• The secret letter detailing Israel’s plan to expel Arabs, ’without unnecessary brutality’ - Israel News -

    Contrary to its obligations, the archives does not explain in the file why documents have been removed from it and makes do instead with leaving a blank page on which is written only the word “classified.” Sheetrit’s censored letter mentions the Riftin report, which was the subject of an article by Ofer Aderet in Haaretz earlier this year (“Why is Israel still covering up extrajudicial executions committed by a Jewish militia in ‘48?”). Sheetrit’s letter, headed “Minorities in the State of Israel,” signals its theme. The writer warns, among other points, about “ theft and plunder [of Arab property] both by the army and by civilians […] violation of surrender agreements about preserving property [and adds that] the lust for robbery has turned the heads of army personnel .”

    Why were two documents suddenly censored after having been available to the public for years? Answers are not forthcoming. A few months ago, I wrote in these pages (“What is Israel hiding about its nuclear program in the ’50s?”) that in a great many cases, the state’s representatives who are in charge of releasing historical documentation (in this case, the chief press and media censor) do not distinguish between documents that may adversely affect state security and foreign policy, and those that may simply embarrass the state.

    The fact that, half a year after the end of the 1948 war, Ben-Gurion considered expelling thousands of Arabs from their homes is not very flattering (the more so because they were Christian Arabs, whose welfare would probably carry more weight in world public opinion). However, whereas the study of history is amenable (to a certain degree) to an individual’s choice, the uncovering of historical documentation should not be amenable to political considerations, must not become a privilege in a democracy and must never be susceptible to considerations that are not directly related to security.

  • Palestinian teen shot, killed by Israeli forces in al-Bireh
    Dec. 14, 2018 5:39 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 14, 2018 5:55 P.M.)

    RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes that erupted in the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of al-Bireh in the central occupied West Bank, on Friday evening.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed that a Palestinian from the al-Jalazun refugee camp arrived to the Palestine Medical Center in a critical condition.

    Sources added that the teen was injured with live bullets in the abdomen.

    The ministry identified the killed teen as Mahmoud Youssef Nakhleh.

    Israeli forces opened fire at the teen from a very close range; from less than 10 meters away.

    Israeli soldiers attempted to detain Nakhleh afterwards, however, Palestinian Red Crescent paramedics were able to take him and transfer him to the Palestine Medical Center after having to quarrel Israeli soldiers for more than 30 minutes.

    Nakhleh was later pronounced dead at the hospital.


    • After Shooting a Palestinian Teen, Israeli Troops Dragged Him Around – and Chased an Ambulance Away

      A Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp was shot in the back and died after soldiers kept him from receiving medical care
      Gideon Levy and Alex Levac Dec 20, 2018

      What goes through the head of soldiers, young Israelis, after they shoot an unarmed Palestinian teenager in the back with live ammunition, prevent him from getting medical treatment, move him around, putting him on the ground and then picking him up again – and chase away an ambulance at gunpoint? For 15 minutes, the Israel Defense Forces soldiers carried the dying Mahmoud Nakhle , pulling him by his hands and feet, it’s not clear why or where, before allowing him to be evacuated. They had already shot him and wounded him badly. He was dying. Why not let the Palestinian ambulance that arrived at the site rush him to the hospital and possibly save his life? Nakhle died from a bullet in his liver and loss of blood. He was two weeks after his 18th birthday, the only son of parents who are descendants of refugees, and he lived in the Jalazun refugee camp adjacent to Ramallah, in the West Bank.

      Nakhle was killed last Friday, December 14.

      Getting to Jalazun took a long time this week; it was a long and stressful trip. Overnight, terror attacks and other sights of the intifada had returned simultaneously: innumerable surprise checkpoints, such as we hadn’t seen for years; long lines of Palestinian vehicles, forced to wait for hours; drivers emerging from their cars and waiting in desperation by the side of the road, anger and frustration etched on their faces; roads blocked arbitrarily, with people signaling each other as to which was open and which was closed; some cars making their way cross-country via boulder-strewn areas and dirt paths to bypass the roadblocks, until those options, too, were sealed off by the army. And also aggressive, edgy, frightened soldiers, carrying weapons that threatened just about anyone who made a move near them.

      Welcome back to the days of the intifada, welcome to a trip into the past: Even if only for a moment, the West Bank this week regressed 15 years, to the start of the millennium.

      The wind blows cold at the Jalazun camp. A throng of thousands of children and teenagers is streaming down the road, heading home from their schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations refugee agency. The two schools, one for boys and one for girls, are situated at the camp’s entrance, on both sides of the main Ramallah-Nablus road. We were here a year and a half ago, after IDF soldiers shot up a car stolen from Israel when it stopped outside the settlement of Beit El, spraying it with at least 10 rounds, and killing two of its passengers. About half a year ago, we returned to the camp to meet Mohammed Nakhle, the bereaved father of 16-year-old Jassem, one of those fatalities. The father cried through our entire meeting, even though this was a year after he had lost Jassem.

      Mahmoud Nakhle, who was killed last week, was a relative of Jassem’s.

      Last Friday, there was stone throwing in the valley between Jalazun’s boys’ school and the first houses of Beit El, across the way. The soldiers fired tear-gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at the young Palestinians. Quite a few of the camp’s residents have been killed at this spot, which has become a main arena of the struggle against the large, veteran settlement that looms through every window in poverty-stricken, overcrowded Jalazun, situated below.

      The stone throwing had slowed down in the afternoon and had just about stopped when an IDF force, arriving in two vehicles, began chasing after the youths, who were now on their way back to the camp, at about 4 P.M. The latter numbered about 15 teens, aged 14 to 18. Suddenly the soldiers started shooting, using live ammunition – even as calm was apparently about to be restored. A video clip, one of several that captured the event, shows the soldiers walking along the road and firing into the air.

      The wail of an ambulance slashes the air now, as we stand at the site of the incident with Iyad Hadad, a field investigator for the Israeli human-rights organization B’Tselem, who collected testimony from eyewitnesses. Nakhle chose to return home by way of a dirt path that passes above the camp. The soldiers ran after him and one of them shot him once, in the lower back. Nakhle fell to the ground, bleeding.

      The occupant of the first-floor apartment in the closest building in Jalazun, just meters from the site of the incident, heard the shot, the groans and a call for help. She assumed someone had been wounded, but wasn’t sure where or who he was. From her window she saw a group of soldiers standing in a circle, though she couldn’t see the wounded person who lay on the ground between them. A second eyewitness saw one soldier nudge Nakhle with his foot, apparently to see if the teen was still alive. They then pulled up his shirt and pulled down his pants, apparently to check whether the stone-throwing youth was a dangerous, booby-trapped terrorist. As the video accounts show, he was left lying like that, exposed in his blue underwear. The woman from the apartment rushed out to summon help, but the soldiers fired toward her to drive her off. One bullet struck her husband’s car.

      The soldiers lifted Nakhle up and carried him a few dozen meters from where he’d fallen, laying him down at the side of the road. One of the eyewitnesses related that they carried him “like you haul a slaughtered sheep.” The video clip shows them carrying him not in the prescribed way for moving someone who is seriously wounded, but by his hands and his feet, his back sagging.

      Before the soldiers shot at the first eyewitness – whose identity is known to the B’Tselem investigator – to scare her off, she shouted at them to let the wounded person be and to allow him to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. “Leave him alone, do you want to kill him… give him aid.” She also shouted at the soldiers that she was his mother – apparently hoping that the lie would stir pity in them – but to no avail. In the video shot by her daughter on her cell phone, the woman sounds overwrought, gasping for breath as she cries out, “In God’s name, call an ambulance!”

      After five to seven minutes, the soldiers again lifted Nakhle, once more by his extremities, and carried him a few dozen meters more, in the direction of the main road, and again laid him by the roadside. A Palestinian ambulance that had arrived at the scene was chased off by the soldiers, who threatened the driver with their rifles. As far as is known, the soldiers did not give Nakhle any sort of medical aid. The woman from the house again shouted, now from her window: “In God’s name, let the ambulance take him away.” But still to no avail.

      It was only after a quarter of an hour, during which Nakhle continued to bleed, that the soldiers allowed an ambulance to be summoned. A video clip shows Nakhle raising one hand limply to the back of his neck, proof that he was still alive. Half-naked, he’s placed on a stretcher and put in the ambulance, which speeds off, its siren wailing, to the Government Hospital in Ramallah.

      The teen apparently breathed his last en route, arriving at the hospital with no pulse. Attempts were made to resuscitate him in the ER and to perform emergency surgery, but after half an hour, he was pronounced dead. Dr. Muayad Bader, a physician in the hospital, wrote on the death certificate that Mahmoud Nakhle died from loss of blood after a bullet entered his lower back, struck his liver and hit a main artery, damaging other internal organs.

      A group of children is now standing at the site where Nakhle fell, practicing stone throwing on the way back from school. They hurl the stones to the ground in a demonstrative fit of anger. In the mourning tent that was erected in the courtyard of the camp, adorned with huge posters of the deceased, the men sit, grim-faced, with the bereaved father, Yusuf Nakhle, 41, in the center. Disabled from birth, he is partially paralyzed in his left arm and leg. We asked him to tell us about Mahmoud’s life.

      “What life? He hadn’t yet lived his life, they robbed him of his life,” he replies softly. Mahmoud attended school until the 10th grade and then studied electrical engineering at a professional college in Qalandiyah. He completed his studies and afterward a year of apprenticeship, and was waiting to find a job as an electrician. His father was waiting for him to help provide for the family. Yusuf is a technician at a pharmaceuticals company in Bir Zeit, near Ramallah. He and his wife, Ismahan, 45, have two more daughters, aged 14 and 4. Mahmoud was their only son.

      In response to an inquiry, the IDF Spokesman’s Office gave Haaretz the following statement this week: “On December 14, 2018, there was a violent disturbance adjacent to Jalazun, during which dozens of Palestinians threw rocks at IDF soldiers. The soldiers responded with demonstration-dispersal measures.

      “During the disturbance, a Palestinian holding a suspicious object approached one of the soldiers. The soldier fired at him. Later, it was reported that the Palestinian had been killed. The Military Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Upon its completion, the findings will be transferred to the military advocate general’s office.”

      The spokesman’s office did not respond to a question regarding the denial of medical assistance to Mahmoud Nahle.

      Last Friday, the hours passed normally in the home of Nakhle family in the Jalazun camp. Breakfast, a shower; the son asks his father if he needs anything before going out around midday. Never to return. At 4:30, Yusuf’s brother called to inform him that his son had been wounded and was in the Government Hospital. By the time his father arrived, Mahmoud had been pronounced dead.

      “We are human beings and it is our right to live and to look after our children. We too have feelings, like all people,” says Rabah, Mahmoud’s uncle, the brother of his father. Yusuf has watched the video clips that document the shooting and the hauling of his dying son dozens of times, over and over. Ismahan can’t bring herself to look at them.

  • L’article d’une DJ israélienne à propos des annulations récentes. Quelques points à noter :
    1) elle n’est pas surprise de l’annulation de Lana del Rey
    2) elle est surprise en revanche de l’annulation de DJs, car ce milieu n’était pas touché par la politique et BDS, et elle se demande si ce n’est pas le début de quelque chose...
    3) elle cite Gaza, la loi sur l’Etat Nation, les arrestations d’activistes à l’aéroport, mais aussi la proximité entre Trump et Netanyahu, qui influence surtout les artistes américains
    4) on apprend que tout le monde sait qu’il y a des artistes, et non des moindres, qui même s’ils ne le disent pas ouvertement, ne viendront jamais en israel : Beyoncé, The Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Deerhunter, Sonic Youth, Lil Yachty, Tyler the Creator, Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper, Vince Staples, Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers, Ben UFO, DJ Ricardo Villalobos, Matthew Herbert, Andrew Weatherall... C’est ce qu’on appelle le boycott silencieux...
    5) il y a aussi le cas de ceux qui ne viennent que si les concerts sont organisés par des Palestiniens : Acid Arab et Nicolas Jaar
    6) même si cela me semble faux, le fait d’accuser certains artistes de boycotter parce que c’est à la mode est un aveu que BDS a le vent en poupe dans le milieu de la musique

    The Day the Music Died : Will BDS Bring Tel Aviv’s Club Scene to a Standstill ?
    Idit Frenkel, Haaretz, le 7 septembre 2018

    Lana Del Rey should have known better. And if not Del Rey herself, then at least her managers, PR people and agents.

