Korea | Palestine | USA

Mel Gurtov: Diplomatic Remedies for THAAD Madness: The US, China and the Two Koreas (Japan Focus)

The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US justification is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary to protect South Korea. But the deployment is having more than a few negative repercussions: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for continuing to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; a roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new source of tension in already fraught Sino-US relations.

U.S. Deploys Missile System Amid Rising Tensions with N. Korea (Democracy Now)

Tensions are rising between the United States, North Korea and China, threatening to create the first significant national security crisis of the Trump presidency. This week, the United States began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea, sparking warnings from Chinese officials who say the U.S. is escalating a regional arms race. The U.S. says the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, known as THAAD, seeks to protect South Korea amid a series of recent missile tests launched by North Korea…
The deployment of the U.S. missile system is widely opposed by both South Koreans, who have been protesting against U.S. militarization, and by Chinese officials, who say the missile system actually aims to counter China’s military power in the region, not to contain North Korea.
Chinese officials are calling for both an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and an end to joint U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: North Korea Timed Recent Missile Test to Take Place During Trump-Abe Dinner (Democracy Now)

North Korea tested a ballistic missile last month, sparking widespread international condemnation. The test was a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea claimed the test was a successful launch of an intermediate-range missile. The test came while Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Christine Ahn, Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: China Warns U.S. & North Korea Are Set for “Head-On” Collision Amid Rising Tensions & Provocations (Democracy Now)

The political upheaval in South Korea comes shortly after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles. In response, the Trump administration announced it would deploy a missile defense system to South Korea. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in a massive military exercise. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the U.S. and North Korea are like two “accelerating trains coming toward each other.” He called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.

David E. Sanger, William J Broad: Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles (New York Times) / 트럼프가 물려받은 유산: 북한 미사일에 대응하는 비밀 사이버戰 / 特朗普接手的秘密计划:网络攻击破坏朝鲜导弹?

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds…
An examination of the Pentagon’s disruption effort, based on interviews with officials of the Obama and Trump administrations as well as a review of extensive but obscure public records, found that the United States still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs…
In two meetings of Mr. Trump’s national security deputies in the Situation Room, the most recent on Tuesday, all those options were discussed, along with the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to South Korea as a dramatic warning…
The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options, a senior Trump administration official said, …

Vijay Prashad: Crimes of apartheid (Hindu)

Apartheid is a powerful word, and the United Nations does not use it loosely. But now, in a report released on March 15 in Beirut, Lebanon, the UN has proclaimed that Israel ‘is guilty of the crime of apartheid’. This is a very significant judgment, one with important ramifications for the UN, for the International Court of Justice and for the international community…
Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship (ezrahut) do not have the right to nationality (le’um), which means that they can only access inferior social services, face restrictive zoning laws, and find themselves unable freely to buy land. Palestinians in East Jerusalem are reduced to the status of permanent residents, who have to constantly prove that they live in the city and that they do not have any political ambitions. Palestinians in the West Bank live ‘in ways consistent with apartheid’, write the authors of the UN report.

John Reynolds: Israel and the A-Word (CounterPunch)

The word resonated loud and clear from South Africa. Hendrik Verwoerd, widely described as a key architect of apartheid, was the far-right National Party’s propagandist, political strategist and, ultimately, party leader. In 1961, as South African Prime Minister, he noted that Israel was built on land taken ‘from the Arabs after the Arabs lived there for a thousand years.’ The point was to express his approval and to highlight Zionism’s common cause with the Afrikaner pioneers: ‘In that, I agree with them. Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state.’
Verwoerd was able to make this diagnosis without needing to live to see the brutality of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza after 1967. Israel’s apartheid foundations were laid in its dispossession of the Palestinians in 1948. They were reinforced by the immediate erection of colonial constitutional structures that cemented the exclusion of the colonised.
Since then, Israeli law and policy has only deepened the state apparatus of separation and segregation, discrimination and domination.

Oren Ziv: Israel releases 12-year-old Palestinian girl, highlighting dual legal systems (+792)

A Jewish child arrested for an identical crime in the same location would not have been sent to prison. Israeli authorities released the girl after the case got attention and a request from her parents.
Twelve-year-old Dima al-Wawi, the youngest Palestinian in Israeli prison, was released after two-and-a-half months on Sunday. Israeli authorities delivered her to the Jabara checkpoint in the West Bank in the early afternoon hours, where she was met by her parents and waiting journalists.

Eli Clifton: AIPAC gave $60K to architect of Trump’s Muslim ban (+972)

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been noticeably quiet about the Trump administration’s slowness to denounce the spike in anti-Semitic attacks and bomb threats, its nomination of an ambassador to Israel who described J Street as “worse than kapos,” and its ties to ethno-nationalists like White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and senior adviser Stephen Miller. But AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.

Tom Clifford: Playing with Fire in the South China Sea: the Voyage of the Izumi (CounterPunch)

An aircraft carrier that dare not be named one and a show of military force by a country in contravention of its own constitution herald the consequences of a decision taken some years ago signaling that post-war certainty is no longer such a sure thing.
The Izumo, a 250-meter-long “flat-topped destroyer’’, is being dispatched to the South China Sea by Japan in May in a show of force not seen since 1945.
Named after a cruiser that was sunk by the US in 1945, the warship is in reality an aircraft carrier by any other name. However, aircraft carriers imply a force projection well beyond Japan’s shores, therefore it must be called a destroyer or a helicopter carrier.
After stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the Izumo will then take part in the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and US naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July.

Colombia | Britain | Japan | USA

Sibylla Brodzinsky, Jonathan Watts: Colombia and Farc rebels sign historic ceasefire deal to end 50-year conflict (Guardian)

The Colombian government and Farc guerrillas have declared the final day of one of the world’s oldest wars with the signing of a ceasefire agreement to end more than 50 years of bloodshed.
“May this be the last day of the war,” said Farc chief Timoleón “Timochenko” Jiménez, his voice choked with tears.
“We are close to a final peace accord,” he said, after shaking hands with Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos at the signing ceremony in Havana, which was attended by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon.

Reuters: Colombian Farc rebel unit rejects peace deal, saying it will not disarm (Guardian)
Sibylla Brodzinsky: ‘Unarmed, we are nothing’: Farc guerrillas wary of future without guns (Guardian)

Michael Hudson: The Silence of the Left: Brexit, Euro-Austerity and the T-TIP (CounterPunch)

The Maastricht and Lisbon treaties – along with the German constitution – deprive the eurozone of having a central bank to spend money to revive the European economy. Instead of working to heal the economy from the debt deflation that has occurred since 2008, the European Central Bank (ECB) finances banks and obliges governments to save bondholders from loss instead of writing down bad debts.
To top matters, Brussels bureaucrats seem quite bendable to U.S. pressures to sign the T-TIP: the Obama Administration’s neoliberal Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. This is a corporatist program shifting regulatory policy into corporate hands, away from government: environmental policy, public health policy and food labeling for starters.
The Brussels bureaucracy has been hijacked not only by the banks, but by NATO. It pretends that there is a real danger of Russia mounting a military invasion of Europe – as if any country in the world today could mount a land war against another…
What used to be a socialist left has been silent about the fact that there are very good reasons for people to say that this is not the kind of Europe they want to be a part of. It is becoming a dead zone. And it cannot be “democratized” without replacing the Lisbon and Maastricht treaties on which it is founded, and removing German opposition to public spending on recovery for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and other countries.

