansour Subih, 47, and Ismail Abu Atieh, 48, were detained during the raids.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724634

Four, including two children, kidnapped in West Bank
IMEMC/Agencies 31 Aug — Israeli soldiers invaded, on Sunday at dawn, several districts in the occupied West Bank, searched homes, and kidnapped four Palestinians, including two children. The two children were attacked and beaten by the soldiers. The Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA) has reported that several Israeli military jeeps invaded Burin town, near Jenin, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, searched and ransacked several homes, and kidnapped a young Palestinian man identified as Bashar Qadous. In addition, soldiers invaded several Palestinian communities in the West Bank district of Bethlehem, and kidnapped one Palestinian, identified as Mohammad Bassam Abu Khdeir, 20, form ‘Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem city. In Beit Fajjar town, south of Bethlehem, soldiers handed two young brothers military warrants ordering them to head to the Etzion Military and Security base, south of Bethlehem, for interrogation. The two have been identified as ‘Aws and Ahmad Majed Thawabta.  Dozens of soldiers also invaded Ya‘bad town, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and fired several flares and concussion grenades during clashes with local youths, who threw stones at the invading soldiers, and the army also fired rubber-coated metal bullets, gas bombs, and concussion grenades. Soldiers also invaded Zababda town, near Jenin, and searched several homes, causing property damage. Also on Sunday, soldiers kidnapped two Palestinians in Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank, and kidnapped two children identified as Badri Abu Zalata, 14, and Kathem Najjar, 16, the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said. The soldiers took the two to the Etzion base after violently assaulting them; eyewitnesses said the two were playing near the Annexation Wall when the soldiers attacked them, striking them on the head and other parts of their bodies.
http://www.imemc.org/article/68999

Four Palestinians abducted before dawn by Israeli forces in West Bank
IMEMC 30 Aug by Saed Bannoura — Two brothers were abducted from their home in a village near Ramallah, and two other men were taken into custody by Israeli troops at the Qalandia checkpoint overnight. The brothers were abducted from the village of Deir Nitham, northwest of Ramallah, before dawn on Saturday. They were identified as Qadri Tamimi, 20, and his older brother Mustafa Tamimi, 27. Mustafa Tamimi is an officer with the Palestinian police in the Hebron area, in the southern part of the West Bank. The father of the two men, Abdel-Hafeedh Tamimi, told reporters that the soldiers stormed into their home while the family was sleeping, terrifying all the occupants and ransacking their belongings. A third brother, Adham, was abducted by Israeli forces two months ago and is still being held in Israeli detention and interrogated without any charges having been brought against him. Their father told reporters with the Ma‘an News Agency that his sons were ‘brutally assaulted’ before being taken by Israeli troops. The family has also been targeted with an Israeli demolition order on their home, issued in February, under the pretext that the home was built without a permit. Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, yet over 550,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements across the region.
http://www.imemc.org/article/68995

Group: Israeli forces detain 2 at Qalandia checkpoint overnight
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Israeli forces detained two Palestinians at a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah overnight, a Palestinian rights group said Saturday. The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said in a statement that Israeli forces arrested Shafiq Wajih Awwad and Samed Emteir at the Qalandia checkpoint overnight. An Israeli military spokeswoman, however, said there were no arrests made at the checkpoint overnight.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724328

Palestinian police arrest Hamas supporters during West Bank celebrations
Middle East Monitor 31 Aug — Hamas has accused security services in the West Bank of arresting eight of its members and confiscating their IDs during celebrations organised by the movement on Saturday following the Gaza ceasefire agreement. Leading member in Hamas in the West Bank, Saed Abulbahaa, told Anadolu Agency that Palestinian police arrested three Hamas supporters with the beginning of the event in Al-Bireh, then released them half an hour later. He added that five others have been arrested afterwards, of which only two have been released as of 17:30 GMT on Saturday. Eyewitnesses told Anadolu that dozens other Hamas supporters have been arrested in the West Bank while they were leaving the event in Al-Bireh. Abulbahaa stressed that Hamas “insists on carrying on the reconciliation process with Fatah, but will not accept the harassment and detention of its members.”
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13835-palestinian-police-arrests-hamas-supporters-during-west-bank-celebrations

Report: Explosive goes off near settler hitchhike post near Nablus
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — An explosive device went off in the early morning hours on Sunday near a hitchhike post used by Israeli settlers near the Tappuah/Zaatara military checkpoint south of Nablus in the northern West Bank. The Hebrew language news website Kikar HaShabat said the explosion caused material damage but no injuries.  Israeli police arrived following the incident and launched an investigate, while army sappers canvassed the area to search for other possible explosives. Separately, Israeli forces said two improvised pipe explosives were hurled at vehicles belonging to Jewish settlers on the main road near the northern West Bank village of Jit west of Nablus. No casualties were reported, and Israeli forces subsequently launched a search for the assailants.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724411

Video: Palestinians cheer as Israeli ‘skunk’ truck crashes into ravine
Electronic Intifada 31 Aug by Ali Abunimah — It has been described as smelling like “a chunk of rotting corpse from a stagnant sewer” placed in a blender. It is the foul-smelling liquid the “skunk” truck, one of Israel’s weapons of occupation and oppression, routinely sprays at Palestinians. One of these skunk trucks can be seen in the video above spraying a jet of the disgusting liquid in eastern occupied Jerusalem on Saturday. “Apart from the repulsive nausea-inducing stench, the skunk liquid can cause pain and redness if it comes into contact with eyes, irritation if it comes into contact with skin and if swallowed can cause abdominal pain requiring medical treatment,” according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI). The children who evidently shot the video and can be heard talking are lamenting that the truck seems to be heading in the direction of their house. They reassure each other that the windows of their house are closed. But then something extraordinary happens. The truck tumbles off the road down a vertical ravine to the cheers and delight of the people of the neighborhood and the children making the film … As can be seen in the video, the skunk truck appears to be spraying a jet of its foul liquid over a wide area and at houses, an act that can have no effect other than to further provoke and aggravate the Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation. On 26 August, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, a local Jerusalem news agency, reported that Israeli occupation forces had severely escalated their use of skunk trucks over the last two months. Jerusalemites complained about the routine and indiscriminate spraying of the foul liquid at their homes, cars and businesses and said that the occupation has done this with increasing frequency since the 2 July kidnapping and murder by Israeli settlers of the Jerusalemite teenager Muhammad Abu Khudair.
http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/video-palestinians-cheer-israeli-skunk-truck-crashes-ravine

