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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
11 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Report: “23 legislators, three ministers, still imprisoned by Israel”
12 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Friday that after Israel previously released 10 legislators, including PLC head Dr. Aziz Dweik, the Israeli occupation is still holding captive 26 Palestinians legislators and three former ministers. 

Settler fires at Palestinians in Jerusalem
12 Sep 2009 - An Israeli settler, in his twenties, opened fire on Friday evening at two Palestinians from Silwan neighborhood, and claimed that he ‘felt threatened’ by them. The two suffered mild injuries. 

Ban calls on Israel, Lebanon, to be committed to ceasefire
12 Sep 2009 -  United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, called on Israel and Lebanon to be committed to the ceasefire. His statements came after two shells were fired into Israel on Friday. 

Erekat meets Mitchell’s aide
11 Sep 2009 - Dr. Saeb Erekat, head of the Negotiations Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), met on Friday with David Hale, former U.S. ambassador in Jordan and the assistant of George Mitchell, the U.S. Middle East Envoy.  Erekat separately met E.U special envoy Mark Otte. 

Two Injured and Dozens suffered teargas inhalation during the Bil'in Weekly Protest
11 Sep 2009 - Two Injured and dozens suffered effects of teargas inhalation in village of Bil'in, central West Bank, during the weekly protest there on Friday. 

Fundamental settlers to protest in front of Netanyahu's residence
11 Sep 2009 - Fundamental settlers are planning to conduct a sit-in protest in front of the official residence of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in protest of what they called "a plan to freeze the construction of settlements in the West Bank.” 

Israeli High Court orders demolition of dozens of structures in Nablus villages
11 Sep 2009 - Palestinian Minister of State, Maher Ghneim, slammed a decision by the Israeli High Court to prepare a schedule for demolishing dozens of Palestinian structures in Al Sawiya and Yitma villages, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel files complaint with UN over Lebanon rockets
11 Sep 2009 - Ban: Parties must adhere to cease-fire; IDF strikes southern Lebanon after 2 Katyushas hit Israel. 

Ashkenazi: Mandatory national service for those who don't enlist in IDF
11 Sep 2009 - Top IDF officer also said army has a long way to go in regard to the drafting of women. 

Comment / Why a lethal surprise like 9/11 may happen again
10 Sep 2009 - The 9/11 attacks brought Israel closer to America on all matters relating to anti-terror cooperation. 

French army chief: Military strike on Iran not viable
10 Sep 2009 - Frank military assessment on Iran appears to go beyond recent public comments by French officials. 

IDF officer: Soldiers can't beat Palestinian civilians
10 Sep 2009 - GOC Central Command testifies at trial of commander accused of hitting Palestinian during arrest. 

Ma'an News

Bil’in protest continues despite Israeli night raids; 2 injured
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Bil'in residents and international activists gathered in the village for the weekly anti-wall protest Friday, as Israeli soldiers in armored vehicles massed at the gate in the separation wall where ralliers headed. Forces met the non-violent protesters, raising banners and demanding access to agricultural land cut off from the village by the separation wall, with tear-gas canisters and sound bombs in an attempt to deter the group from arriving at the gate. Two Palestinians, Ashrsf and Khamis Abu Rahmah, were injured when tear gas and sound bomb canisters struck them. Dozens of other local and international activists suffered tear-gas inhalation as they attempted to reach the gate. When the separation wall was built west of the village center, its route cut off thousands of dunums of agricultural land belonging to the villagers. 

Israeli police quash milti-faith Iftar dinner in Jerusalem
9/11/2009 - Jerusalem- Ma'an - Israeli police told Palestinian organizers of a Ramadan fast-breaking Iftar meal formulti-faith leaders in Jerusalem that the event would not be permitted to take place by decree of the Israeli police chief. Israeli authorities informed Governor of Palestinian Jerusalem Adnan Al-Huseini and the owners of the Seven Arches Hotel in the Old City that the planned Iftar feast for local leaders and dignitaries from the Christian and Muslim communities would be quashed. By the afternoon Israeli police forces imposed a security closure on hotel and surrounding area. The day before Israeli police forcibly shut-down the National Theatre and the Jabal Az-Zeitun Club as they attempted to host Ramadan activities. 

Israeli opens fire at Palestinians in Jerusalem, clashes erupt
9/11/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Clashes erupted after an Israeli man opened fire on gathered Palestinians near the Silwan neighborhood adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem. Two Palestinians were taken to hospital, one in critical condition. Dozens of others were arrested as Israeli police and border guards mobilized in the area in an attempt to take control of the situation, which erupted into clashes when Israeli forces descended. Israeli news sources said the injured men were 13 and 40-years-old, and identified the Israeli shooter as a 20-year-old man who said he was defending himself against a Palestinian attack. According to the online Israeli news source Ynet, the youth told investigators that he "felt threatened by the fact that Arabs were standing next to him," and opened fire with a rifle he had on his person at the time. 

Nil’in rallies burn tires as Israeli forces spray gas, pollutants
9/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Dozens of protectors vomited and reported difficulty breathing after Israeli forces attacked a group of anti-wall ralliers in the West Bank village of Nil'in on Friday. Hundreds of residents were joined by international peace activists and the group took to the streets and headed to the construction site of the Israeli separation wall for noontime, where Muslims and supporters prayed on the lands near the wall. A masked Palestinian planted a national flag on the wall, while others set fire to rubber car tires. In response, Israeli soldiers fired gas canisters and sprayed the demonstrators with polluted water. International activists from Canada, Sweden, Italy, and America were all affected by the fumes and polluted water. 

Israel shells Lebanon following rocket strike; no injuries
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Two Katyusha rockets landed in the northern Israeli city of Nahariya, near the border with Lebanon on Friday afternoon, and Israeli forces responded by firing 15 artillery shells at what they said was the source of the fire, across the border in Lebanon. UNSecretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the Lebanese act, but not the Israeli retaliation, but called on both sides to show restraint. The incident came one day after the resignation of Lebanon's Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri, who was unable to form a national unity government following a 7 June election. The party with the second largest number of seats was Hizbullah. No claim has been made on the firing of the rockets, with analysts speculating involvement of Palestinian factions. The devices landed in an open area in Israel, and Israeli sources said they believed they were fired from Al-Qalila village in southern Lebanon. 

