VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 4 August, 2011: Israeli Knesset considers bill to end ‘democratic’ element of Israeli state

4 August , 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

UN Committee enters Gaza for first time in 43 years
IMEMC – Friday August 05, 2011 – 01:00, For the first time in forty-three years, an investigative committee of the United Nations General Assembly has managed to enter the Gaza Strip.

930 New Units Approved in Settlement of Har Homa
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 18:13, In what appears to be a response to the ongoing housing crisis in the State of Israel, the Israeli government has on Thursday given final approval to build housing units in the settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim).

Israeli MK’s Petition Netanyahu to Immediately Increase Illegal Settlement of West Bank
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 14:14, Forty-two MK’s and cabinet members have petitioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resolve the housing crisis by building in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, according to Haaretz.

Turkey Not Present For Annual Naval Exercises With Israel And US
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 13:12, For the second year in a row, Turkey is not participating in the naval drill, Reliant Mermaid, with Israel and the US. This action taken by Turkey is a result of the killing of nine Turkish activists from the 2010 Gaza Flotilla Raid.

Knesset Report Does Not Predict Violence in September
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 13:02, A report to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee indicates that intelligence officials do not expect Palestinian violence in September. It predicts peaceful protests, but recommends activating reserves as a precaution according to sources at Ynet.

Israeli Supreme Court Orders Illegal Outpost Be Dismantled
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 12:27, In a watershed ruling on Tuesday, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the government to dismantle the illegal outpost of Migron by April 2012.

Aya Al-Baradiya’s Murder Changes Palestinian Law
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 12:16, Aya Al-Baradiya disappeared in April 2010, her remains not found until a year after her disappearance. Her uncle confessed to police that he had tied Aya up and drowned her in a well with the help of three friends; he said the murder was committed to protect the family’s honor.

Israeli Knesset considers bill to end ‘democratic’ element of Israeli state
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 11:09, A new law currently under consideration by the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) recognizes the inherent contradiction in Israel’s self-definition as both a ‘democratic’ and Jewish state, and calls on the government to favor Jewish law and traditions over democracy.

Two Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza City
IMEMC – Thursday August 04, 2011 – 07:01, The Israeli airforce has confirmed that it dropped two bombs on Gaza City Thursday morning, claiming that two shells had landed in the desert in southern Israel fired from somewhere inside Gaza.

Ma’an News

Israel approves 900 settlement homes in East Jerusalem
8/4/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s interior ministry has given final approval for the construction of 900 new homes in the east Jerusalem settlement neighborhood of Har Homa, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP on Thursday.” This is a programme which was approved by the regional (planning and construction) committee two years ago,” spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said….

Israel: Airstrikes targeted military sites and tunnel
8/4/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli airstrikes on Gaza early Thursday targeted two military sites in the north and a tunnel in the south, the army said and added that the attacks were in response to rocket fire.” These sites were targeted in response to the rockets fired from Gaza at Israel’s southern communities…. Related: Report: 2 injured as Israeli air strikes target Gaza City and Projectile fired from the Gaza Strip lands in southern Israel

Report: 2 injured as Israeli air strikes target Gaza City
8/4/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians from an armed group were injured in the Al-Tuffah neighborhood of Gaza City on Thursday as Israeli air strikes hit the coastal enclave. Local witnesses told Ma’an that a large explosion was heard in the Jabal Al-Rayes neighborhood east of Gaza City. The Israeli army said….

Hamas leader freed in mass prisoner release
8/4/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel moved Thursday to free 770 Israeli and Palestinian detainees, including a senior leader of Hamas, prison and Palestinian Authority officials said. Israel prisons spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said the prisoners, among them 200 Palestinians, had almost completed their terms and were released due to overcrowding. Hassan Yousef, a West Bank leader….

Israeli undercover army unit threatens driver near Nablus
8/4/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — An undercover unit of the Israeli army reportedly threatened a Palestinian driver on Thursday near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. Eyewitness Munir Al-Jagub told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers traveling in a car and wearing civilian clothes pointed their guns at a driver along the Huwwara road leading….

Israel imposes restrictions for first Friday of Ramadan
8/4/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army closed Qalandia checkpoint to public and private transportation on Thursday evening in preparation for the first Friday of the Holy month of Ramadan, Israel Radio reported Thursday. The checkpoint, near Ramallah, will be closed to vehicles from Thursday evening at 9. 00 p. m. until Friday evening, with….

‘Armed group’ claims Gaza rocket attacks
8/4/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A claim of responsibility has been issued for an attack Wednesday in which two rockets struck Israeli territory and prompted air raids early the next day. The “Abdulla Azzam Brigades” said it fired Grad rockets toward Asheklon and Kiryat Gat. In a statement, a spokesman explained that the attack was…. Related: Israel: Airstrikes targeted military sites and tunnel and Projectile fired from the Gaza Strip lands in southern Israel

Projectile fired from the Gaza Strip lands in southern Israel
8/4/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — A projectile fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel late Thursday with no reported injuries, Israeli daily Ynet reported. An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that the projectile landed in the Lakhish region, near Kiryat Gat…. Related: Israel: Airstrikes targeted military sites and tunnel and ‘Armed group’ claims Gaza rocket attacks

2 Palestinians arrested at Tulkarem checkpoint
8/5/2011 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians on Thursday at the military checkpoint of Enav, near Tulkarem, local witnesses told Ma’an. Soldiers tightened security procedures at the checkpoint while checking cars and the identity cards of local residents, closing the checkpoint for over two hours and preventing residents from passing through….

Palestinian official: Israel to free 200 prisoners
8/4/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli prison authorities intend to release on Thursday 200 Palestinian detainees including Hamas leader Hassan Yousef, the Palestinian Authority prisoners minister said…. Related: Hamas leader freed in mass prisoner release

Kiev’s vanishing mayor ‘reappears in Israel’
8/4/2011 – KIEV (AFP) — The eccentric mayor of Kiev, who mysteriously vanished from Ukraine and has not been spotted in public for months, has reappeared in Israel on “an unofficial holiday”, a report said. Leonid Chernovetsky, who bewildered Ukrainians with his bizarre antics in office and still officially retains his post, was discovered by Ukrainian television channel….

Report: Honduras announces support for Palestinian statehood
8/5/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Honduras announced Thursday that it intends to support the Palestinian UN bid for statehood in September, prompting the Israeli Foreign Ministry to withdraw its ambassador from the country for consultation, Israeli news site Walla reported. The announcement came during a conversation between Palestinian Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Malki and….

Rafah crossing to open
8/4/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Rafah crossing will be open Thursday for passengers who had registered to travel to Egypt on July 28, the director of the Gaza side of the crossing, Ayoub Abu Shaar, said. He instructed passengers to proceed to Abu Yousef An-Najjar hall in the southern city of Khan Younis, noting….

Mustafa Barghouti receives American Palestinian student delegation
8/4/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian MP Mustafa Al-Barghouti received several student delegations on Thursday, including a group of American Palestinians.”Our victory depends on our self confidence and confrontation of the occupation’s procedures which are represented in practicing of frustration against the Palestinians,” he said, emphasizing that young Palestinians abroad should do their….

Palestinians ‘moving ahead’ with UN bid
8/5/2011 – DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — The Palestinians are determined to go ahead with their UN membership bid as an Arab League follow-up committee endorsed a final draft of the request to be presented to the UN General Assembly, a top official said. Saeb Erekat brushed off as a public relations stunt Israeli attempts to lure the Palestinians….

