VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 5 December, 2010: AIPAC Ordered Bush To Attack Iran

5 December, 2010 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Carmel Fires Contained, 41 Dead and 50.000 Dunams of Land Burnt
IMEMC – 6 Dec 2010 – Monday December 06, 2010 – 02:46, On Sunday evening, after approximately 77 hours of battling the fire, firefighters have finally been able to contain the fires in the Carmel after it consumed 50.000 Dunams of land. Death count now stands at 41.

Israel Approves The Construction Of 846 Settlement Units In Jerusalem
IMEMC – 6 Dec 2010 – Monday December 06, 2010 – 02:15, A report prepared and published by the National Bureau For Protecting the Land and Countering Settlements, revealed that the Israeli government approved the construction of 846 units in Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Wikileaks documents: Israel’s ‘security concerns’ often clash with US interests
IMEMC – 6 Dec 2010 – Sunday December 05, 2010 – 23:18, Among the revelations revealed by the US diplomatic cables released last week are a number of discussions between Israeli and US diplomats. In one such leaked conversation, an Israeli official told his US counterpart that he understood, “the sometimes difficult position the U.S. finds itself in given its global interests, and conceded that Israel’s security focus is so narrow that its…concerns often clash with broader American security interests in the region.”

Netanyahu Thanks Abbas For Palestinian Firefighters Help
IMEMC – 6 Dec 2010 – Sunday December 05, 2010 – 08:50, Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, received on Friday a phone call from Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for sending Palestinian firefighters to help in controlling the fires in the north of the country.

Report: “280 Palestinians, Including 43 Children and Three Women, Kidnapped In November”
IMEMC – 6 Dec 2010 – Sunday December 05, 2010 – 04:35, The Higher Committee for Supporting the Detainees stated that Israeli soldiers kidnapped in November 280 Palestinians, including 43 children and three women, in several areas in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.

Ma’an News

Unions confirm strike on Monday
12/5/2010 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian unions announced a nation-wide strike to be held Monday despite rumors it had been canceled. Meanwhile, a sit-in will be held Monday in front of the prime minister’s office in Ramallah, a union statement said. The strike includes public and private sector workers and UN employees, the statement….

Protest, arrests in Gaza over closure of youth organization
12/5/2010 – Jared Malsin – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian police detained at least 13 young people who were protesting Hamas authorities’ closure of the Sharek Youth Forum, a large independent NGO in Gaza Sunday. Police spokesman Ayman Al-Batniji said 13 young men were taken into custody for holding a demonstration without a permit from the…. Related: Sharek Youth Forum

MSF says Israel, Hamas blocking Gaza work
12/5/2010 – JERUSALEM (AFP) – Doctors Without Borders (MSF) charged on Sunday that both Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip were impeding its medical aid work in the Palestinian territories. In the past two years, Israel has granted entry to only one Palestinian staff member from the territories to take part in training….

Gaza to export 6 truckloads of strawberries
12/5/2010 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities partly opened the Kerem Shalom crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip for limited deliveries of goods and fuel as well as exports of strawberries on Sunday. Palestinian liaison official Raed Fattouh, in charge of coordinating deliveries of goods, explained that the Israeli side told the Palestinians to….

HRW urges PA to release West Bank blogger
12/5/2010 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Human Rights Watch on Sunday urged the Palestinian Authority to release a blogger detained over his religious opinions. PA intelligence officers arrested Walid Hasayin on 31 October at an internet cafe in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. Ahmad Mbayyad, the head of the PA’s military judiciary, told HRW….

Shepherd loses 3 fingers in explosion
12/5/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A shepherd in Bethlehem lost three fingers on Sunday after an ordnance exploded in his hand, police said. The shepherd was herding sheep east of the West Bank city and picked up the explosive device, a police report said, adding that unexploded ordnances had caused several injuries and one death in….

Experts: Israeli exit from Ghajar spells trouble for Lebanon
12/5/2010 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Israel’s plan to pull its troops out of northern Ghajar, a disputed village on the flashpoint border with Lebanon, is likely to prove more of a headache than a political victory for Beirut, experts say.” The people of Ghajar do not want to be part of Lebanon,” said Timur Goksel, former….

Union head: Palestinians need alternatives to settlement jobs
12/5/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Palestinians employed in settlements will not give up their jobs until the Palestinian Authority provides alternative work, Palestinian trade union official Shahir Sa’d said Sunday. The PA issued a ban prohibiting Palestinians from working in West Bank settlements as part of a wider campaign which included a national boycott….

Prayer for rain in Gaza
12/5/2010 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Palestinian worshippers held prayers for rain Sunday in Gaza City, in an event attended by local government figures. Palestine and other countries in the Middle East are on the verge of drought as a result of high temperatures and lack of winter during the winter, when rainfall is usually expected….

Palestinians dispatch reinforcements in fight against Israel blaze
12/6/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — More Palestinian firefighters on Sunday joined their colleagues battling a massive wildfire that killed several dozen Israelis and sparked an unprecedented global response. Bethlehem’s civil defense chief Ibrahim Ayish told Ma’an that 21 men from the West Bank and four fully equipped fire engines were assisting Israeli….

Leaked US cable: Israel slams Egyptian mediation efforts
12/5/2010 – 18 November 2009. . . . Classified By: A/DCM Marc Sievers, reasons 1. 4 (b),(d)1. (S) Summary:As part of the 40th Joint Political Military Group (JPMG), U. S. and GOI counterparts discussed security issues in the Near East region. GOI officials expressed support for the P5 plus 1 engagement process with Iran, but doubted….

