Wednesday, November 2, 2016

831 UNSC to back a Palestinian state, with no US veto, during last months of Obama admin

UNSC to back a Palestinian state, with no US veto, during last months of
Obama admin

Newsletter published on 12 June 2016

(1) UNSC to back a Palestinian state, with no US veto, during last
months of Obama admin
(2) Netanyahu trying to head off UNSC resolution that Obama won't veto
(3) Israeli military archives, 1967: within 72 hours we'll drive Arabs
from West Bank
(4) Israel Remaps West Bank for Settlement Expansion, to block
Palestinian Statehood
(5) Most Jews do not believe in God; they actually believe in the ‘Jew'
- Gilad Atzmon
(6) But most secular Israelis participate in a Passover Seder (dinner)
(7) & (8) Price Tag Jews indicted for Terrorism

(1) UNSC to back a Palestinian state, with no US veto, during last
months of Obama admin

Israel-Palestinian peace initiatives are suddenly popping up everywhere

By William Booth and Carol Morello June 2

JERUSALEM — Until a week ago, it seemed the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process was a flat-liner.

President Obama thought so. In March, he said he wouldn’t seek to
jump-start talks — the two sides were too far apart; it was not in the

Now Israeli-Palestinian peace initiatives are popping up all over.

On Friday, the French will host a meeting of about 25 foreign ministers,
including Secretary of State John F. Kerry, to seek international
consensus on a way to move talks forward.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Kerry was going to Paris to

"It’s about being there, being part of the discussion, exploring ideas
and options that might get us closer to a two-state solution," Kirby said.

But Kerry’s presence in Paris worries Israelis who fear that the
international community is going to press them to end the 49-year
military occupation of the West Bank and the partial trade and travel
blockage of Gaza, and to stop ongoing construction of Jewish settlements
on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

[A Palestinian teen killed an Israeli mom. Now their families struggle
with why.]

The Israelis also have their eyes on the calendar. They are concerned
that the Obama -administration will, before leaving office, enshrine a
two-state -solution in a speech or a U.N. resolution, in effect laying
out the final status ahead of negotiations.

Kerry spent nine months trying to bring the two sides together in 2014.
The talks ended in recriminations about who was to blame for their failure.

Across the political spectrum in Ramallah and Jerusalem, nobody holds
out much hope for the French effort.

French diplomats shrug and say in briefings with journalists, "We have
to do something."

In Israel, there is a feeling that something is happening.

Just this week, the once-moribund Arab Peace Initiative is back in the
game after years on the sidelines.

Proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, the deal offers the idea that the Arab
states will normalize relations with Israel after Israel withdraws from
the occupied territories — including East Jerusalem — and begins the
process of allowing for a Palestinian state.

Former Israeli governments have been hostile or lukewarm to the Arab

Former prime minister Ariel Sharon called the Arab Peace Initiative a
"nonstarter" when it was proposed.

This week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Arab peace offer
intriguing. But Netanyahu also suggested that the Arab states recognize
Israel first as Israel makes moves toward giving the Palestinians a state.

That will be a tough sell in the Arab League.

Into this mix comes former British prime minister Tony Blair, who has
been shuttling between Egypt, the Arab Gulf states and the Israelis,
trying to broker a way to get the sides talking.

Also intriguing, Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi said in a
recent speech that he thinks the time is ripe to revisit a deal between
Israel and the -Palestinians.

The French seem ready to press ahead with what they see as a solution to
the conflict — including what borders should look like for a Palestinian
state and whether Palestinians should have a capital in Jerusalem.

The French also may try to set deadlines for future talks. If their
efforts fail, French diplomats have warned that they may unilaterally
recognize a -Palestinian state.

If they did, France would be the first major European country to do so.

"The peace process has failed," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told
Israeli television last month.

Israel is opposed to the French effort, saying that only direct talks
with the Palestinians can end the half-century impasse and military
occupation — and that international conferences will solve nothing, but
will encourage Palestinian stubbornness.

"Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences,
U.N.-style," Netanyahu said at a news conference with Valls.

"It doesn’t get to fruition through international diktats or
committees," Netanyahu said.