Report: Qatar backs UN recognition bid
8/4/2011 – DOHA, Qatar (Ma’an) — The minister of state for international cooperation in Qatar said Wednesday that the Gulf emirate would support a Palestinian bid for recognition of statehood at the UN in September. Addressing a gathering of an Arab Peace Initiative sub-committee in Doha, Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah called for a united Arab stand….

Nablus man arrested for possessing fireworks
8/4/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Palestinian police on Thursday arrested a Nablus man on charges he possessed fireworks in his car, which is illegal in urban areas according to Palestinian Authority law. Police said the suspect, who was not identified, was taken for investigation….

Israeli activists call for mass Saturday protests
8/4/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Representatives of Israel’s growing social protest movement have called for massive demonstrations on Saturday night to press their calls for a reduction in the cost of living.” All the people who are involved in this wave of protests have called for mass demonstrations against the government this Saturday night in Tel….

US, Russia have strong words for Syria’s Assad
8/5/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — The United States and Russia had harsh words for embattled Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday, a day after the UN Security Council condemned his deadly crackdown on anti-regime demonstrators. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, whose country has so far stonewalled firmer UN action, hinted at a possible change of heart, while the White….

Iran to help build houses in Venezuela
8/4/2011 – CARACAS (AFP) — Venezuela has signed a deal with Iran to build over 10,000 homes in three central states of the South American nation in a billion-dollar investment package that signals the two country’s increasingly close ties. The two governments signed the agreement on Wednesday, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said in a statement, without….

Petrol bombs hurled at Arab League HQ
8/4/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Saboteurs on Thursday threw two Molotov cocktails at the Arab League headquarters in central Cairo, with no reports of casualties or serious damage, an Arab League source said.” At dawn this morning, there were two Molotov cocktails thrown into the Arab League building. There were no casualties, and only minor damage was caused….

Arab world gripped by Mubarak trial
8/4/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — The dramatic images of ailing Hosni Mubarak in the defendants’ cage has captivated the Arab world, where the murder trial of Egypt’s former president has been hailed as a lesson for those clinging to power. Footage of the ailing 83-year-old, lying on a hospital bed behind the wire mesh….

Palestine Note

Palestinians will soon come full circle
Palestine Note 4 Aug 2011 – Sam Bahour, The Guardian- The Palestinian national liberation movement has reached its end. As the Palestinian leadership — if there is such a legitimate body today — prepares to bring the issue of statehood to the UN this September, the…

Housing activists add Israeli Arab concerns to list of demands
Palestine Note 4 Aug 2011 – Haaretz- The organizers of the tent protest yesterday added two demands of the Arab community to the list of demands they are drafting for the committee appointed by the prime minister to deal with their grievances. Arabs are demanding state…

Former Israeli minister of Justice Yossi Beilin: Abbas is a man of peace
Palestine Note 4 Aug 2011 – Ma’an- President Mahmoud Abbas is a man who believes in peace but Israel disappointed him by leaving him without a peace partner, said Yossi Beilin, former Israeli minister of justice and co-architect of the Geneva Initiative. In an interview on…

HIV epidemic emerges among gays in Middle East and North Africa
Palestine Note 4 Aug 2011 – The National- Epidemics of HIV have emerged among gay and bisexual men in the Middle East and North Africa, while high levels of risky sexual behaviour threaten to spread Aids further in the region, researchers said on Tuesday. In the…

UN Condemnation, But No Resolution, For Syria
Palestine Note 4 Aug 2011 – Secretary General: Assad has ‘lost all sense of humanity’ BBC News – The UN Security Council has condemned the Syrian government for its deadly crackdown on protesters. It is the first clear condemnation issued by the Security Council, which includes…

Aljazeera

Israel ‘sees border talks if PA drops UN bid’
AlJazeera 4 Aug 2011 – Leaders of major political parties authorise Iraqi PM to negotiate with US the terms of stay of US soldiers.

Egypt resumes trials of former officials
AlJazeera 4 Aug 2011 – Residents tell of random shooting by armed men and communication blackout even as Assad announces political concessions.

Syria’s Assad decrees multi-party system
AlJazeera 4 Aug 2011 – Residents tell of random shooting by armed men and communication blackout even as Assad announces political concessions.

Arab League discusses Palestinian statehood
AlJazeera 4 Aug 2011 – Ex-interior minister Habib al-Adly and senior security officials face charges over their role in killings of protesters.

Reports: Syrian army intensifies Hama assault
AlJazeera 4 Aug 2011 – Jerusalem court paves way for Aleksandar Cvetkovic to stand trial in Bosnia over alleged role in 1995 massacre.

Palestine News Network

Strategic Deal Signed by Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and Reach Communications
PNN – Ramallah – PNN – Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation and Reach Communication Services Company signed a strategic partnership to establish a contact center in Bethlehem. The center was established to help make…

Sheikh Hassan Yousef, Released With 200 Security Prisoners
PNN – Prominent West Bank Hamas leader, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, was released along with 200 other Palestinian security prisoners on Thursday. The Israeli Prison Service said the act was in honor of Ramadan while…

Israel Considers Palestinian Violence in September Unlikely
PNN – According to an Israeli parliamentary report disclosed by the Associated Press, Israel does not expect violence surrounding the Palestinian UN bid for statehood recognition next month. The report, based on Israeli intelligence…

New US Ambassador to Israel Appointed
PNN – PNN — Tel Aviv — This week, Dan Shapiro, a former adviser to current United States President Barack Obama, was appointed as the new US ambassador to Israel. Yesterday Israeli President Shimon…

New Housing Protest Demands Represent Israeli Palestinians
PNN – Tel Aviv – PNN – Israeli Arabs added state recognition of unrecognized Palestinian villages in Israel to the list of demands proposed by housing protest organizers as well as the approval of…

Israeli Jets Strike Hamas Training Compounds
PNN – Bethlehem – PNN – Israeli F-16 jets carried out an air strike against two training facilities belonging to the armed wing of Hamas early this morning. The training camps of the al-Qassam…

Palestine Telegraph

Israel opens investigation into killing of 2 Palestinians in Qalandia
4 Aug 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli military police decided to start investigating the killing of two citizens in Kalandia refugee camp last Monday after attempts made by the European Union and United Nations representatives in the Palestinian territories, urging Israeli government to investigate the incident.

The Silent Steel Resistance of Nabi Samuel
4 Aug 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – Maqam Al Nabi Samwail (The Tomb of the Prophet Samuel) used to be one of our favorite hiking destinations when we were children. From our nearby village of Bir Nabala, the hike up the mountain to the site of the tomb of the prophet was the perfect pastime for a bunch of children who enjoyed the…

Palestinian hit by settler’s car in Beitlehem
4 Aug 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-A Palestinian citizen was moderately injured early Thursday after being hit by a Jewish settler driving a car in al-Khader town, southern Bethlehem.

Israeli authorities prohibit “Azan” in Ibrahimi mosque
4 Aug 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation authorities continued prohibiting Azan (call for prayer) in the Ibrahimi mosque located in Hebron about 52 times in an attempt to prevent Muslims worshipers access to this holy site.

Israeli air strikes target sites in Gaza city
4 Aug 2011 – Gaza Strip, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli warplanes Thursday at dawn bombarded several sites in Gaza city injuring two Palestinian children and also inflicting great damage.

The National

Mubarak verdict far from a done deal
The National 4 Aug 2011 – Yet to be revealed is the quality of the evidence against Hosni Mubarak, the fairness of the judges overseeing the case and just how open the secretive military is to a far-ranging investigation that could see high-ranking officials called to testify in a courtroom.

