VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 30 March 2013: Shameful Double Standards on Israel

30 March 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Army Invades Beit Fajjar, Kidnaps A Child
IMEMC – Saturday March 30, 2013, Israeli soldiers kidnapped Beit Fajjar town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and kidnapped one Palestinian child after breaking into his home and violently searching it, the Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported. …

On Land Day; Palestinians Plant 200 Olive Saplings In Al-Khader
IMEMC – Marking the 37th Anniversary of the Palestinian Land Day, Palestinians in Al-Khader town, near the West Bank Palestinian city of Bethlehem, planted 200 Olive saplings amidst ongoing settler attacks against Palestinian orchards and lands in the area. …

Palestinians Mark Land Day
IMEMC – 37 years have passed since Israel illegally decided to steal, and stole, thousands of Dunams of Palestinian lands, especially in the Galilee in 1976, and the Palestinians in historic Palestine declared a massive strike to protest the illegal Israeli decision before Israeli tanks rolled into Arab villages, reoccupying them, and killing six Palestinians in addition to injuring dozens of Palestinians. …

Ma’an News

Israeli troops open fire at protesters as Palestinians mark Land Day
3/30/2013 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) – Clashes erupted Saturday between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the northern West Bank village of Jayyus east of Qalqiliya, witnesses said. Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that hundreds of Palestinians gathered in agricultural lands west of Jayyus to plant trees commemorating Land Day before Israeli troops stormed the area. The soldiers….

Minister: Cancer-stricken prisoner transferred to hospital unconscious
3/30/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – A Palestinian prisoner who suffers from cancer in Israel’s custody has been transferred unconscious to a hospital in Beersheva, says the Palestinian minister of prisonersaffairs Issa Qaraqe. Speaking to Ma’an on Saturday, Qaraqe held the Israeli prison service responsible for the life of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh and…. Related: Prisoners protest lack of treatment for detainee with cancer

Prisoners protest lack of treatment for detainee with cancer
3/30/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian prisoners protested in Israeli jails on Saturday against the continued detention of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who suffers from cancer. Abu Hamdiyeh was transferred unconscious to hospital in Beersheva, Palestinian minister of prisoners affairs Issa Qaraqe said Saturday. Qaraqe told Ma’an that Abu Hamdiyeh’s cancer had spread…. Related: Minister: Cancer-stricken prisoner transferred to hospital unconscious

Bethlehem police free journalist pardoned by Abbas
3/30/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Palestinian police late Friday released a journalist pardoned by President Mahmoud Abbas after a court upheld his year-long sentence for insulting the president on Facebook. Mamdouh Hamamreh was released Friday night from a police detention center in Bethlehem a day after an appeals court upheld his sentence on charges of insulting….

Israel urging Egypt to send back Tel Aviv envoy
3/30/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Israeli government is exerting efforts to convince Egyptian authorities to send Cairo’s ambassador back to Tel Aviv,the Israeli Broadcasting Authority reported Saturday. Egypt recalled Atif Salim in November 2012 in protest of Israeli military attacks on the Gaza Strip. The IBA, an official Israeli state broadcaster, quoted….

Haniyeh heads to Cairo for talks
3/30/2013 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh headed to Cairo on Saturday to discuss his movement’s complaints about Israeli compliance with an Egyptian-brokered truce. Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu said Haniyeh would be discussing “Israeli violations of the truce,” which ended eight days of deadly violence in and around the….

Pro-Palestinian march caps alternative world forum in Tunis
3/30/2013 – TUNIS (AFP) — More than 15,000 people marched in central Tunis on Saturday chanting support for the Palestinian people, as a week-long anti-globalization forum wrapped up its first-ever meeting in an Arab country.” Land, liberty, dignity,” chanted the marchers as they made their way to the emblematic Habib Bourguiba Avenue — epicenter of the 2011 protests in….

