The bizarre Swedish report led to a no-less-bizarre Israeli response. Bad and irresponsible journalism crossed paths with bad and irresponsible diplomacy. Instead of simply denying the report, Lieberman, true to form, acted like a bully. In his fiery response – from his disrespectful mention of the Holocaust to identifying every criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, to his ludicrous demand that the Swedish Foreign Ministry condemn the article – Lieberman caused great diplomatic damage to Israel. He even scandalously attacked Norway for marking the 150th birthday of its greatest author. However, the article’s damage to the fight against the occupation cannot be ignored.
For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1110401.html
Allowing a child to drive an IDF-issued all-terrain vehicle? Forbidden. Killing children carrying white flags? Allowed. Lying about allowing your wife to drive an army-issued car? Forbidden. Killing women? Allowed. Administrative minutiae – a wife driving her husband’s car, a son driving an ATV and the hazing of fresh recruits – are grave matters. Mistakenly killing civilians is permitted.
For full article, visit http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1107746.html
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
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
“Avigdor Lieberman was questioned under caution by police today for seven-and-a-half hours on suspicion of carrying out the following: bribery, money laundering and breach of trust,” Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said.
For full article, visit http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/04/200942145820429387.html
Film review: “Waltz with Bashir”
“To say that Palestinians are absent in Waltz with Bashir, to say that it is a film that deals not with Palestinians but with Israelis who served in Lebanon, only barely begins to describe the violence that this film commits against Palestinians. There is nothing interesting or new in the depiction of Palestinians — they have no names, they don’t speak, they are anonymous. But they are not simply faceless victims. Instead, the victims in the story that Waltz with Bashir tells are Israeli soldiers. Their anguish, their questioning, their confusion, their pain — it is this that is intended to pull us. The rotoscope animation is beautifully done, the facial expressions so engaging, subtle and torn, we find ourselves grimacing and gasping at the trials and tribulations of the young Israeli soldiers and their older agonizing selves. We don’t see Palestinian facial expressions; only a lingering on dead, anonymous faces. So while Palestinians are never fully human, Israelis are, and indeed are humanized through the course of the film. “
For full article, visit: http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10322.shtml
‘Antiwar’ film Waltz with Bashir is nothing but charade
“However, it must also be noted that the film is infuriating, disturbing, outrageous and deceptive. It deserves an Oscar for the illustrations and animation – but a badge of shame for its message. It was not by accident that when he won the Golden Globe, Folman didn’t even mention the war in Gaza, which was raging as he accepted the prestigious award. The images coming out of Gaza that day looked remarkably like those in Folman’s film. But he was silent. So before we sing Folman’s praises, which will of course be praise for us all, we would do well to remember that this is not an antiwar film, nor even a critical work about Israel as militarist and occupier. It is an act of fraud and deceit, intended to allow us to pat ourselves on the back, to tell us and the world how lovely we are.”
For full article, visit: http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1065552.html
“Dance of Death: ‘Waltz with Bashir’ and Sympathy for the Killer
As’ad Abu Khalil
“The film strives, as always happens in the liberal Zionist media, to introduce, up close, every soldier who appears in the film. You see the soldier as a child, helping his mother in the kitchen, you see him with his sweetheart, you see him sea-sick and vomiting, and there is nothing but for the viewer to lament and sympathize with the suffering Israeli murderer. There is a particular school in the Zionist Left that expresses its displeasure—nay, more—that some of the practices of Israeli wars and various aspects of the occupation are detrimental to “the Israeli spirit” or “the psychology of soldier.” In other words, for some of these people—like the thousands who demonstrated after the massacres of Sabra & Shatila—opposition to the slaughter came not out of sympathy with the victims or consciousness of the disaster that befell them, but out of support for the national (and, for some, even religious) fighting élan of the colonialist army. The humanization of the murderer and sympathy for him are both the flip side of the dehumanization of the Palestinian Other, for he is not a complete person in their view. Read Zionist literature from the beginning to find in their representation—if they were there at all—backward peasants or lowly bedouins or nondescript refugees without citizenship, later transformed into “saboteurs” (and this is the same name that the Phalangist “Voice of Lebanon” radio used in the course of the war) in the 1960s, until Zionist propaganda finally settled upon the description “terrorist”. The film doesn’t deviate from the formula, even with regard to that splendid boy when he fires an RPG launcher in the face of the occupier.”
For full article, visit: http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/03/translation-of-my-dance-of-death-waltz.html
“The testimonies from the graduates of the Oranim pre-military course were a bolt from the blue – accounts of soldiers butchering a woman and two of her children, shooting and killing an elderly Palestinian woman, how they felt when they murdered in cold blood, how they destroyed property and how there was not even fighting in this war that was not a war.”