person:reuven rivlin

  • Israel’s president to CNN: Fighting anti-Semitism alongside neo-fascists is ’absolutely impossible’

    Reuven Rivlin’s remarks come after PM Netanyahu praised Austria, Hungary for combating the issue

    Noa Landau SendSend me email alerts
    Nov 29, 2018

    President Reuven Rivlin responded on Thursday to a poll published by CNN earlier in the week that revealed the depth of anti-Semitism in Europe.
    Rivlin told CNN that anti-Semitism is ‘an evil that can be found anywhere – left and right, nationalist and religious’ and argued that combatting the phenomenon by forming coalitions with neo-fascist movements is impossible.
    >> The man challenging the narrative that Netanyahu is Israel’s one and only savior | Analysis ■ Germany’s Nazi-friendly, anti-Semitic far right has a new mission: Recruiting Jews | Opinion

    Rivlin’s comments come after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the right-wing leaders of Austria and Hungary for fighting anti-Semitism, a problem which Netanyahu said is fueled today by the ‘extreme left and radical Islamic pockets.’
    “I saw [Prime Minister] Viktor Orban in Hungary,” Netanyahu told CNN on Tuesday in response to the poll. ‘He’s opened up a center against anti-Semitism. I saw [Chancellor] Sebastian Kurz in Austria, he just held a conference against anti-Semitism, and that’s encouraging.’  
    In the interview Thursday, Rivlin told CNN that neo-fascism is ‘absolutely incompatible’ with Israel’s principles and values. “You cannot say ‘we admire Israel and want relations with your country, but we are neo-fascists,’" Rivlin said.
    “I meet leaders from all around the world – presidents and prime ministers – and they tell me that sometimes they need to work with movements like these to build coalitions and that although they are neo-fascists they are great admirers of Israel. I tell them that this is absolutely impossible,” Rivlin said.
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    According to the president, rejecting neo-fascists movements is a way of fighting anti-Semitism. ‘The fact that the President of Israel says to neo-fascist movements ‘you are persona non grata in the State of Israel’ is a statement that fights anti-Semitism in a concrete way. It is a statement that makes clear that memory is important and that we will not compromise on for the political expediency of the state of Israel,’ Rivlin said.
    CNN’s poll, conducted in seven European countries, found that a quarter of Europeans believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Additionally, more than one-third of respondents said they have no substantial knowledge of the Holocaust. One-third of respondents also said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals
    According to Rivlin, the problem can be fought by ‘strengthening memory’ and sticking ‘to the historical facts, not politicians’ talking points.’ Rivlin added that Israel must collaborate with other nations ‘to fight against xenophobia and discrimination, of which anti-Semitism is a variant.’

  • Demonstrate with the Arabs - Haaretz Editorial -
    The place of Livni and the other opposition leaders is in Rabin Square, alongside the Arab community. Their struggle is the struggle of all Israelis, Jews and Arabs alike

    Haaretz Editorial
    Aug 10, 2018 1:32 AM

    The demonstration called for Saturday night in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square by the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which represents Israel’s Arab community, is the most important of all the protests that have taken place against the nation-state law. It’s also one of the most important demonstrations in Israel in the past several years.
    No minority in Israel suffers as much discrimination as the Arab minority, which is also Israel’s largest minority. It is frequently the target of normalized, institutionalized racism. 
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    The nation-state law, which has sparked civic protests throughout Israeli society, was engineered precisely in order to strip the Arabs of their rights and subordinate them to rule by the Jews, the lords of the land, even at the price of sacrificing civic equality. This worldview has characterized despicable racist regimes throughout history, and its implementation in Israel is a black stain not only on the history of the state, but also on that of the Jewish people.
    The nation-state law is an especially ugly milestone in the right’s delegitimization campaign against the Arabs. It’s meant to mark them as enemies, as a fifth column; to cause strife between them and Jews; and to remove them from civil society. Given this, it’s regrettable that the leaders of the opposition, who warmly embraced the Druze community’s justified protest against the law, have decided not to attend this demonstration.
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    >> In Show of Renewed Activism, Arab Israelis to Protest Nation-state Law on Saturday
    Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, who came to the Druze demonstration last Saturday night, announced that she won’t attend the upcoming one because some Knesset members from the predominantly Arab  Joint List “don’t share my view that Israel is the nation-state of the Jews.” In the same breath, she declared her belief in “equal rights for all.” She thereby proved that even the left has adopted the right’s propaganda. If, as she says, Livni believes in equality for all and opposes the nation-state law — the issues of the demonstration — why is it even relevant what Joint List MKs think Israel’s character should be?
    Livni must meet the challenge that was posed to Israeli society by President Reuven Rivlin in his “four tribes” speech, in which he argued that Israel’s future depends on abandoning a worldview based on majority and minority in favor of one that is based on a partnership with the ultra-Orthodox and the Arabs, who don’t define themselves as Zionist. The place of Livni and the other opposition leaders Saturday night is in Rabin Square, alongside the Arab community. Their struggle is the struggle of all Israelis, Jews and Arabs alike.

  • French President Macron cancels Israel visit
    Itamar Eichner|Published: 08.08.18 , 10:54,7340,L-5324813,00.html

    After initially planning to arrive in the spring and then postponing to the fall, Macron cancels planned November visit; Paris doesn’t provide reason for cancellation, but it is likely tied to crisis the French president faces at home after his bodyguard was filmed assaulting protesters.

    (...) But some Israeli officials argued there was a different reason, claiming the French premier decided not to come to Israel because of the deadly protests on the Gaza border, and the way the trip might be perceived by the French public. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s bad health also played a factor.

    President Reuven Rivlin also cancelled his trip to France this year, but it is expected to be rescheduled for next year.

    The only one not to cancel his visit was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who traveled to Paris in June to meet with Macron.

  • INTERVIEW – Shlomo Sand : « Israël a voulu bâtir un mur institutionnel »
    Middle East Eye | Hassina Mechaï | 31 juillet 2018 |Dernière mise à jour : 01 août 2018

    « État juif ». Dès les origines du sionisme, l’expression était ambiguë. En intitulant son livre Der Judenstaat, le fondateur du sionisme, Theodor Herzl, entendait-il « l’État des Juifs » ou « l’État juif » ? Un État qui pourrait devenir l’État de chaque juif du monde ou un État qui plongerait ses racines dans le judaïsme ?

    À cette question qui traverse toutes les institutions israéliennes, la loi fondamentale adoptée ce 19 juillet semble enfin répondre. Celle-ci entre dans la catégorie des lois fondamentales qui constituent le socle constitutionnel en Israël. Désormais, l’État d’Israël est non seulement l’État des juifs, mais également un État juif.

    En dix points, cette loi dessine un régime politique où le caractère juif de l’État l’emporte désormais sur la démocratie. La loi énonce, entre autres, qu’Israël est la patrie historique du peuple juif, que la capitale d’Israël est le grand Jérusalem réunifié, que la langue officielle est l’hébreu et qu’Israël encouragera la colonisation juive.

    Or, vivent en Israël environ 1,6 million de citoyens non juifs, arabes de nationalité et israéliens de citoyenneté, Israël distinguant en effet nationalité et citoyenneté. Si la déclaration d’indépendance israélienne de 1948 pose que l’État « assurera une complète égalité de droits sociaux et politiques à tous ses citoyens, sans distinction de croyance, de race ou de sexe », c’est bien une vision ethniciste que vient entériner cette loi fondamentale.

    Le président Reuven Rivlin s’est d’ailleurs publiquement inquiété de cette nouvelle loi, tout comme les députés palestiniens arabes, qui y voient la juridicisation d’une citoyenneté de seconde classe et une rupture d’égalité de jure et de facto. L’historien israélien Shlomo Sand, auteur notamment de Comment le peuple juif fut inventé, explique qu’il s’agit en réalité d’une continuité du sionisme.

    Middle East Eye : Pourquoi cette loi fondamentale a-t-elle été adoptée maintenant ?

    Shlomo Sand : Je dirais, plutôt que « maintenant », pourquoi à notre époque ? Ce n’est pas la date de 2018 qui compte, ni même les années antérieures. Il faut plutôt remonter aux cinquante dernières années.
    Nous savons désormais qu’il n’y aura pas d’État palestinien dans les frontières de 1967. L’idée prévaut en Israël qu’il ne faut pas entrer dans un processus de compromis avec les Palestiniens. Cette idée est renforcée par le soutien inconditionnel de Donald Trump au gouvernement de Netanyahou.

    Face à ce qui est perçu comme la vraie menace, la menace démographique que constituent les 5 millions de Palestiniens qui vivent dans les territoires occupés et à Gaza, Israël a souhaité consolider constitutionnellement les bases juives de l’État.

