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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
22 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli police refuse to file a claim against settlers in favor of Palestinians
22 Sep 2009 - The Israeli police have refused to file a complaint for Palestinian villagers from At-Tuwani village in the southern Hebron hills. The Palestinian villagers wanted to contest the regular abuse by people from the illegal settlements of Ma'om and its off shoot Havat Ma'on. 

Six Palestinians kidnapped in the West Bank
22 Sep 2009 - It has been reported that Israeli troops have invaded the Qalqilia and Jericho districts in the northern and eastern West Bank and kidnapped six Palestinians in the early hours of this morning. 

Palestinian man killed as he walked near a settlement fence near Bethlehem
22 Sep 2009 - A young Palestinian man was killed this morning near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, as Israeli troops opened fire at him, the WAFA news agency reported. 

Obama to host Abbas and Netanyahu in New York, Israel won't freeze settlements
22 Sep 2009 - The meeting that will join the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the US President Barack Obama is seen as an Israeli victory by local observers. 

Settlers destroy Palestinian owned lands and the military kidnapped four farmers
21 Sep 2009 - A group of armed Israeli settlers destroyed on Monday Palestinian owned lands in northern West Bank while the military kidnapped four farmers how tired to stop the attack.

Israeli forces attack the village of Bil'in
21 Sep 2009 - Israeli forces invaded on Monday at dawn the village of Bil'in central West Bank and attacked a number of homes there. 

Army shells tunnels area in Rafah
21 Sep 2009 - The Israeli air force shelled early on Monday morning the 'tunnels' border area' in Rafah, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

The Gaza War 'victory' - Has Israel grown dependent on terror?
22 Sep 2009 - Terror, real or not, remains central to Israel's explanations of many of its morally problematic policies. 

IDF soldiers kill Israeli Arab who tried to ram into checkpoint
22 Sep 2009 - Soldier lightly hurt by car; troops opened fire after car broke through checkpoint, striking soldier. 

Barak tells Gates: All Iran options still on table
21 Sep 2009 - Danny Ayalon's comments come after Russia president said Peres told him Israel wouldn't attack Iran. 

IDF commanders likely to reach plea deal over hazing abuse
21 Sep 2009 - Evidence shows commanders caught hazing new recruits had been hazed themselves, in yearly ritual. 

Goldstone: IDF must punish officers for Gaza war crimes
21 Sep 2009 - UN investigator tells Ch. 2 Israel should have investigated itseld; J Street urges Israel to hold internal probe. 

Ma'an News

PA police: On Eid, settlers set fire to field, soldiers injure three
9/22/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian police reported three incidents of assault, harassment and damage done by marauding settlers and Israeli soldiers on the first day of the Muslim Eid, on Sunday, in a report released the following day. In Hebron, Israeli soldiers in a military vehicle collided with a Palestinian vehicle and fled the scene leaving Nayef Al-Kazaz and his wife moderately injured, police said. The two reported that the plate number of the vehicle was 611369. In the north, Fadi Said Salim Kharyosh, 33, was admitted to Tulkarem Hospital after being beaten by Israeli soldiers at the Jabara checkpoint, according to police. Further north in Nablus police alleged that approximately 60 Israeli settlers set fire to a farm just outside the city. Israeli police attempted to reach the area but were prevented from access by the raging fire, police said. 

Israeli troops kill Jerusalem man near checkpoint
9/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli troops shot and killed a Jerusalem resident at the Betar Illit-area military checkpoint west of Bethlehem on Tuesday morning. The Palestinian, identified as 27-year-old Walid Rabi At-Tawil, allegedly refused to stop his car after being ordered to do so by Israeli forces manning the post. In a statement, the Israeli military said At-Tawil "ignored calls to undergo the required security checks, accelerated towards the soldiers and drove through the crossing. "It said soldiers chased after the vehicle, which they said they found it at a nearby gas station. Soldiers reportedly told At-Tawil to stop the car, shot in the air, and then at the tires of his car. The shots to the tires allegedly failed to stop the vehicle with which At-Tawil "attempted to run over IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers. " 

Gaza mother: Ramadan miracle for once-deaf son
9/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an -Suhad Abdul Al-Khatib reported a Ramadan miracle in Gaza Monday night, swearing that her 19-year-old son was cured of partial deafness after a month of prayer and fasting. The 45-year-old mother said her son was "is a pious boy who learned the Qur'an, and spends most of his time at the Mosque. "  He was diagnosed as a child with only 5% hearing in his left hear and totally deaf in his right, his mother said. He spent much of his time at the mosque after school, which she said was extremely difficult for him. Muhammad "told his father that he prayed so much during the last day of Ramadan that the prophet Muhammad appeared to him as he slept and told him his belief will allow him to achieve what he wants just before he woke up to the sounds of cars, the Mosque's prayers, and the voices of crowds on the street," his mother said. 

Israeli forces detain 14, including eight children
9/22/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were detained by Israeli forces during West Bank raids Monday night and Tuesday morning, four Palestinian citizens of Israel were also detained. Palestinian Authority Police department said Israeli troops overran the village of Azzun near the city of Qalqilya and detained 15-year-old Qusay Shaher Salim, 13-year-old Yousef Saqer Salim, 17-year-old Eid Jamal Salim, 18-year-old Hussein Ghassan Swidan, and 15-year-old Thaer Bayan Tabib. An Israeli raid on the village of Madama south of the West Bank city of Nabls saw the detention of nine Palestinians including an eight, 10 and 12 year-old boy and four citizens of Israel. A member of the village council Hassan Zyadeh saidthe troops raided the Khasha area of the village, which is considered to be a Palestinian historical site, and seized the residents there. 

