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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
5 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Carter slams Israel, says it wants one bi-national state
6 Sep 2009 - Former American president, Jimmy Carter, stated in an op-ed published by the Washington Post that Israeli leaders want to continue colonizing the West Bank, and that Israel wants a one bi-national state. 

Israeli troops fire teargas at Al Jazeera reporter
6 Sep 2009 - Israeli soldiers fired on Friday teargas at a reporter working for Al Jazeera English as she was covering the nonviolent weekly protest against the Annexation Wall in Bil’in village near Ramallah. 

Qassam fighter killed in Gaza
6 Sep 2009 - The Al Qassam brigades, the armed wing of Hamas movement, reported Saturday that one of its fighters was killed in what it called a jihad mission in Gaza City. 

Settlers attack Palestinian homes in Hebron
5 Sep 2009 - A group of fundamental Israeli settlers attacked on Friday evening a number of Palestinian homes in Tal Romedia neighborhood, in the southern West bank city of Hebron. 

Child dies of wounds sustained Friday evening in northern Gaza
5 Sep 2009 - Palestinian medical sources reported Saturday morning that a Palestinian child died of wounds sustained Friday evening after Israeli soldiers opened fire at him in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. 

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. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Doctor: 90% of war casualties at Gaza hospital were civilians
5 Sep 2009 - Norwegian physician was present at Shifa during IDF op; says saw no proof Hamas used hospital as HQ. 

Palestinians: Gaza teen dies after being shot by IDF near Israel border
5 Sep 2009 - IDF official: Troops fired warning shots Fri. after spotting Palestinians approaching border fence. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Israeli forces beat citizen attempting to file complaint at DCO 6 Sep 2009

Israeli forces invade Bil'in overnight; no arrests 6 Sep 2009

Nablus refugees to protest UN reduction of services 6 Sep 2009

More strikes in government hospitals next week 6 Sep 2009

Nablus man shoots son three times over alleged financial dispute 6 Sep 2009

Israeli forces shoot youth in legs, detain him 6 Sep 2009

Israeli army invades Tulkarem area, hands out warrants 6 Sep 2009

Abbas doubts validity of talks with Netanyahu at UN GA meeting 6 Sep 2009

Egyptian security arrest four Africans attempting to sneak into Israel 6 Sep 2009

Fuel smuggling truck catches fire in Egyptian Rafah 6 Sep 2009

Palestinian officials press UAE over Palestinian residents 6 Sep 2009

Salfit: Woman attacked by meter-long snake, locals blame setters 6 Sep 2009

Death of Al-Qassam member announced by Hamas as martyrdom 6 Sep 2009

Family fights on rise as southern police halt 80th since Ramadan start 6 Sep 2009

At-Tibi slams special Knesset session on racism toward Ethiopians 6 Sep 2009

PA police report mass rights violations by Israeli forces in WB Friday 6 Sep 2009

The National

Roman ruins put Nahr al Bared camp rebuild at risk
5 Sep 2009 - A lawsuit filed by the Free Patriotic Movement in Lebanon threatens the rebuilding of a Palestinian refugee camp.

Gaza resistance in rapid-fire rhyme
5 Sep 2009 - Young Palestinian rap artists use their music to expose the stark realities of life in the occupied territories.

A wet land, a parched land
5 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.

Aljazeera

Chavez backs Iran nuclear strategy
5 Sep 2009 - On two-day visit to Tehran, Venezuelan leader says Iran has right to atomic energy.

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

Palestine News Network

Nonviolent resistance holds own in Na'lin during demonstration that ends with 3 severe injuries
5 Sep 2009 - Na'lin / PNN - Hundreds of residents of the western Ramallah town of Na'lin held Friday prayers on their land near the Wall. Sheikh Murad Amira led prayers which he referred to as a form of resistance to occupation and a rejection of injustice.International supporters joined the Palestinian nonviolent activists in the weekly action in walking toward the concrete Wall that is replacing...

