VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 19 March 2013: ‘It’s Not Your Homeland’: An Interview with Shlomo Sand

19 March 2013 — VTJP

News

Ma’an News

Sheikh Jarrah family fears eviction
3/19/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An 82-year-old grandfather and his family are awaiting an Israeli Supreme Court decision that could evict them from an East Jerusalem home they have lived in since 1964. Ayyoub Shamasnah, 82, lives with his wife, children and grandchildren in a two-room 65-square-meter house in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood targeted….

Official: Settlers smash 18 cars in West Bank rampage
3/19/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Tuesday smashed the windscreens of 18 Palestinian cars and a bus in Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said. The settlers started rioting after Israeli forces evacuated two illegal outposts in Nablus, said Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement building in the northern West Bank. Israeli forces closed a main….

Israeli forces detain PA security officer
3/19/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday detained a Palestinian Authority security officer near a refugee camp south of Hebron. Odai al-Khatib, who works for the PA national security, was detained while farming his land near al-Fawwar camp, a Ma’an reporter said. [END]

Anti-Obama protesters scuffle with police
3/19/2013 – RAMALLAH (Reuters) — Palestinian Authority police scuffled on Tuesday with scores of demonstrators protesting against the visit of US President Barack Obama to the occupied West Bank later this week. Dozens of officers and plainclothes policemen prevented the crowd from reaching the main offices of President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, leading to shoving, but no serious….

Beyond the E-1 Israeli settlement
3/19/2013 – JERUSALEM (IRIN) — Last month, an international fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council found that settlements constituted a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law and called on Israel to stop all expansions immediately and withdraw from settlements. A controversial Israeli plan, known as….

Israel detains 4 in overnight arrest raids
3/19/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested four people in arrest raids overnight Monday, locals and Israel‘s army said. Saed Ahmad Yousef and Ali Salah were detained in the Nablus village of Burqa and taken to an unknown destination, witnesses told Ma’an. In Jenin, Suheib al-Ghoul, 19, and Muhammad Abul, 23….

In photos: Childhoods under threat in Area C
3/19/2013 – MaanImages / Charlie Hoyle – The village of Imneizil, located in the rocky terrain of the south Hebron hills, is home to 500 people. Living in the shadow of surrounding Israeli settlements and Israel‘s separation wall, children in the village face severe restrictions undertaking normal activities such as going to school or accessing clean water….

Sharawna: My release felt like victory
3/19/2013GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Ayman Sharawna says his release to Gaza felt like a victory over Israel‘s occupation, after an 8-month hunger strike in Israeli prison.”Being released this time felt different. It felt like a victory over the occupation, because no one can free a Palestinian prisoner but his persistence….

Arab, Islamic blocs urge UN to take action on settlement report
3/19/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Arab and Islamic blocs in the United Nations are drafting a resolution to ask the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the conclusions of a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements, the regional director of a human rights group said Tuesday. Amani Sinwar, the regional director of the Euro Mediterranean Monitor for….

Egyptian forces seize 3,000 liters of fuel en-route to Gaza
3/19/2013 – El-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian forces in Sinai on Tuesday seized a truck carrying 3,000 liters of fuel ready to be smuggled into Gaza, security officials said. Egyptian officials told Ma’an that the truck was heading to Rafah to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip. Two Egyptian smugglers were arrested. [END]

Obama’s itinerary skirts settlements but not symbolism
3/19/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — US President Barack Obama will embrace Jewish history while skirting the morass of West Bank settlements when he visits Israel this week – a selective itinerary laden with diplomatic signals. The tour, running from Wednesday to Friday, is meant to warm Israelis to the cool-tempered, second-term Democratic leader who is prodding their rightist prime….

Netanyahu’s new security cabinet may hesitate on any Iran war
3/19/2013 – JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has streamlined his security cabinet but its crop of untested politicians and a member who has rankled at sabre-rattling could hamper any decision to strike Iran. The seven-minister forum was unveiled on Monday as part of a new center-right government whose “paramount task”, Netanyahu said, is to “stop….

Fayyad, Ashton sign financial agreement before donor meeting
3/19/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) –Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton signed a financial agreement on Tuesday before a donor meeting in Brussels. The agreement is worth 7 million euros ($9 million) and will contribute to Palestinian development, a statement from Ashton’s office said.” This agreement is….

PA employees in Gaza say sala
ries deducted to pay electricity debts

3/19/2013GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority employees in Gaza said Monday that money has been deducted from their monthly salaries to pay debts to an electricity company. Civil servant Ibrahim Hamid told Ma’an that more than 600 shekels ($163) was deducted from his February salary, which he received on Monday. Over 170….

20-year-old man stabbed to death in Ramallah village
3/19/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A 20-year-old man died on Tuesday after being stabbed in the Ramallah village of Beituniya, police said. Muhammad al-Shafey was stabbed in the neck during a quarrel with a co-worker at an iron workshop. Police arrested a suspect and recovered a knife from the scene. They are investigating the cause of the incident. [END]

Relatives of Ramallah stab death victim demand revenge
3/19/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of people gathered outside a police station near Ramallah on Monday after a man was stabbed to death earlier in the day, locals said. Muhammad al-Shafey, 20, was stabbed in the neck during a quarrel with a co-worker in Beituniya. His parents and relatives surrounded the police station and called…. Related: 20-year-old man stabbed to death in Ramallah village

18-year-old Palestinian drowns off Tel Aviv coast
3/19/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An 18-year-old Palestinian drowned on Tuesday off the coast of Tel Aviv, Israeli police reported. Police said the teenager was presumed dead after they failed to discover his body. The coast guard is still searching the area, they said. [END]

Driver injured as truck overturns in Qalqiliya
3/19/2013 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — A man was injured on Tuesday when his truck overturned as he unloaded cargo in Qalqiliya, police said. The driver of the truck tried to lift cargo out of the truck when the vehicle lost balance and fell onto a house, police said in a statement. [END]

Nations gather for final UN arms trade treaty negotiations
3/19/2013 – UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) — Negotiators from around 150 countries gather in New York on Monday for a final push to hammer out a binding international treaty to end unregulated conventional arms sales, a pact that a powerful US pro-gun lobby is urging Washington to reject. Arms control campaigners and human rights advocates say one person every….

