VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 9 August, 2011: Senior Israeli archaeologist casts doubt on Jewish heritage of Jerusalem

9 August , 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israeli Army Re-opens Road from Nablus
IMEMC – Tuesday August 09, 2011 – 17:34, Israeli soldiers opened a Nablus thoroughfare for the first time in 9 years according to Maan News Agency.

Israeli government charges police officers with allowing smuggling from West Bank
IMEMC – Tuesday August 09, 2011 – 11:44, A number of Israeli police officers have been charged with taking bribes to allow truckers to bring smuggled goods from the West Bank into Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Justice.

Ambulance with Patients on Board Delayed at Israeli Checkpoint
IMEMC – Tuesday August 09, 2011 – 11:33, An ambulance carrying victims of a fatal car accident was significantly delayed by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank.

Ma’an News

Medics: Elderly woman injured by Israeli fire in Gaza
8/9/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A 75-year-old Palestinian woman was injured by Israeli fire on Tuesday in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. Medical officials said the woman sustained moderate injuries after she was fired on by Israeli soldiers east of Juhor Ad-Dik. Witnesses said Israeli army tanks crossed the border into Gaza and….

‘Dozens’ of settlers enter West Bank holy site
8/9/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Thirty settlers living in the West Bank city of Hebron entered the Tomb of Othniel illegally on Tuesday, Israeli news reports said. Police and military forces evacuated the settlers who entered in protest of an army order rescinding permission to visit, the Israeli news site Ynet reported….

Rights group calls for release of Al-Bireh mayor’s daughter
8/9/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoners’ rights group on Tuesday called for the release of Bushra Al-Tawil, the daughter of the mayor of Al-Bireh, who has been held by Israeli authorities for a month without charge. Israeli forces arrested Al-Tawil, 18, on July 6, 2011 after a raid on her family home in….

Israeli forces detain 6 Palestinians
8/9/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained six people from Hebron on Monday night, the Palestinian prisoners’ society and the army said Tuesday. An Israeli army spokeswoman said six people were detained Monday but was unable to comment on the reason for the arrests. The prisoners’ society said Ayid Mohammad Salim Dodin was….

Israel police ‘import horses’ to confront protesters
8/10/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli is seeking advice from around the world on how to handle the massive demonstrations they believe will break out once Palestinians turn to the UN to seek recognition of statehood. The Israeli daily Maariv reported Tuesday that a private jet with 15 Belgian horses onboard landed Monday at Ben Gurion….

Israel cracks down on bribery at checkpoints
8/9/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — The Israeli Justice Ministry is investigating allegations that police are increasingly being caught taking bribes in exchange for allowing unauthorized goods and persons to enter Israel. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the majority of these cases — all of which resulted in charges — were in the Jerusalem area and….

Israel ‘deploys drones’ over offshore gas fields
8/9/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel has deployed drones to keep watch on gas fields off its northern coast, fearing attack by the Hezbollah militia from neighboring Lebanon, the Jerusalem Post daily reported on Tuesday. The fields lie in a part of the Mediterranean that is claimed by Israel for gas exploration and production, but Lebanon says the….

Israeli vehicle ‘stolen with 5-year-old inside’
8/9/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — An Israeli vehicle with a 5-year-old girl inside was stolen Tuesday near the illegal settlement of Gush Etzion south of Bethlehem, Israeli news reports said. The thieves noticed the girl after fleeing with the vehicle, and dropped her off near the village of al-Aroub, Israel’s Ynet….

Reporter: Gaza telecoms severed
8/9/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Telecommunications access in Gaza was severed late Tuesday, cutting off Internet, mobile phones and international landline connections, a Ma’an correspondent reported….

Palestinians study UN status options
8/9/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations Riyad Mansour said Tuesday that the option of changing Palestine’s status from “observer entity” to a “non-member state” is still being studied. Mansour told the Italian news agency AKI that becoming a non-member state “does not invalidate the right to become a….

PA urges international community to protect prisoners’ rights
8/9/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Monday urged the international community to protect the rights of Palestinian prisoners, the government media center said. The PA referred to two incidents in which prisoners rights were violated. One case involved a decision by Israeli authorities to ban prisoners’ families from visiting them for up…. Related: Detainees’ parents accused of smuggling cell phones and Palestinian prisoners suffer food poisoning in Israeli jail

PA: Sri Lanka backs UN recognition bid
8/9/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Sri Lanka affirmed Monday its support of plans to seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state in September, the official Palestinian Authority news agency reported. Sri Lanka deputy minister of foreign affairs Gamini Peiris said his country would continue its support for the Palestinian cause and the establishing of a….

US ‘deeply concerned’ by settlement expansion
8/9/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The US is concerned about Israel’s approval of over 900 housing units in the illegal settlement of Har Homa, built on Palestinian land in Bethlehem, an official said Tuesday. The US is “deeply concerned by continuing Israeli actions with respect to housing construction in Jerusalem. We have raised this….

2,000 Palestinians flee Libya violence
8/9/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Palestinian general consul in Alexandria Jamaal Al-Jamal said Tuesday that over 2,000 Palestinians have returned to the Gaza Strip from Libya as a consequence of the unrest there. President Mahmoud Abbas has given instructions to the relevant authorities to facilitate the return of others, he said, adding that Palestinian….

Netanyahu may shift economic policy amid protests
8/9/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Facing a growing protest movement angry about the high cost of living in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested he may be willing to shift his economic policy. The premier has long espoused a neo-liberal economic outlook, prioritising privatisation and tax cuts for the wealthy, and pointing to Israel’s successful….

Disabled sisters kept in chains in Nablus
8/9/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — A family near Nablus kept two disabled sisters handcuffed and chained in their room for several years, a Ma’an correspondent reported. The women, aged 22 and 25, are severely disabled and unable to speak. Their sister, Intisar Dawabsheh, said the family kept the women in chains out of fears….

Palestinian released after 4 years in Israeli prison
8/9/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoner who spent four years in Israeli jails was released on Monday, a detainees center in Hebron said. Ashraf Halayka from Hebron was received by Fatah Central Committee members together with local residents, friends and family….

Erekat: No plans to delay September UN bid
8/9/2011 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat denied Tuesday that Palestinian Authority was planning to delay its bid for recognition at the UN in September, despite media reports. Erekat described as “completely false” reports suggesting negotiators were considering a deal to put off the bid for statehood, a move opposed by Israel and the….

