VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 28 February, 2011: Israeli Settlers Demand Firing Of Bus Driver For Crime Of ‘being Arab’

28 February, 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Jerusalem, Nablus roads blocked by Israeli settlers in protest against outpost removal
IMEMC – Tuesday March 01, 2011 – 03:35, Hundreds of Israeli settlers blocked the Nablus road in the northern West Bank, and dozens more tried to block a main road in Jerusalem on Monday, calling for the Israeli government to allow the expansion of a settlement colony located in the northern West Bank.

Silwan Residents Injured by Israeli Gunfire Over Weekend
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 16:28, This weekend saw a continuation of clashes in Silwan, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem targeted for Israeli expansion, leaving many Palestinians injured.

Army Abducts Two Palestinians From Hebron
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 11:52, Israeli soldiers abducts, on Monday at dawn, two Palestinians from the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

Israeli Settlers Demand Firing Of Bus Driver For Crime Of ‘being Arab’
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 11:31, A Palestinian-Israeli bus driver, who holds Israeli citizenship, has been threatened with firing after he was assigned to a route that serves the Israeli colonial settlement of Elazar. Jewish Israeli residents of the settlement have launched a campaign to have the bus driver fired, submitting a letter to the regional council to that effect.

Elected Legislator Sentenced To Six Months
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 11:18, The Israeli Authorities sentenced, on Sunday, a Palestinian legislator to six months in administrative detention without presenting any legal charges against him.

One Resident Wounded As Army Bombards Gaza
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 11:06, Palestinian medical sources reported, Monday morning, that one resident was injured after the Israeli army bombarded an area near the Gaza International Airport, east of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Internal Probe: 2002 Bombing Which Killed 8 Children ‘Justified’
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 10:45, An ‘internal investigation’ by the Israeli military released a report, Sunday, stating that there was ‘no wrongdoing’ in a 2002 targeted assassination carried out by the Israeli airforce, in which Israeli soldiers dropped a missile on a crowded apartment building, killing a targeted leader of Hamas along with 13 civilians, including 8 children.

Palestinian Killed By Army Shells East of Gaza
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 10:27, Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported, on Sunday evening, that one resident was killed and several were injured in a number of Israeli military attacks targeting the Gaza Strip.

Settlers Block Roads Leading To Nablus, Hurl Stones At Local Vehicles
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 09:39, A group of armed Israeli settlers blocked, on Monday morning, a number of roads leading to the northern West Bank city of Nablus. They hurled stones at several vehicles while cursing and insulting the residents.

Palestinian Child Wounded After Being Run-over By Settler’s Vehicle
IMEMC – Monday February 28, 2011 – 04:51, A Palestinian child was injured, on Sunday, after being run-over by a vehicle driven by a Israeli settler in the district of Hebron, in the southern part of the West Bank.

Ma’an News

Settlers fire-bomb Palestinian home in Nablus
3/1/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Settlers set fire to a Palestinian home on Monday, injuring two children, and attacked Palestinian cars around Nablus, officials said. Settlers threw Molotov cocktails at homes in Huwara village, setting fire to the home of Rabi Taha As-Sebty, said Palestinian Authority settlement affairs official Ghassan Doughlas. Palestinian firefighters controlled the blaze….

Palestinian worker shot and killed in northern Gaza
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian worker in Gaza on Monday, along the northern border of the coastal enclave, Palestinian medical sources told AFP. Medics told Ma’an that the man’s body was evacuated shortly after noon….

Israeli artillery fire injures 1 in Rafah
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fire from an Israeli tank injured at least one man near the southern Gaza border Monday, witnesses told Ma’an. An Israeli tank fired several shells near Gaza International Airport, reports said. Gaza emergency services’ spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya confirmed that one man was moderately injured and evacuated….

Concerns over rising settler violence in West Bank
2/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (IRIN) — Violence between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the West Bank appears to be worsening, say UN agencies, NGOs, and the Israeli and Palestinian communities living there. An increased number of Palestinian civilians have been injured and had property or land damaged in incidents involving Israeli settlers living in the West Bank since the….

Settlers clash with Israeli police, roads closed
2/28/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hundreds of angered Israeli settlers gathered in the Nablus region Monday, prompting road closures to prevent attacks on Palestinian drivers on the Nablus-Qalqiliya road, and the Jit-Flefleh road. The closures stopped movement between dozens of villages, and the nearby city centers and followed the dismantling of two buildings in an illegal….

Settler clashes erupt in Nabi Salih
2/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Clashes erupted in Nabi Salih on Monday after settlers tried to enter the Ramallah village, locals said. Residents of the illegal Hallamish settlement gathered at the entrance to the village, and residents set fire to rubber tires to stop the settlers entering, Popular Committee officials said. Israeli forces intervened and the….

Prisoner graduates from University in Israeli jail
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Gaza City Detainees Society announced Monday that a Beit Hanoun man detained by Israeli forces in 2006 had completed his university degree from prison and sent congratulations to the man and his family. Rami Farid Al-Za’anin, 30, was conferred a degree in pre-law from Al-Azhar University in….

Israeli police detain 4 teenagers in Jerusalem
2/28/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli police detained four Palestinian teenagers in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amoud overnight, after what families described as invasive home searches that left apartments ransacked. Those detained were identified by family members as 14-year-old Ahmad Abu Madhi, 16-year-old Yasin Abu Madhi, 16-year-old Ahmad Nabulsi, and 19….

Barred from travel to Egypt, Gazans abroad stranded
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinians registered as residents of the Gaza Strip wishing to return home have been stranded since the outbreak of protests in Egypt, when officials barred Palestinians from entering the country amidst the overthrow of the political leadership. On Monday, a group of the stranded Palestinians sent a letter to Egypt….

Detainees appeal for treatment
2/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian held in Israel’s Jelbou prison is suffering from cancer and urgently needs treatment, a detainees’ center said Monday. The center urged Israeli authorities to allow Raed Darbieh to receive medical care. He is from Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and is sentenced to life….

