VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 16 December 2013

16 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Prawer Plan Resurfaces In Knesset
IMEMC – Ex IDF general: No instructions to halt legislation. [December 16, 2013] The Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all, reports +972. …

ASA Israeli Boycott Passes 2-1
IMEMC – Just released by the American Studies Association: The members of the American Studies Association have endorsed the Association s participation in a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In an election that attracted 1252 voters, the largest number of participants in the organization s history, the majority of votes (66%) supported the boycott. …

Jews Only Vacant Apartment Ad Published In Social Israeli Website
IMEMC – Last week, an ad for a vacant apartment in occupied Jerusalem was published on a famous Israeli social website; after detailing the specifications of the property, the price and whatever else, it went on to say, rent is only for Jews . …

Kerry Optimistic About Mideast Peace Talks
IMEMC – US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted, on Sunday, that concrete progress has been made in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, but that the details are to be kept under wraps, the Ma’an News Agency has reported. …

Israeli Soldier Shot Dead Near Lebanese Border
IMEMC – [Sunday evening, December 15, 2013] Israeli military sources have reported that an Israeli soldier was shot and killed by rounds fired from the Lebanese side of the border, adding that a Lebanese soldier fired the shots. …

Soldiers Violently Beat A Palestinian Man In Hebron
IMEMC – [Sunday, December 15, 2013] Israeli soldiers have violently attacked a young Palestinian man from Hebron, causing moderate injuries that required hospitalization. A man was also injured after being rammed by a military vehicle. …

Ma’an News

Nablus residents block major roads in protest against lack of power
12/16/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Dozens of residents blocked a major traffic intersection in the northern West Bank in protest against the continued lack of electricity to their homes on Monday. Protesters blocked the Bizariya junction northwest of Nablus with large rocks, preventing traffic towards the major cities of Nablus, Jenin, and Tulkarem. Residents of four villages took to the streets in protest as the lack….

Israel raids nature reserve, launches military exercise near village
12/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided a nature reserve in southeastern Bethlehem and notified a number of Bedouin families living nearby that they had hours to evacuate their homes before military exercises began on the site, a village leader told Ma’an. Village chairman Fawaz Rashaida told Ma’an that Israeli forces entered al-Motairdah nature reserve just east of the Rashaida Bedouin….

Major US scholarly association votes for academic boycott of Israel
12/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The largest and oldest academic organization dedicated to the study of the United States announced on Monday that its membership had voted overwhelmingly to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions. In a landmark decision, more than 66 percent of voting members of the American Studies Association opted in favor of a resolution that supported the boycott. The resolution also expressed….

Israel fires on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing
12/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — The Israeli army said Monday it fired across the Lebanese border in retaliation after accusing Lebanese troops of gunning down one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier. The shooting was the first time an Israeli soldier had been killed along the border with Lebanon in more than three years, although commentators said it was unlikely to spark a confrontation. The…. Related: Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon border shooting and Lebanon shooting at Israel border ‘individual act’

Lebanon shooting at Israel border ‘individual act’
12/16/2013 – TYRE, Lebanon (AFP) — The UN peacekeeping force in south Lebanon said Monday that a border shooting that killed an Israeli soldier appeared to be “an individual action,” as officers of the two armies met. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) statement came after a meeting it convened at its post near the Ras al-Naqoura border crossing, bringing together senior Lebanese and Israeli army officers…. Related: Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon border shootingand Israel fires on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing

Israeli soldier killed in Lebanon border shooting
12/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — An Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese army sniper on Sunday, the Israeli army said in a statement, maintaining its right to “exercise self-defense”.”The Israel Defence Forces officially confirms that an IDF soldier was shot while driving along the Israeli-Lebanese border, near Rosh Hanikra,” it said in the statement released early Monday.”The soldier was treated at the scene and was…. Related: Israel fires on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing and Lebanon shooting at Israel border ‘individual act’

Ashrawi praises Dutch water firm for cutting Israel ties
12/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Monday praised the Dutch firm Vitens after it decided last week to end its partnership with Israeli water company Mekorot.”Vitens should be praised for turning its principled position into positive action,” Ashrawi said in a statement. Last week, Vitens said it had come to the conclusion that it was “extremely hard” to work with Mekorot….

Mandela’s S. Africa boycott success sparks Israel debate
12/16/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Recent successes in the campaign to boycott illegal Jewish settlements have given fresh impetus to calls for sanctions against Israel like those that brought down apartheid in South Africa. Since the European Union said it would block grants and funding for any Israeli entity operating over the 1967 lines, a growing number of international bodies have taken similar steps to cut ties, in….

Mashaal, Abbas in rare telephone call
12/16/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Hamas’ leader-in-exile Khalid Mashaal telephoned Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in a rare telephone call between leaders of the rival Palestinian parties, official news agency Wafa said.”Mashaal telephoned president Abbas to thank him for his efforts at different levels, particularly sending aid to the Gaza Strip,” Wafa reported, referring to the support sent by the PA to….

Allenby Bridge open late Monday and Tuesday
12/16/2013 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — The Allenby Bridge crossing between Jordan and the West Bank will be open until 8 p. m. on Monday and Tuesday, crossing police announced on Monday. Crossing police added that the bridge would be open until the evening in both directions in order to ensure the safety of travelers in light of difficult road conditions following the recent winter storm. The….

Bethlehem fugitive turns self in to security forces on camera
12/16/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Following an exclusive interview Ma’an TV aired with a Bethlehem fugitive who has been sentenced to life in absentia, Murad Abu Mahamid (better known as Murad al-Jaddal) turned himself in to Palestinian security in the presence of cameras. Abu Mahamid said he was ready for a just trial for any charges except those related to clash between rival clans….

Agricultural sector in Gaza hit hard by winter storm
12/16/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s agricultural sector suffered devastating losses during four days of severe weather conditions in the coastal territory, Gaza officials said Monday. Ministry of Agriculture official Ziad Hamadah told Ma’an that initial estimates suggest the animal breeding sector lost $1. 7 million as a result of the storm, which killed 200,000 birds and 3,500 chickens. At least….

28 children among 76 killed by Syria ‘barrel bombs’
12/16/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Regime air raids using barrel bombs on rebel-controlled areas of Syria’s second city of Aleppo at the weekend killed at least 76 people, including 28 children, activists said on Monday. The number of people “killed after the bombing of areas in the city of Aleppo with explosive-packed barrels yesterday (Sunday) rose to 76,” including “28 children and four women,” said the….

IRC: Syria bread price soars as winter food runs out
12/16/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — The price of bread in Syria has soared by 500 percent since its 33-month conflict erupted, the International Rescue Committee said Monday, warning of dire consequences as winter takes hold. The IRC also said that four out of five Syrians were now worried about food running out, while more than half of them were struggling for access to clean water.”The price….

UN appeals for record aid to tackle Syria crisis
12/16/2013 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — The United Nations said Monday it will need a record $12. 9 billion in emergency aid to help millions of people around the world, half of them victims of the Syrian conflict. The appeal came as dozens of people were reportedly killed in Aleppo when regime forces unleashed barrels packed with explosives in rebel districts in the northern city, a focal point of….

Car bombs hit Shiite pilgrims as Iraq unrest kills 66
12/16/2013 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Car bombs ripped through Shiite pilgrims near Baghdad while militants attacked a city council headquarters and a police station, in Iraq-wide violence that killed at least 66 people Monday, officials said. The killing of the pilgrims underscored the danger of sectarian violence in Iraq, while the attacks on the city council and police station in Salaheddin province showed the impunity with which militants….

