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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
16 June , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Haniyya: “We support all efforts to establish a state in the 1967 borders”
17 Jun 2009 - Ismail Haniyya, Prime Minister of the dissolved government of Hamas in Gaza, stated Tuesday that Hamas supports ant real effort to establish a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital. 

Largest Rabbi organization supports Obama’s call for settlement freeze
16 Jun 2009 - The world's largest organization of Jewish clergy has come out in support of US President Barack Obama’s call for a freeze on Israeli settlement expansion.  

The Israeli military injures a Palestinian civilian
16 Jun 2009 - A Palestinian youth was shot and injured by Israeli military fire on Monday at night in the village of Beit Ummar in the southern West Bank.

The Israeli municipality hands out demolition orders to Palestinian families in Jerusalem
16 Jun 2009 - Two Palestinian families were given orders on Tuesday by the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem to demolish part of their homes.

Israeli warplanes airdrop soldiers into the northern West Bank
16 Jun 2009 - Israeli army planes airdropped troops airdropped soldiers south of Jenin, in the northern West Bank on Monday night and the early morning of Tuesday. 

Israeli army kidnaps 10 Palestinians from the West Bank
16 Jun 2009 - Ten Palestinian men were taken by the Israeli army during military invasions in the West Bank on Monday night. 

Settler outpost Mitzpe Avihai evacuated again, settlers pledged to rebuilt and create 4 new outposts
16 Jun 2009 - Israeli forces destroyed the Mitzpe Avihai outpost near the large settlement Kiryat Arba in the southern West Bank on Tuesday. The same outpost was taken down at the end of May, but rebuilt soon after. 

Carter arrives in Gaza carrying a letter to Shalit
16 Jun 2009 - Former US President, Jimmy Carter, crossed into the Gaza Strip in a visit that aims at observing the destruction inflicted during the war. It is thought that Carter is carrying a letter for the Israeli corporal who is currently a prisoner of war in Gaza." 

Blair welcomes the speech of Netanyahu, demands Hamas to change its policies
16 Jun 2009 - Quartet’s special envoy for the Middle East, Tony Blair, welcomed the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and considered it a step forward. He also called on Hamas to change its policies but did not mention the ongoing Israel siege on Gaza. 

Qorea': "No peace talks without halting settlements, accepting two-state solution"
16 Jun 2009 - Senior Fateh leader, Ahmad Qorea', Abu Ala', stated Monday that the Palestinian leadership rejects the speech of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and added that the Palestinians are determined to establish their state with East Jerusalem as its capital. 

PPP calls for ending political arrests
16 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian People Party (PPP) expressed sorrow for the death of Haitham Amro, a Hamas prisoner who died at a Palestinian prison in Hebron, and called for ending all political arrests in Gaza and the West Bank. 

Carter to meet Haniyya Tuesday
16 Jun 2009 - The Media Office of the dissolved Ministry of Interior in Gaza reported Monday that the former US president, Jimmy Carter, will be holding a meeting with Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyya, in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Mossad: Iran will have nuclear bomb by 2014
16 Jun 2009 - Dagan warns if Iran nuclear program continue without glitch, Israel will face significant existential threat. 

'Hamas foiled plot to assassinate Carter in Gaza'
16 Jun 2009 - Hamas denies witness, source reports that Al-Qaida-linked militants planted bombs at border targeting Carter. 

Palestinian court convicts West Bank woman as Israel collaborator
15 Jun 2009 - Woman received life sentence with hard labor, claimed was forced into prostitution by her husband. 

Carter: Israel won't need to give up Gush Etzion settlements
14 Jun 2009 - After meeting settler leaders, ex-U.S. president says visit to bloc gave him fresh perspective on the issue. 

Israel suffered massive cyber attack during Gaza offensive
14 Jun 2009 - Attack, which focused on government Web sites, was executed by at least half a million computers. 

Two East Jerusalem journalists jailed for reporting for Iran
14 Jun 2009 - Reporters gave real-time updates on the start of the IDF's ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. 

Poll: Most Israelis could live with a nuclear Iran
14 Jun 2009 - 80% of Israeli Jews say nuclear Iran wouldn't affect their lives, but 59% back IDF strike if diplomacy fails. 

Israel launches naval center to combat pirate attacks
14 Jun 2009 - Search and rescue center to be manned by ex-Israel Navy officers, will also deal with marine pollution. 

Ma'an News

Palestinian Investment Fund denies role in PA home evacuation suits
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian Investment Fund Company has no stake in the lawsuits being filed by the PA Land Department against Jericho area villages, the organization announced Tuesday. The comments came following the release of an investigative report by Ma’an that detailed the legal suits against 400 Palestinians living in Jordan Valley villages. The suits were filed, residents were told, because they built their homes on state land that had been sold to Palestinian Investment Fund Company for development. The investment company responded saying it bought only 8,000 dunums out of 1,1000 dunums of Jordan Valley-area land and from the PA. The company said there were 3,000 dunums that remained state property. It remains unclear whether the villages ofNuwei’ma, Ad-Duyuk and Al-Auja, which are the targets of the lawsuits, are on state owned or investment company land. 

Fatah official to Abbas: Stop PA raids against two Tulkarem families
6/16/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – The second deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), Hassan Khreisha, on Tuesday called on Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to order the Palestinian security forces to stop harassing two families in Tulkarem. Fatah member Khreisha told Ma’an via telephone, “Ransacking the families homes at night and detaining family members from time to time are old means of suppression that must stop. Tulkarem residents began to wonder and feel bad about this treatment. ”The families in question are Kharboush the Samara. Palestinian Authority (PA) forces have been attempting to seize Hamas activists Muhammad Kharboush and Adnan Samara whom the PA labels as “fugitives. ”The dispute also follows weeks of tension over PA arrest raids against Hamas members in the West Bank. Nine people were killed in shootouts that followed PA raids in the nearby city of Qalqiliya in late May and early June. 

