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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
18 November, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Kouchner Claims Gilo Settlement Expansion Would Not Hinder Peace
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Thursday November 19, 2009 - 00:15, French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, claimed Wednesday that the Israeli plan to construct hundreds of homes in Gilo settlement, near Bethlehem, would not hinder the peace process. He also expressed opposition to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood.

Beilin: “Temporary Freeze Of Settlements Could Lead To P.A Collapse”
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 22:06, Former head of the Meretz Israeli leftist party, Yossi Beilin, stated Wednesday that a temporary freeze of settlement construction could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority (P.A).

The Israeli military attacks a number of areas in the West Bank
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 16:37, The Israeli military invaded two different areas in the southern and central parts of the Gaza strip on Wednesday.

Palestinian Swine flu patient died in the West Bank, death toll reaches six
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 16:16, A Palestinian suffering from H1N1, also known as swine flu, died in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday bringing the death toll to six since the virus outbreak started.

Israel Demolishes Four Palestinian Homes And NGO Offices In East Jerusalem
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 15:59, The Israeli municipality demolished on Wednesday four Palestinian owned homes and offices of a local NGO in East Jerusalem.

Israel approves 900 new homes in settlement; US 'dismayed'
IMEMC 18 Nov 2009 - Wednesday November 18, 2009 - 06:08, Israeli government officials gave the final approval on Tuesday to a plan that will expand the 'Gilo' settlement, near Bethlehem, by 900 units. Gilo, like all Israeli settlements constructed on Palestinian land in the West Bank, is considered illegal under international law.

Ma'an News

Israel razes Palestinian homes in Jerusalem
11/18/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Israeli bulldozers demolished a two-family Palestinian home in the town of Al-Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, the second home demolition in two days. Residents of the town said Israeli forces entered the village with three bulldozers on the premise of carrying out demolition orders, and noted Israeli police and border guards blocked off the main entrances of the community. In response, Palestinians threw up make-shift barricades using rocks and dumpsters in an attempt to halt the bulldozers' progress toward the targeted building, a 240-square-meter structure owned by Abdul-Halim Dari, and Ibrahim Dari. The Israeli vehicles forced their way through the road-blocks and razed the building, witnesses said. While in the town, Israeli municipal authorities handed over demolition orders to 14 families bringing the overall number of homes facing demolition in the community to 70. 

Deported BU student tells Israeli prosecutors she was in WB legally
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Deported Bethlehem University Student Berlanty Azzam was interviewed by prosecutors from the Israeli military on Tuesday, pursuant to a 22 November court date which will determine whether or not the 21-year-old was illegally seized and removed from the West Bank. The interview took place at the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing, where Berlanty was thrown back into Gaza after spending three and a half years in Bethlehem studying Business Administration and Translation in the West Bank. It was the first time Berlanty was permitted to meet her lawyer in person, and a chance for the young student to explain her story. When travelling back to Bethlehem from a Ramallah job interview with the Palestinian telecom company Jawwal on 28 October, Berlanty was pulled from the mini-bus she was riding in after soldiers demanded to inspect her identity card, which indicates she a resident of Gaza. 

Clashes erupt as Israeli forces raze two more homes in Jerusalem
11/18/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Violent protests erupted between Jerusalem residents and Israeli troops on Wednesday as forces razed two houses and a garage in the Al-Bustan neighborhood in Silwan, East Jerusalem. The demolitions were the second and third of the day. Seven Palestinians were injured and dozens of others assaulted as Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters at the growing crowd voicing dissent to the continued program of home demolitions in the neighborhood. Crowds gathered as Israeli bulldozers wrecked the homes, and protests began as the equipment moved on to the second building. The destroyed buildings belonged toKhaled Ar-Ruweidi and Muhammad Awwad. They housed 18 people, who are all homeless as a result of the demolitions. The garage that was demolished was the property of Iyad Siyam. Among the injured was homeowner Ar-Rueweidi, 45, and his relative Abbas Ar-Rueidi, 50. 

