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"A guy gets interviewed by a top Israeli general to be an Israeli
spy. As a test, the general asks, 'If you had a chance to kill an Arab or a cat, which one would you kill first?' ''Why the cat?' 'You're hired!' the general says."
Joke told by an ulta-Orthodox Jew to Stephen Bloom,
POSTVILLE: A CLASH OF CULTURES IN HEARTLAND AMERICA, A Harvest Book, Harcourt, Inc. San Diego New York London, 2001, p. 224

"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East." -- John Sheehan, S.J. (a Jesuit priest)

Investigation and Outrage, ABC News, November 23, 2001
"The deaths of the five schoolchildren in the Khan Younis refugee camp has raised tension on the eve of a new U.S. diplomatic push to stop more than a year of fighting. A senior Palestinian official charged that the United States has already taken Israel's side, noting that Washington invited Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to visit even before U.S. mediators began their mission, while Palestinians were being killed ... Initial reports from both sides after the Thursday blast said the children found an unexploded tank shell on their way to school and set it off accidentally. However, reports emerged today that the blast was caused by a bomb Israeli forces planted, aiming at Palestinian gunmen who use the area to fire rifles and mortars at nearby Israeli army posts and settlements ... Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo blamed Israel for what he called the 'assassination of our children.' He called on the United States and Europe to press Israel to pull its troops back from Palestinian population centers."

U.N. Criticizes Israel's Policies Toward Palestinians, Yahoo! News (from Reuters), December 4, 2001
"With barely a nod to the weekend suicide attacks in Israel, the U.N. General Assembly called on Monday for self-determination for the Palestinian people, Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights and an end to the presence of a small number of embassies in Jerusalem. The six nonbinding resolutions, which included three on U.N. programs and committees for Palestinian rights, were adopted this year as in previous years by an overwhelming majority, with no major changes in the wording. New was a split in the European Union after Britain attempted to get language on civilian deaths in the resolution on the 'peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.' When that was rejected, EU members Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark abstained, joined by Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Macedonia and others. The final vote was still 131 in favour to 6 against, but with 20 abstentions, a higher number than usual. The United States, Israel and the Pacific nations of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Tuvalu cast the 'no' votes."

Palestinian Terrorists are Desperate, Not Cowardly,
Guardian, December 3, 2001
"The two young Palestinians who brought such horror to west Jerusalem on Saturday night, or the others who died in the debris of buses across the country yesterday, are like the 19 young Arabs who staged September 11: dead by their own hands, blown to pieces with their victims. You may heap any combination of adjectives on them you like. But leave 'cowardly' out of the equation. Desperation carries its own lexicon ... [A Palestinian suicide attack at] Ben Yehuda Street [in Jerusalem] is a wake-up call for both sides of that divide. Does 'democracy' guarantee peace? No: the intractabilities of democracy brought Israel a prime minister called Sharon. Can heavy artillery win the day? No: heavy artillery is part of the problem, not the solution. Does the west have enough clout - and resolution - to impose a settlement? No: it merely mixes passionate adjectives with irresolution. Is there any prospect, apart from the lull of exhaustion, of draining the blood from this bath? Dream on. The nightmare of Israel gives us a glimpse of other nightmares of desperation in waiting. And it is cowardly to pretend otherwise."

Israel Rejects Conventions Criticism, Washington Post, December 5, 2001
"Israel denied Wednesday it was breaching Geneva Conventions on warfare in occupied Palestinian territories and said an international conference had no right to even raise the issue. The declaration by 114 countries deplored the killing of civilians, particularly children, in the ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinian militants. The Israeli Foreign Ministry termed the meeting a 'futile exercise and an abuse of a humanitarian instrument.' The countries represented were signatories to the 1949 Geneva Conventions on the conduct of war. Yaakov Levy, Israel's ambassador to the international organizations in Geneva, said the conference declaration was 'clearly one-sided' and contained 'unsubstantiated allegations.' The declaration did not contain specific allegations, but demanded Israel 'immediately refrain from committing grave breaches' of the conventions, such as the intentional killings of Palestinians."

Palestinians Strip Searched by IDF in Gaza,
[Israeli newspaper], December 6, 2001
"Six Palestinians were ordered to strip to their underwear at an Israeli army checkpoint in the Gaza Strip yesterday after which they were forced to march back and forth in the rain before being taken away in a jeep, according to witnesses. The incident, which took place near the Kfar Darom settlement in central Gaza, unfolded in front of hundreds of people waiting to cross the checkpoint and was partly recorded on videotape by a Reuters television crew ... The men were forced to undress near the van and walk one at a time toward troops positioned near an armored vehicle, the witnesses said. One of the six was then sent back to retrieve their clothes after no explosives were found in them. A soldier dragged the clothes through a puddle on the rain-drenched tarmac before letting the men get dressed, the witnesses said. Opposition leader MK Yossi Sarid (Meretz) demanded an explanation from Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer about the incident. 'If these were the orders, they are disgraceful and unacceptable,' Sarid said."

High Court Denies Palestinian Detainee Legal Process
Haaretz, December 8, 2001
"The High Court of [Israeli] Justice has refused to let a lawyer tell his client, a Palestinian administrative detainee, of his right to remain silent and not to incriminate himself. The court further ruled that the detainee cannot even be told he has a lawyer - Andre Rosenthal, who was hired by concerned parties. The ruling, issued on November 27, was in response to a petition by the detainee, Osama Ali Sritah, and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. The petition asked that Sritah, who was arrested in late October, be allowed to see an attorney. After hearing the Shin Bet security service's reasons for opposing such a meeting, Justices Mishael Cheshin, Dalia Dorner and Tova Strasberg-Cohen ruled that the needs of the investigation justified the prohibition. They wrote: 'The petitioner [Sritah] knows he has been forbidden to meet a lawyer, but attorney Rosenthal is not content with this, and asks that the petitioner be told that an external party has provided a lawyer to represent him, that being attorney Rosenthal ... We were convinced [by the Shin Bet] that informing the petitioner of this, in addition to informing him that he may not see a lawyer, would impair the efficacy of the investigation ... Attorney Rosenthal also asks that he be allowed to inform the petitioner in writing that he has the right to remain silent during interrogation and not incriminate himself. In this matter as well, we heard the respondent [Shin Bet] and its representatives, and were convinced that the good of the investigation and the security of the region require us not to accede to attorney Rosenthal's request.'"

Former Israeli prime minister (and former Irgun terrorist) Menachem Begin's Perspectives on Terrorism [from his book, The Revolt]

Thailand Plans Lawsuit Against Israel for Exploiting Its Foreign Workers,
Migrants Contre Le Sida
[originally from Haaretz), July 19, 1999
"The Thai government is considering filing a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the government of Israel, the Moshav Movement and local manpower agencies for failing to honor their contracts with Thai workers. Thai ambassador to Israel Domedeg Bunnag said in an interview with Ha'aretz that earlier this month, he called on the Moshav Movement and the manpower agencies that handle Thai agricultural workers to increase the pay of their Thai workers at least to the legal minimum wage. He said that if the workers' conditions were not improved, his government would no longer permit Israel to import Thai workers. 'I am almost moved to tears when I see the conditions of Thai workers in Israel. They live in sub-human conditions, and are constantly exploited by both the moshav owners and the manpower agencies,' he said. Some 80 percent of the workers are not paid the minimum wage stipulated by law, do not receive wage slips, are not paid overtime and are generally deprived of rights they do not even know they have ... . Each Thai worker is cheated out of 22 shekels per day by Israeli employers paying less than the minimum wage ... 'I have informed them that if this situation is not rectified by September, my government will order all Thai workers in Israel to return home, and will cancel all permits regarding the importation of Thai laborers to Israel.' The ambassador had harsh words for the Israeli employers exploiting the workers. 'They live in horrible sub-standard conditions, four or five workers sharing a small, old and underventilated caravan. They are charged a monthly rent of 600 shekels for this privilege.' He also criticized the employers for endangering their workers' health ... 'Many workers return home sick with respiratory deseases, the result of not being given adequate protective gear when handling hazardous pesticides.' Bunnag also accused Israeli employers of cheating their Thai workers by overcharging them for their airfare here. He said the Thai government is planning to file a $30 million lawsuit for compensation to workers overcharged and underpaid by their employers, unless the relevant Israeli authorities do something to compensate the defrauded workers."

PLO Hurls Hate at "Mafia" Mike, New York Post, December 11, 2001
"Mike Bloomberg hasn't even taken office, but he's already received the standard greeting that the PLO reserves for New York City mayors: undisguised hostility. A Palestinian spokesman yesterday blasted the mayor-elect as 'part of the Mafia' after Bloomberg compared Yasser Arafat to Osama bin Laden during a whirlwind trip to Israel over the weekend. 'He should consult with the Mafia, the Mafia that elected him,' said Palestinian Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo. 'He is part of the Mafia and he does not know anything about human suffering.' During an interview broadcast on Israeli Radio, Bloomberg was asked if he agreed with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's description of Arafat as Israel's bin Laden. 'Certainly, they are both terrorists,' Bloomberg responded. 'You can compare them any way you want. But I think there is no question that the terrorism that America has suffered at the hands of bin Laden is very similar to the terrorism that Israel has had to suffer for a long time' ...Six years ago, a PLO spokesman denounced Mayor [Rudy] Giuliani as 'a puppet of the Jews' when he ordered Arafat to leave a Lincoln Center concert. Giuliani, who joined Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki in Israel, said he's not afraid to declare that he's on the side of the Jewish state over the Palestinians. 'I do favor one side,' said the mayor."

Tourist Killer Suffers from Post-Trauma Syndrome,
Haaretz, December 12, 2001
"Daniel Okev, who murdered a British tourist in cold blood and badly injured his companion, has been classified as a disabled veteran of Israel Defense Forces suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome after hunting down terrorists as a member of the Rimon commando unit. Okev's receiving disability benefits is disclosed in a Supreme Court appeal submitted last week by his attorney, David Yiftah. In 10 days the Court is scheduled to review another appeal submitted by the State Prosecutor's Office, protesting the Be'er Sheva District Court's decision not to confer a sentence of life imprisonment for the murder and assault on the two English tourists. Okev is serving a 20-year sentence; his penalty was reduced due to psychiatric evaluations attesting to his 'extreme psychological' problems."

Palestinians Condemns U.S. Veto at U.N., CNN, December 15, 2001
"Palestinian officials reacted angrily to the U.S. veto early Saturday morning of a U.N. resolution that would have cleared the way for international monitors in the West Bank and Gaza. John Negroponte, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Washington vetoed the resolution because it failed to note recent suicide attacks against Israelis or name the organizations responsible. 'I just want to ask President Bush one question,' chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told CNN. 'What if Texas, or any part of the United States, were to come under foreign occupation? Would you call upon the American people to surrender to this occupation? For God's sake, what should have been vetoed last night was Israeli occupation' ... It is the second time in less than a year that Washington has vetoed a resolution that would have created a monitoring mechanism to protect Palestinian civilians."

'Israeli Death Squads Disarmed Men and Shot Them,'
Independent [Great Britain], December 15, 2001
"The Israeli Foreign Minister, Shimon Peres, says some of his government's military strikes against the Palestinians make him 'shudder.' Mr Peres would have had good reason to shudder yesterday, had he listened to the testimonies of the residents of Salfit. They described in detail how an Israeli undercover death squad arrived in the West Bank town in a pre-dawn raid and shot two young policemen at close range as they lay unarmed on the ground. The Israeli soldiers, dressed in black, spoke Arabic so fluently that Iman Herzala - who heard them talking in the street outside her house - at first wondered whether they were Palestinian forces taking part in a training exercise. But that was before she saw the executions, less than 100 yards from her front door. Residents had scraped earth over the spot, but yesterday afternoon patches of blood were visible. A low wall bore the marks of several bullets. Looking hollow-eyed and distressed, Mrs Herzala, 37, who has six children, described the last moments of Dia Nabil Mahmoud, 19, and Abdul Ashour, 22. They were among seven people to be killed by the Israelis yesterday in raids on more than four communities in the occupied territories as Ariel Sharon, the Israeli Prime Minister, increased his military pressure on the Palestinians. At the same time, Israeli tanks and bulldozers carried out their biggest housing demolition of the intifada at Khan Younis in the Gaza strip, knocking down 35 houses and making 345 people homeless."

