Archive for the ‘Israel’ Category

Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera – CNBC

Kara said he would ask the Government Press Office to revoke the accreditation of Al Jazeera’s journalists in Israel, where it has about 30 staff. Cable and satellite providers have expressed their willingness to turn off its broadcasts, he said.

Kara added that he had asked Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan to use his powers to close the station’s offices in Israel, although a spokesman for Erdan said he doubted the minister had the authority to do so.

“Our ministry is not the address. Try the police,” spokesman Daniel Bar said.

Asked if shutting down Al Jazeera’s operations would make Israel appear to oppose freedom of the press, an official close to the prime minister said the country accepted diverse opinions but not incitement.

“The prime minister is not too pleased with the constant incitement that you see and hear on Al Jazeera, a lot of it in Arabic. There is a lot being broadcast on that channel that is frankly dangerous,” the official said.

“There is no shortage of free speech in this country. There are plenty of dissenting voices. In democratic countries there are also things that are unacceptable, and a lot of what Al Jazeera is saying and broadcasting falls into that category.”

In his news conference, to which Al Jazeera was not invited, Kara said steps had to be taken against “media, which has been determined by almost all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain.”

“We have identified media outlets that do not serve freedom of speech but endanger the security of Israel’s citizens, and the main instrument has been Al Jazeera,” Kara said.

He was referring to recent violence in and around a Jerusalem site that is revered by Muslims and Jews in which six Palestinians and five Israelis, including two policemen, were killed.

Al Jazeera said in July that Israel was aligning itself with four Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain – that have severed diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar.

The Foreign Press Association in Israel criticised the planned moves. “Changing the law in order to shut down a media organisation for political reasons is a slippery slope,” association executive secretary Glenys Sugarman said.

Al Jazeera has also faced government censure in Egypt. In 2014, Egypt jailed three of the network’s staffers for seven years and closed its offices. Two staffers have been released but a third remains imprisoned.

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Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera – CNBC

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Democratic Socialists of America launch into anti-Israel chant at convention – The Times of Israel

Attendees at a convention in Chicago on Saturday for the Democratic Socialists of America launched into an anti-Israel chant after passing a motion to overwhelmingly endorse the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement.

In a video posted to social media following the vote, a number of people at the event began chanting from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free a popular slogan at anti-Israel protests around the world as one person waved a Palestinian flag.

Others remained silent as the chanting went on, but the BDS motion passed with 90 percent approval of the 697 delegates from 49 states was met with wild applause.

The chant is perceived as a call to eliminate the state of Israel within the 1967 lines, and establishing a state of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea instead. Some pro-Palestinian activists argue that the slogan calls for an end to Israels military and civilian control over Palestinians in the West Bank and other areas they claim as part of a future state.

The organization reports that it has about 25,000 dues-paying members nationwide, up from 8,000 in recent years.

The motion to endorse BDS read, in part, Democratic Socialists of America declares itself in solidarity with Palestinian civil societys nonviolent struggle against apartheid, colonialism, military occupation and for equality, human rights, and self-determination; Democratic Socialists of America responds to Civil Societys call by fully supporting BDS.

The statement from the resolution was tweeted by an attendee, the Legal Insurrection website reported.

According to its website, The Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal US affiliate of the Socialist International. DSAs members are building progressive movements for social change, while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics.

The organization also says: We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo.

We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships.

While the movement is not officially associated with Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, DSA is aligned with her, according to the Jerusalem Post. DSA was an official participant in the Womens March in January 2017, of which Sarsour was a co-organizer, the Post reported.

DSA endorsed Bernie Sanders as a favored candidate for the presidency in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Democratic Socialists of America launch into anti-Israel chant at convention – The Times of Israel

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Report: Arab League Working to Undermine Israel’s Bid to Win …

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The UN Security Council. Photo: Twitter

The Arab League is working to undermine Israels bid to win a seat on the UN Security Council next year, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed Israeli diplomatic official.

The official said Israel was concerned by the Arab Leagues activities and would take steps to counter them.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East never to have held a Security Council seat. The 10 non-permanent spots which are two-year terms on the 15-member council (the five permanent members are the US, UK, France, Russia and China, all of which have veto power) are allocated in accordance with regional blocs.

Since 2000, Israel has been part of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG).

August 8, 2017 2:22 pm

The elections for the 2019-2020 term will be held in June 2018. To get a Security Council seat, Israel will have to receive the support of at least two-thirds of the 193 members of the General Assembly.

Israels competitors for the WEOG seats are Belgium and Germany.

In April, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon wrote in a Politico op-ed, Now, more than ever, it is time for Israel to take its place as a leader in the worlds premiere international organization. Our country is qualified, well equipped and well prepared for this important role.