Prisoners / Court actions

Lawyer: 2 youths being held in Israeli prison beaten with rifles
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Two Palestinian youths being held in Israel’s Etzion detention center south of Bethlehem have been beaten by Israeli officers, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Sunday. Jacklin Fararja recently visited Badri Abu Zalata, 14, and Kazhim al-Najjar, 16, and said they told her they had been punched and assaulted with rifle butts in the face. Fararja added that the two minors would be transferred to Ofer detention center near Ramallah. The two were recently detained near the separation wall near their village in the Hebron region, she said. In late June, a Palestinian Authority lawyer said that more than 250 Palestinian children were being held in Israeli prison, a number that has likely increased since then as more than 1,500 Palestinians have been detained since … Over the past decade, Israeli forces have arrested, interrogated, and prosecuted around 7,000 children between 12 and 17, mostly boys, at a rate of “an average of two children each day,” UNICEF said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724465

Israel extends detention of Palestinian for Facebook posts
HEBRON (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — An Israeli court on Friday extended the detention of a Palestinian activist who was detained for political activities on Facebook for a week, a Ma‘an reporter said on Saturday. An Israeli court in Petah Tikva extended the detention of Suhaib Zahida, 31, until Sept. 4, after he was arrested on Thursday for creating a page on Facebook called “the Intifada of Hebron” in addition to leading a campaign for the boycott of Israeli products. Zahida had previously participated in several nonviolent campaigns opposing the Israeli occupation and was an active member of groups working to oppose the recruitment of Palestinian citizens of Israel to the Israeli military.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724247

Parliament speaker: MPs detained by Israel to be released soon
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 29 Aug — Acting speaker of the Palestinian parliament Ahmad Bahr said on Friday that a number of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council detained by Israel will be released soon. Bahr said in a statement on the occasion of the release of Parliament member Ahmad Attoun after 18 months of detention, that detained PLC members will be released soon “whether Israel likes it or not.” Bahr hinted that the PLC members will be released in the “awaited exchange deal” expected in September as part of the long-term ceasefire negotiations with Israel … As of July, 34 Palestinian MPs were being held in detention by Israel, 23 of whom had been arrested in a large-scale detention campaign in the West Bank following the kidnapping of three Israeli youths.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724191

Gaza

In pictures: Gazans relax on beaches as they seek normalcy
Middle East Eye 30 Aug by Mohammed Asad — The violence of the previous weeks which claimed over 2140 lives is unlikely to be forgotten any time soon. But the Palestinians of Gaza will attempt to rebuild a semblance of a normal life, while always awaiting a possible reversion to fighting and bombardment. The beaches of Gaza have been blighted by a lack of clean water and pollution, as well as an Israeli blockade that attacks ships that venture too far out from the coast. Nevertheless, in this period of relative calm, the people of Gaza venture out to sands to try and unwind and keep the horrors of bombings and the need for long-term rebuilding from their minds.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestinians-relax-beaches-gaza-1668178002

Gaza ministry employees back to work after offensive
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Employees of ministries and other governmental offices in Gaza returned to work Sunday for the first time since the start of the Israeli military offensive on the Strip, an official said. Ministry of Planning official Muamin Abd al-Rahim told Ma‘an that Sunday was the first official working day in Gaza for ministries and governmental offices since July 8. Abd al-Rahim said Israeli forces destroyed several ministry buildings in the Gaza Strip during the seven-week offensive, including buildings belonging to the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, and public works. Other ministries including the interior ministry sustained damages, he said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724483

Hamas ‘still waiting’ on Egyptian call for renewed negotiations
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — Hamas still has not yet received information from Egypt about renewing negotiations with Israel, a senior leader of the Islamist movement said Saturday. “We are still waiting for an Egyptian notification for plans to continue negotiations,” Mousa Abu Marzouq said in a press conference in Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724278

Palestinian sources: Gaza truce negotiations will begin within 48 hours at the latest
PNN 31 Aug — Palestinian sources revealed on Sunday that the Gaza truce negotiations will begin within 48 hours at the latest. The sources informed that a Palestinian delegation with more members is scheduled to arrive to Cairo today to begin negotiations. However, the head of the delegation, Azzam al-Ahad, is waiting in Jordan and in touch with the leader of Hamas Mousa Abu Marzouk, who is visiting Gaza at the moment. This information regarding the negotiations has not been confirmed yet by any Israeli source.
http://english.pnn.ps/index.php/politics/8080-palestinian-sources-gaza-truce-negotiations-will-begin-within-48-hours-at-the-latest

Egypt: We’ll open Rafah crossing only if PA troops guard it
Haaretz 1 Sept by Amos Harel — Egypt is conditioning an easing of transit restrictions at the Rafah checkpoint on the presence of a force from the Palestinian Authority’s Presidential Guard being stationed on the Gaza side of the crossing. Egypt has made this requirement clear to both Hamas and Israel in recent days. During the last weeks of the fighting, Hamas had indicated a willingness to consider the idea, but it hasn’t given a final answer. Israel has no objection to this demand. The Presidential Guard is one of the PA security forces subordinate to President Mahmoud Abbas. Egypt doesn’t want to have any direct contact with Hamas’ security people and wants all immediate contact with the Palestinian side to be conducted by the PA, which would be returning to the Gaza Strip for the first time since it was expelled by Hamas in June 2007. The Egyptians also want additional units of the Presidential Guard to be deployed along the border between Sinai and Gaza, in the Philadelphi Corridor in the Rafah region. Egypt, however, opposes a European proposal that it train the PA forces for their new mission, nor is it interested in a force of international inspectors at Rafah.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/.premium-1.613429

Israel keeping Gaza siege despite deal: official
Middle East Monitor 31 Aug — Israel has not begun to implement a lift on a years-long siege on the Gaza Strip, a senior Palestinian border official said Sunday, despite a recent cease-fire agreement that entailed opening all border crossings between Israel and the embattled enclave. “Commercial activity at Kerem Shalom crossing remains the same as it was since the cease-fire was announced,” Mounir al-Ghalban, director of the Palestinian side of the crossing, disclosed. He referred to Tuesday’s indefinite truce deal between Palestinian factions and Israel that ended a 51-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip. The deal, which came through indirect talks between the two parties in Cairo, calls for opening all border crossings between the Gaza Strip and Israel – effectively ending the latter’s seven-year blockade of the coastal territory. However, al-Ghalban asserted that Israel is still applying the same level of restrictions on the entry of commodities through Kerem Shalom commercial crossing with the Gaza Strip. “As was the case before and during the war, Israel still allows only 200-400 trucks loaded with aid supplies as well as limited quantities of fuel and cooking gas through the crossing daily,” he said. “An improvement would be felt if [Israel] starts permitting more than 400 trucks daily.” He added that Israel has allowed the entry of 300 trucks on Sunday through the crossing, including 100 trucks loaded with aid supplies and 200 with industrial material. “Occasionally during the [Israeli] aggression, more than 300 trucks were allowed to cross daily,” he said. Israeli officials were not immediately available for comment. The Gaza Strip has six border crossings controlled by Israel and one controlled by Egypt.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13839-israel-keeping-gaza-siege-despite-deal-official

