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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Palestine - By Heathcote Williams

by Rayne Mickail on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 4:53pm

Israel is the colostomy bag
Of a dying empire, America.

It's emptied out each day onto Gaza.
Everyone can then settle down
To relax and enjoy
A continuous firework show
Which costs three billion dollars a year.

There are cluster bombs,
Thermobaric missiles,
Depleted uranium shells,
And white phosphorus,
All carefully choreographed
To light up Palestine’s sky.

These novelties are regularly dispatched
To a clientele hungry for pyrotechnics
From the Pentagon Incendiary Company;
Though it has a poor safety record
As its products routinely kill
Anyone who gets too close.

Resenting those who stage this spectacle
Of flying limbs, and spurting blood
And tiny corpses with napalmed flesh –Gaza residents occasionally
Strap home-made fireworks
To their own bodies; leave
Their open-air torture chamber –
This coliseum of exploding sewage –
And put on a display for their captors.

To Gaza with Humble Apologies - By Lillian Rosengarten

by Rayne Mickail on Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 4:46pm
Lillian Rosengarten, a refugee from Nazi Germany

I am a Jew symbolic of the carnage of Gaza.

I will walk on the ravished desolation of destroyed lives

places where Apache helicopters fired yet another missile

on to crowds reduced to charred remains.

I wonder how to make contact for I am ashamed.

What justifies the brutal rampage of terror and murder?

Now in Rafah where entire neighborhoods are reduced to rubble

Where Israeli tanks and bulldozers made in USA

Add an extra 2000 families left homeless.

They flee on donkey carts piled up with nothing to nowhere!

No food, no water, no money, flattened neighborhoods from the reign of terror.

Where has hope gone? Where are the olive groves I love so much?

Does anyone remember the Nazis sixty years ago?

I am going to Gaza and wonder.

How can it be that arms will be outstretched to welcome me?

Will they see my pain as one with their pain?

I arrive with humility, afraid to witness once more

Man's inhumanity to man.

The Lovely Quotes of Zionists - Very charming people indeed!

by Rayne Mickail on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 11:34am

1. "The Palestinians are like crocodiles, the more you give them meat, they want more...."
 Ehud Barak, Prime Minister of Israel at the time - August 28, 2000. Reported in the Jerusalem Post August 30, 2000

2. "The Palestinians are beasts walking on two legs."

Menahim Begin, speech to the Knesset, quoted in Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts". New Statesman, 25 June 1982.

3. "The Palestinians" would be crushed like grasshoppers ... heads smashed against the boulders and walls."

Isreali Prime Minister (at the time) in a speech to Jewish settlers New York Times April 1, 1988

4. "When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle."

Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defence Forces, New York Times, 14 April 1983.

5. "How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to."

Golda Maier, March 8, 1969.

6. "There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed."

Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

7. "The thesis that the danger of genocide was hanging over us in June 1967 and that Israel was fighting for its physical existence is only bluff, which was born and developed after the war."

Israeli General Matityahu Peled, Ha'aretz, 19 March 1972.

8. David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister):

"If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti - Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault ? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?"

Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp121.

9. Ben Gurion also warned in 1948 :

"We must do everything to insure they ( the Palestinians) never do return." Assuring his fellow Zionists that Palestinians will never come back to their homes. "The old will die and the young will forget."

10. "We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves."

Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.

11. "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio. (Certainly the FBI's cover-up of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap scandal suggests that Mr. Sharon may not have been joking.)

12. "We declare openly that the Arabs have no right to settle on even one centimeter of Eretz Israel... Force is all they do or ever will understand. We shall use the ultimate force until the Palestinians come crawling to us on all fours."

Rafael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces - Gad Becker, Yediot Ahronot 13 April 1983, New York Times 14 April 1983.

13. "We must do everything to ensure they [the Palestinian refugees] never do return"

David Ben-Gurion, in his diary, 18 July 1948, quoted in Michael Bar Zohar's Ben-Gurion: the Armed Prophet, Prentice-Hall, 1967, p. 157.

14. " ... we should prepare to go over to the offensive with the aim of smashing Lebanon, Trans-jordan and Syria... The weak point in the Arab coalition is Lebanon [for] the Moslem regime is artificial and easy to undermine. A Christian state should be established... When we smash the [Arab] Legions strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan, too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria, and Cairo."

 David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.

15. "We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."

Israel Koenig, "The Koenig Memorandum"

16. "Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population."

Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion, Haifa, reported in Haaretz, April 4, 1969.

17. "We walked outside, Ben-Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, What is to be done with the Palestinian population?' Ben-Gurion waved his hand in a gesture which said 'Drive them out!'"

Yitzhak Rabin, leaked censored version of Rabin memoirs, published in the New York Times, 23 October 1979.

18. Rabin's description of the conquest of Lydda, after the completion of Plan Dalet. "We shall reduce the Arab population to a community of woodcutters and waiters"

Uri Lubrani, PM Ben-Gurion's special adviser on Arab Affairs, 1960. From "The Arabs in Israel" by Sabri Jiryas.

19. "Everybody has to move, run and grab as many hilltops as they can to enlarge the settlements because everything we take now will stay ours... Everything we don't grab will go to them."

Ariel Sharon, Israeli Foreign Minister, addressing a meeting of militants from the extreme right-wing Tsomet Party, Agence France Presse, November 15, 1998.

20. "It is the duty of Israeli leaders to explain to public opinion, clearly and courageously, a certain number of facts that are forgotten with time. The first of these is that there is no Zionism, colonialization or Jewish State without the eviction of the Arabs and the expropriation of their lands."
Yoram Bar Porath, Yediot Aahronot, of 14 July 1972.

21. "Spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment... Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discreetly and circumspectly."

Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization, speaking of the Arabs of Palestine,Complete Diaries, June 12, 1895 entry.

22. "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail."

Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, Feb. 27, 1994 [Source: N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 1994, p. 1]

23. "We Jews, we are the destroyers and will remain the destroyers. Nothing you can do will meet our demands and needs. We will forever destroy because we want a world of our own."

(You Gentiles, by Jewish Author Maurice Samuels, p. 155).

24. "We will have a world government whether you like it or not. The only question is whether that government will be achieved by conquest or consent."

(Jewish Banker Paul Warburg, February 17, 1950, as he testified before the U.S. Senate).

25. "We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not...You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world."

(Chaim Weizmann, Published in "Judische Rundschau," No. 4, 1920)

26. "Our race is the Master Race. We are divine gods on this planet. We are as different from the inferior races as they are from insects. In fact, compared to our race, other races are beasts and animals, cattle at best. Other races are considered as human excrement. Our destiny is to rule over the inferior races. Our earthly kingdom will be ruled by our leader with a rod of iron. The masses will lick our feet and serve us as our slaves."

Israeli prime Minister Menachem Begin in a speech to the Knesset [Israeli Parliament] quoted by Amnon Kapeliouk, "Begin and the Beasts," New Statesman, June 25, 1982

What happens when a Gazan wants to marry a West Bank woman?

by Amira Hass on December 19, 2011


Did you know that Israel allows Gaza residents to enter the West Bank to attend their relatives' weddings but not to get betrothed themselves? You don't believe it? Ehab is the proof.


Ehab, who did not want to be identified by his full name, is a man of 26. Ah, you will say, he is dangerous - young and single. A person like that, who knows what will go through his head if he is allowed to pass through Israel?

Palestinian students wear traditional clothing during a cultural event at the Bethlehem University, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Thursday, March 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
Palestinian students wear traditional clothing during a cultural event at the Bethlehem University, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Thursday, March 22, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Firstly, last year we did let him pass through Israel - twice. (Twice!) And even though he traversed the 70 kilometers from Gaza to the West Bank, Israel's security was not undermined. The first time, in January of 2010, he received permission to go to the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem to submit an application for a visa. The second time, on April 8, after having received the visa, he passed through Israel on his way to Amman, and from there flew to Ohio, where he is studying for a master's degree in information systems management.

Secondly, now that he wants to enter the West Bank to ask the parents of the woman he loves for her hand in marriage, as tradition requires, he will not even set foot in sovereign Israeli territory.
Ehab is not only studying; he is also working as a teaching assistant at his university, and planned his trip so his betrothal would take place during the semester break. And if you say it is his own fault, for choosing to marry someone who lives in the West Bank (which could endanger the demographic balance there, heaven help us ), we have no answer to that, no "thirdly" or "fourthly."

Like every Gazan, Ehab knows he needs an Israeli permit to enter the West Bank from Jordan. And so well in advance, even before he landed in Amman on December 10 of this year, he contacted Gisha so the legal advocacy group for freedom of movement could submit the application on his behalf. Here are the steps that followed suit:

1. On November 22, Gisha applied in writing to the army's Coordination and Liaison Office for Gaza and requested a permit for Ehab. For this is one of the bureaucratic rules of the closure and the separation between Gaza and the West Bank: Everyone who has a Gaza address in his identity card and needs any kind of Israeli permit must apply to the liaison office, even if he resides in Ramallah - or New York. Days passed and no answer came.

