VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 26 December 2011: Israel city braces for thousands of protesters against exclusion of women

26 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Hamas Expresses Support For Syrian Regime
IMEMC – Head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, Khaled Mashal, stated that the Hamas movement supports the Syrian President, Bashar Assad, “as he supported the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian people in every possible way”, according to Mashal, the Milad News Agency reported. …

Israel Kidnapped More Than Three Thousand Palestinians In 2011
IMEMC – Former detainee and Palestinian researcher specializing in detainees’ affairs, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, stated that Israeli soldiers arrested 3,312 Palestinians, including children, since the beginning of this year. …

Fayyad: “No Peace Without Jerusalem”
IMEMC – Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, slammed the Israeli cabinet for its deliberations on passing a law that declares Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people, and said that no government, or person, has the right to determine the future of occupied East Jerusalem, the Maan News Agency reported. …

Ma’an News

Study: Over 3,000 Palestinians arrested in 2011
12/26/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A report published on Monday has found that over 3,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israel’s military in 2011. Researcher on prisoner affairs Abdul Nasser Ferwaneh said that the average number of arrests in 2011 numbered 276 per month, or around nine a day. A total of 3,312 Palestinians were….

Jewish extremists rally in Old City of Jerusalem
12/26/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Jewish extremists rallied in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday night, chanting racist anti-Arab slogans. Ma’an’s Jerusalem correspondent said extremists walked through the al-Wad neighborhood of the Old City at around midnight, beating drums and chanting slogans. A large number of Israeli police officers…. Related: 300 Orthodox Jews and police clash in Israel, officer injured

300 Orthodox Jews and police clash in Israel, officer injured
12/26/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Ultra-orthodox Jews and Israeli police clashed in Beit Shemesh on Monday, injuring a police officer, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. Over 300 Orthodox Jews threw rocks at police, burned rubbish bins, and chased officers after a controversial sign on a main road was removed. The sign encouraged gender segregation in…. Related: Jewish extremists rally in Old City of Jerusalem

Haniyeh meets top political, social leaders in Cairo
12/26/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo on Sunday and held talks with several Egyptian officials and political leaders. The Gaza prime minister met with a senior Egyptian intelligence officer in charge of Palestinian affairs, Nadir al-Asar, and senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Khayrat al-Shater, who was released from jail….

PA official responds to settler threats
12/26/2011 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority official responsible for monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank said a recent settler rally targeting his work would not stop him from exposing settler crimes “to the whole world.” Dozens of extremist settlers rallied on Sunday on a main road west of Nablus, holding signs of….

Ashrawi: Withdrawing recognition of Israel could be an option
12/26/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said Monday that Palestinian officials had not discussed renouncing their recognition of Israel, but that it could be an option. Ashrawi made the comments in a discussion on the radio show “Sound of Palestine,” official news agency Wafa reported. She said that withdrawing PLO recognition of….

Fatah: Ready for elections, proud of achievements
12/26/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Fatah movement said Monday that it is ready to participate in presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2012. Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi said the movement is proud of its national and political achievements and the sacrifices it has made to protect Palestinian unity.”We believe that our people’s…. Related: Zahhar: Hamas will sweep to victory in next elections

Abbas meets Hamas representatives in Ramallah
12/26/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas representatives in his Ramallah headquarters on Monday to discuss the latest regional developments. Abbas discussed the recent Cairo meetings and possible formation of a new national council to give all Palestinian factions a chance to participate in reconciliation. The president expressed his satisfaction with the….

Egypt stops 52 migrants trying to enter Israel
12/26/2011 – BETHELHEM (Ma’an) — Egyptian security services have thwarted several attempts in the last 24 hours by African migrants trying to enter Israel illegally. An Egyptian security source told Ma’an on Monday that 52 migrants have tried to infiltrate Israel from the Sinai peninsula, with 39 originally from Sudan. Egyptian border guards stopped….

Israeli lawmakers weigh recognizing Armenian genocide
12/26/2011 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli lawmakers debated on Monday recognizing the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide but were warned by the Foreign Ministry about further damage to frayed relations with Turkey. The issue has stirred deep emotions in Israel, where some legislators have said the Jewish people, who suffered six million dead….

Zahhar: Hamas will sweep to victory in next elections
12/26/2011 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said Sunday that his movement would win a sweeping victory in upcoming legislative elections due in May. Zahhar said that Hamas would improve on their 2006 election victory, where they won 74 of an available 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Hamas has not yet…. Related: Fatah: Ready for elections, proud of achievements

Concert for peace in Bethlehem
12/26/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Award winning musicians took part in a “Pray for Peace” concert in Bethlehem on Sunday to celebrate Christmas day. Minister of tourism in the West Bank Kholoud Deibes attended the concert along with other officials, tourists and locals. The revenue from the event will go towards UNRWA programs in Palestine. The….

Man killed by explosion in Gaza Strip
12/26/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A man was killed on Monday by an explosion in his Gaza home, witnesses told Ma’an. Imad Washa, 37, was killed in his home in Jabalia refugee camp. The cause of the explosion is unknown and police are currently investigating the incident….

Egypt indicts Israelis, Ukrainian for smuggling gun
12/26/2011 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt has indicted two Israelis and a Ukrainian for smuggling a machine gun and ammunition across the Israeli border into Egypt, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website on Monday. The weapon was the sort used by police on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, “which indicates that it could be used for….

Carnage in Syria as tanks fire on Homs, 30 killed
12/26/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Government tanks pounded neighborhoods of Homs on Monday, killing more than 30 people, city residents said, as Arab officials arrived in Syria to monitor compliance with a peace plan aimed at ending the crackdown on an uprising against President Bashar Assad. A day before observers were to have their first look at the….

