VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 20 March 2013: Obama Comes to Bless Israel’s Government of Settlers

20 March 2013 – VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Palestinians install protest village to greet US President Barack Obama
IMEMC – As US President Barack Obama arrived for a two day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, hundreds of Palestinian non-violent activists set up a tent village at Bab al Shams (Door to the Sun) to challenge Israeli settlement policy and the US government’s tacit support for settlement expansion. …

Israeli Police Kidnap Two Children In Jerusalem
IMEMC – Monday March 18, 2013, Two children identified as Deena Morad Jweiles, 14, and her brother Mohammad, 12, have been kidnapped by the Israeli Police after being attacked and harassed by an Israeli settler in Wadi Hilweh, in Silwan, in occupied East Jerusalem, the Wadi Hilweh Information Center reported. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces detain students in Hebron
3/20/2013HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained some 30 students who were on their way to school in the southern area of Hebron, locals said. Locals told Ma’an that the students were transferred to Kiryat Arba police station, and the Israeli forces were detaining every student passing Tareq Bin Zeyad street…. Related: Thirty children arrested in Hebron on their way to school and Video: Israeli soldiers round up children in Hebron

Palestinians erect new ‘village’ as Obama lands in Israel
3/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians on Wednesday erected a new “village” encampment in Eizariya to stake their sovereignty and claims to return to their towns and villages. Activists said they set up 15 tents on a hillside near the original “Bab al-Shams” village that Israeli forces tore down two months earlier. In a statement, the…. Related: As Obama lands : Palestinians erect new Bab al Shams neighbourhood and Israeli forces surround new ‘village’

Israeli forces surround new ‘village’
3/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday surrounded a new tent village erected by Palestinian activists in Eizariya east of Jerusalem. An Israeli military spokeswoman said hundreds of Palestinians established “an illegal settlement” and that security forces were in the area “to maintain order.” She said soldiers arrested the driver of a truck loaded…. Related: Palestinians erect new ‘village’ as Obama lands in Israel and As Obama lands : Palestinians erect new Bab al Shams neighbourhood

Israel arrests Jerusalem governorate official
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained the director general of public affairs in the Jerusalem governorate as he drove through the Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem, an official said. Ahmad Syam, spokesman for the governorate office, told Ma’an that Hamdi al-Rajabi was detained while he was driving through the Qalandiya….

Israeli forces detain activists at Hebron protest
3/20/2013HEBRON (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained 10 protesters on Wednesday at a demonstration in Hebron’s Old City, activists said. Protesters wore masks of Martin Luther King and US President Barack Obama, who landed in Israel on Thursday. Activists said they wanted to remind Obama of the struggle King led against discrimination in…. Related: UPDATED – “Obama” arrested on Shuhada Street

Video: Israeli soldiers round up children in Hebron
3/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli rights group B’Tselem on Wednesday said Israel’s mass arrest of children in Hebron was “unacceptable,” and released a video of the detentions. The video shows soldiers forcefully arresting schoolchildren, one of whom is dragged along the ground by a group of soldiers, as the children’…. Related: Thirty children arrested in Hebron on their way to school and Israeli forces detain students in Hebron

Hebron child hit by settler vehicle
3/20/2013HEBRON (Ma’an) – A Palestinian child was accidentally struck by an Israeli settler’s vehicle in the Old City of Hebron Wednesday. Medical sources at Hebron’s public hospital told Ma’an that the child, identified as 4-year-old Muhammad Abdul-Ghani Qafisha, sustained moderate wounds. He is expected to be discharged….

Report: PA seizes explosives near Hebron
3/20/2013 – TEL AVIV (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces seized explosives at the home of a Hamas member in Surif near Hebron, Israeli media reported Wednesday. The Hamas member made the explosives in a workshop in Surif and stored them in his home, the Israeli news site Walla! reported. [END]

Israel says Hagel to visit next month
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to visit Israel next month to bolster the allies’ cooperation in the Middle East, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. It said Hagel and his new Israeli counterpart, Moshe Yaalon, discussed the visit by phone on Tuesday.”I look forward to strengthening cooperation between the….

Obama heads to Israel amid low expectations
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — US President Barack Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Making his first official visit here as president, Obama hopes to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians….

Obama: US-Israel alliance ‘eternal, forever’
3/20/2013 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — US President Barack Obama said at the start of his first official visit to Israel on Wednesday that US commitment to its security was rock solid.” I see this visit as an opportunity to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between our nations, to restate America’s unwavering commitment to….

Israeli army: Israel treats 4 Syrians wounded in civil war
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli soldiers gave medical treatment on Wednesday to four Syrians wounded in fighting within Syria near the ceasefire line on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the army said. It said two of them were transferred to an Israeli hospital for further care and two were returned to Syria. It was the second time Israel….

Israeli general welcomes Obama with call to share Iron Dome production
3/20/2013 – TEL AVIV (Reuters) — The United States should be allowed to co-produce Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interceptor so it can benefit from the money it has poured into Israel’s defense programs, a senior Israeli military officer said on Wednesday. Israel developed Iron Dome to shoot down rockets launched from the Gaza Strip….

Report: Obama limo malfunctions shortly before arrival
3/20/2013 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) – Shortly before US President Barack Obama arrived in Israel Wednesday, one of the limos malfunctioned at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, reports said. To avoid any changes to Obama’s very busy schedule, American and Israeli officials exerted huge effortsto quickly bring another limo from Jordan….

President Obama, you are welcome in Bethlehem
3/20/2013 – By Antwan I. Saca, Advocacy Officer at the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem – Mr. President, I want to seize this opportunity to welcome you and all US citizens to visit my small city of Bethlehem. Just like the many other visitors that we receive here in this land, we will do our best to overwhelm you….

Demonstrations in Gaza against Obama’s visit
3/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian protesters on Wednesday torched photos of US President Barack Obama and US flags in front of office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Gaza City. The protest started as dozens marched from the Unknown Soldier statue toward the UN office waving Palestinian flags. Representatives of nationalist…. Related: Palestinians erect new ‘village’ as Obama lands in Israel

Obama, Netanyahu trade banter over ‘red line’
3/20/2013 – TEL AVIV (Reuters) — Differences between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over setting a “red line” for Iran‘s nuclear project were never a joking matter. Until now, when both leaders uncorked some rapid fire one-liners during Obama’s tour of a partially US-funded anti-missile system that he inspected…. Related: Netanyahu, hinting at Iran, says Israel cannot cede self-defense and Netanyahu says Obama is determined to prevent nuclear Iran

Hebron officials urge PA ban on Israeli media
3/20/2013HEBRON (Ma’an) — The Hebron governorate executive council recommended Wednesday a ban on Israeli journalists reporting in Palestinian territory without a permit from the Ministry of Information. The council, headed by the governor of Hebron, suggested the ban on non-licensed Israeli media as a matter of reciprocity because Israel bans Palestinian media from working….

