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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
14 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Columbian soldier killed in Egypt
15 Aug 2009 - Egyptian sources reported that a Columbian soldier, member of the peacekeeping force between Egypt and Israel, was killed Thursday in a shooting incident that involved members of the international force, one soldier was injured. 

13 killed in Gaza clashes
15 Aug 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday at night that 13 Palestinians, including a senior leader of the Al Qassam brigades, were killed in clashes with fundamental Salafi gunmen who barricaded themselves at a mosque in Rafah. 100 Palestinians were injured, some seriously. 

Egypt to open Rafah Terminal for two days for pilgrims heading to Mecca
14 Aug 2009 - Palestinian and Egyptian sources reported Friday that the Egyptian Authorities have decided to open the Rafah border terminal, between Gaza and Egypt, for two days to enable some 2000 pilgrims heading to Mecca to cross into Egyptian territories. 

Peace Now: “Sunday, protest against settlements”
14 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Peace Now Movement published a press release calling for a protest against the ongoing illegal settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem. 

The Israeli military attacks the weekly nonviolent protest in Bil'in village
14 Aug 2009 - Hundreds of international and Israeli peace activists participated on Friday in Bil'in village weekly deamonstration central West Bank. 

Israeli troops attack Nil'in weekly protest, scores suffered tear gas inhalation
14 Aug 2009 - Israeli soldiers attacked on Friday Palestinian villagers along with their international and Israeli peace supporters during the weekly non-violent protest against the wall in Ni'lin village near the central West Bank.

Report: "Qatar, Oman to renew relations with Israel"
14 Aug 2009 - Israeli spruces reported that Qatar and Oman has decided to resume relations with Israel in exchange for a freeze of settlements, after being pressured by the United States in an effort to resume the stalled peace process. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Hamas gunmen clash with radicals who declare 'Islamic emirate'
14 Aug 2009 - Shootout leaves 16 dead, 50 wounded; pro-Qaida cleric blasts Hamas, who in turn call him 'mad.' 

Despite fears, no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped
13 Aug 2009 - Report of little-known Palestinian group who claimed to have kidnapped soldier proves untrue. 

IDF investigating possible kidnap of Israeli soldier
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian news agency: 'Al-Quds Army' claims it captured soldier, says will offer more details soon. 

Top Hamas officials head to Cairo for Shalit talks
13 Aug 2009 - Israel's special envoy also expected to take part in negotiations; Egypt pushing continued mediation. 

Settlers agree to evacuate West Bank outpost Bnei Adam
13 Aug 2009 - Barak orders IDF to increase supervision of West Bank settlement building by 50%, including in Area C. 

Ma'an News

Clashes errupt as Israeli soldiers lock down Hebron 14 Aug 2009

Fifteen killed in Hamas operation against radical Gaza group 14 Aug 2009

Settlers erect new outpost as soldiers stand by 14 Aug 2009

MoH: 12 more infected with H1N1 in Ramallah area 14 Aug 2009

Israeli troops surround home, deliver stop work order 14 Aug 2009

Report: No hope of goodwill prisoner release before Ramadan 14 Aug 2009

Security forces pull out of Bethlehem as Fatah conference winds down 14 Aug 2009

Police, PCHR confirm accidental death of Salfit teen 14 Aug 2009

Bethlehem police arrest man for suspected antiquities theft 14 Aug 2009

Teen squabble turned deadly as Tulkarem boy dies in hospital 14 Aug 2009

Haniyeh: Fatah conference a warning on impossiblity of elections 14 Aug 2009

Israeli army shoots, gasses MK at anti-wall rally in Bil'in 14 Aug 2009

NYC Mayor Bloomberg appoints US Palestinian to head immigration office 14 Aug 2009

Rafah to open Sunday, Monday for 2,400 pilgrims heading to Mecca 14 Aug 2009

Egypt escorts Hamas delegation back to Gaza following unity talk prep 14 Aug 2009

Israeli soldiers seize eight in overnight WB lockdown 14 Aug 2009

The National

Kuwait's terror alarm goes off
14 Aug 2009 - The arrest of six alleged bomb plotters indicates that the country's and the Gulf's effort to curb terrorism is far from over.

