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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
20 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Troops attacked the weekly protest at Nilin; scores suffered the effects of teargas inhalation
18 Sep 2009 - Scores of civilians suffered on Friday effects of teargas inhalation and nausea as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest against the Wall in the central West bank village of Nil'in. 

Dozens suffer effects of tear gas inhalation at the weekly Bilin protest
18 Sep 2009 - Dozens effects of tear gas inhalation on Friday during the weekly protest in the village of Bil’in central West Bank. 

PCHR Weekly report: One Palestinian dead, 6 injured by Israeli attacks
18 Sep 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 10 - 16 Sep. 2009, one Palestinian died from Israeli-inflicted wounds, and 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire.  In addition, Israeli forces used force against peaceful demonstrations organized in protest of the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.  

Israeli Prime Minister attacks UN Report on Gaza; Goldstone defends report
18 Sep 2009 - After a United Nations fact-finding mission released a report this week condemning Israel's wanton attacks on civilians during its invasion of Gaza in January, the Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the report as a "kangaroo court", despite the fact that his government refused to participate in any aspect of the UN investigation. 

Hamas government released 200 prisoners
18 Sep 2009 - Acting on orders by Ismail Haniyya, prime minister of the dissolved government in Gaza, the Hamas- controlled security froes in the Gaza Strip released 200 prisoners as an act of good will as the Muslims mark the Al Fitir Feast. 

Abbas, Mubarak to meet Saturday
18 Sep 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, is expected to meet his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, in Cairo this Saturday for talks on the American peace efforts, and the issue of resuming reconciliation talks between Fateh and Hamas movements. 

British trade unions back boycott of Israel
17 Sep 2009 - A Congress of Britain’s largest trade unions, representing 6.5 million workers, have voted overwhelmingly to commit to build a mass boycott movement for disinvestment and sanctions on Israel, until the Israeli government agrees to a negotiated settlement based on justice for Palestinians. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Russian President: Peres told me Israel won't attack Iran
20 Sep 2009 - Russian President says Israeli counterpart made statement during visit to Russia in August. 

Report: IDF, U.S. military to simulate Iran missile strike on Israel
20 Sep 2009 - Training exercise is part of Obama administration's new missile defense plan, Pan-Arab paper reports. 

Gates lashes out at critics of new U.S. missile plan for Europe
20 Sep 2009 - U.S. Sec. of Defense says plan not a concession to Russia; new plan to counter Iranian missile threat. 

Report: Russia found no secret Iran-bound cargo on 'hijacked' ship
19 Sep 2009 - Interfax news agency quotes Russian spokesman as saying there was nothing but timber and lumber on the Arctic Sea. 

Russia scraps plan to deploy missiles near Poland
19 Sep 2009 - Move comes after Obama dumps Bush-era plan to deploy missile defense system in Poland. 

Ma'an News

PLC member urges halt to Gaza blockade; demands uniforms for students 20 Sep 2009