    D’un côté, Israël ne veut pas libérer et « se » libérer des territoires occupés. Il ne le veut pas et n’y est pas obligé. Mais il refuse d’accorder aux Palestiniens sous occupation la citoyenneté israélienne, car cela changerait complètement les rapports démographiques, donc politiques, en Israël.

    Cette loi a été adoptée pour institutionnaliser la différence de fait qui existe entre Palestiniens et Israéliens, entre Arabes et juifs, surtout à cause de cette menace démographique.

    La base de cette loi traduit, au fond, une fragilité de l’État d’Israël. D’abord parce que cet État n’est pas certain d’être juif. Selon moi, il n’y a pas de culture juive laïque, même s’il existe une culture israélienne. Pour se défendre de cette symbiose avec le monde environnant, Israël a voulu bâtir un mur institutionnel qui est censé défendre l’identité juive. (...)

  • A law that tells the truth about Israel
    The nation-state law makes it plain. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. It’s easier this way for everyone
    Gideon Levy Jul 12, 2018 5:01 AM -

    The Knesset is about to legislate one of its most important laws ever, and the one most in keeping with reality. The nation-state law will put an end to Israel’s vague nationalism and present Zionism as it is. The law will also put an end to the farce about Israel being “Jewish and democratic,” a combination that never existed and could never exist because of the inherent contradiction between the two values that cannot be reconciled, except by deception.

    If the state is Jewish, it cannot be democratic, because of the lack of equality; if it’s democratic, it cannot be Jewish, because a democracy does not bestow privilege based on ethnicity. So now the Knesset has decided: Israel is Jewish. Israel is declaring that it is the nation-state of the Jewish people, not a state of its citizens, not a state of the two peoples that live within it, and has therefore ceased to be an egalitarian democracy, not just in practice but also in theory. That’s why this law is so important. It is a truthful law.

    The uproar over the bill was intended mainly as an effort to continue the policy of national ambiguity. The president and the attorney general, the ostensible guardians of decency, protested and received compliments from the liberal camp. The president shouted that the law would be “a weapon in the hands of Israel’s enemies,” and the attorney general warned about the “international ramifications.”

    The prospect of Israel’s veil being removed before the world prompted them to act. Reuven Rivlin, it must be said, cried out with great vigor and courage against the clause allowing community-acceptance committees to screen residents and its implications for the regime, but most liberals were simply horrified to read the reality when it was worded as a law.

    Mordechai Kremnitzer, in Tuesday’s Haaretz, also cried out in vain when he said the bill would “foment a revolution, no less. It will spell the end of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state ...” He added that the bill would make Israel “a leader among nationalist countries like Poland and Hungary,” as if it isn’t already and hasn’t been for a long time. In Poland and Hungary there is no tyranny over another people lacking rights, which has become a permanent reality and an inseparable part of how this state and its regime operate, with no end in sight.

    All those years of hypocrisy were pleasant. It was nice to say that apartheid was only in South Africa, because there everything was rooted in racial laws, and we had no such laws. To say that Hebron is not apartheid, the Jordan Valley is not apartheid, and that the occupation really isn’t part of the regime. To say that we were the only democracy in the region, even with the occupation.

    It was nice to claim that since Israeli Arabs can vote, we are an egalitarian democracy. To point out that there’s an Arab party, even if it’s excluded from any influence. To point out that Arabs can be admitted to the Jews’ hospitals; that they can study in the Jews’ universities and live anywhere they choose. (You bet.)

    How enlightened we are; our Supreme Court ruled in the Kaadan case that an Arab family could buy a home in Katzir, after years of litigation and endless evasion. How tolerant we are that the Arabs are permitted to speak Arabic, an official language. The latter was certainly a fiction; Arabic never was remotely treated as an official language, the way Swedish is in Finland, where the minority is far smaller than the Arab minority here.

    It was comfortable to ignore that the lands owned by the Jewish National Fund, which include most of the state’s lands, were for Jews only – with the progressive Supreme Court backing that stance – and claim we’re a democracy. It was much more pleasant to think of ourselves as egalitarian.

    Now there will be a law that tells the truth. Israel is for Jews only, on the books. The nation-state of the Jewish people, not of its residents. Its Arabs are second-class citizens and its Palestinian subjects are hollow, nonexistent. Their fate is determined in Jerusalem, but they aren’t part of the state. It’s easier this way for everyone.

    There remains a small problem with the rest of the world, and with Israel’s image, which this law will tarnish somewhat. It’s no big deal. Israel’s new friends will be proud of this law. For them it will be a light unto the nations. And people of conscience all over the world already know the truth and have long been struggling against it. A weapon for the BDS movement? Certainly. Israel has earned it, and will now legislate it.

  • Pas assez de soutien pour transférer l’ambassade de Roumanie à Jérusalem
    FranceSoir | Publié le : Jeudi 26 Avril 2018

    La Première ministre roumaine Viorica Dancila a affirmé jeudi qu’elle souhaitait le transfert de l’ambassade de son pays à Jérusalem, mais qu’elle ne disposait pas d’assez de soutien en Roumanie pour une telle initiative.

    « Nous menons des consultations sur ce sujet avec toutes les institutions en Roumanie », a affirmé Mme Dancila lors d’une rencontre à Jérusalem avec le président israélien Reuven Rivlin.

    « C’est notre souhait (le transfert), mais malheureusement nous ne disposons pas du soutien de la part de toutes les parties comme nous le voudrions », a-t-elle déploré.


  • Israel is the terrorist

    Young Palestinians are not carrying out acts of terror- they are leading a desperate struggle against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they

    Ilana Hammerman Apr 05, 2018

    About a week ago, on the highway between Hermesh and Mevo Dotan, two soldiers were killed and two were injured by a car that was driven by a resident of Barta’a. There are not many Israelis who know where these settlements are located and in what kind of reality they exist. But the vast majority probably have no doubt who was the terrorist here, and who, the innocent victim, and they hope for the fulfillment of the vow made by President Reuven Rivlin, who declared after the incident: “We will not rest until we bring all the collaborators to justice; we will not allow terrorism to become a reality.”
    The problem is that terror has long since become the reality, and the entity that has allowed and is allowing this to happen is the State of Israel. Look at the map and find Barta’a, and maybe you’d even be interested in going there and seeing and hearing how its residents live and what their surroundings are like. I happened to do so a few days before the car-ramming incident, and it was completely clear to me – and not for the first time – that this reality is a product of the ongoing policy of terror pursued by generations of Israeli governments, and that it is this policy that gives rise to the acts of resistance against it.
    What’s amazing is only that there aren’t more such acts, because it’s really and truly an intolerable situation. Barta’a al-Sharqiya is located east of Wadi Ara, between the Green Line and the separation barrier. In that location the fence makes a major detour into the West Bank in order to include in Israeli territory four settlements with names as fresh and pleasant as the fruit of the field and its fragrances: Shaked (Almond), Reihan (Basil), Hinanit (Daisy) and Tal Menashe (Dew of Menashe).
    Within this enclave there are also four Arab villages, the largest of which is Barta’a al-Sharqiya. This entire enclave, with its fences, checkpoints and military forces, exists and thrives only for the benefit of the settlers who settled in it and next to it. The people who have been living for ages in the Arab villages in this part of the country suddenly found themselves penned in and subject to a diabolical maze of orders and regulations: They are not allowed to enter Israel to the west, while to the east, in the West Bank– their natural living space – two checkpoints were set up for them, via which they must leave and enter during opening hours and with the permission and good graces of the soldiers and private security guards posted there.
    A few are also allowed to bring food and merchandise in their cars via the checkpoints, with restrictions. Palestinians who live outside the enclave – who are members of the same nation as those living within it, and often their relatives – are not permitted to enter unless they have “special permits.”
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    Farmers from outside the enclave found themselves cut off from their land, and they too must request special permits and must enter and leave through special gates and at predetermined opening hours, in order to cultivate their fields. The settlements of Hermesh and Mevo Dotan are also situated in the area of the West Bank, but outside the enclave. The point is that every such settlement that is built In the West Bank – in which not a single dunam belongs to the State of Israel – disrupts the lives of the Palestinian villages in the area in ways that a free citizen would find difficult even to imagine.

