VTJP Palestine-Israel Newslinks 15 August 2013: The negotiations trap

15 August 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Army Admits Alleged “Gaza Mall” Is In Malaysia
IMEMC – After being exposed by the Electronic Intifada, the Israeli army issued an apology for an image it published of a lavish mall, allegedly in the besieged Gaza Strip, admitting that the Mall is actually in Malaysia, and claiming that what happened was “an honest mistake”. …

Abbas Welcomes UN Secretary General In Ramallah
IMEMC – Thursday evening [August 15, 2013] Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, at his presidential headquarters in the central West Bank city of Ramallah. …

Japan Denounces Israeli Decision To Build 1200 Units
IMEMC – [Thursday August 15, 2013] The Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement strongly denouncing the latest Israeli decision to build 1200 units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem. …

Second Round Of Talks Ends Without A Statement
IMEMC – Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held their second round of direct talks, without American supervision, and following five hours of talks, they decided to schedule another meeting in the coming few days, without setting a specific date for this meeting. …

MADA Demands Release Of All Detained Journalists
IMEMC – The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) demanded Israel to stop all of its violations against Palestinians journalists, and to release all detained reporters in compliance with International Law. …

Israel Built Four New Settlements In 2012
IMEMC – The Palestinian Census Bureau has reported that Israel built four new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank in 2012, raising the number of Jewish settlements to 144 comparing to 140 by the end of 2011. … 

Abbas: “All Detainees Will Be Free”
IMEMC – Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated late on Wednesday at night, that the Palestinian Authority will act on ensuring the release of all Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel”. …

Ma’an News

Rightists visit Joseph’s Tomb, soldiers storm Nablus
8/15/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hundreds of extremist Israelis on Thursday visited Joseph’s Tomb near Balata refugee camp east of Nablus in the northern West Bank heavily escorted by Israeli forces, Palestinian officials said. They highlighted that prior to the visit, dozens of Israeli military vehicles raided several neighborhoods in Nablus overnight and ransacked several houses. Locals told Ma’an that the al-Sikka….

Clashes break as Israeli forces raid Jenin
8/15/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) – Clashes broke out Thursday morning between young Palestinian men and Israeli troops who stormed several homes in Jenin in the northern West Bank before they detained two young men. Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided both the city and the refugee camp in Jenin and detained two young men. Ahmad Shabrawi was shortly questioned in his house in….

Ex-detainees ‘can’t move freely’
8/15/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) – Israeli authorities have given veteran Palestinian prisoners released Tuesday maps showing the places and streets they can go to within their own cities, says a freed prisoner. Samir Naneesh from Nablus in the northern West Bank had been detained in May 1989 and was sentenced to life imprisonment after he was convicted of killing an Israeli soldier by throwing a stone….

Israel destroys Bedouin village for 54th time
8/15/2013 – BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Thursday demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib for the 54th time. Resident Aziz al-Turi said Israeli forces arrived carrying weapons and batons to intimidate villagers in Al-Araqib before bulldozers tore down all the homes in the Negev village. Israeli authorities also bulldozed homes and buildings on Thursday in the Negev village of Abu Qreinat, resident Maher Abu Qreinat….

Fatah: Prisoners’ release a ‘victory’ for PA
8/15/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s release of veteran Palestinian prisoners on Wednesday was a “new victory” for the Palestinian Authority, Fatah said. Israel freed 26 Palestinians as part of deal to secure the resumption of negotiations, which restarted Wednesday. Another 78 prisoners are expected to be released in stages depending on progress in peace talks. Fatah, which dominates the PA, said the prisoner….

Palestinian, Israeli negotiators meet in Jerusalem
8/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Away from cameras, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators on Wednesday held a second round of negotiations in Jerusalem amidst low expectations after Israel’s announcement to build thousands of new settlement units in the West Bank. The Palestinian team comprised Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Ishtayya, while on the Israeli side there were minister of justice Tzipi Livni and prime minister Netanyahu….

Egypt closes Gaza crossing due to unrest
8/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – Egypt on Thursday closed its border crossing with the Gaza Strip in both directions indefinitely due to the ongoing unrest in the country, Palestinian officials said. Mahir Abu Sabha, director of border crossings in the Hamas-run government in Gaza, confirmed in a statement that Egypt officially informed his department that the Rafah crossing would be closed in both directions “due….

Palestinian football chief demands Israel expulsion
8/15/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — The Palestinian Football Association on Thursday urged FIFA to expel Israel from the international federation, saying it had refused to allow several Arab youth teams into the Palestinian territories.”We ask (FIFA) for a red card, because the yellow card has been raised now for a long time,” PFA chief Jibril al-Rujub told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.”We are….

UN chief urges Israeli-Palestinian ‘patience’ with talks
8/15/2013 – AMMAN (AFP) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Israelis and Palestinians Thursday to have “patience” with their peace talks so that they might have a chance to succeed, state-run Petra news agency reported. After holding talks in Amman with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, Ban stressed the UN’s support for peace talks between the two sides, which resumed in Jerusalem on Wednesday. He….

Abbas says ‘all issues’ raised in talks with Israel
8/15/2013 – RAMALLAH (AFP) — President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday all key issues were discussed at a new round of peace talks with Israel, but he declined to elaborate because of an agreed news blackout.”We can’t speak now about what happened,” he told a joint press conference with UN chief Ban Ki-moon at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. At the request….

Fatah: No new national consensus government
8/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A new Palestinian government will be sworn in within two or three weeks but it will not be a national consensus government, a Fatah official said Wednesday. Azzam al-Ahmad, the speaker of Fatah in the Palestinian parliament, told Ma’an that caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah would not introduce major changes to his new government. President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday….

