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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
To Grant The P.A 200 M Euros
construction continues under partial ban
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Western spy arrested two months ago after spying on newly disclosed nuclear facility, Channel 2 reports.
Hamas: Deal for Shalit release still a long way off
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Peres tells IDF soldiers: Schism between Hamas leaders in Gaza and Syria delaying prisoner swap talks.
MI chief: Iran has enough nuclear material for bomb
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Yadlin says Iran's 'sophisticated strategy' means its 'technological clock is almost done winding.'
Border Policewoman wounded in fresh clash with settlers
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Policewoman moderately hurt as officials try to enforce West Bank settlement freeze; three arrested.
Hamas: All Islamist groups will unite with Iran if Israel attacks
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Hamas leader makes comments in Iran, following Iranian threats of retaliation to Israeli strike.
Chief rabbi: Palestinian mosque burning harkens to Kristallnacht
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Metzger visits Yasuf to express his 'revulsion' over attack, pelted by rocks on way out of village.
Ukrainian shipwreck may have been result of fuel smuggling
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Police suspect the ship was smuggling diesel fuel; five surviving sailors released from Haifa hospital.
Egypt destroys tunnel used for smuggling cars into Gaza
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Entrance to tunnel found 300 meters from Gaza, days after Egypt announced construction of iron border wall.
Far-right yeshiva head: My duty is to tell troops to refuse orders
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Har Bracha is one of two yeshivas funded by Defense Min. which encourage refusal of settlement evacuation orders.
Taiwan probing reports of illicit nuclear sale to Iran
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Taipei last week said it had no knowledge of 100 European-made transducers shipped to Tehran.
Israeli town on Gaza border blooms amid fragile truce
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Newcomers say high central-Israel costs are causing unlikely real estate boom near the embattled Strip.
Shin Bet gets new deputy, as race to succeed Diskin heats up
Ha'aretz 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 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 15 Dec 2009 - Israeli woman, 22, moderately wounded in stabbing in West Bank; police searching for suspect.
apologizes to Livni over arrest warrant
UK, December 15, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - "The European Campaign": UN construction of one clay house in Gaza "considered a flagrant international incompetence" Brussels, December 14, 2009 "The European Campaign to end the siege on Gaza" considered UNRWA declaration of constructing the first clay house in Gaza, a year after the last Israeli war on Gaza Strip, which the ongoing...
Tomorrow, Future of Palestinian Refugees is discussed in London
West Bank, December 15, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -The Palestinian Return Center in London will launch its international conference entitled "UNRWA and the future of Palestinian refugees." Tomorrow, Wednesday 16th December 2009.
JeninStan of Mr. Dayton and the “Two-States” Solution !!!
I cant see but pantostons in the West Bank (sorry, Historic Yesrael), and this is at the meantime before the zionists double the number of the settlers again. After 26 year of occupying the West Bank, in 1993, the number of the settlers was only 120, 000 in scattered settlements. As the whole world was talking of “peace” the Zionists...
West Bank: IOF Detain 15 Palestinians Overnight
West Bank, December 15, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) -The Israeli occupation forces jailed 15 Palestinians in raids at dawn, in Jenin, Qalqilia and Bethlehem in West Bank .Local sources demonstrated that yesrerday Israeli forces overran small town in Qalqilia governorate and detained nine youngmen . Besides, thses sources listed the detainees' names: Maher Aref Jaser ,25; Sayf Abdu El-Qader,13; Qays Abdu El-Qader ,...
Ban Ki-moon worried over impact of siege on Gaza people
New York, December 15, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern over the worsening humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip as a result of the stringent Israeli siege. He told reporters in New York on Monday that the situation in Gaza is still a cause for concern, adding that he was "seriously working with...
The National 15 Dec 2009 - The fate of the three American hikers is now linked to several Iranians that Tehran says the US has “illegally” detained.
Israel warns UK over war crimes warrants
The National 15 Dec 2009 - Israel warns Britain that ties between the two countries are threatened because UK courts keep issuing war crimes warrants against visiting Israeli ministers and officials.
Syria to subsidise heating oil for one million
The National 15 Dec 2009 - After heating fuel cost rise fourfold in two years, households with an annual income of less than $8,700 will qualify for payment of $215.
AlJazeera 15 Dec 2009 - British court's order to arrest former foreign minister sparks furore.
Iran to try detained US citizens
AlJazeera 14 Dec 2009 - Hikers to face trial after entering the country "with suspicious aims", Tehran says.
Hamas vows to continue resistance
AlJazeera 14 Dec 2009 - Haniya tells anniversary rally in Gaza City that peace talks have "failed".
Alternative Information Center 14 Dec 2009 - A group of Palestinian Christians representing a variety of churches and church-related organizations have issued an animated and prayerful call for an end to occupation of Palestine by Israel. The call, issued at a 11 December...
23 Palestinian Youth Learn Empowerment and Creative Resistance through Art
Alternative Information Center 14 Dec 2009 - This past Saturday, 12 December, the Alternative Information Center (AIC) conducted the graduation ceremony for its second series of art empowerment training workshops, conducted weekly throughout the second half of 2009 in the West Bank city...
PNN 15 Dec 2009 - Mahmoud Dabdoub was born in Lebanon in 1958 and worked from 1976 to 1982 in the Palestinian cultural office in Beirut. He went to the German Democratic Republic in 1981 and studied at the College for Graphics and Printing in Leipzig. Since 1987, he has continued to work there as a freelance journalist and photographer.Life in a divided landFor almost a decade,...
A l'Ombre des Mots, (In the Shade of Words) Le Trio Joubran
PNN 15 Dec 2009 - It is difficult to speak about our work In the Shade of Words because it is, in fact, in the shade of a man whom we, Le Trio Joubran, accompanied in love and respect for more than twelve years. A man from the kingdom of the verb who pronounced a word, crafted a letter, a note, a sentence, enchanted us and brought...