Leaked US cables: Netanyahu says Goldstone report key threat to Israel
12/5/2010 – 23 December 2009. . . . Classified By: DCM Luis G. Moreno, Reason 1. 4 (b) (d)1. (C) Summary. CODEL Skelton met with Prime Minister Netanyahu November 16 at the Prime Minister’s office in Jerusalem. Their discussion covered Netanyahu’s meeting with President Obama the previous week, Netanyahu’s interest in resuming negotiations….

WikiLeaks database – TEL AVIV
12/5/2010 – A database of leaked American diplomatic cables originating from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, as relating to Washington’s relations with the Palestinians and their institutions. The cables — selected from 250,000 diplomatic communiques — were obtained and released by the whistleblowing group WikiLeaks. Relevant passages are highlighted in bold. 05TELAVIV1580: Mossad says Palestinians….

Abbas departs for 3-day visit to Turkey
12/5/2010 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to arrive in Turkey Sunday for an official 3-day visit where he will meet Turkish officials, the PA’s official news agency reported. WAFA quoted Palestinian officials saying Abbas would meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan. He will….

Australia sends urgent bushfire assistance to Israel
12/5/2010 – SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia said Sunday it would urgently send fire-fighting experts to Israel to help it combat a massive blaze that has raged for three days, killing more than 40 people. Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she had spoken to her Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to confirm Australia’s assistance and convey her condolences….

US supertanker set to join battle against Israel blaze
12/5/2010 – HAIFA, Israel (AFP) — Dozens of firefighting planes from around the world were in the skies over a blazing Israeli forest from early Sunday, as a giant US aircraft was poised to join the battle against the deadly inferno. Despite fires sweeping hills around the northern city of Haifa for a fourth day, hopes were high….

Iran produces first uranium yellowcake from mine
12/5/2010 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran has produced its first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, from a mine in the south of the country, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday.” The West had counted on the possibility of us being in trouble over raw material but today we had the first batch of….

Lawyer: ‘Political motivations’ behind Assange hunt
12/5/2010 – LONDON (AFP) — The pursuit of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange appears to have “political motivations,” his lawyer told British Broadcasting Corp. television Sunday.” I’m really rather worried by the political motivations that appear to be behind this,” Mark Stephens said during an interview. His comments came after Swedish prosecutors issued an international arrest….

Iran declares nuclear ‘self-sufficiency’ ahead of talks
12/5/2010 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran said Sunday it has produced a first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, insisting the new step “strengthens” its position in upcoming nuclear talks with world powers. Atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that having previously been obliged to import yellowcake from abroad, Iran was now “self-sufficient” in the….

US supertanker joins air war on Israel blaze
12/5/2010 – HAIFA, Israel (AFP) — The world’s biggest firefighting plane Sunday joined an international offensive against the worst forest fire in Israel’s history, dumping tons of water and chemicals on the flames. Despite fires sweeping hills around the northern city of Haifa for a fourth day, hopes were high that the arrival in….

Abbas visits Turkey
12/5/2010 – ANKARA (AFP) – President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Turkey Sunday for a two-day visit to discuss troubled efforts to end the Middle East conflict, Anatolia news agency reported. He was scheduled to meet behind closed doors with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan later Sunday, before talks Monday with President Abdullah Gul, officials said earlier. The leaders…. Related: Turkish PM says Israel must ‘clear blood’ to mend ties and Turkey, Israel in bid to overcome crisis

Turkish PM says Israel must ‘clear blood’ to mend ties
12/5/2010 – ANKARA (AFP) – Turkey’s prime minister insisted Sunday on an Israeli apology and compensation over a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in May as the only way to mend bilateral ties, Anatolia news agency reported. His remarks followed media speculation that the crisis between the one-time allies might thaw in the wake…. Related: Abbas visits Turkey and Turkey, Israel in bid to overcome crisis

Abbas: US proposal for peace talks expected soon
12/5/2010 – AMMAN (AFP) – A US proposal to bolster troubled Middle East peace talks was expected within days, President Mahmoud Abbas said following a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Sunday.” His majesty and I agreed to continue our cooperation and coordination in light of an expected US position in the coming few days….

Turkey, Israel in bid to overcome crisis
12/5/2010 – ANKARA (AFP) – Turkish and Israeli officials met Sunday in Geneva in a bid to overcome a deep crisis over a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in May as Turkey’s premier insisted on an apology and compensation. The fence-mending talks followed Turkey’s dispatch of two helicopters to help fight…. Related: Turkish PM says Israel must ‘clear blood’ to mend ties

Islamic Jihad says PA detained member
12/5/2010 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad accused Palestinian Authority security forces of detaining one of its members in the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday. The movement said PA intelligence services had issued several summons to Mansour Hafeth Melhem, 27, prior to his arrest. Melham spent six years in Israeli jails, accused of affiliation….

Hamas says waiting for Fatah to call meeting
12/5/2010 – GAZA (Ma’an) — Hamas official Salah Al-Bardawil said Sunday it was up to Fatah to initiate the next meeting in Damascus to discuss national unity. Despite several meetings in the Syrian capital, the rival factions have so far failed to reach agreement on security issues, said to be stalling Hamas signing the Egyptian-mediated unity….

Palestinian football chief hospitalized in Yemen
12/5/2010 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Head of the Palestinian Football Federation Jibreel Rajoub was hospitalized in Yemen Sunday after suffering a sudden illness. Rajoub’s office said he was taken to a military hospital in Yemen suffering from exhaustion, but denied media reports that he had a stroke. He would leave for Doha on Monday….

