VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 15 December 2013: Why can’t we walk back?: A conversation with Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir

15 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Prawer Plan Defeat Official
IMEMC – Bedouins still under threat [Sunday, December 15, 2013] Alternative Information Center (AIC) – The Israeli government has officially announced that parliamental discussions in the Knesset concerning the Prawer plan will be halted. This is to say that the government has backed away from attempts to pass the “Prawer law”, in their displacement of Arab residents from the Naqab (Negev). … 

Palestinian Moderately Wounded By Army Fire In Gaza
IMEMC – [Sunday, December 15, 2013] Palestinian medical sources have reported that a Palestinian child was moderately wounded by Israeli army fire, east of Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Ma’an News

2 dead, 2200 in shelters across storm-ravaged Gaza Strip
12/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The death toll in the Gaza Strip from winter storm Alexa rose to two on Sunday as more than 2,000 Gazans remained in shelters and much of the region was still paralyzed after four days of severe weather. Gaza Ministry of Health spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra in a statement Sunday identified the two dead as 21-year-old Hamza al-Amour, who suffocated….

Israel refuses to distribute extra blankets to Palestinian prisoners
12/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli prison administration refused a request from the Palestinian Authority to allow extra blankets and clothes for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails during the recent storm, the PA prisoners’ affairs minister said on Sunday. Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an that despite coordination between the PA, the Red Cross, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Israeli administration of Ofer….

Officials warn Gaza Strip on the verge of health crisis
12/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The results of winter storm Alexa in Gaza will lead to a health disaster unless the world intervenes, a Palestinian medical official said Sunday.”We are on the verge of a complete breakdown in the health sector, services, and civil institutes,” General Director of military medical services in Gaza Atef al-Kahlout said. Al-Kahlout said he feared chest and skin diseases….

Qatari diesel to run power plant enters Gaza
12/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities started to pump industrial diesel donated by Qatar into the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, a Gaza official told Ma’an. The move is part of a temporary agreement to ease the blockade following days of record flooding that has devastated large swathes of the besieged coastal enclave. Raed Fattouh, president of a committee that coordinates the…. Related: Gaza power plant stirs to life as violent storm passes

20 villages near Nablus without electricity since Wednesday
12/15/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — More than 20 villages and neighborhoods in Nablus district in the northern West Bank have been without electricity for the last four days, causing huge losses to farmers and private properties. Executive director of the Northern West Bank Electricity Company Yahya Arafat told a Ma’an reporter that the electricity network completely collapsed just as the storm started to hit….

Gaza power plant stirs to life as violent storm passes
12/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — Gaza’s lone power station rumbled to life on Sunday for the first time in more than seven weeks after receiving a long-awaited delivery of diesel, the electricity company said.”The power station started reworking gradually after stopping for 50 days,” spokesman Jamal Dirsawi told AFP. The plant, which supplies some 30 percent of the coastal enclave’s electricity needs…. Related: Qatari diesel to run power plant enters Gaza

Israeli forces detain man at flying checkpoint near Jenin
12/15/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Sunday detained a Palestinian man at a flying checkpoint near Arraba southwest of Jenin. Local sources told Ma’an that Abd al-Rahman al-Bajawi from Yabad was detained by Israeli forces as he passed through a checkpoint that Israeli forces had temporarily erected on a road in the northern West Bank. Witnesses said he was taken to an….

OCHA: Number of displaced tops 10000 in Gaza
12/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Approximately 10,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to widespread flooding in the Gaza Strip, according to a report released Saturday evening by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The numbers of displaced dwarf earlier estimates, as they take into account both the thousands who have sought refuge in Gaza shelters as well as….

Kerry ‘encouraged’ by progress in Mideast peace talks
12/15/2013 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Sunday concrete progress has been made in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but said details will be kept under wraps. Kerry, who has made nine trips to the Middle East since March and helped launch nine-month direct talks between the two sides in July, said talking about any agreements could be counterproductive.” I’m….

Minister: financial losses from storm around $12 million
12/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — An initial estimation of financial losses from the winter storm that devastated the West Bank last week is nearly $12 million, the Palestinian Minister of Agriculture told Ma’an. Walid Assaf said that 20 percent of the losses caused by the storm affected the agricultural sector, with most of the damage in Yatta, Dura, and Bethlehem. Around 800 greenhouses were….

Birzeit professor and economist dies at 48
12/15/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian economist and lecturer Basim Makhoul died in Ramallah on Sunday at the age of 48. Locals told Ma’an that Makhoul died of a sudden illness while he was shoveling snow that had piled around his house in Ramallah. Makhoul is originally from the northern West Bank village of Attil in Qalqiliya district. He studied industrial economics in the….

Gaza port suffers $100,000 in storm damage
12/15/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — The port of Gaza and the fisherman’s dock have suffered losses of up to $100,000 in the recent storm as an indirect result of the Israeli blockade on concrete blocks, a Gaza Ministry of Transportation official said Sunday. In a news conference held Sunday at the fisherman’s dock, coordinator of the Gaza Harbors Said Ammar said….

French FM: Syria’s moderate opposition in ‘serious difficulty’
12/15/2013 – MONACO (AFP) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the moderate opposition to the Syrian regime is in “serious difficulty” and that long-delayed peace talks aimed at ending the crisis are in trouble.” On Syria, I’m unfortunately rather pessimistic,” Fabius said.” The moderate opposition that we support is in serious difficulty,” he added, voicing misgivings over the prospects of peace talks known as “Geneva…. Related: Syria’s moderate opposition in ‘serious difficulty’

Syria’s moderate opposition in ‘serious difficulty’
12/15/2013 – MONA
CO (AFP) — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the moderate opposition to the Syrian regime is in “serious difficulty” and that long-delayed peace talks aimed at ending the crisis are in trouble.” On Syria, I’m unfortunately rather pessimistic,” Fabius said.” The moderate opposition that we support is in serious difficulty,” he added, voicing misgivings over the prospects of peace talks known as “Geneva…. Related: French FM: Syria’s moderate opposition in ‘serious difficulty’

Syria air raids ‘kill 22 in Aleppo’
12/15/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — At least 22 people, including 14 children, were killed in regime air raids on rebel districts of the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.” An (aerial) attack using explosive-laden barrels over the Sakhur, Ard al-Hamra and Haydariyeh districts (of eastern Aleppo) killed 22 people, among them 14 children and an 18-year-old boy,” said the Britain-based….

