VTJP Palestine/Israel Newslinks 29 June 2012: Israel, US blast UN vote on Palestinian heritage sites

29 June 2012 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

22 Elected Legislators Still Imprisoned By Israel
IMEMC – Head of the Census Department at the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees, Abdul-Nasser Farawna, reported that the current number of elected Palestinian legislators imprisoned by Israel dropped to 22 after Israel released, on Thursday afternoon, two legislators, the Palestine News Network, PNN, reported. …

PCHR Weekly Report: “4 Killed, 32 Wounded By Israeli Fire”
IMEMC – The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in the Gaza Strip, published its weekly report on Israeli violations against the Palestinians in the occupied territories, for the period between June 21 – June 27, stating that four Palestinians were killed, and 32, including one child and two women, were wounded by Israeli military fire. …

Gaza’s Interior Ministry Publishes Confessions Of Collaborators
IMEMC – The Ministry of Interior and National Security of the Hamas-led government in Gaza published a video of what it called “serious confessions of dangerous collaborators” who helped Israel assassinate several fighters and political leaders including senior Hamas leader, Dr. Abdul-Aziz Rantissi, who was assassinated on April 17, 2004. …

Israeli Sources Claim %80 Of Migron Lands Have Been Bought
IMEMC – The Israeli Today (Israel Hayom) Newspaper claimed that it received information stating that more than %80 of the lands where the illegal Migron settlement is built, were recently purchased from the Palestinians in the West Bank, in an attempt to avoid the implementation of a High Court order for the settlement’s evacuation by August 1st this year. …

Two Detained Legislators Released Thursday
IMEMC – Palestinian sources reported that two of the elected legislators, imprisoned by Israel, were released on Thursday evening, after being detained under administrative detention without charges since 2010. …

Israeli court upholds decision to file no charges against officers who killed Palestinian
IMEMC – An Israeli state prosecutor decided Wednesday that no charges should be filed against two Israeli border control officers who shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man in East Jerusalem in 2010. Ziad Jilani was shot in the back by the officers after a traffic accident in which his vehicle accidentally struck a police officer. …

Mashal Of Hamas Received By King Abdullah of Jordan
IMEMC – Jordan’s King Abdullah II, welcomed on Thursday the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Khaled Mashal, and his accompanying Hamas officials, in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and held talks on developments in the region. …

Ma’an News

Nabi Saleh protesters reach confiscated spring
6/30/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A weekly Nabi Saleh protest achieved what activists called Friday a historic victory as they reached confiscated lands despite the presence of Israeli forces. The demonstrators were able to reach a spring that was confiscated for the use of settlers, two of whom were bathing in it when a group of….

UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list
6/30/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — UNESCO on Friday declared Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the nearby pilgrimage route World Heritage sites. Thirteen members of the 21-nation World Heritage Committee voted in favor of the Palestinian application, securing exactly the needed number of votes. Two countries abstained and six voted against the bid…. Related: Fayyad: UNESCO decision a victory for rights, humanity and Israel, US blast vote on Palestinian heritage sites

Palestinians celebrate UNESCO win
6/30/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian officials applauded the UN cultural agency Friday after UNESCO voted to accept a revered Christian holy place onto its list of world heritage sites. At a news conference outside the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, officials thanked UNESCO for recognizing Palestine’s heritage as fireworks…. Related: Israel, US blast vote on Palestinian heritage sites and UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list

Israel, US blast vote on Palestinian heritage sites
6/30/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel and the United States blasted the UN cultural agency Friday after it recognized holy sites in Bethlehem by adding them to a world heritage list.”This is proof that UNESCO is motivated by political and not cultural considerations,” Israel‘s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in…. Related: UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list

Women with disabilities face dual discrimination
6/29/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Women with disabilities face a dual discrimination in Palestinian society and their families and the government are failing to protect them, experts say. Legal researcher for the rights group Al-Haq Issam Abdeen and Zaid Amro, an adviser to the PA Ministry of Social Affairs, appeared on Ma’an TV’….

Lessons from Gaza
6/30/2012 – Tania Hary – This month, I mark two important events which took place five years ago and changed the course of my life. It has been five years since I moved to Israel from New York and five years since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and the closure of the enclave tightened. I was job…. Related: Gisha

Israel gives Ivorian migrants 2 weeks to leave
6/29/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israelon Thursday gave undocumented migrants from the Ivory Coast two weeks to leave the country, the latest step in its crackdown on Africans who have entered the country unlawfully.” Whoever leaves in this period will receive a stipend, those who do not will be sent away,” Interior Minister Eli Yishai said in a….

Sweden upgrades Palestinian mission to embassy
6/29/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Sweden on Thursday upgraded Palestine’s diplomatic representation to the status of an embassy, the Swedish Consulate in Jerusalem said. Sweden has not recognized Palestinian statehood, but Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Palestinian ambassador Hala Husni Fariz signed an agreement Thursdayto upgrade the Palestinian mission in Stockholm to an….

