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Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending ‘oppressive’ settlements

Here is another sign that what had been quiet disagreement between American Jews and Israel is breaking out in the open, thanks to the approaching jubilee year of the occupation. Citing “nearly half a century” of occupation, a former AIPAC official comes out for conditioning US aid to Israel on that country agreeing to freeze its illegal settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem. He says forthrightly that Israel’s “oppressive and discriminatory settlement policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem continue unabated.”

Greg Slabodkin, of Buffalo, is described as “a former opposition researcher for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee,” or AIPAC, in his piece in the Hill. The article is pegged to the news that the Obama administration is going to sign an aid package with Israel giving it $40 billion over ten years, “the biggest U.S. military aid package ever given to any country.”

Under Netanyahu’s watch, Israel clearly has no intention of ending its occupation. Consequently, the United States should be exerting pressure on Israel to persuade the Netanyahu government to abandon its settlement activities, not rewarding the Jewish state with increased military aid.

The Obama administration should make it clear that there are strings attached to U.S. aid and that Israel’s failure to comply with a settlement freeze will have financial penalties.

Slabodkin is for the two-state solution, but he repeatedly slams the “occupation.” Recall that the Democratic Party was incapable of even mentioning the occupation in its party platform.

His piece includes a jab at Netanyahu as a madman:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who recently formed the most right-wing government in Israel’s history, has driven U.S.-Israel relations to their lowest point in a generation by undermining the prospects for peace with the Palestinians by entrenching the Israeli occupation, which has lasted nearly half a century.

Clearly the Israeli discourse and the U.S. Jewish discourse are feeding one another here. Centrist Israeli Zionists like Moshe Ya’alon and Yitzhak Herzog have been so openly critical of the fascistic political culture in Israel that they are giving American Jews power to speak out.

Daniel Birnbaum, the American-born head of SodaStream, has also issued an attack on Netanyahu to the Times of Israel, saying that Netanyahu has encouraged the “evil manifestations” of the conflict between Palestinians and Jews.

It pains me to say that I believe this administration is nurturing the conflict in all its evil manifestations. They nurture the hate and the boycott and they nurture separatism.

Birnbaum says that Netanyahu made certain that 74 SodaStream workers could not get permits to travel from the West Bank to the Negev to work for his company so that Netanyahu could blame the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) for their unemployment.

Bibi [Netanyahu] is systematically spreading hate within Israel between Jews and Arabs and between Orthodox and secular.

With such a separatist track record, it’s no wonder that he won’t embrace a straightforward solution to lower the flames and build a bridge to coexistence. Apparently our 74 Palestinians represent a threat to his agenda.

This is very much what Yakov Hirsch wrote here some weeks ago, that Israelis are flipping out over Netanyahu’s nihilist Zionism, which offers no path to a peaceful future and embraces a fascistic ideology that Palestinians just want to kill Jews.

Yet another sign that Israel is cracking apart. Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called President Obama a Neville Chamberlain, for a deal the world made a year ago. What is Jeffrey Goldberg going to say?Schermata 2016 08 07 alle 17.20.26

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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