Writing their own contract in Syria
14 Aug 2009 - With unemployment at around 19 per cent, Syria's young workforce is looking for change.

Hariri faces new front in fight
14 Aug 2009 - Lebanon's PM designate says disputes over portfolios are natural' as Christians demand control of some key ministries. 

Israel sells off refugees' hopes
13 Aug 2009 - Palestinian refugees lose hope on reclaiming their homes in Tzipori after the new land reform imposed by the Israeli government.

Aljazeera

Hamas ends Gaza mosque clash
14 Aug 2009 - At least 16 people killed in fighting between Hamas forces and an armed group in Rafah.

Hezbollah issues Israeli warning
14 Aug 2009 - Hezbollah secretary-general claims group is capable of hitting any Israeli city. 

Palestine News Network

Hamas government police forces fight Islamic group that declared Gaza an Islamic emirate
14 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – Six Palestinians are dead and the number of injured has reached 35 as fighting continues as of 11:00 pm Friday in the southern Gaza Strip. Palestinian police of the Hamas government of Gaza are clashing with an Islamic group, Salafi-Latif, or, the Salafis, in the city of Rafah.Five of the 35 injured are being described as critical by hospital...

HRW: Israelis stonewall investigations into civilian deaths, try to discredit organization
14 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - Human Rights Watch issued a report While Flag Deaths: Killings of Palestinian Civilians during Operation Cast Lead” regarding the major attacks on the Gaza Strip in late December and January. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed and approximately 5,000 injured. Human Rights Watch is just one of many organizations, including the Red Cross and United Nations, who issued reports condemning...

Entering the West Bank through the only crossing with the outside world means a "PA ...
14 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – For a foreign national to reach the Gaza Strip, it is nearly impossible on a relatively good day. Because of the siege it is entirely impossible. The West Bank, although clogged with Israeli checkpoints, is easier for most to enter and exit, whether it be through the Allenby Bridge / King Hussein / Al Karama crossing to Jordan, or through myriad...

Five cases of swine flu reported in pilgrims recently returning from the hajj 
13 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN – On Friday morning the medical officer announced the registration of 12 new cases of swine flu in the occupied Palestinian territory. The director of primary health care, Dr. Ramlawi, is also the spokesman for the campaign against the flu. He said that the cases were reported in the East Jerusalem town of Eizariya and Ramallah.Affected are children and the...

On the first anniversary of the passing of the great poet Mahmoud Darwish 
13 Aug 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN – Events commemorating the life and death of the late great poet Mahmoud Darwish have been taking place throughout the week. He died from complications from his third heart surgery on the tenth of August last year.A symposium was organized in Jenin this week by the Directorate of Cultural and Literary Art on the first anniversary of...

Palestine has its own Google address
13 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - The popular search engine, Google, now has a Palestine-specific service, google.ps. Instead of using google.jo from Jordan or google.com.eg, the West Bank and Gaza Strip will have their own. Fore East Jerusalem, however, there will not be immediate access. The Israelis, as occupiers, have full control over that city so the .ps will not automatically pop up.Google Arabia announced...

Israeli settlers and soldiers work together in suppressing freedom of the press, target journalists
13 Aug 2009 - Nablus / PNN - Earlier this week Palestinians demonstrated for their lands in southern Nablus. Citizens of Eraq Burin marched through the village in protest of attempts by Jewish extremist settlers in the West Bank to seize hundreds of acres of their land.The press was on hand for the demonstration, including a crew from Al Jazeera. Three settlers attacked cameraman Hassan Teeti. They...

IRIN

OPT: Rubble removal uncovers potential health hazards
GAZA Tuesday, August 11, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) has begun removing some 600,000MT of rubble containing asbestos and other hazardous material.

