VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 6 December 2011: Israeli government to relocate 2300 Bedouin in order to expand settlement

6 December 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settler Sentenced 3 Months Public Service For Repeatedly Ramming Palestinian
IMEMC – The Israeli District Court in Jerusalem sentenced a settler who rammed a wounded Palestinian with his vehicle, and drove his car over him back and forth, to three months “Public Service”. …

New Jerusalem Park To Be Built Mainly On Arab Land
IMEMC – The so-called Regional Construction and Planning Committee at the Jerusalem Municipality prepared a plan for the construction of a new “National Park” in Al Masharef Mountain (Mount Scopus area). Rights activists in Palestine and Israel said that the plan aims at preventing the development of Al Esawiyya and At-Tour Arab neighborhoods. …

Israeli government to relocate 2300 Bedouin in order to expand settlement
IMEMC – Israeli officials have announced a plan to displace twenty Bedouin Arab communities from their homes in the West Bank between Jerusalem and Jericho, and move the residents to a site along the Jerusalem municipal garbage dump. …

Troops Kidnap Four Palestinians Near Qalqilia
IMEMC – Israeli troops invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, Kufr Qaddoum village, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, broke into several homes, and kidnapped three residents. …

Army Invades Beit Hanoun
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers invaded, on Tuesday at dawn, an area east of Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, and opened fire at random, media sources in Gaza reported. …

Nine Palestinians Arrested Across the West Bank
IMEMC – On Monday, the Palestinian News and Information Agency (WAFA) reported the detention of nine Palestinians across the West Bank by the Israeli military. …

Ma’an News

Report: Israel plans park to block Issawiya expansion
12/6/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — A left-wing member of Israel’s Jerusalem city council says a plan for a new “national park” in the Mt Scopus area is a “ruse” to block development of two Palestinian neighborhoods. Meir Margalit of the Meretz party told Israel’s Haaretz daily that the park “is….

Soldiers ‘ransack minister’s office’
12/6/2011 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — A Hamas-affiliated lawyer said Israeli forces ransacked his offices early Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem. Fathi Qaraawi told Ma’an that soldiers broke down the main door before entering the office and confiscating all documents and computers inside….

Jerusalem lawmaker to be deported to Ramallah
12/6/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court on Tuesday ordered the deportation of a Palestinian lawmaker from Jerusalem to Ramallah, a statement from the Palestinian Legislative Council said. Ahmad Attoun, a Jerusalemite, was detained in front of the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Jerusalem in September. He had taken….

Medics: 4 injured as tunnel collapses in Gaza
12/6/2011 – GAZA (Ma’an) — Four Palestinians were injured Tuesday as a Rafah tunnel collapsed, medical official Adham Abu Salmiya told Ma’an. They were reported to be moderately injured at the Yousef Najjar hospital….

Israeli forces ‘arrest municipal council member’ near Nablus
12/6/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested a member of a local council near Nablus on Monday evening, local officials said. Soldiers detained Ali Tayyib Faraj, 28, at a flying checkpoint while he was heading to Ramallah, head of the Madama village municipal council Eyhab al-Qut told Ma’an. Israeli soldiers detained Faraj for….

Settlers ‘burn 3 cars’ in Hebron
12/6/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers from the illegal Gush Etzion settlement attacked Palestinian houses in Beit Ummar and set fire to three cars overnight, a local activist said. Muhammad Awad said the settlers damaged cars belonging to Habes Hussein Baragheeth and Suheil and Yousef Muhammad Hussein Baragheeth. The settlers also wrote racist slogans around….

Military court postpones hearing for jailed MP
12/6/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military court has postponed a hearing deciding on the extension of a Palestinian lawmaker’s administrative detention sentence, his attorney said. Jawad Bals said the hearing for Hussam Khader was postponed for two weeks as the court agreed to hear more testimony against his client. Khader says his….

Witnesses say Israeli military vehicles enter Gaza
12/6/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli military vehicles briefly entered the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday, crossing the border on the outskirts of Beit Hanoun, witnesses said. Locals told Ma’an that they saw military vehicles to the north of an agricultural college east of Beit Hanoun. Gunfire was heard in the area, locals….

Egyptian forces kill migrant trying to enter Israel
12/6/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — An man was shot dead and three others injured on Monday evening when Egyptian police opened fire on a group of migrants trying to enter Israel, Egyptian security officials said. Egyptian security sources told Ma’an that border police spotted four people along the border and fired warning shots….

Qaraqe in Brussels to appeal for prisoners
12/6/2011 – BRUSSELS (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe on Tuesday met with Member of the European Parliament Tokia Saifi in Brussels to discuss the plight of political prisoners. Qaraqe told Saifi, vice-chair of the committee on foreign affairs, that 23 Palestinian lawmakers were illegally imprisoned in Israel, a statement from the….

US backs envoy after ‘anti-Semitism’ remarks
12/6/2011 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama’s administration rejected Republican calls to fire the US ambassador to Belgium after he said that the Middle East conflict was partly to blame for anti-Semitism. Ambassador Howard Gutman, who is Jewish and the son of a Holocaust survivor, said in a speech that a new type of anti-Semitism….

Abbas aide: PA won’t yield to ‘extortion’
12/6/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority “will not yield to extortion,” presidential adviser Nimir Hammad said Tuesday of threats by Israeli officials to withhold Palestinian money again. Hammad’s comments followed reports in Israel that the government would refuse to pay Palestinian tax revenues if the PLO applied again for full UN membership….