Israeli forces seize man at Tulkarem checkpoint 20 Sep 2009

Grand Mufti of Jerusalem confirms Sunday as the end of Ramadan 20 Sep 2009

Two brothers die in a car accident in Jenin, 9 injured 20 Sep 2009

PA, Israel blame each other for stalled peace talks 20 Sep 2009

Rain falls in the West Bank; Gaza still waiting 20 Sep 2009

Bethlehem man arrested for brandishing toy gun in dispute over sheep 20 Sep 2009

Ma'an airs last edition of EU-backed Ramadan quiz show 20 Sep 2009

Haniyeh: World must back Goldstone's Gaza report 20 Sep 2009

Two projectiles fired from Gaza 20 Sep 2009

Obama to hold summit with Netanyahu, Abbas 20 Sep 2009

Fayyad holds Eid prayer in Bil'in, site of nonviolent protests 20 Sep 2009

Islamic cleric: Avoid kissing during Eid to stop swine flu 20 Sep 2009

Two killed, three injured by Israeli shelling in northern Gaza 20 Sep 2009

Eight Palestinians injured in Jerusalem traffic accident 20 Sep 2009

Jabaliya explosion investigation faults equipment for deadly blast 20 Sep 2009

The National

Al Qa'eda spreads its terror web
20 Sep 2009 - Analysis The brazen attempt to assassinate Prince Mohammed bin Naif in Jeddah focuses attention on the re-emergence of al Qa'eda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Netanyahu and Abbas agree to Obama talks
20 Sep 2009 - Israeli and Palestinian leaders to meet the US president during the UN General Assembly.

Ayatollah Khamenei calls Israel fake state' 
20 Sep 2009 - Iran's supreme leader criticises Israel and western countries over their charges that the country was trying to build nuclear weapons during an address to state officials.

Obama to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas
20 Sep 2009 - The US president will host the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president in Washington after peace talks stalled.

Aljazeera

Israeli forces kill Gaza fighters
20 Sep 2009 - Two die as mortars and tank shells are fired at Palestinians close to border fence.

Israel 'not planning Iran strike'
20 Sep 2009 - Israel assures Moscow it has no plans to attack Iran, Russian president says.

Palestine News Network

Fayyad lays wreath at tomb of late President Arafat and leads Eid prayer in Bil'in
19 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – With the first day of Eid al-Fitr, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad laid a wreath on the tomb of the late President Yasser Arafat at the Presidential headquarters in Ramallah. He also led the dawn prayer in Bil’in. The sermon in the western Ramallah town known for its resistance to the Wall was accompanied by a visit to the grave...

Leftists ask that Abbas not participate in tripartite meeting at UN general assembly this week
19 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – With a tripartite meeting upcoming between President Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, many critics are asking the Palestinians to bow out. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine is describing the meeting as being in the service of Israeli and US interests.A spokesperson for the leftist party said today that by participating...

Israeli administration prevents introduction of goods to Gaza Strip for Eid al-Fitr
19 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With the first day of Eid al-Fitr, needs are high and resources low in the Gaza Strip. Yesterday, as Ramadan came to an end, the occupying Israeli authority refused a request to lift the ban on some goods specific to the three-day holiday.At the same time, the Israelis imposed a comprehensive closure on both the West Bank and Gaza...

It's time to know your country well: compilation of information on towns throughout West Bank
19 Sep 2009 - Bethlehem / Hiba Lama for PNN – Without the freedom to move from village to town, many Palestinians know little about what lies beyond the sites of daily life. People seem desperate for information, which prompted the idea for a source of pictures and details on Palestinian villages and towns.The Applied Research Institute, ARIJ, is hosting a new website designed to collect information....

Weekly demonstration against the Wall in Bil'in quiet with advent of Muslim and Jewish holidays
19 Sep 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - Friday's weekly demonstration in Bil'in was more brief than usual. The day marked a holiday both in the Muslim and Jewish calendars. Muslims are celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Eid al-Fitr holiday. It is also the Jewish new year. There was little soldier presence for this demonstration in the western Ramallah village. After...

President Abbas meets with Mubarak and King Abdullah regarding US envoy and Israeli intransigence
19 Sep 2009 - Cairo / PNN – During a press conference following today’s meetings in Jordan and Egypt, President Abbas reiterated the Palestinian position that the Israelis must freeze settlement expansion before returning to negotiations. President Abbas met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Aqaba today, and with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo earlier this morning.Talks with the King focused on the results of meetings...

Pope Benedict XVI calls for meeting next year of Catholic bishops to discuss Mid East peace
19 Sep 2009 - Vatican / PNN – The role of the Catholic Church in the Middle East is up for debate. The 265th Pope has called for a meeting to discuss the role of the Church in the peace process. Pope Benedict XVI made his announcement today asking that senior Catholic bishops meet next year in order to discuss the peace process in the Middle East...

