VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 29 December 2011: A nightmare that lasted three weeks; memories of Gaza massacre

29 December 2011 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Israel to open Karm Abu Salem Gaza crossing
IMEMC – Israeli authorities said it will open the Karm Abu Salem, also known as Kerem Shalom, crossing to allow some basic material to enter into the beseiged Gaza Strip, Palestinian Media Sources reported Thursday. …

Israeli police arrest Jewish extremists
IMEMC – Israeli Security forces arrested prominent right-wing Jewish activists in a West Bank settlement early Thursday, over suspicions of monitoring the movements of Israeli soldiers in the region, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said. …

No injuries: Israeli Jets Shelling Areas Northern and Central Gaza
IMEMC – On Thursday morning, Israeli warplanes shelled two locations for the Palestinian fighters in the Gaza Strip as a response to Palestinian projectiles, fired into Israel, Israeli sources claimed. …

Israeli navy attacks international observers, injures Palestinian, on monitoring boat in Gaza waters
IMEMC – At 10:55 am on Wednesday December 28th, an Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it. …

On 3rd Anniversary of Israeli invasion of Gaza, Palestinian Prime Minister calls for Arab support
IMEMC – As Palestinians commemorated the third anniversary of a massive Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, the Palestinian Prime Minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, called on the Arab League nations to show support for the people of Gaza and push for an end to the five-year long siege that has devastated the Gazan economy. …

Israeli government approves additional 130 new settlement units in Bethlehem area
IMEMC – Following the approval of over 1000 new settlement buildings in the West Bank, and 650 in East Jerusalem, the Israeli municipal government for the city of Jerusalem approved on Wednesday the construction of an additional 130 units in Gilo settlement, near Bethlehem. …

Ma’an News

Settlers ‘attack school children’ in Hebron
12/29/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Thursday attacked schoolchildren in Hebron city center, witnesses said. Locals told Ma’an settlers tried to stab Mustafa al-Qadi, a sixth-grade pupil at Qartaba primary school, and hit his friend who tried to defend him. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers watched the incident but did not intervene. The….

Israel issues demolition orders in south Hebron
12/29/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces ordered the demolition of 13 structures in two hamlets in the southernmost border of the West Bank on Thursday. The soldiers blocked all entrances to Imneizil before delivering 10 demolition orders to residents, and three more to neighboring Haribat al-Nabi. Forces also gave residents of Imneizil, south of Hebron….

Shepherd ‘injured by sound grenade’ in Beit Ummar
12/29/2011 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A shepherd sustained facial injuries on Thursday when Israeli soldiers threw sound grenades at him during clashes near Hebron, a local official said. Israeli forces raided Beit Ummar and briefly detained and attacked several locals, popular committee spokesman Muhammad Awad told Ma’an. Soldiers fired tear gas and sound bombs….

Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza training base
12/29/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli war planes bombed central and northern Gaza Strip early Thursday, with no injuries reported. Israeli forces struck a training site of Islamic Jihad armed wing the Al-Quds Brigades in Al-Zahra district of central Gaza, flattening the compound and damaging nearby houses. Another airstrike hit a location in the northern….

Israel ‘ready’ for new military operation on Gaza
12/29/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An Israeli army official said on Wednesday that forces have prepared for a new military operation on the Gaza Strip, alluding to a “different” approach from Operation Cast Lead, as Gaza marked the war’s third anniversary.” We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which….

Israel cancels pardon of former militant leader
12/29/2011 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israel has canceled the pardon of a former Fatah militant leader in Jenin and instructed him to hand himself in to the Palestinian Authority, he told Ma’an on Thursday. Zakaria Zubeidi, who headed the Al-Aqsa Brigades during the second intifada and set up The Freedom Theater in Jenin, said….

Jihad detainee on hunger strike over Israel prison treatment
12/29/2011 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Islamic Jihad leader detained in Israel on Thursday entered his 12th day on hunger strike in protest over his treatment, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. Khader Adnan says an Israeli interrogator dragged him to the floor by his beard. The Israeli officer then used Adnan’s beard to polish….

Report: Israeli missile defense damaged in accident
12/29/2011 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli missiles intended to intercept incoming rockets were damaged during routine maintenance earlier this week, Israeli media reported on Friday. Around 20 Iron Dome missiles fell from a vehicle while in storage, causing damage estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, Israeli news site Ynet said. The multi-million….

Army: Gaza fighters fire rocket across border
12/29/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Militants in Gaza fired a projectile into southern Israel on Thursday afternoon, causing no damage or injuries, the Israeli army said. An Israeli military spokeswoman said the rocket landed in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council….

Inspirations from Palestine in 2011
12/29/2011 – By Ramzy Baroud — Mustafa Tamimi was a 28-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. His meticulously trimmed beard served as the centerpiece of his handsome face. In December 2009, when an Israeli soldier shot him from a short distance with a tear gas canister, half of Mustafa’s face went missing. More….

Republican Ron Paul fights ‘anti-Israel’ allegations
12/29/2011 – LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul defended his record on Israel Wednesday after a former aide said the congressman favored abolishing the nation.” Dr. Paul is the most pro-Israel candidate in this race,” campaign spokesman Gary Howard said in an emailed statement.” He is the only leader who will stop sending tens of….

Hamas denies report of ceasefire
12/29/2011 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Thursday denied an Israeli media report that the party’s leader ordered the group’s armed wing to cease attacks on Israel. Citing senior Fatah sources, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Thursday that Khalid Mashaal had instructed Hamas militants not to fire at Israel, after reconciliation….

France condemns Israel’s settlement plans
12/29/2011 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — France on Thursday condemned Israel’s decision to expand Gilo settlement and build a tourism center in East Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality on Wednesday approved 130 new settler homes in Gilo and a tourism complex in Silwan, a flashpoint Palestinian neighborhood. France said it was “deeply concerned” by the announcements, which….

Israel to reopen Eilat road closed by attacks
12/29/2011 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army will open the main road to southern Israel city Eilat after it was closed following an armed attack in August, Israeli media reported on Friday. Israeli army commander in the south Tal Russo ordered road 12 reopened, allowing cars back onto the highway next week, Hebrew-language newspaper Yedioth….

