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The bomber, the calm and the balancing act

The bomber, the calm and the balancing act
+TOI-Billboard - July 13, 2005

Next TOI-Billboard not before mid-August

-- This week: the bomber, the calm and the balancing act
-- One year after the Hague ruling on the Wall
-- Onions Were Needed - protesting in Bil'in and Tel-Aviv
--`It is all Israel' By Amira Hass
-- Unrecognized pacifist after years back to military jail?
-- The reflection in the mirror By Shai Niv
-- Sources of information

This week: the bomber, the calm and the balancing act

Again bloody pictures from the scene of a suicide bombing.

Yesterday Netanya was hit once more. A member of the Islamic Jihad (which repudiated the cease-fire negotiated by Palestinian president Abu Mazen earlier this year) blew himself up outside a shopping center of the popular sea resort. He succeeded in murdering four random by-passers (all of them women). "The calm has ended" wrote the papers. "The calm" is a term referring to the situation from the Israeli angle. When Palestinians get killed, that doesn't end "the calm." The killing of the fifteen year old kid Mahayoub Aasi at Beit Likia last Friday had barely gotten any mention.

Abu Mazen denounced the perpetrators of the Netanya bombing as traitors who gravely harm the Palestinian cause. And indeed, the bombing gave Sharon a pretext to reoccupy and overwhelm the city of Tulkarm, one of the miserable enclaves on the West Bank where Palestinians were hitherto able to exercise some semblance of sovereign authority.

And having sent his troops to impose a curfew and start a manhunt in Tulkarm, Sharon whirled around and imposed a closure on the Gaza Strip - not against Palestinians, this time, but so as to isolate the Gaza settlers slated for evacuation, and prevent their friends from sending them reinforcements. The step itself was expected, but this particular timing made it into a tactical surprise.

Sharon has always been fond of "counterbalances", but this involves far more than tactics. It is, in fact, his entire policy in a nutshell: withdrawing from the Gaza Strip - not as a first step in ending the occupation in its entirety but on the contrary as part of a deliberate bolstering of Israeli hold over the West Bank. The success of such a policy would ensure that there will be no further chance for peace, and a very enhanced chance for another and yet another round of bloodshed and hatred.

One year after the Hague ruling on the Wall

Palestinian organizations call for sanctions against Israel (boycott, divestment etc.) for not-compliance with international law and universal principles of human rights

July 8, press release:

"One year after the historic Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which found Israel's Wall built on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal, Israel continues its construction of the colonial Wall with total disregard to the Court's decision. Thirty eight years into Israel's occupation of the Palestinian West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights, Israel continues to expand Jewish colonies. It has unilaterally annexed occupied East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights and is now de facto annexing large parts of the West Bank by means of the Wall. Israel is also preparing - in the shadow of its planned redeployment from the Gaza Strip - to build and expand colonies in the West Bank. Fifty seven years after the state of Israel was built mainly on land ethnically cleansed of its Palestinian owners, a majority of Palestinians are refugees, most of whom are stateless. Moreover, Israel's entrenched system of racial discrimination against its own Arab- Palestinian citizens remains intact."

full text

If you have difficulty clicking the long url, go to and scroll down until you find the press release of July 8 on the right side.

NB: On the evening of July 19 (starting 8pm), there will be a debate in Hagada Hasmalit, Tel-Aviv about the question whether the Israeli peace movement should support such calls - with Dr Yoav Peled, Dr Ilan Pappe, Abir Kopti and Yehudit Har'el.

See also:


The Onions Were Needed - protesting in Bil'in and Tel-Aviv

Adam Keller

"With perfect aplomb, wearing his resplendent robes of office, [Sheikh Tayseer Tamimi] moved aside the barbed wire, gracefully entered the forbidden zone, spread out a beautiful prayer rug, kneeled in the direction of Mecca and began praying."

full article


Another village, same problem

`It is all Israel'

By Amira Hass

(...) The residents of Qafin have come to one conclusion: The goal is to bring about the neglect of their green agricultural lands until they become wilderness. Then Israel can rely on an old Ottoman law that allows neglected and abandoned land to become public property, in order to make the wilderness bloom. In Israel, as every soldier knows, the "public" is the same as the "Jews." And so will the mistake of 1948 be rectified. At that time, some 18,000 dunams from Qafin became part of Israel, became Jewish land. Now it will happen to an additional 5,000 dunams.

full article


Unrecognized pacifist after years back to military jail?

MONDAY, July 18,2005 , 16:30 another act in the Yoni Ben-Artzi case at the IDF Headquarters (Hakirya) in Tel-Aviv

On June 1, 2005, the Supreme Court rejected (as usual...) Yoni's appeal to be at last recognized as the pacifist which he is, and not being punished with an additional 4 month in military prison where he already spent two years.

However the three Justices did recommend that the IDF itself reconsider Yoni's request, which the army refused and thus the military disciplinary procedure against this long-ago exempted citizen goes on as planned. Yoni Ben-Artzi is supported by his parents Matanya and Ofra, who admit that they learned through their son in what kind of country they live. The whole family could use a bit more of solidarity.

P.S. One of the younger generation refusers who is also an active Anarchist Against Fences can be contacted while in Europe for some months


The reflection in the mirror

By Shai Niv

It was no coincidence that the reporter used the phrase "soldiers are not used to dealing with 15-year-olds." In Israeli rhetoric, "children" are Israelis but Palestinians are Palestinians, no matter their age. Israeli society does not see Palestinian children, or simply refuses to see them. Neither as children, nor as human beings. How many times have we heard the newscaster say: "The IDF imposed a complete closure on the territories for the holiday"? We never stop to think why, when we have a holiday, they must stay home.

read more


Sources of information

The next TOI-Billboard will only come out in a month from now. In order to remain up to date, you may look from time to time in Ha'aretz:

But there is also Occupation Magazine ( ) which started to send out email digests with their selection from a variety of sources. See the one which we recently received at: You can subscribe through Yehudith Harel

Another source of the kind of articles which we maybe would select is Jewish Voice for Peace

Robert Rosenberg's daily review of the situation seems to suffer itself from a summer interruption


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