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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
19 August , 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

JCSER: "Israel is forcing Palestinians in Jerusalem to demolish their own homes"
20 Aug 2009 - The Jerusalem Center for Social and Economical Rights (JSCER) issued a press release stating that the Israeli authorities in Jerusalem are forcing Jerusalemite Palestinians to demolish their own homes. 

Yaalon: "We are not afraid of the U.S."
20 Aug 2009 - Israeli Minister of the so-called Strategic Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, Moshe Ya’alon of the Likud Party, stated Wednesday that the Israeli government is not afraid of the United States, and added that Israel must clearly tell the U.S. that ‘it had enough’ and will not succumb to pressure. 

Al Ummah Army says Hamas deviated from Islam
19 Aug 2009 - The Al Ummah (Nation) Army, a fundamental group in Gaza, issued a press release on Wednesday stating that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) had deviated from Islam and its teachings, and that the movement is now ‘following the West”. 

The Israeli military levels Palestinian owned shops in northern West Bank
19 Aug 2009 - Israeli troops destroyed on Wednesday at dawn five Palestinian owned shops in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

A woman and her child injured by Israeli military fire east of Gaza
19 Aug 2009 - A Palestinian woman and her child were injured as Israeli tanks opened fire on Wednesday at homes located east of Gaza City.

The Israeli military kidnaps 12 Palestinians from West Bank communities
19 Aug 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Wednesday 12 Palestinian civilians during morning invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.

Obama seeks trilateral meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu
19 Aug 2009 - Israeli Maariv newspaper reported Wednesday that the American President, Barak Obama is seeking a trilateral meeting with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and Israeli prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu sometime next month. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Argentine immigrant named as IDF soldier who stole Ashkenazi's credit card
19 Aug 2009 - Louis Muskata of Ra'anana also indicted for stealing IDF rifle in order to sell it to criminal operatives. 

IDF probe finds horseplay behind errant bullet that killed soldier
19 Aug 2009 - One soldier had apparently been demonstrating capabilities on rifle when weapon went off, killing Or Hadad. 

IDF: One-third of soldiers might refuse to evacuate outposts
19 Aug 2009 - Memo from commander urges sensitivity, yet mandates 'red lines' for soldiers who refuse orders. 

Two charged over theft of IDF Chief of Staff`s credit card
19 Aug 2009 - One of the accused men was allegedly given details of the card by a soldier who owed him money. 

Top Sweden newspaper says IDF kills Palestinians for their organs
18 Aug 2009 - Report ties claims to New Jersey crime syndicate, prompts accusations of anti-Semitism from rival newspaper. 

Ma'an News

Masked men kidnap lawyer at Ramallah Prisoners Society offices 19 Aug 2009

Report: Israel rejects Gazan appeal for Ramadan, school supplies 19 Aug 2009

Swedish newspaper: Israeli soldiers harvested Palestinians' organs 19 Aug 2009

Israel opens three Gaza border crossings 19 Aug 2009

Israeli forces impose curfew in Azzun; settlers said injured 19 Aug 2009

Report: Obama to meet with Netanyahu, Abbas in September 19 Aug 2009

US slams Israeli restrictions on Arab-American travelers 19 Aug 2009

Jerusalem shop owners close in protest of arbitrary Israeli fines 19 Aug 2009

Gaza: Residents complain of high prices as gov't announces decline 19 Aug 2009

Hamas: PA security detain 3 supporters in West Bank 19 Aug 2009

Rumors on settlement freeze add up to status quo 19 Aug 2009

Israeli bulldozers destroy five mechanics workshops without warning 19 Aug 2009

Metal factory accident leaves one seriously injured in north 19 Aug 2009

Jordan sentences two for planning attack on Israeli businessman 19 Aug 2009

Turkey, Jordan warn Israel on Jerusalem settlements 19 Aug 2009

Palestinian FM hosts top British officials in Ramallah 19 Aug 2009

The National

Militant captured in Lebanon day after jail break
19 Aug 2009 - Lebanese security forces recaptured an accused Islamist militant, ending a day-long manhunt after his escape from Lebanon's high-security prison.

Iran ready for unconditional nuclear talks' 
18 Aug 2009 - Tehran is reported to be ready for negotiations with the West on its disputed nuclear programme based on mutual respect and without preconditions.