Police seize expired food in Hebron
8/9/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Police and customs officials launched a campaign on Tuesday to seize expired food from shops in the West Bank city of Hebron. The campaign was organized to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people traditionally buy more food and sweets, police said. Police have detained four traders and….

Hamas distributes money to needy families during Ramadan
8/9/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said Tuesday that it has distributed over $135,000 to needy families in the first week of Ramadan.” There are thousands of families in Gaza who need money especially during this Holy month. We help people and give them money or fix their houses….

Barak: Don’t cut funding to defense budget
8/9/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday said Israel should not cut funding for the military because “security-wise we don’t live in Switzerland of Finland.”Onboard ship on the occasion of the navy commander’s final sail, Barak said the protest movement in Israel was”an….

New team for social change starts work in Israel
8/9/2011 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — A committee charged with examining the demands of Israel’s fast-growing social protest movement met for the first time on Tuesday, expressing hope that their work would provide Israelis with a “better future. The committee, headed by Manuel Trajtenberg, met just two days after being named by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu….

International pressure grows on Syria’s Assad
8/9/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) —Pressure grew on Syria on Tuesday as the foreign minister of neighboring Turkey visits with the message that Ankara “has run out of patience” with the deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests. His trip comes a day after Gulf nations Kuwait and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Damascus, following in the footsteps of Arab….

Egyptians torch police station
8/9/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Dozens of Egyptians angered by the absence of police protection in their town set fire to a police station on Tuesday after looting its armory and freeing jailed inmates, security officials said. The officials said that the crowd stormed the police station in the southern town of Garga in protest at what they….

Hariri suspects not arrested, says UN tribunal
8/9/2011 – THE HAGUE (AFP) — The UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri said it had been told Tuesday that none of the Hezbollah members it had identified as suspects has been arrested.” The Lebanese Prosecutor General submitted his report today. He stated that none of the four people who are accused have….

‘Trekkies’ to boldly go to Jordan theme park
8/9/2011 – AMMAN (AFP) — Fifteen years after “Trekkie” King Abdullah II briefly appeared in an episode of Star Trek, Jordan is planning to construct a $1. 5-billion-dollar park themed on the cult American science fiction series. The “Red Sea Astrarium” will be built in the country’s sole port of Aqaba, 217 miles south of….

Libya blasts NATO village ‘massacre,’ rebels in crisis
8/9/2011 – MAJER, Libya (AFP) — Libyan authorities on Tuesday accused NATO of a “massacre” of 85 villagers in air strikes in support of rebels, whose political leadership was in crisis after the sacking of its top officials. Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi said world powers would be held responsible for the “ugly massacre committed by NATO” on the….

Assad promises unceasing battle against ‘terrorists’
8/9/2011 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pledged on Tuesday to pursue an unceasing battle against “terrorist groups” he claims are behind pro-democracy protests as the death toll mounted from his regime’s crackdown on dissent. World pressure to end the bloody crackdown that has claimed more than 2,000 lives since mid-March mounted Tuesday with….

Palestine Note

Witnesses: Ambulance held at checkpoint after fatal crash
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – Ma’an- Israeli forces delayed an ambulance treating victims of a car crash in which a 13-year-old girl died, witnesses told Ma’an. Anhar Sandouk died at the scene of an accident near Zatara checkpoint south of Nablus in the northern West…

Gaza’s first five-star hotel provides luxury and hope amid the blockades
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – The Guardian- From the hand-carved bed in the al-Mashtal’s royal suite you look straight out to the setting sun casting pink and orange hues over the darkening Mediterranean. Below the expansive terrace, scattered with wicker sun loungers, is a lavish…

Arafat political heir accused of poisoning the former Palestinian leader in 2004
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – The National- In a bizarre attack on Mohammed Dahlan, the one-time heir apparent to Yasser Arafat is being accused of poisoning to death the late Palestinian fighter who became president. A report released on Sunday by members of the West…

Hamas distributes money to needy families during Ramadan
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – Ma’an- The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip said Tuesday that it has distributed over $135,000 to needy families in the first week of Ramadan. “There are thousands of families in Gaza who need money especially during this Holy month….

Social media offers last keffiyeh factory lifeline
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – BBC- To the outsider it looks like any other ageing factory. In the dank, strip-light lit interior there are rows of disused machines with cogs wrapped in cobwebs. But three years ago the factory became the focus of the world’s…

Syria Defies Gulf Isolation, Continues Assaults
Palestine Note 9 Aug 2011 – Turkish Foreign Minister meets with President Assad in Damascus The Guardian – Syria defied Arab isolation and mounting international anger on Monday as President Bashar al-Assad’s security forces continued attacks on pro-democracy protesters across the country. The US secretary of…

Aljazeera

‘Tortured’ veterans to sue Rumsfeld
AlJazeera 9 Aug 2011 – Two American men can go ahead with civil lawsuit over allegations they were tortured in Iraq at the hands of US forces.

Syria solidarity rally held in Beirut
AlJazeera 9 Aug 2011 – Hundreds call on the Lebanese government to speak out against neighbouring Syria’s bloody crackdown on protesters.

Israel’s youth voice frustration over economy
A tent city sprawls through Tel Aviv, as youth continue to protest against rising cost of living.

Alternative Information Center

Fatah and Hamas Agree to Release Political Prisoners
Alternative Information Center – Following the collapse of Palestinian unity talks in June, Hamas and Fatah announced on Sunday after a meeting in Cairo that they have agreed to pursue steps toward reconciliation, including the release of political prisoners.

Palestine: Who is My Jewish Neighbour?
Alternative Information Center – “Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 19:19

AIC Video: Silwan Targeted
Alternative Information Center – Silwan is a Palestinian village in occupied East Jerusalem. Over 55,000 Palestinians live in Silwan, 50 percent of whom are under the age of 18. In recent years, Jewish-Israeli settlers have gradually moved into the neighborhood,…

Relief Web

Refugee families in Lebanon rediscover benefits of composting
Relief Web 9 Aug 2011 – Source: Mennonite Central Committee Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Lebanon By Gladys Terichow Aug. 9, 2011 SOUTH LEBANON — Faced with the rising cost of buying fresh fruit and vegetables in local markets, many Palestinian refugee families in south Lebanon are…

Managing Medical In-Kind Donations
Relief Web 9 Aug 2011 – Source: American Near East Refugee Aid Country: Lebanon , occupied Palestinian territory The conference room at the Galleria Hotel in Jnah was alive with chatter as the participants of the Medical In-Kind Project Capacity Building Initiative workshop enthusiastically shared ideas and…