Hezbollah head says building up weapons, backs Syria
12/6/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, whose backers Syria and Iran are at the center of heightened regional tension, made a rare public appearance on Tuesday marking the Shiite Muslim festival of Ashura and said his group was building up its arsenal. Surrounded by armed bodyguards, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah walked through a…. Related: Nasrallah in first public appearance since 2008

Gaza health minister says will not meet WHO chief
12/6/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The health minister in Gaza refused on Tuesday to meet the head of the World Health Organization in the occupied territories due to a WHO conference held in Jerusalem. Bassem Naim said he would not meet with Anthony Lawrence due to the WHO’s refusal to reschedule a conference….

Former security officers ‘fired after entering Gaza’
12/6/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority has fired 107 formerly Gaza-based security officers after they reentered the coastal enclave without seeking authorization from Egypt, officials said Tuesday. Several dozen of the fired officers protested in the Sinai town of el-Arish, outside a police station, while others joined a sit-in at the Palestinian embassy….

PFLP officials meet Egypt’s Brotherhood in Cairo
12/6/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine met with Muslim Brotherhood officials in Cairo on Tuesday, a PFLP official said. Muhammad Badi stressed on the need for stability in Egypt, and applauded the people’s self-direction. He said the Palestinian people should unite on a….

Abbas handed report on financial disclosures
12/7/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Rafiq Natsheh, head of the Anti-Corruption Commission, on Tuesday handed President Mahmoud Abbas a financial disclosure report as part of his regular updates, officials said. During a meeting at the presidential headquarters, Abbas stated that “we are committed to establishing a Palestinian state that is on the path of transparency, accountability….

Fatah central committee meets in Ramallah
12/6/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Fatah central committee met Tuesday and confirmed its position on waiting until Israel freezes settlements before reentering negotiations, in a meeting attended by the president. Mahmoud Abbas oversaw the meeting in which party officials agreed that in order to return to talks with Israel, it should halt settlements and accept….

Suspects in ‘honor’ killing deny charges
12/6/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Four men accused of the honor killing of 20-year-old Ayah Ibrahim Baradiyya, whose remains were found in May 2011, told a jury on Monday that their confession was obtained through torture. The four men, an uncle and three other relatives of the victim, were attending the first court hearing in….

Israel arrests troops for anti-Palestinian vandalism
12/6/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Three Israeli soldiers were arrested Tuesday for suspected involvement in pro-settler vandalism and arson, the military said, following a series of attacks in the West Bank that have exacerbated tensions with Palestinians. Mosques have been torched, graffiti daubed, and Palestinian trees chopped down in the “Price Tag” attacks, so called because they seek….

Nasrallah in first public appearance since 2008
12/6/2011 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Lebanon’s Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made his first public appearance since 2008 on Tuesday, appearing before a frenzied crowd in his stronghold on the occasion of the Shiite commemoration of Ashura. Nasrallah spoke to the crowd of thousands for only a few minutes in the southern suburbs of Beirut before being…. Related: Hezbollah head says building up weapons, backs Syria

Syria ‘accepts’ observers as 34 bodies dumped
12/6/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria said it conditionally accepts observers as part of an Arab plan, as a rights group reported militiamen loyal to the regime killed 34 civilians and dumped their bodies in a city square. The Arab League, which has threatened to impose new sanctions on Damascus if it fails to comply with the plan….

In photos: Shiite Muslims mark religious festival of Ashura
12/6/2011 – Reuters – Shiite Muslims in Iraq, Bahrain, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, Burma and Pakistan beat themselves during Ashura with steel-tipped flails or slash their bodies with knives to mark the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, who was killed in the battle of Karbala in Iraq in the year 680. The mourning festival….

Libya claims arrest of 400 ‘illegal immigrants’
12/6/2011 – TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya on Monday said its forces had prevented more than 400 Africans from illegally emigrating to Italy when they intercepted a boat off the coast of the North African country.” Despite a lack of means, we were able to prevent illegal immigration of people who were heading for Italy,” interim Interior Minister Fawzi….

Clinton urges Syria opposition to respect minorities
12/6/2011 – GENEVA (Reuters) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the Syrian opposition on Tuesday to build a society based on rule of law and respect for minority rights so that Syria is no longer subject to “the whims of a dictator”. Clinton delivered the message as she met six members of the Syrian National Council….

Dubai ruler: Iran unlikely to get nuclear weapons
12/6/2011 – DUBAI (Reuters) — Dubai’s ruler said he does not believe Iran will get nuclear weapons, despite Western suspicions that it is trying to develop them, saying it would face devastation if it ever used an atomic bomb against its arch-enemy Israel. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful but a United Nations watchdog issued….

Aljazeera

Obama backs envoy after Israel remarks
AlJazeera 6 Dec 2011 – President’s opponents called for US envoy to Belgium to be fired over comments linking Israeli actions to anti-Semitism.

Palestine News Network

PLO: 2,900 New Settlement Units and 8,900 Stolen Dunums in November
PNN – PNNThe Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Department of International Relations said in its monthly report on Thursday that in November, Israeli forces confiscated 8,912 dunums of land (a dunum is about a quarter…

Israeli Forces Demolish House in Jerusalem, Seven Arrested in Bethlehem, Qalqiliya
PNN – PNNOn Tuesday, Israeli bulldozers demolished a 70- foot-square house in al-Khalaylyieh neighborhood of al-Jeeb village, northwest of Jerusalem. The Israeli forces claimed that the house, belonging to Khames al-Dadu, had been built…

MADA Condemns “Flagrant Violations” Against Media Freedoms in Gaza
PNN – MADAThe Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expresses its deep concern over the serious violations against media freedoms committed by security forces in the Gaza Strip over the past two…

International Solidarity Movement

Breaking the Silence: An interview with Yehuda Shaul
12/6/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Alistair George, 6 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – “If you don’t look nice, you don’t spend too many hours in front of the mirror,”  says Yehuda Shaul,  one of the founders and Executive Directors of Israeli NGO, Breaking the Silence.”What we demand of our society is to…. Related: Breaking the Silence

Commemorating the anniversary of the First Intifada in the no go zone
12/6/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Nathan Stuckey, 6 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, Gaza – Twenty four years ago, on December 9, 2011 a revolution began.   The revolution began in Gaza, it was the First Intifada.   After twenty years of Israeli occupation Palestinian resistance exploded in full force.   Boycotts, demonstrations, tax refusal, all of these were the strategies of the….