Egypt’s Mussa urges reconciliation before constitution vote
12/15/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — The head of a panel which has drafted a new Egyptian constitution urged the government and its Islamist opponents Sunday to reconcile ahead of January’s referendum on the charter. The two-day referendum starting on Jan. 14 is expected to ratify the new constitution and usher in elections for a parliament and president to replace president Mohamed Morsi, ousted by the military….

AlJazeera

Storm-hit Gaza gets emergency fuel
AlJazeera 15 Dec 2013 – As major flooding forces 10,000 people out of their homes, delivery allows Gaza’s only power plant to resume operation.

The National

Actor Peter O’Toole dies
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Actor Peter O’Toole, who shot to international fame in the blockbuster movie ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, has died aged 81.

Iran ‘committed to nuclear deal’ despite US blacklisting
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Foreign minister Zarif describes US government move to freeze assets of companies doing business with Iran as ‘very wrong move’, but says his country remains committed to the agreement struck in Geneva.

Tunisia adopts compensation law for Ben Ali victims
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Tunisian parliament adopts ‘transitional justice’ law designed to compensate victims of the former regimes of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Habib Bourguiba.

India’s infant death rate may be slowly improving
The National 15 Dec 2013 – India, which accounts for 29 per cent of global first-day deaths, may finally be making progress.

Airstrike in Aleppo kills at least 36
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Dozens, including 15 children, die when Syrian regime launches air raids on rebel districts of the northern city.

Tens of thousands displaced as floods, snow swamp Middle East
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Severe winter storm floods some 40,000 residents out of their homes and dumps heavy snow across the region. Hugh Naylor reports

Saudi citizens say they can’t find work, despite expat exodus
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Government’s carrot-and-stick approach to reduce unemployment among Saudis appears thwarted by mismatch between Saudi candidates and the available jobs. Elizabeth Dickinson reports

Japanese diplomat stabbed in Sanaa
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Japanese diplomat suffers five stab wounds in attack in the Yemeni capital.

Tunisians plan protests to mark anniversary of Arab Spring
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Three years ago on December 17, the self-immolation of 26-year-old street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi unleashed a wave of protest across Tunisia and was the fuse for uprisings across the region.

In new role, Kerry back in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
The National 15 Dec 2013 – US secretary of state is promoting sustainable aquaculture and trade in a rapidly expanding economy rather than fighting the Viet Cong.

Nelson Mandela laid to rest
The National 15 Dec 2013 – South Africa says goodbye to former president for the last time with tearful eulogies and strident vows to pursue his ideals of equality and justice.

Mandela’s last public appearance outside South Africa ‘crucial’ to forgiving debt
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Nelson Mandela’s appearance at Make Poverty History campaign launch in London’s Trafalgar Square was crucial to a G8 summit decision to forgive the entire US$40 billion (Dh147bn) in debt owed by the world’s 18 most impoverished countries. Omar Karmi reports

In pictures: South Africa bids farewell to Madiba
The National 15 Dec 2013 – A 21-gun salute in the rural village where Nelson Mandela grew up and military servicemen marched stiffly behind his coffin on a winding dirt road as South Africa said goodbye for the last time to the man who reconciled the country in its most vulnerable period. 

Another 13 dead in Bangladesh riots as PM issues warning
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Riots sparked by the execution of a top Islamist leader intensify, as prime minister warns of a crackdown on the violence.

Scandal hits Indonesia’s Islamic parties
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Hotel-room affairs, money laundering and bribes to import beef shatter clean image of Indonesia’s biggest Islamic party.

Acid attacks threaten Zanzibar’s religious unity, economy
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Zanzibar and its palm-fringed beaches appear idyllic, but rising religious tensions marked by brutal killings and acid attacks are threatening the tourist industry upon which the east African archipelago depends.

Video: An emotional eulogy by Mandela’s close friend 
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Mandela’s close friend Ahmed Kathrada, who was in prison with the anti-apartheid leader, delivers an emotional eulogy.

Video: Newtown marks anniversary of tragic shooting 
The National 15 Dec 2013 – The Newtown community mourns the lives lost when a gunman opened fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School, one year ago today.

Video: Bomb blast kills at least four in Kenya 
The National 15 Dec 2013 – A suspected grenade attack on a minibus in Kenya’s capital kills at least four people near a Somali-dominated area of the city.

Video: Protesters clash with police in Spain 
The National 15 Dec 2013 – Protesters denouncing a new security bill clash with police in Madrid. The contentious measure seeks to toughen penalties against unauthorised protests that turn violent.

