VTJP Palestine-Israel Newslinks 3 August 2013

3 August 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Abbas Welcomes Barcelona Soccer Team In Bethlehem
IMEMC – Thousands Of Palestinians Welcome Barca [Saturday Evening August 3, 2013] Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed at his Presidential Headquarters in the West Bank City of Bethlehem, the players and coach of Barcelona soccer team, who are conducting their first visit to occupied Palestine. …

Erekat: “P.A. Will Not Accept Transitional Solutions”
IMEMC – Chief Palestinian Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, stated Saturday [August 3, 2013] that the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) will not accept transitional solutions to the conflict, and is acting on negotiating on all final status issues. … 

Livni: “Next Rounds Of Talks, Second Week Of August”
IMEMC – Israeli Justice Minister, Tzipi Livni, stated that the next round of direct peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (P.A) will be held in Israel in the second week of this month, and added that the first group of Palestinian detainees will be released by then. …

Obama Phones Abbas
IMEMC – Kerry Says Ensuring “Jewish Homeland” One Of His Goals Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, received on Thursday evening [August 1, 2013] a phone call from U.S. President, Barack Obama, and discussed the ongoing efforts to ensure smooth resumption of direct peace talks between Tel Aviv and Ramallah. …

Ma’an News

Hebron youth group protests Prawer Plan
8/3/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A youth group in Hebron on Saturday organized a protest vigil to demonstrate against Israel’s Prawer Plan, which could displace thousands of Bedouin residents of the Negev from their land. Youth Against Settlements organized the protest as part of wider actions to protest the displacement plan of some 40,000 Bedouins in the Negev.”We gathered here today, both local….

Livni: Israel-Palestinian talks to resume this month
8/3/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The next round of direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will take place in the region during the second week of August, Israel’s negotiator Tzipi Livni, who is also justice minister, said on Saturday.”These discussions that began in Washington will resume during the second week of August and will take place in the region,” Livni told the private Channel 10 television station….

Erekat: Prisoners to be released in 4 stages
8/3/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Long-serving Palestinian prisoners will be released in four stages by Israel, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said Saturday. The first stage will see 26 prisoners released on August 13, the PLO official told Ma’an. Israel refused to release all detainees at the same time, he added. The Palestinian leadership has informed Israel and the United States that all final status….

New whiff of scandal in Israel bank chief nomination
8/3/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The withdrawal of a second nominee in a week for the Bank of Israel’s top job filled newspapers with speculation on Saturday over the cause, ranging from astrology to sexual harassment. Leo Leiderman, an academic and adviser within Israel’s largest bank Hapoalim, was the choice of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid. His nomination was to….

Gaza boy run over by water tanker
8/3/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A five-year-old boy was killed on Saturday in Gaza after being run over by a water tanker, medics said. Ibrahim Hamayda was pronounced dead at a hospital in Rafah. [END]

11-year-old killed in Hebron road accident
8/3/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A child was killed on Saturday after being knocked down by a car in Hebron, medics said. Mohammad Hani Hauwareen, 11, was pronounced dead at al-Ahli hospital. [END]

Police arrest man for smuggling Viagra pills
8/3/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority police on Saturday arrested a man for smuggling large quantities of Viagra from Jordan. Nablus police seized over 30,000 shekels ($8,400) worth of Viagra pills after receiving a tip-off about a man trading in drugs smuggled from Jordan. The suspect had concealed 4,350 pills in black plastic bags and potato chip boxes. [END]

Kerry backpedals after seeming to back Egypt coup
8/3/2013 – LONDON (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to try to distance himself from comments he made that were seen as endorsing the Egyptian military’s overthrow of a civilian ruler. Washington has struggled to articulate a coherent position on the situation in Egypt, where the army stepped in to depose president Mohammed Morsi following large-scale street protests. On Thursday, during a visit….

Diplomatic push to resolve Egypt crisis
8/3/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — A US envoy met Egyptian officials on Saturday amid efforts to find a peaceful solution to the stand-off between supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the army-installed interim government. William Burns met Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, the official MENA news agency reported, hours after seeing members of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party….

Egypt ministry again urges end to pro-Morsi protests
8/3/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s interior ministry Saturday repeated its call for supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi to end their sit-ins, saying that would allow the Muslim Brotherhood to return to politics. In a televised statement, the ministry called on protesters in Rabaa al-Adawiya and Nahda squares in Cairo to return to their homes and work.”Your peaceful and safe exit will allow….