Morsi supporters to boycott Egypt constitution vote
12/16/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — The Islamist supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi will boycott a referendum on a new constitution next month and organize a campaign against the vote, a spokesman said Monday. The Anti-Coup Alliance led by Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement had initially considered calling on its supporters to vote against the constitution. But an extensive police crackdown on the Islamists has decimated….

Car bombs against Shiite pilgrims kill 17 in Iraq
12/16/2013 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Two car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims south of Baghdad on Monday killed at least 17 people, security and medical officials said. The twin blasts in the Rashid area also wounded 52 people, the sources said. [END]

UK to extradite Algerian ex-magnate Khalifa to Algeria
12/16/2013 – LONDON (AFP) — Rafik Khalifa, the Algerian former magnate who once owned an airline and a string of companies, will be extradited from Britain to Algeria by the end of the year, the Home Office said on Monday.”Mr Khalifa was refused leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on December 3. He will be extradited within 28 days of that date,” said a spokeswoman for….

AlJazeera

African migrants march on Jerusalem
AlJazeera 16 Dec 2013 – More than 100 migrants leave ‘open’ Israeli detention centre to protest law allowing authorities to keep them there.

International Solidarity Movement

Besieged Gaza Strip battered by historic storm
12/16/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Silvia Todeschini and Henni, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Gaza’s bad weather has disrupted access lines and flooded whole areas. Thousands of families have been evacuated. Numerous injuries and two deaths have been reported. The Zionist siege and occupation contribute to aggravating the situation for tens of thousands of people. The main route of access between the north and south of the Gaza….

Forging new links to boycott movement in Gaza
12/16/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – The Electronic Intifada, Joe Catron, Gaza City, Occupied Palestine – 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….

Gaza has all the potential it needs, with one exception
12/16/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – Photo Story – International Solidarity Movement, Charlie Andreasson | Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Long beaches with white, soft sand. A swim in the warm and clear waters. Surfing. Water skiing. Diving among wrecks from Roman times. The allure of small rays’ silent flights, and the luck of seeing turtles and leaping dolphins. Beach cafes with plaited palm leaves as protection against the sun. Restaurants with seafood, caught….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Predicts Possible ‘Moment of Truth’ on Two-State Solution in 2014
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Security Council Country: Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory SC/11216 Security Council 7084th Meeting (PM) Israel , Lebanon Cooperating with UNIFIL over Shooting, He Tells Council While 2013 had tested the international community s commitment to breaking the deadlock between Israel and…

occupied Palestinian territory: Gaza is Drowning
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: American Near East Refugee Aid Country: occupied Palestinian territory In a painful scene, hundreds of families in Gaza stand in lines waiting for their turn to get a ride in rescue boats back to the flooded homes they were…

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestine: Extreme winter conditions DREF Operation n? MDRPS008
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: occupied Palestinian territory Summary: The announced heavy rain fall and snow storms hit the West Bank and Gaza on 10 December 2013 and are still affecting the Palestinian population…

Lebanon: Germany Supports PRS in Lebanon
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Germany, Lebanon, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) signed today another Agreement with KfW, the…

World: L ONU et ses partenaires lancent des plans de rÈponse humanitaire pour 52 millions de personnes en 2014
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen, South Sudan (Republic of) (GenËve, 16 dÈcembre 2013):…

occupied Palestinian territory: Hundreds of Gazan homes damaged
Relief Web 16 Dec 2013 – Source: Islamic Relief Country: occupied Palestinian territory Heavy rain and winds damaged nearly 300 homes. Initial reports indicate that over 1,000 people were directly affected, with that figure expected to rise. As Gazans steel themselves for what is expected to be the toughest winter in a hundred years, homes in Gaza city and the northern Gaza have been flooded. Weak infrastructure saw water…

The National

Sniper mystery in Kasserine, the town which made Tunisia s revolution
The National 16 Dec 2013 – As Tunisia marks the third anniversary of the uprising today, the families of those slain in its poorest village say the military tribunal handling the killings is conducting a cover-up and they still don t know who killed their children. Yasmine Ryan reports from Tunis

Freezing children are starving to death in Syria as aid can t reach them
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Getting access to the millions in need of aid inside Syria remains the UN s biggest hurdle.

UN appeals for $6.5bn for Syria crisis in 2014
The National 16 Dec 2013 – United Nations appeals for a record $6.5bn (Dh23.9bn), with the impact and cost of the Syrian crisis exceeding all previous benchmarks and refugee numbers set to nearly double.

Qatar unfurls world s largest flag for national day
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Flag is large enough to cover seven football pitches, claiming a Guinness World Record, as the country celebrates its national day.

Turkey and EU agree to visa talks
The National 16 Dec 2013 – In exchange for lifting visa restrictions for Turkish citizens travelling to Europe, Turkey would in turn agree to take back immigrants who illegally enter the EU from Turkish territory.

Yemen parliament s vote unlikely to end drone strikes: experts
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes but experts say the legislators have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to affect Washington’s bid to crush Al Qaeda militants.

Bus passengers gunned down in Iraq day of violence which kills 42
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Militants gun down 12 people on a bus in the northern city of Mosul in one of the most dangerous parts of Iraq.

Israel fires on Lebanese soldiers in retaliation for soldier killing
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Shootings raise the possibility of renewed fighting in the area, which has remainded mostly quiet since a month-long war in 2006.

Last Australian combat troops leave Afghanistan
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Australian combat troops have completed their withdrawal from Afghanistan, marking the end of the nation’s longest war which left 40 of its soldiers dead.

Bus-attack anniversary keeps focus on India rape
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Fatal gang rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi shattered India’s silence over sexual violence and emboldened victims to speak out, family members said on the anniversary of the attack.

South Sudan politician attempts coup
The National 16 Dec 2013 – President orders curfew as gunfire breaks out in capital.

EU vows unprecedented aid if Israel, Palestinians make peace
The National 16 Dec 2013 – European Union pledges ‘unprecedented’ levels of support to both Israel and the Palestinians should the two parties reach a final status agreement.

US repatriates two Guantanamo detainees to Saudi Arabia
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Two detainees being held at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility have been sent back to their native Saudi Arabia.

Video: Gaza power plant running again
The National 16 Dec 2013 – 450,000 litres of fuel from Qatar helped restart a power plant in Gaza Sunday restoring power to the region after being shutdown for more than a month.The regions 1.8 million residents have endured daily blackouts because of the plant’s closure.

Video: Sea Shepherd ships prepare for departure
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Sea Shepherd members plan to depart on 10th year of activism against Japanese whalers

Aleppo airstrike death toll rises to at least 76, including dozens of children
The National 16 Dec 2013 – Syrian government aircraft pound opposition areas near the southern border with Jordan and in the northern city of Aleppo.

Clashes between police and Chinese Uighurs kill 16
The National 16 Dec 2013 – A clash between police officers and suspects they were pursuing in China’s restive Xinjiang region left 16 people dead, state media said Monday.

Soldiers shot on Lebanon-Israel border
The National 16 Dec 2013 – The Israeli army said it fired across the Lebanese border in retaliation after accusing Lebanese troops of gunning down one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier.

At least 22 dead in Philippine bus plunge off Manila highway
The National 16 Dec 2013 – At least 22 people were killed when a commuter bus plunged from an elevated highway onto a van in Philippine capital Manila today, police said, warning the death toll could rise.

