VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 June, 2011: Savvy flotilla prep in full swing at Athens port

22 June, 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Ross: “Israel Must Remain Jewish State”
IMEMC – Thursday June 23, 2011 – 04:54, Dennis Ross, senior aide to American President, Barack Obama, stated during a speech in Jerusalem, Wednesday, that all steps must be taken to ensure that Israel “remains a democratic and Jewish State”.

Israeli Forces Bulldoze Business Near Jenin
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 15:46, The Ma’an News Agency reports that ten workshops have been destroyed by Israeli forces in Barta’a ash-Sharqiya near Jenin.

B’Tselem Show Increase In Israeli Residential Demolitions In the West Bank. Many In The Last Week.
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 15:12, Israeli human rights organization, B’Tselem, has released figures showing a steep rise in the number of Israeli housing demolitions in the West Bank compared to 2010 and 2009.

Fayyed Says He Will Not Stand In The Way Of Unity
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 14:49, Current Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Sallem Fayyed, has said that he will not stand in the way of national reconciliation but declined to say that he would step down from the position of PM in the new interim government in order to achieve consensus between Fatah and Hamas.

Israeli Army Invades Multiple Towns in the West Bank, Resulting in One Arrest
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 13:13, The Israeli military placed two flying checkpoints in Beit Sahour Wednesday morning. The raids did not result in any major incident. In Hebron, however, one Palestinian civilian was abducted after the town was invaded, according to PNN and Maan news agencies.

UNRWA Appeal For Funds To Support Palestinian Refugee’s
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 12:32, Jordan’s Prime Minister Marouf al Bakheet and the UNRWA’s Commissioner General Filippo Grandi appealed for monetary aid to appeal for finances to fund the UNWRA’s work among Palestinian refugees. In a speech to the UNRWA’s advisory council the two warned of instability if services to the regions 3.6 million Palestinian refugees were not continued.

Israeli Military Stop Christian Leader From Visiting Central Hebron
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 12:25, A visit to Hebron, in the southern West Bank, by the Archbishop of Jerusalem, Fuad Twal, was cut short on Monday when Israeli forces stopped the Archbishop from entering the central city.

Israel Strikes Underground Tunnel In Gaza
IMEMC – Wednesday June 22, 2011 – 11:56, The Israeli air force attacked an underground tunnel running from the Gaza strip into Israel. According to military officials the strike was in response from a rocket fired from the Gaza strip into the Nagev. Neither incident caused death or injury.

Ma’an News

10 wood-coal workshops demolished near Jenin
6/22/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers began to remove Wednesday several wood-coal workshops in the Jenin-area town of Barta’a Ash-Sharqiya, located inside the Green Line but separated from its neighbors by Israel’s separation wall. Along with the destruction of the workshops, Israeli forces confiscated a number of the heavy machinery and….

After 4 years, Bil’in says wall route being moved
6/22/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Observers said Wednesday that the Israeli military had began dismantling a portion of the separation wall in the village of Bil’in, six years after the high court declared the route of the wall illegal. A statement by local activist group the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, however, said the new….

Israeli forces set up flying checkpoints in Bethlehem
6/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two flying checkpoints were installed by Israeli soldiers in Bethlehem on Wednesday morning, stopping cars and checking ID cards of drivers two kilometers south of the Nativity Church. An Israeli military spokesman said the checkpoints were “routine military activity,” despite a 2009 decision which handed total civil and security control to….

Israeli settlers attempt take over of Jerusalem home
6/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Beit Safafa family said several members were brutally beaten by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning, in an attack that was said to have lasted four hours starting just after midnight. The Zawahra family lives adjacent to an Israeli settler outpost known as Giv’at Hamtous, located in a Palestinian….

B’Tselem: Sharp increase in home demolitions
6/22/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — In the first six months of 2011, a report from the Israeli rights group B’Tselem said Wednesday, Israeli forces have demolished more homes than in the 12 months of the year before.”Last week alone, 33 residential structures were demolished in the Jordan Valley and southern Hebron hills,” the…. Related: B’tselem

Airstrike hits central Gaza overnight
6/22/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — The Israeli military reported Wednesday morning the launch of an airstrike on the central Gaza Strip overnight. The air force targeted a “terror tunnel,” which it said could have been used “to infiltrate into Israel and execute terror attacks.”Medics have not reported injuries. The military said that the….

4 on hunger strike in Israel’s Ramon prison
6/22/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Ramallah Prisoners Society said Wednesday that four Palestinians detained in Israel’s Ramon prison had begun a hunger strike earlier in the week, demanding to be let out of their cells. The strike, which was said to have begun Saturday, was initiated after prison guards in Ramon had refused….

Savvy flotilla prep in full swing at Athens port
6/22/2011 – ATHENS, Greece (Ma’an) — Non-violence training and anti-sabotage measures are in place for the volunteers, activists and media arriving in Athens as the Freedom Flotilla II prepares to sail to Gaza. In hopes of preventing sabotage which organizers said docked two boats from the 2010 flotilla, the ships for the June voyage have been….

EU convenes Quartet over peace process
6/22/2011 – BELGIUM, Brussels (Ma’an) — The Middle East Quartet will meet under EU chairmanship Friday, and will be asked to formulate a framework agreement for peace talks, which will persuade Israeli and Palestinian negotiators back to the table. Speaking to reporters following a weekend tour of the Middle East, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton….

Gaza adjusts to new Rafah crossing rules
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Crossings officials at Rafah announced that Gaza residents who signed up for travel via the terminal during the second week of June could expect to travel Wednesday, appealing to residents to respect the crossings rules. Head of police department on the crossing Salamah Barakah said that the regular crossing schedule….

Gazan Formula student team denied UK visas
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The British embassy in Amman, Jordan denied Palestinian students visas to UK to compete in the 2011 Formula Student in London. Sources told Ma’an the denial was due to the fact that the Palestinian Formula Student team did not have an official financer during its stay in London….

Fatah, Hamas exchange names of political detainees
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Ashraf Jom’a, member of the Fatah delegation in Cairo, said Wednesday that Hamas and Fatah exchanged lists of names of affiliates they consider to be political detainees, during a meeting one week earlier. The official said that the exchange was progress on the unity agreement, which stipulated that….

Barak and Netanyahu ‘criticized’ in flotilla reports
6/22/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Two reports about the Turkish flotilla to the Gaza Strip last year are expected to be issued in the very near future. The first is the Israeli comptroller’s report about the government’s performance in the affair. According to leaks that found their way into most of the….

Detainee marks 32 years in Israeli prison
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Ministry of Prisoners Affairs in Gaza marked Wednesday the 32nd year in prison of a Ramallah native, commenting in a statement that Fakhri Asfour Al-Barghouti, at 57, is the second oldest Palestinian in Israeli custody. Al-Barghoughi was detained in 1978 and sentenced to a life term in prison, on….

340 truckloads of goods to enter Gaza via Israel
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities gave permission for 340 truckloads of goods to enter the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, after inspecting the pack lists and determining the type and quantity of goods were in line with the Israeli policy of siege on the area. Raed Fattouh, Palestinian liaison official at the crossings, said….

Israel’s deputy FM says ready to sit for talks
6/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s deputy foreign minister said Wednesday that “Israel has recognized a Palestinian state and is ready to sit with the Palestinians to reach an understanding on the condition that there will be no outside intervention by the UN.” “The Israeli government is ready to discuss all of the details….

Sha’ath: Armenia supports Palestinian state
6/22/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Armenia will be supportive to the Palestinian people’s demands of freedom, independence and statehood, says Nabil Sha’ath, member of Fatah central committee. In a statement following a three-day visit to Armenia where he met with the Caucasian country’s minister of defense Edward Nalbandian and other….

Council of Europe assembly head: Palestine may be partner
6/22/2011 – STRASBOURG, France (AFP) — The Palestinian National Council could this year gain “partner for democracy” status at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based body said Wednesday. The assembly’s Turkish head, Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking as Morocco gained the same status, said he hoped that “during our next session (in October) we….

Fayyad: I will not obstruct unity deal
6/22/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prime Minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad assured Tuesday evening that he “can’t and won’t be an obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation.” Following speculation he would publicly refuse the post of prime minister in the new transitional unity government being negotiated by Hamas and Fatah, his words fell short….

UN reappoints Ban Ki-moon secretary-general
6/22/2011 – UNITED NATIONS (Ma’an) — The United Nations General Assembly agreed to appoint the body’s Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to a second consecutive term, a statement said Tuesday. Under the resolution, which was adopted by acclamation, Ban will serve as the UN chief until December 2016. He has been in office since January 2007….

Al-Qassam mourns death of fighter
6/22/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The armed wing of issued a statement Wednesday mourning the death of one of its Al-Qassam Brigades fighters who died after a stroke two days earlier. Ahmad Hassen Abu Shawish, 25 from the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip was admitted to hospital and treated in the intensive….