Hamas: Attempts to demilitarize Gaza ‘worthless’
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — The Hamas movement said Saturday that any attempts to disarm Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza are “worthless.” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement that the demilitarization of Palestinian militant factions was “inconsistent with international law and our people will not allow it.” “It is not required to disarm the Palestinian people, but rather to disarm the (Israeli) occupation and to ban the American administration from providing it with the weapons that are used to kill children and women,” Abu Zuhri said.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724364

Wounded Gazans struggle to find treatment after war
GAZA CITY (AFP) 1 Sept — Still in shock weeks after an Israeli shell blast shredded his arm and killed four members of his family, Ahmed Ayyad is one of many wounded Palestinians in Gaza now needing long-term care.  But many of the organizations charged with rehabilitating Palestinians like him are struggling to cope in the wake of an Israeli offensive in which the United Nations estimates that more than 10,000 Palestinians were wounded, with up to 1,000 likely to suffer permanent disability. Staring blankly ahead and speaking softly, 23-year-old Ayyad sits in the waiting room for Gaza’s only prosthetics center as he recalls the day that shrapnel raked his chest and his left arm, now amputated above the elbow … Ayyad was evacuated to the West Bank city of Nablus, where his arm was amputated. Unlike some of the wounded, who are staying in Jordanian, Egyptian and Turkish hospitals for treatment, Ayyad returned home after 14 days to start treatment at Gaza’s Artificial Limbs and Polio Center … The ALPC has no shortage of equipment for prosthetics, provided by the Red Cross, but the dire financial situation of the Gaza municipality, provider of the 25 employees’ salaries, threatens their ability to keep working, says Hazem Shawwa, the center’s director. “This is the third month without salaries for the center’s employees,” he says
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724674

Bahrain to treat 100 Gazans in Egyptian hospital
Middle East Monitor 30 Aug — Palestinian Ambassador to Manama Khalid Aref has said that an agreement will be signed this Tuesday on the treatment of 100 wounded Palestinians in Cairo at the expense of Bahrain, Bahrain news agency (BNA) said. In a statement reported by BNA, Aref said: “Bahrain has been distinctive in its immediate interaction with the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Their aid, which was offered by the Royal Charity Institution and sponsored by Sheikh Naser, came at an early stage.” The statement added: “The National Bahraini Campaign, ordered to be organised by the King for the support of the Palestinians, had a big role in mobilising efforts and supporting all Bahraini people, organisations, firms and charities.” The King inuagurated the campaign by paying $5 million. Aref said that Bahrain sent two batches of aid to the Gaza Strip, the first through UNRWA and the Palestinian Red Crescent and the second through Jordan.
https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/news/middle-east/13822-bahrain-to-treat-100-gazans-in-egyptian-hospital

Maldives media outlets raise nearly $2 million for Gaza victims
AFP 30 Aug — Muslim resort island, which bans Israeli-made goods, also revoked three cooperation agreements last month over Operation Protective Edge — Media outlets in the Maldives have raised nearly $2 million to help Gaza residents affected by massive destruction caused in a 50-day conflict between Israel and Hamas, a fundraising organizer said Saturday … The money was raised through a 36-hour telethon as well as through other public contributions from state as well as privately-owned companies.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4565750,00.html

South African medical team arrives in Gaza
GAZA CITY (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — A South African medical team arrived in Gaza on Sunday to assist in the treatment of thousands of Palestinians injured in Israel’s 51-day assault on the Strip. In a news conference at al-Shifa hospital, the director of the Gift of the Givers Foundation said the team consisted of 10 doctors with various specializations. The team will spend two weeks in Gaza, Dr. Imtiaz Suleiman said. He added that the World Health Organization had sent medical supplies which were currently en route to the Strip via Egypt. Approximately 11,000 Palestinians were injured in Israel’s seven-week offensive on Gaza, according to the Ministry of Health.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724516

Gazans sick with thalassemia want to be a priority
GAZA CITY (Middle East Eye) 28 Aug — Under normal circumstances, Ibrahim Abdullah receives new blood every three weeks. But, because of the war in Gaza, he has only had two transfusions in 2 months. While the truce presents some hope to him, Gazan hospitals have urgent cases to cope with, and Thalassemia patients like him are not among them.  Thalassemia is an inherited autosomal-recessive blood disease, usually caused by the destruction of red blood cells. The disease is prevalent among Mediterranean people, caused by a faulty synthesis of hemoglobin (red cells bearing oxygen) or missing chromosomes affecting how the body produces hemoglobin resulting in a form of microcytic anaemia that requires patients to undergo blood transfusions in order to survive. Abdullah has been unable to reach the hospital – but now, with the ceasefire, he has a chance. “It was a miracle that I managed to call a nearby hospital which informed me they would send an ambulance out for me and other three patients.” The patients waited, but no ambulance came. Abdullah called the hospital again, but was told that they couldn’t send an ambulance. “I urged them, that we are also like those injured by Israel’s missiles and that we would die too if we didn’t receive a transfusion and dialysis,” said Abdullah. But that didn’t change the reality on the ground and no taxis were available anywhere, he explained. He was standing in the middle of the road, waiting for any car that could take him to the Gaza-European hospital in the southern Gaza Strip, when he saw a bus transferring doctors to the hospital. “The doctors understood and they let me on board – but many patients needing long-term treatment didn’t get this chance,” he said, sharing his experience in the war in the past days. “The risk is that many of over 300 patients in Gaza will die if not given access to hospitals,” explained Dr Bayan al-Saqqa, head of the Blood Disease Department at Shifa Hospital. Israel knows these patients need regular treatment. The patients are treated by transfusion and dialysis, removing the overload of iron in their blood, he said. As a result of the war, stocks are low….
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gazans-sick-thalassemia-want-be-priority-712064041

Another soldier hurt in Gaza succumbs to his wounds
Ynet 31 Aug by Ilana Curiel — Sergeant Shahar Shalev becomes the 72nd Israeli casualty of Operation Protective Edge, after fighting for his life for five weeks and losing both of his legs –  Sergeant Shahar Shalev, who was seriously wounded in a firefight in Khan Younis only six days into the IDF’s ground incursion into Gaza, succumbed to his wounds on Sunday. The paratrooper, 20 years old from the Golan Heights moshav Alonei HaBashan, has been fighting for his life for five weeks. He lost both his legs after being seriously wounded in a July 23 incident that also claimed the lives of Staff Sgt. Lee Matt, Staff Sgt. Shachar Dauber, and Lt. Paz Eliyahu. [previous Ynet article: he had more than 1,000 blood transfusions]
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4565986,00.html