Family fears their son is dying within Israeli prison
12/6/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Alistair George, 6 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Mohammad Awad is a 16 year old Palestinian boy, he is in an Israeli jail and he is gravely ill – his family believe that he is not receiving the right treatment and that he may be dying. As they sit in their house in….

Home Demolitions: Child dragged out by his throat
12/6/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Sarah, 5 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – On Monday the 5th of December, in the Azzun district of Qalqiliya, a stone factory was destroyed at 6:00 am. The owner, Hussain Anam, explained to us that the factory was built 3 years ago, but his only demolition notice was when the bulldozer….

Israel continues wave of West Bank housing demolitions in East Jerusalem
12/6/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Wahed Rejol, 6 December 2011 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Following the violent demolitions in  Qalqiliya yesterday, and in Beit Hannina and Silwan on Sunday, Israel continued its displacement of Palestinians throughout the West Bank today in occupied East Jerusalem. On the day Israel announced a plan to forcibly remove 2300 Palestinians from their homes, a demolition team…. Related: Home Demolitions: Child dragged out by his throat and Guardian: Israel to forcibly remove bedouin communities in settlements push

Alternative Information Center

Palestinian journalists’ freedom of speech in Israel threatened by security forces
Alternative Information Center – A new report published by the I’lam Center highlights the difficulties Palestinian journalists face inside of Israel. According to the research, such journalists, who are citizens of Israel, contend with restrictions on their freedom of speech…

New AIC Jerusalem fact sheet
Alternative Information Center – The Alternative Information Center’s new fact sheet on Jerusalem details the Israeli government’s attempts to Judaicize the city, to break apart Palestinian communities, to create isolated Palestinian enclaves—building physical and psychic barriers against Palestinian self-determination

Relief Web

Israel: Jerusalem: ICRC urges Israeli authorities to rescind expulsion order
Relief Web 6 Dec 2011 – Source: ICRC Country: Israel , occupied Palestinian territory Geneva/Jerusalem (ICRC) – Ahmed Attoun, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was forcibly transferred to Ramallah by the Israeli authorities on 06 December. He staged a sit-in on the premises of the…

The National

Hizbollah leader Nasrallah in public show of strength
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Analysts say his speech demonstrates group’s power despite the pressure on his ally in Syria.

Kuwait emir dissolves parliament citing ‘deteriorating conditions’
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Kuwait’s ruler dissolved parliament and set the nation towards elections within 60 days.

A tin ear during a shifting political landscape leaves Israel in fearful isolation
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Analysis: The US defence secretary’s stern words to Israel were not only extraordinary given their timing but indicate how Washington now views its obdurate ally as a hindrance to the role of the Obama administration in the region.

Ahmadinejad emerges as an unlikely ally as Iran lauds the Occupy movement protests
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Iran’s hardline regime is revelling in the Occupy Wall Street Movement, proclaiming the “American awakening” heralds the collapse of western capitalism.

Al Qaeda exploits Iraq’s orphans for a new army of militants
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Neglected and often brutalised by war, some of Iraq’s orphans have grown up to become today’s most dangerous and committed insurgents, according to intelligence officials.

Fewer people go to the polls in Egyptian run-off elections
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Analysts worried that the low turnout represents growing apathy among voters towards a convoluted electoral process for both houses of parliament that will last until March.

Hizbollah chief makes rare public address in Beirut
The National 6 Dec 2011 – Hassan Nasrallah said he will arm his fighters more heavily than ever after making his first public appearance since 2008 before a frenzied crowd in the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Ha’aretz

Palestinian militant killed, 2 wounded in Israeli airstrike on mortar crews
Ha’aretz – IDF pledges to ‘continue to take action against those (who) use terror against the state of Israel.’

AG to Netanyahu: Bills targeting rights groups’ funds are unconstitutional
Ha’aretz – ‘If these bills become law, I won’t be able to defend them against the petitions that will be submitted to the High Court,’ Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein warns government.

Former President Katsav to enter Israeli prison following rape conviction
Ha’aretz – Former minister Shlomo Benizri to be cell mate in religious wing of Ramle jail.

In legal precedent, Israel court stops demolition of unrecognized Bedouin village
Ha’aretz – Kiryat Gat magistrate’s court urges state to provide systematic solution to Bedouin issue in the Negev, adding that a balance must be reached between public interests and legitimate Bedouin claims of ownership.

IDF soldiers arrested over link to ‘price tag’ attacks in West Bank
Ha’aretz – Detention of 3 soldiers come 2 days after 7 female Jewish settlers were arrested on suspicion of vandalizing army property and damaging Palestinian-owned trees.

Barak, IDF Chief caught on tape joking about women, demand tape not be aired
Ha’aretz – Defense Minister and IDF Chief Benny Gantz joke about the controversial issue of women singing in the army; Gantz to Channel 2 reporter: If you air this, it will be your last piece.

Tom Dine / U.S. shouldn’t ‘zero-out’ Israel defense aid
Ha’aretz – Anyone who has a clue about our relationship with Israel understands that a robust, wide-ranging foreign aid program benefits U.S. interests in the region.

Hollywood star: Tel Aviv is the ‘most intense’ party town
Ha’aretz – In late-night interview with Conan O’Brien, actress Claire Danes says speculates that Israel’s tense environment may mean that Israelis need to ‘blow off some steam.’

