VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 7 March 2012: In photos: Hebron village lives in settlement shadows

7 March 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Abbas Agrees To Head Interim Government
IMEMC – The Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) announced Wednesday that president Mahmoud Abbas agreed to be the head of the upcoming interim Palestinian government for a few months, until new elections are prepared and held. …

Amy Kidnaps 12 Palestinians In the West Bank
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Wednesday at dawn, twelve Palestinians in several parts of the West Bank, local sources reported. …

Settlers Attack Palestinian Village Near Ramallah
IMEMC – A group of armed Israeli settlers invaded, on Tuesday evening, Qarawat Bani Zeid village, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and attacked several residents causing one injury. …

Maariv: “Muslim Woman, Israel’s Secret Weapon To Counter Apartheid Week”
IMEMC – Israeli paper Maariv published a report stating that a Muslim woman from Dir Hanna Arab town, north of the country, is part of an Israeli team that was set up to counter the “Israeli Apartheid Week” held in colleges in South Africa. …

Settlers Try To Install Outpost In Place Of Evacuated Settlement
IMEMC – A group of armed extremist settlers, attacked on Tuesday afternoon, the location of the former Homesh settlement, in the northern part of the West Bank, and installed an outpost before stopping and searching several Palestinian vehicles. …

Two Palestinian Children Killed By An Israeli Bomb In Hebron
IMEMC – Two Palestinian children were killed five others injured on Tuesday afternoon, when an unexploded ordinance, dropped by the Israeli forces, detonated near them. …

Resistance Groups Apprehend A “Collaborator”
IMEMC – Armed resistance groups in the Gaza Strip declare they managed to apprehend a resident, believed to be “a dangerous collaborator with the Israeli occupation”, and that he was tasked with making sure targeted fighters were killed after being extra-judicially assassinated by the army. …

Soldiers Kidnap 16 Palestinians In the West Bank
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers kidnapped, on Tuesday, sixteen Palestinians, including four teenagers, in several districts in the occupied West Bank, installed roadblocks, searched dozens of vehicles, and took over a vehicle that belongs to a resident of Jerusalem. …

IMEMC – Amjad An-Najjar, head of the Hebron branch of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped more than 200 residents in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the West Bank, in January and February of this year. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces seize cars in West Bank village
3/7/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) – Israeli forces confiscated 15 cars from Bartaa village in Jenin and raided several shops, officials said Wednesday. Tawfiq Qabha, a member of the local village council, told Ma’an thatsome 20 military jeeps raided the village at dawn, confiscated cars and broke into shops in the village. Troops are raiding….

Army judge postpones hearing on Shalabi appeal
3/7/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prisoner Hana Shalabi vowed to continue her hunger strike on Wednesday as an Israeli military judge postponed a decision in her appeal, Addameer prisoners organization said. The judge said he would make a decision on Shalabi’s appeal against her administrative detention on Sunday or Monday. Shalabi has been on….

Israeli forces raid homes of former prisoners
3/7/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the homes of former detainees at dawn Wednesday in Jenin in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security officials said. Security officers told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers questioned Ahmad Abu Srour and Muhammad Shanaat for several hours and threatened to arrest them if they returned to the….

Israeli soldiers detain 12 across West Bank
3/7/2012HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least 12 Palestinians early Wednesday, including three teenagers from the Hebron governorate. Soldiers seized Zein Abu Hashem 15, Sami Abu Joda, 15, and Saed Sleibi, 16, from their homes in Beit Ummar, media spokesman for the popular committee Muhammad Awad said. To Hebron’s south, troops….

In photos: Hebron village lives in settlement shadows
3/7/2012 – MaanImages / Eva Pilipp – Um al-Kher, a tiny village in the southern Hebron hills, is overshadowed by the well-resourced Israeli settlement Karmel. The 150 Palestinian residents of this old community struggle with the repeated demolition of their homes by Israeli authorities, which also restrict their ability to construct water, electricity and roads infrastructure….

Ashrawi: US lone voice at UNESCO
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Tuesday slammed the United States’ sole vote against resolutions supporting Palestine at UNESCO as “reprehensible.” Ashrawi thanked the UN cultural agency’s executive board for adopting the five resolutions, which she said “reaffirms the international community’s commitment to the achievement of the….

Union chief: Gaza facing new gas crisis
3/7/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The head of Gaza’s gas station owners organization said Wednesday that the Gaza Strip is experiencing a domestic-use gas crisis after Israel reduced the amounts of fuel entering the enclave. Mahmoud al-Shawwa said that over the past two weeks, Gaza has received 40 to 60 tons of domestic…. Related: Gazans seethe over taxes and blackouts

Israeli military operation ‘shuts Erez crossing’
3/7/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli military vehicles crossed into the Gaza Strip near the northern Erez crossing on Wednesday morning, witnesses told Ma’an. Director of the Palestinian civil liaison department at the Erez crossing Mahir Abu Al-Ouf said the passenger crossing was temporarily shut down during the ongoing military operation. Eyewitnesses told….

Amnesty: Leftist writer Qatamesh a prisoner of conscience
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian academic who received a third six-month administrative detention order on March 1 should be considered a prisoner of conscience and released unconditionally, Amnesty International said Tuesday. Ahmad Qatamesh has been held without charge or trial since April 21, 2011. He was given a third administrative detention order on March….

Gaza crossing to close for Jewish holiday
3/7/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities will close Kerem Shalom crossing on the Gaza border for the Jewish holiday Purim, Palestinian officials said. Liaison official Raed Fattouh told Ma’an the crossing will close on Thursday and reopen Sunday. Kerem Shalom is the only operating terminal for goods to enter Gaza on the….

Student ‘detained at flying checkpoint’
3/7/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday detained a Palestinian university student at a flying checkpoint near Jenin, locals said. Arafat Muhammad, 21, from Arraba village, was detained from a car at the checkpoint, witnesses told Ma’an. He is a student at An-Najah University in Nablus….

US Republican candidates bid to be toughest on Iran
3/7/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — US Republican presidential candidates competed to be the most hawkish on Iran and favorable to Israel before the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC on Tuesday, telling Iran it would be in real danger if it goes nuclear while they are in the White House.” If Iran doesn’t get rid of nuclear….

India police arrest man with Iran link over Israel attack
3/7/2012 – NEW DELHI (Reuters) — Indian authorities have arrested a local journalist working for an Iranian news agency in connection with last month’s Israeli embassy car bomb blast, a police official said Wednesday. It was the first arrest over the Feb. 13 attack that Israel has blamed Iran of perpetrating. An Israeli diplomat’s….

