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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
4 December, 2009

News

International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers Invade Nur Shams Refugee Camp, Kidnap One Youth, Elderly Man Wounded Near Tulkarem
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 02:00, Israeli soldiers invaded on Friday at dawn the Nur Shams Refugee Camp, near the northern West Bank City of Nablus, broke into several homes and kidnapped one youth. A 75-year-old man moderately wounded in a separate attack near Tulkarem.

Five Palestinians Wounded Near Nablus
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Saturday December 05, 2009 - 00:29, Palestinian medical sources reported that five Palestinians were wounded, on Friday morning, by setters and soldiers fire in Aseera Al Qibliyya town, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Eight Palestinians Wounded Near Jerusalem
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 23:15, Palestinian medical sources reported Thursday that eight Palestinians were wounded by Israeli military fire in Shu'fat refugee camp, north of Jerusalem.

Bil’in residents demonstrate in support of recent Swedish initiative calling for a Palestinian state
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 14:28, Residents of Bil’in village, central West Bank, alongside international and Israeli solidarity activists, demonstrated on Friday against the Wall after the midday prayer.

One injured and dozens suffers effects of tear gas at the weekly Nil'in protest
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 14:22, One civilians sustained moderate wounds as others treated for tear gas inhalation when Israeli troops attacked on Friday the weekly anti wall protest in the village of Nil'in, central West Bank.

Homemade video shows settler driving car back and forth over Palestinian assailant
IMEMC 4 Dec 2009 - Friday December 04, 2009 - 09:51, When a Palestinian man from Hebron entered an Israeli settlement gas station with a knife, the Israeli settlers on the scene took things into their own hands. After beating the man and shooting him multiple times, one of the settlers drove over him several times with a car.

Ma'an News

Anti-wall protester shot in Nil’in
12/4/2009 - Ni'lin - Ma'an - Israeli forces shot a Palestinian teenager with live fire during a weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Ni'lin on Friday. Two medics said the 19-year-old, identified as Hasan Khaled Nafa, was shot in the right groin by a "tutu" bullet. A third medic said the ammunition was a ". 22 sniper bullet. "Ma'an's correspondent, reporting from the scene, said the teenager lost large amounts of blood and was treated with a transfusion on-site. He was transferred to the Ramallah Government Hospital following the transfusion, the reporter added. An Israeli court outlawed the "tutu" ammunition in 2001, but soldiers began using it again last month. Israeli rights organizations insist the bullet is a deadly weapon, as it has killed Palestinians in the past. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that soldiers fired the bullet, a type he said was reserved for "exceptionally. . . " 

Bil’in residents protest wall, praise Sweden
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Residents of Bil'in, alongside international and Israeli solidarity activists, demonstrated against the wall on Friday. Many suffered from tear-gas inhalation but no serious injuries were reported. The demonstration, organized by the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, was centered on the recent endeavor of the Swedish government, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The Popular Committee said in a statement that it "encourages the just effort and calls on other governments to support the initiative. "[end]

As army fears settler violence, villagers report attack
12/4/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar colony near Nablus attacked homes in the village of Asira, targeting two families on Friday, an official said. Gassan Doughlas, in charge of the settlements file for the northern West Bank, told Ma'an that the homes of Jamal Yousif and Ahmad Dauod were surrounded by settlers who carried weapons and threw stones. Neighboring families came out to defend the families under attack, Doughlas said, and clashes erupted between the groups. There were no reports of injuries. Earlier in the day Israeli military officials said an armed Palestinian was seen near the settlement. There is no indication as to whether the incident was before, or after the attack. The incidents come amid reported fears of Israeli military officials, who say they are concerned that settlers may escalate their attacks on Palestinian civilians in response. . . 

Israel bars Sheikh Sabri from Al-Aqsa
12/4/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Head of the Islamic Higher Commission Sheikh Ekrima Sabri was barred from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for six months following an order from Israeli intelligence delivered Thursday, he said. Sabri said he was called in to the intelligence earlier in the week, and ordered to report to "room 4" in the Russian compound in Jerusalem. The room is notorious for its interrogations of Jerusalemite Palestinians, and the unit that heads the room collect intelligence on those requested to report for questioning. Sabri did not go to the interrogation and was hand delivered an order signed by the commander of the intelligence unit barring him from access to Al-Aqsa, he said. The sheikh received his orders to report to the intelligence unit immediately upon returning to Jerusalem from Saudi Arabia where he was performing the Hajj pilgrimage on Wednesday, he said. 

Gaza borders closed Friday; fuel situation remains critical
12/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities informed Palestinian crossing officials that all transfer points would be closed Friday, continuing the five-day-a-week opening trend at the terminals. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian crossings liaison, said he was told that all crossings would be closed Friday, although they are scheduled to be open. Crossings have not been open Fridays since summer. The closure means food and fuel waiting to enter the Strip will continue to wait in storage containers. Fuel crisis - Fuel continues to be a restricted item, with Israel's decision to move fuel-transfer infrastructure from Nahal Oz to Kerem Shalom causing even more restrictions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), three out of the four days on which industrial fuel was transferred, between 22-28 November, it was transferred through the fuel installation. . . 

Goldstone wins Stockholm Human Rights Award
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The first annual Stockholm Human Rights Award was given to South African Judge Richard Goldstone, author of a UN report on Israel's Operation Cast Lead, in Sweden on Thursday. The award, given jointly by International Bar Association, the International Legal Assistance Consortium and the Swedish Bar Association was awarded to Goldstone in recognition of his "outstanding contributions to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. " The award follows earlier support of the Goldstone report from the consortium, which published an article demanding the document be "taken seriously and treated as a legal document. "Authored by three prominent members of the awarding associations, Mark Ellis, International Bar Association; Anne Ramberg, Swedish Bar Association; Christian Ã…hlund, International Legal Assistance Consortium, the article commended Goldstone for his work. 

Report: Israel denies Irish FM Gaza access
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Israeli government has refused a request by Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin to visit the Gaza Strip, The Irish Times reported on Friday. The newspaper said Martin told a parliamentary committee on European affairs that he hoped to visit the besieged coastal enclave to study the humanitarian situation there, but his request was rejected by Israel. Several other ministers on the Europe committee were also denied permission to enter Gaza, the newspaper quoted them as saying,adding that committee chairman Bernard Durkan called the refusal "intolerable. " "That an Irish foreign minister is not permitted to visit a region to assess a humanitarian situation is almost without precedent and is tantamount to censorship," Durkan said. He described the continuing blockade of the territory by Israel as "utterly unjustified" and said it is "exacerbating" an already dire humanitarian crisis, the report added. 