Israel Protests Hitler-Sharon Comparsion in 'Der Spiegel,'

Haaretz, December 18, 2001
"Israel's ambassador protested to Germany's leading news magazine Monday for publishing a column comparing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's hard-line stand toward the Palestinians to policies pursued by Adolf Hitler. Penned by publisher Rudolf Augstein, one of Germany's best-known journalists, the column in the weekly Der Spiegel said Sharon would only pave the way to power for a more radical generation of Palestinians if he brings about Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's demise ... Augstein vented frustration at what he portrayed as German self-restraint in confronting the Jewish state's policies. Referring to outspoken criticism of Israel in the French press, he said, "In France one can say that, but apparently not in Germany."

Middle East Policy Suffers from Subservience to Israel, by Georgie Anne Geyer,, (from Universal Press Syndicate) December 18, 2001
"In Israel/Palestine, to the contrary, the president has put American power and interests under not just Israel, but under an Israeli leadership with a famously shady political and military past. He has not declared, much less enforced, American interests in the area. He has accepted an historical interpretation of events in the region that is highly questionable. And he seems to tend increasingly toward an overreach that could involve everything from marching through Iraq, to invading Iran, to wiping out whole clans in Somalia ... The core of the problem is that President Bush has put American power behind the no-compromise line of Israel's prime minister, Ariel Sharon. The legendary and respected Israeli Labor Party is bitterly critical of Sharon -- but the Bush White House ignores it. So American power and principle are seen by the world -- rightly, in fact -- as approving of Sharon's ongoing Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, his intention that eventually the Palestinians should be moved to Jordan, and his assassination squads against Palestinian militants. In fact, when the president sent Gen. Zinni, one of our most admired retired officers, to the Middle East several weeks ago, ostensibly as a 'negotiator,' he was really putting the envoy under the Israeli prime minister's direction. Simple political psychology tells us that someone can hardly be a disinterested and fair negotiator when his government's position so flagrantly favors one side."

South African Jews Polarized Over Israel, Washington Post, December 19, 2001
"It is a brief document, occupying less than half a page in a local newspaper here. But since the 'declaration of conscience' was published 10 days ago, it has polarized South African Jews like no issue since the collapse of white-minority rule seven years ago. Written by two Jewish heroes of South Africa's liberation struggle against the white government's apartheid system, and signed by 220 Jews, the document asserts that Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories is the cause of the escalating violence in the Middle East and denounces Israel's campaign of violence. Titled 'Not In My Name,' the declaration acknowledges Israel's right to exist and its valid security concerns but compares Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the oppression of South Africa's black majority under apartheid. 'It becomes difficult,' Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky write, 'particularly from a South African perspective, not to draw parallels with the oppression experienced by Palestinians under the hand of Israel and the oppression experienced in South Africa under apartheid rule.'"

Blair Fears Split with U.S. Over Its Support for Israel,
Guardian, December 16, 2001
"Tony Blair fears a major split with America over the Middle East peace process as Israel continues to bombard northern and southern parts of Gaza in its search for terrorist suspects. Number 10 sources have told The Observer that domestic considerations will force President Bush to stand foursquare behind Israel despite Blair's desire for a 'lasting peace' to be rapidly negotiated. Bush, who won the presidency by only a handful of votes, believes any move against Israel will irritate the American Jewish lobby, which is described as 'increasingly right-wing'. He failed to pick up much Jewish support in the election and is trying to improve his performance."

U.S. Has No Option But to Force A Solution on Mideast
, by Molly Ivins,
Common Dreams (from Chicago Tribune), December 20, 2001
"In yet another essay (lots to read these days), Robert Friedman reminds us in The Nation, 'In the 1980s, a messianic Jewish underground, which staged bombing attacks on democratically elected Palestinian West Bank mayors and machine-gunned Palestinian students who were eating their lunch at Hebron University, was caught planning to blow up the Muslim holy sites and replace them with the Third Jewish Temple.' It is quite possible those folks were encouraged by the fact that the then-prime minister of Israel was Menachem Begin, himself a one-time terrorist. Definitionally speaking, we probably need a separate category for terrorists who become prime ministers."

Looking Out for Number One, Haaretz, December 28, 2001
"Iansa, a journal on strategic studies published in India, came out with a stunning report in August, quoting defense sources there as saying that 'Israel is positioned to replace Russia' as India's main weapons supplier. According to the journal, Israel is already the number two arms supplier after Russia; it says the deals so far signed or in the works with India are worth some $3 billion. SIBAT doesn't publish data on the scope of weapons deals with individual countries, but the impression from the Defense Ministry is that India has become the main market for Israeli weapons systems - sales are already in the range of $800 million a year, about the same as sales to the U.S."

Women May Not Be Harassed, But They Can Be Sold, Middle East Media Research Institute (originally from Haaretz), April 25, 2000
"The discrepancy in women's position in Israel is reflected in two laws: One recently enacted, and the other as yet not in existence. Israel has a law against sexual harassment, but has no law forbidding trade in women. One may not harass women, but selling them is legal ... There is a law against solicitation and pimping, which could be used to eradicate the trade in women, but the police does very little to enforce it. And when it does, it arrests or deports the prostitutes - in other words harms the victims - in an attempt to gather information on criminal acts not at all connected to the trade in women. Public Security Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami admitted recently in a meeting of the Knesset House Committee that 'the [fight against the] trade in women is not defined as a goal on the police commissioner's list of goals.' It is, apparently, not important enough ... The fact that Israel has become an international center of trade in women should have enraged public opinion in a country that is half-theocratic. But it has not. Occasionally the issue is discussed, mainly by various women's organizations. That is all. When members of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women visited 'massage' and escort parlors in Tel Aviv several months ago, the media focused more on MK Zevulun Orlev's (National Religious Party) refusal to enter the parlors, than on the shocking condition of the terrified women found there. Ha'aretz reporter Einat Fishbain noted in her report on the following day that the atmosphere during the tour was light-hearted. The police officers accompanying the MKs demonstrated a great deal of knowledge on what goes on inside the parlors, but the police do not intervene except in cases of 'criminal occurences.' Prostitution is not considered a 'criminal occurence,' despite the fact that the police know that offenses much more severe than drug abuse are committed against a large percentage of the women in these parlors."

Leading Israeli Journalist Understands Arab Holocaust Denial, by Yaron London, Middle East Media Research Institute, Special Dispatch 85 - Israel, April 11, 2000
"Israel compared to a Rapist: 'What is the reaction of a man whose daughter was raped when he is asked to recognize the suffering of the rapist who was abused by his parents in his childhood? The reaction will be on a scale between a disinterest in the villain's future and denial of the facts relating to his life's circumstances. If the rapist… claims that he was attacked by the ten year old girl and only responded to her provocation - the father of the raped child will not only be unwilling to hear about the rapist's hardships, but will also try to cause him physical harm. Would that be just? Yes, it would.' 'The rape of the earth, mother earth, their land, is a common metaphor in Palestinian poetry and literature. Read early Zionist texts and you will find the same metaphors, but in Hebrew they discuss the exiling of the Jews from Zion. The Zionist myth does not ask, 'who was at fault' in the Great Revolt [against] the Romans, the Jews or the Romans? Likewise, the Palestinian myth does not ask 'whose fault' were the shooting skirmishes that preceded the 1948 war. We are their Romans, but from our Arab citizens we took away even their right to mourn. Is it difficult to understand why so many of the Arabs repay us by denying our Holocaust?'"

Response to My Correspondents
, by Paul Gottfried,
I reiterate this already stated view, lest the usual suspects beat up on me as a 'self-hating Jew.' What I was pointing to is how the depiction of a pluralistic Israel, fighting against Palestinians for global democratic values, permeates the reconstructed American Right. By now it is the indispensable litmus test for would-be media conservatives, and for employees of beltway neocon thinktanks. But the prevalence of this misrepresentation does not signify that Israel has no right to fend for itself against would-be destroyers. I am simply suggesting that American conservatives should stop being the shills of rightwing Israeli annexationists – or at least register as the agents of the Likud Party ... . Although its ethnic nationalist character does not bother me personally, it is absurd to pretend that Israel meets the standards of democratic universalism attributed to it by neocons. Such fantasists are always at pains to present Israel as a peerless paradigm of whatever the U.S. is supposed to be at a particular point in its lurching history. Israel is not a microcosm of multicultural New York (nor need it be to justify its existence), except to the extent that it has to deal with unwelcome Arab 'diversity' ... But now that this subject has been broached, it might be well to note that strong support for Jewish nationalism exists on the liberal Left as well as among neocons. One need only check out back issues of New Republic and the Salon websites for evidence of this contention. The Peretz-Emerson-Pipes-Dershowitz line that I keep encountering is that Israel is a bulwark of Western secular pluralism. Because of "our values" and the culpability of American goyim in sitting on their anti-Semitic hands during the Holocaust, the U.S. must do everything in its military power to help Israel against Arab theocrats and crypto-Nazis. Just because the American Right is coming to sound like AIPAC headquarters does not mean that the same no longer is true on the other side. When, by the way, was the last time that such known advocates of the Israeli Right as Steve Emerson, Bill Safire, George Will, and Daniel Pipes were not allowed to express themselves in the liberal national press or on TV?"

Detention and Beatings Underlie Degradation of Respect for Human Rights,
Amnesty International, January 3, 2002
"The detention and beating of a prominent doctor and human rights defender,
and the beating of members of an international delegation underlines the Israeli
authorities' apparent disregard for basic human rights during the current intifada, Amnesty International said today. Dr. Mustafa Barghhouti, President of the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, was arrested on 2 January2002 after a press conference with the participation of an international delegation including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and delegates from the USA and many European countries. Dr. Barghouti was arrested as he left the conference -- where he had spoken about the disastrous impact on medicaltreatment and care of the Israeli closures of towns and villages in the OccupiedTerritories -- on the grounds that he had no Israeli passport to enter Jerusalem,where he was born. He was released at al-Ram checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah after four hours' detention at the Moscobiyeh Detention Centre in Jerusalem. The beating by Israeli border police took place later that day at the al-Ram checkpoint as international delegates protested at attempts to rearrest Dr. Barghouti. Dr. Barghouti was released after an huor, with a fractured kneecap and various lacerations and bruises on his face and body. Some international delegates, including Italian MEP Luisa Morgantini, suffered bruises and other injuries."

Firestone to Retire from [Canadian] Senate
Canadian Jewish News
, January 3, 2002
"Sheila Finestone's 18-year political career will end Jan. 28 when she reaches the Senate's mandatory retirement age of 75 ... Finestone, who described herself as "a mother, a politician, a Canadian, a Québécoise and a Jewish woman," spoke first of her "ancestral land," Israel and her hope that the current conflict can be resolved through dialogue ... Finestone has been an active member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which brings together elected officials of 144 countries - including many that are not true democracies. (The group has not granted Israel full membership.) She serves as Canadian chair and is on its 12-member executive committee. 'That election was remarkable because I have taken my share of taunts for making representations for Israel. I've been call an Israeli agent and Mrs. Israel, but I'm proud to be acknowledged as a concerned member of the Jewish people.'"

Israel-Backed Event Draws Top Liberals, Globe and Mail, January 8, 2002
"An influential group of Canadian Liberal MPs, led by Deputy Prime Minister
Herb Gray, is lending its support to Israel by attending a conference of Jewish politicians organized by the Israeli government. More than 50 legislators from Europe, the Americas and South Africa are attending the four-day meeting in Jerusalem, sponsored by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 'I made the decision [to come] because I am a Jew,' said Anita Neville, a rookie MP from Winnipeg. 'I have a large Jewish community in my riding, and I care deeply about the nature of the relationship between Canada and Israel.' Five of Canada's six Jewish MPs are attending, along with two Liberal senators. Although the United States has a larger delegation, Canada is the only country to be represented by two senior ministers, Mr. Gray and Immigration Minister Elinor Caplan. Ms. Caplan said she sees no problem wearing 'two hats,' one as a Canadian minister and another as a supporter of Israel."

