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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
3 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

US House of Representatives votes to condemn Goldstone Report
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 04, 2009 - 03:18, The US House of Representatives voted today to condemn a United Nations Report on war crimes carried out during Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip in January.

Israeli Police Question An Accomplice of Teitel
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 03, 2009 - 22:55, The Israeli Police stated Tuesday that it questioned a Jewish man believed to be an accomplice to terrorist Yaakov Teitel, who planned and carried out domestic terrorist attacks.

Israeli settlers take over a Palestinian owned house in Jerusalem
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 03, 2009 - 16:40, A group of Israeli settlers took over on Tuesday a Palestinian owned house at the Shikh Jarah neighborhood near Jerusalem's old city.

Gaza patient dies due to the siege, death toll reaches 364
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 03, 2009 - 15:27, A Palestinian patient was reported dead on Tuesday after he was unable to leave the Gaza Strip for life saving medical care he needed.

UN General Assembly To Discuss Goldstone Report
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 03, 2009 - 11:12, The United Nations General Assembly is set to discuss on Wednesday the report of Judge Richard Goldstone on Gaza war. The report slams Israel’s disproportional use of force against the Palestinians, and also accuses both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes.

Marking The Balfour Declaring, Hamas Calls For Unity, Resistance To Counter The Occupation
IMEMC 3 Nov 2009 - Tuesday November 03, 2009 - 10:49, Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, issued a press release on Monday calling for unity between all Palestinian factions in order to maintain strong resistance against the occupation and ‘Zionism”.

Ma'an News

Israeli officials posture on new war in Gaza
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's next battle [will] be in Gaza, the country's Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told a cadre of graduating military officers at a graduation ceremony broadcast over Israel Radio Tuesday. "The army will return to face the places where they [Gaza militants] launch rockets which is in the most densely populated areas, [soldiers will return] to fight in the villages, cities, mosques, hospitals, kindergartens and schools because the enemies want to impose this method of fighting against Israel," Ashkenazi said. The official's statements came during the graduation ceremony of new ground force officers of the ground forces, and elicited harsh criticism from Hamas officials in Gaza. Responding to what he described as an inflammatory speech, Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said Ashkenazi's rhetoric only reflected the depth of the Israeli "crisis of occupation". 

Settlers take control of East Jerusalem home
11/3/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli settlers arrogated the home of the Al-Kurd family in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, residents of the area said. About 30 settlers were seen entering the house and throwing the family's furniture into the street. The settlers have refused to leave the building and Israeli police blocked members of the Al-Kurd family from entering the area. Witnesses also reported heated arguments between police and Palestinian residents. Residents said the settlers moved into the house in violation of an Israeli court order issued nine years ago when Jewish organizations put forward a claim that they in fact owned the property. Two other buildings belonging to the Al-Kurd and Al-Ghawi families were also targeted in the claim. Locals also said the court had ordered no one to enter one section of the multi-unit building because it was built without a construction permit. 

Goldstone asks US House to amend resolution on report
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - "False" and "inaccurate" were the words used by South African Justice Richard Goldtstone when he described the allegations of the resolution in front of the US House of Representatives calling for the condemnation of his UN-mandated report. The House is set to discuss the resolution Wednesday. A condemnation would almost guarantee a US veto of the report once it gets to the UN Security Council, a move the UN General Assembly is expected to push forward in a meeting earlier the same day. The document in front of the House set forth a series of clauses it said resulted in the report being illegal, and not something the US should support. Justice Richard Goldstone himself responded to 15 of the clauses in an open letter, calling them misleading, misunderstood or completely false. According to a letter from Goldstone, the resolution before the House. . . 

Controversy over draft UN resolution on Gaza
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The UN General Assembly is likely to vote in support of a UN report alleging war crimes in Gaza on Wednesday, but experts say that, if not properly worded, the resolution could close off options for further action on the matter. There are at least two views on the subject. In one camp, some human rights experts say that a weakly-worded resolution could create the appearance of a victory while depriving the General Assembly of the ability to follow up on the issue further. In an interview on Wednesday, however, a top Palestinian diplomat defended a draft resolution and said critics had misinterpreted international law. A draft resolution currently being circulated by Arab states would express support for the Goldstone report, while doing little to implement the document's recommendations for investigation and prosecution, according to Richard Falk, a professor. . . 

Gaza gov’t: We will prevent January elections
11/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto Ministry of the Interior in Gaza intends to prevent 24 January elections from going ahead in the Strip, a Tuesday statement confirmed. The Gaza-based newspaper Al-Filistine quoted de facto Minister Fathi Hammad as saying, "the ministry will prevent elections from taking place in Gaza since they go against national reconciliation and without coordination with other factions. "  The minister further stated that President Mahmoud Abbas' call for the January elections was biased because it was determined by only one faction. Hammad added: "We totally reject this since the Gaza government is a legal one that came through elections and we will not perform any elections in the absence of conciliation among all factions. "  Hammad explained that the ministry issued an order to prevent elections in Gaza, adding that " anyone who tries to perform elections in Gaza will be prosecuted, regardless of the means employed. 

Israel to deport 1,200 children of foreign workers
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli cabinet decided that it will expel 1,200 children of foreign workers living illegally in Israel by 2010, during a meeting on Tuesday. It was decided during the meeting that the 1,200 children, who were born in Israel, will be allowed to complete the academic year before they are deported in 2010. According to a statement released by the PM's office on Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel online: "Children of foreign workers who are having lessons in state-run schools will be able to complete the school year. " The Interior Minister Eli Yishai stated in the Hebrew daily, Haartez, that he "will not grant 1,200 families [residency] status. "Al-Arabiya notes that the children concerned were born in Israel and have faced deportation with their parents following a crackdown on foreign workers who have remained in Israel despite the expiration of their visas. 

Israel opens two of three Gaza crossings
11/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel will open Gaza's Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz border crossings on Tuesday while the Karni, which is now only used for deliveries wheat and animal feed, will remain closed, according to a Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh said Israel decided to allow the entry of 81-92 trucks loaded with commercial and humanitarian goods into the besieged Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The shipment will include 12 trucks carrying 330 calves. On Monday Israel allowed entry of 330 calves as the first shipment of an overall 7,000 calves to be shipped ahead of the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday later in November, during which it is traditional to slaughter domesticated animals. As usual, no exports were permitted through Gaza's crossings. On Monday, Israel opened the Kerem Shalom and the Karni crossings while Nahal Oz remained closed. 

Prisoners declare hunger strike in Israeli jail
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Detainees at Nafha prison, made up almost entirely of Palestinians, have undertaken a hunger strike, the Palestinian detainees' society announced on Tuesday. The detainee's society announced in a statement that the current hunger strike is a reaction to prison guards performing cell searches at night and preventing detainees from carrying money to purchase food from the prison cafeteria. Nafha prison, located in Mitzpe Ramon, has seen its detainees pursue hunger strikes on dozens of occasions as a result of prison guard aggression and the deprivation of family visits. [end] 

Israel: Projectile fired from Gaza
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli news sources reported on Monday night that a homemade projectile launched from the Gaza Strip landed in the western Negev desert. The sources said the projectile landed in an open area in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. No casualties or damage were reported. No Palestinian faction has claimed responsibility for the reported shelling. Israel usually responds to such attacks by launching air raids on the Gaza Strip. Two weeks ago Israel bombed two locations in Gaza following a reported projectile strike. The Gaza-Israel border has been mainly calm since the end of Israel's three-week assault on the Strip last winter which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead. Thirteen Israelis also died. 

Gaza paramilitaries: Mortar fire to mark Balfour
11/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and a contingent of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades claimed responsibility on Tuesday for firing mortar shells towards Kfar Azza Kibbutz east of the Gaza Strip. The two paramilitary groups released a joint statement explaining that the shelling commemorated the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and was intended to affirm that "Palestinian resistance refuses all conspiracies against the Palestinian people and their cause. "  An Israeli military spokesperson stated that they are "not familiar with any such mortar shellings. "[end] 

Israeli general: Hamas projectile could strike Tel Aviv
11/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's top military intelligence officer claimed that Palestinian fighters in Gaza ability to strike Tel Aviv in an Israeli cabinet meeting on Tuesday. General Amos Yadlin told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Hamas has recently tested a projectile with a range of 60km - a range capable of reaching Tel Aviv. No such missile has been fired from Hamas-controlled Gaza to date. Palestinian combatants most often use homemade projectiles with a maximum range of five to ten kilometers. During Israel's 22-day assault on Gaza last winter, fighters fired a handful of Russian-made grad missiles with a longer range. Cross-border projectile attacks have subsided since the end of the Gaza war. The Israeli daily Haaretz stated that Yadlin was not forthcoming with the providence of the projectile's manufacturer but stated that this recent test launch is evidence of Hamas' increasing military capabilities. 

