• Tel Aviv U. academics hold first-ever discussion about BDS - Israel - - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

    About 30 Tel Aviv University students, mostly graduates and Ph.D. candidates, took part on Monday in a discussion about the boycott movement against Israel, particularly the academic boycott. The very fact that a discussion was held that did not completely condemn the BDS movement and included some expressions of support, is considered unusual.

    The discussion was held under the auspices of the university’s sociology and anthropology department. It was the first such event held by the department, and apparently the first at Tel Aviv University.

    One of the speakers was Dr. Hila Dayan of Amsterdam University College in Amsterdam, one of a group of about 40 anthropologists who oppose the attempt by the Israeli Anthropological Association to ban discussion on Israel at an upcoming international conference. The association is due to discuss the issue on Thursday.

    Dayan drew a connection between what she said was the failure of Israel’s universities to deal with inequality in education and “their indifference to what is happening in the occupied territories.” She said that she did not support an academic boycott “because I think that Israel will be saved from itself only thanks to the enlightened world.” But she said she supported an “inner boycott.”

    According to Dayan, “sanctimoniousness reigns” among leftists who oppose a boycott. “Many of them think that an economic boycott, like the pressure on Orange and boycotting the settlements is legitimate, but an academic boycott is not. Why, though?” Dayan criticized the universities for “on the one hand claiming that they are for dialogue and an exchange of views and on the other, vehemently opposing any demand to take a stand on the occupation. So what kind of an exchange of opinions is that?” she asked.

    Professor Dan Rabinowitz of the university’s sociology department and head of its Porter School of Environmental Studies pointed to a petition signed by some 1,300 anthropologists worldwide calling on universities in Israel to persuade the government to withdraw from the territories as one of the conditions for lifting the boycott. 

    “That is a condition that cannot be met,” he said. “The universities are not in a position to make an institutional stand on political issues. We don’t know the opinion of Tel Aviv University on the occupation and refugees, just as we don’t know the opinion of UCLA Berkeley on climate change, Guantanamo or the war on terror.”

    According to Rabinovitz, BDS is led by people who “never believed in a two-state solution, or who gave up on it,” while in the Israeli academic world there are still many people who believe in Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. For people who believe that it is better for Israel as a political entity to stop existing, “the presence of Israelis who can show an enlightened face and arouse empathy is an obstacle. Therefore Israeli academic and cultural institutions are a nuisance. The universities are more dangerous to the post-Zionist vision than Netanyahu, Bennett, and Shaked,” he added.

  • Le boycott se révèle être un instrument politique très efficace. Je doutais, maintenant plus.

    BDS is a threat to Israel’s very existence - Israel Opinion, Ynetnews

    Op-ed: ISIS? Iran? North Korea? The industry of lies spun by the BDS movement is convincing more and more people that Israel is the source of evil in the world. Make no mistake: This is not a campaign against settlements. It’s a war on the legitimacy of the Jewish state. All reasonable forces, from right and left, must act against the economic, academic, and cultural boycott which has become a strategic threat. Yedioth Ahronoth is enlisting in the fight back.

    BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) activists have been fighting the Woolworths supermarket chain, which has insisted on importing bagels from the Jewish state. The total value of the imported foodstuffs is a mere million dollars out of the chain’s nearly 10 billion dollars in revenues. Pocket change.

    But the BDS activists are insistent. For a long stretch of time they protested and disrupted operations. Woolworths, for their part, are just as insistent. The chain petitioned the court and even won its trial.

    The BDS activists, however, refuse to concede. The chamber of commerce, a youth league of the ANC (the largest and strongest faction in South Africa), and other institutions are part of the struggle.

    Two weeks ago, on Nakba Day, they led some 10,000 students in a protest against Woolworths.

    On the other side of the world, in Washington State, another much smaller supermarket chain, Olympia Food Co-op, voted to join the BDS movement and boycott Israeli products. When pro-Israel activists pursued a legal path to justice, they were dismissed out of hand.

    Three years ago the state’s Supreme Court reversed the decision. In the past, it must be noted, there were other legal victories. French courts clarified that boycotting Israeli products was a hate crime. The State of Illinois passed a precedent-setting law a mere two weeks ago that forbids investments in companies that partake in the BDS effort.

    The series of legal victories, however, could create a false impression, since BDS has been winning the battle for public perception. Those who claim that BDS will not affect the Israeli economy are correct. For now.

    The BDS movement has been conducting a campaign for awareness on multiple fronts – on campuses, in workers’ unions, and in the media. It is amassing troubling victories. More and more student unions in the US are joining the boycott. Leading newspapers like the New York Times are providing a platform for boycott advocates.

    Their influence has invaded the Hillel groups on campuses, as BDS supporters exploit the organization’s wish for openness to disseminate their campaign. When you tell a young student that “Israel expelled hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948” and he does not know that in those same years tens of millions underwent such expulsions – as that was once the norm – and that more Jews were kicked out of Arab lands… well, he might tend to believe that Israel was born in sin.

    Some of the students then become BDS activists. In recent years, it has happened more and more.

    Support for Israel in the United States is at its peak. But it’s an illusion. On campuses, at research institutes, and in media outlets, there has been a consistent, protracted, and dangerous erosion of support for Israel.

    It is already invading politics. Sidney Blumenthal was a senior advisor to Bill Clinton. His son, Max Blumenthal, has become a prominent and venomous activist on campuses against Israel’s very existence. This isn’t what happens in every Jewish family. Far from it. But that’s the trend.