Ha’aretz

Israel may no longer be able to be so soft on medical tourism
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Israel’s integrity takes a long, cold walk
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

EU warns Israel not to announce new settlement building after prisoner release
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

PM’s point man on Prawer plan says it’s still going ahead
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Family of killed IDF soldier: death caused by army ‘shortcomings’
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Baby born in traffic jam near snowbound Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Boycotting Israeli universities: A victory for bigotry
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

The ASA boycott could spark Israel-centered brawl throughout U.S. campuses
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Want to see some nature? For Palestinians who served time, it’s a no go in Ein Prat
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Biblical Zoo doesn’t monkey around with diabetes
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Domino s launches its first-ever vegan pizza – in Israel
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

U.S. academic group votes to boycott Israel
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

EU promises ‘unprecedented’ aid for Mideast peace
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Israeli government deal ties Birthright funding to subsidies for ultra-Orthodox yeshivas
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Harvard evacuates buildings after ‘unconfirmed’ reports of explosives
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Isolated by winter storm, thousands of Jewish settlers abandon their homes
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

How Israel is shutting the door on Diaspora Jews
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Defaming Mandela, defaming Israel
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Israeli army shoots two Lebanese soldiers on border
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

After fleeing detention, African migrants march toward Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Israelis relieved they weathered the storm
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

A life inaccessible, storm or no storm
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Don t soften bill targeting left-wing NGOs, strike it down
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Negotiations will not bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Where is the Israeli de Klerk?
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Despite Israeli soldier’s death on Lebanon border, neither side is seeking conflict
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Jerusalem s skies clear, but capital still far from back to normal
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

White House adviser consults Israeli officials on Iran deal
Ha’aretz – 15 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

IAF copter delivers electric generators to West Bank settlements
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – The air force on Monday delivered much-needed generators to the West Bank settlements of Shiloh and Itamar.

Jerusalem Municipality continues to operate in emergency mode
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – While Barkat noted that the worst of the storm has passed, he emphasized that much work remains to be done in the coming days.

EU assails Israel for lax efforts in fighting money-laundering
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Criticism comes at a time when government faces criticism for blocking former agent from testifying in a US terror-financing case.

As Lador steps down, will state appeal Liberman’s acquittal?
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – It’s important to understand how the corruption case against Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman was born if one hopes to understand whether or not the state will challenge his acquittal.

Wise men of Persia
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – In a meeting with the former director of Israel s atomic agency, I was given a Gog/Magog summary. I was told that if Iran, a non-Arab state, goes nuclear, within a decade there will be a worldwide Armageddon.

Israel must never be betrayed
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Unfortunately, recent actions of the Obama administration represent a sharp reversal of the historical precedent of unshakable support to the Jewish state.

Tragedy in the North
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Israel must remain vigilant, preparing for the worst case scenario while avoiding unnecessary escalation.

German waiting for committee findings before regulating medical tourism
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Three surgeons at TA Sourasky Medical Center reject accusations by Channel 2 of improper handling of foreign patients.

Our World: Kerry forces Israel s moment of decision
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Facing the Palestinians continued defiance of the very notion of peaceful coexistence with Israel, Kerry is planning to present his own peace deal next month and try to force Israel to accept it.

Can Netanyahu cross the Rubicon?
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Things do look bleak, but there are reasons to be hopeful.

No Holds Barred: The ferocious fight for Israel
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Real leadership is not found in our immortal soul but in our moral courage.

Croatian soccer player banned from World Cup over pro-Nazi chants
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – FIFA announces punishment for Josip Simunic, who at playoff shouted salute used during WWII by Nazi-allied fascist movement.

Fundamentally Freund: John Kerry s frequent failure program
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Of all the dumb and dangerous designs to emerge from the depths of the US State Department, Kerry s latest scheme is one of the more dreadful duds in recent memory.

Borderline Views: The viability of the two-state solution
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – While there is still a slim majority of Palestinians supporting in principle the two-state solution, there is very little faith in the chances of it being achieved through a negotiated settlement.

IDF officer killed in cross-border shooting laid to rest
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – St.-Sgt. Maj. Shlomi Cohen, 31, was shot dead while driving in an army vehicle 50 meters from the Lebanese border Sunday night.

Charity founded by Orthodox lobbyist under investigation in NY
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – NY Post : Shiya Ostereicher probed for taking funds without giving service.

Knesset extends 65-year-long national state of emergency
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Edelstein calls for government to reduce state of emergency’s pervasiveness; MK Horowitz: Let’s end the British Mandate.

Israel Chemicals CEO: Higher royalties, taxes could turn resource developers to other countries
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Shesniski 2 Committee convenes to examine state s royalty policies on natural resource exploitation.

EU vows ‘unprecedented’ aid to Israel, Palestinians for peace deal
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – 28 EU FMs offer “package of European political, economic, security support to both parties in context of a final status agreement”.

Hundreds of Israelis stuck in South Sudan as violence rages
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Israel non-resident Ambassador to Juba says Foreign Ministry in contact with “many hundreds” of Israelis as rival factions in S. Sudanese capital clash in “attempted coup”; IsraAID also in touch with Israeli citizens.

Knesset Science Committee head demands higher budgets for R&D
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – We are losing the power of engineering in this country,” say Science, Technology and Space Minister Yaakov Peri.

US scholars’ group votes in favor of academic boycott of Israel
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – American Studies Association endorses its national council s call for a boycott of Israeli universities.

EU to ease sanctions as soon as Iran curbs nuclear work
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – European Union officials meet Iranian deputy foreign minister in Brussels; Implementation of landmark nuclear deal with Iran stumbles.

Nearly half of children on welfare have gone full day without food, report finds
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – “The responsibility to address poverty should fall on the government, not on the charities,” says welfare minister.

Israel s first distillery selling its first batch – 4 years ahead of time
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Financially, the idea seems like a sure win given the global surge in demand for whiskey.

Bennett backs ‘NGO Bill’: Stop the masochism
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – “We the tax payers are funding organizations that try to harm IDF soldiers,” says economy minister.

Alan Dershowitz retiring from Harvard Law School
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – The 75-year-old lawyer, who is known for taking on high profile and often unpopular causes and clients, has taught at Harvard Law for half a century.

Buildings evacuated at Harvard after report of explosives
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – “Out of an abundance of caution, the buildings have been evacuated while the report is investigated,” Harvard says on its Web site.

Poll reveals most Palestinians think peace talks with Israel are dead
Jerusalem Post 16 Dec 2013 – Palestinian Center for Public Opinion poll finds that 56% of Palestinians expect a fresh confrontation with Israel.

The Guardian

Roger Waters and the antisemitism question | Keith Kahn-Harris
The Guardian 16 Dec 2013 – The Pink Floyd singer is certainly guilty of talking about Israel in a predictable and unhelpful way It’s happening increasingly often: a prominent public figure makes a vituperative criticism of Israel, accusations of antisemitism follow and…

Uruknet

Dispatch from Gitmo: Infamous prison, surreal experience
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – – As a van passed through a security checkpoint en route to the prison camps of Guantanamo Bay, the sun rose in a tropical sky and the official army radio station blasted Jimmy Buffet s famed…

Stealing Palestine Richard Falk interview
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Creeping annexation, ethnic cleansing and the politics of fragmentation inflicted by criminals who strut the world stage and thumb their noses at international law. As the international conspiracy to rob Palestinians of their freedom and homeland…

Iraq Attacks Against Pilgrims, Govt Buildings Leave 100 Dead and 183 Wounded
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Attacks against Shi ite pilgrims stole the headlines today in Baghdad and Mosul. Perhaps even more frightening, suicide bombers also attacked government buildings and took hostages north of the capital. Overall, at least 100 people were…

What If a Drone Struck an American Wedding?
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – On my wedding day, my wife and I hired a couple of shuttle vans to ferry guests between a San Clemente hotel and the nearby site where we held our ceremony and reception. I thought of…

Death toll rises in Syria bombing raid At least 125 people killed and scores injured by army air raids on rebel districts in Aleppo city.
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Syrian government air raids using barrel bombs on rebel-controlled areas of Syria s second city of Aleppo have killed at least 125 people and injured scores of others, Al Jazeera s reporter in the northern city…

