VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 6 April 2013

6 April 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Four Palestinians, Including A child, Kidnapped In West Bank
IMEMC – Saturday April 6, 2013; Israeli soldiers kidnapped three Palestinians, including a 10-year-old child, in Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank, and one Palestinian in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. …

Dozens Injured In East Jerusalem Clashes
IMEMC – Jerusalem – Saturday April 6, 2013; Palestinian medical sources reported that dozens of Palestinians have been injured by rubber-coated metal bullets and due to the effects of teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli soldiers in Abu Dis town, east of occupied East Jerusalem. … 

Ma’an News

Dozens hurt in clashes with Israeli forces in Abu Dis
4/6/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Dozens of Palestinians were injured Friday in clashes with Israeli forces in Abu Dis in East Jerusalem, a senior Fatah official said. Israeli forces showered protesters with tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at a demonstration over the death on Tuesday of a detainee with cancer in Israeli custody. Anwar Badr….

PA: Israeli forces raid Rimon prison
4/6/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A special forces unit on Saturday raided sectors 1 and 5 in Rimon prison in Israel, a Palestinian official said. Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that a unit raided the prison and fired tear gas at prisoners. He added that detainees were protesting the prison administration’s decision to….

Injuries in clashes in al-Khader
4/6/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Several Palestinians were injured on Saturday in clashes in al-Khader village south of Bethlehem. Popular committee coordinator Ahmad Salah said that a number of youngsters were injured with rubber bullets, and one of them was taken to the hospital. He added that Israeli forces fired a tear gas canister into a….

Hamas accuses Western spies of Gaza operations
4/6/2013 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Hamas accused Western and Arab spy agencies on Saturday of operating in the Gaza Strip and said it had a list of alleged collaborators.” The Gaza Strip is swarming with Western intelligence agencies, such as the American, British, French and German services,” said Mohammed Lafi, an internal security chief, quoted on the….

160,000 Palestinian refugees below poverty line in Lebanon
4/6/2013 – BEIRUT (Ma’an) — Around 160,000 Palestinians are living below the poverty line in refugee camps in Lebanon, the ambassador to Beirut says. Nearly 13,000 Palestinian refugees are living in extreme poverty in Lebanon, Ashraf Dabour told Ma’an. Palestinian refugees are banned from entering 75 professions in Lebanon.”Practicing any of these careers….

Egyptian security seize explosives cache near Gaza border
4/6/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Egyptian security services on Friday seized an explosives stash in Rafah, a town on border with the Gaza Strip, an Egyptian security official said. Police found 23 artillery shells hidden near a public hospital in the desert and took them to a military base, the official told Ma’an….

‘We do not want new martyrs,’ PA official says
4/6/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority prisoners minister said Saturday that the Israeli government would be held responsible if another prisoner died in custody, after two died in separate incidents in a month.”We do not want any new martyrs. The Israeli government is responsible for any explosion that might happen,” Issa Qaraqe said….

Report: Hamas, Israel exchange messages via Cairo
4/6/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel and Hamas have exchanged messages through Egypt after a rise in tensions along the Gaza border, the Al-Quds newspaper reported Saturday. Israel bombed the Gaza Strip early Wednesday after militants fired rockets toward southern Israel following the death of a Palestinian with cancer in Israeli custody. Israel’s airstrikes….

Kerry kicks off multi-nation tour clouded by crises
4/6/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry headed to Turkey on Saturday on a wide-ranging tour set to be dominated by many of the top world crises — Syria, the Middle East peace process and North Korea. After a plane door problem delayed his flight, Kerry flew out of Andrews Air Force Base on his….

Canada minister holds ‘positive’ talks with Palestinians
4/6/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird held what he termed “positive” talks with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Saturday despite their differences. Baird, on a four-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, met with President Mahmoud Abbas and foreign minister Riyad al-Malki. The Canadian minister, whose country is….

FM says claims of Turkey-Israel pact against Syria ‘groundless’
4/6/2013 – ISTANBUL (AFP) — Turkey’s foreign minister on Saturday hit back at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s claims in an interview that Ankara made a pact with Israel against Damascus.” Such arguments like Turkey is in cooperation with Israel against Syria have no grounds,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the….

Abbas ‘may fire Fayyad’
4/6/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas may fire Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a Fatah member said, as the party criticized the premier’s government as being “improvised and confused.” Abbas “is leaning towards dismissing Fayyad from the head of the government and forming a new one,” a member of Fatah’s Revolutionary Council told….

