Tag Archives: Israel

Israeli Policies Face Jewish Critics

The HKS Citizen (Harvard Kennedy School)
October 13, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery

Acre by acre, successive Israeli governments have used settlement construction to colonize what is left of Palestinian land.  Meanwhile, a growing chorus of Jewish critics is forcing Israel to choose between its aggressive policies and the path of peace.

After a moratorium of ten months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently resumed settlement construction in the Palestinian West Bank.  On October 6th, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Israeli bulldozers had been working “furiously” on the construction of 350 new Jewish-only housing units in the Palestinian region.

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Turkish Foreign Minister Slams Israeli Settlements in Harvard Speech

The Huffington Post
Posted: October 4, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery

Speaking at Harvard last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu criticized Israel’s decision to continue building settlements on Palestinian land:

Jewish settlements [themselves] are illegal. How can we talk on the extension of [the] moratorium or extension of Jewish settlements?

With peace negotiations on the verge of falling apart, the comments demonstrate increasing anger at Israel from a former ally. The Turkish Foreign Minister also declared Gaza an “open prison” and stated that Palestinians have “the full right to live in their own country with full sovereignty based on 1967 territory, including Eastern Jerusalem.”

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An email from Senator Dianne Feinstein

The following email was sent by US Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office to constituents who emailed her on the topic of Israel and Palestine.  Her comments reflect a clear break from the positions of AIPAC and the pro-Israel lobby.

Key excerpt:

However, like you, I have grave concerns about the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and I believe that this issue is a major stumbling block to a peace agreement.  In my view, settlement activity should be halted until an agreement is reached.  Neither side should take any actions which would prejudice the outcome of negotiations on the final status issues.

Full email:

From:    senator@feinstein.senate.gov
To:  Sanjeev Bery
Date:  Thu, Apr 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM
Subject:  U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your message
Mailed-by:  feinstein.senate.gov

Dear Mr. Bery:

Thank you for writing to express your support for the Obama Administration’s position on the expansion of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.  I appreciate hearing from you on this topic, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

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Israel’s Ban on Crayons

The Huffington Post
Posted: June 18, 2009 11:09 AM
By Sanjeev Bery

Israel’s massive blockade of Gaza continues, but it is easy to lose sight of what this really means. As the BBC reports, the blockade is so extensive that the Israeli government even bars musical instruments from entering the territory.

Little is allowed to leave Gaza either. Israel also bans virtually all exports to the outside world, causing Palestinians who live in the territory to suffer unemployment rates of 40%.

On Tuesday, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter highlighted some of the most egregious examples of this policy. In a speech to parents and graduating students at a UN-run Gaza school, Carter stated:

I understand even paper and crayons are treated as “security hazards” and not permitted to enter Gaza. I sought an explanation for this policy in Israel, but did not receive a satisfactory answer – because there is none.

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“Israeli Media Reads the Fine Print”

The Huffington Post
06/06/09
by Sanjeev Bery

In the 48 hours since President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Israeli journalists and pundits have had a lot to say. Their comments offer insights into U.S. foreign policy that many American observers might not get at home.

Some were particularly struck by Obama’s implicit linkage of Palestinian aspirations and other global struggles for freedom. In the liberal newspaper Ha’aretz, journalist Akiva Eldar wrote:

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Obama on Israel and Palestine

Obama_cairoU.S. President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo is worth watching and worth reading.  Perhaps the best place to do both is at The New York Times website, where you can search the transcripts by keyword and simultaneously watch/read the sections you want.

I have excerpted Obama’s words on Israel and Palestine below.  But first, a few key sentences:

…Six million Jews were killed – more than the entire Jewish population of Israel today. Denying that fact is baseless, ignorant, and hateful.

…it is also undeniable that the Palestinian people – Muslims and Christians – have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation.

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The Tel Aviv Tango

Tehelka Magazine (India)
April 15, 2008
By Sanjeev Bery

The Israeli Defence Forces have a gift for the world. SANJEEV BERY takes a closer look at the spread of Krav Maga martial arts in India

ISRAEL’S ARMS sales may capture the headlines, but they aren’t the nation’s only export to India. In south Delhi’s upscale Saket neighbourhood, a small but growing number of residents are learning krav maga, the hand-to-hand combat system of the Israeli Defence Forces. Continue reading

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