Joyce Nelson: Post-Brexit, Is the EU Flaunting Its Undemocratic Tendencies? (CounterPunch)

Stung by Brexit, the EU bureaucrats seem intent on showing just how undemocratic they can be. Here are two examples just in the last seven days…
On June 24, EU member states again refused (for a third time this year) to approve a renewal of the license for the weed-killer glyphosate manufactured by Monsanto and other corporations involved in GMO crop cultivation. That should have meant that the license would expire by the end of June, and Monsanto’s Roundup and other glyphosate weed-killers would have to be withdrawn from Europe by the end of this year.
Instead, on June 29 the European Commission (EC) decided “unilaterally” to extend the glyphosate license for another 18 months…
On June 28, a German news agency reported that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told EU leaders the Commission is planning to push through a controversial free trade agreement between Canada and the EU – known as CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – without giving national parliaments any say in it. [7] According to the German press, Juncker argued that allowing national parliaments to vote on the agreement would “paralyze the process” and raise questions about the EU’s “credibility.”

Sean Bell: The End of the United Kingdom? (Jacobin)

Brexit has suddenly made Scottish independence and a united Ireland possible. What does it mean for the Left?

Costas Lapavitsas: Why They Left (Jacobin)

Brexit wasn’t the first time Europeans rejected the EU, and it won’t be the last. Here’s what the Left should do.

Serge Halimi: Why Britain walked out / Une Europe à refaire (Monde diplomatique)

The EU, brainchild of an intellectual elite, born in a world divided by war, missed one of history’s great choices, or opportunities, to take another route 25 years ago…
But instead of a community, it built a market. Bristling with commissioners, rules for member states, penalties for its peoples, yet wide open to competition among workers, soulless and with only one aim — to serve the wealthiest and best connected in financial centres and major metropolises…
The protests expressed in the British vote cannot be dismissed solely as populism or xenophobia. And it is not by further reducing national sovereignty, in favour of a federal Europe almost nobody wants, that our politically discredited elites will assuage the popular anger unleashed in the UK — and rising elsewhere.

Paul Mason: UK: lost, divided and alone (Monde diplomatique)

The Brexit vote was a insurrectionary protest against neoliberalism, globalism and cultural contempt. It will break up the UK, and split England forever.

Dimiar Indzhov: After Brexit: the EU Needs to Abandon Austerity or Face More Exits (CounterPunch)

Chilcot delivers crushing verdict on Blair and the Iraq war (Guardian)
Tony Blair deliberately exaggerated threat from Iraq, Chilcot report finds (Guardian)
Spy agencies ‘produced flawed information on Saddam’s WMDs’ (Guardian)
Bush largely ignored advice on postwar Iraq, Chilcot inquiry finds (Guardian)
Lee Williams: Chilcot has underlined exactly why Labour needs Jeremy Corbyn – one of the brave few to oppose the Iraq War (Independent)
Ian Black: Blair says the Middle East is better off post-Saddam, but is this true? (Guardian)
Owen Jones: The war in Iraq was not a blunder or a mistake. It was a crime (Guardian)
Jeffrey St. Clair, Alexander Cockburn: Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction: Who Said What When (CounterPunch)

Justin McCurry: Japan could change pacifist constitution after Shinzo Abe victory (Guardian)

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe [Abe Shinzō 安倍 晋三], has called for a debate on rewriting the country’s pacifist constitution after his Liberal Democratic party [LDP, Jiyū-Minshutō 自由民主党] and its allies secured a supermajority in upper house elections on Sunday.
The LDP, its junior coalition partner Kōmeitō [公明党], and several like-minded smaller parties and independent MPs now control two-thirds of the 242 seats in the upper house. The ruling coalition already has a similar majority in the more powerful lower house.

Yan Lei, Liu Tian: Abe’s victory in Upper House election threat to Japan, regional stability (Xinhua)

The Japanese ruling camp led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has won a majority in Sunday’s upper house election, which means Abe’s coalition and like-minded parties managed to take the two-thirds majority needed to try to revise the nation’s post-war pacifist Constitution.
The victory, though came as no surprise to the public, could pose a danger to Japan and regional stability, as it means Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will snatch more power and put Japan’s Constitution in jeopardy…
For one thing, Abe has been touting the so-called “achievements” of his economic policies dubbed “Abenomics”, referring only to favorable economic data, while being evasive about his true political agenda which is to revise the pacifist Constitution, a strategy that successfully disarmed many voters who are against constitutional revision.
For another, the voters, though discontent with Abe’s policies, felt a lack of better choices, as they are equally dissatisfied with the opposition parties, which seemed to have also failed to offer feasible solutions to the problems that Japan is faced with. Many people, therefore, chose to vote to keep the status quo, or even refused to vote.

Jason Burke: More than 300 dead as South Sudan capital is rocked by violence (Guardian)

Jon Swaine, Edward Helmore: Hundreds arrested amid new protests as details of Dallas gunman’s plans emerge (Guardian)

Military-style vehicles, teargas and smoke grenades returned to American streets for the first time this summer, and Barack Obama appealed for calm and said those who attack law enforcement undermine the cause of social justice.

David Wainer, Jonathan Ferziger, Ahmed Feteha: Old Mideast Foes Unite Over Gas Deals and Fighting Militants (Bloomberg)

Nearly four decades after their peace accord changed the face of the Middle East, Israel and Egypt are slowly turning a cool relationship into an alliance. They have tightened security cooperation to unprecedented levels and have been laying the legal groundwork for a multi-billion dollar energy contract, as gas discoveries in the Mediterranean and the persistent threat from Islamist militants shift the political dynamics across the region.

Israel Launched Numerous Drone Strikes in Sinai (Haaretz)

The attacks have been carried out in recent years, former Israeli official tells Bloomberg. Israel’s deputy army chief says cooperation between Israel and Egypt has never been better.

Jacob Kornbluh: Clinton Supporters Reject Democratic Platform Amendment Calling to ‘End’ Israeli Settlements (Jewish Insider / Haaretz)
Mira Sucharov: For Diaspora Jews, the Occupation Can’t Just Be a Spectator Sport (Haaretz)

An eternal debate that is relevant not just in the US, but in many countries:
John Halle, Noam Chomsky: An Eight-Point Brief for LEV (Lesser Evil Voting) (Outrages and Interludes)
Andrew Smolski: No Lesser Evil, Not this Time (CounterPunch)
Andrew Smolski: To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky (CounterPunch)
Jeffrey St. Clair: Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting (CounterPunch)

Malaysia | Japan | Palestine

Malaysia anti-government protesters continue sit-in (AlJazeera)

Thousands of demonstrators have continued their protests in Kuala Lumpur for a second day to demand the resignation of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak over a financial scandal.
The crowd of yellow-clad protesters, who slept on the streets near the city’s Independence Square, woke on Sunday to mass exercises and a resumption of the previous day’s peaceful demonstration.
Initial crowds appeared smaller than Saturday, when police said 29,000 had gathered, while the rally’s organisers – electoral-reform pressure group Bersih – said 200,000 had turned out.

