VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 23 April 2013: Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC

23 April 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Police Arrests Two Israeli Teenage Settlers For Torching Palestinian Cars
IMEMC – The Israeli Police announced on Tuesday evening that it apprehended two Israeli teenage setters living in an illegal settlement outpost near Dir Jareer village, north east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, as they are believed to be involved in torching 10 Palestinian vehicles earlier on Tuesday. …

Army Demolishes Structures, Tents, In The Northern Plains
IMEMC – Tuesday April 23, 2013, Israeli soldiers demolished several of agricultural structures and tents used by Palestinian shepherds in the northern plains area, east of the occupied West Bank. …

Al-Eesawy Ends His Hunger Strike, To Be Released In 8 Months
IMEMC – Palestinian political prisoner, Samer Al-Eesawy, signed an agreement with the Israeli prosecution after reaching an agreement for his release to his hometown, Al-Eesawiyya is occupied East Jerusalem, after eight months in return for ending his hunger strike his strike last august. …

Settlers Burn 10 Cars Near Ramallah
IMEMC – Tuesday April 23, 2013, a number of armed extremist Israeli settlers invaded the Dir Jareer village, east of the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and torched 10 Palestinian cars in addition to attacking other Palestinian property in the village. …

Army Cuts 600 Trees Near Hebron
IMEMC – Tuesday April 23, 2013, the Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported that Israeli soldiers cut more than 600 Palestinian Olive and Almond trees and removed a tent in Um Neer area, south of Yatta near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. … 

Ma’an News

Israel destroys over 1,000 olive trees in Hebron village
4/23/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces destroyed over 1,300 olive trees in the south Hebron hills on Tuesday. Israeli soldiers accompanied officials from Israel’s civil administration as demolition crews uprooted hundreds of olive trees in the village of Susiya, Ma’an’s reporter said. According to B’Tselem, there are….

Settlers torch 10 cars in Ramallah village
4/23/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Dozens of settlers raided a Ramallah village overnight Monday and set fire to 10 cars, locals said. Witnesses told Ma’an that settlers from Ofra entered the village of Deir Jarir and attacked property in the village, setting fire to 10 vehicles. In recent weeks, fierce clashes have broken out….

Issawi to end hunger strike, lawyer says
4/23/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Long term hunger striker Samer Issawi has agreed to end his hunger strike after finalizing a deal with Israel which will see him return to his home in Jerusalem, his lawyer Jawad Boulos said Tuesday. Israeli authorities agreed to the wording of an agreement proposed by Issawi overnight Monday, which would…. Related: Hamas minister congratulates Samer Issawi on deal and Issawi signs agreement with Israel, ends hunger strike

Issawi signs agreement with Israel, ends hunger strike
4/23/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Long term hunger striker Samer Issawi ended his protest action on Tuesday after signing an agreement with Israel which guarantees his release, his lawyer Jawad Bolous said. The deal will see Issawi released to his hometown of Jerusalem after serving eight months in jail, after 266 days of refusing food in…. Related: Issawi to end hunger strike, lawyer says

Israel army: Syria’s Assad ‘using chemical weapons’
4/23/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) – President Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons against rebel forces in Syria, a senior Israeli army officer told a conference on Tuesday.” Assad is using chemical weapons in Syria,” said Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of research and analysis in the army’s military intelligence division, in remarks quoted on the army….

Gaza to export truckload of spices to Europe
4/23/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing on Tuesday for the export of one truckload of herbs and spices to Europe, a Palestinian liaison official said. They also allowed the access of 350 trucks loaded with goods and cement and building materials for international projects in Gaza, the official said….

Hagel meets Netanyahu at end of Israel visit
4/23/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was meeting Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday at the end of a three-day trip that saw him touting strong backing for Israel despite differences over Iran’s nuclear project. With US-Israeli relations strained over questions about the imminence of the threat posed by Iran’….

Hamas minister congratulates Samer Issawi on deal
4/23/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s minister for detainee affairs on Tuesday congratulated Samer Issawi on reaching a deal to end his hunger strike in return for his release from Israeli detention to his hometown. Issawi’s lawyer Jawad Boulos said Tuesday that Issawi would end his 265-day hunger strike following…. Related: Issawi to end hunger strike, lawyer says

Bethlehem man shot dead on coast of Jordanian Dead Sea
4/23/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A man from Bethlehem was shot dead Monday night on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, security sources said. Salih Jahalin’s body was found off the Jordanian coast of the Dead Sea, security sources told Ma’an, adding that it appeared he died trying to return to….

Turkey PM says will go to Gaza despite US delay call
4/23/2013 – ANKARA (AFP) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said he would go ahead with a scheduled trip to the Gaza Strip in May despite US calls to delay the visit.” There is no question of delaying this trip,” Erdogan said on Turkish television. Washington had urged Erdogan to postpone visiting the impoverished Palestinian…. Related: Hamas dismisses ‘shortsighted’ PA criticism of Erdogan Gaza visit

Iran: US-Israel arms deal to destabilize region
4/23/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran criticized on Tuesday a US deal to sell advanced missiles and aircraft to Israel, saying the move will only destabilize the region.” This kind of aid will only lead to instability and insecurity in the region,” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters at his weekly press conference. US Defense Secretary Chuck….

Hamas dismisses ‘shortsighted’ PA criticism of Erdogan Gaza visit
4/23/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan’s visit to the Gaza Strip reflects his support to the Palestinian people, a senior Hamas official said Monday. Salah al-Bardawil told Ma’an that the “arrival of any Arab and Islamic supporters to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank is…. Related: Turkey PM says will go to Gaza despite US delay call

IAEA: UN atomic agency, Iran to meet May 15
4/23/2013 – VIENNA (AFP) — The UN atomic agency said Tuesday it will hold with Iran on May 15 in Vienna what will be the 10th round of talks since late 2011 on Tehran’s suspected nuclear bomb-making efforts.” The Agency and Iran have agreed to hold further talks in Vienna on 15 May”, International Atomic Energy….