By electing Israel to serve on the Security Council, the members of the UN will make a strong statement finally accepting the Jewish state as a full and equal member, Danon went on to say. More important, the international community will gain a leader committed to tirelessly furthering the noble goals upon which the parliament of nations was founded almost 72 years ago.

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Report: Arab League Working to Undermine Israel’s Bid to Win …

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Death Penalty in Israel Will Bring Occupation to the Center of World Attention – Haaretz

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No matter how you look at it, the death penalty is barbaric and stupid and has been abolished in all civilized countries except for certain states in the United States (which are difficult to call civilized)

The whole world tensely followed developments as the days went by, then the hours and then the minutes. The world watched the…

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Trapped between Israel and Hamas, Gaza’s wasted generation is going nowhere – Washington Post

They are the Hamas generation, raised under the firm hand of an Islamist militant movement. They are the survivors of three wars with Israel and a siege who find themselves as young adults going absolutely nowhere.

In many circles in Gaza, it is hard to find anyonein their 20s with real employment, with a monthly salary.

They call themselves a wasted generation.

Ten years after Hamas seized control of Gaza, the economy in theseaside strip of 2million has been strangled by incompetence, war and blockade.

Gaza today lives off its wits and the recycled scraps donated by foreign governments. Seven in 10 people rely on humanitarian aid.

Young people say they are bored out of their minds.

They worry that too many of their friends are gobbling drugs, not drugs to experience ecstasy but pills used to tranquilize animals, smuggled across Sinai. They dose onTramadol and smoke hashish. They numb.

Hamas has recently stepped up executions of drug traffickers.

Freedoms to express oneself are circumscribed. But the young people speak, a little bit. They say their leaders have failed them and that the Israelis and Egyptians are crushing them.

Why not revolt? They laugh. It is very hard to vote the current government out there are no elections.

To be honest with you, we do nothing, said Bilal Abusalah, 24, who trained to be a nurse but sometimes sells womens clothing.

He has cool jeans, a Facebook page, a mobilephone and no money.

He and his friends get by with odd jobs, a few hours here and there.They worked at cafesduring the busy evenings of Ramadan in June. They will help an uncle in his shoe shop as the school year approaches in August. They make $10 a day at these kinds of jobs, a few coins for coffee and cigarettes.

We are the generation that waits, Abusalah said.

Reporters asked a 25-year-old college graduate, who got his degree in public relations, what he did for a living.

He answered, I stare into space.

Raw sewage washes onto the beaches. The water looks blue at the horizon, where Israeli gunboats lurk, enforcing a six-mile blockade. But the surf line is a foamy brown.

The rappers of Gaza see this as a metaphor. They are literally trapped in their own excrement.

Most young people in Gaza have not been out, either through Israel, which is almost impossible, or through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, which has been mostly closed for the past four years.

Electricity service is down to four hours a day. The young activists in the refugee camps who dared in January to protest power cuts? They were hustled off to jail.

In the dusty gray cement-colored world of Gaza, now sputtering along on Chinese solar panels and Egyptian diesel, young people spend their days, day after day, playing with their phones, their worlds reduced to palm-size screens, to YouTube videos and endless chat.

Unemployment for Gazas young adults hovers around 60percent. This is not just a dull World Bank number. This is a stunning number, the highest in the Middle East and among the worst rates in the world.

Think-tank scholars warn that Egypts youth unemployment rate of 30percent is a ticking time bomb. In Gaza, the jobless rate for young people is double that.

The Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says what happens in Gaza is all the fault of Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas leaders traditionally blame the Israeli blockade for their problems. Gaza is allowed no seaport, no airport and limited exports, mostly fruits and vegetables, alongside some furniture and textiles. Lately the pressure on the strip has only gotten worse, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently slashed payments for Gazas electricity, to squeeze people to reject Hamas.

Gazas young people describe their lives as a kind of sick experiment.

The literacy rate in Gaza is 96.8percent, higher than in the West Bank. The Palestinian engineer was once the gold standard in the Middle East. In the past, immigration was the door to life. That door has slammed shut. Few get out of Gaza these days.

Yet the universities of Gaza are still pumping out graduates by the thousands, even though the least likely person to find work in Gaza today is a college graduate, especially a woman.

(Jason Aldag/The Washington Post)

The most recent surveys reveal that half of the Gaza population wouldleave the enclave if given the chance.

I dont believe it, said Mohammad Humaed, 24, who studied cinema at a university but works a couple of nights a week at a coffee shop in a refugee camp. All the young people would leave.

Economists use the term de-development to describe what is happening.

Young people in Gaza have a joke to say the same thing.

They say their unemployed friends are driving the mattress, meaning they spend their daylight hours sprawled in bed.