    Israel is enduring one of the most systematic attacks against its existence. You don’t need to be part of the BDS movement in order to be on the anti-Israel front.

    When a member of Breaking the Silence appears at events sponsored by BDS, that is not criticism. That is demonization.

    When Peter Beinart, one of the leaders of the Jewish left in the United States, who defines himself as a Zionist and Orthodox, claimed that on Lag BaOmer of 2014 Jews committed a pogrom against Palestinians, he was not working to criticize. He spread a blood libel.

    When Richard Goldstone published the report bearing his name, he caused a propaganda hit to Israel, even though he recanted after some time. And the list is a long one.

    The success of BDS is particularly impressive because it is a movement that uses the language of rights, but deals in practice with denying Israel’s right to exist. The result is a major deception.

    Many good and innocent people fall into this trap. When the concept of “tikkun olam” becomes the central motif for the identity of Jewish students, those who are searching for a Jewish identity, then the slippery language of the BDS movement becomes a magnet. The fraud is effective.

    This appears to be one of the greatest instances of fraud in our age. Because this is a campaign of demonization with dangerous similarities to propaganda lies against Jews.

    The leaders of the campaign, Omar Barghouti and Ali Abunimah, have a lofty stated goal. “The idea of two states was unacceptable from the beginning,” said Barghouti in his response to a question on one campus, adding that ending Israeli control of Palestinian territories is only a step on the way to achieving the vision of dismantling Israel. Abunimah said that “the two-state solution is meant to save Zionism”.

    Dr. Ilan Pappe, an ardent detractor of Israel, explained that the campaign is based on a way of thinking that believes in two sins: The first ingrained in the formation of Israel and the other ingrained in Israel’s very existence.

    The fact that these are unrelenting lies is reminiscent of anti-Semitic propaganda. Almost everything the Nazis said about the Jews is said today by BDS supporters about Israel, through claims of a genocide that never occurred, or deliberate mass killing of innocents, or that the Jews and/or Israel are the main cause of violence in the world, a danger to humanity or to world peace.

    We have become accustomed to the fact that Hamas and the Iranian regime openly support the denial of Israel’s right to exist. The problem is that those who were supposed to be enlightened, Judith Butler - a Jew, a professor of comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley and Stephen Hawking to join the coalition of insanity, and a worldwide struggle against the very existence of one country of the all countries in the world. Israel. Not North Korea. Not Iran. Not Sudan. Only Israel.

    Prominent BDS spokesmen for the BDS campaign use anti-Semitic motifs in their propaganda. For example, Roger Waters, the lead singer of Pink Floyd, talks about Jewish control of Hollywood as he compares Israel to the Nazis. One of the financiers of the flotillas to Gaza and of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), both part and parcel of the BDS, is Mahathir Mohamed, the former president of Malaysia and a proud anti-Semite.

    Israel, needless to say, is far from perfect. It deserves criticism. It also knows itself how to do that perfectly well. It is doubtful that there is any other country in the West where the media and academia can publish anything and everything under the sun, including lies, including arguments against the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state.

  • Report: Israeli weapons found in Saudi embassy in Yemen - Israel News, Ynetnews
    Roi Kais, Ynet

    Israeli made ammunition and weapons were part of a large cache of military material found in the Saudi embassy in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, according to a report on Saturday by the Iranian Fars News Agency.
    In addition to the Israeli-made weapons, the report said that rebels had also uncovered documents detailing an American plan to build a military base on Mayyun Island, a Saudi-controlled island strategically positioned in the narrow entrance to the Red Sea between Yemen and the African continent. Fars said that the base would protect American interests in the region, namely Israel’s security.

    The Iranian report included that Riyadh had asked Israel for a supply of advanced weapons for use by, what the report called, “the terrorist organizations in Yemen who are loyal to the fugitive President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.”

    In April, Yemeni officials claimed that Saudi Arabia was using Israeli weapons in strikes against the Houthis. The Saudis organized a coalition of Arab nations in January to support the Yemen government militarily. The President was later forced to flee the country.

    • Israël offre le Dôme de fer à l’Arabie saoudite, Ryad refuse (média)
      23 Mai 2015

      L’Arabie saoudite aurait récemment rejeté l’offre d’Israël, qui proposait de mettre à la disposition de Ryad la technologie du système anti-missiles Dôme de fer, selon une information du média arabe Rai al-Youm révélée samedi.

      Selon l’article de Rai al-Youm, Israël aurait fait cette proposition aux responsables saoudiens par le biais des diplomates américains en poste en Jordanie afin d’aider Ryad à se protéger d’éventuels tirs de roquettes des rebelles Houthis au Yémen.

      Le Dôme de fer, développé en Israël et financé en grande partie par les États-Unis, a notamment permis d’intercepter cet été des centaines de missiles et roquettes tirés depuis la bande de Gaza sur les villes et villages israéliens.

      Le rapport indique que la proposition israélienne a été rejetée. Aucune source officielle n’a pour l’instant confirmé ou commenté ces informations. (...)

    • l’info est reprise en français sur i24news

      Un stock d’armes israéliennes « retrouvé » à l’ambassade saoudienne au Yémen

      Des documents sur la construction d’une base US dans le détroit de Bab el-Mandeb découverts (média iranien)

      L’agence iranienne Fars a rapporté samedi que des armes israéliennes ont été retrouvées à l’ambassade d’Arabie saoudite au Yémen, située à Sanaa.