Gaza: Israel to partially open three crossings
9/22/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to partially open all three crossings following four days of total closure, and will allow approximately 60 truckloads of goods for the agricultural sector into the Strip, along with some wheat and fuel. Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh said the crossings would only be open for part of the day. The delivery is one eighth the amount needed in Gaza to bring social and economic life back up to pre-siege standards. Given the four day closure imposed during the Jewish New Year, more than 1,600 truckloads of goods would be needed for Gaza residents and business owners. [end] 

Hamas leader: Abbas-Netanyahu meet serves US
9/23/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an Exclusive - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama is part of a policy that serves US, not Palestinian interests, senior Hamas official Ayman Taha told Ma'an on Friday. "Unfortunately, what is actually happening is only an attempt to impose the US vision by making repeated attempts to launch negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, and this is unacceptable," said Taha in an extended interview in his office in Gaza. Taha said that US pressure on Israel to halt settlement activity as weak, biased, and non-binding. Instead, he said, the US should pressure Israel to end the entire occupation. Asked what he meant by the word "occupation," Taha said, "We were occupied twice, once in 1948 and again in 1967, and in Hamas we have a vision to end the occupation and go back to. . . 

Former US President Carter: No peace with settlements
9/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel will have to stop erecting settlements in occupied Palestinian territory if it actually wants peace with its neighbors, former US President Jimmy Carter insisted in a speech on Monday evening. "As President Barack Obama has made clear, the key factor that prevents peace is the continuing building of Israeli settlements in Palestine, driven by a determined minority of Israelis who desire to occupy and colonize east Jerusalem and the West Bank," he said. Accepting an award from the James Madison University's Mahatma Gandhi Center for Global Nonviolence in the US state of Virginia, Carter reiterated his support for the Arab Peace Initiative, which offers normalization in exchange for an end to the occupation that began in 1967. "All 22 Arab countries have offered diplomatic recognition and full trade and commerce if Israel will withdraw. 

Netanyahu: Palestinians agreed to resume talks
9/22/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said his government and the current Palestinian administration had agreed to renew negotiations without preconditions. "There was general agreement, including on the part of the Palestinians, that the peace process has to be resumed as soon as possible with no preconditions," the Israeli prime minister said shortly after meeting Presidents Mahmoud Abbas and Barack Obama in New York. It was not clear if the prime minister meant Abbas had agreed to resume negotiations immediately, or if the Palestinians had simply expressed interest in holding talks once a settlement freeze was in place. In any event, Obama called on both sides to "find a way forward" and begin negotiations soon. He said he would dispatch his special envoy, George Mitchell, to hold meetings with both sides within a week. 

Abbas: Israel must fulfill prior commitments on settlements
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Israel honor previously signed agreements on West Bank and East Jerusalem settlements during talks in New York on Tuesday, he said in a statement afterward. "In today's meetings we confirmed our positions and commitment to the road map and its implementation. We also demanded that the Israeli side fulfill its commitments on settlements, including on natural growth," he said. The president was in New York for a trilateral summit, hosted by US President Barack Obama and attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, designed to restart negotiations that were suspended during Israel's assault on Gaza. Abbas and other officials had repeatedly insisted they would not negotiate with Israel without a full freeze on settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. 

Erekat says Mitchell failed to stop Israeli settlements
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Head Palestine Liberation Organization negotiator Dr Saeb Erekat lamented on Tuesday that US special envoy George Mitchell had not yet succeeded in convincing Israel to pause its settlement enterprise during talks in New York. "Senator Mitchell could not have the Israelis comply with their obligations, ie stopping settlement activities including natural growth," Erekat said after meeting Israeli leaders. "He could not get the Israeli government's acceptance to resume the permanent status negotiations. "He said accepting US President Barack Obama's invitation to the trilateral meeting that included Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was under the pretense that Israel might have been pressured to fulfill its agreements. "We thought that the invitation of President Obama was a personal invitation that reflected the commitment to achieve the two-state solution. 

Obama: Both sides need to step up peace efforts
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israelis and Palestinians must do more if they truly want peace, US President Barack Obama said before separately meeting with Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in New York. "We have to find a way forward," Obama said after greeting the two leaders. "It is absolutely critical that we get this issue resolved. " The US president added that success depended "on all sides acting with a sense of urgency. ""Permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon. . . We need to translate discussions into actions. "Obama was photographed standing behind Netanyahu and Abbas as they shook hands in advance of the separate talks. He said US envoy George Mitchell would hold meetings with both sides within a week, and that the meetings would focus on getting to negotiations, which were called off during Israel's assault on Gaza. 

Photos: Ramadan and Eid around Palestine
9/22/2009 - Photos - 1) De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismaiyl Haniyeh delivers a prayer at a special prayer meeting organized by his party on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr at the Al-Yarmok stadium in Gaza City on 20 September. 2) Women attend the Gaza City prayer on 20 September. 3) Men attend the Gaza City prayer on 20 September. 4) Gazans visit the graves of relatives at a cemetery in Gaza City on the first day of Eid Al-Fitr, the celebration that follows one month of dawn to dusk fasting. Families lay palm fronds and clean the dirt of graves during their visit as well as pray for the soul of the departed. 5) Visiting the graves of relatives is an Eid tradition, part of the larger tradition of greeting family members and visiting loved ones during the three day holiday. 

Police: Elderly Palestinian killed in Ramallah hit-and-run
9/22/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - An elderly Palestinian man was killed in a hit-and-run accident at the Qalandiya-Ramallah crossroads on Tuesday, according to Palestinian police. The man, a resident of Qaddoura Refugee Camp in the central West Bank, was identified as 82-year-old Muhammad Shehda Samara Shahada. He was declared dead on arrival at the Government Hospital in Ramallah, where the incident was reported to police. According to police, Shahada was struck by a white Mitsubishi with Israeli plates. The driver did not stop to check on the man, police said. Although they preliminarily ruled the crash an accident, police said they were seeking the driver of the white Mitsubishi as part of their investigation and potentially to take appropriate legal action. 