Interpol suspects Al-Qaeda in recent jailbreaks
8/3/2013 – LYON, France (AFP) — The global police agency Interpol on Saturday said it suspected Al-Qaeda was involved in recent jailbreaks across nine countries, including Iraq, Libya and Pakistan. Interpol said in a statement that the jailbreaks “led to the escape of hundreds of terrorists and other criminals” and is 1 ) Mel / USA03/08/2013 21:32 Rather than focus on AQ, Interpol would save money &time….

Iran’s Rowhani takes over presidency
8/3/2013 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani assumed the presidency on Saturday after Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei officially endorsed him, hailing his services to the Islamic establishment.”There is a clear message in electing a competent individual with more than three decades of service to the (Islamic republic’s) establishment,” Khamenei said in a statement.”The message is of loyalty to….

Slain and wounded Syrians brought to Lebanon
8/3/2013 – BAALBEK, Lebanon (AFP) — The bodies of six Syrians killed near the border with Lebanon were transported into the country on Saturday, along with nine injured people, a Lebanese military source told AFP. The source could not confirm the cause of the casualties in Syria, but an injured woman told an AFP photographer that the Syrian air force had carried out a strike.”Six bodies and….

Tunisia presses hunt for jihadists amid political crisis
8/3/2013 – TUNIS (AFP) — Tunisia’s army pressed ahead on Saturday with operations against Islamists in a remote mountain range after a deadly ambush on its troops heightened a crisis sparked by a political assassination. Authorities kept a tight lid on ground and helicopter raids Friday in the Mount Chaambi area near the border with Algeria where Islamist militants, including veterans of a revolt in northern….

Syria opposition ‘deeply concerned’ for Italian priest
8/3/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s main opposition group called Saturday for the immediate release of an Italian Jesuit priest who went to negotiate with jihadists and who is feared to have been taken prisoner. The National Coalition said it “expresses its deep concern over the disa
ppearance of Father Paolo (Dall’Oglio) over four days ago in Raqa and calls for the disclosure of any….


Messi and Barcelona mobbed on Israel arrival
AlJazeera 3 Aug 2013 – Spanish football giants stage “training camps for peace” for Israeli and Palestinian children. 

International Solidarity Movement

UPDATED: Four arrested at Nabi Saleh’s weekly protest
8/3/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 3rd August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Ramallah Team, Nabi Saleh, Occupied Palestine -Update 3th August: The fourth Israeli activist was released this morning at 5am. On Friday August 2, Israeli Border Police aggressively attacked protesters marching in Nabi Saleh’s weekly demonstration, shooting rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs at very short distances while arresting protesters and covering them in skunk water. The attack….

Soldiers assault a twelve-year-old Palestinian while settlers invade family rooftop in Hebron
8/3/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 3rd August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team, Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Saturday August 3rd was not a peaceful Saturday for the Palestinians in Hebron. At approximately 16. 30 two settlers invaded the roof of the Abu Shamsiya family in Tel Rumeida, whilst three soldiers attacked a twelve year old boy in the street nearby. When the settlers on the roof were approached by internationals and….

The National

Emirati’s Athkar prayer app for iPad wins 600,000 fans across Middle East
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Fares Fares inspired to create free download because of the limited selection of Islamic applications available.

Petrol stations to accept credit and debit cards for fuel sales from today
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Emarat, ENOC and EPPCO petrol stations will start accepting Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards for all transactions including fuel sales.

Ramadan care packages bring smiles to labourers’ faces
The National 3 Aug 2013 – 550 labourers at a construction site on Saadiyat Island to receive a free iftar meal along with a bag containing hand wash, shampoo and a bar of soap.

UAE companies given valuable lessons in going green
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Fifty representatives of private companies gather in Dubai for a seminar on sustainability reporting.

Dealers in UAE warned on poor quality tyres
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Watchdog gets tough after latest figures on accidents caused by illegal or defective tyres puts number killed at 20 and 151 injured.

Dubai boutique a haven for Emirati artisans and designers
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Featuring Emiratis’ work and allowing them to practise their salesmanship and interact with clients gives them confidence, say managers.

