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Kidnap Two Children In Northern Gaza
Israel passed a blueprint for expansion
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Police suspect the ship was smuggling diesel fuel; five surviving sailors released from Haifa hospital.
Shin Bet gets new deputy, as race to succeed Diskin heats up
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - New appointment marks three candidates lined up to succeed Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin.
Barak orders IDF to cut ties with far-right yeshiva
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, head of Har Bracha yeshiva, urged troops to refuse orders to evacuate settlements.
WATCH: Dramatic footage of IDF rescue of sailors lost at sea
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Five Ukrainian crewmen were pulled from sea after their cargo ship sank off the coast of Lebanon.
Hezbollah: We're not responsible for rocket fire into Israel
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - But group's deputy leader denies militant group has ceased to take part in fight against Israel.
IDF officer convicted of striking Palestinian in 2008 West Bank arrest
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - 1st Lt. (res.) Adam Malul of the Kfir brigade convicted of assault, conduct unbecoming an officer.
IDF cutting anti-terror activity to support settlement freeze
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Authorities are concerned that Palestinian terrorists could use the opportunity to launch attack.
Palestinian wounds Israeli woman in West Bank stabbing
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - 20-year-old moderately hurt; settler leader: Government's weakness causing terrorists to strike.
Qassam hits Israel, despite Hamas moratorium on Gaza rocket fire
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - A second rocket fired by militants explodes in PA territory; no casualties or damage caused.
Officials fear Palestinian reprisals in wake of mosque attack
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Israeli woman, 22, moderately wounded in stabbing in West Bank; police searching for suspect.
US, December 13, 2009 (Pal Telegraph)- The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an "independent legal body dedicated to the protection of human rights, the promotion of the rule of law, and the upholding of democratic principles in the Occupied Territories."
Israeli vandals attack West Bank mosque
West Bank, December 11, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli extremists have attacked a mosque in the occupied West Bank, vandalizing the property and desecrating the holy book of Islam, the Qur'an. Suspected hardline Israeli settlers stormed the holy site in the northern West Bank village of Yasuf at night, set fire to the mosque's library and sprayed hate messages on...
Siege Martyrs Reach 365
Gaza, December 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Ministry of Health in Gaza declared that the child Mohammad Ashraf Bolbol, 9, who lived in Gaza died today. The child was suffering from pain in abdomen and pelvis and his health deteriorated after he had prohibited from traveling abroad for treatment. The minsitry pointed out that the doctors tried to save...
More Dead as Swine Flu Hits Gaza
Gaza, December 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Ministry of Health in Gaza declared that a woman died of swine flu, pointing out that the total number of deaths has reached 6. Hassan Khalaf, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Gaza, said that a Palestinian woman, 56, died last night as she had been infected with swine flu. He...
IOF Arrest Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall & Settlements
West Bank, December 10, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-- IOF arrested Abdullah Abu Rahma, 39, the coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Bil'in, at down today after they raided his house in al-Tira town of Ramallah. Eyewitness said that a number of Israeli troops stormed al-tira town early today, surrounded the house of Abu Rahma, raided it...
The National 13 Dec 2009 - Outposts to be added to national programme that entitles residents to more state funding.
Israel plans cash for West Bank settlers
The National 13 Dec 2009 - Benjamin Netanyahu is set to officially propose a plan that may grant tens of thousands of Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank additional state funding.
Jewish settler woman stabbed in West Bank
The National 13 Dec 2009 - The woman was stabbed and wounded on a roadside in the occupied West Bank in what Israeli police said was an attack by a Palestinian militant.
AlJazeera 13 Dec 2009 - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vows action over "disrespect" to late supreme leader.
Israel approves aid for settlements
AlJazeera 13 Dec 2009 - Israeli cabinet to support its settlers with a multi-million dollar aid package.
Alternative Information Center 11 Dec 2009 - Commentary has an article by David M. Phillips, a professor at Northeastern University School of Law, under the title “The Illegal-Settlements Myth.” Sound familiar? “Settlements may be unwise, but they're not illegal” and “the territories are...
PNN 12 Dec 2009 - Israeli settlers burn Quran in attack on mosque.Hundreds of Jewish settlers angry at reduced settlement building burned pages of Islam's holy book in an attack on a West Bank mosque as Palestinian Christians called for sanctions on evil Israel and rejected Christian Zionism, press reports said Saturday. Burned pages of the Quran lay scattered on the mosque's torched carpet as Israelis from...