Palestinian Greek Orthodox celebrate Virgin Mary`s birthday
9/22/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - The Greek Orthodox Church celebrated the birthday of the Virgin Mary with a special mass in the Resurrection Church in Jerusalem on Monday. Archbishop of Sebastia of the Greek Orthodox Church Atallah Hanna presided over the service, during which he spoke of the sacred place the Virgin Mary holds for the Orthodox Church and stressed her importance as a model of holiness, purity, and virtue. He added that the Virgin Mary is the spiritual mother and patron saint of every faithful believer and that her life represents the struggle real human beings face in their quest for spiritual strength, patience, and peace. [end] 

Police: Jericho tourism up 20 percent this Ramadan
9/22/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The number of tourists and guests at hotels in Jericho rose more than 20 percent during the last days of Ramadan compared with the year before, according to district police on Tuesday. The the eastern West Bank city is popular year round for its resorts and pools, as well as its proximity to Jordan and the Dead Sea. The local police department's media office reported that some 25,000 visitors were in Jericho over the holiday period in 2009, compared with the 20,000 in town the year before. A number of famous Palestinian singers and performers were booked over the Ramadan holiday, which likely boosted turnout, police said. Police office broke down the Eid numbers into categories, estimating that 4,608 foreign tourists, as well as 884 hotel guests were in Jericho during the last few days of Ramadan. 

The National

Israel and Iran: masters of the art of stalling
22 Sep 2009 - Analysis Tehran's policy of wasting time at global meetings while continuing to enrich uranium is similar to that of Tel Aviv's.

Obama hosts Middle East peace talks
22 Sep 2009 - The event is the first meeting for the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders as Barack Obama acknowledges the long road to Middle East peace.

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian motorist
22 Sep 2009 - Troops shot dead a Palestinian motorist in Israel, saying he failed to stop at a border checkpoint coming from the West Bank.

Obama downplays chances for peace talks 
21 Sep 2009 - Barack Obama is expected to achieve little more than provide further proof that his US presidential leadership remained committed to seeking Middle East peace when he meets Israeli and Palestinian leaders today.

Aljazeera

US urges Middle East peace push
22 Sep 2009 - Little headway as Obama hosts trilateral talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

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

Alternative Information Center

Brazilian Parliament Recommends Freezing Out Israelis from Third Largest Export Market
22 Sep 2009 - "This decision is an enormous blow for Israel's economy and foreign relations", says Jamal Juma' of the Stop the Wall Campaign. The Brazilian Parliamentary Commission on Foreign Relations and National Defense has recommended that the parliament...

Spain Excludes Settlement University from Academic Competition 
21 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem/Barcelona sept, 20th. - The "University Center of Ariel in Samaria" (AUCS) has been excluded from a prestigious university competition about sustainable architecture in Spain. With this move, Spain joins the growing number of European governments...

Statement of the Trades Union Congress of Great Britain Regarding Boycott of Israel
21 Sep 2009 - The TUC reiterates its belief that only when a sovereign, independent, democratic contiguous and viable Palestinian state is created, living side by side with a secure Israel will there be a chance for peace and stability...

Resist! AIC Launches Spanish-Language Radio Program
21 Sep 2009 - The Alternative Information Center has launched Muqawama-Resistir (Resist!), a Castellano-language radio programme of news and analyses about the socio-political, economic and cultural developments in Palestine and Israel. The programme, broadcast weekly, aims to contribute to the...

Palestine News Network

Jokes prevail during Ramadan and Eid: target is the split between Hamas and Palestinian Authority
22 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - A cartoon published on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in a daily newspaper shows a child from the West Bank asking his father what the holiday is like in the Gaza Strip, and vice versa. This is one of several cartoons that make up the popular drive to mock the internal divide in the country.Geographically separated and unreachable...

Arrests, fires and demolition on second day of Eid at hands of settlers and soldiers
22 Sep 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – The clock was close to midday when a soldier got off at the entrance to the bypass road south of Nablus. Blocking vehicles stretching down the road he declared the route closed. It was the second day of Eid Al Fitr and people were busy, en route to family gatherings.Minutes passed and the cars were...

Without preconditions, including no settlement freeze, meeting in NY considered victory for Israelis
21 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – Expectations are low for today’s meeting between President Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. Palestinian parties are saying that Abbas will lose in the process, not only credibility with the public, but also with the international community. Sources in Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said that the meeting would only be suitable for taking...

PPP: by meeting with Netanyahu, credibility of Palestinian leadership is on the line
21 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – Throughout the week leftist parties have issued condemnations of the decision made by President Abbas to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday. Yesterday, the Palestinian People’s Party wrote that it considers the tripartite meeting that includes US President Barack Obama, as an underserved reward...

Fateh's Central Committee warns Abu Mazen against agreeing to participate in tripartite summit
21 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – President Abbas is being criticized for accepting to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York today. Among dissenters is the Fateh Central Committee, which warned the President against meeting with Netanyahu before the Israelis announce a freeze in settlement construction in the...

Minister of Health welcomes UN’s Goldstone report and demands sanctions against Israelis
20 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN - The Palestinian Minister of Health said today that the report of the United Nations fact-finding commission on the major Israeli attacks on Gaza was welcome. Know as the Goldstone Report, the information outlines war crimes and possible crimes against humanity for the open targeting of civilians in late December and January. Israeli attacks on Gaza are not limited to...

Catholic Relief holding conference for young people in Gaza Strip
20 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN - Catholic Relief Services are addressing the issue of young people in the Gaza Strip who were born under occupation and live within the confines of siege. Funded by CAFOD and with the presence of the Regional Director for Catholic Relief in Palestine and the UNRWA director of operations, youth conference have been invited to a conference under the theme...

IRIN

ISRAEL: Fishermen forced to look elsewhere for work
JAFFA Tuesday, September 22, 2009 (IRIN) - Mussa, an elderly fisherman from Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, is worried about his future. "It's never been this bad, I think there's been a decrease of over 60 percent in the fish population [in recent years] and they are much smaller than...

IRAQ: Iraq’s marshlands in peril again
BAGHDAD Monday, September 21, 2009 (IRIN) - Farmers and fisherman in Iraq’s southern marshlands have had mixed fortunes in the past couple of decades, but livelihood prospects are now looking increasingly bleak.