    As the highest-profile artist who was scheduled to appear at the Meteor Festival over the weekend in the north, it was clear she’d be the one caught in the crossfire , the one boycott groups would try to convince to ditch an appearance in Israel. That’s the same crossfire with diplomatic, moral and economic implications that confronted Lorde, Lauryn Hill and Tyler, the Creator: musicians who announced performances in Israel and changed their minds because of political pressure.

    Del Rey, however, isn’t the story. Her cancellation , which included some mental gymnastics as far as her positions were concerned, could have been expected. Unfortunately, we’ve been there many times and in many different circumstances.

    Tsunami of cancellations

    The ones who caught us unprepared by drafting an agenda for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict turned out to be DJs like Shanti Celeste, Volvox, DJ Seinfeld, Python and Leon Vynehall, who also dropped out of Meteor. Why was this unexpected? Because Israel’s nightlife and clubbing scene – especially in Tel Aviv – had been an oasis regarding cultural boycotts, an extraterritorial hedonistic space with no room for politics.

    The current tsunami of cancellations, while it might sound trivial if you’re untutored in trance music, could reflect a trend with effects far beyond the Meteor Festival. In the optimistic scenario, this is a one-off event that has cast the spotlight on lesser-known musicians as well. In the pessimistic scenario, this is the end of an era in which the clubbing scene has been an exception.

    Adding credence to the change-in-direction theory are the cancellations by DJs who have spun in Tel Aviv in recent years; Volvox, Shanti Celeste and Leon Vynehall have all had their passports stamped at Ben-Gurion Airport. And those times the situation wasn’t very different: Benjamin Netanyahu was prime minister, the occupation was decades long and there were sporadic exchanges of fire between the sides.

    Moreover, two of the DJs spearheading the struggle on the nightlife scene regarding Mideast politics – the Black Madonna and Anthony Naples – have been here, enjoyed themselves, been honored and promised to return, until they discovered there’s such a thing as the occupation.

    Americans and Brits cancel more

    So what has changed since 2015? First, there has been a change on the Gaza border, with civilians getting shot. These incidents have multiplied in the past three months and don’t exactly photograph well.

    Second, news reports about the nation-state law and the discrimination that comes with it have done their bit. Third, the arrests and detentions of left-wing activists entering Israel haven’t remained in a vacuum.

    Fourth, and most importantly, is Donald Trump’s presidency and his unconditional embrace of Netanyahu, including, of course, the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. As in the case of Natalie Portman’s refusal to accept a prize from the state, the closeness between the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government – under the sponsorship of evangelical Christians – has made Israel a country non grata in the liberal community, of which Hollywood is one pole and nightlife the other.

    It’s no coincidence that the DJs canceling are either Americans or Brits on the left; that is, Democrats or Jeremy Corbyn supporters in Labour – people who see cooperation with Israel as collaboration with Trump and Britain’s Conservative government.

    Different from them is Honey Dijon, the black trans DJ from Chicago who in response to the protest against her appearance at the Meteor Festival tweeted: “All of you people criticizing me about playing in Israel, when you come to America and stand up for the murder of black trans women and the prison industrial complex of black men then we can debate. I play for people not governments.” Not many people tried to argue with her. Say what you will, contrarianism is always effective.

    The case of DJ Jackmaster

    Beyond the issue of values, at the image level, alleged collaboration can be a career killer, just as declaring a boycott is the last word in chic for your image nowadays. That’s exactly what has happened with Scotland’s DJ Jackmaster, who has gone viral with his eventual refusal to perform at Tel Aviv’s Block club. He posted a picture of the Palestinian flag with a caption saying you have to exploit a platform in order to stand up for those who need it. The flood of responses included talk about boycotting all Tel Aviv, not just the Block.

    Yaron Trax is the owner of the Block; his club is considered not only the largest and most influential venue in town but also an international brand. Trax didn’t remain silent; on his personal Facebook account he mentioned how a few weeks before Jackmaster’s post his agent was still trying to secure the gig for him at the Block.

    “Not my finest hour, but calling for a boycott of my club at a time when an artist is trying to play there felt to me like crossing a line,” Trax says. “Only after the fact, and especially when I saw how his post was attracting dozens of hurtful, belligerent and racist responses – and generating a violent discourse that I oppose – did I realize how significant it was.”

    Trax talks about the hatred that has welled up in support of Jackmaster’s Israel boycott – just between us, not the sharpest tool in the shed and someone who has recently been accused of sexual harassment. As Trax puts it, “The next day it was important to me to admonish myself, first off, and then all those who chose to respond the way they responded.”

    In a further well-reasoned post, Trax wrote, “I have always thought that people who take a risk and use the platform that is given to them to transmit a message they believe in, especially one that isn’t popular, deserve admiration and not intimidation or silencing.” Unsurprisingly, the reactions to this message were mostly positive.

    Notwithstanding the boycotters who have acceded to the demands of Roger Waters and Brian Eno – the most prominent musicians linked to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – there are plenty of superstar musicians like Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and the Rolling Stones who have come to Israel as part of their concert tours, even though they suffered the same pressures. The performers most vocal about their decision to appear in Israel have been Radiohead and Nick Cave.

    At a press conference on the eve of his concert, Cave expressed his opinion on the demand to boycott Israel: “It suddenly became very important to make a stand, to me, against those people who are trying to shut down musicians, to bully musicians, to censor musicians and to silence musicians.”

    Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke took the message one step further and tweeted: “Playing in a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government. We’ve played in Israel for over 20 years through a succession of governments, some more liberal than others. As we have in America. We don’t endorse Netanyahu any more than Trump, but we still play in America.” As Yorke put it, music, art and academia are “about crossing borders, not building them.”

    There’s a lot of truth in Yorke’s declaration, but whether or not musicians like it, appearances in Israel tend to acquire a political dimension; any statement becomes a potential international incident. Thus, for example, after Radiohead’s statement, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan saluted the band, and after Cave’s press conference, Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted “Bravo Nick Cave!”

    The trend continues when we step down a league from the A-listers, like Beyoncé, who doesn’t intend to perform in Israel despite her annual declaration that she’ll come “next year.” There’s the second level, the cream of international alternative rock and pop – refusals to appear in Israel by bands “of good conscience” like the Knife, Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire and Deerhunter.

    The most prominent voice from this territory is that of former Sonic Youth guitarist and vocalist Thurston Moore. Yes, he appeared with his band in Tel Aviv 23 years ago, but since then he has become an avid supporter of BDS, so much so that he says it’s not okay to eat hummus because it’s a product of the occupation.

    ’Apartheid state’

    At the next level of refusers are the major – and minor – hip-hop stars. In addition to Lil Yachty and Tyler, who canceled appearances, other heroes of the genre like Kendrick Lamar, Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples have refused from the outset to accept invitations to Israel. It’s quite possible that the connection between BDS and Black Lives Matter is influential. As early as 2016, Black Lives Matter published a statement supporting BDS and declaring Israel an “apartheid state.”

    Which brings us to electronic music and the cultural phenomenon that goes with it – the club culture. In numerical terms, club culture is smaller, but the information that flows from it on the ground or online flows much faster.

    Moreover, not only is club culture more sensitive to changes and far more alert to ideas and technological advances, its history is marked by struggles by oppressed groups. It can be said that African-Americans, Hispanics and gay people were the first to adopt the “night” way of life, back in the days of New York’s clubs and underground parties in the ‘70s. Accordingly, these groups have been the ones to nurture this lifestyle into today’s popular culture. Hence also the association with movements like BDS.

    Boiler Room Palestine

    Indeed, the current trend points to a step-up in the discourse; in the past year the top alternative culture magazines – of which the electronic music magazines play a key role – have published articles surveying musical and cultural happenings in Palestinian society.

    The online music magazine Resident Advisor has had two such stories, the first about a workshop for artists with the participation of the Block 9 production team, musicians Brian Eno and Róisín Murphy (formerly of Moloko) and American DJ the Black Madonna. The workshop, which included tours, discussion groups and joint musical work, was held at the Walled Off Hotel in Ramallah, also known as Banksy’s hotel because of the street artist’s involvement in its planning in the shadow of the separation barrier.

    The second article surveyed the Palestinian electronic scene and its leading players – promoters, DJs and producers who are operating despite the restrictive military regime. In addition, the writer accompanied the production of Boiler Room Palestine in Ramallah in June. (The wider Boiler Room franchise has been the world’s most popular pop party for the past five years.)

    Another example includes the style magazine Dazed, which wrote about the cultural boycott movement immediately after the cancellation of Lorde’s concert, and just last month New York Magazine’s culture supplement Vulture set forth its philosophy on the boycott (also in the context of Lana Del Rey). It predicted that the awakening we’re seeing today is only in its infancy.

    This partial list isn’t a clear declaration about “taking a stance” – after all, progressive media outlets in culture laud Israeli artists (for example Red Axes, Moscoman and Guy Gerber) or local venues, like the Block club. But if you add to these the scores of Facebook battles or Twitter discussions (like the one Del Rey found herself in), you’ll get noise. And noise generates questions, which generate more noise and raise consciousness. And from there to change on the ground is a modest distance.

    ’These are people who slept on my sofa’

    Refusals of invitations or cancellations of concerts in Israel by artists didn’t begin with BDS or the increasing volume of the past two years. After all, a visit to Israel all too often requires an intrusive security check. It’s hard to complain about a DJ who isn’t keen to have his underwear probed.

    Also, there’s a stratum of artists who’ve appeared in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or Haifa and have decided to stop coming – unless there’s a Palestinian production. Two examples are the French band Acid Arab (Parisians Guido Minisky and Hervé Carvalho) and the American producer – and darling of the hipster community – Nicolas Jaar . Jaar appeared in Tel Aviv a bit under a decade ago, just before he became a star, while Acid Arab not only performed in Tel Aviv but was also involved in projects with Israeli musicians – so plenty of people called the duo hypocrites.

    “I have no problem with strong opinions, but in the case of Acid Arab it annoyed me at the personal level – these are people who slept on my sofa, recorded with local musicians, and the day they put up their post announcing they wouldn’t play in Tel Aviv, they also asked me to send them some music,” says Maor Anava, aka DJ Hectik.

    “I have no problem with people changing their minds on the go; it’s clear to me that a visit to the separation fence can do it, but what bothered me is that it’s entirely a PR and image move, apparently at the advice of their agent,” he adds.

    “We’ve reached a situation in which a boycott of Israel is the trendiest thing and situates you in the right place in the scene – as a supporter of the Palestinian freedom fighters against the terrible Zionist occupier, something that can get you to another three big festivals. If you performed in Tel Aviv, apparently they’d do without you.”

    Thus at the end of last year, Acid Arab and Nicolas Jaar appeared in Haifa and Ramallah at parties produced by Jazar Crew, the only electronic collective in Israel that isn’t afraid to mix in politics.. So it surprised no one when Jazar received laudatory – and justified – coverage not only in Bar Peleg’s Haaretz piece but also in Resident Advisor.

    Is the party over?

    So are we seeing the onset of the electronic boycott of Tel Aviv, one of the world’s clubbing capitals? Well, the city is still a flourishing center of parties and club events every week. “ As of today it hasn’t yet happened that we’ve directly encountered an attempt by the cultural boycott to influence artists who are slated to appear at the club,” Trax says.