Palestine News Network

PLO Official: Without Peace Agreement, We May Cancel Recognition of Israel
PNN – PNNOn Monday, PLO official Mohammed Eshtayeh said the Palestinian Authority (PA) might cancel its 1993 recognition of the state of Israel if a peace agreement could not be reached. Eshtayeh made the…

International Solidarity Movement

Kufr Qaddoum: Israeli military fulfills its promise to make arrests
12/26/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – By Amal, 26 December 2011,International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – As reported a few days ago, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have fulfilled the expectation that they would arrest residents from Kufr Qaddoum.   Two young men were arrested: one on Christmas Eve and one Christmas day. A “flying” checkpoint, that is, one that is mobile and…. Related: Kufr Qaddoum: Demonstrators photograph military violence despite their weapons and cameras

How Israeli MKs use Facebook to gauge their electorate’s opinions
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Ron Paul is not anti-Semitic but is anti-Israel, former aide says
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Cash-strapped Hebrew University requiring students to grade assignments of peers
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Israel city braces for thousands of protesters against exclusion of women
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Activists remove invasive fish species from Israel’s springs
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Arab League observers arrive in Syria amid claims of genocide
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Report: Egypt indicts two Israelis for weapons smuggling
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Arab League observer: Assad committing genocide in Syria
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Study: Children of Soviet immigrants fully assimilated into Israeli society
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Report: Arab League official wounded in Syria shelling
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Ultra-Orthodox, Israel Police clash in Beit Shemesh; officer wounded
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Israeli Druze MK indicted for meeting with PFLP leader in Syria
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Foreign Ministry: Israel’s recognition of Armenian genocide could threaten Turkey ties
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

At least 20 killed as Arab League monitors reportedly arrive in Syria
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Iran Defense Minister: Israeli strike would be a suicide mission
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Sheldon Adelson to Birthright group: Gingrich is right to call Palestinians ‘invented people’
Ha’aretz – 26 Dec 2011

Netanyahu decides not to cut Israel’s defense budget in 2012
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Rabbis maintaining ‘disturbing silence’ amid uproar over gender segregation
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Right-wing U.S. group holds Hanukkah party at IDF base
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Israeli textbook slammed for calling homosexuality a disorder
Ha’aretz – 25 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

4,500 illegal pills intercepted at Allenby Bridge
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Diet, anti-impotency pills found in suitcases of Palestinian Authority resident, wrapped in jeans among other clothes.

State may drop charges against Katsav protester
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Adi Vinter appealing conviction for participating in unlawful protest against former president.

Katsav may not ask for appeal hearing, says attorney
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – “The former president doesn’t stand a chance of changing the court’s mind, they didn’t listen to him,” says Avigdor Feldman.

50 Druse to partake in fire prevention seminar
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Organized by Jewish National Fund, B’nai B’rith Int’l, 3-day seminar will be based at Nes Harim Field Center in Judean Hills.

Group campaigns against horse, donkey carts
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Animal rights group Hakol Chai contends horses, donkeys often rented to peddlers for minimal prices, receive no vet services.

Peres moving to rented apartment in David’s Village
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Leaking roof, no hot water forces president to relocate.

Gender segregation reaches Clalit newsletters
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Insurers now required to state which sector they’re aimed at, as suggested by ‘Post.’

Analysis: The power of Na’ama’s tears
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Sometimes, the tears of a child can move mountains faster than all the statements and legislation in the world.

Right-wing, Palestinians brainstorm at Ariel parley
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – “Palestinians and settlers are potential allies,” Jerusalem-born attorney Kamal Nawash tells ‘Post.’

Israel’s Turkish dilemma: To lead with head or heart?
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Analysis: Open Knesset debate over officially recognizing Armenian genocide was gut responding to deteriorated Turkish-Israeli ties.

‘Candle of friendship’ lit across Gaza border
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – The Sderot-based “Other Voice,” outreach program sponsors candle-lighting ceremony at Netiv Ha’asara as message of friendship between Gazans and Israelis.

Free Pollard now, in the name of his late father!
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Pollard’s crimes, while serious, did not warrant the punishment he has served.

Hanukka at a hockey rink
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – How odd to celebrate Hanukka in a sports arena, given that the concept of sports is emblematic of Greek culture.

The Sunni world’s message to Iran
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – The agreement of most Arab gulf states to the Saudi proposal highlights their Iranian concerns.

‘Egypt indicts 2 Israelis for smuggling gun’
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Eilat resident carried weapon into Egypt at Taba border crossing in wooden crate shaped like a cross, ‘Al-Ahram’ reports.

Encountering Peace: What now?
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Allowing the two-state solution to die would spell the end of the Zionist dream and the collapse of all we have worked to build in the Land of Israel.

PLO pessimism
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Under the circumstances, how can we not be pessimistic about the prospects for a negotiated peace any time soon?

Israel and the European Left
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – The use of Nazi metaphors is a form of verbal terrorism that must not be allowed to take root in the debate concerning Israel and anti-Semitism

Muslim Brotherhood welcomes Hamas PM in Egypt
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Haniyeh kicks off regional tour with meeting in Cairo; Muslim Brotherhood leader “paying close attention to Palestinian issue.”

How about some religious freedom for Orthodox soldiers?
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – It seems that the media’s priority is to be hostile to, and to create hostility towards, the national religious community.

No Holds Barred: Hanukka and the true lessons of war
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Hanukka is Judaism’s most universal holiday with deep resonance for all Americans.

Monitors arrive in Syria; tanks fire in Homs
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – At least 30 people killed as 50 Arab League monitors arrive from Egypt; 4 army defectors killed near Turkish border.