Israel approves further building plans in Jerusalem
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Residents of the Nof Zion housing compound gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the government's approval of building plans for 105 new homes in the mainly Palestinian area of Jabal Mukaber. The Israeli day Ynet reported that amongst the attendees of the celebration were Member of Knesset Danny Danon and 25 Peace Now activists. The Digal Investments and Holding Ltd, the firm responsible for Nof Zion's construction, further said they received approval for their third and fourth stages, which, according to construction plans on Digal's website, includes a shopping centre, hotel and country club. In an interview with Ynet, Danon dismissed US concerns over Israeli settlement plans in Jerusalem, stating,"Twelve years ago [Benjamin] Netanyahu was also prime minister, and [former US President Bill] Clinton and [US Secretary of State Madeleine] Albright also said. . . " 

Israeli troops ban mother from visiting detained son
11/18/2009 - Tulkarem - Ma'an - Israeli troops banned the mother of detained Iyad Nassar from visiting her son in prison on Wednesday, holding her at At-Taybeh checkpoint, Tulkarem, for several hours before releasing her. Speaking to Ma'an, Tahani Nassar, Iyad's sister and a former detainee, said that her mother left the family home at dawn to visit her son and upon her arrival at At-Taybeh checkpoint was detained and isolated for three hours. "My mother is 56 years-old and suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure, in addition to heart problems. After keeping her for three hours in that isolated room at the border she felt terrible and when she was back home she felt sick and tired," said Ms Nassar. Tahani Nassar added that her mother was subjected to a strip-search by a female solider who confiscated a bag of clothes that she had intended to bring to her son. 

Report: Israeli forces open fire on Gaza workers near Erez
11/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians, killing at least one work hose in the Gaza Strip as the group was collecting construction debris near the Erez border area in the northern Strip. The Local Initiative, based out of Beit Hanoun, said the shots were fired from the Erez watchtowers at 8:30am. The group said the shots were aimed directly at the group of workers, collecting construction debris about 500 meters away from the border wall. The workers were collecting damaged stones and cement for processing at the local brick factory, which has been processing reused construction materials for the rebuilding of thousands of homes in Gaza, destroyed during Israel's Operation Cast Lead last winter. Israel has maintained a strict siege on the Strip, prohibiting the transfer of cement into the area. 

MOH: Woman dies of swine flu in Ramallah
11/18/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - A Palestinian woman died after being diagnosed with the H1N1 virus, the caretaker Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday. As'ad Ar-Ramlawi, general director of health care for the minsitry, told Ma'an that "a woman from Ramallah district died after being infected with H1N1virius. "  Six peole have died as a result of swine flu in the Palestinian territories, the general director concluded. [end] 

Israeli forces take over Hebron-area home
11/18/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers forced Palestinians out of a house in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar north of Hebron on Wednesday and used the building as a military position, witnesses said. Residents of the town said Israeli forces planted a flag on the roof of the house, which is owned by Khaled Sabarneh and his family, in the Asida neighborhood of the town. [end] 

Amnesty detainees go on hunger strike in Juneid
11/18/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Eight amnesty detainees at the Palestinian Authority's Juneid prison in Nablus declared a hunger strike for the second day on Wednesday, in protest ofwhat they say is Israel's refusal to grant their release. The group are all former Al-Aqsa Brigades fighters, the militant wing of Fatah, and turned themselves in between 8-16 months ago. They handed in their weapons and committed themselves to PA custody awaiting a promise of amnesty from Israel. The guarantee would see Israeli forces halt their pursuit of the fighters so they can return to their lives without fear of death or capture. A spokesperson for the hunger strikers identified the eight as: Mahmod Da'ous, Ala' Hanoun, Yehya Abu Salem, Yousef Hajaj, Muhammad Al-Sharqawi, Jihad Al-Asma, Fares Ar-Rifa'y, Sabry Al-Kurd. 