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

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.

Aljazeera

Obama upbeat on settlements issue
18 Aug 2009 - After talks with Egypt's leader, US president says peace efforts moving in "right direction".

Inmate flees in Lebanon jail break
18 Aug 2009 - Member of Fatah al-Islam escapes from prison with help of fellow inmates.

Palestine News Network

New US plan to "resolve conflict in Middle East" asks Palestinians to sanction occupation
19 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – A new “plan for peace” is coming out of Washington that many consider to be disturbing at best. It includes keeping major Israeli settlement blocs in the West Bank. The plan keeps the Israelis as occupiers, but with a few twists like in Oslo, such as political prisoners should be released. It seems to be asking Palestinians to sanction...

Open call for new logo design: boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign
18 Aug 2009 - In 2005, over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations united behind a call to the world to impose Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel until it complies with international law. Now, the Palestinian BDS Campaign National Committee (BNC) is calling on YOU to design a BDS logo for the campaign!!This is an open call to all creative artists/designers who feel they can...

Artist explores iconography within Palestinian life today, particularly during era of occupation 
18 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN - The work of iconographer Ian Ambrose is being featured this week at Dar Annadwa, the Cultural Center in Bethlehem's Old City. The opening begins at 5 pm Thursday at Dar Annadwa’s Al Khouf Gallery.Ambrose is a British expatriate who has been living and working in the Middle East for several years.A former Anglican priest who converted to Latin Catholicism,...

Courts to be open Thursday night for sighting Ramadan crescent moon 
18 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – Chief Justice of Palestine Sheikh Taysir Rajab Al Tamimi announced Wednesday that all Sharia courts would be open tomorrow night for the sighting of the moon that signals which day the month of Ramadan will begin. All Islamic courts in the provinces of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip will be open Thursday, 29 Shaaban 1430...

Launch of mobile network Zain in Palestine postponed due to disaster in Kuwait
18 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Sources close to the Zain mobile network told PNN today that the official local launch was postponed. Kuwait Zain had scheduled a formal launch in Palestine for Wednesday, but due to a crisis in the Gulf country, it has been put-off.National mourning was called in Kuwait after a disaster at a wedding claimed the lived of 64 women and...

Muslim officials refer to Israelis breaking lock of Al Aqsa as bid to take control of its management
18 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Israeli police broke the locks on one of the gates of Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem’s Old City. The number of Israeli assaults, by both settlers and military, often rises during the month of Ramadan. Tuesday’s incident took place in front of guards for the Muslim holy site who prevented the Israeli police from...

Palestinians asked to practice self-control during Ramadan, not extravagance 
18 Aug 2009 - Bethlehem / Hiba Lama for PNN – Shops are busy preparing for Ramadan, but the month of fasting and charity is expected to see slow sales as in recent years. The closures in the West Bank, the siege on Gaza, and the global recession are affecting Palestinians again this year.The demands of Ramadan include excess costs associated with it: meat, vegetables, fruits and...

IRIN

OPT: Where cancer sufferers get only painkillers 
GAZA CITY Wednesday, August 19, 2009 (IRIN) - Arafat Hamdona, 20, has been confined to the cancer unit of As-Shifa, Gaza’s primary hospital, since he was diagnosed with maxillary skin tumours in June 2008. Red lesions protrude from his face, his features are distorted and his eyes swollen shut.

Analysis: Humanitarian action under siege
DAKAR Tuesday, August 18, 2009 (IRIN) - On the first-ever World Humanitarian Day, as the UN spotlights fallen aid workers and growing humanitarian needs, experts say a trend toward integrating aid goals into broader social and security agendas has contributed to an erosion of “humanitarian space”. IRIN looks at why,...

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.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Israel Turns Dubiously to Africa 
JERUSALEM, Aug 19 (IPS) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been busy pursuing one aspect of the Obama Administration's agenda - carrying to Africa the U.S. message of accountability. With a rather different agenda, Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Liberman also has Africa in his sights.

MIDEAST: Embattled Hamas Shows its Moderate Face 
RAMALLAH, Aug 19 (IPS) - The Islamic resistance movement Hamas's rule of Gaza is facing protracted political and military opposition from within Gaza, other Palestinian territories and abroad.

