VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 8 February 2012: Putting the spotlight on London university’s links to Israel’s war machine

8 February 2012VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Abbas To Hale: “No Contradiction Between Peace, Palestinian Reconciliation”
IMEMC – Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, told US Middle-East Envoy, David Hale, on Thursday, that there is no contradiction between internal Palestinian reconciliation, and the peace process with Israel. …

Court Decides To Hold Session Of Striking Detainee At His Hospital Bed
IMEMC – The Israeli Military Court decided to hold a session on Thursday at the Safad Hospital where the hunger-striking ailing detainee, Adnan Khader, is hospitalized and facing seriously deteriorating health conditions. …

Judge Orders Professor To Remain In Prison Without Charge
IMEMC – Press Release The Israel military court has extended administrative detention for two months in addition to three months already detained for civil rights lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a lecturer at An-Najah National University and the Cultural Coordinator for the Tanweer Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum, currently detained in Ofer Prison near Ramallah. …

Settlers Attack a Gas Station in Jenin
IMEMC – A number of armed Israeli settlers attacked on Tuesday a Palestinian gas station in Jenin, in the northern part of the West Bank, and forced the owners and the residents out. …

Israel Seeking New Air Force Base in Cyprus
IMEMC – The Israeli government, under Benjamin Netanyahu, is about to initiate talks with Cyprus in order to establish an Israeli Air Force base in the country, while affirming Israel’s “outstanding” relations with Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces assault 13-year-old boy, relatives say
2/8/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces beat a teenage boy from Nabi Saleh while under interrogation, the boy’s father said. Basel Abdul Ilah Tamimi, 13, was detained in the village last Thursday by undercover Israeli forces and taken to Hallamish settlement. His father told Ma’an that Israeli forces had threatened to….

Israeli court to hold session for Khader Adnan in hospital
2/8/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli court will hold a special session for hunger-striking prisoner Adnan Khader on Thursday. Palestinian prisoners society lawyer Jawad Bulus told Ma’an on Wednesday that the appeal session will take place in Zeif hospital in Safed at 11 a. m. The decision was made after Israeli authorities were…. Related: In photos: Protest in Bethlehem to support Khader Adnan

PA report documents Israel’s arrest campaign
2/8/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities have escalated an arrest campaign against Palestinian parliament deputies, a report said Wednesday. Twenty-seven Palestinian lawmakers are being held in Israeli jails, with two having been handed a prison sentence, a report by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs said. Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and PFLP leader….

Economy could be ‘double’ without Israeli occupation
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A UN seminar in Cairo heard on Tuesday that the Palestinian economy would be double the size it is now if it was not subjected to Israel’s occupation. The seminar, held from Feb. 6-7, focused on quantifying the cost of Israel’s occupation to the Palestinian economy…. Related: Applied Research Institute Jerusalem

Israeli forces ‘detain 6 Palestinians in Nablus’
2/8/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained six Palestinians in the northern West Bank early Tuesday, locals told Ma’an. Ahmad Beitawi, from the Human Rights Solidarity group, said soldiers raided the Rafidia district of Nablus city and detained Alaa Hamdan Abu Khader, 36, a researcher in prisoners’ affairs and a former prisoner….

Israeli forces detain 2 Palestinians in Beit Ummar
2/8/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained two young Palestinian men early Wednesday after ransacking their homes in Beit Ummar north of Hebron in the southern West Bank. Muhammad Awad, a spokesman of a local popular committee against the separation wall and settlements, identified the detainees as 18-year-old Nadim Rasim Aziz Ikhlayyil and 22….

In photos: Protest in Bethlehem to support Khader Adnan
2/8/2012 – MaanImages/Jenny Baboun – Between 50-60 people took part in a protest outside the Nativity Church in Bethlehem on Wednesday to show solidarity with hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan. Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe spoke at the protest. He praised Adnan for “taking a stand” against the illegal policy of administrative detention. The…. Related: Israeli court to hold session for Khader Adnan in hospital

Archbishop condemns monastery vandalism
2/8/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Archbishop Atallah Hanna on Wednesday condemned an attack targeting a monastery in west Jerusalem, expressing anger after extremists defiled the holy site with anti-Christian messages. In a statement, the archbishop said that “what the settlers have done is rejected, and their racism is humiliating. . . . They didn’t harm us, they….

2 brothers shot dead in central Nablus
2/8/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) – Two Palestinian men were shot dead Wednesday after unidentified gunman opened fire in a store on Amman Street in Nablus in the northern West Bank. Locals said a gunman opened fire from point-blank range at the head of Munadil Nasasra, 36. The victim was evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus where….

‘Unprecedented’ internet attacks strike West Bank
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Abbas’ communications adviser said Wednesday that Palestine is facing unprecedented internet interruptions by hackers. Sabri Saidam told Ma’an that huge quantities of emails are being sent in order to disable Palestinian servers. The campaign reached a peak on Wednesday at 6 p. m. , he said, calling on….

PA calls on Israel to free Khader Adnan
2/8/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority called Tuesday for the immediate release of detainee Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for weeks. The statement from cabinet ministers came as fellow detainees Marwan Barghouti and Adhmad Saadat appealed for Adnan’s release. In a letter provided by the Ministry of Prisoners and….

Luxembourg commits €15 million to UNRWA
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Luxembourg announced on Wednesday that it would donate €15 million to UNRWA over the next four years. The agreement was signed during a ceremony at the Qalandia Training Center by Marie-Josée Jacobs, Luxembourg’s development minister, and the UN refugee agency’s Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi.” At a….

Fatah official: Abbas can head government
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas can appoint himself as head of the next government, a Fatah official said Wednesday, dismissing criticism that the move to bolster unity had no standing in Palestinian law. Azzam Ahmad said no law prevented Abbas from heading the government.”I advise those who reject this to read the….

Nablus allocates tractors for land near settlements
2/8/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The governor of Nablus said Wednesday that his office allocated 300 tractors to be used for plowing Palestinian agricultural lands located near Israeli settlements in Nablus district. Jibreel al-Bakri says the step is an unprecedented action aimed at helping Palestinian farmers who exert huge efforts to cultivate their lands, especially in….

Hamas split threatens unity deal
2/8/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas‘ “change and reform” parliamentary committee on Wednesday urged parties involved in the Doha agreement to review its adherence to Palestinian law. The parliamentary bloc came out against a key clause in the pact under which Abbas would serve both as president and prime minister of a future government….