Time for Thyme
Relief Web 9 Aug 2011 – Source: American Near East Refugee Aid Country: occupied Palestinian territory Not very long ago, Latifa Jaber, a land owner from JinSafut, could barely provide for her four children. The land she had inherited from her deceased husband needed continuous care…

Funding Crisis Adds to Ramadan Hardship in Palestinian Territories
Relief Web 9 Aug 2011 – Source: Voice of America Country: occupied Palestinian territory Scott Bobb | Ramallah Muslims around the world are observing the second week of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting from sun-up to sun-down. The month is difficult anytime for many. This year…

Palestine Telegraph

Ain al-Hilweh refugees reeling after latest clashes
9 Aug 2011 – SIDON, Lebanon: Residents of the Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh are devastated by the extensive damage to their property after hours of armed clashes between local groups in the camp which left six wounded over the weekend, two of whom are said to be in a critical condition.

Erekat: Palestinian Membership in UN a Must to Reach Peace
8 Aug 2011 – Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) – Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Member, Saeb Erekat, Monday assured that the PLO’s decision to seek United Nations (UN) recognition and full membership of a Palestinian statekey for reaching peace and two state solution.

The National

Former Syrian politicians condemn regime authorities
The National 9 Aug 2011 – Group of former public and political figures warns Syria’s government that the country is on a road to ‘catastrophe’ and urges transitional programme to establish democracy.

Israel’s rights groups condemn ‘Jews only’ businesses
The National 9 Aug 2011 – Israeli businesses advertising for ‘Hebrew labour’ only are violating anti-discrimination laws, say rights organizations.

Rebuke by Arab leaders isolates Syria
The National 9 Aug 2011 – Turkey’s foreign minister discusses reforms with Syria; joins Arab leaders in condemning ‘savage’ crackdown on popular unrest.

Reporting on war: Women in the line of fire
The National 8 Aug 2011 – Prior to the National Press Club awards tomorrow, Laura Collins talks to two women who have reported from places that put all journalists at risk – regardless of their gender.

Iranian politician blames Bushehr nuclear plant delay on Russians
The National 8 Aug 2011 – The country’s first nuclear power plant will not start operating this month as planned.

Baghdad’s Shorjah market remains Ramadan central after 700 years
The National 8 Aug 2011 – Souq, which was established in the Abassid era, still shows signs of the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

Arafat political heir accused of poisoning the former Palestinian leader in 2004
The National 8 Aug 2011 – In a bizarre attack on Mohammed Dahlan, the one-time heir apparent to Yasser Arafat is being accused of poisoning to death the late Palestinian fighter who became president.

Ha’aretz

UN: Israel, Lebanon hope to avoid maritime border dispute
Ha’aretz – Both countries claim an 850-square-kilometer stretch of sea off their coasts, close to an area where U.S. and Israeli firms have discovered two massive natural gas fields.

U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by Israel’s approval of East Jerusalem construction plans
Ha’aretz – U.S. criticism comes days after EU’s Catherine Ashton and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized Israel’s decision to approve the building of 930 homes in Har Homa neighborhood.

30 reported dead in Syria even as Turkey joins global condemnation of Assad regime
Ha’aretz – Turkish FM meets with Assad, says his fate will be similar to that of Gadhafi if he does not stop ‘butchering his people’; Syria forces kill five civilians as army moves into town near Turkish border.

Israel’s social protest leaders form own expert team
Ha’aretz – Protesters’ formation of expert team coincides with first meeting of Netanyahu’s Team for Socio-economic Change; about 200 people protest rising electricity tariffs outside PM’s residence in Jerusalem.

Carlo Strenger / Sushi, social justice and self-respect
Ha’aretz – This uprising is about social justice. And yes, it is driven by the middle class. And it’s time to say something about the middle class’s right to a decent life without being apologetic.

‘Erekat denies Palestinian plans to delay bid for UN recognition’
Ha’aretz – Chief Palestinian negotiator tells WAFA that ‘the recognition train has already left for New York’; Al Sharq Al-Awsat reports that the PA wants to delay UN bid, fearing cutoff of U.S. aid to West Bank.

Israeli researchers find gene mutations responsible for lack of fingerprints
Ha’aretz – Three years after the United States began requiring non-citizens wishing to enter the country to be fingerprinted, Israeli researchers publish article announcing they found gene mutation responsible for rare syndrome.

Cameron pledges crackdown as first fatality reported in London riots
Ha’aretz – Unrest spreads to Birmingham; police arrested more than 200 people overnight bringing total since riots began to 450; 44 police officers and 14 members of public injured.

Special panel to talk to Israel’s housing protesters online
Ha’aretz – Team for Socio-economic Change appointed by Netanyahu seeks to ‘translate public sentiment into action’; city inspectors dismantle tents in a number of Tel Aviv encampments.

In Pictures / Israel marks Tisha B’Av
Ha’aretz – The Jewish fast day marks the destruction of the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu: I understand my views on Israel’s economic policy need to change
Ha’aretz – Professor Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the experts’ panel who will talk with protest leaders, stresses to PM that he must change his priorities and make a real commitment for change.

Jerusalem Post

Satirical Palestinian TV show elicits anger in West Bank
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – ‚ÄòWatan ala Watar’ mocks PA security forces, doctors’ union; Police say they’ll sue broadcaster for making them look “vulgar.”

Settlers detained after entering Palestinian Hebron
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Baruch Marzel, who was among those stopped by security forces, tell ‘Post’ the settlers had applied for a permit to worship at the tomb, but the IDF denied their application.

Dozens killed near Hama as Syrians move on Turkish border
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – 65 reported dead in Deir al-Zor since tanks rolled in on Sunday.

Why do non-Jews bashing Israel claim to be Jewish?
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Analysis: American student Gabriel Matthew Schivone allegedly falsified identity to participate in latest flotilla to Gaza.

Anti-normalization forces gaining strength in Jordan
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Israel concerned over breakdown of bi-lateral relations between J’lem, Amman as Jordanian insurer refuses to continue insuring embassy cars, Israeli agricultural exports to Jordan down 25%.

Gross injustice
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – The American response to Gross’s arrest and conviction in Cuba has been long on talk, but short on actions.

Violence erupts outside London as capital waits
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Riots erupt in Salford, part of greater Manchester, youths throw bricks at police, cars burned in southern UK town; London police in waiting.