Sewage treatment success and future plans in north Gaza
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The water sewage situation in Gaza remains critical after the March 2007 collapse of the Beit Lahia sewage lake. As a result of the collapse, the nearby village of Um Al Nasser was completely flooded which killed three, injured 24 and caused the displacement of approximately 2,000 people. According to a recent statement from the World Bank, funding from the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EID) helped to set up the North Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment (NGEST) project was designed to help the 300,000 Gazan residents affected by that collapse. NGEST is composed of two parts. The goal of Part A was to build a replacement infiltration basin following Beit Lahia sewage lake collapse, drain the remaining sewage in the lake, and begin remediation of the affected areas. Part B includes a long term vision for north Gaza's water sewage management centered on a new treatment facility for Part A's basins. Part A was initially slowed by restrictions on the entry of 

Israel closes Gaza crossings
9/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to close all three crossing points used to ship goods into the besieged Gaza Strip on Friday. Palestinian crossing representative Raed Fattouh said that the Israeli side closed the Kerem Shalom, Karni, and Nahal Oz crossings without stating an explanation. Most days Israel opens at least two of the crossings to allow limited shipments of food, fuel, and humanitarian goods into Gaza. [end] 

Heavy Israeli police presence in Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan prayer
9/11/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israel deployed additional police forces throughout East Jerusalem on Friday expecting tens of thousands of Palestinians to attend prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Police were deployed in the narrow streets of the Old City and at the gates of the Al-Aqsa compound. They are only allowing entry for Palestinian men above the age of fifty and for women above the age of forty-five along with young children for prayer. Israeli authorities estimated that more than 100,000 Palestinians attended Friday prayers in Jerusalem last week. Islamic officials said that attendance was at least 170,000. Muslims worldwide are ending the third week of Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting. For Palestinians from the West Bank who have a permit, Fridays during Ramadan are chance to visit Jerusalem and pray at Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam. 

PA: 8 Palestinians detained by Israel forces; Israel: Clashes in Azzun
9/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers detained eight Palestinians, including two children, during raids on West Bank cities on Friday. Palestinian police reported that raids on the village of Kufr Ad-Dik near salfit where soldiers searched the houses of Fayez Odeh, Iyad At-Tork, and Musleh Nayeh Ad-Dik stealing 4,500 JD and 14,000 NIS. Near Nablus, a group of Israeli soldiers raided the villages of Burin, Madama, and Asira detaining 17-year-olds Khaled Al-Qut and Saed Awada. In Burin, Israeli settlers burned parts of Imad Khaled Omran's house and attempted to detain him before villagers and civil defense forces intervened to stop the seizure. However settlers took his name,phone number, and are still present in the village. In Jenin, Israeli forces detained Saleh Samudy from the village of Al-Yamun while he was passing a checkpoint between Anbata and Ennab. 

Israeli police arrest 14 Palestinian workers in Netanya
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli troops detained 14 Palestinians north of Tel Aviv during a night raid in the early hours of Friday morning, saying the men were living in the area without permits. Israeli sources said troops raided an apartment in Natania, took all of those staying there for investigations then released them to return to the West Bank. [end] 

250,000 Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa, overwhelm some security measures
9/11/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - The Al-Aqsa Foundation of Waqf and Heritage estimated the number of Muslim worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of Ramadan at a quarter of a million. The 250,000 flocked to Jerusalem starting at sunrise, overwhelming checkpoints and thwarting some Israeli security procedures based on the sheer volume of devout worshippers heading to Islam's third holiest site. Source say most of the faithful are from East Jerusalem and other villages and cities inside Israel, but numbers from the southern West Bank were enough to prompt Israeli security personnel at the Rachel's Tomb checkpoint to give up on security checks as busloads of worshipers returned to the West Bank following prayer. A secondary door reserved for military vehicles and high-level delegates, last traversed by Pope Benedict XVI, was opened to let crushing crowds back into Bethlehem. 

Newly appointed French Consul General visits Gaza
9/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Newly appointed French Consul General Frédéric Desgneaux, who took up duties in Jerusalem on 21 August, paid a visit to Gaza Friday, where he toured the medical relief center for chronic diseases in Gaza city and told Palestinians, France "will not forget the residents of Gaza. " ¯ Head of the medical relief society in Gaza Abed Al-Hadi Abu Khusa thanked the French official and the delegation that accompanied him for coming to the besieged area and witnessing firsthand the effects of the siege and the inability of Gazans to rebuild following Israel's Operation Cast Lead, which killed nearly 1,500 in December and January. Head of the center's programs A'yed Yaghi praised recent French efforts to support Palestine, and asked Desgneaux to help pressure the Israeli government into lifting the siege. 

Israeli settler’s car pelted with stones
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli settler driving southwest of Bethlehem near the village of Nahalin was slightly injured after her car was showered with stones on Friday. The stones damaged her car, and caused damage to several others passing around the same time as well. The settler was reportedly taken to a hospital for treatment, according to Israeli radio. [end] 

New US Consul General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubinstein
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Daniel Rubinstein began his tour of duty as US Consul General in Jerusalem on September 6, 2009. He replaces Jake Walles, who had been US Consul General in Jerusalem for the past four years. Rubinstein served as Chief of the Civilian Observer Unit in the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in Amman from 2005 to 2008, and as the Director of the Office of Israeli and Palestinian Affairs in the Department of State from 2004 to 2008. He has also worked in Brasilia, Damascus, Tunis, Luanda, and Tel Aviv. Rubinstein is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and speaks Arabic, Hebrew and Portuguese, a US State Department media release said. 

US Envoy to hold three days of talks with Palestinian, Israeli leaders
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell is set to start three days of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian Authority leaders Sunday in an effort to prepare the region for potential peace talks, the US State Department said. In Ramallah, Mitchell is expected to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to attend preliminary talks in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings, despite Abbas' stance on no talks before a settlement freeze and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent "go ahead" to the construction of nearly 1,000 new settlement homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Though Abbas said he would meet with Netanyahu if the Israeli leader had something constructive to say over the settlement issue, plans for the tripartite meeting between US President Barack Obama,Abbas, andNetanyahu, are now on hold, at least according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Friday. 

