VTJP News & Articles 18 October 2012: Israel approves 800 new homes in Gilo settlement

18 October 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Al-Qassam Publishes Video Documenting Shalit Abduction
IMEMC – Video Included Marking the first anniversary since the implementation of the Egyptian-mediated prisoner-swap deal that secured the release of 1037 of Palestinian detainees, the Al-Qassam Brigades published a video detailing the planning and actual implementation of the cross border attack against an Israeli military base in June 2006 leading to the abduction of corporal Gilad Shalit. … 

Israel Approves 800 New Units In Gilo Settlement
IMEMC – The Israeli government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, granted Thursday its official approval for the construction of 800 units in the Gilo illegal settlement, south of occupied Jerusalem. …

Ailing Palestinian Detainee Facing Deteriorating Conditions
IMEMC – The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported on Wednesday evening that ailing Palestinian detainee, Mohammad At-Taj, imprisoned by Israel is facing deteriorating health conditions and requires urgent specialized medical attention. …

Army Bombards A Former Military Center In Gaza
IMEMC – The Israeli army, bombarded late on Wednesday evening a former security base south of Gaza City causing excessive damage. …

Israel To “Legalize” Illegal Settlement Outposts
IMEMC – Israeli media sources reported that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to submit recommendations for “legalizing” illegal Israeli settlement outpost, built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in the West Bank. …

Ma’an News

Israel bombs northern Gaza
10/18/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli warplanes bombed a neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday. A Ma’an reporter said an Israeli airstrike hit a farm building in an orange grove in Zeitoun neighborhood, south of Gaza City, causing damage but no injures. A second strike landed close to a former security….

Israel approves 800 new homes in Gilo settlement
10/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel on Thursday issued a detailed plan for the building of some 800 new homes on occupied land in the West Bank that is certain to attract further international condemnation of its settlement policies. A planning committee issued a call for bids from contractors to start building 797 housing units on the western….

Settlers throw Molotov at Palestinian house
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Settlers threw Molotov cocktails toward Palestinian houses on Wednesday in area near Beit El settlement east of Ramallah, locals said. Hatem Sobeh told Ma’an on Thursday that a mob of settlers threw Molotovs toward Palestinian houses. Trees were torched, and the civil defense rushed to the area. [END]

Prisoner families ‘barred from leaving West Bank’
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel has barred the families of 14 Palestinian detainees from departing for a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, released prisoner Khader Adnan said Wednesday. Khader Adnan, a former administrative detainee who was released after a 66-day hunger strike, said the families were prevented from exiting the West Bank….

Israeli court extends detention of rights advocate
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli court on Thursday extended the detention of a human rights researcher arrested in the West Bank earlier this week. The Jerusalem court ruled that Ayman Nasser stay under interrogation for another seven days based on secret evidence, the prisoners group he works for, Addameer, said in a statement. Nasser….

Gaza deaf restaurant a chance to change perceptions
10/18/2012GAZA CITY (Reuters) — A restaurant run and staffed by deaf people opened for business in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, helped by Palestinians seeking to build a more inclusive society where people with disabilities can realize their full potential. The stylish Atfaluna restaurant near Gaza port stands out in a city with few facilities for….

Israeli forces detain man from Beit Ummar
10/18/2012 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a 20-year-old man from northern Hebron on Thursday evening, locals and the army said. Ibrahim Khalil Mahmoud Abu Dayya was seized by soldiers from his home in Safa, near Beit Ummar, after they raided his house, local popular committee spokesman Muhammad Ayyad Awad said. An Israeli army….

PA summons Russia envoy over UNESCO vote
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has asked Moscow’s ambassador to the PA to clarify why Russia called to postpone a vote on Palestinian heritage sites at the UN. Russia on Wednesday proposed delaying voting on five decisions to implement resolutions protecting Palestinian heritage sites in the West Bank, including East….

Former world leaders to visit Israel, West Bank
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A group of former world leaders including ex-US President Jimmy Carter will visit Israel and the West Bank next week. Carter, former Irish President Mary Robinson and ex-premier of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland will “raise concerns about the future of the imperiled two-state solution” during their two-day visit which commences Sunday….

Hamas celebrates year since Shalit deal
10/18/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas militants led a mass march in the Gaza Strip on Thursday to mark the anniversary of a prisoner exchange for a captured Israeli soldier. Tawfiq Abu Naim, the chair of a group representing released prisoners, told Ma’an that Palestinians call on Hamas and other factions to capture….

France to fund restoration work at Nativity Church
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas’ adviser for Christian affairs signed an agreement with France on Wednesday for assistance in preserving the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Ziad Al-Bandak and the consul general of France in Jerusalem, Frédéric Desagneaux, signed signed the agreement in Ramallah for budget support planning the….

Official: Qatari fuel to enter Gaza from Sunday
10/18/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Fuel donated by Qatar will be pumped into the Gaza Strip via an Israeli crossing starting on Sunday, a Palestinian crossings official said Thursday. Delivery of Qatari fuel began in July, but was cut off after a border attack on Egyptian officers on Aug. 5, a Ma’an correspondent….

Abbas forms committee on Egypt relations
10/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday formed a Palestinian Authority committee to deal with official relations with Egypt, government media reported. The group, authorized by presidential decree, will also deal with Palestinian borders with Egypt, PA news agency Wafa said. The committee is headed by PA finance minister Nabil Qassis, and also….

Voting begins for security forces in West Bank
10/19/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces cast their ballots on Thursday in the first day of voting for municipal elections in the West Bank. Central Elections Commission official Hisham Khail told Ma’an that voting for the security forces began at 7 a. m. and will end 7 p. m. Khail said….

Report: PA asked Bank of Israel to raise deposit size
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israeli political sources say the Palestinian Authority recently asked the Bank of Israel to increase the limit of Palestinian Authority deposits to $2 billion, the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported Wednesday. The report said officials of the Bank of Israel were surprised that the PA was asking to allow deposit of….

