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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 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Fateh elects its revolutionary council, Jewish with Palestinian citizenship elected
16 Aug 2009 - The Fateh movement had concluded its Sixth Conference, held in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, after officially declaring the names of the wining 80 candidates who ran for the Revolutionary Council; among the elected was a Jewish man with Palestinian citizenship. 

Gaza update; 22, including the head of the Salafi and Jihad group, killed in Gaza
16 Aug 2009 - Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip reported that 22 Palestinians, including policemen, members of the Salafi and Jihad group (Jund Allah) and its leader Abdul-Latif Mousa, were killed and more than 130 were injured, some seriously, in the clashes between Hamas’ security forces and the Al Qassam Brigades from one side, and gunmen of the new group from the other. 

Four cases of swine-flu diagnosed in Ofer detention facility
15 Aug 2009 - Palestinian Minister of Detainee, Issa Qaraqe’, issued a press release stating that four Palestinian detainees at the Ofer Israeli detention facility were diagnosed with swine-flu, and that they contracted virus from Israeli soldiers and jailors. 

15 killed, 120 injured in Gaza clashes
15 Aug 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported that the number of Palestinians killed in the clashes between Hamas security forces and an outlawed Salafi fundamental group in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, now stands at 15, while some 120 Palestinians were injured. 

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. 

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. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF chief revealed to be mystery figure at center of credit card theft
16 Aug 2009 - Soldier suspected of having stolen IDF chief's credit card data as well as pistol, two M-16 rifles. 

Kuwait wedding fire that killed 41 women, children lasted 'three minutes'
16 Aug 2009 - Kuwaiti authorities running DNA tests to identify the 35 women and six children killed in the fire. 

Something bad is happening in the IDF
15 Aug 2009 - Public deserves to know identity of senior officer whose credit card, weapon were stolen. 

Probe into thefts from top officer uncovers serious security lapses
15 Aug 2009 - Soldier who stole credit card details, weapons guarded office of 'very senior' IDF figure. 

Hamas: Head of Al-Qaida affiliate killed in Gaza
14 Aug 2009 - At least 24 people killed during fierce gun battle between Hamas and Jund Ansar Allah militants. 

Ma'an News

Israeli army shoots, gasses MK at anti-wall rally in Bil'in 16 Aug 2009

Egypt escorts Hamas delegation back to Gaza following unity talk prep 16 Aug 2009

Jewish academic, wife of jailed leader among Rev. Council winners 16 Aug 2009

Sisters killed, mother and male relative injured in Khan Younis crash 16 Aug 2009

Unlicensed teen driver crashes; younger brother killed 16 Aug 2009

Abbas: Hamas-Fatah talks to continue 16 Aug 2009

US Consulate: Israel issuing new 'PA-only' visa stamps 16 Aug 2009

Two injured in accident west of Gaza City 16 Aug 2009

Mash'al: Despite turmoil, Iran still backs Hamas 16 Aug 2009

PRC: Limited Israeli incursion near Khan Younis thwarted 16 Aug 2009

All 24 victims of Friday's Rafah clashes identified, buried 16 Aug 2009

Jund Ansar Allah: Operation against us was unwarranted 16 Aug 2009

Pan-Islamist group: Violence won't lead to Islamic rule 16 Aug 2009

Egypt, Israel open joint Sinai crossing for Gaza aid delivery 16 Aug 2009

Mash'al unsure whether unity talks still going forward 16 Aug 2009

Palestinian rights orgs slam Hamas, radical group 16 Aug 2009

The National

Hamas action a message for rivals
16 Aug 2009 - Analysis The group was left with no option but to confront Jund Ansar Allah after all efforts of mediation failed.

Outcry in Egypt over marriage tourism' 
16 Aug 2009 - A campaign is launched to stop rich tourists taking girls from poor families as temporary brides.

Hamas kills extremist leader in Rafah camp
15 Aug 2009 - At least 22 die in a seven-hour firefight after a radical group declares the refugee camp to be an Islamist emirate'. 

New Israeli rules curb travel from West Bank
15 Aug 2009 - Israel's restriction of foreign passport holders across West Bank barrier is seen as an attempt to impose same isolation as in Gaza.

Aljazeera

Iran grants French student bail
16 Aug 2009 - Clotilde Reiss released on bail after being detained on spying charges.

Ahmadinejad names new cabinet
16 Aug 2009 - Announcement coincides with trial of 25 people accused of post-election unrest in Iran.

