VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 16 April 2013: Israeli occupation: You have to see it to believe it

16 April 2013 — VTJP


Ma’an News

Official: 3 men attacked by settlers near Nablus
4/16/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Three men were injured late Monday after being attacked by settlers near Nablus, a PA official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a group of settlers from Homesh attacked three men near the village of Burqa. Ala Yaish, 25, and….

Lawyer: Israel pressuring Issawi to end hunger strike
4/16/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Intensive efforts are being made by Israel to convince hunger-striking prisoner Samer Issawi to end his protest action, a lawyer said Tuesday. Israeli negotiators have been visiting Issawi at Kaplan Medical Center since Friday and pressuring him to accept proposals to end his hunger strike, Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer Jawad Boulos….

Students clash with Israeli forces at Abu Dis campus
4/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Students at Al-Quds University on Tuesday clashed with Israeli forces at the Abu Dis campus. Several students suffered tear gas inhalation and the university administration evacuated the campus. [END]

Right-wing Israelis tour Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
4/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Around 60 right-wing Israelis raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound through the Moroccan Gate early Tuesday, witnesses said. Israeli security officers escorted groups of Israeli extremists who toured the compound before leaving through the Chain Gate. Worshipers who were performing prayers at the time chanted Allah Akbar in protest at the visit….

Israel fines Palestinians for raising flags
4/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel on Tuesday detained and interrogated five Palestinians for raising Palestinian flags on their cars in Jerusalem. Two of those detained were released on bail of 5,000 shekels ($1378) and on condition that they do not raise Palestinian flags as Israel celebrates Independence Day, a Ma’an reporter said. The….

Minister: Israel will build in ‘E1’
4/16/2013 – TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel will allow construction companies to start work in “E1,” an illegal settlement project on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel said Tuesday.” We will fulfill our right and our obligation to build here. In another year and a half apartments will be built….

Palestinian detainees demand prisoner of war status
4/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian detainees have written to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding to be recognized as prisoners of war within 45 days. If the demand is not met, prisoners will escalate steps and to achieve prisoner of war status by any means necessary, the letter said. Under international law, Palestinian detainees have….

Israeli forces arrest man in Nablus camp
4/16/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested a man in Nablus overnight Monday, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles raided Balata refugee camp and arrested Ayman al-Masri, 22. An Israeli military spokeswoman said there were no arrests overnight. [END]

Official: Hamas has never attacked Israeli targets abroad
4/16/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Hamas has never carried out military operations against Israel outside of Palestine, a senior Hamas leader said Tuesday.” Despite attempts to assassinate our leaders outside our territories, we have never retaliated outside of our territories, because that was the policy we set for ourselves,” Mousa Abu Marzouk said. Rumors that Hamas….

Israel capable of attacking Iran on own, army chief says
4/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s army is capable of attacking Iran on its own without foreign support, Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told public radio on the 65th anniversary of Israel’s foundation. Asked in an interview if Israel’s military could wage attacks “alone” — without the support of countries such as the….

Syriac Church calls on Abbas to punish land fraud
4/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Officials in the Syriac Orthodox church on Monday called on President Abbas to punish fraud in land sales, after it was discovered that lawyers had cheated the church while purchasing land. Father Butros Nimeh, a Syriac priest, told Ma’an Monday that the church had bought land in Bethlehem and….

Gaza teen arrested trying to cross into Israel
4/16/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces arrested a teenager trying to cross into Israel from the Gaza Strip overnight Monday, locals said. Ashraf Samir Mansour Mahmoud, 17, tried to cross into Israel east of al-Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, witnesses said. His family had reported him missing on Thursday. An Israeli….

Man injured in Gaza blast
4/16/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A young man was injured on Monday during an explosion in the central Gaza Strip, a medical official said. The man, who was not identified, lost several fingers in the blast, health official Ashraf al-Qidra said. The cause of the explosion is unknown. [END]

Israeli official: Hagel due to visit on Sunday
4/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is due in Israel for an official visit on April 21 on his first trip to the region since taking over as Pentagon chief, an Israeli official confirmed to AFP on Tuesday. According to the official, Hagel will be arriving “on Sunday” for “a short working visit.” A….

Warsaw Ghetto revolt remembered in Israel 70 years on
4/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The 1943 armed uprising by the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto against the Nazis remains seared in Israel’s collective memory and played a key role in its observance of Holocaust Day this month.” We do not have scientific tools to assess the importance of remembrance, but there is a real quest….