In Brief: Plight of Yemeni IDPs neglected - UN official
DUBAI Thursday, September 17, 2009 (IRIN) - The director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York, Rashid Khalikov, has described the situation in northern Yemen as a neglected humanitarian emergency, and urged the international community to bolster its support.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: U.S. Pushing Beyond Settlement Freeze 
JERUSALEM, Sep 22 (IPS) - "Nobody can usurp the right to determine the fate of the nation on their own - not the Palestine Liberation Organisation, nor anyone else. It is the will of the Palestinian people that must determine our future," declares Hamas political leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh.

MIDEAST: Widows and Children Begin to Beg 
GAZA CITY, Sep 21 (IPS) - There are few parks and green spaces in Gaza, and those that exist are crowded with people hungry for nature. Day and night, people of all ages flock to the Joondi, or the park of the Unknown Soldier, in central Gaza City.

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. [

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

Obama summit / Erekat's 'good' Hebrew surprises Lieberman 
22 Sep 2009 - Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Tuesday said he was surprised by the proficiency in Hebrew of the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, at a tripartite summit held Tuesday in New York. ...

'Obama told Netanyahu, Abbas: We all must take risks for peace'
22 Sep 2009 - U.S. President Barak Obama told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that "we must all take risks for peace" during a tripartite summit on Tuesday, U.S. envoy George Mitchell said. ...

IN PICTURES / Obama holds Israel-Palestinian summit in New York
21 Sep 2009 - President Barack Obama held his first Mideast summit Tuesday, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of a United Nations conference, at his hotel in New York. ...

ANALYSIS / This is no George Bush summit
21 Sep 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama stood behind a podium in New York City on Tuesday like a strict schoolteacher scolding the two pupils sitting before him - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas - as well as their ministers. ...

Rightist MKs: We mustn't freeze settlement construction
21 Sep 2009 - As preparations were underway in New York on Tuesday for a tripartite meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in Israel, right-wing ministers and MKs sent out a clear message - we mustn't freeze settlement construction. ...

The Guardian

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Not for faint hearts | Editorial
22 Sep 2009 - He inherited two wars, a banking crash and years of inaction on the world's most intractable dispute – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Is it any wonder that, eight months on, Barack Obama's outstretched hand has still to...

Obama may have lost some face in the Middle East, but don't write him off yet | Jonathan Freedland
22 Sep 2009 - The Bibi-Abbas photo-op said it all. If the US president is to turn things around, he'll need to press the reset button There was something wrong with that picture . Of course all the best politicians are...

A reluctant handshake - but no deal as Middle East plan falters
22 Sep 2009 - Setback for Barack Obama's peace initiative as Israel rejects call for settlement freeze Barack Obama failed to achieve a hoped-for breakthrough aimed at the resumption of Middle East negotiations yesterday during a three-way meeting with the...

Aftermath of peace talks will be crucial | Analysis
22 Sep 2009 - The only question that matters is what, if anything, happens after today's Middle East talks Expectations for the tripartite Middle East summit meeting at the UN were so low that anything at all, even a brief...

Ha'aretz National page

Singer Leonard Cohen lands in Israel ahead of concert
21 Sep 2009 - Veteran singer Leonard Cohen landed in Israel on Tuesday ahead of his upcoming concert in Ramat Gan Stadium on Thursday night. ... 

Grandfather: I told Marie that Rose had an accident, wouldn't return
21 Sep 2009 - Rose Pizem's grandfather testified on Tuesday that he had notified the 4-year-old girl's mother, Marie-Charlotte Renault, of her death before they were both taken into custody. ...

How Israel silenced its Gaza war protesters 
21 Sep 2009 - A new report from Adalah shows how the courts and police attempted to stamp out opposition to Operation Cast Lead. "This is a time of war, and every incident harms the people's morale." ... 

Relief Web

Press conference on Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for assistance to Palestinians
22 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

Human Rights Council concludes general debate on human rights situations that require the Council's attention
22 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Human Rights Council

OPT: World leaders pay tribute to UNRWA on its sixtieth anniversary
22 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

Abbas says Israel must keep 2008 word 
22 Sep 2009 - Palestinian president insists Jewish state halt settlement building in territories, including east Jerusalem. Palestinian source says Americans promised settlements construction would be frozen 

Obama urges Israelis, Palestinians to do more 
22 Sep 2009 - In three-way talks bringing together PM Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Abbas, US president calls for relaunch of formal peace negotiations, says his top Mideast negotiator will meet with both sides again next week. Netanyahu: We reached a general agreement to resume talks as soon as possible 

Israel asks EU envoys to renounce Goldstone Report 
22 Sep 2009 - Foreign Ministry Director-General Yossi Gal meets with 26 European ambassadors, tell them UN committee's conclusions on Israeli operation in Gaza 'is a source of concern for democratic countries fighting terror' 

Ben-Eliezer: PM will consider evicting settlements 
22 Sep 2009 - Industry, trade and labor minister believes Netanyahu will push for breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian peace process in order to be able to fully focus on Iranian threat 

Netanyahu tells Obama he wants to promote peace
22 Sep 2009 - Shortly before three-way Mideast summit, US president holds separate meetings with Israeli prime minister and Palestinian president. Netanyahu, accompanied by Defense Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Lieberman, says Israel seeks to cooperate with United States in advancing peace process 

Daily Star

Climate-change activists give wake up call to Lebanon 
22 Sep 2009

Judge Sawan interrogates Fatah al-Islam detainees 
22 Sep 2009

No war imminent with Hizbullah - Israeli commander 
22 Sep 2009

Bank deposits important to finance Lebanon 
22 Sep 2009

Iran's military will 'cut off' hands of aggressors, Ahmadinejad warns 
22 Sep 2009

The West's 'racism' toward Palestine starts to unravel 
22 Sep 2009

Obama presses Israel, Palestinians to do more 
22 Sep 2009

Jordan holds its breath as Obama pursues his peace strategy 
22 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Qasem: The New York meeting is a form of normalization, vindicates occupation
22 Sep 2009 - Dr. Abdel Sattar Qasem, political science professor at Najah University in Nablus, said on Tuesday that the three-way summit between Obama, Netanyahu and Abbas is a form of normalisation..