Palestine News Network

Jewish extremists attack owners of seized houses, families and supporters in Sheikh Jarrah
16 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – A group of Jewish extremists assaulted members of the bereaved families in East Jerusalem today. Sunday’s attack was in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood where hundreds of Palestinians are being forcibly evicted from their homes and replaced by settlers.Eyewitnesses report that a group of Jewish settlers attacked a solidarity tent in the neighborhood while Israeli police and border guards looked...

Israeli forces destroy agricultural land in southern Gaza Strip's Khan Younis while opening fire 
15 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The Israeli military occupying the border regions of the Gaza Strip incurred this morning into the outskirts of Khan Younis. Official Palestinian sources and eyewitnesses report that the southern Gaza Strip city was hit early Sunday. A number of Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded eastern Khan Younis and began razing agricultural land amid sporadic shooting.The Nasser Salah Addin Brigades,...

Fashion finds its way out from inside the barbed wire of prison camps 
15 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Osama Awad for PNN – Ashraf Zughayyar is in prison, but his designs are not.A fashion designer who graduated from Beit Sahour’s Fashion and Textile Institute, Zughayyar was arrested in 2002. Like many youth, he was taken by Israeli forces who accused him of engaging in the armed resistance. A military court sentenced him to 125 years in prison.PNN sat down...

President Abbas announces official results of Fateh Revolutionary Council elections in Bethlehem
15 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – President Abbas announced last night the successful end of the Fateh Sixth Conference with the final ballot count for the Revolutionary Council. Beginning near the start of the month in Bethlehem, the conference was attended by thousands of members who voted for the Central Committee and the Revolutionary Council. Committee election results were issued last week.Lawyer Ahmed Sayyad, Chairman...

March through the streets of East Jerusalem in support of threatened families to become weekly event
15 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Hundreds marched in East Jerusalem today under the banners of “steadfast in Jerusalem”, “settlers must leave”, and “Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is in danger, give up freedom and peace.” Sheikh Jarrah is one of several East Jerusalem neighborhoods under direct assault by Israeli settlers and the occupying administration. Saturday evening’s march began at the Old City’s...

Barghouthi calls for sanctions against Israelis during meeting with supporters of popular resistance
14 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative and a deputy in the Legislative Council, called today to impose sanctions on the Israeli government for the practice of racial discrimination. Barghouthi's call came during a meeting in Ramallah with a delegation of American activists who are supporters of the Palestinian issue and the popular resistance. The Palestinian...

Hamas police keep heavy presence in Rafah after group declaring town an "Islamic ...
14 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – The death toll reached 22 in the southern Gaza Strip’s Rafah as security from the Hamas government battled an Islamic group that referred to Palestine and Gaza as an “Islamic emirate.” Medical sources reported today that the death toll in Friday's clashes had risen to 22 people, including six from the security apparatus of the government and a leading...

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

MIDEAST: Children Have a Way With Miracles 
AMSTERDAM, Aug 16 (IPS) - Call it that choice between looking at the half-full or half-empty part of the results. And it is almost half; 55 percent of schoolchildren passed their exams in Gaza this year.

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).

Stop The Wall

Youth return tear gas in Ni’lin; hundreds march in Bil’in
16 Aug 2009 - Hundreds participated in the weekly demonstrations against the Wall in the villages of Ni'lin and Bil'in on Friday. Protestors were met with barrages of tear gas, rubber bullets and chemical spray. In Ni'lin, youth threw back tear gas bombs, driving soldiers from the area. [

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. [

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

Court refuses to issue restraining order against evicted Sheikh Jarrah Arabs
8/14/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Jerusalem Post - A Jerusalem District Court rejected on Thursday a request by Jewish families who have taken possession of homes in east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood by court order to issue a restraining order against the Arab families who were evicted from those homes. However, Judge Eilata Diskind issued a warning to the Arab families to refrain from violent behavior. The petition for the restraining order, which was made by the Nahalat Shimon International organization, asked that nine people – three members of the Hanoun family and six members of the Gawhi family – be prohibited from congregating outside the homes. It was rejected by Diskind, who said there was insufficient evidence to prove the plaintiffs' claims that members of the families had thrown rocks at the homes and harassed the new occupants. 

