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July 24, 2014

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Some articles I liked on the Israeli attack on Gaza, July 2014. I'll continue adding more below in the days ahead:

1. Beautiful dream of Israel has become a nightmare

There is no understanding Gaza out of context — Hamas rockets or unjustifiable terrorist attacks on civilians — and that context is the longest ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in the recent and present centuries, the ongoing attempt to destroy Palestinian nationhood.

The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto. Unlike Israel, Palestinians lack Apache helicopters, guided drones, jet fighters with bombs, laser-guided artillery. Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm. With such a gross imbalance of power, there is no equivalence of culpability.

Israel wants peace? Perhaps, but as the veteran Israeli journalist Gideon Levy has pointed out, it does not want a just peace. Occupation and creeping annexation, an inhumane blockade, the destruction of olive groves, the arbitrary imprisonment of thousands, torture, daily humiliation of civilians, house demolitions: these are not policies compatible with any desire for a just peace. In Tel Aviv Gideon Levy now moves around with a bodyguard, the price of speaking the truth.

2. How the West Chose War in Gaza

The current escalation in Gaza is a direct result of the choice by Israel and the West to obstruct the implementation of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. The road out of the crisis is a reversal of that policy.

3. The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce

While Israel was too busy preparing for the ground invasion, why didn’t anyone in the diplomatic community spend a word about this proposal? The question is all the more poignant as this proposal was in essence in line with what many international experts as well as the United Nations have asked for years now, and included some aspects that Israel had already considered as feasible requests in the past. …

Perhaps more surprisingly, the international community – with the exception of Turkey and Qatar – has spent no words on the Hamas truce proposal although many of the points of the proposal already enjoy international support. This refusal to deal with the proposal is particularly problematic in the current context. Without any pressure by the international community, Israel, the party who has the upper hand in this conflict, will feel legitimized to keep refusing negotiations for a real truce with Hamas. Truces and negotiations are made with enemies not friends. International organizations and Western leaders, echoing Israel and the United States, maintain that Hamas is a terrorist organization and thus any direct negotiations with it are embargoed.

4. Why do Palestinians continue to support Hamas despite such devastating losses?

For the Palestinians, the choice is between occupation by proxy in the West Bank and a war in Gaza. Both offer no hope, and neither are forms of freedom. The Israeli promise — that an end to armed struggle will bring freedom — is not trustworthy, as the experiences of past years has shown. It simply never happens. The quiet years in the West Bank have not brought the Palestinians any closer to an independent state, while the truce in between wars in Gaza has not brought about a relief from the siege.

5. In Gaza, a funeral for the two-state solution?

For the Israeli leadership, the Gaza operation fits with an increasingly openly-stated view that the conflict with the Palestinians can only be managed, not resolved via the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday.

The message to the international community from Israel’s leaders is unequivocal: The occupation cannot and will not be ended; Hamas will administer Gaza and the Palestinian Authority will administer the West Bank, both under the shadow of Israeli security control. Talk of a two-state solution in any meaningful sense remains illusory; the status quo will be enforced, by military force if necessary, for the foreseeable future.

6. Studies continually show strong pro-Israel bias in western media

Israel is assumed to be good, peaceful, and like ‘us’. The Palestinians, meanwhile, are backwards, violent, and foreign. These are the assumptions that most western news outlets start with, and questions like Tapper’s follow naturally. One can easily imagine the media uproar if it were Hamas that struck a disabled center with a rocket, or killed 18 members of the same family, or four kids on a beach.

Studies show that when Israel does commit atrocities, they are often justified by western news outlets, and sometimes altogether suppressed. As journalist Amena Saleem reported last August, BBC News instructed its reporters to positively spin stories about Israeli violence in Gaza during a November 2012 operation that killed about 200 Palestinians after Israel broke a ceasefire with Hamas.… Between 30 June and 9 July [2014], CNN interviewed a total of 17 Israeli officials, but just one Palestinian official.

7. Incremental Genocide: An Interview with Ilan Pappe

In a recent Opinion piece published onElectronic Intifada, Israeli historian Ilan Pappe defines the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an "incremental genocide." He writes “Israel’s present assault on Gaza, alas, indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action—then and now—within a wider historical context.” Malihe Razazan spoke with Professor Ilan Pappe about ways in which we need to examine the ongoing Israeli military aggression on Gaza within a wider historical background. The interview was conducted on 15 July, prior to the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza.

