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Upsetment
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Donors Growing Weary of Reconstructing Gaza

Donors Growing Weary of Reconstructing Gaza | Upsetment | Scoop.it
More than 18 month since the last Israel-Hamas war, Gaza reconstruction has progressed slowly and donor fatigue has set in
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I can only imagine the suffering and the hopelessness of the people of Gaza. Also, I can understand why they will inevitably turn to rage and violence if they cannot have lives of worth and dignity. It is past time for the world to impose a fair peace between Israel and Palestine, a peace that includes two states and both of those states being viable and secure. 

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Gulf States Set To Buy Iron Dome System

Gulf States Set To Buy Iron Dome System | Upsetment | Scoop.it
EXCLUSIVE: The Gulf states are talking to firms about obtaining Israeli-developed anti-missile systems to defend against Iran.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So Israel and the Sunni States are doing business, I wonder how many of the people in these Arab states know about this coming deal and how they would react if they did know. Perhaps it's time for the Arab world to accept the existence of Israel and get down to the business of really helping the Palestinians form a new state. Perhaps it's also time for people to stop hating and fighting one another in that region — including the Iranians. Then again, perhaps it's time for pigs to fly or a messiah to arrive.

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Meet the Last Jews of Cairo

Meet the Last Jews of Cairo | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Egyptian capital was once home to a vibrant Jewish population. But regional politics and demographics have left only a determined few
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When we discuss the Middle East, the history of Israel, and the rights of Palestinians, we should also remember the many thousands of Jews who for centuries had lived in Arab countries. Theirs has been a ceaseless diaspora: first cast out ancient Israel by the Romans, thence to Spain, driven out by the Inquisition and finding haven among Muslims who referred to them as people of the book, and then again pushed out in reaction to the creation of modern Israel. They, like way to many people on this earth, have been victimized by the hatred which is such an integral part of the human spirit. Sometimes I imagine that Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad are all watching from Heaven, shaking their heads, and saying, "Humans, they just don't get it. He sees us all with love." Other times, I imagine them holed up in their respective forts deep in Hell shaking their heads and saying, "We just didn't get it. He judges us all for our hate."

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Jewish extremists suspected in West Bank village fire: NGO

Jewish extremists suspected in West Bank village fire: NGO | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A tent was torched and Hebrew-language graffiti was sprayed Thursday at a Palestinian Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank in what residents and an NGO said was a suspected attack by Jewish extremists.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

These animals are an insult to Israel and Judaism. They are as undeserving of sympathy as any terrorist; that they do their dirty deeds in the night and cloaked in their religious fervor makes them more like the KKK than civilized beings. Being of Jewish heritage, I am appalled and ashamed. I wonder if there is a way to start donating to the Palestinian Community and particularly to the Bedouin. Does anybody know of a Jews for Palestinians NGO or charity that actually helps the Palestinian people? I want to send a check (equal to all the money I donated as a kid for trees to be planted in Israel) and I hope others will do likewise. Sadly, it is only with money that we can meaningfully vote in today's world.

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Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment

Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse', with world's highest unemployment | Upsetment | Scoop.it
World Bank report says Israeli blockades, war and poor governance have left 43% of people out of work and the strip facing dangerous financial crisis
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Take Israel and Hamas, add International indifference and the despair of the people of Gaza, now throw in religion and a belief that suffering will be rewarded: what you have is a recipe for suicide. We are watching a small nation, Gaza, commit what amounts to just that, communal suicide. The question is whether that suicide will come from starvation or gunfire. Even if an NGO or even a government tries to intervene and halt the slide into poverty, between Hamas and Israel they will fail. If there is one thing to learn from this horror it is that God is not going to intervene, is not going to rescue these poor people from themselves and the forces surrounding their lives. Sorry, guys, but no parting of the sea, no fiery pillar, no plagues and burning bushes.