Bahar: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine
22 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ahmad Bahar, the deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said on Tuesday that Jerusalem will remain the eternal capital of Palestine and that occupation will end.

IOF troops kill a Jerusalem taxi driver
22 Sep 2009 - A Palestinian taxi driver from Jerusalem was killed on Tuesday morning by IOF troops manning a roadblock to the south of the holy city.

Jewish settler set Palestinian lands on fire
22 Sep 2009 - A group of about 60 fanatic Jewish settlers gathered on Monday near the villages of Jit and Imatin and set Palestinian agricultural lands on fire, according to local sources.

Ashkenazi: Goldstone biased, Palestinian captives have to be freed for Shalit
22 Sep 2009 - The Israeli Occupation Forces Chief of Staff, Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said on Monday that Hamas will not release captured IOF Corporal Gilad Shalit unless Israel agreed to free Palestinian captives.

Mishaal: Our struggle is against those who invaded our homeland
22 Sep 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the supreme leader of the Hamas Movement, has said that Palestinians do not resist the Israelis because they are Jews but because they "invaded our land and dispossessed us".

Israeli warplanes blast tunnels along borders with Egypt
22 Sep 2009 - Israel's warplanes fired four missiles at the Palestinian-Egyptian borders south of Rafah in the Gaza Strip at dawn Monday claiming to target three tunnels used to smuggle weapons into the Strip.

Hamas: Israeli crime aimed to foil Eid joy
22 Sep 2009 - Hamas has charged the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) with trying to foil the Gaza people's joy over the Eidul Fitr with the crime committed in northern Gaza on the first day of the Eid.

Aqsa preacher warns of feverish attempt to judaize Jerusalem
22 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Yousef Abu Snene, the Khatib (preacher) of the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem, has warned that the holy city was the target of a feverish Israeli campaign to judaize it.

Hamas: Nothing new expected of Abbas-Obama-Netanyahu meeting
22 Sep 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, has charged that the meeting next Tuesday grouping Mahmoud Abbas, Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu in New York would be largely ceremonial.

Los Angeles Times

Obama meets with Abbas and Netanyahu, urges progress and flexibility in Mideast talks 
22 Sep 2009 - The parties 'cannot continue the same pattern' of inching toward peace then stepping back, the president says during the meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York. Urging that Middle East peace talks must move beyond a familiar pattern of taking "tentative steps forward and then stepping back," President Obama entered a meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders this afternoon with a series of handshakes and a call for "flexibility." 

Terror probe widens in U.S. 
22 Sep 2009 - As many as a dozen people are suspected to have ties to what authorities say is an Al Qaeda-linked plot. Federal authorities have tied as many as a dozen people to a suspected Al Qaeda-linked bomb plot on U.S. soil as they continue to gather evidence to indict on terrorism charges the young Afghan immigrant at the center of the case, law enforcement officials said Monday. 

Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei says opposition protests failed 
21 Sep 2009 - Iran's supreme leader bashes foreigners and says opposition protests during countrywide anti-Israel rallies on Friday failed to undermine the government. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei attempted to unify Iranians on Sunday by blaming foreign media for "poisoning the atmosphere" and urged his nation to resist the "killer cancer" of an Israel backed by Western powers. 

New York Times

Obama Calls for an End to Stalling on Mideast Talks
22 Sep 2009 - President Obama exhorted Israeli and Palestinian officials to make haste in formally re-launching peace talks. 

Iran Inquiry Is Sought
21 Sep 2009 - Human rights groups urged the United Nations General Assembly on Monday to appoint a special envoy to investigate abuses in Iran. 

Obama to Meet With Mideast Leaders
20 Sep 2009 - Israeli and Palestinian leaders will make their cases that the Obama administration should push the other harder. 

Misc

Israeli troops shoot dead Palestinian motorist 
9/22/2009 - The National - MEVO BEITAR, ISRAELl // Troops shot dead a Palestinian motorist in Israel today, saying he failed to stop at a border checkpoint coming from the West Bank and later drove at soldiers seeking to detain him at a fuel station. The killing came hours before the US president Barack Obama was to convene a first meeting between Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in a bid to revive peace talks suspended before Mr Netanyahu’s election. Each side blames the other for a failure to ease disputes. No weapons were found in the man’s car, the army said in a statement. There was no report of him carrying passengers. No independent account of the incident was immediately available. Palestinians who said they knew the dead man identified him as Rabia Tawil, 25, from East Jerusalem, some 10 kilometres from the incident near the rural community of Mevo Beitar. 

Obama hosts Middle East peace talks 
9/22/2009 - The National - NEW YORK // The US president Barack Obama yesterday acknowledged the long road to Middle East peace after he directly entered the diplomatic process and brought the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for the first time. As expected, there was no breakthrough, but Mr Obama reiterated his commitment to resuming peace talks and announced that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would meet George Mitchell, US Middle East envoy, next week. He also said Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, would give him a progress report in mid-October, revealing a rough timetable for the US administration for the first time, analysts said. Mr Obama had separate talks with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, before the three men held a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, which is taking place in New York this week. “Permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon,” Mr Obama said. 