Israel cautiously welcomes big-power talks with Iran
3/7/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel on Wednesday cautiously welcomed the planned resumption of big-power nuclear talks with Iran, insisting that Tehran be denied the means to turn uranium into bomb fuel. With Israel speaking increasingly loudly of resorting to military action to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, the talks could provide some respite in a crisis….

World Bank approves $40 million grant for PA
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The World Bank has approved a $40 million grant to support Palestinian Authority reforms and improve citizen services, officials said Wednesday. The grant is part of the World Bank’s efforts to “consolidate and build on a good track-record of reform achievements,” a statement announcing the grant said.”There has….

Abbas meets Jordan FM in Ramallah
3/7/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday met with Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Ramallah as Jordan continued its efforts to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. At a press conference in Ramallah, Judeh said Jordan would continue to try and bridge the gap between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. Jordan hosted five meetings between Israeli and….

Hamas leader: New cabinet will be named in 2 weeks
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hamas leader Ahmad Yousef said Tuesday evening that ministers in a new interim government will be named within two weeks, raising hopes that an impasse over the unity cabinet had been broken. Fatah and Hamas party chiefs agreed in early February to form a temporary cabinet to oversee new elections and…. Related: Fatah official denies Abbas preparing cabinet list

Fatah official denies Abbas preparing cabinet list
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisin said Wednesday that the new unity government will not be formed until Hamas permits the elections commission to update its registers in the Gaza Strip. Rebuffing comments by Hamas official Ahmad Yousef that President Mahmoud Abbas is preparing a list of cabinet ministers for approval…. Related: Hamas leader: New cabinet will be named in 2 weeks

Gazans seethe over taxes and blackouts
3/7/2012GAZA CITY (Reuters) — Hamas faces growing discontent in its Gaza stronghold because of renewed tax hikes and the mismanagement of a power crisis that has led to lengthy blackouts across the enclave. Traders who import goods from Israel and the West Bank say Hamas authorities have introduced additional fees beyond the usual tax they collect…. Related: Union chief: Gaza facing new gas crisis

PCBS: Fewer Palestine tourists in 2011
3/7/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Guests staying in Palestinian hotels dropped by 20 percent in 2011, a study by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics said Wednesday. The ratio of hotel rooms occupied fell from 41 percent in the last three months of 2010, to 27 percent in the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, the number….

Health ministry to build center for addicts in Ramallah
3/7/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry is building a center to treat addicts in Ramallah, minister Fathi Abu Moghli said Wednesday. Abu Moghli told Ma’an the center will have the capacity to house 70 male and 30 female patients as well as clinics and a library. It will be the….

Boost for relatives of Lebanon civil war missing
3/7/2012 – BEIRUT (IRIN) — A new legal mechanism has been proposed to deal with the issue of thousands of people who went missing during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, including locating mass graves, and identifying and returning remains to families, according to local activists.” The proposal features information on compensating families and mentions sanctions against….

Syrians bombard rebels, Obama says Assad will fall
3/7/2012 – AMMAN (Reuters) — Syrian tanks bombarded opposition areas in Homs overnight and the Red Cross tried for a sixth day to gain access to Baba Amr, a fallen rebel stronghold where activists have reported bloody reprisals by President Bashar Assad’s forces. President Barack Obama said it was only a matter of time before Assad….

‘Balance’ key to Russia response on Syria resolution
3/7/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia’s response to a new UN Security Council resolution urging an end to the violence in Syria will hinge on whether Moscow is satisfied that it puts sufficient pressure on President Bashar Assad’s armed opponents. After Russia and China shielded Syria from global condemnation by blocking two resolutions backed….

Turk PM attacks cancer rumor, ‘only God’ knows fate
3/7/2012 – ANKARA (Reuters) — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan dismissed a report that he was suffering from terminal cancer and had two years to live, saying Wednesday that “God and only God” knew when anyone would die. A Turkish newspaper on Tuesday published a leaked email from security analysis company Stratfor, that included a report that Erdogan….

US slaps sanctions on Iranian Revolutionary Guard general
3/7/2012 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The US Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps general it accused of allowing Afghan narcotics traffickers to smuggle heroin through Iran. The US Treasury said it will freeze any assets General Gholamreza Baghbani may have in the United States and prohibit US entities from doing business with….

Former Lebanon PM says Syrian regime murderous
3/7/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose father was killed in a bombing often pinned on Syria, said Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad was leading a murderous campaign against his own people.” There is a murderer called Bashar Assad’s regime, who commits daily, red-handed, dozens of killings documented in video….

Egypt advisory council head to run for president
3/7/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — A veteran Egyptian politician who is close to the country’s military rulers and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood announced on Wednesday he would run in a presidential election on May 23. Mansour Hassan, the head of the advisory council to Egypt’s military rulers and a culture and information minister under….

Islamic states, Africans walk out on UN gay panel
3/7/2012 – GENEVA (Reuters) — Brushing aside high-level UN appeals for cooperation to halt murder and violence against gays and lesbians around the globe, Muslim and Arab countries on Wednesday stalked out of a Human Rights Council panel to tackle the issue. Speaking before the walkout for the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Pakistan described homosexuality as….

Alternative Information Center

Environmental and labor conditions at the Barkan Industrial Park
Alternative Information Center – The local Salfit government and Al Quds Open University organized on March 6 a conference on the impact of environmental hazards created by settlements on the governorate. Speaking at the conference, the head of Salfit’s ministry…

Relief Web

HRI 2011: Addressing the gender challenge
Relief Web 7 Mar 2012 – Source: DARA Country: World , Chad , Colombia , Democratic Republic of the Congo (the) , Haiti , Kenya , occupied Palestinian territory , Pakistan , Somalia , Sudan (the) New DARA Research on Humanitarian Aid from Donor Governments Finds Limited Progress; Systemic Issues Persist in Providing Effective Aid…

Prime Minister Fayyad announces the launch of a new EU-funded program to maximize Palestinian exports
Relief Web 7 Mar 2012 – Source: European Union Country: occupied Palestinian territory Ramallah 27 February 2012 The Ministry of National Economy in partnership with the Palestine Trade Center (PalTrade) and the Palestinian Shippers’ Council celebrated today the launching of the €3 million Trade Diversification, Competitiveness…

UNCTAD takes part in a United Nations seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people
Relief Web 6 Mar 2012 – Source: UN Conference on Trade and Development Country: occupied Palestinian territory UNCTAD’s presentation focused on the causes for Palestinian fiscal instability, and especially the need to reintegrate East Jerusalem and its economy. The seminar called for concerted efforts from donors…

Support for Better Services and Ongoing Reform: World Bank Grants $50 Million for Palestinian Development
Relief Web 6 Mar 2012 – Source: World Bank Country: occupied Palestinian territory Press Release No:2012/301/MENA WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today $40 million in grant funding to support progress in key reforms by the Palestinian Authority (PA)…

The National

Economic squeeze tightens on Syria
The National 7 Mar 2012Syria‘s economic crisis is deepening with petrol shortages, a plunging currency and complaints from government employees over unpaid salaries.