Israeli forces seize 24 Palestinians in night raids
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli armed forces detained 24 Palestinians during overnight raids in the West Bank, a military spokesperson and Palestinian witnesses said on Wednesday. The spokesperson said the detentions took place in the following locations: One in An-Nabi Elyas, east of Qalqiliya; One in Madama near Nablus, two in another village in the Nablus area; two in the Ramallah area, two in the village of Rakhme south of Bethlehem, one in Abu Nujeim south of Bethlehem, 11 in other Bethlehem villages, one in As-Sumu south of Hebron, and three in Jericho. Israeli forces detain so-called "wanted" Palestinians in nightly raids in the West Bank. The number arrested on Tuesday night was higher than usual. Palestinians living in the village of Al-Asakira, east of Bethlehem reported that Israeli soldiers raided several houses in the community overnight. 

Fraud alleged in sale of West Bank land to settlers
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Police are investigating suspicions of document fraud by Knesset Member David Rotem, secretary general of the Amana settlement housing group, Ze'ev Hever, and settlement leader Yoel Tzur relating to sale documents for land on a settlement outpost in the West Bank, Israeli media reported on Wednesday. It was reported that the court was presented with a sale agreement document between Ibrahim Judah Mustafa and Amana settlement group dated June 2000 claiming that Mustafa had granted Rotem "irrevocable power of attorney" despite the absence of Ibrahim Judah Mustafa's name being on the land registry documents for the plot concerned, according to the Israeli daily Haaretz. The registered owner of the land in Jabal Artis, Hirbi Mustafa, filled a trespassing complaint against the settlers approximately a year ago, with another registered owner of the land, appealing. . . 

New documentary says Israel lobby is UK’s most powerful
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A new documentary on the UK's Channel 4 television looks into the reach and influence of what the filmmakers say is Britain's most powerful political interest: the Israel lobby. Documentarians Peter Osborne and James Jones uncovered obscure funding patterns of British members of parliament by members of pro-Israel groups and also revealed the pressure the lobby exerts on the media. The show first aired on Monday evening. In a pamphlet published on the website OpenDemocracy Osborne explained that the concept was born out of a marked silence in the British media when exploring the extent of Israel's influence on Westminster, noting that, oftentimes, those who broche the subject or criticize Israel are accused of anti-Semitism. "Whether as a result of these pressures or for some other reason, mainstream political publishing. . . " 

Inside Palestine’s Adh-Dhahiriya Rehabilitation Center
11/18/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Development plans for Hebron's Adh-Dhahiriya Reformation and Rehabilitation Center include expanding the center's literacy and ateliers programs, as well as adding social and psychological support workers to the prison staff. A recent visit to the facility as part of a series of Ma'an reports on the Palestinian Authority prison system, revealed a prison with a big vision but little to work with. The 202 men held in the prison - 131 awaiting charges and 71 serving various sentences - live inthe six rooms of the facility, constructed by the British in the Mandate period, and transferred to Palestinian control after it was used by Israeli forces during the first intifadah. In the more immediate future of the facility, Director of the center Major Muhammad Amin said during a tour, are plans to widen the building and work on the water system. 

Israel opens two Gaza crossings
11/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened on Wednesday theKerem Shalom and Nahal Oz crossings to allow aid, fuel and cows into Gaza. Palestinian border crossing official, Raed Fattuh, told Ma'an that " the Israeli authorities permitted between80-90 truckloadsof aid and 20 othertrucks transporting600 cows through Karem Shalom east of Gaza. "  Fattuh added that "the Israeli authorities decided to open Nahal Oz crossing east of Gaza to pump limited amounts of domesticand industrial fuel for the power plant while keeping Karini closed. "  Israel had opened Karem Shalom to allow 20 truckloads of 600 cows on Tuesday. [end] 

PFLP claims attack on Israeli forces in Gaza
11/18/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades made claim to a reported mortar-shell attack of what they described as undercover Israeli forces near the Erez crossing on Wednesday. The armed wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said in a statement about the reported attack, that "it is ready for any Israeli incursion" adding that the "natural response [of Palestinians] is to continue confronting the occupation and its acts. " The Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades further urged Palestinian factions to unite. An Israeli military spokesperson said officials were "unfamiliar" with the claims, but confirmed an earlier report that a homemade projectile fired from Gaza had landed in Israeli territory in the Shaar Haganev Regional Council. The reported projectile landed in an open area and caused no damage. 

