VTJP Palestine/Israel News & Articles 5 December 2012: Justice, Peace and the Israeli State

5 December 2012 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Indonesian Parliament Head Arrives In Gaza
IMEMC – Indonesian Parliament head, Ali Marzouki, arrived in the Gaza Strip via the Rafah Border Terminal on Wednesday heading a senior Indonesian delegation to observe the massive destruction caused by Israel during its recent war on Gaza, and to express solidarity with the Palestinian people. …

Israel Approves Advancement Of The E1 Settlement Project
IMEMC – The Israeli Civil Administration Office in the occupied West Bank has officially approved “the advancement” of the recent decision made by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to build thousands units for Jewish settlers in area E1, located between occupied East Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adummim illegal settlement bloc. …

Settlers Cut, Uproot, 200 Olive Trees Near Bethlehem
IMEMC – Palestinian sources reported that a group of extremist settlers cut and uprooted approximately 200 olive trees in Palestinian orchards west of the West Bank city of Bethlehem. …

Hamas: “We Are Going To Cairo This Month To Implement Unity Agreement”
IMEMC – Osama Hamdan, head of the International Relations Department of the Hamas movement, stated that Hamas will be heading to Cairo this month to participate in meetings meant at implementing the Palestinian unity and reconciliation agreement, and warned Israel against continuing its violations to the ceasefire in Gaza. …

191 Palestinians Killed, 1492 Injured In November
IMEMC – Including 48 Children The Palestinian Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip reported that 191 Palestinians, including children, women and elderly, have been killed by Israeli military fire in Gaza in November, and that the number of injured Palestinians in the same month stands at 1492. …

P.A To Head To Security Council To Counter Israel’s’ New Settlement Plan
IMEMC – The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, headed by president, Mahmoud Abbas, decided to head to the United Nations Security Council to ask it for a resolution ordering Israel to stop all of its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, and in occupied East Jerusalem, especially the recently approved plan to build more than 3000 units for Jewish settlers. … 

Ma’an News

Israel moves ahead with E1 settlement plans
12/5/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel moved forward on Wednesday with plans to build some 3,000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the occupied West Bank, in defiance of international protests. A Defense Ministry official said architects and contractors appeared before a subcommittee of the military-run Civil Administration in the West Bank and registered….

Addameer: Jailed hunger strikers insist on freedom
12/5/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Prisoner rights group Addameer on Wednesday called for the immediate release of five Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli jails. Addameer’s lawyer Fares Zayyad visited Ayman Sharawna, on his 158th day of hunger strike, and Samer al-Issawi, on partial hunger strike for 127 days, in Ramle prison clinic on….

Report: Panama, Italy summon Israeli ambassadors
12/6/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Panama on Wednesday summoned Israel’s ambassador to protest Israel’s decision to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, Hebrew media reported. Panama was one of nine countries to vote against a resolution upgrading Palestine to a non-member state of the UN in November. Italian Foreign Minister….

EU summons Israeli ambassador over settlement expansion
12/5/2012 – BRUSSELS (Reuters) — The European Union has summoned Israel’s ambassador to discuss the bloc’s concerns over Israeli plans to expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank, an EU foreign affairs spokeswoman said Wednesday.” The Israeli ambassador has been invited by the Executive Secretary General of the EEAS (European External Action Service….

Abbas: E-1 plan crosses ‘red line’
12/5/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian territory, especially the newly announced projects in the E-1 area, is a red line which cannot go unanswered because it divides the Palestinian land, President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters at his office in Ramallah, Abbas said the PA contacted international sides….

Rights group calls for ICC action over Gaza siege
12/5/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Human rights group Al Dameer on Wednesday called on the Palestinian Authority to seek an investigation into Israel’s siege of Gaza at the International Criminal Court. Al Dameer specifically urged an investigation into Eitan Dangot, Israel’s coordinator in the Palestinian territory, whom it held responsible for imposing….

Israel’s education ministry ‘suspends program’ over Palestinian novel
12/5/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel’s Ministry of Education has suspended a literature program for fifth graders because a Palestinian novel was on its syllabus, Israeli media reported Wednesday. The ministry suspended the program after parents complained that pupils were asked to read and summarize “The little lamp,” a book by renowned Palestinian novelist….

Report: Israeli police searching for missing soldier
12/5/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) –Israeli police are searching for a soldier who has been missing since leaving his base in central Israel, news site Ynet reported Wednesday. Liraz Benbenishti was last seen in Herzliya wearing an Israeli air force uniform and carrying a black bag, Ynet reported. Israeli police appealed to the public….

Jailed PFLP leader Saadat backs UN bid
12/6/2012 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The jailed leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Ahmad Saadat on Wednesday praised Palestine’s admission as a non-member state of the UN. Speaking from Hadarim prison through his lawyer, Saadat said Palestine’s new UN status was a step in the right direction, and….

A message from a Gazan to the German people
12/6/2012 – By Issam Younis.  – There cannot be half justice; either complete justice or no justice. It is time the situation in Israel and Palestine be dealt with to achieve full justice. Ignoring the blockade and the fragmentation imposed on an entire people cannot continue forever. Subjugating a people to live with dispossession, discrimination, and persecution should….

EU considers response to Israeli settlement building plans
12/5/2012 – BRUSSELS (Reuters) — European Union states struggled to agree on Tuesday on a common response to Israel’s plans to expand settlements in the West Bank, highlighting the divisions within the bloc over how to tackle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. At a meeting in Brussels, ambassadors responsible for security issues discussed the possibility of all 27….

PFLP icon praises resistance, criticizes UN bid
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled arrived in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, telling a welcoming delegation that she was “proud” of the people of Gaza. Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s leadership, told reporters in Rafah that Palestinians around the world were….

Islamic Jihad warns Israel over settlements plan
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Islamic Jihad warned Israel on Wednesday against unilateral policies in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” The aggressive polices of the occupation require confrontation,” the group said, claiming that it would respond to Israeli policies of expanding settlements and displacing Palestinians. The Islamist group also condemned the Israeli demolition of….

