VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 20 May, 2011: PCHR Weekly Report: 2 children killed, 144 civilians wounded this week by Israeli forces

20 May, 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli Military On Alert After Friday Prayers
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 14:49, According to Israeli media group, YNet, the Israeli military has been employed to the border with Syria in the Golan Heights and declared the area a restricted military zone. The action was taken in fear of a repeat of last Sunday’s Nakba demonstrations in which thousands of Palestinian refugees marched to the Israeli border in Lebanon and Syria demanding a right of return to their homes. YNet reports that the measure is in effect until midnight tonight.

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 children killed, 144 civilians wounded this week by Israeli forces
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 08:31, In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for the week of 12-18 May 2011, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights found that two Palestinian children were killed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Abbas Calls For Urgent Meeting To Discuss Obama’s Speech
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 06:47, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, called on Thursday evening for an urgent meeting between Palestinian political leaders, and for consultations with Arab leaders, to discuss the speech of U.S. President, Barack Obama.

Abu Zuhri: “Obama’s Speech Shows Political Failure”
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 06:10, Dr. Sami Abu Zuhri, media spokesperson of the Hamas movement, stated that the speech of U.S. President Barack Obama, only shows failed U.S. policies that indicate political failure, and added that the Arab nation does not need Obama’s lessons in democracy while he even refuses to denounce the ongoing Israeli occupation, and expressed ongoing support to Israeli crimes.

Army Invades Madama Village, Imposes Curfew
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 05:37, Israeli soldiers invaded on Thursday at night that Madama village, south of the northern West Bank of Nablus, and imposes curfew placing all residents under house arrest.

Hamas Slams Israel’s Approval Of 1500 Units For Settlers Near Jerusalem
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 04:07, The Hamas movement strongly denounced an Israeli decision to approve the construction of additional 1500 units for Jewish settlers in Pisgat Zeev and Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.

Us President Obama: “Palestinians Have the Right to a Contiguous State”
IMEMC – Friday May 20, 2011 – 02:49, During his long-anticipated speech to the State Department on Thursday, US President Barack Obama repeated a statement made by his predecessor, George W. Bush, that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and a contiguous state.

Ma’an News

Soldiers fire on protesters near Gaza border
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces fired on protesters in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, medical officials said. One protester was injured in the incident east of Khan Younis, medics told Ma’an. The protester was taken from Abasan village to the European Hospital for treatment, they said. An Israeli military….

Activist: 25 arrested after Nakba protests
5/20/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s army has arrested 25 Palestinians from the West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Hebron in the aftermath of protests marking the Palestinian Nakba, or catastrophe, officials said Thursday. Jacqueline Al-Fararjeh, during a visit to Etzion prison, said Abed Al-Aziz Ash-Shuweiki and Amjad Husein Hadad were harshly beaten by….

Israeli army imposes curfew on Nablus village
5/20/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers invaded a village south of Nablus Thursday night and imposed a curfew, officials said. The troops entered Madama shortly after two Molotov cocktails were thrown at a military jeep, the army said. Soldiers in jeeps used loudspeakers to order stores to shut down, said Ihab Al-Qut, head of the….

2 children hurt in Hebron explosion
5/20/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Two children were seriously injured Friday when leftover Israeli ordnance exploded south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron, Palestinian medical officials said….

IHH: New fleet of Gaza siege-breakers to sail in June
5/20/2011 – ISTANBUL (AFP) — A flotilla of 15 ships will sail in the last week of June, seeking to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip, a year after a deadly Israeli raid on a similar fleet, a Turkish co-organizer NGO said Friday.” Our vessels will embark in the last week of June. Currently we have 15….

Activists: 6 detained at Bethlehem anti-wall rally
5/20/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained six protesters at a rally Friday in Al-Mas’ara near Bethlehem, activists said. Soldiers detained local popular committee member Jum’a Yousef Zawahra, 40, committee spokesman Muhammad Hasan Barejieh, 35, Karim Yousef Zawahra, 29, two Israeli activist and a French protester, the committee said. A delegation….

Gaza border closed Friday and Saturday
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities have announced that Gaza’s main borders will be closed Friday and Saturday. Liaison official Raed Fattouh told Ma’an that Israeli authorities informed Palestinian officials that Kerem Shalom would be closed for the weekend but open again Sunday as usual. Some 300 truckloads of humanitarian….

Radio: Israel increasing state of alert on borders
5/20/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s military is increasing a state of alert in Jerusalem and deploying more forces at its Syrian and Lebanese borders, Israel Radio reported Friday….

Israel on alert fearing Nakba day ‘repeat’
5/20/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s army is on high alert in Jerusalem in case of incidents at prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, officials said Friday. However, there “is no specific information about acts that could disturb public order” being planned, the police department in Jerusalem said, according to Israel radio. Meanwhile, Israeli forces….

Israel shuts down Golan over protest fears
5/20/2011 – MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights (AFP) – Israel boosted security in the Golan Heights on Friday, sending troops and police to the northern region and denying access to non-residents, the military and an AFP photographer said. The military deployed additional troops, setting up temporary checkpoints to restrict access to the area amid fears that protesters could repeat….

Palestinian factions react to Obama’s speech
5/20/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — As President Mahmoud Abbas called an urgent meeting to discuss US President Barack Obama’s speech on the Middle East, several Palestinian factions dismissed the US leader’s remarks as evidence of Washington’s bias toward Israel. An official Palestinian response will be formed after an emergency session….

FSB: Israeli ‘spy’ sought info on Russia-Arab arms trade
5/20/2011 – MOSCOW (AFP) — The Israeli military attache expelled from Moscow was trying to obtain details about Russia’s arms trade with the Arab world, the country’s powerful Federal Security Service said Friday. Russia’s foreign ministry said that Soviet-born Colonel Vadim Leiderman was “caught red-handed” while trying to receive secret information on….

Qassam operative killed in training accident
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An operative for Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, Muhammad Ramadan, 23, from Khan Younis in southern Gaza, died Friday in a training accident, the armed wing said in a statement….

Netanyahu rejects Obama’s call to return to 1967 borders
5/20/2011 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bluntly told President Barack Obama Friday that Israel could not accept his call to return to its “indefensible” 1967 borders to forge peace with the Palestinians. In a dramatic Oval Office appearance after two hours of talks, which ran considerably over time, Netanyahu warned that a “peace based….

Doctors say they will escalate strike
5/20/2011 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — The doctors union will escalate its strike Sunday if demands are not met, a statement said Thursday. After a meeting on Wednesday, officials said doctors would work only from 8-11 a. m. Wednesday and the next two Sundays. The statement called on the health minister to resolve the dispute between…. Related: Thousands of nurses on strike in hospitals

Thousands of nurses on strike in hospitals
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — More than 6,000 nurses are on strike protesting a financial and administrative dispute. Head of the nurses union Mu’tasem Salah said all nurses in the public sector are carrying out a sit-in strike over unfulfilled promises from the government six years earlier. Before holding elections for the union…. Related: Doctors say they will escalate strike

Obama, Netanyahu meet amid borders row
5/20/2011 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Barack Obama opened White House talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday, as both men waged a public row over the shape of an elusive peace with the Palestinians. Netanyahu arrived at the White House with the two leaders embroiled in another spat, the latest to test their tense relationship….