    “But we’re definitely seeing a change in the surrounding behavior. Nasty responses that people are leaving for a DJ who announced an upcoming gig with us have led to fewer famous DJs announcing appearances at the Block – even those who always promote themselves.”

    He notes a slowdown in the past two years. “A number of DJs who used to appear with us – Moodymann, Kyle Hall, the Martinez Brothers – have announced they won’t be returning, ” Trax says, referring to three American acts. “But there isn’t any set reason why. If the cultural boycott has an influence here I wouldn’t be surprised, because the Detroit junta is very political. And this also applies to UFO,” a successful British DJ and a high-profile voice in the European underground arena.

    Not all DJs who have chosen not to come to Israel have taken their stance amid the strengthening of the BDS movement. Some of the top people in the dance industry – including star Chilean-German DJ Ricardo Villalobos and British DJs and producers like Matthew Herbert and Andrew Weatherall – have for years been refusing to spin in Israel. They’ve made clear that this is their way of opposing Israel’s activities in the territories.

    Another great DJ, Tunisian-born Loco Dice who lives in Germany, is also considered a vocal opponent of Israel. But in December he played at the Block, and Trax doesn’t recall any signs that his guest was hostile to the country. This shows that a change of awareness works both ways.

    There’s a similar story: the decision by DJ Tama Sumo of the Berghain club in Berlin to play in Israel after a long boycott. She and her partner DJ Lakuti, a pillar of the industry, donated the proceeds of her Tel Aviv set to an organization for human rights in the territories.

    “As of now I don’t feel that the names who have decided to stop coming will change anything regarding the Block, because our lineup of VIPs isn’t based on them,” Trax says. “But if the more commercial cream of the clubs – DJs like Dixon, Ame and Damian Lazarus, or the big names in techno like Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock, Jeff Mills or Adam Beyer – change their minds, that will be a real blow to us, and not just us.”

    Amotz Tokatly, who’s responsible for bringing DJs to Tel Aviv’s Beit Maariv club, isn’t feeling much of a change. “The cancellations or refusals by DJs and artists based on a political platform didn’t begin just this year. I’ve been encountering this for many years now. There are even specific countries where we know the prevailing mood is political and tending toward the boycott movement. For example England. The rhetoric there is a priori much stronger,” Tokatly says.

    “But take Ben UFO, who has played in Tel Aviv in the past. When we got back to him about another spinning gig he said explicitly, ‘It simply isn’t worth it for me from a public relations perspective, and it could hurt me later on.’ DJs like him make their own calculations.”

    Tokatly doesn’t believe in a “Meteor effect” that will send the visiting DJ economy to the brink of an abyss. “I’m giving it a few weeks to calm down, and in the worst case we won’t be seeing here the level of minor league DJs who have canceled due to the circumstances,” he says.

    “In any case, they’re names who would have come here – if at all – once a year. Regarding artists who have a long-term and stable relationship with the local scene, we haven’t seen any change in approach yet.”

    Unlike Trax and Tokatly, Doron “Charly” Mastey of the techno duo TV.OUT and content director at Tel Aviv’s Alphabet Club says the recent goings-on haven’t affected him too much; his club is unusual in that doesn’t base itself on names from abroad.

    “I don’t remember any case of a refusal or cancellation because of political leanings,” he says. “But with everything that’s happening now regarding Meteor, and if that affects the scene down the road and the airlift to Tel Aviv stops, I’m not at all sure that’s a bad thing.”

    Mastey has in mind the gap between the size of the audience and the number of events, parties and festivals happening in Israel right now. “The audience is tired, and indifferent,” he says.. “And if this kick in the pants – of cancellations – is what’s going to dismantle the scene in its current format, then it will simply rebuild itself. I hope in a way that’s healthier for everyone.”

    In any case, if the rest of the world has realized that it’s impossible to separate politics from anything, and definitely not from club culture, which started out as a political and social movement, then the best thing we can do is try to hold the discussion in an inclusive a way as possible. An Israeli DJ working in Berlin who requested anonymity thinks that these ideas should be taken one step further.

    “Nowadays, for artists who want to go to Israel, two proposals are on the table,” he says. “Support the boycott or support the occupation. These two things are depicted even if they aren’t accurate, and between the two options there are a thousand more levels.”

    He believes there is scope for taking action. “The local scene must know how to fill the vacuum and craft alternatives to the boycott’s demands,” he says. “For example, by showing artists other ways to take a stand, whether by cooperating with Palestinians or suggesting that they donate the proceeds of their Tel Aviv appearances to a human rights group.”

    The voices calling for a cultural boycott of Israel, whether in sports, concerts or the subfield of electronic music, aren’t going to disappear. If anything, they’re only going to grow louder.

    Moreover, if we take into account the complexity of the conflict, maybe we should seek to communicate these insights in a way that drops the imagery of absolutes like left-right, bad-good, Zionist-anti-Semitic. The club culture exists to connect extremes, not separate people. Our demand to continue a vibrant electronic scene is just as legitimate as that of the boycott supporters’ attempts to create awareness.

    Even if we don’t agree with the idea of the boycott, it’s still possible to accept the realization that there are people who think differently – who want to perform for the other side as much as they want to perform for us. This doesn’t make them an existential danger.

    Moreover, as the Israeli DJ working in Berlin says, the Israeli scene needs an arsenal of proposals for constructive activism; it must provide alternatives to the BDS call to boycott – and not automatically flex an insulted patriotic muscle. This might not be the easiest thing to do, but hey, this is Israel. It’s not going to be easy.

    #Palestine #BDS #Boycott_culturel

  • Turkey must release prisoners to mend ties with EU, German FM says - Turkey -

    Turkey cannot revive its strained relationship with the European Union until it frees German citizens it has detained, Germany’s foreign minister said on Friday as his Turkish counterpart called for a fresh start with the bloc.
    Turkey, which has had awkward relations with Europe for several years, is seeking to mend them at a time when its currency has been falling and its ties with the United States have sharply deteriorated.
    Germany says 50 of its citizens are being held in Turkish prisons following a crackdown after a failed coup in July 2016. Only seven have been charged. Another 35 are blocked from leaving the country.

  • Silwan, a model for oppression - Haaretz Editorial
    The state and a right-wing group are shamefully fighting to evict Palestinians from a Jerusalem neighborhood, citing technical grounds

    Haaretz EditorialSendSend me email alerts
    Jun 11, 2018 4:42 AM

    Even given the corruption and legal chicanery typical of the settlement enterprise, the case of the Silwan neighborhood’s Batan al-Hawa section stands out. In this case, the state, through the Justice Ministry’s administrator general, transferred an entire neighborhood of 700 people to right-wing group Ateret Cohanim without bothering to inform the Palestinians living in this part of Jerusalem.
    To be more precise, in 2002 the administrator general released the land in the center of Silwan to a trust established way back in 1899. A year earlier, with the administrator’s approval, three Ateret Cohanim activists were appointed trustees. Since then, the organization has invested considerable efforts to get rid of the Palestinian families; to date a number of families have been evicted and dozens are conducting legal battles to fight eviction.
    On Sunday, around 100 Silwan residents came to the Supreme Court building for a hearing on their petition to the High Court of Justice against the original decision to release the land to the trust. The petition addresses the question of whether the original trust was for the land or for the buildings on it, all but one of which was demolished in the 1940s.

  • #Israel deliberately provoked the latest #violence in #Gaza, but you won’t learn that in the ’NY Times’

    You can turn to Haaretz, the distinguished Israeli newspaper, to see how the #New_York_Times slanted today’s article about the increase in violence inside Gaza and across the border in Israel. Haaretz quotes Jamal Zahalka, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, who blames Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for the escalation:

    The Israeli government is being pushed into a corner by the non-violent demonstrations in Gaza and is initiating a military confrontation to stop them.

    The timeline proves that Israeli is provoking the latest violence. On Sunday, Israeli tanks killed 3 members of the small Islamic Jihad group who were inside Gaza. (The Israeli military said it killed the 3 because a bomb had been planted overnight near the border; it offered no proof the dead had anything to do with the alleged bomb.)

  • Israël hanté par la Nakba
    Thomas Vescovi, Monde diplomatique, mai 2018

    « La marche du grand retour » : c’est ainsi que les organisations politiques palestiniennes nomment les actions menées chaque année depuis 2009 entre le 30 mars et le 15 mai. Pour l’État d’Israël, le 14 mai marque le souvenir de ce jour de 1948 où David Ben Gourion déclara l’indépendance. La société palestinienne, elle, commémore le lendemain la Nakba (« catastrophe », en arabe) : l’expulsion des 805 000 Palestiniens dont les descendants attendent encore l’application de la résolution 194, votée le 11 décembre 1948 par l’Assemblée générale de l’Organisation des Nations unies (ONU). Ce texte fonde leur « droit au retour » : c’est-à-dire de pouvoir rentrer dans leurs foyers ou de recevoir une compensation. Enfin, c’est à cette date que l’administration de M. Donald Trump entend inaugurer la nouvelle ambassade des États-Unis à Jérusalem.

    Au terme de la première guerre israélo-arabe, des centaines de milliers de Palestiniens se retrouvent éparpillés aux quatre coins de la région. Des historiens enregistrent les événements, conscients que la version du vainqueur risque de s’imposer. Les écrits de Walid Khalidi ou Sami Hadawi sont sans ambiguïté : qu’il ait préféré fuir de lui-même pour se protéger ou qu’il y ait été forcé, le peuple palestinien a été chassé de sa terre (1). Mais, pour que cette version des événements de 1948 se diffuse au-delà du monde arabe, il a fallu attendre 1987 et la publication des premiers ouvrages des « nouveaux historiens » israéliens, parmi lesquels Benny Morris, Tom Segev, Ilan Pappé et Avi Shlaïm (2). En s’appuyant sur les archives de leur État, ces chercheurs ébranlèrent un à un les piliers de l’historiographie officielle.

    La temporalité de ces publications n’est pas anodine. Le premier ouvrage paraît lorsque se déclenche la première Intifada, près d’une décennie après l’arrivée au pouvoir de la droite et le début du mouvement refuznik, qui voit des objecteurs de conscience refuser de servir dans les territoires occupés tandis que des militaires israéliens s’interrogent à propos des pratiques de leur armée. Les pacifistes entrent dans une phase d’ouverture et d’interrogation sur leur société, leur État et leur rapport à l’autre. L’accession d’Itzhak Rabin au poste de premier ministre en 1992 et le début des négociations avec l’Organisation de libération de la Palestine (OLP), qui conduisent à la signature des accords d’Oslo en septembre 1993, s’inscrivent dans ce cadre. C’est l’époque où la guerre froide se termine et où le soutien de nombreux pays arabes à la coalition anti-irakienne durant la guerre du Golfe de 1991 sonne le glas d’un panarabisme longtemps opposé à toute négociation avec Israël.

    Au cours de la première moitié des années 1990, les travaux des « nouveaux historiens » suscitent un réel intérêt au sein d’une partie de la société israélienne. Conférences, séminaires, débats dans les médias : sans être acceptées par tous, les thèses avancées dans ces ouvrages sont du moins discutées. Des projets d’écriture d’une histoire israélo-palestinienne surgissent, de même que des commissions visant à revoir les programmes d’histoire dans les écoles. Cependant, les discussions restent cantonnées aux milieux intellectuels. L’assassinat de Rabin par un extrémiste juif en 1995, puis l’arrivée au pouvoir de M. Benyamin Netanyahou en 1996 et le début des attentats-suicides sur le sol israélien mettent à mal ce processus d’ouverture, mais ne l’interrompent pas.