Qatari envoy meets with Hezbollah official
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013- Qatari Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Bin Hamad al-Marri met on Monday with Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem.The Monday meeting tackled the situation in Lebanon and the region, according to a statement issued by Hezbollah s…

Gaza has all the potential it needs, with one exception
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – …And I wonder: By what right do make these people an exception? Exceptions from human rights. From the right to fish in their own waters or farm their own land. From developing their economy. Perhaps this…

NSA Lie on 60 Minutes Exposed!
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – On CBS 60 Minutes last night, NSA officials made the fearful claim that a “BIOS plot” to “to destroy computers” from an unnamed foreign government could be “catastrophic for the United States.” NSA s Debora Plunkett…

New compromise undercuts European Union s funding restrictions for settlement-based projects
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – The EU issued a Commission Notice in July 2013 stipulating that European grant money could not go to any Israeli institutions operating over the Green Line in the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, or East…

Israel opens dam, flooding Gaza Strip with rainwater
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Israel has opened the Wadi Sofa Dam east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, flooding dozens of houses and leaving hundreds of people homeless. The head of the Gaza government s Information Office, Ihab Al-Ghusain,…

In act of civil disobedience, 150 Sudanese refugees walk out of Israeli open prison
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Roughly 150 Sudanese asylum seekers left a new open prison and walked six hours to Be er Sheva in a mass act of civil disobedience protesting their continued detention without trial and demanding recognition as refugees…

ASA membership votes to boycott Israel by landslide
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – The full membership of the American Studies Association (ASA) has voted by a two-to-one margin to endorse an academic boycott of Israel, it was announced today. The referendum was called after the National Council, the ASA…

NSA-Approved Propaganda: 60 Minutes & the Revolving Door Journalism of John Miller
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013- More than six months after stories on documents from former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began to appear, the NSA finally determined all the statements denying what had revealed or intended to clarify what the agency…

Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Ex-general overseeing implementation of bill says he has not received any instructions to halt legislation process. The Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all. Just four days after the co-author of the proposed law, Benny…

America s Child Soldiers JROTC and the Militarizing of America
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Congress surely meant to do the right thing when, in the fall of 2008, it passed the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA). The law was designed to protect kids worldwide from being forced to fight the…

Israel proposes law to tax NGOs criticising its treatment of Palestinians
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 -An Israeli government committee approved a draft law on Sunday that will impose an additional 45 per cent tax on the external donations of those Israeli NGOs that criticise Israel s treatment of the Palestinians. According to…

Israel fires on Lebanon in retaliation for soldier killing
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 — The Israeli army said Monday it fired across the Lebanese border in retaliation after accusing Lebanese troops of gunning down one of its soldiers as he drove near the frontier.The shooting was the first time an…

Journalist Among 37 Killed in Iraq, 62 More Wounded
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – In Baghdad, a sticky bomb killed two people and wounded seven more on a bus in the Waziriya neighborhood. A car bomb killed three people and wounded four at a restaurant. Nine people were wounded in…

Syria News – December 15, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – By the end of Sunday the Coordination Committees were able to document 135 martyrs including 38 children, 14 women and 4 martyrs under torture: 83 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 33 in Damascus and its Suburbs,…

Yemeni parliament votes to ban drone attacks
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – An anti-drone motion was passed by Yemen s parliament on Sunday, banning drone attacks. The symbolic vote comes amid growing anger against US unmanned aircrafts used to kill off Al-Qaeda-linked terrorists. Concerns for civilians are also…

Officials warn Gaza Strip on the verge of health crisis
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 — 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…

Drone Strikes in Yemen- On Bombing Weddings and Families
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- At least 15 people on the way to a wedding were killed by the United States Government in a horrific drone strike in Yemen, just two days after President Barack Obama spoke at the memorial service for…

Al Sadr mentor calls to fight alongside Al Assad
Uruknet 16 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- Baghdad: A leading Shiite cleric widely followed by Iraqi militants has issued the first public religious edict permitting Shiites to fight in Syria s civil war alongside President Bashar Al Assad s forces. The fatwa by Iran-based…

US drone strikes in Yemen a clear violation of law
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- It happened in Afghanistan in 2002, in Iraq in 2004, again in Afghanistan in 2008, then in Yemen last week. The United States just cannot stop bombing wedding parties. On July 1, 2002, 30 people were killed…

Another bogus contract in Iraq revealed
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013- An Iraqi Swiss-based expert revealed Sunday that the government of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has signed a $6 billion contract with a bogus company. On 10 October, Maliki announced that his government had signed a contract to…

Right To Resist Oppression
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – In August 2004 Richard Hugus, critic of progressive injustice, wrote an article called “Lies of the Israeli peace movement”. What Hugus wrote almost 10 years ago has as much forgotten or neglected relevance today. In an…

Gaza fighters in Syria pose dilemma for pro-Assad Left
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013 – While the Syrian Revolution was still young, the Palestinian organization Hamas, unlike its sister organization, Hezbullah, broke with the Assad Regime and sided with the revolution. This has cost them dearly. They were forced to move…

The Peaceful Protest US Govt Doesn t Want World to Know About
Uruknet 15 Dec 2013 – December 15, 2013-First it was the force-feedings, genital searches, and transfers to solitary confinement. Then came the media blackout. In its latest bid to deprive Guant·namo Bay inmates of what Algerian prisoner Ahmed Belbacha has called their “sole peaceful means”…

Daily Star

EU vows ‘unprecedented’ aid if Israel, Palestinians make peace
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 The European Union on Monday pledged “unprecedented” levels of support to both Israel and the Palestinians should the two parties reach a final status agreement.

U.K. s Cameron visits troops in Afghanistan
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed confidence Monday that a security agreement would be signed to allow a continuing allied training mission in Afghanistan after 2014, as he declared Britain had accomplished its mission in the…

Russian navy ready to escort Syrian chemical weapons: Lavrov
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 Russia said on Monday its navy was ready to escort ships removing Syria’s deadily chemical stockpile, which is due to be destroyed at sea under an international deal.

Yemen girl, 3, hospitalised after rape by father: report
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 A three-year-old Yemeni girl has been admitted to intensive care with severe bleeding after being raped by her father, the September.netnews website reported Monday.

U.S. ignored appeals for Syria chemical arms proof: Russia
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 Russia on Monday accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s appeals for proof of Syrian government involvement in chemical weapons attacks in Syria during the country’s more than 2-1/2-year old civil war.

UN chief demands cease-fire in Syria before talks
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is demanding a cease-fire in Syria before peace talks between the government and opposition begin in Geneva on Jan. 22.

Car bombs against Shiite pilgrims kill 22: Iraq officials
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 Two car bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims south of the Iraqi capital killed at least 22 people on Monday, security officials said.

Morsi supporters to boycott Egypt constitution vote
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 The Islamist supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi will boycott a referendum on a new constitution next month and organise a campaign against the vote, a spokesman said Monday.

EU promises ‘unprecedented’ aid for Mideast peace
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 European Union foreign ministers on Monday pledged “unprecedented” amounts of political, financial and security support for Israel and the Palestinians if they come to a peace agreement.

EU to ease sanctions as soon as Iran curbs nuclear work
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 European Union governments pledged on Monday to suspend some sanctions against Iran as soon as the U.N. nuclear watchdog verifies that Tehran has curbed its atomic work under last month’s landmark agreement.

Iran FM conveys ‘discontent’ to Kerry over blacklist
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed Iran’s “discontent” to his US counterpart over the expansion of a blacklist of Iranian firms following a landmark nuclear accord, media reported Monday.