    That’s the reality there, and it’s one of state-sponsored terror, the State of Israel. Because what is land confiscation on a huge scale, what are restrictions on freedom of movement, and with it freedom of employment and commerce, home demolitions, the imposition of curfews and closures, the building of innumerable fences and walls and the deployment of military forces armed to the teeth, in the heart of a Palestinian civilian population, in order to protect an Israeli civilian population that settled among it by force – what are all these if not terror, in other words, a war against unarmed citizens?
    And so, in this situation a young Palestinian girl stands in the back yard of her home in Nabi Saleh and slaps an Israeli soldier who was sent to her village only in order to guard the settlement of Halamish, which also thuggishly stuck itself deep inside the area of the West Bank; and in this situation two young women arrive at the checkpoint in the heart of Hebron, each one separately, with a knife in their hand or their bag, and the armed soldiers – who are there in order to protect a violent Jewish settlement, which expelled tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and incessantly abuses those who survived – shoot them dead.
    And in this situation demonstrators emerge in the heart of the cities of Jericho, Bethlehem or the outskirts of the village of Beit Ummar, carrying stones and tires for burning and incendiary devices, to confront soldiers armed with machine guns and stun and gas grenades, who invade their communities and their homes day and night and injure and kill those who resist them and flee from them; and in this situation a young man comes from Barta’a and runs over and kills and injures soldiers – who are posted there only to protect the settlements that were generously built north and south of his village, and because of which the crowded village is doomed to economic and human strangulation.
    What are the acts of these young people? Terror? No, this is a desperate struggle by groups and individuals, who from the day they were born have nothing to hope for, against an army that is a thousand times stronger than they. And what is this army defending: The security of its country? No, it is defending the choice of Israeli governments to use terror to impose the “state of the Jewish people” on the entire region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
    I would like to make these things clear out of a belief in the power of words to shape consciousness. And sometimes political involvement as well.

  • Israel sets up secret firm with top ex-generals, envoys for online ’mass awareness’ campaign ’to fight delegitimization’

    Among the shareholders are former UN ambassador Dore Gold and ex-generals Amos Yadlin and Yaakov Amidror. The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law

    Noa Landau Jan 09, 2018 3:26 PM
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    The Strategic Affairs Ministry has set up a public-benefit corporation to engage in what it calls “mass awareness activities” as part of “the struggle against the delegitimization campaign” against Israel internationally.
    Haaretz has obtained a list of the shareholders and directors of the company, Kella Shlomo, who include former Israeli ambassadors to the United Nations.
    The government recently allocated 128 million shekels ($37 million) to the initiative, in addition to the 128 million shekels it will raise from private donors around the world.
    The new initiative will not be subject to the Freedom of Information Law, in accordance with the secrecy policy of the ministry, which refuses to release detailed information about its activities.
    The shareholders and directors include former ministry director general Yossi Kuperwasser; former UN ambassador Dore Gold, who is also a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and former UN ambassador Ron Prosor.

    Reuven Rivlin with Amos Yadlin. Mark Neiman

    FILE PHOTO: Protestors march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, southern France, on June 13, 2015George Robert / AP
    They also include businessman Micah Avni, whose father, Richard Lakin, was killed in a 2015 terror attack in Jerusalem; Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, who heads the Institute for National Security Studies; and Col. (res.) Miri Eisin, who served as the prime minister’s adviser on the foreign press during the Second Lebanon War.
    skip - Israel Publishes BDS Blacklist

    Also on the list are a former National Security Council chief, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, and Sagi Balasha, a former CEO of the Israeli-American Council, which has casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as a major supporter.

    Most refused to discuss the initiative and referred questions to the office of Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan.
    The most recent data from the Companies Authority shows that the last report the company submitted to the authority came this past October. On December 28, the cabinet approved an allocation of 128 million shekels to the company over three years. The decision to provide the funding was made by the special procedure under which a government resolution is distributed to the ministers and goes into effect automatically if no one objects or demands a discussion.
    According to the government resolution, the funding was granted “to implement part of the ministry’s activities related to the struggle against the phenomena of delegitimization and boycotts against the State of Israel.” It says the agency will work to raise its portion of the financing for the initiative (around half) from “philanthropic sources” or “pro-Israel organizations.” A steering committee will be appointed for the initiative to comprise government representatives and representatives of the other funding partners.

    Ron Prosor at the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon oath ceremony forr his appointment as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for second termShachar Ezran
    Itamar Baz of the media watchdog website The Seventh Eye has been covering the Strategic Affairs Ministry, most of whose activities are concealed from the public. He reported Monday that while ministry officials have for months been advancing legislation that would exclude the company from being subject to the Freedom of Information Law, the law in any case does not apply to this new agency so its activities will be easy to hide.
    He also revealed that Liat Glazer, the ministry’s legal adviser, wrote in a legal opinion that the activities conducted through the company would be “those that require ‘non-governmental’ discussions with various target audiences.”
    According to a ministry document, Kella Shlomo people would work via social networks because “the enemy directs most of its awareness and motivating efforts to this area.” Similarly, the document, published by The Seventh Eye, says the organization was expected to carry out “mass awareness activities” and work to “exploit the wisdom of crowds,” an activity defined as “making new ideas accessible to decision-makers and donors in the Jewish world, and developing new tools to combat the delegitimization of Israel.”
    A report in the daily Yedioth Ahronoth the day after the cabinet approved the funding described the initiative positively, saying it would “raise the level of efforts in the struggle against BDS” — the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Yedioth said the new company would “provide a speedy and coordinated response to efforts to stain Israel’s image around the world,” for example, in the event of a military operation, terror attacks or UN votes against government policies.
    This would be done by launching online campaigns, lobbying, engaging organizations abroad and bringing delegations to Israel.
    The Strategic Affairs Ministry declined to clarify whether the company would act in accordance with the principles of the Freedom of Information Law.
    “This is a joint initiative that meets all the requirements of the law for this type of engagement and is similar to other government initiatives like Taglit [Birthright] and Masa,” the ministry said.
    “In the agreement with [the company] there are distinct control procedures, as defined by the Finance Ministry and the Justice Ministry during the joint work with them on setting up the project. It will be subject to auditing by the state comptroller,” it added.
    “In addition, as the ministry leading the initiative, one that attributes great importance to it as part of the campaign against the delegitimization of Israel, the ministry has allocated additional control tools and functions to what is required. Both the ministry’s legal adviser and its controller will sit on the steering committee managing the project.”
    skip - WTF is BDS?

  • Le président israélien refuse de gracier un soldat ayant achevé un Palestinien
    19 nov 2017 | Mise à jour 19.11.2017

    Le président israélien Reuven Rivlin a rejeté dimanche la demande de grâce d’un soldat franco-israélien reconnu coupable et condamné pour avoir achevé un assaillant palestinien blessé.

    Membre d’une unité paramédicale, le soldat franco-israélien Elor Azaria a été filmé le 24 mars 2016 alors qu’il tirait une balle dans la tête du Palestinien Abdel Fattah al-Sharif qui venait d’attaquer des soldats au couteau à Hébron en Cisjordanie, territoire palestinien occupé depuis 50 ans par Israël.

    Atteint par balles, il gisait au sol, apparemment hors d’état de nuire quand Elor Azaria l’a achevé. La vidéo s’était propagée sur les réseaux sociaux.
    Amnesty international avait dénoncé une peine « qui ne reflète pas la gravité » des faits commis par cet ancien soldat tandis qu’un comité de l’ONU la qualifiait « d’inacceptable » pour "ce qui « paraît être une exécution extra-judiciaire ».

    « Un allégement supplémentaire de votre peine nuirait aux forces armées et à l’Etat d’Israël », a souligné le président israélien.

  • As violence intensifies, Israel continues to arm Myanmar’s military junta
    Responding to a petition filed by human rights activists, Defense Ministry says matter is ’clearly diplomatic’
    By John Brown Sep. 3, 2017 | 5:58 PM

    The violence directed at Myanmar’s Rohingya minority by the country’s regime has intensified. United Nations data show that about 60,000 members of the minority group have recently fled Myanmar’s Rahine state, driven out by the increasing violence and the burning of their villages, information that has been confirmed by satellite images. But none of this has led to a change in the policy of the Israeli Defense Ministry, which is refusing to halt weapons sales to the regime in Myanmar, the southeast Asian country formerly known as Burma.

    On Thursday, the bodies of 26 refugees, including 12 children, were removed from the Naf River, which runs along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Of the refugees who managed to reach Bangladesh, many had been shot. There were also reports of rapes, shootings and fatal beatings directed at the Rohingya minority, which is denied human rights in Myanmar. The country’s army has been in the middle of a military campaign since October that intensified following the recent killing of 12 Myanmar soldiers by Muslim rebels.

    Since Burma received its independence from Britain in 1948, civil war has been waged continuously in various parts of the country. In November 2015, democratic elections were held in the country that were won by Nobel Prize-winning human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi. But her government doesn’t exert real control over the country’s security forces, since private militias are beholden to the junta that controlled Myanmar prior to the election.

    Militia members continue to commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of human rights around the country, particularly against minority groups that are not even accorded citizenship. Since Myanmar’s military launched operations in Rahine last October, a number of sources have described scenes of slaughter of civilians, unexplained disappearances, and the rape of women and girls, as well as entire villages going up in flames. The military has continued to commit war crimes and violations of international law up to the present.