The Palestinians support the French gambit.

Palestinian negotiators say that Obama and Kerry and past U.S.
administrations have failed to strike a deal for two states for two
peoples and that they want to "internationalize" the conflict.

Kerry has not said much about the French effort, but the fact that he is
attending the Friday meeting — the French rescheduled it to fit his
schedule — worries the Israelis.

Netanyahu is concerned that there is a "diplomatic hurricane" coming
this year.

"The path to peace is not via international conferences that attempt to
force a settlement, that make the Palestinian demands more extreme and
in the process distance peace," he said.

Netanyahu said if Paris really wants to advance peace, the French should
encourage Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to negotiate
directly with the Israelis.

Palestinian peace negotiators such as Saeb Ereket say that Netanyahu is
just stalling for time, that he is not a serious partner, and that he
revealed himself last year on the eve of his historic election to a
fourth term as prime minister when he vowed there would never be a
Palestinian state on his watch.

Mostly absent in recent weeks have been the Americans.

Martin Indyk, the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution,
who was the special envoy for -Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during
Kerry’s futile attempt to resume talks, said that the Paris conference
is an opportunity but can go only so far.

"On the one hand, it’s important the international community continues
to express its interest in trying to help the parties resolve the
conflict," said Indyk, who said he is not advising Kerry on how to
approach Paris. "So keeping the hope alive for a resolution of the
conflict is very important.

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"On the other hand, there are some troubling aspects to the French
approach, which creates the impression that the international community
is seeking to impose a solution, or at least a deadline for negotiating
a solution. This is being done in the absence of Israelis and
Palestinians, neither of whom have been invited."

David Makovsky, director of the Project on the Middle East Peace Process
at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said the French
initiative is still vague, making it difficult to determine how much is
driven by French politics and how much by a rush to weigh in before the
U.N. Security Council considers a resolution on the issue.

The Palestinians have pushed for a U.N. resolution that calls for an end
to the Israeli military occupation and construction of Jewish settlements.

"A grand deal is not likely to happen so long as these leaders are both
risk averse," Makovsky said of Netanyahu and Abbas. "The international
community cannot impose a deal on unwilling participants. They will find
a way to unravel it."

Netanyahu trying to head off UNSC resolution; 1967 plan; Israel  remaps
West Bank for massive settlement expansions

(2) Netanyahu trying to head off UNSC resolution that Obama won't veto

Netanyahu's diplomatic nightmare

The sharp U-turns being carried out these days by Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and his newbie Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman are
overwrought, even for a cynical political system such as Israel's.

Author Ben Caspit

Posted June 6, 2016

Translator Sandy Bloom

Until only a short time ago, Netanyahu continued to cater to his
electoral right-wing "base": He exhibited diplomatic recalcitrance,
disqualified the two-state solution and acted more like an inflamed
right-wing talk radio person than a prime minister. Liberman did all
this too, only at a much higher volume. He even outflanked Netanyahu,
announcing that the Gaza Strip needs to be conquered and that senior
Hamas official Ismail Haniyeh should be killed (if Hamas won’t return
the bodies of missing Israeli fighters) in addition to making a series
of other "recommendations" of this type.

Suddenly, almost overnight, the two of them are singing an entirely
different tune. They recognize the Arab Peace Initiative as a basis for
negotiations (albeit with reservations), and practice saying the word
"peace" again in every possible inflection. Netanyahu broke his own
record last week when he begged Tzipi Livni, the head of the Hatnua
party and partner of Labor in the Zionist Camp, to quit the Zionist Camp
with her four Knesset members and join his government as justice
minister. Until a few weeks ago, Netanyahu had tried to convince Zionist
Camp leader Isaac Herzog to enter his government without his archenemy
Livni. Suddenly, Netanyahu rediscovered her.

The educated guess is that Netanyahu has two cumulative reasons that
pushed him into this change of strategy. The first is the series of
investigations that began in May with a recommendation to submit an
indictment against his wife, and now continue with investigations
against Netanyahu himself. This issue will intensify greatly in the
coming weeks and we will expand on this in future articles. The second
reason is the diplomatic scare that has gripped Netanyahu, which he has
passed on to Liberman.