Customs police destroy expired food, cosmetics in Ramallah
4/6/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Customs police on Saturday destroyed out-of-date food and cosmetics confiscated from a shop in Ramallah, the economy ministry said Saturday. Customer protection units have recently seized large quantities of expired meat in Nablus, Jericho, Bethlehem and Hebron, the ministry added in a statement. [END]

7 injured in road accident near Bethlehem
4/6/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Seven people were injured on Saturday in a road accident in al-Ubeidiya east of Bethelehem, medics said. A taxi drifted off course before it flipped a number of times, a civil defense report said. The taxi driver and six passengers were all injured mildly and moderately. [END]

Assad warns of instability
4/6/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad has warned that the fall of his regime would destabilize the region “for many years”, as US President Barack Obama announced talks with Middle East allies over the crisis.” The whole world knows that if Syria is partitioned, or if terrorist forces take control of the country, there will….

Salam set to be named Lebanon prime minister
4/6/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Tamam Salam of the Western-backed opposition is to be named Lebanon’s prime minister Saturday, two weeks after Najib Mikati resigned and effectively brought down his Hezbollah-dominated government. Salam, 67, emerged as a co
nsensus candidate after regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia backed his nomination, ending a political crisis. He won endorsements from across….

Tunisian military helicopter makes emergency landing
4/6/2013 – TUNIS (Ma’an) — A Tunisian military helicopter made an emergency landing on Friday near a military base in the El-Aounia neighborhood near Carthage international airport in Tunis. Mukhtar Ibn Nasser, a spokesman for Tunisia’s defense ministry, told Ma’an that two officers on board were injured and taken to a military hospital in Tunis. [END]

Scarred by conflict, Syria nurse joins rebel side
4/6/2013 – SALMA, Syria (AFP) — Umm Abed once worked as a nurse at a military hospital in Syria’s Latakia province, treating wounded soldiers, but when army shelling killed her brother and mother she decided to switch sides.” How could I continue to treat (the soldiers) who killed my mother and brother,” asks the 27-year-old….

Egypt sectarian clashes ‘kill 5’
4/6/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Sectarian violence that erupted overnight north of Cairo killed five people, including four Christians, and left six other people wounded, an Egyptian security source said on Saturday. The clashes, which saw the use of firearms, flared on Friday night in Al-Khusus, a poor area in Qalyubia governorate, after a Muslim in his 50s….

Watchdog: Syria air raids target Aleppo Kurds
4/6/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian warplanes Saturday raided a flashpoint majority Kurdish district in the northern city of Aleppo, a watchdog said, while air strikes were also reported on the outskirts of Damascus.” A warplane raided the west of Sheikh Maqsud in Aleppo city, killing at least five civilians and wounding several others,” said the Syrian Observatory….

Egyptians rally to mark founding of protest movement
4/6/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Several thousand people rallied in Egyptian cities on Saturday to mark five years since the founding of a protest group that helped overthrow president Hosni Mubarak and now opposes his successor Mohamed Mursi. Supporters of the April 6 movement held rallies in the Nile Delta industrial town of Mahalla, where a labor strike….

Egypt call for calm after deadly Christian-Muslim clashes
4/6/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s presidency appealed for calm on Saturday after religious insults sparked a gun battle in a poor town north of Cairo in which four Christians and a Muslim died. Fighting flared on Friday night in Al-Khusus, in Qalyubia governorate, after a Muslim in his 50s objected to children drawing a swastika….


Children among dead in ‘Aleppo airstrike’
AlJazeera 6 Apr 2013 – Syrian government attack on Kurdish neighbourhood of northern city kills at least 15, including nine children.

The National

Nude Facebook photo protest exposes rift over women’s rights in Tunisia
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Amina Tyler’s photograph is met with praise and anger, reactions that go to the heart of different ideas of freedom held by women in Tunisia two years after the fall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Alice Fordham reports for Tunis 

Gel may solve irrigation issues
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Researchers at the Masdar Institute are investigating an innovative technique for irrigation: the use of super-absorbent polymers to retain water in the soil.

Jailed after borrowing Dh50,000 from a friend
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Indian expatriate jailed after being taken advantage of by a money-lending “friend”.