Russia calls for Syrian violence to end ‘immediately’
The National 7 Mar 2012 – Russia’s foreign ministry said it told Syria‘s ambassador to Moscow the “violence must end immediately, no matter where it comes from”.

After the NGO fallout, Egypt is fast resembling a rudderless ship
The National 7 Mar 2012 – Analysis The case of the US non-profit groups pointed to the willingness of Egypt’s ruling generals to engage in brinkmanship, a gamble it may have taken too far. 


Erekat to Jordan FM: Peace talks won’t resume without settlement freeze
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

Netanyahu adds YouTube spoof of AIPAC speech to official Facebook page
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

Hamas denies it intends to stay out of Israeli war with Iran
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

Israel cautiously welcomes Western nuclear talks with Iran
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

WATCH: IDF prepares for tunnel warfare in future Lebanon, Gaza conflicts
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

Journalist arrested in connection to New Delhi attack on Israeli diplomat’s wife
Ha’aretz – 7 Mar 2012

Bank of Israel reports 7% more Haredi men working than two years ago
Ha’aretz – 6 Mar 2012

WIZO announces underwear commercial as winner of most sexist ad award
Ha’aretz – 6 Mar 2012

Israel Supreme Court overturns ruling on IDF soldier missing since 1982
Ha’aretz – 6 Mar 2012

Israel to slash budget for integrating new Ethiopian immigrants
Ha’aretz – 6 Mar 2012

Jerusalem Post

‘No unity talks until Fatah can operate in Gaza’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Fatah official says talks over formation of unity gov’t will remain on hold until Hamas allows elections commission in Strip. 

Alawite defections from Syrian army may be on rise
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Unverified intel leaks, video clips indicate members of Assad’s sect, Shi’ites pledging loyalty to opposition. 

Russia accuses Libya of training Syrian rebels
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Moscow’s UN envoy tells Security Council: The export of revolution turning into the export of terrorism.” 

Landau pushes solar effort for Gaza evacuees
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Energy and Water Minister sign 23 new licenses for 62 megawatts worth of solar production facilities. 

Haifa judge delays decision on moving ammonia tank
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Delay despite pressure; exposure to chemical could cause skin burns and sudden death, activists say. 

The Harpaz report
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – We don’t wish to see the IDF’s charismatic top brass cultivate egos too big for the proportions imposed by democracy. 

Anglo Jewish leaders and ‘trembling Israelites’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Candidly Speaking: London has emerged as the European hub of Israeli delegitimization 

Media Comment: Our great media
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – enjoy your Purim holiday. Buy a newspaper, turn on your radio and press your TV remote control, sit back and enjoy the freedom of the press. 

The Migron muddle
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – The struggle over Migron is a symptom of the government’s inability to make policy decisions. 

Fundamentally Freund: Peering behind Obama’s Purim costume
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – As we know, a mask often reveals far more than it conceals. And in this case, what it cloaks is frightening indeed. 

Washington Watch: Fanning the winds of war
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Mitt Romney, the putative GOP frontrunner, keeps saying if Obama is re-elected Iran will surely get the bomb and only he can stop it. 

Silence in the face of genocide – again
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – America’s track record in this area has largely been one of moral failure and complacency. 

Prompt action needed to tackle Libyan militias
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – This intervention could establish a precedent for international actors supporting genuine social forces within the Arab World. 

Inside Out: Obama’s commitment to Israel
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012Obama has remained true to commitment to Israel’s security and legitimacy, to resolution of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Study: Israeli-made firearms far cheaper abroad
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – As it turns out, chocolate bars aren’t the only thing that you can buy more cheaply abroad. 

Play, Gypsy, play!
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – The Roby Lakatos Ensemble will infuse the Eilat Chamber Music Festival with some rousing Hungarian fusion. 

GOP to nominate PM as US presidential candidate
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – “How hard can it be to run a country of 300 million gentiles?” Netanyahu asks ahead of fateful battle against Obama

Litzman mixed up in gender separation scandal
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Ploy to use soprano-singing yeshiva student to replace women at ceremonies has surprise ending for deputy health minister. 

Apple unveils new 4G-powered iPad
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – CEO Tim Cook shows off better screen, faster processor, reveals upgraded Apple TV and expounds on post-PC world. 

What the IDF’s Iran wish list would look like
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – If the IDF were to present the Pentagon with a wish list to ensure a military attack against Iran‘s nuclear program succeeds, this is what it might ask for. 

‘More assaults on media by Palestinians than Israel’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – For first year, Palestinian authorities were responsible for more “violations” than Israel, Ramallah-based NGO says. 

French PM scrambles to defuse halal-kosher row
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Fillon meets with Jewish, Muslim leaders in attempted damage control after saying “ancestral” ritual slaughter is unjustified. 

Video: Costume designer continues legacy every Purim
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – For Cinema Fashion owner Batia Rozental, Purim is good for business and a chance to remember her roots. 

UN aid chief visits Syria’s stricken Baba Amr
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Valerie Amos accompanies Syrian Red Crescent into rebel bastion after gov’t delayed relief access to former. 

High Court reduces DFLP terrorist’s prison term
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Appellant convicted of carrying out activities in a terrorist organization, attempted murder. 

Supreme Court reduces DFLP terrorist’s prison term
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Appellant convicted of carrying out activities in a terrorist organization, attempted murder. 

Livni decries PM’s Holocaust imagery on Iran
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Opposition leader urges Netanyahu to handle the Iranian issue “with the quiet and secrecy” it deserves. 

UN aid chief seeks access to battered Syrian city
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Syrian tanks shell, raid parts of embattled Homs as Valerie Amos visits; China repatriates its workers from the country. 

