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Blog: June 2010 Archives

APN on Turkey

Israel-Turkey Flag Pin 186x140.jpgOn June 30, 2010, APN's board adopted the following policy language regarding Turkey:

Turkey has long been a key ally of Israel.  In 1949, Turkey was the first Muslim state to recognize Israel.  Since that time, both Israel and Turkey have recognized the importance of this relationship, investing in diplomatic, military/security, strategic cooperation, and economic ties. 

APN letter to Obama: Engage NOW to get Jerusalem under control

Israeli Forces at Silwan Protest 6-10 186x140.jpgToday APN sent the following letter to President Obama, urging him to engage, urgently, on Jerusalem.

(picture shows Israeli forces responding to June 27 protest in Silwan, East Jerusalem)

Silwan becomes a battlefield

Last night tensions in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan boiled over, leading to some of the most serious clashes between Palestinians residents of the city and Israeli security forces in years.  This is not the first serious violence we have seen in Silwan in recent months and, if the policies and attitudes of the municipality are not gotten under control, for the good of all of Jerusalem, it will most assuredly not be the last.  And equally certain, it is unlikely that the clashes will remain limited to Silwan.

The violence and tension in Silwan did not arise out of a vacuum.

Why do I get the feeling that B'nai B'rith was disappointed with the results of the public opinion poll that it commissioned to survey Israeli attitudes toward Diaspora Jewry?

Maybe because I didn't only read B'nai B'rith's press release but went on to examine the presentation that Israel's Keevoon Research put together.

Fadi Elsalameen in Haaretz: End the Siege on Israel

No, there is no typo in the subject line of this post.  "End the Siege on Israel" is the title of a brilliant and incisive op-ed in Haaretz today, penned by Palestine Note's articulate CEO Fadi Elsalameen.  Fadi's point: "Israel's deadly attack on the 'Freedom Flotilla' is proof of how Gaza continues to give Israel a taste of its own medicine. Intended to help solve Israel's problems with Hamas, the three-year-old siege of Gaza is developing into a siege of Israel, while it causes tremendous damage to the country's image around the world." 

End the siege on Israel

By Fadi Elsalameen

Israel's deadly attack on the "Freedom Flotilla" is proof of how Gaza continues to give Israel a taste of its own medicine. Intended to help solve Israel's problems with Hamas, the three-year-old siege of Gaza is developing into a siege of Israel, while it causes tremendous damage to the country's image around the world.

"Price Tag" Crosses the Green Line

Last night, extremists further escalated the settlers' campaign to terrorize Palestinians and deter Israel's law enforcement authorities from protecting the rule of law in the West Bank. After desecrating and vandalizing mosques in the West Bank, these hooligans are now attacking loyal Israeli Muslim citizens.

Smoke grenade thrown at Peace Now rally


More than 10,000 Israelis turned out on Saturday night at a rally in Tel Aviv to call upon the Israeli government to change direction.

The Sieges of Gaza

Siege 1: Israeli sources are in perfect accord: The flotilla was a provocation, intended less to bring humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, more to break Israel's siege.  The people on board the vessels made no effort to disguise their intentions.  Accordingly, Israel knew in advance that it would be faced with a more difficult challenge than simply intercepting six boats and turning them away from Gaza and toward Israel's port at Ashdod.

Now, however, Israel seeks to have it both ways: If it knew in advance that a provocation was intended, why was it surprised when its 45 commandos, boarding the ship one at a time as they rappelled from three helicopters, were assaulted?  Did the Israeli authorities imagine that the provocation would be limited to the singing of "We Shall Not Be Moved?," that they were dealing with people trained in and committed to passive resistance?  That cannot be: Israel has a full dossier describing one of the main groups involved in the flotilla, the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief.  Israel believes that the IHH, as it is widely known, is a radical Islamist group masquerading as a humanitarian agency, even claims it is "sympathetic to al-Qaeda." 

Obama's got the right approach

In an interview last night with CNN's Larry King, President Barack Obama talked about the way forward after the flotilla incident in very constructive tones.

I was struck by the similarity of his approach to APN's language:

Top 10 Reasons for Reassessing the Gaza Blockade Strategy

In June 2007, as part of an effort to pressure Hamas and force it out of power, Israel clamped a tight blockade on Gaza.  The blockade blocks the free movement of all goods and people into and out of the Gaza Strip.  This blockade is carried out by Israel along its border with the Gaza Strip and along the shores of Gaza, and by Egypt, along its border with the Strip. The blockade has continued through the past three years, condoned and supported by the United States and the international community.

Getting past blame on Gaza flotilla

Both supporters and detractors of Israel are engaged in an ugly contest over who is to blame for the tragic outcome of Israel's attempt Monday to intercept ships traveling to Gaza as part of an international aid flotilla.

We've got to get past this culture of blame.

At the root of this disaster is the effort to restrict the flow of people and goods to Gaza. This effort was initiated by Israel (and supported by the Bush administration) after Hamas came to power. This policy failed to improve Israeli security. Nor did it weaken Hamas.

It is time to change course.

Renowned Israeli author and veteran Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) leader Amos Oz has written an important and powerful op-ed on the Gaza flotilla debacle, published in today's New York Times.  It is recommended reading for all who love Israel and who are watching with anguish to what happened yesterday on the Mediterranean and its aftermath.

Israeli Force, Adrift on the Sea
By AMOS OZ | June 1, 2019 | ARAD, Israel

FOR 2,000 years, the Jews knew the force of force only in the form of lashes to our own backs. For several decades now, we have been able to wield force ourselves -- and this power has, again and again, intoxicated us.

In the period before Israel was founded, a large portion of the Jewish population in Palestine, especially members of the extremely nationalist Irgun group, thought that military force could be used to achieve any goal, to drive the British out of the country, and to repel the Arabs who opposed the creation of our state.

Luckily, during Israel's early years, prime ministers like David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol knew very well that force has its limits and were careful to use it only as a last resort. But ever since the Six-Day War in 1967, Israel has been fixated on military force. To a man with a big hammer, says the proverb, every problem looks like a nail.

Israel's siege of the Gaza Strip and Monday's violent interception of civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid there are the rank products of this mantra that what can't be done by force can be done with even greater force. This view originates in the mistaken assumption that Hamas's control of Gaza can be ended by force of arms or, in more general terms, that the Palestinian problem can be crushed instead of solved.