VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 25 December 2011: Israel’s new house rules – deepening authoritarianism

25 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Boycott campaigners claim credit for denial of London contract to company invested in settlements
IMEMC – A French transportation company, Veolia, that has been the target of a campaign by human rights groups around the world for its investment in Israeli settlements, has been denied a contract in West London – leading supporters of the boycott campaign to claim credit. …

Abbas In Bethlehem: “We Believe In Peace, We Seek Peace And Justice”
IMEMC – During his participation in Christmas celebrations in the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem – Palestine, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated that the Palestinian leadership works for peace, and will never abandon its path, adding that peace is a vital interest for the Palestinian people, the Israeli people, the Arab world and the entire world. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces storm 3 West Bank villages
12/25/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) – Israeli forces erected three flying checkpoints in southern Jenin in the northern West Bank before they stormed houses in the villages of Meithalun, al-Judeida and Siris on Sunday, officials said. Palestinian security sources said Israeli military patrols toured the three villages, but no arrests were reported. Witnesses said the checkpoints stopped….

Netanyahu says no negotiations if Hamas join government
12/25/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he will not negotiate with any Palestinian government that includes Hamas.” If Hamas joins the Palestinian government we will not hold negotiations with the Palestinian Authority,” Israeli daily Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as saying during a conference of Israeli ambassadors. The Israeli…. Related: Report: Lieberman says no return to 1967 borders

Israel: Rocket, mortar shell fired from Gaza
12/25/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli media reported Saturday that a rocket and a mortar fired from the northern Gaza Strip exploded in open fields in the Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regional councils….

Settler car hit by stones, woman lightly injured
12/25/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A settler was lightly wounded on Sunday when stones were thrown at a car she was traveling in. Official news agency Wafa said that stones hit the settler car near Beit Ummar, northern Hebron. The woman has received medical treatment. Some 500,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank….

Haniyeh to leave Gaza for first time since siege began
12/25/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The premier of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip is to depart via Egypt on Sunday for the first time since the enclave came under siege. Ismail Haniyeh is scheduled to visit Egypt, then Sudan and a number of other countries, according to sources in Gaza. The tour could…. Related: Mashaal: Hamas staying in Damascus

Mashaal: Hamas staying in Damascus
12/25/2011 – DUBAI (Ma’an) – Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal on Saturday tried to put an end to speculation about Hamas leaving the Syrian capital Damascus, saying they had no such intentions. Speaking to Al-Arabiya, Mashaal highlighted that some individual Hamas members have left Syria “for social reasons” which have nothing to do with what is going…. Related: Haniyeh to leave Gaza for first time since siege began

Report: Israeli air-force attacked targets in South Sudan
12/25/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Sudanese media sources have been reporting that Israel’s air-force launched attacks on vehicles in South Sudan last week, Israeli news site Ynet said Sunday. Al-Intibaha reported last week that two vehicles were hit, killing four people. In a second alleged attack on Dec. 18, a car was….

Al-Wadiya: Social reconciliation meeting delayed until June
12/25/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian factions and representatives of independent figures said Sunday that a social reconciliation meeting scheduled for later on in the day will now take place on June 4. Independents chairman Yasser al-Wadiya said that the social reconciliation meeting has been delayed due to technical and procedural reasons. Some Palestinian factions….

Report: Lieberman says no return to 1967 borders
12/25/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that there will be no return to 1967 borders and that settlements are not an obstacle to peace. Lieberman made the remarks while addressing a conference of Israeli ambassadors. The controversial foreign minster said that the Palestinians “refuse” to negotiate and are…. Related: Netanyahu says no negotiations if Hamas join government

Girl’s plight deepens Israel debate on zealots
12/25/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stepped up pledges to curb Jewish zealotry on Sunday after an 8-year-old girl complained of being menaced by ultra-Orthodox men who deemed her dress immodest. While his conservative government insists such incidents are fringe phenomena in the mostly secular country, Netanyahu’s repeated announcements on the….