WikiLeaks faces donations blow as it fights for survival
12/5/2010 – LONDON (AFP) — WikiLeaks faced a fresh threat to its survival Saturday as the online payment service PayPal cut off the account used for donations to the whistle-blowing website. WikiLeaks is already fighting to stay on the Internet. It switched its domain to Switzerland because its original web address was shut down by a US provider….

Palestine Note

Wiki weakens Iran war drive
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, is ecstatic. He has come to the conclusion that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, revealing that the Saudis privately favour a military strike on Iran, has vindicated Israel’s hawkish…

Is an Israeli referendum on peace as bad as it seems?
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – The Israeli center and left, the Arab world, and many international figures are wringing their hands over the referendum law that was passed by the Israeli Knesset on November 22 (which would require a referendum to…

Hanukkah message
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – The story of Hanukkah was not just the story of Jewish triumph over foreign forces, it was also a story of a fight among Jews about the direction of Judaism. A similar fight is happening now…

Danny Ayalon needs to thank Palestinians too
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Israel Deputy Foreign Minister penned a heartfelt oped in the Jerusalem Post expressing thanks to various international players for their offered and provided relief in the terrible Carmel fire disaster in Israel. To Ayalon’s credit, he…

Protest, arrests in Gaza over closure of youth organization
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Maan – Palestinian police detained at least 13 young people who were protesting Hamas authorities’ closure of the Sharek Youth Forum , a large independent NGO in Gaza Sunday. Police spokesman Ayman Al-Batniji said 13 young men…

Iran reports nuclear advance before Geneva talks
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – The National – Iran will use domestically produced uranium concentrates for the first time at a key plant in its nuclear programme today, a senior official said, a day before the Islamic state resumes talks with…

Palestinians battle bid to bulldoze road to statehood
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – The National – Freedom Road, as the Palestinians now call it, represents two kilometres of their defiance of Israeli control over land that they want for an independent state. The charge is being led by someone…

Dutch politician says West Bank is Israeli
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Alarabiya – A contentious Dutch politician on Sunday called on Israel to build more settlements in the West Bank in defiance of international demands for a construction freeze. Geert Wilders, who has made a name as…

Iran will “never use” force against Muslim neighbors
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Alarabiya – Iran will never use force against its Muslim neighbors, its foreign minister told a conference on Middle East security on Saturday, after the United States said Arab states were worried by Tehran’s suspected attempts…

Poll shows majority of world’s Muslims want Islam in politics; feelings mixed on Hamas, Hezbollah
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Los Angeles Times – A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center , but have mixed feelings…

More help on the way to fight Carmel fire
Palestine Note 5 Dec 2010 – Los Angeles Times – As more international help continues to fly into Israel to help combat the fire decimating the Carmel woodland, the worst in the country’s history, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed thanks for the…


Israel forest fire ‘under control’
AlJazeera 5 Dec 2010 – Evacuated villagers to be allowed to return home after an international firefighting effort reins in deadly blaze.

Tourist dies in Egypt shark attack
AlJazeera 5 Dec 2010 – Body of German tourist washes up on shore of Sharm el-Sheikh, just days after four divers were injured by sharks.

Iran talks set to open in Geneva
AlJazeera 5 Dec 2010 – Tehran to discuss its nuclear programme with global powers, a day after announcing advance in uranium enrichment.

Jerusalem Post

Rabbi who survived Hizbullah fire among dead on bus
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Uriel Malka, former Winnipeg school principal and Denver emissary, 32, was working as a chaplain in the Prisons Service.

‘Israel and Turkey meet to reduce tensions’
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Erdogan says Israel must show “sincerity” by apologizing, paying damages for raid on “Mavi Marmara,” before ties with Turkey can improve.

Dutch politician says West Bank belongs to Israel
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Controversial political leader Geert Wilders visiting Tel Aviv, calls for continued settlement building and defensible borders for Israel.

‘Ties between PA president and Dahlan deteriorating’
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Sources close to Abbas reveal his fears that formerly Gaza-based Fatah strongman is seeking to replace him atop the PA.

‘Lebanon’ takes home two European Film Awards
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Director Samuel Maoz wins discovery award; Giora Bejach receives award for cinematography; Polanski’s “Ghost Writer” wins best film.

Photo Gallery: Israel fights fire with international help
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – American “Super Tanker” sprays blaze in Carmel; gov’t holds meeting in the North, as ministers visit victims, firefighters.

Nuclear chief says Iran to process own raw uranium
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Scientists deliver the first domestically produced raw uranium; Nuclear chief Salehi says UN nuclear watchdog agency will supervise the work.

Abbas: As a last resort, I’d ask Israel to take over
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – PA president warns he may dissolve his self-rule government, ask Israel to resume full control of the West Bank if troubled peace talks fail.

Egypt holds parliament runoffs amid fraud claims
Jeruslalem Post 5 Dec 2010 – Mubarak’s party scores sweeping victory in first round of balloting; country’s 2 main opposition groups boycott to protest alleged fraud.

International Solidarity Movement

Israelis and Palestinians march together against demolitons
12/5/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – 3 December – Friday, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians marched together in the Issawiya neighborhood of East Jerusalem against recent brutality toward the village by the Israeli government: house demolitions by Israeli authorities, a siege on entrances to the neighborhood, and police misconduct with local residents. This is the first joint protest to be held in….

Four more workers shot in Gaza buffer zone: an ordinary day in Gaza
12/5/2010 – International Solidarity Movement – On Tuesday, the 30th of November 2010, four different individuals were wounded by Israeli gunshots while trying to make their living in the only way they could given the desperation in Gaza’s current economy. Ismael Sa’aed Qapeen, 31 years old, was doing his daily work collecting stones when he was shot….