Turkish warplanes kill 35 in southeast
12/29/2011 – DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) — Turkish warplanes killed at least 35 people in an air strike in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border overnight, apparently mistaking smugglers for Kurdish militants, a pro-Kurdish party and local officials said on Thursday. Turkish warplanes strike militant targets regularly in the region in their battle against Kurdistan Workers Party guerrillas, and….

Iran dissidents in Iraq agree to move camp
12/29/2011 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The leader of an Iranian dissident group in Iraq said on Wednesday that 400 members were ready to move from their camp outside Baghdad to a new location as a goodwill gesture aimed at resolving a stand-off with the Iraqi government. Maryam Rajavi, who heads the People’s Mujahideen Organization of Iran….

Arab observers head to 3 Syria cities
12/29/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Arab monitors head to three more Syrian cities on Thursday to check if government forces are complying with a peace plan after a delegation to Homs, center of the uprising against President Bashar Assad, was mobbed by protesters demanding protection. The Arab League mission, the first international involvement on the ground in Syria….

Military positions dismantled in Yemen capital
12/29/2011 – SANAA (Reuters) — Military positions separating Yemen’s warring forces in central Sanaa were dismantled on Wednesday in a show of faith by both sides that they want to halt nearly a year of fighting to topple the president. Bulldozers crashed through the walls of sandbags fortifying the fighters’ positions on a main street….

Egypt security seize drugs in Sinai
12/29/2011 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian security forces said Thursday they have seized one ton of marijuana in the Sinai peninsula. Egyptian army and police officials said they stopped a truck near Suez after investigating the drug haul and detained the driver….

Lebanon PM: No evidence of al-Qaida on Syria border
12/29/2011 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Prime Minister Najib Mikati said there was no evidence that al-Qaida militants were operating in Lebanon, countering the defense minister’s statement that the global network had sent operatives into the Lebanon-Syria border area. Grappling with a nine-month anti-government revolt, Syria has blamed al-Qaida for a double car bomb attack on its….

White House: US to sell Saudi fighter jets
12/29/2011 – HONOLULU (Reuters) — The White House said on Thursday a $29. 4 billion deal to sell Boeing-made fighter jets to Saudi Arabia’s air force would support more than 50,000 US jobs and give the American economy a $3. 5 billion annual boost. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the government to government deal included….

Palestine News Network

Washington Asks Israel to Release Marwan Barghouthi for Palestinian Elections in May
PNN – PNNAccording to Israeli army radio, the American government has expressed its desire to see Israel release the Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouthi, sentenced to life imprisonment, to lead Fatah against Hamas…

America Threatens to Punish PA, If It were Accepted at UN
PNN – PNN M a’aref Israeli newspaper said that the American Congress agreed on Wednesday, on transferring 40 million dollars from the money of the economic and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority at…

Israeli Forces Designate al-Khader Land “Closed Military Areas”
PNN – PNN On Wednesday, Israeli authorities distributed notices that annonced dozens of al-Khader lands, West of Bethlehem, as closed military areas, under the pretext that they want to continue building the Apartheid wall….

Erekat Excludes Initiating Negotiations, Without Stopping Settlements
PNN – PNN Dr. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, excluded that Palestinians would accept to initiate negotiations with Israel, if the procedures of confiscating Palestinians’ lands and the expansion of settlement continued. Palestinians also…

Nabil Abu Rudeineh Condemns Settlement, Calls on the Quartet to Hold Responsibilities
PNN – PNN The Presidential spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, condemned the Israeli authority for continuing the settlement activities, the last one was the decision of the Israeli Municipality of building 130 new settlement units…

Israel Denies Entry to American PNN Editor, Soldiers Arrest PNN Reporter in Nablus
PNN – PNN Israeli authorities forbade entry into the West Bank to Brendan Work, English editor of the Palestine News Network on December 17, after he went to Jordan to renew his visa. Israeli…

International Solidarity Movement

29 December 2008: Balousha family
12/29/2011 – International Solidarity Movement – 29 December 2011, Palestinian Center for Human Rights – “I miss them all the time, sometimes I even go to look for one of them in the house in the split second before I remember they were killed” – At around 00:00 on the 29 December 2008 an Israeli aircraft attacked the Imad Akel Mosque situated…. Related: Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Alternative Information Center

The demographic battle for Jerusalem
Alternative Information Center – On Tuesday, the Jerusalem municpality approved another 130 housing units for the illegal Israeli settlement of Gilo. According to Haaretz , the municipality responded to criticism of the move by saying, “there have been no changes to…


Hamas likely to sit out on Palestinian Authority’s presidential election in May
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

U.S. cautious in face of mounting criticism on Arab League monitors in Syria
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Fox Latin America apologizes for Facebook poll on whether Jews killed Jesus
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Eyeing the primary, Likud lawmakers swing right
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Fatah official quizzed for blocking meeting between Israeli, Palestinian activists
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Court stumped by holy row over who owns basement near Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israel Education Ministry blasts school for taking students to human rights march
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

EU envoy: Israel has nothing to fear from regional rise of Islamists
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox protesters riot in flashpoint town of Beit Shemesh
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

U.S. finalizes $30 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Palestinian pardoned by Israel put back on wanted list
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israeli Rabbi Michael Melchior seen as top contender for Britain’s chief rabbi post
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Poll: Party headed by Israeli journalist Yair Lapid could become second-largest in Knesset
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Iran official: U.S. cannot stop us from cutting off world oil supply
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Switzerland clears citizens criminalized for helping Jews during World War II
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israel’s population stands at 7.8 million with 2012 around the bend
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

French suspects of Tel Aviv hit-and-run: Trial in Israel would be unfair
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Haredi man charged with sexual harassment of female IDF soldier
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israel to include cancer, AIDS medication in 2012 health basket
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israeli 8-year-old returns to school for first time since accosted by Haredi men
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Iron Dome missiles fall off military vehicle, none wounded
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israeli bars get smart as academia finds an unlikely late-night home
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israel arrests extremists for tracking IDF forces in West Bank
Ha’aretz – 29 Dec 2011

Israeli beekeepers wary to blame great bee getaway on cellphones
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Activists block bulldozers at sand-mining project in southern Israel
Ha’aretz – 28 Dec 2011

Jerusalem Post

National-religious rabbis slam gender segregation
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Attempts at segregating buses by gender are “radicalization” and “demeaning,” says yeshiva head and former MK.