Official: Abbas could be next prime minister
4/16/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Abbas is a potential candidate to take over the role of PA prime minister following the resignation of Salam Fayyad, a senior Fatah official said Tuesday. Jamal Muheisen, a member of Fatah’s Central Committee, told Ma’an that the next Palestinian Authority prime minister will either be….

PA security forces arrest 4 Hamas affiliates in West Bank
4/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces arrested four Hamas affiliates in the West Bank on Tuesday, Hamas said. The men were detained in Bethlehem and Tubas, the Islamist group said in a statement. [END]

Central Elections Commission meets Gaza officials
4/16/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Central Elections Commission delegation on Tuesday handed a copy of the updated voter registry to the government in Gaza. Commissioners met with Ziyad al-Thatha, Hamas’ deputy prime minister, and updated him on elections preparations, the CEC said in a statement. The delegation thanked the Hamas government for facilitating….

5-year-old girl found dead in Hebron home
4/16/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A 5-year-old girl was found dead on Tuesday at her home in Idhna near Hebron, police said. Police said initial investigations indicated the girl died from an electric shock, but added that an investigation into the death was ongoing. [END]

Gunmen kidnap 3 women in Egyptian border city
4/16/2013 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — Gunmen kidnapped three women in the Egyptian border city of Rafah on Monday, security sources said. The three young women were abducted while walking home from a private lesson, local sources said. One of the women is the daughter of a high-profile Coptic merchant. The city was reportedly in a….

Group: 7 Palestinians killed in Syria
4/16/2013 – ALEPPO (Ma’an) — Seven Palestinians were killed in Handarat refugee camp in Aleppo early Tuesday, a Palestinian group said. The camp came under heavy attack by armed men, killing seven and injuring 13, the Palestinian coalition in Syria said. Three men were also reportedly kidnapped during the incident. The victims were identified as Sharif….

SANA: Syria’s Assad issues new general amnesty
4/16/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syria’s President Bashar Assad has issued a general amnesty for crimes committed in the war-torn country prior to Tuesday, state news agency SANA reported.” President Assad has issued decree number 23, granting a general amnesty for crimes committed before April 16, 2013,” said the agency. Under the decree, “the death penalty….

Iran says 7.5-magnitude earthquake hits southeast
4/16/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) — A 7. 5-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Iran on Tuesday, the country’s Seismological Center reported on its website. The epicenter of the quake, which struck at a depth of 18 kilometers, was located about 81 kilometers north of Saravan in the southeastern province of Sistan Baluchistan, it said. [END]

Iran strongly condemns Boston blasts
4/16/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran’s foreign ministry strongly condemned the twin bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon that killed at least three people, the country’s state television reported on Tuesday.” Iran strongly condemns the killing of American citizens in Boston,” said ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast, calling the bombings a “source of sorrow”.” No….

Palestine News Network

Israel Extends Detention of Activist Thamer Sabaaneh
Palestine News Network

Report: Freedom of Nearly 5000 Palestinian Prisoners Stolen
Palestine News Network

Abbas Arrives in Kuwait
Palestine News Network

The National

UAE foreign minister hits out at Boston attacks
The National 16 Apr 2013 – Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed has denounced the attacks at Boston Marathon.

Experts at Abu Dhabi summit want GCC military integration
The National 16 Apr 2013 – Defence objectives now cover situations and areas where all regional allies need to operate.

Boston bombings victim a boy ‘with a million-dollar smile’
The National 16 Apr 2013 – Devastated friends and neighbours yesterday mourned the little boy who was killed in the Boston Marathon blasts.

Blood on the track as hunt for Boston Marathon bomber continues
The National 16 Apr 2013 – City in mourning as investigators searching for motives question whether terrorists came from abroad, or from homegrown extreme right. Effie-Michelle Metallidis and Taimur Khan report 

London race will go ahead despite Boston Marathon tragedy, says Johnson
The National 16 Apr 2013 – The London Marathon is the world’s biggest, with 36,748 crossing the finish line last year, and will carry on as planned, says London’s mayor.

Biggest Iran earthquake in 50 years ‘did not damage nuclear reactor’
The National 16 Apr 2013 – Russia moves to allay fears that Iran’s nuclear reactor site has been damaged in the 7.8-magnitude quake, as 34 people are reported killed in Pakistan. Michael Theodoulou reports 

Trudeau puts Canada’s Liberals back in the frame
The National 16 Apr 2013 – Questions over new leader’s irreverence and lack of experience sidelined as party pushes ruling conservatives for top spot in polls.

UAE sedition judge admonishes media
The National 16 Apr 2013 – The judge in the sedition trial criticises media for assuming guilt of defendants.