      Selon le média iranien, les rebelles Houthis se sont emparés samedi du bâtiment et ont découvert le stock d’armement d’origine israélienne.

      L’agence iranienne affirme par ailleurs que les rebelles ont mis la main sur des documents selon lesquels les Américains envisagent de construire une base militaire sur l’île de Perim, contrôlée par l’Arabie saoudite et située dans le stratégique détroit de Bab el-Mandeb, sur les bords de la mer Rouge, entre le Yémen et Djibouti.

      Le détroit de Bab el-Mandeb voit passer environ quatre millions de barils de brut par jour (mbj), qui s’en vont plus au nord via le canal de Suez ou l’oléoduc Sumed.

      En avril, des responsables du Yémen avaient déjà affirmé que l’Arabie saoudite utilisait des armes de fabrication israélienne contre les rebelles Houthis.

      La coalition arabe dirigée par l’Arabie saoudite mène des raids au Yémen depuis le 26 mars contre les rebelles Houthis soutenus par l’Iran.

  • Benny Begin viré parce que inutile pour Netanyahou et sa minable politique politicienne

    Long-time Likud official Benny Begin expected to leave cabinet - Israel - - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

    Less than three weeks after being appointed to the cabinet, Benny Begin is set to be ousted to make way for another Likud minister, Gilad Erdan. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Facebook post Friday that while he would “make every effort to incorporate MK Benny Begin into the cabinet later,” Likud’s coalition partners had objected to changing the agreed-on number of portfolios per faction, making it impossible to keep both Begin and Erdan.

  • To most Israelis, a colonial regime is preferable - Opinion - - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

    By Zeev Sternhell

    Israeli society’s fundamental problem lies in the fact that the first phase of the War of Independence ended only in 1966 with the lifting of military rule in Arab areas. The second phase began immediately thereafter, in June 1967.

    Israel transitioned smoothly from curfews on Taibeh to military rule over Nablus. The emergency regime under which Israelis lived for the first two decades after independence prevented the introduction of a constitution and created shameful habits of governance.

    In retrospect, one can ask whether our leaders intended, perhaps unconsciously, to make inferiority seem second nature to the vanquished people. The transition from this to the occupation regime in the territories was completely natural.

    After Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s modest liberalization in 1963, it seemed the days of conquering the land had ended. But the Six-Day War halted the attempts to ratchet down the conquering nationalism and gradually shift to a situation in which tribal particularism could be tamed by the universal principles of democracy.

    While it’s true that the Zionism of the Labor Party and its antecedents wasn’t much less radical than that of the right-wing Revisionists, and the cult of historical rites was natural to Labor even without “the two banks of the Jordan,” there was still a chance the party would recognize that all Zionism’s goals had been attained within the existing borders. But even that tiny spark of normalization was obliterated by the great victory of ‘67.

    Still, the supremacy of the national aims over any other aim remained unquestioned throughout. After 1967, the left’s social and political elite had 10 years in power to contend with the occupation, but the only thing it did was offer the half-lunatic proposals of the trio of Yigal Allon, Moshe Dayan and Shimon Peres.

    This was based on the annexation of wide swaths of territory as part of the partition of the West Bank between Jordan and Israel. Dayan had a more “original” idea: The Palestinians would live under Israeli rule as Jordanian citizens, with voting rights in that country.

    And so, unless today’s center-left leaders undergo a deep intellectual and conceptual turnaround, the question of who will rule has no real meaning. To most of the public, a colonial regime is preferable to dealing with the settlements, and disadvantaged groups willingly sacrifice their economic interests on the altar of Jewish national superiority.

    This is the reality the Labor Party refuses to address for fear of losing half its voters. Thus, all the pronouncements about two states aren’t worth a thing without the genuine political will to withdraw from the vast majority of the occupied territories.

    If Labor had won another six Knesset seats at the expense of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, replaced Likud and formed a coalition with Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu and the ultra-Orthodox parties, the style would be different and the sword would not be hanging over the Supreme Court. But nothing significant would have changed regarding the existential situation of the occupation.

    The problem lies deep within Israeli society. After nearly half a century of controlling the territories, most Israelis view the colonial regime as something to be taken for granted and the invalidation of the Palestinians’ rights as part of the natural order of things.

    The segregation of the buses was an interesting symbolic test that reflected reality. The average Israeli will rebel against apartheid only the day he’s barred from trading with Europe and has to wait three months for a visa to visit Paris.

  • ICC prosecutor: Without cooperation, Gaza war probe will rely on evidence from just one side - Diplomacy and Defense - Israel News | Haaretz

    Fatou Bensouda tells AP that she has not received any information yet from either side regarding last summer’s Gaza war.

    he prosecutor of the International Criminal Court warned Israel on Tuesday that if it does not provide reliable information for her preliminary probe into possible war crimes in Palestinian territories, she may be forced to decide whether to launch a full-scale investigation based only on Palestinian allegations.

    Fatou Bensouda told The Associated Press in an interview that she has not received any information yet from either side regarding last summer’s Gaza war. She stressed that it was in “the best interest” of both sides to provide information.

    Bensouda opened a preliminary examination in mid-January after the Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction dating back to just before last year’s Gaza war in which more than 2,200 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, were killed. In Israel, 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed.

