VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 August, 2010: A case of decency deficit: Israel’s sickness goes beyond one soldier and her Facebook pictures

22 August, 2010 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Hebron: Israeli Military and Policemen Shut Three Palestinian Shops
IMEMC – 22 Aug 2010 – Sunday August 22, 2010 – 17:19, Every Saturday for the last several months, Youth Against the Settlements has led a nonviolent action — “Open Shuhada Street” — at the entrance to the Old City of Hebron. On Tuesday, 10 August 2010 the Israeli military and police forcibly welded shut three stores that stand directly behind the area of the weekly Saturday action and across from the gate of an Israeli military base.

Hamas: “Meeting with Fateh Leaders Delayed In Protest To Direct Talks With Israel”
IMEMC – 22 Aug 2010 – Sunday August 22, 2010 – 03:57, Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, decided to put on hold a scheduled meeting with Fateh leaders in Gaza in protest to the decision of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee and the Fateh movement to resume direct talks with Israel.

Ma’an News

PA official: Settlers set fire to village land
8/23/2010 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers set 20 dunums of farmland on fire south of Nablus on Sunday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Settlement affairs officer Ghassan Doughlas said dozens of residents of the illegal Ihya outpost torched the area of Sahel Khalet Abu Shreka, near Jalud village. Doughlas accused settlers in the area of….

Muezzin ‘attacked’ in Jerusalem village
8/22/2010 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli citizen allegedly assaulted a muezzin, the mosque official responsible for calling Muslims to prayer, before announcing the end of fasting for the day on Saturday evening. Witnesses said more than a dozen Israelis entered the mosque in the Jerusalem village of An-Nabi Samwil minutes before the evening prayer call….

Witness: Israel forces assault worker in Jerusalem
8/22/2010 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – A young Palestinian man from the Silwan neighborhood of Jerusalem says he sustained moderate wounds and bruises Saturday evening after Israeli soldiers attacked him in west Jerusalem. Bilal Abu Sneina, 21, works at an Israeli gas station in Talpiot in Jerusalem. He says that after his shift ended on Saturday and…. Related: Witness: Israeli forces assault Palestinian in Jerusalem

Palestinian scarves made in China
8/22/2010 – Owned by the Herbawi family, the last keffiyeh factory in Palestine is located in Hebron. Recently, the story has attracted media interest from Haaretz to Monocle. But this attention is irrelevant if the factory is unable to compete locally. The textile industry has been all but destroyed by the massive influx of cheap goods from….

Witness: Israeli forces assault Palestinian in Jerusalem
8/22/2010 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Witnesses said Saturday that Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank assaulted a young Palestinian man the same day outside the gas station where he works in Talpiyot after his shift ended. Bilal Abu Sneina, 21, from Silwan in East Jerusalem sustained moderate bruising after being beaten with riffle butts while…. Related: Witness: Israel forces assault worker in Jerusalem

Report: 2 Palestinians detained for Molotov attack
8/22/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an)— Israeli forces on Sunday reportedly detained two Palestinians suspected of hurling Molotov cocktails on the roof of an East Jerusalem Jewish seminary. The Israeli news site Ynet reported that the Molotov cocktails started a fire in the area, which firefighters extinguished. No injuries were reported,the news site reported….

Hamas cancels Fatah meeting over direct talks
8/22/2010 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas indefinitely postponed a meeting Saturday with Fatah officials in Gaza City to discuss a unity deal over the PLO’s decision to reenter direct negotiations with Israel. Senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil said the PLO’s decision has “made it too difficult” for his movement to meet….

Israel opens 1 Gaza crossing
8/22/2010 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will partially open the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Sunday for the transfer of limited quantities of food and fuel, a Palestinian official said. The liaison official, Raed Fattouh, said Palestinian coordinators were told to expect the entry of between 170 and 180….

Lebanese bloc fears Palestinian ‘naturalization’
8/22/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The leader of Lebanon’s Change and Reform block voiced his movement’s concern Sunday that the conferring of work rights to Palestinian refugees by parliament last week will lead to their naturalization. MP Ghassan Moukheiber told the Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar that the decision to naturalize is in the….

Israel changes opening times for Tulkarem gates
8/22/2010 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) —The Israeli Civil Administration has announced changes to the opening times for two gates used by Palestinians from inside Israel to access Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. The Nataya gate west of the city will be open from 11 a. m. to 8 p. m. for Palestinians from inside Israel….