Syriac Orthodox scouts add unique legacy to Christmas
12/25/2011 – Christmas festivities in Bethlehem are embodied by a few striking images: candle-lit masses, cheery street celebrations, and overflowing dishes of mansaf shared with family. And, believe it or not, by bagpipes. Having spent most of my adult life in Scotland, Bethlehem’s attachment to what I thought of as ‘our’ national instrument…. Related: In photos: Bethlehem celebrates Christmas

Haniyeh begins tour of Arab world
12/25/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) For the first time since Gaza came under siege, Ismail Haniyeh embarked on a tour in the Arab world Sunday, officials said…. Related: Haniyeh to leave Gaza for first time since siege began

Pope calls for Palestinian-Israeli dialogue
12/25/2011 – VATICAN CITY (Reuters) — Pope Benedict called for an end to violence in Syria and a resumption of Middle East peace talks on Sunday on a Christmas Day marred by a bomb blast at a Catholic Church in Nigeria. The leader of the world’s 1. 3 billion Roman Catholics delivered his twice-yearly “Urbi et….

Report: Russia considers Assad asylum
12/25/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — The vice president of Syria secretly visited Moscow on Dec. 16 to discuss the possibility Russia would grant President Bashar Assad and his family political asylum, an Israeli newspaper reports. Quoting Israeli sources, the Hebrew-language daily Maariv reported Sunday that Farouq Al-Shara met with foreign minister Sergi Lavarov and….

Bomb at Nigerian church causes deaths at Christmas
12/25/2011 – ABUJA (Reuters) — A bomb exploded in a Catholic church on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital Abuja during Christmas prayers on Sunday and emergency services said they did not have enough ambulances available to evacuate all the dead and the wounded. The precise number of dead and wounded in the blast was not immediately available….

Violence, sectarianism stalk Syria protest hub
12/25/2011 – BEIRUT (IRIN) — Syria’s central city of Homs is in a state of quasi-civil war, as violence becomes a daily routine, with sectarianism increasing and living conditions deteriorating, say residents and government opponents. Some 160 km north of Damascus, Homs has become a focal point of the conflict between government forces and protesters demanding….

Egypt’s military rulers study plan to speed up vote
12/25/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s military rulers are studying a proposal from their own advisers to bring forward parliamentary elections by two weeks after demands from protesters and politicians to speed up transition to civilian rule, an advisory council member said on Sunday. Many Egyptians believe the army is no longer fit to manage security….

Head of Arab mission reaches Syria as 3 killed
12/25/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — A Sudanese general flew to Damascus on Sunday to head an Arab League mission that will check Syria’s compliance with an Arab peace plan to halt a nine-month crackdown on unrest in which more than 5,000 people have been killed. General Mohammed al-Dabi’s arrival coincided with fresh violence in….

Palestine News Network

In Pictures: Bethlehem Rings in Christmas in the Rain
PNN – by Lo Yuk FaiThe annual Christmas celebration in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ, brought more than 90,000 Christian pilgrims on a rainy Christmas Eve. PNN…

International Solidarity Movement

Merry Christmas from Gaza
12/25/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Shahd Abusalama, 25 December 2011, Palestine from My Eyes – When I was a very young girl, I used to climb the window and stretch my arm out, trying to collect some rain in my small hand, then sip it, believing that it was the purest ever. I remembered this as I was listening to…. Related: Palestine from My Eyes


Be’er Sheva hosts first fringe theater festival
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israel opens breast-implants hotline in wake of French scare
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

In East Jerusalem workshop, Jewish instructors teach Arab women self-defense
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israeli MKs to discuss recognizing Turkey’s Armenian genocide
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israel has indulged religious groups seeking to infringe on women’s rights, says jurist
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Germany to compensate Jews who fled the Nazis in the Soviet Union
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Netanyahu: Israel will not negotiate with Palestinians should Hamas join government
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israel Police called ‘Nazis’ after removing Beit Shemesh sign ordering exclusion of women
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israel cabinet delays vote on bills to combat discrimination against women
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Lieberman: Israeli-Palestinian peace will not be achieved within the next decade
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Reports in Sudan: Israel struck two weapons convoys in past month
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Ezra Pound’s daughter fights fascist group’s use of her father’s name
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israeli archaeologists uncover first artifact confirming written record of Temple worship
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israeli news crew assaulted by group of Haredi men in Beit Shemesh
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Hundreds pack Bethlehem church for Christmas Day Mass
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Iran rejects U.S. allegations on al-Qaida operative
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Netanyahu: Israel is a democracy and won’t tolerate discrimination
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Haredi man arrested on suspicion of assaulting woman in Beit Shemesh
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Hamas leader to tour Muslim countries, in first trip abroad since 2007
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

On the exclusion of women, Netanyahu is slick and shallow
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2011

Gorbachev calls on Putin to step down as mass protests sweep Russia
Ha’aretz – 24 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

Man gets 20 years for ‘ugly and cruel’ murder
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Defendant was a minor at time of killing of Galilee kiosk worker last December.

