VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 December 2011: EI exclusive: UK charity with Mossad links secretly denounced anti-Zionist Jews to government

22 December 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Settlers Enter The Al Aqsa Mosque
IMEMC – A group of Israeli settlers entered on Thursday that Al Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, under the protection of dozens of Israeli soldiers. The settlers were marking the “Hanukkah” Jewish feast; no clashes were reported. …

Israel Voids Defense Contract With Turkey
IMEMC – Israeli sources reported Thursday that the Israel government voided a $141 Million defense contract with Turkey fearing that the aerial defense systems that Tel Aviv sold to Ankara would “fall in the hands of Israel’s enemies, and be used against it”. The agreement was signed between the two countries three years ago. …

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, To Join Temporary PLO Panel
IMEMC – Palestinian sources in Cairo reported Thursday that the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movements agreed to join the temporary panel of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The Palestinian National Initiative also agreed to join it. …

Jenin Refugee Camp Targeted with High Number of Arrests
IMEMC – Eight Palestinians were arrested in pre dawn raids during a large scale incursion by the Israeli military on Thursday in the Jenin Refugee Camp. Over 30 arrests have been made in the camp in the last month. …

Former Legislator Sentenced To Three Months
IMEMC – The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported that the Israeli Ofer Military Court sentenced, Thursday, former legislator Husam Khader to three months under administrative detention without charges filed against him. …

Settlers Attack Child In Jerusalem, Clashes Reported
IMEMC – Eyewitnesses in occupied East Jerusalem reported Thursday that a group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian child in al-Wad neighborhood, in the Old City, leading to clashes between the residents and the settlers. Injuries and arrests were reported. …

Palestinian Worker Wounded By Army Fire In Gaza
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources reported Wednesday that a Palestinian worker, aged just 19 years old, was shot and wounded by the Israeli armyin the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Israeli Troops Invade Tulkarem, Firing Live Rounds And Tear Gas
IMEMC – A number of Israeli military vehicles invaded the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem and the nearby refugee camps on Tuesday afternoon. …

Security Council Member States Condemn Israeli Settlement Expansion
IMEMC – In a letter issued Tuesday, the four European member states of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), Britain, France, Germany and Portugal, condemned the recent Israeli announcement that the Israeli government had approved the construction of 1,000 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In addition, South Africa, India and Brazil condemned the expansion. …

Ma’an News

Palestinian worker hurt by Israeli gunfire
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian worker has been injured by Israeli gunfire in the north of the Gaza Strip, local residents said Wednesday. The 19-year-old worker was collecting stone aggregates when Israeli forces opened fire toward him, injuring his left leg, in the northern Bedouin village in Beit Lahiya, locals said. He….

Incursion reported near Khan Younis, no injuries
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli army vehicles crossed over the border of eastern Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip early Thursday, firing intensively, local residents said. Onlookers of the brief incursion told Ma’an that seven Israeli tanks in addition to several bulldozers crossed a few dozen meters inside eastern Khan Younis….

Report: Hamas agrees to join PLO
12/22/2011 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Hamas has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization in a move intended to bolster Palestinian reconciliation, The Associated Press reported Thursday. There was no immediate confirmation, but officials in Cairo said Hamas and Islamic Jihad expressed flexibility and indicated they would accept the PLO’s legitimacy. The report came…. Related: Jihad official: PLO membership not final and Abbas orders elections commission after Cairo talks

Abbas orders elections commission after Cairo talks
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas issued a decree Thursday to form an elections commission after consensus was reached in Cairo during reconciliation talks, a Ma’an reporter said….

9 Fatah members seized in raid on Jenin camp
12/22/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained nine members of Fatah, among them a security guard, following an invasion of the West Bank city of Jenin’s refugee camp early Thursday. Seven cars were also confiscated from a garage belonging to Kamal and Jameel Abu Ghada. Forces surrounded the camp and closed its entrances….

Tunisian convoy en route to Gaza
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Tunisian medical aid convoy began its journey to Gaza on Thursday from Tunis, Palestinian officials said. The convoy carrying four tons of medical aid left Tunis-Carthage International Airport earlier in the day, medical officials told Ma’an. The coordinator of the medical services in the Gaza Strip said….

Israel closes Freedom Flotilla inquiry
12/22/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli officials announced Thursday they had closed their investigation into lawmaker Hanin Zoabi and religious leader Raed Salah over their participation in the 2010 Freedom Flotilla….

Hamas denies Syrian report about Mashaal
12/22/2011 – DAMASCUS (Ma’an) – Hamas on Tuesday denied reports disseminated by official Syrian news that its chief in exile Khalid Mashaal has criticized Islamic cleric Yousif al-Qaradawi over his remarks about the situation in Syria. In a statement, the movement said “the alleged remarks were made up and baseless.”The website of Syria’s….

Officials say PNI joined PLO at Cairo talks
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Officials from Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian National Initiative said late Thursday that they had accepted positions on an “interim leadership” of the PLO. Ayed Yaghi, a PNI leader, said the small faction joined the PLO and that it was a natural position to take. Yaghi told Ma’an….

Jihad official: PLO membership not final
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An Islamic Jihad leader said Thursday that joining an “interim leadership framework” of the PLO did not necessarily mean it had formally joined the Palestinian body. Khaled Al-Batsh told Ma’an that joining the organization requires a clear framework for how the PLO will be restructured. He added that…. Related: Report: Hamas agrees to join PLO and Officials say PNI joined PLO at Cairo talks

In photos: Gaza Christians depart for Bethlehem
12/22/2011 – Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa – Christian Palestinians leave the Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip on Dec. 22, 2011, as they make their way to the West Bank town of Bethlehem. The Israeli army on Thursday gave permits to some 500 Christians from Gaza to enter Israel as they make their way to Bethlehem….

VIDEO – PLO animation reflects hope for Christmas
12/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An animated short film, produced by the PLO, aims to give viewers a glimpse into the holiday season as experienced by many Palestinians in the occupied territories and Bethlehem. The video, “Palestine Celebrates Hope,” shares the title used generally by Palestinian officials ahead of this year’s Christmas festivities, reflecting…. Related: YouTube: Palestine Celebrating Hope

Gaza man stabbed to death in fight
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was stabbed to death late Wednesday in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of the Gaza Strip following a dispute between families, locals said. Another man was critically injured in the incident and placed in intensive care after being hospitalized, according to local residents. Neither victim was identified. A….

Sinai police rescue child, arrest kidnap suspects
12/22/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Sinai police and military forces on Wednesday arrested three suspected kidnappers and recovered a 10-year-old who was reported missing after leaving school nearly two weeks earlier. Mahmoud Siraj was returned to his home late Wednesday after police completed a 12-day investigation to find the child, who disappeared shortly….

Yemen unrest puts child marriage on back burner
12/22/2011 – DHAMAR (IRIN) — Poverty and unemployment, exacerbated by the current political unrest, are driving up child marriages in Dhamar Governorate and elsewhere in Yemen, says Asmaa al-Masri, a sociologist at Dhamar University. Several hundred girls in Dhamar have been forced into early marriages because their families need money, she told IRIN.”The number of child marriage….

Cairo calmer as Egyptian election resumes
12/22/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt is holding the latest round of its first democratic parliamentary election Thursday in relative calm after five days of protests in Cairo that prompted a brutal response from security forces. The latest confrontations, in which 15 people were killed, redoubled the determination of many pro-democracy protesters to see the military council that….

French Turks protest ahead of ‘genocide bill’ debate
12/22/2011 – PARIS (Reuters) — Several thousand Franco-Turks demonstrated in central Paris on Thursday ahead of a parliamentary vote on a bill that would make it a crime to deny the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks was genocide. Tension has risen between Paris and Ankara in the last week over the draft law put forward….

Arab team prepares Syria mission after deadly assault
12/22/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Arab League officials arrive in Syria on Thursday to prepare for monitors overseeing an Arab peace plan, after activists said President Bashar Assad’s forces carried out the deadliest assault in their nine-month crackdown on protests. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian forces killed 111 civilians and activists were killed….

Female prisoners on hunger strike over exchange deal
12/22/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Five female prisoners at Israel’s Hasharon jail started a hunger strike on Wednesday in protest against not being included in the prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas. A report by the Palestinian Authority ministry of prisoners affairs noted that detainees were deeply disappointedafter finding out they were not….

