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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
4 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Adalah calls for ending strip-search policies of female visitors of Palestinian detainees
5 Sep 2009 - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – Adalah, called on the Israeli Prison Authorities and the administration at the Ofer detention facility, to put an end to the practice of strip searching female visitors. 

Settlers uproot olive groves near Ramallah
5 Sep 2009 - Local sources reported that fundamental Israeli settlers of the Neve Yarden illegal settlement outpost, uprooted on Friday olive groves that belong to residents of Al Mghayyir Palestinian village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. 

Mashal plans to finalize prisoner-swap deal, Saudi paper says
5 Sep 2009 - The Al Watan daily newspaper in Saudi Arabia reported Friday that Hamas political bureau leader, Khalid Mashal, is planning to visit Cairo this weekend to finalize a prisoner-swap deal for the release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, in return for releasing hundreds of Palestinian detainees. 

Palestinian woman collapses as Israeli soldiers attempted to strip-search her
5 Sep 2009 - A Palestinian woman was to the Hebron Governmental Hospital, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, on Friday after she collapsed when Israeli soldiers attempted to strip-search her.  

U.S. regrets Israeli plan to approve more settlement in the occupied West Bank
5 Sep 2009 - The White House declared on Friday that it regrets a decision by the Israeli government, headed by Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to resume settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories. 

The Israeli military attacks the weekly protest in Nil'in
4 Sep 2009 - Three were injured and dozens of Palestinians and internationals suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Wall in Nil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. 

Two Injured and Dozens suffered effects of teargas inhalation at Bil'in Weekly Protest
4 Sep 2009 - Two were injured and dozens suffered effects of tear gas inhalation at the weekly nonviolent protest against the Wall at the village of Bil'in in the central West Bank.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Witnesses: Palestinians storm outpost in north West Bank
4 Sep 2009 - Police arrive to break up clashes, after residents say 200 armed Palestinians infiltrated and set fire. 

Report: UAE to deport hundreds of Palestinians by month's end
4 Sep 2009 - Hamas wants Arab League to intervene; dozens of Lebanese also face expulsion, says Arab daily. 

Gaza war commander: IDF officers must set moral standards
3 Sep 2009 - Colonel Hertzi Halevy: Troops who step out of line should be dealt with during battle, not afterward. 

IAF bombs tunnel linking southern Gaza to Israel
3 Sep 2009 - Gaza militants fire five mortar shells into west Negev; no casualties in fresh cross-border attacks. 

Steinitz: Shalit campaign doing more harm than good
3 Sep 2009 - Finance Min.: Protests ouside IDF chief's home look 'strange'; Hamas leaders head to Cairo for Shalit talks. 

Ma'an News

3,000 Hajj pilgrims may not get visas; Umrah worshipers return to Gaza 5 Sep 2009

Checkpoints become friction points as Palestinians throng Jerusalem 5 Sep 2009

Abbas: Coming days decisive for peace process 5 Sep 2009

World Council of Churches urges Israel to dismantle settlements 5 Sep 2009

Palestinian stabbed to death in northern Israel 5 Sep 2009

Clashes with settlers reported north of Ramallah 5 Sep 2009

Is the UAE deliberately deporting Palestinians? 5 Sep 2009

BU students say strike to continue as University restarts classes 5 Sep 2009

Two journalists wounded by Israeli fire at Ni'lin demonstration 5 Sep 2009

Teenage Gazan farmer critically injured as Israeli forces open fire 5 Sep 2009

Police ask residents to remember Ramadan as clash injures Nablus man 5 Sep 2009

Elections expert weighs in on prospect of 25/01/2010 vote 5 Sep 2009

Bil'in protesters thank Norway for divestment as two locals injured 5 Sep 2009

Al-Quds Center issues report on continued home demolitions in Jlem 5 Sep 2009

West Banker dies in construction fall in Israel 5 Sep 2009

Abbas: Planned expansion of settlements unacceptable 5 Sep 2009

The National

A wet land, a parched land
4 Sep 2009 - In a lush Jewish settlement the grass is always green while Palestinian farmers and their crops go thirsty, resentful of the Israeli water pipes that cross their land.

Netanyahu to approve new settlements
4 Sep 2009 - The Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to approve construction of hundreds of new homes in West Bank settlements.

Fasting exemption for football team kicks off debate in Egypt
3 Sep 2009 - Egypt's top religious institution allow the national football team to abstain from fasting before a decisive match.