High-level Indonesian delegation arrives in Gaza
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A high-level Indonesian delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday from Egypt through the Rafah crossing. Marzouqi Ali, head of the Indonesian parliament, told reporters at the Rafah crossing that the visit aimed to offer diplomatic support to the Palestinian people. It was the second visit by Indonesian officials….

Haniyeh applauds Egypt stance during Gaza war
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday applauded Egypt’s position toward Gaza, during a meeting with visiting Egyptian Sheikh Hafez Salameh. Haniyeh praised Egypt’s role in defending the Gaza Strip during the eight-day war in November, and said Palestine would be liberated through resistance and steadfastness….

Egypt seizes 8,000 liters of fuel headed to Gaza tunnels
12/5/2012EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian authorities in Sinai on Wednesday seized 8,000 liters of fuel destined to be smuggled into Gaza, a security official said. Authorities stopped the truck near the city of el-Arish, the Egyptian official told Ma’an. The driver told officers he was taking the fuel to Rafah where it would be smuggled into Gaza. [END]

King of Jordan to visit Palestine Thursday
12/5/2012 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — King Abdullah II of Jordan will visit Palestine on Thursday, the ambassador of Palestine to Jordan Atallah Khairi said Wednesday. Khairi confirmed that Abdullah’s helicopter would land at the Muqataa in Ramallah midday Thursday. The Jordanian monarch will pay a short visit to Ramallah in the central West Bank….

Netanyahu says Israel still committed to peace deal
12/5/2012 – PRAGUE (Reuters) — Israel remains committed to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, despite worries among Israel’s European allies over its plans to build more settlements.” We remain committed to a negotiated settlement between us and our Palestinian neighbors,” Netanyahu said during a visit to Prague….

Israel: Assad kept chemical weapons out of hands of extremists
12/5/2012 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Reuters) — Syrian President Bashar Assad responded to past warnings about the security of chemical weapons by taking steps to keep them out of the hands of militants, Israel’s vice prime minister Moshe Yaalon said on Wednesday. Yaalon joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in making clear that Israel is as concerned….

Official says reconciliation top priority following UN bid
12/5/2012 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Political reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is the Palestinian Authority’s top priority following the successful UN move to upgrade Palestine’s status, a former PA official said Wednesday. Nasser al-Shaer, former PA official and Hamas member, told Ma’an that President Abbas chaired a meeting with PLO….

Islamic Jihad chief to visit Gaza, sources say
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Secretary-General of Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Shalah, is due to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Friday to participate in Hamas’ 25th anniversary celebrations, Palestinian sources said. The sources, who asked to remain anonymous, told Ma’an that Shalah and his deputy Ziad Nakhaleh will lead an Islamic Jihad….

Hamas: Egypt unrest may disrupt unity talks
12/5/2012GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Meetings to discuss Palestinian reconciliation depend on stability in Egypt, a senior Hamas official said Wednesday. Ahmad Yousef told Ma’an that unrest in Egypt could delay unity talks, mediated by Egyptian officials, as Cairo will be preoccupied with internal issues. Islamists fought protesters outside the Egyptian President Mohammad….

Nazi slur results in Israeli team captain suspension
12/5/2012 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israel’s leading basketball team Maccabi Tel Aviv has suspended its captain for calling a rival player a Nazi. Guy Pnini, who was caught on video unleashing a string of insults at an Israeli opponent during a game earlier this week, was ousted from his position as captain until the end of….

Dallas art museum returns stolen mosaic to Turkish officials
12/5/2012 – DALLAS (Reuters) — The Dallas Museum of Art has returned an ancient piece of artwork to Turkish officials after learning that the piece was likely looted from an archeological site. Museum officials said they are cooperating with Italian authorities over the return of several antique artifacts that had been obtained from an Italian dealer under investigation….

Kuwait Interior Ministry warns against illegal protests
12/5/2012 – KUWAIT (Reuters) — Kuwait’s Interior Ministry said it would take all necessary measures to prevent “unauthorized assembly” in the Gulf Arab state after dispersing protesters it said threw stones and tried to mow down police with cars. Police have broken up a series of snap demonstrations outside the capital since Saturday, part of protests….

Clinton: ‘Desperate’ Assad could resort to chemical weapons
12/5/2012 – BRUSSELS (Reuters) — The United States is worried that an increasingly desperate Syrian President Bashar Assad could resort to the use of chemical weapons, or lose control of them, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. After a meeting of NATO foreign ministers at which the Western military alliance agreed to send Patriot anti-missile….

Activists accuse Arab states over climate change at UN talks
12/5/2012 – DOHA, Qatar (Reuters) — Arab nations have failed to use UN talks on climate change to put forward any meaningful measures on tackling the problem in their own countries, delegates and environmental activists said on Wednesday. Delegates from 200 nations have gathered in Qatar for two-week talks to try to agree a symbolic extension of the….

Syria’s rebels in new effort to unite ranks
12/5/2012 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Syrian rebels are trying to restructure their leadership on a country-wide scale, in hopes of gaining foreign funding for their armed revolt against President Bashar Assad, opposition sources said Wednesday. Final deals over the new structure were still being hammered out late on Wednesday at a secret meeting in Turkey which brought together….