Nightly arrest raid foiled in Bil'in as Palestinian nonviolent activists confront Israeli soldiers 
5 Sep 2009 - Bil'in / PNN - At this Friday’s weekly demonstration in Bil’in Village two protesters were hit by gas canisters, causing minor skin burns. Earlier this year Bassam Abu Rahma was hit and killed by the same weapon. The western Ramallah town, known for its nonviolent resistance to the Wall and settlements, formally protests every week. But for residents, surviving a day is an...

Sheikh at East Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque: we want to say "freeze settlement ...
4 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - Beginning early morning yesterday tens of thousands of people from different regions of the West Bank and Jerusalem attempted to reach Al Aqsa Mosque for prayers on the second Friday of Ramadan. Director of Endowments of Jerusalem, Sheikh Azzam Al-Khatib, told PNN that the number of worshipers exceeded 200,000.The yards of the compounded were filled...

PM Fayyad: nonviolent resistance has become a milestone on the path of the Palestinian struggle
4 Sep 2009 - Bil'in / PNN – The current poster-child of Palestinian nonviolent resistance is Bil’in, a village to the west of Ramallah City. During a Ramadan breakfast, the iftar, or evening meal that breaks the fast, was attended last night by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He was hosted by the citizens of the town and the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements. The neighboring...

PFLP plans international campaign to support Gaza fishermen against Israeli attacks
4 Sep 2009 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine pledged to intensify and build upon its work with Gaza fishermen to raise awareness about their suffering due to the aggression of the occupation, and work to build Palestinian, Arab and international support for the fishermen of Gaza. Dr. Rabah Muhanna, a member of the Political Bureau of the PFLP and its leader in...

Oktoberfest in Taybeh: the fifth annual festival will be held on the third and forth of next month 
4 Sep 2009 - Maria C. Khoury - During the 5th Annual Taybeh Oktoberfest, 3 and 4 October 2009, the Taybeh Beer tour is surely to be popular. Amazingly, people from all over the world somehow discover Taybeh and actually visit without having been enticed by major advertisements. Taybeh Beer tours are given daily but even when the brewery is closed on Sundays, if a family...

European Commission aid project aims to reach all afflicted communities within Palestine
4 Sep 2009 - A note from the European Commission: Dear citizen, only with the will, hope and sacrifice, you can reach excellence and success. With will and hope every human being can accomplish any impossible task, in the darkest circumstances that any person might face in this life; which is filled with problems and tragedies, conflicts and wars. Photos allocated in all regions of the...

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...

Stop The Wall

Mobilize for the seventh Week Against the Apartheid Wall
1 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, its popular committees and member organizations call on activists to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza from November 9 to 16 2009. See the full call in English and French here. [

Norwegian Pension Fund divests from Elbit Systems!
3 Sep 2009 - The Norwegian Pension Fund has announced its decision to divest $6 million from the Israeli firm Elbit Systems. The firm contributes surveillance technology to the Wall as well as military equipment to Occupation forces. This is an important victory for the BDS movement, and Elbit has been the target of a long campaign, with Stop the Wall working closely with Norwegian activists in the divestment effort. [

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

Swedish FM cancels Israel visit amid 'organ harvesting' controversy 
5 Sep 2009 - Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has canceled his visit to Israel, scheduled for September 11, in view of the continued tension in relations between the two countries. ... 

Netanyahu seeks Likud okay for settlement freeze
5 Sep 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several Likud cabinet ministers and Knesset members over the weekend, in an attempt to persuade them to support a freeze on construction in the West Bank settlements. ...

Spain FM 'regrets' interview with Holocaust denier 
4 Sep 2009 - Spain's foreign minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, "regrets" that the major Spanish newspaper El Mundo published an interview with a British Holocaust denier, David Irving, AFP quoted a spokeswoman as saying. ... 

Hamas chief arrives in Cairo to discuss Shalit deal
4 Sep 2009 - Hamas leader-in-exile Khaled Meshal is in Cairo to discuss a prisoner exchange deal for the release of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, a spokesman for the Islamist group said on Saturday. ...

IDF filmed aiming tear gas at Al-Jazeera reporter in West Bank
4 Sep 2009 - Video footage that aired Friday shows an Al-Jazeera reporter covering an anti-separation fence rally in the West Bank dodging a tear gas grenade fired by Israel Defense Forces troops. ...