2. On December 6 Gisha wrote to the Justice Ministry's department of petitions to the High Court of Justice, a procedure called a "pre-petition" that sometimes gets the authorities to move more quickly. The pre-petition did indeed get something moving.

3. On the very same day the answer came back: Ehab must direct his request to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in the Gaza Strip, and only after the committee forwards the request to the Israeli side will the Israel authorities consider it. (The civil affairs committee serves as the postman between Palestinians and the Israeli liaison office, which makes the decisions. ) Logical? Not very.

4. The Coordination and Liaison Office knows that the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee does not accept requests to enter the West Bank from Gazans who are not physically in Gaza. Why not? Because according to the Palestinian committee, the army's liaison office usually declines to even process them.

5. Nevertheless, on December 8, Ehab's mother filed a request with the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee in Gaza (which is subordinate to the Civil Affairs Ministry in the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah ), asking for permission for him to enter the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge in order to become engaged to marry. The civil affairs committee acceded to the pleas of Gisha and sent the request to the military liaison office. Days went by and no answer came.

6. On December 14 Gisha petitioned the High Court of Justice with a request to allow Ehab to enter the West Bank for a defined period, to ask for the hand of the woman he wants to marry, who is slated to join him in the United States.

7. On the same day Gisha received a reply from the liaison office's center for public applications. It was dated December 13. The name of the person who wrote it was not noted, but that person's superior officers are Col. Khatib Mansour, the head of the Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza, and Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, coordinator of government activities in the territories.

The reply states: "Firstly, we will note that in accordance with the working procedures agreed upon with the Palestinian Authority, all applications concerning entry of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory must be addressed to the Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, which constitutes the body responsible for coordination, prioritization and transfer to the Israeli side of applications from Palestinian inhabitants of the Judea and Samaria District and the Gaza Strip. Moreover, it should be noted that at the present time, in light of the current political and security situation, entry of Gaza Strip residents into Israel is not allowed apart from exceptional humanitarian cases with emphasis on urgent medical cases.

"For details of all the criteria ... you are invited to enter the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories site on the Internet... Specifically, let it be made clear immediately that after looking into your client's matter is has been decided to refuse his request [emphasis added]."

8. A look at the criteria finds that the terminally ill are not the only privileged few allowed entry; so are those who seek "entry for purposes of attending the wedding or the funeral of a first-degree relative."

You will say, and rightly, that betrothal is not among the criteria, nor is a person's own wedding. Tomorrow the High Court of Justice will hold a hearing on the petition filed by Gisha on Ehab's behalf.

The ban preventing Palestinians officially registered in Gaza from using the Allenby Bridge crossing into the West Bank came well before Hamas' rise to power in 2006 and 2007. Back in 1991, Israeli authorities introduced a sweeping closure policy for the first time, requiring all Palestinians to obtain a permit if they wanted to travel between the West Bank and Gaza.

The more stingy the Israeli authorities were in granting travel permits, the more that Gazans, particularly university students but also others, sought out creative solutions. They traveled through Egypt, flew to Jordan and entered the West Bank from there.

After all, under the Oslo Accords, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank constitute a single territorial unit. Israel saw the "leak" at the Allenby Bridge and got scared. In 1997, as part of the gradual, quiet steps designed to cut Gaza off from the West Bank, Israel decided that Gazans taking the Allenby Bridge route would also require a permit, the kind of permit that is almost never granted.

The logical steps in the process of cutting off Gaza were to follow. A Gazan without Israeli permission to stay in the West Bank was eventually classified as "an illegal sojourner." And now, that illegal sojourner is classified as an infiltrator, to be deported any minute.

* Amira Hass is a prominent Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. She is particularly recognized for her reporting on Palestinian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, where she has also lived for a number of years.

The daughter of two Holocaust survivors, and was educated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. On Oct. 20, the International Women's Media Network reward Hass the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award. Hass was the recipient of the Press Freedom Hero award from the International Press Institute in 2000, the Bruno Kreisky Human Rights Award in 2002, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in 2003, the inaugural award from the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund in 2004 and Hrant Dink Memorial Award in 2009.