Bahraini government refutes claims it raided medical clinic
The National 4 Aug 2011 – Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said in a statement on Wednesday that security forces ¬øviolently¬ø raided its clinic in the village of Jidhafs¬ø on July 28. Yesterday, the Ministry of Health said the claims by MSF contained ¬øserious falsehoods.

Arab world gripped by opening of Mubarak trial
The National 3 Aug 2011 – Opponents and supporters of Mubarak regime say they never expected to see the day, as one Egyptian declares: ‘I don’t believe this ‚Ķ to see a president being tried ‚Ķ I never imagined it. I am so happy.’

Saudi prince wins damages from UK newspaper for Robert Fisk libel
The National 3 Aug 2011 – False story claimed the Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, had ordered police chiefs in the kingdom ‘to shoot and kill unarmed demonstrators without mercy’.

Egypt enthralled and appalled at sight of Mubarak in court
The National 3 Aug 2011 – Relief and revulsion as country’s former leader finally appears in court while his supporters and opponents clash outside.

Ramadan on the front-line: brief reprieve from fighting for Libya’s rebe
The National 3 Aug 2011 – The first day of Ramadan provided a rare reprieve for anti-Qaddafi fighters encamped near Zlitern, 160 kilometres east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

Mubarak in court: the day Egyptians thought they would never see
The National 3 Aug 2011 – He arrived on a stretcher with a sheet pulled up to his chest. Then ex-president Hosni Mubarak was placed in a cage in an Egyptian courthouse, along with his sons and seven others.

Election watchdog row backfires on Iraqi PM Maliki
The National 3 Aug 2011 – Growing pressure on coalition after leader’s bid for vote of no confidence in electoral commission over fraud allegations ends in power struggle as support dissolves.

Kuwaiti man arrested over Ramadan shootings of three Indians
The National 3 Aug 2011 – Government worker told investigating officers that he killed two of the men because ‘they were eating during Ramadan.’

Ha’aretz

Palestinian Authority orders forces to prevent violence after September UN vote
Ha’aretz – Palestinians inform Israel of their intention to keep the peace and avoid confrontation. Polls show Palestinians oppose outbreak of third intifada, following push for statehood.

Akiva Eldar / New U.S. envoy in Israel to clear obstacles for Obama’s second term
Ha’aretz – Ambassador Dan Shapiro, submitted his credentials to President Shimon Peres on Wednesday.

Housing activists hope for record numbers at Saturday protest
Ha’aretz – Protest marches, demonstrations and rallies in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the Galilee are planed during the weekend.

Young woman recounts her escape from Israeli cult
Ha’aretz – Testimony of physical, sexual and emotional abuse led to an investigation resulting in police raid. Cult leader and two others arrested.

Doctors claim Netanyahu’s father-in-law enjoys preferential treatment in hospital
Ha’aretz – The 96-year old poet was hospitalized at the Hadassah’s intensive care cardio ward for a month, while the average time a patient is hospitalized in that ward is less than four days.

Kadima lawmakers retract support for bill scrapping Arabic as official language in Israel
Ha’aretz – The bill would have made democratic rule subservient to the state’s definition as “the national home for the Jewish people.”

Wikipedia leaders outline their vision as conference opens in Haifa
Ha’aretz – Annual Wikimedia conference began Thursday in Haifa.

Group of Israeli medical residents withdraws resignation letters
Ha’aretz – Withdrawal follows decision to submit 1,000 resignation letters to hospitals countrywide; resignations already submitted to Sheba Medical Center, Beilinson Hospital.

Israeli activist who derailed Norris’ presidential bid says Ireland lost great leader
Ha’aretz – David Norris dropped out of the race following revelations he sought clemency for Ezra Nawi, who was charged with statutory rape.

Parents and children protest in ‘stroller marches’ across Israel
Ha’aretz – Demonstrators march in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Kiryat Motzkin to protest high cost of raising children; ‘stroller march’ organizer rejects Treasury’s claim that free education for children aged 10 and over is unreasonable.

More than 1,000 Israeli medical residents submit resignation letters
Ha’aretz – Despite breakthrough in negotiation between doctors’ union and Finance Ministry, residents demand raise in hourly pay.

Picks in Pics: Which is the best protest banner?
Ha’aretz – Israelis have taken to the streets in their thousands to protest the spiraling prices of housing, childcare and other basic costs. Which of the banners they are wielding is your favorite?

Taxi drivers join Israeli social protest wave, block main Tel Aviv road
Ha’aretz – Hundreds of taxi drivers protest high price of diesel fuel in Israel; thousands of Israelis due to participate in various social protests on Thursday afternoon.

IDF launches strike on Gaza after rocket hits southern Israel
Ha’aretz – Palestinians report 3 injured in eastern Gaza City. Grad rocket launched from Gaza falls in open area in southern Israel.

Senior Hamas leader in West Bank released from Israeli prison
Ha’aretz – Sheikh Hassan Yousef, one of Hamas’ founders, served five years in prison; Yousef’s son, Mosab Hassan Yousef, recently made headlines by coming forward as a spy for Israel’s Shin Bet.

IDF launches air strike in Gaza after rockets land in south Israel
Ha’aretz – Strike destroys two Gaza city training facilities; no casualties reported.

Jerusalem Post

Israel Railways safety agreement averts strike
Jerusalem Post 5 Aug 2011 – Transportation Minister Katz: Safe, reliable rail travel “presents a solution to some housing problems of Tel Aviv and the central area.”

Gush Katif evacuees to get higher compensation
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Under new bill, gov’t to allocate NIS 300m. for home, business owners.

Bnei Brak rabbi indicted for sexually assaulting student
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Prosecutors charge that the 52-year-old committed sodomy and sexual assault on the young boy over a period of two years.

Cult leader allegedly imposed punishments on women
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – 3 men indicted for slavery, sex offenses and acts of abuse and humiliation; 9 members of the cult, a polygamous family, were arrested.

Prisoners not allowed to see lawyers with terrorist links
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Prison managers will be permitted to stop such meetings for up to 72 hours, expendable by courts for one year.

New fines set for failure to notify of work conditions
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Employees to receive NIS 15,000 if not given written notice of work conditions; burden of proof to fall on employer.

Protesters adopt public education as new cause
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – 1,000 march in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv to improve education as part of move toward social justice.

TA: Thousands rally at Histadrut to support tent protests
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Ofer Eini to protesters: “We lost our compassion and became a capitalist country”; hundreds march to Gideon Sa’ar’s house in stroller protest.

Tent-city protesters vow to hold even larger demos
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Organizers hope turnout will exceed 200,000 across the country; gathering to be “angrier” after passage of housing legislation.

‘IDF troops shot at journalists covering W. Bank protest’
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Photojournalist files complaint alleging IDF intentionally fired at him; IDF says it cannot investigate incident in depth without full details.

IMA leadership hopeful strike will end next week
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – 1,000 medical residents: We’ll quit in 30 days if deal not good enough.

Clinton: Syrian regime responsible for over 2,000 deaths
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Top US diplomat repeats Assad has lost legitimacy; US analysts: Obama administration’s heightened rhetoric must be matched by action; Assad unlikely to deploy Palestinians to Israel’s borders in September.

Savir’s Corner: A new deal for Israel?
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – We need a deal that will lead to a fair Israel, to a better economy, to a just society, to new politics, to peace and to respect of fundamental human values.

Leiby Kletzky’s accused killer pleads not guilty
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Psychological exam finds Levi Aron, accused of killing 8-year-old hassidic boy in Brooklyn, competent to stand trial after.

US invites PA leaders to Washington in bid to avoid UN plan
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Erekat, Abu Rudaineh to travel to US again for talks on statehood plan; PA official tells ‘Al-Hayat’ US gov’t searching for formula to allow both sides to resume peace talks so that PA could abandon UN bid.