Renewed clashes reported in Jerusalem refugee camp
12/4/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Clashes renewed on Friday in the Ras Khamis neighborhood in Shufat refugee camp on Friday, onlookers said. Anwar Gheith, 42, died of a gunshot wound to the chest during an incident between the Abu Srour and Abu Asab families two days earlier at the northern Jerusalem refugee camp. On Friday, members of the Gheith family reportedly set a number of homes, vehicles and bulldozers on fire, accusing the Abu Asab family of culpability in Anwar's apparent murder. The families had declared a "three-day truce," according to residents of the camp. A large number of Israeli border guards rushed to scene to disperse the two large clans, witnesses said. Palestinian Authority security forces arrested 11 suspects earlier this week. [end]

PRC wing, Israeli forces clash in central Gaza
12/4/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees announced their launch of a projectile aimed at Israeli forces in central Gaza on Thursday night. In a statement, the An-Nasser Brigades said a mortar shell was launched at a force of Israeli soldiers as they attempted to penetrate the Gaza Strip east of the Al-Bureij Refugee Camp. An Israeli military official confirmed the incident, saying a mortar shell was launched in the direction of troops patrolling on the Israeli side of the Gaza border near the Kissufim military base. The official said the launch followed clashes with Palestinian gunmen. According to the military, Palestinians in the area fired an anti-tank projectile at the patrol and opened fire on them. The forces responded by firing at their attackers. The official said there were no casualties or damages, but noted that the mortar shell followed the attack by a few minutes. 

Israeli media: Palestinian tries to enter settlement
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli sources reported Friday that soldiers stopped a Palestinian attempting to enter the Yitzhar settlement in the northern West Bank the day before. According to several news reports, Israeli forces suspected the Palestinian was carrying a weapon. He reportedly fled the scene and soldiers were unable to find him. [end]

Report: Jordan summons Israel envoy over Sepulchre concerns
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Jordanian officials demanded Israel halt on Thursday "unilateral" construction work being carried out on the outer walls of Jerusalem's famed Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Because Jordan is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, Israel's ambassador was called in on an official request, "where he was handed an official letter of protest expressing deep concerns and rejection of unilateral measures in the outer western walls of the church," a senior Jordanian official told AFP. The letter, according to the AFP report, demanded Israel "immediately halt such actions and restore the status quo. "The official affirmed the Jordanian stance, saying "Israel's measures are illegal and violate international laws because Israel is the occupying force in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The work being done reportedly includes the removal of iron bars around a gate in the ancient walls. " 

UAE donates 2.5 million to struggling UNRWA
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the UAE ordered the donation of 2. 5 million dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, marking the donation for Palestine refugees in the Near East, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported Thursday. In his statement accompanying the donation, Al-Nahyan said it represented his government's unwavering and continuous support to the Palestinian people. The gift comes only days after UNRWA officials announced they would face a "zero budget" by the new year, and that services and the payment of salaries for employees would likely be affected. It also came on the heels of the UAE announcement to the UN that it had paid its one million-dollar share of the UNRWA budget, according to WAM. [end]

Aqsa Brigades boycott Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah's armed wing called for the boycott of the Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya satellite networks for their failure to cover the detention of Al-Aqsa Brigades spokesman Khaled Al-Jabari, known as "Abu Al-Walid. " The two news channels made no mention of the detention, reported by the brigades to media outlets on Thursday, sparking ire from the militant faction, which released a statement "urging the news agencies to be accurate while reporting on the brigades. "The statement said the networks could find such information on the group's website. It also accused the networks of "not speaking the truth over recent incidents," and said the bias against the Fatah group extended beyond the most recent reporting gap and extended to dozens of their reports of members summoned and harassed by Hamas security forces. 

Abbas to lobby Arab states for UN recognition
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas will depart this week on a tour of Arab countries seeking support for efforts to establish a state unliterary, sources said on Friday. The president's tour is expected to include Lebanon, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt. Palestinians have vowed to seek recognition from the UN Security Council for a Palestinian state on the current border with Israel and the territories it occupied in 1967. Meanwhile, Israeli sources reported on Friday that the US administration and other Arab countries were putting pressure on Abbas not to quit his post at the end of his term. The Israeli daily Haaretz quoted senior Israeli security sources as saying Abbas should not leave the region "a piece of cake for Hamas. "The source was unsure, however, if Abbas would ultimately step down. According to another security source, "the decision concerning Abbas. . . " 

EU delegation to visit Palestine
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A nine-strong delegation of members of the European Parliament's committee for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council is scheduled to travel to the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip next week. The delegation is expected to assess the main obstacles to the currently-stalled peace process, concentrating on settlements, evictions and house demolitions, Jerusalem's status and intra-Palestinian reconciliation. [end]

Obama delays US Embassy move to Jerusalem
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - US President Barack Obama delayed moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for six more months, The Associated Press reported Friday. The US Congress ratified a law in October 1995 that states Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of Israel. The act affirms that each country has the right to designate a capital of its choice, and Israel chose Jerusalem. The act also states that the US must move its embassy to Jerusalem no later than 31 May 1999. However, over the past decade, the decision has been delayed every six months due to the sensitivity of the issue. Israeli forces captured East Jerusalem from Jordanian control in 1967, annexing it and declaring the city the "undivided, eternal capital of Israel," although the move was never recognized by the international community. 

Report: US, Arab states pressuring Abbas to stay on
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli sources reported on Friday that the US administration and other Arab countries were putting pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas not to quit his post. The Israeli daily Haaretz senior Israeli security sources as saying that President Abbas should not leave the region "a piece of cake for Hamas. "The source was unsure, however, whether or not Abbas would ultimately step down at the end of his term. According to another security source, "the decision concerning Abbas. . . will be taken during the [PLO] Central Committee meeting to be held in the coming 10 days, where 127 member votes would authorize Abbas to continue in his position. "Israel will allow exiled members of the PLO to enter the Palestinian territories in response to the de facto government in Gaza's expected attempts to block the vote by banning Fatah delegates there, the same source said. 

Health minister vows to improve Palestinian care
12/4/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Caretaker government Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli promised new and better state health care for Palestinians during a Thursday meeting with heads of Jericho health institutions. The meeting was part of a plan to develop the health sector in Jericho, adding hospital administration and a department of health to the governorate, as well as more hospital employees and ambulances. Jericho Governor Kamel Hemed attended the session, where medical staff and directors discussed ways in which the sector could be assisted andplan to stabilize health care in the district. Abu Moghli toldconference participants that the ministry was working on a plan for the improvement of health facilities in the city, specifically the renovation of the Jericho Government Hospital, rebuilding two sections at a cost of two million US dollars. [end]

Hamas: PA detained five party affiliates overnight
12/4/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces seized five Hamas affiliates in the West Bank on Thursday, Hamas officials said in a statement released on Friday. According to the statement, PA forces abducted the five from areas near Nablus, Tulkarem and Qalqiliya. The statement comes as tension between Palestinian factions continues, with no unity talks on the horizon. [end]

Nablus governor steps down over Fatah ethics rule
12/4/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decree naming Jibril Al-Bakri the new governor of Nablus, replacing Jamal Muheisen, one of a series of changes set to be implemented in the new year. Jibril Al-Bakri was sworn in for his new post as governor on Friday, official sources told Ma'an. The changes in administration follow from the Sixth Fatah Conference, which saw the election of new members of the leading party's Central Committee and Revolutionary Council. At the conference it was determined that party policy would no longer allow officials elected to its governing body to simultaneously hold a government office. Muheisen was elected to the Central Council in August. The new governor, Al-Bakri, was born in Hebron in 1961. At Hebron University he lead the student council and later spent seven years in Israeli prisons. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF troops wound Palestinian at protest against West Bank fence
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Demonstrator moderately wounded near Na'alin; army says troops opened fire after protestors hurled fire bombs. 

