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Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. He is the 2011 winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net
Thursday, February 4, 2016 Security ties between Palestinians and Israel begin to fray
The fragile nature of the security relationship was underscored last month when Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel was preparing for the possibility that the PA, to which the security services answer, may collapse.
Sunday, January 31, 2016 Behind Israel's campaign to vilify peace groups
Israeli government funds have been secretly transferred to far-right organizations leading a smear campaign against groups opposed to the occupation, investigations show. Human rights activists, the campaigns claim, are betraying their country by providing information that fuels criticism overseas of Israel and helps to bolster an international boycott movement.
Thursday, January 28, 2016 Israel continues to sow the seeds of discontent
The struggle for two states appears finished. As Netanyahu averred recently, Israel would prefer to "live forever by the sword" than concede territory to the Palestinians. The message of the dovish opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, is softer but the same. At the weekend he told the French president, Francois Hollande: "Now is not the time for a Palestinian state."
Sunday, January 24, 2016 Rabbis deny 1 in 10 Jews the right to marry in Israel
The Chief Rabbinate, the supreme religious authority in Israel for the Jewish population, has exclusive control over a range of personal status matters, including conversion, marriage and divorce. The rabbinate represents a strict stream of Judaism known as Orthodoxy. Other, more liberal trends within Judaism have no official standing.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 Why Israel has silenced the 1948 story of Nazareth's survival
Nazareth was not only an anomaly; it was a mistake. It was supposed to be cleared of its Palestinian population, just like those other Palestinian cities now in Israel. Much to Israel's regret, it has become an unofficial capital for Israel's 1.6 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the Israeli population.
Monday, January 11, 2016 Welcome to Israel's Version of Apartheid, as Passengers Evict Palestinians from Plane
Most Israeli Jews have long supported two Israels: one for them and another for the Palestinian minority, with further, even more deprived ghettos for Palestinians under occupation. The inhabitants of one Israel remain hostile towards, and abusive of, those in the other, who refuse to accept Jewish privilege as the natural order -- just like the mob that insisted that their fellow citizens had no right to share a plane.
Saturday, January 9, 2016(1 comments)
After Tel Aviv attack, Israel's Palestinians tarred as "criminals"
Netanyahu said he was "not impressed" by accusations that he had incited hatred with his speech. He was "making a very large effort to ensure Israel is a state under unified law," he said. An Israeli Facebook post of a bogus video supposedly showing the village of Arara celebrating the Tel Aviv killings, went viral. It was later shown to be footage of celebrations in Lebanon at Ariel Sharon's death two years ago.
Monday, December 7, 2015 Youtube becomes Israel's new battleground against Palestinians
Most Palestinian videos are simply a record of their bitter experiences of occupation at the hands of soldiers and settlers. It is these experiences, not the videos, that drive Palestinians to breaking point. A "war on incitement" waged through YouTube and Facebook won't change Palestinian suffering. But it may, Mr Netanyahu presumably hopes, conceal Israel's brutality from the eyes of the world.
Saturday, December 5, 2015 Banned Islamic leader: Netanyahu pushing region to religious war
"In any normal country, there is a duty on the politicians to listen to their intelligence services. But Netanyahu simply ignored their advice," Salah said. "After Paris, we issued a statement condemning the attacks. But Netanyahu wants to libel Islam as a violent, extreme, inciteful religion. It is Netanyahu who is leading the region to a religious war."
Saturday, November 21, 2015 Israeli ban on Islamic party marks a "dangerous turning point"
Given the mood in Europe and the United States after the Paris attacks, Netanyahu can probably count on the international community not studying too closely the comparisons between the Islamic Movement, Hamas and Islamic State. The timing of Netanyahu's announcement takes advantage of the growing climate against Islamic political activism at the local, regional and international levels.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 A Palestinian call for "unarmed warfare"
The power of disciplined non-violent resistance, Mubarak Awad says, is that it forces on the occupier a heavy burden: to "deal with our willingness to stand up for ourselves with nothing but our bodies and hearts." Awad argues that it is precisely by demonstrating an irrepressible humanity that Palestinians can again discover hope, reclaim their dignity and win freedom.