Ha’aretz

Dutch water company pressured to resume ties with Israeli firm
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Israeli soldier killed on northern border by shots fired from Lebanon
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Israeli force comes under fire from Lebanon, both sides on high alert
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

200 African migrants flee new Israeli detention center, open hunger strike
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Netanyahu: Reform Jews deserve Israel’s ‘audacious hospitality’ at Western Wall
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Thousands still without power as Israel recovers from stormy weekend
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Actor Peter O’Toole dies after long illness, aged 81
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Storm wreaked havoc on businesses
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Gaza floods, thousands evacuated – but get reprieve from blackouts
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Syrian air raid kills at least 22 in Aleppo, including 14 children
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

American bayonets for a Palestinian state
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Ministers okay bill to keep some convicted MKs out of cabinet
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Tel Aviv University collating all laws of the world against racism
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Israel nears law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

The high price of letting Israel’s extremists flourish
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Ministers approve ‘unconstitutional’ bill penalizing left-wing NGOs
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Haaretz readers capture the storm
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Jerusalem zoo flamingos killed by storm
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

When natural disaster strikes, send in the Israeli army
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

The journey ends, as Nelson Mandela is laid to rest
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Attorney General: Bill against pro-boycott Israel groups is unconstitutional
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Nelson Mandela laid to rest in South Africa state funeral
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Where was the efficient Israeli government before the storm?
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

The law to limit democracy
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

Prof. Leo Sachs, one of Israel’s first geneticists, dies at 89
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

Haaretz poll finds 70% of Israelis support equality for gay community
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

Netanyahu can’t even cook an omelette
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

Time to ask South Africa for forgiveness
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

From bad attitudes to chutzpah: 5 conclusions from Israel’s great storm
Ha’aretz – 14 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

PM: Israel dealt with blizzard better than some developed countries used to storms
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The cabinet meeting focused on the weather issues, the damage and assessments of what to expect in the coming days. 

‘It was like living in a freezer’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Thousands of settlers from Judea and Samaria were temporarily evacuated from their homes because of the snow storm. 

With classes canceled, students extend helping hand to snowed-in Jerusalemites
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The Hebrew University in Jerusalem was among the hardest hit as the city effectively shut down due to the snowstorm. 

Israelis continue to cope with post-storm challenges
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Many of the country’s roads remained blocked to traffic due to buildups of snow, ice and flooding conditions on Sunday. 

Fire opened on Lebanese border
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – IDF suspects Lebanese soldier acting alone opened fire; six to seven shots fired at Israeli vehicle; army investigation underway; IDF informing UN Interim Force in Lebanon of incident. 

Think about it: Verbal violence
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – “Freedom of expression” in the democratic world tolerates almost anything as long as it cannot be proven that it leads directly to physical violence. 

Mother nature and humility
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The storm that hit the country last week was uncommon in its intensity. The last similar storm occurred two decades ago. 

Assisting those suffering from emotional distress
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Sahar is a non-profit organization that offers free Internet assistance in Arabic to people who are experiencing emotional difficulties. 

Snowy Israel
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The kids, of course, wait with great anticipation for the snow. Truth be told, it’s not just the kids. 

Rights for all residents of Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – By altogether ignoring extreme violence perpetrated by Jews – and their political underpinnings – one can be easily led to the conclusion that violence is exclusive to the Palestinian community. 

The Region: The Arab-Israeli conflict – the neo-mandate solution
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The Obama administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly – which of course it will not. 

Jerusalem municipality, police coordinate recovery around the city
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Some 5,000 homes remain without power; officials working to get public transportation up and running again. 

Bennett, Ben-Dahan help pregnant women in snow
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Both MK’s used their personal jeeps to help transport women in labor, other sick and needy to hospital during storm. 

Monitoring group: Syrian helicopter bombing kills 36 in Aleppo
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – At least 15 child casualties from “barrel bombing,” according to UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. 

Exclusive: Hungary seeks Israeli gas as alternative to Russian supply
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Hungarian State Secretary Péter Szijjártó blames EU crisis on “values,” cites gay marriage. 

Israeli Consulate in Philadelphia to remain open
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Earlier this year consulate faced possibility of closing in order to open one in Chengdu, China. 

Jpost.com is looking for a Jewish, Israeli name for the storm
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The weekend storm in Israel, region internationally known as “Alexa,” but we are asking you to find a name with more “yiddishkeit”. 

Peres voices pride in Jerusalem’s handling of snowstorm crisis
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – President visits Jerusalem Emergency Center to personally thank volunteers. 

The Syria mess is Obama’s doing
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor, is becoming a destination for jihadists from all over the world; Who is to blame? President Barack Obama. 

MKs to choose new Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman this week
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Committee is still missing a chairman, after Avigdor Liberman left role last month to resume post as FM. 

Qatari-funded fuel enters Gaza to ease power crisis
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Israel allows entry of 450,000 liters of fuel to the Strip; enclave’s sole plant gradually resumes operations. 

Drafting them with care
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – IDF service has the capacity to invigorate one’s very being, instilling feelings of pride, self-worth and belonging. It is a privilege rather than a burden. 

Study finds post-trauma symptoms in 83% of detained migrant children and parents
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Report also finds “most children under the age of 12 have shown psychological difficulties, severe emotional distress and behavior problems.” 

Despite ban, institute vows to publish ‘Mein Kampf’
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Institute for Contemporary History says it considers project an “important contribution toward historical-political education.” 

Animated Anne Frank movie in the works
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – ‘Waltz With Bashir’ director Ari Folman to write, direct animated feature based on ‘The Diary of Anne Frank.’ 

Livni blocks bill limiting foreign gov’t donations to far-left NGOs
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Bill meant to “limit foreign entities’ ability to influence Israeli democracy through donations to NGOs.” 

Winter storm hits Jerusalem zoo: Six animals die
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Animals at Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo are trying to cope with extreme weather as well. 

Will Assad triumph in Syria?
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – The Syrian opposition is now effectively in the hands of extreme Islamist groups with a very different agenda from that of the secular-led Free Syrian Army. 

IDF fires, lightly injures Palestinian on Gaza border in 2nd incident in 24 hours
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2013 – Group of Palestinians carry out suspicious activity at security fence, refuse calls to vacate the area. 