Fayyad plants olive tree at site of protest village
3/30/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Marking Land Day on Saturday, Ramallah-based Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad planted an olive tree at the site of a protest village dismantled by Israel. [END]

Abbas approves new budget
3/30/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday signed off on the budget for 2013 that was approved by Salam Fayyad’s cabinet on Thursday, a legal adviser said. Hassan al-Ouri said the president accepted the budget which was submitted by the cabinet as per a constitutional requirement that it be signed before….

First direct Cairo-Tehran flight in over 30 years
3/30/2013CAIRO (AFP) — The first direct flight connecting Egypt and Iran in more than 30 years took off from Cairo International Airport on Saturday, airport officials told AFP. The Air Memphis plane, chartered by Egyptian businessman Ramy Lakah, is the first direct flight between the capitals since the two countries severed ties after Iran’s….

Pope leads traditional Good Friday rite at Rome Colosseum
3/30/2013 – ROME (Reuters) — Thousands of people holding candles turned out at Rome’s Colosseum to see Pope Francis mark the first Good Friday of his pontificate with a traditional “Way of the Cross” procession around the ancient amphitheater. Francis, who was elected on March 13, sat under a red canopy on Rome’s Palatine….

Arab League seat for Syria opposition just symbolic?
3/30/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — The Arab League’s decision to grant Syria‘s seat to the opposition could prove to be nothing more than a symbolic act as long as there is no real backing for a rebel government on the ground, opponents and analysts say. Last week, the main opposition National Coalition selected Ghassan….

NGO: Syria rebels seize town on key highway to south
3/30/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian rebels have seized a key town on a main highway between Damascus and the south in their latest advance in Daraa province on the border with Jordan, a watchdog said on Friday.” Rebels seized control of Dael after destroying the three army checkpoints at the entrances to the town,” the Syrian Observatory….

Paper: Saudi Arabia to allow women’s sports clubs
3/30/2013 – RIYADH (Reuters) — Saudi Arabia is to license women’s sports clubs for the first time, al-Watan daily reported, in a major step for an ultra-religious country where clerics have warned against female exercise. Last year the conservative Islamic kingdom, where women must have permission from a male relative to take many big decisions, sent….

Jordan’s king swears in new reformist government
3/30/2013 – AMMAN, Jordan (Reuters) — Jordan’s King Abdullah swore in a reformist government on Saturday, an administration that will be required to speed up economic and political reforms, officials said. The cabinet lineup was confirmed after nearly three weeks of unprecedented consultations with civic society leaders and parliament by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, an economist….

Aljazeera

Palestinians mark Land Day with protests
AlJazeera 30 Mar 2013 – Israeli troops fire tear gas in West Bank to disperse participants in event commemorating deaths of protesters in 1976.

International Solidarity Movement

Land in village of Qusin used as garbage dump by settlers
3/30/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 27th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Qusin, Occupied Palestine, By IWPS – On Wednesday March 27 at 15:00 the village of Qusin organized a tour of a nearby quarry that is regularly used as a garbage dump. The residents of Qusin invited the Minister of the Environment, IWPS and the International Solidarity Movement to inspect….

Demonstration in commemoration of Land Day
3/30/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 30th March 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Burin, Occupied Palestine, By Team Nablus – On the 30th March 1976, Palestinian citizens of Israel instigated demonstrations in protest at Israeli government plans to confiscate large amounts of Palestinian land in the Galilee region for new Israeli settlements. The thousands of people who took part in non-violent general strikes….

The National

Meydan thronged for Dubai World Cup
The National 30 Mar 2013 – Fierce competition on the track – and pretty tough off it, too.

India’s low-cost tablet scheme doesn’t compute
The National 30 Mar 2013 – Poor quality, shortfall in supply tarnish project to bring online learning to poor students.

Karzai heads to Qatar in new talks for Taliban Doha office
The National 30 Mar 2013 – At least two senior Taliban figures are in Doha, although a Taliban spokesman rules out any direct talks with the Afghan president.