Public freedoms committee to meet Monday
2/8/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The public freedoms committee will hold its fifth meeting on Monday to discuss the implementation of its plans.” The reconciliation committee has the full will to begin its work as one team to create a spirit of reconciliation to unite the Palestinian people,” media secretary of the committee Abdul Aziz….

Nasser: No reply from Gaza about electoral register
2/8/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Head of the Central Elections Committee Hanna Nasser told Ma’an on Wednesday that he is still waiting for a response from Gaza officials about updating the coastal enclave’s electoral register.” The offices of the CEC are open in Gaza but are not working and are not allowed….

Israel general strike shuts airports, economy
2/8/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel’s main labor union declared a strike Wednesday that shut airports, ports, banks and the stock market after talks with the government failed to produce an agreement on the status of workers employed through labour contractors. The Histadrut labor federation, the umbrella organization for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers…. Related: Israel strike to shut airports, economy on Wednesday

Private sector calls for alternatives to PA tax rise
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A private sector coordination group called on Tuesday for the PA to reconsider it tax reform plans, saying they would likely further harm the Palestinian economy. Meanwhile the PA cabinet said after its weekly meeting in Ramallah that the national dialogue on resolving the public debt crisis had raised a “number….

Arab doctors union holds session in Gaza City
2/8/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) –Doctors from 16 Arab countries joined the annual meeting of the Arab doctors union which was held in Gaza City Tuesday evening. Minister of health in the Hamas-run government Basim Naeim inaugurated the session and welcomed the delegation on behalf of the Hamas-run government.” Being able to hold this session….

Egypt MPs say interior minister must step down over deaths
2/8/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian lawmakers blamed the interior minister on Tuesday for the deaths of protesters in five days of street clashes with riot police in Cairo and said it showed his ministry should be purged of remnants of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. A show of anger at the 74 deaths after a soccer match….

Russia FM: Assad pledge to end Syria violence
2/8/2012 – AMMAN (Reuters) — Russia won a promise from Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday to bring an end to bloodshed in Syria, but Western and Arab states acted to isolate Assad further after activists and rebels said his forces killed over 100 in the city of Homs. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, representing a rare ally on….

Amnesty urges Egypt to scrap law targeting NGOs
2/8/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Egypt should scrap a Mubarak-era law used to prosecute civil society and ensure its planned replacement upholds the right to freedom of association, Amnesty International said Tuesday. International associations “have become the latest scapegoats as the authorities desperately spin their story of foreign conspiracies,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy head of….

Russia UN veto on Syria aimed at crushing West’s crusade
2/8/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Russia’s veto of a Security Council resolution on Syria goes far beyond mere protection for a close ally and arms buyer — it showed Moscow’s determination to crush what it sees as a Western crusade to use the United Nations to topple unfriendly regimes. The same holds true for….

Syria raises specter of proxy conflict for US, Russia
2/8/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — As the Obama administration weighs worst-case scenarios for Syria, one stands out: a civil war that develops into a proxy battle between Arabs and the West on one side, and Russia and Iran on the other. US officials stress they do not want to play a military role in Syria, where President Bashar….

International Solidarity Movement

Tubas: Israel robs the Jordan Valley dry
2/8/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Jonas Weber, 8 February 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – On Saturday 5 February a delegation of activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) went on a tour in the municipality of Tubas, 30 minutes by car to the south east of Nablus. At the municipality building of Tubas we were greeted by Marwan E.  Toubassi….

Alternative Information Center

Turning a profit from normalization
Alternative Information Center – The debate about normalization, and the ways it undermines the struggle against occupation, revolves mostly around issues such as meetings, conferences, youth camps for Israelis and Palestinians and other so-called “co-existence” activities. But very little has…

Palestine Telegraph

Jewish Settlers steal protest’s tent
8 Feb 2012 – Palestine, (Israeli settlers Wednesday stole a protest tent in Tel Rumeida, a neighborhood in the center of Hebron city, according to witnesses.

The National

Pilot crashes glider into Al Ain football crowd
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Panic-stricken football fans fled for their lives last night when a stunt pilot lost control of his powered paraglider and careered into the crowd.

Egypt ‘will not back down’ over NGOs case
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Ganzouri unmoved by US aid threat as PM’s defiant statement is sign relationship between nations is entering turbulent waters.

Driving test bribe men deported
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Six men appealing convictions for bribing a driving examiner have been deported, a court hears.

Luxury car theft gang in court for fourth time
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Prosecutors claim that the men were part of a gang that would rent luxury and saloon cars before exporting them with the use of forged documents.

Family massacre in the siege of Homs
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Twenty members of three families are shot dead in Homs as government forces stepped up their assault on the besieged city, activists say.

Scheme to clear debts is extended
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Eight banks also signed an agreement with the fund’s committee agreeing to write off 50 per cent of the debtors’ loans.

In pictures: Abu Dhabi’s transformation from space
The National 8 Feb 2012 – In pictures: Abu Dhabi’s transformation from space

Secularist parties in Egypt and Tunisia: If you can’t beat the Islamists, copy them
The National 8 Feb 2012 – Nursing their wounds and looking for lessons after they were comprehensively out-thought, outmanoeuvred and outvoted in parliamentary elections North African secularist parties say they won’t make the same mistakes next time.

Cash dismay for 74 families
The National 8 Feb 2012 – The worst affected families left homeless after a fire gutted a Sharjah tower are to receive Dh50,000 compensation.

Top schools told to give priority to Emirati pupils
The National 8 Feb 2012 – A recommendation in the Knowledge and Human Development Authority’s latest education evaluation report suggests top schools in Dubai should be forced to give preference to Emirati pupils.

Facebook users rally for death-row dog
The National 8 Feb 2012 – The owner, a 28-year-old Indian national who declined to be identified, said the site had been set up by friends and animal lovers.

Poor education, unemployment caused Arab Spring, claims World Bank
The National 8 Feb 2012 – World Bank representative tells regional education officials that better education standards would have prevented the Arab Spring.