Jewish Democrats doubt Republicans’ Israel support
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – NJDC calls for Romney, Priebus to distance themselves from Paul; “He is certainly anti-Israel,” says former aide

Egypt military boosts security along Israeli border
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Due to growing terror threat in Sinai Egyptian military reinforces protective measures at hundreds of positions along border.

Iron Dome successful in downing 75% of rockets
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – 4th battery to be deployed in coming months; disaster averted when 20 Iron Dome interceptors fall off back of a truck.

Will society stay strong against haredi extremists?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Analysis: After years of haredi protests over secular impropriety or immodesty the majority of Israelis are gearing up to protest back.

Syrian forces kill 25 as Arab League monitors visit
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Assad’s troops open fire on protests in cities around country; residents voice doubts about Arab mission.

The amazing wall-crawling spider-mayor!
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Nir Barkat rappels down Old City Walls for World Disability Month.

Kiryat Motzkin man gets 20 yrs for murdering pregnant wife
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Judges agree to lesser sentence under plea bargain.

Gov’t to open 4 research centers to reverse ‘brain drain’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – NIS 1.35 billion project meant to boost country’s reputation as research power.

Act safely on New Year’s so you can enjoy 2012
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – MDA warns exaggerated use of alcohol, mixtures of alcohol and drugs can poison body and lead to road accidents and violence.

Remembering Cast Lead
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Since Cast Lead, Hamas has had a vested interest in limiting conflict with Israel, in maintaining stability and consolidating its rule.

The less Israel says about Syria, the better…
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Israel would have too much to lose if ill-considered comments were to tilt Syria’s volatile situation in the wrong direction.

Savir’s Corner: 2012 – A look ahead
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Some may argue that the reality will be more or less in the middle of these two scenarios. I firmly believe that in principle it’s either-or.

Post Script: Status quo nothing!
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Things seem rather black right now, with 2011 being framed by the latest fracas in Beit Shemesh.

US military chief to visit Israel to reassure on Iran
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Dempsey to meet Gantz, Barak, Netanyahu for talks expected to focus on Iran’s nuclear program as well as challenges Israel faces from possible Islamic takeover in Egypt and from Hezbollah and Syria in North.

Headliners 2011: The year the world changed
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – 2012 will surely be like nothing we have seen before.

Hundreds of haredim riot in Beit Shemesh
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Ultra-orthodox protesters throw stones, burn trashcans, 3 arrested; Yishai comes out against dividing city.

Egypt police raid US-backed pro-democracy groups
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Police target 17 pro-democracy and rights groups; Offices of US-funded organization sealed; activists see attempt to weaken rights campaigners.

Poll finds Yair Lapid would destroy Kadima
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Shvakim Panorama poll shows a party formed by the popular journalist could win 15 seats, displacing Kadima.

Hamas denies it is halting attacks against Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Claims organization has abandoned armed struggle “reflect the state of despair that Israeli gov’t facing,” Hamas official says.

On eve of 2012, Israel’s population surpasses 7.8m.
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – According to CBS stats, Israel is a fairly young nation with 28% of its population being under 14, compared to 17% in most Western countries.

Panel okays 77 medical technologies for basket
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Some patients will be happy; those needing over 500 not accepted will be disappointed; cost will be NIS 300m.

Israeli economy expanded estimated 4.8% in 2011
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Statistics bureau reports GDP per capita probably climbed 2.9% to $31,100.

‘Women sit in cockpits, they can sit anywhere’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Netanyahu, Barak slam discrimination against women at IAF ceremony in which 5 female soldiers become pilots.

Histadrut announces ‘every-other-day’ rail strike
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Labor action is implemented after month-long talks make no progress on privatization of rail maintenance.

Haredi man indicted for sexually harassing soldier
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Shlomo Fuchs allegedly called woman a “whore” on a Jerusalem bus; released on bail to attend yeshiva.

Off the Beaten Track: Celebrating Sylvester in Caesarea
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Instead of hitting the bars in the big city why not learn about the history of New Year’s Day among ancient ruins.

Chosen Bites: A new sandwich for a new year
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Ethnic replaces gourmet as the new ideal, says chef Laura Frankel.

‘Still possible to make peace with Palestinians’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – President Peres meets Greek Patriarch who praises his stance against attacks on holy places.

The Weekly Schmooze: Is Matisyahu the new Britney Spears?
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Natalie Portman is now the most-searched name on the Internet Movie Database.

Web post prompts fears of online anti-Semitism in Rome
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Known anti-Semitic site runs photos Italian Jewish community donors, calls them “slaves of Satan.”

Fischer: Israel can maintain growth in 2012
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Bank of Israel governor says he thinks the euro will survive, along with its member states, says he was ‘hurt’ by IMF rejection.

We need Begin, not Ben-Gurion
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Both left and right need to relearn Begin’s lesson: Any Jewish state is better than none.

A life alone for Saudis born out of wedlock
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Marriage prospects are dim, which can consign a girl to a lifetime in an orphanage.

MK Hotovely: ‘Extremists desecrating the Torah’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Knesset c’tee members visit Bet Shemesh, call on haredi residents to stop attacks on children.

‘Turkish air strike kills 30 in southeast Turkey’
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Ankara’s warplanes mistake smugglers for PKK militants along the country’s southeastern borer with Iraq.

Arab League observers fan out across Syria
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Monitors head to three more Syrian cities to check Assad compliance with peace plan, withdrawal of troops from cities.

Deal reached on Dead Sea salt harvest
Jerusalem Post 29 Dec 2011 – Finance Ministry and Israel Chemicals end standoff over salt harvesting project.

Mubarak wheeled back to court after 2 months
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Analyst: Final round of voting will bring further gains to Islamists

MKs come to defense of ousted TV host Keren Neubach
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Did Channel 1 drop her from show because of politics or looks?