Palestine News Network

Hamas Seeks to Reopen Airport in Gaza Strip
Palestine News Network

PA to Access UN Security Council over Israeli Settlements
Palestine News Network

Young Palestinian Composers
Palestine News Network

Canada to Continue Aid Palestinians
Palestine News Network

BBC Trust Admits Failings in Accuracy in News Reports on Pro-Palestinian Protests
Palestine News Network

In Search of the Political Palestinian Narrative
Palestine News Network

Despite International Pressure, Israel to Build 3400 New Housing Units
Palestine News Network

Israel Police Searching for Missing Soldier
Palestine News Network

IOF Troops Arrest 11 Palestinians from the West Bank
Palestine News Network

Supreme Court Hearing Gush Shalom’s Appeal Against “Boycott Law”
Palestine News Network

012 SEEMO Human Rights Award
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

012
12/5/2012 – International Solidarity Movement – By Jeff Berryhill, 5 December 2012, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank – The pain and anguish on the woman’s face was penetrating. Earlier this morning two Israeli military jeeps, one civil administration vehicle, and a bulldozer had arrived at her home with orders to level the structure. This is in spite of ongoing legal….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestinian fury as Israel advances E1 settlement plan
Relief Web 5 Dec 2012 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/05/2012 20:00 GMT RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories, Dec 5, 2012 (AFP) – The Palestinians on Wednesday reacted furiously after a controversial Israeli settlement plan passed a first hurdle, warning that the project would end…

occupied Palestinian territory: Gaza schools, local volunteers welcome back students despite bombings damage
Relief Web 5 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory “The bombing happened at night”, says Fatma Ahmad, shaking her head. “I came to inspect the school early that morning. I was shocked…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel must deliver on cease-fire agreement in the Gaza Strip – UN Special Rapporteur
Relief Web 5 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: occupied Palestinian territory CAIRO (5 December 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, Richard Falk, called today on Israel…

occupied Palestinian territory: UNRWA celebrates resilience of West Bank Bedouin
Relief Web 5 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory 2 December 2012 East Jerusalem UNRWA today celebrated its efforts to protect West Bank Bedouin communities in Bethany, part of a project to…

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Relief Web 5 Dec 2012 – Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: occupied Palestinian territory Highlights The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continues to hold. An Inter-cluster Rapid Assessment (IRA) documenting the humanitarian needs emerging from the hostilities was completed by…

The National

Cairo violence over Morsi escalates, injuring dozens
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Muslim Brotherhood supporters clash with Morsi opponents over the president’s new powers, with riot police deployed to stop street battles.

Clinton urges Egyptians to ‘talk to each other’
The National 5 Dec 2012US secretary of state urges Egyptians to discuss their differences and says new constitution should protect the rights of all.

Middle East faces major climate changes, World Bank warns
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Extremely high temperatures are likely to be among the most serious impacts brought about by changes in the climate, a World Bank report notes.

Iranian human rights lawyer ends her 49-day hunger strike
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Nasrin Sotoudeh takes prison food again after Tehran’s judicial authorities bow to her demand to lift a ban on her young daughter travelling abroad.

UAE’s first martyr remembered
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Relatives Salem Suhail bin Khamis were paid a visit by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, on 41st National Day

What exactly is Palestine?
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Even as Mahmoud Abbas says Palestine is now a state, his countrymen point out that their day-to-day lives are still controlled by Israel. Analysis by Hugh Naylor 

Tiny particles are a big problem in Abu Dhabi
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Dust is always a problem living in a desert. But the amount of particulates Abu Dhabi residents inhale every day is increasing, especially in rural areas.

Dubai bid given lift by former Olympic host cities
The National 5 Dec 2012 – Officials from London and Anthens, former cities that have hosted the Olympics, agree that UAE has potential to host the Games.

Ha’aretz

In Germany visit, Netanyahu voices disappointment with Merkel over UN vote
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

In harsh report, Israel’s State Comptroller slams Bar-Ilan University’s management
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Netanyahu thanks Czech Republic for support at UN
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Abbas: Israel’s settlement plans in area E-1 are a ‘red line’
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Kadima crumbling: Prominent MKs quit, only one-third remain
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Netanyahu vetoes left-leaning Israeli academic’s participation in Merkel meet
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Israel’s High Court hears appeal against controversial ‘Boycott Law’
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Arab groups appeal Israel’s exclusionary law
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Israel pushing ahead with new settlement plans, despite world pressure
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Bedouin face displacement in West Bank corridor, regardless of Israel’s constructions plans
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Israel ranks 39 on world corruption index
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Israeli health clinics running out of flu vaccine
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Interior Minister Eli Yishai’s nephew attacked at Shas conference
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Israeli public defender moves to stop judge’s hard line on African migrants
Ha’aretz – 5 Dec 2012

Shas chairman Eli Yishai expected to keep title but lose leadership role
Ha’aretz – 4 Dec 2012

Carmel fire memorial goes off smoothly, without Netanyahu and Yishai
Ha’aretz – 4 Dec 2012

Firefighters destroying Tel Aviv’s last gravel coastal cliff
Ha’aretz – 4 Dec 2012

Jerusalem Post

Palestinian jihadist group splits from Hezbollah
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Sources tell Lebanese paper that Iran-backed Ansar Allah is cultivating ties with al-Qaida affiliates. 

Rivals clash as Morsi’s deputy seeks end to Egypt crisis
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Rival factions hurl petrol bombs, stones outside palace; Three Morsi advisers quit; Morsi’s vice president calls for consensus; Washington urges dialogue to end crisis. 

MK Ben-Ari calls for Palestinian state in France
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Far right MK also blasts “infiltrator occupation” during address at Blich high school’s bellwether mock election. 

Ashdod, Kfar Saba, Kiryat Ono ‘greenest cities’
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Competition evaluated sustainability of urban infrastructures and quality of life, according to the Council for a Beautiful Israel. 

Analysis: A law born in controversy
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Anti-Boycott Law provided legal tools to settlers and their supporters to sue or fine, those who boycotted them. 

Christian support
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Mainstream Christian leaders sometimes make headlines by bashing Israel. 

The first flower of the Arab Spring
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – The newly empowered Egyptian people are not just fighting for their freedom, they are using the tools of democracy in an ideological battle for the future of their nation. 

Police catch suspected ‘motorcycle bandit 2’
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Serial bank robbing suspect caught red-handed after bank robbery; alleged to have robbed at least a dozen banks. 

Washington Watch: The death of Egyptian democracy
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – The draft constitution, which erases any line between religion and state, declares Egypt will be governed by the “principles” of Shari’a law. 