Two years ago, the United Nations warned that Gaza could become unlivable by 2020. U.N. officials recently said they had been overly optimistic: The place could collapse next year.

There are tiny, discrete pockets of wealth in Gaza, if you know where to look, alongside a gritty middle class. The universities of Gaza are overflowing with students striving to join their ranks.

This is the generation that grew up immersed in the rhetoric of the Hamas version of the Palestinian resistance, a moralistic message of piety and opposition to Israel hammered home in Hamas-controlled mosques and military-style summer camps for children and teens, who were taught first aid and how to throw a grenade.

But in many interviews, in their torn-just-so jeans and fresh white sneakers, Gazas young people today say they would rather fight for a job in Tel Aviv than fight Israelis.

If the borders were open, Id work in Israel in a minute. I got absolutely no problem with that. Everybody would work in Israel, said Iyad Abu Heweila, 24, who graduated with a degree in English education two years ago but now spends his days hanging out.

I have no achievements, he said.

Heweila asked if he could make a confession.

I know its bad, but sometimes I wonder, if theres another war with Israel, maybe there would be work for translators? Heweila asked.

That is sick, I know. I tell you this to show how desperate we feel, he said. I want a job. I want money. I want to start my life.

Yearning for the outside world

This summer the nights are inky dark, now that power service has been reduced to three or four hours a day.

Every evening a group of friends gather on a rooftop. They sit on cheap plastic chairs or pieces of cement block. It is cooler up there. The night sea breeze rattles the fronds of date palms, and you can hear some Hamas official on a radio program playing in a nearby apartment. Nobody on the roof pays any attention.

Asked what he did that day, Ahmed Abu Duhair, 25, said he slept until late afternoon.

He lives for the night. Just talking, laughing, smoking on the roof to make us a little bit happy before we die, Duhair said.

We are closer than brothers, he explained, as they passed the water pipe around and took deep huffs of apple-spiced tobacco. Were not lazy guys. Weve been working since we were kids.

They began to tell stories about their first jobs, selling cigarette lighters in traffic, helping vendors at the market. Asked how old they were then, they answered they were 8 or 9 or 10.

They were envious of their friend Tamer al-Bana, 23, the only one among them who was married. Bana has two young children and a third on the way. He had to borrow $7,000 from a relative to wed, a debt that would take him years to pay off.

If the young men on the roof are desperate, so too are college graduates. Mona Abu Shawareb, 24, graduated with a degree in psychology a year ago but hasnt gotten her diploma yet because she owes the university money.

Shawareb tries hard to keep busy. She takes free English classes at a Turkish charity; she volunteers at an organization that works with street youth; she did an internship with the U.N. refugee agency and learned Microsoft Word and Excel.

But like many unemployed young people here, she lives on the Internet, feeding friends and followers a stream of updates on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat.

Like most women in Gaza, Shawareb dresses conservatively when she leaves the house. But she confessed that when she looks at the Internet and sees women in the West running in athletic clothes, I feel envious, she said. I want to jog.

Mohammad al-Rayyas, 25, said his heart aches for Cairo, where he received a degree in accounting. In the two years hes been back home in Gaza, his life has stalled.

It is more than boring, he said, struggling to find the words. It is very slow. The time. It seems different here.

He has tried to find work in his field at businesses, banks, international aid agencies. No luck. No wasta. You know what wasta is?

It is an Arabic word that, loosely translated, means connections or clout, and it often underscores a system plagued by corruption or nepotism.

Rayyas is unique among his contemporaries.Hes traveled, hes gotten a taste, hes lived abroad.

It is a cliche to call Gaza an open-air prison, but to many people it feels not only as if there is no way out, but also that the walls are closing in.

Gaza is just 24 miles long on the coastline less than the length of a marathon. At its narrowest it is just four miles, an hours walk.

The enclave is surrounded by Israeli perimeter fence, bristling with cameras, watch towers and remote-controlled machine guns. On the Egyptian border, once honeycombed with Hamas smuggling tunnels, there is now a broad buffer zone, scraped clean by bulldozers, as forbidding as a no mans land.

And the sea? Gaza fishermen are blocked by Israeli gunboats and forbidden to venture beyond six miles. For young people, the sea that once brought relief is now so polluted by untreated human waste that the Health Ministry has warned bathers to stay away.

Many young men in Gaza try to expend their energy playing sports. Rayyas even more so. He awakes at 5each morning in his bed in his familys apartment and goes out to run six miles along the corniche. In the afternoons, he rides a bicycle his father bought for him.

Many days, he pedals all the way to the Egyptian border.

Before turning back, Rayyas imagines what it would be like if the border gates magically opened.