Stay safe at official firework displays this Eid
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Sharjah Police advise public not to set off fireworks at home.

Firework safety plea ahead of Eid Al-Fitr celebrations in UAE
The National 3 Aug 2013 – Often sold illegally, fireworks tend to end up in the hands of children which puts them at risk.


The IDF deceives the MKs all the way to the bank
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Preserve the deterrence
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Elite can’t rescue the Bank of Israel governor
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Yacimovich wins bid to hold early Labor primary election
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Health Ministry expanding public polio vaccination campaign in Israel’s south
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Woman’s decapitated body found in suitcase in south Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz – 3 Aug 2013

Who is ‘Judaizing’ King David’s Tomb?
Ha’aretz – 2 Aug 2013

Jerusalem Post

Palestinians held in mezuza theft at Cave of Patriarchs
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Two Palestinians detained for theft of a mezuza in Hebron. 

Tunisians come out in show of force for Islamist-led government
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Tens of thousands push back against mass protests against Ennahda. 

Lebanese president calls for inclusive government
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Salam has been unsuccessfully trying to form a government for more than three months, unable to bring various factions together. 

Baby elephant stomps its way into Ramat Gan Safari
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – New-born Asian calf stands with its mother and grandmother, marking three-generations of elephants at the safari. 

Peres turns 90, hears he’ll get US congressional medal
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Among the gifts he received was a bipartisan vote in the US Congress to award him the Congressional Gold Medal. 

Hop on the GradTrain,next stop a far-off campus
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Israeli post-doctoral student in NYC looking to advise potential study-abroad candidates. 

Leiderman unexpectedly withdraws BOI Gov. nomination
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Withdrawl of second candidate for job in days leaves an air of uncertainty over Israel’s future monetary policy. 

Tel Aviv police discover body of decapitated woman
Jerusalem Post 3 Aug 2013 – Body was in suitcase found near Haganah train station; police discover corpse while investigating bomb scare. 

Leo Leiderman turns down Bank of Israel governor nomination
Jerusalem Post 2 Aug 2013 – Labor MK Shmuli slams “embarrassing” nomination disaster, the second time in the last week a candidate has pulled out of consideration. 


Gaza depressed about Egypt

Live blog: Activists hold ‘day of rage’ to protest Prawer Plan

When they fail, peace talks will only deepen crisis for Palestinians

Journalists rally against Gaza crackdown

Syria News – July 31, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos)

Iraq violence killed 989 people in July; highest death toll in five years

Iraq Suffers Power Crisis As Temperatures Soar

‘My brother was not an Islamist,’ says brother of Dubai resident shot dead in Egypt

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

The conviction of Bradley Manning: A travesty of justice

Daily Star

Security alerts by U.S., Interpol prompt embassy closures
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 Interpol issued a global security alert after jailbreaks linked to Al-Qaeda freed hundreds of militants, as the United States and other Western powers planned to temporarily close certain embassies over terror threats.

France to shut embassy in Yemen on Sunday, Monday over security fears
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 France says it will close its embassy in Yemen over security fears, after Germany and Britain took the same precaution.

Syrian child refugee admitted to Lebanon hospital, TB suspected
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 A Syrian child refugee suspected of having contracted Tuberculosis is referred to a hospital in the southern coastal city of Sidon.

Iran gets new president, vows ‘constructive’ foreign relations
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 Rouhani takes office as Iran’s president promising “constructive interaction with the world” after eight years under Ahmadinejad marked by damaging sanctions.

Lebanese suicide bomber, brother ‘martyred’ in Syria
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 A Lebanese man from the northern city of Tripoli died a martyr earlier this week in a suicide mission targeting soldiers in Syria, a sheikh from Salafist Hizb Ut-Tahrir says.

Ambush kills six Syrian rebels near Lebanon border
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 An ambush on the Syrian side of the border with Lebanon kills at least six rebels, a Lebanese security source says, adding that nine other people are wounded in the attack.

Eight killed in Iraq violence: officials
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 Gunmen shoot dead a woman and her two daughters in Iraq, and a city center roadside bomb kills a man and his son, officials say.

Soldier feared dead gets hero’s welcome in n. Lebanon
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 A soldier feared to have succumbed to wounds from recent clashes between the Army and Salafist fighters is given a hero’s welcome in his home village of Qalhat, north Lebanon, after life-saving surgery in Beirut.