Palestinian Authority pays workers overdue salaries
10/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority finance ministry said Thursday it would pay partial salaries to its workers, as a 48-hour strike shut down government offices across the West Bank. Government spokeswoman Nour Odeh confirmed the government was distributing the partial salaries in spite of the months-long financial crisis. The PA labor minister….

Commission says 515,000 registered to vote on Saturday
10/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Some 515,000 Palestinians have registered to vote in Saturday’s municipal elections in the West Bank, Central Elections Commission director Hisham Khahil said Thursday. At a news conference in Ramallah, CEC chief Hanna Nasser said 10,000 members of police and security forces had registered to vote on Thursday in an….

After jail, Deri comeback stirs Israeli election campaign
10/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — An ultra-Orthodox party has brought back a popular former leader after a 13-year absence that included jail time, a move that could draw votes away from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel’s January election. The religious Shas party announced late on Wednesday that Aryeh Deri, 53, had joined its new….

PA to confiscate embezzled cash linked to Rashid
10/18/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority anti-corruption commission on Thursday moved to confiscate the assets linked to three Palestinians convicted in absentia of embezzlement. The commission said it was authorized to seize funds, stock and real estate located in the Palestinian territories, after an appeals court upheld the convictions. Muhammad Rashid, a former economic….

Public university staff to strike next week
10/18/2012 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Public university staff in the West Bank will go on strike for two days next week to protest the delays in paying government salaries, their union announced on Thursday. Staff will stay at home on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest the continuing salary crisis, the union said. They join the Palestinian….

Haniyeh says Shalit deal ‘national achievement’
10/18/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The Prime Minister of the Hamas government in Gaza told an anniversary rally on Thursday that the prisoner swap deal for a captured Israeli soldier was a national achievement. The Oct. 2011 deal freed over 1,000 Palestinians from Israeli jail in exchange for Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in….

Qalqiliya man killed in Israel car accident
10/18/2012 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A 50-year-old Palestinian man from Azoun village east of Qalqiliya has died after being injured in a car accident inside Israel, Palestinian police said Thursday. Mohammad Abed al-Aziz sustained serious injuries in the crash and was transferred to hospital. Police have kept his body for further examination. Police said the….

Jordan elections: The importance of communication
10/19/2012 – After attending a debate about the new Elections Law, the moderator told me that MP Abdullah Ensour wanted to talk to me. Ensour, who in the debate organised by Community Media Network opposed the current Elections Law, told me he had seen me on TV in the US years earlier. I had appeared with Ted….

In Aleppo, Syrian rebels bogged down in sniper war
10/19/2012 – ALEPPO (Reuters) — Plucking up his courage, a young boy ducks and darts down a bullet-scarred street in Aleppo, as a rebel with a megaphone shouts directions.” Don’t turn right! Stay left, stay left. Now go, run, run!”A sniper shot cracks out, and the boy’s dangerously bright pink shirt disappears behind….

Bahrain charges four men with defaming king on Twitter
10/18/2012 – DUBAI (Reuters) — Bahraini authorities have detained four men on charges of defaming the Gulf Arab country’s king on Twitter, according to the state news agency BNA. The four men in their 20s were arrested on Wednesday morning after security forces confiscated their computers and other electronic equipment, Mohammed al-Maskati, head of the Bahrain….

Egypt sees 20 pct rise in tourists this year despite insecurity
10/18/2012 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egypt projects a rise of about 20 percent in tourist numbers this year, the tourism minister said Wednesday, despite outbreaks of violence after last year’s Arab Spring. The uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak last February and political instability since then have stopped millions of potential visitors to Egypt’s beach….

BBC says broadcasts being disrupted in Middle East, Europe
10/18/2012 – LONDON (Reuters) — The BBC said Thursday its broadcasts were being disrupted in the Middle East and Europe. It did not say who was interfering with the signal.” The BBC, together with a number of other broadcasters, is experiencing deliberate, intermittent interference to its transmissions to audiences in Europe and the Middle East,” it said in….

Tunisian Islamist leader says Salafis must not be demonized
10/18/2012 – PARIS (Reuters) — Demonizing ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists is a mistake that will only lead to them eventually winning power, said the leader of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda party, Rachid Ghannouchi. Secular opposition politicians in Tunisia said last week that a leaked video of a secret meeting between Ghannouchi and puritanical Salafis showed the government….

Activist group: At least 28,000 abducted in Syria
10/18/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — At least 28,000 Syrians have gone missing since they were abducted by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad during the 19-month-old revolt, activist group Avaaz said Thursday. Quoting statements from Syrian human rights lawyers and families, Avaaz said security forces had set out to terrorize communities by grabbing people off the street….

RSF deplores abduction of Ukranian journalist in Syria
10/18/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Reporters Without Borders on Thursday said it deplored the abduction of a Ukrainian journalist this week and called for her release. The journalist, Ankhar Kochneva, was abducted on Oct. 8, according to the group. RSF said Kochneva is believed to be held by a faction of the Free Syrian Army somewhere….

Aljazeera

US and Israel to launch major military drill
AlJazeera 18 Oct 2012 – “Austere Challenge 2012“, involving nearly 5,000 troops, will unfold later this month in show of unity aimed at Iran.