A Palestinian Civilian killed in Israeli fire.
PNN 12 Dec 2009 - According to a medical official, Israeli shelling killed a Palestinian civilian in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday. The victim was identified as 47-year-old Sami Shihadah Abu Khousah.The medic and Health Ministry director of ambulance and emergency services,, Moawia Hassanien, says the 47-year-old farmer was shot early Saturday near the border after IDF troops clashed with Palestinians fighters. Khousah suffered blood loss...
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - UK paper quotes documents citing development of neutron initiator, a key part of nuclear weapons.
Cabinet approves national priority map
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Settlements included won't get housing benefits; Ashkelon's, Ma'aleh Adumim's to be decided later.
'PM takes direct control of east J'lem house demolitions'
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Right-wing MKs decry decision, saying these matters should remain within municipality; left-wing activists welcome new arrangement.
Animal rights group to protest today
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Group to stage shows in J'lem, TA demonstrating showing horrors of industrial egg, meat production.
Ahmadinejad: We'll always support Palestinians
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Iranian president tells visiting Hamas leader Mashaal that "Palestine is a symbol of the global front of freedom seekers and militants."
Israelis win Turkish prize for financial history research
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Israeli-born Ruth Kark and co-author Dr. Joseph B. Glass to be awarded $15,000 for research on development of banking in Ottoman Palestine.
'Effi' unlikely to be name of arsonist, says Shin Bet
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - But settlers say maybe man who signed on grafitti could even be a member of the Shin Bet looking to smear settlers.
Barak severs ties with hesder yeshiva
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - Rabbis say defense minister's to 'cut off' Har Bracha Yeshiva will only make it more popular.
PA to renovate torched Yasuf mosque
Jeruslalem Post 13 Dec 2009 - PA governor of district which includes the village of Yasuf says mosque protests erupt after settlers join rabbis' delegation which brings new Qurans.
IRIN CAIRO Sunday, December 13, 2009 (IRIN) - “It’s becoming so hard these days. I only managed to get a few fish yesterday,” said Galal Saed, 35, casting his net into the Nile near the village of Hawamdia, 25km south of Cairo.
ISRAEL: HIV-positive migrants lack access to care - NGO
IRIN TEL AVIV Monday, December 07, 2009 (IRIN) - A prominent local NGO working on HIV-related issues says HIV-positive asylum-seekers and migrants face difficulties in accessing free AIDS services in Israel, including treatment.
In Brief: First swine flu cases confirmed in Gaza
IRIN TEL AVIV Monday, December 07, 2009 (IRIN) - Nearly seven months after the first H1N1 influenza cases were registered in Israel and the West Bank, five cases of the disease were confirmed in the Gaza Strip on 6 December, according to the Palestinian health authority.
IPS WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (IPS) - Congress has given new momentum to a bill imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran - a move seen by many as an ineffective form of sanctions and potentially antagonistic against valuable U.S. allies on the U.N. Security Council. This comes ahead of the end of the...
MIDEAST: In a Muddle Over Mixed Signals
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 10 (IPS) - "Get your hands off the Land of Israel and the people of the Land of Israel - that's what we need to tell Mr. Obama - get on the phone to the White House each and every one of you!"
PCHR During the reporting period, one Palestinian civilian was wounded when Israeli forces used force to disperse a peaceful demonstration organized by Palestinian civilians and international and Israeli human rights defenders to protest the construction of the Annexation Wall in the West Bank.
12/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 11 December - PHOTOS - Settlers set fire to the mosque of Yasuf village in the Nablus region of the West Bank on Friday, 11 December. The vicious attack was carried out in the early hours of the morning, after which the village was invaded by Israeli Occupation Forces, firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at distraught Palestinians, protesting the desecration of the holy site. Settler violence has seen a sharp increase this month with the Israeli government's announcement to "freeze" settlement construction in the West Bank for 10 months. The attack came directly after the dawn call to prayer at approximately 4:30am, when 4 residents of the notorious Tappuah settlement entered the mosque. Litres of gasoline were dumped across prayer carpets and copies of the Qur'an and dozens of other holy Islamic texts were pulled from shelves lining the wall.