Washington celebrates Tu Bishvat
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Harsher IAEA report on Iran nuclear program expected next month
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Shalit family welcomed by Sarkozy, French Jewish group in Paris
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Senior Israel Hayom columnist on Netanyahu’s office payroll
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Hamas’s Gaza-based leadership challenges Palestinian unity deal
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Haaretz exclusive: The Clinton-Assad meeting that never happened
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

France’s Sarkozy meets with Gilad Shalit in Paris
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Israel’s National Labor Court to decide fate of general strike
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Three quarters of Beit Shemesh first-graders will attend ultra-Orthodox schools next year
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Last known WWI veteran Florence Green dies at 110
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Iran: U.S., Israel highly vulnerable to retaliatory strikes
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Iranian lawmakers call for embargo on oil sales to EU
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Israel High Court accepts journalist Ilana Dayan’s appeal against libel verdict
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Syrian forces kill at least 67 civilians in Homs, activists say
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Israeli workers open general strike, disrupting airport and economy
Ha’aretz – 8 Feb 2012

Rick Santorum wins Republican contests in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado
Ha’aretz – 7 Feb 2012

Tel Aviv fetes its 221,000 trees on Tu Bishvat
Ha’aretz – 7 Feb 2012

Businessman David Appel alleges Mifal Hapayis head owes him $500,000
Ha’aretz – 7 Feb 2012

New Haifa bus system runs half a billion shekels over budget
Ha’aretz – 7 Feb 2012

Quality of Israel’s drinking water shows clear improvement
Ha’aretz – 7 Feb 2012

Jerusalem Post

Livnat promotes film for ultra-Orthodox women
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat met with 12 haredi women regarding production of movies.

IDI: Haredi middle class emerging
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Institute warns against coercive measures designed to forcibly accelerate these processes.

State offers seniors free tours of West Bank
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Pensioner’s Ministry initiative to provide free tours of Jewish heritage sites and settlements.

Ban: Arab League to resume monitoring mission in Syria
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Announcement follows widespread violence in Homs resulting in up to 100 killed; Arab League chief has said that new mission would be stronger in numbers, equipment; Ban also urges Israel, PA to submit peace proposals.

Treasury, Histadrut continue talks to end strike
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Sides prdered to submit reports after midnight; Court President Arad to decide on whether strike will continue.

Hezbollah: Iran will not dictate our actions
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Nasrallah acknowledges Iran provide group with support, but says it doesn’t take orders from them.

Eshel questioned for nine more hours
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Investigations into allegations that Nathan Eshel, the Prime Minister’s Office chief of staff, harassed a female staffer continue.

Council approves detention center building
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Plan approved to build a detention center in the South to hold illegal African migrants.

Darfurians pool money to reopen TA shelter
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Facility in southern neighborhood houses up to 200 homeless men, costs NIS 12,000 a month.

White House: Focused on steps on Syria crisis
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012US hopes to meet with international partners in bid to halt violence, provide humanitarian aid.

‘Heaviest shelling yet’ kills up to 100 in Homs
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – EU close to new Syria sanctions; CNN: US making contingency plans for military action.

Murky, dusty weather takes people’s breath away
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – The dust-filled air has also sent hundreds of patients to hospital emergency rooms around the country.

‘Retain military options against Iran’
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – “After the West has for years allowed the wool to be pulled over its eyes, Iran cannot take us seriously,” Bundestag deputy says.

In Egypt, soccer fans on the frontline of revolution
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Ultras are playing a growing role as the foot soldiers of the anti-government opposition.

Striking out
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – We cannot afford to throw caution to the wind, especially when Eini’s grandstanding, rather than the collective good, becomes the be-all and the end-all.

American military spending and oil dependency
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – For decades, people have been well aware of the necessity for the United States to decrease its dependency on oil. But now, such a reduction would reduce the stresses imposed on a weakened America.

Washington Watch: Banging the war drums
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Netanyahu will be in Washington next month to speak to the AIPAC policy conference. Obama will tell the Israeli leader that sanctions are showing results and should be given more time to work.

Terra Incognita: Galloway’s gaffe
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Each dictator has his Western apologist, it would seem.

Fundamentally Freud: Raising Israeli patriots
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – The Land of Israel is a living curriculum, with a wide array of sites that impart our people’s story and evoke pride in its very special saga.

Abbas: No contradiction between Hamas unity and peace
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012PA president tells US envoy reconciliation deal is a Palestinian national need; Netanyahu says PA has embraced terrorist organizations instead of peace; Peres says PA must choose between Hamas and peace.

Now is the time to fight for Jewish refugees
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Contrary to recent misleading press reports, no Jew seeks a “right of return” to Arab states.

Media Comment: The future of army radio
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – The truth is that Galatz today is a luxury that Israel can do without.

Who does Washington prefer – Putin or Zyuganov?
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – There is no place in US’s revolutionary, utopian view of the world for concepts of national interests, spheres of interest or balances of power.

Words matter: A new language for peace
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – The clarity of thought necessary to achieve either a decent two-state solution or a democratic one-state solution would be greatly enhanced by clarity of language.

‘Suspected serial bank bank robber behind heists’
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Police say they believe the highly dangerous individual is behind a string of robberies in the Center.

Police fear deadly serial-bank robber on the loose
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Robber operating across the center of the country; Police believe he is a highly-dangerous individual.

Russia reaches ancient Antarctic lake
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Scientists suspect lake hides unknown life forms, say harsh environment holds clues to life on other planets.

Norway paper afraid country losing Jews
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Leading Norwegian newspaper ‘Aftenposten’ warns country on verge of becoming a country without Jews.

Deaf Indonesian, 12, isn’t your typical bat mitzvah
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Still, in many ways, the bat mitzvah held last Shabbat resembled those held every Saturday around the world.

Hamas split threatens Palestinian unity deal
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Gaza-based leadership urges changes in unity deal; Abbas’s dual role as PA president and PM at heart of the dispute.

Turkey says world must support Syrian people
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Russian president tells Erdogan that search for a way to end bloodshed should continue, but foreign intervention not an option.

Ilana Dayan acquitted of libeling ‘Captain R’
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – In accepting Dayan’s appeal, court found her documentary was correct at the time of broadcast, so not defamatory.

Robots learn what it means to be human
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Advancements in robotics engineering bring robots more capable of emulating human behaviors and interactions.

Alternatives to liposuction
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – New non-invasive fat removal technologies offer alternatives to patients who are ineligible for liposuction.