Israel and Iran: masters of the art of stalling 
9/22/2009 - The National - For all their foaming-at-the-mouth antipathy towards each other, Israel and Iran share one thing in common: they have perfected the art of stalling. Today, the delays and evasions of the Middle East’s two most formidable powers hold the region in thrall. It was no surprise that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, seemed content after his meeting with Barack Obama, the US president, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, yesterday in New York. Even the Obama administration acknowledged beforehand that the meeting would probably not produce any results. Instead, Ian Kelly, a state department spokesman, noted tepidly that the talks would “advance our efforts towards our ultimate goal” and would show that Mr Obama “is personally engaged in the effort”. Mr Netanyahu could rest easily. In fact, the Israeli leader’s satisfaction represents another victory for delay diplomacy, 

’Frenzy and fury’ over Israeli’s visit 
9/21/2009 - The National - CAIRO // Hala Mustafa, a member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and editor of Democracy, the publication of a state-run think-tank, has been put under investigation after receiving Shalom Cohen, the Israeli ambassador to Cairo, at her office last week. “I didn’t expect all this frenzy and fury; for me it was just like any visit by a diplomat,” Mrs Mustafa said in an interview on Sunday. “This is not the first time that an Israeli ambassador has come to Al Ahram [think-tank] and met senior officials there, so if they will probe me, let them do that in a collective trial for all ‘normalising’ journalists,” she added. The Egyptian Press Syndicate, of which Mrs Mustafa is a member, has ordered an investigation into the incident for a possible violation of the syndicate’s anti-normalisation policy. No date has been set yet, though it will begin some time after Eid. 

US ships arrive in Israel ahead of joint drill 
9/21/2009 - Jerusalem Post - US Navy missile ships started arriving in Israel on Sunday ahead of next month's joint missile defense exercise between the IDF and the American military's European Command. Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems - the THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 - that will all be deployed in Israel for the duration of the exercise. Defense officials said the exercise would not begin for a few weeks, but that the ships were already arriving to begin preparing the infrastructure for the joint drill, the largest since Israel and the US began holding the biennial Juniper Cobra drill in 2001. The arrival of the ships began a day before Defense Minister Ehud Barak was scheduled to fly to Washington for talks with his American counterpart, Robert Gates. Defense officials said that their talks would focus on the Iranian threat, Israeli-US defense cooperation as well as the role Israel will play in the new American missile defense shield announced last week. 

Obama seems to lay ground to retreat on settlements 
9/22/2009 - Reuters - Arshad Mohammed and Jeffrey Heller - Analysis - NEW YORK (Reuters) - U. S. President Barack Obama may be laying the groundwork to abandon his quest for an immediate Israeli settlement freeze and instead try to get Israel and the Palestinians directly into peace negotiations. Obama emerged from talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Tuesday without the orchestrated set of steps that he had hoped would allow him to announce a resumption of peace negotiations, which have been on ice since December. Instead, he was reduced to stressing the urgency of ending the six-decade conflict and exhorting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to show "flexibility and common sense and sense of compromise. " The outcome, analysts said, suggested the limitations of trying to secure confidence-building steps in advance and may presage a drive to go directly 

Israeli Officials Insist Medvedev ‘Misunderstood,’ Still Mull Iran Attacks 
9/21/2009 - Antiwar.com - Deputy FM Slams Medvedev Comments - Several high profile Israeli officials publicly castigated Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today for the later’s interview on CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria in which President Medvedev claimed to have received assurances from Israeli President Shimon Peres that his nation would not attack Iran. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon hit out at the comments, saying President Medvedev “is certainly not authorized to speak for us, and there is no change whatsoever in Israel’s policy. ” Ayalon added that Medvedev must have “misunderstood” what Peres said. Israel has been threatening to attack Iran for years over its civilian nuclear program, and its officials have repeatedly compared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unfavorably with Adolf Hitler. Medvedev claimed Peres had assured him that Israel was “a peaceful country” and would never think of attacking Iran. 

Syria: Israel dumping N-waste in Golan 
9/21/2009 - Press TV - Syria charges Israel with dumping nuclear waste near the Syrian border, in territories occupied by the regime during the 1967 Middle East war. In a report titled The suffering of Syrian citizens in the Golan and submitted to the United Nations, Syrian officials have stated that the Israeli regime uses tunnels in the Golan Heights to bury nuclear waste, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported. The report also charges that Israel has dug a tunnel in Mount Hermon to hide its nuclear warheads. According to Syrian officials, Israel has booby-trapped the nearby region and planted tactical nuclear mines in the area. Syria had reported earlier in 2003 that Israel was digging tunnels in Mount Hermon to bury waste from its Dimona nuclear plant. Tel Aviv has acknowledged that it was digging tunnels in the region but claimed that they were anti-tank ditches. 

VIDEO - Medvedev: ’Peres told me Israel will not hit Iran’
9/20/2009 - CNN - Fareed Zakaria interviews Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Have the U. S. and Russia truly hit the "reset" button? [end] 

Facebook gets caught in Golan Heights dispute 
9/21/2009 - CNN - JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Logging onto Facebook as a resident in the Golan Heights, should you enter Syria or Israel as your home country? Facebook now has 300 million users -- almost as many as the population of the United States. Decades of war and occupation have not provided an answer to that question -- but the social networking Web site now permits both options, sparking fears about an anti-Facebook cyber-war. The Golan Heights is Syrian territory that was captured by Israel during the Six-Day War in 1967. Since then it has been internationally classified as Israeli-occupied territory. Up until recently, Facebook fans in the Golan Heights could only choose Syria as their country of origin or else leave it blank. Pro-Israel Web site honestreporting. com sought to change that, starting a group called "Facebook, Golan residents live in Israel, not Syria. " 

Israel says still has military option on Iran 
9/21/2009 - Reuters AlertNet - "All options still on table" against Iran, Israel says - Official dismisses Russian suggestion of Peres assurance * Army chief also says "all options" open to defend Israel" - JERUSALEM, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Israel has not given up the option of a military response to Tehran's nuclear programme, senior officials said on Monday, after Russia's president said his Israeli counterpart assured him it would not attack Iran. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was asked by Reuters if that comment by Israeli President Shimon Peres, as reported on Sunday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, was a guarantee there would be no Israeli strike on Iran Ayalon replied: "It is certainly not a guarantee. "I don't think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorised to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table. " 

Israel tries to secure boycott of UN Ahmadinejad speech
9/22/2009 - Middle East World News - Tel Aviv - Israel is pushing for countries to boycott Wednesday's address to the United Nations by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Israel has over the past days approached the foreign ministries of countries around the world in a bid to convince them to have their representatives leave the General Assembly hall when Ahmadinejad delivers his speech, Israeli officials said Tuesday. Ahmadinejad, who sparked worldwide outrage and condemnation anew on Friday when he again denied the Holocaust, is due to make his address at 6 pm New York time (2200 GMT). " The Holocaust is a false claim, a fairy tale, used as a pretext for crimes against humanity," he told an anti-Israel rally in Tehran last week. Israel's UN ambassador, Gabriela Shalev, confirmed to Israel Radio Tuesday that her country's delegation, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would be absent from the hall during the Iranian leader's address in New York. 

