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Ear to the Ground

Israel (Almost) Has a Woman Prime Minister

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Posted on Sep 17, 2008
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Though it wasn’t immediately official, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni won control of the country’s ruling Kadima party and, if she is successful in forming a governing coalition, will be the first woman prime minister in more than three decades. Livni is currently Israel’s lead negotiator with the Palestinians and, according to the newspaper Haaretz, was seen as likelier to reach a deal than her party rivals.

Ismail Haniya of Hamas dismissed the results, declaring, “All Israeli leaders unite in their hostile positions against our people and in denying their rights, notably Jerusalem and the refugees.”

Update: Livni will likely have to satisfy both Labor and the smaller Shas party if she is to succeed in forming a coalition.


Haaretz:

Livni said she would launch coalition talks on Friday, even though President Shimon Peres cannot officially ask her to try to put together a government until Olmert resigns the premiership.

After she is assigned the task, she will have 42 days to form a new ruling coalition, and if she succeeds, she will become Israel’s first female prime minister since Golda Meir stepped down in 1974. If she fails, the country will hold elections in early 2009, a year and a half ahead of schedule.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, September 19, 2008 at 8:57 pm Link to this comment

August 22, 2008


““Free Gaza” Boats Set Sail from Cyprus to Break Israeli Blockade

Two converted fishing boats set sail from Cyprus today carrying more than forty activists and humanitarian workers who are part of the Free Gaza movement that is trying to break the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. The Israeli foreign ministry said in an open letter to the participants, “We assume that your intentions are good but, in fact, the result of your action is that you are supporting the regime of a terrorist organization in Gaza.” We speak with three of the activists at sea: Huwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement; Lauren Booth, a journalist and sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; and Israeli anthropology professor Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.”
—————-
Folktruther…Click on URL & scroll down to read/watch Amy Goodman’s interview with Jeff Halper,Lauren Booth & Huwaida Arraf.

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/8/22/free_gaza_boats_set_sail_from

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By Folktruther, September 19, 2008 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

Thanks, Robert, I didn’t understand what the boats were trying to do.  There are some courageous Israeli peacers there in a very dangerous situation.  The Israeli military or police would have no compunctions about killing them if it weren’t made public.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 19, 2008 at 7:59 pm Link to this comment

MY values are bigoted????

Isn’t it funny—They aren’t much different than those of Mahmoud Abbas:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mahmoud-abbas/israel-and-palestine-can_b_127866.html

Instead of defending the murderers of Hamas and Hezzbolah, maybe you should consider the man who MOST represents the views of ordinary Palestinians.

Not even going to reply to the rest of your post, and didn’t even bother reading Robert’s.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, September 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

Jeff Halper Speaks!

End of an Odyssey

09.01.2008 | By Jeff Halper

“Now, a few days after my release from jail in the wake of my trip to Gaza, I’m posting a few notes to sum things up.

First, the mission of the Free Gaza Movement to break the Israeli siege proved a success beyond all expectations. Our reaching Gaza and leaving has created a free and regular channel between Gaza and the outside world. It has done so because it has forced the Israeli government to make a clear policy declaration: that it is not occupying Gaza and therefore will not prevent the free movement of Palestinians in and out (at least by sea). (Israel’s security concerns can easily be accommodated by instituting a technical system of checks similar to those of other ports.) Any attempt on the part of Israel to backtrack on this - by preventing ships in the future from entering or leaving Gaza with goods and passengers, including Palestinians - may be immediately interpreted as an assertion of control, and therefore of Occupation, opening Israel to accountability for war crimes before international law, something Israel tries to avoid at all costs. Gone is the obfuscation that has allowed Israel to maintain its control of the Occupied Territories without assuming any responsibility: from now on, Israel is either an Occupying Power accountable for its actions and policies, or Palestinians have every right to enjoy their human right of travelling freely in and out of their country. Israel can no longer have it both ways. Not only did our two little boats force the Israel military and government to give way, then, they also changed fundamentally the status of Israel’s control of Gaza.