'Wanted activists' from Tulkarem complain about PA’s mistreatment
6/16/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Former Al-Aqsa Brigades fighters across the West Bank continue to wait as their amnesty deals remain unresolved, leaving large numbers of men in limbo. Last week in a Tulkarem café, three former fighters in various stages of the amnesty deal sat down with Ma’an’s reporter to discuss grievances against the Palestinian Authority, who they say is not doing enough to resolve their cases. Part of the issue is that those offered amnesty have been offered an array of different deals. In exchange for having their names removed from Israel’s “wanted” list, fighters all signed declarations saying they would renounce violence and handed in their weapons. That is where the consistency ends, however, as some have remained in PA protective custody and other remain in their homes; some were promised jobs in the PA police or security services but have not received salaries;. . . 

Report: 300,000 Palestinians facing home demolitions
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Over 300,000 people are facing house demolitions in the occupied Palestinian territories, a report issued this week by the UK charity Save the Children says. “House demolitions in the OPT have escalated and thousands of families and in some cases entire villages remain under the threat of bulldozers arriving to destroy their homes and being displaced any day,” said Salam Kanaan, Save the Children Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT) in a statement. The new report is titled “Broken Homes,” and was also authored by Palestinian Counseling Centre (PCC), and Welfare Association. Since house demolitions started in 1967 it is estimated that the Israeli civilian and military authorities have destroyed over 24,000 homes. However, since 2000 the number of homes being destroyed has escalated with an average of more than a 1,000 homes demolished every year, Save the children said. 

Israeli planes airdrop soldiers south of Jenin
6/16/2009 - Jenin – Ma’an – Israeli warplanes airdropped soldiers into the West Bank, south of Jenin on Monday night and Tuesday morning. According to witnesses the airdrops began at 11pm and continued until Tuesday morning in an area between the town of Qabatiya and the village of Kfeir. Israeli soldiers also raided the village of Salilat Al-Harthiyeh, roaming the streets and launching stun grenades. No injuries or arrests were reported. A raid was also reported in the village of Silah, west of Nablus, early on Tuesday. [end] 

Haniyeh to Carter: Hamas will accept state on ’67 borders
6/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Isma’il Haniyeh said on Tuesday he would support any real proposal to establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Haniyeh’s comments came during a joint press conference in Gaza City with former US president Jimmy Carter. “I will exert pressures towards realizing this dream,” said Haniyeh. Meanwhile, he said that his government in cooperation with other Palestinian factions to maintain ceasefire, yet border crossing should be opened to guarantee continuation of ceasefire. Haniyeh also explained that Carter met a delegation of Hamas leaders and discussed prisoners issue asserting that his government will support endeavors to reach a prisoner swap deal. For his part, Carter wished the Palestinians will achieve reconciliation asserting he will report to. . . 

Medics: Man beaten by soldiers in Beit Ummar
6/16/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – A Palestinian man was severely beaten by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to the West Bank village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron on Monday night, medics said. The man, who was hospitalized in Hebron, has not been identified. [end] 

Clowns Without Borders award Nablus organization the Golden Nose Award
6/16/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - The Nablus-based circus school Assirk Assaghir earned the first ever Golden Nose Award for their diverse programming from the Sweden-based Clowns Without Borders. Assirk Assaghir provides circus workshops for children and teenagers in acrobatics, stilts, unicycle, clowning, juggling, trapeze, tissue and others with occasional workshops in music and acting. They were given the award for their tireless efforts to create “an oasis of joy and laughter for the children of the West Bank town of Nablus. ”The award is the initiative of Clowns Without Borders Sweden, an organization that through circus and clowning aims to reach out to children in war and conflict zones. The winner was announced at the Clown Nose Day Festival in Stockholm and was accepted by Assirk Assaghir founder Baha Swidan last week. 

Unity dialogue’s Conciliation Committee pick definition for politically-motivated detentions
6/16/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The multi-party Conciliation Committee set up for Egypt’s reconciliation talks in February reconvened in Ramallah Tuesday at offices of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen’s Rights (PICCR) to set down a definition of politically-motivated arrests. The meeting of the committee came following a wave of arrests across the West Bank of Hamas-affiliated Al-Qassam fighters which Palestinian Authority police say are arrests based on illegal activity but Hamas supporters decry as factionally based. The committee decided to use PICCR’s definition of politically motivated detentions, which outlines the following as a politically motivated detention: when police arbitrarily use legal pretexts to justify detention, prevent an individual from practicing political and civil rights, and/or fail to guarantee for a just trial. 

Israeli forces seize 10 Palestinians on West Bank raids
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Israeli military said that it seized 10 Palestinians during raids in the West Bank on Monday night. The Palestinians, said to be “wanted” by Israel, were all reportedly taken for questioning. While raiding a house in the city of Qalqilya, soldiers discovered a weapons cache, including three guns and bullets, according to Israel. [end] 

Israeli forces close main road connecting Nablus villages
6/16/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli forces on closed the second main entrance to the northern West bank village of Al-Majdal south of Nablus with piles of earth and stones, preventing all traffic from entering or exiting the area. According to a Palestinian official monitoring settler activity in the West Bank Ghassan Daghlas, Israeli forces completely closed the main road joinging the villages of Osarin and Aqraba with Al-Majdal and Qabalan near Israeli Magdalen settlement. Daghlas said he was surprised because Israeli authorities had made recent efforts to reduce infrastructure and time limits at roadblocks and checkpoints around the West Bank. He added that the road closed Tuesday had remained open all through the occupation and even through the first and second intifadahs. “Today was the first time it was ever closed,” he said. 