Damascus, rebels trade charges on ‘chemical attack’
3/19/2013 – BEIRUT(Reuters) – Syria‘s government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year-old conflict. Syria‘s information minister said rebels had fired a rocket carrying chemical agents….

Lebanon condemns Syrian air strike along its border
3/19/2013 – BEIRUT (Reuters) — Lebanese President Michel Suleiman criticized on Tuesday a Syrian air strike on Lebanon‘s side of the border between the two countries, calling it an “unacceptable violation” of Lebanese sovereignty. Syrian air force jets fired four rockets at a remote section of the border with Lebanon on Monday, security sources said, four….

Egypt arrests former Libyan officials in Cairo
3/19/2013 – CAIRO (Reuters) — Egyptian police arrested the former Libyan ambassador to Egypt and a cousin of late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi on Tuesday, a security source told Reuters. Ahmed Gaddafuldam, a cousin of Gadhafi who had been a special envoy at the Egyptian embassy and former ambassador Ali Maria were both arrested by Egyptian police and….

Palestine News Network

Abu Marzouk: No Plan for Settling Palestinians in Sinai
Palestine News Network

32 Palestinian Refugees Killed in Syria in One Week
Palestine News Network

Relations with Netanyahu ‘Very Strong’, says Abdullah
Palestine News Network

Detained Cancer Patient in Bad Health Condition
Palestine News Network

Statement from Palestinian Hunger Striking Prisoner Samer Issawi
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Popular Resistance in Southern West Bank , AIC
Palestine News Network

UNHRC: Israeli Settlements Are Illegal Under In’tl Law, Israel Must Stop Colonization
Palestine News Network

Weather Forecast: Slight Rise in Temperature
Palestine News Network

An Open Letter To President Obama
Palestine News Network

Prisoner to Continue Hunger Strike till Israel Ends His Detention
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Remembering Rachel Corrie
3/19/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 19th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus ,Occupied Palestine, Team Nablus – On March 16th 2013, the International Solidarity Movement was joined by the International Women’s Peace Service and the Tanweer Center in commemorating the death of Rachel Corrie – an American peace activist and former member of the ISM. Rachel was killed in 2003….

Statement from Samer Issawi who has spent over 240 days on hunger strike
3/19/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 19th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Occupied Palestine – The following statement by Samer Issawi was posted on his Facebook page by his lawyer Fawwaz Shloudy. It was translated from Arabic to English by Shahd Abusalama.”Regarding the Israeli Occupation offer to deport me to Gaza, I affirm that Gaza is undeniable part of my homeland…. Related: The Free Samer Issawi Campaign and Save Samer Issawi and the other Hunger Strikers- FACEBOOK INTIFADA

Alternative Information Center

Jerusalem: Palestinian village to be divided by settlement road
Alternative Information Center – The City Council of Jerusalem initiated last December construction of a major highway running through the middle of the Palestinian village of Beit Safafa in Jerusalem. The highway will serve the nearby settlements. The highway, as…

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Donors make progress on Palestinian aid
Relief Web 19 Mar 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 03/19/2013 18:27 GMT BRUSSELS, March 19, 2013 (AFP) – International donors are making progress toward finding the $1.2 billion needed to help fund the Palestinian Authority this year as it faces up to…

occupied Palestinian territory: Gaza fishermen struggle to eke out a livelihood
Relief Web 19 Mar 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory Held each year on 22 March, International World Water Day draws attention to the importance of freshwater and advocates for the sustainable management…

occupied Palestinian territory: West Bank land farm rehabilitation
Relief Web 19 Mar 2013 – Source: Islamic Relief Country: occupied Palestinian territory Islamic Relief is rehabilitating 150 acres of farmland in the West Bank, benefitting 1,200 people. Currently only 30% of Palestinian agricultural land in the West Bank is farmed, due to poor road access,…

Iraq: Remembering Iraq‘s Displaced
Relief Web 19 Mar 2013 – Source: Brookings Institution Country: Iraq, Jordan, Syrian Arab Republic By: Elizabeth Ferris Looking at the past 10 years of Iraq‘s history through the lens of displacement reveals a complex — and sobering — reality. Before the U.S. invasion of Iraq

occupied Palestinian territory: Human Rights Council holds interactive dialogue with Fact-finding Mission on Israeli Settlements
Relief Web 18 Mar 2013 – Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: occupied Palestinian territory Human Rights Council MORN
ING The Human Rights Council this morning held an interactive dialogue with the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil,…

The National

Cyprus MPs throw out EU bailout levy on bank savers’ cash
The National 19 Mar 2013 – Politicians reject even a watered-down version of plan to levy bank savings but damage to euro-zone credibility may already have been done. Michael Theodoulou reports from Nicosia 

Charges brought against those accused of sedition in UAE
The National 19 Mar 2013 – Charges range from defying the system of governance in the state, to pledging loyalty to their organisation rather than to the state.

FNC member asks minister to make UAQ school top priority
The National 19 Mar 2013 – The dilapidated condition of the Al Raeefa school in Umm Al Quwain has been highlighted by a member of the Federal National Council.

‘UAE ministries should not lay off nationals’ FNC says
The National 19 Mar 2013 – Members at the Federal National Council session called for changes to the federal law that allows ministries to lay off staff in reorganisations.

CIA should not control drone strikes, says former Pentagon legal chief
The National 19 Mar 2013 – The American public fears unchecked executive killing power, Pentagon’s former top lawyer warns. Taimur Khan reports from New York 

FNC told medicine dispensing system is on its way
The National 19 Mar 2013 – The health ministry is working on a new way to link its affiliated medical centres to ensure people do not take out the same medication more than once with the same prescription. 

