VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 6 February 2012: Disgraced ex-military interrogator threatens to reveal state secrets

6 February 2012VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Abbas Recommended to Serve as Interim Government Prime Minister
IMEMC – After recent meetings in Qatar, mediated by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas Chief Khaled Mashaal announced that Abbas should serve as the Prime Minister of the Interim-Government, until elections can take place later this year. The two met in Doha, the Qatari capital, despite recent tensions between the parties, particularly in light of the rejection of a Fatah visit to the Gaza Strip by Hamas last month. …

Anti-Wall Protest in al-Walaja Attacked by Israeli Troops, Three Abducted
IMEMC – On Sunday, villagers from al-Walaja and international supporters went to the area where Israeli authorities are in the midst of destroying lands to build the Annexation wall. They held a non-violent march and rally, until a group of Israeli soldiers attacked the marchers. …

Hamas Leadership Leaves Syria
IMEMC – The last member of the leadership of the Hamas party left Syria on Sunday, in an attempt to separate the party from the Syrian government’s crackdown on protesters. …

Ten More Detainees Join Hunger Strike
IMEMC – Ten more Palestinian detainees at the Ofer Israeli prison, decided to join the open-ended hunger strike of Sheikh Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for 50 days, and his health condition has sharply deteriorated. …

Ma’an News

Abbas to head unity government as factions sign agreement
2/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal penned an agreement in Qatar on Monday which will see the Fatah leader head a unity government. The agreement stipulates that the current President will head an interim government to prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections. It also included agreements on reforming the Palestinian…. Related: Netanyahu: Abbas must choose between Hamas and peace

Israel ‘closes investigation into tear gas shooting’
2/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Sunday closed an investigation into the shooting of an Israeli activist with a tear gas canister in West Bank village Nabi Saleh, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee reported. Ben Ronen suffered multiple fractures to his hand after being hit at close range on May 13, the committee said…. Related: YouTube: Nabi Saleh Demo 13 May 2011

Hunger-striking Jihad detainee transferred to northern hospital
2/6/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities transferred Islamic Jihad detainee Khader Adnan to a hospital in northern Israel on Monday, as he entered the 51st day of a hunger strike. Adnan is being held in Zeif hospital in Safed, his lawyers told a prisoners group in Gaza, adding that prison authorities were trying to…. Related: Father of detained Jihad leader starts hunger strike and Rights group: Israel must release or charge Khader Adnan

Israeli authorities ‘punish Adnan solidarity strikers’
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said Monday that Israeli authorities have put eight detainees in solitary confinement after they joined the hunger strike of detained Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan. Prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe said nearly 700 detainees in Ofer prison began an open hunger strike on Monday in support….

Al-Qassam fighters killed in accident
2/6/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two fighters affiliated with the Al-Qassam Brigades died on Sunday in accidental circumstances, Ma’an’s correspondent said. Iz al-Din al Mazir died when a tunnel collapsed and Samir Abdul Rahman, 28, died accidentally during a training exercise. Both men were from Gaza City….

Israel’s army arrests 15 people across West Bank
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested 15 people overnight Sunday and Monday morning, the army and Ma’an’s correspondent said. Five people were arrested in Nablus, four in al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah, two in Nabi Saleh, one in Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem, one in Beit Ummar and two in Qalqiliya, an….

Father of detained Jihad leader starts hunger strike
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The father of imprisoned Islamic Jihad Khader Adnan announced Monday that he will hold an open ended hunger-strike to show solidarity with his son. Jihad leader Khader Adnan entered his 51st day on hunger-strike on Monday and his condition has been described as serious. Musa Adnan told Ma’an that…. Related: Hunger-striking Jihad detainee transferred to northern hospital and Take action for hunger striking Palestinian Prisoner Khader Adnan!

Soldiers detain 60-year-old blocking settler tree planting
2/6/2012 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a 60-year-old man obstructing Israeli settlers from digging up land in Qalqiliya village Kafr Qaddum on Monday, witnesses and security officials said. Yaqoub Ishtawi tried to block a group of Israeli soldiers and settlers from razing village land, activist Murad Ishtewi told PA news agency Wafa. Soldiers….

Rights group: Israel must release or charge Khader Adnan
2/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — International rights group Amnesty International on Monday urged Israel to release or charge hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan, as he refused food for the 51st day to protest his administrative detention. Adnan, a well-known Islamic Jihad leader, was detained from his home in the northern West Bank on Dec. 17. On Jan….

Illegal, underground: Palestine’s electricity ‘threat’
2/6/2012 – MASAFER YATTA (Ma’an) — There is an underground bunker in the South Hebron Hills, camouflaged by bracken and heavy sacks, where a tiny Palestinian village is sheltering a secret. Building quietly at night and securing backing from foreign governments, experts are working to share this secret with communities across the area. The illicit activity….

Israel allows 30 cars, 200 truckloads of goods into Gaza
2/6/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israel allowed the transfer of 30 cars and 200 truckloads of goods into the Gaza Strip on Monday. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattuh said that two trucks of tomatoes were also exported to European countries….

UK court bails Bethlehem-born preacher Qatada
2/6/2012 – LONDON (Reuters) — A radical cleric born in Bethlehem was granted bail by a British court on Monday, despite attempts by the UK Home Office to keep him in prison. Abu Qatada, a Jordanian citizen once described as “Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe,” is expected to be released shortly into a tightly….

Obama: Israel has not made decision on Iran attack
2/6/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama said on Sunday that Israel has not yet decided how to respond to concerns about Iran’s nuclear program and said there was no evidence that Iran has the “intentions or capabilities” to wage attacks on US soil. Asked in an NBC interview whether Israel was set to attack….

Report: Zahhar heads Hamas delegation to Qatar
2/6/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Hamas delegation led by Mahmoud Zahhar headed to Qatar on Sunday night to take part in reconciliation talks, media reports said. The delegation of eight members exited the Gaza Strip via the Rafah crossing on route to meet with President Abbas and Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal in Doha, the….

Turkey grants Palestinian businessmen year long visa
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Turkey and the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Economy signed a deal on Monday which will grant Palestinian businessmen a year long visa to travel to and from Turkey. Coordinator with the private sector Imad al-Jallad told Ma’an that the application can be completed at the ministry in Ramallah. The….

Gaza Deputy PM meets Bahraini delegation
2/6/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Deputy Prime Minister of the Gaza government Muhammad Awad applauded the growing prominence of the Palestinian issue in the Arab world, after meeting with a delegation from Bahrain during their visit to the Gaza Strip. Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh is in Bahrain as part of his second regional tour in….

Netanyahu: Abbas must choose between Hamas and peace
2/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to reconciliation between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas on Monday, after the parties signed an agreement in Qatar to form a unity government to prepare for elections.” Hamas is a terrorist organization that seeks to destroy Israel and is supported by Iran,” Netanyahu….