Carter visits Gaza bearing Shalit letter
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Former US President Jimmy Carter has arrived in Gaza on Tuesday to tour war-torn areas and also hold talks with Hamas officials. Among the sites he visited was the American International School, which was leveled in an Israeli airstrike in January. "I am very affected. I must hold back my tears at seeing the destruction that was inflicted on your people," said Carter, according to AFP. "I came to the American School. It taught your children, it was funded by my country and I see that it was deliberately destroyed by bombs dropped by F-16 manufactured in my country. I feel partly responsible for what happened and all the Americans and the Israelis must have the same feeling," he said, according to the report. "It's not good to see such destruction, but neither is it to see rockets falling on Sderot. " 

Two Gaza crossings open
6/16/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel will open both the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, but keep the Karni crossing closed, according to border official Raed Fattouh. Fattouh said that Kerem Shalom would be partially open to allow 132 truckloads of supplies destined for the agricultural and commercial sectors in Gaza and that Nahal Oz would be open for shipments of cooking gas and industrial diesel. Fattouh also confirmed that the Karni crossing, used to transfer grain, is expected to remain closed. [end] 

Israel to pardon 25 Al-Aqsa members in PA protective custody
6/16/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an exclusive – Israeli authorities will pardon 25 members affiliated with the Al-Aqsa Brigades in the West Bank who are currently under Palestinian Authority protective custody, security sources said Tuesday. The decision to pardon the 25 came following a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian security personnel Monday evening. Most of the men, all listed as “wanted” by Israel, have been waiting for their official pardon for more than a year after turning themselves in to PA protective custody in a deal that sees Israel promise to cease pursuing them in return for a signed statement saying they will give up resistance activity. A PA security source said the men would be released to the custody of their families as the official releases go through. A partial list of the men being pardoned is as follows:1- Fayez At-Tirawi, total release. 

Report: US could bend to Israeli position on settlements
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The US may ease its demand for a total freeze on construction in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Tuesday. Quoting anonymous Israeli officials, the newspaper said that this possible change in position was expressed during US Envoy George Mitchell’s visit to Israel last week, when he held a four-hour meeting on the settlement issue with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The dispute between US President Barack Obama and Netanyahu’s government hinges on what Israel calls “natural growth” in existing settlements. Netanyahu and his cabinet are now claiming that they do not have the legal authority to stop construction already underway by private companies. Israeli and American officials also told Reuters that Netanyahu wants to negotiate an agreement with Obama through which construction would continue in the settlements. 

Fatah official denies Bethlehem will be conference venue
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an Exclusive – Leading Fatah figure Muhammad Jihad has denied reports that the movement’s sixth general congress will take place on 4 August in Bethlehem. Jihad made this remark in an interview with a Ma’an TV news program which also included the Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt, Nabil Amr. These comments come after Fatah movement officials met in Jordan. Jihad also commented on a recent dispute between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and PLO official Farouq Qaddumi, who criticized the new government that Abbas appointed in May. He said that the dispute is ongoing but is political, rather than personal in nature. Jihad rejected holding the long-delayed Fatah conference anywhere in the West Bank, since it would be unreasonable to hold the meeting “under the eyes and the guns of the Israeli occupation. " 

Palestinian motorsport chief visits champion in hospital
6/16/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an - Khaled Qadura, Chirman of the Board of the Palestinian Motorsport & Motorcycle Federation, visited Bethlehemite car race hero Joseph Handal after he returned from Ibn Al-Haytham Hospital in Jordan where he underwent surgery on his right hand. Handal fell and injured his hand during a film shoot at the Container Checkpoint in between Bethlehem and Ramallah. Handal works for Al-Jazeera International in Ramallah as a cameraman. Al-Jazeera is now paying for his hospital treatment. Qadura and another member of the Motorsport federation, Wasfy Shahin, wished Handal a speedy recovery. Qadura told Ma’an that Handal, the champion in the 2005 competition, will compete in this year's competition in August if his hand recovers. 

Three new cases of H1N1 in Bethlehem and Ramallah; five cases in total
6/16/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Three new cases of the H1N1 virus were diagnosed Tuesday, bringing the regional total for the West Bank up to five cases. The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah confirmed the diagnoses and Director of Medical Care Dr As’ad Ramlawi confirmed that one of the new cases was in Ramallah and two others from Bethlehem. All three new patients were students studying abroad returning home after the close of their semesters. All three arrived in the West Bank on Monday, after which family members brought them to hospital showing flu-like symptoms. Ramlawi explained that the patients were suspected of carrying the virus, more commonly known as swine flu, and Ministry officials quickly ran the samples at the Ramallah labs to confirm the diagnosis. 

The National

Israel beats up children' 
16 Jun 2009 - The rights of Palestinian children are routinely violated by Israel's security forces, according to a new report.

Gaza resilience puts Hamas in strong position
16 Jun 2009 - After three-and-half years, the world may finally be coming around to the conclusion that Hamas is a reality that can be neither sanctioned nor bombed away.

Carter: Stop treating Gazans like savages
16 Jun 2009 - The former US president enters the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, after urging Israel to lift a blockade on the Palestinian enclave.

Shots fired at Iran protest
15 Jun 2009 - A demonstrator has been shot dead and several others seriously wounded at mass anti-Ahmadinejad protest in central Tehran, says press photographer.

Aljazeera

Rival groups rally in Tehran
16 Jun 2009 - Fears of clashes grow as pro-government and opposition protesters take to streets.

Carter: Grief and despair for Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - Former US president says Palestinians treated "like animals" after touring Gaza Strip.

