VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks , 17 November 2011: Condi Rice shocked by ‘ethnic purity’ claim for Jewish state

17 November 2011 — VTJP

News International Middle East Media Center

Israeli Defence Minister Exudes Fear Over Nuclear Iran
IMEMC – Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, expresses his concern over a nuclear Iran to American interviewer, Charlie Rose, and claimed that if her were an Iranian, he would certainly opt to develop nuclear weapons. …

Qaraq’e: “Long-Term Detainees Must Be Released”
IMEMC – The Minister of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-detainees Affairs, Issa Qaraq’e, has urged Egypt to exert pressure on Israel to free long-term prisoners, the Palestinian news agency, Ma’an reported on Thursday. …

Israeli Military Breaks into an Ex-detainee; Freed within Prisoner-Swap Deal
IMEMC – The Israeli army broke into the house of ex-detainee, D’ua al-Jaiosi, in the West Bank city of Tulkarem, the Palestinian news agency, Ma’an reported. …

Army Arrests Seven Palestinians in Hebron and Qalqilia
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers arrested three Palestinians in Hebron, at dawn, in the southern part of the West Bank, and four children in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia. Soldiers broke into and searched several homes before detaining the residents. …

Ma’an News

Israel forces ‘ransack home’ of freed prisoner
11/17/2011 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) — A recently-released prisoner said Israeli forces ransacked her home and threatened her on Thursday. Duaa al-Jayousi told Ma’an Israeli troops raided her home in Tulkarem in the northern West Bank, searched her and told her she was “being watched.”The soldiers warned her that she could return to prison….

Center: Prisoners say conditions tougher since swap deal
11/17/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prisoners in Israel’s Ashkelon jail say conditions have worsened since the captive swap deal between Israel and Hamas in October, a prisoner affairs center said Thursday. Detainee Shadi Sharafa told the center’s lawyer that new restrictions were in place in the jail, including 21-day bans on….

Prisoners recount hunger strike conditions
11/17/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — In late September, prisoners in jails across Israel launched an open hunger strike to protest harsh prison conditions, in particular the practice of solitary confinement. Detainees refused food for 20 consecutive days until Israel agreed to meet their demands. The detainee affairs ministry in Ramallah released a report Thursday detailing the….

Family says 13-year-old arrested in Qalqiliya
11/17/2011 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained Thursday morning Rashad Shbeeta, 13, from the town of Azoun, near Qalqiliya, and took him to an unknown destination, relatives and a prisoners group said. According to the prisoners society in Qalqiliya, Israeli forces ransacked Raed Shbeeta’s home and arrested his son Rashad. Raed condemned the….

Group: Israel re-arrests released prisoner
11/17/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the town of Dura, near Hebron, on Thursday and arrested a former prisoner who was released about a year ago, a prisoners group said. Sami Sharawi, 35, was seized in a raid on the Dura municipality building, said Amjad Najjar, head of the prisoners society in Hebron. Sharawi….

Gaza bridge collapse kills 2 workers, 4 injured
11/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) —A teenager and his relative were killed Thursday after a bridge they were building collapsed in central Gaza. Four other workers were injured in the incident, one seriously, medical officials said. The bridge, near al-Nuseirat refugee camp, was under construction when it caved in, locals told Ma’an. The….

Israeli forces close village, erect checkpoints
11/17/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have closed the entrance of Beita village in Nablus and are refusing to allow residents to enter or exit the area, witnesses said late Thursday. Soldiers erected flying checkpoints in Huwara andthe entrance of the Shavei Shomron settlement, and closed the nearby Beit Furrik checkpoint, travelers said. Israeli forces….

Erekat: Reports of secret deal to release revenue ‘nonsense’
11/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat on Thursday dismissed reports that the Palestinian Authority offered to stop trying to join UN agencies if Israel lifted its block on tax transfers. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Thursday that the PA offered to stop trying to join international agencies and pledged not to seek any….

Barak reassures Israel over ’empathy’ for Iran atom bid
11/18/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Defense Minister Ehud Barak tried to reassure Israelis about the government’s resolve on Thursday after he appeared to empathize with Iran’s controversial nuclear quest during an American television interview. Barak’s suggestion that, were he Iranian, he would “probably” seek the bomb made headlines in Israel, which feels….

PA condemns settlement plans
11/18/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority on Thursday strongly condemned Israel’s approval of hundreds of new settlement units built on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. The published bids for thousands of settlement units “are a blatant example of Israel’s unilateral actions and noncommittal to international laws….

Qaraqe calls for release of long-term prisoners
11/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority detainee affairs minister on Wednesday urged Egypt to pressure Israel to release long-term prisoners. Issa Qaraqe called on the Egyptian government — which mediated a recent prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas — to push for the release of prisoners detained before 1993. He said 127 Palestinians have been….

Iran to dominate UN nuclear agency meet
11/17/2011 – VIENNA, Austria (AFP) — Iran’s nuclear program was set to dominate a meeting of the UN atomic agency’s board from Thursday after a damning report from the Vienna-based body revealed deep differences between world powers. The two-day International Atomic Energy Agency gathering was expected to result in a resolution criticizing Tehran, but…. Related: No progress in Syria nuclear talks, IAEA chief says

Bank of Palestine ordered to make payments in Gaza
11/17/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The government in the Gaza Strip has ordered the administration of Bank of Palestine to pay out taxes and is preventing 11 board members from leaving Gaza, Ma’an has learned. The bank administration received a letter from the Hamas-led government ordering it to pay out $99 million and 50,000….

Reporter: Israeli forces close Nablus village entrance
11/17/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces closed the entrance to the Beita village late Thursday and erected multiple checkpoints in the Nablus area, a Ma’an correspondent reported…. Related: Israeli forces close village, erect checkpoints

Envoy to UN: Israeli settlements an international failure
11/18/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestine’s ambassador to the UN on Wednesday complained to the president of the Security Council over Israel’s latest settlement expansion plans. Riyad Mansour wrote that Israel’s announcement of more than 2,000 upcoming settler home tenders on Tuesday, is “greatly due to the international community’….