1 injured after soldiers fire on Gaza protesters
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces opened fire on a protest near the border on Friday afternoon, injuring a Palestinian man east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said…. Related: Soldiers fire on protesters near Gaza border

Lebanese journalist visits West Bank
5/20/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — A sports journalist from Lebanon visited the occupied West Bank on Thursday, in what is believed to be the first such trip since Israel seized the territory in 1967. Ali Saqer of the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal visited the Arab American University in Jenin and met with officials from the Palestinian sports….

Abbas awards Palestine Star to Amr Moussa
5/20/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas has awarded Amr Moussa the Palestine Star on conclusion of his role as secretary-general of the Arab League, officials said Friday. Palestinian Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki said Abbas granted the medal to Moussa in appreciation of his brave and supportive stances toward Palestinians as leader….

World backs Obama Palestinian plan as Israel digs in heels
5/20/2011 – PARIS (AFP) — Key global players Friday backed US President Barack Obama’s call for a Palestinian state including land lost in the 1967 war as Israel insisted there could be no return to “indefensible” borders. As Obama’s vision was welcomed by the European Union, the United Nations, Russia, the Palestinians and parts….

PLC members visit Gaza released prisoners
5/20/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation of lawmakers on Thursday visited the homes of two Gaza detainees who were recently released from prison. Ahmad Bahar visited the house of released detainee Atef Hassan, who spent 18 years in prison, and Sa’ed Al-Yazji, released after seven years. The delegation expressed support for the….

Aljazeera

Netanyahu: No return to 1967 borders
AlJazeera 20 May 2011 – Israeli leader says Obama’s call for future Palestinian state based on 1967 borders would leave country “indefensible”

Ahmadinejad oil ministry move ‘illegal’
AlJazeera 20 May 2011 – Iran’s constitutional council rules out president’s self-appointment as caretaker oil minister.

Syrian protests draw deadly fire
AlJazeera 20 May 2011 – Boy, aged 11, among at least 27 dead, witnesses say, in latest day of protest against Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Saleh calls for early Yemen elections
AlJazeera 20 May 2011 – Yemeni leader’s call for polls comes a day after pledging again to sign GCC-sponsored deal to end his decades-long rule.

Palestine News Network

Obama and the Arab Spring
PNN – By Fadi Abu Sa’da ‚Äì “Events of the past six months show us that strategies of repression and strategies of diversion will not work anymore.” US President Barak Obama said in his…

Concern in Israel and Close Follow-Up to Reactions on Obama’s Speech
PNN – By Munjed Jadou ‚Äì PNN Editor in Chief- Soon after President Obama speech Israeli media agencies entered phase of constant coverage like Israeli politicians, responding to all statements far and near, responding,…

Abbas Calls For Urgent Meeting To Discuss Obama?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Speech
PNN – By Saed Bannoura – Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, called on Thursday evening for an urgent meeting between Palestinian political leaders, and for consultations with Arab leaders, to discuss the speech of U.S….

President Obama Tries his Cairo II Speech
PNN – By Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh – In follow-up to the very successful 15 May events (the beginning of the global uprising), activists around the world called for a day of protests Friday (tomorrow)….

PCHR Weekly Report: Israeli Attacks Kills Two Palestinians
PNN – Gaza ‚Äì PNN/PCHR ‚Äì Last week’s Israeli military attacks killed two Palestinians, according to the weekly report of the Palestinian Center of Human Rights (PCHR). The report, which documents daily human rights…

 

International Solidarity Movement

Palestinian testimonies about settler attack in Tuba
5/20/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Christian Peacemaker Teams – Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has released a video of Palestinian testimonies about the recent settler invasion in the village of Tuba. On 16 May, shortly before midnight, Israeli settlers invaded Tuba, damaged property, and stole and injured several sheep belonging to the Ali Awwad family. Members of the Ali Awwad family reported…. Related: Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine Projects

Relief Web

Statement by Middle East Quartet, 20 May 2011
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: Middle East Quartet Country: Israel , occupied Palestinian territory SG/2174 The following statement was issued by the Middle East Quartet ( United Nations, Russian Federation, United States, European Union): The Members of the Quartet are in full agreement about the urgent…

Gaza: no end in sight to hardship and despair
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: ICRC Country: occupied Palestinian territory Mathilde De Riedmatten, deputy head of the ICRC’s sub-delegation in Gaza, talks about the situation in the coastal enclave and about how ordinary Gazans manage to carry on with their daily lives. How would…

The Worst Forms of Child Labour, Education and Violent Conflict
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: International Labour Organization Country: Angola , C?¥te d’Ivoire , General , Lebanon , occupied Palestinian territory , Pakistan , Senegal 1. Introduction This paper has been prepared as a background document for the 2011 Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report which will have a…

UN chief welcomes US President’s speech on Middle East and North Africa
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: UN News Service Country: Israel , occupied Palestinian territory 20 May 2011 ‚Äì Welcoming United States President Barack Obama’s speech yesterday on recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reiterated his own support for the…

Palestine refugee health as much at risk today as in 1950, says new report
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory 20 May 2011 Jerusalem Palestinian refugees today face increasing health risks, even after decades of improvement through UNRWA’s health programme, according to a…

Conf?©rence de presse sur le 60?®me anniversaire de la Convention de 1951 sur les r?©fugi?©s et le 50?®me anniversaire de la convention de 1961 sur la r?©duction des cas d’apatridie
Relief Web 20 May 2011 – Source: UN Department of Public Information , UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: General , Myanmar , occupied Palestinian territory ¬´ La c?©l?©bration du cinquanti?®me anniversaire de la Convention de 1961 sur la r?©duction des cas d’apatridie doit ?™tre l’occasion de sortir la…

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas Calls for Leadership Emergency Meeting over Obama speech
20 May 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – President Mahmoud Abbas called Thursday for an emergency meeting for the Palestinian leadership to discuss what came in the speech by US President Barack Obama, according to PLO member Saeb Erekat.

The National

Deadlock as Israeli PM visits Obama
The National 20 May 2011 – Barack Obama, the US president, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, conceded there were differences in their positions on how to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Syria’s suffers ‘another bloody Friday’
The National 20 May 2011 – As anti-government demonstrations entered a third month in Syria, the number of protesters grew in strength and rallies spread across the country.

Lebanon braces for an influx of Syrian refugees
The National 20 May 2011 – A community leader in Wadi Khaled places the number of refugees at about 5,000 people who fled from nearby Syrian towns including Tel Kalakh and Al Arida.

Saleh calls for early elections as tens of thousands of Yemenis protest
The National 20 May 2011 – President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in power for 33 years, stopped short of setting a date for the elections.

‘Disappointed’ Netanyahu arrives in US for talks
The National 19 May 2011 – The Israeli prime minister is expected to address security concerns following the US president’s speech, which called for a return to 1967 borders.

Yemen’s Saleh calls for early presidential election
The National 19 May 2011 – The embattled president, who has held the office for 33 years, told supporters that the election, to be conducted “in a democratic way”, was intended to avoid further bloodshed.

Ha’aretz

Netanyahu tells Obama: Israel cannot go back to the 1967 borders
Ha’aretz – Comments in front of press comes day after U.S. president’s Mideast policy speech called for negotiations for two-state solution based on 1967 lines.

U.S. official to Haaretz: Netanyahu focus on 1967 borders missing the point
Ha’aretz – In an interview with Haaretz, a senior U.S. official says Netanyahu’s reaction to Obama’s Mideast speech may lead to a situation in which 187 countries vote for the recognition of a Palestinian state at the General Assembly and two oppose.