Obama critiques Israeli settlement expansion
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama criticized on Wednesday Israel's plans to expand settlements on occupied Palestinian land in a rare personal pronouncement on the subject. "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, according to Reuters. "I think it embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous. " Israel has rejected US and international critique of its plans to build 900 new houses in the settlement of Gilo, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, abutting Bethlehem. Gilo was built on land belonging to the Bethlehem municipality and Palestinian families living in the Bethlehem area, but is considered part of Jerusalem under Israeli law. 

Hamas: Prisoner swap talks ongoing
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - German mediators are continuing to broker efforts to produce a prisoner swap deal for with the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, senior Hamas leader Usama Al-Muzeini said. Al-Muzeini, the official in charge of the talks within the Hamas movement, insisted that offering further details could jeopardize the negotiations' success. Speaking to Ma'an, Al-Muzeini said talks are "ongoing with German mediation and are overcoming obstacles," adding that, "The movement's [Hamas'] decision was not to give any details so as not to negatively affect the negotiating process. "  Highlighting a previous statement, Al-Muzeini remarked, "The delay in accomplishing the goal for three years was due to the media. Because we are dedicated to the prisoners' release, we prefer to keep silent. 

Egypt: Weapon cache discovered; illegal immigrants detained
11/18/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian authorities discovered secret weapon caches in the northern Sinai Peninsula, and detained three African immigrants trying to enter Israel illegally through Egyptian borders, according to Egyptian sources on Wednesday. The sources explained that one cache contained 250 kilograms of TNT explosives ready to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip. The other three caches contained machineguns, sniper guns, anti-aircraft shells, grenades, and large quantities of ammunition, sources added. Ma'an has learned that smugglers collect discarded armaments from the Sinai Peninsula, empty their contents for TNT and other explosive materials, and then smuggle the materials to the Gaza Strip through tunnels. In an unrelated incident, Egyptian security sources said border police detained three African immigrants attempting to enter Israel illegally approximately seven kilometers south of the Kerem Shalom crossing. 

Egypt ’already recognizes’ Palestinian state
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Egypt already recognizes a Palestinian state, the country's Foreign Minister Ahmad Aboul Gheit said on Wednesday. Aboul Gheit said that Egypt recognized the Palestinian state declared by the PLO in 1988, and what remains to be determined is "how that state would be defined. "  The statement came amid a raging debate about the possibility that the Palestinian Authority could seek UN recognition of a unilaterally-declared state as an alternative to years of failed US-brokered talks with Israel. Aboul Gheit also noted that he received the credentials of the new ambassador of the declared state of Palestine. The foreign minister also denied reports that Egypt has any specific plans to renew its mediation in talks between disparate Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah. Commenting on reports that Egypt would invite the two parties to Cairo after the Eid. . . 

Fayyad: Israel not withholding tax funds
11/18/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad denied on Wednesday Israeli news reports that Israel was delaying the transfer of tax revenue collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA). "None of the authorized Palestinian sources issued any statement in this regard," Fayyad said in a news release. A report on the Israeli news website Ynet said the PA claimed that Israel was holding up the transfer of the tax funds over the controversy around a proposal for the PA to seek UN recognition of a declared Palestinian state. Fayyad said that the Israeli Ministry of Finance had approved the transfer of the PA's tax revenues in time for the disbursement of salaries before the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Adha, which begins on 27 November. 