PA security forces detain 4 Hamas members
4/23/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority security forces arrested four Hamas members in the West Bank on Tuesday, Hamas said in a statement. The men were detained in Nablus and Hebron. [END]

Mayor says Hamas govt neglecting farmers
4/23/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The mayor of a farming village in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday accused the Hamas government of neglecting local farmers. Agriculture in the village of al-Masdar has almost vanished due to the high cost of farming, Mayor Abdul-Hakim al-Masdar said. The mayor said the government in Gaza was reluctant….

Gaza prison escapees turn themselves in
4/23/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Two prisoners who escaped from a jail in Gaza last week have turned themselves in to Hamas authorities, Gaza’s interior ministry said in a statement Tuesday. Ammar Abu Hein and his brother Bilal turned themselves in to police on Monday, a statement said. Hamas security forces intensified security….

Hamas withdraws from Bethlehem student election
4/23/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Hamas-affiliated student bloc at Bethlehem University announced Tuesday its withdrawal from the university’s student senate elections. The announcement was made at a student debate on Tuesday, leaving Fatah-affiliated candidates and leftist blocs to compete for 33 seats. The Hamas representative in the debate, Samer Awad, told Ma’…. Related: Fatah wins Nablus student senate elections

Fatah wins Nablus student senate elections
4/23/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — The Fatah-affiliated Shabibeh (Youth) student bloc won 43 out of 81 seats in the student senate elections at al-Najah University in Nablus, officials said Tuesday. Meanwhile the Hamas-affiliated bloc, which participated for the first time in six years, got 33 seats while leftist groups PFLP and DFLP got three and two…. Related: Hamas withdraws from Bethlehem student election

Arab League rejects Ban call to end Syria arms supplies
4/23/2013 – UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — UN leader Ban Ki-moon appealed for an end to outside arms supplies to rival sides in the Syrian war but the Arab League chief said that would not be possible. Ban pleaded Monday for a halt during talks with Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin….

Top Muslim cleric boycotts Qatar meet attended by ‘Jews’
4/23/2013 – DOHA (AFP) — Influential Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi boycotted an inter-faith dialogue conference that opened in Doha on Tuesday, rejecting to sit in the meeting also attended by Jewish representatives, a local daily reported.” I decided not to participate so I wouldn’t sit at the same platform alongside Jews who still violate Palestine and….

Christian group: 2 Orthodox bishops held in Syria freed
4/23/2013 – ROME, Italy (AFP) — An association of Middle Eastern Christians on Tuesday said that two Orthodox bishops reportedly kidnapped by rebels in northern Syria have been released, in a statement citing Syrian sources. The French “Oeuvre d’Orient” association said that the two — Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Bishop Boulos Yaziji, who were seized on Monday….

Spokesman: Hariri trial expected in late 2013
4/23/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — The trial in absentia of four Hezbollah members for the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri will likely start in late 2013, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.” The prosecution has indicated the fourth quarter of 2013 as to when they would be ready for trial,” Marten Youssef, spokesman for….

Aljazeera

Palestinian prisoner agrees to end fast
AlJazeera 22 Apr 2013 – Samer al-Issawi, held by Israel, agrees to end eight-month hunger strike in exchange for early release.

Israel and Turkey begin reconciliation talks
AlJazeera 23 Apr 2013 – Talks to focus on compensation for the killing of nine Turks by Israeli commandos on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Palestine News Network

CEC Hands over Copy of the Updated Voter Registry to Political Parties
Palestine News Network

Reminder: Palestinian Popular Resistance
Palestine News Network

Israel Demolishes Structures in Jordan Valley
Palestine News Network

Israeli Soldiers Uproot Olive Trees in Hebron
Palestine News Network

Jordan’s King: If No Solution Is Found for Palestinian Cause, Instability Will Remain in Region
Palestine News Network

Israel to Release Hunger Striking Prisoner Issawi
Palestine News Network

UCI Holds its Seventh General Assembly Meeting
Palestine News Network

Jewish Settlers Torch Cars in Ramallah Village
Palestine News Network

Activists Raise Palestinian Flags on Israeli Military Camp in Bethlehem
Palestine News Network

Israel Extends the Racist “Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law”
Palestine News Network

UFree Network: Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Month Continues
Palestine News Network

PCHR Convenes International Legal Conference in Malaga
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR opens international legal conference in Malaga
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

Activists continue to target the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank
4/23/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 23rd April 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Bethlehem , Occupied Palestine, By Team Khalil – Palestinians and International activists held a brief demonstration outside the gates of an Israeli military base near Herodium mountain, east of Bethlehem. The activists stood outside the gates with Palestinian flags and shouted to the soldiers inside that the base was built illegally….

Fifteen detainees from Qaryut to attend trial on the first of May
4/23/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 23rd April 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Qaryut, Occupied Palestine, By Team Nablus – Over the past 5 months 15 people from Qaryut, mainly youngsters, have been arrested by Israeli soldiers. The charges include `attending illegal demonstrations` and being in `closed military zones`. All detainees will face trial on the first of May. Among them are two….

Israeli soldiers and Border Police destroy 200 young olive trees in Palestinian village of Susya
4/23/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 23th April 2013, Christian Peacemaker Team, South Hebron Hills, Occupied Palestine – Israeli soldiers and border police today used a backhoe to uproot 200 young olive trees in the Palestinian village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills. The demolition of the olive grove began at 8:00 am and finished at 10:45 am. The….

The National

Bill Gates to tell Global Vaccine Summit: Polio can be eradicated in 5 years
The National 23 Apr 2013 – The Microsoft chairman will address more than 300 global leaders, health experts and business chiefs at the world’s first Global Vaccine Summit.