‘Obama-Netanyahu meeting very useful and productive’
Ha’aretz – Netanyahu aide says talks went better than the PM had anticipated; U.S. Press Secretary Jay Carney says length of closed meeting ‘indication of how productive and constructive’ talks between U.S. president and PM were.

U.S. denies allegations of ‘furious’ Clinton-Netanyahu exchange
Ha’aretz – U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirms U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Thursday, however, claims was ‘a frank and cordial exchange reflecting their close relationship’.

UN Chief, Quartet stand behind Obama call for deal based on 1967 borders
Ha’aretz – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says U.S. president offered important ideas in Middle East speech that could propel peace talks forward; Mideast Quartet voices ‘strong support’.

Carlo Strenger / Netanyahu has nothing to fear but hope
Ha’aretz – We can expect Netanyahu to do everything but what he should during his visit to Washington, attempting to torpedo the recognition of Palestine and doing nothing to bring about acceptable Israeli borders.

27 killed in protests across Syria including 10-year-old boy
Ha’aretz – Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators rally in numerous Syrian cities, defying security forces deployed to quell uprising.

Iran: United States ‘biggest loser’ in Middle East unrest
Ha’aretz – Secretary general of Iran National Security Council says ‘Islamic awakening pushed America to desperation and dead end’, faults support of Israel and former leaders of Egypt, Tunisia.

European officials back Obama on 1967 borders for Palestinian state
Ha’aretz – Following Obama’s Middle East speech, German chancellor and EU foreign policy chief express support for basing peace deal on 1967 borders.

Ahead of meeting with Obama, Netanyahu says ‘there are things that can’t be swept under the carpet’
Ha’aretz – Obama does not understand the reality of Israel’s situation, senior Israeli official says on Friday.

Obama to aides: Netanyahu will never do what it takes to achieve Mideast peace
Ha’aretz – Comment reported in New York Times comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Jerusalem over the U.S. President’s backing of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.

Obama speech will assist UN recognition of Palestinian state, Egypt official says
Ha’aretz – Egyptian envoy to the UN says U.S. President’s support of a Palestinian state within 1967 borders crucial, adding that Cairo was pressuring Hamas to accept Quartet Mideast peace principles.

Strauss-Kahn released from jail on $1 billion bail as IMF battle heats up
Ha’aretz – Fallen IMF chief to stay at ‘temporary location’ in New York leading up to trial; France’s Lagarde leads race for new IMF chief while emerging nations want end to Europe’s grip on top job.

Google bought Modu’s patents for NIS 17 million
Ha’aretz – Google won an online auction process, besting bids from U.S. company Silent River and Canadian wireless technology compnay Wi-Lan.

Mekorot inaugurates desalination plant as water crisis continues, says minister
Ha’aretz – New plant can treat 20,200 cubic meters of water per day.

Sisyphus had it easier: A visit to the mobile operators
Ha’aretz – A comparison of the customer service of Israel’s mobile operators.

Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu rejects any Israeli return to the 1967 lines
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Obama and Netanyahu meet, discuss range of issues in Middle East; Obama says Hamas not a partner for negotiations; both leaders acknowledge differences in their positions concerning Palestinian issue.

Analysis: Obama-Netanyahu: Not everything is personal
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Some would chalk up current difficulties in US-Israeli relationship to lack of chemistry or fondness between the two leaders. But they’d be wrong.

PA to Obama: Put a stop to PM’s blatant peace refusal
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Abbas spokesman calls for US pressure on Netanyahu to return to “real peace” process based on two-states; issues to be decided in talks, not press statements.

Obama’s failure to internalize Palestinian intolerance
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – David Horovitz, Comment: The president’s new parameters show him blind to the significance of the demand for a “right of return.”

At least 30 dead after forces fire at crowd in Syria
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Crowds come under fire in at least 2 protests in Homs; rights group says largest demonstration since uprising began being held in Banias.

Mideast Quartet supports Obama’s vision for peace
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – International group says that talks must move forward on basis of “territory and security, mutual agreement on all core issues.”

Kuwait elected to UNHRC in Syria’s stead
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Syria’s place on the slate was taken over by Kuwait, received 166 votes in favor, the least number of votes received by any of the 4 Asian winners.

Obama’s words will be used as weapons
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Even though the President’s speech was riddled with seemingly pro-Israel notions, it marked a radical departure from American policy regarding the conflict until now.

This Week in History: Napoleon is repelled from Acre
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Frenchman’s plans for conquer are foiled by stone walls and British war ships, despite a vain attempt to win over local Jews with an early iteration of Zionism.

Ami Ayalon: Obama speech offers ‘opportunity’ for Israel
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Former Shin Bet chief presents his take on a two-state solution; “we don’t see settlers as the enemy.”

Mountain or Molehill?
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Obama’s remarks reflect only minor semantic shifts in what has actually been America’s position since the Clinton administration.

Analysis: What rankled Netanyahu in the Obama speech
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – A surprised, irritated prime minister feels the US president has sent out exactly the wrong message.

At least 21 dead after forces fire at crowd in Syria
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Crowds come under fire in at least 2 protests in Homs; rights group says largest demonstration since uprising began being held in Banias.

Syrian forces fire into crowds as thousands protest
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Crowds come under fire in at least 2 protests in Homs; rights group says largest demonstration since uprising began being held in Banias.

Livni: PM is jeopardizing Israel’s relationship with US
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Opposition leader says Obama’s speech is pro-Israel, not reason enough for Netanyahu to challenge the US.

Erekat: Israeli gov’t is sabotaging peace process
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – PA slam plan to build new homes in Har Homa, Pisgat Zeev; official says Israel determined to undermine Obama attempts to revive talks.

Tradition Today: When leaders become criminals
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – In religious circles, we must remind ourselves that although holiness is the goal, it cannot be attained without righteousness.

US court orders Iran to compensate terror victims
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Court awards family of man killed in 2003 J’lem bombing, family injured in 1995 Gaza bombing, both carried out by Iran-backed terror groups.

Palestinians bemoan failure to exploit social media
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – West Bank bloggers awed by Arab Spring revolution launched by Facebook, encourage use of social networks.

TA lawyer charged with paying mob in Scientology bomb plot
Jeruslalem Post 20 May 2011 – Gor Finkelstein is suspected of paying 7 alleged Jaffa mobsters to bomb the Scientology Center building in Jaffa for financial gain.

Security and Defense: Outfenced
Jeruslalem Post 19 May 2011 – The IDF had geared up for Nakba protests on the Lebanon border and in the West Bank. Majdal Shams? Nobody expected trouble near there…

At odds with Washington
Jeruslalem Post 19 May 2011 – The question of Hamas goes to the root of whether the Palestinian leadership is truly prepared to reconcile itself to the fact of Jewish sovereign rights in the Middle East.