Iraqi refugees fear expulsion from Syria
3 Sep 2009 - Damascus after the Black Wednesday' bombings and those who fled may be the ones to suffer. 

Aljazeera

Palestinians protest land seizure
4 Sep 2009 - West Bank residents staging non-violent march are met with tear gas.

Israel plans new settlements
4 Sep 2009 - Aides say PM will consider a construction freeze after sanctioning new homes.

Palestine News Network

Bethlehem University student council says it will continue striking despite resumption of classes
4 Sep 2009 - Bethlehem / PNN – The Student Council at Bethlehem University says it will continue striking despite the resumption of classes. University administrators issued a statement today calling on all students to attend classes beginning Monday, the seventh of September.However, the striking students say they are not finished. The crisis between the administration of Bethlehem University and students has been exacerbated by the issues...

Israeli soldiers arrest and beat Palestinians in West Bank, reports police office of information
4 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - Daily invasions and arrests continue unabated throughout the West Bank. Israeli forces raided a number of northern West Bank towns and arrested 3 civilians early Friday. Soldiers wounded another citizen by beating him. The Information Office of Palestinian Police reports that Israeli attacks from midnight until noon were focused on Nablus and Tulkarem.Under the pretext of hearing an explosion,...

PLO: Israelis get US agreement to normalize relations with Arabs and get green light for settlements
4 Sep 2009 - Nablus / PNN – Taysir Khaled of the PLO noted today that US President Barack Obama is seeking, through his mediator, to arrange a meeting between President Abbas and the Israeli Prime Minister on the sidelines of the UN. The tripartite meeting is being arranged by US envoy George Mitchell and will be held at the end of this month at the United...

Netanyahu changes terms to temporary and partial settlement freeze in West Bank only
3 Sep 2009 - Tel Aviv / PNN – Israeli Channel Two reported today that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a partial settlement freeze for a period of nine months in the West Bank at the request of the United States. The initial US request was far more than that, but the Israelis refused diplomatic efforts. All settlements are illegal under international law and as...

Occupying Israeli administration may legalize settlement outposts that even it deemed illegal
3 Sep 2009 - Tel Aviv / PNN – Some settlements in the West Bank, all of which contravene international law, may be deemed legal by the Israelis. The subject is settlement outposts that also contravene Israeli law, but the occupying administration is looking to retroactively legalize several as a meeting with the US administration on a settlement freeze nears.US President Barack Obama has heavily backed off...

Norway divests from Israeli arms giant Elbit Systems Ltd.
3 Sep 2009 - State-owned Norwegian investment fund The Governmental Pension Fund - Global has divested from Elbit Systems Ltd, one of Israel’s largest security and defense firms. The fund is Europe’s largest investment fund and held nearly 6 million US$ worth of shares in Elbit. The fund’s Council on Ethics explained in its recommendation, “Elbit supplies a surveillance system that is part of the separation...

IRIN

OPT: Bleak Ramadan for Gaza residents
GAZA CITY Monday, August 31, 2009 (IRIN) - Ramadan, a festive time in many parts of the Muslim world, is bleak in Gaza because basic and traditional foodstuffs are unavailable due to the Israeli blockade, or out of reach due to soaring prices and poverty, according to officials.

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu keeps Muslim pilgrims at home 
DUBAI Wednesday, August 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Far fewer Muslims than normal are undertaking the lesser pilgrimage known as ‘Umrah’ because of coordinated efforts by health ministers in the Gulf and beyond to counter the spread of H1N1 2009.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions in West Bank eased for Ramadan 
TEL AVIV Monday, August 24, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel has eased some of its travel restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson’s unit.

Inter Press Service

US-ISRAEL: New Settlements Plan Heightens Tensions 
WASHINGTON, Sep 5 (IPS) - The White House reprimanded the Israeli government Friday over reports that Israel plans to build hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements, the latest in a series of showdowns between Washington and Jerusalem over settlement construction.

IRAQ: Stormy Times as U.S. Withdraws 
WASHINGTON, Sep 5 (IPS) - Political violence in Iraq killed 456 Iraqis in August, the highest monthly death toll since July 2008. And with the U.S. showing no sign it plans to reverse the troop withdrawal that is now well underway, numerous struggles for power are shaping up inside Iraq.

