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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Claims Gilo Settlement Expansion Would Not Hinder Peace
razes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Pair suspected of striking man in East Jerusalem cemetery with truncheons and guns, as well as kicking him.
Barak vows to fight IDF refusal, without cutting yeshiva funds
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Defense Min.: Government should mull steps to take against hesder yeshiva rabbis who preach refusal.
Gaza charity offers $1.4 million for capture of IDF soldiers
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Hamas-linked group sent an e-mail calling on people living in Israel to try take soldiers hostage.
Netanyahu: Israel is world's 'most threatened country'
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - PM notes faster economic growth needed to finance increasing burden of state's defense needs.
Panel suggests scrapping bereaved parents' consent for combat service
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Subject arose following the death of Capt. Asaf Ramon in an IAF F-16 crash two months ago.
IDF refusal will bring about Israel's collapse, warns Netanyahu
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Some 15 lawmakers sign on to proposal to curb army mandate; two soldiers jailed for pro-settler sign at base.
Netanyahu: Israel is Iran's first target, but not its last
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - During navy tour, PM warns of Iran threat and visits boat that raided 'Hezbollah arms ship.'
IDF troops hang sign at base: We won't evacuate settlers
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Move comes month after soldiers from same brigade waved pro-settler banners during graduation ceremony.
Lieberman: PA playing ugly 'double game' with Israel
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - FM accuses PA of pressuring Israel to crush Hamas, then submitting complaints to international court.
Turkey and Israel hold joint drill, in apparent ease of tensions
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Jordan also takes part in rescue exercise; Turkish daily
Netanyahu: If Palestinians act unilaterally, so will Israel
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - PM tells Saban Forum there is no substitute for talks, appeals to Palestinians to negotiate at once.
Report: Missing Iran general abducted by Mossad, being held in Israel
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Iranian website: Ali-Reza Asgari taken to Israel to get information about Iran nuclear program, Ron Arad.
Iran MP: We could produce our own missile defense system
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Lawmaker says Iran will soon be able to produce system if Russia does not deliver S-300 air defense missiles.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be 'damned'
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Brig. Gen. Rontzki also tells yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops.
IDF chief: Army open to looking into Goldstone claims
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Ashkenazi says Israel must explain the war's justice as it is possible we will be forced to act again in Gaza.
ANALYSIS / Next round of Gaza hostilities will be more intense
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - To halt rocket fire, IDF will have to combine massive firepower with deployment of ground forces.
Hamas: Israel fabricating pretext for new Gaza war
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Spokesman says IDF report of Hamas test-firing rocket is intended to cover up 'previous crimes' in Gaza.
IDF Chief: Israel will fight in Gaza again if needed
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Hamas tells Red Cross: Israel planning another war in Gaza'; Palestinian militant killed by IDF at border.
IDF troops kill Palestinian militant at Gaza border
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Gaza militants fire rocket into south Israel; Palestinian arrested over bid to stab cop near Temple Mount.
Olmert: Groups using Goldstone Gaza report to attack us are 'hypocritical'
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Former PM, who launched Gaza offensive condemned in UN report, says Israel must continue fighting terror.
WINTER OF DEATHS
US, November 18, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the Israeli Government's decision today to expand Jerusalem's Gilo settlement, stressing that it was built on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.
Israel to build 900 illegal housing units, refuses peace
Palestine, November 18, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israel's decision to erect hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank have dismayed in the United States and the United Nations.
Report: 32 Children Killed in Gaza Tunnels in Past Year
Gaza, November 17, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A new report has found that thirty two children have died in the last two years in smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.
Israel Threatens to Annex More Palestinian Land
Israel, November 17, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israel has threatened to annex more land in the occupied West Bank, should Palestinians declare statehood without concluding a peace agreement.
Tunnel Trade wins Noor Award for best short doc!
Gaza, November 16, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - We have just learned that Tunnel Trade, the film I co-directed with my friend and colleague Saeed Farouky of Tourist with a Typewriter Ltd, in 2007, has won a Noor Award for Outstanding Short Documentary...
The National 18 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.
Iran says it will not send uranium abroad
The National 18 Nov 2009 - Government decision expected to anger US, which had called on Tehran to accept deal that would delay its ability to make bombs
Israel expansion plans draw criticism
The National 18 Nov 2009 - The interior ministry says it has approved the construction of 900 new units in eastern Jerusalem, drawing criticism from the West.
Ahmadinejad claims Tehran metro
The National 18 Nov 2009 - Tehran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's move to control the capital's metro system is seen as a personal grudge against political opponents.
Tide of global trade rises in Suez
The National 18 Nov 2009 - Egypt sees signs of hope as revenue from the canal – an indicator of the health of commerce – nears the pre-crisis record of $5.3bn.
Gilo expansion sabotages peace talks
The National 18 Nov 2009 - Palestinian officials say plans to build 900 housing units in East Jerusalem are a direct challenge to international community.
AlJazeera 18 Nov 2009 - Aide to Israeli PM dismisses US criticism of approval for 900 new homes in East Jerusalem.
Iran refuses to send uranium abroad
AlJazeera 18 Nov 2009 - Tehran says deal to hand over low-enriched fuel for further processing is not feasible.
Iran protesters sentenced to death
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - More than 80 others get jail terms of up to 15 years for roles in post-election unrest.
EU rejects Palestinian state plan
AlJazeera 17 Nov 2009 - Bloc says move to call for recognition of independent state at the UN is premature.
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - Israeli settlers in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank harassed a Palestinian family walking home, then beat and robbed two internationals who accompanied them. The two young parents and their three small children were returning from the nearby city of Yatta to their home village of Tuba. At 11am they encountered two members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) just south...
Mideast: Ban Ki-moon deplored Israel's decision to expand settlements
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - New York, 18 Nov. (AKI) - United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon deplored the Israeli Government's decision to expand Jerusalem’s Gilo settlement, stressing that it was built on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. “The Secretary-General reiterates his position that settlements are illegal, and calls on Israel to respect its commitments under the Road Map to cease all settlement...
