VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 27 November 2011: Israeli officials threaten to cut electricity and water if Palestinians form unity government

27 November 2011 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian Authority unable to pay salaries & pensions due to Israeli seizure of funds
IMEMC – With the Israeli government continuing to seize Palestinian tax money and hold the funds in Israeli banks, the Palestinian Authority announced on Sunday that it will be unable to pay salaries to civil servants and pensions to the elderly and disabled this coming month. …

Europeans hold 60 ‘Boycott Israel’ actions in 10 countries
IMEMC – In a European Day of Action under the banner ‘Take Apartheid off the Menu’, human rights activists in ten countries held actions on Saturday calling on consumers to boycott food products made in Israeli settlements, and urging supermarkets to stop carrying Israeli settlement-made products. …

Israeli officials threaten to cut electricity and water if Palestinians form unity government
IMEMC – The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister told reporters Saturday that the Israeli government is considering cutting off the Gaza Strip’s meager supply of electricity and water if the Palestinian Authority manages to form a unity government. …

Ma’an News

Israel TV: Netanyahu stays Al-Aqsa bridge demolition
11/27/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has postponed the demolition of a bridge providing access to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque due to regional pressure, Israeli media said Sunday. The plan to tear down and rebuild the Bab (gate) al-Margharbeh walkway was shelved for an unspecified time period on Saturday…. Related: Jordan minister calls to halt Al-Aqsa bridge demolition

Israeli warplanes strike targets in the Gaza Strip
11/27/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes hit several targets in the Gaza Strip early on Sunday, causing material damage but no reported injuries. Ma’an’s reporter said an Israeli plane fired a missile at an open area in the Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza. No casualties have been reported. Also on….

Assaf: Fatah and Hamas agree to delay forming government
11/27/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) —Khalil Assaf, head of independent figures in the West Bank, said Saturday that President Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal have agreed to delay the formation of a government. Assaf made the comments after a meeting between the Independent Palestinian Figures assembly and Mashaal on Saturday. Mashaal stated that a meeting…. Related: Official media: Russian president writes to Abbas of his support

Jordan minister calls to halt Al-Aqsa bridge demolition
11/27/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Jordan’s Minister of Islamic Affairs Abdul Salam al-Abadi spoke out on Saturday against the plan of Israel’s Jerusalem municipality to demolish and rebuild an access route to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City. The minister said King Abdullah II of Jordan — who met President Mahmoud Abbas…. Related: Israel TV: Netanyahu stays Al-Aqsa bridge demolition

Report: Jewish group delays East Jerusalem eviction
11/27/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel — The Jewish National Fund has delayed the eviction of a Palestinian family from their home in East Jerusalem, Israeli media said Sunday. The Sumarin family had received an order to evacuate their Silwan home by Monday. Their house, declared absentee property and transferred by the government to the Jewish National Fund subsidiary….

Israeli forces arrest 7 in Ramallah, Hebron
11/27/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained 7 people overnight Saturday, an army spokeswoman and local Palestinian official said. Three men were detained in Beit Ummar, two in Battir village near Bethlehem and two in the Ramallah area, the Israeli army said. Spokesman for the Beit Ummar local committee Muhammad Ayyad Awad said soldiers ransacked….

PA collapse ‘not the end of the world’ for Israel
11/27/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli official said Saturday evening on live television that if the Palestinian Authority collapses it would not be the “end of the world for Israel.” Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Yedioth Ahronoth columnist Shimon Sheffer, former Palestinian minister Sufian Zayda, and Dove Viziglas, who was former adviser to Israeli….

Islamic Jihad will not renounce armed resistance
11/27/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Islamic Jihad movement said Sunday that it would support a Palestinian consensus on strategies to resist the occupation, but on condition that popular actions do not become a substitute for armed resistance.”The Islamic Jihad movement, though not convinced that peaceful rallies are efficient against occupation, will not ‘sing…. Related: Hamas official: Armed resistance is strategic

Hamas official: Armed resistance is strategic
11/27/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan said Sunday that armed resistance remains a strategic option for Palestinians, while affirming that popular action was also an integral part of challenging Israel’s policies. Radwan told Ma’an: “All aspects of resistance are open and permissible and open to us.” But…. Related: Islamic Jihad will not renounce armed resistance

Official media: Russian president writes to Abbas of his support
11/27/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed the reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas and applauded efforts to attain Palestinian statehood in a letter to President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday, official media reported. The head of Russia’s mission to the Palestinian Authority Alexander Rudakov delivered the letter to general secretary of….

Mahmoud Darwish memorial opens in Ramallah
11/27/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Officials opened a new installation commemorating famed Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in Ramallah on Sunday, a press statement said. Prime Minister in the Ramallah-based government Salam Fayyad told those gathered: “I don’t doubt this will become one of the most important monuments in Ramallah,” the release from his office….

Mashaal meets Sudan president in Khartoum
11/27/2011 – KHARTOUM (Ma’an) — Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal met Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum late Saturday to update the leader on developments in Palestinian politics, officials said. Mashaal briefed the Sudanese leader on his Thursday meeting with Fatah chief President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo, the latest push to implement a stalled reconciliation agreement signed….

Analysts: Hamas wins from Egypt election
11/27/2011 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Egypt’s first post-revolution vote will shift the political scene in favor of Gaza’s ruling party Hamas, whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood wins, analysts and Hamas officials say. Despite a spike in unrest, Egyptians are to start going to the polls on Monday and expected to elect a….

Police: 2 children from Jenin missing for over 24 hours
11/27/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) —Police intensified a search on Sunday for two children who have been missing for over 24 hours. Police said that Tariq Malil Ismael Hantouli, 12, and his cousin Nidal Muhammad Ismael Hantouli, 10, have been missing since Saturday morning from the village of Seida near Jenin. Police and security services are….

