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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
www.vtjp.org/
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
9 April, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Father, Uncle of Negev girl released
8 Apr 2009 - The Be’er Sheva District Court released on Wednesday the father and the uncle of the Negev girl who was shot dead after she, according to the Israeli army, attempted to shoot Israeli soldiers at a military base in the Negev. ...

Palestinian security forces arrest three Hamas members in Tulkarem
8 Apr 2009 - Palestinian security forces arrested three supporters of Hamas movement in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem, including a member who was released on Tuesday from an Israeli detention facility. ... 

Soldiers shot a Palestinian who allegedly tried to snatch a soldier’s weapon
8 Apr 2009 - Israeli military sources reported on Wednesday that soldiers shot and wounded a Palestinian man, who allegedly tried to snatch the weapon of a soldier near Hizma village, northeast of Jerusalem. ...

Haaretz: "Obama administration readying for confrontation with Netanyahu"
8 Apr 2009 - Israeli online daily, Haaretz, reported on Wednesday that the US administration of President Barack Obama is readying for the possibility of confrontation with the new Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, over his policies that reject a two-state solution. ... 

1600 detainees need medical attention
8 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Defending the Detainees reported that the number of sick detainees in Israeli prisons is gradually increasing due to the Israeli policy of medical neglect which is causing further deterioration in the health conditions of the detainees. The center said that there are 1600 sick detainees who need urgent attention. ... 

Sinn Fein leader visit Gaza demands siege to be lifted
8 Apr 2009 - The Irish Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams visited the Gaza strip on Wednesday and toured areas that was attacked by the Israeli military during January Cast Lead operation. ... 

Israeli military attacks Nablus, kidnaps seven civilians
8 Apr 2009 - Seven Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Wednesday at dawn during Israeli military invasion targeting the northern West Bank city of Nablus. ... 

Military court orders imprisonment of Arab refuseniks
8 Apr 2009 - The Druze Methaq, an organization formed by Druze Refuseniks, says it has obtained a list containing the names of 13 Druze youths who have been sentenced to periods in prison ranging from 28 days to 9 months for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. ...

27 Palestinians wounded by settlers' and soldiers' fire near Hebron
8 Apr 2009 - Palestinian medics reported on Wednesday morning that 12 residents were shot and wounded by Israeli gunfire and 15 others were treated for gas inhalation after a group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked Safa village, near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. ... 

Abu Zuhri: “Hamas will not accept any government that does not receive PLC approval”
8 Apr 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, stated that any new government in Ramallah, under any name, will not be legitimate without a submission to legislative council for a confidence vote. He added that talks on rebuilding Gaza are another deceit by the Ramallah government. ...

Ha'aretz Defense page

Shalit friends hold protest seder outside Netanyahu home
8 Apr 2009 - None of 120 Knesset MKs invited came to Seder; IDF Chief: Israel doing all it can to return Shalit. 

Egypt says arrested dozens of Hezbollah operatives
8 Apr 2009 - Hezbollah doesn't respond to charges men were armed agents spying on Gaza border, Sinai tourist sites. 

Report: IDF brigade won't recognize Conservative soldiers as religious
8 Apr 2009 - Nahal rabbi forbids troops from exercising right to grow beards for religious reasons, Army Radio reports. 

Biden: Israel would be 'ill-advised' to attack Iran
8 Apr 2009 - 'I don't believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that,' U.S. Vice President tells CNN. 

Palestinian lightly wounded after trying to snatch IDF soldier's gun
8 Apr 2009 - 16 Palestinians, one settler wounded in clashes near settlement where terrorist killed Israeli teen Thurs. 

Iron Dome missile defense system likely to be ready by 2010
7 Apr 2009 - Test involving fully-fledged rocket interception planned for 2009; system expected to protect Sderot area. 

Successful Arrow II test could mean continued U.S. funding
7 Apr 2009 - Upgraded anti-ballistic missile system designed to defend against possible attacks by Iran and Syria. 

Israel successfully test fires Arrow missile defense system
7 Apr 2009 - Source: Arrow intercepted missile, simulating an Iranian Shihab, launched from over Mediterranean. 

Police kill Palestinian assailant at demolition of terrorist's home
7 Apr 2009 - Border Police troops preparing to demolish home of bulldozer terrorist shoot driver after he tried to run them over. 

IDF keeps Bedouin trackers in dark about Egypt border ops
7 Apr 2009 - Troops say told not to divulge operational details to trackers, out of fear they may inform smugglers. 

IDF planning largest-ever drill to prepare Israel for war
6 Apr 2009 - Week-long exercise to test response to scenarios including Hamas, Hezbollah missile attacks on home front. 

Peres: 'Devious' Iran hiding nuke ambitions
6 Apr 2009 - President says U.S. must enlist EU in struggle against Iran nukes; Iran supports nuclear fuel bank idea. 

Ma'an News

UPDATE: 38 Palestinians injured as armed settlers attack village
4/8/2009 - Teenager in critical condition - 08/04/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – 38 Palestinians were injured on Wednesday morning when armed Israeli settlers, backed by soldiers, rampaged through the West Bank village of Safa, north of Hebron. According to medics at Al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron said that 11 Palestinians were shot with live bullets, five with rubber-coated metal bullets and another 15 were treated for the effects of teargasOne Palestinian, 18-year-old Tha’er Adi is in critical condition after being shot in the neck. He was transferred to the public hospital in the city of Ramallah. One eyewitness said that some 25 settlers from the nearby settlement Bat Ayin approached Palestinian houses and began shooting randomly. He said that Israeli military patrols were present, and watched the settlers shooting without stopping them. 