MK Baraka: Do not attach UN bid to negotiations
6/22/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian leadership should focus on the UN bid for statehood as well as resuming negotiations with Israel, Palestinian Knesset Member Muhammad Baraka said Tuesday. Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah, Baraka said Palestinian leaders should not adopt Israel’s agenda that negotiations were conditional on abandoning a bid….

Report: Hamas’ Mash’al arrives in Turkey
6/22/2011 – ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) — Hamas chief Khalid Mash’al has arrived in Turkey, the country’s NTV news channel reported on Wednesday, a day after President Mahmoud Abbas began a four-day visit. Mash’al arrived in Istanbul, NTV said, adding that it was not immediately clear whether he would meet with Abbas. Turkish….

Saudi government donates $5.2 million to UNRWA
6/22/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — UNRWA has received a$5. 2 million from Saudi Arabia, part of the kingdom’s annual contribution to the agency’s core budget, together with some payments relating to earlier years. UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi, taking delivery of a cheque from Fahd Al Zaid, ambassador of Saudi Arabia….

Israel security cabinet ‘meets in nuclear bunker’
6/22/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s security cabinet on Wednesday met for the first time in a secret nuclear bunker in Jerusalem, officials and press reports said, as part of a massive nationwide defense exercise. As air raid sirens cut through the air at 11:00 a. m. , the 14-member security cabinet was safely ensconced….

Northern Sinai gunfight kills 2 Egyptian security officers
6/22/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — An Egyptian officer and a soldier were killed and two others injured in a gunfight in the northern Egyptian Sinai near the border city of El-Arish on Wednesday morning, officials said. Masked gunmen in three separate cars were said to have attacked a police patrol in one of the main….

Syria warns against outside interference
6/22/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria strongly rejected on Wednesday any foreign intervention over its deadly crackdown on a pro-democracy revolt and singled out its former colonial ruler France, which is pressing the UN Security Council to act.” We can reach consensus despite opposing points of view,” Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told a Damascus press conference.”No one….

Palestine Note

Fayyad: I will not obstruct unity deal
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Prime Minister in Ramallah Salam Fayyad assured Tuesday evening that he “can’t and won’t be an obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation.” Following speculation he would publicly refuse the post of prime minister in the new transitional unity government being negotiated…

Gaza adjusts to new Rafah crossing rules
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Crossings officials at Rafah announced that Gaza residents who signed up for travel via the terminal during the second week of June could expect to travel Wednesday, appealing to residents to respect the crossings rules. Head of police department…

Israeli settlers attempt take over of Jerusalem home
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- A Beit Safafa family said several members were brutally beaten by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning, in an attack that was said to have lasted four hours starting just after midnight. The Zawahra family lives adjacent to an Israeli…

Syria’s cultural revolution
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Salwa Ismail , The Guardian- There are many reasons why Bashar al-Assad’s speech on Monday did not strike a chord with the opposition. The Syrian president spoke of conspiracies, saboteurs and vandals, declaring that there could be no compromise with those…

Jordanians press for greater effort to wipe out wasta and defeat corruption
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – The National- Luma, a 29-year-old college graduate, believes if she had wasta, or connections, she would not have been waiting for six years to get a government job. “I am applying again because they have started accepting college diplomas on…

Israel complains to Apple over application promoting Palestinian uprising
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – The Washington Post- The Israeli government on Tuesday appealed to Apple Inc. to remove an application called “ThirdIntifada” from its App Store, saying the program glorifies violence against the Jewish state. Israel’s information minister, Yuli Edelstein, sent the request in…

Shakira meets Israeli President Peres, schoolchildren in visit to promote education campaign
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – The Washington Post- Colombian pop singer Shakira promoted her global education campaign with a stop at a joint Israeli-Arab school in Jerusalem on Tuesday. Kicking off Israel’s third annual Presidential Conference with a plea for children’s education worldwide, Shakira, a…

Media: Israel’s Netanyahu sends letter to Turkey’s Erdogan, hoping for better relations
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – The Washington Post- Israeli media report Israel’s prime minister has sent a letter to Turkey’s leader expressing hope for improved ties. Israeli-Turkish relations deteriorated dramatically last year after Israel raided a Gaza-bound Turkish ship and killed nine activists on board….

After 4 years, Bil’in says wall route being moved
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- Observers said Wednesday that the Israeli military had began dismantling a portion of the separation wall in the village of Bil’in, six years after the high court declared the route of the wall illegal. A statement by local activist…

Ramallah museum to show Picasso for first time
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Ma’an- A Ramallah art museum has become the first in the West Bank to take delivery of an artwork by Picasso, which will go on view to the public for a month, beginning on Friday. The 1943 canvas, “Buste de…

Israel Allows Construction Materials to Gaza
Palestine Note 22 Jun 2011 – Israel approves 1,200 new homes and 18 new schools for Palestinians in Gaza Washington Post – Israel has authorized construction of 1,200 new homes for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in what would be one of the largest housing projects…


AlJazeera

Syria accuses EU of fomenting ‘chaos’
AlJazeera 22 Jun 2011 – Syrian foreign minister says European Union wants to “plant strife”, and calls for easing of tensions with Turkey.

Life sentences for Bahrain dissidents
AlJazeera 22 Jun 2011 – Protesters take to the streets, clashing with police after eight Shia activists are given life sentences.

‘Al-Qaeda fighters’ escape from Yemen jail
AlJazeera 22 Jun 2011 – Dozens of inmates flee after gunmen attack prison in port city of Mukalla in Hadramout province.

Deadly clashes reported as Syrians rally
AlJazeera 21 Jun 2011 – Activists say seven people killed as government supporters and opponents clash in three cities.

Palestine News Network

Turkish NTV: Mish’al of Hamas Arrives in Turkey
PNN – Istanbul – PNN – The head of Hamas polit-bureau, Khalid Mish’al, arrived in Istanbul today in an unexpected visit while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in Ankara, Turkish NTV reported on Wednesday….

The First Government School for the Deaf Opens in Palestine
PNN – Gaza ‚Äì Osama Awad ‚Äì PNN Exclusive ‚Äì The first government school for deaf people was opened in Gaza today. This move is considered to be a major accomplishment for the Hamas…

Soldiers Attack Non-Violent Protest Near Ramallah
PNN – Ramallah – Ghassan Bannoura – PNN Exclusive – Israeli soldiers attacked on Wednesday a non-violent protest organized by the villagers of Deir Qadis, west of the central West Bank city of Ramallah….

The Battle Lines are Drawn
PNN – By Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh – Israel’s UN ambassador met with major American Jewish organizations telling them to work hard to ensure there will not be passage of any votes on Palestine at…

Jordan Warns of Instability if Funding to UNRWA Stops
PNN – Amman – PNN – The Jordanian Prime Minister, Marouf Al-Bakhit, warned on Wednesday of instability if sufficient funding is not received by UNRWA. The Jordanian Prime Minister warned that lack of funding…

Lebanon Sends Complaint to UN over Israel-Cyprus Maritime Agreement
PNN – Beirut ‚Äì PNN – According to a report on Tuesday in Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper, Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Adnan Mansour sent a complaint to the United Nations about the…

International Solidarity Movement

Presence with a splash of tea is recipe for detainment
6/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 19 June 2011, International Solidarity Movement – On Sunday June 19th, six International Solidarity Movement activists from the United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Germany, and Sweden were illegallyarrested by the Israeli military after attending a demonstrationagainst the construction on confiscated land belonging to the Palestinian village, Deir Qaddis. Apart from numerous Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists….

Israel deports the Spanish PSCC worker and university trainer Ignacio Garcia-Pedraza
6/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 21 June 2011, Civil Peace Service Gaza – Ignacio Garcia-Pedraza, a Spanish PSCC worker and Al Quds University trainer, 36 years old and living in Madrid, has been informed this morning at 9:00 a. m. by the Israeli Ben Gurion airport authorities that he had been denied the entry into Israel and the occupied Palestinian…. Related: Civil Peace Service Gaza

Demonstration in Beit Hanoun
6/22/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 21 June 2011, International Solidarity Movement – At 11 A. M. this morning we gathered for the weekly demonstration against the occupation in Beit Hanoun. This demonstration was different from the other demonstrations though. Today, a troupe of young girls were joining us. The girls were part of the Vittorio Arrigoni summer camp that had been….

Alternative Information Center

Palestinian Unity Government Stalls
Alternative Information Center – After a few celebrated steps toward a Palestinian unity government, a scheduled meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshall has been postponed indefinitely.

Syria: Internal Popular Demands, External Political Agendas
Alternative Information Center – The Syrian people demand democratic change, but are western powers intervening to promote such a change? The context of Syrian policies supporting Arab resistance must be understood as the framework and motivation of current western intervention,…

AIC Video: Children without Jerusalem ID
Alternative Information Center – The application for a Jerusalem identification card for seven-month-old Silwan resident Nouralden Abbassi was recently rejected by the Israeli Ministry of Interior.