    The Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction in mid-January and officially joined the ICC on April 1 in hopes of prosecuting Israel for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza conflict so they are certain to provide Bensouda with information. Israel, however, has denounced the Palestinian action as “scandalous,” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warning that it turns the ICC “into part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

    Bensouda said her office is “making attempts” to contact the Israelis and to reach out to the Palestinians.

    “If I don’t have the information that I’m requesting,” she said, “I will be forced to find it from elsewhere, or I may perhaps be forced to just go with just one side of the story. That is why I think it’s in the best interest of both sides to provide my office with information.”

    She stressed repeatedly that a preliminary examination is not an investigation, calling it “a quiet process” to collect information from reliable sources and both sides of the conflict.

    Bensouda said the prosecutor’s office will then analyze the information to determine whether four criteria are met: Do the crimes come under ICC jurisdiction? Are there any national legal proceedings dealing with those crimes, which could take precedence over ICC action? Are the crimes grave enough to warrant the intervention of the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal? Will it not be against the interest of justice if the ICC intervenes?

    Once the analysis is made, she said, the prosecutor has three options — to open an investigation, not to open an investigation, or to seek additional information.

  • Avant même que son government soit officiellement nommé, Netanyahu veut changer la Loi fondamentale d’Israël afin d’élargir son cabinet et de nommer des ministres sans portefeuille et vices ministres. Il faut contenter tout le monde…

    Les petits partis de la coalition sont les premiers servis, et reçoivent la part du lion. Sans eux, Netanyahou ne peut conserver son poste de premier ministre.

    Foyer juif : ministères de la justice, de l’Education, de l’agriculture et de la diaspora,
    Kulanu : ministères des Finances, du logement et de l’environnement,
    Shas : ministères de l’Economie, des affaires religieuses, du développement de la Galilée et du Negev,
    United Torah Judaism : ministère de la Santé ;

    Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) veut saisir la Haute Cour de justice si la demande de Netanyahou est approuvée par l’actuel cabinet ministériel, au motif qu’un government de transition ne peut proposer des amendements à la Loi fondamentale.

    Par ailleurs, si cet amendement passe, il doit être également approuvé par la Knesset (en session plénière) . Tout doit se faire à une vitesse éclair. Si l’amendement n’est pas approuvé, la coalition peut s’effondrer, et un autre député peut être nommé afin de former une nouvelle coalition.

    Netanyahou s’est bien gardé de distribuer des portefeuilles aux membres du Likoud avant ce vote fatidique, afin d’éliminer tout scénario dans lequel des députés déçus du Likoud pourraient s’abstenir.

    Merveilleux scénario digne d’une série tv américaine.

    With coalition on the line, Netanyahu’s cabinet approves proposal to expand government - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Amendment to Basic Law would enable Netanyahu to appoint ministers without portfolio and increase the number of deputy ministers in the next coalition ; if Knesset rejects bill, coalition likely to dissolve.

    • Eh bien voilà, Netanyahou a encore gagné, et la corruption avec. Il est vrai qu’il n’y a rien de nouveau sous le soleil, mais on veut toujours espérer, c’est fou, cette manie d’espérer...
      High Court rejects bid to block Netanyahu’s proposal to expand cabinet
      Knesset to debate amendment, which would enable Netanyahu to appoint ministers without portfolio and increase the number of deputy ministers in the next coalition.

    • Du coup, Bennett recevra probablement un budget de 50 millions de shekels pour les implantations, ce malgré l’appel du Procureur général à mettre fin au financement dispendieux des colonies.
      Et la législation limitant les donations étrangères aux ONG risque aussi de passer.

      Une nouvelle ère s’annonce pour la société « démocratique » juive et blanche israélienne. ...

  • Defense company Elbit Systems hopes to get a bang from its bus - Business - Israel News | Haaretz

    For two decades, Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems has designed some of the world’s leading weapons systems. But now it has its sights set on a somewhat different market – electric buses.

    This venture from Israel’s largest listed defense company, whose drones and surveillance systems are top sellers around the world, is part of a broader strategy to use its military expertise to break into civilian markets.

    It may seem a risky foray into a competitive market, but Elbit has a strong track record for adapting its technologies – often developed in secretive labs that employ cutting-edge research – into new applications.

    Last year, for example, it unveiled a commercial product for airline pilots, a wearable head-up display called Skylens that assists in take-off and landings in low visibility conditions. It was based on a technology used by air force pilots.

    This time the electronics company has landed on high-performance batteries suitable for electric buses, a growing market as public transport networks boom in places like China and providers look for alternatives to fossil fuels.

    What electric buses need are supercapacitor batteries – efficient storage devices that can be rapidly charged, can deliver high power and have a long lifespan.

    But the bus route had an unlikely starting point.

    “We had looked into developing energy weapons, like high power lasers that would use supercapacitors. And from there we looked to branch out with other applications that have potential for financial growth,” said Yehuda Borenstein, head of the company’s energy systems unit.

    Elbit would not disclose how much it is investing in the buses venture, or revenue forecasts, but it plans to have a commercially viable version ready by the end of 2016.

    It is also working on a similar-style battery for a car starter motor, for which a pilot production line will be finished by the end of the year.

    Since buses run along fixed routes for fixed amounts of time, the key is to be able to charge their batteries rapidly in the down-time, even in the pauses along a route.

    The problem with supercapacitors, however, is their cost and their weight, which can be prohibitive.

