VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel News and Articles 20 June 2013: The Gates Foundation and its unethical investments in G4S

20 June 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian Car Attacked By Settlers Near Nablus
IMEMC – A number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked, late on Wednesday at night [June 20] a Palestinian car driving on the Nablus-Qalqilia road causing excessive damage but no injuries. …

Six Palestinians Kidnapped In West Bank
IMEMC – [Thursday at dawn, June 19 2013] Israeli soldiers invaded various districts in the occupied West Bank, broke into and searched several homes and kidnapped at least six Palestinians. …

Hamad: “Hamas Held Meetings With U.S, E.U. Officials In Amman”
IMEMC – Dr. Ghazi Hamad, a political leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) revealed, Wednesday, that political leaders of Hamas held meetings with several European ambassadors and officials, and with senior American leaders. …

Ma’an News

Settlers throw rocks at Palestinian cars
6/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Settlers threw rocks at Palestinian cars on Thursday in northern West Bank district of Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official told Ma’an. PA settlement file chief Ghassan Daghlas said settlers from the nearby Yitzhar settlement were seen throwing rocks at Palestinian cars. Local Amjad Amin Jaber said the settlers smashed his windscreen and damaged the doors of his car in….

PA: Israel to demolish 9 homes in Nablus village
6/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces handed down warning notices to nine residents to clear their houses of their belongings ahead of demolition in the village of Duma in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, a Palestinian Authority official said. PA settlement affairs chief Ghassan Daghlas said the residents were told their homes were built without a permit. Parts of the village are designated….

UN watchdog accuses Israeli forces of abusing kids
6/20/2013 – GENEVA (AFP) — A UN human rights watchdog on Thursday accused Israel’s police and military of abuses against Palestinian children ranging from torture to solitary confinement and threats of death and sexual assault in prisons. In a report on Israel’s record, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said it expressed its “deepest concern about the reported practice of torture….

Military vehicles seen entering southern Gaza
6/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli forces were seen entering the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday in the al-Qarara village in the Khan Younis district, witnesses said. Six military vehicles and bulldozers were seen entering farming land amid the sound of gunfire, which witnesses said caused extensive damage to the land. Witnesses also said they saw Israeli military aircraft overhead. [END]

Hamdallah offers resignation to Abbas
6/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Newly appointed Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, informed sources told Ma’an. The decision is the result of a dispute over the premier’s jurisdiction and limits of power, the sources said. There was no immediate reaction from the president’s office. His cabinet held only two official sessions. Days…. Related: Abbas aides leave PM’s home and Abbas to meet PM after resignation

Police probe Israel chief rabbi in bribery, theft case
6/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel’s fraud squad on Thursday questioned Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger on suspicion of bribery, theft, breach of trust and money laundering, a police statement said. Metzger’s questioning at the national fraud unit headquarters in Lod, south of Tel Aviv, comes after months of covert investigations involving three other suspects, according to police. On Thursday, police “searched the homes….

31% of refugees in Palestine live below poverty line
6/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian refugee population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is characterized by poverty, statistics issued Thursday revealed. Some 31 percent of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip live below the poverty line, according to statistics issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. This is reinforced by a young population of which 41 percent are under….

Israeli army detains MP’s bodyguard in UNRWA camp
6/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained the body guard of a member of the Palestine Legislative Council on Thursday in the UNWAR-administered Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, locals said. Locals said the army raided the home of MP Jamal Tirawi at 2 a. m. , detaining Haitham Tirawi and searching the house for over an hour. Forces had searched….

Experts: Israel must define policy for tackling hate crime
6/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel must define its policy towards the Jewish extremists behind an ongoing wave of anti-Arab attacks in order to be able to effectively stamp out the phenomenon, experts said on Wednesday. Debate over the rising tide of hate crimes euphemistically known as “price tag” attacks went into overdrive after about 30 cars were vandalised on Tuesday at Abu Gosh, an Arab village near….

Detainee’s mother dies before son’s release
6/20/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — A mother of a Palestinian detainee passed away Thursday without seeing her son for 10 years, locals told Ma’an. Basima Hashash, 67, passed away in the Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank district of Nablus, just two weeks before her son Atallah was scheduled for release, locals said.”She died wishing to see her son,” they said….

3 Palestinians detained at flying checkpoint in Jenin
6/20/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Three Palestinians were detained after midnight Wednesday at a temporary checkpoint erected at the Kafrit junction near the Yabad village in the northern West Bank district of Jenin. Khalil Haydar Amarneh 55, his son Ahmad 19, and Mohammad Ghassan Qabha, 24, were detained and taken to unknown location. Earlier on Thursday the Israeli army said it detained six Palestinians across the….

PA concerned over worsening conditions in Israeli jail
6/20/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority Prisoners Ministry warned Thursday of the worsening health conditions in the Hasharon prison in Israel. The ministry’s legal department said the conditions were “not fit for humans,” adding that there has been an outbreak of fungal and skin infections throughout the prison due to poor sanitary conditions. The ministry said they had been in contact with….

EU’s Ashton in Gaza on World Refugee Day
6/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visited the Gaza Strip Thursday and took a tour in a UN-affiliated school in Gaza City marking World Refugee Day. Ashton maintained in a news conference that support to the population of Gaza should not stop and that donor countries should continue to allocate financial aid to the Palestinian refugees….

Gaza military court issues death penalty to collaborator
6/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A military court in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip issued the death sentence to a Palestinian after finding him guilty of collaborating with Israeli intelligence. The man, identified only as Kh. Sh, was born in 1972 and is from the Meghazi refugee camp in the central West Bank district of Deir al-Balah. The sentence is the third death penalty issued since….