The Guardian

Netanyahu and Obama long way apart over Middle East peace plans
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – US and Israeli leaders at odds over 1967 reference, leaving Obama to discuss issue with Cameron in London Barack Obama failed to resolve the rift with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the Middle East peace…

Netanyahu’s outrage at Obama’s Middle East speech is synthetic
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – US presidents from Clinton onwards have used Israel’s 1967 borders as a basis for talks Barack Obama’s citation of Israel’s 1967 borders may have triggered a political storm about the Middle East peace process ‚Äì but…

Barack Obama has passed the buck on Palestine | Carlo Strenger
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – He may have backed a two-state solution for the Palestinian territories and Israel, but Obama has left the hard work to the UN Binyamin Netanyahu is angry, and it is easy to understand why. He is…

Obama and Netanyahu set for tense meeting after president’s ‘1967’ call
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – ‚Ä¢ Israel PM alarmed at new US stance on Palestine peace deal ‚Ä¢ Netanyahu seeks return to George Bush’s 2004 commitment Barack Obama is to meet Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, at the White House in…

Israelis and Palestinians react to Obama’s speech – video
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – Israelis and Palestinians respond to US president Barack Obama’s speech on the two-state solution

Barack Obama throws US support behind Arab spring – video
The Guardian 20 May 2011 – In a televised speech on the Middle East, the US president set out the shape for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and criticised the regimes in Syria and Bahrain

 

Uruknet

[uruknet.info] Details Emerge of America’s Secret Oil War with Russia
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – U.S. diplomats scored a silent victory last month when the Italian oil company Eni and Russian energy giant Gazprom postponed a deal to share a large claim to Libyan oil. The State Department can’t take credit, however, as the two companies based their decision to shelve the arrangement was based on the violence in…

[uruknet.info] NATO targets Libyan vessels at 3 ports
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – Libyan authorities denounced the strikes and said four of the five vessels were coast guard boats that hadn’t left the port since March, when NATO began its bombing campaign. None were involved in hostile activity against the alliance, said Commandant Omran Forjani of the Libyan coast guard. The frigate had also been in port…

[uruknet.info] Gaza: no end in sight to hardship and despair
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – The ICRC is concerned about the fact that the 1.5 million people in the Strip are unable to live a normal and dignified life. Almost no one can leave the Gaza Strip, not even to go to the West Bank, where many Gazans have family or previously had work. Health-care facilities are suffering from…

[uruknet.info] Pirates of the Mediterranean
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – … The outrageous call by Gen. Sir Richard Davis the other day to bomb everything in Libya illustrates what lurks beneath the veneer of civilization. And believe me, Gen. Sir Davis comes from a long line of pirates stretching all the way back to the 16th century and the reign of Elizabeth I when the…

[uruknet.info] Video: Palestinian testimonies about settler attack in Tuba
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) has released a video of Palestinian testimonies about the recent settler invasion in the village of Tuba. On 16 May, shortly before midnight, Israeli settlers invaded Tuba, damaged property, and stole and injured several sheep belonging to the Ali Awwad family. Members of the Ali Awwad family reported that they…

[uruknet.info] Iraqis flee violence in Syria, return home
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – It’s easy to identify the Iraqis fleeing the violent uprising in Syria as they arrive by bus in Baghdad. They’re the ones carrying a sad array of worldly possessions: blankets and mattresses tied with cord; TVs and curtain rods; boxes once filled with food from the UN’s refugee agency now packed with clothes and…

[uruknet.info] In meeting with Obama, Netanyahu rules out Israeli withdrawal to 1967 boundaries
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggested Friday that President Obama holds an unrealistic view of how to achieve peace in the Middle East, saying that Israel would never pull back to the boundaries that the American president said a day earlier must be the basis for negotiations. The unusual Oval Office exchange, following a…

[uruknet.info] At least 30 shot dead in Syria
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – Syrian security forces shot dead at least 30 demonstrators today during protests that broke out across the country in defiance of a military crackdown which has killed hundreds of people, a rights activist said. Other activists reported demonstrations across Syria, from Banias and Latakia on the Mediterranean coast to the oil producing region of…

[uruknet.info] 1400 Syrians fled to Lebanon during last week, UNHCR
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – UNHCR and partners are working with the Lebanese government in the border areas of Wadi Khaled and Tall Bire in northern Lebanon to help families who have fled the violence in Syria in recent weeks. According to local Lebanese leaders some 1,400 people have crossed into the Wadi Khaled and Tall Biri regions over…

[uruknet.info] At least 21 Syrian protesters ‘shot dead’
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – Syrian security forces shot dead at least 21 people, including a child, as pro-democracy protests swept the country on Friday after weekly prayers, with demonstrators pressing on with calls for more freedom in defiance of a fierce crackdown, activists said. The child and eight other people were killed in the central city of Homs…

[uruknet.info] Obama’s Middle East Hypocrisy
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – …Obama’s speech dripped with hypocrisy, another example of policy belying rhetoric, exposing America’s longstanding alliance with Israel for regional dominance. Saying “(i)t will be the policy of the US to support reform throughout the region” is code language for business as usual. Adding that “(w)e face a historic opportunity (to) show that America values…

[uruknet.info] Soldiers fire on protesters near Gaza border
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – – Israeli forces fired on protesters in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon, medical officials said. One protester was injured in the incident east of Khan Younis, medics told Ma’an. The protester was taken from Abasan village to the European Hospital for treatment, they said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the army confirmed…

[uruknet.info] The serious questions raised by the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair
Uruknet May 19,2011 – The arrest of French financier and politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York City on sexual assault charges and his continued imprisonment is a disturbing event with far-reaching implications. Strauss-Kahn is the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), perhaps the most powerful global capitalist financial institution, and a prominent figure in the French Socialist…

[uruknet.info] America’s Student Loan Racket: Soaring Default Rates
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – An earlier article discussed Permanent Debt Bondage from America’s Student Loan Racket”. It explained government/corporate complicity to rip off students for profit, a racket continuing under Obama. His July 2010 Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act perpetuated the scam. It enriches providers, entrapping millions of students permanently in debt, because rising tuition and fee…

[uruknet.info] Obama Officials Refuse to Investigate New Evidence in National Guard 1970 Kent State Shootings
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Three days after President Barack Obama visited Ground Zero in New York City on May 5th with his message of “justice being done” with the slaying of terrorist Osama bin Laden, disturbing news broke about this administration’s blocking of a quest for justice in the infamous May 1970 killing of four Kent State students….

[uruknet.info] Historian writes of pleasure’ at murder of pro-Palestinian activist
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Not that Vik needs anyone’s defense, and so there’s no need to respond to the specific claims, but I just wanted to register how pathetic this Jewish Chronicle article by Geoffrey Alderman is: Few events – not even the execution of Osama bin Laden – have caused me greater pleasure in recent weeks than…

[uruknet.info] On the arrest and extradition of Joaquin Perez Becerra
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – The arrest and extradition (23rd April 2011) by Venezuelan authorities to Colombia of Joaquin Perez Becerra, a Swedish citizen, militant, journalist, author and director of the internet information network ANNCOL (New Colombia), constitutes an important and revealing development. This militant was handed over to a blood-soaked regime by a government and a leader that…

[uruknet.info] Egyptian revolution reconsidered
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Although the Egyptian revolution succeeded in ousting the Mubarak regime, it has not yet managed to uproot the ills of its culture, value system and prevailing modes of behaviour. In this sense, therefore, it remains “half a revolution”, or more precisely, a “revolutionary act” that still needs follow- through towards completion. During the past…

[uruknet.info] Clouds of repression over my release Free Bassem Tamimi – Free Naji Tamimi
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Slowly breathing in the newly gained air of freedom into my lungs was the first thing I did when I finally stepped out of the Israeli military prison. As you may know, I was recently released from prison, where I was held for nearly a year and a half for the crime of organizing…