Egypt will not be swayed by aid threat in NGOs case
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012US Congress, White House say aid threatened in row over foreign-funded NGOs.

Healthy Eating: Eat your way to beauty
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Chapped lips? Dry hair? Flaky skin? Find out which foods can help you stay beautiful through this dehydrating winter.

Gunman nabs cattle truck in Wild West-style robbery
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Masked man takes over two-story semi-trailor carrying calves from southern Israel to Golan Heights ranch.

Kid-friendly Tu Bishvat
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Chocolate may be the magic ingredient that bridges the divide between adult and children’s palates.

‘Political pressure must not force Iran strike’
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan kicks off new movement that will lobby for political reform in Israel

Iran says it will go green as oil sanctions tighten
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – “Reliance on hydrocarbon resources in the long run is neither possible nor meets national interests,” Iranian oil minister says.

‘Baby abuse case dad freed to house arrest’
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Police decide not to request remand extension for father accused of shaking babies; Danino: Let investigation run its course.

Revaluing Our Values
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Rabbi Boteach is running for congress but Torah shouldn’t be used as a political weapon.

Labor Court meeting ends, sides continue talks
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Histadrut, Treasury ordered to submit reports after midnight; Court President Arad to decide on whether strike will continue.

Assad’s forces kill at least 47 in Homs shelling
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – A day after parlay with Russian FM in which Syrian president claims to want peace, rockets fired into opposition districts.

No agreement after all-night talks: general strike begins
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Histadrut, Treasury meet up until 6 a.m. deadline, say progress made but not enough to prevent strike that shuts down gov’t offices, institutions of higher education, banks and trains.

CNN: US preparing military contingencies for Syria
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Officials tell the cable news outlet the US remains committed to diplomatic and economic measures on Damascus.

ElBaradei: Egyptians must work to end military rule
Jerusalem Post 8 Feb 2012 – Former Egyptian presidential candidate says military rulers’ performance has been “below expectations.”

Inter Press Service

‘Besieged’ Homs Endures Tank Assault
IPS The Syrian military is reportedly moving deeper into residential areas in the city of Homs, a day after the Russian foreign minister said President Bashar al-Assad was “fully committed” to ending the bloodshed.

NGO Prosecution Puts U.S.-Egyptian Ties at Risk
IPS The ongoing controversy over the activities of U.S. and other foreign non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Egypt appears to be bringing ties between the two countries to their lowest point in nearly 40 years.


Repulsive progressive hypocrisy
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – During the Bush years, Guantanamo was the core symbol of right-wing radicalism and what was back then referred to as the “assault on American values and the shredding of our Constitution”: so much so then when Barack Obama ran for President, he featured these issues not as a secondary but as a…

Hunger strike highlights forgotten tragedy of Palestinian prisoners
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – Khader Adnan’s hunger strike reached its 52nd day with little international attention. Some might think this is due to his association with the Islamic Jihad. However, the Israeli military has not presented any formal charges against him. Adnan is one Palestinian prisoner among thousands, about whom little is known. In Israel, many…

Hunger striker Khader Adnan, held by Israel, in “shocking” condition as solidarity grows
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – The wife and children of Khader Adnan were allowed to visit him as the husband, father and baker completed 53 continuous days of hunger strike against his detention without charge or trial since Israeli occupation forces in the West Bank arrested him on 17 December. Randa Adnan told Ma’an News Agency: “Adnan…

Special Report: In Syria, Medicine as a Weapon of Persecution
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – The Syrian regime is conducting a campaign of unrelenting repression against people wounded in demonstrations and the medical workers trying to treat them, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Me’decins Sans Frontie’res (MSF) said today. While MSF cannot work directly in Syria, it has collected testimonies from wounded patients treated outside…

RAF helicopter death revelation leads to secret Iraq detention camp
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – On the evening of 11 April 2003, a pair of RAF CH47 Chinook helicopters swept over Iraq’s western desert towards a remote rendezvous point beside Route 10, the highway that begins life on the outskirts of Baghdad before running for mile after mile towards the border with Jordan. As they approached their…

Libya war crimes: NATO allies responsible for racist killings?
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – Heavily armed fighters have attacked a camp of about 1,500 refugees on the outskirts of Tripoli, opening fire on its inhabitants. At least six were killed in the incident raising fears that civilians have little protection from militias running amok. Moreover, the fact that the attack took place just outside the capital…

Judge Orders Palestinian Professor To Remain In Prison Without Charge
Uruknet February 8, 2012 – The Israel military court has extended administrative detention for two months in addition to three months already detained for civil rights lawyer Dr. Yousef Abdul Haq, a lecturer at An-Najah National University and the Cultural Coordinator for the Tanweer Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum, currently detained in Ofer Prison near Ramallah. Yousef Abdul…

Hamas split threatens unity deal
Uruknet February 8, 2012Hamas‘ “change and reform” parliamentary committee on Wednesday urged parties involved in the Doha agreement to review its adherence to Palestinian law. The parliamentary bloc came out against a key clause in the pact under which Abbas would serve both as president and prime minister of a future government. The legislative bloc…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – The number of martyrs has risen to 35 thus far, including 4 women and 6 children. 2 of the martyred women are mother of 6 martyred children. The rest of the distributions are as follows: 19 in Homs, 10 in Damascus Suburbs (Madaya and Zabadany), 2 in Idlib, 2 in Daraa, and…

Israeli leaders’ silence on Assad’s crackdown reflects fears of uncertain future
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Israel’s leaders, wary of what might follow an eventual fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s, have been muted in their criticism of his bloody crackdown on opponents, but that might change. Despite the dispute between the two neighbors over the Golan Heights, seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day war and…

WATCH: Three Price Tag’ attacks in as many days
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – On Sunday, a “price tag” attack that included hateful graffiti and vandalism of property was committed in the middle of the night by Jewish Israelis in the Palestinian village of Al Jenia, near Ramallah, Rabbis for Human Rights reported. The village has suffered many attacks over the last year in which their…

Israeli Political Prisoner Khader Adnan Near Death
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish in Israeli prisons. Virtually daily, more arrests are made. Those incarcerated face torture, appalling prison conditions, and other forms of abuse. Some react in response. Khader did his way by refusing food for multiple reasons, including: * his rights and identity were violated; * his lawless arrest and…

