VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 21 March 2012: A Planned Escalation: Israel Prepares for War

21 March 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers Kidnap 11 year old Child From His Classroom
IMEMC – A report by the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, revealed that on Monday Israeli soldiers kidnapped an 11-year-old Palestinian child while he sat behind his desk at an elementary school in Rad Al-Amoud neighborhood, in occupied East Jerusalem. …
HR Groups Call on B’Tselem to Withdraw from Conference Featuring Olmert
IMEMC – As organizations dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights—including those acting as legal representatives for war crimes victims— we are disappointed by B’Tselem’s active participation in an upcoming event at which former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be featured as a keynote speaker. …

Soldiers Invade Nabi Saleh Village
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers invaded on Wednesday at dawn Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, broke into and searched several homes causing damage to personal property, before the the army confiscated private property, including computers, documents and phones. …

Ma’an News

Israeli group shows rise in Palestinian civilian deaths
3/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces killed 115 Palestinians last year, including 18 minors, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. The death toll of 2011 shows a marked increase on 2010, when Israeli forces killed 68 Palestinians in Gaza and 12 in the West Bank…. Related:B’Tselem’s annual report on human rights in the Occupied Territories

Medics: Shalabi returned to prison after tests
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A representative of Physicians for Human Rights said Wednesday hunger-striking prisoner Hana Shalabi returned to jail after undergoing medical tests in an Israeli hospital. Amani Al Dayef, who visited Shalabi in the ward, told Voice of Palestine radio she underwent a CT scan, and was facing heart problems and muscle wasting….

Israeli troops ‘seize computers, documents’ in Nabi Saleh raid
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) –Israeli troops stormed the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh overnight Tuesday, ransacking several homes and confiscating computers and cell phones, according to the local popular resistance movement. The movement’s media office told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers raided the homes of detained community leader Bassem Tamimi….

Popular committee: Kafr Qaddum protesters detention extended
3/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two protesters who were detained with the use of police dogs in the northern West Bank on Friday have had their detention extended by an Israeli military court, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said on Tuesday. Ahmad Shtawi, who was wounded when on Friday when Israeli border police released a dog….

Prisoners ‘to refuse Israeli DNA tests’
3/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners in a southern Israeli jail said Wednesday they will refuse the prison authorities extraction of their DNA samples. A police delegation arrived at the jail on Wednesday to begin taking DNA from the prisoners, Gaza-based prisoners group Husam said. The Israeli prison service had notified the 450 Palestinians in….

Ambulances, bakeries hit by Gaza fuel crisis
3/21/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Half of Gaza’s ambulances and fire trucks are out of service due to the fuel crisis, officials said Wednesday. Emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said no ambulances will be operating if the crisis is not resolved quickly. At a news conference in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City….

Israel asks to ‘clear Cairo embassy contents’
3/21/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Israel has asked Egypt for permission to send planes to remove the contents of its Cairo embassy, Egyptian foreign ministry and airport sources said on Tuesday, highlighting deteriorating ties between the two states since Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year. It was not immediately clear what prompted the request but a parliamentary committee….

Israeli forces remove West Bank checkpoint
3/21/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces removed the al-Tur military checkpoint at the southern entrance of Mt. Gerizim near Nablus, the head of the Samaritan community Ishaq Sameri said Tuesday. Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces removed the concrete blocks and barriers with trucks. Israel’s military referred calls to the border….

UNRWA pledges youth consultation on programs
3/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — At the conclusion of a conference on young Palestinian refugees, UN agency UNRWA pledged to consult Palestinian youth over its programs to assist refugees. The UN Palestinian refugee agency said at the meeting in Brussels it would put more focus on youth in reforms of its education and health work, and….

Israeli troops detain Jihad leader near Jenin
3/21/2012 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained an Islamic Jihad leader in the northern West Bank overnight Tuesday, amid a string of arrests of movement affiliates in recent months. Jafar Ez Al-Din Qadan, 40, was seized from his home in Arraba village south of Jenin. Qadan has been imprisoned by Israel several times, a Ma….

Israeli troops detain at least 7 in West Bank
3/21/2012 – QALQILIA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained at least seven Palestinians overnight Tuesday, according to security officials. Soldiers raided several homes in Sanniriya village near Qalqiliya, before seizing Abdul Karim Abu Hajla, 25, witnesses told Ma’an. An Israeli army spokeswoman said two people were detained in both Zatara and Husan, near Bethlehem, two….

Freed prisoners protest for jobs in Gaza
3/21/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Released prisoners protested in Gaza City on Wednesday demanding that President Mahmoud Abbas fulfill promises to help them find jobs and accommodation. Over 1,000 detainees were released late last year in a prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hamas, but around 200 were not allowed to return to their homes….

Arab League, OIC to discuss Jerusalem
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Representatives from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation will meet to discuss Israeli violations in Jerusalem, an Arab League official said Wednesday. The meeting will be held after the upcoming Arab League Summit, which commences March 29, assistant secretary-general for Palestinian affairs at the Arab League Mohammed Sbeih….

Fayyad: Stop using Palestinians to justify terror
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday condemned the killing of three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in France, rejecting the suspected gunman’s motive of avenging Palestinian children killed by Israel.”This terrorist crime is condemned in the strongest terms by the Palestinian people and our….

Egypt’s Brotherhood eyes end to Gaza blockade
3/21/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — The Muslim Brotherhood aims to open the Egyptian border with Gaza to commerce, a shift that would transform life for Palestinians there but which is hitting resistance from Egyptian authorities reluctant to change a longstanding policy. The biggest party in Egypt’s new parliament, the Islamists are not yet in government but….

PA says funds needed to reverse water crisis
3/21/2012 – BRUSSELS (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Wednesday said he hoped donors would fund a desalination plant to ease the water crisis in the Gaza Strip. Speaking from Brussels in a weekly interview to the official Voice of Palestine radio, Fayyad said the plant would cost almost half a billion dollars….

PA: Abbas, Clinton discuss upcoming Quartet meet
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday ahead of a meeting of the international Quartet scheduled for next month, state media reported. Clinton’s call to Abbas was to follow up on discussions between Abbas and Obama a day earlier, the official Palestinian Authority news….

PMA: Turkish banks to open branches in West Bank
3/21/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two Turkish banks will open branches in the West Bank, the chief of the Palestinian Monetary Authority said Wednesday. Jihad al-Wazir told Ma’an the PMA asked Turkey to open banks in Palestine to enhance the economy through regional commercial exchange. Turkish representatives will visit the West Bank in April….

Gaza protesters rally against Abbas
3/21/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Protesters on Wednesday held a rally in Gaza City against Mahmoud Abbas, accusing the president of neglecting his responsibilities to the Gaza Strip. They carried posters urging the president to resign if he could not fulfill his duties, and reminding Abbas that he presides over all Palestinian people and not….