PFLP applauds anti-Olmert protests
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on Sunday applauded American and British demonstrators who confronted Israeli leaders during speaking engagements and events in recent weeks. Protests in a number of locales greeted former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the United States and Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon in London last month. "[T]he only place they should be speaking is before an international tribunal, on trial for their crimes against humanity," the left-wing movement said in a statement. Adding that while Olmert sought over 50,000 US dollars for one speaking appearance in the US, "the most notable accomplishment of Olmert's tour was the depth of outrage, anger and activity it brought forth in every city he entered," the PFLP said. "Olmert has been chased from city to city, shouted down in every venue and exposed for his war crimes. 

Cabinet backs Abbas on settlement freeze
11/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The caretaker government in Ramallah voiced support for President Mahmoud Abbas in calling for a settlement freeze as a precondition for peace talks in its weekly meeting on Monday. Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad chaired the meeting in where its members reiterated Abbas' position on resuming peace talks with Israel based on international law and the two-state solution, in addition to a total halt on settlement activities and expansion in the occupied territories and lifting the blockade on Palestinians in Gaza. Members of the Palestinian Cabinet stressed that the success of the peace process required learning the lessons of previous failed negotiations and political stalemate. Cabinet members further restated the need to regain the credibility of the peace process in order to ensure the implementation of its goals: the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. 

EU: Israel and PA must probe Goldstone claims
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A French-British initiative is to call on Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to undertake independent investigations into allegations of war crimes in Gaza, an effort to relegate the Goldstone report to Geneva, out of the reach of the Security Council or the International Criminal Court. According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the new initiative is a list of "red lines" backed by 27 members of the EU and includes the assurance that the Goldstone report will not reach the Security Council or the International Criminal Court. The initiative also calls for an independent investigation into Operation Cast Led to be undertaken by Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and setting a deadline for the new independent investigations. The initiative also included referring the Goldstone Report back to the Human Rights Council. 

UN General Assembly set for Gaza debate
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The UN General Assembly is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on a resolution that would send a UN report alleging war crimes in Gaza to the more powerful Security Council. A draft resolution circulated by the Arab Group, published by Reuters, says the assembly "requests the Secretary-General to transmit the report. . . to the Security Council. "It also urges Israel and the Palestinians to comply with the report's recommendations for investigations into war crimes charges. The UN Human Rights Council voted in October to refer the report to the UN bodies in New York. The draft resolution for the General Assembly does not explicitly endorse the language of that prior resolution. The report, which accuses Israel and Palestinian fighters of committing war crimes during Israel's war on Gaza last winter, is the result of an independent international fact-finding mission led by South African judge Richard Goldstone. 

Abbas tells Mitchell: Settlement freeze essential
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - President Mahmoud Abbas told a top US peace envoy that he will not return to the negotiating table until Israel halts the expansion of West Bank settlements. Abbas made the statements Monday evening in an Amman meeting with George Mitchell, US President Barack Obama's envoy to the Middle East,according to reports. His statement was a reiteration of his already announced stance on the matter. "The president made it clear during the meeting that peace cannot be achieved with the continuation of the settlement activity," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters after the meeting, as quoted by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "We do not put conditions for resuming negotiations, but we want the talks resumed on the basis of the provisions of the road map, which stipulates the cessation of all forms of settlement activity in the Palestinian territories," he also said. 

Rafah border opens for third day
11/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Rafah Border Crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip remained open for the third consecutive day, operating in both directions on Tuesday morning. Sources say that patients in particular will be crossing the border on Tuesday. According to the de facto Ministry of Interior Spokesperson Ihab Al-Ghussein, twelve busses, including three transferring patients, will cross into Egypt from Gaza on Tuesday. Al-Ghussein estimates that 1000 passengers will pass through the Rafah crossing as the buses arrive. The Rafah crossing was closed in June 2007, following Hamas' taveover of the Gaza Strip and the commencement of Israel's blockade, limiting vital supplies and freedom of movement. Egypt maintains strict control over Gaza's sole border crossing with Egypt. 

Swiss, Sri Lankan officials take an interest in Palestinian news
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Swiss and Sri Lankan delegates were the latest in a series of officials who came into Ma'an's Bethlehem offices to learn more about the Palestinian news agency. Representative of Sri Lanka to the Palestinian Authority Dr T. Jayasinghe told journalists he has followed news on the site since he began his role as ambassador in 2007. Jayasinghe said he looked to Palestine as an example for the creation of a tourism industry, noting his own country was in the midst of a struggle to promote tourism in disadvantaged regions. Only a day after Jayasinghe's visit, a delegation from the Swedish Foreign Ministry visited Ma'an headquarters. The officials asked Chief Editor Nasser Lahham to give them a briefing on the Palestinian situation. The delegation included member of the Swiss Justice Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Camilla Norstrom and civil law expert with the ministry Patrice Nelson. 

Fatah: Clinton’s statements are disappointing
11/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Fatah Revolutionary Council has confirmed their support for President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to halt negotiations with Israel until it freezes settlement growth, house demolitions and their attacks against Palestinians in Jerusalem's Old City. The Council condemned US Foreign Minister Hilary Clinton'srecent remarks in the region stating that they did not reflect US President Barack Obama's stance on central Palestinian issues, including a settlement freeze, which he asserted in his speech at the University of Cairo and on several other occasions. According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, the Council said that Clinton's utterances and her praise for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu go against the international stance on settlements and Palestinian self-determination, stating " her statements are disappointing and have nothing to do with negotiations and peace process. 

PA: Partial settlement halt insufficient despite Clinton position
11/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The American position that a partial freeze of Israeli settlement expansion is enough to re-start peace negotiations with Palestinians is "insufficient," a spokesperson for the Palestinian president said Tuesday. Spokesperson for Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeina, told AFP that Palestine would not start talks with Israel "just because US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton retracted her comments about partial settlement freeze. "The statement came following a weekend debacle that saw Clinton praise the Israeli offer to slow down settlement construction in the West Bank only, then later retract her statement when Palestinian leaders and citizens expressed outrage. Abu Rdeina advised the US to demand nothing but a complete freeze on all settlement activity in Palestinian areas, "including so-called natural growth" and East Jerusalem. 

Gaza’s Fatah party backs Abbas on settlements
11/3/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Representatives of the Fatah movement in Gaza backed party leader and President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to stand against the Americans and demand a halt to Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas before sides return to the peace talk table. Secretary of the Fatah movement in northern Gaza Jamal Obeid released a statement on behalf of the party on Tuesday, assuring the devotion of the Palestinian people and of Fatah to remaining clear on their position that no peace talks will move forward while settlement homes and institutions continue to be built on Palestinian land. Obeid said the position "expresses the will of the entire Palestinian people," and praised Abbas for sticking to it. There should be no state with provisional borders or incomplete sovereignty at the expense of legitimate rights of Palestinians, Obeid continued. 

Egypt says Israel-Palestinian talks must not waste time
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Tuesday that any potential Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations must not "waste time" in creating a Palestinian state. Aboul Gheit made these remarks on the eve of a visit to Egypt by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who angered Palestinian and Arab officials on Saturday by endorsing Israel's view that peace talks could resume without a halt to the expansion of illegal West Bank settlements. Later, in Morocco, Clinton backed away from these comments and said Israel's offer to curb, but not freeze settlements was "not enough. "  "We want to have guarantees for the Palestinians. . . that ensure them that these negotiations will not be used to waste time or to accomplish Israeli objectives against them," Aboul Gheit told a news conference in Cairo, according to Reuters. 

Bethlehem hosts Third Engineering Work Conference
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The city of Bethlehem will begin hosting a three-day conference on Tuesday for the Third Engineering Conference, organized by the Union of Palestinian Engineers, the Union of Arab Engineers and the Ministries of Housing, Public Works and Local Governance. Supported by the caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the conference invites international engineering companies to partake alongside local and Arab engineers. The conference will follow up on the recommendations and findings of the First and Second Engineering Work Conferences and will discuss papers presented by the conference's participants on the development of executive and consultative engineering in Palestine. The Third Engineering Conference will be held at the Conference Palace on the outskirts of Bethlehem. 

