VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 15 February 2012: Dozens of Palestinians declare Hunger Strike as Fasting prisoner Khader Adnan is on day 60

15 February 2012VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Despite domestic cuts, US aid to Israel up by $25 million in proposed budget
IMEMC – An examination of the proposed US budget submitted by President Barack Obama to the US Congress this week shows that although billions of dollars will be cut from domestic programs and the US military, annual aid to Israel remains intact, and includes an increase of $25 million from last year. …

Dozens of Palestinians declare Hunger Strike as Fasting prisoner Khader Adnan is on day 60
IMEMC – Dozens of Palestinians declared hunger strike in support of the Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan who ended his 60 day of fasting. Palestinian medical sources said Adnan is facing death if not treated properly as many of his main organs including his heart and stomach are in a very bad shape. …

Gaza Power Station Shut Down For Fuel Shortage
IMEMC – The Gaza Strip’s only power station, which supplies the Palestinian coastal region with up to two-thirds of its energy was shut down on Tuesday because of a shortage of fuel from Egypt. …

Israeli troops kidnap 8 Palestinians overnight
IMEMC – Palestinian media sources said that eight Palestinians have been kidnapped overnight across the occupied West Bank. …

KAIROS Canada: Canadian Gov’t must urge Israel to resume peace talks within international law
IMEMC – The KAIROS Canada group said in a statement published on Monday that the Canadian Government can play a positive role in the Middle East by urging Israel to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. …

Ma’an News

Group: Israeli forces attack press with ‘total impunity’
2/15/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday condemned violence used by Israel against photojournalists covering demonstrations against Israel’s West Bank barrier. Reporters Without Borders “deplores the total impunity enjoyed by the soldiers responsible for these abuses,” the Paris-based press freedom watchdog said in a statement. The statement referred to incidents in…. Related: Israeli troops take aim at photojournalists covering protests in West Bank

Israeli forces demolish several structures in Hebron
2/15/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces demolished several structures in Hebron on Wednesday, local officials told Ma’an. Rateb Jaboor, the coordinator of a local committee against the separation wall and settlements, said that three tin sheds, two water wells and a number of animal barns were destroyed near the town of Yatta. Israeli….

Faction leaders start hunger strike to support Adnan
2/15/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Representatives of Palestinian factions started an open hunger strike Wednesday in solidarity with Sheikh Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli jail for almost two months. Hunger-strikers are gathering at a sit-in tent which dozens of young Palestinians erected near offices of the International Committee of the Red…. Related: PA: Israel bears ‘full responsibility’ for hunger-striker and Elderly woman starts hunger strike to support Adnan

Promises of exports fall short for Gaza’s manufacturers
2/15/2012GAZA CITY (IRIN) — Mumin Najar drags open the massive door to the goods depot of his father’s furniture factory, the Modern Industrial Group, in Rafah in the Gaza Strip.” Everything you see here is waiting to be sold abroad,” he says. On the left side of the depot, writing desks are piled up….

Palestinian official injured at rally for Khader Adnan
2/15/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative Mustafa Barghouthi was injured on Wednesday while taking part in a protest to support Khader Adnan. The Palestinian MP was hit in the foot by a rubber-coated metal bullet while demonstrating outside Ofer prison in support of hunger striking detainee Khader Adnan. Israeli forces….

Palestinian student seized in raid on Nablus village
2/15/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained a young man from his home in the Salem village east of Nablus overnight and nine others across the occupied West Bank, witnesses and security officials said Wednesday. Soldiers aided the house of Abdul Rahman Eshtayeh, 22, a student at Al-Najah University in Nablus, before he was arrested….

Adnan Khader’s family to visit in prison
2/15/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Israel agreed after efforts by the Palestinian Authority to let the family of detainee Adnan Khader see him after 61 days of hunger strike, a Palestinian official said Wednesday. Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said that the Palestinian Authority was making every effort to free the detainee, and he said…. Related: Faction leaders start hunger strike to support Adnan

Elderly woman starts hunger strike to support Adnan
2/15/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Despite her chronic illness, an elderly Palestinian woman has decided to start a hunger strike to express solidarity with Khader Adnan, who has been on strike for 60 days. Zakiyya Qudeih, 72, from Khazaa east of Kahn Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, started her hunger strike on Tuesday at….

PA: Israel bears ‘full responsibility’ for hunger-striker
2/15/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority cabinet on Tuesday reiterated its position that Israel bears “full responsibility” for the well-being of detainee Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for weeks. Ministers called on the Israeli government to commit to ensuring “his immediate release and nullifying (an) administrative detention” which allows the Israeli…. Related: Faction leaders start hunger strike to support Adnan

Egyptian claims Palestine refugee status to escape discrimination
2/15/2012 – BOGOR (IRIN) — Egyptian asylum-seeker Sayed Ahmed Abdellatif, married with six children, says he is ready to risk everything to reach Australia — even his family. Hundreds of asylum-seekers lose their lives each year on the dangerous journey, many of them womenand children. In December, an overloaded vessel, carrying some 250 mostly Iranian and Afghan asylum-seekers, sank….

Thailand checks possible bomb links with India, Georgia
2/15/2012 – BANGKOK (Reuters) — Thai investigators are examining a possible link between explosions in Bangkok and bomb attacks targeting Israeli embassy staff in India and Georgia this week, a senior security official said Wednesday. A man carrying an Iranian passport was badly injured by a bomb he was carrying in Bangkok on Tuesday, after an earlier explosion….

Israel says Syria ‘systematically murdering civilians’
2/15/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said Tuesday that Syria’s president was “systematically murdering civilians” amid the uprising that began 10 months ago. Addressing a General Assembly session on Syria, Prosor said that “It is time for the international community to stop standing on the sidelines….

Experts say Iran has ‘neutralized’ Stuxnet virus
2/15/2012 – LONDON (Reuters) — Iranian engineers have succeeded in neutralizing and purging the computer virus known as Stuxnet from their country’s nuclear machinery, European and US officials and private experts have told Reuters. The malicious code, whose precise origin and authorship remain unconfirmed, made its way as early as 2009 into equipment controlling centrifuges Iran….