UNESCO to start vote on Bethlehem holy sites
6/29/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — UNESCO may vote on Friday whether to admit two ancient Christian pilgrimage sites in Bethlehem on a list of world heritage sites, a PA Foreign Ministry official said. Omar Awadallah told Ma’an voting may begin at noon Friday as the global cultural organisation’s World Heritage Committee, meeting…. Related: UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list and Fayyad: UNESCO decision a victory for rights, humanity

Fayyad: UNESCO decision a victory for rights, humanity
6/29/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The prime minister in Ramallah welcomed a decision by UNESCO on Friday to include several Christian holy sites to the UN agency’s world heritage list. Salam Fayyad called the decision an affirmation of the international importance of the holy city of Bethlehem and said it gave hope to the…. Related: UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list

In photos: Joy in Bethlehem after UNESCO vote
6/29/2012 – MaanImages / Jenny Baboun – Palestinian officials hold a news conference outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on June 29, 2012. Palestinians on Friday celebrated the outcome of a vote by the UN‘s cultural agency UNESCO to add the ancient church and a nearby Christian pilgrimage route onto…. Related: UNESCO votes to add Bethlehem holy sites to world heritage list and Palestinians celebrate UNESCO win

Fatah prepares for voter registration in Gaza
6/29/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fatah’s election committees in Gaza met Thursday to discuss preparations for voter registration in the Hamas-run enclave. Fatah official Issac Muhhemer led the meeting, held to coordinate the committees ahead of voter registration, a party statement said. The Central Elections Committee is due to start updating the electoral….

Economy minister: Investment key to economic development
6/29/2012BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Improved security in the West Bank is encouraging foreign investment, PA Economy Minister Jawad Naji says. The Palestinian Authority is focusing on investment to promote economic development and is working to increase exports from the West Bank to expand production, Naji told Ma’an. The PA is also developing a….

Annan ‘optimistic’ Syria talks will yield acceptable result
6/30/2012 – GENEVA (Reuters) — International mediator Kofi Annan said on Friday he was “optimistic” that ministerial crisis talks on Syria‘s conflict being held on Saturday would produce an acceptable outcome.” I think we are going to have a good meeting tomorrow (Saturday). I am optimistic,” Annan told Reuters Television in Geneva as he arrived for….

Egyptians pack Tahrir on eve of Mursi inauguration
6/30/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Muslim Brotherhood supporters flocked to Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday to hear Muhammad Mursi speak on the eve of his inauguration as Egypt’s first Islamist, civilian president. The rally’s slogan, “Powers of the president”, heralds what may prove a prolonged struggle between the Islamists and army generals….

Egypt first Islamist president-elect to be sworn in
6/30/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt’s President-elect Mohamed Mursi takes his oath Saturday, a day after the Islamist leader pre-empted the formal ceremony by swearing himself in before ecstatic crowds in Tahrir Square and warning off generals trying to curb his powers. They have already clipped the prerogatives of the bearded leader now in the palace….

Russia says regrets absence of Iran, Saudi in Geneva
6/29/2012 – MOSCOW (Reuters) — Russia said Friday it regretted that Iran, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Lebanon have not been invited to a meeting of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council on Syria in Geneva on Saturday.” The Russian proposal on this (other countries attending) has met insurmountable objections from the US side, especially on….

Islamists must cement democracy, novelist says
6/29/2012 – PARIS (Reuters) — Islamist governments which were swept to power in the Arab Spring uprisings must ensure that democracy becomes firmly rooted across the region, novelist Amin Maalouf said on Friday.” The people who have come to power must now be made responsible,” the French-Lebanese writer told Reuters.”We have to firstly tell them that they….

Russia, US still differ over Syria, US official says
6/29/2012ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) — Russia and the United States still have differences over the how to resolve the conflict in Syria following talks on Friday, a senior US State Department official said.” There are still areas of difficulty and difference,” the official said after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei….

Palestine News Network

Farawana: 22 MPs ??are Still in Israeli Prisons
Palestine News Network

Israeli Forces Raid House in Hebron
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Shot by Israeli Guard Near Ma’ali Adumim Settlement
Palestine News Network

Netanyahu to Release 25 Palestinian Prisoners if Abbas Agrees to Meet Him
Palestine News Network

Ashton Runs Talks with Molcho in Brussels
Palestine News Network

Al-Tufkaji : The Occupation Destroys the Arab Identity Through Brainwashing for Tourists
Palestine News Network

Gaza: IUG Celebrates Alive and Dead Graduates
Palestine News Network

MADA Meets with Representative Office of Norway
Palestine News Network

After Denying Reports, Erekat Assures: A Meeting Will be Held Between Abbas and Mofaz
Palestine News Network

Strong Opposition to Israeli Insurance Companies Plan to Grant Health Insurance to Palestinians
Palestine News Network

Expert: Decision to Construct 180 New Settlement Units, Catastrophe for Jerusalem
Palestine News Network

PRC European Campaign in World Refugee Day
Palestine News Network

WFP Starts Distributing Food Vouchers to Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Palestine News Network

MADA Report on the Targeting of Palestinian Media Outlets by the IOF
Palestine News Network

Bethlehem Holy Sites on Top of World Heritage List
Palestine News Network

The National

Morsi vows to be ‘president for all Egyptians’
The National 29 Jun 2012 – Mohammed Morsi pre-empted his official swearing-in today as Egypt’s president by delivering a symbolic open-air oath of office in Tahrir Square.