IRIN

Analysis: Looming water crisis in Gaza
GAZA CITY Tuesday, September 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Unless urgent action is taken, the supply of water fit for human use in the Gaza Strip will be depleted in 5-10 years, according to the Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and UN agencies working there.

In Brief: DRC’s North Kivu Province becoming riskier for aid workers
NAIROBI Monday, September 14, 2009 (IRIN) - Security incidents against humanitarian workers in North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have increased by 26 percent since January compared to the same period last year, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Analysis: Shebaa Farms key to Levant hydro-diplomacy
BEIRUT Thursday, September 10, 2009 (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.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Libya's Mercurial Leader Keeps U.N. Guessing 
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 18 (IPS) - Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, who will be making his maiden appearance before the United Nations next week, has been described as a gadfly with a penchant for stirring up controversies.

POLITICS: Obama and Netanyahu Still Tussling over Priorities 
NEW YORK , Sep 18 (IPS) - As world leaders prepare to gather here for the all-star "general debate" at the U.N. General Assembly on Sep. 23, two of them - U.S. Pres. Barack Obama and Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu - are still tussling over whether to prioritise their anti-Iran...

ENVIRONMENT: Cairo Sinking in Garbage 
CAIRO, Sep 18 (IPS) - Garbage collectors in Cairo's Giza district have resumed work, but it could take weeks to clear the 25,000 tons of garbage that accumulated during their month-long strike, and longer still to solve the underlying problems.

POLITICS: Libya Brings Focused Agenda to U.N. Presidency 
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 17 (IPS) - Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki of Libya, the newly-anointed president of the 192-member U.N. General Assembly, hails from a country with a mostly radical and far-reaching political agenda.

Stop The Wall

March to freedom – Ni’lin village takes down the Wall
19 Sep 2009 - Ni’lin village march to the newly erected concrete apartheid wall and tear down several cement blocks. The protestors had organized the demonstration to send three messages to the Occupation and its supporters around the globe. [

Two injured in Bi’lin weekly protest
15 Sep 2009 - The weekly demonstration went as normal this week in Bil’in, with Occupation forces firing on unarmed demonstrators as they approached their isolated lands. Two were injured and dozens more affected by tear gas during the action. [

PCHR Latest

Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Support Work and Recommendations of UN Fact Finding Mission: Demand Effective Judicial Redress and the Protection of Victims’ Rights
PCHR

PCHR Weekly Report

(10- 16 Sep. 2009)
During the reporting period, a Palestinian civilian died of a previous wound he had sustained by IOF in Hebron.  Additionally, 6 Palestinian civilians, including a child, were wounded by IOF and settlers in the West Bank.

information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
PCHR Strongly Condemns New Israeli Settlement Plans in the West Bank 08 September

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, beat Popular Committee member
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Around 1:30am, the Israeli army invaded Bil'in. Soldiers came to the home of Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Rahme , coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, to arrest him. Abu Rahme was not at home at the time and soldiers proceeded to destroy belongings in his house. When another member of the Popular Committee, Mohammad Khatib, arrived to check on Abu Rahme's wife and 3 small children, Israeli forces severely beat him. Khatib was taken to Ramallah hospital for medical treatment. International solidarity activists were prevented from entering the home and a Palestinian cameraman trying to film the invasion was pushed around and had his camera broken. Israeli forces destroy the home of Abdullah Abu Rahme Afterward, soldiers raided the home of Abdullah's brother, Khaled Abu Rahme, threatening to continue harassment until Abduallah is arrested. The army also trashed a room in Khaled's home, stealing banners and flags used during weekly demonstrations. 

