Bloomberg - Jeffrey Goldberg: John Kerry Is Israel's Best Friend

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gave a passionately pro-Israel speech this past weekend at the Saban Forum in Washington. On matters concerning Israel's security, its international legitimacy and its demographic future, he showed himself to be a true friend. There are people in Israel -- there were people at the Willard Hotel, where Kerry gave the speech, in fact -- who did not consider this speech pro-Israel, but they are deluding themselves.

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Yuval Diskin Speech to Geneva Initiative 10 Year Conference - Leading the Way to Peace

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On Wednesday the 4 December the Geneva Initiative held a conference "10 Years to the Geneva Initiative: Leading the Way to Peace". Here is the text of Yuval Diskin, former Head of the ISA's speech, which received very wide media coverage

Good evening and Happy Festival of the lights,
During this important event marking ten years to the Geneva Initiative, I would like to focus on three issues.

The first: Why the "two states for two peoples" option may fade and disappear in the near future.
Second: Why it is vital to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the near future on the basis of the two states for two people option.
Third: What needs to be done to succeed in this difficult mission.

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APN's Ori Nir at Haaretz: Palestinian resistance shouldn't mean shutting out Israelis

We Israelis often complain that 'there is no one to talk to.' But for many young Palestinians, Israelis are a lost cause - and anti-normalization means there is less interaction than ever to prove this wrong.

By Ori Nir

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Peace Now's Yariv Oppenheimer in Walla: Netanyahu has no place at Mandela's funeral

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The Israeli right's eulogies for the South African freedom fighter ranged from unawareness to hypocrisy. Even if there is not full symmetry between apartheid and the occupation, Israel still stands for everything Mandela fought against

Why aren't the Netanyahus going to Nelson Mandela's funeral? The reason is surely not the high costs of the flight (after all, the budget for the couple's attendance of Thatcher's funeral was found without difficulty) nor a sudden fit of humility. Yet still, the Prime Minister is looking for any excuse to avoid standing next to the world's leaders to pay last respects to the man who fought and defeated the apartheid regime - and he knows why.

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Step by Step toward Shalom with Iran

Rabbi Arthur Waskow has authored a call to the Jewish community to support peace with Iran, stating in part:

"We welcome warmly the greatly increased possibility of a peaceful resolution of the conflicts among the US, Iran, Israel, and other nations.
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The confluence of Thanksgiving and Chanukah seems to have brought more than the usual rush of madness to Chanukah, which has become a major holiday in the United States by virtue of its usual proximity to Christmas.

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Dissent - Jo-Ann Mort: The War That Never Ended

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Review by Jo-Ann Mort

Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers
Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation
by Yossi Klein Halevi
Harper Collins, 2013, 608 pp.

Growing up in Borough Park, Brooklyn, Yossi Klein Halevi was a devotee of the ultra-rightist rabbi Meier Kahane, an experience he chronicled in an honest autobiography, Memoirs of a Jewish Extremist. But after moving to Jerusalem in 1982, he broke from this hardcore and hateful ideology to become one of Israel's most generous-minded journalists and analysts. Once a fellow at the right-wing, Sheldon Adelson-supported Shalem Center, he now resides at the more ecumenical Shalom Hartman Institute as part of a special unit that promotes deeper understanding of Israeli society to the Diaspora Jewish community. Click here for more

YNet -Yuval Diskin: Prevent the next big explosion

Op-ed: To prevent a 'Palestinian spring' Israel must create hope, and prisoner release is part of that

The Arab Spring did not bring, as of yet, stability to any country in which it occured, but it did bring forth a new gospel that's impossible to ignore - the gospel of "The democracy of the masses, and not necessarily of the majority." Mideast nations suddenly realized their strength and their ability to cause coups and change regimes. The public realized that if there's a critical mass of displeased people - even if they are not, by definition, a majority - the regime will struggle to rule.

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Yedioth Ahronoth: "Words Kill" by Mirit Danon

(Translated to English and provided by Israel News Today)

I want to tell you a few personal words. Words written from my heart.

Let me introduce myself briefly: I was the personal secretary of five prime ministers. Almost half of the prime ministers in Israel since its establishment. For many years, I sat next door to the prime minister, and I saw a lot. Mostly, I heard.

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+972 Seth Morrison- Lying by omission: The JNF's role in setting Negev land policy

The Jewish National Fund has in the past been caught lying about its role in East Jerusalem evictions of Palestinians. Now its role in Israeli land policy in the Negev is revealed to be much larger than it admits. A former JNF board member demands the organization take responsibility for its actions.

For many years the Jewish National Fund (KKL/JNF), the group known largely for planting trees in Israel, has denied any involvement in taking Bedouin land as part of its efforts to Judaize the Negev. Its website says, "KKL-JNF develops land only in areas designated in the master plans as instructed by, and as requested by the ILA (Israel Land Authority), which are state lands or KKL-JNF lands."

Putting it simply, they were just taking orders.

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