A Gaza Diary
, by Chris Hodges (NY Times reporter),
, p. 7 (online), October 2001
"And then, out of the dry furnace air, a disembodied voice crackles over a loudspeaker. 'Come on, dogs,' the voice booms in Arabic. 'Where are all the dogs of Khan Younis? Come! Come!' I stand up. I walk outside the hut. The invective continues to spew: 'Son of a bitch!' 'Son of a whore!' 'Your mother's cunt!' The boys dart in small packs up the sloping dunes to the electric fence that separates the camp from the Jewish settlement. They lob rocks toward two armored jeeps parked on top of the dune and mounted with loudspeakers. Three ambulances line the road below the dunes in anticipation of what is to come. A percussion grenade explodes. The boys, most no more than ten or eleven years old, scatter, running clumsily across the heavy sand. They descend out of sight behind a sandbank in front of me. There are no sounds of gunfire. The [Israeli] soldiers shoot with silencers. The bullets from the M-16 rifles tumble end over end through the children's slight bodies. Later, in the hospital, I will see the destruction: the stomachs ripped out, the gaping holes in limbs and torsos. Yesterday at this spot the Israelis shot eight young men, six of whom were under the age of eighteen. One was twelve. This afternoon they kill an eleven-year-old boy, Ali Murad, and seriously wound four more, three of whom are under eighteen. Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered — death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred in Algeria, and Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo—but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport."

Rabbi Launches Israel Attack, Totally Jewish, October 31, 2001
"Rabbi Dr David Goldberg, the senior rabbi at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St John’s Wood, branded the country 'the last colonial power in the world.' In an article in a leading London newspaper, he said the gap between Israeli political actions and Jewish ethical teachings will no longer be bridgeable. He said: 'People are not willing to articulate it yet, but depending on how the Palestinian problem is resolved, that will determine the attitude of the diaspora Jew towards Israel. However much we support Israel and the notion of a Jewish state, dominating another people with no end in sight does not sit easily on a Jewish conscience' ... .But in Britain, Rabbi Dr David Goldberg has found himself increasingly isolated, with the majority of Anglo-Jewry agreeing that it is important to show solidarity with Israel at this time ...Peter Sheldon, president of the United Synagogue, added: 'This is a time to stand together with the people of Israel. Any dissent should be expressed privately. Our enemies need no assistance. The small, beleaguered state of Israel needs our support. Rabbi Goldberg represents a very small minority of the Jewish community with his views on Israel.'"

Evening Standard in Israel Row, Totally Jewish, October 26, 2001
"A columnist in the Evening Standard has been universally condemned by Jewish leaders after suggesting that Israel does not have the right to exist. Writing in Monday’s Standard, AN Wilson said: 'The logic of supporting the Palestinians is to question the very right of the state of Israel to exist.' During his article Wilson describes Israel as the '1948 experiment' and claims the Israelis 'right' to exist as a state rests on the fact 'a few brave terrorists such as Menachem Begin killed some British army officers.' 'What greater act of "terrorism" asks Wilson, 'can there be than Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's policy of invasion, backed up by (American-made) tanks and bombs?' He continues: 'Israel is by definition an aggressor, since it is occupying land that was already someone else's homeland.' And he even advocates sending American ground-troops into the disputed lands to 'force out the illegal Jewish occupiers' otherwise 'no one in the world is going to believe in American foreign policy in the Muslim world.' Wilson concludes: 'One now sees that Israel never was a state, and it can only be defended by constant war. Is that what we want?' But he also concedes 'we do not want the Israelis to be "driven into the sea.”' The Evening Standard was inundated with responses from infuriated members of the public following the publication of the articles. Tuesday’s edition of the Standard featured a large letters page reflecting both concern and support for Wilson. Most notable was an article by Professor Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in the Standard which slammed Wilson’s article as “deeply shocking” adding “no one with a moral sense should say such things.'"

Levy's Dual Role Attacked, Totally Jewish, October 2, 2001
"Lord Levy has come under fire again from critics who believe his role as the prime minister’s special Middle East envoy conflicts with his post as Labour’s chief fundraiser. Tam Dalyell is among the MPs to have raised questions about Levy’s involvement in the flagging peace process. He said: “To have a fundraiser in a senior diplomatic position is very much the American style, and I’m concerned about the Americanisation of Downing Street. It is personalised Blair government.'"

Rabbi Gafni Calls for Pathologist's Suspension in Body Parts Scandal,
Dei'ah Ve Dibur, January 9, 2002
"MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni called for the immeidate firing or suspension of Professor Yehuda Hiss, head of the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine at Abu Kabir, over the retention of parts from autopsied soldiers' bodies. On Monday it was revealed that a soldier's skull was on display in a glass case, and most of his body was held in the Institute, in violation of the law and of basic principles of human decency. The family of the soldier was not aware of the situation and had not approved it. But MK Anat Maor, chairman of the Knesset Science and Technology Committee, also called on Health Minister Nissim Dahan to suspend Hiss immediately. The ministry, which owns and supervises the institute, had last week identified body tissue illegally stored there as belonging to four soldiers whose bodies had been autopsied. The soldiers' families had been informed by the Israel Defense Forces that the parts, including skull fragments, had been identified as belonging to their dear ones."

Environmental Slate Tries to Prove It's Easy to Be Both Green and Zionist,
JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), January 10, 2002
"A new Zionist party wants to mix blue and white with green. For the first time, an environmental Jewish party has gathered enough signatures to get onto the ballot for the upcoming elections to the World Zionist Congress. The Green Zionists Alliance got the boost from more than 600 signatures on a petition, which qualified them to run in the upcoming World Zionist Congress elections ... The launching of the party is more than just a call for environmental improvements in Israel, members of the party slate say. A Jewish environmental party also can attract those unaffiliated Jews to play a role in the Zionist movement, they argue. 'Five Minutes of Your Time Will Save Israel´s Environment and Breathe New Life Into The Zionist Movement,' the group´s Web site claims ... American and Israeli environmentalists first seriously discussed the idea of launching a party last year ... 'Zionism stands not just for returning the people to the land, but also the care of that very land so that the Jewish people may thrive on it,' [Rabbi Michael Cohen] said ... Adam Werbach, a member of the Green Zionist Alliance slate, says there are a lot of young Jews who do not make connections between their support for Israel and their support for social justice issues, but backing conservation in Israel is something they can understand. Werbach, a former national president of the Sierra Club who now consults and produces video projects for environmental organizations, believes the party will help Zionism reflect what many young American Jews support."

Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy,
by Kathleen Christison, University of California Press
"Since [President Woodrow] Wilson's time American public opinion has been formed and policy has been made from a vantage point or frame of reference that is primarily centered on Israel and tends to ignore the Palestinian perspective. Th[is online] book traces trends in public thinking over the decades an the impact this thinking has had on each administration up to the present."

A Crime Against the Innocent, by Gideon Levy, Ha'aretz, January 14, 2002
"The punitive action executed by Israel at the weekend in the Gaza Strip, and in particular the mass demolition of homes in Rafah on Thursday morning, constitute a war crime. There is no other way to describe and define the collective punishment of hundreds of innocent civilians who have been left utterly destitute. Under the cover of the media blackout in Israel - it is very difficult to get to the southern Gaza Strip - bulldozers of the Israel Defense Forces turned 'homes into a wasteland,' as M., a Rafah resident, said by phone. If there was a time when at least part of Israeli public opinion was in an uproar over the demolition of the home of a terrorist's family, and there was a public debate over the justice of the act, now Israel is demolishing the homes of hundreds of residents who don't even have a family connection to terrorism - and hardly anyone says a word in protest. Can we, the Israelis, even begin to imagine what it feels like to have bulldozers suddenly appear in the middle of the night and plow under everything a family has, as they and their children watch? Did the decision makers take into account the hatred they are sowing in the hearts of the children who witnessed the destruction of their homes? And what will become of these wretched people now, people who even before their homes were razed were doomed to a sordid life in one of the poorest of the refugee camps? Where are they going to spend the bitterly cold nights? And what was their sin? True, Rafah is a bastion of the Hamas organization, a place where the Palestinian Authority wields little influence; but does that justify the decision to launch war against every person in the city?"

Israel Is a Very Costly Ally, by Charley Reese,
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October 2001
"America’s blind support of Israel’s gross violations of human rights and international law will not only cost billions of tax dollars but eventually American lives as well. No lobby for any foreign country should be allowed to jeopardize American interests and American lives just to serve the selfish interests of a foreign power. America’s government has only one justification for existence—to protect the lives and interests of Americans. It’s time to start asking Americans, including our elected officials: Which country are you loyal to?"

Police Beat Dozens of Palestinians Staying Illegally in Jaffa,
Ha'aretz, January 15, 2002
"Border Policemen abused approximately 60 Palestinians Sunday night in Jaffa, Israel Radio reported. The Palestinians were arrested for staying in Israel without permits. The radio reported that Border Policemen came to a house in Jaffa where the Palestinians stayed in order to arrest them. Immediately following the arrest, one of the policemen kicked a Palestinian and injured him. The Palestinians were taken to a bus that took them to Kafr Qasem in the Sharon region, where the Palestinians were released. On the bus the men were tied in pairs with their faces on the floor. The policemen hit them with sticks. If one of them raised his head, he was severely beaten. Palestinian sources said Monday that 28 residents of the West Bank town of Qalqilyah were hospitalized in the town's hospital after Border Policemen beat them."

Want Security? End the Occupation, Washington Post, January 16, 2002
"Israel's assassination of Fatah activist Raed Karmi on Monday was predictable. Despite Israel's having killed more than 18 Palestinians since President Yasser Arafat's call for a cease-fire on Dec. 18, there have been no Israeli civilian casualties during that time. That, according to world governments and the international press, constituted a 'lull in the violence.' But a lull in the violence is exactly what Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon cannot afford. He was elected in a time of crisis and knows that his rule is sustainable only in a time of crisis. For his own political survival, he will do whatever it takes, and look for any excuse, to stoke the flames of unrest and avoid a return to peace negotiations. Hence, more than 600 Palestinians, already refugees, were recently made refugees yet again as Sharon's bulldozers razed their homes in Gaza. A day later Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem were destroyed. And then, just to ensure that Palestinians are sufficiently provoked and the cycle of violence starts again, Israel assassinates Karmi. Sharon justifies such barbaric and illegal measures in the name of 'security.' But as someone often considered a candidate for Israeli assassination myself, I can assure the Israeli people that neither my assassination nor any of the other 82 assassinations during the past 15 months will bring them any closer to the security they seek and deserve."

Excerpts from Alfred Lilienthal's book, The Zionist Connection II, (selected by Peter Myers), 1983
"One-sided reportage on terrorism, in which cause was never related to effect, was assured because the most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control. It is well {p. 219} known that American public opinion molders have long been largely influenceed by a handful of powerful newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch - owned respectively by the Sulzbergers, Eugene Meyer and now his daughter Katharine Graham (half-Jewish, who also owns Newsweek), and the Pulitzers, a Hungarian Jewish family. The New York Post, until recently when it was sold to Rupert Murdoch, was in the capable hands of Dorothy Schiff, the granddaughter of banker Jacob Schiff. ... Other newspapers, not Jewish-owned, have top editors, directors, and advertising chiefs who are Jewish, such as the Los Angeles Times and the International Herald Tribune, an amalgam of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the old New York Herald Tnbune. In 1978 the Washington Star's owner was Time Magazine and the publisher until June 1 was Joe L. Allbritton, but the views of the executive editor Sidney Epstein and associate editor Edwin Yoder, Jr. were clearly ref1ected in its editorials and articles during the critical Middle East developments. All of the leading magazines, ranging trom Commentary, Esquire, Ladies Home Journal, New York Review of Books, New Yorker, and U.S. News and World Report, have Jews in key positions as publishers, editors, or managing editors. These people, at the very least, have the veto power over whatatever appears in their publications. No one is about to criticize Jews - or even take Israel to task - for fear of being out of line with the boss, who is likely to fire him. The boss himself may not be a screaming Zionist, but scarcely ever will walk out of step with the overwhelming articulated opinion by expressing his own views on this subject, which in turn makes his Christian friends and contacts keep whatever criticism they may harbor under full wraps. There is also the constant overriding concern of the media about losing advertising, so vital to every publication, at times making a mockery of the vaunted 'freedom ot press.' Power is thus very otten exercised by default. ... {p. 220} It would be futile to list the number of top Jewish editors and writers across the courltry. Many of the largest book publishers, including Knopf, Random House, Holt, Liverwright, Viking Press, Simon and Schuster, Van Nostrand Reinhold, and Lyle Stewart are Jewish-owned, directly or by Jewish-controlled interests (including CBS, RCA, Music Corporation of America, Litton's, and Gulf and Western). In other firms such as Macmillan and Grosset & Dunlap, one will find editors-in-chief or presidents who are Jewish. ... In radio and television, again one finds almost an overwhelming presence of key Jews. Chairman of the Board of CBS until very recently was William Paley: RCA's David and Robert Sarnoff for a long time ran their subsidiary, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) whose {p. 221} present chairman is Julian Goodman; and Leonard Goldenson headed the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) until succeeded by Fred Silverman. ... A few officials in three offices all located on the east side of Sixth Avenue in Manhattan between 49th and 54th streets select most of the ideas, experiences, and news reaching most of the American people. ... Virtually all national and international news is filtered, edited, and broadcast by these three corporations."