Army says soldier acted alone in border shooting
Daily Star 16 Dec 2013 A Lebanese soldier acting on his own accord was behind the shooting and killing of an Israeli soldier on the border with the Jewish State, the Army said Monday.

Stop The Wall

PLO on Dutch company Vitens ending ties with Mekorot: “necessary and moral”
Stop The Wall – Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign mekorot water privatization PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, praised the recent announcement by Dutch water company, Vitens, to end its cooperation with Israel s national water company, Mekorot, calling it a necessary and moral decision . Mekorot is responsible for a number of violations of…

YNet News

Hagel to Ya’alon: US committed to preventing nuclear Iran
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – ….

Ukraine leader seeks cash at Kremlin, Kiev protest planned
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – ….

Family: Make Iran talks contingent on Levinson aid
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – ….

Lebanon: Military cmte. to investigate border incident
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – ….

Harvard reopens all evacuated buildings after bomb scare
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – ….

Until the snow melts
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Rare moments of harmony witnessed in West Bank during snow storm will soon be over ….

‘Purity patrol car’ drives women to mikveh
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – Religious organization offers special service during snow storm to help women in Jerusalem area reach nearest ritual bath ….

Israel not a third world country
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: Snow storms paralyze major cities like London, Washington and no one cries out ‘failure’ ….

Mohel asks dads to help with circumcision
YNet News, 16 Dec 2013 – Cantor Philip Sherman is on campaign to promote DIY brit milah to young fathers ….

Bibi, you’re out of touch
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 ….

Palestinian Information Center

Hanna appeals for ending blockade on Gaza
PIC – The Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Sebastia, Archbishop Atallah Hanna, has appealed for an end to the siege on Gaza Strip.

Israeli undercover soldiers abduct liberated prisoner
PIC – Israeli undercover soldiers kidnapped a Palestinian liberated prisoner from Tulkarem city at noon Monday.

Calls on PACE to assume its responsibility towards administrative detainees
PIC – Palestine Center for Prisoners’ Studies called on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to bear its legal responsibilities towards Palestinian administrative detainees.

Winter storm cost $8 million in agricultural losses
PIC – Gaza agricultural sector suffered losses worth 8 million dollars due to the winter storm that hit the Strip over the previous four days.

Palestinian prisoners suffer lack of heating and winter clothing
PIC – Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails complained of Israeli brutal practices and violent search operations despite the winter storm that has doubled their suffering.

PLC invites Arab parliamentarians to visit storm-hit Gaza
PIC – The Palestinian legislative council called on the Arab parliament convening in Jordan to send a parliamentary delegation to visit Gaza and see closely the size of damage caused by rainstorms.

Warnings of permanently banning Sheikh Salah from entering Jerusalem
PIC – The Islamic movement in 1948-occupied Palestine has warned of Israeli plan to permanently block entry of Sheikh Raed Salah into Jerusalem.

Gov’t urges Arab and Islamic states to follow Qatar’s steps and help Gaza
PIC – The Palestinian government in Gaza called on the Arab and Islamic countries to follow the lead of Qatar and stand by the storm-hit Gaza Strip.

IOF soldiers nab two Palestinians in Jenin
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided four Palestinian villages in Jenin district at dawn Monday and nabbed two Palestinians and interrogated two others.

IOF opens Wadi Sofa dam flooding dozens of houses
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened on Sunday Wadi Sofa dam east of Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, flooding dozens of Palestinian homes, local sources said.

WAFA

OIC s Al-Quds Committee to Convene on January 9
WAFA – 16 Dec 2013

EU Promises Unprecedented Support after Reaching Peace
WAFA – 16 Dec 2013

New Yorkers Protest Israeli Settlement-Builder
WAFA – 16 Dec 2013

Israel Allows More Fuel, Goods into Beleaguered Gaza
WAFA – 16 Dec 2013

Upon Leaving Area, Kerry says Goal is Final, not Interim, Agreement
WAFA – 16 Dec 2013

Misc

Egypt constitution referendum campaign begins with flap over banner
LA Times 16 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — The pictures were supposed to depict a cross-section of Egyptian society. But they somehow didn t look quite right — and as it turned out, they weren t.

Efforts to ease Israel-Lebanon border tension after shooting
LA Times 16 Dec 2013 – JERUSALEM The day after the fatal cross-border shooting of an Israeli soldier by a member of the Lebanese armed forces, both sides tried to ease tensions and downplayed reports that Israel may have returned fire.

Syrian refugees’ hardship worsens with snow, cold
LA Times 15 Dec 2013 – In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, tents are filled with mud and slush, fuel for heating is scarce and aid deliveries are erratic. BEKAA, Lebanon A makeshift bucket brigade hauled 14 pails of mud and slush from the tent that Um Mahmoud shares with a dozen…

Sniper fire from Lebanon kills Israeli soldier along border
LA Times 15 Dec 2013 – JERUSALEM — An Israeli soldier was killed Sunday evening by shots fired over the border from Lebanon, the Israeli military reported.

Aid Challenge in Syria Mounts for U.N. Official
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Some rights advocates say Valerie Amos, the United Nations relief coordinator, has been too patient with the Syrian government in pushing for access to areas in need.

Boycott by Academic Group Is a Symbolic Sting to Israel
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – An association of American professors with almost 5,000 members has become the largest academic group in the country to support a push to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

Syria Activists Say Dozens Killed in Aleppo Air Assault
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Reports by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and others said helicopters dropped barrels filled with TNT and shrapnel on 13 neighborhoods.

The Lede: Egyptians Mock Ads Promoting New Constitution With Typos and Stock Images
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – A campaign to win support for Egypt s new constitution got off to a rocky start when bloggers noticed that a banner promoting the document misspelled the word for Egyptians in Arabic and used stock images of foreigners.

UN Security Council Shows ‘Grave Concern’ on Libya
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – The U.N. Security Council is expressing “grave concern” at the weakening security situation in Libya as the North African country struggles to control armed groups and transition to democracy.

Russia: Aug. 21 Syria Chemical Attack Was ‘Staged’
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Russia on Monday lashed out at the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council over who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria this year.

EU Offers ‘Unprecedented’ Aid to Help Israeli-Palestinian Talks
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – The European Union promised Israel and the Palestinians better access to European markets and “unprecedented” political and economic aid as an incentive to push them into resolving their decades-old conflict.

U.S. Scholars’ Group Backs Call for Academic Boycott of Israel
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – An association of American scholars has voted for an academic boycott of Israeli colleges and universities in protest against Israeli policies towards the Palestinians, the group said on Monday.

Russian Navy Ready to Escort Syrian Chemical Weapons: Lavrov
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Russia said on Monday its navy was ready to escort ships removing Syria’s deadly chemical stockpile, which is due to be destroyed at sea under an international deal.

Israel and Lebanon Try to Defuse Tensions After Cross-Border Shooting
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Military liaison officers met with representatives of the United Nations peacekeeping force after an Israeli soldier was killed and Israeli forces returned fire.

Freedoms for Saudi University Girls End at Gates
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Within their female-only campuses, women at Saudi Arabia’s universities let loose. Trendy sneakers, colorful tops, a myriad of hairstyles. Some experiment with bleach blonde or even dip-dyed blue hair. The more adventurous ones have cropped their hair into short buzzes.

U.N. Seeks Record Sum for Humanitarian Aid in 2014
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Half the unprecedented $13 billion sought by the United Nations for emergency relief would go to the Syria crisis.

Saudi Passes Anti-Terror Law, Banning Defamation
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet has approved a new anti-terrorism draft law that criminalizes acts that disturb public order, defame the reputation of the state or threaten the kingdom’s unity.