Ben Gurion University Invites NGO to Enter Classrooms, Promote Jewish-Only Settlement in Galilee, Negev
Alternative Information Center – Ben Gurion University gave permission to Ayalim , a Zionist and Jewish-only association, to appear before classes in order to encourage Jewish students to settle in the Naqab (Negev) and Galilee, areas with substantial Palestinian and Bedouin-Palestinian…

Relief Web

Gaza: eased or un-eased? Changes on Gaza Market and Household Conditions following Israel’s 20 June 2010 New Access Regime
Relief Web 22 Jun 2011 – Source: World Food Programme Country: occupied Palestinian territory Executive Summary The Government of Israel (GoI) announced on 20 June 2010 its decision to “ease” the blockade on the Gaza Strip by expanding commercial crossings and improving access to humanitarian and…

Palestine Telegraph

Israel demolishes coal facilities in Jenin
22 Jun 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation forces started Wednesday destroying coal facilities in the village of Barta’a located in the southwest of Jenin, behind the Apartheid Wall.

Palestinian boy assaulted by Israeli army in Hebron
22 Jun 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli soldiers assaulted Wednesday a Palestinian boy during his work in a car shop in the town of Beit Awa, in the southwest of Hebron.

Israeli soldiers clash with Palestinians in Silwan
22 Jun 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli army stormed yesterday Silwan town in the south of Al-Aqsa mosque, leading to violent clashes erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian citizens .

Israeli warplanes strike central Gaza Strip
22 Jun 2011 – Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli warplanes type “F16” carried out Wednesday an airstrike targeting a smuggling tunnel in central Gaza Strip without injuries reported.

The National

As bloodshed in uprising grows, Syrians turn for protection to humour
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Why are so many protesters being killed? According to the joke circulating in Syria, it is because security officers get a ten-cents-a-litre discount on petrol for every 10 demonstrators they kill.

Iran’s fashion police are back on the summer streets and looking for un-Islamic bling
The National 22 Jun 2011 – With stores accused of selling revealing clothing being shut down, and hard-liners insisting that even a woman¬øs necklaces and bracelets should not be shown to men outside her immediate family, the Islamic morality squads looking to be clamping down particularly hard in Iran this year.

Saudis apologise for executing Indonesian maid without telling Jakarta
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Ruyati binti Sapubi, 54, was executed on Saturday after she was convicted of murdering her Saudi employer, Khairiya bint Hamid Mijlid, with a meat cleaver.

More than 60 Al Qaeda militants escape from Yemen jail
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Prisoners, some of them facing death sentences for terrorist offences, fled through a 45-metre tunnel they had dug at the jail in the city of Mukalla, killing a guard and taking his gun.

Small Kurdistan suburb is refuge for persecuted Iraqi Christians
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Families feel safe in Ankawa and have no hope of return home after death threats.

ElBaradei wants to be Egypt’s president, but only if he can reform the country
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Despite efforts to discredit him and his reluctance to run for office unless the elections are transparent, Mohammed ElBaradei remains a hugely popular figure among Egyptians, coming top in a Facebook ‘presidential election’.

Kurds angry at corruption they see in their own government
The National 22 Jun 2011 – In northern Iraq, the Kurds have considerable autonomy. yet, it too has seen protests during the Arab Spring. Citizens complain that even fellow Kurds are prone to corruption and abuse when they gain power.

Assad regime promises reforms as students allege campus raids
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Human rights activists in Damascus say as many as 80 students suspected of protesting had been arrested, with others hospitalised, some with serious injuries, after Assad supporters broke into protesters’ rooms and beat them with wooden clubs and metal bars.

Israel agrees to increase flow of construction materials for Gaza to build homes
The National 22 Jun 2011 – Wary reaction to Ehud Barak’s announcement as Saudi Arabia pledges $70m for housing units and aid groups say more materials are needed to address acute shortage.

Vice-president Hadi battles against Saleh’s son for control in Yemen
The National 22 Jun 2011 – With president in Saudi Arabia, relatives assert control of Yemen¬øs security and military as pressure mounts for transition of power.

Ha’aretz

EU’s Ashton to Haaretz: UN vote on Palestinian state not a done deal
Ha’aretz – EU foreign policy chief says wording of UN resolution is still uncertain, stresses EU’s push to move negotiations before the UN vote.

Plan to build 2,500 houses for Jerusalem Arabs under attack by rightists
Ha’aretz – Left condemn Jerusalem mayor for not exerting enough effort to advance the plan, which would somewhat relieve the extreme shortage of housing in Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods.

Yossi Melman / All signs say Iran is racing toward a nuclear bomb
Ha’aretz – Iran’s leadership is undaunted by the sanctions imposed on the country, or by the damage the Stuxnet computer worm caused to the program that operates the centrifuges at the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz.

Report: Lieberman may be incriminated by letters between his confidants
Ha’aretz – It is believed that Lieberman continued to manage his worldwide business dealings, bringing in millions of dollars, while he was an MK and a minister.

U.S. Congressman calls on Egypt to release Ilan Grapel
Ha’aretz – Israeli-American was arrested at a Cairo hotel last week and suspected of sedition and inciting Egyptians to clash with the country’s military leadership.

Defense Ministry begins dismantling section of West Bank barrier
Ha’aretz – High Court ruled in 2007 that route of barrier by village of Bili’in must be changed, as it cut off villagers from their land; villagers, activists have held weekly protest against the barrier for years.

Underwater search for sunken Altalena ship set to begin
Ha’aretz – Altalena was a ship belonging to the Irgun, a prestate Jewish militia, which was shelled and sunk by Israeli government forces when it tried to land an arms cargo shortly after the state’s establishment.

Dead Sea hotels at risk of flooding, if salt harvesting delayed
Ha’aretz – Dead Sea Works decides to launch its first-ever campaign to explain that the southern part of the Dead Sea would have dried out because of the pumping of water for regional use and that it is unconnected to industrial activities.

Report: Netanyahu adviser in Egypt to discuss suspected Israeli spy
Ha’aretz –

Number of Israeli millionaires up by 20.6% in 2010, report reveals
Ha’aretz – According to the latest annual Merrill Lynch-Capgemini World Wealth report, 10,153 people in Israel own together more than $ 52 billion in liquid funds.

Former Shas leader announces intent to return to politics
Ha’aretz – Speaking at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Aryeh Deri, former leader of ultra-Orthodox Shas party, said he plans to run in the next Knesset elections.

Underground Crusader city revealed beneath streets of Acre
Ha’aretz – Archeologists prepare to uncover entire compound built in medieval times and hidden for centuries under the rubble in northern Israel.

Report: China frees dissident artist Ai Weiwei
Ha’aretz – Ai was detained at Beijing airport on April 3, igniting an outcry about China’s tightening grip on dissent.

Mexico arrests head of notorious crime family
Ha’aretz – Police apprehend head of cult-like La Familia cartel, responsible for multiple murders, kidnappings and extortion, without resistance or casualties?•

At least 40 dead in plane crash in northern Russia
Ha’aretz – The plane was traveling from Moscow carrying 43 passengers and five crew; it crashed near northern Russian city of Petrozavodsk.

Discount blitz not luring buyers to cottage cheese
Ha’aretz – Industry: Importing dairy is against the law

The cost-of-eking index
Ha’aretz – Why do we earn less at our jobs and yet pay more for everything from toothpaste to cars? It may be our small size that has done us in

Sale of Tnuva is off
Ha’aretz – But Bank Leumi still negotiating to extend the deadline to buy

Former Israeli intelligence chief: Arab spring is good for Israel
Ha’aretz – In a panel held as part of the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, Amos Yadlin said Israelis share the values protesters in the Arab world are fighting for.

Netanyahu makes call to release Jonathan Pollard on YouTube
Ha’aretz – Prime minister says in video that the convicted spy’s sentence is disproportionate to the severity of his actions, and urges U.S. President Obama to release him for humanitarian reasons.

Former IDF chief: Sanctions are best course of action against Iran
Ha’aretz – Former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi said sanctions against Tehran are ‘less costly than all the other options’ while still keeping ‘all the options on the table.’

Israel’s UN ambassador warns UN chief over planned Gaza flotilla
Ha’aretz – Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor calls on international community to do ‘everything in their ability’ to prevent the upcoming Gaza aid flotilla, which is set to sail later this month.

Internet activist appeals to New Yorkers to ‘Free Shalit’
Ha’aretz – California resident Gal Sitty succeeded in raising funds for a billboard appealing for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit’s release, which went up close to UN headquarters in NYC on Tuesday.

U.S. envoy Ross: Bold steps must be taken to keep Israel Jewish and Democratic
Ha’aretz – Ross and U.S. diplomat David Hale are in Israel to meet with Netanyahu to push for the renewal of Mideast peace talks.

Jerusalem Post

For real competition
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – It’s not prices that need to be regulated but anti-competitive conduct.

Rattling the Cage: How to stop soccer racism
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – People should go to the games with their cellphones, video cameras and other gadgets, film the fans who are hurling filth and abuse and display it to the world.

