VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 22 January 2012: Obama’s campaign video is ‘Israel firster’ material

22 January 2012VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Israeli troops raid community center; abduct non-violent organizer
IMEMC – According to local sources, a squadron of Israeli troops invaded the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday, raided a community center, and abducted a leader in the non-violent protest movement. …

Child Dies Of Wounds Suffered 3 years Ago
IMEMC – Palestinian medical sources reported Sunday that Hanin Kamal Abu Jalala, 16, died of wounds suffered during the Israeli offensive on Gaza three years ago. The child was severely wounded by phosphorous shells fired by the Israeli army into civilian areas in Gaza. …

Ma’an News

Report: Palestinian shot at checkpoint
1/22/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — A 29-year-old Palestinian man was shot after trying to attack a soldier at Qalandiya checkpoint Sunday near Ramallah, Israeli news reports said. The Palestinian, who was not identified, sustained light injuries to the leg, Ynet news reported. He was transferred to hospital. According to Israeli media, the man…. Related: Soldiers raid home of man shot at Qalandiya

Soldiers raid community center, arrest local activist
1/22/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Soldiers ransacked the office of a Palestinian community center in Hebron on Saturday and arrested the coordinator of a local coalition group. Issa Amr, leader of a group called Youth Against Settlements, was blindfolded and detained.” Soldiers took me to a military base in Tel Rumeida, they handcuffed and blindfolded me….

Soldiers raid home of man shot at Qalandiya
1/22/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday raided the home of a Palestinian man who was shot in the leg earlier in the day by an Israeli soldier. According to Israeli media, Abdul Hakim Ghawadra, 29, was carrying an axe and tried to attack a soldier at Qalandiya checkpoint, which separates northern Jerusalem from…. Related: Report: Palestinian shot at checkpoint

Woman injured in Gaza war dies from complications
1/22/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A young woman injured during Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip died on Sunday due to complications from longstanding injuries. Kamal Abu Jalala told Ma’an that his daughter Hanin had been receiving treatment in Jerusalem since being injured in Operation Cast Lead. Hanin went into a coma….

PLC speaker to appear in Israeli court
1/22/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik will appear before an Israeli military court Sunday, his lawyer Fadi Qawasmi told reporters. Qawasmi said he demanded Dweik’s immediate release. He was told Dweik was being interrogated by Israeli intelligence but a hearing would be held to discuss the request….

Official: Israel to confiscate farmer’s land near Nablus
1/22/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities notified a Palestinian farmer in south Nablus on Sunday they will confiscate 20 dunams of his land and ordered the destruction of two wells in the area. PA official monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank Ghassan Daghlas said forces told Farhan Abdul Raziq of the confiscation order….

Explosion injures 4 in Jabaliya refugee camp
1/22/2012 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — An explosion Sunday in Jabaliya refugee camp injured four Palestinians, medics said. Among the injured were a couple and their son, medical officials said. The three and another man were evacuated to Kamal Udwan Hospital in northern Gaza. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear….

Abbas: Israel document ‘worthless’ to talks
1/22/2012 – MOSCOW (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that Israel’s response to a Palestinian proposal on borders and security as requested by Quartet negotiators was “worthless”. Speaking to TV channel Russia Today during his the final leg of his European tour, Abbas said his visit to British, German and Russian leaders was….

Erekat letter to Israel envoy protests MP detentions
1/22/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Saeb Erekat gave Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molcho a letter protesting Israel’s detention of Palestinian MPs from the West Bank, officials said on Sunday. The officials met in Jordan on Saturday, in the fourth round of talks called by the international Quartet to restart negotiations. But the letter….

Israel condemns Palestinian cleric over sermon
1/22/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel condemned the top Palestinian cleric on Sunday for reciting a passage from Muslim scripture that called for the killing of Jews. Preaching on Jan. 9 at a rally marking the 47th anniversary of the founding of Fatah, Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammed Hussein read out a Hadith, or traditional text attributed to the….

Egypt to host Palestinian factions next month
1/22/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Egypt intends to intervene in the implementation of a reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, the country’s ambassador to the Palestinian Authority said Sunday. Yasser Othman told Ma’an that Egypt “intends to take its intervention to the top leaders level because that will be the best way….

Report: Bank of Israel’s Fischer in line for presidency
1/22/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer is in line to replace Shimon Peres as president when both terms end in 2014, Israeli media reported on Sunday. The Calcalist financial daily reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pushing for the nomination of Fischer as president — the ceremonial head of state — and has been….

In photos: White-out in Hebron
1/22/2012 – MaanImages – The city of Hebron and neighboring towns Halhul and Beit Ummar were blanketed by snow and hail on Sunday, after a fierce storm blew through the southern West Bank. Traffic jams accumulated on the main road linking Hebron and Bethlehem, as a heavy fog settled on the area….

Man imprisons daughter for 9 years in home
1/22/2012 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Police on Saturday rescued a 20-year-old woman who had been kept prisoner by her father for nine years in the bathroom of her house. Police found the woman while inspecting the home, a statement said. Officers had heard shouting from the bathroom and upon opening the door found a woman….

Arab states set to keep monitors in Syria
1/22/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Arab states, divided over how to handle the crisis in Syria, are likely to extend a peace mission there which critics say is handing President Bashar Assad more time to kill opponents of his rule. Arab foreign ministers were gathering in Cairo on Sunday to debate the findings of the month-long monitoring mission….