Morsi to be sworn in, then maybe sworn at
The National 29 Jun 2012 – Many of Egypt’s 85 million people will watch closely to see whether Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood can honour the grand promises they have made.


Iran’s UN envoy criticizes U.S., EU over nuclear talks
Ha’aretz – 29 Jun 2012

U.S. Senate sends message to Israel, Iran votes for greater military support of Israel
Ha’aretz – 29 Jun 2012

Baghdad, Congo, Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz – 29 Jun 2012

UNESCO names Church of Nativity as first Palestinian World Heritage site
Ha’aretz – 29 Jun 2012

Israeli man questioned as toddler loses hand in home accident
Ha’aretz – 29 Jun 2012

Jerusalem Post

‘Egypt seizes weapons headed to Gaza from Libya’
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – According to Egyptian news site, Egypt’s interior minister announced seizure of large-scale weapons shipment. 

Egypt’s Mursi: No power above people power
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – President elect takes informal oath of office in Cairo speech to supporters, slams generals for trying to limit his power. 

Eritreans protest deportation outside US embassy
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Hundreds of asylum seekers demonstrate in plea for intervention from Washington; banners read “we need protection.” 

Nativity Church: 1st World Heritage Site under ‘Palestine’
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012PA achieves victory in pursuit of unilateral statehood, as UNESCO lists Bethlehem site under name of Palestine after 13 to 6 vote, 2 abstentions; Malki thanks c’tee for helping Palestinians obtain self-determination. 

Annan ‘optimistic’ about outcome for Syria talks
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – “I think we are going to have a good meeting,” mediator Kofi Annan says ahead of talks with foreign ministers. 

Syria death toll spirals: 170 killed in one day
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Activists say more than 50 of those killed died in Douma in one of the deadliest days in Syria‘s 16-month uprising. 

PM meets Mofaz to discuss Tal Law replacement
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Netanyahu warns Keshev C’tee that unless it institutes mandatory national service for Arab sector he may drop its recommendations. 

Syrian tanks amass near Turkish border, rebels say
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – General in Free Syria Army: 170 tanks arrive north of Aleppo; move follows Turkish air defense deployment along border. 

The Numbers Crunch: #j14 back in Tel Aviv
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Also this week: JPost readers pessimistic over Egypt election results; political cartoons popular on Facebook. 

Mursi to address Tahrir ahead of swearing-in
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Egypt’s ruling military council forces the president-elect to be sworn in before court which controversially dissolved parliament. 

Litzman to ‘Post:’ Likud-haredi bond at risk
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – Neither UTJ nor Shas will join Netanyahu gov’t after next election if an alternative to “Tal Law” is approved with major changes. 

Cyprus detains Iran FM due to old sanctions
Jerusalem Post 29 Jun 2012 – EU had placed Salehi on its sanctions list barring travel to Europe because he was head of Atomic Energy Organization. 

4 Mount Carmel caves nominated to join UNESCO
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Committee members are expected to vote on nominations to the World Heritage List this weekend. 

Yechimovich accused of ‘cleaning house’ in Labor
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Source close to Yechimovich calls allegations nonsense. Source says Labor’s bylaws require election to be held for new institutions. 

Israelis live longer, less obese than OECD average
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – These were the results of the 2012 comparison of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development members. 

Barack Hussein Obama: A view from Israel
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Three years after Obama’s ‘New Beginning’ speech in Cairo, prospects are bleaker for everyone – except the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Social Affairs: Back for the summer
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Social justice protests are back, but with a violent start, disenchanted media, and a lukewarm public, what form will they take? 

Arab World: Staying on the sidelines
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012Syria’s Kurds are sitting out the civil war, which they see as a clash between Assad’s regime and Turkish-backed Sunni Arabs. 

Column One: About those Jews…
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Iranian Vice President Mohammad-Reza Rahimi doesn’t hate Jews. He hates Zionists. Some of his best friends are Jews… 

Experts: Israel didn’t kill Hamas man in Damascus
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Hamas operative Kamal Ranaja, found dead in Damascus, was not high-up enough a target, more likely killed by Syria

RX For Readers: Is navel play OK?
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – It is impossible to stop a baby from self-stimulating the parts of the body, and it is wrong to do so. 

A View From Israel: Just one minute
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Forty years of silence can be reversed in one minute. If only the International Olympic Committee would care. 

Tradition Today: Fringes at the Wall
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – To prevent women from wearing a tallit – in whatever style – at the Western Wall is absurd. 

Ask the Rabbi: May Jews save all lives on Shabbat?
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – While Judaism embraces the extreme value of life, it is not always the supreme value. 

