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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
25 September, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

HRW report; EU: Demand Justice for Victims of Gaza War
26 Sep 2009 -  (Brussels, September 25, 2009) – The European Union and its member states should fully endorse the report of the United Nations fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict led by South African judge Richard Goldstone and demand justice for the victims of serious violations of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today. 

Birth defects in Gaza due to illegal weapons used by Israel during the war
26 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza reported Friday that eight months after the Israeli war ended, several birth defect cases were reported among the Gaza Strip newborns. 

Jerusalem Christians pray for the city, its indigenous people
26 Sep 2009 - Christians in Jerusalem held prayers on Thursday in support of the Holy City’s indigenous Muslim and Christian population facing ongoing Israeli violations including expulsion and home demolitions. 

Hamas: “Aqsa reporter tortured in Palestinian prisons”
25 Sep 2009 - The Al Aqsa TV, affiliated with the Hamas movement, reported that its reporter, Tareq Zeid, imprisoned by the security forces of president Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank, is subjected to torture and abuse. 

Army assassinates three fighters in Gaza
25 Sep 2009 - The Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, reported Friday evening that three of its fighters were assassinated by the Israeli army in Al Tuffah neighborhood, east of Gaza City. 

Nil'in: three kidnapped, eight injured at the weekly protest
25 Sep 2009 - Three protesters were kidnapped and eight other injured on Friday, as Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly protest against the Wall in the central West bank village of Nil'in.

The military kidnaps a Palestinian journalist and two Israeli activists at Bil'in protest
25 Sep 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Friday two Israeli peace activists and a Palestinian journalist during the weekly protest against the Israeli wall in the village of Bil'in central West Bank.  

Ha'aretz Defense page

IAF strike on Qassam crew kills three militants in Gaza
25 Sep 2009 - Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for attack; IDF says militants on route to fire rockets into Israel. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Three killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza
9/25/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Three Palestinian militants were killed and another injured in an Israeli airstrike on the northeastern Gaza Strip on Saturday night, according to Palestinian medics and the de facto government's Ministry of the Interior. "Preliminary reports are three dead and a number injured," said Ihab Al-Ghusein, a spokesman for Gaza's Interior Ministry. Dr Mu'aweiyah Hassanein, head of ambulance and emergency services at the Health Ministry there, identified the deceased as Kamel Ad-Dahduh, Mahmoud Al-Bana and Mohammad Marshud. Ma'an's correspondent, reporting from Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, said the three were affiliated with Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades, and that one was the son of former Al-Quds leader Khaled Ad-Dahduh. The men were killed by a warplane that targeted their car as they drove on Al-Jaru Street in the At-Tuffah neighborhood, according to our correspondent. 

Israeli settlers and soldiers break into Ibrahimi Mosque at dark
9/25/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - At least 140 Israeli settlers, protected by a dozen Israeli jeeps, took over the area around the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, entered the building and performed ceremonies for the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday on Thursday night. The Mosque, also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, was divided into two sections in the 1990s following the attack of a Jewish extremist on Muslim worshipers. The site, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, is heavily guarded by Israeli soldiers who ostensibly protect the Israeli settlers who worship in the Jewish section of the building. The site was closed to Muslim worshipers during the Eid holiday and handed over to Israeli control for the Rosh Hashana Jewish holiday. The second total takeover of the area, which was not announced in advance, was received by many in the area as a warning sign. 

Tunnel collapse in Gaza claims youth’s life, injures two
9/25/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A Palestinian youth diedand two others were injured in a tunnel collapse on Friday morning beneath the Egypt-Gaza border, medical sources confirmed. Medics at Abu Yousef An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah identified the youth as 21-year-old Bassam Adel Mubarak from the An-Nuseirat area in the central the Gaza Strip. They said his body was brought to the hospital after it was dug out of a collapsed tunnel south of the Al-Brazili neighborhood in Rafah city. Two others were brought to the hospital with injuries, they were not identified. On 21 September Israeli jets fired four rockets at three smuggling tunnels near Rafah city, severely damaging the sites. Locals say the impact of the explosions has destabilized several nearby tunnels. 

