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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
23 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Hamas slams trilateral meeting in New York
24 Sep 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, slammed the trilateral Abbas-Netanyahu-Obama meeting in New York, and said that ‘the Zionists are very pleased with the meeting as president Mahmoud Abbas went to it without any preconditions in contrary to his own vows’.  

Lieberman pleased by some of the aspects of Obama’s speech
24 Sep 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stated that he was pleased by some important aspects of the speech of U.S. President, Barack Obama, at the United Nations. 

Obama calls for resumption of peace talks
24 Sep 2009 - U.S. President, Barack Obama, stated Wednesday that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians must be restarted without any preconditions. 

Palestinian security forces, Israeli soldiers, tour Bethlehem
23 Sep 2009 - Palestinian security sources reported Wednesday that Palestinian security forces accompanied by Israeli soldiers toured Bethlehem city, which is under Palestinian security control.  

The Israeli military invades northern Gaza, uproot farmlands
23 Sep 2009 - Israeli tanks invaded on Wednesday farmlands in northern Gaza Strip town of Khuza'a and uprooted them. 

Israeli navy kidnaps five Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City shores
23 Sep 2009 - Israeli navel forces kidnapped on Wednesday midday five Palestinian fishermen off Gaza City shores.

The Israeli military injures a man in Bethlehem city
23 Sep 2009 - Israeli soldiers attacked on Wednesday morning a Palestinian man at a military checkpoint separating the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem form Jerusalem.

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

Palestinians say death of J’lem man was murder, not 'security related'
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem "“ Ma"™an "“ Walid Rabi At-Tawil, shot dead Tuesday by Israeli forces near the Beta Illit checkpoint, died not because the 27-year-old failed to stop when ordered, but from a planned ambush that abused the power soldiers wield over travelers, local residents told Ma'an. The Israeli officer that shot At-Tawil met the young man Monday at the Betar Illit checkpoint, where he had pulled him over and detained At-Tawil for two and a half hours, according to purported witnesses. An altercation between the two during the period of detention saw the officer scream at At-Tawil that he was never to return to the checkpoint, they said, claiming that the officer threatened to kill At-Tawil if he ever saw him again. The following day At-Tawil was stopped at a gas station near the checkpoint when Israeli army vehicles pulled in, one carrying the same officer with whom the altercation had taken place, according to the same witnesses. 

Three injured, 15 Bedouins arrested over land confiscation protest
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Fifteen Bedouins were arrested on Wednesday near the Beersheba-area Goral Junction, according to the Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The paper said the Bedouin arrestees were trying to stop work by the Jewish National Fund, a pro-Israel corporation owned by the World Zionist Organization, on land they said was privately owned by local residents. Two Bedouins were hurt by tear gas, the paper said, as well as a police officer who suffered light injuries. Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service treated the three, it added. The report said dozens of locals attended the demonstration that police claimed became violent. Police said they and some of the JNF operatives were assaulted during the protest, according to the newspaper. It was not the first time the local population has objected to the semi-governmental organization's efforts. . . 

Report: Barak approved 37 more settler units
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has approved 37 more housing units for the West Bank settlement of Karnei Shomron, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday. Weeks earlier Barak approved the construction of 455 such units elsewhere in the West Bank. Word of Wednesday's approval came less than 24 hours after US President Barack Obama called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting in New York to restrain, rather than freeze, future settlement activities in the West Bank. 

Hamas to announce position on Egyptian plan Monday; no word from Abbas
9/23/2009 - Gaza "“ Ma"™an "“ The official Hamas reaction to the Egyptian vision for Palestinian unity will be announced on Monday, party spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum announced Wednesday. While most parties with the exception of Fatah released official statement around their reactions to the Egyptian plan for unity between Palestinian sides, Hamas has yet to release its final word on the document. Party members, notably de facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Hanieyh, noted that the plan was a "beginning," but preferred to see unity come first and conciliation agreements second. Barhoum noted that the official reaction was postponed awaiting both the end of Ramadan and a meeting of Hamas officials from abroad. He said the party's leader in exile Khalid Mash'al was currently in Cairo with a delegation meeting with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Sulaiman, and after consultations with the team an official response would be released. 

Commercial and humanitarian goods flow into Gaza slows
9/23/2009 - Gaza "“ Ma"™an "“ The Kerem Shalom border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip will be the only crossing open for the second day in a row, marking the steepest decline in goods deliveries into the Strip since Israel launched its war on the area in December 2008. Palestinian crossings official Raed Fattouh said that Israel will allow 55 to 65 trucks loaded with aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing, and that all other border terminals will be shut. Only 60 truckloads of goods were allowed through on Tuesday, and the crossings were totally shut Thursday through to Monday for the Israeli celebration of the Jewish New Year. On 16 September a delivery of approximately 115 truckloads went through the crossing points, though fuel has only been delivered twice in more than a week. 

Israel reports detention of Gaza man found escaped in Ra’im
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem "“ Ma"™an "“ Israeli forces reported the arrest of a Gazan man who attempted to escape the Strip by climbing the border wall on Tuesday evening. The sources said the young man was detained near Ra"™im village and he was taken to investigations by Israeli security forces. 

PA: Israelis detain nine in village raids, beat man near Bethlehem
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem "“ Ma"™an "“ Israeli forces invaded villages in the West Bank on Wednesday morning, breaking into homes and detaining five men, according to the Palestinian Authority police's public information office. Police said that in the north at Kfar Ra"™i village south of Jenin soldiers detained Abdul-latif Basel Shibani, 23, Issa Hasan Shibani, 23, Abdul Karim Zuheir Nimir Jarar, 27, Mahmoud Zuheir Nimir Jarar, 25, and Baha Sami Husni Diab, 24. In the south at Arraba village near Hebron soldiers detained three brothers, Kutaiba, Kaidar, and Khuthaima Muhammad Khalaf, 40, 30 and 28. The soldiers also broke into the house of Fadi Adam Obedo and seized him, according to police. North of Hebron near Bethlehem soldiers attacked Abdul Min"™em Karram, 25. He was transferred to the Beit Jala Hospital to be treated for injuries, the public information office said. 