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Netanyahu: Israeli Cabinet United In Opposition To Iran Nuclear Deal

Netanyahu: Israeli Cabinet United In Opposition To Iran Nuclear Deal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he and his Cabinet are united in "strongly opposing" a framework deal on curbing Iran's nuclear program.

Iran and six world powers announced a set of understandings on s...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course one of his predecessors has praised the agreement. It is to Netanyahu's liking that the Arab world disintegrate and a stronger Iran will work towards creating a new balance of power in that region. If Iran and Saudi Arabia (with Egypt) can work towards a mutual respect between governments, there may be real stability for the Middle East. How will that impact Israel? We can hope for moderation especially as the governments of Jordan and Egypt want to avoid conflict with the Jewish state, conflict from which they will be the first to suffer.

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Netanyahu Warns Supporters That a Lot of Arabs Are Voting

Netanyahu Warns Supporters That a Lot of Arabs Are Voting | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Facing a potential defeat in Israeli elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned supporters in a video Tuesday that the country’s Arabs are voting in large numbers. “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are coming out in droves to the polls,” said Netanyahu, per Haaretz. “Left-wing organizations are busing...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Herein lies a big part of my problem with Netanahu; he sees democratic process as a threat. I think it is great that the Israeli Arabs are taking part in an election that will so greatly affect their lives.

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Exclusive: Israeli Leader Tried to Block Intelligence Briefing for U.S. Lawmakers on Iran

Exclusive: Israeli Leader Tried to Block Intelligence Briefing for U.S. Lawmakers on Iran | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Israeli spy chief warned that Congress might might scuttle nuclear talks
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So they give all those standing ovations to the guy who didn't even want them briefed. Go, GOP! Yes, please go somewhere, anywhere but here.  

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Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran: A four-point reality check | Al Jazeera America

Netanyahu’s hard line on Iran: A four-point reality check | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Analysis: Some of the Israeli prime minister's core arguments for scrapping negotiations with Iran are questionable
Kenneth Weene's insight:

He said little of consequence and probably hurt himself in the eyes of the world and the Israeli voters. Of course, the far right of the GOP will insist it was a stunning achievement. Reality, they are more committed to bringing the day of Armageddon than an era of world peace.

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Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama

Congress in Netanyahu snub to Obama | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a stupid and politically motivated act. Netanyahu is a loose cannon and we need a working relationship with Iran. Sure a few Jewish voters will move to the GOP side because of this, but in the long run it will alienate everyone who wants fairness for the Palestinians, which includes most American Jews.

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LRB · Nathan Thrall · Rage in Jerusalem

LRB · Nathan Thrall · Rage in Jerusalem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What the government of Israel calls its eternal, undivided capital is among the most precarious, divided cities in the world. When it conquered the eastern part of Jerusalem and the West Bank – both administered by Jordan – in 1967, Israel expanded the city’s municipal boundaries . . .
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When about a third of the people in a city are receiving ten percent of the city's services and spending, there is something very wrong going on. Call it apartheid, segregation, or ghettoization: whatever term you use, it is the reality of Jerusalem. 

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US Supreme Court to hear Jerusalem passport case | Al Jazeera America

US Supreme Court to hear Jerusalem passport case | Al Jazeera America | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Case prompted by parents of US citizen seeks to list son's place of birth as 'Israel' not 'Jerusalem' on passport
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is one of those moments we can only hope for rationality by the Supreme Court. It may seem like a small thing, a limited personal court case, the reality is that it would pave the way for individual American citizens to force American foreign policy in some awkward and inappropriate directions. Imagine this shoe being on the other foot. A Russian child is born on the Iroquois lands in upstate NY. The child's parents ask that the child's birth certificate says Iroquois Nation instead of New York. Would the U.S. tolerate that infringement of territorial rights? That we don't formally recognize the Palestinian government doesn't mean we don't recognize that these claims exist. And, as the article points out, what about the rights of Arab-American parents whose child is born in Jerusalem? 