The Guardian

Mandela’s place in a world of dissenting voices | @guardianletters
The Guardian 15 Dec 2013 – Seumas Milne ( Comment , 12 December) is right that Nelson Mandela’s leading role in launching the armed struggle in South Africa tends to be played down, but wrong in his assessment. Milne repeats what the ANC/Communist leadership…

Gaza receives first fuel shipment in weeks after winter storm
The Guardian 15 Dec 2013 – Fuel shortages and power cuts have hampered rescue and recovery efforts, after thousands fled their flooded homes The Gaza Strip received its first shipment of industrial fuel in 45 days on Sunday, bringing much-needed relief in…

Inter Press Service

Refugees Struggle in Ruined Camp
IPS Reconstruction at Nahr El Bared has been slow, and has left refugees deprived and unhappy. Credit: Rebecca Murray/IPS. NAHR EL BARED, Dec 15 2013 (IPS) As the Syrian war intensifies sectarian clashes in Lebanon’s northern coastal city Tripoli, Palestinians in the area worriedly watch the violence from the sidelines. In…

Uruknet

Israeli soldier killed near Lebanon border
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – A Lebanese soldier opened fire on an Israeli patrol on the Lebanese-Israeli border Sunday night, killing an Israeli soldier, a security source in Lebanon said, in an incident that heightened tension on the frontier. The security…

Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian teenager in Gaza
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 — Israeli forces opened fire on a Palestinian teenager in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, injuring him moderately. A spokesperson of the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma an that a 16-year-old boy was…

Statement of Solidarity with Palestinian-Syrians and Denunciation of a Zionist Apologist
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – While Palestinians and Syrians need and continue to liberate themselves from the Israeli colonization of Palestine and the Syrian Golan, the Assad regime continues to launch military attacks and sieges including but not limited to the…

One man s rubbish: Basra s poor fight for wealthy neighbours garbage 
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 -Gangs of poor people in Basra are making a living sifting through rubbish in the oil boomtown s affluent neighbourhoods. Often they ll make more in a day than social welfare pays them in a month. Which…

Goliath: The Book That May Delegitimize Israel s Apartheid State
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – Thanks to the Israel lobby s slander campaign against Max Blumenthal and his new book, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, I not only learned things about the Jewish state that I never knew, I…

Dumping Grounds ?
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – …Today, a female TV presenter was shot dead in Mosul, she was just reporting…Yesterday, the day before yesterday and the months before yesterday and the years before yesterday, Iraqi women have been the “recipient” of Violence,…

Oh, so sometimes security wearing security uniforms in Iraq are criminals
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- Hey, remember how men in police uniforms or military uniforms commit kidnappings and murders in Iraq? And how outlets like AFP always rush in to insist that these weren t security forces? Despite the long record of…

Iran committed to continuing nuclear talks: Foreign minister
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- Iran will continue nuclear negotiations with world powers despite “unsuitable actions” which led to it halting technical talks in Vienna, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday.The United States on Thursday blacklisted additional companies and people…

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail plead for winter protection
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – The Palestinian prisoners in Israel s Negev Prison have appealed to international human rights organisations, including the International Red Cross, to improve their conditions as the winter storms add to their misery. One researcher into prisoners…

Apartheid lives on in Israel, rampant, disguised, and despised – says Le Monde correspondent 
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 -Michel Bôle-Richard in Le Monde: “Nelson Mandela est mort mais l apartheid est toujours vivant” After saluting the demise of a “moral leader of the first order ,” Netanyahu decided not to attend the funeral of Nelson Mandela…

2 dead, 2200 in shelters across storm-ravaged Gaza Strip
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – — The death toll in the Gaza Strip from winter storm Alexa rose to two on Sunday as more than 2,000 Gazans remained in shelters and much of the region was still paralyzed after four days…

Syria News – December 14, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 – By the end of Friday the Coordination Committees were able to document 65 martyrs including 7 children, 3 women and 1 martyr under torture: 23 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 16 in Aleppo,…

We won t interfere in Afghanistan if others don t: Pakistan warns India, Iran
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 – Pakistan today stressed there should be no proxy war in Afghanistan, saying it would not interfere in the war-torn country if “Iran, India and all Central Asian countries” adopt a similar policy. “We announced first that…

Beltway Bandit Named Senior Obama Adviser
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 – On December 11, Obama named John Podesta senior “counselor to the president.” According to the White House, he ll mainly advise on energy, climate, and healthcare issues. Expect him to heavily involved in others. One of…

Taliban statement Karzai and the BSA: A Game of Cat and Mouse 
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 -When the farce loya jirga approved the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA), with minor suggestions, America and her allies were certain that Karzai would move swiftly to sign it. After all it had been Karzai who had eagerly…

The New US Narrative – “Choose Assad or Choose The Extremists”
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 – A video analysis of the new narrative in Washington, “It s Assad or It s The Extremists in Syria” – a narrative now being put out by a former high-level US Ambassador, probably on behalf of…

Omar Khadr Explains Hopeless Choice Led To War-Crimes Guilty Pleas 
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013 – Former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr has explained for the first time why he pleaded guilty to five war crimes, saying it was because he found himself in a “hopeless” situation. In a new court filing…

Swell of boycotts driving Israel into international isolation
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 14, 2013- A senior European dipl
omat met with an Israeli counterpart a few weeks ago and one of the topics they discussed was the continued European Union sanctions against the settlements. They raised in their conversation the possible scenario…

Daily Star

Yemen parliament bans drone attacks: news agency
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 Yemen’s parliament passed on Sunday a law banning drone strikes, Saba news agency said, days after one such attack reportedly hit a wedding motorcade and killed civilians.

Israeli soldier killed on Lebanon-Israel border: security sources
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 An Israeli soldier is killed by Lebanese Army fire on the border.

Libya increasing fuel imports to overcome shortages at petrol stations
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 Libya is increasing fuel imports to make up for local shortages caused by strikes and shutdowns at oilfields and ports, officials said on Sunday.

Iran not holding Levinson: foreign minister
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 A retired FBI agent who disappeared more than six years ago during a visit to an Iranian island in the Gulf is not incarcerated in Iran, the country’s foreign minister said Sunday.