Tens of thousands of Japanese protest against ‘war law’ (AlJazeera)

Tens of thousands of protesters have rallied outside Japan’s parliament to oppose legislation that could see troops in the officially pacifist nation engage in combat for the first time since World War II.
In one of the summer’s biggest protests ahead of the new laws anticipated passage next month, protesters on Sunday chanted “No to war legislation!” ”Scrap the bills now!” and “Abe, quit!”
Organisers said about 120,000 people took part in the rally in the government district of Tokyo, filling the street outside the front gate of the parliament, or Diet. Similar demonstrations were held across nation.

Bloomberg: Thousands rally in Tokyo rain to protest Abe’s defense-law plans (Asia Times)

The proposed bills have been welcomed by the US, which wants support from its biggest Asian ally to help balance China’s growing assertiveness in the region. Other governments in Asia are also largely supportive, apart from China and South Korea, which are at loggerheads with Japan over territorial disputes and interpretations of history.
Parliament’s lower house has already passed the bills, which are now being debated in the less powerful upper house. If the upper house fails to pass them within 60 days, the lower house can enact them by passing them a second time, with a two thirds majority.

Chaim Levinson: Torture of Palestinian Detainees by Shin Bet Investigators Rises Sharply (Haaretz; also at Khamakar Press)

The Shin Bet is required to report to the court that torture were used, so that the judges will know what weight to give evidence gathered under such means. Defense attorneys are not allowed to make copies of the reports, but only to read them. The documents themselves are kept in a safe.
Until 1999, thousands of Palestinian prisoners were tortured every year. The Public Committee against Torture in Israel estimates that most Palestinians questioned experienced at least one kind of torture.
In September 1999, following a petition to the High Court of Justice, the court prohibited the systematic use of torture, but left a small opening to interrogators: An interrogator who used violence could claim after the fact that there was an “urgent need” to violate the law. Then-High Court President Aharon Barak left it to the discretion of the attorney general whether to press charges.
“Urgent need” is something that is decided in retrospect, if a complaint is filed, but in extreme cases permits to torture are still issued. The attorney general has set rules as to when “urgent need” is present, but these rules are not made public.

The Shin Bet Must Stop Torturing Palestinian Detainees (Haaretz)

The High Court of Justice issued a historic ruling in 1999, according to which the Shin Bet security service was not authorized to use physical means in its interrogations. The court thus repudiated the conclusions of the 1987 Landau Commission of Inquiry on the matter, which permitted the Shin Bet to use “moderate physical pressure” during interrogation.
Sixteen years later, an investigation by Haaretz shows that torture is still used in interrogations in Israel, under the euphemistic term “the necessity defense,” and that recently its use has increased.
According to the Haaretz investigation, the cases in which torture is used are not rare and few, and often it is used unnecessarily, in accordance with existing protocol.

Natasha Roth: Palestinian women and children prevent arrest of minor in Nabi Saleh (+972)

An Israeli soldier attempts to detain a 12-year-old Palestinian boy during a demonstration in the West Bank village. His mother and sister make sure that doesn’t happen…
The incident was captured on video by Bilal Tamimi, a local Palestinian journalist. The soldier can be seen running down a hill chasing Mohammed, who had his arm in a cast after breaking it during clashes in the village a few days earlier. He eventually catches up with Mohammed, puts him in a headlock and pins him against a rock. The soldier then sits on Mohammed, preventing him from moving.
Others can be heard yelling at the soldier that Mohammed is a child, and that his hand is broken. The soldier calls out for someone to come and help him, and turns to the activist standing next to him and mutters something about “leftists being trash.” He then drags Mohammed forward and pins him down again. At this point Mohammed’s 15-year-old sister, Ahed; his mother and his father, Nariman and Bassem; and his aunt Nawal arrive, along with other activists.
Mohammed’s family tries to pull the soldier off the boy, tugging at his arms and head. The soldier responds by flailing his arms wildly at them, trying to hit them, and putting his hand around Ahed’s throat. They continue trying to pull him away until another soldier arrives and leads him away. As he is walking off, the soldier throws a stun grenade into the middle of the crowd.

Gili Cohen: Palestinian Women, Children Stop IDF Soldier Detaining a Minor (Haaretz)
A Perfect Picture of the Occupation (Haaretz)

The video clearly shows, once again, the truth about a great deal of the IDF’s operational activities: chasing children. And an army that fights children and chases them as they flee is an army that has lost its conscience.

Israel | Greece | Austria | WWII

David Remnick: Base Appeals (New Yorker)

In last week’s Israeli elections, Netanyahu did play the role of Nixon—except that he did not go to China. Nor did he go to Ramallah. He went racist. In 1968, Nixon spoke the coded language of states’ rights and law-and-order politics in order to heighten the fears of white voters in the South, who felt diminished and disempowered by the civil-rights movement and by the Democrat in the White House, Lyndon B. Johnson. Nixon’s swampy maneuvers helped defeat the Democrat Hubert Humphrey and secure the South as an electoral safe haven for more than forty years.
Netanyahu, a student—practically a member—of the G.O.P., is no beginner at this demagogic game. In 1995, as the leader of the opposition, he spoke at rallies where he questioned the Jewishness of Yitzhak Rabin’s attempt to make peace with the Palestinians through the Oslo Accords. This bit of code was not lost on the ultra-Orthodox or on the settlers. Netanyahu refused to rein in fanatics among his supporters who carried signs portraying Rabin as a Nazi or wearing, à la Arafat, a kaffiyeh…
Netanyahu, sensing an electoral threat from a center-left coalition led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, unleashed a campaign finale steeped in nativist fear and hatred of the Other. This time, there was not a trace of subtlety. “Right-wing rule is in danger,” he warned his supporters. “Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls.” On Israeli TV, he said, “If we don’t close the gap in the next few days, Herzog and Livni, supported by Arabs and leftist N.G.O.s, will form the next government.” (Twenty per cent of the Israeli citizenry is Arab.) He warned darkly of “left-wing people from outside,” including perfidious “Scandinavians,” and “tens of millions of dollars” being used to “mobilize the Arab vote.” Pro-Likud phone banks reminded voters that Netanyahu’s opponents had the support of “Hussein Obama.” …
The day before the election, Netanyahu made it clear that, after so many years of periodically flashing the Nixon-goes-to-China card to keep the center-left and the meddling “foreigners” at bay, he would play a new hand. “Whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel,” he said in an interview with NRG, a right-leaning Israeli news site. Pressed to say if this meant that he would never agree to a Palestinian state, he answered, “Indeed.”
Now that he has been reëlected, Netanyahu has started to walk back his remarks, telling interviewers that he didn’t mean what he said about “droves” of Arabs, that he is all for a secure two-state solution. Nixon goes to China—again! But why should anyone believe it?