Israeli military convoy spotted in Bethlehem
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem "“ Ma'an "“ A convoy of four armored Israeli military jeeps entered Bethlehem on Wednesday afternoon, witnesses said and Palestinian Authority security sources confirmed. At least two PA trucks were seen trailing the caravan, and sources said its entry was coordinated between the two authorities. Armed PA forces were also stationed around the city throughout incursion, security sources said. Although the city of Bethlehem is theoretically under Palestinian security control, Israeli military forces regularly invade Bethlehem district, and occasionally the city, during night raids to arrest residents and search homes. However it is highly unusual for Israeli forces to enter the city during daylight hours. Approached by Ma'an, Bethlehem Governor Abdel Fattah Hamayel said the event was simply a "standard meeting," but refused to elaborate. 

Israel: Fire exchanged near Jerusalem wall; no injuries
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Witnesses reported shots fired early Wednesday morning near an Israeli military base on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israeli forces said their troops were fired on by unknown Palestinians and that their soldiers returned fire. No injuries were reported from either side. 

Armed wings of DFLP, PFLP claim attack on Israeli forces in Gaza
9/23/2009 - Gaza "“ Ma"™an "“ The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and the National Resistance Brigades announced a joint joint attack on Israeli forces entering the Gaza Strip in the north early Wednesday morning. The military groups, affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine respectively, reported no injuries, but said the would continue the attacks. A statement on the attack said "our battle with the Israeli forces is continuous, we will not stop, we will always defend Palestinians. "  

Israel allows 40 Golan Heights Druze to leave for Syria visit
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem "“ Ma"™an "“ Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai agreed to allow 40 Druze women who live in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights to leave Israel for Syria for the first time since 1967, Israel Radio said Tuesday. Israel and Syria have no diplomatic, economic or other relations, and members of the same family separated when the region was annexed to Israel have had no way of contacting one another for years. Communication often consists of using bullhorns to yell across the valley separating the territories as families gather to hear news. The 40 women will visit Syria for six days to visit family and friends and make the pilgrimage to the grave of the Druze prophet Habil in the Kasyun. This is the first time such a trip has been permitted by Israeli authorities; it was not clear whether there had been cooperation with Syria around the visit. 

Peace talks begin with little Palestinian or Israeli support
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma"™an - An inglorious beginning to peace talks was kicked off with what some described as a "œcivil" meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday. The two leaders reportedly stated their previous positions of stalemate, while the US diplomatic machine put its gears into drive and arranged for US special envoy George Mitchell to return to the region after he failed to convince sides to sit down in New York. Teams of Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will also travel to Washington for a resumption of efforts. Palestinians and Israeli sides, however, have shown no willingness to change their positions and it was not clear how US President Barack Obama planned to bring both sides together. Some said Obama showed impatience at the "œfoot dragging" around the resumption of talks, and in public statements the US president said approaching the issue with a sense of "œurgency" was the only way the process may see success. 

Obama: America rejects Israeli settlements
9/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - America rejects the legitimacy of Israel's settlement enterprise, US President Barack Obama insisted in his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday. After first calling on Palestinians to end "incitement" against Israel, Obama reiterated that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. " He also acknowledged that his country too often fails to criticize Israel's policies toward Palestine. "The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians. "The president's remarks came the same day an Israeli newspaper revealed that its defense minister, Ehud Barak, had recently okayed permits for 37 new housing units in an illegal West Bank settlement. 

The National

Trilateral talks feed disappointment
23 Sep 2009 - While the US has brought Palestinians and Israelis together in New York, analysts say the disagreement about settlements leaves little hope for compromise.

Hizbollah plays game of political patience
23 Sep 2009 - Although a government is yet to materialise in Lebanon, the Shiite opposition seems to give preference to dialogue over violence.

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.

Aljazeera

Iran hits out at Western 'terror'
23 Sep 2009 - Ignoring call for response on nuclear issue, Ahmadinejad attacks West for spreading war.

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

Alternative Information Center

Israeli Army Refuses to Respond to Human Rights Organizations
23 Sep 2009 - Gisha wishes to express its grave concern over a new, unilateral decision by the army to refuse to respond to requests from Israeli human rights organizations on behalf of Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip, even...

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

Palestinians working in Jerusalem and within Israeli boundaries arrested during Ramadan and Eid
22 Sep 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi - Secretary-General of the Federation of Unions of Palestine, Haidar Ibrahim reports that the occupying Israeli authority arrested 440 Palestinian workers during Ramadan. On the first day of Eid al-Fitr, another 50 people were arrested.The workers were from the West Bank and were in Jerusalem and inside Israeli boundaries. Israeli forces raided several factories and checked work permits. Some...

Abbas in New York reiterates demand that Israelis implement Road Map obligations
22 Sep 2009 - New York / PNN - President Mahmoud Abbas said in New York after the meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama that the Israelis must implement obligations, in particular ceasing all forms of settlement activity, including so-called natural growth. At the same time, the Israeli press reported today that a new settlement is being built on the outskirts...

Sweets for Eid banned from entering Jalama, Salem and Huwara prisons
22 Sep 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi – The tradition sweets that are a part of Eid al-Fitr celebrations were banned in several Israeli prisons. Palestinian political prisoners in Jalema, Salem and Huwara detention camps were not allowed Eid sweets despite efforts by the International Committee of Palestinian Prisoners.Efforts were in vain for the delivery of a shipment of materials and sweets for Eid for Palestinians,...

PFLP salutes British Trades Union Congress for resolution to boycott Israeli state
22 Sep 2009 - PFLP - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine expressed its solidarity and greetings to British workers and the Trades Union Congress of Britain after the annual congress passed a resolution committing to participate in and campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the Israeli occupier. The motion was passed on September 17, 2009 at the annual conference of the TUC,...