France says Abbas 'indispensable'
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider his decision not to stand for re-election. After meeting Mr Abbas, Mr Kouchner said he was indispensable in resuming peace talks with Israel. Mr Kouchner is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to push forward stalled peace talks. Israel has been criticised by the US and UN...
Hamas criticizes PA attempt to seek UN recognition of statehood
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - Gaza City - Hamas rejected Monday a Palestinian suggestion to seek UN Security Council support for unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Such a declaration would have no meaning and was merely an attempt by the rival Palestinian camp of President Mahmoud Abbas to pretend it had an alternative to faltering peace negotiations, other than armed...
Israel could annex more of West Bank: minister
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli cabinet minister said on Monday Israel could annex more of the West Bank if Palestinians declared statehood without concluding a peace agreement. If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider ... passing a law to annex some of the settlements, Environment Minister Gilad Erdan, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Israel...
Palestinians warned over UN move
PNN 16 Nov 2009 - Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, has warned the Palestinian leadership against any attempts to unilaterally declare statehood for the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. West Bank-based Palestinian officials said on Sunday that they were preparing to ask the United Nations Security Council to declare their backing for the Palestinian quest for an independent state. In a radio address...
Obama says Israeli settlement building "dangerous"
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama (http://www.reuters.com/news/globalcoverage/barackobama) put fresh pressure on Israel on Wednesday to curb its settlement projects, saying continued building could lead to a dangerous situation with embittered Palestinians. I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security, I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors, Obama told Fox News....
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Lieberman's appointment is raising some eyebrows in the ministry, since Pinkas was an advisor to political figures on the Left.
Kadima divided over foreign policy, support for PM
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Netanyahu pleads with opposition party to stand behind government; Livni says Kidma backs gov't on Gilo, Goldstone Report.
PM: Economic growth critical to security
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - As rivals claim he sacrificed Israel's interests for politics, PM says he "took action" to advance talks.
Thousands gather to mark anniversary of Mumbai Chabad House terror attack
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Organizers say demand for tickets to memorial dinner was "enormous."
Cornerstone laid for phase II of Nof Zion despite American pressure
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - "I have a message for President Obama," MK Danny Danon says at ceremony. "Take your hands off Jerusalem!
Analysis: Obama's press on Gilo shows a continued misread of Israel
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Rather than rallying around Obama, Israelis have rallied around Netanyahu. And no issue will make them rally even further around the prime minister than Jerusalem.
Iran rejects UN nuclear fuel proposal
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - FM Mottaki: Teheran "definitely won't" send enriched uranium out of country for further processing.
5 illegal structures razed in J'lem area
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Workers and security forces pelted with rocks during demolitions in Issawiya and Silwan.
'Assad won't accept French mediation'
Jeruslalem Post 18 Nov 2009 - Erdogan says Netanyahu doesn't trust Turkey to mediate Syria talks, Damascus doesn't want Paris.
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (IRIN) - When government workmen came in a truck to take Ahmed Mohamed’s furniture to his new home just outside Cairo, the 32-year-old fisherman was overjoyed: His dream of quitting the slum where he had lived for years seemed to be coming true.
In Brief: Israel transfers calves to Gaza as a ‘humanitarian gesture’
IRIN TEL AVIV Sunday, November 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel’s Ministry of Defence has accepted agriculture minister Shalom Simchon’s request to transfer some 7,500 calves into Gaza for Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday on around 27 November this year and symbolised by the slaughtering of animals to distribute meat to the...
MIDDLE EAST/ASIA: Crunching the swine flu numbers
IRIN DUBAI Wednesday, November 18, 2009 (IRIN) - More people have died from H1N1 influenza in Iran than in any of the 22 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region, according to WHO’s 14 November update.
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 17 (IPS) - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published new evidence Monday that Iran had been building "contingency centres" in the event of a U.S. bombing attack as early as 2002, years before it began building the second enrichment facility at Qom.
MIDEAST: West Is East, When Israel Decides
IPS JERUSALEM, Nov 18 (IPS) - Along a wall not about to come down - a hotel no longer a hotel, but an outpost.
Stop The Wall 18 Nov 2009 - This afternoon, exactly 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, popular committees struggling against the Apartheid Wall and the settlements destroyed part of the Wall near Qalandiya. Hundreds of people, with some 30 international supporters, used a truck to pull down part of the Wall in the area east of the Qalandiya refugee camp and beyond the UN Vocational College. They also destroyed iron gates and other pieces of concrete in the same area. [
Medic beaten, youth destroy fence in Ni'lin
Stop The Wall 18 Nov 2009 - More than 200 people participated in the protest that the Ni’lin popular committee organizes every week on Friday. In response to the recent tearing down of the Wall in both Qalandiya and Ni'lin, a large contingent of soldiers were waiting for the protestors, and immediately started fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. Despite this, a group of youth managed to cut up parts of the fence and partially damage the gate. [
PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank
11/18/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - Two foreign peace activists say they were assaulted by settlers Tuesday in South Mount Hebron while accompanying a Palestinian family to the village of Tuba. One of the activists was reportedly kicked in the stomach and needed medical attention. The two women, who filed a complaint with the police, had their cameras stolen as well. "My colleague and I were with a family that was on its way home when we were harassed and assaulted by settlers," Sarah MacDonald, one of the activists, told Ynet. MacDonald, who is hear as part of her activities with the Christian Peace Group," advised the family to travel on a different route because, according to her, many settlers travel on that route. 8220;They chose to take the long way home, and we went with them. We crossed the hills south of Havat Maon when we saw four settlers on the ridge above us, about 50 meters (yards) away. They stood between the outpost and us. When we kept walking, they started to run after us. ”.
EU, Obama: Settlement construction could threaten peace progress
Ha'aretz 19 Nov 2009 - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday said an Israeli decision to build hundreds of homes in East Jerusalem was not an obstacle to peace talks, despite international condemnation of the plan. ...
'Netanyahu to propose 10-month settlement freeze'
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is soon going to announce a complete freeze in West Bank settlement construction for 10 months, Army Radio quoted former Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin as saying on Wednesday. ...