When lending goes wrong
The National 6 Apr 2013 – A look at some loans that have gone bad.

What the law says
The National 6 Apr 2013 – What the law says on usury

Not all lenders see themselves as sharks
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Money lenders say they are simply providing a necessary service to workers in the UAE.

Blank cheque guarantee was abused
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Victims of money lenders say they were dealt with unfairly.

Money that is laden with misery
The National 6 Apr 2013 – Man describes ordeal of threats faced after a business partner defaulted on a loan to an illegal money lender.


Bennett to Norwegian FM: Yair Lapid is ‘not too crazy’ about the two-state solution
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

John Kerry seeks to bring Turkey into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

Hackers threaten to ‘wipe Israel off Internet map’ in massive cyber attack
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

Kerry heads back to Middle East for fresh bid to renew peace talks
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

Jerusalem mayor pulls proposal to name street after Professor Yeshayahu Leibowitz
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

Tel Aviv nightlife scores victory, as judge upholds club’s right to continue operating, despite drug charges
Ha’aretz – 6 Apr 2013

Israeli writer and journalist Amnon Dankner dies at 67
Ha’aretz – 5 Apr 2013

Jerusalem Post

Schools to talk violence on Holocaust Day
Jerusalem Post 7 Apr 2013 – Education Ministry director says in light of the recent violent events against the elderly, every student should do something positive. 

Tag Meir activists visit victim of racist attack
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Representatives of the Tag Meir activist group gather at home of Suhad Abu-Zmiro, a victim of a recent suspected racist assault. 

West Bank violence continues for fifth straight day
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – On fifth straight day of clashes between Palestinians and the IDF, protests continue to rage in West Bank and in east Jerusalem 

Facebook freedom
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – The fact that Abbas posed as the good guy doesn’t diminish the fact that in his latifundia it is a severely punishable crime to offend him. 

Egyptian police fire tear gas at Cairo protest
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Police use crowd dispersal means on protesters to stop them from hurling rocks, storming court; eight injured. 

The Holocaust, Rembrandt and the quest for authenticity
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – It is our destiny to live for that which is more than ourselves; perhaps it is this great message of Judaism that prompted Rembrandt to begin painting for no gain and no career. 

German Jewish refugees in Shanghai
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – From the heart of Europe to the Far East: Following the American liberation of Shanghai and the renewal of communications with the free world, the refugees’ situation improved significantly. 

Israeli cyber activists attack anti-Israel hackers
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Israeli hackers break into website coordinating an online attack on Israeli websites, target Pakistani websites. 

Encountering Peace: Reconciliation and peace
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Many Palestinians are quite disturbed about the division and Abbas and Hamas are under significant public pressure to reunify the Palestinian house. 

Steinitz: Only tangible threat will halt Iran nukes
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Powers, Iran fail to end nuclear stalemate in talks; Steinitz says Tehran is using talks to pave way toward an atomic bomb. 

On eve of Kerry trip, PA delays plan to take Israel to ICC
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – US secretary of state scheduled to meet Abbas in Ramallah to discuss ways of resuming peace talks; PLO official says decision to postpone prosecuting Israel was made in order to give chance to US peace efforts. 

Pollard protest vigil planned at Kerry’s hotel
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Activists call on US secretary of state to persuade Obama to commute Israeli spy’s life sentence to time served. 

Hamas says it arrested Western spies in Gaza
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Gaza group claims to have caught spies from US, EU countries, half of whom allegedly confessed to collaborating with Israel. 

Bereaved families call to move Remembrance Day
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Families of fallen soldiers say the proximity of the day of mourning to Independence Day makes celebration difficult. 

Egypt court turns down lawsuit against TV satirist
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Comedian still faces a criminal investigation over his TV show which Egypt’s investment authority says contain vulgarity. 

Court releases Alperon brothers on bail
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Dror and Omer Alperon, sons of Israeli mobster Yaakob Alperon, were arrested for assaulting police detectives. 

Assad: Israel, Turkey made a pact against Syria
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – In lengthy interview, Syrian president says rebel victory would destabilize the Middle East, slams Arab League. 

‘Five die in Christian-Muslim clashes in Egypt’
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Violence breaks out when Christian children draw on wall of Muslim religious institute in town outside of Cairo. 

Hamas calls UN agency’s protest strike ‘unjust’
Jerusalem Post 6 Apr 2013 – Hamas: UN in the wrong for shutting down food distribution efforts in wake of riot. 