‘Demolition of illegal Palestinian homes in W. Bank rising’
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – B’Tselem data shows that demolitions by civil administration in Area C has already exceeded the number demolished in 2010.

Sharansky recalls his champion and friend from Soviet days
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – Jewish Agency for Israel chairman highlights that Soviet dissident Yelena Bonner’s love for Israel was overlooked after she passed away.

IEC gets go-ahead to lease LNG buoy, gasification vessel
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – Move a “step in the right direction,” says expert, seen as effort to help bridge gaps likely to occur between depletion of current gas supply and development of new Tamar gas reserves.

Doron Barzilai elected Bar Association president
Jerusalem Post 23 Jun 2011 – At the end of lively campaign, Barzilai, 41, comes out on top with 7,561 votes against incumbent Yori Geiron’s 6,157.

Gaddafi accuses NATO of civilian ‘murders’ in Libya
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – In latest TV address Libyan leader says “one day we will respond to you likewise and your homes will be legitimate targets.”

Rabbi Sacks: Day schools saved British Jewry
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – At Presidents Conference, European Jews speak of hopes and fears for their communities’ futures.

Panel on life in Jerusalem reveals city’s many divisions
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – “No one is going to leave,” says city councilor at President’s Conference, stressing need to work together.

Israel’s envoys to US, UN justify Gaza blockade
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Oren says Israel pleased that Turkish gov’t opposing flotilla; Prosor warns of “dangerous consequences”; US warns citizens not to travel to Gaza by sea.

Vilna’i: We’ve never been better prepared for all-out war
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Following national “Turning Point 5” drill, Home Front defense minister tells ‘Post’ that “simulation completely realistic.”

David Grossman, Amos Oz urge UNSC to condemn Syria
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Israeli authors among 7 famous names demanding resolution be adopted calling repression against protesters “crime against humanity.”

Candidly speaking: The collapse of Zionist leadership
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Today, we desperately need a global Jewish pro-Israel caucus which could emerge from a reformed Jewish Agency.

Israel served as ‚Äòmain course’ at EU dinner, official says
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Worry in Israel that EU wants Quartet to make concession to PA in return for dropping UN bid; J’lem also frustrated that EU dinner on ME doesn’t include Israeli representative.

Presidential Conference: Measuring Obama’s love
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – High profile panel delves into the Obama “kishka factor”; Martin Indyk: Israel should “get over” whether US president loves it.

PM: Meeting Hamas terms for Gilad will endanger Israelis
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – On YouTube, PM tells viewers, “There is no day that I do not deal with this issue”; Schalit family to rally on anniversary of Schalit’s capture.

PM’s office denies knowledge of envoy sent to aid Grapel
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Official response casts doubts upon reports of Israeli envoy in Cairo working to secure Ilan Grapel’s release.

Knesset legal counsel approves revoking MK Zoabi’s rights
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Legal adviser says Knesset did not overstep its bounds, was a rare but proportional step to take under the circumstances.

Israel’s economic success lies in start-ups, innovation
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – ‘Start-Up Nation’ co-author Saul Singer says maintaining comparative advantage in innovation is key to Israel’s success.

Analysis: Hezbollah may fight Israel to relieve Syria
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Arab official says, “None of Syria’s allies would accept the fall of Syria …war [with Israel] could be one of the options.”

Avi Luzon questioned by police in ‘game fixing probe’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Football Association chief reportedly questioned for two hours by Yavne police; probe involves allegations of game fixing and bribing a judge.

CITYbites: Savouring Italian-inspired Cuisine
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Located in the heart of the German Colony neighbourhood, Luciana offers a wealth of kosher delicacies and fresh baked goods prepared every hour.

Moallem on EU sanctions: Syria will remain steadfast
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Syrian FM responds harshly to measures against Syria which include four firms linked to the armed forces, people connected with the suppression of anti-government protests.

In central TA, Home Front drill siren is barely a whisper
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Perhaps befitting a fake bomb drill, the mood was dismissive and nonchalant when air raid siren went off in Tel Aviv.

‘Hamas ready to renew Schalit prisoner-swap talks’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Egyptian source tells ‘al Hayat’ Egypt acting as mediator between sides; Israel reportedly offers $10m. for information on Schalit.

Iran says oil delegation attacked by ‘terrorists’ in Iraq
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Iraqi Interior Ministry source confirms visiting Iranian convoy came under fire in central Baghdad and two Iraqi guards were wounded.

Israeli Presidential Conference – a feminist’s nightmare?
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – The conference is oriented towards imagining a superior reality to the present and as such provides a unique forum for modeling a healthier sense of gender equity. Yet with an ostensible lack of female representatives, the conference failed spectacularly in this sense.

Bahrain sentences 10 Shi’ites to life in prison
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – “It’s good no one got the death penalty but still, this will not be the right way to start dialogue… This is very bad.”

Amidror to oversee Beduin’s settlement
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Amid Beduin trepidation, Netanyahu shifts responsibility from Prower, who worked 2 years on a program for Beduin settlement.

In the desert kingdom, no grassroots politics
Jerusalem Post 22 Jun 2011 – Closed to the public, Saudi municipal councils operate without public input and deep political reforms remain off the agenda.

The Guardian

Apple removes Intifada app from store
The Guardian 22 Jun 2011 – Israeli minister calls on Apple chief executive for ‘immediate removal of anti-Israel application’ Apple has removed an application called ThirdIntifada from its App Store following complaints that it encouraged and glorified violence against Israel. Israeli minister…

Palestinian theatre stages first play without director Juliano Mer Khamis
The Guardian 22 Jun 2011 – Freedom Theatre promises to carry on after the murder of Israeli-Palestinian director as students perform in Jenin A pioneering community theatre that aimed to replace violence with drama in one of the most battle-scarred Palestinian towns…

Inter Press Service

Second Humanitarian Flotilla Prepares to Sail for Gaza
IPS As the second Freedom Flotilla, made up of some 10 ships carrying 1,000 activists from 20 countries, gets ready to sail for the besieged Gaza Strip, Israeli authorities are stepping up their threats.

Libya Deaths Trigger Rift Over NATO Campaign
IPS Civilian deaths have raised serious misgivings about the U.N.-authorised NATO intervention in Libya among the most ardent supporters of the ongoing air campaign.

Syria Accuses EU of Fomenting ‚ÄòChaos’
IPS Walid al-Muallem, Syria’s foreign minister, has said the European Union’s reaction to President Bashar al-Assad’s speech on Monday showed it wanted to “plant strife and chaos” in the country.

EGYPT: Solar Energy Projects Picking up Again After Uprising
IPS On a blazingly hot summer’s day in Cairo, it’s 36 degrees Celsius in the shade. Air-conditioners and fans whirr across the city, burdening the national electricity grid. Last summer, the populous city experienced frequent water and power cuts, causing a furore. Consumption had grown by 2,600 megawatts, an increase of…

Uruknet

The true definition of “Terrorist”
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – In late May, two Iraqi nationals, who were in the U.S. legally, were arrested in Kentucky and indicted on a variety of Terrorism crimes. In The Washington Post today, GOP Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — writing under the headline: “Guantanamo is the place to try terrorists” — castigates Attorney General Eric Holder for…

Jerusalem baby denied rights by Israeli apartheid
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Smiling and wide-eyed, seven-month-old Nouralden Issa Abbassi is happily getting passed between the arms of his mother, grandmother and uncle in the living room of the Abbassi family home in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. But while the family appears carefree, the reality is that Israel’s decision to deny Nouralden a Jerusalem…

OIC launches Libya mediation effort
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said on Wednesday it has sent a delegation to Libya to pave the way for mediation by the group to solve the crisis in the North African state. The OIC has “offered an initiative for mediation during the next two days with regard to the crisis in Libya,”…

Write to the Forgotten Prisoners in Guant?°namo (Summer 2011)
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – A year ago, two Facebook friends, Shahrina J. Ahmed and Mahfuja Bint Ammu, drew on my research about Guant?°namo for a letter-writing campaign, in which they asked their friends and others on Facebook to volunteer to write to each of the remaining prisoners in Guant?°namo. Shahrina announced the letter-writing campaign via a Facebook note…

Sharp increase in West Bank home demolition
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – In the past week, Civil Administration inspectors, accompanied by soldiers and Border Police officers, demolished 33 residential structures in the Palestinian communities Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza, all in the Jordan Valley, and in Khirbet Bir al-‘Id, in the southern Hebron hills. These were home to 238 persons, 129 of them minors. According to B’Tselem’s…

Archbishop of Canterbury Reprimanded by Angry Holy Land Christians
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Kairos Palestine, the voice of Palestinian Christians, has given the Archbishop of Canterbury a strong ticking-off for remarks he made during a BBC interview. Rifat Kassis, co-ordinator of Kairos Palestine, said he was “deeply troubled” by the Archbishop’s “inaccurate and erroneous remarks” about the situation of Christians in the Middle East. He called the…