Abbas gives terms for resuming stalled peace talks
PNN 15 Dec 2009 - President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said the Palestinians would resume suspended peace talks with Israel if it halts settlement building and recognises pre-1967 borders as a basis for a Palestinian state. Addressing a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation's central council, Abbas said he would not accept any return to violence against Israel. When Israel stops settlement activity for a specific period...
British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni
PNN 15 Dec 2009 - Warrant issued over war crimes accusations was withdrawn when it emerged former minister had cancelled plan to visit. A British court issued an arrest warrant for Israel (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/israel)'s former foreign minister over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gaza) this year – only to withdraw it when it was discovered that she was not in the UK, it emerged today.Tzipi Livni, a...
Palestinians fake cancer to flee blockaded Gaza
PNN 14 Dec 2009 - GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — A healthy man in blockaded Gaza faked cancer, hoping the deadly disease would be his ticket out of the territory that has become an open-air prison for its 1.4 million residents. His ploy failed, but several thousand others succeeded in fleeing this shabby sliver of land this year using bribes and fake medical reports, a sign of...
Stone thrower-turned-violinist gives Palestinians music, and hope
PNN 14 Dec 2009 - NABLUS, West Bank — If no one had handed Ramzi Aburedwan a violin when he was a stone-throwing teenager in a refugee camp, he might've ended up languishing in an Israeli prison cell. He might've become little more than an obscure fatality lost amid the thousands of young Palestinians killed in the seemingly intractable conflict. However, music teachers from Ramallah to Boston...
Palestinians argue on first contest to choose Miss Palestine
PNN 14 Dec 2009 - The declaration of a commercial Palestinian company on Saturday to organize the first-ever contest to choose Miss Palestine aroused a large argument among the conservative Palestinians who considered the contest a contradiction with Islamic traditions. A private Ramallah-based commercial company called Trip Fashion announced on Saturday that it intends to organize soon the first-ever contest to choose Miss Palestine under the title...
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - President acknowledges contributions to establishment, security and existance of Israel.
High Court upholds ban on Gazan inmate visits
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Ruling continues prohibition on Gaza strip residents visiting family members imprisoned in Israeli jails.
'Iran arrested Western spy'
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Channel 2: Teheran told IAEA about clandestine enrichment plant to minimize spy damage.
Otniel Yeshiva head to take steps to protest Har
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Ontiel hesder yeshiva head to cease cooperating with IDF in issuing service extensions to students.
Outraged Jerusalem says Livni warrant threatens ties with UK
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Miliband calls Kadima leader to express 'shock' as diplomatic crisis escalates; PM slams British attempt to issue arrest warrant for Livni.
Analysis: Most ministers would face arrest in UK
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Kadima Party leader Tzipi Livni is one among many who face the near-certainty of arrest in Britain.
'Recognition of '67 border before talks'
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Abbas: Moratorium "not considered a stop of settlement activity"; Lieberman rejects comments.
Iran sanctions approved in US Congress
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - House of Representatives votes to impose sanctions; lawmakers doubt Teheran will cooperate.
Barak's wife questioned over Filipino cleaner
Jeruslalem Post 15 Dec 2009 - Aides to defense minister say woman no longer employed.
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 15 (IPS) - In advance of U.S. President Barack Obama's end of the year deadline for Iran to respond to negotiations aimed at bringing a halt to the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, the House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to sanction companies that sell refined petroleum to...
MIDEAST: Occupation Eats Away Israel's Heart and Soul
IPS JERUSALEM, Dec 15 (IPS) - After Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank torched a mosque and desecrated copies of the Quran in the Palestinian village of Yasuf, last Friday morning, they ran into a wall of condemnation.
(03- 09 Dec. 2009)
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.
12/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - 13 December - It seems that a major victory has been won regarding Palestinians using their road to get to and from town. Israeli settlers have demanded that only Jews be allowed to use the Palestinian road. For the most part, Israeli soldiers have been following setter orders, not the orders of their superiors or the Israeli courts. The Israeli courts and the Israeli military have agreed that the Palestinians may use Palestinian roads. Another factor is that the fields the villagers have have been using have now been planted, so it is less tempting for the villagers to go through the fields to avoid conflicts with soldiers and settlers. This is a major victory for the villagers, due to persistence on the part of the Palestinians, support from Israeli activists, and the presence of internationals in the village In addition to all this, the Palestinians have Israeli law, justice, and just plain common decency on their side.
British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni
12/15/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Guardian, 14 December - A British court issued an arrest warrant for Israel's former foreign minister over war crimes allegedly committed in Gaza this year - only to withdraw it when it was discovered that she was not in the UK, it emerged today. Tzipi Livni, a member of the war cabinet during Operation Cast Lead, had been due to address a meeting in London on Sunday but cancelled her attendance in advance. The Guardian has established that Westminster magistrates' court issued the warrant at the request of lawyers acting for some of the Palestinian victims of the fighting but it was later dropped. The warrant marks the first time an Israeli minister or former minister has faced arrest in the UK and is evidence of a growing effort to pursue war crimes allegations under "universal jurisidiction".
UN: Much of West Bank closed to Palestinian building
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Israel effectively allows Palestinians to build in only 1 percent of Area C, the 60 percent of the West Bank over which it retains full control, according to a new report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. ...
MI chief: Syria is not natural member of 'radical axis'
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Syria is a potential peace partner for Israel because it is a secular country that is not completely entrenched in the "radical axis" of Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, despite increased cooperation among all four entities, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Tuesday. ...
Witness in Demjanjuk trial may be implicated in Treblinka killings
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - German authorities are investigating whether a man due to testify at the war-crimes trial of John Demjanjuk may have committed killings himself as a concentration camp guard, a prosecutor said yesterday. ...
U.S. planning to restart Israel-PA talks based on '67 borders
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - The United States and Egypt, along with France, are planning a joint move to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks on the basis of the June 4, 1967, borders, territorial exchanges and a complete freeze of construction beyond the Green Line, including East Jerusalem. The freeze would not be announced publicly. ...