Former ‘Maariv’ editor-in-chief Dankner dies
Jerusalem Post 5 Apr 2013 – After Magen David Adom efforts to revive him fail following a heart attack, Amnon Dankner passes away at the age of 67. 

The Guardian

Iran nuclear talks end with two sides ‘far apart on substance’
The Guardian 6 Apr 2013 – EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton voices concern after two-day talks in former Kazakhstan capital Almaty Talks between Iran and six world powers ended in apparent failure on Saturday, with seemingly no progress made towards agreement…

Israeli journalist is accused of inciting violence after backing Palestinian stone-throwers
The Guardian 6 Apr 2013 – Amira Hass receives hate mail for claiming Palestinian schools should teach children how to ‘resist occupation’ A prominent Israeli journalist, Amira Hass, has been subjected to a wave of hate mail and calls for prosecution for…

Inter Press Service

Tunisia Now Exporting “Jihadis”
IPS Tunisian families have begun to dread knocks on their doors, or late-night phone calls, fearing that the messenger will bear the news that their son has been smuggled out of the country to join the “jihad” in Syria. Semi Ghesmi, a Salafist student and elected head of the National Students…


Amer Nasser, 17, His Last Poem

Thousands in Luxor demonstrate in support of Al-Azhar sheikh

Friends Like These

Salafists say Hamas made arrests for rocket attacks

Muslim Brotherhood exposed

The Criminal Iraq War

Bradley Manning & How His Case Poses Threat to Press Freedom (Video)

AFRICOM to Focus on Combat, Downplay Civilian Component

Israel bombs Gaza, shoots down West Bank youth

IDF Lies About Deaths of Palestinian Youths

Daily Star

EU: Nuclear talks with Iran have failed
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 The EU’s foreign policy chief says that nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers have failed to reach an agreement.

Five killed in Muslim-Christian clashes in Egypt
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 Egyptian security officials say five people have been killed in clashes between Muslims and Christians just outside Cairo.

Technical problem delays Kerry’s flight to Turkey
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 A technical mishap delays U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s departure to Turkey at the start of a globe-trotting tour focused on the crises in Syria and North Korea.

Rebel govt aims to hold sway across Syria: opposition
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 BEIRUT, April 6, 2013 (AFP) – Syrian rebel prime minister Ghassan Hitto has begun talks to form an interim government of 11 ministries to administer the whole of Syria, the opposition says.

Four Italian journalists held in Syria
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 The Italian Foreign Ministry says that four Italian journalists have been detained in Syria.

Iraqi Shiite group says member killed in Syria
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 An official of an Iraqi Shiite militant group says one of its members was killed in Syria, underscoring how the increasingly sectarian conflict there is drawing in its fragile neighbors.

Suicide bomber kills 20 at political rally in Iraq
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 A suicide bomber kills 20 people and wounds dozens of others on Saturday at a political rally in the Iraqi city of Baqouba, officials said.

Newly appointed PM Salam seeks ‘Cabinet of national interest’
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 Newly appointed Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam says he will work toward the formation of a government of national interest and vows to safeguard Lebanon from the repercussions of the conflict in Syria.

Abbas ‘may fire Palestinian PM Fayyad’
Daily Star 6 Apr 2013 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may fire prime minister Salam Fayyad, a Fatah member says, as the party criticized the premier’s government as being “improvised and confused.”

YNet News

Suicide bomber kills 20 at political rally in Iraq
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – ….

WHO forms task force to cure deadly mystery virus
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – ….

Turkey: Claims of Turkey-Israel pact against Syria ‘groundless’
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – ….

Germany searches for 50 former Auschwitz guards
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – ….

Soldier arrested after shooting policewoman with BB gun
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – ….

A flight to nowhere 
YNet News, 6 Apr 2013 – Op-ed: What causes a serious man such as John Kerry to believe he can succeed where others failed? ….

Palestine Information Center

Sayed: Abu Hamdiya was executed and prisoners won’t remain silent
PIC – Abbas Sayed revealed that the doctors in the Israeli jails had been giving captive Maysara Abu Hamdiya medicines that had exacerbated his health condition.

Palestinians in Netherlands call on the world to support prisoners
PIC – Palestinians in the Netherlands denounced the EU countries’ silence at the Israeli abuses against the Palestinian prisoners and the policy of medical neglect inside the occupation jails.