MIDEAST: Israelis Target Medical Teams 
JELAZON, West Bank, Sep 3 (IPS) - Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Nayif's mother broke down as she spoke to IPS. Nayif died after being shot three times in the chest by Israeli soldiers Monday night.

ISRAEL: Madonna Applauded for her Silence 
TEL AVIV, Sep 3 (IPS) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Hitler, the Holocaust, ecological disasters, poverty in Africa, wars around the world, Obama and Martin Luther King: the appropriate images were all there, an overwhelming backdrop on the huge stage for the Queen of Pop's rendition of her song, 'Get...

PCHR Latest

IOF Willfully Kill a Palestinian Child in al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp, North of Ramallah
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(27 Aug.- 02 Sep.  2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.  Two members of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were also killed in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas accused IOF of killing them.

International Solidarity Movement

IOF willfully kill a Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the willful killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian child by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). The attack occurred yesterday, 31 August 2009, near the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. According to investigations conduced by PCHR, at approximately 21:30 on Monday, 31 August 2009, IOF troops stationed at a military observation tower inside "Beit Eil" settlement, north of Ramallah, opened fire at five Palestinian children who were near al-Jalazon UNRWA School, located near the southeastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp. One of the children, 15-year-old Mohammed Riad Nayef "˜Elayan, was wounded by three bullets to the chest. An ambulance from Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah attempted to reach the area. 

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, arrest one
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Shortly after 3am, Bil'in was invaded again. 4 Jeeps and a military truck entered the village with over 50 soldiers. The Israeli occupation forces raided three homes simultaneously and arrested Abed Baset Mohammed Abu Rahme (age 19). In the second house, they tried to arrest Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen (21), but he was not at home. They left a military order for him to turn himself in by 9am the next day. In the third house, they wanted to arrest Mohammed Ahmed Yaseen (age 21), but did not find him at his home either. The soldiers acted very swiftly. As they encountered many international activists who stood in their way filming and challenging their action as well as following the movement of the jeeps, the soldiers threw tear gas and sound bombs to disperse them and clear the way. They also used a laser beam on some of the activists as a means of intimidation. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel envoy: Spain must rein in Leftists' anti-Semitic attacks
4 Sep 2009 - Israel's ambassador to Spain this week urged the government to control the "anti-Semitic attacks" emanating from Leftists and intellectuals, according to the Spanish news agency Europa Press . ... 

Report: UAE to deport hundreds of Palestinians by month's end
4 Sep 2009 - The United Arab Emirates will deport hundreds of Palestinians living within its territory by the end of September, the Al-Quds al-Arabi daily reported on Friday. ... 

Suddenly, Netanyahu is popular and Obama is not
4 Sep 2009 - Later this month, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, U.S. President Barack Obama will take the podium at the United Nations General Assembly and, flanked by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, declare the resumption of the Middle East peace process. ...

Holocaust survivors re-create kindertransport trip
4 Sep 2009 - It took 70 years for this reunion, but when the vintage steam train pulled into London with a group of elderly Holocaust survivors, the emotions started to flow. ...

Peres, Moussa face off over creation of Palestinian state
4 Sep 2009 - President Shimon Peres said Friday that a comprehensive settlement to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute was not currently achievable, and he called instead for the creation of a Palestinian state under a provisional arrangement even without a formal peace deal. ...

The Guardian

If you build it, the state will come | Ziad Asali
4 Sep 2009 - Start building an independent Palestine now and international recognition will follow, says Salam Fayyad Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad's blueprint for what he has called "de facto Palestinian statehood" offers a new and important element to...

The colonel's labyrinth | Raza Naeem
3 Sep 2009 - Muammar Gaddafi's revolution, voiding Libya of western powers, has been compromised by his recent appeasement of the west This week, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is celebrating 40 years at the helm of the Libyan revolution . In September...

Saving Staff Sergeant Shalit | Seth Freedman
3 Sep 2009 - Israel's loyalty to its soldiers means it is willing to take part in prisoner swaps. But negotiation has its limits For more than three years, Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit has been held captive by Hamas militants...

Obama must provide a 'peace horizon' | Petra Marquardt-Bigman
3 Sep 2009 - The Annapolis peace talks may have failed, but Barack Obama must try to maintain the positive momentum that now exists Even if it is just a coincidence, it is definitely noteworthy that both President Obama and...