Police charge Palestinian with Ashkelon beach rape
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Beersheba court indicts two alleged witnesses for failing to prevent the crime.

Analysis: Gender segregation and Israel’s next war
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – While the attitude up until now might have been to ignore undemocratic practices among ultra-Orthodox, what is becoming clear is that society can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to them.

‘Military action in Syria is lesser evil’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Despite hazards, Western military action in Syria is best option, says UK think tank.

Journalists attacked, Beit Shemesh man arrested
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Haredim attack Channel 2 crew filming in city; court releases ultra-Orthodox man who had spit at a woman he claimed was dressed immodestly.

Social protest leaders form political movement
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Daphni Leef says movement “will forge an extra-parliamentary means to protest the cost of living, fight for Israeli democratic and cultural values, and serve all branches of the protest that started this past summer.”

Gender insanity
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Discrimination and violence against women – purportedly motivated by religious sensibilities – have spiraled out of control.

‘Outpost’ demolitions bode poorly for WB
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Is the government committed to a little-known 2005 withdrawal map and the eviction of thousands of Jewish civilians?

‘US shifted from resolving to managing conflict’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Ya’alon tells Likud Anglos that gov’t persuaded Obama that Israeli-Palestinian conflict can’t be immediately resolved.

Women-only movie sparks debate, understanding
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – When presented with an opportunity, religious and secular Jews have the ability to talk – and to listen to one another.

Jewish Ideas Daily: Orthosexuality
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – In contemporary society, shifts within the Jewish community toward greater openness go unnoticed.

Czech Jews commemorate Havel’s revolution
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – The Velvet Revolution, with Havel as its reluctant hero, changed the communist regime’s policy of persecution.

Foreign Ministry not improving Israel image
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – What was the foreign ministry trying to achieve with aggressive response to the Europeans’ latest condemnation?

J’lem condemns Nigeria terror, sending aid
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Scores killed in Christmas Day bombings; Israel to provide Nigerian authorities with medical supplies to treat the injured.

The Region: Obama preaches, dictators sneer
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Obama rejects US’s leadership role; Foreign leaders can only react with astonishment and – if they are hostile – laughter.

Gingrich comments are supported by the Quran
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – As surprising as it may be, the Quran backs the belief that the Palestinians are invented.

PM: Israel won’t negotiate with PA if Hamas joins gov’t
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu says Israel won’t let Palestinian state become launching ground for rockets like Gaza, Lebanon; repeats that he’s willing to meet Palestinians “anytime, anyplace.”

Police remove Beit Shemesh segregation signs
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Move follows report exposing extremist harassment of modern orthodox women; haredim attack Channel 2 crew filming in city.

Head of Arab mission reaches Syria; 3 killed
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Sudanese general in Damascus to check Assad regime’s compliance with Arab League plan to end violent crackdown; Army pounds Homs.

Peres decries attack on IDF Ephraim base
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – President says stones aimed at IDF pose danger to state and its security; statement follows new arrest of Ephraim attack suspect.

Israeli attacks on IDF anger Peres
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – President says stones aimed at IDF pose danger to state and its security; statement follows new arrest of Ephraim attack suspect.

Haniyeh exits Gaza for tour of Arab, Islamic states
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Hamas leader, on first trip out of Gaza since 2007, will seek aid in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Hamas PM begins tour of Arab, Islamic countries
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Hamas leader, on first trip out of Gaza since 2007, will seek aid in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

PM: No place for discrimination in Israel
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – “Israel is liberal western democracy,” Netanyahu says at weekly cabinet meeting following reports of haredim harassing 8-year-old girl; Livnat: “Live and let live.”

‘IAF planes strike convoy of vehicles in Sudan’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Sudanese media reports that planes attacked convoy of land cruiser jeeps, number of people reportedly killed.

Sudanese media report on Israeli air strikes
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – IAF planes allegedly attack convoy of land cruiser jeeps, number of people reportedly killed.

Israeli tops list of hottest Jewish woman
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Model Esti Ginsberg voted in first place on list compiled by US magazine Complex; Mila Kunis comes 2nd, followed by Rashida Jones.

‘Tis the season: Christmas around the world
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – From porcelain Nativity scenes to inflatable Santa Clause heads, a look at the world celebrating on December 25.