Egypt welcomes Fatah, Hamas deal in Doha
2/6/2012 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — The Egyptian ambassador to the PA on Monday welcomed the agreement between Fatah and Hamas leaders in Doha to form a unity government. Yasser Othman told Ma’an that the talks in Qatar continue the process mediated by Egypt, which brokered a reconciliation deal between the rival factions in May….

Analysis: Netanyahu can’t fly solo in Israel to attack Iran
2/6/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Three decades ago, an Israeli prime minister faced his cabinet and invoked the Holocaust in an emotional appeal to approve an air strike against an Arab atomic reactor. Menachem Begin got the nod, cautioning that a nuclear-armed Iraq under Saddam Hussein would pose a threat to the existence of the Jewish state. On….

Obama tightens Iran sanctions over bank ‘deception’
2/6/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — President Barack Obama tightened sanctions on Iran another notch, the White House said on Monday, targeting its central bank and giving US banks new powers to freeze assets linked to the government. Obama‘s move, in an executive order he signed Sunday, was the latest action in an escalating campaign to target….

Abbas named as candidate for prime minister
2/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Abbas has been put forward as a candidate for prime minster of an interim government, a Ma’an source said Sunday. The proposal was made as Abbas and Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal agreed to form a unity government during a Sunday meeting in the Qatari capital. The proposal was…. Related: Netanyahu: Abbas must choose between Hamas and peace

Fayyad welcomes Doha agreement between Hamas, Fatah
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad welcomed the Doha agreement between Hamas and Fatah on Monday, which agreed to a unity government headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Fayyad said in a statement that the agreement is a response “to our people’s aspirations and ambitions to reunify the homeland.”The agreement….

PA starts budget crisis talks
2/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad met union leaders and employers on Monday to pursue agreement on the 2012 budget after a public outcry against austerity measures thwarted his first plan to tackle a debt crisis. An abrupt freeze in more than $150 million in US aid last year has slowed the Palestinian….

8-year-old boy dies after being hit by car
2/6/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — An eight-year-old boy was killed in Hebron on Sunday night after being knocked down by a jeep, police said. Faraj al-Karaki was hit by the car in the Wadi al-Qadi area of south Hebron. Ambulance crews did their best to save the child, police said, but he died at the scene….

50 killed as Syrian forces bombard Homs
2/6/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian forces bombarded Homs on Monday, killing 50 people in a sustained assault on several districts of the city which has become a center of armed opposition to President Bashar Assad, the Syrian National Council opposition group said.” The tally that we have received from various activists in Homs since the shelling started….

Explosion rips through main Syrian oil pipeline in Homs
2/6/2012 – AMMAN (Reuters) — An explosion ripped through an oil pipeline feeding a main refinery in the city of Homs on Monday and a plume of smoke was seen rising from the site, residents and activists said. The explosion, the second in a week that hit the pipeline, which carries crude oil from the eastern Rumailan field….

Egypt army urges swift move to presidential election
2/6/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s military leadership called for a swift move to a presidential election on Monday and security forces sealed off the Interior Ministry in Cairo from stone-throwing protesters clashing with riot police for a fifth day. In a sign that the army’s planned transition to civilian rule could be accelerated….

Arab League chief: Russia, China lose credit in Arab world
2/6/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — The Arab League chief said on Monday that Russia and China had lost diplomatic credit in the Arab world by vetoing a UN resolution on Syria and may have sent a message to Damascus that it had a free hand to crack down on protests. But Nabil al-Arabi said he would continue working….


Abbas to head Palestinian unity government
AlJazeera 6 Feb 2012Hamas endorses proposal in which Palestinian president will assume PM role in interim body to prepare for upcoming poll.

International Solidarity Movement

Breaking: Settlers and Israeli military move forward with plan to steal land
2/6/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 6 February 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – As of  2:00 PM today it was reported that two army jeeps were still on site in Kufr Qaddoum, in addition to one police jeep, while illegal settlers had left the scene of today’s violent incursion. Abu Ashraf, pictured below being dragged by Israeli….

Take action for hunger striking Palestinian Prisoner Khader Adnan!
2/6/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 6 February 2012, Samidoun – Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – Khader Adnan, an imprisoned Palestinian activist held under administrative detention, has engaged in an open-ended hunger strike since December 17, 2012. Now at fifty days into his hunger strike, he is facing severe health consequences and has been moved to a hospital, continuing to refuse food…. Related: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network and Rights group: Israel must release or charge Khader Adnan

Alternative Information Center

Six activists arrested in Issawiya
Alternative Information Center – Israeli forces, accompanied by bulldozers, arrived in the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya early this morning and reportedly arrested six Jewish Israeli activists.

The National

Assad seizes chance to destroy Homs
The National 6 Feb 2012 – As acrimony at the UN brings respite from diplomatic pressure, the Syrian regime turns its artillery on the city that symbolises revolt.

Ministers to appear before FNC over utilities, ATM data
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Members want more answers from government officials.

Grim echoes of another Assad’s brutality
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Thirty years ago the Syrian president Hafez Al Assad ordered a massacre in Hama, centre of a revolt against his rule. Is his son engaged in a brutal repeat in a hotbed of protest against his regime?

Palestinian factions form unity government led by Abbas, but no place for Fayyad
The National 6 Feb 2012 – The political pact is condemned by Israel, which ends four-year schism between Fatah and Hamas.

3,000 tonnes of waste from creek
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Dubai Municipality is urging dhow and vessel owners to stop dumping dirty water and diesel into Dubai creek, as a massive cleanup effort continues.

New rules clarify law on illegally subdivided villas
The National 6 Feb 2012 – New regulations on occupancy in residential units are meant to help the municipality crack down on illegal partitioned developments.

Killers’ death sentences quashed
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Family of dead man provided court with a waiver, sparing the men’s lives.

Time travel island to open soon in Dubai
The National 5 Feb 2012 – A new tourist attraction, slated to open later this month, will allow visitors to experience the life as a Bedouin.

Abandoned baby back with parents
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Parents who had abandoned their five-month-old baby in hospital because he was born with disabilities have taken the child home.

Europe’s death toll from freezing weather hits 360
The National 6 Feb 2012 – The bitter cold has engulfed most of Europe and even crossed the Mediterranean into north Africa, where as many as 16 people were killed on Algeria’s snow-slicked roads or in other weather-related accidents.

Sheikh Zayed Book Award shortlist announced
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Intended to promote scholarship and creativity in Arabic culture, it carries cash prizes totalling Dh7 million – with Dh750,000 per winner in most categories.

Greece postpones austerity talks
The National 6 Feb 2012 – Austerity talks have been pushed back for a day, despite intense pressure from the European Union for a speedy agreement so the country can avoid a default next month.


