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Allan C. Brownfeld, Editor
Special Interest Report
August 2023

Writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz (June 25, 2023), commentator Gideon  
Levy, argues that “There aren’t many populations in the world as helpless as the  
Palestinians who live in their own country. No one protects their lives and  
property, let alone their dignity and no one intends to do so. They are totally  
abandoned to their fates, as is their property. Their houses and cars can be  
torched, their fields set on fire. It’s all right to shoot them mercilessly,  
killing old people and babies, with no defense forces at their side. No police,  
no military, no one.”  
Levy notes that, “Amid the utter chaos created by the occupation, the ban on  
Palestinians defending themselves is one of the craziest rules; it’s an accepted  
norm that isn’t even discussed. Why aren’t the Palestinians allowed to defend  
themselves, who exactly is supposed to do it for them? Why, when talking about  
‘security,’ it’s only about Israel’s security? Palestinians have more victims of  
assaults, bloodshed, pogroms, and violence—-and no defensive tools at their  
Since the beginning of the year, Levy points out, “35 pogroms have been carried  
out by settlers; around 160 Palestinians have been killed by soldiers, the vast  
majority of them unnecessarily and most of them criminally. From baby Mohammed  
Tajikistan to the elderly Omar As’ad, Palestinians have been killed for no  
In early July, a massive military operation, described by The Forward (July 5,  
2023) as “the fiercest attack on the occupied West Bank in nearly two decades,”  
killed at least 12 Palestinians, including 3 children, and at least 120 were  
injured in the raid on Jenin. The Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the  
operation as “open war against the people of Jenin.” Haaretz (July 22, 2023)  
reports that two former U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Dan Kurtzer and Martin Indyk,  
both of whom are Jewish, called on the Biden Administration to cut U.S. aid to  
Israel “while Israel pursues policies we oppose,” in Kurtzer’s words. **

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