Encouraging Peace: Forgetting September
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – A proposal for a UN security council resolution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Transportation Minister visits Rothschild, praises protest
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – After first Trajtenberg C’tee meeting, Katz calls protest opportunity for change; Yesha Council chair warns against “petty political gain.”

US is ‘deeply concerned’ by new e. J’lem construction
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – State Department official says Washington has brought up issue of new Har Homa C neighborhood with Jerusalem.

‘Dutch soccer club must rein in anti-Semitism at games’
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – ‘Dutch News’ report: Court in The Hague censures ADO Den Haag for failing to stop anti-Semitic chants against Amsterdam club supporters.

Assad vows no mercy in pursuing ‘terrorist groups’
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Turkish FM says he demanded end to bloodshed in meeting with Assad; Syrian ex-defense minister appears on TV to prove he’s still alive.

Ex-Israeli senior cops: ‘London police were unprepared’
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Former senior Israeli police officer says most police forces can’t cope with incidents on scale of UK riots.

Jewish community shocked and appalled by UK riots
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Media monitoring organization angry over singling out of Hasidic rioters in ‘Guardian’ report.

Joe Lieberman releases book about beauty of Shabbat
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Senator hopes to appeal to Christians to come back to observance of Shabbat on Sundays, saying “Laws have this way of setting us free.”

Analysis: Saudi switch against Assad is blow to Iran
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Arab upheavals requiring Saudis “to play their hole card: We’re Sunnis, they’re Shi’a, there are more of us than there are of them,” says professor.

Court extends remand for suspects in toddler-death case
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Three-year-old Tali Darikova died in Netanya after being left in locked van used to transport toddlers to, from pre-school for 6 hours.

Iran presses UK to show ‘restraint’ with demonstrators
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Iranian official urges Britain to allow delegation into country to investigate police human rights violations.

Lebanon reports back to tribunal on Hariri probe
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – UN-backed Lebanon tribunal says Lebanese authorities have reported efforts to arrest Hezbollah members wanted for killing of ex-PM.

CITYsights: Church of the Holy Sepluchre revisited
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Descend below ground into a crypt that archaeologists say is as close as we can come to proving that Jesus was actually crucified buried at this site.

Tel Aviv city clerks attempt to clear vacant protest tents
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Activists report municipal clerks at Nordau, Ben-Gurion streets’ campsites warning of evictions; TA city office denies claims.

Ask the Barman: Make mine a double
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – No trip to Norma Jean in Tel Aviv would be complete without an explanation by bartender Orly Levinton on the the huge collection of whiskeys available.

Settler leader visits Rothschild tent city in solidarity
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Yesha Council chairman Danny Dayan: “Hardships of public don’t stop at Green Line”; expresses hope movement won’t become politicized.

Syrian tanks enter town near Turkey, expand assault
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Witnesses: Armored vehicles enter Binnish, column pushes into Deir al-Zor; “When they finish with one district, they move to another.”

‘Turkey FM warns Assad not to follow Gaddafi’
Jerusalem Post 9 Aug 2011 – Turkish officials hold consultations with US Mideast envoy to coordinate positions ahead of Davutoglu’s Damascus visit.

Iraqi al-Qaida ask ex-fighters to return, threaten attacks
Jerusalem Post 8 Aug 2011 – In an hour-long audio speech, the spokesman for the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, says the group is growing stronger.

Inter Press Service

Torture Charges Go Forward Against Bush-Era Defence Secretary
IPS On Apr. 16, 2006, for reasons still unknown to them, two U.S. contractors in Iraq’s Red Zone were handcuffed, blindfolded and transported to Camp Cropper, a U.S. military facility located a few miles from Baghdad International Airport.

“New” Iraq a Nightmare for Women, Minority Groups
IPS A United Nations report on Iraq says the human rights situation there remains fragile, and huge development challenges loom as the country transitions out of a near decade-long conflict.

World Bank Unmoved as Allegations Build Around Official
IPS The World Bank, which has often pressed borrowing nations to adopt more robust financial transparency regulations, has refused to disclose the financial records of one of its senior officials despite allegations of corruption, abuse of authority and mismanagement of public funds while he served as a minister under the now…

EGYPT: Mubarak Trial Another Win for Tahrir Protesters
IPS Egyptians watched with rapt attention as deposed president Hosni Mubarak was hauled before court on live television to answer charges of corruption and murder. The move appears to have restored public confidence in Egypt’s ruling military council, which has governed the country since Mubarak’s February ouster.

Gaza Clings to a Touch of Disneyland
IPS On any given evening, Gaza’s small downtown pedestrian area, the Jundi, is crowded with adults and children. Many are fleeing the heat of their homes during the regular power cuts. The majority are there for want of something to do, even if that means merely sitting on the park’s simple…

Uruknet

Communications ‘blackout’ in Gaza
Uruknet August 9, 2011- Telecommunications access in Gaza was severed late Tuesday, cutting off Internet, mobile phones and international landline connections for hours, a Ma’an correspondent reported. Calls to the Gaza Strip were met with error messages or dial tones, and the blackout seemed to affect multiple platforms including regular landline services as well as mobile access including Israeli…

“New” Iraq a Nightmare for Women, Minority Groups
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – A United Nations report on Iraq says the human rights situation there remains fragile, and huge development challenges loom as the country transitions out of a near decade-long conflict. Torture and poor judicial practices are widespread, says the report, released Monday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the U.N. Assistance…

Activists: Death toll, detentions mount in Syria ‚Äé (videos)
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – Activists inside and outside Syria said a government crackdown was continuing Monday. Three people died after security forces opened fire at a funeral procession in Daraa, the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. And at least 65 people died during a military operation that began Sunday in Deir Ezzor, according to the activist…

Military Resistance 9H4: a Particularly Friendly Sgt
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – For the second time in a week, a joint Iraqi-American raid aiming at insurgents resulted in the killing of civilians. Witnesses in the village of Ishaqi, just south of Tikrit, said Iraqi and American forces opened fire on civilians and threw hand grenades early Friday morning as they conducted the raid. The villagers say…

Israeli Army Invades Nabi Saleh Firing Live Ammunition and Gas Bombs
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – Reports from Tamimi Press indicate that Sunday evening the Israeli army invaded the Palestinian town of Nabi Saleh in the West Bank. They fired live ammunition and gas bombs and clashed with local youth. The Israeli forces were described as “firing ammo and gas canisters indiscriminately on homes.” There were a number of clashes…