UN Security Council members criticize Israel
12/21/2011 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Most members of the UN Security Council voiced deep concerns on Tuesday about the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and criticized Israel for pressing ahead with the construction of new settlements. Council members were reacting to a briefing by UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, who told them the…. Related: Israel hits back after sharp rebuke at UN and UK’s Hague condemns Israel settlement plans

Abbas meets Turkish President in Ankara
12/21/2011 – ANKARA (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met on Tuesday in Ankara with Turkish President Abdullah Gul. President Gul reiterated Turkey’s commitment to the Palestinian cause as the two leaders reviewed regional developments and discussed bilateral relations, Turkish daily Zaman reported. They also discussed recent unity talks in Cairo and the implementation of…. Related: Netanyahu office ‘shocked’ as Abbas meets ex-prisoners

Hamas: Factions agree on 6 reconciliation steps in Cairo
12/21/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday that Palestinian factions have reached agreement on six steps to be taken as part of ongoing reconciliation talks. In a statement received by Ma’an, Barhoum said that a committee composed of nine members has been formed to take charge of elections. The committee…. Related: PRC rejects dismissal from reconciliation talks and Abbas, Mashaal meet again in Cairo

PA signs free trade agreement with Mercosur
12/21/2011 – MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority signed a free trade agreement on Tuesday with South American trading bloc Mercosur. Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki signed the deal in Montevideo as Palestinian Authority representative and thanked Mercosur, composed of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay, for recognizing Palestine as an independent nation, MercoPress reported. The free….

Netanyahu office ‘shocked’ as Abbas meets ex-prisoners
12/21/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says he found it “shocking” to see President Mahmoud Abbas meet with certain released prisoners Wednesday in Turkey. Abbas met in Ankara with 11 ex-prisoners who were released by Israel in the prisoner swap, but the unnamed official…. Related: Abbas meets Turkish President in Ankara

Report: 30 olive trees cut down near Hebron
12/21/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Over two dozen olive trees were chopped down near the Palestinian city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank, Israeli news media reported Wednesday. Israel’s Ynet news site said two slogans were sprayed near the orchard. The Israeli military says it has launched an investigation….

Egypt denies entry to Gaza buses due to licensing issue
12/21/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities on Wednesday turned back all buses carrying passengers from Gaza at the Rafah Crossing. Mahir Abu Sabha, director of Gaza’s border department, explained that the Egyptian government will only allow buses from the Gaza Bus Company to carry passengers into Egypt. The company has suspended operations….

Israel hits back after sharp rebuke at UN
12/21/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel has denounced Europe for criticizing the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, reports in Israeli media said Wednesday. A Foreign Ministry statement said EU members of the Security Council should exert efforts on resuming talks between Israel and the PLO, not “interfering” in…. Related: UN Security Council members criticize Israel

UK’s Hague condemns Israel settlement plans
12/21/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned the announcement by the Israeli government to publish tenders for 1,028 additional housing units in settlements near Jerusalem. In a statement released Wednesday, the foreign secretary condemned the announcement for tenders in Har Homa, Beitar Illit and Givat Ze’ev as…. Related: UN Security Council members criticize Israel

PRC rejects dismissal from reconciliation talks
12/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Popular Resistance Committees and its armed wing on Wednesday rejected its dismissal in reconciliation talks based on the fact it is not a member of the PLO.”Our existence as a faction is genuine and cannot be decided by a Palestinian faction or meeting or people. But it is…. Related: Hamas: Factions agree on 6 reconciliation steps in Cairo

Abbas, Mashaal meet again in Cairo
12/21/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Wednesday evening in Cairo to put “final touches” on an agreement to reconcile the leaders’ rival factions. Fatah leader in Gaza Yahiya Rabbah said the meeting is intended to agree on a final arrangement before the outcome is announced Thursday….

MKs allocate more money for Israel defense budget
12/21/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday approved an additional 780 million shekels for Israel’s defense budget, according to reports in the Israeli media. Tel Aviv-based newspaper Haaretz reported that the increase came at the expense of other government offices such as housing and welfare. Members of a select committee….

PA, France sign deal to finance municipal development
12/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The minister of planning and administrative development met with France’s consul general in Jerusalem on Wednesday and signed a 6-million euro financing agreement. Ali Jarbawi signed the deal with Herve Conan, who was representing funders of the program including France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and the World Bank….

Japan completes improvements at Jerusalem hospital
12/21/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Japanese and Palestinian officials on Wednesday held a ceremony after completing a project to improve medical equipment at St. Joseph’s Hospital in occupied East Jerusalem. Naofumi Hashimoto, representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, and Adnan Hussieni, governor of Jerusalem, attended the ceremony, which marked the completion of a….

Gingrich’s nods to history don’t impress scholars
12/21/2011 – MANCHESTER, NH (Reuters) — “I’m speaking as a historian.” It’s a common refrain in Newt Gingrich’s speeches, a not-so-subtle reminder of the image he seeks to build as a Republican presidential candidate: that of a serious thinker whose opinions are rooted in an appreciation of the past. From battle flags….

Source: Abbas, Mashaal to meet in Cairo
12/21/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas secretary-general Khalid Mashaal are scheduled to meet late Wednesday in Cairo, a Fatah official in the Gaza Strip told Ma’an….

Firefighters battle blaze near Tulkarem
12/21/2011 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Firefighters are working to put out a blaze near the city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank village of Nour Shams, officials said Wednesday….

Activists say 111 killed in Syria’s ‘bloodiest day’
12/22/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian forces killed 111 people ahead of the start of a mission to monitor President Bashar Assad’s implementation of an Arab League peace plan, activists said on Wednesday, and France branded the killings an “unprecedented massacre.” Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 111 civilians and activists were….

Group: At least 56 killed in north Syria
12/21/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — The death toll from an attack by Syrian forces in the northern province of Idlib on Tuesday has risen to at least 56, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday. The British-based group said it had documented the names of 56 “citizens and wanted activists” who were killed, but that….

Egypt’s Christians wary of too much foreign support
12/21/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — The Arab Spring has increased pressure on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, with attacks on churches and bloody clashes with Muslims and the military. Many foreign Christians feel driven to help. Pope Benedict, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams and other church leaders have spoken out in defense of the Copts….

Iran state TV says 5 Iranian technicians kidnapped in Syria
12/21/2011 – TEHRAN(Reuters) — Five Iranian technicians working in Syria have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the city of Homs, Iran’s English language Press TV reported on Wednesday.” Eight technicians, including five Iranians, have been reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen in the restive Syrian city of Homs,” Press TV reported. It did not give….

Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Raze Agricultural Lands, Demolish Well in Hebron, Homes in Galilee
PNN – PNN/LRCOn Thursday, Israeli forces raided the village of Idhna, west of Hebron, razed agricultural lands and destroyed several agricultural buildings including a greenhouse and a well. Locals told PNN that the Israeli…

Israeli Forces Arrest Nine Palestinians, Confiscate Four Vehicles
PNN – PNNOn Thursday, Israeli Forces arrested nine Citizens from the Jenin refugee camp, and confiscated four vehicles loaded with spare parts. Secure local sources told official Palestinian news wire Wafa that Israeli forces…

Israeli Settlers Enter al-Aqsa for Hanukkah
PNN – PNNOn Thursday morning, more than a hundred Israeli settlers entered the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem under the protection of Israeli police on the occasion of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. No clashes…

Op Ed: Palestinian Clowns are Everywhere
PNN – by Sam BahourSome Palestinians refuse to just sit still and accept their fate as a permanently, militarily occupied people. One would think by now that Palestinians would have received the message loud…

Israeli Army Invades Jenin, Arrests Culture Workers
PNN – PRESS RELEASE Last night the Israeli army invaded Jenin refugee camp for the second night in a row. They arrested another three members of The Freedom Theatre. This time Adnan Naghnaghiye, our…

Erekat to PNN: UN Condemnation of Settler Crimes to Cite Geneva Agreement
PNN – PNNDr. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, told PNN in a Tuesday interview that Palestinian efforts are underway to present a UN Security Council condemnation of Israeli settler attacks. Erekat said in an…

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Buildings, Agricultural Lands in Salfit, Arrest Three in Hebron
PNN – PNNOn Wednesday, Israeli bulldozers demolished several water wells, greenhouses, and tents as well as razed agricultural lands south of Kufur al-Deik in Salfit province. Secure sources told Palestine official news wire Wafa…

Jenin Freedom Theater to Reenact Midnight Arrests
PNN – PRESS RELEASEJenin refugee camp has recently suffered a higher number of arrests than usual. Over thirty arrests have been made in the past month. On the night of December 19th alone, at…

International Solidarity Movement

Demonstration in the no go zone, Beit Hanoun
12/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Nathan Stuckey, 20 December 2011 – Every Tuesday there is a demonstration against the occupation and the Israeli imposed no go zone that surrounds Gaza, stealing much of Gaza’s best farmland.   Today, it was unseasonably warm, it felt almost like summer.   We started our march from in front of the destroyed buildings Beit….