Ha'aretz National page

Comic's family object to naming East Jerusalem street after him 
3 Sep 2009 - The family of the famed late actor and comedian Shaike Ophir have voiced disappointment and criticism over the decision by Jerusalem municipality to name a street after Ophir that lies east of the Green Line. ... 

Yossi Sarid / Divide Jerusalem, before we lose it forever 
3 Sep 2009 - Believers the world over do not believe the ape was their ancestor. They are correct - man is apparently descended from the wolf. A pack of Arab wolves lynched a Jewish man in Tel Aviv and a pack of Jewish wolves preyed on an Arab man in Jerusalem this week. They know no God, so what do we expect of the poor apes? ... 

Ethiopian students finally enrolled in Petah Tikva schools 
3 Sep 2009 - All children of Ethiopian origin were finally placed in various Petah Tikva schools as of Thursday, two days after the beginning of the school year. ... 

Relief Web

Palestinians, Lebanese Shi'ites forced to leave UAE
4 Sep 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

UNHCR welcomes resumption of Belgium resettlement programme
4 Sep 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

OPT: Statement by UNRWA on holocaust education
4 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

Hamas: Shalit deal far from closing
4 Sep 2009 - Sources say conflict still centers on prisoners whom Israel considers to have "blood on their hands" 

US, EU slam Netanyahu's approval of construction
4 Sep 2009 - White House publishes statement saying approval of hundreds of West Bank housing units before construction freeze sets in is 'illegitimate' as 'such actions make it harder to create climate for negotiations' 

Chavez: Israeli government genocidal
4 Sep 2009 - 'Israel has become murderous lackey at service of imperialism,' says Venezuelan president in Syria 

Qassam launch identified from Gaza
4 Sep 2009 - IDF says rocket landing unidentified as yet, forces return mortar shell fire towards launch site 

Palestinians, Lebanese Shiites forced out of UAE
4 Sep 2009 - Hamas refugee affairs group says UAE conducting 'mass displacement of Gazans without reason' 

Israeli photographer injured in Naalin
4 Sep 2009 - Palestinian sources say David Reeb was injured by live fire, IDF says fired only rubber bullets 

Barak calls Norway over Elbit affair
4 Sep 2009 - Defense minister protests to Norwegian FM over country's cutting of ties with leading Israeli company 

PA considering asking EU for sanctions against Israel
4 Sep 2009 - Palestinian official tells Ynet, 'Every country in world believes danger to peace is Israeli settlement policy, so we must translate this into sanctions'. Abbas says meeting with Netanyahu contingent upon construction freeze 

Daily Star

Donors losing interest in demining Lebanon 
4 Sep 2009

Palestinian camps protest Nahr al-Bared delay 
4 Sep 2009

Two dead in separate family feuds in Lebanon 
4 Sep 2009

Jumblatt son calls for non-sectarianism 
4 Sep 2009

Hariri set to propose unity cabinet before Sleiman goes to UN 
4 Sep 2009

Delays in cabinet formation undermine Hariri's standing 
4 Sep 2009

Hizbullah helped locate bankrupt businessman 
4 Sep 2009

Israeli minister seeks to counter Iran with Africa tour 
4 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Adala: Ofer prison authority imposes strip searches on female visitors
5 Sep 2009 - Adalah called in a letter to the Israeli prison authority and the Ofer prison authority for an end to the practice of strip searching women visiting their relatives in prison.

Athan at the Ibrahim Mosque banned by Israeli occupation 59 times last month
5 Sep 2009 - The Awkaf office in al-Khalil said that the Israeli occupation banned the athan (the Muslim call for prayer) at the Ibrahimi mosque in al-Khalil on 59 occasions last month.

IOF troops wound two farmers, occupation airforce bomb a border area
5 Sep 2009 - Two Palestinian farmers were wounded on Thursday evening when IOF troops opened fire during an incursion to the east of Gaza city, while occupation airfoce bombed an area east of Khan Younis.

Netanyahu intends to approve 2500 settlement units in the West Bank
5 Sep 2009 - Israeli sources revealed on Friday that Netanyahu intends to approve the building of 2500 new settlement units in the West Bank prior to announcing a temporary halt of settlement activity.

Abbas's Militia kidnap six Hamas supporters
5 Sep 2009 - The militia affiliated with Mahmoud Abbas has continued its campaign against Hamas supporters, kidnapping six supporters in the districts of Ramallah, Tulkarem and al-Khalil.