Dahlan: Hamdallah resignation no surprise
6/20/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Muhammad Dahlan says he is not surprised at all by the resignation of newly appointed premier Rami Hamadallah. Dahlan, who was once a strongman of Fatah party in the Gaza Strip before Hamas took over, added that the resignation “was a natural result of insistence by the Palestinian leadership to reproduce the same errors.” In…. Related: Hamdallah offers resignation to Abbas

Abbas to meet PM after resignation
6/20/2013 – ANABTA, West Bank (Ma’an) – Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah left his office in Ramallah at noon Thursday for his home in Anabta, east of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. He was traveling in a private vehicle just after offering his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas, knowledgeable sources told Ma’an. A delegation from the president’s office arrived in Anabta for…. Related: Hamdallah offers resignation to Abbas

Gaza electricity company to auction assets over unpaid bills
6/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The electricity company in the Gaza Strip has obtained a court order to seize the real estate of a Khan Younis family and sell part of it to retrieve unpaid electricity bills mounting to 90,000 shekels. A statement from the company pointed out that assets would be auctioned so the company can retrieve its money.”The electricity company has been….

Abbas aides leave PM’s home
6/20/2013 – TULKAREM (Ma’an) – Aides to President Mahmoud Abbas spent three hours trying to convince newly appointed Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to change his mind about resigning late Thursday. Tayib Abdul-Rahim, Abbas’ top aide, and intelligence chief Majid Faraj left after more than three hours of talks at Hamdallah’s home in Anabta trying to convince him to reconsider. A Ma’an…. Related: Hamdallah offers resignation to Abbas

Minister rejects fatwa against watching Arab Idol
6/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The Palestinian minister of endowment and religious affairs Mahmoud al-Habash on Thursday rejected a legal pronouncement by the mufti of Nablus declaring the popular reality show Arab Idol a violation of Islamic law. The mufti of Nablus urged Muslims, namely Palestinians, to avoid watching the show and voting for competitors because, according to him, that is all unacceptable under Islamic regulations….

World’s largest oil painting displayed in Bethlehem
6/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – The world’s largest oil painting was displayed in Bethlehem’s Manger Square in front of the Nativity Church Thursday. A representative of President Mahmoud Abbas attended the ceremony along with several Palestinian officials, clerics and representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organizations. The painter, Jamal Badwan, a Palestinian living in Ukraine, told the audience he was happy to visit….

Five injured in car crash near Hebron
6/20/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) – Five members of a Palestinian family from the Hebron area were injured Thursday evening when their car collided with a truck on the bypass road east of the city. A Red Crescent official told Ma’an that the five were travelling near Beit Anoun intersection when their private Kia crashed with a truck on the opposite direction. He identified the….

UNESCO: 6 Syrian World Heritage sites ‘endangered’
6/20/2013 – PHNOM PENH (AFP) — UNESCO on Thursday added six ancient sites in Syria including a fortress of Saladin and a Crusader castle to the endangered World Heritage list, warning that more than two years of civil war had inflicted heavy damage.”Due to the armed conflict situation in Syria, the conditions are no longer present to ensure the conservation and protection of the Outstanding Universal Value….

Syria opposition vows to fight on to topple Assad
6/20/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s opposition vowed to fight on to topple President Bashar al-Assad, saying any political solution to the conflict must lead to the fall of the regime. The National Coalition spoke out as troops and rebels were locked in fierce clashes outside the Damascus district of Qabun as the army tried to storm the area, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human….

Study: Jordan teens still think ‘honor killings’ justified
6/20/2013 – AMMAN (AFP) — Belief that so-called honor killings are justified is still common among Jordanian teenagers, a Cambridge University study revealed on Thursday. The study by researchers from the university’s Institute of Criminology found that almost half of boys and one in five girls interviewed in the capital, Amman, believe that killing a daughter, sister or wife who has “dishonored” or shamed the family….

Iraq bombings kill 13 ahead of vote
6/20/2013 – MOSUL, Iraq (AFP) — A suicide bombing in northern Iraq killed a provincial political party leader and four relatives on Wednesday, officials said, ahead of elections in which his bloc was to participate. Bombings also killed eight youths near a football pitch in a town northeast of Baghdad. Yunus al-Ramah, head of the United Iraq party, had been hosting a social event at his home in….

US, Jordan troops hold desert war games
6/20/2013 – AQABA, Jordan (AFP) — US and Jordanian F-16 fighter jets hit dummy targets in the kingdom’s southern desert on Wednesday, while Navy SEALs and other special forces rescued “hostages” and nabbed “terrorists” in mock exercises under major multinational maneuvers. Using live ammunition, six F-16s, two AV-8B Harrier jets, 28 tanks, 20 armored personnel carriers, 800 US and Jordanian troops took part….

Cabinet: Kuwait sets parliamentary polls for July 25
6/20/2013 – KUWAIT CITY (AFP) — Kuwait’s cabinet said on Thursday that it has approved a decree setting legislative polls for July 25 after the constitutional court this week scrapped parliament and upheld the controversial electoral law.”The cabinet at an extraordinary session approved a draft decree setting July 25 as the date for parliamentary elections,” State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah al-Sabah told….

Syria rebels seek arms, no-fly zone to avert disaster
6/20/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian rebels urged friendly world powers on Thursday to provide them with heavier weapons and to impose a no-fly zone over parts of the country they control to avert a humanitarian disaster. On the ground, troops and rebels battled in several districts and suburbs of Damascus, and the army shelled insurgent positions using heavy artillery and mortars, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights….

UN: Israeli forces abuse Palestinian children
AlJazeera 20 Jun 2013 – Report by UN rights group finds Israeli police and army guilty of torture and abuse of children in occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Authority PM offers resignation
AlJazeera 20 Jun 2013 – Two weeks after being appointed to form new government, Rami Hamdallah offers resignation to PA president.