8. Renouncing my Israeli citizenship

As a serious student of the Nazi Holocaust, I can only be horrified at the disgrace that the State of Israel and its Jewish supporters continue to bring upon the memory of Jewish Holocaust victims. It’s a moral abomination to emulate Nazi tactics in the name of the Jewish people and their alleged security: cowardly massive bombings and slaughter of civilian populations who have no air force to protect them, collective punishment and torture, mass incarcerations, destruction of thousands of homes, and the vicious blockade and ghettoization of Gaza.

Israel is not becoming an apartheid state—it already is one with separate and unequal laws and policing for its Jewish citizens on one hand and for its non-Jewish, mostly Arab citizens and victims of the occupation on the other hand.

9. No, Israel Does Not Have the Right to Self-Defense In International Law Against Occupied Palestinian Territory

A state cannot simultaneously exercise control over territory it occupies and militarily attack that territory on the claim that it is “foreign” and poses an exogenous national security threat. In doing precisely that, Israel is asserting rights that may be consistent with colonial domination but simply do not exist under international law.

10. Breaking the Silence: Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories

Breaking the Silence is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life.

11. Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?

Nearly every week for three decades, he has travelled to the Occupied Territories and described what he sees, plainly and without propaganda. “My modest mission,” he says, “is to prevent a situation in which many Israelis will be able to say, ‘We didn’t know.’” And for that, many people want him silenced. The story of Gideon Levy – and the attempt to deride, suppress or deny his words – is the story of Israel distilled. If he loses, Israel itself is lost.

“My biggest struggle,” he says, “is to rehumanize the Palestinians. There’s a whole machinery of brainwashing in Israel which really accompanies each of us from early childhood, and I’m a product of this machinery as much as anyone else. [We are taught] a few narratives that it’s very hard to break. That we Israelis are the ultimate and only victims. That the Palestinians are born to kill, and their hatred is irrational. That the Palestinians are not human beings like us… So you get a society without any moral doubts, without any questions marks, with hardly public debate. To raise your voice against all this is very hard.”

12. Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda

In a campaign to improve its image abroad, the Israeli government plans to provide scholarships to hundreds of students at its seven universities in exchange for their making pro-Israel Facebook posts and tweets to foreign audiences. The students making the posts will not reveal online that they are funded by the Israeli government, according to correspondence about the plan revealed in the Haaretz newspaper.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which will oversee the programme, confirmed its launch and wrote that its aim was to “strengthen Israeli public diplomacy and make it fit the changes in the means of information consumption”.

13. Israel and Palestine: A very short introduction

A short animated introduction into the Israel | Palestinian conflict and an invitation to join the struggle.

14. Juan Cole prints a map and the blogosphere erupts

[Juan Cole] mirrored a map of modern Palestinian history that has the virtue of showing graphically what has happened to the Palestinians politically and territorially in the past century. The map attracted so much ire and controversy not because it is inaccurate but because it clearly shows what has been done to the Palestinians, which the League of Nations had recognized as not far from achieving statehood in its Covenant. Their statehood and their territory has been taken from them, and they have been left stateless, without citizenship and therefore without basic civil and human rights. The map makes it easy to see this process. The map had to be stigmatized and made taboo.

15. On 'human shielding' in Gaza

Again, the logic [of the Israeli state] is clear. All civilians in Gaza are being held hostage by Hamas, which is considered a war crime and a gross violation of international law governing armed conflict. This, then, provides legal and moral justification against the accusation that Israel is the one killing civilians. Presumed human rights violations carried out by Palestinians against Palestinians - taking hostages and human shielding - thus become the legitimisation of lethal and indiscriminate violence on the part of the occupying force.

Hence, the use of human shields is not only a violation. In contemporary asymmetric urban wars, accusing the enemy of using human shields helps validate the claim that the death of "untargeted civilians" is merely collateral damage. When all civilians are potential human shields, when each and every civilian can become a hostage of the enemy, then all enemy civilians become killable.

