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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
8 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Netanyahu-Obama Meeting Set For Monday
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Monday November 09, 2009 - 00:54, The White House officially confirmed that a meeting between Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, will take place in Washington on Monday evening.

Netanyahu To Visit The U.S. Sunday
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 08, 2009 - 09:34, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is scheduled to start on Sunday a four-day visit to the United States along with Israel’s Defense Minister, Ehud Barak.

P.A Returns To Israel Four Settlers Who Mistakenly Entered Bethlehem
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 08, 2009 - 09:00, Israeli sources reported on Saturday at night that four Israeli settlers mistakenly drove into the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and were transported by the Palestinian police to the Israeli Military Coordination Office.

Israeli Soldier Wounded North Of Jerusalem
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Sunday November 08, 2009 - 08:53, Israeli sources reported on Sunday morning that one soldier was mildly wounded during clashes with Palestinian youths near the Qalandia roadblock, north of Jerusalem.

Israel Is Not A Tolerant Society, Says US State Department
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 07, 2009 - 09:22, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that according to a new report by the U.S State Department, Israel fails all requirements of a tolerant pluralistic society.

France Concerned Over Abbas’ Decision Not To Run For President
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 07, 2009 - 01:30, French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, stated Friday that he intends to pressure Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, into altering his decision regarding not running for president in the upcoming Palestinian elections.

Ma'an News

Life in hell along the Gaza-Israel border
11/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Residents of the Gaza Strip's borders live in a state of fear, particularly those who own agricultural lands near the eastern borders and cannot access them from fear of being shot by Israeli forces present in the area. Residents further assert that they receive phone calls from Israeli soldiers demanding information on captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, in return for money. Ahmad Hillis, a resident of the eastern region of Gaza near the border, explained the suffering they endure in the area that residents term a "shooting field," articulating that "many people possess agricultural lands in the eastern area and cannot reach them because they are frightened of being shot by the Israeli soldiers who engage in weekly inspection and shooting operations, mess up and raze lands. " As Hillis noted that 18 houses were destroyed in the area during the war, fellow. . . 

Trapped in Gaza, Bethlehem student in legal limbo
11/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - "I just want to go back to Bethlehem," said deported Palestinian student Berlanty Azzam, in a telephone interview on Saturday. "I'm so anxious because I don't know what the future holds. " Azzam, a fourth-year business student at Bethlehem University three credits shy of graduation, was seized from a minibus on her way back from a job interview in Ramallah on 29 October. Soldiers kept her at an Israeli military checkpoint inside the West Bank for five hours, then blindfolded and transported her to the Gaza Strip, where her family lives. "I want to finish my college education and I'm appealing to anyone who can help me. . . I want to return to my books and everything at my home in Beit Sahour [near Bethlehem], she said, revealing that her university, a Catholic school affiliated with the Vatican, has filed suit in an Israeli court to overturn her deportation. 

Israeli forces shell northern Gaza
11/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli shells landed in an open area in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, causing panic but no injuries, witnesses said. Residents of the area said three shells landed in the Abu Safieyah area east of the city of Jabaliya. The residents added that the shelling was apparently unprovoked. One Palestinian living in the area told Ma'an, "The shelling caused fear among the residents who live in these agricultural areas that their houses could be hit by these shells. "An Israeli military spokesperson confirmed that Israeli soldiers fired mortars at what they believed to be the source of rockets fired into Israeli territory. The military said they were still investigating whether rockets were indeed fired across the border. 

UK Boycott of illegal Israeli produce underway
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in the United Kingdom initiated a week long boycott of two supermarkets stocking illegal Israeli produce from settlements in the West Bank. Two of the UK's largest supermarket chains, Waitrose and Morrisons, are the object of a "Week of Boycott Action", in protest of their continued sale of produce from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the PSC announced on Thursday. In addition to holding demonstrations outside the supermarkets, the PSC has organized coordinated phone calls to the supermarkets' headquarters on Wednesday, calling for a halt to supplying Israeli goods. In a news statement released on Thursday, the UK-based organization announced, "The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is calling for an end to the import of goods and food produce that has been sourced from the illegal Israeli settlements. 

Military seals two of three Gaza crossings
11/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday, according to a Palestinian crossings official. Raed Fattouh, a border crossings representative, said both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel would remain closed. As for the Kerem Shalom crossing, he said it would allow delivery of 60-70 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Israel imposed a blockade on the Gaza Strip in June 2007, drastically limiting shipments of essential goods to the territory of 1. 5 million residents. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), recent deliveries have plummeted to 17 percent of pre-blockade levels. 

Mother of long-serving Palestinian prisoner dies
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The mother of Palestinian prisoner Rizq Salah from the southern West Bank town of Al-Khadr near Bethlehem died on Saturday. Maryam Salah, 77, passed away on Saturday whilst her son continues to serve a life sentence in an Israeli jail. The director of the Palestinian Prisoners' Society in Bethlehem Abdullah Zghari said, "The staff of the prisoners' society and families of prisoners as a whole felt sorry over the death of Maryam Salah who spent the last 17 years of her life suffering at Israeli military checkpoints, and prison gates while visiting her son. "He highlighted that Maryam suffered from a brain clot a year ago, and remained bedridden. However, on 23rd of February 2009, she insisted on visiting Rizq at Beer Sheva prison in an ambulance - her final visit to her son. 

Goldstone: 'Lukewarm' US response disappointing
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Richard Goldstone, the judge who led the UN investigation into Israel's war on Gaza last winter expressed his dissatisfaction with the "lukewarm" response his report received in the US. In a weekly German political newspaper, das Parlament, Goldstone revealed that, "The reactions in the international community were very mixed, but the lukewarm reaction from the United States disappointed me," adding that, "I had hoped that our call to take legal steps and pursue people at a national level would fall on more open ears. " Goldstone's comments follow the US House of Representatives passing of a resolution on Tuesday reproving Goldstone's report, requesting that Obama's administration oppose US support for it. The UN General Assembly overwhelmingly endorsed Goldstone's Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict on Friday, with 114 countries voting in favor of referring the report to the Security Council. 

Israeli soldier reported hurt in Ramallah clashes
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli soldier was injured during clashes with Palestinians youths on Sunday near Qalandiya checkpoint. An Israeli source stated that a 20-year-old soldier was wounded by stones thrown at him by Palestinians youths and was transferred to Hadassa Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem for treatment. An Israeli military spokesperson said that the report likely referred to an incident in the village of Biddu, about five kilometers from Qalandiya, on Saturday night, where a soldier was lightly injured by a stone thrown by Palestinians. The spokesperson said that the soldier was given initial medical treatment on the scene, but not hospitalized. Meanwhile, another source reported that four Israelis had mistakenly entered Bethlehem late on Saturday night and that the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces had to refer them to the Israeli military liaison office as a result. 

