Students at George Washington University disrupt talk by Michael Oren, hold up signs reading ‘Oren supports colonialism,’ and ‘What are you going to do with 30 billion?’
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CBS’ 60 Minutes had a fantastic segment on how the Israeli occupation is driving Christians out of the Holy Land. The report has earned CBS the ire of the Israeli government – even before it aired.
There’s a petition setup to thank CBS for their courageous reporting, as well.
It’s April Fool’s Day:
The upheaval we see today in our region is driven by a clash of generations rather than a clash of civilisations. The older generation had greater respect for land than science. But we live in an age when science, more than soil, has become the provider of growth and abundance. Living just on the land creates loneliness in an age of globality.
Israel is an example of that today: technology and not territory are the drivers of wealth. We have shown that with a small piece of land, little water and no oil, it is possible to create a thriving economy and a sustainable democracy.
Israel welcomes the wind of change, and sees a window of opportunity. Democratic and science-based economies by nature desire peace. Israel does not want to be an island of affluence in an ocean of poverty. Improvements in our neighbours’ lives mean improvements to the neighbourhood in which we live.
Israelis understand that this is no less true of the Palestinians. That is why successive Israeli governments have given their full support to the efforts of Palestinians in the West Bank to build their own economy, their own institutions, and their own security forces. Economic growth in the West Bank is now close to 10% annually. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians see the tangible fruit of this co-operation. Knowledge, freedom and peace are inseparable.
Under Israeli military law, Palestinians are not allowed to protest the occupation without special permits, which are almost never requested—partly as a matter of principle, but also because they are almost never given. The unarmed demonstrations are usually met with heavy-handed measures, including tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and even live ammunition. Since 2005, twenty-one Palestinians have been killed in these demonstrations, including ten under 18, with thousands injured. Israelis and international activists have been injured too, but so far no Israeli Jews have been killed. The Israeli protesters claim that their presence restrains the army and helps draw media attention. Many Palestinians agree, and over the years they have come to see the Israeli activists as partners.http://josephdana.com/2011/03/the-new-israeli-left/
The Guardian has put up what is being called The Palestine Papers, ‘secret’ documents on the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
These papers were obtained by Al Jazeera and then shared with the Guardian.
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The Only Liberal Democracy In The Middle East (Because It Doesn’t Stone Women Or Hang Gays):
Three Palestinians also were injured by gunfire in the same area, medical officials said.
Israel Defense Forces would only confirm that soldiers fired on two Palestinians who were seen in a 300-meter (984-foot) restricted “no-go” zone near the crossing. Both were hit below the waist, according to IDF.
The shepherd died Thursday night after getting shot in the spine earlier in the day, Palestinian medical officials said.
The medical officials also said three teenage boys out collecting stones Thursday were injured by gunfire in separate incidents in the same area as the fatal shooting. A 14-year-old boy was shot in the head. Another victim, 18, was shot in the leg. A third victim, 19 was shot in the arm.
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Binyamin Netanyahu agrees with your sardonic blogger that Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.
In related news:
Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report identifies discriminatory practices that have no legitimate security or other justification and calls on Israel, in addition to abiding by its international legal obligation to withdraw the settlements [colonies], to end these violations of Palestinians’ rights.
The 166-page report, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Discriminatory Treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” shows that Israel operates a two-tier system for the two populations of the West Bank in the large areas where it exercises exclusive control.
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Wasn’t that always the point?
A UN human rights rapporteur has said continued settlement construction will probably make Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land irreversible. Richard Falk said the peace process aimed at creating an independent, sovereign Palestinian state therefore appeared to be based on an illusion.
Of course the recent demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish nation effectively blocks a one-state solution, as well. So what is left?
The hard numbers:
Regarding these 617 fatalities, BʹTselem demanded an MPIU [Military Police Investigation Unit] investigation into the deaths of 288 of them, who were killed in 148 incidents. Ninety‐five of these incidents occurred in the Gaza Strip, accounting for 230 of the deaths. The other 53 incidents took place in the West Bank and resulted in the killing of 58 Palestinians. One hundred and four of the fatalities were minors under age 18, 23 were persons 50 and above, and 52 were women. One hundred of the Palestinians whose deaths B’Tselem demanded to investigate were killed in 2006, 86 in 2007, 93 in 2008, and 9 in 2009.