[uruknet.info] Military Resistance 9E 12: Can’t Find My Way Home
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Already struggling to avoid a debt default that could seal Greece’s fateas a financial pariah, this Mediterranean nation is also scrambling to containanother threat – a breakdown in the rule of law [translation: a breakdown in thelaw of the financial dictatorship of the capitalists, used to keep people down.] Thousands have joined an “I…

[uruknet.info] Palestinians reassert right of return
Uruknet May 20, 2011 – There was a special aura characterising this year’s Nakba anniversary on Sunday, 15 May. Unlike previous years, when the Nakba was commemorated with rhetoric but very little else, this year witnessed a determined reassertion of the centrality to the Palestinian cause of the right of return. “In the past, we were relating to the…

[uruknet.info] Congressional leaders agree on four-year extension of PATRIOT Act
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Congressional leaders agreed on Thursday to extend three expiring provisions of the controversial PATRIOT Act for four years. Sources told the Associated Press that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner agreed to call for a vote to extend the provisions before May 27, when they are set to expire, with…

[uruknet.info] Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12- 18 May 2011)
Uruknet May 19, 2011 – Summary: Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (12 – 18 May 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian children. One of the children was willfully killed in Jerusalem while the other, who is mentally diabled, was killed in the Gaza Strip…

Daily Star

NATO says Libya airstrikes have crippled Gadhafi’s forces
Daily Star 20 May 2011 NATO’s bombing campaign in Libya has crippled the government’s ability to attack rebels fighting to topple Moammar Gadhafi and managed to force him into hiding, the alliance said Friday.

Netanyahu rejects Obama’s call to return to 1967 borders
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday bluntly rejected President Barack Obama’s vision for the borders of a future Palestinian state, opening up one of the deepest divides in years between Washington and the Jewish state.

34 Syrians die in relentless protests
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Syrian security forces shot dead at least 34 people Friday, including a child, as pro-democracy protests swept the country, with demonstrators pressing on with calls for more freedom in defiance of a fierce crackdown, activists said.

Army denies it is forcefully sending Syrian refugees home
Daily Star 20 May 2011 A Syrian was charged Friday with campaigning against the Syrian regime and endangering Lebanon’s security, as the army denied that it was forcefully repatriating Syrians in the north of the country.

Hezbollah slams ‘rudeness’ in Obama’s speech
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Hezbollah lashed out at U.S. President Barack Obama Friday over the speech on the Arab uprising that he delivered the day before, asking how Obama could call for reform when the U.S. is allied to dictators.

Feltman makes the rounds
Daily Star 20 May 2011 It was not accidental at all for the visit of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman to Beirut to coincide with President Barack Obama’s speech Thursday on the fast-moving developments in…

New American policies coming, embassy says
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The coming weeks will see change in U.S. policies toward the Middle East materialize in line with a key address by President Barack Obama, a U.S. diplomat in Lebanon said Friday.

Israel steps up border security fearing fresh demonstrations
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Israel boosted security on its border with Lebanon Friday amid fears that protesters could repeat demonstrations that saw thousands of Palestinians march toward a security fence on Nakba Day.

Security inspection ignites Roumieh prison violence
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Seven members of the Internal Security Forces were severely injured as they tried to seize weapons, cell phones and drugs from inmates at Roumieh prison Friday.

Feltman conveys new American policy
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The international community will assess its relationship with any Lebanese government based on the makeup of the next Cabinet.

North, South Sudan trade blame over Abyei attacks
Daily Star 20 May 2011 North and South Sudan’s armies Friday accused each other of launching attacks in the contested Abyei border region, marking an escalation of tensions in the countdown to the South’s independence in July.

U.N., EU, Russia back Obama’s Mideast vision
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The United Nations, European Union and Russia gave strong backing Friday to President Barack Obama’s vision for achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Egypt’s military prosecution questions journalists
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Military prosecutors summoned and then released the editor and two journalists of an independent newspaper for reporting on an alleged deal to offer amnesty to ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

2 Gaza protesters wounded by Israeli fire as Jewish state sends troops to Golan Heights
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Two young Palestinians were wounded in Gaza Friday when Israeli troops opened fire at a protest near the border fence, a medical source said.

Saleh calls for early election as Yemenis protest
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has agreed to sign a Gulf-brokered power transition, called Friday for early elections to prevent bloodshed as three months of protests raged on in the fractious country.

Thousands call for sacking of government in Jordan
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated Friday across the kingdom, calling for regime reforms as well as the sacking of what they called the corrupt and oppressive government.

Authorities set up shelters for Turkey quake victims
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Turkish rescue workers and soldiers scrambled Friday to set up tents to shelter hundreds of people left homeless after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake damaged buildings in western Turkey, killing at least three people.

Iraqis flee violence in Syria, return home amid uncertainty
Daily Star 20 May 2011 It’s easy to identify the Iraqis fleeing the violent uprising in Syria as they arrive by bus in Baghdad.

Disputes ‘between friends’: Obama, Netanyahu at WH
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The Israeli leader said he would make some concessions but Israel would not go back to the lines from decades earlier because they would be “indefensible.”

Syrian ambassador says Obama speech unsurprising
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Ali Abdel-Karim Ali says U.S. president’s speech would not satisfy Arab citizens, and shows the country’s bias toward Israel.

Al-Akhbar sacks more than 20 employees
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Reasons for firing of staff, mostly from pro-Hezbollah newspaper’s Middle East desk, unclear.

Syrian troops fire during protests, 27 killed
Daily Star 20 May 2011 A human rights activist says Syrian security forces have killed at least 17 protesters during demonstrations across the country.

1,400 fled to Lebanon to escape Syrian unrest in week: UNHCR
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Some 1,400 Syrians, many of them women and children without belongings, crossed the border with Lebanon last week to join many more who have fled the unrest at home, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

U.N. to assist Syrians fleeing into Lebanon as crackdown intensifies
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The U.N. High Commission for Refugees is working with the Social Affairs Ministry to assist Syrian refugees in Lebanon, as Syria’s crackdown on protesters in towns near the Lebanese border intensifies.

Israel boosts border security over protest fears
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Israel boosted security on its border with Lebanon Friday amid fears that protesters could repeat demonstrations that saw hundreds of Palestinians march toward a security fence Sunday.

Israeli ‘spy’ sought info on Russia-Arab arms trade
Daily Star 20 May 2011 The Israeli military attache expelled from Moscow was trying to obtain details about Russia’s arms trade with the Arab world, the country’s powerful Federal Security Service (FSB) said Friday.

Protests held in several Syrian cities: witnesses
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Pro-democracy protests erupted in several Syrian towns and villages on Friday after the weekly Muslim prayers, with demonstrators holding olive branches and calling for more freedom in defiance of a brutal crackdown, witnesses said.

Iraqis flee violence in Syria, return home
Daily Star 20 May 2011 It is better to die in our own country than to die abroad, said Zeena Ibrahim, a 33-year-old pregnant mother of two.

Feltman discusses Cabinet formation, Lebanon-Syria border security
Daily Star 20 May 2011 President Michel Sleiman and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman discuss the four-month standoff, and the situation on Lebanon’s borders.

Riot at Roumieh prison contained
Daily Star 20 May 2011 Two soldiers wounded as inmates riot over search operation to confiscate sharp objects said to have been obtained during reconstruction efforts after last month’s unrest at the prison.

YNet News

PM: Issues cannot be swept under rug
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Netanyahu arrives in DC ahead of meeting with US president, reportedly enraged….