Aluf Benn / Obama will back dialogue with Hamas
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Barack Obama's speech upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize should be called "the realist manifesto." The U.S. president summed up his political worldview in seven words: "I face the world as it is." Not a messiah, not a prophet and not a dreamer. Rather, a leader who recognizes the limits of human nature and sees statecraft as a power game. A leader who envisions the highest ideals but understands that they cannot be attained through willpower and persuasion alone. A leader who believes in evolution and does not receive divine inspiration for his political moves like his predecessor George W. Bush. ...
The Guardian 15 Dec 2009 - Tzipi Livni's refusal to enter Britain because she fears arrest on war crimes charges increases the number of Israeli ministers and ex-ministers who fear legal action, and is to be welcomed ( British court issued Gaza arrest...
UK to review war crimes warrants after Tzipi Livni arrest row
The Guardian 15 Dec 2009 - Israel condemns London court's move against former foreign minister over Gaza Britain is reviewing procedures for issuing arrest warrants in war crimes cases after a diplomatic row with Israel over allegations against its former foreign minister....
Tzipi Livni arrest warrant prompts Israeli government travel 'ban'
The Guardian 15 Dec 2009 - No senior officials to visit UK until matter resolved, reports say British role in peace process damaged, ambassador told Israel hit back at Britain today over the arrest warrant issued for former foreign minister Tzipi Livni...
Palestinian tunnel tycoons feeding demand for banned goods
The Guardian 14 Dec 2009 - Boom in illicit trade in motorbikes, dismantled in Egypt and smuggled into Gaza, brings deadly consequences Mahmoud is proud of the motorbike he bought two months ago for $700, now parked in the sand at the...
Israeli minister Moshe Ya'alon turned down UK visit over arrest fears
The Guardian 14 Dec 2009 - Vice-prime minister pulled out of fundraising event after being warned he could be held on suspicion of war crimes Moshe Ya'alon, the Israeli deputy prime minister and strategic affairs minister, turned down an invitation to appear...
British court issued Gaza arrest warrant for former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni
The Guardian 14 Dec 2009 - Warrant issued over war crimes accusations was withdrawn when it emerged former minister had cancelled plan to visit A British court issued an arrest warrant for Israel's former foreign minister over war crimes allegedly committed in...
No freeze on Palestinian suffering | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 14 Dec 2009 - International excitement about the West Bank settlement freeze means little to those facing the sharp end of Israeli military rule Within minutes of our arrival in Tuwani , in the south Hebron hills of the West Bank,...
Letter: Stop the sale of 'West Bank' produce
The Guardian 13 Dec 2009 - Under new labelling rules, customers will be able to distinguish between Israeli settlement products and Palestinian goods from the occupied West Bank ( Report , 11 December). It should also be made clear that those settlements are illegal...
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - The Jerusalem District Court yesterday refused a request from former prime minister Ehud Olmert's defense attorneys to postpone the opening of the evidentiary stage of his graft trial due to the resignation of one of the attorneys, Yehuda Weinstein, who was recently appointed attorney general. ...
How cyberwarfare has made MI a combat arm of the IDF
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Using computer networks for espionage is as important to warfare today as the advent of air support was to warfare in the 20th century, Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin said Tuesday. ...
Accident averted as Russian jet misses landing strip at Ben Gurion
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - An accident was narrowly averted at Ben Gurion airport on Tuesday evening after a Russian aircraft missed its landing strip twice. ...
Police bust Israeli Internet gambling ring
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - Police on Tuesday exposed an Internet gambling network, which was operated by Israelis using a server in Eastern Europe. ...
Are Likud leaders traitors, or is the Right out of touch?
Ha'aretz 15 Dec 2009 - As expected, Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of treason by right-wing ideologues, in particular from those among the settlers. This has happened to every prime minister from the right since 1977. It's not always clear whether the accusers only mean treason against right-wing ideology or against the country, but they usually have a hard time distinguishing between the two. ...
Relief Web 15 Dec 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly
Restricting Space in the oPt (as of Dec 2009)
Relief Web 15 Dec 2009 - Source: OCHA
OPT: Abbas sticks by terms for talks, rules out violence
Relief Web 15 Dec 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet
OCHA oPt special focus: Restricting space - The planning regime applied by Israel in area C of the West Bank
Relief Web 15 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OPT: Egypt's Gaza smugglers shrug off reports of border barrier
Relief Web 15 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse
Speech by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Karen Koning AbuZayd, at the Arab League special session marking UNRWA's 60th Anniversary
Relief Web 14 Dec 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Approved legislation will end access to US markets for foreign companies selling refined petroleum products to Iran; no Senate action on the legislation expected this year. 'Obama has offered Iran an outstretched hand, but regrettably, Iran has not unclenched its fist,' Foreign Affairs Committee chairman says
Jerusalem demands London plug legislative loophole
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Israel wants UK to change legal situation which afforded arrest warrant against former FM Tzipi Livni. British Foreign Secretary Miliband promises 'government is looking urgently at ways in which the UK system might be changed'
British agent exposed true purpose of Qom reactor
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Iran revealed construction of secret plant to IAEA only after learning that MI-6 agent told operatives it was designated for uranium enrichment
'Sorry, but we blew up your laptop'
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - American student trying to cross from Egypt to Israel loses laptop to security check. 'Was it my peeling Arabic stickers on the keyboard?" she wonders
Reservists in North to IDF chief: Situation improved since war
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Ashkenazi lights fifth Hanukkah candle with soldiers stationed along Lebanon border, tells them, 'It's our job to make sure Israel exists another 6,000 years'
Officer, 11 settlers injured during clashes in Tzofim
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Civil Administration inspectors enforcing construction moratorium arrive at West Bank settlement to seize excavator; female Border Guard officer sustains moderate wounds in ensuing violence, locals lightly hurt. 'Due to Barak's political whims officers being instructed to injure innocent civilians,' Tzofim resident says
Miliband denounces Livni arrest warrant
YNet News 15 Dec 2009 - Netanyahu's office condemns warrant issued against former FM following complaint charging her with 'war crimes' in Gaza. PMO statement says Israel won't abide having IDF personnel being war criminals. UK foreign secretary stresses importance of ties with Israel
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday Palestinians would only resume peace talks if Israel fully halted illegal settlement building in the occupied West Bank, but ruled out any return to violence. Addressing a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) central council, which is expected to extend his term as president.