Victims of France shooting buried in Jerusalem
3/21/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Three Jewish children and a rabbi shot dead at a Jewish school in France were buried in Jerusalem on Wednesday in a funeral where one Israeli official said the attack was inspired by “wild animals made crazy by their hatred.” Their bodies were wrapped in burial shrouds in accordance with orthodox tradition after….

Right of reply: Gilad Atzmon responds to Palestinian writers
3/21/2012 – In mid-March, a group of more than 20 Palestinian writers publicly disavowed Gilad Atzmon, a musician and writer who was born in Israel, and accused him of attacking Jewish identity and suggesting that Jews who identify as such are necessarily Zionists. His response is below: Ali Abunimah and company tend to present themselves as advocates….

PA ‘spent $7 billion’ in Gaza since split
3/21/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority has spent over $7 billion in Gaza since 2007, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said Wednesday. The Fatah-led government in Ramallah has continued to meet its obligations in Gaza even though Fatah was ousted from the coastal enclave by Hamas in 2007, Assaf said in a statement. The PA….

Besieged France gunman moved by ‘al-Qaida, Palestinian children’
3/21/2012 – TOULOUSE, France (Reuters) — A gunman, suspected of killing three children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in the name of al-Qaida, said on Wednesday he would hand himself over to police after an hours-long siege in which he wounded three officers. About 300 police, some in bullet-proof body armour, cordoned off an area surrounding….

Turkey says may still get US waiver on Iran sanctions
3/21/2012 – ANKARA (Reuters) — Turkey could still get a waiver over sanctions which the United States plans to implement on countries buying oil from Iran despite not being named on a list of exempted nations released by Washington, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday.” Turkey’s absence from the United States waiver list regarding the….

UN chief warns of ‘massive repercussions’ in Syria crisis
3/21/2012 – AMMAN (Reuters) — UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that Syria’s crisis was extremely dangerous and had “massive repercussions” for the world, as more fighting erupted, with two Damascus suburbs coming under heavy tank bombardment.” We do not know how events will unfold. But we do know that we all have a responsibility….

French shooting suspect had been arrested in Afghanistan
3/21/2012 – KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) — French school shooting suspect Mohamed Merah had been arrested for bomb making in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar in 2007 but broke out of jail months later after a daring Taliban prison break, the director of prisons in Kandahar told Reuters. Ghulam Faruq said that Merah was detained by security services…. Related: Fayyad: Stop using Palestinians to justify terror

TV: French school shooting suspected arrested
3/21/2012 – PARIS (Reuters) — A gunman suspected of killing of seven people in the name of al-Qaida was arrested by police in southwest France after a nearly 12-hour operation in the city of Toulouse, French television channels BFM TV and i-Tele reported on Wednesday. One police source who is not directly linked to the investigation confirmed…. Related:French minister denies shooting suspect arrested

UN Security Council agrees to statement on Syria
3/21/2012 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — The UN Security Council, including Russia and China, has agreed to a statement on Syria that backs UNArab League envoy Kofi Annan’s bid to end violence that has brought the country to the brink of civil war, council diplomats said on Wednesday. The statement also threatens Syria with “further steps….

French minister denies shooting suspect arrested
3/21/2012 – PARIS (Reuters) — French Interior Minister Claude Gueant denied on Wednesday that a gunman suspected of killing seven people in the name of al-Qaida has been arrested, a ministry spokesman said.” Claude Gueant denies the arrest of the main suspect,” interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told Reuters. Earlier, French television channels BFM TV and i-Tele had…. Related: TV: French school shooting suspected arrested

Witnesses: Syrian shells land in north Lebanon
3/21/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Several Syrian shells landed in the Lebanese border village of al-Qaa and nearby fields on Wednesday evening, injuring one person, after heavy artillery was heard on the Syrian side of the frontier, residents said.” More than five shells landed in the fields and in the village,” a farmer in al-Qaa told Reuters. Another….


French police surround suspect’s hideout
AlJazeera 21 Mar 2012 – Siege of 24-year-old man continues for last 13 hours, as victims shot outside Toulouse school are buried in Israel.

International Solidarity Movement

Nablus marches for Hana Shalabi
3/21/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Christopher Beckett, 21 March 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – On March 19th 2012, in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, ISM volunteers joined demonstrators in solidarity with Ms. Hana Shalabi, now entering her 35th day of hunger strike. Marching from outside the headquarters of the Red Cross, a group of around a….

Rachel Corrie & Hana Shalabi: Flowers among thistles of Israeli occupation
3/21/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Nathan Stuckey, 21 March 2012, International Solidarity Movement, Gaza – Rachel Corrie was murdered nine years ago by an Israeli bulldozer.   Hana Shalabi has spent the last 34 days on hunger strike an Israeli prison, yet she is accused of no crime.   This was not the first time Hana has been held in Israeli prisons….

Settlers grab Palestinian water springs: U.N. report
3/21/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Jihan Abdallah, 19 March 2012, Reuters – (Reuters) – Jewish settlers have seized dozens of natural springs in the occupied West Bank, barring Palestinians or limiting their access to scarce water sources, a United Nations report said on Monday. The U. N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had surveyed 530….

Relief Web

Human Rights in the Occupied Territories: Annual Report 2011
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Israel Preface Throughout the year B?Tselem conducts in?depth research and produces publications regarding specific human rights issues. This publication gives an overview of the broad…

UN agency outlines steps to boost support to young Palestinian refugees
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: UN News Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory 20 March 2012 – The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees today unveiled 10 commitments through which it will strengthen support to and better engage young refugees, as it wrapped up a…

Qatar to offer fuel supplies to Gaza for free – Haniyah
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: Kuwait News Agency Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Qatar GAZA, March 20 (KUNA) — Prime Minister of the Palestinian Government in Gaza Strip Ismail Haniyah said Tuesday the State of Qatar agreed to supply the Strip with fuel free of…

Human Rights Council opens general debate on the Human Rights situation in Palestine and other Occupied Arab Territories
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: occupied Palestinian territory Human Rights Council MORNING 19 March 2012 The Human Rights Council this morning opened its general debate on the human rights situation in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories after hearing…

Sanctuary in the city? Urban displacement and vulnerability in Amman
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: ODI – Humanitarian Policy Group Country: Jordan , Iraq , occupied Palestinian territory While a number of studies in recent years have sought to analyse urban livelihoods and governance, little is known about how displaced people negotiate their way in the…

Export of agricultural produce from Gaza can continue
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: Government of the Netherlands Country: occupied Palestinian territory Farmers in Gaza can start preparing for the coming growing season. Israel has agreed to the continuation of the Dutch-Palestinian agricultural produce export project. The crops in question are strawberries, bell…

EC and Arab League demand support for UNRWA’s work engaging Palestine refugee youth in the Middle East
Relief Web 20 Mar 2012 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory 19 March 2012 Brussels, Belgium At a major international conference convened by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), there have been…