Diet advice from Israel: Eat your vegetables
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – While loading up on vegetables is one study’s conclusions, other dietary experts make room for dessert. 

China pulls its workers from Syria
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Chinese minister announces bringing workers home from Syria to avoid an 11th hour rescue as in Libya. 

‘We are here to do justice for our parents’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Tamar Maoz testifies at Jerusalem District Court against brother Daniel, who is accused of murdering parents. 

PM returns home from ‘very important’ trip to US
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012Netanyahu says that he returns on the eve of Purim, “when the Jews were not masters of their fate and were unable to defend themselves… we’re in another era now when we’re strong and sovereign.” 

Court wants proof of damage to Dirani investigator
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Tel Aviv District Court judge urges “Captian George,” state to resolve issues outside of the courts. 

Holyland Affair: Zaken tells court she needs lawyer
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – During Tel Aviv District Court hearing, Ehud Olmert’s aide says she does not have an attorney yet. 

‘Israel must be aware of danger behind Iran strike’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Juppe: It’s our responsibility to bring to Israel’s attention the unforeseeable consequences it [strike] would have. 

Court: Surrogate twins’ mother needn’t adopt
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – In precedent-setting ruling, judge rules mother can undergo DNA testing to determine her maternity. 

California wine country to benefit from Haifa study
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Water-monitoring system developed by IBM’s Israeli labs allows close observation of pressure valves, reduces leakage. 

UN assesses Syria draft; Obama: Assad ‘will fall’
Jerusalem Post 7 Mar 2012 – Powers discuss draft resolution urging end to crackdown; Baba Amr residents tell of destruction; Amos, Annan due in Syria

Romney falls short of Super Tuesday knockout
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Mitt Romney holds narrow lead over Santorum in Ohio Republican primary; Romney and Santorum win three states each while Newt Gingrich wins home state of Georgia. 

Dialysis diplomacy
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Radio station mogul David Ben-Basat helps orchestrate donation of medical equipment to Sierra Leone. 

Women outnumber men but still not equal
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Statistics show women participating more in workforce, but only earn 66% of men’s salaries. 

‘Suspects must know they can refuse to be searched’
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Supreme Court calls on police to develop formal guidelines for searches without warrants. 

Ministry issues guidelines for ‘Rav Kav’ data
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – ACRI says directives fall short on serious privacy infringements involving passengers’ personal information. 

Katz, Eini battle over future of Israel Railways
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Transportation minister and Histadrut chief lock horns as possibility of another train strike remains. 

Bra commercial cited as ‘most sexist ad’ of 2011
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO) announced FIX as the “winner” of its annual competition. 

Eini, Peretz, Cabel to face off in Histadrut court
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Charges of forgery and bullying mar labor federation leadership race. 

Chariots of Fire: Jerusalem’s upcoming 2nd marathon
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – 12,000 runners to take part in Jerusalem’s second annual marathon; participants expected to boost tourism coffers. 

Netanyahu’s choice: Olmert or Sharon?
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – His predecessors’ responses to nuclear programs discovered on their watch offer lessons 

Healthy Eating: 5 health myths unraveled
Jerusalem Post 6 Mar 2012 – Separating fact from fiction: Find out which of your favorite “health foods” facts are really true and which are simply a ruse. 

The Guardian

America, the Middle East and the strange tale of Sam LaHood | Timothy Garton Ash
The Guardian 7 Mar 2012 – Washington is torn between supporting Arab democracy and its long-standing security priorities in the Middle East Help me, dear reader, solve a little puzzle. While I was moving freely around Cairo last week, Sam LaHood, the…

Why is Israel picking on ducks?
The Guardian 7 Mar 2012 – The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has found a new enemy … Just hours after the Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu had unstuck the forced smile he had worn throughout his televised meeting with President Obama ,…

Inter Press Service

U.S. Weapons Claiming Palestinian Lives, Group Says
IPS A new policy paper published earlier this week by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation documents a number of cases occurring over the past decade in which weapons and ammunition produced and financed by the U.S. have been used to kill unarmed Palestinians and U.S. citizens.

After Pro-Israel Conference, Gaps Remain Between Netanyahu and Obama
IPS More than 10,000 U.S. citizens descended on Capitol Hill Tuesday under the direction of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the leading voice of the powerful Israel lobby here, to urge their congressional representatives to take a more aggressive stance towards Iran.

Prospects for War with Iran Unclear As Obama, Netanyahu End Summit
IPS Is war against Iran, either by Israel, the U.S. or both, closer or farther off after this week’s meeting here between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

Obama to Pro-Israel Lobby Group: ‘Too Much Loose Talk of War’
IPS U.S. President Barack Obama Sunday made a clear statement against a rush to war – either by the U.S. or Israel – with Iran, while also emphasising that he would pursue that option if alternatives were unsuccessful in ensuring that Iran would not develop a nuclear weapon.


On International Women’s Day, Palestinian Political Prisoners Remain the Spearhead of Resistance
Uruknet March 7, 2012 – From the cold, dark dungeon, and after three weeks of an open-ended hunger strike, Palestinian detainee Hana Ash-Shalabi saluted Palestinian women on the occasion of International Women’s Day and confirmed that she will continue her hunger strike and her struggle: I will not compromise my freedom and my right for any price,…

Interview: why Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike is the focus of Women’s Day in Palestine
Uruknet March 7, 2012 – Palestinians will mark International Women’s Day (8 March) this year with solidarity actions for Hana al-Shalabi, who has now spent more than three weeks on hunger strike in protest of being held under Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial. Al-Shalabi is the second Palestinian prisoner in recent weeks – the first…

Military tribunals and assassination
Uruknet March 7, 2012 – In a speech Monday at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, Attorney General Eric Holder painted a chilling picture of the future of the United States as envisioned by the Obama administration, in which military tribunals and extrajudicial assassinations are permanent, codified features of the American judicial landscape. Holder’s speech included a…

Amnesty calls for urgent action to protest administrative detention of Palestinian academic
Uruknet March 7, 2012 – The human rights organization Amnesty International issued an urgent appeal today regarding the renewed administrative detention order against Palestinian writer Ahmad Qatamesh. Last week I blogged that Israel had issued its third consecutive order to detain Qatamesh without charge or trial – a practice known as administrative detention. The Palestinian writer and…

Israel has issued 100,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians since 1967
Uruknet March 7, 2012 – The Israeli occupation authorities have issued around 100,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinians since 1967, according to an official report issued by the Public Relations section of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. The report accuses the Israelis of imprisoning administrative detainees, without charge or trial, based on individual orders made by intelligence officers….