Nine Years after the October 2000 events the right to demonstrate is still being suppressed
22 Sep 2009 - Adalah / Haifa – A new report issued by the Adalah (Justice) Center reveals Israeli police, prosecutor, GSS and courts adopt a “No Tolerance” policy towards protests by Palestinians inside Israeli boundaries during military attacks on Gaza. Yesterday Adalah published a report which exposes the ways in which the Israeli law enforcement agencies responded to the wave of protests by Palestinian Arab citizens...

Bristol-Gaza-Link launch event at Council House as part of series of demonstrations and events
22 Sep 2009 - The launch of the new Bristol-Gaza-Link association will take place at a public meeting on Monday 28th September in the Main Hall at the Council House, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. The guest speaker will be a representative of the Palestinian General Delegation to the UK. The meeting will be chaired jointly by Anira Khokhar of the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society and...

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...

IRIN

LEBANON: Move to take domestic violence cases out of religious courts
BEIRUT Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (IRIN) - As lawmakers struggle to form a government three months after Lebanon's parliamentary elections, women's rights activists await the opening of parliament to debate a new bill on domestic violence.

JORDAN: Declining rainfall, population growth spur search for water
AMMAN Wednesday, September 23, 2009 (IRIN) - Declining rainfall levels in water scarce and debt-ridden Jordan, the population of which is growing rapidly, have given further urgency to the search for alternative water sources.

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...

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Libyan Leader Thrashes All and Sundry in U.N. Debut 
UNITED NATIONS, Sep 23 (IPS) - Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, in his maiden visit to the United Nations Wednesday, made a highly predictable speech - long on rhetoric and short on substance.

US-MIDEAST: Has Netanyahu Out-Manoeuvred Obama or Vice Versa? 
WASHINGTON, Sep 23 (IPS) - While Israeli officials claimed a major win in U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to shelve his long-held demand for a freeze on Israeli settlements on the West Bank and East Jerusalem, some analysts here believe it may yet prove a Pyrrhic victory for the hard-line...

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

Spain excludes settlement university from academic competition 
9/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Global BDS Movement - 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 taking effective, even though preliminary, steps to uphold international law by boycotting or divesting from institutions and corporations involved in or profiting from Israel’s illegal Wall and colonial settlements built on occupied Palestinian land. . “Ariel University Centre of Samaria” was one out of 21 teams selected last April to compete for the Solar Decathlon-Madrid 2010, the most prestigious competition for sustainable architecture in the world, organized by the Spanish Ministry of Housing together with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. [1]Selected teams, formed by architects and engineering students are asked to design and build a real house entirely driven by solar energy. Every house should be built in one of the 20 sites in the “Solar Villa” planned in Madrid to host them. To facilitate participation of the various teams, the Spanish Ministry of Housing allocated a sum of 100,000 Euros to every project. Last Wednesday,September 16th, Sergio Vega, General Director of Solar Decathlon Europe addressed all participant teams to inform them of the exclusion of AUCS:”The decision has been taken by the Government of Spain based upon the fact that the University is located in the [occupied] West Bank. The Government of Spain is obliged to respect the international agreements under the framework of the European Union and the United Nations regarding this geographical area. ” It represents the first case of sanctions against an Israeli academic institution in Spain and one of the very first such actions in the West. 

Israeli forces continue arrest and intimidation campaign with Bil’in night raids 
9/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli forces invaded Bil’in once again just before 1am. Six jeeps entered the village via the gate in the occupation wall. Two jeeps stopped at the house of Mohammed Ahmed Yasseen (age 21) and searched for him in the ground floor apartment belonging to his mother. Four jeeps stopped at Abdullah Mahmoud Aburahma’s (age 37) house and searched for him there. Two of these jeeps left quickly to search for Yasseen Mohammed Yasseen (age 21) at his home. None of the men were at home and no-one was arrested. International and Israeli activists accompanied local Palestinians at all three locations to protest against the invasions and to document events. The house searches were relatively short-lived, compared to the numerous previous invasions. The soldiers delivered letters to all three families demanding that the three men go to Ofer prison to meet ‘Captain Fo’ad’ of the shabak. This was the first time such a demand was written in Arabic. The invading forces were particularly aggressive at Abdullah Mahmoud Aburahma’s house. They fired tear gas and shot live ammunition in the air as they exited the village a little before 2am. No-one was injured or arrested. There has been speculation that an Israeli lawyer is attempting to show that this long series of night arrests is illegal because no forewarning was given to any of the Palestinians so far seized and detained. These letters may be an attempt by the Israeli army to pre-empt a court order demanding a warning before any arrest. eptember 2009. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

How George Costanza may hold the key to saving the economy
23 Sep 2009 - Last week I wrote that America's leaders are afraid to tell the people the truth: that many won't be able to give their kids the standard of living which they themselves received as children. The way things look now, there's nothing anybody can do about it - the children will live a harsher existence than their parents did. ... 

Palestinians hold firm on settlement freeze demand despite Obama speech
23 Sep 2009 - Senior Palestinian Authority officials had mixed reactions to U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks to the UN General Assembly Wednesday on achieving a comprehensive settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ... 

Gideon Levy / Obama, you won't make peace without talking to Hamas
23 Sep 2009 - It's as if U.S. President Barack Obama did the least he had to. He "rebuked" Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. That's not how a president with star power acts. That is not how a superpower does things. America is again falling down on the job, and Obama is betraying his mission and the promise of his presidency. ...

Russia opens door to backing new sanctions against Iran 
23 Sep 2009 - NEW YORK - With a diplomatic wink and nod, Russian President Dmitry ...

Netanyahu sees confirmation of Israel positions in Obama's first UN speech 
23 Sep 2009 - NEW YORK - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Haaretz Wednesday that U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to the United Nations General Assembly was "positive" because "he also said something we had been seeking for six months, that we have to meet and begin the diplomatic process without preconditions." Netanyahu also said Obama had spoken "clearly about Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. I believe that disagreement about this is the root of the conflict." ... 

The Guardian

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's renewed attack on Israel hastens walkout
23 Sep 2009 - The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, faced a series of walkouts at the United Nations general assembly last night after launching a renewed attack on Israel, which he accused of genocide, barbarism and racism. Within minutes of...