‘What We Owe above All to the Youth of the Palestinian Refugee Camps Is Peace,’ Says Secretary General, in Message to Brussels Meeting
Relief Web 19 Mar 2012 – Source: UN Secretary-General Country: occupied Palestinian territory , Jordan , Lebanon SG/SM/14171 PAL/2151 Following is the message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) stakeholder conference, delivered by…

HR Ashton and Palestinian PM Fayyad sign agreements worth €35 million to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian people
Relief Web 19 Mar 2012 – Source: European Union Country: occupied Palestinian territory Brussels, 19 March 2012 – High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission Catherine Ashton signed today, on behalf of the European Union, two Financing Agreements with Prime Minister…

Palestinian state-building: An achievement at increased risk
Relief Web 19 Mar 2012 – Source: UN Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories Country: occupied Palestinian territory 19th March 2012 Palestinian state-building at increased risk (Brussels) The Palestinian state-building achievement is at increased risk, resulting from increased financial pressure on the Palestinian Authority and the…

The National

Long-time Islamist prisoner faces a whole new Egypt
The National 21 Mar 2012 – Jailed for 30 years after Sadat killing, Abboud El Zomor’s life after prison provides a parallel for the position in which his fellow Islamists find themselves post-Mubarak.

UN Security Council unite on Annan’s Syria peace proposals
The National 21 Mar 2012 – The previously divided UN Security Council send a strong and united message to the Syrian government and opposition to immediately implement Kofi Annan’s plan to end the year-long bloodshed.

Blix allays any fear of disasters
The National 21 Mar 2012 – The UAE coast is 608 kilometres away from the closest reactor in Iran, says the head of the UAE nuclear advisory board.


TIMELINE / Serial attacker terrorizes southwestern France
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Former Nazi guard John Demjanjuk to be buried in the United States
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

French Foreign Minister: France is determined to fight terrorism and anti-Semitism
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Sarkozy: Suspect in Toulouse shooting had plans to strike again
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Live Coverage: French police surround suspect in Jewish school shooting
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

PROFILE: Suspected Toulouse gunman associated with al-Qaida, Taliban
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Live Coverage: Suspect in French Jewish school shooting renews contact with police
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Suspect in French Jewish school shooting cuts contact with police; Toulouse area evacuated
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Former Mossad chief: Israel will know before Iran begins producing nuclear weapons
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Thousands attend Jerusalem funeral of Toulouse Jewish school shooting victims
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Suspect in French Jewish school shooting says willing to surrender
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

France police besiege home of al-Qaida man suspected in Toulouse shooting
Ha’aretz – 21 Mar 2012

Knesset again postpones vote on Netanyahu’s flagship housing reform
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2012

Knesset Finance Committee okays huge payout to West Bank settlements
Ha’aretz – 20 Mar 2012

Jerusalem Post

Workers strike at Kupat Holim Meuhedet
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – workers strike to protest against “failure to advance in negotiation” on various issues. 

Police examining shipment path of Delhi terror bomb parts
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Test show that components used to make the “sticky bomb” may not have been locally procured. 

Al-Qaida terror plot trial opens in Germany
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Ahmad Wali Siddiqui, a German-Afghani accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Europe, goes to trial. 

French MDA volunteers among funeral attendees
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – French Friends of MDA had donated all of the ambulances and mobile intensive care units that were present. 

Israel clears out old embassy in Cairo
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Sources say move not political as Israel sends cargo planes to empty out contents of embassy ransacked in September. 

Khamenei rid gov’t of ‘all internal opposition’
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012Iran‘s supreme leader consolidates power, effectively sidelining Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

Egypt struggles for spy satellite program progress
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Country has struggled to make progress in gaining intelligence satellite capabilities. 

The lone wolf killer: Merah fits new al-Qaida mold
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Analysis: Online jihadis tell followers to act alone and attack near home. 

French police seek to intimidate gunman with blasts
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Minister says three loud blasts at alleged shooter Mohamed Merah standoff site not the start of assault; Obama, Sarkozy vow to fight “terrorist barbarism.” 

13 yrs for US man who thought he was Israeli spy
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Ex-scientist tried to sell secrets to FBI agent posing as Israeli spy, which included data on US satellites and early-warning systems. 

The UNHRC and Hamas
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – The council consistently discerns nothing more urgent to occupy itself with than Israel’s alleged human rights abuses. 

32 killed in Syria; violence spills into Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Most deaths occur in central Homs province, flashpoint region for opposition, gov’t battles; several shells hit Lebanese village. 

The problem with going negative
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Borrowing from the anti-Israel playbook, however tantalizing, is simply not a sound strategy for the American scene. 

Why is the NIF panicking?
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Instead of lashing out, NIF officials should promote a vibrant society based on twin pillars of Zionism, democracy. 

The great repression
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Today we are still occupied in constantly repressing ideas and notions or at least accusing others of doing so. 

Inside Out: Disengagement, occupation, missiles
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Occupation never was nor is it the answer to the threat of missile attacks at the hands of Israel’s neighbors. 

Washington Watch: Setting back the war clock
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – One of the PM’s objectives is to help defeat the incumbent because Obama in a 2nd term might not be so easily bullied. 

Media Comment: The new IBA law
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – The current system of self-regulation has not worked and public confidence in the press is lacking. 

Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Israel has never been a partisan issue in American politics – until now. 

Travel warning remains high ahead of Pessah
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Counterterrorism bureau says Iran, Hezbollah still trying to kill, kidnap Israelis abroad after India, Georgia, Thailand attacks. 

Black and white and fun all over
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Directors Toledano and Nakache speak to ‘The Jerusalem Post’ about how people act in extreme situations. 

‘Real relief for Gaza energy crisis within 5 months’
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Egypt envoy to Palestinian territories downplays tensions between Hamas, Cairo, says “our relations are strong.” 

The beautiful and tragic story of Naharayim
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – If you’re traveling to Israel’s beautiful North, visit Naharyim, a small strip of land located between Israel and Jordan. 

Egypt’s Brotherhood may bid for president
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – In policy U-turn, senior members of Brotherhood say the Islamist organization will run a candidate in 1st free election. 

Madonna adds ‘Concert for Peace’ in TA
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Queen of Pop sets additional date, says universality of music can draw attention to peace efforts. 

Gross’s wife hopes Cubans reciprocate gesture
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Following judge’s decision to allow convicted Cuban spy to visit ailing brother, wife of Alan Gross hopes Cuban gov’t will grant her husband similar request. 

Turkey will seek US waiver on Iran sanctions
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Erdogan plans to raise the issue with the US president at a nuclear summit later in the month, Ankara’s energy minister says. 

Activists protest oil shale project at Knesset
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Developer says shale is a “national treasure,” mining will cause no harm to Israel’s natural resources. 

Sinai Says: The ever-enigmatic Katash
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Mac TA-Pana can’t help but bring to mind the tragic figure of Oded Katash and the tears of joy and sadness shed. 

