InI Logo
Google
 
Web www.williambowles.info
PayPal
InI Needs Your Support!
Subscribe to InI’s Mailing List/Newsletter

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
24 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Netanyahu demands the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish State
25 Sep 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated his demands that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish State as a precondition to resuming the stalled peace process. 

Settlers break into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron
24 Sep 2009 - Approximately 150 Jewish settlers broke on Thursday into the Ishakiyya area in the Ibrahimi Mosque, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron under the protection of the Israeli army. 

Israel planning a new settlement in East Jerusalem
24 Sep 2009 - The Israeli Human Rights Group, Ir Amin, reported Thursday that plans for the construction of a new settlement, called Maale David, in Ras Amud, were submitted to the Planning Department at the Jerusalem Municipality for approval. 

The Israeli military opens Gaza Commercial border crossings
24 Sep 2009 - The Israeli military opened on Thursday the three Commercial between the Gaza Strip and Israel. 

The Israeli military kidnaps seven civilians from the West Bank
24 Sep 2009 - Seven Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Thursday by the Israeli military during morning invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.  

The Israeli military invades Gaza City and open fire at residents
24 Sep 2009 - Israeli tanks invaded on Thursday Al Shojayia neighborhood east of Gaza City and opened fire at residents homes and a nearby hospital. 

Hamas to respond to Egyptian document next Monday
24 Sep 2009 - Fawzi Barhoum, media spokesperson of Hamas, stated that the movement will submit its official response to the Egyptian Document regarding unity talks, next Monday. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Mortar shell hits Negev as IDF patrol attacked on Gaza border
24 Sep 2009 - Clashes come after IAF jets bomb smuggling tunnels in southern part of the coastal strip earlier in the week. 

ICC may try IDF officer in wake of Goldstone Gaza report
24 Sep 2009 - South African-born commander David Benjamin authorized which targets troops should strike during war. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Union: Israeli naval vessels open fire on, confiscate fishing boat
9/24/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli warships confiscated the fishing vessel of a Gazan fisherman off the coast in of the northern Strip on Wednesday and towed the boat to an unknown location, according to a local organization. Sources at the fishermens union said the boat of the Zaki Abu Odeh family was confiscated from within the three nautical mile fishing limit in the northern Strip. No one on board was notified as to the reason for the seizure or told where the boat was being taken, they said. Earlier in the day Israeli gunships opened fire on a cluster of fishing boats in the same area, according to purported witnesses. No injuries were reported but fishermen said they fled the scene in fear more shots would be fired. Calls to the Israeli military seeking comment were not returned by press time. 

UNRWA chief: Palestinian refugee crisis unparalleled
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - No current world refugee crisis has gone unresolved longer than the Palestinian exodus, said the UN Relief and Works Agency's commissioner-general, Karen Abu Zayd, in New York on Thursday. "The Palestinians make up the world's largest refugee group, and their plight has gone on longer than any other," the AP quoted Abu Zayd as saying during an event marking 60 years since UNRWA was established. The UN's relief agency for Palestine refugees was founded in 1949, although its original mandate was temporary. Now deeply interwoven within Palestinian society itself, it still provides essential services to millions of refugees in camps throughout the Middle East. "The protracted exile of Palestine refugees and the dire conditions they endure, particularly in the occupied Palestinian territory, cannot be reconciled with state obligations under the UN charter," Abu Zayd added at the UN General Assembly meeting. 

Al-Aqsa foundation says extremists planning break-in
9/25/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and Heritage said on Thursday it had learned Israeli settler groups were planning to break into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday. In a statement, the foundation alleged that "Israeli extremist organizations" planned to enter the area under the pretext of celebrating an upcoming religious holiday there. The foundation cited as evidence that extremist groups had published posters online and in public urging adherents to enter the compound on 27 September under the pretext of celebrating Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement. Its statement also quoted purported eyewitnesses claiming that in recent months, "more than 130 Israeli extremist groups have invaded Al-Aqsa Mosque under the protection of Israeli soldiers. " The foundation said an Israeli military unit was spotted in the vicinity on Thursday, and warned of consequences. . . 

Israeli forces invade homes across West Bank, detain seven
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli army seized seven Palestinians from the Nablus, Tulkarem, Salfit and Hebron areas during overnight raids ending before dawn on Thursday morning, Palestinian Authority Police reported. The public information office of the Palestinian police said the Israeli army stormed Nablus and raided a number of houses in the city. The army detained three men, identified as: Faris Ziad Al-Je'e, 19, Omar Al-Intabawi, 31, and Mahmud Abdulla Al-Kat, 28. Homes were also invaded in Tulkarem, where Ziad Abdul Fattah Nour, 26, and Nidal Basem Mahmud Milhem, 28, were taken. In Salfit, the Israeli army detained Ahmad Jamal Mousa Issa Azzam, 18, and raided the house of Issam Ali Mansour. In the south, Israeli forces raided the Hebron-area houses of Abdulla Issa Ja'afreh and Muhammad Abdul Hameed Ja'afreh in Hebron and seized Muhammad Yaseen Al-Hoor, 21. 