EGYPT: Union Eyes the Silver Bullet 
CAIRO, Aug 18 (IPS) - Property tax collectors from across Egypt gathered last week in Cairo to protest fresh attempts by the official state trade union to undermine their independent syndicate.

POLITICS-US: NGOs Call Mubarak to Account for Abuses 
WASHINGTON, Aug 17 (IPS) - Egyptian President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak is visiting Washington this week and will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Jewish American groups.

Stop The Wall

People march in al-Ma'sara
18 Aug 2009 - Al-Ma'sara's people held their weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall. Hundreds of people marched this week, struggling with the soldiers who consistently deny them the right to access their lands. [

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. [

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

WATCH: U.S. woman in IDF shirt yells 'Heil Hitler' at Israeli expat
18 Aug 2009 - An Israeli expatriate living in the United States has become a Youtube star, after engaging in an on-the-air shouting match with a woman who yelled "Heil Hitler!" at him at a health care reform meeting in Las Vegas. ...

Assad: Ahmadinejad win is a 'great lesson' for foreigners
18 Aug 2009 - Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday congratulated Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election as president of Iran and condemned foreign interference in the Islamic state, Iran's official news agency IRNA reported. ...

Peres: Israel, PA, U.S. ready for three-way summit
18 Aug 2009 - President Shimon Peres told reporters during an official visit to Russia on Wednesday that he welcomed a future meeting between President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. ...

U.S. blasts Israeli restrictions on American travelers in West Bank
18 Aug 2009 - The United States has harshly criticized new Israeli restrictions placed on foreign nationals entering the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge, calling the new regulations 'unacceptable'. A report on the restrictions appeared in Haaretz last week. ...

Roger Waters narrates UN film on West Bank separation fence
18 Aug 2009 - Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, an outspoken critic of Israel's policy in the West Bank, is now the voice behind a United Nations film documenting Palestinian life behind Israel's controversial separation fence, the AFP reported on Wednesday. ...

The Guardian

Video: Hamas's 'cinema of resistance'
19 Aug 2009 - The first Hamas-produced film premiered in Gaza, depicting the life of Imad Aqel, who was held responsible for killing 13 Israeli soldiers and settlers

Abbas's Sudan trip is ethical | Nicholas Blincoe
19 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian president's visit despite the ICC's arrest warrant for Omar al-Bashir may be realpolitik, but it is defensible The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, invites accusations of hypocrisy with his visit to Sudan today for talks...

Barack Obama hopeful Israeli and Palestinian leaders will resume talks
18 Aug 2009 - During Hosni Mubarak's visit, Obama said he is encouraged by progress in US efforts to renew Middle East talks Barack Obama said today he is encouraged by progress in US efforts to bring Israel and the...

Restricting visas will not help Israel | Seth Freedman
18 Aug 2009 - The decision to stop visitors to the Palestinian Authority entering Israel will deepen divisions without making the nation any safer At first glance, Israel's latest manoeuvre in its fight against terror is well intentioned, if completely...

Ha'aretz National page

Netanyahu slams Vice Premier's anti-peace jibe
18 Aug 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday lambasted Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon, who told a closed-door meeting of far-right activists last week that he was "not afraid of the Americans" and that anti-settlement groups like Peace Now were "viruses" to Israel. ...

Inspired by Israel, South African globetrotter launches music career
18 Aug 2009 - King Cano faced the tropical sun as he crossed the Amazon on a donkey. He felt the freezing cold of Tibet and stood at the water stage of Staten Island when the twin towers came down. ...

Youth suspected of stabbing Givatyaim teen over a cigarette
18 Aug 2009 - Police on Wednesday arrested a teenager suspected of stabbing an 18-year-old resident of Givatayim, after the victim refused his request for a cigarette. ...