4 family members injured after fire in Jenin apartment
11/27/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Four people were injured on Sunday morning after a fire destroyed their apartment in Jenin. The civil defense said that firefighters managed to rescue Muhammad al-Saadi, his wife and two children after they were caught inside the burning building. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and managed to evacuate all residents. The report….

Syrian forces ‘kill 15 civilians’
11/27/2011 – NICOSIA (AFP) — Syrian forces killed at least 15 civilians on Sunday, six of them in the flashpoint region of Homs that has been under siege for several weeks in an operation to crush dissent, a rights group said. The latest violence came as the Arab League voted to impose a raft of diplomatic and economic….

Iran parliament votes to expel British ambassador
11/27/2011 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Iran’s parliament voted on Sunday to expel Britain’s ambassador in retaliation for fresh Western sanctions imposed over Tehran’s nuclear program. A majority of 179 lawmakers voted in favor of reducing diplomatic relations to the more junior level of charge d’affaires within two weeks and paring….

Arab League agrees Syria fiscal, travel sanctions
11/27/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Arab foreign ministers agreed a list of sweeping sanctions Sunday designed to cripple the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad who has defied pressure to halt a bloody crackdown on protests. The 22-member Arab League agreed to ban Syrian officials from visiting any Arab country, to freeze government assets, suspend flights and….

Egypt army head: We will not bow to pressure
11/27/2011 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s army ruler warned on Sunday he would not tolerate any pressure ahead of new protests demanding that he step down on the eve of the country’s first elections since the January revolution. Egyptians go to the polls on Monday to cast their first votes for a new parliament….

State TV: Yemen’s Saleh announces general amnesty
11/27/2011 – SANAA (AFP) —Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has pardoned those who “committed errors during the crisis” that has rocked the country since January and killed hundreds of people, state television reported Sunday. The announcement immediately drew the ire of opposition groups who say Saleh can no longer take such decisions having transferred his powers to….

Yemen names opposition leader as interim premier
11/27/2011 – SANAA (Reuters) — Yemen’s vice president named on Sunday opposition leader Mohammed Basindwa as the country’s new interim prime minister, the state news agency Saba reported, under a deal aimed at ending months of protests which have rocked the country. If the agreement goes according to plan, Saleh will become the fourth….

Aljazeera

Egypt gas pipeline ‘blown up by saboteurs’
AlJazeera 27 Nov 2011 – Blast strikes pipeline carrying gas to Jordan and Israel, in the latest of a series of attacks on the export route.

Palestine News Network

Poet Denounces MK Danon for Hinting at Assassination of MK Tibi
PNN – PNNOn Sunday, Israeli poet Eitan Kalinski condemned Likud Minister of Knesset Danny Danon for saying he would put his fellow Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, of the Ta’al party representing Palestinians in Israel,…

Rap and Reconciliation in Gaza: An Interview with the DARG Team
PNN – PNNIn one of the most crowded places on earth, four Palestinians are standing out. They call themselves Da Arabian Revolutionary Guys—or the DARG Team—and they are considered to be the premier rap…

Holy Land Trust Plans for International Day of Solidarity with Palestinian People
PNN – PNN The Bethlehem nonviolence NGO Holy Land Trust is organizing events in the city’s famous Nativity Square for the afternoon of November 29, in commemmoration of International Day of Solidarity with the…

International Solidarity Movement

Beit Hannina: House demolitions without warning
11/27/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 25 November 2011, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – At 11 AM this Thursday the 24 of November, Mohammed Ka’abne and his family of Beit Hannina, were shocked by the arrival at their doorstep of an Israeli military unit accompanied by several police officers and two bulldozers. Without issuing any kind of eviction order…. Related: Demolitions in Beit Hannina – Images

Alternative Information Center

BDS success or health problem? MF DOOM mysteriously cancels Tel Aviv show
Alternative Information Center – The Israeli news site Walla! reports that British-American rapper MF Doom canceled his Tel Aviv show, less than 24 hours before he was scheduled to take to the stage.

Community building in the face of Israeli occupation
Alternative Information Center – While the Palestinian-led weekly demonstrations against the separation barrier are an important and visible part of non-violent resistance, a children’s community center in Burin fights the occupation on a daily basis just by opening its doors,…

The National

Tantawi warns crisis must end as Egypt braces for elections
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi claimed “foreign hands” were behind the latest wave of unrest, an assertion similar to those made by Hosni Mubarak in his final days in power.

Arab League approves sanctions on Syria
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Sanctions will come in force today, as 19 members of the League’s 22 nations approve sanctions to cut off transactions to the Syrian Central Bank.

At least 25 killed in Yemen as Shiite rebels clash with Salafis
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Shelling killed 10 people on Saturday and continued on Sunday afternoon, said a Salafi spokesman.

Egypt’s complex electoral system
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Egyptians entering voting booths will confront one of the most complex electoral systems in the region, if not the world.

Letter from Cairo: Tahrir Square protesters learn from ‘mistakes’
The National 27 Nov 2011 – The protests that overshadowed yesterday’s election reveal a new breed of demonstrator who is less willing to be led by the loudest voices, Youssef Hamza reports.

‘Only the beginning’ as UK ambassador expelled by Iran over sanctions
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Amid chants of “death to England”, Iran’s parliament voted by a large majority yesterday to expel the British ambassador just weeks after Dominick Chilcott took up his post.

Egypt elections: Battle of ‘eye’ versus ‘scales of justice’
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Egyptians today and tomorrow will begin choosing a new representative government, with 55 political parties and scores of individual candidates in the running.

Thousands attend Tripoli rally – but Hariri absent
The National 27 Nov 2011 – After speculation that he would stage his political comeback at a rally in Tripoli yesterday, Saad Hariri was a no-show.

Arab League agrees sweeping sanctions on Syria
The National 27 Nov 2011 – Damascus rejects ‘unprecedented’ step, as Qatari prime minister says blockade will avert wider international intervention and only an end to Syria massacre can stop embargoes.