Bashar Assad emails leaked, tips for ABC interview revealed
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

WATCH: Israel nature authority destroys caves in new national park
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

U.S. closes embassy in Damascus as Obama vows to increase pressure on Syria
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

U.S. imposes stricter sanctions on Iran’s central bank
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Netanyahu: PA President must choose between peace with Israel and peace with Hamas
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Report: Top Iran military official aiding Assad’s crackdown on Syria opposition
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Iran: ‘Positive steps’ taken during visit by UN nuclear inspectors
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Abbas to lead Palestinian unity cabinet, following Hamas-Fatah deal
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Iran bans Simpsons dolls, fearing infiltration of western culture
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Report: Assad’s army kills 60 in intense shelling of Syria’s Homs
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Education Minister: Hebron school trips should have started a long time ago
Ha’aretz – 6 Feb 2012

Setting sights on sites
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

The next Shas martyr
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Weizmann Institute professor wins Israel Prize for physics, chemistry
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Shin Bet chief: Shalit’s poor health prompted Hamas to strike deal with Israel
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Bedouin community wins reprieve from forcible relocation to Jerusalem garbage dump
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Tel Aviv continues to fine store owners open on Shabbat in mostly non-Jewish areas
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Israel sees renewed Hamas activity in West Bank
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Study: Visitors at Israel’s Hula reserve make feathered friends take wing
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Court revokes Israel’s Olympic mascot over likeness to 1970s hero
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2012

Jerusalem Post

12 arrested for damaging forest with illegal quarrying
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Residents of Turan in the Lower Galilee suspected of systematically quarrying and selling rocks illegally, damaging forests.

Hungary condemns far-right’s anti-Semitic comments
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Jobbik spokesman questioned Holocaust figures, said Israel was created by ‘terrorists.’

‘Horowitz works hardest to separate religion, state’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Study by Open Knesset website and the Reform Movement’s Center for Religion and State says Meretz MK works hardest at separation.

Singing cactus wins courtroom victory in copyright clash
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Children’s TV star Kishkashta the singing cactus issued injunctions preventing Olympic Committee from using prickly pear mascot.

E. J’lem locals Mount Scopus park work frozen
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Four left-wing activists briefly held for trying to stop bulldozers’ work on slopes.

TA hands out saplings to city’s children for Tu Bishvat
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Recipients include volunteer bodies, young students, therapeutic institutions and community centers.

Elbit unveils camouflage detector
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Device designed for Hermes unmanned aerial vehicles.

Analysis: Will Qatar succeed where others have failed?
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt all tried mediating Fatah and Hamas in previous efforts.

‘Settlements cannot receive automatic benefits’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Prime Minister rejects last week’s cabinet decision; Likud MKs, residents: Decision sets a dangerous precedent.

US, UK take diplomatic steps over Syria violence
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – State Dep’t announces its embassy has suspended all operations, Hague recalls ambassador to Syria.

US extends sanctions to Iran’s central bank
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Measure blocks financial transactions on behalf of any Iranian government institution.

Our World: Obama’s rhetorical storm
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – If you take the Obama administration’s statements at face value you are left scratching your head in wonder.

The IDF’s greatest challenge
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – The army must internalize the need to formally empower its commanders against the gang-law threatening from the ranks.

Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas deal will end diplomatic process
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Israel wants world to pressure Abbas not to sign with Hamas; PM says if Abbas moves to implement Palestinian reconciliation deal signed in Qatar, he will “abandon path of peace.”

Borderline Views: The politics of planting
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Tu Bishvat, which is also the birthday of the Knesset, should be transformed into a national day of ecological awareness.

Too confrontational on Iran?
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – In the face of growing impatience with Iran’s stalling tactics, Obama insisted on giving the Islamic regime space and time to come to the table.

‘Egyptian NGO crackdown could impact US aid’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – White House says Egypt’s decision to refer foreign nationals, including US citizens, to court threatens aid.

This Tu Bishvat – a Nobel environment prize
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – As we celebrate Tu Bishvat, the Jewish environmental holiday, 1 way to show we’re serious, would be to work toward a Nobel Environment Prize.

Analysis: Assad will turn to Russia for a ‘way out’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Defense officials say Russian FM is expected to tell Assad diplomatic support from Russia won’t last.

On My Mind: Syria’s future in Russia’s hands
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – It turns out Moscow, as well as Beijing, was playing same game as Assad, ignoring the will of the int’l community to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Unintended consequences of an Israeli strike on Iran
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Encountering Peace: I imagine that int’l pressure would push Israel to reach an agreement on the Palestinian issue.

Why I want to be the values-voice in the US Congress
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – No holds barred: Why would a rabbi run for Congress? Because the problems we’re seeing in our great nation are caused by a values erosion.

Diplomats: Iran boosts nuclear work in bunker
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Iran is believed to be developing uranium enrichment activity, in a defiant move against increasing Western pressure.

S.Sudanese facing deportation want more time
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – In a crowded south Tel Aviv basement, South Sudanese show bitterness, confusion over gov’t announced deportation.

‘Iran: Majority of Syrians still support Assad’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Syria Muslim Brotherhood accuses Tehran of providing weapons to Assad regime, likens Syrian government to Nazis, AFP reports.

Archeologists make new finds at the Hill of Jonah
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Wall remains dating from seventh, eight centuries indicate there was life at Ashdod site during time of the prophet.

Strike to go ahead unless agreement reached
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – In protest of the employment status of contract workers, general strike is set to begin; Yishai: Contract work is “humiliating.”

Palestinians start budget crisis talks
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Talks aim to solve budget impasse amid debt crisis; freeze of $150 million in US aid hits economy hard; unions, employers balk at austerity.

Arab League: Heavy fighting edging Syria into civil war
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Elarabi slams use of heavy weapons against civilians hours after dozens are killed in shelling of Homs, says escalation is taking the crisis in “a serious direction.”

Eini details bodies that will join general strike
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Interior minister: Contract work is “humiliating”; Labor leader Yacimovich: Strike is embodiment of social justice.

Police arrest 9 suspected Jerusalem cult members
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Alleged cult leader, family members are suspected of witness intimidation and intent to commit a crime.

Leyada high school does Hebron
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – How a single school trip politicized education, subverted democracy, encouraged violence.

Kamm petitions court over ‘discriminating’ bill
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Anat Kamm claims MK Rotem, Knesset Speaker Rivlin deliberately postponing hearing on bill that could commute her sentence.

Sights and Insights: A capital city on a hill
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Tel Samaria remains a testimony of all earthly glory; the only beauty that remains is what was there to begin with.

Writer: Mel Gibson to do ‘Jewish Braveheart’
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Joe Eszterhas says he’s convinced ‘Passion of the Christ’ director is right choice for film about hero Judah Maccabee.