Court sets hearing after Histadrut strike call
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Histadrut tells National Labor Court negotiations with Treasury have reached dead end; says without threat of strike, talks will be “dragged out.”

Haredim attack Channel 2 crew in Beit Shemesh
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Camera crew in town to film street signs discriminating against women; crowd of residents beat them, throw stones.

Secrets of Taking Good Pictures: Top combination
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Photography expert Tom Langford gives his advice on how to turn an average shot into the perfect photograph.

Additional suspect arrested in Ephraim base attack
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Judea and Samaria police take into custody 22-year-old West Bank resident on suspicion of sneaking into IDF base and vandalizing it.

Green growth after Spring
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – What does the success of the Islamic parties mean for the future of Egypt?

Vote for the top Middle East story of 2011
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Shortlist: The Arab Spring, Iranian nuclear threat, the Palestinian bid for statehood, Turkey’s regional power and indictments for Hariri suspects.

Egypt Salafists against improving ties with Israel
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Movement says it stands firmly against normalization of relations, against any entity that wants to harm Egypt’s identity.

First snow of the season falls on Mount Hermon
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Four inches of snow fall on mountain’s crest; Jerusalem receives 14 mm of rain overnight; occasional showers from North to Negev expected.

‘We’ll join PLO to keep it true to its mission’
Jerusalem Post 24 Dec 2011 – Senior Hamas official: “Anyone who thinks Hamas has changed its positions is living in an illusion.”


Iran says ready to expand military links with Iraq
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Iran stands ready to expand its military and security ties with Iraq, its armed forces chief of staff said Sunday, a week after the exit of U.S. forces from the neighboring Arab country. General Hassan Firouzabadi hailed the “forced departure” of the U.S. and allied forces that he said “was due to…

Lost….Lost Homes.
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Women are peculiar beings…whoever, whatever they are…they are always attached to home. Our home is our shell, our protection…the men may come and they may go, but our homes are our shelter…you take away our homes, you strip us naked… Many of us Iraqi women have been stripped naked that way, some…

Video: Qatari Prime Minister: The Saudi regime will inevitably fall by our hands
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – According to a recently disclosed secret talk by Qatar’s prime minister the Saudi regime will be toppled through the efforts of Qatar. A report released on Saturday by the Al-Alaam channel reiterates that Sheikh Hamad Ben Jasem Al-Thani has underlined in a talk published on the internet that the Saudi regime would…

Is There a Limit to Black Tolerance of Obama’s Police State, Assassinations and Wars?
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – What if the First Black President eviscerated the rule of law, legalizing assassination and detention of U.S. citizens without trial? Would he still be considered a “credit to his race?” His supporters may convince themselves they are safe in Obama’s hands, but he has also “given President Gingrich or President Romney or…

A Bullet Is Fuck All
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – …The situation in Baghdad and Iraq as a whole are horrible to witness. People are suffering every day. People are dying every single day because of the war that still has not ended although the military personnel has left. People are dying, not because of bomb explosions or face to face combat….

Happy Christmas, O prisoners of the Little Town of Bethlehem
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – While carving the turkey for your family and merrily quaffing mulled wine midst happy laughter, remember that the romantic Little Town of Bethlehem at the centre of our childhood Christmases is now “an immense prison” in the words of Michel Sabbah, former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and entirely surrounded by Israel’s ugly…

Syria News – December 24, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – The number of martyrs has reached 38 thus far, including 2 women and four children,25 in Homs among them are 2 defectors soldiers that we couldn’t know their names yet, 6 in the suburbs of Damascus 2 in Daraa, 2 in Idlib,2 in Hama and 1 in Aleppo…Homs: A female child was…

Troops Attack Bil’in Weekly Protest; Dozens Injured
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – Israeli soldiers attacked on Friday the weekly nonviolent protest against the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall and settlements, in Bil’in village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. Dozens of local residents, Israeli and international peace activists and a Japanese delegation participated in this week’s protest. The week’s protest focused on the…

Syria: Regime Affiliates Try to Frame Muslim Brotherhood for Damascus Car Bombs
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – Official Syrian media outlets yesterday published a statement allegedly issued by the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) taking responsibility for the twin car bomb attacks that caused heavy casualties on Friday. The statement came from an alleged MB website…The URL was one of the first reasons to raise suspicion; the website is new,…