Israel expels Hamas lawmaker from Jerusalem to West Bank
Ha’aretz – Ahmad Attoun, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, spent 70 days in an Israeli jail for being illegally present in the city.

UAE leader: Israel would destroy Iran if attacked
Ha’aretz – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum discards concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program, saying Iran has no use for such weapons.

Katsav in last day before onset of prison sentence: I have no regrets
Ha’aretz – Former presidents’ friends say do no fear Katsav would attempt to harm himself in prison, saying his was ‘a strong man.’

Israeli resident doctors to vote on deal to end health system crisis
Ha’aretz – Agreement with Finance Ministry would give every resident a grant of NIS 60,000 in two stages, and young resident doctors to get more pay for evening and night shifts.

Public Israeli channel holds rush meeting following airing of ‘demeaning’ segment
Ha’aretz – A studio item showcasing a young woman milking a goat goes viral, embarrassing the heads of Israeli Educational Television; channel official: It wasn’t the brightest editorial decision.

Rare flock of singing swans spotted in Northern Israel
Ha’aretz – The last time singing swans were spotted in Israel was in 2001; They are named so for their loud call, which is used for courting and to strengthen the ties between the adults and the young.

Education Ministry officials suspected of taking bribes from Israeli yeshiva
Ha’aretz – Two officials suspected of taking money in exchange for accepting inflated student lists, increasing the yeshiva’s monthly budget allocation.

Israeli author kicked off literary panel after request by Palestinian colleague
Ha’aretz – In the previous two years the conference had been held in Marseilles, Palestinian writers had refused to come because there were Israeli participants.

Jerusalem Post

Gantz apologizes for joke about female soldiers
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – On tour of Golan Heights, defense minister and IDF chief of staff crack joke at the expense of female soldiers serving on the border.

Two indicted for ordering stabbing in land dispute
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Haim Gavrieli and his alleged accomplice Eitan Buzaglo indicted in Neve Tzedek crime.

Peres meets with cycling champions
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, in Israel to establish a cycling school for children, meets with President Shimon Peres.

Court saves unrecognized Beduin village
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Unprecedented ruling revokes demolition orders, will prevent razing of 51 buildings in Beduin village of al-Sira in Negev.

Iran: There won’t be repeat of UK embassy attack
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Salehi denies gov’t behind storming; says he expressed regret to UK’s Hague over incident, but British actions angered Iranians.

Report: Saudi Arabia to consider acquiring nukes
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Prince Turki al-Faisal tells Riyadh security forum of “duty” to consider nuclear weapons in face of regional arms race.

Syria claims Turkey aiding ‘terrorist’ infiltrators
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Official Syrian media claims Turkish military aided wounded “armed terrorists” beaten back at border by Syrian forces.

Barak, Gantz joke at expense of women soldiers
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – On tour of Golan Heights, defense minister and IDF chief of staff crack joke at the expense of female soldiers serving on the border.

Defense Ministry mulls permanent Haifa Iron Dome
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Vilnai says rocket defense system integral part of defending oil refineries which are critical for economy at war time.

‘Egypt army to give new PM extra powers’
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – New PM Ganzouri says army to issue decree “within hours”; move could anger civilians already unhappy with his appointment.

Vilnai: We’re considering deploying Iron Dome in Haifa
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Home Front defense minister meets with Oil Refineries heads, says that Iron Dome rocket defense system is integral part of defending refineries which are critical during times of emergency.

Barak: Israel tracking Hezbollah arms transfers
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Shi’ite organization trying to move advanced weaponry from Syria to Lebanon to prevent its capture by Assad opposition.

Nasrallah: We’re building up our arsenal
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Hezbollah leader, who has been in hiding since 2006, greets crowds in Beirut; shows support for Syria’s Assad.

Man convicted of aiding in yeshiva student’s murder
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Ohayon’s body was never found; prosecution asks court to impose 14-year prison sentence on Amiel – he won’t be sentenced until 2012.

George Katz – a Mahal pilot who helped El Al take off
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Appreciation: We were more like brothers than friends. I shall miss him and his great sense of humor.

‘His name is engraved in pantheon of IAF’
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Syd Cohen (1921-2011) Israeli aviation great who stepped up in the dark days of ’48, passed away Thursday.

Ministry ‘tampering’ with Jerusalem master plan
Jerusalem Post 6 Dec 2011 – Municipality: New clause would concentrate on undeveloped hills, not existing neighborhoods.

Knesset to discuss suicide prevention as rates drop
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2011 – Suicide rate is higher among recent immigrants due to their stresses and possibly loneliness.

Slaying nets 20 years for former wrestling champion
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2011 – Sergey Shitznin left elderly money changer to die after beating and robbing him.

Police disbanding of anti-women-trafficking upheld in court
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2011 – MK Zuaretz filed position earlier this year with two NGOs over closing of Sa’ar unit, spreading anti-trafficking duties to local police.

The Guardian

Syria, Egypt and Middle East unrest – live updates
The Guardian 6 Dec 2011 – • Arab League says it will maintain sanctions on Syria • Hillary Clinton to meet Syrian opposition leaders • Egypt’s Salifists mull coalition with Muslim Brotherhood 12.06pm GMT / 7.06am EST: The Assad regime has lost control…

Syria, Egypt and Middle East unrest – Tuesday 6 December
The Guardian 6 Dec 2011 – • Arab League says it will maintain sanctions on Syria • Hillary Clinton to meet Syrian opposition leaders • Egypt’s Salifists mull coalition with Muslim Brotherhood • Read the latest summary 5.57pm GMT / 12.57pm EST: Here’s…

Israel’s chilling relations with the US | Jonathan Guyer
The Guardian 6 Dec 2011 – Hillary Clinton’s sharp remarks about Israeli democracy are of a piece with Israel’s alienation from its traditional American support The Israeli government has come under criticism from both the Obama administration and American Jewish communities over…