CPT: Israeli soldiers abduct children, deliver them to settlers for beating 
4/8/2009 - Hebron - Ma’an/Agencies - Israeli soldiers delivered three Palestinian children to masked settlers who then beat them near the south Hebron Hills on Sunday, a group of Christian Peacemaker Teams living in the area reported. According to the group soldiers seized three boys, aged ten, 11 and 14, at four o’clock on Sunday and transported them to the Ma’on settlement near Hebron. A statement from the group said, “Soldiers delivered the children to six masked settlers who beat the children, kicking and punching them. At 4:45, the children arrived back in their village, after the settlers allowed them to leave to walk home through the hills alone. ”

Israeli forces seize five teenagers from homes in Nablus 
4/8/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized five Palestinian teenagers from their homes in the West Bank city of Nablus early on Wednesday morning. Local sources in Nablus told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers raided the city at 2:30am, taking the five teens from Balata Refugee Camp, the Old City and Ras Al-Ein. The sources identified detainees as: Ahmad Al-Masri, 19, from Ras Al-Ein, Mohammad Al-Anani, 19, Fadi Aj’aj, 18, both from the Old City, and Yazan Al-Assi, 16, and Walid Abu Musallam, 16, both from Balata. 

22 patients return to Gaza from hospitals in Egypt 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Twenty-two Palestinian patients, including those wounded during the Israeli war on Gaza, returned to the Gaza Strip from Egypt on Wednesday morning after being treated in Egyptian hospitals, according to a Palestinian official. According to Adel Zu’rub, the spokesperson of the de facto government at the Rafah border crossing, a Canadian citizen also entered Gaza through the Egypt-controlled border on Tuesday night. 

Israel to seal Gaza crossings for four days for Passover 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel has decided to close all crossing points into the Gaza Strip from Thursday until Sunday for the Jewish holiday of Passover. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Israel decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow 80 truckloads of humanitarian aid into the besieged Strip. Among these, 24 trucks belong to the UN and other international organizations, 43 to Palestinian the commercial sector, and 13 to the agricultural sector. 

Israeli forces detain three in Tulkarem area 
4/8/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized three Palestinian civilians from the West Bank town of Anabta, east of the city of Tulkarem, during a sweeping military incursion early on Wednesday. Najib Abd Al-Halim, 30, his brother Bara, 21, and Islam Hassan, 27, are detained by the invading forces, who withdrew later in the morning. The three are being held in an unknown location. 

Israeli forces seize wanted Hamas leader from Nablus area home 
4/8/2009 - Janin – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized a 38-year-old Hamas leader Ahmad Sawalma from Al-Far’a refugee camp near Nablus on Wednesday after hunting him for two years. Local sources said that an undercover Israeli unit entered the camp in a civilian car at 2am. The Israeli agents stormed Sawalma’s home before a larger military force arrived as backup, surrounding the area and arresting the man. Israeli troops fired gunshots and stun grenades while earching the house. They left at 5:00am, taking Sawalma to unknown location. 

Arsonists set fire to car in Nablus 
4/8/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Unidentified attackers set fire to a Jeep owned by 52-year-old Omar Nabulsi, a real estate dealer in western Nablus in the northern West Bank on Wednesday morning, Palestinian security sources said. The sources said police opened investigations asserting that Israeli military forces were in Nablus when the arson took place. 

Palestinian shot by Israeli soldier near Hizma village 
4/8/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli soldier opened fire on a Palestinian near Hizma village in the West Bank near East Jerusalem. The unidentified man was injured in the stomach; he was taken to a Ramallah hospital for treatment. The Israeli soldier who shot the man said he was attempting to steal his weapon. 

Russia to donate weapons to PA 
4/8/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Russia will provide the Palestinian Authority with a shipment of light arms, armored personnel carriers, and two helicopters in a move designed to bolster the Palestinian Security forces, Russian media reported. The donation was announced after Palestinian President Abbas met with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in Moscow. According to the reports, Abbas thanked Putin for the support. Putin was quoted as telling Abbas that he hopes the peace process between the Palestinians and Israel will move forward despite the pressures on both sides. 

Arab, Iranian MPs walk out of meeting during Israeli's speech 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian, Arab, and Iranian members of parliament walked out of a meeting of the Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) during a speech by an Israeli politician on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. According to Ahmad Bahar, the acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), he made an announcement during a speech by the Israeli. Representatives of Morocco, Libya, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen walked out of the meeting hall raising pictures of Gazan children killed during Israeli offensive in December and January. Israeli Knesset member Silvan Shalom responded to this by denouncing Hamas and its parliament members as “terrorists. ” Syria’s representative replied to Shalom’s comments telling that Hamas is a Palestinian resistance movement elected by the Palestinian people, and accusing Israel of terrorism. 

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams tours Gaza disaster area 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Gerry Adams, the northern Irish leader of the party Sinn Féin, toured areas of the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday that were destroyed by the Israeli military during its three-week offensive. “Israel has to recognize that these people [Palestinians] have the right to live a secure life the same as the Israeli people,” he told reporters during after touring the disaster zone in the Abed Rabbo district of northern Gaza. Adams also called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza’s border crossings and to allow Palestinians, particularly medical patients, to move freely. "The obligation is that what happened here doesn't happen again," he said of the devistation in Gaza. "And that means there needs to be negotiations and that means that the leadership in Israel and the leadership in the Palestinian territories need to be involved in a direct dialogue. 

Top PA security officers given US training 
4/8/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The United States has been training top Palestinian security officers in a special training course in Ramallah, an Israeli newspaper reported on Wednesday. The two-month “senior leaders’ course” is being supervised by US Security Coordinator General Keith Dayton, who has been overseeing programs to bolster the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatus, which was largely destroyed by Israel during the second Intifada. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, two classes of 40 officers each have graduated from the program so far. A third class of commanders from the Palestinian National Security is being trained in Jordan. 

Hamas: Israeli policies in Jerusalem could provoke “explosion” 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas’ armed wing threatened Israel of an “explosion” if it continues to consolidate control of Jerusalem on Wednesday. Abu Ubayda, the spokesperson of Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, said that Israel’s “Judaization” of Jerusalem and threat to the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque could provoke reprisals. Abu Ubayda also applauded recent attacks on Israeli targets in Jerusalem and the West Bank, calling them acts of “self defense. ”“We don’t think the new Israeli government is any different from its predecessors in terms of extremism, cruelty, and thirst for blood. They are all the same, and they differ in names only and approach,” insisted Abu Ubayda. He added that Israeli occupation would never need a pretext or justification to implement “aggressive” plans against the Palestinian people. Displacing Palestinians from Jerusalem is a policy which Israel has declared. . . 