He said hed pedal all the way to Cairo.

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A rare journey from Gaza to Jerusalem stirs memories for these Palestinians

A Palestinians daily commute through an Israeli checkpoint

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NGO says Israel banning Gazans from traveling with laptops – The Times of Israel

Palestinians say Egypts Sissi nearly reconciled Hamas, Fatah

Hamas last month agreed to a reconciliation deal with the Palestinian Authoritys ruling Fatah party brokered by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, but the initiative was met by a counteroffer by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports in Arab media.

Sissi presented Abbas with the deal when the two met in early July in Cairo amid spiraling tensions between the terrorist group and its West Bank-based rival, Fatah.

The deal included Hamas dissolving a committee it formed to administer tasks historically carried out by the PA, as well as a commitment by Abbas to end harsh measures he has levied against Gaza in recent months, which include reductions in electricity supply, medical aid and governmental salaries for residents of the Strip.

Unnamed Palestinian sources tell the London-based al-Hayat daily that Abbas initially accepted Sissis offer, but quickly reneged and instructed his intelligence Majid Faraj to present Hamas with a counteroffer.

The Gaza-based new site Safa also quoted unnamed Palestinian officials who confirmed the report.

Hamas responded to Farajs offer by publicly announcing its own demands for any reconciliation deal.

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NGO says Israel banning Gazans from traveling with laptops – The Times of Israel

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Israel offers asylum to Iranian journalist in Turkey – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

JERUSALEM (JTA) Israel has offered asylum to an Iranian journalist who has been working for an Israeli news website from Turkey.

Turkey recently informed journalist Neda Amin, who writes for the Times of Israel news website, that she would be deported in the coming days to Iran, which she fled three years ago. She could face the death penalty in Iran.

The Jerusalem Association of Journalists and the Union of Journalists in Israel asked Israels Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to offer her sanctuary in Israel.

Deri said in a statement he would issue Amin a special visa. This journalist faces real danger to her life only because she wrote columns for an Israeli news site. Under these clear humanitarian circumstances, I approved her entry without hesitation, he said.

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Rights group: Israel bans Gazans from traveling with laptops – ABC News

A rights group says Israel has imposed new travel restrictions on Palestinians, preventing them from leaving blockaded Gaza with laptops.

The ban also applies in the opposite direction an Associated Press reporter was barred Sunday from taking his laptop into Gaza.

Cogat, an Israeli defense body, referred questions to the Shin Bet security service. The Shin Bet says it is not aware of a laptop ban and will look into the matter.

The Israeli group Gisha, which advocates for greater freedom of movement for Gazans, says it was informed by Cogat last week that Gazans can no longer carry electronic devices, except mobile phones, when leaving the territory.

Israel and Egypt have enforced severe Gaza travel restrictions since the 2007 takeover of the territory by the Islamic militant Hamas.

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Indian PM’s security goes to the (Israeli) dogs – The Times of Israel

Post-army Israelis have long made India a favorite destination after completing their service, but another kind of IDF veteran has also been heading to the south Asian nation attack and sniffer dogs trained by the armys Oketz canine unit.

Over the past year India has taken delivery of some 30 security dogs to amplify protection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top figures, The Telegraph India reported Saturday.

A security official, not named in the report, explained that because of a heightened threat perception, we wanted to beef up the Prime Ministers security.

They are part of the Israeli defense forces ace canine unit, he added.

The official would not discuss the cost of the dogs, but local Israeli media estimated in the past that each pooch costs tens of thousands of dollars to train.

Illustrative photo: A soldier in the IDFs elite canine unit, Oketz. (photo credit: Omer Messinger/Flash90)

The dogs, trained for attack and bomb-sniffing duties, will join the Special Protection Group tasked with security of senior officials, former prime ministers, and members of their families, the report said.

The new four-legged recruits to the SPG are considered the best in the world in sniffing out explosive booby-traps, another senior security official told the paper.

The dogs Labradors, German shepherds, Belgian Malinois dogs and a fourth rare breed the source would not identify are also considered very effective in combat, the source said.

The SPGs home-trained sniffer dogs come from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which has a dog-training center at Bhanu in Chandigarth. Training lasts for 24 weeks, and the program churns out 24 dogs every six months.

An ITBP official explained that Israel is also helping us upgrade the dog-training center.