Uruknet

Israel can never steal our heritage
Uruknet December 6, 2011 – We Palestinians have nothing to cherish more than our roots and ancestral identity. To us, olive trees and the shade in which our grandparents rested or lovers used to secretly meet weave together sweet pre-dispossession memories. My grandmother’s depleted voice can’t but play and replay the same ecstatic melodies of a womanhood (…

Fascism in America
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – In 1932, Mussolini declared the 20th century a “Fascist century,” saying: “It is to be expected that this century may be that of authority, a century of the “Right,” a Fascist century.” He claimed it would “sav(e) Western civilization.” For what he didn’t explain. Post-WW I, Fascim’s roots emerged. At the time,…

Syria News – December 5, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet Thus far today, 17 martyrs, including a child and a woman, have been killed by gunfire by the regime’s army and security forces, 14 in Homs and 2 martyrs in Hama and martyr in Idlib….Homs: Martyrdom of activist Mohammad Mansour Khaled Wahsh, 26 years and a father of 2 children. He died under torture. It is…

Israel stole uranium from U.S., report will show
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – A U.S.-based research institute will soon publish what it says is “indisputable” evidence that Israel stole weapons-grade uranium for its still-undeclared atomic weapons program from a nuclear reprocessing plant in western Pennsylvania. The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) will release this month a 300-page report detailing the initial findings of…

Iraq: Ex-Foreign Minister Aziz To Be Executed In 2012?
Uruknet December 5, 2011 — Tariq Aziz, who served as Iraq’s top diplomat under Saddam Hussein, will be executed next year, after U.S. forces have pulled out of the country, an adviser to Iraq’s prime minister told CNN on Monday. “It will definitely take place, and it will take place after the Americans leave Iraq,” said the…

Iraq bomb attacks on pilgrims kill 28
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – A wave of bomb attacks targeting Shiite pilgrims in Iraq killed 28 people and wounded 78 Monday, a day before the peak of the Ashura religious commemorations, security officials and medics said. It was the bloodiest day in Iraq since October 27, when at least 32 people were killed and 71 wounded…

Israeli-Style Justice
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – Accused Israelis face charges in civil courts. Military tribunals try Palestinians. Virtually everyone is guilty by accusation. A new study says so. More on that below. In April 2008, the Addamer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association published a report titled “Defending Palestinian Prisoners: A Report on the Status of Defense Lawyers…

Family of 8 loses home in Silwan
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – On Monday, 5 December, bulldozers entered Yasoul, an area in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, and demolished the home of the Burqan family. Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Committee for the Defense of Silwan, told the WAFA news agency that the Israeli police did not give the family of…

Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights – Book Review
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – The mainstream media does not cover this kind of topic and only hints at it in the form of criticism of those calling for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. David Landy’s academic study of the trends within the Jewish diaspora provides a beginning insight into the social climate within the…

Israeli military court, for first time, admits use of torture against prisoner
Uruknet December 5, 2011 – The Israeli military court of Ofer admitted that Israeli officers from the Shin Bet and the police tortured a Palestinian detainee to force him to make fake confessions to charges he had nothing to do with it. According to a report issued by the ministry of prisoners’ affairs in the West Bank,…

Iranian president invites Libyan NTC head to visit Iran
Uruknet December 5, 2011 — Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited the head of the Libya’s National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdul-Jalil to visit Iran, the state IRIB TV reported on Monday. Iran’s new ambassador to Libya, Hossein Akbari, on Monday submitted Ahmadinejad’s message to Jalil in Tripoli, said the report. Iran also called for the formation of a…

Syria News – December 4, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 4, 2011 – Thus far today, 22 martyrs, including a child and a woman, have been killed by gunfire by the regime’s army and security forces. Homs: 21; Idlib: 1.. Idlib: Maaret Al-Nouman: Martyrdom of Mustafa Ahmed Alosh, 32 year old, due to security’s gunfire toward his car (Taxi), the people who were with him…

Military Resistance: 9L3 Lets Move Out
Uruknet December 4, 2011 – .. U.S. weapons makers told investors this week they are doing all they can to prepare for leaner and more uncertain U.S. defense budgets, including redoubling their efforts to cut costs, drum up export sales and sell more goods to commercial clients. Industry executives and Pentagon officials say they are still sorting out…

RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE Self-Determination and Occupied Palestine Today
Uruknet December 4, 2011 – …While Israel continues to systematically violate Palestinians’ right to self-determination, including through the perpetration of apartheid and the crime against humanity of persecution, it is our duty to one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Experience in South Africa and more recently during the Arab Spring, has shown that corruption, violence, and raw power…

Daily Star

ABC to broadcast Walters interview with Assad Wednesday
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 U.S. network ABC will air Wednesday an interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad conducted by veteran news broadcaster Barbara Walters.

US ambassador returning to Syria
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 The US ambassador to Damascus will return to Syria on Tuesday evening, Washington said.

Mogadishu suicide bomber kills two soldiers
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 A suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday in central Mogadishu after being arrested, killing two soldiers and wounding at least four civilians, a security official said.

Israel says Syrian rocket tests show regime’s fear
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday that Syrian long-range missile tests detected in Israel show that the embattled regime of Bashar al-Assad fears for its future.

Millions flood Iraq shrine city for Ashura rituals
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 Millions flooded Iraq’s shrine city Karbala on Tuesday for Ashura rituals on Shiite Islam’s most important day, amid tight security after bomb attacks against pilgrims left 28 people dead.

Unions threaten strike if Cabinet fails to up workers’ salaries
Daily Star 6 Dec 2011 The head of trade unions threatened Tuesday to go on strike unless the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati abides by its decision to increase workers’ salaries.