U.K. Jews lambaste TV 'exposé' of Britain's pro-Israel lobby
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - A television program purporting to expose the unknown power and influence Britain's pro-Israel lobby has triggered a wave of condemnation by British Jews, some of whom accused the report of stoking anti-Semitism. ...
'They're kosher vampires,' says Twilight and New Moon screenwriter
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Melissa Rosenberg, the screenwriter of The Twilight Saga, is 6 feet tall with straight blonde hair, a pale complexion and a long, slim nose. Not exactly the most ethnic woman imaginable. ...
French FM: Coming days are a test for Israel
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Israel needs quickly to advance the peace process, visiting French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said Wednesday as he began a round of meetings with Israeli officials. ...
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - US president touches on various other issues facing his administration during interviews with TV networks President Barack Obama has said he is close to a decision on whether to dramatically increase the number of American troops...
Antisemitism and the reported world | Jonathan Boyd
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - C4's Dispatches on Britain's Israel lobby perpetuated the same old antisemitic myth and that has effects in the real world Apparently, according to Channel 4's Dispatches programme on Monday night , there are some wealthy Jews out...
Obama to announce Afghanistan plans 'within weeks'
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - US president says he is very close to making 'life and death' decision on extra troop deployment Barack Obama will make an announcement on sending extra troops to Afghanistan "in the next several weeks", he said...
Capping Israel's teen drinking | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - Binyamin Netanyahu may not like drunkenness among minors, but Israel's west-facing culture makes some level of it inevitable According to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's teen-drinking problem is close to becoming an epidemic , in light of new data...
US 'dismay' at Israel over Gilo plan
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Controversial settlement expansion criticised Obama's efforts to resume negotiations undermined The White House yesterday expressed exasperation with Israel over a plan to build 900 new houses on the West Bank at a time when Barack Obama...
Letters: Is apologising for the past enough?
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Having decided a formal apology will be made by the prime minister to those who survived the appalling deprivations of forced child migration, according to Valerie Amos, the "next stage" is to decide its wording ( Brown...
Shallow polemic on pro-Israel lobby | David Cesarani
The Guardian 17 Nov 2009 - Peter Oborne's investigation into Britain's pro-Israel lobby shows one side of a complicated picture. It will do more harm than good In his Dispatches programme on the pro-Israel lobby, and the accompanying online pamphlet authored with...
Palestinians call for EU to back independence
The Guardian 16 Nov 2009 - Frustration at impasse on 'two-state project' Israel warns of retaliation over any unilateral move Palestinians have formally asked the European Union to urge the UN security council to recognise a fully independent state in the West...
Friends in high places | Peter Oborne
The Guardian 16 Nov 2009 - Britain's pro-Israel lobby needs to be far more open about how it is funded and what it does Every year a very grand lunch is given by the Conservative Friends of Israel at a central London...
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Police on Wednesday arrested a woman who was praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, due to the fact that she was wrapped in a prayer shawl (tallit). ...
Rightist MK blasts 'racist' Obama demands on East Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - MK Danny Danon lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday, as the lawmaker participated in groundbreaking ceremony for a new housing complex for Jews in east Jerusalem. ...
Meet the rabbi spurring IDF troops to refuse orders
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - The head of the Har Bracha Yeshiva, Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, has written in a book distributed to all graduates of his yeshiva that soldiers are not allowed to participate in evacuating settlements. The book also accused senior Israel Defense Forces officers of being "contaminated by politics." ...
Police probing rightist MK over fake West Bank outpost deal
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - Police are investigating suspicions of document fraud involving the chairman of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), secretary general of the Amana settlement housing group, Ze'ev "Zambish" Hever, and prominent settlement leader Yoel Tzur. ...
Who are Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jews?
Ha'aretz 18 Nov 2009 - The more Israeli society deteriorates and its skullcap-wearers divide and subdivide into groups and communities with differing lifestyles and differing relations with society and the state, the shallower the perspective from which secular people view them. ...
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
Following another 'painful year' in Middle East, UN SG tells meeting on Palestine refugees 'we need to see two states living side by side in peace'
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Secretary-General
OPT: The PA and USAID inaugurate infrastructure projects in Hebron governorate
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development
OPT: Multilateral contribution, 13 Nov 2009
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: Government of Italy
Middle East/Asia: Crunching the swine flu numbers
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks
OPT: Israel steps up Gaza Siege; reduces cooking gas allowed into Gaza - Al Mezan condemns Israeli siege and calls international community to intervene
Relief Web 18 Nov 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - FM Mottaki says Tehran won't export its enriched uranium for further processing, will consider nuclear swap inside Iran as alternative plan. State Department spokesman: US still consulting with its negotiating partners on way forward. At some point focus will turn to ways of increasing sanctions pressure on Iran
Erekat: Gilo construction shows why Israel not partner for peace
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Chief Palestinian negotiator says controversial plan to build hundreds of housing units in southeastern Jerusalem neighborhood 'provides 900 more reasons why hopes for salvaging two-state solution and restarting genuine negotiations are rapidly fading.' Qureia: Final nail in peace process' coffin
Kouchner: Gilo construction won’t necessarily hinder peace talks
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Visiting French FM says widely criticized Israeli plan to build hundreds of housing units in Jerusalem neighborhood 'not a political decision, should not be obstacle to resuming peace talks.' Adds: We'll oppose unilateral Palestinian statehood declaration
Beilin: Temporary settlement freeze may lead to PA's collapse
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Former Meretz leader says Bibi plans on declaring 10-month West Bank construction freeze, Palestinians will protest US call to resume talks
Israel no longer trusts Turkey, Erdogan says
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Turkish PM says unlike Olmert, Netanyahu does not trust Turkey to mediate peace talks with Syria. ' Now France is trying to take up the role we had,' he adds
Brother of missing soldier to recruits: IDF won't always look out for you
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - 'There are ego wars between the different government offices; my perception of the army has changed,' Or Hever tells Sderot students who will join army soon. Miki Goldwasser: We cannot afford to have an army of mercenaries
Barak: Inciting rabbis will be dealt with
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Addressing Kfir Brigade soldiers' protests against settlement evacuations, defense minister says State should consider action against yeshiva rabbis who 'create atmosphere that encourages disobedience,' but adds phenomenon does not exist in all yeshivas
EU: Construction in Gilo 'settlement' threatens two-state solution
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Swedish Presidency of the EU calls Israel's plan to build hundreds of new housing units in Jerusalem neighborhood 'illegal under international law,' adding, 'such activities also prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations.' Moscow says move 'unacceptable'
Hamas-linked group offers cash for Israeli capture
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Waad says bounty response to Israeli organization's offer to pay Gaza residents for information on Shalit's whereabouts. Kouchner: We know there is progress in prisoner exchange talks
Former Umm al-Fahm mayor denied trip to Mecca over Hamas contacts
YNet News 18 Nov 2009 - Dr. Suleiman Agbaria wished to travel to Saui Arabia for pilgrimage but was denied by State, which cited possible compromise to security as reason
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 Iran ruled out on Wednesday sending enriched uranium abroad for further processing, but would consider swapping it for nuclear fuel provided it remained under supervision inside the country, the ISNA news agency said. The decision is expected to anger the United States and its allies, which had called on Iran to accept a deal which aimed.