36 people killed in Aleppo air raids: Syrian monitor
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 At least 36 people, including 15 children, were killed in regime air raids on rebel districts of the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Israeli ministers push bill to punish radical NGOs
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 Israeli ministers approved a bill Sunday that would impose harsh penalties on Israeli rights groups that support boycotts of the country or war crimes charges against its soldiers.

Syria a ‘huge sectarian mess’ : Kerry
Daily Star 15 Dec 2013 Syria has become a “huge sectarian mess” with rebel infighting and al-Qaeda’s growing strength complicating the US search for a political settlement of the conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledges.

YNet News

EU suspends trade talks with Ukraine, crowds rally against gov’t 
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – ….

Cleared for publication: IDF soldier killed in border shooting
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – ….

Mystery man gives ‘Tips For Jesus’ – up to $10,000
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – ….

State prosecutor decides to close Emmanuel Rosen case
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – ….

Report: Gunfire near Israel-Lebanon border
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – ….

Bibi, you’re detached 
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: As we sat at home in freezing cold, our prime minister sat there looking all smug and amused ….

Written on ice
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: How is possible that a storm considered a regular winter day in Europe leads to a multi-system failure in Israel? ….

‘Vayechi’: On modesty and hypocrisy
YNet News, 15 Dec 2013 – Whoever chooses to label removal of women from public spaces with term ‘modesty’ is attempting to appropriate modest and beautiful word for offensive, cultural process of exclusion ….

Palestinian Information Center

Initial losses of bad weather that hit Gaza 64 million dollars
PIC – Gaza government said that the direct material losses of the bad weather that hit the Strip were estimated at 64 million dollars, and that the rescue teams succeeded to control the situation.

Negev prisoners appeal to human rights groups to help them survive harsh winter
PIC – The Palestinian prisoners in the Negev jail appealed to human rights groups to save them from the unbearable incarceration conditions which worsened because of the harsh weather.

Mishaal discusses negotiations, reconciliation with Abbas
PIC – Political bureau chairman of Hamas Khaled Mishaal reached PA chief Mahmoud Abbas over the telephone at a late night hour on Saturday and discussed with him tragic conditions in Gaza Strip.

Qatari fuel allowed into Gaza to run its power plant
PIC – Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) started to pump industrial diesel donated by Qatar into the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning through Karm Abu Salem crossing.

IOF opens Wadi Salaqa dams and dozens of homes flooded
PIC – Hundreds of houses in central Gaza Strip were flooded as the Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Saturday afternoon opened the earth dams east of the town of Wadi Salaqa in Deir al-Balah.

Unusual regional snowstorm paralyzes life in W. Bank
PIC – The cold air depression “Alexa” has completely paralyzed the daily life in the occupied West Bank and unveiled how much fragile its infrastructure is.

Imminent humanitarian disaster threatens Gaza due to blockade and bad weather
PIC – Palestinian government in Gaza warned of an imminent humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip, because of the bad weather that exacerbated the suffering of the besieged people.

Haneyya pledges development of flooded areas to avoid future disasters
PIC – Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya said that his government would carry out strategic development projects in the flooded areas in order to avoid a similar disaster in the future.

Palestinian minor wounded in IOF shooting
PIC – A Palestinian minor was shot and wounded when Israeli occupation forces (IOF) fired at him east of Beit Lahia, north of Gaza Strip, on Sunday morning.

Al-Qassam Brigades helps civilians in Gaza’s flooded areas
PIC – Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said its resistance fighters have participated in the rescue and relief efforts taking place in the areas affected by floods in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Misc

Kerry: U.S. seeks ‘proof of life’ for American who vanished in Iran
LA Times 15 Dec 2013 – WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Sunday that the U.S. is looking for “proof of life” regarding a former FBI agent who went missing in Iran nearly seven years ago during a visit that, according to several news organizations, was overseen by…

Egyptian crackdown takes heavy toll on young protesters
LA Times 15 Dec 2013 – Egyptian police have targeted teen and young adult protesters from diverse political camps. Prison terms and a death have stunned the nation. CAIRO — Young Egyptian musician Ramy Essam boasts a distinction that few others can claim: a starring turn in a documentary film shortlisted…

White House Adviser Consulted Israeli Officials on Iran Deal
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice played host to a series of meetings with Israeli officials last week to try to gain their support for an interim deal with Iran aimed at containing Tehran’s nuclear program. 

Israel: 1 Soldier Killed Along Lebanon Border
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese army sniper late Sunday as he drove along the border, the Israeli military said, drawing Israeli threats of retaliation. 

Israeli Soldier Killed in Lebanese Sniper Attack-Military
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli soldier was killed on Sunday when a Lebanese sniper opened fire in a normally quiet area of the border between the two countries, and a U.N. peacekeeping force said it was working with both sides to keep the incident from escalating. 

Israeli Soldier Killed in Shooting Attack Along Lebanese Border
New York Times 15 Dec
2013 – An Israeli soldier was killed in a shooting attack by a Lebanese sniper along the border with Lebanon on Sunday, an Israeli military spokesman said. 

Saudi Prince Criticizes Obama Administration, Citing Indecision in Mideast
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former intelligence chief, said efforts to secure a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians would founder without clear commitment from President Obama. 

Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Face Bitter Winter
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – Shivering in the snow, Syrian Aisha Mohammad looked at the last-minute charity that saved her children from freezing during the smack of a particularly tough Lebanese winter: a wood-burning stove complete with twigs and garbage to ignite in hopes of warming her drafty tent in an icy eastern plain. 

Gunmen in Iraq Kill an Official And His Family
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – The gunmen stormed the house of a Health Ministry employee north of Baghdad and killed him, his wife and their three children, the police said. 