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More Jewish Settlers Move Into East Jerusalem Neighborhood

More Jewish Settlers Move Into East Jerusalem Neighborhood | Upsetment | Scoop.it
An earlier influx of settlers to the Silwan area had been condemned by the Obama administration as “provocative.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This gets really messy. They bought the buildings, which makes it their property and they have every legal right to turn them into Jewish buildings. BUT! My first but is about the people who sold the buildings, presumably Palestinians themselves. Were I an Arab, I'd want their heads on a platter for this betrayal. My second but is about the people moving there. Clearly, they are expecting this to lead to trouble and the eventual use of Israeli military and police force to expand their presence, and that is disgusting. I don't know which group makes me angrier; it seems that there are always those who want to fan the flames of rage in Jerusalem.

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EU sets guidelines on labelling Israeli settlement goods - BBC News

EU sets guidelines on labelling Israeli settlement goods - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The European Commission issues guidelines for the labelling of some products made in Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian and Syrian land.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The issue of Israeli occupation is a thorny know. There is one major problem with this idea, that it will induce the Israeli settlements to switch to other products, for example medication manufacture, which will mean more investment and greater reason for the Israeli government to hold on to those locations. Since I really do think most of these settlements should be removed, I would prefer that every product be so labeled. On the other hand, when it comes to Jerusalem, it will be too easy for the Israelis to move all their manufacturing of cosmetics, the big item, to the other side of town and would make the West side of the city even more prone to poverty and strife. Therefore, I suggest that all products from Jerusalem be labeled as products of Jerusalem, Israel, so that Arab owned companies have at least a chance to sell their wares.

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Israel's Soaring Population: Promised Land Running Out of Room?

Israel's Soaring Population: Promised Land Running Out of Room? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Israel's birth rate, the highest in the developed world and once seen as a survival tactic in a hostile region, could be its undoing unless measures are taken to reverse the trend.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

So exactly what did they do with all those trees we sent money to plant? Seriously, Israel is a country that lives in denial. Whether it is the support of orthodox Jews who contribute little to the country while taking much, the oppression of Arabs and the resulting damage to the Jewish soul and the country's acceptance in the rest of the world, or the simple realities of ecology, Israel just goes on ignoring the issues. Why? Because deep in the religious heart of Judaism is the belief that God will send down manna as He did for Moses. Well, anybody who remembers World War II knows that such salvation is not part of the real world.

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The New Face of Jewish Terror

The New Face of Jewish Terror | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A growing radical fringe is taking aim at Palestinians — and the Israeli government.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Here is a useful Yiddish word, meshugener; it means a crazy person. A disgusting person for a male is paskudnik; for a woman the word is paskudnitse. And one last is heslekh, which means hateful. I think you can figure out my reaction to this story from these clues.

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Video 'shows Israeli officer shoot fleeing Palestinian' - BBC News

Video 'shows Israeli officer shoot fleeing Palestinian' - BBC News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A human rights group publishes a video it says contradicts the account of an Israeli army officer who shot dead a Palestinian teenager a week ago.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Pesky reality getting in the say of those who believe that force makes right. We should all be thankful for video cameras and cellphones with video. That may actually help contain the bullies of the world, including some Israeli army personnel and out-of-line American cops

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Protesters, police clash at Ethiopian Israeli demo against police brutality - National

Protesters, police clash at Ethiopian Israeli demo against police brutality  - National | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The protest was prompted by a video of a police assault against an Ethiopian Israeli soldier; 10 protesters and three police officers receive medical treatment.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Israel has yet to come to terms with the racism of European Judaism, which has never acknowledged the equality of African Jews. I thought this statement from one of the protesters particularly powerful and hopefully instructive for us in America. "Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat arrived at the scene and spoke to the protesters trying to lower the flames. 'Do you doubt that the prime minister, ministers, and 120 Knesset members want to embrace the Ethiopian community?' Barkat asked a young protester, who responded 'I don't want a hug. Look at me as you would look at a white person. I don't need a hugs. That is a patronizing attitude that says that I'm incapable, so let's give him a hug.'"