When we finally arrived in Gaza after a day and a half sail, the welcome we received from 40,000 joyous Gazans was overwhelming and moving. People sought me out in particular, eager it seemed to speak Hebrew with an Israeli after years of closure. The message I received by people of all factions during my three days there was the same: How do we (“we” in the sense of all of us living in their country, not just Palestinians or Israelis) get out of this mess? Where are WE going? The discourse was not even political: what is the solution; one-state, two-state, etc etc. It was just common sense and straightforward, based on the assumption that we will all continue living in the same country and this stupid conflict, with its walls and siege and violence, is bad for everybody. Don’t Israelis see that? people would ask me.

(The answer, unfortunately, is “no.” To be honest, we Israeli Jews are the problem. The Palestinian years ago accepted our existence in the country as a people and are willing to accept ANY solution—two states, one state, no state, whatever. It is us who want exclusivity over the “Land of Israel” who cannot conceive of a single country, who cannot accept the national presence of Palestinians (we talk about “Arabs” in our country), and who have eliminated by our settlements even the possibility of the two-state solution in which we take 80% of the land. So it’s sad, truly sad, that our “enemies” want peace and co-existence (and tell me that in HEBREW) and we don’t. Yeah, we Israeli Jews want “peace,” but in the meantime what we have—almost no attacks, a feeling of security, a “disappeared” Palestinian people, a booming economy, tourism and ever-improving international status—seems just fine. If “peace” means giving up settlements, land and control, why do it? What’s wrong with the status quo? If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.)

When in Gaza I also managed to see old friends, especially Eyad al-Sarraj of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program and Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, whom I visited in his office. I also received honorary Palestinian citizenship, including a passport, which was very meaningful to me as an Israeli Jew.”

http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/article.php?pg=11&ar=1997

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By Folktruther, September 19, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

I usually don’t reply to bigots like you, Inherit the Wind, because your values are so racist and perverted that there is no common ground with decent people. However it is obvious that you are so naive that you don’t know the implications of what you really think, and this political naivte drives your power delusions.

What you advocate is an economic imperialism rather than a military imperialism, of a kind that occurs between the US and Canada or, more relevantly, between the white and blacks of South Africa.  The apartheid racism, supported by both Israel and the US, was overthrown and converted to an economic imperialsm with blacks working for whites.

This was possible historically before the 1967 war.  the war committed Israel to being a settler state, robbing the Palestinians of their land, water and resources.  In doing so it made a bi-state solution impossible and , as Pfaff stated, it destroyed Israel as a Jewish state’

Accept for one alternative.  Israel can massacre and drive the Palestinians into reservations or camps of some kind, like the US treated the Indians. That is why, as the Israel peacer, Ari Avernary, states that Americans identify with Israel, they both share the same religious racism.  That is why Robert’s article was so important; obviously the fascist wing of Zionism is trying to acheive this racial cleansing, under the diversion of war.

This, should it happen,  would deepen Israel’s shame at being the pariah of the whole world, which it will blame on Anti-Semitism.  But as the US and the West lose world power historically, this strategy becomes more and more difficult to implement, as Israeli rightwingers are increasingly beginning to realize.  the only alternative now is a single state with an influential Jewish minority, which they are unwilling to accept.

So the most likely scenario as more Jews leave Israel and the army gets increasingly demoralized, and as the Arab population increases and becomes more politically and militarily developed, is that the Israeli power system will fall of its own contradictions, pushed by Palestinians and Muslims.

The same result will occur, a state where the Jews are a minority, but it will be acheived in a more bloody and lengthy fashion.  And since this scenario is so unpalitable for you, Inherit, it prevents you from thinking clearly about historical alternatives.  Pal.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, September 18 at 3:44 pm #

Truthers like Howard and Inherit the Wind have different ideologies, or different varients of the same Zionist ideology, but at bottom they both are equally murderous.  They simply don’t care about people other than Jews, and they don’t even care about the Jewish population of Israel.  What they identify with is JEWISH POWER, the nationalism of Jews, rather than the people ruled by that nationalism.