US Iran adviser to move from post
15 Jun 2009 - Dennis Ross to leave state department amid Iran's reported objections over ties to Israel.

Syria welcomes US envoy Mitchell
13 Jun 2009 - Mitchell says Syria has "integral role to play" in achieving Middle East peace.

Gazans hurt at reconciliation rally
13 Jun 2009 - Pair said to be injured by police amid protest against Palestinian factional divisions.

IRIN

ISRAEL-OPT: Tiny energy project helps Palestinian villagers
HEBRON Tuesday, June 16, 2009 (IRIN) - Noam Dotan, an Israeli physicist, checks the wind turbine in the small West Bank village of Susya. The renewable energy project he started two years ago is making progress and improving the lives of local villagers, he said. 

YEMEN: Impediments to speedier development 
SANAA Thursday, June 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, has made some progress in terms of development but its pace has been slow, Pratibha Mehta, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in the country, has told IRIN. 

IRAQ: Appeal for help to clear landmines 
BAGHDAD Monday, June 08, 2009 (IRIN) - Iraqi Environment Minister Narmin Othman has appealed for more international support to clear the country of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO). 

Inter Press Service

LEBANON: Law to Stop Violence Against Women Takes Time 
BEIRUT, Jun 16 (IPS) - There was some good news for women’s activists in Lebanon last week.

EGYPT: Workers Reeling Under Financial Crisis 
CAIRO, Jun 16 (IPS) - The global financial crisis has forced Egyptian companies to lay off thousands of workers, and provided cover for firms to evade their legal and financial obligations to their workers, labour rights groups warn.

MIDEAST: Netanyahu Offer a 'Big Zero' 
RAMALLAH, Jun 15 (IPS) - Yasser Abed Rabbo, secretary of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's executive committee, and a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, has dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's foreign policy speech Sunday night as a big zero.

MIDEAST: Peace Talk Without Peace Vision 
TEL AVIV, Jun 15 (IPS) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's much anticipated policy speech about his peace intentions was suffused with peace rhetoric, but it was starkly short on a peace vision.

Stop The Wall

Civil society conference in Ramallah supports the popular struggle against the Wall
16 Jun 2009 - Following the recent killings in Ni'lin and Bil'in and the arrests in al Ma'sara, the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign organized a national conference to promote ways to support grassroots resistance against the Wall. Some 70 people, among them popular committee representatives from affected areas along with the families of the injured, arrested, and martyred participated in the conference. The aim of the meeting was to assess ways in which to respond to the mounting repression and violence against popular resistance movements. Participants focused on three main areas: official leadership, legal action and the media, and how to best integrate them with the ongoing actions against the Wall. [

New report: Democratic South Africa’s complicity in Israel’s occupation, colonialism and apartheid
11 Jun 2009 - This report discusses South African economic relations with Israel as well as the related political and institutional framework. Analyzing dozens of cases of commercial ties and political initiatives, it proves once again that trade relations with Israel necessarily require involvement in or complicity with Israeli violations of human rights and international law, including assistance to Israeli occupation, colonialism and apartheid. [

PCHR Latest

(15 June) Detainee Dies in the GIS Prison in Hebron
PCHR

(15 June) Policemen Fire on Peaceful Demonstration Injuring Three Civilians"
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(04- 10 June  2008)
During the reporting period, one Palestinian was killed by IOF in the West Bank. Additionally, IOF wounded 13 Palestinian civilians, including four children and a paramedic, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Farmers, activists beaten and arrested in Saffa
International Solidarity Movement - Palestine Solidarity Project - 15 June 2009 - This Saturday, as has been done every Saturday for over a month, International and Israeli activists joined Hamad and Jabber Soleiby and their families as they worked their land in Saffa, near Bat "˜Ain settlement. This Saturday, however, both the Israeli army and settlers from the right-wing extremist settlement were ready and waiting. While soldiers stood by and watched, settlers threw rocks at the farmers and solidarity activists and rolled boulders down into the agricultural land. Soldiers then shouted across the small valley to the solidarity activists, telling them it was a closed military zone and the people would have to leave. While the farmers and solidarity activists agreed they would leave if ordered to, attempting to avoid a confrontation such as those that had occurred the previous two weeks, they still demanded that the. . . 

A world away, Palestinian seeks justice
International Solidarity Movement - The Star - 16 June 2009 - First came the fence, which splintered the olive trees from Bil'in, the Palestinian village that tended them. Then came the tear gas canister that hit a local, well-liked man named Basem Abu Rahme in the chest, killing him. Everyone knew Basem, which is what everyone called him. Mohammed Khatib, one of the village's 1,700 residents, was at that protest, and is still deeply disturbed by the death. Khatib, 35, was in Toronto on the weekend on a national tour to promote the village's latest bid to seek justice - using Quebec's courts to stop Israeli settlements. "We want to show that there is no justice in Israel," said Khatib. The case, filed last year, alleges Green Park International Inc. and Green Mount International Inc. are complicit in war crimes because they helped build an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. 

Gaza fishermen petition High Court
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - 16 June 2009 - Four Palestinians from Gaza petitioned the High Court of Justice Tuesday in an effort to get back their confiscated fishing boat, seized by the IDF last month. The fishermen claim that their livelihood had been gravely undermined by Israel's Defense Ministry and demand compensation in addition to the ship's return. The Navy operates near Gaza's shores regularly in a bid to prevent maritime terror attacks and often encounters innocent fishermen, who are promptly warned to sail back to permitted zones. However, the petitioners claim that they were sailing in an approved area during the incident in question. According to the petition, two IDF vessels approached the ship, fired at it, and ordered the crew to leave. Later, a Navy boat approached the fishing vessel and ordered the fishermen to disembark, the petitioners said. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Pro-Ahmadinejad Israelis - narrow strategic thinking
16 Jun 2009 - The prize for this week's most stupid remark has to go to the officials, officers and experts who described Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the candidate Israel prefers to win the election in Iran, and were even happy he did. It is hard to think of a more blatant manifestation of the narrow horizons of Israeli strategic thinking. ... 