Israel protests British arrest warrant against ex-FM Livni
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Israel demanded Britain change its law on Tuesday after reports that ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni would have risked arrest on war crimes charges over last year's Gaza offensive, had she not cancelled a visit to London. The legal jeopardy faced by Israeli politicians and military officers could damage Britain's efforts to play a role in Middle East peacemaking.
Iran's protest movement has entered a new phase
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Last week, six months after Iran's June 12 presidential elections, thousands of students protested against the government in universities across Iran - a strong signal that Iran's domestic crisis is far from over, and moreover, entering a new phase. Six months ago, the major focus of the hundreds of thousands of protesters who marched the streets of Tehran.
Egypt's Gaza smugglers shrug off reports of border barrier
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Trucks filled with contraband trundle along on a road leading to Egypt's frontier with the besieged Gaza Strip. Their cargo will be sorted into bags and then slipped into Gaza through the tunnels. "That one has concrete," said Abu Khaled, as he parked his mud-camouflaged pick-up by the side of the road. The gaunt, bearded bedouin operates a tunnel himself.
Rights group condemns Yemen security force 'abuses' in south
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned Yemeni security forces for abuses in the country's south, including the killing of at least 11 unarmed protestors during the past two years. A report released Tuesday by the global rights group, said Yemeni forces had "carried out widespread abuses in the south - unlawful killings, arbitrary detentions.
Rival student groups hold rallies in Tehran - IRNA
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Pro-government and pro-opposition students staged rival rallies at a Tehran university on Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency reported, in a sign of continuing tension after clashes during protests last week. IRNA said about 700 pro-government students gathered at a Tehran branch of Azad University protesting against an "insult" to the Islamic Republic's late founder.
Hamas says it will unite with Iran if Israel attacks
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Islamist militant groups will fight alongside Iran if the country is attacked by Israel, exiled Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said in Tehran on Tuesday. Israel has not ruled out military action against Iran if diplomacy fails to end a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program, which the United States and its allies suspect is aimed at building an atomic bomb.
Iran ex-rebels defy Iraq police order to quit camp
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Disarmed Iranian rebels and their families defied Iraqi police instructions Tuesday for them to leave a border camp the government has ordered closed. Police toured the camp reminding residents over loudspeakers of the deadline set by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for their departure for alternative accommodation in southern Iraq but they refused to leave.
Violent protests in Indian Kashmir over women's deaths
Daily Star 15 Dec 2009 Protesters shut down much of Indian Kashmir Tuesday after investigators said two women allegedly raped and murdered had actually died by drowning, triggering furious claims of a cover-up. Mass rallies and outbreaks of violence shook the region in May after the bodies of the two Muslim women were found in a stream. Locals said they had been sexually abused and killed by the security forces.Violent protests in Indian Kashmir over women's deaths.
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - We owe it to the innocent children, who were mercilessly annihilated by the Nazis of our time, to seek justice for them and their families.
IOF troops round up 15 West Bankers
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up 15 Palestinians in the West Bank districts of Jenin, Bethlehem and Qalqilia at dawn Tuesday, radio Israel announced.
Hamas: Abbas’s speech aimed to pave the way for his return to negotiation
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Hamas stated that Mahmoud Abbas’s speech before the central council of the Palestine liberation organization is an attempt to pave the way for his return to the frivolous negotiations with Israel.
Medical sources: 3 Palestinians of one family killed in tunnel collapse
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Three Palestinian citizens were killed on Monday night after the tunnel they were inside collapsed over their heads in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, medical sources said on Tuesday.
Abu Obaida: Painful strikes awaiting any fresh IOF invasion of Gaza
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Abu Obaida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has warned that painful strikes were awaiting the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) if they ventured into Gaza anew.
Tawtheeq hails British justice for issuing arrest warrant against Livni
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - The central commission for documentation and prosecution of Israeli war criminals (Tawtheeq) welcomed the warrant issued by a British judge for the arrest of Tzipi Livni.
Um Bakir: I tasted the real suffering of my sons after two days in prison
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Um Bakir, a mother of five Palestinian prisoners, said Monday that she experienced the real suffering of her sons in Israeli jails after she spent only two days in detention.
Hamas political leadership meets with top Iranian officials
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - The Hamas political leadership met with Sa’eed Jalili, the chief negotiator of Iran’s nuclear file, as well as the head of the expediency discernment council and the minister of foreign affairs.
Dweik: National unity, constitutional freedoms must be restored
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik, the speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, has asserted that national unity should be restored to end the internal division, which he described as "fatal".
Haneyya states six strategic points to end internal crisis
PIC 16 Dec 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya stated six strategic points for the national rescue initiative suggested by Khaled Mishaal, which is aimed to end the internal crisis in the Palestinian arena.
LA Times 14 Dec 2009 - A nonprofit is providing free taxi vouchers in memory of a young member of the close-knit community killed in a drunk driving accident. When 25-year-old Daniel Levian was killed in a 2008 drunk driving accident, news of the sudden loss jolted the city's tight-knit Iranian American community. Word spread at popular Westside eateries and synagogues, and through Persian-language radio.
Burning of Ayatollah Khomeini's picture sparks uproar in Iran
LA Times 14 Dec 2009 - Iran's current supreme leader blames the anti-government protest movement, and seminary students and some lawmakers condemn the burning. But opposition protesters say the incident was staged. Political turmoil built Sunday over the burning of an image of Iran's revolutionary founder, which was aired, in a controversial move, on state television. Accusations that the incident was carried out by anti-government demonstrators sparked protests as well as threats against reformist leaders.