Ha’aretz

Ruling military, opposition urge Egyptians to vote ahead of parliamentary election
Ha’aretz – Reporting from Cairo, Anshel Pfeffer says Egyptian authorities threaten those who will not vote with fine; Tahrir Square protester: This isn’t an election, it’s a sad joke.

Issacharoff and Harel / Arab Spring elections boost democracy, and Israeli fears
Ha’aretz – Egyptian parliamentary elections that begin Monday are expected to result in victory for an Islamic party – in this case, the one affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s Copts wary of future ahead of parliamentary elections
Ha’aretz – Reporting from Alexandria, Anshel Pfeffer speaks to Coptic leader Hani Boutros, nearly a year since the New Year’s Eve bombing of a Coptic church killed 23.

Netanyahu delays demolition of Jerusalem bridge over Egypt, Jordan warning
Ha’aretz – The dispute over the Old City’s Mughrabi Bridge is a key issue in Egypt’s elections.

Amira Hass / Israeli demolition firm takes pride in West Bank operations
Ha’aretz – Having relatives in the West Bank is a problem. So is a school in the South Hebron Hills. The list of prohibitions is endless.

Overlooked relics may help unearth Dead Sea Scrolls’ authors
Ha’aretz – Study of garments found with scrolls in Qumran caves seems to support contested theory of separatist Essene authorship.

Price of sunglasses sheds light on Israel’s economic woes
Ha’aretz – Ray-Ban sunglasses cost 110% more in Israel than in New York and 30% more than in Britain. The price gaps become all the more startling once wage differences are taken into account.

Iran legislature gives cabinet 2 weeks to expel U.K. envoy over recent sanctions
Ha’aretz – Move follows British decision to halt financial ties with banks’ involved in Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program; U.K. British Foreign Office: Decision ‘regrettable.’

Egypt military chief warns of ‘extremely grave’ consequences of crisis
Ha’aretz – Haaretz report from Alexandria / Activists hold another demonstration in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday as part of ongoing efforts to force the ruling military council out of power.

Syria rebels: Assad regime recruiting Iranian, Hezbollah mercenaries
Ha’aretz – Free Syrian Army spokesman says Syrian President Bashar Assad losing control of his forces; dozens of Syrian army deserters find refuge in Jordan.

Top Iran official: Israel will pay for Gaza ‘crimes’ if attacks nuclear program
Ha’aretz – Israel will pay the price of its “crimes” in the Gaza Strip if it went ahead with its threats to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Sunday.

‘Price tag’ suspect emailed death threats from house arrest, police says
Ha’aretz – Man indicted for incitement for racism, vandalism wrote to leading Peace Now activists: ‘Today you die,’ and ‘I’ll kill you. The end is near.’

Netanyahu delays demolition of Jerusalem bridge over Arab Spring warnings
Ha’aretz – Decision to forestall teardown of Old City’s Mugrabi Bridge comes following messages from Egypt, Jordan saying that the measure could inflame popular unrest.

Israeli secular, religious ministers hold heated debate over women’s rights
Ha’aretz – Likud’s Limor Livnat warns that exclusion of women leads to violence against women; Shas minister Nahari: We must respect those who find women’s singing offensive.

Ministerial committee rejects bill to limit Israel’s High Court
Ha’aretz – Ministers decide not to back bill that would limit public access to petitions; Netanyahu says he will defend courts despite distortions that need to be fixed.

Netanyahu vows to defend Israel’s courts, but says repairs need to be made
Ha’aretz – At weekly cabinet meeting, PM Netanyahu says he will act against bills that could impair the independence of Israel’s court system.

Top Israeli singer pleads guilty to using mobsters for extortion
Ha’aretz – Margalit Tzan’ani was accused by police of asking crime figures to collect a debt from her manager and of trying to influence the outcome of the vote on ‘A Star is Born.’

IDF strikes two Gaza sites in response to rocket fire
Ha’aretz – A rocket was fired from the Gaza strip into southern Israel earlier Saturday; Israel Air Force struck sites in southern and central Gaza in response.

Afghanistan announces transfer of security responsibility from NATO in much of country
Ha’aretz – Handover is second stage of transition planned to end by the end of 2014, when the U.S.-led coalition’s combat mission is scheduled to end.

Hamas: Palestinians won’t form interim government before elections
Ha’aretz – Senior Hamas official says Abbas and Meshal reached quiet understanding during meeting last week in Cairo; deal would remove major obstacle to reconciliation efforts.

Fayyad: Israeli sanctions have ‘devastating impact’ on Palestinian economy
Ha’aretz – Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad says he will be unable to pay the salaries of tens of thousands of civil servants due to Israel’s withholding of tax revenues it collects on behalf of PA.

Jerusalem Post

After days of violent protests, Egypt kicks off elections
Jerusalem Post 28 Nov 2011 – Parliamentary balloting begins in start of election process that could take months; many Egyptians concerned over whether voting will be free, fair and nonviolent.

Analysis: Muslim Brothers victory all but assured
Jerusalem Post 28 Nov 2011 – The Brotherhood’s message, its readily accessible lexicon of piety and justice, resonates with ordinary Egyptians.

Ethiopians protest gov’t proposal to reduce aliya flow
Jerusalem Post 28 Nov 2011 – Cabinet approves NIS 2m. monument to the 4,000 Falash Mura who died en route to Israel.

PA official regrets ‘brothers of whores’ radio comment
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Labor Minister Ahmed Majdalani slams head of Palestinian Workers Union after interview, unaware mikes were still open.

Arab League sanctions fail to stop Syrian violence
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Security forces kill 24 civilians, activists say; UK’s Hague claims economic sanctions show regime will be held accountable.

Saboteurs blow up Egypt gas pipeline to Israel
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Attack marks ninth such attack on pipeline this year; security forces and fire trucks race to scene in Sinai.

Islamists win most seats in Moroccan vote
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – PJD party wins vote with 107 of 395 seats; second Islamist party to benefit from Arab Spring uprisings.