Report: Pentagon requesting $395.9 million to buy Israel more Iron Dome batteries
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Netanyahu to urge Britain to ‘carefully vet’ Syria rebels’ intentions before supplying them with arms
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Israeli waterways still polluted despite billions of shekels in sewage treatment
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Israeli lawmaker urges AG to probe ‘racist policies’ of Upper Nazareth mayor
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Nearly a million Israelis celebrate Independence Day outdoors, despite blustery weather
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Some 10,000 Arabs mark Nakba Day in Israel’s north
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Lieberman: Israeli Arab ‘hate parade’ proves they must be included in deal with Palestinians
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Peres extends holiday wishes to nation as Israel turns 65
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Aftermath of Boston bombing is similar, yet different, to the Israeli experience
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

IDF Chief of Staff: Israel capable of striking Iran on its own
Ha’aretz – 16 Apr 2013

Jerusalem Post

Jerusalemites brave cold to celebrate independence
Jerusalem Post 17 Apr 2013 – Capital’s Sacher Park plays host to barbecues, kites flying, children playing and a shared sense of gratitude on Independence Day. 

Edelstein: Diversity part of secret to our success
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Speaking at torch-lighting ceremony Monday night, newly installed Knesset speaker urges civil discourse. 

2013 Israel Prize awarded to 9 laureates in J’lem
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Education Minister Piron calls on gov’t to allocate appropriate resources in order to develop and maintain Israel’s human capital. 

Netanyahu: Stones are lethal weapons
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Speaking at national ceremony for terror victims in Israel and abroad, PM delivers strong message of support for branding violent rock throwing as an act of terror. 

Meir Dagan to address ‘Post’ conference in NY
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Former Mossad chief to make first public appearance since liver transplant surgery at April 28 conference in New York. 

Two winners declared in Int’l Bible Quiz
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Yishai Eisenberg, 15, from New Jersey and Elior Babian, 16, from Beit Shemesh share honors in competition’s jubilee year. 

Holocaust survivor recounts pogrom testimony to soldiers
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Romanian-born Zvi Goldner tells IAF soldiers how through quick-thinking and luck he escaped death at the hands of the Nazis. 

PM’s Office presents historic photos on Facebook
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – PMO releases Facebook galleries showing former prime ministers in a rarely-seen personal manner. 

Former ‘Post’ editor-in-chief wins Pulitzer Prize
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – “Post’ readers’ feedback, their praise, and even their criticism made me the writer that I am today,” Bret Stephens says. 

NGO mixes art by celebs, people with special needs
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – The NGO Chimes Israel launched an art exhibition featuring dozens of works of art produced by special needs individuals. 

A vegan affair: Independence Day without meat
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Several hundred Israelis reject meat and hold a vegan barbeque organized by the Vegan Friendly Israel organization in Tel Aviv. 

‘Time for the Jewish people to consolidate’
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Ahead of Tel Aviv forum, IJC president Sloutsker talks to the ‘Post’ about the dangers facing world Jewry. 

Fayyad’s resignation
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – From the beginning there were ominous signs that Fayyad’s pragmatic approach to state-building would fail. 

Carter and Tutu won’t bring peace to Holy Land
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Nelson Mandela appointed former US president Jimmy Carter and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu to help defuse world trouble spots. 

Remembering the Rwandan genocide
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – No one can say that we did not know – we knew, but did not act. 

Ya’alon: Israel may have to defend itself from Iran alone
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – During an Independence Day speech in Herzliya, defense minister says that Israel must prepare for he possibility of striking the Iranian nuclear program on its own, warns Tehran’s drive for nukes could end in disaster. 

April 17: Soldiers all
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – We skip class to rally for peace because if we are not for ourselves, who will be for us? 

Neo-colonialism and the failure of NGO culture
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Terra Incognita: In mid-April Russian President Vladimir Putin accused NGOs in Russia of receiving $1 billion in foreign funding. 

When the whole country celebrated Independence Day
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – In the early years that followed the state’s founding, Independence Day was celebrated by all sectors: secular, religious, haredi. 

A present for Israel’s birthday
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – What present do you buy a 65-year-old country? 

Where are the Jewish wellness initiatives?
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Like all Americans, members of the Jewish community have been eating more and moving less, and we’ve suffered the consequences. 

Boston, Israel and resilience
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – The scenes were all too familiar. As a reporter in Israel over the past decade, I have covered too many terrorist attacks, 

On My Mind: Nuclear crossroads
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – The former Soviet republic voluntarily gave up its nuclear arsenal 20 years ago, soon after the Soviet Union collapsed. 