Barack Obama puts Bush era behind him in UN general assembly speech
23 Sep 2009 - • Obama urges countries to work together to solve problems • UN bedevilled by divisions despite Obama's call for unity Barack Obama put the Bush era decisively behind him today in a speech to the United...

Barack Obama's UN general assembly speech in full
23 Sep 2009 - Remarks by Barack Obama at the UN general assembly as prepared for delivery Mr President, Mr Secretary-General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman: it is my honour to address you for the first time as the forty-fourth...

Video: Handshake but no deal as Middle East plan falters
23 Sep 2009 - Barack Obama's peace initiative ran into trouble when Israel rejected the US president's call for a freeze on settlements

Ha'aretz National page

Olmert to stand trial Friday on fraud charges in 'Rishon Tours' affair
22 Sep 2009 - Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will stand trial on Friday in Jerusalem on numerous corruption charges stemming from the "Rishon Tours" affair. ...

How much did the mayor of Bat Yam pay his wife to run campaign?
22 Sep 2009 - The mayor of Bat Yam paid his wife a salary of NIS 430,000 for running her husband's election campaign during last year's municipal poll, state comptroller Micah Lindenstrauss wrote in a report which was released on Wednesday. ...

Labor MK: Outpost 'anarchists' break law and consensus
22 Sep 2009 - MK Yuli Tamir (Labor) told residents of an unauthorized West Bank outpost on Wednesday that they have broken the national consensus on where construction is allowed in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. ... 

Relief Web

Report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization (A/64/1)
23 Sep 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

UN SG cites climate change, disarmament, world poverty among top priorities for action as he presents report to General Assembly
23 Sep 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General

Syria: Refugee stories - Boiled potatoes for Iftar
23 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

US official: Settlements preventing normalization
23 Sep 2009 - Official tells Jewish leaders in US Arab countries refusing to normalize relations with Israel due to 450 new housing units approved in West Bank 

Netanyahu commends Obama's UN speech
23 Sep 2009 - Prime minister joins Israeli officials in praising US president's General Assembly speech and says Obama 'unequivocally supports Israel as state of Jewish people', while ignoring US leader's slamming of settlements 

US papers call 3-way summit a failure 
23 Sep 2009 - Washington Post says American president's meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders 'fell well short of the administration's hopes.' NY Times: Obama failed to gain a tangible early goal of his Middle East policy 

Obama says settlement building illegitimate
23 Sep 2009 - US president tells UN General Assembly time has come to renew peace talks. He calls on Palestinians to stop incitement against Israel, says his country won't accept legitimacy of continued settlement building. 'The Goal is clear: Two states living side by side in peace and security,' he adds 

Brigade commander denies condoning violence against Palestinians
23 Sep 2009 - Col. Virov says testimony in which he said 'sometimes a slap or blow to a Palestinian is reasonable' was misunderstood 

Daily Star

Small groups in Palestinian camps the real threat to national security 
23 Sep 2009

Aoun clings to Telecoms as cabinet talks re-start 
23 Sep 2009

France appoints new ambassador to Lebanon 
23 Sep 2009

Egypt press outraged over Hosni's UNESCO defeat 
23 Sep 2009

China firms selling fuel to Iran as US sanctions loom 
23 Sep 2009

Assad, Siniora attend opening of new Saudi university 
23 Sep 2009

Abbas-Netanyahu summit hailed as victory for Israel 
23 Sep 2009

Iran, Venezuela to launch $1.5b oil refinery in Syria 
23 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Another farcical show
23 Sep 2009 - One doesn’t have to be a prophet to predict the outcome, or more correctly failure, of the three-way meeting between Obama, Netanyahu and Abbas which took place in New York on Tuesday.

Mishaal in Cairo next Sunday
23 Sep 2009 - Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal is expected to visit Cairo next Sunday at the head of a senior delegation to discuss with the Egyptian leadership Palestinian reconciliation.

Negev Bedouins wounded in confrontation with IOF troops
23 Sep 2009 - Large numbers of Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Wednesday violently quelled Arab Bedouins in the Negev who tried to confront Israeli bulldozers that were trying to bulldoze Bedouin lands.

IOA closes Ibrahimi Mosque before Muslims
23 Sep 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) announced the closure of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil before Muslim worshippers as of dawn Wednesday to enable Jews to perform religious rituals.

Studies center: Illegal practices against children rampant in Israeli jails
23 Sep 2009 - The prisoners' center for studies has said that around 400 Palestinian children held in Israeli occupation jails are exposed to illegal practices that require immediate intervention.

Human rights groups: Israel is depriving Palestinians of water
23 Sep 2009 - Twenty human rights and political societies in Israel have charged that Tel Aviv was depriving Palestinians living south of Al-Khalil from water as means of racial cleansing.

Haneyya: Gaza siege a crime against humanity
23 Sep 2009 - Ismail Haneyya, the Palestinian premier, has described the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip as a crime against humanity, and asked the world community to assume its responsibility towards this crime.

Sweden refuses Lieberman's visit
23 Sep 2009 - Sweden has refused to open a judicial inquiry into a report published by the local paper Aftonbladet charging that the Israeli army was harvesting Palestinian organs.

Qasem: The New York meeting is a form of normalization, vindicates occupation
23 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
23 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.

Los Angeles Times

Bitterness follows Egyptian's failed bid to lead U.N. cultural organization 
24 Sep 2009 - Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, says 'there was a conspiracy against me' after losing the vote for the UNESCO post. Conspiracy theories hummed through Egypt's media and political elite Wednesday as Culture Minister Farouk Hosni returned home from Paris after facing accusations of anti-Semitism and losing a bitter fight to become the first Arab to lead the United Nations' cultural organization. 

President Obama enters the Mideast fray 
23 Sep 2009 - But the U.S. leader's presence at a New York meeting fails to bridge gaps between Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinians' Mahmoud Abbas. President Obama, exasperated by the disappointing course of Mideast peace efforts, urged Israelis and Palestinians on Tuesday to reapply themselves, even though eight months of intensive American engagement has failed to return the parties to the negotiating table. 