Moderate Syrian Rebels Vow to Protect Journalists
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – The leaders of Syria’s main Western-backed moderate rebel faction said they would do everything in their power to protect journalists on assignment in the country and work to secure the release of those who have already been abducted. 

Yemeni Parliament in Non-Binding Vote Against Drone Attacks
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – Yemen’s parliament on Sunday called for a stop to drone attacks in a symbolic vote that reflected growing public anxiety about Washington’s use of the unmanned aircraft to combat al Qaeda in the impoverished country. 

Syrian Helicopter Bomb Raids Kill 36 in Aleppo: Monitor
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – Thirty-six people, nearly half of them children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped improvised “barrel bombs” on the disputed northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. 

Libya Militia Says Oil Terminals to Remain Closed
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – The head of a Libyan militia that has shut down most of the country’s oil terminals for months said Sunday they will remain closed because the government has failed to meet his group’s demands— mainly a share of revenues for their eastern region. 

Saudi Activist Sentenced to Lashes and Prison: Rights Group
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – A Saudi judge sentenced a political activist to 300 lashes and four years in prison for calling for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia, his rights group said on Sunday. 

Israeli Panel Backs Tax on Donations to Groups Urging Boycott
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli government committee gave initial approval on Sunday to a proposed law that would impose a 45 percent tax on overseas donations made to non-profit groups critical of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. 

Egypt Prosecutor Targets Father of Boy Arrested Over ‘Pro-Mursi’ Ruler: Lawyer
New York Times 15 Dec 2013 – A prosecutor has ordered the arrest of an Egyptian man whose 15-year-old son was detained last month for owning a ruler bearing a symbol associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, the family’s lawyer said on Sunday. 

Percentage of young families renting homes jumps
Globes Main News – Prof. Michel Straczynski: Families with children under 9 are forced to give up on their dream of owning a home.

CPI falls 0.4% in Nov, in line with expectations
Globes Main News – Inflation was 1.7% since the start of 2013 and 1.9% over the past 12 months.

Israeli banks to adopt US reporting standards in full
Globes Main News – US GAAP standards allow less freedom of action; the new rules will replace the current mixture of standards.

Ron Lauder to leave Channel 10 this month
Globes Main News – Lauder has told the Board of Directors that if nobody buys his shares he will transfer them to a trustee within two weeks.

Sun: Opko Health again leads market losses
Globes Main News – Opko Health was down 7.9% after losing 8% last week while the banks were also down as the TASE continued its losing streak.

Kneejerk reaction to mock eviction notices rooted in privilege and denial
Mondoweiss – Mock eviction notice posted on student dorm rooms at the University of Michigan. (Photo: @krisstinaa_xo/Twitter) Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) at the University of Michigan placed mock eviction notices under the rooms of hundreds of students living in University Housing [December 9]. The purpose…

Caroling the settlements, in a NY snowstorm
Mondoweiss – 40 human rights advocates gathered outside Lev Leviev’s diamond store yesterday in NY to sing holiday carols deriding his support for Israeli settlements

Apartheid lives on in Israel, rampant, disguised, and despised — says ‘Le Monde’ correspondent
Mondoweiss – Apartheid was dismantled in South Africa in 1991, but it remains in Israel, uncodified and rampant, writes Michel Bole-Richard, long time Le Monde correspondent in South Africa and the occupied territories

Israel is uniquely sexy — Ari Shavit tells Sally Quinn
Mondoweiss – ‘The quality of life, of human relationships is unique, sensua
l. Israel is very sexy. There is something in the air. The boys and girls are beautiful. You see it in our reproductivity.’ Who said that, Max Blumenthal or Ari Shavit?

Nochi Dankner’s sister sells IDB shares
Globes Main News – Shelly Bergman reduced her holding to 3% by selling 342,000 shares.

Stop the Nonsense: Nobody is proposing a boycott of ‘the Jews’
Mondoweiss – On December 4, the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) unanimously approved a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The majority of those opposed to the resolution (and to academic boycott in general) have avoided engaging…

Dankner’s hopes of retaining IDB still alive
Globes Main News – The Tel Aviv District Court has postponed its decision on approving the IDB bondholder’s vote to accept the Elsztain-Ben-Moshe bid.

Congress leaves town without passing lobby priority: visa-waiver bill for Israelis
Mondoweiss – The Israel lobby suffered a major defeat this week when it failed to pass a visa-waiver bill for Israelis. Since March, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee had pushed legislation that would have codified discrimination against Arab- and Muslim-American travelers to Israel/Palestine. But Congress has now left…

Ashtrom, Harel buy Dusseldorf building for €62m
Globes Main News – 90% of the 27,000 square meters office building is leased to HSBC for 7 years.

CEO Glickman: IEC deserves medal
Globes Main News – Israel Electric Corporation CEO Eli Glickman rejects criticism of the company’s preparedness for the weekend storm.

Lapid opposes aircraft, new residence for prime minister
Globes Main News – In fact, in the past the Ministry of Finance has found the plan economically justified.

The woman on the plane
Mondoweiss – I got a direct flight back from Israel to New York and had an empty seat between me and the youth on the aisle, till the very last minute, when a small broad shouldered woman in a white eyelet jacket and a white skirt bustled down…

Storm boosts Kinneret 10 centimeters
Globes Energy & Water – The water level will continue to rise in the coming days, as snow on the surrounding hills melts.

Women Leaders of Jewish Non-Profits Remain Scarce Even as Pay Gap Narrows 
The Forward New 15 Dec 2013 – We know that the few women who run Jewish non-profits earn far less than men. A first-ever analysis of their salaries explains why — and it’s not what you think. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israeli killed by shots from Lebanon 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli soldier is killed by shots fired by a Lebanese army sniper from across the border, the Israeli military says.