Witnesses: Soldiers detain Tulkarem man
8/22/2010 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian man near Jenin in the northern West Bank on Sunday, witnesses said. Nader Ibrahim Kharuf, 30, was seized from a taxi at Arraba junction, onlookers said. He was on his way home to E’llar, north of Tulkarem. An Israeli military spokesman said the army….

Netanyahu conditions Palestinian statehood on Israeli security
8/23/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the foremost component of a peace agreement will be Israeli national security. Other “initial components” will be recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and a demilitarized Palestinian state, he said, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees “will be realized in….

Fatah official: PA clinging to Quartet statement
8/23/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority is basing its hopes on the Mideast Quartet statement, issued Friday, rather than anything said by American officials, Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmad said Sunday. Quartet members the US, UN, EU and Russia issued the statement after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu….

Abbas says settlements will impede talks
8/22/2010 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas told leaders of the Quartet in a letter delivered Sunday by chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat that continued settlement expansion would derail negotiations.”Settlements and peace represent two parallel tracks which can never meet,” Abbas wrote.”An Israeli decision to continue settlement construction would mean Israel decided to….

Nativity Church deportees appeal to Abbas
8/22/2010 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian combatants deported by Israel from Bethlehem to Gaza after a siege on the Church of the Nativity in 2002 met on Sunday with President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser Abdullah Al-Efranj in Gaza City to deliver an appeal on their behalf. Deportee spokesman Fahmi Kan’an said the letter….

Report: Ashkenazi assistant involved in Galant scandal
8/22/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Outgoing Israeli army chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi’s assistant is suspected of involvement in leaking the so-called Galant documents to the press, Israeli media reported Sunday. According to the Israeli daily Maariv, Defense Minister Ehud Barak turned down a list of 11 suggested promotions by Ashkenazi, which included his….

Palestine Note

WATCH: Bil’in protesters take on Eden Abergil’s Facebook photos
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – New York – Demonstrators protesting Israel’s construction of the illegal West Bank separation wall in the village of Bil’in mocked on Friday the Facebook photos that surfaced last week of an Israeli soldier posing with Palestinian…

Businessman sees ‘economic emptiness’ in Palestine
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – New York – In order to thrive, the Palestinian private sector needs an end to Israel’s military occupation, not more peace negotiations, prominent Palestinian-American businessman Sam Bahour argued in an editorial published on Friday in the…

Arab League ‘concerned’ ahead of talks
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – New York – The Arab League on Sunday expressed “deep concern” about the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) planned for next week. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa [Wikimedia Commons] AFP…

Canadian court dismisses Bil’in suit
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – New York – A Quebec court has dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of the embattled West Bank village of Bil’in against two Canadian companies involved in the construction of illegal settlements on the town’s land….

Hamas cancels Fatah meeting over Israel talks
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – New York – Hamas cancelled a planned meeting with Fatah officials in Gaza on Saturday over the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) decision to resume direct negotiations with Israel. A Hamas rally in Ramallah in 2006 [Wikimedia…

Expectations low for talks
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – Israelis, Palestinians downplay direct negotiations New York – Palestinian and Israeli leaders sought this weekend to set expectations low for direct peace negotiations scheduled to launch on September 2. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and…

Is this really the time for direct talks?
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – Any day now, if the recent reports are to be believed, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will agree to direct talks with Israel, and those talks will commence. The question this raises is quite a simple one:…

The women who should run Palestine
Palestine Note 22 Aug 2010 – After spending a month in Palestine visiting the government sector, the private sector, and the NGO sector, I am convinced of the following: Palestinian women are the biggest hope left for the future of Palestine. Among…

Aljazeera

Netanyahu: Security before borders
AlJazeera 22 Aug 2010 – Ahead of direct talks, Israeli PM says peace with Palestinians is ‘achievable’.

Egypt blames security for art theft
AlJazeera 22 Aug 2010 – Van Gogh’s “Poppy Flowers” was cut out of its frame in Cairo’s Mahmoud Khalil museum.

Israel appoints a new army chief
AlJazeera 22 Aug 2010 – Defence minister chooses a general who led Gaza offensive for military’s top job.

Iran unveils ‘unmanned bomber’
AlJazeera 22 Aug 2010 – Ahmadinejad calls domestically built craft “ambassador of death” to country’s enemies.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12 -18 August 2010)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Jerusalem Post

Holyland affair: Olmert may be indicted
Jeruslalem Post 23 Aug 2010 – Report: Police make recommendations in real estate bribery affair.