Palestine News Network

Netanyahu: Israel is Willing to Negotiate with Palestinians Without Preconditions
Palestine News Network

Palestinians Continue to Suffer from Israeli Blockade of Gaza
Palestine News Network

Bethlehem Unveils World’s Largest Oil Painting
Palestine News Network

Israeli Court Adjourn Trial of Two Hunger Strikers
Palestine News Network

Prisoner’s Mother Dies Before Son’s Release
Palestine News Network

Around 42.1 of the Total Population in Palestine are Refugees, says Statistics Bureau
Palestine News Network

PA Signs Cooperation Agreement with UNDP to Develop Infrastructure in East Jerusalem and “C” Areas
Palestine News Network

On World Refugee Day, PLO Calls International Community to Hold Israel Accountable
Palestine News Network

Israel Arrests Two Palestinians for Possession of Molotov Cocktails
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR Denounces Anti-Drug Police Raids and Searches on Customers in Cafés in Gaza City
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

New wall construction to surround Azzun Atma
6/20/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 20th June 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Azzun Atma, Occupied Palestine -On the 18th of June, two bulldozers arrived with Israeli forces in the village of Azzun Atma, southeast of Qalqilya, and began to work on the land  behind the village’s school, to what is believed to be the construction of the new wall. Accompanying the bulldozers to the village was the….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria Regional Refugee Crisis: Camp and Non-Camp populations (as of 18 June, 2013)
Relief Web 20 Jun 2013 – Source: US Department of State – Humanitarian Information Unit Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

occupied Palestinian territory: UNRWA and Denmark sign new funding agreement
Relief Web 20 Jun 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Denmark, occupied Palestinian territory The government of Denmark and UNRWA have signed a new memorandum of understanding which allows increased Danish funds to UNRWA’s General Fund,…

occupied Palestinian territory: Nowhere to go, Palestine refugees from Syria arrive in Gaza
Relief Web 20 Jun 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic To mark the occasion of World Refugee Day, UNRWA is putting a spotlight on the situation of Palestine refugees in…

occupied Palestinian territory: World Refugee Day 2013; Palestinian Refugees 65 years on
Relief Web 20 Jun 2013 – Source: Muslim Aid Country: Jordan, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, World This year marked the 65th anniversary of the Palestinian Diaspora in which more than 800,000 Palestinians were forced to flee their homes. In light of this anniversary,…

The National

Palestinian Authority PM quits after two weeks
The National 20 Jun 2013 – Rami Hamdallah, who took the post a fortnight ago, is believed to be in dispute over his powers. Hugh Naylor reports from Ramallah 

UAEU retains its place in the world’s top 500 universities
The National 20 Jun 2013 – The country’s first federal university has retained its place in the top 500 institutions worldwide – and now aims to begin climbing the ladder.

Lebanon tells Hizbollah to pull its fighters out of Syria
The National 20 Jun 2013 – The Lebanese president has called on the Shiite Hizbollah movement to pull its guerrillas out of Syria, saying any further involvement in its neighbour’s civil war would fuel instability in Lebanon.

New technology classes to produce ‘smart’ pupils in the UAE
The National 20 Jun 2013 – Pupils in 100 public schools will be given tablet PCs and classrooms equipped with a high speed 4G network in the next academic year.

Vocational and technical training make great strides in the UAE
The National 20 Jun 2013 – The biggest leap made by the education sector in recent years has been in the introduction of a National Qualifications Authority, says the executive director of the National Institute for Vocational Education in Dubai.

Taliban and US Doha talks in doubt
The National 20 Jun 2013 – The status of preliminary peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States is uncertain after a diplomatic row set off by the Afghan government over the opening of the insurgent group’s new political office in Doha.

New Indian school in Abu Dhabi to offer 2,500 places
The National 20 Jun 2013 – A school with a capacity for 2,500 students to open next year aims to address a shortage of Indian curriculum outlets.

UAE leaders recommit to quality education
The National 20 Jun 2013 – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to keep education and Emiratisation as top priorities.

Ha’aretz

Education Ministry official accused of banning Arabic teachers from speaking Arabic
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

U.S. ranks Israel among countries doing most to fight human trafficking
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Israel Police to probe escape of state witness in Barnoar attack from safe house
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Netanyahu to Ashton: Planned EU statement on Israeli-Palestinian peace will impede Kerry’s attempts to restart talks
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

U.S. officials: Rowhani election shows Iran sanctions are working
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

French Green Party, unpopular with Jews at home, visits Israel
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger questioned on suspicion of money laundering, bribery
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Barnoar state witness speaks after escaping safe house: I’m a dead man walking
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

IDF sentences drug-dealing officer to 13 years in jail and expels him from army
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Arabs targeted in hate crimes left to cover costs, unrecognized by Israel as terror victims
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

UN: Palestinian children tortured, used as human shields by Israel
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Likud MK submits bill to boost politicians’ power over judicial appointments
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

State witness in Tel Aviv gay shooting case disappears from safe house
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Netanyahu to EU foreign affairs chief: If Hezbollah isn’t a terror group, what is?
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Are Israelis still immune to polio? Blood test survey will decide
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Netanyahu blocks bid for transparency in legislation process of Israeli government
Ha’aretz – 20 Jun 2013

Israeli researchers develop spray to keep patients from getting sick in the hospital
Ha’aretz – 19 Jun 2013

Acclaimed Iranian director to visit Jerusalem for international film festival
Ha’aretz – 19 Jun 2013

Jerusalem Post

Can understanding yesterday help in shaping tomorrow?
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Israeli and European scholars exchanged spirited words at the Israeli Presidential Conference. 

Rebels: We won’t attack Israel if it invades Syria
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Lebanese president: Hezbollah forces must come home. 