New moves to cut court delays in UAE
The National 23 Apr 2013 – The Minister of Justice admitted delays were a problem, but said the ministry was trying to speed matters up to meet international standards.

Musharraf assassination attempt thwarted
The National 23 Apr 2013 – Police defuse car bomb parked near house of former leader, who has survived several previous assassination attempts.

Boston Marathon bombers ‘probably acted alone’
The National 23 Apr 2013 – The two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon probably acted alone, not at the behest of a foreign or domestic militant group, US officials say.

Hagel in Riyadh to discuss $10bn weapons deal and crisis in Syria
The National 23 Apr 2013 – US secretary of defence arrives in Saudi Arabia on a five-nation tour devoted largely to discussions about the civil war in Syria and a US$10 billion (Dh36.7bn) arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel. Elizabeth Dickinson reports 

Red and yellow rectangles help UAE children keep out of danger zones
The National 23 Apr 2013 – Young children are being taught the danger zones around school buses, with red and yellow rectangles highlighting areas around buses and stops in which children should take special care.

Man charged over Canada terror plot ‘visited the UAE but is not a resident’
The National 23 Apr 2013 – One of two men charged with plotting an Al Qaeda-linked terrorist attack against a Canadian passenger train visited the UAE several times but is not a citizen of the country, a UAE official says.

RAK police backtrack on bikini ban
The National 23 Apr 2013 – Revealing swimwear is not officially outlawed but strongly discouraged, Ras Al Khaimah police have clarified.

Ha’aretz

Israeli beer lovers foaming over rising brew tax
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israeli lawmaker: Amend West Bank law to let settlers defend property with live fire
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israel to allow UNESCO inspections in Jerusalem after Palestinians agree to pull damning resolutions
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Why is U.S. so reluctant to back Israel’s claims of Syria chemical weapons use?
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Covert probe opened against Lieberman associates suspected of irregular trips abroad
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Four cars set ablaze in Israeli Arab town near Safed in presumed hate crime
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

In Israel, both coalition and opposition urge remembrance of Armenian genocide
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israel confirms Syria regime used chemical weapons against rebels
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israel agreed to release hunger-striking Palestinian, fearing West Bank riots
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israel extends official state of emergency, again
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Jerusalem court to hear appeal on female prayer at Western Wall
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Life after Knesset? Former lawmakers are landing on their feet
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Hagel ahead of Netanyahu meet: This is a difficult and dangerous time
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Shas spiritual leader promises Ashkenazi Haredim cooperation on election of Israel’s chief rabbi
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Israeli settlers to evacuate disputed building in Hebron
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Palestinian prisoner to end hunger strike in return for early release
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2013

Jerusalem Post

Yisrael Beytenu backs Stav for rabbinate
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Livni opposes tailoring legislation for specific candidates. 

PM supports Sharansky’s Western Wall plans
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Netanyahu tells Jewish Agency chairman to continue pursuing proposal of egalitarian section at the Western Wall. 

Peres: Jewish, Arab coexistence requires equality
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – President praises new Nazareth Industrial Park for enabling employees from different sectors of the population. 

Haredi leader: Only those who fear God can teach
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman speaks out as haredi leadership concerned with proposed reforms to the education system. 

Should Jordan be Palestine?
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – In fear of an uprising, the King of Jordan has his private airplane running 24 hours a day, seven days a week to whisk him away in case of a revolt. 

A bold voice is needed
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – What hasn’t been said by now of denial, apathy and despair in Israel? We were all born into this impossible reality. 

In my own write: Visceral response
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Extra-sensitized, perhaps, by the proximity of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I asked myself, uneasily, “We’re buying a German oven?” 

Zionism: Of the Jews, or for the Jews?
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Terra Incognita: The way Israeli Zionist supporters abroad talk about the Haredi problem is like the way Americans once spoke of Manifest Destiny. 

Marathon as political warfare
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Palestinian Olympic spokesman Samia Wazir “the Israelis should look at this as purely a sporting event, it has nothing to do with politics.” 

Livni to Peres: Reject Katsav’s request for pardon
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Livni’s recommendation squares with opinion of state’s pardons unit that Katsav should serve full 7 year prison term for rape. 

Spanish FM: Abbas wants to negotiate peace with Israel
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo tells Peres that Abbas asked him to convey a message to Israel that he would like to see confidence building measures regarding political prisoners and the problem of the settlements. 

Drawing the line
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Holon’s Israeli Cartoon Museum presents a retrospective of works by the late Ze’ev Farkash, whose caricatures inspired a generation of young cartoonists. 

Hebron settlers adhere to court, leave Beit Ezra
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – In accordance with High Court of Justice dictate, Hebron’s Jewish community seal four rooms in Beit Ezra building. 

UN’s Falk ties Boston bombs to Obama’s Israel trip
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Rights council official insinuates the “darkly glamorized” Boston bombings happened because of Obama’s love-letter to Israel. 

Kerry’s Boston-Marmara comparison blasted
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – RJC executive-director slams comparison of “loss of life resulting from self-defense to the results of cold-blooded murder.” 

Palestinian hunger striker, Israel reach deal
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Deal will see Samer Issawi end his strike and agree to serve eight months in prison, according to Israel and Palestinian officials. 

Kerry: PM cannot confirm Syria used WMDs
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – US secretary of state responds to comments by Israeli intelligence analyst that Assad had used chemical weapons. 

Police: Bat Yam man murders brother over car price
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Victim stabbed outside mini-market he owned by brother, after two fought over few thousand shekels difference in price of a used car. 

Palmers’ killer sentenced to 2 life sentences
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Judean Military Court gives Waal al-Arjeh 2 life sentences plus 58 years for the murder of Asher Palmer and his infant son. 

When politicians attack…on Facebook
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – We all use it, but Facebook recently has become a tool for something that no one ever expected: Politics. 

Libya car bomb wounds French embassy guards
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – No immediate claim of responsibility; FM says the attack targets “not only France, but all countries that fight against terrorist groups.” 