Fayyad: PA operating in Jerusalem
2/15/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The prime minister in Ramallah said Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority was working inside occupied East Jerusalem, despite Israeli restrictions on PA activities. The PA is continuously trying to allocate resources inside the city, which Israel occupied in 1967, Salam Fayyad said. The Israeli government is trying to impose its policies….

Iran trumpets nuclear advances, deepening standoff
2/15/2012 – TEHRAN (Reuters) — Iran proclaimed advances in nuclear know-how on Wednesday, including new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster, a move that may hasten a drift towards confrontation with the West over suspicions it is seeking the means to make atomic bombs. Tehran was driving home its resolve to pursue a nuclear program its hardline….

PLO official: Reconciliation meeting on Feb. 23-24
2/15/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — PLO executive committee member Wassel Abu Yousef said Wednesday that the next reconciliation meeting will take place in Cairo on Feb. 23-24. Abu Yousef made the remarks while speaking to Palestine Radio, saying that the meeting will discuss the formation of a new government, which could potentially be announced after….

PLO official appeals against Abbas’ dual role
2/15/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — PLO and Palestinian National Council member Abdul Jawad Saleh has appealed to the Palestinian high court to halt the appointment of President Abbas as head of a transitional government. Saleh’s lawyer, Raed Abdul Hamid, told Ma’an on Wednesday that they are waiting for Abbas to respond to….

Abbas: We’ll remind world what peace process was built on
2/15/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority would send a message to the Israeli government and to the world reminding them of the bases and terms of reference on which the Middle East peace process was built.”We will not accept continuation of the status quo, and will soon….

Hebron University student council in new strike
2/15/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — The student council at Hebron University announced Wednesday that there would not be any classes until further notice, as they continue a strike calling for changes to tuition policies.”We announce the suspension of classes at Hebron University because the administration has not responded to the students’ needs. We will….

In Egypt, emergency crews need rescuing
2/15/2012 – CAIRO (IRIN) — In Egypt’s political turmoil, one segment of society has been largely forgotten: the first aid responders who risk their lives to rescue victims of violence. Ambulance drivers and paramedics say they do not have adequate protection, insurance or job security, despite facing increased risk and hostility in the year since a….

Witnesses: Explosion hits oil pipeline in Syria’s Homs
2/15/2012 – AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters) — An explosion hit a major oil pipeline feeding a refinery in the Syrian city of Homs on Wednesday, near a large Sunni Muslim district under bombardment by government forces, residents said. A large plume of smoke was still rising from the pipeline, which runs near farmland at the edge of Baba Amro….

Syrian forces attack Hama, Homs despite pressure
2/15/2012 – AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters) — Syrian government forces launched an offensive on the city of Hama early on Wednesday, firing on residential neighborhoods from armored vehicles and mobile anti-aircraft guns, opposition activists said. Troops also shelled Sunni Muslim neighborhoods in Homs, the 13th day of their bombardment of a city that has been at the forefront of….

Syria’s Assad offers vote, tanks shell rebel areas
2/15/2012 – AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian President Bashar Assad offered on Wednesday to hold multi-party elections within four months, while his troops assaulted city districts held by rebels trying to oust him. Under world pressure to end a crackdown that has cost at least 6,000 lives, Assad promised a referendum in two weeks’ time on a….

US dismisses Assad referendum promise as ‘laughable’
2/15/2012 – ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) — The White House on Wednesday dismissed as “laughable” Syrian President Bashar Assad’s promise to hold a referendum on a new constitution that would lead to multi-party elections.” It makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One as US….

Egypt protesters demand justice over stadium deaths
2/15/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Angry Egyptian soccer fans protested at the general prosecutor’s office on Wednesday in Cairo, demanding that authorities bring to court those responsible for soccer violence that left 74 people dead. Fans and activists said they would take matters into their own hands unless justice was done, putting more pressure on ruling….

Arabs reject Russian changes for UN assembly Syria draft
2/15/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Arab delegations have dismissed as unacceptable Russian amendments aimed at weakening a draft UN General Assembly resolution that backs an Arab plan for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step aside, diplomats said on Wednesday.” The Arabs have rejected them and they’re pushing ahead,” a senior Western diplomat said about the….

International Solidarity Movement

Air strike in south east Gaza City: ‘For the West, you have abandoned us to death’
2/15/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Rosa Schiano, 15 February 2012, il Blog di Oliva – Saturday night Israeli F-16?s bombed civilian targets in several areas of the Gaza strip.  One of these strikes killed a man and injured his son in the neighborhood of al-Zaytoon, south-east Gaza city.  An F-16 dropped a bomb on a farm….

Israeli troops take aim at photojournalists covering protests in West Bank
2/15/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – 14 February 2012, Reporters without Borders – Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the violence used by Israeli forces against Palestinian, Israeli and foreign photojournalists covering demonstrations against Israel’s West Bank separation barrier and the continuing colonisation of Palestinian territory. The press freedom organization deplores the total impunity enjoyed by the soldiers responsible for these…. Related: Group: Israeli forces attack press with ‘total impunity’

Solidarity with Khader Adnan in the No Go Zone
2/15/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Nathan Stuckey, 14 February 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – Two months ago, few of us knew the name Khader Adnan.   Today, he is an inspiration to all of us.   Two months ago he was kidnapped from his home by Israel.   He was charged with no crime.   He was abused by his captors and….

The National

Defiant Iran claims ‘big new nuclear advances’
The National 15 Feb 2012 – Ahmadinejad announcement seems aimed at proving sanctions are futile, but sceptical analysts say the tactic has been tried before.

Assad calls vote on new ‘democratic’ constitution
The National 15 Feb 2012 – Referendum on system that could keep him as president until 2028.

RCA collects Dh45m for Syrian refugees
The National 15 Feb 2012 – Delegations heading to Lebanon and Jordan to deliver aid

Russia warns against outside efforts to isolate Syria’s Assad
The National 15 Feb 2012 – Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, says Russia welcomes Bashar Al Assad’s decree ordering a referendum this month on a new constitution.