Lindenstrauss weighing measures against Treasury
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – State Comptroller threatens legal action over Treasury’s refusal to hand over documents relating to the state budget.

Jewish jamboree breaks attendance record in UK
Jerusalem Post 28 Dec 2011 – Reporter’s Notebook: 2,500 participants from around the world attend conference, but Limmud founder not happy just yet.

The Guardian

Aisha Gaddafi claims severe emotional distress at images of father’s execution
The Guardian 29 Dec 2011 – Israeli lawyer Nick Kaufman is demanding an investigation into circumstances surrounding the death of Gaddafi The daughter of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has hired an Israeli lawyer to petition the international criminal court to…


Syria News – December 28, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – Today’s martyrs reached 15 martyrs including two (2) children. Five (5) martyrs were in Homs, three (3) in Hama,two (2) martyrs in each of Aleppo and Damascus Suburbs (Douma and Erbeen) and one (1) martyr in each of Daraa, Idlib and Lattakia.Hama: Martyrdom of young man Khaled Samer Alhussain, 18 years old,…

Uruknet December 29, 2011 – There is no such thing as Forgiveness. Forgiveness is a handy word you invented…so you can get away with it. There is first Justice be done, followed by Forgiveness. I am aware of all the proponents for Forgiveness…they are usually Predators. For, who will ask for Forgiveness but one ?! Had it been…

All I Want for Christmas…
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – This year I spent my first Christmas away from home, away from my family, snow, Scandinavian Christmas dinners and everything else I usually associate with Christmas. This year I spent Christmas in Bethlehem, not so much for religious reasons as for the fact that this seemed the place to be for the…

EPIC Sues DHS Over Covert Surveillance of Facebook and Twitter
Uruknet EPIC has filed a Freedom of information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to force disclosure of the details of the agency’s social network monitoring program. In news reports and a Federal Register notice, the DHS has stated that it will routinely monitor the public postings of users on Twitter and Facebook. The agency…

Addameer Calls Attention to the 443 Gazans Detained in Israeli Prisons
Uruknet 28 December 2011 – On the third anniversary of Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip (27 December 2008-18 January 2009), Addameer reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the Israeli policy that has denied residents from Gaza detained in Israeli prisons family visits for over four years. In June 2007, as part of its policy of treating the…

Christmas Memories From The Birthplace of Jesus
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – Nine years ago between 20 -27 December, as in several previous years, I moved from Hebron to Bethlehem to participate in the celebrations of the Christmas and to write about the event. I was staying at the residence of Bethlehem Bible College. Dr. Bishara Awad, Director of the college and his wife…

Iraq snapshot – December 28, 2011
Uruknet December 28, 2011. Chaos and violence continue, Rick Perry grandstands on Iraq and finds the ground beneath him shaky, more calls for new elections in Iraq, Camp Ashraf repeatedly targeted with rockets, 2 Americans held by Iraqis are released, and more… And al-Issawi teams with Ayad Allawi (former prime minister and head of Iraqiya) and Osama…

Gaza Strip – Operation Cast Lead Aftermath : The Abu Taima family
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – In the early morning of 28 December 2008 Mahmoud Abu Taima, his wife Manal, and their two oldest sons, Khalil and Nabil were collecting zucchini from their lands in Khuza’a village, east of Khan Younis. After a few hours the two brothers went to their uncle’s farmland a few hundred meters further…

Congress, Obama Codify Indefinite Detention
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – In yet another reversal of his professed commitment to the rule of law, President Obama says he will sign the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which formalizes his authority to imprison terrorism suspects indefinitely without charge or trial. Where is the “progressive” outrage? George W. Bush and Obama both claimed that the…

Gaza: Remembering Cast Lead
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – December 27 marks the third anniversary of Israel’s lawless war on Gaza. Without provocation, three weeks of terror bombing and invasion devastated the Strip. Missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons were used against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction followed. Brazen crimes of war and against humanity were committed. Responsible officials remain…

Snapshots of Washington’s essence
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – I intended to post sporadically or not at all this week, and that’s still my plan, but there is a new Washington Post article which contains three short passages that I really want to highlight because they so vividly capture the essence of so much. The article, by Greg Miller, is being…

Berating the Arab “Resistance” Crowd
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – There really has to be a study done on the behaviour of some individuals towards the Syrian revolution. Although they had placed themselves at the forefront of the Palestinian cause, and were the first to cry foul whenever an injustice was done, they have, in spite of their best efforts at maintaining…

Israel : Riots over gender segregation. And silence over Palestinian segregation
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – Yesterday, December 27, Israeli civil society and politicians responded to the recent violence against an eight-year old girl, Na’ama Margolese, and the 300 rioting Haredi who attacked Israeli police and camera crews from Channel 2 and Channel 10 news. Thousands demonstrated in the streets, including secular and some religious. However, amid the…

Video: Homs: Arab League monitors next to Syrian army tanks.
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – Arab League monitors checking if Syria is ending a military crackdown on popular unrest said they saw “nothing frightening” in Homs. Some places looked a bit of a mess but there was nothing frightening,” Sudanese General Mustafa Dabi, chief of the monitoring contingent, told Reuters by telephone from Damascus…”Yesterday was quiet and…

Israel approves 130 new settler homes in East Jerusalem
Uruknet December 28, 2011 — Israeli authorities on Wednesday approved 130 new settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem. Jerusalem municipality gave the go ahead to build three 12-story tower blocks in Gilo settlement, city councilor Pepe Alalu told AFP. The council also approved plans to build tourism centers in Silwan….