Monday, November 2, 2015 Israel's encirclement of al-Aqsa "nearly complete"
Israeli officials have denied accusations that Islamic control at the site is being undermined. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed last month: "Israel is not the problem on the Temple Mount; it's the solution. We maintain the status quo." But there are indications of mounting concern in Europe and the United States that Israeli measures are weakening the status quo.
Thursday, October 29, 2015(1 comments)
Palestinian Woman Shot: Israeli police alter story again
Might the police be disciplined, or, more properly, punished, for shooting a woman six times for no reason at all? Apparently not. They have been investigated and it has been decided that "there is no reason to take disciplinary measures against them, given the extenuating circumstances of the incident". One might well ask: what were those "extenuating circumstances"?
Monday, October 19, 2015(1 comments)
Jerusalem chaos is a warning of things to come
Israel has almost completed the division and enclosure of Palestinians into disconnected enclaves. As they hear the sound of the prison doors closing, Palestinian youths are lashing out at the guards closest to hand. Strangely, in the face of all this, there are signs of a parallel breakdown of order and leadership on the Israeli side.
Friday, October 16, 2015 Videos challenge Israeli police account of shootings
Rami Nasreddin, the director of Palvision, a youth empowerment program in Jerusalem, said videos of violence by the security forces and of Jewish mobs had left many Palestinians in Jerusalem frightened to go out. "Most of the schools are closed because parents are afraid to let their children on to the streets," he said.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015(1 comments)
As unrest grows in Israel and Palestine, Netanyahu seeks scapegoats
Netanyahu's hard line comes as his poll ratings have slumped following the upswing in violence, which has been accompanied by concerted attacks from rightwing rivals, including from within his own governing coalition. A survey of Israeli Jews at the weekend found 73 percent were unhappy with his performance.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015(2 comments)
Netanyahu seeks to impose a new reality at Al Aqsa
For the past month Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to rewrite the David and Goliath story by declaring war on what he terms Palestinian "terrorism by stones." There are echoes of Yitzhak Rabin's response nearly 30 years ago when, as defence minister, he ordered soldiers to "break bones" to stop a Palestinian uprising, often referred to as the "intifada of stones," against the Israeli occupation.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Israel's army and schools work hand in hand, say teachers
Most Jewish children in Israel are subject to a military draft when they matriculate from high school at the age of 17. Boys usually serve three years, and girls two. Nearly 300 schools have been encouraged to join an IDF-education ministry program called "Path of Values," whose official goal is to "strengthen the ties and cooperation between schools and the army."
Monday, September 21, 2015(5 comments)
Corbyn victory unmasks Britain's Guardian
Corbyn's campaign has highlighted a truth about the existing British political system: that, at least since the time of Tony Blair, the country's two major parliamentary parties have been equally committed to upholding neoliberalism. The Blue Neoliberal Party (the Conservatives) and the Red Neoliberal Party (Labour) mark the short horizon of current British politics.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015(5 comments)
Netanyahu aims his WMD at Obama
Netanyahu wishes to prevent a rapprochement between the US and Tehran, one that might weaken Israel's hold on Washington's Middle East policy and increase the pressure for a real peace process with the Palestinians. As former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has noted, continuing leaks of high-level discord over Iran have made Israel look "ridiculous."
Sunday, September 6, 2015(4 comments)
Israel hopes "lost tribes" can boost Jewish numbers
A government committee established last month will determine whether immigration rights should be extended to "groups with ties to the Jewish people." That would include so-called "lost tribes," remote communities in India, Latin American and elsewhere that claim their ancestors were once Jewish.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015(1 comments)
Israel unleashes its diplomatic thug on the UN
Danon's appointment indicates the extent to which the Israeli right has abandoned any hope of persuading the international community of the rightness of its cause -- or even of working within the rules of statecraft. An Israel that has no place for negotiations or compromise wants only to tell the world that it is wrong and that Israelis don't care what others think.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 Israel's endless misery for Gaza is no policy at all
A group of Israeli military commanders have argued that it is time to offer Gaza some relief, by easing -- if only marginally -- the blockade. None of this is being done from conscience or out of recognition of Palestinian rights. Israel's compulsive need to dominate Palestinians trumps all -- even as it finally dawns on a few generals that Gaza's endless immiseration is no policy at all.