Ambulance with Patients on Board Delayed at Israeli Checkpoint
Uruknet August 9, 2011 — An ambulance carrying victims of a fatal car accident was significantly delayed by Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in the West Bank. The Palestinian ambulance carrying victims of the accident to the hospital was delayed at Zatara checkpoint, south of Nablus. Eyewitnesses report that the soldiers delayed it for 30 minutes. Anhar Sandouk died…

Medics: Elderly woman injured by Israeli fire in Gaza
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – A 75-year-old Palestinian woman was injured by Israeli fire on Tuesday in the central Gaza Strip, medics said. Medical officials said the woman sustained moderate injuries after she was fired on by Israeli soldiers east of Juhor Ad-Dik. Witnesses said Israeli army tanks crossed the border into Gaza and clashed with Palestinian fighters before…

UAE Would Occupy Tripoli in Post-Gadhafi Libya
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – A 70-page plan detailing Western designs for the occupation of post-Gadhafi Libya, and apparently signed off on by the political leadership of the rebel Transitional Council in East Libya has been leaked, and paints a grim picture of the new regime NATO is planning on installing after the war…Even more controversial will be the “…

Bahrain’s prospects for democracy look bleak, as divisions deepen
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – … In this highly charged atmosphere it is easy to forget that before this year’s crisis, Bahrain, for all its shortcomings and sectarian divide, was the most liberal country in the Gulf. Yet prospects for change now look bleak. Salman, the reformist crown prince, has been marginalised… “Our society has been broken in two,” he…

The Impotence of the “Intellectual” Elite
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – …The article in which I provided extensive excerpts from Martens’ analysis was titled, “The Fatal Illusion of Opposition.” Get it, Westen? The fatal illusion of opposition. You may as well try to reason with a rock. A rock that has chosen to blind itself, pierce its eardrums, and remove its brain. The title of…

Libya / Tripoli: NATO bombed civilian houses and market. 7 August 2011
Uruknet

Very Ironic: Tripoli Calm While London Burns
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – Isn’t it ironic that while the streets of Tripoli remain calm the streets of London, capital of one of the principle imperial powers involved in the Libya war of aggression, is raging with fire? For the third day in a row, violent protests continue in London, and are spreading elsewhere — Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester…

Seeking Leisure in Gaza Under Siege
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – On any given evening, Gaza’s small downtown pedestrian area, the Jundi, is crowded with adults and children. Many are fleeing the heat of their homes during the regular power cuts. The majority are there for want of something to do, even if that means merely sitting on the park’s simple concrete benches to talk…

Ishaqi Again: Another Day, Another Atrocity in the Endless Iraq War
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – There was a raid in Ishaqi last week. Armed men crept upon the sleeping houses in the dead of night. Armed men stirring in the darkness, in a land still open, like a flayed wound, to violent death and chaos from every direction, many years after the savage act of aggression that first tore…

Iraq snapshot – August 8, 2011
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – August 8, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri gets punked, a War Criminal is released into civil society, the UN issues a status report on Iraq, house bombings are the new weapon fad in Iraq, Political Stalemate II continues, and more….Today the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and the Office of the High…

Forty Palestinian prisoners poisoned in Negev prison
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – The Ramallah-based Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs announced that 40 Palestinian prisoners being held in the Israeli desert prison of Negev, suffered food poisoning after eating expired food provided by the prison the canteen. Prisoner Affairs Minister, Issa Qaraqei, held the prison’s administration fully responsible for what he described as deliberate medical negligence toward…

UN official “deplores” NATO attack on Libyan TV
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – The head of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO sharply rebuked NATO on Monday for its July 30 air strikes against Libyan state television that killed several people and wounded nearly a dozen. “I deplore the NATO strike on Al-Jamahiriya and its installations,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. “Media outlets should not…

Dispatch From Tripoli Where Have Libya’s Children Gone?
Uruknet August 8, 2011 – The quality of life continues to degrade in certain areas of western Libya while public anxiety noticeably rises over missing Libyan children as the first week of an unusually stressful Ramadan passes. The shortage of gasoline has become acute and despite government efforts to curtail price gouging, one taxi driver told this observer yesterday…

Video: Bloody NATO Massacre Kills 85 Civilians Incl. Children (August 8-9, 2011) near Zlitan/Majer, Libya
Uruknet

Libyan TV says children killed in NATO strike
Uruknet August 9, 2011 – Libyan state media said on Tuesday dozens of civilians had been killed in a NATO strike on a village about 150 km (90 miles) east of Tripoli, and the alliance said it was looking into the reports. Libyan state television showed the charred bodies of at least three young children who, it said, were…

Daily Star

Lebanon fails to detain Hezbollah suspects: STL
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Lebanon has failed to detain four Hezbollah suspects indicted in the 2005 assassination for former statesman Rafik Hariri, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon announced Tuesday.

Syrian guards arrest Lebanese trying to cross into Lebanon
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Syrian border guards arrested two Lebanese citizens overnight for attempting to illegally cross into Syria.

Mikati calls for Lebanese unity in light of Arab Spring
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Prime Minister has called for strengthening Lebanese unity in light of the very serious situation prevailing in the Arab world.

Berri attacks March 14 for siding up with Syrian uprising
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Speaker Nabih Berri launches a vehement attack against the Future Movement-led March 14 coalition for siding up with the Syrian uprising, accusing the opposition of being rough with Damascus.

Arab unrest will not be easy for Lebanon: Charbel
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said Tuesday that the repercussions of the Arab Spring would not be easy on Lebanon.

Three men in their 20s killed in traffic accidents
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Three men, all in their 20s, killed in separate road accidents in Beirut Tuesday — two as a result of speeding and a third in a hit-and-run crash.

Qassem: Muslim authorities must recognize domestic violence
Daily Star 9 Aug 2011 Muslim authorities should recognize domestic violence and religious courts should act quickly regarding any case, Hezbollah’s deputy secretary-general Sheikh Naim Qassem said Monday.

Authorities: Weapons smugglers will be arrested
Daily Star 8 Aug 2011 Lebanese security forces could neither confirm nor deny reports of the smuggling of weapons from Lebanon to Syria, a security source told The Daily Star Monday.

Maronite patriarch calls on all Lebanese to hold on to their land
Daily Star 8 Aug 2011 Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai urged both Lebanese Christian and Muslim communities Monday to maintain ownership of their land as a way to preserve Lebanon as a model of coexistence in the East.