Egypt ministry again urges end to pro-Morsi protests
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 Egypt’s interior ministry repeats its call for supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohammad Morsi to end their sit-ins, saying that will allow the Muslim Brotherhood to return to politics.

Turkish man killed by stray bullet fired from Syria
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 A Turkish man is killed by a stray bullet fired across the border from Syria into the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, security sources say.

Conciliatory tones in Egypt as envoys seek to avert bloodbath
Daily Star 3 Aug 2013 Morsi’s allies say they respected demands of millions who took to the streets against the deposed leader, signalling new flexibility to Western envoys trying to head off more bloodshed.

YNet News

Obama administration overrules Apple import ban 
YNet News, 3 Aug 2013 – ….

Turkish police fire water cannon, teargas at Istanbul protesters 
YNet News, 3 Aug 2013 – ….

Report: Israel unrelated to car bombing
YNet News, 3 Aug 2013 – ….

Car bomb explodes west of Bahraini capital Manama 
YNet News, 3 Aug 2013 – ….

The dangers of a weak peace
YNet News, 3 Aug 2013 – Hamas’ rejection of any possibility of long lasting peace creates strong obstacle against regional stability ….

Palestinian Information Center

Kerry’s obscene lie
PIC – In a strange and alarming statement U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was quoted as saying that the ousting by the Egyptian army of President Muhammed Mursi was aimed at restoring democracy.

IOA to demolish house and water wells west of al-Khalil
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) on Saturday handed out notices to demolish Palestinian house and agricultural installations in the village of Koum near al-Khalil, south of the occupied West Bank.

IOF causes death of elderly woman in Al-Khalil
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Thursday prevented a Palestinian ambulance from transferring an elderly woman in an emergency to hospital, which resulted in her death.

PFLP slams holding normalization banquet
PIC – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) condemned the organization of an Iftar banquet by Palestinian and Israeli youth groups in Ramallah in support of talks’ resumption.

MK calls for defiling Aqsa Mosque, another calls for killing Palestinians
PIC – Likud’s Knesset member Moshe Feiglin called for desecrating the Aqsa Mosque in thousands during Ramadan, while the Jewish Home’s Knesset member Eli Ben Dahan called for killing the Palestinians.

Al-Aqsa TV channel Facebook page removed
PIC – Facebook administration has removed al-Aqsa TV channel page, although its Facebook fan page was available and had grown by 116,000 fans. 

Human Rights Center calls for serious moves to save hunger striking prisoners
PIC – Palestinian Prisoners Center asked local and international human rights organizations to support the hunger striking prisoners, especially captive Abdullah Barghouti “who risks death at any moment.”

IOA intends to turn Mosque in Jerusalem into synagogue
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) plans to convert a historical Islamic mosque in occupied Jerusalem to a synagogue, Haaretz newspaper said.

IOA renews Hosari’s administrative detention 
PIC – The Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA) renewed the administrative detention of the leader in Hamas movement Adnan al-Hosari for the second time in a row.

Thousands participate in the World Quds Day march in Gaza
PIC – Thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip participated in the annual World Quds Day march, called for by the national and Islamic factions in Gaza on Friday afternoon. 


Messi and his Barcelona Teammates in Palestine Today
WAFA – 3 Aug 2013

EU, Netherlands contribute €11m to July Salaries
WAFA – 3 Aug 2013


New Iranian President Hassan Rouhani formally ascends to office
LA Times 3 Aug 2013 – Hassan Rouhani, who will be sworn in Sunday, gets the official backing of the supreme leader for the transfer of power from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. TEHRAN — Hassan Rouhani became the seventh president of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Saturday, officially receiving the endorsement of…

President-elect Hassan Rouhani may be Iran’s hope for moderation
LA Times 3 Aug 2013 – The legal scholar and theologian has deftly appealed to more reform-minded Iranians. But it isn’t clear whether his leadership style will result in policy changes. TEHRAN — As a seminary student, he made a hazardous foray across the border into Iraq to meet his icon,…

Egypt military says protesters use children as human shields
LA Times 2 Aug 2013 – CAIRO — Egypt’s military-backed government sought to demonize the Muslim Brotherhood on Friday by accusing the Islamist group of using children as human shields at its rallies against the coup that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi last month.