The Guardian

Settlement deal set to focus on the West Bank
5 Sep 2009 - George Mitchell, the US envoy to the Middle East, will return to Jerusalem this week for talks on a temporary Israeli suspension of settlement activity in the occupied West Bank, despite a highly public row breaking...

Hamas in talks on freeing kidnapped Israeli soldier
5 Sep 2009 - Top Palestinian meets Egyptian intelligence chief amid reports of progress over a deal for prisoner exchange Khaled Meshal, the leader of Hamas, has made a dramatic visit to Cairo amid a new diplomatic effort to secure...

The burden of history | Antony Lerman
5 Sep 2009 - It's sometimes too much to expect individuals to transmit memories of great suffering, as my father's life showed The manipulation of history is the continuation of politics by other means, to coin a phrase. And this...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

El Al passengers bound for New York get unexpected Iceland layover 
5 Sep 2009 - El Al passengers flying from Israel to the U.S. spent a night in Iceland last week after an emergency landing. The passengers were put in hotels, and departed 22 hours later. ... 

Israel's World Cup hopes fade after loss to Latvia
5 Sep 2009 - Kaspars Gorks scored the lone goal Saturday to give Latvia a 1-0 victory over Israel in a World Cup qualifier at Ramat Gan stadium. ...

Sa'ar makes fresh defense of Netanyahu against rightist, PA critics
4 Sep 2009 - Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Saturday continued to lash out against critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who have assailed his policy over settlement construction in the West Bank. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Week in review - Netanyahu snubs US demand on settlement freeze
5 Sep 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

Palestine and US condemn Israeli settlement move
5 Sep 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Statement by the Press Secretary on Israeli settlements
5 Sep 2009 - Source: Government of the United States of America

YNet News

Settlers: Construction freeze must be fought
5 Sep 2009 - Yesha Council disappointed over plan to build only hundreds of homes in West Bank 

Jazeera reporter 'under attack'
5 Sep 2009 - Watch al-Jazeera's Jacky Rowland dodge IDF tear gas grenade while covering anti-fence protest 

Carter: Israel wants bi-national state
5 Sep 2009 - Ex-President Carter slams ongoing settlement expansion in Washington Post op-ed; 'A more likely alternative to present debacle is one state, which is obviously the goal of Israeli leaders who insist on colonizing the West Bank,' he writes 

Terrorists fire at Israel 
5 Sep 2009 - Anti-rocket alert activated in southern Israel, but mortar shell lands in Palestinian territory 

For 1st time in months: Peaceful haredi protests in capital 
5 Sep 2009 - En route to restoring calm in Jerusalem? For first time since start of demonstrations against opening of parking lot on Shabbat, haredim hold peaceful rally; demonstrators stay away from disputed parking lot, avoid clashes with police 

Palestinian teen killed in Gaza shooting 
5 Sep 2009 - Medical workers in Strip say 14-year-old died of wounds he sustained when IDF troops fired shots at Beit Hanoun neighborhood 

Chavez: No proof Iran building nuclear bomb
5 Sep 2009 - Upon his arrival in Tehran, Venezuelan leader says Islamic Republic pursuing peaceful nuclear energy 

Hamas chief in Cairo for Shalit talks
5 Sep 2009 - Mashal, Egyptian Intelligence chief Suleiman to discuss prisoner exchange deal with Israel, jumpstarting Palestinian reconciliation talks 

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

Kufaisheh warns of seriousness of Zionist schemes against Aqsa
6 Sep 2009 - Palestinian lawmaker Hatem Kufaisheh, a prisoner in Israeli jails, warned of the seriousness of the Zionist schemes and plots carried out against the Aqsa Mosque and the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Education official: HRW claim baseless
6 Sep 2009 - Dr. Yousef Ibrahim, the education undersecretary, has described as "baseless" the HRW claim that Gaza schools were turning back home female students not wearing the hijab at government's orders.