EU, PA ensure social allowances available before Eid; Banks open Sat.
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The payment of Palestinian social allowances will begin on Saturday 12 September in an joint effort between the European Union and the Palestinian Authority. The EU contributed 9. 3 million Euro for the payments, via the PEGASE program. Uncharacteristically, banks will open on that Saturday to allow as many beneficiaries as possible to receive their allowance ahead of the feast of Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the EU said in a statement. The social allowance is handed out every three months to the most needy of the West Bank and Gaza. According to the EU more than 50,500 Palestinian families will receive funds. Beneficiary families can collect their payments in 44 designated branches of the Bank of Palestine and the Cairo Amman Bank, from Saturday 12 September until 15 October 2009. 

Exclusive: Senior Fatah official concerned over Egyptian election plan
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Senior Fatah member and head of the party's parliamentary bloc Azzam Al-Ahmad echoed other members sentiments in his reservations over the Egyptian conciliation plan's treatment of the elections issue, he said in an interview Friday. Fatah is "keen on having a deadline for the elections according to Palestinian law [on 25 January 2010]"¯ rather than the provisions proposed by the Egyptians which calls for elections during "the first half of 2010," Al-Ahmad said, noting he was "astonished" over the proposal. His reservations mirror those of Fatah Revolutionary Council member Zaid Abu Ein who spoke against the proposal's terms Thursday night. Fatah leader and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has yet to comment on the proposal, but Al-Ahmad insisted Fatah is preparing to hold elections on the 25 January citing Palestinian law which calls for elections "during the first 90 days"¯ of the new year. 

Hamas’ Bahar says he is for unity, protection of homeland
9/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Ahmad Bahar said he is for dialogue, unity and the reorganization of security forces so they can "protect our homeland and not Israel. " ¯Speaking during a Friday prayer in Gaza, Bahar said Palestinian political prisoners in the West Bank must be released so sides can get down to dialogue. His comments come following the release of an Egyptian conciliation plan to leaders of all Palestinian factions. Talks are set to start again in October. One element of the Egyptian plan addresses the reform and reunification of Palestinian security forces under Egyptian and Arab training and observation. Addressing the issue the Hamas leader said he supported strong security forces able to protect the country, and not ones focused on "Israel and chasing the resistance fighters,"¯ principally Hamas affiliates in the West Bank. 

PA police chief salutes officers
9/11/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Head of Palestinian Police Major General Hazem Atallah spoke at a policeman's iftar gathering Thursday evening in an address to his police officers. He praised the PA police, appluading their commitment to improve as a law enforcement agency, to protect human rights, and to maintain security in the region. Speaking at the iftar, the evening meal that breaks the Ramadan fast, Atallah said that local residents are always the best judge of the officers who serve in their communities. To that end the Major General discussed ways policeman can work to keep a good rapport with their communities. He said efforts should be made to be good symbols for the nation they represent. Atallah mentioned that certain policeman deserve promotions because of their good deeds, and ongoing effort. 

Palestinian photojournalists win prizes in Arab Sport contest
9/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian photojournalists Haitahm Othman Subeih and Wajdy Al-Ja'fary earned first and second place respectively for best sports images in the Arab Federation for Sport Press competition. The results of the competition were announced Friday at a celebration in Bethlehem's Intercontinental hotel in the presence of sponsor Jibril Rujoub, head of the Palestinian Olympic committee and head of Palestinian football federation. Subeih and Aj-Ja'fary, both Ma'an journalists, took the photos at the opening of a Palestinian football tournament and at the Wad El-Nis village festival following their team's success at the championship game. The works won out of 136 submissions. Third place went to Reuters photojournalist Muhammad Turkman. 

Bethlehem-area blackout 4-8am for repairs, JEC announces
9/11/2009 - Power will go out in Bethlehem area from 4am to 8am to fix generator - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Following a power outage in the Bethlehem area Friday afternoon, the Jerusalem Electricity Company said power would be cut again in an effort to fix a faulty generator in Israel. From 4am to 8am West Bank time the power to the following districts will be cut: [end] 

Palestine Telegraph

Iraqi Palestinians yearn to belong
Syria, September 11, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- From an outcrop of ragged tower blocks overlooking the sprawl of eastern Baghdad, the remnants of Baghdad's Palestinian community ponder their position in the new Iraq.

5 Children kidnapped by Israeli Occupation Forces
Gaza, September 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights reported that undercover forces of the Israeli army kidnapped on Sunday five Palestinian children in an invasion to Beit Lahia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.  ...

Israeli B'tselem releases a condemning report
Occupying Entity, September 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- Well over half of nearly 1,400 Palestinians killed in Israel's Gaza war were civilians, including 252 children younger than 16, a leading Israeli human rights groups said Wednesday, challenging Israel's claim that most of the dead...

The Gaza Strip Continues to Crumble under Electricity Crisis.
Gaza Strip, September 9, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- In mid-2006 after some Palestinians fighters had captured the Israeli soldier Sahlit, Israeli warplanes destroyed the six transformers of Gaza's only power plant. The plant, completed in 2002, was able during that time to produce...

Gaza, updated over the past four years
Gaza, September 9, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- Many of the world's non-Arab countries-across Europe and the U.S., even Arabs, have associated the name "Gaza" with wars, weapons, explosions, blood, poverty, anarchy...and recently with the in-fighting and the trails of destruction wrought by Israel's...

The National

Two countries revel in their outsider status
11 Sep 2009 - Bashar Assad and Hugo Chávez have both found a common cause in resisting the US, and making oil deals and investments.

Netanyahu in Cairo for peace talks
11 Sep 2009 - Israel's hawkish premier heads to Cairo on Sunday for talks focused on a US-led push to revive the Middle East peace process.

Hariri resigns as Lebanon's prime minister-designate
10 Sep 2009 - Hizbollah's rejection of the cabinet Saad Hariri proposed earlier in the week is cited as reason for his departure.

Settler-linked project stopped in east Jerusalem
10 Sep 2009 - In a rare victory for Palestinian residents, a judge has stopped an infrastructure project linked to a settler organisation in occupied east Jerusalem.

Aljazeera

Rockets hit Israel from Lebanon
11 Sep 2009 - Two mortars fired from southern Lebanon strike northern Israel.

Israel criticised over mobile delay
10 Sep 2009 - Palestinian network operator threatens to pull out of deal amid row over frequencies.