Saudi Arabia allows relatives of Palestinian martyrs to perform Hajj
11/18/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an- Saudi Arabia permitted the parents and relatives of Palestinian martyrs to perform Hajj, according to Palestinian Minister of Islamic Affairs and Endowments Dr Mahmoud Al-Habbash on Wednesday. Al-Habbash announced that Saudi Arabia will allow 2000 family members of Palestinian martyrs to perform Hajj, adding that 1,000 would be chosen from the West Bank and 1,000 from the Gaza Strip. The minster added that the news was relayed to Palestinian embassies in Jordan and Cairo to receive Palestinians applying for Hajj permits, adding that the news was received by the Palestinian embassy in Riyadh. Saudi Arabia will undertake the rent and transport costs for the family members during their Hajj pilgrimage, Al-Habbash said. 

Ahmed Qureia: Two-state solution becoming hopeless
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israel's decision to build 900 settlement homes in Gilo is "another nail in the coffin of the peace process," member of the PLO executive committee and Chairman of the Department of Jerusalem affairs Ahmed Qurei said Wednesday. The PLO official called the decision one "disrespectful" to the personal effortsof US President Barack Obama who has been attempting to revive the peace process since he stepped into office more than a year ago. Israel's decision to construct more settlements is a violation of all of its commitments under the Road Map plan, Qureia added, and renders moot the Arab Peace initiative. Moreover, he added, it is a move that will make the possibility of reaching a two-state solution at any time in the future "hopeless" and bring the entire region to a place of instability. 

Abbas may quit before elections
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas hinted in a Tuesday evening interview with Egyptian TV that he may quit his post even before presidential and legislative elections take place. "I will not necessarily seek a new term, and there are further steps I will take in time. The position [of President] is a means, not an end. My decision is clear: I will not run in any elections," Abbas said answering a question about a potential candidacy. The elections, initially called for 24 January, were called off when the Central Elections Committee announced it would be unable to prepare for and open voting stations in Gaza because of de facto government opposition to the move. The committee suggested the elections be postponed, and Abbas has not suggested any new date for the process. Abbas' response was to defer the decision over what will happen once the term of the Palestinian 

PPP: Reconciliation developments forthcoming
11/18/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - A senior official in the Palestinian People's Party (PPP) stated on Wednesday that, "There will be new developments on the conciliation ending division during the coming days. " PPP political bureau member Walid Al-Awad, reluctant to talk in detail, added that "there are intensive contacts among all parties. "  Noting that the reconciliation document between Hamas and Fatah had been put off as a result of Hamas' rejection and hesitancy to sign the proposal, Al-Awad said that "the efforts are being made by the Palestinian internal arena and the Arab arena to push Hamas towards accepting to sign the Egyptian proposal. " Al-Awad concluded by expressing hope that Hamas "will realize the situation is sensitive and that the Palestinian cause is passing through difficult circumstances, especially as an assault is waged by Israeli and American departments against. . . 

Hajj pilgrims don’t take enough precautions against H1N1
11/18/2009 - Mecca - Ma'an - Most pilgrims, including Palestinians, do not heed the swine flu warnings in Mecca and Medina. While posters warning of the dangers of swine flu can be seen across Mecca and Medina, it appears that the lack of reported deaths resulting from swine flu in Saudi Arabia has deterred pilgrims from taking the necessary precautions. Only a relative few wear protective masks in spite of the usual congestion during Hajj at the Prophet Muhammad's tomb in Medina or during the circumambulation around Ka'ba in Mecca. Few Palestinian pilgrims chose to wear the preventative mask, believing the vaccine they received before they embarked on Hajj would provide them with sufficient immunity. Fatima Ben Sa'du, a female pilgrim from Algeria, told Ma'an that she has not worn a protective mask since her arrival in Mecca, believing that the infection is something destined by God's will. 