Money for nothing
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – The powers that be must begin making massive changes in the way the government-run stations are managed.

Iran says 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – “How many missiles have they prepared themselves for?” Iranian defense minister asks.

‘Exclusion of women is form of violence’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – A trend is developing in the National Religious community of excluding women from the public domain in the name of “modesty.”

An open letter to The Boss
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Israel is the Bruce Springsteen of the Middle East – living every day to its fullest and always striving for a better future.

Peace Now files complaint over death threats
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Police suspect 21-year-old linked to previous price-tag attacks; Peace now dir.-gen. says he received death threat.

‘PM delays demolition of Mughrabi Bridge’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Jordan, Egypt warned Israel taking down bridge that connects Western Wall, Temple Mount may spark regional protests.

J14 activist: ‘Israeli dictatorship will topple’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Lawyer Barak Cohen posts online petition warning of coming “rebellion” unless group’s demands are met.

J14 activist: ‘Israeli dictatorship will fall’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Lawyer Barak Cohen posts online petition warning of coming “rebellion” unless group’s demands are met.

Syria TV: Arab League economic sanctions ‘unprecedented’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – League approves sanctions on officials’ assets, travel ban; Qatari foreign minister warns that if Arabs don’t act to contain crisis, Libya-style foreign intervention may follow.

Syria TV: Arab League sanctions ‘unprecedented’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – League approves sanctions on officials’ assets, travel ban; Qatar FM says Arabs must act to avoid foreign intervention.

Tahrir protesters outrage some in Egypt
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Purported “silent majority” wants stability, opposes continued protests in Tahrir Square.

Most Palestinians approve Schalit deal, poll says
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – 85% say prisoners-swap deal with Israel was good, positively affected their position towards Hamas.

Poll: Hamas strengthened by prisoner swap
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – 85% say Schalit deal with Israel was good, positively affected their position towards Hamas.

Analysis: Iran adopts ‘wait and see’ policy on Syria
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Iran still hopes Assad will outlast Syrian revolution but refrain from emphatic support for fear of backing ‘the wrong horse.’

UK: Iran decision to downgrade ties is ‘regrettable’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – After London ups sanctions on Tehran over nuclear program, Iran votes in favor of bill that would force British envoy to leave.

Arab League approves wide economic sanctions on Syria
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – League approves sanctions on officials’ assets, travel ban; Qatari foreign minister warns that if Arabs don’t act to contain crisis, Libya-style foreign intervention may follow.

Tantawi says SCAF won’t retreat on constitution
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Constitutional proposal that would shield military from parliamentary oversight sparked protests that have killed over 40.

Bill limiting NGO power at High Court rejected
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – PM: Distortions in judicial system need to be fixed, but I will protect the courts’ independence.

Arab ministers meet to decide on Syria sanctions
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Ministers tell Arab League to draw up measures after Damascus ignored deadline to let in Arab monitors, end gov’t crackdown.

Court okays Katsav request for another hearing
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Request by former president’s legal team for additional hearing before extended panel of Supreme Court justices approved.

Court gives Katsav time to seek additional hearing
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Request by former president’s legal team for additional hearing before extended panel of Supreme Court justices approved.

This Week in History: The original disengagement plan
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Ten years after first attempting to resolve clashing nationalist claims to Palestine, British find a way out.

Arab Spring spares region’s royals
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Dynasts’ Club: Monarchs may be as repressive as dictators, but they do it more kindly, gently.

Tsanani pleads guilty to extortion
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Charges of conspiracy are dropped and plea bargain asks for community service sentence instead of prison time.

Margol pleads guilty to extortion
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Conspiracy charges dropped, prosecution wants community service sentence.

Large amounts of CO toxic; tiny amounts may calm urbanites
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Health Scan: Center aims to rehabilitate walking abilities of people with brain damage due to trauma; J’lem cancer patients can surf net.

Starving in the midst of plenty
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Kadima MK Rachel Adatto, who has introduced a number of bills aimed at combating eating disorders, says it’s an issue of life and death.

Holocaust experts spar over Lithuania’s Shoah policies
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Speakers heatedly debate whether Vilnius is taking bold steps forward, or whitewashing past.

3,000 Chabad envoys gather in Brooklyn
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Rabbis and emissaries from 77 countries, with posts ranging from Long Island’s Hamptons to Bangkok, attend conference.

‘Female journalists in Israel face extreme violence’
Jerusalem Post 27 Nov 2011 – Int’l group says Israel among countries where women journalists face “threats, political pressure, violence, rape and abuse.”

My Word: Weighing in on the Middle East
Jerusalem Post 26 Nov 2011 – Peace in the Middle East seems further away than ever, but that does not mean we need to lose our peace of mind.

Golden opportunities
Jerusalem Post 26 Nov 2011 – Just as it has for the past 16 years, the Suzanne Dellal Dance Center is this year hosting International Exposure 2011.

Inter Press Service

Arab Women Seek a Place in the Spring
IPS As several countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) elect bodies to write new constitutions, women are looking to expand their rights through legislation.

MIDEAST: Guarding Aggressors Against Victims
IPS Ahmed Qaraeen walks with a limp, more than two years after he was shot twice, in the hip and left knee, by an Israeli settler near his home in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan.

ISRAEL: Not When Desert Is Home
IPS “Anyone who lives sees, but he who moves sees more,” a local Bedouin proverb has it. Caught in a web of roads and fences, electric cables and pylons, closed military training grounds and trails of Air Force jets, Bedouin Israelis have long been reduced to a half-hearted life of immobility….