Hamas government requests coordination with Israeli Ministry of Health 
4/8/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The de facto Ministry of Health sent a letter to its Israeli counterpart last week informing it of the change in administration at the Department of External Medical Treatment in Gaza City, which was taken over by Hamas officials in early March. A senior official in the de facto Ministry of Health, Yousef Al-Mudalal, confirmed that a letter uncovered by Ma’an “over coordination with the Israeli ministry of health was correct,” noting that “it is customary to inform all parties when those authorized to sign transfer letters [changes]. ”At the same time however, Al-Mudalal denied that the de facto ministry had “any contacts with the Israeli Ministry of Health. ”The Hamas takeover of the External Medical Treatment office came following a decision from the Palestinian Authority (PA) Ministry of Health to drastically cut down on the number of referrals given to Palestinian patients for Israeli hospitals. 

Saudi foreign minister criticizes new Israeli government 
4/8/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Saudi Arabia foreign minister Sa’oud Al-Faysal described the new Israeli Netanyahu government as dangerous, and said they would do little to move forward Middle East peace. In a Wednesday media conference in Riyadh said he considered the Israeli rejection of the establishment of a Palestinian as the faulty base from which no peace could be established on. He called on Israel to stop all settlement construction and to lift the siege imposed over the Gaza Strip. He also called on the American administration and the international community to increase their pressure on Israel and its new government. 

Nablus PFLP fighter surrenders to PA 
4/8/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an Exclusive – A member of the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) handed himself in to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday night, Ma’an learned. Thirty-one-year-old Jad Hmeidan, a member of the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades from Ein Beit El Ma Refugee Camp presented himself to PA forces at Juneid prison in the city of Nablus. PA security forces have been pursuing Hmeidan for three years. There is no word on whether he will be granted amnesty under the PA’s agreement with Israel. Hundreds of armed men, mainly affiliated to the Fatah faction, have been “pardoned” by Israel after agreeing to renounce violent struggle and spend a term in a PA jail. The US-funded PA security forces have acted to re-assert control in Nablus and other West Bank cities since 2007. 

Hamas: Fatah should hold movement conference in Gaza 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas leader Mushir Al-Masri said on Wednesday that Gaza is the safest place for Fatah to hold its 6th movement conference. Al-Masri told Ma’an: “Gaza is the only free area where all Palestinian people from home and exile gather. It is the safest place, and such idea comes as a goodwill gesture towards Fatah since it is part of the Palestinian people’s power. ”He said Hamas would welcome the Fatah conference. He also said that if unity talks with Fatah, Hamas will nominate an interior minister for the de facto government and will get him approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council. The previous interior minister, Said Siyam, was killed along with members of his family by an Israeli missile strike in Gaza in January. Egypt has been brokering talks between Hamas and Fatah in an attempt to end almost two years of political infighting. 

Israel allows cash into Gaza; PA salaries available Wednesday 
4/8/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Salaries of Palestinian Authority employees will be available at ATMs starting Wednesday afternoon, a bank source in Gaza said Wednesday. Gaza has faced an acute physical cash crisis for months, becoming critical each week government salaries of benefits are paid. Last week the European Commission’s PEGASE program secured cash so social welfare allowances from December could be paid. They said there was not enough cash to also pay the Italian-sponsored March payments for 24,000 families. According to Middle East Envoy for the Quartet Tony Blair, the Israeli government allowed the transfer of 12. 5 million US dollars into Gaza, though he noted that this was only a quarter of what was needed. Salaries can be withdrawn in shekels, US dollars and Jordanian dinars, a bank source noted. 

Fatah delegation in Strip meets Hamas officials in Gaza City 
4/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The two Fatah delegates dispatched to the Gaza Strip by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday met with their Hamas counterparts Wednesday afternoon as a gesture of good faith for the creation of national unity. Member of the Fatah Central Committee Abdullah Al-Ifranji called the visit an initiative by “President Abu Mazen to assuage the climate in order to swiftly reach mutual understandings. ” He also added that his visit to the Gaza strip “does not clash with the mission of the Palestinian delegation to the Cairo dialogue,” which returned to the West Bank last week. Al-Ifranji said he believed a positive climate in Gaza would positively contribute to the dialogue. He noted that he and his colleague, President on Gaza Development and Reconstruction committee Marwan Abdel Hamid would work through several discussions on key issues to move forward the dialogue. 

Palestine Telegraph

Maniac settlers now direct attacks at children
8 Apr 2009 - April 8th, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) - A group of Christian peacemakers from Hebron report Israeli Occupation soldiers kidnapped three Palestinian children, and delivered them to the violent hands of maniac settlers. The boys, ages 10, 11, and 14 were snatched on...

Hamas, Islamic Jihad Call on PA to Free Resistance after Settlers’ Attack
8 Apr 2009 - Hebron, April 8th, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) - At least 16 Palestinians were hurt, one of them seriously during clashes between dozens of settlers and Palestinians in an occupied West Bank village near the settlement of Bat Ayin. One Israeli settler was...

It Will Take the World to Save These Homes 
8 Apr 2009 - Orthodox Israeli settlers, backed by soldiers and police, attacked Palestinian residents of the Sa'diyya neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem Sunday evening, four days after the settler group invaded the home of the Jabir family and extra-judicially evicted them.

Urgent Appeal: In Gaza a Siege fire instead of Ceasefire
8 Apr 2009 - London, April 8th, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) - The European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza, (ECESG) calls upon all International Organization working on the Gaza Strip to intervene immediately. The siege is not only suffocating the people of Gaza and...

No Chametz in Palestine, or anything else for that matter
8 Apr 2009 - April 8th, 2009 - (Pal Telegraph) Chametz is the Jewish term for leavened bread or grains. We don't eat it during passover. We don't even own it, or allow it in our homes. Family cleaning rituals ridding the house of any chametz...

Israeli soldiers kill young Palestinian, 20
7 Apr 2009 - Jerusalem, April 7, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A young Palestinian was killed today in east Jerusalem. According to Israeli occupation the victim tried to run over Israeli soldiers who were protecting bulldozers that leveled Palestinian civilian houses in the area of Sor...