Alternative Information Center

B'Tselem: Most Palestinians Killed in Gaza War Were Civilians
9 Sep 2009 - Today (Wed. Sept 9th) Israeli human rights group B'Tselem published its findings on the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. According to B’Tselem’s research, Israeli security forces killed...

Palestine News Network

Israeli Minister of Internal Security closes Palestinian National Theater in East Jerusalem
11 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – On Wednesday night the Israeli Minister of Internal Security issued a military order to close the Palestinian National Theater in the At Tur neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The next day, Fadi Rujub was released from Israeli interrogation after being questioned regarding events related to the Palestinian Authority.Rujub denied the charges and was released after paying...

Israeli administration bans Muslim - Christian Ramadan evening breakfast in East Jerusalem
11 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad attempted to sponsor a Ramadan breakfast in East Jerusalem. The Israeli Minister of Internal Security issued a an order Friday afternoon forbidding the Palestinians from dining together at the Hotel Seven Arcs in the At Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem.The Ramadan evening breakfast, Iftar, had been planned as a gathering...

Popular resistance to be used as national strategy, hopes Na'lin leader
11 Sep 2009 - Na'lin / PNN – After a day of protesting the Wall in Na’lin, residents were subjected to closure when Israeli forces imposed a checkpoint at the entrance to the western Ramallah town and continued late into the evening to restrict freedom of movement. Earlier today hundreds of Palestinians held noon prayers near land taken for the Wall. Sheikh Murad Amira called for attendance...

Nonviolent demonstrators in Bil’in protest Wall this week by holding banners reading: We Want ...
11 Sep 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat – Residents of the small western Ramallah town of Bil’in were joined today by international activists for their weekly nonviolent demonstration against the Wall, settlements and occupation. Despite being inundated by noxious gas canisters, protesters stood their ground near the fence that blocks residents from their land.Palestinians displayed large banners reading We Want Peace in Arabic, Hebrew, and English....

Sheikh talks politics and piety as 220,000 pray in Al Aqsa, thousands more stuck at checkpoints
11 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – At least 220 thousand Muslims attended noon prayers at East Jerusalem’s Al Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of Ramadan. Sheikh Yousef Abu Sneineh delivered the sermon in which he asked for renewed efforts at charity and forgiveness the last 10 days of the month-long holiday. He called for full participation in Laylat Al Qadr...

Shooting in East Jerusalem as settlers continue to attack Palestinians in the occupied city
11 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – Among several East Jerusalem neighborhoods under direct Israeli assault, Silwan was the scene of a shooting today. A 20 year old Jewish settler opened fire on Palestinians in a parking lot, leading to two injuries, one of them serious.Israeli sources reported Friday that the shooter claimed self-defense. The two Palestinian victims, a 13 year old boy and a 40...

US/UK Schools receive free copy of Arab Science textbook
10 Sep 2009 - An educational foundation has announced plans to distribute free books to US and UK schools to highlight the scientific and cultural legacy of Muslim civilisation. 1001 Inventions is the brainchild of the Foundation for Science Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) – a network of academics dedicated to debunking the myth of the so-called “Dark Ages of Civilisation”. Last month, atheism activist Richard Dawkins...

IRIN

OPT: Gaza schoolchildren lack basic equipment
GAZA CITY Wednesday, September 09, 2009 (IRIN) - Some 1,200 students at al-Karmel High School for boys in Gaza City returned to class on 25 August without history and English textbooks, or notebooks and pens - all unavailable on the local market.

ISRAEL-OPT: New report highlights educational poverty in East Jerusalem
TEL AVIV Thursday, September 03, 2009 (IRIN) - Palestinian East Jerusalem lacks public educational facilities and many classrooms are cramped, according to a new report by Ir Amim, an NGO working in East Jerusalem, and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).

In Brief: East Africa teams up over disaster management
NAIROBI Thursday, September 03, 2009 (IRIN) - At least 1,556 East African Community (EAC) military personnel are participating in a three-week joint field training exercise codenamed Ex–Mlima Kilimanjaro (Mount Kilimanjaro) 2009 in Arusha and Tanga, Tanzania, to share knowledge on the regional challenges in peace support, counter-terrorism and disaster management.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: NGO Reports on Gaza War Belie Israeli Claims 
WASHINGTON, Sep 11 (IPS) - This week, two respected human rights organisations - one Palestinian, one Israeli - each came out with very full reports into the extent of the damage caused by the assault Israel waged against Gaza last winter.

MIDEAST: Israel Taking Sharp Measures Over Iran 
JERUSALEM, Sep 11 (IPS) - Questions about Iran's nuclear thrust are tumbling out, echoing around the world in several directions.

ENVIRONMENT: Desert Winds Stir New Hope 
CAIRO, Sep 9 (IPS/IFEJ) - With oil and gas reserves running dry, the most populous country in the Arab world is eyeing wind power as a solution to its looming energy crunch.

MIDEAST: Business Seeks Ways Past Political Impasse 
RAMALLAH, Sep 8 (IPS) - Business between the Palestinian Authority and Israel is growing despite the political impasse over Israel's refusal to cease illegal settlement building in East Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank.

PCHR Latest

IOF Willfully Kill a Child in Beit Hanoun Town, Northern Gaza
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(03- 09 Sep. 2009)
During the reporting period, IOF killed a Palestinian child and wounded 6 Palestinian civilian, a resistance activist and an Israeli journalist.

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
IOF Willfully Kill a Child in Beit Hanoun Town, Northern Gaza 06 September

International Solidarity Movement

Benefit Sunday for former Berkeley tree sitter severely injured in Israel
9/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Kristin Bender, The Oakland Tribune, 9 September 2009 - Six months after Tristan Anderson, a former UC Berkeley tree sitter and Bay Area activist, nearly died after being struck in the head with a tear-gas canister fired by Israeli troops, friends are holding a benefit Sunday to raise money for his recovery costs. Anderson, 38, remains at a rehabilitation hospital near Tel Aviv and continues to have setbacks and infections after skull surgery last month, supporters said. The operation came after doctors learned Anderson was suffering from post-traumatic hydrocephalus, a blockage of the ventricles "” open spaces in the brain "” that causes poor circulation of cerebral spinal fluid in the head, supporters said. "His girlfriend, Gabrielle Silverman, and his parents are hopeful and giving Tristan as much encouragement and support as they can, even though by all appearances he is struggling to get better," said friend Karen Pickett. 