Candidly Speaking: Australia tilts against Israel
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Germany and Australia, 2 countries considered solid supporters of Israel, abandoned us at the crucial moment. 

Fundamentally Freund: From Soviet to American Jewry
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012US Jews wanted Gorbachev, Reagan and the entire world to see that they would not remain silent while their brethren were in distress. 

Egypt: Clashes erupt despite proposal to end crisis
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Rival factions hurl petrol bombs, stones outside palace; Three Morsi advisers quit; VP offers olive branch to opposition. 

Cult of post-political responsibility
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Terra Incognita: This culture of post-political criticism and irresponsibility has bred a sanctimonious crescendo of righteous indignation, mainly voiced abroad, the actual purpose of which is simply to coddle the egos of the former political elite. 

Ehud Olmert to stay out of upcoming election
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Former prime minister made clear to MKs he would not be running; Olmert not present on Kadima list; four Kadima members drop out of party; recent poll show party below election threshold. 

Jerusalem’s Bikur Cholim Hospital on its last legs
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Unpaid staff stays away from hospital; employees: The government didn’t want us to continue to exist, and it will get its wish. 

Girl saved from viper bite after basketball practice
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Dr. Shapiro says girl went into anaphylactic shock from the bite, needed urgent lifesaving measures including adrenalin injections. 

UN Golan troops to deploy armor on spillover fears
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Syrian mortar lands near IDF base in Golan; UN peacekeeping chief says Syrian opposition may be training Salafists. 

Israel, Russia to cooperate on energy projects
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Energy and Water Minister Landau: Cooperation with energy superpower Russia will give facilitate development of gas market. 

Abbas says settlement plans are a ‘red line’
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012PA president hints he could lodge complaint against Israel in ICC, says “we want to live in security and stability with Israel.” 

Comptroller slams Bar Ilan University’s management
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Shapira says administration violates standards on salaries, nepotism; university decries “harsh, unfounded” judgements. 

Jewcology: Toward a wiser use of energy
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Rabbi Yonatan Neril explains the benefits of finding a sustainable path in modern Jewish society. 

PM says Israel still committed to 2-state solution
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Ahead of Merkel meeting, PM tells German daily he’s “disappointed” in Berlin’s vote on PA UN bid. 

SodaStream to represent Israel at Super Bowl XLVII
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – “We’re going after Coke and Pepsi in their prime time slot of the year,” company official tells ‘Post’. 

Council okays next stage of controversial E1 plan
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Ignoring int’l pleas to halt project, council approves apartments in W. Bank, triggering start of 60-day period for filing of objections. 

Iran claims it extracted data from US spy drone
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Tehran says ScanEagle drone was gathering military information; the US denies it lost a drone. 

High Court delays decision on Anti-Boycott Law
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – Court asks the Knesset legal advisor: How can you defend law you yourself “almost killed?” 

Syrian fighting decimates tourism industry
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – All international airlines halt flights into and out of Damascus as fighting continues with no end in sight. 

‘US ready to act militarily if Assad uses WMDs’
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2012 – ‘Times of London’ quotes sources as saying US, allies on standby for armed intervention in Syria if chemical weapons employed. 

Two views on balancing minority rights, democracy
Jerusalem Post 4 Dec 2012 – Analysis: Petitioners seek bold approach to judicial intervention, while state has more cautious view. 

Central witness testifies in Moti Elon trial
Jerusalem Post 4 Dec 2012 – Witness in case of alleged indecent assault against prominent national-religious leader Rabbi Moti Elon testifies. 

The Guardian

Israel begins expanding settlements in occupied West Bank – video
The Guardian 5 Dec 2012 – The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, calls Israel’s plans to move ahead with a controversial settlement in the West Bank E1 corridor a ‘red line’

Inter Press Service

OP-ED: Egypt, Arab Sunni Politics, and the U.S.: A Problematic Road Ahead
IPS The bad news about Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s expanding constitutional powers is the threat of another dictatorship in Egypt. The good news is that normal politics is returning to Egypt after decades of brutal authoritarian regimes. Recent mass demonstrations in support of and opposition to Morsi’s new draft constitution and…

OP-ED: Eyeless In Gaza
IPS Mahatma Gandhi said it with remarkable moral clarity – “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” That is indeed what happened in Gaza over eight days in November, with an estimated 160 Palestinians and six Israelis dead in the latest exchange of rockets and…

Despite Growing Violence, Syrian Political Equation Unchanged
IPS As Syria descends further into civil war, the Barack Obama administration has struggled to balance its support for anti-Assad groups with its concerns that the opposition leadership – including the newly-formed umbrella coalition – is controlled by hardline Islamist groups. Washington’s support for the rebels has become increasingly tenuous as…

Uruknet

Activists: Reports of Torture and Rape in Women’s Prisons
Uruknet

Bradley Manning Testifies on His Torture and Abuse by U.S. Military
Uruknet

Egypt : Four reported dead in presidential palace clashes
Uruknet

U.S. might name Syrian rebel Nusra Front a foreign terrorist group
Uruknet

Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Israeli army’s unsubstantiated claims in New York Times
Uruknet

Israel’s Doomsday E-1 Settlement
Uruknet

Rights group calls for ICC action over Gaza siege
Uruknet

Clashes in Cairo After Morsi Supporters Attack Palace Sit-In
Uruknet

Feinstein Amendment Further Entrenches Power of Military Indefinite Detention
Uruknet

Did Israel fire chemical weapons on Gaza last month?
Uruknet

Daily Star

Meshaal to make first visit to Gaza on Friday
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal will make his first visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday to attend the Palestinian Islamist group’s 25th anniversary rally, Hamas sources said on Wednesday.

Clashes erupt in Egypt despite proposal to end crisis
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Islamists fought protesters outside the Egyptian president’s palace on Wednesday, while inside the building his deputy proposed a way to end a crisis over a draft constitution that has split the most populous Arab nation.