IOF soldiers arrested 77 Palestinians last week
PIC – A Palestinian human rights committee has revealed that the Israeli occupation forces had arrested during the past week 77 Palestinians from the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

Khuffash urges the PA to sign international treaties
PIC – Fuad Khuffash, Director of Ahrar Center for Prisoners’ Studies and Human Rights, called on the PA to sign all international conventions and treaties, particularly the Geneva Conventions.

Palestinians in Germany organize sit-in in solidarity with prisoners
PIC – The Palestinian assembly in Germany organized a protest in the city of Dortmund to denounce the Israeli persistent repressive policy against the Palestinian prisoners.

Ansar Al-Asra: There are 230 children in Israel’s jails
PIC – Ansar Al-Asra group said that there are still 230 Palestinian minors and children in Israeli jails, most of them are locked up in Hasharon jail.

Nunu calls on the media to support Jerusalem
PIC – Gaza government spokesman Taher Nunu urged the Arab media to support Jerusalem and expose the persistent Israeli violations against it.

Euro-mid slams UNRWA for closing its aid offices in Gaza
PIC – The Euro-mid observer for human rights strongly denounced the UNRWA for closing its offices in the Gaza Strip after Palestinians protested its shrinking services outside its main headquarters there.

IOF soldiers open machinegun fire at Palestinian farmers
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at Palestinian farmers and their farms to the east of Khan Younis, south of the Gaza Strip, on Saturday morning.


Malki Discusses Bilateral Issues with Canadian Foreign Minister
WAFA – 6 Apr 2013

Abbas Discusses Political Situation with Canadian Foreign Minister
WAFA – 6 Apr 2013

Fatah Calls on Quartet to Re-Activate Role
WAFA – 6 Apr 2013

Israeli Soldiers Assault Farmers in Hebron
WAFA – 6 Apr 2013

Israeli Army Arrests Youth near Bethlehem
WAFA – 6 Apr 2013


Iran nuclear talks appear headed for a stall
LA Times 5 Apr 2013 – U.S. says Tehran didn’t respond directly at a meeting in Kazakhstan to the latest offer from six world powers. Iran says it did. WASHINGTON — Iranian officials did not directly respond Friday to the latest American-backed offer to curb Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, raising the…

Saudis Delay Measure Affecting Foreign Workers
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – Stricter enforcement of laws on foreign workers raises fears of hardship in countries like Egypt and Yemen, which rely on remittances from its workers in Saudi Arabia. 

Syrian War Devastates Ancient Sites
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – Among the casualties of the long civil war in a country with a rich archaeological heritage are ruins that had yet to be fully studied. 

Nuclear Talks With Iran End Without Accord
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – The futility was certain to arouse renewed alarm, particularly from Israel, which had tempered its threats of a military strike in deference to diplomacy. 

Egyptian Muslims and Christians in Fatal Clash Near Cairo
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – Security officials said five people died and eight were wounded in violence in the town of Khusus. 

Syrian Airstrikes Kill at Least 5 in Aleppo
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – Government forces also battled rebels in a town outside Damascus, the capital. 

2 Weeks Before Iraqi Local Elections, Deadly Bombs Hit Campaign Event
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – An attack in Baquba left 20 people dead and heightened concerns about violence in advance of local elections scheduled for April 20. 

Tamam Salam Asked to Form a Government in Lebanon
New York Times 6 Apr 2013 – Tammam Salam was officially named the new prime minister of Lebanon on Saturday after receiving a string of endorsements from the country’s warring factions over the past few days. 

Palestinian Singer, Reem Kelani Performs in Seattle
Olam – Palestinian singer, Reem Kelani Palestinian musician, Reem Kelani, will be in Seattle this week doing a series of concerts, talks and workshops that will culminate in an appearance at Town Hall on April 12th.  Her schedule: Saturday,  April 6th: children’s workshops at the Town Hall (at…

Two Palestinians killed, 6 wounded and 41 arrested by Israeli troops this week in the occupied territories
Mondoweiss – PCHR weekly report: 2 civilians killed, 6 wounded, 41 abducted by Israeli troops this week [28 Mar-3 Apr] IMEMC 5 Apr — Israeli attacks in the West Bank: In the West Bank, in an excessive use of lethal force, the Israeli forces killed 2 Palestinian civilians…