Israeli government sharply divided over response to Syria unrest
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

U.S. closely monitoring Hezbollah activities, official says
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood backs military in dispute with U.S. over NGOs
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Japan PM to Barak: Israel must not strike Iran over nuclear program
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

UN General Assembly plans to vote on Syria resolution on Thursday
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

U.S.: Iran lashing out to ‘distract’ from impact of sanctions
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Fuel shortage forces Gaza Strip power shutdown
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva reports jump in Q4 profits
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

President of Croatia apologizes to Jewish Holocaust victims
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Assad sets date for referendum on new Syria constitution
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Ahmadinejad unveils three new Iran nuclear projects
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Report: Iran stops oil exports to six European countries
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

CBS purchases format for Israeli reality show ‘Shalosh’
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Netanyahu: Iran’s terror acts undermine the world’s stability
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Iran to load own nuclear fuel rods in Tehran research reactor
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Israeli envoy in Thailand: Embassy was target of botched bombing attempt
Ha’aretz – 15 Feb 2012

Thai police arrest Iranian national with suspected links to Bangkok bombing
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Israeli mogul Gaydamak accepts plea bargain, fraud charge dropped
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Dennis Ross to Haaretz: Sanctions against Iran are working
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Israel’s Mossad, Shin Bet failed to identify Iran terror plot
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Railway union leaders fined after wildcat strike paralyzes Israel
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

The cow that was saved from the hands of Israel’s ‘Big Brother’ contestants
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Tiny model of Temple Mount returns to Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Israel balks at adding pricey mineral to desalinated tap water
Ha’aretz – 14 Feb 2012

Jerusalem Post

IDF fears Syria attack as pressure builds on Assad
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Israel concern hones in on recent reports that Assad is using nerve gas against the new opposition.

Protest for Palestinian hunger striker turns violent
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – High Court agrees to hear appeal for Khader Adnan’s release.

Icy front coming to Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Capital’s first ice festival starts on March 6.

Napolitano worried about Hezbollah attack in US
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012US homeland security secretary says US “constantly monitoring” Hezbollah threat, warns Jewish groups they may be targets.

‘Gender separation helps girls in sciences’
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Teaching sciences in single-sex classes causes a significant increase in the performance of girls, Knesset Science C’tee chair says.

Beit Shemesh activists push for twinning initiative
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Activists ask Montgomery County executive to go ahead with a twinning project between the two locales despite recent violence.

Railway workers ‘never meant for strike to hurt passengers’
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – “We even thought of taking passengers for free… but we aren’t allowed to do that,” head of Israel Railways’ employee board says.

Litzman predicts free dental care to age 18 by 2016
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Deputy health minister also promised to institute basic dental care for the elderly.

Sustainability Outlook 2030 asks for public input
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Program aims to present environmental trends for past 2 decades, outline options for future.

Work on soil contamination bill advances
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Bill proposed by Environmental Protection Ministry staff would curb soil pollution and rehabilitate contaminated lands.

Cabinet to vote on child accident prevention plan
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Health Ministry’s comprehensive program has been prepared in coordination with the World Health Organization and the European Union.

Israel to complain to UN about bombings against diplomats
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Diplomatic officials say Foreign Ministry drawing up a “letter of complaint” to be taken to the Security Council over bombings in India, Georgia and Thailand to further isolate Islamic Republic.

Fundamentally Freund: The end of Palestine
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – I never thought I would say this, but those of us on the Israeli Right owe a debt of gratitude to Mahmoud Abbas.

Detente in Doha?
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – The composition of the Palestinian unity government is supposed to be announced on February 18, following discussions between all parties.

Off the rails
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Even in the 21st century there’s an undeniably intrinsic correlation between railroad expansion and a country’s development and prosperity.

US balks as Assad proposes referendum, elections
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Washington dismisses offer as “laughable”; hoping to capitalize on Libya role, France jostles to get in front of any int’l intervention.

Rewarding fraud in our schools
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Children who have been taught through reward systems do not make the best choices when there is no one watching to give them something for doing good.

Terra Incognita: The crisis of critical Zionism
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – The Zionism of Israel is not synonymous with the Judaism of America.

Washington Watch: Mitt Romney, man of the (rich) people
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – The Republican front-runner may be “not concerned about the very poor,” but many Jewish voters are.

Media Comment: Fact or fantasy?
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Israel’s Supreme Court decided last week to reverse a two-year old decision against media celebrity Dr. Ilana Dayan.

Southern regions hit by Gaza rockets; none hurt
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – 5 rockets hit farming communities bordering Gaza; local council head tells ‘Post’: “We can’t accept this drizzle of rockets.”

Druckman’s legacy
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – One can only hope that Rabbi Druckman’s successor will be able to revitalize conversion in Israel, and address meaningfully and responsibly the demographic time bomb that is facing the Jewish state.

Harvard’s role in miseducating Americans about the Mideast
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – One has come to expect anti-Israel activity thinly disguised by a veneer of academic posing from this venerable Ivy League institution.

US downplays Iranian nuclear advancements as ‘hype’
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Ahmadinejad unveils new centrifuges able to enrich uranium much faster; “We frankly don’t see a lot new here. This is not big news,” US responds.

Japanese PM warns Barak against attacking Iran
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Yoshihiko Noda tells defense minister that military action would be dangerous and could escalate standoff between Iran, West.

PA rejects request to disarm at Joseph’s Tomb
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – 10 PA officers stationed permanently at holy site; Israel also allowing PA to expand security operations in W. Bank.

Republicans slam Obama on Israel missile defense
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – ‘Post’ obtains letter in which leading House Republicans express concern with “record-low support” for Israeli missile defense.

‘Israeli contacted Arab hacker, used credit cards’
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Police: Teen used credit card numbers published on the web by hacker OxOmar to buy goods.

Prostitution bill passes preliminary reading
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Bill passes first reading in Knesset plenum, to be forwarded to parliamentary c’tee for adjustments before becoming law.

TA mayor slams lack of public transport on Shabbat
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Israeli is “only country in the world in which public transport does run not for a quarter of the year,” Ron Huldai says.