Director: ‘Jews of Egypt’ film passes censor after delay
3/20/2013 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt‘s censorship office gave permission on Wednesday for the screening of a historical documentary about the country’s Jewish community, the director said, following a delay caused by a security agency that expressed reservations about the title.” Jews of Egypt” will screen on March 27, director Amir Ramses said on….

Netanyahu, hinting at Iran, says Israel cannot cede self-defense
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday during a visit by US President Barack Obama that Israel “cannot cede the right to defend ourselves to others”, hinting at a possible go-it-alone plan to attack Iran‘s nuclear program. Netanyahu, addressing reporters in Jerusalem, said he hoped Obama’s visit “will help…. Related: Obama, Netanyahu trade banter over ‘red line’

Obama: Peace requires ‘secure Jewish state’
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A “strong and secure Jewish state” is central to a lasting peace, US President Barack Obama said in Jerusalem on Wednesday.” A central element of a lasting peace must be a strong and secure Jewish state where Israel’s security needs are met, alongside a strong Palestinian state,” Obama said….

Israel: Iran would need around a year to build Atomic bomb
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with the United States on Wednesday that Iran needs roughly a year to build a nuclear weapon, but stressed that Israel’s initial concerns were focused on uranium enrichment. At a joint news conference with US President Barack Obama, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel did not want…. Related: Netanyahu says Obama is determined to prevent nuclear Iran and Obama, Netanyahu trade banter over ‘red line’

013 draft budget excludes fuel revenues
3/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — A draft 2013 budget approved by the Palestinian Authority and submitted to parliament amounts to 13. 2 billion shekels ($3. 6 billion) but completely excludes fuel revenues. The draft, obtained Tuesday by Ma’an,will be submitted to the Palestinian Legislative Council for approval. Surprisingly, the budget completely ignores fuel….

Fatah: Hamas summoning members in Gaza
3/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas security services summoned seven Fatah members for interrogation on Tuesday in the Gaza Strip, Fatah said. Hamas’ Internal Security Service summoned Nasser Badawi, a member of Fatah’s advisory board, and Ayman Eshteiwi, a local council member, Fatah said in a statement. Fatah leaders Ahmad al-Najar, Iyad….

Syria asks UN to investigate alleged chemical weapons attack
3/20/2013 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Syria asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday to launch an independent investigation into an alleged chemical weapons attack by “terrorist groups” near the northern city of Aleppo, Syria‘s UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said.” The Syrian government has requested the Secretary-General of the United Nations to form a specialized, independent….

Netanyahu says Obama is determined to prevent nuclear Iran
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he was “absolutely convinced” that US President Barack Obama was determined to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Obama, speaking beside the Israeli leader at a joint news conference in Jerusalem, said “there is not a lot of daylight” between the allies’ individual…. Related: Obama, Netanyahu trade banter over ‘red line’

Man accidentally kills son with forklift truck
3/20/2013 – SALFIT (Ma’an) — A man accidentally ran over and killed his 6-year-old son with a forklift truck on Wednesday near Salfit, police said. Karim Abu Hammad was pronounced dead on arrival to the Yasser Arafat Hospital. Witnesses said his father ran him over while unloading cargo in Kifl Haris, according to a police statement. [END]

Obama: Assad to be held to account if chemical weapons used
3/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday that the United States was investigating whether chemical weapons had been used in Syria, and that Syrian President Bashar Assad would be held accountable if they had been.” We have been clear that the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people would be a serious and…. Related: Syria asks UN to investigate alleged chemical weapons attack

Aljazeera

Obama boosts ties with ‘eternal’ ally Israel
AlJazeera 20 Mar 2013US president opens visit with pledge of solidarity over Iran‘s nuclear programme, adding “all options are on the table”.

Palestine News Network

Barak Obama, Yes you are welcome in Bethlehem
Palestine News Network

Palestinians Still Waiting for Obama to Prove Commitment to Two-State Solution
Palestine News Network

Palestinians Stage Solidarity Sit-in with Hunger Strikers
Palestine News Network

Tight Security for Obama’s Trip to Israel, Palestinian Occupied Territories
Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Open Fire at Palestinian Houses, South of Gaza Strip
Palestine News Network

Exhibition Explores Ancient Ruins in Rafah
Palestine News Network

Weather Forecast: Rise in Temperature Through Week
Palestine News Network

UCI Paves Internal Roads in Kobar, Qarawa Bani Zeid in Ramallah
Palestine News Network

Fayyad, Ashton Sign €7M Agreement for Area C Development
Palestine News Network

Israel Extends Detention of Cartoonist Mohammad Sabaaneh
Palestine News Network

Sources to PNN: IOF Forces Detain 50 School Children in Hebron
Palestine News Network

Israeli Settlers Hurl Stones at Vehicles near Nablus
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

“I risk my life when I go fishing, but what choice do I have?”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

As Obama lands : Palestinians erect new Bab al Shams neighbourhood
3/20/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 20th March 2013, Popular Struggle Coordination Committee , Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine – Palestinians assert their right to protect their lands from colonialism and their opposition to American policy which keeps granting Israeli occupation and repression of Palestinians full support. Hundreds of the Palestinians arrived this morning, Wednesday March 20th, to Eizariya and erected about 15 tents on….

UPDATED – ‘Obama’ arrested on Shuhada Street
3/20/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 20th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Hebron, Occupied Palestine, By Team Khalil – Update 20th March 20. 45: Three Palestinians still being interrogated, three international activists now threatened with deportation. All will face court in Jerusalem on 21st March. Four Palestinians and three international activists have been arrested by the Israeli military today, 20th March 2013…. Related: Israeli forces detain activists at Hebron protest

Thirty children arrested in Hebron on their way to school
3/20/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 20th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Hebron, Occupied Palestine, By Team Khalil – Around 30 young boys aged betweeen 7 and 15 years were arrested between 7 and 8 am this morning, the 20th of  March, on their way to the Al-Khalil and the Al-Ibrahimi school in Hebron. Various witnesses reported the soldiers entered the school…. Related: Israeli forces detain students in Hebron and Video: Israeli soldiers round up children in Hebron

Alternative Information Center

Samer Issawi: I prefer death over deportation
Alternative Information Center – “Regarding the Israeli occupation offer to deport me to Gaza, I affirm that Gaza is an undeniable part of my homeland and its people are my people. However, I will visit Gaza whenever I want or…

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Viral Occupation: Cameras and Networked Human Rights in the West Bank
Relief Web 20 Mar 2013 – Source: Middle East Research and Information Project Country: occupied Palestinian territory by Rebecca L. Stein | published March 20, 2013 When I film, I feel like the camera protects me. But it’s an illusion. —Emad Burnat, West Bank Palestinian and co-director,…

Syrian Arab Republic: Regime shells Damascus, air raids in Hama
Relief Web 20 Mar 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic 03/20/2013 17:32 GMT BEIRUT, March 20, 2013 (AFP) – Regime forces shelled areas in the south of Damascus on Wednesday, including the Yarmuk camp, while warplanes bombed areas in the…