Palestine News Network

IPS Transfers Prisoner Sharawna to Solitary Confinement
Palestine News Network

Israeli Occupation Hands Palestinian a Demolition Notice
Palestine News Network

Important to Communicate
Palestine News Network

Israel vs. No. 2 Pencils
Palestine News Network

Erekat: Israel Doesn’t Want to End Occupation, Rather They’re Imposing Apartheid
Palestine News Network

Ashrawi: “UNESCO Resolutions Will Enhance Palestine’s Position to Protect Our Heritage Sites”
Palestine News Network

PMA Condemns Israeli Report Accusation on Money Laundering Operations
Palestine News Network

Russia Votes Against Resolution to Condemn Israel at UNESCO
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

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Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Alternative Information Center

Palestinians close road to Jerusalem in protest of settler violence
Alternative Information Center – Palestinians from the village of Ur al-Tahta briefly blocked road 443 to Jerusalem on Tuesday to protest the uprooting of olive trees by settlers. Army forces called to the scene clashed with the protesters in an…

The National

Syria’s vanished prompt action call
The National 18 Oct 2012 – The fate of at least 28,000 men, women and children taken by Bashar Al Assad’s regime troops is unknown, say rights groups.

EU edges closer to banking union
The National 18 Oct 2012 – The French president, Francois Hollande, and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, are in a position to agree on a calendar for full banking union after holding talks ahead of a European summit, a French official said.

Ex-US Air Force veterans take the helm at Zayed University
The National 18 Oct 2012 – Zayed University has appointed two new campus chiefs, and both men have spent more than 30 years in the US Air Force.

Morsi battles to prove he can revive Egypt’s economy
The National 18 Oct 2012 – Tensions over role of Muslim Brotherhood’s reform plan are preventing solutions to revive the country’s dysfunctional economy.

Syria’s wealthy businesses feel civil war squeeze
The National 18 Oct 2012 – Factories have been burned down or damaged in fighting, sanctions restrict finances and some business owners fear that their companies are in danger of going under.

UAE Haj mission ensures medical facilities meet standards
The National 18 Oct 2012 – As thousands of pilgrims throng to Mecca to perform the Haj, the UAE’s Haj mission ensures that medical facilities are in place in case of injuries or outbreak of diseases.

Relative of Abu Dhabi cleaner lashes at employer for 15-storey fall
The National 18 Oct 2012 – The cousin of one of the window cleaners who died after plunging down 15 floors has spoken up against the employer for failing to save the two men.

UAE holds its own Republican vs Democrat debate
The National 18 Oct 2012 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Abu Dhabi co-hosted a debate this week on the upcoming US election and its implications on the Middle East.

A year after Qaddafi, Libya must find replacement for euphoria
The National 18 Oct 2012 – For those who fought against the regime, memories of a day 12 months ago tomorrow are joyous. But a review of the days between then and now are more sobering. Alice Fordham reports from Tripoli 

Libya since Qaddafi: a timeline
The National 18 Oct 2012 – Events in Libya since Muammar Qaddafi was killed on October 20, 2011

Ha’aretz

Jimmy Carter to visit Israel, Egypt
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Hamas releases film recounting details of Gilad Shalit kidnapping
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Labor party celebrates flood of new faces
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Hamas vows to kidnap more Israeli soldiers
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

IDF planning first ultra-Orthodox commando unit
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Israel’s AG: Leave legalization of West Bank outposts for after elections
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Israeli Bedouin stage mass protest in wake of home demolition orders
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Olmert, Livni pledge not to run against each other – if they run
Ha’aretz – 18 Oct 2012

Social protest leader to join Labor list
Ha’aretz – 17 Oct 2012

Bibi the charlatan
Ha’aretz – 17 Oct 2012

The Likud convention / The voting doesn’t matter; it’s the deals that count
Ha’aretz – 17 Oct 2012

Study finds dangerous drinking water in nine Israeli towns
Ha’aretz – 17 Oct 2012

Jerusalem Post

Neolithic ruins among year’s J’lem-area discoveries
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Sixth annual archeology conference showcases antiquities found as result of new construction. 

Abu Ghosh residents turn to Telz Stone for buses
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Infrequent public transportation in Arab towns is holding back integration efforts, advocates say. 

Culture of debate
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – The culture of debate is essential to a healthy democracy. By forcing candidates to present their positions on the issues that matter, public debates give voters the opportunity to make a better-informed choice. 

Students rank unis, colleges ahead of school year
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – IDC Herzliya leads rankings released by National Union of Israeli Students, followed by Kibbutzim College. 

Savir’s Corner: The United States and the Arab world
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – 2013 will be a critical crossroad year for the USArab relationship, and has to be treated with urgency, wisdom and courage. 

Devout son of US immigrants running in Labor primary
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Chili Tropper of the Jerusalem suburb Nes Harim has announced that he intends to run in the November 27 Labor primary. 

Thousands of Beduin protest Negev town demolitions
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Gov’t plans to demolish buildings in Bir Hadaj as well as other towns prompts protests outside Interior Ministry, general strike. 

The return of Arye Deri
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – You can already start to feel sorry for Yishai. Soon he’ll find out that the sheep to be slaughtered in honor of this historic reconciliation is himself. 

Sinai Today: The prime minister’s speeches
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu uses biblical references in his speeches to provide context for understanding the state. 

The Weekly Schmooze: Return of the Magenta Yenta
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – JPost column on hottest Jewish news: Sarah Silverman’s dad defends her honor; Bette Midler on Glee?

Ban: Hezbollah UAV to Israel could risk Lebanon stability
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – For fear of Jerusalem retaliation against Beirut, UN Secretary General Ban calls on Hezbollah to cease military activities in or out of Lebanon, urges IAF to stop daily flights over Lebanese airspace. 

Rivals Yishai, Deri claim differences behind them
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Deri says he doesn’t care what ministerial portfolio he gets or what place he holds on Shas list as long as he can help “have nots.” 

Hamas video recounts details of Schalit kidnapping
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – On first anniversary of release, Hamas airs video on IDF soldier’s abduction, captivity, vows swap “deal will not be the last.” 

‘Cyprus foils terror attack against Israelis’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Cypriot media says agents discovered 100 grams of explosives at Limassol port intended to target cruise ships carrying Israelis. 

Court refuses petition to overturn Civil Union Law
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Judges uphold law enabling Israelis with no officially defined religion to join in a civil union recognized by the state. 