US spy’s sentence gives Pollard activists hope
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – US soldier sentenced to 19 years in jail for attempted espionage gives activists hope that Obama will commute Pollard’s sentence. 

Survivors’ grandson loses Venezuela presidency race
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Capriles, grandson of Holocaust survivors, calls for recount after losing Venezuelan presidency race which was mired in controversy. 

PM on Boston blast: Israel stands with US
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Peres and Netanyahu begin addresses to heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Israel by extending condolences to US. 

Palestinians: Israeli jail replica honors prisoners
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Activists attempt to bring public attention to plight of Palestinian prisoners, who Israel says prisoners are guilty men. 

Obama: Americans refuse to be terrorized
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Authorities say it is too early to identify suspects and motive for the deadly bombings than rocked Boston marathon. 

IN PICTURES: Israel celebrates 65th birthday
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – Across the country, Israelis participate in ceremonies and celebrate Independence Day in style. 

Pakistan bears brunt of Iran earthquake, 13 killed
Jerusalem Post 16 Apr 2013 – 7.8 magnitude earthquake hits Iran-Pakistan border; non reported dead in Iran; tremors felt across the region. 

The Guardian

Letters: Palestinian prisoners
The Guardian 16 Apr 2013 – Today, 17 April, is Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. This for me is a day to think about the child prisoners – taken in the middle of the night; shackled, interrogated; without the support of parents or lawyers,…

Inter Press Service

Bipartisan Task Force on Torture Calls for U.S. Redemption
IPS Former U.S. Republican Congressman Asa Hutchinson hopes his country can redeem itself after torturing an unknown but certainly large number of detainees. “There is no persuasive evidence in the public record that the widespread use of torture against suspected terrorists was necessary,” he said during a press briefing Tuesday in…

Missing Christian Girls Leave Trail of Tears
IPS When a young Christian girl goes missing in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, her family will call on a certain Muslim sheikh in the nearby town of El-Ameriya. The local Salafi leader, whose ultra-conservative views condone the marriage of girls as young as nine, has a history of abducting…


UN says Afghan opium production increases for 3rd year in a row

Israeli intellectuals offer a pizza to Samer Issawi– and affirm their ‘cultural and moral supremacy’

Torture, Murder, and Terror: Three Drug War Programs Your Taxes Pay For

Obama, Guantánamo, and the enduring national shame

An Ongoing Breach of International Law Guantánamo’s Lingering Stain

East Jerusalem man facing eviction says harassed by police

O Fallujah: ode to a heroic city and a symbol of wanton US destruction

Palestinian child knocked over in Jewish settler hit and run incident

Fraudulent ‘Peace Process’: Success Requires Consequence for Failure

Syria News – April 14 , 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos)

Daily Star

Bombers kill 20 on Pakistan campaign trail
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 Bombers killed 20 people and wounded dozens more in Pakistan on Tuesday in the bloodiest day of violence yet on the campaign trail for next month’s historic general election.

Palestinian wounded by Israeli fire into Gaza: medics
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 A Palestinian man was wounded by Israeli gunfire east of El- Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Palestinian medical sources said.

Pakistan’s Musharraf disqualified from election
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 Pakistani judges on Tuesday disqualified Pervez Musharraf from running in the upcoming parliamentary election, a blow to the former military ruler who recently returned from self-imposed exile to make a political comeback, lawyers said.

New jail term for Tunisia’s Ben Ali
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 Tunisia’s deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was given a five-year jail term in absentia and fined 3.5 million euros for corruption, adding to two life sentences he has already received.

Egypt policeman sentenced to 15 years for torture
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 An Egyptian court sentenced a police officer to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for torturing an ultraconservative Muslim to death, a rare lengthy prison term for a policeman convicted of abuse.

Official: Pakistani quake death toll rises to 34
Daily Star 16 Apr 2013 A military official says the death toll in Pakistan from a major earthquake that shook both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border has risen to 34.

YNet News

New leader to head Egypt’s Jewish community
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – ….

Obama to visit Boston on Thursday
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – ….

US Foreign Relations Committee: US will back Israeli attack on Iran
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – ….

Boston consulate to downplay Israeli independence festivities 
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – ….

Rabbi Yosef: Even as I mourn my son, haredi enlistment saddens me
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – ….

In Israel we feel at home
YNet News, 16 Apr 2013 – Op-ed: After 65 years, Israel is a real safe haven and safety net. It’s here for us, all the time ….

Palestine Information Center

Occupation sends negotiators to captive Issawi’s room
PIC – Human rights sources said that the Israeli authorities have continued attempts to persuade Issawi to stop his hunger strike and accept deportation from Jerusalem in exchange for his release.