Top Jewish fundraisers sticking with Obama for 2012

Published 10:49 21.12.11 Latest update 10:49 21.12.11

Top-level Jewish fundraisers from President Obama’s 2008 campaign are sticking with the president in 2012.

Despite reports that President Obama faces a loss of Jewish funders due to his Middle East policy, analysis of a list of elite bundlers from his 2008 race shows no defections among the president’s top Jewish supporters in 2012. 

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Photo by: Getty / courtesy of The Forward

In 2008, Obama’s elite “bundlers” — fund raisers who collected more than $500,000 each for the president’s campaign — included many prominent Jews. Aside from those who hold government jobs that bar them from political fundraising, all of them have returned on the 2012 campaign’s list of volunteer bundlers, or are confirmed to be fundraising for the campaign. And a handful of new prominent Jewish bundlers has joined the elite group this year for the first time.

The Forward’s findings don’t speak to support for Obama among Jewish voters, or to how the president will fare among rank-and-file Jewish donors who gave or collected lesser sums.

Indeed, some of those elite donors report that support for Obama may be thinner further down the ladder.

Israeli city to enact gender segregations at some municipal Hanukkah shows

Published 01:35 22.12.11 Latest update 01:35 22.12.11

One of three performances of 'Moti Halamotai,' geared to children from the age of 4, is to be presented with gender-segregated seating and is being publicized as such.

By Gili Cohen 
Some Petah Tikva parents have complained that a city-sponsored Hanukkah show at the municipal performing arts center will not have mixed seating for boys and girls. 

One of three performances of "Moti Halamotai," which is geared to children from age 4, is to be presented with the separate seating and is being publicized as such. 

Children school Petah Tikva - Hadar Cohen - 30112011 Children making their way to school in Petah Tikva’s Em Hamoshavot neighborhood.
Photo by: Hadar Cohen

A municipal spokesperson acknowledged that one show would have separate seating and explained that it was geared toward the city's ultra-Orthodox community. Municipal sources have also said that two other evening shows that are geared for families are also to feature separate seating, meaning that of seven special performances over the holiday, three will feature separate seating by gender.

One Petah Tivka resident, Leah, who described herself as religious, expressed surprise at having to sit separately from her 11-year-old grandson at a show she wanted to attend. Females, she was told, would sit in the balcony. "It's so insulting and humiliating," she said, "and after all, it's a children's show."

The city's ultra-Orthodox education department is sponsoring additional programming in which there is totally separate programming for girls and boys, and a Hanukkah party sponsored Tuesday was only for boys, according to a schedule of events for children published by the municipality.

The complaints over gender-segregation come against the backdrop of the broader issue of gender segregation in Israel, including separate seating on a limited number of public bus lines, a practice that the High Court of Justice said could not be imposed.

It allowed voluntary gender segregation on buses on a limited number of lines on a trial basis, however.

Sources at the Petah Tikva Municipality said programming in which boys and girls are separated has been held there for several years. Particularly due to the low ticket prices for the Hanukkah shows, it also attracts less strictly observant religious people.

Tickets for Moti Halamotai cost NIS 25, compared to another children's show for which tickets purchased on the day of the show sell for NIS 85.

"The municipality doesn't have to cooperate with sexual discrimination," said Leah. "And of all times, it is on Hanukkah, the festival of lights, that we are seeing darkness."

Israeli campaign: Ariel Sharon's stroke was 'curse of Gaza disengagement'

Published 01:35 22.12.11     Latest update 01:35 22.12.11

Extreme right-wing religious party, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, launching campaign, saying they seek to warn current government against evacuating settlements.

By Ophir Bar-Zohar

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke in January 2006 came about because of his role in disengagement from Gaza, according to a campaign to be launched on December 31 by an extreme right-wing religious party, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu. 

The campaign, also sponsored by the organization Hamateh Lehatzalat Ha'am Hayehudi, is to be launched on the sixth anniversary of Sharon's stroke according to the Hebrew calendar. It will hang posters in synagogues and publish advertisements in the party's pamphlet, also called Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, using quotes by Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about the causes of Sharon's condition. 

PM Sharon Eyal Warshavsky/BauBau Ariel Sharon
Photo by: Eyal Warshavsky/BauBau

In so doing, the group says it seeks to warn the current government against evacuating settlements.

One of Yosef's quotes about Sharon states: "How cruel is this evil man, for doing things like this ... God will strike him so he will never rise again."

Yosef also said: "And those who carry out his bidding - their time will come."