Untangling the Web: News shouldn’t be free – Part 2
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – In a country where people pause what they’re doing and turn up the news on the hour without thinking about it, the need for quality online journalism is obvious.

Alternatively Speaking: Steps to preventing strep
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Alternative medicine enthusiast Natalie Marx answers your questions: What can prevent me from catching the flu?

Hamas, Fatah agree on unity gov’t; Abbas to be PM
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Mashaal says Fatah, Hamas “are serious” about ending division between the two rival factions.

Abu Dhabi’s outsized cultural ambitions
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Revival of giant museum project raises questions about how Emiratis will benefit.

Palestinians discussing Abbas as interim PM
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Qatari proposal would see the PA president serve as prime minister until elections are held in the W. Bank and Gaza Strip.

Syria resume Homs bombardment; up to 50 killed
Jerusalem Post 6 Feb 2012 – Witnesses say Assad troops using rocket launchers, military helicopters against city; explosion rocks oil pipeline.

Knesset Control C’tee to discuss earthquake readiness
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Hearing comes after scathing comptroller’s report taking government to task for litany of failures.

KKL-JNF launches ‘social forest’ for Tu Bishvat
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Group launches project in honor of Tu Bishvat, as well as Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s 110th anniversary.

‘Adopted man has right to know biological mom’s identity’
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Judge rules after 41-year-old asks court to help after trying to find mother for 14 years.

Blind doctor can see again
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Retired Kaplan Medical Center pediatrician who became blind last year plans to “pay back” hospital by volunteering there.

10-year sentence is stretched to ‘indefinite’
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – In groundbreaking ruling, rabbinical courts decides Meir Gorodetzki will not leave prison until he grants wife a ‘get.’

‘Make sure Sde Dov real estate includes affordable housing’
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Stav Shafir: government should ensure that whatever mass real estate project is built will include at least 20 percent attainable housing.

NGOs petition court over air pollution program
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2012 – Tel Aviv reports drastic improvement in air over past decade.

The Guardian

Obama orders new sanctions on Iran, including ‘deceptive’ Central Bank
The Guardian 6 Feb 2012 – New measures come as White House continues to ratchet up pressure on Tehran to abandon nuclear programme President Barack Obama has ordered new sanctions on Iran, including its Central Bank, moving to enforce a law he…

Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas to form unity government
The Guardian 6 Feb 2012 – Mahmoud Abbas to lead government in West Bank and Gaza, following reconciliation talks between rival groups The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to form a new unity government in the West Bank and…

Inter Press Service

U.S. Weighs Options As Syrian Violence Intensifies
IPS Following a failed bid to pass a U.N. Security Council Resolution calling for regime change in Syria, Washington is considering other means to influence events on the ground, as the country slips ever closer toward civil war.

U.N. Security Council Remains “Neutered” by Five Big Powers
IPS Since Russia and China vetoed a key resolution critical of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s violent repression of the ongoing 11-month old civilian uprising, there has been plenty of public outrage directed at the two permanent members of the Security Council who stood defiant against an overwhelming majority.

Israel and Iran Agreed on Nuclear Ambiguity
IPS Will Israel attack Iran’s nuclear facilities this spring? That is a question dominating the international agenda. Meanwhile, the grand project of a nuclear weapon-free Middle East is relegated to the utopian “day after” a solution is found to the Islamic republic’s atomic programme.


Call for action: Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike
Uruknet February 6, 2012 – Khader Adnan; courageously fighting for dignity, employing his stomach as a weapon to call for justice, and fearlessly facing death. We have reached a moment no one can be silent anymore. Khader Adnan is now on his 50th day of hunger strike! No matter who you are, you cannot overlook Khader Adnan’s…

Interview with Injured French Activist in Nabi Saleh
Uruknet February 6, 2012 – Do you remember the moments right before the Israeli border police fired at us? Amicie: “I was discussing with Diederik [the Dutch activist who was injured in his waist] about when we were going to leave to Ramallah. We agreed to stay for five more minutes. I wasn’t aware of when I…

An Ongoing Nakba: The Plight of Palestinian Refugees in Iraq
Uruknet February 6, 2012 – In September 2011, the month that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas submitted Palestine’s statehood bid at the United Nations, Qusai Abdul-Raouf of the Lebanon-based Palestinian Human Rights Foundation was undertaking the task of documenting the increasing number of attacks against Palestinians in the Al Baladiyyat neighbourhood of Baghdad. As he toured the…

Three Tawarga refugees killed near Tripoli
Uruknet February 6, 2012 – An armed group killed at least three refugees from the town of Tawarga on Monday near the Libyan capital as they tried to enter the city to hold a sit-in protest, a witness and other sources said. The witness told AFP that a crowd of Tawargans, mostly black-skinned Libyans now living in…

Setting Our Moral Compass Straight
Uruknet February 6, 2012 – Israel is zeroing in on so many levels. In Jerusalem, it can be seen with the naked eye – bulldozers tearing down homes, lands leveled for “Torah and Talmudic” gardens, children being arrested, and solidarity tents given 72 hours to dismantle before being demolished. In the West Bank, settlements are spreading like…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – The number of martyrs thus far today has risen to 36, among them 5 children and 2 women. 22 martyrs in Homs, 6 in Idlib, 5 in the Damascus Suburbs, 2 in Daraa, and 1 in Aleppo … Idlib: Jabal Zawiyeh: A young female child was martyred and dozens, including another litlte girl…

Uruknet February 5, 2012 – February 1st 2012 the entire parliamentary group of The Movement of the Icelandic Parliament nominated Private Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. Following is the reasoning we sent to the committee explaining why we felt compelled to nominate Private Bradley Manning for this important recognition of an individual effort to have…

Settlers raid Ramallah village, vandalize property
Uruknet February 5, 2012 — Settlers attacked a Ramallah village overnight Saturday, breaking into a house and vandalizing village property. Ismail Mazloum said that settlers from the nearby settlement of Talmon raided the village, vandalized his car and wrote racist slogans on walls in al-Janiya village, official news agency Wafa reported. “Once the village’s residents were alerted…

Russia’s Concern over the West’s Alliance with the Islamists
Uruknet February 3, 2012 – …One major American decision-maker on the affairs of the Middle East defended the US‘s policy, saying that the Barack Obama Administration does not want to find itself outside the circle of power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Morocco and the other countries in which the Islamists, and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular,…

City of Brotherly Love Event Promotes War and Hate
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – On February 2, notorious hatemonger Alan Dershowitz keynoted a Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia (JFGP)/Hillel of Greater Philadelphia “Evening of Unity & Community Solidarity” with Israel. Inviting him was disgraceful. He’s a shameless bigot, a longstanding Islamophobe, a perverter of fundamental US and international law, an advocate of war, torture targeted assassinations,…

Mumia Abu-Jamal: The Picture
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – Something very small and yet enormous happened this past week. On Feb. 2, two women who have been fighting for the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal, filmmaker/professor Johanna Fernandez and National Lawyers Guild Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, visited Abu-Jamal, as each has done in the past, but this…

Palestine-Israel negotiations are impossible
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – There are no Palestine-Israel negotiations being held at the moment because Israeli preconditions kill them before they begin. The Palestinian side doesn’t have any alternative to offer instead of negotiations, which means that the issue will remain in limbo unless there is a change in the balance of power on the ground….