Police arrest 9 for stealing phones for anonymous flirting
11/3/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - The Palestinian police arrested nine Qalqiliya youth on charges of mobile phone theft and using the devices for anonymous flirting, police said on Tuesday. The information office of the police began investigations based on complaints from local residents of home break-ins, with the sole theft of mobile phones. Police also said they received information that the phones were being used for inappropriate contact and in some cases harassment. The stolen phones were recovered, and one of those detained also confessed to having taken bank cards. All nine were transferred to the district prosecution for legal procedures. [end] 

Flooding closes Tulkarem schools for second day
11/3/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Some schools in the West Bank city of Tulkarem were closed for a second day on Tuesday because of heavy rain and some flooding Ministry of Education officials in Tulkarem said that schools from grades one through ten will be suspended out of concern for the safety of the students. Floodwaters closed roads in the city on Monday, and hospital officials declared a state of alert. Knee deep in water, Palestinian Authority security forces had to help children cross streets on Monday. [end] 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.15% on Tuesday
11/3/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities exchange in the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, as the Al-Quds Index closed at 500. 95, decreasing by 0. 76 points (0. 15%). Trading volume was 261,435 shares, a total value of 441,764. 55 US dollars,over the course of 217 trades. The shares of 19 companies were traded. The shares prices of six companies rose and seven declined. The top five gainers were GCOM by 4. 44%, NIC by 4. 38%, AHC by 4. 05%, ISBK by 2. 78%, PRICO by 2. 60% The top five losers were PIBC by 3. 91%, WASSEL by 3. 17%, QUDS by 2. 48%, UCI by 1. 67%, PIIC by 1. 45%. [end] 

Tulkarem hit with heaviest West Bank rainfall
11/3/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an -A low pressure system from Cyprus that picked up across the Mediterranean hit the West Bank municipality of Tulkarem with a remarkable 130mm. The first four months of winter in 2008 saw only 143. 7mm, on average, fall on all parts of the West Bank, though heavy rains in March saw the northern districts almost reach the annual average of 434mm/year. A similar pattern has emerged already this year, with the lowest recorded rainfall so far in As-Samu, with only 2mm of rain. General Director of the Palestinian Meteorological Department Yousif Abu As'ad said his team of engineers were putting together detailed reports on local rainfall for farmers to reference in the coming years. The expert said the impressive start to the rainy season was a good sign for winter crops, fruit trees and the underground water storage, and said chances were good this winter would see more than average rainfall. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Ban to Israel: End 'provocative actions' in East Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Settlers force Palestinians out of East Jerusalem home after court rejects family's appeal. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Hamas has used the lull in fighting with Israel not only to restore, but improve its capabilities. 

Iran twitchy since Israel strike on Syria nuke reactor
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Der Spiegel: Iran has demanded Syria return uranium delivered to it prior to the Israeli attack. 

Sources: Iran gave Hamas missile that can hit Tel Aviv
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - MI chief: Hamas has missile with a range of 60km; Hamas refuses to discuss reports of test-fire. 

IDF executes largest-ever terror attack simulation
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - The drill will simulate an enormous explosion in a mall in Haifa, causing around 600 casualties. 

Settlements are fertile ground for Jewish terror
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Had Teitel been satisfied with acts of murder against Palestinians, he would never have been caught. 

Report: Mossad hacked Syrian computer to uncover nuke site
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Mossad agents planted malware on Syrian official's computer while he was at London hotel, 

How Israel caught the suspected Jewish terrorist
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - After Yaakov Teitel was arrested in Jerusalem, armed police broke into his home and roused his family. 

Settler admits to murder, series of bomb attacks
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel suspected of killing 2 Palestinians, attemping to kill Messianic Jew, leftist professor. 

Settler leaders: Jewish terrorist does not represent us
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Suspected Jewish terrorist Teitel's neighbors shocked by arrest, declare he is innocent until proven guilty. 

Rightists confront 'IDF organ trafficking' reporter at Israel airport
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Upon Swedish journalist's arrival in Israel, rightists at Ben Gurion airport call for his expulsion. 

Former IDF chiefs trade barbs over failures in Second Lebanon War
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Dan Halutz blasts Ya'alon's 'obsession' with matter after deputy PM accuses him of arrogance. 

Israeli Arabs accuse Israel of 'ethnic cleansing' in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Umbrella group calls on Palestinians and Arabs to 'defend' Al-Aqsa mosque and East Jerusalem. 

Report: Lebanon nabs top militant over rocket attack against Israel
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Lebanese daily reports arrest; Lebanon FM: Israel's cease-fire violations hint it's planning to attack us. 

The IDF has become Israel's diplomatic channel to the West
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - In recent months, the similarity of the threat facing Israel and its Western counterparts has grown. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] EU and the Israeli War Crimes in Gaza
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The 25th annual conference of the Arab medical doctors in Europe and the 21st 000_5581aannual conference of the Union of the Austro-Arab medical doctors and pharmacists, held at the Modul Hotel in Vienna, was turned to a political demonstration against the Israeli occupation and its criminal policies against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on its...

[uruknet.info] Statement from the Socialist students of the universities of Iran Against execution, suppression and the shameless sentences against student activists and the workers' movement 
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The people's protest movement against dictatorship and the corruption of Islamic socio-political capitalism continues and in various new forms, moment by moment confusing the dictatorship further. At a time when street campaigns are taking place at long intervals, the student movement has entered the battlefield with the start of the new academic year and every day...

[uruknet.info] Clinton tells Abbas: either you budge to Israel, or else
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The latest visit by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to Occupied Palestine seems to have effectively terminated whatever hopes the Palestinians and other Arabs may have pinned on the Obama administration to adopt an evenhanded approach toward the Arab-Israeli conflict. In his public policy discourse toward the Muslim world, which culminated in his Cairo speech on...

[uruknet.info] Video: US House rejects Goldstone report
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution that calls a UN-backed Gaza War crimes report "irredeemably biased." Largely a symbolic gesture, the non-binding vote urges the Obama administration to oppose any endorsement of Justice Richard Goldstone's findings...

[uruknet.info] Marking The Balfour Declaring, Hamas Calls For Unity, Resistance To Counter The Occupation
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, issued a press release on Monday calling for unity between all Palestinian factions in order to maintain strong resistance against the occupation and 'Zionism". The statements of the movement came on the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 in which the government of Britain, occupying Palestine, granted the Jews a 'homeland...

[uruknet.info] Olive farmers suffer through worst harvest in 40 years' While half of his land in Beit Hanoun was destroyed by Israeli forces in the last war, farmers next to him have nothing left. 
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - As Abu Mohammad looks at what remains of his olive trees in the fields bordering Israel, he considers himself lucky when compared to his neighbours. While half of his land in Beit Hanoun was destroyed by Israeli forces in the last war, farmers next to him have nothing left. "Last year I collected four times more...

[uruknet.info] Region | Palestinian Territories Olive farmers suffer through worst harvest in 40 years' While half of his land in Beit Hanoun was destroyed by Israeli forces in the last war, farmers next to him have nothing left. 
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - As Abu Mohammad looks at what remains of his olive trees in the fields bordering Israel, he considers himself lucky when compared to his neighbours. While half of his land in Beit Hanoun was destroyed by Israeli forces in the last war, farmers next to him have nothing left. "Last year I collected four times more...

[uruknet.info] Break the siege on Gaza, make a pledge today
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The PSC is organising a contingent on the Viva Palestina Convoy to Gaza, to break the illegal siege on Gaza which has led to 1.5 million people, living under Israeli occupation, facing starvation, deprivation, displacement and ongoing trauma on a horrendous scale. The convoy will be entering on the first anniversary of Israel's assault to deliver...

[uruknet.info] Israel's anti-Semitic friends
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - There can be few supporters of the Palestinians, still less anti-Zionists, who haven't, at some time or another, been accused of "anti-Semitism." Accusations that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism have become little more than a ritual exercise in defamation. The danger in making such accusations is, to quote the former Director of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research,...

[uruknet.info] A Plea to Norway's University of Trondheim to Boycott Israel
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has just such a historic opportunity tomorrow when it considers voting for an academic boycott of Israel, a nation that for too long has lived by violence, ethnic cleansing, military expansionism, illegal occupations, subjugation of millions of innocent Palestinians, defied all divine and international laws that respect and...

[uruknet.info] US House rejects Goldstone report
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - The US congress has passed a resolution rejecting the findings of a UN-sponsored report which says Israel committed war crimes during its military assault on Gaza. The house voted on Tuesday in favour of the non-binding resolution calling on Barack Obama, the US president, to maintain his opposition to the report, which was written by a...

[uruknet.info] Israeli officials posture on new war in Gaza
Uruknet November 3, 2009 - Israel's next battle we be in Gaza, the country's Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi told a cadre of graduating military officers at a graduation ceremony broadcast over Israel Radio Tuesday. "The army will return to face the places where they [Gaza militants] launch rockets which is in the most densely populated areas, [soldiers will return] to...

Palestine Telegraph

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank
West Bank, November 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Sabri Mohammed Ghraieb has seen the olive groves that once fringed his West Bank home turn into a Jewish settlement and prison-like walls but still he refuses to leave.

Fateh calls on Hamas to release Fatah members from Gaza jails
London, November 2, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Fateh Spokesman Dr. Fayez Abu Eita held Hamas and it's affiliated militants responsible about the life and safety of Fateh member Dr. Ziyad Asarafandi who has been detained in Hamas jails since five months.

Attacks by Israeli settlers spark more by the army as Palestinians defend themselves in West Bank
Jerusalem, November 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-The media office in the Palestinian Authority police reported on two separate incidents involving Israeli settlers and soldiers in the West Bank yesterday evening.