‘NYT’ runs another piece warning people not to intermarry during delusory secular interval of 30s and 40s
Mondoweiss – The New York Times has a new shingle out; it is championing conservatism in social pairings. Last week it was Stanley Fish warning that religious differences are “deep and immovable.” Today Naomi Schaefer Riley warns that young people are likely to intermarry at the “most secular…

Swift change in attitudes on same-sex marriage portends swift change on… marriage to Israel
Mondoweiss – Do the attitudes we express on this site reflect a general American trend? Absolutely. Chemi Shalev in Haaretz writes that Israel’s image is swiftly changing among young cultural leaders, so fast it may not be possible to convince Americans to like Israel anymore. Note his analysis…

Dialogue doesn’t mean inviting someone to spew ‘racist hatred’ — Jews Against Islamophobia coalition
Mondoweiss – Yesterday we did a post on the Great Neck Synagogue scheduling an appearance by Pamela Geller, who is obsessed with Muslims taking over America and other fancies. The Jewish groups calling for the cancellation of the event make up a new coalition. Here is their statement on the event:…

Is Israel Losing Young Democrats? 
The Forward Leonard Fein 5 Apr 2013 – Ad: Crisis By Design – Finally, A Book That Reveals The Root Causes Of The Worldwide Economic Crash, Why It Happened, Where It Is Headed And What You Can Do About It.

John Kerry Seeks To Bring Turkey Into the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Apr 2013 – Will Turkey join the attempt to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians? According to the Hurriyet Daily News, during a brief stay inTurkey scheduled to begin Saturday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry isexpected to offer Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan an active rolein…

No Deal in Sight on Final Day of Iran Nuclear Talks 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Apr 2013 – Six world powers and Iran met for a second day on Saturday with scant hope of striking a breakthrough deal to ease concern that Tehran may be trying to develop nuclear weapons capability, a dispute that could escalate into a new Middle East war. Click here…

Clashes in Beit Ommar 
Palestine Solidarity Project 6 Apr 2013 – On April the 2nd 2013, confrontations between the citizens of Beit Ommar and the Israeli Occupation Forces broke out. Clashes took place inside the village, demonstrators expressed their anger over the condemnation of the Israel Prisoners. The protestors claimed that the recent death of prisoner, Maysar…

No agreement at Iran nuclear talks 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – Talks between world powers and Iran on its nuclear programme end without agreement, with the EU saying their positions “remain far apart”.

Lebanon to have new Sunni premier 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – A prominent Sunni politician, Tamam Salam, has been nominated to become Lebanon’s next prime minister, ending a dangerous two-week power vacuum.

Egypt court rejects ban on satirist 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – A court in Egypt rejects a lawsuit calling for a ban on the television programme of popular satirist Bassem Youssef.

Lebanon: Consolation Prizes for PM Losers 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 6 Apr 2013 – A handout picture released by Dalati and Nohra shows Lebanese President Michel Sleiman (L) meeting Prime Minister Najib Mikati in Beirut on 23 February 2013. (Photo: AFP – H/O) A handout picture released by Dalati and Nohra shows Lebanese President Michel Sleiman (L) meeting Prime Minister…

Anonymous launches cyber attack on Israel; major government websites down 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – Dozens of Israeli websites were hacked in early morning hours Sunday, including pages of the prime minister’s office and the Tel Aviv stock exchange, in the largest scale cyber offensive on the Jewish state yet. The operation is being dubbed #OpIsrael and is said to be…

Lebanon: Mikati’s Last Days at the Serail 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati talks during an interview with Reuters at the Grand Serail, the government headquarters in Beirut 12 March 2013. (Photo: Reuters – Jamal Saidi) Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati talks during an interview with Reuters at the Grand Serail, the government headquarters…

Syrian rebels kidnap four Italian journalists 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – Four Italian journalists have been abducted in northern Syria, the Italian foreign ministry said, the ANSA news agency reported late Friday. The Italian authorities said they had been monitoring the case from the start but called for “maximum discretion,” insisting that “the physical safety of the…

Christian-Muslim gunfight kills five in Egypt 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – Christian-Muslim violence that erupted overnight north of Cairo killed five people and left six other people wounded, Egyptian sources said on Saturday. “Five people were killed in the clashes, including four Christians. In addition to this, six others were wounded, at least two of whom were…