Syria: Obama speech offered nothing new
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Damascus says US president ‘arrogant,’ fails to understand meaning of democracy;….

PA slams new plans for Jerusalem construction
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Palestinian officials denounce Israeli plan to build 1,550 housing units on….

Area adjacent to Syrian border declared restricted zone
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – GOC Northern Command gears for possible demonstrations near border fence, closes….

US adds Gaza militant group to terror list
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Gaza-based Army of Islam, linked to Shalit abduction, now officially on….

Behind the scenes: Obama snubs Netanyahu
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Sources privy to political atmosphere prior to US president’s Mideast policy….

US court: Iran must compensate terror victims’ families
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – Washington court slaps Iran with $600 million in punitive damages for families….

Republicans side with Israel: Obama speech dangerous
YNet News, 20 May 2011 – US president’s opposition slams his Mideast policy speech, says he ‘threw Israel….

Netanyahu associate: Obama detached from reality
YNet News, 19 May 2011 – Prime minister’s associate slam US president’s speech, says ‘he didn’t deliver….

Hamas: Obama speech total failure
YNet News, 19 May 2011 – Hamas doesn’t need democracy lessons from American president, terror group says….

Netanyahu says ‘No’ to 1967 borders
YNet News, 19 May 2011 – Prime minister expects Obama to reaffirm Bush pledges, whereby settlement blocs….

Construction of 1,550 Jerusalem homes OK’d
YNet News, 19 May 2011 – Message to Obama? Construction in contentious Jerusalem neighborhoods approved….

Palestinian Information Center

Third Intifada announces Naksa day, a day for allegiance to Jerusalem
PIC – The organizers behind the popular “third Palestinian intifada” have said that pledges were taken by activists who marked Nakba Day to continue the path of peaceful protest until liberation.

IOF troops raid Palestinian homes just to “get acquainted”
PIC – IOF troops raided on Thursday a number of Palestinian homes in the northern West Bank city of Nablus to “get acquainted” with their residents.

Families of captives call for an end of strip searches
PIC – Families of Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails called on human rights organisations to pressure occupation to end the policy of strip searching captives’ relatives during prison visits.

Assaf: No orders yet from Abbas to security apparatuses to stop unpatriotic acts
PIC – Khalil Assaf said Thursday that the PA security forces haven’t received any orders from the political echelon to stop political arrests in the West Bank.

Israeli settlers plan to build three settlements near O. Jerusalem
PIC – The Hebrew yedioth Ahronoth newspaper has unveiled Thursday that a group of rightist Israelis announced they would build three new settlements near occupied Jerusalem.

Kahloot: cutting of doctors’ salaries against reconciliation trend
PIC – Dr. Atef Al-Kahloot has strongly condemned the decision of the PA in Ramallah of stopping the salaries of nine Palestinian doctors who decided to return to work in the Gaza Strip..

Because of his support for Palestinians, his facebook page is deleted
PIC – The management of the social networking website facebook has deleted the official page of footballer Marcelo Vieira da Silva J??nior only days after expressing his support for the Palestinians..

Khatib: Athan will remain despite attempts to silence it
PIC – The deputy head of the Islamic Movement in the 1948-occupied Palestinian lands said Thursday that the Athan will continue to be recited through mosque loudspeakers despite Israeli attempt to stop it.

Islamic Jihad: Obama’s speech an attempt to market illusions
PIC – The Islamic Jihad movement described the speech of US president Barak Obama on Thursday as “exhibitionist and a renewed attempt to market illusions.”

Hamas: Obama’s speech confirms that Washington remains biased to occupation
PIC – Hamas criticised what US president Barak Obama had to say with regard to the Palestine issue during his speech on Thursday and described it as blatantly biased in favour of the Zionist occupation.

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

Abu Rudeineh: Netanyahu Has Turned Down Obama’s Initiative
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

Finkelstein in March on Israel’s Cairo Embassy
Intifada-Palestine: 20 May 2011 – “Norman Finkelstein joined some Egyptian youth activists in their most daring and adventurous attempt to breach the heavy security cordon around the Israeli embassy in Cairo, break into the embassy and take down the Israeli flag” “Some argue that Egypt has… more

If Arab Spring threatens Israel, why does Saban support it?
Intifada-Palestine: 20 May 2011 – by Maidhc ?ì Cathail “The test of a first-rate intelligence,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” When it comes to… more

Look East to China the Next Bin Laden
Intifada-Palestine: 20 May 2011 – “Hillary is now moving China into the role of Emmanuel Goldstein. Hate has to be mobilized, before Washington can move the ignorant patriotic masses to war.” by Debbie Menon PC Roberts has a keen knack for seeing things and fitting them… more

Los Angeles Times

Yemen’s leader calls for early vote
LA Times 20 May 2011 – President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s move throws into question a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council under which he would step down within a month and be granted immunity. Critics are skeptical that he will leave office. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Friday called…

NATO targets Kadafi vessels at 3 ports
LA Times 20 May 2011 – NATO says the airstrikes came after it observed Libyan government vessels threatening alliance ships and mining sea lanes off the city of Misurata. A series of NATO airstrikes on Libyan government vessels left ships burned, battered and sunk in three ports Friday as the alliance…

Obama makes a blunt push for Middle East peace
LA Times 19 May 2011 – The president hails the pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, but has tough words for Israel and the Palestinians, urging them to negotiate a deal and stay ahead of the wave of popular unrest. President Obama plunged back into efforts to restart Middle East peace…

New York Times

Divisions Are Clear as Obama and Netanyahu Discuss Peace
New York Times 20 May 2011 – In a meeting with President Obama, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel listed a series of nonnegotiable conditions for a deal with Palestinians.

Palestinian Sees Prospects of Deal Receding
New York Times 20 May 2011 – Nabil Shaath, a leader of the Palestinian president’s party, said President Obama’s speech had “contained little hope for the Palestinians.”

News Analysis: For U.S., Matching Moral and Financial Support for Revolts Proves Difficult
New York Times 20 May 2011 – President Obama left open how far the U.S. could go in matching its enthusiasm with concrete steps to support a transformation in the Middle East.

Syrian Protesters Defy Crackdown and Gain Momentum
New York Times 20 May 2011 – Thousands of Syrians took to the streets in what appeared to be a dangerous turn in the uprising. Rights groups said 26 people were killed by security forces.

The Hot-Money Cowboys of Baghdad
New York Times 20 May 2011 – Iraq is still very dangerous, though not dangerous enough to scare off investors with an appetite for risk.