Ship seeking to break Gaza blockade set to arrive
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Gov’t officials say envoy to UN Prosor gave “free publicity” to activist ship ‘Estelle’ with letter to Secretary-General Ban. 

‘Al-Qaida ideals entrenched in Sinai jihadi groups’
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Former jihadist turned Egyptian mediator says Salafist-Jihadist groups aim to establish Caliphate, implement Sharia Law in Egypt. 

Twitter bans neo-Nazi group’s messages in Germany
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Special function allows Twitter to block extremist group’s content in Germany while maintaining its accessibility elsewhere. 

IDF wages war against obesity
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Israel Defense Forces’ personnel, especially those in desk jobs but even those in combat units, are getting fat. 

Hamas hosts mass rally for Palestinian prisoners
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – On anniversary of Schalit swap, Gaza group vows “deal will not be the last”; Hamas to release documentary on IDF soldier’s captivity. 

UN rights chief: Syria must not become new Bosnia
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – “It should not take something as drastic as Srebrenica to shake the world into taking serious action,” Navi Pillay tells reporters. 

Peres: Iranians must overthrow Ayatollan regime
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Revolutionary Guards official: Military strike would speed up Israel’s end; Ahmadinejad: US influence waning due to massive debt. 

New season ushers olive harvest, accusations
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Wearing a white hat with a flap to protect him from the hot sun, 57-year old Muallem, prepares for the harvest. 

TA: Eritreans protest Negev detention facility
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Rallying under slogan “Israel, don’t put us in prison, again”, migrants protest facility meant to house thousands of Africans. 

Arts in brief: All-star band takes the stage
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Members of Israeli band Lunicidal Tendencies will finally be on stage together to debut their new album, ‘After the End’. 

Voices of Jerusalem: Cooperation through coffee
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Loren Minsky speaks to Elyasaf Ish-Shalom, owner of hip café Salon Shabazi that draws an eclectic mix from Nachlaot. 

Comptroller slams firefighting, energy, gas sectors
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Shapira says criticism by his office “at the heart of democracy and of guaranteeing that governance” is carried out according to law. 

Maoz’s cellmate testifies in murder trial
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Lawyers for man accused of murdering parents try to discredit witness by showing graphic videos found in witness’s phone. 

Hadassah in a bind over choice of institution rabbi
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Selection committee looking for candidate to replace Rabbi Ya’acov Rakovsky who died after decades in the job. 

IDF finds bones near where Halabi’s remains found
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Police working under the assumption that the remains are most likely that of formerly missing IDF soldier. 

Shapira deems water prices illogical
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Rates have risen 30% since January 2010 reform, says state comptroller, but lack research and reasoning. 

Natural gas officials accused of lapses in safety
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – State Comptroller Shapira says no database to display records of safety incidents and proper risk surveys not conducted. 

PA official removed from post for meet with Israelis
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Khalil Faraj met with Israeli officials in attempts to bring construction material into the Gaza Strip without consulting superiors. 

Dagan’s condition ‘improving’ after liver transplant
Jerusalem Post 18 Oct 2012 – Former police commander Bar-Lev, a friend of the ex-Mossad chief, tells ‘Post’ he opted for surgery in Belarus because donor there. 

120,000 visitors expected at Rachel’s Tomb
Jerusalem Post 17 Oct 2012 – Parliamentarians visit Jewish landmark on outskirts of Bethlehem ahead of event marking anniversary of Rachel’s death. 

Teaching the future
Jerusalem Post 17 Oct 2012 – Voters should take advantage of the opportunity to demand of politicians clear programs for action aimed at improving our education system. 

Hamas opposes Holocaust study at UNRWA schools
Jerusalem Post 17 Oct 2012 – Teaching Holocaust is “crime against Palestinians,” says Gaza group following report UN agency plans to re-introduce course. 

The Guardian

Israeli cabinet may get vote on legalising unauthorised settlements
The Guardian 18 Oct 2012 – Under pressure from right wing, Binyamin Netanyahu ready to allow endorsement of some recommendations of Levy report The Israeli cabinet may approve the legalisation of unauthorised Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank, in a move…

Should Palestinians boycott international aid? | Nora Lester Murad
The Guardian 18 Oct 2012 – Aid-funded development in Palestine hasn’t worked, as millions continue to suffer despite billions of dollars being spent. It’s time for Palestinians to assert themselves and take control Aid is a huge global industry whose success is…

Inter Press Service

Poverty Sparks New Unrest in Egypt
IPS Ahmed Hassanein works in a modern factory in an industrial enclave west of Cairo. He wears a neatly pressed uniform and operates precision calibrated machinery on a line that produces components for foreign-brand passenger vehicles. When his shift ends, he returns home to a simple two-room flat with no air…

Uruknet

Palestinian footballer Mahmoud Sarsak calls for Israel to be stripped of privilege of hosting UEFA football tournaments
Uruknet

Estelle and the freedom of association
Uruknet

Occupied Lives: Violation of the right to freedom of worship
Uruknet

The Ancient City of Mes Aynak: Neo-liberal Policies Threaten 5000 Years of Bronze-age History and Undermine the Rights of Afghans to their Lands
Uruknet

Australia’s Julia Gillard is no feminist hero
Uruknet

Malala the Worthy Victim
Uruknet

Qatar in Gaza: Trying to Buy Peace?
Uruknet

Children under Attack in Pakistan and Afghanistan
Uruknet

NATO ‘Regrets’ Killing Children in Southern Afghan Attack
Uruknet

Colonist Activity in Beit Ommar Land Supported by Soldiers
Uruknet

Daily Star

Obama was considered potential target
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 A Bangladeshi man snared in an FBI terror sting considered targeting President Barack Obama and the New York City Stock Exchange before settling on a car bomb attack on the Federal Reserve.

Morsi letter to Peres true, Egypt spokesman confirms
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 A spokesman for Morsi confirmed on Thursday the authenticity of a controversial letter describing his Israeli counterpart as a “great” friend, saying it followed protocol.