Israeli-Russian Journalist Calls for Castration as Anti-Terror Step,
Haaretz, January 19, 2002
"An article calling for the castration of Israeli Arabs as a means of fighting terrorism was published last week in the leading Israeli-Russian daily Novosti. The article, called 'How To Force Them To Leave] and written by Marian Belenki, one of the paper's prominent journalists, said that the threat of castration may be strong enough to encourage the Arabs to leave the country. The author also proposed that the Chinese method for lowering birth rates be implemented in Israel for the Arab population in order to lower their birth rates. According to this method, people who have more than one child are deprived of various benefits, lose their jobs, and are under threat of exile. Cash prizes for young men who voluntarily agree to the castration will also be provided, according to the proposed method ... [W]hat is even more surprising than the fact that the piece got published, is that the paper did not receive any responses from readers or public representatives of the Russian community. It should be noted that the paper is one of two leading dailies of the Russian community in Israel."

Making Up for the Past, Churches Give Check to British Zionists
JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), January 18, 2002
"Churches in the city of Derby have paid the Zionist Federation $4,300 after renouncing a 700-year-old charter that barred 'any Jew or Jewess from ever living' in the city. Rev. Geoff Pickup of the New Life Christian Centre in Derby, in central England, wrote to the Zionist Federation offices explaining the decision. 'Seven hundred years ago the burgesses of Derby paid the king ten marks, equivalent to almost' $4,300 today, 'for a charter to exclude any Jew or Jewess from ever living or being remembered in Derby,' Pickup wrote. 'We feel we have now cut off the injustice of 700 years with much prayer and repentance,' the letter said. 'We now feel as a token of our respect and to bring a closure motion on the past that we would like to give the equivalent amount of money to a Jewish cause. I hope you will accept this gift with our love, apologies, honours and prayers.' The churches then presented the Zionist Federation with a check equal to $4,300. 'We are stunned and delighted at this fantastic gesture, and the donation will be put to good use, going to one of our charities in Israel,' said Alan Aziz, executive director of the Zionist Federation."

At Gaza's Grimmest Camp Bulldozers Make It Worse,
Philadelphia Inquirer, January 19, 2002
"Block O. Rafah Camp. Even the name sounds like a prison. "It's not a life. It's a hell. . . . 'No place in Rafah is safe,' says unemployed construction worker Omar Abu Shawish, 34. He lived for 30 years in the Block O section of this densely packed Palestinian refugee camp before Israeli army bulldozers knocked down his house two months ago. Now Shawish lives a few streets away with his wife and 10 children in one room at his brother-in-law's house. Last week, after a Palestinian commando attack on a military post left four Israeli soldiers dead, Israeli armor and bulldozers rumbled through Rafah again, pursuing a policy of house demolitions that has triggered debate well beyond the 80,000 people who live here. The army says it demolished 21 houses inside the Gaza fence opposite its Termit military outpost, a remote, bullet-pocked, three-story structure under daily Palestinian attack. The destroyed houses, the army contends, had been empty for months and were being used as Palestinian sniper positions and to mask construction of tunnels used to smuggle arms from Egypt into the Rafah camp. The Palestinian Authority contends 73 houses were destroyed in last week's operation, casting hundreds of people into the street. The United Nations and the Red Cross say 54 houses occupied by 80 families, totaling 450 people, were pounded into rubble on a sandy, partially paved expanse the size of two football fields. A recent visit found children picking through the wreckage for belongings buried under mounds of broken concrete blocks ... Critics of the demolition operation call it a shameful chapter in Israeli military history: collective punishment of civilians for the deadly acts of a militant few."

Action Alert: For NPR [National Public Radio] Violence Is Calm If It's Violence Against Palestinians, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting,
January 10, 2002
"Before the January 9 gun battle on the Gaza Strip, National Public Radio (NPR) had for weeks been telling its listeners that Israel/Palestine was in a period of 'relative quiet.' 'Morning Edition' anchor Bob Edwards on January 3 stated that U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni was coming to the region during 'a time of comparative quiet.' In another report the same day, correspondent Linda Gradstein referred to 'the relative calm of the past few weeks.' Other NPR reports have mentioned the 'recent calm' (1/5/02) or the 'fragile period of quiet' (1/7/02). What NPR means by this was spelled out most explicitly by Linda Gradstein in a January 4 report on the envoy’s mission. 'You know, there's been actually three weeks of relative quiet,' she said. 'Only one Israeli has been killed in those three weeks, as opposed to 44 Israelis who were killed when Zinni was here last time in November and early December.' What Gradstein didn’t mention-- and what someone who relied on NPR for their Middle Eastern news would have little idea of -- was that this has been in no way a period of calm for Palestinians. In fact, in the three-week period that Gradstein referred to, at least 26 Palestinians were killed by occupation forces-- more than one a day. Media critic Ali Abunimah documented the killings in a letter of protest to NPR (1/8/02), starting with 13-year-old Rami Khamis Al-Zorob, shot in the head on December 13 while playing near his home in Rafah, Gaza. Most of the deaths cited by Abunimah were of unarmed civilians; six were minors, ranging in age from 12 to 17. But none of these deaths received much attention from NPR, leaving the impression that calm for Israelis was calm for Palestinians as well."

Abed Takoush -- Our Tower of Strength, BBC News, May 25, 2000
"I've just been to the funeral of my friend Abed Takoush. He was killed at about midday on Tuesday, 24 May by an Israeli shell. Abed loved news and in the end he died for it He was sitting in his car, phoning his family when an Israeli tank crew decided he was a target worth destroying. Abed had worked for the BBC in Beirut for 25 years and between times he helped hundreds of other journalists. He's being mourned in Lebanon and around the world. Abed loved his work, he loved the scent of a story, he loved news and in the end he died for it."

Our Violent Society, Jerusalem Post, January 18, 2002
"In a recent interview in Yediot Aharonot, Prof. Bernard Lewis, the world-renowned doyen of Middle Eastern studies, described Israelis as being the most impolite people in the world. That description could be termed an understatement. I recently took part in a conference in which the participants came from 14 different countries. None of them dreamed of interrupting each other, none, that is, except the Israelis, some of whom evidently thought the accepted mode of debate is the one practiced in Dan Margalit's or Nissim Mishal's TV talk shows, in which participants have to shout each other down in order to be heard ... There is no need to belabor the point, especially not in The Jerusalem Post, many of whose readers came from 'Anglo-Saxon' countries and who suffer daily from the impolite behavior of so many Israelis. Rudeness, however, is only one of the maladies which afflict our society. Violence is far graver - violence in our schools, on the streets and roads, husbands against wives, fathers against sons and daughters, neighbors, in bars and pubs. Violence has become part of our daily lives. Not a day passes without some lurid story in the media, more testimony of the savagery we regularly inflict on each other. The situation in the schools is particularly disturbing, for violent behavior is becoming entrenched as a way of life for many of our children. Something evidently is very wrong with our society. Lack of manners, rudeness, hot tempers, impatience, aggressive attitudes, and violence have become hallmarks of our behavior to each other, and the symptoms are getting worse by the day ... What, then, has happened to us? Why have the ugly features of our society become so predominant? ... We have become war weary, a people which does not see a way out of the spiral of ever-increasing hostility that so characterizes our relations with our neighbors. That hostility, and the attitudes and deeds it creates in our dealings with them, impacts on what is happening in our own society. It cannot be otherwise. It affects our soldiers and the families of our soldiers, it affects our politicians, it affects us all."

Clinton: Don't Give Up Hope for Peace
, Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2002
"[Former President Bill] Clinton was here [in Israel] to receive the honorary doctorate [from Tel Aviv University] in recognition of his contribution to peace efforts in the world and the Middle East in particular. Local political, business, and academic leaders gave him an enthusiastic welcome ... Among those who came to celebrate with him was former US ambassador Martin Indyk, who served during the Clinton and Bush administrations. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon described Clinton as 'an honorable leader and true friend of Israel,' and said his unwavering commitment to the Jewish people and steadfast partnership with Israel are valued. 'You have captured the hearts of us all,' he said. TAU President Itamar Rabinovich said there are two Hebrew words for 'friend.' One is haver, to which Clinton gave new poignancy when he eulogized Yitzhak Rabin, and the other is yedid, the name that was given in pre-state days to Orde Wingate, who was known as Hayedid - the friend. As far as Israel's contemporary friends go, said Rabinovich, Clinton is also Hayedid."

EU Blames Israel for $12.8 Million in Damages to Projects in PA [Palestinian Authority], Haaretz, January 22, 2002
"The European Union said Tuesday that Israel has wrought damage worth 14.5 million euros ($12.8 million) to Palestinian projects funded by European Union taxpayers in the last year. That figure did not include the destruction of the Voice of Palestine radio station in Ramallah by Israeli helicopter gunships last weekend, said Gunnar Wiegand, spokesman for the EU's European Commission. Wiegand told a briefing that the 15-nation Union would decide in the next few days on a diplomatic response. The European Union is the main foreign aid donor to the Palestinian Authority. 'There has been substantial damage to buildings and other infrastructure that were financed by the European taxpayer. There are funds from the Commission and from the member states that have been spent on these projects,' he said ... EU officials said the decision to make a public issue of the damage to EU-funded projects was itself a political message but did not necessarily foreshadow stronger action against Israel."

As War Cries Ring Out, U.S. Silence May Signal Rare Free Hand for Israeli Military Moves, Haaretz, January 24, 2002
With talk of all-out war resounding in the Holy Land, the Bush administration has granted Israel its widest military freedom of action since - in an ominous precedent - a Republican administration turned a blind eye to Ariel Sharon's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Hardliners on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have issued repeated calls to turn a runaway spiral of escalation into full-bore military conflict. Although their war cries have often been been sounded in the past, Washington's tacit approval of recent IDF military moves, coupled with its continuing pressure on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to crack down on militants in his midst, represents a marked departure from nearly two decades of nominal American even-handedness toward the battling sides. Even U.S. diplomats whom Israeli hawks have viewed with suspicion as overly balanced toward the Palestinians, have weighed in on the side of non-intervention with IDF operations ... A decidedly pro-Israel tone among U.S.elected officials has become more evident as November Congressional elections near. In an unprecendented circumstance - and in the face of security threats - there have been no fewer than nine U.S. Congressional delegations visiting Israel in the last two weeks. Most, vowing support for Israel, snubbed Arafat altogether. In the highest-profile visit of an American dignitary, former president Bill Clinton embraced Sharon, openly telling his Israeli hosts that the Palestinian leader was to blame for the failure of what Clinton called the 'golden opportunity' for peace that the previous Israeli government had offered him at the ill-fated July, 2000 Camp David summit At present, the only substantial pressure being applied on the Bush administration from domestic constituencies is coming from pro-Israel figures, Eldar says. U.S. officials have said privately that the American Jewish community has taken administration officials to task for maintaining channels of communication with Arafat and his deputies."

Ex-Militia Chief Slain Beirut, Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2001
"A former Lebanese militia leader linked to the massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in 1982 was killed in a car bombing in Beirut on Thursday, leaving behind a trail of enemies and a long list of possible suspects--including an allegation that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was behind the hit. Elie Hobeika, 45, former leader of the Christian militia known as the Lebanese Forces, allied himself with Israel after it invaded southern Lebanon in the early 1980s and then switched allegiances to Syria a few years later when that regime in effect took control of his war-racked country. The notorious militia leader, whose maneuvering won him positions in the Lebanese government, died in an explosion that also killed three bodyguards. Investigators said 22 pounds of TNT packed in a nearby car was detonated by remote control. Fingers were pointed at Syria, Israel and inside Lebanon itself. Some on the streets of Beirut said they hoped that Israel was behind the attacks--if it wasn't, they said, they fear a return to the kind of home-grown violence that fueled a devastating 15-year civil war. Even as investigators were poring over the debris, the Lebanese government pointed to Israel and Sharon. Officials, including Syrian-backed President Emile Lahoud, suggested that Hobeika was silenced to stop him from testifying against Sharon at a possible war crimes trial in Belgium. Although it was Hobeika's militia that massacred the unarmed Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982, then-Israeli Defense Minister Sharon was forced to resign because his troops were encircling the area during the attack. An Israeli commission found that Sharon shouldered at least indirect blame for the bloodletting. 'We have a confirmation that Israel and its agents were behind this terrorist act,' Lebanese Interior Minister Elias Murr said at a news conference late Thursday, though he did not provide any evidence."