According to a senior political source who spoke to Al-Monitor on
condition of anonymity, the new defense minister, in closed
conversations, has been describing the hell awaiting Israel in the
coming months as a "diplomatic hurricane." This is a new variation of
the "diplomatic tsunami" that Ehud Barak predicted in his term as
Netanyahu’s defense minister in the early 2010s. Somehow Netanyahu and
Barak managed to circumvent, neutralize and avert that tsunami. But the
new hurricane is arriving quickly and gives us the impression that this
round will be much harder than the last one.

The conspiracy theory developing in Jerusalem regarding what awaits
Israel in the international arena in the coming weeks is as follows:
Netanyahu presumes that the French initiative is a maneuver that is
meant to fail so that the Americans and Europeans can tell themselves,
the public and Israel "we tried everything." Egyptian President Abdel
Fattah al-Sisi's initiative looks like a potential lifeboat to
Netanyahu, but the latter is well aware that its chances are not high.

Netanyahu’s strategy, which Liberman has also adopted, is to create a
diplomatic ''preventive strike'' that will get US President Barack Obama
and the Europeans off of Israel’s neck for the next critical five months
before the US elections.

Netanyahu is the master of such special effects. For months, he planned
to do the strictly necessary minimum that would enable him to calm down
the international front and peacefully get through Obama’s lame-duck
months, when the outgoing president will be free to do whatever he wants
and get his revenge.

Netanyahu’s problem is that the critical element of his plan was to
enlarge the government with the help of Isaac (Buji) Herzog. But this
plan hasn’t worked so far; Herzog’s political weakness, together with
Netanyahu’s shattered credibility, led to a big zero. And with
right-wing HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett as a central element
of his Cabinet, Netanyahu would have a very hard time creating the
illusion of advancing on the diplomatic front. Last week, Bennett
announced that HaBayit HaYehudi would resign from the government should
there be any diplomatic progress. Herzog hesitates, Livni refuses and
Yesh Atid Party leader Yair Lapid is "not a partner." Netanyahu is stuck
in the right, trapped in a kind of lethal diplomatic corral.

The minimum demanded of Netanyahu to humor Sisi and embark on the famous
regional initiative is some kind of freeze on West Bank settlement
construction. This intent of embarking on the initiative was torpedoed
by Likud’s right-wing sector, headed by Ministers Yariv Levin and Zeev
Elkin, together with Herzog’s weakness.

So the Egyptian issue is stuck, the French initiative is lagging and
Jerusalem is now waiting for the Quartet report (the European Union, the
United States, the United Nations and Russia) on the situation in the
Middle East that is supposed to be published at the end of this month.
Under regular circumstances, the report would be received with a shrug
and several warning lectures. But these days, its potential is much more
deadly. Israel is investing tremendous efforts in emasculating the
report and cutting out its harsh expressions and severe criticisms.
Several versions and drafts of the report are circulating between the
relevant capital cities (mainly Washington). One way or the other, the
report will ultimately be published and will contain harsh criticism
against both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, with an emphasis on the

But it’s not the Quartet report that worries Netanyahu and Liberman.
Their eyes are on the UN Security Council. Their nightmare scenario is
failure of the French initiative, stagnation of the Egyptian initiative,
a harsh Quartet report and an American-European decision to launch a
Security Council resolution that would not be torpedoed by an American
veto. Netanyahu is well aware that such a resolution would constitute a
dangerous precedent and could create a snowball effect. That, in turn,
could transform Israel, within a relatively small amount of time, into a
pariah state, hit by sanctions.

All this, before we’ve even talked about more worrisome American
initiatives from Obama: a presidential speech with new parameters, or
even bringing up these parameters for a vote in the Security Council, as
a binding resolution.

In his darkest nightmares, Netanyahu goes through these scenarios and
wakes up covered in cold sweat. He knows that everything he accomplished
in the last eight years, in which he expertly put Obama through the
wringer and made his life miserable, and with regard to the Middle East
in particular — all this can go up in smoke in Obama’s last months of
office. Netanyahu will do everything possible to avert this, so it is
recommended that all the relevant observers and involved parties not
take anything that Netanyahu says in the near future very seriously.