Gaza: Tightened Israeli siege put a damper on Eid, energy levels
9/25/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - All crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip remain closed Friday, marking the third week of an increased Israeli closure on the area, causing shortages of fuel and basic goods. Power plants are running below capacity, providing only half the amount of energy as compared to three weeks ago. Brownouts are common, as are scheduled blackouts. "In a normal situation, given the depleted capacity of Gaza generators after the war, the Gaza power plant needs 450 cubic meters of industrial fuel per day to generate power for Gaza residents and businesses. This is equal to 3,200 cubic meters per week," Deputy President of the Palestinian Energy Authority in Gaza Kan'an I'beid said. What the Gaza power plant received in the last seven days, he explained, is "1,200 cubic meters of industrial fuel. The amount is only enough to generate 55 megawatts. 

Israeli forces invade village home, detain 16-year-old boy
9/25/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - Four Palestinian municipalities were targeted by Israeli raids Thursday night and Friday morning, as troops made off with two residents including one child. Israeli troops overran the northern West Bank village of Kifl Haris village Thursday night and detained 16-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad Ayyoub Boziyeh. He was taken from his home. Soldiers also entered the neighboring village of Deir Istiya and detained 20-year-old Ahed Ezzat Mansour. Both were taken to an unknown destination. In other parts of the West Bank Israeli troops invaded homes under the pretext of a search for wanted Palestinians. In Ramallah and Al-Bireh Israeli forces demolished the garden wall of the home of Issa Foda, and ransacked the home of Abdel Halim Al-Ajlouni. In the nearby village of Abu Shukheidim forces searched the house of Mashhur Abu ThaherIn Jenin, the troops opened fire on. . . 

Reuters photographer among injured in Nablus-area protest
9/25/2009 - Photos - Nablus - Ma'an - Five Palestinians including a journalist suffered tear gas inhalation during a non-violent rally against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in the Nablus area village of Iraq Burin on Friday. The a group of dozens gathered together for a protest march near the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, and were joined by Reuters photojournalist Abed Ar-Raheem Qusini. Israeli soldiers launched tear gas at the group as they marched past the settlement. [end] 

Israelis arrested at Bil’in anti-wall rally
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian photographer and two Israeli protesters were detained by Israeli forces seeking to stifle an anti-wall demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in on Friday, a local organization said. The Bil'in village chapter of the Popular Committee Against the Wall said in a statement that soldiers opened fire on the Palestinian, Israeli and international activists protesting the confiscation of land by Israel's separation barrier. The organization identified the Palestinian photographer as Haitham Al-Khateeb, and said he was also injured. The two Israeli activists were identified as Asaf, 25, and Ben Robein, 26. Soldiers hurt dozens by spraying CS gas "excessively," the organization said, in an effort to suppress the generally nonviolent weekly march to the still under-construction wall that separates villagers from more than 50 percent of their land. 

Demonstrators mark activist’s death in Al-Mas’ara
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Residents of the Bethlehem-area town of Al-Mas'ara marked the death of Qaher Zawahrah, a local leader in the movement's against Israel's separation barrier, during a demonstration on Friday. Two protesters were lightly injured after Israeli soldiers attacked them, organizers said. Members of the Palestinian National Initiative in Bethlehem joined the rally, as well, in which Palestinians carried flags and chanted national slogans calling for an end to the occupation and removing the wall, which annexes parts of the town's land. "It is our duty - we are obligated - to continue the popular resistance as it is the only option left to restore our rights and dignity, as well as to free our land," said PNI coordinator Mazen Al-A'za. "It is the first stop on the road toward achieving our independent Palestinian state. 

Gaza MoH fears banned weapons causing birth defects
9/25/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Eight months after Israel's assault on Gaza came to an end, the effects of their weapons were just beginning to be felt via deformities among the Strip's newborns, a Health Ministry official said on Friday. "We have found cases among newborn babies involving heart defects and brain abnormalities," insisted Dr Muweiyah Hassenein, director of the ministry's ambulance and emergency services department. "Five of these cases appeared following the Israeli war," he added, blaming the purported deformities on "Israel's use of internationally prohibited weapons against the civilians of Gaza. "Hassenein said the weapons in question were predominantly used in the central Strip, specifically the Az-Zahra neighborhood, eastern Az-Zaitoun neighborhood, Izbat Abed Rabu and the Gaza Valley. Researchers have documented Israel's use of white phosphorus and other weaponry, while. . . 

In UN speech Netanyahu reminds delegates of Holocaust
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - "The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu opened his speech to the UN General Assembly Thursday. The Israeli leader used reference to the Holocaust to condemn recent Iranian rhetoric, and held up copies of "precise [German Nazi] instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. "  He then condemned those who listened to Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his speech to the UN the day before. "Have you no shame? " he asked, "Have you no decency? . . . What a disgrace!What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!"Next addressing the UN-mandated report on the Israeli war on Gaza, which saw the death of 1,400 Gazans. . . 