Secret Iranian nuclear paper assessed
LA Times 14 Dec 2009 - The document appears to show that nuclear scientists are testing a key component for the detonation of a warhead. Western and U.N. nuclear officials are evaluating a secret Iranian technical document that appears to show that the country's nuclear scientists are testing a key component used in the detonation of a nuclear warhead, according to intelligence officials and weapons experts familiar with the document.
New York Times 15 Dec 2009 - An unauthenticated memorandum about Iran and its nuclear research raises as many questions as it answers.
Relations With Turkey Kindle Hopes in Syria
New York Times 15 Dec 2009 - For Syrians, the new relationship suggests an embrace of a more open society and holds the promise of a revitalized regional economy.
Letter from Egypt: Complaints of Bias Can Go Both Ways in Egypt
New York Times 15 Dec 2009 - While Muslims are protesting Switzerland's ban on minarets, they're continuing to restrict the construction of churches by the Coptic minority.
World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Arrests on Charges of Destroying Leaders’ Photos
New York Times 15 Dec 2009 - The authorities have arrested several people accused of destroying photos of the Islamic republic’s founder as well as the current supreme leader at student demonstrations, the state media reported Monday.
World Briefing | Middle East: West Bank: Israeli Rabbi Decries Burning of a Mosque
New York Times 15 Dec 2009 - Israel’s chief rabbi visited the Palestinian village of Yasuf to condemn the burning of a mosque there, saying the attack brought back memories of the Holocaust.
In Iran, Protests Gaining a Radical Tinge
New York Times 14 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.
12/16/2009 - Political Theatrics - Israel Border Police officers shot at an American student’s laptop as she entered Israel via Taba, Egypt, two weeks ago. Lily Sussman, 21, wrote on her blog that border police subjected her to two hours of questioning and searches prior to shooting her Apple Macbook three times. “They had pressed every sock and scarf with a security device, ripped open soap and had me strip extra layers. They asked me tons of questions? where are you going? ” Sussman wrote, describing the experience. “Who do you know? Do you have a boyfriend? Is he Arab, Egyptian, Palestinian? Why do you live in Egypt? Why not Israel? What do you know about the ‘conflict’ here? What do you think? They quizzed me on Judaism, which I know nothing about,” she continued. Sussman said that she then heard an announcement on the loudspeaker. “It was something along the lines of, ‘Do not to be alarmed by gunshots because the. . . . "
VIDEO - The Shooting of Ashraf Abu Rahma
12/15/2009 - Political Theatrics - Interview with Salam Kanaan in Ni'lin - Salam Kanaan is the 17 year old who filmed the shooting of Ashraf Abu Rahma, a bound and blindfolded Palestinian prisoner, in Ni’lin in July 2008. [end]
OCHA: Construction Prohibited in 70% of Area C in WB
12/15/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, December 15, 2009 (WAFA)- “Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) said Tuesday. OCHA had Special Focus covered the planning and zoning regime applied by the Israeli authorities in Area C of the West Bank. Under this regime, Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, while in the remaining 30 percent, a range of restrictions virtually eliminates the possibility of obtaining a building permit. It noted that the Israeli authorities generally allow Palestinian construction only within the boundaries of an Israeli-approved plan and these cover less than one percent of Area C, much of which is already built-up. “As a result, Palestinians are left with no choice but to build - illegally - and risk demolition of their structures and displacement. . . . "-- Link: Restricting Space: The Planning Regime Applied by Israel in Area C of the West Bank. . . . "
U.S. Tax Dollars Funds Settlement, Located in Heart of WB
12/15/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - TEL AVIV, December 15, 2009(WAFA)-“How can President Barack Obama object to furthering education in a settlement like Yitzhar, located in the heart of the West Bank? After all, his own tax revenues contribute to the flourishing of the Od Yosef Chai Shechem yeshiva, the settlement's crowning glory,” Akiva Eldar wrote in Haaretz today. He said “the White House condemned the torching of a mosque, yet respectable Americans contribute to a yeshiva whose rabbi said it's okay to kill gentile babies. It is no surprise that the American administration tacitly, if unenthusiastically, accepted the excuse that the map of national priority zones the cabinet approved on Sunday does not violate the decision to freeze construction in the settlements. ”He reported, “the [Israeli] Education Ministry's division for Torah institutions transferred more than NIS1 million to this yeshiva in 2006 and 2007.
Salfeet Welcomes New American Corner as Sign of Friendship, Cooperation
12/15/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - SALFEET, December 15, 2009 (WAFA)- The Governor of Salfeet, Brigadier General Munir Aboushi; the Mayor of Salfeet,Tahseen Abd Al-Haleem Salimah; and U. S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein joined Tuesday the people of Salfeet to celebrate the opening of a new American Corner. The Consul General acknowledged the efforts and cooperation of the people of the Governorate of Salfeet, emphasizing that this new American Corner “symbolizes the commitment of the United States to continue building mutual understanding and cooperation between Americans and the Palestinian people. ” American Corners are partnerships between U. S. embassies or consulates and local communities. They serve as a resource for residents of those local communities, offering access to information about American culture, society, and values, as well as information on educational opportunities in the United States.
U.S. Provides $75 Million in Budget Support to Palestinian Authority
12/15/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - RAMALLAH, December 15,2009 (WAFA)– Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, U. S. Consul General Daniel Rubinstein, USAID West Bank/Gaza Mission Director Howard Sumka and Director General for External Relations at the PA Ministry of Finance Mazen Jadallah announced the delivery of $75 million in budget support for the PA during a ceremony today at the Council of Ministers in Ramallah. The Consul General noted that President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad have established a two-year program to build the institutions of a modern state, and to develop the Palestinian economy and civil society institutions. The Consul General added, “The President and Prime Minister have our strong support in fulfilling the goals and priorities of this program, which we see as integral to U. S. efforts to help achieve a two-state solution and comprehensive peace in the region.