MIDDLE EAST: Saudi Arabia has highest incidence of flu 
DUBAI Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - Saudi Arabia has the highest number of laboratory confirmed pandemic H1N1 cases in the Eastern Mediterranean Region – 595 – with four out of the eight deaths so far, according to an 8 August World Health Organization (WHO) report.

OPT-EGYPT: Rafah sees record crossings
GAZA CITY Monday, August 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened for five days this month, the longest continued period since Hamas seized power in the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip in June 2007.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS-US: J Street’s Muslim Funding for Peace 
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (IPS) - News reports and right-wing blogs have been repeating reports which claim that Muslims and Arabs are among the donors to the J Street political action committee (PAC) which lobbies American policymakers to work on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and helps raise campaign...

IRAN: Allegations of Rape in Detention Centres 
TEHRAN, Aug 14 (IPS) - At continued public protests at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar Wednesday, demonstrators are expressing their discontent with the presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while the rifts among the ruling elites of the Islamic government widen.

AFGHANISTAN-US: Military Translators Risk Low Pay, Death 
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (IPS) - Murtaza "Jimmy" Farukhi was killed while on patrol with the U.S. Marine Corps on Sep. 9, 2008, at the age of 23. He was not a soldier, but a local translator employed by Columbus, Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel (MEP).

AFGHANISTAN-US: Govt Withholds Information About Bagram Detainees 
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 (IPS) - The U.S. government continues to withhold even the most basic information about prisoners in the Bagram detention facility in Afghanistan, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a New York-based legal rights organisation.

Stop The Wall

Closure does not stop al Ma’sara protest
11 Aug 2009 - Last week, soldiers closed the village of al Ma’sara the night prior to the weekly demonstration. This move did little to deter protestors, who marched to through the village in protest of the Wall and settlements the next day. [

Special forces spotted at Ni’lin demonstration
10 Aug 2009 - The Friday demonstration in Ni’lin was held this week without injury to participants, although Occupation forces employ tear gas and chemical spray to keep people away from the Wall. Special forces were again spotted at the demonstration.

PCHR Weekly Report

(06- 12 Aug.  2008)
During the reporting period, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized by Palestinian civilians in protest to the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.

International Solidarity Movement

Rights group: Israel must probe Gaza ‘white flag’ deaths
8/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz - Human Rights Watch called on Israel on Thursday to investigate seven incidents in which it said Israeli troops shot and killed Palestinian civilians who were flying white flags during the war in the Gaza Strip in January. Expressing disappointment with Israel's response so far to a range of allegations of war crimes made by international bodies, the New York-based lobby group said governments should press for prosecutions under international law if Israel and its enemies in Gaza's Islamist authorities did not act themselves. In the latest report from various organizations to catalogue accusations of possible war crimes by both sides in three weeks of fighting, Human Rights Watch said it had statements and other evidence indicating 11 unarmed people including five women and four children were shot dead while in groups waving white flags. 

Israel toughens entry for foreigners with West Bank ties
8/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz - Israel has recently been putting up more obstacles for foreign nationals who enter the country if they have family, work, business or academic ties in the West Bank. It now restricts their movements to "the Palestinian Authority only. "The people concerned are citizens of countries that have diplomatic ties with Israel, mainly Western countries. In imposing such restrictions, Israel is in breach of the Oslo Accords. For about the last three months, border control officials at the Allenby Bridge have been stamping visitors' passports with a visa and the additional words "Palestinian Authority only. "Officials from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), who are also present at the Allenby crossing, have in some cases told visitors that they must apply to the Civil Administration for a permit to leave the West Bank and enter Israel. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Arab states seek int'l inspection of Israel's nuclear program
14 Aug 2009 - Arab states are lobbying the European Union for support in their ...

American graduate student imprisoned in Iran returns to U.S.
14 Aug 2009 - A graduate student imprisoned for a month in Iran and barred from leaving the country for nearly a year has returned home to Los Angeles, her professor said Friday. ...

Assad to visit Iran to congratulate Ahmadinejad 
14 Aug 2009 - Syrian President Bashar Assad is scheduled to embark on an official visit to Tehran next week, during which he is expected to congratulate Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his recent election victory. This visit marks Assad's fourth such trip since Ahmadinejad first rose to power in 2005. ...