Gaza official: Closure of Ma’an, al-Arabiya temporary
8/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) – The attorney general of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip says the closures of Ma’an Network and al-Arabiya are temporary. But he accused both outlets of disseminating information “unprofessionally.” In a statement released by his office Thursday, Ismail Jabir also confirmed that a prisoner held over criminal charges would be executed in a few days in public….

Israeli police officer discharged over ‘racist’ Facebook comments
8/15/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — An Israeli border guard officer has been discharged following a complaint to Israeli police by Arab member of Knesset Ahmad Tibi, the lawmaker said. The complaint cited racist anti-Arab comments on the Facebook page of Melvin Bar Sheshet Aboudarham, a statement from Tibi’s office said. Among other racist remarks on Aboudarham’s Facebook page were “Death to Arabs….

PA ‘waiting on Egypt outcome’ for reconciliation push
8/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Authority is waiting on the outcome of the crisis in Egypt to move forward on reconciliation with Hamas, a senior PLO official said Thursday. Egypt’s military rulers on Wednesday launched a bloody crackdown on protesters demonstrating against the army’s removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, whose Muslim Brotherhood movement i
s close to Hamas. More than….

TV: Egypt Islamists torch governorate HQ in Cairo
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian Islamist protesters stormed the Giza governorate headquarters in Cairo on Thursday and set it on fire, state television reported. Private Egyptian television CBC showed footage of the headquarters in flames as men tried to douse the fire with hoses. [END]

Health ministry: 525 killed in Egypt day of carnage
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) – At least 525 people were killed in Egypt on Wednesday, including 202 protesters in a Cairo Islamist sit-in, a health ministry official told AFP. The death toll included 43 policemen killed in violence across the country and 202 protesters killed in the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, senior health ministry official Khaled al-Khatib said on Thursday. [END]

Egypt Islamists call new march
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Islamists vowed to rally Thursday in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi despite a violent crackdown that sparked Egypt’s worst day of violence for decades, with over 500 people killed. As the death toll from the carnage soared, condemnation of Wednesday’s crackdown on two Muslim Brotherhood protest camps in Cairo poured in, with Britain, France and Germany summoning the….

Report: Beirut car bomb kills 14 in Hezbollah area
8/15/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — A powerful car bombing Thursday killed at least 14 people and wounded about 200 others in a Beirut stronghold of pro-Damascus Shiite group Hezbollah, national news agency NNA said. A previously unknown group believed to be a Syrian rebel cell said it carried out the attack. The bombing, reminiscent of the frequent attacks during Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, caused enormous….

Egypt Islamists on the offensive after crackdown
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Fresh violence hit Egypt Thursday, with Islamists going on the counterattack a day after a crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi sparked clashes that killed hundreds and drew international censure. The country awakened to an unusual calm after an overnight curfew imposed by the army-backed government, but Morsi supporters vowed to rally again to demand his reinstatement and violence erupted as….

Security sources: Egypt militants kill 7 soldiers in Sinai
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Militants in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula on Thursday killed seven soldiers in an attack on a checkpoint, security officials said. The soldiers were killed when gunmen in two cars attacked them in their tents at a checkpoint near a police station in the northern town of el-Arish, the officials said. The northern part of the peninsula has seen a semi-insurgency by Bedouin….

World powers condemn Egypt bloodshed
8/15/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — US President Barack Obama joined in global condemnation Thursday of Egypt’s military rulers over the bloody crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters, while France warned of the threat of “civil war” and the UN rights chief demanded an investigation. More than 500 people were killed in Wednesday’s assaults on two Cairo protest camps of supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed….

In Egypt carnage, struggle to lay out the dead
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — The further the black-clad Egyptian policemen tightened the noose on the Rabaa al-Adawiya protest camp, the more desperate became the search for a place to lay out the protesters felled by their gunfire. Amid a swarm of hissing bullets, two protesters barged into the garden of the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque compound in east Cairo, carrying a man whose face was masked in blood….

Fresh Egypt violence after crackdown kills more than 500
8/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Fresh violence targeting the security forces hit an on-edge Egypt Thursday, as Washington cancelled a joint military exercise in response to a bloody crackdown on protesters that killed more than 500 people. Security sources said at least seven soldiers and a policeman were killed in attacks in Sinai, and another policeman killed in the central city of Assuit. With the country under a….

Hagel: US to ‘maintain’ military ties with Egypt
8/15/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States will retain its military ties with Egypt but recent violence by the army is jeopardizing the relationship, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told the country’s military chief Thursday.”The Department of Defense will continue to maintain a military relationship with Egypt, but I made it clear that the violence and inadequate steps towards reconciliation are putting important elements of….

Diplomats: France, Britain ask for emergency UN Council meet on Egypt
8/15/2013 – UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — France, Britain and Australia on Thursday jointly requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the deadly violence in Egypt, diplomats said. The meeting — which would be closed-door consultations — could take place later in the day, they said. [END]


Israel-Palestinian peace talks resume
AlJazeera 15 Aug 2013 – First substantive talks in five years get under way in Jerusalem as Israel releases 26 Palestinian prisoners.

Palestine News Network

Negotiating Peace Amidst Political Turmoil
Palestine News Network

Israel Arrests 9 Palestinians from West Bank Cities
Palestine News Network

Jenin’s Freedom Theater to Tour in US
Palestine News Network

The Negotiations Trap
Palestine News Network

“What Is a New Home Without the Sight of My Children?”
Palestine News Network

Number of Employment in the Local Market Increased, says Statistics Bureau
Palestine News Network

Abbas Vows to Release All Palestinian Detainees
Palestine News Network

Students Offered Grants if They Tweet Pro-Israeli Propaganda
Palestine News Network

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

“What is a new home without the sight of my children?”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

ISM statement: Hoax video designed to harm the Palestinian popular struggle
8/15/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – A video has been put online on a website claiming to be a human right organization with a woman impersonating an ISM volunteer. In the video a woman who claims to have volunteered with the ISM in Palestine says that she was sexually harassed by a prominent Palestinian activist. The ISM want to make clear that this video is a hoax: the woman is not….