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Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections

Netanyahu Soundly Defeats Chief Rival in Israeli Elections | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemed all but certain to form a new government, though he offended many in the process.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As an American of Jewish ancestry, I weep for Israel and for the Palestinian people. After all these years of the diaspora and the horrors of the Holocaust, Jews should be rejecting such racist and hate-filled politics in favor or peace and cooperation. Sure it won't be easy to make a workable peace and end the enmity of the Arab world, but is that not the proper goal? Is it not what the prophets of all religions would preach?

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Netanyahu says no Palestinian state if he wins

Netanyahu says no Palestinian state if he wins | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Israeli prime minister’s assertion appeared to reverse his previous declarations of support of a two-state solution to end the conflict.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Hey, Republicans, you want to give him another standing ovation?

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PLO leadership votes to suspend security cooperation with Israel

PLO leadership votes to suspend security cooperation with Israel | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Palestinian president reportedly supports central committee decision that blames ‘Israel’s systematic and ongoing non-compliance with its obligations’
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is very sad news indeed. If there can be no cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians to maintain what little peace exists, then surely the chaos and violence will escalate. I see no easy solutions, but assuredly it is time for the rest of the world to push both Israel and the Palestinian people towards a truce if not reconciliation.

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The Bibi Bump Backfires

The Bibi Bump Backfires | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Even before U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress, Democrats, unlike Republicans and Independents, were…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As a kid, I brought my nickles and dimes to Sunday school to help plant trees in Israel. The Israel I supported was probably never a real place, a place of dancing, kibbutz idealism, and a welcoming spirit for the dispossessed of the world. Today, I would more gladly send my contributions to help the Palestinians, a people in real need. Sadly, they are poorly served by the world and by their own political leadership. But one thing has remained simple and (IMHO) realistic from those childhood days until now, it it the crucial role of Iran as a balance in the Middle East. The U.S. in its search for hegemony in the world has time and again refused to recognize the importance and especially the independence of regional powers, indeed even the legitimate interests of other world powers. The real issue cannot be what Israel wants but finding a common ground with Iran. Alliance is a better form of peace than a balance of power can ever be.

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A Not-So-Happy Hanukkah for Israel’s Natural Gas Industry

A Not-So-Happy Hanukkah for Israel’s Natural Gas Industry | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At the beginning of December, Israel was busy trying to convince Brussels to underwrite the creation of a vast network of pipelines to bring new…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Obviously, they will work this out. To allow those gas fields to lie fallow makes no sense for Israel and certainly would be harmful to Jordan, Egypt, Palestine (I predict there will soon be a state) and of course Israel. Hopefully, it won't be via cronyism or bribery but by a rational solution offering proper supervision and perhaps including a third or even more partners.

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Offer Israeli Arabs money to move to Palestinian state: Lieberman

Offer Israeli Arabs money to move to Palestinian state: Lieberman | Upsetment | Scoop.it
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman proposed on Friday that Arab citizens of Israel be offered financial incentives to leave the country and relocate to a future Palestinian
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Just when I think Israel has hit rock bottom, they come up with an even more reprehensible plan. Buying people out of their citizenship and rights? And to settle exactly where? How about creating a two state solution first and then asking if people want to leave.

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Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem

Israel Blocks Access to Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Authorities closed off all access to a holy site in the Old City on Thursday, a step that a Palestinian spokesman called “a declaration of war.”
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Perhaps this could be the beginning of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation instead of enmity. Have the Palestinian Authority provide some of the troops enforcing peace on the mount, enforcing it for both Arabs and Jews alike. As for those who would ultra-nationalist Jews who would deliberately provoke by trying to access the top of the mount, which is supposed to be reserved for Muslim worship, they should face serious criminal penalties. On the other hand, it might also help if the Palestinian authorities would also allow occasional (and only occasional) visits by Jews (and others) to the mosque where they might also pray. While this is going on, perhaps the Muslim community could also be given access to the Western Wall for shot periods, although I don't know that it has particular meaning to them.

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