Some Israeli Reservists Balk,
Newsday (from Associated Press), January 25, 2002
"Fifty-two Israeli reserve soldiers said Friday they would no longer fight in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, claiming military actions there had nothing to do with security for Israel and were meant to control the Palestinians. In an advertisement in Israeli newspapers, the soldiers, some with the rank of major, said Israel's stringent travel bans, which confine many Palestinians to their communities, needlessly punish the Palestinians. Israel says the closures are needed to prevent attacks by Palestinian militants. 'We declare that we will not continue to fight a war for peace in the (Jewish) settlements' in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, read the ad. 'We will not continue to fight on the other side of the Green Line with an intent to control, expel, starve and degrade an entire people.' The Green Line refers to the line separating Israel from the territories it captured in the 1967 Mideast war. The soldiers wrote that they decided to stop serving in the Palestinian areas when it became clear to them that the army orders 'had nothing to do with security, and their only intent is to control the Palestinian people forever.'"

Forget Peace If the Rules Differ for Israel, Japan Times, January 24, 2002
"Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's decision to keep Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat under siege in the West Bank city of Ramallah shows an utter disrespect for the Palestinian leader and for the Palestinians. While Sharon insists that Arafat will not leave the city until the assassins of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi are apprehended, those in Israel responsible for assassinating scores of Palestinian leaders in state-sponsored terrorism go free, with no Israeli commitment to capture and punish them ... U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell backed Israel's demands that Arafat arrest and try those responsible for trying to smuggle weapons aboard the vessel in the Red Sea, adding that the arms shipment was a violation of the Oslo accords of 1993. But so is Israel's continuing building of settlements, the assassination of Palestinian leaders and the attacks against the civilian population. Why is it OK for Israel to continue to receive U.S. arms to assassinate Palestinians, but not OK for the Palestinians to defend themselves? ... Israeli reprisals have been brutal and indiscriminate, involving civilian non-combatants, women and children."

Napoleon at the Gates of Ramallah
, Gush Shalom, January 26, 2002
"In pursuing this historic mission [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon is ruthless and merciless. Rivers of blood do not deter him, the number of casualties (theirs and ours) is just one item in his calculations. He acts cautiously, uses ruses and does not shrink from committing war crimes. He knows that he does not have much time left, and that he must use the remaining time in order to destroy the Palestinian people as a political factor. To achieve this, he has to break thir leadership, defeat their armed forces, smash their will and ability to resist. What is the final aim? The minimum: To imprison the Palestinians in several enclaves, each one cut off from the others and from the world at large, each one surrounded by settlements, by-pass roads and the army. In these big prison camps, the Palestinians will be allowed to 'manage their own affaires,' supplying cheap labor and a captive market. He does not care if they are called 'a Palestinian state.' The maximum: To exploit a war situation or a world crisis to expel all Palestinians (including those who are Israeli citizens) from the country. Sharon is quite capable of instigating a war to create such an opportunity. He has only contempt for the people around him, who are unable to think in such historic terms."

Split Widens Over Israeli Reservists, BBC News, February 1, 2002
"A decision by more than 100 Israeli reserve officers to refuse to serve in the Palestinian territories has sparked a furious row inside the military, and a widening public debate. In the biggest challenge to the army's authority since the Palestinian uprising began 16 months ago, the reservists have said they are not willing to fight for the purpose of 'dominating, expelling, starving and humiliating an entire people.' This in turn has prompted a strong counter campaign, and a suggestion by the army's chief of staff that there are political motives behind the protest, which would amount to incitement to rebellion. A former head of Israel's internal security service, Ami Ayalon, has given his support to their protest, saying he is very concerned about the large number of unarmed Palestinian children shot by Israeli troops."

Rightist Ex-Generals Propose Massive Invasion of Territories,
Haaretz, January 31, 2002
"A group of senior reserve officers, led by Brig. Gen. (res.) Effi Eitam (Fein) are working on a 'security-political plan' that includes reoccupying the territories to destroy the Palestinian Authority and changing the political system to prevent Arabs from being elected to the Knesset. Former reserve generals and senior defense establishment officials are taking part in the formulations of the plan. Eitam, who left the army a year ago and makes no secret of his right wing views, has been conducting intensive political activity in recent months. Beyond the plan's military recommendations are Eitam's plans to directly enter the political arena, possibly as part of a new right wing movement. The plan has already been presented to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who refrained from expressing support for it, and is due to be presented to the public in the coming weeks ... The plan calls for a massive Israeli invasion of Palestinian cities. The former generals argue that the military incursions into cities like Jenin and Tul Karm proved in recent weeks that the IDF would have no problem taking over the cities. They propose entering the territories, 'cleaning' them of terrorists and weapons, and then ruling the areas. The move would include the elimination of the Palestinian Authority. Some also call for the physical elimination of Yasser Arafat. According to the ex-generals, the strategic reality could be changed 'in a week.' The former generals say they have support for their plan in the top command of the IDF ... The plan also recommends taking far-reaching steps in other areas: An aggressive Israeli military approach to the nuclear threat from Iran (if the U.S. doesn't do it) ... The plan recommends changing the electoral system to a district system, with the districts gerrymandered to prevent significant Israeli Arab representation in the Knesset. The main criteria, they believe, is whatever strengthens Israel as a Jewish state. They say they hope to win broad support for their goals in the Israeli public, and that they believe the Americans would acquiesce to their plans. They say the circumstances may be such that the current administration in Washington would not object to these proposed Israeli steps."

Zionism in the Age of Dictators. A Reappraisal
, by Lenni Brenner, 1983
Lenni Brenner's complete book critique of Zionism online.

US Court Awards $183m. to Jerusalem Bombing Victim's Family,
Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2002
"The US District Court for the District of Columbia yesterday awarded $33 million in direct damages and $150m. in punitive damages to the family of Ira Weinstein, an American-Israeli killed in the terrorist suicide bombing of a No. 18 bus in Jerusalem on February 25, 1996. Weinstein's wife, Susan, and his children, Joseph, Jennifer Weinstein Hazim, and David Weinstein sued Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamemei, then-president Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, and Ali Fallahian-Kuzestani and the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security as having financed Hamas and trained Hassan Salameh, who planned the attack. According to attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, who represented the Jerusalem-based family in Israel, this is the highest settlement granted to a US terror victim since passage of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. The act enables US citizens who have been victims of a state-supported terrorist attack abroad to sue the perpetrators in a US federal court."

Israeli Reserves Just Say No, ABC News, February 8, 2002
"It's not the first time Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the volatile territories, but never so many soldiers at once…and never such damaging allegations against their commanders. The petition started with 50 reserve officers and soldiers. Since it appeared in Israeli newspapers two weeks ago, about another 150 have signed it ... David Zonshein served in Gaza and expressed concerns over what he said were orders on how to deal with Palestinian ambulances when they approached an Israeli military checkpoint. 'You don't let the ambulance past. Every time one arrives you stop the entire section using APCs [Armored Personnel Carriers] and tanks. It can take an hour or more to check the ambulance. It doesn't matter how many people are inside it or if the sirens are blasting. The soldier has no choice,' said Zonshein, a paratrooper reservist ... 'When faced with a demonstration we were told to bring in the snipers immediately. Shoot three or four of the organizers, not to let the event get out of hand because then we would have to shoot women and children and that doesn't look good in the media,' Zonshein said. 'The rules of engagement in the first two weeks [of my service] were clear: anyone who picks up a stone, shoot him. Period," said Ishai Shagi, an artillery reservist ... There have been three Palestinian suicide attacks in the last two weeks, but the Israeli reservists say the army's aggressive responses will only ensure more attacks to come. Reservist Yaniv Itzkovitch described watching army bulldozers destroy Palestinian homes and olive groves. 'And so you ask yourself after seeing such a thing if there's one Palestinian left who does not hate us, he is going to start hating us. But the army says it's necessary for security. It's outrageous,' Itzkovitch said ... 'In 10 or 20 years this country will look back and ask, 'What did we do? What did we perpetrate? What happened here in Israel?' another reservist said."

Giuliani Gets Award as Friend of Israel, Miami Herald, February 11, 2002
"Before Sept. 11, he was merely a man who was mayor. After the day that changed a nation, Rudolph Giuliani became the country's mayor, everyone's hero and Mr. Patriot -- even Time magazine's Person of the Year. On Sunday, one more title was bestowed upon him, officially, at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation's campaign opening dinner: ally. The group honored Giuliani with the Friend of Israel Humanitarian Award for his leadership after the terrorist attacks. Nearly 90 minutes late, Giuliani made his way through the pressing crowd before discussing post-Sept. 11 security measures, the war on terrorism and America's ties to Israel. 'There is a very very strong connection between Israel and the United States that's even deeper than the blood lines,' he said. 'The actual strength and depth of our connection is very simple: We're democracies.'''

Everybody Hates, Jerusalem Post, October 22, 2000
"Dr. Dahlia Moore, from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the College of Management, has recently published the results of a study among nearly 5,000 Jewish and 1,200 Israeli Arab high school students, age 15-18. Put simply, the study sought to find out 'who likes whom and who hates whom' within Israeli society. Summing up her results, Moore says, 'These students, the future of our society, carry a tremendous amount of hatred towards each other' ... Overall, 47% of the Jewish students hate haredim, 51% hate settlers and 50% hate Arabs. When Moore sub-divided the Jewish group according to ethnic (Ashkenazi or Mizrahi), religious (religious-traditional or secular), and political (Left or Right) backgrounds, the findings became more complicated and more troubling ... 'The kind of hatred that we found in our study simply doesn't dissipate over a few years ... The point is that this should be a warning to our society. These kids hate, and with such depths of hatred, our society is in deep trouble. When you hate someone because they are different from you, you might also start to think that this person is somehow less worthy, less entitled to the same rights and privileges, less human' ... Nissim Calderon, Tel Aviv University lecturer and author of the recently published, Multi-culturalism vs. Pluralism in Israel, [said:} 'It's come to the point that hating is almost the only way to relate to people you don't agree with. And that is very sad, and very, very frightening.'"

Escaping the Hell of the Holy Land, Village Voice, February 13-19, 2002
"Many Israelis are 'preoccupied with a subject no one likes to talk about . . . ways to get the hell out of here,' columnist Yoel Marcus wrote in Ha'Aretz the other day. It's true. Ask Tali. Increasingly anxious about their children's security, tired of paying exorbitant taxes to support what they consider 'religious parasites,' and pessimistic about the future, a growing number of young Israeli professionals are looking at the possibility of leaving the country. For good. And Israelis aren't the only ones—more and more Palestinians want out, too. Some 20 percent of adult Israelis say they have recently considered living in a different country, according to a January poll conducted by Market Watch for Ma'ariv newspaper. More surprising, the survey found that 12 percent of Israeli parents would like their children to grow up outside Israel. An earlier poll by the Mutagim Agency for Ha'Aretz said only 37 percent of Israelis held negative feelings toward those who left, and 16 percent actually viewed them positively. Those are startling statistics in a country where the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin once described emigrants as the 'lowliest of parasites' ... .No one knows how many Israelis are in the diaspora, but two years ago it was estimated that there were 500,000 of them, or 8.3 percent of the Israeli population. It has to be more now. The daily Yedioth Aharonot recently ticked off a list of prominent Israeli families who have children or grandchildren living abroad. The list included the families of former Israeli prime ministers David Ben-Gurion, Menachem Begin, and Yitzhak Rabin. Israelis were shocked ... 'I heard lots of people want to go to Vanuatu [an island in the South Pacific],' Tali said. 'But I would never go to a place where there were so many Israelis!'"