(3) Israeli military archives, 1967: within 72 hours we'll drive Arabs
from West Bank

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Last Thing on Their Minds

Remember when the Middle East's only innocent bystander 'miraculously'
acquired East Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Egypt's Sinai
and Syria's Golan Heights in just 6 days back in June 1967?

Remember how, in the words of Alan Dershowitz, "the only question was
whether the Arab armies would be able to strike the first military
blow"? (The Case for Israel, p 92)

Remember UK novelist Howard Jacobson telling us on Q&A in May 2011, "You
often hear people talking about the occupation.... I don't know anyone
who wants the occupation. I don't know any Israeli who wants the
occupation. But people speak about it as if it just kind of happened.
One day there was an occupation. Out of a clear, blue sky Jews
dropped... Israeli people dropped down and said, 'We'll have that piece
of land'. It's not what happened."? (See my 24/5/11 post Gunfight at the
Q&A Corral.)

So much for the flimflam. Here's the reality:

"The [Israeli] military archives have released generals' testimonies
that put the reader on the ground during Israel's capture of Jerusalem's
Old City in the 1967 Six-Day War... Further testimony released Sunday
was by Maj. Gen. Uzi Narkiss, who headed Central Command during the war.
He told how the IDF had plans for conquering the West Bank in three
days. He remembered that before the war he had told reserve officers in
the 4th Brigade: 'I don't know if something will happen, but if it does,
within 72 hours we'll drive out all the Arabs from the West Bank.' On
June 5, Narkiss received orders to prepare for war... Narkiss phoned
[Israeli West] Jerusalem Mayor teddy Kolleck. 'It's war, everything's in
order... You'll be mayor of a united Jerusalem. We're enjoying great
success; the armored forces are already inside.' Narkiss' testimony
details his efforts to get the army into Jerusalem's Old City... As
Narkiss put it, 'Since I'm a Jerusalemite and know this thing and know
the concept of lamenting a missed opportunity for generations, I said
that now was the time to take Jerusalem.' He was referring to the
failure to keep the Old City in 1948." (Israeli generals in 1967 war:
concerned over Jerusalem looting, hoping to drive Arabs out of West
Bank, Gil Cohen, Haaretz, 5/6/16)

Posted by MERC at 1:18 PM

(4) Israel Remaps West Bank for Settlement Expansion, to block
Palestinian Statehood

Israel Remaps West Bank for Massive Settlement Expansions

Settlement Drive Quickly Becoming 'Irreversible' Roadblock to
Palestinian Statehood

by Jason Ditz, May 31, 2016

In a move which most analysts agree portends another massive expansion
of the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Civil
Administration has brought in a special team to "remap" some 15,000
acres of "state-owned" land in the territory.

The remapping on the one hand is done to label territory as "military
fire zones," which is then used to justify the military expelling the
Arabs living in those areas. The mapping is also a chance to declare
Palestinian homes in those areas, even those built before the
occupation, as "illegal" and give the land to settlements.

Israel’s far-right coalition has been massively expanding settlements in
recent years, and it’s latest rightward shift is expected to fuel
another round of building. That the remap is far larger than past ones
suggests this building could be bigger than anyone figured.

Even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested he’s willing to
negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinians along the Arab initiative,
there is a growing sense that as the settlements expand in strategic
areas and the Palestinian territory shrinks, the endeavor is quickly
becoming an irreversible roadblock to Palestinian statehood.

In many ways this has been deliberate, with Israeli officials openly
admitting that they are expanding it parts of the West Bank to ensure
that there can be no contiguous Palestine there. With a growing, and
hugely politically powerful group of settlers in the West Bank, there is
less and less likelihood that Israel will ever come to the table to
seriously negotiate.