Carmel fire: 250 houses destroyed, damage estimated at NIS 270 million
Ha’aretz – Four government work teams appointed to deal with damage in the Carmel; cabinet secretary: citizens have insurance coverage, but it’s partial.

Firefighters subdue Carmel fire after 77-hour blaze
Ha’aretz – All the small blazes in northern Israel successfully put out; firefighters to stay at the scene to complete all extinguishing operations.

Gaza Hamas leader: Carmel fires are Israel’s divine punishment
Ha’aretz – Ismail Haniyeh says Allah is punishing Israelis for ‘what they did,’ during emergency prayers in Gaza City to ask for rain.

Peres: Carmel fire disaster proves Jews, Arabs share the same fate
Ha’aretz – Speaking at the funeral of a teenage fire-fighting volunteer, President says that while Israel missed firefighting equipment, it made up for that lack with courage and a volunteering spirit.

Major Carmel wildfire sources have been doused, firefighters say
Ha’aretz – Netanyahu blocks new foreign fire-fighting missions amid reports that Israeli, international fire-fighting crews are close to dousing the worst wildfire in Israel’s history.

Court remands brothers suspected of starting Carmel wildfire
Ha’aretz – Police suspect two brothers from the Druze village of Isfiya of lighting a fire near their home, which allegedly spread and set the entire Carmel ablaze.

IN PICTURES / Carmel blaze attracts bystanders looking for some ‘reality’
Ha’aretz – From all over Israel, people crowd the highways and overpasses to get a glimpse of the fire that has been ravaging northern Israel.

World’s biggest fire-fighting plane joins fight to contain Carmel blaze
Ha’aretz – ‘Evergreen’ Boeing 747 Super Tanker releases over 40 tons of fire-extinguishing material; IAF official says fire sources on the ground have decreased.

Firefighters’ prayers answered, as forecasts predict longed-for rain
Ha’aretz – Expected light rain comes after what many consider as Israel’s driest autumn in recorded history.

Carmel wildfire nearing its end, minister says
Ha’aretz – Fire officials cautiously optimistic as crews continued to battle flames raging in the massive brushfire still burning across the Carmel Mountains.

New photos document tragic last moments of bus caught in Carmel fire
Ha’aretz – 36 Prison Service cadets perished after their bus trapped in flames on its way to evacuate a nearby prison.

Father of Carmel fire suspects: My sons are treated like terrorists
Ha’aretz – Police suspect 2 brothers from the Druze village of Isfiya of lighting a fire near their home, which allegedly spread and set the entire Carmel ablaze.

Fire chief: We find ourselves in best situation since start of Carmel blaze
Ha’aretz – Fire still burning in four sites in Carmel; U.S. supertanker arrives in Israel to take part in firefighting effort.

Turkey demands Israel apologize for Gaza flotilla raid despite its help in Carmel fire
Ha’aretz – Turkish PM Erdogan says he still expects compensation from Israel over Gaza flotilla raid, calls Turkey’s aid in fire purely humanitarian.

Iran to use domestically produced uranium for first time, official says
Ha’aretz – Iran’s use of local uranium could mean that Tehran may become completely self sufficient in its attempts advance its nuclear capabilities.

Dutch MP Wilders to Haaretz: There is a witch hunt against my party
Ha’aretz – Controversial anti-Islam Dutch politician Gert Wilders to visit Israel on Sunday; demonstration expected at site of his planned speech in Tel Aviv.

UN chief to Netanyahu: Carmel forest fire a ‘terrible tragedy’
Ha’aretz – Ban says inspired by the generous international assistance rendered to Israel, ‘especially from your neighbors in the region.’

Obama assures Netanyahu forest fire assistance top U.S. priority
Ha’aretz – U.S. is sending a team of expert firefighters and supplies to Israel to help the country contain the worst forest fire in its history.

Israeli official: Collapse of Aqsa Mosque is imminent
5 Dec 2010 – Jerusalem, December 5, (Pal Telegraph) Col. Yoram Lev-Ran, the Commander of the Jerusalem district of the Home Front Command, has warned that a disaster might befall the holy Aqsa Mosque and that the old Marwani Mosque might collapse soon. He told an Israeli weekly published on Friday that a collapse would happen, but the only “question is when? And how…

34 ships to carry aid to Gaza next April
5 Dec 2010 – Gaza, December 5, (Pal Telegraph) The international campaign for solidarity with the Palestinian people is preparing to send 34 ships loaded with humanitarian relief material to the Gaza Strip by next April, Mariam Zakut, the director general of culture and thought society, said. She added that the vessels would also carry Arab and foreign solidarity activists from various world continents….

Dozens hurt in Bilin weekly anti wall march
5 Dec 2010 – Ramallah, December 5, (Pal Telegraph) Tens of Palestinian citizens were treated for teargas inhalation n Bilin village, west of Ramallah city, after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) used teargas canisters to disperse the weekly anti wall march. Many foreign activists took part in the peaceful march along with the village inhabitants, local sources reported. They said that the participants hoisted Palestinian…

Israeli army raids Hebron, Nablus
5 Dec 2010 – West Bank, December 5, (Pal Telegraph) ‚Äì Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Sunday Hebron and Nablus cities, in the West Bank. Israeli soldiers with two military vechles raided Asai town in Hebron and notified number of Palestinian citizens to visit the Israeli intelligence for questioning , local sources said. The sources added that IOF raided some neighborhoods in Hebron. Israeli soldiers…

Abbas visits Greece, Turkey
5 Dec 2010 – Ramallah , December 5, (Pal Telegraph) ‚Äì The Palestinian President Mhamoud Abbas visits Sunday Turkey where he will meet Turkish officials, Palestinian official said. He added that the president will discuss the Turkish-Palestinian relationship, in addition to the peace process in the light of the Israeli refusal to freeze the settlement in the Palestinian land. Besides, he will discuss the situation…