    Advanced Israeli weapons

    Despite what is known at this point from the report of the United Nations envoy to the country and a report by Harvard University researchers that said the commission of crimes of this kind is continuing, the Israeli government persists in supplying weapons to the regime there.

    One of the heads of the junta, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, visited Israel in September 2015 on a “shopping trip” of Israeli military manufacturers. His delegation met with President Reuven Rivlin as well as military officials including the army’s chief of staff. It visited military bases and defense contractors Elbit Systems and Elta Systems.

    The head of the Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate — better known by its Hebrew acronym, SIBAT — is Michel Ben-Baruch, who went to Myanmar in the summer of 2015. In the course of the visit, which attracted little media coverage, the heads of the junta disclosed that they purchased Super Dvora patrol boats from Israel, and there was talk of additional purchases.

    In August 2016, images were posted on the website of TAR Ideal Concepts, an Israeli company that specializes in providing military training and equipment, showing training with Israeli-made Corner Shot rifles, along with the statement that Myanmar had begun operational use of the weapons. The website said the company was headed by former Israel Police Commissioner Shlomo Aharonishki. Currently the site makes no specific reference to Myanmar, referring only more generally to Asia.

    Who will supervise the supervisors?

    Israel’s High Court of Justice is scheduled to hear, in late September, a petition from human rights activists against the continued arms sales to Myanmar.

    In a preliminary response issued in March, the Defense Ministry argued that the court has no standing in the matter, which it called “clearly diplomatic.”

    On June 5, in answer to a parliamentary question by Knesset member Tamar Zandberg on weapons sales to Myanmar, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel “subordinates [itself] to the entire enlightened world, that is the Western states, and first of all the United States, the largest arms exporter. We subordinate ourselves to them and maintain the same policy.”

    He said the Knesset plenum may not be the appropriate forum for a detailed discussion of the matter and reiterated that Israel complies with “all the accepted guidelines in the enlightened world.”

    Lieberman statement was incorrect. The United States and the European Union have imposed an arms embargo on Myanmar. It’s unclear whether the cause was ignorance, and Lieberman is not fully informed about Israel’s arms exports (even though he must approve them), or an attempt at whitewashing.

    In terms of history, as well, Lieberman’s claim is incorrect. Israel supported war crimes in Argentina, for example, even when the country was under a U.S. embargo, and it armed the Serbian forces committing massacres in Bosnia despite a United Nations embargo.


  • En visite en Israël, Kagame salue une coopération « fleurissante »
    AFP | 11 Juil 2017

    Le président rwandais Paul Kagame a déclaré lundi chercher à développer le commerce et la coopération avec Israël, lors d’une visite à Jérusalem, nouveau signe d’un réchauffement des relations entre l’Etat hébreu et l’Afrique.

    En juillet 2016, le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu s’était rendu dans quatre pays africains, dont le Rwanda, et a assisté en juin dernier à un sommet des dirigeants ouest-africains au Liberia.

    « Israël continue à accroître ses engagements en Afrique. C’est une tendance très positive », a ajouté le président rwandais qui a rencontré M. Netanyahu et le président israélien Reuven Rivlin.

    M. Kagame a affirmé que la coopération entre Israël et les nations africaines avait « fleuri dans de nombreux domaines », dont la technologie, l’agriculture, l’énergie et la sécurité. « Nous avons hâte de renforcer notre coopération avec Israël ».


  • Netanyahu to German Foreign Minister: Cancel meeting with Israeli leftists or we won’t meet
    Germans say meetings with B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence still scheduled after prime minister issues ultimatum to Sigmar Gabriel, who is visiting Israel.
    Barak Ravid Apr 24, 2017 11:54 PM

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demanding that German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who arrived on Monday for a visit to Israel, cancel his planned meeting on Tuesday with representatives of B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.

    Senior officials in the Prime Minister’s Office said that Netanyahu issued an ultimatum to Gabriel, saying that if the latter does not cancel his meetings with the left-wing groups, the prime minister won’t meet with him. The ultimatum was first reported by Israel Channel 2 News.

    As of Monday night, the meeting with the two groups’ representatives had not been canceled, and German diplomats said it would take place. Netanyahu is scheduled to meet with Gabriel, but the meeting was not listed on his schedule for Tuesday given to the media. The meeting between Gabriel and the leftist groups is planned for Tuesday evening.

    The German foreign minister is expected to meet with President Reuven Rivlin and opposition chairman Isaac Herzog. Herzog issued a statement Monday condemning Netanyahu for the ultimatum and accused him of harming Israel’s foreign relations.

    “Netanyahu is fleeing from the field,” Herzog said. “Netanyahu’s ultimatum to the German foreign minister is a serious blow to Israel’s foreign relations with the biggest economy in Europe and a true friend of Israel. Instead of running away from the campaign, I call on Netanyahu to meet with the German foreign minister and present his positions and Israel’s positions, without fear of any organizations.”

    Two months ago, the Belgian ambassador to Israel was summoned to a clarification meeting at the Foreign Ministry after Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel met with representatives of Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem during his visit to Israel. The previous day Netanyahu had met with Michel and asked that the Belgian government stop funding left-wing organizations in Israel.

    The week before that, during his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London, Netanyahu asked that Britain stop funding Israeli left-wing groups, first and foremost Breaking the Silence

    • Netanyahu menace d’annuler un entretien avec un ministre allemand
      AFP / 25 avril 2017

      Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu menaçait mardi d’annuler un entretien prévu avec le chef de la diplomatie allemande Sigmar Gabriel si celui-ci rencontrait des représentants d’organisations critiques du gouvernement, a indiqué un responsable israélien.

      Ce responsable a confirmé auprès de l’AFP, sous couvert de l’anonymat, des informations d’abord rapportées par la chaîne israélienne Channel 2.

      L’annulation de l’entretien entre MM. Netanyahu et Gabriel représenterait un accroc rare dans les relations diplomatiques entre Israël et l’Allemagne, l’un des plus fermes soutiens européens de l’Etat israélien.

      Elle surviendrait cependant dans un contexte de rafraîchissement des relations entre les deux pays.

      M. Gabriel a dit mardi matin qu’une telle annulation serait « impensable ».

      « Nous apprenons par les médias israéliens que le Premier ministre Netanyahu, que j’ai de surcroît rencontré très souvent, veut annuler cette visite parce que nous voulons rencontrer des représentants critiques de la société civile », a-t-il déclaré à la télévision publique allemande ZDF.

      « Je peux à peine imaginer cela, car cela serait extrêmement regrettable », a-t-il ajouté, « il est tout à fait normal que, lors d’une visite à l’étranger, on parle à des représentants de la société civile ».

      M. Gabriel prévoit de rencontrer mardi des représentants de B’Tselem, une ONG israélienne qui documente les violations des droits de l’Homme dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés depuis 50 ans par l’Etat hébreu, et de Breaking the Silence, autre ONG israélienne qui offre sous le couvert de l’anonymat une plateforme aux soldats israéliens pour raconter leur vécu et dénoncer les agissements selon eux condamnables de l’armée.

      Les deux ONG comptent parmi les bêtes noires du gouvernement israélien.

    • Netanyahu annule une rencontre avec un ministre allemand
      AFP / 25 avril 2017

      Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a annulé mardi une rencontre avec le chef de la diplomatie allemande Sigmar Gabriel après une dispute très inhabituelle sur le programme du ministre.

      M. Netanyahu avait prévenu qu’il ne recevrait pas M. Gabriel si ce dernier rencontrait en soirée des représentants de deux ONG israéliennes très critiques de son gouvernement.

      Cette annulation est un rare accroc public dans les relations d’Israël avec l’Allemagne, qui est un de ses plus fermes soutiens européens.

      Elle survient dans un contexte de rafraîchissement des relations bilatérales, notamment au sujet de la colonisation, c’est-à-dire la construction par Israël d’habitations civiles dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés, critiquée par Berlin.

      « Je peux confirmer que la rencontre est annulée », a affirmé à l’AFP un haut responsable israélien qui a requis l’anonymat. Il a précisé que l’annulation avait été décidée à l’initiative de Benjamin Netanyahu.

      M. Gabriel avait indiqué plus tôt qu’une telle annulation serait « impensable ».

    • B’Tselem to Netanyahu: We will not take orders or succumb to pressure
      April 26, 2017 4:30 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2017 4:30 P.M.)

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — After German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel met with Israeli human rights groups Tuesday night, in defiance of an ultimatum by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who asked the diplomat to cancel the meetings, B’Tselem — one of the organizations Gabriel met with — affirmed that it would not succumbed to pressure from Netanyahu and reiterated its opposition to the Israeli occupation.