Sunday, July 19, 2015 Israel's minister of culture cracks down on TV station for Palestinians
The station, which broadcasts six hours a day to Israel's 1.5 million Palestinian Arab citizens, focuses on news, arts, food and celebrities, as well as offering children's programs and quiz shows.
Despite the channel's modest budget and ambitions, however, Israel's public security minister, Gilad Erdan, ordered its closure last week, describing its operations as a "breach of Israel's sovereignty."
Tuesday, July 7, 2015(1 comments)
Israel's army of spin-doctors is doomed to defeat
Hasbara's cartoon version of reality is not only unconvincing but, in alienating friends as much as foes, self-defeating. Netanyahu may hope to repackage Israel, but his product -- ongoing oppression of Palestinians -- is one few can be persuaded to buy.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Church-run schools in Israel face "death sentence"
Studies by the Follow-Up Committee for Arab Education show that Jewish pupils receive at least five times more funding than Arab pupils -- $1,100 each compared to $192. The Arab sector suffers from a shortage of more than 6,000 classrooms and 4,000 teachers. Jewish schools have twice as many computers relative to their student body than Arab schools.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 Israel's Arab citizens fight for a roof over their heads
Israel's 1.5 million Palestinians, a fifth of the population, have citizenship but their leaders say they are treated more like an enemy population. Interior ministry officials are evasive about figures for unauthorized building in Israel, but experts say the number of such homes is believed to have reached around 30,000 in Israel's Palestinian communities.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015(2 comments)
Israel's race to economic (and moral) bankruptcy
The reality is that most Israelis' perception of their national interests, both as a Jewish state and as a military power, are intimately tied to a permanent occupation and the exclusion of Israel's Palestinian minority from true citizenship. If the watching world really wants peace, economic wishful thinking will not suffice.
Sunday, June 7, 2015(2 comments)
Mr Netanyahu is king of a world of perpetual fear
In this world of perpetual fear, Arabs and Iranians are viewed only as distant and dangerous objects, not people. And in the world of worst possibilities, Mr Netanyahu is king. But Israel's enemies are changing. Where once it fought Arab states, now its tanks and attack helicopters struggle against the guerrilla tactics of Hamas and Hizbollah.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015(4 comments)
The Israeli war crime that goes unmentioned
Who will be to blame when Israel gets the next war with Lebanon or Gaza it wants and Hizbollah or Hamas respond by firing their imprecise rockets in retaliation? When Israeli civilians die under those rockets, will Hizbollah and Hamas be responsible or will it be Israel's fault? We will doubtless hear the answer from the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and the New York Times soon.
Saturday, May 30, 2015 Why Israel's cabinet will be a headache for the US
Just as the White House gears up for another 18 months of humiliation and sabotage from Netanyahu and his government, Obama is showering Israel with gifts, as part of its long-standing "security" doctrine. Obama may signal verbally his disquiet with the current Israeli government, but he is not about to exact any real price from Israel, even as it shifts ever further right.
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 Israel seeks in Nepal to whitewash its crimes in Gaza
The criticism that Israel is demonstrating selective compassion -- bringing salvation to far-off Nepal while smashing homes and cutting down lives close by in Gaza -- is blithely dismissed by most Israelis. Israeli soldiers saving children in Nepal should be commended -- but not if it gives them and their compatriots an excuse to turn a blind eye to Palestinian children suffering amid the rubble of Gaza.
Sunday, May 10, 2015(2 comments)
The real lessons of the Tory victory
The revolution that we need in Britain and the US has to start with a disengagement from the mainstream media's representation of events. We have to discard their narratives. Even more important than an overhauled electoral system, one that fairly reflects the electorate's preferences, we need a grassroots media that is free of the control of fabulously wealthy proprietors and major corporations.
Monday, May 4, 2015 The battle between American-Jewish political donors heats up
The growing diplomatic rupture between Netanyahu and Obama appears to have become a motivating factor among major donors in the upcoming presidential race. According to analysts, the key bankrollers of both the Republican and Democratic campaigns want to make sure Netanyahu faces a much easier ride with Obama's successor.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 Israeli city revives historic mission to keep out Arabs
Upper Nazareth was built on Nazareth's confiscated lands on the orders of Israel's first prime minister, David Ben Gurion. It was part of an official campaign to "Judaise" the only Palestinian city to survive relatively unscathed from the 1948 war. the proportion of Arabs in the city -- once inhabited almost exclusively by Jews -- has risen dramatically over the past 15 years. One in five residents is now reported to be Arab.