Armed factions claim mortar attacks on Israeli forces
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Al-Aqsa Brigades and the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades claimed responsibility for firing mortar shells at Israeli forces on Monday. The armed wings of Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued statements saying fighters targeted soldiers trying to invade the Al-Ghoul area in the northern Gaza….

PA: Israel assassination probe ‘making excuses for murder’
3/1/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Monday slammed an Israeli investigation which found the killing of 13 civilians in Gaza during an assassination was not a disciplinary offense. In July 2002, Israeli forces dropped a one-ton bomb on the Gaza City home of Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh, killing 13 civilians including his wife….

Youth group: Hamas shut down unity protest
3/1/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza government security officers on Monday detained four protesters at a demonstration calling for national unity in Gaza City, organizers said. Nida Al-Watan (Call of Homeland), a Palestinian youth initiative, used online social networks to issue a call for demonstrations in Gaza and across the West Bank on February 28….

2 Gaza crossings opened for limited imports
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — For the second day in a row, Israeli authorities permitted the opening of two Gaza import terminals, ahead of the announced permanent closure of the bulk goods crossing. Palestinian Authority liaison official Raed Fattouh told Ma’an that he was informed that Israeli crossings officials had okayed the transfer….

Militants have ‘new tactics’ to face Israeli forces
2/28/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Al-Quds Brigades have “new tactics” they are ready to deploy against Israeli military action in the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad’s armed wing told Ma’an on Monday. Militant groups will focus their efforts almost exclusively on Israeli troops breaching the Gaza border and….

Settler supporters protest in Jerusalem
2/28/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Protesters burned tires and tried to block a main Jerusalem traffic artery on Monday in solidarity with West Bank settlers who clashed with police earlier in the day.” About 50 people tried to block the main road at the entrance to Jerusalem,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.”They set fire to a….

Israel PM meets Blair as Quartet pushes peace
3/1/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Quartet envoy Tony Blair, as negotiators sought to coax Israel and the Palestinians into dialogue. Israeli officials confirmed the two had met but refused to give details of what was discussed, as media reports suggested the premier was shying away from sending….

Jihad leader urges resistance to detain Israeli soldiers
3/1/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad leader Khaled Al-Batsh on Monday called on Palestinian resistance groups to intensify their activities and detain Israeli soldiers. Al-Batsh said resistance was the only way to free thousands of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons. He issued the call at a protest marking the 26th anniversary of Israel’….

Al-Qaeda’s Zawahiri warns of US influence in Mideast
2/28/2011 – NICOSIA, Cyprus (AFP) — Al-Qaeda’s Egyptian-born number two Ayman Az-Zawahiri said the United States is installing sympathetic new regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, demanding Muslims rise up against “whippers” and “invaders.” The SITE monitoring service said Monday that Az-Zawahiri released the third of a series of audio messages on uprisings in the Arab world….

Hamas’ Mash’al to attend funeral of Turkey leader
2/28/2011 – ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — The head of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, Khalid Mash’al, will attend the funeral of Turkey’s first Islamist leader Necmettin Erbakan in Istanbul on Tuesday, a former aide to Erbakan said.” Khalid Mash’al is to arrive in Istanbul to take part in the funeral with other dignitaries….

UN urges support for Mideast reforms
2/28/2011 – GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The UN human rights chief on Monday called on the international community to support reforms in the Middle East and urged vigilance in Libya amid fears of violent reprisals.” The international community bears the great responsibility of extending its support in words and deeds to assist such indispensable reforms. It must do….

Fatah sets new standards for cabinet selection
3/1/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Fatah’s Central Committee announced Sunday standards for the selection of cabinet ministers, as re-appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad continues consultations ahead of the new cabinet’s formation. The standards did not reference reported moves to open ministerial posts to Gaza ruling party Hamas. It remains unclear how far….

PCBS: Construction costs rise in last quarter of 2010
2/28/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released its construction cost index report on Monday, with findings indicating an overall increase in costs by 0. 87 percent since December 2010. The overall Construction Cost Index reached 111. 55, the report said, while the overall Road Cost Index reached 109. 02 with an….

Egypt closes net on Mubarak clan’s hidden fortune
3/1/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — The net closed tighter around ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his family on Monday as authorities imposed an asset freeze and banned them from leaving the country, judicial officials said.” We are freezing the assets of former officials, including the ex-president and his family. Assets of some former ministers and officials have….

Libyans ‘ready to die for me’, says Gadhafi
3/1/2011 – TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said Monday his followers were ready to die for him as Western nations mulled military options to prevent massacres and protect thousands fleeing violence in his country. World powers ramped up the pressure on his regime, as the United States urged the international community at a meeting in Geneva….

EU allocates €3 million to aid Libyan refugees
2/28/2011 – BRUSSELS (Ma’an) — The European Commission announced Friday it has allocated €3 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Libya and neighboring countries. The funding will provide relief to Libyans and Libyan-based refugees fleeing the country as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi enforces a brutal crackdown on protests against his regime, an EC statement….

Maliki: Iraq may be safest Arab country
2/28/2011 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday that Iraq may be the safest country in the Arab world, as protests and violence rage across much of the region. Maliki’s remarks came as he reiterated his optimism that an Arab League summit set to be held in Baghdad on March 29 would….