Ashrawi: US influence depends on ending deferral to Israel
11/17/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi told US diplomats on Wednesday that Washington should stop submitting to Israeli policies if it wants to regain influence amongst Palestinian people and leaders. Ashrawi told the political chief of the US consulate to Jerusalem Rick Waters that the Palestinian leadership was “keeping all its….

Medics: 4 hurt in central Gaza construction accident
11/17/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Four people were injured Thursday when an under-construction bridge collapsed in the central Gaza Strip, medics said…. Related: Gaza bridge collapse kills 2 workers, 4 injured

1 held after Israeli raid on Nablus workshop
11/17/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces have closed down a workshop used to forge documents in a village near Nablus in the occupied West Bank, officials said Thursday. Authorities believe the lab was being used to forge documents in Aqraba village, said Luba Sumari, an Israeli police spokeswoman. Israel’s Shin Bet general security….

Syria’s crisis-hit economy under further pressure
11/18/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Businessmen in Syria talk of cancelled contracts, disrupted trade and employees being laid off as commercial operations suffer from the violence and uncertainty that have gripped their country for the past eight months. Mothers complain of a lack of baby milk and shortages are forcing shops in the main Damascus market to put….

Lebanese ‘ready to take up arms’ against Syria insurgents
11/17/2011 – TRIPOLI (IRIN) — In the office of the former general turned self-styled humanitarian, concerned locals and Syrian refugees talk of taking up arms to defend a country they believe the national army will not.” If you do not protect our land, we will create a resistance to protect our land,” said former general Hameed Hamoud, outlining….

Clashes on Egypt Christian march injure 29
11/17/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Twenty-nine people were injured in Cairo on Thursday when residents clashed with a group of Christians marching through the capital to commemorate those who died in confrontations with the army on Oct. 9, state news agency MENA said. The Coptic Christians were marching from Cairo’s northern Shoubra suburb towards the landmark….

No progress in Syria nuclear talks, IAEA chief says
11/17/2011 – VIENNA (Reuters) — UN nuclear inspectors made no headway in talks in Syria last month to try and kick-start a long-stalled investigation into its atomic activity, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said on Thursday. In an attempt to advance its investigation into possible military nuclear activities in the Arab state, the International Atomic Energy Agencytook part in…. Related: Iran to dominate UN nuclear agency meet

Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Destroy Agricultural Ponds East of Hebron, Knesset Mulls Settlement Law
PNN – PNN On Thursday, Israeli forces destroyed agricultural ponds, farming equipment, irrigation systems and crops in the al-Baq’a area east of Hebron. Meanwhile, Israeli Knesset members proposed a law obligating the state to…

Ashrawi Denies Ha’aretz Report: PLO Will Not Be Paid Off
PNN – PNNPLO Executive Committee member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi issued a press release on Thursday saying she strongly denies that the PLO would be paid off with its withheld tax revenues in order to…

Israeli Forces Raid West Bank Cities, Arrest Seven, Fine Jerusalem Shopowner for Erdogan Picture
PNN – PNN In a series of overnight raids in different West Bank villages and cities, Israeli troops arrested seven Palestinians, raided and fined souvenir shops in the Old City of Jerusalem, and extended…

Op Ed: Fayyad and Talk of Palestinian Reconciliation
PNN – by Daoud Kuttab Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said this week that he was quite happy to step down from his position in order to remove any obstacle in the way of…

Op Ed: Palestine’s Next Step Ahead
PNN – by Mitri I. Musleh It has been over sixty years since the Palestinian identity was forcefully and inhumanly stripped away from the Palestinian people, and I must add with no success, by…

Egyptian Taekwondo Player Refuses to Compete with Israeli
PNN – PNN Egyptian Taekwondo champion Rawan Ali refused on Wednesday to play against her Israeli counterpart Sevan Fenster in the quartet final of the Croatian Open Taekwondo open tournament in the 47kg category,…

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Independent Civil Society Mission to Libya Begins
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 17 November 2011

International Solidarity Movement

A visual chronology of the Freedom Rides
11/17/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Dena Elian, 16 November 2011 – Sixteen Minutes to Palestine – On November 15, 2011, six Palestinian Freedom Riders boarded a settler-only bus traveling to occupied East Jerusalem to openly challenge Israel’s apartheid policies towards Palestinians and its minority populations. The following is a visual chronology of the events…. Related: Sixteen Minutes to Palestine

Freedom Rides to Jerusalem
11/17/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – Anne Paq, Chroniques de Palestine – On the 15th of November, Palestinian activists from the West Bank boarded a segregated Israeli bus used by Israeli settlers to Jerusalem in an attempt to highlight the regime of discrimination on freedom of movement in place in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the fact that Palestinians cannot access Jerusalem…. Related: Chroniques de Palestine

Alternative Information Center

Step towards unity? Hamas and Fatah to meet next week
Alternative Information Center – In the wake of the apparent failure of the Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced this week that he would meet with Hamas counterpart, Khaled Meshaal.

Israel seeks minorities, gays for propaganda efforts
Alternative Information Center – The Israeli government hopes to draw attention away from its illegal occupation of Palestinian lands and ongoing human rights abuses by recruiting minorities and members of the lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual (LGBT) community to conduct “public…

Campesina Congress
Alternative Information Center – The recent conference “Farmers, rural workers and fishermen: Building Via Campesina in Palestine ” brought Palestinians and South Americans together around the global class struggle.