Following election triumph, Fatah sets out to 'liberate' Gaza
14 Aug 2009 - BETHLEHEM - At the start of the week, a member of Iz al-Din al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas, died in the Palestinian Authority's Juneid Prison, in Nablus. The circumstances of Fadi Hamadneh's death are unclear, with PA officials claiming he committed suicide, and Hamas claiming he was tortured to death by PA security operatives. In response to the charges, the spokesman of the Palestinian security services, Adnan Damiri, said that Hamas, which has executed hundreds of people in the Gaza Strip, has no right to talk about torture or the violation of human rights. ... 

UN official: Evidence that Israel abused human rights in Gaza 
14 Aug 2009 - There is significant evidence that Israeli forces violated international law and human rights in their invasion of Gaza between late December and mid-January, the United Nations human rights chief said on Friday. ...

The Guardian

Roy Greenslade: Journalists attacked by Jewish settlers in Nablus
14 Aug 2009 - Reuters cameraman Hassan Teeti and photographer Abdul Rahim Qusini were attacked by Jewish settlers in Nablus while they were covering a march by villagers protesting at attempts by settlers to seize their land. The action was...

Obituary | Amnon Kapeliouk
13 Aug 2009 - Israeli writer and journalist who opposed occupation Amnon Kapeliouk, who has died aged 78, was a courageous Israeli journalist and writer who placed the Palestinians at the centre of his work. Long before it became fashionable,...

Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians with white flags in Gaza offensive, claims report
13 Aug 2009 - Human Rights Watch says Israel has failed to properly investigate 'white flag' killings during Gaza offensive Israeli soldiers shot dead 11 unarmed Palestinian civilians carrying white flags during Israel's offensive in Gaza earlier this year, according...

Listen to the women of Palestine | Hannah Wright
13 Aug 2009 - Not a single female candidate was elected at Fatah's convention – it's time to let in the new ideas Palestinian women can bring As Fatah delegates meeting in Bethlehem elected their new leadership, one could not...

Ha'aretz National page

Top rabbis declare day of fasting over 'evil' swine flu 
14 Aug 2009 - Two leading Israeli rabbis have announced this coming Wednesday will be a day of fasting and prayer because of the swine flu epidemic. ...

Why Israel's left has disappeared
13 Aug 2009 - Israel's left has disappeared; it has nearly no parliamentary representation and remarkably little public presence. At first glance, this is a paradox, because the left's program has, in many ways, won, as Yossi Sarid said when he left the Knesset for good. The idea of a Palestinian state, anathema in Israeli society a few decades ago, is now accepted by the mainstream. ... 

Despite fears, no Israeli soldier has been kidnapped
13 Aug 2009 - Acting on an uncorroborated report about a soldier's abduction near Lod, security forces mounted a sweeping roadblock effort in the greater ...

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: West Bank and Gaza Strip - Closure Maps (as of Jun 2009)
14 Aug 2009 - Source: OCHA

Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories (A/HRC/12/37)
14 Aug 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council

WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record 14 Aug 2009
14 Aug 2009 - Source: World Health Organization

YNet News

Hamas, Qaeda followers clash in Gaza
14 Aug 2009 - War in Gaza: Hamas forces, supporters of radical cleric clash in Gaza Strip Friday after local imam slams Islamic movement for being 'too soft,' pledges supporters' allegiance to al-Qaeda; at least 13 people reportedly killed, including senior Hamas man 

Hamas crushes 'al-Qaeda uprising'
14 Aug 2009 - At least 13 people killed, scores wounded in battles between Hamas forces, al-Qaeda followers in Strip; unconfirmed report says suicide bomber blew up amidst Hamas men. Earlier, radical cleric pledges allegiance to Bin Laden 

Hamas says US, Israel offer 'poisoned peace'
14 Aug 2009 - Hamas PM Haniyeh slams 'poisoned peace plan' promoted by United States, Israel 