Palestinians Believe Abbas's Election Decree Ends Chances for Reconciliation
Gaza, November 1, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gamal El-Zahhar, 27, had good reason to be angry last week. Living in Khan Younis in southern Gaza he came to realise that his chances of marrying Shaimaa, a Palestinian girl living in Jordan whom...

On the arrest of Greek diplomat in Sheikh Jarrah
Greece, November 1, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)   The Palestinians will not be left...

The National

Succession not on Mubarak agenda
The National 3 Nov 2009 - Opposition is growing in Egypt's political scene to speculation that Hosni Mubarak's youngest son, Gamal, will take over the presidency.

Clinton vows support to Muslim world
The National 3 Nov 2009 - US secretary of state pledges to help with education, women's rights and civil society in struggling countries and to send embassy officials out to offer training.

Hizbollah goes public with security worries
The National 3 Nov 2009 - Group says a series of mysterious events along Lebanon's tense border with Israel pose the greatest risk to safety since the Lebanese civil war.

Palestinian revolutionary dies
The National 2 Nov 2009 - Sakher Habash, founding member of Fatah and intellectual with 'absolute faith in inevitable victory', dies at 70.

Obama betrays hope created by Cairo speech
The National 2 Nov 2009 - Analysis Despite his bold words in Egypt, the US president has deflated expectations of an even-handed approach to the Arab-Israeli peace process.

Syria and Saudi end tariff war
The National 2 Nov 2009 - The end of the tax barriers on the ceramics and olive oil trade indicates improved political relations between Damascus and Riyadh.

Aljazeera

US House rejects Goldstone report
AlJazeera 4 Nov 2009 - Non-binding resolution criticises commission that accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza.

US 'committed to settlement freeze'
AlJazeera 4 Nov 2009 - Washington still wants complete halt, but Israeli moratorium is progress, Clinton says.

US will not alter Iran nuclear deal
AlJazeera 2 Nov 2009 - Clinton tells Tehran to accept UN-brokered fuel plan in full after Iran calls for review.

US blocks 'Syria torture' lawsuit
AlJazeera 2 Nov 2009 - Canadian who was deported to Middle East country cannot sue US officials, court rules.

Alternative Information Center

Seminar Declaration: United in Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism 
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - United in Struggle against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation and Racism 24-25 October, 2009 Bethlehem , Palestine Seminar Declaration Towards the unity of all forces in struggle for boycott, divestment and sanctions for Palestine

Interview with Shir Hever of the AIC: Clinton, Goldstone and True Cost of the Occupation
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - After US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Jerusalem this weekend, the US-mediated peace talks threaten to collapse. Meanwhile Israel ramps up its occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The Israeli daily Ha'aretz reported last Friday...

“We Will Stay Here Like the Fig and the Olive Trees”: The Housing Struggle and the Popular Committees of Silwan 
Alternative Information Center 3 Nov 2009 - Seen from within, the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan seems to be more refugee camp than district of the Jerusalem metropolis. Cinderblock houses are thickly stacked, some separated by inches and accessible only through alleys four feet...

A Brief Interview with Jamal Juma’a on the Separation Wall and Settlments
Alternative Information Center 2 Nov 2009 - During the recent conference hosted by AIC, “United In Struggle Against Israeli Colonialism, Occupation, and Racism,” I spoke briefly with Jamal Juma’a about his views on the Separation Wall and ongoing settlement construction.

Palestine News Network

Tony Blair Welcomes Launch of Wataniya Mobile Phone Operator in Palestine
PNN 2 Nov 2009 - Quartet Representative Tony Blair today welcomed the launch of the Wataniya mobile phone operator in Palestine, a flagship project which will increase competition and boost investment in the Palestinian economy. Mr. Blair, who helped broker the agreement that was announced at the May 2008 Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem and who has been intimately involved subsequently in efforts to help bring the...

Settler admits to murder, series of bomb attacks
PNN 2 Nov 2009 - A resident of the West Bank settlement outpost Shvut Rachel was arrested last month for suspected murder and for his alleged role in a string of attempted murder plots, according to details of an investigation revealed on Sunday after a gag order on the case was lifted. Yaakov Jack Teitel, 37, is suspected of killing two Palestinians, for rigging the package bomb...

Jerusalem Post

'Hamas has many 60-km range missiles'
Jeruslalem Post 4 Nov 2009 - Group test-fired Iranian rocket that can reach Tel Aviv; PM: These missiles endanger the whole world.

Lockheed Martin in Israel amid concerns
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - Aerospace giant fears state won't go ahead with plans to buy fifth-generation F-35 stealth fighter jet.

US House backs resolution to condemn Goldstone report
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - EU countries hammer out details of new initiative to amend existing resolution, send matter back to Geneva; Israel mounts intense lobbying effort.

PA: US 'clarifications' not enough to get us to the table
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - Mitchell reassures Abbas: Our policy toward the issue of settlements hasn't changed.

Yadlin: Qom has no civilian use
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - MI chief says current economic, political conditions give Iran sanctions more chances of success.

Most Israelis distrust Palestinian intentions and international security guarantees, survey finds
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - 

Right-wing bloggers skeptical of Teitel charges
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - "Just another attempt to place blame on settlers."

Neighbor arrested in Teitel terror case
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - Fellow Shvut Rachel man suspected of involvement in suspected Jewish terrorist's alleged attacks.

Israel can't stop growth in emissions by 2030
Jeruslalem Post 3 Nov 2009 - But can make it a small increase instead of a big one, McKinsey says in report; Erdan to push for 25% of electricity production from renewables.

IRIN

EGYPT: Dabbas Haile, "When life is hard, you have to be tough"
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 03, 2009 (IRIN) - I come from the Gash Barka region of Eritrea, near the Sudanese border. I escaped from prison and left my country on 1 January 2004 to come to Sudan and then Egypt, where I was jailed again.

ISRAEL: New report highlights exploitation of migrant workers
IRIN TEL AVIV Friday, October 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Migrant workers in Israel’s agriculture sector are among the most exploited, according to a 28 October report by Kav LaOved, an Israeli NGO campaigning for the rights of disadvantaged workers in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

LEBANON: Solar power helps schools, hospitals
IRIN AKKAR Thursday, October 29, 2009 (IRIN) - In Lebanon’s remote northeastern district of Akkar, teachers and pupils at the Rajam Issa public school are hoping this winter will be the first when the lights stay on. “Electricity is the lifeline of the school,” said head teacher Ibrahim Salame, complaining of...

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: On Nuke Disarmament, It's Still "You First" 
IPS UNITED NATIONS, Oct 31 (IPS) - Is the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear programme helping to advance the United Nations' agenda on nuclear disarmament? To a number of diplomats and experts who have participated in past U.N. discussions on the spread of nuclear weapons, the answer is, yes – although...

MIDEAST: Israel Divided Over 'Illegal' Children 
IPS TEL AVIV, Nov 2 (IPS) - "Migrant workers bring with them a profusion of diseases - hepatitis, measles, tuberculosis, AIDS and drug addiction: Our critics can be as sanctimonious as they like, but unless we stop the wave of migrant workers, the whole character of the State of Israel, its...

Stop The Wall

Protests focus on Wall and prisoners
Stop The Wall 3 Nov 2009 - This Friday, in spite of heavy rains, soldiers and tear gas, the people of Bil’in and al-Ma’sara marched against the Wall. In Bil’in, organizers dedicated their protest to jailed activist Adeeb Abu Rahmeh, who was arrested this summer and remains in prison for his role in organizing grassroots resistance. [

Ni’lin resists the Wall under heavy rain
Stop The Wall 3 Nov 2009 - The heavy rain which fell in the West Bank did not prevent the people of Ni’lin village from protesting against the Apartheid Wall. This week, people marched under the slogan of the “Black Wall”, bringing car tires to burn along the base of the Wall. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(22- 29 Oct. 2009)
PCHR 

International Solidarity Movement

EU court: No customs breaks for Israeli goods from settlements
11/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Haaretz - Israeli goods produced in West Bank settlements are not eligible for customs benefits in the European Union, stated an advocate general of the European Court of Justice last week. Israel and the EU have a free-trade agreement that gives Israeli exports substantial customs breaks. The advocate general's non-binding opinion, if followed, could mean that goods produced in the territories may be saddled with full customs duties. The opinion, submitted in a case in Germany brought by water purification firm Brita in 2002, could serve as a precedent in the EU. The company was ordered to pay 19,155 euros in customs for equipment it imported from the Israeli firm Soda Club, whose factory is in the West Bank. German customs authorities asked Israeli authorities whether the goods were produced in the territories, and when no answer was received, Brita was ordered to pay customs duties. 