In Syria, Sunni rebels besiege Shiite villages
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 Anyone who dares try to slip out of the Shiite villages of Zahraa and Nubl is risking their life. Sunni rebel snipers outside are ready to gun them down.

UN: 150,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Egypt
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 The U.N. refugee agency said the number of Syrian refugees who have fled their country’s civil war and found shelter in Egypt has now topped 150,000 – a significant jump from last month’s figure of 95,000.

Exxon seeks to quit flagship Iraq oil project
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 U.S. major Exxon Mobil wants to leave its giant oilfield project in southern Iraq, diplomatic sources said, in a move likely to aggravate the country’s internal tensions and hamper Baghdad’s ambitious energy expansion plans.

US offers $12 mn for Iran-based Al-Qaeda financiers
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 The United States posted a reward of up to $12 million on Thursday for help in tracking down two Iran-based Al-Qaeda financial backers, accused of funneling money to extremists in Syria.

Iraq calls for faster arms deliveries, nears F-16 deal
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 Iraq called for the US to speed up its weapons deliveries as the two countries near a deal on a second set of 18 F-16s, days after Baghdad signed $4.2 billion in arms deals with Moscow.

44 die as Syria jets blast rebel-held town
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 Syrian fighter jets blasted the rebel-held town of Maaret al-Numan on Thursday, killing at least 44 people, rescuers said, adding urgency to truce calls by peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Saudi rights group says Iraq mistreats Saudi inmates-paper
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 A Saudi rights group has accused Iraqi authorities of deliberately mistreating Saudi inmates, a Saudi newspaper said, highlighting lingering tensions between the two Arab countries.

Morocco king visits Syrian refugee camp in Jordan
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 Moroccan King Mohammed VI toured a field hospital treating Syrian refugees in northern Jordan — the first Arab head of state to visit the desert compound.

Drone strike in south Yemen kills 7 Qaeda suspects
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 A drone strike near the southern Yemeni city of Jaar killed at least seven Al-Qaeda suspects, including a local leader, at dawn on Thursday, an official in the restive region told AFP.

Iraq issues arrest warrant for central bank chief
Daily Star 18 Oct 2012 Iraqi authorities have issued arrest warrants for the longtime governor of the central bank following allegations of financial wrongdoing, the country’s judiciary said Thursday.

YNet News

Gaza celebrates Shalit deal anniversary 
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – In impressive show of force, Hamas’ military wing holds massive parade to celebrate one-year anniversary of Shalit deal; group pledges to free more prisoners ….

Poll: Romney gains on Obama on foreign policy issues
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – ….

Navy prepares for possible takeover of ‘Estelle’ 
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – IDF ready to seize Gaza-bound Swedish vessel which is set to reach Israel’s shores this weekend ….

Iraq says signs contract for 18 F-16 fighter jets 
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – ….

Chomsky makes first Gaza visit
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – ….

Putin opposes the wearing of headscarves at school
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – ….

Kadima council approves cancellation of party primaries
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – ….

Hamas film exposes Shalit abduction mission
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – Film released on one-year anniversary of former captive’s release describes process of planning, training and execution of Gilad Shalit abduction in June 2006 ….

Religious Zionist parties unite ahead of elections
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – National Union and Habayit Hayehudi-New National Religious Party announce they will run together under joint platform in next elections ….

Pilots reenact Ron Arad’s last flight 
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – In honor of missing navigator, his ‘Hammers’ squadron reenacts flight from which he never returned . Commander: He is not forgotten ….

Improvement noted in ex-Mossad chief’s condition
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – Belarusian media says Meir Dagan no longer sedated following his liver transplant ….

The Arab you fear
YNet News, 18 Oct 2012 – Op-ed: Bedouin residing in Frankfurt says Israelis being fed false information about Muslims ….

Palestinian Information Center

UN report: settlers destroy more than 7,500 olive trees
PIC – OCHA has revealed that the Jewish settlers continued their attacks against the Palestinian farmers in the occupied West Bank since the beginning of the year destroying more than 7500 olive trees.

IOA extends the administrative detention of former Minister Issa Al-Jabari
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) decided on Wednesday to renew the administrative detention of former minister Issa Khairy al-Jabari for four months..

PA forces arrest four Hamas cadres in Nablus and Tulkarem
PIC – PA security continued their political arrest campaigns against Hamas cadres in the West Bank, arresting four of them in Nablus and Tulkarem, and raided the homes of others..

Prisoners center denounces banning of liberated prisoners from going for Hajj
PIC – The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies denounced the Israeli racist practices where IOA prevented a number of Palestinian prisoners’ families and liberated detainees from going for Haj.

IOA prevents liberated prisoners and their families from going for Hajj
PIC – The IOA prevented, on Wednesday, 20 Palestinians of Palestinian prisoners’ families in addition to a number of liberated detainees from crossing the Karama Bridge to go to perform the pilgrimage.

Bardawil: No information on Qatari Emir or Mishaal visit to Gaza
PIC – Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, a senior Hamas official, has denied press speculations that Emir of Qatar Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad or Hamas supreme leader Khaled Mishaal would visit Gaza.

IOA postpones trial hearing of MP Mubarak
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) on Thursday postponed the trial hearing of MP Ahmed Mubarak from Ramallah.

Al-Qassam Brigades renews its vow to free all prisoners
PIC – Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, reiterated its pledge to extract the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

WAFA

Japan Funds Compost Production Plant in Jericho
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Early Voting in Local Elections for Security Forces Commences
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Erekat Calls for Immediate Action against Report Legitimizing Settlements
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Christian Groups Urge US Congress to Review Military Aid to Israel
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Israeli Nature Authority Orders Palestinian to Demolish his Home
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Israeli Warplanes Shell Area southeast of Gaza
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

Monetary Authority Condemns Israeli Accusations on Money Laundering
WAFA – 18 Oct 2012

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 17 Oct 2012

Misc

IEC exec resigns over NIS 1.5b shortfall 
Globes Energy & Water – Finance division manager Zechariah Kay is taking early retirement, after IEC admitted to the cash flow shortfall.