Ilene Prusher: Netanyahu resorts to race-baiting to win elections (Haaretz)

In the last 48 hours we’ve seen Benjamin Netanyahu’s true face.
We learned that he has no intention of ever agreeing to a Palestinian state.
We learned what he thinks of the Arab minority in Israel, which he said should not feel threatened by his attempts to pass a nation-state bill, because this is still a democracy where citizens have equal rights.
But we learned, when we see him sending out tweets, texts and a video saying “Hurry friends, the Arabs are going out in droves to vote, bused in by the left” – we see in that moment what he really thinks of the 20% of Israeli citizens who are Arab.
They are the enemy. They are a danger. They and their votes are to be feared. Their walking peacefully to their places of voting is an existential threat, just like every Palestinian organization of every political stripe. Just like Iran and ISIS and BDS.

Gershom Gorenberg: Netanyahu’s campaign finale dealt a body blow to Israeli democracy (Haaretz)

The Israeli prime minister sees the Green Line as the border between where Arabs can’t vote and where they shouldn’t.

Nick Clegg condemns Netanyahu for ruling out two-state solution (Guardian)

Nick Clegg has described the Israeli prime minister’s pledge that he will not agree to the creation of an independent Palestinian state as alarming, saying it may lead a future British government to formally recognise Palestinian sovereignty.

Peter Beaumont: Netanyahu backtracks on rejecting two states, but damage is already done (Guardian)

Binyamin Netanyahu’s contradictory statements a few days apart on whether or not he supports a two-state solution are so at odds that they are at first hard to reconcile.
On Monday, the eve of Israeli elections, he unequivocally disavowed his support – first given in a speech in 2009 – for a Palestinian state.
By Thursday, however, Netanyahu was in full reverse, saying in an interview with the US channel MSNBC that’s not what he had meant at all.

Peter Beaumont, Alan Yuhas: Netanyahu backs off from pre-election stance ruling out Palestinian state (Guardian)

The embarrassing retreat came as the White House hinted that the US could stop protecting Israel at the UN and international institutions if it was not committed to a two-state solution – a key long-term policy in Washington.

Yonatan Mendel: Diary (London Review of Books)

The Jewish parties, while similar in many ways, can be distinguished in their approaches to the conflict. The first bloc, headed by Netanyahu, is in no way interested in resolving it: giving back territory, putting a halt to building in the Occupied Territories – all that would be too much of a headache…
The second bloc, headed by the Zionist Union of Livni and Herzog, is in love with negotiations. They can’t wait to topple Netanyahu because they long for a ‘peace process’. Oh, the process! Not an actual peace, obviously, not the return of ‘a single Palestinian refugee’ (Livni’s words), no negotiation on ‘Jerusalem, the united and undivided capital of the Jewish people for 3007 years’ (Livni again, it would be 3014 now), no compromise on Israeli’s full security control of the Jordan Valley in the Occupied West Bank, but still – a process. In their dreams, Livni and Herzog see themselves flying to Washington and shaking hands with the US president… The Zionist Union wants to topple Netanyahu, but without offering a meaningful alternative…
The third bloc is by far the ‘nicest’. It’s led by Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party. Following the ‘social justice’ demonstrations in 2011, Lapid got voters to think first about themselves and their own ‘social justice’ and to forget about the Other’s lack of social and political rights. Lapid got help from the Labor Party (then headed by Shelly Yechimovich), which showed its new lack of spine when it ‘forgot’ the conflict and concentrated instead on Israel’s middle class. And indeed Lapid offers a great option for Israelis. Why does it matter whether there are 400,000 or 500,000 Israeli settlers? Why worry that Gaza has been under siege for eight years, and could explode tomorrow? Why should we deal with the difficulties of the poorest communities in Israel – the Arab citizens and the ultra-orthodox – when we can complain that they are holding us all back? This party is a great hit in Israel, and there are those who wish to copy its success – the Kulanu party, headed by Moshe Kahlon (formerly of Likud), is a right-wing version. The clearest proof of Israeli decadence and escapism, these parties sell Israelis an all-inclusive package of ‘social justice’ – within Zionist and neoliberal parameters – that does not include Arabs, conflict, refugees, Jerusalem, settlements or any other passé 1990s concepts…
[T]he Jewish-Arab List, the National Democratic Assembly, the United Arab List and the Arab Movement for Renewal joined forces to re-form as the Joint List, which may be the third largest presence in the next parliament. Headed by a young and charismatic leader, Ayman Odeh (who is, yes, supported by me), this party has a line. It says it is against another war on Gaza. It calls for an end to the occupation (and it actually uses the word ‘occupation’) in the West Bank as a step towards peace (and it actually uses the word ‘peace’). It calls on Jews and Arabs in Israel to unite against racism and discrimination – of Arabs and Mizrahi alike – and positions itself on the left (and actually uses the word ‘left’).

Gideon Levy: Why Israel’s Jews must vote for the Arab list (Haaretz)

The Joint List is the clear ray of light in this election season. It’s important for many Arabs to vote for it, and no less important for many Jews to do likewise. There is no more appropriate way for anyone who is guided by moral and ethical standards to demonstrate empathy and register protest.
Those who hesitate because it’s an “Arab party” should remember the role that Jews played in the African National Congress during the apartheid era. They did not recoil because it was a black movement. They did not hesitate because it was not their battle, supposedly.

Gideon Levy: To see how racist Israel has become, look to the left (Haaretz)

The new levels of Arab-hatred being displayed are shocking, and so are the Israeli public’s acceptance of them.
[F]oreign minister [Avigdor Lieberman] said “Those who are against us … we need to pick up an ax and cut off his head,” aiming his ax at Arab Israelis. Such a remark would end the career and guarantee lifetime ostracism of any Western statesman. Only superannuated African dictators speak of axes and beheading — and the leaders of Islamic State, of course. But such is the intellectual, cultural and moral world of Israel’s foreign minister, a bully who was once convicted of physically assaulting a child. The world can’t understand how Lieberman’s remark was accepted with such equanimity in Israel, where some highly-regarded commentators still believe this cynical, repellent politician is a serious, reasonable statesman.
No less repugnant was his savaging, in a televised debate, of Joint List leader Iman Odeh, whom he called a “fifth column” and told, “you’re not wanted here,” “go to Gaza.” None of the other party heads taking part, including those of leftist and centrist slates, leader in the debate, stepped in to stop Lieberman’s tirade. (Zehava Galon of Meretz denounced it later.) Silence is tantamount to an admission of guilt. We are all Lieberman.

Jack Khoury: Erekat: International community to blame for Netanyahu reelection (Haaretz)

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Wednesday blamed the international community for Israel’s election results and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection.
“Such a result would not have been possible had the international community held Israel to account for its systematic violations of international law,” Erekat said in a statement.
Erekat said that results show “the success of a campaign platform based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people.”

Nahum Barnea: Netanyahu’s dangerous deal with the Republicans (Yedioth Ahronot)

The American Republican Party is intervening in our elections, and in return an Israeli party is intervening in their politics. They are helping our prime minister beat his rivals here, and he is helping them humiliate their president there.