Boeing’s 747-8 lands in Tel Aviv
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Lufthansa’s 747-8 flight to Israel was a road-show exhibition of the new plane, not a regular commercial flight. 

World Refugee Day marked almost a year after first S. Sudan deportation from Tel Aviv
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Israeli refugee rights activist visits family in South Sudan that she met in 2008 in TA, and was deported in June 2012. 

France wants more talks before arming Syria rebels
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Paris apprehensive about giving Free Syrian Army heavy weapons, assure recent Assad gains don’t mean “complete victory.” 

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Metzger investigated for bribery, money laundering
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Released to house arrest after questioning, denies wrongdoing. 

Newly-appointed Palestinian Authority PM Hamdallah resigns
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – PA source: Abbas wants a yes-man with no powers. 

Jew, Arabs involved in Temple Mount fight arrested
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Jewish suspect was alleged to have assaulted Waqf official; suspect has had previous run-ins with the law. 

Palestinians rally behind Gaza ‘Arab Idol’ star
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – In final push to vote Mohammed Assaf the winner of TV talent contest in Beirut, Bank of Palestine throws money into campaign. 

Lebanese president urges Hezbollah to leave Syria
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – In interview, Suleiman says he is against going into Golan because it “exposes” Lebanon to Israeli enemy. 

MKs pay solidarity visit to ‘price tag’-hit Abu Ghosh
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Delegation of Yesh Atid deputies express horror at vandalism, tire slashings; Abu Ghosh council chief vows relations to stay strong. 

Key witness in Bar Noar murder case escapes
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – While police are unable to find him, Channel 2 scores a sit-down interview with main state witness. 

LIVE: Final day of annual Presidential Conference
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Key speakers, celebrities and politicians will gather in J’lem. 

Report: Iran’s Rohani tied to AMIA 1994 bombing
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Indictment by Argentine government investigating bombing says Iranian president connected to decision to launch attack. 

US lauds Israel for efforts in combating trafficking
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Israel receives “Tier 1” ranking for second year in a row; state department report notes issue of African refugees. 

Expert: Israeli warheads a threat to own security
Jerusalem Post 20 Jun 2013 – Knesset holds first-ever anti-nuclear parley with several MKs speaking out against weapons; MK Henin: Need to find alternatives. 

‘US arming Syrian rebels forces Iran to bleed resources’
Jerusalem Post 19 Jun 2013 – Analysis: Keeping Iran and Hezbollah engaged in the conflict and pouring resources into Syria weakens them substantially. 

Arab mob attacks two Jews in e. J’lem
Jerusalem Post 19 Jun 2013 – Victims in their 20s escape without serious injury after Arab-Israeli assailants attack vehicle; police investigating the incident. 

The Guardian

Israeli police raid home of country’s chief rabbi amid bribery investigation
The Guardian 20 Jun 2013 – Rabbi Yona Metzger is questioned by police over his alleged involvement in a bribery and money-laundering scheme Israeli police say they have questioned the country’s chief rabbi and raided his home and office over his alleged…

Palestinian prime minister quits two weeks into job
The Guardian 20 Jun 2013 – Rami Hamdallah offers resignation following apparent dispute over powers with President Mahmoud Abbas The new Palestinian prime minister has quit two weeks after being sworn in, apparently over a constitutional dispute with the president. Rami Hamdallah,…

Men built X-ray gun to shoot Israel opponents – FBI
The Guardian 20 Jun 2013 – Industrial mechanic and engineer were caught in sting after tip-off from Ku Klux Klan, investigators say as duo are charged The FBI has charged two men with making a portable X-ray weapon that they intended to…

Uruknet

Israeli Attacks on Palestinian Fishermen in Gaza Sea
Uruknet

Sightseeing in the Apartheid State: From Ben Gurion to the West Bank
Uruknet

Going Through the ‘Proper Channels’ to Blow the Whistle on Secret Surveillance Programs
Uruknet

Catastrophic thinking: Did Ben-Gurion try to rewrite history?
Uruknet

Manning and Snowden Acting on Their Conscience: We Must Act On Ours
Uruknet

Palestinian prisoner deprived of family visits for 12 years
Uruknet

“Yes, we are funding the occupation,” Swedish minister glibly tells Gaza youth
Uruknet

The whistleblowers are the new generation of American patriots
Uruknet

Notes on the idea of a land swap with Israel
Uruknet

When is a Jew a Terrorist? For Bibi, Never
Uruknet

Daily Star

MERS virus in Saudi poses hospital threat: study
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 The deadly MERS coronavirus which has emerged in Saudi Arabia poses a threat to hospitals because it spreads rapidly and carries a high mortality rate, according to a study out Thursday.

Obama to nominate Jim Comey as next FBI chief on Friday
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 President Barack Obama will nominate Jim Comey to be the next FBI director on Friday, picking a former Justice Department official who has deep experience in the U.S. battle against terrorism, a White House official said…

New Palestinian prime minister offers his resignation
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas just two weeks after taking office, an official in his press office told Reuters Thursday.

Egypt Islamists plan mass demo to ‘protect revolution’
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Islamist parties have called a mass rally Friday as a show of force ahead of planned opposition protests calling for Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to go, highlighting Egypt’s highly charged political divide.

Israeli police question chief rabbi on graft allegations
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Police questioned one of Israel’s top religious officials, Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, on Thursday on suspicion of bribery, fraud and money laundering, a police spokesman said.

Iran seizes two UAE fishing boats in Gulf, arrests 13
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Iran has detained 12 United Arab Emirates nationals and one Indian who were aboard two boats which crossed into what Iran claims as its territorial waters in the Gulf, the English-language Press TV reported on Thursday.