Abbas, Mashaal to continue unity talks in Cairo
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Discussions on formation of Palestinian unity gov’t to resume next week; Fatah official denies PA president to visit Gaza.

Oliver Stone’s son converts to Islam in Iran
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Sean Stone, a film director like his acclaimed father, says “the conversion to Islam is not abandoning Christianity or Judaism.”

Zoabi: Blockade ordered only after flotilla set sail
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Balad MK argues IDF ordered Gaza naval blockade two days after ship departed from Turkey; IDF responds: Blockade was imposed in January 2009.

Gov’t informing foreign workers of deportations
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Families who didn’t receive legal status as part of Yishai’s criteria on foreign workers’ kids will be given month to leave.

Prostituting Israel’s dignity
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Will the government commit to cleaning up Israel’s streets with the prostitution bill?

Explosion hits pipeline as Assad attacks cities
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Regime strikes at Homs, Hama; soldiers using tanks, armored vehicles, mobile anti-aircraft guns against civilians.

‘Egypt to hold presidential poll in May’
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – ‘Al-Ahram’ reports presidential election moved ahead one month, in accordance with protester demands.

NGO accuses IDF of violence against reporters
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – Reporters Without Borders slams “impunity” enjoyed by soldiers, says IDF investigations “seldom [reach] any conclusions.”

Mormon Church apologizes for baptism of dead Jews
Jerusalem Post 15 Feb 2012 – After baptizing the long-passed parents of Simon Wiesenthal; Elie Wiesel calls on Romney to address the issue.

Olympic-bound shooter Rikhter turns to web to fund dream
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2012 – Sinai Says: Sergy Rikhter was the first Israeli to book a place at the 2012 Olympics – now he needs to afford it.

Albania, Serbia promote sites at major TA tourism expo
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2012 – Two historical adversaries in the Balkans journey to TA to entice Israelis to think different for their next trip.

MK: ‘Rehab services if prostitution bill passes’
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2012 – Zuaretz says sex workers will receive full range of services if prostitution is criminalized.

Jewish groups step up security amid terror threat
Jerusalem Post 14 Feb 2012 – Jewish Agency official in Tblisi says the organization was on high security alert before attempted attack.

The Guardian

Iran seems an unlikely culprit for the attacks on Israeli diplomats | Arshin Adib-Moghaddam
The Guardian 15 Feb 2012 – Tehran has good relations with Thailand, India and Georgia. Why would it endanger that by planting bombs there? Let’s assume that sections of the military and security apparatus in Iran are responsible for the string of…

Adolf Eichmann’s capture, as told by the Mossad, in Israel exhibition
The Guardian 15 Feb 2012 – Espionage officer opens spy agency’s vaults to tell story of Nazi’s abduction from Argentina and trial for war crimes There is the comb, the cigarette holder and the house keys he had on him when he…

BBC wins supreme court victory over Middle East report publication
The Guardian 15 Feb 2012 – Balen review held for purposes of journalism, art or literature, rule justices, so not subject to Freedom of Information Act Documents held at least partly for the purposes of journalism, art or literature are not subject…

Israeli ambassador links Thailand bombs to Indian attacks
The Guardian 15 Feb 2012 – Itzhak Shoham’s statement comes day after Israel defence minister accused Iran of being behind the thwarted attack The DIY explosives found in a Bangkok house after a series of blasts rocked the capital on Tuesday were…

Inter Press Service

Syrian Crisis Spills Over Into Lebanon
IPS Chants erupt from the second floor of a decrepit building in Tripoli in the Sunni stronghold of Bab el-Tebbaneh. Young voices loudly sing “Yalla Erhal Ya Bashar,” or “Come on, leave, Bashar,” directed at the Syrian president, Bashar al- Assad. It has become the anthem of the Syrian revolution.

Bombardment of Syrian City Continues
IPS Syrian troops have shelled the central city of Homs for a 10th day, opposition activists say, amid suggestions by the U.N.’s human rights chief that the U.N. Security Council’s failure to pass a resolution condemning Syria has encouraged the government to intensify its attacks on civilians.

Israel Shifts Uneasily Over Syria
IPS Grappling with the fallout on their country of a possible forced removal from power of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, Israeli leaders are fluctuating between wariness, cautious optimism, and self-righteousness.

While Israel Blames Iran for India, Georgia Bombings, U.S. More Reserved
IPS While Israel and its allies here blamed Iran for Monday’s two nearly simultaneous car bomb incidents in the capitals of India and Georgia, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama echoed local authorities in both countries who said they were not sure who the perpetrators were.


The EU’s shameful silence on Khader Adnan
Uruknet February 15, 2012 – What does the European Union have to say about the plight of Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan? Not one word. I have just entered Adnan’s name into the search facility on the website for the EU’s diplomatic service. The result: zero hits. A moment later, I searched under the words “Gilad Shalit”…

Military Resistance 10B10: Acute Civil Liberties Disorder
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Now, it is going to be almost impossible for teachers to make ends meet if they have to move away from home. Having a job at all is also highly uncertain.The reason is that the troika, in close collaboration with the unelected Greek government imposed by the troika, has decided on more…

Fara’ Falastin – Syria’s proxy-US prison
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Behind the open hostility and rhetoric that the US and Syria display to one another, there lies an entirely different face. Behind the open hostility and rhetoric that the US and Syria display to one another, there lies an entirely different face. One which goes the very heart of the Syrian uprising…

Israeli forces destroy “the only place for children in Silwan”
Uruknet February 15, 2012 – Israeli forces arrived before sunrise on Monday, 13 February to demolish a newly completed community facility that residents refer to as a cultural cafe’ in the Wadi Hilweh area of Silwan in occupied East Jerusalem. The bulldozers arrived without any prior warning. The Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality and the National Parks Authority carried…

Syria and the Al Qaeda lie
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – …For as soon as Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri issued a statement calling for what he described as jihad in Syria, others rushed to say that what is happening in the country has Al Qaeda backing, and that this represents evidence of the Al Qaeda movement’s presence in Syria. However this is…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – The number of martyrs has risen to 49 thus far, including 3 defected soldiers (Damascus Suburbs) and 3 women. The remainder include, 11 in Idlib, 10 in Aleppo, 9 in Homs, 4 in Daraa, 4 in Deir Ezzor, 3 in Hama, 6 in Damascus Suburbs, 1 in Lattakia, and 1 in Damascus…Hama:…