Will Hamas splinter as external leaders seek a new home?
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Whatever changes Hamas makes, the violent ideology it has preached for a quarter century will continue to guide its foot soldiers for years to come.

Our World: Netanyahu’s misleading lessons in governance
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu’s willingness to support Nitzan Alon’s promotion to major general strengthen his political opponents and strike a blow at his supporters.

Bruni to Zeitouni family: Justice will be served
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – France’s first lady writes personal letter to mother of Israeli hit-and-run victim; says she shares family’s sorrow.

Heart and soul
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – With a new record in tow, a Los Angeles-based couple bring their inspired folk sound to Jerusalem.

Hamas not ruling out running in PA presidential election
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Zahar predicts that Hamas will score landslide victory in upcoming parliamentary election which is expected at same time; Abbas holds talks in Ramallah with Hamas leaders to discuss ways of achieving “national unity.”

Balad MK indicted for alleged terrorist meeting
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Said Nafa spoke to enemy agents, members of terror groups in Syria, indictment reads.

Bunker buster bombs from US may be defective
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Israel concerned that recently purchased laser-guided bombs may carry defective fuses that could cause premature detonation.

Knesset freezes women’s retirement age at 62
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Law postpones 2-year increase in women’s retirement age until 2017; Steinitz: law is “triumph of populism over common sense.”

‘Haredi attack on girl nauseating, disgusting’
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Yishai slams men who spat at girl, says behavior goes against Torah; Livnat: Livni making feminist issue political.

Six haredim arrested for rioting in Beit Shemesh
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Two crews of journalists attacked, policeman lightly injured; thousands set to protest against religious coercion in city tonight.

Iran opposition leader: Upcoming election bogus
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Karoubi: Vote will only be “rubber-stamp” affair; Iranian opposition has been marginalized since unrest after 2009 elections.

Katsav’s lawyer: We won’t request another hearing
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – “The former president doesn’t stand a chance of changing the court’s mind, they didn’t listen to him,” says Avigdor Feldman.

‘Arab League mission in Syria to visit Homs’
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Monitors are expected to visit the city that has been an epicenter of violence as they seek to assess whether Bashar Assad is working to end his crackdown, says an Arab League source.

Christians are both thriving, beleaguered in Israel
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – The population is succeeding at school and at work, but their numbers are barely growing.

Vote for the top Israel story of 2011
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Shortlist: Price-tag attacks, Gilad Schalit’s release, country-wide protests, terror on the border, another Israeli Nobel Prize winner.

Beit Shemesh to install 400 security cameras
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Decision made to deter street harassment of “immodestly dressed” women; man arrested over attack on Channel 2 crew.

Jewish leaders in Belgium split over libel suit
Jerusalem Post 26 Dec 2011 – Former leader of Belgian Jewry resigns from country’s Jewish board in protest of decision to honor a politician who has equated Israel with Nazism.

Palestinian charged with Ashkelon beach rape
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Two other Palestinians indicted for allegedly failing to prevent the crime.

IUED: Failure to approve pollution plan ‘illegal’
Jerusalem Post 25 Dec 2011 – Cabinet members have yet to vote on a national plan to prevent air pollution, allegedly due to Steinitz’s financial opposition to the program.


Study: Over 3,000 Palestinians arrested in 2011
Uruknet December 26, 2011 — A report published on Monday has found that over 3,000 Palestinians were arrested by Israel’s military in 2011. Researcher on prisoner affairs Abdul Nasser Ferwaneh said that the average number of arrests in 2011 numbered 276 per month, or around nine a day. A total of 3,312 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli…

Merry Christmas from Gaza
Uruknet December 26, 2011 – 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 the raindrops hitting my room’s windows, which…

“Educate through action”: poet Remi Kanazi on triumphant UK tour
Uruknet December 26, 2011 – The first night of his UK tour is over. We are standing outside a jammed Kenyan bar, which for some reason doesn’t serve food. Palestinian-American performance poet Remi Kanazi just wants to find somewhere to eat after his opening show. But he’s too nice to break up the group, so we go…

Israel’s Propaganda Minister: Arabs are a deplorable nation
Uruknet December 26, 2011 – Israel’s Propaganda and Diaspora Minister, Yuli Edelstein, told a crowd in a public diplomacy event in Or Yehuda that “as long as the Arab nation continues to be a deplorable nation, which continues investing in infrastructure for terrorism, education to hate, and welfare for the families of shaheeds (martyrs), there will be…

‘America’s Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost’
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – …”We took this country by terror away from the Sioux, the Apache, Arikara, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Navajo. Terrorism. “We took Africans away from their country to build our way of ease and kept them enslaved and living in fear. Terrorism. “We bombed Grenada and killed innocent civilians, babies, non-military personnel. “…

Are Military Contractors Free to Commit Torture without Punishment?
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Iraqis tortured by American defense contractors at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison are still seeking justice in U.S. courts, which will hear their claims in early 2012. Human rights attorneys from the Center for Constitutional Rights are assisting the Iraqis who want the U.S. contractors held accountable for violating federal, state and…

Syria News – December 25, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – The number of martyrs in Syria today has risen to 13, among them three children. 5 martyrs were killed in Deir ezzor, 5 in Homs and 1 each of Aleppo, Hama and in Nawa, Daraa…Since early this morning, the neighborhood of Baba Amr (Homs) has been under a tight siege and the…

Mashaal: Hamas staying in Damascus
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – 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… “What media outlets are disseminating about Hamas leaving Damascus isn’t true… In regard to the ongoing unrest in Syria, Mashaal said his movement would not intervene…