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – The number of martyrs thus far today has risen to 41: 12 martyrs in Daraa; 4 martyrs in Idlib; 1 martyr in Damascus; and the remainder in Homs… Daraa: Herak: Ibrahim Awad al-Masri and his sons Raghib, Ramiz and Mohammad were martyred while the mother is seriously injured when security forces opened…

No, Palestinians in Israel don’t support Assad
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Yossi’s article fails much like the vast majority of written commentary that addresses the “Arab parties,” as they are described in the Israeli media, which treats them as one unified block. Yossi also makes the usual Israeli mistake that assumes that everything that happens in Palestinian society is reported in the Israeli…

Western powers agree to resume Iran talks over nuclear programme
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Six global powers have agreed to resume negotiations with Iran on its nuclear programme, calling for “concrete and practical steps” to restore international trust in Tehran’s stated intentions. In a letter to Iran‘s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, the EU foreign policy chief, Lady Ashton, said the negotiations should restart as soon…

Uruknet March 6, 2012– Amjad An-Najjar, head of the Hebron branch of the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS), reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped more than 200 residents in the Hebron district, in the southern part of the West Bank, in January and February of this year. An-Najjar stated that, in February, soldiers kidnapped, more than a hundred Palestinians,…

Israel punishes hunger striking prisoners by transferring them to other end of country
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Approximately 80 political prisoners have been transferred from Gilboa prison to Nafha prison in the Naqab [Negev] desert, according to the news site Arabs48. The transfer follows a solidarity hunger strike undertaken by the prisoners, which I reported in my blog of 28 February. I wrote that the prisoners in Gilboa prison…

012 : A Video Roundup

Emerging from Iraq: Reports of Kidnapping and Murder of Gay and Lesbian People
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission has today received reports from Iraq of a wave of targeted killings of individuals who are perceived to be gay or lesbian. According to Iraqi human rights activists, in early February 2012, an unidentified group posted death threats against “the adulterous individuals” in the…

Palestinian orphans in solidarity with Hana Shalabi
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Whenever my feet carry me to Hana Shalabi’s solidarity tent, my eyes fall, before anything else, on a piece of paper attached to huge banner wherein Shalabi grins at those coming to wish her a quick release. That small white piece of paper read “20” today. The battle of empty stomachs continues….

NYDP’s Police State Stretches All The Way To Boston
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – New York City appears to be going all out to win a world award for racism and bigotry. On February 24 the New York Post published a cartoon (1) depicting three men with long noses, long beards, turbans, and dishdashas assembling bombs in a locked upstairs tenement room. One of the men…

Libya: ‘Bitter ironies’ of Sirte destruction (Video)
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Months after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s death, the city of Sirte – where the Libyan leader was born and died – lies in ruins. In the area of the city which saw the worst of the fighting, known as Area Two, most of the twenty thousand former residents have yet to return. As…

Syria: A Neighborhood’s War
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – “They broke into Baba Amr!”-after a month of the Syrian government’s shelling, siege, and continuous attempts to invade Homs, this was expected. And yet, the sentence left me paralyzed with fear and anger. They broke into Baba Amr-a fact as final and perplexing as death. Baba Amr, a neighborhood in Homs-my home…

Palestinians join revolt against Assad after repression in camps
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Asrar Murshida is a Palestinian who has spent several years in refugee camps in Syria-she spoke to Socialist Worker. Growing numbers of Palestinians in Syria are joining the revolution-despite harsh repression by the regime and its proxy militias. There are over 500,000 Palestinian refugees living in Syria in nine official camps and…

Hana al-Shalabi: 20 days of hunger strike while world looks away from Israel’s abuses
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – While almost the entire US Congress genuflected to Israel and its supposed “democracy” at the annual AIPAC convention in Washington this week, victims of Israel’s political repression languished in its prisons ignored by world media. Today, Hana al-Shalabi marks 20 days of continuous hunger strike against her detention without charge or trial…

West Bank Becoming “Settler State”
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Last week, one of the West Bank’s oldest and largest settler outposts, Shvut Rachel, received legal status from the Israeli government. Under Israeli law, outposts – unlike settlements – have no legal status and are illegally built. According to Shvut Rachel’s acting mayor, Yaakov Moshe Levi, the Israeli government provided retroactive legal…

‘Spy’ journalists reported killing of black Libyans:
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Two British journalists detained in Libya and accused of being spies were reporting on atrocities meted out against black people by the same forces that arrested them. Nick Davies (who works under the name Nick Jones) and his cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson had been working for Iran‘s Press TV when they were arrested…

Holder Promises To Kill Citizens With Care
Uruknet March 6, 2012 – Attorney General Eric Holder was at Northwestern University law school Monday explaining President Barack Obama‘s claimed authority to kill any American if he unilaterally determines them to be a threat to the nation. The choice of a law school was a curious place for discussion of authoritarian powers. Obama has replaced the…

Daily Star

Future manifesto sees Arab Spring as harbinger of local change

Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 The Future Movement, in its new manifesto, said Wednesday the Arab Spring provided Lebanon an opportunity to overcome some of the young country’s most endemic problems.

Journalist arrested in New Delhi bomb attack
Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 Police arrested an Indian journalist in connection with last month’s bombing of an Israeli diplomatic vehicle in New Delhi.

Terror indictment: Breivik shot 56 victims in head
Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 Exactly 100 people were shot, some of them up to eight times, before the gunman surrendered to police. Of the 69 people killed, 56 were shot in the head.

Israel’s Peace Now head reports death threat
Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 The head of israel‘s prominent anti-settlement group Peace Now filed a police complaint after an anonymous caller left a message on his phone apparently threatening to kill him.

Egypt advisory council head to run for president
Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 A veteran Egyptian politician who is close to the country’s military rulers and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood announced he would run in a presidential election on May 23.

Israelis criticize PM’s Iran-Holocaust parallels
Daily Star 7 Mar 2012 The Israeli prime minister’s linking of Iran to Nazi Germany evoked ringing applause this week at a gathering of a pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington.


Libya says world should help Syrians gain freedom

YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – ….

Israel, stay out of Syria
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: Historical experience has shown us that intervening in foreign conflicts is unwise ….

Turkey: Islamists burn US flag in Quran protest
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – ….

US bill to allow Holocaust survivors to sue
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – ….

UN envoy warns al Qaeda has gained ground in Yemen
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – ….