Jews take over Jerusalem house from Palestinians
11/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Reuters - Jews took over another house in Arab East Jerusalem on Tuesday in what Palestinians say is a systematic campaign to drive them out and strengthen Israel's hold on all of Jerusalem. The house, built 10 years ago by the al-Kurd family, is the seventh this year to be awarded to Jewish settlers following legal battles in the Israeli courts, where the Palestinians say a fair hearing is impossible to obtain. The houses, in a predominantly Palestinian district, now fly the Israeli flag and are protected by men with guns. The al-Kurd house was unoccupied and locked for eight years by court order pending settlement of a land-ownership dispute. Police kept members of the family back as a dozen Israeli men removed furniture. 220;They can go to Syria, Iraq, Jordan. We are six million and they are billions,” said Yehya Gureish, an Arabic-speaking Yemen-born Jew who said 

Madama shepherd beaten and detained by the Israeli army
11/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - On Monday 2 November, Ma'mon Amen Fayis Nassar, a 35 year old man from Madama, near Nablus, was beaten and subsequently detained for 5 hours by Israeli soldiers with no reasoning given. In the morning, he had gone out to his family's land some 3 km from the illegal settlement of Yitzhar and was clearing the lands of weeds while his sheep were feeding, when he was approached by three Israeli soldiers. The soldiers promptly attacked him, striking his forehead with a riffle and kicked him while he was lying down. They shouted at him that he was a terrorist and when he grabbed a stone to defend himself with, still on the ground, they pointed their guns at him and told him that they would kill him if he didn't drop it. He did as ordered and the soldiers handcuffed him with plastic strips, still punching him in the stomach and chest. 

Today in Jerusalem
11/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - When talking about Palestine and Palestinian's rights it is difficult to decide where to start. So I will just tell you day about my day of today. 9:39am: I am drinking my second cup of tea, trying to do my arabic homework, (last minute as usual) when I got a text message "DWG alert : demolition ongoing of a structure in Abu Dur in East Jerusalem. For further info call xxx". I ring the number, try to get info about this address and figure out if it is still time to get there or if everything is already over. I jump into a taxi, and start grumbling against Jerusalem's traffic. When we reach Abu Dur, a truck blocks the street. I get out the taxi, decided to find the place walking. But I realize I am in a very Jewish and "bourgeois" neighbourhood. Obviously nobody is going to demolish anything here. Did I misunderstood the indication? Did the taxi driver make a bad joke? I get down the hill looking for buldozers. 

A protest vigil will be held in Sheikh Jarrah following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home
11/3/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 7pm: A protest vigil will be held outside the al-Kurd home in Sheikh Jarrah. Following a settler takeover of a Palestinian home in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, the al-Kurd family and international and Israeli solidarity groups will hold a vigil. Israeli settlers take over Palestinian home Tuesday morning at around 9. 30am, a group of settlers took over a portion of the al-Kurd family home. The 40 settlers, accompanied by private armed security and Israeli police forces, entered a section of the home, threw out the family's belongings and locked themselves in. The take-over came after an appeal submitted by the family's lawyer was rejected by the District Court this morning. In their appeal, the Palestinian family was challenging an earlier court decision that deemed a section of the house illegal and ordered that the keys be given to settlers. The settlers proceeded to enter the house, while the court did not grant them the right to enter the property. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S. House backs resolution to condemn Goldstone Gaza report
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned a UN report that accuses Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of committing war crimes in Gaza early this year as irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy. ...

Renowned French Jewish intellectual Claude Levi-Strauss dies at 100
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Claude Levi-Strauss, widely considered the father of modern anthropology for work that included theories about commonalities between tribal and industrial societies, has died. He was 100. ...

Britain: Israeli settlements are 'illegal' and 'obstacle' to peace
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - British Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Tuesday criticized Israel's construction of settlements in the West Bank as "illegal" and said they represented an "obstacle" in the path of peace. ...

Why do Israelis dislike Barack Obama?
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Click here for more articles by Bradley Burston ... 

What does Michelle Obama's style say about the woman and the White House? 
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - To Robin Givhan, the Pulitzer Prize winning fashion editor and critic for the Washington Post, Michelle Obama's much discussed style of dress is a reflection of many things aspects of her personality, her beliefs and the way in which she wishes to appear to the outside world. ...

The Guardian

Settlers evict woman from disputed east Jerusalem home
The Guardian 3 Nov 2009 - Hired guards evict elderly Palestinian woman as settlers display what they say is a court order granting them ownership Jewish settlers forced their way into a disputed house in east Jerusalem today, using hired guards to...

Hillary's mistakes | Michael Tomasky
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - The consensus is clear that Hillary Clinton stepped in it on her recent overseas trip. Here's Jason Zengerle at TNR , quoting in part Ben Smith of the Politico: It's certainly starting to seem that way. Last...

Lionel Davidson obituary
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Award-winning writer renowned for thrillers such as The Rose of Tibet and The Chelsea Murders Graham Greene called Lionel Davidson, who has died aged 87, the first contemporary storyteller to have recaptured the high adventure of...

Arab anger as Hillary Clinton backs Israel on settlements
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - US secretary of state praises concessions by Israel 'Israel can get away with anything,' claims Arab League Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, sought to deflect the anger and disappointment of pro-western Arab states today...

Palestinians must prepare for statehood | Hussein Ibish
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority is taking a unilateral approach to institution-building. It's a policy that demonstrates maturity In an article last week, Ahmad Samhi Khalidi derisively dismissed the plan of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build the...

American-Israeli settler questioned over terror attacks
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Yaakov Teitel 'deeply involved in terrorism in all different levels', police spokesman says Israeli security services were today re-questioning an American-Israeli settler who they say has confessed to attacks including the killing of two Palestinians and...

Palestinians condemn Hillary Clinton over Jewish settlements stance
The Guardian 2 Nov 2009 - Call for return to peace talks rejected after secretary of state praises Israel for offer to curb settlement construction The Palestinian government has accused the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, of undermining progress towards Middle...

Obama must try harder | Richard Silverstein
The Guardian 1 Nov 2009 - After his magnificent speech in Cairo, Obama's Middle East peace policy earns an 'A' for vision but only a 'C' for action Though Obama campaigned as somewhat of a hardliner on issues like Iran and Jerusalem...

Writing Jews out of Jerusalem's history | Jeremy Sharon
The Guardian 1 Nov 2009 - The whipping up of unrest around the Temple Mount is part of an insidious campaign to cast Jewish people as modern interlopers The Temple Mount, or al-Haram al-Sharif to Muslims, must rank as one of the...

Ha'aretz National page

Lador blasts Neeman: Splitting AG post will harm rule of law 
Ha'aretz 4 Nov 2009 - State Prosecutor Moshe Lador sent a letter to Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman Tuesday that observers said constituted an unprecedented attack by a civil servant on the minister to whom he reports. Associates of Neeman went even further, terming it an attempted putsch. ... 

Will Israeli schools hop on the anti-obesity bandwagon?
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - The state should combat obesity among the young by better monitoring of the food served in schools, community centers and youth clubs and banning vending machines in schools that offer sweets and carbonated drinks, according to a bill proposed by Likud MK Danny Danon. ... 

Keys to Kafka's Tel Aviv safe handed to estate executor
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - BERLIN - The court-appointed executor of the estate of German-language novelist and essayist Max Brod has won a long legal battle for possession of the keys to five safe-deposit boxes holding Brod's manuscripts as well as part of the estate of Franz Kafka. Brod was Kafka's friend and literary executor. ... 

'Jewish terrorist' suspected in murder blamed on Palestinians
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - Police suspect that Yaakov (Jack) Teitel, who has confessed to murdering two Palestinians and carrying out a long list of other, less deadly, terror attacks, also murdered two traffic policemen in the Jordan Valley eight months ago - a crime originally attributed to Palestinian terrorists. ... 

Russians requested extradition of Oshrenko murderer two years ago
Ha'aretz 3 Nov 2009 - The former headwaiter who is suspected of killing a family of six because he was fired from a restaurant owned by them is cited in more in one of more than 200 extradition requests on file at the Justice Ministry. Only four of those requests have reached the Jerusalem District Court this year, the only court in the country with the authority to hear extradition cases. ... 