Tanks shell Damascus suburbs after rebel attacks
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Barrages hit capital after Free Syria Army renews attacks; Russia issues sharpest criticism of Syrian leadership. 

Religious leaders unite to bless sustainability
Jerusalem Post 21 Mar 2012 – Muslim, Jewish, Christian clerics gather in Jerusalem to promote cooperation on environmental protection. 

Man, 21, gets 10 years for crime committed in 2007
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2012 – Victim’s family, which opposed plea bargain for manslaughter conviction, slams prison term as being “too lenient.” 

Knesset passes bill pressuring men to give ‘get’
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2012 – New law stipulates that once a rabbinical court has ruled that the husband must give his wife a bill of divorce, he must do so within 45 days. 

Why deterrence won’t work against Iran
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2012 – A policy of containment and deterrence is a call for inaction. 

Libya releases journo detained over Welsh-Hebrew mix-up
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2012 – Misrata Brigade snatch two journalists, detain them in “cramped” bunker in Tripoli, accuse the two men of being Israeli spies, BBC reports. 

Appaholic: Top 5 Jewish trivia apps
Jerusalem Post 20 Mar 2012 – This week, Appaholic brings you five apps that celebrate a humorous history of Jewish wisdom and rhetorical ticks. 

The Guardian

Hundreds gather for Jerusalem funeral of Toulouse shooting victims
The Guardian 21 Mar 2012 – Mourners pay tribute to father, sons and classmate killed by gunman at Jewish school Swathed in a white shawl, Jonathan Sandler’s body emerged first. A vast crowd of mourners watched in silence as the rabbi was…

Israel ‘turning blind eye’ to West Bank settlers’ attacks on Palestinians
The Guardian 21 Mar 2012 – EU reports say farmers are bearing the brunt of intimidation in systematic and expanding campaign of violence Jewish settlers in the West Bank are conducting a systematic and expanding campaign of violence against Palestinian farmers, families…

Toulouse shooting victims’ funeral held in Jerusalem – video
The Guardian 21 Mar 2012 – The three children and the rabbi shot dead at a Jewish school in Toulouse in France are buried in Jerusalem

Inter Press Service

Palestinian Children Learn the Brazilian Way
IPS Standing under a canopy just inside Jerusalem’s Old City walls, a group of 20 Palestinian children are banging drums, clapping their hands and singing in Portuguese. This is capoeira, the traditional Afro-Brazilian sport that mixes dance, music and martial arts, and it is sweeping through the West Bank and East…


Gaza is Dying!
Uruknet March 20, 2012 –We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Israeli war crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip. We call on the international community and the Arab and Islamic worlds to take up their responsibility to protect the Palestinian people from this heinous aggression and immediately terminate the continuing Israeli policy of…

Assassinations at Home and Abroad
Uruknet March 21, 2012 – The rule of law is everywhere in retreat. Racist vigilante justice trumps Blacks’ right to life in Florida and a growing number of “shoot first” states, while the U.S. president claims the right to kill at will, internationally. “The Florida laws are the local articulation of a US foreign policy that deploys…

Gaza out of the spotlight…and out of power, gasoline, and cooking gas for that matter
Uruknet March 21, 2012 – Every time I speak with Emad in Gaza things are even worse than the day before. I know how hard it was during the power outages that were 6 hours, but now the power outages are 20 hours in many areas, 18 hours in others, and even entire days-24 hours without electricity…….

Human Rights Organisations Call on B’Tselem to Withdraw from Conference Featuring Alleged War Criminal Ehud Olmert
Uruknet March 21, 2012 – As organisations dedicated to the protection and promotion of human rights-including those acting as legal representatives for war crimes victims-we are disappointed by B’Tselem’s active participation in an upcoming event at which former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be fêted as a keynote speaker. Olmert has been implicated in the commission…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – The number of martyrs in Syria thus far today has risen to 54 martyrs, among them 5 children and 2 women. They are distributed as follows: 25 martys in Homs, 15martyrs in Idlib, 5 martyrs in Hama, 3 martyrs in Damascus Suburbs, 2 martyrs in each of Deir Ezzor and Damascus, and…

Palestine’s Economy is in Trouble, But Why?
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – Israel is nothing if not audacious, but this last maneuver is even cheekier than most. On Wednesday, donor countries will meet in Brussels and the Israeli delegation will be armed with a 44-page paper penned by Israel’s foreign ministry, which basically says the Palestinians are just not ready for their own state…….

Sohaib, 6 years old, injured by an Israeli bullet
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – On Saturday evening around 7pm, Israeli soldiers opened fire on the edge of Karm Abu Salem, east of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. Sohaib Sultan, 6 years old, was playing at home with his brothers when he was injured by one of the bullets on the right side of his thigh. His parents,…

Videos Of Theft Of Palestinian Water
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – According to a report released yesterday Monday March 19 2012 by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory, the zionists jewish colonists have “seized” Palestinian Water Resources (dozens of natural springs) in the occupied West Bank, barring Palestinians and limiting their access to the…

Uruknet March 20, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Iraq is slammed with bombings (refuting all of the claims made by Antony Winken Blinken and Nod — see yesterday’s snapshot), Kurdish President Massoud Barzani delivers a speech and the press notes the message to Nouri but misses the message to the US, Cindy Sheehan continues her war tax…

012 : A Video Roundup

Hana Shalabi on Her 34th Day of Hunger Strike: Israeli Prison Service Refusing to Transfer Her to Hospital Despite Immediate Risk of Death
Uruknet 20 March 2012 – Addameer, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) and Al-Haq express their grave concern for the health of Hana Shalabi, who is at immediate risk of death on her 34th day of hunger strike. As of today, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) is refusing to transfer Ms. Shalabi to the hospital, despite yesterday’s urgent…

Ironies in American justice and political cheerleading
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – A reader reminded me of this yesterday and it’s really quite something: in July, 2009, NBC s Chuck Todd went on Morning Joe to defend President Obama’s decision to shield all Bush officials from prosecution for torture, arguing that because Bush got his lawyers to say he could torture, it was legal….