Israeli soldiers detain two West Bank Palestinians
9/24/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Two Palestinians were detained by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank areas of Hebron and Surif on Thursday, according to Palestinian Authority security sources. The sources added that the army broke into the home of Anas Abu Markhiya in Hebron, ransacking its contents, before taking him to an undisclosed location. It was not immediately clear what he was suspected of or whether Israel planned to charge him with a crime. Later The Jerusalem Post, an Israeli newspaper, reported that a "young Palestinian was caught in possession of a knife at the Beit Mirkahat checkpoint in Hebron" and taken for "investigation. "However the unsourced report did not include mention of the man's identity. Also on Thursday, the Israeli military reportedly arrested Mohammad Al-Hur in Surif, a town northwest of Hebron. 

Jund Ansar Allah claims morning’s projectile launch
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem/Gaza - Ma'an/Agencies - The Salafi group known as Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers for God) said their fighters were behind the reported projectile launch from the northern Gaza Strip early Thursday morning, a statement from the group said. Jund Ansar Allah was embroiled in clashes with de facto government forces that saw at least 25 killed including young bystanders as the group's leader, who detonated explosives attached to his body during the clashes, took over a mosque in Rafah city and declared the area an Islamic emirate. Announcing responsibility for the projectile launch is an indication that the de facto government arrest campaign, and subsequent Eid prisoner release involving the salafi fighters, was not the expected end of hostilities between the groups. Earlier Thursday Israeli military sources reported heated activity at the northern Gaza border, including the firing. . . 

Palestinian leaders make bid to join the WTO
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A delegation headed by Palestinian Minister of the Economy is in Geneva for the next few weeks in a bid to join the Palestinian Authority to the World Trade Organization. While the only option open to the delegation is to petition for observer status at the international body, analysts say Khouri's presence signals a new seriousness in Palestinian Authority efforts to secure a spot in the organization. Senior adviser to the Palestinian Authority's minister of economy Saeb Bamya told Al-Jazeera earlier this week that "By supporting us, the international community can show us they are serious and give the necessary endorsement for stability and peace. " The effort comes as Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad continues to push his 25 August plan, "Ending the Occupation, Establishing a State," which plots the development of all necessary. . . 

US Consulate sponsors mural projects in the West Bank
9/24/2009 - Photos - Jerusalem -Ma'an - The US Consulate General in Jerusalem announced funding for series of "school beautification projects" in Jenin, Hebron, Nablus, Salfit, and Bethlehem on Wednesday. A press release from the consulate said the "projects were designed to stimulate a sense of civic duty and pride for youth in the West Bank as a way to serve their community and improve their schools. "The project, which involves 500 students, will take place over five days, and be implemented in half a dozen schools. [end] 

Jordan’s Queen Rania tells Good Morning America: Settlements must stop
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - "What's missing is the political will on all sides to [move] forward," Jordan's Queen Rania told Diane Sawyer on Tuesday, responding to a question on the resumption of peace talks in New York during an interview on Good Morning America. "We need the leaders to have the fortitude to really make the right decisions,' the queen continued, but noted that she did not "think anyone has - any of us have the patience for more process. We want to get to the end game. We want to move beyond process. And really see decisive and concrete actions on the ground that get the Palestinians and Israelis to move forward on peace. ""This is a process that has been going on for a long time. And these incremental steps only feed the agendas of the - those that are against peace," she said. "They only feed radical agendas. 

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to meet in New York Thursday
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The first meeting of the Palestinian and Israeli negotiation teams will be held in New York on Thursday, sources said. Heading the Palestinian team is chief negotiator for the Palestine Liberation Organization Dr Saeb Erekat. According to the Hebrew Israeli daily paper Ma'ariv, heading the Israeli team will be aide to the Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Mulkho. The two teams will sit and work out a platform for higher level meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli papers quoted a sources close to Netanyahu saying talks would likely begin next month. Palestinian unity talks are also set to begin in October. The meetings follow the first sit down between Abbas and Netanyahu, who met along with US President Barack Obama on Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. 

Gaza: Three crossings partially open ahead of Yom Kippur closure
9/25/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Gaza power plant will receive its second shipment of industrial fuel in the past seven days as Israeli officials partially open the three crossing points into the Gaza Strip. Israeli crossings authorities have maintained the strictest closure of the Strip since the Israeli offensive on the coastal area ended on 19 January. On Thursday 64-74 truckloads of goods will enter the Strip, along with limited amounts of fodder and wheat. The crossings will close again Friday through Monday for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. While the holiday begins Sunday, Israeli officials announced the closure would start early. 

