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Thursday, Aug 21st

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Israel provokes Palestinians and US by going ahead with new settlements

Benyamin NetanyahuIsrael provoked both the US and the Palestinians today by announcing plans to build 238 new housing units in East Jerusalem, a move that throws into doubt already fragile peace negotiations.

The 238 houses are in Pisgat Ze'ev and Ramot, both in East Jerusalem and both with predominantly Israeli residents. The Israeli government regards both as part of Israel but the Palestinians, and almost all of the international community, see them as illegal, built on Palestinian land occupied by Israeli in 1967.

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US to be watchful-Israel is the worst enemy of its friends

The arrest by the FBI of Elliot Doxer, a financial employee of the Cambridge-based Akamai Technologies, Inc. for trying to sell company secrets to officials of the Israeli Consulate in Boston has once again raised the profile of the firm that was also at the center of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

As is usually the case with Israeli espionage cases, the Justice Department documents filed in the case merely refer to Israel as “Country X.” The Justice Department reportedly said “Country X,” cooperated in the investigation of Doxer. However, the Justice Department does not indicate when “Country X’s” cooperation began. The US Attorney’s Office in Boston claims that Israeli consular officials cooperated with U.S. officials before accepting Doxer’s offer, but it does not indicate when the cooperation actually began — upon initital contact by Doxer or after a period of time subsequent to initial contact.

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Israel's 'loyalty oath' sets a vile precedent

It’s one of those head-in-hands, stomach churning moments, akin to when a lover finally shuts the door. You’re left in shock, beliefs awry. Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition of the extremes is about to pass into law an unprecedented loyalty oath - aimed at non-Jews only. New, non-Jewish citizens will have to swear allegiance to the “Jewish and democratic” state of Israel.

This is wrong on so many levels. Just for starters, the Jews of Europe were hounded through history and their loyalty questioned because they could not, in good faith, swear allegiance to Christian monarchies and states. Next, it  corrupts all the principles of liberal democracy, tolerance and minority rights.

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US to fund sale of F-35 jets to Israel

Tel Aviv's Defense Ministry Director General Udi Shani signed the agreement, worth nearly $3 billion, during a ceremony in New York on Thursday, Israeli daily Haaretz reports, noting that "the entire deal will be funded by the American military."

According to the deal, Israel will receive the attack aircrafts between 2015 and 2017, at a price of $96 million per plane, together with simulators and spare parts, with a total price tag of $2.75 billion. The deal also grants the Israeli regime the option of ordering 75 more jets.

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Two Israeli troops guilty of using human shield in Gaza

Israeli troops used human shieldAn Israeli military court has convicted two Israeli soldiers for using a Palestinian child as a human shield during an offensive in Gaza in 2009. The soldiers were found guilty of reckless endangerment and conduct unbecoming for forcing the nine-year-old boy to check suspected booby-traps.

It is reportedly the first such conviction in Israel - where the use of civilians as human shields is banned. The sentencing will be decided at a later date, the court said.

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Citing Israeli settlement-building, Palestinians rule out talks

Palestinians end peace talksThe Palestinian leadership on Saturday ruled out a resumption of peace talks without a halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, backing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a dispute that has imperiled recently renewed negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded by appealing to Abbas to continue the negotiations. "The way to achieve an historic peace agreement between our two nations is to sit around the negotiating table, seriously and continuously, and not to leave it, because that is the place to resolve our disagreements,'' he said in a statement.

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U.S. apologizes for Guatemala STD experiments

U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

Many of those infected were encouraged to pass the infection onto others as part of the study.

About one third of those who were infected never got adequate treatment.

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