Imperial President Obama Pretends Not to Wage War
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – What to do when you’ve engaged in one imperial war too many? Deny it’s a war. Obama is well versed in the history of his European allies, who been at war with the rest of the world for five hundred years, often annihilating whole peoples without ever formally declaring war against them. “America’s First…

Gaza family exiled to Syria and Libya looks back
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Abdelhai al-Khaldi, known as Abu Mahmoud, and his wife Umm Mahmoud are an elderly Palestinian couple who live in a rented apartment in the northern Gaza Strip neighborhood of al-Saftawi. The two had lived in Libya for about 28 years, before returning to Gaza in 1995 along with their eight now adult children. Abu…

Airstrike hits central Gaza overnight
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – The Israeli military reported Wednesday morning the launch of an airstrike on the central Gaza Strip overnight. The air force targeted a “terror tunnel,” which it said could have been used “to infiltrate into Israel and execute terror attacks.” Medics have not reported injuries. The military said that the strike, the first since early…

NATO attack kills 19, including women and children
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Monday night’s air strike on a compound west of Tripoli that killed 19, including women and children, puts an end to any pretence that NATO is not deliberately targeting civilians in its ongoing bombardment of Libya. NATO was unapologetic, describing the attack on the estate of Khweildy al-Hamidy, a close ally of Libyan leader…

Loss of Illusions.
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – …I am interested in something, in someone else…I am interested in observing the loss of illusions… I am interested in seeing its footprints on our bodies, on our faces, on our being…the american cunt and his/her would be problems do not interest me. I care fuck all for them. I like to observe the…

Greece: The dictatorship of finance capital
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – The diktat handed down by the International Monetary Fund demanding the imposition of even harsher austerity measure before the release of the ‚Ǩ12 billion final tranche of the current Greek bailout package marks a sharp turn in the unfolding European financial crisis. Even more significant than the immediate economic and financial consequences, it poses…

Israel: Halt Home Demolitions Compensate Scores of People Displaced in West Bank Communities
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Israel should end discriminatory policies that have forcibly displaced hundreds of West Bank Palestinian residents from their homes, Human Rights Watch said today. In demolition operations on June 14 and 21, 2011, Israeli authorities displaced more than a hundred residents of three West Bank communities, including women and children, destroying their homes and other…

Bahrain sentences opposition leaders and activists to life in prison
Uruknet June 22, 2011 – Bahrain sentenced 8 prominent activists and opposition leaders to life in prison on Wednesday on charges of plotting a coup during protests in the Gulf island kingdom earlier this year. Among those who received life sentences was the Shiite dissident Hassan Mushaimaa, leader of the hardline opposition group Haq, and Abduljalil al Singace from…

Before September, Unity must be Achieved
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – The long awaited Fateh-Hamas meeting has been postponed – again. President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, who were supposed to meet in Cairo in two days, announced on June 19 that the rendezvous had been put off indefinitely. While the stalling is no surprise to most Palestinians, it is definitely disappointing….

The Forgotten Terrorist Attack
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – With all the talk of terrorist attacks, one ordered by Bill Clinton in June 1993 eludes the media each year. Soon, it will be the 18th anniversary of the US terrorist attack that killed Layla al-Attar, Iraq’s leading artist at the time. Many countries have one or two days a year that indicate a…

Israel Demolishes Homes in Tubas District, Displacing 27 Palestinian Children, Adults
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – On Tuesday morning (21 June) the Israeli army demolished 29 structures in al-Hadidiya, Tubas Governorate, displacing 27 people from six households, including 11 children. A further 15 people were affected, including 10 children. Among the demolished structures were: seven residential tents, 18 animal barracks and pens and four outdoor kitchens. Al-Hadidiya has already suffered…

Remembering Brian Haw
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – Early morning June 18, lung cancer claimed 62 year old UK anti-war activist Haw after a long battle, a man London Independent contributor Mark Wallinger called “the conscience of the nation grown quiescent.” His family left a message, saying: “He left us in his sleep and in no pain, after a long, hard fight,”…

The battle lines are drawn
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – Israel’s UN ambassador met with major American Jewish organizations telling them to work hard to ensure there will not be passage of any votes on Palestine at the UN. Presidernt Obama met with 80 influential Jewish donors (who each gave $25-35,000 to attend the private dinner with the President) and Obama assured them that…

Egypt declines World Bank loan as incompatible with national interest
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – The government has declined a loan from the World Bank because it found the terms of the loan incompatible with the national interest, Egyptian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Abul Naga said on Monday. The minister added that the government would not accept conditions dictated by the World Bank or the International…

Kerry, McCain Come to Obama’s Rescue Over Libya
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – – Hoping to head off growing insurgencies in both major parties over Washington’s participation in NATO’s military campaign against Libya, two key senators Tuesday unveiled a resolution that would give President Barack Obama the authority to continue operations there for up to one year. Democratic Senator John Kerry, who also serves as chairman of…

NATO Abandons Denial, Admits to Libya Attack That Killed 15 NATO Warplanes Attacked Sorman After All
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – On Sunday, NATO copped to killing at least nine civilians in a strike in Central Tripoli, blaming a “weapons system failure,” but when a second incident in the suburb of Sorman came out the very next morning, they angrily denied involvement, saying warplanes weren’t even operating near the area. But they were. NATO has…

Libyan government accuses NATO of targeting civilians
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – The Libyan government on Tuesday accused NATO of targeting civilians, and of so far killing 700, as heavy fighting continued between Moamer Gaddafi’s forces and rebels near the city of Misurata, DPA reported. Libyan security forces claimed to have overheard a telephone conversation in which NATO officials said they planned to target the homes…

Military Resistance 9F 13: A Decade In Leavenworth
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – The Greek working class has won a victory in the past three days not just for themselves but for all the world’s workers. In the latest step forward in the mass strike wave that began last December in Tunisia, 50-100,000 workers-young and old, employed, students, and unemployed-turned back on Wednesday, June 15, a police…

Illegal Blockades
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – A new Gaza freedom convoy is preparing to sail, this time including a US flagged vessel. My friends Ann Wright and Ray McGovern are going to be on it. Ray tells me the ship, which is registered in Delaware, has been renamed “The Audacity of Hope”. I am not quite sure if he is…

The High Stakes Persecution of Bradley Manning
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – There are new developments and high stakes In the U.S. government’s persecution of Bradley Manning. And a growing movement to defend him. In April 2010, the video “Collateral Murder” was posted to the Internet by WikiLeaks. It has been viewed over 11 million times. The footage, taken from inside an Apache helicopter in 2007…

The Palestinian Authority’s Historic Mistake, and Opportunity
Uruknet June 21, 2011 – No one knows the precise plans of the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis September: will Mahmoud Abbas declare a Palestinian state within recognized borders and ask that it be admitted as a full member of the UN – or not? Perhaps Abbas himself does not know. Now political leaders often make decisions alone or in consultation…

Iraq snapshot – June 21, 2011
Uruknet June 21, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Diwaniyah slammed by twin bombings, the big meet-up yesterday results in a lot of hot air today, Moqtada wants to use Iraqi forces to take out his rivals, the US gets a new Secretary of Defense, and more. Xiong Tong (Xinhua), citing a police source, reports 25 dead, thirty-four injured a…

Daily Star

NATO presses on as Italy voices humanitarian concerns in Libya
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A split opened within the NATO-led air campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi Wednesday as France and Britain rejected an Italian call for a halt to military action to allow aid access.

Syria’s Moallem: Forget Europe
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Syria scorned Wednesday the European Union’s criticism of Damascus over its violent crackdown on popular unrest.

Roumieh inmate found in possessionof contraband
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Internal Security Forces found an inmate in Roumieh prison in possession of contraband, the National News Agency reported Wednesday.

Teenager killed in road crash with UNIFIL vehicle
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A teenager was killed and his 13-year-old sister injured Wednesday when the car he was driving collided with a U.N. peacekeepers’ vehicle in south Lebanon.

Joint UNDP anti-cluster bomb project announced
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A $1.5 million project to help Lebanon implement an international convention banning the use of cluster bombs was announced Wednesday, in a joint initiative by the United Nations Development Program and the Foreign Ministry.

ISF continues search and destroy drug campaign
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 The Drug Control Office of the Internal Security Forces continued their campaign to search for and destroy marijuana plantations for the second consecutive day.

UNIFIL commander meets Mikati, Ghosn, Kahwagi
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 The head of United Nations peacekeeping in Lebanon vowed Wednesday to maintain cooperation with the Lebanese Army after his first meeting with representatives of the new government.

Berri demands swift action on offshore oil, gas
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Speaker Nabih Berri slammed Wednesday the sloppiness with which the issue of exploiting Lebanon’s offshore gas reserves was being treated despite his efforts to ratify the oil law.

Southerners undaunted by Israeli drills
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Residents of south Lebanon went about their normal routine Wednesday, despite ongoing Israeli drills which reached their peak the same day.