Occupation Soldiers Decry Media Treatment
6 Apr 2009 - April 7, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli Occupation soldiers are decrying their media treatment after widespread reports of war crimes committed during the recent Gaza invasion. Palestinians in Gaza are still sifting through rubble and counting their dead, yet those who killed...

Israel on a piracy mission 
6 Apr 2009 - Gaza , April 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In a new piracy mission the Israeli Occupation arrested eight fishermen and confiscated their boats off the Gaza shore.

Israeli MANIACS Attack Palestinian Civilians
5 Apr 2009 - Jerusalem, April 6, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - As part of the ongoing Israeli measures in Jerusalem, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Al-Sadya neighborhood in east Jerusalem. The attackers tried to storm houses of the Al Jabir family. Bloody clashes erupted in the...

Institution: IOF destroyed archaeological buildings during the aggression on Gaza
5 Apr 2009 - Gaza strip, April 5 (The Pal Telegraph) - The Jerusalem institution stated the Israeli offensive army devastated four historic buildings belonging to the Islamic, Ottoman, British and Egyptian historical periods during the recent aggression on Gaza. In a press release issued Wednesday...

Aljazeera

US to join Iran nuclear talks
8 Apr 2009 - Washington to enter group negotiations with Tehran over its atomic programme.

Iran charges US 'spy' journalist
8 Apr 2009 - Washington "concerned" as Tehran puts US citizen on trial for espionage.

Egypt arrests 'Hezbollah agents'
8 Apr 2009 - About 50 people being questioned over belonging to Hezbollah and aiding Hamas.

Settlers attack West Bank village
8 Apr 2009 - At least eight people hurt as Bat Ayin settlers rampage through Arab village.

Netanyahu's new cabinet meets
5 Apr 2009 - Israel's prime minister highlights security and economic challenges facing the country.

IRIN

OPT: Access to buffer zone key to agricultural recovery - FAO 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Thursday, April 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Gaza’s battered agricultural sector has the capacity to recover but only if there is access to the buffer zone, and only if Gaza’s commercial crossings are fully opened, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on Gaza. 

OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Wednesday, April 01, 2009 (IRIN) - An estimated 1,346 children were left without one or more of their parents as a result of the recent 23-day Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Islamic Relief in Gaza.

Stop The Wall

Commemorating Land Day and calling for boycott
7 Apr 2009 - March 31st, 2009 --, Demonstrations, protests and tree planting occurred across historic Palestine on March 30, as Palestinians commemorated Land Day. The Popular Committees, in cooperation with municipalities and other organizations, planned activities in a number of villages and cities. The growing momentum and support of the boycott movement among Palestinians is becoming more tangible, a result of the grassroots organizing that has been undertaken throughout the West Bank. [

Friday anti-Wall protests commemorate Land Day
7 Apr 2009 - March 29th, 2009 --, Large numbers of participants was a feature of this Friday’s actions, which were held in commemoration of Land Day. Protests against the Wall were held in the usual locations of Jayyous, Ni’lin, al-Ma’sra and Bi’lin. After a brief hiatus last week, violence is escalating again in Ni’lin, where a local youth was shot with live ammunition. [

PCHR Latest

Israel Closes Investigation into Alleged War Crimes Committed in the Gaza Strip
9 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Contests Distortion of Gaza Strip Death Toll
9 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Appeals for Action to Save Lives of Gaza Strip Patients
9 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Demands Investigation into Death of a Civilian Tortured by Members of the Intelligence Services in Gaza
9 Apr 2009 - 

PCHR Weekly Report

(26 March -01 April  2008)
9 Apr 2009 - During the reporting period, IOF killed two members of the Palestinian resistance and injured two others in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian woman also died of injuries she had sustained during the IOF offensive on the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces shoot at farmers in Al Faraheen
ISM - 4/8/2009 - ISM Gaza - Farming Under Fire - This morning, the farmers from Al-Faraheen in the Gaza Strip persisted with their efforts to harvest the year"™s crop of lentils. Volunteers with the International Solidarity Movement, and a camera crew from Press TV accompanied the farmers as they set out to work in a field about 300m from the border. Before the farmers reached the field, an Israeli jeep stopped next to the border fence several hundred metres away. A number of shots were fired in the direction of the farmers before the jeep drove away. After an hour as the farmers were about to finish their work, another jeep stopped at the border. Soldiers got out and took up firing positions. An ISM volunteer then spoke to them with a megaphone - informing the soldiers that they were all civilians, and requesting that the soldiers did not open fire. 

Eleven shot, one in critical condition after settler rampage in Saffa
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 8 April 2009 - Saffa, a village sandwiched between Sourif and Beit Ommar and home to just over 2000 residents, has been the site of overwhelming Israeli military and now settler violence in the last week.   Using the death of a teenaged settler on April 2 as a precursor (there has been no evidence that he was killed by someone from Saffa or the nearby villages) the Israeli military has been invading Saffa, declaring curfews, searching homes and otherwise harassing the residents of the entire village in acts of blatant collective punishment for several days.   Roadblocks were erected in several different places on April 3 and three homes were taken over by Israeli soldiers, allegedly to "˜protect"™ the Palestinian residents from anticipated violence from right-wing extremist settlers from nearby Beit "˜Ayn. These soldiers left a few days later and shortly after, on April 6, approximately. . . 