    Le déclenchement de la seconde Intifada, fin septembre 2000, referme néanmoins les derniers espaces d’échange et de dialogue entre Israéliens et Palestiniens au sujet de leurs récits historiques. Principaux promoteurs de ces relations, les mouvements pacifistes s’effondrent à la suite de l’échec, en juillet 2000, du sommet de Camp David ; un échec dont le premier ministre travailliste Ehoud Barak, par un tour de passe-passe masquant sa propre intransigeance (il reconnaîtra plus tard n’avoir rien proposé au dirigeant palestinien), impute la responsabilité au seul Yasser Arafat. Sans représenter l’avant-garde du mouvement, les militants de la gauche sioniste parvenaient à rassembler de larges secteurs de la société israélienne. Avec les déclarations de M. Barak et le déclenchement d’un second soulèvement palestinien bien plus meurtrier et militarisé que le premier, la majeure partie d’entre eux cessent toute activité pacifiste ; leurs organisations s’essoufflent.

    Pour la société juive, il n’y aurait alors « plus de partenaire » avec qui faire la paix. Les Israéliens perçoivent la seconde Intifada comme une attaque sans sommation des Palestiniens, qui plus est marquée par la mobilisation du Hamas, nouvelle force politique à tendance islamiste, ce qui fait écho à une actualité mondiale anxiogène. En 2001, Ariel Sharon, chef de file de la droite, remporte les élections en proposant une autre issue : puisque la cohabitation est impossible, la séparation amènera la paix. Conformément à cette logique unilatérale, un mur est construit en Cisjordanie entre Palestiniens et colons israéliens et l’armée se retire de la bande de Gaza.

    La mémoire de la Nakba est à nouveau profondément enfouie au profit de la vieille propagande : les Palestiniens auraient quitté leur terre pour ne pas vivre avec des Juifs ; Israël a droit à cette terre que Dieu aurait donnée à Abraham. Dès sa prise de fonctions, Sharon fait retirer des écoles le manuel d’histoire d’Eyal Naveh, qui introduisait une vision hétérodoxe de 1948. À l’université, les travaux des « nouveaux historiens » sont combattus avec virulence. Aujourd’hui, cette bataille est au cœur des actions d’Im Tirtzu, une organisation estudiantine proche du dirigeant d’extrême droite et actuel ministre de l’éducation Naftali Bennett, dont les militants ont mené ces dernières années une campagne baptisée « La Nakba est un mensonge » (3). Les Israéliens refusent de se considérer comme partie prenante de l’histoire palestinienne, et les institutions leur martèlent qu’ils sont les héritiers d’idées émancipatrices et progressistes.

    La création d’Israël a lieu au lendemain de la guerre la plus meurtrière de l’histoire, à l’issue de laquelle les idéaux de liberté ont triomphé du fascisme. Les Juifs incarnent les principales victimes de la terreur nazie, et la fondation d’un État-refuge au Proche-Orient doit venir réparer cette tragédie pourtant européenne. Dès lors, la défense d’Israël devient un enjeu à la fois politique et civilisationnel. La mémoire de la Nakba risque de ternir la totale innocence qu’affiche l’appareil d’État israélien. Accepter qu’à la création du pays ses combattants n’aient pas été des victimes, mais des bourreaux, ruinerait la « pureté des armes » dont se targue l’armée dite « de défense » d’Israël.

    La logique de séparation a entraîné dans la société juive israélienne un profond désintérêt pour la question palestinienne. Lors des élections législatives de mars 2015, seuls 9 % considéraient l’obtention d’un accord de paix avec les Palestiniens comme une priorité pour le prochain gouvernement (4). Ce sujet devenant invisible à leurs yeux, une forte proportion d’Israéliens se rallient aux idées les plus nationalistes. En 2001, lorsque la violence de la seconde Intifada était à son paroxysme, 35 % d’entre eux se disaient favorables à un « transfert » de la population arabe hors d’Israël vers la Cisjordanie ou la Jordanie (5). En 2015, 58 % soutiennent cette proposition, et 59 % la mise en place d’un régime d’apartheid privilégiant les Juifs en cas d’annexion de la Cisjordanie.

    Sur les ruines du grand mouvement pour la paix ont toutefois émergé de petites organisations agissant sur des questions plus ciblées. Ainsi Zochrot, fondée en 2001, se donne pour objectif d’enseigner la Nakba à la société israélienne. Elle a pris l’initiative de la première conférence sur le droit au retour des réfugiés palestiniens en Israël et organise depuis 2013 un festival annuel de films intitulé « De la Nakba au retour ». Elle propose également des visites de sites palestiniens « abandonnés » en 1948. La résidence d’un cheikh devenue cafétéria de l’université de Tel-Aviv, des maisons palestiniennes transformées en centre psychiatrique à Kfar Shaul : autant d’éléments du paysage israélien qui rappellent l’arabité de la terre. Pour les fondateurs du centre de recherche alternatif De-Colonizer (décoloniser), Éléonore Merza et Eitan Bronstein, la Nakba reste un tabou en Israël. En pratique, « la discussion se limite généralement à la question de savoir s’il est souhaitable ou même permis d’en discuter ». Cependant, ils notent que la situation a évolué, puisque le mot bénéficie d’un écho suffisant pour inquiéter les responsables politiques.

    Le 23 mars 2011, la Knesset, le Parlement israélien, adopte un amendement au budget prévoyant qu’aucune organisation commémorant le jour de la fête nationale comme un deuil ne reçoive plus de subventions. Naturellement, ces associations n’en bénéficiaient pas auparavant, mais il s’agit de les stigmatiser et de diffuser le sentiment que prendre part à ce type de manifestations vous place en dehors de la société. Par ailleurs, l’amendement dénie à la population arabe d’Israël, soit un habitant sur cinq, le droit d’honorer son histoire. D’ailleurs, depuis 2009, les écoles arabes n’ont officiellement plus le droit d’utiliser le terme « Nakba » dans leurs programmes.

    Pour la sociologue Ronit Lentin, il existe en Israël trois manières de considérer la Nakba (6). Une minorité ressasse la vision fantasmée de la Palestine comme « terre sans peuple pour un peuple sans terre ». D’autres reconnaissent partiellement la tragédie vécue par les Palestiniens, mais refusent d’admettre une quelconque responsabilité juive, voire répètent les arguments éculés sur les liens entre les Arabes et les nazis (7). Enfin, certains reconnaissent explicitement l’expulsion, mais refusent l’idée de présenter des excuses, ou regrettent même que le transfert n’ait pas été total — comme le « nouvel historien » repenti Benny Morris, qui a fini par affirmer : « Un État juif n’aurait pas pu être créé sans déraciner les Palestiniens (8). »

    Le Likoud, quant à lui, s’en tient à la version officielle niant toute expulsion, et par conséquent tout droit des Palestiniens sur la terre. La gauche sioniste reconnaît des massacres et des expulsions, mais en attribue la responsabilité aux milices nationalistes du Parti révisionniste, l’Irgoun et le Lehi.

    Pour certains militants anti-occupation, la découverte de la réalité de 1948 a marqué le début d’une remise en question plus générale de l’État d’Israël. D’où la réticence de beaucoup de leurs concitoyens à s’interroger sur cette période. Accepter de voir s’effondrer le récit inculqué depuis l’école les condamnerait à une marginalisation, voire à une stigmatisation ; on les accuserait d’accepter le discours de l’adversaire. Ainsi, certains parviennent à enfouir ces vérités au plus profond d’eux-mêmes afin de poursuivre normalement leur vie.

    Conformément à la théorie freudienne (9), Israël agit avec la Nakba comme un esprit traumatisé qui tente de refouler ce qui le hante. Une sorte d’« inquiétante étrangeté », à la source d’un sentiment de honte ressenti à l’égard d’actes passés, provoque un malaise qui pousse à vouloir les faire disparaître. Ce passé dérangeant revient, selon Freud, lorsque s’effacent les limites entre l’imagination et la réalité. La mémoire de la Nakba remonte à la surface par l’intermédiaire de divers acteurs qui détruisent les créations imaginaires pour montrer la réalité, et de Palestiniens qui saisissent toutes les occasions de resurgir dans l’espace public.

    La marche du 30 mars et celles qui ont suivi, avec leur lourd bilan humain, sont un cauchemar pour l’État d’Israël ; un rappel du fait que cinq millions de Palestiniens, les réfugiés et leurs descendants qui vivent à Gaza, en Cisjordanie ou dans d’autres pays de la région continuent de s’accrocher à leur droit au retour, ou à une indemnité à titre de compensation pour avoir été chassés de leur terre et de leurs demeures. Ils incarnent une injustice dont les Israéliens restent comptables.

    Thomas Vescovi Chercheur indépendant en histoire contemporaine, auteur de La Mémoire de la Nakba en Israël, L’Harmattan, coll. « Comprendre le Moyen-Orient », Paris, 2015.

    (1) Walid Khalidi, Nakba, 1947-1948, Sindbad - Actes sud - Institut des études palestiniennes, Arles, 2012.
    (2) Lire Dominique Vidal, « L’expulsion des Palestiniens revisitée par des historiens israéliens », Le Monde diplomatique, décembre 1997.
    (3) Lire Charles Enderlin, « Israël à l’heure de l’Inquisition », Le Monde diplomatique, mars 2016.
    (4) The Times of Israel, Jérusalem, 25 janvier 2015.
    (5) Gideon Levy, « Survey : Most Israeli Jews wouldn’t give Palestinians vote if West Bank was annexed », Haaretz, Tel-Aviv, 23 octobre 2012.
    (6) Ronit Lentin, Co-memory and Melancholia. Israelis memorialising the Palestinian Nakba, Manchester University Press, 2010.
    (7) Lire Gilbert Achcar, « Inusable grand mufti de Jérusalem », Le Monde diplomatique, mai 2010.
    (8) Haaretz, 9 janvier 2004.
    (9) Sigmund Freud, L’Inquiétante Étrangeté et autres essais, Gallimard, coll. « Folio essais », Paris, 1985 (1re éd. : 1919).

    #Palestine #Nakba #Histoire

      « Il aurai fallu tirer sur Ahed Tamimi » , a déclaré samedi Bezalel Smotrich, un député israélien, au sujet de la jeune Palestinienne devenue une icône de la lutte contre l’occupation israélienne. (...)
      « Il aurait fallu lui tirer dessus, ne fut-ce que dans le genou. Au moins, elle aurait été assignée à résidence pour le reste de sa vie », a écrit le député Smotrich sur son compte Twitter, rapporte aujourd’hui le quotidien israélien Haaretz. (...)
      La déclaration de Bezalel Smotrich a provoqué la colère de sa collègue au Parlement israélien, Michal Rozin, qui a évoqué un incident survenu samedi dernier, au cours duquel des colons israéliens ont jeté des pierres sur un convoi de l’armée israélienne. « Vous devriez avoir honte ! Aurait-il fallu également tirer sur les jeunes » colons israéliens « de Samarie qui ont jeté des pierres sur les soldats de l’armée ? a-t-elle interrogé. Mais non, j’oubliais, la loi est différente pour les ennemis ». Et Mme Rozin d’ajouter : « Je n’accepte ni vos excuses ni vos explications, vous êtes un malfrat et vous incitez à la violence ».

  • ’Shoot anyone breaching the fence’: Israeli army gears up for Gaza mass protest -
    Israeli army calling up snipers and extra soldiers to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration ■ Defense officials certain army can prevent Palestinian from crossing Gaza border

    Yaniv Kubovich Mar 29, 2018 10:07 AM

    The defense establishment believes that the army will succeed in preventing Gazans from crossing the border into Israel during the March of Return scheduled for Friday, even if that means Palestinian deaths.
    To really understand Israel and the Middle East - subscribe to Haaretz
    Defense officials said Gaza residents do not seem eager to take part in the event, but Hamas is making efforts to bring as many of them as possible to the fence on Friday. As a result, the troops may have to deal with a particularly large demonstration.
    <<This Friday, Israel’s Tear Gas and Tanks Will Confront Palestinian Marchers. But Brute Force Can’t Be Israel’s Only Answer |Opinion

    A Palestinian poster calling for people to join ’The Great March of Return’ on the Gaza-Israel border on Friday, March 30 2018
    Over the last few days the Israel Defense Forces has warned that it would open fire on anyone who tries to breach the border fence and enter Israel.
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    The IDF has brought a brigade, snipers and soldiers from various courses, to help local troops deal with Friday’s demonstration. The snipers have been instructed to shoot demonstrators who breach the fence.
    In a ceremony marking a change of Military Intelligence commanders on Wednesday, Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the situation in Gaza is “highly explosive” and “threatens to damage the sensitive life fabric and safety of the region’s residents.”