Dispute between March 14 and Aoun gets nastier
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 The March 14 coalition blasted Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Michel Aoun Wednesday.

Mikati, Hezbollah still at odds over Cabinet policy on STL
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Efforts to bridge the gap between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Hezbollah over the divisive issue of the U.N.-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Man 25, killed by falling pipe in Minieh
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A man was killed Wednesday when a pipe fell on him at a construction site in the village of Deir Ammar in Minieh.

Small fire erupts on runway at Rafik Hariri Airport
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A minor fire erupted at Rafik Hariri International Airport near the western runway, the National News Agency reported Wednesday.

Metn residents demand protection from Bassil
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Residents of four Metn towns have demanded protection from Energy Minister Jibran Bassil, in the wake of a conflict over a high-tension power project.

Town of Jezzine looking to get facelift amid myriad challenges
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A government shirking its role in local development, laws that complicate municipal work, and funding that is just out of reach are just a few of the challenges facing the country’s municipalities.

Higher education in Lebanon below international standards
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Graduate and doctoral-level studies at Lebanese universities are not up to international standards, a high-ranking official from the Education Ministry said Wednesday.

AUB’s former vice president links his firing to corruption
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A former vice president for facilities at the American University of Beirut has said that his recent firing was related to corruption at the university.

Leaked tests mar high school exams
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 The education minister said Wednesday that he referred an alleged case of leaked exam questions to the Central Inspection Department, as teachers urged the ministry to speed up the investigations.

Iraq hunting $17 bln missing after U.S. invasion
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Iraq’s parliament is chasing about $17 billion of Iraqi oil money it says was stolen after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion and has asked the United Nations for help to track it down.

Feltman in Sanaa, Al-Qaeda militants flee prison
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A senior U.S. official pressed the Yemeni government Wednesday to implement a Gulf Arab initiative calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down to end months of protest, Yemeni officials said.

Bahrain sentences 8 to life ahead of dialogue
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Bahrain sentenced eight prominent Shiite Muslim activists and opposition leaders to life in prison Wednesday on charges of plotting a coup during protests in the Gulf island kingdom earlier this year.

Islamists ally with liberals as fans of Mubarak say ‚ÄòI’m sorry’
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has joined forces with 17 other parties, including liberals and leftists.

Ben Ali nephew sentenced to 15 years in absentia
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 A Tunisian court has sentenced the nephew of the former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to 15 years in absentia, the state news agency said Wednesday, after a court issued a first sentence against Ben Ali…

Disgruntled opposition to boycott Morocco referendum, protest
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Morocco’s pro-reform February 20 Movement Wednesday urged a boycott of the constitutional referendum proposed by King Mohammad VI and called for nationwide protests.

Hamas chief Meshaal holds talks in Turkey
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal held talks with Turkish officials on efforts to achieve Palestinian unity during a two-day visit to Istanbul ending later Wednesday, diplomats said.

Israel carries out doomsday preparations
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Israel’s security cabinet Wednesday met for the first time in a secret nuclear bunker in Jerusalem, officials and press reports said, as part of a massive nationwide defense drill to prepare for a possible missile war…

Sharp rise in West Bank home demolitions: rights groups
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 There has been a sharp rise in the number of Palestinian structures razed by the Israeli authorities in the West Bank this year, with over 700 people left homeless, rights groups said Wednesday.

Royal nephew joins calls to eject Kuwaiti prime minister
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Sheikh Fahad Salem al-Ali al-Sabah, a nephew of Kuwait’s ruler, said political reform must be accelerated in the Gulf Arab country, beginning with the removal of the current prime minister.

MP Dicle banning angers Kurds
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Clashes between Turkish riot policemen and Kurdish protesters erupted in Istanbul Wednesday following the news one of the newly elected Kurdish deputy had been stripped of his seat in the newly formed Parliament.

Bashir agrees to pull troop from Abyei as July 9 looms
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Sudan’s president agreed to pull Northern troops out of the disputed Abyei border region before the South secedes on July 9, diplomats said Sunday, signaling possible progress in talks before the split.

House leader says Obama lacks support for Libya
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 President Barack Obama lacks the support of the House for authorizing the U.S. military operation in Libya, House leader John Boehner said.

Held farmer’s lawyer asks Canada to charge and extradite client
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Lawyer of potato farmer being held in Beirut on an Interpol arrest warrant has urged the Canadian government to charge his client so he can be extradited to his home country.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah may fight Israel to relieve Syria
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Lebanon’s Hezbollah is preparing for a possible war with Israel to relieve perceived Western pressure to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, its guardian ally, sources close to the movement say.

Security developments in Iraq, June 22
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 The following are security developments in Iraq as of 0800 GMT on Wednesday.

Four dead, dozens hurt in attacks on Iraqi police
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Militants attacked Iraqi police with guns and explosives and lobbed a mortar round at a security headquarters on Wednesday, killing four people and wounding dozens in the latest assault on security forces.

March 14 holds Sleiman, Mikati responsible for Aoun’s remarks
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 President and prime minister responsible for Michel Aoun’s recent threats against the coalition, it says, adding that both lawmakers are indirectly strengthening his position.

EU calls on Lebanon to uphold commitment on STL
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 European Union ambassadors say tribunal should continue its work without any obstacles, and ask new government to commit to Security Council Resolutions 1701 and 1757.

U.S. official in Sanaa, 62 Al-Qaeda militants escape prison
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Senior U.S. official holding talks with government officials in Yemen, which is teetering on the brink of civil war over President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s refusal to meet protesters’ demands to step down.

Egypt gunmen kill police officers in Sinai: security
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Unknown gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in the Egyptian town of Al-Arish on Wednesday, killing two policemen and leaving two injured, a security official said.

Syria’s Moallem denies Hezbollah, Iran helping Assad
Daily Star 22 Jun 2011 Syria’s Foreign Minister denies that Hezbollah and Iran are providing military support to Syria in its three-month-old crackdown on protesters.

Stop The Wall

June 24/25/26/27: JOIN THE MEDIA MARATHON TO PROMOTE ‚ÄòFREEDOM FOR PALESTINE’ SINGLE
Stop The Wall –

YNet News

US: Don’t go to Gaza by sea
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – The United States updated a travel warning urging Americans to refrain from traveling to the Gaza Strip by sea and emphasizing risks, including a possible 10-year travel … ….

Knesset: Zoabi sanctions proportional
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon told the High Court of Justice Wednesday that the Knesset’s decision to revoke some of MK Hanin Zoabi’s rights was under its … ….

IDF takes down Bilin fence
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – IDF troops on Wednesday began taking down the fence around the West Bank village of Bilin, focus of years of protests against Israel’s separation barrier. Last year, … ….

MKs to Pollard: We’re sorry
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – In a letter sent to Jonathan Pollard, Israeli Knesset members apologize for failing to secure his release and express their condolences over his father’s death. … ….

Report: Hezbollah preparing for war with Israel
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Lebanon’s Hezbollah is preparing for a possible war with Israel to relieve perceived Western pressure to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad, its guardian ally, sources … ….

Ross: Israel must take action
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Speaking at the Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, President Obama’s special advisor on the Middle East Dennis Ross emphasised Wednesday that in these times of … ….

Deri making a comeback
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Former Shas chairman coming back: Aryeh Deri, the former political meteor who at one time held great clout and was considered one of Israel’s most powerful men, announced … ….

Facebook posts urge ministers to return to Jerusalem
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Activists send messages to Tel Aviv-based ministers, urge them to relocate….

US takes on illegal Israeli kiosk workers
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – US authorities emerge with YouTube campaign to fight phenomenon of illegal….

Egypt allows supplies into Gaza
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – European aid sail carrying 30 tons of goods arrives in Strip via Rafah crossing…..

Negev land reform to be reviewed
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Plan allocating Bedouins hundreds of thousands of acres irks Likud members….

Syria FM: We will become model nation
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Damascus’ Foreign Minister Walid Moallem lashes out at critics, vows Syria will….

Ex-MI chief on Iran: Silence is golden
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Amos Yadlin speaks at Conference of Presidents, says Israel should ‘stop….

‘Iranian nuke test’ debunked as blogger’s hoax
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Frustrated journalist behind post which resonated globally. ‘I wrote that blog….

Gantz: Committee to determine Yizkor version
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – IDF chief wants special panel to decided on unified version of remembrance….

Erez Efrati says mistook his victim for ‘terrorist’
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Former IDF chief bodyguard convicted of attempted sodomy spins yet another….

Gov’t delays bone marrow bank funds
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Millions allocated to life-saving project stuck in red-tape labyrinthine. Cancer….

Egypt: Israeli ‘spy’ fluent in Arabic
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Cairo daily reports alleged spy Ilan Grapel’s interrogation sessions are held….

Netanya gas blast: Suspects to get bail
YNet News, 22 Jun 2011 – Police expected to ask court to impose bail restrictions of gas technician,….