Panetta defends cautious US approach toward Syria
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – ….

Israel, help the Syrians
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: Jewish state, Free World should assist Syria rebels, but do so quietly and wisely ….

Removal of illegal structures in east Jerusalem declines
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Jerusalem Municipality has been decreasingly addressing illegal construction east of capital, internal document shows; City Hall says government blocking enforcement efforts ….

Netanyahu: We have many courageous friends
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Prime minister returns to Israel after US visit, says Israel’s friends will always stand by its side ….

First look at infiltrators holding facility
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Clinics, playground, classrooms and even basketball court are just some of the features the Defense Ministry plans on including in southern facility ….

Minor earthquake felt in northern Israel
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Earthquake measuring 3.7 on Richter Scale felt north of Metula as well as in Kiryat Shmona and Safed. No injuries or damage reported ….

Trust America’s president
YNet News, 7 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: Unlike Bibi, Obama is the responsible adult who should be trusted to handle Iran ….

Palestinian Information Center

Israeli court adjourns trial of kidnaped Jerusalemite officials
PIC – The Israeli central court in occupied Jerusalem has adjourned the trial hearing of kidnapped Jerusalemite MP Mohammed Totah and former Jerusalem minister Khaled Abu Arafa till next May.

IOF soldiers detain British delegation in Al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) detained a British delegation at a roadblock near Tal Al-Rumaida in Al-Khalil city on Wednesday.

Gaza energy authority: Rafah area ready to receive fuel from Egypt
PIC – The authority of energy and natural resources said it completed the technical procedures for receiving the fuel supplies through Rafah border area according to the agreement signed the Egyptian side.

Baher: Israel’s detention of MPs reflects its bankruptcy and insanity
PIC – Ahmed Baher said that Israel’s persistence in administratively detaining Palestinian lawmakers and extending their imprisonment reflects its bankruptcy and madness.

Patients rally outside Egyptian embassy to demand quick solution to power crisis
PIC – A number of Palestinian patients from the besieged Gaza Strip appealed to the Egyptian authorities to swiftly supply Gaza power plant with fuel.

FIOE head Bin-Makhlouf calls for tangible efforts to defend J’lem and Aqsa
PIC – Head of the federation of Islamic organizations in Europe Shakib Bin-Makhlouf called for more concrete efforts to protect occupied Jerusalem and the Aqsa Mosque against the Jewish threats.

Judge Adeis warns of Jewish plan to create artificial quake razing Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Chief justice of the higher sharia judiciary council Yousuf Adeis warned of an Israeli malicious intent to create a false earthquake causing the collapse of the Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli bulldozers destroy Palestinian wheat crops in Negev
PIC – Bulldozers of the “Land of Israel†department destroyed wheat crops of Palestinian farmers in the Negev, occupied since 1948.


Military Court Postpones Decision on Striking Prisoner

WAFA – 7 Mar 2012

Arab Delegations to Visit Jerusalem, says Abu Rudeineh
WAFA – 7 Mar 2012

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Delivers Letter to Abbas
WAFA – 7 Mar 2012

Fayyad Expressed Disappointment After Doha Agreement
WAFA – 7 Mar 2012


Obama challenges Iran to address nuclear issues in new talks

LA Times 6 Mar 2012 – President Obama, speaking after an agreement to resume talks, says Iran must prove it is not seeking a weapon. He chastises GOP rivals for their war bluster. Saying new negotiations with Iran will provide “a pretty good sense fairly quickly” of whether a diplomatic solution…

Obama rules out unilateral U.S. military action on Syria
LA Times 7 Mar 2012 – President Obama says he is not prepared to send U.S. forces to try to stop the carnage in Syria or to help oust Bashar Assad, as some Republicans in Congress have urged. President Obama on Tuesday ruled out a unilateral U.S. military campaign to support…

Syrian rebels, government trade blame for Homs killings
LA Times 7 Mar 2012 – Opposition activists say an entire family was killed in revenge in the Baba Amr neighborhood, which until recently was held by rebels. Syrian authorities and antigovernment activists accused each other Tuesday of reprisal killings in the central city of Homs, where government forces recently overran…

Syrian Christians worry about life after Bashar Assad
LA Times 6 Mar 2012 – They fear civil war and revenge attacks if President Bashar Assad falls, an anxiety fed by the sectarian violence seen in Egypt and Iraq. For 40 years, Um Michael has found comfort and serenity amid the soaring pillars and ancient icons of St. Mary’s Greek…

Arab Spring and Iran Tensions Leave Palestinians Sidelined
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – With Israel and other world powers focusing on the Arab Spring and the mounting tensions with Iran, the Palestinian issue has effectively been shelved, leaving Palestinian leaders at a loss. 

Israel Skeptical About New Nuclear Talks With Iran
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – A day after global powers said they would resume nuclear talks with Iran, Israeli officials said a credible military option was necessary if the talks were to have any chance of success. 

Obama Rebukes G.O.P. Critics of His Iran Policy
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – The president deplored the “casualness” with which many Republicans have called for war to solve the crisis over Iran’s nuclear program, and challenged his critics to make their case to voters. 

Global Powers Agree to Resume Nuclear Talks With Iran
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – The resumption of negotiations could relieve rising pressure from Israel to use military force against Iran, or buy Tehran time to relocate its centrifuges. 

News Analysis: On Iran Nuclear Effort, 2 Questions Split U.S. and Israel
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – If Iran decided to race for a nuclear weapon, would the West detect that in time to stop it? And even if it were detected, would an airstrike be the best option? 

Senior U.N. Official Due in Syria as Forces Scramble to Scrub Signs of Assault
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – The United Nations humanitarian coordinator was set to arrive in Damascus Wednesday as the Syrian authorities seemed determined to scrub signs of the monthlong assault on Homs. 

U.S. Defense Officials Say Obama Reviewing Military Options in Syria
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday that the best solution would not involve military intervention, but that the United States and its allies were reviewing all options. 

Arab Spring Fails to Allay Women’s Anxieties
New York Times 7 Mar 2012 – A year after the beginnings of the Arab Spring, many women say they fear for their personal safety, for the economy and for their rights. 