Israeli Soldier Shot and Killed Along Lebanese Border 
The Foward Breaking News 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli soldier was killed on Sunday when a Lebanese sniper opened fire in a normally quiet area of the border between the two countries, and a U.N. peacekeeping force said it was working with both sides to keep the incident from escalating. Click here for…

Knesset Committee Approves Bill To Tax Donations To Pro-BDS Groups 
The Foward Breaking News 15 Dec 2013 – A Knesset committee approved a bill that would heavily tax foreign donations to organizations that call for a boycott of Israel. Click here for the rest of the article…

Abused Haredi Girls Find Safe Haven in Boarding School Made for Them 
The Foward Breaking News 15 Dec 2013 – Esther is a 22-year-old graduate of an unusual makeup course. It is designed for ultra-Orthodox girls and women who have been removed from their homes due to sexual or other violence. Click here for the rest of the article…

Thousands of Israelis Are Left Without Power After Worst Storm in Decades 
The Foward Breaking News 15 Dec 2013 – Some 14,000 Israeli households remained without power in the wake of what is being called Israel’s worst snowstorm in decades. Click here for the rest of the article…

Sudan: Refugee Congress Gathering Brings New Voice to Us Policy Debate 
allAfrica.com 15 Dec 2013 – [UNHCR]Washington, DC, United States -Refugees and asylum-seekers from Syria, Sudan and 20 other nations took steps this week in Washington, DC, to ensure their voices become an integral part of United States policy discussion on how best to protect people fleeing violence and persecution around the…

Why Do Women’s Salaries Still Lag Behind? 
The Forward New 15 Dec 2013 – Women earn only 66 cents on the dollar compared with men. But what exactly does this mean? A Wharton statistician explains how he crunched the numbers. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israeli killed by shots from Lebanon 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – An Israeli soldier is killed by shots fired by a Lebanese army sniper from across the border, the Israeli military says.

VIDEO: Tobacco factory owner on growth 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – The owner of a tobacco factory in the UAE tells the BBC about how he grew his business.

Actor Peter O’Toole dies aged 81 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – Acclaimed actor Peter O’Toole, who starred in the classic film Lawrence of Arabia, dies aged 81.

‘Barrel bombs’ fall on Syrian city 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – Twenty-two people have been killed after Syrian government aircraft dropped barrels packed with explosives in Aleppo, opposition activists say.

Japan envoy stabbed in Yemen attack 
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – A Japanese diplomat is stabbed several times in a failed kidnap attempt by armed men in Yemen, officials say.

Fuel supplies arrive to Gaza power plant after severe flooding 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Dec 2013 – Palestinians stand on the roof of their houses in a flooded area of Gaza city on December 15, 2013 following heavy rain. (Photo: Mahmud Hams) Israel began transferring fuel to Gaza’s sole power plant on Sunday, a Palestinian official said, as the isolated enclave struggled to…

Cyprus talks prospects dim during diplomatic visit 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Dec 2013 – The prospects of a resumption of Cyprus peace talks dimmed Sunday after Turkey’s foreign minister pressed Greek Cypriots to initiate any breakthrough during a visit to the breakaway north. Turkey’s Ahmet Davutoglu called on the Greek Cypriots to make “positive” contributions to revive the UN-backed talks…

Iran says will continue nuclear talks despite US blacklist 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Dec 2013 – Tehran said Sunday it will keep talking with world powers on its disputed nuclear program despite a US move to blacklist Iranian companies for evading sanctions. “We are pursuing the negotiations seriously and of course we will give a well-considered, purposeful, smart and proper reaction to…

Tunisia picks little-known political newcomer to become interim PM 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Dec 2013 – A picture taken on March 13, 2013 at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, shows newly appointed (at that time) Tunisian Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa taking an oath of office during the country’s new government swearing-in ceremony. (Photo: AFP – Fethi Belaid) Tunisia’s political parties chose Industry…

Japanese diplomat stabbed in kidnapping attempt in Yemen 
Al-Akhbar News 15 Dec 2013 – Armed men stabbed a Japanese diplomat in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday when he resisted a kidnapping attempt in front of his house, a security source said. It was the latest in a spate of attacks on foreigners in the impoverished Arab state, where the…

Lebanon: Ministers Questioned On Corruption Charges 
Al-Akhbar News 14 Dec 2013 – Tensions between the two ministers came to a head shortly after a major tunnel near Beirut’s international airport flooded during the first winter rains. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Tensions between the two ministers came to a head shortly after a major tunnel near Beirut’s international airport flooded…

Articles


Why can’t we walk back?: A conversation with Palestinian filmmaker Annemarie Jacir 
Frank Barat, +972 Magazine 12/13/2013
‘When I Saw You’ tells the story of a Palestinian child in 1967 who refuses to accept his fate as a refugee. Writer and director Annemarie Jacir discusses what led her to make the film and what lessons its carries.
Returning to Palestine is a recurring theme in Annemarie Jacir’s films. Unlike the majority of Palestinians, who are refugees, Jacir was able to return to her hometown Bethlehem every year to visit family while growing up, something she describes as “the privilege of Palestine.” In 2008, however, she was denied entry, separated from her partner and left feeling like a modern-day refugee. That experience, she says, inspired her latest film, “When I Saw You.”
Set in the refugee crisis surrounding the 1967 war, the film centers on a Palestinian boy who refuses to accept his fate as a refugee; he doesn’t understand why he can’t simply return home. By telling the story through the eyes of a child, Jacir is able to boil down the Palestinian refugee issue into one simple question: “If you walked away, why can’t you walk back?”
“The Wall Has Ears: Conversations for Palestine” sits down with Annemarie Jacir ahead of her film’s premier in Belgium.
Your last two films “Salt of this Sea” and “When I Saw You” are both highly political. So for you, is everything political?
I always get asked by the press, by other filmmakers and especially European journalists: do you think you can do something not political, not about Palestine? Yes, of course, I can do that. I could make a science fiction movie tomorrow. But we live in this world, and this is what’s happening. I do think there is a real effort made to separate artists from politics. They say art should not be about politics, you should be above that. No, I do not agree with that at all. We are part of our societies. We live within them. Look, it’s difficult to make independent cinema, but it’s also a privilege…. more.. e-mail