World: Analysis: The view from the ground: How drone strikes hamper aid
Relief Web 20 Mar 2013 – Source: IRIN Country: Afghanistan, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Somalia, World, Yemen By Heba Aly AMMAN/DUBAI, 20 March 2013 (IRIN) – In recent years, the legality and civilian casualties of the secretive American drone programme have increasingly been the subject of…

occupied Palestinian territory: Narratives: “I risk my life when I go fishing, but what choice do I have?”
Relief Web 20 Mar 2013 – Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory Mahmoud Mohammed Jarboa (52) is a fisherman from Beach Camp, Gaza City, and a father of ten children, seven sons and three daughters. Mahmoud relies on the income he and…

The National

Obama’s new pledge on Middle East peace
The National 20 Mar 2013US president vows ‘peace must come to the Holy Land’ within minutes of arriving in Israel, and is to attempt to restart peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Vita Bekker and Hugh Naylor report 

Nuclear power ‘vital to growing energy needs’ of UAE, Dubai residents told
The National 20 Mar 2013 – A panel of experts answers questions about the UAE’s first nuclear power plant under construction at Barakah in the Western Region.

Risks lurk in shadows for Syria’s interim PM
The National 20 Mar 2013 – Should Ghassan Hitto fail to deliver competent administration in rebel held areas, he may worsen already deep divisions within their ranks, especially those between Islamists and secularists. Analysis by Phil Sands 

Kuwait plans to cut 100,000 foreign workers a year for 10 years
The National 20 Mar 2013 – The move, slated to start next month, is to reduce dependence on the 1.8 million expatriates who currently work in Kuwait, many of them in unskilled or service positions. Elizabeth Dickinson reports 

Residents flee showering glass as wild winds smash cleaning cradle against Abu Dhabi tower
The National 20 Mar 2013 – At least one apartment on the 40th floor of Sun Tower was damaged when the hanging cradle veered wildly and smashed into the side of the building.

Cyprus asks Russia for help to avoid meltdown
The National 20 Mar 2013 – Cyprus seeks Moscow loan extension as banks stay closed and island’s cash crisis convulses euro-zone. Michael Theodoulou reports from Nicosia 

UAE universities want closer links with CAA
The National 20 Mar 2013 – The licensing agency can play a key role in helping courses to be developed, especially in the smaller and newer institutions, say academics.

Entrepreneurs are vital to UAE’s economic success, students told
The National 20 Mar 2013 – UAE students are told that entrepreneurship will make the UAE more competitive worldwide as the country diversifies from its reliance on oil and property development.

Ha’aretz

Israel pushes settlers and Palestinians to cooperate on recycling
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

Israel’s electric grid may not have the power to meet consumer demands
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

Full transcript of Obama-Netanyahu joint press conference
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

Israel’s High Court rejects Arab village’s bid to stop construction of highway
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

LIVE BLOG: Barack Obama visits Israel: Day one
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

‘Death to Jews’ and swastikas sprayed on Jaffa walls and storefronts
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

As Obama arrives, Palestinians erect protest camp in E-1 area
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

Israel’s new Education Minister accused of past ethnic discrimination
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

In Jerusalem, the Tree of Heaven is making life hell for its fellow flora
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

In a flurry of telegrams, Israeli diplomats respond to ‘The Gatekeepers’
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2013

U.S. has pinpoint attack ready on Iran, says Israeli official
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israelis’ pre-Passover charitable spirit has little effect on the plight of the poor
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Barack Obama must win back Israeli hearts
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Police attempt to close nightclubs exasperates Tel Aviv revelers
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israel High Court rejects live-in health aide’s demand for overtime pay
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

One day after being sworn in, Israel’s MKs take spring break
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

LIVE BLOG: Obama en route to Israel in Air Force One
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Jerusalem Post

The buck stops here
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – It is not only the president’s constitutional right to set Pollard free from his grossly disproportionate life sentence. It is his duty. 

Candidly Speaking: The Obama visit and American Jewry
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – During the election season, President Obama’s charm campaign toward the Jewish community eased tensions. 

Why US engagement in Israeli-Palestinian peace is needed
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Strong and sustained US engagement with the president’s full backing would be essential to advance a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace. 

Encountering Peace: Advice for the president
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Mr. President, you are probably thinking, “where do these people get the chutzpah to tell me what I should do?” 

Media Comment: An ‘apartheid’ journalist
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Discussion and debate in Israel are robust and free-wheeling, as they should be in a democracy. 

Israel and the dignity of the Palestinians
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Israel’s friends cannot afford to sit back and watch passively. 

Savir’s Corner: Welcome, Mr. President!
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – President Barack Obama is a representative of a new America, a more multicultural one, a new coalition of minorities. 

Why is President Morsi helping Israel, not Hamas?
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Washington Watch: Hamas expected Morsi to end Mubarak’s cooperation with Israel’s blockade of Gaza, but if anything the noose has tightened. 

Politicians raise Pollard with US president
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Imprisoned Israeli agent’s wife asks students not to heckle Obama; at least two ministers mentioned Pollard to US president. 

Analysis: Obama, he had us at ‘Shalom’
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – We so want to be accepted, so want to be understood. 

Obama: Not a lot of daylight between Israel and US on Iran
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Following meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry, security chiefs, Obama and Netanyahu hold joint press conference; PM: Israel remains fully committed to peace; US president: Central element of lasting peace is secure Jewish state. 

Students to attend Obama speech ‘with open-mind’
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – 600 students from universities and colleges across Israel will attend President Barack Obama’s speech, and they are excited. 

Hundreds in Ramallah protest Obama’s planned visit
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013PA planning to impose a curfew on Ramallah during visit. 

US Russian Jews don’t feel connected to community
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Fifty Seven percent of Russian Jews living in the United States do not feel that they are part of the American Jewish community. 

Turkish PM doubles down on Zionism comments
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Erdogan says he doesn’t take back remarks that Zionism is crime against humanity, but calls uproar a “misunderstanding.” 

UN warns Assad on chemical weapons
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says the use of chemical weapons “under any circumstances” is an “outrageous crime.” 

US defense chief Hagel to visit Israel in April
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Ya’alon, Hagel, congratulate one another on appointments in phone conversation, look to increase cooperation. 

Hard times for Dubai’s tourism on Iranian New Year
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Iranian tourists heading to Dubai has slowed significantly due to strained relations with west and Europe, harming local businesses. 

The amazing grace of David D’or
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013US President Barack Obama to join the long list of world leaders who have witnessed the singer’s vocal magic. 

UK: Syria chemical attack boosts case for rebels
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Britain and France urge ease of EU ban of supplying arms to opposition in light of reports of chemical weapon attack in Syria

Palestinians erect protest tents in E1
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Protesters fly Palestinian flag and hang photo of Obama at site; activists were evacuated from E1 in January. 

Sa’ar hands over Education Ministry to Piron
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – “I can say today, that I have reached the top of my dreams,” Yesh Atid’s Piron says as he enters his new position. 