Three youths arrested in Kafr Qaddum night raid
8/15/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – 15th August 2013, International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – Shortly after the release of 26 prisoners by Israel on the evening of the 13th August, as part of the ‘peace’ negotiations, thirteen people were arrested in the West Bank during army night incursions including three youths from Kafr Qaddum. At 3am on the 14thof August, Israeli occupation forces raided three….

Relief Web

Lebanon: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation offers aid to 135,000 families of Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Relief Web 15 Aug 2013 – Source: Emirates News Agency Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic WAM BEIRUT, 15th August, 2013 (WAM)–The Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Charity Foundation has continued to provide the relief aid to 135, 000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon,…

occupied Palestinian territory: Making Life Sweeter
Relief Web 15 Aug 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory West Bank/Jordan If you ask Sana Adawi, a 40-year-old resident of Arroub refugee camp, in the West Bank, learning about healthy cooking practices…

The National

Egypt’s Islamists, enraged by bloodshed, vow to prevail
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Despite international condemnation of the government’s use of force, Islamists vow to prevail even as their opponents cheer the security operations and praise their restraint. Alice Fordham reports from Cairo 

UN rights chief calls for investigation into Egypt violence
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Navi Pillay demands a wide-ranging investigation into the crackdown by Egyptian security forces on Muslim Brotherhood protesters.

Beirut bombing Lebanon’s deadliest since Hariri assassination in 2005
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Syria’s conflict overflows again as militant Sunni group claims responsibility for attack on Hizbollah neighbourhood in retaliation for the Lebanese Shiite group’s support for Bashar Al Assad’s regime. Bradley Hope reports from Beirut 

Russian legend to visit Dubai
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Before any of Rodriguez and Dekkers’s friends get a chance to come to Dubai, another legend plans to step into Glory MMA Centre a few weeks from now: Fedor ‘The Last Emperor’ Emelianenko.

UFC world champ to coach in UAE
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Two former UFC champions are moving to Dubai to train up residents in Mixed Martial Arts.

Veil of secrecy over Israel-Palestine peace talks
The National 15 Aug 2013 – Negotiators meet for five hours at an undisclosed location in Jerusalem and request that US officials – including Martin Indyk, Washington’s Middle East peace envoy – not attend. Hugh Naylor reports from Ramallah 

Manning pleads for a second chance
The National 15 Aug 2013 – US soldier asks for the chance to go to college as sentencing hearing is told of psychological problems that led him to leak military secrets.

Egypt thanks UAE support
The National 15 Aug 2013 – The adviser to the Egyptian embassy in Abu Dhabi has praised the UAE’s support for measures taken by the Egyptian government to break up protests in Rabeaa and Al Nahda.


Arab bus driver beaten at wheel by passengers in Israel’s north
Ha’aretz – 15 Aug 2013

Israeli man sues Facebook for blocking him
Ha’aretz – 15 Aug 2013

Dozens of meters of railway tunnel to Jerusalem dug in wrong direction
Ha’aretz – 15 Aug 2013

Putting our best face forward
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Ashkenazi affair has polluted IDF, Israeli democracy
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Prisoner release shows Israel can’t handle pressure
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Israel’s culture budget to increase by NIS 100m over two years
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Hasbara chief told to cease activity over offensive Facebook remarks
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Jewish Agency airlifts 17 Yemeni Jews to Israel in covert operation
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Israel Police officer dismissed over incident with activist who defended Arabs
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Jewish and democratic – who are we kidding?
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Ashkenazi rejects Barak’s ‘criminal’ allegations
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Israeli officials protest new settlement guidelines at first meeting with EU
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Both sides of prisoner release
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

State refuses residency for Eritrean man married to Israeli woman
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

U.K. academia’s hypocrisy about Israel
Ha’aretz – 14 Aug 2013

Dirty tricks won’t fix Israel’s ‘image problem’
Ha’aretz – 13 Aug 2013

It’s just Netanyahu and us
Ha’aretz – 13 Aug 2013

If it talks like a boycott and walks like a boycott
Ha’aretz – 13 Aug 2013

Jerusalem Post

Muslim Brotherhood intends to bring down Egypt’s ‘military coup’ peacefully
Jerusalem Post 15 Aug 2013 – Islamist movement vows to “push forward” as death toll hits 421. 

Man dies, two children injured after truck, car collide in Gadera
Jerusalem Post 15 Aug 2013 – Paramedics treat injured on scene, evacuate three children, woman to Kaplan Medical center in Rehovot. 

US weighs canceling military exercise with Egypt
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Bloodshed forces Obama administration to consider adopting more muscular stance toward Egyptian army. 

Two journalists killed in Cairo violence
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Television cameraman Mick Deane, 61, worked for Britain’s Sky News. Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, reported for the Dubai-based news weekly Xpress. 

Eyewitness: Chaos reigns in Cairo
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Cairenes have grown used to disruption over the past few years, but many fear this might be the beginning of a particularly violent period in Egypt’s transition. 

George Lichter: A pioneer in the pantheon of the IAF
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Already a US veteran of WWII, when six Arab armies attacked Israel on May 15, 1948, Lichter threw in his lot with his fellow Jews and the nascent IAF. 

Bloch drops out of Beit Shemesh race
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Bayit Yehudi candidate says party went “behind her back” to court Cohen, withdraws to prevent “dividing Zionist camp.” 

UN says Assad gov’t agrees to allow chemical arms inspectors into Syria
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Investigative team’s departure “imminent” after 3-month delay. 