Yemen’s Saleh leaves for US, opponents protest
1/22/2012 – SANAA (Reuters) — Outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh apologized for “any shortcoming” in his 33-year rule before leaving Yemen for the United States on Sunday, paving the way for a transfer of power after a year of unrest.” God willing, I will leave for (medical) treatment in the United States and I will return to….

International Solidarity Movement

2 youth dead in attack on Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip
1/22/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Rosa, 22 January 2012, International  Solidarity Movement, Gaza Strip – Israeli Apaches and land forces shelled an area east of Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, on Wednesday morning, January 18 2012. Two young men were killed and another was injured. As we hurried to the scene we met an ambulance driving at high….

‘Each Arab dog will have his day:’ Military raids Khalil youth center
1/22/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Tom, 22 January 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – In an action that appears to have been carried out purely for the entertainment and satisfaction of Israeli settlers, the center of the activist group, Youth Against Settlements, in Tel Rumeida, Al Khalil (also known as Hebron) was stormed by Israeli soldiers at 3pm on….

Alternative Information Center

Arab students banished for boycotting Peres speech
Alternative Information Center – The Arabs48 news website reported on Wednesday that three Arab students, studying at the [Jerusalem College of Engineering] in [West] Jerusalem, have received police warrants exiling them from the city for seven days after they called…

The National

Arab League agrees to keep monitors in Syria
The National 22 Jan 2012 – In a blow to the troubled mission’s credibility the Saudi Arabian foreign minister, Prince Saud Al Faisal, tells his Arab colleagues in Cairo his country was withdrawing from the mission.

Saleh asks for forgiveness before leaving Yemen for US
The National 22 Jan 2012 – Yemeni president pledges to appoint successor on return from seeking medical care in the United States.

Two charged over scaffold fall deaths
The National 22 Jan 2012 – The site engineer and labour supervisor at a Dubai construction site where three people were killed after scaffolding collapsed have been charged with criminal negligence.

Attack pays off for Gingrich to win South Carolina primary
The National 22 Jan 2012 – Newt Gingrich becomes third winner in three states after his negative adverts and strong debate performance throws Mitt Romney off track.

Temperatures in UAE drop below freezing
The National 22 Jan 2012 – High waves and freezing temperatures have come to the UAE, but sunny skies are expected to return later this week.

Fatah is unsettled by Hamas head Meshaal stepping down
The National 22 Jan 2012 – Reconciliation efforts may founder without Khaled Meshaal, with fears his successor could be less pragmatic and endanger attempts to end the rift between the two main Palestinian political factions.

EU patience wanes over Middle East peace talks
The National 22 Jan 2012 – EU issues criticism of Israeli settlement policy in draft statement ahead of today’s meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels.

Laboratory delivers faster health care
The National 22 Jan 2012 – National Reference Laboratory to provide more than 4,000 diagnostic tests, some of which are available for the first time in the emirate.

Libya’s NTC chief warns of ‘bottomless pit’
The National 22 Jan 2012 – Benghazi protests prompt resignation of party’s deputy leader.

Innovation scheme a boost to inventors
The National 22 Jan 2012 – Government body hopes to increase number of patents granted to UAE’s developers.

Tunis gains allure as a new laboratory for democracy
The National 22 Jan 2012 – With a growing traffic of world leaders, international institutions and civil society, this former police state is emerging as a regional hub of free discourse.


Man ‘hid murder suspects’, court told
The National 22 Jan 2012 – A man who allegedly hid murder suspects in his home before attempting to help them leave the UAE has been charged with harbouring fugitives and failing to report a crime.

IDF Chief: I should be the one to name Israel’s new air force commander
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

British Jews cancel meeting with Abbas in wake of pressure from Netanyahu
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

U.S. aircraft carrier enters Gulf without incident, day after Iran backs from threat
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords resigning to focus on recovery
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Human Rights Watch reports ‘serious violations’ in Israel, Palestinian territories
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Saudi Arabia withdraws monitors from Syria, urges world pressure on Assad
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Israeli university probed for accepting Lapid as doctoral student
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Snow blizzard in northern Israel shuts down Hermon ski resort
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Erekat calls on Israel to release Palestinian parliament speaker
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Syrian troops retreat from large Damascus suburb
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

West Bank outpost residents urged to consent to demolition
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Jerusalem mufti faces harsh Israeli criticism for incitement against Jews
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Scandal in Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s family rocks Shas
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Prominent Zionist rabbi Moti Elon denies sexual assault charges
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Netanyahu: Israel must prevent the elimination of the Jewish people
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Human Rights Watch chides West for aversion to Islamist groups in Middle East
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Israeli security forces thwart attack at checkpoint north of Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Despite confusion, move to shift IDF soldiers to buses on Sundays deemed a success
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

‘Israel’s Channel 10 can continue broadcasting despite debt’
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2012

Curtain up on Tel Aviv’s rebuilt Habima Theater
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

10 percent of Israeli academics labeled ‘anti-Zionist’ by campus watchdogs
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

Deadly hit-and-run accident was a tragedy waiting to happen
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

Jerusalem Police District chief starts cracking down on ultra-Orthodox lawbreakers
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

Bus service to replace trains as IDF soldiers lose free rail travel on Sunday mornings
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

Cabinet expected to extend law withholding citizenship from Palestinians who marry Israelis
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2012

Jerusalem Post

Christians in Iran, Syria face rising persecution
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Iranian pastor Nardakhani refuses to renounce Christian beliefs in exchange for release from prison.

Accusation: Shas leaders are ‘taking over rabbinate’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Charges of ‘cronyism’ in appointments leveled by close relative of Ovadia Yosef.