Revealed: The secret war over IDF officers' exorbitant salaries
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - News of battle comes after revelation of shady deal in which army arranged NIS 3m pension for MK Shai. 

IDF draws up doctrine on missile threat protection
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - In a report last year, state comptroller criticized the lack of an operational plan. 

Did top Hamas officials discuss the Shalit deal with Nasrallah?
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Hezbollah TV station says delegation met with Iran-backed group's leader for talks on U.S. Mideast policy. 

Lebanon cabinet lets Hezbollah keep its weapons
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Decision signals group still has no intention of disarming; report: Lebanon army shoots at IAF warplanes. 

From Mishnah to MI: Haredi yeshiva graduates enlist in IDF
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Seventy yeshiva graduates serve in unique program that brings ultra-Orthodox into Intelligence Corps. 

IDF chief wants to enlist Arabs, Haredim in national service
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi: Changing demographics in Israel require the IDF to construct 'new models of service.' 

IAF considers buying $65m aircraft capable of vertical take-off, landing
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - On combat missions the V-22 was included for the first time in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pre-army students to Netanyahu: Don't free hardened terrorists for Shalit
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Court: Details of Shalit swap must stay secret; Report: Israel to free 17 East Jerusalem Arabs in deal. 

Ban 'dismayed' at East Jerusalem eviction of Palestinian family
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - UN chief's comments come after Jewish family's claim to home results in eviction of Palestinians. 

Ex-IDF officer: I claimed to be a pedophile to get out of army
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - 24-year-old soldier said he molested 17 children before enlisting, but retracted confession after arrest. 

How does the U.S. help fund pro-settler IDF troops?
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Task Force to Save the Nation and the Land has offered NIS 1,000 a day to any soldier who fights evacuation. 

New IDF unit to fight enemies on Facebook, Twitter
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Top IDF spokesman's Office official: We must show the totality of IDF actions without a filter. 

Medics: Explosion in car kills Gaza militant
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Two wounded in incident, which seems to be accident involving militants; doctor: Explosives in car caused blast. 

Uruknet

Report: 14000 Palestinian olive trees subjected to Israeli aggression in 2009
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - A Palestinian research centre, specialised in monitoring Israeli violations, revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 14000 olive trees in the Palestinian territories during 2009. Such assaults included the uprooting of thousands of olive trees, for the sake of expanding the Israeli settlements, and the burning and cutting of thousands more by settlers. In a report...

Putin lauds expat Lieberman's 'brilliant political career' in Israel
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday for his rise to a senior cabinet position in Israel after having emigrated from the former Soviet Union. "We are very happy that people from the Soviet Union build such a brilliant political career," said Putin at a meeting in Moscow, referring to the...

Israel closes sole oil and gas terminal on Gaza border
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The population of the Gaza Strip is facing an acute cooking gas shortage this winter, after a unilateral Israeli decision in October to permanently close the sole oil and gas terminal between the coastal Palestinian territory and the Jewish state. The Nahal Oz crossing has been shut down for "security reasons," an official with the Israeli...

Israel seeks to prohibit call to prayer in Al Aqsa Mosque because it disturbs settlers
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Israeli Knesset is discussing a bill to ban the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem from raising the dawn call to prayer in order not to disturb the settlers in the holy city. Israeli media reported on Thursday that the draft law now under scrutiny by parliament will affect other densely populated cities. According to Israeli media,...

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world...

Fatah, Hamas trade accusations over mutual arrests
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - The Islamic Hamas and Fatah movements traded on Friday accusations over carrying out mutual arrests against each other's members in Gaza and the West Bank. Fatah movement's armed wing al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said in a statement sent to the press that security forces that belong to Hamas Interior Ministry arrested several members of the armed wingin...

Propaganda disguised as academic inquiry at the University of Illinois
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - Chancellor Richard Herman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently resigned due to his cooperation with political influence-peddlers seeking to gain admission for less qualified but privileged applicants. But Herman also participated in a more acceptable form of political corruption -- publicly displayed with the invocation of high principle -- in his cooperation with the...

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - In the current climate, perhaps given: -- America's police state laws; -- no due process or judicial fairness for any state target; -- mass illegal surveillance; -- targeting dissent; and -- the power of the Israeli Lobby over Congress, the media, academia, the clergy, and most anyone confronting them. During Israel's war on Gaza, only 5...

Anti-wall protester shot in Nil'in
Uruknet December 4, 2009 - Israeli forces shot a Palestinian teenager with live fire during a weekly anti-wall protest in the village of Ni'lin on Friday. Two medics said the 19-year-old, identified as Hasan Khaled Nafa, was shot in the right groin by a "tutu" bullet. A third medic said the ammunition was a ".22 sniper bullet." Ma'an's correspondent, reporting from...

Ban Ki-moons Concern and 62 Years of Nakba
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - QUESTION Mark: Why has the UN not posted any information about the event "Annual 000_8491Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People" in Vienna on it's own home page, like they did last year? Why did the UN not invite journalists to this important occasion? Why the Director General of UNIV leave the...

Report finds new Israeli war doctrine targets civilians
Uruknet December 3, 2009 - The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released today [2 December 2009] a new report which exposes the shifts in Israel's combat doctrine as evidenced in the prosecution of operation "Cast Lead" and from numerous public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers and senior Israeli government officials. The report, "No Second...

Palestine Telegraph

French FM Barred from Entering Gaza
Paris, December 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Foreign Minister Micheál Martin has been denied access to war-ravaged Gaza by the Israeli Government, it emerged tonight.

UN Denies Footballer Zinedine Zidane visit to Gaza as Goodwill Ambassador
Jerusalem, December 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A UNICEF spokeswoman on Thursday retracted a statement that retired international soccer star Zinedine Zidane will visit Gaza in March as a goodwill ambassador.

Israel Oks new settlement plan despite moratorium
West Bank, December 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - In apparent defiance of a recently announced plan for a moratorium on new construction work in the West Bank, Israel has approved expanding settlements there. The coordinator of government activities in the occupied territories, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the construction of 84 new settlement buildings on Wednesday, Haaretz reported. According to...

'Int. community not doing enough to end Gaza siege'
Gaza, December 3, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian legislator Jamal al-Khudari describes Arab and international efforts to lift the Israel-imposed blockade on the Gaza Strip as not up to scratch. "The international community and the Arab countries would have, by now, forced Israel to lift the Gaza siege and end the suffering of the 1.5 million Palestinians living there, if...

Hamas commander killed in central Gaza
Gaza, December 2, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A senior commander for the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Hamas movement, has died in the central Gaza Strip. "Yasser Sabri Radi, 37, a field commander in the Qassam Brigades from Nuseirat Camp in central Gaza, was martyred on Wednesday morning while undertaking a jihad-related task," AFP quoted a...