Gaza armed groups claim blast
11/8/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Two Palestinian armed groups claimed to have detonated a large bomb among Israeli forces West of the Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday. The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Al-Aqsa Brigades, which proclaims allegiance to Fatah, claimed joint responsibility for the reported blast. In a statement the two groups said, "This attack comes as a confirmation that both Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades and Al-Aqsa Brigades will continue in resistance and confronting the crimes of the occupiers, rejecting all the conspiracies that target the Palestinian people and their cause, and in response to the Israeli threats to wage a new war on Gaza. "  An Israeli military spokesperson denied that the reported blast had taken place. 

Zionist Org. applauds bid to move US embassy
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has praised US Senator Sam Brownback for his plans to introduce legislation that would remove a presidential waiver keeping the US Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv. "By moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the United States would be righting an anomaly by bringing the location of its embassy in Israel into conformity with its practice in every other country in the world in which the US has diplomatic representation whereby the US Embassy is located in the capital city of the country in question," said ZOA National President Morton Klein, in a statement. However, moving the embassy would not bring the US into conformity with any other country in the world that maintains relations with Israel. Israel's claims on the city, which it unilaterally occupied and annexed in 1967, has never been recognized by the international community. 

Israelis rattled over ’secret’ Fayyad plan
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's plan for building a state in two years contains a "classified, unreleased portion" stipulating a unilateral state declaration, Israeli officials said on Saturday. The proposal, released to the public in August, includes an assessment of institutional needs for the creation of a state, and sets a timetable of up to two years for its implementation. But according to Israeli officials quoted on Saturday by the country's mainstay daily newspaper, Haaretz, "alongside the clauses reported in the media. . . Fayyad's plan also contains a classified, unreleased portion stipulating a unilateral declaration of independence. " Senior Israeli officials said the proposal initially met with positive reaction for its emphasis on institution-building and making security services more efficient, the newspaper noted, but reported that. . . 

Abbas: Palestinian state impossible without settlement freeze
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that "there is no possibility of establishing a Palestinian state while settlements continue," emphasizing, at the same time, that the Palestinian leadership had not abandoned the national objective of establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. During his visit to Bethlehem on Sunday, President Abbas noted thathe "did not set thepreconditions to resuming negotiations with Israel. These are the conditions of the Road Map that urges Israel to halt settlements, dismantling all of the settlements that are built on lands of the West Bank in order to establish a Palestinian state. "  The president further remarked that the Palestinians were committed to implementing the requirements of the Road Map while Israel neither dismantled illegal settlements nor brought about a halt to settlement growth; rather they increased settlement activity in Jerusalem and the West Bank. 

Top Israeli lawmaker wants talks with Hamas
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - In the wake of President Mahmoud Abbas' planned retirement from politics, Israeli Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) on Sunday said his government should begin planning for a potential Hamas victory. "If Hamas is elected and chooses to negotiate - Israel must conduct dialogue with any group that changes its behavior," Mofaz said, in what appeared to be a major departure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's policy of isolating the Islamic movement. "How can it be that six months have passed since Netanyahu's Bar-Ilan [University] address and there is still no plan in place? " he said at a news conference in Tel Aviv, according to the Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. "Meanwhile, Hamas continues to prepare for the next round. " Issuing a stern warning in addition to his otherwise unusually conciliatory overtures, Mofaz added, "They must realize that if they plan to continue firing on Israeli communities, their fate will be sealed. " 

Program of the 13th PNA government (The ’Fayyad Plan’)
11/8/2009 - Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State - Program of the Thirteenth Government - Foreword - This document presents the program of the 13th government of the Palestinian National Authority. The program, which sets out our national goals and government policies, centers around the objective of building strong state institutions capable of providing, equitably and effectively, for the needs of our citizens, despite the occupation. We believe that full commitment to this state-building endeavor will advance our highest national priority of ending the occupation, thereby enabling us to live in freedom and dignity in a country of our own. It is time for our people to obtain their unconditional freedom and national rights as required by international law. This calls for positive and proactive steps, both nationally and internationally, in order to end the occupation and reach a just and lasting political settlement in our region. 

Elections commission: No plans to delay vote
11/8/2009 - Salfit - Ma'an - The Central Elections Commission denied news reports on Sunday regarding its intentions to delay the election date for Palestinian Legislative Council and the presidential elections set for January 2010. The commission confirmed in a statement that it remains committed to the date appointed by President Mahmoud Abbas for 24 January 2010, adding that it lacks the authority to change the presidential decree that was issued by the President, proclaiming the forthcoming elections. Rumors that the elections could came after Abbas declared on Thursday that he has no desire to stand for another term. Warning media outlets not to heed rumors of the election's deferral, the commission further added that media outlets should obtain its information directly from official sources noting that the committee regularly releases news statements on its stances and on electoral procedure in Palestine. 

Poll: Majority want Abbas to run in election
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A majority of Palestinians oppose President Mahmoud Abbas' stated decision not to seek another term in elections he recently called, according to an opinion poll released on Sunday. The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based firm Near East Consulting, 62% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza said they are opposed to Abbas' decision, which he made public on Thursday. Only 38% said they supported Abbas' decision to step down. The split appeared to correlate with party affiliation, as 79% of Hamas supporters opposed the decision, and 77% of Fatah urging the president to change his mind. However, fully 76% of those surveyed said they expected Abbas to reverse his decision. The other 24% said he was not likely to change his decision. Asked to choose their preference from a list of potential presidential candidates, 31% chose Abbas, 12% chose jailed. . . 

PA: Dates seized near Jerusalem
11/8/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority agents said they seized thousands of dates deemed unfit for human consumption in the West Bank town of Ar-Ram, on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Haitham, a spokesperson for a joint committee of officials from the ministries of economy and health, customs department, and Preventive Security, said two tons of ground dates, 1,300 whole dates, and a ton of expired cherries used for making deserts were all seized. The seizure was made in coordination with the governor of Jerusalem, the official also said. Abu Az-Zein said the goods were imported from the Israeli market. Legal proceedings will be opened against those responsible, he added. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Lebanon source: Israel working with Islamists to hurt Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Lebanese official says Katyusha fired last month was arranged with Israel, to make Hezbollah take blame. 

Report: Hezbollah rearming for imminent conflict with Israel
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - The British Observer quotes a Hezbollah commander as saying they expect an Israeli attack by spring. 

U.S. top brass: Nuclear Iran is existential threat to Israel
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Mullen: A nuclear Iran would undermine the stability of a region that is already highly unstable. 

Lebanon authorities detain 'arms ship' crew for questioning
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 

Israel threat to attack Iran is not a bluff, deputy FM says
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Danny Ayalon tells Sky News that Iran conduct regarding international efforts is bid to 'buy time and procrastinate. 