Israeli settlement expansion in South Hebron Hills continues unabated
9/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove - At a time when the international community is calling for a freeze on new building in settlements and the disbanding of settlement outposts, the settler community of the South Hebron Hills is continuing its expansion unabated. Israeli settlers from the illegal settlement on Ma'on, in the South Hebron Hills area, are constructingat least five new caravans on the south-west side of the settlement. Internationals based in the nearby Palestinian village of At Tuwani first observed building preparatory work in Ma'on a few days ago. Today, as the new caravans were being built, settlers began preparatory work on a nearby hilltop for further settlement expansion. Over the past three months,internationals have also observed settlers constructing numerous new buildings in the nearby illegal Israeli outposts of Havat Ma'on (Hill 833) and Avigail. 

Palestinian driver forced to unload truck despite papers
9/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ali Waked, YNet News - The driver of a truck loaded with boulders drove last Friday to the Palestinian town, Ras Tira, to deliver his truck's contents. He was shocked to discover that, despite having all the proper documentation for delivering the goods signed by Israel's Coordination and Liaison Authority, IDF soldiers at the checkpoint asked him to unload the boulders so that the bed of the truck could be checked. The separation fence splits Ras Tira from the main bloc of Palestinian towns in the West Bank, creating an enclave on the side of the fence near Qalqilya. Ras Tira Mayor Hisham Mara'adeh told Ynet that the driver reached the entrance of the town around 6:30 am, but was detained there until 12 pm explaining the situation to the soldiers. The driver explained to the soldiers that he had no problem unloading the boulders from the truck. 

Join the 2009 Olive Harvest Campaign
9/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 9 September 2009 - With rapidly escalating levels of settler violence in the West Bank, the International Solidarity Movement is issuing an urgent call for volunteers to participate in the 2009 Olive Harvest Campaign. The olive tree is a national symbol for Palestinians. As thousands of olive trees have been bulldozed, uprooted and burned by the Israeli military and settlers, harvesting has become more than a source of livelihood; it has become a form of resistance. The olive harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians' historical, spiritual and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it. Palestinian communities are inviting internationals to support and show solidarity with this resistance by working in the olive groves with them. By doing so, activists can reduce the risk of extreme violence from Israeli settlers or army through non-violent intervention and documentation. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Alleged anti-Arab slur lands French minister in hot water
11 Sep 2009 - Cabinet members rushed Friday to defend France's interior minister - a key ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy - amid calls for the man's resignation after he allegedly was caught on camera making anti-Arab remarks. ...

U.S.: Six world powers accept Iran's offer to hold talks
10 Sep 2009 - The United States and five partner countries have decided to accept Iran's new offer to hold talks, even though Iran insists it will not negotiate over its disputed nuclear program, the State Department said Friday. ... 

Lebanon to hold consultations for nominating a new prime minister
10 Sep 2009 - Lebanese President Michel Suleiman will start parliamentary consultations to nominate a new prime minister on September 15 and 16, an official source said Friday. ...

Mourners mark eighth anniversary of 9/11 attacks
10 Sep 2009 - Mourners collected under umbrellas and a dreary sky Friday to mark the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with old rituals and a new purpose - honoring the spirit of those who rushed forward to help. ...

Putin: Russia opposes force, sanctions on Iran 
10 Sep 2009 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday warned against using force or new sanctions against Iran for its defiance over its nuclear program, saying Moscow has no evidence that Tehran is seeking nuclear arms. ...

The Guardian

Roy Greenslade: Shoe-throwing journalist to get hero treatment
11 Sep 2009 - The Iraqi TV journalist who threw his shoes at George W. Bush will be showered with gifts including a four-bedroom house — and at least one potential bride — when released from jail next Monday. Muntadhar...

The Middle East after the second world war
11 Sep 2009 - Leaving Belsen: Guardian report on the emigration of Jews from Germany to Palestine Just outside the Belsen camp – now renamed Hohne – there is a railway siding with a large ramp. Ordinarily a derelict train...

Video: Benny Morris: 'Palestinian Arabs have no respect for democratic values'
11 Sep 2009 - Israeli historian Benny Morris speaks to Jonathan Freedland about his new book, One State, Two States, and discusses why his analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may leave liberals squirming Benny Morris Jonathan Freedland Laurence Topham

Obama's impossible ambition | Benny Morris
11 Sep 2009 - The US president's intention to bridge the divide between Israel and Palestine is bound to fail President Obama's efforts to revive the Middle East peace process are bound to fail because of the unbridgeable divide separating...

Ha'aretz National page

Jewish gunman wounds two Palestinians in Jerusalem
10 Sep 2009 - A Jewish gunman shot and wounded two Palestinians in East Jerusalem on Friday, and police arrested the suspect at the scene, a police spokesman said. ...

Religious-school teacher arrested for suspected sexual abuse 
10 Sep 2009 - A teacher in a Sharon-area religious high school was arrested over suspicions that he had sexually assaulted one of his male students, the police said on Friday. ...

Southern Israel teen shot dead in night of flaring violence
10 Sep 2009 - A 19-year-old resident of the Arab town of Lakiya near Be'er Sheva was shot to death late Thursday night. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Logistics Cluster Gaza crisis consolidated situation report, 07 Aug - 10 Sep 2009
11 Sep 2009 - Source: Logistics Cluster

OPT: West Bank and Gaza update July 2009
11 Sep 2009 - Source: World Bank

EU goes back to drawing board in south Caucasus
10 Sep 2009 - Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

YNet News

EU foreign policy chief seeks urgent Iran talks 
11 Sep 2009 - Solana says six major powers committed to meaningful negotiations with Tehran to resolve international community's concerns about Iranian nuclear program 

UN chief urges Israel, Lebanon to exercise restraint 
11 Sep 2009 - Ban Ki-moon condemns firing of two rockets into Western Galilee, calls on sides to adhere to Security Council Resolution 1701, respect ceasefire. US says rocket fire, explosion of Hezbollah arms depot in July underline need to supervise weapons in Lebanon 

Jewish man shoots 2 Arabs in Jerusalem 
11 Sep 2009 - Youth in his 20s says fired at Arabs gathered next to him after feeling threatened. Arabs lightly injured; shooter arrested. Following incident, Silwan neighborhood residents hurl stones at police forces, Jews' houses 