American Jewish Groups Bringing Mostly Unified Message to Israel,
JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), February 19, 2002
"American Jewish organizational leaders headed for Israel this week with an unusually unified message. Ideological divisions still exist among American Jews, who like Israelis, have divided views about the best way to end the violence. But given the daily fire between Israel and the Palestinians, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations — the coordinating body of 52 national American Jewish organizations — is rallying to Israel´s defense."

Ministry Funds Rabbi Who Lauds Goldstein,
Haaretz, February 2002
"The Religious Affairs Ministry is financing the Gal Eini association that distributes the writings of Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburg, the author of the pamphlet 'Baruch Hagever' (a play on words that can be translated as 'Baruch the Man,' or as 'The Blessed Man'). The pamphlet praises the massacre carried out in 1994 by Baruch Goldstein, who killed 29 Muslim worshipers at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Ginsburg declared that Goldstein's deed constitutes 'a fulfillment of a number of commandments of Jewish law...[including] taking revenge on non-Jews.'"

Europe Must Stop Parroting the American Script, by Robert Fisk,
Independent (UK), February 21, 2002
"As Palestinians are learning from their Hizbollah compatriots in Lebanon how to resist an occupying force – how to obtain 'freedom' – Mr Bush continues to give the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon a green light to 'strike against terror' while at the same time demanding democracy for all Muslim countries in the Middle East, especially Iran and Iraq. But not, of course, for allies like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The ability of the Americans to re-write history and to blow-dry the Palestinian-Israeli conflict into clichés is a scandal. The occupied Palestinian territories have now become the 'disputed' territories; Jewish colonies on Arab land have become 'settlements' and now, according to the BBC and CNN, 'neighbourhoods.' Israeli death squads are now 'elite forces' who carry out 'targeted killings' ... The Palestinian Intifada uprising, provoked by Ariel Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque, is a 'strategic error,' according to the State Department on Tuesday. An Israeli officer tells his colleagues, according to the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz, that they must 'study how the German Army operated in the Warsaw Ghetto.' Needless to say the latter report is not published in the United States."

Linda Gradstein Should Resign Her Post as NPR's Israel Correspondent,
Palestine Media Watch, February 20, 2002
"According to research done by ElectronicIntifada (also see text below, after the interface), Linda Gradstein, the Israel correspondent for National Public Radio since 1990, has been a regular PAID speaker within pro-Zionist Hillel groups for several years. This is in clear violation of NPR's explicit policy, as stated on the air by Juan Williams on a Feb 8, 2002 report on Morning Edition, in which he said: 'At NPR, reporters are not allowed to give speeches to groups they report on to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.' But as recently as yesterday, and in spite of numerous vociferous protests of indignation (PMWatch counted at least 150 letters sent on February 19 alone), Ms. Gradstein still went ahead and gave a lecture hosted by several pro-Israel organizations at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis ... Ms. Gradstein has been giving PAID talks to openly pro-Zionist groups on a regular basis for at least five years WHILE at the same time working for NPR as the main point person at their Jerusalem bureau. This constitutes a blatant breach of journalistic ethics, especially when the topic of the reporting is the highly sensitive Palestinian-Israeli conflict."

Sen. Clinton Reassures Israel, Washington Post, February 23, 2002
"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday that U.S. support for Israel was rock solid and blamed 17 months of Palestinian-Israeli bloodshed on Yasser Arafat, saying 'he has failed as a leader' ... The junior Democratic senator from New York, on the first day of a two-day visit to Israel, urged other Americans to travel to the Holy Land as a show of support for Israel and defiance against terrorism ... Clinton said that following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, the bonds between Israel and the United States are firmer than ever. The United States and Israel stand together in 'resolve against those who would try to undermine and destroy us,' she said. Clinton spoke after Tourism Minister Benny Elon, and she was criticized for sharing the podium with the ultranationalist politician who advocates expelling Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israeli opposition leader Yossi Sarid said in a statement that it was unseemly for Clinton to appear on the same stage as Elon."

True Lies about U.S. Aid to Israel
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, December 1997
"For many years the American media said that 'Israel receives $1.8 billion in military aid' or that 'Israel receives $1.2 billion in economic aid.' Both statements were true, but since they were never combined to give us the complete total of annual U.S. aid to Israel, they also were lies--true lies. Recently Americans have begun to read and hear that 'Israel receives $3 billion in annual U.S. foreign aid.' That's true. But it's still a lie. The problem is that in fiscal 1997 alone, Israel received from a variety of other U.S. federal budgets at least $525.8 million above and beyond its $3 billion from the foreign aid budget, and yet another $2 billion in federal loan guarantees. So the complete total of U.S. grants and loan guarantees to Israel for fiscal 1997 was $5,525,800,000. One can truthfully blame the mainstream media for never digging out these figures for themselves, because none ever have. They were compiled by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. But the mainstream media certainly are not alone. Although Congress authorizes America's foreign aid total, the fact that more than a third of it goes to a country smaller in both area and population than Hong Kong probably never has been mentioned on the floor of the Senate or House. Yet it's been going on for more than a generation. Probably the only members of Congress who even suspect the full total of U.S. funds received by Israel each year are the privileged few committee members who actually mark it up. And almost all members of the concerned committees are Jewish, have taken huge campaign donations orchestrated by Israel's Washington, DC lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), or both."

Israel Center Scholar Shares His Gripes About Native Land,
Jewish Bulletin, March 1, 2002
"It's common knowledge that most problems in Israel -- the environment, the tax system, the high number of traffic accidents, to name a few -- are often overlooked because of the existential issue of security. Gil-Ad Harish has called it a 'bad excuse.' 'It doesn't work anymore,' Harish said from his home in Tel Aviv. 'There are so many issues that are f----d up that have nothing to do with the Arabs. It's an abnormal country' ... The government wasn't formed the right way, he charged, and therefore its ministers are receiving on-the-job training. Not only that, but he called the government frozen and corrupt ... Yet he didn't feel like he was exposing the country's dirty laundry; he thinks most people agree with him. Besides, he said the book was for Israelis only."

Hillary's Visit Is 'Transfer' Pols Latest Coup,
[Jewish] Forward, March 1, 2002
"When Senator Hillary Clinton visited Israel last week, she didn't pop by the Arafat compound, nor did she meet with leaders of Peace Now. Instead, Mrs. Clinton, a New York Democrat, was the guest of Binyamin Elon, the leader of the Moledet party, Israel's tourism minister and a long-time advocate of 'transferring' the Palestinian population out of the West Bank and Gaza. While the right-ward tilt of Mrs. Clinton's brief Middle East swing is bound to be debated in the United States, it is the increasing visibility of Mr. Elon that is raising eyebrows in Israel. Indeed, Mr. Elon is seemingly everywhere of late — courted by the media and honored by international leaders. Political observers say his recent spate of public appearances is meant to popularize the 'transfer' concept. Thus far, he has succeeded in snapping up both national support and international attention. Recent polls show that as many as one in three Israelis supports the concept of the forced displacement of Palestinians out of the West Bank and Gaza and into other Arab states. Israel's leading Russian-language daily, Vesti, published a poll indicating that 37% of Russian immigrants support this policy, while 35% of respondents to a poll conducted by the daily Ma'ariv said they support transfer."

The Tragic Reality of Israel, by A. N. Wilson, This is London, March 2002
"In yesterday's Mail on Sunday, Gerald Kaufman, a Jew and a lifelong Zionist wrote a courageous denunciation of present Israeli policies. He said that, having visited Israel over 50 times, he never intended to go back, so deep is his revulsion against Sharon's warmongering ...Those of us Gentiles who have seen ourselves as friends of Israel over the years, have gradually watched any hope of a peaceful 'solution' being destroyed by the policy of Israeli settlements in land that no international lawyer believes to be theirs. This policy, if pursued by any other nation on earth would be universally condemned and they would be forced to withdraw. Until President Bush is prepared to put American ground-troops into the disputed lands and force out the illegal Jewish occupiers, then no one in the world is going to believe in American foreign policy in the Muslim world. What greater act of 'terrorism' can there be than [Israeli prime minister Ariel] Sharon's policy of invasion, backed up by (American-made) tanks and bombs? Israel is by definition an aggressor, since it is occupying land that was already someone else's homeland."

Israel and the U.S. A Unique Relationship, by James Petras,
CSCA Web, January 17, 2002
" Unlike Washington's relation with the EU, Japan and Oceana, it is Israel which pressures and secures vast transfer of financial resources ($2.8 billion per year, $84 billion over 30 years). Israel secures the latest arms and technology transfers, unrestrictive entry into U.S. markets, free entry of immigrants, unconditional commitment of U.S. support in case of war and repression of colonized people and guaranteed U.S. vetoes against any UN resolutions. From the angle of inter-state relations, it is the lesser regional power which exacts a tribute from the Empire, a seeming unique or paradoxical outcome. The explanation for this paradox is found in the powerful and influential role of pro-Israeli Jews in strategic sectors of the U.S. economy, political parties, Congress and Executive Branch. The closest equivalent to past empires is that of influential white settlers in the colonies, who through their overseas linkages were able to secure subsidies and special trading relations. The Israeli 'colons' in the U.S. have invested and donated billions of dollars to Israel, in some cases diverting funds from union dues of low paid workers to purchase Israel bonds used to finance new colonial settlements in the occupied territories. In other cases Jewish fugitives from the U.S. justice system have been protected by the Israeli state, especially super rich financial swindlers like Mark Rich and even gangsters and murderers. Occasional official demands of extradition from the U.S. Justice Department have been pointedly ignored. The colonized Empire has gone out of its way to cover up its subservience to its supposed ally, but in fact hegemonic power."

Israel Sweep of Refugee Camps Goes On,
Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2002
On the second day of a major assault on two refugee camps, Israeli forces pushed deeper into Balata, in the West Bank city of Nablus, and did deadly battle with Palestinian fighters in the Jenin camp, about 25 miles to the north. One Israeli soldier and seven Palestinians--several gunmen, an Islamic militant and one 10-year-old girl--were killed, taking the two-day death toll to 22. By late in the day, the number of wounded was about 200. The operations--which Israel says are designed to capture Palestinian militants who have attacked Israelis--were widely condemned by Israeli commentators as overly risky and ineffective. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's political support sank to a new low, dragged down by a bloody conflict now in its 18th month that he has failed to stop. For Palestinians, this cramped and miserable camp where refugees have lived for the last 52 years has been an enduring symbol of resistance and a crucible for almost every major Palestinian uprising, including the first intifada against Israel in 1987-93 ... More than 20,000 people live, practically on top of one another, in less than half a square mile ... At the start of the incursion, Israeli forces cut electricity and water to the camp. An army spokeswoman said the water was accidentally cut when a bulldozer plowed through a water main. She said it would be repaired. To carry out its house-to-house search, the army punched holes in walls, allowing passage from structure to structure without exposure to enemy fire. In some houses, soldiers entered through the windows. In most cases, they herded the occupants into single rooms while conducting the search, residents said."

Sarid: Terror War to Last as Long as Occupation,
Jerusalem Post, March 4, 2002
"Opposition and [Israeli] Meretz leader MK Yossi Sarid said yesterday in response to the attacks on Israelis on Saturday night and yesterday morning that the 'terror wave would continue as long as the occupation does.' Sarid said the public should be told the truth "even during the craziest times." Efforts must be constantly made to end the occupation and to set a secure border, he added. Sarid said no people has ever accepted being occupied by a foreign power, and the Palestinian people is no different."

State Department Report: Israel's Human Rights Record 'Poor,'
Haaretz, March 5, 2002
"According to State Department figures, based on data collected by the United States Embassy in Tel Aviv and its consulate in Jerusalem, Israel killed 501 Palestinians in the course of 2001, most of them in armed confrontations or violent demonstrations, but some of them in other circumstances, which it described as 'sometimes excessive or indiscriminate fire toward Palestinian civilian areas.' The report claims that Israel has used live fire against Palestinian demonstrations, in violation of the IDF's rules of engagement, and says that Israel's policy of bombing Palestinian security facilities in response to terror attacks in its territory led to the deaths of 93 Palestinians, most of them unarmed, in the course of 2001. The report states that 68 Palestinians were killed in 2001 during incursions into towns and villages in A areas, controlled by the Palestinian Authority. With regard to targeted killings, the report states that Israel targeted at least 33 Palestinians during the course of the year and that 22 civilian bystanders, including four children, were killed during these attacks. In recent months, Israel has launched a diplomatic assault in an effort to persuade the Americans that the assassination policy is indispensable."