Athlete abused by Israeli soldier for carrying Palestine flag in Jerusalem marathon
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – Jerusalem came to a standstill on 16 March as thousands of runners gathered to participate in the city’s second annual marathon. But while the marathon was presented as a friendly and innocent international sporting event, in reality it contributed to normalizing Israel’s control over the city and its discriminatory policies towards Palestinian…

NATO ‘covers up’ Libyan death shame
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – NATO has failed to investigate scores of civilian deaths incurred during its seven-month military campaign in Libya, Amnesty international says. NATO expressed its “regret” for civilian casualties but has taken no steps to initiate an investigation. “It is deeply disappointing that more than four months since the end of the military campaign,…

Syria One Year After the Beginning of the Revolution Part 1: Who is Behind the Popular Movement?
Uruknet March 20 , 2012 – …The Syrian opposition has been very often reduced by the regional and international media to the Syrian National Council (SNC). In reality, the Syrian political scene is very rich and complex. The SNC is a group of regime opponents in exile and is dominated by political parties, notably the Muslim Brotherhood and…

Kairos Palestine Responds to Michael Oren
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – In this inaccurate and manipulative text, Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, blames the plight of Palestinian Christians on oppression at the hands of Palestinian Muslims — rather than at the hands of the illegal Israeli occupation itself, as is our reality. We add our voices to several other recently published responses…

Fatah: Iran paid Hamas to block unity deal
Uruknet March 20, 2012Iran paid Hamas to block a deal with the rival Fatah movement that would have ended a five-year rift between the two main Palestinian factions, a Fatah spokesman said Tuesday. He said Tehran recently resumed financial aid to Hamas which it had suspended six months ago over the movement’s failure to back…

Settlers grab Palestinian water springs – UN report
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – Jewish settlers have seized dozens of natural springs in the occupied West Bank, barring Palestinians or limiting their access to scarce water sources, a United Nations report said on Monday. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had surveyed 530 springs in the West Bank and found…

Iraq Slaughter: 63 Killed, 257 Wounded
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – At least 63 Iraqis were killed and 257 more were wounded in a series of attacks that took place a day after the ninth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. While the date may be significant, the attacks could also be a simple prelude to Arab League related violence. Although many…

Israel refuses to hospitalize Hana Shalabi: our freedom is even more precious and more powerful than their cells’
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – Following reports of Hana Shalabi being “in imminent danger of death,” yesterday, Israel moved the hunger striker to a hospital, although she was not admitted, and was returned to a prison clinic in Ramleh. She is now in her 35th day of protest against administrative detention, Israel’s policy of imprisonment without charge….

012) – Full report
Uruknet March 20, 2012 – Today, 20 March 2012, DCI-Palestine is launching a new report: Bound, Blindfolded and Convicted: Children held in military detention. The report is the culmination of four year’s work by DCI, with the support of the European Union, focusing on verifying reports of ill-treatment and torture of children in the Israeli military detention…

Uruknet March 19, 2012 – March 19, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Barack tries to squeeze a cheap campaign buck out of the blood and bones of the dead, the Abu Ghraib torture queen weighs in with her thoughts, and more on this 9th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War… Today Barack Obama declared of…

012 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet March 19, 2012 – By the end of this Monday, 34 martyrs had fallen in Syria, among them 4 children. 10 martyrs fell in Deir Ezzor, 6 martyrs fell in Daraa, 5 martyrs fell in Hama, 3 fell in each of Idlib, Aleppo, and Damascus Suburbs (Qatana and Douma), and 2 martyrs in each of Qamishli…

Daily Star

Ex-gov’t scientist gets 13 years in espionage case
Daily Star 21 Mar 2012 A former U.S. government space scientist was sentenced to 13 years in prison for admitting that he tried to sell space and defense secrets to Israel in what turned out to be an FBI sting operation.

New York police say Iran did surveillance in city
Daily Star 21 Mar 2012 Authorities have interviewed at least 13 people since 2005 with ties to Iran‘s government who were seen taking pictures of New York City landmarks.

Saudi Arabia pushing Bahrain to solve crisis, fears Syria effect
Daily Star 21 Mar 2012 KSA wants Bahrain’s government and opposition to resolve a political crisis that it fears could worsen because of the sectarian fallout of fighting in Syria and destabilise its Eastern Province.

YNet News

French media: Police inside Toulouse gunman’s flat
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – ….

French media: Toulouse gunman refused to surrender
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – ….

3 rockets fired at western Negev
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Fragile lull rattled as three rockets explode in open areas in south. No injuries or damage were reported ….

French police storm Toulouse gunman’s home
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – ….

Syria’s Assad must go
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: UK Foreign Secretary William Hague vows not to forget Syrian people for a single day ….

France: Toulouse gunman planned to kill another soldier
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – ….

Egypt’s Brotherhood mulling run for president
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – ….

CTB issues Passover travel advisories
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Counter Terrorism Bureau warns Iran, Hezbollah may use coming holiday to mount terror attacks against Israelis traveling abroad ….

Meridor: Iran chatter is redundant
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Atomic energy minister says profuse rhetoric on possible Iran strike is futile; notes ‘If you want to shoot – shoot’ ….

Israel, the Jewish haven
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: Despite our wars and terror attacks, Israel is the safest place in the world for Jews ….

Sexual harassment case against MK Kara dropped
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Investigators conclude that sexual harassment charges made against Likud Knesset member are without evidentiary merit ….

Israel inks another Dolphin deal
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Israel, Germany finalize sale of sixth Dolphin-class submarine for $530 million ….

Knesset approves ‘Lapid bill’
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Bill inspired by journalist-turned-politician requires anyone declaring intention to run for Knesset seat to report source of donations ….

Palestinian who planned to kidnap soldier arrested
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Shin Bet thwarts abduction and terrorist attack in Eilat: Hamas operative Muhammad abu-Adara arrested last month while trying to carry out his plans in Sinai ….

The day Europe died
YNet News, 21 Mar 2012 – Op-ed: Europe’s deeply flawed morality, dying soul, evident in Gaza-Toulouse comparison ….

Palestinian Information Center

Gaza bakeries to stop working in four days
PIC – The bakers society in the Gaza Strip has announced that all bakeries in the coastal enclave would come to a complete halt within four days due to lack of fuel.

Two million protesters expected to participate in the Global March to Jerusalem
PIC – The organizing committee of the Global March to Jerusalem expects the participation of more than two million people in the march which will be started from the surrounding countries of Palestine.

The captive Khader Adnan moved out hospital
PIC – The Zionist Prisons Service decided to move the captive Khader Adnan from the Zif medical center in Safad to jail because his health improved after treatment for effects of a 66-day hunger strike.

The Zionist occupation finalizes purchase of sixth German-made submarine
PIC – The Zionist government is slated on Wednesday to sign with its German counterpart a new military deal to buy a sixth sophisticated nuclear submarine .

IOF unit storms school, arrests 11-year-old child
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a school in Ras Al-Amud suburb in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning and arrested an 11-year-old child.

Hamas warns Israel against escalation of violations against prisoners
PIC – Hamas has warned Israel of escalating violations of Palestinian prisoners’ rights after hunger striker Hana’a Shalabi was carried to hospital on her 36th day of hunger strike.

B’Tselem: Israeli forces killed 37 Palestinians in 2011
PIC – The number of Palestinians killed at the hands of Israeli forces in 2011 was more than double the number of 2010, B’Tselem said on Wednesday.

IOA turns down appeal for release of 72-year-old MP
PIC – The Israeli higher court turned down an appeal by lawyer of MP Ahmed Al-Haj Ali to end his administrative detention, without trial or charge, at the pretext of having secret charges against him.

