VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 17 December 2013: Prawer protesters beaten, threatened with rape by Israeli police in Haifa

17 December 2013 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Soldiers Conduct Training Rashayda Village
IMEMC – [Tuesday December 17, 2013] Israeli soldiers invaded the Rashayda village, east of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, and conducted military training in the village after surrounding it, the Radio Bethlehem 2000 has reported. …

UN Report On Winter Storm
IMEMC – Alternative Information Center (AIC) – The winter storm that raged through the West Bank and Gaza Strip, from Thursday to Saturday, has left tens of thousands of Palestinian families without electricity. … 

10 Homes To Be Demolished In Barta’a
IMEMC – [Tuesday, December 17, 2013] (WAFA) – The Israeli military authority has notified 10 residents of the village of Barta’a al-Sharqiyeh, south of Jenin, of its intention to demolish their homes, under the pretext that they were built without permission, according to a local official. …

Israeli Military Drills Besiege Rashayda
IMEMC – [Tuesday, December 17, 2013] Hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers stormed the village of Rashayda, south of Bethlehem, early Tuesday morning and started a wide scale military drill. This came after a day of occupying a nearby nature reserve and displacing the families who were living there, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) has reported. …

%56 Of Palestinians Believe Confrontation With Israel Is To Be Expected
IMEMC – The Palestinian Center for Public Opinion conducted a poll randomly surveying 1000 Palestinians from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the period between November 27 and December 10, regarding the current situation, and direct peace talks with Tel Aviv. …

Ma’an News

Israel delivers evacuation orders to 10 families near Jenin
12/17/2013 – JENIN (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities handed orders to ten Palestinian families from the village of Bartaa al-Sharqiyya west of Jenin demanding that they evacuate their houses on Tuesday. Member of the local council of Bartaa Tawfiq Qabaha told Ma’an that an Israeli military force escorted inspectors of the Israeli planning department to the village Tuesday and delivered the evacuation warrants to ten….

Storm disaster in Gaza ‘man-made’
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — As thousands in the Gaza Strip remain displaced and streets across the coastal enclave are still flooded Tuesday, it is increasingly clear that the devastation caused by storm Alexa was not a purely natural phenomenon. Emergency response crews have been crippled by a lack of electricity to pump water and a lack of fuel to operate generators. But these conditions of….

African migrants march on Jerusalem in protest against detention
12/17/2013 – LAHAV JUNCTION, Israel (AFP) — Hundreds of undocumented African migrants on Monday began a protest march to Jerusalem after fleeing a detention center in the south where they were being held, an AFP correspondent said. The group, all men, could be seen marching northwards along a highway near Lahav junction in southern Israel, holding up signs reading: “Recognize us as refugees” and “Holot (detention) facility is…. Related: African immigrants protest Israel detention

Media group says ‘worrying’ press violations in West Bank
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms on Tuesday released a statement documenting “worrying violations” against media freedoms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. MADA monitored a series of arrests and verbal and physical abuses in November which it said was a “warning sign of a deterioration in the status of media freedoms.” In Salfit, manager of Sawt Alghad….

African immigrants protest Israel detention
12/17/2013 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Nearly 200 African asylum seekers who entered Israel illegally demonstrated Tuesday in Jerusalem against being housed at a new open facility they walked out of two days earlier. The men had left the Holot facility in southern Israel on Sunday night and made their way to the city on foot and by bus. Holding banners reading “we are refugees not criminals” and “walk…. Related: African migrants march on Jerusalem in protest against detention

Israeli forces conduct military drills in Bethlehem village
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of heavily armed Israeli soldiers raided Arab al-Rashayida village south of Bethlehem early on Tuesday morning and started a wide-scale military drill, a day after occupying a nearby nature reserve and displacing several families. Chairman of the village council Fawaz al-Rashayda told Ma’an that Israeli troops arrived in groups and started “provocative activities” and military drills between the…. Related: Israeli forces leave Bethlehem village following military drill

Poll: Majority of Palestinians oppose continuing negotiations
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A poll released by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion on Sunday shows that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are pessimistic about the current round of peace negotiations with Israel and oppose their continuation. The poll also revealed that most Palestinians surveyed are “worried” about the potential for another confrontation with Israel amid general pessimism….

Sources: Hamas agrees to join unity government ahead of elections
12/17/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hamas has officially notified Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas of the movement’s decision to join a national unity government which will prepare for upcoming presidential and parliamentarian elections, sources told Ma’an on Tuesday. The sources, allegedly privy to the details, said that Abbas had previously received two phone calls from Hamas’ chief Khalid Mashaal and from prime….