Court nixes building project, saves unique Nakba village
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Lifta, the best-kept Palestinian Nakba village was saved on Monday, after a surprising verdict by the Jerusalem District Court canceled a 2004 construction plan to build a luxury housing complex on the site. As reported here in October, the Society for Preservation of Israel Heritage Sites decided to join the campaign to…

Don’t Ask. Lebanese Schools Won’t Tell Why Did Palestinian Refugees Come to Lebanon?
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – 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…

Haiti: Where Did the Money Go? What the American Red Cross Does Not Want You to Know (Video)
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Filmmaker Michele Mitchell presented her documentary, “Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?” at a congressional briefing sponsored by Rep. Yvette Clarke, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Rep. Donald M. Payne (CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot spoke at the briefing, and CEPR helped to publicize the event.) Through visits to Haiti in 2010 and 2011…

This is What Imperialism Does to Men
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – … In our condition as colonial slaves, we could not observe: that “Western Civilization” disguises behind its showy facade a picture of hyenas and jackals. That is the only name that can be applied to those who have gone to fulfill such “humanitarian” tasks in the Congo. A carnivorous animal that feeds on…

In Photos: Settlers and Israeli military violently steal land in Kufr Qaddoum
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – On February 5 the residents of Kufr Qaddoum noticed several soldiers and illegal settlers on their lands who were plotting how to illegally seize land from the village. Upon arrival, International Solidarity Movement received word that indeed the colonizers were planning an action to seize land today… Early this morning over 20…

How about an international award for hypocrisy?
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Arising out the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who invented dynamite, the Nobel Prize is universally recognized as the most prestigious award in the fields of peace-making, economics, chemistry, physics, medicine and literature. How about an international award – without the gold medal, the diploma and the money – for…

One Morning in Homs
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – He sends me the following statement from earlier in the day: The humanitarian situation on the ground in Baba Amr until this moment is still a mix of rocket launchers, tanks, mortar launchers hitting the area from all sides. More than 500 shells have come down on us since the morning, targeting…

Gulf Arab states expel Syrian ambassadors?
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Gulf Arab countries announced on Tuesday they were recalling their ambassadors from Damascus and expelling Syrian envoys in response to worsening violence in Syria. Syria’s rulers had rejected Arab attempts to “solve this crisis and prevent the bloodshed of the Syrian people,” a statement from the Gulf Cooperation Council said. “The Kingdom…

Khader Adnan, political prisoner held without charges, is near death after 53 days of hunger strike
Uruknet February 7, 2012 – Khader Adnan is on the 53rd day of hunger strike. Passing his 42nd day, the Palestinian political prisoner entered the fatal high-risk stage of starvation, where he is risking cardiac arrest and the inevitable shutting-down of major organs. The Palestine News Network reports what awaits Adnan: [A]fter the 42nd day of a…

Settlers spray Death to Christians’ on Jerusalem monastery
Uruknet February 7, 2012 — A Jerusalem monastery, built on the spot where tradition holds the tree from which Jesus’s cross was made, was defaced with graffiti bearing the hallmarks of Jewish extremists, police said on Tuesday. “Death to Christians” was daubed in Hebrew on the outer walls of the Monastery of the Cross, an 11th-century fortress-like…

Daily Star

Fabio Capello quits as England coach
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Fabio Capello quit as England coach Wednesday just four months before the European Championship.

Schwarzenegger joins Stallone in ‘The Tomb’
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 It’s an action superstar reunion: Arnold Schwarzenegger is joining Sylvester Stallone for the thriller “The Tomb.”

5 Yemeni prisoners killed in riots
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Security officials say five Yemeni prisoners have been killed in clashes after riots in a prison south of the capital as some tried to flee.

Paraglider crashes into UAE stadium, injuring 8
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Rescue crews in the United Arab Emirates say a stunt pilot flying a powered paraglider lost control and crashed into crowds before a soccer match, injuring at least eight people.

NATO extends Baltic air policing mission until 2018
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 NATO agreed Wednesday to extend its air policing mission over its Baltic member states Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia until 2018.

Gaza Hamas chief to visit Iran this week: officials
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 The Hamas prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniya, is on Friday to make a visit to Iran, which is celebrating the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic revolution, Iranian government officials said.

Santorum’s wins shake up Republican race _ again
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Rick Santorum’s stunning victories in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado are marking his best performance in the rollicking contest for the Republican presidential nomination – and Mitt Romney’s worst.

CNN suspends Martin for ‘offensive’ comments
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 CNN is suspending political analyst Roland Martin for tweets during the Super Bowl that the network said were “offensive” and that some critics said were anti-gay.

Iraq seeks to clamp down on security contractors
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Iraq’s government intends to impose tough restrictions on private security companies to rein in what amounts to a “giant army” threatening the country’s stability,

Murdoch firm settles 9 more hacking lawsuits
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Rupert Murdoch’s News International has settled nearly all the cases against the company in the first wave of lawsuits for phone hacking by its journalists.

Libya issues election law for national congress
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Libya has finalized a law to govern an election to choose a national assembly to draft a new constitution.

Singapore warns US on anti-China rhetoric
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Singapore on Wednesday urged the United States to be careful in comments on China, warning that suggestions of a strategy to contain the rising power could cause strife in Asia.

Gaddafi daughter presses UN to probe father’s death
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Muammar Gaddafi’s daughter has expressed concern that a UN commission looking into human rights violations during the Libya conflict is not trying to find out who killed her father.

Norway PM says troubled China ties “very static”
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Norway’s prime minister said on Wednesday its rift with China had not healed since the row over the 2010 award of the Nobel Peace Prize to a jailed Chinese dissident.

Ahmadinejad seeks rebound in Iranian elections
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 There’s a Persian saying used to describe an under-the-radar political effort: “Driving at night with the lights off.”

Merkel flies high as Germans see crisis beatable: poll
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party is at its most popular since winning a second term in 2009, polls showed Wednesday.

Israel general strike shuts airports, economy
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Israel’s main labour union went on strike shutting airports, ports, banks and the stock market after talks with the government failed to produce an agreement on the status of contract workers.

Jailed Bahrain activists end hunger strike
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 Jailed Bahraini activists have ended a hunger strike after eight days of refusing to eat in protest at a new crackdown on demonstrations, a rights activist said on Wednesday.