U.S. Ignored Appeals for Syria Chemical Arms Proof: Russia
New York Times 16 Dec 2013 – Russia on Monday accused Washington of ignoring Moscow’s appeals for proof of Syrian government involvement in chemical weapons attacks in Syria during the country’s more than 2-1/2-year old civil war.

African asylum-seekers march from the Negev to Jerusalem to protest detention
Mondoweiss – Marchers north of Beersheva on Route 40 on Monday. The Hebrew sign on the left reads, Refugees Not Criminals. A group of 150 200 African asylum seekers who were detained in a new Israeli Negev facility, Holot, are marching to Jerusalem to demand their right…

The genetic truth of Jesus s (and Hanna Rosin s) classically Semitic appearance, as revealed to Jeffrey Goldberg
Mondoweiss – Jeffrey Goldberg It s hard to know what to say about Jeffrey Goldberg s latest piece. Drawn to racial territory by the Fox News trailblazer who said that Santa is white, Goldberg says in I m dreaming of a white Jesus , that it is important to remember…

It sure pays to support Israel!
Mondoweiss – Richard Joel, second from left, tops the list of salaries to Jewish executives of nonprofits, compiled by the Forward, at $855,000. Sheldon Adelson, funder, is at center left The Forward has published its list of the top salaries of executives at Jewish non-profits in the U.S….

Leumi to close four o’seas offices
Globes Main News – Israeli banks once sought to expand overseas, but tighter regulation has made this activity less attractive.

Dankner: I’m the one most injured
Globes Main News – Nochi Dankner told “Globes” today: I believed in IDB all along; I invested all my wealth in buying more and more shares in the group.

Mon: Banks boost market
Globes Main News – Hapoalim, Leumi, Discount and Mizrahi-Tefahot all rose strongly while Opko Health ended its losing streak.

Frost: Opko’s share price is extremely low
Globes Main News – Opko’s CEO Phillip Frost told “Seeking Alpha” that the share’s potential for appreciation is extremely high.

Mizrahi-Tefahot Swiss branch to offer mortgages
Globes Main News – UMB Switzerland will become the first Israeli owned bank to offer mortgages abroad for properties in Israel.

Borgas: Gov’t pushing us to invest overseas
Globes Main News – Israel Chemicals CEO Stefan Borgas told the Sheshinski Committee that money to develop the Dead Sea Works can be invested abroad instead.

Apax Partners in talks to buy Tambour from Azrieli
Globes Main News – Azrieli Group unit Granite Hacarmel is reportedly asking NIS 500 million for the paint manufacturer.

White House tightens enforcement of Iran sanctions amid meetings with Israelis
Mondoweiss – Obama and Netanyahu in 2011 (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) What is the role of Israel in shaping US foreign policy? The White House has now tightened its enforcement of sanctions on Iran, potentially threatening the breakthrough deal with Iran, in the midst of high-level meetings between White House…

Storm-ravaged Gaza finally able to start power plant after donation from Qatar
Mondoweiss – Gaza under blockade and the weather Qatari diesel to run power plant enters Gaza GAZA CITY (Ma an) 15 Dec 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…

Four int’l cos bid for port tender
Globes Main News – Bidders to operate Israel’s new port include two of the world’s top-ten shipping companies.

ASA members vote 2-1 for academic boycott of Israel
Mondoweiss – Update: There s been a ton of response to the vote today. The New York Times has a thorough story on the vote that says boycott is catching on a growing movement to isolate Israel over its treatment of Palestinians even though some allege anti-Semitism. The Times…

Finance C’tee rejects defense supplement
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Chairman Nissan Slomiansky: I was promised the extra would come from surplus tax, not social spending cuts.

IMF calls for tougher steps on home prices
Globes Macro Economics – The International Monetary Fund warns of the dangers to Israel’s financial system from a sharp correction in the housing market.

333% upside seen in Brainsway
Globes Main News – US investor relations firm Cameron Associates estimates that just 1% penetration of the global depression market would mean a $45 share price.

Tamar could provide gas to Jordanian potash works
Globes Energy & Water – “The Wall Street Journal” reports a possible deal between the Tamar partners and Arab Potash Company.

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

RIGHT TO RESIST OPPRESSION
Sabbah report 16 Dec 2013 – Resist! Resist the illegal settlements in Palestine until you get your land and your dignity back. Resist the attempts to equate the efforts of occupiers to match their desires for peace with your rights. Resist the fear instilled by Israeli tanks and jets, by armed IDF…

Iran s Nukes: Another Israeli WMD Lie for Another American War
Sabbah report 16 Dec 2013 – Iran launches a nuclear attack on Israel with its single nuclear bomb devastating Tel Aviv and causing tens of thousands of deaths among Jews, Christians and Muslims. Israel responds with a nuclear counterattack dropping 30 nuclear bombs, one tenth of its nuclear arsenal, across Iran killing…

Bedouin in Israel Calling for Recognition, Rather than Relocation
The Foward Breaking News 16 Dec 2013 – For decades, Bedouin tribes like those living in Wadi al-Naam and similar settlements all over southern Israel have waged a battle with the Israeli government over land rights. Click here for the rest of the article…

Canadian Protestant Leaders Speak Out Against Church Boycott
The Foward Breaking News 16 Dec 2013 – Leaders of Canada s largest Protestant denomination are speaking out against their church s boycott of products made in Israeli settlements. Click here for the rest of the article…

European Union Offers ‘Unprecedented’ Aid to Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks
The Foward Breaking News 16 Dec 2013 – The European Union promised Israel and the Palestinians better access to European markets and unprecedented political and economic aid as an incentive to push them into resolving their decades-old conflict. Click here for the rest of the article…

VIDEO: Chechen Jihadists fighting in Syria
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – As the fighting in Syria continues, battles are increasingly being fought by foreign militants.

UN launches record Syria aid appeal
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The United Nations launches its biggest ever appeal, as it warns that nearly three-quarters of Syrians will need humanitarian aid in 2014.

American Studies Association Votes To Boycott Israeli Universities
The Foward Breaking News 16 Dec 2013 – The membership of the American Studies Association endorsed its national council s call for a boycott of Israeli universities. Click here for the rest of the article…

Dutch union dumps G4S for aiding Israel s human rights abuses
Global BDS 16 Dec 2013 – Abvakabo , a trade union with 350,000 members in the Netherlands, has ended its relationship with G4S , a private security firm that has equipped Israel s prisons in the occupied West Bank. G4S had been providing security to an office used by the union in Utrecht. Abvakabo spokesperson…

VIDEO: Syria humanitarian crisis explained
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – BBC News analyses the impact of Syria’s 33-month conflict on its people – in 60 seconds.

Egypt: Minister Urges Kuwaiti, Gulf Investors to Operate in Egypt
allAfrica.com 16 Dec 2013 – [Egypt Online]Planning Minister Ashraf El-Arabi has urged Kuwaiti and other Gulf investors to pump more investments to Egypt in the coming phase.

Troops shot on Israel-Lebanon border
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The Israeli army has shot two Lebanese soldiers on the border after an Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese army sniper, the Israeli military says.

Nigeria: Brazil 2014 – Iran Plan 5-Star Performance Against Eagles
allAfrica.com 16 Dec 2013 – [Vanguard]The Iranians are looking to put up a 5-star performance in their opening match against the Super Eagles on June 16, 2014 at the FIFA World Cup because it will decide how far they would go in the competition.