Israel rebuffs global criticism of settlements
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 Israel defended on Wednesday its decision to build hundreds of new Jewish homes in occupied Arab East Jerusalem as US President Barack Obama warned the "dangerous" move pushed peace further away. New settlement construction "embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous," Obama said in an interview with Fox News.
Unstoppable strike by Yahia propels Algeria to World Cup
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 A superb Antar Yahia goal gave Algeria a 1-0 victory over Egypt on Wednesday and a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The France-born defender who plays for German club VfL Bochum struck on 40 minutes to settle a playoff necessitated by the bitter North African rivals finishing level on points and goal difference in one of five African groups.
Iran MPs want 'suspicious' death of medic probed
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 Iranian MPs have called for a probe into the "suspicious" death of a doctor who examined protestors held at a controversial detention center, local press said Wednesday. "We have asked the coroner to carry out an autopsy to find the cause of Ramin Pourandarjani's death," Aftab Yazd newspaper quoted Parliamentary Health Commission member Masoud Pezeshkian as saying.
Sarkozy, Saudi king press need for Mideast peace talks
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 France's President Nicolas Sarkozy and Saudi King Abdullah agreed in talks on the need to restart Middle East peace talks and took a firm stance on Iran, a French official said on Wednesday. In three hours of "deep" talks late Tuesday at Abdullah's Janadiriyah desert farm, north of Riyadh, the leaders "agreed on the need for rapid steps to relaunch the peace process," an official of the French presidency told AFP.
Obama vows to conclude Afghan war before he leaves office
Daily Star 18 Nov 2009 US President Barack Obama aims to bring the Afghan war to an end before he leaves office, he said on Wednesday, the eve of a swearing-in ceremony Western officials hope can help salvage Hamid Karzai's tattered reputation. Hillary Clinton arrived in Kabul to attend the re-elected Afghan president's inauguration, her first visit as US secretary of state and the most senior visit by a member of Obama's administration, which has kept Karzai at arm's length.
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Israel must not be allowed to translate its pornographic lies into a license to commit a holocaust against the Palestinian people and other peoples of the Middle East.
Bardawil: The PLC will go on with its duties until electing a new parliament
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil highlighted that the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) would continue to assume its parliamentary duties until the election of a new council.
Ministry of detainees: Israel intends to deport a Palestinian prisoner
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said that the IOA intends to exile Palestinian prisoner Hammad Abu Amra from occupied Palestine to another undetermined country.
Haneyya gov't welcomes UNSC resolution endorsing Palestinian state
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian government has welcomed the possibility of a UNSC resolution recognizing a Palestinian state void of Israeli settlements with Jerusalem as its capital on the borders of 4/6/1967.
IOF troops raid southern Gaza, bulldoze land
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided the town of Khuza'a east of Khan Younis district in southern Gaza Strip and bulldozed lands on Wednesday, local sources told the PIC reporter.
Bahar: Intensifying settlement drive necessitates expediting national unity
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar has urged the Ramallah authority to re-consider its insistence on negotiations in light of the growing Israeli settlement drive in occupied Jerusalem.
Israel approves construction of 900 settlement units in eastern Jerusalem
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Different Hebrew media sources reported Wednesday that the Israeli government approved the building of 900 settlement units in the eastern part of occupied Jerusalem.
Security official warns of Israeli intelligence's attempts to recruit patients
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - The Israeli intelligence summons Gazan patients wishing to receive treatment in West Bank or Israeli hospitals and try to blackmail them into working for it, a senior security official revealed.
Hamas: Abbas’s militias escalated the torture of prisoners in the last two weeks
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - Hamas said that the torture and abuse of prisoners in Mahmoud Abbas’s jails witnessed an unprecedented surge in the last two weeks.
IOF soldiers arrest Palestinian woman for refusing strip search, beat up child
PIC 18 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a Palestinian women on Tuesday night in downtown Al-Khalil after she refused to strip for search.
LA Times 18 Nov 2009 - The White House, which is trying to foster peace talks, says it is 'dismayed' by an Israeli housing panel's approval of a plan to build 844 new homes in a part of Jerusalem claimed by Palestinians. Israel's plan to add 844 homes to a part of Jerusalem claimed by Palestinians drew sharp international protest Tuesday as U.S. officials denounced it as a blow to their already troubled effort to restart peace talks.
U.N. report questions Iran's credibility on nuclear plant
LA Times 17 Nov 2009 - The IAEA says satellite photos show construction on the facility near Qom began five years earlier than Tehran contends it did. The latest United Nations report on Iran's nuclear program questions Tehran's credibility regarding a recently disclosed facility built into a mountain near the holy city of Qom.
New York Times 19 Nov 2009 - A tour by American Jews looking at potential real estate investments at an apartment complex in a Palestinian neighborhood has stirred up a heated, if expected, debate.
Peace Talks Hang in Balance Amid Effort to Dissuade Palestinian From Quitting
New York Times 19 Nov 2009 - The Israeli security establishment is in a state of alarm over the possible departure of President Mahmoud Abbas, whom it considers a genuine moderate.