Israeli forces detain man near Ramallah
12/17/2013 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Tuesday detained a man north of Ramallah, locals said. Ammar Zuheir Asad, 28, was arrested while traveling to Ein Siniya, north of Ramallah, and taken to an unknown destination. Asad, a journalism student, was detained for the first time in 2003 and spent eight years in an Israeli jail for being affiliated with Hamas. [END]

Israeli forces leave Bethlehem village following military drill
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces vacated the Bethlehem village of Arab al-Rashayida on Tuesday after conducting military drills in the area for several hours, locals said. Fawaz al-Rashayida, head of the local village council, told Ma’an that 5,000 heavily armed Israeli soldiers arrived in the village at dawn on Tuesday. Locals are used to Israeli forces performing drills on the outskirts of…. Related: Israeli forces conduct military drills in Bethlehem village

EU vows ‘unprecedented’ aid if Israel, Palestinians make peace
12/17/2013 – BRUSSELS (AFP) — 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. Commending US Secretary of State John Kerry for his efforts in launching direct talks between the two, EU foreign ministers said the 28-nation bloc would “contribute substantially” to post-conflict arrangements to ensure the sustainability of a peace….

Official: Peace agreement foiled in Yarmouk as PFLP-GC redeploys
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Efforts by the Palestinian Authority to maintain the neutrality of the Palestinian refugee camps in Syria and shield them from ongoing clashes in Syria were foiled on Tuesday after gunmen affiliated to Palestinian and Syrian factions redeployed in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus. Member of the PLO executive committee Ahmad Majdalani told Ma’an on Tuesday that the plan to….

Cars seized in smuggling tunnel in Rafah
12/17/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — Egyptian border guards on Tuesday took over a large tunnel suspected of being used for smuggling cars into Gaza, a military spokesman said. Ahmad Mohammad Ali said that three cars and a motorcycl
es were seized in the tunnel. It was closed and placed under guard. [END]

Israeli police beef up security for Beitar-Sakhnin soccer match
12/17/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — More than 300 Israeli police officers in addition to private security guards deployed around Doha Stadium in the Palestinian city of Sakhnin in northern Israel on Tuesday afternoon ahead of a soccer match between rival teams Bnei Sakhnin and Beitar Jerusalem. Tensions are high in Sakhnin in anticipation of the match, as besides being major rivals, Beitar Jerusalem is notorious in….

Fire destroys house in Nablus during power cut
12/17/2013 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — A house in Nablus was destroyed by a fire overnight Sunday after residents used candles during power cuts in the northern region, a PA official said. Ghassan Daghlas told Ma’an that the Daragmah family home was destroyed by the blaze after family members used candles to light the house during a power cut. Firefighters arrived and contained the blaze. No injuries were reported. [END]

Gaza factory workers protest closure amidst fuel, power crisis
12/17/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hundreds of workers protested Monday in front of al-Awda biscuit factory in Deir al-Balah after the plant was closed as a result of the ongoing power and gas crisis in the Gaza Strip. 450 workers demonstrated at one of the Gaza Strip’s few remaining large factories after managers were forced to steadily reduce working hours due to lack….

Deaths reported after Lebanon car blast near Hezbollah position
12/17/2013 – BAALBEK, Lebanon (AFP) — A car bomb exploded near a Hezbollah position in eastern Lebanon at dawn on Tuesday, causing an unknown number of casualties, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity.”A blast went off at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT). . . near a Hezbollah position in Sbouba. . . causing deaths and injuries,” said the source, adding that the explosion was caused by a….

2 Palestinians killed, elderly woman dies of cold in Syria
12/17/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two Palestinian refugees were killed in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus as a result of the ongoing clashes in Syria and an elderly woman died from exposure to cold, according to a Palestinian group. The Workforce for Palestinians in Syria said in a statement received by Ma’an Wednesday, that Yousif al-Khateeb and Muatasim Abdul-Ghani were killed Tuesday evening….

Yemen parliament votes to ban drone strikes
12/17/2013 – SANAA (AFP) — Yemen’s parliament has voted for a ban on drone strikes, but experts say lawmakers have limited powers and their vote is unlikely to impact Washington’s bid to crush Al-Qaeda militants. The United States operates all unmanned aircraft flying over Yemen in support of Sanaa’s attempts to break Al-Qaeda, and intensified strikes this year have killed dozens of….