Israel agreed [to] Gaza truce to focus on jihadist threat: Netanyahu
JERUSALEM (AFP) 30 Aug – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants. “We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon,” Netanyahu said in an address on public television. He was referring to Islamic State jihadists in Syria and Iraq — both neighbours of Jordan — Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front Syria rebels on the Israeli-annexed Golan and Lebanon’s Shiite movement Hezbollah. “We decided not to get bogged down in Gaza, and we could have, but we decided to limit our objective and restore calm to Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu added. His remarks come as the United States, Israel’s chief ally, is calling for a global coalition to fight the jihadists who have set up an Islamic “caliphate” in areas they have overrun in Syria and Iraq.
http://news.yahoo.com/israel-agreed-gaza-truce-focus-jihadist-threat-netanyahu-201432357.html

Other news

Minister: Unity government budget ‘below zero’
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 31 Aug — Palestinian Authority minister Shawqi al-Ayasa said the West Bank-Gaza unity government is working on a “deteriorating” budget after not receiving money from donors as scheduled. “The government’s budget is below zero, and it’s starting to borrow from banks to move forward, because only less than third of donor funds that were scheduled to be received this year arrived,” Al-Ayasa told Ma‘an in a television interview. “The US has not provided a single penny since Jan. 1, and Europe and Arab states only provided a third of what they were scheduled to give,” he said. The agricultural sector suffered an estimated loss of $450 million as a result of the Israeli assault on Gaza. He said the reconstruction of Gaza would take two years if construction material entered the Strip at a reasonable rate. He said 300 shekels ($84) of aid money was given to each family that lost its home in Gaza in the offensive.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724587

Israel seizes PA tax revenues, official says
NABLUS (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — Israel has seized some 200 million shekels ($55 million) from monthly tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, a senior Palestinian official told Ma‘an on Monday. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel took a cut of 90 million shekels ($25 million) to cover the unpaid debts of a Palestinian electricity company. A further $90 million shekels ($25 million) was taken to cover other PA debts, while around $30 million shekels was seized to cover the cost of Palestinian patients referred to Israeli hospitals by the PA. The seizure will further jeopardize the PA’s ability to pay civil servant salaries in Gaza, having faced months of crisis over unpaid employees. The $380 million shekels ($106 million) transferred by Israel will only cover 40 percent of the monthly wages for PA civil servants in the West Bank, the official said. The move by Israel is a deliberate attempt to create obstacles for the Palestinian unity government, the official added.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724676

Palestinian Authority to pay Hamas staff ‘as soon as possible’
RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) 30 Aug — The Palestinian Authority will pay its employees’ August salaries on time and Hamas civil servants in Gaza “as soon as possible”, a spokesman for the unity government said Saturday. On Tuesday, Hamas and Israel agreed [to] an Egypt-mediated ceasefire to end a deadly 50-day war with Israel in Gaza that killed more than 2,100 Palestinians. Saturday’s move comes after a row over pay erupted between the two Palestinian factions in June when the PA’s Gaza-based staff received their wages but their Hamas counterparts went empty-handed. “The salaries of the civil servants with the Authority will be paid next week and the government is trying to pay those of Hamas as soon as possible,” government spokesman Ihab Bseiso told AFP.  Under a reconciliation deal signed in April with the West Bank-based Palestine Liberation Organisation, which dominates the PA, Hamas disbanded its Gaza government. Since then the Islamist movement has insisted that the PA should pay the salaries of Hamas’s 42,000 civil servants. The PA refused to pay the officials in June because they were appointed after Hamas ousted bitter rivals Fatah — which dominates the PLO — from Gaza in 2007 and therefore were not registered as its employees. The pay row was the first challenge to the new Palestinian unity government, formed to try to end years of Palestinian rivalry, and Qatar stepped in to cover the costs to former Hamas employees. A Palestinian official speaking on condition of anonymity said the PA will have to ensure the payments do not jeopardise international aid. “Hamas is regarded as a terrorist organisation by many abroad,” the source said. “The government wants to obtain guarantees that it is allowed to pay these wages.”
http://news.yahoo.com/palestinian-authority-pay-hamas-staff-soon-possible-215553111.html

PA to pay Hamas employees in Gaza
BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 1 Sept — The Palestinian Authority will pay Hamas civil servants in Gaza on Wednesday, ending a months-long salary crisis following the announcement of a unity government. Senior Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouq said an agreement was reached between Hamas and PA officials on Sunday. A row over pay erupted between the two Palestinian factions in June when the PA’s Gaza-based staff received their wages but their Hamas counterparts went empty-handed.
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724627

Fatah: Gaza reconstruction will come through national unity
RAMALLAH (Ma‘an) 30 Aug — The central committee of the Fatah party on Friday stressed the need to maintain and strengthen Palestinian national reconciliation in order to address the challenges of rebuilding Gaza after more than 50 days of Israeli assault. The committee also recommended in the meeting in Ramallah — which was presided over by president Mahmoud Abbas — that no Palestinian political [entity?] should have the right to unilaterally decide to go to war, in an apparent jab at Hamas for its response to the Israeli offensive. The Fatah leadership said it would seek to maintain the spirit of national unity which flourished during the Israeli military offensive against Gaza and was embodied by the Palestinian delegation to Cairo negotiations with Israel that comprised representatives of all parties. The central committee also said that the national consensus government agreed upon earlier this year should be enhanced so it can play a serious role and offer services to the Palestinian people as a whole, with a focus on the urgently-needed reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.  On the foreign policy front, the Palestinian leadership will push to implement the suggestion proposed by president Abbas to recruit international support for setting a timeline for ending the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, Abbas’ official spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa.  The central committee also applauded Egypt for the role it played to stop the war on Gaza, stressing that the Palestinians will never interfere in the internal affairs of any Arab country or other countries. Furthermore, “the Palestinian people and their national leadership completely reject any foreign intervention in the internal Palestinian affairs and our independent decision.”
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=724237

Abbas to develop 3-stage plan for independent Palestinian statehood
IMEMC/Agencies 31 Aug — According to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), Palestinian sources have confirmed that President Mahmoud Abbas has set into action a plan comprised of 3 stages, with the aim of reaching an independent Palestinian state. The sources told London-based “Middle East” newspaper that Abbas intends to give the USA a period of time which may extend to up to four months, in order to delineate the borders of a Palestinian state, adding that they will ask Israel to show a map bearing its borders, before negotiations. If Israelis refuses to define these borders, Palestinian leadership plans to go to the UN Security Council, under the umbrella of the Arab states, to request Israel withdraw from Palestinian areas occupied in 1967. If this option fails, Palestinian leadership will attempt to join all international organizations, including the International Criminal Court, in proceeding with actions to prosecute Israeli leaders. President Abbas reportedly agreed to this plan with the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, during their recent meeting in Qatar. A meeting is set to be scheduled between a Palestinian delegation to include both President Abbas and Saeb Erekat, and US Secretary of State and Middle East Quartet member John Kerry, to whom Palestinians will officially present the plan, asking him to support it. The new developments follow several past moves by Abbas in joining relevant international organizations, during last year’s round of failed peace talks — moves which have been essentially stalemated by Israeli threats and accusations against Palestinian leadership.
http://www.imemc.org/article/68996