      In a continuation of rising the Israeli government’s intolerance for criticism targeting the state, Netanyahu canceled a scheduled meeting with Gabriel, after the foreign minister committed to meeting with B’tselem, Breaking the Silence — a group dedicated to publicizing the testimonies of former Israeli soldiers who had committed or witnessed human rights violations while deployed in the occupied Palestinian territory — and other “left-wing” groups.

      The Israeli prime minister’s office said in a statement that Netanyahu’s policy was “not to meet foreign visitors who on trips to Israel meet with groups that slander (Israeli) soldiers as war criminals.” However, both Netanyahu and Gabriel have since assured that relations between Israel and Germany would not be harmed by the incident.

      Gabriel said that "you can’t get a proper and comprehensive picture in any country on Earth if you only meet in government offices,” and reportedly refused to take a phone call from Netanyahu on Tuesday afternoon explaining his position.


  • An Arab-free Knesset - Haaretz Editorial
    It is outrageous to demand that the elected representatives of Israel’s non-Jewish minority swear loyalty to the ’Jewish state.’

    Haaretz Editorial Mar 12, 2017
    read more:

    This morning, a few days after Likud MK Miki Zohar proposed annexing the West Bank without giving Palestinians the right to vote, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation is scheduled to discuss a bill that could harm the right of Arabs who are citizens of Israel to vote and to run for office. The proposed amendment to the Basic Law on the Knesset would add to the oath of office sworn by Knesset members — “to be loyal to the State of Israel” — the phrase “as a Jewish and democratic state, in accordance with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence, to preserve and to respect it symbols.”
    It is not by chance that the preamble to the draft law contains no mention of the purpose of the change. After all, it is obvious that no declaration of loyalty has the power to increase loyalty to the state. At best, the bill will cause hatred, anger and rebellion of Israel’s Arab minority. At worst it will reduce this community’s participation in the electoral process, thus dealing a mortal blow to Israeli democracy. From this it follows that the aim of the draft law is not to solve a problem, but rather to spark outrage and to impinge on the right of Arabs to vote and to run for office.
    For a large portion of Arab Knesset members, the oath’s revised version requires them to be untrue to themselves: For years, the term “Jewish state” means exclusion and discrimination. Even if it’s possible for a national home for Jews to exist here in the framework of a Jewish and democratic state in which all citizens enjoy complete equality, that is not the situation in practice. That being the case, it is outrageous to demand that the elected representatives of Israel’s non-Jewish minority swear loyalty to the “Jewish state.”
    In addition, since the interpretation of the concept “Jewish and democratic” is so controversial, there may also be Jews who are not willing to swear loyalty to it. If “Jewish state” might also include religious content, then what about atheists who call for absolute separation between religion and state? Other communities, such as ultra-Orthodox Jews, might not identify with the concept “Jewish and democratic.”
    President Reuven Rivlin, in his “four tribes” address to the Herzliya Conference in June 2015, said that we must accept that non-Zionists are a part of Israel, that the definition of a national home for the Jewish people in a Jewish and democratic state is a definition of Zionism, and that we cannot force all citizens to be Zionist against their will. In a democratic state, everyone has full freedom of conscience and no one is forced to swear loyalty as a condition for participating in the game of democracy and exercising the right to be elected. The frequent attempts to pass such laws only send a message of insecurity, as if Israel’s Jewish and democratic identity were in doubt.
    It is unwise to create a problem where none exists. The oath sworn by Knesset members today, of “loyalty to the State of Israel,” is sufficient. The government must reject the legislative proposal and stop passing laws whose sole purpose is to sow hatred and cause provocation.

    #apartheid #racism

  • Israel’s security experts redraw West Bank map for Trump era | The Times of Israel

    C’est le “Times of Israël”, je sais, mais je référence pour ls archives.

    Institute for National Security Studies urges growth only in settlement blocs, calls for developing parts of Area C for Palestinians

    By Andrew Tobin January 4, 2017, 7:53 am

    The security barrier that separates East Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp, on the right, from the Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

    JTA — Israel’s leading security think tank has published a plan to redraw the map of the West Bank in a bid to consolidate major settlements and prevent the spread of others.

    Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email
    and never miss our top stories Free Sign up!

    The plan, presented Monday to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as part of the Institute for National Security Studies’ yearly strategic survey, calls for the government to allow construction in West Bank settlement blocs and Jerusalem. At the same time, it recommends a halt to construction in the 90 percent of the territory outside the major settlements.

    In laying out the plan, researchers Assaf Orion and Udi Dekel argue that negotiations with the Palestinians are unlikely to lead to a final-status agreement. With relations deadlocked, they warn, Israel is drifting toward a single binational state with the Palestinians, which threatens its democratic and possibly Jewish identity.

    #israël #palestine #colonisation #cartographie #géostratégie #matrice #matrice_de_contrôle

    • Israël reporte le vote de lois sur les implantations et les muezzins
      AFP et Times of Israel Staff 30 novembre 2016

      Les députés devaient initialement voter mercredi en lecture préliminaire sur un texte qui reviendrait à interdire aux mosquées d’employer des haut-parleurs pour appeler les fidèles à la prière tôt le matin et tard le soir.

      Le projet indigne les musulmans et le président israélien, Reuven Rivlin.

      Ils devaient aussi se prononcer mercredi en première lecture, étape ultérieure à la lecture préliminaire, sur un autre texte, qui légaliserait au regard de la loi israélienne des milliers de logements israéliens en Cisjordanie.

      Ce projet met à l’épreuve la coalition de droite de Benjamin Netanyahu.

      Les deux votes ont été différés.

      « Le Parlement a été informé que le cabinet de sécurité avait finalement décidé mercredi matin de reporter ces votes à lundi », a dit à l’AFP un porte-parole de la Parlement.

      En fait, la loi sur les haut-parleurs devrait être soumise au Parlement le 7 décembre, a dit à l’AFP le député arabe Ahmad Tibi.

  • Le mouvement BDS condamne les tentatives de normalisation comme « une trahison nationale »
    dimanche 19 juin 2016 - Zena Tahhan

    Les hauts bureaucrates de l’Organisation de libération palestinienne (OLP) et les membres palestiniens de la Knesset israélienne ont été sévèrement critiqués par les groupes prônant le boycott d’Israël, pour leur participation à la conférence annuelle de Herzliya, une réunion clé de sécurité israélienne et de politique nationale.

    La conférence de deux jours, qui a eu lieu entre le 14 et 16 juin, a été suivie par de nombreux responsables israéliens de haut niveau dont le président Reuven Rivlin, le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu, les responsables de l’armée et des universitaires.

    Ayman Odeh, tête de la liste commune arabe à la Knesset israélienne, Ahmed Majdalani et Ghassan al-Shakaa, membres du comité exécutif de l’OLP, et Elias al-Zananiri, vice-président du Comité de l’OLP pour l’interaction avec la société israélienne, étaient tous présents à la conférence.

    « Comment peuvent-ils participer à une conférence, où l’objectif principal est de maintenir et approfondir la sécurité de l’État occupant ? » demanda Mahmoud Nawajaa, le Coordonnateur général du Comité national palestinien pour la campagne BDS.

    Des militants de plusieurs groupes BDS locaux et internationaux ont critiqué la participation des responsables palestiniens, la présentant comme une forme de « normalisation » avec Israël.(...)

  • Netanyahu, Putin met amid reports of aerial incidents over Syria - Israel News, Ynetnews,7340,L-4795045,00.html

    Netanyahu, Putin met amid reports of aerial incidents over Syria

    Russian fighter jets have reportedly fired at Israeli aircraft at least twice, while in recent days a Russian jet was scrambled to intercept an IAF plane; Israel’s Air Force commander to meet with Russian defense minister, army generals about incidents.

    Fuité hier, confrmé ce matin, ça a dû être très chaud...

    #israël #russie #syrie

    • Russian forces in Syria fired on Israeli military aircraft - newspaper | Reuters

      Visiting Moscow on Thursday, Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin in televised remarks: “I came here with one main goal - to strengthen the security coordination between us so as to avoid mishaps, misunderstandings and unnecessary confrontations.

      In an apparent allusion to Syria, Putin said: “I think there are #understandable_reasons for these intensive contacts (with Israel), given the complicated situation in the region.

      According to Yedioth, the reported Russian fire on Israeli planes was first raised with Putin by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who visited Moscow on March 15. At the time, Putin responded that he was unaware of the incidents, Yedioth said.