Jordan Valley Bedouin struggle in the face of Israeli demolitions
Alternative Information Center – Between January 2000 and September 2007, Israel demolished 1663 Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley. Today, as the Israeli army steps up attacks on Palestinian water sources, the demolitions continue. But Palestinians and international volunteers are…

Relief Web

Lebanon: La Deuxième Commission adopte sept projets de résolution, dont deux ayant trait à des questions liées à la situation au Moyen-Orient, après un vote
Relief Web 17 Nov 2011 – Source: UN General Assembly Country: Lebanon , occupied Palestinian territory AG/EF/3327 Deuxième Commission 35e séance – après-midi La Commission économique et financière (Deuxième Commission) s’est réunie cet après-midi pour prendre connaissance de quelques projets de résolutions et en adopter un certain…

Iraq: Joint statement issued at the conclusion of the fourth meeting of the Arab-Turkish cooperation forum at the level of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Relief Web 17 Nov 2011 – Source: Government of Turkey , League of Arab States Country: Syrian Arab Republic (the) , Iraq , Libya , occupied Palestinian territory , Somalia , Sudan (the) , Tunisia , Turkey , Yemen Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco November 16th, 2011 The Fourth Meeting of the Arab-Turkish Cooperation Forum at…

Brazil: Children affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence
Relief Web 17 Nov 2011 – Source: ICRC Country: World , Brazil , Burundi , Guatemala , Honduras , occupied Palestinian territory , Pakistan , Sierra Leone , Uganda Executive summary Armed conflict and violence take a heavy toll on children’s lives in different parts of the world. Not only do children suffer from…

Palestine Telegraph

Israeli bulldozers demolish water pool in Hebron
17 Nov 2011 – West Bank, (Pal Telegraph)-Israeli occupation forces Thursday demolished a water pool in al-Baq’a area located near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba east of Hebron.

Ha’aretz

Israel effectively annexes Palestinian land near Jordan Valley
Ha’aretz – State gave Israeli kibbutz 1,500 dunam of Palestinian-owned land over Green Line.

Israeli parents protest growing extremist bent in religious schools
Ha’aretz – ‘Our outcry is over the prohibition against kindergarten girls singing,’ Ariela Miller, mother of three children in the Orthodox state school system, tells Haaretz.

Arab states join push to condemn Syria rights violations at UN
Ha’aretz – Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia among Arab nations joining Germany, Britain, and France to sponsor draft submitted to human rights committee.

Palestinians deny reports of deal with Israel to freeze statehood bid
Ha’aretz – European diplomatic sources say PA willing to withdraw UN bid if Israel, U.S. hand over aid and tax funds; Erekat: Palestinians determined to apply for membership.

Israel may target Iran civilian infrastructure as part of military strike, report says
Ha’aretz – U.S. security sources quoted by The Daily Beast claim Israeli forces plan to use electronic warfare to shut down Iranian electrical grid, cellphone networks.

Top settler rabbi: Soldiers will sooner choose death than suffer women’s singing
Ha’aretz – Rabbi Elyakim Levanon warns IDF of prohibiting soldiers from leaving events which include women’s signings, says hopes there are ‘wise’ people who would prevent such an order.

Netanyahu names new adviser to resolve health system crisis
Ha’aretz – Shlomo Mor-Yosef, former Director General of Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital, will attempt to reconcile Health Ministry, protesting medical residents.

Top Russian general: NATO expansion raises danger of nuclear conflict
Ha’aretz – Russia sees NATO’s expansion to include former Soviet bloc countries in eastern and central Europe as a key threat to its security.

IAEA seeks special Iran mission to address mounting nuclear concerns
Ha’aretz – Head of UN nuclear watchdog suggests Iran mission to air issues raised by IAEA’s latest report on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Barak: Iran nuclear program not aimed solely at Israel
Ha’aretz – Defense minister says Israel must convince world leaders to impose tough sanctions on Iran since its nuclear program threatens the entire world order.

Israel’s Supreme Court rejects Anat Kamm’s request to delay prison sentence
Ha’aretz – Kamm, who as an IDF soldier gathered, held and passed on classified information without authorization, will begin serving a prison sentence of four and a half years on Sunday.

Report: Israel poverty levels fall to lowest since 2003
Ha’aretz – Annual poverty report published by the National Insurance Institute says 2010 level slightly lower than 2009; Welfare and Social Services Minister says one fifth of families, one third of children still live in poverty.

Former Israeli president Katsav: I do not intend to commit suicide
Ha’aretz – Katsav, convicted of rape and sentenced to seven years in prison, says he will continue to fight for his innocence as long as he lives.

Dispute in Leviev group over alleged Namibian gem swap
Ha’aretz – Channel 2 investigative program alleges former Lev Leviev Diamonds manager stole high-quality Namibian diamonds and replaced them with poor ones.

IDB freezes donations to towns at lawyers’ advice
Ha’aretz – State imposing limits to avoid conflicts of interest.

Mortgages down 30% in September
Ha’aretz – Israeli buyers are taking smaller, fewer loans.

Israel’s Supreme Court: Doctors taking law into own hands
Ha’aretz – Dorit Beinisch speaks at High Court hearing over petition presented against August agreement between state and Israel Medical Association; around 400 residents, as well as senior doctors, have reportedly resigned.

IN PICTURES / Israel’s November rain
Ha’aretz – Israelis venture out into the cold, as November rain continues.

90-year old woman and her daughter die in apartment fire
Ha’aretz – Blaze breaks out in the women’s apartment in Ashkelon, southern Israel; most likely caused by electric appliance left on overnight.

Jerusalem Post

MK Shemtov ends hunger strike
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Israel Beiteinu MK says she’s sure contract workers’ rights reform bill will pass.

Cairo: Muslim Brotherhood to protest army’s power
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – US officials meet with group’s representatives; Brotherhood official: Those who oppose Shari’a are “drunks, druggies or adulterers.”

Mor-Yosef denies taking job under Litzman
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Deputy health minister says his ministry’s director-general approved professor’s “appointment” to temporary position of “special adviser” and “project manager.”

‘Growing numbers lack tools to compete in modern economy’
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Report asserts that the country must launch efforts to improve the school system for the sake of its future economic viability.

Court rules: Anat Kamm to begin prison term
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Supreme Court grants Kamm an additional three days before her prison sentence begins.

IAEA chief ‘alerts world’ as major powers press Iran
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Six powers involved in diplomacy on Iran present united front towards Tehran; IAEA to debate and vote on resolution; UN nuclear watchdog chief says “We have to alert world before nuclear proliferation takes place.”

Headliners: Right of return, but not in my backyard
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – There might be a serious split within Palestinian society over return to a future Palestinian state.

Court gives residents 72 hours to return to talks
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – If medical residents refuse dialog, National Labor Court will hear state’s contempt of court request, High Court rules.