Official Urges Restraint by Military in Egypt
New York Times 3 Aug 2013 – Egypt’s interim vice president said on Saturday that force could be used only as a last resort to disperse demonstrations held by supporters of Mohamed Morsi. 

Prototype: The Hipster Brewmeister of … Beirut
New York Times 3 Aug 2013 – How a former investment banker and airline executive started 961 Beer, a rare Middle East microbrewery. 

Iran’s President Puts New Focus on the Economy
New York Times 3 Aug 2013 – President Hassan Rouhani vowed Saturday to work with the outside world to lift the “oppressive sanctions” crippling Iran’s economy. 

Interpol Asks Nations to Help Track Terror Suspects Freed in Prison Breaks
New York Times 3 Aug 2013 – The Interpol alert added to a climate of heightened concern set off Thursday when State Department officials spoke of possible terror plots against Western facilities overseas. 

Tunisian Islamist Finds Hope in Challenging Time
New York Times 3 Aug 2013 – An Islamist leader in Tunisia expresses optimism for his movement despite setbacks in Egypt. 

Despite Administration Promises, Few Signs of Change in Drone Wars
New York Times 2 Aug 2013 – Mixed messages by officials reveal a deep-seated ambivalence inside the Obama administration about just how much light ought to shine on America’s shadow wars. 

Qaeda Messages Prompt U.S. Terror Warning
New York Times 2 Aug 2013 – Intercepted electronic communications in which senior operatives of Al Qaeda discussed attacks in the Middle East and North Africa led the United States to issue a global travel alert to its citizens, officials said. 

Egypt Says It May Shut Entrances to Camps
New York Times 2 Aug 2013 – As clashes between demonstrators and security forces continued in and near Cairo, the Egyptian government threatened to block entrances to a large protest camp. 

Mugabe’s Shadowy Israeli Election “Fixers”
Tikun Olam – Mugabe consults with his top, and most feared, security officials A few days ago I wrote a post about a shadowy Israeli security outfit named Nikuv, which provides election management for some of the most corrupt, tyrannical nations in Africa. One of their best clients is…

Netanyahu may require DNA tests to prove immigrants have a Jewish ‘bloodline’
Mondoweiss – Wow, Zionism just gets more disturbing. The Times of Israel : “Prime Minister’s Office says would-be immigrants from former Soviet Union may be asked to prove Jewish bloodline” A number of people from the former Soviet Union wishing to immigrate to Israel could be subjected to…

Iranian president’s description of occupation as a ‘wound’ echoes Obama’s description of conflict
Mondoweiss – Iran’s president-elect Hassan Rouhani made comments about Jerusalem the other day at a pro-Palestinian rally in Tehran that were then mistranslated and got global attention. The Guardian : Iran’s semi-official Isna news agency misreported Rouhani’s quotes, which were then widely disseminated by western news agencies and prompted…

Enough to blow your mind
Mondoweiss – Palestinian activist Nariman Tamimi (left) and Rana Hamadah sit for the verdict during their trial at Israel’s Ofer military court near the West Bank city of Ramallah on July 9, 2013. An Israeli military court formally charged two Palestinian women for their involvement in a peaceful…

NPR’s Bob Garfield blasts Snowden for Russian asylum: ‘the height of hypocrisy’
Mondoweiss – Bob Garfield, cohost of “On the Media,” spoke on WNYC about Edward Snowden getting asylum in Russia for one year and put o
n his righteous pundit hat: It’s unclear whether… Julian Assange is an anarchist or a righteous defender of the rights of individuals. It’s unclear….

Netanyahu cut secret deal with rightwing coalition partner for 1000s more settlement units
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing PM appeases right with territories construction Globes 31 July — Ma’ariv : Netanyahu let Housing Minister Uri Ariel build in Judea and Samaria in exchange for releasing Palestinian prisoners — Although the government’s decision to release 104 security prisoners ahead…

Decapitated Israeli Woman’s Body Found in Suitcase 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Aug 2013 – A body of a woman in her thirties was found Saturday afternoon in a stairwell in south Tel Aviv. The body was decapitated and stuffed inside a suitcase. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Click here for the rest of the article…