Israel estimates cost of Gaza conflict at £1.5bn
JERUSALEM (The Guardian) 13 Aug by Peter Beaumont — Israel has been presented with a hefty bill for 50 days of war in Gaza, as the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, moved to slash government spending by 2% this year to offset the $2.52 bn (£1.51bn) cost of the conflict. With only the Israeli military and domestic intelligence agency Shin Bet exempt from the sharp spending reductions, the area to be hit hardest emerged as the Israeli education system, with critics – including members of Netanyahu’s cabinet – predicting that the poorest Israelis will feel the brunt of the cuts. Among those protesting was the welfare minister, Meir Cohen, who insisted there was no more fat in his budget to trim. “From whom will we take? From those who have nothing to put in their children’s sandwiches for school?” he complained on Israeli army radio.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/31/gaza-war-costs-israel-budget-cuts

Israel downs drone from Syria over occupied Golan
Middle East Eye/Agencies 31 Aug — Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau. Air defences “successfully intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that breached Israel airspace above the border with Syria,” an army statement said. An Israeli army spokesperson told the Associated Press that the drone appeared to belong to the Syrian military and had accidentally flown into Israeli airspace. It was shot down with a Patriot missile. The Israeli army “will respond to any breach of Israel’s sovereignty,” Lt Col Peter Lerner said on Sunday. Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces flowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory at the weekend. Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped the hot zone overnight after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said. Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War of 1967, then annexed it in 1981 in a move that has never been recognised by the international community. The UN Disengagement Observer Force has been monitoring the ceasefire since 1974.
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/breaking-israel-downs-drone-syria-over-occupied-golan-728494971

A week in photos: Beyond ceasefire
Activestills 28 Aug  – Palestinians in Gaza celebrate after Israel and Hamas declare a long-term ceasefire to end 51 days of fighting that left at least 2,104 Palestinians and 68 Israelis dead, as well as one Thai national working in Israel. While both Hamas and Israel have declared victory, those most affected by the war are left homeless and mourning.
http://972mag.com/a-week-in-photos-beyond-ceasefire/96111/

Analysis / Opinion / Human interest

What if Hamas fired rockets at Britain? / John Jackson
972blog 30 Aug — When Israeli spokesmen defend the IDF’s actions in Gaza by asking what you would do if rockets rained down on your home, the example of Northern Ireland can serve as one response During the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland, civilian deaths were caused by the British Army, the Loyalists and Republican paramilitaries. But for the purpose of answering the Israeli question it is useful to look at the major bombing campaigns by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) that took place across England. These campaigns were far more destructive than anything coming out of Gaza. There were approximately 10,000 bomb attacks during the conflict – about 16,000 if you include failed attempts. A significant proportion of them were on English soil. A time bomb was detonated at Brighton’s Grand Hotel, where Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet were staying for the Conservative Party conference. Thatcher narrowly escaped death, five people were killed (including an MP) and 31 injured. The Queen’s cousin, Lord Louis Mountbatten, his grandson and three others were blown up while fishing off the coast of Ireland. In Manchester city center a 3,300-pound bomb caused £1.1 billion (today’s value) in damage and injured 212 people. The Bishopsgate bombing in the city of London cost £350 million to repair and injured 44 people. And, as those of us who lived through those times will remember, there were numerous bombs in pubs and shops, on high streets and shopping centers, in train stations and on the London underground. The thousands of rockets fired by Hamas over the last month have killed six civilians in Israel, along with 64 soldiers, while the IDF has killed 2,104 Palestinians, including at least 500 children. Despite the effectiveness of the IRA campaign, it would have been politically inconceivable and morally unjustifiable for the Royal Air Force to bomb the streets and homes of the republican communities in North or West Belfast – the communities from which the IRA came and amongst which it lived. It would have been unacceptable in Britain and, indeed, to the U.S. government at the time. The British army and intelligence services did terrible things in Northern Ireland, but such a wholesale massacre of civilians would have been unconscionable. The answer to the question of what would you do? In Britain’s case at least, faced with a destructive bombing campaign, it did not respond by sending in warplanes to bomb schools, hospitals or terraced houses. Why is it that Israel, the U.S. and the UK government don’t find the massacre of defenseless civilians, concentrated in a densely populated strip of land, by a hi-tech air force simply unacceptable? It could be that Catholics in Northern Ireland, despite a history of oppression, were not dehumanized in the late 20th century in the way Palestinians are today. They were integrated into the fabric of British society with significant communities in major cities and with a large proportion of British people claiming some Irish heritage.
http://972mag.com/what-if-hamas-fired-rockets-at-britain/96169/

Palestinians are sentenced to sadness / Yousef M. Aljamal
Electronic Intifada 31 Aug — I always wanted to meet my mother’s West Bank family who I had not seen for more than a dozen years. Israel’s policies of separation imposed on the Palestinians in Gaza, where my father was born and where I grew up, and the West Bank, where my mother was born, made it impossible. It took my mother 12 years to get a permit to visit her family in the West Bank. She was only allowed to go because her eldest brother was dying in hospital, a condition that didn’t apply to the rest of the family. No first-degree relative dying means no permit and thus more forced separation. Our family has never been able to gather in one place … Studying in Malaysia and having had my application for an Egyptian visa to go back to Gaza declined, I recently decided to go to Jordan instead. There I could see my relatives in Jordan and my West Bank family, who were supposed to gather to attend my cousin’s wedding. But as Gaza was being bombed, and I suffered a grievous loss, it was hardly a celebration … My childhood friend Ayman killed in Gaza  I was in the car with my uncle visiting relatives and distributing wedding invitations when my sister from Gaza texted me saying, “Your friend Ayman Shokor just got killed in Israeli artillery shelling.” It took me a while to comprehend and accept another shock. My memory flashed so quickly in front of my eyes. I remembered Ayman as a child in our neighborhood playing our traditional games. I remembered him as the best goalkeeper in the school in our refugee camp. A graduate of Arabic literature, Ayman loved language and painting. He loved birds like no one else did. One day he gave me a pair of doves as a gift. Now, for a fact, Ayman has gone, and his smile will be remembered forever. Days after he was killed, his younger brother’s wife gave birth to his first baby boy and they named him after Ayman. Another Ayman X, just like my youngest brother Omar, named after his dead older brother, also killed by Israel and who he had never seen. The happiness of the wedding was never felt, for Palestinians are sentenced to sadness, the sadness of loss, the sadness of having a family in Gaza which was under constant airstrikes for 51 days by Israel. It is the sadness of Ayman’s grieving mother who lost her son, who had her sweet heart torn out by Israel. A very beautiful wedding took place. A very beautiful friend was lost, once and forever.
http://electronicintifada.net/content/palestinians-are-sentenced-sadness/13822