Lawyer suspected of smuggling telephones to security prisoner 
11 Sep 2009 - Cleared for publication: Attorney Khaled Dasuki caught smuggling cell phones, SIM cards to Palestinian inmate at Ketziot jail. Israel Prison Service looking into how he passed security inspections 

2 rockets hit Nahariya area; no injuries 
11 Sep 2009 - Explosion sounds heard in Western Galilee area at around 3:45 pm Friday; no air raid siren sounded. Lebanese security sources confirm Katyusha rockets fired into Israel. IDF fires artillery into southern Lebanon in response 

IDF chief: Every youth must serve
11 Sep 2009 - Speaking before high school seniors in Kfar Saba, Gabi Ashkenazi says all must share burden of national service: 'We can't live in a society in which some serve and others don't'. Ashkenazi also addresses efforts to bring home captive soldier Gilad Shalit, ethics of combat 

Local authorities split over strike
11 Sep 2009 - Union of Local Authorities in Israel calls two-day warning strike next week in protest of government budget cut. But major Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and Rishon Lezion announce will only partially strike, angering union members 

B'tselem

Most fatalities in Operation Cast Lead did not take part in the hostilities 
8 Sep 2009 - B'Tselem releases comprehensive casualty figures from the three-week operation. The enormous toll on civilians - including the death of 320 minors - requires serious introspection on the part of the military, the government, and Israeli society as a whole

Palestinian Information Center

Normalization with Israel a stab in the back of Palestine
11 Sep 2009 - There is no doubt that any form of Arab normalization with Israel constitutes a brazen betrayal of the Palestinian people

Settlers at the Yitzhar start expanding their colony
11 Sep 2009 - Local source in the village of Hawwara said on Friday that settlers at the Yitzhar colony have started expanding their colony by building new houses on confiscated Palestinian land.

Abu Sha'ar warns of Israeli tunnel networks under the Aqsa Mosque
11 Sep 2009 - The PA Awkaf minister in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Taleb Abu Sha'ar, has warned Thursday of the programmed Israeli policy of digging tunnels under the Aqsa Mosque..

Palestinians community in the USA to Obama: Stop Dayton's program in W. Bank
11 Sep 2009 - Palestinian and American activists in the USA has urged Thursday US president Barak Obama to stop financing the program of US general Keith Dayton and his aides in the West Bank..

Kabaha complains of medical neglect in Israeli occupation jails
11 Sep 2009 - Former Minister of Prisoners' Affairs who is detained in an Israeli occupation jail, called on human rights organisations to help him and other Palestinian captives who need medical attention.

IOF troops stop thousnads of Palestinians from reaching the Aqsa Mosque
11 Sep 2009 - The Israeli occupation authorities deployed troops in large numbers in and around the occupied city of Jerusalem and setup roadblocks in the city on the third Friday of the holy month of Ramadan.

Ten Palestinian citizens wounded by Israeli settlers in Yatta
11 Sep 2009 - A number of savage Israeli settlers attacked Thursday a number of Palestinian homes located near Susiya settlement, southeast of Yatta town in Al-Khalil, which led to the injury of ten citizens.

Hamas: Egyptian reconciliation proposal under study
11 Sep 2009 - Hamas Movement on Thursday declared that it had received the Egyptian proposal on Palestinian national reconciliation and that the proposal was under study.

Bahar: The PLC will continue working as usual after January 25
11 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC), stated that the current council would continue its work in the same vigor and energy after January 25.

Farwana: Ahmed Shukri held in Israeli isolation cell for 21 years
11 Sep 2009 - Ahmed Shukri, a Palestinian prisoner in IOA jails, has entered his 21st year in captivity all served in solitary confinement, Abdul Nasser Farwana, a specialist in prisoners' affairs, said.

Los Angeles Times

Israel, militants in Lebanon trade rocket fire 
12 Sep 2009 - No injuries are reported on either side of the border. It is the first exchange of fire between Israel and militants in Lebanon since February. Two rockets were fired into northern Israel from southern Lebanon on Friday, and Israel responded minutes later by launching a barrage of 14 rockets and scrambling fighter jets across the volatile border, Lebanese and Israeli media reported. 

Lebanon's political crisis deepens as prime minister-designate abruptly quits 
11 Sep 2009 - U.S.-backed Saad Hariri says meddling by Iranian- and Syrian-backed opponents has thwarted his efforts to form a Cabinet. But the opposition says Hariri has alienated allies and rivals alike. Lebanon's U.S.-backed prime minister-designate quit abruptly Thursday, plunging the nation deeper into a political crisis over failed efforts to form a government. 

U.S. rejects Iran's proposal for talks 
10 Sep 2009 - The State Department says the Iranian offer given to Western diplomats doesn't address the main issue, Tehran's nuclear program. The State Department rejected Iran's latest proposal for international talks Thursday in another sign of trouble for the Obama administration's top-priority effort to engage Tehran in nuclear negotiations. 

New York Times

Rockets Fired From Lebanon Hit Israel
11 Sep 2009 - The rockets fired hit open areas in northern Israel on Friday, and Israel returned fire, Israeli military officials said. No injuries were reported on either side. 

Russia Says Sanctions Against Iran Are Unlikely
10 Sep 2009 - All but ruling out sanctions, Russia’s foreign minister brushed aside growing Western concerns over Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Israel: 2006 Letter From Captive Soldier Made Public
10 Sep 2009 - An Israeli soldier seized by Palestinian militants more than three years ago described his captivity as an “intolerable and inhumane nightmare” in a handwritten 2006 letter to his parents made public on Wednesday. 

Misc

Jewish Voice for Peace trys to open debate around Toronto Film Fest, other Jewish orgs (including J Street) look to shut it down
Mondoweiss - 11 Sep 2009 - The reverberations of the protest against the Toronto International Film Festival’s City to City program with Tel Aviv continue to be felt, and American Jewish organizations have started to respond to the controversy. The first comment came from Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center :...

Young Israeli Army Resisters Speak Out in National Tour
Mondoweiss - 11 Sep 2009 - "As a Jew, an American and a mother, the invasion of Gaza filled me with unbearable sadness. While Hamas’ attacks on Israeli villages are deplorable, Israel’s disproportionate response is unconscionable… In loving memory of our ancestors and for the future of our—and Palestinian—children, more American Jews...