Ups and downs of tourism in the Levant
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Egypt says its tourism is bouncing back, but tourists stay away from Syria, Lebanon following concerns over volatile region; Israel unaffected.

Post-surgery Pollard’s wife to see him
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Prison staff tries to intervene after Jonathan not given appropriate pain medication; doctor says another operation may be necessary.

IDF panel keeps God out of Yizkor prayer
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Committee rules “Yizkor Am Yisrael” and “Yizkor Elohim” to be taken out of IDF prayer after it was revealed different units used different wording.

‘Al-Ahram’: Sharia state would ‘preserve life, justice’
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Egypt widest-circulation newspaper editorial maintains anti-Israel line, says Sharia is about ‘equality,’ and fears of Islamic state are overblown.

Off the Beaten Track: A Walk through an Old-New Land
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – A new column: Travel expert Joe Yudin introduces “the road less traveled” as well as some new discoveries at more well-known sites.

State Comptroller: Carmel Fire report ‘very severe’
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – 1st draft of report into fire to be released in a week; probe has uncovered negligence on part of police, prison service, gov’t ministries.

‘Jerusalem Post’ targeted by cyber-attack
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – During peak of denial-of-service attack, 10,000 spam emails were sent in a minute; hackers also tried but failed to control ‘Post’s firewall.

Interior Ministry approves 930 new units in Har Homa
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Ministry touts project as part of solution for lack of affordable housing; Peace Now: Gov’t trying to score points with settlements policy.

Dozens die, thousands flee Hama amid Syrian violence
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Activists say 45 civilians killed in besieged city; Syrian rights group: At least 1,500 families have fled Hama in last 48 hours.

The Weekly Schmooze: Bibi Netanyahu — the remix
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – A Jpost column wrapping up Jewish culture news worldwide: Broadway’s new “Funny Girl”; Etgar Keret’s super-skinny house.

Justice Ministry: Current terror legislation out of date
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Knesset passes first reading of a new bill proposing expanded powers for law enforcement agencies in preventing and dealing with terror.

New iPad app – Judoku, a Jewish version of Sudoku
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Game uses Jewish symbols such as a Star of David and shofar, or letters of the Hebrew alphabet, in place of numbers.

Hezbollah hands over material for Hariri UN tribunal
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Special Tribunal for Lebanon studying documents and videos provided by Shi’ite group whose members have been indicted for 2005 assassination.

US judge: NY’s kosher food-labeling law constitutional
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – NY’s newest law for certifying and labeling food kosher under Jewish law is, well, kosher, according to federal ruling; doesn’t violate 1st Amend.

Assad issues law allowing multiparty government system
Jerusalem Post 4 Aug 2011 – Syria’s single-party political system now open to formation of parties adhering to “democratic principles”; ends Ba’ath party monopoly.

The Guardian

Tel Aviv’s ‘tent city’ protesters dig in to demand social justice
The Guardian 4 Aug 2011 – Grassroots campaign calling for social justice emerges in Israel as thousands protest against cost of living Tent villages are to be pitched in up to a dozen Israeli-Arab towns on Friday as momentum behind Israel’s grassroots…

Palestinians will soon come full circle | Sam Bahour
The Guardian 4 Aug 2011 – Years have been wasted making concessions to their colonisers. Palestinians were right to call for a secular state at the outset The Palestinian national liberation movement has reached its end. As the Palestinian leadership — if…

Inter Press Service

Book Plots J Street’s Coordinates on Map of U.S.-Israel Politics
IPS The “pro-Israel, pro-peace” lobby group J Street has drawn a lot of attention in its short lifetime. Despite decidedly moderate politics, its leader, Jeremy Ben-Ami, has repeatedly been the centre of controversy, and the group’s very existence has stirred debate in the U.S. Jewish community about the boundaries of acceptable…

Syria’s Assad Decrees Multi-Party System
IPS President Bashar al-Assad has issued a decree authorising a multi-party political system in Syria, a day after the U.N. Security Council issued a statement condemning the regime’s use of force against protesters.

SYRIA: U.S. Moves Closer to Call for Regime Change
IPS Amidst growing calls in Congress for stronger measures to effect “regime change” in Syria, the administration of President Barack Obama is escalating its rhetoric against President Bashar Al-Assad.

Uruknet

Mocking the Gaza Flotilla
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – A small flotilla carrying human rights and peace activists to Israel-blockaded Gaza was itself blockaded in Greece after intense diplomatic pressure from Washington and Tel Aviv. But the Israeli news media continues to heap ridicule on the passengers. Two of them, retired U.S. Army Col. Ann Wright and Israeli-born Hagit Borer, respond…

Budget Cutting Perfidy
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – It’s all over but the mourning. After weeks of tooing-and-frooing theater, Obama signed the deal from hell. Understand clearly what happened. A bipartisan conspiracy took step one to ending America’s social contract. Subsequent ones will follow. On the chopping block are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and publicly funded pensions, heading perhaps first for privatization…

UK’s secret policy on torture revealed
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – A top-secret document revealing how MI6 and MI5 officers were allowed to extract information from prisoners being illegally tortured overseas has been seen by the Guardian. The interrogation policy – details of which are believed to be too sensitive to be publicly released at the government inquiry into the UK’s role in torture and…

In between laws: Palestinian workers strike at Salit Quarry
Uruknet A group of 42 Palestinians are in their second month of a strike at the Salit Quarry, an Israeli-managed mine associated with Mishor Adumim, the industrial zone of the Ma’ale Adumim settlement of the West Bank. The workers’ demands are fairly basic: reasonable salaries, regular, monthly pay slips and safe, healthy working conditions. Though there are an estimated…

Protest Israel’s detention of Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamesh
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – The Palestinian human rights group Addameer issued an appeal today urging supporters to take action on the administrative detention of Palestinian political scientist and writer Ahmad Qatamesh (the full appeal is below). Qatamesh has been held in administrative detention after he was arrested on 21 April in the middle of the night. Hanin Ahmad…

Libya: Nato accused of killing family in botched bombing raid
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – The alleged strike on a two-storey home in the suburbs of the town of Zlitan, 160 miles east of Tripoli, killed the wife and two children of Mustafa Naji, a physics teacher and sparked an eruption of local anger against the bombing campaign…. Moussa Ibrahim, the Gaddafi regime spokesman, said the attack on Zlitan…

Israel approves 900 settlement homes in East Jerusalem
Uruknet August 4, 2011 -. — Israel’s interior ministry has given final approval for the construction of 900 new homes in the east Jerusalem settlement neighborhood of Har Homa, a ministry spokeswoman told AFP on Thursday. “This is a programme which was approved by the regional (planning and construction) committee two years ago,” spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said. “According to…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (28 July- 03 Aug. 2011)
Uruknet August 4, 2011 – Summary – Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (28 July – 03 August 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian civilians and wounded 4 others, including two children, in the West Bank. They also wounded another civilian in the Gaza Strip….