Muslim Brotherhood and Morsi supporters torch Egyptian churches
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Anti-Coptic violence taking place within “a general culture of impunity,” Canadian MP Irwin Cotler says. 

Analysis: It’s official, military chief Sisi is new king of Egypt
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – After Wednesday’s military assault on protesters, it seems ever more apparent that elections will likely not be fair and that Egyptian governments will probably rule at the pleasure of Sisi. 

Some 300 killed in Egypt crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – El Baradei resigns in protest; Kerry calls events “deplorable.” 

US warns Egypt’s military after crackdown intensifies
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Kerry says peaceful transition to civilian rule will be “much, much harder” to achieve after recent events. 

Hezbollah says it struck Israeli troops in southern Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Nasrallah says Hezbollah fighters planted bombs in area, detonating them when IDF soldiers arrived, injuring four last week. 

Report: Iran seeking closer relations with Muslim Brotherhood
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Changes in region have led the “resistance axis” to “rearrange the relationship between Iran and Hezbollah, and the Muslim Brotherhood.” 

Deal signed to clear Tel Aviv’s Dov Hoz airport for housing
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Housing Minister Uri Ariel, and Transportation Ministry director-general Ettie Itzhak sign deal. 

Ex-education minister assails successor for banning test
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Gideon Sa’ar took issue with Education Minister Shai Piron’s decision to do away with the Meitzav standardized exams. 

UN rights chief urges Hamas not to carry out planned prisoner executions in Gaza
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Pillay “deeply concerned” after Hamas says executions of people sentenced to death are to take place after Ramadan. 

White House strongly opposes Egyptian military’s emergency declaration
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Turkey, Hamas slams Egyptian government, calls on UN and Arab League to help stop “massacre” as EU countries appeal for “restraint.” 

Kuwait bans cleric’s TV show after instigating Syria fighting
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Shafi al-Ajmi has called for supporters to torture, kill fighters in Syria linked to Shi’ite group Hezbollah. 

Construction and Housing Minister Ariel promises more settlement building
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – “We will continue to build even during the negotiations.” 

Egypt’s ElBaradei resigns as VP after violent crackdown on Morsi backers
Jerusalem Post 14 Aug 2013 – Death toll hits 149 in nationwide clashes; curfew announced. 

Yesh Atid MKs visit camp for youths with special needs
Jerusalem Post 13 Aug 2013 – Visit to the Shutaf summer day camp in Jerusalem highlights the importance of inclusion within Israeli society for children, teens with special needs. 

Inter Press Service

U.N. Chief Lambastes Egypt’s Army but Refuses to Affirm Coup
IPS U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Credit: UN Photo/Rick Bajornas Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has refused to describe the Egyptian army’s ouster of a democratically-elected government last month as a “military coup”, lambasted the country’s security forces for Wednesday’s massacre of civilians in the streets of Cairo. He condemned in the “strongest…

While Officials Talk, Israelis Build
IPS Moshe Goldshmidt and his wife Lea at a new synagogue under construction in the Israeli settlement Itamar in the West Bank. Credit: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours/IPS. Large spools of black tubing and plastic-wrapped water tanks lay strewn across a dusty construction site. A handful of Palestinian labourers, speaking quietly in Arabic, shuttle…

U.S.-Russian Rift May Play Out at U.N.
IPS Vitaly I. Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the UN. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe When the Cold War peaked in the late 1960s and ’70s, the United States and the then-Soviet Union were armed with one of the most effective non-lethal weapons in their diplomatic arsenal: a veto…


America Loses Yemeni People In Drone War

Walk away, Palestinians!

You are not Getting #Morsi back by terrorizing Christians

John Grisham calls for justice for Guantánamo Bay detainees

Antiwar.com’s confusion on Obama’s Syria Policy

US Drones Pound Yemen, But Targets Aren’t All Militants

“The old will die and the young will forget” – Did Ben-Gurion say it?

Masked settlers suspected of attacking Palestinian shepherd near Mitzpe Yair outpost; police closes investigation

What If a Russian Snowden?

The NSA is turning the internet into a total surveillance system

Daily Star

Beirut suburb residents resilient despite tragedy 
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Civil Defense, Red Cross, the Army and Hezbollah appeared to be working fluidly together to clear the wounded and let residents and shop owners in, with Hezbollah clearly in charge of security in Ruwaiss.

Beirut blast generates wide condemnation
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Political leaders from across the divide condemned the car bomb attack in the Beirut southern suburbs – a stronghold of Hezbollah- which claimed the lives of at least 16 people and wounded over 200.

Egypt’s U.K. envoy says protesters ‘got what they wanted’
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Egypt’s ambassador to Britain says a crackdown on supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi was not excessive and that protesters had portrayed themselves as victims and had shot one another dead in some cases.

Iraq must stop weapons from flowing into Syria: Kerry
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry says Iraq must do more to stop weapons from flowing into and out of Syria for use against Iraqi citizens.

Egypt shortens curfew hours: statement
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Egypt says it will shorten the hours of a curfew imposed on Cairo and 13 other cities following political violence in which more than 500 people were killed.

Egypt authorizes police use of deadly force
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Egyptian authorities have authorized police to use deadly force to protect themselves and key state institutions from attacks.

Iran president warns Egypt against ‘suppression’
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Iran’s new president is calling on the Egyptian army to stop “suppressing” the Egyptian people.

Car bomb kills 21 in Beirut southern suburb
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 A car bomb kills at least 21 people and wounds 250 in the southern suburb of Beirut Thursday, Lebanese officials say, and security sources say investigators are looking into accounts the attack was carried out by…

Egypt’s Suez Canal and ports operating normally: sources
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Egypt’s Suez Canal and its ports are operating normally despite the unrest, Egyptian shipping sources say.