Quartet supports Obama efforts, asks that settlement construction halt
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Middle East Quartet urged Israel to "freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth; and to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem" in a joint statement Thursday. The statement asked the Palestinian Authority to "continue to make every effort to improve law and order, to fight violent extremism, and to end incitement," and fully backed the tenuous re-start of talks initiated by US President Barack Obama. The Quartet said the sit down between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with Obama in New York Tuesday was a good start to direct, bilateral talks. It reminded partners, however, that "the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement that ends the occupation that began in 1967; resolves all permanent status issues as previously defined by the parties; and. . . 

Cherie Blair supports women’s project in West Bank
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and wife of the former UK prime minister, and Hani Al-Masri, a Palestinian-American businessman and founder of Tomorrow's Youth Organization, on Friday launched a project that promotes economic empowerment for women in at-risk communities in the West Bank. "I passionately believe that the greater the role women play in our economy and society, the better our chance of overcoming the challenges we face," Blair said in a statement. "That's why I'm so excited about the work the Foundation is undertaking in partnership with TYO to enable women to develop and build on their business talents and thus to help themselves, their families, and wider society"A new 2009 Clinton Global Initiative commitment, the project reflects not only the partners' priorities, the statement said, but also themes of this. . . 

Abbas: Settlements destroying two-state dream
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's ongoing occupation and colonization of Palestinian land remains the greatest threat to the two-state solution, President Mahmoud Abbas said at the United Nations on Friday. In an address to the General Assembly in New York, he said Israel's decades-long policy of building settlements in occupied territory "will undermine the goal of establishing a geographically contiguous Palestinian state," and called on the country to reverse course. Abbas warned, "Time is short and the risks are accumulating because of the continued suffering of the Palestinian people, who are weighed down by the last foreign occupation in the world. "His speech came one day after a hard-hitting address from Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who has in recent months rebuffed worldwide calls for a settlement freeze in advance of negotiations. 

Hamas: PA police detain four party affiliates
9/25/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Thursday night raids on the West Bank by Palestinian Authority police forces saw the detention of four Hamas affiliates, the party said in a statement Friday. The raids were in the areas of Nablus, Ramallah and Hebron, the party said. [end] 

The National

Playing chicken on a world stage
25 Sep 2009 - Despite signs the GCC may be nudging Russia and China to soften their opposition to sanctions the stand-off over Tehran's nuclear intentions remains unpredictable. 

Leaders losing patience with Tehran
25 Sep 2009 - The international community said it was losing patience with Iran after news broke that the country had been building a covert nuclear facility for several years.

Olmert in court over corruption
25 Sep 2009 - Israel's former prime minister Ehud Olmert denies wrongdoing as proceedings start in his corruption trial.

Olmert trial opens in Jerusalem
25 Sep 2009 - Former Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, says he is confident of being acquitted of fraud, breach of trust and failure to report income.

Aljazeera

Abbas insists on settlement freeze 
25 Sep 2009 - Palestinian leader says Israel must comply to 'salvage' Middle East peace process. 

Israeli attack kills Gaza fighters
25 Sep 2009 - Missile kills three Palestinians allegedly planning rocket attacks on Israel. 

Alternative Information Center

Free Mohammad Othman, Palestine’s first Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Prisoner of Conscience!
25 Sep 2009 - On Tuesday, September 22, Mohammad Othman (33 years old)—a Palestinian human rights activist and advocate of the non-violent civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)—was arrested by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Crossing, the...

Seventeen Arrested and Four Injured in the Naqab Following Clashes between Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Jewish National Fund
25 Sep 2009 - Seventeen Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested and another four injured yesterday following locals' resistance to the invasion of Jewish National Fund (JNF) officials to their lands north of Beer al-Sabe' (Beer Sheva) in the Naqab (...

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...

Palestine News Network

Palestinian delegation leaves summit: Netanyahu demands recognition of Jewishness of Israeli state
24 Sep 2009 - New York / PNN – The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invoked once again the Holocaust of World War II that befell the Jewish people. During his speech on Thursday night in New York to a large number of leaders in the General Assembly of the United Nations Netanyahu devoted an editorial to the subject while supporting continuing settlement building in the West...

All-Party support for Bristol-Gaza-Link
24 Sep 2009 - Ed Hill - Organisers of the forthcoming launch event for the new BRISTOL-GAZA-LINK association are delighted to be receiving support from all across the political spectrum. The idea of the Bristol-Gaza-Link association has been supported from the start by both the Liberal Democrats and the Labour group on the City Council. Further support has come this week from Adeela Shafi, the PPC...