Court gives residents 3 days to resume talks
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Without 3rd party enjoying confidence of both sides, conflict will get worse than ever, warns Health Ministry D-G Ronni Gamzu.

Authorities foil NY protest bid to shut Wall Street
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Police barricade narrow streets around New York Stock Exchange, push protesters onto sidewalk with battons; about 75 people arrested.

Israeli frog jumps back from extinction
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Scientists thought the Hula painted frog was extinct for fifteen years, the last one was found in the North in the 1950s.

13 Female MKs ask Peres not to pardon Katsav
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Lawmakers from six parties sign letter to the president, titled “strong and intense opposition to pardoning Katsav”

Ya’alon: Military option must be believable for Iran
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Vice premier tells conference that an Israeli strike on Iran must be the last option, Palestinians must recognize Jewish state.

Bereaved families ask to meet US envoy on Pollard
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Democratic Party head is questioned about imprisoned Israeli agent; Pollard is set to begin 27th year in prison.

PA denies deal with Israel over UN membership
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Palestinian Authority: Report that it would freeze application for UN membership in return for release of tax revenues ‘nonsense.’

’60 percent of Israelis won’t serve in IDF by 2020′
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – IDF Manpower Directorate says every other Israeli already doesn’t serve, army looking to balance needs of different sectors.

Trajtenberg: Economic woes ‘deeper than we thought’
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Last summer’s mass protest movement signaled that issue of inequality is urgent, may threaten the country’s security.

Residents to court: We want to quit, not more talks
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – High Court holds hearing on medical residents resignations; justices are critical of tactics.

J’lem man indicted for harassing Peace Now leader
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Defendant also allegedly sprayed ‘Price Tag’ graffiti threatening to kill Arabs.

Off the Beaten Track: The Church of St. Anne
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Travel expert Joe Yudin guides you through some of Jerusalem’s rich biblical history.

High Court justices criticize medical residents
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Panel hears doctors’ appeal to allow them to quit legally; Beinisch: “We should have rejected your petition.”

Weekly Schmooze: Someone has a crush on Tzipi Hotovely
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – JPost column wraps up Jewish world culture news: Bill Crystal’s back in Oscars; Hollywood’s new hot Jewish couple.

Poverty rate lowest since 2003, report finds
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Annual poverty report says 20% of families, a third of children living below poverty line, but shows minor signs of improvement.

Cashing in on Egypt’s black cloud
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Post-Mubarak Egypt faces the challenge of developing cost-effective technologies to use straw efficiently, rather than burning it.

Lawyer to court: Anat Kamm ‘not a public risk’
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Ahead of her appeal against her 4.5 year prison term, Kamm is asking the court to stay her punishment.

Eini threatens December strike over contractors
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Calling on Labor Court to extend Treasury negotiations through November, Histadrut head warns of renewed strike.

Two Ashkelon women die in apartment fire
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Mother and daughter die in 18th-floor apartment fire after electric heater ignites furniture.

Court to hear residents’ resignation petition
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Panel set to hear doctors’ appeal to be able to quit legally; Barak says IMA-Health Ministry agreement should be re-considered.

‘Dog Sweat’ shows secret life of rebellious Iranians
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 – Film shot underground, tells story of young people looking for pleasure in a country where so much is prohibited.

The Guardian

St Paul’s and the church should not insulate itself from raw human need | Giles Fraser
The Guardian 17 Nov 2011 – he Occupy movement is a moment of God-given opportunity to rediscover Christian holiness: not in rich temples, but justice “This is the place where Jesus Christ was born,” whispers a guide in an affected and well…

Regenerating Gaza – in pictures
The Guardian 17 Nov 2011 – The British charity Interpal is engaged in a programme to regenerate and rebuild Gaza after the Israeli attacks in 2008 and 2009

Inter Press Service

Raids in Syria as Pressure Mounts on Assad
IPS Syrian activists say troops have made sweeping arrests in the flashpoint province of Hama as President Bashar al-Assad faces a growing challenge to his rule.

Uruknet

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (03 November-16 November 2010)
Uruknet November 17, 2011 – Summary : Israeli violations of international law and humanitarian law in the OPT continued during the reporting period (03-16 November 2011): Shooting: During the reporting period, IOF killed four Palestinians, including a civilian, a member of the Palestinian Marine Police and two resistance activists, in the Gaza Strip. IOF also wounded 17 civilians, including a…

Qatar: No World Cup without labour rights.
Uruknet November 2011, 17: The ITUC, the Building and Wood Workers International and the Swiss Union Unia met with FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke at FIFA headquarters today, to inform him that unless Qatar upholds labour rights, the international trade union movement will campaign against the 2022 World Cup being held there. ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said the…

Don’t Forget the Guantánamo Prisoners Cleared for Release But Still Held
Uruknet November 17, 2011 – Last week, Guantánamo briefly resurfaced in the news when one of the remaining 171 prisoners, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was arraigned for his planned trial by Military Commission, for his alleged role in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. Al-Nashiri’s trial will not begin for a least a year, and his fleeting appearance…

Syria News – November 16, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – ….Since the Arab League Peace Plan was announces till this moment 376 Syrian were killed by the Security forces and the Asad Army amongst them are 26 children and today the number of martyrs rose to 20 up till now. 11 martyrs in Homs, 7 martyrs in Idlib and 1 martyrs in each Daraa…

NATO Intervention in Libya Was “Recolonisation”
Uruknet November 17, 2011 – Brazilian journalist and writer Mário Augusto Jakobskind was thwarted in his attempt to visit Libya during the civil war there, but in spite of this he produced a lucid analysis of the situation in the North African country and of the forces that have taken power after the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime….