Lebanese ship delays departure to Gaza
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Jerusalem: ‘Low probability’ it will try to break naval blockade.

Talks, talks, talks
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – As the Obama administration announces direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders for the first time in a year and a half, analysts, civic society leaders and folks on the street discuss their reaction.

Hamas cancels unity meeting with Fatah
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Reprot: Cancellation is due to announcement of direct negotiations.

Ashkenazi praises Barak’s choice of Galant as successor
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Ashkenazi and Barak ask other candidates to continue serving in IDF; gov’t to authorize Galant appointment next week; defense minister withholds IDF officer promotions.

Knesset members praise Galant, slam Barak
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Mixed reactions to news of recommendation for new IDF chief of staff.

‘Peace is difficult, but possible’
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – PM says peace accord will necessitate Palestinian concessions.

Report: Galant to be next IDF chief
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Ashkenazi is reportedly friends with Galant Document suspect.

‘Ashkenazi is friends with Galant suspect’
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Barak withholding approval of chief of staff’s appointees.

Poets, artists, activists visit embattled Beduin village
Jeruslalem Post 22 Aug 2010 – Over a hundred people show solidarity with residents who have seen their community dismantled by the Israel Lands Administration four times over the past month.

International Solidarity Movement

Emily Henochowicz: artist turned pro-Palestinian activist
8/22/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – 21 August, The Guardian – Jewish-American Emily Henochowicz recalls how she lost an eye at a protest in Israel after the storming of the Gaza aid flotilla – As a student artist, Emily Henochowicz has always been fascinated by the way the brain processes visual signals to form images of the physical world around us. That has…. Related: Source: The Guardian

Ha’aretz

Woman suspected of beating, abandoning 8-month-old ‘to get back at her partner’
Ha’aretz – Police that were called to the scene of a fight in Petach Tikvah discovered that the suspect decided to leave her baby in a grove of trees in order to “…

Israeli invention grants allows quadraraplegics to communicate by smell
Ha’aretz – Professor Noam Sobel develops a system that allows quadriplegics to operate an electric wheelchair and enter text on a computer with their noses.

Abusive husband suspected of stabbing wife and son, attempting suicide
Ha’aretz – The mother is seriously injured and her son moderately to seriously injured; the father is moderately injured from stab wounds in his stomach.

Police suspect Galant document handled by IDF chief’s aide
Ha’aretz – Col. Siboni claims that whistleblowing document to the media was “his civic duty,” intended to quell corruption in the IDF.

Hamas cancels Fatah reconciliation meeting over direct peace talks
Ha’aretz – Hamas official says PA’s agreement to join U.S. brokered talks next month makes it ‘too difficult’ for the rival factions to meet.

Analysis / Now is not the time for political games in the IDF
Ha’aretz – With political negotiations threatening new military developments, it is vital that Ehud Barak and his new IDF chief ensure an orderly handover.

PROFILE / Yoav Galant, 20th Chief of Staff of the IDF
Ha’aretz – Galant, expected to replace Gabi Ashkenazi after a cabinet vote next Sunday, will be the first military chief to have come up through the ranks of the navy.

Yoav Galant named as next Israel Defense Forces chief of staff
Ha’aretz – Defense minister ends weeks of speculation and scandal over a forged document, asking cabinet to approve appointment on August 29.

Netanyahu: We can surprise the doubters to reach historic peace
Ha’aretz – PM says new talks offer real chance to end Mideast conflict but continues insistence on guarantees for Israel’s security before setting boundaries of Palestinian state.

Ahmadinejad inaugurates Iran’s first unmanned bomber
Ha’aretz – In live TV ceremony to mark national defense day, president unveils country’s first long-range attack drone.

Report: Jordan’s king to join direct talks in Washington
Ha’aretz – Obama invites king Abdullah II to join direct peace talks alongside Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak, Quartet officials.