International community must act against Israeli settlements – UN committee
12/15/2009 - United Nations - 15 December 2009 – A United Nations committee on Palestinian rights today called on the international community “to take urgent and decisive action against the continued illegal Israeli actions,” warning that Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory risk undermining the whole structure of international law. “Israel’s violation of international law goes far beyond the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and may affect conflict situations in other parts of the world by discrediting, disregarding and seriously undermining the existing international legal system,” the UN Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People said in a statement. Israel’s temporary suspension of settlement activity falls far short of its obligations under the Road Map – the internationally endorsed plan for a two-State solution to the. . . .
UN agency for Palestinian refugees seeks $323 million for 2010
12/15/2009 - United Nations - 15 December 2009 – The United Nations agency entrusted with assisting millions of Palestinian refugees has launched its 2010 appeal for over $323 million at a meeting of the 22-member League of Arab States in Cairo, with a focus on those people in Gaza and the West Bank who have been hit hardest by Israel’s closures and access restrictions. “The past 12 months have seen an intensification of the crisis in the oPt [occupied Palestinian territory], with lives and livelihoods ravaged by a combination of Israeli-imposed restrictions on access and movement and persistent conflict,” UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said in a news release. “The year began with Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, which resulted in death and destruction on a massive scale. The humanitarian crisis in the Strip was compounded by the ongoing siege on Gaza’s borders. . . . "
Tzipi Livni arrest warrant prompts Israeli government travel ’ban’
12/15/2009 - The Guardian - No senior officials to visit UK until matter resolved, reports say • British role in peace process damaged, ambassador told - A British court issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni on war crimes charges but withdrew it on finding she had cancelled a planned trip to Britain. Photograph: Gil Cohen Magen/ReutersIsrael hit back at Britain today over the arrest warrant issued for former foreign minister Tzipi Livni for alleged war crimes, warning that until the matter was resolved senior officials would not be visiting the UK. Israelis prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, called the warrant absurd, the Ynet website reported. The British ambassador, Tom Phillips, was summoned to the foreign ministry in Jerusalem where a senior Israeli official told him the row over Livni meant that Britain's ability to play a role in the Middle East peace process had been damaged.
UK to review war crimes warrants after Tzipi Livni arrest row
12/15/2009 - The Guardian - Israel condemns London court's move against former foreign minister over Gaza - Britain is reviewing procedures for issuing arrest warrants in war crimes cases after a diplomatic row with Israel over allegations against its former foreign minister. David Miliband, the foreign secretary, saidtonight the government was "looking urgently" at ways the legal system might be changed following action against Tzipi Livni, Israel's opposition leader, over her role in the Gaza war. The dispute erupted after Westminster magistrates court in London issued an unprecedented arrest warrant for Livni on Sunday – a move described by Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, as an "absurdity. "Miliband said Israeli leaders "must be able to visit and have a proper dialogue with the British government. " Ron Prosor, Israel's ambassador to Britain, said after talks with Miliband: "The British government. . . . "
UK ponders law change after Tzipi Livni arrest warrant
12/15/2009 - BBC Online - Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis: "This can never ever happen again" - The government is "urgently" looking into reforming the law after a UK court issued an arrest warrant for former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni. The warrant was granted by a London court at the request of Palestinian plaintiffs, provoking Israeli anger. It was revoked on Monday when it was found Ms Livni was not visiting the UK. Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Israel was a "close friend" of the UK's and stressed he was keen to "avoid this sort of situation arising again". Pro-Palestinian campaigners have tried several times to have Israeli officials arrested under the principle of universal jurisdiction, which holds that some alleged crimes are so grave that they can be tried anywhere, regardless of where the offences were committed.
Reshuffling the Cards? (I): Syria’s Evolving Strategy
12/14/2009 - International Crisis Group - MENA Report N°92 - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Syria’s foreign policy sits atop a mountain of apparent contradictions that have long bedevilled outsiders. Its self-proclaimed goal is peace with Israel, yet it has allied itself with partners vowed to Israel’s destruction. It takes pride in being a bastion of secularism even as it makes common cause with Islamist movements. It simultaneously has backed Iraqi Sunni insurgents and a Lebanese Shiite armed group. The U. S. has wavered between different approaches in unsuccessful attempts to persuade Damascus to clarify its stance, from a peace process focus in the 1990s to isolation and pressure under George W. Bush in the following decade. Barack Obama, having turned an old page without settling on a new one, seems intent on engagement on bilateral issues, albeit more cautious than ambitious.
West Decries Iran’s Latest Nuclear Offer
12/15/2009 - Wall Street Journal - MANAMA, Bahrain -- Western officials said the Iranian foreign minister's weekend comments that Tehran would be willing to make a uranium trade in small batches, and on Iranian soil, fell well short of their demands. A proposed deal hammered out in October between U. S. , French, Russian and International Atomic Energy Agency negotiators and their Iranian counterparts had called for Iran to ship the bulk of its low-enriched uranium outside the country to be further enriched, and then shipped back to Iran for use in a medical-research reactor. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, left, shakes hands with David Bloomer, a Bahrain-based British radio journalist who was briefly detained by Iran's Revolutionary Guards last month, on Dec. 12. Senior Iranian officials, however, have refused to endorse the proposal, instead offering a series of sometimes-contradictory counteroffers and demands for major changes, in public comments.
Binyamin Netanyahu must decide whether to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities
12/14/2009 - Times of London - The moment is fast approaching when Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, may have to make the most difficult decision of his career — whether to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities and risk triggering a conflagration that could spread across the Middle East. Israeli experts believe the point of no return may be only six months away when Iran’s nuclear programme will have — if it has not already — metastasised into a multitude of smaller, difficult-to-trace facilities in deserts and mountains, while its main reactor at Bushehr will have come online and bombing it would send a radioactive cloud over the Gulf nations. Mr Netanyahu has consistently called Iran the most serious threat Israel faces. President Ahmadinejad of Iran has called for Israel to be obliterated and his Revolutionary Guards supply training, money and weapons to both Hezbollah in Lebanon,. . . .