Donors pledge 400 million USD for PA shortfall
9/24/2009 - New York - Ma'an - Following an announcement that the Palestinian Authority would face a 400 million dollar shortfall at year-end, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad made an announcement from New York that donors have pledged to make up that 400 million. The donations will be made over the next four months, Fayyad told reporters following a coordinating meeting with donor countries Thursday. The last donor committee meeting was in Egypt's resort town of Sharm Ash-Sheikh, ostensibly to secure funds for the rebuilding of Gaza. During the same meeting the Palestinian Authority worked to secure funds for operating costs in the West Bank. The same donor countries, many who pledged four billion dollars in multi-year support at the 2008 Paris conference,once again assured their support for Palestinian Government work. 

Abbas: No common ground to talk peace
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the Palestinian paper Al-Hayyat there is "no common ground for negotiations" with the Netanyahu government, in an interview published Thursday. Abbas expressed his skepticism over the outcome of talks, saying "Netanyahu is declaring Jerusalem and refugees topics not up for negotiations, so what is there to talk about? "Abbas reconfirmed his stance on requiring a settlement construction freeze before sitting down for peace talks, a stance which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected, while his foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman bragged to the press Wednesday that the trilateral meetings in New York were proof Israel would not let the US pressure them into halting construction. The closest US Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell got to a deal was the Israeli offer to pause construction. . . 

Barghothi slams Israeli negotiations tactics
9/24/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - By refusing a state on the 1967 borders Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has added to the list of government positions that leave no room for Palestinian negotiations, Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council for the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) Mustafa Barghothi said. Netanyahu's government has put forward a series of positions that only reinforce the Israeli desire to make Palestine a prison for Palestinians and in no way a viable state, Barghouthi said Thursday. Responding to the recent, and for many unexpected, launch of pre-negotiations talks in New York, Barghothi warned of the hidden message behind Israeli accusations around the "Palestinian precondition" of a settlement halt before talks could begin. It is really Israel who put preconditions on the table, he said, citing Israeli Army Minister Ehud Barak's announcement of the. . . 

Blair: Middle East peace talks to resume soon
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Renewed peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis will begin soon, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told the US broadcaster CNN on Wednesday. Blair heads the Quartet on the Middle East, which includes the United Nations, European Union, United States and Russia. "I think that's what will happen, actually, over the next few weeks," he said in an interview with Christiane Amanpour. "In the end, the issue really is this: What is the context within which this negotiation is being launched? "Ma'an's sources say the negotiations will resume as soon as Thursday. Asked why the two sides have held back since talks were frozen last winter during Israel's assault on Gaza, he said, "The worry for the Palestinians is that, if you don't lay down some conditions. . . the negotiation won't be credible. " 

Allenby Bridge closes Monday; open for two hours Sunday morning
9/24/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - The only crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, the Allenby Bridge, will be closed Monday while Israeli soldiers mark the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur. The crossing will also operate on a limited schedule on Sunday from 7:00 am- 9:00 am, the public relations department of the Palestinian police office said. The office also noted Palestinians should avoid travel on the Sunday unless it is urgent. [end] 

Ahmadinejad: Iran doesn’t equate Judaism, Zionism
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Iran does not equate Zionism with the Jewish religion, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insisted in an interview with The Associated Press in New York on Tuesday. "Zionism is a political party. But the Jewish people, like many other people, follow a divine prophet," he said. "I have to say that in our opinion their issue is different than the issue of Zionism. " The US news network had asked Ahmadinejad, who presides over a nation with the third-largest Jewish population in the Middle East following Israel and Palestine, what his visit to the UN meant for New York City's considerable Jewish population. "It is true that the United Nations is located in New York, but at the end of the day we are at the United Nations," he added. "Of course I care about the people of New York, and American people in general. 

Netanyahu threatens Iran, rails against UN and Goldstone
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unleashed on his detested Persian adversaries in a bellicose address at the General Assembly on Thursday, challenging the legitimacy of the United Nations and labeling Iran's leaders modern-day Nazis. "The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging," Netanyahu said, condemning the world body for its stance on Israel's Gaza assault last winter, in which at least 1,400 Palestinians were killed by his country's military. Echoing Hamas' sentiment following a UN investigation that found evidence both authorities committed atrocities during the assault, he said, "Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. " "That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did," he added, in regard to conclusions made by South African justice Richard. . . 

Cape Town satellite channel to host Palestinian Film Fest
9/24/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Cape Town South Africa's Channel 4 Network will host a Palestinian Film Festival next week, most of which will be aired on the channel's local and syndicated channels across the country. "The objectives of the festival are to concientise the public and create a general awareness around the situation in Palestine," a news release from the organization said. The larger goals of the festival are to "foster a culture of human rights, respect for human dignity and justice for all. " With these goals in mind the festival has been named the Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival, and will include lectures by former US Congresswoman Cyntihia McKinney and dozens of others. "The world has a responsibility to honor its commitment to its promise, "never again". This is aimed at honoring that commitment," the statement added. 