For Palestinian Americans, home brings little freedom
The National 30 Mar 2013 – They may carry US passports, but the Palestinians in this West Bank hamlet are not immune to the hardships of Israeli occupation. 
Saudi Arabia looks into taking the anonymity out of Twitter
The National 30 Mar 2013 – The move would not necessarily make a user¿s identity visible to other users of the site, but it would mean the Saudi government could monitor the tweets of individual Saudis.

Egypt’s Jon Stewart faces arrest for making fun of prayer, Morsi
The National 30 Mar 2013 – Egypt’s leading satirist Bassem Yousef is accused of ‘making fun of the prayer ritual’ on his show, and of insulting Mohammed Morsi by ‘making fun of his international standing’.

Turkish child fostered by Dutch lesbians sparks diplomatic row
The National 30 Mar 2013 – Turkey’s government believes its expatriates and citizens living in western Europe face threats to their cultural and religious identity. Thomas Seibert reports from Istanbul 

‘Parents buried baby on Dubai beach’
The National 30 Mar 2013 – Couple accused of burying their premature baby on a public beach after it died at two days old.

Ha’aretz

Israel Police drag their feet in investigation of attack on foreign national
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Study: Children with abused mothers 4 times more likely to have autism
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Palestinian budget reflects PA’s dependence on Israel, U.S.
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

The pipeline connecting Israeli tycoons, Mideast politicians and daily consumers
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Israeli Arabs mark Land Day in protest; organizers disappointed over low turnout
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

After four years in the works, natural gas makes its way to Israeli shores
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Two IDF soldiers wounded as Palestinians mark Land Day with protests across West Bank
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Body of drowned teen found on Ashkelon beach; two brothers still missing
Ha’aretz – 30 Mar 2013

Israeli, Turkish officials to meet April 12 for talks over compensation to flotilla victims’ families
Ha’aretz – 29 Mar 2013

Jerusalem Post

Palestinian sentenced for ‘liking’ anti-PA FB status
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – 

Thousands take part in Land Day protests
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – 6 IDF soldiers wounded in two different incidents; 5-year-old boy wounded from stones thrown at his family’s car near Efrat. 

The tears of a clown
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Israeli director Tom Shkolnik takes a serious look at London in his debut film ‘The Comedian’. 

Out There: To Nunzio, with love
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – “Parents naturally want their children to hear good things about them, not abuse; why show them a vicious tweet from someone I don’t know”. 

Vice and deputy prime minister: What do they mean?
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – The ambiguity between the definitions of Israeli government titles clarified. 

UK parliamentarian apologizes for anti-Jewish slur
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Muslim in House of Lords tells ‘Huffington Post’ he is sorry; Jewish communal group questions sincerity of apology. 

Anti-Semitism in the Netherlands?
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Despite Dutch history, the growing trend of European anti-Semitism is pervading through the Netherlands. 

Bennett: Obama’s policies could lead to violence
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Economics and Trade Minister: 2nd intifada shows concession of land won’t lead to peace, but rather to more violence. 

From truth denied to truth be told
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – While the anti-Semites pitched their usual lies, distortions during IAW, an inspiring new leadership in Cape Town pitched a tent, preached peace. 

‘Jew in Box’ exhibit in Berlin triggers controversy
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Museum exhibit allows visitor to ask questions of Jewish participants who respond from inside glass booth. 

IDF jeep overturns in Hirbat Aliya, 4 soldiers hurt
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Jeep overturns after hitting a roadblock made of rocks set up by Palestinians during Land Day disturbances. 

Natural gas from Tamar field starts flowing
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – PM hails achievement that is set to turn Israel from an energy poor country to a gas exporter by the end of the decade. 

PA: Settlements ‘threatening to blow up region’
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013Abbas on Land Day anniversary: Israeli policies in W. Bank, J’lem “undermine” peace process, 2-state solution. 

Al Jazeera reporter chased off at Land Day protest
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Supporters of Syrian President clash with opponents of the regime during Land Day demonstrations in Sakhnin yesterday. 

Syrian opposition: Iranian arms on way to Assad
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Al-Arabiya says ship to enter the Suez Canal Saturday; Syrian National Coalition urges Egypt to search vessel. 