4804 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails
PIC – Adala human rights center has said that 4804 Palestinians were languishing in Israeli occupation jails including 14 women and 235 minors.

Barhoum: Resistance will defend our people in face of any aggression
PIC – Fawzi Barhoum said that the latest Israeli army threats to launch a large-scale aggression on Gaza were part of the psychological warfare launched to terrorize the Palestinian people.

Liberated prisoner Sarsak the prisoners’ ambassador to Europe
PIC – The liberated captive Mahmoud Sarsak, who went on hunger strike for 96 days, told the Prisoners Center for Studies that his tour in Europe is achieving a media and human rights success.

1,000 sick prisoners including 25 cancer patients in Israeli jails
PIC – The head of the Follow up committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Amin Shauhan, confirmed that more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners suffer different illnesses including 25 cancer patients.

Arrests and clashes in al-Khalil
PIC – A number of suffocation cases were reported when the occupation forces stormed Arroub refugee camp near the city of al-Khalil, where soldiers fired tear gas bombs and rubber-coated metal bullets.

Sit-in outside UNRWA protesting the reduction of its services
PIC – Palestinian refugees staged a sit on Monday for the second time outside the headquarters of UNRWA in Gaza protesting against the reduction of the services provided by the agency..

Settlers attack three Palestinian youths near Nablus
PIC – Three Palestinian youths were injured on Monday night after being attacked by Jewish settlers near the village of Burqa, north of Nablus.

IOF soldiers attack Palestinian citizens in Ramallah and Jerusalem villages
PIC – Confrontation were reported in two villages in Ramallah and Jerusalem on Tuesday after Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired teargas canisters and stun grenades at civilians.

Hamas official warns against holding Jewish march in O. Jerusalem
PIC – Director of Hamas’s bureau for Jerusalem affairs Ahmed Halabiya warned of the consequences of the march which extremist Jewish settlers intend to hold on Tuesday in occupied Jerusalem.


Prisoners to Begin Hunger Strike in Solidarity with Issawi
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Jewish Settlers Uproot, Steal Olive Trees near Hebron
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Study Says Israel’s water policy in West Bank is apartheid
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Prisoners Day Report puts Number at Close to 5000
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Nomination for Remaining Local Councils Opens
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Israeli Settlers Hold Rituals at Bethlehem Tourist Site
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Newspapers Review: Boston Explosions Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013

Weather Forecast: Rain with Drop in Temperature
WAFA – 16 Apr 2013


Syrian opposition begins rewriting history in textbooks
LA Times 16 Apr 2013 – The new books being used at refugee camps are an attempt to offer a competing narrative after what some view as more than 40 years of propaganda in Syria. ANTAKYA, Turkey — In newly printed textbooks at dozens of Syrian refugee schools, a small piece…

Syria amnesty could free up to 7,000 inmates
LA Times 16 Apr 2013 – It’s not clear whether President Bashar Assad’s decree applies to anyone jailed for taking part in the uprising against him. BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad issued an order Tuesday freeing up to 7,000 prison inmates, but it was not clear whether the decree would…

Belgian Police Arrest Six on Charges of Recruiting for Syrian Insurgency
New York Times 16 Apr 2013 – The authorities in Belgium raided 48 homes nationwide and arrested suspects in what prosecutors described as a jihadist recruitment drive for the insurgency in Syria. 

At War Blog: What a Fighter Jet Could Buy 60 Years After Eisenhower’s Chance for Peace Speech
New York Times 16 Apr 2013 – In his famed 1953 Chance for Peace speech, President Dwight D. Eisenhower outlined what armaments cost in human terms. Applying his methodology today yields interesting results. 

The Female Factor: Democracy a Double-Edged Sword for Women
New York Times 16 Apr 2013 – There are burning questions about the long-term implications of the instability in the Middle East and North Africa. How will this affect security over all, and women’s rights in particular? 

Home prices rise 1.7% in February
Globes Main News – The Central Bureau of Statistics home prices index has risen 10.5% over the past year and 80.7% since 2007.

CPI rises 0.2% in March, in line with expectations
Globes Main News – The Consumer Price Index has risen 1.3% in the past 12 months, in the lower half of the government’s 1-3% target range for inflation.