US Congressman: Obama should speak at Knesset
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013US Republican: Decision to skip speech at Knesset is “unfathomable.” 

IDF admits 2 wounded Syrians to hospital in Israel
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Army treats 4 Syrians wounded in civil war at border; five shells fired from Syria land in Lebanon. 

Fischer wins Herzog Award
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Peres pays tribute to outgoing Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer for his unique contribution to Israel in the field of economics. 

Peretz, Shalom pledge to improve quality of life
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – New Environmental Protection Minister Peretz promises to integrate the principles of environmental and social justice in his office. 

New health minister vows to make job more desirable
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2013 – Yaakov Peri welcomed to helm of Science and Technology Ministry. 

AIPAC, J Street back separate letters to Obama
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – AIPAC-backed letter labels Palestinian UN bid “unacceptable”; J Street supporters urge Obama to reiterate commitment to 2 states. 

Service fit for a king
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Jerusalem’s vaunted King David Hotel prepares to host another US president, sparing no expense – including an all-kosher menu. 

Ban on Passover sacrifice gets groups’ goat
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Permission for Association of Temple Organizations to perform annual Passover sacrifice reenactment refused. 

The Guardian

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu hold joint press conference– live
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – Can Barack Obama do anything to repair his strained relations with Binyamin Netanyahu on his first official visit to Israel? Follow live updates Matthew Weaver Jim Newell

Obama and Netanyahu talk Iran and Palestine – video
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – Barack Obama held a joint news conference on Wednesday with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu reaffirms US-Israel bond on Obama visit but talks tough on Iran
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013PM reasserts Israel’s right to be ‘masters of our own fate’ over Iran threat as Netanyahu and Obama strive to show new warmth Binyamin Netanyahu reasserted Israel’s right to defend itself against the Iranian nuclear threat…

Letters: Obama must not fail in Israel and Palestine
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – The Middle East, racked with dangerous and escalating crises, is desperately in need of international leadership. President Obama’s visit to Israel and Palestine ( Report , 20 March) presents an opportunity for the US to give the determined…

Tree gifted by Barack Obama to Israeli president not dug up – yet
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – Tree must undergo checks required on plants coming into the country from abroad • Obama visits Israel – live updates on the trip 6pm ET update: A tree, gifted by Barack Obama and planted in the garden…

Obama talks peace, but Palestinians and Israelis more sceptical than ever | Harry J Enten
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – In 2008, both Israelis and Palestinians wanted a two-state solution. Today, they agree on just one thing: Obama can’t help When President Obama first entered the presidency, great expectations had been raised by the campaign catchwords…

Obama holds talks with Israeli president Shimon Peres – video
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – Barack Obama holds talks with Israeli president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on Wednesday

Backup presidential limo on its way for Obama in Israel after fuel filling failure
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – One of the limousines in Barack Obama’s fleet has broken after reports that it was filled with the wrong fuel • Obama visits Israel – live updates on the trip One of the limousines in Barack…

Obama pledges ‘unwavering support’ for Israeli security – video
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – The US president arrives in Tel Aviv greeted by the prime minster, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the president, Shimon Peres

Obama has disappointed Palestinians. But I’m optimistic about his Israel visit | Sami Abdel-Shafi
The Guardian 20 Mar 2013 – Palestinians have every reason to be pessimistic. But we can make this the start of a US push for an equitable peace It would be unrealistic to expect a breakthrough from President Obama’s visit to Israel ,…

Inter Press Service

Syrian Delegates Push for Peaceful Resolution of Conflict
IPS Amidst ongoing violence between the Syrian regime and opposition forces, and serious international discourse on arming the opposition, some Syrian civil society leaders are insisting upon a non-violent approach toward conflict resolution. Dr. Haytham Manna and Dr. Rim Turkmani traveled to New York and Washington over the last week, speaking…

In Middle East, Women’s Labour Half of Global Levels
IPS As countries in the Middle East and North Africa adjust to profound political changes and economic difficulties, development experts on the region have increasingly turned their attention to the social and economic potential of incorporating more female workers into the labour market. Not only would more employed women stimulate economic…

Palestinians Prepare a Bitter Welcome for Obama
IPS The rumbling drone of a fleet of U.S. helicopters carrying security and administrative personnel could be heard long before the eight choppers came into view over the Ramallah horizon on their way to the Palestinian Authority  (PA) presidential compound in the West Bank de facto capital Ramallah. The helicopters circled…

Iraq Once More on the Brink of War
IPS Driving into the city of Kirkuk, one is greeted by the view of a huge sea of grey concrete houses from which laundry has been hung out to dry in the wind and be blackened by smoke rising from the surrounding oil wells. Only the turquoise flags fluttering from lampposts…

Uruknet

Dr Barghouti: Palestinians are unenthusiastic about passive US President Obama‘s visit
Uruknet

Issawi’s mother to Obama: save my son’s life
Uruknet

Statement from Palestinian Hunger Striking Prisoner Samer Issawi
Uruknet

Who Did You Rape in the War, Daddy? A Question for Veterans That Needs Answering
Uruknet

Mali: Old Wine in New Bottles? Justifying France’s Military Intervention in Mali
Uruknet

Depleted Uranium Contamination is Still Spreading in Iraq
Uruknet

Two Years After Launching Intervention
Uruknet

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Samson Option
Uruknet

“The transitional government is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Qatar government” Ghassan Hitto – the IT executive who wants to govern Syria
Uruknet

Dear George Bush and Dick Cheney, You Are Guilty of Murder: A Letter from a Dying Veteran
Uruknet

Daily Star

EU tells Egypt to do better on reforms, or face aid cuts
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 The European Union warned Egypt on Wednesday it could lose funds from its 5 billion euro ($6.5 billion) aid package if democratic reforms fail to satisfy Brussels.

US, Karzai deal leaves most US commandos in Wardak
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Afghanistan’s president on Wednesday relented in his demand for all U.S. special operations forces to withdraw from a strategic province east of the capital.

Syrian enemies demand inquiry into “chemical” attack
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Both sides in Syria‘s conflict on Wednesday demanded an international inquiry into a deadly attack they each cite as evidence that the other has used chemical weapons.

Amid civil war, Syrian port prospers under Assad’s protection
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 This once sleepy Syrian port now buzzes with shoppers milling about crowded market places. Lines of cars wait patiently at traffic lights – a rare mark of order in a country where most cities have erupted…

US diplomatic presence in Iraq shrinking fast
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 A decade after the start of the war in Iraq, the American diplomatic footprint here is shrinking fast.

Website offline where stolen credit reports posted
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 The website where hackers had published what it said were credit reports for Michelle Obama, the attorney general, CIA director, FBI director and other politicians and celebrities has been shut down by Russian Internet officials.

In Israel, Obama warns Syria on chemical weapons
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Obama pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used chemical weapons and reassured Israel of U.S. resolve against Iran as he tried to allay the security fears of the main U.S. ally in…

Jordanian force cordons off Syrian refugee camp
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Jordan has set up a security cordon around a sprawling Syrian refugee camp in the country’s north in an effort to curb rising crime and lawlessness among its residents, a Jordanian official said Wednesday.