Settlers attack Nablus-area village of Burin
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Settlers set fire to Burin property - On the evening of Sunday 13 September at approximately 21:00 masked settlers from the illegal settlement of Bracha, armed with guns, set alight tyres and sprayed gasoline on the roof of a house under construction in the village of Burin just south of Nablus. Palestinians in neighbouring homes saw the blaze and retreating settlers and called the local fire brigade who came to extinguish the flames. International activists then joined local Palestinians in a 24 hour vigil of the house which has come under constant attack since the beginning of its construction a year go. At 2am in the morning international activists and Palestinians witnessed two settlers on the upper Burin road near to the home. The group managed to chase the settlers away before any damage was done. At 4. 30am 2 settlers again approached the home and were seen throwing stones before being chased from the scene. 

Settler shoots Nablus-area shepherd
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 15 September 2009 - Nader was shot in the chest while trying to protect his brother - On the morning of Tuesday 15 September, at approximately 8:30am, a Palestinian shepherd from the Palestinian village of Einabus, to the south of Nablus, was shot and two others beaten by Israeli settlers. 11 settlers from the illegal Yitzhar settlement, 3 of them masked and all armed with M-16s attacked Hazzaì Allan and his sheep as he grazed his flock on a hill close to the village, killing 15 sheep and stealing 10 more. The settlers ordered Hazzai down on to the ground, beating him and spraying him and his dog with pepper spray. Hazzai's brother Nader responded to a distress call Hazzai had managed to make and was shot in the chest while attempting to protect his brother from further beating. Villagers attempted to chase the settlers away and a third man, Abdil Rhamn, the nephew of Nader, was beaten with heavy grazing to the head. 

Goldstone testimonies revealed
9/16/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - An in-depth look into the Goldstone Report probing the events of Operation Cast Lead in Gaza reveals the official first-hand testimonies from the days of the war. The testimonies were given by family members who lost their loved ones and eyewitnesses to the fighting, and they shed some personal light on what happened in Gaza. All testimonies where deemed credible by the United Nations-appointed inquiry team, and were compatible with other reports received. Here are just some of the testimonies:The shooting of Iyad al-Samoni - On the night of January 4, 2008, Iyad al-Samoni stayed with his wife, five children and 40 other members of his extended family in one a relative's house. Around 1am, sounds were heard coming from the roof, and some four hours later, Israeli soldiers came down the steps, knocked on the door and entered the house. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

ANALYSIS / Tripartite summit or PR for Obama?
20 Sep 2009 - The tripartite summit Tuesday between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama is not likely to bring about a breakthrough or so much as a line for the final-status agreement. Both Israel and the PA have been emphasizing at every opportunity that the summit is not about negotiations, but merely a "preliminary meeting." ... 

Israel, U.S.: Summit won't result in renewal of talks 
20 Sep 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet Tuesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. ...

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Michael Jackson threw his life away
19 Sep 2009 - Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, the renowned U.S. writer and broadcaster, has said that pop superstar Michael Jackson "threw his life away" by taking doses of medication he knew were lethal. ...

World powers condemn Ahmadinejad for calling Holocaust 'a lie'
19 Sep 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continued on Saturday to draw international condemnation for calling the Holocaust "a lie" on the previous day, his latest outburst of Holocaust denial. ...

Iran supreme leader rails against 'deadly cancer of Zionism' 
19 Sep 2009 - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, railed against the "deadly cancer of Zionism" on Sunday, in his latest verbal attack on Israel. ...

The Guardian

Hopes of Middle East peace hinge on Barack Obama's meeting with leaders
20 Sep 2009 - Barack Obama's efforts to revive peace talks in the Middle East will come under scrutiny on Tuesday when he hosts a meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. The...

Barack Obama to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders
20 Sep 2009 - Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will have separate and joint talks with US president in New York on Tuesday President Barack Obama will host a meeting with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president...

Settlements row throws Middle East peace talks into doubt
18 Sep 2009 - • US envoy fails to get deal ahead of Obama meeting • Palestinians insist on total freeze on construction A high-stakes meeting between President Barack Obama and the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart peace talks...