    • Le « vol de routine » des F-15 israéliens les conduisait à survoler la base russe…

      Des sources militaires et des spécialistes des repérages aériens ont rapportés que 4 avions de chasse israéliens de type F15 en mission de routine en méditerranée ont repéré 2 avions russe de type SU-30 qui se rapprochaient dangereusement de leur itinéraire de vol. L’incident s’est produit non loin de la base aérienne russe « Hmeimim airbase », située en périphérie de Lattaquié en Syrie. Les Russes ont fait décoller les deux avions de chasse immédiatement après avoir identifié les 4 avions qui, pensaient-ils, allaient survoler la base russe, où sont entreposés les batteries anti-aériennes S-300 et S-400.

  • In Israel, BDS is winning | +972 Magazine
    By Mairav Zonszein |Published March 28, 2016

    It was a tell-tale sign that the global movement to boycott Israel has become significant enough to warrant such an event, whose speakers included President Reuven Rivlin, senior Knesset ministers, members of the opposition, World Jewish Congress head Ron Lauder and comedian Roseanne Barr. (There were, of course, no speakers at the conference who represent or support BDS).

    The cognitive dissonance became clear the moment the conference began. Yedioth Ahronoth Editor-in-Chief Ron Yaron told the crowd that the power of BDS cannot be underestimated, and that we do not want to find ourselves in the position Apartheid South Africa was in within 5 t0 10 years. Yaron immediately caveated that there is no connection between Israel and South Africa. Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who oversees government efforts at combating BDS, opened by saying that people should not “overemphasize” BDS.

    • Un ministre préconise des “éliminations ciblées” de militants BDS par les services secrets israéliens
      Publié le 29 mars 2016
      Sources : compte rendu du site +972 par Mairav Zonszein, et de Mondoweis par Antony Lowenstein, Jerusalem Post, Le Monde.

      Les orateurs se sont ensuite succédés à la tribune pour affirmer, dans un même souffle, que quoique BDS connaisse le succès ce n’est pas un succès ; que BDS n’est pas une menace mais que la menace que constitue BDS ne doit pas être prise à la légère ; que BDS n’a pas d’impact négatif sur l’économie israélienne, mais qu’Israël doit consacrer de plus gros budgets pour combattre l’impact économique BDS…

      Le Ministre du Renseignement, Yisrael Katz, a déclaré que Israël doit entreprendre des “éliminations ciblées de civils” visant des militants de BDS, avec l’aide des services secrets israéliens. Il s’agit du même ministre qui, juste après les attentats terroristes du 22 mars dernier à Bruxelles, avait finement ironisé sur la propension des Belges à aimer le chocolat et à profiter de la vie, ce qui selon lui expliquerait la facilité avec laquelle des jihadistes ont pu agir…

      Tzipi Livni – elle-même un ancien agent du “service action” du Mossad – a affirmé que c’est actuellement “réellement tendance d’être végétalien et de haïr Israël”. A un moment donné, Ron Lauder, le chef du Congrès Juif Mondial, a comparé les efforts pour mettre en place le boycott d’Israël aux “lois de Nuremberg” [1], tandis que Roseanne Barr, oratrice vedette de la conférence, a qualifié BDS de “fausse gauche” et de “fasciste”.

      Omar Bargouti, porte-parole le plus connu de BDS, a évidemment été la cible privilégiée de la conférence (il a été question de lui à plusieurs reprises quand les orateurs ont évoqué les récents efforts du gouvernement pour lui retirer son titre de séjour permanent), mais les mouvements de défense des droits humains ont eu droit eux aussi à leur part d’attaques, car ils sont accusés d’aider BDS.


  • Do not keep score in Russia’s polyamorous ties with Israel, Iran – Indian Punchline -
    By M K Bhadrakumar – March 17, 2016

    According to well-informed Israeli analysts, the current visit by President Reuven Rivlin to Moscow was literally decided by the Russian side who slotted it for March 16, which actually necessitated the cancellation of a previously scheduled visit by the president to Australia. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu simply prioritized that Russia ties are by far more important for his country at the present juncture of regional and international politics than anything Canberra could do for Tel Aviv.
    Nothing would bring out better the superlative quality of Israel’s ties with Russia at present. Netanyahu has done brilliantly well in gaining mastery (although no Kremlinologist) over the art of pulling strings in Moscow and getting decisions taken by the Russian leadership that accommodate Israel’s vital interests and core concerns. A “highly placed Israeli military source” reportedly drove home the point recently that unlike what Turkey did, Israel will never shoot down a Russian jet if it strays away from Syria into Israeli skies – not even if it flies directly over Tel Aviv (here).
    Something of the current flavour of the Israel-Russia ties is definitely surging at the meeting that Rivlin had with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on Wednesday, as evident from the Kremlin readout. Putin spoke of a “longstanding relationship… built on the basis of friendship and understanding”, and deep-rooted affinities in “culture and mentality” that impart a “special dimension” to the relationship. (Kremlin website)
    Rivilin didn’t mince words – “We also need to work together to fight fundamentalist terror”. The irony couldn’t have been lost on Putin who would know that Rivilin was alluding to Russia’s key allies in Syria – Iran and Hezbollah. Indeed, how far this curious tango, built on the rock of crusade against ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ becomes sustainable in the long run remains to be seen. Israel is fast approaching the ‘T” junction – to be exact, in another 9 months from now when President Barack Obama leaves office and becomes history. What thereafter?

    #Hezbollah #Russie #Iran #Syrie #Israël

  • Until I Came to Live in Israel, I Was Sure That Jews Were Smart -
    Detaining the Washington Post for ’incitement’: Unable to stem the terror attacks that now number as many as eight per day, the government has clearly decided that incitement, its declared mortal enemy, can now be its best friend.

    Bradley Burston Feb 16, 2016

    Opinion - Haaretz - Israeli News Source

    Until I came to live in Israel, years and years and years ago, I was sure that Jews were smart.
    I thought that if Jews ever had a country of their own, these people – with their passion for learning, their tragic heritage of persecution and oppression and exile and mass murder, their openness to new ideas, their appreciation of the values of democratic freedoms and of minority rights, and their demonstrated talents for international relations – would run their country accordingly.
    Instead of running it into the ground.
    CAVEAT: Over time, I’ve learned that, by and large, the Israeli on the street is a person of considerable acumen, who would support efforts by the government – if those efforts actually existed at all – to honestly pursue peace through diplomacy, reconciliation between Jews and Arabs, widening of rights to minorities, and moderation over extremism. 
    For proof, you need look no further than the popularity of Israel’s formal head of state Reuven Rivlin, a rightist who champions these values.

  • Don’t Shoot Down Breaking the Silence, It’s Just the Messenger - Israel News - Haaretz -
    Amos Harel Dec 19, 2015

    Breaking the Silence was founded in the spring of 2004. Four freshly released soldiers from the Nahal Brigade, who served long tours in Hebron during the height of the second intifada, organized an exhibition that documented their experiences, which was displayed at the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa. Although some people were outraged by the exhibition, the discussion about the soldiers’ claims was conducted far more calmly than it is today – despite the fact that, back then, suicide bombers were still blowing themselves up on buses in Israeli cities.

    The current Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, was the commander of all IDF forces in the West Bank at the time, and he raised a concern: Why did the founders of the organization not oppose the army actions while they were serving, or at least report on them in real time? His argument was unconvincing. In most cases, a corporal will have a hard time going before the company or battalion commander in real time and saying, “That’s not allowed.” They are not equals. Few soldiers – particularly during regular service – have the ability to make such complaints, especially at a time when military casualties are high and the atmosphere is charged.

    As the years went on, the IDF made two other, more substantial claims. The first regarded the difficulty in translating the soldiers’ testimonies into legal or disciplinary proceedings. Breaking the Silence has always maintained the testifiers’ anonymity, in order to protect them. And during cases where the military prosecutor was interested in investigating, such probes generally ended without results. IDF officials got the impression that publishing the testimonies was more important to Breaking the Silence than any legal proceedings. The IDF’s second claim pertains to the organization’s activities abroad. One can assume that this activity is mostly done for fundraising purposes, but holding exhibitions abroad and making claims about Israeli war crimes certainly offended many.

    This week, there was a new low point in the public campaign against the organization. This combined two trends, only one of which was open and obvious. The first is the direct attack on Breaking the Silence by the right, comprised mostly of McCarthyesque attempts to silence it. These attacks have a sanctimonious air to them. In the eyes of the attackers, the international community is ganging up on Israel, and Breaking the Silence is the source of all our troubles – everything would be fine if it weren’t for this group of despicable liars slandering Israel’s reputation.

    It is hard to shake the suspicion that the attacks against Breaking the Silence aren’t the act of an extensive network operating with at least a degree of coordination. What began as some accusations on Channel 20 continued with a venomous video published by the Im Tirtzu movement, which was immediately followed by demands from the My Israel group (founded by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked) to prohibit Breaking the Silence representatives from visiting schools. Somehow, Education Minister Bennett succumbed to their demands within a day. In the background, there was also a blatant attack on President Reuven Rivlin. At first, they tried to link him to Breaking the Silence. That failed, because the president made sure to defend the IDF’s moral standing at the HaaretzQ conference in New York. And then the “flag affair” happened, involving Rivlin, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and the Israeli flag.