Missing those who have lived through hell for seven weeks / Amira Hass
Haaretz 1 Sept — With the Gaza war over, my heart goes out to the children an hour’s drive away whom Israel does not let me watch grow up — The nightmare is in abeyance. No more waking up with a heaviness amid Ramallah’s morning sounds — the sesame-bagel seller hawking his wares, policemen in the distance finishing their training by singing the national anthem, the engine of a cement-mixer owned by the Tarifi Ready Mix Concrete Company groaning outside the window. No more waking up in fear that overnight some of my friends or their relatives and acquaintances were hurt in Gaza. No more discovering that someone’s home was bombed or damaged, or that the people had to leave in a rush after a phone call from the Israel Defense Forces informing them that the neighboring building was about to be blown up. No more feverish searching on news websites for the names of neighborhoods that had just been bombed — to know whether I should dread now, for a couple of hours, that the worst has happened to my loved ones. And all this occurs in a time and place where the unimaginably horrific happens to everyone all the time. No need to wait impatiently for the suitable late morning to start my daily round of phone calls — a kind of macabre inventory: who’s alive, how many whole families have been bombed in their homes overnight … I miss Bassam’s mane of salt-and-pepper hair — Bassam, who taught me how to drive against the traffic. (“If the world is upside down, why not drive the wrong way?”) I miss the scoldings his mother served with lunch. (“What’s this — have you Jews lost your minds?” She and her husband, both about 75, have heart trouble and difficulty walking. They went on a pilgrimage to Mecca at the start of the war and insisted on returning to the refugee camp when the bombings were going on full force.) I miss Fawrat, with her dimples, who describes the fear in a practical tone, as if it were the dough she taught me to knead ages and ages ago. That was when house demolitions by bulldozer, not bombing, were part of our vocabulary. I miss Abu Wissam, a redhead among many other redheads in Beit Lahia, and his jokes about their Crusader ancestors. I miss Gazan-style humor (“We demand immediate resumption of the World Cup broadcasts”; “We’re celebrating victory — what did you think?”; “Another victory like this and there won’t be any more Gaza”; “[Kibbutz] Bror Hayil is rooting for the Brazilian team? We’re rooting for Argentina” — the words of refugees from the village of Bureir, on whose land the kibbutz, with its many immigrants from Brazil, is situated.)…. [Hass, author of Drinking the Sea at Gaza, has not been permitted by the Israeli government to go to Gaza since 2007 - see next article]
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.613381

Israeli bombs on one side, Hamas on the other / Elior Levy
Ynet 1 Sept — FEATURE: Iman’s house has bomb damage, Rania returns to Israel only for the money, Hada wants to leave and never return; some of the hundreds of Israelis living in Gaza tell their stories. “Every time I reach the Erez crossing into Gaza, the soldiers look at me in amazement. They ask me every time, why? Are you crazy that you’re going into Gaza? Is it so bad here in Israel? It’s a regular ritual.” Rania (a pseudonym) lives a double life. She was born in Israel, but lives in the Gaza Strip. And she is not the only one: According to the records, 435 Israelis, one third of them minors, are living in the Gaza Strip, and almost all of them got stuck there during Operation Protective Edge, in real mortal danger.  Rania is 45 years old. In the early 90s she met A., a young Gazan man who worked for years in one of the cities in central Israel. They got married and Rania relocated to Gaza. It was in the pre-Oslo Israeli-rule days, and her geographical separation from her family was easily resolved by car or public transport. But since then, much water has flowed past Gaza’s shores and the situation has changed radically. Initially, there were the Oslo Accords, then the outbreak of Al-Aqsa Intifada, then the disengagement, and finally the Hamas coup in Gaza. All of these events turned the lives of Rania and other Israeli citizens living in the Gaza Strip upside down. They became prisoners … “On the one hand Israel was bombing and there was no safe place, and on the other hand, Hamas could have killed me, because we are against them. Every day I prayed for it to end and we would be able to get out alive. Now I want to get away, to find refuge in another country and never come back.”  Dangerous connection  Since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israelis have not been allowed to enter. Israeli citizens – most of them Muslims of course, but also Jews who converted to Islam and who married residents of Gaza, have not been allowed to live together as a family in the State of Israel. Beyond these 435 Israelis, there are probably many more Israelis who have family ties in the Gaza Strip but have not reported it. For those known to the authorities there a special procedure has been invented – “divided families.” ….
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4566171,00.html

When the state dictates reactions to the killing of Palestinian children / Hagai El-Ad
972blog 28 Aug — The Israeli Broadcast Authority and the Israeli Supreme Court knew in advance what the reaction would be to a radio advert reading out the names of children killed in Gaza, and that’s why they banned it. By doing so they’ve taken a bit of our freedom — Muhammad Malakeh, two years old; Siraj ‘Abd al-’Al, eight years old; Sarah al-‘Eid, nine years old; Saher Abu Namus, four years old; Ahmad Mahdi, 15 years old. Some facts should not be permitted to be broadcast in public. Merely hearing them is dangerous: It could cause people to have thoughts, doubts or compassion. If this danger comes to pass, what would become of us? Safaa Malakeh, six years old; Muhammad ‘Arif, 10 years old; Nidal Nawasrah, four years old; Muhammad Nawasrah, two years old; Miriam al-’Arja, 10 years old. What sort of thoughts would enter the minds of those who hear even a few names from that forbidden list? It’s difficult to estimate. As a matter of fact, it is a complete mystery as to how humans would respond upon hearing the names of foreign children, Palestinian children – more than 500 under the age of 15 – who were killed in Gaza in the past few weeks. This mystery is part of what makes us free. When that mystery is solved in advance by the government, a part of what allows the public to be free is taken away. It is no longer a mystery, it is propaganda.
http://972mag.com/when-the-state-dictates-reactions-to-the-killing-of-palestinian-children/96098/

The IDF’s real face / Gideon Levy
Haaretz 30 Aug — In civilian life, anyone suspected of manslaughter or murder is immediately arrested, with an investigation coming later. In the IDF the opposite is true — Khalil Anati was from the Al-Fawar refugee camp in the southern part of the West Bank; a soldier in an armored jeep shot him in the back with a live round and killed him as he was running home. He was 10 years old. Mohammed Al-Qatari was a promising soccer player from the Al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah. A soldier shot him from a distance of several dozen meters while he was taking part in a demonstration against the Gaza war. He was 19 years old when he died. Hashem Abu Maria was a social worker from Beit Ummar who worked for the Geneva-based NGO Defense for Children International. He participated in a demonstration against the Gaza war, trying to protect children by preventing them from throwing stones. An IDF sharpshooter situated on a distant balcony shot and killed him. He was 45 years old, a father of three children. Soldiers killed two more demonstrators at that demonstration. These people were among many others killed by IDF fire far from the battlefields of Gaza. According to data provided by the United Nations Office for Coordinating Humanitarian Affairs, the IDF killed 20 adults and three children in the West Bank during the fighting in Gaza. Soldiers also wounded 2,218 people, 38% of them by live fire, a particularly high number in comparison to 14% in the first half of 2014 and 4% in 2013. None of those killed were endangering soldiers’ lives, none of them were armed or deserved to die. The fighting in Gaza loosened all restraint. Under its umbrella soldiers permitted themselves to use live fire in order to disperse demonstrations, settle scores with people throwing stones or Molotov cocktails – including children – and punish anyone demonstrating against the war. Perhaps these soldiers were envious of their comrades fighting in Gaza, perhaps they were frustrated at being far from the real action – in any event they were confident that no harm would befall them, not while in Gaza there was almost a massacre taking place, with the nation’s heart going out to its fighting men. No one stopped them, no one was arrested or prosecuted….
http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.613212