Jack Khoury: New Joint List MK calls on Netanyahu to apologize for ‘Arab voters’ warning (Haaretz; also via Google News)

A new Joint List MK on Saturday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to apologize to the Arab community for his controversial comments on Election Day, in which he warned Likud supporters that Israeli Arabs were voting “in their droves.”
New Joint List MK Dr. Yousef Jabareen, an attorney and expert in minority rights, was speaking at the first post-election meeting of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, which also blasted Netanyahu for his statement.
Jabareen said Netanyahu’s statements constituted incitement toward Arab citizens, who were simply fulfilling their basic right to vote.
“The prime minister presents the vote of citizens who suffer from discrimination as a source of fear and worry? In a normal country, a prime minister would encourage all citizens to get out and vote,” said Jabareen.
“Could anyone imagine a European leader saying in a video clip that he was worried about high voter turnout among Jews in his country? Such a politician would not stay an hour in his job, and rightly so. However, in Israel it seems that anything goes and there is no limit to racist discourse,” added Jabareen.

Orly Azoulay: With a little help from Netanyahu’s billionaire friends (Yedioth Ahronot)

The Republicans, who control the US Congress, have organized a visit for Israel’s prime minister which is worth more than 1,000 political strategists and copywriters’ brilliant ideas.

You’re an Arab? Strip (Haaretz)

The unnecessary, humiliating treatment that multitudes of Arab Israelis suffer routinely in Israel’s airports must be done away with for good.

Anshel Pfeffer: In Israel, racial profiling doesn’t warrant debate, or apologies (Haaretz)

While other democracies hesitate to resort to racial profiling, Israel takes the practice for granted.

Eli Bahar: Israel’s High Court shirking its duty on racial profiling (Haaretz; also via Google News)

The court’s refusal to decide on ethnic profiling at airports is nothing less than scandalous.

Sebastian Budgen, Costas Lapavitsas: Greece: Phase Two (Jacobin)

Much — too much — has been written in a journalistic, superficial vein about Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and last month’s negotiations with the European Union. But now that the lines have hardened and are clearer for us all to see, a new situation has opened up.
The scenario of Greece leaving the eurozone (“Grexit”) is more frequently and explicitly posed as the only way that Syriza’s government can avoid backtracking on its campaign promises.

Serge Halimi: The democratic right to cry ‘enough’ / Soutenir la Grèce (Monde diplomatique)

The Greeks voted to change their government, and its dealings with the world. For now, Greece and Germany have stepped back from the brink, with EU approval for Greek reform proposals and a 4-month bailout extension.

Costas Lapavitsas: To beat austerity, Greece must break free from the euro (Guardian)

What should we as Syriza do and how could the left across Europe help? The most vital step is to realise that the strategy of hoping to achieve radical change within the institutional framework of the common currency has come to an end. The strategy has given us electoral success by promising to release the Greek people from austerity without having to endure a major falling-out with the eurozone. Unfortunately, events have shown beyond doubt that this is impossible, and it is time that we acknowledged reality.
For Syriza to avoid collapse or total surrender, we must be truly radical. Our strength lies exclusively in the tremendous popular support we still enjoy. The government should rapidly implement measures relieving working people from the tremendous pressures of the last few years: forbid house foreclosures, write off domestic debt, reconnect families to the electricity network, raise the minimum wage, stop privatisations. This is the programme we were elected on. Fiscal targets and monitoring by the “institutions” should take a back seat in our calculations, if we are to maintain our popular support.
At the same time, our government must approach the looming June negotiations with a very different frame of mind from February. The eurozone cannot be reformed and it will not become a “friendly” monetary union that supports working people. Greece must bring a full array of options to the table, and it must be prepared for extraordinary liquidity measures in the knowledge that all eventualities could be managed, if its people were ready. After all, the EU has already wrought disaster on the country.

Peter Tiede, Costas Lapavitsas: „Kompletter Schuldenschnitt ist der Preis für den Grexit“ (Bild)

Jeremy Warner: Austria is fast becoming Europe’s latest debt nightmare (Telegraph)

Ah Austria, land of schnitzel, lederhosen, Mozart, alpine meadows and beer drinking. Less widely appreciated is its special place in the history of catastrophic banking crises.

Rory Fanning: The Firebombing of Tokyo (Jacobin)

Today marks the seventieth anniversary of the American firebombing of Tokyo, World War II’s deadliest day. More people died that night from napalm bombs than in the atomic strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But few in the United States are aware that the attack even took place…
World War II was carried out with brutality on all fronts. The Japanese military murdered nearly six million Chinese, Korean, and Filipino civilians by the end of it. However, to argue that Japanese civilians deserved to die — that children deserved to die — at the hands of the US military because their government killed civilians in other Asian countries is an indefensible position, in any moral or ethical framework.
Operation Meetinghouse saw more than three hundred B-29 bombers flying at ten thousand (as opposed to their usual thirty thousand feet) to avoid the effects of a 100 to 200 MPH jet stream, and setting Tokyo ablaze in the late hours of March 9. The American planes dropped five hundred thousand M-69 bombs (nicknamed “Tokyo Calling Card”), which were designed specially to consume the largely wooden residential structures of Tokyo.

Palestine | Inequality | Iraq | Syria | Hiroshima

Amy Goodman, Juan González: “A Hideous Atrocity”: Noam Chomsky on Israel’s Assault on Gaza & U.S. Support for the Occupation (Democracy Now)

Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky describes Israel’s 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900 people and left almost 10,000 people injured.

Amy Goodman, Juan González: Noam Chomsky: Israel’s Actions in Palestine are “Much Worse Than Apartheid” in South Africa (Democracy Now)
Amy Goodman, Nermeen Shaykh: Henry Siegman, Leading Voice of U.S. Jewry, on Gaza: “A Slaughter of Innocents” (Democracy Now)

“When one thinks that this is what is necessary for Israel to survive, that the Zionist dream is based on the repeated slaughter of innocents on a scale that we’re watching these days on television, that is really a profound, profound crisis — and should be a profound crisis in the thinking of all of us who were committed to the establishment of the state and to its success,” Siegman says. 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.”

Juan Cole: Israel Doesn’t Get Geneva Conventions, Still Holding Gaza Civilians Hostage (Truthdig)

The Israeli government is saying that it will only let in building materials so that Palestinians in Gaza can rebuild or repair the some 40,000 buildings that have been damaged or destroyed if Hamas disarms.
It is legitimate for Israel to seek the disarming of Hamas, but it isn’t legitimate or legal in international law for it to hold non-combatants’ lives and welfare hostage in order to accomplish that goal.

Jimmy Carter, Mary Robinson: How to Fix It (Foreign Policy)

Ending this war in Gaza begins with recognizing Hamas as a legitimate political actor.