New Bill Authorizes Rendition of American Citizens Living within the United States to Other Countries for Torture
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Top experts – including the sponsors of the bill – say that the newly-passed National Defense Authorization Act authorizes indefinite detention of Americans living within the United States. Top legal experts point out that the government claims the right to assassinate American citizens on U.S. soil without any charges, trial or other…

Iraq’s dwindling Christian population mark Christmas
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – …”Our faithful are like everyone in Iraq — they have fear,” Bishop Shlemon Warduni, the second most senior Chaldean in Iraq, told AFP. “They feel there is no peace, no security, so they go where they can live in peace. We don’t agree, we don’t want them (to go), but they say, ‘…

Israeli Army Radio instructed to call West Bank by biblical Judea and Samaria’
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – 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 and Samaria.” The report states the decision was made as a…

Settlers run rampage in West Bank
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Despite the shocking frequency of settler attacks and what could be a looming religious war in Israel-Palestine, the Israeli government is still refusing to call a spade a spade, even the culpability of settlers is crystal clear. Earlier this week, Binyamin Netanyahu refused to call the settlers “terrorists” although he wouldn’t refrain…

Memo issue – Baseless maligning Pak Security Forces
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – … The aim of criticising security forces and ISI is a foreign agenda since our enemies know that the said institutions are thwarting their designs of weakening the sole Islamic nuclear power. It is also quite possible that American and Indian masters have tried to derail political system while pitching government, forces and…

Military Resistance 9L18 : Stuck on Stupid
Uruknet December 24, 2011 – Several thousand women demanding the end of military rule marched through downtown Cairo on Tuesday evening in an extraordinary expression of anger over images of soldiers beating, stripping and kicking female demonstrators in Tahrir Square. “Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me!” they chanted. “Where is the field marshal?”…

Israeli FM: No Peace in Next Decade Palestinians Only Obstacle to Peace, Insists Lieberman
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – In a Christmas press conference attended by a number of top ambassadors, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman lashed those critical of Israel’s position on the peace process, while insisting no peace could be achieved within the next decade. “In the next decade, this will be the situation and we need to know…

Israel’s Repressive Permit System
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Under South African apartheid, pass laws segregated blacks from whites, restricted their movements, required pass books be carried at all times, and be produced on demand or face arrest and prosecution. Evolving from the 18th and 19th century until their 1986 repeal, they restricted entry to cities, forcibly relocated blacks, denied them…

The Bush/Obama War Against Truth
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – When Pvt. Bradley Manning appeared in a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland, last week, it was his first public appearance in more than 19 months. Manning has been held without trial for the past year and a half; only now is a hearing being conducted to determine if there is sufficient…

The disappearing Christians of the Occupied Holy Land
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Today millions of Christians around the world will freely go into churches and sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and hear stories of Nazareth and Jerusalem, but most are unaware that Christians of Palestine, the birth place of Jesus and Christianity, need permission to celebrate Christmas and attend masses. Last week Mahmoud…

Bethlehem mayor calls for boycott of Israel
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – The growing boycott, divestment and sanctions movement received a boost this holiday season as the mayor of Bethlehem called on the international community to boycott Israel. Speaking after giving his traditional annual Christmas address, Victor Batarseh echoed widespread criticisms of Israeli policy, comparing it to that of apartheid-era South Africa. Mayor Batarseh,…

Libyan former “rebels” clash with former regime loyalists, 2 dead
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – A resident of a city in western Libya says at least two people were killed after gunmen ransacked a home in search of a regime figure once loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. Basem al-Tarhoni says angry residents in Tarhouna retaliated by torching the headquarters of some 100 fighters who helped topple the longtime…

Report: Lieberman says no return to 1967 borders
Uruknet December 25, 2011 — 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 trying to internationalize…

Imran’s tsunami sweeps Karachi
Uruknet December 25, 2011 – Imran Khan’s tsunami after conquering Lahore swept through Karachi on Sunday, where tens of thousands of people assembled at the call of the PTI leader who unfolded his future plans to cleanse the country from rampant corruption and to make it an Islamic social welfare state. Addressing the mammoth PTI flag-waving near…

Daily Star

London West End retailers eye $78 million Boxing Day sales
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Retailers in the British capital’s prestigious West End shopping district have made a brisk start to Boxing Day.

Hariri among region’s most popular on Twitter: report
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Lebanon’s Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is one of the most prominent people on Twitter in the Middle East, according to the pan-Arab newspaper Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat.

Iran’s navy warns foreign copter away from drill
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 The Iranian navy says it warned off a foreign helicopter that had approached the site of a naval drill it is conducting in international waters.

US weighing travel request for Yemen’s president
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 The Obama administration is considering whether to allow Yemen’s outgoing president into the United States for medical treatment.

Daher: Claims al-Qaida in north Lebanon baseless
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Future Movement MP Khaled Daher described Monday as baseless recent claims by Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn that Al-Qaeda had infiltrated parts of the country disguised as Syrian refugees.

Bahrain medics recall jail ‘horror’, demand fair trial
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Shiite Muslim doctors look back with horror at months of torture and demand a neutral hearing.

Burglar arrested after police chase in north Beirut suburb
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Police arrested Monday a 20-year-old burglar after exchanging fire with him in a car chase north of Beirut, security sources said.

Wales consider offering Giggs role as manager
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Welsh football chiefs are hoping to persuade Manchester United veteran Ryan Riggs to become national manager, replacing Gary Speed, who took his own life last month, media reports said Monday.

Iraq agrees to move Iran exiles; rockets hit camp
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 The United Nations and the Iraqi government agreed to relocate several thousand Iranian exiles living in a camp in northeastern Iraq.

Geagea on official visit to Saudi Arabia, Jumblatt heads to Egypt
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea left to Saudi Arabia Monday morning on an official visit, his press office said.