Relief Web

Top UN official describes important developments on the ground' in Middle East, continued efforts aimed at resumption of Israeli, Palestinian negotiations 
19 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

World Humanitarian Day: Delivering aid, despite the risks
19 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Journée humanitaire mondiale : fournir l'aide, malgré les risques
19 Aug 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

YNet News

Swedish paper slams Israeli 'propaganda machine' 
19 Aug 2009 - Editor of newspaper which accused IDF troops of transplant organ theft denies any suggestions of anti-Semitism from his publication, accuses Swedish ambassador of 'a flagrant assault on freedom of speech' for her criticisms 

'Native American' protesters to US: Give us back Manhattan
19 Aug 2009 - Some 20 people protest in front of American Embassy against US pressure on Israel to freeze settlement building. Protesters dress up as Native Americans in effort to remind US that pioneers who settled their country did not quite ask where they could and could not build 

Ya'alon calls Peace Now 'a virus'
19 Aug 2009 - Vice prime minister lashes out at Left during conference of Likud's Jewish Leadership members. Peace Now: Ya'alon is real strategic threat on Israel. PM Netanyahu to summon minister for meeting over statements 

US: Woman yells 'Heil, Hitler' at Israeli 
19 Aug 2009 - Health care debate in United States heats up as television crews capture confrontation between American-Israeli in support of Obama's reform and a right-wing woman opposed to it. The woman, dressed in an IDF shirt, shouts Nazi slogan at man during town hall discussion. In another incident, Jewish Congressman Barney Frank confronts woman carrying sign showing Obama with a Hitler-style moustache 

IDF arrests 3rd suspect in cabbie murder
19 Aug 2009 - Ahmed Totaki accused along with two others of choking Ashdod taxi driver Gregory Rabinowitz to death in May 2008

Daily Star

Khamenei praises Syria's 'resistance'
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Saudi Arabia says it arrested 44 militants
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Embattled Hamas movement shows its moderate face
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Tunisian 12-baby pregnancy may be just a farce
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Turkey could introduce Kurdish courses in schools
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Government-allied Somali militants eject rebels from second southern town
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Peres trumpets Russian pledge to review Iran air defense sale
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Hamas frees Fatah captives as gesture ahead of Ramadan
19 Aug 2009 - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised key ally Syria on Wednesday for its "resistance" in the face of world powers in a meeting with visiting Syrian President Bashar Assad, state media reported. "Syria's most important characteristic among Arab countries is its steadfastness and resistance," Khamenei said, noting Syria's "excellent standing" in the region.

Palestinian Information Center

Special IOF forces train on climbing Aqsa walls
19 Aug 2009 - The Aqsa foundation for endowment and heritage has warned that Israeli occupation forces (IOF) are training on climbing the holy Aqsa Mosque's walls in occupied Jerusalem.

Abbas's militias kidnap office director of PLC speaker, detained MPs condemn
19 Aug 2009 - Militias loyal to former PA chief and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday evening kidnapped Baha' Faraj, the office director of Palestinian legislative council speaker Dr. Aziz Dwaik.

Haneyya gov't to release 50 Fatah security prisoners
19 Aug 2009 - The government of Ismail Haneyya in the Gaza Strip has decided to release 50 Fatah members held in its jails for security charges on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

PPS: 47 Palestinian prisoners died in captivity due to medical neglect
19 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian prisoners' Society (PPS) has said that 1,500 Palestinian sick captives are threatened with death in Israeli jails due to the deliberate medical neglect.

Mother of three Palestinian prisoners appeals for allowing her visitation
19 Aug 2009 - The mother of three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli occupation authority (IOA) jails has appealed to human rights groups and the Red Cross to pressure the IOA into allowing her to visit her sons.

IOA confiscates 115 dunums of Palestinian land
19 Aug 2009 - The IOA on Tuesday confiscated 115 dunums of Palestinian land in Ya'bad village west of Jenin city to expand the Shakid settlement that was established on the village's land.

Khudari: Jerusalem has been under fire for 40 years
19 Aug 2009 - MP Jamal Al-Khudari has said in a comment on the 40th anniversary of the burning of the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem that Jerusalem has been under fire for the past 40 years.

IOF troops advance into eastern Gaza amidst indiscriminate fire
19 Aug 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday advanced into eastern Gaza city amidst indiscriminate shooting but no casualties were reported, local sources told the PIC reporter.

Zionist scheme to settle Jewish families in eastern Jerusalem
19 Aug 2009 - A member of the Jewish-controlled municipality of occupied Jerusalem has revealed that his municipal council was planning to settle more Jews in eastern Jerusalem.

Turkish writer publishes biggest Aqsa Mosque file on the internet
19 Aug 2009 - Turkish writer Ahmet Varol has prepared the biggest ever visual slideshow on the internet introducing the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem in Turkish language.