16. Sayed Kashua: why I have to leave Israel

Twenty-five years of writing in Hebrew, and nothing has changed. Twenty-five years clutching at the hope, believing it is not possible that people can be so blind. Twenty-five years during which I had few reasons to be optimistic but continued to believe that one day this place in which both Jews and Arabs live together would be the one story where the story of the other is not denied. That one day the Israelis would stop denying the Nakba, the Occupation, and the suffering of the Palestinian people. That one day the Palestinians would be willing to forgive and together we would build a place that was worth living in.

Twenty-five years that I am writing and knowing bitter criticism from both sides, but last week I gave up. Last week something inside of me broke. When Jewish youth parade through the city shouting "Death to the Arabs," and attack Arabs only because they are Arabs, I understood that I had lost my little war.

17. "Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists"

I'm making a documentary film about American Jews who take an independent line on Israel and the Middle East. The film (which will obviously be different in many ways from the trailer, above) will be called "Some of My Best Friends Are Zionists." As the title suggests, the film will try to strike a tone on these subjects that's less paralyzed by stereotypes than we're used to. I've interviewed ten people so far including Tony Kushner, Judith Butler, James Schamus, Alisa Solomon, Marilyn Neimark, and Alan Sokal.

18. Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more.

19. Gaza: Why a ‘Cease-Fire’ is Not enough

Israel has no strategic war aims in Gaza because it has no large scale, long term strategy concerning the Strip. Its war is all about tactics and minutiae. How many tunnels and rockets can it destroy? How much damage can it inflict on the Hamas leadership? But tunnels and rockets can be rebuilt and the dead leaders’ cousins will take over after them.

It is frankly stupid to think the Israelis can, in Mitt Romney’s words, kick the can down the road forever on making peace with the Palestinians. It hasn’t tried because Israel wants Palestinian land and resources and won’t give them up.

20. Shlomo Sand: an enemy of the Jewish people?

Sand is a professor at Tel Aviv university and author of The Invention of the Jewish People. His quiet earthquake of a book is shaking historical faith in the link between Judaism and Israel. [The book depicts] how most Jews are descended from converts who never set foot in the Holy Land. That has come as a bit of a surprise to many Jews and as a colossal affront to Zionism, Israel's national ideology. The modern Israeli state was founded on belief in a "Jewish people" as a unified nation, established in biblical times, scattered by Rome, stranded in exile for 2,000 years, then returned to the Promised Land.

21. Israel's attack on Gaza is revenge for the Palestinians' refusal to accept occupation

There is method in madness, and the Israeli insanity, which refuses to grasp the extent of its revenge in Gaza, has very good reasons for being the way it is. The entire nation is the army, the army is the nation, and both are represented by a Jewish-democratic government and a loyal press, and the four of them work together to stave off the great betrayal: the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize the normalcy of the situation.

22. It Turns Out Hamas Didn’t Kidnap and Kill the 3 Israeli Teens After All

When the bodies of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped in the West Bank, were found late last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not mince words. "Hamas is responsible, and Hamas will pay," he said, initiating a campaign that eventually escalated into the present conflict in the region. But now, officials admit the kidnappings were not Hamas's handiwork after all.

23. A Gaza Breviary

8. An oldie but a goodie. Harvard scholar Ruth Wisse writes, “Palestinian Arabs, people who breed and bleed and advertise their misery.” Not for nothing is she the “Martin Peretz professor of Yiddish and professor of comparative literature.”

16. Nicholas Kristof writes, “Hamas sometimes seems to have more support on certain college campuses in America or Europe than within Gaza.” In support of his claim about support for Hamas on American college campuses, Kristof links to a Washington Post article about the American Studies Association vote for BDS. In which the word Hamas appears…never. Not even in the comments. In support of his claim about European support for Hamas, Kristof links to a New York Times article about Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott of Israel. In which the word Hamas appears…never.

24. What's the use of 'balance' in such an asymmetric war?

As always, Israel claims to be acting in self-defence, blaming the victims of its military aggression for their own misfortunes. Yet the basic cause for this war is the 47-year-old Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. True, in 2005 Israel carried out a unilateral disengagement of Gaza. But, under international law, it remains the occupying power because it continues to control access to the strip by land, sea and air. An occupying power has a legal obligation to protect civilians in the areas it controls, yet Israel has been shelling and killing them.