Deaths pile up in Hama siege At least 109 killed today in Syria’s Hama, activist group says ‚Äé
Uruknet August 4, 2011 — Scores of people died in and around the restive Syrian city of Hama on Thursday, according to grim reports from activists confirming fears of widespread casualties a day after the start of a new brutal military clampdown targeting protesters. At least 109 people died in and around Hama, according to Avaaz, a global activist…

The Security Council’s mixed signals on Syria
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – But the statement sends other signals as well. It explicitly warns against attacks on government institutions. On the view of the Security Council, a full-scale revolt by the Syrian people against the government—a regime that has been killing protesters for weeks—is not justified. The Council statement also insists that the “only solution to the…

Airstrikes target Gaza City
Uruknet August 4, 2011 — Israeli aircraft fired on Gaza City early Thursday, witnesses said. Two air raids targeted military sites including one belonging to Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades, a Ma’an correspondent said. There were no immediate reports of injury or damage following the attacks. Israel’s army said in a statement the airstrikes targeted two military sites in the north…

Iraq snapshot – August 3, 2011
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – Violence continued overnight. The Belfast Telegraph notes, “Four Iraqis have been killed in two successive bomb attacks targeting a shop selling alcohol in western Baghdad, police and health officials said.” AFP adds, “The explosions come shortly after the beginning of Ramadan, during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until dusk….

Ruin-Nation: The Obama Catastrophe
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – After two and a half years of waging war against the Left half of his own party, while seeking a “Grand Consensus” with the GOP, President Obama has finally set “in motion a rolling implosion of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society.” The final vote on the debt ceiling measure – actually a…

BDS Organization Writes Total Produce To Not Buy Agrexco
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – The Palestinian Boycott Divest Sanction organization has written a letter to the Irish company, Total Produce, to not purchase the Israeli produce company, Agrexco. The letter charged that Agrexco has been involved with “Israeli war crimes.” Sixty to seventy percent of the produce sold by Agrexco comes from confiscated Palestinian land in the West…

Iraq, U.S. to discuss extended stay for troops
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – The Iraqi government agreed late Tuesday to start negotiations with U.S. officials on whether to authorize the U.S. military to remain in Iraq on a mission training Iraq’s security forces after 2011. The announcement came the same day that Adm. Michael G. Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited the country and…

Statement by the Employees of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – In an act of international terrorism and in violation of UNSC resolutions, NATO targeted facilities of the Libyan Broadcasting Authority in the early hours of this morning. 3 of our colleagues were murdered and 15 injured while performing their professional duty as Libyan journalists.NATO admitted the crime citing “silencing Gaddafi’s propaganda machine” as a…

Syria News – August 3, 2011 (Videos)
Uruknet Hama: witnesses who were able to escape Hama report seeing a huge number of dead bodies in the Nasr square area where the old Assad statue was which confirms previous report of mass killing, they also describe massive destruction of buildings in the Qusoor and Baath area as very similar to the 1982 massacre scene… Moreover two young…

Syrian Ambassador leaves Egypt following protests at embassy
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – Syrian Ambassador to Egypt Youssef Ahmed traveled to Damascus with his family Wednesday. Ahmed refused to say if he had left for vacation or other reasons, but the trip follows protests outside the Syrian Embassy that demanded he leave. The protesters condemned the Syrian military’s violent suppression of protests in Hama, al-Bukamal and Deir…

“We Would Rather Die In Our Dread:” Moving beyond the debt ceiling canard; much more is at stake
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – At present, most of us negotiate our days so distracted, disillusioned, dazed, buffeted, bought or marginalized by the corporate state/ mass media hologram — the multi-headed, awareness-addling Hydra that guards contemporary precincts of perception (apropos, the “debate” involving the so-called debt ceiling “crisis”) — it is difficult to apprehend what we are up against…

“You do not have any right to harass me this way”-Two journalists and three villagers arrested in Nabi Salih
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – Muheep Barguthy, a photojournalist from Al-Hayat, and David Cronin, an author and correspondent for the International Press Service, were arrested in the village of Nabi Saleh last Friday, during a weekly demonstration. Three Palestinian villagers, Eyad Tamimi, Rafat Tamimi and Malik Tamimi were also arrested. Last Friday, international and Palestinian activists witnessed what has…

Saudi prince Nayef wins libel damages over Robert Fisk’s Independent article
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – Saudi Arabia’s interior minister has accepted undisclosed damages over an article in The Independent newspaper accusing him of ordering police to shoot and kill unarmed protesters. The newspaper accepted the “order” it reported was in fact a fake…. The article was written by the Independent’s Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk, who also offered his…

Dropping of the last mask of democracy
Uruknet August 3, 2011 – “You should definitely postpone your book launch in Jerusalem,” warned a close friend who felt that the planned event for launching my recently published book on the Palestinian-led movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel might be too risky in light of the recently passed Israeli law that effectively bans support for…

Daily Star

Egyptian security chiefs’ turn to get into the iron cage
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 A day after the start of Hosni Mubarak’s historic trial, seven of his co-defendants were back in the courtroom Thursday on charges of complicity in the killing of protesters during the uprising that toppled Egypt’s longtime…

Syria testing international patience
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Syria’s continued crackdown drew stern warnings from the United States and Russia Thursday, as activists reported at least 30 people killed in Hama on the fourth day of a full-blown military offensive on the city.

Cabinet delays talks on illegal construction in Beirut refugee camps
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 The Cabinet meets at the Grand Serail Monday to discuss the remaining items on its agenda left from last week’s session, except for one item which Interior Minister Marwan Charbel had demanded be withdrawn from the…

Hoss: Mubarak trial will have big effect on region
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Former Prime Minister Salim Hoss praised Egyptians Thursday and said the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would have significant and rippling effects across the Arab world.

Sleiman: Lebanon’s children will inherit country’s oil, gas riches
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 President Michel Sleiman said Thursday that the journey toward exploiting Lebanon’s offshore natural gas and oil reserves had begun, after Parliament approved a law earlier in the day delineating the country’s maritime borders.

Parliament endorses law on maritime borders
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Lebanon’s Parliament endorsed Thursday a draft law demarcating the county’s maritime borders with Israel and Cyprus during the second day of a two-day legislative session.

Lebanon’s U.N. vote on Syria ignites debate
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Lebanon’s top officials and lawmakers meeting Thursday at Parliament disputed Lebanon’s decision to disassociate itself from a U.N. Security Council statement condemning violence in Syria.

Connelly says still early to judge Cabinet
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 The U.S. ambassador said Thursday it was still too early to judge the performance of Lebanon’s weeks-old government, but she hoped that Prime Minister Najib Mikati has the skills to move the country forward.

Israel frees Hamas’ Hassan Yousef in prisoner release
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Israel is to free 770 Israeli and Palestinian prisoners, including a founder of the Islamist movement Hamas, due to overcrowding, a prison services spokeswoman told AFP Thursday.

Bahrain admits raid on ‘illegal’ medical center
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Responding to criticism from Medecins Sans Frontieres, Bahrain said Thursday that police last week raided a medical center run by the aid group in the Gulf country because it lacked proper permission.

Frustrated West painted into a corner over 5-month stalemate in Libya
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Having failed to bomb Moammar Gadhafi out of office, Western powers have no choice but to stick to their military campaign while also hoping that the Libyan leader will end their dilemma by bowing out himself.

Gadhafi’s son claims rebels divided
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Moammar Gadhafi’s son has made a bid to divide the fractious Libyan rebellion, telling a newspaper he was forging an alliance with Islamist rebels against their liberal allies.

Palestinians push ahead with U.N. bid
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Palestinians are determined to go ahead with their U.N. membership bid as an Arab League follow-up committee endorsed a final draft of the request to be presented to the U.N. General Assembly, a top official said.

Mubarak trial draws mixed Egyptian emotions
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Many Egyptians struggled with torn emotions Thursday as they reviewed images splashed over newspapers and repeated on television of their octogenarian former president, a day after he went on trial following 30 years at the helm.