‘Discrimination against Ethiopians should mean prison term’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee Chairman Danny Danon makes comments during visit to Kiryat Malachi.

Twins with fractures may be victims of shaken-baby syndrome
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Police, twins’ parents deny a criminal investigation is underway; physicians don’t rule out genetic disease.

Sunday morning rail restrictions on IDF personnel draw ire
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – MK Itzik appeals for soldiers’ free, unlimited use of public transport; MK Matalon: Army creating gaps between its own soldiers.

Arabs agree on Syria plan; Saudis pull monitors
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Questions remain over plan’s implementation; US senators introduce sanctions bill in response to ‘atrocities’ in Syria

A-G: Okay to extend license for Channel 10
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Weinstein says station’s ‘influence on freedom of expression worth preserving’.

Arab League mulls unity gov’t plan for Syria
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Saudi Arabia pulls monitors from Syria; US Senators introduce sanctions bill in response to Assad regime’s “atrocities.”

US lawmaker Giffords quitting to focus on recovery
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – “I have more work to do on my recovery, so to do what is best for Arizona I will step down,” congresswoman says year after shooting.

Gov’t invests NIS 10 million in solar plant
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Energy and Water Ministry attempts to encourage green energy entrepreneurship, minimize bureaucracy.

Analysis: Rocky road to unity for Syria opposition
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Syrian opposition is still far from closing ranks and deciding on a strategy for the day the battle is won.

Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of violating rights
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – In annual report on rights abuses, group charges Israel with using unnecessary lethal force, hindering the rebuilding of Gaza’s economy, building illegal settlements; slams Hamas, PA for unfair trials, torture.

Train trouble
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Having free train passage rights revoked – even for 3 hours a week – is perceived as a slight to IDF soldiers.

The Region: Who’s winning in the Middle East?
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – The West may misread the current atmosphere, but residents in the region know full well what’s going on.

Reality Check: Is this really what Israel needs?
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Yair Lapid is already changing the format of the country’s political debate.

The French water report
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – While the report’s basic facts presented appear fair, the conclusion relating caused an uproar in Jerusalem.

Debate over Citizenship Law muddied by inaccuracies
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – “Acknowledging that Israel’s citizenship law is similar to other democratic states would counter their campaigns.”

How Fado got its groove back
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Ana Moura is a Portugese Fado singer who has performed with artists such as Prince and The Rolling Stones.

‘Mubarak still rules Egypt,’ defense claims
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Attorney for ousted leader says he did not step down in accordance with constitution, should be tried in special court.

Likud hawks call to boycott party primary
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Activists protesting Netanyahu policies hope to force another vote.

Rabbi Elon denies charges against him
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Yeshivat Hakotel denies all five counts of indecent assault, and indecent assault by force made against him.

In court, Rabbi Elon denies charges against him
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Yeshivat Hakotel denies all five counts of indecent assault, and indecent assault by force made against him.

PA hands over man suspected of jailing daughter
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012Arab Israeli suspected of locking up daughter for 9 years.

Dirani interrogator sues Defense Ministry
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – “Captain George” says Dirani’s rape allegations harmed him, claims state hid evidence.

Saudis pull Syria monitors, urge world pressure
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Statement from FM Prince Saud al-Faisal comes after BBC reports Arab League rules to extend mission in Syria by 1 month.

Abbas calls on Israel to release top Hamas figure
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012PA president suggests arrest of Abdel Aziz Dweik designed to hinder efforts to achieve reconciliation between Fatah, Hamas.

‘Hezbollah acting in Syria against protesters’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Revolutionary Guard official says the Lebanese group responded to Iranian request to safeguard Syria assets.

Heavy snows hit Golan Heights, Mount Hermon
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Ski slopes, area schools shut down amid snowstorm; one killed in Golan Heights car crash; Electric company calls for limiting use of appliances.

Arab League extends Syria mission by 1 month
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Mission to gain additional monitors, resources; support for military intervention scant despite continued killing.

Mubarak still president of Egypt, defense claims
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Attorney for ousted leader says he did not step down in accordance with constitution, should be tried in special court.

Kadima proposes bill for IDF public transport access
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – MK Itzik appeals for soldiers’ free, unlimited use of public transport; Mofaz: IDF not “second-class” commuters.

Arab committee wants extended Syria mission
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Ministers will discuss peace mission findings; Arab League, UNSC both split on Syria; support for military intervention scant.

Voices of Jerusalem: Cool, colorful and quirky
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Loren Minsky speaks to 53-year-old Anat Spiezer, the artistic and business brains behind boutique clothing store, Shesh.

‘Iraq risks slipping into authoritarianism’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Human Rights Watch report says Iraqi authorities are suppressing freedoms, abusing anti-gov’t protesters, using secret prisons.

Thousands protest immunity for Yemen’s Saleh
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Yeminis, international rights groups protest law preventing prosecution for political crimes of former officials.

Ask the Barman: Gloriously Georgian
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – At TA‘s legendary Nanuchka, barman Ilan Ferron shows off his skills.

Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein sends legal opinion to Second Broadcast Authority; TV channel has been in danger of shutting down.

Israelis in Vietnam
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – From drug addicts to fakers, and in the middle, the heroic truth.

Mofaz threatens defense budget over rail changes
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Arrangement eliminates free rides for soldiers on most rail lines on Sunday mornings.

Arab Spring sees rise in anti-Semitism
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2012 – Ministry study finds that “anti-Semitic discourse and incitement have become more extreme and violent” since Arab Spring.