Watchdog: Air raids kill 13 in rebel area of Aleppo
12/17/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Two children were among at least 13 people killed in new air strikes on a rebel-held district of Syria’s main northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, a watchdog said. It was the third straight day of air raids on the eastern Shaar neighborhood of the city, Syria’s commercial hub before a rebel offensive in July last year made it….

Three years on, Tunisians mark uprising with new demo
12/17/2013 – SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia (AFP) — Tunisians gathered Tuesday at the birthplace of the Arab Spring to vent their anger at social exclusion three years after a street vendor burned himself to death in what became an iconic protest. The self-immolation of 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi in the impoverished central town of Sidi Bouzid on Dec. 17, 2011 unleashed a wave of protest across the North African….

Egypt kills militant implicated in 2012 border ambush
12/17/2013 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s military has killed a militant suspected of involvement in an ambush that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers near the border with Israel last year, an army spokesman said Tuesday. Silmi Mohammed Masbah was killed Monday in Sinai and was allegedly a member of Ansar Beit al-Maqdis — an Al-Qaeda-inspired militant group operating in the restive peninsula — said Colonel Ahmed Ali on his….

Palestine News Network

Palestinian Mothers Calls for Release of Loved Ones
Palestine News Network

Israeli Court Adjourns Trial of Jordanian Child for 16th Time
Palestine News Network

Christmas Decorations from Recycled Materials
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

At Gaza sit-in for detainees, Um Rami and Um Dia’a hope sons will be released next week
12/17/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – Resistenza Quotidiana, Silvia Todeschini, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Every Monday, activists and relatives of political prisoners in Israeli jails attend a solidarity sit-in inside the courtyard of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza. The perseverance of these women and men, who have met here every week for eighteen years, is admirable, but this Monday was animated by a special hope. Um Rami is….

Palestinian child wounded by Israeli gunfire while harvesting potatoes in Gaza
12/17/2013 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Rosa Schiano, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – On Sunday, 15th December, a young Palestinian was injured by Israeli gunfire in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip. Mohammed el-Shanbary, age 17, was harvesting potatoes.”I went to work at 9 am,” el-Shanbary said.”After about 30 minutes, the soldiers started shooting.”He was working with the owner of the land and another person about 500….

Relief Web

Pakistan: Polio this week – As of 11 December 2013
Relief Web 17 Dec 2013 – Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic New cases reported in Pakistan, including in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Sindh. See ‘Pakistan’ section below for…

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 10 – 17 December
Relief Web 17 Dec 2013 – Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar,…

occupied Palestinian territory: Helping thousands stranded by widespread flooding
Relief Web 17 Dec 2013 – Source: Mercy Corps Country: occupied Palestinian territory West Bank and Gaza, December 16, 2013 Mercy Corps launched an emergency response over the weekend to help victims of flooding and severe winter weather in Gaza. A state of emergency has been…

The National

Syria regime ‘murdered’ surgeon, British minister says
The National 17 Dec 2013 – A British surgeon who died in prison in Syria after going there as a volunteer to work at a hospital was effectively ‘murdered’ by the Syrian regime, British minister says.

Three years on, Tunisia uprising marked by muted protests
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Tunisians mark the third anniversary of the self-immolation of a young street vendor that sparked the Arab Spring, but anti-government protests over lingering economic woes fail to draw large crowds.

India parliament passes anti-corruption bill
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Bill will establish an independent authority to pursue complaints of corruption against the government. Samanth Subramanian reports

Fate of US ‘agent’ who vanished in Iran remains unknown
The National 17 Dec 2013 – A retired FBI agent who vanished six years ago in Iran, reportedly during a botched, off-the-books CIA operation, was definitely detained by Iranian authorities despite Tehran’s denials, the last known person to see him alive has insisted. Michael Theodoulou reports

‘Casualties’ after suicide bomb near Hizbollah post in east Lebanon
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Car bomb explodes near Hizbollah base at Sbouba near Baalbek. 

Syria region where polio found excluded from vaccination drive
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Syrian government excluded the largely rebel-held province of Deir Ezzor where polio broke out this year from a 2012 vaccination campaign, arguing that most residents had fled although hundreds of thousands were still there.

‘Strip search’ of Indian diplomat in New York fuels row
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, was arrested after being accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper.

Revenge would be sweet for Syrians exposed to atrocities
The National 17 Dec 2013 – UN workshop on human rights for Syrians finds fractured nation may have difficulty reaching a post-conflict reconciliation. Phil Sands reports

US expected to appeal against NSA data ruling
The National 17 Dec 2013 – US government is expected to appeal a judge’s decision that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is unconstitutional.