25. The country that wouldn't grow up (Tony Judt in 2006)

But today everything is different. We can see, in retrospect, that the victory of Israel in June 1967 and its continuing occupation of the territories it conquered then have been the Jewish state's very own nakba: a moral and political catastrophe. Israel's actions in the West Bank and Gaza have magnified and publicized the country's shortcomings and displayed them to a watching world. Curfews, checkpoints, bulldozers, public humiliations, home destructions, land seizures, shootings, "targeted assassinations," the separation fence: All of these routines of occupation and repression were once familiar only to an informed minority of specialists and activists. Today they can be watched, in real time, by anyone with a computer or a satellite dish - which means that Israel's behavior is under daily scrutiny by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The result has been a complete transformation in the international view of Israel. Until very recently the carefully burnished image of an ultra-modern society - built by survivors and pioneers and peopled by peace-loving democrats - still held sway over international opinion. But today? What is the universal shorthand symbol for Israel, reproduced worldwide in thousands of newspaper editorials and political cartoons? The Star of David emblazoned upon a tank.

26. Collective Punishment in Gaza (Rashid Khalidi in the New Yorker)

What Israel is doing in Gaza now is collective punishment. It is punishment for Gaza’s refusal to be a docile ghetto. It is punishment for the gall of Palestinians in unifying, and of Hamas and other factions in responding to Israel’s siege and its provocations with resistance, armed or otherwise, after Israel repeatedly reacted to unarmed protest with crushing force. Despite years of ceasefires and truces, the siege of Gaza has never been lifted.

As Netanyahu’s own words show, however, Israel will accept nothing short of the acquiescence of Palestinians to their own subordination. It will accept only a Palestinian “state” that is stripped of all the attributes of a real state: control over security, borders, airspace, maritime limits, contiguity, and, therefore, sovereignty. The twenty-three-year charade of the “peace process” has shown that this is all Israel is offering, with the full approval of Washington. Whenever the Palestinians have resisted that pathetic fate (as any nation would), Israel has punished them for their insolence. This is not new.

27. Lancet: an Open Letter for the People of Gaza

We are doctors and scientists, who spend our lives developing means to care and protect health and lives. We are also informed people; we teach the ethics of our professions, together with the knowledge and practice of it. We all have worked in and known the situation of Gaza for years. On the basis of our ethics and practice, we are denouncing what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel.

We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called “defensive aggression”. In reality it is a ruthless assault of unlimited duration, extent, and intensity. We wish to report the facts as we see them and their implications on the lives of the people.

28. Bowing to AIPAC, Senate unanimously passes resolution supporting Israel

Included in the U.S. Senate's obscene 100-0 vote are "even progressive saints Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, and Bernie Sanders ... For the record, no U.S. military adventure has had the support of all hundred senators in decades. But, hey, this is Israel. And, more important, this is AIPAC."

29. Gaza and the Loss of Civilization An exchange between Brian Eno and Peter Schwartz

As for the Peace Process: Israel wants the Process but not the Peace. While 'the process' is going on the settlers continue grabbing land and building their settlements… and then when the Palestinians finally erupt with their pathetic fireworks they get hammered and shredded with state-of-the-art missiles and depleted uranium shells because Israel 'has a right to defend itself' ( whereas Palestine clearly doesn't). And the settler militias are always happy to lend a fist or rip up someone's olive grove while the army looks the other way. By the way, most of them are not ethnic Israelis - they're 'right of return' Jews from Russia and Ukraine and Moravia and South Africa and Brooklyn who came to Israel recently with the notion that they had an inviolable (God-given!) right to the land, and that 'Arab' equates with 'vermin' - straightforward old-school racism delivered with the same arrogant, shameless swagger that the good ole boys of Louisiana used to affect. That is the culture our taxes are defending. It's like sending money to the Klan.

30. Primer on Palestine, Israel and the Arab-Israeli Conflict from Middle East Research and Information Project

The conflict between Palestinian Arabs and Zionist (now Israeli) Jews is a modern phenomenon, dating to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the two groups have different religions (Palestinians include Muslims, Christians and Druze), religious differences are not the cause of the strife. The conflict began as a struggle over land. From the end of World War I until 1948, the area that both groups claimed was known internationally as Palestine. That same name was also used to designate a less well-defined “Holy Land” by the three monotheistic religions. Following the war of 1948–1949, this land was divided into three parts: the State of Israel, the West Bank (of the Jordan River) and the Gaza Strip.