Eretz Yisrael Shelanu's chairman, Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, said: "The campaign is a warning to politicians and the prime minister not to be dragged into adventures like Sharon was. The price they will pay will be too heavy to bear."

The director general of the movement, Shai Gefen, says the campaign is not against Sharon. "This is about learning lessons. We wish everyone strong health and see it as our duty to warn the leaders that those who harm the land of Israel may be harmed. It's a fact that all the leaders of the disengagement - the police commissioner, the chief of staff, senior ministers, the president, [former Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert ... the curse of disengagement struck them all."

When asked whether such a campaign might hurt the Sharon family's feelings, Gefen said, "Sharon hurt the feelings of thousands of families that, to this day, are sitting in prefabricated homes. People went into mental hospitals, families collapsed, people in the south were hit by missiles because of what Sharon did."

Shas MK Nissim Zeev said his party was disgusted by the campaign, noting: "This is a cynical, even evil, use of Ariel Sharon's condition on his deathbed. He is sick and we all pray for his recovery, including Rabbi Ovadia. After all, Sharon was a hero and sacrificed himself for the people of Israel."

In the last elections, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu joined the National Union list. Its representative in the National Union Knesset faction is Michael Ben Ari.

Israel says EU 'losing credibility'

In response to harsh condemnation of settler attacks on Palestinians, Foreign Ministry says European members of Security Council should focus on Iran nuclear threat and Syria. Livni: Israel waging war against biggest allies

Latest Update: 12.21.11, 23:59 / Israel News

In another response to a strong European condemnation of Israel's construction in the West Bank and attacks by settlers on Palestinians, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday "if instead of contributing to stability in the Middle East (European Union members of the UN Security Council) are investing their efforts in inappropriate bickering with with the one country in which the independent law justice system knows how to deal with lawbreakers, then they are losing their credibility and making themselves irrelevant."

On Tuesday European Union members of the 15-nation body demanded strong action by the Israeli government to halt the attacks and said the settlements "send a devastating message" about Israel's intentions.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry urged the EU members of the UNSC to concentrate on "peacemaking in bloodshed hotspots such as Syria, on instilling democracy and moderation in Arab countries aspiring to freedom, and on defusing the global danger embodied in the Iranian nuclear race.

"The European UNSC members have chosen to do what is easy and unnecessary, rather than muster their courage and do that which is difficult and necessary,” the ministry said.

כתובות "תג מחיר" על מסגד סמוך לחברון (צילום: בצלם)
'Price tag' spray-painted on mosque near Hebron (Photo: B'Tselem)

The Foreign Ministry also called on the EU members to support the "resumption of the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians according to the Quartet's outline, which Israel had adopted despite the Palestinians' objection."

Israel further urged the European states to "adhere to the wording of the Quartet plan and refrain from giving it interpretations that contradict both the letter and the spirit of the original text.

"This misreading only adds obstacles on the path towards resuming peace talks. Interfering with Israel's domestic affairs, including on issues which are to be solved within the framework of direct negotiations, does not enhance the status they wish to be granted," the Foreign Ministry's statement added.

US: Condemnation won't restart peace talks

Opposition leader Tzipi Livni blasted the Foreign Ministry statement, saying "Israel is waging war against its biggest allies in Europe."

Livni claimed that the government's policies can be viewed as compromising to the state's security. "Without legitimacy in the world we could never act against terror, as we did in the past," she said.

שכונת הר חומה בירושלים. "מודאגים מהודעות הבנייה" (צילום: אתר  lowshot)
Construction in Har Homa (Photo: Lowshot website)

"Currently there is no confidence in the prime minister, and the situation could compromise the way our allies view Israel."

In response to the Foreign Ministry's statement, European Union diplomats told Ynet that the condemnation was directly mainly at Israel's settlement construction policy.

"There is concern and a lot of frustration surrounding the Israeli government's policy on this issue," one diplomat said. "We are very worried about the amount of construction permits (in the West Bank)

The diplomat said similar condemnations have been issued in the past. "We recognize Israel's efforts to stop the 'price tag' assailants. The main issue that concerns us is settlement construction," the diplomat added.

Over the past few weeks European officials have expressed their concern over the future of Israel and the peace process. "We don’t know what Israel wants anymore or how it's future will look," a senior official said. "The continuation of settlement construction will lead to one state for two peoples. We don't know where this government is leading (Israel) to or what its position is regarding the peace process."