Kyrgyzstan votes to close US base in 2014
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Kyrgyzstan’s parliament voted Thursday not to renew the lease of its Manas airbase from 2014 to the United States, which uses it to ferry troops and equipment for the coalition military campaign in Afghanistan.

Bucker officially out as Lebanon coach, joins Saudi side Al Ettifaq
Daily Star 20 Jun 2013 Theo Bucker officially ended his widely successful tenure as Lebanon manager Thursday, after a signing a one-year deal with Saudi club Al Ettifaq.

YNet News

Suicide bomber kills 7 after close of Iraq polls
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – ….

WHO study: Third of women suffer domestic violence
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – ….

Metzger released to house arrest, banned from leaving country
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – ….

Four US senators seek to bar military aid to Syrian rebels
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – ….

Protestsers gather in Brazil despite concessions
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – ….

What Peres won’t tell you 
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – Op-ed: Film screened during president’s birthday celebration contains quite a few historical distortions ….

Kerry hasn’t given up
YNet News, 20 Jun 2013 – Op-ed: Top US diplomat thought he could come to Mideast with two diligent aides and move mountains ….

200 Eritreans mark World Refugee Day in Tel Aviv
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Gathering in Levinsky park, immigrants, asylum seekers honor oppressive regime’s victims, voice concern for future in light of Israel’s intention to deport them; ‘We didn’t choose to be refugees,’ says Davit Damuz, 26, calls Israel to grant refugee status ….

Security guard delivers baby
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Benny Farah, security guard at residential center for new immigrants, delivers baby of woman who unexpectedly went into labor; ‘when I met the life I helped into this world my joy was boundless,’ he said ….

Young Palestinians launch initiative to influence Palestinian future
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Fed up with leadership, Ramallah-based youth group NEWpal hosts conference to discuss how young Palestinians can shape future state, end occupation ….

Meet Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Ayesha Farooq fought her mother to pursue her dream; ‘In our society most girls don’t even think about doing things as flying an aircraft,’ she says ….

US war games send signal to Assad
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – American advisers supervise war games in Jordan amid fears of spillover from Syrian conflict ….

Tel Aviv: Dozens protest against gas exports
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Dozens protest against government’s decision to export 40% of country’s natural gas. ‘What would happen in 20 years?’ protester asks, ‘We’ll run out of gas and be forced to import in six times the cost’ ….

Rebels: Assad, Hezbollah used chemical weapons
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Hezbollah accused for first time of using chemical weapons in Damascus suburb attack; according to Syrian rebels, several were killed, injured due to gas ….

Drug trafficking IDF officer jailed for 13 years
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Operations officer Eran Kabalo sentenced to 13 years in jail for selling dozens of kilograms of narcotics which he obtained through the Egyptian border ….

Obama renews call for nuclear reductions
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Speaking at Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, US president says it’s possible to ensure American security and also reduce nuclear weapons ….

Pentagon unveils plans for moving women into combat roles
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Pentagon unveils plans to integrate women in previously all-male combat infantry positions ….

Egyptians protest against Hamas
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Morsi opponents protest Palestinian group. Hundreds demonstrate by Cairo hotel where Hamas leaders staying, demand their expulsion from country, crying out ‘No to Mashaal, no to Haniyeh, Hamas is terrorist org’ ….

Father of ‘Hitler’ to name new baby Eva Braun or Rommel
YNet News, 19 Jun 2013 – Holocaust denier from New Jersey who named his children Aryan Nation, Heinrich Hons and Hitler, proposes to girlfriend in full Nazi attire ….

Palestinian Information Center

Tufkaji: The West Bank landscape changed radically because of settlement
PIC – Khalil Tufkaji said that the escalation of settlement activities since Benjamin Netanyahu took power led to radical changes in the demographic and geographic landscape of the West Bank.

Resheq vehemently denies involvement in Egyptian internal affairs
PIC – Ezzet Al-Resheq has denied press reports claiming that his movement was preparing a security plan to back Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood during expected hostile demonstrations.

Israeli court orders imprisonment of 14-year-old Jerusalemite child
PIC – An Israeli military court ordered the imprisonment of a Jerusalemite child from Alezariya, to the south east of Jerusalem.

IOA serves nine demolition notices in Nablus
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) served demolition notices to owners of nine houses in Duma village, south of Nablus, on Thursday.

Hamas calls on Fatah to stop inutile incitement
PIC – Hamas movement denounced the statements of Fatah movement in which it calls on Hamas not to interfere in Arab affairs.

IOF soldiers storm Nablus, Balata refugee camp
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed Nablus city and nearby Balata refugee in a pre-dawn raid on Thursday, local sources said.

The occupation plans to expand settlement of Susiya in al-Khalil
PIC – Arab Studies Society’s Land Research Center revealed that the occupation is carrying out construction works in Susiya settlement, built on confiscated lands of the town of Yatta.

Hamas calls on EU to remove its name from terrorist organizations’ list
PIC – Hamas called on the European Union to remove its name from the list of “terrorist organizations”, stressing that it believes in democracy and openness to the world.

Occupation put pressures on hunger striking prisoners in Ramle prison clinic
PIC – Israeli authorities has continued to exert pressure on the Palestinian and Jordanian hunger striking prisoners, in an attempt to force them halt their strike.

WAFA

Israeli Army Arrests Nine across West Bank
WAFA – 20 Jun 2013

Settlers Stone Vehicles south of Nablus
WAFA – 20 Jun 2013

Newspapers Review: Future of Peace Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 20 Jun 2013

More than 42% of Palestinians in Occupied Territory are Refugees
WAFA – 20 Jun 2013

Weather Forecast: Hot with Rise in Temperature
WAFA – 20 Jun 2013

Misc

No alternative to two-state solution, visiting leaders tell Israel
LA Times 20 Jun 2013 – JERUSALEM — With conservative Israeli politicians increasingly dismissing the idea of a Palestinian state, the voice from international leaders gathered in Israel this week has been clear: negotiating a two-state solution is the only option.