31. Auschwitz Survivor on Palestine (Video)

Auschwitz survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer … expresses in impassioned terms his dismay at what he sees as the moral collapse of contemporary Israeli society and the worldwide Jewish community as a whole. Meyer is a member of "A Different Jewish Voice," a Dutch-based, secular Jewish movement that dares to openly criticize Israel's policies toward the Palestinians ... Meyer compares Israel's current policies with the early stages of the Nazis' persecution of the German Jews. [He also comments on the increasingly dishonorable use of the label "anti-semitism":]

“Any criticism of the policies of Israel is hampered and made impossible by the terrible trick and crime of Israeli propaganda that any criticism of the politics of Israel comes out as induced by anti-semitic feelings ... our main purpose is to show to the world that we are Jews and we are conscious Jews and we want to show that you must criticize Israel if you at all want anything good for the Jews in the world, because what Israel is doing is destroying the Jewish world and Jewish heritage.”

32. 'Israel does not understand anything but force' — an interview with Shlomo Sand (2009)

Bernard-Henry Lévy also points to Hamas's use of the human shield strategy…

What hypocrisy! Has he forgotten what he learned from Mao? A resistance movement must be able to swim among the population like a fish in water. Hamas is not an army, it is a terroristic resistance movement that acts like all those that preceded it, from the FLN to the Vietcong. It is precisely because our leaders know this that they have the duty to privilege diplomacy and avoid committing massacres of civilians. We have proven that we have no moral restraint, no more than France did in 1957 when it destroyed entire villages in Algeria. What shocks me now more than ever before is that the state that I served as a soldier in two wars, and which from its 1948 Declaration of Independence defined itself as the state of all Jews, now belongs to Bernard-Henri Lévy more than it does to my university friends who live here and pay their taxes here but are of Arab origin. What does it mean to be a Zionist when you live in France, do not want to live under Jewish government, and identify with the worst of Israel's leaders' policies? It means feeding the rise of anti-Semitism.

33. A 'self-hating' Jew's guide to answering Zionist talking points

I grew up being indoctrinated by Zionists throughout my life. As a child, I was told that the state of Israel is somehow “necessary” to prevent another Holocaust. I was also told that Palestine/Israel was empty and uninhabited when Jews began emigrating there in the late 1800s, and was still sparsely populated after World War II. I was taught that the Jews are a chosen people with the right to their own homeland. Eventually, however, I started to see the contradictions and began questioning this ideology. …

When we as Jews say “never again” to another Holocaust, it must hold for all people, not just Jews. I, for one, will never keep quiet while my people are complicit in the subjugation of anyone else, particularly when it is based on racist and nationalist ideology. It is, however, encouraging that an increasing number of Jews in Israel and worldwide are standing with the Palestinians in their struggle for justice.

34. Henry Siegman, Leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, on Gaza: "A Slaughter of Innocents" (Video)

Responding to Israel’s U.S.-backed claim that its assault on Gaza is necessary because no country would tolerate the rocket fire from militants in Gaza, Siegman says: "What undermines this principle is that no country and no people would live the way that Gazans have been made to live… The question of the morality of Israel’s action depends, in the first instance, on the question, couldn’t Israel be doing something [to prevent] this disaster that is playing out now, in terms of the destruction of human life? Couldn’t they have done something that did not require that cost? And the answer is, sure, they could have ended the occupation."

35. The risk of opposing Israel in the US By Ruth Fowler

Nevertheless, the fear of being tagged as anti-Semitic is why many white Americans — including “progressives” such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren who continue to vote for pro-Israeli policies even when they say weakly that they do not support Israeli violence — stay silent. They cannot afford to be ostracized socially, politically and economically because of their views.

Because of this silence, the pariah status of being one who opposes Israeli violence and supports Palestine’s right to exist remains unspoken in the United States. We pretend it doesn’t happen. We carefully couch our opinions in phrases like “Well, both sides are at fault.” “Both sides have a point,” we say, holding our chins. We nod when someone tells us that Israel must destroy Palestine because Hamas hates all Jews and wants them dead, that Hamas uses children as human shields and parades them as martyrs. We remain silent because we do not want to upset friends.