New Saudi-supplied missiles boost rebels in south Syria
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 Rebels in southern Syria have fired newly acquired anti-tank guided missiles supplied by Saudi Arabia in a significant boost to their battle against Assad, various sources say.

Obama cancels joint exercise with Egyptian army
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 President Barack Obama cancels joint military exercises with Egypt next month and says the United States “strongly condemns” the violent crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood protesters that has killed more than 500.

U.N. rights boss calls for credible probe into Egypt killings
Daily Star 15 Aug 2013 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay calls for an independent investigation into the killing of hundreds of Egyptians when security forces crushed Islamist protest camps.

YNet News

Libyan government threatens army action if protesters sell oil 
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – ….

Egypt recalls ambassador to Turkey
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – ….

UN Security Council to meet on Thursday to discuss Egypt
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – ….

Turkey recalls Egypt ambassador for consultations after violence
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – ….

Israeli, US navies complete drill 
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – ….

Fulfilling promise to voters 
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – Op-ed: Nazareth Illit mayor wants to preserve city’s Jewish character; that doesn’t make him racist ….

Obama lost touch with Mideast 
YNet News, 15 Aug 2013 – Analysis: Regional violence, chaos result of America’s shortsightedness, lack of leadership ….

Palestinian Information Center

Hundreds of settlers raid Yusuf’s tomb
PIC – Hundreds of extremist settlers, late Wednesday night, raided Yusuf’s tomb in the northern West Bank city of Nablus under the protection of IOF troops who closed the eastern part of the city.

IOF arrests 9 Palestinians in West Bank including Hamas leader
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Thursday ten citizens from different parts of the West Bank, including Hamas leader Hatem Amro (49).

Islamic Movement in 1948 Palestine condemn the bloodshed in Egypt
PIC – The Islamic Movement in 1948 occupied Palestine denounced the “massacre” committed by the coup leaders in Egypt, against peaceful protesters in Rabaa Adaweya and Nahdha Squares.

Owaida: Closure of tunnels would lead to disaster in Gaza
PIC – The Palestinian government in Gaza stressed that the economic indicators threaten a disaster in the Strip during the third quarter of this year..

Hamas: Negotiations with Israel liquidate the Palestinian cause
PIC – Hamas movement condemned the resumption of negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli occupation, warning that the negotiations “would liquidate the Palestinian cause.”

New Israeli bill to confiscate Jerusalemite properties
PIC – Hebrew media sources revealed that the Israeli government seek to present a new law allowing it to confiscate lands and houses belonging to Jerusalemites who are charged of resisting the occupier.

Abdullah al-Barghouthi transferred to Ramle prison hospital
PIC – Jordanian prisoner Abdullah al-Barghouthi was transferred from Afula hospital to Ramle prison hospital despite his sharp health deterioration after 104 days on hunger strike..

Thousands of new housing units in West Bank
PIC – The Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel declared Wednesday the construction of thousands of new housing units in West Bank settlements at the start Palestinian-Israeli negotiations.


Israeli Jet Strikes Field in Gaza
WAFA – 14 Aug 2013

Administrative Detention of Striking Prisoner Renewed
WAFA – 14 Aug 2013

Israeli Army Arrests Birzeit University Students
WAFA – 14 Aug 2013

Thousands Greet Freed Prisoners in spite of Late Night Release
WAFA – 14 Aug 2013

Increase in the Price Index during July, says Statistics Bureau
WAFA – 14 Aug 2013


Car bomb in Beirut kills at least 18 in Hezbollah stronghold
LA Times 15 Aug 2013 – Hezbollah’s support of Syrian President Bashar Assad fuels concern that the blast in Lebanon, the second in two months, is related to Syria’s civil war. BEIRUT — A deadly car bomb exploded Thursday in a densely populated district of southern Beirut, a stronghold of the…

Egyptian government under pressure from Islamists, liberals
LA Times 15 Aug 2013 – Liberal factions criticize the army’s grip on the government and new threats of force. The Muslim Brotherhood says protests of Morsi’s ouster will continue. CAIRO — The military-backed government faced pressure on two fronts Thursday as Islamists set fire to a public building and threatened…

In Cairo, crackdown elicits anger, determination from Morsi backers
LA Times 14 Aug 2013 – Mosques become makeshift hospitals and burning vehicles dot the streets of Egypt’s capital after security forces storm two encampments. CAIRO — Mosques turned into makeshift hospitals as injured protesters streamed in, their blood staining the prayer carpets. The streets outside became hospital corridors, clotted with…

Egypt military crackdown kills hundreds
LA Times 14 Aug 2013 – The violence in Cairo and elsewhere pushes Egypt toward a drawn-out struggle between the military and pro-Mohamed Morsi Islamists. CAIRO — Deadly clashes swept Egypt from its southern deserts to the Nile Delta, pushing the Arab world’s most strategically important state toward a prolonged struggle…

Death Toll in Egypt Surpasses 600
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – Violent new protests erupted and international condemnation widened over the crackdown, including an angry response by President Obama and calls for a suspension of European economic aid. 

Syrian War Fueling Attacks by Al Qaeda in Iraq, Officials Say
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – The civil war in Syria has proved to be a sanctuary for the group’s Iraq affiliates, drawing jihadi recruits and leading to a jump in suicide bombings in Iraq, American officials say. 

Iran’s Parliament Grills, but Mostly Confirms, New President’s Cabinet
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – All of Hassan Rouhani’s key nominees were approved, most notably the foreign minister, an American-educated diplomat known for his understanding of the West. 

Deadly Blast Rocks a Hezbollah Stronghold in Lebanon
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – The blast wounded hundreds of people in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital and might have been aimed at Hezbollah. 