Weekly nonviolent demonstration against Wall in Bil'in ends with three arrests
24 Sep 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - At today's weekly nonviolent demonstration against the Wall in western Ramallah’s Bil’in Village, three people were arrested. During the protest activists were near the Wall. At approximately 1:00 pm Israeli forces arrested Palestinian cameraman, Haitham Al-Khatib, 33, and two Israeli activists, 26 year old Ben and 25 year old Asaf. Palestinian cameraman, Hamde Aburahma recorded the arrests from...

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...

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

US-MIDEAST: A Week of Dimming Peace Prospects 
WASHINGTON, Sep 25 (IPS) - Eight months after Barack Obama launched his presidency by promising a speedy push for Palestinian-Israeli peace, that effort has stalled badly. And there are now growing fears that the top levels of Obama's peace team are torn by internal disagreements that may undermine the whole...

MIDEAST: Jerusalem Palestinians Defining Their Own Future 
EAST JERUSALEM, Sep 25 (IPS) - Almost a year ago a barely noticed event took place in Sawarha, a Palestinian neighbourhood in the Israeli-occupied part of the city.

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.

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: 

PCHR Latest

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

PCHR Weekly Report

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

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

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil’in demonstration
9/25/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil'in demonstration - Israeli forces storm Bil'in and arrest 3 demonstrators -- 25 September 2009: Israeli forces target Palestinian cameramen at Bil'in demonstration. Around 1pm, Israeli forces arrested 2 Israeli solidarity activists and a Palestinian cameraman, Haitham al-Khatib (33 years old) during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in. Witnesses say that Israeli soldiers ran in and arrested the 3 demonstrators. Haitham al-Khatib was filming the demonstration near the Wall when he was taken. Haitham has been filming the ongoing Israeli arrest campaign in Bil'in. One of his videos was recently used by several news sources, including the Israeli news, YNet, to showcase the violence and intimidation used by the army against Bil'in residents. Thousands of viewers worldwide have been following the night raids in Bil'in through Haitham's videos. . . . 

ICC may try IDF officer in wake of Goldstone Gaza report
9/25/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 24 September 2009 - A senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said Monday that he is considering opening an investigation into whether Lt. Col. David Benjamin, an Israel Defense Forces reserve officer, allowed war crimes to be committed during the IDF's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip this winter. The officer – a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, where he was born – served in the Military Advocate General's international law department, which authorized which targets troops would strike before and during the operation. Newsweek magazine released an interview Monday with ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina in which he said he is convinced his office has the authority to launch an investigation into Benjamin's actions. The ICC has until now refrained from trying IDF officers, as it lacks authority to do so, since 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Ahmadinejad: Israel will not dare attack Iran
25 Sep 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Friday that Israel "will not dare attack Iran" and that if Israel does, "the Iranians can defend themselves." ...

Barak 'incensed, but not surprised' by Goldstone Report 
25 Sep 2009 - Faulty methodology, politicization, and a failure to grasp the logic of self-defense led a United Nations-appointed judge to accuse Israel of war crimes during its three-week offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip earlier this year, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said. ...

Gadhafi meets relatives of victims of 1988 Lockerbie bombing
25 Sep 2009 - Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi held "a friendly meeting" this week with relatives of some victims of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, he said in a CNN interview. ...

Obama: We'll mull 'sanctions that bite' if Iran nuclear talks fail
25 Sep 2009 - U.S., France, U.K., demand access after Iran informs UN of existence of second uranium enrichment plant.

Yossi Melman / Intel assessments of Iran's nuclear program coming true
24 Sep 2009 - Over the past few hours, Iran has made international waves in regard to its nuclear program. ...

The Guardian

Leonard Cohen sings of love and peace | Hillel Schenker
25 Sep 2009 - The singer's Tel Aviv concert illustrates the need for constructive engagement, not boycotts, to build Israeli-Palestinian peace Three days before Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when everything comes to a halt in Israel, Leonard Cohen...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Ehud Olmert's graft trial suspended until February 
24 Sep 2009 - Former prime minister Ehud Olmert's graft trial was suspended to February, during the first court proceedings at the Jerusalem District Court on Friday morning. ...

WATCH: Leonard Cohen performs in front of 50,000 in Israel
24 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. ...

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. ...