In July Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. The two countries have cooperated on a range of defense projects.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) bids farewell to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Ben Gurion International Airport on June 6, 2017. (Kobi Gideo/GPO)

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Israel moves to shut down local operations of Al Jazeera – CNBC

Kara said he would ask the Government Press Office to revoke the accreditation of Al Jazeera’s journalists in Israel, where it has about 30 staff. Cable and satellite providers have expressed their willingness to turn off its broadcasts, he said. Kara added that he had asked Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan to use his powers to close the station’s offices in Israel, although a spokesman for Erdan said he doubted the minister had the authority to do so. “Our ministry is not the address. Try the police,” spokesman Daniel Bar said. Asked if shutting down Al Jazeera’s operations would make Israel appear to oppose freedom of the press, an official close to the prime minister said the country accepted diverse opinions but not incitement. “The prime minister is not too pleased with the constant incitement that you see and hear on Al Jazeera, a lot of it in Arabic. There is a lot being broadcast on that channel that is frankly dangerous,” the official said. “There is no shortage of free speech in this country. There are plenty of dissenting voices. In democratic countries there are also things that are unacceptable, and a lot of what Al Jazeera is saying and broadcasting falls into that category.” In his news conference, to which Al Jazeera was not invited, Kara said steps had to be taken against “media, which has been determined by almost all Arab countries to actually be a supporter of terror, and we know this for certain.” “We have identified media outlets that do not serve freedom of speech but endanger the security of Israel’s citizens, and the main instrument has been Al Jazeera,” Kara said. He was referring to recent violence in and around a Jerusalem site that is revered by Muslims and Jews in which six Palestinians and five Israelis, including two policemen, were killed. Al Jazeera said in July that Israel was aligning itself with four Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain – that have severed diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar. The Foreign Press Association in Israel criticised the planned moves. “Changing the law in order to shut down a media organisation for political reasons is a slippery slope,” association executive secretary Glenys Sugarman said. Al Jazeera has also faced government censure in Egypt. In 2014, Egypt jailed three of the network’s staffers for seven years and closed its offices. Two staffers have been released but a third remains imprisoned.

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Democratic Socialists of America launch into anti-Israel chant at convention – The Times of Israel

Attendees at a convention in Chicago on Saturday for the Democratic Socialists of America launched into an anti-Israel chant after passing a motion to overwhelmingly endorse the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement. In a video posted to social media following the vote, a number of people at the event began chanting from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free a popular slogan at anti-Israel protests around the world as one person waved a Palestinian flag. Others remained silent as the chanting went on, but the BDS motion passed with 90 percent approval of the 697 delegates from 49 states was met with wild applause. The chant is perceived as a call to eliminate the state of Israel within the 1967 lines, and establishing a state of Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea instead. Some pro-Palestinian activists argue that the slogan calls for an end to Israels military and civilian control over Palestinians in the West Bank and other areas they claim as part of a future state. The organization reports that it has about 25,000 dues-paying members nationwide, up from 8,000 in recent years. The motion to endorse BDS read, in part, Democratic Socialists of America declares itself in solidarity with Palestinian civil societys nonviolent struggle against apartheid, colonialism, military occupation and for equality, human rights, and self-determination; Democratic Socialists of America responds to Civil Societys call by fully supporting BDS. The statement from the resolution was tweeted by an attendee, the Legal Insurrection website reported. According to its website, The Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA, is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal US affiliate of the Socialist International. DSAs members are building progressive movements for social change, while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in American communities and politics. The organization also says: We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit, alienated labor, race and gender discrimination, environmental destruction, and brutality and violence in defense of the status quo. We are socialists because we share a vision of a humane international social order based both on democratic planning and market mechanisms to achieve equitable distribution of resources, meaningful work, a healthy environment, sustainable growth, gender and racial equality, and non-oppressive relationships. While the movement is not officially associated with Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, DSA is aligned with her, according to the Jerusalem Post. DSA was an official participant in the Womens March in January 2017, of which Sarsour was a co-organizer, the Post reported. DSA endorsed Bernie Sanders as a favored candidate for the presidency in the 2016 presidential elections.

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Report: Arab League Working to Undermine Israel’s Bid to Win …

Email a copy of “Report: Arab League Working to Undermine Israels Bid to Win UN Security Council Seat Next Year” to a friend The UN Security Council. Photo: Twitter The Arab League is working to undermine Israels bid to win a seat on the UN Security Council next year, the Hebrew news site Walla reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed Israeli diplomatic official. The official said Israel was concerned by the Arab Leagues activities and would take steps to counter them. Israel is the only country in the Middle East never to have held a Security Council seat. The 10 non-permanent spots which are two-year terms on the 15-member council (the five permanent members are the US, UK, France, Russia and China, all of which have veto power) are allocated in accordance with regional blocs. Since 2000, Israel has been part of the Western European and Others Group (WEOG). August 8, 2017 2:22 pm The elections for the 2019-2020 term will be held in June 2018. To get a Security Council seat, Israel will have to receive the support of at least two-thirds of the 193 members of the General Assembly. Israels competitors for the WEOG seats are Belgium and Germany. In April, Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon wrote in a Politico op-ed, Now, more than ever, it is time for Israel to take its place as a leader in the worlds premiere international organization. Our country is qualified, well equipped and well prepared for this important role. By electing Israel to serve on the Security Council, the members of the UN will make a strong statement finally accepting the Jewish state as a full and equal member, Danon went on to say. More important, the international community will gain a leader committed to tirelessly furthering the noble goals upon which the parliament of nations was founded almost 72 years ago.