In Plain Language: July 4 – British Nakba Day
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – On July 4, Brits gather mournfully to grieve for the colonies that were cruelly and mercilessly ripped away from them more than two centuries ago. 

Consider This: The color stupid
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – The election of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsy to the presidency of Egypt should have elicited a worldwide shudder of outrage in all peace- and freedom-loving people. 

Eisenbud’s Odyssey: Chabad, the heat and the street
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Observations of Israel from a not-so-innocent abroad. 

A Dose of Nuance: Walking away from Alice Walker
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Anti-Semites come and go. Walker is not the first, nor will she be the last. 

Guest Columnist: Dolphin therapy
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – When incitement precedes balanced information about Israel’s policies, when the receiver of such information has ‘issues’ coping with Germany’s history in a healthy way, propaganda meets fertile ground. 

Rhyme and reason on the Middle East
Jerusalem Post 28 Jun 2012 – Hip-hop pioneer Russell Simmons and Rabbi Marc Schneier bring their synagogue-mosque twinning program to Israel

The Guardian

Palestinians win endangered world heritage status for Bethlehem church
The Guardian 29 Jun 2012US ambassador condemns Unesco decision to grant protection for Church of the Nativity on site seen as Jesus’s birthplace Unesco has granted endangered world heritage status and funding for repairs to the site seen as Jesus’s…


Modern-Day Slavery: Abuse of Low-Wage Workers by US Contractors Goes Unchecked


Drones of Love

Al-Tufkaji : The Occupation Destroys the Arab Identity Through Brainwashing for Tourists

Video: Michael Ratner, President Emeritus of the the Centre for Constitutional Rights: How did Guantanamo get there?

Meet the Canadian Professor Who Has Been Teaching Omar Khadr at Guantánamo

Hamas says party leader killed in Damascus

Update on situation of current Palestinian hunger strikers

Church of the Nativity Sanctuary Seekers in Exile after 10 Years

Daily Star

dOCUMENTA (13) rolls through Kabul
Daily Star 29 Jun 2012 An art exhibition that began as an attempt to heal Germany after Nazi rule and World War II is now being replicated in Afghanistan.

When choosing a diet, forget fads, balance is best
Daily Star 29 Jun 2012 As the summer months hit Lebanon, the pressure to be thin increases – even above the usual obsession with skinniness – as a tiny bikini and banging beach body become mandatory weekend wear.

Lebanon’s love affair with plastic embellishment
Daily Star 29 Jun 2012 Summer seems to bring out some of the stereotypes most closely associated with Lebanon: street fighting, beach parties, fresh cosmetic surgery scars.

Disasters of war, beauty in ruins
Daily Star 29 Jun 2012 At the very end of Don DeLillo’s 1991 novel Mao II, one of the main characters, a photographer named Brita who is in Lebanon on assignment, drifts onto a Beirut balcony at 4 a.m.

Iraq says to sign oil, gas development deals in July
Daily Star 29 Jun 2012 Iraq will sign initial contracts in July with three foreign companies that won deals to explore oil and gas blocks as it looks to attract more foreign investment to develop its energy sector.

YNet News

Iran says nations not serious about nuclear talks
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – ….

Singer Adele is pregnant with her first child
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – ….

Austria: 43 Jewish graves desecrated in Vienna 
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – ….

Likud: Mofaz trying to make Lieberman quit
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Sources in Likud party say Kadima chairman trying to stir coalitional crisis in order to push Yisrael Beiteinu out of government ….

Iraq: Bombs kill 6, wound 45 people
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – ….

Egypt seizes weapons smuggled from Libya
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – ….

‘Immigration inspectors assaulted me because I am Asian’
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Justin Tang, an Israeli resident of Chinese descent, says inspector from immigration enforcement unit violently handcuffed him after he failed to present ID. Authority: Inspectors performed their duty ….

PM to Plesner Committee: Drop personal sanctions
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – While Kadima pushes for personal sanctions against anyone who doesn’t enlist in army, Netanyahu tells Mofaz he wants to avoid ‘social flare-up’ over sanctions. Plesner Committee won’t release recommendations before agreement is reached ….

Arab volunteers firmly against service for all
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Young Arabs who volunteer as part of national service say they may leave program if it becomes compulsory. ‘This is an attempt to humiliate us,’ they say ….

Arab-Israelis won’t be able to fight their brothers
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Op-ed: Israel‘s Arabs cannot serve in an occupying army at a time of war; national service also out of the question ….

Eritreans: US, save us from deportation 
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Hundreds protest outside US embassy in Tel Aviv, call on Washington to pressure Israel into granting them refugee status ….

Toddler’s hand severed in meat grinder
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Police investigation suggests two-year-old girl was in neighbor’s house when her hand became caught in meat grinder. Doctors unable to save hand ….

Olim students face scholarship cuts 
YNet News, 29 Jun 2012 – Jewish Agency, Absorption Ministry to suspend funding of high education scholarship for students who made aliyah ….