Turkey military appointments seen as consolidating role of civilians
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Turkey selected four new generals to lead its armed forces Thursday in a shake-up seen as consolidating civilian control of the military after the previous four quit last week in protest at the jailing of officers…

Kuwait frees Iraqis in plot to kill Bush senior
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Kuwait has freed nine Iraqis who were jailed over a failed plot to assassinate former United States President George Bush senior in 1993, Al-Anbaa newspaper reported Thursday.

U.N. criticizes Sudan for jailing journalists who reported on rape
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 The United Nations has criticized Sudan for jailing journalists who wrote about the alleged rape of a female opposition activist by security forces, saying rapists, not reporters, must face charges.

Israeli lawmakers propose abolishing Arabic as official language
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Israeli lawmakers submit a draft law that would abolish Arabic as one of the Jewish state’s official languages, Haaretz newspaper reports.

Rights groups call for end to harassment of activist
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 International and local rights groups call on the Lebanese government to immediately cease harassment of Saadeddine Shatila, a rights activist who was detained last week for his work investigating torture by security forces.

STL could link 4 suspects to more crimes: source
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 The STL will likely release information linking the four indicted Hezbollah members to other assassination attempts committed before and after the murder of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Germany says wants special U.N. envoy sent to Syria
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Germany will ask the United Nations to send a special envoy to Syria to increase pressure on Damascus over its crackdown on civilian protesters, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Thursday.

Hundreds of anti-Assad Lebanese Islamists protest in Tripoli
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Hundreds of Lebanese Islamists demonstrated overnight in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in solidarity with Syrian citizens and their nearly five-month-old uprising.

Iran envoy sees release for Americans
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Iran’s ambassador to Iraq says he expects two Americans held in Iran on espionage charges will be released “very soon.”

Lebanon should ban Baath party: Mahfouz
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 The government should ban the Baath Party given its refusal to recognize Lebanon as a nation state and the violence carried out by the Syrian authorities against protesters, Elie Mahfouz, a member of the March 14…

Bahrain admits raid on international medical group
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Bahrain says its police raided the offices used by Medecins Sans Frontieres because the group was operating without permission in the Gulf Kingdom.

Trial of Mubarak’s security chief resumes in Cairo
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 A day after the start of Hosni Mubarak’s historic trial, seven of his co-defendants are back in the courtroom on charges of ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that toppled Egypt’s longtime president.

Officials mixed on Lebanon stance at U.N. on Syria
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Lebanese lawmakers and public figures voiced mixed reactions Thursday to their country’s disassociation with the U.N. Security Council statement condemning the violence in Syria.

Palestinians moving ahead with UN bid: Erakat
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Palestinians are determined to go ahead with their UN membership bid as an Arab League follow-up committee endorsed a final draft of the request to be presented to the UN General Assembly, a top official said.

Parliament passes maritime border law
Daily Star 4 Aug 2011 Parliament passes a draft law demarcating maritime borders with Israel during the second of a two-day legislative session.

10 injured in Hezbollah-Amal clashes
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 Ten people were injured overnight when supporters of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement fought with sticks and rocks in the southern town of Adaisseh, a security source said Wednesday.

Sleiman discusses need for dialogue with Franjieh
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 President Michel Sleiman held talks Wednesday with Marada Movement leader Suleiman Franjieh, before leaving Baabda Palace for his summer residence in Beiteddine.

‘Devil in the detail’ of new tobacco draft law
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 From a distance, the new tobacco control draft law looks like a victory for anti-tobacco activists and public health advocates.

ISF drug bust reportedly nets big fish
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 A suspect detained last Sunday in one of Lebanon’s largest drug busts in more than a year is a notorious international drug and arms trafficker with connections to criminal rings across at least four countries, a…

Irish back to altered peacekeeping terrain
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 One starless night in the winter of 1980, Sergeant John Keenan was on the roof of a small breeze-block building, rubbing his hands together to stave off the late December cold. He still remembers the explosion.

Sehnawi: Lebanon can beat Israel in ‘battle of technology’
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 Nicholas Sehnaoui says Lebanon can win a battle of technology with Israel and the country is well positioned to be a serious regional player in the Information Technology sector, given its human capital and its love…

Notorious Dutch drug trafficker detained in Beirut
Daily Star 3 Aug 2011 Dutchman Robert Mink Kok, 50, along with three others is being held by the Internal Security Forces for the possession of 53 kilograms of cocaine, in one of Lebanon’s largest drug busts in more than a…

YNet News

Likud MK: Protestors are leftists
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – On the night when 10,000 public and private sector employees protested in front of the Histadrut building in Tel Aviv, hundreds marched in the stroller protests while … ….

Court papers: NY child-killer suspect ‘heard voices’
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Court papers say a New Yorker accused in the dismemberment killing of an 8-year-old boy told detectives that he was hearing voices telling him “to take his own life for … ….

Clinton: More than 2,000 killed in Syria
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Russia, American slam Assad: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that Washington believed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government was responsible … ….

Attacks continue; rocket hits Kiryat Gat
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Rocket attacks continue: A loud explosion was heard in the Kiryat Gat region in southern Israel Thursday evening after the anti-rocket Color Red siren was activated. … ….

Reprimanded officer appointed Navy chief
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Surprising appointment: Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed on Thursday the appointment of Brigadier General Ram Rotberg to post of Navy commander. The decision … ….

Eini: Netanyahu, listen to people
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Speaking to thousands of protestors in Tel Aviv Thursday evening, Histadrut labor union federation Chairman Ofer Eini slammed the government, urging Prime Minister … ….

‘Yizkor’ committee: Prayer to remain unchanged
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – The committee established by IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz to determine whether the word ‘Israel’ should be replaced by the word ‘God’ in the Yizkor … ….

Hamas spiritual leader released from prison
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Former Hamas spiritual leader in West Bank among 770 Palestinian detainees….

Lebanon approves draft law on maritime boundary
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Proposed law comes amid fears of conflict with Israel over an area potentially….

Syrian city of Hama blacked out
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Phone lines, electricity cut as Assad’s forces continue brutal Hama crackdown….

Housing protest: Rightist tent torched
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Tent set on fire in Tel Aviv following dispute at housing protest site; two….

Pollard back in prison after operation
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Pollard not allowed to remain in hospital for follow-up medical care….

930 Har Homa housing units okayed
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Interior Ministry authorizes major Jerusalem construction plan beyond Green Line….

Over 1,000 residents quit jobs
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Health system disruptions reach boiling point as striking residents carry out….

Turkey names new armed forces chiefs
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – President Gul approves appointments following resignation of four top generals….

ADL: UNSC Syria rebuke ‘wholly inadequate’
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Abe Foxman: Despite condemnation of the violence in Syria, threat of immediate….

Taxi drivers join social protest
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Hundreds of cabbies protest rising prices of diesel oil, block major Tel Aviv….

Shin Bet staff banned from taking part in protests
YNet News, 4 Aug 2011 – Workers instructed to avoid anti-government social protests for being members of….

Palestinian Information Center

Israeli air raids injure two children in Gaza
PIC – Israeli warplanes blasted three targets in the Gaza Strip at dawn Thursday wounding two children and causing big damage, local and security sources told the PIC reporter.

Isolated resistance commander threatens hunger strike as condition worsens
PIC – An ailing Palestinian resistance commander has threatened to go on hunger strike if he continues to be isolated in the Israeli Ramle prison.

IOA to release MP Yousef, renews detention of another Hamas MP
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is expected Thursday to release renowned Hamas MP Hassan Yousef among a batch of 75 prisoners who concluded their terms in full, the Ahrar center said.

IOF troops arrest 310 citizens in July including 32 minors
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested 310 citizens in the past month of July in 500 raids on various West Bank cities, villages, and refugee camps.