Hezbollah showed real face by siding with Assad: Ghalioun
Daily Star 5 Dec 2011 Syrian opposition leader says Hezbollah’s decision to side with President Bashar Assad in his eight-month crackdown on Syrian protesters has shown the resistance’s group real face.

Charbel says security good but warns of fifth column
Daily Star 4 Dec 2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel assured the public Sunday that the security situation in Lebanon is good, but warned that political divisions could damage the country’s security.

Jumblatt warns Syria unrest could spark sectarian strife in Lebanon
Daily Star 4 Dec 2011 PSP leader Walid Jumblatt warned of the threat of strife in Lebanon as a result of the potential repercussions of the ongoing popular uprising in Syria and sectarian tension in the southern city of Sidon.

Charbel: illegal refugees should be monitored to control crime
Daily Star 4 Dec 2011 Interior minister says refugees entering Lebanon illegally escaping violence in their country should be monitored in a bid to control crime.

YNet News

‘White House pushes to weaken Iran sanction’
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – The Obama administration is pressuring Congress to ease the potential impact of crippling sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank, arguing that the restrictions will drive up … ….

Gantz apologizes for remarks on female soldiers
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that the comments exchanged between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen Benny Gantz during Barak’s tour of the … ….

Legal opinion: No obligation to raze outposts
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – The campaign for West Bank outpost residents has recently turned to top lawyer Yaakov Weinroth for a legal opinion in the issue of outpost razing which the High Court of … ….

3 soldiers suspected of ‘price tag’ acts
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Israel Police and the Investigating Military Police arrested three soldiers from the Central Command on Tuesday on suspicion they were involved in “price tag” actions … ….

US launches ‘virtual’ embassy for Iran
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – More than three decades after the bricks-and-mortar US embassy in Tehran was shuttered and diplomatic relations with Iran were severed following the Islamic revolution … ….

Quartet to meet in Jerusalem next week
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – The United States and other Mideast mediators will gather next week in another effort to revive the Israel-Palestinian peace process, but with little hope of even … ….

Court annuls demolition of Bedouin village
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – The Kiryat Gat Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday ordered the State to cancel 51 demolition orders issued against the illegal Bedouin village of Alsara. The judge … ….

Muslim Shiites mark Day of Ashura
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Millions of Muslim Shiites worldwide take part in traditional mourning….

US ambassador returning to Syria
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Robert Ford, who was recalled amid violence in October, due to return to Syria….

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood ‘committed to democracy’
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Leader of group dominating elections says ‘We must live in harmony not only with….

Barak, Gantz joke censored by MOD
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Criticism over religious elements’ demand to restrict women in IDF, public arena….

Gov’t mulling Iron Dome system in Haifa
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Home Front Defense Minister Vilnai says missile defense system may be deployed….

Bribery scandal rattles Education Ministry
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Police say ministry official issued fictitious budget allotments for….

Man who ran over terrorist gets community service
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Jerusalem court takes David Mizrahi’s personal tragedy into account, refrains….

‘Katsav should be stripped of all titles’
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – New bill aims to make disgraced president ‘give back’ various honorary titles….

SS troops may face massacre trial in Germany
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Based on Demjanjuk trial precedent, six Nazis investigated over 1944 massacre of….

Hezbollah chief makes rare public appearance
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Heavily guarded, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah makes first public appearance since….

Australia: Alleged Nazi war criminal case goes to High Court
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – Hungarian-born Charles Zentai suspected of torturing and murdering 18-year-old….

Report: Drone that crashed in Iran was on CIA mission
YNet News, 6 Dec 2011 – US maintains unmanned drone that crashed in Iran was not shot down but rather….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF soldiers storm offices of Hamas MPs
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed offices of Hamas MPs in Tulkarem on Tuesday morning and confiscated computers of three of them along with work documents.

Preventive security rounds up 12 Hamas supporters including 5 students
PIC – Elements of the PA preventive security apparatus rounded up 12 Hamas supporters in the past 24 hours in the West Bank including five students, locals said.

IOF troops enter northern Gaza, gunboats fire at fishermen
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) advanced hundreds of meters into northern Gaza Strip, to the east of Beit Hanun town, at dawn Tuesday, local sources said.

Archaeologist rebuts Jewish claims about their alleged temple
PIC – Palestinian archaeologist Jamal Amro declared he made a discovery of 17 ancient coins that vindicated further the false story and belief of Jews about their alleged temple in occupied Jerusalem.

WAFA

EUPOL COPPS: Chief Justice to Cooperate with Italy High Court
WAFA

Prisoners’ Families Appeal to Allow Entry of Winter Clothes into Prisons
WAFA

Qaraqe Calls on European Parliament to Investigate Palestinian Prisoners Situation
WAFA

PCBS: Half of Households Exposed to Israeli Violence
WAFA

Israeli Soldiers Arrest 7 Palestinians in Bethlehem, Qalqilya
WAFA

Erekat and Feltman Discuss Efforts to Resume Negotiations
WAFA

Israeli Court Rules to Expel Jerusalem Lawmaker to West Bank
WAFA

Newspapers Review: Abbas, Feltman Meeting Hits Dailies’ Front Page
WAFA

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish House near Jerusalem
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

A Revolution Against Resistance?
Intifada-Palestine: 6 Dec 2011 – Leader of the opposition Syrian National Council Burhan Ghalioun attends a press conference in Sofia on 2 December 2011. (Photo: AFP – Dimitar Dilkoff) By: Ibrahim al-Amin The foreign powers intervening in Syria to bring down President Bashar Assad want to… more

Crippling Iran: Questions for Mr Hague
Intifada-Palestine: 6 Dec 2011 – Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain had ordered the immediate closure of the Iranian Embassy by Stuart Littlewood Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague has written a widely acclaimed 576-page biography of William Pitt the Younger, who became prime minister in 1783… more

Misc

Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
LA Times 5 Dec 2011 – The Sentinel drone has cutting-edge stealth and surveillance technology that other nations could exploit. One of the aircraft crashed in Iran, and a U.S. official says it was on a CIA mission. The radar-evading drone that crash-landed over the weekend in Iran was on a…

Bomb Attacks in Iraq on a Day Holy to Shiites
New York Times 6 Dec 2011 – The explosions, which killed close to 25 people and injured dozens more, stirred concerns of renewed violence in Iraq ahead of the departure of American forces.