Video: US fails to win freeze on Israel's settlements
18 Sep 2009 - The US Middle East envoy shuttled between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, but could not broker a deal on a halt to settlement building in Palestinian territories

Ha'aretz National page

Shots fired at businessman Eli Reifman's car, with him inside
19 Sep 2009 - Businessman Eli Reifman survived an apparent attempt on his life by unknown assailants who opened fire on his car in Ra'anana on Sunday. Reifman was not injured, but his car sustained some damage. ...

300,000 Israelis brave heavy rain to visit parks over holiday
19 Sep 2009 - Despite Sunday's downpour, hundreds of thousands of Israelis visited national parks and natural reserves over the long Rosh Hashanah weekend, as reported on Sunday by Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Jewish National Fund. ... 

Sacha Baron Cohen to guide the Simpsons around Israel
19 Sep 2009 - Several episodes of the hit animated series The Simpsons have dealt with Jewish issues, and even the Middle East conflict over the years. However, it wasn't until the series' 21st season that Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie will finally visit Israel and meet a bitter and angry Israeli tour guide, played by Sacha Baron Cohen (whose characters Bruno and Borat have made him a household name.) ... 

Relief Web

Human Rights Council holds general debate on reports by the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner and on protecting all human rights
20 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

Report on Israeli settlement in the occupied territories Sep - Oct 2009
19 Sep 2009 - Source: Foundation for Middle East Peace

OPT: Obama to hold joint meeting with Netanyahu, Abbas
19 Sep 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

EU condemns Iranian denial of Holocaust
20 Sep 2009 - Swedish EU presidency also slams President Ahmadinejad's attacks on Israel's right to exist, calls on Tehran to 'contribute to Mideast peace, security' 

Report: 30 Shiite militia leaders killed in Syria
20 Sep 2009 - Sources tells Saudi daily Jaish Al-Mahdi killed by unknown assailants in their Damascus apartments, others flee to Iran 

US: 3 arrested for false statements in terror probe
20 Sep 2009 - FBI apprehends Najibullah Zazi, his father Mohammed Wali Zazi and NY resident Ahmad Wais Afzali; intelligence official says Zazi played a crucial role in intended terrorist attack involving hydrogen peroxide-based explosives, but that it was not immediately clear what the targets were 

2 gunmen killed by IDF fire in north Gaza
20 Sep 2009 - Army says launched mortars at Palestinians who attempted to plant explosive device along security fence 

Report: US, Israel to drill missile attack on Israel
20 Sep 2009 - Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reports drill will simulate missile attacks from Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, and will focus mainly on maneuvers by IAF, US Navy; adds US ships already arrived in Haifa port 

Medvedev: Israel says will not strike Iran
20 Sep 2009 - In CNN interview, Russian president says Israeli counterpart Peres told him Jewish state has no plans to launch attacks on Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities; 'such an attack would lead to humanitarian disaster,' he adds. Russian leader confirms secret meeting with Netanyahu took place earlier this month 

Obama to hold trilateral summit Tuesday
20 Sep 2009 - White House announces Obama to meet Netanyahu, Abbas separately and together on sidelines of UN General Assembly. Hamas rejects summit, says PA has no right to represent Palestinian people 

B'tselem

Daily Star

Foreign Ministry talks to Syria, UK 
18 Sep 2009

Nasrallah urges caution on cabinet formation 
18 Sep 2009

Hariri calls for cabinet progress after Eid al-Fitr 
18 Sep 2009

FDI in Lebanon up 32 percent to $3.61 billion 
18 Sep 2009

NATO proposes new era of cooperation with US, Russia 
18 Sep 2009

US presses Russia on Iran after missile shift - report 
18 Sep 2009

Obama abandons view of Iran, not Europe defense - analysts 
18 Sep 2009

IAEA urges nuclear inspections in Israel 
18 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Two Palestinians killed, two others wounded in Israeli shelling in northern Gaza
20 Sep 2009 - Two resistance fighters affiliated with the Qassam Brigades and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and two others were wounded on Sunday evening in an Israeli shelling in the northern Gaza Strip.