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Death Penalty in Israel Will Bring Occupation to the Center of World Attention – Haaretz

Home > Opinion No matter how you look at it, the death penalty is barbaric and stupid and has been abolished in all civilized countries except for certain states in the United States (which are difficult to call civilized) The whole world tensely followed developments as the days went by, then the hours and then the minutes. The world watched the… Want to enjoy ‘Zen’ reading – with no ads and just the article? Subscribe today We’ve got more newsletters we think you’ll find interesting. Please try again later. This email address has already registered for this newsletter.

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Trapped between Israel and Hamas, Gaza’s wasted generation is going nowhere – Washington Post

They are the Hamas generation, raised under the firm hand of an Islamist militant movement. They are the survivors of three wars with Israel and a siege who find themselves as young adults going absolutely nowhere. In many circles in Gaza, it is hard to find anyonein their 20s with real employment, with a monthly salary. They call themselves a wasted generation. Ten years after Hamas seized control of Gaza, the economy in theseaside strip of 2million has been strangled by incompetence, war and blockade. Gaza today lives off its wits and the recycled scraps donated by foreign governments. Seven in 10 people rely on humanitarian aid. Young people say they are bored out of their minds. They worry that too many of their friends are gobbling drugs, not drugs to experience ecstasy but pills used to tranquilize animals, smuggled across Sinai. They dose onTramadol and smoke hashish. They numb. Hamas has recently stepped up executions of drug traffickers. Freedoms to express oneself are circumscribed. But the young people speak, a little bit. They say their leaders have failed them and that the Israelis and Egyptians are crushing them. Why not revolt? They laugh. It is very hard to vote the current government out there are no elections. To be honest with you, we do nothing, said Bilal Abusalah, 24, who trained to be a nurse but sometimes sells womens clothing. He has cool jeans, a Facebook page, a mobilephone and no money. He and his friends get by with odd jobs, a few hours here and there.They worked at cafesduring the busy evenings of Ramadan in June. They will help an uncle in his shoe shop as the school year approaches in August. They make $10 a day at these kinds of jobs, a few coins for coffee and cigarettes. We are the generation that waits, Abusalah said. Reporters asked a 25-year-old college graduate, who got his degree in public relations, what he did for a living. He answered, I stare into space. Raw sewage washes onto the beaches. The water looks blue at the horizon, where Israeli gunboats lurk, enforcing a six-mile blockade. But the surf line is a foamy brown. The rappers of Gaza see this as a metaphor. They are literally trapped in their own excrement. Most young people in Gaza have not been out, either through Israel, which is almost impossible, or through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, which has been mostly closed for the past four years. Electricity service is down to four hours a day. The young activists in the refugee camps who dared in January to protest power cuts? They were hustled off to jail. In the dusty gray cement-colored world of Gaza, now sputtering along on Chinese solar panels and Egyptian diesel, young people spend their days, day after day, playing with their phones, their worlds reduced to palm-size screens, to YouTube videos and endless chat. Unemployment for Gazas young adults hovers around 60percent. This is not just a dull World Bank number. This is a stunning number, the highest in the Middle East and among the worst rates in the world. Think-tank scholars warn that Egypts youth unemployment rate of 30percent is a ticking time bomb. In Gaza, the jobless rate for young people is double that. The Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says what happens in Gaza is all the fault of Hamas, a terrorist organization. Hamas leaders traditionally blame the Israeli blockade for their problems. Gaza is allowed no seaport, no airport and limited exports, mostly fruits and vegetables, alongside some furniture and textiles. Lately the pressure on the strip has only gotten worse, as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently slashed payments for Gazas electricity, to squeeze people to reject Hamas. Gazas young people describe their lives as a kind of sick experiment. The literacy rate in Gaza is 96.8percent, higher than in the West Bank. The Palestinian engineer was once the gold standard in the Middle East. In the past, immigration was the door to life. That door has slammed shut. Few get out of Gaza these days. Yet the universities of Gaza are still pumping out graduates by the thousands, even though the least likely person to find work in Gaza today is a college graduate, especially a woman. (Jason Aldag/The Washington Post) The most recent surveys reveal that half of the Gaza population wouldleave the enclave if given the chance. I dont believe it, said Mohammad Humaed, 24, who studied cinema at a university but works a couple of nights a week at a coffee shop in a refugee camp. All the young people would leave. Economists use the term de-development to describe what is happening. Young people in Gaza have a joke to say the same thing. They say their unemployed friends are driving the mattress, meaning they spend their daylight hours sprawled in bed. Two years ago, the United Nations warned that Gaza could become unlivable by 2020. U.N. officials