Relief Web

EU-US Summit Declaration - Washington, 03 Nov 2009
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: European Union

OPT: Dismayed' by continued settlement activity in occupied East Jerusalem,  UN SG calls on Israel to cease such provocative actions' 
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General

Film star goes to market with Palestinian family
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: World Food Programme

OPT: Gaza food distribution during Ramadan
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development

OPT: General Assembly must vote to fight impunity and uphold the rule of law
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/64/13)
Relief Web 3 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

YNet News

Israel, US reach 'silent understanding' on Goldstone veto
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Jerusalem gearing for UN meeting on Gaza war report as it may lead to Security Council hearing. Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon says Washington agreed to exercise right to nix decision 

Regiment commander, troops questioned on Gaza war 
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Ynet learns Investigating Military Police has summoned at least seven soldiers, officers on suspicion of firing at populated areas, using civilians as human shields. IDF source: It's hard to predict how many of these cases will end with indictments 

Senior officer: New rockets a real threat on home front 
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - IDF officials believe Hamas has accumulated significant number of long-range rockets while continuing to arm. According to estimates, however, Palestinian organization's ability to launch missiles into central Israel is limited 

Palestinian workers: We're being treated like cattle 
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Thousands of laborers waiting to cross into Israel via Eyal checkpoint, near Qalqilya, have to do so while exposed to harsh cold 

Merkel: Iranian threat to Israel threatens us all 
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - German chancellor addresses US Congress, says 'nuclear weapon at the hands of an Iranian president who denies the Holocaust, threatens Israel and negates its right to exist is simply unacceptable' 

Egypt urges world to 'intervene in racist occupation' 
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Following another clash between Jews and Palestinians in east Jerusalem, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman slams Israeli actions, calls on international community to work to 'prevent Israel from executing its will, which is against international law' 

Ayalon to ambassadors: Goldstone Report hurts us all
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Deputy foreign minister and ministry director-general call on foreign envoys to urge their countries to vote against Gaza war crimes report in UN General Assembly on Wednesday. 'Report damages every peace-seeking democratic country dealing with terrorist,' says Ayalon 

PM on drill with US: We're breaking new ground
YNet News 3 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak visit IAF base hosting joint US-Israel military drill. Prime minister expresses his gratitude to Obama administration's commitment to Israel's safety, says relations 'have started on the right foot' 

Daily Star

Clinton announces host of new business initiatives in the Muslim world
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a package of measures on Tuesday designed to help businesses and non-governmental groups around the Muslim world. The initiatives came after President Barack Obama's much-heralded speech in Cairo in June, in which he called for a new beginning in relations between the United States and the Muslim world.

Khamenei: US 'hiding a dagger' in negotiations with Iran
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei lashed out at the United States on Tuesday, saying Tehran will reject any talks backed by its arch-foe because Washington is not to be trusted. Khamenei's salvo raised the possibility that a Washington-backed nuclear fuel deal for a Tehran research reactor may be derailed, despite world powers turning up the heat on Iran to accept the UN-brokered offer.

Israeli settlements 'obstacle' to Mideast peace, says Britain
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said in Jordan on Tuesday that Israeli settlements remain an "obstacle to peace" between the Palestinians and Israel. "Settlements are illegal in our view and an obstacle to peace settlement in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem," Miliband told a news conference after talks with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Norwegian university mulls academic boycott of Israel
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 The Norwegian University of Science and Technology will decide next week whether to launch an academic boycott of Israel due to its occupation of the Palestinian territories, officials said Tuesday. The NTNU institute, Norway's second-biggest university located in the western town of Trondheim, said that it will consider on November 12 a proposal initiated by more than 30 professors.

Iran police threaten full-scale assault on opposition rallies
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 The head of Tehran's anti-riot police threatened opposition protesters Tuesday with a full-scale assault if they return to the streets during government-backed events marking the takeover of the US Embassy. Reformist leaders, however, have shown no sign of backing off their calls for marches to compete with Wednesday's state-sanctioned gatherings.

Arab delegates nudge Goldstone report toward Security Council
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 Arab delegates to the United Nations are floating a draft resolution that would require UN chief Ban Ki-moon to bring a damning report on the Gaza war before the Security Council. The United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to take up the Goldstone report on Wednesday, a day after the US House of Representatives is slated to vote on a resolution calling on President Barack Obama to reject its findings.

Turkey remains anchored to West - Erdogan
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 Turkey is still anchored to the West and closer ties with neighboring Iran do not indicate a change of course in foreign policy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, brushing aside criticism of his recent trip to the Islamic Republic. Erdogan's visit to Iran in late October and his defense of its controversial nuclear program caused concern at home.

Jewish settlers and the return to the Middle Ages
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 When you read a news story saying that "the United Nations called on Israel to stop demolishing Palestinian homes and put an end to the policy of forced evictions in occupied East Jerusalem, warning that there are 60,000 Palestinians threatened of becoming homeless, you cannot but wonder about the role of the international organization today.

Israel says Hamas' latest rockets can target Tel Aviv
Daily Star 3 Nov 2009 Hamas militants in Gaza have successfully test-fired in recent days an Iranian rocket able to reach Tel Aviv in Israel, the Israeli military intelligence chief said Tuesday. Major General Amos Yadlin told the Israeli Parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee that the rocket could fly 60 kilometers, which would put the country's largest urban center at risk, Israeli media reported.

Palestinian Information Center

Clinton tells Abbas: either you budge to Israel, or else
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - The latest visit by Hilary Clinton to Occupied Palestine seems to have effectively terminated whatever hopes the Palestinians and other Arabs may have pinned on the Obama administration

Dr. Bahr: The suffering of Gaza workers under the siege is a war crime
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahr stated that the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza especially the workers as a result of the siege is a war crime similar to the atrocities committed by Israel in its last war.

Hamas denies Israeli allegation about having ballistic missile
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - The Movement of Hamas categorically denied an Israeli allegation that it conducted successful experiments on a missile with a range of 60 km that may reach Tel Al-Rabi (Tel Aviv).

Tens of Jewish settlers break into, occupy home of 83-year-old Palestinian woman
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - Tens of armed Jewish settlers on Tuesday stormed and occupied the home of 83-year-old Rifka Al-Kurd in Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in the heart of occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinian prisoners in Nafha jail go on hunger strike
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli occupation's desert prison of Nafha have gone on hunger strike on Tuesday and returned all meals served to them, the Palestinian prisoner's society said.

Hammad: We will arrest any citizen participating in Abbas’s elections
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - Palestinian minister of interior Fathi Hammad stated that his ministry would prevent any citizen in Gaza from participating in the unconstitutional elections of Mahmoud Abbas.

Apartheid Israel releases six more Palestinian MPs
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authorities on Monday released six Palestinian legislative council members who were abducted from their homes and offices nearly 42 months ago.

IOA plans construction of new settlement in occupied Jerusalem
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - The IOA is planning to build a new settlement in Walaja village, occupied Jerusalem, that would comprise 14,000 housing units, a report by the Israeli B'Tselem for human rights organization revealed.

Radwan: Abbas’s last remarks reflected his anti-resistance mentality
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan strongly condemned Mahmoud Abbas’s remarks in Al-Arabiya satellite channel in which he lashed out at the Palestinian resistance.

Palestinian alliance slams US bias in favor of Israel, calls for intifada
PIC 3 Nov 2009 - The alliance of Palestinian factions deplored the American position biased in favor of the Israeli occupation which was voiced recently by Hillary Clinton and called for renewing the intifada.

Los Angeles Times

Iran students carry on protests 
LA Times 3 Nov 2009 - The opposition plans large demonstrations Wednesday, the first in six weeks. But in the West, some analysts have begun to discount the opposition movement's power. Students in the western Iranian city of Ahvaz in recent days launched an impromptu protest in a campus auditorium. In Kashan on Monday, a group took over the campus cafeteria, singing anti-government songs. A couple of weeks ago in Tehran, others cheered wildly as someone threw a shoe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's former culture minister. 

Messages from the past become easy to read 
LA Times 2 Nov 2009 - USC researchers are producing crisp images of inscriptions and artifacts from biblical Israel and other Near Eastern locales and putting the pictures online. Four thousand years ago, a government bureaucrat in Mesopotamia jotted down a tally of slave laborers on a clay tablet. 

New York Times

Short-Term Fixes Sought in Mideast
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - With the peace push stalled, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is sketching out a more modest effort.

Israel Says Hamas Test-Fired Rocket
New York Times 4 Nov 2009 - Hamas militants in Gaza recently test-fired a rocket that flew 37 miles into the sea, which could put it within the reach of Tel Aviv, Israel said.

Clinton Offers U.S. Aid to Help Boost Muslim Ties
New York Times 3 Nov 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered aid to boost ties with the Muslim world and urged Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries to search for peace. 

Clinton Denies Easing Pressure on Israel
New York Times 3 Nov 2009 - In an effort to stem Arab protests, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated that the White House wanted Israel to freeze construction of Jewish settlements.

Israelis and Obama
New York Times 2 Nov 2009 - Obama is not popular in Israel because he is serious about peace.

Israelis Arrest West Bank Settler in Attacks
New York Times 2 Nov 2009 - Jack Teitel, an immigrant from the United States, was charged with the murders of two Palestinians and two bombings that wounded a professor and a 15-year-old boy. 