Demonstrators to protest arrest of prominent grassroots activist Wa’el Al Faqeeh Abu As Sabe
12/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - A demonstration will be held outside Jelemeh Prison in Haifa at 12pm, Monday 14 December 2009, to protest the arrest of prominent grassroots Palestinian activist Wa'el Al Faqeeh Abu As Sabe. Al Faqeeh, renowned throughout the Nablus region for his tireless campaigning and non-violent action against the Israeli occupation, was kidnapped from his home by Israeli Occupation Forces in the night of Tuesday, 8 December. Al Faqeeh is now being held at Jelemeh Prison in Haifa, Israel. The prison is notorious for its ill-treatment of prisoners, in particular Palestinian political prisoners. Protesters will gather outside the prison at 12pm, Monday 14 December, to protest the persecution and imprisonment of Al Faqeeh. Protesters plan to plant olive trees outside the prison, in celebration of Al Faqeeh's organisation of numerous tree-planting actions in Palestinian villages close to settlements.
Notes from Area C / The right to return to the caves
12/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Amira Hass, Ha'aretz, 11 December - This is a story of return, the return of Palestinians to their land in Area C. Just over a month ago, on November 8, two out of 15 families returned to Khirbet Bir al-Idd, in south Mount Hebron. By yesterday their number had reached eight. "Everyone waited to see if they would kill us before they decided whether to return," joked Ismail I'dra, 63, as he worked energetically to clean up one of the caves that serve as homes to residents the village. Indeed, less than two weeks ago, I'dra, too, was afraid to enter the area on his own, with his tractor laden with feed for his flock; he preferred to be accompanied by activist Ezra Nawi of Ta'ayush (an Arab-Jewish anti-occupation movement). The first three weeks after residents began to return to Bir al-Idd were full of incidents in which settlers from nearby communities threw stones at the women and. . . .
UK issues new guidance on labelling of food from illegal West Bank settlements
12/13/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Guardian, 10 December - Britain has acted to increase pressure on Israel over its West Bank settlements by advising UK supermarkets on how to distinguish between foods from the settlements and Palestinian-manufactured goods. The government's move falls short of a legal requirement but is bound to increase the prospects of a consumer boycott of products from those territories. Israeli officials and settler leaders were tonight highly critical of the decision. Until now, food has been simply labelled "Produce of the West Bank", but the new, voluntary guidance issued by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), says labels could give more precise information, like "Israeli settlement produce" or "Palestinian produce". Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which were conquered in the 1967 war. The British government and the EU have repeatedly said Israel's settlement project is an “obstacle to peace” in the Middle East.
Hamas marks 22 years in Gaza with massive celebrations
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Hamas is planning to celebrate its 22nd anniversary today, with a large public rally and smaller parades. ...
Hamas predicts collapse of Abbas and his 'co-conspirators'
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Anyone who wants to learn about the Palestinian Authority's effectiveness in handling security issues relating to Hamas' military and civil arms in the West Bank should have a look at a document now being publicized on Hamas Web sites. ...
Rahm Emanuel lights Hannukah candles at White House
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel lit the National Menorah on Sunday afternoon in celebration, as Jews around the world celebrate third night of Hanukkah. ...
Settler group brings Korans to Palestinians after mosque attack
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - A delegation of Israelis from the West Bank on Sunday brought copies of the Koran to the Palestinian village of Yasuf, where two days earlier a mosque was torched and vandalized allegedly at the hand of angry settlers. ...
Iran vows to back Hamas until 'imminent collapse of Zionist regime'
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Iran's official news agency says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has reiterated his support for Hamas during a visit by the Palestinian militant group's Syrian-based leader. ...
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - When children are involved in one of their primary activities - watching television - what is it that they're watching? To answer this question I sat one day in front of the screen during prime time for kids, which begins at 4 P.M. My findings were far from encouraging. In the two breaks that interrupted programs that lasted less than an hour, there were about 10 commercials for candy and fast food. Cakes, snacks, chocolate-coated wafers and "healthier whole grains," as the announcer put it, were offered to the young audience. ...
Lightrail through Arab towns pushed aside for Carmiel railway
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - A plan for a light rail that would connect Arab towns in the Galilee to Acre and Carmiel was scrapped by the transportation minister and the minister for the development of the Negev and Galilee, Haaretz has learned. ...