Abbas pardons jailed Palestinian journalist
Jerusalem Post 30 Mar 2013 – Al-Quds journalist sentenced to one year for “insulting” Abbas on Facebook released by PA

Steinitz: Turkey apology important for int’l affairs
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – New International Affairs Minister says reconciliation with Turkey will allow renewed discussion on Syria crisis. 

Hamas PM: Obama trip confirms bias toward Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – Haniyeh tells crowd in Gaza they must reject idea of settling in any land other than ‘Palestine,’ according to Palestinian news agency. 

How the exodus story created America
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – Narrative of the ancient Israelites influenced the Pilgrims; A bond that remains a “godsend”. 

The age of miracles
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – Passover: A time to witness “natural miracles” that surround us as acknowledgement of the “wonder of daily life in the Holy Land.” 

Modern-day slaves
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – Tag International works to combat human trafficking and forced labor in Asia, and looks to Israeli organizations for guidance. 

A misinformed public
Jerusalem Post 29 Mar 2013 – BDS campaigns in S. Africa disregarded criterion apart from links to Israel; Lead universities on path of “lawlessness”. 

Uruknet

Honduran Police State Repression
Uruknet

Egypt: Two draconian laws
Uruknet

Settlers in Hebron Celebrate ‘Freedom’ While Palestinians Suffer
Uruknet

What was Wrong with Obama’s Speech in Jerusalem
Uruknet

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: The United Police States of America
Uruknet

Israel admits it allocates most state land to settlers
Uruknet

Families wait for prisoners never tried or convicted Guantánamo widow
Uruknet

013
Uruknet

Obama‘s visit to Palestine tainted with hypocrisy
Uruknet

Making the case for Israel Apartheid Week
Uruknet

Daily Star

Jordan’s king swears in new reformist government
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Jordan’s King Abdullah swears in a reformist government, an administration that will be required to speed up economic and political reforms, officials say.

Hezbollah favors ‘political’ Cabinet under neutral PM
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Hezbollah favors a political government to replace the current caretaker one, the party’s MP said, adding that an impartial candidate should head the next Cabinet.

Tunisia needs new economic model to end poverty: president
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Tunisia must find a new economic model to raise the roughly 20 percent of its people living in poverty from their quagmire, President Moncef Marzouki says.

Saudi Arabia to allow women’s sports clubs: paper
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Saudi Arabia is to license women’s sports clubs for the first time, al-Watan daily reports, in a major step for an ultra-religious country where clerics have warned against female exercise.

Arab Israelis, Palestinians mark ‘Land Day’
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Arab Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza are holding rallies commemorating the 37th anniversary of “Land Day”.

Principal dead in grenade attack in Pakistan
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 A man armed with a gun and grenades attacks a school in southern Pakistan during a prize distribution ceremony, killing its principal and wounding six children before fleeing.

World Muslim body to meet on Myanmar violence
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 The head of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation says that ministers from OIC states will meet on April 14 in Saudi Arabia to discuss deadly violence against Muslims in Myanmar.

Egypt prosecutor orders arrest of popular satirist
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Egypt’s public prosecutor orders the arrest of popular satirist Bassem Youssef over alleged insults to Islam and to President Mohamed Mursi, state news agency MENA reports.

Iraq to up searches of Iran overflights to Syria
Daily Star 30 Mar 2013 Iraq says it will step up searches of Iranian flights via its airspace to Syria, days after US Secretary of State John Kerry publicly criticized Baghdad for turning a blind eye to them.

YNet News

Syrian rebels enter strategic Aleppo neighborhood
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – ….

75-year-old man beaten in Herzliya public park
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – ….

Syria: German reporter shot, seriously wounded in Aleppo 
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – ….

A private Egyptian jet flies to Iran for first time
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – ….

Eiffel Tower evacuated in wake of bomb threat
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – ….

Obama still can’t be trusted
YNet News, 30 Mar 2013 – Op-ed: US president’s Jerusalem speech should have been addressed to young Palestinians ….