In office two weeks, Palestinian prime minister submits resignation
LA Times 20 Jun 2013 – RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, in office for only two weeks, submitted a resignation on Thursday citing “infringement on his authority” as the reason, sources at his office have confirmed.

Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns After 2 Weeks in Office
New York Times 20 Jun 2013 – The resignation of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah was a sign of continuing internal political disarray amid already complicated American efforts to restart the peace process with Israel. 

While Claiming Battle Gains Against Rebels, Syria’s Assad Is Facing Currency Crisis
New York Times 20 Jun 2013 – The Syrian pound fell 30 percent against the dollar over the weekend in panicky selling by Syrians worried it could weaken even further. 

Group Keeps Watch on Iran and Possible Sanction Violations
New York Times 20 Jun 2013 – United Against Nuclear Iran, a private advocacy group, has put a maritime monitoring system into effect, keeping an eye on compliance with sanctions from Manhattan. 

‘Letter to a Refusing Pilot’ by Akram Zaatari
New York Times 19 Jun 2013 – Akram Zaatari, who was selected to represent Lebanon at the 55th Venice Biennale, focused on an Israeli Air Force pilot’s act of conscientious objection with a quiet, evocative film. 

Israel to tax exported gas at full price
Globes Energy & Water – The move is expected to lop 10-15% off the current valuation of the gas reserves.

Teva to launch generic Viagra in Europe
Globes Main News – The UK price of the impotence treatment, which costs the National Health Service £40 million annually, is expected to fall from £10 to £1.

EMC in talks to buy ScaleIO for $250m
Globes Main News – Enterprise storage network developer ScaleIO was founded in 2010 and has raised just $12 million to date.

Thu: Stocks down again
Globes Main News – The most notable decliners were Ratio and Bezeq. Israel Corp. and Israel Chemicals rose, against the trend.

Israel Corp. mulls relinquishing control of Zim
Globes Main News – Zim is offering banks and bondholders a 50% haircut by converting nearly half its $3 billion debt into 100% of its shares.

Shekel weakens against dollar after Bernanke comments
Globes Main News – Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke’s announcement that bond purchases will soon end has boosted the dollar.

Naftali Bennett on Palestinian “Problem:” Like Shrapnel in the Ass; Palestinian State is Dead
Tikun Olam – Naftali Bennett, Palestine denier  (Nir Elias/Reuters) Some people are Holocaust deniers, others are Palestine deniers.  Almost the entire Israeli cabinet fall into the latter category.  The world rightly condemns those in the former, among them the most recent president of Iran.  For some reason, in Israel…

Tell Sacramento you respect student democracy
Jewish Voice for Peace – Tell your California Assembly Representative and Senator to respect the student divestment votes! Read more and take action.

Obama criticized ‘wall’ once in Jerusalem– and ten times in Berlin
Mondoweiss – There is an actual wall, sometimes nearly 26 feet high, going through Palestine and East Jerusalem. In his speech in Jerusalem “to the people of Israel” 3 months ago , President Obama referred to that wall once , and elliptically, when urging the Israelis to make peace with…

American Jewish leaders are mad that settlement-boosting minister exposed their charade
Mondoweiss – Why is Rick Jacobs, an American Reform Jewish leader, saying that the Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett doesn’t speak for the Israeli government? Because Bennett’s blunt truth about the death of the two-state solution — that 650,000 Jewish settlers in Palestine have brought the Palestinian state…

Israel is accused of abusing Palestinian children– again
Mondoweiss – A UN committee report saying that Israel mistreats and even tortures Palestinian children in custody is the fourth report inside of a year to make such charges

Samantha Power’s advocate in Jewish community is Sheldon Adelson’s man
Mondoweiss – Sheldon Adelson gave $30 million to defeat Barack Obama in last year’s election. So why is Samantha Power counting on the support of one of Adelson’s political proteges?

‘Arabs, this way’
Mondoweiss – Separating Israeli Palestinians and Jews at a checkpoint to enter Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank is reminiscent of apartheid South Africa

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Interrogated for Pocketing Donations 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Jun 2013 – Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger is being interrogated on suspicion that he took hundreds of thousands of shekels meant for nongovernmental organizations. Click here for the rest of the article…

Modigliani Painting Expected To Fetch $8 Million in Israel — But the Piece Won’t Be Present 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Jun 2013 – A masterpiece by Italian Jewish artist Amadeo Modigliani, estimated to be worth NIS 30 million, will be offered at public auction in Israel in the coming weeks. It is the most expensive painting ever to be auctioned in Israel. But the painting itself won’t be making…

Palestinian Prime Minister Offers Resignation Two Weeks After Taking Post 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Jun 2013 – Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas just two weeks after taking office, an official in his press office told Reuters on Thursday. Click here for the rest of the article…

U.N. Accuses Israel of Torturing Children and Using Palestinian Human Shields 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Jun 2013 – A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields. Click here for the rest of the article…

Orthodox Schism Over Role of Women Widens After Graduation of Maharats 
The Forward New 20 Jun 2013 – The dust has settled from the graduation of female maharats. But controversy over women’s roles as spiritual leaders in Orthodoxy is only getting louder. Click here for the rest of the article…

Gambia: Opportunity Presents Itself to Restore Ties With Iran 
allAfrica.com 20 Jun 2013 – [The Point]The Government of the Gambia in 2010 announced that it had severed all diplomatic, economic, political and social ties with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran effective 22nd November 2010.