Want your adopted son to be Jewish? Act Orthodox
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Nira and Yaron had been trying to have a baby for eight years. They did everything - in-vitro fertilizations, egg donations, treatments in Israel and abroad. Nothing worked. The only way they would be able to have a family was by adoption. The Taf adoption agency found a baby for them after a few weeks of searches, and they were called to Belarus to adopt an abandoned 11-month-old baby boy. Their happiness knew no bounds. ...
Israeli security forces wrestle over settler policing
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday to sever ties with the Har Bracha yeshiva in the West Bank , whose dean urged his students to defy military orders if they are told to evacuate settlements or halt settlement construction while serving in the army. ...
Jewish town won't let Arab build home on his own land
Ha'aretz 13 Dec 2009 - Aadel Suad first came to the planning and construction committee of the Misgav Local Council in 1997. Suad, an educator, was seeking a construction permit to build a home on a plot of land he owns in the community of Mitzpeh Kamon. The reply he got, from a senior official on the committee, was a memorable one. ...
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestine Monitor
Israel okays millions of dollars in aid to settlements
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
UNRWA launches new Refugee Registration Information System to improve refugee services
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
OPT: PCHR strongly condemns attacks on PNGO and CHF offices in Gaza
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
OPT: Swine flu toll in isolated Gaza reaches 10 - medics
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Newsletter on UK development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Nov 2009
Relief Web 13 Dec 2009 - Source: Department for International Development
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Senior military sources commend Defense Minister Barak's decision to remove Har Bracha yeshiva from religious seminaries' arrangement following statements favoring insubordination. 'We cannot abide action meant to undermine IDF,' one of them says
Documentation of dramatic rescue at sea
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - (Video) IDF releases footage of crew members of freighter which sunk off Haifa coast being rescued by Air Force. Five sailors still missing
Hamas: Mediator changed swap deal's stages
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Senior group member Osama al-Muzaini does not anticipate breakthrough in negotiations in coming days
Steinitz: Priority map a favorable message to settlers
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Finance minister says cabinet's decision to include isolated settlements in national priority map meant to serve as sign of its support of settlers; adds Israel may rethink freeze if PA talks falter
Barak decides to remove hesder yeshiva from IDF
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Following Rabbi Melamed's refusal to attend hearing for supporting disobedience among soldiers, defense minister decides Har Bracha yeshiva will no longer be part of arrangement with army. 'Barak has probably forgotten that yeshiva heads don’t work for him,' one of rabbi's associates states
PM's aides: Barak okayed settlements named in priority map
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister's Office puzzled by defense minister's nay vote on national priority map; says it was Defense Ministry that prepared list of isolated settlements included in it. Barak aides counter: He wanted list diluted
IDF uncovers explosives near Nablus
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Explosive charge, shock grenade detonated in controlled manner; two Palestinians arrested. Illegal resident captured in Ashkelon on suspicion of being sent to carry out terror attack
PM's brother-in-law urges him to resign
YNet News 13 Dec 2009 - Sara Netanyahu's brother, Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi, says prime minister betraying his policy, 'causing greater damage to State of Israel than left-wing governments' in terms of settlement construction and prisoner exchange deal with Hamas
Daily Star 14 Dec 2009 The Israeli Cabinet voted Sunday to pour millions of dollars of new funding into Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including several hardline communities that have put up fierce resistance to government-imposed construction restrictions. The vote caused an uncharacteristic rift in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Cabinet.
Supreme leader says Iran's opposition violates law
Daily Star 14 Dec 2009 Iran's supreme leader issued a stern warning to the pro-reform opposition on Sunday, accusing it of violating the law by insulting the memory of the Islamic Republic's revered founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Declaring opposition rallies were illegal, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made it clear he would not tolerate any more protests by reformers seeking to revive their challenge.
Israeli rabbis protest mosque attack in Occupied West Bank
Daily Star 14 Dec 2009 A group of Israeli rabbis went Sunday to a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank to protest against its mosque being vandalized, allegedly by Jewish settlers. The rabbis, moderate religious Zionists, were stopped at the entrance of the village by Israeli soldiers who told them the locality was declared a closed military zone for fear of clashes with the Palestinians.