Palestine Note

Israeli Panel Finds No Crime in 2002 Assassination
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – New York Times – Nearly nine years after an Israeli assassination of a Hamas leader in Gaza killed at least 13 civilians and led to widespread international condemnation, a government-appointed panel of inquiry concluded Sunday that…

Revolution Is Easy; Democracy Is Difficult
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Albert R. Hunt, Washington Post – With a rapidity that would have been unimaginable only a month ago, oppression in the Middle East —Tunisia, Egypt and now, hopefully, Libya — is on the run. Whatever the…

Qaddafi YouTube Spoof by Israeli Gets Arab Fans
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – New York Times – A YouTube clip mocking Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi ‚’s megalomania is fast becoming a popular token of the Libya uprising across the Middle East. And in an added affront to Colonel Qaddafi, it…

Egypt Prosecutor Sharpens Case Against Mubarak
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – New York Times – The public prosecutor of Egypt imposed an international travel ban on former President Hosni Mubarak and his immediate family on Monday, as well as a freeze on their Egyptian assets, as part…

Labor and the future of the Egyptian revolution
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Since February 11 when Mubarak stepped down, the Supreme Military Council, which has assumed leadership of Egypt’s affairs until such time as free elections are held, has repeatedly and thus far unsuccessfully called on Egyptians to…

Pressure for change builds across Arab world
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Washington Post – Tunisia, whose revolution convulsed the Arab world, ousted its second leader in less than two months Sunday, as the euphoria triggered by the uprising in January began to give way to the realization…

Negev village residents suffer Israel brutality
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Arabiya – In the middle of Israel‚’s Negev desert, residents of the Arab Bedouin village al-Araqeeb are suffering from Israeli aggression as houses are demolished, and entire families are left homeless, and utilities cut. In al-Araqeeb,…

Will the Hebron demonstration signal a new intifada in the West Bank?
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Joseph Dana, +972 – Riding the wave of unrest in the Arab world, the PA called for a carefully controlled ‘day of rage‚’ throughout the West Bank against the United States for their recent veto of…

Hamas fights UN’s ‘poisonous’ Holocaust lessons in Gazan schools
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – The Guardian – Hamas has vowed to stop the United Nations teaching children in Gaza about the Holocaust , saying it will poison their minds. The history of the Holocaust is planned to be included as part…

Palestinians Seek New Path to State
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Wall Street Journal – Palestinian leaders here say they have lost faith in U.S. mediation with Israel and are weighing a new strategy to press for independence, including an appeal for United Nations recognition of a…

Will slow and steady win the race?
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has declared that it will form a political party — it has settled on a name (Freedom and Justice) and asked one of its leaders (Sa’d al-Katatni) to oversee the effort. Since its…

Is it fair to scrutinize Arab first ladies?
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – In a recent article, Nesrine Malik discusses the scrutiny placed upon the wives of Arab leaders in relation to revolution in the Arab world. Designer-clad extensions of their husbands‚’ regimes, Malik points out the focus placed…

Secularism is what the Arab world needs
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – The wave of anti-government protests sweeping through the Arab world, which has already toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, raises very serious questions about religion and politics in the Middle East, and reinforces the need for…

World Urges End to Libya Violence
Palestine Note 28 Feb 2011 – Gadhafi remains defiant BBC News – Governments around the world have condemned attacks on Libyan civilians. Speaking at a UN human rights conference in Geneva, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Libya’s Col Muammar Gaddafi…

Aljazeera

Clinton urges Gaddafi to step down
AlJazeera 28 Feb 2011 – US secretary of state says Gaddafi’s government must be held to account as EU approves new sanctions against Libya.

Egypt imposes travel ban on Mubarak
AlJazeera 28 Feb 2011 – Prosecutor also orders financial assets of former president and his family inside country frozen pending investigation.

Palestine News Network

America Features in One West Bank Village’s Day of Rage
PNN – Ramallah — PNN – Palestinian boys gather in a coffee shop on a Friday in Bil‚’in, a village in the central West Bank that would be largely unknown but for its often-violent…

On Witness Tour of West Bank, Christians Find Empire and Understanding
PNN – Bethlehem — PNN – A bus carrying forty Christian pastors, priests, and witnesses assembled by the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center stops on a windy hilltop in the southern West Bank, blocked…

After Israeli Army Clears Outpost, Settlers Close Roads Surrounding Nablus
PNN – Nablus — PNN – After Israeli troops cleared away structures in the illegal Israeli settlement of Havat Gilad, near Nablus in the northern West Bank, settlers struck back against Palestinians by closing…

Israeli Settlers Violence Report: November, December 2010
PNN – Jerusalem — AIC – The Alternative Information Center (AIC) monitored and recorded Israeli settler attacks and violations during the final two months of 2010. As will be demonstrated, settler attacks continued during…

Ha’aretz: Netanyahu Has Not Yet Sent Peace Envoy to Quartet
PNN – Tel Aviv — PNN – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has still not decided to send Yitzhak Molcho, Israeli envoy to the Middle East peace talks, to a meeting of the Quartet…

HRW welcomes UNSC?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Resolution on Libya
PNN – New York — HRW to PNN— The United Nations Security Council‚’s unanimous resolution referring Libya to the International Criminal Court (ICC) sends a strong signal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his…

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (17 — 23 February 2011)
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Jerusalem Post

Nof Zion faces upheaval after bank rejects debt repayment
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – If Digal Company does not come up with additional funds in coming days it may be forced to accept offer of Palestinian businessman to buy e. J’lem housing complex.

PM rebuffs faction‚’s calls to build new settlements
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – “We are currently in a very difficult international situation,” Netanyahu tells Likud members in response to settler complaints.

Film about s. TA school wins documentary short Oscar
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – Filmaker Goodman: ‘We really had our hopes up for the school, Israel, and for the kids, hoping that the world would see the message.”

Netanyahu slams settlers over Gilad Farm clashes
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – PM says settlers undermine current efforts to protect settlements; activists take to J’lem streets; 24 arrested.

Clinton: No options are ‘off the table,’ Gaddafi must go
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – Speaking in Geneva, Clinton says Gaddafi must be held responsible for violent acts; US military repositions naval, air forces around Libya; UK PM calls on fringes of Libyan gov’t to defect.

Clinton: UNHRC bias against Israel is wrong
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – “Structural bias against Israel undermines important work that we are trying to do together as member states,” says US sec. of state.

UK to UN: Appoint a special investigator for Iran
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – 22 foreign ministers expected to take floor to call for establishing special raptor on Iranian human rights abuses.

Bibi’s capital offense
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – By caving into US dictates and refusing to stand by Israel’s rights to East Jerusalem, Netanyahu is betraying his voters and undermining the country’s capital claim.