Iran offers to be West’s ‘reliable partner’ in Mideast
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency says that current US and European policies are bound to fail, and countries are advised to “change gear from confrontation to cooperation.” 

Suspect says brother engineered Boston bombing
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev claims deceased brother masterminded bombings; int’l terrorist faction not driving force. 

Have a beer, it’s Lag b’Omer!
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Young American Jews have made the barley-and-beer connection to brew up enthusiasm for this minor holiday. 

Yadlin: Iranian nuclear program crossed ‘red line’
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Former military intelligence head: Tehran needs to make decision about nuclear program following Iranian presidential elections. 

PM reiterates Israel’s right to defense against Iran
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Ahead of meeting with Hagel, Netanyahu says Iran nuclear program, terrorist backing thwarts US, Israeli common interests. 

Sharansky gets green light to pursue Kotel plan
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Netanyahu tells Jewish Agency chairman to continue pursuing proposal of egalitarian section at the Western Wall. 

Jewish Ideas Daily: Tithing and taxes
Jerusalem Post 23 Apr 2013 – Ultimately, no obligatory obedience to your government, no matter how just or beneficent its actions may be, can exempt one from this higher duty. 

The Guardian

Palestinian hunger striker breaks his fast after eight months
The Guardian 23 Apr 2013 – Israeli authorities, fearing unrest, agree to release Samer Issawi by end of year rather than serving the rest of 26-year sentence A Palestinian prisoner who refused food for eight months has ended his hunger strike after…

Israeli general: Syrian ‘regime has used and is using chemical weapons’
The Guardian 23 Apr 2013 – Military intelligence chief’s assertion puts pressure on US over its pledge to intervene Israel’s top intelligence analyst on Tuesday accused the Syrian regime of using lethal chemical weapons in an assertion that puts pressure on the…

Inter Press Service

Israeli Cloud Hovers Over Green Energy
IPS A quiet diplomatic war is being waged by several European governments against the Israeli authorities, specifically the Israeli Civil Administration which controls the Israeli occupied West Bank. At stake is the destruction of a humanitarian project funded by a number of European governments, international organisations and foundations, worth approximately half…

Uruknet

Iraq snapshot – April 22, 2013
Uruknet

Assad’s massacres get bigger, and the world becomes muter
Uruknet

Video : Putin and Morsi Stand United on Syrian Crisis
Uruknet

There is no denying Palestinian history
Uruknet

An Ongoing Liability The CIA’s Dirty Wars
Uruknet

Britain’s secret role in America’s drone war: Government approves UK defence company to supply technology to the U.S.
Uruknet

Who’s investigating the FBI investigators?: Something’s Rotten in Boston
Uruknet

Settlers Occupy Monastery, Raise Israeli Flag
Uruknet

Iraq 10 years on: the humanitarian legacy
Uruknet

Obama is Comfortable with Bush’s Inferno
Uruknet

Daily Star

Top legal adviser to Egypt’s president resigns
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 The legal adviser of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi resigned Tuesday, alleging that the Muslim Brotherhood has monopolized decision-making and encroached on the governing of the country.

Libya car bomb hits French embassy, wounds guards
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 A car bomb devastated France’s embassy in Tripoli on Tuesday, wounding two French guards in the Libyan capital, which had not seen major attacks like that which killed the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi last year.

Israeli spy says Syria used chemical arms, US unconvinced
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons – probably nerve gas – in their fight against rebels trying to force out President Bashar al-Assad, the Israeli military’s top intelligence analyst said on Tuesday.

Iraq raid on Sunni protest sparks clashes, 44 killed
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 More than 40 people were killed when Iraqi forces stormed a Sunni Muslim protest camp on Tuesday, triggering a gunfight between troops and protesters that spread to wider army clashes with Sunni insurgents.

Hagel in Riyadh as Saudi, US plan arms deal
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Riyadh Tuesday on his first trip to the Saudi kingdom, with which the United States is preparing to seal a major arms deal.

Egypt’s Mursi moves to defuse furore over judges
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 Mursi’s Islamist allies acted on Tuesday to defuse a row over attempts to force out thousands of judges, sending a bitterly opposed judicial reform bill to a parliamentary committee for further consideration.

Morocco forces change to UN text on W. Sahara
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 The United States has withdrawn a demand that the United Nations start human rights investigations in disputed Western Sahara following furious lobbying by Morocco, diplomats said Tuesday.

Sunni mosque attacks kill 13 in Iraq
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 Bomb attacks on Sunni mosques in Iraq killed 13 people and wounded dozens of other people on Tuesday, security and medical officials said.

Ricin suspect released from jail
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 The man charged with sending poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a state judge was released from jail on Tuesday, federal official said, though the reason for the release wasn’t immediately clear.

Pakistan police say explosives found near Musharraf house
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 Pakistani police said on Tuesday they had defused 50 kg (110 lb) of explosives hidden in a car wired with remote-controlled detonators near the fortified farmhouse where former president Pervez Musharraf is under house arrest.

Israel MPs note Turkish mass killings of Armenians
Daily Star 23 Apr 2013 Israel’s parliament on Tuesday held talks to mark the Turkish mass killings of Armenians in 1915, even as the Jewish state and Ankara take the first steps to try to patch up ties.

YNet News

Obama: US will work to up support for Syria rebels
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – ….

US team to speak to Boston suspects’ parents
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – ….

Haredi MK blasts ‘hate-driven’ Lapid 
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – ….

Syrian pro-Assad group claims responsibility for AP Twitter hack
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – ….

Iraq raid on Sunni protest sparks clashes, 44 killed 
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – ….

In the service of the Palestinians
YNet News, 23 Apr 2013 – Op-ed: In light of its dark past, Britain’s involvement in building of PA’s army very problematic ….