Israeli Media Falsely Accuse Palestinians of Arson in Carmel Fire
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – …That’s what caused this disaster: government negligence. As the residents of Oakland who survived the devastating 1989 fire can tell you, a small fire left unattended becomes a monster given the right conditions. In that incident, a fire crew extinguished the initial flames but did not do so completely and the fire reignited. Death and…

Open Letter to Amazon.com
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – To Customer Service and Jeff Bezos, I’m disgusted by Amazon’s cowardice and servility in abruptly terminating its hosting of the Wikileaks website, in the face of threats from Senator Joe Lieberman and other Congressional right-wingers. I want no further association with any company that encourages legislative and executive officials to aspire to China’s control of…

Protest, arrests in Gaza over closure of youth organization
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – Palestinian police detained at least 13 young people who were protesting Hamas authorities’ closure of the Sharek Youth Forum, a large independent NGO in Gaza Sunday. Police spokesman Ayman Al-Batniji said 13 young men were taken into custody for holding a demonstration without a permit from the Ministry of Interior. He said the male detainees…

Photostory : East Jerusalem Clashes Follow Raids, Demolitions
Uruknet December 5, 2010- Demonstrators gathered on Friday to show support for the occupied town of Al-Isawiyya, East Jerusalem. After a peaceful rally, Israeli police fired tear gas canisters into the unarmed crowd. The confrontations follow a month of severe harassment of the village by occupying forces. Israeli police have raided Isawiyya on eight previous occassions. Last Tuesday, Israelis illegally…

Peace Requires JusticeNew Language for Middle East Peace
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – It is normal practice for parties to a dispute to use terminology which favors them. In this regard, Israel has been spectacularly successful in imposing its terminology not simply on Israeli consciousness and American usage but even on many Arab parties and commentators. It has done so not simply in obvious ways like use of…

Demostartors Place Flag Atop The Wall in Ni’ilin; Israeli Army Responds with Massive Amount of Tear Gas
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – The weekly demonstration against the Separation Wall in Ni’ilin took place Friday afternoon with a smaller than normal group of Palestinians and a handful of Israeli supporters. After afternoon prayers, roughly thirty people walked to the gate of the wall under the banner of “The Intifada Continues, No Peace with the Occupation. Demonstrators placed the…

Four more workers shot in Gaza buffer zone: an ordinary day in Gaza
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – On Tuesday, the 30th of November 2010, four different individuals were wounded by Israeli gunshots while trying to make their living in the only way they could given the desperation in Gaza’s current economy. Ismael Sa’aed Qapeen, 31 years old, was doing his daily work collecting stones when he was shot in the foot, causing…

Industrial Workers of the World Union Votes to Officially Support BDS
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – Resolution in Support of the Workers of Palestine/Israel” was adopted in an overwhelming vote both at the IWW’s convention in Minneapolis and by the membership via referendum, making the IWW the first union in the US and the third union in Canada to officially support the Palestinian United Call for BDS, according to a statement…

Report: “280 Palestinians, Including 43 Children and Three Women, Kidnapped In November”
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – The Higher Committee for Supporting the Detainees stated that Israeli soldiers kidnapped in November 280 Palestinians, including 43 children and three women, in several areas in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem. Two of the kidnapped residents are elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. The two are Nayef Rajoub from Hebron,…

Navid Mohebbi: The youngest blogger in prison
Uruknet December 5, 2010 – Repeatedly summoned for advocating women’s rights. Navid Mohebbi was first interrogated in 2008 after attempting to organize events for International Women’s Day. After two years of pressure and repeated summons, he was arrested again on September 18, 2010 at his father’s home in Amol, Mazandaran Province, in northern Iran by the Caspian Sea. Eight security…

Boycott roundup: French companies to drop out of Jerusalem rail project
Uruknet December 4, 2010 – In a significant victory for the global Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, French companies Veolia and Alstom have dropped out of the Jerusalem light rail project due to sustained pressure from Palestine solidarity groups. The companies were contracted by the Israeli government to construct and manage the tramway linking Jerusalem to several illegal…

Stop Further Cuts to Dutch International Development Aid
Alternative Information Center – Dutch development organizations join forces to stop further budget cuts. The new Dutch government is planning a second round of budget cuts on international aid meant for entrepreneurial men and women living in developing countries, and…

Brasil Recognises Palestinian State
Alternative Information Center – Brasil’s Foreign Ministry announced Friday (3 December) that the country has recognized the state of Palestine along the pre-1967 borders, the Foreign Ministry said in anotice posted to its website.

Weekend of Confrontations in East Jerusalem’s Issawiya
Alternative Information Center – Confrontations broke out in the East Jerusalem village of Issawiya on Friday (3 December) at the end of a demonstration organized by activists from Solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah.

Industrial Workers of the World Union Votes to Officially Support BDS
Alternative Information Center – The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) has officially voted to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in support of Palestinian rights, according to a press release from the IWW’s website on 2 December….