Asian markets mixed on thin Boxing Day trade
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Asian markets were mixed in thin Boxing Day trade Monday, amid ongoing concerns over Europe’s fiscal woes.

China tests 500 km/ph super high-speed train
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 China tests 500 km/ph super high-speed train

13 found dead in truck in eastern Mexico: media
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Thirteen bodies were found in an abandoned truck in eastern Mexico Sunday, local media reported, as a turf war between drug cartels spreads far from the border with the United States.

Syrian tanks fire, 20 dead as Homs awaits monitors
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 At least 20 people were killed as Syrian tank forces battled opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in Homs.

Beirut airport foils drug smuggling attempt to Egypt
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Lebanese authorities at Rafik Hariri International Airport foiled Monday an attempt to smuggle drugs to Cairo, Egypt.

Police find 7 dead in Texas apartment
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 Seven people believed to be related had opened their Christmas gifts and started cleaning up the wrapping paper when they were shot to death in a suburban Texas apartment, police said Sunday.

American robbed of money, ID south of Beirut
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 An American man hoping to get to a hotel in Beirut was beaten up and robbed overnight by two men operating a taxi cab, a security source said Monday.

Protest warning after Russian activist jailed again
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 The Russian opposition on Monday vowed new protests this week.

Young man killed while crossing highway in Beirut
Daily Star 26 Dec 2011 A 20-year-old man was struck by a car and killed Monday while crossing a highway in Dora, Beirut, police said.

YNet News

US mulling Yemen’s president’s visit
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – ….

First Arab monitors arrive in Syria
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – ….

Hamas is changing
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Israel should consider new strategy towards increasingly pragmatic Hamas movement ….

Muslim Brotherhood: Hamas is our role model
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Hamas PM Ismail Haniyeh meets with Brotherhood leader in Cairo, says ties between the two groups threaten ‘Israeli entity’ ….

Report: 56 killed in Syria ahead of monitors’ arrival
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – ….

Egypt charge 2 Israelis with arms smuggling
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Cairo prosecution says an Israeli citizen arrested on arms charges will face military tribunal; a second man will be tried in absentia ….

Palestinian FM: Quartet failing to restart peace process
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – ….

‘Ron Paul wishes Israel didn’t exist’
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Former senior aide to Republican presidential hopeful says that while Paul is not an anti-Semite, he believes Israel is ‘more trouble than it’s worth’ ….

‘PLO might revoke recognition of Israel’
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi says Palestinian leadership may renege on its recognition of Israel if peace process continues to falter ….

Egyptian troops fire at smugglers near Israeli border
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Egyptian border patrol fires at smugglers trying to cross over to Israel; Qassam fired at western Negev ….

Minister Katz proposes 2nd international airport in Negev
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Transportation minister recommends Ben Gurion Airport overflow be diverted to future Nevatim airport ….

We need 100,000 women
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Segregated haredi buses could be overcome if 100,000 women board them ….

‘Syria crackdown is mass destruction’
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Member of Arab League’s monitoring mission says Assad regime is perpetrating act of revenge against civilians; meanwhile, security forces kill 23 in Homs ….

Obama isn’t good enough
YNet News, 26 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: In face of growing threats, Israel needs more reliable ally than President Obama ….

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas charges PA security with arresting seven of its supporters
PIC – Hamas movement charged the PA security apparatuses in the West Bank with escalating arrest campaign in line of it supporters.

IOF soldiers detain five Gazans near security fence
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained five Palestinians after charging them with crossing the security fence surrounding the Gaza Strip on Sunday night.

IOF troops round up 7 Palestinians in West Bank
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) rounded up seven Palestinian citizens in the West Bank provinces of Al-Khalil, Ramallah, and Qalqilia on Monday.

Jewish settlers storm and defile Aqsa Mosque this morning
PIC – Groups of Jewish settlers guarded by policemen desecrated Monday morning the Aqsa Mosque and walked in its courtyards after they entered through its Maghariba Gate.

Haneyya meets Russian delegation in his office
PIC – Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya on Sunday morning received a Russian delegation of media figures led by journalist Alexander Prokhanov in his office in Gaza.

Hamas warns of serious reactions if O. J’lem announced capital of Israel
PIC – Hamas Movement warned the Israeli occupation government of dire consequences if its Knesset passed a bill declaring the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem as a capital for the Jewish state.

Haneyya calls for implementing League decisions on breaking Gaza siege
PIC – Gaza premier has asked the Arab League to implement former decisions to break the siege on the Gaza Strip during a joint press conference with the League’s secretary general in Cairo on Monday.

IOF detained 3300 Palestinians in 2011 including women and children
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) have detained 3300 Palestinians in the year 2011 including women, children, lawmakers, and even disabled persons of all age categories.


Shaath: Next Year will be a Year for Diplomatic Pressure on Israel
WAFA – 19:55-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – Nabil Shaath, member of Fatah Central Committee, said Monday that the Palestinian Authority will embark on major diplomatic effort next year to increase pressure o…

Freedoms Reconciliation Committee Holds its First Meeting
WAFA – 19:44- RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – The freedoms committee established out of the reconciliation talks held in Cairo held its first meeting in Ramallah on Monday and discussed the agenda for …

Palestinian Killed in Gaza Explosion
WAFA – 19:32-GAZA, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – A 38-year-old Palestinian resident of Jabalia refugee camp was killed Monday in an explosion in his house, according to medical sources. They said Imad Washah …

Abbas Discusses Cairo Talks with Hamas lawmakers
WAFA – 19:09- RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas discussed Monday with a delegation of Hamas lawmakers and officials results of the recent reconciliation talks held in Cairo . &nb…