PSE surges: Al-Quds Index up 1.52%
11/18/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks surged on the Palestine Securities Exchange in the West Bank city of Nablus on Wednesday, as the Al-Quds Index increased 7. 46 points (1. 52%) Trading Volume was 362,378 shares traded for a total value of 1,211,605. 85 US dollars in 230 trades. The shares of 20 companies were traded. The shares prices of seven companies rose, and eight declined. The top five gainers were PALTEL by 2. 97%, PIIC by 2. 74%, UCI by 1. 69%, WASSEL by 1. 59%, and NIC by 1. 28%. The top five losers were AHC by 4. 76%, GCOM by 4. 59%, PLAZA by 4. 41%, APC by 4. 24%, and BPC by 1. 37%. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Border cops suspected of beating Arab in Jerusalem cemetery
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. 

Uruknet

GAZA: ANOTHER WINTER OF DEATHS
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - The people of Gaza have been suffering for more than two years now under an illegal siege put in place by Israel. This siege has been aided and abetted by the international community. Poverty, hunger, and disease have taken hold of the Gaza Strip and thousands of people are homeless as a result of the war....

Potential Israeli settler violence threatens 250,000 Palestinians - UN report
Uruknet 18 November 2009 - Nearly 250,000 Palestinians in 83 communities on the West Bank are at risk of heightened violence in so-called "price tag" revenge attacks that Israeli settlers may launch against a large-scale attempt by Israel to evacuate outposts it considers illegal, a United Nations report warned today. "While most 'price tag' incidents recorded to date... resulted in Palestinian...

Iran Human Rights Center Releases Report: Speaking For The Dead: Survivor Accounts of Iran's 1988 Massacre (Full Text) 
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) today released a report comprised of witness statements of five female prisoners who describe their experiences during the Islamic Republic of Iran's summary execution of thousands of political prisoners during the summer of 1988. The statements in the report, Speaking for the Dead: Survivor Accounts of Iran's 1988 Massacre,...

Israel Demolishes Four Palestinian Homes And NGO Offices In East Jerusalem
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - The Israeli municipality demolished on Wednesday four Palestinian owned homes and offices of a local NGO in East Jerusalem. Seven Palestinians were wounded in Al Bustan neighborhood, when residents tried to stop the demolition of two homes. Witnesses said that soldiers fired tear gas bombs before attacking them attacked them with batons. Also, Jerusalem municipality bulldozers...

AIPAC Received Classified US Trade Docs from Israeli Embassy -- IRmep
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - 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 FBI file, kept secret for 25 years, was recently released to the...

Netanyahu: The obscene liar
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is a manifestly fascist-minded demagogue who thinks that everything Jewish must override everything non-Jewish, regardless of all considerations. He is also a first-class liar who believes that lying to the world, including Jews, is the first line of defense against growing opposition to genocidal Israeli criminality. Indeed, like Nazi Germany, which...

Report: Israeli forces open fire on Gaza workers near Erez
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians, killing at least one work hose in the Gaza Strip as the group was collecting construction debris near the Erez border area in the northern Strip. The Local Initiative, based out of Beit Hanoun, said the shots were fired from the Erez watchtowers at 8:30am. The group said the shots...

Israel threatens to halt financial transfers to PA
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - Ministers in the Israeli cabinet threatened to take unilateral steps in response to the Palestinian plan to declare a Palestinian state without reaching a political agreement with Tel Aviv. The Israeli Environment Minister Gilad Erdan threatened to halt the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA), and to re-increase the occupation army's checkpoints at the...

US Politician urges Americans to move to settlements in violation of international law
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - A Democratic State Assemblyman from New York is leading a mission of 50 US citizens through Israeli settlements in the West Bank, encouraging the US citizens to move to the settlements in violation of international law. Dov Hikind, who represents the 48th District of Brooklyn, told Israeli media, "Our goal is to send a clear message...

Security official warns of Israeli intelligence's attempts to recruit patients
Uruknet November 18, 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 in the Gaza Strip revealed. Abu Ahmed told Al-Majd website, specialized in security affairs, on Tuesday that intelligence officers retain the patient for hours in a room...