Romancing the drone…
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – Anyone with even a passing interest in the military soon discovers the peculiar phenomenon of military speak’, in which a spade can never quite be called a spade. Bombs and bullets are called ‘ordnance consumables’, a missile strike or bombing raid is known as a kinetic event’, and despite its offensive purpose,…

Happy birthday, dear Vittorio (RIP)
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – As I realized today’s date, the 4th of February, a stream of memories flooded into my mind. Today, last year, marked my dear friend Vittorio Arrigoni’s last birthday I spent with him. I remember it was a nice, rainy Friday. I felt happy to be rich, having just gotten my $1,000 share…

10 More Palestinian Detainees Join Hunger Strike
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – Ten more Palestinian detainees at the Ofer Israeli prison, decided to join the open-ended hunger strike of Sheikh Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike since 50 days, and his health condition has sharply deteriorated. Amjad An-Najjar, head of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), in the southern West Bank city of…

Video: Israel’s Bedouins are at the frontline of Israel’s continued ethnic cleansing
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – The unrecognised Bedouin village of Al Araqib, in Israel’s Negev Desert, remains steadfast in the face of ongoing demolitions at the hands of government authorities. The demolitions are strictly connected to the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) forestation activities taking place in the area. The JNF is in fact planting trees for the…

Israeli Settlers Enter Beit Ommar, Harass Palestinian Residents
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – On Friday, February 3, 2012, a large group of around 150 Israeli settlers entered the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar in the southern West Bank. The presence of settlers on Palestinian land is prohibited under International Law. The group was escorted by Israeli soldiers and border police, and moved through several neighborhoods…

A Statement from Members of the Alawite Sect Condemning the Regime’s Atrocities
Uruknet February 5, 2012 – We the citizens, political activists, and intellectuals from the Alawite sect in Homs and the surrounding suburbs of the coastal cities, strongly condemn the massacres committed by Bashar al-Assad. In particular, we condemn the bombardment of our city, the brave city of Homs, where hundreds were martyred and hundreds more wounded, including…

Abbas, Mashaal agree to form unity government
Uruknet February 5, 2012 — President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief-in-exile Khalid Mashaal agreed to form a unity government during a Sunday meeting in the Qatari capital. A source from the Doha meeting, who wished to remain anonymous, told Ma’an that the Palestinian leaders agreed to form an interim government which will be responsible for preparing parliamentary…

Daily Star

Switzerland adds more Syrians to travel ban list
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Switzerland on Monday added 34 top Syrian military and interior ministry officials as well as pro-regime organisations to a travel ban list, as the United States closed its embassy in Damascus.

Moussa vision for Egypt could upset military
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 An Egypt run by Amr Moussa would be a civilian state with an army that enjoys respect but not “a life of its own”

Russia blasts ‘Western hysteria’ over Syria veto
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Russia condemned as hysterical the angry Western reaction to its veto of a UN resolution condemning Syria’s crackdown on protestors, as its top diplomat prepared for a mission to Damascus.

Motor racing-F1 teams seek guidance on Bahrain situation
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 F1 teams are concerned about the situation in Bahrain but will leave the decision on whether to race there in April to the sport’s governing body and commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

Militants attack police station in Nigeria’s Kano
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Gunmen attacked a police station with explosives and automatic weapons in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano on Monday.

Hale, Blair discuss Mideast peace in Jordan
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh held talks with US envoy David Hale and Middle East peace Quartet envoy Tony Blair to seek “a suitable climate” for direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Sudan’s currency hits low as oil row hits economy
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Sudan’s currency fell to a record low on the black market on Monday as people rushed to convert their savings into dollars.

Iran upholds life sentence for men ‘linked to UK spy’
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for two men convicted of killing three Sunnis with the help of a British spy, a news agency reported on Monday.

Iraq’s al-Qaida claims 2 deadly attacks on Shiites
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 An al-Qaida front group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for the two deadliest attacks on Shiites there since the U.S. military completed its withdrawal.

Netanyahu can’t fly solo in Israel to attack Iran
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Three decades ago, an Israeli prime minister faced his cabinet and invoked the Holocaust in an emotional appeal to approve an air strike against an Arab atomic reactor.

Nigeria names seven behind Eni pipeline blast
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Nigeria’s military has named seven people it says were behind an attack on an oil pipeline belonging to Italy’s Eni on Saturday.

Egypt telecom tycoon Sawiris eyes new horizons
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Egyptian telecoms magnate Naguib Sawiris wants to get back on the acquisition trail, eyeing businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Africa after selling a chunk of assets to Russia’s Vimpelcom.

US levies tougher sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 President Barack Obama levied tough new sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank Monday amid increased tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Jordan treating 20,000 Libyan patients
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Health Minister Abdullatif Wreikat said that more than 20,000 Libyans are receiving medical treatment in Jordan’s hospitals, mostly casualties from last year’s uprising.

Norway mass killer demands medal at court hearing
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 The right-wing extremist who has admitted killing 77 people in Norway’s worst peacetime massacre told a court that he deserves a medal of honor for the bloodshed and demanded to be set free.

Algerian police hold Syrian demonstrators at bay
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 A strong police presence prevented some 60 demonstrators from approaching the Syrian embassy in Algiers after Syrian opposition groups had called for such protests around the world.

Three Tawarga refugees killed near Tripoli
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 An armed group killed at least three refugees from the town of Tawarga on Monday near the Libyan capital as they tried to enter the city to hold a sit-in protest.

Eexamining IT policy and Internet freedom issues in the wake of the Arab Spring
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Feltman, Zakka, Verveer and Allawi Agree on the importance of the Arab Spring and the role of ICT in the future of the economic growth of the Arab world

Election preparations start in conflict-torn Yemen
Daily Star 6 Feb 2012 Yemen has begun a publicity campaign to get citizens to vote in the upcoming presidential election.


Report: Gunmen kill five in Libyan refugee camp
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – ….

Iran arrests several on links to BBC Farsi service
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – ….

UN is not a joke
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Even when it’s ineffective, UN Security Council shows us who the bad guys are ….

UN chief appalled at escalating Syria violence
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – ….

Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv’s condition stabilized
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – ….

