- Buoyed by passage of their anti-boycott bill, Knesset
Yisrael Beitenu and Likud party extremists taste blood and want more. Most
worrisome is a proposed measure to investigate leftist group activities,
heading for a final vote next week.
- YNet News writer Moran Azulay quoted Meretz party chairwoman,
Sahava Gal-On, calling it "a political inquisition," adding:
- "The Boycott Law has whetted the appetite of the
settler Coalition. This is an attempt at perpetuating the persecution of
left-wing and civil organizations. What will be the next step? Sham trials?
Throwing people into gulags?"
- Weighing in, Labor party MK Eitan Cabel said:
- "The prime minister has lost control over his partners,
who are running wild in the Knesset and taking advantage of the (tyranny)
of the majority in order to trample the minority. We are in the midst of
- United Arab List-Ta'al party MK Ahmad Tibi wondered which
ruling coalition partner was most racist, Yisrael Beiteinu or Likud, saying:
- "In the beginning they were against Arabs. Now they're
against leftists, and maybe tomorrow they will go up against the feinschmeckers
of the Likud" or anyone challenging them.
- According to Kadima party MK Ruhama Avraham:
- "This government does not pursue peace or social
justice, but rather its own citizens."
- Another measure proposes giving Knesset members veto
power over High Court nominations. Likud's Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar
called it "dangerous, problematic, and creates a clear hazard of politicizing"
- YNet News writer Azulay said the draft measure proposes
subjecting candidates to a public hearing to inquire "about (their)
legal and constitutional views, (their) personal contribution to legal
thought, (their) views about law, justice and the necessary balance between
various values and the separation of authorities."
- The Knesset Justice Committee would first rule on each
candidate's eligibility, then let the Judicial Selection Committee consider
- Responding to this and other measures, Hadash party MK
Dov Hanin said:
- "A wave of anti-democratic legislation is threatening
to drown us. This proposal was intended to send the Supreme Court a threatening
and powerful message ahead of the hearing on the legality of the Boycott
Law. I call on the democratic camp to stage a massive protest. If we don't
all come together to defend democracy, there will be (nothing) left to
- Kadima's Avraham called the proposal another public humiliation,
- "Netanyahu has succeeded in leading Israel to a
new and unprecedented democratic, moral, and ethical low."
- Labor's Eitan Cabel said:
- "The Knesset, fortress of Israeli democracy, is
turning into democratic Israel's graveyard with the help of Netanyahu's
coalition of horrors," adding:
- Governing as "democracy's undertaker," he'll
be called "the leader in whose time Israel retreated to its lowest
point in" history.
- On July 14, B'Tselem said Netanyahu's Civil Administration
(CA) retroactively approved stealing privately owned Palestinian land.
On June 26, it expropriated 189 Qaryut village dunams for Yovel outpost.
- Established in 1998, 12 permanent dwellings were built
there with no permission on partly private Palestinian land. Declaring
it state property now means retroactively approving unauthorized construction.
In 2005 and 2009, Peace Now and Yesh Din respectively petitioned Israel's
High Court to rule it illegal. It declined, despite authorities admitting
- On May 1, 2011, the Court told authorities to present
a "practical time schedule" for resolving construction illegalities.
In response, CA said it planned to declare disputed outpost areas state
land. In other words, steal it, including privately owned Palestinian property.
- B'Tselem called doing so "a flagrant violation of
international commitments made by Israel's government," including
prior settlement construction freezes and promises not to illegally expropriate
Palestinian land. Moreover, in June 2009, Netanyahu committed not to expand
settlements, a pledge immediately violated.
- Thereafter, thousands of Palestinian dunams were stolen.
However, declaring expropriated Yovel outpost state land "is the first
time that Israel" did it retroactively, exceeding the worst of Ariel
Sharon, a man called "the Bulldozer" when he served as Construction
and Housing minister.
- More Israeli Lawlessness
- On January 15, Haaretz said Israeli air strikes wounded
at least five Gazans, including two children. Two others remain missing.
Medical teams are searching for them.
- In April, an unofficial ceasefire was declared. Numerous
Israeli violations followed. International Middle East Media writer Saed
Bannoura called the latest incident "part of an ongoing, escalating
offensive against (Gaza) in the last ten days." In fact, Israeli provocations
repeat regularly, even with ceasefires in place.
- On July 15, Ma'an News said Israeli naval forces attacked
an international boat in Gazan waters - the Oliva belonging to Civil Peace
Service Gaza (CPSGaza).
- On July 14, Hama Waqum, a CPS member, said the Oliva
and Gaza fishermen were attacked, explaining:
- At midday July 13, "(w)e approached a cluster of
hasaka fishing boats that were being attacked with water cannons....As
we got closer, all I could focus on was the officer manning the machine
gun," dressed in black.
- The vessels were two miles offshore in Gazan waters.
Israeli marines fired water cannons at close range (10 meters away) "with
stinging force....(T)hey repeatedly aimed at my face and each time my nose,
eyes and mouth filled with seawater."
- "Imagine someone boxing your face. Imagine that
their fist is larger than a bowling ball. Now imagine that punch lasting
for ten minutes. That is what it felt like."
- As Oliva and fishing boats headed home, the warship followed
"with relentless attack after attack." Eventually it stopped.
"We were completely drenched through. Our captain (positioned) us
to corners of the boat, worried" it was so full of water it might
- Although CPS boats aren't often attacked, "this
is an everyday occurrence for Gazan fishermen." Israelis used live
fire against another vessel the same day. "There were too many bullet
holes in the bow....for me to count."
- Moreover, international Gaza observers are being attacked
more often to assure collective punishment continues out of sight and mind,
and that humanitarian aid and activists don't arrive. Waqum preserved video
footage of the entire incident so many others will see how lawlessly Israel
- A Final Comment
- On July 8, Palestine Telegraph writer Ronan MacField
headlined, "Exclusive: A flotilla of Palestinian Refugees to return
to Palestine, 'Israel,' " saying:
- Nine European groups, two American and one Canadian plan
"to send Passenger boats (with) huge number(s) of Palestinian Refugees
to their" homes in Israel. A fund was set up to do it. Names and details
so far aren't released.
- Activists call their Flotilla: "Ship your luggage,
Return to Palestine." A private jet may also be used. Refugees with
dual citizenships will participate, as well as "European activists,
MPs, journalists and (other) activists."
- Instead of Gaza, Haifa and Ashkelon destinations are
planned. Maybe others. Participants will exercise their legal Right to
Return. Up to 20,000 may come. Sailing will be from two unnamed countries
agreeing not to block it.
- More details to follow.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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