Iran puts conditions on nuclear fuel swap
Daily Star 14 Dec 2009 After weeks of conflicting responses, Iran abruptly said Saturday that it is ready to exchange uranium for nuclear fuel - the key demand of a UN-sponsored initiative to defuse global fears over its nuclear program. The conditions laid out in comments from Iran's foreign minister, however, are unlikely to satisfy the US and its allies as they prepare to discuss new sanctions against Tehran at a meeting that could take place in the coming week.
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Salah Al-Bardawil said that all the ideas suggested by the independent reconciliation committee on the resumption of the national dialog between the Palestinian rivals are still ambiguous.
Mishaal: Hamas will remain facing the global arrogance until achieving victory
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Khaled Mishaal stated Sunday in Tehran that his Movement alongside the Palestinian people and resistance would continue to face the global arrogance until the achievement of victory.
Health ministry: Number of swine flu deaths increased to 10
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - The Palestinian ministry of health announced on Sunday that two citizens have died of the H1N1 virus known as the swine flu bringing the number of victims of this disease to ten.
IOF troops kill 8 Palestinians in Gaza border areas in 2009
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Al-Mizan center has said that the IOF had killed 8 Palestinian citizens including 4 children and wounded 19 others including 6 children in areas near to Gaza borders with Palestine occupied in 1948.
Hamas urges West Bank people to defend mosques against settlers’ attacks
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - The Movement of Hamas on Sunday called on the Palestinian people in the West Bank to move to defend their mosques against Israeli settlers’ attacks.
Qasem: Hamas made history
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Dr. Abdelsattar Qasem stated that Hamas was able to make a great historic achievement and create a political balance in the Palestinian arenas, when it established a focal point in the Gaza Strip.
IOF soldiers arrest mother of five detainees, steal jewelry
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested Um Bakir, 65, in downtown Nablus at dawn Sunday after storming and ransacking her home, Ahrar center for prisoners' studies and human rights reported.
PLFP calls for forming united resistance front to respond to Israel’s crimes
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - The popular front for the liberation of Palestine (PLFP) called for instantly forming a united resistance front to retaliate to Israel’s ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people.
Mishsal in Iran at head of a delegation
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, arrived in Tehran at dawn Sunday at the head of a senior-level delegation for talks on Palestinian developments.
Oghlu: World must intervene to check Israeli violation of international law
PIC 14 Dec 2009 - Kamaludin Ehsan Oghlu, the secretary general of the OIC, has condemned the Jewish settlers' arson attack on the Yasuf village mosque in the West Bank district of Salfit.
LA Times 13 Dec 2009 - But Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki spoke of exchanging the material in phases rather than all at once, which could leave Iran in control of enough uranium to make a bomb. After weeks of conflicting responses, Iran abruptly said Saturday that it is ready to exchange uranium for nuclear fuel -- the key demand of a U.N.-sponsored initiative to defuse global fears over its nuclear program.
U.S. signals new sanctions against Iran
LA Times 12 Dec 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates says world powers soon will agree on 'significant additional sanctions.' Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warns Latin American nations will face 'consequences' if they 'flirt' with the Islamic Republic. The Obama administration signaled its intention Friday to push for new sanctions against Iran, warning that tough new measures are likely now and urging reluctant nations not to circumvent them.
New York Times 13 Dec 2009 - Iran’s foreign minister said his country was willing to exchange most of its uranium for processed nuclear fuel, as the United Nations has proposed, but only according to a timetable Western powers appear to have already rejected.
Gates Expects New Sanctions on Iran
New York Times 12 Dec 2009 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’s remarks were the first from a senior U.S. official to say that tougher sanctions were likely.
Officials Blame 'Extremist' Settlers for Arson Attack on West Bank Mosque
New York Times 11 Dec 2009 - On Friday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said an arson attack on a West Bank mosque was part of a campaign by Israelis living in the occupied Palestinian territory to protest restrictions on the expansion of their settlements.
In Iran, Protests Gaining a Radical Tinge
New York Times 11 Dec 2009 - The creeping radicalization of Iran’s opposition movement has underscored a rift within it, analysts say, and poses a dilemma for its leaders.
Lebanon Vote Lets Hezbollah Keep Weapons
New York Times 11 Dec 2009 - The Lebanese Parliament overwhelmingly approved a national unity government that would allow Hezbollah to keep its weapons, despite strong criticism from pro-Western lawmakers.