Relief Web

Israel must be pressured on Middle East peace process, Lebanon tells UN debate
25 Sep 2009 - Source: UN News Service

Press conference by Secretary-General of League of Arab States
25 Sep 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: EU calls for continued and increased support for UNRWA
25 Sep 2009 - Source: European Union

YNet News

Abbas: Pressure Israel to stop settlements
25 Sep 2009 - Palestinian president tells UN General Assembly Israel's continued settlement expansion blocks resumption of Mideast peace talks, warns: 'Time is running out' 

3 killed in IDF strike in Gaza
25 Sep 2009 - Military says air force jets struck car carrying Islamic Jihad operatives en route to launching rockets at Israel. Palestinians report three dead 

J'lem official: Iranians deceiving the world
25 Sep 2009 - As US, UK, France condemn Tehran over construction of second nuclear facility, top Israeli source says, 'International community must stop Iranian nuclear program, which continues to develop right under its nose without its supervision' 

Bereaved mother on Shalit: Bibi, this could be your son 
25 Sep 2009 - (Video) Esther Wachsman, whose son Nachshon was abducted and murdered by Hamas, attends protest in Jerusalem, says not enough is being done to secure captive's release. 'I will suffer my entire life. I hope this doesn't happen to Aviva Shalit,' she says 

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

Lebanon looking for positive spinoff by hosting Francophone Games 
25 Sep 2009

UN kicks off second 'Palestinian Olympics' in Sibline 
25 Sep 2009

Sleiman voices hopes for Lebanese seat on Security Council 
25 Sep 2009

March 14 silent on formula as Hariri works on cabinet 
25 Sep 2009

Australian court jails Lebanese over Internet terror manual 
25 Sep 2009

Salafranca lauds maturity in Lebanon polls 
25 Sep 2009

Palestinians want peace deal but don't reject Hamas - opinion poll 
25 Sep 2009

Ex-Israeli PM Olmert faces corruption charges in court 
25 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Hundreds of Israeli settlers desecrate Ishaq's tomb in the Ibrahimi Mosque
25 Sep 2009 - Close to 150 fanatic Israeli settlers have stormed, at dawn Friday, the Muslim sacred Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil city, south of the West Bank, and desecrated the tomb of Prophet Ishaq.

Resheq: Results of trilateral meeting big blow to Abbas and retinue
25 Sep 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq, member of the Hamas political bureau, has described results of the trilateral meeting in New York as a big blow to Abbas and his associates..

Swedish journalist: Israel stole the organs of more than a 1000 Palestinians
25 Sep 2009 - Donald Bostrom said that Israel started the illegal harvesting of organs from Palestinian victims as early as 1960, with a marked increase in this practice during the first Palestinian intifada.

Abu Zuhri: Abbas's behavior pushed the Palestinian issue down below zero
25 Sep 2009 - Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, the spokesman of Hamas Movement in Gaza Strip, strongly criticized Thursday the way the former PA chief and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is handling the Palestinian issue

Hamas: Netanyahu emerged winner from trilateral meeting
25 Sep 2009 - The Hamas Movement has urged Mahmoud Abbbas and his Fatah Movement to stop deceiving and misleading the Palestinian people by attaching more hopes on the "useless" negotiations

Tafakji: Settlement expansion in Jerusalem is most serious
25 Sep 2009 - Khalil al-Tafkji said on Thursday that the main settlement expansions are planned for the major Jewish settlements which the occupation intends to annex in any final peace agreement.

Mizrahi tours Bethlehem, meets PA security chiefs
25 Sep 2009 - Avi Mizrahi, IOF commander of the central region, on Thursday toured the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem accompanied by IOF officers and a number of PA security officers.

Only a small number of people allowed to attend Martyr Rabia al-Taweel funeral
25 Sep 2009 - Tens of Jerusalemites attended, on Wednesday night, the funeral of martyr Rabia al-Taweel, the Jerusalem taxi driver who was killed by the IOF troops at a roadblock near Bethlehem.

Lieberman: trilateral meeting is a victory; no halt on settlement
25 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
25 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..

Los Angeles Times

Iran reveals it has a second uranium plant 
25 Sep 2009 - President Obama says the plant is a 'direct challenge' to global nonproliferation and warns of new sanctions against Tehran. In an admission that is certain to heighten concerns over Iran's nuclear capabilities, Tehran has informed the United Nations that it has been building a previously undisclosed uranium enrichment plant, according to a statement released today by the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

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. 