MoH: Eighteen H1N1 cases diagnosed during Eid
9/24/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Eighteen new cases of swine flu were diagnosed in the West Bank during Eid holidays, a Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health official told Ma'an on Thursday. The official, director As'ad Ar-Ramlawi of the ministry's healthcare department, added that fifteen of the new cases were diagnosed in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. "Most of the new cases were students, and others infected from socializing [with other students]," he said. "The three others were from Ramallah. "Ar-Ramlawi added that the total number of confirmed cases had reached 213 in the Palestinian territories. [end] 

Palestine Telegraph

Netanyahu laments the Holocaust to flee "peace duties"
US, September 25, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Binyamin Netanyahu has told the United Nations General Assembly it must prevent Iran's "tyrants of Tehran" from obtaining nuclear weapons - and accused the world body of bias towards the Palestinians.

Israeli army storms Gaza shores, 5 fishermen arrested
Palestine, September 23, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Official sources reported that five Palestinian fishermen have been arrested today on Wednesday morning and seized their boats near the coast of Gaza City.

Obama urges for talks, settlements go on
Palestine, September 23, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Barack Obama, the US president, has called on Israeli and Palestinian leaders to take urgent steps to unblock the Middle East peace process.

Israel offered 'secret deal' on settlements
Palestine, September 22, (Pal Telegraph)- Israel has reportedly agreed to consider a partial and temporary freeze on West Bank settlement construction in exchange for normalizing relations with certain North African and Arab countries.

The National

Hariri has second try at coalition building
24 Sep 2009 - Lebanon's parliament will review cabinet choices as the prime minister-designate gets a boost from the easing of tensions between regional rivals.

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.

Aljazeera

Netanyahu urges UN action on Iran
24 Sep 2009 - Israeli PM says world must confront "fanaticism" of Islamic Republic.

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

Alternative Information Center

Report Reveals how Israeli Police, Prosecutor, GSS and Courts Suppressed Protests by Arab Citizens of Israel against Military Attacks on Gaza 
23 Sep 2009 - (Haifa, Israel) Today, 22 September 2009, 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 of Israel opposing the Israel’s...

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...

Palestine News Network

President Abbas: problem with Netanyahu government is there is no platform on which to negotiate
23 Sep 2009 - New York / PNN - President Mahmoud Abbas said of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today that the problem is, is that “there is no common ground on which to talk.” Abbas said in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly that the Israeli Prime Minister has no platform for negotiation.Former Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said himself today...

Delegation of Americans, including journalists and Rachel Corrie's parents, visit Gaza Strip
23 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – Palestinian Legislative Council member Jamal Al Khudari received a delegation from the United States in the Gaza Strip today. Also the chairman of the Popular Committee against the Siege, Al Khudari has been routinely in the news since the second year of the Israeli siege on the Strip.This week he has made headlines again by receiving American journalists and...

Obama should publicly declare Israeli failure to honor international obligations
23 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / Daoud Kuttab – The summit meeting between President Obama with Palestinian and Israeli leaders in New York might have been necessary. But for serious negotiations to resolve the decades long Middle East conflict a much more robust US involvment is needed. Washington can't be neutral anymore and must announce which party is holding up progress.It is always good when senior U.S....

UN Fact Finding Mission finds strong evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity
23 Sep 2009 - New York / Geneva – The UN Fact-Finding Mission led by Justice Richard Goldstone released its long-awaited report last Tuesday on the Gaza conflict. In it, the UNconcluded there is evidence indicating serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law were committed by Israel during the Gaza conflict, and that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity.The...

Richard Falk: Why the Goldstone report matters
23 Sep 2009 - Richard Falk - “So why did the Israeli government boycott the commission? The real answer is quite simple: they knew full well that the commission, any commission, would have to reach the conclusions it did reach.” Uri Avnery (Israeli peace activist, and former Knesset member), “On the Goldstone Report” 19 Sept 2009.Richard Goldstone, former judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the first...

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...

IRIN

YEMEN: Conditions deteriorate for trapped Saada IDPs
SANAA Thursday, September 24, 2009 (IRIN) - The humanitarian situation in Saada Governorate, northern Yemen, is "alarming", according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The latest round of clashes between government troops and Houthi-led Shia rebels began on 12 August and was continuing despite a government-declared ceasefire on 20 September.

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.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: More Palestinian Children Getting Jailed 
BI'ILIN, West Bank, Sep 24 (IPS) - Eight children between the ages of 10 and 17 were arrested and detained by Israeli soldiers during military raids Monday night and Tuesday morning in the northern West Bank cities Nablus and Qalqilia.