Israeli navy attacks international observers, injures Palestinian, on monitoring boat in Gaza waters
Uruknet December 28, 2011 – At 10:55 am, an Israeli naval warship attacked the international observers and Palestinian captain of the Civil Peace Service Gaza (CPSGAZA) boat Oliva, injuring its captain in an apparent attempt to capsize it. “The Israeli navy passed near us and the fishermen, and started to go around us, creating waves,” said Rosa…

Israeli airstrikes kill 1, injure 10 in the Gaza Strip
Uruknet December 28, 2011 — An Israeli airstrike killed one person in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday as the coastal enclave marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war. Abdallah Telbani died and two other Palestinians were wounded by a blast that ripped through a tuk-tuk, or motorized rickshaw, in Gaza City, hospital officials said. A Ma’an…

Military Resistance 9L21: Quo Warranto
Uruknet December 27, 2011 – The last U.S. convoy rumbled out of Iraq across the border into Kuwait around sunrise under a shroud of secrecy to prevent attacks on the departing troops. When news reached a waking Iraqi public, there was joy at the end of a presence that many Iraqis resented as a foreign occupation. In…

Syria News – December 27, 2011 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet December 27, 2011 : The number of martyrs have reached so far today to 42 martyrs including 4 children ,17 martyrs in Homs,7 martyrs in Hama,4 martyrs in Daraa, three martyrs in each of Damascus University,four martyrs in Damascus Suburbs “Harasta ,Douma ,Saqba and Kisweh”, three martyrs in Idlib ,two martyrs in of Deir Ezzor and martyr…

Iraq snapshot – December 27 , 2011
Uruknet December 27, 2011- Chaos and violence continue, Iraq’s political crisis continues, did someone “close” to Nouri murder a journalist, Barack may not be the new Jimmy Carter (but he may be a new version of another recent one-term president), and more… Journalist Hadi al-Mahdi was assassinated September 8th. Earlier in the year, he had a run…

Stop The Wall

Youth Trainings and Activities in 2012 with EuroMed
Stop The Wall – salto-youth.net In 2012, SALTO EUROMED Training Strategy is focused on 3 main axes: EuroMed cooperation : aims to provide opportunities of EuroMediterranean cooperation and to increase the knowdlege and skills of youth workers and trainers about EuroMed framework and Policies. EVS a Tool for Active Citizenship (III PHASE) Seminar/conference EuroMediterranean Youths:…

Protests in the West Bank During the Season of Christmas
Stop The Wall – Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign Santa at West Bank Protests Nabi Saleh Fighting against the ongoing suppression that the occupation practices against the weekly protests against the apartheid wall and settlements in the West Bank, Walid Barghouthi, a young man, was shot with a live bullet to his leg while…

YNet News

Syrian opposition criticizes Arab League observer
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – ….

Chief military rabbi: IDF won’t become Beit Shemesh
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – ….

Russia submerges nuclear submarine to douse blaze
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – ….

The year of the majority
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: Despite current despondency, 2012 could see Israel’s majority bring change ….

US, Saudi Arabia ink F-15 fighter jet deal
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – ….

‘Stuxnet virus used on Iran was 1 of 5 cyberbombs’
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Researchers say crippling computer virus unleashed on Iran in 2010 has at least four ‘cousins’ ….

Muslims upset by NY police to boycott mayor event
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – ….

Zeituni’s killers demand to be tried in France
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Suspects in Tel Aviv hit-and-run accident say they will plead guilty if France doesn’t extradite them to Israel ….

Beit Shemesh: Hundreds of haredim clash with police
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Religious disquiet plaguing Beit Shemesh grows as scores of city’s ultra-Orthodox residents clash with police, stone officers and torch dumpsters ….

MKs eye hurdles against outposts’ eviction
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Legislation Committee to review bill proposing to strip IDF from authority to evict illegal West Bank outposts, leave decision solely to courts ….

Zubeidi: Israel reneged on amnesty deal
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Former al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades commander says Israeli authorities have revoked 2007 clemency agreement. Palestinian security forces accuse him of arms charges ….

Preschool form asks for parents’ sexual orientation
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Education Ministry updates preschool registration forms, creates special ‘sexual orientation’ checkbox. Parents outraged; ministry says will revise form ….

Bulldozing Jewish history
YNet News, 29 Dec 2011 – Op-ed: World should not allow Arab effort to deny Jewish connection to Jerusalem ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOF soldiers round up 5 Palestinians, storm home of disabled
PIC – Israeli occupation forces rounded up five Palestinian citizens in three West Bank provinces at dawn Thursday and stormed the home of a disabled father in Al-Khalil last night, local sources reported.

Dweik: PLC to resume sessions in February
PIC – Speaker of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) Dr. Aziz Al-Dweik has said that the PLC would resume sessions next February to assume its duties according to the law.

PLO: Israel killed 180 Palestinians including 21 children in 2011
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces killed 180 Palestinians in 2011 including 21 children and arrested 3300, a report by the Palestine liberation organization (PLO) said on Wednesday.

Israeli navy attacks international monitor boat injuring observer
PIC – An Israeli navy gunboat rammed into Olivia, an international boat monitoring Israeli violations against fishermen in Gaza waters, leading to the injury of one international Italian observer.

Int’l campaign urges Bensouda to address issue of Palestinian MPs
PIC – The international campaign for freeing kidnapped MPs called on the new chief prosecutor of the international criminal court to address the issue of lawmakers frequently kidnapped by Israel.

Israeli warplanes blast targets in northern, central Gaza
PIC – Israeli warplanes blasted targets in central and northern Gaza Strip at dawn Thursday without causing any casualties, local sources said.

Israeli war ministry’s budget rises after approved by Knesset
PIC – The Knesset committees of finance and security approved the Israeli government’s decision to raise the budget of the war ministry, although some Israeli officials called earlier for slashing it.

Israeli plans to expand Gilo settlement and build large outposts in Silwan
PIC – Field researcher Ahmed Sub-Laban said the Israeli committee of planning and building intends to build 130 housing units in Gilo settlement and build more settlement outposts in Silwan district.

Gantz: New war on Gaza inevitable
PIC – Israeli chief of staff Benny Gantz has said that a new war on Gaza was inevitable “sooner or later†and that his army was preparing for it.