Friday, April 24, 2015(1 comments)
Europe's feeble efforts to "punish" Israel
The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel's near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad.
Saturday, April 18, 2015(2 comments)
Lawfare, Israel's continuation of war by other means
Israeli leaders, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, have accused the PA of pursuing what they call "lawfare" instead of peace negotiations. In January Netanyahu convened legal advisers to help devise a strategy to discredit the ICC, saying war crimes investigations against Israel were "absurd" and a "perversion of justice."
Wednesday, March 25, 2015(1 comments)
Videos of Israeli raids on sleeping children
Behind the immediate terror of being confronted by these faceless soldiers, the children know from friends or family that there is a real danger they will be seized -- maybe tonight or another night -- if the military decide they are wanted. They will be taken from their parents without warning to a military prison, where they may be held for months and their family will probably be unable to visit them.
Saturday, February 28, 2015(3 comments)
Netanyahu's "Mr Iran" routine is for the home crowd
Why is Netanyahu acting like a bull in a diplomatic china shop, and doing so at the cost of imperiling relations with the US, when his own advisers say there is no obvious Iranian threat and a deal is unlikely? Scaremongering about Iran has proved a winning formula for Netanyahu, who looks about to secure a third consecutive term as prime minister at next month's general election.
Thursday, February 26, 2015(15 comments)
Netanyahu goes nuclear ... prepare for fallout
A leaked report has undermined Binyamin Netanyahu's claims on Iran's nuclear capability. If the Israeli prime minister keeps going, he will destroy more than his own credibility, says Jonathan Cook.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015(2 comments)
Israel's new Asian allies
The deterioration in relations between Israel and the White House is now impossible to dismiss, as Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama lock horns, over negotiations with Iran. The fallout is spreading to the US Congress, where for the first time Israel is becoming a partisan issue. Netanyahu's officials blame the crisis with Washington on Obama, implying that they will wait out his presidency for better times to return.
Sunday, February 15, 2015 Israel's Palestinian parties face test of unity
If Zoabi is excluded, the other parties in the list will have to decide whether to refuse to run in a show of solidarity. If, as seems more likely, they choose to ignore her disqualification and stand anyway, that could send a troubling message to their voters -- that Lieberman and Netanyahu get to decide who represents Palestinian citizens in the Israeli parliament.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 Israel's insolence to Obama may rebound on it
Netanyahu believes he can use the US Congress to stymie any threat of an agreement between Washington and Tehran. His assumption is that the Congress is "Israeli-occupied territory," as a US observer once called it. Israel has enormous sway in Congress, but Netanyahu is already getting a lesson in the limits of his influence. The very rift he is fostering with Mr Obama is likely to rebound on him strategically.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015(1 comments)
US loses its grip on Israel and Palestinians
By taking on the president, Netanyahu risks smashing apart Washington's political consensus on Israel and exposing the American public for the first time to a debate about whether Israeli interests coincide with US ones. The very rift he is fostering with Obama is likely to rebound on him. That could have unpredictable -- and dangerous -- consequences for Israel.
Thursday, January 22, 2015(1 comments)
The strategy behind Israel's attack on Iran and Hizballah
Claims from Israel that it was under imminent threat of a Hizballah attack from the Quneitra area -- justifying the strike -- are implausible. If Hizballah is now averse, as seems to be the case, to hitting Israel after it killed so many of its commanders, why would it have been preparing to attack Israel before the strike, when it had far less cause?
Monday, January 19, 2015(4 comments)
Netanyahu and Europe's far right find common ground
Netanyahu and the far-right share much common ground. He wants a Europe free of Jews -- as well as Muslims who undermine Europe's support for Israel -- because he thinks that is in Jewish interests. The far-right wants the same because it believes it will be in the interests of a supposed "native" white majority.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Netanyahu defies French pleas to push Zionist agenda
Netanyahu's narrative that all Jews should come to Israel depends on a central fallacy: that Israel is a safe haven. In fact, statistically Jews are far safer in France than in conflict-plagued Israel. Is Jewish immigration so important to Israel that it is prepared to endanger the very Jews it claims to protect?