Families ask Iranian leader to bring detained hikers home 
23 Sep 2009 - Ahead of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's address to the U.N. Wednesday, relatives launch a media effort pleading for the release of three UC Berkeley graduates arrested nearly two months ago. On the eve of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to the United Nations, the families of three young UC Berkeley graduates detained in that country while hiking pleaded for their release. 

New York Times

In Mideast Peace Bid, Obama Pivots in His Demands
22 Sep 2009 - President Obama is largely setting aside his demand for a full freeze on settlements in the West Bank as a first step toward restarting Middle East peace talks. 

Yes, We Speak Cupcake
23 Sep 2009 - The shop Sugar Daddy’s in Amman, Jordan, has brought the cupcake craze that has swept some American cities to the Middle East. 

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. 

Misc

VIDEO - East Khouzaa destruction & buffer zone 1 
9/21/2009 - YouTube - ISM Gaza Strip video - Interview with Dr. Qudeh from the "Brillant Tomorrow For Homes Sons Society" about the destruction of East Khouzaa during the December 2008 - January 2009 Israeli onslaught on Gaza and the attempt of the Israeli occupation forces to establish a "buffer zone" by shooting live ammunition against farmers. 

VIDEO - bilin night raid 21.09.09 by haitham al katib 
9/21/2009 - YouTube - Bil'in night raid 21/09/09 Israeli forces invaded Bil'in once again just before 1am. Six jeeps entered the village via the gate in the occupation wall. Two jeeps stopped at the house of Mohammed A. Israeli forces invaded Bil'in once again just before 1am. Six jeeps entered the village via the gate in the occupation wall. Two jeeps stopped at the house of Mohammed Ahmed Yasseen (age 21) and searched for him in the ground floor apartment belonging to his mother. Four jeeps stopped at Abdullah Mahmoud Aburahma's (age 37) house and searched for him there. Two of these jeeps left quickly to search for Yasseen Mohammed Yasseen (age 21) at his home. None of the men were at home and no-one was arrested. International and Israeli activists accompanied local Palestinians at all three locations to protest against the invasions and to document events. The house searches were relatively short-lived, compared to the numerous previous invasions. The soldiers delivered letters to all three families demanding that the three men go to Ofer prison to meet 'Captain Fo'ad' of the shabak. This was the first time such a demand was written in Arabic. 

West Bank settlement lays groundwork for new neighborhood 
9/23/2009 - Ha'aretz - As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepares to meet U. S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday in New York, workers in the West Bank settlement of Betar Ilit will continue what they've been doing for the last few weeks: laying the groundwork for new homes. Despite talk over a construction freeze in West Bank settlement in ultra-Orthodox Betar Ilit, south of Jerusalem, in recent weeks infrastructure work began in advance of what appears to be the creation of a new neighborhood. While the construction site falls within the municipal boundaries of the settlement, it is on a hill outside the current built-up area of the town. It appears that at least several dozen housing units are to be built on the site. The site does not appear on the list of 455 housing units that Defense Minister Ehud Barak reported giving approval for two weeks ago, as a last step before the implementation of new understandings on a construction freeze. The fact that the hill is outside the perimeter of existing buildings runs contrary to the Israeli contention that construction is being performed within the existing built-up areas. More than 35,000 residents currently live in Betar Ilit, making it one of the largest settlements, along with Modi'in Ilit - also an Ultra-orthodox settlement just over the Green Line. Betar Ilit also has the highest growth rate of any settlement. 

How Israel silenced its Gaza war protesters 
9/22/2009 - Ha'aretz - Akiva Eldar - 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. " This was not a sentence in a right-wing journal, but rather a statement by an Israel Police representative during Operation Cast Lead seeking to persuade the Tel Aviv District Court to block anti-war protesters from the city. Around the same time, in a Haifa Magistrate's Court hearing on extending the remand of minors, Judge Moshe Gilad stated: "Anyone who enables remarks denouncing the state and backing its enemies, even as they rain missiles upon its citizens, must obey its laws, and certainly is prohibited from attacking police who come to impose order. It is similar to a person spitting in the well from which he drinks. " Here are some of the pearls in Adalah's new report: "Prohibited protest - how the law enforcement authorities limit the freedom of expression of opponents of the Gaza military attack. "The document, being published for the first time here, was written by attorneys Abeer Baker and Rana Asali. They reviewed and analyzed hundreds of rulings and detention requests, interviewed dozens of human rights activists who were arrested and threatened during the Gaza attack, and documented the behavior of Israeli academia during the moments of truth last winter. 

The Gaza War ’victory’ - Has Israel grown dependent on terror? 
9/22/2009 - Ha'aretz - It is a sickening thought. It is one that many in Israel have had to live with for months. One they have kept inside, silenced, some for reasons of guilt, others out of sympathy, superstition, or denial:Despite everything, despite international denunciation unprecedented even by the standards of past Israeli operations, despite mind-reeling devastation of residential areas and unconscionable loss of life among Palestinian civilians, could the winter invasion of Gaza have actually been a success? The suggestion was put forward this week in a Washington Post opinion piece headlined "Israel's Gaza Vindication. "The Monday column was written by Jackson Diehl, who covered the first intifada as the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief, and who early in the Gaza war had called Cast Lead "Olmert's final failure. " Diehl noted that while a number of Israel's stated - and patently unrealizable - aims for the war went unaddressed, two crucial elements of the postwar reality were cause for distinct Israeli satisfaction: a precipitous drop in Palestinian rocket launchings against the Negev, and a considerable rise in the strength of Hamas blood rival, Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Israel's defeat in Gaza has widely been portrayed as a foregone conclusion. During the war, Time magazine's cover was headlined "Why Israel can't win. "An accompanying article asked darkly "Can Israel survive its assault on Gaza? "Diehl's article argues that Israel has done far more. "The point," he writes, "is that Israel has bought itself a stretch of relative peace with Hamas, just as its costly 2006 invasion of Lebanon has produced three years of quiet on that front. From the Israeli perspective, a respite from conflict is the most that can be expected from either group - or from their mutual sponsor, Iran. " 

Report: Haniyeh says Hamas will support Palestinian state within ’67 border 
9/22/2009 - Jerusalem Post - In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh wrote that his group will support any step that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state within the '67 borders, Israel Radio quoted Palestinian media reported on Tuesday. According to the report, Haniyeh stressed that Hamas wouldn't thwart efforts to establish a free and independent Palestinian state, which will have Jerusalem as its capital. The Hamas leader reportedly went on to say the US and Israel were responsible for the current stagnation of Middle East peace talks, because they rejected a two-state solution based on ceding the entire '67 territories and allowing Palestinian refugees to return to Israel or receive compensation. 