Russia, Turkey discuss new ideas on Syria
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Russian and Turkish diplomats will soon start working on new ideas for ending the conflict in Syria which emerged in talks between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan

As Netanyahu visits Europe, relations frayed
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 It was supposed to be an amicable meeting between close friends. Instead, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s visit to Germany has been soured by Berlin’s refusal to oppose a Palestinian U.N. statehood bid.

Brotherhood office torched in Egypt’s Ismailia
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi set fire to the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party in the city of Ismailia on Wednesday, a witness said.

Yemen gunmen sabotage oil pipeline
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Gunmen on Wednesday attacked an oil pipeline that pumps some 8,000 barrels of crude per day from southeastern Yemen to export terminals on the Gulf of Aden, suspending operations.

200 prisoners break out of Libya jail
Daily Star 5 Dec 2012 Almost 200 Libyan prisoners have escaped from a jail in the southern town of Sabha in unclear circumstances, officials said on Wednesday.

YNet News

Russia slams Hague court for freeing Croatian generals 
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – ….

Military Police probe theft in IAF base 
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – ….

Ecuador leader compares Jewish victims to Libyans
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – ….

3 US men plead not guilty in terror plot case
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – ….

Abbas to visit Turkey next week
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – ….

We’re going to pay
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Europe no longer satisfied with mere condemnations, expressions of concern over settlement construction ….

Gaza as a test case?
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Demilitarized state would be viewed by Palestinians as continuation of their mistreatment ….

Foreign press beats IDF
YNet News, 5 Dec 2012 – Op-ed: Israel fails to respond to repeated violations of journalistic norms by ‘impartial’ BBC ….

Palestinian Information Center

Aqsa Foundation: occupation escalates its excavations around Al-Aqsa
PIC – Zaki Igbaria, head of “Al-Aqsa Foundation for Waqf and heritage” in 1948-occupied Palestine, warned of the expansion of occupation’s excavations down and around the vicinity of Al Aqsa.

The Islamic Jihad calls for confronting the Israeli attacks with resistance
PIC – The Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine has warned the Israeli occupation authorities of the continuation of its war and aggression against the Palestinian people, land and holy sites.

3 wounded Palestinians from Gaza arrive to Turkey for treatment
PIC – Three wounded Palestinians and their companions arrived to the city of Ankara after leaving the Gaza Strip, transferred by a private ambulance plane belonging to the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Father of captive al-Barq calls for urgent intervention to end suffering of his 
PIC – The father of prisoner Samer al-Barq appealed to all institutions and concerned bodies to immediately and urgently intervene and end the suffering of his son Samer.

Occupation forces a Jerusalemite citizen to demolish his house
PIC – The occupation authorities forced a Jerusalemite citizen, Dr. Mousa Olayan, to demolish his house, which is located in the town of Beit Safafa, with his own hands.

Energy Authority expects to use 4 generators in January
PIC – The Deputy Chairman of the Gaza Energy Authority, Fathi al-Sheikh Khalil, expects to use 4 generators in January next year, if there is enough fuel.

Erdogan: We will continue to support Palestine
PIC – The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the Israeli practices in the region, which he described as “irresponsible”, denouncing the occupation’s “illegal” practices.

Salem court issued different sentences against eight prisoners
PIC – Salem Israeli Court issued lately different sentences against eight Palestinian prisoners, Tadamun Foundation for Human Rights confirmed.

IOF threaten to demolish houses and facilities in al-Khalil
PIC – The occupation forces handed a demolition notice to the citizen Khaled Gamal Abdel Aziz Abu Sarah, and his brother Youssef, to remove a Marble factory built since more than seventeen years..

IOF arrest 11 Palestinians in occupied West Bank
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn on Wednesday ten Palestinians in different parts of the cities and villages of the West Bank, including a liberated prisoner.

WAFA

EU Calls in Israeli Ambassador over Settlements Expansion Concerns
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Abbas: Israeli Settlements Red Line that Can’t be Crossed
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Newspapers Review: Palestine Seeking Security Council to Halt Settlements Dailies Focus
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Forces to Demolish Private-Owned Property near Hebron
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Palestine to Protest Israel’s Settlements to UN Security Council
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Canada to Continue Financial Aid to PA
WAFA – 5 Dec 2012

Settlers Uproot 200 Olive Trees
WAFA – 4 Dec 2012

Residents Stop Demolition of Home
WAFA – 4 Dec 2012

PEX Report: Al-Quds Index Up
WAFA – 3 Dec 2012

Misc

Egyptians take protest to palace gates
LA Times 4 Dec 2012 – Foes of President Mohamed Morsi’s expansion of power seek to increase the pressure on him and the Muslim Brotherhood, as the vote on a draft constitution approaches. CAIRO — Tens of thousands of protesters angered by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s expanded powers and a much-criticized…

NATO will deploy Patriot missiles on Turkey’s border with Syria
LA Times 4 Dec 2012 – The Patriot anti-missile batteries would be used only for defensive purposes, the NATO foreign ministers say. Turkey requested the move. BEIRUT — The North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Tuesday agreed to deploy Patriot anti-missile batteries along the Turkish border with Syria, providing a measure of…

Iran’s subtle, persistent voice for environmentalism
LA Times 4 Dec 2012 – Mohammad Darvish is on an often lonesome quest to elevate Iran’s environmental IQ, even daring to oppose nuclear power. So far Iran’s leaders are tolerating it. TEHRAN — His son is named after the river born where the Tigris and Euphrates meet. His wife once…

Bloodshed as Islamists and Secular Protesters Battle in Cairo
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – Three senior advisers to Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president, resigned during the battles, blaming him for the bloodshed. 

The Lede Blog: Clashes in Cairo After Morsi Supporters Attack Palace Sit-In
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – Supporters of Egypt’s president attacked protesters camped outside the gates of the presidential palace in Cairo on Wednesday, according to journalists and activists who witnessed the raid. 