HRW, Israel in war of words 
14 Aug 2009 - Following IDF's dismissal of report on Palestinian civilians shot dead during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza despite waving white flags, rights group accuses Israeli government of waging propaganda war 'instead of responding to report's findings by making false allegations' 

Israeli charged with kidnapping real estate agent for PA
14 Aug 2009 - Indictment filed against Givat Ze'ev resident alleges he kidnapped east Jerusalem real estate agent wanted by Palestinian Authority on suspicion of selling land to Jews 

Daily Star

Iranian reformers call for probe of supreme leader
14 Aug 2009 - A group of former reformist lawmakers appealed to a powerful clerical body in Iran to investigate supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s qualification to rule in an unprecedented challenge to the country’s most powerful man over the postelection crackdown. The call came as controversy heated up Friday over allegations that protesters detained the crackdown were tortured.

Six dead as Hamas police crack down on radical Islamists
14 Aug 2009 - Six people were killed and 50 wounded in fighting on Friday after Hamas police stormed a mosque in Gaza where radicals had declared an Islamist “emirate” in the Palestinian territory, emergency services said. The clashes began in the afternoon after weekly prayers in the southern city of Rafah, which straddles the Egyptian border, and were continuing after dark, witnesses said.

Palestinian Information Center

MCHR uncovers horrific details of treatment of captives in Israeli jails
14 Aug 2009 - The Mizan Centre for Human Rights has published a report about the human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails.

Residents of al-Jbaryat: we cannot sleep because of the cries of prisoners in PA
14 Aug 2009 - A number of residents of al-Jabryat neighborhood in Jenin complained that they can no longer bear hearing the cries of prisoners being tortured in a neighboring PA prison.

Palestinian ministry for captives praises stand of Libyan ambassador at the UN
14 Aug 2009 - The Ministry of Captive and ex-captives in the Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip praised the Libyan ambassador to the UN for his stand on the issue of Palestinian women captives.

A song for Gaza
14 Aug 2009 - Turkish artist Murat Solmaz produced a song for Gaza. He wrote the lyrics and composed the music for the song in which he depicted the perseverance of the Palestinians in Gaza..

IOF troops abduct 15 Palestinians Thursday and Friday
14 Aug 2009 - IOF troops abducted a total of 15 Palestinians, including a woman, since Thursday morning from various parts of the West Bank, according to local sources and Israeli radio.

A Palestinian resistance group announces the capture of an Israeli soldier
14 Aug 2009 - A Palestinian group calling itself "The Jerusalem Army" has announced that it has captured an Israeli occupation soldier near the Ben Gurion airport on Thursday evening.

HRW: Israeli soldiers killed civilians waving white flags
14 Aug 2009 - A report issued by human rights watch (HRW) revealed that IOF troops killed 11 Palestinian civilians as they were waving white flags during the barbaric military aggression on the Gaza Strip.

Prominent Fatah leaders plan to form new faction
14 Aug 2009 - A London-based newspaper has revealed Thursday that a big group of prominent Fatah leaders were holding serious talks to bolt their mother faction and form a new faction.

Abbas’s militias kidnap nine Hamas members in W. Bank
14 Aug 2009 - The Omamah website affiliated with Hamas reported Thursday that the security apparatuses under the command of Mahmoud Abbas kidnapped yesterday nine members of Hamas in the West Bank.

Mishaal: The Fatah conference’s words about resistance need action
14 Aug 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the Hamas leader, stated that the decisions and slogans that were made in Fatah conference about the resistance would be meaningless unless they are implemented on the ground.

Los Angeles Times

In Cairo neighborhood, good times are over but life continues 
14 Aug 2009 - A pocket of alleys and a square, Tora is stubborn and enduring and, like Egypt, struggles from first light to long after the last working man wanders home. He dances in the alley when the music's right, remembering the days when he made machine guns during the week and in his off hours slipped on a satin shirt and black-and-white shoes and gathered a band of horn blowers to play weddings along the Nile. 