    As usual, Im Tirtzu delivered the most extreme elements of the assault. Its ubiquitous video showed the word “Shtulim” – Hebrew for implanted, or mole – above pictures of four left-wing activists who looked like they’d been plucked from a “Wanted” list. The video didn’t leave much room for the imagination: “Shtulim” is another way of saying “traitors.”

    Im Tirtzu accuses leftist activists of being foreign agents. YouTube/Im Tirtzu

    When one of the four featured activists, Dr. Ishai Menuchin – executive director of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel – says he felt as if the spilling of his blood was being permitted, you can understand why he reached that conclusion. (By the way, Menuchin did reserve duty until an advanced age – in the Givati Brigade, of all places.) The claims that these four organizations are “collaborating with the enemy” have been rejected by the two previous military advocate generals, Avichai Mendelblit and Danny Efroni. Indeed, the two told Haaretz that they are often assisted by these human rights organizations.

    The mainstream media has provided the complementary side of the trend by airing Im Tirtzu’s videos. As journalists, they cluck their tongues and mock the style of the videos, but reap higher ratings. This approach works well in conjunction with media coverage of the current terror outbreak, which is treated relatively superficially and is often an attempt to tackle these issues without providing any broader context. Here, the goal is not to damage the left-wing organizations, but rather marketing a slant on the current reality for Israelis – as if we have the exclusive capability to both maintain the occupation indefinitely and remain the most moral army in the world. But the truth is, it’s impossible to do both. Also, there’s no empirical proof that the IDF is the most moral army in the world (a cliché Rivlin himself employed earlier this week).

    In many cases, the IDF makes an effort – and sometimes a tremendous effort. But it is still a giant war machine. When it is forced to act to defend Israeli civilians and advance into crowded, urban Palestinian territory – as it did last year in Gaza – it causes lots of casualties, which will include innocent civilians. And its control of the occupied territories involves, by its very nature, many unjust acts: limiting movement, entering civilians’ homes, making arrests and humiliating people.

    It is a reality that every combat solider in the West Bank, regular or reservist, rightist or leftist, is aware of. I can attest to it myself: For more than 10 years I was called up to serve in the West Bank many times, as a junior commander in a reserve infantry battalion – before and during the second intifada. I didn’t witness anything I considered to be a war crime. And more than once, I saw commanders going to great lengths to maintain human dignity while carrying out complex missions, which they saw as essential for security. Even so, many aspects of our operations seemed to me, and to many others, to fall into some kind of gray area, morally speaking. In my battalion, there were also cases of inhuman treatment and abuse of Palestinian civilians.

    Those who believe, like I do, that much of the blame for the lack of a peace agreement in recent years stems from Palestinian unwillingness to compromise; and those who think, like I do, that at the moment there is no horizon for an arrangement that guarantees safety for Israelis in exchange for most of the West Bank, because of the possibility that the arrangement would collapse and the vacuum be filled by Hamas or even ISIS, must admit: There is no such thing as a rose-tinted occupation.

    Breaking the Silence offers an unpleasant voice to many Israeli ears, but it speaks a lot of truth. I’ve interviewed many of its testifiers over the years. What they told me wasn’t the stuff of fantasy but rather, descriptions from below – from the perspective of the corporal or lieutenant, voices that are important and should be heard, even if they don’t present the whole picture. There is a price that comes with maintaining this abnormal situation for 48 years. Covering your ears or blaming the messenger won’t achieve anything.

    The interesting thing is that when you meet high-ranking IDF officers, you don’t hear about illusions or clichés. The senior officers don’t like Breaking the Silence, but they also don’t attack it with righteous indignation (although it’s possible that sentiments for the organization are harsher among lower ranks). In recent months, I’ve been privy to closed talks with most of the chain of command in the West Bank: The chief of staff, head of Central Command, IDF commander in the West Bank, and nine brigade chiefs. As I’ve written here numerous times recently, these officers speak in similar tones. They don’t get worked up, they aren’t trying to get their subordinates to kill Palestinians when there is no essential security need, and they aren’t looking for traitors in every corner.

    Last Tuesday, when Im Tirtzu’s despicable campaign was launched, I had a prescheduled meeting with the commander of a regular infantry brigade. In a few weeks, some of his soldiers will be stationed in the West Bank. Last year, he fought with them in Gaza. What troubles him now, he says, is how to sufficiently prepare his soldiers for their task, to ensure that they’ll protect themselves and Israeli civilians from the knife attacks, but also to ensure that they won’t recklessly shoot innocent people, or kill someone lying on the ground after the threat has been nullified.

    The picture painted by the brigade commander is entirely different to the one painted by Channel 20 (which posted on Facebook this week that “the presidency has lost its shame” following Rivlin’s appearance in New York). But it is also much more complex than the daily dose of drama being supplied by the mainstream media.

    Another victory for Ya’alon

    Last Sunday, the cabinet approved the appointment of Nir Ben Moshe as director of security for the defense establishment. The appointment was another bureaucratic victory for Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, part of a series of such appointments over the past year. The pattern remains the same: Ya’alon consults with Eisenkot; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reservations, delays the process or even opposes outright; Ya’alon insists, but takes care not to let the rift become public; and in the end Ya’alon gets what he wants.

    Ya’alon isn’t generally considered a sophisticated bureaucrat. His political power is also rather limited. He has almost no sources of power within the Likud Central Committee. The fact that he remains in his position, despite the close coordination with Netanyahu and the joint positions they held during the war in Gaza last year and during the current strife in the West Bank, seems to hinge only upon Netanyahu’s complex political considerations. Still, through great patience it seems the defense minister ultimately gets what he desires.

    Ben Moshe’s appointment was first approved by a committee within the Defense Ministry last month. Ya’alon asked that the appointment be immediately submitted to the cabinet for approval, but Netanyahu postponed the decision for weeks before ultimately accepting it. This is partly because of the prime minister’s tendency to procrastinate, which also played a part in the late appointment of Yossi Cohen as the next Mossad chief. But in many cases, there are other considerations behind such hesitations, with the appointment of the current IDF chief of staff a prime example: Ya’alon formulated his position on Eisenkot months before the decision was announced. Eisenkot’s appointment was brought before Netanyahu numerous times, but the prime minister constantly examined other candidates and postponed the decision until last December – only two and a half months before Benny Gantz’s term was set to end.

    Even the appointment of the new military advocate general, Brig. Gen. Sharon Afek, which had been agreed by Ya’alon and Eisenkot, was delayed for months by Netanyahu’s reservations – which, formally speaking, should not be part of the process. Here, it seems the stalling was due to claims from settlers about Afek’s “left-leaning” tendencies, not to mention the incriminating fact that Afek’s cousin is Michal Herzog – the wife of opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

    Over the next month, numerous other appointments to the IDF’s General Staff are expected, but Eisenkot will call the shots and Ya’alon needs to approve his nominations. The chief of staff is expected to appoint a new naval commander; a new ground forces commander; new head of the technology and logistics directorate; new head of the communications directorate; and new military attaché to Washington. In most cases, generals will make way for younger brigadier generals. Eisenkot will likely want to see a more seasoned general assume command of the ground forces, though, and could give it to a current general as a second position under that rank. However, this creates another problem – any general given this job would see it as being denied a regional command post, which is considered an essential stop for any budding chief of staff.

    #Breaking_the_Silence #Briser_le_silence

  • Brésil:des militants israéliens ont demandé le rejet de l’ambassadeur à Brasilia | i24news - 21 Septembre 2015

    Un groupe de militants de gauche, dont trois anciens ambassadeurs israéliens, ont demandé au gouvernement brésilien de ne pas approuver la nomination de Dani Dayan au poste d’ambassadeur au Brésil, rapporte lundi le site israélien Haaretz.

    La demande a semble-t-il été entendue puisque samedi, la présidente brésilienne Dilma Rousseff s’opposait publiquement à la nomination au poste d’ambassadeur d’Israël dans son pays de Dayan qui a présidé de 2007 à 2013 le Conseil de Yesha, une organisation liée au Conseil des implantations en Cisjordanie.

    Lors d’une réunion il y a deux semaines avec les ambassadeurs du Brésil en Israël et dans l’Autorité palestinienne, les militants ont affirmé qu’accepter la nomination de Dayan reviendrait à légitimer « l’entreprise de colonisation ».

    Cette campagne est menée par des membres du comité diplomatique du Forum des ONG pour la paix, une organisation qui coordonne les activités entre les ONG israéliennes et palestiniennes qui soutiennent une solution à deux Etats, présidé par Mossi Raz, ancien député du Meretz (gauche).