Palestinian man banished for ‘harassing’ usurping settler
PIC – Israeli authorities have banished a Palestinian native of Beit Safafa for allegedly harassing Jewish settlers who usurped the residence of close relatives.

Baraka: Right of return precedes statehood recognition
PIC – Lebanese foreign minister Mansour Adnan has met with a Hamas delegation to discuss developments in Palestinian affairs.

Doctors in West Bank go on strike
PIC – The doctors syndicate in the West Bank decided to renew its strike as of next Sunday to protest the government of Salam Fayyad’s retraction from an agreement reached last month.

Lawsuit filed against Israeli embassy in Jordan
PIC – The Jordanian public prosecutor has launched an investigation after a Jordanian women has filed a lawsuit against Israel’s ambassador in Jordan after she was detained and criminally abducted.

WAFA

Weather Forecast: Fair Weather on Friday with Slight Decrease in Temperature
WAFA

PLO Factions in Lebanon Support PA’s Decision to Go to UN
WAFA

PPC: Released Prisoners Expose Israeli Violations against Prisoners
WAFA

Fires Erupt in Jabal Al-Mokaber
WAFA

Israeli Forces Closes Qalandia Checkpoint for 24 Hours
WAFA

Palestinian Injured in Israeli Airstrike on Gaza
WAFA

PPC: Release of Palestinian Prisoners Served their Sentences is Israeli Media Ploy
WAFA

Clashes in Bourin after Settlers Set Fire to Its Land
WAFA

Israeli Municipality Decides to build 930 Housing Units in Jerusalem
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

Statehood: Palestinians Must Show They Mean Business
Intifada-Palestine: 4 Aug 2011 – Two-prong approach needed Stuart Littlewood by Stuart Littlewood What a thought-provoking piece Prof Lawrence Davidson’s latest article is, whether you agree with every word or not. Titled ‘The Palestinian Bid for UN Statehood Recognition’ , it makes the point that the Palestinians’… more

End Game for Benghazi Rebels as Libyan Tribes Prepare to Weigh In?
Intifada-Palestine: 4 Aug 2011 – By FRANKLIN LAMB Tripoli On July 30, the day before this 97.5 per cent Muslim country began the holy month of Ramadan, NATO spokesperson Roland Lavoie has been lamely attempting to explain to the press at the Rixos Hotel and internationally,… more

Los Angeles Times

Egypt mesmerized by Hosni Mubarak appearance in court
LA Times 3 Aug 2011 – The strange spectacle of toppled Egypt President Hosni Mubarak, the epitome of the Arab autocrat, appearing in a Cairo courtroom to stand trial on charges of killing protesters has Egyptians riveted. Flat on his back and flanked by two sons dressed in prison whites, Hosni…

Iran gives key oil role to a Republican Guard on sanctions list
LA Times 4 Aug 2011 – Brig. Gen. Rostam Ghassemi was head of the Republican Guard’s construction arm, which like him is under United Nations and Western sanctions for its role in Iran’s nuclear program. A deal between beleaguered Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his opponents has given control of Iran’s…

Syrians describe bloody assault in Hama
LA Times 4 Aug 2011 – Residents who have escaped describe sustained bombardment and say bodies lie in the streets as tanks and snipers hold positions. Food is running short as troops block supplies from entering the city. Residents fleeing the central Syrian city of Hama on Thursday said bodies lay…

Syrian tanks move into center of Hama
LA Times 3 Aug 2011 – Syrian authorities cut off Internet and other services as tanks took positions in Hama. People trying to flee the city, a symbol of the rebellion, are cut off by government forces. The U.N. Security Council condemned the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Syria on…

New York Times

Civilian Toll Is Mounting in Assault on Syrian City
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – The military forces that occupied the central square of Hama have killed more than 100 people over the past 24 hours and a total of 200 since the weekend, rights activists say.

Egyptians See Signs of a Reckoning in Mubarak Trial
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – In a rural town an hour or so north of Cairo, everyone said they watched the trial and everyone had an opinion.

Afghans Who Risked Lives for U.S. Are Left in Dark on Visas
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – Because of a bureaucratic logjam, the American Embassy has finished reviewing only two cases out of 2,300 in a visa program for Afghans at risk, rejecting one.

Taliban Hint at Interest in Negotiated Settlement
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – Two recent statements suggest that the Taliban would be willing to engage in talks.

At Mubarak Trial, Stark Image of Humbled Power
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – Egypt’s ousted president, Hosni Mubarak, denied charges of corruption and complicity in killing protesters.

Iraq to Open Talks With U.S. on Troop Presence Past 2011
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – The Iraqi government has announced it wants to talk with the United States about keeping a limited training force of American troops in the country after the end of the year.

Mubarak Spectacle Captivates the Middle East
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – Millions of viewers, from the shops of Amman and Jerusalem to the hovels of impoverished Yemen, were mesmerized by the live broadcasts beamed from a Cairo courtroom.

Security Council Rebuke of Syria Ends Prolonged Deadlock
New York Times 4 Aug 2011 – The Security Council has issued its first denunciation of the violence in Syria since the uprising began.

Misc

Bloggers impeach Jennifer Rubin’s ‘Sabbath’ excuse for failing to correct her assertion that Jihadists were behind Norway massacre
Mondoweiss – Ron Kampeas has a brilliant post at the JTA on “Jennifer Rubin and Sabbath,” thoroughly undermining the claim published by the Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton that Jennifer Rubin was unable to correct her blaming the Norway massacre on jihadists because it was the Sabbath when…

Netanyahu’s big peace overture falls flat in D.C.
Mondoweiss – Israeli P.M. Netanyahu made headlines in Israel this week with a supposed breakthrough on a peace offer. And the White House? It doesn’t really seem to care about the matter. From yesterday’s State Department briefing with spokesperson Mark Toner and a questioner I’m betting is Matt…

Tahrir comes to… Tel Aviv
Mondoweiss – Could it really be?!? The Israeli Awakening! From jeaunkes, the You Tube poster: There is something in the air in Isra?´l…. They say i am a dreamer but let’s hope this could be the beginning for more humanity In Israel. Let’s hope for more justice for…

Eyewitness to Judaization (I saw a soldier strike a young boy for walking on a road for Jews)
Mondoweiss – Matt Berkman lately returned from a a two-week delegation to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories organized by Interfaith Peace-Builders. The U.S. Middle East Project has just published Berkman’s important account of what he saw by email. JERUSALEM Jerusalem effectively consists of two cities, one Jewish,…

Al Qaeda-Iran link comes roaring (right thru 2012)
Mondoweiss – A friend writes: Here are Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett commenting on some recent stories that theorize a link between Iran and Al Qaeda. The stories come from government sources; all the conjectures thus far are unsubstantiated. But last week the government turned up the…

Misc 2

US says Syria dead ‘exceed 2,000’
BBC 4 Aug 2011 – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the Syrian government has killed at least 2,000 people in its attempts to crush opposition protests.

Gun evidence shown in Egypt trial
BBC 4 Aug 2011 – The trial of Egypt’s ex-interior minister sees guns, ammunition casings and grenades allegedly used in attacks on protesters earlier this year.

Israel approves 900 settler homes
BBC 4 Aug 2011 – The Israeli government gives final approval for the construction of more than 900 new homes in Har Homa, a settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.