    <<Israel’s Defense Minister Says There’s No Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza. Here Are the Facts<<
    Eizenkot visited the Gaza division several times this week to supervise the preparations. On Wednesday he and Shin Bet chief Argaman presented to the cabinet ministers preparations and intelligence evaluations ahead of the events, noting that stopping the Palestinians from crossing the fence and entering Israel was the troops’ main task.
    They also presented a scenario in which a large crowd comes to the tent compound on the other side of the fence. The assessment is that the army will manage to handle the event, though possibly only at the cost of Palestinian fatalities.

    ’Grandfather, we will return soon’ - Palestinian poster ahead of ’The Great Return March’
    On Wednesday, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav Mordechai, warned the Palestinian bus companies slated to carry demonstrators to the fence that their entry permits would be revoked.
    “We contacted more than 20 bus companies in Gaza, who were paid by Hamas to take people to violent demonstrations and warned that we’ll take personal steps against their owners,” he said.
    Preparations for Friday’s event come in the wake of growing tension along the Gaza border and several attempts — some successful — to cross it.
    On Wednesday, the army struck two Hamas observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip after two Palestinians set a fire near the border fence. The suspects did not cross into Israel.
    Also Wednesday, a Palestinian from Gaza was arrested on the Zikim beach in Israel near the Gaza border and taken in for questioning. He was unarmed.
    On Tuesday, three Palestinians, armed with grenades and knives, were found and arrested after infiltrating 20 kilometers into Israeli territory. On Saturday, Israel struck Hamas targets after four Palestinians carrying bottles filled with flammable material approached the fence on foot and managed to cross the border into Israel near Kibbutz Kissufim.
    The army also said it will impose a closure on the West Bank and Gaza crossings for the duration of the Passover holiday. The closure will begin Thursday at midnight and be lifted on Saturday, April 7. The army added that passage will be allowed for humanitarian and medical cases, pending approval by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

  • Israel’s big lie revealed: Deported asylum seekers in Uganda lament broken promises and a grim future

    Haaretz met with deported asylum seekers who were left with no papers or work permits; they can’t even enter refugee camps as they have no status. One option is to risk death and head for Europe
    By Uzi Dann (Kampala, Uganda) Mar 04, 2018

    KAMPALA, Uganda – It’s around noon in Uganda’s capital Kampala. The streets are bustling and traffic is heavy. Meles looks out of place, and he certainly feels it. “I don’t have a future here,” he tells Haaretz. “I have no hope, no job. My life is ruined.”
    He’s a relative newcomer here. He has been here for around two and a half months and says it’s just a matter of time until he’s on the road again. “I’m already 31 and prefer to try my luck elsewhere rather than live this way, God willing,” he says, pointing upward and not at the two crosses on his chest. “This time I’ll be lucky.”
    The last time he tried his luck nearly a decade ago he deserted his unlimited military service in the Eritrean army and started walking north. Ultimately he reached Israel, where he lived for more than seven and a half years, from the beginning of 2010 until last November. Then he was forced to “leave voluntarily.”

    In addition to the threat of prison if he didn’t leave, there was the $3,500 that Israel gave and the laissez-passer document, ensuring him legal status in a third country and the right to work. There were also verbal assurances that things would be all right – that he’d be able to make a living and integrate into his new country.
    Soon after Meles landed at Uganda’s Entebbe Airport, he discovered there wasn’t much substance to the assurances, not even a way to contact the government clerk who sent him there. And regarding the documents, someone in Uganda was there to take them away from him as soon as he landed.
    Haaretz on the ground in Uganda - דלג

    Haaretz has heard this story repeatedly from former asylum seekers in Israel who went to Rwanda (and from there took a circuitous path to neighboring Uganda), and from those whose airplane ticket took them straight to Entebbe. Haaretz met with more than 15 of them in Kampala and spoke with several others by phone. No Israeli official contacted them once they had left Israel, or took any interest in them once they had reached Africa.
    Meles has no documents and no job, and has no status in Uganda letting him work. He has spent some of the $3,500, and it looks like the rest will be gone soon. He regrets that he didn’t opt for the Holot detention center in the south.

    Meles in Kampala. Uzi Dan
    “It would be better to be in jail in Israel, where at least I would get food,” he says, adding that he advises asylum seekers still in Israel not to accept the offer of passage to a third country.
    Meles’ Hebrew is excellent, an indication that he adjusted well during his seven and a half years in Israel. He worked three years for one employer and four years for another, the owner of a grocery store near Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market. From the very beginning he tried to obtain legal status in Israel.
    When he arrived at the Saharonim detention facility in 2010, he gave details about his travails. He repeated them a month later when he left Saharonim and was granted a temporary visa. And he repeated them five years later when he submitted an asylum request. Like many others, he never received an answer on his request, but around that time he was told that his residence visa would not be renewed.

  • Honor roll: Israel’s BDS blacklist
    The blacklist’s authors are preparing the ground for worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against Palestinians.
    Amira Hass Jan 08, 2018

    The ban on entering the country that was imposed on activists from 20 international organizations is a badge of honor for them. For all the differences among these organizations in size, experience and background, and for all the political disagreements among them and with them, they deserve praise. They are successfully sabotaging the tendency to present the Palestinian problem as a purely humanitarian one, or as a symmetrical conflict between two supposedly equal powers.

    That this blacklist was prepared by an Israeli ministry already proves one of the organizations’ claims: Israel isn’t a democratic state. A state that has ruled for 50 years already over millions of people who have no right to vote and are denied basic human rights like freedom of movement, the right to earn a living and freedom to demonstrate, doesn’t deserve the name democracy, even if its Jewish citizens can write for Haaretz and protest against corruption.

    Israel’s sadistic rule over the Palestinians (including those within the pre-1967 lines) has millions of agents and tools. Human rights organizations can’t compete with all the resources of the state, which have been invested in agents and methods of dispossession. So the political call for sanctions and boycotts makes the necessary leap and proposes a single, conclusive and suitable response to Israeli oppression and persecution.

    It is unlikely that the Strategic Affairs Ministry bureaucrats deluded themselves that a ban on entering Israel and the occupied territories would stop these organizations from continuing to call for international boycotts and sanctions against Israel, or against the settlements and their produce. After all, the activists base their political analysis and their program for stopping Israeli colonialism on information and testimony from readily available sources, and those sources will continue to be available even without the activists’ physical presence in the country.

    But the authors of this blacklist aren’t stupid people bent on macho vengeance. They, too, are political thinkers, and they are continuing to prepare the ground for even worse steps – not against foreign nationals, but against the Palestinian people.

    Publication of the blacklist puts the countries where these organizations are based to a new test. Israel has been preventing their citizens from entering the West Bank and Gaza Strip (and not just its own sovereign territory) for a long time now, even if they never supported the BDS movement. It’s enough for them to be of Palestinian origin and to have relatives and property in the West Bank, or to want to study or teach at educational institutions in the West Bank, for their entry to be banned.

    Many of the people who have been denied entry are American or Jordanian citizens. But the United States, Europe and Jordan haven’t made much effort to defend two basic principles: equal treatment for their citizens regardless of differences in their ethnicity, i.e. Jews versus non-Jews, or differences in the purpose of their visit, i.e. a visit to Ramallah versus a visit to the settlement of Beit El; and symmetrical application of the right of visa-free entry. After all, millions of Israelis enter Europe and Jordan with no problem, including some who were involved in perpetrating war crimes or other violations of international law: pilots, army commanders, settlers.

    Donald Trump’s America won’t be shocked if Jewish members of the pacifist organization Code Pink or Quaker Christians are barred from entering Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. But what about France, England, Norway and other European countries? Several European countries, under pressure from or at the instigation of Israeli and Jewish lobbies, already ban democratic calls for sanctions on Israel due to the disgraceful equation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. It’s hard to imagine them taking action against the new blacklist.

    Israel is taking the international community’s pulse. The measuring device is the sanctions against these organizations, and the goal is our freedom to uproot people, to demolish and steal. In this shrewd manner, Israel is examining how it can deprive the Palestinians of additional basic rights – including through mass expulsions – without the so-called democratic world stopping it.


  • Jerusalem A poisoned gift - Haaretz Editorial -

    Violating the status quo in Jerusalem, like expanding the settlement enterprise, is moving Israel further from the only possible solution, the two-state solution

    Haaretz Editorial Dec 08, 2017
    read more:

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could have been joyful news for Israel. But it’s no coincidence that Israel is the only country in the world whose capital hasn’t been recognized by the international community. Jerusalem’s status remains a core issue in the negotiations for a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
    In this sense, disrupting the status quo in the world’s most explosive city is a poisoned gift to the Israeli and Arab peace camp. It’s hard to understand how such a move fits with Trump’s declarations about his desire to bring about peace in the region, a feat his predecessors in the White House failed to achieve.
    Trump boasted that he didn’t follow in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, who did not change U.S. policy toward Jerusalem. But previous administrations’ refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital did not stem from hostility to Israel or excessive sympathy for the Muslims. These administrations heeded the advice of the National Security Council and Israeli defense officials, who warned that a policy change regarding Jerusalem would sabotage the peace process.
    The decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital plays into the hands of radical Arab groups, which don’t miss an opportunity to portray the two-state solution as deception, and portray the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, the only Arab states that recognize Israel, as collaborators with the enemies of Islam.

  • 8-year-old Palestinian girl dies after being struck by Israeli settler car in Nablus
    Aug. 26, 2017 1:45 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 26, 2017 5:39 P.M.)

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An 8-year-old Palestinian girl was killed on Saturday after being struck by an Israeli vehicle in the Nablus district of the nerthern occupied West Bank, according to Israeli sources.

    According to Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri, the child was hit around noon on Route 90 in the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank, while Palestinian medical sources said that the girl was run over by an Israeli settler’s vehicle near the Furush Beit Dajan village in the Nablus district.

    A crew from Israel’s Magen David Adom national emergency service arrived at the scene and evacuated the girl to the hospital, according to al-Samri. However, the girl was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Palestinian medical sources later identified the child as Asil Tariq Abu Oun from the village of Jaba in the northern West Bank Jenin district.

    It remained unknown whether the driver had fled or remained at the scene.


    • Aseel Abu Oun, 8 ans, assassinée par un colon israélien…
      par Linah Alsaafin - 27 août 2017 – Al-Jazeera – Traduction : Chronique de Palestine

      Les parents doutent que la police israélienne enquête sérieusement sur le meurtre de la fillette de huit ans, dont la maison familiale était sur le point d’être confisquée.

      Une fillette palestinienne âgée de huit ans et qui a été écrasée par la voiture d’un colon israélien en Cisjordanie occupée, a été enterrée dimanche.

      Aseel Abu Oun a été tuée un jour plus tôt par un colon en voiture, près du village de Foroush Beit Dajan, dans le district de Naplouse.

      Elle a été renversée par la voiture alors qu’elle quittait un supermarché vers midi avec une amie.

      Le quotidien israélien Haaretz a signalé que la police a arrêté le conducteur du véhicule pour un interrogatoire. Toujours selon Haaretz, la police a déclaré avoir ouvert une enquête mais sans préciser si le colon avait été relâché ou non.