Fayyad Condemns Deliberations on Bill Declaring Jerusalem Israel’s Capital
WAFA – 14:27-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Monday condemned the Israeli deliberations on a bill submitted to the Knesset for declaring Jerusalem, including West and the East Jeru…

PLO: Withdrawing Recognition of Israel not an Option Unless all Possible Means Fail
WAFA – 13:51-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Executive Committee said that taking a Palestinian decision to withdraw recognition of Israe…

Settlers Attack Palestinian Customs Officer in Hebron
WAFA – 12:39-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – A group of Jewish settlers attacked the Palestinian Customs Office and Public Safety Commission in Hebron on Sunday, destroyed their vehicles, and battered the sta…

Newspaper Review: Israeli Senior Officials Oppose Unity Government, Freedom Committee Meeting
WAFA – 11:45-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic newspapers highlighted Israeli senior officials’ statements opposing future negotiations with a unity government, and the Freedom and …

3312 Arrests of Paleastinians Documented in 2011
WAFA – 10:14-GAZA, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – A total of 3312 cases of arrest among Palestinians was documented in 2011, from which 113 prisoners were released in the Gilad Shalit swap deal, according to a report …

Number of Palestinians in World is 11.22 Million, says PCBS
WAFA – 09:56-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – The projected number of Palestinians in the world increased to reach 11.22 million at the end of 2011, Monday said a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of St…

Extremist Jewish Groups Break into Al-Aqsa Mosque Yard
WAFA – 09:43-JERUSALEM, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – Groups of Jewish extremists Monday broke into al-Aqsa mosque through Bab El-Magharbeh (Dung Gate) bridge, roaming its yard under the protection of Israeli police,…

Weather Forecast: Slight Rise in Temperature, Potential Showers
WAFA – 09:39-RAMALLAH, December 26, 2011 (WAFA) – A slight rise in temperature takes place Monday with potential light showers during the day and light to moderate, northwesterly to northeasterly winds with l…

Freedom Committee on Reconciliation to Convene on Monday
WAFA – 14:40-RAMALLAH, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – The freedom and political prisoners committee resulting from the reconciliation talks will convene on Monday to discuss release of prisoners held in the West Bank …

Rights group calls for stop of Israeli shooting of activists
WAFA – 14:16-RAMALLAH, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – The Palestinian rights group, Stop the Wall, has sent an urgent complaint to UN Special Rapporteurs and diplomatic missions urging them to investigate Israeli targ…

Arab League Condemns Racist Israeli Laws
WAFA – 13:59-CAIRO, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – The Arab League Sunday condemned a series of Israeli laws which discriminate against Palestinians living inside Israel. The report specifically mentioned draft laws …

Latin Patriarch Twal: Palestinian State Main Thrust for a Just Peace
WAFA – 12:43-BETHLEHEM, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal said during Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem that the creation of a Palestinian state is the main thr…

Newspaper Review: Abbas, Fayyad Join Bethlehem Christmas Celebrations
WAFA – 12:04-RAMALLAH, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Sunday reported on the participation of President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the Christmas Eve celebrati…

Weather Forecast: Heavy Rain Showers, Major Drop in Temperature
WAFA – 10:36-RAMALLAH, December 25, 2011 (WAFA) – Heavy rain showers dominate Sunday’s cloudy skies with a major drop in temperature to 9 degrees Celsius, moderate southwesterly to westerly winds and high sea wave…

Official Condemns Statement by Israeli Mayor of Jerusalem
WAFA – 11:54-JERUSALEM, December 24, 2011 (WAFA) – Ahmad Rwaidy, an advisor on Jerusalem affairs in the office of President Mahmoud Abbas, Saturday condemned statements by West Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat who …

Israeli forces Raid Houses near Qalqilia
WAFA – 11:48-QALQILIA, December 24, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Saturday raided Azzun village, east of Qalqilia, after closing down its northern and western entrances, and prevented its residents from getting in …

Intifada Palestine

President Ali Saleh: A Yemenie War Criminal in Obama’s Court
Intifada-Palestine: 26 Dec 2011 – Mohamed Khodr “Liberty, Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name.” –Madame Roland, French Revolution, on her way to the Guillotine Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh Much like Gandhi’s Salt March in India in 1930 the “March of Life” in… more

Doors of Perception
Intifada-Palestine: 26 Dec 2011 – Paul Balles A few years ago, I was fascinated by this very short story: One day a man opened the garage door, which startled a large butterfly. It flew immediately to its perceived escape, the circle-topped window where it frantically tried… more


Syria doctors risk their lives to secretly treat protesters
LA Times 25 Dec 2011 – With abuses reportedly taking place in Syrian hospitals, doctors set up makeshift clinics in opposition neighborhoods to treat wounded protesters. Now authorities are targeting them. The young doctor got the call early in the morning. Troops were storming a neighborhood in the strife-torn Syrian city…

Syria refugees find sanctuary in Libya
LA Times 26 Dec 2011 – Thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Libyan city of Benghazi. They arrive by bus daily in the city, which is still recovering from Libya’s civil war. Even as it recovers from its recent civil war, Libya is fast becoming a place of sanctuary…

Path Cleared for Saleh of Yemen to Get Care in U.S.
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – The Obama administration has decided in principle to allow President Ali Abdullah Saleh to enter the United States for medical treatment, subject to certain assurances, two officials said.

Struggle of Israel’s Channel 10 Tied to Political Wars
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – Channel 10’s defenders see the agenda of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at work, but those around him deny any motive of revenge for negative coverage.

Moktada al-Sadr Followers Call for New Election in Iraq
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – Sadrists called on Monday to dissolve the Iraqi Parliament and to hold early elections, a potentially fatal blow to a power-sharing government that has teetered on collapse.