California Residents Launch Israel Divestment Initiative Campaign
Alternative Information Center – Residents of the U.S. state of California launched a divestment initiative campaign in fall 2010. The initiative, known as the Israel Divestment Campaign (IDC), is the first citizens’ effort in the United States to appeal directly…

Daily Star

Defiant Iran reports nuclear advance ahead of talks
Daily Star 5 Dec 2010 ABU DHABI: Gulf Arab leaders are to hold a summit Monday with their concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions exposed, courtesy of WikiLeaks, and at a time of economic relief as a result higher oil prices. The…

Gulf Cooperation Council leaders to hold summit under cloud of exposed Iran fears
Daily Star 5 Dec 2010 ABU DHABI: Gulf Arab leaders are to hold a summit Monday with their concerns over Iran’s nuclear ambitions exposed, courtesy of WikiLeaks, and at a time of economic relief as a result higher oil prices. The…

Abbas: US proposal to prop up stalled peace talks expected soon
Daily Star 5 Dec 2010 A US proposal to bolster troubled Middle East peace talks was expected within days, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said following a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II Sunday. “His majesty and I agreed to continue our…

The Guardian

Israeli forest fires under control as government faces criticism over disaster
The Guardian 5 Dec 2010 – Israeli ministers accused of funding ultra-orthodox causes rather than fire service as police arrest two boys on suspicion of starting blaze through negligence The raging forest fires that devastated swaths of northern Israel and killed 41…

Relief Web

European Union contributes ‚Ǩ20.7 million to the Palestinian Authority’s payment of November salaries and pensions
Relief Web 5 Dec 2010 – Source: European Union

OPT: OIC Secretary General addresses OSCE Summit in Astana and holds talks with the President of Kazakhstan
Relief Web 5 Dec 2010 – Source: Organization of the Islamic Conference

Stop The Wall

YNet News

Iran ‘dominant player’ in Iraq politics
YNet News – Leaked US diplomatic cable reveals Tehran using ‘all means of diplomacy,….

Lebanon complains to UN about Israeli ‘spy’ devices
YNet News – Lebanese Foreign Ministry says Israeli troops detonated by remote control two….

Assessment: Carmel fire nearing its end
YNet News – Largest firefighting aircraft lands in Israel overnight, begins dumping water,….

Palestinian firefighters help battle Carmel blaze
YNet News – Head of Palestinian team says assistance is a ‘humanitarian gesture’ that has….

Barak in Beit Oren: Major disaster
YNet News – Defense minister tours kibbutz that was severely damaged in Carmel fire,….

Where are Israel’s fire extinguishing planes?
YNet News – Israel Aerospace Industries could have converted passenger planes to refueling….

Carmel fire fully extinguished
YNet News – Firefighting services on Sunday night announced the end of the biggest fire in Israel’s history after putting out all blazes on Mount Carmel. The forces were to remain at …….

Israel bids farewell to foreign firefighting teams
YNet News – Farewell ceremonies were held Sunday in the Nevatim and the Ramat David airbases in tribute to the foreign firefighting teams from 10 different countries around the …….

Erdogan insists on Israeli apology before ‘page is turned’
YNet News – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed Sunday that the aid sent from Turkey to Israel following the Carmel fire disaster does not signify an improvement in …….

Soldier badly hurt by stray bullet
YNet News – An Israel Defense Forces soldier was seriously wounded from a stray bullet at the Avivim Post on the northern border while arguing with another soldier. He was evacuated …….

Carmel wildfire contained after 77 hours
YNet News – The Mount Carmel wildfire has been contained, Israel’s firefighting authorities declared at 4:30 pm Sunday ‚Äì about 77 hours after the initial fire broke out near the …….

Palestinian Information Center

Carmel fire costs 454 million dollars
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – The material losses as a result of the huge forest fire that ravaged Carmel Mountain near Haifa might reach 454 million dollars, Israel media sources reported on Sunday.

Israel to build 130 new housing units in O. Jerusalem
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – Hours after the IOA declared its intention to build more than 652 housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev settlement last week, it approved a plan to build 130 other units in Gilo settlement.

Dweik, Hamas MPs join solidarity sit-in with Jericho detainees on hunger strike
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – Dr. Aziz Dweik and other Hamas MPs in the West Bank joined the solidarity sit-in organized by relatives of detainees in the PA Jericho jail who went on hunger strike nine days ago.

PA transfers six hunger strikers from Jericho solitary jail to other prisons
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – The families of the six Palestinian detainees who went on hunger strike in Jericho prison said the PA transferred their isolated sons from this jail to other prisons in different West Bank areas.

Islamic Movement delegation visits Jerusalemite officials facing exile
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – A delegation from the Islamic Movement visited the protest tent at the Red Cross headquarters to check on the Jerusalemite officials threatened with eviction from the holy city.

Families of detainees in Jericho jail appeal for saving lives of their sons
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – The families of six Palestinian prisoners in Jericho jail appealed to all human rights organizations to save their sons from the slow death and torture they are exposed to by PA interrogators.

Night clashes in Eisawiye
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – Violent clashes took place in Eisawiye in occupied Jerusalem on Saturday night between Israeli border police and citizens, local sources said on Sunday.

Report: 280 Palestinians kidnapped by Israel last November
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – The higher national committee for the support of prisoners reported that the Israeli occupation forces kidnapped last month 280 Palestinian citizens in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Lebanon files official complaint with UNSC against Israel
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – Lebanon filed a complaint with the UN Security Council on Saturday against Israel for planting two espionage devices on Lebanese territory, which were detected on Friday.

Israel criticizes Brazil for recognizing Palestinian state
PIC 5 Dec 2010 – Israel on Saturday criticized the Brazilian president Luiz In?°cio Lula da Silva for recognizing the Palestinian state within the 1967 occupied lands in a message published on Friday.

Los Angeles Times

Iran announces nuclear breakthrough on eve of talks
LA Times 6 Dec 2010 – As diplomats arrive in Geneva, the head of Tehran’s nuclear program says his nation can produce its own yellowcake, used in the process of creating nuclear fuel. As diplomats began arriving in Geneva ahead of long-awaited talks to resolve the standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the head of Tehran’s nuclear program on Sunday upped the ante, claiming a breakthrough that could make the Islamic Republic self-sufficient in the production of uranium.