Former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem: Israel is turning Jerusalem into a Jewish City
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Former Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem Michael Sabbah said the current municipality of Jerusalem is trying to turn the city into a Jewish one. He told the Italian news Agency AKI, that turning the holy city of Jerusalem into a mono-ethnic city will only cause war instead of stability and peace. The city…

Educators can’t stay silent about Israeli apartheid
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Today the systematic dispossession of the Palestinian people continues unabated and largely unchallenged by the United States and the European Union. Barriers to Palestinian mobility, social and political development are visible everywhere. While Jewish-Israeli citizens pass freely, more than 500 police and military checkpoints regulate Palestinian movement between the occupied West Bank…

Aafia Siddiqui’s Struggle for Justice
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Previous articles discussed her 2003 abduction, detention, torture, false charges, prosecution, and conviction despite clear evidence she’s innocent. Nonetheless, in September 2010, she was wrongly sentenced to 86 years in prison. Imprisoning her for hours, let alone years, constitutes gross injustice. Doing so compounded years of horrific treatment in US custody, including…

Egypt state media accuses U.S. of spreading anarchy
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – State-run newspapers splashed accusations of a U.S. plan to spread “anarchy” in Egypt, escalating a dispute that Washington said on Tuesday must be resolved to ensure their continued military cooperation. Based on remarks by a government minister, the headlines marked another low in the crisis between Washington and Cairo triggered by the…

012 : A Video Roundup

Dying to live: A hunger striker speaks in Gaza
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – As hundreds of Palestinians rallied in Gaza today to demand that Israel release Palestinian administrative detainee Khader Adnan, Yassar Salah, a 17-year veteran of Israel’s prison system, spoke about Adnan’s 60-day hunger strike and his own reasons for joining it. “We are on hunger strike to show our sympathy and solidarity with…

A Biohazard Valentine of Dissent
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Recently, discourse, within the free-range pathogen zone of the U.S. political realm, has been infected and inflamed by the use of verbiage (applied both in the metaphoric and literal sense) related to disease and contagion by editorial scribes and political hacks. For example, we have been informed that Occupy D.C. sites were…

Center: Settler violence peaked in 2011
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their property in the West Bank have tripled in the past five years, a Washington-based think tank said Tuesday. Violence by Israelis living in Jewish-only settlements reached a peak in 2011, when the number of attacks grew by 39 percent from the previous year, according to…

Uruknet Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri’s accusations are noted by those he accused, Iraqiya calls for those imprisoned who have not been convicted to be released, US Senator Patty Murray talks with veterans in a new format, and more… In Iraq violence continues, AP notes a Baghdad bombing has claimed 1 life and…

Pentagon wants $3 billion for the War in Iraq that we thought was over
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – The American public has been told that the Iraq War is a thing of the past. Even still, the US Department of Defense is asking the federal government for almost $3 billion for “activities” in a country that they shouldn’t be in. The last US troops were supposedly withdrawn from Iraq just…

Clinton: We need Assad’s consent to put troops in Syria
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had a clear and unified message coming out of their meeting in Washington, D.C. Monday: They are looking for a political solution in Syria and won’t consider putting international troops there unless the Syrian regime agrees… “Ultimately, it’s going to be…

Relentlessly bombed, Homs is now nearly completely cut off
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – For the tenth day straight, the flashpoint city of Homs is the target of intense bombing by the Syrian army. Due to frequent electricity outages and severed Internet connections, it is becoming harder and harder to obtain images of what’s happening on the ground. At least six people were killed just on…

  Unhappy Valentine’s Day in Israel A racist Israeli law divides married Palestinian couples; Jewish couples are exempt
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – This Valentine’s Day, I live in fear of being separated from my wife by the force of the Israeli state and the whim of bureaucrats enforcing a discriminatory law that can separate Palestinian citizens of Israel from Palestinian spouses from the occupied West Bank. This fear will hang over us for years…

Drone Assaults on Civil Liberties
Uruknet February 14, 2012 – When people typically complain about the lack of bipartisanship in American politics, their outrage is grossly misplaced. While it is certainly true that our political discourse is home to contentious debates, this, in itself, is not the major problem. Rather, it is a distraction from the most potent toxin in American politics,…

Daily Star

Russia: West ‘slammed door’ on Syria at UN
Daily Star 15 Feb 2012 Russia’s foreign minister on Wednesday blamed “external actors” for prolonging Syria’s agony.

Egypt’s Brotherhood backs military in US dispute
Daily Star 15 Feb 2012 Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood threw its weight behind the country’s military-backed government in an escalating dispute with the U.S. over the funding of pro-democracy groups.

Swiss to close embassy in Syria
Daily Star 15 Feb 2012 Switzerland Wednesday said it was closing its embassy in Damascus and urged its nationals to leave Syria “as quickly as possible”.

Clinton to join G20 foreign ministers in Mexico
Daily Star 15 Feb 2012 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will travel to Mexico over the weekend for talks with G20 foreign ministers on international economic issues.

Libya invites Syria rebels to open Tripoli office
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – ….


Iran warns West against ‘hasty actions’
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – ….

Prophets and protectors
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Jewish ‘Peace Camp’ and ‘National Camp’ a reflection of centuries-old division among Jews ….

US says it is monitoring Hezbollah activities
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – ….

US pushes EU, SWIFT to eject Iran banks
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – ….

Diplomat’s wife showing signs of recovery
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Tal Yehoshua Koren, who was injured in New Delhi terror attack, is improving by the hour, family and doctors say ….

Palestinians: IAF helicopters fired at Gaza
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – ….

Weapons cache found in kindergarten
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Guns, rifles and grenades discovered in warehouse near Bat Yam kindergarten; Police estimate crime organization used spot to hide arms thinking no one would look there ….

Japanese PM warns Israel against strike on Iran
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Yoshiko Noda tells Defense Minister Ehud Barak that military action could escalate situation in region, calls for diplomatic solution ….