Palestine Information Center

Haneyya: Erdogan’s visit signals the end of American hegemony
PIC – Gaza premier Ismail Haneyya said that the scheduled visit of Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Gaza had signaled the end of US hegemony in the region.

Bardawil: Resistance factions take Israeli threats seriously
PIC – Dr. Salah Al-Bardawil, a Hamas leader, has said that Palestinian resistance factions were taking Israeli threats to invade Gaza seriously.

Hamas welcomes Erdogan’s insistence on visiting Gaza
PIC – Dr. Sami Abu Zuhir, a Hamas spokesman, has welcomed the announcement by Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he would visit Gaza Strip as declared.

IOF destroys Palestinian agricultural facilities in the Jordan Valley
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces have demolished on Tuesday Palestinian agricultural facilities in al-Maleh area in the northern Jordan Valley.

Netanyahu’s government steps up Judaization schemes in al-Aqsa mosque
PIC – Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage warned against Natanyahu’s approval of Sharansky’s plan in al-Buraq wall, considering it a real threat to all al-Buraq area and al-Aqsa mosque.

Abu Zuhri: US pressures Fatah to freeze reconciliation
PIC – Hamas confirmed its commitment to the reconciliation agreement’s terms, calling on Fatah not to submit to the American pressures and to implement the reconciliation agreements.

IOA besieges Jerusalemites in 8% of the city area
PIC – Two human rights organizations in 1948-occupied territories accused the Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) of besieging Palestinians in occupied Jerusalem in 7.8 % of the city’s area.

IOF installs security cameras in mosques and monasteries
PIC – The Israeli Interior Ministry decided to equip mosques and monasteries with security cameras under the pretext of preventing settlers’ vandalism and to control any “suspicious” activities.

Al-Taj: IOA released me after being certain of my death
PIC – The liberated prisoner Mohamed al-Taj stated that his release from Israeli jails came after his serious health deterioration, where the IOA were sure that he may die at any moment.

Russia donates $2m to UNRWA
PIC – Russia donated two million dollars to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for the first time ever.

WAFA

Prisoner Suspends Hunger Strike Following Deal with Israel
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

EU Report for Palestine: Steady Progress in Cooperation despite Challenges
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

EU Contributes $2 M to Private Sector Reconstruction
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Indonesian Tourist Found Dead in Bethlehem Hotel
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Group Criticizes Legalizing Israeli Ban on Family Unification
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Soldiers Uproot Olive Trees South of Hebron
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Israeli Military Demolishes Structures in Jordan Valley
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Newspapers Review: Deal with Striking Prisoner Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Jewish Settlers Torch Cars in Ramallah-Area Village
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Israel Agrees to a Deal for Release of Striking Prisoner
WAFA – 23 Apr 2013

Misc

Israel’s claim about Syria chemical weapons highlights ‘red line’
LA Times 23 Apr 2013 – Israel’s top military intelligence analyst says Syria used chemical weapons against rebels last month. Obama has said such an attack would be a ‘game changer.’ JERUSALEM — Israel’s accusation that Syria used chemical weapons against rebels raises the prospect that Damascus crossed what President Obama…

World Briefing | Europe: British Man Convicted of Fraud Over Fake Bomb Detectors
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – A British businessman who sold the Iraqi security forces fake bomb detectors based on $20 golf ball finders bought from the United States was convicted of fraud on Tuesday in Britain. 

Israel Says Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – Tel Aviv made its most definitive statement accusing Syria of using chemical weapons, which President Obama has called a “red line” Syria cannot cross. 

World Briefing | Mideast: Resignations Continue in Egypt
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – President Mohamed Morsi faced a mounting revolt against Islamist attempts to force out thousands of judges when his own legal adviser quit on Tuesday. 

Clashes at Sunni Protest Site in Iraq Kill Dozens
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – An attack on a Sunni protest encampment in a village near the northern city of Kirkuk raised the stakes sharply in Iraq’s sectarian troubles. 

Judiciary Panel Hears Testimony on Use of Drones
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – In testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, a Yemeni man who had studied in the United States said the strikes turned Yemenis against America. 

Iran Shoppers, Fearing Price Increases, Hoard Goods
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – An unanticipated change in the country’s exchange-rate policy could raise prices of some foodstuffs by 60 percent or more. 

At War Blog: Running Toward the Boston Marathon Chaos
New York Times 23 Apr 2013 – Zachary Edward Bell said he saw something more jaw-dropping than the Boston Marathon tragedy itself: people, many of them civilians, running toward the chaos. 

Woodside is losing patience on Leviathan
Globes Energy & Water – Every month that passes increases Woodside’s fears that the Leviathan deal was a mistake that will cost it better business opportunities elsewhere in the world.

“Leviathan deal will be finalized in next few months” 
Globes Energy & Water – Woodside CEO Peter Coleman tells “Globes” he is concerned about government foot-dragging in approving gas exports.

European airlines welcome Israel’s open skies
Globes Main News – Low-cost airlines greet the new competition enthusiastically, but scheduled carriers take a wait-and-see approach.

IAI to build F-35 wings for Lockheed Martin
Globes Main News – Israel Aerospace Industries 10-15 year contract for the stealth bomber has a potential value of $2.5 billion.

SodaStream to triple size of Galilee plant
Globes Main News – The enlarged Alon Tavor carbonated beverages factory will add over 100 new jobs to the Galilee.

Tue: Israel Chemicals continues rally
Globes Main News – The market was lifted as Israel Chemicals clawed back more it recent losses, while the banks rebounded.

Tshuva delists Delek Israel
Globes Main News – The price of Yitzhak Tshuva’s offer for the public shares was NIS 105.50, up from his original offer of NIS 86.55.

BoI State of Economy Index up in March
Globes Macro Economics – The rise in the Index in March reflected increases in industrial production, and in the trade revenue and services revenue indices.