Support the Gaza 6; citizens decommission weapons for Israeli use in attacks on Gaza
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 6 April 2009 - Support the EDO Decommissioners - On Jan 17th, while Israeli bombs were still raining down on the people of Gaza, six people gained entry to EDO MBM/ITT, a factory in Brighton manufacturing military equipment being used by the Israeli air force, and smashed machinery and computers causing at least 300 000 pounds worth of damage and closing the factory for nearly a week. According to one witness computers and filing cabinets were hurled out of top floor windows the protesters broke in to the factory in the early hours staging a "œcitizen's decommissioning" of the EDO-MBM/ITT arms factory in direct response to the killings of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military. Elijah Smith, one of the protesters that broke into the factory, said before the action, "I'm looking at the world scene and I'm getting more and more horrified. " 

Al-Fakhouri home demolished in East Jerusalem
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 6 April 2009 - On the morning of 6 April, about 150 Israeli soldiers, police & border police came and woke up the 22 members of the Al-Fakhouri family in the Burj Al-Laqlaq neighborhood. The Israeli forces blocked all the entrance roads to the house and occupied three rooftops threatening to arrest anyone who got near the house being demolished. Around 30 workers destroyed the house in a process taking about 5 hours. The workers left concrete rubble and other debris in the surrounding street. The family was told that for everyday the rubble was left in the streets, the family would be charged 600 shekels on top of paying for the demolition itself. The family found a demolition order on their door only 2 days prior to the demolition, on Thursday 2nd of April. On the 5th of April, Israeli police showed up at the house around 3PM with another demotion order and told the family to contact a lawyer. 

Sheikh Jarrah residents organize in the face of mass house evictions
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 7 April 2009 - "We are like the roots of a tree. The Israelis may cut us in places, but we will never die. We will not be transplanted from Jerusalem. I will not leave this house," Maher Hanun tells a crowded room of Palestinian community members supported by Israeli and international solidarity activists. Hanun is one of 51 residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem living in two housing units that are facing imminent eviction by Israeli authorities. The mood is tense as more than 25 individuals pack into a small room in Hanun's house to plan how to fight the house evictions. Palestinian residents, organized under the Sheikh Jarrah Committee, have invited solidarity activists to come and support their struggle. 

Press conference held by parents of Tristan Anderson
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 23 March 2009 - Nancy and Michael Anderson hold a press conference about the condition of their son, Tristan Anderson. Anderson was critically injured during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Ni'lin when Israeli forces shot a tear-gas projectile directly at him from 60 meters. Updated on April 8, 2009 

Our pause in Cairo Airport
ISM - 4/8/2009 - 8 April 2009 - A Mother from Gaza - We have been stuck in Cairo airport for nearly a day now. We are neither being allowed entry or exit by Egyptian authorities, who insist that as long as Rafah Crossing is closed, they are under strict orders not to allow Palestinians in. This is despite a signed letter of consent I received personally from the Egyptian consul-general in Washington the day of my travel from the US. To quote the Egyptian officials here in the airport "so sue him". I tried to plead that it was not my fault Egypt was in the way of my home- that if I could,I'd parachute in; that i simply wanted to go back home. For now, we wait and sleep on the roach ridden floors of the transit hall as our own "Borders" film (a classic Syrian satire by iconic actor Dreid La7am about a man who is stuck between the borders of two fictional countries who speak the same language) unfolds. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Syria says willing to renew peace talks with Israel
8 Apr 2009 - Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said Wednesday his country was willing to resume indirect peace talks with Israel's new government. But he said it would only do so if the talks focused on an Israeli withdrawal from the entire Golan Heights to lines that preceded the 1967 Six Day War. ...

Black, Jewish and proud - a synagogue gains acceptance
8 Apr 2009 - The jubilation in Philadelphia's Temple Beth'El's packed sanctuary overflowed into the aisles, with members dancing, clapping and singing as they welcomed their first Torah from Israel. ...

Obama team readying for confrontation with Netanyahu
8 Apr 2009 - In an unprecedented move, the Obama administration is readying for a possible confrontation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by briefing Democratic congressmen on the peace process and the positions of the new government in Israel regarding a two-state solution. ... 

Clinton: U.S. to join direct nuclear talks with Iran
8 Apr 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the United States would be a "full participant" in talks by major powers with Iran over its nuclear program. ...

Britain calls for united front to deal with Iran
7 Apr 2009 - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called on Wednesday for a "united front" between Gulf Arab countries and global powers to deal with Iran. ...

The Guardian

Tony Bayfield: Passover: Palestinians also have the right to make the journey from slavery
8 Apr 2009 - At Passover we should reread the story of the exodus from slavery, a journey Palestinians also have the right to make This evening is the start of the Jewish festival of Passover . Just to confuse people,...

Israeli police shoot motorist during house demolition
7 Apr 2009 - Officers say Palestinian driver tried to attack them during demolition of bulldozer killer's home Israeli police today shot dead a Palestinian driver they said had tried to attack them during the demolition of a Palestinian home...

Israel created 'terror without mercy' in Gaza, according to human rights report
6 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military attacked civilians and medics and delayed - sometimes for hours - the evacuation of the injured during the January war in Gaza, according to an independent fact-finding mission commissioned by Israeli and Palestinian...

Norman Stone: Obama brokers rapprochement in US-Turkish relations
6 Apr 2009 - Despite the sticky issue of secularity, Obama's parliamentary address today was the first step in US-Turkish rapprochement In the era of George W, taking a taxi in Turkey could be a bit of a bore: the...

Brian Whitaker: Debate about religion and state must be revived
8 Apr 2009 - Debate about the relationship between religion and state has been stifled by history – and the influence of a colonising west Ninety years ago in Egypt a new political party was formed. The Secular party, as...

Seth Freedman: An event in Tel Aviv to highlight the plight of refugees was inspired by a Passover ritual
7 Apr 2009 - An event in Tel Aviv to highlight the plight of refugees inspired by a Passover ritual should remind the government of its duty Jewish tradition requires its followers not simply to remember the past, but also...

Sounds Jewish: Heavy metal Jews
6 Apr 2009 - Welcome to the April edition of Sounds Jewish. Joining me in the studio this month are Middle East analyst Hagai Segal and journalist Daniella Peled . As Bibi Netanyahu launches his new administration, what kind of prime...

Ha'aretz National page

Russian-Jewish billionaire holds massive Passover Seder in Eilat
7 Apr 2009 - In a Passover Seder fit for a tycoon, Russian-Jewish billionaire and Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich has booked an entire floor of an Eilat luxury hotel for his guests, a hotel insider has told Haaretz . ... 

Body of Israeli student missing in Italian earthquake identified
7 Apr 2009 - The body of an Israeli student missing since late Sunday night in the rubble of an Italian earthquake has been identified, according to the victim's father. ...