Haneyya: Hamas welcomes Egyptian proposals
20 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haneyya said that Hamas will go for dialogue because it realises the seriousness of the Palestinian issue and that it requires national unity..

Zionist bids to have a Swedish paper investigated for inciting racism fail
20 Sep 2009 - Aftonbladet, the news paper that published an article about the involvement of the IOF in harvesting organs of dead Palestinians, will not be investigated or charged.

Obama, Netanyahu and Abbas will meet in New York Tuesday
20 Sep 2009 - A meeting between U.S. President, Barak Obama, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and former PA President Mahmoud Abbas will take place next Tuesday, it was revealed.

Israeli occupation says two projectiles fell near Sderot
20 Sep 2009 - Two locally made projectiles fell, at dawn Sunday, on an open area near the colony of Sderot in 1948-occupied Palestinian areas, according to Israeli radio.

Thousands of West Bank Palestinians denied entry into the Aqsa Mosque
20 Sep 2009 - The Israeli occupation authorities denied entry to thousands of West Bank Palestinians into occupied Jerusalem to attend the Eid prayers at the Aqsa Mosque.

Tamimi: IOA measures in occupied Jerusalem violate international doctrines
20 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Tayseer Al-Tamimi, the chief Islamic Judge in Palestine, has said that the IOA measures in occupied Jerusalem were in violation of international legislation and doctrines.

Palestinian factions: IOA exploits negotiations to cover up settlement activity
20 Sep 2009 - A number of Palestinian factions has charged the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) with exploiting negotiations with the Palestinians to cover up for settlement activity and judaization schemes.

Haneyya gov't calls on Islamic countries to shoulder responsibility toward Aqsa
20 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian government asked the Arab and Islamic countries to assume their responsibilities towards occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque which are ferociously targeted by Israeli judaization.

Abbas to call for elections despite absence of reconciliation
20 Sep 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas plans to call for presidential and parliamentary elections next January in total disregard of Egyptian efforts aimed at forging Palestinian national reconciliation, press reports said.

Los Angeles Times

Palestinian, Israeli leaders to meet with Obama in N.Y. 
20 Sep 2009 - Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas will meet with the president Tuesday on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly session. Palestinian and Israeli leaders have agreed to meet with President Obama on Tuesday in New York, a three-way encounter the administration has been trying for weeks to broker, the White House announced Saturday. 

Protesters flood Tehran streets 
19 Sep 2009 - Iran opposition stages its first major march in six weeks, with tens of thousands upstaging the annual pro-Palestinian rally. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeats his denunciation of Israel. Tens of thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of Tehran and at least two other Iranian cities Friday, audaciously turning an annual rally in support of the Palestinian cause into the first major demonstration against the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in six weeks. 

U.S. envoy's push in Middle East yields little 
19 Sep 2009 - George J. Mitchell leaves the region after six days of talks without key concessions from Israel or the Palestinians. President Obama had hoped to unveil a regional peace initiative next week. President Obama's Middle East envoy ended his most intensive round of shuttle diplomacy Friday without an agreement on one of the administration's top foreign policy goals, restarting Israeli-Palestinian talks as a step toward a broader regional peace. 

New York Times

Obama Will Meet With Mideast Leaders
20 Sep 2009 - President Obama will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort at renewed peace negotiations. 

U.N. Study Is Called Unfair to Israel
18 Sep 2009 - The report, issued by a commission led by a South African judge, said Israel had used disproportionate force in Gaza, resulting in the death of about 1,400 civilians. 

Despite Warning, Thousands Rally in Iran
18 Sep 2009 - The opposition protests were the largest in two months and came on an annual day of support for Palestinians. 

Misc

It’s all spin, darling: Not one of Goldstone’s 37 factual assertions has been rebutted
Mondoweiss - 20 Sep 2009 - A friend sent the note below along today. It is really all you have to remember when considering the fight over the Goldstone report. They aren’t talking about the factual assertions. They are talking about the international ramifications, about the legal implications, about alleged double standards...