Clinton Expresses Support for New Syrian Opposition Coalition
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks in Brussels appeared aimed at contributing momentum to the new group to allow it to transform into a viable political force. 

Queen Noor Urges Faith in Revolutions
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – Amid worries that the revolutions in the Middle East may set back women’s rights, Jordan’s queen urged that it is too soon to give up. 

U.S. Disputes Iran’s Claim of Captured Drone
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – If the seizure is confirmed, it would indicate a spike in tension between the United States and Iran in the skies over the Persian Gulf. 

Cheering U.N. Palestine Vote, New York Synagogue Tests Its Members
New York Times 5 Dec 2012 – Congregants of B’nai Jeshurun in Manhattan were divided — some appalled, some enthusiastic — after rabbis sent an e-mail supporting the United Nations’ vote to upgrade Palestine. 

Deficit climbs to 4.2%
Globes Main News – Ministry of Finance officials fear that the budget deficit for 2012 could reach 4.5% of GDP, well above the government target of 3.3%.

Banks’ new capital adequacy target: 12.5%
Globes Main News – All Israel’s major banks currently have capital adequacy ratios comfortably above the new Bank of Israel target.

Wed: Discount Bank leads market rises
Globes Main News – Israel Discount Bank rose strongly following “Globes” report yesterday that Bank Hapoalim is in talks to buy Discount Bank of New York.

Phoenix board hesitates over benefit for CEO Lapidot
Globes Main News – The board is taking legal advice, with new legislation on executive pay about to come into force.

SodaStream to air Super Bowl ad
Globes Main News – SodaStream: The ad will air in the fourth quarter when people will notice the growing piles of bottles strewn about the room.

Elbit Systems wins $40m Italian satellite deal
Globes Main News – The project comprises the Jupiter advanced camera and other services and is to be completed within three and a half years.

Consumer Confidence Index up again in November
Globes Macro Economics – The index rose for the second successive month, but people are still less optimistic about the economic future than they were early in the year.

Targeted and entrapped: Why Ahmed Ferhani is a symbol of the NYPD’s abuses
Mondoweiss – Ahmed Ferhani (on the left) in court with lawyer Lamis Deek. (Photo via DNAinfo.com) The controversial case of a Queens man accused of plotting a bombing attack on synagogues in New York City headed for a close yesterday, as Ahmed Ferhani pled guilty . Ferhani, an Algerian-born…

Following the UN vote, the Dalu family calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel
Mondoweiss – The Dalu home is obliterated and neighbor buildings are uninhabitable, December 3, 2012. (Photo: Tiffany Ornelas de Tool) On November 18, 2012, the Dalu family, huddled at home, waited for the war that surrounded them to end. Like everyone else in Gaza, they had nowhere to…

I want to return! (whether Facebook cares or not)
Mondoweiss – Everyone can probably imagine how it hurts when you want to tell the world what is your hometown and someone comes along telling you, “Sorry it is not yours..!” I felt like my heart was on fire when my sister and I wanted to add our…

Why I joined Mondoweiss
Mondoweiss – Scott Roth For a while now I’ve been a Mondoweiss reader and occasional contributor. Now I’m excited and honored to be coming on as publisher and want to tell readers something about myself and why I’m engaged on the Israel/Palestine question. I grew up on the…

Makdisi: E1 sets the stage for one state
Mondoweiss – Saree Makdisi joins the two state post mortem .  In tomorrow’s International Herald Tribune , Makdisi says Netanyahu‘s decision to build in the E1 area not only kills the two-state solution, but also seals the fate of an exclusively Jewish state: In moving forward with long-threatened plans…

From the ruins of Israel’s latest assault, Gaza has questions for Obama
Mondoweiss – Israeli assault of Gaza caused over $1 billion in damages. (Photo: Medea Benjamin) Eman El-Hawi, a smart and perky 24-year-old business student from Gaza got teary when she told our delegation about what she witnessed during the eight days that Israel pounded Gaza. “I saw the…

Bibi: We Still Want Peace 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Dec 2012 – Israel remains committed to a negotiated settlement with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, despite worries among the Jewish state’s European allies over its plans to build more settlements. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Begins Planning Work on ‘E1’ Settlement 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Dec 2012 – Israel moved forward on Wednesday with plans to build some 3,000 settler homes in one of the most sensitive areas of the occupied West Bank, in defiance of international protests. Click here for the rest of the article…

‘Ai Weiwei’ and 2 Israel Films Make Oscars List 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Dec 2012 – Two Israeli films are on the Academy Awards’ short list for the best documentary category, along with one by a Forward 50 selection. Click here for the rest of the article…

Ecuador Leader Compares Terror Bombing to Libya 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Dec 2012 – Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa compared the bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish center which killed 85 people to “NATO bombings of Libya.” Click here for the rest of the article…

Two States and E1 
The Forward Editorial 5 Dec 2012 – FORWARD EDITORIAL : The future of the E1 area of the West Bank should be negotiated with the Palestinians, not grabbed in the kind of unilateral action Israel condemns in others. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt clashes in constitution row 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – More than 200 people are injured in clashes between rival protesters in Cairo, as the political crisis over Egypt’s draft constitution worsens.

Deadly earthquake in eastern Iran 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – At least five people have been killed and several injured by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake in eastern Iran, say officials.

New Abu Qatada appeal to go ahead 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – Home Secretary Theresa May wins permission to appeal against a decision last month to block the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan.

Iran lawyer ‘ends hunger strike’ 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – The imprisoned Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, is reported to have ended her hunger strike after the authorities lifted a travel ban on her daughter.