Farming with a grain of salt
12/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 22 December 2011, Palestinian Center for Human Rights – Farming on land that has become almost impossible to farm is now daily reality for 62 year old Naeem El Laham, also known as Abu Mohammed. Together with his wife, 6 sons, 5 daughters and grandchildren he lives on his farm west of Khan Yunis.”Our farming…. Related: Source: PCHR

Israeli navy harasses Palestinian fishermen off Gaza coast
12/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Vy Rosa Schiano, 21 December 2011, Civil Peace Service Gaza – The Oliva sailed from Gaza Seaport at 8:15 am. The Palestinian captain and two international observers from CPS staff were on boardAt 8:45 am Oliva reached four hasakas in the north of the Strip, about 2. 2 nautical miles off shore (31° 35…. Related: Civil Peace Service Gaza

Israeli military drags its boots and guns into Ibrahimi Mosque
12/21/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Caroline Nordhammer, 21 December 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Soldiers from the Israeli military entered the Ibrahimi Mosque located in the Old City of Hebron on December 21 in the afternoon. Male and female soldiers entered the mosque and the men’s place for prayer in what appeared to be a tour….

Alternative Information Center

Website undergoing upgrade until Monday, December 26
Alternative Information Center – The Alternative Information Center is excited to tell our readers that as on Monday, December 26, we will unveil our new website. As our system is going through an upgrade, however, we will be unable to…

Israeli government “bows” to settler pressure
Alternative Information Center – Last week, following reports that Israeli forces were planning to evacuate and demolish Ramat Gilad, an illegal oupost located in the West Bank, Jewish settlers rioted. They hurled stones at Palestinians’ cars and threw a cinderblock…

Relief Web

Bangladesh: OFID Governing Board approves new loans and grants to benefit 28 countries
Relief Web 21 Dec 2011 – Source: OPEC Fund for International Development Country: Bangladesh , Cambodia , Ethiopia , Ghana , Honduras , Lebanon , Nepal , Nicaragua , Niger (the) , occupied Palestinian territory , Papua New Guinea , Rwanda , Senegal , Sudan (the) , Togo , United Republic of Tanzania (the) The Governing Board of the OPEC Fund…

Palestine Telegraph

Turkey: We will continue supporting Palestine
22 Dec 2011 – President Abdullah Gül reiterated Turkey’s support for the Palestinian cause of becoming an independent state at a meeting he had with Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas at the Çankaya presidential palace in Ankara on Tuesday.

The Cultural Boycott Israel vs. South Africa
21 Dec 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – “Just as we said during apartheid that it was inappropriate for international artists to perform in South Africa in a society founded on discriminatory laws and racial exclusivity, so it would be wrong for Cape Town Opera to perform in Israel.”1 – Desmond Tutu, 26 October 2010

Madrid’s Legacy — Build Settlements, Weaken the PLO
21 Dec 2011 – London, (Pal Telegraph) – The Madrid Peace Conference convened two decades ago in a spirit of great optimism. However it was Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, dragged to the meeting by President George H.W. Bush, who offered the most prescient commentary on Madrid’s troubled legacy.

The National

Dozens killed in Baghdad bombings amid a political crisis which could unravel Iraq
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Ordinary Iraqis say they are paying the price for political squabbling as first wave of bombings kill at least 69 since the US pullout on Sunday.

Iran rejects GCC’s accusation of meddling
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Iran rejected Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) leaders’ accusation of interference in their affairs, accusing them of parroting “baseless” US charges against Iran while ignoring American “espionage” against Iran.

Activists warn of deceptions as Arab League monitors enter Syria
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Government promises full cooperation with Arab League officials, but activists say wounded prisoners and torture victims are already being moved.

Egypt PM pleads for two months of calm
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Kamal El Ganzouri, Egypt’s military-appointed prime minister, says ruling body is eager to relinquish power and establish civilian rule.

Why Egypt’s Islamists find the hardline road blocked
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Letter from Cairo Islamist parties in Egypt are unlikely to introduce a strict interpretation of Islam, not least because the ruling military has appointed a council to oversee the drafting of a new constitution, and the new parliament will not be able to form a government.

Has the Arab Spring consigned violent radicalism to dust?
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Many in this new generation of Islamists have accepted democracy’s centrepiece – free and fair elections – as the best way to choose a government.

Arab League monitors head in to Syria
The National 22 Dec 2011 – Activists say the Syrian government appear to be furiously trying to control the situation on the ground before monitors arrive.

Wave of bombings across Baghdad kills dozens
The National 21 Dec 2011 – Iraqi officials said at least 12 blasts went off in nine neighbourhoods around the city.

Terror suspect held at UK airport arriving from Dubai receives bail
The National 21 Dec 2011 – The 22-year-old man spent 36 hours in custody after being arrested under the UK’s Terrorism Act at Birmingham International Airport on Monday after arriving on an Emirates flight.

Main Salafist party vows to honour Egypt treaty with Israel
The National 21 Dec 2011 – A spokesman for Al Nour made the plea as voting resumed in the country’s election, which has been marred by clashes between protesters and security forces that left 14 people dead this week.

Hamas and Fatah to form unity government, official claims
The National 21 Dec 2011 – Rivals agree on key issues such as political prisoners.

Syria opposition press UN and Arab League after ‘massacre’
The National 21 Dec 2011 – Syrian National Council urge the UN Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency meetings after regime forces kill more than 200 people in two days.

Ha’aretz

Israel has 101 different types of permits governing Palestinian movement
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israeli, Palestinian boys’ soccer tournament exposes reality of Jerusalem life
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

EU voices protest over Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, West Bank
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Jerusalem residents fight city to keep street names of old
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israel gearing for effective separation of East Jerusalem Palestinians
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Palestinian officials: U.S. isolated over support of Israel settlements
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Turkey is behaving like a regional ‘bully,’ Cyprus FM says
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

France FM warns Turkey: Don’t overreact over genocide bill
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israel nixes multi-million dollar defense contract with Turkey amid continued tensions
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Arab League monitors arrive in Syria in bid to end Assad violence
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israel Chief Rabbi criticizes gender segregation in public arena
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Nuclear sanctions won’t affect Iran economy, Russia official says
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israelis lead world in social network use, U.S. study shows
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

U.K. government says Iran blocked its website
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

AG closes case against Israeli participants of 2010 Gaza flotilla
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Turkey recalls France envoy over adoption of Armenian genocide bill
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Israel’s Defense Minister praises Obama’s resolve, denies tensions with Netanyahu
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Hamas moves to join Palestine Liberation Organization
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Barak slams Foreign Ministry for calling UN European states ‘irrelevant’
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Iran Navy to hold 10-day war game in Persian Gulf
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Dozens killed in series of Baghdad bombings, days after U.S. departure
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Clampdown in Syria ahead of Arab League observers’ arrival
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Palestinian factions to meet in Cairo for reconciliation agreement
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

U.S.: European UN states’ criticism of Israel does not help resume peace talks
Ha’aretz – 22 Dec 2011

Matisyahu hits the stage for first time since rebirth
Ha’aretz – 21 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

South Sudanese gear up for Christmas in the Holy Land
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – “We pray and dance all night,” says Tel Aviv upholsterer.

Israel and Africa
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Aiding Africa’s economic woes will help stem the tide of immigrants.

UN holds ‘minute’ of silence for Kim Jong-il
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – General Assembly commemorates North Korean dictator, though western delegations boycott move.

Religious Zionism or radical extremism?
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – I’ve always believed that the religious Zionist platform is one which purports to embrace Halacha… to facilitate one’s ability to venture into society.

Saving Maikel Nabil
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – The international community must echo his cry and insist that justice be served before it is too late.

Gingrich condemns Ron Paul for abandoning Israel
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Republican presidential front-runner slams opponent who “dismisses the danger of an Iranian nuclear weapon.”

Diplomacy should conform to international norms
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – A Different Perspective: Israel’s int’l image has been severely marred because of the settlers’ presence and the behavior of extremists.

Hanukka and Christmas- it’s not all relative
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – The two festivals are unrelated and the fact that they occur at the same time is mere coincidence.

Arab League team in Syria to prepare monitoring
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Analyst: Observers are “waste of time” as only military intervention can protect civilians; Syria: 2,000 soldiers killed in violence.

The devil ain’t in the details
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – In this dialogue, the devil is in the big picture. Mutual recognition of rights to national self-determination is a key benchmark.

Celebrating women’s freedom on Hanukka
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – I can say first-hand that while women in Israel do have issues to contend with, the situation is not quite as dire as one might be led to believe.

‘If Abbas embraces Hamas, he is walking away from peace’
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Prime Minister’s Office slams deal paving way for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical groups to join PLO – which includes 10 members – the largest being Fatah; Palestinians hail agreement as “historic event.”