Israel imposes heavy sentence on whistle-blower Anat Kam to protect the guilty
Uruknet November 17, 2011 – An Israeli court has sentenced Anat Kam, a 24-year-old former conscript, to four-and-a-half years for leaking documents implicating Israel’s top military commanders in war crimes. The whistle-blower has already served two years under house arrest. The decision is expected soon as to whether Ha’aretz journalist Uri Blau, to whom she gave the 2,000 documents,…

A Whiff of Egyptian Freedom for Gaza
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – The ongoing Freedom Waves campaign to break the siege of Gaza hit the world headlines last week with the attempt by the Canadian Tahrir and the Irish Saoirse — Arab and Irish for freedom — to bring aid to Gazans directly. This time the boats left from Turkey, not Greece, where last June authorities…

Gaza’s Suffocating Siege
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – In early November, the Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement published a report titled, “Scale of Control: Israel’s Continued Responsibility in the Gaza Strip.” It explained little changed after its alleged 2005 “disengagement.” A 2007 Gisha report titled, “Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza” argued that as an occupying power, Israel’s obligations…

Riding The Bus Towards Freedom
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – Restricted mobility is one of the main obstacles experienced by Palestinians living under occupation. A couple of months ago, a Palestinian friend told me how she overcame this obstacle when she had to go to Jerusalem on an urgent matter, without having the Israeli permit usually required. She simply did what many of the…

Iraq snapshot – November 16, 2011
Uruknet Wednesday, November 15, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, the most important hearing on the Iraq War this year took place yesterday and we continue to cover it, we also note which outlets got it right and which got it very, very wrong, “enduring” US bases (and that’s a US general, not me calling them “enduring”) will remain in…

Honored as a Freedom Rider
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – I was honored to be a freedom rider and it was team effort at its best (those who rode and the many who worked behind the scenes). Two other Palestinians were also arrested with us who were there as a reporters/observers not participants. All eight of us were released eventually pending potential trials. Fajr…

Israeli Army Steps up Attacks on Palestinian Water
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – The last two months have seen a steady stream of IOF attacks on Palestinian water wells in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, a troubling trend that warrants bringing the issue of Palestinian water rights once again into the spotlight. On October 13, farmers received demolition orders on several water wells in Kufr…

Palestinian activists board settler bus bound for Jerusalem
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – Wearing T-shirts that read “Justice,” “Dignity” and “We shall overcome,” six Palestinians boarded an Israeli settler bus bound for Jerusalem from the West Bank settlement of Psagot near Ramallah. Dubbed “Freedom Riders” – in reference to those black activists of the 1950’s U.S. Civil Rights Movement who refused to sit in the “blacks only”…

Israeli government plans to exhume 1,000 bodies from historic Muslim cemetery
Uruknet November 15, 2011 – A member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council has warned of Israeli plans to exhume 1,000 bodies from the historic Ma’man Allah Cemetery in occupied Jerusalem. In a press release on Monday, Dmitri Dalyani said that digging and excavation works in the cemetery “continue unabated with the consent of all Israeli authorities concerned, principally the Antiquities…

Meanwhile in Gaza
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – Here in Gaza, we head to Beit Hanoun for their weekly nonviolent protest in the buffer zone. For three years, Palestinians in the north have been marching into the barren, no-man’s land which encircles the inside of the narrow strip like a slowly-tightening noose. We arrived around 11 a.m. and gathered in front of…

Kuwait opposition protesters storm parliament as political tensions rise
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – Opposition lawmakers warned Wednesday of a growing political crisis after dozens of anti-government protesters muscled their way into Kuwait’s parliament during debate over efforts to question the prime minister about corruption allegations. Local media reported the demonstrators briefly chanted before being forced out as hundreds of others protested outside. Opposition parliament members have sought…

Video: Oil & blood feuds in liberated Libya
Uruknet November 16, 2011 – While Libya’s interim government is quick to hand out contracts for the country’s energy resources, questions have been raised over its ability to restore order. There’ve been clashes between gunmen from different tribal areas, resulting in at least 13 deaths. For more on this, RT talks to a spokesman for British Civilians For Peace…

Daily Star

PSP, independents key to AUB polls
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 March 14-backed student candidates at the American University of Beirut appeared headed to win more seats than rival March 8 in the university’s Students Representative Council during Wednesday’s election.

Baalbek merchants and officials protest crime, lack of security
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Around 600 merchants and shop owners staged a demonstration in front of Baalbek’s Serail to protest the deterioration of security in the city, following the municipality’s call to strike.

Baalbek gas leak claims lives of 3 people
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Three people died Thursday from gas emitted by a power generator at a military housing complex in Baalbek.

Brazil’s vice president to visit ancestral Koura home
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Brazil’s Vice-President Michel Temer arrives Friday evening in Beirut as part of a five-day official visit.

Committee discusses amnesty law for prisoners
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Parliament’s Justice and Administration Committee announced Thursday that it had kick-started serious discussions on a conditional amnesty law for prisoners.

Mansourieh decision a ‘half victory’
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 A civil society activist described a Cabinet decision to proceed with a controversial project to install high-tension electricity wires above ground in the Mansourieh as half a victory,

Greek Orthodox archdiocese assailants had ‘inside man’
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Judicial sources said that clues from Wednesday’s attack on the Greek Orthodox archdiocese in Beirut indicate that the perpetrators had extensive knowledge of the building and its operations.

Hezbollah says Ban biased in 1701 report
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Hezbollah slammed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon Thursday over his latest report to the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 1701.

Catholic patriarchs urge Christians to hang on to lands
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 A gathering of Catholic patriarchs in the Middle East urged Christians Thursday to hold onto their lands and holy places despite the ongoing popular uprisings in the Arab world.

Sleiman calls for networks to solve land feuds
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 President Michel Sleiman called Thursday for the setting up of networks of safety and communication among various sects and areas in order to protect the country’s young generation.

Aridi accuses Cabinet of backtracking on funding promises
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi lashed out at the Cabinet Thursday, accusing it of mismanagement for going back on its promise to finance his ministry’s projects.

Mikati warns security breakdown would set Lebanon back
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Any deterioration in Lebanon’s security situation would set the country back, PM Najib Mikati told a gathering of political and economic officials.

One-year program to produce strategy to fight deforestation
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 The first National Forest Program was launched Thursday, by the agriculture minister in cooperation with the German Development Cooperation agency (GIZ) in order to tackle the urgent issue of deforestation.

BAU holds dinner in honor of media professionals
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Beirut Arab University held a dinner in honor of professionals from various media organizations at Phoenicia Hotel Thursday.