Richard Falk: Joint Declaration by International Law Experts on Israel’s Gaza Offensive (Global Justice in the 21st Century)
Chris Hedges: Why Israel Lies (Trutzdig)
Chris Hedges speech about Gaza (YouTube)
Lizzie Dearden: Right-wing Israeli politician calls for Gazans to be ’concentrated in camps’ – and then all resistance ‘exterminated’ (Independent)
Katie Halper: A refreshingly open call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from an Israeli deputy speaker (Raw Story)
Duncan Roden, Stuart Munckton: Israeli calls for genocide rooted in its history (Green Left Weekly)
Chris Doyle: Israel and the language of genocide (Al-Arabiya)
Yoav Bar: Zionist Demo in Haifa: “In Gaza there is no studying, there are no children left!” (Free Haifa)
Michel Warschawski: Don’t touch my MK, Haneen Zoabi! (Alternative Information Centre)
Mira Bar Hillel: Despite claims that anti-Semitism is on the rise in the UK, it’s Israel’s critics who need protection (Independent)

The reality is that those who really need bodyguards do not live in London, Manchester or Leeds. They are my brave Israeli friends and colleagues who have attempted to do nothing more than protest peacefully against the Gaza massacres.

Asa Winstanley: “Liberal” Guardian to print pro-genocide ad (Electronic Intifada)
Roy Greenslade: The Times refuses to carry ad accusing Hamas of ‘child sacrifice’ (Guardian)

But The Guardian has agreed to run the advert on Monday.

Any newspaper that published an advertisement accusing Jews of “child sacrifice” would rightly be condemned as anti-Semitic.
How is it, then, that Britain’s leading “liberal” newspaper is set to publish just such an ad about Palestinians on Monday?

Jeanna Smialek: The 1% May Be Richer Than You Think, Research Shows (Bloomberg)

The richest of America’s rich — the top 0.1 percent with at least $20 million in net wealth — held 23.5 percent of all U.S. wealth in 2012 after adding in estimates of how much was hidden in offshore tax havens, said Zucman, a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley…
Austria’s top 1 percent held as much as 36 percent of that country’s wealth in 2013, if adjusted with Forbes’ data. That’s 13 percentage points more than one survey estimate suggests, which would make Austria almost as unequal as the U.S.

Patrick Cockburn: Isis consolidates (London Review of Books)

As the attention of the world focused on Ukraine and Gaza, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) captured a third of Syria in addition to the quarter of Iraq it had seized in June. The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland. In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, routing the official al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor and executing its local commander as he tried to flee. In northern Syria some five thousand Isis fighters are using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul to besiege half a million Kurds in their enclave at Kobani on the Turkish border. In central Syria, near Palmyra, Isis fought the Syrian army as it overran the al-Shaer gasfield, one of the largest in the country, in a surprise assault that left an estimated three hundred soldiers and civilians dead. Repeated government counter-attacks finally retook the gasfield but Isis still controls most of Syria’s oil and gas production. The Caliphate may be poor and isolated but its oil wells and control of crucial roads provide a steady income in addition to the plunder of war.

Owen Bennett-Jones: How should we think about the Caliphate? (London Review of Books)
Patrick Cockburn: Battle for Baghdad (London Review of Books)
Torie Rose DeGhett: The War Photo No One Would Publish (Atlantic)

When Kenneth Jarecke photographed an Iraqi man burned alive, he thought it would change the way Americans saw the Gulf War. But the media wouldn’t run the picture.

Amy Goodman: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 69 Years Later (Truthdig)

Egypt | Palestine–Israel | Fukushima

Alistair Beach: Egypt’s day of shame: Scores killed and hundreds more injured as government declares war on Islamists (Independent)
Nermeen Shaikh, Amy Goodman, Sharif Abdel Kouddous: Massacre in Cairo: Egypt on Brink After Worst Violence Since 2011 Revolution (Democracy Now)

At least 525 people were killed in Egypt on Wednesday when security forces cracked down on two protest camps filled with supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. The Muslim Brotherhood says the actual death toll tops 2,000, and has called new rallies for today. The Egyptian military has defended the crackdown and declared a state of emergency.

Patrick Kingsley: Egyptian PM defends crackdown on pro-Morsi camps as [official] death toll rises to 525 (Guardian)
Military crackdown: Egypt’s Tiananmen Square (Guardian)

The Egyptian military’s bloody assault on its own people marks a point of no return for the government.
Egypt’s military-installed government crossed a Rubicon on Wednesday by sending in the security forces to clear the camps of demonstrators demanding the reinstatement of President Mohamed Morsi. Within hours, the contours of the landscape the country had entered became brutally clear: 235 confirmed deaths and the possibility of many more; running battles breaking out in cities around the country; a state of emergency; night-time curfews imposed on 10 provinces. The bloodshed caused by interior ministry troops opening fire with shotguns, machine guns and rooftop snipers on largely peaceful sit-ins took its first major political casualty on Wednesday evening. The leading liberal who had supported the military coup, Mohamed ElBaradei, resigned as acting vice-president. …
Today, military rule has been revealed for what it is, and anyone thinking that it will be temporary or last for just one month has got to be supremely optimistic.

Robert Fisk: What Muslim Will Ever Trust the Ballot Box Again? (CounterPunch)
Sheri Berman: Marx’s Lesson for the Muslim Brothers (New York Times)

Karl Marx wrote that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. He had in mind the Revolution of 1848, when a democratic uprising against the French monarchy collapsed into a Bonapartist dictatorship just as the French Revolution had six decades earlier.
In 1848, workers joined with liberals in a democratic revolt to overthrow the French monarchy. However, almost as soon as the old order collapsed, the opposition fell apart, as liberals grew increasingly alarmed by what they saw as “radical” working class demands. Conservatives were able to co-opt fearful liberals and reinstall new forms of dictatorship.
Those same patterns are playing out in Egypt today — with liberals and authoritarians playing themselves, and Islamists playing the role of socialists. Once again, an inexperienced and impatient mass movement has overreached after gaining power. Once again, liberals have been frightened by the changes their former partners want to enact and have come crawling back to the old regime for protection. And as in 1848, authoritarians have been happy to take back the reins of power.

Alberto Cruz: El suicidio de la izquierda árabe (CEPRID)

[C]ualquiera que tenga los ojos abiertos, no ya la mente, tiene que ver que si la izquierda árabe comenzó a ser irrelevante en la década de 1990 tras el golpe militar en Argelia, con la postura que ha adoptado en Egipto de apoyo al golpe militar y los llamamientos en el mismo sentido que está haciendo en Túnez sólo tiene un futuro: la nada.
Ha habido muchos analistas que se han dado cuenta que se puede hacer un paralelismo entre el golpe en Argelia de 1992 y el de Egipto en 2013, pero se cuidan muy mucho en decir que el golpe en Argelia fue impulsado por la Unión General de Trabajadores y el Partido de la Vanguardia Socialista. El Frente Islámico de Salvación había ganado las elecciones en la primera vuelta, iba a revalidar su triunfo en la segunda y eso había que evitarlo a toda costa. La UGT y el PVS no tuvieron ningún reparo en buscar el apoyo y la colaboración de los empresarios, agrupados en la Unión de Empresarios Públicos, y de los intelectuales, agrupados en la Coalición para la Cultura y la Democracia.