Misc

Netanyahu has nothing to worry about
Mondoweiss – Israeli PM Netanyahu has expressed dismay about President Obama’s Middle East speech. Bibi supposedly was outraged that Obama mentioned the pre-1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations. Netanyahu has complained that Mr. Obama has pushed Israel too far – a point driven home during a…

Young Jews come to DC to challenge right-wing Israel lobby group Aipac as part of Move Over AIPAC protests.
Jewish Voice for Peace –

On a NY stage, four strong characters seek out the meaning of Gaza and the Arab spring
Mondoweiss – Last night we had an event about Gaza in Manhattan with the Culture Project . It was so great and affirming that I was up most of the night savoring the experience. It was in a grand hall in midtown Manhattan, it was sold out, people actually…

‘Obama gave a speech? Really? As if I care’ ‚Äì Egypt’s Hossam El-Hamalawy
Mondoweiss – and other news from the Arab uprisings: Bahrain Amnesty International: Bahrain’s ‘revenge drive’ against protesters Amnesty International researcher Said Boumedouha criticizes the ongoing detention and trials of pro-reform activists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_1A9G1LW6Q&feature=player_embedded Bahrain wants to expand military bases (Reuters) Reuters – Bahrain floated the idea of expanding military…

With one signal — 1967‚Äì Obama decides to take on Netanyahu on the Arab Spring
Mondoweiss – I’m sure I misinterpreted the power-politics aspect of Obama’s speech yesterday. For players this speech boiled down to one word, Obama’s reference to the 1967 lines, and the signal he has sent with that word that he will not back Israel through thick and thin in…

Challenging Pastor Hagee on his home turf: “We caught him off guard…with just our thoughts and our courage.”
Mondoweiss – On May 15, a group of San Antonio-based community organizers disrupted a service at Pastor John Hagee’s Cornerstone Church dedicated to celebrating Israel. The Christian Zionist Pastor Hagee has sent tens of millions to Israeli organizations , including illegal settlements and the far-right McCarthyite student group Im…

Denial is a River Running Right Past Bibi’s Door
Tikun Olam – You’ve heard the old joke that denial is a river in Egypt. Well, in Bibi Netanyahu’s case it’s a river runnin’ right past his door. The NY Times reports in a follow up to Obama’s speech that Bibi was furious that Obama planned to underscore U.S….

Welcome Palestinian Unity (Originally Published in the International Herald Tribune)
Palestine Monitor – The Israeli government regrettably does not seem to realize what a unique opportunity the Palestinian unity agreement provides. – Articles & Analysis / 4th-col-1st-article , Occupation , Arab Spring

Russia seeking more Israeli drones but…
Neged Neshek – Flight International is reporting that Russia is considering more Israeli UAVs for its arsenal. “Following first deliveries of [Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI)] BirdEye-400 and Searcher-2‚Ä? drones, Russia is looking at additional IAI models, likely from the Heron family. Russia has already purchased Aeronautics Defense Systems’ Aerostar (…

Misc 2

AAI President Jim Zogby Comments on Obama, Netanyahu Meeting
Arab American Institute 20 May 2011 – Arab American Institute President Jim Zogby comments on today’s meeting between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Foreign Office Minister: Settlement activity should stop
Middle East Monitor 20 May 2011 – Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt comments following Israel’s announcement that 1500 additional settlements will be built in East Jerusalem. UK Foreign Minister Alistair Burt said: “I am deeply disappointed with Israel’s announcement on 19 May to build up to 1500…

Palestine in the Obama speech
Middle East Monitor 20 May 2011 – With a better track record of positive action, Barak Obama could have returned to Cairo to deliver his latest speech on the Middle East. Having failed to deliver on his many promises, however, he chose to speak instead from the US State Department. No one had…

Palestinian Ministry destroys illegal settlement products
Middle East Monitor 20 May 2011 – The Palestinian National Economy Ministry in Ramallah has seized and destroyed consumer goods and produce from illegal Israeli settlements worth more than $140,000. The products were seized from the West Bank’s northern governorates in the first four months of 2011. In a press release, the Ministry…

Palestinians and Arabs “no longer accept partial solutions”
Middle East Monitor 20 May 2011 – The Secretary General-elect of the Arab League has said that the Palestinian and Arab people “no longer accept provisional notions or partial solutions and proposals which aim to prolong the peace process without a clear time frame”. Dr Nabil Elaraby, who is currently Egypt’s Foreign Minister,…

The Atlantic has not heard of the joint struggle in the West Bank
Joseph Dana 20 May 2011 – Something caught my eye when looking through photos on The Atlantic of the Nakba day demonstrations which engulfed the West Banks and Israel’s border areas lastSunday. Image 16, reprinted below, carries the following caption: Two Palestinian men struggle after being overcome by tear gas fired during…

Families of captives call for an end of strip searches
Sabr 20 May 2011 – [ 20/05/2011 – 01:21 PM ] RAMALLAH, ( PIC )— Families of Palestinian captives in Israeli occupation jails called on local and international human rights organisations to pressure occupation authorities to end the policy of strip searching captives’ relatives during prison visits. The families said that prison administrations…

Hadarim prisoners face harsh sanctions after mobiles found in searches
Sabr 19 May 2011 – [ 19/05/2011 – 08:36 AM ] RAMALLAH, ( PIC )— Heavy sanctions have been imposed on Palestinians held at the Israeli Hadarim prison after mobile phones were seized during search raids. Sanctions were harsh, the Palestinian Prisoner Society said. They included crackdowns and isolation as well as the…

Obama admits Israel ‘differences’
BBC 20 May 2011 – US President Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu admit “differences” on the path to Mid-East peace, after talks in Washington.

Syria forces ‘kill 30 protesters’
BBC 20 May 2011 – Syrian security forces have shot dead at least 30 people as mass protests have again swept across the country following Friday prayers, activists say.

Syria eyewitness
BBC 20 May 2011 – Protests unlikely to die down, reporter hears

(en) Ireland, Cork Protests The British Queen’s Visit
A-infos 20 May 2011 – Spin and window-dressing were the order of the day this afternoon in Cork where a heavy-handed police presence ensured that the British Queen’s visit to the city could be presented to the outside world as ‘positive and welcoming’ and ‘a real Irish welcome’. A sizeable protest…

(en) Ireland, Report on the March on the banquet of the British and Irish elite in Dublin castle
A-infos 20 May 2011 – British Queen’s Dublin Castle banquet protested by a few hundred as Garda harass activists —- About 250 people took part in the ?©ir??g?? organised march on the banquet for the British Queen staged in Dublin castle Wedensday night. WSM* members joined the demonstration but Garda had…

Articles


How Obama Demolished Palestinian Chances for Statehood
Gideon Levy, CounterPunch5/20/2011
Doing Netanyahu’s Work for Him
Benjamin Netanyahu may as well have canceled his trip to Washington: Barack Obama did the work for him, or most of it. But the prime minister is already on his way, so he should at least send to the White House a big bouquet of flowers.
Netanyahu can sit back and relax. It’s not that Obama didn’t say clear, firm words on the Middle East; it’s just that most, if not all, of them could have been said by Netanyahu himself, who would then go on doing as he pleased.
The 1,500 new apartments in Jerusalem will be built, speech or no speech. The real test for that speech, as for any other, is what happens next, and the suspicion is that nothing will happen at all.
Obama didn’t say a word about what will happen if the parties disobey him. This was the king’s speech, but the king already appears a little naked. Considering America’s weakness, and the power of Congress and the Jewish and Christian lobbies working on behalf of the Israeli government, the Israeli right wing can relax and go on doing what it does.
Yesterday, the U.S. president demolished the Palestinian’s only accomplishment so far – the wave of international support for recognition of statehood in September. September died last night. After America, Europe too will have to withdraw its support; hopes have ended for a historically significant declaration at the United Nations.
The Palestinians are left once again with Cuba and Brazil, while we get to keep America. Here’s another reason for a sigh of relief in Jerusalem: No diplomatic tsunami is forthcoming, the United States is sticking with Israel. more.. e-mail

 