Plan to Expand Jerusalem Settlement Angers U.S.
New York Times 18 Nov 2009 - Israel said it had advanced plans to expand a district of Jerusalem that Palestinians also claim, a move likely to complicate the White House’s efforts at peace talks.
A Mideast Truce
New York Times 17 Nov 2009 - Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is unattainable. The wounds of the past decade are too deep.
Unusual Partners Study Divisive Jerusalem Site
New York Times 15 Nov 2009 - Israeli and Palestinian experts, seeking to promote understanding, collaborated on a new book about the holy site known as the Temple Mount and as Haram al-Sharif .
11/18/2009 - WorldNetDaily - Lawmaker decries U. S. demand to halt Jewish construction - JERUSALEM – A member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party today slammed as "racist" President Obama's longstanding demand for a halt to Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem. " President Obama should not interfere with the rights of the Jewish people to live in Jerusalem," said Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon. "This. . . is a racist demand, saying that Jews cannot live in Jerusalem, only Arabs. " Danon continued: "Our duty is to the nation that chose to deepen the settlement across Judea and Samaria, and of course Jerusalem. We will fulfill that duty, even at the cost of ignoring Obama and his advisers. " The Knesset member was speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony initiating 124 new apartments in a Jewish housing complex in the eastern section of Jerusalem.
Gilo outraged at US demands to halt construction
11/17/2009 - YNetNews - Residents of Jerusalem neighborhood respond furiously to Yedioth Ahronoth report that Americans demand construction freeze. 'They, who operate in Iraq without blinking, tell us what to do inside Israel? ' resident wonders - Residents of Gilo remember all too well the events that took place in their neighborhood at the start of the decade, when their homes became a target for attacks from the neighboring Palestinian town of Beit Jala for many months. Calm has been maintained in the area for many years now, but was disturbed when a Yedioth Ahronoth report published Tuesday morning said that the American administration is demanding an end to construction in the Jerusalem neighborhood, which is located beyond the Green Line. "Who are they to decide for us where to build? "wondered Shimon Ohana, a Border Guard officer who was critically wounded after being hit in the heart by a bullet fired by Palestinian snipers at the neighborhood years ago.
Peace activists say beaten by settlers
11/18/2009 - YNetNews - Two foreigners accompany Palestinian family to village in South Mount Hebron as part of Christian Peace Group, claim they were assaulted by settlers near outpost -Two foreign peace activists say they were assaulted by settlers Tuesday in South Mount Hebron while accompanying a Palestinian family to the village of Tuba. One of the activists was reportedly kicked in the stomach and needed medical attention. The two women, who filed a complaint with the police, had their cameras stolen as well. "My colleague and I were with a family that was on its way home when we were harassed and assaulted by settlers," Sarah MacDonald, one of the activists, told Ynet. MacDonald, who is hear as part of her activities with the Christian Peace Group," advised the family to travel on a different route because, according to her, many settlers travel on that route.
’White House baffled by Clinton’s gaffes’
11/18/2009 - YNetNews - Sources close to US President Obama tell New Republic magazine secretary of state veered away from White House’s message on Middle East peace process in two different occasions - WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's zigzagging and slips of the tongue, mainly on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, have been causing anger in the Middle East and complicating the peace process, sources in the White House told the New Republic magazine on Tuesday. In May, Clinton revealed at a press conference that US President Barack Obama’s call for an Israeli settlement freeze included any “natural growth” within existing settlements. Two sources with detailed knowledge of the US-Israeli relationship told New Republic that the Obama team was not yet prepared to make public this departure from Bush-era policy. Rather than leave his secretary of state twisting in the wind, one of the sources said,
PA says Israel preventing it from paying salaries
11/17/2009 - YNetNews - Palestinian government asks Israel for earlier transfer of taxes in order to pay employees ahead of Eid al-Adha holiday - The Palestinian Authority announced Tuesday that it would not be able to pay its employees prior to Eid al-Adha, which is celebrated next week, because Israel is refusing to transfer funds to the West Bank. In recent days, the PA has appealed to Israel to transfer tax payments before schedule so that it could pay its thousands of employees by November 25, which would allow them to purchase supplies for the holiday two days later. The PA usually pays its salaries on the fifth of every month, a large part of which is made up of taxes transferred from Israel. The authority claims Israel is delaying the payments because of the political crisis that ensued following the former's declaration of its intent to unilaterally declare statehood.
UN Lists Vulnerable Palestinian Villages
11/18/2009 - Political Theatrics - The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Tuesday published a report listing Palestinian communities that are especially vulnerable to the settler strategy known as the “price tag. ”The document includes 83 villages, hamlets and neighborhoods that appear to be particularly vulnerable to retaliatory attacks by settlers in response to Israeli occupation army operations to dismantle illegal structures built by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. In the past, such attacks have included rock-throwing and setting fire to Palestinian property. According to the report, “the ‘price tag’ strategy entails the exertion of systematic, widespread and indiscriminate violence against Palestinian civilians and Israeli security forces, following attempts by the Israeli authorities to evacuate settlement outposts. “The overall objective of this strategy is to deter the Israeli authorities from removing such outposts. . . "-- Links: UNOCHA: PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS - 4 - 10 November 2009
Israel Seeking to Curb Crisis with Obama over Settlements
11/18/2009 - Political Theatrics - Although Israel has been insisting for quite a while that there is no crisis of relations with the United States, Israeli officials were surprised Tuesday by the harsh American, British, regional and International responses to the approval of building 900 new housing units in the occupied Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. A source in Benjamin Netanyahu’s office clarified Tuesday evening that such approvals “are not handled by the Israeli prime minister. ”Netanyahu’s associates attempted to minimize the implications of the US and British criticism following the plan to expand the neighborhood, which is located beyond the Green Line, hinting that the Americans must clarify in public why they oppose the construction. “The Americans know very well that the Israeli agreement to freeze the construction does not include Jerusalem,” one of the sources told Israeli media.