Majority of Muslims want Islam in politics, poll says
LA Times 6 Dec 2010 – They have mixed feelings about the militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah, the survey shows. A majority of Muslims around the world welcome a significant role for Islam in their countries’ political life, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center, but have mixed feelings toward militant religious groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

Iran’s entrepreneurs do business of a sort in face of sanctions
LA Times 5 Dec 2010 – The key to success nowadays in business is giving the impression that you are flush. If that fails, creditors funding the pricey work-arounds needed to skirt the international embargo will come calling. If Mohsen doesn’t come up with $100,000 by the end of the week, he’s a dead man.


SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Israeli Army arrests young Palestinian man in South Hebron Hills
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine –

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Shepherd made homeless, livelihood threatened, son in prison
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine –

Abunimah: The Native American analogy doesn’t work
Mondoweiss – Earlier today Weiss did a post mentioning Native Americans and the argument that American historical sins immunize the Israelis from the Palestinian right of return. Citing the ethnic cleansing of Native Americans as a way to justify not recognizing the Palestinian right of return, as…

Happy holidays
Mondoweiss – From a friend. These cards are available at If Americans Knew .

An Israeli’s Wiki-piphany
Mondoweiss – WikiLeaks keep resonating. My friend David Bromwich writes : Here, an Israeli liberal centrist, after a small step in anti-colonial self- criticism, swings back to self-justification. All it took was the Wikileaks cables saying what everyone in Israel already knew: that Iran is dangerous. On November 18,…

MI university deems Helen Thomas’s Zionist-control comments to be anti-Semitic
Mondoweiss – Report on AOL : Wayne State University has terminated its Helen Thomas Spirit of Diversity in Media award after the former White House correspondent claimed that the United States is controlled by “Zionists.” Thomas, 90, told a workshop on anti-Arab bias in Dearborn, Mich., that Jewish influence…

The Witch Tree
Mondoweiss – My friend, Minnesota novelist Tony Schmitz , was paddling on Superior last week, and his buddy made this shot near Grand Portage. It’s of a famous cedar on the Ojibwe Reservation, known as the Witch Tree. Sacred, over 400 years old, historic, and only 15 feet tall ,…

Misc 2

What are Israel’s priorities in time of natural disaster?
Joseph Dana 5 Dec 2010 – Despite Israel’s international call for aid to help fight the raging wildfires in the north of the country, the army had plenty of extra soldiers to suppress the weekly unarmed demonstrations in Nabi Saleh, Ni’ilin and Bil’in. Instead of diverting all available resources to suppressing the…

Saudis ‘militants’ chief funders’
BBC 5 Dec 2010 – A leaked memo by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticises Saudi officials for not doing enough to tackle funding for al-Qaeda and other militants groups.

Bullish Iran set for Geneva talks
BBC 5 Dec 2010 – Iran says it has delivered domestically produced uranium to an enrichment plant, ahead of talks on its disputed nuclear programme with world powers in Geneva.

Egypt shark attack kills German tourist
BBC 5 Dec 2010 – A German woman is killed by a shark off the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, days after beaches were re-opened following similar attacks.

Egypt votes amid poll fraud row
BBC 5 Dec 2010 – Egyptians have been voting in a second round of parliamentary elections, a week after the first round was condemned for alleged fraud.

AIPAC Ordered Bush To Attack Iran
Sabbah report 5 Dec 2010 – In a unique interview with an official at the highest policy levels of the Pentagon, White House and, eventually, CIA, we are offered a unique “behind the curtains” look at areas of policy making during the period between 1999 and 2007. Extensive notes have been taken…

Nahr al-Bared reconstruction delay throws civil rights into spotlight
Sabbah report 4 Dec 2010 – The Nahr al-Bared refugee camp highlights every aspect of the problematic relationship between Lebanon and the Palestinian refugees within its borders. However, the Lebanese government would be better served by viewing the camp as a chance to radically change the traditionally conflict-ridden relationship in which Palestinians…


Thirty-Nine Congressmen Can’t Be Wrong
Philip Giraldi, Antiwar.com12/2/2010
A former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer has written a well reasoned op-ed explaining that throwing concessions and gifts to Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in an attempt to obtain relatively minor concessions on his part is precisely the wrong policy to pursue. Kurtzer notes that the deal will be a major shift in policy “…the first direct benefit that the United States has provided Israel for settlement activities that we have opposed for more than 40 years” and he asks “Does anyone really believe that there is a substantive connection between a three month settlement freeze and Israel’s professed need for more airplanes?”
Netanyahu, who despises President Barack Obama, has rightly seen the cajoling by the United States as weakness and as the consequence of failure by Washington to articulate any coherent policy in the Middle East, meaning that he knows that Israel has been empowered to get away with virtually anything it might demand. Netanyahu has obligingly gone to the whack jobs and wing nuts in his own rickety right wing coalition and asked them to present him with a wish list for Washington, confident that Hanukkah has already begun and Christmas is right around the corner.
The latest demand appears to be freedom for Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is an Israeli citizen, has a holiday named after him, and is regarded as a national hero in many right wing Zionist circles. That Israel is completely dependent on Washington for its security and on the American taxpayer for its high standard of living has never inhibited the country’s security service Mossad from using agents like Pollard to steal everything not nailed down from the United States. Pollard currently is spending his time in a federal prison in North Carolina for walking off with a roomful of American top secrets in exchange for money back in the 1980s. I have already described the astonishing damage that he did as well as the reasons why he should never be released but politicians have short memories and President Obama appears to have no memory at all….. more.. e-mail