The National

Israel criticised for turning back African asylum seekers
The National 4 Dec 2009 - The country's policy of stopping refugees at its border could be putting lives at risk, say critics.

Unexploded mines: Lebanon’s hidden horrors
The National 4 Dec 2009 - Beirut says it wants to become a signatory of the international Mine Ban Treaty, but continuing tensions with Israel pose a major obstacle.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 4 Dec 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.

Aljazeera

Many missing in Egypt boat accident
AlJazeera 4 Dec 2009 - Rescue teams search for dozens still missing after boats collide on Egypt's Nile.

Syria blames blast on tyre blowout
AlJazeera 4 Dec 2009 - "Excessive pressure" in tyre, not terrorist attack, caused deadly bus blast, minister says.

Alternative Information Center

On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Alternative Information Center 3 Dec 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on the Gaza Strip   6 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces...

Palestine News Network

'Shalit deal hinges on 15 Palestinian prisoners' 
PNN 3 Dec 2009 - A prisoner exchange deal to secure the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit hinges on a disagreement over 15 Palestinians, the Al-Ayyam daily newspaper reported Thursday. Shalit was abducted by Gaza militants in a cross-border raid in 2006 and has been held in captivity since then. Hamas, the rulers of the Gaza Strip, have demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian...

Middle East conflict played out in the olive groves 
PNN 3 Dec 2009 - Akram Imran says the Jewish settlers came at night. I came to work in the early morning. It was a horrible sight, a massacre of trees, he said. Some of them are at least 70 years old. Climbing over a heap of withered branches in his olive grove on a rocky hillside near the village of Burin, the Palestinian farmer said they...

Jerusalem Post

Barak and Begin to probe freeze
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - C'tee will also tend to needs of citizens hurt by moratorium, look into ways of easing their difficulties.

US officials: Obama looking at January for Iran sanctions
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - As year-end deadline looms for Teheran to comply with demands, US reportedly reaching out to EU allies, Russia, China to push new UNSC penalties.

Explosion kills 101 in Russian nightclub
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Police rule out suspicion of terror attack in Perm blast apparently caused by "cold fireworks."

Erekat: PA, PLO back Schalit prisoner swap
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Hamas reports "good progress" in Schalit talks, source denies soldier has been moved to Egypt.

Analysis: A bus blows up in Damascus - exploding tire or terror strike?
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Syria seemingly tries to explain away an alarming episode for the regime.

Obama won't move embassy to J'lem yet
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - US president informs secretary of state of decision, marks 2nd time administration has delayed transfer.

Iran: Minimal cooperation with IAEA
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Teheran official says Iran will only inform IAEA after it installs the 10 new enrichment sites.

Nuclear detector set up on Iran border
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Israeli diplomat to Post : "The world is starting to understand that Iran has been lying to everybody." 

'France should oppose EU J'lem draft'
Jeruslalem Post 4 Dec 2009 - Livni meets Sarkozy in Paris, says it's not up to Europe to take sides on Israel-Palestinian conflict.

IRIN

LEBANON: Sex workers still shun condoms
IRIN BEIRUT Tuesday, December 01, 2009 (IRIN) - Four years ago, at 16, Rana's husband forced her into prostitution. Despite the risks of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Rana, like many local sex workers - estimated to number at least 6,000 - often did not use condoms.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions eased
IRIN TEL AVIV Thursday, November 26, 2009 (IRIN) - The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has announced that restrictions on the West Bank's population in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) will be eased during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha between 26 November and 2 December.

SYRIA: Tough new law against killer tobacco
IRIN DAMASCUS Thursday, December 03, 2009 (IRIN) - A much tougher anti-smoking law in Syria, signed by President Bashar al-Assad and due to come into force in early 2010, will outlaw smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, hospitals, sports halls and cinemas.

Inter Press Service

US-IRAN: Moving Again Toward Confrontation 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (IPS) - Iran's announced intention to build 10 new nuclear enrichment plants has been deemed "unacceptable" by the administration of President Barack Obama, which warned Monday of increased pressure on Tehran if it does not soon accept Western proposals to curb its nuclear programme.

MIDEAST: Palestinians Say No to Crumbs 
IPS RAMALLAH, Dec 3 (IPS) - The Palestinian Authority (PA) appears to be successfully countering the Israeli government's refusal to work towards a two-state solution to end the decades- long conflict.

PCHR Weekly Report

(03-12-2009)  Weekly Report: On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
PCHR - PCHR During the reporting period, 6 Palestinian civilians were wounded by Israeli gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. - PDF

International Solidarity Movement

Adalah-NY: At Leviev Store, Protesters Tell Business Leaders 'No Business as Usual with Apartheid Israel'
12/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - New York, NY, December 4, 2009 – 25 New York City human rights advocates caught the Israel Business Leaders Delegation to the United States by surprise this morning with a noisy protest outside their “breakfast reception amidst the Leviev jewelry collection” at the Leviev store on Madison Avenue. Groups worldwide have conducted a successful campaign for the boycott of Leviev’s companies due to their involvement in Israeli settlement construction in violation of international law, and human rights abuses in the diamond industry in Angola. In addition to businesspeople, among the guests present at the breakfast was TV personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer who tried unsuccessfully to avoid notice as she left. Guests watched from the second floor of Leviev’s store as protesters chanted and sang outside. Some attempted to defend Israel’s dismal human rights record when they left. The protest came as Leviev is struggling in court in Israel to save his company Africa-Israel from bankruptcy and from creditors, and to retain ownership. 

Attention Christmas Shoppers: Top Ten Brands to Boycott
12/5/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid - While there are many Israeli and multinational companies that benefit from apartheid, we put together this list to highlight ten specific companies to target. Many of these produce goods in such a way that directly harms Palestinians "” exploiting labor, developing technology for military operations, or supplying equipment for illegal settlements. Many are also the targets of boycotts for other reasons, like harming the environment and labor violations. AHAVA - This brand's cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the Dead Sea "” natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank. The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK's "Stolen Beauty" campaign. . . . . 

Army renews use of live ammunition against demonstrators
12/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - B'Tselem, 26 November - On Friday, 13 November, soldiers were documented firing 22-caliber bullets at demonstrators during the weekly demonstration against the Separation Barrier in Ni'lin. The shots were fired a few dozen meters from the targets, and lightly wounded two demonstrators. The IDF Spokesperson's Office confirmed that 22-caliber bullets had indeed been fired. The following Friday, 20 November, soldiers again fired live ammunition at the demonstrators, causing moderate injuries to one and lightly injuring another. In 2001, the then judge advocate general, Major General Menachem Finkelstein, prohibited the use of 22-caliber bullets to disperse demonstrators. In early 2009, however, the army resumed its use against demonstrators in the West Bank. B'Tselem protested the action. . . . -- Link: B'tselem: Prohibit live ammunition in circumstances that are not life-threatening in the West Bank

Boycott of Ahava Dead Sea products makes an impact
12/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 2 December - The international campaign to boycott Ahava beauty products has recently won the support of a Dutch parliamentarian and an Israeli peace group. During the past few months, activists in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Israel, the United States and the Netherlands have campaigned against the sale of Ahava products because of the company's complicity in the Israeli occupation. The Stolen Beauty campaign has included protest actions by “bikini brigades” around the United States organized by the American peace group CODEPINK, and allied actions have taken place in London, Paris, Vienna, Montreal and Amsterdam. The Dutch “bathrobe brigades” that appeared in shopping centers in Amsterdam and Haarlem, not only caught the eye of the press, but also that of Dutch parliamentarian Harry van Bommel. 