New York to Host Israel’s Top Drone Lab
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – On December 19, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the establishment of a 2 million square foot engineering and applied sciences university campus in the heart of New York City. The New York-based Cornell University and the Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, were chosen to oversee the new institution. “Thanks to…

Fatah leader appeals to Palestinian Christians: Don’t emigrate
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – In Christmas celebration hosted by the Fatah movement, Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah central committee member, appealed to Christian Palestinians to remain in their land, and to call on their sons and daughters who have emigrated to return to Palestine. Shtayyeh quoted Jesus’ words from the Gospel of Matthew, “You are the salt…

Just an eyewash
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – The US investigation in the fatal Salala attack is plainly just an eyewash. What else could it be, even if granted for argument’s sake, that it was an innocent human error that led up to the assault culminating into the slaughter of our at least 26 unsuspecting soldiers and the wounding of…

Christmas in Gaza
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – This Christmas marks the third anniversary of the 2008-2009 Israeli war on the Gaza Strip; a winter in which 19-year-old Ramy El Jelda saw his home bombed just two days after Christmas. He returned to the site a couple of days later to find his Christmas decorations scattered across the road. “The…

Syria News – December 23, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Number of martyrs in Syria rose to 21 among them 2 children. The Local Coordination Committees in Syria have recorded since the arrival of Arab league delegation to Syria 56 martyrs thus far, among them 4 children… Idlib: Jabal Zawyeh: Muhammad Adnan Duqmaq (15 years old) was martyred by Syrian security’s bullet…

Israeli soldiers commit 2 brutal assaults on 16 year old boy
Uruknet December 23, 2011 – Dawood Yousef Sharaf, 16, was brutally beaten by Israeli soldiers on two separate occasions in the past week in Silwan. Here he recounts the dramatic story to Silwanic. On Thursday, 15 December Dawood was on his way home from school in East Jerusalem. As he passed by the Mercy Cemetary near the…

Daily Star

Sleiman: Lebanese would not harbor terrorists
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 President Michel Sleiman said Sunday Lebanese were opposed to terrorism and would not harbor terrorists.

IMF’s Lagarde warns that global economy threatened
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 The head of the International Monetary Fund said the world economy was in danger and urged Europeans to speak with one voice on a debt crisis that has rattled the global financial system.

Rai urges state to work toward arms-free Lebanon
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai urged Sunday the government to work toward a Lebanon free of weapons and called on it to grant amnesty to Lebanese who fled to Israel in 2000.

Egypt court frees prominent revolutionary blogger
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 The father of a prominent Egyptian blogger says a court has ordered the release of his son after nearly two months in detention by the ruling military.

Pope Christmas message calls for end to violence in Syria
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Pope Benedict called for an end to violence in Syria and a resumption of Middle East peace talks on Sunday on a Christmas Day marred by a bomb blast at a Catholic Church in Nigeria.

U.S. Santa trackers having record holiday
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Santa’s trackers at the North American Aerospace Defense Command say they are breaking records this Christmas Eve.

Gaza’s Hamas leader launches Muslim world trip
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 A deputy says Gaza’s prime minister is leaving on his first official trip outside the territory since the militant Hamas movement overran the coastal strip in June 2007.

A respite from poverty and loneliness on Christmas
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Some of them have outlived most of their friends and family, others lack the funds to have a festive Christmas, and others simply decide to celebrate Christmas at Caritas to escape the loneliness of holidays.

Beirut’s burgeoning gay community goes online
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Gay Lebanese use social media as a way to bypass social restrictions.

Hezbollah congratulates Christians on Christmas
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Hezbollah congratulated Christians Sunday on the occasion of Christmas and expressed its hopes that the region can overcome its crises.

Dubai agrees to help improve Lebanon’s police
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Lebanon has agreed to take advantage of law-enforcement expertise from the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Iran rejects U.S. allegation on al Qaeda operative
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Iran rejected as “completely baseless” U.S. allegations that it was harbouring an al Qaeda member who is accused of operating as a facilitator and financier for the group from the Islamic Republic

Arabs urged to go to Syrian flashpoints
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 The opposition Syrian National Council appealed Sunday for the Arab League to immediately send observers to the besieged city of Homs and other hotspots of a bloody crackdown on dissent.

French health minister wants implant boss found
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 France’s health minister called Saturday for the head of the breast implant maker accused of selling faulty prostheses to tens of thousands of women around the world to be found, calling the growing scandal a “shady…

U.N. cuts budget amid global downturn
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 The 193 U.N. member countries agreed Saturday to cut the global body’s budget for only the second time in the past 50 years following a long night of negotiations.