Ministry urges bigger student role on rights day
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 The Education Ministry urged schools and universities Thursday to encourage students to engage fully in the upcoming international Human Rights Day.

Police arrest 60-year-old for swindling foreigners
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Police arrested a man wanted for impersonating a police officer and robbing foreigners on over 13 occasions, the Internal Security Forces said Thursday.

Road accidents kill man, injure 2 others
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 A man was killed and two others injured in separate road accidents in the towns of Dbayyeh and Jeita.

Layyoun, French envoy sign francophone deal
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Culture Minister Gaby Layyoun and French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton signed an agreement for a 1 million euro project to promote the use of French in Lebanon.

Nude female blogger sparks Egypt outrage
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 A woman activist who posted nude pictures of herself on her blog to protest limits on free expression has triggered an uproar in Egypt, drawing condemnations from conservatives and liberals alike.

As Libya dithers, fighters take on security role
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 At the Mellitah Oil & Gas facility, a joint venture between Italy’s oil major Eni and the Libyan national oil company, fighters from the mountain city of Zintan stand guard.

Tunisian MP’s single-mother comment worries secularists
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party has provoked concern about its radical roots again after evoking the caliphate and criticizing single mothers.

Russia, West agree on Iran text
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 The U.N. atomic agency’s new resolution on Iran criticizes Tehran’s nuclear defiance but, in a concession to Russia and China, does not set an ultimatum for allowing a probe of its alleged secret work on atomic…

Syrian websites hosted in Canada, US
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 More than two dozen websites belonging to the government of Syria are being hosted by servers in the United States, Canada and Germany, according to a report by Canadian researchers.

Miss Lebanon remarks spark controversy
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Miss Lebanon 2011 Yara Khoury sparked controversy this week after she made comments suggesting she preferred living in the Republic of Congo to her home country.

17th report by U.N. chief on implementation of resolution 1701
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 What follows is an advance copy of the 17th report of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1701 obtained by The Daily Star Thursday.

Seven hurt in clashes on Egypt Christian march
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 At least seven people were injured in Cairo on Thursday when residents clashed with a group of Christians marching through the capital to demand an end to what they see as discrimination by the state, a…

Qatar calls on Saleh to sign Gulf initiative
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Qatar pressed Yemeni President Ali Saleh to sign a power transfer deal without delay after prolonged protests against his rule.

Attackers hit Egyptian Christian marchers, 10 hurt
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Attackers have thrown rocks and broken glass at a Coptic Christian march in Cairo, injuring 10 people, witnesses said.

Time for Syria’s Assad to stand down: Ashton
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, said Thursday that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad should step aside amid intensifying pressure on his authorities to end violence.

Target of twin Lebanon blasts remains mystery
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 One day after twin bombings ripped through Lebanon’s southern coastal town of Tyre, it remains unclear whether the blasts were a message to liquor vendors or UN peacekeepers in the area.

Catholic bishops call for united Easter holiday across churches
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Catholic bishops in the Orient call for a common Easter time across the Christian churches.

Libya’s old army appoints new chief
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Commanders who defected from Moamer Kadhafi’s armed forces in the heat of the civil uprising named a new chief on Thursday confronting the new Libyan authorities with a done-deal.

Mikati denies reports of resignation if STL dues not paid
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati denied Thursday a report claiming he would resign if Lebanon failed to pay its share of funding toward the controversial Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Damascus attack left 20 killed, wounded: opposition
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 An attack by army defectors on a major intelligence complex in a Damascus suburb left 20 security police dead or wounded, prompting retaliation by security forces on the neighborhood, residents and opposition sources said on Thursday.

Ministry urges schools to prepare for Human Rights Day
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 The Education Ministry urged schools and universities Thursday to encourage students to engage fully in the upcoming international Human Rights Day.

Hezbollah slams U.N. report, says Ban biased toward West
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Hezbollah slammed U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon Thursday over his latest report to the Security Council on the implementation of Resolution 1701, describing him as biased toward the West.

Kuwait in crisis talks after protesters storm parliament
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Kuwaiti leaders held crisis talks Thursday after protesters demanding the resignation of the prime minister, a key member of the ruling Al-Sabah family, stormed parliament in a sharp escalation of tension in the oil-rich Gulf state.

Lebanon of two minds on Syria revolt
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 Lebanon’s decision to stand by Syria’s embattled Bashar al-Assad has deepened the rift between the Hezbollah-dominated government and pro-Western opposition.

YNet News

Jordan arrests Israeli-Arab returning from Mecca
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Jordanian police arrested last Thursday an Israeli-Arab who was returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca on suspicion that he owed a Jordanian citizen $35,000, Ynet reported. … ….

IDF: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem last in enlistment
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – The city of Modi’in-Maccabim-Re’ut has maintained its first place position as the city with the largest number of residents enlisting in the IDF, soldiers in combat units … ….

Jerusalem mosque expanding illegally
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – The Ras el-Amud mosque, situated on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, has been illegally expanded by 217 square meters (about 2,335 square feet) over the past year, Ynet … ….

Anti-Semitic Greek politician softens rhetoric
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – BERLIN – Following the harsh criticism leveled all over the world over the inclusion of the extreme right wing party LAOS in Greece’s provisional government, the party’s … ….

Court rules: Anat Kam to be jailed Wednesday
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Supreme Court Justice Miriam Naor on Thursday denied Anat Kam’s motion to postpone her 4.5-year prison sentence. Kam, who is slated to be jailed on Wednesday, petitioned … ….

IDF cutbacks: Over 1,000 to be fired
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – The IDF Manpower Directorate decided to cut five percent of its permanent service personnel, a move that will see over 1,000 officers and warrant officers discharged, … ….

Egypt activist posts herself nude, sparks outrage
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – A woman activist who posted nude pictures of herself on her blog to protest limits on free expression has triggered an uproar in Egypt, drawing condemnations from … ….

Report: Israel to employ high-tech weapons in Iran strike
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – American intelligence officials tell the Daily Beast Israel assembling….

Yigal Amir prayer request denied
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Petah Tikva district Court rejects petition filed by murderer of former Prime….

No IAEA ultimatum to Iran
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – In concession to Russia, China new IAEA resolution on Iran falls short of….