Palestinian moderately hurt in Naalin
12/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - A 20-year-old Palestinian protestor was moderately injured from a bullet fired by the security forces during a rally against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Naalin, Palestinian sources reported Friday. An Israel Defense Forces official said the man was lightly wounded after being hit in the lower part of his body by a bullet fired from a Ruger rifle, which is used as a crowd dispersal mean. One of the protesters, Yonatan Polk, said he was standing next to the demonstrator that was shot. "The guy was standing between 50 and 70 meters away from the soldiers, with two barbed-wire fences between them," he said. "Both he and the soldiers were standing behind cement blocks, meaning any arguments of their lives being in danger are far from reality. He was hit by a live bullet near his crotch. It's a policy of using these means in order to create tension and nothing more,” he added. 

Bil’in residents demonstrate in support of recent Swedish initiative calling for a Palestinian state
12/4/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - Residents of Bil'in, alongside international and Israeli solidarity activists, demonstrated against the Wall after the Friday prayer. Many suffered from tear-gas inhalation, as the Israeli armed forces fired upon protestors as they approached the illegal Wall. The demonstration concluded at 1 pm. The weekly demonstration, organized by the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements, was centered on the recent endeavor of the Swedish government. Sweden, as president of the European Union, recently announced plans to discuss a draft for a Palestinian state, recognizing Jerusalem as its capital. The Popular Committee encourages the just effort and calls on other governments to support the initiative. Demonstrators marched from the center of Bil'in village, chanting slogans against the theft of Palestinian land and called for an end to Israel's military occupation. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

U.S. officials: Obama to press tighter Iran sanctions in January
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - The Obama administration is looking to early January as the time to press for a new round of United Nations sanctions against Iran for its continued defiance of demands to explain its nuclear ambitions, U.S. officials said Friday. ...

Erekat: Don't link Shalit swap to Fatah-Hamas schism
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - A deal for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit should be viewed as entirely unrelated to the bitter divide between Palestinian movements Hamas and Fatah, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Thursday. ...

Iran cracks down on dissent in universities
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - As they gear up for a major anti-government protest Monday, Iranian students are besieged by a clampdown in the universities, with a wave of arrests and expulsions. At the same time, authorities are intensifying enforcement of Islamic morals on women's dress and men's hair length as a way to punish political dissent. ...

Putin lauds expat Lieberman's 'brilliant political career' in Israel
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin praised Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday for his rise to a senior cabinet position in Israel after having emigrated from the former Soviet Union. ...

Sapling from Anne Frank tree planted in Amsterdam park 
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - A park in Amsterdam has begun planting 150 saplings from an ancient chestnut tree that once cheered Anne Frank as her family hid from the Nazis. ...

The Guardian

EU could bring peace to Middle East | William Nitze and Leon Hadar
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - The union must stop free-riding on US policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict offering both sides membership could be key With much of his time and energy being consumed by the enormous challenges of rebuilding the American...

Realistic engagement with Hezbollah | James Denselow
The Guardian 4 Dec 2009 - Britain's decision to talk to Hezbollah is a nuanced move, but any call for disarmament is likely to fall on deaf ears David Miliband told the Lebanese Daily Star this week that he believed "carefully considered...

Shattering Israel's image of 'democracy' | Ben White
The Guardian 3 Dec 2009 - In the Negev, an area targeted for so-called 'development', lies the Israel that its government does not want to be seen A struggle over land, home demolitions, and an Israeli government working with Jewish agencies to "...

Call for Celtic fans to wave Palestinian flags at match against Israeli team
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - 'Extremely concerned' Glasgow club urges supporters to ignore Scottish TUC request Scottish trade unions have called on supporters of Celtic to wave Palestinian flags at Europa League home match tonight against Israel's Hapoel Tel Aviv in "...

Video: Amateur video shows man run over twice by angry Israeli
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - Witnesses say Palestinian victim had earlier stabbed two Jewish settlers. All three were taken to to a Jerusalem hospital

Israel's just fears of a Palestinian state | Carlo Strenger
The Guardian 2 Dec 2009 - A return to 1967 borders would put most Israelis in rocket range. The EU needs to see that a two-state solution is complex There are indications that the EU foreign ministers will formally recognise East Jerusalem...

Ha'aretz National page

Netanyahu forms task force to monitor settlement freeze
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed with Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday to assemble a task force to monitor the implementation of a construction freeze in West Bank settlements. ...

Haifa theater hit with lawsuit for allowing smoking on stage 
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - In what is believed to be the first legal action of its kind in the world, a Haifa Theater may be hit with a class-action lawsuit for allowing an actress to smoke on stage as part of her role. ...

Meretz: Nonprofit gives cash to IDF troops who refuse evacuation orders
Ha'aretz 4 Dec 2009 - MK Ilan Ghilon and Meretz chairman Mossi Raz filed a police complaint on Thursday against SOS Israel (the World Headquarters to Save the People and the Land of Israel) and Rabbi Sholom Dov Wolpe, who've been documented awarding monetary prizes to soldiers sent to military prison for refusing an order to evacuate the Homesh outpost. ...

Ministry eyes thermal cameras to prevent spread of swine flu 
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - The Health Ministry is in advanced negotiations to purchase a new system to detect people with fever and thus reduce the risk of contracting the H1N1 virus (commonly known as swine flu). If the deal goes through, the ministry intends to install the system in four hospitals around the country in the coming weeks. ... 

Man suspected of burning his children's tongues with hot knife
Ha'aretz 3 Dec 2009 - A Beit Shemesh man, 45, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly abusing three of his twelve children repeatedly, at times pressing a burning hot knife to their tongues in order to teach them to speak to him with respect. ...