Netanyahu: Iran's shipment of arms to Hezbollah - a war crime
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - PM responds to seizure of hundreds of tons of weapons believed to be Iranian shipment to Hezbollah. 

ANALYSIS / Arms ship seizure just another battle in the secret war with Iran
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Israel shouldn't congratulate itself too much for intercepting hundreds of tons of weapons apparently meant for Hezbollah. 

WATCH: Video of Israel Navy commandeering arms ship
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Ship believed to be carrying tons of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, disguised as civilian cargo. 

Israel Navy chief: Hezbollah-bound Iran ship carried hundreds of tons of arms
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - The Antigua-flagged ship was raided by the Navy not far from the coast of Cyprus before dawn Wednesday. 

Police call off search for terrorist feared loose in Israel
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - The highest level of alert has been declared by security forces in the Sharon plain. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - Hamas has used the lull in fighting with Israel not only to restore, but improve its capabilities. 

B'Tselem: IDF probes alleged cases of harm to civilians in Gaza
Ha'aretz 9 Nov 2009 - B'Tselem reports that IDF is examining 21 cases of violence against civilians during Operation Cast Lead. 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes in Al-Khalil
Uruknet November 8, 2009 -- A group of savage Israeli settlers from Ramat Yishai settlement outpost attacked Sunday morning Palestinian homes in the city of Al-Khalil, south of the West Bank, and tried to take over a commercial building. Palestinian local sources told the Palestinian information center (PIC) that the new attacks were carried out primarily in the neighborhoods of Tel...

[uruknet.info] Iran's Karoubi attacks Ahmadinejad on U.S. policy
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Iranian opposition figure Mehdi Karoubi, whose supporters clashed with police in a rally last week, accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Sunday of double standards in his U.S. policy. Karoubi, who was defeated in June's disputed presidential election, said the populist leader's government had shown more openness toward Washington than previous governments, despite strident anti-U.S. rhetoric..."(The government) has...

[uruknet.info] Hamas rejects Mofaz call to talk as 'Zionist vulgarity'
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip said Sunday that they would never negotiate with the "Zionist enemy", hours after Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz presented a plan to hold talks with the group and establish a Palestinian state in 60 percent of the West Bank within one year. In its official response, Hamas called Mofaz's offer "...

[uruknet.info] Top Israeli lawmaker wants talks with Hamas
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - In the wake of President Mahmoud Abbas' planned retirement from politics, Israeli Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) on Sunday said his government should begin planning for a potential Hamas victory... Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told Ma'an the proposal was "a malicious Israeli attempt to take advantage of the state of Palestinian disunity, to beautify the occupation,...

[uruknet.info] Video: Israeli separation barrier cuts family from village
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Hani Amer, a Palestinian resident of the West Bank village of Mas'ha, must pass through padlocks, fences and two gates to get from his home on one side to any other part of town. Israel's separation barrier has cut off Amer's home from those of his neighbours and the view of his village has been replaced...

[uruknet.info] Video - Israel: 60 years of Ethnic Cleansing and Mass Murder
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Zionist massacres, 1948-2009. This is what Israel thinks of peace...

[uruknet.info] Video: Witness - Ramallah TV
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Al-Quds Educational Television is a small, public service, non-profit channel based in Ramallah, which gives Palestinians the chance to show their own stories, to their own communities. It is under constant threat of financial ruin, Israeli repression and falling foul of the Palestinain factions it criticises. This film meets some of the characters both on and...

[uruknet.info] Iranian lawmaker warns Russia over missile delay
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - A senior Iranian lawmaker warned Russia that its delay in delivering an anti-aircraft missile defense system to Tehran could harm relations between the two countries, state television reported Sunday. Russia signed a contract two years ago to sell the S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran but has not made any deliveries or given any explanation for the...

[uruknet.info] Video: Jaffa threatens upheaval for Palestinians
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - The growing popularity of the ancient port of Jaffa is threatening new upheaval for Palestinian families who have long called it home. It has already been swallowed up by the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and become the place to buy real estate. That means many Palestinians are struggling to stay...

[uruknet.info] Life in hell along the Gaza-Israel border
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Residents of the Gaza Strip's borders live in a state of fear, particularly those who own agricultural lands near the eastern borders and cannot access them from fear of being shot by Israeli forces present in the area. Residents further assert that they receive phone calls from Israeli soldiers demanding information on captured Israeli soldier Gilad...

[uruknet.info] Witnesses: Israeli forces shell northern Gaza
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - Israeli shells landed in an open area in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday, causing panic but no injuries, witnesses said. Residents of the area said three shells landed in the Abu Safieyah area east of the city of Jabaliya. The residents added that the shelling was apparently unprovoked. One Palestinian living in the area told...

[uruknet.info] Trapped in Gaza, Bethlehem student in legal limbo
Uruknet November 8, 2009 - "I just want to go back to Bethlehem," said deported Palestinian student Berlanty Azzam, in a telephone interview on Saturday. "I'm so anxious because I don't know what the future holds." Azzam, a fourth-year business student at Bethlehem University three credits shy of graduation, was seized from a minibus on her way back from a job...

Palestine Telegraph

Fenced in but defiant in Israeli-occupied West Bank 
US, Novermber 8, 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.

Abbas Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election
West Bank, November 5, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has decided not to run for the presidency in elections next year, according to reports from Ramallah.

Israel: The Army Will Fight the Next Battle Soon in Gaza Strip
Gaza, November 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli Army, made a statement this week that "the army will come back to face the rocket launching stages in the overcrowded areas and fight in cities, villages,...

The National

Arab echoes of grassroots protest
The National 8 Nov 2009 - In a reflection of the street demonstrations sweeping Europe in 1989, the people of a Palestinian town would try to achieve liberty through non-violent means, only to be rebuffed by Israel.

Hizbollah agrees to cabinet proposals
The National 7 Nov 2009 - After five months of wrangling, Lebanon's incoming prime minister Saad Hariri may announce his new administration 'this weekend'.

Abbas move seen as gamble with US
The National 7 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas's decision not to run again for president of the Palestinian Authority sparks speculation from across the world about his motives.

Lebanon agrees on government
The National 7 Nov 2009 - Hizbollah says Lebanon's opposition has agreed to a proposed government line-up, a possible end to negotiations following a June general election.

Aljazeera

Lebanon nears unity government
AlJazeera 7 Nov 2009 - Lebanon's political opposition agrees to latest cabinet line-up under Saad Hariri.

Iran rejects nuclear deal, MP says
AlJazeera 7 Nov 2009 - Politician's remarks are not Tehran's official response to uranium swap, official says.

Jerusalem Post

Abbas claims Israel doesn't want peace or two-state solution
Jeruslalem Post 9 Nov 2009 - PA president tells supporters in West Bank Palestinians won't make any more concessions; deputy PLC speaker urges dismantling PA.