Egypt imposes travel ban on Mubarak, family
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – Iran reportedly detains two opposition leaders; protesters in Oman, Yemen, Bahrain stand firm.

IAEA says Iran’s Bushehr delays were caused by pump
Jeruslalem Post 28 Feb 2011 – Tehran reportedly told IAEA that mechanical issue forced it to remove fuel from nuclear reactor; expert calls it a “serious problem.”

Speaker chastises J Street for opposing US veto at UN
Jeruslalem Post 27 Feb 2011 – Israel activist appeals to Dennis Ross, who will address confab in DC, to ‘deliver much-needed moral clarity‚’.

Get tough on Hamas prisoners
Jeruslalem Post 27 Feb 2011 – 1000s of security prisoners enjoy perks, while Schalit is held incommunicado. It‚’s time for the government to rectify that intolerable imbalance.

Ha’aretz Defense page

IDF kills Palestinian approaching Gaza border
Ha’aretz – IDF forces identified a man as he approached the Security fence, crossing the 300-meter perimeter before the fence which is off limits for Palestinians.

Netanyahu: Israel can’t ignore world pressure over settlement construction
Ha’aretz – Premier tells Likud faction that government is making efforts to maintain existing activity in West Bank, but can’t keep ‘banging [its] head into the wall’ in the face of the existing international reality.

Barak: Assad ready to consider Israel-Syria peace deal
Ha’aretz – Defense minister says that if Syrian president will reach out to Israel, he will find a willing partner, also says Israel must strengthen peace efforts with Palestinians.

Eight settlers arrested in clashes with police in illegal West Bank outpost
Ha’aretz – Clashes erupt when security forces arrive at Havat Gilad outpost to demolish several illegal structures; settlers report 13 lightly wounded from rubber bullets.

Ha’aretz National page

Haredi ‘Rabbi’ Elior Chen sentenced to 24 years in prison for child abuse
Ha’aretz – Chen was convicted of abusing and ordering the abuse of eight children, which included beatings with clubs and hammers, kicks to the head, severe shaking, burning, being handcuffed and stuffed in a suitcase, food and sleep deprivation.

MK Shelly Yachimovich to run for Labor Party chairmanship
Ha’aretz – Yachimovich says she is aware of the immense challenge, but she is ‘not deterred’; Haaretz poll found last month that Labor would win more seats next election with Yachimovich as its head.

Radio host Netiva Ben Yehuda passes on at 83
Ha’aretz – Ben Yehuda was also a poet and author who wrote of her former experiences as one of the only women to command a Palmach platoon.

Mideast turmoil sends Israel gasoline prices to record high
Ha’aretz – 95 octane gasoline prices will increase by 28 agorot per liter, reaching 7.3 NIS per liter.

Uruknet

Hundreds of Lebanese rally against sectarian regime
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – Hundreds of people braved a cold, driving rain Sunday to march in support of toppling the country‚’s sectarian political system, which the demonstrators blame for corruption and impoverishing the public. Protestors held banners reading “The people want to topple the sectarian regime,” and chanted “Revolution has arrived in Lebanon,” hoping to capitalize the wave of…

What are the implications of Middle East-North Africa unrest for the future of the Israel-Palestine peace process?
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – The current unrest in the Middle East and, in particular, the Egyptian revolution will have far-reaching effect on the Israel-Palestine peace process. The mood in the region has changed and demands are clear and simple. The domino effect triggered by the Tunisian revolution has yet to come to rest. To ignore the opportunity for real…

Protecting Palestine through Cultural Heritage
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – As the Palestine faces a 63-year-old occupation, focusing on culture can seem a peripheral concern. However, cultural heritage plays a key role in the process of nation building; it is regarded as a main resource for sustainable development, since it represents the history and the identity of the people and their territory. Museums play a…

Gaza: Hamas shut down unity protest by force
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – Gaza government security officers on Monday detained four protesters at a demonstration calling for national unity in Gaza City, organizers said. Nida‚’ Al-Watan (Call of Homeland), a group of Palestinian youths, used social networks to issue a call for demonstrations in Gaza and across the West Bank on February 28 to demand an end to…

Mousavi and Karroubi Transferred to Prison, Kaleme Reports
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – 2009 Iranian Presidential candidates and leaders of Iran‚’s reformist opposition movement, Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi and their spouses Zahra Rahnavard and Fatemeh Karroubi have been arrested and transferred to Heshmatiyeh prison in Tehran, according to the Kaleme website. Information on the time and date of the transfer is not yet available. The government…

Israeli Committee Rules that Fatal 2002 Bombing of Gaza Neighbourhood “Not Criminal”
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – The 2002 Israeli bombing of the Al Daraj neighborhood in Gaza that killed 15 Palestinians and left more than 100 injured has been ruled not criminal by Israel‚’s Special Investigatory Commission. According to the committee’s report, submitted to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday (27/2), though intelligence mistakes were made, none of the Israeli military…

Egypt imposes travel ban on Mubarak
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – Egypt’s general prosecutor has imposed a travel ban on former president Hosni Mubarak and his family pending further investigations. The prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud on Monday also ordered the freezing of all of their financial assets inside the country. “The decision today is acting on complaints received on wealth accumulated by former president and his…

Worker killed by Israeli troops in Gaza
Uruknet February 28, 2011 – Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian worker in the Gaza Strip on Monday, along the northern border of the coastal enclave, Palestinian medical sources told AFP. Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the territory’s Hamas-run medical services, said the man was shot by Israeli troops in an area north of Beit Lahiya. “A Palestinian worker…

Military Resistance: 9B 24 : “I Understood You…”
Uruknet February 27, 2011 – …It was easy enough to rename Mubarak Children‚’s Hospital the Al Tahrir Hospital in Gaza. Not so easy is the task of managing patients who need to cross over to the Egyptian side for treatment, or come back in. Crossing the border, even for medical treatment, has always been an arduous task. Through the period…

The Continual Struggle of al-Arakib
Uruknet February 27, 2011 – On 17 February 2011, the special police forces accompanied officials from the Israel Land Administration to demolish the Bedouin village of al-Arakib for the 18th time since 27 July 2010. There are 45 unrecognized Bedouin communities living in Israel‚’s Negev, and over the past seven months the ILA has targeted al-Arakib making life nearly impossible….