Bil’in demonstrates against the ongoing Israeli arrest and intimidation campaign
8/14/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Hundreds of Palestinians, Israeli, Spanish, French and other international supporters, responded today to the Popular Committee's call to resist the Wall and to show solidarity with the Bil'in prisoners. As is the case each week, demonstrators left the village after the midday prayers and marched towards the gate of the Wall separating Bil'in from its lands. Israeli soldiers used large amounts of tear gas, including the "Cannon" which shoots 30 canisters at a time. They also attempted to use the "Skunk", a gun shooting a foul smelling liquid that sticks to skin and clothing for days, but the Skunk Machine malfunctioned. Five years after Bil'in began its' resistance against the Wall and Settlements, the Israeli army is still trying to break the popular non-violent resistance. Amongst injuring over 1300 people at demonstrations, Israeli forces killed Bil'in resident Basem Abu Rahmah. . . 

Rights group: Israel killed unarmed Palestinians
8/14/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Associated Press - 13 August 2009 - A new report by Human Rights Watch charged Thursday that Israeli soldiers killed eleven unarmed Palestinian civilians who were carrying white flags in shooting incidents during Israel's offensive in Gaza earlier this year. The report says the civilians included five women and four children. The group urged Israel to conduct investigations into the deaths, which it said occurred when the civilians were "in plain view and posed no apparent security threat. " The group says at least three witnesses confirmed the details in each of the seven separate shootings. The report is the latest in a slew of charges from human rights groups alleging that Israel violated the rules of war in its Gaza offensive. The reports on the Gaza war have focused on Israeli violations, but Human Rights Watch has also said Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups violated. . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

7th Jewish pitcher in MLB history seeks balance between fastballs, faith and family
16 Aug 2009 - At age 12, Colorado Rockies pitcher Jason Marquis knew he wanted to be a baseball player, much to the chagrin of his Conservative Jewish parents. "It's not that they wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer," he remembers. "But they would always ask me, 'What are you going to do after 35? What if you get injured? You need to get yourself a profession.'" ... 

Israeli man dies at Italy rave, likely due to drug use
15 Aug 2009 - Two people, including one Israeli, died in Italy over the weekend, likely from drug-related causes at rave parties, with autopsies ordered to clarify the cause of death, Italian officials said Sunday. ...

Netanyahu envoy departs for U.S. to negotiate settlement freeze
15 Aug 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy to negotiations with the Obama administration will depart on Sunday for meetings with U.S. officials in an attempt to negotiate a possible future settlement freeze. ...

Do Disney movies promote discriminatory stereotypes?
15 Aug 2009 - Heroines who pride themselves on Barbie-like figures and big eyes with long eyelashes, who await the arrival of their prince; Arabs that feature anti-Semitic noses; hints about the connection between authority and sex - these are just some of the undercurrents in Disney movies, many of which are childhood staples for children in the Western world. ...

Israel envoy to U.S.: We have no plan to strike Iran
15 Aug 2009 - Israel's ambassador to the United States Michael Oren on Sunday rejected recent assessments suggesting that Israel was planning an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities. ...

The Guardian

Hamas destroys al-Qaida group in violent Gaza battle
15 Aug 2009 - Fighting between Islamist groups leaves 21 dead after brief declaration of 'Islamic emirate' by foreign-led followers of Bin Laden An al-Qaida inspired group which briefly proclaimed "the birth of an Islamic emirate" in the Gaza Strip...

Radical Muslim cleric among 22 dead in fierce Gaza mosque clashes
15 Aug 2009 - Fighting sparked by sermon at Friday prayers continues into second day Hamas security forces killed the leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group today in a shootout that claimed the lives of 22 people, the governing party in...

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,...

Ha'aretz National page

NIS 1.6 billion government plan aims to reverse Israel's brain drain 
16 Aug 2009 - A plan devised by an interministerial committee at a projected cost of NIS 1.6 billion aims to "bring home the brains" - persuade talented Israelis to return to Israel. ... 

Police arrest alleged 'photographing' serial rapist
16 Aug 2009 - An alleged serial rapist was arrested in Haifa last week, suspected of attacking five different women since 2007, police said on Sunday. ...

7 tips for helping your family embrace vegetarianism
16 Aug 2009 - The gastronomic magazine "Al Hashulchan" ("On the Table") recently translated into Hebrew Paul McCartney's campaign to abstain from eating meat once a week. The Hebrew version was called "vegetarianism." Both McCartney and the magazine make little mention of the damage to health caused by the meat industry, instead stressing the environmental implications. The facts discussed in these campaigns have already been chewed up, ad nauseum, by the media. ...