Liberals boycott Syria opposition coalition over PM choice
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Nine people suspended their membership in the Syrian National Coalition, the main political grouping opposing President Bashar al-Assad, on Wednesday, one day after it named an Islamist-backed candidate as provisional prime minister.

Iran would need around a year to build Atomic bomb -Israel
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 Netanyahu agreed with the United States on Wednesday that Iran needs roughly a year to build a nuclear weapon, but stressed that Israel’s initial concerns were focused on uranium enrichment.

Rights group to Libya: Stop destroying town
Daily Star 20 Mar 2013 An international rights group on Wednesday urged the Libyan government to halt the “systematic destruction” of a town whose residents backed ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi during the country’s civil war.

YNet News

Cyprus crisis talks end, to resume Thursday
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – ….

Report: Grad fired from Syria at Hezbollah sites in Lebanon 
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – ….

Syria asks UN to look into alleged chemical attack
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – ….

Venezuela halts communication with US diplomat
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – ….

Ronaldo, Portugal soccer team land in Israel 
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – ….

In hope, in faith
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – Op-ed: In open letter, Eitan Haber welcomes President Obama to Israel; thanks US for ‘giving us life’ ….

Refaeli a worthy ambassador
YNet News, 20 Mar 2013 – Op-ed: She may not have served in IDF, but supermodel has been serving Israel for quite a while ….

Palestine Information Center

Hamas rejects Obama visit to Aqsa
PIC – Hamas movement declared its absolute rejection of the slated visit by US president Barack Obama to the Aqsa mosque under Israeli protection.

Palestinian popular rejection of Obama’s visit
PIC – A number of Palestinian activists and politicians expressed their rejection of the visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Palestinian territories on Thursday.

Occupation deprives prisoners in Raymond from visits for a whole month
PIC – A Palestinian human rights organization said that the Raymond prison administration informed the prisoners of its intention to deprive them of visits for a whole month..

Meshaal: The Arab Spring is in favor of the resistance
PIC – Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, renewed his movement’s adherence to the entire Palestinian land, and stressed that all Palestine is an Arab Islamic land.

14 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria’s camps within 24 hours
PIC – Fourteen Palestinian refugees died in the bombing that targeted the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria, near the capital Damascus, within the past twenty-four hours.

IOF soldiers quell anti-Obama demo in Al-Khalil, bulldoze land in Jenin
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) quelled a Palestinian demonstration in Al-Khalil city on Wednesday protesting US president Barack Obama’s visit.

Israeli court sentences Jerusalemite kid to one year for throwing firebomb
PIC – The central court in occupied Jerusalem passed a one-year imprisonment term against a Jerusalemite kid for throwing a firebomb at a settlement outpost in Silwan.

Abu Marzouk denies arranging meeting between Meshaal and Sisi
PIC – Dr. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, has strongly denied published news claiming that the movement has demanded to meet with Egyptian Defense Minister.

Report: More than 60 racist Israeli laws against Arabs
PIC – The Israeli occupation issued since 1948 more than 60 racist laws against Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories of 1948 in all spheres of life, including education..

Israeli Court postpones looking into the appeal of Azzedine and Ka’adan
PIC – Ofer Court refused today the strikers Tarek Kaadan and Jaafar Azzedine’s request to set a hearing for their appeal three weeks after they obtained a resolution fixing their administrative detentions.

WAFA

Israeli Forces Raze Land to Expand Military Checkpoint
WAFA – 20 Mar 2013

Palestinians Erect New Bab al Shams Neighborhood
WAFA – 20 Mar 2013

Israeli Soldiers Beat School Students in Hebron
WAFA – 20 Mar 2013

Obama Starts Visit to Israel, Palestine
WAFA – 20 Mar 2013

Misc

Obama message may not resonate with Israeli youth
LA Times 20 Mar 2013 – Young Israelis, who are more conservative and less tolerant than the older generations, are less inclined to embrace Palestinian statehood. JERUSALEM — By choosing to deliver his landmark speech to Israel in an auditorium filled with students and young people, President Obama is once again…

In Iraq, 10 years after U.S. invasion, legacy of war lives on
LA Times 19 Mar 2013 – Much has changed since the start of the war, followed by Saddam Hussein’s fall and lengthy sectarian warfare. Many wonder, is it for the better? BAGHDAD — A bronze statue of a slain Shiite Muslim cleric greets motorists as they drive down the airport highway…

Syria accuses rebels of chemical weapon attack
LA Times 19 Mar 2013Syria‘s government says 25 civilians were killed. Rebels say the government launched the assault to discredit them and prepare for a larger chemical bombardment. BEIRUT — The Syrian government accused rebels Tuesday of killing dozens of civilians in a chemical attack near the northern city…

Offer to Iran adds tension to U.S.-Israel talks
LA Times 19 Mar 2013 – Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials say the United States and five other nations may have offered too much to Tehran in nuclear negotiations. WASHINGTON — An offer in the most recent round of negotiations over Iran‘s nuclear program has created anxiety in Israel and…

Obama and Netanyahu will try for a thaw during Israel visit
LA Times 19 Mar 2013 – Their dealings have been strained at best. But most experts say the U.S.-Israeli relationship is too deep and strategic to be derailed by tension at the top. JERUSALEM — As President Obama prepared for his first official trip to Israel, he made a point of…

The Lede: Israeli Group Protests Detention of Palestinian Children Suspected of Throwing Rocks
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – The Israeli rights group B’Tselem protested the detention of 27 Palestinian children suspected of throwing rocks at settlers and soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron. 

Obama Arrives in Israel for Two-Day Trip
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – President Obama traveled to Israel for the first time in his presidency, bearing a message of solidarity and defense against threats. 

Palestinian Protesters Set Up Camp in West Bank
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – As President Obama began his visit to Israel, scores of Palestinian activists pitched tents in the hotly contested area known as E1. 

Both Sides in Syria Want Inquiry on Chemical Arms
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – President Obama, in his first public reaction to reports that chemical weapons had been used in Syria, said, “I’ve instructed my teams to find out precisely whether this red line was crossed.” 

Iran’s Support Emboldens Assad, Envoy Says
New York Times 20 Mar 2013

IHT Special: Syria’s Oil a Source of Contention for Competing Groups
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – The Syrian government has lost control of many of the country’s major oil fields over the past few months. For some rebel units, captured oil could pay for weapons. 

Art Scene Takes Wing in Dubai
New York Times 20 Mar 2013 – More than 20 galleries have set up in Al Quoz in the past couple of years, attracted by the large spaces available and the neighborhood’s gritty, urban feel. 

Refinery upgrade cuts into Paz operating profit 
Globes Energy & Water – CEO Yona Fogel sees the NIS 1.3 billion investment, which shut down the Ashdod refinery in the fourth quarter, bearing fruit this year.