IDF hurries on counter-Goldstone report
Jeruslalem Post 9 Nov 2009 - Army expedites probes on Operation Cast Lead; Ashkenazi appoints senior officer 'project manager.'

'US attitude to Israel may be changing'
Jeruslalem Post 9 Nov 2009 - Cantor discusses climate on Capitol Hill; Obama pulls out of GA for Fort Hood memorial, will meet PM.

Court gives 2005 terrorist two life sentences
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - Nablus resident sentenced to additional 30 years in jail for shooting attack that left 2 soldiers dead.

Iran warns Russia over S-300 system delay
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - Parliament speaker: Russian failure to deliver S-300 will be "negative point in the countries' relations."

Abbas threatens to dismantle PA
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - PA president looks for US pressure on settlements, prepares for January vote despite desire to quit.

Assad: Turkey must mend ties with Israel
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - Syrian president: J'lem must keep the peace; Erdogan: Israel war crimes worse than Darfur.

Congressman to Barkat: US Embassy should move to J'lem
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - Sen. Joe Lieberman says six senators sponsored bill to put an end to a currently needed presidential confirmation.

Analysis: PA would breach Oslo if it declared a state unilaterally
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - But 'state' is in the eyes of the beholder, and other countries might recognize 'Palestine,' experts say.

IRIN

EGYPT: Nearly a third of children malnourished - report
IRIN CAIRO Thursday, November 05, 2009 (IRIN) - Despite a number of positive economic indicators, Egypt has a hunger problem: Nearly a third of all children are malnourished, according to a new report compiled by the Ministry of Health and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

SYRIA: WFP pilots SMS food distribution
IRIN DAMASCUS Wednesday, November 04, 2009 (IRIN) - A new pilot project by the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria has come up with a novel way of getting food aid to Iraqi refugees. WFP claims the project is a world first.

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.

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: The 'Unknown' Fight the Illegal 
IPS OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM, Nov 8 (IPS) - "Make sure your father gets this," the municipal inspector tells a ten-year-old boy at the gate of the concrete house in an alleyway in the Al-Bustan quarter of Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood right under the shadow of the walled Old City.

Stop The Wall

Al-Ma’sara commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall
Stop The Wall 8 Nov 2009 - In Friday’s demonstration against the illegal construction of the Apartheid Wall that is designed to steal the agricultural lands of the villages of Southern Bethlehem, the people of al-Ma'sara celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany. In chants and speeches, the demonstrators insisted on the illegality of the Wall and occupation, while international and Israeli activists showed support using percussion instruments. [

al-Ma'sara and Bil'in protest as tensions mounts in Jerusalem
Stop The Wall 8 Nov 2009 - As tensions mounts in Jerusalem over the Occupation’s assault on Al Aqsa, demonstrators in the West Bank continued their struggle last week against the Wall and the ongoing confiscation of land. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(29 Oct.- 04 Nov. 2009)
PCHR Weekly Report

International Solidarity Movement

British activists blockade Carmel Agrexco
11/7/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Indymedia UK, 6 November 2009 - Activists blockade in solidarity with Palestine - At about 6 o'clock this morning a group of London students and international activists, including members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), blocked the two gates leading to the depot. The activists seek to raise awareness of the UK's continued role in the purchase of goods produced in Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank as well as Carmel Agrexco's role in the sustenance of Israel's illegal expansionist activities in Palestine. The blockaders have urged companies dependent on Carmel Agrexco's supplies, and therefore inconvenienced by this and previous blockades, to seek out new suppliers and, in so doing, show that Carmel Agrexco's continued support for Israel's aggression in Palestine will not be allowed to continue. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israeli envoy tells U.S. Jews: Push for Iran sanctions 
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Michael Oren tells Jewish Federations annual general assembly that Goldstone report helps cast doubt on Israel's legitimacy. 

Israeli envoy tells U.S. Jews: Push for sanctions on Iran sanctions 
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Israel's Ambassador to the United States on Sunday told American Jewish groups that they must press for sanctions on Iran, and condemned the findings of a United Nations commission on the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas, which he said helped to "cast widespread doubts about Israel's legitimacy." ...

American Jewry kicks off annual conference, but guest star Obama cancels
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - The annual General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America kicked off this year in an autumnal American capital with the disappointing news that the guest star, President Barack Obama, canceled at the last minute to attend a memorial service for the victims of a shooting at an army base in Texas last week. The president's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, will be taking his place as keynote speaker on Tuesday. ... 

Iran negotiator calls for quick nuclear deal with West
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Iran's chief negotiator in talks with Western powers over its atomic program said on Sunday he hoped a draft deal on nuclear fuel would be reached soon. ...

Hamas rejects Mofaz call to talk as 'Zionist vulgarity'
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - The Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip said Sunday that they would never negotiate with the "Zionist enemy", hours after Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz presented a plan to hold talks with the group and establish a Palestinian state in 60 percent of the West Bank within one year. ...


Ha'aretz National page

Disabled IDF vets block traffic as they demand due benefits
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Disabled Israel Defense Forces veterans renewed their protests on Sunday for a second week outside of the defense establishment's headquarters in Tel Aviv. ...

MK Ben Simon urges Labor rebels: Don't split off yet
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Labor MK Daniel Ben Simon on Sunday urged rebel party members to give party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak "one more chance" before splitting off into their own faction. ...

Elderly Israeli dies three days after getting swine flu vaccine 
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - An elderly Israeli man died unexpectedly over the weekend, three days after he was vaccinated against swine flu. ...

Settler women cry sexual harassment by Israel Police
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Two young women who were arrested last week after being evacuated from the West Bank settlement outpost Ramat Migron on Sunday claimed they were strip-searched and harassed by female police officers. ...

Israel Air Force One? State considering official plane 
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - The Prime Minister's Office and the Finance Ministry are looking into buying a plane, the Israeli equivalent of Air Force One, to serve Israeli leaders on their official trips around the world. ... 

Relief Web

OPT: In Brief - Israel transfers 5,000 H1N1 vaccinations to Gaza
Relief Web 8 Nov 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

Humanitarian Update: Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, Oct 2009
Relief Web 8 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Universal Children's Day: Feature - Let's wake to somber sufferings of children
Relief Web 8 Nov 2009 - Source: Xinhua

YNet News

Qassam explodes west of Sderot 
YNet News 8 Nov 2009 - Color Red alert sounded in Gaza vicinity shortly before rocket hits open area; no injuries or damage reported 

Iran atomic negotiator wants speedy talks 
YNet News 8 Nov 2009 - Islamic Republic's chief negotiator in talks with Western powers over its atomic program says hopes draft deal on nuclear fuel will be reached soon 

A peek into Temple Mount excavations 
YNet News 8 Nov 2009 - Western Wall Heritage Foundation holds tour of tunnels in attempt to ward off Muslim claims that al-Aqsa Mosque is in danger of collapsing. Waqf refuses offer for similar tour for Muslims, saying 'settlers won't give us approval to enter a Muslim-owned area' 

Daily Star


Palestinian Information Center

Israeli settlers attack Palestinian homes in Al-Khalil
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - A group of savage Israeli settlers from Ramat Yishai settlement outpost attacked Palestinian homes in the city of Al-Khalil, south of the West Bank, and tried to take over a commercial building.