Robert Fisk: Any other ‘statesman’ who negotiated peace like John Kerry would be treated as a thief (Independent)

Has John Kerry no shame? First he cuddles up to both Palestinians and Israelis and announces the renewal of a “peace process” which the Palestinians don’t trust and the Israelis don’t want. Then Israel announces that it will build 1,200 new homes for Jews – and Jews only – on occupied Palestinian land. And now Kerry tells the Palestinians – the weak and occupied Palestinians – that they are running out of time if they want a state of their own.
Any other “statesman” involved in any other dispute who told an occupied people that if they didn’t make peace their occupiers would steal even more of their land, would be regarded as an outcast, a fellow thief, a potential criminal.

Andrew DeWit: Water, Water Everywhere: Incentives and Options at Fukushima Daiichi and Beyond (Japan Focus)

[I]t is now clear that several hundred tons of radiation-contaminated water is entering the ocean per day.

Andrew DeWit: In the Dark With Tepco: Fukushima’s Legacy for Nuclear Power (Japan Focus) / 東京電力の闇のなかで――核エネルギーがこうむるフクシマの遺産 (原子力発電_原爆の子)

South Africa | Canada | Japan | Palestine | CNN | Avaaz

Chris Mardsen: South Africa after the Marikana massacre / L’Afrique du Sud après le massacre de Marikana / Südafrika nach dem Massaker von Marikana (WSWS)

The police massacre of striking miners at Marikana is a watershed for post-apartheid South Africa and for the international class struggle. It demonstrates in the starkest form imaginable that the perspective of “black empowerment” and the “National Democratic Revolution” providing the basis for overcoming economic and social oppression has failed utterly. The central lesson of Marikana is that the fundamental division within society is class, not race.

Bill Van Auken: South Africa’s miners and the fear of “contagion” / Die Bergarbeiter in Südafrika und die Furcht vor „Ansteckung” (WSWS)

Keith Jones: Parti Quebecois to form minority government, after narrow election win (WSWS)
Isabeau Doucet: Fatal shooting at Pauline Marois Quebec victory speech ‍(Guardian)

Emma Graham-Harrison: Prevalence of malnutrition in southern Afghanistan ‘shocking’ (Guardian)

Around a third of young children in southern Afghanistan are acutely malnourished, with a level of deprivation similar to that found in famine zones, a government survey has found, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid that has been poured into the region. …
“What’s shocking is that this is really very high by global standards,” said Michael Keating, deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan. “This is the kind of malnutrition you associate with Africa and some of the most deprived parts of the world, not with an area that has received so much international attention and assistance.”

Gavan McCormack: Troubled Seas: Japan’s Pacific and East China Sea Domains (and Claims) (JapanFocus)

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie’s death was an accident, Israeli judge rules (Guardian)

From 2000-04 the Israeli military demolished around 1,700 homes in Rafah, leaving about 17,000 people homeless, according to the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem.
Corrie was one of a group of around eight international activists acting as human shields against the demolitions. According to witness statements made at the time and evidence given in court, she clambered on top of a mound of earth in the path of an advancing Caterpillar bulldozer.
“She was standing on top of a pile of earth,” fellow activist and eyewitness Richard Purssell, from Brighton, said at the time. “The driver cannot have failed to see her. As the blade pushed the pile, the earth rose up. Rachel slid down the pile. It looks as if her foot got caught. The driver didn’t slow down; he just ran over her. Then he reversed the bulldozer back over her again.”

Harriet Sherwood: Rachel Corrie lawsuit result ‘dangerous precedent’ say human rights groups (Guardian)

Concern ruling will allow Israel to exploit ‘legal black hole’ and avoid responsibility for its actions. Human rights organisations have warned of a “dangerous precedent” following an Israeli court’s dismissal of a civil lawsuit over the death of US activist Rachel Corrie, which stated that Israel could not be held responsible because its army was engaged in a combat operation. …
Human Rights Watch said the ruling contravened international law, which is intended to protect non-combatants in war zones, and set “a dangerous precedent”. “The idea that there can be no fault for killing civilians in a combat operation flatly contradicts Israel’s international legal obligations to spare civilians from harm during armed conflict and to credibly investigate and punish violations by its forces,” said Bill van Esveld, a senior Middle East researcher at HRW.

Zvi Bar’el: A good Jew hates Arabs / יהודי טוב שונא ערבים (Haaretz)

Hatred of Arabs is part of the test of loyalty and identity that the state gives its Jewish citizens. A good Jew hates Arabs. A loyal Israeli will leave an Arab to die, because “he’s an Arab.” And someone who isn’t like that, as we know, “sleeps with Arabs.”
שנאת ערבים היא חלק ממבחן הנאמנות לזהות שמעניקה המדינה לאזרחיה היהודים. יהודי טוב שונא ערבים. ישראלי נאמן יניח לערבי למות, כי “הוא ערבי”. מי שאיננו כזה הוא כידוע “מזדיין/ת עם ערבים”.

Yossi Sarid: A quiet lynch in Tel Aviv-Jaffa / הלינץ’ השקט בתל אביב-יפו (Haaretz)
Gideon Levy: Lieberman was right / ליברמן צדק (Haaretz)

To the long list of new heights of Israeli chutzpah, we can now add Lieberman’s scandalous letter, which urges the replacement of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Even the most moderate Palestinian statesman ever – there never has been, and, more importantly, never will be one as moderate and committed to nonviolence as he – is no good for Lieberman’s Israel. To the megalomania of bombing Iran, in order to foment regime change, among other things, we can now add this megalomaniac idiocy, which is dwarfed only slightly by all its predecessors.
אל שיאי החוצפה הישראלית, רשימה ארוכה, עטורת שיאים, נוסף עכשיו מכתבו השערורייתי של ליברמן, הקורא להחליף את מחמוד עבאס. גם המדינאי הפלסטיני המתון ביותר בכל הזמנים – לא היה ובעיקר לא יהיה עוד מתון ודוגל באי-אלימות כמותו – גם הוא לא טוב לישראל של ליברמן. אל מגלומניית ההפצצה באיראן, בין היתר כדי להחליף את משטרה, נוסף עכשיו ההבל המגלומני הזה, מתגמד רק במעט לנוכח כל קודמיו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שיאסר ערפאת הוא הוא המכשול, אחרי שחמאס עלה וגם הוא היה למכשול, החליט שר החוץ להוסיף גם את עבאס לרשימת פסולי השלום שלו. אחרי שישראל טענה במשך שנים שרק, רק, אם הפלסטינים יפסיקו את הטרור יהיה שלום, והפלסטינים הפסיקו את הטרור – וכלום. אפילו לא הקפאת ההתנחלויות. כלום.