Ethiopia: A Long-Term Plan for Syria’s Refugees
allAfrica.com 16 Dec 2013 – [Reporter]After spending just three days with refugees and aid workers… in Lebanon and Turkey, the apocalyptic nature of the Syria crisis is all too apparent: more than 100,000 deaths, nine million people displaced, two million children out of school, diseases like polio resurfacing, and neighboring countries…

Nigeria: Brazil 2014 – Why Keshi, Eagles Must Be Wary of Iran
allAfrica.com 15 Dec 2013 – [Vanguard]Last week’s draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup holding in Brazil next summer may be the ultimate nightmare for most national team managers who have Argentina as group mates. For Carlos Queiroz’s Iran, however, last week’s pairing which put them in Group F with with…

US academic body votes to boycott Israeli universities
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – The US-based American Studies Association overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution to sever ties with Israeli universities in solidarity with the pro-Palestinian boycott movement, the group announced on its website Monday. Two-thirds of ASA members who voted, chose to “honor the call of Palestinian civil…

Iraq suffers day of deadly violence
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – Iraq suffers one of its bloodiest days in recent months as a wave of attacks kills more than 70 people, many of them pilgrims.

VIDEO: Chechen Jihadists fighting in Syria
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – As the fighting in Syria continues, battles are increasingly being fought by foreign militants.

UN launches record Syria aid appeal
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The United Nations launches its biggest ever appeal, as it warns that nearly three-quarters of Syrians will need humanitarian aid in 2014.

UNIFIL meets with Lebanese, Israeli officers over border incident
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) vehicle is seen in front of the Ras al-Naqoura Lebanese-Israeli border checkpoint in southern Lebanon on December 16, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat) Israeli and Lebanese army officers met with UN peacekeepers on Monday after Israel accused Lebanese…

Why Doesn t Israel Eliminate Hezbollah Now?
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – Israeli infantry soldiers from the Kfir Brigade take part in a drill in urban warfare simulating a combat mission with Lebanon’s Hezbollah at the Israeli army base of Elyakim in northern Israel on July 11, 2013.(Photo: AFP – Jack Guez). Israeli infantry soldiers from the Kfir…

Egypt to Sisi: Be My President!
Al-Akhbar Opinion 16 Dec 2013 – Supporters of Egypt’s military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (portrait) chant slogans during a demonstration outside the Qatari embassy in Cairo on November 30, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Khaled). Supporters of Egypt’s military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (portrait) chant slogans during a demonstration outside the Qatari…

The Emotional Propagandist: A Conversation With BBC Journalist Adam Curtis
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – Curtis was invited to Beirut last week by Ashkal Alwan to take part in an exhibition where he presented a lecture on the forgotten role of America’s attempted coups in Syria in the 1950s and 1960s. (Photo: Ashkal Alwan) Curtis was invited to Beirut last week…

Separating Dreams From Reality on Iran Sanctions
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) meets with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) in Tehran on December 11, 2013.(Photo: AFP – Behrouz Mehri). Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd R) meets with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov (2nd L) in Tehran…

UN: Syrian refugees to double in 2014
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – The number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East will nearly double over the next year to exceed four million, the United Nations said Monday as it launched its appeal for funds. Another 9.3 million people are expected to be in need of aid inside the…

Mosa ab Elshamy: On escaping death and capturing tragedy
Al-Akhbar Blogs 16 Dec 2013 – read more

VIDEO: Syria humanitarian crisis explained
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – BBC News analyses the impact of Syria’s 33-month conflict on its people – in 60 seconds.

Aleppo barrel bomb death toll rises
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The number of people killed by barrel bombs dropped by helicopters in the Syrian city of Aleppo on Sunday has risen to more than 70, activists say.

Troops shot on Israel-Lebanon border
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The Israeli army has shot two Lebanese soldiers on the border after an Israeli soldier was killed by a Lebanese army sniper, the Israeli military says.

Suicide attacks, car bombs leave 54 dead across Iraq
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – Iraqis gather around a burning car at the scene of an explosion in the district of Baghdad on December 8, 2013. (Photo: AFP / STR) Updated 4:00pm: Suicide bombers and gunmen killed at least 54 people in Iraq on Monday, medical and police sources said. Al-Qaeda-linked militants…

Suicide bomber kills army soldier in South Lebanon
Al-Akhbar News 16 Dec 2013 – Lebanese army soldiers patrol a street in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on December 4, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ibrahim Chalhoub) A Lebanese soldier and four attackers were killed in two separate assaults late Sunday on army checkpoints in the southern city of Sidon, the…

VIDEO: A guide to the conflict in Syria
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – How the conflict in Syria became the bloodiest chapter of the Arab Spring

Syria’s battle for bread
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – Lyse Doucet finds Syrians struggling to afford basic food

VIDEO: Can anyone win Syria’s war?
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – Katya Adler asks whether Syria is heading towards a military stalemate, where neither government forces nor rebels can win.

Christian finds calling in Bethlehem
BBC 15 Dec 2013 – The call centre creating full-time jobs in the West Bank city

Articles


Stealing Palestine: interview with Richard Falk
Stuart Littlewood, Redress 12/16/2013
Creeping annexation, ethnic cleansing and the politics of fragmentation inflicted by criminals who strut the world stage and thumb their noses at international law
As the international conspiracy to rob Palestinians of their freedom and homeland is exposed a little more each day, observers and activists still puzzle over the duplicity of the United Nations in the decades-long illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian territories, not to mention the true intent of Palestinian leaders. So when Richard Falk, Professor of International Law at Princeton and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Occupied Palestine, visited Norwich recently, I took the opportunity to put some questions to him. Peace process
[Stuart Littlewood] Can we start with the so-called peace process , please? Does the resignation of the Palestinian negotiation team, and the reasons given, effectively end the already discredited peace talks ? Should the Palestinians walk away or carry on playing a pointless game for another six months?
[Richard Falk] It is difficult to know how to assess the current suspension of peace talks. The Palestinian Authority (PA) seems always ready to bend to pressure, although with some outer limits. In this respect, the future of this phase of peace talks will be determined not in Ramallah, but in Washington and Tel Aviv. It should be evident 20 years after Oslo that the peace talks serve Israel s interest in creeping annexation of the West Bank and ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem, while diminishing Palestinian prospects, and even harming the Palestinian image by disinformation that blames the Palestinian side for the breakdown of the process when and however it occurs. It would be a welcome sign of PA independence if they come forth and denounce this peace process for what it is.more..e-mail

Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all
Mairav Zonszein, +972 Magazine 12/16/2013
Ex-general overseeing implementation of bill says he has not received any instructions to halt legislation process.
The Prawer Plan may not be shelved after all. Just four days after the co-author of the proposed law, Benny Begin, announced the halting of the bill that would see the internal displacement of some 40,000 Bedouin in the Negev, the former IDF general who heads the unit which is to implement the relocation told Haaretz Monday that he has not received any instructions to shelve the plan and is continuing efforts towards its implementation. Major General (res.) Doron Almog added that Begin can claim whatever he wants, but that bill is still in the legislative process.
Also, according to Israel Radio, Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir (son of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir) and a member of right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party is taking over responsibility for overseeing the Prawer plan from Benny Begin.
According to the Israeli NGO Bimkom Planners for Planning Rights, the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee indeed convened Monday to discuss how to proceed with the bill, despite the fact that schools and many public buildings were still closed in Jerusalem due to the snowstorm. MK Miri Regev, who heads the committee, corroborated what Almog said, insisting the government has not requested the bill be pulled.
Bimkom, who cooperated with Bedouin community leaders on developing an alternative plan to that of the government s, maintains that the current plan is discriminatory and that the logical solution is recognition of Bedouin rights to the lands they currently live on, in accordance with Israel s standard zoning regulations.
It is worth noting that when Benny Begin, who co-authored the bill, announced its shelving Thursday, he didn t do so informally…. more..e-mail