Articles


Dropping the last mask of democracy
Omar Barghouti, Al Jazeera8/3/2011
New Israeli legislation banning the support of boycott movements goes even further in limiting Palestinian rights.
“You should definitely postpone your book launch in Jerusalem,” warned a close friend who felt that the planned event for launching my recently published book on the Palestinian-led movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel might be too risky in light of the recently passed Israeli law that effectively bans support for the thriving boycott movement. At the packed bookshop-cafe in occupied East Jerusalem last Thursday, however, the engaged and Italian-coffee scented atmosphere was almost jubilant, as if declaring a collective defiance of Israel’s latest draconian measure.
Much controversy has arisen since the Israeli parliament passed legislation that would effectively criminalise support for any boycott against Israel or its institutions, under threat of heavy penalties and worse, without the need to prove “guilt”. Dozens of Israeli civil society organisations and leading legal scholars, including many opposing the boycott, have resolutely opposed this exceptionally authoritarian law on diverse grounds, ranging from the most principled to the downright pragmatic.
Palestinian perspective
Missing in most of the debate is the Palestinian perspective, which is undoubtedly most relevant given that this law was entirely motivated by the spectacular growth in recent years of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which was launched in 2005 and is led by the largest coalition of Palestinian civil society parties, unions, and NGOs: the Boycott National Committee (BNC). more.. e-mail

Palestinians’ low salaries also linked to Israeli social struggle
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive8/1/2011
A Palestinian financial crisis? Problems with donor countries? Economist Raja Khalidi offers some different explanations for the PA’s fiscal problems.
“A financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority” — that is a convenient description of the situation where, on the eve of Ramadan, the Ramallah government is (again ) unable to pay the full salaries of its 150,000 public sector employees. This is a short, but very inaccurate description, however. The crisis, says economist Raja Khalidi, is in the status quo that Israel has enjoyed since the Oslo Accords: Israel is in control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — and Palestinian society and the donor countries finance the cost of this domination.
The low salaries in the Palestinian enclaves (on average, less than NIS 2,000 per month ) and the PA’s large-scale withholding of wages is not some Icelandic story: These — just like the cost of housing in Israel, our tycoons and the state’s wealth vs. citizens’ miserable salaries — are all linked to the comprehensive economical regime that has been designed by Israeli governments between the river and the sea. It is further evidence of the Israeli crisis, even if for pragmatic reasons it is not talked about in the tent camps.
Khalidi is a development economist who has been working with the United Nations for over 25 years, and has written widely on Palestinian economic conditions in the occupied territories and Israel. “The delays in Arab pledges should not be overstated,” says Khalidi (who answered questions via email ). The immediate reasons for them may change, but, he says, “the roots of the chronic PA fiscal burden have more to do with the PA being forced in effect to shoulder the financial burden of occupation, both in terms of the costs of security and provision of public services, and appearing to the world as a ‘state’ government — with all the usual expectations that it will balance its finances and keep its public sector trimmed…. more.. e-mail

Things You Can Say, Things You Cannot
Ran HaCohen, Antiwar.com7/13/2011
Fascism at the top
The anti-boycott law passed Monday night. Much has been said about what the American administration – blind as always to Middle East realities – tagged “an internal issue.” Let me just add that my readers should remember, from now on, that there are things I am not allowed to say. For example, I expressed my support for the boycott on settlements products several times in the past; I am not allowed to do it anymore. I am not saying I could say whatever I wanted to before now: self-censorship is almost inevitable for critical writers living in Israel. But now you’ve got an official confirmation from the Israeli parliament: Israelis are not allowed to speak out their mind freely. The “only democracy in the Middle East” openly joins the “democracies” around it – when some of these “democracies” try to become democracies. We lag behind. Or better: we are moving backwards. Very rapidly.
The law might be overruled by Israel’s Supreme Court, but this will only spur the fascist coalition to curb the court as it has been eager to for years. Meanwhile, Gush Shalom – which initiated the boycott on settlements products many years ago – removed the list of those products from its Web site. “We cannot afford to publish the list anymore,” they say. The much more mainstream Peace Now, on the other hand, which never endorsed the boycott before (too “controversial”), now recognizes the outrage on the Left and tries to capitalize on it.
What is Gush Shalom afraid of? One revealing aspect of the new law is the way it is to be imposed. The State of Israel will not indict anyone for calling for a boycott – that wouldn’t look good abroad. Instead, anyone who feels offended because of a boycott call can sue the one who called for it, and in court – that’s the law – the plaintiff does not have to prove the damage caused to him. more.. e-mail

Palestinians Will Soon Come Full Circle
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Aug 2011 – By Sam Bahour The Palestinian national liberation movement has reached its end. As the Palestinian leadership — if there is such a legitimate body today — prepares to bring the issue of statehood to the UN this September, the weeks and months ahead will witness the last desperate attempt to get the international community to assume their responsibilities and ensure that a Palestinian state becomes a reality in the occupied territories. The reasons for the failure of the Palestinian national liberation movement are many. First and foremost, the shellshock that the creation of Israel caused among Palestinians in 1948 has never really gone away. Half of the Palestinian population at the time were displaced from their homes. Those that refused to flee are today citizens of Israel — a citizenship that was not requested, but rather imposed upon them — and comprise more than 1.2 million people, Muslims and Christians….more

SPINning Syrian Protests
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Aug 2011 – By Steve Breyman The Washington Post wonders how those protests in Syria keep going (e.g., Liz Sly, ‘Syrian Revolt Still Spontaneous and Leaderless,’ July 28). Journalistic convention requires that demonstrations have leaders, spokespeople, identifiable representatives. Without someone fitting the preconceived bill, reporters grasp for meaning. What demonstrators want may be obvious (as in Syria), but editors and producers want sound bites. Get that charismatic honcho-in-chief-–preferably in regional costume and with clear if heavily accented English–in front of the camera! Journalists cannot be experts on every topic they cover. Foreign correspondents should, at a minimum, speak a local language and have a CIA World Factbook grasp of the countries from which they report. That they often don’t is painfully obvious. Where would the American media be if the world did not speak English? About those democratic uprisings: No one expects those covering these exciting and deadly affairs to have state-of-the-art knowledge…more

Statehood: Two-prong Approach Needed
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Aug 2011 – By Stuart Littlewood What a thought-provoking piece Prof Lawrence Davidson’s latest article is, whether you agree with every word or not. Titled ‘The Palestinian Bid for UN Statehood Recognition’, it makes the point that the Palestinians’ move, which Tweedle-dum Obama and Tweedle-dee Netanyahu (they never contradict each other, you’ll remember) are desperate to discourage, merely replicates the process by which Israel itself gained recognition as a state. The world will recall that America recognized the Jews’ declaration of an Israeli state with almost indecent haste… like immediately. The bid also echoes the UN’s original intention to divide Palestine between Jews and Arabs. So there’s no attempt by the Palestinians to break new ground here. What they propose chimes nicely with what went before. How can there possibly be a valid objection? Recognition should be accorded Palestine just as easily as it was accorded Israel. However, Prof Davidson seems keen to…more

Yemeni Tribes Unify Under Western Darkness
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Aug 2011 – By James Gundun — Washington, D.C. As information flows from Yemen’s revolution, it quickly deposits into the black-hole of U.S. and European media. Sometimes this information completes the transit intact, but reports are more often jumbled and spliced before reaching the Western public. Even then, an estimated 3-9% of Americans are paying “serious” attention to the incomplete picture of Yemen’s revolution. Last weekend naturally elapsed through this machine when many news sources, Western and non-Western, picked up the brutal clashes between Yemeni security forces and anti-government tribesmen. Most bandwidth has been diverted south to the ongoing battle in Zinjibar and Aden, where government forces and anti-government tribes are caught in a proxy battle against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and government-funded “jihadists.” While international media generally positions Yemen’s tribes on the government’s side, they are largely fighting both Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime and AQAP after the government manufactured a…more

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