Bahr: Abbas’s attempt to incite Arabs against Hamas is a shameful attitude
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmad Bahr stated that Mahmoud Abbas’s attempts to incite Arab countries to boycott Hamas are a shameful political behavior reflecting his reluctance to achieve the national reconciliation.

Students of a British university boycott Israeli products
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - The students union in the British University of Sussex has decided to boycott Israeli products within the varsity campus, sources in the University said.

Hamas: No legitimacy for occupation on our lands
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - Hamas has rejected the renewed Israeli plan proposing the establishment of a Palestinian state with "temporary" borders, describing it as "malicious".

Officials call for entrusting Amnesty water report to int’l organizations
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - A number of water and agricultural officials in the Palestinian government in Gaza called for necessarily entrusting the water report issued by Amnesty to international organizations.

Source: Abbas attacked Mousa for his refusal to sever relations with Hamas
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - An informed Palestinian source revealed that Mahmoud Abbas launched a scathing attack on Amr Mousa, the secretary-general of the Arab League, because of the latter’s relationship with Hamas leaders.

Stranded students in Gaza appeal for solution
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - Palestinian students stranded in the Gaza Strip who could not travel via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to follow up their studies abroad have called on the media to shed light on their plight.

Kaddoumi: Abbas is lying about his intention not to run for elections
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - Farouk Al-Kaddoumi, a senior Fatah leader, stated that Mahmoud Abbas is lying to the Palestinian people about his intention not to run for presidential elections.

HRW: IOA breaking international laws
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - The Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization has charged that the IOA continued demolition of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem was in violation of the international laws.

Abu Marzouk: Hamas is the pulse of the Nation
PIC 9 Nov 2009 - Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk, the deputy political bureau chairman of Hamas, has said that his Movement would remain the prime advocate of the resistance option against occupation.

Los Angeles Times

Fort Hood shooting suspect endured 'big pressure,' uncle says 
LA Times 8 Nov 2009 - The uncle says Nidal Malik Hasan was a sensitive man who faced ethnic taunts and was haunted by soldiers' wartime disabilities. Hasan was not political, his relatives in the West Bank say. When Rafik Ismail Hamad last traveled from the West Bank to visit relatives in the United States, he was struck by the pressures one of his nephews was facing. 

New York Times

Israeli Asks Abbas Not to Step Down
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Appealing to the president of the Palestinian Authority, who announced that he would not seek re-election, the Israeli president said: “Don’t let go.”

Call White House, Ask for Barack
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Until the Palestinians and Israelis are serious about the peace process, the United States should get out of the picture.

Young, Talented and Unhappy Playing Basketball Overseas
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Jeremy Tyler, 18, left high school in San Diego to play basketball in Israel. His goal is to be drafted by an N.B.A. team in two years, but for now he is struggling. 

Goldstone and Gaza
New York Times 6 Nov 2009 - The dispute over the Goldstone Report will continue, but Gaza needs help right now.

U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - The U.N. is expected to endorse a report that found evidence that Israel and Palestinian militants had each committed war crimes during last winter’s Gaza conflict.

Israeli Navy Captures Arms Shipment
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Officials say a cargo ship captured off Cyprus was carrying weapons for Hezbollah but offered no proof.

Misc

Report says 32 children killed in Gaza tunnels in past 3 years
11/7/2009 - China View - GAZA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- A report Saturday showed that 32 Palestinian children have been killed while working in smuggling tunnels under the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in past three years. The report, conducted by the Palestinian National Society for Democracy and Law, said 32 children were killed since Israel imposed a blockade on the coastal enclave in mid-2006 and restricted entry of goods to little more than food and medicine. The research also focused on child labor, revealing that children, under 18 years old, work for 12 hours a day in the tunnels, and some of them take pain-killer called Tramadol and energy-giving drugs. The report said during this period, 117 Palestinians in total have been killed in the tunnels, which flourished in the Hamas-run area due to the tight blockade. The cave-ins often result from Israeli air raids, Egyptian detonation 

Wasted years: Jobless youngsters collect rubbish for living in besieged Gaza
11/7/2009 - China View - GAZA, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Every morning, Ali mounts a donkey carriage and heads toward one of Gaza city's rubbish dumps near a central football field to rummage with his naked hands for plastic waste. At the doorway of his house in Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza Strip, Ali's donkey stands waiting to go out on a daily trip. Wearing his usual dirty work clothes, Ali said he felt "jealous watching children wearing clean uniforms on their way to school. "Ali said he felt ashamed when his friends saw him searching through the rubbish with flying insects around. He usually sells the plastic waste to recycling factories at the end of a day of hard work. Now aged 21, Ali has been doing this for four years since he was forced to leave school to support a family of 11 members, after his father could no longer do the job due to an injury. 

Israel spy agency tried to recruit alleged killer
11/7/2009 - Yahoo! News - AFP - JERUSALEM (AFP) – A Jewish settler who was arrested for allegedly having murdered two Palestinians was approached by Israel's internal security agency to be an informer after the attacks, the agency said Friday. Jack Teitel, a 37-year-old immigrant from the United States, was arrested in October on suspicions of murdering the men in 1997 while visiting Israel as a tourist, the police announced on Sunday. He is also suspected of being behind a string of bomb attacks since 2006. When Teitel returned to Israel in 2000, three years after the murders, he was questioned by the Shin Bet internal security service and the police over the killings, but no charges were filed. It was at that moment that the domestic intelligence agency asked him to serve as its informant in extreme right-wing circles, according to the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper, which broke the story. 

VIDEO - Israel: Remote control occupation?
11/7/2009 - The Real News - Baum: New technologies are allowing Israel to maintain control over its occupation remotely - This week, the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erakat, announced that because Israeli settlements continue to grow (with de facto US support) and annex the land planned for a future Palestine, the Palestinians may have to abandon hopes for an independent state. He therefore urged Palestinians to fight for one democratic state where all citizens will be equal. With this announcement, many are wondering what the future of the Israeli occupation would look like. Meanwhile, Israel is continuing its technological evolution of the occupation, making it possible to institutionalize control over the occupation remotely. At the end of October, the joint Israeli-Palestinian Alternative Information Center held a conference in Bethlehem on economy of the occupation. The Real News' Lia Tarachansky attended. . . . 