French court acquits Israeli doctor in intifada case
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Doctor accused of slandering Palestinian who claimed he was injured by IDF acquitted by French Supreme Court ….

FM: Israel knows how to handle Iranian threat
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – In meeting with Croatian leaders Lieberman says Israel will stand strong in face of terror threat following latest attacks ….

State reaches settlement with Jack Teitel
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Teitel’s lawyers to confess to murder on his behalf as part of new deal; court set to rule on whether ‘Jewish terrorist’ can be held accountable for his actions ….

Don’t waste money on Iran
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Instead of spending huge funds on Iran strike, Israel should invest more in its people ….

Israeli racism scares me
YNet News, 15 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Ethiopian-born journalist fears his three children will always feel foreign in racist Israel ….

Seeking Israel’s destruction
YNet News, 14 Feb 2012 – Op-ed: Anti-Israel BDS campaign hides its ultimate goal of eliminating the entire Jewish State ….

Palestinian Information Center

Mishaal, Haneyya: No differences within Hamas over Doha declaration
PIC – Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal and Gaza premier Ismail Haneyya met in Doha on Wednesday and exchanged views on progress of reconciliation and Haneyya’s tour.

Medical report: Adnan in danger of imminent death
PIC – The Palestinian prisoner association has warned that detained Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan was in danger of imminent death after 60 days of hunger strike.

Health, water crisis in Gaza due to power failure
PIC – The water authority in Gaza Strip has warned that it would not be able to pump water for Gaza consumers due to the stoppage of the sole electricity generation station in Gaza.

Israel renews refusal to apologize over flotilla massacre
PIC – Israel’s deputy premier Sylvan Shalom has reiterated his government’s refusal to apologize to Turkey over the killing of nine of its nationals in the Israeli navy attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

Dozens injured in IOF quelling of rally at Ofer
PIC – Israeli occupation forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas at demonstrators who rallied in front of the Ofer jail to protest the continued detention of Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh Khader Adnan.

IOF serves demolition notices in Jenin village
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) delivered demolition notices to two inhabitants in Arraba village, south of Jenin city.

Bahar appeals to the Egyptian leadership to end the Gaza power crisis
PIC – Acting speaker of the Palestinian legislative council Dr. Ahmed Bahar has appealed to the Egyptian leadership to help in ending the power crisis in Gaza Strip.

Night clashes in occupied Jerusalem
PIC – Young Jerusalemites engaged Israeli occupation forces in occupied Jerusalem’s Shufat refugee camp on Tuesday night after the IOF tried to arrest a young man in the camp.

Khatib: IOA uses chemical material to accelerate digging under the Aqsa
PIC – The IOA is using chemical materials to accelerate excavation underneath the Aqsa mosque, Kamal Al-Khatib, the deputy leader of the Islamic movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, said.


FBI Training Courses Full of Anti-Muslim Material, Group Discovers
WAFA – 15 Feb 2012

Red Crescent Expresses Concern over Israeli Targeting of its Teams?
WAFA – 15 Feb 2012

Human Rights Center Warns of Crisis Due to Power Outages in Gaza
WAFA – 15 Feb 2012


Iran nuclear claim met by skepticism
LA Times 16 Feb 2012 – Iran declares two key ‘achievements’ in its nuclear research program, but U.S. and other Western officials downplay the significance. Iran on Wednesday heralded what it called a pair of significant advances in its controversial nuclear research efforts, but Western observers generally downplayed the developments as…

Israeli Envoy Links Bangkok Bombs to India and Georgia Attacks
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – Bombs discovered in Bangkok were similar to devices used this week against Israeli diplomats in India and Georgia, Israel’s ambassador to Thailand said on Wednesday.

Israel Says Iran’s ‘Acts of Terror’ Are Clear
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged nations to draw “red lines against Iranian aggression” following the arrest of Iranians in Bangkok and bombing attempts in India and Georgia.

Iran Warns 6 Countries in Europe It Will Cut Off Oil
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – Besieged by sanctions over its nuclear program, Iran warned its six largest European buyers that they risked immediate cutoffs in their Iranian oil imports.

Syria’s Unrest Felt by Military in Lebanon
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – Syria’s downward spiral toward civil war is weighing heavily on Lebanon, particularly in the port of Tripoli and in the rest of the north of the country.

With Cities Under Fire, Assad Sets Date for Syrian Referendum
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – With residents of some Syrian cities saying life is ever more unbearable, President Bashar al-Assad set Feb. 26 for a vote on a new constitution.

Moroccan Protests One Year On
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – Despite a new Constitution and a new government, activists dismiss reforms so far as only ”cosmetic” and are vowing to continue their movement.

Hope for Future of Libyan Tourism in Sprawling Greek Ruins
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – A group of heritage-conscious locals has drafted a plan to preserve the ruins at Cyrene and promote them as a tourist attraction in the rural area where unemployment is high.

Olympic Ban on Saudi Arabia Is Urged Over Lack of Female Athletes
New York Times 15 Feb 2012 – The International Olympic Committee should make Saudi Arabia send female athletes to the London Olympics, a human rights group says, or it should be prohibited from competing.

Rabbis support Presbyterian divestment
Jewish Voice for Peace –

In photos: PennBDS
Mondoweiss – Diverse PennBDS conference attendees. (Photo: Sara Jawhari) On February 4th, 2012, hundreds of students, professionals and academics gathered at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for a national BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) conference, organized by the University’s PennBDS student group. The conference gained plenty of attention…

New Israeli English Language Rightist News Site
Tikun Olam – Seth Klarman, billionaire hedge fund manager and staunch pro- Israel advocate I’ll bet if I asked you what Israeli journalism needed more than anything, the first thing out of your mouth would be: we need yet another English language clone of the Jerusalem Post (Hebrew). I…

Rudoren responds to the Twitter kerfuffle
Mondoweiss – Politico’s Dylan Byers interviews new New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren about her recent Twitter controversy . Too bad she seems to refer to Ali Abunimah as an “extremist” (“of course I will talk to him. And I will talk to extremists on both sides”)…