Saudi Arabia beheads convict in 30th execution this year 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded by the sword on Saturday in the capital, the interior ministry said in a statement. Saud bin Diri al-Anezi was found guilty of stabbing Yassef bin Eid al-Anezi to death in an argument, the statement said. His execution…

Lebanon’s president asks new premier to form government 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Apr 2013 – Lebanon’s president formally asked former minister Tammam Salam to form a new government on Saturday after Salam won majority support from parliamentarians to be the new prime minister. Salam was appointed two weeks after the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati who served two years in…

Israeli Media Assess Hezbollah’s Arms 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Apr 2013 – A woman from the Bulgarian Jewish community attends a commemoration ceremony at Sofia’s synagogue on 10 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Dimitar Dilkoff) A woman from the Bulgarian Jewish community attends a commemoration ceremony at Sofia’s synagogue on 10 March 2013. (Photo: AFP – Dimitar Dilkoff)…

Lebanon: Tammam Salam’s Path to Prime Minister 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Apr 2013 – Riyadh had to choose one of two names: Salam or Brigadier General Ashraf Rifi, head of the Internal Security Forces. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Riyadh had to choose one of two names: Salam or Brigadier General Ashraf Rifi, head of the Internal Security Forces. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi)…

Hezbollah’s Black Shirts to Reappear on Beirut Streets? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Apr 2013 – Hezbollah, the sources say, is primarily concerned with stability and an electoral law that would deny its opponents a majority in parliament. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Hezbollah, the sources say, is primarily concerned with stability and an electoral law that would deny its opponents a majority in…

No agreement at Iran nuclear talks 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – Talks between world powers and Iran on its nuclear programme end without agreement, with the EU saying their positions “remain far apart”.

Deadly blast at Iraq political rally 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – A suicide bomb and grenade attack kills at least 22 people and injures about 50 at a campaign rally in the eastern Iraqi city of Baquba.

Qatar hosts Darfur donor conference 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – The Gulf state of Qatar is hosting a two-day conference on development and reconstruction in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Lebanon to have new Sunni premier 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – A prominent Sunni politician, Tamam Salam, has been nominated to become Lebanon’s next prime minister, ending a dangerous two-week power vacuum.

Egypt court rejects ban on satirist 
BBC 6 Apr 2013 – A court in Egypt rejects a lawsuit calling for a ban on the television programme of popular satirist Bassem Youssef.


Obama’s Empathy Deficit in Palestine 
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 4/5/2013
      In Their Shoes
     Obama in Israel: Every word right. Every gesture genuine. Every detail in its place. Perfect.
     Obama in Palestine: Every word wrong. Every gesture inappropriate. Every single detail misplaced. Perfect.
     It started from the first moment. The President of the United States came to Ramallah. He visited the Mukata’a, the “compound” which serves as the office of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. One cannot enter the Mukata’a without noticing the grave of Yasser Arafat, just a few paces from the entrance.
     It is quite impossible to ignore this landmark while passing it. However, Obama succeeded in doing just that.
     It was like spitting in the face of the entire Palestinian people. Imagine a foreign dignitary coming to France and not laying a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Or coming to Israel and not visiting Yad Vashem. It is more than insulting. It is stupid.
     Yasser Arafat is for the Palestinians what Gorge Washington is for Americans, Mahatma Gandhi for Indians, David Ben-Gurion for Israelis. The Father of the Nation. Even his domestic opponents on the left and on the right revere his memory. He is the supreme symbol of the modern Palestinian national movement. His picture hangs in every Palestinian office and school.
     So why not honor him? Why not lay a wreath on his grave, as foreign leaders have done before?
     Because Arafat has been demonized and vilified in Israel like no other human being since Hitler. And still is. more.. e-mail