Islamist sect claims Nigeria military strikes
Daily Star 8 Feb 2012 A radical Islamist sect has claimed responsibility for attacks on military bases in a central Nigerian city at the heart of ethnic and religious unrest in the country.


Operator of radical Muslim site to plead guilty
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – ….

Abbas: No discrepancy between peace process, Palestinian unity
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – ….

Lee Zeituni’s family urges Sarkozy to extradite her killers
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – ….

Report in Syria: Israeli, US-made weapons found in Homs
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – ….

Sarkozy, chief challenger attend Jewish gala
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – ….

Is Netanyahu pretending?
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Soon we will find out whether Bibi truly moderated his views or remained a staunch rightist ….

Jews, Palestinians plant trees together in West Bank
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – In joint effort to block hazardous dust, settlers and Palestinians come together to plant grove ….

IDF faces rat attack
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Forget about Iran; for time being, army struggling to cope with rat-infested military base ….

IDF submarine fleet bans dual citizenship
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Candidates for prestigious unit now required to renounce foreign citizenship; officer: This is absurd ….

‘Shalit terrorist’ going back to jail?
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Terrorist freed in Shalit deal rejoins Hamas, could go back to prison for 27 years following arrest ….

Israel overcome by paranoia
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Having lost its self-confidence, tiny Israel seeks comfort in large walls and fences ….

Netanyahu: Israeli democracy thriving
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – PM says ‘Israel has something to be proud of,’ as Knesset celebrates 63rd birthday ….

Gilad Shalit meets Sarkozy in Paris
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Soldier leaves Israel’s borders for first time since release from Hamas captivity to meet with French President at Elysee Palace. His parents are set to be guests of honor at annual Jewish Institutions dinner ….

Dagan: Israel faces no existential threat
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Former Mossad chief presents plan to change Israel’s form of government, aiming to repair current situation where minority groups hold excessive power over decision makers; claims Israel’s government should be no bigger than that of US, China ….

West should strike Syria
YNet News, 8 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Just like it failed to bomb Auschwitz, world is doing nothing in face of Syria massacre ….

Palestinian Information Center

Calling Israel “free state” is insult to language
PIC – Israeli violations of freedom of speech are a very tiny part of the apartheid state’s overall criminal discourse against millions of people who don’t belong to the “holy tribe”.

IOF summons child, assaults farmers
PIC – The Israeli intelligence summoned a 13-year-old Palestinian child from Ramallah on Wednesday for interrogation, local sources said.

Haneyya asks Kuwaiti businessmen to invest in Palestine
PIC – Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has invited Kuwaiti businessmen to invest in Palestine during a meeting with members of the chamber of commerce and industry.

Israeli forces assault family, arrest their 13-year-old child
PIC – A large number of Israeli special forces broke into the home of a Palestinian family in Aisawiye village in occupied Jerusalem and arrested a 13-year-old minor.

Wife of hunger striker: Adnan enjoys high morale despite bad health condition
PIC – Wife of detainee Sheikh Khader Adnan said after meeting him in hospital that his morale was high despite his faltering health after 52 days of hunger strike.

Jewish settlers seize land, army threatens demolition of homes
PIC – Jewish settlers confiscated three dunums of Palestinian land to the east of Yatta town, south of Al-Khalil, on Wednesday, local sources said.

Arab League asks the Vatican not to sign agreements with Israel
PIC – The Arab League has asked the Vatican not to sign any agreement with Israel without first revising articles of the international law.

IOA holds journalist in administrative detention
PIC – The IOA has ordered the administrative custody of Palestinian journalist Amin Abu Warda for five months starting today Wednesday without counting the previous period of detention.

Aqsa foundation warns of Israeli plan to expand Jewish neighborhood in J’lem
PIC – The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage revealed an Israeli plan to expand the illegal Jewish neighborhood in the old city at the expense of lands belonging to the Armenian monastery.

Intifada Palestine

012 [VIDEO]
Intifada-Palestine: 8 Feb 2012 – Armed Terrorist Groups also know in the Westen World as Peaceful Protesters are killing everyday innocent Civilians and Army Members. Schools are burning everyday. This is School number 1951 that has been burned by them. Full Translation: man 1, All the… more

Nasrallah: There is Arab, US and Israeli Decision, Represented by so-Called Moderate States to Overthrow Syria
Intifada-Palestine: 8 Feb 2012 – BEIRUT, (SANA)-Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasserallah on Tuesday said that there is an Arab, Israeli and US decision, represented by the so-called the Arab moderate states to overthrow the regime in Syria, adding that the aim is not democracy or reform,… more


U.S., allies weigh options in Syria
LA Times 7 Feb 2012 – With President Bashar Assad refusing to cede power, U.S. options include arming Syrian rebels or looking the other way if others do. Some foresee a proxy war.  

In Syria, Russia Defends Diplomacy Amid Reports of Violence
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – As reports of assaults by Syrian forces continued for a fifth day, Russia’s leaders attempted to fend off criticism that they were doing nothing effective to stop the bloodshed.

Iran Defiant in Face of Sanctions
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Beneath the bombast from Iran’s leaders, strains on the economy from the sanctions showed further signs of getting worse, and Iranians appeared worried.

Israeli Union Starts a National General Strike
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Israel’s main labor union began the first general strike in five years on Wednesday in a dispute over treatment of nonunion contract workers.

The Church That Politics Turned Into a Mosque
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Iznik’s Hagia Sophia had become the focal point of a budding Christian faith tourism to the Turkish town. But now local residents fear its conversion into a mosque could keep foreign visitors away.

Sister Act From Iran Promotes Pop Music in Era of Repression
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Melody and Safoura Safavi don’t live in Iran any more, but they use their blend of Iranian soul rhythms with reggae, rock, ska and flamenco to reach an audience in their native land.

Syrian Refugees Paint Fearful Scene of Home
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Living in Ramtha, across in the border in Jordan, Syrians displaced by the uprising recount the mounting violence in Dara’a, where the revolt against Assad began last March.

Thailand Profits From Health Care to Arab Patients
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – A hospital in central Bangkok makes a point of catering to the specific needs of patients from the Middle East.

Iran Parliament Summons Ahmadinejad to Testify
New York Times 8 Feb 2012 – Lawmakers summoned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to answer questions about “irregularities” related to his handling of the country’s struggling economy, the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported.