Obama lands in Israel
Globes Main News – US President Barack Obama told Israel’s leaders the Arab spring presents opportunities and risks, and reiterated his commitment to Israel’s security.

BiolineRX schizophrenia drug trial fails
Globes Main News – The drug development company has decided to discontinue the study of its lead treatment sending its share into a tailspin.

Elbit Systems unit wins $80m Asian contract
Globes Main News – Electro-optics Elop will upgrade Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) for an Asian customer over the next two years.

Wed: Azrieli boosted by strong financials
Globes Main News – Real estate companies Azrieli and Gazit-Globe rose after publishing strong financials but failed to lift a flat market.

Israeli banks not exposed to Cyprus
Globes Main News – In the past two years, Israeli banks have reduced their exposures to problem countries in Europe.

Senior public sector managers entitled to pensions worth NIS 10m
Globes Macro Economics – The generous pensions packages are a result of the senior managers’ salary structure.

Bank of Israel 2012 loss narrows to NIS 1.2b
Globes Macro Economics – The Bank of Israel’s balance sheet at the end of 2012 was about NIS 303 billion down 1.6% from NIS 308 billion at the end of 2011.

Rafael 2012 sales down, profit up
Globes Aerospace & Defense – The state-owned defense company took orders of NIS 9.2 billion last year, bringing its orders backlog to NIS 16 billion

B’Tselem Video: Mass arrest of Palestinian children on their way to school in Hebron
Mondoweiss – B’Tselem Press Release: B’Tselem this morning urgently contacted the Army’s Legal Advisor for Judea and Samaria, demanding his emergency intervention regarding the detention of numerous children, including some as young as 8 to 10 years old, by the Israeli military this morning in Hebron. Preliminary information…

Following Obama visit, Israeli govt to discuss measures aimed at relieving international diplomatic pressure
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Apartheid Israel to retroactively legalize Palestinian construction in Area C of West Bank Haaretz 19 Mar by Chaim Levinson — Move is part of broader plan to improve Palestinians’ quality of life in the West Bank, in order to…

Tough Brooke Gladstone gives media a pass for supporting Iraq war
Mondoweiss – I caught the host of NPR’s “On the Media” show, Brooke Gladstone, on the Leonard Lopate show yesterday, discussing the ten year anniversary of the Iraq invasion, and I was shocked by her toughness when it came to the mainstream reporters who had supported the war….

My first journey abroad
Mondoweiss – In Malaysia visiting the Vocational Centre My First Journey Abroad Spending one day in Gaza is nothing like the fifteen days I have spent in three other countries around the world; Egypt, Thailand, and Malaysia. Indescribable feelings I have in every inch of my body. The…

Obama praises Israel to high heavens as Israeli and American elite cement ‘unbreakable’ alliance
Mondoweiss – President Obama delivers his opening speech at Ben Gurion while Shimon Peres and Benjamin Netanyahu look on (Photo: Alex Kane/Mondoweiss) President Barack Obama received a hearty welcome from his Israeli hosts this afternoon as Air Force One touched down in Ben-Gurion Airport for an official ceremony…

Barack Obama Faces Stony Reception in Palestine After Backslapping in Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Mar 2013 – President Barack Obama faces a stony reception when he travels to the West Bank on Thursday for talks with Palestinian leaders who accuse him of letting Israel ride rough-shod over their dream of statehood. Click here for the rest of the article…

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu Set Aside Differences, Offer Smiles for Press 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Mar 2013 – President Barack Obama pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used chemical weapons and reassured Israel of U.S. resolve against Iran as he tried to allay the security fears of the main U.S. ally in the Middle East. Click here for the rest…

Palestinian Protests Erupt Over President Obama’s Visit to Occupied West Bank 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Mar 2013 – Palestinian activists set up a protest camp on Wednesday close to where Israel wants to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank, drawing attention to their struggle during a visit to the region by President Barack Obama. Click here for the rest of the…

President Barack Obama’s Limousine Breaks Down in Jerusalem 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Mar 2013 – One of President Barack Obama’s protective limousines broke down in Israel on Wednesday but did not affect his ability to move around Jerusalem, a Secret Service spokesman said. Click here for the rest of the article…

South Africa: Nehawu Calls for the Intensification of the Campaign to Isolate the Apartheid State of Israeli 
allAfrica.com 20 Mar 2013 – [COSATU]NEHAWU is encouraging all its members and activists to join and intensify the campaign to isolate the apartheid Israeli government. The belligerent Netanyahu government continues to act outside the international law and violates people’s rights with utmost contempt. In the latest illustration of its tyranny in…

Egypt: Egypt, India Sign 6 Mou Enhancing Bilateral Cooperation 
allAfrica.com 20 Mar 2013 – [Egypt Online]President Mohamed Morsi and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inked on Tuesday 19/3/2013 six agreements.

Egypt: Mursi Says Ties Between Egypt, India Will Be of Great Value 
allAfrica.com 20 Mar 2013 – [Aswat Masriya]Ties between Egypt and India will be of great value in the coming years, an Indian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Egypt: Disaster Risk Reduction in the Arab World 
allAfrica.com 20 Mar 2013 – [IRIN]Aqaba -Nearly 300 government officials, scientists, aid workers and activists from across the Arab world are working together in Jordan to draw up the first joint regional platform for disaster risk reduction (DRR).

Samer Issawi Will Not Leave His Home 
Palestine Solidarity Project 20 Mar 2013 – Recently the Israeli occupation forces offered a voluntary deportation to the famous hunger striker Samer Issawi. The Israeli’s offered to deport Samer to Gaza, the systematic removal of Palestinians from Palestine is a crime, and therefore he refused the Israeli offer. Samer is from East Jerusalem…

Israel, Obama, and other people’s oil 
Global BDS 20 Mar 2013 – The schedule for President Barack Obama’s first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories next week has just been released and it is no surprise that the occupied Syrian Golan Heights is not on his travel agenda. And yet Israel put it on the international agenda…

Boycott spreading in Scotland: Clackmannanshire Council joins W. Dunbartonshire and Stirling in boycott of Israel 
Global BDS 20 Mar 2013 – Boycott spreading in Scotland: Clackmannanshire Council joins W. Dunbartonshire and Stirling in boycott of Israel The motion was passed  nem con  by a meeting of the full Council, with only three abstentions (one Labour, one SNP, and the lone Tory). “Clackmannanshire Council condemns the Government of Israel for…

Red Card Israeli Racism action hots up in UK 
Global BDS 20 Mar 2013 – The Red Card Israeli Racism campaign is escalating its activities as the June 5-18 dates for UEFA’s under-21 men’s football final in Israel draw near. The London-based campaign is now part of a European coalition of groups working to expose the folly of staging a major…

Call to Action: Join Addameer’s Global End Administrative Detention Campaign! 
Global BDS 20 Mar 2013 – Addameer calls on activists and people of conscience to stand in solidarity with all political prisoners and join Addameer Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Organization’s upcoming global campaign against administrative detention. Over 4,743 Palestinians are currently detained by Israel; 10 of them women, 193 of them children,…

US and Israel ‘share Iran goals’ 
BBC 20 Mar 2013 – Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirm their commitment to stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons, as the US president visits Israel.