Mossad head: Riots in Iran will die down
16 Jun 2009 - Mossad chief Meir Dagan on Tuesday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the riots in Iran over the election results will die out in a few days rather than escalate into a revolution. "The reality in Iran is not going to change because of the elections. The world and we already know [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. If the reformist candidate [Mir Hossein] Mousavi had won, Israel would have had a more serious problem because it would need to explain to the world the danger of the Iranian threat, since Mousavi is perceived internationally arena as a moderate element...It is important to remember that he is the one who began Iran's nuclear program when he was prime minister." ...

20 killed at opposition rallies across Iran
16 Jun 2009 - Twenty people were killed at rallies across Iran on Tuesday, as opposition activists demontrated against the disputed results of last week's presidential elections, according to various media reports. ...

Carter: I believe Gilad Shalit is alive
16 Jun 2009 - "I got the impression that Gilad Shalit is alive and well," said Tuesday former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, following a meeting with the father of the abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier, Noam Shalit. ...

Iran's supreme leader calls for national unity
15 Jun 2009 - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Iranians Tuesday to unite behind the cleric-led ruling system despite rival demonstrations and street clashes, state television reported, and he said representatives of all four candidates should be present for any limited recount of disputed ballots. ...

The Guardian

Israel must be a secular state for all citizens | Maajid Nawaz
16 Jun 2009 - Just as Islamists should not call for nations exclusively for Muslims, Jews should not label Israel as a Jewish state "My state is at war with my nation." These are the words of an Arab-Israeli public...

No peace from Netanyahu | Laila El-Haddad
16 Jun 2009 - Israel's prime minister called for talks without preconditions while imposing conditions that would make peace impossible "Eight nos, but nothing new." This is the reaction I hear over and over again from Palestinian refugees here in...

Ex-US president Jimmy Carter to meet Hamas leadership during Gaza visit
15 Jun 2009 - • Former US president to travel to Gaza • Netanyahu raised new obstacles to peace, Carter says The former US president Jimmy Carter will visit Gaza for a rare meeting with senior Hamas officials following his...

Killing Israel's peace process | Ben White
15 Jun 2009 - There was nothing surprising about Binyamin Netanyahu's speech, offering Palestinians a 'flag and currency' but little else Following on from Barack Obama's speech in Cairo , this weekend it was the turn of Israeli prime minister Binyamin...

Ha'aretz National page

Rightist MK warns: Demand for Palestinian demilitarization will fade
15 Jun 2009 - By next year, nothing will remain of the demilitarization stipulation that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set for the formation of a Palestinian state, Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau warned on Tuesday at an event sponsored by Yisrael Beiteinu in Jerusalem. ...

Public security minister calls cop 'dirty Arab'
15 Jun 2009 - Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, of Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, called an undercover police officer a "dirty Arab" during a tour of the crime-ridden old central bus station in Tel Aviv. ...

'Israeli robbery champion' suspected of 8 muggings in 12 hours
15 Jun 2009 - A 52-year-old Netanya man known to police was arrested Tuesday after allegedly carrying out at least eight robberies in a 12-hour period. ...

Students mark three years of Shalit captivity with rally
15 Jun 2009 - Dozens of students from kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit's old high school held a rally in his village of Mitzpe Hila Tuesday to mark three years since his capture by Palestinians in a cross-border raid. ...

Report: Disaster averted as two planes nearly crash on BG Airport runway
15 Jun 2009 - On the same day that Haaretz revealed that two planes nearly collided at Ben-Gurion Airport due to a technical malfunction in one of the landing instruments on a runway, Channel 2 reported the details of another near-disaster, this one involving two planes that nearly collided on a runway. ... 

Relief Web

Human Rights Council holds general debate on human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories
16 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

Middle East: Commission mobilizes further €4million in humanitarian aid for most vulnerable Palestinians hit by drought
16 Jun 2009 - Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department

OPT: Cast Lead offensive in numbers
16 Jun 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Call for EU Foreign Ministers to visit Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - Source: Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation

Occupied Palestinian territory and Syria: Commission allocates €6 million for drought victims
16 Jun 2009 - Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department

Israel-OPT: Tiny energy project helps Palestinian villagers
16 Jun 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: Finding a future for the Iraqi Palestinians
16 Jun 2009 - Source: Refugees International

Building a better relationship: Palestinian refugees, Lebanon, and the role of the international community
16 Jun 2009 - Source: International Development Research Centre

YNet News

Hamas: Carter represents White House policy
16 Jun 2009 - Senior Hamas leader welcomes former president's remarks in wake of Carter's Gaza tour

Gaza fishermen petition High Court
16 Jun 2009 - Owners of Palestinian ship confiscated by IDF want vessel back, demand compensation 

Ahmadinejad fans flock to Tehran; more clashes feared
16 Jun 2009 - Police commander says opposition rallies to be contained; Ahmadinejad fans bused to capital

B'tselem

The EU must link the upgrade to human rights compliance
14 Jun 2009 - On the occasion of the 9th EU-Israel Association Council on June 15 2009, three prominent Israeli human rights organizations call upon the EU to link the upgrade of EU-Israel relations to respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Testimonies: severe violence at the 'Ein Gedi checkpoint
8 Jun 2009 - On the late evening of 28.5.09, a group of Palestinian youths traveled to the Dead Sea on a night out. According to testimonies given by three of them, when they parked their car at the 'Ein Gedi checkpoint, soldiers at the checkpoint beat two of them s 

Daily Star

Defiant Ahmadinejad blasts US at Russia summit, says 'age of empires has ended' 
16 Jun 2009 - Iran's under-fire President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday sat alongside world leaders at a summit in Russia, defiantly proclaiming the age of empires was over and attacking the US. In a show of confidence after the worst riots in his country in a decade, Ahmadinejad made no mention of the violence.