Slamming of Europe stirs tempest in Israel
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Barak and Lieberman trade jabs over efficacy of Foreign Ministry statement slamming European countries for their condemnation of Israel; Olmert blasts PM for allowing release of statement.

Savir’s Corner: Emergency!
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – crisis is evident in Israel, where our political leadership has practically ceased ruling, instead clinging to power, curtailing democracy and human rights.

PostScript: Illuminating coincidences
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – The irony of the military induction center’s location; a realization about Hanukka, and a surprising haredi performance.

Barkat seeks support to redesign J’lem borders
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – J’lem mayor speaks with rabbis from national religious community on initiative that would relinquish parts of city.

Christmas fervor hits Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Municipality hands out free Christmas trees in J’lem Old City; chaos breaks out as people grab for free trees.

Turks slam French genocide bill as racism, cut ties
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – After France moves toward criminalizing denial of Armenian genocide, Erdogan cancels all economic, political and military meetings.

Obama’s and his team’s failed, naïve doctrine
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Obama should look at his own tactics before criticizing Israel’s desire for peace talks.

Ministry kills deal to sell intel system to Turkey
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Defense Officials: Israel working to improve ties with Turkey but can’t permit delivery of intelligence-gathering systems.

Barghouti disappointed with prisoner swap
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Hamas initially insisted the Fatah leader be included in the exchange, but later abandoned the demand.

First-Temple era findings destroyed near Afula
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Antiquities Authority archaeologist: All signs point to Haredi attack, First-Temple era findings destroyed.

Gaza in shock after rare double homicide
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Son held on suspicion of murdering his parents, prompting a flurry of speculation.

Hezbollah threat prompts security for Ashkenazi
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Defense establishment fears former IDF chief could be targeted by Hezbollah in revenge for 2008 Mughniyeh assassination.

A-G closes case against Israeli flotilla members
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Weinstein cites evidential, legal difficulties as reasons for dropping case; Zoabi: MKs should apologize to me for incitement.

Chosen Bites: Dust off your frying pans
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – While latkes and doughnuts are obvious choices for Hanukka, chef Laura Frankel offers a more exotic alternative.

Livni refuses to stand behind Mofaz if she loses
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Shaul Mofaz: Primaries should be held ASAP, “any other decision would indicate [Livni] is acting according to personal interest.”

Panel considering alternatives to Sundays off
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Following Shalom’s initiative, c’tee is examining other options e.g. additional vacation, making dates of national significance days off.

Syrian launches offensive against rebel hotbed
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Idlib province – site of recent violence that killed over 100 soldiers and civilians – targeted by Syrian forces.

Top 5: Sufganiot style for singles
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Drinks at swanky bars, off the wall comedy and pub quizzes are just some of the Hanukka events on offer for singles in J’lem.

The Weekly Schmooze: Celebrity holiday traditions
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – JPost column wrapping up hottest Jewish culture news: Conan’s horrific menorah; “Jewish Jordan” hawks tzitzit.

Egypt Islamists want to stick to army vote timetable
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Muslim Brotherhood opposes protesters’ desire for swifter army handover of power before July.

Satisfyingly square
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Try this effortless recipe which produces long-lasting, fresh doughnuts to enjoy during Hanukka.

Vote for the top Jewish World story of 2011
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Shortlist: A brutal murder, JAFI criticism, Limmud FSU’s successes, millions up for grabs, remembering the Shoah.

Retired judge calls for women’s civil disobedience
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Eliyahu Matza says women should respond to attempts to exclude them from the public sector by engaging in civil disobedience.

Planets that survived their star’s expansion found
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – New discovery shows what our solar system might look like after several billion years.

Baghdad blasts kill 63 as Iraq tensions rise
Jerusalem Post 22 Dec 2011 – Most attacks in mainly Shi’ite Muslim neighborhoods; suicide bomber in ambulance kills 18 in one attack; fragile power-sharing government grapples with crisis.

Fortified ER installed in Haifa hospital
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – During the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah missiles struck a few meters from the Carmel Medical Center.

Cigarette vending machines banned near schools
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Operators of machines within 1km of schools to be fined NIS 226,000; complete ban will take effect in two years.

Fire service welcomes 126 new members
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – One year after Carmel fire disaster, Aharonovitch hails 3 new female firefighters.

Sa’ar dedicates 1st Jaffa state religious school in decades
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Teachers and parents say the school now provides an alternative to the area’s mixed Jewish-Arab schools.

Security cameras reduce vandalism on Mount of Olives
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Vandals desecrating graves are caught more often, and are more easily convicted due to video evidence; 80 out of 147 planned cameras are already monitoring the cemetery.

PM adviser: Gov’t won’t tolerate gender segregation
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – “This isn’t something that needs to be discussed or debated,” D-G of Nat’l Authority for Advancement of Women tells the ‘Post.’

US, France denounce ongoing killing in Syria
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Activists say security forces kill 111; US says it’s “deeply disturbed” by reports of indiscriminate killing.

Britain stands alone in Euro’s darkest hour
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Cameron proves that his seat at the EU table is predicated on Britain’s own best interests.

US warns Syria’s Assad to stop killing
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Activists say security forces kill 111; White House warns: Int’l community will up pressure if Arab plan not implemented.

Bands vie for biggest 2011 Hanukka hit
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – No less than five newly minted Hanukka songs are competing for the top spot.

Livnat joins opposition-led women’s rights rally
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – MKs, activists, rabbis join march against gender-based discrimination; Livni: A great darkness has fallen on Israel during Festival of Lights.

Ch. 10 to get 1 more hearing on debt payment
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – “Closure of the channel will be social and economic bankruptcy,” president tells station employees.

Egypt sees Clinton remarks as ‘interference’
Jerusalem Post 21 Dec 2011 – Statement made in response to the US secretary of state’s criticism of “disgraceful” violence against female protesters.

The Guardian

‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’
The Guardian 22 Dec 2011 – A strip of settlements built on what was northern Bethlehem threatens to cut the city off from its historic twin, Jerusalem If Joseph and Mary were making their way to Bethlehem today, the Christmas story would…

From the archive, 22 December 1995: Big day in little town of Bethlehem
The Guardian 22 Dec 2011 – Originally published in the Guardian on 22 December 1995 There will be no star over Bethlehem this Christmas. The Israeli flag, which has flown over Manger Square for 28 years, was lowered yesterday for the last…

Palestinian factions agree on unified government
The Guardian 22 Dec 2011 – President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal finalise groundbreaking deal in Cairo after heated negotiations Rival Palestinian factions have agreed to form a unified government, which will be sworn in by the end of January….

Lacoste denies censoring Palestinian artist in art prize row
The Guardian 22 Dec 2011 – Elysée award cancelled after company withdraws sponsorship over Larissa Sansour’s work The 2011 Elysée art prize has been cancelled after a row with the French clothing label Lacoste, which sponsors the €24,000 (£20,000) award, over the…

Uruknet

One year after FBI subpoena, civil liberties protections in US frighteningly eroded even further
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – A year ago yesterday, I got the dreaded house call from the FBI. I was at home working when two agents rang my buzzer and asked to speak with me. I had been expecting such a visit; on 24 September 2010 the FBI raided the homes of prominent anti-war and international solidarity…

What’s really going on in Iraq?
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – The recent tension in Baghdad between Nouri Al-Maliki’s Shiite Iraqi prime minister with both Iraqi president’s deputy Tariq Al-Hashimi, and his deputy for service affairs, Salih Mutlaq, which both are Sunnis is highly connected with the regional tension between Iran and Turkey on Syria, also the timing is connected. That’s despite Al-Maliki’s…

Israeli activist: Checkpoint at J’lem refugee camp form of “ethnic cleansing”
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Approximately 30 Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals gathered at the edge of Shu’fat refugee camp on Sunday to protest a new Israeli checkpoint, which opened on December 12 and that an Israeli activist likened to a form of “ethnic cleansing.” Palestinian kids threw stones; Israeli police fired rubber-coated bullets at the children…

NATO Forced to Admit Air Strikes Killed Dozens of Libyan Civilians, Contradicting Initial Denials
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – NATO has admitted for the first time Libyan civilians were killed and injured during its seven-month bombing campaign that led to the ouster and death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The acknowledgment came after a New York Times investigation revealed at least 40 civilians, and perhaps more than 70, were killed by…

Settlers Attack Child In Jerusalem, Clashes Reported
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – Eyewitnesses in occupied East Jerusalem reported Thursday that a group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian child in al-Wad neighborhood, in the Old City, leading to clashes between the residents and the settlers. Injuries and arrests were reported. The eyewitnesses stated that Israeli soldiers sided with the settlers and fired a…