Israeli Forces Hand Palestinians Demolishing Notices in Hebron
WAFA – 15:58-HEBRON, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday handed a number of Palestinians demolishing notices for a school, 13 houses and a well in Menezl, a village south of Hebron, according to loc…

Israeli Forces Killed 91 Palestinians during 2011, Says Rights Group
WAFA – 15:03-RAMALLAH, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Al-Dameer Association for Human Rights said that Israeli occupation forces killed 91 Palestinians including 14 Children during 2011, Thursday said al-Dameer press …

Freedom Committee Member Continues Hunger Strike
WAFA – 14:06-RAMALLAH, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Member of the Freedom and Political Prisoners Committee, Khader Adnan, continued his hunger strike, which he started since November 18, after an Israeli inter…

Israel to Take Over Palestinian Land near Bethlehem
WAFA – 11:31-BETHLEHEM, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Thursday handed Palestinian farmers from al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem, notices that they will take over their agricultural land, according to…

American Congress Releases $40 million of Financial Aid to PA
WAFA – 11:26-WASHINGTON, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – The American Congress approved on Wednesday the release of US$40 million of American financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, said a statement by the US Depar…

Construction Cost Index Fell by 0.32% in November
WAFA – 11:12-RAMALLAH, December 29, 2011 (WAFA) – The overall Construction Cost Index (CCI) reached 113.08 with a decrease of 0.32% in the West Bank in November 2011 compared to October 2011 (base month December 2…

Intifada Palestine

Obama Secretly Preparing for Syria Intervention”
Intifada-Palestine: 29 Dec 2011 – By Sibel Edmonds Boiling Frogs Post December 29, 2011 This morning I woke up to the following news headlines. Let me correct myself: This morning I found the US media and their quasi extension reporting on stale, at least 6-month old… more

The Sad, Sad World of Israel’s Big-Time Liars
Intifada-Palestine: 29 Dec 2011 – “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” – attributed to Mark Twain by Stuart Littlewood Meet another of Israel’s undesirables, Yuli Edelstein. He is the regime’s Propaganda Minister (or to be more… more


Iran naval chief says closing gulf to oil traffic would be easy
LA Times 28 Dec 2011 – Habibollah Sayyari is the second official in two days to mention closing the Strait of Hormuz, potentially disrupting the flow of Middle East oil to world markets. Iran’s top naval commander said Wednesday that closing the Persian Gulf to oil tanker traffic would be “easier…

Comment by chief of Arab League observers in Syria is criticized
LA Times 28 Dec 2011 – The Sudanese general characterizes conditions in the strife-torn Syria city of Homs as ‘nothing frightening’ despite the release of amateur video that seems to show monitors witnessing gunfire. The head of an Arab League observer mission came under fire Wednesday for describing conditions in the…

U.S. Military Sales to Iraq Raise Concerns
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – Some fear that American weapons will strengthen Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s apparent efforts to consolidate his power and establish Shiite dominance.

Egyptian Forces Shut Civic Groups, Drawing U.S. Protest
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – Security forces stormed 17 offices of nonprofit groups as part of an investigation that Egypt’s military rulers say will reveal foreign hands in the recent outbreak of protests.

U.S. Agrees to $30 Billion Arms Sale to Saudis
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – After a chill in relations over the Arab Spring, the deal to sell fighter jets manufactured by Boeing signals support for a key ally in the Persian Gulf.

Syria Observers Only Spur Violence, Activists Say
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – Security forces opened fire in a Damascus suburb, activists said, killing several people and dashing hopes that Arab League observers might help stem the bloodshed.

Turkish Airstrikes Kill Smugglers Mistaken for Kurdish Separatists
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – The Turkish military said that it had killed at least 35 smugglers in the Kurdish border region after mistaking them for separatist fighters.

Manama Journal: Coffee Shop Clashes Show How Bahrain Rules Fear Any Dissent
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – With no place to legally organize, activists and opposition leaders have made Costa Coffee an unlikely gathering place.

Politicus: Clock Ticking for West to Act on Iranian Nuclear Program
New York Times 29 Dec 2011 – Israel says there is less than nine months remaining before Iran’s attempt to acquire nuclear weapons moves into a “zone of immunity.” What will Israel and the U.S. do in that window of time?

The Sad Case of Aussie Dave
Tikun Olam – Yesterday, I reported in a post that I believed I had exposed the real identity of Aussie Dave, author of the Israellycool blog.  It appears that he invented a fake identity in order to perpetrate a hoax on me.  It boggles the mind that he went…

Jenin Freedom Theatre Director Zakaria Zubeidi ordered by Israel to turn himself in to PA security services
Mondoweiss – link to www.haaretz.com ‘—> link to www.palestine-info.co.uk ‘—> link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.hrw.org Palestinian pardoned by Israel put back on wanted list Zakaria Zbeidi, the former commander of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Jenin who now runs the Freedom Theater, says he…

AIPAC-championed amendment pushes Obama into a corner on Iran
Mondoweiss – The red arrow points to the Straits of Hormuz, a focal point in US-Iran tensions today. (Map via Wikipedia) President Obama is set to sign legislation attached to a military spending bill that would impose harsh sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program. The AIPAC-championed…

You call me a terrorist?
Mondoweiss – From Fidaa Abu Assi’s blog Gaza in Words. Look me in the eye. Do I look like a terrorist to you? Scan my features: my teary eyes, my breathless smile, my weary mind, my bleeding heart. What the hell terrorizes you? Which part of me confuses…

Israeli ambassadors say they are ‘increasingly hated and unwanted’. But not Oren!
Mondoweiss – Michael “What, me worry?” Oren This is pretty stunning. Everything that Ali Abunimah said about international isolation 2 years ago is here; it makes you wonder what will happen to public opinion in another two years. Barak Ravid in Haaretz, writing about a conclave of 100…

Romanian and Bulgarian opposition to Palestinian statehood earns payoff
Mondoweiss – Roy Arad on “Israel’s Builders” at at the LRB blog (thanks to SheldonRichman): During Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Eastern Europe in the summer, the governments of Romania and Bulgaria agreed not to vote in favour of the Palestinian state at the UN. Israel has since arranged…

Fatah Source Claims Meshal Ordered End to Terror Attacks Against Israel
Tikun Olam – Haaretz journalists are reporting a story  (Hebrew) that a source within Fatah has informed them that Khaled Meshal has ordered Hamas’ military wing to cease terror attacks against Israel both from Gaza and the West Bank.  The supposed order came in the context of unity talks…