Syria ‘chemical attack’ probe urged 
BBC 20 Mar 2013Syria‘s government and opposition both call for an international inquiry into an attack in which each accused the other of using chemical weapons.

UK charities start Syria appeal 
BBC 20 Mar 2013 – The Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents 14 UK aid agencies, starts an appeal to help those affected by two years of conflict in Syria.

Today: Call in Day for Samer Issawi 
US Campaign to End the Occupation 20 Mar 2013 – Samer Issawi continues on his hunger strike–which is in its 240th day–until he wins an absolute agreement that guarantees his release. International pressure has led the Israelis to release hunger striker Ayman Sharwarna, even though he will be deported to Gaza , an action that also violates…

Lana Nasser: Mixing Women’s Liberation with Normalization 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – Having failed to cause much of a stir in her previous works, Nasser is now undertaking a new project called “Connecting Daughter” in cooperation with women from Israel, Holland, and Palestine. (Carlos Latuf – Brazil) Having failed to cause much of a stir in her previous…

Will Lebanon’s Banks Bail on Cyprus? 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – A Cypriot woman shouts slogans as she holds a placard during a protest against an EU bailout deal outside the parliament in Nicosia on 19 March 2013 (Photo: AFP – Patrick Baz) A Cypriot woman shouts slogans as she holds a placard during a protest against…

Samir Geagea Interview: An Election Agreement is Close 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, speaks during a news conference at his house in Maarab village, north of Beirut, 12 October 2010. (Photo: Reuters – Mohamed Azakir) Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces, speaks during a news conference at his house…

Syria Opposition PM: A Man the West Can “Deal With” 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – Syrians gather around vegetable carts at a local market in Maarat al-Numan, in the northwestern province of Idlib, on 20 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Syrians gather around vegetable carts at a local market in Maarat al-Numan, in the northwestern province of Idlib, on…

Guantanamo inmates join growing hunger strike 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – Plants grow on barbed wire at Camp X-Ray, a prison formerly used to house detainees at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, on 7 March 2013. Camp X-Ray was decommissioned in 2002 and detainees who have been captured in the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere…

Activists: Kuwait’s naturalization bill a “diversion” 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Mar 2013 – Kuwaiti MPs take part in a parliament session at Kuwait national assembly in Kuwait City on 20 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Yasser al-Zayya) Kuwait’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday to grant citizenship to up to 4,000 stateless people – or Bedoons – in 2013,…

Lebanon: Alleyway Thieves Ignite a Sectarian Fire 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Mar 2013 – Roadwork on the main thoroughfare forced much of the traffic through the neighborhood’s narrow streets. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Roadwork on the main thoroughfare forced much of the traffic through the neighborhood’s narrow streets. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) On the evening of Sunday, 17 March, a horrific act…

013: The Syrian Opposition’s Many Faces 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Mar 2013Syria‘s main opposition National Coalition newly-elected Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto speaks on 19 March 2013 at a Syrian opposition meeting in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Ozan Kose) Syria‘s main opposition National Coalition newly-elected Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto speaks on 19 March 2013 at a Syrian opposition…

US and Israel ‘share Iran goals’ 
BBC 20 Mar 2013 – Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirm their commitment to stopping Iran getting nuclear weapons, as the US president visits Israel.

Syria ‘chemical attack’ probe urged 
BBC 20 Mar 2013Syria‘s government and opposition both call for an international inquiry into an attack in which each accused the other of using chemical weapons.

Al-Qaeda claims Baghdad bombings 
BBC 20 Mar 2013 – A militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq says it was behind the wave of bombings in Baghdad on Tuesday which killed some 50 people.

Kuwait to naturalise stateless Bidun 
BBC 20 Mar 2013 – Kuwait’s parliament passes a bill to grant citizenship to up to 4,000 “foreigners”, which MPs hope will help solve the problem of stateless people.

Bahrain ‘must free jailed activists’ 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Human Rights Watch calls on Bahrain to release “political prisoners” to help curb violent protests on the streets.

Articles


Mustafa Barghouti: Palestinians are unenthusiastic about passive US President Obama‘s visit 
Palestine Monitor, Israeli Occupation Archive 3/19/2013
      At a press conference held today at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society in Al-Bireh, secretary general of the Palestinian National Initiative Dr Mustafa Barghouti stated two factors about why the Palestinian people are disappointed and unenthusiastic with US President Barack Obama’s visit to the occupied territories.
     “The main goal of Obama’s visit is, as stated by his office, is to listen,” Dr Barghouti said. “We Palestinians have been listening for too long. This passivity on Obama’s part is unacceptable and dangerous at a time when the two state solution is under risk.”
     This will mark the first time Obama will make an official visit to the Palestinian territories, where he is expected to meet with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the PA compound of al-Muqata’a in Ramallah on Thursday. After a press conference and working lunch, Obama will then join Prime Minister Salam Fayyad at the al-Bireh Youth Center.
     The US President’s convoy will arrive at the Lydd airport on Wednesday, where Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will greet him with an arrival ceremony before taking him to view the Iron Dome.
     Dr Barghouti declared that the second discouraging factor of Obama’s 3 day visit to the region is that the president will not see with his own eyes the segregation system that he US civil rights movement worked so hard against.
     “I was hoping Obama would go to Hebron, where the geographical segregation system [imposed by the Israeli occupation] is very clear,” he said. “He should be most sensitive to issues of racial discrimination and segregation.” — See also: Source: Palestine Monitor more.. e-mail

Israel and the politics of boycott 
Joseph Massad, Al Jazeera.com 3/19/2013
      Zionism and Israel will continue to support any boycott that seeks to institutionalise racism and racial separatism.
     “Boycott” is a term as old as political Zionism. As is commonly known, it came into circulation in 1880, starting out as an Irish peasant action to prevent peasant evictions from the land by landlords and their agents – in that inaugural case an agent named Charles Boycott. This is not to say that this was the first time such a tactic had been used. Indeed, half a century earlier, in 1830, in the United States, the National Negro Convention supported a boycott of slave-produced goods, a movement which had started among White Quakers at the end of the 18th century and which would spread among White and Black abolitionists during the 19th century until the American Civil War. 
     These auspicious beginnings of the boycott to restore the land and freedom of peasants and slaves would inspire movements in the 20th century that would range from anti-colonial tactics (as in the Indian boycott of British goods beginning in 1919 to end the British occupation of India) to anti-colonial-settler tactics (including the Arab League boycott of the Jewish settler-colony since the mid-1940s and the anti-South African Apartheid boycott beginning in the 1960s) to anti-racist tactics (including the anti-Nazi Jewish boycott of 1933 to end Nazi racial separatism and the Montgomery Bus Boycott by African Americans in the mid-1950s to end American white colonial settler apartheid in Alabama and the rest of the American South). 
     Boycotting the Palestinians
     There is however a different history of the uses of the boycott. In contrast with its uses to force the end of race, class and colonial injustice, boycott would also be deployed as a tactic to bring about colonial and racial injustice. Zionism would be a pioneer in this regard…. more.. e-mail