Israelis Decry ‘Corrupt’ Establishment
11/18/2009 - Political Theatrics - The results of a recent poll in Israel have indicated that political corruption is the regime’s number one enemy. In a separate Corruption Index conducted for the Sderot Conference for Society, general corruption in the Israeli establishment and among its high-ranking officials was found to be the main reason why most people do not feel proud to be Israelis, Ynet reported. “The Corruption Index shows that corruption in the establishment is the country’s No. 1 enemy,” said Maj. -Gen. (res. ) Uzi Dayan, chairman and founder of the conference. According to the data, collected and analyzed by the conference’s steering committee and Sderot’s Sapir College, 73 percent of the respondents said the unacceptable levels of corruption in the political establishment made them less proud to be Israelis. The index showed 67 percent of the public agreed with the statement that the level of general corruption in the establishment was high or extremely high.
AIPAC Received Classified US Trade Docs from Israeli Embassy -- IRmep
11/16/2009 - CNBC.com - WASHINGTON, Nov 16, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A FBI file reveals the Israeli embassy passed stolen classified US government information to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In 1984 Israel and AIPAC jointly lobbied Congress to secure preferential Israeli access to the US market against widespread American industry opposition. The declassified FBI report may be downloaded from the Israel Lobby Archive at: http://www. irmep. org/ila/economy/03071986INTERVIEW. pdf The FBI file, kept secret for 25 years, was recently released to the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. The declassified files, their historical context, and long term impact on jobs and exports are detailed in the new book "Spy Trade: How Israel's Lobby Undermines America's Economy. "
Britain’s pro-Israel lobby under the microscope
11/19/2009 - Redress - In a pamphlet accompanying British Channel 4 TV Dispatches team's ground-breaking programme "Inside Britain's Israel Lobby", first broadcast on 16 November 2009, James Jones and Peter Oborne investigate Britain's Israel lobby, which is working in support of the interests of the State of Israel and aims to shape the debate about Britain's relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it. The pamphlet looks into how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby is, particularly in regard to its funding and financial support of MPs. It also examines how the lobby operates from within parliament and the tactics it employs behind the scenes when engaging with print and broadcast media. -- Links: Read the pamphlet in full (PDF)
EU against Palestinian state move
11/17/2009 - BBC Online - The Palestinians already declared independence unilaterally in 1988 - The European Union has said proposals by the Palestinians to try to have the UN recognise an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza are "premature". Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, said the conditions were "not there as of yet" for such a move. Israel has warned that any unilateral action could unravel past agreements. The chief Palestinian negotiator has said they will seek recognition because of the failure to restart peace talks. Saeb Erekat said they had few options left, because Israel was continuing to build Jewish settlements on territory it has occupied since the 1967 war. It is clearly an act born by a very difficult situation where they don't see any road aheadSwedish Foreign Minister Carl BildtIsrael has offered to restrict the growth of settlements,
Sawasya: Israel uses Palestinian prisoners as guinea pigs to test drugs
11/16/2009 - Uruknet - Palestinian Information Center - GAZA, (PIC)-- Sawasya center for human rights stated Monday that Israel uses Palestinian prisoners as guinea pigs without their consent to test the efficacy of new drugs manufactured by its health ministry on their bodies, calling for an immediate investigation into this violation. The center cited as evidence that Israeli interrogators gave prisoner Zuhair Al-Iskafi an injection he never saw before which resulted in losing his hair all over his body permanently, adding that similar incidents happened to other prisoners. The center appealed to Arab and international media outlets to highlight this serious issue and expose the Israeli violations committed against Palestinian prisoners. It also called on human rights organizations and the world health organization (WHO) to send a delegation of medical specialists to the occupied Palestinian lands to visit
The Complete Guide to Killing Non-Jews
11/17/2009 - Gilad Atzmon's site - Here is a full translation of an article in the Maariv newspaper of Israel. - Introduction by Gilad Atzmon - It is rather impossible to grasp the magnitude of the crimes against humanity performed by the Jewish state in the name of the Jewish people unless one elaborates on Jewish culture in the light of Judaic teaching. Zionism was founded as a secular movement. It was there to provide the emancipated Diaspora Jew with a ‘national home land’ of his or her own. However, Zionism was rather effective in transforming the Old Testament from a spiritual text into a land registry. As the truth of Israeli barbarism is unfolding a devastating continuum is being established between Israeli murderous policies and Judaic Goy hating. It would be fair to argue that Judaic teaching is not monolithic. . . . -- Links: Full translation of Maariv article
Netanyahu: Israel is world’s ’most threatened country’
11/19/2009 - Ha'aretz - Israel is "the most threatened country in the world," and the rocket attacks its civilian population has suffered are "attacks not experienced by any other state since Britain in World War II," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday. Netanyahu was giving the closing remarks at the Israel Annual Conference on Aviation and Astronautics. Much of the discussion at the conference centered on missile defense. " We are faced with enemies who do not conceal their intentions, and who arm themselves accordingly," the prime minister said. "They first attack us physically, and then attack our right to self-defense. " He noted that despite the financial success of Israel's military industries, much money will be needed over the next decade to meet the state's defense needs. These funds can only be secured by faster growth, which in turn can only be achieved by cutting taxes, he argued.
IAEA: Claims of secret nuclear talks with Iran ’entirely baseless’
11/18/2009 - Ha'aretz - The United Nations nuclear watchdog has vehemently denied a report in the British newspaper The Times that it had been holding clandestine talks with Iran over its nuclear program. These talks, the report said, would "allow Tehran to retain the bulk of its nuclear programme in return for co-operation with UN inspectors. " "These allegations are entirely baseless. It is regrettable that The Times should publish such a story without any effort to make a critical assessment of its source," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement published on its website. According to the report in The Times, IAEA Chief Mohamed ElBaradei drew up a 13-point agreement in September aimed at convincing world powers to allow Iran to continue its contentious nuclear program under close UN inspection. ElBaradei has apparently been trying to resolve this issue before he leaves office at the end of November, according to The Times.