UAE will improve health care in Northern Emirates, minister assures FNC
The National 19 Mar 2013 – Federal National Council members complained that services lagged far behind what was available in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Algerian war memories divide France
The National 19 Mar 2013 – An initiative to honour those killed in France’s former North African colonies is snubbed by some and gives rise to protests by others. Conin Randall reports from Marseille 

Ha’aretz

LIVE BLOG: Kerry arrives in Israel ahead of Obama visit
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Palestinian Authority sends opposition figure to deliver rebuke of Obama
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Male Habayit Hayehudi MKs balk at move to put women on panel choosing chief rabbi
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Thousands of protesters demonstrate in Jerusalem for Jonathan Pollard’s release
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Disruptions to traffic and flights expected across Israel as Obama arrives
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Yesh Atid ministers take over key ministries, amid kind words for predecessors
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Poll: 64% of Americans would support U.S. strike to prevent Iran’s nuclear program
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israel to retroactively legalize Palestinian construction in Area C of West Bank
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Livni vows to block bill making state Jewish first, democratic second
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israeli settlers’ main road to be ‘blockaded’ during Obama visit
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israeli soldier on Facebook: There’s nothing better than a dead Arab
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Israel’s Defense Ministry officially passes from Ehud Barak to Moshe Ya’alon
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Jordanian king: Ties with Netanyahu very strong, may be too late for two-state solution
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Government to build 150,000 rental units over next decade
Ha’aretz – 19 Mar 2013

Not Kosher? No business: Jerusalem eatery closes after 8 years of operation
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2013

Parents of special-needs children disappointed in Yair Lapid
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2013

Court: No need for couple to adopt baby born to surrogate
Ha’aretz – 18 Mar 2013

Jerusalem Post

Another visit, and stuck on the road again
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – With much of capital affected, US president’s trip expected to cause severe traffic delays. 

Thousands rally for Pollard’s freedom in J’lem
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – 5,000 demonstrate outside President Peres’s residence, calling for his help in convincing Obama to release the Israeli spy. 

Palestinian anti-Obama protesters clash with PA police
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Rioters try to march towards PA President Abbas’s compound, but are pushed back by anti-riot police; protesters angry at US president for not visiting Arafat’s grave, call him “an enemy of the Palestinians and Muslims.” 

On the agenda
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel is being billed by Washington insiders as primarily a “charm offensive.” 

Obama’s mysterious visit
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – In contrast to the high expectations the White House cultivated in pre-Cairo visit statements, Obama has downplayed his visit to Israel

Martin Luther King Jr., Israel and Obama
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – There is no disputing the historic significance of President Barack Obama’s state visit to Israel

The triumph of monoculturalism in the Middle East
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Terra Incognita: In 1948 there were 250,000 Jews in Morocco. Today there are less than 4,000. 

It is not enough to listen to both sides
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Officials from the White House have stated that one of the reasons for Obama‘s visit is to reinforce US support for the PA

Knesset okays 90-day extension for passing budget
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Opposition skeptical new Finance Min. Lapid will be able to help middle class amid deep cuts; 8 new deputy ministers begin work. 

US: ‘No reason to believe’ Syrian rebels using WMD
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – White House spokesman says attack is “of great concern,” but allegations still being investigated. 

Pope gives nod to Jews in inauguration speech
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Stresses “warm ties between Vatican and Jews”; Israeli ambassador to Vatican says “relations will deepen” under Francis. 

Defense ministry to showcase Iron Dome to Obama
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013Israel‘s defense establishment completed preparations to show off military technology to President Obama

Bethlehem removes historic ‘Palestine’ monument
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – City takes down monument of historic Palestine that ignores the existence of Israel; Palestinian activists put it back in place. 

The Obama Visit: Trip by numbers
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – 1,000 people will be at Ben-Gurion Airport when he lands, and greeted by a 50-person IDF orchestra. Here are some digits surrounding the visit. 

Kerry arrives in Israel, paves way for Obama visit
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013US secretary of state arrives on Tuesday afternoon, but not scheduled to hold any meetings with government officials. 

Russia: Syrian rebels at fault for chemical weapons
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Russia FM says attack a ‘dangerous development; UK: Chemical arms need ‘serious response from international community.’ 

Alternatively Speaking: Hey, get rid of that fever
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any herbs that can lessen or prevent hay fever symptoms? 

UK: Syrian chemical arms use would need ‘serious response’
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Foreign Office responds to media reports regarding chemical weapons attack in Syria, saying use of weapons would demand a serious response from int’l community; Turkey rejects Syrian accusation as Assad’s gov’t deny usage. 

Man charged for murder of 1st wife and 3rd wife
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – State adds charge for murdering 1st wife to indictment of serial con-man for murdering for 3rd wife; drops charges on 2nd wife. 

IDI poll: Israeli Arabs see Obama as pro-Israel
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Ahead of presidential visit, Israel Democracy Institute releases poll saying Israeli Arabs see Washington as taking Israel‘s side. 

Syria: Rebels used chemical weapons, killing 26
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – State says Turkey, Qatar bear responsibility for attack in northern province of Aleppo as Syrian Observatory for Human Rights say 26 killed; rebels say not behind chemical weapon attack, blame Assad’s government. 

Syria state media: Rebels used chemical weapons, killing 15
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – SANA news agency accuses Syrian opposition of using chemical weapons in an attack in the northern province of Aleppo, says majority of casualties civilians; reports come amid concerns over fate of Assad’s chemical arsenal. 

WATCH / Excitement in Argentina as Pope sworn in
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Pope Frances inaugurates papacy with a Mass in front of hundreds of thousands at St. Peter’s Square. 

Pakistan arrests suspect in murder of Daniel Pearl
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Officials say militant arrested during security crackdown in Karachi in connection with murder of Jewish ‘WSJ’ reporter. 