Uruknet

Danny Ayalon Warns of PA Being Terror Authority, Urges Israel to Cut Off Gaza Water, Power
Uruknet November 27, 2011 – In a move that surely would bring charges of severe violations of international law, Israel’s deputy Führer, er foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, suggested (Hebrew) that if Mahmoud Abbas continues his unity talks with Hamas, that the Palestinian Authority would become the “Terror Authority.” He also argued that since Hamas, in conducting these…

Arab League agrees sweeping sanctions on Syria
Uruknet November 27, 2011 – Having already suspended Damascus for not implementing an agreement to halt bloodshed and a peaceful transition to democracy, the Arab League voted overwhelmingly to further isolate Syria after it refused to sign a protocol allowing observers unimpeded access to protest centres. Iraq and Lebanon both said they would not take part in…

25 Million U.S. Unemployed And Underemployed Making No Effective Protest, Economist Says
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – Although America’s 25 million unemployed and underemployed could be a powerful force for social change, they aren’t combining in any effective way to protest, an eminent business authority writes. “Activism has given way to acquiescence,” writes Louis Uchitelle, even though “unemployment is once again stubbornly high in the aftermath of a recession…

Syria News – November 26, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – 30 martyrs fell today, shot dead by security forces and the army of regime, including 5 children, 22-martyrs in Homs, 3 martyrs in Hama, 2 martyrs in Deir Al-Zour, and a martyr each Damascus Suburbs (Knaker) and Idleb ..Homs: Martyrdom of child Mohammad Hason (10 years old) from being shot in the…

IOF troops arrest 60 Palestinians in one week including minors, young women
Uruknet November 26, 2011 — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested 60 Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem over the past week including ten minors and two young women, a report by Hamas movement said on Saturday. It said that 18 were arrested in Nablus province, 9 in Jenin, 8 in each of Jerusalem and…

How to fight the Israel-Apartheid analogy in four easy steps – a guide for useful Hasbara idiots
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – Step one: But they have the vote Start with fragmentation. When talking about Israel refer to a mythical state that existed between November 1966 and June 1967, the only period during which the majority of Palestinians living under Israeli control were NOT subject to military rule. Focus on the fact that Palestinians…

At least 10 Syria forces ‘killed in clashes with deserters’
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – At least 10 troops and security service agents were killed in clashes with mutinous soldiers in the east of Syria, a human rights group said on Saturday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the deaths occurred late Friday in Deir Ezzor while early Saturday a civilian was also killed in the…

Congress to Vote Next Week on EXPLICITLY Creating a Police State
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – The police brutality against peaceful protesters in Berkeley, Davis, Oakland and elsewhere is bad enough. But next week, Congress will vote on explicitly creating a police state. The ACLU’s Washington legislative office explains: The Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of…

Bipartisan Deal to Slash Medicare and Medicaid
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – It’s been planned for years. Republicans want them eliminated. Democrats agreed to incremental cuts to make ending core social contract programs look normal. Slashing Social Security comes later. On November 24, New York Times writer Robert Pear headlined, “Support Builds for a Plan to Rein in Medicare Costs,” saying: Congressional Supercommittee members “…

Iraq: Mahdi Army’s Secret Deal Filling Iraq’s Security Forces With Ex-militiamen; 30 Killed in Attacks
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – …According to media reports, a secret deal with the Iraqi government is giving Mahdi Army militiamen preferential treatment when applying for jobs as security personnel. In some cases, more qualified applicants are passed over so that the ex-militants, who are loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, can fill the posts. The jobs,…

Video: Tunisians protests against Al-Jazeera & the Qatari Emir
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – About 2,000 demonstrators protested in front of the Tunisian Parliament building during the opening session of the Constituent Assembly on November 22nd. Many protesters outside the parliament building focused on Qatar’s role in the success of Ennahda, charging that the party had been funded by the wealthy emirate. “No to foreign interference…

Over a Barrel: The Enduring Idiocies of Empire
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – Taking down the dribbling idiocies of Thomas Friedman is, of course, like shooting dead, bloated fish mired in utter, immovable stillness on the surface of a barrel full of thick, congealed liquid. Even so, as this gormless goober continues to serve as one of the most respected and representative voices of our…

FLASHBACK: Could El-Baradei have halted the Iraq invasion?
Uruknet November 26, 2011 – In the second week of August, Mohamed El-Baradei announced that he regreted his silence over the US invasion of Iraq. Although it is perhaps odd that the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) should make such an admission at this time, it will be useful to register a couple of…

Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza
Uruknet November 26, 2011 — Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government. “The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure,” Deputy Foreign Minister Danny…

URGENT APPEAL (UA 4/10) – Gaza: Children of the Gravel
Uruknet Between 26 March 2010 and 3 October 2011, DCI-Palestine has documented 28 cases of children shot whilst collecting building material or working near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel. Please appeal to stop the targeting of unarmed children working near the border in Gaza….

YNet News

Palestinian poll: 56% oppose armed struggle against Israel
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – A new poll carried out by the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communications Center (JMCC) reveals that support for Fatah among residents of the Palestinian Authority has … ….

Arab League approves Syria sanctions
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – The Arab League approved sweeping economic sanctions on Syria on Sunday over its crackdown on protesters and the Qatari foreign minister said other powers might intervene … ….

Gaza farmers launch produce export season
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Farmers in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip began exporting hundreds of tons of produce to Europe on Sunday after Israel cracked open its border with Gaza for Palestinian … ….

Defense ministry approves more settlement construction
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – The Defense Ministry has approved two plans for the construction of 119 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo, Ynet has learned. Related articles: … ….

Tantawi ‘begs’ Egyptians to vote
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Protesters rallied again in Cairo on Sunday to try to evict Egypt’s ruling generals, in a trial of strength that has muddied the run-up to Egypt’s first vote since a … ….

Paris mayor: Lee Zeituni hit and run intolerable
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë has promised Sunday that he would work to have those responsible for the hit and run in which Lee Zeitouni was killed, arrested and … ….

Iran: We’ll fire 150,000 missiles at Israel if attacked
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Iranian Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi said Israel would be attacked with 150,000 missiles if it launches any military action against the Islamic Republic, the … ….

Palestinian PM: Israeli sanctions starting to bite
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Fayyad says PA says suspension of tax transfers has ‘immediate impact on lives….