(5) Most Jews do not believe in God; they actually believe in the ‘Jew'
- Gilad Atzmon

From: "frank scott [shamireaders]"
<> Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2016 13:32:05 -0700

"Being a Jew and a Zionist are one and the same" (Jewish Chronicle)

June 10, 2016

By Gilad Atzmon

Anti’ Zionist Jews insist that Zionism and being Jewish are entirely
different matters that have nothing to do with each other. Jonathan
Boyd, the Executive Director of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research
(JPR) claims the opposite.  According to Boyd, statistics proves that
"being a Jew and a Zionist are one and the same, they cannot be
separated out." Demands to separate Zionism and the Jews tear
"Jewishness in two," Boyd wrote today in the Jewish Chronicle.

According to Boyd, a 2010 JPR survey of British Jewish attitudes towards
Israel found that "82 per cent of British Jews say that Israel plays
either a central or important part in their Jewish identity. 95 per cent
of British Jewish adults have visited the country at least once, and 90
per cent regard it as the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people."

I guess that Jewish statistics has now replaced the Talmud and the Torah
as sources of law. If as many as 90% of Jews believe that Palestine is a
Jewish land, then the Palestinians must have been living there by mistake.

Boyd opines that drawing parallels between Nazis and Israelis, or
calling for boycotts of Israeli products makes British Jews feel

I agree with Boyd. I am not keen on the equation between ‘Israelis and
Nazis.’ I think that it is not fair to German National Socialism. Israel
is a democracy and its crimes reflect the popular choice of the Israeli
Jews and according to Boyd the vast majority of world Jewry who identify
with Israel and Zionism. National Socialist Germany wasn’t a democracy
and the different measures of political oppression it inflicted on Jews
and others lasted for, at most, 12 years. Israel’s racist abuse of
Palestinians has been going on for almost seven decades.

Boyd further reveals to us that most Jews do not believe in God. They
actually believe in the ‘Jew.’ In 2013, JPR asked British Jews which
aspects of Jewishness were most important to them.  Eighty-nine percent
highlighted "feeling part of the Jewish people."

This makes economic sense. Instead of inventing a god who chooses you
over all other people, the contemporary secular Jew cuts out the
almighty middle ’man.’ The Jews love themselves just for being
themselves. This seems the ultimate form of collective narcissism. JPR’s
findings agree with what I have observed so far: all permutations of
Jewish ID politics from JVP to ADL and beyond are in practice different
forms of intense tribal self love.

Boyd explains.  "The reason for that is because the Jews are a people
over and above a religious group…the truth is you don't actually have to
believe anything to be Jewish. According to Jewish law, you simply need
to be born to a Jewish mother, or convert. What you believe, or
practise, whilst vital to the maintenance of that identity, is
immaterial to your fundamental status as a Jew."

There you go. Jewishness is a blood related identity, call it biology or
race or a matter of conversion. Conversion into what? You guessed right
--collective narcissism, self love or shall we simply say, ‘choseness.’

But Boyd insists that British Jews are also connected to Britain. "That
(Zionist) feeling does not necessarily translate itself into Jews
wanting to live in Israel. While about 35,000 have made aliyah since
1948, most British Jews feel very connected to Britain."

According to Boyd, EU data reveals that "84 per cent (of British Jews)
feel fully part of British society." Fascinating. I would advise Boyd
and his fellows at the Jewish research institute to try and find out
what the British people think about the Jewish Lobby, the CFI and the
LFI that push them into immoral interventionist wars in Iraq, Libya,
Syria and Iran.  Boyd and his institute should try to ascertain what
British people think about the fact that a tribal foreign lobby
dominates Britain’s political affairs. What do the British people think
about the idea that an ethnic group that amounts to less than half a
percent of British society has so much influence in politics, finance
and media? Looking into these topics may help to save both Britain and
its Jewry from an unfortunate disaster.

(6) But most secular Israelis participate in a Passover Seder (dinner)

How Israelis keep Passover traditions alive

To an outside observer, it might seem strange, even bordering on crazy:
During the Passover traditional dinner (the Seder), when the
participants read from the Haggadah about Israel's exodus from Egypt,
each diner takes a green onion and lashes his tablemate's back with it.
This is only one of the unusual traditions of Passover. This green onion
tradition comes from Persian Jewry, but other Jewish communities also
maintain unique holiday traditions. Jews from Djerba (a Tunisian island)
keep another tradition. When reading the chapter "This is the Bread of
Our Affliction," the patriarch of the family turns the Seder ceremonial
plate above the heads of the diners, including young children, even
those who have already fallen asleep. Despite the verse cited in the
Haggadah, "Pour out your wrath upon the nations," they read the book in
both Hebrew and Arabic.