Mossad’s Pardo: Nuclear Iran Won’t Threaten Israel’s Existence
Tikun Olam – Tamir Pardo scrambling Israeli politics by not heeding ‘his master’s voice’ on Iran (digital painting, Ian Bunn) Poor Bibi, he don’t get no respect.  Even his Mossad chief is bad-mouthing his cherished dogmas about Iran being an existential threat to Israel.  This week, the MFA hosts…

Aussie Dave Exposed
Tikun Olam – For those who have a long memory here, one of my earliest prolonged blogging battles was with a far-right wing Islamophobic Australian-Israeli blogger who used the pseudonym, Aussie Dave and wrote an especially putrid blog, Israellycool. Originally, I went head to head with him over his…

MK Danon Proposes Outlawing Sex Between ‘Arabs,’ Young Jewish Girls
Tikun Olam –  In a development that harkens back to the Nuremberg Laws and the old racialist broadsides of Rabbi Meir Kahane, MK Danny Danon has proposed a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist: he’s claimed that over 1,000 Jewish women have complained about being kidnapped by Palestinians…

Western and Gulf media entangled in own contradictions
Voltaire Network 29 Dec 2011 – The international press is bewildered by the statements pronounced by the Arab League Observation Mission director, Mohamed Ahmad al-Dhabi, according to which the situation in Homs is “reassuring.” Consequently, newspapers are now split between those who exert caution, fearing of having been misled and of having…

“The decision to attack Syria was made at a meeting at Camp David on 15 September 2001”
Voltaire Network 29 Dec 2011 – Featured below is the interview that Thierry Meyssan gave to our colleagues from the Algerian daily newspaper the La Nouvelle République. Worthy of mention is the fact that the interview was given front page billing. While Western journalists eagerly relay the war propaganda against Syria, another…

Arab League monitors acknowledge presence of terrorist groups in Homs
Voltaire Network 28 Dec 2011 – The Atlantic and Gulf media write that President al-Assad had the tanks surrounding the city of Homs pulled back, the dug out trenches filled, the corpses lying in the streets picked up and the prisons emptied, in order to conceal his crimes from the observers of…

Sudan: Atrocity-Linked General Heads Human Rights Observation Mission to Syria
allAfrica.com 29 Dec 2011 – Mohammad Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi, a Sudanese general headed an Arab League (AL) mission to monitor the human rights atrocities being committed by Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime in Homms on 26 December, despite allegations of his involvement in Sudanese atrocities.

Egypt: Foregin Minister Discusses Syrian Crises, Bilateral Relations in Russia
allAfrica.com 29 Dec 2011 – Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr left Cairo for Moscow on Tuesday 27/12/2011 on a three-day visit during which he will hold talks with Russian officials over the situation in the Middle East and related issues.

Egypt: Turkey Seeks Transporting Its Exports Via Nation
allAfrica.com 29 Dec 2011 – Minister of Transport, Dr. Galal al-Saeed, revealed that there is an agreement with the Turkish side providing that Egypt would become a gate for Turkish exports and products to the Arab Gulf and North African states.

New violence dogs Syria mission
BBC 29 Dec 2011 – Arab League monitors overseeing a peace plan for Syria visit Damascus and other cities, but violence continues with dozens reported killed.

Israel and the Celebration of the Anniversary of Genocide in Gaza
Sabbah report 29 Dec 2011 – It seems Israel is developing a delicate sense for the celebration of genocide. “Bibi, it’s the three year anniversary of our murder of 1.200 Palestinian women and children, lets celebrate.” Related posts: Mohamed Khodr – Bush’s Farewell to Israel: The Genocide of Gaza with American Arms…


29 December 2008: Balousha family
Palestinian Center for Human Rights 12/29/2011
      “I miss them all the time, sometimes I even go to look for one of them in the house in the split second before I remember they were killed.”
     At around 00:00 on the 29 December 2008 an Israeli aircraft attacked the Imad Akel Mosque situated in Jabaliya refugee camp. The attack destroyed the home of Anwar and Samira Balousha, which was situated just three metres from the mosque. Five of the family’s eight daughters were killed as a result of the bombing, which caused the family home to collapse on top of them as they slept. Five others were injured in the incident and other homes in close proximity to the mosque were completely destroyed.
     In the main room of the reconstructed Balousha family household stands a portrait of the family’s five deceased daughters Tahreer, Ikram, Samar, Dina and Jawaher who were 18, 15, 13, 8 and 4 respectively at the time an Israeli F-16 dropped a bomb on the Imad Akel Mosque, 3 metres from the family home. The family have since had one new comer to the home, Tahrir (named after her deceased sister); but for father Anwar “the home still feels empty, it is like there is gaping hole where my daughters once were, and despite feeling their presence with us all the time there is a huge sense there is something missing”.
     While his face and composure gives little away in terms of the suffering his family has gone through, Anwar’s words are clear regarding the effect the incident had on himself and his family. “My wife has been badly affected, just yesterday there was an UNRWA crew demolishing the wreckage of one the neighbours’ homes destroyed in the war to make room for its reconstruction, it reminded Samira of the war and she started to cry”….. — See also: Palestinian Center for Human Rights more.. e-mail