Friction among Iran authorities heats up 
14 Aug 2009 - With street protests quiet, factional disputes intensify. Hard-line clerics call for opposition leader Karroubi to stand trial, and reformist lawmakers want supreme leader Khamenei investigated. Rival camps within Iran's corridors of power intensified their threats against each other Friday, signaling potentially dangerous clashes within elite circles and the security establishment following the disputed June 12 reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Iran opposition leader decries 'show trials,' prisoner treatment 
13 Aug 2009 - A prominent conservative joins the chorus of critics. Iran's parliamentary speaker, however, dismisses allegations of sexual abuse of detainees as fabrications. Iran's legal system came under fresh criticism Wednesday amid allegations of prisoner abuse and controversy over televised courtroom confessions, decried as "show trials" by domestic and international critics. 

New York Times

After Alert, Israel Rules Out Kidnapping of Soldier
13 Aug 2009 - Twelve hours after the Israeli Army began a desperate search for what it feared was an abducted soldier, it said late Thursday that it had ruled out any such possibility. 

Israel Is Wary of Calm Days That May End in Turmoil
11 Aug 2009 - Israel is worried that a period of deceptive quiet could explode at any moment with a spark from Hezbollah, Hamas or Iran. 

Iran Denies Allegations That Protesters Were Raped in Prison
12 Aug 2009 - The speaker of Parliament said an inquiry had found no evidence to support reports that protesters had been sexually abused. 

Misc

Invincible: ‘you can’t disconnect a people from the importance of place’
Mondoweiss - 14 Aug 2009 - Above is a "docu-music-video" of Detroit MC Invincible ’s song People Not Places . Kabobfest calls it the " greatest hip hop song for Palestine ever ."The video, like the song, is a powerful indictment of both the ongoing dispossession of the Palestinian people, and attempts to...

Harvard prof blasts neocons’ ‘extremist counterculture’
Mondoweiss - 13 Aug 2009 - Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} Author Rory Stewart is a star at Harvard’s Kennedy School, mentioned as a future Foreign Secretary...

Israel’s thuggish image, on Main Street
Mondoweiss - 13 Aug 2009 - Memo to Foxman/AIPAC: Here’s a joke from a waggish young blogger named Ryan Waggaman , who says he’s connected to Wonkette. I pass it along because it suggests the shifting image of Israel on main street USA, or as Howard Kohr of AIPAC said so eloquently earlier...

In Bil’in, nights have become days and days have become nights
Mondoweiss - 13 Aug 2009 - Child in Bil’in showing tear gas canister and bullets that had been shot at protestors. (Photo: AFSC ) Lamia Khatib, wife of detained organizer Mohammed Khatib , of the Popular Committee Against the Wall And Settlements in the village of Bil’in, has an essay up on Huffington Post...

Jewish IQ drop continues, thanks to Israel lobby
Mondoweiss - 13 Aug 2009 - Continuing to provide a shelter to neocons, The Washington Post publishes a foolish piece of disinformation by Gary Wasserman saying that there is no such thing as the Israel lobby, and that American Jews don’t feel loyalty to Israel. The author argues that the government’s case...

UN Report—Locked In: The Humanitarian Impact of Two Years of Blockade on the Gaza Strip
Alternative Information Center - 14 Aug 2009 - Following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Israel has imposed an unprecedented blockade on all border crossings in and out of the Gaza Strip.1 The blockade has ‘locked in’ 1.5 million people in what is one of the most densely populated areas...

The Israeli High Court: Enlisted in the Occupation
Alternative Information Center - 14 Aug 2009 - Grey area rulings versus life saving jurisprudence, opportunistic attorneys versus tireless human rights defenders—legal work will not bring an end to the Israeli occupation, but despite the principled dilemma, we cannot abandon it. On 6 March 2007, High Court Judges Levy, Arbel and Berliner heard two...

New Human Rights Report: White Flag Deaths—Killings of Palestinian Civilians during Operation Cast Lead
Alternative Information Center - 14 Aug 2009 - Summary “I want to understand whether I did something wrong to Israel to be punished like this.” —Khalid ‘Abd Rabbo, whose daughters, aged two and seven, were shot and killed while they waved white flags on January 7. [1]   This report documents seven incidents where...