The Lede: Video Shows Civilians Gunned Down in Cairo
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – Video uploaded to YouTube on Thursday showed civilians’ being cut down by gunfire on Wednesday in Cairo during an assault by security forces. 

The Lede: Hezbollah TV Video of Beirut Bomb Aftermath
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – The aftermath of a deadly bombing in a southern suburb of Beirut on Thursday was captured in video broadcast by the satellite channel run by Hezbollah, the militant movement and political party based in the area. 

Washington Post Site Hacked by Syrian Group
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – The paper reported that a hacker collective called the Syrian Electronic Army had also targeted Time magazine and CNN, suggesting a coordinated attack. 

With Eyes on Syria, U.S. Turns Warehouse Into Support Hub for Jordan
New York Times 15 Aug 2013 – With all eyes on Syria, the United States Defense Department coordinates its support for Jordan’s military in a warehouse on the outskirts of the capital, Amman. 

IBM buys Israeli data security co Trusteer
Globes Main News – Update: Financial details were not disclosed, but market estimates put the price at $800-900 million.

Finance Ministry: No decision on pension cut
Globes Main News – “The Capital Markets Division issued a preliminary document that should not be seen as an announcement of an immediate reduction in pensions.”

Nochi Dankner reaches pact with Alexander Granovsky
Globes Main News – Granovsky is taking over Emblaze, which will inject NIS 826 million into IDB, subject to a debt settlement.

El Al switches to profit
Globes Main News – The airline earned $3.7 million in the second quarter of 2013, compared with a loss of $6.1 million for the c
orresponding quarter.

Mizrahi Tefahot profit down
Globes Main News – The bank has for the first time implemented a Bank of Israel order to raise provisions against housing loans, resulting in a NIS 191 million expense.

Leumi sees 2013 deficit undershooting
Globes Macro Economics – Nevertheless, the bank describes the 2014 deficit:GDP target of 3% as “very challenging”.

“We’re trying to be fair”
Globes Macro Economics – Supervisor of Capital Markets, Insurance and Savings Prof. Oded Sarig explains the reduction in pension payments for those about to retire.

Merkava tank production restarts 
Globes Macro Economics – Defense Minister Ya’alon: I see the economic, social, and national aspects as well as the defense aspects of the program.

Palestinians have to suck it up for segregated train lines and 4000 new settlements –reporters grill State Dep’t
Mondoweiss – Here’s yesterday’s press briefing at the State Department . If you watch the first 20 minutes of the video , you’ll see the degree to which Matt Lee’s anger/skepticism about Israeli settlements is reflected by several other reporters, notably Rosalind Jordan of Al Jazeera English, who says the…

Palestinians welcome home prisoners to the West Bank in late night celebration
Mondoweiss – Released Palestinian prisoners with President Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqata, greeted by cheering family members and supporters, 14 August 2013. (Photo: Allison Deger) Mahmoud is 16 and in a few minutes he will hug his father for the first time. They have never touched, at least…

In Netanyahu’s house, Martin Dempsey ‘recommits’ to partnership
Mondoweiss – Netanyahu met with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday at his residence in Jerusalem and described the peace process as the “challenge of establishing peace in our region”: We have so many threats in the region, you know, we’ll have to discuss. But…

Florida paper runs rabbi’s assertion that Israel may have passed ‘point of no return’ to apartheid
Mondoweiss – This is trailblazing. Why isn’t the New York Times doing this every day in its op-ed pages? The Sun Sentinel publishes an op-ed by Bruce Warshal , a rabbi long associated with Peace Now and the Florida Jewish community leadership , titled “Peace or Apartheid: Approaching the Point…

Soldiers of the Judea Brigade enforce new restrictions on occupied Palestinians’ access to water
Mondoweiss – From Sol Salbe’s facebook page , a translation of a report by Ezra Nawi, who seeks to prevent the Judaizing of the Hebron Hills, Palestinian villages and lands near the Hebron Jewish colonies. The Judea Brigade is a branch of Israel’s occupying army: The Hebron Police command…

Israeli Arabs Protest in Front of Egyptian Embassy In Aftermath of Bloodshed 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Aug 2013 – Dozens of Israeli Arabs protested in front of the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv following clashes in Egypt between government security forces and protesters backing deposed President Mohamed Morsi. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Airlifts 17 Yemeni Jews To Holy Land in Covert Mission 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Aug 2013 – Seventeen Yemeni Jews were airlifted to Israel in a covert operation. Click here for the rest of the article…

Hezbollah Claims Responsibility for Strike Wounding Israeli Soldiers 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Aug 2013 – Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah claimed responsibility on Wednesday for explosions which wounded four Israeli soldiers who infiltrated into southern Lebanon last week. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt Troops Kill Scores in Crackdown on Islamists 
The Foward Breaking News 14 Aug 2013 – Egyptian security forces crushed a protest camp of thousands of supporters of the deposed president on Wednesday, shooting dead scores of people in the bloodiest day in decades in the Arab world’s most populous country. Click here for the rest of the article…

Jewish Agency Plans $300M-a-Year Push for Israel 
The Forward New 15 Aug 2013 – The Jewish Agency for Israel plans to spend $300 million a year promoting the Jewish State. Why is it needed and how will it work with existing groups like Birthright, Hillel and the federations? Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Crackdown Draws Condemnation 
allAfrica.com 14 Aug 2013 – [VOA]The Egyptian government’s deadly crackdown on supporters of former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi has drawn condemnation from leaders of Muslim nations who backed the ousted leader.

Nigeria: 300 Nigerian Girls Languish in Libyan Prisons – Yamidr 
allAfrica.com 14 Aug 2013 – [Vanguard]Benin City -THE Initiative for Youth Awareness on Migration, Immigration, Development and Re-integration, IYAMIDR, yesterday, raised alarm that over 300 Nigerian girls are languishing in different prisons in Libya.