YNet News

PM wants urban police under Israel Police control 
16 Aug 2009 - Surge in violence prompts Prime Minister Netanyahu to settle dispute between Internal Security Minister Aharonovitch, Finance Minister Steinitz, decide that Israel Police will oversee future urban police force, not municipalities 

Officer whose credit card was compromised – IDF chief
16 Aug 2009 - Military Court grants Ynet motion, clears for publication that senior officer who had his credit card stolen by soldier is the commander in chief 

Arab media on Gaza clashes: Radicalism breeds radicalism
16 Aug 2009 - Leading Arab world newspapers say weekend's clashes between Hamas forces in Strip, al-Qaeda affiliated Jund Ansar Allah group not surprising. Leading publicist in London's al-Hayat newspaper says 'Hamas seems to be stricken with 'Talibanism' and will eventually be conflicted by its own ideas' 

Ambassador Oren: Israel not mulling Iran strike 
16 Aug 2009 - In interview to CNN, Israeli envoy to US refers to estimates Israel planning to attack Iran. 'I don't think it's true. I think that we are far from even contemplating such things right now,' Michael Oren says 

Daily Star

Mubarak visits US as Obama pushes for Mideast peace
16 Aug 2009 - Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Saturday began his first visit to the United States in five years, to meet his US counterpart Barack Obama for talks that will focus on Middle East peace. His trip comes as the United States pressures Israel to halt settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, while demanding that Arab countries begin normalizing ties with Israel ahead of a peace deal Obama is trying to broker.

Fatah elects Jew-turned-Muslim to governing body
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

Yemen expands offensive against Shiite rebels
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

Ahmadinejad to include female ministers in next cabinet
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

Forty-one killed in Kuwait wedding inferno
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

Hamas asserts power in Gaza after clash with Al-Qaeda splinter group
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

NATO, Russia join forces in hunt for missing cargo ship
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

India outraged over Bollywood actor’s US airport questioning
16 Aug 2009 - The Fatah movement of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew-turned-Muslim to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the secular nationalist movement’s half-century history. Uri Davis, a sociology professor at the Palestinian Al-Quds University on the edge of Arab East Jerusalem, was elected to the movement’s Revolutionary Council.

Palestinian Information Center

"Muslim Emirate": Al-Qaeda Branch in Gaza
16 Aug 2009 - I honestly believe that Hamas has done the right thing by clamping down on the Al-Qaeda cell in Gaza.

Abbas militias block family visits to detained Hamas supporters
16 Aug 2009 - Militias of the former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas have been banning family visits to Hamas detainees in Bethlehem for one month, the official website of Hamas in the West Bank Umama said on Sunday.

Barhoum: Hamas fears no failure, but it is keen on fair elections
16 Aug 2009 - Hamas spokesman Barhoum refuted the PLO's allegations about his Movement’s fears of failure in elections, affirming that Hamas has no such fears, but it is keen on fair and transparent elections.

Abbas's militias kidnap two Jihad activists
16 Aug 2009 - Militias loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday kidnapped two Palestinian young men in Beit Ummar village, Al-Khalil district, for affiliation with the Islamic Jihad Movement.

Qaryut village appeals for an end to settlement activity on its land
16 Aug 2009 - The villagers of Qaryut village, located between Ramallah and Nablus districts, have appealed to human rights organizations to pressure the IOA into halting confiscation of their land.

Prisoners’ center: Four detainees in Israeli jails suffer from swine flue
16 Aug 2009 - The prisoners’ center for studies warned that four Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails suffer from swine flue and called for pressing Israel to end its medical neglect policy against prisoners.

Hamas: There should be an agreement with Fatah before holding elections
16 Aug 2009 - Hamas reiterated its keenness on holding the presidential and legislative elections on time, but it stressed the importance of signing a agreement with Fatah before holding the elections.

Hammad: The ministry of interior will not stand idle towards security chaos
16 Aug 2009 - Palestinian minister of interior Fathi Hammad stressed that the interior ministry would not stand idle before any attempt to destabilize security in Gaza under flimsy pretexts and slogans.

Two societies denounce torture in IOA, Abbas's jails
16 Aug 2009 - Two societies catering for the issue of Palestinian prisoners organized a sit-in on Saturday to protest the "brutal crimes" committed against those prisoners in IOA and Abbas's jails.