Carter warns Palestinians are being treated 'like animals' 
16 Jun 2009 - Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya in the Gaza Strip, where he called for a lifting of Israel's blockade, saying Palestinians are being treated "like animals." Following the talks, Carter called for an end of "all violence" against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Scores of Mousavi supporters march again in Tehran 
16 Jun 2009 - Thousands of supporters of Iran's defeated presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi marched in Tehran on Tuesday following a disputed poll prompting the biggest street protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. On a fourth day of demonstrations since Friday's election, witnesses said they headed.

Iran's speaker condemns attacks on university students by Basij, police 
16 Jun 2009 - Iran's influential speaker of Parliament has condemned an attack on university students which they say was carried out by Basij militiamen and police. One student activist who declined to be identified told Reuters four students - three men and a woman - were killed during Sunday night's assault on the dormitory of Tehran University.

Palestinian Information Center

Haneyya asks the world community to pressure the IOA to lift siege
16 Jun 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya has urged the world community to pressure the Israeli occupation authority to lift the siege on Gaza Strip and end the Palestinian people's suffering.

UN high commissioner for human rights calls for ending Gaza siege
16 Jun 2009 - Navanethem (Navi) Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, has called for an end to the Israeli siege of Gaza Strip and on ending restrictions on freedom of import-export traffic.

Carter calls for reconstruction of Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - Carter on Tuesday called for opening the Gaza Strip's crossings in order to allow construction material necessary for the reconstruction of areas devastated in the latest Israeli war on Gaza.

OIC delegation arrives in Gaza on Wednesday
16 Jun 2009 - A delegation of the Organization of Islamic Conference is scheduled to arrive to the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing on Wednesday, the Palestinian interior ministry said.

Resheq: Netanyahu speech slap in the face of those who bet on settlement process
16 Jun 2009 - The speech by Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu constituted a slap in the face of all those who bet on the a settlement process with the IOA, Ezzet Al-Reshseq, political bureau member of Hamas, said.

Bahar strongly condemns the death of detainee under torture in Abbas's jails
16 Jun 2009 - Acting PLC speaker Dr. Ahmed Bahar has strongly denounced the death of Haithem Amr, 28, under torture in Al-Khalil jail run by security forces loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas.

Abu Marzouk: Dialog targets release of Hamas detainees alive
16 Jun 2009 - Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy political bureau chairman of Hamas, has said that the national dialog among Palestinian factions targets releasing all kidnapped supporters and cadres alive.

Haneyya to meet Carter in Gaza
16 Jun 2009 - PA premier Ismail Haneyya is to meet on Tuesday with former US president Jimmy Carter in the Gaza Strip to discuss latest political and field developments in the Palestinian lands.

Barghouthi: Netanyahu’s speech proved the absence of a peace partner in Israel
16 Jun 2009 - MP Mustafa Al-Barghouthi said that Benjamin Netanyahu proved in his speech that there is no peace partner in Israel and his willingness to entrench the apartheid system against the Palestinians.

Hamas: Agreement difficult to reach amidst continued assassinations
16 Jun 2009 - Hamas on Monday asserted that reaching an inter-Palestinian national conciliation agreement was getting farther to reach in light of the continued PA security forces' assassinations in the West Bank.

Los Angeles Times

Hundreds of thousands in Iran protest vote result 
16 Jun 2009 - The supreme leader orders the hard-line Guardian Council to examine challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi's claims of fraud in the vote reelecting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Seven protesters are killed. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian protesters defied authorities Monday and marched to Tehran's Freedom Square, as the Islamic Republic's supreme leader ordered an investigation into allegations of vote fraud, a move the opposition described as little more than an attempt to dampen anger over the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

U.S. officials skeptical on a demilitarized Palestine 
15 Jun 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's condition that any Palestinian state be unarmed would be hard for the other side to accept, State Department officials say. U.S. officials reacted skeptically Monday to an Israeli proposal that the United States and other world powers guarantee that a new nation of Palestine remain demilitarized as a condition of its statehood. 

Netanyahu relents on goal of 2 states 
15 Jun 2009 - But the Israeli premier would want Palestinian sovereignty limited. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bowed to U.S. pressure Sunday and accepted the goal of a Palestinian state. But it was unclear whether the breakthrough, welcomed by President Obama, would lead to a revival of peace talks with the Palestinians, who immediately rejected the sharp limits Netanyahu would place on their nation's sovereignty. 

New York Times

Recount Offer Fails to Quell Political Tumult in Iran
16 Jun 2009 - On a second day of protests, the government has placed tight restrictions on media coverage, especially by foreign journalists. 

President Obama Reiterates Concern About Iran’s Election
16 Jun 2009 - Mr. Obama dismissed criticism that he has failed to speak out forcefully enough on the disputed election in Iran, saying it would be counterproductive "to be seen as meddling." 

News Analysis: In Iran, an Iron Cleric, Now Blinking
16 Jun 2009 - Though few suggest that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s hold on power is at risk, analysts say he has opened a fissure in the face of Islamic rule that may prove impossible to patch. 