New guard: Ministers of 33rd gov’t take their posts
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Handovers at Finance, Justice and Interior ministries; Barak praises successor Ya’alon at Defense Ministry ceremony. 

Syrian opposition elects PM of interim government
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Leaders choose Ghassan Hitto as provisional premier, receiving 35 votes of 50, in first step to filling power vacuum after Assad. 

Gaza terrorist to serve 18 years for firing rockets
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Man involved in firing rockets at Sderot; arrested in 2011, when he crossed into Israel from Gaza for reconnaissance. 

Ariel students to Obama: Yes we can? No we can’t!
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Protest expected Tuesday of apparent US decision to exclude students from the W. Bank university from upcoming Obama event. 

US media set the bar low for Obama visit
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – The president will view the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Israel Museum, tour the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem among other stops. 

Police prepare country for Obama visit
Jerusalem Post 19 Mar 2013 – Public prepared for US president’s visit with websites, 24-hour hotline; most important visit since pope came in 2009, police spokesman says. 

The Guardian

Obama urged: act tough on Israel or risk collapse of two-state solution
The Guardian 19 Mar 2013 – Critics warn that without US intervention Netanyahu‘s expansion of settlements will doom peace talks and threaten Israel itself Barack Obama begins his first official visit to Israel on Wednesday amid growing warnings among some of its…

Inter Press Service

Past Netanyahu, Obama Looks at Israeli People
IPS U.S. President Barack Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday, his first destination abroad of his second term, to pay a visit to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu whose own second consecutive term will have started only 48 hours beforehand. No wonder that the true purpose of the U.S. President’s visit…

Low Expectations Colour Obama’s Israel Trip
IPS With Barack Obama set to travel on his first trip to Israel as president, expectations for a major breakthrough on the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” are low to nonexistent. The visit, which will take him briefly to the occupied West Bank and Jordan as well, is seen here as motivated…

Uruknet

Al-Sweady Inquiry: Iraqi men ‘mutilated’ after Iraq War battle
Uruknet

Russell Tribunal accuses Israel of apartheid violations
Uruknet

A funeral in Aboud marks the uprising of the Palestinian countryside
Uruknet

Drones news round-up
Uruknet

Ever More Shocked, Never Yet Awed Iraq War Among World’s Worst Events
Uruknet

AFRICOM Prepares for more Conflicts in Mali, Nigeria and Somalia
Uruknet

Video: Dozens of Activists Remove Sign Depicting Obama in Bethlehem
Uruknet

Iraq contaminated with 35 thousand tons of uranium
Uruknet

Israeli police arrest Jerusalem students in crackdown on Palestinian campus movement
Uruknet

Jabhat al-Nusra is a threat to us, says Israeli Army Chief
Uruknet

Daily Star

Muslims attack Christians in Egypt’s south
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Hundreds of Muslim villagers in Egypt‘s south have attacked Christian-owned stores in search of a girl whose family claims was abducted.

Yemen secessionist calls for independence of south
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 A member of the Yemeni al-Harak secessionist movement won applause at a landmark national dialogue on Tuesday by declaring that the south has the right to independence.

Iraq official fears split as Kurdish-Turkey oil trade grows
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Rising oil trade between Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey threatens to split Iraq in two, a senior Iraqi official said, as the autonomous region ignores Baghdad’s threats of tough action against what it terms illegal exports.

Afghan government says NATO war ‘aimless, unwise’
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Afghanistan’s presidential spokesman on Tuesday described the NATO-led military operation in the war-torn nation as “aimless and unwise”, in the latest broadside by Kabul against the international coalition.

Kuwait to reduce expats by one million: minister
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Kuwait, where expats make up 68 percent of the population, plans to reduce the number of foreigners living in the Gulf state by one million over the next decade, a minister said on Tuesday.

US: No proof Syrian rebels used chemicals weapons
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 The Obama administration flatly rejected a claim by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government that the U.S.-backed Syrian rebels used chemical weapons on Tuesday.

Bombings in Iraq kill 65 a decade after invasion
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Insurgents sent a bloody message on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, carrying out a wave of bombings across the country Tuesday that killed at least 65 people in the deadliest day…

Jordan king criticises regional leaders
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Jordan’s King Abdullah II launched a broadside against regional leaders in an interview published Tuesday in a US magazine.

Saudi Arabia arrests Iranian, Lebanese and 16 Saudis for spying
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday that 18 people, including one Iranian and one Lebanese citizen, had been arrested for spying.

Alleged chemical attack kills 25 in northern Syria
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Syria‘s government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year…

Wanted cousin of Libya’s Kadhafi arrested in Cairo
Daily Star 19 Mar 2013 Egyptian police arrested on Tuesday Moamer Kadhafi’s cousin Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, wanted by Tripoli for his role in the regime of the slain Libyan strongman, Egyptian officials said.

YNet News

UK Supreme Court hears Iranian bank appeal
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – ….

US poll: 66% think Israel and Arabs cannot live in peace
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – ….

CNN Turk: Blasts outside Turkish ministry, party office wound 2
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – ….

Erdogan: WMD use suits Assad regime 
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – ….

Muslims attack Christians in Egypt’s south
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – ….

United with Israel against anti-Semitism
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – Op-ed: On one year anniversary of Toulouse attack, French ambassador to Israel says fight against terror will not stop ….

Voice of reason returns
YNet News, 19 Mar 2013 – Op-ed: Israelis should be satisfied as new government has already made some achievements ….

Palestine Information Center

Mishaal concludes Cairo visit
PIC – Khaled Mishaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, and an accompanying delegation concluded a Cairo visit and left Egypt on Tuesday.

IOF installs new monitoring cameras in Al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) installed new monitoring cameras in the Old City of Al-Khalil and Shuhada street.

New scheme to Judaize Ma’manullah cemetery
PIC – Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage revealed that the occupation authorities are allocating 10 million shekels (about 3 million dollars) to implement several Judaizing schemes in Jerusalem. 