Abbas relieves Qaddumi of his post as head of the PLO's political department
5 Sep 2009 - Former PA President Mahmoud Abbas, who is also the chairman of both of Fatah and the PLO, has issued a decree sacking Farouk al-Qaddumi from his post as the head of the PLO's political department.

Assad: Blockade on Gaza is a massacre that affects all Palestinians
5 Sep 2009 - The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, said on Thursday that the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip is a massacre that affects all Palestinians..

IOF troops arrest six Palestinians and assault two others
5 Sep 2009 - IOF troops arrested on Thursday and Friday six Palestinians from various parts of the West Bank and assaulted two others according to Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Zionists resort to “black propaganda” to counter Hamas
5 Sep 2009 - Zionist and pro-Zionist internet websites are resorting to manifestly malicious black propaganda to counter increasingly successful media efforts exposing the evilness of the Israeli occupation.

Bahar: Releasing MPs from IOA jails allows reactivation of the PLC
5 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the PLC, has opined that the release of nine Hamas MPs from IOA jails was an opportunity to reactivate the stalled PLC.

Los Angeles Times

West Bank settlement growth looks likely 
4 Sep 2009 - A reported decision by Israel's Netanyahu to build hundreds of new homes prompts a U.S. expression of 'regret.' Israel signaled its intention Friday to build hundreds of new homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, provoking a new clash with the Obama administration and complicating a U.S. effort to restart Middle East peace talks this fall. 

Director Cherien Dabis straddles two worlds 
4 Sep 2009 - The filmmaker examines the complexities of modern Arab American identity in 'Amreeka.' Before the Persian Gulf War exploded in the early 1990s, Cherien Dabis and her family were popular, well-respected members of their adopted Ohio town. Her father, a physician, and mother were Palestinian immigrants from the West Bank and Jordan who'd moved to the United States shortly before Dabis' birth. Dabis says she grew up wanting "so badly" to be an all-American girl. 

Belgian arms trader jailed in Alabama 
4 Sep 2009 - In a six-count federal indictment, Jacques Monsieur is accused of trying to help Iran get fighter jets. How Mobile, Ala., fits in isn't totally clear. The alleged arms deal involved sit-down meetings in Paris and London, a front company in Kyrgyzstan and shipments via Colombia to the ultimate destination, Iran. 

New York Times

U.S. Rebukes Israel Over Settlement Plan
4 Sep 2009 - A plan to approve new West Bank construction before a building freeze drew protests from the White House. 

Jerusalem Journal: Religious-Secular Divide, Tugging at Israel’s Heart
2 Sep 2009 - The opening of a parking lot underneath city hall has helped start another round of what local residents call the “Sabbath wars.” 

World Briefing | Middle East: Lebanon: Financier Is Detained
4 Sep 2009 - A prominent Lebanese businessman with ties to Hezbollah has declared bankruptcy and been detained after it appeared that he lost several hundred million dollars' worth of investors' money. 

Misc

Birthright gone wild
Mondoweiss - 4 Sep 2009 - Above is a recent ad for the Birthright program which offers free trips for young Jewish adults to Israel in order to "diminish the growing division between Israel and Jewish communities around the world." The ad would seem to be the first product from Birthright’s new...

Israel fires live ammo on protesters, tear gas on media, during weekly protests against the Wall
Mondoweiss - 4 Sep 2009 - The International Solidarity Movement is reporting that two people, an Israeli and Palestinian protester, were shot with live ammunition during the weekly nonviolent protest in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. Both protesters were shot in the leg, and both evidently are known to film the...

Force, provocation, disaster…. more force
Mondoweiss - 4 Sep 2009 - Notice the page 1 story in today’s New York Times on the internal White House debate about Afghanistan. Holbrooke and Clinton want more troops, Gates mostly agrees, Biden is opposed to the idea. The Times doesn’t say, but we know: McChrystal and Petraeus (pictured) want more...

A Jewish journalist is not sincere about Jewish ownership of media
Mondoweiss - 4 Sep 2009 - Writer/attorney Ronald Goldfarb, who is Jewish , penned the following for The Hill : That conservatives have successfully propagated the propaganda that liberals control media is mind-boggling. It is right up there with the other myth — that the Jews own the media. A client of mine heard...