Raad calls on March 14 to heed call for dialogue
Daily Star 8 Aug 2011 Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammad Raad said Monday the March 14 alliance refusal of President Michel Sleiman’s call for national dialogue talks only suggests the lack of credibility concerning the alliance’s slogans on democracy…

Future MPs: Justice will be achieved despite arms
Daily Star 8 Aug 2011 Future Movement MPs Jamal Jarrah, Amin Wehbe and Ziad al-Qadri stressed Monday the need to face the Hezbollah government’s retribution practices through legitimate and democratic means…

YNet News

The cost of social revolution
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – The social protest sweeping through Israel has been described by many as something “long-time coming,” but as Rothschild Boulevard’s “tent city” — considered to be … ….

US chides Israel over new east Jerusalem project
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – The United States is “deeply concerned” by Israel’s plan to build a new housing project in the southeast Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, the State Department said on … ….

Report: US to tell Assad he must go
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – The Obama administration is preparing to explicitly demand the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad and hit his regime with tough new sanctions, US officials said … ….

Protest leaders seek expert advice
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Leaders of the social protest met with a group of experts on social issues on Tuesday, to discuss the negotiation strategies they wish to use during their upcoming … ….

Protesters: We’ll pull cabinet’s plug
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Leaders of the social protest sweeping across Israel added another item to their growing list of demands Tuesday — electricity rates. In what has already been deemed … ….

Minister Katz meets with TA protesters
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz visited Tel Aviv’s “tent city” on Tuesday, only to be welcomed with harsh criticism from the protesters. “The (current) … ….

Syria defies world reproach, orders new raids
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Syrian President Bashar Assad told Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday that Damascus will “not relent in pursuing terrorist groups”, Syrian state news agency said. … ….

Israel sends drones over gas fields
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Defense official says drones deployed over Mediterranean following threats of….

Social team holds first meeting
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Head of ‘Rothschild team,’ tasked with negotiating with social protest leaders,….

Israelis in London: ‘Sense of violence in the air’
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – As riots intensify around UK, Israelis living in English capital say ‘people….

Barak backs protests, but not defense cuts
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – ‘We don’t live in Finland’, says defense minister; adds protesters ‘will enlist….

Syria comes under global reproach for crackdown
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Turkey, India, Brazil and South Africa send envoys to Damascus in effort to….

Yesha Council head: ‘Time to join hands’
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Danny Dayan visits ‘tent city’ on Rothschild Blvd.; expresses solidarity with….

Syrian opposition: Ousted defense minister dead
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – General Ali Habib, who was dismissed as Syria’s defense minister Monday, found….

Syria conflict descends into ‘war of attrition’
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – There is little to stop Assad from calling upon the scorched-earth tactics that….

Arab states to head UN in September
YNet News, 9 Aug 2011 – Israel faces ‘tough crowd’ next month as Palestinians plan to take statehood bid….

Palestinian Information Center

Qassam fighters confront Israeli military infiltration
PIC – Palestinian resistance fighters of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, confronted a special Israeli force that was sneaking into Juhr Al-Deek, south east of Gaza Strip.

IOF bulldozes Palestinian land east of Al-Khalil to expand settlements
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) bulldozed 19 dunums of Palestinian land in Baka’a area to the east of Al-Khalil in preparation for annexing them to nearby Jewish settlements, local sources said.

Woman threatened with exile, children held in vendetta against Jerusalem family
PIC – In an apparent vendetta against Jerusalem native Nasser Abu Sanad, the Israeli occupation authorities have arrested four of his sons and are pursuing banishing his wife to Jordan.

IOF troops round up 17 Hamas supporters in Al-Khalil including 5 brothers
PIC – A big number of Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Al-Khalil city at dawn Tuesday and launched a wide-scale arrest campaign in lines of Hamas cadres and supporters, Palestinian sources said.

Extremist Jews invade Al-Aqsa Mosque for the second day
PIC – Under heavy police protection, Jewish settlers for the second day are provocatively roaming the Islamic Al-Aqsa Mosque as they mark Tisha B’Av, in memory of the destruction of the alleged Temple.

Sabri condemns settlers’ desecration of Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Sheikh Ekrema Sabri, the head of the higher Islamic authority in occupied Jerusalem, has denounced the Jewish settlers’ desecration of the Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan.

Decision to release prisoner who finished sentence retracted
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities have retracted a decision to release prisoner Alaa Tahir Samar, 28, from Jenin governorate, after his eight-year prison term came to an end a few days ago.

Egyptian ambassador breaks fast with exile-threatened Jerusalem politicians
PIC – Egyptian ambassador to the Palestinian territories Yasser Othman has broken fast with the exile-threatened Jerusalem politicians as the men mark their 405th day in asylum.

Bardawil: Big progress in Hamas-Fatah meet, relatives of detainees disagree
PIC – Hamas leader Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has said that big progress was made in the Hamas-Fatah meeting in Cairo on Sunday, expressing optimism on future of reconciliation.

WAFA

Palestine’s UN Observer: Israel Commits More Violations Instead of Pushing Peace Process Forward
WAFA

Palestinian Delegation in Washington Stresses Need of Americans’ Support for Palestinian UN Bid
WAFA

Minister of Social Affairs Condemns Israeli Decision to Deport Palestinian Child from His Home for 6 Months
WAFA

National Assembly for Democracy Calls for Stopping Israel’s Arbitrary Measures against Sick Palestinians
WAFA

Netherlands Donates Over $6 Million to UNRWA in Palestinian Territory
WAFA

Palestinian Officials Sue Local TV Show
WAFA

Confrontations Erupt in Iraq Burin
WAFA

Israeli Occupation Arrests 14 Palestinians and Raids Houses in Hebron
WAFA

Rights Group says Israel Re-arrested Recently Released Administrative Detainee
WAFA

Israeli Shelling Injures Elderly Woman in Gaza
WAFA

Erekat Denies Deferment of Palestinian Bid to UN Membership
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

Massacre In Norway: Mossad Strikes Again Under ‚ÄòLone Gunman’ Cover
Intifada-Palestine: 9 Aug 2011 – by Jonathan Azaziah The everyday murderous behavior of the world’s hegemonic powers, led by the exponentially powerful Zionist entity that has illegally occupied Palestine for 63 years, has split humanity right down the middle into two reactionary groups when a catastrophic… more

Los Angeles Times

Syrian President Bashar Assad target of war crimes investigation
LA Times 9 Aug 2011 – A fact-finding mission funded by at least one Western government is said to be gathering evidence to be used to indict Bashar Assad over his brutal crackdown on Syria’s democracy movement. At least one Western government is bankrolling a project to gather evidence that could…

New York Times

Turkish Minister and Other Envoys Press Syrian Leader
New York Times 9 Aug 2011 – A series of delegations traveled to Syria on Tuesday to appeal to President Bashar al-Assad to end a crackdown that has emerged as one of the bloodiest chapters in the Arab uprisings.