Author Yuval Avivi Posted April 22, 2016

TranslatorAviva Arad

In other Jewish communities, when the Ten Plagues (inflicted by God on
the Egyptians) are recited, everyone goes outside with lit candles and
yells the names of the plagues in public.

Despite these essential differences between communities and the strange
traditions some of them still maintain, researcher Hizky Shoham from the
Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem explains that today most Israelis
adhere to what he calls "duplicated Haggadot." He is referring to
standard Haggadot that lack any uniqueness, published in tens or even
hundreds of thousands of copies before the holiday and distributed by
commercial entities and various organizations.

"The sense is that for most Israeli families — and it doesn't matter
from what [Jewish] background — the Seder looks the same, with minimal
'stage directions' and even the same tiring jokes," he said. "Most
families don’t really keep the unique folkloristic traditions, except
for the food. That’s what is surprising anthropologically: Most people
take the duplicated Haggadot without altering them, want to finish the
Haggadah reading quickly — and eat. And still everyone does it."

The prominent place of the Passover holiday among Israelis is to a great
extent tied to this process toward uniformity. In his book "Let’s
Celebrate! Festivals and Civic Culture in Israel," Shoham argues that
"the Passover Haggadah continues to be rewritten even in our generation,
as the text and the ceremony respond anew to historical events like the
Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel, as well as to
Socialist-Zionist, liberal, feminist criticism, and more."

According to Shoham, however, contemporary Israeli society is actually
moving away from this trend of rewriting. In the past, Israelis tried to
reformulate the Seder, like with the kibbutz Haggadot (texts that
incorporate the love of nature and agriculture, Zionism, etc.), or the
"women’s Seder," where the Passover dinner ceremony is conducted in a
gender-egalitarian manner. But today, such efforts are on the margins,
and even then the innovative Seders take place on another date rather
than on Passover eve. Almost everyone celebrates the Israeli Seder with

That seems to be the main reason for the unprecedented popularity of the
Passover Seder in Israel. The most recent survey of religion and
tradition by the Central Bureau of Statistics, conducted in 2009, found
that 88% of Israelis who define themselves as secular or traditional
participate in a Passover Seder — a much higher number than any other
Jewish custom, including lighting Sabbath candles or fasting on Yom Kippur.

In a more recent survey conducted by the Ynet website in 2012, 94% of
respondents said that they will hold a Passover Seder. "It’s a family
meal, and Israelis love family meals," said Yael from the north of
Israel. "There’s food, which Israelis like, and the extended family. I
adore the Seder. This year, for instance, we’ll be reunited with my
cousin who returned from abroad. It really makes me happy."

Yael shares the view of many. Shoham told Al-Monitor, "Family rites
among Jews are always most important. [In that respect] Passover is
similar to Thanksgiving and Christmas, where the whole family gets
together. Despite tensions and complaints [within the family], it’s part
of the folklore. Passover always suited the cult of the family in
industrialized Western culture."

He expands on this point in his book, where he argues, "The Passover
Seder is a double rite of the individual’s socialization to two
families: the concrete extended family and the larger, imagined extended
family — all the Jews in the world." Here’s where the role of the
folklore of various ethnicities enters the equation. "As an extended
family, Jews bear similar characteristics to any concrete extended
family: They hold ‘strange’ ceremonies, they have conflicted internal
relationships alongside moments of elation, unity and pride; they have a
tradition that’s a bit too patriarchal, and of course they unite in the
face of harassment from outsiders."

Thus, Shoham alludes to the well-known aspect of Passover (and holiday
meals in general): the longing to participate in a big holiday meal that
is accompanied by distaste, for many people, for interaction with family
members. This is expressed in many Israeli cultural productions, most
prominent among them the movie "Lelyasede" (1995) and the play "Hametz,"
at the center of which are difficult family dynamics that take place
around the Passover Seder.