Palestinian Information Center

Israeli warplanes raid central Gaza
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 09:32 AM

Gaza children stage sit-in at Rafah crossing demanding its permanent opening
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 09:41 AM

Night clashes in Silwan
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 09:46 AM

Ghoul receives French delegation working to prosecute Israeli war criminals
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 01:50 PM

IOF soldiers destroy coal installations in Jenin
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 01:53 PM

IOF troops round up head of Jerusalemite prisoners committee, others
PIC – 22/06/2011 – 01:57 PM

Hamdan: Abbas must accept or turn back on unity deal
PIC – Hamas international relations official Osama Hamdan said PA president Mahmoud Abbas must either accept the deal to form a unity government with once split Palestinian parties or turn against it.

Jerusalemite MP Attoun: We will stay in Jerusalem
PIC – Jerusalemite MP Ahmed Attoun has said that the Israeli decision to revoke their residence in Jerusalem and to exile them from their native city was a political decision par excellence.

Waed calls on Merkel, Sarkozy to see fair release of 7,000 Palestinians
PIC – The Waed prisoner society in Gaza has called on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to help see the release of 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody.

Mishaal confers with Turkish FM, other officials
PIC – Hamas political bureau chairman Khaled Mishaal conferred in Istanbul on Wednesday with Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu and other officials soon after his arrival.

Haneyya: Abbas statements contrary to spirit of reconciliation
PIC – Ismail Haneyya said that recent statements by PA chief Mahmoud Abbas had run contrary to the spirit of national reconciliation, which was signed by all Palestinian factions in Cairo late last May.

Freedom Flotilla II coalition calls on UN to search ships
PIC – Freedom Flotilla II coalition has called on UN bodies to send officials to search the flotilla’s multinational ships, which are gearing to defy the Israeli siege and deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Israeli police arrest 4 Jerusalemites in violent clashes
PIC – Israeli occupation police shot and wounded a Palestinian then arrested him along with three others in violent clashes in Isawiye suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Sabri: Not one stone found relating to Jerusalem’s alleged Jewish history
PIC – Chairman of the Suprerme Islamic Council in Jerusalem Dr. Ekrima Sabri has declared that after 25 years of digging not a single stone has been found related to Jerusalem’s alleged Jewish history.

Netanyahu’s advisor in Cairo for talks on Shalit, Grapel
PIC – Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s advisor Yitzhak Molkho arrived in Cairo afternoon Wednesday to discuss the issue of captured Israeli soldier in Gaza Gilad Shalit and the Mossad agent Ilan Grapel.

Open letter to Erdogan : say “NO” to Israel ‘s new solicitations
PIC – Seeking to restore good relations with Turkey, Israeli PM Benymain Netanyahu has asked Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to forget the past and turn over a new leaf in Israeli-Turkish relations.

WAFA – Palestine News Agency

American Sports Writer: Telling Palestinian Story Through Sports Becomes Language Americans Understand
WAFA

SPF Performs Demo for Chief of Police and French Consul
WAFA

Fayyad Denounces Media Allegations Denying Saudi Support of Palestinians
WAFA

Water Situation Deteriorating Significantly in Gaza
WAFA

Silwan Children Severely Affected by Israeli Aggression
WAFA

Fatah: Netanyahu Must Prepare Israelis to Withdraw from 1967 Areas
WAFA

PCBS: US$681 Million Deficit of Palestinian Balance of Payments in Current Account
WAFA

Israeli Army Demolishes Coal Plants in Jenin
WAFA


Intifada Palestine

THE PLAN TO DESTABILIZE SYRIA
Intifada-Palestine: 22 Jun 2011 – French Foreign Minister Alain Jupp?© and his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton in Washington on 6 June 2011. ¬© State Department. The operations conducted against Libya and Syria involve the same actors and strategies. However, their respective outcomes will differ since the… more

Tens of Thousands Gather in Support of Syrian Government
Intifada-Palestine: 22 Jun 2011 – Huge crowds gathered waving flags and holding pictures of President Bashar al-Assad in several cities and towns across Syria on Tuesday. Thousands gathered in Damascus, Aleppo, Idleb, Hasakeh, Lattakia and the southern city of Dera’a, in an apparent show of support… more

President Assad Focuses on Dialogue in key Speech
Intifada-Palestine: 22 Jun 2011 – Syrian president Bashar al-Assad ¬© SANA Syrian President Bashar al-Assad today addressed the nation for the first time since uprising began in mid-March. This follows two speeches at the Parliament and to the Cabinet over the past three months. In the… more

Los Angeles Times

Bahrain sentences 8 activists to life in prison
LA Times 22 Jun 2011 – Bahrain sentenced eight activists to life in prison Wednesday in the latest crackdown on a 5-month-old rebellion by the island monarchy, which has been criticized by international human-rights groups for mass arrests, torture and shooting protesters.

In Congress, divisions over Libya
LA Times 21 Jun 2011 – House leaders seek to ban U.S. use of force in the country, while a Senate bill throws support behind it. The disagreement casts doubt over the future of America’s role in the conflict. The congressional standoff over military involvement in Libya sharpened markedly Tuesday when…

Misc

NATO attack kills 19, including women and children
WSWS – Monday night’s air strike on a compound west of Tripoli that killed 19, including women and children, puts an end to any pretence that NATO is not deliberately targeting civilians in its ongoing bombardment of Libya.

12 times in the last year Israel has shot and wounded Palestinians working to collect scrap near fence in Gaza– 12 times
Mondoweiss – link to www.maannews.net link to www.alternativenews.org link to electronicintifada.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.maannews.net link to palestinesolidarityproject.org link to cpt.org link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.haaretz.com link to www.maannews.net link to www.hrw.org link to www.alternativenews.org link to www.jordanvalleysolidarity.org link to www.maannews.net link…

U.S. State Dep’t to American flotilla passengers: Drop dead
Mondoweiss – The State Department has issued a new travel advisory for Gaza warning Americans not to go there by sea because Israel might try and kill them.With impunity. Three dozen Americans are now preparing to travel to Gaza by sea on the flotilla. But the State Department…

Poland MALE UAV tender features Israeli UAVs
Neged Neshek – Poland will soon issue a tender for a new Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) UAVs. According to Flight Daily News , the “contenders are the US-made General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, the Israeli Aerospace Industries Heron, the Elbit Systems Hermes 900 and the Aeronautics Dominator.” Out of the four models,…

“As long as the Za’atar remains. . .”
Mondoweiss – Sometimes a food is more than just something you eat. The herbal condiment za’atar, a mixture of dried thyme, sumac and sesame seed commonly eaten with olive oil and bread, has become well known in recent years outside the Middle East, especially among visitors and solidarity…

Open letter to Gaddafi supporter Cynthia McKinney from disappointed Palestinians
Mondoweiss – Palestinians in Bil’in, West Bank protesting in support of the Libyan opposition movement Dearest Cynthia McKinney, Two years ago, you spoke out against Israel’s human rights abuses in Palestine. You were even put in an Israeli prison after your attempts to help deliver medical supplies and…

The regional implications of the planned US-Israeli missile defense command-and-control center
Mondoweiss – The Israeli Ministry of Defense is in the process of integrating four “of the anti-missile defense systems developed in the country [plus the US’s Patriot system] into a national command and control center for the interception of enemy missiles.” Defense News quotes a US official as…

Gorenberg Refuses to Correct ‚ÄòAnti-Zionist’ Smear
Tikun Olam – This is what Gershom Gorenberg called me and why it’s a lie Gershom Gorenberg refused my request that he correct the record in his American Prospect post about J Street, in which he linked to a critical blog post I wrote about the group’s second national…

First Watchkeeper UAVs to be sent to Afghanistan in December, 2011
Neged Neshek – The British will be deploying their first Watchkeeper UAVs this December in Afghanistan. Elbit is one of the major subcontractors for the Thales-UK program through a partially owned UK subsidiary, U-TacS. This will mark at least the 13th model that is either Israeli or has significant…

Innocon UAVs almost ready for delivery to Peru
Neged Neshek – Innocon has completed flight tests for the MicroFalcon UAVs it is preparing for the Peruvian military. Flight Daily News notes that the drones will provide the Peruvian army with “real-time intelligence” and “target acquisition and identification” capabilities. These will be used primarily for domestic counterinsurgency against…

US-Israeli missile defense command-and-control center in the works
Neged Neshek – The Ministry of Defense is in the process of integrating four “of the anti-missile defense systems developed in the country [plus the US’s Patriot system] into a national command and control center for the interception of enemy missiles.” Defense News quotes a US official as saying…

Misc 2

PCHR is Gravely Concerned over Continued Detention of Lawyer Ghassan al-Qishawi in Violation of Law
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Weekly Focus: Increased Military Operations in the Northern West Bank 13 -20 June
Al-Haq 21 Jun 2011 – (2011-06-22)

Family’s home demolished in Fasayil, Jordan Valley
B’tselem 22 Jun 2011 –

Sharp increase in West Bank home demolition
B’tselem 22 Jun 2011 – In the past week, the Civil Administration demolished 33 residential structures in Palestinian communities in the Jordan Valley and the southern Hebron hills, in which 238 persons lived, 129 of them minors. Since the beginning of 2011, the Civil Administration has demolished 103 residential structures in Area C, in which 706 persons lived, 341 of them minors.