Palestine Monitor - 12 Dec 2009 - A wave of recent studies from academics both sides of the wall have revealed ingrained racism in Israeli schools. Books authorised by the ministry of education habitually use geography, history, language and other methods to instil negative perceptions of Arabs and Palestinians. Nurit Peled addressing the...
Israel Continues to Deny Palestinians' Fundamental Human Rights
Palestine Monitor - 12 Dec 2009 - The following is a statement issued on the occasion of International Human Rights Day by Palestinian human rights organizations including Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, DCI - Palestine Section, Al-Dameer, Arab Association for Human Rights, Badil, Addameer, ENSAN Center, Jerusalem Legal Aid Center, Palestine Solidarity Committee – South Africa,...
US has no problem with Israel pumping money into… hands of West Bank extremists
Mondoweiss - 13 Dec 2009 - Haaretz, today: The cabinet approved on Sunday the controversial plan – which will pump millions of shekels into West Bank settlements – after Netanyahu decided to review the list of communities for which funds were earmarked… Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the Labor chairman, attacked the plan...
If feds hadn’t stopped Geo Wallace in ‘63, we’d still have apartheid
Mondoweiss - 13 Dec 2009 - Reuters reports: There’s no real freeze on settlers; Israel plans to add 10,000 in the next few months. "This is neither a freeze nor a suspension," [Likud minister Benny Begin was quoted as saying]. "Construction in Judea and Samaria will continue in the next 10 months,"...
Gaza Freedom March set to bring 1300 from 42 countries to blockaded border
Mondoweiss - 13 Dec 2009 - Medea Benjamin of Code Pink writes: Over 1,300 delegates from 42 countries have signed up to participate in the December 31 Gaza Freedom March that will mark the one-year anniversary of the Israeli invasion and call for an end to the siege that has brought 1.5...
Report on E J’lem arrests: ‘150 stand in the courtyard of the stolen house, double what we had last week’
Mondoweiss - 12 Dec 2009 - Just got this. The writer David Shulman on the beating and arrests of 24 activists in Sheikh Jarrah, opposing the evictions of Palestinians. Beautiful writing is important. Just read it and try not to weep. Thanks to Rebecca Vilkomerson . December 10, 2009 Sheikh Jarrah (2) As...
Protests go on in Bilin despite arrest of media coordinator
Mondoweiss - 12 Dec 2009 - Despite the middle-of-the-night arrest earlier this week of a leader of the Bilin protest movement, scores joined the protest yesterday at the separation wall amid a hail of teargas canisters. Friends of Freedom and Justice-Bilin has a video of the protest at that link, and reports:...
Notes from Area C / The right to return to the caves
Amira Hass, Ha’aretz 12/10/2009
This is a story of return, the return of Palestinians to their land in Area C. Just over a month ago, on November 8, two out of 15 families returned to Khirbet Bir al-Idd, in south Mount Hebron. By yesterday their number had reached eight.
"Everyone waited to see if they would kill us before they decided whether to return," joked Ismail I’dra, 63, as he worked energetically to clean up one of the caves that serve as homes to residents the village. Indeed, less than two weeks ago, I’dra, too, was afraid to enter the area on his own, with his tractor laden with feed for his flock; he preferred to be accompanied by activist Ezra Nawi of Ta’ayush (an Arab-Jewish anti-occupation movement).
The first three weeks after residents began to return to Bir al-Idd were full of incidents in which settlers from nearby communities threw stones at the women and the flocks, and tried to enter the village to frighten people), and blocked the access road, sometimes with the help of the army. Only the submission of an urgent petition, two weeks ago, to the High Court of Justice by the inhabitants, by means of Rabbis for Human Rights, compelled the army to leave the road open.
"But, God be praised," said I’dra on Wednesday, "during the past week it has been quiet."