Syria Observers Urged to Hurry to Homs, Where Death Toll Keeps Rising
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – At least 20 people were killed in fighting in the rebellious Syrian city of Homs on Monday, as human rights activists urged Arab League observers to visit the city.

Baghdad Hit by Suicide Bombing
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – A suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint in front of the Interior Ministry on Monday morning, after a political crisis and a wave of deadly bombings just days ago.

Israel Risks Turkish Anger on Issue of Armenian Genocide
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – The Israeli parliament on Monday held its first public debate on whether to commemorate the Turkish genocide of Armenians a century ago, a politically fraught topic.

Hamas Leader Leaves on Tour to Seek Arab Support
New York Times 26 Dec 2011 – Ismail Haniya has not left Gaza on an official visit since 2007 when, after a brief civil war, his Hamas movement pushed the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, out of Gaza.

‘New York Times’ implies anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic
Mondoweiss – Shlomo Sand, Israeli historian When Jim Rutenberg and Serge Kovaleski refer to “books like The Invention of the Jewish People and March of the Titans: A History of the White Race ,” should we assume that these are just ignorant journalists making a grossly inappropriate association,…

At midnight mass, UK’s Catholic archbishop describes ‘deep shadow’ over Bethlehem and West Bank
Mondoweiss – Archbishop Vincent Nichols Europeans continue to lead the international discussion of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, as one of the preeminent human rights issues of our time. At Huffpo UK , yesterday: The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales offered prayers today…

Two revealing headlines
Mondoweiss – Yuli Edelstein 1. Yossi Gurvitz at +972 : “Israel’s Propaganda Minister: ‘Arabs are a deplorable nation'” Israel’s Propaganda and Diaspora Minister, Yuli Edelstein, said the Arabs are a “deplorable nation.” His spokesman: He meant every one of them Israel’s Propaganda and Diaspora Minister, Yuli Edelstein, told a…

Merry Christmas from the little ghetto of Bethlehem
Mondoweiss –   Youth in Santa Claus suits light candles on a Christmas tree fashioned from barbed wire and decorated with cards bearing major milestones in the Israeli occupation of Palestine in an effort to educate Christmastime tourists visiting Bethlehem’s Manger Square. “It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should…

Introducing Freedom Funnies – ‘My Name is Samia Halaby’
Mondoweiss – This is the first in a monthly series of comics Ethan Heitner will be producing for Mondoweiss. Heitner is freelance illustrator and cartoonist who also volunteers with Adalah-NY: The New York Campaign for the Boycott of Israel. More of his work can be seen on his…

Armenian Genocide as Political Payback Against Turkey
Tikun Olam – One of the sacred lessons of the Holocaust in contemporary Jewish life has always been that it is such a transcendent historical event that it must not be exploited for political gain by anyone, Jew or gentile. This, in essence is one of the sine qua…

Al-Qaeda strikes in Damascus
Voltaire Network 25 Dec 2011 – The international media have given wide coverage to the double attack in Damascus (44 dead, 166 injured). These articles are often redundant; only a few have been included in the attached press review. The use of suicide bombers for this type of operation is traditionally interpreted…

Shuruq (sunrise): Olympia’s First Arab Festival
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Dec 2011 – Farihan prepares traditional Arab treats for a bake sale fund-raiser. Photo courtesy of Assad Bushnaq Come experience a slice of Arab culture at Olympia’s first ever Arab Festival on October 6, 2012. You will meet Arabs and Arab-Americans living in our community and have a day…

Corrie Trial in Israel: Reflections
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Dec 2011 – On November 30, our family’s attorney Hussein abu Hussein submitted his written summation of our civil lawsuit against the Israeli military for Rachel’s killing. The first testimony of the suit (originally filed March 15, 2005) was heard in Haifa District Court on March 10, 2010, and…

BDS Success!
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Dec 2011 – Cindy Corrie speaks at protest outside the National Building Museum in Washington DC. Photo courtesy of Jewish Voice for Peace The Rachel Corrie Foundation proudly supports the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS seeks to hold Israeli companies, institutions, and their international collaborators accountable…

Gaza: Occupation and Action
Rachel Corrie Foundation 26 Dec 2011 – As Middle East peoples engage in revolution, Israel’s stranglehold on Gaza continues. In a comprehensive November 2011 report, the Israeli human rights organization Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement concluded that Israel operates in breach of its obligations to Palestinians – especially Gazans –…

Monitors arrive on Syria mission
BBC 26 Dec 2011 – A group of 50 Arab League monitors arrives in Syria as 23 people are reported killed in continuing violence in the city of Homs.

Iraq and UN sign Iran exile pact
BBC 26 Dec 2011 – Iraq and the United Nations agree to re-settle more than 3,000 Iranian exiles who have been based at a refugee camp near Baghdad since the 1980s.


Rashid Khalidi: A reset for US policy? Not now, but watch the base
Victor Kattan, Al-Shabaka, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/26/2011
      Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Rashid Khalidi assesses the position of the United States towards Palestine-Israel in the wake of the Palestinian bid for membership of the United Nations. Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, is also the Editor of the Journal of Palestine Studies.
     In this wide-ranging interview with Al-Shabaka Program Director Victor Kattan, Khalidi has some harsh words for President Barack Obama, describing his UN speech in September as the worst ever by an American president. Khalidi also reviews the way in which U.S. policy toward the conflict was transformed over decades, including through the efforts of Dennis Ross, and discusses why AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is far more effective today than it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Although he sees no hope at present for a just U.S. policy, this could change if public opinion – which is much more enlightened than that of U.S. policy makers – is expressed through the media and at the political level.
     Victor Kattan: What did you think about the Palestinian strategy to become a member state of the United Nations? Some Palestinians think that it was a mistake to have gone straight to the Security Council.
     Rashid Khalidi: I would argue that it depends on what objective you are trying to achieve. If your objective is a narrow diplomatic one to obtain maximum benefits at minimum costs, which is a perfectly rational approach, it might have been advisable to have avoided the Security Council and to have gone directly to the General Assembly. If, however, this was part of what I would call a declaration of independence from the United States, and the idea was to illustrate the fact that the United States is an obstacle to a just resolution of the conflict, then I don’t see why a defeat in the Security Council, by a U.S. veto or a lack of necessary votes, doesn’t serve that purpose and then that could be followed by going to the General Assembly and achieving the same objective…. — See also: Source more.. e-mail