My Political Rupture With AIPAC
Mike Gravel, CounterPunch5/20/2011
Israel Harms Palestinians (And Itself)
My concern for the Israeli-Arab conflict is a personal one. I was raised in a Jewish neighborhood — three synagogues within three blocks of our home in Springfield, Mass. — which sensitized me to Jewish culture and history. As a young student of world affairs, I closely followed the history of the Holocaust and Israel’s birth in Palestine.
On the other hand, I also had a close boyhood friend whose family had roots in Syria and Lebanon; they exposed me to the local Lebanese community. The Middle East conflict was part of my global political awakening
During my 12 years in the U.S. Senate I enjoyed the support of a number of Jewish organizations, most notably the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the preeminent “pro-Israel” lobbying organization. For a time, I had a perfect voting record in support of Israel.
On several trips to Israel and the Middle East, I developed contacts at the highest levels of the Israeli government and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). These trips were discouraging; the possibility of peace seemed unattainable — until the courageous leadership of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat emerged.
My political rupture with AIPAC occurred over a vote for military aid to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel. This legislative package of aid was put together by the White House primarily to shore up support for Sadat in the Middle East. AIPAC opposed the package and hoped to muster enough congressional opposition to pressure the White House to stop the military aid package to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. more.. e-mail

Analysis: The Nakba continues
Rashid Shahin, Ma’an News Agency5/17/2011
Nakba, in Arabic, simply means “catastrophe” or “tragedy.”
For Palestinians, it is the most tragic nightmare to happen to a whole nation in modern history.
The irony is that while Palestinians commemorate the 63rd anniversary of their catastrophe, the Palestinian exodus, Israelis celebrate what they call “Independence Day.”
Their independence was achieved by expelling the Palestinian people. Over 700,000 citizens were forced out of their homes, more than 400 cities, towns and villages were evacuated, dozens of towns and villages were demolished and many massacres were committed against innocent people. Thousands of elderly people, men, women and children were killed.
Israel was founded on May 15 1948, after decades of hostility and confrontations between Palestinians — who were living peacefully in their homeland — and Zionist immigrants, who were brought from different parts of the world to Palestine.
Under the United Nations partition plan, resolution 181 was adopted on November 29 1947.
The resolution stated that 56.47 percent of Palestinian land would be given to the Israeli state, and 42.88 percent would be left for the state of Palestine, while Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be placed under special international protection.
The resolution also called for the withdrawal of the British mandate forces by August 1 1948, while the two independent states would be established by October 1 1948. more.. e-mail

Around the world, film festivals put focus on Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 20 May 2011 – The Electronic Intifada As Palestinians across the world commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba — the forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland in 1947-48 — activists in North America and the UK launched another season of local film festivals that illustrate and emphasize the Palestinian experience.more

Welcome Palestinian Unity (Originally Published in the International Herald Tribune)
Palestine Monitor: 20 May 2011 – The Israeli government regrettably does not seem to realize what a unique opportunity the Palestinian unity agreement provides. – Articles & Analysis / 4th-col-1st-article , Occupation , Arab Springmore

Let Obama Be Clear, But Can He?
Palestine Chronicle: 20 May 2011 – By Lina Sawan When Hillary Clinton introduced Barack Obama’s long-awaited speech on Middle East policy to the State Department on Thursday May 19, her introduction pinpointed the purpose of the highly-anticipated speech, or what may come to be regarded as Obama’s flattest public offering yet. Clinton stressed the “sophisticated understanding” that the US has of its role in the world and managed to present it as a feature of the current administration. This claim was made for both international and local consumption in spite of, or maybe due to, the historical fact that the US administration was seen to be surprised and confused by both the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. It was, after all, Clinton who had declared on the eve of the Egyptian revolution on January 25th that the Government of Egypt was “stable”, thus becoming a shining example of American gaffes in MENA policy. Mrs Clinton’s short introduction…more

Qalqiliya: A Day at the Zoo
Palestine Chronicle: 20 May 2011 – By Stephen Williams It’s the little things that distinguish the longest military occupation in modern history; the minor inconveniences, the trivial acts of spite, the Kafkaesque bureaucracy, its sheer silliness. There we were, a Palestinian family and their UK guest on the way from Ramallah to Qalqilya. For the children, it was to be a day at the zoo in the park; for me, it was the opportunity to see the “bottle” in which Qalqiliya exists , and to pass through its “neck”, surrounded by illegal settlements – a situation that is manifestly bizarre but tolerated by the rest of the world. The young IDF soldier, emerging from an unexpected checkpoint not far from Nablus, was to play his part in this Theatre of Absurdities. My presence intrigued him. “Where do you live?” he asked. He was delighted to learn that I was a Londoner; “I’m from London too,” he said….more

The Palestinians’ Existential Struggle
Palestine Chronicle: 20 May 2011 – By Hasan Afif El-Hasan The US media intentionally missed an opportunity to provide its public with insightful analysis to the essence of the Palestinian refugees peaceful demonstrations to commemorate the Nakbah ‘catastrophe’. The US media reported thousands of Arab protesters marched on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza sparking clashes that left at least 15 people dead in “an annual Palestinian ritual mourning the anniversary of Israel’s birth.” Many reporters echoed the Israeli accusations that Damascus and its ally Iran orchestrated the unrest. The US media and majority of US public do not seem to take account the plight of the Palestinians during the Nakbah when the Israeli fighters expelled 750,000 Palestinians from their homes. Israel has been depicted as David when it had become Goliath since its establishment. And the US Christian right believes that the Jews are supposed to have the Holy Land to fulfill God’s promise…more

Why Does Saban Support Arab Spring?
Palestine Chronicle: 20 May 2011 – By Maidhc ?ì Cathail ‘The test of a first-rate intelligence,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, ‘is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.’ When it comes to what’s been dubbed the ‘Arab Spring,’ most Middle East analysts pass Fitzgerald’s test with flying colours. Hardly anyone would dispute the claim that Haim Saban cares deeply about Israel. After all, the Egyptian-born Israeli-American media mogul has admitted to the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.” A New Yorker profile last year elaborated: “His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His ‘three ways to be influential in American politics,’ he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets.”…more

Unity is Not Compromise: Towards a Real Palestinian Strategy
Dissident Voice: 20 May 2011 – As the Palestine Papers demonstrated, the major obstacle to a real, lasting and just peace in Palestine is the Israeli leadership’s unwillingness to accept anything less than full domination over the Palestinians. Not only do Israeli leaders refuse to partake in any serious peace talks, they also refuse to agree on universally accepted notions, for example, the law. On 13 November 2007, then Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni told chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Ereikat that she despised the very notion of law. According to the Palestine Papers, published by Al-Jazeera and the Guardian, Livni said: “I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer… But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general.” Livni is often contrasted with current rightwing Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu, and has been described as a “dove” when compared to him. This unfounded reputation caused many broken hearts when Netanyahu became…more

If Arab Spring Threatens Israel, Why Does Saban Support It?
Dissident Voice: 20 May 2011 – “The test of a first-rate intelligence,” F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote, “is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” When it comes to what’s been dubbed the “Arab Spring,” most Middle East analysts pass Fitzgerald’s test with flying colours. Hardly anyone would dispute the claim that Haim Saban cares deeply about Israel. After all, the Egyptian-born Israeli-American media mogul has admitted to the New York Times , “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.” A New Yorker profile last year elaborated : His greatest concern, he says, is to protect Israel, by strengthening the United States-Israel relationship. At a conference last fall in Israel, Saban described his formula. His ‘three ways to be influential in American politics,’ he said, were: make donations to political parties, establish think tanks, and control media outlets. The think tank part…more

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