Palestinian Information Center

The Egypt Israel would like to see
PIC – Israel fears and dreads any leadership in Cairo that is answerable to the people of Egypt, irrespective of the whims and views of the Jewish-controlled US government and Congress.

Tensions in Etzion detention center
PIC – Prisoners in Etzion detention center said that they went on hunger strike for one day to protest against their miserable living conditions.

Two sites in Bethlehem inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List 
PIC – The Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route in the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem have been inscribed on the UNESCO list of world heritage by a vote of delegates at a St Petersburg. 

PA preventive security detain father of liberated captive
PIC – The PA preventive security detained, in Junaid prison in Nablus, 63-year old Muhammad Besharat, father of liberated captive Said Besharat who has been exiled to the Gaza Strip.

PA intelligence assault liberated captive
PIC – Elements of the PA General Intelligence (GI) assaulted liberated captive Eyad Abu Sneinah when he refused to receive a summons for his brother Abdel-Jabbar, who is also a liberated captive.

IOF troops raid the home of imprisoned leader Jamal al-Hoor
PIC – IOF troops raided on Friday the home of imprisoned leader Jamal al-Hoor in the village of Surif to the north east of al-Khalil, ransacked the house and confiscated a number of documents and computer.

Political prisoner al-Aker hospitalised
PIC – The PA security forces in Nablus moved political prisoner Abdullah al-Aker to hospital because of deterioration of his health condition, while he threatened to resume his hunger strike.

AOHR calls on the Security Council to provide international protection 
PIC – The Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) in Britain said that the recent events in Jerusalem represent “a declaration of war by the IOF on Muslims and Christians around the world”.

Gaza Foreign Ministry to Putin: the Buraq Wall is an Islamic sacred place
PIC – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Gaza government expressed shock at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statements during his visit to the Buraq Wall in Jerusalem..

Occupation releases two Palestinian MPs
PIC – Israeli occupation forces released, on Thursday afternoon, two MPs in the legislative council from the Change and Reform bloc, Khalil Reb’i and Nasser Abdel Jawad in addition to three other prisoners.


Israel Arrests Five in West Bank
WAFA – 27 Jun 2012

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 26 Jun 2012


U.S., Russia diplomats can’t bridge Syria gaps
LA Times 29 Jun 2012 – Secretary of State Clinton fails to sway her counterpart on an assertive global role in ending the violent conflict. BEIRUT — The top U.S. and Russian diplomats failed to bridge critical differences about Syria during talks in Russia on Friday, leaving prospects uncertain for a…

Egypt foreign policy tone may change, but not its substance
LA Times 29 Jun 2012 – As its first Islamist president takes power, the nation can’t afford to harm relations with the U.S. or abandon its peace treaty with Israel, at least in the short term, experts say. CAIRO — Egypt’s foreign policy under its first Islamist president is likely to…

Turkey deploys forces to border with Syria
LA Times 28 Jun 2012 – Move comes amid reports that U.N. envoy Kofi Annan was calling for a transitional ‘national unity’ government as a potential solution to the Syria conflict. BEIRUT — Turkish troops and antiaircraft batteries were headed toward the tense Turkish-Syrian border region Thursday amid reports that U.N….

Morsi Promises to Work for Release of Omar Abdel Rahman
New York Times 29 Jun 2012 – A promise by Egypt’s president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, to seek freedom for a man convicted of plotting attacks on New York City is likely to complicate ties with the United States. 

Activists Report Deadly Day in Syrian Conflict
New York Times 29 Jun 2012 – Rebel fighters reported the deadliest 24 hours of the uprising as Kofi Annan, the special envoy for the United Nations, said he was hopeful about talks on Saturday. 

Unesco Adds Nativity Church to World Heritage List
New York Times 29 Jun 2012 – The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was added to the World Heritage List, a move celebrated by Palestinians as a significant political and diplomatic achievement as much as a cultural one. 

Iran’s U.N. Envoy, Denouncing Sanctions, Says Nuclear Talks Are at ‘Critical Point’
New York Times 29 Jun 2012Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations has denounced sanctions against his country, saying that negotiations over its disputed nuclear program have reached a “critical point.” 

24 Hours in Israeli Custody: The arrest of an American activist in Palestine
Mondoweiss – Dooler Campbell protesting in Beit Ommar, near the Karmei Tsur settlement. June 23, 2012 My name is Dooler Campbell, and I am a U.S. American activist currently living and working in the West Bank. I am a graduate student at SIT (School for International Training) in Brattleboro,…

US Kairos committee slams lobby and Christian Zionists, calls on Christians to ‘pay price’ of anti-Semitism charge so as to speak out

Coalition partners don’t associate with astroturfing ‘Iran 180?
Mondoweiss – Iran 180, an astroturfing project of Marco Greenberg’s Thunder 11, San Francisco Pride, 2011. (Photo: Iran 180) PR executive Marco Greenberg was dressed in denim and a button-down that peekabooed his chest hair as he told a group of eager hasbara-ites, “we do want to propagate….