BoI: Loans should be repaid in full 
Globes Macro Economics – Banks Supervisor David Zaken tells the Finance Committee: Loans should be repaid to the last shekel whether small business, mid-sized business, big business.

Qualcomm founder Jacobs donates $133m to Cornell-Technion Inst. 
Globes Macro Economics – The Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute will have a permanent campus in New York City, offering joint MAs for the two universities.

G4S divests Israel West Bank operations 
Globes Macro Economics – The “Financial Times” reports that global security firm G4S is divesting from contracts in the West Bank and at IDF checkpoints.

After Kerry Calls Erdogan Visit to Gaza Untimely, Turkey Tells Him to Mind His Own *^$@% Business
Tikun Olam – John Kerry and Chuck Hagel have been continuing the Obama administration love fest with Israel that began with the President’s visit a few weeks ago. Hagel on his visit bore the gift of a $10-billion arms deal , among which were armaments for Israel, Saudi Arabia and…

Website Issues
Tikun Olam – Some readers have periodically told me since I moved to my new web host that they’ve not been able to access the blog, getting an error saying there were “too many redirects.” If you ever receive such an error message or cannot access the site for…

Obama’s 2 guests on Air Force One to Israel/Palestine both undermine his policy
Mondoweiss – Last week John Kerry made headlines saying that the two-state solution is expiring, and governments must act:  So there’s an urgency to this, in my mind, and I intend, on behalf of the president’s instructions, to honour that urgency and see what we can do to…

Facing int’l pressure, global security firm G4S dumps Israeli contract for checkpoints and Ofer prison
Mondoweiss – ” G4s Proudly Securing Israeli Apartheid ” London bus stop subvertisement July 2012 Under immense pressure from activists, worldwide global security giant G4S has confirmed it will be dumping key contracts in the Occupied Palestinian Territories when they terminate in 2015. The Financial Times reports G4S “would…

State Dept human rights report on Israel: ‘most significant human rights problems during the year were terrorist attacks against civilians; institutional and societal discrimination against Arab citizens’
Mondoweiss – Last Friday the U.S. State Department released its Country Reports for Human Rights Practices, including one for Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories ( PDF ). In a press conference on the reports, Acting Assistant Secretary Uzra Zeya was asked about the issue of Palestinian political prisoners:   QUESTION: Thank…

Updated: Refusing exile: Palestinian prisoner Samer Al-Issawi ending hunger strike in ‘victory’ deal
Mondoweiss – Samer Al-Issawi (Update below) After refusing food for more than 265 days legendary Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Al-Issawi has struck a deal with Israeli military prosecutors described by his lawyer, Jawad Bulous, as “a big victory for Samer.” The news comes just one day after Al-Issawi…

Richard Falk, Controversial U.N. Official, Blames Boston Bombing on Israel Support 
The Foward Breaking News 23 Apr 2013 – Richard Falk, an official for the U.N. Human Rights Council, in an online commentary blamed the Boston Marathon bombing on “Tel Aviv.” Click here for the rest of the article…

John Kerry Compares Gaza Flotilla and Boston Marathon Bombing Victims 
The Foward Breaking News 23 Apr 2013 – Israeli lawmakers are condemning U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s comparison of the Boston Marathon bombing victims to the 2010 deaths of Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara ship. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Rapped by U.S. Over African Immigrants 
The Foward Breaking News 23 Apr 2013 – The U.S. State Department in its latest human rights report elevated its criticism of Israel’s treatment of African refugees. Click here for the rest of the article…

Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons in Civil War With Rebels, Israel Says 
The Foward Breaking News 23 Apr 2013 – Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons – probably nerve gas – in their fight against rebels trying to force out President Bashar al-Assad, the Israeli military’s top intelligence analyst said on Tuesday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Tzipi Livni Faces Uncertain Future as Peace Negotiator in Government of Hardliners 
The Forward New 23 Apr 2013 – Tzipi Livni is supposed to be in charge of the peace process. But most of the Israeli coalition government opposes new talks and has misgivings about the two-state solution. Click here for the rest of the article…

Tunisia: Embassy in Beirut – Consular Services for Nationals in Syria 
allAfrica.com 23 Apr 2013 – [Tunis Afrique Presse]Tunis -The Foreign Affairs Ministry announced, on Monday evening, its decision to boost the staff of the Tunisian Embassy in Beirut, so as to reserve some of the consular services to the Tunisians in Syria.

Egypt: Nation, Turkey Sign Information Cooperation Agreement 
allAfrica.com 23 Apr 2013 – [Egypt Online]Information Minister Abdel-Maksoud and Turkish Ambassador to Egypt Huseyin Awni Botsali signed on Saturday 20/4/2013 a cooperation agreement in the field of information.

Egypt: Foreign Ministry – Amr, Davutoglu Discuss Syrian Crisis 
allAfrica.com 23 Apr 2013 – [Egypt Online]Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr made a phone call with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Friday 19/4/2013. The two ministers discussed the latest developments in the Syrian crisis as well as the contacts that both countries are holding with regional and international parties to…

Many dead in Iraq protest clashes 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – Two Sunni ministers resign in protest as more than 20 people die in clashes between Iraqi security forces and Sunni Muslim protesters.

French embassy in Tripoli bombed 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – An explosion outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, wounds two French guards and several residents and causes major damage.

Syria kidnappers ‘release bishops’ 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – Two bishops abducted by gunmen in a rebel-held area of northern Syria have been released, according to a church official.

Israel general in Syria ‘sarin’ claim 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – A senior Israeli military official says Syrian forces have used chemical weapons against rebels several times.