Coalition of Syrian artists: Resistance liberates the imagination from slavery
Mondoweiss – Syrian political cartoonist, Ali Ferzat, his hands broken after he was beaten by Syrian forces, August 2011. Photo credit: Cartoon Brew An opinion piece , entitled ‘Délivrons la Syrie pour qu’elle retrouve le droit de vivre et de créer !’, was published in the online edition of French…

Musings on Post-Apartheid Israel
Mondoweiss – Post-Apartheid South Africa. (Photo: BBC) After immersing myself in all things Israel/Palestine for the past few years, and working hard for some modicum of justice to be dealt to Palestinians who have suffered so much only to be denied even recognition of their suffering, I have…

‘Commentary’ covers its eyes and makes Palestinians disappear
Mondoweiss – Jonathan S. Tobin, Senior Online Editor Commentary Magazine In one of the most amusingly delusional wishful thinking hasbara articles I have ever read Jonathan Tobin tries and fails to convince us nobody is really worried or even thinking about Palestinians anymore, and they are irrelevant . I…

A lull on this site
Mondoweiss – Adam Horowitz and I will both be traveling over the next couple of days so fresh posts will be infrequent. We should be resuming regular updates by Friday. Thanks for your understanding. Additionally, I find I am not able to input a Vacation Response on my…

The journey to the border
Mondoweiss – Palestine Postcard. We published the sequel to this journey before the journey itself. This is an amazing first journey of one young Palestinian woman to the home of her father, who was expelled in ’67. It’s important, it’s revealing and sometimes startling. It relates events of…

Foreign Press Rents Tel Aviv Rooftops to Cover Iran War
Tikun Olam – Israeli Haredim enjoying view from Israel during Operation Cast Lead You remember the descriptions of the First Battle of Bull Run when all of Washington’s high society rode out in their fine carriages and horses to picnic under the shady trees and watch their Union boys…

Former Senior U.S. Diplomats Propose Solution to Iran-American Conflict, Former Mossad Chief Says Toppling Syria Might End Iran Nuke Threat
Tikun Olam – Despite the beating drums of war on its news pages from David Sanger and others, the Times published an intelligent, pragmatic outline of a possible agreement between Iran and the U.S., written by two senior diplomats of past Republican administrations, Tom Pickering and Bill Luers.  Here’s…

Lebanese security officials seize suspicious cargo from US, Brazil
Voltaire Network 8 Feb 2012 – Lebanon’s security officials say a suspicious cargo containing huge amounts of US dollars, guns, special passports and credit cards have been seized upon arrival in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, from the US and Brazil. The items, packed in a number of chests and delivered via airmail,…

Egypt and Syria
Voltaire Network 8 Feb 2012Arab Affairs Editorial Egypt and Syria. What happened in Egypt was definitely a revolution, but what is currently happening in Egypt is definitely not part of the revolution’s course. Until this moment, it is not yet clear why the army rushed to proclaim its known position…

Moscow and Beijing acted primarily to shield Tehran
Voltaire Network 7 Feb 2012 – Still reeling from the double Russian and Chinese veto, the Western and Gulf press have accused Moscow and Beijing of reviving the Cold War while pondering ways to circumvent the decision of the Security Council. The consensual opinion is that the Russians and Chinese were chafed…

Egypt: PA Agrees On Freezing Relations With Syrian Parliament
allAfrica.com 8 Feb 2012 – [Egypt Online] The People’s Assembly (PA) has agreed on freezing relations with the Syrian parliament over escalating violence to crackdown on protesters.

South Africa: Govt Welcomes Palestinian Agreement
allAfrica.com 8 Feb 2012 – [BuaNews] Pretoria – The South African government has welcomed the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas.

Tanzania: February and the Revolutionary Fervour in Nation and Iran
allAfrica.com 8 Feb 2012 – [Citizen] This February is a unique month for Muslims in Tanzania because last Saturday and Sunday they celebrated Maulid an-Nabii marking the birth of the founder of the Islamic faith, Prophet Muhammad Ibn ‘Abd AllÄ” Ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib.

Tanzania: Iran Economy Could Limp Along Under Sanctions
allAfrica.com 8 Feb 2012 – [Citizen] Tightening international sanctions against Iran look set to shrink its economy, push up inflation and further erode its currency, but they may fail to deliver a knock-out blow that forces Tehran to compromise on its nuclear ambitions.

Palestine Solidarity Project 8 Feb 2012 – On the 17th of December 2011 (53 days ago), Khader Adnan began his hunger strike in protest of his ill-treatment in Israeli detention and his arbitrary detention without charge or trial (known as Administrative Detention). He is in danger of dying at any moment. His wife,…

Settlers Construct Two New Caravans on Beit Ommar Farmland
Palestine Solidarity Project 7 Feb 2012 – On Tuesday, February 7, 2012, Israeli settlers from Karmei Tsur, escorted by Israeli Forces, constructed two mobile homes (caravans) on two dunums (2000 square meters) of land owned by Palestinian residents of Beit Ommar. The farmland is legally owned by Mohamed Motlak Za’aqik and is located…

Arab Syria mission ‘may resume’
BBC 8 Feb 2012 – UN Chief Ban Ki-moon says the Arab League plans to revive its mission to Syria and accuses Damascus of stepping up “war on its own people”.

Egypt PM dismisses US aid threat
BBC 8 Feb 2012 – Egypt’s prime minister says it will not be persuaded by the potential loss of US aid to end a probe into foreign-funded non-governmental organisations.

Palestinian hunger striker fears
BBC 8 Feb 2012 – Doctors say a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 54 days while being detained without trial by Israel is in a critical condition.

Israel hit by nationwide strike
BBC 8 Feb 2012 – Israel’s main trade union federation launches a national strike intended to shut down government offices, banks, airports, ports and rail services.