Livni slams new train fees for soldiers
Jerusalem Post 21 Jan 2012 – Opposition leader says eliminating free train rides for soldiers from 6 to 9 a.m. on Sundays infringes on their rights.

Syria rebels retreat after seizing area near capital
Jerusalem Post 21 Jan 2012 – Fighters seize parts of the town of Douma near the capital Damascus for the first time, then withdraw.

Couch potatoes gain weight without eating
Jerusalem Post 21 Jan 2012 – Not just the eating but also the actual position of “couch potatoes” is harmful, new research shows.

Changing a medical axiom to ‘maybe’
Jerusalem Post 21 Jan 2012 – Prof. Michael Baum seeks to overturn some of most commonly accepted medical practices regarding breast cancer detection and treatment worldwide.

The Guardian

The Palestinian children – alone and bewildered – in Israel’s Al Jalame jail
The Guardian 22 Jan 2012 – Special report : Israel’s military justice system is accused of mistreating Palestinian children arrested for throwing stones The room is barely wider than the thin, dirty mattress that covers the floor. Behind a low concrete wall is…

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Into an Unsettled New Year
IPS An elderly Palestinian woman spent last week on hunger strike to protest violent attacks by Israeli settlers. Hana Abu Heikel went on the hunger strike on behalf of her family after settlers burned the family car during the previous weekend. Since Israeli settlers moved into the houses surrounding the Abu…


Deputy head of Libya’s NTC quits after protests
Uruknet January 22, 2012 – The deputy head of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) said on Sunday he was resigning after a series of protests against the new government which the country’s leader warned could drag Libya into a “bottomless pit.” The protests have pitched the NTC into its deepest crisis since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown…

Despite video evidence, Israeli soldiers are never held accountable for their crimes
Uruknet January 22, 2012 – Every week, I watch videos of the weekly anti-occupation protests all over the West Bank, documented by excellent video journalists like TamimiPress, HaithamKatib, Davivreeb, YisraelPNM and many others. Every week there is new material to comment on. In every video you would see a brutal act by an Israeli soldier that requires…

20 Points that are made in Dr. Qumsiyeh speech (Palestine-Israel in brief)
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – 1- Palestine is the Western part of the Fertile Crescent: an area that includes Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In this Fertile Crescent the first human agriculture developed. Here the first domestication of animals (e.g. goats, donkeys, camels) and plants (e.g. wheat, barley, chickpeas, lentils, olives) happened. 2- This is also…

Palestinians for Syria
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – … We, Palestinian activists and bloggers, on the Global Day of Rage for Syrian Revolution, stress our support for the brave revolutionary Syrians. We strongly reject manipulating the Palestinian cause as a cover under which the Syrian martyrs’ bodies are brushed under and stamped upon by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. It is true we…

Was Charge Leveled Against Military Lawyer to Justify New Guantanamo Inspection Policy?
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – Early last month, Air Force Capt. Michael Schwartz was summoned into the office of Rear Adm. David Woods, the new commander of Guantanamo, and was accused of “smuggling” into the detention facility an anti-Guantanamo pamphlet that featured the photographs of two Kuwaiti detainees, Fayiz al-Kandari and Fawzi al Odha. Schwartz, a military…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – The number of today’s martyrs rose to 59, including 3 unidentified corpses that lay in Idlib National Hospital. Sixteen were killed in the “Detainees’ Bus Massacre” in Idlib. Five martyrs fell in Douma (Damascus Subrubs), 1 in Deir Ezzor, 4 in Homs, 1 in Raqqa, and 2 in Aleppo….Damascus Suburbs: Douma: rumors…

Yemen Officials: Saleh to Depart for Oman, Then US
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – Outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh will leave soon to Oman, en route to medical treatment in the United States, Yemeni officials said on Saturday, part of an American effort to get the embattled strongman out of the country to allow a peaceful transition from his rule. Washington has been trying for weeks…

THREATENING CHINA: Australian Militarism in the Asia-Pacific Century
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – For a nation which has historically subordinated itself to larger powers, Australia’s Labour-led foreign policy shows little divergence away from being wholly complicit to American full spectrum dominance in the region. For all of its pristine natural beauty, the continent-nation has become a treasure chest of precious natural resources managed by a…

Fatah, Hamas continue to exchange accusations
Uruknet January 21, 2012 — Hamas and Fatah continue to exchange accusations concerning a lack of commitment to the reconciliation deal signed in Cairo. Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said Saturday that “evidence on the ground show that Hamas hasn’t fulfilled anything of the Cairo agreement.” Meanwhile, Hamas released its own statement on Saturday, accusing Fatah of undermining…

Uruknet [21 January 2012] – Today DCI-Palestine submitted a report to the UN – In their own Words: A report on the situation facing Palestinian children detained in the Israeli military court system (January 2012). The report is the third six-monthly submission lodged by DCI-Palestine with the UN in which the situation facing Palestinian children from the…

Military Resistance 10A18 ; a Knife in My Back
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – … The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four Marines in camouflage combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: “Have a nice day, buddy.” Another makes a lewd joke. Although a Taliban spokesman criticized it last week, he said it would not harm nascent efforts to broker peace…

In Photos: Zionist settlers burn the vehicle of a 53 year old woman
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – On Sunday, the 16th of January, at approximately 2 AM, about fifty settlers, accompanied by Israeli soldiers, entered the Abu Haikal family’s field in the neighborhood of Tel Rumeideh in Hebron. After throwing stones at the family’s house, they savagely burnt the car of Hana Haikal, fifty-three years old….