Pelagic drilling to begin in November 
Globes Energy & Water – The Aphrodite 2 well is targeting strata with an estimated 3.7 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Chaim Lebovitz sells Shemen Oil stake, due to Sabbath drilling 
Globes Energy & Water – Haredi investor Chaim Lebovitz sold his stake at the order of Rabbi Shmuel Halevy-Wosner, because the company drills on the Sabbath.

IBM set to acquire Red Bend for $250m
Globes Main News – Red Bend develops software and services for mobile phone management and virtualization.

Given Imaging considers merger or sale
Globes Main News – A beneficiary of a sale or merger would be Nochi Dankner, who owns a large stake in the company through IDB unit Elron.

Thu: Mellanox weighs very heavily on market
Globes Main News – Mellanox plunged 22% after lowering its guidance, while Given Imaging soared by a similar percentage, after announcing it is considering a sale or merger.

Analysts still believe in Mellanox despite lower guidance
Globes Main News – Mellanox’s fourth quarter guidance has muddied the water for analysts covering the company.

Shlomo Eliahu sells Leumi shares for NIS 200m
Globes Main News – Eliahu sold the shares through IBI Investment House.

SodaStream signs distribution deals in Russia, Singapore, Chile
Globes Main News – The drink carbonation systems company has announced that its products are being made available in Russia, Chile and Singapore through new exclusive partnerships.

Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Foreign Aid Initiative
Tikun Olam – A coalition of U.S. church groups recently made public a letter which called upon the U.S. government to condition future military aid to Israel on its fulfillment of obligations under U.S. law.  The statement was intended to express criticism of Israel’s use of U.S. weapons like…

Dagan in Critical Condition After Liver Transplant in Belarus
Tikun Olam – I don’t usually write here about medical operations, but I was struck by the fact that Meir Dagan, facing the critical necessity of a liver transplant chose to have the operation done in Belarus.  While I’m no expert on these matters, Belarus doesn’t strike me as…

Documents expose Boston police working with FBI to track Palestine solidarity activists
Mondoweiss – A demonstration organized by Jewish Women for Justice in Israel/Palestine against the Israeli occupation and in solidarity with the Occupy movement held at Occupy Boston in Dewey Sq., Boston, MA. Tuesday Oct’ 18, 2011 . Photo: T.Scheflan/Activestills.org The Boston Police Department, working in conjunction with the FBI,…

‘Daily Beast’ crank against intermarriage pushes regime change in Iran on the side
Mondoweiss – Last week, in serving the rightwing Jewish elements of its constituency, Open Zion ran a really nutty piece by Andrew Apostolou opposing intermarriage, “because it undermines Jewish identity and so weakens the Jewish people.” The Jewish people means the Jewish nation:  This is bad for American…

Exile and the Prophetic: Interfaith IMAX
Mondoweiss – This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. Well, it was my first time speaking in an IMAX theatre last night and a good time was had by all. The…

Watching, and experiencing, ‘Five Broken Cameras’ in Bil’in
Mondoweiss – Alice Rothchild is currently traveling on the Dorothy Cotton Institute delegation to Israel/Palestine. For her last post from the delegation see here . The last time I went to Bil’in was in January 2011 for a frightening, exhilarating tear gas filled Friday demonstration against the wall. This…

If only it was just one tweet: One activist’s experience in the ‘Our Land’ Facebook group
Mondoweiss – Four months ago, I was added to a Facebook group called “Our Land” much of which, when I finally looked at the content, immediately struck me as anti-Semitic in nature, so I complained to the person who had added me. That person was Greta Berlin. The…

PLO Report: In the past year, Israel has issued plans for 11,096 settlement housing units in East Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – link to english.wafa.ps link to www.imemc.org link to english.wafa.ps link to www.maannews.net link towww.maannews.net link to english.wafa.ps link to www.maannews.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to palsolidarity.org link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to 972mag.com link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link towww.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link…

Israel Approves More Settlements Near Jerusalem 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Oct 2012 – Israel on Thursday issued a detailed plan for the building of some 800 new homes on annexed land in the West Bank that is certain to attract further international condemnation of its settlement policies. Click here for the rest of the article…

Facebook Dumps Hezbollah Pages 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Oct 2012 – Facebook removed pages for Hezbollah, its affiliated Al-Manar television station and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Click here for the rest of the article…

Pro-Palestinian Activist’s Book Talks Scrapped 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Oct 2012 – Free Gaza Movement co-founder Greta Berlin, who has come under fire for tweeting that Zionists created and ran the Nazi concentration camps, had book talks canceled by at least two California venues. Click here for the rest of the article…

Reform Leaders Demand Wailing Wall Arrest Probe 
The Foward Breaking News 18 Oct 2012 – Reform Jewish leaders are calling for an investigation following reports that an Israeli colleague was roughed up by police after leading a women’s prayer group at the Western Wall. Click here for the rest of the article…

Farmer in Saffa Arrested 
Palestine Solidarity Project 18 Oct 2012 – On Thursday 18th of October at 8 p.m. Beit Ommar resident, Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Daiya (20), was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces. Ibrahim is a farmer living in the Saffa area of Beit Ommar. Earlier that day he had been herding his sheep in Palestinian…

Olive Harvest Obstructed by Road Blocks and Checkpoints 
Palestine Solidarity Project 18 Oct 2012 – Olive harvest is upon us. Many Palestinians, as well as internationals, have been looking forward to this season. All family members, including small children and grandparents, gather to pick olives in the beautiful fields throughout the West bank. Every autumn PSP participate in the olive harvest…

Farmer Arrested for Being a Victim of Israeli Stone Throwers. 
Palestine Solidarity Project 18 Oct 2012 – On Sunday morning, October 14th, 2012, at 7 a.m. a farmer, Mohammed Abd Alhamid Soleibi, was arrested by the Israeli occupation forces as he was harvesting olives in his fields. His olive trees are located in Area C, in Saffa, close to Bayt Ain an Israeli…

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) stands in solidarity with UK Workers 
Global BDS 18 Oct 2012 – Occupied Palestine, 18 October 2012 –   The Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions ( PTUC-BDS ), the largest coalition of Palestinian trade unions and professional syndicates, stands in solidarity with working families across the UK marching on October 20 against cuts and austerity and…

Syrian air strikes on rebel towns 
BBC 18 Oct 2012 – Air strikes on rebel strongholds in northern Syria kill dozens of people, activists say, leaving survivors digging through the rubble of flattened buildings to find bodies.