Baghdad bombings leave at least 60 dead, nearly 200 injured
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – A string of explosions ripped through the Iraqi capital on Thursday, killing at least 60 people and injuring nearly 200 just days after the last U.S. troops left the country, police and health officials said. The attacks came in the midst of a political standoff between the country’s main Shiite and Sunni…

I am sorry for the role I played in Fallujah
Uruknet December 22, 2011 – It has been seven years since the end of the second siege of Fallujah – the US assault that left the city in ruins, killed thousands of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands more; the assault that poisoned a generation, plaguing the people who live there with cancers and their children with…

Report: Hamas agrees to join PLO
Uruknet December 22, 2011 — Hamas has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization in a move intended to bolster Palestinian reconciliation, The Associated Press reported Thursday. The report comes as President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo to put “final touches” on an agreement to reconcile the leaders’ rival factions…

Syria News – December 21, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Number of Martyrs today in Syria rose to 25 among them 3 children and 3 women, 11 in Idlib, 5 in Hama, 4 in Homs, 3 in Daraa , 1 in Aleppo and 1martyr in Lattakia… -Homs: Qosour: Martyrdom of Hiyam Eshi (56) by the sniper fire. She was the widow of a…

Activists say 111 killed in Syria’s “bloodiest day”
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Syrian forces killed 111 people ahead of the start of a mission to monitor President Bashar al-Assad’s implementation of an Arab League peace plan, activists said on Wednesday, and France branded the killings an “unprecedented massacre.” Rami Abdulrahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 111 civilians and activists were killed…

Holy Land Betrayed: Our Unchristian Government
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – We see how politicians become eager stooges, but if you are as puzzled as I am how a true Christian could possibly be taken in by Zionism, a short paper on the phenomenon is available from Sadaka. An effective antidote is The Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism, a statement by the Latin…

Not so much of the Shock and Awe: How an American born outside the U.S. responds to the NDAA
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – The U.S. is now giving itself powers to capture American citizens and hold them indefinitely in military detention without trial. Apparently I am meant to be very shocked by this, because Americans are such a special rara aves, such a unique species, so it must be a tremendous earth-shattering blow when one…

In The Name of Security
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Whenever I get the opportunity to explain and show to people the injustice the Israeli occupation creates for the Palestinians I take it. In these situations one of the questions I get the most is “but how do the Israelis legitimize doing that?” And I have realized that there are three words…

May you live in interesting times
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – The drama and (hidden) tragedy of the destruction of Libya was played out for us as if it were cine’ma verite’, all grainy footage and hand-held cameras swinging about wildly all over the place, inter-cut with BBC propagandists masquerading as news men standing in front of a weapon of death boasting to…

Destroying the American Dream
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – …New cuts will sustain Wall Street, militarism, favoritism, waste, fraud, and other rewards for Washington’s usual special interests. They’ll benefit at the expense of ordinary people losing out. Increasingly on their own sink or swim, Obama calls it “shared sacrifice.” Ordinary people sacrifice to let business and super-rich elites share. Washington’s new…

Outsourced from the Law Do Private Military Contractors Have Impunity to Torture?
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Unbelievably, in 2011 this question has not yet been settled in the courts of the United States. Human rights attorneys are headed back to court in the coming month to argue that, yes, victims of war crimes and torture by contractors should have a path to justice. Attorneys from my organization, the…

Palestinians are heroes, braving Israeli dictatorship
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – The Palestinians are heroes, and that’s the only fact that’s relevant after the slight shock of the hilltop thugs. The hands are the hands of thugs, and the head? The head is the head of the hostile regime under which the Palestinians live and which harasses them every moment of every day,…

Iraq snapshot – December 21 , 2011
Uruknet December 21, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri continues targeting political rivals, Nouri says 700 more US ‘trainers,’ the White House and the State Dept continue to be asked about what’s taking place in Iraq, and more….In many, many ways, the White House violated the Iraqi Constitution and the will of the Iraqi people when they…

How is Al-Maliki Exploiting the Pullout?
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – …In other words, the Iraqi prime minister wanted to exploit the withdrawal of the American combat troops from Iraq to introduce drastic amendments affecting the political process and its components. By doing so, he aims at distancing the Iraqi List’s political influence despite its parliamentary strength – that is its popularity -…

Jenin Freedom Theater to Reenact Midnight Arrests
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Jenin refugee camp has recently suffered a higher number of arrests than usual. Over thirty arrests have been made in the past month. Last night alone, at least eight new arrests were made during a major Israeli military invasion of the refugee camp. Among the people arrested were three members of The…

Assad’s Hapless Heroes
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – I’ve heard that the Syrian army has carried out more live fire exercises to test their readiness against any external aggressors. Of course we all remember how ready the Syrian army was in 1967, when it lost the Golan Heights without putting up a fight, or when the Syrian Air force lost…

Pvt. Manning and Imperative of Truth
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – When I was asked to speak at Saturday’s rally at Fort Meade in support of Pvt. Bradley Manning, I wondered how I might provide some context around what Manning is alleged to have done. What jumped into my mind was the letter Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote from the Birmingham City…

On His Uneasy One-Year Anniversary as Premier, Maliki Escalates Iraq’s Political Conflict
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – …At a press conference today, Maliki himself seemed unworried about these shortcomings. Indeed, he appeared to be taunting his opponents, saying he expected to appoint acting ministers for Iraqiyya ministers that are boycotting the sessions of parliament, as well as installing a new vice premier and a new vice president to replace…

Israeli Delegitimization
Uruknet December 21, 2011 – Under the UN Charter, other international law, and principles of sovereign equality, all states are equal. None are more or less legitimate than others. Under the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, Israel qualifies as one. It has: * a fixed recognizable territory; * a permanent population; * a functioning government;…

Daily Star

Israel cancels air surveillance deal with Turkey: Haaretz
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Israel has cancelled the sale of air surveillance equipment to Turkey over fears that it might fall into the hands of countries hostile to the Jewish state, the Haaretz daily said on Thursday.

Russia and US clash over NATO bombing probe
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Russia urged the U.N. Security Council on to investigate civilian deaths in Libya from NATO’s bombing campaign.

Police search offices of Ben Ali relative’s lawyer
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Police searched the offices of a Montreal lawyer for ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s brother-in-law for evidence he hid money for the family, court documents showed Wednesday.

Berlin summons Syria envoy over deadly crackdown
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 German’s foreign ministry said Thursday it had summoned Syria’s ambassador to Berlin to demand an immediate halt to the “brutal” repression of anti-regime demonstrators by government forces.

Former spymaster’s firm seeks uranium in Israeli desert
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 An Israeli energy firm run by a former head of the Mossad spy agency is to start prospecting for uranium in the southern Negev desert, the company said on Thursday.

Israel sees Hezbollah responsible for security incidents in Lebanon
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Israeli defense officials say Hezbollah is responsible for recent security incidents in south Lebanon, hinting at a possible change in the party’s policy toward the Jewish state since 2006.

NDU students creatively protest lax smoking policy
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Wearing Santa hats and shooting smokers with water guns might be an unconventional way to protest a university’s lax smoking ban. But it has certainly gotten the attention of the intended targets – students, faculty and…

Ruknabadi visits Jumblatt, renews Iran visit offer
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Iranian Ambassador Ghazanfar Ruknabadi met Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt Thursday and renewed his country’s invitation to him to visit Tehran.

Syria says 2,000 soldiers and police killed
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Syria said on Thursday more than 2,000 members of its army and security forces had been killed in armed attacks since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March.

Salameh: Lebanese Canadian lawsuit is an isolated case
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said Thursday the U.S. lawsuit against the Lebanese Canadian Bank should be seen as an individual case and not generalized.

‘X Factor’ finalists back to roots with audition songs
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 The three finalists of TV contest The X Factor went back to their roots on Wednesday, each performing their first audition songs as they battled for votes and a $5 million recording contract.

George Michael released from Vienna hospital-paper
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 British singer George Michael was discharged from a Vienna hospital on Thursday after weeks of treatment for severe pneumonia, the Oesterreich newspaper reported.

Memorial service to be held for John Redwine Friday at AUB
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 A memorial service for Beirut-based U.S. journalist and NGO worker John Redwine will be held Friday at the American University of Beirut chapel in Assembly Hall at 10 a.m.

Turkey blasts French genocide bill as racism, cuts ties
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 France sparked a major diplomatic row with Turkey Thursday by taking steps to criminalise the denial of genocide, including the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks

Lebanon’s Bachrouche wins 3rd gold medal at Arab Games
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Lebanon’s Katya Bachrouche has won a third gold medal in the 2011 Arab Games in Doha.

