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Another Israeli Summer Of Occupation, Apathy

US Secretary of State John Kerry's failure to restart negotiations is no surprise, in view of Israeli and Palestinian apathy and lack of public outcry. 
Israeli soldiers of the paratrooper brigade rest as they take a break during a march near Jerusalem, marking the completion of their advanced training, at the end of which they receive their red paratrooper beret June 27, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY) - RTX113ET
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Two main headlines ran in the news on June 30. One read, “Tensions Peak in Egypt as Mass Protest Nears,” while the other reported, “Despite Pressure by Kerry, No Headway on Renewing Negotiations.” Several hours later, the second headline was replaced online by a more categorical one: “Kerry Failed: Left Israel Without Summit Declaration.” The first headline remained unchanged.

These headlines reminded me of an article I once published in Israeli daily Haaretz, inspired by the revolt against former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (January 2011), which was spreading by means of the social media in Egypt. I asked, “Doesn’t the West Bank have Facebook?” I surmised that the reports on Al-Jazeera from the scene of rioting in Egypt would trigger thoughts of rebellion among unemployed Palestinians in the West Bank, whose numbers then constituted 16.5% of the workforce — as opposed to 9.7% in Egypt. I believed the day was near when thousands of Palestinian laborers, lining up in the early hours of the morning in cage-like facilities to cross into Israel and be granted a day’s work at Jewish construction sites, would take to the streets en masse. I predicted that they would bring about the ouster of “President” Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) and the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority (PA). I estimated that Palestinian students, like their friends in Tahrir Square, would not leave Al-Manara Square in Ramallah until they received the basic right reserved for every human being in a democratic society — the right to freedom.

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