Fayyad does not object to Jewish nature of Israel
16 Aug 2009 - Salam Fayyad, the premier of the illegitimate PA government in Ramallah, has told a Hebrew daily that the Jewish nature of Israel was an internal issue.

Los Angeles Times

Iranian hard-liner named intelligence agency chief 
16 Aug 2009 - Reporting from Beirut — President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today named a hard-line loyalist with strong ties to the Revolutionary Guard and the pro-government Basiji militia to oversee the country's vast intelligence infrastructure. 

'Israel Is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and its History' by Rich Cohen 
16 Aug 2009 - The author offers a strong historical narrative but no solutions. Israel Is Real 

Course of Mousavi's Green Path of Hope is unclear 
16 Aug 2009 - Iran's opposition leader says he wants the new political movement to be a rallying point but doesn't spell out a strategy. A defiant Mir-Hossein Mousavi declared the creation of a grass-roots political movement Saturday, but the Iranian opposition leader failed to spell out a strategy that could invigorate a protest movement that has stalled. 

New York Times

Moussavi Forms ‘Grass-Roots’ Movement in Iran
15 Aug 2009 - Mir Hussein Moussavi said in a statement on his Web site that the new network would promote democracy and adherence to the law. 

Radical Leader Killed in Gaza Clashes
15 Aug 2009 - A shootout at a mosque in Rafah between Hamas security men and a group called the Warriors of God ended Saturday with 22 dead. 

Iran Tries to Suppress Rape Allegations
14 Aug 2009 - Iran’s clerical leadership stepped up a campaign to silence opposition claims that protesters were raped in prison. 

Misc

is this the binational future we’ve all been waiting for?
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - –The Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has elected an Israeli Jew to one of its governing bodies for the first time in the movement’s half-century history. ( Al Jazeera English ). –The J Street political action committee has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations...

Ho hum. Tom Friedman gave private lecture to Israeli brass
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - Oh my: Times columnist Tom Friedman offered a private lecture to the Israeli army’s general staff last week. Haaretz reports : "Friedman met personally with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi during his visit, and spoke to the deputy chief of staff, the head of Military Intelligence,...

Jerusalem Post reporter says she is not allowed to go into West Bank
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - Olive stumps Israeli journalism is self-censoring. Ellen Davidson, at Indypendent (who posts this photograph of olive stumps, left by Israeli actions in the West Bank), describes everything that Israeli journalists are missing in the West Bank, and gives this report: Yesterday I was interviewed by a...

Obama has fallen into Israel’s trap
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - The great Gideon Levy, in Haaretz , expresses the same impatience with Obama’s incrementalism that we are beginning to hear in the American Jewish peace camp : He came into office amid much hoopla. The Cairo speech ignited half the globe. Making settlements the top priority gave rise...

Palestinians can do whatever they want in Jerusalem. So long as they have the ‘proper licenses’
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - I bet they talked about blacks getting the proper ‘licenses’ in the Old South too. Here’s a scary interview in Foreign Policy with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat in which he justifies racist policies as good city planning, and compares himself to Michael Bloomberg. Too bad that...

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
home-grown birds
16 Aug 2009 - Space is scarce in Gaza’s camps and cities, and many of those who used their land for vegetable, beef and chicken farming faced great destruction during Israel’s 3 week massacre of Gaza. In many areas of the Strip, not even cows, sheep or chickens were spared. This last Israeli attack on Gaza was not the first to devastate the agricultural sector . Prior invasions wreaked damage in farming areas near the Green Line border. A farmer friend in Al Faraheen , east of Khan Younis, lost most of his 3,000 chickens and a couple hundred pigeons to an Israeli invasion in May 2008. The same invasion razed 100 dunums (1 dunum=1000 square...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel Begins Sell-off of Refugees' Land
15 Aug 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Tzipori Amin Muhammad Ali, a 74-year-old refugee from a destroyed Palestinian village in northern Israel, says he only feels truly at peace when he stands among his ancestors’ graves. The cemetery, surrounded on all sides by Jewish homes and farms, is a small time capsule, transporting Mr Muhammad Ali -- known to everyone as Abu Arab -- back to the days when this place was known by an Arabic name, Saffuriya, rather than its current Hebrew name, Tzipori. Unlike most of the Palestinian refugees forced outside Israel’s borders by the 1948 war that led to the creation of the Jewish state, Abu Arab and his family fled nearby, to a neighbourhood of Nazareth. Refused the right to return to his childhood home, which was razed along with the rest of Saffuriya, he watched as the fields once owned by his parents were slowly taken over by Jewish immigrants, mostly from eastern Europe. Today only Saffuriya’s cemetery remains untouched. Despite the loss of their village, the 4,500 refugees from Saffuriya and their descendants have clung to one hope: that the Jewish newcomers could not buy their land, only lease it temporarily from the state. According to international law, Israel holds the property of more than four million Palestinian refugees in custodianship, until a final peace deal determines whether some or all of them will be allowed back to their 400-plus destroyed Palestinian villages or are compensated for their loss. But last week, in a violation of international...