      Mais es membres de la famille d’Aseel ont déclaré que l’annonce d’une enquête policière était simplement une tentative du gouvernement israélien de détourner la colère des habitants.

      « Nous sommes habitués aux manigances la police israélienne lors des agressions ou attaques de colons contre des Palestiniens », a déclaré à Al Jazeera Jawdat Abu Oun, un parent d’Aseel.

      « Nous avons demandé que ce soit un organisme indépendant qui supervise l’enquête, mais nous ne pensons pas que cela aboutisse », a-t-il dit, ajoutant qu’il croyait que le colon avait déjà été libéré.

      Tareq Abu Oun, le père de la fillette, a été témoin du moment où Aseel a été renversée et avec l’aide d’autres personnes présentes, il a réussi à empêcher la voiture de s’enfuir.

      « Le colon était armé et nous avons confisqué son arme jusqu’à ce que la police israélienne soit arrivée », a déclaré Jawdat.

      Alors que les colons sont autorisés à porter des armes en Cisjordanie occupée, les Palestiniens n’ont pas le droit d’être armés. (...)

  • Testimony from the censored massacre
    A young fellow tied to a tree and set on fire. A woman and an old man shot in back. Girls lined up against a wall and shot with a submachine gun. The testimonies Neta Shoshani collected about the massacre in Deir Yassin make for difficult reading even 70 years after the fact. Some of them will be shown in her new film ’Born in Deir Yassin’ and others are being published here for the first time. To this day, the state is censoring the photographs from the massacre
    read more:

    For two years now a document that makes for difficult reading has been lying in the archives of the association to commemorate the heritage of Lehi – the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel pre-state underground militia. It was written by a member of the underground about 70 years ago. Reading it could reopen a bleeding wound from the days of the War of Independence that to this day stirs a great deal of emotion in Israeli society.
    “Last Friday together with Etzel” – the acronym for the National Military Organization, also known as the Irgun, another pre-state underground militia, led by Menachem Begin – “our movement carried out a tremendous operation to occupy the Arab village on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road – Deir Yassin. I participated in this operation in the most active way,” wrote Yehuda Feder, whose nom de guerre in Lehi (also known as the Stern Gang) was “Giora.”
    Further along in the letter, he describes in detail his part in the massacre that took place there. “This was the first time in my life that at my hands and before my eyes Arabs fell. In the village I killed an armed Arab man and two Arab girls of 16 or 17 who were helping the Arab who was shooting. I stood them against a wall and blasted them with two rounds from the Tommy gun,” he wrote, describing how he carried out the execution of the girls with a submachine gun.
    Along with that, he tells about looting in the village with his buddies after it was occupied. “We confiscated a lot of money and silver and gold jewelry fell into our hands,” he wrote. He concludes the letter with the words: “This was a really tremendous operation and it is with reason that the left is vilifying us again.”

    Pictures of the occupation of Deir Yassin. Most researchers state that 110 inhabitants of the village were killed there. IDF archive / Defense Ministry
    This letter is one of the historical documents revealed in a new documentary film entitled “Born in Deir Yassin” by director Neta Shoshani, who devoted the past several years to comprehensive historical research on the Deir Yassin massacre, one of the constitutive incidents of the War of Independence, which has remained a blot on Israel to this day.
    In advance of the premiere screening of the film at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Shoshani showed Haaretz the testimonies she has gathered about the incident, the result of extensive digging in archives along with in-depth interviews with the last living participants in the action. Some of them broke a silence of decades when they spoke to her, often for the first time in front of a camera.

  • «Tiens, et si on défendait la cause du gentil hacker Ulcan?» Oui, c’est le Haaretz. The French hacker who took his ’hack back’ against anti-Semites too far

    Gregory Chelli, known by the nickname Ulcan, worked to undermine the online efforts of notorious anti-Jewish activists but his actions seemed to have crossed a line. Now France wants him extradited from Israel

    Pauvre chou, va:

    “I realize that I may have gone too far with Benoit Le Corre, but he himself behaved thuggishly toward me. If my mother had read his article and suffered a heart attack because they wrote there that her son is a racist militant, would anyone have accused him of violence that caused death? Had I called his father and caused him to suffer a heart attack on the spot, I would have extradited myself to France and confessed my sins, but that’s not what happened.

    “I agree that there’s a difference between my behavior toward anti-Semites and what I did to Le Corre, but the French media plays a big role in anti-Semitism and its dissemination in public opinion. I couldn’t help but react, because he damaged my credibility, but I didn’t want to harm people’s lives. Today, I don’t do those things anymore. I’m afraid of an unanticipated reaction. I no longer call the police, because I’m afraid that a bullet could be discharged and hit someone, and for the past three years, I have not hacked anti-Israeli websites.”

    • Le lobby israélien impose le retrait d’un deuxième candidat aux élections législatives françaises
      Par Ali Abunimah, le 22 Mai 2017 |traduction J. Ch. pour l’Agence Média Palestine

      (...) La France demande l’extradition d’un Juif extrémiste

      Cependant, les autorités françaises font preuve d’une rare propension à défier Israël dans le cas de l’extrémiste juif français Gregory Chelli.

      G. Chelli, qui se fait appeler Ulcan, opère depuis Israël. Il a été accusé d’une série d’appels canulars qui ont provoqué de violentes descentes de police chez des gens innocents.

      Dans l’incident le plus notoire, G. Chelli avait ciblé la famille d’un journaliste français Benoît Le Corre, précipitant peut-être la mort de son père.

      Le journal de Tel Aviv Haaretz écrivait dimanche que G. Chelli, qui vit dans un appartement du front de mer de la ville d’Ashdod, fait l’objet d’une demande d’extradition pour 50 accusations pénales.

      G. Chelli est maintenant « au cœur d’un litige entre la France et Israël, qui refuse de l’extrader, en dépit de pressions sérieuses et même d’une visite spéciale ici du ministre français des Affaires étrangères », a dit Haaretz.(...)

  • Après une comparaison des religieux nationaux au Hezbollah, Liberman appelle au boycott de Haaretz
    The Times of Israël | By Times of Israel Staff | avril 13, 2017,

    Le ministre de la Défense Avigdor Liberman a appelé jeudi les Israéliens à cesser de lire le quotidien Haaretz après la publication par le journal de gauche d’un éditorial qui affirmait que la communauté nationale religieuse d’Israël était plus dangereuse que le groupe terroriste du Hezbollah.

    L’article de Yossi Klein [lien en hébreu], publié dans l’édition de mercredi de Haaretz, accusait la communauté nationale religieuse d’Israël, généralement caractérisée par son opinion belliqueuse et son attachement aux implantations, de tenter de prendre le contrôle du pays et de le soumettre tout en menant une campagne de nettoyage ethnique.

    « Haaretz est devenu depuis un certain temps une plate-forme qui accorde une expression totale des opinions de ceux qui haïssent Israël, mais la publication de l’article de Yossi Klein, un journaliste frustré et sans importance, franchit toutes les lignes rouges », a écrit Liberman sur sa page Facebook.

    « J’appelle immédiatement chaque citoyen d’Israël à cesser d’acheter et de lire Haaretz. » (...)

  • Inside the clandestine world of Israel’s ’BDS-busting’ ministry

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry’s leaders see themselves as the heads of a commando unit, gathering and disseminating information about ’supporters of the delegitimization of Israel’ – and they prefer their actions be kept secret.
    By Uri Blau Mar 26, 2017
    read more:

    The Haaretz report that Minister Gilad Erdan wants to set up a database of Israeli citizens who support the BDS movement has led to questions about the boundaries of freedom of expression and the government’s use of its resources to surveille people of differing opinions. The report also shone a light on the Strategic Affairs Ministry, which Erdan heads, and cast doubt about its ambiguous activities and goals.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the Jewish World: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Now, through official documents, Haaretz reveals some elements of the ministry’s clandestine activities, whereby even its location is a secret, described only as “greater Tel Aviv.” Its internal terminology comes from the world of espionage and security; its leading figures appear to see themselves as the heads of a public affairs commando unit engaged in multiple fronts, gathering and disseminating information about people they define as “supporters of the delegitimization of Israel.”
    That definition does not necessarily include only supporters of BDS, but intentional ambiguity remains, alongside campaigns and public diplomacy activities against these individuals in Israel and abroad.

    Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Olivier Fitoussi
    “If you want to win the campaign you have to do it with a great deal of ambiguity," the ministry’s director general, Sima Vaknin-Gil, who is a former IDF chief censor, explained to a Knesset panel recently. “The way I worked with military issues like Hezbollah or terror funds or Syria or any other country against which I conducted a campaign as an intelligence officer – we didn’t tell the other side what we intended to do; we left it ambiguous.”
    The ministry spends tens of millions of shekels on cooperative efforts with the Histadrut labor federation, the Jewish Agency and various nongovernmental organizations in training representatives of the “true pluralistic face” of Israel in various forums.

    The Strategic Affairs Ministry was established mainly as a consolation prize for ministers when the need arose to pad them with a semi-security portfolio during the formation of governing coalitions, and has taken on various forms. It was founded in 2006 as a portfolio tailored to Avigdor Lieberman. It was dismantled two years later and reestablished in 2009 in a different format. Under each ministry it was given new meaning and content.

    Strategic Affairs Ministry Director General Sima Vaknin. Alon Ron
    During Lieberman’s tenure, its authority was defined mainly as “thwarting the Iranian nuclear program.” In addition, Nativ, which maintained contact with Jews in Eastern Europe during the Cold War and encouraged aliyah, came under its aegis. Then, under Moshe Ya’alon (2009-2013), the ministry focused on “Palestinian incitement” as well as the Iranian threat. During the term of Yuval Steinitz (2013-2015), the ministry was unified with the Intelligence Affairs Ministry into the “Intelligence Ministry.” In May 2015, it was once again separated out and given to Erdan, incorporating the Public Diplomacy Ministry, which had been removed from the Prime Minister’s Office.
    A harsh state comptroller’s report in 2016 concerning the “diplomatic-media struggle against the boycott movement and manifestations of anti-Semitism abroad,” noted that the transfer of authority to fight BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry was damaging to the powers of the Foreign Ministry and created unnecessary duplication that paralyzed government action in that area, as Barak Ravid reported extensively at the time.
    According to the comptroller, after years of contention and mutual entrenchment, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had given in to pressure and shifted more powers for fighting BDS from the Foreign Ministry to the Strategic Affairs Ministry, together with major funding.
    In October 2015, the security cabinet finally gave the Strategic Affairs Ministry responsibility to “guide, coordinate and integrate the activities of all the ministers and the government and of civil entities in Israel and abroad on the subject of the struggle against attempts to delegitimize Israel and the boycott movement.”
    Nevertheless, tensions with the Foreign Ministry remained. The reason for this might also be a difference in approach. According to the comptroller’s report, the Foreign Ministry’s strategy of action against BDS “focuses on expanding dialogue with individuals, bodies, organizations, corporations and institutions abroad” – i.e., dialogue – as opposed to surveillance and more aggressive public diplomacy activities by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

    Tzahi Gavrieli. Tomer Appelbaum

  • Kerry offered Netanyahu regional peace plan in secret 2016 summit with al-Sissi, King Abdullah - Israel News -

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took part in a secret summit in Aqaba a year ago where then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented a plan for a regional peace initiative including recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a renewal of talks with the Palestinians with the support of the Arab countries.
    >> Get all updates on Israel and the U.S.: Download our free App, and Subscribe >>
    Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi were also present at the meeting in the Jordanian city.
    Netanyahu did not accept Kerry’s proposal and said he would have difficulty getting it approved by his governing coalition. Still, the Aqaba summit was the basis for the talks that began two weeks later between Netanyahu and opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) on establishing a unity government.
    Details about the summit and the plan emerged from conversations between Haaretz and former senior officials in the Obama administration who asked to remain anonymous. The Prime Minister’s Bureau refused to comment.
    It was Kerry who initiated the conference. In April 2014, the peace initiative he had led collapsed, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a deep freeze and U.S. President Barack Obama declared a time-out in U.S. attempts to restart the peace process. Over the next 18 months Kerry focused on attaining an agreement with Iran over its nuclear program; an agreement was reached in July 2015 and ratified by Congress in mid-September.
    In October that year, Kerry renewed his work on the Israeli-Palestinian process following an escalation of tensions over the Temple Mount and a wave of violence in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
    At the end of October, Kerry was able to achieve understandings confirming the status quo on the Temple Mount by Israel, the Palestinians and Jordan. As part of these understandings, Israel and Jordan launched talks over the placement of closed-circuit cameras on the Temple Mount, an idea that was never implemented.
    Two weeks later, Netanyahu came to Washington for his first meeting with Obama in more than a year – a period when the two leaders badly clashed over the nuclear deal with Iran.