Amid a Berber Reawakening in Libya, Fears of Revenge
New York Times 9 Aug 2011 – The Amazigh are re-emerging as a political force after decades of oppression. But some question whether the swift social reorganization could lead to internecine war.

Misc

TruthToTell: BOYCOTTS AND ISRAEL: Laws and Influence
Jewish Voice for Peace –

Does your Congressperson represent you — or Israel?
Mondoweiss – In this time of economic austerity, when jobs are being slashed and Americans are fearful about their future, the Congressional recess is the time for our elected representatives to be home in their districts, reaching out to their constituents and servicing the people they are paid…

PALESTINE/U.S. BORDERLANDS REFLECTION: Walls of shame
Christian Peacemaker Teams – Palestine – I am in Hebron, located in the Judean Hills, south of Jerusalem in the Holy Land. Although this place on the other side of the world from my home in Brownsville, Texas, many things here are similar to what we experience in the Rio Grande Valley.,…

Afghanistan helicopter crash fuels antiwar feeling in American military community
Mondoweiss – After that Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing 38 people (yes, 30 of them Americans, but Brian Williams would you please say 38, not 30, those Afghans, including an interpreter, were killed because of us) Daniel Zwerdling of NPR went to the naval museum…

‚ÄòHuffpo’ finds guide to Arab public opinion‚Ķ Vogue magazine
Mondoweiss – Writes a friend: I just had my sehri , and I’m ready to puke. At Huffpo, Elizabeth Kennedy has a piece on the Syrian uprising. Until the uprising began, Assad had cultivated an image as a modern leader in a region dominated by aging dictators. He was…

Israel has good immigrants and bad immigrants (guess the difference)
Mondoweiss – Truthdig reports on the “other Israelis,” people from other countries brought in as workers, and Israel doesn’t want their children. By Mary Slosson, Albert Sabat?©, and Andrew Khouri. Excerpt: Sheila [Indian migrant worker] found herself at the crux of sensitive issues for the state of Israel,…

The implications of the US economic bust go much further than political dysfunction
Mondoweiss – Lately, some of my friends have been posting triumphant messages across social media. The focus of their attentions is the ongoing global financial collapse — and their messages are steeped in a misguided Schadenfreude. You can celebrate America’s credit-rating downgrade — but know that no matter…

Freedom Theater Actor Still Imprisoned by IDF
Tikun Olam – An update on the fate of Jenin Freedom Theater actor, 20 year-old Rami Hwayel, abducted by the IDF several days ago. Hwayel had been set to play the role of Pozzo in a Theater production of Waiting for Godot , before he was nabbed by the army…

Likud False-Flag Website Pictures Bibi in SS Uniform, Calls for Him to Be ‚ÄòBrought to Justice’
Tikun Olam – Title (translated): ‘Prime Suspect, Benyamin Netanyahu.’ False flag website purporting to demand Bibi Netanyahu be brought to justice for crimes against the people Until now, I merely thought the Israeli far-right was violent, intolerant and racist. But now I know that it is also devious and…

Misc 2

Liberia: Amb. Bull Visits Israel – Meets Prime Minister Netanyahu
allAfrica.com 9 Aug 2011 – Liberia’s ambassador to the United States William Bull was among 19 Washington-based ambassadors and one other senior diplomat who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the second day of a five-day fact-finding mission to Israel and the West Bank organized by The Israel…

July 2011 Monthly Media Digest
Middle East Monitor 9 Aug 2011 – July 2011 saw a coordinated reactionary attempt to obstruct the global BDS movement. The sabotage and damage of ships belonging to the international Flotilla II, the passing of the Boycott bill by Israel and the UK pro-Israel campaign against Raed Salah are highlighted this month, together…

Lieberman calls for links with Palestinian Authority to be cut
Middle East Monitor 9 Aug 2011 – Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has demanded that his government cuts off links with the Palestinian Authority. His call is a response to the PA’s intention to ask for UN recognition of an independent Palestinian state in September. According to Israeli media, the far-right minister made…

Senior Israeli archaeologist casts doubt on Jewish heritage of Jerusalem
Middle East Monitor 9 Aug 2011 – A senior archaeologist at Tel Aviv University has cast doubt on the alleged Jewish heritage of Jerusalem. Israel Finkelstein’s claims have been made in the face of official Israeli and biblical claims to the occupied city. Professor Finkelstein, who is known as “the father of biblical…

Jewish “extremists” enter Al-Aqsa with police support
Middle East Monitor 9 Aug 2011 – Groups of Jews described by Palestinian sources as “extremists” have been entering the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem since the early hours of Monday, escorted by Israeli police. The groups claim to be honouring the Jewish Tisha B’av holiday, which commemorates the destruction of…

Assad defiant on Syria crackdown
BBC 9 Aug 2011 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he will not relent in pursuing “terrorist groups” in the country, despite growing international condemnation.

Pressure builds
BBC 8 Aug 2011 – Arab nations increase pressure on Assad to curb Syria crackdown

Anarkismo.net: Revolt in Israel – saying no to neoliberalism by Ilan Shalif (it)
A-infos 9 Aug 2011 – Increases in rents and cottage cheese spark off a popular revolt —— Tel Aviv tent camp —— In the first demo, two weeks ago, about 30,000 participated in Tel Aviv; in the second, last week, there were nearly 100,000 in Tel Aviv and about 40,000…