Iran Rejects Nuclear Deal, Suggests Direct Swap Compromise
11/18/2009 - Antiwar.com - Fear of Losing Most of Nuclear Stockpile Killed Enrichment Deal - Following weeks of intense debate in Iran’s government, Foreign Minister Manochehr Mottaki says that the nation will not be accepting the draft third party enrichment deal as presently constituted. “We will definitely not send our 3. 5-percent enriched uranium out of the country,” Mottaki insisted, though he said the nation would still consider a simultaneous fuel swap, something Western officials have previously rejected. The existing deal was hugely controversial inside Iran, some officials were in favor of it, including the Army Chief of Staff, but it seems that skepticism and international pressure to answer quickly finally won out. Iran has been enriching uranium to 3. 5 percent, for use in the Bushehr nuclear power plant, but had sought more highly enriched uranium for use in its Tehran medical reactor.
Iran Began Preparing for US Bombing in 2002
11/18/2009 - Antiwar.com - Gareth Porter - The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published new evidence Monday that Iran had been building "contingency centers" in the event of a U. S. bombing attack as early as 2002, years before it began building the second enrichment facility at Qom. But the latest report on Iran’s nuclear program by the agency appeared to reject Iran’s account of how and when it had decided to build the Qom enrichment plant and implied that it believed Iran was hiding the construction of other facilities. The report provides new evidence that the Qom enrichment facility was constructed on one of many sites where tunneling had been prepared as early as 2002 to protect various kinds of facilities from a possible U. S. air attack. The apparent Iranian decision to begin preparations for a U. S. attack on Iran in 2002 came after President George W.
Sarkozy: Ready to mediate between Syria, Israel
11/17/2009 - Antiwar.com - AP News - French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted Tuesday as saying his country was ready to facilitate a resumption of talks between Syria and Israel and he warned that extremists could benefit from a continued deadlock in the Middle East peace process. The United States, the European Union and Russia should stand together by regional powers to relaunch the peace process, according to Sarkozy, who began a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. "The deadlock that we find ourselves in today is very worrying," he told the Saudi Al-Riyadh daily in an interview. King Abdullah met Sarkozy at the airport and the two later headed to the king's farm outside Riyadh. Sarkozy, on his third visit to the kingdom in less than two years, did not bring any of his ministers or delegates with him, apparently preferring an understated, personal approach to the discussions on the Middle East, Iran's
EU rejects Palestinian statehood appeal
11/17/2009 - Antiwar.com - AP News - The European Union rejected requests Tuesday that it support a Palestinian plan for gaining recognition as an independent state at the U. N. Security Council without Israeli consent. Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, told reporters "the conditions are not there as of yet" for such a move. "I would hope that we would be in a position to recognize a Palestinian state, but there has to be one first, so I think that is somewhat premature. " The EU's foreign ministers on Tuesday were discussing ways to coordinate with the United States to get Palestinians and Israelis back to peace talks, said Benita Ferrero-Waldner, the EU's external relations commissioner. " The most important thing until now is to really help the Americans bring both sides to the table," she said.
Israel army punishes troops for settlement protest
11/17/2009 - Antiwar.com - AP News - The Israeli army punished six soldiers, sending two to prison, for protesting the army's demolition of structures at an unauthorized settler outpost in the West Bank, the military said Tuesday. The soldiers hung a banner Monday at an army base in the West Bank, proclaiming their opposition to using the army for such missions. The soldiers faced courts martial, the military said. A photograph of them hoisting the banner was featured widely in Israeli media on Tuesday. Other soldiers carried out orders to dismantle two makeshift houses Monday at the outpost of Negohot, near the city of Hebron. The six soldiers, who serve in an infantry unit in the West Bank, refused to take part in the demolition, staging the protest instead at their army base. After courts martial, two were jailed for a month and dismissed from their combat unit.
Syria denies contact with Israeli media in Paris
11/17/2009 - Monsters and Critics - Damascus - Syria denied Tuesday that its foreign minister met with a member of the Israeli press in Paris last week. 'Syria categorically denied allegations made in the Israeli Maariv newspaper that a meeting took place in Paris between Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and the correspondent of that newspaper,' the official SANA news agency reported, quoting a government statement. The statement said the report in Maariv was 'part of a series of fabricated lies. 'Maariv had reported over the weekend that its correspondent in Paris had spoken 'warmly' with al-Moallem, and that the minister had expressed hope that indirect talks between his country and Israel would soon resume in Turkey. The last rounds of talks between the two countries, who do not have diplomatic relations, was hosted by the Turkish government but fell apart following the war in the Gaza Strip in December and January.
Militants’ possession of Israeli arms raises questions
11/17/2009 - The Nation (Pakistan) - ISLAMABAD – Use of Israeli-made light arms by militants against security forces in Waziristan has raised several questions amongst many recently. The Nation has learnt on good authority that militants are using Israeli-made light arms including “Uzi gun” and “Rapid-fire pistol” against security forces in North Waziristan as the operation Rah-I-Rast reached its final stage. In addition to Israel-made sophisticated arms, militants are making use of the latest version of US-made M-16 carbine with laser designator and binoculars, Bulgarian and Czechoslovakia made Kalakov and M-4 carbine with a grenade launcher and laser designator, which is a unique weapon with the US marines. Availability of sophisticated Israeli weapons within the militant’s ranks and their use against security forces has raised several eyebrows in Islamabad.
U.S. Senators in Israel Say No to U.N. Resolution on Palestinian Statehood
11/16/2009 - FOX News - Any United Nations resolution calling for unilateral statehood for Palestinians would be "dead on arrival," Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman of Delaware said Monday while visiting Jerusalem. Speaking during a press conference at the Saban Forum on Monday, Kaufman, who was joined by Sen. Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn. , said any effort to present a U. N. resolution that would eliminate Israel's role in the two-state solution is a "waste of time. "Lieberman said the U. S. will likely veto any resolution presented to the United Nations that unilaterally declares a Palestinian state. He added that the only way to resolve the long-standing dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians is through bilateral negotiations. " I hope and presume that the United States would veto such a move if it ever came to the Security Council," said Lieberman.
Israel’s Two-Tiered Justice System
Jonathan Cook in Nazareth, CounterPunch 11/17/2009
Judge Rules Arab Teens Need Protection from Israeli Justice
An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed “protection” from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel’s attack last winter on Gaza.