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.

Stop The Wall

Free Mohammad Othman Now!
24 Sep 2009 - On September 22, Mohammad Othman was arrested by soldiers on the Allenby Bridge Crossing, the border from Jordan to Palestine. He is now being held in Huwara prison as a prisoner of conscience, arrested solely for his human rights work. We call on international solidarity and human rights organizations to act immediately to advocate for the release of Mohammad Othman. See: 

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

Iraq Burin to demonstrate against the theft of their lands
9/24/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Iraq Burin to demonstrate against the theft of their lands - The village of Iraq Burin in the the southern region of Nablus will re-commence its weekly demonstrations this Friday, the 25th of September after a hiatus to observe the holy month of Ramadan. Over 100 dunums (100,000 sq metres) of farmers' land has been annexed by the illegal settlement of Bracha and the village is subject to constant attacks from settlers and soldiers alike. Demonstrators will meet at 12:30 after the midday prayer, when international activists will march with residents to the edge of the village for a public prayer on the contested land. West Bank villages such as Bil'in and Nil'in have proved what success peaceful protest can achieve to capture both public and media interest and draw attention to the detrimental effects of the Israeli occupation on rural life in Palestine. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Netanyahu's speech / Cheapening the Holocaust 
24 Sep 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cheapened the memory of the Holocaust in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. He did so twice. Once, when he brandished proof of the very existence of the Holocaust, as if it needed any, and again when he compared Hamas to the Nazis. ... 

Quartet urges Israel to freeze all settlement construction
24 Sep 2009 - The Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators renewed its call for Israel to freeze settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Thursday, two days after U.S. President Barack Obama appeared to back off this as a precondition for new peace talks. ...

CBS anchorwoman shows Ahmadinejad Holocaust photos
24 Sep 2009 - Hours before addressing the United Nations on Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave an exclusive interview to CBS's Katie Couric. During the course of the interview, the CBS anchorwoman accused the Iranian leader of denying the Holocaust, and showing him photographs of dead bodies of Jews killed by the Nazis during World War II. ...

Netanyahu slams UN, challenges it to confront Iran
23 Sep 2009 - In a dramatic address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran poses a threat to the peace of the world and that it is incumbent on the world body to prevent the Islamic Republic from obtaining nuclear weapons. ...

UN Security Council calls for nuclear weapons states to disarm
23 Sep 2009 - The United Nations Security Council, at a historic summit meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, unanimously approved a U.S.-drafted resolution on Thursday calling on nuclear weapons states to scrap their deadly arsenals. ...

The Guardian

Netanyahu condemns Ahmadinejad at UN general assembly
24 Sep 2009 - Israeli prime minister holds up copies of Nazi plans for the Holocaust while criticising Mahmoud Ahmadinejad The Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu held up original copies of Nazi plans for the Holocaust at the UN general...

Spain expels Israeli scientists from solar energy competition
24 Sep 2009 - Scientists kicked out of contest because they are based in the West Bank, Spain's government says Spain has expelled a group of Israeli scientists from a state-funded solar energy competition because they are based in occupied...

The crowning of Salam Fayyad | Ben White
24 Sep 2009 - To the west, the Palestinian Authority's PM seems a perfect driver for an Obama peace plan; yet at home he has no mandate Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad is the man of the moment, according...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Olmert asserts innocence as graft trial set to begin
24 Sep 2009 - One day before the start of a corruption trial against Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister told the BBC that he was "absolutely certain" that he would not be convicted. ...

Leonard Cohen performs in Israel after selling out concert in record time
23 Sep 2009 - Veteran singer Leonard Cohen took to the stage at Ramat Gan stadium on Thursday night after breaking an Israeli record when all the tickets for his show were sold out in less than 12 hours, despite costing between NIS 1,000 and 1,200. ...

Slain teen's sister denies victim drank alcohol before murdered
23 Sep 2009 - Dozens of relatives and friends attended the funeral in Ashkelon of 16-year-old Leah Drainkin on Thursday, whose body was found near Nitzanim beach in southern Israel the previous night in what police say may have been a case of rape-murder. ...