‘New Republic’ says Obama ‘detests’ Netanyahu and treats him shabbily
Mondoweiss – Yossi Klein Halevi has a piece up at The New Republic on Obama‘s detestation of Netanyahu and how it skews his policy against Israel. Writes a friend: Many falsehoods. That the settlement freeze fell through because of Palestinian recalcitrance; that Iranian dissidents in 2009 chanted en…

Jon Stewart’s Triple Threat
Mondoweiss – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – This Monday and Tuesday, Jon Stewart dedicated three segments of The Daily Show to Israeli belligerence and American intransigence in the Middle East. The…

Trailer: Pro-Israel all-stars team up with ex-FBI informant in anti-Occupy documentary
Mondoweiss – David Horowitz and the late Andrew Breitbart have teamed up with Brandon Darby in a feature length “exposé” on the Occupy Wall St. movement. The film, Occupy Unmasked is glossy, aided by snazzy production effects and shoddy investigative reporting, and suggests a secret agenda by the…

People of the world unite to unoccupy Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – A two-day conference of the international committee for the “Global March to Jerusalem” in Amman concluded last week – with member committees, representing more than 60 countries present. The head of the Jordanian committee taking part in the meeting, Abdullah Obeidat, said that “trade unions and…

Video: Newt snoozes waiting on AIPAC, but hardly misses a beat
Mondoweiss – This video is making the rounds this morning. It shows Newt Gingrich falling asleep while waiting to speak to the AIPAC policy conference (he was up after Leon Panetta).  It was a highlight for me watching yesterday, and I didn’t even know Gingrich had fallen asleep….

Obama Plays Dangerous Game, Offers Israel Bunker Busters Needed for Iran Attack
Tikun Olam – Barack Obama is playing a very dangerous game regarding Iran.  He speaks to Israeli leaders like Bibi Netanyahu and his pro-Israel supporters in Aipac like an Iran hawk, placating them with suitably hawkish rhetoric.  While the very next day, he tells a White House press conference…

AIPAC: The writing is on the wall
Muzzlewatch – Since we announced on Monday our outrage at the sudden cancellation of our mobile ad, carrying our message to the AIPAC Policy Conference, we have received many expressions of support as well as some suggestions as to what to do next. Some recommended that we rent…

Putin Wins Overwhelmingly
Voltaire Network 7 Mar 2012 – In his boiled-down style, Stephen Lendman eviscerates the specious claims of election fraud trotted out by Western “media scoundrels” to discredit Vladimir Putin’s irrefutable victory. At issue is not the transparency of the electoral process, but the turning point marked by Putin’s comeback as a leading…

“Journalist” Paul Conroy, an MI6 operative
Voltaire Network 7 Mar 2012 – Portrayed as a photojournalist for The Sunday Times, Paul Conroy, who has recently escaped from the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr, is a British MI6 agent. In this photo, he can be seen in Libya (in blue bulletproof vest) with, on the right, Al-Qaeda leaders Mahdi…

012-03-06, Syrian Crisis Updated
Voltaire Network 6 Mar 2012 – Homs Mohanad Al-Omar, a founder and a leader of “Al-Farouk” battalion of the Free Army Militia, dies during clashes between the Syrian Army and the battalion in Al-Soultania area; the Free Army Militia announces a “tactical withdraw” from the area. [Pro-government activists: “Al-Farouk” battalion of the…

Nigeria: Israel Never Said It Has Nuclear Weapons – Ambassador
allAfrica.com 7 Mar 2012 – [Daily Trust] Ilorin – The Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Moshe Ram, said yesterday that his country never admitted having nuclear weapons and blamed Iran for complicating issues surrounding its nuclear weapon capabilities.

Six Beit Ommar Residents Arrested in Past 2 Days, Car Seized by Military
Palestine Solidarity Project 7 Mar 2012 – On Wednesday March 7th, 2012, Israeli soldiers entered the Palestinian village of Beit Ommar and arrested six residents. The soldiers started searching houses and looking at different cars parked in the area. After a while they decided on the car they wanted, which belonged to a…

AIPAC: Three Candidates, Three Takeaways
Arab American Institute 7 Mar 2012 – With exception of Ron Paul, the GOP presidential candidates all spoke at the AIPAC policy conference yesterday. All of the three candidates delivered a similar message on Iran, taking the opportunity to hit out at president Obama‘s policies. Iran‘s nuclear program was the clear focus of…

Obama’s Message to AIPAC
Arab American Institute 7 Mar 2012 – President Obama is in a tough spot. On the one hand, he wants to bring about a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians (which requires pressuring Israel), as well as avoid a catastrophic war with Iran (which requires pushing back on AIPAC?s drum beat). On the…

Syria’s deputy minister defects
BBC 7 Mar 2012Syria‘s deputy oil minister says he is resigning and joining the anti-government revolt – the highest ranking civilian to do so since the unrest began a year ago.

Hamas denies being Iran’s proxy
BBC 7 Mar 2012 – Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, say they will not help Iran militarily in any conflict between Israel and the Islamic Republic.

Six powers prepare for Iran talks
BBC 7 Mar 2012 – As diplomats from the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China try to agree a unified stance on Iran, reports emerge of possible clean-up activities at the Parchin military site.

Libya rejects local autonomy call
BBC 7 Mar 2012 – The leader of Libya’s NTC says calls for a federal state structure from oil-rich Cyrenaica will be resisted with force if necessary

Palestine-Israel, The last winter joint struggle at the end of the stormy period
A-infos 7 Mar 2012 – Some times it feels like a Sisyphus endeavor, but the persistent struggle continue. Small gains and the faint call of the first swallows that surfed the wind of the last winter storm are bringing the spring to the tortured east of the Mediterranean sea. The news…

Armed and Dangerous: U.S. Weapons Transfers to Israel
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Mar 2012 – National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner launches the US Campaign’s first-ever policy paper, entitled ” U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implication & Options ” in this briefing at the Palestine Center. Check out the video:

Obama Goes to AIPAC: A Scorecard
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Mar 2012US Campaign Steering Committee member Phyllis Bennis analyzes President’s Obama‘s speech to AIPAC in this Salon article . Phyllis writes: Aside from the rhetorical pandering on Iran, perhaps the biggest failure in Obama’s AIPAC speech was in its giving Israel a get-out-of-accountability-free card. Clearly Israel has no…

Abileah & Ruebner LIVE on Arab Voices Wed, Mar 7
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Mar 2012 – Tune in tonight, 8-9 PM Eastern, on Arab Voices on 90.1 FM Houston or listen live on the internet at www.ArabVoices.net as US Campaign National Advocacy Director Josh Ruebner and Occupy AIPAC organizer Rae Abileah discuss the recent AIPAC policy conference and the US Campaign’s recently…