Uruknet

Erdogan and Israel: Glitch or Rupture?
Uruknet August 22, 2010 – he crisis in the relationship between Israel and Turkey reached a head following the IDF raid on the flotilla to Gaza at the end of last May, during which nine IHH activists were killed. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave his full support to the flotilla, using anti-Israel rhetoric which boosted his popularity in…

Ramadan in Aida Camp: Sitting, Waiting, Existing
Uruknet August 22, 2010 – From the barred windows of a four storey house string runs across the narrow main street of Aida Camp, well above head height, to the caged fence atop the walls of Aida Camp Basic Boys School. Small plastic Palestinian flags hang down limply from the string. The outside walls of the school are adorned with…

Israeli army’s female recruits denounce treatment of Palestinians
Uruknet August 22, 2010 – …Golan, now 27, said the “most shaky moment” of her military service came during a search for weapons in a Palestinian home. The family were awoken at 2am by soldiers who “turned their whole house inside out”. No weapons were found. The small children of the house were terrified, she recalled. “I thought, what would…

Gaza: hard days in Ramadan: no power, no water, soaring heats
Uruknet August 22, 2010 – Throughout the Strip, water lines are affected by the lack of electricity, meaning entire areas are cut off from running water for as long as the blackouts last. A Gaza-wide lack of water compounds the problem. The United Nations notes that 43 percent of water in the networks is lost to leakages that result from…

PFLP rejects and calls for action against liquidationist return to direct negotiations
Uruknet August 21, 2010 – Comrade Maher al-Taher, member of the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and leader of its branch outside Palestine, said on August 20, 2010 that the goal of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is to liquidate the Palestinian cause, not to reach a political solution, noting that…

Education Ministry: No Seminar on Nakba for Kindergarten Teachers
Alternative Information Center – Israel’s Ministry of Education ordered kindergarten teachers to not attend a seminar on the topic of introducing the Nakba to curriculum across the country.

To Move the Americans Easily
Alternative Information Center – Yesterday, when I read the news that the United States will soon announce the opening of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, I recalled an item that was broadcast on 9 July on the Hashavua…

Israeli, Palestinian Investigative Responses to Goldstone Released
Alternative Information Center – Following the visit to Gaza of a sixteen-person committee created by the UN Human Rights Council, the United Nations released the results of Palestinian and Israeli investigations into Israel’s 2008-2009 military attack on Gaza, Operation Cast…

MK Zoabi to Attorney General: “Your Position‚ĶStrengthen(s) Undemocratic, Dangerous Trends”
Alternative Information Center – “By joining the Freedom Flotilla, I performed my civic duty to oppose the inhuman and illegal siege imposed on the Gaza Strip.”

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Rafah Crossing Still Open For 81st Day in Row
WAFA – RAFAH, August 22, 2010 (WAFA)- Since June 1, Egypt kept the Rafah border terminal with the Gaza Strip open to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged seaside enclave and allow stranded Palestinians

DCI-Palestine Concerned by Effects on Lives of Children of House Demolitions in Area C
WAFA – RAMALLAH, August 22, 2010 (WAFA)- Since the beginning of 2010, there has been a sharp increase in house demolitions in Area C. OCHA reports that during the same period in 2009, there were 182

Daily Star

Tehran suspends judiciary officials over prison deaths
Daily Star 22 Aug 2010

Iran transfers fuel into its first nuclear power plant
Daily Star 22 Aug 2010

Hizbullah ‘evidence’ to delay STL indictments
Daily Star 22 Aug 2010

Relief Web

Lebanon aid ship delays Gaza trip
Relief Web 22 Aug 2010 – Source: Agence France-Presse

Ban welcomes decision of Israeli, Palestinian leaders to start direct negotiations
Relief Web 21 Aug 2010 – Source: UN News Service

DCI-Palestine concerned by the effects on the lives of children of house demolitions in Area C
Relief Web 21 Aug 2010 – Source: Defence for Children International/Palestine Section

OPT: Rafah crossing still open for 81st day in row
Relief Web 21 Aug 2010 – Source: Government of Egypt

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Darkness Dawns at Ramadan
IPS “It’s been days without electricity and water. We can’t do anything, and it’s unbearably hot now.” Abu Fouad, 83, speaks of the power cuts plaguing all of the Gaza Strip.

YNet News

Barak names Galant as next chief of staff
YNet News – Defense minister decides not to wait until end of investigation into ‘Galant….

Syria: Israel-Palestinian talks useless
YNet News – Official press in Damascus warns that resumption of direct US-brokered….

Iran inaugurates nation’s 1st unmanned bomber
YNet News – President Ahmadinejad says Islamic Republic’s new aircraft an ‘ambassador of….

PM: Achieving peace possible but difficult
YNet News – Netanyahu addresses launching of direct talks between Israel, Palestinian in….

Experts: Iran not so close to bomb
YNet News – While Jerusalem expresses its concern over historic activation of Bushehr….