Defied by Netanyahu again, Obama expresses… appreciation!?
Mondoweiss - 4 Sep 2009 - From Haaretz : Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements before he declares a moratorium on building in those locales, according to a senior government source. From th e White House : We regret the reports...

Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation
Alternative Information Center - 4 Sep 2009 - An Open Letter to the Toronto International Film Festival: September 2, 2009 As members of the Canadian and international film, culture and media arts communities, we are deeply disturbed by the Toronto International Film Festival’s decision to host a celebratory spotlight on Tel Aviv. We protest...

Norwegian Pension Fund Divests from Israeli Military Giant Elbit
Alternative Information Center - 3 Sep 2009 - The Ministry of Finance has excluded the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. from the Government Pension Fund – Global, on the basis of the Council on Ethics’ recommendation. The Council on Ethics has found that investment in Elbit constitutes an unacceptable risk of contribution to serious...

The Elders Visit Palestine/Israel 
Alternative Information Center - 3 Sep 2009 - The Elders visited Israel and the Palestinian territories for the first time as a group from 25-28 August 2009. As an independent and non-affiliated group, the Elders do not participate in any negotiations but are supportive of the current peace talks. The timing of their visit...

Did Leviev's Empire Succumb to Boycott?
Alternative Information Center - 2 Sep 2009 - On 31 August 2009, Lev Leviev, the sixth richest Israeli according to Forbes Magazine , convened a press conference and announced that his company Africa Israel will be unable to meet its financial obligations and repay its debts on time. Leviev's debt is estimated at nearly Euro...

“This is Israel Here, not Palestine”
Alternative Information Center - 31 Aug 2009 - While the U.S. administration and the main EU Foreign Ministries seem to be in favor of slowing down the colonization process of occupied or annexed territories, the Israeli government is still responding to those efforts with a flat refusal.


Articles

Electronic Intifada
"Sense of duty": interview with Bilin journalist
4 Sep 2009 - Haitham al-Katib is a journalist living in the occupied West Bank village of Bilin. During the last few months, village residents have been the victims of constant night invasions by the Israeli military. Al-Katib films the night raids, as well as the weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the wall, and has become a well-known figure for his brave attempts to document the struggle. The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre, currently based in Bilin, interviewed him about his work. 

A big thank you
4 Sep 2009 - The significance of this -- alas short lived -- exposure of what lies behind the apartheid wall and the fences that encircle the West Bank and the Gaza Strip stems from the seniority of Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian finance minister who herself announced the decision to divest. It is the first official act of such a kind by a Western government. It is reminiscent of the first day when governments heeded the pressures of their societies in the West to act against apartheid South Africa. Ilan Pappe comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Why Israel is after my son
3 Sep 2009 - The persecution of Palestinian citizens inside Israel is not a new phenomenon. Yet, for me, this time it hit home. The Israeli intelligence agency Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet, accuses my son Rawi Sultani of "contact with a foreign agent" and "delivering information to the enemy." Both are grave security offenses in Israeli law. Fouad Sultani comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Faithful warned against buying "occupation dates" this Ramadan
2 Sep 2009 - Israel's largest produce exporter, Agrexco, is once again under fire because of its dates produced in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. This year, the company's dates arrived in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which faithful Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and traditionally break their fast by eating a date. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
nice gestures: Gaza Ramadan day 14
4 Sep 2009 - A photo project brought me back to the Gaza War Cemetery with a photographer I know. Most photographers, including us, know that the better time to shoot (pictures) is early morning or at sunset, the light softer, shadows play tricks… in general everything is nicer that the midday glare you get with bright sunlight. But particularly in a place like Gaza, where that midday sunlight is accompanied by intense heat, photographing is really best left to morning or evening. We arrived at 1pm. Ibrahim Jeradeh, the dignified older caretaker of the grounds for decades, was there, in his prime. Always happy to receive visitors, he seems. Today we were looking...