The minor incident last Saturday apparently no longer counts as a clash: About 20 members of Ta’ayush arrived to help clean up the village, which is actually a collection of caves. One settler appeared, as did Israel Defense Forces soldiers and Border Police. There was tension, and one Ta’ayush activist was arrested, which is a routine occurence. And this week, there are already more smiles on people’s faces: The constant presence of activists from abroad and daily visits by Israeli supporters add to their sense of security in Bir al-Idd. more.. e-mail
Utopia as Alibi: Said, Barenboim and the Divan Orchestra
Raymond Deane, Irish Left Review, P U L S E 12/12/2009
As a classical musician involved in pro-Palestinian activism, I frequently encounter the assumption that I am an unconditional admirer of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (WEDO). My reservations on this score tend to produce shocked disapproval: How could I not enthuse about such an idealistic project, particularly since it was co-founded by the late Edward Said, a figure for whom I have frequently expressed respect and admiration?
In truth, I have always been a little wary of Said’s veneration for the eighteenth/nineteenth century canon of European classical music. I look in vain in his writings on the subject for a historical and political contextualisation of music comparable of that to which he so perceptively subjected literature in his indispensable Culture and Imperialism.
In his 2002 speech accepting the Principe de Asturias Prize, Said claimed that he and his friend the Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim founded the WEDO “for humanistic rather than political reasons”. This surprising dualism implies that music belongs to a utopian sphere somehow removed from the dialectical hurly-burly of hegemony and resistance.
The paradoxes of Said’s position have been ably dissected by the British musicologist Rachel Beckles Willson. She quotes her colleague Ben Etherington’s critique of Said’s tendency “to assert the intrinsic value of Western elite music without really exploring how that tradition escapes mediation.” Paraphrasing Said’s critique of literary scholars in his Humanism and Democratic Criticism she convincingly claims that he “omitted to make ‘a radical examination of the ideology of the [musical performance] field itself.’” (Willson’s chain brackets).
Undoubtedly Barenboim has a less sublimated view of the classical repertoire than Said, and has been more broadminded than many of his superstar peers in his willingness to perform and advocate modern and “avant-garde” music. He has also displayed great independence and personal courage by criticising the Israeli establishment and repeatedly flouting Israeli laws to travel to the occupied West Bank – even bringing the orchestra to Ramallah in 2005. -- See also: Irish Left Review more.. e-mail
A short historical quiz
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 12/13/2009
Which state: Arose after a Holocaust in which a third of its people were destroyed? Drew from that Holocaust the conclusion that only superior military forces could ensure its survival?
Accorded the army a central role in its life, making it "œan army that had a state, rather than a state that had an army? Began by buying the land it took, and continued to expand by conquest and annexation? Endeavored by all possible means to attract new immigrants? Conducted a systematic policy of settlement in the occupied territories? Strove to push out the national minority by creeping ethnic cleansing?
For anyone who has not yet found the answer: It"™s the state of Prussia. But if some readers were tempted to believe that it all applies to the State of Israel "“ well, they are right, too. This description fits our state. The similarity between the two states is remarkable. True, the countries are geographically very different, and so are the historical periods, but the points of similarity can hardly be denied.
The state that was respected and feared for 350 years as Prussia started with another name: Mark Brandenburg (Mark: march, border area.) This territory in the North-East of Germany was wrested from its Slavic inhabitants and was initially outside the boundaries of the German Reich. To this day, many of its place names (including Berlin neighborhoods, like Pankow) are clearly Slavic. It can be said: Prussia arose on the ruins of another people (some of whose descendants are still living there).
A historical curiosity: The land was first paid for in cash. The house of Hohenzollern, a noble family from South Germany, bought the territory of Brandenburg from the German Emperor for 400,000 Hungarian Gulden. I don"™t know how that compares with the money paid by the Jewish National Fund for parts of Palestine before 1948. more.. e-mail
Book review: Alastair Crooke's "Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution"
Electronic Intifada: 12 Dec 2009 - Alastair Crooke's new book Resistance: The Essence of the Islamist Revolution studies the philosophy of resistance among Islamic movements as articulated by influential Islamist thinkers and revolutionaries of the last century. However, by defining an essence of Islam, Crooke reinforces many of the assumptions he is trying to dispel. Hicham Safieddine reviews for The Electronic Intifada.