Soldier forgets sensitive equipment in Palestinian store
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – IDF soldier buying cigarettes in violation of military protocol forgets case with night vision equipment in store. Owner returns equipment to local DCO ….

IDF presents new southern border defense vision
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – As tensions continue to rise on Egyptian border, Sinai Peninsula IDF’s new border fortification plan is coming to fruition with fence, elite infantry force and sophisticated weapons systems ….

White House: Egyptian NGO crackdown could impact US aid
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – ….

Soldier dies of multi-system failure
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Dvir Mor, who was taking part of one of the IDF elite units’ training programs, dies of acute infection resulting in multi-system failure syndrome. Family blames military; IDF investigating ….

Beinisch: Protect the legal system
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Outgoing Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch urges pubic to thwart attempts to undermine judicial system’s authority ….

Natan Eshel to be questioned in harassment case
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Prime Minister’s bureau chief to be interrogated by Civil Service Commission on Tuesday, will be confronted with the testimonies alleging that he sexually harassed employee R. ….

Security Council irrelevant
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Veto power makes Security Council useless, promotes international pacts out of UN ….

IPS to fund jailed couple’s fertility treatments
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Israel Prison Service cites ‘humane considerations’ for decision to pay for two convicted killers’ fertility treatments ….

Education Ministry issues Facebook warning
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Ministry recommends that parents forbid children under 13 from using social networks, stress importance of parental supervision, keeping children aware of consequences of cyber communication ….

Are journalistic ethics dead?
YNet News, 6 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: While claiming to uphold high standards, media giants post dubious anti-Israel photos ….

Palestinian Information Center

Doha agreement: Gov’t under Abbas to prepare for elections
PIC – Hamas and Fatah have agreed on the formation of a new Palestinian government under chairmanship of PA chief Mahmoud Abbas that would primarily be concerned with preparing for the general elections.

700 Palestinian prisoners start gradual hunger strike on Tuesday
PIC – The ministry of prisoners in Gaza has said that 700 prisoners in the Israeli Raymond jail would start a gradual hunger strike on Tuesday demanding improvement of their incarceration conditions.

IOF soldiers round up 15 Palestinians
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 15 Palestinians in various West Bank areas at dawn Monday, Hebrew media reported.

Shalit committee asks court to cancel release of freed Palestinian
PIC – A specialized Israeli committee formed to look into violations of the prisoners’ exchange deal claimed that one of the freed captives in the deal had violated conditions for his release.

IOF soldiers storm home of Palestinian prisoner
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the home of prisoner Adel Amayra in Al-Burj village to the south of al-Khalil and thoroughly searched it.

Hamas leader returns to Gaza after 21 years in exile
PIC – Political bureau member of Hamas Emad Al-Alami returned to Gaza Strip on Sunday night after 21 years in exile.

IOA bulldozers level land in Qalqilia
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) bulldozers leveled land in Kafr Kaddoum village to the east of Qalqilia city on Sunday evening, local sources said.

Sources: Abbas to assume premiership
PIC – A well informed Palestinian source has affirmed media reports that a tentative agreement was reached between Fatah and Hamas in Doha naming Mahmoud Abbas as premier.

Intifada Palestine

Two Front International Struggle For Palestine: An Analysis by Dr. Lawrence Davidson
Intifada-Palestine: 6 Feb 2012 – by Dr. Lawrence Davidon  –  Intifada-Palestine.com Part I – Two Fronts In January 2011, I wrote an analysis in support of a one-state solution to the on-going Israeli-Palestinian struggle. It is the Israelis themselves who have made the one-state solution the… more

Yet another War for Israel
Intifada-Palestine: 6 Feb 2012 – William A. Cook  –   Intifada-Palestine.com “Men use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.” (Voltaire: Dialogue XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde) Voltaire’s wit often illuminates truth. Consider this revealing “thought” as expressed recently… more


Hillary Clinton warns of ‘brutal civil war’ in Syria
LA Times 5 Feb 2012 – The U.S. secretary of State’s warning comes after the collapse of a U.N. plan for Syria. The Arab League vows to continue to work toward a peaceful resolution. A day after the collapse of a United Nations plan for Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary…

Israel’s intentions toward Iran remain unclear
LA Times 5 Feb 2012 – Analysts differ on whether Israel’s threat of a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is a bluff to spur tougher sanctions, or a real warning. By ramping up its threat to attack Iran’s nuclear development program, Israel appears to have galvanized international attention on an…

Egypt says 19 Americans will be ordered to stand trial
LA Times 5 Feb 2012 – The workers for U.S. based pro-democracy groups, including Sam LaHood, son of Cabinet official Ray LaHood, are accused of violating foreign funding laws. Relations between Washington and Cairo plummeted further Sunday when Egypt’s military-controlled government announced that 19 Americans working for pro-democracy groups, including the…

U.S. Closes Embassy in Syria as Mayhem Escalates
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – The United States withdrew all staff from its embassy in Syria on Monday, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for escalating violence and mayhem in the country.

On Streets of Cairo, Walls Prove No Barrier to Clashes
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – Security forces erected two walls bisecting streets that had been central battlegrounds between security forces and protesters calling for the end of military rule.

News Analysis: White House Continues Push for Change in Syria
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – Officials are looking for a way to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power, but to do so the United States may have to move beyond diplomatic efforts.

Unity Deal Brings Risks for Abbas and Israel
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority embraced reconciliation with the Hamas movement, but much remains to be done, and the effect on a bid for Palestinian statehood remains unknown.

White House Moves to Tighten Sanctions on Iran
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – The actions include freezing all property of the Central Bank of Iran, other Iranian financial institutions and the Iranian government in this country.

Palestinians Consider Abbas to Lead Interim Body
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – According to Palestinian reports, an interim unity government would be led, at least at first, by Mahmoud Abbas, the current president of the Palestinian Authority.

No Israeli Decision on Iran Attack, Obama Says
New York Times 6 Feb 2012 – President Obama also said he didn’t see any evidence that Iran intended to attack the United States.

US war provocations against Syria
WSWS – Washington and its imperialist allies in Europe are escalating preparations for a full-scale military intervention in Syria.