Palestine Information Center

IOF soldiers quell Land Day marches in Al-Khalil villages
PIC – A number of Palestinian civilians were injured on Saturday after the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) violently quelled peaceful marches in two Al-Khalil villages to commemorate Land Day.

Hamas: The resistance is the strategic option for the Palestinians
PIC – The Hamas Movement stressed that the resistance of the Israeli occupation would remain the strategic option for the Palestinian people in their struggle to liberate their land.

Barhoum holds IOA responsible for life of Abu Hamdiya
PIC – Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, lashed out at the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) for neglecting the treatment of detained cancer patient Maysara Abu Hamdiya.

Clashes erupt between youths and Israeli soldiers at Qalandia checkpoint
PIC – Clashes erupted on Saturday between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian young men at Qalandia military checkpoint, northern Jerusalem, following the march staged on the occasion of Land Day.

Abu Zuhri: We cherish our land and refuse alternative homeland
PIC – Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Saturday that the Palestinians in Gaza cherish their land and that the Egyptian Sinai peninsula will never be an alternative homeland for them.

Abu Hamdiya transferred to hospital in serious condition
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities transferred on Saturday morning the patient captive Maysara Abu Hamdiya, 62, to Soroka Hospital, after the recent deterioration of his health condition.

Premier Haneyya leaves for Cairo
PIC – Palestinian premier in Gaza Ismail Haneyya left the coastal enclave on Saturday en route to Cairo on a few days visit to Egypt.

Euro-mid: Egypt discriminates against the Palestinian refugees from Syria
PIC – The Euro-mid observer for human rights expressed its deep concern about the mistreatment of about 9,000 Palestinian refugees who fled from Syria and came to Egypt.

IOF soldiers round up two Palestinians in 24 hours
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested two Palestinian citizens from Jenin and Tobas over the past 24 hours.

Suspects arrested in Libya for attacking activists in Miles of Smiles convoy
PIC – Libyan Interior Ministry announced on Friday that four suspects in the attack on foreign activists had been arrested.

WAFA

Presidency Resembles Settlements to Mines
WAFA – 30 Mar 2013

013 Fiscal Year Budget
WAFA – 30 Mar 2013

Army Cracks Down on Land Day March at Qalandia
WAFA – 30 Mar 2013

Newspapers Review: Land Day Events Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 30 Mar 2013

Protests Planned for Land Day
WAFA – 28 Mar 2013

Misc

Libya’s south teeters toward chaos — and militant extremists
LA Times 30 Mar 2013 – Libya’s long-neglected, isolated southern region has grown more lawless since the fall of Moammar Kadafi. Only ill-trained tribal militias hold Islamist extremists at bay. SABHA, Libya — Their fatigues don’t match and their pickup has no windshield. Their antiaircraft gun, clogged with grit, is perched…

Egypt, Short of Money, Sees Crisis on Food and Gas
New York Times 30 Mar 2013 – The cash shortage is raising questions about Egypt’s ability to keep importing wheat that is essential to the food supply, stirring fears of an economic catastrophe. 

Egypt Orders Arrest of Satirist for Skits on Islam and Morsi
New York Times 30 Mar 2013 – In the nine months since Mohamed Morsi became president, his government has been accused of employing the same harsh measures against dissent as did the previous leaders. 

An Unlikely Warrior in the Battle for Syria
New York Times 29 Mar 2013 – A video that seems to show a Han Chinese man working for the overthrow of the Assad government is raising eyebrows in Beijing. 

Gas begins flowing from Tamar field
Globes Main News – Minister of Energy Silvan Shalom: This is a historic moment as Israel moves towards energy independence.

Intel in talks to buy Omek Interactive – report
Globes Main News – Intel Corp. is in talks to buy the Beit Shemesh based gesture recognition and tracking technology firm, VentureBeat reports.

Teva wins FDA approval for oral contraceptive
Globes Main News – Quartette has been designed by Teva to minimize breakthrough bleeding between scheduled periods.