New York Times

Iran Is Warned Over Nuclear ‘Deception’
25 Sep 2009 - The leaders on Friday accused Iran of hiding a nuclear plant from inspectors and gave Iran two months to comply with demands or face increased sanctions. 

With Bush Gone, Chávez Smells No Sulfur, While Netanyahu Assails Iran’s Leader
24 Sep 2009 - President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday. 

Trial of Former Israeli Leader Begins
25 Sep 2009 - Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, appeared in court on Friday on corruption charges. 

Misc

Seventeen Arrested and Four Injured in the Naqab Following Clashes between Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Jewish National Fund
9/25/2009 - Alternative Information Center - Seventeen Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested and another four injured yesterday following locals' resistance to the invasion of Jewish National Fund (JNF) officials to their lands north of Beer al-Sabe' (Beer Sheva) in the Naqab (Negev). A large number of armed Israeli policemen protected the JNF's bulldozers plowing the lands of the families of Abu Zayid and Malahi in the area of al-Araqib. The family members, who were present in the area to protest the takeover of their lands, were attacked violently by the Israeli police, who also used treagas. Yusef abu-Zayed, the president of the Committee for the Defense of the Land of al-Araqib, told PLS48: "Our lands are more like a military base now; a large number or policemen and Special Forces are always present here. They use teargas anytime on the young in our families who come to protest the plowing of their lands by the Jewish National Fund. " 

Free Mohammad Othman, Palestine’s first Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Prisoner of Conscience!
9/24/2009 - Alternative Information Center - On Tuesday, September 22, Mohammad Othman (33 years old)—a Palestinian human rights activist and advocate of the non-violent civil society campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)—was arrested by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Crossing, the border terminal between Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territory. He was returning from a trip to Norway—where he had been promoting BDS—when he was detained, arrested and then moved to a prison where he is being held for a military hearing scheduled for next Tuesday. While Mohammad is only one of the approximately 11,000 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and detention centers, he has become the first Palestinian to be imprisoned by Israel in response to BDS advocacy activity. With BDS campaigns around the world gaining momentum, Israel has increasingly come under pressure to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. 

News from Within Podcast: The US Administration, the American Jewish Community and the Middle East Peace Negotiations—Opportunities and Challenges
9/24/2009 - Alternative Information Center - On 12-13 February 2009, approximately 900 American Jewish demonstrators held a protest in front of the World Zionist Organization and Jewish Agency to say “Not in Our Name” to the Israeli government and to these US-based organizations that promote and defend its policies. On Tuesday, 22 September 2009, I spoke with Professor Ira Chernus about the Obama administration's latest moves regarding the Israeli/Palestinian situation. We also discussed the condition and importance of the anti-occupation movement in the United States, especially the Jewish American “peace movement,” and their work to create a platform of popular support on which president Obama can gain more freedom to put real pressure on the parties towards a negotiated settlement. Ira is a Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he has been teaching for over 30 years, as well as being active in the peace and anti-occupation movements. 

Spain expels Israeli scientists from solar energy competition 
9/24/2009 - The Guardian - 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 areas of the West Bank, it said today. The decision to expel the team from the Ariel University Centre of Samaria from Solar Decathlon Europe, an international competition involving 20 universities, has provoked angry reactions in Israel. The team was one of 20 finalists in a competition to design solar-powered housing that is part-sponsored by the US energy department. Spain is hosting the first European version of the event next year and claims ultimate say over who takes part. " All the ministry has done is apply the policy of the European Union," a housing ministry spokesman said. "The EU does not recognise the occupation of the West Bank, which is where this university is. " 

Iran’s nuclear plant admission brings sanctions showdown nearer 
9/26/2009 - The Guardian - US, UK and France threaten tough new measures but Ahmadinejad is defiant - The Iranian nuclear crisis reached a decisive moment yesterday after Tehran was forced to admit it was building a secret uranium enrichment plant inside a mountain in the arid centre of the country. The admission, following the discovery of the plant by the CIA, MI6 and the French DGSE intelligence agency, paved the way for a showdown on Thursday in Geneva, where Iranian officials are due to meet representatives of six major powers. Failure to reach a resolution there would usher in a wave of wide ranging economic sanctions. Yesterday morning, the US, British and French leaders broke away from the G20 summit in Pittsburgh to announce the intelligence findings and condemn the Iranian regime. Barack Obama said western intelligence agencies had known of the secret plant, – near the holy city of Qom, a seat of Shia learning – for more than two years. 