France helping Syrian opposition get organized
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – French FM Alain Juppe says Paris opposed to military intervention but….

Poverty rates down, but not enough
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Poverty report for 2010 shows drop in number of poor, but third of Israeli….

Barak under fire over Iran comment
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Defense minister draws widespread criticism after saying he’d want nuclear….

Katsav: I will not commit suicide
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Former president convicted of rape continues media blitz before entering prison,….

Suha Arafat: I never took money from Palestine
YNet News, 17 Nov 2011 – Yasser Arafat’s widow denies corruption allegations, says she refused many….

Palestinian Information Center

Russia and France slam Israel’s settlement expansion in O. Jerusalem
PIC – Russia and France denounced Israel’s declared intention to build 800 settlement units in the occupied city of Jerusalem.

Egypt’s military council allows anti-Israel mega march on Friday
PIC – The military council in Egypt agreed to allow a mega march on Friday under the auspices of grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Mosque Ahmed Attayeb against Israel’s Judaization of occupied Jerusalem.

Dweik: Israel exercising ethnic cleansing in Palestinian land
PIC – Speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik has said that Israel was exercising ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people in the occupied lands.

Israeli police arrest Palestinian TV journalist
PIC – Israeli police detained Quds TV journalist Isra’ Salhab, 26, after summoning her for interrogation afternoon Wednesday.

Resheq: Mishaal’s visit to Jordan within days
PIC – Political bureau member of Hamas Ezzet Al-Resheq has said that Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman, is to visit Jordan within the few coming days.

AFEH documents the digging of more graves at Ma’manullah cemetery
PIC – AFEH revealed that dozens of Zionist workers have been engaged in digging up Muslim graves at the historic Ma’manullah cemetery in occupied Jerusalem..

WAFA

Cabinet Condemns Israeli Campaigns to Expand Settlements
WAFA

Israeli Soldiers Closes Entrances of Town in Nablus
WAFA

Polish Concert Performed in Ramallah Marking Chopin’s 200 Anniversary
WAFA

Israeli Forces Arrest 7 Palestinians in West Bank, Including a Child
WAFA

Israeli Forces Destroy Agricultural Ponds in Eastern Hebron
WAFA

Over 26% of Palestinian Children Live in Poverty, says PCBS
WAFA

Restaurants Winners of Tourism Activities, says PCBS
WAFA

Ashrawi: Change in US Policy the Best Way to Influence Palestinian Public Opinion
WAFA


Intifada Palestine

Mic Tells Tale of Growing US-Israel Gap
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Nov 2011 – Kourosh Ziabari Despite pretentiously showing gestures of friendship and cordiality, the ideological gap between the U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting wider increasingly. The contents of a recent would-be private conversation between the U.S. President… more

Sanctioning Syria: The Long Road to Damascus
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Nov 2011 – Maidhc Ó Cathail In 1996, an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, prepared “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” for incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In that seminal report , the Richard Perle-led… more

Misc

Israel imposes heavy sentence on whistle-blower Anat Kam to protect the guilty
WSWS – An Israeli court has sentenced Anat Kam, a 24-year-old former conscript, to four-and-a-half years for leaking documents implicating Israel’s top military commanders in war crimes.

Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin headed for the silver screen
Mondoweiss – Literary and film agency Pontas has announced film rights for Susan Abulhawa’s international bestseller Mornings in Jenin have been acquired by Filmworks Dubai . Originally published in English by Bloomsbury the novel has already been published in translation in more than 20 countries and is a real…

Critics of Palestine solidarity within Occupy Wall Street rely on distortion
Mondoweiss – Activists from Adalah-NY sing songs promoting BDS at Occupy Wall Street on November 13, 2011 (Photo: Alex Kane) “New York is different,” Riham Barghouti, a well-known member of Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel, told me last weekend at the end of…

164 essential drugs are completely unavailable in Gaza
Mondoweiss – link to english.wafa.ps link to silwanic.net link to silwanic.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to silwanic.net link to www.btselem.org link to www.imemc.org link to www.imemc.org link to www.maannews.net link to www.alternativenews.org link to www.haaretz.com link to www.richardsilverstein.com link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk link to www.ynetnews.com link…

Condi Rice shocked by ‘ethnic purity’ claim for Jewish state
Mondoweiss – Condi Rice Why doesn’t the mainstream press pick up the important stuff? Yes, and why does our website exist? Norman Finkelstein has been reading former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s White House memoir: No Higher Honor . He turned to page 282, and a passage involving Rice’s…

‘Proud Zionist’ tweets that assassinating Obama is ‘tempting’
Mondoweiss – ABC News : Hours after Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man for allegedly  firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House , the top student official for the College Republicans at the University of Texas tweeted that the idea of assassinating President Obama was “tempting.” At…

Lieberman Severs Ties With Mossad
Tikun Olam – I’ve been reporting here lately on reports that the Shin Bet refused to provide Avigdor Lieberman security clearances that would’ve enabled him to see top secret documents about his then portfolio as minister of strategic affairs, Iran.  An authoritative Israeli source also reported on longstanding rumors…

Missile Blast Disrupted Research on New Iranian Weapon Designed to Counter Israel
Tikun Olam – Earlier today, Iranian officials made two contradictory sets of statements about the blast at the missile base two days ago, which killed 17 IRG soldiers including the “father of the Iranian missile program.  Majlis speaker Lariani denied any Israeli involvement in the incident saying it was a “fiction”…

Bibi Threatens Licenses of Israeli Media Which Publish List of Wealthiest Israeli Politicians
Tikun Olam – Silvan Shalom who, thanks to his wife, Judy Nir Mozes, is Israel’s wealthiest pol at over$40-million Banned Forbes article on Israel’s wealthiest politicians UPDATE : Apologies to Dvorit Shargel, who broke this story yesterday.  She deserves credit for it and kol hakovod la .  I’ve updated my post…

Misc 2

Fears grow over Iran nuclear plan
BBC 17 Nov 2011 – World powers agree a draft resolution expressing their “increasing concern” that Iran may be seeking to build nuclear weapons.