Why Israelis saw the Gaza war differently / Daniel Ben Simon
al-Monitor 29 Aug — The Gaza war quite a strange one. It exposed Israelis to phenomena unlike anything they had known in the past. Demonstrations of solidarity within the public at large emerged side by side with deep disagreements among the decision makers. Much like all other wars, it started with a complete accord, but ended up with doubts concerning its objectives. When ended, almost no one was able to respond as to what was its goal to begin with. The war with Hamas provoked the evacuation of most of Israel’s southern communities. While the state encouraged the residents to stay put, the later reached the conclusion that they cannot rely on their country. They picked up their children and a few suitcases and abandoned their homes, until calm is restored. Here are several other central phenomena exposed by the 2014 war: Length of Gaza war Very few military campaigns in Israel have been anywhere near as long as the Gaza war of 2014. The Israelis, used to wars lasting a few days or a few weeks at the most, had a hard time coping with Operation Protective Edge … The length of this war impacted almost every family in Israel, not least because almost every family sent a soldier to the front. No other war has stirred up as much anxiety as the limited operation in Gaza. Israelis started to see the Gaza Strip as a game of “Palestinian roulette,” which could end with a soldier dead in the most incidental and unexpected way … Who won? According to a poll that was published Aug. 27 in Israeli daily Haaretz, 54% of Israelis believe that neither side won in this war, while only 26% believe that Israel won. So here is another phenomenon, which was unlike anything that had been seen in any of Israel’s other wars, including the 1973 Yom Kippur War. After all, that war may have cost the lives of more than 2,500 soldiers, but it was also considered an unprecedented military victory. This war, on the other hand, was the first time that Israelis confronted the deceptive nature of modern warfare: no winners, no defeated….
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/08/israeli-society-gaza-war-idf-soldiers-solidarity-protest.html

groups.yahoo.com/group/f_shadi (listserv)
www.theheadlines.org (archive)

Alvin Rosenfeld’s Holocaust complaint

9/1/14

This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page.

You have to wonder about Holocaust Deniers – and Holocaust Complainers. Holocaust Complainers cry foul when the Holocaust is used against Israel’s injustice toward Palestinians. Better to keep the attention on Holocaust Deniers and those dastardly Germans – which, of course, they were.

Alvin Rosenfeld is the epitome of Holocaust complainers and he’s at it again.  Rosenfeld is all in favor of Elie Wiesel’s paid statement charge that Hamas encourages child sacrifice and thus Hamas is responsible for the children Israel murdered. Rosenfeld rages against the rebuttal statements by Holocaust survivors and their descendants that Elie Wiesel is up the Holocaust river without a paddle.

Here’s how Rosenfeld begins his rambling in the Forward:

Given Hitler’s voluminous rants about Jews, it is not surprising that one aspect of his obsession is less known: the pleasure he took in the spectacle of Jews deriding and defaming other Jews. Hans Frank, one of Hitler’s top aides, quotes him as saying:

“I am an innocent lamb compared to revelations by Jews about Jews. But they are important, these disclosures of the Jew’s most secret, always totally hidden qualities, instincts, and character traits. It isn’t I who say this, it is the Jews themselves who say it about themselves, about their greed for money, their fraudulent ways, their immorality, and their sexual perversions.”

Hitler’s words about the denigrating things Jews say about themselves came to mind as I perused an ad published in the New York Times on August 23 by IJSN or International Jewish Solidarity Network. Tellingly, the very same ad appeared in the British Guardian on August 15, under the imprint of IJAN, the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. For an American, and especially the New York readership, the crafters of this hostile statement must have figured it best not to make explicit their true credentials as anti-Zionists. Its signers display no interest in the misdeeds that Hitler ascribes to the Jews but focus their anger on today’s target-of-choice for Jew-haters everywhere: Israel.

Most Holocaust survivors, like most Jews, are Zionists and are strongly devoted to the welfare of the State of Israel. The IJSN/IJAN group is exceptional in its fierce opposition to Israel and is hardly representative. That fact, however, did not keep the BBC from quickly publishing a story with the title “Holocaust survivors condemn Israel.” The impression conveyed is seriously misleading.

Headlined “Jewish survivors and descendants of survivors and victims of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza,” the Times ad lashes out at Israel from the first sentence to the last, repeatedly condemning the country for acts of colonialism, racism, and genocide; it associates unnamed “right-wing Israelis” with Nazis; and, in a full-throated voice of protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza, it angrily calls for a “full economic, cultural, and academic boycott of Israel.”

It aims, therefore, not just to censure but to punish. And as a special touch, it attacks a fellow survivor, the most famous one of all: Elie Wiesel. Why? Because Wiesel recently published an ad of his own in American newspapers, including the New York Times, criticizing Hamas for some of its brutal ways. IJSN pulled out all the stops in going after Wiesel, expressing “disgust” and “outrage” over Wiesel’s “abuse of our history” and “manipulation [of] the legacy of the Nazi genocide” to justify the unjustifiable: “the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people.”

That’s just for openers. The rest is predictable. When it comes to using the Holocaust as a lesson that everyone deserves justice, Rosenfeld is gratuitous. He is serial Holocaust-for-justice slanderer.

It’s all quite telling and on a variety of levels. My favorite is Rosenfeld’s take on Hedy Epstein who survived the Nazis but lost her parents in the Holocaust. Pay particular attention to Rosenfeld’s description of Epstein’s recent arrest protesting the police brutality in Ferguson:

Hedy Epstein, who has also signed on to the Guardian statement, likes garnering public attention as a “survivor,” although whether she is one is debatable. Like Meyer, she was born in Germany in 1924, but she left the country in 1939 on a Kindertransport and spent the war years in Great Britain. Since coming to America in 1948, she has thrown herself into political activism, often on behalf of such celebrated Palestinian causes as the 2008 “freedom flotillas” that were meant to challenge the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the “Gaza Freedom March” in Cairo in 2009, and various anti-Israel activities on the West Bank and elsewhere sponsored by the radical International Solidarity Movement.