    Les trois diplomates qui ont fait campagne contre Dayan (l’ex-directeur général du ministrère des Affaires étrangères Alon Liel, l’ancien ambassadeur en Afrique du Sud Ilan Baruch, et l’ancien ambassadeur en France Eli Bar-Navi) ont rencontré les ambassadeurs du Brésil peu après l’approbation par le Cabinet israélien de la nomination de Dayan.

    • Ya’alon Asks Brazil Defense Minister to Accept Dani Dayan as Israel’s Ambassador

      Israeli defense minister calls Brazilian counterpart following information that Brazil’s president intends to reject appointment; Israeli source: Brasilia said appointment process should continue.
      Barak Ravid Sep 24

      Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, in a phone conversation with his Brazilian counterpart on Monday night, formally requested Brasilia’s approval of former Yesha Council of Settlements head Dani Dayan as Israel’s ambassador to Brazil.

      Ya’alon called Jaques Wagner after Israel’s Foreign Ministry learned that Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff intended to reject the appointment, based on Brazil’s opposition to construction in West Bank settlements.

      “Dani Dayan, a worthy person respected by all political elements in Israel, is the personal choice of the prime minister, reflecting the importance he attributes to a country such as Brazil,” Ya’alon told Wagner, according to a senior Israeli official who was speaking on condition of anonymity. The message from Wagner was that Dayan’s appointment process should continue, the official said.

      The phone call was coordinated with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, as part of the attempt to win Brasilia’s approval of Dayan’s appointment. The Foreign Ministry had spoken with aides of President Reuven Rivlin about the possibility of a conversation with his Brazilian counterpart, but in light of the outcome of the Ya’alon-Wagner phone call it was decided that this would not be necessary.

      Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, opposition leader and Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid all spoke with Brazil’s ambassador to Israel, expressing their support for Dayan’s appointment. Their move came in the wake of report in Haaretz on Sunday, according to which former Israeli ambassadors had appealed directly to the Brazilian government, requesting that it not approve Dayan’s appointment since he has served as the head of the Yesha Council and opposes a two-state solution. They claimed that by approving the appointment, Brazil would legitimize the violation of international law.

      Lapid wrote on his Twitter account that he doesn’t agree with Dayan’s political positions but thinks he will be an excellent ambassador. Lapid wrote that he told the Brazilian ambassador it was unacceptable for Israeli citizens living abroad to try to influence decisions by an elected government in Israel.

      Edelstein instructed his political adviser Oded Ben-Hur to contact the Brazilian ambassador as well. Ben-Hur stressed that Dayan’s appointment is “well-considered, and that foolish yet serious attempts of former Israeli diplomats to foil the appointment should be rejected.” Edelstein commented that as a resident of a West Bank settlement he could recall an occasion on which he was ostracized by senior Brazilian officials, and this should also apply to Dayan.

    • Le Brésil refuse de commenter les rumeurs de malaise avec Israël
      24 septembre 2015 |Agence France-Presse |

      Rio de Janeiro — Les autorités brésiliennes se refusaient mercredi à commenter les rumeurs de malaise avec Israël, après la décision de l’État hébreu de nommer comme prochain ambassadeur à Brasília Danny Dayan, un ancien dirigeant des colons juifs de Cisjordanie. Le quotidien israélien Yediot Aharonot a affirmé il y a quelques jours que la présidente Dilma Rousseff avait envoyé une lettre au gouvernement israélien en le menaçant d’opposer son veto à la désignation de M. Dayan. Le gouvernement de Benjamin Nétanyahou a annoncé publiquement début septembre qu’il avait l’intention de nommer cet entrepreneur d’origine argentine, qui vit dans une colonie en Cisjordanie, et qui a dirigé le Conseil de Yesha, principale organisation de colons dans les territoires palestiniens occupés. Plus de 35 mouvements sociaux et politiques brésiliens — comme le mouvement des paysans sans terre (MST), le Comité de Palestine démocratique ou le parti d’extrême gauche PSOL — ont envoyé fin août à Mme Rousseff une pétition contre la nomination de M. Dayan. Le Brésil a reconnu l’État palestinien en 2010.

  • Les écoles chrétiennes d’Israël n’ont pas fait leur rentrée - L’Orient-Le Jour
    AFP | 01/09/2015

    L’enseignement chrétien et les autorités israéliennes se livrent depuis plusieurs mois un bras de fer autour du budget alloué par l’Etat aux écoles chrétiennes et à leurs 3.000 employés.
    « Depuis un an et demi, nous sommes en discussions avec les autorités israéliennes et de nombreuses voix sont intervenues, même le Vatican. Il y a une semaine, le président Reuven Rivlin et le ministre de l’Education Naftali Bennett nous ont fait des déclarations très positives », a-t-il expliqué à l’AFP.
    « Mais au-delà des belles déclarations politiques, une semaine plus tard, nous n’avons toujours vu aucune proposition sérieuse. Nous avons tout tenté et il ne nous reste plus que l’option de la grève », a-t-il poursuivi.

    Israël reconnaît les écoles chrétiennes mais ne les considère pas comme publiques et, à ce titre, a baissé ses financements au cours des deux dernières années de « 45% », expliquent les écoles chrétiennes.
    Actuellement, l’Etat ne prend en charge que « 29% du coût total d’une école primaire », assure ainsi un communiqué de ces écoles, et faire assumer le reste du financement par les seuls parents d’élève n’est pas tenable, affirment les responsables chrétiens.

    « C’est une question d’égalité, un enfant israélien juif a droit à (une scolarité financée à) 100% (par l’Etat) et pas ceux de nos écoles, alors que notre enseignement est l’un des meilleurs en Israël », déplorait récemment le père franciscain Abdel Massih Fahim, directeur des écoles de la Custodie de Terre sainte.

  • IsraelValley News : Nikos Kotzias (Ministre Grec) à Netanyahou : « Israël est un ami proche du peuple grec »
    7 juillet

    Bizarre, Bizarre. Pourquoi donc, alors qu’une crise exceptionnelle secoue le pays, le Premier Ministre Grec (photo) a donné son feu vert à ce que son Ministre des affaires étrangères Nikos Kotzias visite Israël ? On le saura bien un jour. Pour l’instant la version officielle est la suivante :

    IsraePresse : "Netanyahou s’est entretenu lundi avec le ministre grec des Affaires étrangères, Nikos Kotzias. Les deux hommes ont évoqué la crise économique qui frappe la Grèce depuis de nombreux mois. « Votre visite dans le pays intervient à un moment critique de votre histoire et je tiens à l’apprécier à sa juste valeur », a déclaré le chef du gouvernement israélien.

    Le chef de la diplomatie grecque se rendra demain en Israël
    Publié 05 Juillet 2015

    Le cabinet israélien a tenu une réunion spéciale sur la crise grecque et ses implications

    Au moment où l’avenir de la Grèce et son gouvernement sont suspendus à un fil, le ministre grec des Affaires étrangères Nikos Kotzias est attendu demain, lundi, en Israël, la première visite de haut rang depuis l’arrivée au pouvoir de Syriza en janvier.

    Le gouvernement grec actuel est considéré comme critique envers la politique israélienne ; des membres importants de Syriza ont participé à la flottille Mavi Marmara en 2010 au cours de laquelle des activistes ont tenté de briser le blocus sécuritaire israélien sur la bande de Gaza. Le mois dernier, Kotzias a donné l’ordre au ministère des Affaires étrangères de commencer officiellement à utiliser le terme « Palestine » en se référant aux territoires contrôlés par l’Autorité palestinienne.

    Lors de sa visite, qui a été organisée il y a quelques semaines, Kotzias rencontrera le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou ainsi que le président Reuven Rivlin, mais aussi le ministre de l’Énergie Yuval Steinitz et de l’Intérieur Silvan Shalom, chargé des contacts entre Israël et les Palestiniens.

    Il doit également s’entretenir avec le chef de l’opposition, Yitzhak Herzog, avant de conclure sa visite mercredi à Ramallah, où il s’entretiendra avec la direction palestinienne.


      20h58 : « L’Europe sans la Grèce, c’est une plaisanterie », estime le ministre grec des Affaires étrangères

      Nikos Kotzias, le ministre grec des Affaires étrangères, actuellement en visite officielle en Israël, a prôné la « prudence » après la victoire du non au référendum de dimanche. « Nous devons calmer les choses et continuer les négociations pour parvenir à un bon compromis », a-t-il affirmé lors d’une interview accordée à la télévision israélienne. « L’Europe sans la Grèce, c’est une plaisanterie », a-t-il ajouté, excluant la sortie de la Grèce de la zone euro.