Israel crushing middle-class Palestinians
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – With high consumer prices, static or dwindling salaries, rising unemployment and over-taxation, many ordinary Palestinians are no longer able to make ends meet. The situation has been described as both explosive as well as potentially destabilising as the Palestinian Authority (PA) stands virtually powerless to overcome or even mitigate the harshest economic…

Why Obama’s ‘targeted killing’ is worse than Bush’s torture
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – By June 2004, it was confirmed that the US was using torture at secret detention sites and at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It was in that month that piles of “torture memos” were released to the public. Torture did not officially end until President Obama took office in January 2009. A similar story…

The Never Ending Peace Negotiation…Peace is not on Israeli Agenda
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – On September 23, 2011, and likely as a lure to derail Palestinian efforts seeking formal UN recognition, the Peace Quartet called on the Palestinians and Israelis to submit within 90 days detailed position paper on borders and security issues. Israel demanded, and of course, received further 30 days extension. Hence, the due…

Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – Two events this week produced some serious cognitive dissonance. First, Congressional leaders sheepishly announced that they were withdrawing (at least for the time being) two bills heavily backed by the entertainment industry – the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House – in…

Libya power struggle tears apart Assabia
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – An increasingly tense stand-off in the Libyan town of Assabia appears to have its roots in a struggle for control between rival militias. Fighters in the nearby town of Gharyan say militias in Assabia, 50 miles south of Tripoli, continue to support the former regime. They say they will disarm them by…

Al-Ashqar: “26 Elected Legislators Currently Imprisoned By Israel”
Uruknet Saturday January 21, 2012 – Palestinian Researcher, specialized in detainees’ affairs, Riyadh Al-Ashqar, reported that the number of elected Palestinian legislators currently imprisoned by Israel arrived to 26 after Israel kidnapped on Friday the head of the Legislative Council, Dr. Aziz Dweik, and Legislator Khaled Tafesh. Dweik was kidnapped after being held for two hours at…

Human rights groups charge NATO with war crimes in Libya
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – There is strong evidence that NATO carried out war crimes in its eight-month war for regime-change in Libya, according to a report released Thursday by Middle East human rights groups. The United Nations resolution authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians was utilized as the justification for military actions against civilian targets…

Palestinians protest against negotiations in Ramallah
Uruknet January 21, 2012 – Over 100 Palestinians demonstrated Saturday in the occupied West Bank urging their leaders to cease negotiations with Israel, in a second week of protests. Protesters had gathered a week earlier outside the presidential compound in Ramallah and urged an end to negotiations between Saeb Erekat and Yitzhak Molcho in Jordan….

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet January 20, 2012 – The Local Coordination Committees have documented 455 points of protest on this Friday of the Revolution’s Detainees. Following the trend of the past several weeks, the largest point of protest, both in size and scope, was in Idlib (133 points), followed by Hama (77 points) then Daraa (55). Homs had 44 points…

Daily Star

New Arab plan sees ‘departure of Syrian regime’
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said Sunday that the new plan adopted by Arab League foreign ministers to resolve the Syria crisis envisages the “peaceful departure of the Syrian regime.”

Arab League decides to extend Syria observer mission
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Arab League decides to extend Syria observer mission

Arab League asks Syria’s Assad to delegate power to deputy
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Arab League foreign ministers Sunday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to the vice president and called for the formation of a national unity government within two months…

Arabs to call for Syria unity govt, elections-draft
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Arab League foreign ministers were voting on Sunday on draft recommendations to end violence in Syria and create a unity government within two months to prepare for early parliamentary and presidential elections…

Saudi to pull observers from Syria mission
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Sunday Riyadh was pulling its observers from the widely criticised Arab League observer mission to Syria because Damascus had not kept its promises…

Rashida Jones unveils her rom-com at Sundance
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Rashida Jones was almost upstaged by her famous father, Quincy Jones, at the Sundance premiere of her film, Celeste and Jesse Forever, but the actress and screenwriter didn’t mind.

Iraq and Kuwait mull reparations ‘fund’: UN
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Iraq and Kuwait are considering a plan to pay the war reparations which Baghdad still owes its neighbour into a fund for Iraqi investments, the UN‘s envoy told AFP on Sunday.

UN envoy urges Iraq bloc to ‘fight in parliament’
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 The main Sunni-backed bloc should work to resolve Iraq’s political crisis within parliament rather than stick to its boycott, the UN‘s special representative to the country told AFP on Sunday.

Protesters block roads in Sidon to protest electricity cuts
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 More than 100 people, reportedly from the Nasserite Popular Organization, protested repeated electricity cuts by blocking the main road in the southern city of Sidon Sunday with burning tires for an hour.

Asarta: UNIFIL mission difficult but possible
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Alberto Asarta Cuevas said over the weekend that the international forces’ goal of reaching a durable cease-fire between Lebanon and Israel is difficult but not impossible.

Rushdie says Indian police invented death threat
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 British author Salman Rushdie on Sunday accused Indian police of making up an underworld plot to assassinate him that forced him to pull out of a literary festival this weekend.

Libyan NTC No.2 tells Al-Jazeera he is quitting
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, the deputy head of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, told Al-Jazeera television on Sunday that he is resigning from his post.

Algeria begins trying top Qaeda boss
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 An Algerian court Sunday began trying Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a top leader in Al-Qaeda’s north African branch, in absentia for the deaths of two Algerian soldiers.

Grief, rage as Arida residents bury fisherman
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Syria released Sunday morning two Lebanese fishermen and the body of a third who was killed Saturday when the Syrian navy kidnapped them off the coast of north Lebanon, the National News Agency reported Sunday.