Disparities Between Jewish and Bedioun Schools in the Negev
Alternative Information Center - 13 Aug 2009 - In the Negev Moshav, Sde Tzvi, parents unsatisfied with their children’s education have begun a private community school to educate their children under their own watch, Haaretz reports . The new school will feature a mix of parent and teacher instruction and will be located in a...

Human Rights Groups Issue Reports Condemning Israeli Action in Gaza
Alternative Information Center - 13 Aug 2009 - Two human rights organizations have issued formal reports this week, presenting extensive evidence of misconduct on the part of both the Israeli military and the Israeli government at large, in the lead-up to, execution, and aftermath of Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip from December...

Articles
Electronic Intifada
Jerusalem families waiting for US action
14 Aug 2009 - Maher Hanoun was ordered by Israeli courts to hand over the keys to his home on 19 July. Rather than comply with the court order, he held a press conference outside his house accompanied by several top officials, including Nils Eliasson of the Swedish Consulate representing the European Union, Robert Serry representing the UN, and Dr. Rafik Husseini of the Palestinian Authority. They all condemned the proposed eviction, calling it an affront to norms of international justice. In spite of US President Barack Obama's call to freeze Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, no representative from the US was present. Marcey Gayer comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Boycott movement takes hold in British unions
14 Aug 2009 - The international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel has won several important victories in recent months. At this summer's trade union conferences in Britain, BDS activists have made significant progress. Asa Winstanley reports for The Electronic Intifada 

Egyptian opposition condemns gas deal with Israel
14 Aug 2009 - CAIRO (IPS) - Opposition figures and political activists have slammed a new deal to sell Egyptian liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Israel at what they say are vastly reduced prices. "Egyptian gas is being sold to Israel at prices far below the international average," Ibrahim Yosri, former head of legal affairs and treaties at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry told IPS. "This agreement is proof that the ruling regime is unconcerned with public opinion and is insistent on depriving the Egyptian public of its rightful national assets." 

Down the rabbit hole
14 Aug 2009 - There are stairs, which descend from Jaffa Gate to another world. When I first saw these stairs, I thought them to be a meeting point -- something like the stairs that descend from the main road to Damascus Gate. But these stairs give onto a promenade of stores and cafes and commercial outlets of all sorts. In such stark contrast is this promenade to the Old City, which it leaves behind, that it literally feels surreal. But the Alice in Wonderland phenomenon only intensifies as one proceeds further down the rabbit hole. Yavar Hameed writes from Jerusalem. 

In Gaza
sensations
13 Aug 2009 - Sometimes it is just nice to indulge in sensations: colours, wind, scents, sensations… permanent page: videos: sea scenes

Palestine Chronicle
Fatah: A New Beginning or an Imminent End?
13 Aug 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud This is hardly the rational order of things. An overpowering military occupation was meant to be resisted by an equally determined, focused and unyielding national movement, hell-bent on liberation at any cost and by any means. This is the unwritten law that has governed and shielded successful national liberation projects throughout history. The Fatah movement, under Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, wants to alter that order, meeting Israeli colonialism with ill-defined ‘pragmatism’, extreme violence with press statements laden with endless clichés that mostly go unreported, and a determined Israeli attempt at squashing Palestinian aspirations with political tribalism, factional decay and internal divisions. Indeed, the long delayed Fatah Congress, held in Bethlehem on August 4 has underscored the obvious: the all-encompassing movement which was meant to exact and safeguard Palestinian national rights has grown into a liability that, if anything, will continue to derail the Palestinian national project. This comes at a time when the Palestinian people are in urgent need of a collective response that is strong enough to withstand Israeli military pressure and coercion at home, eloquent enough to communicate the Palestinian message to a global audience, and astute enough to galvanize international support and sympathy to the benefit of Palestinian freedom and independence. But what we witnessed in Bethlehem was a bizarre manifestation of the discord of self-seeking and self-imposed elites vying for empty titles, worthless positions and hollow prestige. The mockery started when hundreds of additional delegates were invited to join in the...