U.S. school district settles lawsuit filed by Muslim student bullied for wearing headscarf
7 Apr 2009 - RENO, Nevada (AP) - The Washoe County School District has agreed to pay ...

Interview / Amos Oz discusses his work as Israel marks his 70th birthday
7 Apr 2009 - Amos Oz is first mentioned in Haaretz in October 1961: "Preparations continue for the publication of a weekly political newspaper by very young members of [Labor Party precursor] Mapai belonging to a group that intends to formulate new ideology. The editorial offices are to be located in Jerusalem, managed by a small number of staff consisting of three to four members of the group. The candidate for deputy editor is Mr. Amos Oz of Kibbutz Hulda." ... 

Mazuz: I wish Olmert speedy recovery, but hearing mustn't be deferred
7 Apr 2009 - Attorney General Menachem Mazuz told the High Court Wednesday that there is no reason to postpone the first hearing into former prime minister Ehud Olmert's hearing over the Rishontours affair, scheduled to take place after the Pesach holiday. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Israel blocks thousands of tons of aid for Gaza
8 Apr 2009 - Source: Missionary International Service News Agency

12 Palestinians wounded in West Bank clashes: medics
8 Apr 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Analysis - Obama reassures Arabs, nudges Israel on peace
8 Apr 2009 - Source: Reuters

Stations report on reconstruction, aid in Gaza
8 Apr 2009 - Source: Internews Network

OPT: Report on Gaza may be ready in two weeks, Board of Inquiry tells Secretary-General
8 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

OPT: Israel's two-sided coin
8 Apr 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: Saudi Arabia contributes US$600,000 to UNRWA
8 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Logistics Cluster Gaza crisis consolidated situation report, 28 Mar - 08 Apr 2009
8 Apr 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster

YNet News

Soldier shoots Palestinian who tried to snatch weapon
8 Apr 2009 - Man shot in stomach, transferred to Ramallah hospital in moderate condition after reportedly trying to snatch soldier's weapon near village of Hizma. Police, IDF remain on high alert during Passover

Hamas calls on PA to cut security ties with Israel
8 Apr 2009 - Islamist group says 'resistance hands enchained' by Palestinian Authority's continuous coordination with Jewish state; Jihad echoes sentiment, calls on Palestinians in Gaza to stage solidarity rallies

Settlers say did not provoke Palestinians 
8 Apr 2009 - Bat Ayin rabbi recounts violent clash with residents of Khirbat Safa village, which left at least 16 people injured. Palestinians claim they were attacked by settlers, while army says both sides hurled stones at each other 

Fighter critically hurt in Gaza to spend Passover at home 
8 Apr 2009 - Golani Sergeant Dvir Bar-Hai coming home for first time since sustaining severe injuries during Israeli offensive in Strip. 'We are grateful for this miracle,' says his father

B'tselem

Israel and the Palestinians must assist the UN mission
5 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem welcomes the appointment of the jurist Richard Goldstone to head the fact-finding mission, called for by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the recent fighting in Gaza. Particularly welcome is the delegation’s mandate, which covers viola

Palestinian kills a 16 year-old boy and injures a 7 year-old boy
1 Apr 2009 - B'Tselem strongly condemnss the killing of a 16 year-old boy and the injuring of a 7 year-old boy by a Palestinian in the settlement of Bat Ayin in the Bethlehem district. Deliberate attacks against civilians are immoral and illegal. Wilful killing of civ

IRIN

OPT: Access to buffer zone key to agricultural recovery - FAO 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Thursday, April 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Gaza’s battered agricultural sector has the capacity to recover but only if there is access to the buffer zone, and only if Gaza’s commercial crossings are fully opened, according to a recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report on Gaza. 

OPT: Gaza orphans in the spotlight 
2 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY Wednesday, April 01, 2009 (IRIN) - An estimated 1,346 children were left without one or more of their parents as a result of the recent 23-day Israeli assault on Gaza, according to Islamic Relief in Gaza.

Daily Star

Rights group urges cooperation with UN probe on Gaza conflict 
8 Apr 2009 - Amnesty International issued a press release Tuesday calling on both Israelis and Palestinians to fully cooperate with the UN's fact-finding mission which is looking into possible war crimes and international law violations committed during the recent conflict in Gaza and southern Israel.

Iran charges American journalist with spying 
8 Apr 2009 - An Iranian-American journalist detained in Iran, Roxana Saberi, has been charged with espionage on behalf of the United States and her trial will start next week, Iranian media reported on Wednesday. In Washington, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she was very concerned by reports of the charges against Saberi and demanded her immediate release.

12 Palestinians wounded as Israeli settlers go on rampage 
8 Apr 2009 - Twelve Palestinians were wounded Wednesday when clashes erupted in a West Bank village after Israeli residents of a nearby settlement went on a rampage there, witnesses and medics said. The injured all suffered gunshot wounds and one was in grave condition, medics said.

US will now join major power nuclear talks with Iran 
8 Apr 2009 - The United States will take part in proposed talks between six major powers and Iran aimed at finding a diplomatic solution to the dispute over Tehran's nuclear program. US State Department spokesman Robert Wood said the United States remained committed to the effort by the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany and Britain.

Israeli settlers expelling Arabs from East Jerusalem homes 
8 Apr 2009 - Orthodox Israeli settlers, backed by soldiers and police, attacked Palestinian residents of the Sadiyya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem Sunday evening, four days after the settler group invaded the home of the Jabir family and extra-judicially evicted them.

Saudi authorities crack11-strong 'terror cell' 
8 Apr 2009 - Saudi Arabia said late Tuesday it had broken up an 11-strong "terrorist cell" planning attacks and kidnappings, and that it had seized guns and ammunition from the group. The members of the "terrorist cell" were arrested near the border with Yemen, said Interior Ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki.

Irish Republican Adams visits Gaza, urges halt to violence 
8 Apr 2009 - Northern Ireland political leader Gerry Adams urged Palestinians and Israelis on Wednesday to stop shooting and negotiate an end to their conflict. The president of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein toured a neighborhood of the northern Gaza Strip that was bombarded by Israeli forces during a 22-day war.