UNHRC votes on Friday on draft resolution to halt settlement activity
PIC – Euro-Mediterranean Observatory for Human Rights said that the Arab and Islamic blocs in the UN Human Rights Council are calling for a draft resolution that criminalizes Israeli settlement.

Public meeting at house of lords will discuss Jerusalem exiled MPs
PIC – On Wednesday March 20th 2013, a public meeting will take place at the House of Lords, London, hosted by Baroness Jenny Tonge.

Analysis: New Israeli government may wage military operation on Gaza
PIC – The director of Al-Mustaqbal Research Center in Gaza, writer and political analyst Ibrahim al-Madhoun affirmed that Israel intends to step up its operations against the Gaza Strip.

Aqsa guards: 80 Israeli soldiers and settlers storm into Aqsa mosque
PIC – Aqsa mosque guards said that around 80 Israeli soldiers and settlers stormed into the holy site on Tuesday morning.

Fuel crisis in Gaza
PIC – Fuel is in acute shortage in the Gaza Strip as fuel stations have almost completely ran out of fuel, Mohammed Al-Abadla, board member of the society for owners of fuel stations, said on Tuesday.

Most of the recent Israeli arrests were carried out by undercover units
PIC – Most of the Israeli arrest campaigns against Palestinian youths were carried out by Israeli undercover units, a Palestinian Human Rights organization revealed.

PA security services arrest 2 Hamas supporters
PIC – PA security services arrested two Hamas supporters in al-Khalil and Jerusalem, and banned a family from visiting their son in PA jails.

WAFA

Israeli Settlers Hurl Stones at Vehicles near Nablus
WAFA – 19 Mar 2013

Israel Extends Detention of Cartoonist
WAFA – 19 Mar 2013

Fayyad, Ashton Sign €7M Agreement for Area C Development
WAFA – 19 Mar 2013

Israeli Soldiers Arrest Five Palestinians in West Bank
WAFA – 19 Mar 2013

Misc

Obama faces a chilly reception in West Bank
LA Times 19 Mar 2013 – As Israel pr
epares to welcome President Obama, Palestinian protesters call on him to cancel visits to Ramallah and Bethlehem, saying he hasn’t done enough to bring them statehood. RAMALLAH, West Bank — As Israelis roll out new red carpet and line streets with American flags…

The Lede: Israel’s Animated Diplomacy
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – On the eve of President Obama’s visit to the Middle East, Israel’s embassy in Washington posted an animated YouTube clip apparently designed to make light of reported tension between the countries’ leaders. 

The Lede: Blair Says Iraq Would Be ‘Worse Than Syria’ Now, if Antiwar Critics Had Prevailed
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – Defending Britain’s participation in the American-led invasion of Iraq, former Prime Minister Tony Blair told the BBC that Iraq “would look a lot more like Syria, and probably a lot worse than Syria,” today if the war had not taken place. 

Syria and Activists Trade Accusations on Chemical Weapons
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – The Syrian government said rebels fired chemical weapons in Aleppo; activists accused the government of the same attack. Neither account was confirmed. 

At War Blog: A Witness to 4 Iraqi Wars, but No More
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – Mohammed Hussein, a former head of the newsroom in The New York Times’s Baghdad bureau, recalls living through four wars in Iraq.

Attacks in Baghdad Kill Dozens Before Iraq War Anniversary
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – Nineteen bombs and an assassination on Tuesday served as a reminder of the violence that regularly afflicts Iraq a decade after the American-led invasion. 

Dozens Killed in Baghdad on Anniversary of Iraq War
New York Times 19 Mar 2013 – Ten years after the American-led invasion of Iraq, a series of blasts tore across Baghdad on Tuesday, killing more than 50 people. 

Obama to inspect Israel’s anti-missile systems
Globes Main News – President Barack Obama will see the Arrow, Iron Dome, and Magic Wand missile defense systems during his Israel visit.

Private equity deals down 10% in 2012
Globes Main News – 46 Israeli private equity deals totaled $2.6 billion last year, down from the $2.9 billion invested in 63 deals in 2011.

Demand rises for high tech engineers
Globes Main News – Etosia: Demand for Internet and software engineers rose by 12% and 10%, respectively, in the first quarter of 2013.

ADHD co Alcobra to raise $16m on Nasdaq
Globes Main News – The company will commence a Phase II/III trial on its ADHD drug after the IPO.

New gov’t to grant 48,000 yeshiva student draft exemptions 
Globes Macro Economics – Hiddush: For the sake of comparison, each year’s intake of 18-year old Jewish men is 46,000.

Social TV Video on Exposure of Israeli Securty Officials
Tikun Olam – I just recorded a new video for Israel’s Social TV about the exposure of the secret identities of Nadav Argaman, deputy Shin Bet chief and Brig. Gen. Ori Oron, IAF commander of Israel’s nuclear arsenal. Because of Israeli censorship my editors preferred that I not name…

Benjamin Netanyahu v.s. The Two-State Solution
Mondoweiss – From the Institute for Middle East Understanding fact sheet ” Does Netanyahu Really Support the Two-State Solution? “: Opposition to the Oslo Accords & the Gaza “Disengagement” In the 1990s, while leader of the Likud party in opposition, Benjamin Netanyahu was one of the most prominent critics of…

Adalah launches comprehensive online ‘Discriminatory Laws Database’ to monitor racist Israeli legislation
Mondoweiss – From Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel : There are over 60 laws in Israel that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in participation in political life, resource distribution, land allocation and other crucial parts of democratic and equal life. Other laws violate…

Israeli soldier on Facebook: ‘There’s nothing better than a dead Arab’
Mondoweiss – Racist Facebook comments written by anonymous Israeli soldier One month ago today we reported on Israel‘s changing image as an Israeli soldier’s Instagram photo of a Palestinian boy caught in an Israeli soldier’s crosshairs went viral and received worldwide attention. Today Haaretz reports on a grotesque…

In photos: On eve of Obama visit, Rafah children remember Rachel Corrie and protest US aid to Israel
Mondoweiss – Rafah, Palestine, The Rachel Corrie Cultural Center for Children and Youth Commemoration Vigil March 16, 2013 (Photo: J
oe Catron) On Saturday, Palestinian children held a vigil in Rafah to commemorate the death of American activist Rachel Corrie in the Gaza Strip border town a decade ago….