With Syria in Mind, Lebanon Assembles a New Government 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 23 Apr 2013 – Several Lebanese sides have contradictory feelings about the repercussions of military operations in Syria on Lebanon’s political situation. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Several Lebanese sides have contradictory feelings about the repercussions of military operations in Syria on Lebanon’s political situation. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) In the last few…

Lebanon: Preparing the Ground for Total War 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 23 Apr 2013 – Mourners pray in front of the coffin of a 13-year old Lebanese child who was killed when the border town of Qasr, in Hermel region, came under artillery shell fire from Syrian territory, as they attend the funeral in the village of Hosh Sayyed Ali, on…

Kidnappers free Syrian bishops: church group 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – Updated 6:42 pm: An association of Middle Eastern Christians on Tuesday said that two Orthodox bishops reportedly kidnapped by rebels in northern Syria have been released, in a statement citing Syrian sources. The French “Oeuvre d’Orient” group said that Greek Orthodox archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac…

Syria’s Assad Opens Palace to Lebanese Admirers 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – Syrian children attend class at a school in the northern city of Aleppo on 22 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Miguel Medina) Syrian children attend class at a school in the northern city of Aleppo on 22 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Miguel Medina) On Wednesday,…

Israelis torch cars, uproot 1,300 trees in West Bank 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – Palestinian men inspect a burnt vehicle that was set on fire by Israeli settlers on 23 April 2013 in the village of Deir Jarir East of the West Bank city of Ramallah. (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani) Israeli soldiers and settlers launched a series of attacks…

Lebanese sheikhs urge Salafis to join Syrian rebels 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – A man walks past a blood stain on a street in the Lebanese border town of Qasr in the Hermel border region on 14 April 2013, after it came under artillery shell fire from Syrian territory, killing two citizens, and injuring several others. (Photo: AFP) Two…

Car bomb injures two at French embassy in Libya 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – Libyan security forces gather outside the French embassy building in Tripoli following a car bomb attack, on 23 April 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmud Turkia) A car bomb targeted the French embassy in the Libyan capital early on Tuesday, wounding two French guards and causing extensive…

Iraqi forces attack protest, 26 killed 
Al-Akhbar News 23 Apr 2013 – An Iraqi soldier surveys the scene from the top of an armored vehicle in Baghdad’s Adhamiya district on Thursday 18 April 2013. (Photo: AP – Karim Kadim) At least 26 people were killed on Tuesday when Iraqi forces and protesters clashed after troops raided their anti-government…

Syrian Army Surrounds Strategic Town of Qusayr 
Al-Akhbar Politics 22 Apr 2013 – A Syrian Army truck patrols the area past dirt barriers which separate Lebanon from Syria in the Bekaa Valley region of al-Qaa in eastern Lebanon on 21 October 2011. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) A Syrian Army truck patrols the area past dirt barriers which separate…

Saudi Control of Lebanon: A Little Tourism and Sympathy 
Al-Akhbar Politics 22 Apr 2013 – The spokesman for the Saudi minister of interior General Mansour Turki is given a tour alongside other media representatives of a new centre for the rehabilitation of suspected “terrorists” and potential al-Qaeda recruits in Riyadh on 9 April 2013.(Photo: AFP – STR) The spokesman for the…

Many dead in Iraq protest clashes 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – Two Sunni ministers resign in protest as more than 20 people die in clashes between Iraqi security forces and Sunni Muslim protesters.

French embassy in Tripoli bombed 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – An explosion outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, wounds two French guards and several residents and causes major damage.

Syria kidnappers ‘release bishops’ 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – Two bishops abducted by gunmen in a rebel-held area of northern Syria have been released, according to a church official.

Israel general in Syria ‘sarin’ claim 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – A senior Israeli military official says Syrian forces have used chemical weapons against rebels several times.

Palestinian to end hunger strike 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – Israel says it has reached a deal with a Palestinian prisoner so he will end his hunger strike in return for a reduction in the amount of time he faces in jail.

Millionaire sold fake bomb detectors 
BBC 23 Apr 2013 – A British millionaire businessman who knowingly sold fake bomb detectors to countries including Iraq is convicted of fraud.

Articles


Friends of Israel Defense Forces Raises $27 Million Under NY Media’s Radar 
Jeff Blankfort, CounterPunch 4/23/2013
      Support the Israeli Occupation; It’s Tax Deductible!
     It isn’t every day or night that a tax-exempt non-profit American charity rakes in $27 million in the space of a few hours. When it happens in New York at such a well known landmark as the Waldorf-Astoria, arguably the city’s most famous hotel, it should be news, right?
     Wrong, apparently, since not a single TV station nor any New York newspaper, all of which are known for their attention to events in the city’s Jewish community as well as their devotion to Israel, saw fit to cover the annual dinner of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) this past March 12 which raised that enormous sum.
     Nor, it turns out, did they cover last year’s FIDF fundraiser at the Waldorf which took in almost as much, $26 million, nor the one in 2011, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the organization that featured the presence of six former Israel Defense Forces Chiefs of Staff and collected $23 million.
     More than five weeks after latest dinner, the only paper trails that can be found to the event were in the Jerusalem Post, Ha’aretz (a week later), the New York Jewish Week, and the Forward, the city’s national Jewish weekly which is known for printing articles that the mainstream press and other Jewish publications find too hot to handle. The Jewish Week’s reporter, Tim Boxer, in fact, did not mention the amount raised at the black tie, $1000 a plate affair, until the very last paragraph of the story. more.. e-mail

Report: Samer Issawi accepts deal to end his hunger strike 
Michael Omer-Man, +972 Magazine 4/23/2013
      After staging an intermittent hunger strike for some nine months, hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi has reportedly agreed to start eating again, pending the signing of a deal later in the day. The deal would see him released to his home in Jerusalem in eight months.
     Update (April 23, 4:10 p.m.): Issawi has signed the deal and ended his hunger strike, Maan reports. He is expected to be released in late December of this year.
     Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Samer Issawi has agreed to end his hunger strike, and will be released to his home Jerusalem in eight months’ time, Reuters reported late Monday night.
     The details of the deal were not immediately clear, but Issawi has insisted all along that he would not agree to be exiled, like other released prisoners have. Read more background: here, here and here.
     Updated:
     Samer Issawi was released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange in October, 2011, having served 10 years of a 30-year sentence. He began his hunger strike nine months later, shortly after the IDF re-arrested him in the summer of 2012.
     In February, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court sentenced him to eight months in prison for violating the terms of his release, with credit for time served. According to that conviction and sentencing, he was to be released on March 6. However, he still faced the re-sentencing hearings in military court. more.. e-mail