The right of return is a core issue for Palestinians; let’s realize it 
Raed Habayeb, Boston, Electronic Intifada 4/4/2013
      This weekend a group of area students including myself will be hosting a groundbreaking conference at Boston University addressing the complex realities of the implementation of the Palestinian refugees’ Right of Return. The goal of this conference is to shape a new narrative that is focused on how to bring about return from a practical standpoint.
     “I do not accept the version that [we] should encourage their [the Palestinians’] return … we should prevent their return … we must settle Jaffa, Jaffa will become a Jewish city… we must prevent at all costs their return” is what David Ben Gurion, first Prime Minister of Israel, proclaimed after the establishment of the state on Palestinian land in May 1948.
     Israel was in fact born after a deliberate Zionist campaign to clear the area of its native inhabitants which resulted in the expulsion of approximately 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land that they had nurtured, farmed and lived on for hundreds of years. These events are now known by Palestinians the world over as the “Nakba” or “catastrophe” of 1948, and for them, Ben Gurion’s words carry a tragic meaning. Legacy and pride
     My grandparents personally experienced the suffering caused by the Nakba as they hail from Yazur, a village that was located approximately four miles east of the ancient coastal city of Jaffa, now part of of Tel Aviv. Yazur was one of the many villages that were systematically depopulated of their native Palestinian inhabitants during the Zionist forces’ onslaught on the area in 1947 and 1948.
     My grandfather had owned and farmed several plots of land in his village and traded citrus fruits…. more.. e-mail

Key Hamas leader accepts 1967 borders, embraces pragmatism 
Dahlia Scheindlin, +972 Magazine 4/6/2013
      An interview with a key Hamas figure in al-Monitor published Friday explores a pragmatic potential and a shift in tactics for the movement.
     ‘Pragmatic’ is certainly the word interviewer Shlomi Eldar, one of Israel’s top television reporters covering Palestinian affairs, wants readers to remember. His subject is Dr. Ghazi Hamad, currently Deputy Foreign Minister of the Hamas leadership in Gaza, heads the “pragmatic wing” of Hamas and the interview is all about the changes of policy, external relations, and possibly even ideology.
     Three specific points are worth noting, two internal and one related to Israel:
     First, in the context of Palestinian politics, Hamad works to convey institutional legitimacy. He emphasizes that Mashal was re-elected to the head of the political bureau through a participatory political process:
     “First of all, we must remember that these were democratic elections, and as such, they are a credit to the movement. Elections for Hamas’ other institutions ended a year ago, and that was the last time that the Hamas movement expressed confidence in its leaders.”
     He may have been overstating the “democratic” case – it’s not exactly a popular primary but the top layer of a multi-layered delegate structure – the shura council – that elected Mashal. Still, Hamad clearly wants to convey the legitimacy of the decision-making process and political maturity. more.. e-mail

Grave Threats to the Middle East 
Patrick Seale, Agence Global 4/2/2013
      The Middle East is experiencing a period of unusual violence and instability. Careful observers of the region are well aware that a major restructuring of regional power relationships is taking place which, if carried further, could have radical consequences. It might even result in a redrawing of the frontiers of the states created by the Western powers almost a century ago after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.
     The present situation is one of gre
at complexity marked by a number of vicious and overlapping power struggles. Consider for a moment the impact of the Israeli-Turkish reconciliation, engineered to universal surprise by U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to Israel last month. Three years of Israeli-Turkish hostility were suddenly brought to an end when, prompted by Obama, Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu apologised for the Israeli attack on a Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, which had sought to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza in May 2010. It will be recalled that Israeli commandos had stormed the ship, killing nine Turks on board.
     An immediate result of the American-brokered reconciliation was the creation of a U.S.-Israeli-Turkish coalition, united around the goal of bringing down President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus. Indeed, on the eve of Obama’s visit to the Middle East, his newly appointed Secretary of State John Kerry had given a clue to American objectives when — referring to Assad’s determination to cling on to power — he had said: “My goal is to see us change his calculation.”
     However, Assad’s overthrow may be no more than the first objective of the new U.S.-Israeli-Turkish coalition. Its wider aim would seem to be to destroy the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah alliance which has managed, over the past 30 years, to impose limits on the regional ambitions of both the United States and Israel…. more.. e-mail

Palestine and the ICC
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Apr 2013 – By John V. Whitbeck An article published on April 4 by the leading Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has reported that “President Mahmoud Abbas is to suspend all unilateral measures vis-à-vis the United Nations agencies to give U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry time to jump-start a new round of Israeli-Palestinian talks” and that “the Palestinians have also decided to put off applying to the International Criminal Court in The Hague to sign the Rome Statute and thus obtain standing in the court as a state.” Particularly after last month’s stunning public demonstration of President Barack Obama’s lack of respect for Palestine and the Palestinian people – characterized by Uri Avnery, Israel’s most venerable and distinguished peace activist, as “spitting in the face of the entire Palestinian people” – this report, if accurate, is profoundly disheartening. During a public discussion held at the Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris on March 20, Fatou…more

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