New attack on the Goldstone report – it’s thwarting Israeli debate and reflection over Gaza
Mondoweiss - 20 Sep 2009 - I wish Phil had been right yesterday when he said the New York Times just wants the Goldstone report to go away . At least then we could have avoided David Landau’s misguided piece of liberal hasbara that appears in today’s Opinion section. Titled " The Gaza...

Huffpep
Mondoweiss - 20 Sep 2009 - The American Jewish Committee announced that its executive director David Harris, who has run away from his own challenge to debate Walt and Mearsheimer, was "invited" by Huffington Post to start offering his views there. Harris already blogs for the Jerusalem Post. His latest is on...

The third rail shrugs (Washington Post publishes Walt on Israel lobby)
Mondoweiss - 20 Sep 2009 - Three years after the Washington Post published a disgraceful column by Dana Milbank, describing Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer as "Germanic… blue-eyed" white-knuckled anti-Semites….Three years after it allowed Jeffrey Goldberg to describe Jimmy Carter as a throwback to early Christian anti-Semitism… the Post lifts itself from...

i yearn for the faroff rumble of the tumbrils fetching the neocons from georgetown
Mondoweiss - 20 Sep 2009 - Smart: The Nation on Van Jones: What finally felled Jones was a right-wing blogger turning up his name on a 911truth.org petition from 2004. Jones has repudiated his signature and said the petition’s wording didn’t then and doesn’t now represent his views. In a more sane...

Neve Gordon's Academic Freedom 
Alternative Information Center - 16 Sep 2009 - It’s not easy to find a country in the Middle East whose universities honor academic freedom as we know it in most Western countries. Syria is a police state, comparable in some ways to North Korea or Myanmar. Iran has substantially become one. Egypt’s security police...


Articles

Electronic Intifada
Abu Wael's farm
18 Sep 2009 - In Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, farmers sow the seeds of wholesome provision, for themselves and their families and their people, and the Israeli forces destroy it. So the farmers come back to plant. And the tanks and bulldozers come back to destroy it again. And the farmers come back to plant. Marryam Haleem writes for Live from Palestine. 

Boycott movement derails Jerusalem's transit system
18 Sep 2009 - An ill-fated light railway under construction in Jerusalem was originally heralded by Israeli officials as a way to cement the city's "unification" four decades after the city's Palestinian half was illegally annexed to Israel. But the only unity generated among Jewish and Palestinian residents after four years of disruptions to the city's traffic and businesses is general agreement that the project is rapidly becoming a white elephant. Jonathan Cook reports. 

In Gaza
last day: Gaza Ramadan day 29
20 Sep 2009 - A collective sigh goes up with sunset: the last day of fasting has finished, life can resume to normal. For many, the month has been trying, difficult to fast during the absurd heat, with added stresses that Muslims around the world may not face to such a degree (near 50% unemployment and 90% extreme poverty, the wreckage of the Israel massacre of Gaza still achingly visible, the Israeli attacks from sea, border regions and air, the closed borders and closed opportunities). For many, not being able to have that calming cigarette, let alone water to re-hydrate, has led to greater nervousness and irritability, fatigue, depression. But that aside, I saw...

Palestine Chronicle
Enough - A Poem
20 Sep 2009 - By Jehan Bseiso For Abu Ali Mahdi, who After 20 years in Israeli prisons Died of heartbreak in his own bed, In Beirut. For Du'aa, and Ala'a and Mohammed, Who spoke to the Al Jazeera reporters about Mama dead and baba dead and no home And no bread. Nobody to break the bread with. And nights so long you forget there ever was light Or day. For Suheir Hammad who makes me proud to be from this land and to have these words, In this language, Lodged in my throat like bricks. For everyone who has ever said enough. Enough. - Jehan Bseiso, American born Palestinian-Jordanian poet, has recently completed her Masters thesis in Literature from the American University of Beirut. She is now working with Doctors Without Borders in Amman, Jordan. You can contact her on: jehan.bseiso@gmail.com .