Gunmen kill four Iraqi soldiers in Fallujah
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Gunmen killed four Iraqi soldiers in an attack in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah west of Baghdad on Saturday, the provincial security command centre said.

Iraq seeks bidders on $450 mln Kerbala rail project
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Iraq has invited foreign companies to compete for a $450 million monorail project in the southern holy city of Kerbala, which hosts millions of Shi’ite pilgrims each year.

Turkey FM scraps Brussels trip due to French Senate vote
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has cancelled a Brussels visit Monday in order to follow the French Senate’s vote on a bill criminalising the denial of Armenian genocide, a spokesman said.

For activists, Egypt revolution still on
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 Activists behind the uprising which ousted Hosni Mubarak are up in arms over grandiose plans by Egypt’s military rulers to celebrate the first anniversary of the revolution, insisting it is still a work in progress.

Batroun church robbed
Daily Star 22 Jan 2012 A church in the northern town of Kfar Abida in the district of Batroun was broken into Sunday and donation money was stolen.


Croatia says ‘yes’ to EU membership
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – ….

150 social activists protest opening of Habima Theatre
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Police arrest three protesters during demonstration in front of newly renovated national theatre building. ‘We don’t want luxury, we want our city back,’ the demonstrators chant ….

How bad is the Brotherhood?
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Op-ed: Despite reassurances, Muslim Brotherhood’s rise likely to bring difficult days for Israel ….

US aircraft carrier enters Gulf without incident
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – ….

Arabs agree new Syria plan, urge UN support
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – ….

Sinai: Bedouins holding resort employees hostage
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – ….

Likud activists: Boycott Netanyahu
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Party’s rightist camp launches campaign calling voters to boycott primaries in protest of prime minister’s intention to evacuate Migron outpost ….

US State Dept Approves visa for Yemen’s Saleh
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – ….

In praise of euthanasia
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Rabbi, prominent Israeli doctors discuss euthanasia at northern Israel convention ….

What’s in a loaf?
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – IPS wardens discover 170 grams of hashish stashed inside loaf of bread intended to be delivered to prison; truck driver arrested ….

Qalqilya woman: I felt like Palestinian prisoners
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Young woman locked up by her father in bathroom for nine years tells Qalqilya welfare department of horrors of imprisonment, reveals family knew she was being held and did nothing ….

Avoid a needless clash
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Op-ed: West Bank community of Migron is not an illegal outpost and must not be evacuated ….

PM to Migron residents: Evacuate willingly
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Netanyahu urges residents of illegal West Bank outpost to accept compromise offer and move to new neighborhood on State-owned land. Settlers: He’s learned nothing from Gaza pullout ….

PM: Probe Jerusalem mufti who encouraged killing of Jews
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Netanyahu urges attorney general to order investigation against Palestinians’ top Muslim cleric who cited hadith calling for religious battle against Jews. Minister: If this isn’t anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is ….

Let’s give them a hand
YNet News, 22 Jan 2012 – Op-ed: Israelis of all colors and races must join Ethiopian community’s war on racism ….

Palestinian Information Center

Dweik’s abduction is state terror, pure and simple
PIC – It is really hard to think of a single convincing or legitimate reason for the flagrant abduction of Professor Aziz Dweik by Gestapo-like Israeli troops earlier this week.

Hamas prisoners in Askalan to go on hunger strike
PIC – Hamas prisoners in the Israeli jail of Askalan have declared they would go on hunger strike twice weekly to demand improvement of harsh incarceration conditions.

Dempsey pledges to support Israel in fighting smuggling to Gaza
PIC – Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey has pledged to support Israeli efforts to foil smuggling from the Egyptian Sinai peninsula to Gaza Strip.

Bardawil: Fatah blocking reconciliation, holding secret talks with Israel
PIC – Senior Hamas leader Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil has accused Fatah faction of planning to foil national reconciliation in favor of holding secret talks with Israel.

Facebook shows its tyrannical face, blocks solidarity page of hunger striker
PIC – The facebook controllers erased a solidarity page protesting Israel’s arbitrary detention of Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan who has undergone open hunger strike since the first day of his arrest.

Girl dies of wounds sustained in 2008 war
PIC – A Palestinian girl from Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip died on Sunday of serious injuries she had sustained during the Israeli war in late 2008.

OCHA: 21 Palestinians injured, 12 structures razed last week
PIC – 21 Palestinians were wounded and 12 homes and buildings were demolished in the occupied West Bank last week, according to the UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs (OCHA).


Israeli forces Raid Villages in Jenin, Summon Palestinians for Interrogation
WAFA – 23:00-JENIN, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli occupation forces Sunday evening raided several villages and towns in the south and west of Jenin and handed two Palestinians notices to appear before the Isra…

Abbas Arrives in Russian Republic of Chuvashia
WAFA – 15:06-CHEBOKSARY/RUSSIA, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday arrived in Cheboksary, the capital of the Federal Russian republic of Chuvashia on the Volga River. Chuvashian President Mi…

Egyptian Red Crescent Donates Food, Medicine for Refugees in Gaza
WAFA – 14:59-GAZA, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) donated food and medicine to UNRWA to be distributed to poor refugees in the Gaza Strip, said UNRWA press release issued on Thursday. It s…

Abbas Holds Israel Responsible for Hindering Negotiations
WAFA – 14:58-MOSCOW, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Sunday held Israel responsible for any delay or disruption in negotiations, if it did not agree to explore all opportunities to re …