New ‘NYT’ bureau chief Jodi Rudoren faces outcry from Israel advocates over Twitter messages
Mondoweiss – Jodi Rudoren Barely a day went by before Jodi Rudoren, the spanking new Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times (NYT) , got her first lesson in how quickly advocates for Israel could raise a media firestorm. Rudoren’s offense is writing “cozy” Twitter messages to the…

Out of the Ballpark: Susan Abulhawa’s speech to the PennBDS conference
Mondoweiss – Susan Abulhawa PennBDS Opening from PennBDS on Vimeo . There is a reason Susan Abulhawa has the reputation of a dragon slayer , and it is not just for any one time event or the fact that Mornings in Jenin just happens to be an international best seller…

Israeli apartheid is never fit to print in the ‘Times’, only in ‘Haaretz’
Mondoweiss – Ariel University Center (Photo: Wikipedia ) ‘NYT’ Jerusalem bureau chief  Ethan Bronner’s reassignment  is unlikely to change the fundamental bias of the Paper of Record. When has the Times ever filed a serious report on Israeli apartheid policies, and will it ever? Meanwhile, Haaretz today runs an…

Israel-Iran Confrontation Enters Dangerous New Phase
Tikun Olam – Alleged Iranian bombmaker, Said Moradi, before he blew his legs off in a grenade attack (AP/Thai National Police) With today’s news that apparent Iranian bombmakers accidentally exploded their laboratory in a rented Thai home, and yesterday’s news of simultaneous attacks on Israeli targets in Georgia and…

Bronner Leaving as NY Times Israel Correspondent, Jodi Rudoren, Known for Pro-Israel Reporting, to Assume Job
Tikun Olam – I’ve got to say this is one of the more puzzling journalistic assignments I’ve come across in a while.  The NY Times tweeted earlier today that Ethan Bronner was leaving as Israel correspondent.  I don’t know if this was a regular reassignment (I believe they rotate…

End of game in the Middle East
Voltaire Network 14 Feb 2012 – Although the armed clashes are not completely over in the beleaguered district of Homs and that the Syrian and Lebanese authorities have yet to inform public opinion of their recent actions, Thierry Meyssan appeared Monday night on the leading Russian television channel to make an initial…

Egypt: Al-Azhar to Launch International Campaign to Break Siege On Al-Quds
allAfrica.com 15 Feb 2012 – [Egypt Online] Al-Azhar will launch an international campaign to break the siege imposed on East Jerusalem.

Syria plans vote on constitution
BBC 15 Feb 2012 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has decreed that a referendum on the new draft constitution will be held on 26 February, state media report.

Iran unveils ‘nuclear advances’
BBC 15 Feb 2012 – Iran says it has for the first time used domestically-made nuclear fuel rods in one of its reactors, and unveils more efficient enrichment centrifuges.

Iran denies ending EU oil exports
BBC 15 Feb 2012 – Iran’s oil ministry denies state media reports saying it had stopped oil exports to six European countries in retaliation for the EU’s oil embargo.

Seek and Ye Shall Find
US Campaign to End the Occupation 15 Feb 2012 – Yesterday, we let you know that President Obama’s 2013 budget request increased U.S. military aid to Israel to $3.1 billion and we also provided you with actions you can take to end these weapons transfers to Israel. The President’s budget also proposed nearly $500 billion in…


Educators can’t stay silent about Israeli apartheid
J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Robin D.G. Kelley, Bill V. Mullen, Nikhil, Electronic Intifada 2/13/2012
      Today the systematic dispossession of the Palestinian people continues unabated and largely unchallenged by the United States and the European Union. Barriers to Palestinian mobility, social and political development are visible everywhere.
     While Jewish-Israeli citizens pass freely, more than 500 police and military checkpoints regulate Palestinian movement between the occupied West Bank and Israel. Passing through these checkpoints on a recent fact-finding tour organized by the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, we witnessed Palestinians endure a daily ritual of subordination, humiliation and suspicion.
     Abutting the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem, the massive Israeli separation wall annexes Palestinian land for the expanding settlement of Gilo. For Palestinian families who find themselves on the “wrong” side of the wall, what had once been a short walk to school now takes several hours.
     Since 1992, Jewish-Israeli settlement within the West Bank has increased by more than 50 percent; some 500,000 Jewish settlers now live among 2.5 million Palestinians. Walled, gated and connected by a sophisticated road network that bypasses the dilapidated infrastructure used by Palestinians, these illegal settlements maintain privileged access to the most fertile lands, water and energy resources.
     In Hebron, a few hundred Jewish settlers backed by the Israeli military control the eastern part of the city inhabited by some 35,000 Palestinians. There we saw how settlers have seized houses above the souq, the main market street, and pummeled Arab merchants with garbage, excrement and acid in order to strangle the commercial life of the city and render it prone to future settlement. more.. e-mail

Promises of exports fall short for Gaza’s manufacturers
Ma’an News Agency 2/15/2012
      The UN Relief and Works Agency says the number of refugees living in abject poverty in Gaza has tripled since the blockade began.
     GAZA CITY (IRIN) — Mumin Najar drags open the massive door to the goods depot of his father’s furniture factory, the Modern Industrial Group, in Rafah in the Gaza Strip.
     “Everything you see here is waiting to be sold abroad,” he says.
     On the left side of the depot, writing desks are piled up several meters high. Further toward the back, hundreds of chairs have been waiting to be sold for more than a year now, and are covered in dust.
     Encouraged by Israeli announcements in 2010 of an ease in restrictions on exports, the factory owner, Mohamed Najar, produced furniture worth about $150,000 for orders from abroad. But he has little hope he will be allowed to export these items any time soon.
     “I am ready to export tomorrow,” he said, adding: “The Israelis made us prepare with positive announcements. But in the end, nothing has happened.”
     The government of Israel controls the territorial waters, airspace and land borders of the Gaza Strip, part of the occupied Palestinian territory. After militant group Hamas won parliamentary elections in Gaza in 2006, Israel imposed a tight blockade on the Strip, sealing its borders almost entirely and banning many imports and all exports. Mohamed Najar said many factories had closed down over the last four years as a result of the export ban. more.. e-mail