Relief Web

OPT: USAID West Bank/Gaza mission program achievements - Week of 14 Sep 2009
24 Sep 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

Relief and works agency for Palestine refugees commemorates 60th anniversary with high-level event at UN Headquarters
24 Sep 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

Palestine refugee agency has saved countless lives, offered hope to generations
24 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

YNet News

Hamas: Netanyahu seeking support for Zionist-terrorist agenda
24 Sep 2009 - Senior Islamist group legislator slams PM's speech before UN Security Council as 'attempt to impose twisted logic on entire world' 

PM to UN: World must rally against Iran
24 Sep 2009 - During General Assembly address, Netanyahu slams Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial; 'Is this a lie?' he says while brandishing Auschwitz death camp plans. PM also criticizes UN for failing to condemn Hamas fire on Israel 

NY rally: We won't tolerate Ahmadinejad
24 Sep 2009 - Hundreds gather outside UN building to protest against Iranian leader's call to annihilate Israel, violent oppression of civil unrest that followed disputed June presidential elections; governor Paterson, Elie Wiesel in attendance 

Palestinian refugee agency appeals for more aid
24 Sep 2009 - UNRWA chief calls on international community to increase donations to agency dealing with humanitarian side of one of the world's longest running refugee situations 

Naalin shooting trial underway 
24 Sep 2009 - Military Court hears opening arguments in case accusing former Battalion 71 commander, one of his soldiers of shooting bound Palestinian detainee 

PA's Abbas: No return to peace talks at this time
24 Sep 2009 - Palestinian president says 'fundamental disagreements' with Israel regarding talks' agenda are at the base of stalled peace negotiations. Israeli official: Opportunity must not be missed 

B'tselem

Border policeman to be jailed for assaulting Palestinians
23 Sep 2009 - In March 2005, B'Tselem reported to the DIP that three garage owners in Baka a-Sharqiya claimed to have been assaulted by border policemen. In 2009, one of the policemen was convicted in two of the cases and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, a 

Daily Star

A taste of Beirut: Your guide to dining out 
24 Sep 2009

Security forces capture prisoner who escaped from hospital 
24 Sep 2009

2009 Beirut Marathon gets off to running start with official launch 
24 Sep 2009

ISF seeks information on missing Palestinian 
24 Sep 2009

Druze Religious Council urges cabinet formation 
24 Sep 2009

Abu al-Aynayn insists Palestinian camps calm 
24 Sep 2009

Lebanon Virtual Job Fair attracts over 4,300 visitors 
24 Sep 2009

Lebanon budget deficit hits over 22 percent of spending 
24 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Lieberman: trilateral meeting is a victory; no halt on settlement
24 Sep 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman, described the trilateral meeting in New York as a victory for Israel because it took place without Israel having to stop settlement building..

Sarraj calls on Obama to implement what he called for in his Cairo speech
24 Sep 2009 - In a letter to President Barak Obama on Wednesday, Dr. Eyad al-Sarraj, President of the GCMH Programme, called on Obama to uphold the rule of law and equal administration of justice..

Israeli occupation navy kidnap five Palestinian fishermen
24 Sep 2009 - Israeli occupation navy boats kidnapped, on Wednesday, five Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Gaza, according to Palestinian sources.

Abbas's militiamen torture Sheikh Yousef Qumboz
24 Sep 2009 - Sheikh Yusef Qumboz, the Imam of the mosque at the village of Farkha in the northern West Bank governorate of Salfit, was tortured at the hands of Abbas's militia..

Lieberman: Ramallah urged Israel to persist in its war on Gaza
24 Sep 2009 - Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Foreign Minister, said that the PA in Ramallah urged Israel not to stop its December/January blitzkrieg on the Gaza Strip until Hamas falls.

Another farcical show
24 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
24 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
24 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
24 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
24 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.

Los Angeles Times

Egypt bitter about UNESCO vote 
24 Sep 2009 - Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks, says 'there was a conspiracy against me' after losing a bid to lead the U.N. cultural organization. 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. 

Russia's president pledges to help U.S. nudge Iran on nuclear issue 
24 Sep 2009 - On the sidelines of the U.N. session, Russia's Dmitry Medvedev offers to work cooperatively to curb Tehran's nuclear program, hinting even at possible sanctions. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev offered closer cooperation with the United States in curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions Wednesday, promising President Obama that Moscow would help the Islamic Republic make "a right decision" and hinting that sanctions might be necessary to achieve it. 

Iran's president extols himself and denounces Israel 
24 Sep 2009 - In his U.N. speech, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defends the legitimacy of his reelection and accuses Israel of 'racist ambitions.' The United States swiftly decries his remarks. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad heralded his disputed reelection as "a glorious and fully democratic" event Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly and avoided mention of Tehran's nuclear program, even as he faces possible sanctions from U.N. nations. 

New York Times

President of Iran Defends His Legitimacy
24 Sep 2009 - Shortly after world powers showed greater consensus in how to deal with Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad leveled familiar attacks. 

White House Pivots in Mideast Peace Bid
22 Sep 2009 - President Obama is largely setting aside his demand for a full freeze on settlements in the West Bank. 

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

Abunimah: Obama just proved it, partition is over
Mondoweiss - 24 Sep 2009 - Ali Abunimah says that Obama has failed, and that New York just proved it, and "the high priests of partition" folks are putting off the real business of envisioning the binational state that already exists. From EI : The New York meeting produced yet another image of...