Israeli Soldier Shoots Palestinian at Qalandia Checkpoint
WAFA – 14:24-JERUSALEM, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – An Israeli soldier Sunday shot a Palestinian, Abd al-Hakeem Ghawadreh, in the foot while crossing the Qalandia military checkpoint, north of Jerusalem, according t…

Israeli Forces Isolate Town in Qalqilia
WAFA – 13:58-QALQILIA, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces early Sunday closed all three entrances of Azzoun, a town east of Qalqilia in the northern West Bank, completely isolating it from its surroundings, …

PCBS: Wholesale Price1 Index Increases in 2011
WAFA – 13:46-RAMALLAH, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – The overall Wholesale Price1 Index (WPI) for the Palestinian Territory reached 118.33 in 2011, registering an increase by 3.76% compared to 2010, Sunday said a repo…

Abbas: Netanyahu’s 21-Points Proposal is “Void”
WAFA – 13:29-MOSCOW, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas said the 21-points proposal submitted by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the exploratory meetings under the Quartet …

Weather Forecast: Wintery Weather Continues
WAFA – 13:12-RAMALLAH, January 22, 2012 (WAFA) – Wintry weather continues on Sunday with temperature around 10 degrees Celsius. Cold wind, cloudy weather and light scattered rain showers, according to the Palestin…


Egypt Islamists get majority of parliament seats in final tally
LA Times 21 Jan 2012 – Top-vote-getter Muslim Brotherhood and the new parliament face big problems: unemployment, inflation, strikes, shrinking foreign investment and foreign currency reserves and declining tourism. A new political era in Egypt began Saturday as Islamist parties won nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliamentary elections to inherit…

Saleh Leaves Yemen for Medical Care in U.S.
New York Times 22 Jan 2012Yemen’s outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, left Yemen on Sunday and will travel to New York for medical treatment, Yemeni and American officials said.

Iran Attacks an Old Enemy: Barbie
New York Times 21 Jan 2012 – The police have closed down dozens of toy shops for selling Barbie dolls in Iran, the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported Friday.

Yemen’s “unity” cabinet provides immunity for Saleh regime
WSWS – The US-backed legislation provides legal immunity to Saleh and all those who worked under him, including the security forces that have killed hundreds of protesters since January 2011.

Human rights groups charge NATO with war crimes in Libya
WSWS – There is strong evidence that NATO carried out war crimes in its eight-month war for regime-change in Libya, according to a report released Thursday by Middle East human rights groups.

Report: Israel to give US only 12-hour warning before attacking Iran because Netanyahu doesn’t trust Obama
Mondoweiss – From the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv (in Hebrew, translated by MW contributor Shmuel): Israel: We Won’t Give Advance Notice of Attack on Iran Sunday Times reports that Israel told Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff it would give only twelve hours’ warning, for fear that Obama would…

Children in Nabi Saleh play their favorite game called ‘Mustafa Tamimi’ during weekly protests
Mondoweiss – (Photo: Tamimi Press  / Mais Tamimi) this is the game #NabiSaleh kids were playing yesterday..the one called #MustafaTamimi facebook.com/photo.php?fbid… it’s their fave from what i hear — Linah Alsaafin (@LinahAlsaafin) January 21, 2012 Attacks on Protests Against Land Theft / Land, Property Theft & Destruction / Ethnic Cleansing / Apartheid…

After its diplomats slam Israel’s illegal settlements, can EU continue funding them?
Mondoweiss – Only days after the European Union’s top diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah  publicly condemned Israel’s continued settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and called for state-level boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against it, the EU itself drew attention for funding one of the most notorious…

Gingrich’s Implicit Anti-Semitism in Primary Victory Remarks
Tikun Olam – Newt Gingrich and pal Sheldon Adelson hate ‘radical alien’ Jews like Saul Alinsky Newt Gingrich’s South Carolina victory speech , and ones he’s been giving for the past 20 years, offered a pointed reference to famed community organizer, Saul Alinsky.  Alinsky, who was Jewish, was the model…

UK suspends Press TV’s freedom of expression in the name of freedom of expression
Voltaire Network 21 Jan 2012 – Quick to condemn as a “violation of freedom of expression” the revocation of the licence of a television station which blatantly called for and helped organize a coup d’état, European countries have no qualms about the silencing, on obviously fallacious arguments, of satellite TV stations that…

Africa: Middle Passage to the Middle East -From the International Slave Trade to the International Maid Trade
allAfrica.com 20 Jan 2012 – Fahamu (Oxford)-In what classifies as modern day slavery, Ethiopian women sent to work in the Middle East have few rights and are subject to widespread abuse.

Sudan: Presidential Adviser Secretly Met With Syria’s Bashar – Sources
allAfrica.com 20 Jan 2012 – Sudan Tribune (Paris)-The Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail secretly met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in Damascus yesterday, Sudan Tribune has learned.

Tunisia: Politicians Divided Over Notion of Intervention in Syria
allAfrica.com 20 Jan 2012 – Tunisia Live (Tunis)-According to the Canadian news station CBC, Rafik Abdsalem, Tunisia’s recently appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, called upon the Syrian government to work with opposition figures as well as the Arab League to resolve the ongoing crisis in Syria. He expressed hope that the…

Soldiers Arrest Beit Ommar Youth After Settlers Enter Village
Palestine Solidarity Project 22 Jan 2012 – Israeli forces Arrested a 17-year-old youth in Beit Ommar on Friday, January 20, 2012, after a group of Israeli settlers invaded it’s northern neighborhood escorted by the army, sparking clashes with village residents. The group came from Gush Etzion settlement carrying weapons, and threw stones at…

Adam Kirsch’s Fantasia on the Impact of the “Israel Lobby”
The Magnes Zionist 22 Jan 2012 – Adam Kirsch has written a fantastic piece arguing that Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer’s The Israel Lobby, though universally rejected, has nonetheless had a significant impact on political discourse. By “fantastic” I mean that his account of the book’s thesis, its reception, and its impact, appears…

Arab League in Syria reform plea
BBC 22 Jan 2012 – The Arab League calls on Syria to start a genuine political dialogue with the opposition and form a national unity government within two months.