Ombudsman: Consider discharging IDF officer
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Soldiers who were sent to prison for abandoning positions in Hebron complained….

Iran downgrades diplomatic ties with UK
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Tehran’s parliament votes reduce diplomatic relations with London to junior….

TA attack suspect: I was ‘unconscious’ during rampage
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Issa Ibrahim Islam, 22, tells court he was not awake during truck rampage on….

NASA’s ‘Curiosity’ heads to Mars
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – US National Aeronautics and Space Administration sends ‘monster truck-size’….

‘Egypt’s Military Council won’t be pressured’
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Military Council Chief Hussein Tantawi warns of ‘extremely grave’ consequences….

Lod: Teen flees abroad over death threats
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Family sends15-year-old girl abroad as alleged drug dealers threaten her life….

Egypt: Foreigners suffer growing animosity
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Special Ynet, Yedioth Ahronoth reporter in Cairo has near-escape from drug….

Margalit Tzanani pleads guilty to extortion
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Singer admits to extortion as part of plea bargain; stands to receive community….

Hamas: Palestinians to skip interim gov’t
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Gaza official says rival Palestinian factions to keep West Bank, Gaza Strip….

‘West’s sanctions impede nuclear talks’
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warns expanding sanctions imposed on….

Palestinian Information Center

Mishaal confers with Sudanese president, optimistic over reconciliation
PIC – Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, conferred in Khartoum on Saturday evening with Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir on latest Arab and Palestinian developments.

Israeli intelligence summonses two female ex-detainees for interrogation
PIC – The IOF violently stormed at dawn Sunday the homes of two Palestinian women released as part of the swap deal between Hamas and Israel and handed them summonses from the intelligence.

Palestine, Arab unity are main challenges facing Arab Islamists
PIC – There is no doubt that the outcome of recent elections in Tunisia and Morocco is good news for the Palestinian cause.

IOF soldiers arrest seven Palestinians
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinian citizens from their places of residence in the West Bank at dawn Sunday, the Israeli radio said.

Israeli warplanes blast southern and central Gaza
PIC – Israeli warplanes blasted targets in southern and central Gaza Strip at dawn Sunday causing only material damage, local sources reported.

MP Adwan: Islamists’ win in Morocco will be in favor of the Palestinian cause
PIC – Palestinian lawmaker Atef Adwan said the victory achieved by Islamists in the Moroccan parliamentary elections would have positive effects on the Palestinian cause.

Resheq: The popular resistance is no substitute for the armed resistance
PIC – Ezzat Al-Resheq said there was an understanding between his Movement and Fatah on the importance of the popular resistance, but this would not be at the expense of the armed resistance or replace it.

Israel threatens to sever all infrastructural facilities to Gaza
PIC – Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon has said that his government was considering a cut off of all infrastructure services to the Gaza Strip.

Report: More than 80 percent of Jerusalem people under poverty line
PIC – A report issued by the national insurance institute in the occupied Palestinian territories said that more than 80 percent of Palestinian natives in east Jerusalem are living under poverty line.

WAFA

Israel Attempts to Foil Palestinian Initiative for Self-Generating Energy
WAFA

Israeli Forces Raze Land in Qalandia Village to Expand Separation Wall
WAFA

Israeli Forces Storm Palestinian College, Arrest Students in Hebron
WAFA

Poll: Majority Satisfied With Halt of Negotiations, UN Bid
WAFA

Islamic Cooperation Welcomes Abbas, Meshaal Meeting
WAFA

Newspapers Review: Sanctions on Syria, Death of 5 Siblings Dominate Dailies
WAFA

Israeli Soldiers Arrest 12 Palestinians in West Bank
WAFA

Two Israeli Strikes Target Gaza
WAFA

Weather Forecast: Cloudy Weather, Low Temperature
WAFA

Intifada Palestine

Lebanese MP: Syrian Protesters Only Want Overthrow, Not Reform
Intifada-Palestine: 27 Nov 2011 – Pro-Syrian regime protesters wave a Syrian flag and shout slogans during a protest against the Arab League meeting, in Damascus, Syria, Thursday. – AP “They cover up their intentions with demands and these demands are acceptable and dialogue is needed, but… more

Turkey’s Syrian Ambit: New War in the Making
Intifada-Palestine: 27 Nov 2011 – by Jeremy Salt (Ankara, Turkey) Possibly for the first time in the life of the Turkish republic, a Turkish government has adopted a policy of open, unprovoked confrontation with a neighboring country. The citizens of that country, Syria, are flabbergasted. Turkey… more

Pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem, one Family at a Time
Intifada-Palestine: 27 Nov 2011 – A Palestinian resident of Silwan, an East Jerusalem neighborhood that faces land confiscations, home evictions, night raids by the army, and near daily arrests. East Jerusalem residents pay taxes to the municipality but receive little services in return (Photo: flickr/Melanie van… more

Misc

Arab League approves Syria sanctions
LA Times 27 Nov 2011 – The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly eight-month crackdown on dissent, an unprecedented move by the League against an Arab state. The Arab League overwhelmingly approved sanctions Sunday against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its…

For a boy on the streets of Cairo, revolution is his only hope
LA Times 27 Nov 2011 – Hosni Mubarak’s ouster has done nothing to change the plight of Ibrahim Shaban — and many others among Egypt’s 3 million homeless children. But revolution is still in the air, feeding his dreams. Ibrahim Shaban said he was 15, but he looked much younger in…

Arab League Approves Syrian Sanctions
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – The group approved a battery of economic sanctions meant to sever most trade and investment from the Arab world, an unprecedented step against a member state.

Protests in Egypt Overshadow First Post-Mubarak Election
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – The confusing voting process, and the sense that the military will continue to cling to power regardless, has left many Egyptians disappointed or at least ambivalent.