recently said they had been overly optimistic: The place could collapse next year. There are tiny, discrete pockets of wealth in Gaza, if you know where to look, alongside a gritty middle class. The universities of Gaza are overflowing with students striving to join their ranks. This is the generation that grew up immersed in the rhetoric of the Hamas version of the Palestinian resistance, a moralistic message of piety and opposition to Israel hammered home in Hamas-controlled mosques and military-style summer camps for children and teens, who were taught first aid and how to throw a grenade. But in many interviews, in their torn-just-so jeans and fresh white sneakers, Gazas young people today say they would rather fight for a job in Tel Aviv than fight Israelis. If the borders were open, Id work in Israel in a minute. I got absolutely no problem with that. Everybody would work in Israel, said Iyad Abu Heweila, 24, who graduated with a degree in English education two years ago but now spends his days hanging out. I have no achievements, he said. Heweila asked if he could make a confession. I know its bad, but sometimes I wonder, if theres another war with Israel, maybe there would be work for translators? Heweila asked. That is sick, I know. I tell you this to show how desperate we feel, he said. I want a job. I want money. I want to start my life. Yearning for the outside world This summer the nights are inky dark, now that power service has been reduced to three or four hours a day. Every evening a group of friends gather on a rooftop. They sit on cheap plastic chairs or pieces of cement block. It is cooler up there. The night sea breeze rattles the fronds of date palms, and you can hear some Hamas official on a radio program playing in a nearby apartment. Nobody on the roof pays any attention. Asked what he did that day, Ahmed Abu Duhair, 25, said he slept until late afternoon. He lives for the night. Just talking, laughing, smoking on the roof to make us a little bit happy before we die, Duhair said. We are closer than brothers, he explained, as they passed the water pipe around and took deep huffs of apple-spiced tobacco. Were not lazy guys. Weve been working since we were kids. They began to tell stories about their first jobs, selling cigarette lighters in traffic, helping vendors at the market. Asked how old they were then, they answered they were 8 or 9 or 10. They were envious of their friend Tamer al-Bana, 23, the only one among them who was married. Bana has two young children and a third on the way. He had to borrow $7,000 from a relative to wed, a debt that would take him years to pay off. If the young men on the roof are desperate, so too are college graduates. Mona Abu Shawareb, 24, graduated with a degree in psychology a year ago but hasnt gotten her diploma yet because she owes the university money. Shawareb tries hard to keep busy. She takes free English classes at a Turkish charity; she volunteers at an organization that works with street youth; she did an internship with the U.N. refugee agency and learned Microsoft Word and Excel. But like many unemployed young people here, she lives on the Internet, feeding friends and followers a stream of updates on Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and Snapchat. Like most women in Gaza, Shawareb dresses conservatively when she leaves the house. But she confessed that when she looks at the Internet and sees women in the West running in athletic clothes, I feel envious, she said. I want to jog. Mohammad al-Rayyas, 25, said his heart aches for Cairo, where he received a degree in accounting. In the two years hes been back home in Gaza, his life has stalled. It is more than boring, he said, struggling to find the words. It is very slow. The time. It seems different here. He has tried to find work in his field at businesses, banks, international aid agencies. No luck. No wasta. You know what wasta is? It is an Arabic word that, loosely translated, means connections or clout, and it often underscores a system plagued by corruption or nepotism. Rayyas is unique among his contemporaries.Hes traveled, hes gotten a taste, hes lived abroad. It is a cliche to call Gaza an open-air prison, but to many people it feels not only as if there is no way out, but also that the walls are closing in. Gaza is just 24 miles long on the coastline less than the length of a marathon. At its narrowest it is just four miles, an hours walk. The enclave is surrounded by Israeli perimeter fence, bristling with cameras, watch towers and remote-controlled machine guns. On the Egyptian border, once honeycombed with Hamas smuggling tunnels, there is now a broad buffer zone, scraped clean by bulldozers, as forbidding as a no mans land. And the sea? Gaza fishermen are blocked by Israeli gunboats and forbidden to venture beyond six miles. For young people, the sea that once brought relief is now so polluted by untreated human waste that the Health Ministry has warned bathers to stay away. Many young men in Gaza try to expend their energy playing sports. Rayyas even more so. He awakes at 5each morning in his bed in his familys apartment and goes out to run six miles along the corniche. In the afternoons, he rides a bicycle his father bought for him. Many days, he pedals all the way to the Egyptian border. Before turning back, Rayyas imagines what it would be like if the border gates magically opened. He said hed pedal all the way to Cairo. Read more: A rare journey from Gaza to Jerusalem stirs memories for these Palestinians A Palestinians daily commute through an Israeli checkpoint Todays coverage from Post correspondents around the world Like Washington Post World on Facebook and stay updated on foreign news