US Senators Act to Force Recognition of Jerusalem as Capital 
11/9/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) Seven United States senators have sponsored a bill that would abolish the “security” waiver that American presidents have used to prevent implementing a 1995 law declaring that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Kansas Republican Senator Sam Brownback, a long-time supporter of Israel, introduced the bill and said, "It is long overdue for America to recognize the sovereign right of Israel to choose Jerusalem as its capital city. ”The proposed Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act law, number S. 2737, is "a bill to relocate to Jerusalem the United States Embassy in Israel" and has six co-sponsors--five Republicans, from Kentucky, Texas, Arizona, and Louisiana and Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. It would remove the current waiver, which gives the president authority to delay recognition of Jerusalem as the capital on the premise that doing so would endanger the security of the United States. 

US Generals Flood Israel for Exercise against ‘Specific Threats’ 
11/8/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) An unprecedented number of American generals, along with 1,400 U. S. army soldiers, are participating with top IDF brass in the high-level Juniper Cobra military exercise that one U. S. Navy commander said is aimed at “specific threats. ” Public affairs officials interrupted the naval commander in order to divert the conversation from the scenario of Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities and defending itself from a counter-attack. One senior IDF source told BBC magazine, “I've never seen so many American generals. ”Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, along with the commander of the U. S. force in Europe and U. S. ambassador to Israel James Cunningham attended the three-week exercise on Tuesday. It is one of the largest-ever joint training drills and is fueling speculation that the United States is preparing for 

Jordanian Professor: Israel Will Go to War over Water 
11/9/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) Israel will go to war against Lebanon and Egypt to solve its water crisis, a Jordanian political science professor has charged. Dr. Ghazi Al-Rababah told the Jordanian Al-Arab Alyawm newspaper that the first war would be in Shebaa farms area, a small part of which Lebanon and Syria have been trying to force Israel to surrender. Although Israel is taking steps to solve the water shortage by building desalination plants that will be in full production in four years, al-Rababah declared that Israel will wage war against Egypt within seven years in order to control the Nile River. He accused Israel of "stealing hundreds of millions cubic meters of water from the Litani water in Lebanon, which has violated agreements by diverting water from flowing across the border. The professor also repeated charges that Israel is stealing water from the Palestinian Authority and that it is sending contaminated water to Gaza. 

Israel Warns IDF Ready to Roll Against Iran 
11/9/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) Israel's warnings that it will not tolerate an existential threat in the form of a nuclear Iran should be taken seriously, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned in an interview with the Britain-based Sky News on Friday. " The one who's bluffing is Iran, which is trying to play with cards they don't have," Ayalon told the news network. "All the bravado that we see and the testing and the very dangerous and harsh rhetoric are hiding a lot of weaknesses. " Israel has repeatedly warned the Islamic Republic -- and the rest of the world -- that it will not allow Iran to complete its nuclear development program and create an atomic weapon to be aimed at the Jewish State. " If Iranian behavior and conduct continues as they have exhibited so far, it is obvious that their intentions are only to buy time and procrastinate," Ayalon said. 

Pete Seeger’s role in ending Israeli house demolitions 
11/8/2009 - Ha'aretz - Anyone who owns a radio probably knows the song "Turn, Turn, Turn" (To everything there is a season) very well. A number of versions of this song have become permanent fixtures on the play lists of most popular music radio stations. Here's what the listeners don't know: every time this song is played, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions receives a few dollars, which accumulate to a "several thousand dollars every year," according to the committee's co-founder and coordinator. The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is a non-profit organization that uses non-violent means to oppose Israeli demolition of homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Seeger has been donating some of the song's royalties to ICAHD for ten years. The banjo-playing Seeger, 90, is considered one of the pioneers of American folk music. 

Israel’s New Generation Of Conscientious Objectors 
11/7/2009 - Palestine Monitor - "We cannot ignore the truth - the occupation is a violent, racist, inhumane, illegal, undemocratic, immoral and an extreme condition that presents a mortal danger to both peoples… We, who were educated on the values of liberty, justice, honesty and peace, cannot accept it. " So reads the letter declaring the refusal of 150 students to join the Israeli army this year. Amongst that number is Efi Brenner, 18 years old and an active animal and human rights campaigner. His decision has resulted in ten days imprisonment, with further terms likely, and for his family to throw him out of home. Despite the fallout Efi’s commitment to his decision and the reasons underlying it remain resolute. " One of the reasons I refuse to join is because I want the Palestinians to know that not all Israelis are in favour of the occupation and that some people are willing to make a sacrifice to end it. " 

Norway drops war crimes case against Israel 
11/8/2009 - JTA - WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Norwegian prosecutors dropped a case alleging war crimes by 10 Israeli leaders during last winter’s Gaza military campaign. Chief prosecutor Siri Frigaard said last Friday that she is dismissing the complaint because "there is no good reason" for Norwegian authorities to investigate further and Norway should be judicious in deciding when to investigate alleged war crimes by individuals with no connection to the country. A group of lawyers had lodged the complaint April 22 under Norway's universal jurisdiction law. The 2008 law allows foreigners to face charges in Norway for war crimes committed anywhere in the world. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and opposition leader Tzipi Livni were among the Israelis named. The decision comes a day after the United Nations General Assembly, with Norway abstaining from the vote, endorsed the Goldstone report. The report alleges war crimes by Israel and Hamas during the Gaza war and recommends independent investigations into the charges. 

Dispute persists over Israel’s weapons-shipment claims 
11/9/2009 - Daily Star - Release of vessel and crew casts doubt on validity of claims - BEIRUT: The dispute over Israel’s claimed haul of “hundreds of tons” of rockets it said was aboard a ship bound for Hizbullah showed no sign of abating over the weekend as the Antiguan-owned vessel docked in Beirut. Israel claims that it seized cargo from a ship after naval commandoes stormed the vessel in the Mediterranean in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a bounty which consisted of more than 3,000 rockets, according to reports from the Israeli media. Israeli Army sources claimed to have obtained papers proving that the ship was destined for the port of Latakia in Syria and weapons aboard it were sent from Iran, eventually destined for Hizbullah. Both Syrian and Iranian foreign ministers denied that such a cargo existed and accused Israel of attempting to hamper legitimate trade routes between the two nations. 

Berri: Israel arms-ship claims ’fabricated’ 
11/7/2009 - Daily Star - Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Friday that Israeli claims about an alleged arms ship sent from Iran to Hizbullah were fabricated by Israel to target the resistance, which he stressed had the right to obtain weapons from “anywhere in the world. ” The speaker added that Israel’s capture of a ship near Cyprus was also a bid to deflect attention away from the Goldstone report, on Israeli war crimes during the Gaza war. The Goldstone report accused Israel and Hamas militants of war crimes during the recent conflict in the Gaza Strip, which killed up to 1,387 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. The report gave Israel and the Palestinian Hamas movemnet six months to mount credible investigations into the allegations or face possible prosecution at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. On Wednesday, Israeli naval commandos stormed a ship they said was carrying hundreds of tons of weapons just before dawn in waters close to Cyprus. 