Misc

U.S. House backs resolution to condemn Goldstone Gaza report 
11/4/2009 - Ha'aretz - . The U. S. House of Representatives on Tuesday condemned a UN report that accuses Israeli forces and Palestinian militants of committing war crimes in Gaza early this year as irredeemably biased and unworthy of further consideration or legitimacy. With a 344-36 vote, the House passed a nonbinding resolution that urged President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to oppose unequivocally any endorsement of the report. Twenty-two representatives voted present. The report, commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council, accuses both Israel and the Palestinian Hamas group of war crimes but presents Israel's actions as much more serious. The report "paints a distorted picture," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. It "epitomizes the practice of singling Israel out from all other nations for condemnation. " 

Report: Mossad hacked Syrian computer to uncover nuke site 
11/2/2009 - Ha'aretz - Israel's Mossad espionage agency used Trojan Horse programs to gather intelligence about a nuclear facility in Syria the Israel Defense Forces destroyed in 2007, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported Monday. According to the magazine, Mossad agents in London planted the malware on the computer of a Syrian official who was staying in the British capital; he was at a hotel in the upscale neighborhood of Kensington at the time. The program copied the details of Syria's illicit nuclear program and sent them directly to the Mossad agents' computers, the report said. Israel's September 6, 2007, raid on the al-Kabir site in Syria's eastern desert is said to have knocked out the country's reportedly nearly-completed reactor. Israel has refused from the beginning to comment on, confirm or deny the strike, but after a delay of several months Washington presented intelligence purporting to show the target was a reactor being built with North Korean help. 

VIDEO - Rep. Howard Berman Confronted Over Goldstone Report 
11/3/2009 - YouTube - On Nov. 3, 2009, on Capitol Hill, activists from the "Coalition for Free Gaza March," personally confronted Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA,) just outside his office over the Goldstone Report. The Congressman then quickly rushed towards his private elevator. Afterwards, six activists strolled into Room 2221, Rep. Bermans office, in the Rayburn Building, around 10 AM. There, they began reading the 575-paged UN Report of Judge Richard Goldstone. The Goldstone-authored document is highly critical of Israel's recent military conduct in Gaza, labeling some of its action as "War Crimes. "Rep. Berman, who is Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, has introduced HR 867 in the House. Its purpose is to reject the report of the distinguished jurist, without giving Judge Goldstone a chance to personally testify before the Congress on his findings. HR 867 is due for a vote in the House later today. 

Jews take over Jerusalem house from Palestinians 
11/3/2009 - Reuters - JERUSALEM, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Jews took over another house in Arab East Jerusalem on Tuesday in what Palestinians say is a systematic campaign to drive them out and strengthen Israel's hold on all of Jerusalem. The house, built 10 years ago by the al-Kurd family, is the seventh this year to be awarded to Jewish settlers following legal battles in the Israeli courts, where the Palestinians say a fair hearing is impossible to obtain. The houses, in a predominantly Palestinian district, now fly the Israeli flag and are protected by men with guns. The al-Kurd house was unoccupied and locked for eight years by court order pending settlement of a land-ownership dispute. Police kept members of the family back as a dozen Israeli men removed furniture. " They can go to Syria, Iraq, Jordan. We are six million and they are billions," said Yehya Gureish, an Arabic-speaking Yemen-born Jew who said 

How Israel Destroyed Syria’s Al Kibar Nuclear Reactor 
11/2/2009 - Der Spiegel - The Story of 'Operation Orchard' - In September 2007, Israeli fighter jets destroyed a mysterious complex in the Syrian desert. The incident could have led to war, but it was hushed up by all sides. Was it a nuclear plant and who gave the orders for the strike? The mighty Euphrates river is the subject of the prophecies in the Bible's Book of Revelation, where it is written that the river will be the scene of the battle of Armageddon: "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. " Today, time seems to stand still along the river. The turquoise waters of the Euphrates flow slowly through the northern Syrian provincial city Deir el-Zor, whose name translates as "monastery in the forest. "Farmers till the fields, and vendors sell camel's hair blankets, cardamom and coriander in the city's bazaars. 

NAMAW Submits Goldstone Report to International Criminal Court 
11/3/2009 - National Association of Muslim American Women - The Hon. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor. . . The Hague, The Netherlands - Your Honor, On September 15, 2009 the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) endorsed a report issued by a team of credible and respected UN investigators. The report is entitled, Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Territories: Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The report is more popularly known as the Goldstone Report. The UNHRC endorsement of the report, and its allegations that Israel committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity in its December 27th assault on Gaza, Palestine, was a major step in a decade’s long struggle to end impunity and to hold Israel accountable for alleged illegal actions being carried out in the occupied territories, including its continued occupation of the territories in spite 

Clinton ‘Re-Backtracks’ on Israeli Settlements 
11/2/2009 - Antiwar.com - The Obama Administration’s position on Israeli settlements is as changeable as the seasons, and like the seasons they appear to be starkly different depending on which country one is in. Nowhere was this more apparent than during Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Marrakesh. Over the weekend, Secretary Clinton was visiting with top Israeli officials, and publicly praised Israel for its commitment to peace despite its repeated refusals to halt settlement growth, and chastized the Palestinian Authority for holding on to demands that themselves were at the center of the Obama Administration’s position only a few months prior. Now, following what is being described as a rather awkward meeting with Arab foreign ministers in Morocco, Secretary Clinton insists that the position she took just 24 hours ago isn’t really her position. 

Arrest of Jewish terrorist raises questions
11/2/2009 - The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles - JTA - Some Israeli commentators suggested that had Teitel limited his attacks to Palestinians, Israeli authorities would have left the investigations into the attacks on Palestinians grow cold. - After the news broke in Israel that a West Bank settler was charged with murdering two Palestinians in 1997 and bombing the home of a prominent Israeli professor last year, many Israelis were asking why it took police so long. On Sunday, Israeli authorities lifted a gag order on the arrest of Yaakov (Jack) Teitel, a 37-year-old American immigrant living in the settlement of Shvut Rachel, on a variety of charges dating back to the murders of a Palestinian cab driver and shepherd. Teitel is also charged with planting several explosive devices in 2006 and 2007 directed at Arabs, Christians and police; sending a bomb hidden in a Purim gift basket to a messianic Jewish family that left a 15-year-old 


Articles

A misguided resolution 
US Rep. Brian Baird, Ma’an News Agency 11/4/2009
      Before US House members vote on H.Res. 867, regarding the UN Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, there are a few questions worth asking. 
     First, why are we bringing this resolution to the floor without ever giving former South African Constitutional Court Justice Richard Goldstone a hearing to explain his findings? 
     Have those who will vote on H.Res. 867 actually read the resolution? Have they read the Goldstone report? Are they aware that Justice Goldstone has issued a paragraph by paragraph response to H.Res. 867 pointing out that many of its assertions are factually inaccurate or deeply misleading? 
     Since scarcely a dozen House members have actually been to Gaza, what actual first-hand knowledge do the rest of the members of Congress possess on which to base their judgment of the merits of H.Res. 867 or the Goldstone report? 
     What will it say about this Congress and our country if we so readily seek to block "any further consideration" of a human rights investigation produced by one of the most respected jurists in the world today, a man who led the investigations of abuses in South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Kosovo and worked to identify and prosecute Nazi war criminals as a member of the Panel of the Commission of Enquiry into the Activities of Nazism in Argentina?
     As one of the first two American officials, along with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), to enter Gaza shortly after the conclusion of major bombing from "Operation Cast Lead," then again several months later, I have seen firsthand the devastating destruction of hospitals, schools, homes, industries and infrastructure. Much of that devastation was wrought using US manufactured- and paid-for weaponry. I have also spoken with health workers, average Gazans, NGO relief workers, and many others. more.. e-mail

Rattling the Cage: Some victims we are 
Larry Derfner, Jerusalem Post 10/30/2009
      The kill ratio was 100-to-1 in our favor. The destruction ratio was much, much greater than that. To this day, thousands of Gazans are living in tents because we won’t let them import cement to rebuild the homes we destroyed. We turned the Gaza Strip into a disaster area, a humanitarian case, and we’re keeping it that way with our blockade.
     Meanwhile, here on the Israeli side of the border, it’s hard to remember when life was so safe and secure.
     So let’s decide: Who was the victim of Operation Cast Lead, them or us?
     No question - us. We Israelis were the victims and we still are. In fact, our victimhood is getting worse by the day. The Goldstone report was the real war crime. The Goldstone report, the UN debates, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Red Cross, B’Tselem, the traitorous soldiers of Breaking the Silence and the Rabin Academy - those were the true crimes against humanity. This is what’s meant by "war is hell."
     It is we who’ve been going through hell from the war in Gaza. It is we who’ve been suffering.
     Gazans? Suffering? What’s everybody talking about?
     We let them eat, don’t we?
     This imaginary monologue is how we actually see ourselves today. We initiated the war in Gaza, we waged one of the most one-sided military campaigns anyone’s ever seen - and we’re the victims.
     We’re fighting off the world with the Holocaust; witness Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the UN with his Auschwitz props. "We won’t go like lambs to the slaughter again," vowed his protégé, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, in a cabinet discussion of the Goldstone report.more.. e-mail