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NGO says Israel banning Gazans from traveling with laptops – The Times of Israel

Palestinians say Egypts Sissi nearly reconciled Hamas, Fatah Hamas last month agreed to a reconciliation deal with the Palestinian Authoritys ruling Fatah party brokered by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, but the initiative was met by a counteroffer by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, according to reports in Arab media. Sissi presented Abbas with the deal when the two met in early July in Cairo amid spiraling tensions between the terrorist group and its West Bank-based rival, Fatah. The deal included Hamas dissolving a committee it formed to administer tasks historically carried out by the PA, as well as a commitment by Abbas to end harsh measures he has levied against Gaza in recent months, which include reductions in electricity supply, medical aid and governmental salaries for residents of the Strip. Unnamed Palestinian sources tell the London-based al-Hayat daily that Abbas initially accepted Sissis offer, but quickly reneged and instructed his intelligence Majid Faraj to present Hamas with a counteroffer. The Gaza-based new site Safa also quoted unnamed Palestinian officials who confirmed the report. Hamas responded to Farajs offer by publicly announcing its own demands for any reconciliation deal. Dov Lieber

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Israel offers asylum to Iranian journalist in Turkey – Jewish Telegraphic Agency

JERUSALEM (JTA) Israel has offered asylum to an Iranian journalist who has been working for an Israeli news website from Turkey. Turkey recently informed journalist Neda Amin, who writes for the Times of Israel news website, that she would be deported in the coming days to Iran, which she fled three years ago. She could face the death penalty in Iran. The Jerusalem Association of Journalists and the Union of Journalists in Israel asked Israels Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to offer her sanctuary in Israel. Deri said in a statement he would issue Amin a special visa. This journalist faces real danger to her life only because she wrote columns for an Israeli news site. Under these clear humanitarian circumstances, I approved her entry without hesitation, he said.

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Rights group: Israel bans Gazans from traveling with laptops – ABC News

A rights group says Israel has imposed new travel restrictions on Palestinians, preventing them from leaving blockaded Gaza with laptops. The ban also applies in the opposite direction an Associated Press reporter was barred Sunday from taking his laptop into Gaza. Cogat, an Israeli defense body, referred questions to the Shin Bet security service. The Shin Bet says it is not aware of a laptop ban and will look into the matter. The Israeli group Gisha, which advocates for greater freedom of movement for Gazans, says it was informed by Cogat last week that Gazans can no longer carry electronic devices, except mobile phones, when leaving the territory. Israel and Egypt have enforced severe Gaza travel restrictions since the 2007 takeover of the territory by the Islamic militant Hamas.

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Indian PM’s security goes to the (Israeli) dogs – The Times of Israel

Post-army Israelis have long made India a favorite destination after completing their service, but another kind of IDF veteran has also been heading to the south Asian nation attack and sniffer dogs trained by the armys Oketz canine unit. Over the past year India has taken delivery of some 30 security dogs to amplify protection for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top figures, The Telegraph India reported Saturday. A security official, not named in the report, explained that because of a heightened threat perception, we wanted to beef up the Prime Ministers security. They are part of the Israeli defense forces ace canine unit, he added. The official would not discuss the cost of the dogs, but local Israeli media estimated in the past that each pooch costs tens of thousands of dollars to train. Illustrative photo: A soldier in the IDFs elite canine unit, Oketz. (photo credit: Omer Messinger/Flash90) The dogs, trained for attack and bomb-sniffing duties, will join the Special Protection Group tasked with security of senior officials, former prime ministers, and members of their families, the report said. The new four-legged recruits to the SPG are considered the best in the world in sniffing out explosive booby-traps, another senior security official told the paper. The dogs Labradors, German shepherds, Belgian Malinois dogs and a fourth rare breed the source would not identify are also considered very effective in combat, the source said. The SPGs home-trained sniffer dogs come from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, which has a dog-training center at Bhanu in Chandigarth. Training lasts for 24 weeks, and the program churns out 24 dogs every six months. An ITBP official explained that Israel is also helping us upgrade the dog-training center. In July Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. The two countries have cooperated on a range of defense projects. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) bids farewell to his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at Ben Gurion International Airport on June 6, 2017. (Kobi Gideo/GPO)

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