Saudi female religion police plan 
BBC 18 Oct 2012 – The reforming head of Saudi Arabia’s religious police says women officers need to be introduced into the force.

Israel vs. No. 2 Pencils 
Sabbah report 18 Oct 2012 – By Lena K. Awwad and Shatha I. Hussein As countless students around the world took the SAT a week ago, Palestinians from the West Bank could not join their ranks. The October SAT exam was cancelled for students in the West Bank: The Israeli authorities held…

Anti pro-Palestinian Billboard War 
Sabbah report 18 Oct 2012 – Billboard Wars: The Savage vs. the Civilized Pamela Geller and her billboard message Back on 1 August 2012 I posted a piece entitled History on a Billboard . It reported on the placement, in the northern suburbs of New York City, of informational billboards with maps of…

USA Embrace Israel’s Gaza No-University Education Policy 
Sabbah report 18 Oct 2012 – Losing Hearts, Minds and Credibility Palestinian school children do their homework on candle light during a power cut in Gaza City on March 27, 2012. [Mohammed Abed / AFP / GettyImages] Why is the “peace process,” which so many American Presidents have invested time in, dead? Answers to…

2,279 calories per person: How Israel made sure Gaza didn’t starve 
Sabbah report 18 Oct 2012 – Israel was forced to release ‘red lines’ document for food consumption in Gaza following legal battle. A Palestinian boy sitting behind bags of flour donated by aid agencies as part of their food assistance programs, in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza earlier this month. Photo…

The Dilemma in Syria From Annan to Brahimi: Security Solution Comes First 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 18 Oct 2012 – Syria youths react following an airstrike by Syrian government forces in Maaret al-Numaan on 18 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Syria youths react following an airstrike by Syrian government forces in Maaret al-Numaan on 18 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Following Lakhdar…

Post-Revolution Tunisia: Still Fighting for Rights 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – Supporters of the President of the High Political Committee of the Republican Party, Ahmed Najib Chebbi, wave banners and flags during a meeting organized by the party on 13 October 2012, in Tunis. (Photo: Fethi Belaid) Supporters of the President of the High Political Committee of…

Palestinian Refugees Wary of NGOs 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – Their only concern is to make us forget our home and our ancestors’ land (Photo: Marwan Bou Haydar) Their only concern is to make us forget our home and our ancestors land (Photo: Marwan Bou Haydar) A visit to the Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp reveals the…

Tunisian opposition member killed in clashes with Islamists 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – The coordinator for opposition party Call of Tunisia died in the southern town of Tataouine on Thursday as his supporters clashed with those of the Islamist-led government, his party and the interior ministry said. A party official told AFP that Lotfi Naguedh died after being beaten…

Lebanese Village Dumps its Landfill 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – It seems that efforts to improve waste management in some towns by building waste sorting plants did not succeed in eliminating pollution. (Photo: Hassan Bahsoun) It seems that efforts to improve waste management in some towns by building waste sorting plants did not succeed in eliminating…

Kuwait arrests two former MPs in wake of mass protests 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – Kuwaiti police arrested two former opposition MPs Thursday for making statements at a public rally deemed critical of the Gulf state’s ruler, an opposition leader said. “Two former (Islamist) MPs, Falah al-Sawwagh and Bader al-Dahum, have just been arrested by the state security police,” Mussallam al-Barrak,…

Collaborators Don’t Want to Come Back 
Al-Akhbar News 18 Oct 2012 – A small minority left Israel to stay with family in other countries, but many remain there. (Photo: Hassan Bahsoun) A small minority left Israel to stay with family in other countries, but many remain there. (Photo: Hassan Bahsoun) Eleven months have passed since parliament approved a…

Okab Sakr: Lebanese Parliamentarian Representing in Syria’s War 
Al-Akhbar Politics 18 Oct 2012 – Sakr was also involved in the Iranian hostage crisis in Syria. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Sakr was also involved in the Iranian hostage crisis in Syria. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Lebanese Future Movement MP Okab Sakr has become a key player in the Syrian crisis, coordinating arms shipments…

A Wise Initiative to Save Syria 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Oct 2012 – Syrian opposition Aref Dalila along with participants from more than 20 opposition parties attends a National Conference for Rescuing Syria, in Damascus on 23 September 2012. (Photo: AFP – Louai Beshara) Syrian opposition Aref Dalila along with participants from more than 20 opposition parties attends a…

Syrian Refugees: Looking to Leave the Past Behind 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Oct 2012 – Syrian refugee children are seen standing under hanging laundry in the village of Arsal in the Lebanese Bekaa valley, on 10 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – STR) Syrian refugee children are seen standing under hanging laundry in the village of Arsal in the Lebanese Bekaa valley,…

Hamas Deliberates Over Its New Leadership 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Oct 2012 – Palestinian policemen belonging to the Hamas movement attend a training session in Gaza City on 15 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammes Abed) Palestinian policemen belonging to the Hamas movement attend a training session in Gaza City on 15 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammes Abed)…