Open letter in support of professor Terri Ginsburg; appealing to N. Carolina Supreme Court
Muzzlewatch – Terri Ginsberg was a visiting film studies professor at North Carolina State University when she was dismissed after sharing views critical of Zionism and the state of Israel. (You can read prior coverage of her case in Muzzlewatch, the Electronic Intifada and in  Ha’aretz ). She filed a…

Settlers beat shepherd, construction worker, and 60-year-old in separate incidents
Mondoweiss – link to www.hrw.org link to www.maannews.net link to www.haaretz.com link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk link to english.wafa.ps link to www.haaretz.com link to www.ynetnews.com link to english.wafa.ps link to www.alternativenews.org link to gulfnews.com link to english.wafa.ps link to www.maannews.net link to www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org link to www.maannews.net link to www.haaretz.com link…

Mustafa Tamimi’s brother arrested in Nabi Saleh
Mondoweiss – Recent vigil for Mustafa Tamimi, killed Dec. 9 (Photo: JC/Active Stills) Today, Ma’an News Agency reported on its Arabic site that a brother of murdered activist Mustafa Tamini was arrested last night in an Israeli raid on Nabi Saleh.  An excerpt of the article translated from…

Palestinian developer: settlers are welcome to buy in his West Bank city
Mondoweiss – Digital design of Rawabi. (Image: Bayti) A Palestinian millionaire extended an offer for Israeli Jews to purchase homes and make use of a country club constructed by his company in a new West Bank city near Ramallah. Bashar al-Masri, the Palestinian entrepreneur spear-heading the project, was…

Does the US have anything to teach Egyptians about democracy?
Mondoweiss – The military/industrial junta that continues to rule Egypt in defiance of the majority of Egyptians has just made another big blunder. The military says it will put on trial 19 Americans who belong to groups that have been “promoting democracy” in Egypt. The Obama administration and…

Palestinian cars sprayed with unknown materials at Israeli checkpoints
Mondoweiss – Unknown chemical gassing device used in Jenin checkpoint (Photo:Abir Kopty) This article was originally published on Feb. 5 on Abir Kopty’s blog. Lately I’ve been going to Jenin every 2-3 weeks with family members. We usually do our vegetable shopping in the city market. Last Saturday,…

Rabbi Joseph Lukinsky, May His Memory Be for a Blessing
Tikun Olam – Rabbi Joseph Lukinsky z”l I’ve been rummaging through the attic of my life for a media project I’m involved with.  A cousin just found a picture of my father, smiling, handsome and so full of young promise, at age 23 in 1948.  When my partner in…

The GCC and NATO lose their leadership
Voltaire Network 5 Feb 2012 – Contrary to her position at the time of the attack on Iraq, in the case of Syria France failed to defend the principles of international law, rallying instead the imperial camp and its lies. Together with the United Kingdom and the United States, she has suffered…

Moral pressure heaped on Russia
Voltaire Network 5 Feb 2012 – The meeting of the Security Council was preceded by a powerful media campaign to discourage Russia from backing Syria. It revolves around two themes: The regime tortures children, claims Human Rights Watch (HRW); The regime is responsible for the “horrible massacre”, the term used to designate…

South Africa: Govt Voices Concern On Situation in Syria
allAfrica.com 6 Feb 2012 – [BuaNews] Pretoria – South Africa has condemned the violent loss of life in Syria and has called for maximum restraint from all the parties to the conflict.

South Africa: As Syrian Crisis Continues, a Much Brighter Day for Nation Diplomacy
allAfrica.com 6 Feb 2012 – [iMaverick] We slated South African diplomacy the last time a resolution on Syria was presented to the United Nations Security Council. In October last year, we seemed to have been relegated to a herd-like existence in the Security Council.

Somalia: Iran,Nation Study 2nd Phase of Aid Shipment to Mogadishu
allAfrica.com 6 Feb 2012 – [Shabelle] Tehran – Heads of Iranian and Somalia Red Crescent societies on Saturday discussed second phase of Iran’s humanitarian aid to Mogadishu.

Zimbabwe: Govt, Iran to Strengthen Relations
allAfrica.com 6 Feb 2012 – [The Herald] TWO visiting Iranian high-ranking officials have pledged to strengthen ties between their country and Zimbabwe.

Beit Ommar Demonstration Plants Hundreds of Olive Trees
Palestine Solidarity Project 5 Feb 2012 – On Saturday, February 4th, 2012, Palestinian villagers in Beit Ommar conducted their weekly demonstration against the settlement appropriation of their lands. The activists organized this week’s actions to plant dozens of olive trees near the Israeli settlement of Karmei Tsur. This week, the demonstrators were joined…

Syria artillery onslaught on Homs
BBC 6 Feb 2012 – The fiercest attack yet – involving heavy artillery – rocks the Syrian city of Homs, as the US closes its Damascus embassy over security concerns.

Israel condemns Fatah-Hamas move
BBC 6 Feb 2012 – Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu condemns a unity deal between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, saying it damages prospects for peace.

US and Israel ‘in unison’ on Iran
BBC 6 Feb 2012 – The US is working closely with Israel to use diplomacy to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, President Barack Obama says.

Palestine-Israel, Joint struggles of the Anarchists Against The Wall at Beit Umar, Bil’in, Kufer al-Dik, Maasara, Nil’in, Nabi Saleh, Kufer Qaddum, Qaryout, Al Walaje
A-infos 6 Feb 2012 – The last three days saw 9 demonstrations supported by AATW. Beit Ommar marked the Anniversary of Yousef Ikhlayl’s Murder 31 JANUARY 2011. In Bil’in the organizers are preparing for the 7th anniversary of their continuous struggle. In Maasara the demonstrations continues into their 5th year. Nabi…

Take action: Support United Methodist Church divestment campaign
US Campaign to End the Occupation 6 Feb 2012 – UMKR and FOSNA are coalition members of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. United Methodist Kairos Response (UMKR) is an international movement in the United Methodist Church responding to the ” Kairos Palestine Document ,” an urgent plea from Christians in the Holy Land for decisive…


Illegal, underground: Palestine’s electricity ’threat’
Charlotte Alfred, Ma’an News Agency 2/6/2012
      MASAFER YATTA (Ma’an) — There is an underground bunker in the South Hebron Hills, camouflaged by bracken and heavy sacks, where a tiny Palestinian village is sheltering a secret.
     Building quietly at night and securing backing from foreign governments, experts are working to share this secret with communities across the area.
     The illicit activity? Renewable energy.
     Hundreds of Palestinians living in these rolling hills, known locally as Masafer Yatta, cannot connect to a electricity grid. Now, a green power revolution is under threat by a spate of demolition warnings.
     Masafer Yatta lies almost entirely in Area C, the 62 percent of the West Bank under full Israel civil and security jurisdiction since the 1993 Oslo Accords.
     On Tuesday, Israeli forces delivered stop work orders — the first step towards demolition — to wind and solar power systems in four villages in Masafer Yatta.
     These threats follow several months of demolitions and official warnings targeting villagers’ efforts to power their communities.
     Since mid-June 2011, the army has demolished electricity pylons in two villages, threatened to knock down solar power systems in six others, and cut the electricity wires in another, citing a lack of legal permits. more.. e-mail