Egyptian Straddles Line of Revolution and Electoral Change
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – Zyad Elelaimy exults at the passion in Tahrir Square but also urges would-be revolutionaries to give him a chance in a new Parliament.

Yemen’s President Orders Amnesty Despite Ceded Power
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – The offer is likely to annoy President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s opponents, who made a deal to get him out of the spotlight.

Baghdad and Nearby Highway Hit by Deadly Bombings
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – The attacks occurred on a highway west of Baghdad and in a market in the city’s center, as violence continued in the weeks before American troops leave. Presented By: Chicago Booth Business Forecast Ads by Pheedo

New Clashes Underscore Standoff in Egypt
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – The death of an unarmed protester brought an outpouring of anger as Egypt’s rulers and politicians raced to prepare for potential chaos during Monday’s elections.

Saleh Returns to Yemen as Date Is Set for Elections
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned to Yemen on Saturday night, days after he signed an agreement in Saudi Arabia yielding his powers and amid confusing signals about the country’s leadership.

News Analysis: Arab World Struggles to Shape New Order
New York Times 27 Nov 2011 – Events in Cairo and across the region in the past week seem as seminal as any since the burst of optimism when the revolts erupted 11 months ago.

Millions demand downfall of US-backed Egyptian junta
WSWS – On Friday millions of workers and youth protested against military rule in Egypt and demanded the downfall of the US-backed Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) junta.

Exclusive: Peace Now Price Tag Suspect Identified
Tikun Olam – Today, Israeli police released the suspect in the price tag attacks on Jerusalem’s Peace Now office to house arrest. As soon as he got home, he fired up his computer and began sending e mail blast death threats to every Peace Now activist he knew. Though…

Streisand to sing at Israeli soldier benefit in LA
Mondoweiss – barbra Rare performance: Barbra Streisand will play a Dec. 8 LA gala for the Israel Defense Forces . Hosted by Jason Alexander, who is going to forge the two-state solution. Sponsored by Haim Saban . (Hebrew link) She’s a big Democrat, right? So’s Saban, more or less. No…

Is U.S. Egyptian policy just an Israel policy in a galabiya?
Mondoweiss – Martin Indyk The lead story in yesterday’s Times was titled “U.S. Urges Egypt to let Civilians Govern Quickly” and was about a new stance by the Obama administration pressuring Tantawi and the SCAF to get out of the way of the Egyptian people. Well nine times…

This is how Palestinians spent their Thanksgiving…
Mondoweiss – link to electronicintifada.net ‘—> link to www.imemc.org link to english.aljazeera.net Video: Israeli forces violently ethnically cleanse Bedouin homes in Beit Hanina, Ali Abunimah A video taken today by Palestinian photojournalist Fadi Arouri shows Israeli occupation forces demolishing the homes of Palestinians in the village of Beit…

Israel is top destination for Congress, including 12 Texans, 26 times
Mondoweiss – Gene Green, Democratic congressman from Houston, has been to Israel 5 times in 18 years Great reporting by Michael Duke at the Jewish Herald-Voice, a Texas publication . Now before you blame Christian Zionists for all these trips— and I agree, Christian Zionists are blameworthy as a…

Praise the ‘NYT’ for exposing an American Jewish family’s argument over Israel/Palestine
Mondoweiss – A Palestinian man overlooks a school in a refugee camp, 1948. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons ) It’s finally happening, in the New York Times no less. An editor named Jim Schachter is sharing emails that members of his wife’s family sent back and forth, arguing about whether to…

Danny Ayalon Warns of PA Being Terror Authority, Urges Israel to Cut Off Gaza Water, Power
Tikun Olam – In a move that surely would bring charges of severe violations of international law, Israel’s deputy Führer , er foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, suggested  (Hebrew) that if Mahmoud Abbas continues his unity talks with Hamas, that the Palestinian Authority would become the “Terror Authority.”  He also argued…

Nigeria: Palestine’s Unesco Membership
allAfrica.com 25 Nov 2011 – The reaction of the United States to the admission of Palestine to the symbolic membership of UNESCO is palpable evidence of its view of the United Nations and its agencies: that they are useful and “relevant” only when they serve U S foreign policy interests. This…

Egypt: Country Supports Syrian People Demands in UN
allAfrica.com 25 Nov 2011 – Egypt voted in favor of a resolution issued by the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee to condemn Syria over its eight-month crackdown on demonstrators, permanent representative to the UN Maged Abdel-Fattah said on Tuesday 22/11/2011.

November 26th. 2011, Weekly Demonstration in Beit Ommar Towards Karmei Tsur
Palestine Solidarity Project 26 Nov 2011 – November 26th. 2011: PSP accompanied with international activists and residents of Beit Ommar arranged a peaceful demonstration against the illegal settlement of Karmei Tsur. As the demonstrators walk towards the settlement with their slogans against the occupation, they discovered that garbage from the settlement had been…

A sad commentary on the state of liberal Zionist discourse
Joseph Dana 27 Nov 2011 – Recent work by liberal Zionist authors Bernard Avishai and Gershom Gorenberg reflect the inability of Liberal Zionist rhetoric to engage in honest factual debate about the core issues of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The noted Liberal Zionist writer, Bernard Avishai, has a longish piece on the Palestinian…

Egypt set for post-Mubarak polls
BBC 27 Nov 2011 – Egypt prepares to vote in the first elections since Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February, as protesters occupy Cairo’s Tahrir Square where the revolution began.

Iran moves to downgrade UK ties
BBC 27 Nov 2011 – Iran’s parliament votes to downgrade diplomatic relations with Britain after the UK imposed fresh sanctions over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

VIDEO: Tense countdown to Egypt elections
BBC 27 Nov 2011 – Egypt’s army chief says he will not let “troublemakers” meddle in Monday’s parliamentary elections, but thousands of protesters remain on the street sin Cairo.