Iran’s second nuclear plant ’a vindication for Israel’ 
9/25/2009 - The Guardian - Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem and Ian Black - Israel and pro-western Arab states feel that their concerns about Iran's nuclear ambitions have been vindicated by the latest dramatic revelations about a secret, second uranium enrichment plant. News about the Qom site will encourage those across the Middle East who want to see tough sanctions imposed and cheer those who fear the prospect of unilateral military action by Israel – the likely outcome if diplomacy fails. But both Israelis and Arabs worry about a deal that will leave Iran as a powerful regional actor. There was no official reaction from Jersualem, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was flying home from New York, where he highlighted the Iranian government's "extreme fundamentalism" and "fanaticism" in his UN general assembly speech. Arab governments made no official comment, but regional media headlined the news from the G20 summit. 

ICC may try IDF officer in wake of Goldstone Gaza report
9/25/2009 - Ha'aretz - A senior prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said Monday that he is considering opening an investigation into whether Lt. Col. David Benjamin, an Israel Defense Forces reserve officer, allowed war crimes to be committed during the IDF's three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip this winter. The officer - a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, where he was born - served in the Military Advocate General's international law department, which authorized which targets troops would strike before and during the operation. Newsweek magazine released an interview Monday with ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of Argentina in which he said he is convinced his office has the authority to launch an investigation into Benjamin's actions. The ICC has until now refrained from trying IDF officers, as it lacks authority. . . 

Israel presses UN to rise to challenge of containing Iranian nuclear threat 
9/24/2009 - United Nations: International Law - 24 September 2009 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel today exhorted the United Nations to ensure that Iran, whose leader he described as a “Holocaust denier,” never acquires nuclear weapons. “A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish State,” Mr. Netanyahu told the General Assembly’s high-level annual debate, referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The current Iranian leadership, the Israeli Prime Minister said, “is fuelled by an extreme fundamentalism, imposing a “backward regimented society” wherever it can, he stressed. The greatest threat to the world today, Mr. Netanyahu told heads of State and government, is “the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction. 

A Quick Burial For Goldstone’s Report on Gaza 
9/23/2009 - Forward - Israeli and American diplomats came to the United Nations not to praise the Goldstone Report, but to bury it. And unlike Marc Antony in his eulogy for Julius Caesar, they meant it. As a result of their efforts, it appears all but certain that the report accusing Israel and the Palestinian faction Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity will not reach any binding international forums. The report, released September 15, caused a huge initial international stir, not only because of its findings, the bulk of which focused on Israel, but also because of its ultimate recommendation: that the United Nations Security Council, which has binding power under international law, require Israel and Hamas, which controls Gaza, to conduct their own respective independent investigations of the evidence of human rights violations cited in the report. 

Olmert in court to face graft charges 
9/24/2009 - The Australian - JERUSALEM: Ehud Olmert last night became the first serving or past Israeli prime minister ever to go on trial, insisting in a Jerusalem court that he is innocent of the corruption charges that drove him from office. The allegations that haunted Mr Olmert's term, which ended earlier this year, damaged Israelis' faith in their leaders, and hurt his chances of reaching a peace deal with the Palestinians. Entering the court, Mr Olmert told reporters he had been subjected to an "ordeal of slanders and investigations". " I come here as a man innocent of any crime, and I believe I will leave here as a man innocent of any crime," he said. Mr Olmert did not testify at last night's brief hearing. The trial is expected to take months. The charges facing Mr Olmert include illegally accepting funds from an American supporter and double-billing Jewish groups for trips abroad. 


Articles

Think Again: Palestine 
Zahi Khouri, Uruknet 9/25/2009
      President Obama got the leaders of Israel and Palestine to shake hands this week. But a meeting in Midtown does not a Palestinian deal make. Here’s why.
     "Economic Peace Is Possible."
     No. Neither sustainable economic development nor peace is possible without political freedom.
     The idea of "economic peace" suggests an economic conflict, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is certainly not that. Although economic issues do figure into Palestinian concerns, they are not nearly as important as addressing the rights of Palestinian refugees, terminating Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and establishing a viable, independent, and sovereign Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. To suggest that economics are what this is about would be to sideline history and to willfully ignore the reality of Israel’s occupation. This conflict is political and it calls for a solution that is political.
     Besides, even if economic growth were issue No. 1, the greatest impediment to economic development and opportunity for Palestinians is not the absence of industrial parks as advocated by the Israeli government under its model of "economic peace." Rather, it is the denial of basic freedoms and rights to Palestinians under occupation and the myriad restrictions Israel imposes on the free movement of Palestinian goods and people within, and in and out of, the occupied Palestinian territory. It is the inability of Palestinians to access the 60 percent of the occupied West Bank under Area C (Israeli control), including the 40 percent that Israel claims for its settlement enterprise. And it is the forced isolation of occupied East Jerusalem, long the economic heart of the Palestinian economy, from the rest of the West Bank. All these economic constraints are fundamental to the architecture of Israel’s occupation.
     In short, "economic peace" is a slogan designed to give the appearance of positive movement while distracting from the real issues and the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians. It does not mean, nor does it promise, an end to Israel’s occupation. Rather, it offers economic crumbs in an effort to normalize and better manage the occupation. more.. e-mail