There is another reason for the centrality of Passover. "It suits the
ideal type of the industrial age holiday," says Shoham. "Passover
upholds the four orientations: family, children, consumerism and ethnic
identity." The last orientation is expressed in the keeping of some
traditional rites, top among them refraining from eating "hametz"
(leavened foods that are forbidden by Jewish law during the Passover
week) in public and reading the Haggadah.

The orientation toward consumerism is expressed quite grotesquely, for
example, in a "loud Haggadah" that was once included in the weekly
entertainment magazine Pnai Plus, where alongside the "maror" and
"karpas" (vegetables that are part of the ceremony) and the traditional
Seder song "Who Knows One" appeared ads for wedding dresses, rugs,
cellphones, furniture, banquet halls, artistic candles, mattresses, a
spa, a cosmetic surgery center, luxury watches and kitchen ware.

"One of the features that helps holidays survive in the industrial era
is suitability to the culture of consumption," concludes Shoham. "On
Passover, there’s a tradition of eating matzahs [Passover flatbread] and
spring cleaning, and commercial interests are there, too. It’s not that
there’s only cynical commercialization, but it’s part of it."

(7) Price Tag Jews

7 Jews indicted for attacks on Palestinians

April 25, 2016, 1:55 pm

Seven Jewish suspects, including two minors and an IDF soldier, are
indicted for 13 anti-Arab "price tag" attacks between 2009 and 2013.

The group is accused of a spate of attacks against Palestinians in the
West Bank, which include torching property, throwing stones, firebombs,
and other acts of vandalism. Other charges include aggravated assault
with racist intent, carrying weapons illegally, attempted aggravated
assault, and unlawful association.

Five of the seven suspects (including the minors and soldier, whose
names remain under a gag order) live in the West Bank settlement of
Nahliel. The four suspects who are identified are named as Pinchas
Shendorfy, 22, who is married and lives in the Kiryat Arba settlement;
Itamar Ben-Aharon, 20, of Nahliel; Shneur Dana, in his 20s, married with
several children from the Ma’ale Efraim settlement; and Michael Kaplan,
20, also of Nahliel.

Three of the suspects are siblings, according to the Walla news site,
and Dana is their brother-in-law.

(8) Price Tag Jews

Israel charges 7 over 'price tag' attacks on Palestinians

Israeli prosecutors on Monday charged seven young Jews in connection
with a wave of so-called "price tag" attacks targeting Palestinians and
Arab Israelis and their property, the justice ministry said.

The seven, including a soldier and two minors, allegedly carried out a
series of attacks between 2009 and 2013 and in the second half of 2015.

They included torching an inhabited Palestinian home and beating a
Palestinian man with sticks, a ministry statement said.

Four of the suspects live in the ultra-Orthodox settlement of Nahliel
northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, another is from the
Maaleh Efraim settlement and the other two are from Jerusalem and Beit

"The actions targeted innocent people and their property, solely because
of their religious or national identity," the ministry statement read.

"The perpetrators strove to sow fear and panic among the Palestinian
residents of (the West Bank), while at the same time to convey messages
to the Israeli public and security forces."

The seven were being charged with membership of an illegal association,
being in possession of and carrying arms and ammunition, damaging and
attempting to damage property, racially motivated vandalism, arson and
other felonies.

Police announced their arrest last week, describing the cell as
"extremist and violent".

The two minors allegedly threw petrol bombs at a Palestinian home in
Mazraa al-Qibliya village last November as family members slept, and in
December threw a tear gas grenade at another Palestinian home overnight
in the village of Beitillou.

In both cases anti-Arab slogans were scrawled on the walls of the houses.

Members of the group also threw stones at Palestinian cars, torched and
vandalised them, according to the charges.

Their actions were allegedly in revenge for attacks against Jews and
were described as "price tag" attacks by the justice ministry, a
euphemism for Jewish nationalist-motivated hate crimes that generally
target Palestinian or Arab Israeli property.

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