Nigeria: Peacock, Jordanian Airlines Introduce Pilgrimage to Jordan 
allAfrica.com 20 Jun 2013 – [Daily Trust]Jordanian carrier, Royal Air Jordanian Airlines has collaborated with Nigeria’s Peacock Travels and Tours Limited to introduce affordable holy pilgrimage to Jordan.

Palestinian PM ‘offers resignation’ 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah offers his resignation, but it is not clear whether it is accepted, government sources say.

Syria’s ancient sites ‘in danger’ 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – Six ancient sites in Syria are added to a UN list of endangered World Heritage sites because of the threat from the conflict there.

Teens in Jordan back honour killings 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – A significant proportion of teenagers in Jordan think that honour killing is morally right, a study by researchers in the UK suggests.

New Gaddafi-Sarkozy funds allegation 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – The late Muammar Gaddafi’s interpreter says Libya helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign in France – an allegation he denies.

Qatar expels 18 Lebanese citizens after GCC pledge against Hezbollah 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – At least 18 Lebanese citizens have been expelled from Qatar, a government source in Beirut told AFP Thursday, after the Gulf Cooperation Council pledged to act against members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. “Eighteen Lebanese have been expelled from Qatar, in the wake of the GCC decision,”…

Two Iraqi policemen dead in attacks during provincial elections 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – An Iraqi woman casts her vote at a polling station during provincial elections on 20 June 2013 in the Anbar province. (Photo: AFP – Azhar Shallal) Iraqis in two provinces voted under heavy security in delayed provincial polls on Thursday which were marred by mortar attacks…

Hamas Law Threatens Christian Schools in Gaza 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – Palestinian girls from UNRWA schools play at a summer camp organised by UNRWA in Gaza City on 17 June 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Abed) Palestinian girls from UNRWA schools play at a summer camp organised by UNRWA in Gaza City on 17 June 2013. (Photo:…

Sheikh Assir’s Three Hours of South Lebanon Mayhem 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – A masked gunman loyal to the controversial Sunni Salafist Sheikh Ahmed al-Assir, opposed to the Shiite party Hezbollah, stands in the southern town of Sidon’s eastern suburb of Abra, on 18 June 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat) A masked gunman loyal to the controversial Sunni…

Lebanon: Straining to Cope with the Syrian Refugee Crisis 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – European Union ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst (3rd-R), sits with a Syrian family that fled the violence in Idlib, in their house in a refugee camp in the town of Alman, northeast of the southern city Sidon, on 20 June 2013 upon her visit to the…

New Palestinian PM resigns 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Jun 2013 – Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah chairs the first working meeting of the new Palestinian government in the West Bank town of Ramallah on 11 June 2013. (Photo: AFP – Abbas Momani) Newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas,…

Interview: UN Envoy in Syria Warns of “Major Disaster” 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Jun 2013 – A Syrian young boy runs holding an old rifle as he helps fighters belonging to the “Martyrs of Maaret al-Numan” battalion on 13 June 2013 in the southern Syrian town of Maaret al-Numan in the Idlib province. (Photo: AFP – Niel Leal-Olivas) A Syrian young boy…

Qusayr’s Wounded Convalesce in the Lebanese Bekaa 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Jun 2013 – A Syrian injured young man, who fled with his family the recent violence in Qusayr, lays down in the backyard of Arsal municipality where refugees wait before registering and finding a shelter on 14 June 2013 in the Lebanese Bekaa valley. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid)…

Palestinian PM ‘offers resignation’ 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah offers his resignation, but it is not clear whether it is accepted, government sources say.

Kuwait calls snap general election 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – Kuwait’s government says snap general elections will be held on 25 July, following the dissolution of the parliament by the country’s top court.

Syria’s ancient sites ‘in danger’ 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – Six ancient sites in Syria are added to a UN list of endangered World Heritage sites because of the threat from the conflict there.

Teens in Jordan back honour killings 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – A significant proportion of teenagers in Jordan think that honour killing is morally right, a study by researchers in the UK suggests.

New Gaddafi-Sarkozy funds allegation 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – The late Muammar Gaddafi’s interpreter says Libya helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential campaign in France – an allegation he denies.

Taliban office row frustrates talks 
BBC 20 Jun 2013 – A row over the status of the Taliban’s newly-opened office in Qatar continues to frustrate efforts to start Afghan peace talks there.

Articles


The Gates Foundation and its unethical investments in G4S 
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 6/20/2013
      “In their 2012 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, G4S states that the company recognises it can ‘play a positive and negative role in respecting human rights around the world'”
     While three Dutch charities have announced that they will no longer accept donations by G4S due to the company’s support for the Israeli occupation, the Gates Foundation has deemed it ethical to invest in G4S, effectively exposing the often ignored link between philanthropy and human rights violations.
     The Gates Foundation, renowned for its philanthropy, is allegedly ‘inspired by passion and compassion for the well-being of people’. Focusing on issues such as health, education, poverty, the Foundation now seems to be seeking a share in security affairs, effectively aligning itself with the conspiracy behind the fable of safeguarding human rights. Philanthropy should be viewed within a wider image – a surplus of funds derived from a capitalist enterprise channelled into appropriate projects which bestow a continuous temporary relief in order to avoid challenging the exploitation which has rendered communities around the world dependent upon charity. With the Gates Foundation aligning its interests with a service provider of oppression, profits will continue to fund approved projects at the expense of violating international human rights law, which is acceptable within the cycle of capitalist dependency.
     G4S has been targeted by the BDS movement for its role in providing security and surveillance equipment, rendering the company complicit in war crimes with Israel’s security service, Shin Bet. Torture during interrogations is routine treatment in Israeli jails, often resulting in severe physical and metal degeneration or, as in the case of Arafat Jaradat, death. G4S endorses identical security concern rhetoric asthat used by Israel, manipulating the foundations of human rights and security into a territory which encompasses nothing but the alleged rights of the oppressor. more.. e-mail