Forging new links to boycott movement in Gaza 
Joe Catron, Gaza City, Electronic Intifada 12/13/2013
The Gaza Strip, now in its seventh year of a comprehensive siege by Israel, has faced increased hardships since the 3 July coup in neighboring Egypt.
On 26 November, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned that the Palestinian enclave “is affected by one of the most serious energy crises in recent years, with potentially serious humanitarian ramifications” (“Gaza fuel crisis situation report”).
Electrical blackouts have increased to as long as 16 hours per day, while fuel scarcity has affected the operations of all 291 water and wastewater treatment facilities, causing multiple sewage spills. Local supplies of vital medicines are low or empty, and Israeli attacks on Palestinian fishermen and farmers continue.
Meanwhile hundreds of students and thousands of would-be travelers remain unable to leave or return through either the Erez checkpoint or the Rafah crossing.Corporate complicity
Tom Anderson and Therezia Cooper are the research team of Corporate Occupation, a project of Corporate Watch. Naming names, and going into detailed specifics, their blog documents the involvement of both international and Israeli companies in the illegal occupation of Palestine.
They spent most of November in the Gaza Strip on a new research trip “to create resources for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israeli apartheid, militarism, colonization and occupation.” — See also: Gaza fuel crisis situation report and Video: As siege stops pumps, Gaza children wade to school in sewage more.. e-mail

Cut from the same cloth: Mandela and Barghouti 
Micah Reddy, Al Jazeera 12/14/2013
Often called the ‘Palestinian Mandela’, Marwan Barghouti’s political trajectory is eerily similar to the late leader’s.
One thing that we can be sure of is that Mandela’s death will be followed by historical whitewashing on a grand scale. It is already happening.
We have seen an unprecedented outpouring of global grief as world leaders looked to the southern tip of Africa to offer their condolences; some a little more disingenuously than others. E
ven the embattled Bashar al-Assad took a moment inbetween the shelling and slaughter in Syria to offer his sympathies, saying (apparently with a straight face) that Mandela’s life taught a lesson to oppressors.

That Mandela has been eulogised by pretty much every single world leader can be seen as a testament to his abilities as a reconciling leader and pragmatic statesman. But it is also because the memory of a complex life like Mandela’s offers a lot to pick and choose from and, however consciously or subconsciously, his legacy will no doubt be neutered by those with uncomfortable truths to hide.
Mandela the “Black Pimpernel”, the co-founder of an armed resistance movement who uncompromisingly supported the right of the oppressed to resist, will be tamed and tempered before entering the official history books. His legacy may be hollowed of its radical content and reduced to a few saccharine words – love, compassion, forgiveness.
When Conservative Party voices in the UK gush over Mandela’s legacy they are careful to skirt around the awkward fact that they were no friends of the ANC during some of its most trying times, Thatcher having famously dismissed the movement in 1987 as “a typical terrorist organisation”. Those on the right in both the UK and the US, have yet to face up to their complicity in apartheid. more.. e-mail

Where’s A New Mandela When We Need Him or Her Now? 
Murray Polner, NYTimes eXaminer 12/13/2013
How many of our editorial writers, pundits and ordinary Americans know that Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu has articulate and informed opponents in Israel about Palestine and Iran? If you had no idea, you’ve been reading the wrong publications and watching the wrong TV news broadcasts. For insightful reporting and commentary you have to forego virtually all mainstream mass media and try some overlooked websites and publications. By solely relying on big media, we’re left to believe that Netanyahu, the rightwing settlers and his coalition of ultras have little or no serious political opposition inside Israel even as most Israelis have, since Yitzhak Rabin’s murder, become inured to real and imaginary cries of alarm.
Netanyahu’s Israeli opponents are true insiders who simply do not believe him when he regularly goes on about Palestine and Iran. An array of the most experienced former intelligence and security veterans, such as ex- Mossad director Meir Dagan, ex-Military Intelligence Director former Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin, the IDF’s former chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former Military Intelligence Director Amos Yadlin and his predecessor Maj.Gen. Aharon Ze-evi-Farkash have all resisted Netanyahu’s tirades and oppose an Israeli attack on Iran. Dagan and Diskin have been arguing publicly that any future understanding with Iran, imperfect though it may be, will benefit both countries.
There are also many in the business and technical community, dependent as they are in doing business with the rest of the world, who are very uncomfortable with the PM’s bellicosity and especially the way Netanyahu deals with the U.S., the country’s benefactor. I have been unable to find any report of who said what at a public forum in early December in Tel Aviv other than in al.monitor.com by the intrepid Ben Caspit, an Israeli journalist, who attended together with some 600 people, no doubt most of them critics of the government’s policies. The main speaker was former Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin, who sharply condemned Netanyahu’s Palestinian and Iranian policies. Caspit summarized what he said…. more.. e-mail

Gaza flooding updates (Ma’an news)
In Gaza: 15 Dec 2013 – OCHA: Number of displaced tops 10000 in Gaza Dec 15, 2013 Approximately 10,000 people have been forced to flee their homes due to widespread flooding in the Gaza Strip, according to a report released Saturday evening by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The numbers of displaced dwarf earlier estimates, as they take into account both the thousands who have sought refuge in Gaza shelters as well as those who have sought refuge elsewhere. The areas most devastated by the storm are “North Gaza and Gaza City where over 1,500 houses suffered damage due to water entering houses, damaging furniture and electricity networks.” An infant died and 100 were injured in storm-related incidents throughout Gaza, the report said. Schools throughout Palestine have been closed since Thursday, and according to OCHA 17 schools in Gaza have been converted into shelters, while five other schools have been rendered…more


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