    Yet for those that manage to crack the problem, there is money to be made: the hybrid and electric bus market is still in its early stages, but it is expected to boom over the next decade to over $100 billion a year in terms of revenue, according to IDTechEx, a group that researches emerging technologies.

    Around half of that revenue will come from batteries sales, Borenstein said.

    A range of companies are already in the market, taking varying approaches to the challenge.

    Swiss firm ABB has developed technology that can charge a full-sized electric bus during ordinary stops, though it requires the installation of chargers along the route.

    Chinese smartphone maker ZTE Corp is planning pre-commercial trials of wireless charging for public transportation in 50 to 100 Chinese cities this year.

    Another Chinese company, BYD, which is backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, recently unveiled a long-range electric coach bus.

    Elbit’s solution to the battery weight problem is a hybrid supercapacitor – combined with a lithium ion battery – giving it both the high energy density of a conventional battery and power of a supercapacitor.

    Borenstein said the battery will weigh just one ton, making it less expensive and freeing up room for more passengers.

    Elbit, which was founded in 1996 and is one of several companies in Israel looking to use their military capabilities to compete in civilian markets, wants to raise the revenue it generates from civilian commercial products from 10 percent of total revenue to about 20 percent within five years.

    Its total sales rose 1 percent in 2014 to $2.95 billion and as of the end of the year it had a backlog of orders totalling $6.3 billion, most from abroad.

  • Former MK Azmi Bishara wants to return to Israel, but fears unfair trial - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Bishara, who fled to Qatar and is suspected of treason and espionage, gave a rare interview to local media.

    Azmi Bishara, the former Knesset member who fled to Qatar amid allegations that he had passed information to Hezbollah in Lebanon, says he will not be returning to Israel in the near future because he will not get a fair trial here and he still feels persecuted by the defense establishment.

    Speaking yesterday on Radio Ashams, which broadcasts from Nazareth, Bishara said that if it depended on him personally he would return to his homeland, friends and family but he does not see this happening in the foreseeable future. The program was aired to mark the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the political party Balad, which Bishara founded, and which is today part of the Joint Arab List.

    Lately, Bishara has rarely spoken to the media in Israel, including the Arab media, instead conveying his messages in articles or interviews to Al-Jazeera. Until the Arab Spring, Bishara was considered a senior commentator in the Arab world. Residing in Qatar, he toed the Qatari line in support of the Syrian rebels, which brought him into conflict with pro-Syrian-regime elements.

    Bishara explained that his opposition to the regime stems from his support for the democratic camp and the Syrian people, who initially came out, as was the case in Tunisia and Egypt, with a call for democracy and freedom. “I never supported radical and Salafi groups who view anyone different from them as infidels. But I explained even at the beginning of the events in Syria that the conduct of the regime and opening fire on people calling non-violently for change and freedom would lead to the arming and strengthening of those radical groups,” he said. According to the former MK, the situation in Syria today requires a political solution that would include the basis of the regime, to maintain the state institutions, “otherwise Syria will break apart like Somalia,” he said.

    Bishara said it is clear that Israel’s new coalition is not heading for peace and that the continued closure of Gaza will lead to another conflict, with the Palestinian Authority keeping a lid on protest in the West Bank.

    Bishara, who founded and runs a research institute in Doha, Qatar, is considered close to that country’s rulers, which also allows him to send funding to social affairs and sports associations, including the Nazareth soccer team Ahi Nazrat, which recently received a grant of half a million dollars from the Qataris.

  • Israel’s attorney general to block coalition deals aimed at funding settlements - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to oppose any distribution of funds as part of Likud’s coalition agreements with Habayit Hayehudi and United Torah Judaism, particularly those earmarked for the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division.

    In an opinion published in February, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber wrote that the government must stop funding the Settlement Division, either through the general budget or directly to the department. Consequently, the 2015 budget will not include funding of the division.

    Weinstein approved the opinion and is therefore expected to oppose its contravention in the coalition agreements.

    Under the coalition agreement signed between Habayit Hayehudi and Likud late last week, 50 million shekels (around $13 million) will be added to the budget of the WZO’s Settlement Division, which funds infrastructure for West Bank settlements and which Agriculture Minister-designate Uri Ariel will control.

    According to a directive issued by the attorney general in April with regard to political agreements with funding ramifications, money is not to be earmarked in a way that gives the sense that it “belongs” to parties or factions, and a political agreement is not to be implemented at all if it earmarks funding to a specific entity.

    The directive was issued out of concern that such earmarking of funds could make the receiving entities dependent on the parties that wrote the agreement “to their benefit,” and could also often constitute a cover for personal or political gain. The directive requires professionals in the various ministries to weigh in on any such political agreements before they are signed.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government faces its first challenge even before being sworn in later this week. Netanyahu will have to ensure that all 61 members of the coalition vote to amend the Basic Law on the Government tomorrow, in order to enable an increase in the size of the cabinet. Only then will Likud begin to hand out portfolios.

    This morning, the outgoing cabinet will be asked to approve Netanyahu’s request to postpone implementation of the clause restricting the cabinet to 18 members. Netanyahu will also ask the cabinet to allow him to renew the controversial tradition of appointing ministers without portfolio to his new cabinet, along with increasing the number of deputy ministers.

    The outgoing cabinet is expected to ask the Knesset to move these amendments ahead by expedited legislation, and to vote on the second and third readings as early as Monday. MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said Saturday that his faction would petition the High Court of Justice against the move.