Zbig Brzezinski: Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran
9/20/2009 - ABC News - The national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gave an interview to The Daily Beast in which he suggested President Obama should make it clear to Israel that if they attempt to attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites the U. S. Air Force will stop them. " We are not exactly impotent little babies," Brzezinski said. "They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? . . . We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse. " The USS Liberty was a U. S. Navy technical research ship that the Israeli Air Force mistakenly attacked during the Six Day War in 1967. Brzezinski endorsed then-Sen. Obama's presidential campaign in August 2007, which at the time was portrayed in the media as a boost to Obama's foreign policy cred. The Washington Post reported: "Barack Obama, combating the perception that he is too young and inexperienced to handle a dangerous world, got a boost yesterday from a paragon of foreign policy eminence, Zbigniew Brzezinski. " Brzezinski was never an official campaign adviser, but Republicans jumped on the endorsement to push the meme that Obama wouldn't be a friend to Israel, as Brzezinski's views of Israel attracted criticism from some quarters in the American Jewish community. “Brzezinski is not an adviser to the campaign,” former Ambassador Dennis Ross, then a senior adviser on Middle East affairs to the Obama campaign, said at the time. “There is a lot of disinformation that is being pushed, but he is not an adviser to the campaign. Brzezinski came out and supported Obama early because of the war in Iraq. A year or so ago they talked a couple of times. That’s the extent of it, and Sen. Obama has made it clear that on other Middle Eastern issues, Brzezinski is not who he looks to. They don’t have the same views. 

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski
9/18/2009 - The Daily Beast - Q: How aggressive can Obama be in insisting to the Israelis that a military strike might be in America’s worst interest? A: We are not exactly impotent little babies. They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? -- President Obama’s decision Thursday to scrap the Bush administration’s missile-defense umbrella for Europe is being bemoaned by Republicans at home and top diplomats from Poland, which was slated to be the main staging ground for the missile system. But Zbigniew Brzezinski—who as Jimmy Carter’s Polish-born national security adviser confronted problems in Iran, Afghanistan, and the Middle East—says that dropping the missile-shield program gives the U. S. more defense options in Europe. At 81, Brzezinski, an early and enthusiastic Obama supporter, is as opinionated as ever about what America is doing right and wrong when it comes to the key foreign-policy issues. “The Bush missile-shield proposal was based on a nonexistent defense technology, designed against a nonexistent threat, and designed to protect West Europeans, who weren’t asking for the protection. ”Brzezinski, who was considered a hawk in the Carter administration and was often touted by Democratic politicians as the party’s response to Henry Kissinger, spoke to The Daily Beast about how Obama flubbed the delivery of his decision to the Czechs and the Poles, why dropping the program won’t convince Russia to help us on Iran, and the effect of a possible Israeli preemptive strike on Tehran. Is the Obama administration decision to end the missile-defense program the right one? Well, let me first of all say that my view on this subject for the last two years has been that the Bush missile-shield proposal was based on a nonexistent defense technology, designed against a nonexistent threat, and designed to protect West Europeans, who weren’t asking for the protection. Does scrapping the missile program weaken our defense options in Europe vis-à-vis the Russians? Not at all. What is left is militarily sounder. It gives the U. S. more options while still enhancing America’s ability to develop more effective defense systems, which is what the Russians really dislike. But now they have less of an excuse to bitch about it. 

Israeli MPs Call for West Bank Settlement Expansion 
9/22/2009 - Antiwar.com - Parliament Speaker Insists Netanyahu Will 'Remain Loyal' - Though Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in New York today for the tripartite summit, members of his government, including several MPs and ministers gathered at a “protest tent” established by settlers across from his Jerusalem residence. The hawkish MPs were rallying to protest the possibility that the also-hawkish prime minister might agree to a peace deal that would halt the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories. Vice Premier Silvan Shalom, one of those speaking at the rally, insisted that the construction must continue to send a message to the Palestinians, while MP Tzipi Hotovely said expanding the settlements was “the only way to demonstrate our ownership” of the territory they were built on, which was captured in 1967. Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed any freeze on settlement construction, and parliamentary speaker Reuven Rivlin said he saw no need to protestbecause he was convinced Netanyahu would “remain loyal to the platform that got him elected. 

US Pushing Beyond Settlement Freeze 
9/23/2009 - Antiwar.com - JERUSALEM – "Nobody can usurp the right to determine the fate of the nation on their own – not the Palestine Liberation Organization, nor anyone else. It is the will of the Palestinian people that must determine our future," declares Hamas political leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh was speaking Sunday at the onset of the Eid ul-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Holy Muslim month of Ramadan. The Hamas leader’s barbs were directed against the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and his decision to accede to the call of U. S. President Barack Obama to join a tripartite meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington Tuesday. At the end of a week of shuttle diplomacy by the special presidential envoy, former senator George Mitchell, the U. S. intermediary was unable to resolve differences between the Israelis and Palestinians and between Israel and the White House. The Palestinian president found himself in a real fix. He had made plain in no uncertain terms that he would not attend such a summit unless Netanyahu recanted on his "No" to a complete settlement freeze. But after urgent consultations with Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, when Obama phoned him personally to invite him to the meeting, the Palestinian leader found himself constrained to say "Yes. " Going into Tuesday’s summit, the Palestinian position has remained "freeze settlements" or "freeze negotiations. " Will anything make him change his mind, see the value in opening peace talks even without the hoped-for total halt on settlement-building? That is the first of twin tests that faces the U. S. president on Tuesday – how to entice the Palestinians to the peace table. The second challenge is to the Israeli prime minister. Back in May, in his inaugural White House meeting, Netanyahu was rocked by the U. S. president’s blunt attitude on settlements, and by the stark implication that he would not stop short of pressuring Israel to do what he believed essential to advance peace. 