Syrian Refugee Crisis: Expecting the Worst 
Al-Akhbar Politics 17 Oct 2012 – Syrian refugees gather near tents at a makeshift refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border near Al-Salama crossing on 12 October 2012. (Photo: AFP – Vedat Xhymshiti) Syrian refugees gather near tents at a makeshift refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border near Al-Salama crossing on 12 October…

Relentless Settler Attacks Continue Against Palestinian Farmers 
Al-Haq 17 Oct 2012 – Ad: A Circle Of Gentlemen – The Secret Jacobite Society – A Circle Of Gentlemen Have Opened Their Doors! Join Us At Several Venues In Scotland And In Our Private Forums. Find Out About Bonnie Prince Charlie And The Real Scottish Heritage. Take A Leap Back…

Articles


Are Arab Jews refugees? 
Ahmad Naguib Roushdy, Al-Ahram Weekly 10/11/2012
      Rumours of a future Palestinian state in Sinai should be firmly quashed by the Egyptian government.
     Rumour has it, and some articles in Egyptian newspapers have stated, that the increasing crossings of Palestinians to the Egyptian Sinai through the illegal tunnels between Egypt and Gaza have been taking place in accordance with a plan by the Islamist-led government of Hamas in Gaza, which has ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. The aim is to settle the Palestinians in Sinai, not as refugees but as a permanent homeland for them and to declare a Palestinian state there, substituting it for the West Bank.
     The rumours say that this is part of a wild plan that Israel might welcome in order to get rid of the Palestinians from the West Bank once and for all and to annex it as part of its territory, thus making Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist organisation and the godfather of the state of Israel, happy in his grave. If all this is true, the Palestinians would be copying the Zionists in their previous attempts to establish a Jewish state in Sinai.
     History tells us that Herzl, like all members of his organisation a non-religious Jew, made his call for the establishment of a “national home for the Jews” in Palestine his main platform. He declared this at his organisation’s conference in Basle, Switzerland, on 24 August 1897. The hidden goal was to establish a Jewish state in Palestine. The first step towards this goal was to encourage Jewish immigration to Palestine that included Russian and Polish Jews such as Golda Meir, Israel’s prime minister during the 6 October War, and Moshe Dayan, her former defence minister.
     Zionist terrorist groups followed up this strategy by forcing Palestinian residents to sell their land to Jewish settlers or by expelling them by force, with many Palestinians fleeing out of fears of being killed. more.. e-mail

Iran by proxy 
Jeremy Salt in Ankara, Al-Ahram Weekly 10/11/2012
      Ignore the handwringing of Western leaders, it is foreign intervention that is fuelling the chaos in Syria.
     It would seem quite simple. All that needs to happen for the fighting to end in Syria is for those with guns in their hands to put them down. So why isn’t it happening?
     Again the answer is simple, and not just seemingly. Outside governments supporting the armed groups do not want them to put their weapons down. It has been deliberately locked into a cycle of violence which its enemies hope will end in its destruction. This strategy is the prime cause of the death and devastation over which the sponsors of this violence have been wringing their hands before the UN General Assembly.
     Agendas vary slightly but the prime goal of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the governments of the US, Britain and France is not political reform but the destruction of Iran’s best friend in the region. Syria is the central arch in a strategic relationship between Hizbullah, Syria and Iran. The fall of that arch would give Western governments one of their greatest strategic victories in the modern history of the Middle East.
     Syria is frequently described as collapsing or bleeding or plunging into “civil war”. None is correct. Syria is being collapsed, being bled and being plunged into devastation as a direct consequence of decisions taken outside Syria. The collective calling itself The Friends of the Syrian People has deliberately brought Syria to where it is now. There are no small mercies in this situation but it could have been worse, if these “friends” had been able to launch an aerial assault under the aegis of the Security Council. Had Russia and China not blocked them Syria would be now be a total ruin, with an infinitely greater number of dead than the 20,000 or so already killed. Their fallback position was the war of attrition being waged by their armed protégés. more.. e-mail

A letter to President Obama 
Maya Rosenfeld, Ma’an News Agency 10/17/2012
      …the attempt to understand why you surrendered and gave up on our issue deserves a separate analysis. Leaving the reasons aside, what concerns me most is the disastrous outcome.
     Dear President Obama:
     I have been tempted to write to you ever since your first days in office and increasingly more so as the policy of your administration vis-à-vis the Israeli Palestinian conflict unfolded. Yet the personal format, enticing as it might be, also repelled me. After all, writing a letter to a world leader is widely and justly considered an act of last resort, reserved for those who lack other means. And I am not there yet, I used to say to myself as the months went by. But thoughts about the shattered hopes, the opportunities that could have opened and never did, the time wasted and the retrogression it carried in its wake kept returning and refused to let go. Now that your first four years in the White House are coming to a close, I finally surrendered to the initial urge.
     It was your splendid victory speech, on the eve of Election Day, Nov. 4, 2008, that inspired me to write at first place. More specifically, it was your allusion to the 106-year-old Ann Nixon Cooper, who had cast her ballot for you earlier that day. Ann Cooper, who was born only one generation past slavery, who reached adulthood facing double discrimination as a black woman in a segregated society, and who became a renowned activist in the civil-rights movement lived to help bring about the election of a black American Democrat as president of the United States. Yet, as your sentences were vividly portraying stages of the historical struggle that shaped Ann Cooper’s life and became identified with it, I found my thoughts drifting away from Atlanta, Montgomery and Washington to the familiar settings and people of the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and of my country, Israel…. more.. e-mail

New film explains the basics to achieving justice in Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2012 – Asa Winstanley 18 October 2012 Filmmaker Sami Moukaddem demonstrates that the Palestinian situation isn’t complex in his debut documentary.more

Gaza opens first recycling plant as waste crisis worsens
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2012 – Rami Almeghari Rafah 18 October 2012 Components brought into Gaza via underground tunnels used in project set up by environmentalists.more

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