March 14 Christians to still agree on seat distribution 
11/9/2009 - Daily Star - No dispute’ over Hizbullah’s arms in policy statement - BEIRUT: Senior political leaders have approved the distribution of ministries in a new government, five months after June’s parliamentary elections, but further negotiations await to appease March 14 Christian politicians, officials said Sunday. While the hurdles between Premier-designate Saad Hariri and opposition politician Michel Aoun appear to have been cleared, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader’s camp must now put forward the names of individual ministers for the new cabinet. As for the formulation of the cabinet’s policy statement, opposition groups stressed on Sunday that no disagreement governed the issue of Hizbullah’s weapons since the matter would be subject to discussions during upcoming National Dialogue sessions, while March 14 Christian figures expressed their rejection of legitimizing the party’s weapons. . . . -- Links: Rival Lebanon factions agree on unity government and Rival Lebanon factions agree on unity government

Hezbollah gears up for new war 
11/8/2009 - The Guardian - Fighters rearm and reinforce positions in valleys amid fears that Israel is about to launch attack on Islamic group - Hezbollah is rapidly rearming in preparation for a new conflict with Israel, fearing that Benjamin Netanyahu's government will attack Lebanon again prior to any assault on Iran's nuclear facilities. Last week, Israeli commandos seized a ship in the Mediterranean loaded with almost 400 tonnes of rockets and small arms – which Israel claimed was being sent from Iran to its Hezbollah allies. In dramatic further evidence of growing tensions, the Observer has learned that Hezbollah fighters have been busy reinforcing fixed defence positions north of the Litani river. Having lost many of its bunkers in the south, Hezbollah is preparing a new strategy to defend villages there. Although the organisation denied last week that the weapons were intended for its use, senior commanders have done little to disguise the scale of rearmament. 

UN-proposed nuclear deal still on table: Iran MP 
11/8/2009 - The Raw Story - AFP - Proposals from world powers to supply nuclear fuel for a research reactor in Iran are still on the table, a leading MP said on Sunday, a day after suggesting that Tehran could reject the deal. " Our first option is to buy fuel of 20 percent (enrichment)," ISNA and Mehr news agencies quoted Alaeddin Borujerdi, the head of parliament's national security and foreign policy committee, as saying. " But if we cannot buy it we could make a limited exchange on condition that first we get fuel of 20 percent," he added. Borujerdi on Saturday said that Iran had decided to reject proposals from major powers for the supply of nuclear fuel, in what was seen as a serious setback for UN-brokered efforts to allay Western concerns about Tehran's atomic ambitions. Under the plan thrashed out in talks with France, Russia and the United States, Iran was to have shipped out most of its own stocks of low-enriched 

Arab echoes of grassroots protest 
11/8/2009 - The National - . . . . . On November 5, 1989 – four days before the Berlin Wall fell – the people of the Palestinian town of Beit Sahour decided they would no longer pay for Israel’s occupation of their land. A coalition of Arab armies inspired by Nasser’s Pan-Arabist dream had failed in 1967 to expel Israel from the same soil; now, in an echo of the grassroots street protests sweeping Europe, the people of Beit Sahour would try to achieve it by refusing to pay their taxes. “No taxation wut representation!” their leaflet cried. In reply, Israel did not follow the path of Mikhail Gorbachev. When told on March 3, 1989, of the decision of the Hungarian Central Committee to “completely remove the electronic and technological defences from the western and southern borders of Hungary”, the Soviet leader did not condemn the move or order retaliation. 

J’lem mayor finds support for united city in Congress 
11/7/2009 - YNetNews - Barkat warmly received in Washington, with Congress members presenting to him legislation proposal to have US embassy moved from Tel Aviv to capital without need for president's consent - WASHINGTON - Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat met with Democratic and Republican Congress members in Washington on Friday, and was pleased to find wall-to-wall support of the need to keep Jerusalem united. The mayor, who is on a two-week visit to the United States and Canada, arrived at Congress accompanied by Israeli Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren. Barkat was received warmly, and learned that it is seemingly easier to run Jerusalem from the US capital than from the Israeli one. One example of the support Barkat found for his position on Jerusalem can be found in the Senate, where a group of seven senators are working on legislation that will support maintaining a united Jerusalem. 


Articles

A line in the sand 
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 11/8/2009
      Mahmoud Abbas is fed up. The day before yesterday he withdrew his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority. I understand him. He feels betrayed. And the traitor is Barack Obama.
     A year ago, when Obama was elected, he aroused high hopes in the Muslim world, among the Palestinian people as well as in the Israeli peace camp. At long last an American president who understood that he had to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not only for the sake of the two peoples, but mainly for US national interests. This conflict is largely responsible for the tidal waves of anti-American hatred that sweep the Muslim masses from ocean to ocean.
     Everybody believed that a new era had begun. Instead of the Clash of Civilizations, the Axis of Evil and all the other idiotic but fateful slogans of the Bush era, a new approach of understanding and reconciliation, mutual respect and practical solutions. Nobody expected Obama to exchange the unconditional pro-Israeli line for a one-sided pro-Palestinian attitude. But everybody thought that the US would henceforth adopt a more even-handed approach and push the two sides toward the two-state solution. And, no less important, that the continuous stream of hypocritical and sanctimonious blabbering would be displaced by a determined, vigorous, non-provocative but purposeful policy. As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Nothing of all these has come about. Worse: the Obama administration has shown by its actions and omissions that it is not really different from the administration of George W. Bush.
     From the first moment it was clear that the decisive test would come in the battle of the settlements. It may seem that this is a marginal matter. If peace is to be achieved within two years, as Obama’s people assure us, why worry about another few houses in the settlements that will be dismantled anyway? So there will be a few thousand settlers more to resettle. Big deal. more.. e-mail