Libya ruling council deputy quits
BBC 22 Jan 2012 – The deputy head of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council Abdel Hafiz Ghoga resigns after protests.

Media, Special to Daily News – Egyptian anarchists seek self-governed society
A-infos 22 Jan 2012 – CAIRO: They do not believe in governments, they boycotted the elections, they demand “direct democracy” and they’re associated with chaos and have been targeted by the military and some Islamists. —— Egypt’s anarchists are anticipating a crackdown before the first anniversary of the January 25 uprising….


Obama’s campaign video is ‘Israel firster’ material
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 1/22/2012
      As part of its bid to counter Republican attacks on its “pro-Israel” record, the Obama Administration has publicized its first campaign video directly addressing its treatment of Israel entitled: “America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond.”
     The fact that the Obama Administration feels it must recruit the Prime Minister, Defense Minister and Israeli Ambassador — all of whom are responsible for the continued policy of discrimination, occupation, inequality and deceitful rhetoric that directly contradict stated American positions — to vouch for him is nauseating and infuriating.
     Why do they need this video anyway? After all, most American Jews – even those unsatisfied with Obama’s relation to Israel – vote democrat anyway and the ones who vote republican surely won’t convert because of this video.
     And besides, Obama has not done anything to challenge Israel’s rightwing agenda and policies so there is no actual reason for anyone to question his support (read: condoning) of Israeli actions. The fact that they do is a result of decades of “pro-Israel” bullying and occupation whitewashing – the hard work of organizations like AIPAC and figures like Josh Block. As my colleague Yossi Gurvitz just wrote following the Atlanta Jewish Times editorial calling for the assassination of Obama , there is no lack of examples of people prioritizing Israel’s rightwing agenda.
     “The fact that there is a debate on this issue – that such people [“Israel firsters”] exist – is silly to the extreme and assumes we are people with no sense of history. To put it in one word: Pollard. In two: AIPAC espionage. But we seem to be having just such a debate.” — See also: Video – YouTube: America and Israel: An Unbreakable Bond more.. e-mail

Newt Gingrich: The most dangerous man in DC
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 1/22/2012
      There won’t be a real difference between another Obama term and a possible Romney presidency. But Gingrich – with his ties to the Israeli right, destructive track record from the 1990s and very personal connection to Netanyahu – could turn out to be a real nightmare
     Watching the American primaries makes for a mix of fun and moments of deep anxiety. Most of the time it’s like a good sports match, but every now and then you are reminded that the identity of the winner might have a real and clear impact on your life. After all, Israel has stopped being a foreign affairs issue in Washington a long time ago. Our very local politics are part of the strange and unpredictable American culture war; and – to quote Dimi Reider – our policies are often shaped by the myths, values and fears of people living far-far away.
     After signaling Israel as a topic through which they can score easy points against the administration, the Republicans are engaged in an all-out competition over who is more Zionist. Some of the ideas they are promoting would put them in the hard right in Israel, somewhere between the radical settlers and the heirs of Kahane. Often, they simply betray a very misinformed and shallow view of the political reality. For example, even a right-wing Israeli government would hesitate before following Rick Santorum’s advice to annex the West Bank, since it would constitute a formal adoption of apartheid.
     The two remaining viable candidates, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, are more knowledgeable and less prone to statements whose meaning they don’t fully understand.
     Romney is a careful man. Seeing himself as the “inevitable” candidate, he is careful not to box himself in positions that could make his life as president harder. The former governor hasn’t committed to moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; he has refrained making degrading remarks like the one Gingrich made about the Palestinians, or from advocating ethnic cleansing like Mike Huckabee. more.. e-mail

Put Israel in its place
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 1/19/2012
      It is puzzling to see US President Barack Obama allowing Israel to drag him into another misadventure in the Middle East; this time with Iran. One would think Obama would do anything to avoid this Israeli trap after his predecessor George W. Bush got involved in the fruitless and costly war in Iraq — something that most Americans, and probably the former president, now regret.
     The US experience with other regional conflicts has been drastic and heart-breaking and one wonders why the Obama administration will not follow the steps adopted by previous US governments in their relationship, for example, with the former Soviet Union, namely, the establishment of a ‘hotline’ between two governments.
     There have lately been several suggestions by US pundits to resolve the row over Iran’s nuclear programme. The Tehran regime has repeatedly said its nuclear intentions are peaceful. Israel is the only nation in the region that has nuclear weapons and its aggressiveness has been demonstrated when its air force bombed two alleged nuclear labs, one in Iraq during the Saddam Hussain era and another in Syria.
     Moreover, Israel’s nuclear arsenal has yet to be inspected by any international organisation and to date, unlike Iran, it has not joined the 190-member Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
     The best suggestion to date has been establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. “And it is more feasible than most assume,” wrote Dr. Shibley Telhami, a professor at the University of Maryland and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Steven Kull, director of the Programme on International Policy Attitudes in an article published in the New York Times recently. more.. e-mail


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