Disgraced ex-military interrogator threatens to reveal state secrets
Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 2/4/2012
      Israel’s most renowned torturer threatens to expose the dirty secrets of the Israeli security system, if he does not receive remuneration.
     Yediot Ahronot’s “7 Yamim”, a weekend supplement, published a long interview yesterday with “Captain George,” the nom de guerre of a disgraced army interrogator, who has become Israel’s most infamous torturer. George, who sued the government for kicking him out of the army, states clearly that his goal is blackmailing the government.
     “I kept my mouth shut and said nothing about this case [the interrogation and torture of Amal’s Mustafa Dirani – YZG], as well as many other cases in which they used the methods of coverup, obfuscation and lies,” says George to Yediot’s Ronen Bergman, “because I was waiting for someone to come up and say ‘stop, hold on, we can’t go on like this.’ If they’d come to me a few years back and told me ‘you’ve paid a heavy price, what do you want in order to close this affair quietly? What sort of compensation do you need in order to stay backstage?’ As far as I am concerned, even if they’d given me a job abroad, say in Alaska, and took care of me and my family, everything would be fine and I would shut up forever and this meeting with you would never have taken place. But none of this happened and I think we’ve been too good children.”
     In short, like many before him who carried out the security apparatus’ dirty jobs and were exposed, George thinks he was sold, thrown to the dogs, and this despite doing just what everyone else was doing or what they were ordered to do. Unlike others before him, who said they merely wanted to clear their name, George has a price tag: A job in Alaska. As he didn’t get it, he is going to break the apparatus’ omerta oath and testify in court. “If this goes to court, what I told you today is just the teaser,” he threatens, “Trust me – no one really wants me to climb up to the stand. If I have to stand there and speak of Dirani, you’ll find out I have plenty more to say about how the apparatus acts when it needs to hide all sorts of things […] and everyone is a liar, which is why the country is where it is today, no deterrence, nothing. And in the end? I’m the apparatus’ scapegoat.” more.. e-mail

Why Did Palestinian Refugees Come to Lebanon?
Franklin Lamb, CounterPunch 2/6/2012
      Beirut – During a workshop at the American University of Beirut last year on the subject of the right to work and to purchase a home for Palestinian refugees, a young business major from the Christian village of Bikerki posed a question that surprised some in the audience: “Why if Palestinian don’t like it in Lebanon do they not go home? Why did they even bother coming here in the first place?”
     “Caroline” was not being antagonistic. Many of the younger Lebanese population are taught in private and religious schools by the various sects using a curriculum including subjects that are heavily politicized and skewed, none more than modern Lebanese history.
     Talking with Caroline during a tea break, she explained that she feels very politically oriented, but admitted that she really doesn’t know much about Lebanese history and only vaguely why there are Palestinians in Lebanon. What she does know, she explained, came from her parents and family members and not from schools in her Christian hamlet which happens to be the seat of Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch, for whom she is a part time volunteer working with orphaned children.
     In most private and public schools in Lebanon, sensitive political subjects have long been culled from textbooks by polarized confessional watchdog committees seeking a proper education for their children. UNWRA schools are forbidden to teach Palestinian history in Lebanon or even their history in Palestine lest the US Congress cut UNWRA funding.
     This has prevented the development of a unified history curriculum. Most history lessons end in 1946, three years after Lebanon’s independence from French colonial rule. Many schools avoid teaching Lebanese history in order to prevent sectarian and political fervor. more.. e-mail

“Words flower from fragile bodies”: the poignant poetry of Lisa Suheir Majaj
Electronic Intifada: 6 Feb 2012 – Patricia Sarrafian Ward 6 February 2012 Poet Lisa Suheir Majaj writes exquisitely of the profound personal and collective loss that defines Palestinian history in her book, Geographies of Light.more

Palestinians in Israel – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Feb 2012 – By Ludwig Watzal (Ben White, Palestinians in Israel. Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy, Pluto Press, London 2012, 128 pp., 13 Pounds.) With the signing of the Oslo Accords that led to the outbreak of the so-called peace process between Israel and the occupied Palestinian people, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) abandoned its initial political goals (to realize the right of return of Palestinian refugees and to liberate Palestine from Zionist colonization) for some privileges and turned itself into an obedient servant of the colonizers. Whereas the PLO under the leadership of Yasser Arafat tried to get back some territory from Israel to establish a Palestinian state, Palestinians living in Israel, although suffering under discrimination as second-class citizens, demand Israel to become finally “a state for all its citizens” instead of staying a “Jewish State”. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the non-Jewish inhabitants have been subject to a second-class…more

Yet another War for Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Feb 2012 – By William A. Cook ‘Men use thought only to justify their injustices, and speech only to conceal their thoughts.’ — Voltaire: Dialogue XIV, Le Chapon et la Poularde Voltaire’s wit often illuminates truth. Consider this revealing ‘thought’ as expressed recently in Alert, the voice of AIPAC to its membership: “Some Americans believe if the Israelis strike Iran, the U.S. will pay the political costs anyway, so it would be better for the Americans to do the job and do it properly. Their clock is a bit different from the one the Israelis hear. Because of their vastly superior firepower, the Americans could strike Iran later, more devastatingly and more sustainably.” How just is it for AIPAC’s mouthpiece to declare that America should “devastate” Iran because it has “vastly more firepower” than Israel and could “do a better job” and “do it properly,” as though this were a clean-up “job” of…more

Lesson from Eisenhower for the IDF
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Feb 2012 – By Michael Nolan We assume that a stable, democratic republic enforces its own laws and abides by those of the international community. We assume, as well, that a soldier obeys orders, despite personal views, in a stable, democratic government. But Israel, billed by virtually all American leaders the nation’s staunchest ally, can’t or won’t abide by these defining principles. In one example, according to a recent piece in the Israeli publication, Ynet, “a soldier with the Kfir Brigade. refused orders pertaining to the razing of buildings in the illegal [by United Nations law ]West Bank outpost of Migron.” Ynet continued, “This was not the first time in which Kfir Brigade soldiers have been linked to cases involving refusing orders pertaining to settlements and outposts.” It’s not a new problem. In 2007, Time Magazine offered the opinion that, “[t]he evacuation of an entire settlement, some officers say privately, could lead to…more

False Palestinian Analogies
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Feb 2012 – By Sami Zaatari Politicians and supporters of Israel often use analogies to try and paint the Palestinians as the bad guys, the villains who are responsible for the conflict, and the party that is responsible for there being no chance of peace. We saw an example of this displayed at the Republican Primary debate held in Florida, where both Mitt Romney, and Newt Gringrich laid complete blame on the Israel-Palestine conflict right on the shoes of the Palestinians. The example used by Gringich was what if America was getting attacked by daily rocket fire? What would the reaction of most Americans be? According to Gringich, most Americans would view such an act as a declaration of war, and the whole moral of the story is that Israel is the here under constant rocket attack so therefore they are fully justified in what they are doing and that the Palestinians are…more

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Posted 7th February 2012 by InI in category VTJP Palestine/Israel

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