India, Brazil and South Africa launched their own condemnation after a Security Council meeting on Israeli-Palestinian developments. Russia's UN envoy questioned Israel's commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict.

Britain, France, Germany and Portugal – EU representatives on the council – said in a statement that they were "dismayed by these wholly negative developments."

Following the condemnation, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor published a statement in which he slammed the Security Council. He said that while innocent people are being slathered in Syria, terrorists roam freely in Gaza, UN personnel are attacked in Lebanon and Iran is developing a nuclear weapon, the Security Council keeps silent.

The White House stressed that it hasn't joined a UN Security Council condemnation of Israeli settlement construction because it does not believe that Security Council declarations are the way to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that Israel knows Washington's position on the issue, and the best way to deal with the conflict is for the two sides to resume direct negotiations.
AFP, Yitzhak Benhorin and Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report,7340,L-4165126,00.html

Our African workforce

Op-ed: African migrants are no threat; we let them in so they can do our dirty work

Uri Misgav

Published:     12.22.11, 00:42 / Israel Opinion

The refugees and work migrants who pour into Israel from Africa do not constitute an existential threat for the country. How do I know this? I use the simplest form of common sense: Had it been an existential threat, the government would have resorted to a great, multipronged effort to defend against it. Indeed, our officials would operate both on the security and diplomatic front, day and night, exactly as they do in respect to the Iranian nuclear program.

We need them to wash dishes 

If the immigrants somehow survive the tortuous road courtesy of the desert and the detainment and abuse camps of human traders and the greedy, sadistic smuggling gangs, all that’s left for them is to step into Israel and start their lives in the promised land.

The truth is that we need them, these black people, to do their job and then go. That is, go and rest for a few hours under minimal living conditions, until the next shift starts.

We need them to sweep our streets, clean our homes, and wash the dishes in our restaurants. We need them to take up the dirty work, a role that in the past was reserved for the Palestinians, until it became a little too dangerous to employ them.

This is not an existential threat; rather, it’s an existential need. And in a few years, once they have children, we shall send Eli Yishai and his inspectors to persecute and expel them. After all, the next shipment is already knocking at our doors.,7340,L-4165114,00.html

Rosenblit: No one has right to take away basic rights

Woman who refused to sit in back of bus despite haredi demands attends Jerusalem rally against exclusion of women, 'racist' legislation. Livni: She is courageous

Moran Azulay
Published:     12.21.11, 20:32 / Israel News

Tanya Rosenblit, the woman who refused to sit in the back of a bus travelling from Ashdod to Jerusalem despite the demands of haredi passengers, rallied in Jerusalem with Knesset members from the opposition against the exclusion of women from the public sphere.

The Kadima faction, which organized the march from the Supreme Court to the Knesset, said it was planning to launch an ad campaign under the banner "Women from Kadima – making Israel sane again."

"I am at peace with my actions. There are basic rights that no individual or body can take from us. The public domain should be free, and people should be allowed to act as they see fit – work out, dress, eat and travel - to move about wherever they wish," Rosenblit said following the rally.

Livni leads protesters (Photo: Itzik Edri)

Opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni said the protest was against the exclusion of women, "racist" legislation and the undermining of the Supreme Court's authority. The only coalition member to attend the rally was Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat (Likud).

"Hanukkah is a holiday of light, but a great darkness is descending upon Israel," Livni told the protesters. "We will carry the torch of the enlightenment of liberalism, of a Jewish and democratic Israel."

The opposition leader said Rosenblit "has the courage to live her life without being told how to live it."

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Yosef ,  Ashdod, Israel  (12.21.11)

Larry ,  Los Angeles  (12.21.11)

A Jerusalemite ,  Jerusalem, Israel  (12.21.11)

Shlomo ,  USA  (12.21.11)

moshe ,  london  (12.21.11)

Aaron ,  Israel  (12.21.11)

izzy d  (12.21.11)

Ezra ,  US-ISRAEL  (12.21.11)

Andy ,  Washington, DC  (12.21.11)

Rochel ,  Los Angeles USA  (12.21.11)



sean ,  London, uk  (12.21.11)


Lemmings Hotline ,  sd usa  (12.21.11)

Scott Simon ,  Beer Sheva, Israel  (12.21.11)

Keren ,  IL-BR  (12.21.11)

Rivkah  (12.22.11)

SJOERD RUURD VAN DER ,  MULTIVERSE  (12.22.11),7340,L-4165140,00.html