West Is East, When Israel Decides
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - Along a wall not about to come down - a hotel no longer a hotel, but an outpost. The three-storey, 36-room Cliff Hotel used to be a favourite for Western pilgrims in quest of the 'authentic Holy Land flavour' because of its extensive gardens; it was a favourite also among Jerusalem Palestinians for wedding parties. Perched...

Israeli forces intent on Jerusalem demolitions
Uruknet November 18, 2009 - Israeli forces and bulldozers raided the town of Al-Isawiya, in East Jerusalem, on Wednesday. Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces had entered the village in the company of paratroopers and three bulldozers on the premise of carrying out demolition orders. The Israeli controlled Jerusalem Municipality issued the demolition warrants to 24 families in Al-Isawiya, warning that their...

Palestine Telegraph

UN: "Israel should respect its commitments, stop settlements"
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

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
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

Israel defends settlement expansion
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.

Palestine News Network

Palestinian families harassed in South Hebron
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....

Jerusalem Post

Alon Pinkas, former aide to Peres, Barak, to be next UN envoy
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

EGYPT: Out of the slum and into joblessness
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.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Iran Began Preparing for U.S. Bombing in 2002 
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

"We are going to Jerusalem!"
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 Weekly Report

(05-11 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank

International Solidarity Movement

Peace activists say beaten by settlers
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. ”. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

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

Obama opens up on Afghanistan decision during China visit
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 National page

Police arrest woman for wearing prayer shawl at Western Wall 
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

OPT: Al Mezan condemns the Israeli systematic attacks against civilians near Gaza border in pursuit of enforcing security buffer zone inside Gaza
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

Iran brushes aside UN nuclear deal
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

Iran considers fuel swap, scraps uranium export
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.

Palestinian Information Center

Netanyahu: The obscene liar
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.

Los Angeles Times

Jerusalem housing plan draws U.S. fire 
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

Jerusalem Real Estate Tour Is Politically Charged
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 . 

Misc

Netanyahu party member slams ’racist’ Obama 
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. 


Articles

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


Electronic Intifada
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. 

In Gaza
threads of potential
16 Nov 2009 - Embroidery lives on in Palestine, a tradition passed down through the generations.  While Palestine is as modern as a choking, all-encompassing 3 year siege (since soon after Hamas was elected in early 2006) and numerous Israeli wars and attacks will allow, the traditions from generations ago are not forgotten: songs, dabke (dance), food, farming and fishing techniques, clothing…and embroidery. In recent years, the art has taken on a new role in occupied Palestine, re-affirming Palestinian identity in proudly embroidered kuffiyehs (scarves) and bracelets, along with traditional dresses and shawls. And in both the occupied West Bank and siege-occupied Gaza Strip, Palestinians face the obstacle of having goods but no market:...

Palestine Chronicle
Abbas Election Pullout Raises Questions
18 Nov 2009 - By Stu Harrison President of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas, said on November 5 that he would not run in the presidential election scheduled for January 24. Abbas has been the United States and Israel’s favored negotiations partner. Since the Oslo accords between the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Israel in 1993, Abbas has been a key Palestinian negotiator pushing for a two-state solution to the Palestinian struggle. Under a two-state solution, Palestinians would accept a statelet based on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, divided from each other and cut up by growing Israeli-settlements and Jewish-only roads. Until Oslo, the demand of the Palestinian movement was for one state over historic Palestine in which all citizens, regardless of race or religion, could live in equality. A two-state solution would leave almost 80% of historic Palestine as the exclusive territory of the Jewish state of Israel, which was formed in 1948 after the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians from their lands. The West Bank and Gaza were invaded and occupied by Israel in 1967. The US backed Abbas’s party, Fatah, in a 2007 coup over the Hamas led-unity government. Hamas had won the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Assembly elections. The coup was successful in the West Bank, but the elected Hamas-led government held on to power in Gaza. The US labels Hamas as a terrorist organization and an unsuitable partner for negotiations. Abbas’s willingness to act as a US-favored proxy, combined with Israel’s refusal to grant any concessions to Palestinian...