Politics and the challenge of perception
Paul J. Balles, Redress 12/26/2011
      A few years ago, I was fascinated by this very short story:
     One day a man opened the garage door, which startled a large butterfly. It flew immediately to its perceived escape, the circle-topped window where it frantically tried to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass. The man raised the third-car garage door in hopes of aiding its escape. This caused the butterfly to fly higher and higher and become entangled in a spider web.
     Fearful that it would remain entangled in the web, the man selected a long-handled broom to assist him escaping the tangled threads. At this, the butterfly returned to furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but remained his cage.
     That story had me thinking about how much the butterfly’s behaviour was a paradigm for human behaviour.
     Not only butterflies have the problem of seeing new solutions. It’s a challenge that applies to all creatures large and small, including humans.
     We only see what we want to see. We want to see what we already know. Realizations like these have fed the spread of the cliché “thinking outside of the box”.
     The spread of the cliché highlights the fact that it’s nearly impossible to change others’ perceptions of anything – of you, your favourite food, political candidate, TV programme or other pastime without a complete change in the way they think. more.. e-mail

Next year in Jerusalem
Jonathan Cook, Adbusters Magazine, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/26/2011
      If there was a moment defining the shift in Israel’s strategic position over the past year, it occurred in September when the Israeli embassy in Cairo was overrun by hundreds of Egyptian protesters, some armed with sledgehammers. A military plane, waiting across town, smuggled the ambassador and his family back to Israel.
     It was not quite the fall of Saigon. But it indicated how in a few months Israel had gone from a state adept at shaping its regional environment to one increasingly buffeted by forces beyond its control. After decades of dictating to its Arab neighbors, Israel looked for the first time confused and vulnerable.
     The primary cause of Israel’s discomfort is the Arab Spring, the tentative awakening of democratic forces in the Middle East. After the fall of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, the region’s autocrats have been forced for the first time to weigh the mood of their own peoples against the threats emanating from Israel and its superpower backer, the United States.
     Nowhere is the change more obvious than in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians. The past year has seen a dramatic reconfiguration of power between three elements of the Palestinian national movement.
     March saw a groundswell of popular activism in the occupied territories, especially among the youth, demanding unity from divided Palestinian leadership. The protests forced the two leading factions, Fatah and Hamas, into an uncomfortable reconciliation in early May. The incident indicated how quickly, in different circumstances, the gains from Israel’s long-standing divide-and-rule policy might unravel.
     The point was reinforced by a brief revolt by Palestinian refugees in May, on the anniversary of the Nakba, or the catastrophe of 1948 that came with the establishment of Israel on the Palestinian homeland….. more.. e-mail

Hands Apart the Length an Infant
In Gaza: 26 Dec 2011 – Formalities are exchanged first. Where am I going? How is life in the Strip? Do I know Jaber and Leila from Faraheen? We chat. He is friendly, a distant cousin of Jaber’s,  ready to help me if I need anything. Offhandedly, hardly expecting me to notice, he mentions his house was destroyed, in May 2010…I suspect he is Jaber and Leila’s western neighbor and that I’d seen the ruins of their home post-Israeli military bulldozers and tanks, the day after their destruction. He is benevolent smiles and confirmations:  yes, that was our house. I remember the wreckage trail, from Leila and Jaber’s bulldozed vegetable crops and chicken/storage barn, to the dark brown, freshly –ravaged earth of his bulldozed land and home, he and his wife stoically standing in front of their ruins, Jaber and Leila beyond stoically sobbing at their third consecutive year of Israeli army invasion and destruction. Now,…more

The Car Downstairs – Gaza’s Untold Story
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Dec 2011 – (In commemoration of the third anniversary of the Israeli war on Gaza, the Palestine Chronicle publishes excerpts from Ramzy Baroud’s book, My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. The book, published soon after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, which killed and wounded thousands of Palestinians in Gaza, is a ‘people’s history’ of Palestine, and the Gaza Strip, as it narrates the lives of ordinary individuals who made Gaza the extraordinary place that it is today. The book is available at Amazon , through the publisher , and via many online and other bookstores. An Arabic version of the book is available from the Arabic publisher in Lebanon. Gaza’s Untold Story will also be available in other languages in 2012.) By Ramzy Baroud (This short section is a part of Chapter 7 of the book right at the time of the 1967 war, a description of what the author’s parents were facing…more

The Re-emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Dec 2011 – By Mohamed El Mokhtar One of the most significant consequences of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ is the forceful emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as an influential political force and social movement in the Middle East. The movement seems, like a phoenix emerging from its ashes, capable of miraculous rebirth. Although its members were persecuted, to varying degrees, under the previous regimes in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in particular, their political marginalization ironically enabled them to better refocus their energy on social activities. Thus, they were able to maintain, despite being legally banned, direct contact with local populations. Throughout the region they developed in the last decades, in Egypt in particular, a vast network of social structures often competing with or outbidding the government in the delivery of vital public services such as health and education and even in relief efforts during natural disasters. Ultimately this long term direct engagement with…more

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