Vanunu and Israel’s Undeclared Nukes
Eileen Fleming, Consortium News 12/14/2009
Mordechai Vanunu was released from Ashkelon prison to open air captivity in east Jerusalem on April 21, 2004, after 18 years, mostly all in solitary confinement.
In 1986, Vanunu had been clubbed, drugged, bound and kidnapped from Rome by the Mossad because he told the truth and provided the photographic proof of Israel’s clandestine seven-story underground WMD facility in the Negev.
After returning Vanunu to Israel, the whistleblower was treated as a traitor and locked away, while few protests were heard from the United States despite the significance of his evidence regarding Israel’s undeclared arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Vanunu, who had been a technician in Israel’s Dimona nuclear facility, denied that he was a “traitor” to Israel.
“I’m a man with a conscience who did what he did out of a deep belief after much thought and many doubts,” Vanunu said. “But I knew that I had to do it, that I had no choice. …Somebody had to do it. … I contributed my share by making public what the public ought to know and they shut my mouth behind the prison walls.”
Americans also need to know that the restrictions that have held him captive in Jerusalem come from the Emergency Defense Regulations which were implemented by Britain against Palestinians and Jews after World War II.
After WW II, Attorney Yaccov Shapiro, who later became Israel’s Minister of Justice, described the draconian Emergency Defense Regulations as "unparalleled in any civilized country: there were no such laws in Nazi Germany." more.. e-mail
Restricting Space: The Planning Regime Applied by Israel in Area C of the West Bank
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - OPT (OCHA) 12/15/2009
SPECIAL FOCUS December 2009
This OCHA Special Focus covers the planning and zoning regime applied by the Israeli authorities in Area C of the West Bank. Under this regime, Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, while in the remaining 30 percent, a range of restrictions virtually eliminate the possibility of obtaining a building permit. In practice, the Israeli authorities generally allow Palestinian construction only within the boundaries of an Israeli-approved plan and these cover less than one percent of Area C, much of which is already built-up. As a result, Palestinians are left with no choice but to build “illegally” and risk demolition of their structures and displacement. The consequences of the current regime are wide-ranging and extend to the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank.
Since the onset of its occupation in 1967, the Government of Israel has implemented a range of measures that restrict Palestinians’ use of land and resources in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). One of the primary ways Israel has done this has been through the application of restrictive planning and zoning regimes to Palestinian communities. Such restrictions continue to be prevalent in the over 60 percent of the West Bank that was classified as Area C in the Oslo accords of the 1990s.1 While the 1995 Interim Agreement called for the gradual transfer of power and responsibility in the sphere of lanning and zoning in Area C to move from the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) to the Palestinian Authority (PA), this transfer was never implemented.2 As a result, though the arrangements set up in the Interim Agreement were intended to last no longer than 1999, ten years later, any Area C construction, whether a private home, an animal shelter or a donor-funded infrastructure project, still requires the approval of the ICA, which is under the authority of the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Under the planning regime applied by the ICA, Palestinian construction is effectively prohibited in some 70 percent of Area C, or approximately 44 percent of the West Bank, in areas that have been largely designated for the use of Israeli settlements or the Israeli military. These include areas that have been placed under the jurisdiction of Israeli settlements’ Local and Regional councils (the majority of which was previously declared as “state” land), areas closed by the Israeli military for training, along with nature reserves, Israeli military bases and a “buffer zone” around the Barrier. In the remaining 30 percent of Area C (approximately 18 percent of the West Bank), there are a range of other restrictions that greatly reduce the possibility of obtaining a building permit. more.. e-mail
'Saving Israel' or Assisting It To Commit Suicide?
Alan Hart, Political Theatrics 12/15/2009
I had to struggle with myself to decide which of two headlines was most appropriate for this article – the one above or “The hard core of lunatics are pulling up the drawbridge”.
A Jewish friend in Canada drew my attention to an article in the Jewish Ledger, an independent weekly newspaper in Westport, Connecticut. The headline over it is Saving Israel” Expert says American Jews key to Israel’s survival. I have rarely read such dangerous nonsense. It’s the voice of Zionism, deluded as ever, but with more than a hint of panic.
The “expert” quoted is Dr. Daniel Gordis, senior vice president of the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center, which describes itself as a research and education institute. He had addressed a standing-room only crowd of close to 300 in the small sanctuary of Westport’s Conservative Synagogue.
His main point was that Israel has survived all conventional military attacks and frustrated their aims (never mind that Israel’s survival was never in question), and has reduced terrorism to a minor threat, but there is now a threat “that is capable of succeeding and against which Israel has no defense.”
What, according to Gordis, is this new threat?
“The direct assault that Israel is now under by the Arabs via appeals to the world community. This co-ordinated effort aims to delegitimize the Jewish state and cause it to be treated as an international pariah, whose products and scholars will be boycotted and ostracized from the international community.” more.. e-mail
US trade unionists: boycott, divest from apartheid Israel
Electronic Intifada: 16 Dec 2009 - In the following open letter from Labor for Palestine to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, trade unions call for the immediate and complete divestment from State of Israel Bonds, the support of workers' refusal to handle Israeli cargo, the breaking of ties with the Zionist trade union Histadrut and the opposition of US military and economic aid for Israel.
Palestine refugees face service cuts due to UNRWA financial crisis
Electronic Intifada: 15 Dec 2009 - The United Nations agency Palestine refugees (UNRWA) faces a severe deficit that could lead to cuts of essential services to more than 4.7 million Palestinian refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. According to UNRWA, the agency's 2009 funds are already exhausted and it faces a shortfall of US $140 million for 2010. Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.