Wednesday, January 7, 2015(1 comments)
Will Netanyahu end up at the Hague?
At the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Netanyahu warned: "Those who need to answer before a criminal court are the heads of the Palestinian Authority, who have forged an alliance with the war criminals of Hamas." One of his officials similarly noted that they had "quite a bit of ammunition" to use against Abbas.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 Israeli election could end in Arab-free Knesset
Israel's large Palestinian Arab minority is facing the most crucial, and possibly most dangerous, general election in its history, according to analysts. Both the survival of Arab political parties in the Israeli parliament and the status of Palestinian citizens -- who make up one in five of the population -- inside a Jewish state are at stake.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 US feels the heat on Palestine vote at UN
While Europe is tentatively finding a voice in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, silence reigns across the Atlantic. The White House appears paralyzed, afraid to appear out of sync with world opinion but more afraid still of upsetting Israel and its powerful allies in the US Congress.
Saturday, November 29, 2014 Israel's Jewish state bill: assessing the wider impact
Netanyahu has found himself being increasingly outmaneuvered by political challengers on his right as his coalition wobbles, threatening a general election, said Bar Ilan University's Klein. "He needs to show he is the true leader of the right-wing camp." In advancing the Jewish nation-state bill, Netanyahu has usefully put clear water between himself and the centrists in his cabinet.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 Israel's model of political despair in Jerusalem
It should be no surprise that Jerusalem is the eye of the storm. For more than a decade it has served as a laboratory for the Israeli right to experiment with a model of political despair designed to make Palestinians either submit or leave.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 The transfer of Israeli Arabs
The attitudes of the police, government and the Israeli public were shaped -- and still are -- by a more general political atmosphere that derives from Israel's founding ideology, Zionism. Israel's Palestinian minority is viewed as the state's Achilles' heel; an opening for Palestinians in the occupied territories to undermine the state's Jewishness.
Thursday, November 6, 2014(1 comments)
Israel moves to outlaw Palestinian political parties in the Knesset
Zoabi was originally suspended after legislators from all the main parties expressed outrage at a series of comments from her criticizing both the build-up to Israel's summer assault on Gaza, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," and the 51-day attack itself, which left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, most of them civilians.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 How Israel is turning Gaza into a super-max prison
Where else in the world, apart from the Palestinian territories, would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer -- and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans? The reason for the hold-up is, as ever, Israel's "security needs." Gaza can be rebuilt but only to the precise specifications laid down by Israeli officials.
Thursday, October 16, 2014(2 comments)
The two-state solution may ultimately be doomed to fail
There can have been few Palestinians whose hearts did not warm at least a little to the news that the British parliament voted overwhelmingly this week to recognize a Palestinian state. The parliamentary win, as has been widely noted, was symbolic -- and in more ways than one. The motion, backed by 274 votes to 12, is not binding.
Friday, October 10, 2014(1 comments)
Israel and the G-word
A plan just disclosed by the Israeli media indicates that Netanyahu and his allies have been secretly plotting to force many Palestinians into Sinai, with the US arm-twisting the Egyptians into agreement. If true, the bombing campaigns of the past six years may be better understood as softening-up operations before a mass expulsion from Gaza.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014(2 comments)
George Monbiot, the Left's Very Own McCarthy
Monbiot is no longer what he claims to be or seems. Years of being embedded in the corporate media have eroded his ability to remain truly independent or to appreciate those like Herman, Peterson and Chomsky who demand the right to retain that privilege for themselves.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 The Occupation's Dark Underbelly Exposed
Surveillance helps confine millions of Palestinians to their territorial ghettos, ensures their total dependence on Israel, and even forces some to serve as undercover go-betweens for Israel, buying land to help the settlements expand. Palestinians who resist risk jail or execution.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014(3 comments)
ISIS and Israel allies against a Palestinian state
n casting a popular resistance movement like Hamas as ISIS, Netanyahu has tarred all Palestinians as bloodthirsty Islamic extremists. And here we reach Israel's real goal in equating the two groups. Netanyahu's comparison has a recent parallel. Immediately after the 9/11 attacks on the US, Ariel Sharon made a similar equivalence between al-Qaeda and the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.