Hamas renews its adherence to resistance as option to liberate Palestine
PIC – The Hamas Movement on Wednesday renewed its oath of adherence to the option of resistance until the liberation of all Palestine.

IOA decides to exile 8 Beit Ummar children
PIC – The Israeli military court in Ofer has decided to banish eight Palestinian children from their hometown of Beit Ummar, north of Al-Khalil.


Shepherds Arrested in the South Hebron Hills
WAFA – 19:27-HEBRON, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli police and army units arrested two Palestinian shepherds while grazing on the hills surrounding the village of Al-Tuwani, in the south…

Japan Inaugurates Three Projects in Jordan Valley
WAFA – 15:49-RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Japan and the Palestinian Authority (PA) inaugurated on Wednesday three projects for community empowerment in the Jordan Valley, according to a press…

Fayyad Describes Attack in France as Cowardly Terrorist Act
WAFA – 15:29-RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Wednesday condemned the attack on a school in Toulouse, France, describing it as a “cowardly terrorist act,” according…

Foreign Ministry Condemns Knesset Endorsement of Settlements
WAFA – 14:27-RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wednesday condemned in a statement the Israeli Knesset’s endorsement of settlement activities in the Palestinian Territory. The…

Clinton Calls Abbas to follow on Call from Obama
WAFA – 14:14- RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Wednesday called President Mahmoud Abbas as a follow up to an earlier call from…

Israeli Forces Storm Ramallah Area Village, Confiscate Properties
WAFA – 12:06-RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Wednesday stormed the Ramallah area village of Nabi Saleh, raided and ransacked several Palestinian houses, and confiscated private properties, said…

Israeli Court Extends Arrest of Injured Minor
WAFA – 10:40- RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – An Israeli court extended Wednesday the arrest of injured Palestinian minor Mohammad Rashid for a week under the pretext of preparing…

Weather Forecast: Clear Skies, Temperature Rise
WAFA – 08:56-RAMALLAH, March 21, 2012 (WAFA) – Wednesday’s skies are clear with a slight rise in temperature around seasonal average, moderate northwesterly winds and low sea waves, according to…

Striking Prisoner not admitted to Hospital, say Rights Groups
WAFA – 20:17-RAMALLAH, March 20, 2012 – Contrary to earlier reports that Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for 34 straight days Hana Shalabi was transferred to hospital following deterioration in…

Jewish Settlers Plan Takeover of Palestinian Houses, says Peace Bloc
WAFA – 18:38-JERUSALEM, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Jewish settlers are planning to take over more Palestinian homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Beit Hanina and Sheikh Jarrah, the…

Court Keeps Dog-Bitten Protester in Prison
WAFA – 18:16-JENIN, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – An Israeli military court in Salem, near Jenin, Tuesday extended the remand of a dog-bitten protester and another activist from the village…

PLO Backs Resolution for Fact-Finding Mission
WAFA – 12:44-RAMALLAH, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi Tuesday said in a press release that the PLO supports the proposed United Nations Human Rights…

Israel Orders Construction on House to Stop
WAFA – 12:13- HEBRON, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – The Israeli authorities Tuesday issued a notice to stop construction work on a Palestinian house in Halhoul, a town north of…

Israel Transfers Striking Prisoner to Hospital
WAFA – 11:04-RAMALLAH, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Striking Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi was transferred from the Israeli HaSharon prison to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, said head of the…

Israeli Forces Arrest Three Palestinians in West Bank
WAFA – 10:55-JENIN/NABLUS, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday arrested three Palestinians in the northern West Bank governorates of Jenin and Nablus, according to local and security sources….

Newspapers Review: Call for UN Inquiry Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 10:54-RAMALLAH, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – The three Palestinian Arabic dailies Tuesday focused on the Palestinian request to the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva to…

Britain Expresses Concern over Israeli Occupation
WAFA – 10:54- LONDON, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague Monday expressed his country’s concern over the ongoing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory. He warn…

GDP Up in 2011, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 10:53-RAMALLAH, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – Preliminary estimates at constant prices showed an increase of 10.7% in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Palestinian Territory in 2011 compared…

EU Grants PA €35m to Improve Living Conditions
WAFA – 08:36-BRUSSELS, March 20, 2012 (WAFA) – The European Union Monday granted the Palestinian Authority €35 million euros to help improve living conditions of Palestinians in the occupied territories,…

Israeli Settlers Target Water Springs in West Bank, says UN Agency
WAFA – 15:27-JERUSALEM, March 19, 2012 (WAFA) – A total of 56 water springs across the occupied West Bank were the target of Israeli settler activities in 2011, a United…

Intifada Palestine

‘Bovver-boy’ Hague loves putting the boot into Iran
Intifada-Palestine: 21 Mar 2012 – …but when will he give Israel the kicking it deserves? by Stuart Littlwood  –   Intifada Palestine (London} UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has worked himself into a lather over Iran’s blocking of a Foreign Office website. He says: “I condemn… more


U.N. Security Council backs Kofi Annan’s peace efforts in Syria
LA Times 21 Mar 2012 – The U.N. Security Council OKs a statement calling on Syria’s regime and opposition to work with envoy Kofi Annan and supporting the delivery of aid for victims.  

Iraq attacks kill at least 46 a week before Arab League summit
LA Times 21 Mar 2012 – Explosions and shootings strike cities and towns across Iraq, highlighting security weaknesses a week before the Arab League summit in Baghdad. A series of explosions and shootings struck Iraq on Tuesday, leaving scores dead and injured a week before a major Arab summit in Baghdad…

Syria rebels committed serious abuses, Human Rights Watch says
LA Times 20 Mar 2012 – Human Rights Watch alleges Syrian opposition fighters have carried out kidnappings and torture, and reportedly executions, in contrast to their freedom fighter image. Syria’sarmed rebels have committed “serious human rights abuses,” including kidnappings and torture, and reportedly executions, of security personnel and civilians, Human Rights…

Toulouse Shooting Victims Buried in Israel
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – The bodies of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, a religious instructor at the school; his two sons, Arye, 6, and Gabriel, 3; and Miriam Monsonego, 8, the daughter of the school’s principal, were flown overnight from France

Libya Resists The Hague in War Crimes Case
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – The new Libyan authorities’ statements about the legal status of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s son and spy chief contradicted the views of The Hague. 

U.N. Council Backs Plan for Ending Syria Conflict
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – The United Nations unanimously embraced efforts by Kofi Annan to negotiate a cease-fire in the year-old Syria conflict, funnel aid to victims and begin a political transition in the country. 

Fighting Returns to Areas Syria Had Declared Secure
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – Syrian forces carried out a bombardment in the city of Homs and deployed tanks and helicopters to rout rebels in clashes just outside the capital, activists said. 

Baghdad Journal: Rand Hultz Reappears in Iraq, but Mystery Remains
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – The path of Rand Hultz from Army sergeant to surprise captive of a Shiite militia in Iraq has confounded his family and business associates. 