How Racist Vandals Won at King David’s Tomb on Mt. Zion 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Aug 2013 – A serious act of vandalism, a string of coincidences, and a decision by the Israel Antiquities Authority have combined to change the character of King David’s Tomb on Mt. Zion from a Muslim site into a synagogue. Click here for the rest of the article…

Has Secular Israel Lost War With Ultra-Orthodox? 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Aug 2013 – Some years ago, Israel Segal, a writer and journalist who was brought up Orthodox and became secular, summed up what he described as a secular defeat. Click here for the rest of the article…

Embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Faces Bipartisan Recall Push 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Aug 2013 – San Diego’s embattled mayor, facing sexual harassment allegations from a string of women, was dealt a setback on Friday when a liberal Democrat and a Republican businessman joined forces in a campaign to force a recall election. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israeli Attitudes Toward Arabs Soften — But the Feeling’s Not Mutual 
The Forward New 3 Aug 2013 – Despite widespread perceptions, Israeli Jews are becoming less antagonistic toward Israeli Arabs. So concludes a new survey — that also shows Arab attitudes hardening. Click here for the rest of the article…

Diplomatic push to end Egypt crisis 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – US and EU envoys meet officials from the military-backed government and supporters of ousted President Morsi to seek a solution to the crisis.

Iran installs Rouhani as president 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – Hassan Rouhani takes over as Iran’s president, as his election is formally endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a Tehran ceremony.

UK embassy to shut amid global alert 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – The British, French and German embassies in Yemen are to close and several other UK embassies are told to be vigilant after the US issues a terror alert.

Many killed in Syrian air strike 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – At least six people are killed in a Syrian war plane attack on the town of Yabroud, just across the border from Lebanon, reports say.

Smile and Let Them Die of Rage! 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 3 Aug 2013 – When he finished his speech, many waited for a few long minutes, before breathing a sigh of relief: Thank God, it seems that he has returned to his office safely. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) When he finished his speech, many waited for a few long minutes, before…

Israel Launches i24 News, Shows “Modern” Face 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – Israeli troops keep position along the ceasefire line with Syria as smoke billows after mortar fire from inside war-torn Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on 15 July 2013 causing several wildfires to break out. (Photo: AFP – Jack Guez) Israeli troops keep position along the…

Gaza: Normalization With Israel Under Hamas’ Nose 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – Palestinian protestors shout slogans during a gathering marking “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Day” in Gaza City on 2 August 2013. (Photo: AFP Mohammed Abed) Palestinian protestors shout slogans during a gathering marking “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Day” in Gaza City on 2 August 2013. (Photo: AFP Mohammed Abed)…

Attacks across Iraq kill 14 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – Gunmen shot dead a woman and her two daughters in Iraq Saturday and a roadside bomb killed a man and his son as nine died in other attacks, officials said. Iraq is witnessing its deadliest violence since 2008. The woman and her two adult daughters were…

Syrian airstrike in eastern Lebanon kills nine 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – Syrian fighter planes launched an airstrike in eastern Lebanon on Saturday, killing at least nine people, the Lebanese National News Agency reported. The attack took place in Khirbet Daoud, east of the Lebanese town of Ersal. According to the NNA, the attack killed nine Syrians and…

Morocco police violently disperses protests over pedophile pardon 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – Protesters are attacked by police during a demonstration on 2 August 2013 in Rabat, Morocco, denouncing the release of a Spanish pedophile who raped 11 local children and was pardoned by the Moroccan King, Mohammed VI. (Photo: AFP – Fadel Senna) Riot police broke up a…

UNICEF warns of deteriorating situation for Syrian women and children in Homs 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Aug 2013 – The father of 13-year old Yahya Sweed talks with his son to try and cheers him up on 16 July 2013, the day after he was released from hospital where one of his legs was amputated due to shrapnel following shelling by government forces on the…

The Lebanese President’s Outrageous Speech 
Al-Akhbar Politics 2 Aug 2013 – At the heart of the president’s speech was not just a declaration of war on Hezbollah, but a call to place all weapons under the personal command of none other than Suleiman himself. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) At the heart of the president’s speech was not just…

Diplomatic push to end Egypt crisis 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – US and EU envoys meet officials from the military-backed government and supporters of ousted President Morsi to seek a solution to the crisis.

Iran installs Rouhani as president 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – Hassan Rouhani takes over as Iran’s president, as his election is formally endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a Tehran ceremony.