Manhunt for Machar as South Sudan military ‘clears out’ coup soldiers
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Former vice president is chief among the wanted as military ‘clear out remnants’ of a faction of soldiers accused of mounting a coup attempt.

American Studies Association endorses boycott of Israeli universities
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Vote endorsing boycott signals the increasing momentum of the international boycott movement against Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.

Kerry warns China over imposing South China Sea air defence zone
The National 17 Dec 2013 – US secretary of state warns China against imposing an air defence zone over the South China Sea, similar to one it declared over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Video: China’s black jails still exist- Amnesty 
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Amnesty International publishes a report about Chinese human rights abuses in extra-judicial detention centers

Video: Relief arrives in Central African Republic 
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Food and other supplies have finally arrived to starving refugees in the Central African Republic.

No ‘credible evidence’ British special forces were involved in Diana’s death, inquiry finds
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Allegations that the elite Special Air Service (SAS) unit was somehow involved in the Paris deaths of Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Al Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, surfaced in August. Omar Karmi reports

Two ex-Guantanamo inmates to face ‘rehab’ in Saudi
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Saad Muhammed Husayn Qahtani and Hamood Abdulla Hamood Al Enzi will go through a Saudi rehabilitation process, known as the Counselling Programme, interior ministry says.

Shanghai zookeeper mauled to death by tiger
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Keeper mauled to death by rare South China tiger after entering its enclosure to clean.

Scientists find ‘definitive proof’ that killer Mers coronavirus also infects camels
The National 17 Dec 2013 – Researchers from the Netherlands and Qatar use gene-sequencing techniques to show that three dromedary camels on a farm in Qatar where two people had contracted Mers were also infected.

Video: Judge rules US phone data program likely unlawful 
The National 17 Dec 2013 – US District Judge Richard Leon ruled the US government’s gathering of Americans’ phone records is likely unlawful.


Jerusalem schools reopen after snow; Safed counts blessings
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Palestinians: Kerry taking Israel’s side, no longer neutral mediator
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Palestinians: Kerry taking Israel’s side, no longer neutral mediator
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

First steps toward silencing dissent in Israel
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Wagner conference interrupted by Hatikva-singing heckler
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Israeli defense minister: Lebanon vowed to punish killer of Israeli soldier
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

U.S. family accuses Israel of bowing to Chinese pressure in anti-terrorism case
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Jewish scholars rue ‘misguided’ boycott of Israeli academia
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

As Kerry waffles, other U.S. officials see an Assad victory as the least of evils
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

U.S. Holocaust museum gets long lost diary from top Hitler aide
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

U.S. student group to boycott Israeli billionaire Shari Arison
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Holocaust museums protest use of phrase ‘Polish death camps’
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

New York Hasidic sect sued over gender-segregated park
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Israel Police forcing African migrants to board buses back to detention facility
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Israeli hospital to suspend doctors accused of medical tourism corruption
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Palestinian official: U.S. pressing us to recognize Israel as Jewish state
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Rare white lions born in Tbilisi zoo
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Louis Farrakhan defends Kanye West: Saying ‘Jews have connections’ isn’t anti-Semitic
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Robot seal: Alternative animal therapy in a Hong Kong nursing home
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Blind students in Israel fight Education Ministry’s refusal to provide books
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

Want to see nature? For Palestinians convicts, it’s a no go at West Bank reserve
Ha’aretz – 17 Dec 2013

TWA vets renew payment claims as newly merged American Airlines plans flights to Israel
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

After clash on Lebanon border, Israel faces rogue soldier dilemma
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Rights groups petition against amended law allowing detention of migrants without trial
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

A night with the African migrant marchers
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Human rights are part of the fight for gay rights
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Bennett says anti-leftist-NGO bill doesn’t go far enough
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

Netanyahu’s racist regime and its pallid collaborators
Ha’aretz – 16 Dec 2013

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

Jerusalem Post

TA water officials arrested in scam involving bribery, money laundering
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – The scam allegedly involves senior employees of Mei Avivim; police say workers falsified, inflated maintenance bills for small-time jobs. 

Zionists from country’s minority communities speak out for Israel
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Zionist Conference for Human Rights was held in front of a packed room at the Zionist Organization of America House in Tel Aviv. 

State proposes legal framework for complete alteration of national policy on coastal waters
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – New bill aims to address state’s position on conflicts with Lebanon over sea-based resources. 

Scientists from Tel Aviv University take part in international space project
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Space vehicle ‘Gaia’ will launch on Thursday to explore Milky Way galaxy over five-year period. 