Apple nears German court rebuff in row with Samsung
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 A German court rejected Apple’s claims that Samsung Electronics’ reworked tablet PC still looks like a copycat version of the iPad.

Lebanese take part in horse-jumping event in Doha
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Lebanon has three male representatives jumping horses in Doha.

Federal Bank of Lebanon says no U.S. lawsuit against it
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Federal Bank of Lebanon denied Thursday a media report claiming it is one of the Lebanese financial institutions being sued by the U.S. over money-laundering allegations.

British Airways buys bmi for Heathrow growth
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 British Airways owner IAG has agreed to buy Lufthansa’s British unit BMI for 172.5 million pounds.

Strikes over austerity hit Europe holiday travel
Daily Star 22 Dec 2011 Strikes to protest austerity measures paralyzed ground traffic in Belgium and hit Christmas travelers.

YNet News

Egypt activists call mass rally against army rule
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – ….

Hezbollah TV: Basketball players from Israel may be Mossad spies
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Head of anti-Israel group tells Al-Manar American basketball players who played in Jewish state before coming to Lebanon may be ‘threat to national security’ ….

Soccer: Eli Guttman to be named national team manager
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – ….

Germany: Arab-Israeli women’s body found
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – ….

Haredim stone buses in Jerusalem
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – ….

Iran to produce TV show on officer killed in Tehran blast
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – West claims Israel’s Mossad was behind explosion that killed Hassan Moqaddam, the ‘architect’ of Iran’s missile defense program ….

OSCE slams French ban on Armenian genocide denial
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – ….

Israel nixes defense deal with Turkey
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Jerusalem calls off $141 milliion deal with Ankara over fears that Turkey could hand over cutting-edge equipment to hostile parties, officials say ….

US earmarks $235 million for Israel’s defense systems
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Washington to allocate unprecedented sum for development of anti-missile safeguards, including David’s Sling, Arrow systems ….

Prepare for darker Mideast
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: New Middle East will be paradise for Muslim men, hell for women and Jews ….

Olmert: Europe is not our enemy
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Ex-PM slams Lieberman’s assault on Europe; ‘Are we declaring war on the world?’ Olmert wonders ….

5 women to graduate Air Force Academy
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Record number of women cadets expected to complete prestigious flight course next week ….

Welcome to Cairostan
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Egypt’s radicals eliminating country’s connection to West, but does anyone care? ….

Battle for Jewish identity
YNet News, 22 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: We need to find a way to be modern and free, yet still in line with Jewish tradition ….

Our African workforce
YNet News, 21 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: African migrants are no threat; we let them in so they can do our dirty work ….

Palestinian Information Center

Baher: Disabling parliamentary life in W. Bank damaging to the national interest
PIC – First deputy speaker Ahmed Baher called on the Palestinian rivals meeting in Cairo to swiftly reach an agreement enabling the Palestinian parliament to resume its sessions.

Family committee says political arrests still ongoing even with national talks
PIC – The family committee of political prisoners said the Palestinian authority security apparatuses still carry out arbitrary detention campaigns despite the national reconciliation meetings.

4 European members of security council slam Israel’s settlement expansion
PIC – France, Britain, Germany and Portugal strongly denounced Israel for inviting tenders for the construction of new housing units in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Arab spring is a great asset for Palestinian cause
PIC – Liberation of the collective Arab will from the diabolical stranglehold of tyranny will put the Palestinian cause on the right track, a track that will take us to freedom, justice and peace.

IOF soldiers round up 4 Palestinians, assault paramedic
PIC – Israeli occupation forces arrested four Palestinian citizens in the West Bank on Wednesday, three of them in Al-Khalil, and assaulted a Palestinian paramedic while on duty.

IOF soldiers storm office of MP
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) broke into the office of Hamas MP Emad Nofal in Qalqilia city and confiscated his computers and official documents.

Khudari: No more justifications for Gaza siege
PIC – Head of the popular committee against Gaza siege MP Jamal Al-Khudari has called on Israel to lift its siege on Gaza Strip imposed over the past six years.

Bardawil: Hamas’s headquarters in Damascus, nobody asked it to leave
PIC – Hamas leader Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has affirmed that Hamas is headquartered in Damascus, describing rumors that it would relocate out of Syria as “sheer liesâ€.

IOA bulldozers destroy Palestinian land in occupied Jerusalem
PIC – Bulldozers of the Israeli controlled municipality of Jerusalem started leveling Palestinian land near the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Expert: Israeli scheme to displace thousands of Palestinians in Al-Khalil
PIC – The IOA has expropriated thousands of dunums of Palestinian land to the south and east of Al-Khalil at trivial security pretexts, Abdul Hadi Hantash, an expert in settlement, warned on Tuesday.

WAFA

PLO Delegation Urges US to Support Palestinian Right to Self-Determination
WAFA

Abbas Briefs PLO Special Committee on Political Developments
WAFA

Abbas Issues Decree to Form Central Elections Commission
WAFA

Israeli Bulldozers Demolish Two Houses in Galilee
WAFA

Liechtenstein Donates $110,742 to UNRWA
WAFA

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Three Palestinians near Jerusalem
WAFA

Jerusalem Municipality Hands Palestinians Demolishing Orders
WAFA

Israeli Forces Demolish Farming Huts, Wells in Hebron
WAFA

Israeli Tanks Raid Khan Younis
WAFA

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Nine Palestinians, Confiscate Five Vehicles
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

The Two Faces of the United Nations
Intifada-Palestine: 22 Dec 2011 – Mohamed Khodr Truth and Justice have been a historical anathema to all Empires and the powerful oligarchies throughout history. From all divine revelations to the necessity of humanity’s coexistence in peace, Justice has been the highest and noblest of virtues to… more

Happy Christmas, O prisoners of the Little Town of Bethlehem
Intifada-Palestine: 22 Dec 2011 – O little town of Bethlehem How still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light The hopes and fears of all the years Are met… more

BRIDES BOYCOTT AHAVA AND SODASTREAM
Intifada-Palestine: 21 Dec 2011 –   Flash mob, brides and all, boycott AHAVA and SodaStream at a Bed Bath and Beyond store in Marin County, CA Words to music by Jane Jewell and Sue Blackwell below… Ode to Boycott Israel, end your occupation, There’s no peace… more

Britain may be a Christian country… But its Government Marches to the Beat of Another Drum
Intifada-Palestine: 21 Dec 2011 – Israeli Crimes by Stuart Littlewood Prime minister David Cameron has told Britain: “We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so.” He was speaking on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the King James version… more

Misc

Asghar Farhadi’s ‘A Separation’ aims for Oscar hat trick
LA Times 21 Dec 2011 – It’s Iran’s Oscar submission in the foreign film category, but ‘A Separation’ by Asghar Farhadi is building buzz to compete in the director and original screenplay fields. Although its U.S. theatrical opening is still two weeks away, Iran’s official Oscar submission, the gripping domestic drama “…

U.S. Seeks Program to Buy Up Missiles Loose in Libya
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – Talks between the United States and Libya are the latest effort to account for thousands of portable antiaircraft missiles missing after rebels overran arms depots.

Deadly Explosions Rock Baghdad Amid Political Crisis
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – A series of explosions ripped through Iraq’s capital, an ominous turn for a country reeling from political and sectarian turmoil that erupted after the departure of the American military.

Iraqi Vice President, Tariq al-Hashimi, Suggests Replacing Maliki
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, facing an arrest warrant on terrorism charges, said reconciliation with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, “might be impossible.”

Iran’s Navy to Hold War Games Near Key Sea Lanes
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – The Iranian military said its navy would stage 10 days of exercises in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, near major oil shipping lanes patrolled by the United States Fifth Fleet.

Egypt’s Premier Assails Protesters and Cites Economic Damage
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri complained in a news conference on Thursday that other civilian political leaders shun him as though he were the agent of a foreign “occupation.”

Exxon Mobil and Iraq Clash Over Payment
New York Times 22 Dec 2011 – An oil deal in Kurdistan could be delaying a $50 million payment that Exxon Mobil wants from the Iraq government for improvements it made to an oil field.

Iraq lurches toward sectarian warfare
WSWS – The so-called national unity government, formed under US pressure in December 2010, has effectively collapsed.

The reality of the Iraq War
WSWS – While the official withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq does not mark an end to the US intervention in the country, it offers an opportunity to take the measure of one of the greatest crimes of the modern period.