Abu Zuhri: Mishaal's visit to Cairo targets overcoming dialog snags
6 Sep 2009 - The visit to Cairo by Khaled Mishaal is aimed to overcome snags impeding progress in the Palestinian national dialog, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said on Saturday.

Sheikh Sabri hails thousands of Palestinians for praying in Aqsa
6 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Ikrema Sabri, the preacher of the Aqsa Mosque, on Friday hailed thousands of Palestinians who managed to pray in the Mosque despite the Israeli restrictions in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Two injuries in IOF quelling of peaceful march
6 Sep 2009 - Two Palestinian citizens were wounded including a boy when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired sonic and gas bombs at a peaceful march in Bil'in village, Ramallah district.

Jewish settlers attack Palestinian homes, uproot trees
6 Sep 2009 - Tens of Jewish settlers attacked a number of Palestinian homes in Tal Al-Rumaida suburb in downtown Al-Khalil on Friday while others uprooted olive trees near Ramallah.

European campaign warns of mass thirst and poisoning in Gaza
6 Sep 2009 - The European campaign to end the siege on Gaza warned Friday that Gaza people would suffer from mass thirst and poisoning as a result of the contamination of drinking water.

Palestinian boy dies of wounds sustained in IOF shooting
6 Sep 2009 - A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was pronounced dead in Gaza on Saturday after suffering serious wounds on Friday after IOF soldiers fired at him in northern Gaza, medical sources reported.

Norway boycotts Israeli firm involved in building apartheid wall
6 Sep 2009 - Norway's finance minister Kristin Halvorsen announced that the government stopped funding the Israeli arms company Elbit for its role in the construction of the apartheid wall in the West Bank.

Adala: Ofer prison authority imposes strip searches on female visitors
6 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.

Los Angeles Times

West Bank settlement growth looks likely 
5 Sep 2009 - A 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. 

Iran's Mousavi urges continued civil disobedience 
6 Sep 2009 - The opposition leader tells supporters to keep up the 'struggle against cheaters and liars.' He demands the government launch an investigation of the disputed presidential election. Iran's leading opposition figure Saturday called on his supporters to continue acts of peaceful civil disobedience, in his first major statement in weeks. 

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. 

New York Times

Hamas Fights Over Gaza’s Islamist Identity
5 Sep 2009 - Officials in the Hamas-led government have pushed back some efforts by guardians of religious morality, but it remains unclear for how long. 

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.” 

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. 

Misc

Growing up in the shadow of intermarriage
Mondoweiss - 5 Sep 2009 - Jack Ross responds to the recent campaign underwritten by the Israeli government to characterize American Jews who have intermarried as "lost" or "abducted." I have grown up in the shadow of intermarriage and all that it represents, but I never realized it until I was an...

Chazan: Israelis have abandoned the democratic ‘ethos’
Mondoweiss - 5 Sep 2009 - Naomi Chazan is an Israeli Jew of considerable standing. A former member of Knesset and leader of the leftish Meretz party, she has also endorsed J Street in the U.S. In this important piece, she offers the shocking news that Israel has abandoned democracy. It’s in...

Who’s attacking the veil? Why?
Mondoweiss - 5 Sep 2009 - David Horowitz, Jamie Glazov, and Phyllis Chesler are all attacking the Muslim veil. Chesler’s headline is "The Hundred Year War Begins." Why do these people care so much about what women on the other side of the world are wearing? Why is it a source for...

a good excuse to run a foto of the great Amira Hass
Mondoweiss - 5 Sep 2009 - I email a Jewish friend: I just did a post with two savage items of racism from Israel in the last couple days, contrasted with Tony Karon saying that Olmert says American Jews won’t stand for apartheid. But I dont believe it. I believe they’d swallow...

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...

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...


Articles

Electronic Intifada
Accountability and the organ theft controversy
5 Sep 2009 - The hyperventilating by Israel's leaders over a story published in a Swedish newspaper last month 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. Jonathan Cook comments. 

Israel targets medical teams
5 Sep 2009 - JALAZONE, occupied West Bank (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. Palestinian medical personnel who tried to reach the critically injured boy near the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah were threatened at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers and shot at. 

"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. 

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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