36. Palestine: The Hatred and the Hope By David Shulman

Here we have the tragedy of the present moment at its starkest. If the Gaza war were part of an Israeli policy meant to empower the Palestinian moderates in order to conclude a settlement with them, then there would be at least some sense to the carnage. But it is not. The government’s attack on Hamas in the West Bank , which set off the present war, was presumably an attempt to break up the recently formed Palestinian unity government. Netanyahu predictably saw this alliance of moderates and extremists—under a single program that explicitly rejected violence—as a serious threat rather than the opportunity it could have been.

37. How Israel helped create Hamas By Ishaan Tharoor

The current fighting ... obscures Hamas's curious history. To a certain degree, the Islamist organization whose militant wing has rained rockets on Israel the past few weeks has the Jewish state to thank for its existence. Hamas launched in 1988 in Gaza at the time of the first intifada, or uprising, with a charter now infamous for its anti-Semitism and its refusal to accept the existence of the Israeli state. But for more than a decade prior, Israeli authorities actively enabled its rise.

38. Hamas’s Chances By Nathan Thrall

The current war in Gaza was not one Israel or Hamas sought. But both had no doubt that a new confrontation would come. The 21 November 2012 ceasefire that ended an eight-day-long exchange of Gazan rocket fire and Israeli aerial bombardment was never implemented. It stipulated that all Palestinian factions in Gaza would stop hostilities against Israel, that Israel would end attacks against Gaza by land, sea and air – including the ‘targeting of individuals’ (assassinations, typically by drone-fired missile) – and that the closure of Gaza would essentially end as a result of Israel’s ‘opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods, and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas’.

39. Hollywood divided: passions high as actors and celebrities speak out on Gaza By Rory Carroll

It is perhaps the last taboo in Hollywood but the carnage in Gaza is prompting an increasing number of artists and celebrities to do the unthinkable: criticise Israel. Figures as varied as Rihanna, Jonathan Demme and Selena Gomez have broken the cardinal rule, and risked giving their publicists cardiac arrest, by publicly expressing solidarity with the Palestinians.

40. An honest Israeli Jew tells the Real Truth about Israel (Video)

Here is a powerful, eye-opening talk by Miko Peled, who "was born in Jerusalem into a famous and influential Israeli Zionist family. His father was a famous General in the Israeli Army, of which Miko also served his time.” Interweaving the engaging personal history of his own family with the history of the Israeli state, he explodes a series of popular myths and lies about the conflict that so many of my friends take for granted and never question. If you are among those still unable to take sides on this conflict (and/or are stuck on blaming Hamas), this brilliant talk will likely shake you out of your obtuse complacence.

41. Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset calls for concentration camps in Gaza

An Israeli official has called for concentration camps in Gaza and ‘the conquest of the entire Gaza Strip, and annihilation of all fighting forces and their supporters’. Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party, posted the inflammatory message on his Facebook page at the weekend. He lays out a detailed plan for the destruction of Gaza - which includes shipping its residents across the world - in a letter he addressed to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (read the letter).

42. India's forgotten solidarity with Palestine By Priyamvada Gopal

"On Twitter recently, the hashtag # IndiaWithIsrael opened up the floodgates for vast quantities of anti-Muslim invective urging patriotic Hindus to back the Jewish state, as it wiped out "the green menace'"(Islam) from its territory as India ought to as well. Influential right-wing pundits shouted that India's "pro-Palestine" vote was "disgraceful" since the nation's strategic interests lay in supporting Israel unconditionally."

43. Cornel West: Obama 'Facilitates The Killing Of Innocent Palestinians' (Video)

West called for an end to the Israeli "occupation" of Palestine and said "any human being who chooses occupation and annihilation is a war criminal. … I would be here if there were a Palestinian occupation of Jewish brothers and sisters because it's wrong, it's unjust and we stand not with the level of skin pigmentation or ethnic identity, this is ethical, this is spiritual with political consequences."

44. Gaza: Neighbourly crimes of complicity By Richard Falk

Above all, the ongoing struggle for Palestinian self-determination is understood by the peoples of the Middle East, and indeed the world over, as a struggle for the empowerment and liberation of the Palestinian people in the face of severe injustices verging on genocide. Increasingly, and never more than in reaction to this recent Gaza horror show, the Palestinian struggle will have to be waged not only against Israel, and its American and European allies, but also against the Arab collaborationist governments in the region.