    As part of the coalition agreement, Likud and Habayit Hayehudi also agreed on the appointment of a team to review ways to legalize unauthorized settlement outposts and unauthorized buildings within settlements. The government has not promised to renew construction in West Bank settlements and in Jerusalem, despite Habayit Hayehudi’s demand for such a commitment.

    The outposts team – which is likely to include the cabinet secretary, a representative of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, and two representatives of Justice Minister-designate Ayelet Shaked and Ariel – will only have three months to formulate its recommendations.

    The coalition agreement features a special arrangement whose purpose is to prevent Shaked from obtaining total control of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation (the body that determines which bills the coalition will advance and which will be blocked). As justice minister, Shaked will chair the committee.

    Likud took action to curb her power out of fear she will delay legislation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu supports, or accelerate the passage of controversial draft laws behind his back. Under the coalition agreement, Netanyahu will appoint a deputy to Shaked, with whom she must coordinate the committee’s agenda. “If the deputy requests that a vote be delayed, it shall be delayed until a new arrangement is agreed between the deputy and the chairwoman of the committee, or until the prime minister decides otherwise,” the agreement states.

    Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett requested a billion-shekel addition to the budget of the Education Ministry, which he will head, but in the end his party will be allotted 630 million shekels to support its goals in the areas of education, welfare, settlement, culture, religion and agriculture. The money will come out of coalition funds that, prior to the 2013 election, Bennett referred to as “pocket change.”

    The coalition agreement also stipulates that the government is “to examine claims of a rise in illegal missionary activities in Israel and the steps to deal with them, as needed.” Likud and Habayit Hayehudi also agreed to establish a forum for communication among the parties in the coalition on the issue of religious services.

    The Gush Katif Heritage Center, meanwhile, will be allotted a three-year budget of 15 million shekels that will also cover the costs of commemorating the 10-year anniversary, later this year, of the disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

  • The Aesthetic Failure of ’Charlie Hebdo’

    The strategy of using racism to fight racism itself can be questioned. Juice that gave energy to Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor has turned sour after more than four decades. Charlie Hebdo is the French counterpart of Robert Crumb, but the magazine is a Crumb that has never changed or evolved, that keeps using in 2015 an artistic strategy from the 1960s. The real sin of Charlie Hebdo is not so much racism but arrested development, a grave aesthetic failure because political cartoonists have to keep up with times and be mindful of the impact their images have.

  • BALLAST Henri Curiel, entre deux rives

    Le nom d’Henri Curiel est ressorti publiquement ces derniers jours, suite à la parution du Roman vrai d’un fasciste, signé par Christian Rol. On y apprend que René Resciniti de Says, parachutiste, instructeur militaire et membre de l’Action française décédé en 2012, aurait, selon ses propres dires, assassiné le militant communiste anticolonialiste le 4 mai 1978, au pied d’un ascenseur. En guise de portrait, nous publions un extrait de l’ouvrage de Gilles Perrault, Un homme à part, paru en 1984. La scène se déroule à la prison de Fresnes, après son arrestation, en 1960, pour sa participation au réseau Jeanson lors de la Guerre d’Algérie.

  • Lieberman est parti. Les députés d’extrême-droite ultra-nationalistes Naftali Bennett et Ayelet Shaked sont venus, avec les portefeuilles de l’Education et de la Justice. Et il y a lieu de s’inquiéter. Non seulement ils prônent ouvertement l’éradication des Palestiniens mais ils veulent élargir la colonisation, restreindre les pouvoirs de la Cour Suprême et les donations étrangères aux ONG israéliennes… La question est de savoir si le Likoud et les autres membres de la coalition les laisseront faire...

    Europe and US keep watchful eye on Israel’s legislative plans - Israel News, Ynetnews

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s formation of one of the most right-wing government in Israel’s history has fuelled concerns in Europe and the United States about further settlement building and dimming prospects for peace.
    But it also has diplomats on edge about wider policy proposals, particularly on social and judicial affairs, where the far-right Bayit Yehudi party, an influential member of Netanyahu’s coalition, is determined to leave its mark.
    Ultra nationalist Bayit Yehudi, led by former technology entrepreneur Naftali Bennett, has secured two important cabinet portfolios: the education and diaspora ministry for Bennett and the justice ministry for his number two, Ayelet Shaked.
    Shaked, a 39-year-old former software engineer, is a divisive figure in Israeli politics, making outspoken comments against Palestinians while promoting a pro-settler agenda.
    Since entering parliament in 2013, she has backed a number of controversial bills, including one that would enshrine Israel as the Jewish nation-state, to the anger of Israel’s 20 percent Arab minority. Shaked also wants to check the Supreme Court’s power and restrict donations from foreign governments to non-governmental organizations in Israel.
    As justice minister, she will be in a position to push those legislative proposals more aggressively, with the NGO and judicial oversight bills expected to move ahead.