Prosecutors had demanded that the juvenile, a 17-year-old from Nazareth in northern Israel, be convicted of endangering a vehicle on the road, a charge that carries a punishment of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, as a way to deter other members of Israel’s Arab minority from committing similar offences.
But Judge Yuval Shadmi said discrimination in the Israeli legal system’s treatment of Jewish and Arab minors, particularly in cases of what he called “ideologically motivated” offences, was “common knowledge”.
In the verdict, he wrote: “I will say that the state is not authorised to caress with one hand the Jewish ‘ideological’ felons, and flog with its other hand the Arab ‘ideological’ felons.”
He referred in particular to the lenient treatment by the police and courts both of Jewish settler youths who have attacked soldiers in the West Bank and who violently resisted the disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005, and of religious extremists who have spent many months battling police to prevent the opening of a car park on the Sabbath in Jerusalem.
Abir Baker, a lawyer with Adalah, a legal group for Israel’s 1.3 million-strong Arab minority, said the ruling was the first time a judge in a criminal court had ackowledged that the state pursued a policy of systematic discrimination in demanding harsher punishments for Arab citizens.more.. e-mail
Palestinians throw down challenge to Obama and UN
Donald Macintyre, The Independent 11/17/2009
As so often in the Middle East, we have been here before. The latest suggestion – that a frustrated Palestinian leadership would unilaterally declare a state and invite international recognition for it – is not new. It was made a decade ago by Yasser Arafat when Benjamin Netanyahu, then as now, was Prime Minister. It was made again after the collapse of the Camp David talks a year later, when then Prime Minister Ehud Barak, like some of Mr Netanyahu’s more hawkish ministers now, threatened to annex the most populous settlements in the West Bank in retaliation. And as the second intifada – and Israel’s determined military response to it – gathered momentum, nothing came of it.
The conventional wisdom is that nothing will come of it this time either. Nevertheless it is worth looking at what has changed since then. First, Palestinian state-building in the occupied West Bank has greatly advanced since then, thanks in large part to the determined efforts of an able Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, efforts praised by Mr Netanyahu himself. Even the Israeli military has acknowledged the strides made on security. Indeed part of the Palestinians’ frustration is their belief that they have fulfilled their obligations under the six-year-old Road Map, while Israel has failed to fulfil its parallel obligations to halt settlement building and remove outposts. With the World Bank already saying that Palestinian service delivery exceeds that of several of its regional neighbours, Mr Fayyad is entitled to believe that when his two-year plan is completed in 2011, and if (and of course it’s a very big if) the daunting problems of Gaza can be overcome, the PA will be match-fit for statehood.
So it’s hardly surprising that unilateralism has its attractions. Yesterday Saeb Erekat, whose raison d’etre is negotiations with Israel, denied that a unilateral declaration of independence was on the agenda, and insisted that all the Palestinians were seeking was a Security Council resolution in which the UN would for the first time establish clear terms of reference for negotiations for a state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and an equitable solution for refugees. more.. e-mail
The Drama and the Farce: Obama’s Mini Mideast Summit
Uri Avnery, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/1/2009
No point denying it: in the first round of the match between Barack Obama and Binyamin Netanyahu, Obama was beaten.
Obama had demanded a freeze of all settlement activity, including East Jerusalem, as a condition for convening a tripartite summit meeting, in the wake of which accelerated peace negotiations were to start, leading to peace between two states—Israel and Palestine.
In the words of the ancient proverb, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Netanyahu has tripped Obama on his first step. The president of the United States has stumbled.
The threefold summit did indeed take place. But instead of a shining achievement for the new American administration, we witnessed a humbling demonstration of weakness. After Obama was compelled to give up his demand for a settlement freeze, the meeting no longer had any content.
True, Mahmoud Abbas did come, after all. He was dragged there against his will. The poor man was unable to refuse the invitation from Obama, his only support. But he will pay a heavy price for this flight: the Palestinians, and the entire Arab world, have seen his weakness. And Obama, who had started his term with a ringing speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, now looks like a broken reed.
The Israeli peace movement has been dealt another painful blow. It had pinned its hopes on the steadfastness of the American president. Obama’s victory and the settlement freeze were to show the Israeli public that the refusal policy of Netanyahu was leading to disaster. more.. e-mail
Sounds and struggle: Solidarity through music
Electronic Intifada: 18 Nov 2009 - On Wednesday, 11 November, more than 200 persons packed into La Sala Rossa, a slightly operatic Montreal venue, as part of the ongoing concert series "Artists Against Apartheid," which is held in solidarity with the call from Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions from Israeli apartheid and is organized by Tadamon!, a Montreal collective working in solidarity with Palestine. Tyler Nadeau writes for The Electronic Intifada.
The "green zone" called Jordan
Electronic Intifada: 18 Nov 2009 - MUWAQQAR, Jordan (IPS) - In the bleak and seemingly endless desert expanse that unfolds east of Jordan's capital city, Amman, lies a crucial cog in the ambitious regional designs of the US and its allies in the Middle East. Commonly known by its acronym JIPTC, the Jordan International Police Training Centre is ground-zero for the transformation of US-allied security forces not only for the Kingdom of Jordan, but also for Iraq, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Olive oil and yoghurt, yoghurt and olive oil
Electronic Intifada: 18 Nov 2009 - An old expression goes that a man once asked his wife to prepare lunch. When the wife asked what he wanted, the husband answered " laban ou zeit ," which means yoghurt with olive oil. You mean " zeit ou laban " -- olive oil with yoghurt? -- the wife replied, reversing the order. No, the husband insisted, " laban ou zeit " not " zeit ou laban ." The story goes that the disagreement between the two escalated into a furious quarrel with dire consequences. For the villagers, this story came to stand for any disagreement where the positions being put forward were essentially indistinguishable -- like the new "peace" plan being offered by Israel today. Hasan Abu Nimah comments.
Israeli judge rules Arabs need "protection" from justice system
Electronic Intifada: 17 Nov 2009 - An Israeli judge made an historic ruling last week when he decided that an Arab teenager needed "protection" from the justice system and ordered that he not be convicted despite being found guilty of throwing stones at a police car during a protest against Israel's attack last winter on Gaza. Jonathan Cook reports.