Relief Web

Press conference by Luis Moreno-Ocampo, International Criminal Court Prosecutor
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

OPT: In the presence of the French Foreign Minister the Palestine Red Crescent signs an agreement for the reconstruction of Al-Quds hospital in Gaza
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestine Red Crescent Society

Interview - W.Bank eyes post-war political risk insurance
Relief Web 4 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

High Commissioner Guterres visits India, meets refugees
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

OPT: Following two-day debate, UN GA adopts six draft resolutions on question of Palestine, Middle East
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

On the anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities: The humanitarian conditions of the disabled in the OPT have continued to deteriorate
Relief Web 3 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

YNet News

Letter to Clinton: Iran trying to distract world
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Members of US House of Representatives send letter to Secretary of State warning Islamic Republic may try to distract world from its nuclear program by instructing Hezbollah to launch conflict with Israel 

Barak to head team on construction freeze
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Team including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Minister Benny Begin convenes for first time Friday to discuss implementation of construction freeze in settlements 

Report: Palestinian moderately hurt in Naalin 
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Palestinians say 20-year-old protestor injured by 'Tutu bullet' during anti-fence rally in West Bank city. IDF says man lightly wounded by crowd dispersal weapon used in response to stone throwing 

Iran will inform IAEA on new nuclear sites when ready 
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Senior diplomat, involved in nuclear talks with West, says Islamic republic has no intention to cooperate with UN nuclear watchdog beyond its safeguards 

Brown-bagging alcohol soon in Israel?
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - New bill seeks to limit sale of alcohol, punish adults who purchase for minors. Carrying alcohol in public spaces may also be restricted 

Obama delays moving US Embassy to Jerusalem
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Like his predecessors, American president once again postpones embassy's move from Tel Aviv for six-month period 

Report: Israel, Hamas reject mediator's proposals 
YNet News 4 Dec 2009 - Senior Hamas source tells al-Hayat newspaper talks on a prisoner exchange deal facing three major obstacles: Israel's refusal to release 50 prisoners out of 450 demanded by Hamas, its insistence on deporting 130 prisoners, and its refusal to include Israeli Arabs in deal. 

Congress plans Iran sanctions
YNet News 3 Dec 2009 - American sanctions against Iran go into high gear; Congress expected to pass harsh legislation within next two weeks that would impose sanctions on firms that do business with Iran, including energy companies 

Daily Star

Tehran to rein in cooperation with atomic watchdog
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 A nuclear official said Friday Iran will not answer to the UN nuclear watchdog about its plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment sites beyond the barest minimum required under the international nonproliferation treaty. The comments by Abolfazl Zohrehvand, an adviser to the country's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, came days after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said.

Iraq buys border security system for Iran, Syria frontiers
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Iraq has bought a $49-million border surveillance system to better secure its porous frontiers with neighboring Iran and Syria, the US military said on Friday. The system will only monitor activity along a third of Iraq's borders with Iran and Syria, which spawn 1,458 kilometers and 605 kilometers respectively, according to the American mission charged with training Iraq's security forces.

Israeli stalling over prisoners blocking swap deal - Hamas
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Israeli objections to releasing certain prisoners are blocking a swap deal in which an Israeli soldier captured three years would be freed, an official of the Palestinian movement Hamas said Friday. The deal is supposed to see the exchange of hundreds of Palestinians, including 450 chosen by Hamas, for soldier Gilad Shalit.

Turkish-US relations strained by regional ties
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may face probing questions about whether NATO member Turkey is tilting away from the West and toward Iran when he meets US President Barack Obama next week. Erdogan, whose party has Islamist roots, visits Washington at a time when Ankara's efforts to cultivate stronger ties with Tehran have raised concerns among Western allies.

Sailors return to UK after Iran detention
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Four British yachtsmen seized by Iran returned to Britain on Friday, saying it was "great to be back," as they planned a trip to the pub. Oliver Smith, 31, Oliver Young, 21, Sam Usher, 26, and Luke Porter, 21, flew back into London Heathrow Airport from Dubai. Along with David Bloomer, a Bahrain-based radio journalist, they were detained by Revolutionary Guards on November 25 and freed Wednesday.

Saudis nab 821 Yemenis, Africans in border crackdown
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Saudi forces have arrested 821 Yemenis and Africans attempting to sneak across the southern border from Yemen over the past two weeks, Ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported on Friday. The crackdown took place in the region where Saudi forces are fighting Yemen's Huthi rebels, security sources told the Saudi-controlled, London-based newspaper.

Tehran warns against protests on Students Day
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Iranian authorities have warned opposition supporters against holding any protests when university students mark the annual Students Day on Monday. Each year, students remember the December 7, 1953, killing of three peers by security forces of the shah, just months after a US-backed coup toppled popular Premier Mohammad Mossadeq in order to keep the monarch in power.

ElBaradei mulls Egypt presidency if poll 'democratic'
Daily Star 4 Dec 2009 Former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei said he would consider running for Egypt's presidency but only if the election process were democratic, in a statement published on Friday. ElBaradei, who ended his 12-year stint as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Friday last week, said he had been closely following calls for him to stand, the independent daily Al-Dustur reported.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas must say NO to proposed deportation of prisoners
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - Hamas, is conducting exhaustive negotiations to conclude a prisoner-exchange accord but Israel is insisting that an undisclosed number of the would-be released prisoners be deported.

IOF troops arrest a Palestinian youth, assault elderly farmer
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - IOF troops, at dawn Friday, raided the Nur-Shams refugee camp to the east of the northern West Bank city of Tulkarem and arrested an 18-year-old Palestinian boy.

Masajeduna: Israeli contemplation of banning Athan in Jerusalem crime against Is
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The Masajeduna Network (MN) condemned the Israeli occupation government for contemplating the banning the dawn Atahan (Muslim call for prayer) in the occupied city of Jerusalem..

Palestinian resistance confront IOF incursion
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - Palestinian resistance fighters confronted on Thursday night an attempt by IOF troops to infiltrate an area east of the Breij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

PA government in Gaza: Al-Khalil crime proves Israeli barbarism
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of culture said on Thursday that the Israeli settler’s crime of running over a Palestinian youth in Al-Khalil was indeed a reflection of Zionist terrorism and criminality

Hamas: UNRWA deficit meant to impose political agenda on the Palestinians
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The bureau of refugees in Hamas has asserted Thursday that the UNRWA declaration about its deteriorating budget was a serious indicator and meant to impose a political agenda on the Palestinians.

The IOA bans Athan in the Ibrahimi mosque, tears copies of Quran in Al-Khalil
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The directorate of Awkaf (endowment) in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil has accused the Israeli occupation authorities of banning the Athan in the Ibrahimi Mosque more than 48 times in November.

PFLP: Occupation measures in Jerusalem amount to ethnic cleansing
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said that the Israeli occupation measures in the occupied city of Jerusalem amount to ethnic cleansing and violate international law.

Abu Mujahed: Ball in Israeli court regarding prisoner-exchange
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - Spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), Abu Mujahed, denied news that captured IOF soldier Gilad Sahlit was moved to Egypt as a prelude to implement a prisoner-exchange deal.

PRC launches Internet website on the Goldstone Report
PIC 4 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian Return Center (PRC) in London has launched a new website to disseminate the major findings of the Goldstone report and provide useful analysis..

Los Angeles Times

West Bank settlers reject Netanyahu's pleas for order 
LA Times 4 Dec 2009 - After meeting with the Israeli prime minister, Jewish settlers vow to continue confronting soldiers and resisting enforcement of his moratorium on construction. Defiant West Bank settler leaders rejected a personal plea from the Israeli prime minister Thursday to respect a government-ordered construction freeze in their communities, vowing to continue to confront security forces sent to enforce the edict. 

Israel forces detain Jewish settlement mayor 
LA Times 3 Dec 2009 - The mayor of the West Bank settlement is arrested as he and others seek to keep Israeli government inspectors from enforcing a building moratorium aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Israeli security forces arrested the mayor of a Jewish settlement Wednesday as he and other residents tried to prevent government inspectors from entering the community to enforce new restrictions on building in the West Bank. 