Muslim Brotherhood May Offer Presidential Candidate in Egypt
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – The Muslim Brotherhood had planned merely to endorse a candidate rather than putting forth one itself, but several have declined the group’s support. 

Emirates Keeps Tight Rein on Islamist Activists
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – While Islamist activists have found their way into government in many countries after the Arab Spring uprisings, they are still facing persecution and suspicion in the United Arab Emirates. 

Saudi Market Opens Up, but Gradually
New York Times 21 Mar 2012 – Given the authorities’ measured approach to freeing up the economy, steps to attract international funds will take months, if not years, to develop. 

Terror and the Murder of the Good
Tikun Olam – Tweet Terror victims in Toulouse (Jean-Philippe Arles/Reuters) The series of terror attacks in Toulouse over the past two weeks have proven several truths. First, that terror is the enemy of reason, tolerance, childhood, and almost everything that allows human civilization to flourish. It’s important to note…

The Jewish establishment goes to bat for Ray Kelly and the NYPD
Mondoweiss – (Photo: Robert Kalfus/Vos Iz Neias) From the halls of renowned academic institutions to the steps of New York’s City Hall , calls for the resignation of New York Police Department (NYPD) chief Ray Kelly have only grown louder in recent weeks. The demands for Kelly’s resignation come…

The ‘folly’ of the ‘war lobby’– What if NYT’s top-pick comments reflect popular opinion?
Mondoweiss – The Wizard of Oz Last weekend the New York Times published an article asserting that neocon Bill Kristol’s Emergency Committee for Israel has ” dominated the debate ” on the push for war with Iran. No surprise there. One voice we have not heard…

At a vigil for Rachel Corrie in Columbus, Ohio
Mondoweiss – Women in Black mourned Rachel Corrie and stood with Free Palestine on High Street in Columbus, Ohio at the Ohio State University campus last Friday, the anniversary of Rachel Corrie’s killing in 2003. We held signs, flew the Palestinian flag, and waved to passersby. We didn’t…

Einstein’s crime
Mondoweiss – Albert Einstein Yesterday Hebrew University unveiled a program to digitize parts of Albert Einstein’s archives. Donald MacIntyre, the Independent’s Jerusalem correspondent, starts his story by telling us how Einstein helped an ex-lover escape Europe. Like many men of power and privilege, Einstein chose to betray his…

Rockets are collective punishment
Mondoweiss – Last week Bradley Burston published a column in Haaretz , “To the leftist who has no problem with rocket fire on Israel,” that cited a piece on our site. Annie Robbins then responded to Burston in a post, “When victims retaliate.” Burston sent along the following response….

Israelis Say ‘No’ to Iran War
Tikun Olam – Tweet Caption: ‘The nation is against war with Iran‘ Israelis have begun intensive social networking efforts to promote the notion that their country does not want war with Iran. There will be a mass rally on Friday, March 24th at 7PM in HaBima Square in Tel…

Lieberman Calls Prospect of Iran War ‘Nightmare’
Tikun Olam – Tweet War, like politics, has a habit of making strange bedfellows.  Just when we’d heard that Bibi Netanyahu had a clear 8-6 majority in the cabinet favoring a war against Iran, we hear a new report that Avigdor Lieberman and his two Yisrael Beitenu ministers may…

Southern Africa: Zimbabwe, Iran Ties Questioned As SA Launches ‘Sanctions Busting’ Probe
allAfrica.com 21 Mar 2012 – [SW Radio] Zimbabwe’s ties with Iran, and reports that ZANU PF is seeking assistance from that country, are being questioned as South Africa launches a probe into alleged Iranian ‘sanctions busting’ deals there.

Egypt: Govt Demands Fact-Finding Committee On Israel’s Occupation
allAfrica.com 21 Mar 2012 – [Egypt Online] Egypt supports a proposal presented by the Arab and Islamic groups at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to set up a fact-finding committee on impacts of Israel’s occupation on the human rights conditions of the Palestinians.

Africa: Why Continent Must Worry About Israel – Iran War
allAfrica.com 21 Mar 2012 – [EA Business] There was no better stage than last week in Washington for the war drums to be sounded.

Barbara Slavin Discusses Iran with Jim Zogby
Arab American Institute 21 Mar 2012 – On the nuclear issue, Slavin described the sanctions imposed on Iran as ?draconian,? saying they were strangling Iran?s economy, and accredited them to Netanyahu?s ?hysteria? which led to unusually harsh sanctions to avoid war. On Netanyahu and Obama, Slavin read things differently from many pundits, saying…

US warns Syria over UN peace plan
BBC 21 Mar 2012 – The US warns Syria to comply with a UN-backed peace plan, as government tanks reportedly shell suburbs of Damascus

Toulouse victims buried in Israel
BBC 21 Mar 2012 – The funerals of the three children and a teacher shot dead by a gunman in the French city of Toulouse are held in Jerusalem.

Libya ‘to get former spy chief’
BBC 21 Mar 2012 – Libya’s deputy PM says Mauritania will extradite Gaddafi intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, but there is no official confirmation.

Suspect denies Thai terror link
BBC 21 Mar 2012 – A man who Thai police suspect of having militant links pleads not guilty in court to possessing illegal explosives.


Israel preparing for war with Iran
Neve Gordon, Redress 3/22/2012
“What looks like a preparation for war, acts like a preparation for war, and quacks like a preparation for war, is a preparation for war, and not just a ‘bluff’ or a diversion tactic.” (Aluf Benn, Editor-in-Chief, Haaretz newspaper)
In response to the recent assassination of Zuhair al-Qaisi, the secretary-general of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip, along with another fighter, Palestinians fired rockets at southern Israel and the Israeli military launched air strikes at targets throughout the Strip.
Within hours, the media fanfare began. Israeli news outlets began glorifying the interception of missiles by repeatedly showing images of an Iron Dome [anti-missile system] battery, often with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak standing in front of the defence system. Reporters continuously emphasized the Iron Dome’s high rate of success in intercepting the short-range rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel. One columnist characterized it as a “system that provides the goods, authentic Israeli brilliance, true pride”, while another columnist stated that this “weekend Israel took its hat off [to salute] Iron Dome”.
Initially, the government and security establishment claimed that “Al-Qaisi was assassinated in order to prevent an attack that was in the final stages of preparation”. Two days after Israel carried out the extra-judicial execution, however, the claim that Al-Qaisi presented an imminent danger dissipated.
On 11 March Ofer Shelah reported that even from the statements made yesterday by the minister of defence one got the sense that the assassination was not about direct prevention: Barak clearly stated that it is not totally clear what was being planned, from where, and whether the attack had been foiled. From this, it can be assumed that the attack was more about deterrence. more.. e-mail

