Water Blues

by Lizabeth Zack
published in MER276

Two quiet but revealing developments related to Middle East water were announced in the spring and summer of 2015. On February 26, Israeli and Jordanian officials signed an agreement to begin implementation of the long-awaited and controversial Red Sea-Dead Sea Water Conveyance Project. And, on June 9, a civil society-based coalition led by EcoPeace, a regional environmental NGO, released the first ever Regional Master Plan for Sustainable Development in the Jordan Valley. The two schemes represent very different approaches to solving water problems in the region—the first is an old-school engineering fix requiring massive new infrastructure, while the second is a river restoration project rooted in sustainable development principles.

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Operation Protective Edge

The War Crimes Case Against Israel’s Leaders

by Michael Thomas | published October 26, 2015

For 51 days in July and August 2014, Israel conducted a military operation in Gaza known as Protective Edge. It was the third major Gaza operation by the Israeli armed forces in seven years, and by far the most lethal and destructive. Some 2,205 Palestinians, including 722 militants and over 500 children, and 70 Israelis (64 of whom were soldiers) were killed. Thousands of Palestinians were wounded; over 18,000 of their homes were destroyed; some 470,000 were displaced; and large areas of Gaza were essentially razed.

Where Is Israel in the Refugee Crisis?

by Callie Maidhof , Michael Fin | published September 28, 2015 - 2:54pm

Last week, SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum and Mayor Talal Al-Krenawi of the Negev Bedouin city Rahat issued a joint statement offering the absorption of 1,000 refugees from Syria, who would be supported by employment at the new SodaStream factory in nearby Idan haNegev.

From the Editors

by The Editors
published in MER107

Events since early June, and specifically the Reagan administration’s complete support for and identification with Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, accentuates the long-standing need to mobilize popular opposition to US policy in the Middle East. The possibilities for such efforts now exist to a greater degree than ever before. Polls show a majority of Americans oppose the invasion. Public attitudes at this moment are far ahead of the politicians and the media.

Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue

Report from the West Bank

by Salim Tamari
published in MER111

One of the lesser known aspects of Palestinian politics over the last eight years has been the steadily growing contacts between a number of Palestinian and Israeli progressive groups and individuals in the occupied territories. Though unreported, those contacts have not always been clandestine. They have involved a much wider circle than more publicized meetings between the small leftist parties on both sides of the “green line,” such as Matzpen and the Communist Party.

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Sharon and Eitan After Sabra and Shatila

published in MER115

Ariel Sharon: “These Years Have Been Exciting”

What is your assessment of the week? Victory, defeats, the end of a career, of an ambition?

You can make the assessment yourself; there is no doubt that it was tough, but the fact is that I am still a government member.

Is that so important?

Very important. Not the personal aspect but the political implication. I do not deny that these years in the cabinet have been exciting; taking decisions, doing things, creating new situations. But that is not the most important thing. I wanted to remain a member of the government to promote the cause which I regard as most important—the cause of Eretz Israel.

The Kahan Report: Mossad and the Massacres

by Konrad Ege
published in MER115

The final report of the Kahan Commission shows the extent to which the Lebanese Phalangists and Major Sa’ad Haddad’s “Free Lebanon” forces are little more than hired hands in the eyes of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and the intelligence agency, Mossad. The Israeli government decides and the Phalangists perform. The Kahan report is quite unambiguous about this hierarchical relationship.

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The Kahan Report: The Commission and the Evidence

by Uri Avnery
published in MER115

I will begin at the end; I am not satisfied by the report of the commission of inquiry....

I have great respect for the three members of the commission. They did an excellent job. The conclusions were reached according to their conscience and understanding. They added honor to Israeli democracy and to the rule of the law. I say this without reservation.

However, the three could not be and perhaps did not want to be free of certain preconceptions, which guided them. All three are members of the establishment—two supreme court justices and one general in the IDF—and they judged as members of the establishment. When two alternatives lay before them, it appears that more than once they discarded in advance the more severe one.

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The Kahan Report: Banishing the Palestinian Ordeal

by Richard Falk
published in MER115

If politics is the art of the possible, then the impact of the Kahan Commission Report has to be understood as “beyond politics,” Israel’s final victory in the Lebanon war is not the expulsion of the PLO or even the extension of its sovereign reach to challenge Lebanese territorial and political independence. The full measure of Israel’s victory is rather its vindication, despite all, as a moral force in the region—as a superior state, especially as compared to its Arab rivals.

US Aid to Israel

The Censored GAO Report

by Joe Stork , Martha Wenger
published in MER117

The General Accounting Office (GAO), often referred to as “the congressional watchdog agency,” began a full-scale investigation of US aid to Israel in early 1982, without any public announcement or official congressional sponsor. The report was completed in early 1983 and circulated to the relevant government agencies for comment, as is customary. These included the State and Defense Departments, the Agency for International Development (AID) and the Central Intelligence Agency. The Israeli Embassy also had the opportunity to review the text, on the grounds that some information had been obtained from classified Israeli sources.