Some things just didn’t make sense
Steve Feldman, Palestine Note12/2/2010
I grew up in the womb of the Jewish Community of Washington, D.C, studied at our Hebrew Academy (a school that my grandfather helped found), and worshiped at the Beth Shalom Orthodox Jewish synagogue. After marrying, I travelled to visit family in Israel. On one trip, I had the pleasure of seeing one of the Israeli national forests that held trees that I had helped to plant with the coins I collected in my youth. Looking out from atop a tree-covered hill, I remember experiencing a feeling of pride in Israel military power while catching the sounds of Israeli fighter jets passing though the valley below.
My understanding of Israel evolved. On one of the trips to Israel, my uncle, proud of Israel’s many accomplishments, drove us to see diverse different parts of the country, including the swamps that were drained and the forests that were planted. In none of those places did we see any sign of places where Palestinians used to live. “That’s odd,” I wondered. “How do I reconcile us reclaiming a land of empty swamps and deserts and making them bloom with the fact that 700,000 Palestinians had become refugees? Where had these people lived?” Something just didn’t seem to fit. If the land had been empty swamps and deserts, how did 700,000 people become refugees?
In trying to learn more about Muslims, I took a course on Islam that presented the Muslim perspective of what Islam was like. Boy, was it different from the perspective learned from my teachers/rabbis and the U.S. media! The course made the basic tenets of Islam sound altogether similar to those of Judaism that I studied in Hebrew school: devotion to one God, giving charity, acting in humble, respectful ways that bring honor to one’s faith, and treating others as we would be treated. I began to wonder if our perceptions of Arabs were misperceptions.
As I studied the history of Israel, I learned disturbing things that did not fit at all with the things I had been taught. I had been taught things like, “Arabs started all the wars,” and “Jews never terrorized anyone.” I was very surprised to find that these fundamental facts of Jewish history were flatly wrong…. more.. e-mail

Wikileaks and the new global order
Jonathan Cook, Israeli Occupation Archive11/30/2010
America’s wake-up call
The Wikileaks disclosure this week of confidential cables from United States embassies has been debated chiefly in terms either of the damage to Washington’s reputation or of the questions it raises about national security and freedom of the press.
The headlines aside, most of the information so far revealed from the 250,000 documents is hardly earth-shattering, even if it often runs starkly counter to the official narrative of the US as the benevolent global policeman, trying to maintain order amid an often unruly rabble of underlings.
Is it really surprising that US officials appear to have been trying to spy on senior United Nations staff, and just about everyone else for that matter? Or that Israel has been lobbying strenuously for military action to be taken against Iran? Or even that Saudi Arabia feels threatened by an Iranian nuclear bomb? All of this was already largely understood; the leaks have simply provided official confirmation.
The new disclosures, however, do provide a useful insight, captured in the very ordinariness of the diplomatic correspondence, into Washington’s own sense of the limits on its global role — an insight that was far less apparent in the previous Wikileaks revelations on the US army’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Underlying the gossip and analysis sent back to Washington is an awareness from many US officials stationed abroad of quite how ineffective — and often counter-productive — much US foreign policy is. more.. e-mail

Cuba’s New Reforms Bode Shaky Future
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2010 – With the November 2010 Cuban Communist Party (PCC) publication of 291 proposals for reforms in 12 areas of economic and social life Cubans are once again faced with a national debate on policies. The key question is if the 800,000 Communist members’ discussion, plus that of non-members, will affect the policies to be taken at the forthcoming PCC VI congress, in April 2011. There is no proposed mechanism to assure such in the 32-page document. The essence of these guidelines, which aim to increase efficiency and production, and decrease the budget deficit, balance exports-imports, and pay the foreign debt ($20 billion), is to reduce the state’s role, delegate more authority to local governments and work sites, increase taxes and other revenues while cutting back on social benefits and subsidies. In addition, there will be more private enterprise and foreign investment openings, and integrating more with progressive neighboring governments. Nevertheless, the…more

Too Toxic to Handle?
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2010 – On November 17, we sent out a media alert that highlighted the corporate media’s lack of interest in official documents revealing Israel’s deliberate policy of near-starvation for Gaza. The documents had been obtained by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, which won a legal battle in October to compel the Israeli government to release the information. The state policy relates to the transfer of goods into Gaza prior to the May 31, 2010 attack on the peace flotilla in which nine people were killed by Israeli forces. Israel still refuses to release documents on the current blockade policy, now supposedly “eased” following worldwide condemnation of the flotilla attack. We, and many of our readers, emailed broadcasters and newspapers asking why the release of these documents was not reported in October. Were journalists simply unaware of the documents and their significance? For the BBC in particular, with all its huge resources…more

Ein Hod: The Sin of Israeli Artists
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2010 – Israeli press reports that the wildfire, which has been raging in northern Israel since Thursday, continued to spread on Saturday morning, burning houses in the pastoral artists’ village Ein Hod. Ein Hod which lies on the road to Haifa is an Israeli artists’ colony. It is located at the foot of Mount Carmel, overlooking the Mediterranean coast. In the fifties, a group of Jewish artists decided to make Ein Hod into their home. They built studios and workshops. Ein Hod is the only artists’ village in Israel, one of the few in the world. Israel and Israelis are very proud of their artists’ colony. Israelis are totally devastated by the impact of the fire on their beloved artist village. Yet, there is something Israelis may prefer to hide. Ein Hod’s new artistic inhabitants are far from being innocent. Ein Hod is, in fact, Ayn Aawd , a Palestinian village ethnically cleansed…more

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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