State Department says Amb. Gutman was ‘speaking on his own’
Mondoweiss – Wow this is crazy. Yesterday Matt Lee of AP asked the State Department spokesperson Mark Toner if US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman was speaking for the US government when he said that Israel’s actions have generated anti-Semitism in Muslim communities. And Toner says he was “…

Israel continues wave of West Bank housing demolitions in East Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – al-Khalayleh House Demolition, 12/6/11 Following the violent demolitions in  Qalqiliya  yesterday, and in  Beit Hanina  and  Silwan  Sunday, Israel continued its displacement of Palestinians throughout the West Bank today in occupied East Jerusalem.   On the day Israel announced a  plan  to forcibly remove 2,300 Palestinians from…

Israel’s myth of invincibility drives a dangerous idea– attacking Iran
Mondoweiss – On Saturday I posted on AEI’s Danielle Pletka surprising admission that a nuclear armed Iran’s threat to Israel wasn’t that it would launch an attack but rather that it could upset the “balance of power” in the region.  Mark Wauck responded to the post by emailing…

New York liberal Democrat implies Gutman is anti-Semitic
Mondoweiss – Rep. Gary Ackerman speaking outside the United Nations in September 2011 ( Photo: Ackerman.house.gov. ) The controversy over Howard Gutman’s remarks is proving to be a clarifying moment. Similar to how the Democratic Party attacked Barack Obama over his call for peace negotiations to be based on the…

Gutman is right: Anti-Semitic incidents in England spiked after attacks on Gaza and flotilla
Mondoweiss – Howard Gutman US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman gave a speech last weekend saying that Israeli actions are fostering anti-Semitism in Muslim communities in Europe. Many rightwingers are now calling for his head, including Bill Kristol, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Below are two great responses…

Iran Doomsday Clock: Four Minutes to Midnight
Tikun Olam – Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday clock You remember the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock which graced its monthly cover in the 1950s?  Periodically, the organization would announce how close we were to Nuclear Midnight depending on how grave relations were between the two major nuclear…

Israeli Government forced to pull ads offensive to US Jews
Voltaire Network 6 Dec 2011 – The Israeli government has been forced to suspend an ad campaign after criticism from the US-Jewish community. The ads, displayed on billboards in U.S. cities and in Youtube videos, encouraged Israeli expatriates to return home. A series of ads, paid for by the Israeli government, suggested…

The demonization of Iran
Voltaire Network 6 Dec 2011 – The demonization campaign against Iran has the earmarks of a prelude for a military attack by the U.S. and Israel against Iran. The propaganda is very similar to that heaped upon Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in 2002. In both cases, an isolated state with limited resources is…

Burhan Ghalioun and Colin Powell’s program
Voltaire Network 6 Dec 2011 – International affairs Editorial: A defeat that cannot be concealed by the smoke of the fires The American escape from Iraq is proceeding and the scenes conveyed by the international media outlets of the evacuation of the bases which the US government tried to enhance on Iraqi…

Egypt: Gov’t Stresses Need to End Suffering of Palestinian Refugees
allAfrica.com 6 Dec 2011 – Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr has delegated Ambassador Ahmed Ragheb Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, Immigration and Egyptian abroad to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations of the UN Convention to refugees that will be hold in Geneva on 12/7/2011.

Egypt: UNGA Ratifies Two Resolutions Proposed by Gov’t Calling On Israel to Join NPT
allAfrica.com 6 Dec 2011 – The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) ratified two resolutions, proposed by Egypt, on nuclear arms and the perils of their proliferation in the Middle East, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Amr Roshdi.

Hezbollah head in rare appearance
BBC 6 Dec 2011 – The leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah Shia Islamist group, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, makes his first public appearance for several years at a Beirut rally.

US ambassador to return to Syria
BBC 6 Dec 2011 – The US says its ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, who was removed from the country after threats to his safety, is due to return to Damascus.

Tripoli militia ‘to be disarmed’
BBC 6 Dec 2011 – The head of the Tripoli’s council says residents of the Libyan capital have until the end of the month to hand over their weapons to the authorities.

Hamas MP expelled from Jerusalem
BBC 6 Dec 2011 – Israel expels a senior MP from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas from Jerusalem on the grounds that he was living there illegally.

Articles


Rashid Khalidi: We already have a one-state solution
Chemi Shalev, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/6/2011
      Columbia Professor Rashid Khalidi says nobody believes firing rockets is resistance that will liberate Palestine or that talking with the U.S. will deliver a just and lasting solution.
     Hamas and the Palestinian Authority should unite, unequivocally renounce violence and jettison the U.S.-led peace process which is “a corpse that has had formaldehyde pumped into its veins for over a decade” – this is the diagnosis and prescription of Professor Rashid Khalidi, one of the leading Palestinian intellectuals in the world.
     “Nobody believes that firing rockets and getting 1,400 people killed in response is ‘resistance’ that is going to liberate Palestine, and nobody believes that talking with the U.S., with Dennis Ross putting his thumb on the scales in favor of Israel, which is already overwhelmingly superior, is going to produce an equitable and just and lasting solution of the Palestine question. If you still believe that – you have to have your head examined,” the U.S.-born Khalidi said. Rashid Khalidi
     Khalidi, a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid peace process in the early 1990s, and one of the first proponents of a two-state solution expressed grave doubts about the chances for its implementation, because of what he describes as the “inexorable work of the bulldozers” and Israel’s “settlement-industrial complex”. In any case, he added, the two-state solution was but a “way station” that would not mean end-of-conflict and would still necessitate agreement on Palestinian refugees and on Israel’s “Palestinian minority” before a comprehensive settlement could be achieved.
     A “one-state solution already exists,” he added, because “there is only one state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean, in which there are two or three levels of citizenship or non-citizenship within the borders of that one state that exerts total control.” — See also: Rashid Khalidi: Haaretz interview (5 Dec 2011) and http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/leading-palestinian-intellectual-we-already-have-a-one-state-solution-1.399629 more.. e-mail