Ewen MacAskill: Democratic convention erupts over reinstatement of Jerusalem to policy (Guardian)

Glenn Greenwald: CNN and the business of state-sponsored TV news (Guardian)

Friederike Beck: Avaaz.org und der geheime Informationskrieg um Syrien (Zeitgeist)

Syria | Myanmar | EU | Fukushima | Wikileaks | Palestine/Israel

Judy Bello: Hands Off Syria! (CounterPunch)
Conn Hallinan: Syria and the Phantom (CounterPunch)

What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down? … According to the Financial Times, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the newspaper “the jet was on a test and training mission focused on Turkey’s radar defense, rather than Syria.” Translation: the F-4 was “lighting up” a radar net. It is a common—if dangerous and illegal—tactic that allows one to probe an opponent’s radar system. Most combat radar is kept in a passive mode to prevent a potential enemy from mapping out weaknesses or blind spots that can be useful in the advent of an attack. … “Lighting up” radar was what the US Navy EP-3E Aries II was doing near China’s Hainan Island when it collided with a Chinese interceptor in 2001. … It is doubtful that Syria indentified exactly what the Turkish plane was, just that an unidentified warplane, flying low—generally the altitude one takes when trying to avoid radar—was in Syrian airspace. Paranoia? In 2007 Israeli warplanes—US-made F-16s, not Phantoms—slipped through Syria’s radar net and bombed a suspected nuclear reactor. … Turkey says the F-4 was 13 nautical miles from Syria when it was attacked—which would put it in international waters—but it crashed in Syrian waters. Damascus claims the plane came down less than a mile from the Syrian coast.

Heiko Khoo: The crisis of European capitalism (China.org.cn)

Last week’s crisis summit of European leaders resulted in defeat for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who capitulated to the demands of the French, Spanish and Italian leaders. Financial support for Italy and Spain can now take the form of funds going directly to their banking system. This means a relaxation of the imposition of swingeing austerity measures. Italy and Spain will not be humiliated like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus have been in the recent past. … The Greek government will now demand that they be treated in the same way as the Spanish and Italians and that present austerity measures should come to a halt. They will warn Chancellor Merkel that the alternative will be a revolutionary upheaval in Greece. All this confirms that, had Syriza, the leftist electoral coalition, won the elections in Greece, their demand to remain in the Euro and simultaneously cancel austerity measures was by no means utopian.

Bertil Lintner: Burma 2012: Democracy and Dictatorship (JapanFocus)

Piers Williamson: Largest Demonstrations in Half a Century Protest the Restart of Japanese Nuclear Power Plants (JapanFocus)

On 29 June, Japan witnessed its largest public protest since the 1960s. This was the latest in a series of Friday night gatherings outside Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko’s official residence. Well over one hundred thousand people came together to vent their anger at his 16 June decision to order a restart of Units 3 and 4 at the Oi nuclear plant.

Justin McCurry: Fukushima reactor meltdown was a manmade disaster, says official report (Guardian)

Last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a manmade disaster caused by poor regulation and collusion between the government, the operator and the industry’s watchdog, a report has said.

National Diet of Japan: The official report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC)

Moore, Glover, Stone, Maher, Greenwald, Wolf, Ellsberg Urge Correa to Grant Asylum to Assange (Just Foreign Policy)

Because this is a clear case of an attack on press freedom and on the public’s right to know important truths about U.S. foreign policy, and because the threat to his health and well-being is serious, we urge you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum.

UKPA: Poison found on Arafat’s clothes (Google News)

The body of former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat may be exhumed after the discovery of traces of a radioactive agent on clothing he reportedly wore in his final days reignited a cauldron of conspiracy theories.

Gregg Carlstrom: Arafat’s widow calls to exhume his body (AlJazeera)
Occupation sciences / מדעי הכיבוש (Haaretz)

An Israeli university on the West Bank would be a university for the occupation sciences; it must not happen.
אוניברסיטה ישראלית בגדה תהיה אוניברסיטה למדעי הכיבוש; אסור שהיא תקום.

Jimmy Johnson: A Primer on Settler Colonialism (CounterPunch)

Jeremy Kuzmarov: Police Training, “Nation-Building,” and Political Repression in Postcolonial South Korea (JapanFocus)

Philip J. Cunningham: Red and Yellow: Thailand’s Future in Check and Balance (JapanFocus)

Syria | Bahrain | Gaza | Haiti | Greece | Libya | Fukushima

Afshin Mehrpouya: Six Ways the Media Has Misreported Syria (CounterPunch)

1. What do the majority of Syrians want?
2. Is the Syrian National Council (SNC) and the militarized insurgency representative of the Syrian opposition?
3. How many casualties and killed by whom?
4. Are the information sources unbiased and credible?
5. What are the interests of countries pushing for regime change and foreign intervention?
6. What are the “democratic credentials of the countries who want to take democracy to Syria?

John sent these links:
Andrew Hammond: Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain (Reuters)
Reem Khalifa: Bahrain protesters boost pressure with huge rally (Google)

Amy Goodman, : Ceasefire Reached After Israeli Air Strikes Killed 26 Palestinians in Gaza (Democracy Now)
Ali Abunimah: “Mowing the lawn”: On Israel’s latest massacre in Gaza and the lies behind it (Electronic Intifada)
Gideon Levy: The storm over Bamba and apathy concerning Gaza / בין סערת הבמבה לעזה (Haaretz)
Aluf Benn: Netanyahu is preparing Israeli public opinion for a war on Iran / בנימין נתניהו הוציא צו 8 לעצמו ולציבור (Haaretz)
As’ad AbuKhalil: Tolerable Savagery: Israeli Killing of Palestinians (Al-Akhbar)
Max Blumenthal: Israel’s bogus case for bombing Gaza obscures political motives (Al-Akhbar)
AFP: China urges Israel to halt Gaza assault (Al-Akhbar)

Jon Henley: Greece on the breadline: HIV and malaria make a comeback (Guardian)

Mark Weisbrot: America’s subversion of Haiti’s democracy continues (Guardian)

Vijay Prashad: NATO’S Craven Coverup of Its Libyan Bombing (CounterPunch)

Evan Osnos: The Fallout – Seven months later: Japan’s nuclear predicament (New Yorker)

Syria | Egypt | Iran | Japan | USA

Amal Hanano: Framing Syria (Jadaliyya)
Céline Lussato: La DGSE va-t-elle former les déserteurs syriens ? (Nouvel Observateur)
excerpts translated into English: Will French Intelligence Agents Be Training Syrian Deserters? (MRzine)
Anthony Shadid: Sectarian Strife in City Bodes Ill for All of Syria (New York Times)

Wilhelm Langthaler: A farce difficult to boycott: Why Tahrir II is also
a criticism to the elections
(Anti-Imperialist Camp)

Amy Goodman: Seymour Hersh: Propaganda Used Ahead of Iraq War Is Now Being Reused over Iran’s Nuke Program (Democracy Now)

In his latest article for The New Yorker blog, titled “Iran and the IAEA,” Hersh argues the recent report is a “political document,” not a scientific study. “They [JSOC] found nothing. Nothing. No evidence of any weaponization,” Hersh says. “In other words, no evidence of a facility to build the bomb. They have facilities to enrich, but not separate facilities to build the bomb. This is simply a fact. … They’re certainly far away from a bomb. Israel has been saying for 20 years they’re … six months away from making a bomb.”

Occupy Tokyo: Mass demonstrations go unreported by Japanese media (Signs of the Times)

Naomi Wolf: The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy (Guardian)