Ahmadinejad: Israel lacks courage to attack Iran
YNet News – A day after Iran began fueling its first nuclear power plant, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Israel was “too weak” to attack the Islamic Republic. In an interview …….

The Media Line

Palestinian Fallout from Resuming Peace Talks
The Media Line 21 Aug 2010 – Hamas announced over the weekend that it was suspending its participation in reconciliation talks with Fatah. They said this was to protest the decision of the executive committee of the PLO to resume direct negotiations with…

US-brokered Palestinian Israeli Peace Talks to Resume
The Media Line 21 Aug 2010 – Israeli and Palestinian leaders wasted little time over the weekend in jockeying their positions for the first direct peace negotiations between them in 18 months. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on Friday that the direct…

Israel Names Former Naval Commando Next Army Chief
The Media Line 21 Aug 2010 – Ending weeks of bitter infighting and acrimonious leaks of forged documents, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak has named Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, 51, as the next commander of the Israeli army. Galant, OC Southern Command who led…

Los Angeles Times

Iran unveils unmanned aerial bomber
LA Times 23 Aug 2010 – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the drone bomber will serve as a deterrent against attacks. Analysts say the plane, with a range of 620 miles, could be used for surveillance or attacks in the Persian Gulf region. Iran unveiled an unmanned bomber jet Sunday that will probably fail to tip the region’s strategic balance but suggests Tehran continues to invest in shoring up its conventional weapons capabilities.

New York Times

Gaza City Journal: Gaza Mall Seeks to Make Statement of Resolve
New York Times 22 Aug 2010 – A new shopping center has deep symbolic value for Hamas and the group of local investors behind it, but has drawn criticism from Israel’s fiercest defenders.

Misc

The new anti-Semitism
Mondoweiss – Last week Daniel Luban had an important piece in the Tablet comparing the current wave of Islamophobia, spearheaded by the opposition to Park 51 in New York, with “many of the tropes of classic anti-Semitism.” Luban notes the shameful, and given the comparison, ironic, role of…

The Audacity of Hope — the U.S. boat to Gaza
Mondoweiss – Phil wrote about the event in the video here and here . Learn more about the U.S. boat to Gaza and donate to help make it happen here .

IDF doesn’t want Eden Abergil to become a poster child
Mondoweiss – Eden Abergil’s puckish smile, as she humiliates Palestinian prisoners, is of course everywhere. N ot in Haaretz . There her face has been blurred. Apparently this is the military censor’s work. Jerry Haber says the IDF censor has insisted on it. It can’t be to protect Abergil….

New York Times vs. direct negotiations
Mondoweiss – The New York Times published two articles yesterday about the resumption of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Both address a reader who already knows what happened, yet neither opens with a sentence carrying the basic information: “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday…

‘Israel was attacked in ’47’ and other howlers from the pen of George Will
Mondoweiss – Weiss: Praise the lord, George Will is in Jerusalem opining for the Washington Post in the most reactionary manner possible about the Jews’ ancient claim to the land based on a ring found near the western wall and other hokum. Max Blumenthal has a great response…

Misc 2

Hudson Institute, Uzi Arad (and Iran) ctd.: The money piles up
Coteret 22 Aug 2010 – Last Thursday (August 19 2010) Coteret demonstrated that The Hudson Institute , a major Washington based neoconservative think-tank, which played an active role in shaping the Bush administration’s Middle East policies , has been the largest financial backer of theInstitutefor Zionist Strategies (IZS) ‚Äî an Israeli NGO at…

Iran unveils first bomber drone
BBC 22 Aug 2010 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveils his country’s first domestically built, unmanned bomber plane.

Netanyahu predicts tough talks
BBC 22 Aug 2010 – Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu say reaching agreement in planned talks with Palestinians will be difficult, but a deal is achievable.

Israelis cash in on Kosher wine
BBC 21 Aug 2010 – When you think of the world’s great wine producers Israel is not a name that often crops up, but there are signs that this may change.