Iran not harbouring Al-Qaeda financier: Foreign ministry
Daily Star 25 Dec 2011 Iran denied it is harbouring an alleged Al-Qaeda fundraiser who has a $10-million US bounty on his head, with the foreign ministry calling the claim “utterly baseless.”

YNet News

Report: Mortars hit Iranian dissident camp in Iraq
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – ….

A tradition of violence
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: B’Tselem field researchers say settler violence against Arabs a routine occurrence ….

Hundreds of cameras to be stationed around Beit Shemesh
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – ….

Police find 7 dead in Dallas-area apartment
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – ….

Iran says woman’s stoning case might change to hanging
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – ….

Treasury says will promote free education for kids 3 and up
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – ….

Put flotilla behind us
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Indicting Knesset Member Zoabi over flotilla affair would serve no purpose ….

Punish Zoabi the traitor
YNet News, 25 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Decision to close flotilla case against Arab MK Zoabi encourages our enemies ….

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas wishes Palestinian Christians happy holiday
PIC – Hamas Movement have offered its best wishes to all Palestinian Christians in occupied Palestine, and other countries on the occasion of Prophet Jesus’ birth and wished them a happy holiday.

Islamic-Christian commission slams Knesset bill stating J’lem Israeli capital
PIC – The Islamic-Christian commission for the support of Jerusalem denounced the Knesset for its intention to discuss a proposal calling for declaring Jerusalem as a capital of Israel.

Hamas urges Syrians to stop further bloodshed
PIC – Hamas Movement expressed deep regret for the fall of many victims in Syria and called for stopping further bloodshed.

Haneyya leaves Gaza on tour starting with Egypt
PIC – Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya left the Strip via the Rafah border terminal at the outset of a tour that would take him to a number of Arab countries starting with Egypt.

APU to send new aid convoy to Gaza
PIC – The Arab parliamentary union has announced on Sunday that it would send a new humanitarian aid convoy to the Gaza Strip by February 2012.

Euromed: IOA barred travel of 4000 Palestinians in 2011
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has banned 4000 Palestinian citizens from travel through the West Bank into Jordan in 2011, an European human rights report has said.

Jewish settlers detain shepherd, threaten to kill anti-settlement activist
PIC – Jewish settlers detained a Palestinian shepherd for three hours under gunpoint in the northern Jordan Valley and warned him against allowing his sheep to graze in the area.

Bahar calls for Arab spring to liberate Jerusalem
PIC – First deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament Dr. Ahmed Bahar has called for an Arab revolution to save occupied Jerusalem from Judaization.

Nunu: Haneyya’s tour to rally support
PIC – Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya’s tour would focus on rallying support for the Palestine cause and people, Taher Al-Nunu, the government’s spokesman, said on Sunday.

IOA to build 8000 new housing units in O. Jerusalem
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) is to build around 8000 new housing units in occupied Jerusalem over the next five years, a Hebrew weekly magazine said.

Intifada Palestine

It’s the Right Moment for Churches to Pay Attention to Israel’s Occupation
Intifada-Palestine: 25 Dec 2011 – The Kairos Palestine Document calls on churches to pay attention to Israel’s occupation. ( Najeh Hashlamoun / APA images ) by James M. Wall / The Electronic Intifada In his book  Kairos for Palestine , Rifat Odeh Kassis deals with a topic that is as fresh… more

“America’s Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost.”
Intifada-Palestine: 25 Dec 2011 – Prof. William A. Cook William A. Cook (An end of the year lament) “Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y’all, not a black militant (Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck). Not a reverend… more


Egypt Islamist parties the big winners in second round of voting
LA Times 24 Dec 2011 – Islamist parties solidified their lead in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, taking about 70% of the seats up in the second phase of voting.  