Misc

A world away, Palestinian seeks justice 
The Star - The Star - 6/16/09 - Villager in Toronto accuses Canadian firms of 'war crimes' over West Bank settlement - First came the fence, which splintered the olive trees from Bil'in, the Palestinian village that tended them. Then came the tear gas canister that hit a local, well-liked man named Basem Abu Rahme in the chest, killing him. Everyone knew Basem, which is what everyone called him. Mohammed Khatib, one of the village's 1,700 residents, was at that protest, and is still deeply disturbed by the death. Khatib, 35, was in Toronto on the weekend on a national tour to promote the village's latest bid to seek justice – using Quebec's courts to stop Israeli settlements. " We want to show that there is no justice in Israel," said Khatib. The case, filed last year, alleges Green Park International Inc. and Green Mount International Inc. 

Carter warns Palestinians are being treated ’like animals’ 
Daily Star - Daily Star, Agence France Presse (AFP) - June 17 - GAZA CITY: Former US president Jimmy Carter on Tuesday met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyya in the Gaza Strip, where he called for a lifting of Israel's blockade, saying Palestinians are being treated "like animals. "Following the talks, Carter called for an end of "all violence" against both Israelis and Palestinians. " This is holy land for us all and my hope is that we can have peace all of us are children of Abraham," Carter said at a joint news conference with Haniyya, prime minister of the Hamas government in the Palestinian enclave. Haniyya in turn said Hamas supported the creation of a Palestinian state in the territories Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. "If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 and with full sovereignty, we are in favor of it," Haniyya said. He also praised US President Barack Obama's June 4 speech in Cairo to the Muslim world. 

Articles

Israel’s Angels in America 
Merle Lefkoff, CounterPunch 6/16/2009
      Why American Jews Should Resist the US’s Blind Support of Israel
     When I was a very little kid growing up in New York City just after World War II, my mother took me to the Imperial Theater in the heart of Broadway on W. 45th Street to watch a new musical comedy, “Annie Get Your Gun.” Held spellbound by Buffalo Bill introducing Ethel Merman to her new life in “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” I was hooked for life after my first theater experience in 1946. I was transformed by a picture-book story, the story about frontierswoman Annie Oakley, coming to life before my eyes. Teased by my family for being a “tomboy,” I understood what that meant for the first time—and I was proud! Stella Adler, the famous theater teacher, once said, “The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation.“
     Forty-seven years later I entered the Walter Kerr Theater in New York to see theater history being made again. Using the AIDS epidemic as a metaphor for an America on the march to a new millennium worn thin by the ascendancy of the Reagan revolution, a young gay Jewish playwright, Tony Kushner, forged a searing vision of the possibility of community in an age of moral and political deformity. “Angels in America” didn’t run as long as “Annie” (367 vs. 1,147 performances), but it won the Pulitzer Prize for best drama, and the Tony Award for best play, rewarded for how it captured personal and political decay and renewal in an increasingly diverse and rapidly changing America.

Niggling, begrudging and cowardly’ 
Craig Nelson, The National 6/16/2009
      It would be tempting to praise Benjamin Netanyahu for finally uttering on Sunday those words he long dreaded – “Palestinian state”. 
     After all, this is a man who once said Yasser Arafat was “worse than Hitler” and proposed that revolvers be distributed to all adult Jewish males as a solution to the “terror” problem. Now in his second tenure as Israel’s prime minister, Mr Netanyahu has tempered his inclination for demagogy.
     But these febrile times call for more than carefully parsed phrases and a belated recognition of the Palestinians’ right to a state of their own; they call for brave, forward-looking leaders in the Middle East, ready to shed stale shibboleths and bankrupt ideas. 
     By delivering a niggling, begrudging and ultimately cowardly speech on Sunday, the 59-year-old Mr Netanyahu missed a historic opportunity to join the ranks of those leaders. Instead of proving he is a beacon for the future, he showed he was a relic of the past.
     It was the Old Bibi who danced around the issue of talks with the Palestinians, saying he was prepared for direct negotiations without preconditions – then proceeding to enumerate conditions required to conclude a deal.
     He equivocated on the issue of West Bank settlements, qualifying his pledge not to build new settlements with the proviso: “But there is a need to enable the residents to live normal lives, to allow mothers and fathers to raise their children like families elsewhere."


Electronic Intifada
Report: Palestinian children systematically abused in Israeli detention
16 Jun 2009 - The following press release was issued on 11 June 2009: Today, DCI-Palestine is releasing a report which documents the widespread ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children at the hands of the Israeli army and police force -- "Palestinian Child Prisoners: The systematic and institutionalized ill-treatment and torture of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities." 

Israel's efforts to suppress Palestinian activities in Jerusalem
16 Jun 2009 - Israel is currently using provisions in the lengthy documents of the Oslo accords as the legal basis for intensifying efforts to suppress activities in Jerusalem that the state says are linked to the Palestinian Authority. The latest examples of this crackdown were closure orders delivered last month at the opening and closing sessions of this year's annual Palestine Festival of Literature. Marian Houk reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Video: Nahr al-Bared, "A Sip of Coffee"
16 Jun 2009 - This 26-minute film follows a father and his son in the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp as they attempt to deal with their unemployment. The two have been living in temporary metal shelters for more than a year, waiting to return to their camp. By documenting issues of reconstruction, temporary housing, economy, unemployment and despair, the film touches on the daily experience of life in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. 

Gaza frozen in time
16 Jun 2009 - Gaza's landscape is dotted with piles of rubble of bombed out buildings, the twisted iron and aluminum of destroyed factories, once green fields reduced to sand and dirt by Israeli tanks, apartments with two-meter holes in the walls and toppled minarets of mosques turned to ruins. "But as devastating as bearing witness to the destruction was, it was the absurdities of the total blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt that really affected me," writes Stephanie Westbrook upon returning from Gaza. 