Fatah's Convention: Rejuvenation or Division
13 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Elias Akleh Finally, after 20 years since its last meeting in 1989 in Tunis, the Fatah congress convened last week, Tuesday August 4th, in the city of Bethlehem to, ostensibly, rejuvenate itself with younger blood. At the end of the convention, which was extended from three days to a week, it appeared clearly that the whole convention, from beginning to end, was tailored for the sole benefit of Mahmoud Abbas, whose presidency was expired since January 2009, and for his hired gang. Most of the alleged new rejuvenating blood seems to be as tainted and as corrupt as the old one. Since Oslo Agreement and their return to the West Bank some of the Fatah top leaders had, gradually, turned into docile and corrupt leaders. They had hijacked the movement and turned it from a national liberating movement to a political party oppressing the same people they wanted to liberate through the Palestinian Authority. To maintain their power positions and their control over the Palestinian economy and the donor’s money they sabotaged every attempt to convene the congress for the last 20 years. Israel would not have kept any of the Palestinian leaders alive except those who call for “futile” peace negotiations and are ready to give political concessions to Israel. Those honorable leaders, who wanted to continue the liberating struggle, such as Mustafa Alhaj the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was assassinated by the Israeli forces in his house in...

Untold Story of The King-Crane Commission
13 Aug 2009 - By Tammy Obeidallah 'Down with American Imperialists.' This sign, or one of its variations, can be seen at protests and demonstratons throughout the world. U.S. policies have given credence to it, fueling legitimate hatred in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and others victimized by America’s lust for oil and support of the Israeli military juggernaut. Yet less than 100 years ago, the United States was admired in the global arena as a bastion of justice and freedom. Furthermore, Zionism—the belief that all Jews are entitled to a “homeland” in Palestine—was condemned in an official document. The King-Crane Commission is relatively unknown, buried under a century of Zionist propaganda and attempts to discredit Dr. Henry Churchill King and Charles R. Crane as Nazi sympathizers. On the contrary, Dr. King was one of the best known educators of his time and served as the director of religious work for the YMCA in France. Mr. Crane was selected as part of a special diplomatic mission to Russia and was U.S. Ambassador to Chinafrom 1920-1921. In 1919, after World War I and the break-up of the Ottoman Empire, President Woodrow Wilson apppointed King and Crane to head the Inter-Allied Commission on Mandates in Turkey. King and Crane’s mission was to record the wishes of the people in the former Ottoman territories regarding their desired form of government and the degree to which outside intervention would be accepted. President Woodrow Wilson’s July 4, 1918 address provided the backdrop for their objective: “The settlement of every...

Fatah Gets a Facelift, but Needs to Reconcile
13 Aug 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh If one chooses to be charitable, the holding of the Congress of the most significant Palestinian nationalist movement in Israeli-besieged Palestine for the first time since its founding in the early sixties could be considered a historic achievement. If nothing else, it allowed more than 2,000 members of the Palestinian Liberation Movement, or Fatah, to assemble in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, and begin the process of rejuvenating what has been described as ‘a bloated gerontocracy’ that has not met for 20 years. It certainly underlined the Palestinians’ yearning to return to their usurped homeland despite the fact that many coming from neighbouring Arab countries such as Syria and Lebanon had to secure clearance from the Israeli authorities, in itself an insulting and degrading step. Over the years, Fatah and its popular founder, the late Yasser Arafat, have led the march to regain Palestine certainly the territories that were occupied in 1967, when Israeli troops managed to drive away armies of neighboring Arab states that were in control of these areas, including the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. But although Arafat and his close advisers were successful in drawing international attention to the plight of the Palestinians they failed in political organization; corruption and lack of discipline became distinct features of Fatah. The conference, slated to run for three days, ended up meeting for eight days due to the power struggle within the group. Most of the deliberations were not open to the public,...

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