Report Denounces Weapons to Israel as AIPAC Assembles
US Campaign to End the Occupation 7 Mar 2012 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 5, 2012 Contact: Josh Ruebner, National Advocacy Director congress@endtheooccuption.org Washington, DC (Monday, March 5) — As members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) prepare to lobby tomorrow on Capitol Hill for more U.S. weapons for Israel, the US Campaign to…

Out of my window
B’tselem 6 Mar 2012 – To mark International Women’s Day, B’Tselem is issuing a collection of videos filmed by women who volunteer in its camera project. The images provide the viewer with a unique look into these women’s daily lives. The women in the project live in a reality in which…

Suspicion: Soldiers attacked and severely beat a young man from a-Tabaqa village
B’tselem 5 Mar 2012 – Testimonies given to B’Tselem indicate that soldiers assaulted Akram Khanatsheh, 19, from the village of a-Tabaqa, south-west of Hebron. According his testimony, he got caught in a clash between Palestinian youths and soldiers. When he tried to leave the area, an army dog attacked him and…


Back to basics in Palestine
Ramzy Baroud, Asia Times 3/8/2012
The Winter 2012 edition of Palestine News features a photograph of an old man. His white beard and traditional jalabiya give him the appearance of any Palestinian grandfather. His name is not given; he could be a Muslim or a Christian. We know that he comes from the West Bank village of Qusra, and that he is holding the broken branches of his olive trees.
According to the accompanying report, the destruction of Palestinian olive trees by Jewish settlers – under the watchful eye of the Israeli occupation army – cost farmers over US$500,000 in 2011. It isn’t only income that the settlers are targeting. They know the land is also a source of empowerment to millions of Palestinians. Their ultimate aim is to break the bond that has united the native inhabitants of Palestine since time immemorial.
But will they succeed?
Suheil Akram al-Masri, a 26-year-old political prisoner from Gaza, was hospitalized on March 2, just hours after his release. Al-Masri had reportedly fallen unconscious after 13 days of being on a hunger strike, in solidarity with female prisoner Hana Shalabi, who went on a hunger strike on February 12.
Hana’s story is troublingly typical. She has spent 25 months under what Israel calls “administrative detention,” a bizarre legal system that allows Israel to hold Palestinian political activists indefinitely without charge or trial. She was released in October 2011 as part of the prisoner exchange deal, only to be kidnapped again by soldiers a few months later.
Like Khader Adnan, who had recently ended the longest hunger strike ever staged by a Palestinian prisoner, Hana decided that enough was enough. Hundreds of Palestinians, including Hana’s aging father, joined in her quest for freedom and dignity. more.. e-mail

The Absurdity of US/Israeli Relations
Thomas H. Naylor, CounterPunch 3/6/2012
We are You and You are Us?
“We are you, and you are us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrogantly proclaimed to President Barack Obama in the White House recently.
How is it possible that Israel, a tiny country with only eight million people, can have so much influence over the foreign policy of the most powerful empire of all-time? Yet Israel played a major role in shaping the war on terror against Islam, the war with Afghanistan, two wars with Iraq, and the annihilation of Libya by NATO. And now Israel is aggressively doing everything within its power to provoke a war between the United States and Iran – a war which could quite easily precipitate World War III. That’s a lot!
The $3 billion in annual economic and military aid which the United States officially provides Israel enables it to engage in continuous acts of terrorism, genocide, and ethnic cleansing against its Palestinian neighbors whose land was stolen by Israel at its inception back in 1948. This process of Israeli expansion into Palestinian occupied territory continues unabated. The Obama administration pretends to be opposed to further Israeli encroachment into Palestinian lands, but obviously couldn’t care less.
The moral justification for all of this can be traced to the Holocaust. Because six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in World War II, Jews are entitled to their own country within what was once the Biblical Holy Land. Never mind the fact that the land happened to be occupied by Palestinians…. more.. e-mail

Transforming Finkelstein BDS attack into opportunity
David Letwin, Electronic Intifada 2/28/2012
There have been a number of thoughtful and incisive rebuttals to the recent video interview in which Norman Finkelstein absurdly calls the growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against apartheid Israel a “cult,” and admonishes Palestinians to limit their struggle to the “two-state solution” (“Video: Arguing the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign with Norman Finkelstein (interviewed by Frank Barat),” 9 February 2012).
However, Finkelstein’s attack on the BDS movement is not, as some of his critics have suggested, merely an indication of personal demoralization, faulty legal analysis, or political shortsightedness. Rather, it reflects a stubborn attempt to rationalize his rejection of Palestinian demands — especially full equality and refugee rights — that challenge the legitimacy of a “Jewish state.”
“What is the result [if the BDS demands are satisfied]?” Finkelstein rhetorically asks in the interview. “You know and I know what the result is. There’s no Israel!”
This existential defense of Israel is hardly new. Despite his ferocious criticism of the 45-year-long occupation, Finkelstein has long represented those non-Palestinians in the solidarity movement who see the “two-state solution” as necessary to ensure Israel’s survival as a “Jewish state,” a means of reconciling their altruism with their political comfort zone.
Not only is this unjust on its own terms, but it places Finkelstein squarely at odds with a grassroots Palestinian movement demanding an end to all the apartheid structures without which the “Jewish state” could not exist. — See also: Vimeo: Arguing the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaign with Norman Finkelstein more.. e-mail

Interview: why Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike is the focus of Women’s Day in Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 7 Mar 2012 – Jillian Kestler-D’Amours 7 March 2012 Khitam Saafin, chairwoman of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, talks to The Electronic Intifada about the challenges Palestinian women face today and why Hana al-Shalabi’s hunger strike should be supported.more

Homes Destroyed, Lives Shattered
Dissident Voice: 7 Mar 2012 – Within the catalogue of criminality that is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the destruction of Palestinian homes must rank as one of the most cynical and heinous. Some 90,000 people are currently reported to be at risk of displacement as a result of Israeli policies such as restrictive and discriminatory planning, the revocation of residency rights, the expansion of settlements and the construction of the West Bank Separation Wall. 1 All, let us note and explore further, with the tacit engagement of America, who bank-rolls the entire operation. Home, a refuge from the world, safe and secure, somewhere to relax with family and friends, and breathe easy, free from fear. This simple image of normality is unknown to many Palestinians living under the brutal illegal occupation by Israel.The Israeli practice of demolishing homes, basic infrastructure and sources of livelihoods continues to devastate Palestinian families and communities in…more

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