Palestine Chronicle
Yehuda Hiss: Missing Link in Palestinian Organ Theft?
4 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth The hyperventilating by Israel's leaders [1] over a story published in a Swedish newspaper last month [2] suggesting that the Israeli army assisted in organ theft from Palestinians has distracted attention from the disturbing allegations made by Palestinian families that were the basis of the article’s central claim. The families’ fears that relatives, killed by the Israeli army, had body parts removed during unauthorised autopsies performed in Israel have been overshadowed by accusations of a “blood libel” directed against the reporter, Donald Bostrom, and the Aftonbladet newspaper, as well as the Swedish government and people. I have no idea whether the story is true. Like most journalists working in Israel and Palestine, I have heard such rumours before. Until Bostrom wrote his piece, no Western journalist, as far as I know, had investigated them. After so many years, the assumption by journalists was that there was little hope of finding evidence - apart from literally by digging up the corpses. Doubtless, the inevitable charge of anti-semitism such reports attract acted as a powerful deterrent too. What is striking about this episode is that the families making the claims were not given a hearing in the late 1980s and early 1990s, during the first Intifada, when most of the reports occurred, and are still being denied the right to voice their concerns today. Israel’s sensitivity to the allegation of organ theft - or “harvesting”, as many observers coyly refer to the practice - appears to trump...

Flying Home: Created by the Children of Lajee Center
4 Sep 2009 - By Jim Miles Kite flying activities go well beyond the physical phenomenon of wind blown materials flying tethered to their earth bound launchers. It is an activity including local knowledge of winds and landscapes, knowledge of how to physically shape the kite in order to have it fly. It is an activity that challenges the artistic creativity of the kite maker, a challenge to make the kite not only fly-worthy, but also decorative, and through that decoration, to make a statement from and about the flyer and kite maker. The statements can be several at a time, from simply being 'I am the best kite maker and designer' through the many nuances of challenging others to fly higher, or as in several Middle East regions, to challenge others in manipulating their kites to cut others down - the kite runners then chasing down the now freed kites. And that is the ultimate statement from kites, a message of freedom. More specifically, the tension towards freedom, as the kite pulls with the promised freedom of the wind, the promise of freedom to fly above it all, to have the freedom of the birds, to be free to come and go wherever one is able to move. It is about the dreams of freedom, freedom lost to be regained. It is the physical metaphor through which the human spirit expresses its desire to be unbound from the earth, to be free of its trials and tribulations, the freedom from worries and cares...

Obama Must Bring Israel to Heel
4 Sep 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh As the stage has reportedly been set for US President Barack Obama to spell out his much-awaited ideas on a Palestinian-Israeli settlement at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly later this month, two issues remain regrettably overlooked or sidelined. The persistent neglect of these twin problems has the potential to derail a peaceful settlement. The twin issues are the failure of the Obama administration to engage Hamas, and its inexplicable refusal to identify Israeli colonies in the occupied West Bank as illegal under international law. It is like burying one's head in the sand and hoping all will be well. Several Egyptian attempts have been launched to reconcile the two key Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, but no headway has been achieved. Hamas, which won the first Palestinian parliamentary elections three years ago, much to the surprise of all, especially Fatah, feels it is entitled to a bigger slice of the ruling Palestinian National Authority and its governing infrastructure. This internecine squabbling has resulted in a successful coup by Hamas whereby it now controls the Gaza Strip and its strategic location on the eastern Mediterranean. But this split has weakened the Palestinian side, raising doubts about how it will contribute to a fair Palestinian-Israeli settlement, hopefully by 2011. But this is where the Obama administration should step forward. Why not try and engage Hamas given that several of the group's leaders in Damascus and Gaza have expressed their willingness to live alongside Israel? After...

Taking Desperate Measures to Educate Gaza's Youth
4 Sep 2009 - By Najwa Sheikh - Gaza The month of Ramadan has come this year to the people of Gaza along with the new school year reminding them of the hard living conditions they have endured with the crushing blockade that Israel imposed on Gaza for the third year; A blockade that does not allow even for the basic needs such as medications, flour, building materials, papers, books and stationary for the new school year. With such deteriorating living and financial conditions, the people of Gaza have lost the taste of the joyful Ramadan nights. Before, they used to go to the markets to buy various goods available especially in this holy month, but this year, children even found themselves unable to have the regular Ramadan “fanous” (lantern) due to the high price of even these simple toys. Most children were satisfied with homemade lanterns fashioned from empty juice or cola bottles. However, the effect of this inhumane blockade did not allowed people to live normal lives, and has added more stress to the work of the largest relief organization in the gaza Strip. UNRWA is providing education, healthcare, social services, and emergency aid to over one million refugees living on the Strip all of whom are entirely dependent on the services provided by the agency. Providing education to the refugee children is one of UNRWA’s largest activities and accounts for half of its regular budget. The school enrollment for 2009/2010 is 206,180 children – 8,000 more than in 2008-2009. Due to...

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