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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
Sunday, May 22, 2016 Religious zealots waging a quiet revolution in Israel
The goal of the religious nationalists is undisguised: to remove the last restraints on the occupation, and build a glorious, divinely ordained Greater Israel over an obliterated Palestinian society. That means no hope of a peaceful resolution of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians -- unless it is preceded by a tumultuous civil war between Israel's secular and religious Jews.
Monday, May 9, 2016(3 comments)
Once, most Jews viewed Israel as the anti-semite's best friend
In his Holocaust Day speech last week, Yair Golan compared current trends in Israel with Germany in the early 1930s. In today's Israel, he said, could be recognized "the revolting processes that occurred in Europe ... There is nothing easier than hating the stranger, nothing easier than to stir fears and intimidate."
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 In Israel, an ugly tide sweeps over Palestinians
The trigger-happy soldier Elor Azaria and the peace camp leader Isaac Herzog have more in common than either might wish to admit. In their different ways, both have helped to turn all Palestinians into outcasts -- and crush any hope of concessions from Israel to peace.
Sunday, April 24, 2016(1 comments)
Rise in Palestinian children held by Israel "alarming"
Israel is the only country in the world, according to DCIP, that "systematically prosecutes between 500 and 700 children in military courts each year." The Israeli army had been unnerved by the mounting bad publicity, said Gerard Horton, of Military Court Watch, which monitors abuses of children in detention.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 Israeli paramedics accused of medical violations
There is mounting evidence that Israeli ambulance crews are withholding treatment from Palestinians injured during a wave of attacks over the past six months, according to rights groups. Physicians for Human Rights in Israel, a medical watchdog group, found that wounded Palestinians had been left untreated for as long as two hours.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016(2 comments)
Spymaster's final interview reveals deep rift in Israel
Almost no one in Israel, it seems, wants justice for the Palestinians. But a gulf is opening up between the old order that cares what others think of Israel and a new order that refuses to make even the smallest concessions to the sensitivities of the outside world. In that war, Mr Netanyahu and the far-right look set to emerge triumphant.
Sunday, April 3, 2016(1 comments)
Execution of Palestinian exposes Israel's military culture
hardly surprising that most Israelis feel this soldier is being singled out. His crime was not executing a Palestinian -- that happens all the time -- but being caught on film doing so. That was nothing more than bad luck. The Israeli public did not reach this conclusion by accident. They have been schooled in a tribal idea of justice from a young age. Palestinians are not viewed as fully human or deserving of rights.
Saturday, March 26, 2016 Parents protest as dream of bilingual education in Israel turns sour
The opening of the first bilingual classrooms in Israel's largest city was celebrated with great excitement by parents and teachers last September. It broke with a decades-old model of strict segregation between the country's Jewish and Palestinian pupils.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 A history of silencing Israeli army whistleblowers -- from 1948 until today
In recent decades a few brave Israeli scholars have chipped away at the official facade. In the late 1990s a Haifa University student collected testimonies from former soldiers confirming that over 200 Palestinians had been massacred at Tantura, south of Haifa. After the findings were made public, he was pilloried and stripped of his degree.
Friday, March 18, 2016(1 comments)
Appointment of Israeli spokesman viewed as snub to US
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of a new foreign media adviser and spokesman this week, the latest in a series of moves viewed as snubs to the Obama White House. Keyes steps in as Netanyahu's foreign media adviser at a time when Israeli officials have been accused of conducting a "witch hunt" against both the foreign press corps in Israel and Israeli social media activists.
Saturday, March 12, 2016 Israeli textbook "bad for Arabs, bad for Jews"
Although the ministry produced the new civics textbook amid great secrecy, leading Jewish educators who have seen the final text complain that it is riddled with factual inaccuracies, maligns the Palestinian minority, and discounts democratic values.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016(7 comments)
How most aid to the Palestinians ends up in Israel's coffers
Western humanitarian aid to the Palestinians is clearly intended for the victims, not the victors. Palestinians under occupation are among the most aid-dependent in the world, receiving more than $2bn from the international community a year. Shir Hever, an Israeli economist, concludes that at least 78 percent of humanitarian aid intended for Palestinians ends up in Israel's coffers.
Thursday, March 3, 2016 Emerging from a "reign of terror": Palestinians in Israel hold first BDS conference
A private cinema in Nazareth agreed to host the event after several public venues in Haifa backed out, apparently fearful that they risked being punished by the Israeli government. The question of how feasible it is for Israel's 1.6 million Palestinian citizens to promote BDS was high on the conference agenda, with speakers addressing issues of legality and strategy.
Friday, February 26, 2016(1 comments)
Israel accused of using trickery to snatch refugee lands
For Palestinian society, land dealing with Israel is considered taboo. But some refugees admitted that Israel had been using various forms of pressure long before the latest lawyers' ruse to persuade families into signing away their rights.
Wednesday, February 24, 2016(2 comments)
Israel is on the brink of a tyranny of the majority
Netanyahu is legislating the expulsion of Balad and throwing down the gauntlet to the courts. It won't end there. If Balad is unseated, the participation of the other Joint List factions will be untenable. In effect, the Israeli right is seeking to ethnically cleanse the parliament.
Sunday, February 21, 2016 How Israel is "turning Palestinians into Zionists"
Israeli officials had stepped up interference in the Palestinian curriculum in recent years, censoring large sections of textbooks. Changes have included removing pictures of Palestinian flags and PA logos; excising information about PLO leaders; cutting lines from poems that could be interpreted as promoting struggle against occupation; and redacting references to the Nakba, loss of Palestinians' homeland in 1948.
Monday, February 8, 2016(2 comments)
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
At what point do we cry foul when we witness the abuse of a political dissident, one who dares to take on mighty vested interests? the UN panel on arbitrary detention ruled that Assange, who has spent more than three years confined to a tiny room in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, is being arbitrarily detained and that he should be allowed to walk free.
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.