Damn your fathers, you shot baba!
Mondoweiss – This story began when I was looking for a child who has lived through the First Palestinian Intifada ( uprising ), or been active participant. The project was part of Palestinian bloggers’ campaign to mark the twenty-fourth anniversary of the “First Intifada.” We had agreed, each of us, will publish a text or…

‘If Jesus were to come this year, Bethlehem would be closed’
Mondoweiss – link to www.guardian.co.uk link to www.stopthewall.org ‘—> link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.imemc.org link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.gazagateway.org link to www.haaretz.com link to blog.endtheoccupation.org link to us.rd.yahoo.com link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.hrw.org link to www.amnesty.org link to www.aljazeera.com

Ben-Ami: I advocate for Israel, Palestinian groups should advocate for Palestinian human rights
Mondoweiss – Jeremy Ben Ami On a dreary, rainy evening in late November my friend Pat Carmeli and I were driving to Syracuse to hear Jeremy Ben-Ami speak.   I smiled when Pat turned to me and said, “I’m going to ask him a question about human rights…

The Ron Paul moment– bad and good
Mondoweiss – Ron Paul is at last having his moment. The Washington Post says “Rep. Ron Paul has become a serious force with the potential to upend the nomination fight and remain a factor throughout next year’s general-election campaign.” The Post cites Paul’s appeal to young voters across…

If Lanny Davis is such a good Democrat, why is Obama-attack-dog Omri Ceren his VP?
Mondoweiss – Lanny Davis The ongoing drama at the heart of the controversy over former AIPAC staffer Josh Block’s attack on the Center for American Progress (CAP) for harboring critics of Israel is that Block’s own business partner, Lanny Davis, has twice distanced himself from Block— apparently so…

Washington Post’s Israel Correspondent Sees ‘New Hamas Pragmatism’ in Light of Arab Spring
Tikun Olam – I just read a story by the Washington Post’s Israel correspondent , Joel Greenberg which makes me retain some hope that this media outlet isn’t a hopeless slave to the pro-Israel hasbara line advocated in the Op-Ed section by Fred Hiatt. Though I don’t follow the Post…

Hanukah 2011: Days of Darkness
Tikun Olam – Hanukah menorah This Hanukah 2011 is characterized by days of darkness. Israel sinks further into the mire of authoritarianism. It increasingly resembles the police state Yeshaia Leibowitz warned it would become after the euphoria of the 1967 War ended. Democracy, if not dead is on life-support….

Belgian group files legal complaint for illegal arms trade with Israel!
Neged Neshek – Vredesactie, (Peace Action), a Belgian “movement that advocates a society in which conflicts are settled without violence or the threat to use violence,” has filed a complaint against Barco Technology for illegally selling arms to Israel. The firm apparently never gained permission for the export. Importantly,…

Magal subsidiary wins new prison contracts in Canada and Australia
Neged Neshek – Senstar, a Canada-based subsidiary of Magal Systems, has won new contracts worth almost US$1 million in Canada and Australia to monitor the disenfranchised populations of those countries. This is a natural path for Magal as it does the same against Palestinians for Israel .

US and Israel to hold massive missile defense drill in 2012
Neged Neshek – The U.S. and Israel are planning to host their largest ever missile defense drill in the spring of 2012. According to the Jerusalem Post the drill “will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany –…

Technion to collaborate with Cornell in new NYC science campus
Neged Neshek – Haifa-based Technion is teaming with Cornell University  to building a science and engineering campus on New York City’s Roosevelt Island. The Palestinian Boycott National Committee notes that “ multiple levels of systemic violence and oppression that are committedat, and fostered by the Technion University .” [ Click…

Accusations swelling against Syria
Voltaire Network 22 Dec 2011 – Both the Western and the Gulf press have relayed the allegation of the OSDH (London office of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood) according the which the Syrian army has massacred hundreds of people in Kafroueid, in the province of Idleb. Although this accusation was not cross-checked, France…

Libyan Islamists go to Syria to “help” the revolution
Voltaire Network 22 Dec 2011 – Spanish pro-monarchy daily newspaper ABC published, in its edition of 17 December 2011, the testimony of its special envoy to Syria, the celebrated photojournalist Daniel Iriarte. Inside the Free Syrian Army, the journalist encountered senior Al Qaeda officials from Libya. ABC interviewed a group of Libyans…

Thierry Meyssan reporting live from Damascus
Voltaire Network 22 Dec 2011 – In the following two interviews conducted by 108morris108, on 5 and 10 December respectively, the chairman of Voltaire Network recaps his well-known behind-the-scene view and analysis of the events playing out in Syria and their repercussions on the region and beyond, focusing on the role of…

Russian navy in Syria: Thorn in US side
Voltaire Network 21 Dec 2011 – The US-based intelligence-gathering firm Stratfor says most of the claims by the Syrian opposition about the seriousness of the country’s crisis are untrue. The company insists protesters are exaggerating, to win support from powers like the US. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a former Reagan administration official,…

Nigeria: Jail and an Israeli President
allAfrica.com 22 Dec 2011 – The jailing of a former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, to a seven year term in a special prison for observant Jews a forth night ago has once again demonstrated that in true democracies where the rule of law obtains, nobody is, or should be, above…

South Sudan: Christian Pilgrims to Visit Israel in March
allAfrica.com 22 Dec 2011 – The Christian for Israel International South Sudan is organizing a Christian tour to Israel in the following months; March, April and October next year.

South Sudan: Leader Makes First Visit to Israel
allAfrica.com 20 Dec 2011 – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir on Tuesday visited Israel for the first time for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials, a diplomatic source told AFP.

South Sudan: President Kiir Concludes a Quick Visit to Israel
allAfrica.com 21 Dec 2011 – South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayadrit Tuesday conducted yesterday a successful visit to the Jewish state where he met with Israeli president and prime minister who pledged to support the new state.

Palestinians prisoners are out of jail, but not yet free
Joseph Dana 22 Dec 2011 – RAMALLAH // Celebrations marking the release of 550 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails stretched into the early hours of yesterday morning, but life outside prison will not necessarily mean freedom from the long arm of Israeli authorities. Just ask Fakhri Barghouti. Mr Barghouti walked out of jail…

US-made tear gas becomes fatal ingredient of protests
Joseph Dana 22 Dec 2011 – Residents of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank have been demonstrating, each week for the past two years, against the slow encroachment on their land by Israeli settlers.Gathering in the village centre on Friday afternoons, villagers along with Israeli and international activists attempt to march, under…

Belgian NGO Vredesactie files complaint against Barco Co. for illegal weapons trade with Israel
Global BDS 20 Dec 2011 – On Tuesday December 20 th , Vredesactie filed an official complaint at the Ghent police office against technology company Barco. Barco developed a flight simulator for the Israeli air force, but never requested an export permission, although Belgian legislation on arms trade requires this. “Illegal arms trade”,…

US $10m bounty for ‘al-Qaeda man’
BBC 22 Dec 2011 – The US has offered a reward of $10m for information leading to the arrest of a man they say is a key al-Qaeda facilitator and financier operating in Iran.

Tehran blocks UK embassy’s site
BBC 22 Dec 2011 – The Iranian government has blocked access to the UK embassy website from within Iran, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says.

Egypt votes in run-off elections
BBC 21 Dec 2011 – Egyptians in one-third of the country vote in run-off elections after five days of clashes and protests in which 13 people were killed.

‘Nearly 200′ die in Syria clashes
BBC 21 Dec 2011 – Almost 200 people die in two days of clashes in Syria, activists say – as violence intensifies ahead of the arrival of a group of Arab observers.

The Authority Already Exists – What’s Needed Is a Willingness to Act
B’tselem 20 Dec 2011 – Reports in the Israeli media in recent days claim that the security forces will soon be given new powers to combat settler violence. According to the reports, soldiers will be authorized to detain and arrest Israelis in the Occupied Territories. The reports are misleading. Israeli soldiers…

Articles


Zionists being swept away by the changing tide
Gilad Atzmon, Redress 12/22/2011
      It was a few years ago that I grasped that Zionism was just one manifestation of Jewish political power in the West. At the time hardly anyone was either brave or stupid enough to tackle the topic. In spite of Israel defining itself as the “Jewish state” and despite the fact that the warplanes that dropped their bombs on Palestinian civilians were covered in Jewish symbols, still no one was willing to openly ask exactly what Jewishness was all about or what it stood for – and those few who did dare to raise the question were subjected to extreme abuse until they took cover or just faded away.
     It’s also been clear for quite a while that many Palestinian solidarity activists, intellectuals and academics have been begging for recognition from mainstream Western institutions. For obvious reasons, many of us have been fearful of open confrontation with exponents of Zionist power, whether mainstream Zionist media organizations or even those “anti-Zionist” Zionists who have managed to lodge themselves so comfortably within our ranks.
     But recently things have changed and the popularity of my book The Wandering Who? is just one example of that clear shift in consciousness. Somehow, we have lost our fear, somehow we have found the courage to say what we know to be the truth.
     Alliance of bigots and charlatans
     I’ve been engaged with Jewish identity politics issues for over a decade now but it was back in 2003 that I realized that total and uncompromised opposition to any form of Jewish identity politics was the only way forward. I also realized that I might be able to expose the framework of Jewish political infrastructure, not only within Israel but also within Zionist organizations, Western politics, Western media and the so-called Jewish “anti-Zionist” network. It didn’t take long to realize I was in a true win-win situation…. more.. e-mail