Sleeping with the Enemy 
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, CounterPunch 9/25/2009
      Israel’s Fear of Jewish Girls Dating Arabs; Team of Psychologists to "Rescue" Women
     A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and “rescue” them.
     The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate -- and little discussed -- initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organisations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage.
     In a related development, the Israeli media reported this month that residents of Pisgat Zeev, a large Jewish settlement in the midst of Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem, had formed a vigilante-style patrol to stop Arab men from mixing with local Jewish girls.
     Hostility to intimate relationships developing across Israel’s ethnic divide is shared by many Israeli Jews, who regard such behaviour as a threat to the state’s Jewishness. One of the few polls on the subject, in 2007, found that more than half of Israeli Jews believed intermarriage should be equated with “national treason”.
     Since the state’s founding in 1948, analysts have noted, a series of legal and administrative measures have been taken by Israel to limit the possibilities of close links developing between Jewish and Arab citizens, the latter comprising a fifth of the population.
     Largely segregated communities and separate education systems mean that there are few opportunities for young Arabs and Jews to get to know each other. Even in the handful of “mixed cities”, Arab residents are usually confined to separate neighborhoods. more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Israeli forces arrest anti-wall organizer
25 Sep 2009 - Palestinian human rights defender and activist Mohammad Othman was arrested by Israeli forces on 22 September 2009. It is believed that Mohammad's arrest is related to his human rights activism. In the last few years, Mohammad has been extremely active in his advocacy efforts by briefing activists and officials, locally and internationally, on Israel's illegal construction of the wall, informing the media on daily developments and monitoring human rights violations. 

In Israel, intermarriage viewed as treason
25 Sep 2009 - A local authority in Israel has announced that it is establishing a special team of youth counsellors and psychologists whose job it will be to identify young Jewish women who are dating Arab men and "rescue" them. The move by the municipality of Petah Tikva, a city close to Tel Aviv, is the latest in a series of separate -- and little discussed -- initiatives from official bodies, rabbis, private organizations and groups of Israeli residents to try to prevent interracial dating and marriage. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Cape Town to host Palestinian Struggle and Human Spirit Film Festival
25 Sep 2009 - Channel 4 Network SA, a Cape Town-based international news network and syndication company, will be hosting a Palestinian film festival from 2-4 October 2009 in Cape Town, South Africa. The objectives of the festival are to educate the public and create a general awareness around the situation in Palestine to foster a culture of human rights, respect for human dignity and justice for all. 

Arrest of Palestinian children on the rise
25 Sep 2009 - BILIN, occupied West Bank (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 Qalqiliya. Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine has released a statement that the number of children detained in Israeli jails and temporary Israeli army detention centers this year has risen by 17.5 percent compared with 2008. 

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
Obama's Choice
25 Sep 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai Why do I have this feeling that we have been here and done all this before? I know, I know. This US President is different, as different from his predecessors as a sunny day is distinguishable from a dark, oppressive night. But watching Barack Obama shake hands with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York this week and smile for the waiting cameras, I had this weird feeling I have seen it all before. But haven’t we indeed all seen this before? This is what we have repeatedly witnessed since Bill Clinton proudly presented Yasser Arafat and Isaac Rabin before the world on the White House lawns in 1993. And every time the US leaders did so, they have generated tremendous hopes and hype everywhere, including in the Middle East. And every time those hopes have come crashing down with progressive ferocity, giving way to greater frustration, anger and bitterness that have consumed generations in the Arab world and beyond. As Obama posed for the cameras with Abbas and Netanyahu flanking him, hundreds of millions of people across the world -- and not just Arabs and Muslims -- asked themselves: Is this US President going to create more pointless photo opportunities and say all the right things without actually meaning and believing in them like his predecessors? Or is he going to be different as he has often promised and walk the talk for a change? The answer to...

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: 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...

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