New Hebrew Facebook page
B’tselem 26 Nov 2011 – Our response to the attempts to silence B’Tselem and other human rights organizations in Israel is to amplify our voice. We invite you to join our new page, in Hebrew only, and to invite as many friends as possible. Our regular page will continue operating in…

Articles


Amira Hass: Settlements have become substitute for welfare state
Mikaela Levin, Alternative Information Center 11/27/2011
      The renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass spoke at the AICafe on Saturday, November 27, before a crowd of international activists and Palestinians.
     The speech was thoughtful and Hass seemed to choose each word carefully. She avoided giving advice and warned more than once that she had become “an observer to Israeli society” more than a full time member— for the last decade and a half, her addresses alternated mainly between the Gaza Strip and Ramallah in the West Bank.
     “The Israeli society lives insides two normalcies that contradict, but also complement each other,” explained Hass, the latest guest of the AIC Café. First, the civil normalcy: “If you live [in Tel Aviv or West Jerusalem] or if you come to visit [them] you can really feel that Israel is a normal country like in Europe.”
     “As for the military, the Israelis consider a militarized society [to be normal], with soldiers all around you. Very few people questions this, because the possibility of war has a normal presence in life,” she continued. The journalist mentioned the social pressure that drives most young people to serve in the IDF, even those who don’t fully agree with the 1967 occupation, and the consequences this has on the rest of their lives.
     “Serving in the Army not only is a fundamental tool for everyone who wants to find a job, but the military career has also become a lucrative one, especially in these times of crisis, and it can also be a bridge to higher politics or even the big companies.”
     The Israeli army is one of the main forces in the Israel society and its politics, maybe even the main force…. more.. e-mail

The necessary elimination of Israeli democracy
Amos Schocken, Ha’aretz 11/25/2011
      Haaretz publisher and owner Amos Schocken says there is a difference between the apartheid of South Africa and what is happening in Israel and in the territories, but there are also similarities. Speaking in the Knesset in January 1993, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin said, “Iran is in the initial stages of an effort to acquire nonconventional capability in general, and nuclear capability in particular. Our assessment is that Iran today has the appropriate manpower and sufficient resources to acquire nuclear arms within 10 years. Together with others in the international community, we are monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity. They are not concealing the fact that the possibility that Iran will possess nuclear weapons is worrisome, and this is one of the reasons that we must take advantage of the window of opportunity and advance toward peace.”
     At that time, Israel had a strategy – which began to be implemented in the Oslo accords, put an end to the priority granted the settlement project and aimed to improve the treatment of Israel’s Arab citizens.
     If things had gone differently, the Iran issue might look different today. However, as it turned out, the Oslo strategy collided with another, stronger ideology: the ideology of Gush Emunim (Bloc of the Faithful ), which since the 1970s, apart from the Oslo period and the time of the withdrawal from Gaza, has established the concrete basis for the actions of Israel’s governments. Even governments that were ostensibly far removed from the Gush Emunim strategy implemented it in practice. Ehud Barak boasted that, in contrast to other prime ministers, he did not return territory to the Palestinians – and there’s no need to point out once again the increase in the number of settlers during his tenure. The government of Ehud Olmert, which declared its intention to move toward a policy of hitkansut (or “convergence,” another name for what Ariel Sharon termed “disengagement” ) in Judea and Samaria, held talks with senior Palestinians on an agreement but did not stop the settlement enterprise, which conflicts with the possibility of any agreement. more.. e-mail

Why Are They So Angry?
Gershom Gorenberg,  11/25/2011
      An Israeli dove in Jewish America
     “He’s lying! He’s lying!” the man at the back of the hall shouted, in a tone as desperate as it was angry. “He hasn’t read the Geneva Conventions. You haven’t read them, so you don’t know he’s lying.”
     The primary object of his rage was me. The secondary object, it seemed, was his fellow congregants, who’d allowed me to lecture at his New York-area synagogue. I’d spoken about threats to Israel’s democracy, including those posed by ongoing expansion of West Bank settlements. This was the first time, I’d been told, that the congregation had hosted a speaker on Israel from outside a spectrum running from right-wing to very right-wing. During the question-and-answer period, I was asked about my statement that the legal counsel of Israel’s Foreign Ministry had warned before the first West Bank settlement was established that it would violate the agreement of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That’s when the man in the back came unstuck. The congregation’s rabbi, who was moderating the Q&A session with the trained calm of a psychologist running group therapy for fractured families, slipped to the back of the room and talked him down.
     The incident stayed with me, demanding to be decoded. True, the particular synagogue was Orthodox, and more Orthodox Jews espouse hawkish views than do members of other Jewish denominations. But I’ve been lecturing around North America for three weeks, and the experience fit a pattern. I’ve been told repeatedly that it’s a breakthrough for a congregation to invite someone with my views, which back home in Israel register as well within the political mainstream. On previous trips to America, I’ve faced similar outbursts in non-Orthodox synagogues and on college campuses.
     High-pitched as Israeli political disputes are—and as eager as the Israeli parliamentary right is to restrict dissent, an Israeli dove visiting Jewish North America can still feel that he’s stumbled into a constricted, out-of-joint alternate universe…. more.. e-mail

next Israel will ban oxygen from Gaza
In Gaza: 27 Nov 2011 – (some days ago…) A low rumble mutes the car honks and the cries of children playing on the lane outside our house in Deir al Balah, central Gaza. The vaguely furnace-like sound distinguishes itself as an Israeli warplane flying over our skies, poisoning the mid-morning tranquility. I’d been lost in typing my thoughts, almost oblivious to my surroundings: the Gaza Strip, where at any moment such a warplane’s roar erupts and where likewise any moment the deafening thud of its bomb vibrates through towns and cities and farmland. But the rumble of the circling Israeli warplane snaps me back into reality, making the trivial all the more trivial, and the possible all the more possible. (last night) Ripped from sleep by a loud explosion, which I later learn is in Nusseirat some kilometers north of us. Such is the power of the Israeli F-16 one-ton (or more) bombs that we…more

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