Mitchell: no preconditions to resume Mideast talks 
9/22/2009 - Reuters - NEW YORK (Reuters) - U. S. special envoy George Mitchell suggested on Tuesday that an Israeli settlement freeze is not essential for peace talks with Palestinians to resume. Speaking to reporters after U. S. President Barack Obama met Israeli and Palestinian leaders, Mitchell said the United States had never presented "preconditions" and did not want the parties to do so either. The White House had hoped to orchestrate a series of steps by Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states that would have allowed Obama to announce this week the relaunch of peace talks, which have been on hold since December. Among these steps was a U. S. request that Israel live up to its commitment under a 2003 U. S. -backed peace plan to halt all building of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, which it has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war. The United States also wanted the Palestinians to do more to prevent violence against Israelis and Arab nations to take steps toward normalizing relations with the Jewish state. Asked if it was possible for talks to resume without a settlement freeze, Mitchell told reporters: "We are not identifying any issue as being a precondition or an impediment to negotiation. " Neither the president nor the Secretary (of State Hillary Clinton) nor I have ever said of any one issue. . . that it is a precondition to negotiations," he added. Mitchell said the suggestions the United States had put forward would allow talks to resume under the best possible conditions with the best chance of success. " But we do not believe in preconditions. We do not impose them and we urge others not to impose preconditions," he said. Palestinian officials, including President Mahmoud Abbas, have argued that Israel must freeze settlement building before peace talks can resume. 

US embassy in Dubai ’is a recruiting ground for Iranian spies’ 
9/22/2009 - Telegraph - The CIA uses the American consulate in Dubai as a recruiting ground for Iranian spies, according to a new book, giving out visas only in exchange for inside information on the country. Thousands of Iranians use the city, which has strong trading ties with the Islamic Republic, to apply for visas every year since the United States has no formal representation in Tehran. But according to diplomats quoted in the book, Dubai: The Story of the World's Fastest City, by Jim Krane, every applicant is first grilled for information. The most valuable sources are actively recruited as informants, either on the country itself or on its considerable expatriate population in the United Arab Emirates. The information gleaned is so valuable that the CIA allegedly vetoed an attempt by the State Department to close down the consulate on costs grounds. " The visa windows at the US Consulate and Embassy are lucrative intelligence collection points," Mr Krane claimed. "So lucrative, in fact, that the Central Intelligence Agency stepped in to save the Dubai consulate from closure. " Dubai's position just across the Gulf from Iran, and its several hundred thousand-strong Iranian population, makes it a key interlocutor between the country and the West. Dubai's rulers, and the United Arab Emirates in general, are seen as strongly pro-Western, and the city is home to one of the largest American naval presences outside the US itself. As a result, a blind eye is turned to its voluminous trade, legal and illegal, with Iran. 

Peres: Netanyahu will repay Ahmadinejad 
9/22/2009 - YNetNews - President tells northern students that 'peace with Arabs will not come from love, but rather calculation' - President Shimon Peres told schoolchildren in the north that "the prime minister will be demonstratively absent from a meeting with one of the most evil and horrible people of modern history, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who lies through his teeth about the existence of the Holocaust and curses Israel". Referring to the Iranian president's speech at the upcoming UN General Assembly, Peres added that Ahmadinejad "is pessimistic and has no future, and I'm sure Prime Minister Netanyahu will repay him. "During his visit to the agricultural school 'Kaduri', Peres also spoke about the trilateral summit called by US President Barack Obama, who plans to meet with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN event. He commended the initiative and said, "Each side lowers its expectations but no one can lower our expectations for peace – they will always remain high and I am sure the prime minister will carry them higher. President Obama has promised to contribute to peace, and I hope Abu-Mazen (Abbas) will go back to talks and progress towards peace. "Peres appeared to feel at home among the 1,660 Kaduri alumni, including the sister of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Rachel. He addressed them and said, "We must not launch negotiations by saying east Jerusalem is a settlement. This has not and will not happen. " 

Netanyahu: Israel Will Never Make Peace With Hamas 
9/22/2009 - FOXNews.com - In an interview with FOX News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Gaza can't be part of a peace deal with Hamas in control. - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israel would never make peace with Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza, a stand that could undermine peace negotiations in the region. In an interview with FOX News, Netanyahu said Gaza can't be part of a peace deal while Hamas is in control. "We can work with the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas," he said, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "We cannot accept Hamas as a negotiating partner. ""I categorically say you can't make peace with somebody who wants to destroy you, and Hamas wants to destroy us," he said. "What would we negotiate with them about? The method of our destruction? " After weeks of talks by his diplomatic team produced few apparent results, President Obama made a personal appeal to the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume talks that have been on hold since Netanyahu took office in March. "I'm glad he called for this meeting," Netanyahu said. "For five months, we've said, 'Look, let's just get on with it. Let's meet without preconditions. '"But Obama wants Netanyahu and Abbas to tackle the toughest issues before them. "Simply put, it is past time to talk about starting negotiations," Obama said. "It is time to move forward. "In a sign that he is open to negotiations on the more contentious issues, Netanyahu suggested Israel is ready to make gestures on a temporary freeze on West Bank settlements outside of Jerusalem. "But at the same time, we have to allow for the possibility of normal life for the people who are living in those communities, in those settlements," he said. "There's a quarter of a million people there," he added. "They need kindergartens and schools. They need health clinics and I think what we're trying to balance necessities of normal life with our intention and our desire to re-launch the peace process. "