Articles


Does the Mideast’s ‘only democracy’ see ‘democratic’ values as a threat?
Karina Piser, Palestine Note8/8/2011
I am consistently flabbergasted by the U.S.’s unprecedented ability to befriend the world’s most anti-democratic leaders while touting its identity as the ultimate democratic state.
It becomes increasingly difficult to take democracy seriously when the House of Representatives supports President Obama’s use of his diplomatic capital to block the Palestinian bid for statehood at the U.N., in favor of the U.S.’s longstanding relationship with Israel—”the only democracy in the Middle East”—whose boycott law, along with last week’s proposed bill to institutionalize second-class status for Arab citizens, makes me question its democratic character.
The recently proposed Knesset bill is not the first example of Israel’s institutionalized discrimination against its Arab citizens. The last decade has seen a slew of laws promoting inequality, like a 2011 bill that allowed community segregation and another from 2003 that was extended in 2008, blocking a Palestinian’s ability to gain Israeli citizenship through marriage.
The new bill, which has a fair chance of passing, would give “Jewish values” an essential trump-card over “democratic values.” Ha’aretz reports that the bill also seeks to eliminate Arabic’s standing as one of Israel’s national languages, and would promote entirely Jewish communities. Farewell, democracy. It looks like Prime Minister Netanyahu waved goodbye to what was already a fragile democratic identity.
The bill is particularly shocking and serves as yet another action that shatters Israel’s “villa-in-a-jungle” identity. This should shed light on the disconcerting link between Netanyahu’s increasing ignorance towards democracy and the Obama administration’s continued commitment to Israeli policy and willingness to shoot down Palestinian attempts at even symbolic international recognition. more.. e-mail

The PA and September
Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly8/4/2011
Determined to petition the UN next month to recognise Palestine, leaders in Ramallah are busy convincing Washington and Tel Aviv that the move is nothing to worry about.
The meeting sponsored by Qatari Minister of International Cooperation Khaled Al-Ateya went on until 4am Friday morning, attended by Saeb Ereikat, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), and a number of top British international law experts at a hotel in London. The goal was to prepare a working paper of legal blueprints for the PLO to present to the UN when it applies for recognition of a Palestinian state in September.
The British legal experts assured Ereikat that based on international law the PLO has several strong legal arguments to present to the UN.
At first glance, the meeting seemed to indicate Palestinian determination to forge ahead with its September commitment, especially that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek out UN recognition for Palestine. But on closer look some dubious signs emerge about how serious the plan is, such as statements by Ereikat himself in which he said a date has not yet been set to go to the UN — contrary to what Palestinian leaders have been saying, namely that this step will take place in September. Other signs include attempts by Abbas to re-launch bilateral talks with Israel in the hope that the outcome of these talks could be an alternative to going to the UN in September.
Palestinian and Israeli media have revealed that Israeli President Shimon Peres cancelled a secret meeting with Abbas after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refused to give Peres any positive message to deliver to Abbas that could result in progress and convince the Palestinian president not to go to the UN. Palestinian circles reject this position, arguing that the PA will achieve nothing by going to the UN while negotiations are in progress. more.. e-mail

It’s Still Occupied Territory
Philip Giraldi, The American Conservative8/9/2011
That twenty per cent of the House of Representatives will be spending its recess holiday on American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) paid tours of Israel does not seem to have made the mainstream news. The tours, one consisting of 26 Democratic congressmen headed by House Minority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and two others of 55 Republicans, one led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, are ostensibly intended to provide congress with a “deeper understanding” of the situation in the Middle East. Sure it will, but one suspects the understanding will be in one direction only.
Cantor is trying hard to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House by moving to the right on both the economy and on foreign policy, where his views are strictly Israel-first wrapped in the usual neocon packaging incorporating assertive projection of US national power. In November 2010, he met privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and pledged that the Republican Party would serve as a “check” against any unwelcome initiatives by President Obama. At the time Cantor was not yet Majority Leader of the House but his offer to support a foreign leader against the president of his own country went unchallenged and did not in any way impede his march onward and upward. Cantor is now also setting himself up as a darling of the tea partiers in the wake of the recent government debt ceiling debacle.
Meanwhile back on Capitol Hill, other friends of Israel were busy prior to recess, also without any mainstream media coverage. Two congresswomen from Florida, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have introduced legislation that will allow Holocaust survivors living in the United States to receive federal funds to help them stay in their homes, rather than having to move to an institution. The bipartisan bill places survivors on a special list of elderly citizens receiving preferred treatment through a grant program to help them with their transportation and other needs. — See also: Source more.. e-mail

Australia’s repression of BDS movement coordinated with Israel
Electronic Intifada: 8 Aug 2011 – Kim Bullimore The Electronic Intifada Melbourne Nineteen Melbourne activists are facing fines of up to $32,000 for participating in an action in support of the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions.more

Seeking Leisure in Gaza Under Siege
In Gaza: 9 Aug 2011 – Gaza horse and carriage popular with couples and children GAZA CITY, Aug 9, 2011 (IPS) By Eva Bartlett — On any given evening, Gaza’s small downtown pedestrian area, the Jundi, is crowded with adults and children. Many are fleeing the heat of their homes during the regular power cuts. The majority are there for want of something to do, even if that means merely sitting on the park’s simple concrete benches to talk and sip tea. Snack vendors sell roasted nuts and seeds, and tea and coffee sellers circulate with flasks of sweet mint tea and spicy Arabic coffee. In recent years, mimicking New York City’s Central Park, three horses and the old-fashioned style carriages they pull, also circulate the park. The owners of the carriage rides say their idea came from the old days. “Four years ago, my father saw a horse and carriage in an old film and…more

Straining Every Nerve against UN Membership for Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 9 Aug 2011 – By Josh Ruebner The Roman philosopher and politician Cicero urged orators to ‘Strain every nerve to gain your point.’ The Obama Administration appears to have taken his advice to heart in its attempts to make the case that the United States should oppose Palestinian efforts to gain membership in the United Nations this fall. However, its rhetoric has been so convoluted, its logic so flawed, and its reasoning so shoddy that its efforts have been desultory and unconvincing. Take, for example, the following quotes: “No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations or in any international forum. (Applause.) Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate.” — President Barack Obama, Remarks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, May 22, 2011 There are so many…more

Straining Every Nerve Against UN Membership for Palestine
Dissident Voice: 9 Aug 2011 – The Roman philosopher and politician Cicero urged orators to “Strain every nerve to gain your point.” The Obama Administration appears to have taken his advice to heart in its attempts to make the case that the United States should oppose Palestinian efforts to gain membership in the United Nations this fall. However, its rhetoric has been so convoluted, its logic so flawed, and its reasoning so shoddy that its efforts have been desultory and unconvincing. Take, for example, the following quotes: No vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state. And the United States will stand up against efforts to single Israel out at the United Nations or in any international forum. (Applause.) Israel’s legitimacy is not a matter for debate. ‚Äî President Barack Obama, Remarks at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference, May 22, 2011 There are so many historical inaccuracies, deliberate…more

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