Breaking the Silence: An interview with Yehuda Shaul
Alistair George, International Solidarity Movement 12/6/2011
      “If you don’t look nice, you don’t spend too many hours in front of the mirror,”  says Yehuda Shaul,  one of the founders and Executive Directors of Israeli NGO, Breaking the Silence.
     “What we demand of our society is to look in the mirror, so no wonder no one likes it.”
     Breaking the Silence was founded in 2004 by Israeli soldiers and veterans who collect and publish testimonies from soldiers who have served in the West Bank,Gaza and East Jerusalem since September 2000.  They also hold lectures and conduct tours inHebronand the South Hebron Hills area “with the aim of giving the Israeli public access to the reality which exists minutes from their own homes, yet is rarely portrayed in the media.”
     The organization states that “cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm for years, but are still explained as extreme and unique cases…While this reality is known to Israeli soldiers and commanders, Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny what is done in its name.”
     Shaul, 28, is a religious Jew and a Jerusalemite; he served as a combat soldier and a commander in an Israeli infantry unit during the Second Intifada, from March 2001 until March 2004. He grew up in a right-wing family; his high school was in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank near Ramallah, his cousins were settlers in Gaza, and his sister currently lives in a settlement. He is bearded, bulky and speaks English in a North American accent; his mother is American and his father is Canadian.
     Shaul says that he always expected to become a soldier but that he had doubts from the very beginning that what he was doing was right…. — See also: Breaking the Silence more.. e-mail

Yes, Israel is a source of anti-Semitism
Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 12/6/2011
      Israel is playing a regular bait and switch: Now it is the State of the Jews, the next moment Jews have nothing to do with it.
     The scandal du jour is the fact that the US ambassador to Belgium, Howard Gutman, told a Jewish conference last week that Islamic anti-Semitism is the result of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian. This common sense statement caused a hue and cry, and it became the biggest news to come out of the land of chocolate and pederasts, drowning even the fact it finally managed to cobble together a government. The grand inquisitor of all things anti-Semitic, the man who turned his Jewishness into his trade, Jeffrey Goldberg, wrote acerbically that “Here is a simple formula that could have saved Gutman from his stupid mistake: Jews do not cause anti-Semitism; blacks do not cause racism; gays do not cause homophobia. Hatred is a mental and spiritual illness, not a political position.”
     If only were things that simple.
     See, we have a problem with this deceptively simple logic. Israel is a country which claims most of its citizens-to-be to reside outside its borders. Israel claims that a. It is a “Jewish country,” b. That all Jews are its potential citizens, c. That it is OK for her to meddle in the affairs of other countries on behalf of what it thinks are Jewish interests, and, finally, d. That any opprobrium gained by its actions, resulting in hatred or actual violence directed at those it claims to represent, is derived from racial and irrational causes. This, alas, does not make sense.
     This is without even without mentioning the hidden point e., rarely mentioned, which says that Israel thinks it is perfectly acceptable to use Jews living in other countries as its agents. I’m not just talking about Pollard here – this goes way, way deeper…. more.. e-mail

Israel can never steal our heritage
Electronic Intifada: 6 Dec 2011 – Rana Baker The Electronic Intifada Gaza City We Palestinians have nothing to cherish more than our roots and ancestral identity. And no matter how hard it tries, Israel can never take our heritage away from us.more

League Action Reflects Regional Rivalry
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Dec 2011 – By Ramzy Baroud, Special to Gulf News According to various media commentators, the rapid Arab League mobilisation against Syria is proof of the organisation rising to an urgent collective responsibility against impending dangers. However, such an assumption is either misguided or misconstrued. The so-called Arab Spring has largely been credited for the League’s actions. While the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen have indeed introduced a new factor — the people — that will affect any future political trends in Arab and Middle Eastern countries, it is misleading to claim that the League has been empowered by such a collective movement. The ability to champion decipherable foreign policy shifts could only follow fundamental shifts in the political attitudes of such consequential member states as Egypt, which, frankly, are yet to take place. While the League’s new-found power might not be a reflection of a genuine desire to assume a leadership…more

Crippling Iran: Questions for Mr. Hague
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Dec 2011 – By Stuart Littlewood Britain’s foreign secretary William Hague has written a widely acclaimed 576-page biography of William Pitt the Younger, who became prime minister in 1783 at the tender age of 24. Pitt was the war leader during Britain’s running battles with Napoleon, but it is said that he was uncomfortable in such a role and considered war got in the way of trade and prosperity. It is a pity that Pitt’s abhorrence of war and preference for trade has not, apparently, rubbed off on Hague. We see our foreign secretary rushing around the international stage drumming up support for sanctions intended to cripple another country – a country that could and should have been a strong trading partner and valuable ally – on the mere suspicion of some nuclear skulduggery. And he does this without adequate debate, sensible explanation or popular mandate. Mr Hague said last week’s ransacking of…more

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Posted 8th December 2011 by InI in category VTJP Palestine/Israel

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