Worrisome boycott
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Grass roots activism must go to work to repeal this motion, and to keep track of upcoming attempts to delegitimize Israel and pass discriminatory hypocritical boycotts like this. 

The Jerusalem Arbitration Center
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – A breakthrough for Israelis and Palestinians. 

Lies about ‘infiltrators’
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – We cannot allow ourselves to have the situation in which tens of thousands of people live here without a clear solution, without health, without welfare, without work. 

In My Own Write: Power for good and bad
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Fire, water, love, sex, money, religion and the Internet: What do they share? 

Arm thyself!
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Moving forward Israel’s choices are narrowing, its options diminishing, time is quickening toward decision. Adversity demands action, and here lies the silver lining. 

Center Field: To my daughter, upon joining the IDF
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Dear L., You did it. This morning, you marched off to the army. 

Terra Incognita: Syria’s rattlesnakes commit suicide
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – It is the natural tendency of radical movements to be outflanked by radicalism. 

Report: Jordan closes its doors to Hamas leaders in solidarity with Egypt
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Palestinian sources tell ‘Al-Quds Al-Arabi’ Hamas leaders are not welcomed in most Arab capitals. 

West signals to Syrian opposition Assad may stay
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Opposition’s demand for Assad’s ouster won’t be on the table in Geneva 2 peace talks as Western nations fear Assad ceding power will lead to Islamist militants taking over Syria. 

Knesset motion to reverse PACE circumcision ban clears hurdle
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – MKs collect 102 signatures from Council of Europe MPs; Rivlin: Intervention in matters of Judaism is not legitimate. 

Haredi Councils of Torah Sages: No-one has right to draft yeshiva students into the army
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Degel HaTorah, Agudat Yisrael says removing students learning Torah from yeshiva poses spiritual danger to them. 

Netanyahu-Lapid fight leads to coalition crisis
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – PM, finance minister unable to agree on c’tee chairman; Edelstein to head Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. 

Khameini tweets: Zionists are just like the Nazis
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Account believed to be run by Ayatollah’s office posts image quoting a 1998 comment from meeting with Holocaust denier. 

Ya’alon: Where Jews don’t live, there’s no security
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Defense minister addresses possible security arrangements regarding Jordan Valley in future peace accord. 

Acclaimed Jerusalem Post conference returns for a third year
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Top Israeli decision makers including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will tackle the issues facing Israel today. 

US Holocaust museum gets long lost diary from top Hitler aide
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – 400-page diary of Alfred Rosenberg disappeared after the Nuremberg trials and was found by US customs earlier this year. 

Ambassador Dermer: Academic boycott of Israel ‘a travesty’
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Israeli envoy to US implies anti-Semitism behind move by American Studies Association to boycott Israeli universities. 

‘Netanyahu broke personal promise to let gov’t agent testify against Bank of China’
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Official in PM’s office promised terror victim’s family that Netanyahu would let gov’t agent testify, family’s lawyers tell court. 

Report: Suicide bomber targets Hezbollah operatives in eastern Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Lebanese media reports explosives-laden vehicle slams into vans carrying Hezbollah members in Baalbek region. 

Nationalist leader drops candidacy f
or Romanian high court amid anti-Semitism concerns

Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Jewish groups had expressed outrage that Lucian Bolcas, former VP of Greater Romania party, had been candidate for top judicial spot. 

Boy suffers second-degree burns as result of dangerous game
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Internet “game” includes setting steel wool alight to make sparks; doctors say boy was lucky vital organs weren’t hurt. 

African migrants sent back to prison after protest walk to Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Netanyahu says migrants moved to “Holot” detention center can “either stay there, or return to their countries.” 

European court: Denying Armenian ‘genocide’ is no crime
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – European Court of Justice rules Swiss law against genocide denial violates freedom of speech. 

Report: Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in talks to form unity government
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Abbas in talks with Hamas heads Mashaal and Haniyeh to form unity government ahead of elections, reports Palestinian news agency Ma’an. 

IEC fires engineering heads after employees flocked to Eilat conference over stormy weekend
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2013 – Chairman Yiftach Ron-Tal reports to Knesset c’tee on power failures; most of Israel once again connected to the electricity grid. 