Egypt: Two Saudi Newspapers – Egypt Is Above All Its Security Red Line 
allAfrica.com 14 Aug 2013 – [Egypt Online]Saudi al-Madina and al-Watan newspapers have highlighted in their editorials the developments in Egypt, saying Egypt is above all and its security is a red Line.

Cairo quiet after deadly crackdown 
BBC 15 Aug 2013 – Cairo is reported quiet after security forces stormed Islamist protest camps, leaving hundreds dead and drawing global condemnation.

UN weapons inspectors head to Syria 
BBC 15 Aug 2013 – The UN says its weapo
ns inspectors are to depart for Syria shortly to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use during the conflict.

Israel-Palestinian peace talks begin 
BBC 14 Aug 2013 – The first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three years are held in Jerusalem.

Against All Odds: Seven Years of Al-Akhbar 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 14 Aug 2013 – Al-Akhbar did not hesitate to put before the public the many cases of decay and corruption that run rampant in all aspects of society. (Photo: Marwan Bou Haidar) Al-Akhbar did not hesitate to put before the public the many cases of decay and corruption that run…

Death toll exceeds 450 in Egypt after day of violent clashes 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Aug 2013 – A man grieves as he looks at one of many bodies laid out in a makeshift morgue after Egyptian security forces stormed two huge protest camps at the Rabaa al-Adawiya and Al-Nahda squares where supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were camped, in Cairo, on 14…

Bahrain: A Silent Rebellion Marches Without Slogans 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Aug 2013 – A Bahraini boy flashes the v-sign during the funeral of 10-year-old Ali Jaffer Habib, in the village of Malikiya, on 10 August 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Shaikh) A Bahraini boy flashes the v-sign during the funeral of 10-year-old Ali Jaffer Habib, in the village of…

Ersal’s Economy Suffers Following Kidnapping Blitz 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Aug 2013 – Following such incidents, the Ersal-Labweh road, Ersal’s only access to the international highway leading to Syria and the rest of the Bekaa. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Following such incidents, the Ersal-Labweh road, Ersal’s only access to the international highway leading to Syria and the rest of the…

Al-Nahda’s Jebali comes out in favor of a consensus government for Tunisia 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Aug 2013 – Tunisian demonstrators, bearing the colors of their national flag, shout slogans during a protest against the country’s Islamist-led government in front of the Constituent Assembly headquarters in Tunis on 13 August 2013, as the president proposed a national unity cabinet to end a protracted crisis. (Photo:…

Bahrain police fires tear gas at opposition protests 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Aug 2013 – Updated at 6:50pm: Bahraini police fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of anti-government protesters on Wednesday, but there were no reports of casualties. A Reuters correspondent saw police dispersing the demonstrators, who had approached a barbed wire fence erected the night before on the outskirts of…

Kuwaiti sheikh’s show banned after calling for torture of pro-Assad fighters 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Aug 2013 – Kuwait has banned the television show of a prominent sheikh accused of instigating hatred with speeches and comments on social media calling for arming rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and torturing Assad’s supporters. Information Minister Sheikh Salman al-Humoud al-Sabah said authorities would investigate how…

What’s Behind Israel’s Failed Operation in South Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar Politics 13 Aug 2013 – A picture taken from the Lebanese village of Wazzani on 1 August 2013 shows Israeli troops on the border between Lebanon and Israel one day before al-Quds day. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat) A picture taken from the Lebanese village of Wazzani on 1 August 2013…

Cairo quiet after deadly crackdown 
BBC 15 Aug 2013 – Cairo is reported quiet after security forces stormed Islamist protest camps, leaving hundreds dead and drawing global condemnation.

UN weapons inspectors head to Syria 
BBC 15 Aug 2013 – The UN says its weapons inspectors are to depart for Syria shortly to investigate allegations of chemical weapons use during the conflict.

Wave of deadly bombings hits Baghdad 
BBC 15 Aug 2013 – At least 16 people are killed in Baghdad and many more are wounded in the latest series of bombings to hit Iraq, officials say.

Israel-Palestinian peace talks begin 
BBC 14 Aug 2013 – The first direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in three years are held in Jerusalem.


Any Other ‘Statesman’ Who Negotiated Peace Like John Kerry Would Be Treated as a Thief 
Robert Fisk, The Independent, Common Dreams 8/14/2013
Has John Kerry no shame? First he cuddles up to both Palestinians and Israelis and announces the renewal of a “peace process” which the Palestinians don’t trust and the Israelis don’t want. Then Israel announces that it will build 1,200 new homes for Jews – and Jews only – on occupied Palestinian land. And now Kerry tells the Palestinians – the weak and occupied Palestinians – that they are running out of time if they want a state of their own.
Any other “statesman” involved in any other dispute who told an occupied people that if they didn’t make peace their occupiers would steal even more of their land, would be regarded as an outcast, a fellow thief, a potential criminal. But no. John Kerry announces that illegal Jewish colonies – or “settlements” as he likes to call them, along with the world’s Israel-compliant press – are “illegitimate”. I think he meant internationally “illegal”. But it doesn’t matter. In the first 10 years of the Oslo “process”, the number of Israelis living on stolen Palestinian land doubled to 400,000. No wonder Kerry muttered that Israel’s latest theft announcement was “to some degree [sic] expected”.
You bet it was. Israel has been running rings around cowardly US administrations for decades, ignoring Washington’s squirming embarrassment every time it went for another land grab on someone else’s property. The Oslo accords, remember, envisioned a five-year period in which Israelis and Palestinians would refrain from taking “any unilateral steps that would prejudice the outcome of the negotiations”. Israel simply ignored this. As it still does. And what does Kerry advise the Palestinians? That they should not “react adversely”!
This is preposterous. Kerry must know – as the UN and the EU know – that there is not the slightest chance of “Palestine” existing as a state because the Israelis have already stolen too much land on the West Bank. Anyone who drives around the occupied territories realises at once (unless they are politically blind) that there is as much chance of building a state in the West Bank – whose map of colonies and non-colonised districts looks like the smashed windscreen of a car – as there is waiting for the return of the Ottoman Empire. more.. e-mail