Obama’s visit will not promote peace 
Yaffa Group for One Democratic State, Alternative Information Center 3/18/2013
      With the planned visit of the President of the United States, we do not turn to Obama – we do not expect him to change his policy. We turn to you, our sisters and brothers, inhabitants and refugees of this land, who are suffering from occupation, deportation and war, from racism and exploitation: Do not trust and do not expect anything from the dealers in occupation and war. We will bring the peace, we, the victims of the regime and its opponents, in our struggle for justice and freedom, despite their malice.
     Like his predecessor, President Obama promotes fantasies of a “peace process” while the only real process on the ground is increasing colonialisation and dispossession (Photo: Eric Draper, White House) 
     For decades they propagate illusions about the “peace process” – a process of dialogue between the rulers of the region under US hegemony – which only aims at crisis management by those who profit from the continued occupation and war. This process allows the world to turn a blind eye to the existence of an apartheid regime that prevents Palestinian refugees to returning to their homeland, denies the rights of Palestinian Arab inhabitants, and maintains political and ethnic segregation and racial discrimination.
     While Netanyahu and Obama talk about renewing the “peace process”, the American weapons industry continues to arm at full speed various regimes while Netanyahu is preparing the next war. Attack on Iran? Israeli intervention in Syria? A killing spree in Gaza? Either way, the inhabitants and refugees of this country and the people of this region will pay the price with blood. more.. e-mail

Beyond the E-1 Israeli settlement 
IRIN, Ma’an News Agency 3/19/2013
      JERUSALEM (IRIN) — Last month, an international fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council found that settlements constituted a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law and called on Israel to stop all expansions immediately and withdraw from settlements.
     A controversial Israeli plan, known as E-1, to build thousands of housing units and hotel rooms near the Maale Adummim settlement, has garnered much attention in the media because it would sever Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.
     But at the same time, Israel has been moving forward with equally controversial settlement plans under less scrutiny and with unusual speed.
     As US President Barack Obama prepares to visit the region this week, IRIN takes a look at some of the details that have been overlooked in the discussion.
     What’s the Givat HaMatos plan?
     According to Israeli NGO Ir Amim, which works to preserve Jerusalem as a home for both Jews and Palestinians, one settlement plan of “critical importance” is Givat HaMatos.
     In a sense, Givat HaMatos does in the south what E-1 does in the east. The planned large housing and hotel complex at the southern perimeter of Jerusalem would further disrupt the contiguity of land between East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank required for a future Palestinian state…. more.. e-mail

Growing numbers of Druze refuse to serve in Israel’s army
Electronic Intifada: 20 Mar 2013 – Patrick O. Strickland Ramallah 20 March 2013 At least four members of the Palestinian Druze community are in jail for rejecting military service.more

Guerrilla research exposes sponsors of Israeli apartheid
Electronic Intifada: 20 Mar 2013 – Therezia Cooper and Tom Anderson 20 March 2013 Christian “charity” found to be supporting illegal settlements.more

FBI’s penchant for “manufacturing terrorists” probed in new book
Electronic Intifada: 20 Mar 2013 – Charlotte Silver 20 March 2013 US agency hires infiltrators who turn hapless Muslims into enemies of the state.more

Obama Comes to Bless Israel’s Government of Settlers
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Mar 2013 – By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth Those who hoped that Barack Obama would be arriving in Israel to bang Israeli and Palestinian heads together, after four years of impasse in the peace process, will be sorely disappointed. The US president’s trip beginning today may be historic – the first of his presidency to Israel and the Palestinian territories – but he has been doing everything possible beforehand to lower expectations. At the weekend, Arab-American leaders revealed that Obama had made it clear he would not present a peace plan, because Israel has indicated it is not interested in an agreement with the Palestinians. Any lingering doubts about Israel’s intentions were removed by the announcement of a new cabinet, hurriedly sworn in before the president’s visit. This government makes Benjamin Netanyahu’s last one, itself widely considered the most hardline in Israel’s history, look almost moderate. Ynet, Israel’s popular news website, reported that…more

A Zionist Smear Campaign: Setting the Record Straight
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Mar 2013 – By M. Shahid Alam In April 2012, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT), a Zionist organization headed by Charles Jacobs, began a smear campaign against Muslim students, the staff of Spiritual Life Center, and some faculty at Northeastern University. The APT posted three videos on the internet accusing Muslims students at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) of advocating ‘Islamic extremism’ and concocting charges of anti-Semitism against several members of the faculty and staff of the Spiritual Life Center at Northeastern University. I was one of the principal targets of these smears. After launching the videos, the AMP has used a variety of tactics to bring pressure on Northeastern University to ‘punish’ the faculty it had targeted in one of its smear videos. When this campaign persisted I decided to write a letter to the President of Northeastern in November 2012 providing some background to APT’s smear campaign. At the time I…more

Of Hope and Pain: Rachel Corrie’s Rafah Legacy
Dissident Voice: 20 Mar 2013 – “Hi Papa .. Don’t worry about me too much, right now I am most concerned that we are not being effective. I still don’t feel particularly at risk. Rafah has seemed calmer lately,” Rachel Corrie wrote to her father, Craig, from Rafah, a town located at the southern end of the Gaza Strip. ‘Rachel’s last email’ was not dated on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website. It must have been written soon after her last email to her mother, Cindy, on February 28. She was killed by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003. Immediately after her painful death, crushed beneath an Israeli army bulldozer, Rafah embraced her legacy as another ‘martyr’ for Palestine. It was a befitting tribute to Rachel, who was born to a progressive family in the town of Olympia, itself a hub for anti-war and social justice activism. But Olympia is also the capital of Washington State. Politicians…more

News Black-out and Political Farce over Jerusalem Clashes
Dissident Voice: 20 Mar 2013 – Despite their ferocity, last Friday’s [9 March 2013] clashes in the Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa failed to make international headlines. The virtual news black-out was indicative of prevailing attitudes towards Jerusalem as a whole. Palestinian officials argue, and rightly so, that even the Arab media is complicit in this neglect. With every outrage committed in Al-Aqsa Mosque tensions rise to boiling point, evoking memories of September 2000 when Ariel Sharon ignited the second intifada with his provocative incursion into the Mosque compound. Palestinians’ daily harassment at checkpoints, house demolitions and arbitrary arrests at the hands of Israelis are surely bad enough. However, the willful desecration of religious sites and Al-Aqsa Mosque in particular, is one indignity too many. In recent days Israel has taken its violations to new levels with a spate of incursions into the mosque, ending with the defiling of the Holy Qur’an. Can things get worse? Many are…more

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Posted 21st March 2013 by InI in category VTJP Palestine/Israel

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