Like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who inevitably show up at high-profile rallies organized by others, Hedy Epstein “marched” in St. Louis in mid-August, 2014 to demonstrate her solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. When stories broke headlining “Holocaust Survivor Arrested in Ferguson Protests,” it was a foregone conclusion that it was Hedy Epstein. She seems to thrive on flashing her dubious credentials as a “survivor” and, even at age 90, will step forward to join protests, especially if they are against Israel.

Lumped together with the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton! How easy to rouse the neoconservatives and the racist evangelical right that loves Israel. In Rosenfeld’s view Epstein is a professional Israel-hater. Does he really mean professional Jew-hater?

Affiliating with African-Americans as a Jew seems to be the last condemning straw for Rosenfeld. Has Epstein’s Jewishness turned Black?

European Jews are so unpredictable. Especially after they land in the home of the free and the brave.

She seems to thrive on flashing her dubious credentials as a “survivor” and, even at age 90, will step forward to join protests, especially if they are against Israel.

Ageism?

I didn’t realize that the protests in Ferguson were about Israel or that Epstein’s presence there was primarily about Israel. Though connections have been drawn between the two they are primarily about injustice toward populations that are considered “other” to the powerful. Is Rosenfeld’s real Holocaust complaint that Jews of Conscience and people around the world are connecting these injustice dots?

Holding up the Holocaust as the banner against injustice – toward Jews – and everyone else. Is the “everyone else” the real beef Holocaust Complainers have against Jews of Conscience and people of conscience around the world?

Richard Cohen says he married Israel and has been faithful during ups and downs

9/1/14

Longtime Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has a book coming out in two weeks called Israel: Is It Good for the Jews? a question that Cohen answers in the affirmative. From his publisher, Simon and Schuster:

A very personal journey through Jewish history (and Cohen’s own), and a passionate defense of Israel’s legitimacy.

Richard Cohen’s book is part reportage, part memoir—an intimate journey through the history of Europe’s Jews, culminating in the establishment of Israel. A veteran, syndicated columnist for The Washington Post, Cohen began this journey as a skeptic, wondering in a national column whether the creation of a Jewish State was “a mistake.” 

As he recounts, he delved into his own and Jewish history and fell in love with the story of the Jews and Israel, a twice-promised land—in the Bible by God, and by the world to the remnants of Europe’s Jews. This promise, he writes, was made in atonement not just for the Holocaust, but for the callous indifference that preceded World War II and followed it—and that still threatens.

Cohen’s account is full of stories—from the nineteenth century figures who imagined a Zionist country, including Theodore Herzl, who thought it might resemble Vienna with its cafes and music; to what happened in twentieth century Poland to his own relatives; and to stories of his American boyhood. 

Cohen describes his relationship with Israel as a sort of marriage: one does not always get along but one is faithful.

When Cohen supported the Iraq war in 2003, did he do that for his wife?

One chapter is titled, “Jabotinsky Was Right” (about the Arabs). Another “Jabotinsky was Wrong,” (Palestinians never supposedly developed moderate leadership). The book has been blurbed by Christiane Amanpour, Barbara Walters (who sort of punted: “Is Israel good for the Jews? I don’t know. But this book is.”), Mort Zuckerman, Lesley Stahl (“brilliant and epic”), and Gay Talese (it’s not European colonialism, the drowning found a life raft).

I assume the Washington Post will assign this book for review to someone outside the Post, that’s a convention in journalism. Why not that guy who wrote a big book about Israel last year? He probably has something to say about this.

On the so-called Islamic State

9/1/14

Ramy Khoury argues in the Daily Star that the extremist movement is the nearly inevitable result of the region's (often foreign-backed) authoritarianism. 

But the single biggest driver of the kind of criminal Islamist extremism we see in this phenomenon is the predicament of several hundred million individual Arab men and women who find – generation after generation – that in their own societies they are unable to achieve their full humanity or potential, or exercise their full powers of thought and creativity; or, in many cases, obtain basic life needs for their families.
The expressions of bewilderment we hear today from many Arab and Western politicians or media analysts about why the Islamic State rose and what to do about it have zero credibility or sympathy in my book. Some of the same people who pontificate about the Islamic State threat were often directly involved in actions that helped to bring it about (corrupt Arab security states, the invasion of Iraq, and total support for Israel).

Peter Harling, in Le Monde Diplomatique, looks to Sunni resentment and the "void" of good governance and international diplomacy. 

At root, IS simply fills a void. It occupies northeast Syria because the Syrian regime has by and large abandoned it, and the opposition that might have replaced it has failed to secure a genuine sponsor, in particular the US. And, in Iraq, IS has surged into cities such as Fallujah and Mosul because the central power in Baghdad has largely neglected them: the Iraqi state maintained a presence there that was simultaneously corrupt, repressive and flimsy. IS’s rapid expansion into zones in northern Iraq controlled by Kurdish forces, but inhabited by Christian and Yezidi minorities, is unsurprising, given the lack of real interest shown in the victims by their ostensible protectors, the Kurds, who were quick to withdraw to their own territory.
IS also fills a void on a more abstract level. Simply put, the Sunni world has trouble coming to terms with its past and imagining its future. A fragmented 20th-century history, following a long period of Ottoman occupation which was seen as a period of decline, ended with a succession of failures: anti-imperialism, pan-Arabism, nationalist movements, socialism, various forms of Islamism, capitalism — all led only to bitter or ambiguous experiences. Thus far, with the exception of Tunisia, the hopes born of the 2011 uprisings have turned to ashes. So where can Sunnis turn to find inspiration, self-confidence and pride? The reactionaries in the Gulf and Egypt? The Muslim Brothers, who are on the ropes? Palestinian Hamas, locked in a perpetual impasse in its resistance to Israel?

Israeli foreign minister: I didn't agree with ceasefire

8/31/14

Watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS," Sundays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on CNN

Fareed speaks with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman about why he disagreed with the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

You have criticized the ceasefire that was established between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Why?

First of all, the real question – how to prevent the next operation. As Protective Edge was the third operation in six years, and the question is if it’s possible to do something and to achieve a stable and sustainable ceasefire or peace agreement. The last speeches that we saw from Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza and Khaled Meshaal in Qatar, they clarified their position. They explained that they will fight Israel and their goal is to wipe out the state of Israel.

And I think that we must deliberate our position regarding Hamas from the beginning, from scratch. And I think that we have enough force to finish this story and to topple this terrorist organization, and I don’t see any differences between Hamas and ISIS and al Qaeda. We saw their executions in the Gaza Strip. It’s exactly like Islamic State’s or al Qaeda.

So if this is your view, this is a fairly major disagreement with the prime minister. This is not a small matter. This is not a domestic matter. How can you continue to stay on as foreign minister of a government where on the principal foreign policy issue that you face, you disagree with the government’s policy?

No, at the end of the day, we have a cabinet and I’m sorry to recognize that I was a minority in our cabinet. But we [are] one part of – very important part of – this coalition, and we will support our government because alternative, new elections, earlier elections – I think it’s a really bad choice for the state of Israel.