IDF takes over Palestinian village for live-fire training exercises
Mondoweiss – Al-Aqada’s Mayor Haj Sami Sadeq watches as the Israeli army enters the village to resume live-fire training exercises, June 27, 2012. (Photo: The Rebuilding Alliance) For the past month, a massive Israeli military training exercise has been underway in the northern Jordan Valley. Israeli troops entered…

‘FT’: Iran obsession suggests ‘western policy is driven by Israel’
Mondoweiss – The other day I asked why David Sanger of the New York Times is so focused on Iranian nuclear program and not North Korean nukes. The Financial Times raises the same question . Gideon Rachman: Yet it is Iran’s non-existent nukes that continue to obsess the west….

Africans Demonstrate Against Crackdown 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Jun 2012 – Some 500 Eritrean migrants demonstrated in front of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to protest what they say is the political persecution they are experiencing in Israel. Click here for the rest of the article…

Church of Nativity Named UNESCO Heritage Site 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Jun 2012 – UNESCO has agreed to name the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem as a World Heritage Site, and list it as in Palestine. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Woefully Unready for ‘Next War’ 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Jun 2012 – Fear of war looms over Israel because of conflict with Iran and upheaval in the Arab world. But the military remains woefully unprepared to fight one. Click here for the rest of the article…

Arab Israelis Object to Mandatory Service 
The Foward Breaking News 29 Jun 2012 – Forcing Israeli Arabs to do mandatory national service, which is being debated in the Knesset, is “a declaration of war” an Arab Knesset member has told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Click here for the rest of the article…

Holocaust Beauty Pageant Held for Survivors 
The Forward New 29 Jun 2012 – A beauty pageant for Holocaust survivors was held in Israel. Organizers called it a celebration of resilience, but critics said it trivializes the horrors. Click here for the rest of the article…

Africa: Escalating Levels of Violence in Syria – Human Rights Watch Concerned 
allAfrica.com 29 Jun 2012 – [HRW] Human Rights Watch is deeply concerned about the escalating levels of violence in Syria. Since March 2011, we have documented serious human rights violations by Syrian forces amounting in certain cases to crimes against humanity, including indiscriminate shelling of residential neighborhoods, restricted humanitarian access, the…

Egypt: Mohamed Morsi and the Likely End of the Camp David Accords 
allAfrica.com 29 Jun 2012 – [iMaverick] For the moment, Egypt’s president-elect seems to be abiding by the principles of the Camp David Accords and maintaining the peace with Israel. But the region is very different now from what it was in 1979, when the treaty was signed-and the pressure Morsi faces…

South Africa: Protest March Against New Product Labelling Requirements 
allAfrica.com 29 Jun 2012 – [IFP] The Inkatha Freedom Party joins this march with a clear and unambiguous message. We oppose our Government taking sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly in an atmosphere of escalating tension that threatens to boil over into violence.

Sandra Tamari and Jim Zogby Discuss Arab Americans at Israeli Border 
Arab American Institute 29 Jun 2012 – In a video released this week by the Institute for Palestine Studies, Arab American Institute founder Jim Zogby sits down with Sandra Tamari, a Palestinian American activist recently detained at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

Religious Zionist and Progressive on Palestine–Part One 
The Magnes Zionist 29 Jun 2012 – Dear Readers, I have gone for around six weeks without posting anything. During those six weeks I have been very busy, but there’s another reason for my silence. After shouting for the last four years on this blog, I have grown hoarse. It’s not so much…

US warning over key Syrian talks 
BBC 29 Jun 2012US officials say difficult areas still remain with Russia’s Syria policy, in the build up to a key meeting on the country’s plight.

Egypt’s Mursi hails Tahrir crowds 
BBC 29 Jun 2012 – Egyptian President-Elect Mohamed Mursi swears a symbolic oath in an address to protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Bethlehem sites given UN status 
BBC 29 Jun 2012 – The UN‘s cultural agency, Unesco, votes to add the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and its pilgrimage route to the list of World Heritage Sites.

Arab Uprisings: Approach to Law 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 29 Jun 2012 – An Egyptian protester writes on the street using sand, which reads in Arabic: “the revolution continues” in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir Square on 7 June 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed) An Egyptian protester writes on the street using sand, which reads in Arabic: “the revolution continues”…

The Salafi Distraction from Lebanon’s Woes 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 29 Jun 2012 – Assir not only threatened the Shia leadership in Lebanon, but he threatened one of the highest-ranking Lebanese officials in Parliament Speaker Berri. (Photo: Hassan Bahsoun) Assir not only threatened the Shia leadership in Lebanon, but he threatened one of the highest-ranking Lebanese officials in Parliament Speaker…

Algeria and France: Memories of War 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – French President Francois Hollande (C) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 27 June 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Philippe Wojazer) French President Francois Hollande (C) welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 27 June 2012. (Photo: Reuters -…

Lebanon’s Electricity Mafia 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – No one encroaches on another’s area of influence and no one rebels against the electricity “godfather.” (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) No one encroaches on another’s area of influence and no one rebels against the electricity “godfather.” (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) In the large swathes of Lebanon where the…