Israel is the most uniquely racist polity in the world.  They don’t care, except for public relations reasons, except that people tend to comment on the racism.  They don’t care that people are being destroyed, indeed Howard seems to identify with it.

the last outrage is that Israel turned Gaza into a prison, denying the men, women and children food and medicince, and the leaders joked about it.  They were putting the Palestians on a diet.  Children were sick and dying and they were joking like the SS did about the inmaates of the concentration camps.  Both truthers support the policies of that Israeli political class.

As do many Democrats.  The worst of it is that the perverted and barbaric valaues of Israel have, through Zionists, invaded the ideology of both Gop neo-cons and Dem neo-libs.  The targeted murders and torture of Israel and now the legitimated policies of the US.  The War on Terrorism, which was formulated in a conference in Jerusulem in 1979 now guides both policies.  And this War leads to mass murder.

I don’t know exactly how this came to happen historically, but I’m Jewish and I don’t like it.
*****************************

I’m sure glad I have you around to tell me what I think, especially when I didn’t know it!

You think the Palestinians give a rat’s tush about anybody but themselves?  Israel is a racist society???? Better check out Saudi Arabia first, pal!  They don’t ALLOW Jews to practice Judaism. They don’t ALLOW Christians to practice Christianity.  They don’t ALLOW ANY religion to be practiced but Sunni Islam.

All around the Middle East you will find nation after nation that practices racism and religious suppression. The MOST racist nation the region is Sudan, which is engaging in racial cleansing and the Arabization of the Black South by government-sponsered RAPE!

Yet somehow, a mindless chucklehead like you STILL pretends Israel is far worse!

BY WHAT STANDARD???????????????????????????

What I advocate, mind-reader, is a NEGOTIATED two-state solution that at its core, allows economic contact between Israelis and Palestinians.  Build the contacts, build the bridges and before you know it, Israel and Palestine will be like the US and Canada.  Ask any similar, but different.  And friends.

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

Truthers like Howard and Inherit the Wind have different ideologies, or different varients of the same Zionist ideology, but at bottom they both are equally murderous.  They simply don’t care about people other than Jews, and they don’t even care about the Jewish population of Israel.  What they identify with is JEWISH POWER, the nationalism of Jews, rather than the people ruled by that nationalism.

Israel is the most uniquely racist polity in the world.  They don’t care, except for public relations reasons,  except that people tend to comment on the racism.  They don’t care that people are being destroyed, indeed Howard seems to identify with it.

the last outrage is that Israel turned Gaza into a prison, denying the men, women and children food and medicince, and the leaders joked about it.  They were putting the Palestians on a diet.  Children were sick and dying and they were joking like the SS did about the inmaates of the concentration camps.  Both truthers support the policies of that Israeli political class.

As do many Democrats.  The worst of it is that the perverted and barbaric valaues of Israel have, through Zionists, invaded the ideology of both Gop neo-cons and Dem neo-libs.  The targeted murders and torture of Israel and now the legitimated policies of the US.  The War on Terrorism, which was formulated in a conference in Jerusulem in 1979 now guides both policies.  And this War leads to mass murder.

I don’t know exactly how this came to happen historically, but I’m Jewish and I don’t like it.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2008 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther, September 18 at 10:54 am #

Thank you, Robert. I knew that Zionism, which is Jewish nationalism, contained a fascist wing, initiated by Jablonski in the early part of the century, but I didn’t know that it was ready to ally, and did ally to some extent, with German Nazism.

More important, I didn’t know that it had become so legitimated in Zionist ideology.

This puts a much more ominous interpertation on Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.  The concept of TRANSFER of the Paliestian population, which cannot be done without mass murder, is gaining currency among the Israeli population. This may be the reason that Israel advocates war; in the war hysteria that it will whip up, it may be planning to destroy the Palestinian population.
********************************************

You didn’t know it because it didn’t happen.

Robert regularly cites ludicrous sources rather than clearly legitimate ones.  Just because some tin-foil-hat nut-case posts it on the internet doesn’t mean it’s anything more than what it is: The paranoid ravings of sick anti-semites.

Anybody can post anything about anything or anyone, when it’s on the ‘net.  Do your own research. Question authority, especially when it comes in the form of an internet poster.

I, too, would like to see Likud marginalized. 
I, too, don’t apologize for every action Israel takes.
I, too, see much to criticize in some of Israel’s actions since Begin came to power about 30 years ago.