Boston Marathon Bombing and Calls for Anti-Islamist Vengeance
Tikun Olam – Bystander prays after Marathon attack (John Tlumack/Boston Globe) Two bombs exploded near the end of the course of the Boston Marathon today, killing three people including an 8-year-old child. 140 were injured with a number involving amputations. News reports say that while no one has yet…

A Message of Appreciation to Students for Justice in Palestine, Brooklyn College
Jewish Voice for Peace – A Message of Appreciation to Students for Justice in Palestine, Brooklyn College Jewish Voice for Peace and Jews Say No! are heartened that the recent investigation by the office of CUNY’s General Counsel vindicates the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter at Brooklyn College from…

Israeli joke: On Memorial Day we mourn our Jewish dead, on Independence Day we give thanks for theirs
Mondoweiss – It may be just another of the endless recent reports of racist communications that emanate from the Facebook and Twitter accounts of Israelis. Or maybe a post characterized as hurtful, insulting and racist in an article on the  Hebrew news site,  nrg.co.il , is more than that,…

Innocent until proven Muslim
Mondoweiss – The blood has not yet dried on the streets of Boston after a horrific attack which left three dead and dozens injured, yet the question for many now is not the identity of the perpetrator but how long his beard is. The local authorities have not…

Reflecting on bombings in Boston and Iraq
Mondoweiss – The bombings that shook the Boston Marathon yesterday created waves of grief and sympathy around the globe. The race in itself is noted for drawing in thousands of runners from different backgrounds, nationalities, and religions; exemplifying the beauty of diversity in the United States. Investigations into…

Exile and the Prophetic: Judith Butler marks the end (and beginning) of the Jewish ethical tradition
Mondoweiss – This post is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page . Speaking of Judith Butler – and a few days ago Shulamith Firestone – imagine two more similar yet different shooting stars of Jewish thought…

Israeli reporter seeking birthday wishes for his country in NY gets comments about Palestinians and media brainwashing
Mondoweiss – A reporter for the rightwing Israel National News network asks Americans in Times Square what they’d tell Israel on its 65th birthday. It seems to me these folks are being polite. Notice that the family from :27 to :50 or so are friendly but thoughtful. The…

No Quick Answers in ‘Terror’ Bombing at Boston Marathon 
The Foward Breaking News 16 Apr 2013 – Two bombs packed with ball bearings tore through crowds near the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and triggering a massive hunt for those behind an attack the White House said would be treated as “an act of terror”. Click here for the rest…

South Africa: SA Hospital Fully Functional Inside Syria 
allAfrica.com 16 Apr 2013 – []Syria -It’s lunch time as we enter Darkoush City. Today is the second anniversary of the Syrian uprising to date. The mood is upbeat as is the beautiful spring weather; a huge contrast to the melancholia and winter of discontent in December 2012, just three months…

Uganda: Mulago National Referral Hospital 
allAfrica.com 16 Apr 2013 – [New Vision]The Board of Directors, management and staff of Mulago National Referral Hospital congratulate His Excellency the President of Israel Shimon Peres, Ambassador of Israel to Uganda H.E Gil Haskel and all the People of the state of Israel upon celebrating the 65th Anniversary of the…

Uganda: Israel-Uganda Relations Strengthened 
allAfrica.com 16 Apr 2013 – [New Vision]On the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of the State of Israel , the Ambassador of Israel to Uganda Gil Haskel, has described Israel’s relations with Uganda as highly cordial.

Non-violent Demonstrators March in Nabi Saleh 
Palestine Solidarity Project 16 Apr 2013 – Member of PSP and Beit Ommar Popular Committee joined other non-violent demonstrators in the street on Friday April 12th, 2013 in the village of Nabi Saleh, located 20 kilometres North West of Ramallah in the West Bank. The village has organized weekly demonstrations in Nabi Saleh…

14-Year Old Prisoner Released, Happy to be Back with His Family 
Palestine Solidarity Project 16 Apr 2013 – 14-Year old Nassim Abu Maria was released late Sunday 14th of April after spending 4 ½ months in Ofer Prison, which is located between Jerusalem and Ramallah. He was arrested during a surprise night raid and it was his first time in prison. During the night…

UN presses world to act over Syria 
BBC 16 Apr 2013 – The heads of five major UN agencies issue a rare joint appeal to the international community to do much more to end “cruelty and carnage” in Syria.