    For foreign diplomats, that raises as many concerns about the direction Israel is moving in as the expansion of settlements on land the Palestinians seek for a state - a profound, long-standing bone of contention.
    “The red lines for us aren’t just about settlements,” said the ambassador of one EU member state.
    “When you look at some of the legislation being proposed, it is very worrying. It is anti-democratic and looks designed to shut down criticism. It’s the sort of thing you normally see coming out of Russia.”
    Trigger for action 
    US diplomats have flagged their concerns too, while emphasising that they need to wait to see how the legislation pans out. With the narrowest of governing majorities - just 61 seats in the 120-seat parliament - it will be a challenge for Netanyahu to get new legislation approved.
    The nation-state bill, perhaps the most contested piece of law in Israel’s recent history, looks unlikely to progress because one member of the coalition, Moshe Kahlon, the leader of the centrist Kulanu party, has an effective veto.
    But the NGO and judicial oversight bills have a better chance of advancing, with Avigdor Lieberman, the leader of the far-right Yisrael Beytenu party, a former ally of Netanyahu’s who is now in opposition, likely to support them.
    The NGO bill would impose a heavy tax on foreign donations to non-governmental organizations operating in Israel, unless a special defense ministry committee decides otherwise.
    “It’s part of a broader effort to limit the political space, to squeeze out opposing views,” said Matt Duss, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace.
    “It has very negative connotations. It creates a hostile environment for those who express legitimate criticism and would put Israel in some very bad company.”
    In Europe, officials are discussing what steps may be taken against Israel if it continues to expand settlements, a process that continues apace, with tenders for 900 units in East Jerusalem issued this week.
    Israelis frequently fret that Europe is going to impose a trade boycott on them. No such action is likely.
    The EU does restrict loans to Israeli research bodies based in the West Bank, however, and is moving ahead with plans to label Israeli products made in West Bank settlements. Other measures are quietly being debated.
    In the past, the trigger to move ahead with such steps was settlement-building, which the EU regards as illegal under international law. But now, Israel’s legislative agenda may be as much of a danger.

    “It is a deep concern for us,” said the European ambassador. “It is the sort of thing that is a red line.”

  • Le nouveau ministre israélien de la Justice, une candidate génocidaire

    Un symbole éloquent de ce nouveau glissement vers l’extrême-extrême-droite (sans Avigdor Lieberman !) est l’attribution du portefeuille de la Justice et de la présidence de la Commission des lois de la Knesset (parlement israélien) au parti fasciste de Naftali Bennett, « Le Foyer Juif ». Et, au sein de ce parti, celle qui hérite de ce portefeuille n’est pas n’importe qui : il s’agit de Ayelet Shaked, députée qui en juillet 2014, pendant que l’armée israélienne se livrait à un massacre aveugle de civils, avait lancé via Facebook un vibrant appel à l’extermination de toutes les mères palestiniennes, et à vrai dire de la totalité de la population, vieillards et enfants compris.

    C’est le 1er juillet, un jour avant qu’un jeune Palestinien de Jérusalem soit enlevé par des extrémistes sionistes et brûlé vif, que Ayelet Shaked avait proclamé que « la totalité du peuple palestinien est l’ennemi » et avait appelé à sa destruction « y compris les vieillards et les femmes, ses villes et ses villages, ses propriétés et ses infrastructures ». En d’autres termes, un génocide accompagné d’une guerre d’anéantissement digne de « l’opération Barbarossa ».


  • Le député travailliste George Galloway a perdu son siège au profit d’une femme, Naz Shah, elle aussi démocrate
    Outspoken Israel critic Galloway loses UK seat - Israel News, Ynetnews

    Outspoken Israel critic Galloway loses UK seat
    Respect Party politician loses Bradford to Labour’s Naz Shah; Galloway previously declared his constituency an ’Israel-free zone’.

  • Les manifestants éthiopiens arrêtés suite aux manifestations ont été victimes de violences et d’humiliation.
    Par exemple, Nebo Ari Bako, 25 ans. Après s’être fait fracasser la mâchoire, il a été retenu dans un car de police toute une nuit et n’a été transporté à l’hôpital que le lendemain. Après avoir vomi dans le car, les policiers lui ont promis qu’il allait nettoyer..

    Ethiopian Israelis say police abused them after arrest - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Several protesters who were arrested Sunday at the Tel Aviv demonstration held by Israelis of Ethiopian descent say they were mistreated by the police following their arrest.

    According to them, they were kept overnight in a police van and, despite being badly beaten, were denied medical treatment and not allowed out to relieve themselves.

    The detainees accuse the police of brutal, contemptuous conduct and say they wouldn’t have been treated this way had their skin color been different.

    Nebo Ari Bako, 25, of Bnei Brak, had his jaw and teeth broken by policemen’s blows. He was arrested after blocking the traffic on the Ayalon Highway before the protest heated up on Rabin Square later that night.

    Bako says he did not resist arrest when officers took him to the police van, but other demonstrators tried to pull him out. At this stage a policeman pulled his hair, choked him, twisted his arm and held him while another hit him in the face and back of the head with a police radio, breaking his jaw and several of his teeth.

    Bako says he vomited as a result, and the policemen told him he would have to clean up the car. Only at 6 P.M., about three hours later, was he taken to Meir Hospital for treatment. He lost consciousness a few times on the way, he recalls. At the hospital, where he was bound to the bed part of the time, Bako was given a C.T. scan and told to see a jaw specialist. Since the doctor was absent, the police were told to bring him back the next morning.

  • Construction to begin on controversial East Jerusalem housing project - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    The Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee on Thursday removed the last obstacle to the commencement of construction on a controversial plan to build new homes in Ramat Shlomo, a Haredi neighborhood in the eastern part of the capital.