But I, too, see the Palestinians as a people with a problematic leadership that has made bad decisions for the last 60 years, usually egged on by the Arab Moslem states that want Palestinians to be the “McGuffin” for their other immoral actions against their own.

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By Howard, September 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Stern Gang was great outfit.  Many were guys who were survivors from Nazi concentration camps; and they worked against the British who were occupying Israel in a heavy-handed manner and preventing the immigration of escapees from the Nazis. To say the Stern Gang members were on the side of the Nazis is ludicrous, indeed.  Obscene is a better word.

Three cheers for Livni and Israel. Only democratic country in the ME; great ally of the U.S. for all the right reasons.

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2008 at 11:54 am Link to this comment

Thank you, Robert. I knew that Zionism, which is Jewish nationalism, contained a fascist wing, initiated by Jablonski in the early part of the century, but I didn’t know that it was ready to ally, and did ally to some extent, with German Nazism.

More important, I didn’t know that it had become so legitimated in Zionist ideology.

This puts a much more ominous interpertation on Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.  The concept of TRANSFER of the Paliestian population, which cannot be done without mass murder, is gaining currency among the Israeli population. This may be the reason that Israel advocates war; in the war hysteria that it will whip up, it may be planning to destroy the Palestinian population.

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By Robert, September 18, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

September 17, 2008

60 Years Later
The Killing of Count Folke Bernadotte

By STANLEY HELLER

“September is a month of memorials.  Back in 1982 from September 15th to 18th Lebanese fascists militia supported by Israel massacred at least 1,300 people in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Chatilla.  The 28th of September in 2000 saw the start of the al-Aksa intifdada, a mass uprising of Palestinians in the occupied territories that was sparked by the “visit” of Ariel Sharon guarded by 1,000 soldiers to the Muslim holy site, the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem.  It was Sharon as Defense Minister in 1982 who directed the fascists Lebanese militia to enter the camps. Later he claimed he was “shocked, shocked” that they would massacre the Palestinians there.

This year September 17th is the 60th anniversary of the anniversary of the assassination of Swedish Count Folk Bernadotte.  He was the Vice-President of the Swedish Red Cross during World War II.  He saved some 15,000 people from German concentration camps including approximately 8000 Danes and Norwegians and 7000 women of French, Polish, Czech, British, American, Argentinian and Chinese nationalities. He brought them out in buses painted white all over except for the Red Cross.  It was dangerous work.  The drove on the roads while Allied bombers pummeled Nazi targets with the un-surgical precision of those days.

In 1944 when Sweden was making serious attempts to rescue Hungarian Jews, the Swedish representative of the U.S. War Refugee Board got a group of Swedish Jews together and asked them to recommend someone to go to Hungary to lead the effort.  Their choice was Bernadotte.  However, the Hungarian government wouldn’t allow him in and the legendary Raul Wallenberg was sent in his place.

Wikipedia states: “Following the 1947 UN Partition Plan, on 20 May 1948, Folke Bernadotte was appointed the United Nations’ mediator in Palestine, the first official mediator in the UN’s history. In this capacity, he succeeded in achieving a truce in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and laid the groundwork for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.”

As the fighting raged in 1948 Bernadotte came up with several plans, one was for a “union of two members, one Jewish and one Arab” that would encompass all Palestine and Transjordan (what is called Jordan today).  When this was rejected he came up with a complex idea for two states giving the Negev to the Arabs, the Galilee to the Jews,  making Haifa and Lydda airport as free zones and all of Jerusalem as a UN run entity.  Another part of the proposal was to recognize the right of Palestinians to return to their homes in Jewish-controlled territory.

Enter the Stern Gang (or the Fighters for Freedom of Israel as they called themselves).  They were one group of what were called “Revisionist” Zionists.  They were opposed to the Ben-Gurion Labour Party types. They were so fanatical in their demand for a Jewish state (from the Nile to the Euphrates) that in the 1940’s they came up with a novel idea about foes of the Jews.  Hitler was a “persecutor” of Jews, but the “enemy” of Jews was the power that occupied Palestine, the British.  There would always be persecutors until Jews vanquished “the enemy” and took over their rightful turf.  So logically the Fighters for the Freedom of Israel had to ally itself against the British and with Hitler!”
———
Click on URL for the rest of the story:


http://www.counterpunch.org/heller09172008.html

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By tj, September 18, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hatred of Israel is fashionable in these blogs.  It is like some pavlovian anti-Jewish reflex.  No, Israel is not perfect.  Of course the only perfect Israel would be one that could never exist.