Russia completes automated control system for Bushehr NPP 
9/23/2009 - RIA Novosti - MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is completing work on an automated control system for Iran's first nuclear power plant, the Russian civil nuclear power corporation Atomenergoprom said on Wednesday. The automated control system, which will be commissioned on a turnkey basis, is designed to control the NPP's first reactor, Atomenergoprom said in a statement. The construction of the Bushehr plant was started in 1975 by German companies. However, the firms stopped their work after a U. S. embargo was imposed on high technology supplies to Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U. S. embassy siege in Tehran. Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete the plant in February 1998, originally due for completion at the end of 2006. The date was postponed several times over financial problems and claims Russia was reluctant to finish the facility amid UN sanctions and suspicions of a covert nuclear weapons program. In January Russia' completed deliveries of nuclear fuel to the Bushehr plant. As a rule, nuclear fuel is delivered to a nuclear power plant six months before it goes into operation. According to a report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the end of August, the Islamic Republic increased the number of centrifuges at the Natanz plant to 8,300 from 7,000 reported in June. Iranian authorities have said the country needs 50,000 centrifuges in order to supply low-enriched uranium for its future nuclear power plants. Iran has been under international pressure to halt uranium enrichment, used in both electricity generation and weapons production. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program. Several Western powers have called for harsher sanctions against Tehran if it does not agree to halt uranium enrichment. 


Articles

Widows and Children Begin to Beg 
Eva Bartlett, Inter Press Service, International Solidarity Movement 9/21/2009
      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.
     Vendors set up, selling roasted nuts, falafels, cold drinks, tea and coffee. Further east, Gaza’s main garden park, charging one shekel (25 cents) admission, hosts some groomed shrubbery, decorative trees and flowers. It pales in comparison to arboretums elsewhere, but it is a bit of green in an otherwise grey Strip.
     On Gaza’s main east-west street Omar Mukthar, the more upscale shopping area of Rimal attracts clothing, perfume, electronics and souvenir shoppers. The inventory is a sad collection of cheap fabrics and highly expensive electronics. Gazans have no other choice, save the tunnel markets in Rafah. But in the end, the majority of goods come via the same tunnels, and end up all being overly expensive.
     Those with shekels to spend go to the few trendy coffee shops in Rimal or the Shifa hospital district. But the choices are basically the same: Arabic coffee, cappuccino, juices, light meals. And the entertainment is limited to use of the wireless internet, Arabic music played over the café’s loudspeakers, and chatting with friends, perhaps while smoking a water pipe.
     Some choose these cafés to hold birthday celebrations to an Arabic rendition of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. A cake costing on average 70 shekels is the highlight of the celebration.
     But all this too is for the privileged few. Most of Gaza’s 1.5 million cannot afford frivolities like these, let alone consistent meals, diapers, baby milk, and school clothing and books. more.. e-mail

Why Jerusalem? - Israel’s Hidden Agenda 
Dan Lieberman – Jerusalem, Uruknet 9/22/2009
      Three huge granite stones rest comfortably on the top of Midbar Sinai Street, in Givat Havatzim, Jerusalem’s northernmost district. Cut to specification, the imposing stones represent one of several preparations by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement’s to erect a Third Temple on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. Since the Islamic Wafq owns and controls all the property on the Haram al-Sharif, by what means can these stones be transferred to the Temple Mount and how can a Temple be constructed there? Not by any legal means. The stones are a provocation, which the Israel government refuses to halt. Neglect and passivity lead to a belief that an eventual Muslim reaction to the increasing provocations will give Israel an excuse to seize total control of the Holy Basin – the ultimate of the properties that Israel intends to incorporate into a greater Jerusalem.
     For decades, Israeli authorities have spoken of a united Jerusalem - suggesting a spiritual quality to its message – as if Israel wants the home for the three monotheistic faiths to be solid and stable. By being guided from one central authority, a united Jerusalem also offers a preservation of a common and ancient heritage. However, by stressing the word ’unification,’ Israel disguises the lack of a sufficiently supporting and verifiable historical narrative that could bolster its thrust to incorporate all of an artificially created greater Jerusalem into its boundaries. Coupled with inconsistencies and contradictions, Israel’s eagerness to create a greater Jerusalem under its total control becomes suspect. The intensive concentration on a ’united’ Jerusalem reveals a hidden agenda that debases Jerusalem’s religious ingathering and heightens division, hatred and strife.
     Examine the Holy Basin. The Holy Basin contains well marked Christian and Muslim institutions and holy places that have had historical placement for millenniums. Although people of the Jewish faith had major presence in Jerusalem during the centuries of Biblical Jerusalem, which included rule by King Hezekiah and control by the Hasmonean dynasties, their control and presence were interrupted for two millennia.... more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Israel tightens the noose on advocacy organizations
23 Sep 2009 - Mutasem Billah Abu-Mastfa was born in Gaza. Though he is just nine months old, his parents are already trying to get him out of the Strip. Abu-Mastfa was born with severe congenital heart defects -- his heart, riddled with holes, is on the right side of his chest. Due to the ongoing Israeli blockade the medical system in Gaza -- short on supplies, its staff unable to leave the Strip to obtain further training -- the hospital caring for Abu-Mustafa is unable to cope with such a complicated case. Mya Guarnieri reports for The 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. 

In Gaza
daily life and celebration merge: last day of Eid
23 Sep 2009 - The third day of Eid, kids are still in their new clothes, playing in the streets on makeshift swings or simplified, hand-powered fair-ground rides. But there are also the extremely poor who aren’t taking the day off, instead profiting from holiday waste to scour the trash bins for recyclables. One such donkey and cart is slugging uphill as I walk behind. It stops and the two youths driving it hop off to poke through the bin, moving on to the next bin a couple hundred metres on. As I pass, we smile. Despite what might seem a job and lifestyle to blush from, the youths say the day is going...

Palestine Chronicle
Time to Break Free from 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 - London 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...

Goldstone Commission Gaza Findings, 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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