Temple attack probed for links to organized crime 
LA Times 3 Dec 2009 - LAPD detectives investigate whether shootings of two men at North Hollywood synagogue are connected to mobsters in Israel. LAPD detectives are investigating whether the shooting of two men at a North Hollywood synagogue in October is the work of Israeli-connected organized crime. 

New York Times

Yes, Miky, There Are Rabbis in Montana
New York Times 5 Dec 2009 - With a rabbi’s help, a bomb-sniffing dog trained in Israel finally heeds his owner’s commands.

Israel Arrests Settlers Fighting Freeze
New York Times 3 Dec 2009 - A moratorium on settlement construction was meant to help restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks but has so far succeeded only in pitting the settlers against the state.

Jewish Nationalists Clash With Palestinians
New York Times 2 Dec 2009 - The confrontation in East Jerusalem came after the Israelis took over a house by court order in a predominantly Arab area.

Misc

On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (25 Nov.- 02 Dec 2009)
Alternative Information Center - 3 Dec 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Continue to Impose a Total Closure on the Gaza Strip   6 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. An Israeli...

2009 Journalist Conference in Israel: No News 
Alternative Information Center - 2 Dec 2009 - I did not partake in the Journalist Conference that occurred this week in Eilat and was sponsored by the Tel Aviv Journalists’ Association and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Actually, I also did not participate in the previous two conferences. Seminars and conferences often...

Chomsky: the ‘unipolar moment’ is working out fine for ‘the satisfied nations’
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Last night, Noam Chomsky delivered the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Columbia on "The Unipolar Moment and the Culture of Imperialism." Some notes from David Bromwich who was there: Chomsky took up a major theme of Said’s writings. In the big constellation, Enlightenment/Rationalism/Liberalism/Democratic Values, a missing...

I told my congressman, ‘keep the child’s picture in your desk and look at it the next time there’s a vote on Gaza’
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Susan Johnson blogs under the name above. She visited Gaza last May-June and was finally able to get a meeting with her congressman, a PA Democrat who was not present for the recent vote condemning the Goldstone Report. Johnson wishes to keep his name out of...

Donna Edwards might face AIPAC-backed challenger
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Donna Edwards, the star congresswoman from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. who took a brave stand on the Gaza slaughter, is being primaried by another black politician, this one likely to earn the backing of the traditional Israel lobby. So reports JTA/Washington Post : Glenn F. Ivey,...

Realist suggests that Israel, ala Crusaders, will be ’strong today, gone tomorrow’
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Further evidence of Israel’s crisis of Iegitimacy can be read in a R ealist/Israel-chauvinist piece at Foreign Affairs arguing that Israel is in danger of losing its aura of military invincibility; and when that happens no Arab country will have any realistic incentive to accept its...

Abunimah: There is a tremendous struggle to be waged, to force Israeli introspection, and change
Mondoweiss - 4 Dec 2009 - Nearly two weeks ago we reported on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conference at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, the highlight of which was a speech by Ali Abunimah. We posted video , and kept promising to get a transcript up. What follows is text of the body...


Articles

Why Gush Shalom won’t end the Barkan boycott 
Adam Keller, Ma’an News Agency 12/4/2009
      Gush Shalom, the Israeli Peace Bloc, has rejected the demand of Barkan Wineries to remove the company’s name from Gush’s list of settlement products, the movement said in a statement.
     A Gush Shalom representative told the company that as long as it continues to maintain vineyards on the Golan Heights, which is an occupied territory, Gush will continue to regard it as a settlement company, despite its having completely removed its plant from the industrial zone of the Barkan settlement from which the vineries originally derived their name.
     The name Barkan Wineries appeared on the lists of settlement products which Gush Shalom has been compiling and distributing since 1995, with a call upon consumers in the country and abroad to boycott these products and avoid purchasing them.
     The struggle waged by Gush Shalom was joined by activists of the Coalition of Women for Peace, who created a website called "Who Profits from the Occupation?". Among other things, they deployed researchers to monitor the activities of Barkan Wineries in the occupied territories, as well as investigate the company’s financial reports and the statements it submitted to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.
     The struggle was also joined by European organizations, such as the Dutch "United Civilians for Peace," which threatened the Heineken beer company with a consumer boycott in the Netherlands due to its links with Barkan Wineries.
     After years of struggle and pressure, Barkan Wineries closed its plant in the Barkan settlement industrial zone and transferred it to Kibbutz Hulda inside the Green Line. Thereupon the company’s legal adviser, attorney Sa’ar Faraj, this week sent a letter to Gush Shalom spokesperson Adam Keller, stating..... more.. e-mail

’Going Deeper’ Not ‘Muslim’: Islamophobia and its Discontents 
Huma Dar, P U L S E 12/3/2009
      I deeply missed June Jordan today. Back in Fall 1995 (or was it 96?) the acclaimed poet read not her own poems, but those of her Arab students, at the first ever Berkeley “Poetry at Lunch” event. I adored her, and adored her even more when she courageously asserted that Arabs/Muslims were one of last groups it was explicitly kosher (read: not un-PC) to be racist or prejudiced towards in any given circle. Way before 9/11…
     Tunku Varadarajan, a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School and a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, recently wrote a piece “Going Muslim: America after Fort Hood.”(1) He coins the phrase “Going Muslim” to “describe the turn of events where a seemingly integrated Muslim-American—a friendly donut vendor in New York, say, or an officer in the U.S. Army at Fort Hood—discards his apparent integration into American society and elects to vindicate his religion in an act of messianic violence against his fellow Americans.”(2)
     In her astute deconstruction of Varadarajan’s proposal, Aysha Ghani writes that in “the aftermath of “Going Muslim” ” she “shudders” to think that because of her critique and her sentiments, she “too might be categorized as an un-integrated American Muslim.” It is significant to note that Varadarajan’s argument here is even more insidious. He is asserting that being “integrated” or otherwise is moot for Muslims as their religion is founded on “bellicose conquest, a contempt for infidels and an obligation for piety” that may make them “more extreme” such that their “integration” is never to be trusted. It is simply a “camouflage” that could be “discarded” at any “calculated moment” of “revelatory catharsis.” Thus, all or “perhaps many more than a few” Muslims are just waiting to come out of their “camouflage” and one never knows which ones. This is where Varadarajan’s fear-mongering actually slides into fascism: the construction of the Muslim as the perfect Homo Sacer – uncannily, the term in German concentration camps for those who lost the will to live was “Mussulman”(3) – because s/he is intrinsically unpredictable, untrustworthy, fundamentally unlike the “civilized us,” and therefore ultimately intractable and dispensable. Through a deconstruction of Varadarajan’s article, I propose to show here the confluence of Islamophobia in America and with that operative in India, in the new configuration of global political and economic powers, offering a preliminary understanding of some emerging positionalities and relationalities. This will also be an initial foray into theorizing the manifestations of Islamophobia and its commonalities as well as divergences from racism as such. more.. e-mail