Articles


Israeli army’s female recruits denounce treatment of Palestinians
Harriet Sherwood, The Observer, Israeli Occupation Archive8/22/2010
It was a single word scrawled on a wall at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that unlocked something deep inside Inbar Michelzon, two years after she had completed compulsory military service in the Israeli Defence Force.
The word was “occupation”. “I really felt like someone was speaking the unspoken,” she recalled last week in a Tel Aviv cafe. “It was really shocking to me. There was graffiti saying, ‘end the occupation’. And I felt like, OK, now I can talk about what I saw.”
Michelzon became one of a handful of former Israeli servicewomen who have spoken out about their military experiences, a move that has brought accusations of betrayal and disloyalty. It is impossible to know how representative their testimonies are, but they provide an alternative picture of the “most moral army in the world”, as the IDF describes itself.
Concerns about Israeli army culture were raised last week following the publication on Facebook of photographs of a servicewoman posing alongside blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinians. The images were reminiscent of the Abu Ghraib scandal in Iraq. But the former soldier, Eden Abergil, said she didn’t understand what was wrong with the pictures, which were described by the IDF as “ugly and callous”.
Israel is unique in enlisting women at the age of 18 into two years of compulsory military service. The experience can be brutalising for the 10% who serve in the occupied territories, as Michelzon did.
“I left the army with a ticking bomb in my belly,” she said. “I felt I saw the backyard of Israel. I saw something that people don’t speak about. It’s almost like I know a dirty secret of a nation and I need to speak out.” — See also: Source: The Observer more.. e-mail


Israel’s Hidden Hands in Lebanon: Who Killed Hariri?`
Esam Al-Amin, Intifada: Voice of Palestine, Axis of Logic8/19/2010
On Valentine’s Day in 2005, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri left in his motorcade along the seaside highway, cruising towards his mansion. As the motorcade slowed down in front of the St. George Hotel in downtown Beirut, a huge explosion of a parked Mitsubishi pick-up truck detonated at 12:56 PM, killing him along with 22 others including his entourage, bodyguards and some passers-by.
Ever since that day the polarization in Lebanon has deepened between the pro-Western forces led by Hariri’s son Saad, his Sunni-led coalition with Druze and pro-American Christian allies, and the pro-Syrian block of the Shiite parties led by Hezbollah and their Christian allies of the Free Patriotic Front. Soon after, the pro-Western parties accused Syria of being behind the crime and immediately embarked on massive demonstrations and pursued the intervention of international powers in order to dislodge Syria from Lebanon after a twenty-nine year military presence.
Less than one month into George W. Bush’s second term, the U.S. president took advantage of the incident by applying immense pressure on the Syrian regime, which eventually culminated in a U.N. Security Council resolution on April 7, 2005 appointing an international tribunal to investigate Hariri’s assassination. From day one the tribunal, led by German prosecutor Detlev Mehlis, accused Syria of being behind the assassination. The enormous political and public pressures resulted in Syria’s withdrawal by the end of April.
The politicization of the UN investigation was in full swing when the tribunal issued several reports accusing the Syrian regime, based on non-credible witnesses. It took four years for the tribunal to admit that much of “the evidence” used against Syria was fabricated by false witnesses, some of them even tied to Israeli intelligence (Abdelbasit Bani Odeh) or the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies (Ahmad Mari’e and Zuhair Siddiq). — See also: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah – August 03, 2010 – Full Speech with English Voiceover more.. e-mail

A case of decency deficit: Israel’s sickness goes beyond one soldier and her Facebook pictures
Lawrence Davidson, Redress8/22/2010
It is true that in any given population there will always be a range of decency. Some might use the term morality instead of decency, but morality is loaded with too many disputed meanings. The term decency, hopefully, has a broader recognizable footprint. At the lowest end of any range of decency are those who are so egocentric or perverted that they not only act in ways that are harmful to others, but they do so as a form of enjoyment.
In extreme cases, such people usually end up in prison, or even asylums for the criminally insane. They have committed serial murders or some other form of horrible physical abuse. They have robbed their elderly neighbours for the fun of it or set fire to the local hospital or what have you.
Yet, it is a strange quirk of our way of doing things that such degenerates can actually find a place in society were there is an accepted scope for their particular attitudes and actions. That place would have to bring them into contact with people outside the community and toward whom their society is hostile, a place where the “rules of engagement”, as the phrase goes, is much more flexible and fuzzy than back home. That place is the military in times of war. This is not to say that every soldier is suffering from a severe case of “decency deficit”. However, if one has been in the military, particularly in a combat environment, one will most likely recognize the type. While everyone else is scared and counting the days until they can get out of an essentially inhuman environment, these people are enjoying themselves.
There has been a recent case of moderate decency deficiency involving a 20-year-old female Israeli soldier by the name of Eden Abargil. Ms Abargil had her picture taken as she “guarded” Palestinian prisoners who were bound and blindfolded…. more.. e-mail