Students at mega-settlement Ariel buoyed by Obama visit despite being left out of big speech
Mondoweiss – The road right outside Ariel settlement’s university (Photo: Alex Kane/Mondoweiss) The Israeli students who attend Ariel University, a school deep in the occupied West Bank, are upset that the American Embassy did not see fit to invite them to attend Barack Obama‘s big speech on Thursday….

Low Expectations Jetting With Obama on First Presidential Visit to Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Mar 2013 – President Barack Obama arrives in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. Click here for the rest of the article…

Anti-Obama Palestinian Protesters Battle Police 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Mar 2013 – Palestinian police scuffled on Tuesday with scores of demonstrators protesting against the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the occupied West Bank later this week. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel’s New Cabinet May Resist Iran War Rush 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Mar 2013 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has streamlined his security cabinet but its crop of untested politicians and a member who has rankled at sabre-rattling could hamper any decision to strike Iran. Click here for the rest of the article…

Popular Jerusalem Cafe Closes in Shabbat Feud 
The Foward Breaking News 19 Mar 2013 – Restobar, one of the few restaurants in central Jerusalem that was open on Shabbat, shut its doors Monday after its landlord refused to renew the lease unless the establishment closed on the Jewish day of rest. Click here for the rest of the article…

Jordan’s king slams region’s leaders 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Jordan’s King Abdullah II says Egypt‘s President Morsi has “no depth” of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a US interview.

Gaddafi cousin arrested in Egypt 
BBC 19 Mar 2013Egypt says it is detaining a close aide and cousin of the late Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi, for 30 days as charges against him are investigated.

Syrian opposition names rebel PM 
BBC 18 Mar 2013Syria‘s opposition coalition names Ghassan Hitto, an IT expert who spent decades in the US, prime minister to head a government for rebel-held areas.

Argo: The Stupidest Movie of the Year 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 19 Mar 2013 – It is reflective of American liberalism that Ben Affleck, who is considered to the left of the Democratic Party and who is supposed to have been critical of US foreign policies in the Middle East, is behind the movie Argo . The movie received wide publicity and…

The Forsaken State of Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 19 Mar 2013 – protesters set garbage bins on fire, blocking Beirut’s Corniche al-Mazraa road, to protest the attacks on Sunni Muslim scholars, 18 March 2013. (Photo: Reuters – Hussam Shebaro) protesters set garbage bins on fire, blocking Beirut’s Corniche al-Mazraa road, to protest the attacks on Sunni Muslim scholars,…

Lebanon: Bank Employees Take Demands to the Street 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013 – The previous contract allowed banks to work their employees 40 hours per week, but the distribution of the hours is different than what is being proposed now. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) The previous contract allowed banks to work their employees 40 hours per week, but the distribution…

New SNC PM says won’t talk with Syrian government 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013 – Ghassan Hitto, center, celebrates late on 18 March 2013 in Istanbul with Syria‘s main opposition National Council chief Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, right, after the council elected him as their prime minister. (Photo: AFP – Ozan Kose) In his inaugural speech after being elected prime minister by…

Egypt arrests Gaddafi’s cousin 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013 – Egyptian police arrested on Tuesday Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, a cousin of Muammar Gaddafi, who is wanted in Libya for his role in the regime of the slain former dictator, Egyptian state media reported. Qaddaf al-Dam, reached on his cell phone, however sought to play down the…

Lebanon: Alleyway Thieves Ignite a Sectarian Fire 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013 – Roadwork on the main thoroughfare forced much of the traffic through the neighborhood’s narrow streets. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Roadwork on the main thoroughfare forced much of the traffic through the neighborhood’s narrow streets. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) On the evening of Sunday, 17 March, a horrific act…

013: The Syrian Opposition’s Many Faces 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013Syria‘s main opposition National Coalition newly-elected Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto speaks on 19 March 2013 at a Syrian opposition meeting in Istanbul. (Photo: AFP – Ozan Kose) Syria‘s main opposition National Coalition newly-elected Prime Minister Ghassan Hitto speaks on 19 March 2013 at a Syrian opposition…

Issawi’s mother to Obama: save my son’s life 
Al-Akhbar News 19 Mar 2013 – Layla Issawi holds a picture of her son, Samer, alongside European politicians of the Council for European Palestinian Relations (L to R) Niccolo Rinaldi from Italy, Jim Hume and Sandra White from Scotland, on 2 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli) The mother of jailed…

An Official Tour of Western Sahara 
Al-Akhbar Politics 18 Mar 2013 – People take a part in a protest called by Association of the Sahrawi community in France on 27 February 2013 in Paris. (Photo: AFP – Kenzo Tribouillard) People take a part in a protest called by Association of the Sahrawi community in France on 27 February…

Friend or Foe? Egypt Sizes Up Hamas 
Al-Akhbar Politics 18 Mar 2013Egypt‘s president Mohamed Mursi (R) shakes hands with Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after their meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, 26 July 2012. (Photo: Reuters – (HO) Mohamed Al Ostaz) Egypt‘s president Mohamed Mursi (R) shakes hands with Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after…

Deadly bombings strike Baghdad 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Up to 60 people are killed and scores are injured in a series of bomb attacks in Baghdad on the 10th anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.

Syrians trade chemical attack claims 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Syrian rebels and the government accuse each other of firing chemical weapons, reportedly killing 25 people, but there is no confirmation of either claim.

Saudi Arabia arrests 18 for spying 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Saudi Arabia arrests an Iranian, a Lebanese and 16 Saudis accused of being part of a “spying cell for a state”, officials say.

Jordan’s king slams region’s leaders 
BBC 19 Mar 2013 – Jordan’s King Abdullah II says Egypt‘s President Morsi has “no depth” of understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a US interview.