New influx a blow to early refugees
Rebecca Murray, Asia Times 12/16/2013
NAHR EL BARED – 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 the summer of 2007, the Palestinian refugees of Nahr el Bared, just 16 kilometers north of Tripoli, paid a devastating price in the battle between the Lebanese army and a small militant group living in their midst, Fatah al Islam.
The three-month fight emerged from a power vacuum left by competitive Palestinian factions unable to effectively police the community themselves. It destroyed the camp and its regional market for local Lebanese farmers and smuggled Syrian goods.
“I think the community is broken. The neighborhood has changed,and the memories that make us think about the old times have gone.”
More than 30,000 refugee families fled to one of the other 11 official Palestinian camps in Lebanon, leaving their homes, possessions, and jobs behind.
In Vienna the following year, international donors pledged to fund reconstruction by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) of the camp’s thousands of homes. To date, only a fifth of the community has returned to the now declared military zone, and building funds are about to run out.
A combination of the war in Syria and donor fatigue is to blame, and the area’s impoverished Palestinian community – at risk again of being sucked into the nearby violence – sees itself as a low priority for international help. more..e-mail

The Bankruptcy of the West s Syrian Policy
Patrick Cockburn, CounterPunch 12/16/2013
Factions on the Run
The final bankruptcy of American and British policy in Syria came 10 days ago as Islamic Front, a Saudi-backed Sunni jihadi group, overran the headquarters of the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) at Bab al-Hawa on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey. The FSA, along with the Syrian National Coalition, groups that the United States and Britain have been pretending for years are at the heart of Syrian military and political opposition, has been discredited. The remaining FSA fighters are in flight, have changed sides, or are devoting all their efforts to surviving the onslaught from jihadi or al-Qa ida-linked brigades.
The US and Britain stopped the delivery of non-lethal aid to the supply depot at Bab al-Hawa as the implications of the disaster sank in. The West s favourite rebel commander, General Salim Idris, was on the run between Turkey and his former chief supporter and paymaster, Qatar. Turkey closed the border, the other side of which is now controlled by the Islamic Front. The so-called moderate wing of the Syrian insurgency has very limited influence, but its representatives are still being urged by Washington and London to attend the peace conference in Geneva on 22 January to negotiate Bashar al-Assad s departure from power.
Confusion over what is happening is so great that Western leaders may not pay as much of a political price at home as they should for the failure of their Syrian policy. But it is worth recalling that the Syrian National Coalition and the FSA are the same people for whom the US and UK almost went to war in August, and saw as candidates to replace Assad in power in Damascus. The recent debacle shows how right public opinion in both countries was to reject military intervention. more..e-mail

EU sanctions Israeli settlements but not state that created them
Electronic Intifada: 16 Dec 2013 – Guidelines on ending grants to firms active in the occupied West Bank do not go far enough. more..

Why is Gaza always Egypt’s scapegoat?
Electronic Intifada: 16 Dec 2013 – Unlike the Rafah crossing, other borders have been opened since the Cairo coup earlier this year. more..

Updates Gaza flooding& and what you can do!
In Gaza: 16 Dec 2013 – *Awni Farhat Israel opens dam, flooding Gaza Strip with rainwater Dec 16, 2013, Middle East Monitor Israel has opened the Wadi Sofa Dam east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, flooding dozens of houses and leaving hundreds of people homeless. The head of the Gaza government s Information Office, Ihab Al-Ghusain, told Arabic Sky News that the local civil defence teams have been working to evacuate the flooded homes. Rafah City Mayor Issa Nashar confirmed the incident on Sunday, saying, Israel has indeed opened the dam which led to drowning the neighbouring areas with accumulated rain water up to 1 metre deep. This incident came after an unprecedented storm, called Alexa by meteorologists, hit the Middle East causing a humanitarian disaster in the region s most vulnerable areas. In the Gaza Strip, at least one person is reported to have died as a result of the freak weather conditions and nearly…more

Is the Turkish-Israeli Rapprochement for Real?
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2013 – By Daniel Wagner and Giorgio Cafiero Since assuming power in 2002, Turkey s Justice and Development Party (AKP) has sought to position Turkey as a leading Middle Eastern power, prompting some analysts to allege neo-Ottoman ambitions. The Turkish model of modernism and moderation has been hailed across the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) as a model to be emulated, and was enhanced by the Arab Awakening. Prior to the AKP assuming power, Ankara and Jerusalem had a unique military alliance, based on their shared security interests. Howev
er, since 2008, Ankara has regularly spouted anti-Israel rhetoric which contributed to the AKP s street cred across the Arab world while at the same time continuing some aspects of its military cooperation with Jerusalem. The two states shared economic and security interests have created an unusual dynamic that permits both to extend an open hand, as well as a clenched fist. While…
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Answering the Call of Higher Duty
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2013 – By Deepak Tripathi Two individuals who have unquestionably dominated the 2013 agenda are Nelson Mandela and Edward Snowden. Their treatment in the media could hardly be more different. Yet in many respects what they share is remarkable, and that they brought out the best and the worst in humanity is no less so. Mandela s struggle against apartheid, remembered again after his death, and Snowden s baring of the worldwide intelligence colossus built by the United States, have stirred a much-needed debate on morality and manipulation of law in conducting mass surveillance, and then justifying the practice by shifty arguments. Bradley Manning s disclosures of the US military s shocking conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, his trial and sentencing are also of great importance. However, the spread of Snowden s revelations is global, and their ramifications are going to be more profound and lasting. Mandela and Snowden are rebels from different generations both classed…more

Escape Route from the Nuclear Shadow over the Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2013 – By Neve Gordon Across the globe headlines pronounced that a breakthrough agreement had been reached in Geneva. Iran s atomic ambitions had been curbed in exchange for limited sanctions relief, thus deflating the longstanding military standoff. The deal hammered out between Iran and the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia stipulates that Tehran will halt progress on enrichment capacity, stop developing its heavy water reactor at Arak, and open access to international weapons inspection. While this deal paves the way for Iran s reintegration into the family of western nations, and is therefore can be conceived as a real milestone, in terms of the Middle East nuclear problem any robust agreement will have to include Israel. Within Israel, speaking about the nuclear program in Dimona is taboo. Mysteriously, however, there is also a broad-based agreement to keep silent about it in DC and in most European capitals. This despite claims…more

No Show at Mandela s Memorial Service Israel s Self-Boycott
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2013 – By Uri Avnery Can a country boycott itself? That may sound like a silly question. It is not. At the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, the Giant of History as Barack Obama called him, Israel was not represented by any of its leaders. The only dignitary who agreed to go was the speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein, a nice person, an immigrant from the Soviet Union and a settler, who is so anonymous that most Israelis would not recognize him. ( His own father would have trouble recognizing him in the street, somebody joked.) Why? The President of the State, Shimon Peres, caught a malady that prevented him from going, but which did not prevent him from making a speech and receiving visitors on the same day. Well, there are all kinds of mysterious microbes. The Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, had an even stranger reason. The journey, he claimed, was…more

Hijacking Hope: Arab world Descending in Darkness
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Dec 2013 – By Jamal Kanj Long before the self-righteous Islamists turned genuine street grievances into violent movements, Egypt was the crown of the Arab Spring and Syria was the second best hope to reap the flowers of the spring. Today, however, hope and optimism have been hijacked by pretentious religious demagogues and tunneled vision ideologues with a pedantic monopoly on God. The Muslim Brotherhood who rode on the January 25 uprising removing one of the oldest Arab dictators lost a unique opportunity to becoming an important pillar in shaping Egypt s political life for many generations. Ex-president Mohamed Mursi and the Brotherhood leadership soon forgot that he won by 25 per cent in the first election s round; just 1pc more than the person whose credentials were serving as prime minister under the ex-dictator. In the second and final round he was elected by three percentage points from votes cast against the…more


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