Obama’s Zig Zag Maneuvers with Israel and Iran
Gareth Porter, CounterPunch 2/15/2012
      What Options Are Really on the Table?
     Washington, DC
     President Barack Obama has finally begun in recent months to signal to Israel that the United States would not get involved in a war started by Binyamin Netanyahu without US approval. If it is pursued firmly and consistently through 2012, the approach stands a very good chance of averting war altogether. If Obama falters, however, the temptation for Netanyahu to launch an attack on Iran, indulging in what one close Israeli observer calls his “messianism” toward the issue of Iran.US officials then came up with a new strategy for pulling Israel back from the precipice of war by letting Netanyahu know that, if the US were denied a full role in coordinating military policy toward Iran, it would not come to Israel’s aid in such a war.
     Netanyahu, like every previous Israeli prime minister, understands that an Israeli strike against Iran depends not only on US tolerance, but direct involvement against Iran, at least after the initial attack. In May 2008, his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, had requested the approval of George W Bush for an air attack on Iran, only to be refused by Bush.
     Netanyahu apparently feels, however, that he can manipulate right-wing Israeli influence on American politics to make it impossible for Obama to stay out of an Israeli war on Iran. He has defied the Obama administration by refusing to assure Washington that he would consult them before making any decision on war with Iran.
     The Obama administration’s warning signal on the danger of an Israeli attack began flashing red after Secretary of Defence Leon Panetta came back empty-handed from a trip to Israel in September more.. e-mail

Israeli forces destroy “the only place for children in Silwan”
Electronic Intifada: 15 Feb 2012 – Josie Shields-Stromsness East Jerusalem 15 February 2012 Israeli bulldozers demolished the only community center and refuge for Palestinian children in the Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.more

Raed Salah deportation case disintegrates in UK court, but verdict still to follow
Electronic Intifada: 15 Feb 2012 – Asa Winstanley London 15 February 2012 The judge heading the panel assessing whether Palestinian civil rights leader Sheikh Raed Salah can be deported from the UK has cast serious doubt on the British government’s case. A final verdict is expected in the next two weeks.more

Reality of Hamas-Fatah Unity
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Feb 2012 – By Ramzy Baroud While top officials representing rival Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, signed yet another unity agreement on February 6 in Doha, Qatar, Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan crossed the 50-day mark of his hunger strike. His health was rapidly deteriorating. Since his arrest on December 17, “Khader was subjected to degrading and inhuman treatment, including physical abuse, prolonged periods of interrogation, isolation and unsanitary conditions of detention,” according to a joint statement by the Palestinian Council of Human Rights Organisations (PCHRO), an umbrella group that represents all major Palestinian human rights groups. After a medical examination on January 29, doctors representing Physicians for Human Rights — Israel concluded that Adnan’s life was at risk. By then, he had lost over 20 kilograms. Israel’s system of administration detention can hold detainees ad infinitum, without trial or due process per orders of a military court. After a recent review of his…more

Story of Graffiti Revolution – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Feb 2012 – By Eric Walberg – Cairo (Ard ard – Surface-to-surface: The story of a graffiti revolution. Sheif Abdel-Megid. Egyptian Association for Books 2011. ISBN 978-977-207-102-9) Graffiti — the art of the masses, by the masses, for the masses — has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and arguably to Pharaonic Egypt. Sherif Abdel-Megid, a writer who works for Egyptian television, boasts that Egypt’s revolution and the explosion of popular art that followed it finds its roots in the decay of the Sixth dynasty in Egypt’s Old Kingdom, following the reign of Pepi II (2278-2184 BC), credited with having the longest reign of any monarch in history at 94 years (Mubarak, eat your heart out). His own decline paralleled the disintegration of the kingdom and it is thanks to Pharaonic graffiti that we know about it. In modern times, graffiti continues to explode during…more

BDS: Power of the People at Work
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Feb 2012 – By Ramzy Baroud The issue is not about hummus, chocolate bars or Dead Sea vacations. It is about civil society taking full responsibility for its own action (or lack of). The issue is not exactly about Israeli products either, but rather about how even a seemingly innocent decision like buying Israeli dates may enable the continued subjugation of the Palestinian people. Because the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) highlights this, the reaction it often generates is charged and vehement. Many also react to the BDS because it actually works. Israeli supporters have every right to be concerned that their carefully customized discourse on Israel’s infallibility (juxtaposed with Palestinian depravity) – which has been promoted for decades in various media and political outlets in the US and Western countries – is now simply falling apart. The recent University of Pennsylvania BDS conference, organized by student group, PennBDS, was the…more

Scoundrel Time: The Situation in Syria
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Feb 2012 – By Jeremy Salt – Ankara Even though we are used to double standards, the moral posturing over Syria in recent weeks has been quite a spectacle. At the UN Security Council, Susan Rice bellows her disgust at the use of the veto by Russia and China, when the US has used the veto more than 60 times, mostly to protect Israel. Horror at the violence is sounded by the delegates of the same powers that have dismantled Libya and ended the lives of an estimated two million Iraqis through warfare and sanctions since 1991. When Saudi Arabia and Qatar call for political reform in Syria and an end to the violence, hypocrisy is displaced by farce. Their gulf ally, King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain, told Der Spiegel that Bashar al Assad should listen to his people. There is no opposition in Bahrain, according to His Majesty: ‘we…more

Cold, Cold Heart
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Feb 2012 – By Kathy Kelly – Dubai It’s Valentine’s Day, and opening the little cartoon on the Google page brings up a sentimental animation with Tony Bennett singing “why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart.” Here in Dubai, where I’m awaiting a visa to visit Afghanistan, the weather is already warm and humid. But my bags are packed with sweaters because Kabul is still reeling from the coldest winter on record. Two weeks ago, eight children under age five froze to death there in one of the sprawling refugee camps inhabited by so many who have fled from the battles in other provinces. Since January 15, at least 23 children under 5 have frozen to death in the camps. And just over a week ago, eight young shepherds, all but one under 14 years of age, lit a fire for warmth on the snowy Afghan mountainside…more

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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