The National

Salaam Fayyad offers ‘pragmatic’ olive branch to Hamas
The National 1 Mar 2011 – The Palestinian prime minister Salaam Fayyad’s overture to Hamas did not make Israel or the US very happy, but he says he is confident his agenda will bring positive change.

Ehud Barak says Israel is willing to discuss peace with Syria
The National 1 Mar 2011 – Benjamin Netanyahu aide says Israeli defence chief’s words, ‘If the Syrian president really means it, then he will find us ready to talk,’ are those of the government

Booming population leaves Egypt’s rural poor desperate for change
The National 1 Mar 2011 – As Egypt’s rural population keeps growing, central role of government in the entire agricultural economy makes change at the top a focus of attention in the countryside.

Alternative Information Center

Israel Closing Karni Crossing into Gaza for “Security Reasons”
Alternative Information Center – The Karni crossing from Israel into the Gaza Strip will close permanently, as of mid-March, Israeli officials have announced. The bulk goods crossing, used mainly for the transport of wheat, animal feed and gravel into Gaza ,…

Israeli Committee Rules that Fatal 2002 Bombing of Gaza Neighbourhood “Not Criminal”
Alternative Information Center – The 2002 Israeli bombing of the Al Daraj neighborhood in Gaza that killed 15 Palestinians and left more than 100 injured has been ruled not criminal by Israel‚’s Special Investigatory Commission.

Israel Issues Eviction Orders to 600 Palestinian Bedouins in Jerusalem Area
Alternative Information Center – Hathem Abdel Qader, responsible for Jerusalem in the Fatah movement, warned yesterday of an Israeli plan to deport some 600 Palestinian Bedouin residents of the Wadi Abu Hindi area, located between the settlements of Maale Adumim…

AIC Video: Silwan Roof Take-Over
Alternative Information Center – Israeli soldiers have taken over the rooftop of a building in the heart of Silwan’s Baten el-Hawa neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger Endorses Boycott of Israel
Alternative Information Center – Folk music legend Pete Seeger has come out in support of the growing Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as a program for justice for Palestinians and a route to peace in…

Daily Star

Iran opposition says leaders jailed, judiciary official denies claim
Daily Star 28 Feb 2011 Iranian authorities have taken senior opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi to a prison in Tehran, a reformist website reported Monday. An unidentified judiciary official quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency swiftly denied…

Hamas security quashes rally as tensions mount at border
Daily Star 28 Feb 2011 Police in Gaza City stopped around 20 youngsters from holding a sit-in Monday to call for unity and end the split between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and the Fatah movement, on the same day Israeli troops killed…

Egypt seizes Mubarak family’s funds, bans members from leaving
Daily Star 28 Feb 2011 CAIRO: Egypt’s top prosecutor seized all the funds of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak and his family on Monday and banned them from travel abroad, the latest humiliation for the once-powerful family. It comes a day after…

Yemen opposition spurns unity offer
Daily Star 28 Feb 2011 SANAA/ADEN: Yemen’s opposition rejected an offer for a unity government Monday, saying it would stand with the tens of thousands of protesters demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule. The move came as…

The Guardian

Letters: Crying foul over criticism of Israel
The Guardian 28 Feb 2011 – Your letter ( The space where anti-Zionism becomes antisemitism , 24 February) quotes a few extreme cases of criticising Israel, as if they were the generality, in order to smear Universities UK with alleged antisemitism for daring to…

Hamas fights UN’s ‘poisonous’ Holocaust lessons in Gazan schools
The Guardian 28 Feb 2011 – Islamist group says it will do all it can to prevent inclusion of Holocaust in human rights curriculum at UN-run schools Hamas has vowed to stop the United Nations teaching children in Gaza about the Holocaust,…

Relief Web

UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees urges evacuation of people trying to leave Libya
Relief Web 28 Feb 2011 – Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees

PCHR Calls for Prompt Action to Enable Return of Thousands of Palestinians Stranded outside Gaza
Relief Web 28 Feb 2011 – Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Analysis: Concerns over rising violence in West Bank
Relief Web 28 Feb 2011 – Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: IOF Injure Palestinian Civilians Collecting Scrap North of Beit Lahyia Town
Relief Web 27 Feb 2011 – Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Stop The Wall

Fact sheet: the Apartheid Wall (2010)
Stop The Wall – The Apartheid Wall fact sheet provides basic information about the Wall, including location and costs as well as how the Wall is part of a network, which includes checkpoints, tunnels and settler roads. The fact sheet also explains the ghetto system and the position of the international community. It concludes with the repression of popular resistance to the Wall in 2010 as well as settlement expansion and settler violence. [

YNet News

IDF kills Palestinian in north Gaza
YNet News – For second time on Sunday, Israeli army strikes in Hamas-ruled territory; this….

Settlers: 15 injured in Havat Gilad
YNet News – Security forces that arrived at West Bank settlement at 4:30 am in order to….

Egypt bans Mubarak, family from travel
YNet News – Prosecutor says Mubarak family cannot leave country while under investigation…..

Knesset softens anti-boycott bill
YNet News – Bill revised to target only organizers of boycotts against Israel. MK Plesner:….

Report: IDF injured 2 in Gaza attack
YNet News – Palestinians say artillery fire at defunct airport caused moderate injury, IDF….

Clashes in J’lem, West Bank follow Havat Gilad razing
YNet News – Twenty-three right-wing activists were arrested Monday evening for blocking major intersections, burning tires and clashing with security forces in Jerusalem. The …….

Palestinian Information Center

Mishaal participates in Erbakan funeral procession
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – Khaled Mishaal is to take part in the funeral procession of Necmettin Erbakan, the former Turkish premier, and Saadet party leader in Istanbul on Tuesday, an aide to late Erbakan said on Monday.