Los Angeles Times

Despite rhetoric, Netanyahu has suspended Jewish settlement building 
19 Aug 2009 - Israel's prime minister has defended such projects in the West Bank. But officials say he is also quietly seeking a compromise that would facilitate a revival of peace talks with Palestinians. Cameras were rolling, capturing the defiant Israeli mood over President Obama's stand on Jewish settlements. 

Ahmadinejad to retain Iranian foreign minister, a move likely to reassure Western diplomats 
20 Aug 2009 - Renaming Manouchehr Mottaki suggests Iran will not harden an already tough posture in negotiating with the West. Meanwhile, Syria's president visits Iran to meet the supreme leader and Ahmadinejad. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will rename Manouchehr Mottaki as foreign minister, an advisor said Wednesday, a move that suggests the Islamic Republic will not harden its already tough posture in negotiating with the West. 

Obama says Mideast peace process is in a 'rut' 
19 Aug 2009 - The president prods visiting Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak to help Israel and the Palestinians restart talks. President Obama said Tuesday that the Middle East peace process was in a "rut," and prodded Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to help break an Arab-Israeli standoff that has frustrated the administration's effort to restart talks. 

New York Times

Obama Sees ‘Positive Steps’ in Mideast
18 Aug 2009 - Speaking after a meeting with President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, President Obama said Israel was moving in the right direction on settlements. 

Iran's Release of Academic Puts Spotlight on French-Syrian Ties
18 Aug 2009 - France’s efforts to win the freedom of a researcher who was arrested in Iran on July 1 have underscored its readiness to see Syria in a regional mediation role. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Reformist Cleric’s Newspaper Is Shut Down
17 Aug 2009 - Mehdi Karroubi angered Iran’s senior leaders by publicizing claims that protesters arrested after the disputed June elections were raped in prison. 

Misc

Hoyer Junket Upsets Palestinians, Undermines Obama
Mondoweiss - 17 Aug 2009 - Rep. Steny Hoyer meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres. (Photo democraticleader.house.gov ) Mike Huckabee is not the only American politician to go to Israel and anger Palestinians this week. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) is leading a 29-member Democratic delegation on an AIPAC-sponsored tour of Israel....

Learn the latest on Bil’in and what you can do to help
Mondoweiss - 17 Aug 2009 - Above is a clip from the powerful documentary Bil’in Habibti . The film provides a firsthand account of the protests in Bil’in, and shares a intimate view of the Palestinian and Israeli activists who struggle against the wall on a daily basis. It’s really one of the...

dog days (and feverish nights)
Mondoweiss - 17 Aug 2009 - It’s the dog days. Middle August. This site is going to be hit and miss over the next few days. Adam Horowitz is moving house, and I am actually doing some paying work for a magazine for once, and reading Theodor Herzl diaries at night and...

People with poor impulse control should avoid twitter
Mondoweiss - 17 Aug 2009 - Because neoconservative Eli Lake famously has poor impulse control (it takes one to know one), he should probably have not gotten a twitter feed. But he has, and he has been seeking to discredit the critics of the neoconservatives by suggesting that we are Larouchies. Wow....

Huckabee defies Obama
Mondoweiss - 16 Aug 2009 - First we got news that Mike Huckabee planned to attend a gala at the East Jerusalem hotel that Israel seeks to build a settlement in. J Street rightly condemned Huckabee for stirring this issue up in defiance of his president: Governor Huckabee has continually made it...

Israeli Policy of Ethnic Cleansing: Veteran Arab Village to Make Way for New Haredi City in Wadi Ara 
Alternative Information Center - 19 Aug 2009 - Recently plans have been greatly accelerated to establish a Haredi (Jewish ultra-orthodox) city in Wadi Ara, between Harish and Katzir. These latter two cities were already included in the 1990s in the “star plan” of Ariel Sharon, the stated goal of which was to separate  Arab...

Amnesty International Withdraws from Leonard Cohen’s Israel Concert Fund
Alternative Information Center - 19 Aug 2009 - New York, NY, August 18 – Amnesty International has announced today that it will abstain from any involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert in Tel Aviv and will not be party to any fund that benefits from the concert‘s proceeds.  A number  of  media accounts  had reported that Amnesty...