In Gaza
how do they keep living?
16 Jun 2009 - Hamsa’s wife Iman is very near the end of her term, due to give birth any day now.  Thinking that she may have already had her baby, I called her this morning to ask her news. Only because I had called did Hamsa divulge their latest problems: they need an adequate doctor, because Iman is quite young and this is her first childbirth and they are worried the public doctors won’t be good enough.  But they don’t have the money to cover a private doctor’s fees.  Hamsa mentioned that his horse has been sick for the last 10 days, so for the last 10 days he has not worked collecting...

Palestine Chronicle
Seeking a Proud and Peaceful Future
16 Jun 2009 - Transcript of former US President Jimmy Carter's Address to the United Nations Relief Works Agency's Human Rights Graduation in Gaza, June 16, 2009. By Jimmy Carter - Gaza Director of UNRWA operations John Ging, thank you for inviting me to Gaza. Distinguished guests, children of Gaza, I am grateful for your warm reception. I first visited Gaza 36 years ago and returned during the 1980s and later for the very successful Palestinian elections. Although under occupation, this community was relatively peaceful and prosperous. Now, the aftermath of bombs, missiles, tanks, bulldozers and the continuing economic siege have brought death, destruction, pain, and suffering to the people here. Tragically, the international community largely ignores the cries for help, while the citizens of Gaza are being treated more like animals than human beings. Last week, a group of Israelis and Americans tried to cross into Gaza through Erez, bringing toys and children's playground equipment – slides, swings, kites, and magic castles for your children. They were stopped at the gate and prevented from coming. I understand even paper and crayons are treated as "security hazards" and not permitted to enter Gaza. I sought an explanation for this policy in Israel, but did not receive a satisfactory answer – because there is none. The responsibility for this terrible human rights crime lies in Jerusalem, Cairo, Washington, and throughout the international community. This abuse must cease; the crimes must be investigated; the walls must be brought down, and the basic right of freedom must...

Netanyahu's Peace of the Cowardly
16 Jun 2009 - By Joharah Baker – Jerusalem For some reason, everyone wanted to hear what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to say in his policy speech given on June 14. After the right-winger finished and the analysis began to flow, a few things became certain, first and foremost that nothing in this cursed conflict has really changed, at least for the better. Many political pundits are saying that Netanyahu catered his speech to accommodate new worldly US President Barack Obama and his policies, which he outlined on June 4 in Cairo. Hence, came the two words Netanyahu hates most – Palestinian state. It was not however, a declaration of conceding to the idea that Palestinians deserved a sovereign and independent country. No, Netanyahu almost choked the words out, like a person who is made to swallow poison. The Israeli premier did say those words, but almost in the same breath he ticked off his conditions for this to happen – one, the Palestinians would have to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a homeland for the Jewish people, and two, any state that may come into being would have to be completely demilitarized. This was, believe it or not, after Netanyahu called on the Palestinians to "begin peace negotiations immediately without prior conditions." Israel he said, "is committed to international agreements, and expects all sides to fulfill their obligations." Really? What a farce. Netanyahu would have done better by not saying anything at all. At least that way, he would have...

Western Omniscience in Post-Elections Iran
16 Jun 2009 - By Ali Jawad One of the dominant themes that has consistently defined the workings of the modern world - even after the undoing of the (visible) chains of colonialism - has been the axial role of Western 'omniscience'. Through the Renaissance, the West not only attained enlightenment for itself, but rather established its firm standing as the paramount and par excellence enlightened polar in an otherwise dark and ignorant world. Indeed as a result, the relationship between the West (with all its internal heterogeneity) and a loosely defined “Other” has been one of domination and varying degrees of hegemony. After all, acclaimed Western minds were quick to declare that history itself had grinded to a halt and arrived at its terminus with the departure of the Soviet Union from the world stage – the direct, albeit verbally tacit, premise that the destiny of humanity lay at the doorstep of the West, with the rest of the world reduced to animated spectators (at best), did not even deserve raising. Come the Iranian elections and the unexpected landslide victory in favour of Ahmedinejad, and once again rushing to enlighten the world are the normatively 'All-Knowing' Western capitals and media pundits. Swarming the airwaves, one and all cried out ‘fraud’, ‘stolen elections’ and a ‘nation’s will silenced’. Before a few words on the apparent sincere Western concern for the national will of the Iranian people, it would be instructive to expose this chronic omniscience at work in an episode in very recent history:...

Netanyahu's Sacred Cows
16 Jun 2009 - By Ali Younes No one should be surprised or even raise an eyebrow over Netanyahu's speech this past Saturday regarding his policies with the Palestinians. True to his cunning nature, Netanyahu played the semantics game by appearing to be accepting the "Palestinian state" as declared by President Obama in his Cairo speech. In actuality, Netanyahu accepted a resemblance of state or a virtual state within the Israeli illegal occupation system that will function more like a Zulu state in the former South African apartheid state. Netanyahu, in his speech, played the Iranian card claiming that Iran is an imminent danger not just for Israel but for the entire world. The impression one’s get from hearing Netanyahu is that if the United States did not act and perhaps wage another war to get rid of the “Iranian threat” the world might come to an apocalyptic end. Strange as it sounds, Netanyahu went on to cite Iran, Islamic radicalism, and the economic crises as his priorities. On the Palestinian question, Netanyahu relegated the Palestinian issue to back burner thus defying, in essence, the United States declared policy without risking a head-on collision with Obama administration. The most important thing about Netanyahu’s speech however, was his treatment of the issue of Jerusalem and Jewish Settlements as “Sacred Cows” that are off limits to negotiations. Netanyahu however agreed to: A Palestinian state that cannot and should not defend itself militarily therefore to stay forever under Israeli threats and control. The Part of Jerusalem Israel...

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