ISA incapable of dealing with ‘Price Tag’ attacks
+972 Magazine 12/22/2011
      What Israel needs, in the battle against Jewish terrorism, is a Lester Freemon; What the ISA can supply is a weak-kneed Jack Bauer.
     Israel was shocked last week, as violent settlers attacked the IDF directly, ransacking an army base, stoning a colonel and his deputy, and throwing Molotov cocktails at soldiers. The shock was reinforced by the IDF’s response: It did nothing. The soldiers cowered and did not even arrest their assailants. Later on, the Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, said that the army did not have any intelligence on the attackers: It does not gather information on Jews, he said.
     Barak was, for once, correct. The duty to collect intelligence and investigate Jewish terrorism rests with the ISA (familiar to non-Israelis as the Shin Beth). The ISA enjoys a fearsome reputation and is widely considered to be the best of Israel’s intelligence agencies. It foiled dozens, of not hundreds, of terrorist attacks in the last decades, and is essential to the controversial “targeted assassination” program, where it is relied upon to provide pinpoint-accurate intelligence.
     The last year has seen a significant rise in the so-called “price tag” attacks: Attacks by settlers or their supporters on Palestinians, both in the West Bank and Israel proper, in retaliation for actions considered hostile to the settlers by the IDF. The logic is that of hostage-taking: Harm our interests, and we’ll harm Palestinians, and thereby put the relative quiet at risk. Attacks by settlers on soldiers are not new: They have been documented for decades. They have never been so high-profile, however.
     And yet, after more than a year of “price tag” attacks, not a single attacker was indicted, let alone convicted. This despite the fact that the ISA has a special division dealing with Jewish terrorism (dubbed “the Jewish Division”), and despite the fact that its leaders have openly said Jewish terrorism is much more dangerous, strategically, than Palestinian terrorism. more.. e-mail

The Jews go to war (with themselves)
Lawrence Davidson, Redress 12/19/2011
      On 12 December 2011 hundreds of Israeli settler fanatics besieged a West Bank Israeli army base. They destroyed equipment, set fires and even stoned the base soldiers. This was the second such attack in a month. The cause? Anger over the army’s dismantlement of a small number of isolated, unauthorized settler outposts. The chief of the Central Command of the Israel “Defence” Forces (IDF), Major-General Avi Misrahi, is quoted as saying “I have not seen such hatred of Jews towards soldiers during my 30 years of service.” He must not have been looking.
     Staged hypocrisy
     This was not an exceptional event. The subsequent indignation over the attack expressed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (“red lines have been crossed”) was, as Alex Fishman writing in the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth put it, staged hypocrisy. The prime minister is certainly aware that for some time there has been on-going skirmishing between the settlers and government security forces. Right-wing settlers regularly throw rocks and fire bombs at police and army vehicles and “physical altercations” between settlers and Israeli police and soldiers are “almost routine”. This is so despite the fact that the government – both prime minister and Knesset – “either tacitly or openly” support the settlers. Then why the hatred and why the attacks? At this stage the battle is over strategy. The Israeli government wants to gobble up all of Palestine in an orderly step by step fashion. In part, this is to avoid too much international criticism at any particular stage of the process. On the other hand, the settlers don’t give a damn about international opinion – no more than does al-Qaeda, to which they have an unsavoury resemblance. Led “by fundamentalist religious leaders who do not recognize the state of Israel and its laws”, they are driven by religious fanaticism and have no respect for governments or their agents…. more.. e-mail

EI exclusive: UK charity with Mossad links secretly denounced anti-Zionist Jews to government
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2011 – Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada London An influential UK charity denounced Jewish critics of Israel in secret reports to the government earlier this year, The Electronic Intifada has learned.more

The Duke of Nablus
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 – By Uri Avnery The name of Munib al-Masri has recently come up as a possible candidate for Prime Minister of a Palestinian national unity government. Not being a member of either Fatah or Hamas, he is acceptable to both. Al-Masri himself denies any such ambition. He says that he is too old (77), and that a younger generation of Palestinians should take over. He also says that he is quite content with his present situation. And so would you be. The West Bank city of Nablus nestles in the valley between two tall mountains, Ebal and Gerizim. Mount Gerizim is the more famous one, because it is sacred to the Samaritan people, who believe that God commanded the Israelites to build his temple there. For them, Jerusalem is just an upstart. Mount Gerizim, 881 meters above sea level, towers 330 meters above the center of Nablus. It is mentioned many…more

Iraq War: Moral Victory, and Selective Body Counts
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 – By Ramzy Baroud Someone ought to let mainstream news producers know that the nearly 4,500 US soldiers killed in the Iraq war were not the only victims. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have also been killed as a result of the unwarranted US invasion, and many more have been wounded and/or forever maimed. Chances are, all of these Iraq war victims would still be alive today were it not for former President George Bush and his band of neoconservatives. Demonstrating a bizarre mix of evangelical ambition, cowboy bravado and the pathological desire to ‘keep Israel secure’, Iraq was destroyed over and over again. A short report by WTKR, a CBS affiliate television station in Virginia, cited in an online report in the Los Angeles Times on December 16, broadcast images of a US flag being furled at a small US military base in Baghdad. At the ceremony, Defense Secretary Leon…more

A Checkpoint Isn’t Just a Construction
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 – By Tamar Fleishman – The West Bank Shuafat checkpoint that was inaugurated a few days ago disconnects the residents of the refugee camp from the center of their lives. It separates family members, employees from their place of work, patients from clinics, children from educational institutions and restricts the free movement of tens of thousands of human beings, for the ultimate goal set by its inventors and constructors to create a “strictly Jewish Jerusalem”. The architecture of the checkpoint correlates to the principles of modern prisons, the Panopticon, the concept of the design is to allow an observer to observe all inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether or not they are being watched, according to Michel Foucault’s definition: “A metaphor for the modern disciplinary power which is based on isolation, individualization and supervision… the construction is divided into cells that provide the supervisors a clear…more

Happy Christmas, O prisoners of the Little Town of Bethlehem
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 – By Stuart Littlewood O little town of Bethlehem How still we see thee lie Above thy deep and dreamless sleep The silent stars go by Yet in thy dark streets shineth The everlasting Light The hopes and fears of all the years Are met in thee tonight While carving the turkey for your family and merrily quaffing mulled wine ‘midst happy laughter, remember that the romantic Little Town of Bethlehem at the centre of our childhood Christmases is now “an immense prison” in the words of Michel Sabbah, former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and entirely surrounded by Israel’s ugly 8-metre separation wall bristling with machine-gun towers. The good citizens of Bethlehem are cut off from their capital Jerusalem, only six miles away, the rest of the West Bank and the whole world. Consider that the United Nations, for obvious reasons, designated Jerusalem and Bethlehem a protected international zone under UN…more

Muslims and Islam, and the Other Side of War
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 – By M. I. Bhat Any one in his/her normal senses would laugh away at the very thought of it given the tragedy – in terms of millions upon millions dead, maimed, orphans, households and businesses destroyed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and (if you include indirectly) Pakistan over the past three decades – that recent wars inflicted upon Muslims. Add to this the stigma of terrorism that Muslims have been burdened with today individually and collectively in the eyes of non-Muslims world over. So there is actually everything for a Muslim to cry over than to look for even a faint streak of silver lining in such a large scale and down-to-earth destruction and loss of personality. That in fact is what a significant proportion among Muslims point to and want their community to think about and change. Who are these within-community ‘well wishers’ who see and understand what the majority…more

Sanctioning Syria: Who is the Real Loser?
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Dec 2011 – By Dr. Elias Akleh Economic sanctions are arrogant open acts of war against other nations. Their goal is to devastate the lower and middle classes and to weaken the country. The regime of the imposing country believes that its economy is superior and is so influential that other countries are so dependent on it and could not survive without it. Economic sanctions are deceitfully justified as punishing a ruthless political regime and protecting human rights of an oppressed people. Such people are the most devastated when their economy is hurt while the ruling regime may become more oppressive in its reaction in order to protect and to preserve itself. Case in point is the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children who died due to lack of medicine during the economic embargo after the Gulf War while the Iraqi regime had its own reserve of all kinds of medications stored for…more

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Posted 23rd December 2011 by InI in category VTJP Palestine/Israel

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