  • Will the last newspaper editor to leave Beirut please turn out the lights - Middle East News - Haaretz

    The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir printed its final edition last Saturday. In a short video posted on YouTube, founder and editor-in-chief Talal Salman can be seen taking his scarf and turning off the lights in his office. Darkness falls as he leaves the building of the newspaper he founded in 1974.
    As-Safir, published in Beirut, used to be one of the most important Arabic-language papers in Lebanon. It took a pro-Syrian stance (and, as a result, was suspected of being funded by the Assad regime) but in its early days, the daily opposed Syrian involvement in the long Lebanese civil war. When the first Lebanon war with Israel broke out in 1982, and when the confrontations between Israel and Hezbollah began, the newspaper stood behind the militant Shi’ite organization – even though Salman’s ideology was, and remained, pan-Arab and left-wing. Salman saw As-Safir as a Lebanese national paper, obliged to support the resistance to foreign occupation, especially that of Israel.
    Salman blames the paper’s closure on financial reasons and its shrinking circulation figures. Even the newspaper’s website didn’t help to turns things around. As-Safir is a family newspaper: the CEO is one of Salman’s sons, his daughter is the managing editor, while another daughter runs the archive. Unlike other dailies in Lebanon, which enjoy the support of political parties or aid from foreign Arab governments, As-Safir had no stable financial base, especially after the Syrian regime – which probably did provide some funding in the past – ran into its own financial difficulties.
    As-Safir is not the only Lebanese newspaper that has failed to go up against online competition. An-Nahar, which was founded in 1933 and was once the most prominent, best-selling paper in Lebanon, is also facing an uncertain future. It recently announced that nearly 100 staffers were to be laid off, and it has had problems paying salaries for over a year.

  • Le renseignement britannique surveille aussi Israël de près
    LE MONDE | 07.12.2016 | Par Jacques Follorou

    On ne se méfie jamais assez de ses amis, surtout les plus proches. Officiellement, Israël et les deux agences de surveillance anglo-saxonnes les plus puissantes, l’Agence nationale de sécurité (NSA) américaine et son homologue britannique, le GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), sont unis par une sacro-sainte alliance. Intense du fait des enjeux de survie pour Israël, confiante au regard de l’excellence reconnue aux Israéliens en matière d’espionnage, et en forte croissance depuis dix ans, cette coopération unique a pourtant une face plus obscure.

    De nouvelles pièces, extraites par Le Monde, en collaboration avec le site The Intercept, des archives de l’ex-consultant de la NSA Edward Snowden confiées à Glenn Greenwald et Laura Poitras, dévoilent en effet l’ampleur de la surveillance des intérêts israéliens par le GCHQ. Les Britanniques ont espionné la diplomatie israélienne, aussi bien à Jérusalem qu’à l’étranger. Ils visaient aussi des sociétés privées du secteur de la défense, des organismes d’Etat chargés de la coopération internationale ou encore des centres universitaires connus pour leur très haut niveau scientifique. Ces cibles apparaissent sous forme d’adresses électroniques ou de numéros de téléphone dans des rapports d’interception des techniciens du GCHQ, heureux de montrer qu’ils étaient parvenus à les identifier dans les flux de communications satellitaires entre le continent africain et le reste du monde. Au bas de chaque compte rendu, il est mentionné que la collecte peut désormais devenir automatique.

    Espionnage d’Air France, d’Israël et de l’Autorité palestinienne : nouvelles révélations Snowden
    LE MONDE | 07.12.2016 | Par Martin Untersinger et Jacques Follorou

    Les documents consultés par Le Monde montrent que les Britanniques ont espionné la diplomatie israélienne, aussi bien à Jérusalem qu’à l’étranger. Ils visaient aussi des sociétés privées du secteur de la défense, des organismes d’Etat chargés de la coopération internationale ou encore des centres universitaires connus pour leur très haut niveau scientifique.

    The Wall Street Journal et Der Spiegel avaient déjà montré que les services anglais et américains avaient surveillé les communications du premier ministre Benyamin Nétanyahou et celles du bureau du premier ministre Ehoud Olmert. Selon nos informations, les espions ratissent beaucoup plus large. Ils visaient des services de l’Etat, notamment ses diplomates. Parmi ces identifiants figurent ainsi le numéro de téléphone du numéro deux du ministère des affaires étrangères israélien ou encore les e-mails d’ambassadeurs en poste à Nairobi, au Kenya, et à Abuja, au Nigeria. Mais on trouve aussi parmi les cibles de ces agences des employés de sociétés de défense, comme Ophir Optronics, l’un des fleurons de la fibre optique et du laser, deux éléments-clés des armements modernes et des industries de pointe, ou encore des centres de recherche de l’université hébraïque de Jérusalem.

    Au Proche-Orient, la NSA et le GCHQ ne font pas d’exceptions : tout comme Israël, l’Autorité palestinienne a été mise sous surveillance serrée par les agences américaines et britanniques. Là encore, la NSA et son homologue britannique entretiennent pourtant d’étroites relations avec la monarchie jordanienne et l’Autorité palestinienne dans le domaine du renseignement. La NSA et l’EWD, le service de renseignement électronique jordanien, sont même de très proches alliés : « A lui seul, l’EWD fournit une grande part des noms d’individus ciblés par la NSA » dans cette région, reconnaît une note des services américains. Pourtant, dans les longues listes d’interceptions du GCHQ, se trouvent les coordonnées de la cour royale de Jordanie, du chef du protocole du roi et de l’ambassade de Jordanie à Washington.

    L’Autorité palestinienne a également fait l’objet d’une surveillance intensive, loin de se limiter aux hauts responsables. Fin 2008 et en 2009, le GCHQ a ainsi ciblé les communications du cabinet du secrétaire général de l’OLP et celles d’un grand nombre de délégations palestiniennes dans le monde. Notamment en France, en Belgique, au Portugal, au Pakistan, en Afrique du Sud ou en Malaisie. Des figures palestiniennes modérées étaient également espionnées : le Dr Ahmed Tibi, homme politique et député arabe israélien, chef du Mouvement arabe pour le renouveau, ou encore Ahmed Qoreï, premier ministre de l’Autorité entre 2003 et 2006. Autant d’éléments qui rappellent une règle ancienne de l’espionnage : les amis n’existent pas.

  • Israel Is a Settler Colonial State - and That’s OK
    Repulsed by UC Berkeley’s ’Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis’ course? ‘Settler colonialism’ may have been eagerly adopted by the BDS movement – but early Zionist leaders weren’t shy about identifying with it either.

    Arnon Degani Sep 13, 2016
    read more:
    Haaretz -

    Appalled and outraged posts appearing on the feeds of pro-Israel advocates announce that this coming fall semester, UC Berkeley students can attend a course titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” The course, offered as part of Berkely’s “DeCal Program”, will be taught by a undergraduate student named Paul Hadaweh, and supervised by Dr. Hatem Bazian, one of the most vocal and industrious anti-Israel scholars in American academia.
    The fact that a one-unit course headed by an undergraduate student is creating such waves is telling of the level of anxiety that the term “settler-colonialism” evokes when the Israel-Palestinian conflict comes up. This shouldn’t be the case.
    For almost a century, Zionism’s intellectual enemies, especially from the left, have considered it part and parcel of European colonialism. In recent years, the addition of “settler” to colonialism has gained much traction among scholars who engage in anti-Israel activity, particularly BDS, as well as intersectionality activists. Settler colonialism conveys an unarguable sense of delegitimization, racial exclusion and financial exploitation. If anything, it sounds more biting (perhaps because Israel still actively sponsors settlers) and acerbic, but it also tends to be incorporated willy-nilly into research and public commentary.

  • When Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinians, Even a Smoking Gun Doesn’t Lead to Indictments
    Mustafa Tamimi was killed when he was shot in the face with a gas canister in a 2012 protest. A year later, Rushdi Tamimi was shot in the belly with live fire. No one ever faced charges. A closer look at the two cases reveals that putting soldiers to trial is the exception, not the rule.

    Chaim Levinson Jul 07, 2016 Haaretz
    : I

    An in-depth study of two incidents in which Palestinian protesters were shot and killed during demonstrations in the West Bank shows that the level of evidence required to indict an Israel Defense Forces soldier is substantially higher than that demanded when Palestinians are investigated.
    Furthermore, the heavy media coverage given to the prosecution of Sgt. Elor Azaria – the Israeli soldier standing trial for manslaughter after shooting a subdued Palestinian assailant in March – is extremely rare, even though his actions are not.
    Of the 739 complaints filed by the Israeli nonprofit B’Tselem concerning death, injury or beatings of Palestinians since 2000, only 25 resulted in prosecutions (less than 4 percent). And these charges were usually for the smallest possible violations, such as negligent use of a weapon.
    Haaretz has obtained access to the IDF’s correspondence with the human rights group (which represented the families) concerning two high-profile cases – the deaths of Mustafa Tamimi and Rushdi Tamimi (no relation) – which were closed without any indictments being filed. The relevant documents and correspondence are classic examples of the manner in which the military advocate general conducts investigations into Palestinian fatalities.
    Mustafa Tamimi’s death occurred in December 2011, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. Following prayer services at the mosque, the local residents gathered in the village square, where their usual Friday ritual commenced. They attempted to march toward their farmland, which had been expropriated “for military purposes” and upon which the settlement of Neve Tzuf was established. The army deployed in order to prevent them from exiting the village. The two sides confronted each other. Initially there were songs, followed by curses, and then someone threw a stone at the soldiers. They responded with tear gas and the marchers dispersed. The stone throwers remained.
    For hours, the two sides played cat and mouse, one side throwing stones, the other firing tear gas. This is the norm in the village every Friday.
    However, things didn’t follow the usual script on December 9. Photos taken by Haim Schwartzenberg documented what happened at 14:26: An army jeep with soldiers from the Kfir Brigade inside was on a stone-strewn road outside the village. Two Palestinians wielding stones approached them, one with his face covered and the other wearing a gas mask. A stone was thrown and the back door of the jeep opened just a fraction. A tear-gas canister was fired from the jeep and hit the Palestinian wearing the gas mask in the head. The jeep moved away as the man fell to the ground, bleeding profusely.
    The wounded man was Mustafa, a 28-year-old from the village. Soon, many of the marchers gathered around him, photographing his smashed head from all angles. He was quickly put into a Palestinian taxi, which took him to a nearby checkpoint.
    “I opened the taxi door,” recounted a paramedic later, “and saw him unconscious, breathing with a rattle. The whole right side of his face under the eyes was ripped.”
    Tamimi was taken to Beilinson Hospital, Petah Tikva, where doctors commended the treatment provided by the female paramedic. However, he died the next morning. A slingshot was found in his pocket.
    Rushdi Tamimi’s death took place a year later, on November 17, 2012. The West Bank was seething as Operation Pillar of Defense raged in Gaza. There were incidents on the terraces lying between Nabi Saleh and the adjacent road, which links settlements in the Binyamin regional council and Israel’s center. A reserves’ military unit was summoned to protect the road.
    Video footage documented soldiers running toward Rushdi Tamimi, who was lying on the ground. The soldiers surrounded him and moved those present back. He was taken to hospital with a bullet in his stomach, but died two days later. A military inquiry found that a “mistake” had occurred, contravening the army’s values.
    For 90 minutes, the army had fired all the tear gas at its disposal, until it ran out. A medic was sent to get more, but in the meantime soldiers switched to using live ammunition, firing 80 bullets at demonstrators until the lethal one hit Rushdi Tamimi. In a highly exceptional move, the company commander was dismissed after the incident.