Nuclear arms reduction? Yes we can 
8 Apr 2009 - US presidents have sought nuclear disarmament for decades. Now Barack Obama is bringing his "Yes we can" idealism to the goal. Will his effort be any different from past attempts? Some experts say yes, because he is making it a centerpiece of his foreign policy.

Palestinian Information Center

Jewish settler terrorists rampage at Arab village, casualties reported
9 Apr 2009 - Religious Jewish terrorists on Wednesday attacked a small Arab village north of al-Khalil (Hebron), shooting randomly on civilians and vandalizing homes and businesses.

Sinn Fein leader calls for lifting the siege on Gaza
9 Apr 2009 - Gerry Adams, the leader of the Irish Sinn Fein party, on Wednesday called for lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, expressing shock at the bulk of devastation in the beleaguered Strip.

Hamas: Boycotting Israel's speech in IPU meeting exposed its crimes
9 Apr 2009 - Hamas on Wednesday hailed the Palestinian parliamentary delegation and other participating delegations for boycotting the speech of Israel's representative during the 120th meeting of the IPU.

Haneyya gov't calls for allowing resistance to defend people in WB
9 Apr 2009 - The PA government of Ismail Haeyya has called on the Ramallah authority to allow resistance in the West Bank to defend the Palestinian people against the growing attacks by Jewish fanatic settlers.

Abu Obeida: Resistance operations will escalate due to Israeli escalations
9 Apr 2009 - Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, stated that the resistance operations against Israeli targets will escalate as long as Israel escalates the pace of its terrorism against the Palestinians.

IOF soldiers fire at foreign solidarity activists
9 Apr 2009 - A group of foreign solidarity activists and journalists accompanying Palestinian farmers east of Khuza'a town in Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Wednesday came under Israeli gunfire.

Anti-siege Gov't committee: Shortage of medicines will adversely affect patients
9 Apr 2009 - The government committee to break the siege warned that the scarcity of medicine stocks in Gaza as a result of the closure of crossings would have a negative impact on the lives of dozens of patients.

Source: Israeli intelligence tries to recruit Gaza fishermen as agents
9 Apr 2009 - A security source revealed that the Israeli intelligence started recently a campaign of arrest and interrogation against Gaza fishermen with the aim of recruiting them as spies in the Strip.

Hamas blames Ramallah authority for Jewish settlers' attacks
9 Apr 2009 - The Hamas Movement on Wednesday blamed the Ramallah authority for the growing phenomenon of Israeli settlers' assaults on Palestinian citizens in the West Bank.

Bahar and delegates of 14 countries boycott Israel's speech at IPU meeting
9 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar along with representatives of 14 countries boycotted the speech of Israel's representative during the 120th meeting of the inter-parliamentary union (IPU) held in Addis Ababa.

Los Angeles Times

Iran charges imprisoned journalist with spying 
9 Apr 2009 - Roxana Saberi, who has dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, was arrested in January. A prosecutor says Saberi admitted to espionage. Her lawyer is unsure about even basic details of the case. An Iranian American journalist has been charged with espionage by Iran's security court, judicial officials and her lawyer said Wednesday. 

Biden warns Israel off any attack on Iran 
8 Apr 2009 - Vice President Joe Biden tells CNN that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be 'ill advised' to try to strike Iranian nuclear facilities. Vice President Joe Biden issued a high-level admonishment to Israel's new government Tuesday that it would be "ill advised" to launch a military strike against Iran. 

Judge named to lead Gaza inquiry is known for fairness 
8 Apr 2009 - Richard Goldstone of South Africa, a Jew, says he will talk to all the victims, on both sides. His appointment poses a policy question for Israel's new government. Reporting from Johannesburg, South Africa, and Jerusalem -- Richard Goldstone, a quiet, self-effacing jurist from South Africa, agonized for days over the job offer: Unravel the accusations and counter-accusations of war crimes related to Israel's winter assault on the Gaza Strip. 

Chinese executive is indicted for using U.S. banks in sales to Iran 
8 Apr 2009 - Li Fang Wei secretly channeled payments to customers through several American banks, according to the indictment. A Manhattan grand jury on Tuesday indicted a Chinese executive and his company on charges of covertly using New York banks to finance the sale of tons of restricted materials to Iran, potentially supporting Tehran's ballistic missile and nuclear programs in violation of U.N. sanctions. 

Mideast rappers take the mic 
7 Apr 2009 - From Egypt to Iran, youths infuse hip-hop with their culture, dropping rhymes and even doing time when the state objects to lyrics. But these homies focus more on injustice than sex and bling. The police were polite but firm as they arrested Shahin Felakat , a lanky teen whose mussed-up strands of dirty brown hair reach in all directions, and charged him with singing lyrics that threatened Iran's Islamic order. 

New York Times

The Lede: Clinton Calls for Iran to Release American Reporter Charged With Spying
8 Apr 2009 - Iranian news sources and Reuters report on Wednesday that an American woman, Roxana Saberi, who was detained in Tehran in January, has been charged with espionage. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: Success in Antimissile Test
8 Apr 2009 - The Arrow II antimissile system is designed to defend against a possible ballistic missile attack by Iran or other countries. 

Police Kill Palestinian Motorist Who Injured Them at Roadblock
7 Apr 2009 - The attack occurred while the government demolished a Palestinian home less than a mile away. 


Articles


Electronic Intifada
More than 150,000 Gazans still without tap water
8 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Over 150,000 Palestinians in Gaza (around 10 percent of the population) are struggling without tap water as a result of the damage caused to wells, pipes and waste water facilities during the recent 22-day Israeli offensive that ended on 18 January. 

Palestinian governments responsible for lives of Gaza patients 
8 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights calls upon the ministries of health in Ramallah and Gaza to take immediate steps, including the cancellation of all decisions that have led to halting the transfer of Gazan patients to hospitals outside the Gaza Strip, to ensure access of those patients to medical treatment. 

In Gaza, farming under fire
7 Apr 2009 - KHAN YOUNIS, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "They're always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us," says Alaa Samour, 19, pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on 28 December last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. 