Frustration with Obama Increasing 
18 Nov 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington There is growing frustration, inside and outside the United States, with the otherwise attractive Obama administration primarily because of its failure to bring about any measurable change in U.S. policy especially in the Middle East. Hopes are continuously raised but have yet to be fulfilled. The spirited American leader has moved crowds with his ideas, here and abroad as illustrated during his current East Asia tour but none of these ideas have materialized. This has led some to look for alternative courses, skirting an American involvement, as hard as this may seem to be. ‘While much attention has been paid to the feud between the (rightist) Fox News Channel and the White House, The New York Times observed last Monday,’ the Obama administration is now facing criticism of a different sort from ... progressive hosts on MSNBC (a popular TV channel) who are using their nightly news-and-views-cast to measure what (Rachel Maddow, a liberal host) calls ‘the distance between Obama’s rhetoric and his actions.’ The paper continued: ‘While they may agree with much of what Mr. Obama says, they have pressed him to keep his campaign promises about healthcare, civil liberties and other issues.’ The same is true in the Arab world, where the lackluster Palestinian leadership agreed, reportedly at U.S. urging, to shelve the Goldstone Report that charged Israel, and to a lesser extent Hamas, of war crimes during the Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip last December. The naive Palestinian expectation apparently was...

Globalization Unchecked: How Alien Media is Suffocating Real Culture
18 Nov 2009 - By Ramzy Baroud A Muslim family sits across of me in café, in a largely Muslim Asia country. An older woman shyly hunches over and desperately trying to avoid eye contact with the giant plasma screen TV, blazing loud music on the popular music video channel, MTV. The scantily dressed presenter introduces her ‘top song’ for the week. Beyonce, dressed in so very little, annoyingly reiterates that she is “a single lady.” The old woman’s son is mesmerized by what he sees. He pays no attention to his mother, young wife or even his own son who wreaks havoc in the coffee shop. The man’s T-Shirt reads: “what the fxxx are you looking at?” Respecting the message on his T-Shirt, I try to keep to myself, but find it increasingly difficult. The wife is completely covered, all but her face. The contradictions are ample, overwhelming even. The attire of the family, the attitude of the ladies and even the man with the provocative T-Shirt are all signs of the cultural schizophrenia that permeates many societies in the so-called Third World. It’s a side effect of globalization that few wish to talk about. It’s almost always about trade, foreign investment, capital flow and all the rest. But what about culture, identity, traditions and ways of life; do these things amount to anything? True, Globalization has various manifestations. If viewed strictly from economic terms, then the debate delves into trade barriers, protectionism and tariffs. Powerful countries demand smaller countries to break down...

Exposing Britain's Pro-Israel Lobby: Channel 4 Makes Bold Start
18 Nov 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Last night Channel 4's ‘Dispatches’ program set out to investigate the pro-Israel lobby in Britain, and to boldly go where no TV team had gone before. On the Dispatches website we were told that the lobby "aims to shape the debate about Britain's relationship with Israel and future foreign policies relating to it". So the program would be looking at "who they are, how they are funded, how they work and what influence they have, from the key groups to the wealthy individuals who help bankroll the lobbying". Political commentator Peter Oborne would explain how accountable, transparent and open to scrutiny the lobby was, particularly regarding its funding and financial support to MPs. So it was with mounting excitement that countless thousands of citizens here in an increasingly Zionist-ruled Britain awaited the screening of this daring program. Some of the reader comments on the Dispatches website showed the expectant mood ... "Finally someone will take this issue on. British politicians should represent Britain not a foreign interest." "I expect the usual accusations of anti-semistism of any attempt to show Israel in its true light." "I hope the program would expose how lobbyists for Israel trample over the UK democratic process. I expect Oborne to expose the destructive role of the Labor Friends of Israel in British politics, but I hope he won't stop there." "The Zionist Lobby counts many British politicians in its ranks where they function as a fifth column in support of Israel's illegal...

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