Thousands Request Pollard’s Forgiveness 
9/21/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) In the days before Yom Kippur, known as the days of repentance, Jews have the custom of asking forgiveness from any person they have wronged over the course of the past year. This year, in what may be the largest group apology of its kind, thousands of Jews from Israel and around the world are coming together to ask forgiveness of one man – Jonathan Pollard. Pollard has served 24 years of a life sentence in prison in the United States for passing classified security-related information to Israel. His supporters say the sentence is unjust and is much harsher than the sentences given even to those who spied on the U. S. on behalf of enemy states. Israelis who signed a letter which will be sent to Pollard in the near future asked Pollard's forgiveness on their government's behalf, for its failure to take action to have him released. 

Settler leaders: Construction freeze can’t stop us 
9/21/2009 - Ha'aretz - Settler leaders on Monday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stand by his defense of growth in West Bank communities, vowing that they would continue construction regardless of whether Israel gave in to U. S. demands. "We will build despite any freeze," said Moshe Rozenbaum, head of the Beit El settlement council, at a protest tent in front of the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on Monday. "You can't stop a community of more than 1,000 residents. "The protest tent was pitched ahead of a tripartite summit in New York planned for Tuesday between the leaders of the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In their plea to Netanyahu, the settler leaders said that the prime minister had promised in his election campaign to defend these communities and implored him to make good on his pledges. 


Articles

On the Goldstone Report 
Curtis F.J. Doebbler, Ma’an News Agency 9/22/2009
      On 15 September 2009 the UN-mandatedFact Finding Mission on Palestine under justice Richard Goldstone released its meticulously documented report concluding that Israel had not only carried out atrocities but had done so intentionally. The extent of the atrocities documented in the report, which was based on thousands of documents and interviews, according to the Fact Finding Mission were acts whose perpetrators should be investigated as war crimes and crimes against humanity. 
     In one of the best documented reports on Israeli violence against Palestinians to ever appear, the Fact Finding Mission concluded not only that in "all of the cases described "¦ both the act and the consequence were intended," but also that action should be taken to prosecute the perpetrators. The suggested action included referring the case to the International Criminal Court, something that the Palestinian Authority requested after the ceasefire was announced on 19 January 2009. It is a request that the Prosecutor of the Court is has been considering for more than none months without a reply.
     It is disappointing that the report focuses on action that should be taken by Israel and the UN Security Council, both entities which have refused to act. Within hours of the report’s release the Israeli government publicly disregarded any suggestion that it would act and the US Ambassador to the UN in New York arrogantly dismissed the reports explicit call for follow-up action. more.. e-mail

Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds? 
Sibel Edmonds And Philip Giraldi, The American Conservative 9/21/2009
      November 2009 issue - The gagged whistleblower goes on the record. 
     Sibel Edmonds has a story to tell. She went to work as a Turkish and Farsi translator for the FBI five days after 9/11. Part of her job was to translate and transcribe recordings of conversations between suspected Turkish intelligence agents and their American contacts. She was fired from the FBI in April 2002 after she raised concerns that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, money laundering, and nuclear proliferation. She appealed her termination, but was more alarmed that no effort was being made to address the corruption that she had been monitoring.
     A Department of Justice inspector general’s report called Edmonds’s allegations “credible,” “serious,” and “warrant[ing] a thorough and careful review by the FBI.” Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee members Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have backed her publicly. “60 Minutes” launched an investigation of her claims and found them believable. No one has ever disproved any of Edmonds’s revelations, which she says can be verified by FBI investigative files.
     ....EDMONDS: Yes, that’s correct. Grossman assisted his Turkish and Israeli contacts directly, and he also facilitated access to members of Congress who might be inclined to help for reasons of their own or could be bribed into cooperation. The top person obtaining classified information was Congressman Tom Lantos. A Lantos associate, Alan Makovsky worked very closely with Dr. Sabri Sayari in Georgetown University, who is widely believed to be a Turkish spy. Lantos would give Makovsky highly classified policy-related documents obtained during defense briefings for passage to Israel because Makovsky was also working for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Settlement university dropped from prestigious architecture competition
22 Sep 2009 - The University Center of Ariel in Samaria (AUCS) has been excluded from the Solar Decathlon, an international university competition promoting sustainable architecture. The self-styled AUCS, claiming to represent Israel, though situated in the illegal settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank, was one out of 20 architecture teams short-listed from university entries last April to compete for the Solar Decathlon-Europe 2010. The Spanish Government together with the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid organizes this most prestigious competition for sustainable architecture in the world. 

The Goldstone report and the battle for legitimacy
22 Sep 2009 - The recent report by a United Nations fact-finding team investigating allegations of war crimes committed during the attack on Gaza last winter is an historic contribution to the Palestinian struggle for justice, an impeccable documentation of a crucial chapter in their victimization under occupation. Its impact will be felt most impressively on the growing civil society movement throughout the world to impose cultural, sporting and academic boycotts, as well as to discourage investment, trade and tourism with Israel. Richard Falk comments. 

De-developing Palestine, one "visit permit" at a time
22 Sep 2009 - I am an American citizen of Palestinian descent and have been employed by the Arab American University-Jenin (AAUJ) in the occupied West Bank as an assistant professor of American literature for the past two and a half years. This month, while attempting to re-enter the West Bank through the land border with Jordan to start the academic year, I was denied re-entry by the Israeli authorities and questioned at length about my Palestinian heritage. The stated reason for the denial was that I had broken the law. 

