Palestinian Authority election excludes most Palestinians

EI’s Ali Abunimah responds to an editorial in Ha’aretz, and points out that the majority of Palestinians, those living in exile, were not permitted to participate in the Palestinian Authority election, and that “a Palestinian Authority leader preselected by the international community on the basis of his willingness to surrender to Israel’s insatiable demands, and not elected by the vast majority of Palestinians, has absolutely no mandate to negotiate away our rights and will never be able to do so.” 

'I punched an Arab in the face'

Liran Ron Furer, a sensitive and creative young man, says he became a sadist in the course of his military service at checkpoints. Four years later, he has written a confessional book about his experience, which he says transforms every soldier into a beast. Written in the blunt and coarse language of soldiers, he reconstructs scenes from the years in which he served in Gaza, between 1996 and 1999, years that, one must remember, were relatively quiet. Ha’aretz’s Gideon Levy looks at the content and issues surrounding the publication of Furer’s diary. 

What the fatality statistics tell us

Against the background of shock and disgust at the mass terror attack on the Jerusalem bus on August 19, and the fear of advanced Qassam rocket attacks, the government of Israel energetically renewed its policy of targeted killings. From August 21 through yesterday, September 1, Air Force fighters killed 11 Hamas activists in six targeted assassinations in crowded central locations. Four other Palestinians were killed in those actions, among them a young girl and an old man, and dozens were injured. The threatened revenge attack has not occurred. Is this not proof that targeted killings are the way to go? Amira Hass writes in Ha’aretz. 

Twilight Zone: Birth and death at the checkpoint

Rula was in the last stages of labor. Daoud says the soldiers at the checkpoint wouldn’t let them through, so his wife hid behind a concrete block and gave birth on the ground. A few minutes later, the baby girl died. They wanted to call her Mira. All their children have names that begin with M, from Mohammed to Meida, their youngest daughter. They borrowed baby clothes from Rula’s sister - their financial situation after three years of unemployment made buying new clothes out of the question - and they packed a bag to be ready for the birth. Now they are beside themselves with grief. Rula doesn’t say a word and Daoud can’t keep the words from pouring out. Gideon Levy writes in Ha’aretz. 

Who Violated Hudna?

The next terror strike is on its way. You don’t need to be an expert on terror, or a compulsive gambler, to foresee that Islamic Jihad will try very soon to avenge the death of Mohammed Sider  the head of the organization’s military wing in Hebron. 

Before we blame the Palestinians

In “All talk and no dialogue” (Haaretz, August 15), Ze’ev Schiff states that it’s “clear that the truce does not in fact exist,” and explains that the Palestinian government “is incapable of implementing the hudna,” that Abu Mazen cannot “enforce” the agreement among the various Palestinian organizations, and that “the leading trio - Abu Mazen, Minister of State for Security Affairs Mohammed Dahlan, and Finance Minister Salam Fayyad - is incapable of enforcing the hudna even on the armed groups within its own movement, the Fatah.” Hillel Schocken comments in Ha’aretz. 

The last photograph

Gideon Levy describes the “before-death” image of the photojournalist Imad Abu Zahra, who was killed two weeks ago in Jenin. His mother said: “Imad was not someone who put the soldiers in the tank in danger. Why did they kill him? Only because he is a Palestinian? 

Boycotting the Beeb

Israel joined Zimbabwe last weekend as one of two countries boycotting the BBC. The move was taken in protest of the “biased and hostile coverage policy,” as Danny Seaman, the head of the Government Press Office in Jerusalem put it. Although Israel has not gone so far as to expel journalists, as did Zimbabwe, “A decision to expel all BBC correspondents has not been ruled out,” Seaman says. At this stage, Israel is making do with measures designed to make life more difficult for the BBC. Sharon Sadeh reports in Ha’aretz. 

End the fake evacuations

“The operation to evacuate the West Bank outposts undertaken by Ariel Sharon’s government is a farce that is bad for the peace process. It would be better to stop this charade as soon as possible, because its damage is immeasurably greater than any good it might be doing. The only ones gaining from this absurd eviction performance is the prime minister, the right wing and the settlers. The losers are the Palestinians and mainly, the peace process. The Americans, who are full partners to this deceit, should also pull themselves together and realize that this absurdity is no good for peace.” Gideon Levy writes in Ha’aretz.