Even if 2-state-solution is dead, J Street has a role to play
Mondoweiss - 24 Sep 2009 - A lot has been said about Obama and the Middle East by a lot of smart people, but they all fundamentally miss the point: they take the two-state solution for granted. If Obama has made the deal that he will lay off Gaza in order to...

‘Washington Post’ highlights statement that Leonard Cohen validates occupation
Mondoweiss - 24 Sep 2009 - Howard Schneider covers the Leonard Cohen concert and the controversy over boycott in the Washington Post . Says our canary: "Good quotes from Shir Hever, an economist with the Alternative Information Center. But why no quotes from Omar Barghouti? And no mention of Israel Discount Bank’s involvement...

Netanyahu likens Hamas to Nazis attacking England
Mondoweiss - 24 Sep 2009 - Netanyahu just told the UN General Assembly that the only example in history of rockets being rained down on civilians–prior to Hamas doing so to southern Israel–was the blitz of England by the Nazis. And the western powers responded justifiably by levelling German cities. So Israel...

the deal
Mondoweiss - 24 Sep 2009 - The fact that the Obama administration first communicated to Jewish leaders its determination to block the progress of the U.N.’s Goldstone report on Gaza is evidence of a deal. The Obama administration has cut a deal with centrist-liberal Jewish groups along these terms. We will forget...

Report Reveals how Israeli Police, Prosecutor, GSS and Courts Suppressed Protests by Arab Citizens of Israel against Military Attacks on Gaza 
Alternative Information Center - 23 Sep 2009 - (Haifa, Israel) Today, 22 September 2009, 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 of Israel opposing the Israel’s military attacks on the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008...

Israeli Army Refuses to Respond to Human Rights Organizations
Alternative Information Center - 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 in emergency humanitarian cases. The decision represents another step in...

Brazilian Parliament Recommends Freezing Out Israelis from Third Largest Export Market
Alternative Information Center - 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 should not ratify the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Mercosur...

Spain Excludes Settlement University from Academic Competition 
Alternative Information Center - 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 taking effective, even though preliminary, steps to uphold international law...

Statement of the Trades Union Congress of Great Britain Regarding Boycott of Israel
Alternative Information Center - 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 in the Middle East. We remain committed to a two-state...


Articles

The Goldstone Report and the Battle for Legitimacy 
Richard Falk, Electronic Intifada, Common Dreams 9/23/2009
      Richard Goldstone, former judge of South Africa’s Constitutional Court, the first prosecutor at The Hague on behalf of the International Criminal Court for Former Yugoslavia, and anti-apartheid campaigner reports that he was most reluctant to take on the job of chairing the United Nations fact-finding mission charged with investigating allegations of war crimes committed by Israel and Hamas during the three week Gaza war of last winter. Goldstone explains that his reluctance was due to the issue being "deeply charged and politically loaded," and was overcome only because he and his fellow commissioners were "professionals committed to an objective, fact-based investigation," adding that "above all, I accepted because I believe deeply in the rule of law and the laws of war," as well as the duty to protect civilians to the extent possible in combat zones. The four-person fact-finding mission was composed of widely respected and highly qualified individuals, including the distinguished international law scholar Christine Chinkin, a professor at the London School of Economics. Undoubtedly adding complexity to Goldstone’s decision is the fact that he is Jewish, with deep emotional and family ties to Israel and Zionism, bonds solidified by his long association with several organizations active in Israel.
     Despite the impeccable credentials of the commission members, and the worldwide reputation of Richard Goldstone as a person of integrity and political balance, as well as of being an eminent jurist, Israel refused cooperation from the outset. It did not even allow the UN undertaking to enter Israel or the Palestinian territories, forcing reliance on the Egyptian government to allow the UN mission entry to Gaza at the Rafah Crossing. As Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery has observed, however much Israel may attack the commission report as one-sided and unfair, the only plausible explanation of its refusal to cooperate with a UN fact-finding mission of this sort and seizing the opportunity to tell its side of the story was that it had nothing to tell that could hope to overcome the overwhelming evidence of the Israeli failure to carry out its attacks on Gaza last winter in accordance with the international law of war. No credible international commission could reach any set of conclusions other than those reached by the Goldstone report on the central allegations. more.. e-mail