To the oppressed masses, and ××× revolutionaries of the Russian Federation and Syria by Russian and Syrian anarchists
A-infos 8 Feb 2012 – A Russian and Syrian anarchist joint statement —- We, Russian and Syrian anarchists, as we see the infamous collaboration of both the Russian and Syrian repressive regimes, and the support of the Russian ruling regime to the bloody crackdown of the Assad regime against the Syrian…

Libertarian Socialist Movement, Egypt: Power to the People! (fr) [machine translation]
A-infos 8 Feb 2012 – Power must be given to people who have the right, in this case the people who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice his life to recover the country’s wealth, in that we will not accept any concessions. We consider that the assembly Constituent of the Egyptian people…


The goal is democratization
Ghassan Khatib, Bitterlemons 2/6/2012
      The Arab revolutions and the peace process: A Palestinian View
     The relationship between the ongoing uprisings and revolutions in the Arab world and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process is a convoluted mix of cause and effect. While Israelis tend to argue that recent developments in the Arab world justify the stagnation in the peace process (because the Arab revolutions “prove” constant instability in the neighborhood, Arab fickleness or fearsome radicalization), Arabs and Palestinians make the case that one of the factors contributing to regional foment and revolutions is frustration with the decades-long Israeli occupation and failure of the peace process.
     Frankly, Israel’s response to the developments in the Arab world is difficult to understand. The most obvious trend in these events is the effort to replace non-democratic regimes with regimes backed by the public. One of the most immediate outcomes has been and will be free and democratic elections. In Tunisia and in Egypt, elections have accompanied a transformation towards democratization and transparent leadership. Israel, which likes to portray itself as the “only democracy in the region”, should be celebrating the new applications for membership in this club.
     Likewise, Israel’s fear of rising Islamists is hard to swallow, when every sign is that democracy in Israel is leading it towards right-wing religious extremism. It might be useful here to remind ourselves that the parties that took over in most of Europe after World War II were defined by a right-wing Christian ethos, and most of the parties that rose to power after the transformation of Central and Eastern Europe were also religious. All of us need to support these Arab revolutions in the difficult process of building a framework for democracy and institutions that allow for the smooth and regular transfer of power. more.. e-mail

François Abu Salem and Theater in Palestine
Editorial, Jerusalem Quarterly File 2/8/2012
      Winter 2011
     The performing arts began to develop in the Middle East in the early twentieth century, when Syrian and Lebanese pioneers made their mark, mostly in Egypt. Theatrical troupes like that of Abu Khalil al-Qabbani, actors such as George Abyad, Mary Muneeb, and Najeeb al-Rihani, and dancer Badia Massabny, among others, were the rising theater celebrities of the time. Although some of the plays from Egypt and Lebanon were performed in Palestine as early as the 1920s, theater as a Palestinian practice took longer to emerge. Still, theatrical shows of one form or another were part of everyday Palestinian culture, whether with puppeteers or Sandouq al-Ajab (musical stereoscopic box viewer, or wonder box). Characters such as Awaz and the clown, Karagoz, featured prominently in the genre of political satire. As Wasif Jawhariyyeh informs us, theatrical sketches with Awaz and the clown were a fixed feature in the spacious Jerusalem coffeehouse owned by Ali Izhiman in the late Ottoman period. Al-Hakawati, or the storyteller, was another theatrical figure who used to give dramatic recitations of folkloric Arab tales such as that of Abu Zayd al-Hilali.
     During the British Mandate period theatrical productions became quite common in schools and continued to be staged for the next several decades. The Ramallah Festival held at al-Tira UNRWA college was an important national event in the short-lived Jordanian period in eastern Palestine. But professional theater was not born until the early 1970s, and the name François Abu Salem was closely associated with it.
     On Saturday, 1 October 2011, the life of François came to an abrupt end as a result of his fall from a building near his home in Ramallah. Many believe he committed suicide. He was 60 years old. He was among the founders of a number of theatrical groups, including the very first experimental group in Palestine, Balalin (balloons), which staged its daring play al-Atmeh – “The Darkness” – in 1972…. more.. e-mail

Syria through a glass, darkly
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times 2/9/2012
      The current Syrian drama is far from the usual, clear-cut “good guys vs bad guys” Hollywood shtick. The suspension of the Arab League observers mission; the double veto by Russia and China at the UN Security Council; the increasing violence especially in Homs and some Damascus suburbs: It is all leading to widespread fears in the developing world of a Western-backed armed insurrection trying to replicate the chaos in Libya – a “liberated” country now run by heavily weaponized militias. Syria slipping into civil war would open the door to an even more horrific regional conflagration.
     Here’s an attempt to see through the fog.
     1. Why has the Bashar al-Assad regime not fallen?
     Because the majority of the Syrian population still supports it (55%, according to a mid-December poll funded by the Qatar Foundation. See “Arabs want Syria’s President Assad to go – opinion poll” [1], and note how the headline distorts the result.
     Assad can count on the army (no defections from the top ranks); the business elite and the middle class in the top cities, Damascus and Aleppo; secular, well-educated Sunnis; and all the minorities – from Christians to Kurds and Druze. Even Syrians in favor of regime change – yet not hardcore Islamists – refuse Western sanctions and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-style humanitarian bombing.
     2. Is Assad “isolated”?
     As much as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may wish it, and the White House stresses “Assad must halt his campaign of killing and crimes against his own people now” and “must step aside” – no…. more.. e-mail

Putting the spotlight on London university’s links to Israel’s war machine
Electronic Intifada: 8 Feb 2012 – Hilary Aked London 8 February 2012 Students at the London School of Economics protest the university’s ties to the Technion — Israel’s Institute of Technology — which has inextricable links to Israel’s weapons industry.more

Is 17-year-old girl Cast Lead’s latest victim?
Electronic Intifada: 7 Feb 2012 – Rami Almeghari Gaza Strip 7 February 2012 Seventeen-year-old Haneen Abu Jalala died last month at an Israeli hospital from what her family says were complications from white phosphorous fired at their home three years ago.more

Israel Vying for War: Attacking Iran Will Not Repeat History
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Feb 2012 – By Ramzy Baroud On April 10, 2002, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the House of Commons, ‘Saddam Hussein’s regime is…developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked.’ A year later, Blair, enthusiastically joined a US-led coalition that launched an illegal war against Iraq. Their hunt for weapons of mass destruction was futile because no such weapons actually existed. The Iraq Survey Group, a 1,400 strong member organization set up by the CIA and the Pentagon, made every attempt to prove otherwise, but only came back empty-handed. In its final Duelfer Report, released in September 2004, the group “found no evidence of concerted efforts to restart the [nuclear] program.” One would think that the years between 1991 – the first war on Iraq – and 2003 would have been enough to convince US-led western allies that economically besieged, politically isolated and war torn Iraq…more

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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Posted 9th February 2012 by InI in category VTJP Palestine/Israel

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