Israeli settlements could cause one-state solution 
Juan Cole, Salon 11/5/2009
      PLO leader warns that settlers in the West Bank are making a free-standing Palestinian state impossible - includes video.
     Saeb Erekat, chief of the Palestine Liberation Organization Steering Committee, said Wednesday that Palestine Authority president Mahmoud Abbas should be frank with the Palestinian people and admit to them that there is no possibility of a two-state solution given continued Israeli colonization of the West Bank.
     It is morally and ethically unconscionable to leave millions of Palestinians in a condition of statelessness, in which they have no rights. (Warren Burger defined citizenship as the "right to have rights" as my colleague Margaret "Peggy" Sommers pointed out in her new book.) Therefore, if there isn’t going to be a two-state solution, there will have to be a one-state solution, in which Israel gives citizenship to the Palestinians. (As it is, 20 percent of Israelis are Palestinian Arabs and that proportion will grow to 33 percent by 2030, if they are not expelled by sometime-Moldavian-night-club-bouncer and now foreign minister of Israel, Avigdor Lieberman.)
     Al-Jazeera English has a video interview with Saree Makdisi [and Khalil Jahsan] on Erekat’s statement [link follows].
     The Israeli colonies in the West Bank are actively encouraged by the Israeli government. Haaretz reported last winter on a hitherto secret database on the settlements kept by the Israeli government [link follows]:
     An analysis of the data reveals that, in the vast majority of the settlements -- about 75 percent -- construction, sometimes on a large scale, has been carried out without the appropriate permits or contrary to the permits that were issued..... -- Links: VIDEO - Al-Jazeera interview with Saree Makdisi and Haaretz report on secret settlements database -- See also: VIDEO - Al-Jazeera interview with Saree Makdisi and Haaretz report on secret settlements database more.. e-mail

In Beit Sahour, Squeezed Between a Rock and a Hard Place 
Awatef Sheikh, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/7/2009
      2009 September-October Edition
     The Nakba Continues
     The only way to reach Said Zawahry’s house now is to go through Har Homa, a Jewish-only colony built on the confiscated Palestinian Abu Ghneim mountain, just between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. I reach a traffic circle that leads into this massive colony, a residential fortress accommodating 30,000 settlers, built on this imposing, once-green hill. I phone a friend who visited the Zawahry family last summer to get directions to the house. “Take the first dirt road you find and the house is just opposite the colony, standing alone,” he says. “You won’t miss it.”
     I leave the wide, built-up road and follow the first dirt road that I find. I drive down a hill, but suddenly I’m face to face with a construction truck. Oh damn, I say to myself, they’ve started construction work on Said’s confiscated land. The driver in the truck, who ironically is a Palestinian laborer, looks at me, puzzled about my presence here. I drive past him and take the road down to overlook a huge space that’s been leveled. I wonder: have they demolished Said’s house?
     The flattened area looks awkwardly naked and is covered with white soil. A weird feeling of dryness and exposure hits me. It’s an alien landscape. I call my friend again and describe what I see. Wrong spot, he explains; this is where the Israelis are constructing a campus. It’s all Palestinian land, but I’m at the wrong spot. I head back to the paved road that circles the colony from its southwest side. I drive by the edge of the hill overlooking Bethlehem and Beit Sahour, both very close. There’s still no sign of Said’s house to my right, where my friend says I’ll find another dirt road that is used by bulldozers and cement trucks. “You’ll be able to see Said’s home through two new housing towers,” he says. But I see nothing. more.. e-mail

In Gaza
peak hour
4 Nov 2009 - Children swarming the streets coming from school, men and women going to market, people employed as traffic police, police –many who worked for the former government and continued with the current government –people on bikes, in taxis, afoot… These were the scenese when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it up for the next 22 days, indiscriminately targeting civilians at a peak hour, in their homes, schools, cars, mosques, kindergartens… Think of these children, and justice for Palestinians.  And ask, what more than supporting the Goldstone report (important, but certainly not marking Israel’s first violations of international human rights) can we do? … BDS :...

Palestine Chronicle
Obama Must Deliver on his Potential
8 Nov 2009 - By George Hishmeh - Washington DC The first nine months of US President Barack Obama's tenure at the White House have been pregnant with thought-provoking ideas and commendable aspirations aimed at improving the tarnished US image and bringing the world closer together in every way possible — especially in the Middle East, where an unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict has been simmering for more than 60 years. But there is increasing fear in Europe and the Arab world that Obama may fail to deliver on his potential. "Trans-Atlantic relations are again clouded by doubts", the New York Times reported on the eve of a United States-European Union meeting in Washington this week. "Europe and the United States remain at least partly out of sync on Afghanistan, the Middle East, Iran and climate change". Coincidentally, Obama will next week be addressing major Jewish organizations in Washington. Many hope he will use the opportunity to put an end to the hesitation within his administration over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The signs so far are not encouraging. US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has caused mayhem this week with her inelegant pronouncements in the Middle East, a development which makes one wonder whether she realizes that she is no longer the senator from New York, having to cater to her large Jewish constituency there, but a senior official of the Obama administration, which is committed to a ‘new beginning' with the Arab and Muslim worlds. Netanyahu's Proposal Arab anger was touched off by Clinton's untimely...

The White Man's Mess
8 Nov 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed- Dubai My apologies for returning to Rudyard Kipling in every discussion about Afghanistan! But the man, who gave us such enduring classics as Jungle Book and an endless repertoire of tales, ballads, ditties and just about everything on the Raj, remains eminently relevant on this untamed frontier of civilization. Kipling may have been Poet to the Empire and its best apologist (or worst?). But having spent most of his life in Her Majesty’s Service in the Indian Sub-continent as a soldier and journalist, Kipling knew the redlines that were not to be crossed -- ever. And Afghanistan and most of today’s Pakistan constituted the forbidden territory the English poet and writer repeatedly warned his fellow Westerners against. Here’s one such advice: It is not wise for the Christian white To hustle the Asian brown; For the Christian riles And the Asian smiles And weareth the Christian down. At the end of the fight Lies a tombstone white With the name of the Late deceased; And the epitaph drear, A fool lies here, Who tried to hustle the East Kipling who famously justified the Western colonization and European imperialism in the now infamous poem, The White Man’s Burden, was nothing if not a pragmatist. He knew the limits of the imperialism project. Kipling recognized the fact that the white man’s so-called burden to “civilize the natives” could wreak unspeakable havoc if he barges into the forbidden territory where angels fear to tread. These days, Kipling’s immortal words...

How Eurocentric Is Your Day?
8 Nov 2009 - By M. Shahid Alam At the outset of the classes I teach, I always address the question of bias in the social sciences. In one course – on the history of the global economy – this is the central theme. It critiques Eurocentric biases in several leading Western accounts of the rise of the global economy. This fall, I began my first lecture on Eurocentrism by asking my students, How Eurocentric is your day? I explained what I wanted to hear from them. Can they get through a typical day without running into ideas, institutions, values, technologies and products that originated outside the West – in China, India, the Islamicate or Africa? The question befuddled my students. I proceeded to pepper them with questions about the things they do during a typical day, from the time they wake up. Unbeknownst, my students discover that they wake up in ‘pajamas,’ trousers of Indian origin with an Urdu-Persian name. Out of bed, they shower with soap and shampoo, whose origins go back to the Middle East and India. Their tooth brush with bristles was invented in China in the fifteenth century. At some point after waking up, my students use toilet paper and tissue, also Chinese inventions of great antiquity. Do the lives of my students rise to Eurocentric purity once they step out of the toilet and enter into the more serious business of going about their lives? Not quite. I walk my student through her breakfast. Most likely, this consists...

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