Report: Israeli academic institutions' role in the occupation
Electronic Intifada: 14 Dec 2009 - A new report by the Alternative Information Center aims to inform and empower the debate on an academic boycott by giving information not on the Israeli violence and violations of International law and human rights, but on the part in the Israeli occupation played by the very academic institutions in question, and how vulnerable are they to a possible boycott.
Bilin activist: "Words are not enough"
Electronic Intifada: 14 Dec 2009 - I started my life in jail at 17, during the first intifada, a popular uprising amongst ordinary Palestinians. It was not the first time I participated in nonviolent resistance. I have always believed that this is the way to end the occupation. But as the intifada clearly showed, the Israeli military does not understand let alone sympathize with such methods. Iyad Burnat's story as told to The Electronic Intifada contributor Jody McIntyre.
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Dec 2009 - By Dallas Darling When Jewish extremists in Palestinian territory attacked a mosque and set fire to Muslim holy books and prayer carpets, it was reminiscent of the cremation of the Strasbourg Jews. Only in this case, it is the cremation of Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank, and it includes their dream of an independent state and self-determination. Several days earlier, extremists also set fire to Palestinian houses and vehicles and burned a grove of olive trees in a village near Bethlehem. In 1349, six-hundred-and-sixty years ago, Jacob von Konigshofen wrote that over 2000 Jews were burned on a wooden platform in their cemetery. They had been blamed for the widespread horrors of the Black Death. Europeans were searching for the causes of the Black Death, when rumors spread Jews had poisoned water wells. It was in Strasbourg, a city along the Rhine River, where Jews were rounded-up, detained, and cremated. After killing the Jews, the Strasbourg Council seized all of their cash and possessions. All debts to those who were cremated were canceled. For many years, the Strasbourg Jews had been dehumanized. Their synagogues were attacked and religious relics burned. The desecration of a peoples belongings and faith are usually first steps in justifying their elimination. Today, Israel has demolished Palestinian homes and farms and committed night raids and military incursions. They have retaliated with punitive blockades, mass arrests, and imprisonments (including children). Israel has cut-off water and electricity and has isolated Palestinians from the rest of...
Israeli-style 'Justice' for Berlanty: Official Version
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Dec 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London The dragged-out scandal of final-year Bethlehem student Berlanty Azzam's arrest and abduction - handcuffed and blindfolded – and subsequent dumping in Gaza in the middle of the night just weeks before she was due to complete her degree, has horrified the Christian world far beyond the walled-in, imprisoned city of modern-day Bethlehem. Berlanty, a young Christian girl, is being persecuted and cruelly denied her inalienable rights by the illegal invader and occupier, just like any of her Muslim friends and neighbours. She was snatched by the Israeli military while returning from a job interview in Ramallah. That was around six weeks ago. Since then she has been forced to kick her heels far from the University at this most important time in her studies.... and in her young life. After her first fruitless hearing, I wrote again to the Israeli embassy in London asking for the Ambassador's further thoughts and advice on this regrettable incident and reminding him that time was short. I have just received this reply...... "On 9th December 2009 the Supreme Court held a hearing on Ms Azzam’s case. The court, comprised of three judges, decided to reject the appeal of Ms Azzam, who currently resides in the Gaza Strip, to return to the West Bank to complete her studies at Bethlehem University. "The court ruled that despite the mitigating circumstances cited by the appeal (that Ms Azzam is close to completing her studies, and that there were procedural faults in the...
Obama: A Monument to Hip-ocrisy
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Dec 2009 - By Mary Rizzo Barack Obama is a very handsome man. He has the charisma of a showman. He speaks very well, and what's more, he can even dance. It's not clear whether that is sufficient criteria to make one into a president, oops, not "a" president but "The President", but it certainly was enough to get one elected for the position. And yet, Obama is nothing if not humble. He recognised that he really didn't (yet) deserve the world's most important honour, the Nobel Peace Prize, but he also recognised last week that while he is “The President”, someone else is “The Boss”. What does all of this mean in the big picture? Quite a lot, actually, because whether he deserves it or not, Obama is there, in the highest echelons of power and glory, getting the greatest achievement awards for being … handsome, charismatic and cool. Since the advent of widespread mass media, style has definitely overcome substance as the top priority, the winning attribute. As a matter of fact, the soul of commerce is advertising, and Obama has been selected to represent the “American Image” that wants to be loved once again, whether or not they deserve it. In the world of advertising, the biggest question is about appearance, finding a soundbite, a face, a slogan. Enormous resources are invested in developing a successful image. As Joseph Levine wrote “You can fool all the people all the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big...
Hope He Will Fall Asleep
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Dec 2009 - By Catherine Wilson - London As the sun touched the horizon, a rose glow filled the sky over the town of Beet Jala, near Bethlehem. In the home of Palestinian artist, Rana Bishara, the haunting voice of Palestinian vocalist, Sanaa Moussa, delivering the lullaby, Yllah Ynam (‘Hope he will fall asleep’) resonated through the room. Her sonorous voice swept in waves through the space, around a half-created sculpture of a kufiyeh on the kitchen floor, through the double windows and across the sky at dusk. It evoked the tender entreaty to a child, the cry of a lament and the power of human resilience. Rana Bishara was born in Tarshiha, Galilee, where her ancestors have lived and owned land for generations. Her life and art are profoundly influenced by stories of her parents’ resistance of Israel’s invasion in 1948 and her father’s subsequent exile to Lebanon and Syria for two years. Rana’s childhood was shaped by the natural beauty of Galilee, the artistic heritage of jewellery making in her family, inextricable from her sense of identity and belonging, and the violation of that identity through Israel’s attempts to cleanse the region of Palestinian history and culture and establish a Jewish majority. For Bishara, creativity is vital to resistance of the occupation and as important as the time and energy she devotes to supporting families rendered homeless by Israel’s demolition of houses in Jerusalem. She claims that art “challenges the most vicious weapon and inhuman acts. Art is a sensible language...