Glenn Greenwald; The US and Israel: a short quiz on ‘rogue nation’ status 
Sabbah report 5 Dec 2012 – It’s the entire planet on one side, versus the US, its new right-wing poodle to the north, Israel, and three tiny, bribed islands on the other side. Glenn Greenwald; The US and Israel: a short quiz on ‘rogue nation’ status was published by Sabbah Report . Get…

Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy SodaStream! 
US Campaign to End the Occupation 5 Dec 2012 – From our member group American Friends Service Committee- West Region . SodaStream, a gadget for making carbonated water at home, is made in an illegal Israeli settlement on stolen Palestinian land in violation of international law! Folks who care about human rights and are out shopping for…

From Givon Detention to Gaza Open-Air Prison 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 5 Dec 2012 – A gigantic model of a locally made M75 rocket is seen on stage during preparations for a Hamas rally in Gaza City on 5 December 2012. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed) A gigantic model of a locally made M75 rocket is seen on stage during preparations…

Egyptians at odds throw improvised weapons and rocks 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – Islamist supporters of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi chased opposition protesters away from the presidential palace, as the vice president said a vote on a controversial charter would go ahead as planned. Supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi clash with anti-Morsi protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace…

Abbas to test usefulness of UN upgrade as Israelis push crippling settlement plan 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – A crane completes a section of Israel’s controversial separation barrier near Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp on December 5, 2012. If Israel moves ahead with settlement construction in a sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem it will mean the end of the peace process, Palestinian…

The Untouchables of Yemen 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – A tribal fighter jumps off a truck on a road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with the oil-producing province of Marib 26 June 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Khaled Abdullah) A tribal fighter jumps off a truck on a road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with the…

A Palestinian Refugee Camp Wakes Up to a “State” 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – One father sarcastically responded to his daughter “Palestine has been liberated and the right of return has been achieved.” (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) One father sarcastically responded to his daughter “Palestine has been liberated and the right of return has been achieved.” (Photo: Haytham al-Moussawi) When Gaza…

Rival rally at Mursi Cairo palace 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – A man walks in front of riot police at the gate of the presidential palace in Cairo A man walks in front of riot police at the gate of the presidential palace in Cairo, 5 December 2012. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood called for a rally backing President…

Saving Historic Tripoli One Building at a Time 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Dec 2012 – The role of the Heritage Protectors does not stop there. They will also “educate the residents of those buildings about their significance, and seek to restore them if possible. (Photo: Adel Karoum) The role of the Heritage Protectors does not stop there. They will also “educate…

Lebanon: Tal Kalakh Ambush Rocks Tripoli 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Dec 2012 – Gunmen take position as one of them aims his rifle in Bab al-Tebbaneh neighbourhood, in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, during clashes On 5 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Stringer) Gunmen take position as one of them aims his rifle in Bab al-Tebbaneh neighbourhood, in Tripoli, northern Lebanon,…

What Really Happened in Tal Kalakh? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 4 Dec 2012 – Lebanese army soldiers patrol in their vehicle in the neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, during clashes on 4 December 2012. (Photo: Reuters – Omar Ibrahim) Lebanese army soldiers patrol in their vehicle in the neighbourhood of Bab al-Tebbaneh in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, during…

Sakr Shakes the Future Movement: Heroism or Entanglement? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 4 Dec 2012 – The same MP said that the recordings published by Al-Akhbar demonstrated “professional work.” (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) The same MP said that the recordings published by Al-Akhbar demonstrated “professional work.” (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Future Movement politicians have rallied around MP Okab Sakr in the wake of his…

Egypt clashes in constitution row 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – More than 200 people are injured in clashes between rival protesters in Cairo, as the political crisis over Egypt’s draft constitution worsens.

Deadly earthquake in eastern Iran 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – At least five people have been killed and several injured by a 5.5 magnitude earthquake in eastern Iran, say officials.

New Abu Qatada appeal to go ahead 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – Home Secretary Theresa May wins permission to appeal against a decision last month to block the deportation of radical cleric Abu Qatada to Jordan.

Kuwait prime minister reappointed 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – The emir of Kuwait reappoints Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah as prime minister, after a parliamentary election boycotted by the opposition.

Iran lawyer ‘ends hunger strike’ 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – The imprisoned Iranian lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, is reported to have ended her hunger strike after the authorities lifted a travel ban on her daughter.

Syria’s Orthodox patriarch dies 
BBC 5 Dec 2012 – The Greek Orthodox patriarch of Syria, Ignatius IV (Hazim), has died in neighbouring Lebanon at the age of 92, officials say.

Articles


Justice, Peace and the Israeli State 
William A. Cook, CounterPunch 12/4/2012
      Rule by Ruthless Force
     “As for the rights of Jewish people in this land, I have a simple message for those people gathered in the General Assembly today, no decision by the U.N. can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel.” – Ron Prosor, United Nations Ambassador from Israel, November 29, 2012
     In today’s world a tragic hero is a representative figure who stands before us as one speaking for his people, an Ambassador if you will, addressing the citizens of the world at the United Nations, enunciating the beliefs and demands of his nation as they must confront an event of great magnitude that appears to represent a reversal of their fortunes. Such a figure was Ronald Prosor, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations on November 29th, 2012, as he addressed the assembled delegates before their vote on the recognition of the state of Palestine. “No decision by the UN can break the 4,000-year-old bond between the people of Israel and the land of Israel, “he arrogantly proclaimed, thereby determining that no decision by the UN can alter the absolute dictates of the state of Israel as they have impacted the desires and hopes and dreams of the citizens of the world regarding peace and justice in the land of Palestine.
     That statement must stand as an articulated hamartia, a mistake of moral blindness, capturing in its hubris the downfall of a noble nation. Before the citizens of the world, Prosor demanded that Israel alone must determine what peace and justice will be, knowing beforehand that the UN, in General Assembly, would momentarily act to question the legitimacy of Israel’s unilateral defiance of its decrees. The vote to recognize the rights of the people of Palestine, by electing it to the forum of nation states, proclaims to all that they are equal to all assembled and can use the powers vested in the UN to bring their oppressors and occupiers before the International Courts of Justice and to seek redress for the rights denied them under its charters….. more..e-mail