New call for UN action on Syria
BBC 17 Nov 2011 – Germany, France and the UK table a UN resolution calling for an end to human rights violations in Syria, and receive the backing of four Arab states.

Articles


Talk of reconciliation heats up
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 11/17/2011
      Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said this week that he was quite happy to step down from his position in order to remove any obstacle in the way of Palestinian reconciliation.
     It is not the first time he made such a statement, but this time it is politically important, and timely.
     Fayyad’s statement comes as the PLO’s efforts at the UN Security Council failed to produce any positive results and talks of reconciliation have once again heated up.
     The Islamic movement Hamas has been insisting on a candidate other than Fayyad to head a unity government. Fatah, on the other hand, has publicly insisted on having him as premier, due to the high regard the West has for him.
     However, with the UN process having reached a dead end, insisting on the former World Bank official is futile. President Mahmoud Abbas did not wish to add to the difficulties he was facing by arriving at a unity government with Hamas at the same time that the PLO was trying to neutralize Israeli and US objections.
     Now that the UN process has come to a halt, it is understood that Abbas will move fast to reach common ground with his Islamic opponents.
     While Fatah and Hamas are likely to move quickly if the Fayyad “obstacle” is removed, it is not clear whether the premier’s willingness to give up his position will solve some of the deeper differences. more.. e-mail

Occupy AIPAC?
Andrew Levine, CounterPunch 11/17/2011
      Zionism is Weaker Than It Was
     Back in 2004, George W. Bush, full of “political capital” and hell bent on besting his predecessors in beating back the twentieth century, discovered that Social Security was still a “third rail” in American politics. But that was before Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008, and before Barack Obama. Social Security along with other so-called entitlements are now on the chopping block again, and it remains to be seen whether they can survive the up-coming “bipartisan” assault.
     Meanwhile, another third rail seems more robust: the blank check the American government gives Israel – in the form of subsidies, military cooperation, and unstinting diplomatic support.
     Fortunately, in our politics, as in Newton’s laws of motion, for every action, there is ultimately an equal and opposite reaction. And so it is that ruling class (not just Republican) overreach has finally awakened the vast majority of the 99% or more of the American people for who have suffered through decades of unremitting neoliberal rule.
     Although the Occupy Wall Street movement expressly rejects vanguardist political styles, it is fair to say that the people who have been living in tents, and who now bear the brunt of police repression (called in mainly by Democratic mayors!), are the vanguard of this rising discontent.
     Who knows what will come of their efforts as the movement evolves and as the repression intensifies. What is clear for now is just that a whole lot of what used to be called consciousness raising has taken place. As recently as this summer, there was little reason not to despair for the Land of the Free. No longer…. more.. e-mail

The road not taken
Graham Usher, Al-Ahram Weekly 11/17/2011
      The block on Palestinian UN membership represents not a failure of strategy but the lack of one.
     The Palestinians’ efforts to win full membership as a UN member state ground to a halt on 11 November after it became clear they didn’t have a majority on the Security Council.
     This leaves Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a snare. He could press for a Security Council vote in any case. But this would face certain defeat and risk anger from supposed allies on the council like France and Britain, as well as reprisals from adversaries like the United States.
     He could go for the lesser goal of Palestine becoming a non-member observer state: this requires only a majority vote by the 193-member General Assembly and, unlike the Security Council, cannot be blocked by a US veto. But many Palestinians would see this as a “consolation prize” after the hopes raised by full membership, says a Western diplomat.
     It could also trigger sanctions to add to the nearly $300 million in frozen revenues and contributions levied by Israel and the US as punishment for Abbas turning to the UN.
     Or he could do nothing. But that would risk the very real charge that — absent civil protests in the occupied territories and mobilisation in the region — the PA’s turn to the UN represents not a new political strategy but the absence of one. Asked what the Palestinians would do if their bid remains blocked on the council, PA aide Saeb Ereikat said: “We can try again — and again and again.” more.. e-mail

Sanctioning Syria: The Long Road to Damascus
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Nov 2011 – By Maidhc Ó Cathail In 1996, an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, prepared ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’ for incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In that seminal report, the Richard Perle-led study group suggested that Israel could ‘shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria.’ Comprised mainly of American-based pro-Israel advocates, the group stressed, “Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.” Although Netanyahu didn’t act on their advice at the time, Perle and two of his co-authors, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, found George W. Bush more receptive to “securing the realm” – for…more

No Apology for Iran, Just Demonization
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Nov 2011 – By Stuart Littlewood When new recruits join British Petroleum (BP) they are fed romantic tales about how the company came into being. William Knox D’Arcy, a Devon man, studied law and, after emigrating to Australia, made a fortune from the Mount Morgan gold-mining operations in the 1880s. Returning to England he agreed to fund a search for oil and minerals in Persia and negotiations with the Mozaffar al-Din Shah Qajar began in 1901. A sixty year concession to explore for oil gave D’Arcy the oil rights to the entire country except for five provinces in Northern Iran. The Iranian government would receive16% of the oil company’s annual profits. Mozzafar ad-Din, seldom consulted on matters of state by his father, was naive in business matters and unprepared for kingship when the time came. He borrowed heavily from the Russians in order to finance his extravagant personal lifestyle and the costs of…more

A Whiff of Egyptian Freedom for Gaza
Dissident Voice: 17 Nov 2011 – The ongoing Freedom Waves campaign to break the siege of Gaza hit the world headlines last week with the attempt by the Canadian Tahrir and the Irish Saoirse — Arab and Irish for freedom — to bring aid to Gazans directly. This time the boats left from Turkey, not Greece, where last June authorities refused to let the Freedom Flotilla depart. “Our efforts in Greece only fuelled our determination to challenge the imprisonment of the people of Gaza. We said we would continue to sail and so we are,” according to a Freedom Waves press statement. This time there were 27 activists, including Americans, Canadians, Irish, Polish, Greek, Palestinian and — for the first time an Egyptian, Al-Masri Al-Youm English Managing Editor Lina Attalah. For 27 years, Israel has been violating the 1979 Peace Treaty with Egypt, which guaranteed “full autonomy” for the Palestinians within five years. So it was…more

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