Civil society shows its moral strength
7 Apr 2009 - At a time when Western governments refrain from using their power to stop Israel's ongoing violations of international law, many civil society organizations silently watch the moral corrosion of their governments. At the "Israel Review Conference" in Geneva this month and the Russell Tribunal slated for early 2010, however, civil society will use its power and call Israel to account. Adri Nieuwhof comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
Lost in the Buffer Zone
6 Apr 2009 - KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza, Apr 6 (IPS) - “They’re always shooting at us. Every day they shoot at us,” says Alaa Samour (19) , pulling aside his shirt to show a scar on his shoulder. Samour said he was shot on Dec. 28 last year by Israeli soldiers positioned along the border fence near New Abassan village, east of Khan Younis in the south of the Gaza Strip. “We were cutting parsley like we do almost every day, and the soldiers began shooting. We started crawling away. When I got out of the line of fire I realised my shoulder was bleeding and that I had been shot.” A month later, out...

Palestine Chronicle
The Moon behind the Fence
8 Apr 2009 - By Natalie Abou Shakra - Gaza "Look, look! It's him! It's him!" screamed Shaymaa from the bus, as a group of 18 family members descended from it to walk closer to the border between Rafah and Al Areish in Egypt. Just around 20 meters away from the fenced border, on a building ahead, barely showing, were four figures of what seemed like a man, a woman, and two young children; a teen-aged boy, and a little girl that he carried on his shoulder. It was Iyad and Asma Bilbesy, with their youngsters. Iyad and Asma have not seen their family in Gaza for around 15 years. "It is as if he is a prisoner and we are not allowed to see him," said Umm Wael Bilbesy, Iyad's mother as she choked on her tears when I was still at her home before leaving altogether with a group of family members to Rafah earlier at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Umm Alaa Shurafa, Asma's mother, shared Umm Wael's tears as she spoke to me of her wish to see her grand-daughter whose laugh she had only heard on the phone all the way from London. Both grand-fathers are not alive. Iyad, Asma and the children spent a few weeks in Cairo waiting for permission to enter the Strip from the Rafah Crossing. They waited, but eventually had to leave back to England, as their children had school, and they had work commitments. Umm Wael caught me before leaving the house...

Iraqi Shoes and the Demotivated Media
8 Apr 2009 - By Guy Gabriel While a hero in the Arab world, in the West the position of Iraqi journalist Muntadher al-Zaidi was more ambiguous. Few people seemed to mind that such a bold statement as throwing shoes was being made against George Bush, then-President of the Untied States. What was of great interest was that the story had a comic element. Bush reacted immediately with a quick remark that it was a size 10; headline writers the next day reported on 'sock and awe,' and within days an internet game inviting the player to throw shoes at Bush had been launched. The game's website congratulates us that currently, over 90,000,000 million shoes have hit George Bush in the face, such is its popularity. This has also fuelled the assumption that shoe-throwing is somehow intrinsically linked to the Arab world. People who have since thrown shoes at Chinese and Indian politicians are attributed to al-Zaidi's act (even when no Arabs were involved), and when President Omar Bashir of Sudan reacted to news of his indictment at the International Criminal Court by saying "they are under my feet," this prompted reporters to add to their descriptions: "a favourite Arab insult." Perhaps it needs to be said that shoes can be a useful and expressive tool for anyone: there is great precedent almost fifty years ago when in October 1960 Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union banged his shoe on his desk in the UN General Assembly to express his anger. But why such...

Israel's Two-Sided Coin
8 Apr 2009 - By Joharah Baker For Palestinians, it is hard to figure out what all the commotion is about. True, newly sworn in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is clearly not the most sympathetic person to the Palestinians’ plight. Neither is his foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman nor is the overwhelming majority of his cabinet. It is undeniable that Israel’s new government is one of the country’s most right wing governments yet. So, to the outside world, even the United States, this is ringing alarm bells, pushing panic buttons everywhere. Except, that is, among the Palestinians. Benjamin Netanyahu or Tzipi Livni or Ehud Barak. What’s the difference? A few slogans and watery pledges to work for peace? Photo-ops with Palestinian leaders, cordial handshakes that hide deceitful agendas? Perhaps one has to be right smack in the middle of things to realize that Israel’s governments over the years have all basically towed the same line, albeit with a few tweaks and revisions here and there. But for those less versed, Netanyahu and Lieberman’s straightforward frankness is something completely new. It is not like these two are shy about their true feelings. It was literally hours after the new government was sworn in by Israeli President Shimon Peres on March 31 that Mr. Lieberman began dropping his infinite pearls of wisdom. The Annapolis Conference understandings of November 2007 were, according to the Russian immigrant, invalid. “There is one document that obligates us - and that's not the Annapolis conference,” he said, referring rather to the...

Foreign Policy Tips for Obama
8 Apr 2009 - By Muhammed Qasim – Washington Sensing a genuine desire on his part to turn a new leaf in America's relations with the world, particularly Muslims, experts and community activists believe President Barack Obama needs to bring down old policies. "President Obama is on the right track with his repeated messages to the Muslim world of mutual respect and dialogue," Hussam Ayloush, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) California chapter, told IslamOnline.net. "[He] has a major task ahead of him to undo the damage caused by eight years of reckless policies by the former administration." On the campaign trail and after election, Obama promised to reinvigorate US foreign policy, in order to restore the country's battered image worldwide. He has vowed an ambitious foreign policy agenda that includes withdrawing from Iraq, an olive branch to longtime foes, including Iran, and a new leaf in America's relations with the Muslim world after eight rocky years under wartime predecessor George W. Bush. Ronald Stockton, a Professor of Political Science and Arab American Studies at Michigan-Dearborn University, sees a particularly difficult challenge for Obama in the Muslim world. "After September 11, the US focused upon violent elements within the Muslim community. This…made all Muslims feel that the US was hostile to them," he told IOL. Stockton says some Muslims see Obama as another version of Bush and doubt his sincerity. "But he is very sincere in his respect and admiration for Islam." Obama has seized upon his visit to Turkey, his...