The Guardian

Major US academic body backs boycott of Israeli educational institutions
The Guardian 17 Dec 2013 – American Studies Association says move is ‘in solidarity with scholars and students deprived of academic freedom’ A prestigious US academic body has joined a growing movement to boycott Israel in protest at its treatment of Palestinians,…

Inter Press Service

Syria, CAR top U.N.’s Challenges for 2014
IPS A view of the briefing room as Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left, facing camera) addresses journalists at his annual end-of-year press conference. At his side is his spokesperson Martin Nesirky. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe UNITED NATIONS, Dec 16 2013 (IPS) As the ongoing crises in some of the world’s hot spots…


NYT covers historic American boycott vote by quoting 3 Israelis attacking it 
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -The New York Times today concedes the changing reality in recognizing that the boycott-Israel movement is growing. But it does everything it can to undermine the movement s impact. The boycott vote of the of American Studies…

The Stories of the Two Guantánamo Prisoners Released to Saudi Arabia
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -On Monday December 16, the Pentagon announced that two Guantánamo prisoners – Saad al-Qahtani and Hamoud al-Wady – had been released to Saudi Arabia over the weekend. In the Miami Herald, veteran Guantánamo reporter Carol Rosenberg noted…

Afghan Military Cedes Checkpoints to Taliban in Helmand
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – The Taliban has had a major presence across southern Afghanistan, but seems to be getting semi-formal control over some territory today, amid reports that the Afghan National Army has ceded control of three checkpoints in the…

Exclusive: West signals to Syrian opposition Assad may stay
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition…

WATCH: Canada Park built on destroyed Palestinian villages 
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -Israel s Ayalon Canada Park, in the West Bank but abutting the Green Line, is full of cyclists and hikers enjoying the scenery and weather on any given Saturday. A visit to the park shows that few…

6 U.S. soldiers killed in helicopter crash in Afghanistan
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 – Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, NATO said, the largest death toll in a single incident to hit the international force in months.”The cause of the crash is…

EU sanctions Israeli settlements but not state that created them
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 -Earlier this year, the European Union adopted guidelines making a distinction between the State of Israel and its “entities” in the Palestinian territories it has occupied since 1967. The guidelines deem those entities ineligible for EU grants,…

Poll: Majority of Palestinians oppose continuing negotiations
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 17, 2013 — A poll released by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion on Sunday shows that a majority of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are pessimistic about the current round of peace negotiations with Israel…

Making the World Safe for War Profiteers
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – Adam Smith said governments are “instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor.” Wars are waged to make them richer.Howard Zinn called war “terrorism magnified a hundred times.” Make it many thousands of times….

Syria News – December 16, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013- By the end of Monday the Coordination Committees were able to document 134 martyrs including 19 children, 11 women and 1 martyr under torture: 56 martyrs were reported in Aleppo, 34 in Damascus and its Suburbs, 14…

Palestinians urge NBC to cancel show that aids Israel s Jerusalem land grab
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 -Palestinians are calling on the American media network NBCUniversal, owners of NBC television, to cancel the filming of a new drama series in eastern occupied Jerusalem. In a statement, the Civic National Commission on Jerusalem – a…

The Play s the Thing
Uruknet 17 Dec 2013 – December 16, 2013 – I began teaching a class of 28 prisoners at a maximum-security prison in New Jersey during the first week of September. My last class meeting was Friday. The course revolved around plays by August Wilson, James…

Daily Star

Jordan wants Israel to remove Aqsa surveillance cameras
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Jordan, the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, demanded on Tuesday that Israel remove surveillance cameras at the city’s sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Iran to resume nuclear talks in Vienna within days: negotiator
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Tehran will resume negotiations with world powers over its nuclear programme in the coming days, Iran’s chief negotiator told a Belgian newspaper Tuesday, after a meeting with the EU’s foreign policy chief.

Internet chieftains press Obama over NSA spy swoops
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Bosses from Internet giants including Twitter and Facebook Tuesday pressed President Barack Obama for reforms of US spy agency snooping, adding to rising heat from the courts and American allies.

Turkish journalist believed kidnapped in Syria
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 A Turkish newspaper says one of its photographers has been kidnapped in Syria by groups linked to al-Qaida.

Bomb kills three near Shiite mosque in Pakistan
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 A bomb explosion outside a Shiite mosque in north Pakistan Tuesday killed at least three people and wounded 14 others in the latest sectarian attack to hit the nation, officials said.

UK minister: Syria has ‘in effect’ murdered doctor
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 A minister in Britain’s Foreign Office accused the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday of effectively murdering a U.K. doctor held in Syrian custody, saying there is no excuse for the treatment of Dr….

UK, US to be allowed to question Libyan ex-spy chief over Lockerbie: Libya
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Libya plans to allow British and American investigators to question Muammar Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing, the Libyan justice minister has told Britain’s ITV news.