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By Folktruther, September 18, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

A major reason that the Dem party continally sells out the population is that its leaders, activists and truthers are subservient to the Israeli lobby.  US forign and domestic policy has been hijacked by support for apartheid Isreel.  It’s power is not in Jewish votes, but in Jewish money and media allied with the oil cowboys who have gutted regulation-welfare in American government. 

The subservience of Obama-Biden to the Israeli lobby is a major reason for their adherance to a policy of war and a police state.  And increasing the military is largely responsible for the enormous debt that is currently weighing on Wall street.

What the Jewish population (and I am one of them) are too mindless and braindead to understand is that Aipac is supporting a Likud policy that is against the interests of the Israeli people, including the Jewish Israeli people.  We have to oppose Aipac and other right wing organizations if Israel is to surive the next few decades.  But Jews, like most Americans, don’t understand geo-strategy, and in this case don’t want to understand it, because of historic fears.

This fear is the main enemy of truth, the truth that we have to acknowledge to find our way to a viable future in both Israel and the US.

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By Fahrenheit 451, September 18, 2008 at 7:24 am Link to this comment

Israel (Almost) Has a Woman Prime Minister, Tzipi Livni;

Golda Mier, said, “the Palestinians are not recognizable”, so what’s the point of another iron maiden as the leader of Israel?  No matter how one cuts it; the Palestinian apartheid continues!

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By Inherit The Wind, September 18, 2008 at 7:13 am Link to this comment

Thus, the usual apologists for the Arab terrorist Hamas can’t see ANY positive steps in Israel’s leadership change further and further away from Likud unless Israel commits suicide.

There are 23 Arab Moslem states, most of which either do not allow the practice of any religion but Islam, the rest of which define non-Moslems as 2nd class, or non-citizens.  They cover an area far bigger than the US with nearly a billion people. Only 3 of them even pretend to be democracies. But one small democratic state on a slip of land smaller than New Jersey with 5 million people somehow is the only land that matters and they have to have that, too.

Israel may work out a sharing plan for Jerusalem, may adjust the borders some more, but is not going to allow any and every Palestinian to march in and take over.  That’s suicide and if that’s the ONLY price of peace that Hamas will accept, then it’s up to the Palestinians to get rid of Hamas.

Had they any REAL desire to help their people they would be “cautiously optimistic” or at least “hopeful for improvement” under Livni.  But throughout the Arab world “helping the people” has come to mean being the latest totalitarian dictator and draining “the people” so you can live is unimaginable opulence.  All Hamas would do is set up a dicatatorship, like Saudi Arabia or Egypt and the leaders of Hamas would milk it for what it’s worth.  Qaddaffi did it, Saddam Hussein did it, Assad in Syria is doing it, Mubarak is doing it, the Saudi King is doing it, and Yasir Arafat did it (made himself a billionaire, didn’t he.)

Somehow, just like the Neocons, that’s defined as “freedom”.  Right.

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By skulz fontaine, September 18, 2008 at 6:48 am Link to this comment

Zippy Livni, soon to be Queen of Israel, don’t need to “gut” no stinking moose. Nope. The Zip “guts” Palestinians and she does it with flair. Sadistic zeal? Hmmm, probably doesn’t matter either way to Palestinians. The Zip is, allegedly, a moderate. Yikes!

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By Leefeller, September 18, 2008 at 6:05 am Link to this comment

Can she break water,  still gut a Moose and pack it many miles before going to hospital? Maybe instead, I should be asking this question using a camel?  Do they eat camels in the wild of Israel?

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By P. T., September 18, 2008 at 12:21 am Link to this comment

A peace deal is not possible.  Such a deal is incompatible with Zionist expansionism.

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