UK embassy to shut amid global alert 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – The British, French and German embassies in Yemen are to close and several other UK embassies are told to be vigilant after the US issues a terror alert.

Interpol issues jailbreak alert 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – Interpol puts out a global security alert calling for increased vigilance following a series of jailbreaks with suspected links to al-Qaeda.

Many killed in Syrian air strike 
BBC 3 Aug 2013 – At least six people are killed in a Syrian war plane attack on the town of Yabroud, just across the border from Lebanon, reports say.


Shamir 1991; Netanyahu 2013; history repeats itself 
Oraib Rantawi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/2/2013
‘In 1991, the United States was destined to become the world’s only hegemonic power and as a result of this needed to partake in a new initiative of great importance’
Unlike the Palestinians, Netanyahu’s government does not depend on negotiations. The importance of the negotiations goes beyond tables and press conferences. It is more important for Israel to be praised in the process and to negotiate for negotiation’s sake, nothing more, nothing less. This issue does not concern Netanyahu or any members of the right wing coalition and far-right politicians who govern Israel. The issue, quite simply, is that these politicians know that Israel’s “best interest” lies in prolonging negotiations and promoting the illusion that a peace process exists and that progress is made every time negotiations are held. Beneath this illusion and behind the curtain of lies, Israel is hard at work with its construction project. Behind the propaganda, Israel is continuing its colonisation, Judaisation and annexation by imposing a fait accompli on the Palestinian land it has occupied since 1967.
Netanyahu, like his predecessors, fears nothing more than a clash with Washington. He does not want to appear hindered by the tasks that America sets forth. He does not want to place himself in a confrontation with Barack Obama and John Kerry and for that reason we see him go to the negotiating table and pretend to make more “painful concessions”. After all, was he not the one to tell his cabinet, “We agreed to release 104 terrorists so we would not be forced to stop settlement expansion”?
History repeats itself. Think back twenty-two years when James Baker travelled to and fro within the region. The then US Secretary of State embarked on a whirlwind eleven trips. He dealt all of his strongest cards and put pressure on Israel by guaranteeing American loans amounting to ten billion dollars. Who was Yitzhak Shamir, Netanyahu’s predecessor and mentor, to stand in the way of Baker’s ambitions and risk upsetting the master in the White House? Shamir yielded to the pressure and he went to Madrid vowing to drag the Palestinians and Arabs along in ten years of barren negotiations. The ten years have gone by only to be followed by ten more years and countless others. We still find ourselves caught in a series of pointless negotiations. more.. e-mail

Israel’s referendum problem 
Tom Rollins, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/1/2013
By making any territorial withdrawal, from the Golan, Jerusalem or the West Bank, up to a referendum, Israel is colonising by law – constructing yet another wall to obstruct international law and justice from sweeping in.
As peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials jumpstart into motion again, plenty of questions remain.
“What was on the menu for last week’s White House Iftar?” Fish and saffron risotto, of course. “Could talks really succeed this time?” Depends what you mean by success. “What about the settlements?” Next question.
Global Post summed up the fairly crushing level of cynicism with its article, ‘Not sceptical enough about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks?’ Clearly the bar is low, even by the Arab-Israeli conflict’s standards.
One question that will matter if talks succeed – whatever that means – is the one distributed on ballot papers throughout Israel when it fields a nationwide referendum on territorial withdrawals in the West Bank. On Wednesday the Knesset passed a first reading on a bill that would make it a necessity by law to hold a referendum before any withdrawal from the Golan Heights, Jerusalem or pre-1967 Palestine.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has said negotiations are expected to take nine months – that’s on the Washington sunshine and smiles schedule, which doesn’t take into account sticking-points like Right of Return, security and settlements – but Israeli lawmakers are hedging their bets early on, whatever the outcome.
At first this could look like a good thing. Israel is running any decision taken by its negotiators abroad by its people at home. This is Israel’s democratic right, surely? more.. e-mail