Hamas slams Israeli intents to raze Palestinian real estate in Al-Khalil and J‚’l
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – Hamas strongly denounced the Israeli occupation state for intending to demolish Palestinian homes, a mosque and a school in Al-Ramadin area of Al-Khalil city and Al-Omara tower in Beit Hanina.

Israeli court extends detention of Sheikh Salah
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – The Israeli Magistrate court on Monday extended the detention of Sheikh Ra’ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, till Wednesday.

Israeli policemen detain 9 Palestinian boys including 7-year-old
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – Israeli occupation police rounded up nine Palestinian boys in Silwan and Ras Al-Amud in occupied Jerusalem on Monday including a 7-year-old child.

Red Cross to provide ‘necessary support’ to crippled health sector in Gaza
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – The Red Cross has promised to provide “necessary support” to the Gaza Strip’s health sector as medical challenges there have so far not turned for the better.

Rights group working to guarantee every last right of Jerusalem prisoners
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – A Jerusalem rights group has launched a wide-ranging campaign in coordination with world organizations to ensure that every last right of Jerusalem natives jailed in Israeli prisons is preserved.

Palestinian worker killed in IOF shooting
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – A Palestinian worker was killed in northern Gaza Strip on Monday after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at him while collecting gravel, medical sources reported.

Rioting settlers block roads, stone Palestinians near Nablus
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – Jewish settlers closed off roads around Nablus on Saturday morning and began stoning vehicles of Palestinians under the protection of Israeli soldiers.

Palestinian passengers appeal to Egypt’s army to facilitate their travel to Gaza
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – The Palestinian citizens stranded abroad appealed to the ruling military council in Egypt to issue directives to facilitate their return to the Gaza Strip.

Hamas slams Israel’s justification for its killing of civilians 9 years ago
PIC 28 Feb 2011 – Hamas denounced the Israeli occupation for acquitting killers of Al-Qassam leader Salah Shehadeh who was among dozens of children and civilians who were bombed during an aerial attack nine years ago.

Los Angeles Times

Beleaguered Yemeni leader has shown staying power
LA Times 28 Feb 2011 – Over the decades, President Ali Abdullah Saleh has managed to manipulate the shifting alliances among tribes and outflank his enemies to stay on top. But the pressure on him now is enormous. Having endured wars, rebellions and an ongoing battle with Al Qaeda, Yemeni President…

Refugees flee Libya amid bloodshed
LA Times 28 Feb 2011 – More than 100,000 Libya refugees have flooded Tunisia and Egypt, the U.N. says. Meanwhile, the EU places a weapons embargo on Moammar Kadafi’s regime. Moammar Kadafi’s loyalists appeared to have strengthened their grip on the Libyan capital, while chaos roiled much of the country and…

Egypt didn’t catch Obama by surprise, official says
LA Times 28 Feb 2011 – President Obama had been preparing for possible unrest in the Middle East and North Africa since August, says Dennis Ross, a top foreign policy official. But the speed of Egypt’s regime collapse was unexpected, he says. WASHINGTON — A top White House foreign policy official…

New York Times

Egypt Prosecutor Sharpens Case Against Mubarak
New York Times 28 Feb 2011 – The public prosecutor of Egypt imposed an international travel ban on former President Hosni Mubarak and his immediate family on Monday, as well as a freeze on their Egyptian assets.

Netanyahu Warns On Settlements
New York Times 28 Feb 2011 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu berated leaders of his Likud Party on Monday after they pressed him for more settlement construction.

Migrants in Israel Face Uncertainty, Despite Oscar
New York Times 28 Feb 2011 – An Oscar-winning film celebrated a school in south Tel Aviv, but many of its students face deportation under new rules.

Misc

Arab Democratic Revolution: Bringing It All Back Home—to Palestine
Tikun Olam – Larry Derfner wrote a suggestive column in the Jerusalem Post about what he hopes is the coming Palestinian democratic revolution. It got me to thinking about how such a thing might happen. Before I lay out my ideas I want everyone to understand that I do…

Israel preparing to deport star of Oscar-winning doc ‘Strangers No More‚’
Mondoweiss – It‚’s big news here in Israel that ” Strangers No More “— a documentary film that focuses on a South Tel Aviv school attended by zarim , Hebrew for foreigners or strangers—has won an Oscar. “Thank you most of all to the exceptional immigrant and refugee children…

More Israeli attacks on Gaza, rising violence in West Bank
Mondoweiss – And more news from Today in Palestine: Land, property, resources theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers Army orders home demolitions in Hebron and Jerusalem PNN 28 Feb — Jerusalem — PNN — The Israeli army issued demolition orders in East Jerusalem and Hebron on Monday for…

Mona Eltahawy‚’s speech signals shift in mainstream discourse that Zionists don‚’t want
Mondoweiss – Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy‚’s speech at the J Street conference was more than just another good speech—it‚’s a further indication of the shift in discourse on the Middle East following the uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and around the region. Slowly but surely, alternative narratives about the…

Pete Seeger endorses boycott of Israel
Mondoweiss – Below is a press release issued by Adalah-NY and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. For more background see these posts : Folk music legend Pete Seeger has come out in support of the growing Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as a…

US Palestinian Community Network to PA — ‘You‚’re fired‚’
Mondoweiss – Today in New York members of the US Palestinian Community Network will be serving a “notice of termination” to the Palestinian Authority at the Palestine Permanent Observation Mission to the UN. From a press release: On the heels of a people‚’s victory for freedom and democracy…

Protecting Palestine through Cultural Heritage
Palestine Monitor – As the Palestine faces a 63-year-old occupation, focusing on culture can seem a peripheral concern. However, cultural heritage plays a key role in the process of nation building; it is regarded as a main resource for sustainable development, since it represents the history and the identity…

The Israel Project on Arab Revolutions: ‘Good for the Jews?‚’
Tikun Olam – The Forward brings to us one of the most unintentionally funny articles of the week exploring how the Israel lobby is trying to get the Arabdemocraticrevolutions to work for Israel, rather than against it. Jennifer Lazlo-Mizrahi, married to the deputy head of Israel‚’s DC embassy and…

Israeli Public Inquiry: Shehadeh Assassination Justified
Tikun Olam – Salah Shehadeh and the sophistries of Israel’s public inquiry into his murder In 2002, after a smaller bomb failed to murder Salah Shehadeh , then Hamas military commander in Gaza, the IAF dropped a 2,000 pound bomb on a residential apartment building killing him and his entire…

Police crackdown against protests in Egypt, Oman
WSWS – Egyptian military police attacked and beat protesters Saturday in Tahrir Square, the focal point of the mass popular movement that forced the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak two weeks ago.