Justice Goldstone and the Jews 
Tony Judt, Huffington Post 10/29/2009
      We Jews should be very proud of Richard Goldstone. In an ancient tradition of Jewish self-questioning and uncomfortable truth-telling, the author of the recent report from the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict has braved personal vilification and institutional mendacity to describe the crimes committed by Israeli forces in the course of their invasion of Gaza in December 2008.
     To be sure, the Goldstone Report also itemizes the crimes of Hamas, notably in its campaign of rocket-firing into Israel. But the scale of human rights abuses by Israel vastly outdoes anything Hamas could hope to have achieved: Israeli civilian victims of Hamas rocket attacks numbered less than ten. The attack on Gaza by the IDF resulted in at least 1,100 Palestinian civilian deaths. The major perpetrator of human rights abuses in this conflict is without question the State of Israel, and Justice Goldstone records as much.
     That the Israel of Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen to conduct an international campaign against Justice Goldstone and his report need not surprise us. Israel refused to cooperate with the UN investigation; long before its conclusions were published, Netanyahu had set in motion a campaign to deny and denigrate them. More dispiriting, and of greater political consequence, is the pitiful and humiliating response of the Obama Administration. The "fierce urgency of now" apparently required that Washington join Tel Aviv in discrediting the Goldstone Report, and with it the UN inquiry.
     Please join me and Jews from all over the world in signing the Jewish Appeal Letter in Support of the Goldstone Report written by Jews Say No an organization in NY. -- Links: Jewish Appeal Letter in Support of the Goldstone Report -- See also: Jewish Appeal Letter in Support of the Goldstone Report more.. e-mail


Electronic Intifada
Israel's anti-Semitic friends
Electronic Intifada: 3 Nov 2009 - There can be few supporters of the Palestinians, still less anti-Zionists, who haven't, at some time or another, been accused of "anti-Semitism." Accusations that anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism have become little more than a ritual exercise in defamation. Tony Greenstein comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Rights groups: UN General Assembly must adopt Goldstone recommendations
Electronic Intifada: 3 Nov 2009 - On 4 November 2009, the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (Goldstone Report) is scheduled to be tabled before the Plenary of the UN General Assembly in New York. Following the Report's endorsement at the Human Rights Council on 21 October 2009, it now falls to the General Assembly to ensure that the Report is endorsed and its recommendations acted upon. 

Rights groups condemn bid to quash Goldstone report
Electronic Intifada: 3 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON (IPS) - International human rights groups have raised concern over a proposed non-binding resolution in the US House of Representatives which would call on the White House to oppose any future endorsement or consideration of Judge Richard Goldstone's "Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict." 

Israeli physicists supply solar and wind power to Palestinian herders
Electronic Intifada: 3 Nov 2009 - SUSYA, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Hundreds of impoverished Palestinian herders and farmers living in caves and tents in a remote area of the Palestinian West Bank have been provided free electricity due to the ingenuity of two Israeli physicists. 

In Gaza
Palestinian volunteerism and defying Israeli occupation policies and attacks
30 Oct 2009 - * Amal Nassir, Local Initiative volunteer, harvests olives in the Beit Hanoun border region. 1st published: (IPS) ** - On a quiet October morning, Fida Zaneen, 19, sings a traditional love song as she pulls olives from trees in Beit Hanoun’s border region during the annual olive harvest. “My grandmother taught me the folk songs. They were popular all over Palestine many decades ago.” Saber Zaneen, 44, and Khalil Nassir, 45, alternately belt out traditional harvest songs as they, too, strip the limbs of the green and black fruit in the northern Gaza region. Keeping Palestinian culture alive is one of the mandates of Local Initiative , a Beit Hanoun-based volunteer group...

Palestine Chronicle
No Emergency Summits for Arab Human Development Crisis
3 Nov 2009 - By RAMZY BAROUD When the first Arab Human Development Report (AHDR) was published in 2002, a star glistened in a vast, gloomy sky. The fact that a UN-sponsored report, authored by independent Arab scholars would receive so much attention in Arab media, was in itself a promising start. The fact that such terminology as human security, personal security, economic security, etc – as highlighted in the report – would even compete with the largely ceremonial news bulletins’ headlines in many Arab countries was in itself an achievement. But then, the star quickly faded, the terms became clichés, and the report, published seven times since then, became a haunting reminder of how bad things really are in the Arab World. Those who wish to discredit Arab countries, individually or as a collective, now find in these reports plenty of reasons to fuel their constant diatribes; those who genuinely care and wish for things to improve are either silent or muted. The last report, sponsored, like the rest, by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) was published in July 2009. It was the grimmest. Its statistics are intriguing, although depressing. 2.9 million square kilometers of land in the Arab World are threatened by desertification. Natural resources are depleting at an alarming level. Birth rates are the highest in the world. Unemployment is skyrocketing. 50 million new jobs must be created by 2020. Arab oil-based economies leave some Arab countries entirely vulnerable to market price fluctuations or the depletion of oil altogether. While...

Noam Chomsky: No Change in US 'Mafia Principle'
3 Nov 2009 - By Mamoon Alabbasi – London As people across the world breathed a sigh of relief to see the back of former US president George W. Bush, top American intellectual Noam Chomsky warned against assuming or expecting significant changes in the basis of Washington's foreign policy under President Barack Obama. During two lectures organized by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, Chomsky cited numerous examples of the driving doctrines behind US foreign policy since the end of World War II. "As Obama came into office, Condoleezza Rice predicted that he would follow the policies of Bush's second term, and that is pretty much what happened, apart from a different rhetorical style," said Chomsky. "But it is wise to attend to deeds, not rhetoric. Deeds commonly tell a different story," he added. "There is basically no significant change in the fundamental traditional conception that we if can control Middle East energy resources, then we can control the world," explained Chomsky. Chomsky said that a leading doctrine of US foreign policy during the period of its global dominance is what he termed as "the Mafia principle." "The Godfather does not tolerate 'successful defiance'. It is too dangerous. It must therefore be stamped out so that others understand that disobedience is not an option," said Chomsky. Because the US sees "successful defiance" of Washington as a "virus" that will "spread contagion," he explained. Iran The US had feared this "virus" of independent thought from Washington by Tehran and therefore acted...

Being Muslim at the Wrong Time in America
3 Nov 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago On October 28, New York Times writer Nick Bunkley wrote the following: "Federal agents (today) fatally shot a man they described as the leader of a violent Sunni Muslim separatist group in Detroit." Targeted was Luqman Ameen Abdullah "whom agents were trying to arrest in Dearborn on charges that included illegal possession and sale of firearms and conspiracy to sell stolen goods." The Times echoed FBI allegations that Abdullah "began firing at them from a warehouse (and) was shot in the return fire...." Ones also that he said: -- "America must fall;" -- if police tried to arrest him he'd "strap a bomb on and blow up everybody;" and -- that he urged his followers to get bulletproof vests by "shoot(ing) a cop in the head and tak(ing) their vest." In fact, neither happened, and no surprise. No bombs were found or went off, and bulletproof vests are easily bought online from web sites like bulletproofme.com, so why shoot anyone to get them. Post-9/11, America declared war on Islam with the FBI in the lead at home. It notoriously targets the vulnerable, entraps them with paid informants, inflates bogus charges, spreads them maliciously through the media, then intimidates juries to convict and sentence innocent men and some women to long prison terms. Justice is nearly always denied. At times willful killings are committed. The Detroit Muslims are their latest victims. The Muslim Community Reacts The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) "is a public service agency...

Reflections on Michael Moore's 'Capitalism'
2 Nov 2009 - By Jim Miles The thrift in me allowed me to wait until Michael Moore's "Capitalism - A Love Story" came out on second run theatres - it was well worth the wait. The powerful effect that Moore has on his audience derives from the personal stories he relates combined with a sense of humour that highlights the bizarre nature of our capitalist society. The stories of the evictions, the factory shutdowns, the "Dead Peasants", and the visuals of corporate towers juxtaposed against abandoned and rotting houses gives a powerful visceral message to the viewer. The statistical information flipped past the viewer in a matter of seconds, all that was needed to underline the numbers behind the emotional reality of unemployment without much of a future. The opinions of the Catholic church leaders who characterized capitalism as evil, as opposed to God's will, and the way of Jesus, emphasized that it went against all of the main religion's precepts about caring for one's fellow citizen and the common good. For a country that pledges allegiance "under God" these contrasting statements are powerful. Another highlighted feature is his perspective on the political machinations of the power players between Wall Street and Congress. I knew that there was huge influence, but as presented by Moore, the controlling cabal appears to be the Goldman Sachs players, the old Clintonite boys who manipulated the markets and the politicians to enable their own hundreds of millions in earnings. Along with that is the story of the...

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