Human currency
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - "We do not negotiate with terrorists" -- a long-cherished mantra of Western democracies. In reality all the major powers have at some stage been forced to discuss with militants, from Northern Ireland to Iraq. Now Israel seems on the verge of granting their fiercest enemies Hamas a major coup with the mooted release of up to 1,000 prisoners. What message does this send? Kieron Monks comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Propaganda disguised as academic inquiry at the University of Illinois
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - Chancellor Richard Herman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently resigned due to his cooperation with political influence-peddlers seeking to gain admission for less qualified but privileged applicants. But Herman also participated in a more acceptable form of political corruption -- publicly displayed with the invocation of high principle -- in his cooperation with the Israel lobby in opposition to the British boycott of Israeli academics, and in the funding of the Israel Studies Project at the Urbana campus. David Green writes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Gaza Freedom March less than one month away
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2009 - The Gaza Freedom March that will take place in Gaza on 31 December is an historic initiative to break the siege that has imprisoned the 1.5 million people who live there. Conceived in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and nonviolent resistance to injustice worldwide, the march will gather people from all over the world to march -- hand in hand -- with the people of Gaza to demand that the Israelis open the borders. 

Report finds new Israeli war doctrine targets civilians
Electronic Intifada: 3 Dec 2009 - The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) released today [2 December 2009] a new report which exposes the shifts in Israel's combat doctrine as evidenced in the prosecution of operation "Cast Lead" and from numerous public oral and written statements made by high ranking military officers and senior Israeli government officials. 

quiet with the philosopher
In Gaza: 2 Dec 2009 - After stopping in at the Jabaliya/ Dawwar Zimmo Red Crescent office yesterday, to catch up with some of the bravest people I know –the medics– I went by Ibrahim’s Gaza War cemetary . Run  the Commonwealth War Graves Commission , the cemetary grounds have been kept for over five decades by Ibrahim, and now by his sons. My reason for stopping by yesterday was to gather some information on gravestones for someone outside of Gaza.  But actually,  I just like the place, particularly Ibrahim. He’s a mixed bag: a grandfather, a philosopher, a host –100% Palestinian–, enthusiastic like a child, a teacher… From the first visit, Ibrahim has extended an open welcome...

Will Congress Criminalize Anti-Semitism and Israeli Criticism?
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Dec 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago During Israel's war on Gaza, only 5 of 535 congressional members dissented on pro-Israeli resolutions. On January 8, 2009, the Senate unanimously passed S 10: "A resolution recognizing the right of Israel to defend itself against attacks from Gaza and reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel in its battle with Hamas, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process." On January 9, the House, by a 390 - 5 vote, passed HR 34 "Recognizing Israel's right to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, reaffirming the United States' strong support for Israel, and supporting the Israeli-Palestinian (no peace) peace process." More on this below. Then on October 28, Obama signed the expanded 2009 Hate Crimes Prevention Act, some call a stealth war on free expression and civil liberties. More on this as well. Also consider events in Canada, initiated by a body called the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism (CPCCA), a voluntary association of 22 MPs investigating anti-semitism because, it says: Its "extent and severity is widely regarded as at its worst level since the end of the Second World War," despite contrary evidence and much to show how Israel twists opposition to Zionism and its international law violations to be an attack on Jews. On October 29, in fact, Reuters reported that: "Anti-Semitic attitudes in the United States are at a historic low, with 12 percent of Americans prejudiced toward Jews, an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) survey found" based on polling done from...

Game Theory Approach to Palestinian Resistance
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Dec 2009 - By Mary Rizzo Anyone who has witnessed the events in Palestine/Israel has been able to notice a cycle that repeats itself continually between the two groups of people. It can be summed up in two words: action/reaction. Sometimes the action is carried out to elicit a reaction (which we can define then as a provocation). A provocation has as its goal to incite or irritate another, sometimes it can be the prelude to the “true action” and sometimes it is there just to demonstrate something. We all have in our memories the famous sparks that set off the first and second Intifada. The first was Ariel Sharon “strolling” on the most important site for Palestinians, al-Haram al-Sharif as if he owned the place, and the second was provoked by Israeli soldiers running over two Palestinian workers at a checkpoint. In and of themselves, the events were bad enough, but they had a common aspect that certainly would have surprised Israelis and the West, and one that perhaps surprised even the Palestinians themselves. The fact that those relatively minor events could have such an impact: that a “stroll” and an “accident” could be the sparks that set off the most effective and widespread popular uprising in the history of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. The events that were “the breaking point” were far less damaging than a raid or bombardment, things that we seem to be convinced are the events that have the capacity of waking up the world to the...

Palestinian Reflections on American Political Ideology
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By Dr. Haidar Eid - Gaza The Palestinians have 'realized,' thanks to Hilary Clinton, that the US is biased towards Israel. According to the American Secretary of State, negotiations between "the two parties" should resume without preconditions. The Americans have even praised Netanyahu's "unprecedented concessions!" Gone is the sweet talk of the American president Barak Obama; gone is the euphoria following his "ground breaking" speech in Cairo university. We are back to square one. The question that begs for answers is why does America hate us Palestinians? Do the American people really believe that we have no rights even though those rights are enshrined in international law? Does President Obama truly believe that we are only a nuisance? American hegemonic political philosophy judges a belief by its effects not its causes. The emphasis is on the connection between the truth of statements and their practical applicability by one measure only: how will they work for America? This is American pragmatism. That is, White, liberal American politicians (including President Obama!) are interested in the function of ideas and statements and their effects rather than the sources and conditions of their production. ‘Workability’ and ‘practicability’ are the basis of the justification of positions taken by the American establishment. However that does not take into account the circumstances under which these positions are ‘workable,’ neither historically nor socially. Whatever ‘we’, white liberal Americans, want is justifiable and thus legitimate since it is 'workable' and 'practical' regardless of the means through which it is...

Native Orientalists at the Daily Times
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Dec 2009 - By M. Shahid Alam 'The more a ruling class is able to assimilate the foremost minds of the ruled class, the more stable and dangerous becomes its rule.' -- Karl Marx A few days back, I received a 'Dear friends' email from Mr. Najam Sethi, ex editor-in-chief of Daily Times, Pakistan, announcing that he, together with several of his colleagues, had resigned from their positions in the newspaper. In his email, Mr. Sethi thanked his ‘friends’ for their “support and encouragement…in making Daily Times a ‘new voice for a new Pakistan.’” Wistfully, he added, “I hope it will be able to live up to your expectations and mine in time to come.” I am not sure why Mr. Sethi had chosen me for this dubious honor. Certainly, I did not deserve it. I could not count myself among his ‘friends’ who had given “support and encouragement” to the mission that DT had chosen for itself in Pakistan’s media and politics. Contrary to its slogan, it was never DT’s mission to be a ‘new voice for a new Pakistan.’ The DT had dredged its voice from the colonial past; it had only altered its pitch and delivery to serve the new US-Zionist overlords. Many of the writers for DT aspire to the office of the native informers of the colonial era. They are heirs to the brown Sahibs, home-grown Orientalists, who see their own world (if it is theirs in any meaningful sense) through the lens created for them by their...
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