Gaddafi cousin arrested in Egypt 
BBC 19 Mar 2013Egypt says it is detaining a close aide and cousin of the late Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi, for 30 days as charges against him are investigated.

Articles


Samer Issawi: I prefer death over deportation 
Samer Issawi, Alternative Information Center 3/19/2013
      The following statement by Samer Issawi was posted on his Facebook page by his lawyer, Fawwaz Shloudy. It was translated from Arabic by Shahd Abusalama.
     Regarding the Israeli occupation offer to deport me to Gaza, I affirm that Gaza is an undeniable part of my homeland and its people are my people. However, I will visit Gaza whenever I want or I feel like it as it is within my homeland Palestine which I have the right to wander whenever I like from the very north to the very south. I strongly refuse to be deported to Gaza as this practice will just bring back bitter flashbacks from the expulsion process which our Palestinian people were subjected to during 1948 and 1967.
     We are fighting for the sake of freedom of our land and return of our refugees in Palestine and exile, not to add more deportees to them. This systematic practice through which Israel aims to empty Palestine from Palestinians and bring strangers in their place is but a crime. Therefore, I refuse to be deported and I will only agree to be released to Jerusalem as I know that the Israeli occupation is aiming to empty Jerusalem of its people and turn Arabs into a minority group of its population. The issue of deportation is no longer a personal decision. It is rather a national principle. If every detainee agrees under pressure to be deported out of Jerusalem, Jerusalem will eventually be emptied of its people.
     I would prefer to die on my hospital bed to being deported from Jerusalem. Jerusalem is my soul and my life. If I was uprooted from there, my soul would be uprooted from my body. My life is meaningless away from Jerusalem. No land on earth will be able to embrace me other than Jerusalem…. more.. e-mail

World Focus: The eyes of the world are trained on Israel. But will there be anything to see? 
Robert Fisk, The Independent 3/19/2013
      So will it be tragedy, farce or tourism? Obama’s a tourist, so says the Davy Crockett of the American journalistic frontier and philosopher king of The New York Times (aka T Friedman, Esq), but he’s wrong. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Public Speech-making will be at least a super-tourist – with 10,000 armed Israeli and American tour guides in Jerusalem alone. Now that, Mr President, is the wall. No, not That Wall, we’re talking about the Ottoman palisade on each side of the city’s Damascus Gate.
     But of course, if he’s really going to head for the Holy Manger, Obama will have to glance – will he not? – at the real wall (aka “security fence/barrier”). True, Berlusconi claimed he didn’t see it, even if Mussolini would at least have noticed its fascist dimensions. But there you go, the “outreach” president is meant to be “engaging” people, young people. Over the heads of their masters will he speaketh unto youth. Only the youth of the Israeli and Palestinian variety don’t seem to put a lot of trust in the bloke.
     But you’ve got to feel sorry for Obama. What other statesman would prelude a trip to Israel by collecting leaders of America’s Jewish community and promising – really insisting – there would be no big initiatives to worry about?
     We all remember the Humiliation of Saint Barack? When he went on about the 1967 border in the White House last year and Netanyahu cut him short and told him to forget about it and Obama just sat there, as mimsy as a borogrove, crushed by the Smiter Benjamin. No more talk, then, of 1967 borders or UN Security Council Resolution 242. Anyway Obama’s been taking advice from the adviser who’s turned out to be the biggest failure in US foreign policy since Joseph Kennedy, the much-acclaimed, utterly hopeless Dennis Ross. more.. e-mail

Police ignore Palestinian complaint about settler violence 
Yesh Din, written by Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 3/18/2013
      An attempt to kill a family in its sleep would force almost any police force to make an extra effort in catching the perpetrators. Not when the police are Israeli and the victims Palestinian.
     Late one night in May 2012, H., a resident of the West Bank village Einbus, was awakened when he heard a noise outside his house. He went towards the window, heard dogs barking and then smelled smoke. He ran to the balcony where he noticed two things: first and foremost, his car was on fire; second, three or four settlers – in the usual pogrom attire of yarmulkes, black trousers and white shirts – were speedily making a getaway, running to the nearby outpost near the settlement of Yitzhar.
     H. wanted to pursue them, but two concerns prevented him from doing so. First, they might be armed. Second, the burning vehicle was very close to the house and its flames were advancing rapidly. H. shouted and woke his father and brother. They went out to put out the fire and evacuated the rest of the family members. After some struggle – lucky for them they had a fire hydrant in the yard – they managed to put out the fire. But by the end of it the main door of the house was already burned, the car was a total loss (the damage is estimated at NIS 35,000, or about $9,500) and the front of the house was covered in soot.
     You have to be an especially nasty sort of person to set a vehicle of fire near a house where people are sleeping. At best, you’re acting with total disregard for their fate. At worst, you are making an effort to murder a
family as it sleeps. As a rule, this is the sort of person that police forces all over the world show a fiery interest in.
     Not the Israeli police though…. more.. e-mail

Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years 
Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine 3/18/2013
      The third generation of the displaced community of Iqrit decided that they’d had enough of waiting for authorities to allow them to return to their village lands, taking matters into their own hands. Last August, they set up their base in a room adjacent to the old church and haven’t left since.
     In 1948, the Christian Orthodox village of Iqrit surrendered to the IDF without a fight. When soldiers ordered residents to leave for two weeks for security reasons, considering the village is extremely close to the Lebanese boarder, nobody thought twice about it. Three years later, in July 1951, when the High Court of Justice ordered the state to fulfill its promise and allow the displaced people, who were still living in temporary houses in other villages, to return to their homes and lands, the small community was thrilled. But on Christmas Eve of that year the IDF blew up the entire village, leaving only the church in place. The people of Iqrit realized that something had gone terribly, terribly wrong.
     Since then, sixty-four years have passed. In the summer of 2012, like in all other summers since 1995, the entire displaced community organized a summer camp for their youth on village lands near the old church that they frequent on a monthly basis. They told the youngsters tales of village life and explained to them once again how they have been fighting for their right of return, a right which was guaranteed to them by courts and governments alike over the years. Iqrit is one of only two cases in Israeli history in which such promises have been made (the other being the nearby village of Bir’em).
     The summer camp ended, and as everybody was returning home, some of the guides got to talking. They were sad to see how the generation of their grandparents was slowly fading away, and feared that whatever implementation of their recognized rights they had been unable to achieve in 64 years would not be achieved anytime soon. It was then and there that they decided to do something. They decided to return. more.. e-mail