Qatari Emir Pledges $1-Billion Fund to Preserve Arab Jerusalem
Tikun Olam – Another Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian home “redeemed” by Israeli settlers Qatar’s emir, who earlier pledged $400-million for reconstruction of Gaza after Israel’s Cast Lead devastation, has vowed to create a $1-billion fund to preserve Arab Jerusalem: Qatar’s emir proposed on Tuesday that the Arab League create a $…

‘My surprise was even greater–’ Israeli emboff pens Dickensian letter to Lancet justifying harsh treatment of children throwing stones
Mondoweiss – Oh, what bureaucratic officious and oleaginous prose is marshaled in the cause of child imprisonment: the press attache for the Embassy of Israel in London delegitimization by writing to The Lancet t o protest an editorial that calls for certain basic protections for Palestinian minors imprisoned…

Feeling the wrath of the Israel lobby, ‘WSJ’ neocon virtually accuses some advocates of dual loyalty
Mondoweiss – Many people have sent me this Bret Stephens column in the Wall Street Journal five days back in which Stephens, a neoconservative and ardent supporter of Israel, reports that he was disinvited that day from a speaking gig at an unnamed pro-Israel organization because he wrote…

Israeli army captain assaults valiant protester Ezra Nawi
Mondoweiss – I’ve often gone to demonstrations in the occupied territories with the great Ezra Nawi, an Israeli plumber/activist– of whom there will one day be stained glass window portraits in synagogues. Here, seeking to document the weekly demonstration against the sprawling illegal Efrat settlement in al Masara…

Israeli gov’t has allocated 38% of West Bank state land to settlers, 1% to Palestinians
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing Just 0.7% of state land in the West Bank has been allocated to Palestinians, Israel admits Haaretz 28 Mar by Chaim Levinson — Over the past 33 years the Civil Administration has allocated less than one percent of state…

Not a happy Passover for Hebron’s Palestinians
Mondoweiss – Palestinian youth stops in front of road closure to Shuhada Street in Hebron. Hundreds of Israelis traveled over the Green Line to observe Passover in Hebron this week at a carnival-like event as Israeli officials closed the Ibrahimi Mosque to Palestinians in the West Bank’s largest…

Palestinians Stage Protests To Mark ‘Land Day’ 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Mar 2013 – Palestinians protested in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Saturday and a few were lightly hurt in clashes with Israeli soldiers on the 37th anniversary of a landmark event for Israel’s Arab minority. Click here for the rest of the article…

First Jewish Woman Chaplain Serves in Air Force 
The Foward Breaking News 30 Mar 2013 – Capt. Sarah Schechter, the Jewish chaplain of the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, is the first ever female U.S. Air Force rabbi in 40 years of women serving as military chaplains. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: First Flight Connecting Cairo to Tehran in 34 Years 
allAfrica.com 30 Mar 2013 – [Aswat Masriya]Egypt’s first direct flight to Iran took off on Saturday from the Cairo International Airport to Tehran. It is the first flight to connect the two countries in 34 years.

Demonstrations across Palestine and international BDS actions mark Palestinian Land Day 
Global BDS 30 Mar 2013 – 30 March 2013 — Palestinians are today commemorating with action Land Day, a day in 1976 when Israeli military forces shot and killed six young Palestinian citizens of Israel. These brave youth were among thousands protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of Palestinian land. Many of the…

Egypt satirist faces arrest warrant 
BBC 30 Mar 2013 – An arrest warrant is issued for popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef for allegedly insulting Islam and President Mohamed Morsi.

Jordanian king swears in government 
BBC 30 Mar 2013 – King Abdullah of Jordan swears in the smallest government in four decades, as PM Abdullah Ensour sets to tackle the budget deficit.

Saudi: Sheikh Nimr’s Crucified Fate 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – A protester holds up a picture of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a rally at the coastal town of Qatif, against Sheikh Nimr’s arrest in this 8 July 2012 file photo. (Photo: Reuters – STR) A protester holds up a picture of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr during a…

The Business of Kidnapping in Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – The security services cordoned off the Baalbeck village of Brital, where Zeidan was being held, and told the kidnappers that they would storm the place. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) The security services cordoned off the Baalbeck village of Brital, where Zeidan was being held, and…

Egypt, Iran resume direct flights after 34 years 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – Officials say a commercial airliner has left Egypt for Iran in the first direct passenger flight between the two countries in more than three decades. Cairo-Tehran relations have witnessed a thaw since the June election that brought to power Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Mursi….