45. Israel’s Colonialism Must End By Ali Jarbawi

After 47 years of occupation, two decades of stalled peace talks and almost eight years of a strangulating siege of the Gaza Strip, the international community must demand that Israel clearly state what it intends to do with its occupation of the Palestinian people. Since the Palestinians are not the occupiers, but rather those living under occupation, this question cannot be asked of them. If Israel wants to continue its occupation and hinder Palestinians’ path to freedom and independence, then it should be aware that the Palestinian people will continue to resist with all the means at their disposal. If Israel intends to end the occupation, then it will find that the Palestinians are more than ready for an agreement.

What the Palestinians are enduring today in Gaza should be a clarion call for the entire world to end the bloodshed. But it will take more than a cease-fire. It will take peace. And peace cannot happen without an end to the occupation.

46. When Protesting Israel Becomes Hating Jews By Jason Stanley

Much ink has been spilled within Israel and beyond, disentangling the ostensible contradiction between Israel being both a democracy and a “Jewish” state. The residents of Gaza of course are not Israeli citizens. But history has shown time and again that it is not possible to dehumanize an enemy while treating their cousins, aunts, and uncles with equal respect. The situation is even more vexed in Israel, where the dehumanization required to maintain a permanent occupation is extreme. The oppression facing Arabs in Gaza only strengthens the skepticism within Israel about the very possibility of the creation of a pluralist multiethnic democracy based on equal rights for all.

47. Reflections By An Arab Jew By Ella Habiba Shohat

I am an Arab Jew. Or, more specifically, an Iraqi Israeli woman living, writing and teaching in the U.S. Most members of my family were born and raised in Baghdad, and now live in Iraq, Israel, the U.S., England, and Holland. When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the '50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently--the European Jews--were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easternness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of "us" as Jews and "them" as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been "Muslim," "Jew," and "Christian," not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that "Arabness" referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences.

48. Why I Criticize Israel: A Response to Sam Harris By Ric Draitser

A friend of mine recently sent me a link to a podcast and transcript from prominent author, neuroscientist, and atheist Sam Harris entitled Why Don’t I Criticize Israel?. In it, Harris expressed his “enlightened” position on Israel/Palestine, one which he obviously feels is rooted in fairness, morality, and reason. I mean, hell, this is the founder and CEO of Project Reason after all. Despite my inclination to throw my laptop against the wall, lose my lunch, or simply rip out my hair, I managed to force myself to read the entire screed. Finally, with beads of rage-sweat forming on my forehead, and my face turning the color of Harris’s Stanford alma mater, I felt compelled to respond.

49. I was wrong about Gaza: Why we can no longer ignore the horrors in Palestine By Brittney Cooper

Having come from people who have risen up, rioted and rebelled against oppressive state forces that confined us to land, restricted our movement and denied our humanity, I resist the urge to characterize all forms of resistance as terror. Especially, if we will not first be honest about the colonization and apartheid that fomented these acts of rebellion ... we must begin “not from the place of Palestinian resistance, but from the place of Israeli occupation.” Like him, I’m not pro-Hamas, but rather anti-occupation.

50. Shujayea: Massacre at Dawn

A powerful film with exclusive footage from the day of the Israeli assault on the densely populated district of Shujayea in Gaza City. A film by Amjad Almalki and Ahmed Ashour.

51. The movement that dare not speak its name in Israel By Giles Fraser

"What is different this time is the anti-democratic spirit. Zero tolerance of any kind of criticism, opposition to any kind of sympathy with the Palestinians," says Levy. "You shouldn't be surprised that the 95% [are in favour of the war], you should be surprised at the 5%. This is almost a miracle. The media has an enormous role. Given the decades of demonisation of the Palestinians, the incitement and hatred, don't be surprised the Israeli people are where they are."

52. The Last And First Temptation Of Israel By Andrew Sullivan

I suppose someone will claim that the deputy speaker of the Knesset, and the former head of the National Security Council or the former chief rabbi in Israel or the head of the largest Jewish youth group in the world are fringe figures. But I note that, so far as I have been able to find, there have been no consequences for their statements for any of them. And I have to ask a simple question: which leader of another American ally has appointed a man who favors genocide and ethnic cleansing as the deputy speaker of the legislature? Which other democracy has legitimate political parties in the governing coalition calling for permanent occupation of a neighboring state – and deliberate social engineering to create a new demographic ethnic reality in that conquered land?

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