Justice Ministry: Belgium Won't Arrest PM for War Crimes,
Haaretz, March 7, 2002
"Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will be able to visit Belgium without fearing that he will be arrested for war crimes, Irit Kahn, the head of the international affairs department at the Justice Ministry, said Wednesday. Speaking from the Belgian capital, Kahn told Ha'aretz that the decision by a Brussels appeals court to delay a decision on whether Belgium has the right to prosecute Sharon for alleged war crimes was 'right and balanced.' The court decision, which reopened a debate that Israel had believed closed, relates to a 1982 Beirut massacre of Palestinian refugees."

The Israeli Army Must Learn New Tactics Or Lose the War,
Telegraph (UK), March 7, 2002
"Professor [Martin] van Creveld, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is not only Israel's leading military historian. He is also known around the staff colleges of the world, which he visits frequently and where he is highly regarded. Creveld's voice carries weight ... During the first intifada [the Israeli army: the Israel Defense Force] was required to become a police force, which sapped its self-image as a heroic fighting force. It performed that task quite successfully, but now it is committed to reprisal missions, which often kill innocents and do not advance the object of deterring terrorists from further atrocities. Creveld goes as far as saying that the IDF is committing 'crimes.' It is, he says, 'committing an endless series of crimes, day by day, night by night, against the unarmed, against the young, against the pregnant. Even when the Palestinians are armed, they are just poor fellows. Armies collapse when they can no longer look themselves in the face.'"

Palestianian Ambulance Workers Killed in West Bank,
Yahoo News (from Reuters), March 7, 2002
"Israeli troops killed two Palestinian ambulance workers on Thursday when they shot at their vehicles in Tulkarm in the West Bank, Palestinian hospital officials and witnesses said. Witnesses and hospital officials said Tammam Salem, 38, was shot dead as his U.N. Relief and Works Agency ambulance traveled through the Tulkram refugee camp, where Israeli troops had seized positions and conducted house-to-house searches for suspected militants. Ambulance driver Ibrahaim Assad was shot dead as he drove his Palestinian Red Crescent vehicle in Tulkarm city, medics said. Nine Palestinians, including the ambulance workers, have been killed in the Tulkarm area in air attacks and fighting since the Israeli raid began earlier in the day. Four other Palestinian ambulance workers were wounded on Thursday when troops opened fire on their Palestinian Red Crescent vehicle in Tulkarm in a third incident, hospital officials said."

Israeli Bomb Hits School for 400 Blind Children,
Telegraph (UK), March 3, 2002
"Nearly 400 blind Palestinian children were left without a school last night after an Israeli 1,000-lb bomb damaged the building. The Rehabilitation Centre for the Visually Impaired, run by the United Nations in Gaza City, was closed indefinitely after being partially destroyed in Israeli bombing aimed at targets nearby on Tuesday night. The office of General Abd al-Razzak al-Majayda, the head of the Palestinian security forces for Gaza, was hit. Walls at the school collapsed and equipment was critically damaged after a 1,000lb bomb was dropped by an American made Israeli F-16 warplane, officials said."

Battle for Palestine, Israel Shamir, March 9, 2002
"On March 3, a Palestinian Rob Roy armed with an old, WWII – vintage carbine, succeeded to lay low the whole troop of heavily armed Jews. One after another, he shot the soldiers, and their officers, and escaped unharmed. In one stroke, he erased the overblown myth of Israeli military valiance. Never again the supporters of Israel will sneer at Arab courage, never again they will tell stories of shoes dropped in Sinai and Six Day War. He repeated the feat of Karameh and returned the honour to Palestinians. He also provided a healthy alternative to the morbid attraction of suicide bombers, and not too early ... The marksman offered a different route to glory, one that does not lead through the Valley of Death. The full story of the Battle at Haramiyeh Pass should be sung by bards, and taught by guerrilla fighters over the world. One against ten, the Lone Ranger hit the most hated symbol of Jewish rule in Palestine, a checkpost, where bored, overfed, sadistic Israeli soldiers daily humiliated, beat and often murdered local people. Just a day before the battle, the soldiers committed probably the most revolting and cowardly act of cruelty. A Palestinian woman on her way to give birth came to the checkpost, accompanied by her husband. The soldiers let her through and then opened fire. Her husband was killed; the pregnant woman was wounded and gave birth in the hospital. The soldiers were not reprimanded, but the Army ‘expressed regrets’ to the survivors. Israeli Army’s main concern is to keep the local population vulnerable and unable to defend itself. Soldiers got used to kill unarmed civilians. Their preferred victims are children; the weapon of choice is a long range high velocity sharp-shooter rifle."

More Israeli Jews Favor Transfer of Palestinians, Israeli Arabs-- Poll Finds,
Haaretz, March 12, 2002
"Some 46 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens favor transferring Palestinians out of the territories, while 31 percent favor transferring Israeli Arabs out of the country, according to the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies' annual national security public opinion poll. In 1991, 38 percent of Israel's Jewish population was in favor of transferring the Palestinians out of the territories while 24 percent supported transferring Israeli Arabs. When the question of transfer was posed in a more roundabout way, 60 percent of respondents said that they were in favor of encouraging Israeli Arabs to leave the country. The results of the survey also reveal that 24 percent of Israel's Jewish citizens believe that Israeli Arabs are not loyal to the state, compared to 38 percent who think the Arabs were loyal to the state at the beginning of the intifada. The poll, overseen by Prof. Asher Arian, also finds that Jewish public opinion is Israel has become more extreme on issues of foreign affairs and defense as well as on possible concessions by Israel during peace talks in particular ... Some 72 percent of Jewish Israelis are opposed to Arab parties being part of a coalition government, compared to 67 percent last year and 50 percent in 1999. This overall shift to the right has been coupled by a significant fall in support for the Oslo process; down from 58 percent last year, to 35 percent this year. Support for the establishment of a Palestinian state has also dropped from 57 percent last year to 49 percent this year."

Israel to Halt 'Nazi-Style' Identity Marks for Palestinian Prisoners,
Ananova, March 12, 2002
"An Israeli MP who survived the Nazi Holocaust has condemned Israeli troops writing ID numbers on the foreheads and arms of Palestinian detainees. The detainees had the numbers stamped on them while awaiting interrogation during an army sweep of a West Bank refugee camp. Lieutenant General Shaul Mofaz said he had ordered an immediate halt to the numbering. Yugoslav-born Tommy Lapid said he had earlier told Mofaz and Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer the practice must stop. The Israeli army said the action was taken to identify and keep track of prisoners last week in the Tulkarem refugee camp. 'As a refugee from the Holocaust I find such an act insufferable,' Lapid said, adding that Mofaz and Ben-Eliezer both pledged action. During the Second World War, concentration camp inmates, most of them Jews, had numbers tattooed on their forearms."

Controversy Over 'Execution' Pictures, BBC News, March 12, 2002
"Eleven photographs [three of the images are posted at BBC] taken by an amateur photographer from his window in east Jerusalem have caused outrage in the Arabic media, which allege they show the summary execution of a Palestinian militant. Israeli police said the man was a would-be suicide bomber who they were forced to kill to prevent him from detonating a 'large explosive device' strapped to his waist. The AFP news agency - which published the graphic, but inconclusive images below - said it had received the testimonies of more than 10 eyewitnesses, who said the man was shot half-an-hour after his arrest when he was completely subdued." [Photos of this incident also here]

[Letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon],
International Press Institute, March 13, 2002
"Your Excellency, The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, strongly condemns the Israeli army’s most recent attacks on journalists and media outlets in the city of Ramallah. According to IPI’s sources, on 12 and 13 March the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) stormed Ramallah in its largest military offensive against Palestinians for 35 years. Supported by at least 150 tanks, bulldozers, artillery and the air force, the IDF laid siege to the city in an apparent punitive action against Palestinians following an escalation in violence between the two sides. On 13 March, an Italian freelance photographer was shot and killed in Ramallah. According to several news reports, Raffaele Ciriello was hit six or seven times in the chest by Israeli gunfire and died shortly afterwards. On the same day, a French journalist, who was not immediately identified, was wounded in the leg by gunfire in Ramallah ... Since November 2000, four Palestinian journalists have also been killed and many others injured. According to eyewitness accounts, on 12 March Israeli troops in Ramallah confiscated a vehicle belonging to a media organisation – an initial report said it belonged to Abu Dhabi Television – in an apparent attempt to disguise themselves and carry out military operations against Palestinians. The vehicle carried the word 'TV' in large, clear markings. On the same day, heavy Israeli machinegun fire shattered the windows of a Link Productions office at the City Inn Hotel in Ramallah, narrowly missing Franz Normann, the correspondent for the Austrian public broadcaster, ORF. Around 30 media workers from other media organisations were also present in the building. Fortunately, there were no injuries but gunfire destroyed an ABC camera after the fleeing crew left it on its tripod. Reports from the journalists present indicated that there were no ongoing hostilities in the area and the IDF was aware that journalists occupied the building, most of whom worked for foreign media organisations. At least two of these press freedom violations appear to be part of a concerted strategy by the Israeli army to control reports on the recent surge in armed hostilities in the region. In addition, IPI believes they have been undertaken with a criminal disregard for civilian lives. Moreover, the apparent decision by the IDF to disguise some of its forces places journalists at risk."

McCalls' Israel Trip Lingers as Issue in Governor's Race,
New York Times, by Adam Nagourney, March 12, 2002
"When H. Carl McCall, the state comptroller and a Democratic candidate for governor of New York, visited Israel for three days last week, he insisted that it was an official state visit to allow him to inspect Israeli investments financed with the New York State pension fund. Even though Mr. McCall acknowledged the trip could benefit his bid for governor, he said it would be paid for mostly by the state pension fund, rather than by his campaign. Yesterday, Mr. McCall's campaign acknowledged the existence of a photograph from that trip taken of the comptroller with a cocked M-16 held to his shoulder, conducting shooting practice at what his aides said was an antiterrorist camp at an undisclosed location in Israel."

Standing Up for Israel, by Ruth Wisse, Harvard Crimson, February 25, 2002
"Students who wish to defend Israel sometimes think that they are engaged in a parochial cause that concerns them only because they are Jewish, or because they have Jewish sympathies or Jewish friends. But in fact, their fellow students may be afraid to stand up for the Jews because of the enormity, intensity and ubiquity of the propaganda against them. This is as true today as it was in the 1930s and for many of the same reasons. Aggression against the Jews is the common denominator of many of the greatest tyrannies of the modern age, and the epidemic of anti-Semitism in Arab lands is all too disturbing evidence of the drift of their political culture. To be sure, those who blame Israel for the aggression against it usually deny that they are anti-Jewish. They say that they are merely anti-Israel and anti-Zionist, not against the Jewish people as such. But as Hillel Halkin sums it up in the latest issue of Commentary, 'Israel is the state of the Jews. Zionism is the belief that the Jews should have a state. To defame Israel is to defame the Jews. To wish that it never existed, or would cease to exist, is to wish to destroy the Jews.'”

Mubarek: Israel's Policies Sowing Hatred in Arab World,
Haaretz, March 16, 2002
"In an exclusive interview broadcast Friday night on Channel One, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warned Israel that its policies toward the Palestinians are sowing hatred for the country throughout the entire Arab world. According to Mubarak, an entire generation of Arabs will learn to hate Israel if the current situation continues for another ten to fifteen years. 'How will you contend with 400 million people,' the Egyptian president asked. Mubarak cited the role of the satellite television and other forms of media in exposing Arabs to the policies practiced by Israel. Asked about coming to Israel to speak directly to the Israeli people, Mubarak said that in light of the killing that is taking place, now was not the right time for him to visit Israel. He noted that he sympathizes with the Palestinians as well as with the 'unarmed Israeli citizens killed in terror attacks.' Mubarak also warned Israel not to consider transferring the Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Jordan. According to Mubarak, such an act would pose the biggest threat to Israel's existence. 'I am warning you. You will be in great danger," he said. "Don't even consider such a thing.'"