Israeli forces attack annual “Land Day” protests 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – Palestinians take part in a rally marking Land Day in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on 30 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmud Hams) Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber coated bullets at Palestinians marking the annual Land Day in towns across the…

Yemeni forces shoot dead southern protester 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – Yemeni protesters take part in a demonstration in Aden, southern Yemen, calling for their independence from Sanaa on 18 March 2013. (Photo: AFP) Police opened fire on unarmed protesters in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Saturday killing one person and injuring three other, witnesses…

Saudi Arabia may end Twitter anonymity 
Al-Akhbar News 30 Mar 2013 – Saudi Arabia may try to end anonymity for Twitter users in the country by limiting access to the site to people who register their identification documents, the Arab News daily reported on Saturday. Last week, local media reported the government had asked telecom companies to look…

Lebanon: Kingmaker Jumblatt Declares His Conditions 
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 Mar 2013 – His second condition stands out most. Jumblatt doesn’t want Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement to control the lucrative energy and telecom ministries as they have in previous governments….

Damascus: Guardians of Zainab’s Shrine 
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 Mar 2013 – The coffins of Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti and his grandson Ahmed al-Bouti, who both died in a suicide bomb attack, are carried during their funeral ceremony on 23 March 2013 at the Omayyad mosque in Damascus. (Photo: AFP – Louai Bechara) The coffins of Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti…

Egypt satirist faces arrest warrant 
BBC 30 Mar 2013 – An arrest warrant is issued for popular Egyptian television satirist Bassem Youssef for allegedly insulting Islam and President Mohamed Morsi.

Jordanian king swears in government 
BBC 30 Mar 2013 – King Abdullah of Jordan swears in the smallest government in four decades, as PM Abdullah Ensour sets to tackle the budget deficit.

VIDEO: New hope for Iraqi Kurd students 
BBC 30 Mar 2013 – In Iraqi Kurdistan, the opening up of the economy and the creation of numerous private universities have given a new generation hope of a bright future.

Articles


Shameful Double Standards on Israel 
Sheldon Richman, CounterPunch 3/29/2013
      The Rightwing Accepts Obama’s Tribalism When in the Service of Israel
     The right-wing seemingly never misses a chance to go after Barack Obama for his collectivism and dislike of America. Yet when Obama embraced blood-and-soil tribalism openly and implied that America was not the “land of the free” for everyone, the right-wing apparently had nothing to say.
     Why? The subject was Israel, and the right-wing shares Obama’s tribalist premises on that subject.
     In his speech in Jerusalem on March 21, Obama said:
     “For the Jewish people, the journey to the promise of the State of Israel wound through countless generations. It involved centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice and pogroms and even genocide. Through it all, the Jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions, as well as a longing to return home. And while Jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the Zionist idea — to be a free people in your homeland. That’s why I believe that Israel is rooted not just in history and tradition, but also in a simple and profound idea — the idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own.”
     The first half of the paragraph is full of fable and fabrication, though he’s right about suffering, prejudice, pogroms, and genocide. To understand what’s wrong with those sentences, consult Shlomo Sand’s two excellent books The Invention of the Jewish People and The Invention of the Land of Israel (both available for Kindle). Invention is not unique to the “Jewish people.” Many peoples and nations are the product of what Sand calls “mythistory.” more.. e-mail