Failed hasbara insults bounce off Alice Walker 
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 6/20/2013
      Hasbara has become a dirty word, thanks to it’s dirty practitioners and the dirty job they are trained to do.
     It’s a Hebrew word for Israel’s sophisticated public relations machinery that’s set up to cynically justify the Jewish entity’s crimes and to create for Israel a “brand image” completely at odds with the ugly truth.
     Fiction and distortion are among hasbara’s standard propaganda tools for spinning fairy tales and propagating disinformation. And it is very effective – up to a point. The reason why it ultimately fails is that it has very poor material to work with. You cannot behave like psychopaths and disguise it forever. You cannot trample other peoples’ rights and freedoms, and destroy their property, and expect to be loved. You cannot keep your jackboot on your neighbour’s neck for 65 years and expect to call yourself civilized and in tune with Western values. You cannot steal his lands, water and livelihood at gunpoint and claim the moral high ground.
     And you certainly cannot create a wholesome brand image from bullshit.
     These basic truths manage to escape the Anti Defamation League (ADL) when it chooses to attack a truth teller like Alice Walker.
     The ADL claims Walker’s new book, The Cushion in the Road, takes her “extreme and hostile views to a shocking new level”, and complains that she devotes 80 pages to “a screed on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict replete with fervently anti-Jewish ideas and peppered with explicit comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.”
     Any comparison of Israelis to Nazis is bound to ruffle Zio feathers. But if some of them insist on behaving in a way that calls Nazism to mind, why are they surprised? more.. e-mail

A recipe for diplomatic collapse 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 6/19/2013
      How U.S. envoys (and others) are making their own peace missions fail.
     U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in the final stages of his effort to resume direct negotiations between the two sides. So far, no breakthrough has been reported. In Israel, coalition members are distancing themselves, one by one, from the two-state solution, and new projects in the settlements registered a record seven-year high. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority refuses to enter direct negotiations as long as Netanyahu rejects the terms of reference agreed upon in previous rounds of talks.
     Kerry might eventually be able to force the two parties to meet – the U.S. still has enough leverage here – but then what? Prime Minister Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas already met in 2010; Netanyahu had a more comfortable coalition and Abbas had more legitimacy, plus Prime Minister Fayyad on his side, and still, the talks broke down immediately. In fact, the diplomatic process seems so futile and hopeless that today, many view it as part of the problem rather than a means to bringing about a solution.
     In order to bring about effective talks – or perhaps in order to resume any process at all – some of the faults of the past will need to be addressed. These are the most important of them:
     Preconditions for one side only
     Israel’s stated position, which the Obama administration adopted and the EU followed, is that negotiations should start “without preconditions.” Yet this rule is applied only to one side. In order to be included in the political and diplomatic process, Palestinian organizations need to meet the condition of abandoning armed resistance and recognize the State of Israel. This is the reason there are no formal contacts with Hamas. At the same time, Israel is exempt from a settlement freeze or agreeing to the pre-1967 borders as a starting point for negotiations. In fact, no Israeli government has even adopted the principle of a two-state solution. more.. e-mail

Hawks, doves and pipeline politics in Syria 
Peter Dale Scott, Asia Times 6/19/2013
      Like President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, United States President Barack Obama’s Syrian policy is being tugged strenuously in Washington by hawks and by doves.
     On June 13, Obama handed two limited but ominous victories to the hawks: a finding of fact that the troops of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad “have used chemical weapons [i.e. Sarin] against rebel forces,” and a consequent decision “to begin supplying the rebels for the first time with small arms and ammunition.” [1]
     Both announcements sound very strange, if not dishonest, to anyone who has been following the Syrian crisis. Deputy National Security Adviser Benjamin Rhodes, one of Obama’s top foreign policy advisers, was quoted by the New York Times as saying that “there was no reason to think that the resistance has access to chemical weapons.”
     Thus, like most of the mainstream US media, Rhodes simply ignored the reports last May in the British media that “UN human-rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria’s civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin.” [2]
     Three weeks later there were additional disputed reports that a 2-kilogram cylinder with sarin gas had been seized from Syrian rebel forces in Turkey. [3] We thus see another US case, as a decade ago in Iraq, of policy steering intelligence, rather than vice versa.
     The second announcement, that the US would “begin supplying the rebels”, is also hard to reconcile with reality. As the Times itself revealed three months ago, the CIA since early 2012 has helped facilitate an airlift of 3,500 tons or more of arms to the rebels from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. [4]
     The role of Saudi Arabia and Qatar as cutouts reprises a pattern seen in Bosnia in 2003 and especially Libya in 2011; and this history tells us that although Washington would prefer that the arms not reach Salafist jihadis, it will be difficult or impossible to stop this from happening….. more.. e-mail

The Plucky Professor and Israel, the Last Bigoted Democracy
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Jun 2013 – By Jamal Kanj Israeli president Shimon Peres is hosting in Jerusalem this week a presidential conference called “Facing Tomorrow”. Its theme is the “human factor and its role in shaping our tomorrow”. In addition to establishing an image as a world leader, Peres envisioned in 2008 a venue to assemble top international scientific and political minds to discuss “the way toward a better tomorrow for Israel, the Jewish people” and then “the entire world”. This is the person who was a prime minister in 1996 when the Israeli army targeted a United Nations (UN) compound near the village of Qana, South Lebanon, killing more than 100 civilians, mostly women and children. A UN inquiry concluded that contrary to repeated denials, Israel must have known civilians took shelter inside the UN camp as “two Israeli helicopters and a remotely piloted (reconnaissance) vehicle were present” in the area during and before the…more


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