Israel-Palestine News Compiler

Gideon Levy: A marginal matter

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 18, 2009

The 18th Knesset is different from all its predecessors. It is the first that does not have a Jewish MK whose guiding principle is the struggle against the occupation.

Since the 7th Knesset, the first to be elected after the Six-Day War, we have not had a parliament like this one, devoid of Jewish anti-occupation activists. As such, the new Knesset precisely reflects the popular zeitgeist, in which the occupation is completely missing from the national agenda, and there is no reason to disturb our legislators with the issue.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078598.html

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Obama wants Israel to hold parallel talks with Palestinians and Syria

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

The Obama administration is preparing a Middle East peace process that will include simultaneous bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and Syria. The plan is based on the Arab peace initiative that offers establishing normal relations between Israel and Arab League states in exchange for withdrawing from the occupied territories and establishing a Palestinian state.

The United States will put together a “security package,” including demilitarization of the territories from which Israel will withdraw and the option of stationing a multinational force in them for years.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078889.html

IDF deal for F-35 sours over soaring costs of fighter jets

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the US by beyondtheborder on April 17, 2009

Because of the F-35’s structure, which places missiles, bombs and electronic devices inside the plane, no system can be installed externally and considerable internal modifications would be required.

These modifications push up the aircraft’s price by at least 25 percent. In 2002, Lockheed Martin cited the cost of one F-35 at some $47 million, but now the official price is about $80 million, in part reflecting the dollar’s devaluation. The modifications Israel is demanding raise the price tag to over $100 million.

One Pentagon estimate quoted the cost of 75 F-35s in addition to spare parts, engines and a comprehensive support system at $15 billion. Senior defense establishment officials say such prices are prohibitive.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078888.html

Settlers to Ethiopian troops: Niggers don’t expel Jews!

Posted in Internal Jewish Racism by beyondtheborder on April 16, 2009

News Date: 12.04.08

Not only do they serve long and tiring hours in the reserve forces, and not only are they forced to deal with violent clashes with settlers, but now, Border Guard officers of Ethiopian descent are also faced with rising racism.

“Niggers don’t expel Jews! This isn’t what we brought you to Israel for!” are just some of the degrading slurs Border Guard officers reported hearing from masked settlers.

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3633163,00.html

Court: Dichter cannot be sued in U.S. over 2002 Gaza bombing

Posted in Israel and the US, US and Palestine by beyondtheborder on April 16, 2009

A New York federal appeals court said on Thursday that former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter cannot be sued in the United States for 15 deaths in a Gaza City bombing. The court said the former security official was immune under common law from being held responsible for the July 2002 bombing of an apartment complex.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078829.html

The target of the bombing was Hamas leader Saleh Shehada, but the strike also killed 14 civilians.

US District Judge William H. Pauley III said in a written decision that he ”cannot ignore the potential impact of this litigation on the Middle East’s delicate diplomacy.”

For full article, visit http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3395161,00.html

Nimer Sultany: Should Palestinian citizens vote in Israel’s parliamentary elections?

Posted in Government, Internal Israeli Affairs, Israeli Arabs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 15, 2009

The recent Israeli elections witnessed a revival of the debate among the Palestinian citizens of Israel concerning the meaning of their participation, or the lack thereof, in the electoral process. The disqualification of Arab parties by the Knesset’s Central Elections Committee and the subsequent reversal of the decision by Israel’s high court led to two paradoxical results: on the one hand, it strengthened the doubts of some Palestinians vis-a-vis the fairness and effectiveness of the parliamentary presence of Palestinian representatives; on the other hand, it seems that these events mobilized more Palestinians to vote in order to defend their representation. Nevertheless, the steady decline of the Palestinian turnout in the national elections in recent years maintained its momentum: only 53 percent of the eligible Palestinian voters voted in the February elections. On the backdrop of the falling percentage of turnout and the rise of the Zionist far right wing, explicating and assessing the main positions in this debate — in particular the voices calling for a Palestinian boycott of the Israeli elections — becomes vital.

For full article, visit http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10461.shtml

Kazakh minister arrested in Israeli arms sales bribe case

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Israel and the International Community by beyondtheborder on April 14, 2009

Kazakhstan’s deputy defense minister was arrested yesterday as local security service KNB issued a public statement accusing several other senior officers and officials in the ministry of purchasing flawed military equipment from Israel.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078375.html

Police block right-wing march from Sderot to Gaza

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, The Gaza Strip by beyondtheborder on April 14, 2009

“Not everyone in search of something to do should come to Sderot,” Sderot Mayor David Buskila said.

“Sderot residents are enjoying the holiday, and anyone who planned to demonstrate here should have gotten the proper authorizations,” he added.

Police eventually reached an understanding with the rally organizers: The gathering was allowed to take place, but participants would not march toward Gaza.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1078097.html

Adams to ‘Post’: Hamas wants peace

“But there was a time when there was no dialogue in Ireland, and there was conflict,” he said. “Once we opened up the process to allow dialogue, and made it inclusive, we started a very difficult process that challenged everyone. It challenged Sinn Fein, it challenged the British government, challenged the unionists.”

Adams said there was a “certainty” about war “that people can be comfortable in, because you don’t have to take chances.”

But, he said, “you can take chances and ensure that no person has to be killed, or live in fear or be imprisoned and subjected to all the people of Israel and the people of Palestine have been subjected to. We took the chance in Ireland. It wasn’t easy, but the rewards more than vindicate and validate the risks that were taken.”

For full article, visit http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239488111539&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Gideon Levy: The dark religious side of Israel

Posted in Internal Israeli Affairs, Opinion Pieces by beyondtheborder on April 12, 2009

We must admit that this society has rather dark religious aspects. Foreigners landing in Israel might ask themselves what country they’re in: Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia? In any case, it’s not the liberal, secular and enlightened society it purports to be. Thieves’ hands do not have to be hacked off or women’s faces covered to be a religious country. Just as an occupying state, which controls 3.5 million people lacking basic civil rights, cannot call itself “the only democracy in the Middle East,” so a country that has no bread for a week because of its religion cannot call itself secular and liberal. Actually, there has been increased openness in recent years. More entertainment venues and supermarkets are open on Saturday in some of our cities than ever before, like before the Heichal movie theater riots in Petah Tikva. The dead can finally be buried in a civil ceremony in exchange for a fistful of shekels. But that’s not enough to be able to call ourselves a secular society. We must not delude ourselves: From the cradle to the grave, from marriage to divorce, almost everything is still religious.

For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1077908.html