Right of reply: Gilad Atzmon responds to Palestinian writers
By Gilad Atzmon, Ma’an News Agency 3/21/2012
In mid-March, a group of more than 20 Palestinian writers publicly disavowed Gilad Atzmon, a musician and writer who was born in Israel, and accused him of attacking Jewish identity and suggesting that Jews who identify as such are necessarily Zionists. His response is below.
Ali Abunimah and company tend to present themselves as advocates of “one democratic state in Palestine.” This leaves me puzzled: what kind of democracy do they have in mind, exactly? For by calling for my “disavowal,” the signatories prove beyond a doubt that they cannot tolerate even some elementary cultural criticism — criticism that is endorsed and praised by some of the most respected thinkers within our movement and beyond.
In fact, I am pretty delighted with the outraged reactions to my thoughts. I guess it enables us to map the discourse and its boundaries — and means that those boundaries are now official. Not only has my latest book, The Wandering Who?, rocked the boat, but it also has managed to unite Alan Dershowitz and Abe Foxman with Ali Abunimah and Max Blumenthal. That is pretty encouraging: it means that peace may prevail after all.
However, I also have some bad news for my would-be silencers, Palestinian and Jewish alike. I do not have any plans to slow down or drift away. I am a jazz musician and an independent thinker. I am basically a free agent — I say what I think and think what I say. The popularity of my writing among Palestinians, solidarity activists and truth seekers is the direct outcome of my sincere approach to the subject matter.
Whether my detractors accept it or not, the strength of my arguments is grounded on the transparent truthful nature of my premises. Until now, not one of my opponents has been able to point out a single discrepancy within my argument or the facts I cite…. more.. e-mail

Islamists and Palestine after the Arab Spring
Yassir Al Zaatra, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 3/20/2012
There is no doubt about Islamists’ commitment to the Palestinian cause, regardless of their ideological classifications, or whether they are in government or opposition. Nevertheless, a number of statements attributed to them in recent months – some accurately – cast doubt on that commitment, even given that some were distorted and exaggerated. A number of nationalists and leftists have sought to divert the Arab Spring, especially after it sparked the revolution in Syria and following the election results in Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Kuwait. The successes of the Islamist parties confirmed that the majority of the nationalist and leftist groups will be on the margins in the new democracies.
To criticise something even when you have no share in it is normal, but some went to the extreme in talking about Zionists being behind the revolutions or attributing them to Western-led conspiracies to break-up the Arab world (the theory of creative chaos). Such discussions have included suggestions of a coalition between Islamists and the United States, but this does not lessen the importance of the position Islamists must take towards the Palestinian issue. Thus they must display necessary caution in any statements which could be used to challenge their positions and, indeed, the Arab Spring in general.
We understand that the Islamic parties do not want to provoke the international community, which is already biased towards Israel, while they are still trying to find their feet in power. It is our conviction that the West’s hostile position will not change; that’s one thing, but to fall into the trap of making problematic statements is another.
It is understandable, for example, for the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis in Egypt not to talk about cancelling the Camp David peace agreement with Israel, not only because something like that would demand internal consensus, but also because of international sensitivity on such a matter…. more.. e-mail

Gaza out of the spotlight…and out of power, gasoline, and cooking gas for that matter
In Gaza: 21 Mar 2012 – Every time I speak with Emad in Gaza things are even worse than the day before.  I know how hard it was during the power outages that were 6 hours, but now the power outages are 20 hours in many areas, 18 hours in others, and even entire days—24 hours without electricity. See Press TV’s “ Long power outages cripple daily life in Gaza Strip “ The impact is significant and catastrophic: on the individual level, it means days of darkness in homes, no contact with the outside world, not even the luxury of watching news on tv, no power for space heaters if lucky enough to have them, dependence on candles for lighting, reading, cooking by. But it gets worse, deadly, when considering the impact on hospitals which, although many of them do have back-up generators, cannot depend on generators as a constant power source.  These coughing machines spew…more

Costly ‘Freedom’ in Afghanistan: On Morbid Wars and Logic
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2012 – By Ramzy Baroud The Afghans are a proud people with a long and formidable history of resistance to foreign occupation. The fact that they have always prevailed, however, should not distract from the horror they still routinely experience. The latest atrocious episode against Afghans took place on March 11 in the village of Balandi, when accused US Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales killed 16 innocent people while they were sleeping peacefully. Balandi is located in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province, which has seen some of the toughest resistance to the US-NATO occupation of the country. Kandaharis have received a bad reputation for spoiling the war party devised by the US, NATO, and their corrupt local allies. In a way, Balandi is a microcosm of Afghanistan. When the US-led bombing campaign of Afghanistan commenced in October 2001, many commentators cheered. In a strikingly unequal war — with the world most…more

A Planned Escalation: Israel Prepares for War
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Mar 2012 – By Neve Gordon Recent raids on Gaza were not just about allocating more money to defense – they were also about war with Iran. In response to the recent assassination of Zuhair al-Qaisi, the Secretary General of the Popular Resistance Committees in the Gaza Strip, along with another fighter, Palestinians fired rockets at southern Israel and the Israeli military launched air strikes at targets throughout the Strip. Within hours, the media fanfare began. Israeli news outlets began glorifying the interception missiles by repeatedly showing images of an Iron Dome battery, often with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak standing in front of the defense system. Reporters continuously emphasized the Iron Dome’s high rate of success in intercepting the short-range rockets launched from Gaza towards Israel. One columnist characterized it as a “system that provides the goods, authentic Israeli brilliance, true pride”, while another columnist stated that this…more

The Arab Revolt – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Mar 2012 – Reviewed by Ludwig Watzal (James Petras, The Arab Revolt and the Imperialist Counterattack, Clarity Press, Atlanta 2012, 130 pp. $ 16.95.) ‘Under the Clinton regime, US militarized imperialism in Africa took off’, writes James Petras, Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, in his introductory remarks to his latest book that compiles articles the author has written in recent month. They deal with the Arab Revolt and the belligerent actions taken by the United States and its allies within NATO. This compilation of essays shows the growing militarization of U. S. policy in North Africa and the Gulf and the historic confrontation between the Arab democratic revolution and the imperial backed reactionary satraps in the Middle East. When public uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt overthrew U. S. dictatorial-backed regimes, the ruling class in the United States was taken by surprise. However, as the Arab revolt spread to the…more

Details of Talks with IAEA Belie Charge Iran Refused Cooperation
Dissident Voice: 21 Mar 2012 – IPS — The first detailed account of negotiations between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran last month belies earlier statements by unnamed Western officials portraying Iran as refusing to cooperate with the IAEA in allaying concerns about alleged nuclear weaponisation work. The detailed account given by Iran’s permanent representative to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, shows that the talks in February came close to a final agreement, but were hung up primarily over the IAEA insistence on being able to reopen issues even after Iran had answered questions about them to the organisation’s satisfaction. It also indicates that the IAEA demand to visit Parchin military base during that trip to Tehran reversed a previous agreement that the visit would come later in the process, and that IAEA Director General Yukia Amano ordered his negotiators to break off the talks and return to Vienna rather than accept Iran’s invitation to…more

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