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2009 - By Uri Avnery - Israel A short historical quiz: Which state: 1. Arose after a holocaust in which a third of its people were destroyed? 2. Drew from that holocaust the conclusion that only superior military forces could ensure its survival? 3. Accorded the army a central role in its life, making it “an army that had a state, rather than a state that had an army”? 4. Began by buying the land it took, and continued to expand by conquest and annexation? 5. Endeavoured by all possible means to attract new immigrants? 6. Conducted a systematic policy of settlement in the occupied territories? 7. Strove to push out the national minority by creeping ethnic cleansing? For anyone who has not yet found the answer: it’s the state of Prussia. But if some readers were tempted to believe that it all applies to the State of Israel – well, they are right, too. This description fits our state. The similarity between the two states is remarkable. True, the countries are geographically very different, and so are the historical periods, but the points of similarity can hardly be denied. The state that was respected and feared for 350 years as Prussia started with another name: Mark Brandenburg. (Mark: march, border area). This territory in the north-east of Germany was wrested from its Slavic inhabitants and was initially outside the boundaries of the German Reich. To this day, many of its place names (including Berlin neighboruhoods, like Pankow) are clearly Slavic. It...
Another Childhood Nakba Memory
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2009 - By Khalil Nakhleh – Ramallah I remember it was one Sunday afternoon, sometime around one or two o'clock, when my father barged running into the house shouting "we have to leave, we have to leave". His face was all red; his eyes shined with piercing outrage, uncertainty and incredulity. I remember it was Sunday because my mother was fixing our special Sunday lunch that included meat –the only day in the week where we had a little bit of meat. Sundays were the only days in the week where the butchers would butcher fresh goat meat. I remember my mother had prepared a big kettle of “tabeekh” (stew of beans, tomato sauce and a bit of meat) with rice on the side. My village was mostly Christian with some Druze. We were a farming community relying, primarily, on olives and oil, without much cash. “What do you mean we have to leave? Leave to where and how?” my mother screamed with agony. “I don’t know to where and how”, my father screamed back: “El-Yahood (the Jews) are already at the gate to our compound with armored cars and machine-guns posted on the gate posts, and are ordering us to leave.” My father was helpless and impotent and could do nothing to protect our family from being kicked out by force. He kept going down to the entrance of our family compound and back up, a distance of not more than three hundred meters, trying to get more information, but to...
Rules of Human Decency Apply to Israelis Too
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood - London Poor Berlanty. What did she do to deserve this crushing blow to her hopes and life chances? The Israeli High Court has denied her justice - again - and prevented Berlanty Azzam returning to Bethlehem University for the final few weeks to complete her degree. On 28 October this Christian student at the Vatican-sponsored Bethlehem University was abducted by the IDF after attending a job interview in Ramalla, then blindfolded and handcuffed and dumped in Gaza. She had lived in the West Bank since 2005 after being granted a permit. There was only one kind of permit available in 2005 – an entry permit to Israel. But the Israeli State claimed that this permit was insufficient and Berlanty should have obtained some other permit, even though the State admits that none existed at the time. State representatives took her permit, a key piece of evidence, and never produced it to the Court. After six weeks of double-talk the Court accepted the State's claim that Berlanty entered the West Bank illegally. We hear a lot about how independent Israel’s justice system is. Here’s proof, if any were needed, that it is simply a tool of the military. To avoid accusations that her residence was not Bethlehem, Berlanty had for the last four years resisted the temptation to return to Gaza and visit her folks. She and her parents submitted numerous applications to change the Gaza address recorded on her identity card to her actual place of...
HSRC on 'Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid'
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago The Cape Town, South Africa-based Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) "conduct(s) large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific projects for public-sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies," and disseminates its findings widely. In May 2009, it issued a damning report titled, "Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel's practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law." At the time John Dugard was the UN's Special Human Rights Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine. At his January 2007 suggestion, the study was undertaken "to scrutinise (his) hypothesis from the perspective of international law." It stated: "Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT (Occupied Palestinian Territories). At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. What are the legal consequences of a regime of prolonged occupation with features of colonialism and apartheid for the occupied people, the Occupying Power and third States?" Given South Africa's past, the HSRC had an "obvious interest" in pursuing these issues. After 15 months of research, its report concluded that: "....Israel, since 1967, has been the belligerent Occupying Power in the OPT, and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise, which implements a system of apartheid." Although occupation is legal after armed conflict, it's intended only to be temporary. International law also prohibits the unilateral annexation or permanent acquisition of territory through force, and Fourth Geneva obligates signatories to protect civilians in time of war and occupation. Its...