Zeroing in on Israel's Existential Threats
15 Aug 2009 - By Franklin Lamb – Beirut "Well, the two cases that you give, Hamas and Hezbollah, are interesting case studies. Hezbollah has evolved significantly over time. And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization… I'm pleased to see that a lot of Hezbollah individuals are in fact renouncing terrorism and violence and are trying to participate in the political process in a very legitimate fashion…. I think what we've done is to demonstrate both in Lebanon and to the Palestinians that we, the United States, are willing to engage and have a dialogue with any organizations or groups that are, in fact, dedicated to realizing peaceful solutions to existing problems. And I think those elements within Lebanon, be they Hezbollah or others, know that the United States has tried to be a very honest broker there, providing support to Lebanese institutions." -- John Brennan, White House Adviser on terrorism 8/3/09. Brennan had told me (before taking a job in the Obama administration, but while serving as Obama's top adviser on intelligence issues) that "talking to Hamas and Hezbollah is the right thing to do. Obama believes that." -- Robert Dreyfuss, Contributing Editor, the Nation Magazine 8/9/09. It’s becoming tense again down along the ‘Blue Line’, three years after Israel’s 5th war against Lebanon. Israeli Brig. General (Alon Friedman) told the Times of London in an interview this week that border tensions between Israel and Lebanon could "explode...

Expired and Expiring Ideas in Palestine-Israel Conflict
15 Aug 2009 - By Dina Jadallah Now more than ever, it is necessary to state caveats when using words. In some cases, the caveats have expanded so greatly, that there is little space left for the original meaning. Politically, this means that while some words and ideas refuse to die, they have become denuded of meaning and merely serve as tools of statecraft. Others are dead and buried but are then retrieved and presented as if they are still viable. In an effort to wipe the lipstick off the proverbial pig, I’ll present a few examples of expired and expiring ideas in the Palestine-Israel conflict . Some of these ideas are blatantly dead. Everyone knows they’re dead. And yet the powers that be prop them up and use them as a means of controlling the population or as justification to conduct “negotiations,” also known as endless concessions. These expired and expiring ideas are important because they are the tool by which “promises” are extracted and “binding agreements” are made. But how meaningful and representative are these “results”? The answers are crucial to the future of the Palestinian people. Representation Increasingly, and especially since Oslo, there has been a blurring of the lines between the PLO, Fatah, and the Palestinian Authority (PA). In theory, the PLO represents the Palestinian people. But the lack of specified boundaries allows a “back door” means of “representation.” This is the one that is approved by international power politics because it enables a representation, but of a totally different kind....

Obama's Presidency: A Political and Moral Disappointment
15 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Ludwig Watzal It's all over town. Only the Obama administration does not want to hear it. The people responsible for the moral decay of U.S. foreign policy were the 'Bush-worriers': Vice President Dick Cheney and his President George W. Bush and all the other cronies. Why will Eric Holder investigate the poor CIA subordinates who just followed orders? The torture memos and all the other unconstitutional and partly criminal orders went all the way down the chain of command. The White House people were a gathering of political tricksters. The U.S. has no moral authority anymore, despite Obama, because his foreign policy has only been slightly different from his predecessor’s. Anti-American militancy in the Third World has not diminished. Why should it? Has Obama done something fundamentally different from Bush despite making nice speeches in order to camouflage the ongoing brutality of America’s occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Baghram and all other military camps, including Guantanamo, are still operated as extra-judicial zones. Is not the U.S. a law-abiding country? Or does the rule of law only apply to Americans and not to the “Wretched of the Earth” in American “colonies”? Obama has not committed the U. S. plausibly to democratic values and human rights so far because he has been ignoring the infamous Bush presidency. He has to make a clear cut. In his novel “Why the Dreyfus Affair matters” Louis Begley draws comparisons between the handling of the “Dreyfus Affair” and the terror suspects in Guantanamo. In...

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