Profile in courage: Gideon Levy makes ‘In These Times,’ not ‘the Times’
Mondoweiss - 11 Sep 2009 - I don’t get to feel proud as a Jew very often these days, when 300 Jewish communal leaders are beating the drums on Iran, and Jewish organizations support the settlements. But here is an amazing interview with the great Gideon Levy , by Robert Hirschfeld at In...

9/11 cast my Jewish identity
Mondoweiss - 11 Sep 2009 - I am no 9/11 remembrance fetishist, far from it. I delighted four years ago in The New Republic lament that nothing about our society changed and am tickled when our friends on the Commentary blog are outraged at casting the memory of that day as a...

dual loyalty, in the news
Mondoweiss - 11 Sep 2009 - Glenn Greenwald says that in his calls for Israel-centric policy, Norman Podhoretz is (shocking) guilty of dual loyalty, and that most American Jews reject this "radical ideology." From your lips to God’s ears, Glenn. Melinda Katz, campaigning for New York controller , grabbed the mike in a...

B'Tselem: Most Palestinians Killed in Gaza War Were Civilians
Alternative Information Center - 9 Sep 2009 - Today (Wed. Sept 9th) Israeli human rights group B'Tselem published its findings on the number of Palestinians and Israelis killed in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. According to B’Tselem’s research, Israeli security forces killed 1,387 Palestinians during the course of the three-week operation. Of...

Outing Israeli Liberals from Their Political Closet: A Letter to Eytan Fox and Gal Uchovsky 
Alternative Information Center - 8 Sep 2009 - To Gal Uchovsky and Eytan Fox, In two weeks your film The Bubble will be screened in the “City to City” tribute to Tel Aviv, which will open the prestigious Toronto Festival (mabruk!). In left-wing circles in Toronto and the film world there is an unpleasant...


Articles

Letter to Uri Avnery 
Abraham Simhony, Gush Shalom 9/3/2009
      Dear Uri,
     I must admit that writing these word to you doesn’t come easy to me and I am doing so with some trepidation. To me, as I am sure to many peace loving people in Israel and abroad, you have been for more than the last 40 years an inspiration and a reason to keep hoping for a change to the better in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. However, your article of 29th August titled Tutu’s Prayer, seems to me to be based on a number of wrong and incorrect facts and, I must admit, is slightly disappointing in as much as it does not contain a word of criticism of the choir of people from all straits of life, including the President of the Ben Gurion university, who have called for the firing of Dr. Neve Gordon and similar thinking people. To me, the freedom of speech is a basic pillar of a democracy, and if we do not defend this, we may as well forget about a democratic state in Israel!
     However, my main point of criticism of your article is what you refer to as “a faulty diagnosis leading to a faulty treatment”. I happen to know the Apartheid South Africa of the 70s and 80s and having lived for a number of years in a neighbouring country and having visited and worked in South Africa, I had the privilege of meeting and discussing the situation with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and with a number of other African (“blacks”) and European (“Whites”) open opposers of the Apartheid regime (After a while, it was not possible for me to visit South Africa, as I was refused an entry visa, as I made my views very known) , and as I also know a little bit about the current situation in Israel/Palestine, I am convinced that you are wrong with this theory. The situation among the “Whites” (albeit a minority of about 10% of the population, but the absolute rulers of the whole country) was very similar to the situation of the Jewish population of Israel. They, in their vast majority, including the so called English speaking “progressive” forces. despised the “non-whites” and did not want to even share a bit of power with them. Any “white” person who dared to quarrel with this mentality was termed “a traitor”, “a communist” and the like. Is the situation in Israel any different?.... more.. e-mail

The Boycott Revisited 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 9/7/2009
      THE PEOPLE of Sodom, the Bible tells us, were very wicked indeed.
     They had a nasty habit of putting every passing stranger into one particular bed. If the stranger was too tall, his legs were shortened. If he was too short, his body was stretched to the required length.
     In a way, each of us has such a bed, into which we put everything new. Confronted with a novel situation, we tend to equate it with a situation we have known in the past.
     In politics, this method is especially pervasive. It relieves us of the irksome necessity of studying an unfamiliar situation and drawing new conclusions.
     Once, the pattern of Vietnam was applied to every struggle around the world – from Argentina to North Korea. Nowadays, the fashion points to South Africa. Everything resembles the struggle against apartheid, unless proven otherwise.
     SINCE SENDING out last week’s article, “Tutu’s Prayer”, I have been flooded with responses, some laudatory, some abusive, some thoughtful, some merely angry.
     Generally, I don’t argue with my esteemed readers. I don’t want to impose my views, I just want to provide food for thought and leave it to the reader to form his or her own opinion.
     This time I feel that I owe it to my readers to clear up some of the points I was trying to make and answer some of the objections. So here we go.
     I HAVE no argument with people who hate Israel. That’s entirely their right. I just don’t think that we have any common ground for discussion. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
The Elders' visit to Bilin
11 Sep 2009 - Thursday, 27 August was a special day in Bilin. Dozens of blacked-out SUVs approached the village, disturbing the quiet of a usually peaceful morning. However, unlike the Israeli occupation forces who come at night to arrest boys from the village, this arrival was extremely welcome. The SUV passengers were a truly respected group of international diplomats, known as the Elders. Jody McIntyre writes from Bilin, occupied West Bank. 

Gaza's disabled cut off from payments
11 Sep 2009 - Yunis al-Masri was severely injured in a car wreck as he and his brothers traveled to work in Israel 24 years ago. He is entitled to a monthly allowance of $800 from Israel's National Insurance Institute, out of which he has supported his wife and 10 children in their home in Gaza. In early January, however, the transfers of disability benefits stopped arriving in his bank account in Gaza. About 700 other injured workers are in the same situation. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Israel targeting fishermen, farmers in Gaza
11 Sep 2009 - On 31 August, Israeli gunboats shot at and shelled the fishing trawler of Khaled al-Habil, destroying it completely and leaving the boat's 18 fishermen and their families without a source of income. One week earlier, on 24 August, Israeli soldiers along Gaza's northern border shot dead a young farm worker, Said al-Hussumi. Sixteen-year-old al-Hussumi was killed while working on land a few hundred meters from the border with his cousin Masoud Tanboura, who was seriously wounded. Eva Bartlett reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Shebaa Farms "real issue" is water
11 Sep 2009 - BEIRUT (IRIN) - The politics of the Israeli-occupied Shebaa Farms, a rugged sliver of mountainside wedged between Lebanon, Israel and Syria, have long overshadowed what some Lebanese environmentalists call "the real issue" of the disputed area: its water resources. Now activists are calling for hydro-diplomacy to take precedence over political maneuvering as the most effective solution to one of the key stumbling blocks to Middle East peace. 