Israeli army policy of calling West Bank ‘Judea and Samaria’ ups the likelihood of religious conflict
Mondoweiss –  Mairav Zonszein reports at +972 : According to a report in Israel National News, the commander of Israel Army Radio, the national radio station in Israel operated by the Israel Defense Forces, has determined that all the station’s reporters should refer to the West Bank as “Judea…

Arendt: an Israel dependent on ‘great powers’ will always be ‘precarious’
Mondoweiss – Hannah Arendt In 1944-45, Hannah Arendt, who had fled the Nazis to come to the U.S., wrote columns for the German-Jewish New York publication, Aufbau. Some of them are collected in the 2007 collection, The Jewish Writings . The column excerpted below, “New Proposals for a Jewish-Arab…

Art-washing: Museum at F.I.T. ducks calls on sponsorship by settlement-builder Leviev
Mondoweiss – Adalah-NY demonstrates outside Museum at F.I.T. From the art site, Hyperallergic : This past Saturday, activists in New York sang carols in the streets as the holidays approached. Don’t think that this was aimless festivities, though; these carolers had a mission. Juxtaposing familiar melodies with acerbic, witty…

BDS comes to Penn
Mondoweiss – (Graphic: pennbds.org ) The past few years have seen the BDS movement electrify campus activism – a bright spot on the landscape of Palestine advocacy. The movement has enabled students around the country to engage constructively with the big moral question of our era – apartheid in…

Christmas in Gaza
Mondoweiss – Approximately 3,000 Christian Palestinians live in Gaza, with many families forced to the coastal enclave in 1948 from Al Majdal and other nearby towns. Few of those who now have family in the West Bank are able to visit this holiday season, where Christmas celebrations are…

Israeli Company Sold Internet Surveillance Software to Iran for Years
Tikun Olam – Bloomberg News reports that an Israeli high tech company, Allot Communications sold a web monitoring product called NetEnforcer to Iran for six years through a Danish distributor. The business news service confirmed the story through three former sales agents who said the sales were a widely…

Veolia Takes Severe Blow As It Fails To Win 485 Million Pound Contract In West London
Global BDS 23 Dec 2011 – Human rights campaigners are celebrating after the West London Waste Authority (‘WLWA’) excluded French multinational Veolia from a £485 million contract covering 1.4 million inhabitants of  the London boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames, for treatment of residual domestic waste. The reasons behind…

Pope urges end to Syria bloodshed
BBC 25 Dec 2011 – Pope Benedict XVI uses his traditional Christmas Day message from the Vatican to pray for an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

Yemenis denounce protester deaths
BBC 25 Dec 2011 – Thousands of Yemenis take to the streets of Sanaa, to protest against the killing of demonstrators and demand their country’s acting leader resign.

An American past in an Israeli future for an ever present and brutal occupation
Sabbah report 25 Dec 2011 – Mr President what about the human condition and the children lost to a sordid history created by Israel and paid for by American tax dollars?



Palestinians are heroes, braving Israeli dictatorship
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/25/2011
      Palestinians are heroes, and that’s not simply a flowery journalistic phrase, but a fact not intended for thugs, rather for people who shut their eyes – and they are many.
     The Palestinians are heroes, and that’s the only fact that’s relevant after the slight shock of the hilltop thugs. The hands are the hands of thugs, and the head? The head is the head of the hostile regime under which the Palestinians live and which harasses them every moment of every day, week after week for decades. To live this way and remain sane – that’s heroism. “And who says we’re sane?” Palestinians answer me. Well, here’s the proof: self-irony.
     The thugs of the hills are only the icing on the cake. Most of the work is being done by thugs wearing kid gloves. Unlike the people who threw the stone at the deputy brigade commander, these are fan favorites in Israel. The flesh of our flesh. Officers and soldiers, military jurists, architects and contractors in the service of the army, Interior Ministry and National Insurance Institute clerks. The hands are their hands. The head is the head of the demos, the Israeli-Jewish people, who by the democratic process send governments to be the dictator over the Palestinians.
     What is the Israeli dictatorship over the Palestinians? Not only control of their space and the creation of isolated enclaves; not only the 19-year-olds who are sent – masked and armed to the teeth – on military raids (560 last month, according to the monitoring group in the PLO’s negotiations department ); not only daily arrests (257 arrests in November, including 15 Gazans ) and the 758 temporary roadblocks that were placed on West Bank roads that month.
     The dictatorship is not even just a ban on Palestinian construction in more than 60 percent of the West Bank, permission to invent a new law every day to disenfranchise and expel, and the demolition, during 2011, of 500 Palestinian dwellings, wells, cisterns, animal pens, toilets and other essential structures. The dictatorship is all that together, and much more. — See also: Source more.. e-mail