Mursi promises to respect Egyptian people 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – Egypt’s Islamist President-elect Mohammed Mursi took an informal oath of office on Friday in a speech to supporters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, in a slap at the generals trying to limit his power. “There is no power above people power,” former Muslim Brotherhood leader Mursi declared…

Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – Edited by Adel Alsalman 22 June 2012 An activist blows “ecological” sopa bubbles during last day of the People’s Summit at Flamengo Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the framework of the UN Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development. (Photo: AFP – Christophe Simon) 23 June…

Hamas leaders attend Jordan burial 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal and top Islamist leaders in Jordan on Friday attended the burial of a senior member of the Palestinian movement who was killed this week in Damascus. Around 500 people took part in the funeral of Kamal Hussein Ghannaja, whose coffin was taken…

Israeli forces abduct Lebanese shepherd in Shebaa 
Al-Akhbar News 29 Jun 2012 – The Israeli army has abducted a Lebanese shepherd in the occupied Shebaa Farms area of south Lebanon, the UN confirmed on Friday. Youssef Mohammad Zahra was apprehended by the Israeli forces on Friday, Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for UNIFIL said. “We were informed by the Lebanese army…

Lebanon’s Angry Young Road-Blockers 
Al-Akhbar Series and Features 28 Jun 2012 – Burning tires is prompted by a combination of social grievance, class resentment, and heat. (Photo: Marwan Bu Haidar) Burning tires is prompted by a combination of social grievance, class resentment, and heat. (Photo: Marwan Bu Haidar) An eclectic mix of youths go out to burn tires…

Framing Hezbollah: STL Moves to Washington 
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 Jun 2012 – Judge Robert Roth of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon attends the opening of the public hearing in the assassination case of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, at the court in Leidschendam, near The Hague, on 13 June 2012. (Photo: AFP – Robert Vos) Judge…

Sudan: Not As Stable as Bashir Thought 
Al-Akhbar Politics 28 Jun 2012 – Aid workers load a truck with tents for refugees from Blue Nile at the Yusuf Batil Refugee camp, in Upper Nile State, South Sudan on 23 June 2012. (Photo: AFP – Giulio Petrocco) Aid workers load a truck with tents for refugees from Blue Nile at…


Lessons from Gaza 
Tania Hary, Ma’an News Agency 6/30/2012
      This month, I mark two important events which took place five years ago and changed the course of my life. It has been five years since I moved to Israel from New York and five years since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and the closure of the enclave tightened.
     I was job hunting from the Haifa bedroom my mother and aunt shared growing up, reading in Haaretz about Gaza’s factories shutting down, and here I am, five years later, working for Gisha, an Israeli human rights organization promoting freedom of movement for Gaza residents.
     When I moved to Israel, hoping to live nearer to my dear grandmothers and make use of my newly obtained international affairs degree, I didn’t expect to find myself where I am today. I remember asking, in my second interview for the job — so why Gaza? And why freedom of movement?
     For a starry-eyed American-Israeli girl, Gaza seemed sticky, far away and obscure. I had never been there, and my only association was my mother’s stories of driving with friends to eat fish on the beach at a time before my existence was imaginable to her.
     Reading about what was happening in Gaza in June and July of 2007 and thinking of the memories she had shared with me, I had to know: how did we get from there to where we are now?
     A few weeks after I started working at Gisha, Israel‘s security cabinet made a decision to limit freedom of movement into and out of the Strip, making official a policy which had already been in effect since that June and rendering Gisha its most vocal opponent in Israel. — See also: Gisha more.. e-mail

The profitable occupation, and why it is never discussed 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 6/27/2012
      An understanding of the profitable side of the occupation – way more considerable than most people imagine – could force us to change our entire political thinking.
     Ami Kaufman (on his +972 blog) and Emily Hauser (Open Zion) join the debate regarding the financial burden the occupation puts on the Israeli economy. As Ami notes, this is something that goes hand in hand with the conversation on J14 (a.k.a the “social justice” protest). Terminating the occupation and the expensive settlement project, the saying goes, would benefit Israeli economy more than any other measure the protesters offer.
     As both Emily and Ami note, there is something cynical about this argument: The occupation should be opposed on moral grounds, regardless of how cost-effective it is for Israel. I agree wholeheartedly, and this is the response I usually give to those advocating “the economic argument” against the occupation. Yet I feel a need to address the assumption in Emily’s text (and to a lesser extent, in Ami’s) according to which the occupation represents only a burden on Israel and its economy, as I think it is a part of a larger misrepresentation of the essence of the current status quo.
     First, it should be noted that calculating the true cost of the occupation is extremely difficult, since the Israeli budget treats both sides of the Green Line as one unit. Plus, government ministers who were supportive of the settlements – including ones from Labor or Kadima – found over the years ways to integrate allocations of funds to the West Bank into “innocent” budget lines. The Ministry of Transportation, for example, subsidizes bus rides for settlers, making a trip longer than the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv line cost the same as a local bus ride in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. The Ministry of Education allows smaller classes in settlers’ schools. Settlers comprise the Israeli sector with the highest rate of government employees – and all this without going to direct investments in the occupation, through the department for housing or the Ministry of Defense. more.. e-mail