Rail Firm Pays Price for Link to Settlements 
20 Sep 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An ill-fated light railway under construction in Jerusalem was originally heralded by Israeli officials as a way to cement the city's "unification" four decades after the city's Palestinian half was illegally annexed to Israel. But the only unity generated among Jewish and Palestinian residents after four years of disruptions to the city's traffic and businesses is general agreement that the project is rapidly becoming a white elephant. After engineering problems, rows between the contractors and the municipality and delays caused by archaeological discoveries along the route, completion of the first 14km section of track is not expected until the end of next year at the earliest -- more than 18 months behind schedule. The budget overspend is estimated at more than $500 million. This week, in an indication of the deepening crisis, Israel's Dan bus company was forced to step in to buy the five per cent stake of Veolia, a French company that is supposed to operate the line for the next 30 years. Dan, which is waiting for the Israeli government to approve its bid, has no prior experience of running a rail system. Shmuel Elgrably, a spokesman for the transit system, told the Haaretz newspaper last week that the loss of Veolia had "screwed" the project. Veolia's unexpected withdrawal from City Pass, a French-Israeli private consortium backed in part by public finances, is being claimed as a victory by Palestinian officials and activists whose boycott and lobbying efforts appear to have forced...

Justice This Time Around: Will Goldstone's Report Deliver?
20 Sep 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud 'We may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of impunity,' Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, was quoted by IPS in response to the findings of a 574-page report by a four-member United Nations Fact finding mission. The mission, led by internationally-renowned former South African supreme court justice and chief prosecutor in the international tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia, investigated alleged war crimes committed by Israeli troops in Gaza in a 23-day bloody, unprecedented onslaught against a largely defenseless population. But Hijab was not the only one who expressed optimism. Others did, encouraged perhaps, by the report’s use of terminology unfamiliar in a conflict where empirical experience has shown that Israeli actions, no matter how outrageously violent, will have no meaningful legal repercussions whatsoever. Goldstone’s report, released on September 15, made some important recommendations, following a most thorough investigation that was carefully compiled by the mission – which was organized by the UN Human Rights Council last April. One is that the UN Security Council should set up a team of experts to monitor Israel’s investigations of the war crimes committed in Gaza. If Israel fails to do so, then the situation should be referred to the Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICC). This raises many questions, lead amongst them is: did Israel commit war crimes in Gaza, and, second, is Israel capable of conducting an honest investigation into those crimes, considering the state’s bloody legacy...

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: From Deprivation to Violence
18 Sep 2009 - By Dalal Mawad In 1948, one hundred thousand Palestinians fled from Palestine to find refuge in Lebanon. Provisional camps were built at that time to provide them with shelter. Their number has increased over the years to more than 400 000 refugees, 53% of them living in one of twelve camps throughout the country. Today, more than half a century later, they continue to be refugees, awaiting their return while living in the most degrading and demeaning human conditions. Their appalling socio-economic conditions are not only a violation of human rights but are also a danger to Lebanon’s security and stability. Chronic health failure is reported by 19 percent of refugees in Lebanon, a rate higher than in Syria and Jordan. Palestinians rely more widely on UNRWA and NGOs for medical assistance than refugees elsewhere. But, UNRWA, the only safety net available to many refugees for baisc health care, is beset by a lack of funds and available doctors. It is estimated, that among refugees aged 15 to 24 years, more than 40 percent are unemployed. Lebanese law forbids Palestinians from working in 72 professions. These include private sector “free professions” like engineering, medicine, law and all public sector jobs. Even very low skilled jobs like garbage cleaning and guarding buildings have been added to the list of prohibitions. As for the remaining unskilled jobs, Palestinians need to obtain a work permit and very few permits have been issued. Add to that, a law ratified by the Lebanese government that...

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