Iran says 70 percent of Tehran watching banned TV
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Iran’s culture minister says more than 70 percent of people of the capital Tehran are watching banned satellite channels.

Iran inaugurates powerful long-range radar system
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Iran’s state TV is saying Tehran has inaugurated a powerful new long-range radar system capable of detecting small drone aircraft.

Groups claim rocket attack on Lebanon’s Hermel
Daily Star 17 Dec 2013 Two groups claim responsibility for a of rocket attack on the northeastern Lebanese city of Hermel, citing Hezbollah’s military intervention in neighboring Syria.

YNet News

UN inspector calls for justice in Syria attacks
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – ….

Report: Syria launched rockets at Hezbollah hub in Lebanon
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – ….

Firebomb hurled at car in Naharyia; none injured
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – ….

Negotiator: Iran to resume nuclear talks in Vienna within days
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – ….

Report: Train runs over 14 camels
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – ….

Lone soldier syndrome 
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – Analysis: Next Lebanese soldier to ‘go crazy’ will not be seen by Israel as ‘random incident’ ….

Yeshiva heads hold emergency meeting 
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – Some 80 leaders of yeshivot from all over Israel vow to oppose any compromise on drafting yeshiva students to IDF ….

Don’t call me racist
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: South Africa has helped stain Israel; it’s good we didn’t go out of our way to share its grief ….

Torah scrolls from Iraq buried in NY
YNet News, 17 Dec 2013 – Damaged scrolls found amid trove of more than 2,700 books, documents in flooded Iraqi intelligence building basement buried in religious ceremony at suburban New York cemetery ….

Palestinian Information Center

American studies association boycotts Israel academically
PIC – Members of the American studies association (ASA) have voted in favor of endorsing the academic boycott of Israel in response to its racist policies against the Palestinian academics and students.

Prisoner Mutassim Raddad taken to hospital after serious health deterioration
PIC – Palestinian human rights sources said that prisoner Mutassim Raddad was transferred on Monday from Hadarim jail to Meir hospital in very serious health condition.

Poll: majority of Palestinians expect failure of negotiations
PIC – The most recent poll conducted by PCPO revealed that 43.7% of Palestinians oppose the invitation of the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to president Mahmoud Abbas to address the Knesset.

Clashes reported in Jerusalem
PIC – Violent clashes broke out in occupied Jerusalem in two neighborhoods in Silwan, at least one Jerusalemite was injured in his leg. Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli police vehicles.

IOF troops raid Barta’a village, serve demolition notifications
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed the village of Barta’a southwest of Jenin on Tuesday afternoon, and notified ten citizens that their homes would be demolished. 

Israel imposes military restrictions in Bethlehem and Jenin
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces have imposed military restrictions on Tuesday morning in Rashaida village east of Bethlehem, southern West Bank.

Makki: We used worn-out equipment to deal with impacts of rainstorms
PIC – Head of the municipal authority Rafik Makki said that the rescue teams had managed to deal with the impacts of the air depression that hit the besieged Gaza Strip using worn-out equipment.

Report: Palestinian prisoners face cold wave without heating
PIC – The Palestinian Center for Prisoners’ Studies confirmed that prisoners have faced difficult situation due to the snow storm that hit the area.

Leaked water from settlement swamps agricultural land northern JV
PIC – Agricultural lands in Jeftlek village in Jordan Valley were swamped from water that leaked from a neighboring Israeli settlement established on Palestinian lands. 


Senior Officials Participate in Study Trip to Belgium
WAFA – 17 Dec 2013

UN Official says Settlements Undermine Two-State Solution
WAFA – 17 Dec 2013

Quartet Representative Urges Humanitarian Aid to Gaza
WAFA – 17 Dec 2013

Israelis Conduct Military Drill In Bethlehem Area Village
WAFA – 17 Dec 2013


Egyptian troops kill militant suspect; mob killing adds to tension
LA Times 17 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — The Egyptian army announced Tuesday it had shot and killed an Islamist militant suspected of a key role in attacks on security forces in the restive Sinai Peninsula, while a reported vigilante killing elsewhere in Egypt heightened tensions between Islamists and non-Islamists.

Syria: Reports of more than 100 dead in airstrikes on Aleppo
LA Times 17 Dec 2013 – BEIRUT — An international humanitarian group said Monday that more than 100 people have been killed in recent government airstrikes on rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo, part of an apparent escalation by both sides ahead of peace talks scheduled for next month….

Tunisians air discontent at rallies marking Arab Spring anniversary
LA Times 17 Dec 2013 – SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — It was a humble man’s desperate act, but one with far-reaching consequences.