The politics of selective compromise 
Ramona Wadi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 8/2/2013
“They already have a certain amount of self-determination – something that’s less than a state but covers almost all of the Palestinian population.” Elkin’s statement refers to the alleged lack of control over 60 per cent of the West Bank, dismissing Mahmoud Abbas’ constantly criticised economic dependency and security cooperation with Israel. In his interview with the Times of Israel, Ze’ev Elkin mangles historical processes to emit a decrepit reasoning amounting to less than a misguided ideology. During a discussion incorporating the peace talks, Netanyahu, settlements and the issue of a Palestinian state, Elkin seeks to highlight an allegedly precarious issue of compromise to destroy any hypothetical possibility of a Palestinian state in light of the latest peace talks.
Selective compromise remains at the helm of Elkin’s lament. Eliminating the colonial aspect which sustains the foundations of the state of Israel, Elkin cites alleged political differences with Netanyahu, a tactic which seems to have corroded after yesterday’s news suggesting that Israel will retain 85 per cent of its illegal settlements in the West Bank. Whatever minimal differences might exist within the current coalition, it is clear that through diplomacy and settler-colonialism efforts, the Israeli government is seeking to exploit the farcical peace talks in order to establish a well known fact allegedly reiterated by John Kerry: “One of my major goals is to establish a Jewish country for Jews.”
There is no concrete evidence in support of Elkin’s conviction of Netanyahu’s belief in the existence of a Palestinian state. Embarking on an analysis of Zionism throughout various stages, the foundations of the Likud charter, as well as the establishment of human rights violations against Palestinians as an integral part of daily routine, does not support Elkin’s allegation. Rather, it reinforces the Zionist methods of collective punishment against the Palestinian population and triggers doubts as to whether the Ramallah-based government is ready to pursue alternative avenues in the quest for self-determination and statehood. more.. e-mail

AIPAC’s Push To Scuttle Iran Diplomacy 
Ali Gharib, 8/1/2013
Observers of America’s Iran policy might be forgiven for doubting the sincerity of those Washington hawks who constantly plea that they both support the Iranian people and hope to avoid launching a war against them. That’s because the hawks—in the think tank and lobbying worlds, and especially on Capitol Hill—keep pressing forward with measures that would greatly reduce the possibility of avoiding said war. Yesterday, the House passed yet another round of sanctions against Iran. This comes against the backdrop of a presumed new push for diplomacy as Hassan Rowhani, Iran’s moderate president-elect, assembles an administration that looks to move forward with campaign promises he made to the Iranian people, including “peace and reconciliation” with the world and “transparency”—though not capitulation—on the nuclear program. He’s also, relatedly, promised to ease Iran’s economic crises, which arose due in large part to sanctions against the nuclear program.
The effort to dismiss Iran’s elections as unimportant—despite millions of Iranians’ willingness to come out and vote for Rowhani—and forge ahead with sanctions stem largely from efforts backed by the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The latest sanctions bill, the Nuclear Iran Prevention Act , which passed the House 400 to 20 last night, would impose the as yet toughest measures to date, just days before Rowhani’s inauguration. With AIPAC backing, the bill got 376 co-sponsors before Rowhani’s election. Some 80 of those were among the 131 members who signed a letter pushing diplomacy and urging restraint—but that letter took no positions on new sanctions. In another letter yesterday, 16 members of Congress urged that the bill be delayed on the grounds that it would be “counterproductive and irresponsible to vote on this measure before Iran’s new president is inaugurated.” The 16 called for the bill to be revamped to strengthen presidential waivers to sanctions and make clear it doesn’t authorize the use of force. 
Why not pass sanctions now? A deal would require compromise on both sides, and the bill harms the chance of building confidence on the Iranian side that the Americans have interest in anything other than regime change…. more.. e-mail

Once Upon a Palestine
Dissident Voice: 3 Aug 2013 – “Once Upon a Palestine” began in the spring of 2011; a few lines and the title, swiftly followed by a cascade of verse, then put to one side for a previous work barging in out of nowhere, demanding to be written. Going through my own dark night of the soul at the time, “Once Upon a Palestine” continued to gather dust in a drawer until the summer of 2012, when the words came back to haunt me. So here it is. My humble contribution to the betrayed, abandoned, shunned, vilified, outstandingly brave Palestinians of Palestine. I don’t know about the ‘Lost Tribes of Israel.’ It’s about time the dispossessed, ethnically cleansed, indigenous Peoples of Palestine picked up their keys and came home. Where they belong. –Tamarishe ***** Once upon a distant time, there was a land called Palestine Is it yours or is it mine, this land they once called Palestine…more

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