Culture against normalization
Michele Cantoni, Alternative Information Center 12/29/2011
      Seemingly innocuous, cultural events run the risk of presenting a distorted view of the Israeli occupation of Palestininan lands. When artists perform in both the occupied territories and Israel, it creates the illusion of a conflict between two peoples, obscuring the lopsided power structures and roles of the occupier and occupied. Artists must challenge and expose the status quo by playing in Palestine and Palestine alone.
     The perception of Palestine around the world, often highlighted by international media, is that Palestine exists exclusively in relation to Israel. Consequently the Palestinian people, their society and their culture are deprived of being viewed as such – a People, a Society and a Culture of their own. Whoever is involved in cultural activities in Palestine is confronted with the dual and delicate task of promoting Palestinian culture per se without whitewashing the impacts of the political situation there. In other words, it is a matter of addressing both inherent cultural value and cultural resistance.
     In an article published a year ago in the Palestinian monthly This Week in Palestine, I expressed the hope that some day in the future the presence of music ensembles from the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) would replace that of guest European orchestras performing Christmas “Concerts for Peace” in Bethlehem. I argued – as I still do – that since those orchestras performed in free West Jerusalem as well as in occupied Bethlehem – with both concerts aired internationally on Christmas Day by Italian national television network RAI – the message carried to international audiences was misleading in its portrayal of a balanced situation in Palestine/Israel. Suggesting that the situation there is a “conflict” or “dispute” between two peoples is in stark contrast with the actual facts on the ground, where one people enjoys total freedom as their highly-militarized state controls all the land, all the resources and, crucially, the freedom of the other. Additionally, a series of physical barriers and military laws is designed by Israel to prevent contact between Palestinian and Israeli civilians as well as separating Palestinians from each other. more.. e-mail

This Year and Next in the Greater Middle East
Patrick Seale, Agence Global 12/27/2011
      Historians will remember 2011 as the year when the Arabs rose against their dictators. The projection of ‘people power’ has been angry, impatient, astonishingly brave — and above all young. Exploding demographics have provided the motor of the Arab Spring.
     The figures tell the story. High fertility rates across the Arab world have led, within a single life-time, to a doubling, tripling and even quadrupling of populations, resulting in grossly over-stretched government services, in a huge inflation of student numbers and, inevitably, in frustrated expectations.
     In country after country, a vast new generation of educated — or semi-educated — youngsters has emerged into adult life, only to discover that no jobs are available for them. Hence, they have no access to the consumer goods so blatantly displayed on TV screens, no decent lodgings, no possibility of early marriage, no prospect of a better life. Youth unemployment is the fuse which lit the fires of revolution.
     Inevitably, the targets of these frustrated youngsters were the fat cats and crony capitalists who, in every Arab country, have thrived from proximity to the centres of power. The rebels demand an end to corruption and a fairer distribution of wealth. They want their share of the national cake.
     It was but a short step from there for them to challenge the political regimes under which they and their parents have lived and suffered: the arrogant, puffed-up ruling families and their patronage networks; the stale one-party systems; the brutal security forces imposing stifling controls; the total lack of basic freedoms. There has been much talk of the revolutionaries wanting dignity – that is, the respect which governments owe their citizens, but which has been sadly lacking. more.. e-mail

A nightmare that lasted three weeks; memories of Gaza massacre
Electronic Intifada: 29 Dec 2011 – Rafat Abushaban The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip Rafat Abushaban recalls how three years ago, Palestinians in Gaza united under the most terrible of circumstances during Israel’s 22 days of relentless bombing.more

Gaza Lives: Reflecting on ‘Operation Cast Lead’
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Dec 2011 – By Mohammed AlNadi – Gaza In Israel, nothing is more rewarding than committing systematic mass killings and war crimes against Palestinians. It seems, according to Israel’s moral system and code of conduct, nothing is more trivial than a Palestinian life. Inflicting death on Palestinians is not punishable in Israel but instead ornamented with decoration and job advancement. I reckon it’s the highest and most honorable accomplishment through which an Israeli soldier can achieve most prominent ranks in the military. This has been evident throughout the Palestine-Israel conflict, as countless planned massacres were and are still being committed against Palestinians since Palestine was occupied in 1948, and typically, the perpetrators have always been leaders of sorts, either political or military figures. For example, every year Palestinians widely remember Sabra and Shatila massacre, in which thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered in Beirut, Lebanon in 1982. An independent Israeli investigation followed at the…more

The Sad, Sad World of Israel’s Big-time Liars
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Dec 2011 – ‘A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes’ — attributed to Mark Twain By Stuart Littlewood Meet another of Israel’s undesirables, Yuli Edelstein. He is the regime’s Propaganda Minister (or to be more precise, Minister for Dis-information and Diaspora) and he runs the biggest lie machine in the world. His task is to make the Israel ‘brand’ smell sweeter. The reason it stinks, of course, is the regime’s putrid morals and murderous conduct, which the lie machine works overtime to try to justify and excuse. It will always fail. You cannot build a decent brand image on lies, obnoxious behaviour and a massive attitude problem. Edelstein hit the headlines over Christmas when he told everybody that the Arabs are “a deplorable nation”. He was speaking at a public diplomacy event (incredible as it may seem!) at Yor Yehuda, which I’m told means…more

White House Still Playing Saleh’s Game
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Dec 2011 – By James Gundun – Washington, D.C. In accordance with the demands of America’s presidential office, Barack Obama has been flooded with a river of updates throughout his Hawaiian vacation. From economic hardball with the GOP to terror attacks in Iraq, Syria and Nigeria, his administration encountered one interruption after another – including a visa request from one of the Arab world’s “friendly” dictators. Christmas weekend in Yemen produced a chaotic microcosm of Washington’s response to 11 months of revolution. First the White House allowed Ali Abdullah Saleh’s theoretical December 23rd deadline to expire without clarification, leaving executive power firmly in his hands (instead of Vice President Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi). Over two months had passed since the UN Security Council approved a power-sharing initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), stipulating that Saleh transfer executive power to his vice president within 30 days. He would eventually sign in Riyadh on…more

Palestine: Those Who Inspired Us in 2011
Dissident Voice: 29 Dec 2011 – Mustafa Tamimi was a 28-year-old resident of the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh. His meticulously trimmed beard served as the centerpiece of his handsome face. In December 2011, when an Israeli soldier shot him from a short distance with a tear gas canister, half of Mustafa’s face went missing. More soldiers laughed as his horrified family tried to accompany him to a nearby hospital, according to activists present at the scene. Only the mother was finally able to obtain a special permit from the Israeli military, which allowed her to be with her son. Mustafa’s crime? He, along with Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists, protested the besiegement of Nabi Saleh by the illegal Jewish settlement of Halamish. Halamish has existed since 1977 and drastically grown in size and population ever since, taking over privately-owned Palestinian land. As of late, Nabi Saleh has been struggling for mere survival as…more

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