Father, Son Dead; Family Wonders Why,
Washington Post, March 13, 2002
"As Israeli forces rumbled close to his house, 54-year-old Abdul Rahman Izzadin headed up the stairs and called down to his wife, children and grandchildren to stay indoors. Those were the last words they heard him say. At the top of the stairs, as he reached to close the metal door leading to the rooftop, he was shot three times -- in the ear, neck and cheek -- and killed instantly, apparently by an Israeli sniper on the roof of an adjacent house that neighbors said the army had commandeered. Moments later, when Izzadin's 36-year-old son Walid rushed to his father's aid, he, too, was shot to death. It is not known why they were fired upon. The Izzadins, killed as Israel invaded the Gaza Strip's Jabalya refugee camp late Monday, were buried today. Weeping family members accused Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of terrorism, and called him a 'beast.' 'Oh, my son, my son, my beloved son!' sobbed Walid's mother -- and Abdul Rahman's widow -- tears streaming down her cheeks. Her enraged daughters and daughters-in-law grabbed the two men's bloodstained clothes from a plastic sack and held them out to foreign visitors, as if demanding an explanation. The Israeli invasion of Jabalya lasted just three hours, from 10:30 p.m."

South African Jews Turn Out for Israel During National Zionist Conference,
JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), March 11, 2002
"Hundreds of delegates rallied behind Israel at South Africa´s largest Zionist conference in some 20 years. The 45th conference of the South African Zionist Federation, held last weekend in Johannesburg, recalled the vibrant movement that played a leading role in the community until the late 1980s. With the 80,000-strong Jewish community feeling less secure than it has for many years because of the government´s perceived pro-Palestinian bias, the conference was a significant show of solidarity. Speakers included South Africa´s deputy foreign minister, Aziz Pahad; the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, Tony Leon; and the chairman of the executive of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sallai Meridor ... Leon, who is Jewish and married to an Israeli, said that 'too often, leading members of the government misuse my religion, or my wife´s national origin, in a despicable attempt to place a bar or ceiling on my party´s support.'"

Viva La Similarities, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, March 15, 2002
"It was a great idea: a restaurant gathering at Tomayo’s, an East Los Angeles eatery known for its vibrant Latino cultural life, hosted by Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles, that would unite Los Angeles’ Jews and Latinos. 'The idea was to bring the Jewish people to the Eastside and have half Jewish food, half Mexican food,' said Yuval Rotem, the Israeli consul general ... . [T]he Israeli consulate, in conjunction with New America Alliance (NAA), finally realized its multicultural mission by holding its inaugural Jewish-Latino event. Such bonding is only natural in Los Angeles, said Rotem of the city that happens to be home to the second-largest Jewish community and the largest Latino community in the United States. 'I think these kind of events help introduce different perceptions about each other, as well as sensitivities toward each other,' Rotem said. 'It was extremely festive,' said Naomi Rodriguez, the Israeli consulate’s liaison to the Latino community. 'It was a huge party of community. It just felt like family ... The Jewish-Latino function is not the consulate’s first gesture to bring the two cultures together. A year-and-a-half ago, the Israeli consulate took a bold step by hiring Rodriguez as its liaison to the Latino community. According to Rotem, it was the first time that a non-Jewish Latino was brought in on this level in any Israeli consulate. Only this week, an Israeli consulate in Texas began employing a Latino liaison. Rodriguez will be stepping down from the position she inaugurated to work on L.A. Mayor James Hahn’s staff ... In assuming her role as the mayor’s deputy director of protocol, Rodriguez said that she will still work with the consulate on some level. 'I’m still going to do whatever I can to move this agenda forward,' Rodriguez said. 'I had a wonderful time working here. I just think I ended on a good note.' Despite Rodriguez’s departure next week, 'this position is going to be an integral part of the consulate,' said, Rotem, who added that the consulate is currently interviewing candidates to fill Rodriguez’s shoes."

Watchdog Slams Israeli Army's Open Fire Rules,
Yahoo!News, March 21, 2002
"An Israeli watchdog group slammed the Israeli army on Thursday for what it called lax open-fire regulations that allowed 'trigger-happy' soldiers to kill or injure many innocent Palestinians. The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, known as B'Tselem, also said in a report, based mainly on the testimonies of Israeli soldiers who had served in the West Bank and Gaza Strip (news - web sites), that the army rarely investigated attacks on innocent Palestinians. The report, entitled 'Trigger Happy,' said the Israeli Defense Force had secretly relaxed open-fire regulations after the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising, through the expansion of the term 'life-threatening situation.' 'The IDF's open-fire policy throughout this intifada (uprising) has resulted in extensive harm to Palestinian civilians who were not involved in any activity against Israel,' a summary of the 44-page report said. 'These incidents are not 'exceptional' cases, but rather they constitute a large portion of the casualties throughout the occupied territories,' it added."

Christian Broadcaster Urges Americans to Visit Israel,
Jerusalem Post, March 22, 2002
"Proudly declaring his 'passionate' support for Israel, Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) president Michael D. Little yesterday called on American Christians to visit the Jewish state and pray for its well-being. 'Israel is an important country to the United States and to Bible-believing Christians. This is the time to support Israel like never before. We must align ourselves in solidarity with them,' said Little, visiting here for the 38th time since 1973, in an interview to be broadcast on JPost Radio ... As chief operating officer of CBN, Little administers a broadcasting network with over 1 million viewers daily across the United States. CBN programming, which includes daily news and features, is also transmitted via satellite to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The network was founded 40 years ago by Pat Robertson, the television evangelist and former Republican presidential candidate."

Israeli Weapons Bear an Embarassing Label: Made in USA
Sydney Morning Herald, March 23, 2002
"British objections to the use of British-supplied weapons in Israel's latest military push against the Palestinians have focused new attention on the United States' reluctance to restrain Israel's use of the multi-billion-dollar, high-tech arms it sells to the Jewish state each year. The US is embarrassed by the high profile given to some of its machinery in the occupied territories - particularly its F-16 fighter jets, in missile strikes against police stations and other public buildings, and its Apache attack helicopters, in Israel's controversial campaign to assassinate Palestinian militants. But the Administration has refused to go public with its growing unease over the use of US weaponry, in what the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, now calls an 'all-out conventional war' on Palestinian civilians. But last week Britain revealed that in 2000 it had extracted a written assurance from Israel that no military equipment originating from Britain would be used in the occupied territories. The revelation was sparked when a British diplomat stationed in the Middle East recognised an Israeli armoured personnel carrier as a modified Centurion tank, which Britain had supplied to Israel up until 1970. Now Britain is demanding an explanation from the Israelis."

Controlled Media,
Haaretz, March 26, 2002
"The [Israeli] public broadcasting system has always been a pawn in the hands of the politicians. All the previous prime ministers appointed their people to senior executive positions - director general, chairman, Israel Radio chief, and director general of Israel Television - and even tried influencing lower-ranking executives. Their aides often tried to intervene in the content of the IBA's programming, causing damage to the professional ethical values to which all journalists are committed, and to the integrity required of public servants. Ariel Sharon is continuing that tradition - though in a blatant and ruthless manner. That over-involvement is the result of a malignant anomaly characterizing the public broadcasting system in Israel: the subordination of the press and creative production to the government's control, and the lack of any protective mechanisms to enable independent management of these systems. Channel One, Channel 33, the state radio networks, Educational Television (which is subordinate to the Education Ministry) and Army Radio, are all crooked creatures of this anomaly. All suffer from professional erosion, damage to professional norms of behavior for journalists, hidden unemployment, and bad management."

Red Cross Head in Israel: IDF has 'Trampled' on Geneva Conventions,
Haaretz, March 20, 2002
"The chief representative for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel and the Palestinian areas has lambasted the Israel Defense Forces' behavior toward medical teams in the territories. Rene Kosirnik said on Monday he felt 'betrayed' by the IDF's actions, and that the army had 'wantonly and crudely trampled' all over the Fourth Geneva Convention protocols, which expressly forbids shooting at ambulances. Speaking with members of the French Senate's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, on a visit to the area, Kosirnik said that in his 25 years in the field, he has never experienced such a difficult time as this current point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He mentioned the four doctors, medics and Palestinian ambulance drivers killed by IDF fire in recent weeks, and another 12 who have been wounded, five of them seriously. 'I was shocked and deeply hurt,' said Kosirnik. 'I expected much more of the IDF. Nothing justifies such behavior.' He went on to say that he was yet to receive any proof of the IDF claims that the Palestine Red Crescent Society ambulances were being used to smuggle armed activists and he said there was no 'terrorist or warrior' among the medical workers who had been killed or injured. Kosirnik talked of how he felt betrayed by the IDF, as it had promised his organization that it would allow ambulances to pass through checkpoints unscathed, but had, in some cases, opened fire on them anyway."

2 Grieving Mothers; 2 Points of View,
Seattle P-I, March 25, 2002
"Robi Damelin thought of her 28-year-old son David as a "best friend," a fellow non-conformist who talked to her about art and philosophy and shared her left-wing politics. She urged him to skip his reserve duty even if it meant going to jail. In Israeli newspapers and on television, she has been telling the world that her son died in vain, for what she sees as the ugly face of Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and the expansion of Jewish settlements there ... In Tel Aviv, the secular heart of the Jewish state, Damelin is a self-assured public relations executive in her 50s. She says David died protecting the [Jewish] settlements, which she calls 'ghettos of hate.' She blames the 'world of cliches' that Israeli leaders use when they say the country needs settlements for its security and that the Arabs cannot be trusted to make peace. 'We haven't tried another way, have we?' she asked. 'Violence brings violence. It's just more of the same thing ... until somebody sits down and talks, this is going to be the daily bread of the Israelis and the Palestinians.'"

The Israel Lobby, by Michael Lind,
Prospect (UK), April 2002
"America's unconditional support for Israel runs counter to the interests of the US and its allies. We need an open, unprejudiced debate about it. The indifference of much of the national security elite and the public to the [Middle East], in between crises, permitted US policy to be dominated by two US domestic lobbies, one ethnic and one economic-the Israel lobby and the oil industry (which occasionally clashed over issues like US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia). Times have changed. The collapse of the Soviet empire created a power vacuum which has been filled by the US, first in the Persian Gulf following the Gulf war, and now in central Asia as a result of the Afghan war. Today the middle east is becoming the centre of US foreign policy -- a fact illustrated in the most shocking way by the al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. A debate within the US over the goals and methods of American policy in the middle east is long overdue. Unfortunately, an uninhibited debate is not taking place, because of the disproportionate influence of the Israel lobby. Today the Israel lobby distorts US foreign policy in a number of ways. Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, enabled by US weapons and money, inflames anti-American attitudes in Arab and Muslim countries. The expansion of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land makes a mockery of the US commitment to self-determination for Kosovo, East Timor and Tibet. The US strategy of dual containment of Iraq and Iran, pleases Israel -- which is most threatened by them-but violates the logic of realpolitik and alienates most of America's other allies. Beyond the region, US policy on nuclear weapons proliferation is undermined by the double standard that has led it to ignore Israel's nuclear programme while condemning those of India and Pakistan. The debate that is missing in the US is not one between Americans who want Israel to survive and those -- a marginal minority -- who want Israel to be destroyed. The US should support Israel's right to exist within internationally-recognised borders and to defend itself against threats. What is needed is a debate between those who want to link US support for Israel to Israeli behaviour, in the light of America's own strategic goals and moral ideals, and those who want there to be no linkage. For the American Israel lobby, Tony Smith observes in his authoritative study, Foreign Attachments: The Power of Ethnic Groups in the Making of American Foreign Policy (Harvard), "to be a 'friend of Israel' or 'pro-Israel' apparently means something quite simple: that Israel alone should decide the terms of its relations with its Arab neighbours and that the US should endorse these terms, whatever they may be.'"

Arabs and Europeans Criticize Israel, US Stands By Its Ally,
Yahoo!News (from AFP), March 30, 2002
"Arab and European states criticized Israel on Friday and mounted a diplomatic drive to cut short its military drive against the Palestinians, but the United States stood by its main Middle East ally. US Secretary of State Colin Powell did not endorse Israel's incursion into Yasser Arafat's base in the West Bank city of Ramallah, but said Washington recognized Israel's right to defend itself. He blamed Arafat for failing to curb the violence, including a suicide bombing that killed 21 holidaymakers Wednesday on the northern Israel coast, prompting the Israeli riposte and dealing a new blow to US peace efforts ... Arafat, in a TV interview by telephone, said Israel could not have launched its offensive without Washington's approval. 'The entire world should be aware that Israel does not, and can not, act without American consent,' he said. Arab officials spoke among themselves and contacted the United States and other powers on behalf of Arafat, who has been cooped up by the Israelis in Ramallah for four months."

See more links about Israel at Israel, pt. 3.

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When Victims Rule. A Critique of Jewish pre-eminence in America

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