    The plan became notorious in 2010, when it was announced during a visit to Israel by United States Vice President Joe Biden, leading to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

    Though the plan was approved in November 2013, construction was put on hold until the completion of a new traffic interchange at the entrance to the neighborhood.

    On Thursday, the committee acceded to a request by the lead contractor to begin the construction of 900 homes (of the 1,600 in the plan) without completion of the interchange.

    Construction is likely to begin in the near future in the wake of the committee’s decision.

    On Wednesday, a group of Israeli settlers took over a disputed building in the heart of the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan, in East Jerusalem.

    Residents of Silwan said that some 20 Jewish youths moved in around 1 A.M. while the Palestinian family residing there wasn’t home.

    The house, knowns as Abu Nab, is adjacent to another building, known as Beit Dvash, which is owned by settlers. Nearby is Beit Yonatan, another disputed apartment building inhabited by settlers.

    According to some accounts, the residents of Abu Nab sold it and left it willingly. The settler group Ateret Cohanim has waged a lengthy legal battle over the building, which early in the 20th century was a synagogue that served the small Jewish Yemenite community that lived in Silwan.

    The Jerusalem municipality said it wasn’t dealing with the case since as far as it is known the building was empty and is owned by the settlers.

  • La « communauté juive » britannique appellerait à ne pas voter pour le Parti travailliste et à ne plus le soutenir financièrement suite à ses prises de position et initiatives en faveur des Palestiniens, notamment le vote au Parlement pour la reconnaissance de l’Etat de Palestine

    British Jews turn away from Ed Miliband’s Labour Party - Israel Jewish Scene, Ynetnews

    A campaign underway in recent months among the British Jewish community is calling on its members not only to refrain from voting Labour, but also to cease making donations to the party.
    Miliband, who was born and raised in a Jewish home, has voiced criticism of Israel in the past; but many British Jews view the Labour leader’s pro-Palestinian stance over the past year as too extreme.
    During Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014, Miliband described Israel’s actions as “unjustified;” and then in October, it was his party that initiated the vote in Parliament to recognize the State of Palestine.
    In a survey conducted among British Jews by the London-based weekly, The Jewish Chronicle, some 69 percent of the respondents said they were voting for the Conservative Party, with just 22 percent planning to cast a ballot for Miliband.

  • Il semblerait que Netanyahu ait formé un government bancal de forces centrifuges et antinomiques, qui risquent de faire exploser la coalition à la moindre étincelle.
    Il semblerait que certains ministres soient nommés tout en sachant qu’ils n’auront aucun pouvoir.
    Combien de fois Netanyahu va dissoudre l’assemblée ?
    Quand les députés vont s’occuper des vrais problèmes des Israéliens ?

    Netanyahu and Bennett are rushing toward head-on collision - one of them will have to swerve - Israel - Israel News | Haaretz

    Netanyahu and Bennett are rushing toward head-on collision - one of them will have to swerve
    If Netanyahu fails to form a government in time, his political career will be over, and Bennett will be accused by his voters of having thwarted the establishment of a rightist government with his own two hands.

  • On a tendance à oublier qu’en Israël il y a aussi une très grande pauvreté et une très grande détresse dans certaines franges de la population

    Le dernier rapport du Contrôleur de l’Etat rappelle les faiblesses et le manque de suivi dans les politiques sociales, notamment dans le domaine de la protection des enfants

    Cet article souligne les graves carences des services sociaux dans ce domaine : il n’existe pas de programme systématique, régulier et gratuit pour la prise en charge des mineurs victimes d’abus sexuels ou de violences, et quand des cas sont signalés, il faut parfois plusieurs mois avant que les enfants soient pris en charge.

    Quelqu’un m’a dit un jour qu’Israël appartenait à cinq grandes familles richissimes et puissantes (banque, immobilier, presse, etc. si quelqu’un peut m’éclairer sur leur nom). Le social n’a jamais été profitable.

    Abused and neglected, child victims fall through the cracks - Israel News, Ynetnews

  • L’armée soudanaise soutient qu’un drone israélien aurait violé son espace aérien et bombardé un dépôt de munitions près de la région d’Omdurman. Toutefois, pour le moment, il règne une certaine confusion autour de cette information.

    Sudan army says it toppled Israeli drone that infiltrated its air space - World - Israel News | Haaretz

    The Sudanese army said Wednesday morning that it had toppled an Israeli drone that infiltrated its air space, hours after Arab media reported that a weapons facility near the area of Omdurman had come under missile attack.

    Sudanese Armed Forces spokesman Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad said that the military toppled a UAV that infiltrated its air space from the east, calling it an Israeli drone carrying two missiles, according to the army’s official news agency.

    Sa’ad denied reports of a strike, saying the rumors were meant to hurt the Sudanese people’s morale.

    The spokesman said that the drone entered the air space from the direction of the Red Sea and that the Sudanese authorities were investigating the incident.

    The Yemen Today website suggested immediately after the alleged missile strike was reported that Israel was behind the attack. The Sudan Tribune, on Twitter, cited eyewitnesses as saying they saw flames in the sky, and that their house, a few miles away from the blast site, shook from the impact. 

    In 2012, Sudan accused Israel of carrying out an air strike on an arms factory in Khartoum. 

    According to foreign reports, Israeli airstrikes targeted a number of Gaza-bound weapons convoys and Hamas smuggling operatives within Sudan in recent years. Sudan has cast blame on Israel following some of these incidents. Israel hasn’t officially responded.