Making Sand Out of Ruins
B’tselem 22 Jun 2011 – Over the past year, B’Tselem has documented eleven cases in which soldiers fired at and wounded Palestinian civilians working in areas near the perimeter fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. In these eleven cases, the gunfire struck civilians who, because of the lack of jobs in the Strip, were compelled to earn a living by collecting building materials for recycling. The lack of jobs has grown since Operation Cast Lead and following the continuing siege on the Strip.

Syria attacks fresh EU sanctions
BBC 22 Jun 2011 – Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem goes on state TV to attack the EU for extending sanctions, imposed over the suppression of dissent.

VIDEO: Al-Assad cousin: ‘We’re on brink of war’
BBC 22 Jun 2011 – Ribal Al-Assad, the exiled cousin of Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad, says there is a ‘very big possibility’ of a regional war and that the Middle East is on the brink of one.

Syria ‘massacre’
BBC 22 Jun 2011 – Investigating the infamous Jisr al-Shughour killings

Articles


The Battle Lines are Drawn
Mazin Qumsiyeh, Intifada-Palestine6/21/2011
Israel’s UN ambassador met with major American Jewish organizations telling them to work hard to ensure there will not be passage of any votes on Palestine at the UN. Presidernt Obama met with 80 influential Jewish donors (who each gave $25-35,000 to attend the private dinner with the President) and Obama assured them that the US has iron-clad commitment to Israel. He stated to them that any differences with the current Israeli government are not about goals and strategies but merely minor tactical differences among close friends and allies. Money and weapons will keep flowing and American lives will continue to be threatened and shed for this Zionist cash. Fatah and Hamas are dragging their feet and have yet to follow on their promises of putting together a unity “authority” (although the term is misleading as there is no authority under occupation) let alone allowing for a constitution of a representative Palestinian National Council (the main demand of the Palestinian people).
Israeli apartheid system continues its ethnic cleansing. Last week dozens of structures for poor Bedouins were demolished rendering nearly 100 homeless. The apartheid Knesset is debating new racist laws to punish free speech and any NGOs that do not accept apartheid/refuse to acknowledge the Jewish nature of the state. The apartheid regime continues to hold thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and continues to deny basic human rights (like the right to return to one’s home and land or the right to travel free in one’s country). Further, the despotic regimes in Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Morocco and elsewhere continue to torture, kill, and imprison their citizens who dare call for democracy. Greece is being threatened about its loans unless it joins the US/Israel to stop the freedom flotilla. Turkey’s elections consolidated power in the ruling party which now felt a bit freer (or so we are told) to bend to US/Israel pressure to a) stop the Freedom Flotilla II, and b) drop its demand for an apology and for lifting the siege on Gaza (after the execution of 9 Turkish passengers in International waters last year. more.. e-mail

 

How much longer will the West allow this inhuman, illegal and immoral siege to continue?
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO)6/22/2011
The sun is shining, the beach is filling up and the squeal of car tyres and screech of car horns is pervasive. I could be in Beirut or any one of a number of Levantine Mediterranean coastal cities, but I’m in Gaza City and this is not a normal seaside scenario; how many places have Israeli gunboats patrolling within sight of the shore in order to prevent local fishermen operating in their own territorial waters?.
“Hamasastan”, as Gaza is dubbed by fanatical Zionists of the Israel Lobby in the media, is far from normal, but the myths about the besieged Hamas-run strip of land peddled by the Lobbyists betray their own prejudices more than the reality. Hamas won the free and fair elections in 2006 and has ruled ever since under a cruel blockade imposed by Israel and Western governments. That the government has been able to do so, and survive a brutally aggressive invasion by Israel and still increase public sector employment in the interim is little short of miraculous. The myths should be of heroic resistance against the siege not of the gutter variety spewed out by the Zionists and their apologists.
The blockade of Gaza has been, and largely remains despite minor cosmetic “easing”, total: economic, medical, travel and financial. A shameful aspect of this siege, Western democracies’ hypocrisy aside, is the craven approach of the Arab states. Claiming solidarity with the people of Palestine on the one hand, the wealthy Gulf States have joined the bloc behind the siege. The Mubarak regime in Egypt blocked $50 million destined for Gaza. According to the Minister of Works and Social Affairs in the Hamas government that money is still held in Cairo, despite the change of regime. “It is shameful,” said Ahmad Al-Kurd, “that support for the very poorest in Palestinian society comes from European countries and NGOs while our ‘Arab brothers’ in neighbouring governments comply with the siege conditions imposed by Israel and its Zionist supporters in the West.” more.. e-mail

Labor party rocked by fraud allegations, frontrunner sails on
Dimi Reider, +972 Magazine6/22/2011
It’s probably hard to tell from outside certain Israeli circles, but the withering Labor party has been making some considerable noise over its approaching primaries campaign. With nearly as many serious contenders for the leadership as there are Labor members in the Knesset (eight), the competition has always had a rather moribund feel to it. Now, with Channel 2 exposing that at least 10 percent of registered party members are also registered members of rival parties Kadima and Likud, and many more did not know they have joined a party, the plot is taking a distinct lurch toward the macabre.
Last night, Channel 2’s Amit Segal reported that him and his researchers sifted through over 23,000 membership forms ‚Äì about half of the 50,000 new members the party boasted to have registered ahead of the primaries. His findings were dire: about 2,300 of those have registered to several parties at once ‚Äì an offense punishable by a year in prison; dozens of voters in the Palestinian minority in Israel were registered through the head of a family or a clan, with his phone number on all their membership forms; profoundly suspicious patterns (in the township of Houra, for example, 10 people voted for Labor in the last elections, but over 110 joined the party ranks this year); and many of those he called to inquire why they joined the Labor party said they signed something they didn’t understand, while others still thought he was calling them with a job offer.
None of this should come as a surprise. Labor, after all, is the farcical recurring of the tragedy of Mapai, the mega-party that ruled the state for its first three decades (boasting, alongside occasionally effective but deeply racist development drives, the Nakba, the military regime, the Suez crisis, the Occupation, and practically every endemic social wrong that has plagued Israel ever since, from the pact with the ultra-Orthodox parties through the discrimination of Mizrahim and the military cult). Wholesale registration of loyal Arab-Israeli clans, in particular, is as Labor as Rabin and Ben Gurion, as Hillel Cohen relates in exasperating detail in Good Arabs. What’s slightly bewildering is why call through all this bother for a party heading for an inevitable and overdue collapse, barring some injection of new blood in the shape of the slightly sinister National Left movement. more.. e-mail

Netherlands embraces Israel tighter, squeezing out human rights
Electronic Intifada: 22 Jun 2011 – Adri Nieuwhof The Electronic Intifada Why is The Netherlands deepening its economic and political ties with Israel just when Israel is escalating its attacks on Palestinian rights and flouting international law with impunity? Adri Nieuwhof comments on the Dutch government’s lurch away from a commitment to human rights.more

Jerusalem baby denied rights by Israeli apartheid
Electronic Intifada: 22 Jun 2011 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours The Electronic Intifada Silwan Israel’s decision to deny seven-month-old Nouralden Issa Abbassi a Jerusalem identification card — and by extension block his right to access public health services and education — has left his family anxious and concerned for the future.more

Armed with Love and Missive from Dr. King: Setting Sail for Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jun 2011 – By Medea Benjamin ‘I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him,’ said Dr. Martin Luther King as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. These words will guide me and other passengers aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a fleet of nine boats scheduled to set sail for Gaza on June 25 from various Mediterranean ports. While the Israelis try to label us provocateurs, terrorists and Hamas supporters, we are simply nonviolent advocates following the teachings of Dr. King. We refuse to sit at the docks of history and watch the people of Gaza suffer. The U.S. boat, which will carry 50 Americans, is called The Audacity of Hope. It is named after Obama’s bestselling political autobiography in which he lauds our collective audacity of striving to become a better nation….more

Setting Sail for Gaza, Armed with Love Letters and a Missive from Dr. King
Dissident Voice: 22 Jun 2011 – “I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him,” said Dr. Martin Luther King as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. These words will guide me and other passengers aboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a fleet of nine boats scheduled to set sail for Gaza on June 25 from various Mediterranean ports. While the Israelis try to label us provocateurs, terrorists and Hamas supporters, we are simply nonviolent advocates following the teachings of Dr. King. We refuse to sit at the docks of history and watch the people of Gaza suffer. The U.S. boat, which will carry 50 Americans, is called The Audacity of Hope . It is named after Obama’s bestselling political autobiography in which he lauds our collective audacity of striving to become a better nation. But I prefer…more

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