The Occupation Extended the Closure of Nidal Center for Community Development-Jerusalem for a Month
Alternative Information Center - 19 Aug 2009 - The occupation authorities have extended the closure of the Nidal Center for Community Development for another month and renewed its warning to the centers employees not open the center or carry out any community development activities in the name of the center.  According to Hazem Abu...

Israeli Authorities Declare Shooting of Tristan Anderson an “Act of War”
Alternative Information Center - 19 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Ministry of Defense informed American activist Tristan Anderson’s family and legal counsel that it considers his shooting during a nonviolent protest in the West Bank village of Nil’in, which left him critically injured, an “act of war,” absolving the soldiers responsible from any liability...

Law of Administration is Law of Judaization 
Alternative Information Center - 18 Aug 2009 - The amendment to the Law of Land Administration Israel (amendment n. 7, 2009) which was approved by the Knesset on 3 August 2009, is an outstanding example of how legislation can destroy the possibility for existence of a democratic society, even without the inclusion of openly...


Articles

Electronic Intifada
Despite obstacles, Gaza students score well on exams
19 Aug 2009 - AMSTERDAM (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 general secondary school examinations in Gaza this year. The results in the humanities section in the exams, the tawjihis as they are called, were four percent better than last year, and in the sciences they were better by two percent. So much for the impact of the Israeli bombardment last December-January, on most of the children anyway. 

Amnesty int'l withdraws from Israel concert fund following campaign
19 Aug 2009 - Amnesty International has announced that it will abstain from any involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert in Tel Aviv and will not be party to any fund that benefits from the concert's proceeds. Amnesty International's announcement followed an international outcry over the human rights organization's reported involvement in the Leonard Cohen concert fund, and an earlier international call for Cohen to boycott apartheid Israel. 

Israel brings Gaza entry restrictions to West Bank
18 Aug 2009 - In an echo of restrictions already firmly in place in Gaza, Israel has begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents. The new policy is designed to force foreign citizens, mainly from North America and Europe, to choose between visiting Israel -- including East Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed illegally -- and the West Bank. Jonathan Cook reports from Jerusalem. 

Irish construction giant digs deeper in occupation
18 Aug 2009 - A recent acquisition by the Israeli subsidiary of brick and mortar giant Irish CRH has placed the European conglomerate under increased pressure from Palestine solidarity activists. Irish CRH, formerly known as Cement Roadstone Holding, owns 25 percent of the Mashav Group, an Israeli construction firm. Mashav recently announced that it will acquire Hanson Israel, a subsidiary of Germany's HeidelbergCement. With the acquisition of Hanson Israel, CRH is further entrenched in violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
love and friendship in Gaza
18 Aug 2009 - It’s not easy for anyone in this besieged Strip. Most are jobless, or if employed they haven’t been paid for a month, two months… And if paid, it’s sub-minimum wages, and everything is expensive here. It’s hot, there’s little relief, even at night, especially if you live in a cement block home and can’t get a breeze. The power outages don’t help, for if you happen to have a fan, they’re useless. Everything is broken, cracked, covered with dust (sandy place, Gaza), covered with pollution from the cars (no Egypt, but the petrol is bad and the cars cough a lot). And people, too, are broken, though they somehow defiantly...

Palestine Chronicle
The Hobson's Choice of Hamas
19 Aug 2009 - By Terrell E. Arnold In late 2005, the Bush administration, along with the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon, promoted parliamentary elections in Palestine. The goal, obvious if unstated, was to provide a popular credential for the government that would be run by the expected to be victorious candidates, members of the Fatah party of Mahmoud Abbas. Since Abbas had won with a decisive 62% of the votes in a January 2005 election to succeed the late Yasser Arafat, the parliamentary election of January 2006 looked like a slam dunk. Hamas, participating for the first time in a national election, along with five or six small parties stood against Fatah. The results, however, surprised most observers by giving the parliamentary majority to Hamas. Fatah won only 45 seats in the new parliament, while Hamas won an absolute majority of 74 in the 132 seat assembly. Various pundits agonized over why this occurred. The conventional wisdom was that, after all, Hamas was nothing but a terrorist group. It had no political experience and ran no candidates of known political caliber on the Palestinian scene. As often happens with conventional wisdom, however, this batch was false. Since its formation in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982-some say as an Israeli-designed counter to Fatah-Hamas had been busy in the countryside. In both the West Bank and Gaza it had developed effective networks for community support. In a manner of speaking, Hamas emulated the performance of Hezbollah in Lebanon, effectively embedding...