Misc 2

Breaking: Pete Seeger endorses BDS
Joseph Dana 28 Feb 2011 – From +972 Legendary folklorist, singer, songwriter and long time political activist Pete Seeger has officially announced his support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, a press release by the Israel Committee Against House Demolition (ICAHD) said today. According to the press release, Seeger, 91, took…

Israeli artist arrested in Nabi Saleh demonstration
Joseph Dana 28 Feb 2011 – After the village was attacked with tear gas and soldiers invaded on Friday, David Reeb , a well known Israeli artist and documentary filmmaker of the popular struggle, was arrested from inside a house in the village. According to reports from Israeli activists on the scene, “this…

Iran ‘arrests opposition leaders’
BBC 28 Feb 2011 – Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi are removed from their houses and taken to an undisclosed location, reports say.

Egypt issues Mubarak travel ban
BBC 28 Feb 2011 – Egypt’s public prosecutor issues a travel ban and freezes the assets of ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his family.

VIDEO: Israel’s concerns over Egyptian border
BBC 28 Feb 2011 – Israel shares a long border with Egypt, which before the fall of Hosni Mubarak, was considered a safe one

Articles


Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger Endorses Boycott of Israel
Adalah-NY, ICAHD, Alternative Information Center2/28/2011
Folk music legend Pete Seeger has come out in support of the growing Palestinian movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel as a program for justice for Palestinians and a route to peace in the Middle East.
Seeger, 92, participated in last November‚’s online virtual rally “With Earth and Each Other,” sponsored by the Arava Institute, an Israeli environmental organization, and by the Friends of the Arava Institute. The Arava Institute counts among its close partners and major funders the Jewish National Fund, responsible since 1901 for securing land in Palestine for the use of Jews only while dispossessing Palestinians. Although groups in the worldwide BDS movement had requested he quit the event, Seeger felt that he could make a strong statement for peace and justice during the event.
During a January meeting at his Beacon, NY home with representatives from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and Adalah-NY, Pete Seeger explained, “I appeared on that virtual rally because for many years I‚’ve felt that people should talk with people they disagree with. But it ended up looking like I supported the Jewish National Fund. I misunderstood the leaders of the Arava Institute because I didn’t realize to what degree the Jewish National Fund was supporting Arava. Now that I know more, I support the BDS movement as much as I can.”
Jeff Halper, the Coordinator of ICAHD, added, “Pete did extensive research on this. He read historical and current material and spoke to neighbors, friends, and three rabbis before making his decision to support the boycott movement against Israel.” Seeger has for some time given some of the royalties from his famous Bible-based song from the 1960s, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” to ICAHD for their work in rebuilding demolished homes and exposing Israel‚’s practice of pushing Palestinians in Israel off their land in favor of development of Jewish villages and cities. more.. e-mail

 

Will Palestinians topple govts if rivalry continues?
Bassam Abu Eid, Ma‚’an News Agency2/28/2011
BETHLEHEM (Ma‚’an) — With announcements of renewed unity efforts coming to naught once again, Palestinians see their dreams of dignity and independence crumbling into factional rivalry and have become increasingly resolute in their efforts to end division from the grassroots.
“The people want to end the division,” the organizing slogans in the West Bank and Gaza say, echoing the cries of “The people want the end of the regime” from Egypt to Tunis, Libya, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.
Feeding on revolutionary sentiments throughout the Middle East, civil society groups and independents have become more determined in their efforts to change the Palestinian paradigm.
“In the long run, Palestinian youth will explode in the face of political factions if they do not bring about change, but in the short run, the explosion will be in the face of the occupation, and the main tool for that will be social networks,” Fatah leader and adviser to the president Sabri Saydam predicted, “they will set dates and start major non-violent protests.”
Early Facebook groups, however, were divided along factional lines, with groups in Gaza calling for the overthrow of the West Bank regime, and in the West Bank groups encouraged demonstrations against Hamas.
Saydam did not believe that youth groups would continue to fracture under party lines, however, saying “Despite expectations that Palestinian youth would explode in the face of all factions, youth have come to consensus under one slogan, ending rivalry and focusing on national unity.”
The official said that so far, factions had “not got the message,” and were ignoring young people. more.. e-mail

Abbas running out of options
Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly1/24/2011
Amid vast regional transformations, pressure is mounting for the Palestinian president to reconcile with Hamas and stand up to the Israeli occupation.
There was good reason for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, his advisers and Fatah leaders to be worried. Contrary to all expectations, a large number of those who took part in the massive demonstrations on the streets of Ramallah demanding an end to internal divisions were from Shabiba, Fatah’s student movement. What was particularly disconcerting for Abbas and his aides is the clear demand of demonstrators not to return to negotiations and to end all forms of security cooperation with the Israeli occupation. Instead, all efforts should be invested in reaching national reconciliation with Hamas.
“Everything has come to a halt,” Khaled Eissa, a Fatah activist told Al-Ahram Weekly. “Negotiations have reached a dead end; the US mediator has abandoned us in an insulting and shameful manner, and great changes are underway in the Arab world which do not serve the political platform of our group. We must change our course entirely.”
Aisha Hassan, a university student who is a Fatah supporter, believes that President Abbas should make the next move and go to the Gaza Strip to end divisions once and for all. “This is a moment of truth for Abbas,” Hassan told the Weekly. “It is certain that continuing negotiations and relying on the US is suicide, not only for the president but for Fatah as a whole.”
Majed Abu Shamala, a leading Fatah figure and member of the group’s bloc in parliament, called on Abbas to sponsor a national dialogue by inviting parliamentary blocs to initiative direct discussions inside parliament. Abu Shamala argued that regional developments demand “Palestinian-Palestinian dialogue” to “reach appropriate formulas to end divisions, and work to bring the Palestinian cause back to the top of the agenda of the Arabs and the world. more.. e-mail