In Gaza
Israel (still) targeting fishermen, farmers in Gaza
11 Sep 2009 - * Masoud Tanboura, shot through the chest by Israeli soldiers on 24 August, 2009. The Electronic Intifada On 31 August, Israeli gunboats shot at and shelled the fishing trawler of Khaled al-Habil , destroying it completely and leaving the boat’s 18 fishermen and their families without a source of income. One week earlier, on 24 August, Israeli soldiers along Gaza’s northern border shot dead a young farm worker, Said al-Hussumi. Sixteen-year-old al-Hussumi was killed while working on land a few hundred meters from the border with his cousin Masoud Tanboura, who was seriously wounded. “We were working in Attatra, near the sea, about 350 meters from the [border] fence,” said Tanboura...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel Blocks Money to Gaza's Disabled
11 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Yunis al Masri was luckier than his two brothers from Gaza. Although the truck that ploughed into their car as they travelled to work in Israel 24 years ago killed Jaber and Kamal instantly, Mr al Masri survived with shattered bones, internal bleeding and brain damage. Today, aged 49 and after many operations, he has difficulty walking and problems remembering to do things. Any hope of working again was crushed in 1985 amid the car wreckage. Like tens of thousands of other Palestinian manual labourers who worked inside Israel before Gaza was progressively sealed off to the outside world from the early 1990s, Mr. Al Masri had paid regularly into Israel's social security fund from his salary. Certified as disabled by an Israeli medical committee, he is entitled to a monthly allowance of $800 from Israel's National Insurance Institute, out of which he has supported his wife and 10 children in their home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza. In early January, however, the transfers of disability benefits stopped arriving in his bank account in Gaza. About 700 other injured workers are in the same situation. The reason, they have learnt, is that while the Israeli army was rampaging through the Gaza Strip during its winter assault, the Bank of Israel severed ties with Gaza's banks. The ending of financial relations between Israel and Gaza, in a deepening of the three-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled enclave, means Mr. al Masri and other disabled workers have...

The Axis of Evil and the Great Satan 
11 Sep 2009 - By Deepak Tripathi 'America is the Great Satan, the wounded snake.' - Ayatollah Khomeini, November 5, 1979. 'States like [Iran, Iraq, North Korea] constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.' - President George W Bush, January 29, 2002. Spoken two decades apart, these words sum up the troubled history of the relationship between Iran and the United States. The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said, 'There are no facts, only interpretations.' His observation holds true about the manner in which Tehran and Washington remain preoccupied with each other. No significant event in Iran can go without repercussions for relations with the West. Almost 30 years after the overthrow of Iran's autocratic ruler and America's policeman in the oil-rich Gulf, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the legacy continues to haunt both countries. The presidential election of June 2009 has been no exception. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the conservative incumbent, was seeking reelection after four turbulent years. A range of internal and external peculiarities surrounded the campaign that was both exciting and unique. In a country of 72 million people, two-thirds are under 30 years of age and the rate of literacy exceeds 75 percent. Iran's economy has suffered a steady decline. Oil revenues have failed to benefit the population. The downturn in the world economy has affected Iranian oil exports particularly hard and its balance of payments difficulties are acute due to low financial reserves.[1] Inflation was over 30 percent during the summer of 2008, when the Central...

Make Peace, Not War With Iran
11 Sep 2009 - By James Gundun Defense spokesman Geoff Morrell had told reporters that his boss, Secretary Robert Gates, was keen to address Al Jazeera. The Arab media giant couldn’t be ignored he said in a backhand way. With such a high platform, Gates unfortunately cast himself into the sweeping tide of war against Iran when peace is the only feasible solution in the Middle East. ‘One of the pathways to get the Iranians to change their approach on the nuclear issue is to persuade them that moving down that path will actually jeopardize their security,not enhance it,’ Gates said in wide ranging interview. ‘The more that our Arab friends and allies can straighten their security capabilities, the more they can strengthen their cooperation, both with each other and with us, I think sends the signal to the Iranians that this path they're on is not going to advance Iranian security but in fact could weaken it.’ Gate’s plan falls in line with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent slip of a Eurasian defense umbrella. The Pentagon is similarly considering speeding up development of its bunker busting 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP). Under stifling pressure from Israel, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns admits that the Obama administration is preparing Iranian sanctions for 2010 in return for a temporary settlement freeze. Israel is trading 1 apple for 5 apples and fleecing America, but the reason holds a key to why Iran’s nuclear program isn’t about Iran’s nuclear program. Israel...

What Role Did the US-Israeli Relationship Play in 9-11?
11 Sep 2009 - By Jeff Gates On the day of the 9-11 attacks, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked what the attack would mean for US-Israeli relations. His quick reply was: “It’s very good….Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy (for Israel).” Intelligence wars rely on mathematical models to anticipate the response of “the mark” to staged provocations. Reactions thereby become foreseeable—within an acceptable range of probabilities. When Israeli mathematician Robert J. Aumann received the 2005 Nobel Prize in economic science, he conceded that "the entire school of thought that we have developed here in Israel" has turned "Israel into the leading authority in this field." With a well-planned provocation, the anticipated response can even become a weapon in the arsenal of the agent provocateur. In response to 9-11, how difficult would it be to foresee that the U.S. would deploy its military to avenge that attack? With fixed intelligence, how difficult would it be to redirect that response to wage a long-planned war in Iraq -- not for U.S. interests but to advance the agenda for Greater Israel? The emotionally wrenching component of a provocation plays a key role in the field of game theory war planning where Israel is the authority. With the televised murder of 3,000 Americans, a shared mindset of shock, grief and outrage made it easier for U.S. policy-makers to believe that a known Evil Doer in Iraq was responsible, regardless of the facts. The strategic displacement of facts with induced beliefs, in...

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