hard days in Ramadan: no power, no water, soaring heats
In Gaza: 22 Aug 2010 – *photo by Emad Badwan DEIR AL-BALAH, Gaza Strip, Aug 22, 2010 (IPS) — “It’s been days without electricity and water. We can’t do anything, and it’s unbearably hot now.” Abu Fouad, 83, speaks of the power cuts plaguing all of the Gaza Strip. While Palestinians in Gaza have grown accustomed to power outages, a combined result of the destroyed power plant, bombed by Israeli in 2006, and the siege imposed by Israel and the international community, the blackouts have increased in frequency and duration. For years, Palestinians in Gaza have been subject to power outages, ranging from six hours to 14 hours a day. More recently, the blackouts last entire days. The main reason is a reported lack of fuel for the plant, fuel which since November 2009 the Palestinian Authority has been responsible for buying and transferring to Gaza. Making matters worse, Gaza is experiencing a wave of intolerable…more

Ramadan in Aida Camp: Sitting, Waiting, Existing
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Aug 2010 – By Rich Wiles From the barred windows of a four storey house string runs across the narrow main street of Aida Camp, well above head height, to the caged fence atop the walls of Aida Camp Basic Boys School. Small plastic Palestinian flags hang down limply from the string. The outside walls of the school are adorned with political graffiti, and its two white metal doors are scarred by bullet holes. Two towers dominate this stretch of the street. One is tall and thin, and green lights glow from its minaret. The second tower, at the end of the street, looks much sturdier and is without damage from gunfire, unlike Aida Camp’s mosque. No lights glow from this tower and it is impossible to tell if anyone is inside or not. The small windows in the bullet proof glass at the top of the tower are covered by thick caging…more

Ramadan Kareem from Netanyahu and Obama
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Aug 2010 – By Jeff Halper The day before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan began, at 2:30 in the morning, workers sent by the Israeli authorities, protected by dozens of police, destroyed the tombstones in the last portion of the Mamilla cemetery, an historic Muslim burial ground with graves going back to the 7th Century, hitherto left untouched. The government of Israel has always been fully cognizant of the sanctity and historic significance of the site. Already in 1948, when control of the cemetery reverted to Israel, the Israeli Religious Affairs Ministry recognized Mamilla “to be one of the most prominent Muslim cemeteries, where seventy thousand Muslim warriors of [Saladin’s] armies are interred along with many Muslim scholars. Israel will always know to protect and respect this site.” For all that, and despite (proper) Israeli outrage when Jewish cemeteries are desecrated anywhere in the world, the dismantlement of the Mamilla cemetery has…more

Direct Negotiations and the Challenge Ahead
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Aug 2010 – By John V. Whitbeck The U.S. government has now announced that direct Israeli-Palestinian will resume after a September 2 launch ceremony at the White House. In making this announcement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton stated that this new round of negotiations should be “without preconditions”, as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has insisted they should be. However, she also stated that both Mr. Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas have agreed that the negotiations should be subject to a one-year time limit, which was not Mr. Netanyahu’s preference. Almost 17 years after the “Oslo” Declaration of Principles, with its five-year deadline for reaching a permanent status agreement, was euphorically signed on the White House lawn, why should anyone take this new “deadline” seriously or see any reason for hope in it? Throughout the long years of the perpetual “peace process”, deadlines have been consistently and predictably missed. Such failures…more

Post-Zionism – When You Say No
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Aug 2010 – By Uri Avnery Before the victory of feminism, there was a popular Israeli song in which the boy asks the girl: ‘When you say No, what do you mean?’ This question has already been answered. Now I am more and more tempted to ask: ‘When you say Zionism, what do you mean?’ That is also my answer when asked whether I am a Zionist. When you say Zionist, what do you mean? Lately, associations for the defense of Zionism have been springing up like mushrooms after rain. Poisonous mushrooms. All kinds of American Jewish multi-millionaires — many of them Casino kings, brothel moguls, money launderers and tax evaders – are financing “patriotic” Israeli groups in Israel, to fight the holy war for “Zionism”. The assault takes place along all the fronts. Jewish organizations aim at cleansing the universities of post-Zionists. They threaten to induce other donors to withhold their donations,…more

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3 thoughts on “VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 August, 2010: A case of decency deficit: Israel’s sickness goes beyond one soldier and her Facebook pictures

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