  • La sécurité de Netanyahu veut faire déshabiller un photographe, la presse s’indigne
    Belga News | Publié le lundi 23 mai 2016 à 18h45

    L’Association de la presse étrangère (FPA) en Israël a protesté lundi contre le traitement par la sécurité du Premier ministre d’un photographe auquel il a été demandé de se déshabiller avant de couvrir la rencontre entre Benjamin Netanyahu et son homologue français.

    Le journaliste ayant refusé de retirer ses vêtements et été interdit d’accès, les agences de presse étrangères se sont retrouvées sans photos indépendantes de l’évènement.

    Les agences membres de la FPA, dont l’Agence France-Presse, ont refusé par solidarité et en forme de protestation d’utiliser les photos qui auraient été mises à leur disposition par le bureau de presse du gouvernement.

    Atef Safadi, photographe « établi et respecté » travaillant pour l’agence EPA (l’agence européenne de photographie de presse), avait été choisi pour assurer le « pool » photo de la rencontre, c’est-à-dire photographier l’évènement et redistribuer ensuite au reste de la profession, afin d’éviter une trop forte affluence de journalistes.(...)


    • Qui est Atef Safadi ?

      Atef Safadi | Photographers | epa european pressphoto agency

      Atef Safadi is epa’s chief photographer for Israel and the Palestinian Territories. His career started with a local Israeli newspaper in 1996. He then moved to the newspaper Haaretz in 1997, and AFP as a freelancer in the North of Israel. At that time he covered part of the first Israeli-Lebanese war, and the Israeli withdrawal from Southern Lebanon in the year 2000. Later on Atef moved to Jerusalem to cover the Second Palestinian Intifada. In 2003 he joined epa as staff Photographer in Israel/Palestinian Territories.
      Since 2003 he had been based in Ramallah, covering news events all over Israel and the Palestinian Authority, covered Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in the year 2005, the second Israeli-Lebanese war in 2006, and the Gaza War.
      In 2015, Atef Safadi was appointed epa’s chief photographer for Israel and the Palestinian Territories and is based in Jerusalem, Israel.

  • To Peter Beinart: We pro-BDS Jews Are Just as Much Part of the Jewish People as You Are -

    The arguments for BDS attract ever more Jewish students, triggering the Jewish establishment’s frenzied counterattack, clinging to the status quo, while a seismic shift is underway in the U.S. Jewish community.
    Ben Lorber May 09, 2016 5:43 PM

    The stories of Jewish students who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) of Israel until it ends its violations of Palestinian rights are often painful stories of exclusion from the Jewish community.

    They tell me, in my capacity as Campus Coordinator with the pro-BDS organization Jewish Voice for Peace, that they can no longer attend Shabbat at Hillel without facing steely stares and cold shoulders from staff; that the rabbi of their synagogue back home devoted his entire Rosh Hashanah sermon to the “evils of the BDS movement”; that they can’t attend a family gathering without someone calling them a self-hating Jew.

    But there’s another kind of story they tell me as well. A wave of anti-occupation freshmen and sophomores just joined their JVP chapter; the president of their Hillel board just publicly criticized the occupation, and called for JVP to be given a seat at the table; their old friend from Hebrew school confessed in a private message that she, too, supports BDS as a tool to achieve justice for Palestinians, but is afraid to say so publicly.

    With this growing engagement, and the Jewish establishment’s frenzied counterattack, a seismic shift is occurring in the American Jewish community. The old consensus is crumbling, and a new Jewish world is emerging.

    So when liberal columnist Peter Beinart told me recently in Haaretz that Jews like me have broken ‘the bonds of peoplehood’ by embracing BDS, I heard an assertion that reflects the consensus of the old Jewish world, not the contours of the new. In Beinart’s view, while pro-BDS Jews like me do indeed hold strong Jewish identities and build robust Jewish communities, the fact remains that we have broken sharply with the mainstream Jewish communal consensus.

    For embracing a call for solidarity from Palestinians who experience daily violence from the Israeli state, we are denounced from the local synagogue bimah, denied jobs at the local JCRC, and ridiculed around the local mah-jongg table. We have prioritized our ethical values over the commandment, in Beinart’s words, to ‘protect other Jews’. And for making this choice, we have excommunicated ourselves from klal Yisrael (the Jewish collective).

    But whose ‘peoplehood’ have we broken, exactly? Who determines the boundaries of what Beinart calls the collective ‘family’? Mainstream synagogues, with their ‘We Stand With Israel’ banners facing the street and Israeli flags adorning the bimah, are struggling to find members under the age of 50. In many places, a growing majority of Jews don’t pass through the doors of their community JCRC or their campus Hillel. For a variety of reasons, institutions like these have for decades been inaccessible not only to pro-BDS Jews, but to queer Jews, Jews of color, Jews from interfaith families, working-class Jews, disabled Jews, and many others.

    More and more Jews today are leaving establishment Jewish institutions: they are flocking to independent minyanim, alternative havurahs and DIY ritual spaces across the country. In these heterogenous alternative spaces, they find not only many Jews who are against the occupation, but also many Jews who support BDS. Spaces like these, and organizations like JVP, are striving to create exactly what yesterday’s withering institutions cannot- a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intergenerational, interfaith community centered around Jewish values of justice.

    What we see today is a phenomenon that has repeated itself throughout Jewish history- a movement of Jewish dissidents, who started agitating at the margins, have begun to transform the center of Jewish life. This should not surprise us. Jewish history, after all, is a tapestry woven through vibrant dissent, marked by passionate disagreement, shaped by outsiders and outcasts.

    To name but one example among many: the Zionist movement, for the first decades of its existence, was viewed as dangerous and marginal by most Jewish communities where it attempted to take root. Religious Jews warned that it uprooted Jews from Torah; liberal Jews warned that it uprooted Jews from the nations in which they strove to become full citizens; leftist Jews warned that it uprooted Jews from the movements for workers’ rights, social equality and national autonomy then sweeping the globe. Like pro-BDS Jews today, Zionists were seen by most, in the early decades of their emergence, as challenging Jewish unity, and even as encouraging physical and existential threats to the Jewish people.

    The truth is that we, the Jewish people, have not moved through history as a compact and homogenous entity, bound by stable borders. Rather, we are marked ‘from time immemorial’ by passionate, often foundation-shattering internal struggle. The boundaries and contours of our peoplehood are always in dynamic flux, and we are often propelled forward by outsider ideologies that, at first, are profoundly threatening to the majority. Things change. Ideas that, in one era, appear antithetical to our continuity as a community, later emerge as celebrated norms.

    Today, the American Jewish community is at a tipping point. There are growing numbers of Jews like me who support BDS as a strategic, accountable, nonviolent way to participate in the movement for justice for Palestinians, and a growing community of anti-occupation Jews who respect the use of those tactics even when their activism takes different forms.

    Those who are trying to expel us beyond the bonds of peoplehood are clinging to a status quo that is shifting under their feet. We know these bonds to be more elastic, this peoplehood more expansive, and this community more capable of transformation than they believe. Just as yesterday’s Jews would be shocked to see that it is considered more heretical for Jews today to question the State of Israel than to question belief in God, tomorrow’s Jews will inhabit a community that, to today’s mainstream, appears equally unrecognizable.

    Those of us Jews who support the tactics of BDS are not simply choosing to prioritize our ethical values over Jewish unity. Rather, we are working to transform our Jewish communities into ones that reflect our values. Pro-BDS Jews like me are not here to free Palestinians, or tell them how to free themselves. As we see it, our work is to align our community with a call for justice from Palestinians, and to contribute to the growing, diverse movement for equality and freedom.

    Ben Lorber works as Campus Coordinator with Jewish Voice for Peace. He has written articles for a variety of progressive publications, and has previously worked with immigrant justice and workers’ rights organizations throughout the United States. He lives in Chicago, IL.


  • The Israeli Generals Who Shoot and Cry and Shoot Again

    It’s nice that some of Israel’s most senior commanders are sounding the moral alarm, but what are they doing to change anything?

    Gideon Levy, Haaretz, May 08, 2016 2:42 AM

    And here they come, those new-old sensitive heroes, soldiers who shoot but cry over it, a 2016 version of the Six-Day War soldiers featured in “The Seventh Day: Soldiers Talk about the Six-Day War.” In the Six-Day War, they were soldiers who shot and cried and were therefore considered moral. After the second intifada that broke out in 2000, there were the old-boy “gatekeepers,” (the former Shin Bet security service directors) who suddenly sobered up and were deemed men of conscience.
    Now it’s the turn of the most senior commanders in office who are sobering up and sounding the alarm, the threesome of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and Deputy Chief of Staff Yair Golan. It could have impressed and inspired respect had it not been for one tiny problem. The three aren’t doing a thing to change the situation that they are taking exception to.
    These nice and principled military figures are beloved on the center-left, which has always dreamed about ethical generals who make eloquent Holocaust Remembrance Day speeches, but they are nothing more than empty salves to the conscience of the purportedly enlightened tribe.
    Ya’alon, Eisenkot and Golan said some things that are correct and resounding. Ya’alon warned against the army becoming bestial. For his part, Eisenkot doesn’t want soldiers to empty their ammunition cartridges on 13-year-old girls. And last week on Holocaust Day, Golan said he saw concerning signs reminiscent of pre-Holocaust Germany in Israel.
    It’s hard not to appreciate their courage, but we cannot ignore the fact that these are not three observers from the sidelines. All three bear direct and heavy responsibility for the situation that they are criticizing and have contributed for years to bringing it about.
    They head the IDF, which is one of the most major agents of damage to Israeli society. They are in charge of an army most of whose operations consist of maintaining the occupation through brutal force. And anyone who heads an occupation army, who has commanded some of its worst military operations, lacks the necessary moral authority to preach morality — unless they have truly changed.
    Ya’alon is warning about the army becoming bestialized? But it is he who has been in charge of it, first as IDF chief of staff and currently as defense minister. Who can change it, if not him? Eisenkot doesn’t want soldiers emptying their bullets into a girl? He can prevent that. Golan sees signs causing him concern? Some of them originated in the army in which he serves as deputy chief of staff.
    So here’s a short reminder of the pasts of these new prophets of doom of Israel. Ya’alon, the former clarinetist and farmer, was IDF chief of staff during the Defensive Shield offensive in the West Bank in 2002 and for Operation Days of Penitence in Gaza in 2004, operations that sowed horrifying death and destruction. Perhaps it was then that the bestialization of the IDF began. A few days before his comments of rebuke, Ya’alon set upon the veterans group Breaking the Silence, accusing it of treason. Even if he then retracted the accusation, his comments did not counter the bestialization, but rather contributed to it.
    Both Eisenkot and Golan are former commanders of the IDF’s West Bank division. They are well aware of what the occupation looks like and the harm it causes the occupied and the occupier. That same Eisenkot who now doesn’t want soldiers emptying a magazine into a girl was one of the fathers of the so-called Dahiya doctrine, through which the IDF emptied a lot more than magazines into many boys and girls in Lebanon. So why shouldn’t his troops continue to apply the doctrine in Hebron in the West Bank too?
    So why shouldn’t his troops continue to apply the doctrine in Hebron in the West Bank too?