Controversies of the Hariri Court 
Al-Akhbar Blogs 16 Apr 2013 – There is a hue and cry in Lebanon and beyond because some known and unknown media have published partial or full lists of witnesses for the international Hariri tribunal. The tribunal is tottering, according to a headline of Al-Akhbar . Related Articles: Lebanon has a New Prime…

Why Margaret Thatcher Loved Islamists 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 16 Apr 2013 – Bearer Party from the three military services carry a coffin up the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral during a rehearsal for the ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Margaret Thatcher in Central London on 15 April 2013. (Photo: AFP -Carl Court) Bearer Party from the three…

Palestinians from Syria: Living a “Double Joke” in Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – Syrian refugee children peer from a tent supplied by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in al-Marj, in the eastern Lebanese Bekaa Valley, on 9 January 2013 (Photo: AFP – Hassan Jarah) Syrian refugee children peer from a tent supplied by the United Nations High…

Iraq executes 21 nationals 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – Iraq put 21 men to death on Tuesday, a senior justice ministry official told AFP, the latest in a series of mass executions that have drawn international condemnation. All of the men were Iraqis and had been convicted of terror charges, the official said, speaking on…

Are South Lebanon’s Sea Turtles in Danger? 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – There are further plans to develop gardens around the beach that would allow people to visit a section of the beachfront away from the turtle habitat. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) There are further plans to develop gardens around the beach that would allow people to visit a…

Riot police teargas Bahrain high school 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – A Bahraini boy holds a poster of a victim killed by riot police during an anti-government rally in support of political activists held in prison in the village of Jidhafs, west of Manama on 15 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed al-Shaikh) Riot police raided a…

Yemenis protest for Guantanamo hunger strikers 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – Activists demand the closing of the US military’s detention facility in Guantanamo during a protest, part of the Nationwide for Guantanamo Day of Action, on 11 April 2013 in New York’s Times Square.(Photo: AFP – Stan Honda) Activists and relatives of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo demonstrated…

No deaths in Iran earthquake: official 
Al-Akhbar News 16 Apr 2013 – An Iranian man walks past the ruins of a destroyed house in the town of Shonbeh, southeast of Bushehr, on 9 April 2013 after a powerful earthquake struck near the Gulf port city of Bushehr. (Photo: AFP) Updated 5:10 pm: An Iranian provincial governor said on…

Tracing Sectarian Violence in Egypt 
Al-Akhbar Politics 15 Apr 2013 – The shadow of a protester against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak holding a scale and noose is seen as he demonstrates outside the Egyptian Police Academy in Cairo on 13 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Gianluigi Guercia) The shadow of a protester against former Egyptian president…

The Scramble for Lebanon’s Most Valuable Ministries 
Al-Akhbar Politics 15 Apr 2013 – The true allure of the ministry for the Future Party is not the finance aspect, but the security aspect. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) The true allure of the ministry for the Future Party is not the finance aspect, but the security aspect. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Lebanon’s telecommunications…

Iran struck by major earthquake 
BBC 16 Apr 2013 – Iran is hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the most powerful for more than 50 years, with tremors felt across Pakistan, India and the Middle East.

UN presses world to act over Syria 
BBC 16 Apr 2013 – The heads of five major UN agencies issue a rare joint appeal to the international community to do much more to end “cruelty and carnage” in Syria.

‘Tear gas fired’ at Bahrain school 
BBC 16 Apr 2013 – Police in Bahrain fire tear gas and clash with students in a raid on a secondary school in the capital, Manama, reports say.


Israeli occupation: You have to see it to believe it 
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 4/16/2013
      Most Jewish Israelis will admit the ‘occupation’ is bad, but few have ever gotten a taste of what it feels like to be anywhere near the receiving end of it. No matter how liberal an Israeli you are, if you have not experienced it in some way, first hand, the concept of Israeli occupation has an entirely different meaning to you than someone who has.
     This article was originally published in The Forward on April 15, 2013.
     Veteran Israeli journalist Amira Hass stirred up a controversy in the media here with an op-ed in Haaretz on April 3 that opens: “Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule.” Hass, who has been living and reporting from the occupied Palestinian territories for 20 years, goes on to suggest that Palestinians should develop an educational curriculum on resistance to Israeli occupation that, for example, teaches to distinguish between soldiers as legitimate targets vs. civilians.
     It was published just days after an Israeli court convicted a Palestinian of murder for throwing stones at a car in 2011, resulting in the death of the driver and his baby – and was the main argument of those who condemned her and the paper. Some went as far as to accuse her of inciting to violence.
     Regardless of what one concludes about the article, or one’s stance on what constitutes (if at all) legitimate resistance to Israel’s violent and protracted occupation, Hass is an example — albeit somewhat extreme — of an Israeli who has “crossed the line.” She has chosen to be exposed to life under occupation first hand, and thus capable of empathy with the Palestinians. Empathy doesn’t necessarily mean agreement or support, but it does mean having the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. This is something practically impossible for the average Israeli to do, whose only experience in the West Bank, if at all, is either as a soldier, a settler, or maybe a tourist to a historical site. more.. e-mail