SA Calls to Boycott Israeli Dates This Ramadan
19 Aug 2009 - By Aisha Mouneimne – Cape Town Following a campaign launched this week by Friends of Al Aqsa calling on the boycotting of Israeli dates this Ramadan, the Cape Town based Muslim Judicial Counsel (MJC) on Wednesday urged the community to heed this call. “It is important for the community to take cognisance during this month, while dates are an important part of our culinary needs during Ramadan, dates are increasingly being imported from occupied Palestine and we need to be aware of this,” said Nabaweyah Malick, spokesperson for the MJC. Malick said most Muslim take it for granted that dates come from the Arabian Peninsula, but she said, with Israel’s leading fruit export being dates, South Africans need to become proactive in “checking their labels”. According to the MJC these labels include product marked with the names Israel, West Bank or Jordon Valley as well as any product that’s barcode begins with 729. She added that while she did not want to name particular supermarket chains known for stocking Israeli produce, she urged the community to become vigilant with checking labels, as “the majority of supermarkets do stock Israeli products.” Another issue of concern, said Malick, is the increase of Israeli goods imported via Namibia or Italy; meaning labeling could change in the process. “The only answer here is for consumers to do constant research on where their products are coming from,” she said. She noted that the date farms-like many other Israeli occupied farms, usually employ Palestinian children- forced...

US Turns Blind Eye to Israel's New Separation Policy
17 Aug 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Jerusalem In an echo of restrictions already firmly in place in Gaza, Israel has begun barring movement between Israel and the West Bank for those holding a foreign passport, including humanitarian aid workers and thousands of Palestinian residents. The new policy is designed to force foreign citizens, mainly from North America and Europe, to choose between visiting Israel -- including East Jerusalem, which Israel has annexed illegally -- and the West Bank. The new regulation is in breach of Israel’s commitments under the Oslo accords to western governments that their citizens would be given continued access to the occupied territories. Israel has not suggested there are any security justifications for the new restriction. Palestinian activists point out that the rule is being enforced selectively by Israel, which is barring foreign citizens of Palestinian origin from access to Israel and East Jerusalem while actively encouraging European and American Jews to settle in the West Bank. US diplomats, who are aware of the policy, have raised no objections. Additionally, human rights groups complain that the rule change will further separate East Jerusalem, the planned capital of a Palestinian state, from the West Bank. It is also expected to increase the pressures on families where one member holds a foreign passport to leave the region and to disrupt the assistance aid organisations are able to give Palestinians. According to observers, the regulation was introduced quietly three months ago at the Allenby Bridge terminal on the border with Jordan, the...

Israel Threatens Lebanon and Obama
17 Aug 2009 - By Franklin Lamb - Along the Blue Line in South Lebanon Suddenly they were all over the place, arriving not as singles but in battalions. Many, like Maryland’s 5th District Rep. Steny Hoyer had been to Israel nearly a dozen times; career stalwarts once more showing fealty to Israel’s brutal occupation of Palestine while lamely telling their constituents that they were on a legitimate 'fact finding mission.' For many, their real purpose was to signal their President that there must be no change in the US policy of coddling Israel’s increasingly Apartheid regime. Among the nearly four dozen members of Congress were some of the most Islamophobic and anti-Arab ever to be elected by American voters. House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, leading a delegation of 29 Democratic Congressmen, appeared to read from a cue card as he explained in Jerusalem that he had misgivings about Obama’s insistence on stopping colonial expansions (euphemistically called by the Israel lobby ‘settlements’). Hoyer downplayed Obama’s demand to stop the expansions and informed the White House from Jerusalem that that the issue “should be a subject of negotiations”. Hoyer refused comment on Kadema leader Tsizni Linvi’s ‘leak’ of part of the last years CIA study that Hoyer helped AIPAC bury on Capitol Hill. Appearing to quote from the now withdrawn ‘study’ Livni declared in a former Palestinian village, now renamed Tirat Hacarmel: "I see the despair and desperation of many Israelis. Hundreds of thousands see what is happening and arrange for a foreign passport, send...

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