The real ’invented’ people
MJ Rosenberg, Al Jazeera.com 12/24/2011
      Newt Gingrich’s controversial statement begs the question: Who invented a nationality? The Palestinians or the Israelis?
     It is hard to believe that anyone who defends Israel’s legitimacy as a state would buy into former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s argument that Palestine is an “invented nation”.
     The singular triumph of the Zionist movement is that it invented a state and a people – Israel and the Israelis – from scratch. The first Hebrew-speaking child in 1900 years, Ittamar Ben-Avi, was not born until 1882. His father, the brilliant linguist Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, created a modern language for him to speak by improvising from the language of the Bible.
     The founder of the Israeli state was Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), an assimilated Viennese writer who was convinced by the Dreyfus trial in France – and the horrendous right-wing anti-Semitism that resulted from it – that Jews had to get out of Europe.
     In 1897, he wrote the book that would essentially inaugurate the Zionist movement. It was called Der Judenstaat (meaning “the Jews’ state” or “the Jewish State”), which was his proposal for moving the Jews out of Europe and into their own country.
     He didn’t specify where the Jewish homeland should be. He was more concerned about quickly obtaining territory anywhere for Jews to seek refuge.
     Later, he decided that Palestine made the most sense because that was where the Jewish people both began and exercised self-determination in ancient times, and where there already was a small minority of Jews. But he also spoke of finding a place in Africa or the Americas if Palestine was unavailable. more.. e-mail

Israel’s new house rules – deepening authoritarianism
Jonathan Cook, Al-Akhbar, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/25/2011
      Nazareth – As the Arab world rids itself of autocrats one after the other, a series of legal and political moves by Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing government to stifle criticism of its policies have prompted warnings that Israel is rapidly heading towards a system of authoritarian rule.
     In recent weeks, the Israeli government has put forward measures to muzzle the media, shut down human rights groups, and seize control of appointments to the supreme court to fill it with rightwing judges.
     The concerted push against bodies traditionally regarded as the chief watchdogs of executive power comes amid wider concerns that the political climate in Israel – traditionally hostile to Palestinians under occupation and inside Israel – is now also turning against leftwing opponents of the government among the Jewish population.
     Last week an Israeli commentator compared Netanyahu to Valdimir Putin, the Russian leader widely criticised for being a strongman, while another analyst warned: “The fears [in Israel] unleashed by the Arab Spring have brought Netanyahu closer than ever to perpetuating his rule and to crushing Israel’s ‘old elites’.”
     Dov Khenin, a leftwing member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, has raised similar concerns: “The government has launched a comprehensive assault on democracy, led not by Knesset members from the margins of the right wing but by the prime minister himself. …[Netanyahu] is changing the fundamental rules of democracy.”
     Most at risk from the planned changes are Palestinians under Israeli occupation and the 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. Critics warn that with democratic controls removed, and monitoring bodies silenced, Israel will have a free hand to intensify abuses in the occupied territories and entrench its discriminatory policies inside Israel. — See also: Source more.. e-mail

A Doomsday View of 2012
Palestine Chronicle: 25 Dec 2011 – By James Petras The economic, political and social outlook for 2012 is profoundly negative. The almost universal consensus, even among mainstream orthodox economists is pessimistic regarding the world economy. Though even here their predictions understate the scope and depth of the crises. There are powerful reasons to believe that beginning in 2012, we are heading toward a steeper decline than what was experienced during the Great Recession of 2008 – 2009. With fewer resources, greater debt and increasing popular resistance to shouldering the burden of saving the capitalist system, the governments cannot bail out the system. Many of the major institutions and economic relations which were cause and consequence of world and regional capitalist expansion over the past three decades are in the process of disintegration and disarray. The previous economic engines of global expansion, the US and the European Union, have exhausted their potentialities and are in open decline….more

‘America’s Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost’
Palestine Chronicle: 25 Dec 2011 – By William A. Cook (An end of the year lament) “Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. And terrorism begets terrorism. A white ambassador said that y’all, not a black militant (Ambassador to Iraq, Edward Peck). Not a reverend who preaches about racism. An ambassador whose eyes are wide open and who is trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised…” — (Jeremiah Wright, September 16, 2001) Prophets fare poorly in their own country, yet countries would do well to hearken to their prophets. Scorn, ridicule, and innuendo attend their pronouncements as the righteous defend their actions as logical, existential and necessary. Jeremiah Wright suffered such scorn and mockery because he understood the consequences of revenge on the innocent and the defenceless, justified by whatever inane discourse. Wright spoke truth to power that Sunday after 9/11 and the righteous…more

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