Bridging the gap: the health workers who visit Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon
Electronic Intifada: 19 Mar 2013 – Anne Irfan 19 March 2013 In Ein al-Hilweh I learned some of the stark realities faced by Palestinian refugees there.more

Obama won’t bring peace to Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 19 Mar 2013 – Miko Peled 19 March 2013 The US will continue to pay for Israel to do what it wants.more

Israeli professor working in US calls Palestinian student a “cockroach”
Electronic Intifada: 19 Mar 2013 – Gabriel Schivone and Nora Barrows-Friedman 19 March 2013 Student has received further threats since being racially abused by a teacher.more

Of Hope and Pain: Rachel Corrie’s Rafah Legacy
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – By Ramzy Baroud ‘Hi Papa .. Don’t worry about me too much, right now I am most concerned that we are not being effective. I still don’t feel particularly at risk. Rafah has seemed calmer lately,’ Rachel Corrie wrote to her father, Craig, from Rafah, a town located at the southern end of the Gaza Strip. ‘Rachel’s last email’ was not dated on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website. It must have been written soon after her last email to her mother, Cindy, on Feb 28. She was killed by an Israeli bulldozer on March 16, 2003. Immediately after her painful death, crushed beneath an Israeli army bulldozer, Rafah embraced her legacy as another ‘martyr’ for Palestine. It was a befitting tribute to Rachel, who was born to a progressive family in the town of Olympia, itself a hub for anti-war and social justice activism. But Olympia is also the capital of…more

‘It’s Not Your Homeland’: An Interview with Shlomo Sand
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – By Lewis Turner Shlomo Sand shot to prominence and controversy with his 2008 book The Invention of the Jewish People. His follow-up, The Invention of the Land of Israel, examines a nationalist mythology of land which forms a crucial part of the Zionist story of, and justification for, the Jewish State. In this interview Shlomo talks to Lewis Turner about his journey re-discovering his country’s history, his hopes for Israel’s future and the role of historians in social change. What has the reaction been like to the second book within Israel? First of all it was a bestseller for ten weeks. Secondly, a few weeks after it was a bestseller one of my colleagues, a historian from Haifa University, attacked me very strongly, but it wasn’t serious so I decided not to respond. I was covered nicely by Ha’aretz, in a long interview. But it’s not so easy for a…more

War Without End
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – By Kathy Kelly Ten years ago, in March of 2003, Iraqis braced themselves for the anticipated “Shock and Awe” attacks that the U.S. was planning to launch against them.  The media buildup for the attack assured Iraqis that barbarous assaults were looming. I was living in Baghdad at the time, along with other Voices in the Wilderness activists determined to remain in Iraq, come what may.  We didn’t want U.S. – led military and economic war to sever bonds that had grown between ourselves and Iraqis who had befriended us over the past seven years.  Since 1996, we had traveled to Iraq numerous times, carrying medicines for children and families there, in open violation of the economic sanctions which directly targeted the most vulnerable people in Iraqi society, – the poor, the elderly, and the children. I still feel haunted by children and their heartbroken mothers and fathers whom we…more

Beyond the E-1 Israeli Settlement
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – By IRIN – Jerusalem Last month, an international fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) commissioned by the UN Human Rights Council found that settlements constituted a violation of international human rights and humanitarian law and called on Israel to stop all expansions immediately and withdraw from settlements. A controversial Israeli plan, known as E-1, to build thousands of housing units and hotel rooms near the Ma’ale Adummim settlement, has garnered much attention in the media because it would sever Palestinian East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank. (See IRIN’s briefing on E-1 here .) But at the same time, Israel has been moving forward with equally controversial settlement plans under less scrutiny and with unusual speed. As US President Barack Obama prepares to visit the region this week, IRIN takes a look at some of the details that have been overlooked in the discussion….more

Heba’s Letter to President Obama
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – (This letter to US President Barack Obama was read out in Arabic by Heba, a 12-year-old girl from the town of Rafah on March 16. An event was held in the southern Gaza Strip town to commemorate Rachel Corrie’s killing by the Israeli army.) Dear President Barack Obama, My name is Heba. I am a 12-year-old girl from the town of Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. I am a Palestinian. I love my people, and I care deeply about the entire world. Mr. President, my town is hurting. My people are hurting. Since the day I became aware of the place where I live, and the people around me, I saw little peace. There is so much pain here. I grew up under siege. But my mamma tells me there has been nothing but siege in Gaza even before I was born. My family traces its…more

‘Olympic Legacy’: Pioneering Afghan Sportswomen Denied UK Entry
Palestine Chronicle: 19 Mar 2013 – By Felicity Arbuthnot – London ‘The Tony Blair Faith Foundation is … honouring International Women’s Day …’ — ( Tony Blair Faith Foundation , 5th March 2013.) It was former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who is attributed with the quote “a week is a long time in politics”, referring to the speedy shifting sands of political priorities. If a week is a while, approaching twelve years is a millennium. Remember the deluge of political concern over the subjugation of Afghan women at the time of the October 2001 invasion? The tsunami of documentaries, articles, books on their plight, contributing to the justification of another invasion – actually for $trillions of minerals, a geographically strategic country and a pipeline. It is salutary to recap a few. In November 2001 First Lady Laura Bush gave the President’s weekly radio address, stating that the fight against terrorism was: “also a fight for the rights…more

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