UNICEF’s translation of torture to ’ill-treatment’ 
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/23/2013
      “Despite knowledge of torture practices and the incorporation of torture under Israeli law on the pretext of dealing with ‘terrorists,’ Israel represents itself as dedicated to safeguarding human rights…”
     UNICEF’s report, Children in Israeli Military Detention, Observations and Recommendations, detailing the condition of Palestinian children detained in Israel’s military jails fails to address torture as a modus operandi, relying instead on euphemisms such as “ill treatment” or “duress” to describe solitary confinement, beatings and threats of sexual violence. While admitting the “widespread, systematic and institutionalised process,” the report malfunctions on several issues. It refuses to acknowledge the correct term for torture. There is also the expectation of adherence to applicable international law in the case of Israel. The recommendations “to improve the protection of children within the system” can be interpreted as a safeguard for Israel as opposed to protection for minors whose rights have been violated relentlessly by the occupation.
     The press release regarding this report was also mired in inconsistencies, according to a report in The Australian, reproduced in part by Mondoweiss. Journalists were not allowed to film the press conference with the exception of the initial five minutes, during which UNICEF’s Jerusalem chief Jean Gough uttered words of praise for Israel’s “dialogue about the system under which Palestinian children from the age of 12 are tried by Israeli soldiers, while Jewish children in the neighbouring settlements are tried before civilian courts.” Journalists reported that once the filmed introductory phase was over a different scenario unfolded during which UNICEF officials admitted to Israeli human rights abuse against Palestinian children in detention. However, it seems as if self-censorship or pressure from Israel – in order for the occupation to garner a favourable image in the media – might have been pivotal factors that were not limited to the conference, considering the manner in which the actual reference to torture was eliminated from the report. — See also: UNICEF tones down report on child detainees in wake of Israeli pressure more.. e-mail

What’s the big deal about a Knesset member acknowledging the occupation? 
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 4/22/2013
      A Facebook post expressing shock and dismay about the occupation by new MK Adi Koll of the ‘centrist’ Yesh Atid party went viral over the weekend. Has segregation between Israelis and Palestinians become so entrenched in Israeli society that expressing empathy for Palestinians is a shocking aberration?
     After reading MK Adi Koll’s Facebook status that Noam Sheizaf translated and posted, which has gone viral in both Hebrew and English since it came out Sunday, I paused and thought to myself: Why is this getting so much attention? What’s the big deal? Okay, a Knesset member posted a comment about how awful the situation is for a Palestinian friend of hers whom she visited in Ramallah, and how no photograph she posted could relay the dismal reality. But what’s so special about that? After all, isn’t it obvious there is an occupation here?
     Obviously, the fact that Adi Koll is a member of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which, despite being considered centrist, is essentially a pro-settlement, anti-two-state solution party, is significant. When MK Dov Khenin from the left-wing Arab-Jewish party Hadash points out the occupation, no one really cares. When Amira Hass repeatedly reports on atrocities against Palestinians, she, along with Haaretz, is written off as spewing pro-Palestinian propaganda.
     So my first instinct was that this MK is young and naive (she is 37), exposing on her official Facebook page that only now, after nearly a century of occupation and 65 years of institutionalized colonialism, is she realizing what the Israeli government is capable of. That she sounds like someone who just read David Grossman’s Yellow Wind for the first time (His 1988 Israeli best seller chronicling his travels in the West Bank every day for 40 days during the First Intifada). But I don’t know Adi Koll, have no idea what her experiences are, how long she has known her friend Amjad from Ramallah, or really anything about beyond this one Facebook status. And besides, the fact that her Facebook status got so much attention reflects less on her than the current atmosphere in Israeli society. — See also: New Knesset member visits a friend in Ramallah: ’This is not normal’ more.. e-mail

Apologists for Israel take top posts at BBC
Electronic Intifada: 23 Apr 2013 – James Harding, holder of the “most important” editorial job in Britain, has a history of supporting Zionism.more

Hungering for Freedom at Guantanamo: Obama’s Legacy of Broken Promises
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Apr 2013 – By Ramzy Baroud The Guantanamo Bay prison is a glaring attestation to the state of political indecision which the United States has experienced since President Barack Obama’s first day in office. While his second term is unlikely to deliver much of the ‘change’ he had so industriously promised, skeletal men continue to sink into utter despair at the American gulag at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Many, if not most of the 166 people currently imprisoned in Guantanamo are innocent. This is so even by the standards of the US government as it continues to violate the Geneva Convictions and US laws regarding prisoners’ rights during armed conflicts. In fact, 86 of the Guantanamo detainees have been designated for release, but lack of resolve on the part of the administration, obstacles by Congress and a general lack of interest in the plight of these men, has left Guantanamo…more

Drones, Sanctions and the Prison Industrial Complex
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Apr 2013 – By Brian Terrell – Yankton Federal Prison In the final weeks of a six month prison sentence for protesting remote control murder by drones, specifically from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, I can only reflect on my time of captivity in light of the crimes that brought me here. In these ominous times, it is America’s officials and judges and not the anarchists who exhibit the most flagrant contempt for the rule of law and it is due to the malfeasance of these that I owe the distinction of this sabbatical. As I share in the perspectives gained from residing in the federal prison camp in Yankton, South Dakota, it is important to disclose that as a political prisoner sent up on trumped misdemeanor charges for a few months, my situation is not the same as my fellow inmates!  All nonviolent “offenders”, most by far are prisoners of the…more


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