Arab pride reborn through revolution
Electronic Intifada: 28 Feb 2011 – The “Jasmine Revolution” in Tunis, “January 25 Revolution” in Egypt and the ongoing uprisings in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain are the true Arab awakening, for they are being led by the people and for the people.more

Interview: Jordan revoking citizenship from Palestinian refugees
Electronic Intifada: 28 Feb 2011 – Palestinians in Jordan constitute both the majority of the kingdom’s population, and the largest Palestinian refugee community in the world. EI contributor Hazem Jamjoum spoke to Anis F. Kassim, an international law expert and practicing lawyer in Jordan to clarify what is known about the situation of Palestinian citizenship rights in Jordan.more

Protecting Palestine through Cultural Heritage
Palestine Monitor: 28 Feb 2011 – As the Palestine faces a 63-year-old occupation, focusing on culture can seem a peripheral concern. However, cultural heritage plays a key role in the process of nation building; it is regarded as a main resource for sustainable development, since it represents the history and the identity of the people and their territory. Museums play a dual role: firstly, in protecting the archeological treasures of the country and secondly, in exhibiting and interpreting it the wide public. The Ramallah Museum actively contributes to the conservation and management of the cultural heritage of the city and area of Ramallah. Located in the old town, the museum’s building was originally the private home of the Al-Zaro family, a native Christian family of the city. The basement was built in 1820, while the upper two floors were added in 1910. In 1995, the family moved to America and the Municipality considered destroying the house….more

Palestine Papers Revealed Nothing: A Response to Ramzy Baroud
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2011 – By Saeb Erekat In his article entitled ‘Till September: The PA’s Meaningless Deadlines’ , dated February 26, Ramzy Baroud fails to present the real picture of the Palestinian situation today. Characterizing the Palestinian leadership as a “self designated Palestinian leadership in the West Bank”, Mr. Baroud wittingly ignores some facts while distorts others. In fact, it was Hamas that has refused until this day to sign the Egyptian brokered reconciliation agreement. The so called “Palestine papers” have not revealed a single official agreement or document that offers concessions. Rather the majority of the documents were internal draft summaries of meetings taken in shorthand and intended for personal use only. Moreover, Baroud‚’s failure to differentiate between official positions and explorations or polemical rhetoric during the course of negotiations shows a lack of knowledge or a deliberate distortion. A responsible and careful reading of the minutes and official Palestinian positions reveals that Palestinian…more

Empire of Lies: Why Our Media Betrays Us
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2011 – By Jonathan Cook – Nazareth Last week the Guardian, Britain’s main liberal newspaper, ran an exclusive report on the belated confessions of an Iraqi exile, Rafeed al-Janabi, codenamed ‘Curveball’ by the CIA. Eight years ago, Janabi played a key behind-the-scenes role — if an inadvertent one — in making possible the US invasion of Iraq. His testimony bolstered claims by the Bush administration that Iraq‚’s president, Saddam Hussein, had developed an advanced programme producing weapons of mass destruction. Curveball‚’s account included the details of mobile biological weapons trucks presented by Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, to the United Nations in early 2003. Powell‚’s apparently compelling case on WMD was used to justify the US attack on Iraq a few weeks later. Eight years on, Curveball revealed to the Guardian that he had fabricated the story of Saddam‚’s WMD back in 2000, shortly after his arrival in Germany seeking…more

Open Letter to Congress: Study War Some More
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2011 – By Steve Breyman Dear 112th Congress: You are surely as inspired by events in Cairo, Tunis, and Benghazi as the rest of us. And you are surely as distressed by events in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as your fellow Americans. Now is as good a time as any to face a grim fact: you and your recent predecessors are abject failures at one of your most important constitutional responsibilities—dealing with war. But you can still redeem yourselves, and do your constituents and your country a historic good turn in the meantime. The Constitution requires you to declare, provide for, budget, and oversee war and the forces necessary for it. There are few if any analysts who believe you ably perform these duties. Instead, with the exception of funding, you‚’ve ceded much of this authority to a succession of presidents from both parties only too eager to supplant you. And with…more

Revolutionary Upheavals in the Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2011 – Bu Mohamed El Moktar The momentum of the current events is amazingly bewildering; it is all the more so when the contagion is spreading at a never-before-seen pace conferring a historical dimension to the unfolding revolutionary upheavals brewing these days all over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The psychological barrier of fear shackling the minds for so long has finally been completely shattered. Fed up with decades of corruption and oppression, threats and intimidations, peoples have reached the utmost limits of their humanly possible patience. They have had more than enough with the asphyxiating status quo and its unbearable effects. All that was needed, in this context of morally undignified existence, was a trigger mechanism; and that hurriedly came from the least expected quarter and in the form of the most spectacularly symbolic, albeit desperate, human act: the daring self-immolation of a young Tunisian street vendor called Mohamed…more

Bahrain Bleeds for Liberty
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Feb 2011 – By Mamoon Alabbasi — London Just before the Arab revolt erupted across the region there was much talk about how minorities in the Middle East we being mistreated. Of course such concerns were not unfounded, but many vocal critics never really cared for finding real solutions nor did they give much attention to the plight of minorities elsewhere around the world. In fact, they often were the very same people who encouraged abusing minorities in Europe and the US. Minorities in the Arab world continued to suffer. However, what has really been missed was that the majorities in most Arab countries felt they were discriminated against more than anyone else. The signs were always there but few bothered to report it till the uprisings that swept the region left no room for doubt. In Bahrain, a persecuted majority has literally been bleeding for equality and now, after days of anti-regime…more

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