Justice This Time Around: Will Goldstone’s Report Deliver? 
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 9/24/2009
      "œWe may be witnessing the beginning of the end of the era of impunity," Nadia Hijab, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Institute for Palestine Studies, was quoted by IPS in response to the findings of a 574-page report by a four-member United Nations Fact finding mission. The mission, led by internationally-renowned former South African supreme court justice and chief prosecutor in the international tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia, investigated alleged war crimes committed by Israeli troops in Gaza in a 23-day bloody, unprecedented onslaught against a largely defenseless population. 
     But Hijab was not the only one who expressed optimism. Others did, encouraged perhaps, by the report"™s use of terminology unfamiliar in a conflict where empirical experience has shown that Israeli actions, no matter how outrageously violent, will have no meaningful legal repercussions whatsoever.
     Goldstone"™s report, released on September 15, made some important recommendations, following a most thorough investigation that was carefully compiled by the mission "“ which was organized by the UN Human Rights Council last April.
     One is that the UN Security Council should set up a team of experts to monitor Israel"™s investigations of the war crimes committed in Gaza. If Israel fails to do so, then the situation should be referred to the Prosecutor in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
     This raises many questions, lead amongst them is: did Israel commit war crimes in Gaza, and, second, is Israel capable of conducting an honest investigation into those crimes, considering the state"™s bloody legacy and lack of any serious legal accountability. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Obama's peace effort has failed but our struggle continues
24 Sep 2009 - The summit between US President Barack Obama with and Palestinian and Israeli leaders in New York signaled the complete and terminal failure of Obama's much vaunted push to bring about a two-state solution. Although the "peace process" will continue to go through sterile motions, the future of Palestine/Israel is actually being decided elsewhere. Ali Abunimah comments for The 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. 

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
How Israel Suppresses Opposition to Its Annexation Wall
24 Sep 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago Established in 1992, the Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association helps Palestinian prisoners, and works to end torture, arbitrary arrests and detentions, other forms of abuse, and unjust, unequal treatment in Israel's criminal justice system that handles Jews one way and Palestinians another. In July 2009, in cooperation with the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall) and the Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, Addameer published a report titled "Repression allowed, Resistance denied" that documents resistance to Israel's apartheid wall and the "staggering level of repression, arrests and violence" by Israeli authorities. On July 9, 2004 in a unanimous decision, the International Court of Justice (IJC) ruled that "the construction of the Wall being built by Israel, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law...." It said construction on it must cease. Built sections must be dismantled, Palestinian land returned, and compensation paid for property destroyed. The UN General Assembly endorsed the decision. Israel rejected it out of hand, keeps seizing Palestinian land, continues the wall's construction, and ruthlessly suppresses efforts to halt it. In defiance of international law, Israel's High Court ruled that erection of a "barrier" may continue for security reasons even though its purpose is solely to steal resources and land that will include over 12% of the West Bank when completed. The consequences for Palestinians have been devastating. Communities have been divided, isolated and ghettoized. Farmers have been separated from their land and...

Max Boot: Propagandist and Apologist for War Crimes
24 Sep 2009 - By Max Kantar The recent publication of the UNHRC's report on Israel's December-January assault on the Gaza Strip, also known as the Goldstone Report, has elicited some rather hysterical reactions from Israel's leading apologists. Perhaps among the most desperate of the attempts to deflect legitimate criticism of Israeli war crimes is an article entitled, "The Goldstone Report," [1] written by Max Boot. Boot is an award winning author, distinguished journalist, and served as an editor for the Christian Science Monitor and The Wall Street Journal during the 1990s. He is currently a senior fellow for National Security Studies at the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations. In his article, "The Goldstone Report," published under his daily blog at Commentarymagazine.com, Boot repeatedly struggles to divert attention from the overwhelming amount of documentary evidence compiled in the UNHRC report (and in other relevant independent findings as well) which implicates the Israeli government in a large number of war crimes committed throughout the duration of "Operation Cast Lead." Not only is Boot's commentary extremely superficial and desperate as an analysis of the Goldstone Report, but it is indeed contemptuous in regard to the intellectual and moral capacity of his readers. It would seem that responding to or refuting such intellectual defecation might suggest that reasonable arguments have been put forth by Boot, giving his nonsense some sort of legitimacy. Nevertheless, this author found it to be even more maddening to allow such vulgarities and perversions to go unchecked. What follows is a brief exposure,...

Obama and Netanyahu: The Drama and the Farce
24 Sep 2009 - By Uri Avnery - Israel No point denying it: in the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten. Obama demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states – Israel and Palestine. In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The President of the United States has stumbled. The threefold summit did indeed take place. But instead of a shining achievement for the new American administration, we witnessed a humbling demonstration of weakness. After Obama was compelled to give up his demand for a settlement freeze, the meeting no longer had any content. True, Mahmoud Abbas did come, after all. He was dragged there against his will. The poor man was unable to refuse the invitation from Obama, his only support. But he will pay a heavy price for this flight: the Palestinians, and the entire Arab world, have seen his weakness. And Obama, who had started his term with a ringing speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, now looks like a broken reed. The Israeli peace movement has been dealt another painful blow. It had pinned its hopes on the steadfastness of the American president. Obama’s victory and the settlement freeze were to show the Israeli...

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...

Index | VTJP Archives