The negotiations trap 
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 8/14/2013
When Palestinian negotiators enter the Jerusalem hotel designated for the face-to-face negotiations with their Israeli counterparts on Wednesday, they would complete falling into a well-planned negotiations trap.
Palestinians have committed themselves to participate in the talks for the next nine months, irrespective of what Israel does on the ground. The Israelis, who carefully laid this trap, have already reaped the benefits of knowing that no matter what they do Palestinians are highly unlikely to walk out of the talks. The Israeli Cabinet’s announcement of hundreds of settlement tenders in Jerusalem and other West Bank areas proves that Israel has the upper hand in this process.
The setting up of this trap began when the Israelis realised that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was intent on obtaining the release of some 100 fedayeen that were the foot soldiers of the PLO over 20 years ago. At the time, these fighters received orders from PLO leaders like Yasser Arafat and Abbas and carried out military operations against Israelis. These soldiers, who were captured and sentenced, had been left to rot in Israeli jails while their leaders were free in Tunisia and were later given permission to return to Palestine and take over the Palestinian Authority. Arafat and the PLO had always asked for their release and in fact in 1999 as part of the Sharm El Sheikh agreement their release was agreed. But they were not freed when the second Intifada erupted in October 2000. When the current talks began, Abbas made the release of these pre-Oslo prisoners his personal crusade.
While Abbas was forced to accept verbal American promises that Israel will refrain from settlement activities and that the framework of the negotiations will be the 1967 borders, he insisted that Palestinians would not participate in the talks until he was assured that the old promise he made to the families of his foot soldiers would in fact be fulfilled. Realising that they had found Abbas’ Achilles heel, the Israelis agreed, but only after stretching out the release of the 104 prisoners over the nine-month period…. more.. e-mail

While officials talk, Israelis build 
Jillian Kestler-DAmours, Asia Times 8/15/2013
HAR BRACHA SETTLEMENT, Occupied West Bank – Large spools of black tubing and plastic-wrapped water tanks lay strewn across a dusty construction site. A handful of Palestinian laborers, speaking quietly in Arabic, shuttle the items to the two unfinished, three-story apartment blocs behind them.This is Har Bracha, an illegal Israeli settlement near Nablus, one of the West Bank’s largest Palestinian cities. And on a sunny day this July, construction was moving quickly.
“The bigger and bigger we get, the more difficult it will be to ever evacuate us,” said Yonatan Behar, a resident of Har Bracha, during a press tour of t
he settlement. “Ariel [a nearby Israeli settlement] is a city of 20,000 people or more. Who in their right mind would ever think of evacuating a city of 20,000 people? A small community of 300 families [like Har Bracha], that’s possible. But if we get to 1,000 families, and 2,000 families, and 5,000 families, then it’s very, very difficult,” Behar said.

The importance of establishing these “facts on the ground” – which means rapidly building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – is not lost on the Israeli government. As Israeli and Palestinian leaders resumed negotiations on August 14 towards a peace agreement, Israel has untaken several steps to strengthen and expand its settlements. How this will impact the talks does not seem to be a factor.
Earlier this week, Israel approved construction of nearly 1,000 new housing units in seven different West Bank settlements, and it plans to build 900 more units in East Jerusalem, south of the West Bank city Beit Jala.
The Israeli government has also added several West Bank settlements to its list of “priority communities” that are eligible for government funding. This includes three settlements that were originally considered outposts – built in violation even of Israeli law – that earned retroactive recognition last year. more.. e-mail

Take My Camel: The Disappearing Camels of Jerusalem and Jaffa 
Penny Johnson, Jerusalem Quarterly File 8/12/2013
Spring Edition
“‘Take my camel, dear,’ said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass,” is the once famous opening line of Rose Macaulay’s eccentric 1956 travel novel, The Towers of Trebizond.1 And the first-person narrator does take the camel traveling from Trebizond (Trabzon) on the Black Sea all the way to Jerusalem, where she tethers the beast in the garden of Saint George’s church and hostel. This fictional cameus dromedarius is perhaps the last working camel – discounting a series of disconsolate camels offered for tourist photo ops on the Mount of olives – to find his or her (sex never determined) way to the Holy City. Or is it? A few traces remain in Jerusalemites’ living memories. A distinguished historian, for example, was initially surprised by the subject of camels in Jerusalem but then remembered camels delivering heavy goods in the Old City during his boyhood in the 1960s.2 A lawyer, in law school in Jerusalem in the 1940s, at first emphatically says: “there were no camels in Jerusalem.” But then, he recalls camels in the Valley of the Cross, below where the Israel Museum now stands.3
I will later speculate on the reasons for what I term the repressed camel memory syndrome. However, it is clear that camels begin to vanish not only from urban and rural landscapes in late Mandate Palestine, but out of Palestinian memory as well. Looking through the lens of the early photographer of Palestine, Khalil Raad, and other photographic and textual traces of camels in the city, let us ask where have all the camels gone – and when and why.
Just a few of the images allow us to imagine camels in the urban and rural landscapes of Palestine, including Jerusalem, Jaffa, and the Galilee. A photograph in the American Colony collection shows a long camel train bringing grain from the Dead Sea to Jerusalem in 1917. A striking photograph of “Bedouins unloading wheat-laden camels” at Damascus Gate is dated in the range of 1920-1933…. more.. e-mail

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