Protest tents spring up across the West Bank 
Jillian Kestler-D’Amours, Jerusalem, Electronic Intifada 4/15/2013
      JERUSALEM (IPS) – Tent villages are being set up by Palestinians all over the occupied West Bank to oppose Israeli settlements, building on a protest during the visit of US President Barack Obama last month.
     Holding signs reading “Obama: you are on the wrong side of history” and “Obama: you promised hope and change — you gave us colonies and apartheid,” dozens of Palestinian activists set up tents on a hillside just outside of Jerusalem during Obama’s first official visit to Israel last month.
     The tent village aimed to draw international attention to the continued construction of Israeli settlements, and to unwavering US support for Israeli policies. It was established in an area of the West Bank known as E-1, where Israel plans to expand the settlement of Maale Adumim.
     Activists said in a statement that the village was a step “to claim our right as Palestinians to return to our lands and villages” and “to claim our sovereignty over our lands without permission from anyone.”
     Hundreds of Palestinian activists built the first tent encampment called Bab al-Shams, literally “Gate of the Sun,” on privately-owned Palestinian land in the E-1 corridor in January. Despite being violently dispersed by Israeli police and soldiers a few days after it was established, Bab al-Shams inspired the building of even more tent villages throughout the West Bank.
     In February, tents were erected in the West Bank village Burin, the site of frequent Israeli settler attacks against Palestinian residents, and then near the southern West Bank town Yatta. more.. e-mail

Palestine and the ICC 
John V. Whitbeck, Al Jazeera.com 4/16/2013
      If the ICC would have jurisdiction only over future war crimes, who could argue against Palestinian membership?
     An article published on April 4 by the leading Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that “President Mahmoud Abbas is to suspend all unilateral measures vis-à-vis the United Nations agencies to give US 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 – characterised 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 Academie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris on March 20, Fatou Bensouda, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, addressed the potential membership of Palestine in the ICC. During the question time, she was asked: 
     “If and when the State of Palestine, whose state status has now been overwhelmingly confirmed by the UN General Assembly, revives its application for ICC membership, what will be the procedure for considering its application and, if it is approved, would the court’s jurisdiction be retroactive to 2002, permitting prosecutions for crimes already committed in Palestine or by Palestinians?” more.. e-mail

Human rights: An American weapon 
Abdul Hussein Shaban, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/13/2013
      The US has sought to impose its philosophy, lifestyle and culture on the world ever since it became a “superpower” politically, economically, militarily and technologically after World War Two. It still claims to represent “the free world” due to its liberal values which glorify freedom, individualism and the market.
     As democratic and human rights values spread after WWII, some of which were included in the UN Charter of 1945 signed by 51 countries, they gained an international flavour with the publication of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. This is regarded as an important development emphasising the development of nations, people, countries and groups, and highlights the importance of human rights and the need for states to respect them.
     Around 100 international agreements have branched out from the UDHR which form the basis of human rights laws and conventions. These took on a new importance during the Cold War between the democratic West and Communist/Socialist East.
     If the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the fruit of the spread of democratic ideas after the defeat of fascism and Nazism, as noted in the UN Charter seven times, then it was done through an initiative by some Latin American countries and a huge diplomatic effort, not least by Lebanese diplomat Charles Malik. In stark contrast, the Declaration did not receive much notable attention from the US or western Europe; socialist countries had reservations about it as well. When it did eventually start to pay attention to human rights, the US used them as a means to combat the spread of the socialist system, especially in the fifties and sixties as Washington highlighted the importance of individual rights as opposed to the Soviet Union’s insistence on collective rights. The US also gave priority to civil and political rights over economic, social and cultural rights. This caused much conflict globally.more.. e-mail

Risking their lives to save lives: Gaza’s first responders
Electronic Intifada: 16 Apr 2013 – Promises of aid to civil defense services have not been kept.more

Gaza hospital chosen for solar power project
Electronic Intifada: 16 Apr 2013 – Renewable energy should make Gaza less vulnerable to power cuts.more

Banging the drums of war: Christians United for Israel
Electronic Intifada: 16 Apr 2013 – With 1.3 million members, the Zionist group helps entrench pro-Israel discourse.more

Separate Bus Lines for Palestinians and for Colonists in the West Bank
Dissident Voice: 16 Apr 2013 – During the global protests known as Israel Apartheid Week, the Israeli government launched a segregated bus service, forcing Palestinians in the West Bank to travel only on buses designated to them.more

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