Nuclear-free chance ’squandered’ 
Jillian Kestler-D’amours, Asia Times 12/4/2012
      JERUSALEM – After the cancellation of an international conference to create a nuclear-free Middle East, leading experts have warned that an important opportunity to create stability in the region has been squandered.
     “The 2012 meeting in Helsinki was a precedent. For the first time, the important decision (was taken) of convening a special meeting to study the requirements of a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone in the Middle East,” Ayman Khalil, director of the Amman-based Arab Institute for Security Studies, told IPS. “That in and of itself was an important decision and a milestone. Sadly, this didn’t materialize.”
     The conference on building a nuclear-free Middle East was set to take place in December in Finland, sponsored by the United Nations and backed by Russia, the United States and the United Kingdom.
     United States State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland stated that the conference was cancelled due to “a deep conceptual gap [that] persists in the region on approaches towards regional security and arms control arrangements”, and because “states in the region have not reached agreement on acceptable conditions” for the meeting.
     The meeting is now expected to be held in early 2013.
     According to the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs (ECFA), holding the conference was especially important at this time given “Iran’s non-response to the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency on one hand, and Israel’s threat to launch a military attack on Iran on the other hand”. more.. e-mail

A thumb in the eye for peace 
Pierre Klochendler, Asia Times 12/5/2012
      JERUSALEM – When it voted to upgrade Palestinian statehood status from “observer entity” to “non-member observer state”, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) wanted the enduring Middle East conflict to come full circle. It failed to take into account the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s opposition to a state of Palestine that isn’t on his terms.
     Sixty-five years back, on November 29, 1947, the UNGA voted in favor of the division of the British Mandate of Palestine into two states – one Jewish; one Arab. Jewish leader David Ben-Gurion accepted the Partition Plan which, six months later, led to the birth of Israel. But the Arab “No” at the UN resulted in the stillbirth of Palestine.
     Last week, it was Israel’s turn to say “No” to President Mahmoud Abbas‘ plea that the world’s forum grants Palestine its “birth certificate”. In effect, Israel said “No” not only to Palestine but to the world’s idea of Middle East peace based on a two-state solution. Israel was never so isolated.
     Yet, so long as Israel refuses to end its occupation of the “State of Palestine” (and not merely of “Palestinian territories”, as the UNGA vote now seems to infer), not just real independence for Palestine but the end of the conflict will remain a forlorn vision.
     The second plank of the Palestinian UN application for non-member status did refer to “the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process.” And it went on “Reaffirming its commitment… to the two-state solution of an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.”
     And yet no one really expects a full-fledged Palestine or a resumption of peace negotiations any time soon. more.. e-mail

Palestinian Shame 
Peter Amsel, Desert Peace 12/4/2012
      There are many times where the term “wrong side of history” is used, but it is still a valid term, it is not an overused term, particularly when it comes to important events in history. A recent event that qualifies to have the term applied to it is the vote that took place in the United Nations to grant the embattled Palestinian Authority the status of “non-member observer state” in the United Nations. This would not give them the full status of a “member nation” like the United States, or Canada, but it would allow them to join other UN agencies, and more importantly, eventually bring cases to the International Criminal Court.The vote in the United Nations took place sixty-five years after the historic partition of the British ruled territory that became Israel, but which was also supposed to become an Arab controlled nation; the nation of Palestine. The treaty has been broken from the first, and it is time for Palestine to be born. One hundred and thirty-eight nations decided that giving Palestine the stylus of a “non-member observer state” was the least that they could do at this time, while perhaps being a token, it was also the right thing; they recognised that the Palestinian people have been living under an apartheid rule, living under the threat of Israeli aggression at the slightest provocation. Guns answering rocks, bombs being dropped on unarmed civilians, and refugees languishing in camps for generations hardly seems like the fair observation of a treaty. Instead of having the ambassador to the United Nations from Canada speak, the Foreign Minister himself, John Baird, decided to take it upon himself to travel to New York and personally address the UN on this matter. Rather than supporting the idea that Palestine deserved to have a greater voice in the international community, Canada’s Foreign Minister chose to be a vocal opponent to the vote. Canada’s Foreign Minister chose to stand on the wrong side of history.
     “This resolution will not advance the cause of peace or spur a return to negotiations. Will the Palestinian people be better off as a result? No, on the contrary, this unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations.” (Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird; Delivered at the UN, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2012more.. e-mail

Did Israel fire chemical weapons on Gaza last month?
Electronic Intifada: 5 Dec 2012 – Rami Almeghari Gaza Strip 5 December 2012 Health workers have reported finding “abnormal symptoms” among the injured.more

Accelerating the Occupation
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2012 – This is the answer. Outmanoeuvred in the UN, Israel has huffed and puffed against the house that is the international community and taken the policy of increasing settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in the corridor of land termed E1 out of cold storage.  The air of desperation is palpable. The Palestinians, having gotten the crumbs of non-observer status at the UN in an overwhelming vote, have stirred Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government into violent action.  Since they can’t launch an invasion in protest or initiate another wave of assassinations against the Palestinian moderates, they are left with a policy of unmitigated anger. The plans for constructing settlements on E1, a policy that will connect Jerusalem with Maaleh Adumim, would effectively divide the northern and western West Bank.  Should that occur, a contiguous Palestinian state would be dealt a blow even before its formal creation ( Al…more

A Pretext for Deeper US Intervention
Dissident Voice: 5 Dec 2012 – With dubious reports that Syria is preparing its stockpile of chemical weapons for use now dominating US media coverage, the familiar menace of WMDs in the Middle East has been resurrected once again to haunt the American public and gin up support for military intervention. First appearing in a report Sunday in the New York Times , the latest Syrian WMD scare surfaced with an assertion from an unnamed US official that the Syrian military had begun “some potential chemical weapon preparation.”   The official went on to state that the US is “worried about what the [Syrian] military is doing.” One day later, yet another unnamed American official, again citing classified intelligence, told Wired magazine’s Danger Room blog that, “Engineers working for the Assad regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas.” “International observers,” the Danger Room report continued, “are now more worried…more

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