Syria and the Phantom 
Conn Hallinan, CounterPunch 6/27/2012
      What Did Turkey Think Syria Would Do?
     What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down?
     Ankara said the plane strayed into Syrian airspace, but quickly left and was over international waters when it was attacked, a simple case of carelessness on the part of the Turkish pilot that Syrian paranoia turned deadly.
     But the Phantom—eyewitnesses told Turkish television that there were two aircraft, but there is no official confirmation of that observation—was hardly on a Sunday outing. According to the Financial Times, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the newspaper “the jet was on a test and training mission focused on Turkey’s radar defense, rather than Syria.”
     Translation: the F-4 was “lighting up” a radar net. It is a common—if dangerous and illegal—tactic that allows one to probe an opponent’s radar system. Most combat radar is kept in a passive mode to prevent a potential enemy from mapping out weaknesses or blind spots that can be useful in the advent of an attack. The probes also give you valuable information on how to neutralize anti-aircraft guns and ground to air missiles.
     “Lighting up” radar was what the US Navy EP-3E Aries II was doing near China’s Hainan Island when it collided with a Chinese interceptor in 2001. Nations normally take a very dim view of warplanes entering their air space, particularly if there is tension between the countries involved.
     As a warplane, the F-4 is a pretty ancient. It was introduced back in 1960, and became the mainstay of the U.S. air war in Southeast Asia. In its day it was a highly capable aircraft, able to hold its own against interceptors like the MIG-21 in a dogfight, and could also carry heavy bomb payloads. It was also cheap and relatively trouble free, unlike the current crop of US high performance aircraft. more.. e-mail

Syria intervention prelude to war on Iran?
Electronic Intifada: 29 Jun 2012 – Jonathan Cook 29 June 2012 For Washington, the Arab Spring presented opportunities as well as threats, and these are being keenly exploited.more

Memo to J14 Movement: Social Justice Demands Ending Occupation
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jun 2012 – Bu Patrick O. Strickland – Jerusalem The organizers of Israel‘s J14 movement demand social justice. Outraged by the increasing concentration of wealth and the soaring cost of living, many Israelis have stood up and called for cheaper housing, food, education, and taxes, among other things. Last summer, eight consecutive weeks of social justice demonstrations brought hundreds of thousands of Israelis into the streets of every major city. Demonstrators occupied city centers across the country, and tent cities popped up in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Akko, Eilat, and elsewhere. In what turned out to be the climax of the movement, nearly half a million people marched through Tel Aviv. “The people demand social justice,” announced Daphne Leef, the woman who triggered the movement last year by setting up a tent on Tel Aviv’s chic Rothschild Boulevard after being evicted from her apartment. The J14 movement has drawn a diverse crowd most…more

The Never-Ending Negotiations
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jun 2012 – By Jamal Kanj It has been more than 20 years since the Madrid talks and the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis started. Thus far, their abject failure has surprised even the most pessimistic of observers. In June 1992, about one year after the Madrid talks, then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir told daily newspaper Maariv: “I would have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years and in the meantime we would have reached half a million people in the West Bank.” He was lamenting his election defeat and declared: “It’s very painful… I will not be able to… complete the demographic revolution… Without this… there is no reason to hold autonomy talks as there now is a risk of a Palestinian state.” Two decades later, all succeeding Israeli governments with no exception, from the spurious left to the devious right, committed to the Judaisation roadmap through protracted negotiation, “demographic…more

Why Gulf States Want Regime Change in Syria
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Jun 2012 – By Prasanta Kumar Pradhan Ever since the protests started against Bashar al Assad’s regime, the Gulf countries have adopted a tough posture by criticizing and condemning the reactions of the Syrian government and squarely putting the blame upon it for the unfolding situation. The Gulf monarchies, which suppressed protests in their own countries and were against any kind of regime change in their own region, have accused the Assad regime of killings and violating human rights and have been questioning the regime’s legitimacy to continue its rule. With the protests against the Assad regime turning increasingly violent and the Syrian regime’s strong military response, the political dynamics in the region have become more intricate. The GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries have their own reasons to believe that a regime change in Damascus is necessary. They do not enjoy a warm relationship with Syria; instead, they see it as a strategic…more

NO to War in Syria
Dissident Voice: 29 Jun 2012 – People around the world are deeply concerned about the ongoing crisis in Syria. While we are being presented with some perspective of what is occurring on the ground to the people of Syria, the door seems closed to others. We search for voices we can trust, voices which point to a peaceful, lasting solution to the conflict. We search for truth because it is truth which will set the Syrian people free. Truth is difficult to find, so through the haze of conflicting narratives we must inevitably hear the voices and wisdom of men and women of peace in Syria. Many may believe that there is a fight going on in Syria for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’. We can be seduced into thinking there is a magic wand or instant formula to mix that will create a democratic country, but there are none. If it is a democracy a people want…more

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