Obama: the world’s greatest peace fraud 
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 3/22/2013
      US president fails to demand halt to illegal settlements – “There is no peace process, it’s an annexation process…”
     Israeli peace activist Miko Peled did not mince his words when he said:
     “The Israeli-Palestinian issue is, politically, a toxic wasteland that no US president in his right mind would want to clean up. It has become a vicious cycle of deceit and double standards, and it will contaminate any US politician who tries to clean it up.”
     One after another, American presidents run away from the challenge.
     And so it has been with Barack Obama. This week the world’s greatest peace fraud came to the Holy Land and flunked it. Frankly, if that’s the best he can do after four years in the job he has no business calling himself a world leader. AIPAC – the stinking swamp in the White House backyard
     But I don’t necessarily agree with Peled’s remark. Any US president who fails to drain the stinking swamp in his backyard – i.e. the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) breeding ground – deserves to be consigned to the wastepaper basket of history as a political pansy.
     The president who ruthlessly cleans up, however, would be revered big-time.
     Take the Chuck Hagel confirmation fiasco. Here in the UK we watched with bewilderment and disbelief. Of course, it’s easy to criticize from this distance, but remember that we too have a Zio-infestation at the heart of government. more.. e-mail

End the charitable status of JNF UK 
Stop the JNF, Israeli Occupation Archive 3/21/2013
      Since 1901 KKL-JNF, known as Jewish National Fund (JNF) in the UK, has worked successfully for the ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine and their project has not been completed. Palestinians continue to resist Israeli occupation, apartheid and colonisation. For most of the time since their founding, the UK branch of KKL-JNF has enjoyed charitable status and the resulting subsidies from British taxpayers. The KKL-JNF branch in Israel functions as an arm of the Israeli State in the enforcement of an apartheid system of land control and population segregation, and has played a major role in the refinement of this system over the years. JNF UK exhibits a large display at the ‘British Park’ in Israel, built on the ethnically cleansed and stolen lands of four destroyed Palestinian villages, boasting that the land is a ‘Gift of the Jewish National Fund of Great Britain’.
     Today sees a fresh and determined initiative to strip JNF UK of its charitable status. This effort can succeed with your help, for the JNF UK is vulnerable as never before. Whereas this racist body used to enjoy virtually automatic patronage from the leaders of all three major UK political parties, today Cameron, Clegg and Miliband have each turned their back on this openly racist ‘charity’ as being increasingly impossible to defend. Last year, 68 MPs signed a motion stating “there is just cause to consider revocation of the JNF’s charitable status in the UK”.
     The irrefutable case for stripping JNF UK of its charitable status is being presented formally today to Charity Commission offices across England and Wales, in London, Newport, Liverpool and Taunton. A submission to the Scottish Charity Regulators will follow shortly. It is important that many concerned citizens and institutions write to the Charity Commission adding their own and their friends’ voices to the call for the JNF UK to be struck off the charities register as a sham charity. — See also: Source: Stop the JNF more.. e-mail

How Obama Chose War Over Peace in Syria 
Shamus Cooke, CounterPunch 3/29/2013
      A “Smarter” War?
     With Syria on the brink of national genocide, outside nations have only two options: help reverse the catastrophe or plunge this torn nation deeper into the abyss. Countries can either work towards a peaceful political solution or they can continue to pour money, guns, and fighters into the country to ensure a steady gushing into the bloodbath.
     President Obama will have no talk of peace. He has chosen war since the very start and he’s sticking to it. A recent New York Times article revealed that President Obama has been lying through his teeth about the level of U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict since the beginning.
     The President recently said that the U.S. government continues to give only “non-lethal” military aid to the rebels, but The New York Times revealed that the CIA has been actively funneling and distributing massive shipments of weapons to the rebels over the borders of Jordan and Turkey.
     This “arms pipeline” of illegal gun trafficking has been overseen by the U.S. government since January 2012. It has literally been the lifeblood of the Syrian “rebels,” and thus the cause of the immense bloodshed in Syria.
     The New York Times reports:
     “The C.I.A. role in facilitating the [weapons] shipments… gave the United States a degree of influence over the process [of weapon distribution]…American officials have confirmed that senior White House officials were regularly briefed on the [weapons] shipments.”
     The article also explains that a “conservative estimate” of the weapons shipment to date is “3,500 tons.” more.. e-mail

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