Few work opportunities under siege in Gaza
22 Sep 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - In the Rimal shopping area of Gaza City, a growing number of Palestinians have resorted to begging. Among them are widows trying to provide for their children, and children themselves begging to contribute to family income. An increasing presence of children selling one-shekel items dominates most Gaza City streets. The children, as young as seven or eight years old, spend their days enticing pedestrians or drivers at stoplights to buy their trinkets. 

In Gaza
laughter and tragedy: Eid day 1
21 Sep 2009 - The streets are completely renewed with energy, filled with life and people no longer fasting. The sense of vitality, exuberance, is strangely similar to that of immediately post-massacre. [ That day, 19 January, the streets blossomed with throngs of people who'd been cooped up in homes, feeling death was imminent. The realization that the mass-Israeli-bombing (but not all!) had stopped was enough to send people onto the streets: to look, to find friends, to appraise the devastation of the massacre and see the new streetscape. While my colleagues and I were mobile --going from Red Crescent shifts in Jabaliya to Ramattan news in Gaza to our seaside apartment --and thus saw...

Palestine Chronicle
Time to Break Free from the Partition Straightjacket
22 Sep 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck The desperate and desultory New York 'summit' among Barack Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas and the evident capitulation of Obama to Israeli defiance of even his minimalist effort to achieve mere maintenance of the status quo have left most observers who genuinely seek peace with some measure of justice in an understandable state of despair. However, there is an alternative to despair -- breaking free from the partition straitjacket and runaround and demanding democracy and equal rights for all in the unitary state which, de facto, has already existed for the past 42 years. If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is ever to be solved, peace-seekers must dare to speak openly and honestly of the "Zionism problem" -- and then to draw the moral, ethical and practical conclusions which follow. When South Africa was under a racial-supremicist, settler-colonial regime, the world recognized that the problem was the ideology and political system of the state. The world also recognized that the solution to that problem could not be found either in "separation" (apartheid in Afrikaans) and scattered native reservations (called "independent states" by the South African regime and "Bantustans" by the rest of the world) or in driving the settler-colonial group in power into the sea. Rather, the solution had to be found -- and, to almost universal satisfaction and relief, was found -- in democracy, in white South Africans growing out of their racial-supremicist ideology and political system and accepting that their interests and their children's futures...

Tripartite Threats: Obama's Obstacles in the Middle East.
22 Sep 2009 - By James Gundun With expectations building to unrealistic proportions, American, Israeli, and Palestinians officials have started downplaying the looming tripartite summit on the UN sidelines. All sides insist the meeting isn’t a resumption of negotiations, though America seems eager to press the possibility. While one official said, ‘These three leaders are going to sit down in the same room and continue to narrow the gaps,’ the Israeli press questioned President Obama’s motives and called the assembly a ‘tea or coffee’ meeting. Though Israelis and Palestinians will likely stay frozen in brinkmanship, a propensity for disinformation and diplomatic posturing makes for a dangerous gauntlet. Obama must stay level headed and understand the limitations of his presence, unless he has some trick up his sleeve. Since a settlement freeze is unlikely from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas doesn’t have the breathing room to cave, the three men will likely exit the room as they went in. The situation is frozen, in part, by a trio of threats Obama is unlikely to mention but must ultimately confront if he wants to sign a two-state solution. Netanyahu, to his credit, is an open book. His personal opposition to a settlement freeze, refugee return, and division of Jerusalem are well chronicled. One of his officials told Ynet News, ‘The prime minister is ready to launch negotiations without preconditions, in order to promote peace with the Palestinians. He doesn't want the Palestinians to be citizens of Israel or under its rule.’ But...

'Free Yourselves from the Shackles of Israeli Pressure', the Man Said. 
22 Sep 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood When the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, interviewed Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal last week he was immediately attacked by Britain's Foreign Office Minister, Ivan Lewis. Lewis said: 'It is particularly regrettable that he [Livingstone] learned the wrong lessons from history by handing a propaganda coup to the leader of a terrorist organisation. Hamas has not only breached international law by firing rockets at civilian populations in Israel but continues to violate the human rights of Palestinians in Gaza'. Perhaps they aren’t paying attention at the Foreign Office. The only people breaching international law in the Holy Land and violating the rights of Palestinians are the lawless Israelis. As the MP for Bury South, near Manchester, and a former vice-chairman of Labour Friends of Israel, Lewis voted enthusiastically for the Iraq war and against any investigation. In January, with the stench of death and destruction caused by Israel's blitzkrieg on Gaza still in the world’s nostrils, he told a rally in Manchester: "This community stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel in the good and the bad times. We do not apply double standards to Israel and the challenges that she faces. It's the first duty of any government in any democracy to protect the security of its citizens. No government in a democracy would survive if it allowed rockets to be fired from a neighbouring territory on to its civilian population and did nothing in response." He told the crowd that those who fired...

Goldstone Commission Gaza Conflict Findings and Reactions
22 Sep 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago On April 3, 2009, a UN press release stated: "The Human Rights Council (HRC) today announced the appointment of Richard J. Goldstone....to lead an independent (four-person) fact-finding mission to investigate international human rights and humanitarian law violations related to the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip....The team will be supported by staff of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights....Today's appointment comes following the adoption of a resolution by the Human Rights Council....to address 'the grave violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly due to the recent Israeli military attacks against the occupied Gaza Strip." Established by the UN General Assembly on March 15, 2006, the HRC's 47 member states are "responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe." As a former South African Constitutional Court justice, Goldstone is a respected jurist. He also served as chief prosecutor for the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals and is a Hebrew University board member. As a Jew, he promised to be fair and even-handed, and "hope(s) that the findings....will make a meaningful contribution to the peace process....and will provide justice for the victims." At the time, Israel refused to cooperate, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Yigal Palmor, saying: "This committee is instructed not to seek out the truth but to single out Israel for alleged crimes." He then accused the Council of having "practically (no) credibility at all." On September 15, the HRC released the Commission's 575 page report, titled...

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