Crazed Israeli Protester Disrupts Wagner Symposium in Jerusalem
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – A crazed Israeli protester, angered that a symposium on Tuesday focused on Richard Wagner, Adolf Hitler’s favorite composer, disrupted a public discussion at a Jerusalem concert hall before police removed him. 

Factbox: Wagner Still Controversial in Israel
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – The following are some details about the controversy in Israel surrounding Wagner’s music: 

UN Inspector Calls for Justice in Syria Attacks
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – The chief U.N. chemical weapons investigator in Syria says there should be an investigation to determine who was responsible for chemical weapons attacks in the country. 

Israeli Defense Chief: Lebanon to Punish Sniper
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – Israel’s defense minister says Lebanon has pledged to punish the sniper who killed an Israeli soldier in a cross-border shooting this week. 

Family Accuses Israel of Caving In to China
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – An American family that is suing the Bank of China in a U.S. terrorism case accused Israel on Tuesday of caving in to Chinese pressure by blocking a key witness from testifying. 

A New Feeling for Egypt’s Bare-Knuckled Police: Fear
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – More than 150 Egyptian police officers have been killed since mid-August alone, and the attacks have affected morale on the force. 

African Refugees Protest Detainment in Israel
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – About 200 asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea being held in a facility in the desert spent two days making their way to Jerusalem, where they protested their treatment by the Israeli authorities. 

Exclusive: West Signals to Syrian Opposition Assad May Stay
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – Western nations have indicated to the Syrian opposition that peace talks next month may not lead to the removal of President Bashar al-Assad and that his Alawite minority will remain key in any transitional administration, opposition sources said. 

Video of Migrants Sprayed for Scabies Stirs Outrage in Italy
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – A video showing migrants standing naked in the cold while being sprayed for scabies stirred outrage in Italy on Tuesday and underscored what many have criticized as the European Union’s failure to tackle its immigration crisis humanely. 

British Surgeon Reportedly Dies in Syrian Jail
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – The family of Dr. Abbas Khan had been expecting his release this week but was informed he had died. 

Analysis: Mexican President Races Through Reforms but Risks Loom
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – A year ago, President Enrique Pena Nieto took office vowing a root-and-branch reform of Mexico’s economy even though he had no majority in Congress and faced accusations from the main opposition parties that he stole the election. 

Letter From the Middle East: Bridging the Mideast Divide With Comedy
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – The film “Peace After Marriage,” a Turkish-French-American production that has picked up several festival awards, is a farcical tale on the Israeli-Palestinian bedroom barrier. 

Aleppo Death Toll From Syrian Bombing Tops 100: MSF
New York Times 17 Dec 2013 – More than 100 people have been killed and others wounded by “barrel bombs” dropped by Syrian army hel
icopters on Aleppo that continued for a third day on Tuesday, Medecins Sans Frontieres MSF (Doctors Without Borders) said. 

Knesset wants Google royalties for Israeli content
Globes Main News – MK Erel Margalit (Labor) has submitted a bill requiring Google to pay 7% of revenue from Israeli copyrighted content.

Tue: Opko Health resumes plunge
Globes Main News – Opko and the banks led market losses today but Delek Group bucked the market for the largest gain on the Tel Aviv 25 Index.

Court endorses Dankner’s loss of IDB
Globes Main News – The Tel Aviv District Court has accepted the creditors’ decision to accept the Elsztain-Ben-Moshe debt settlement bid.

European decision on Laquinimod this week
Globes Main News – Teva awaits a European Medicines Agency decision on marketing approval for its oral multiple sclerosis treatment.

Noble: 3 billion barrels of oil at Leviathan, Block 12
Globes Main News – Noble Energy has told analysts that Leviathan and the neighboring field in Cyprus might each contain 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

‘It’s hard to see why Israel won’t follow white South Africa’s road to extinction,’ says ‘Forward’ writer
Mondoweiss – Nelson Mandela addresses the UN’s Special Committee Against Apartheid. (UN Photo/Flickr) The wheels may be coming off a wee bit faster than expected. Articles in two leading Jewish papers on the Mandela funeral and the clumsy official Israeli response concede the similarity of conditions in Palestine…

We can’t have it all ways on the shekel
Globes Macro Economics – With the Bank of Israel running out of ammunition to fight the shekel’s appreciation, the government must make some tough, clear-cut decisions.

Lapid pledges 2,500 homes for rent by March
Globes Main News – Finance Minister Yair Lapid told the Israel Builders Association that tenders will be issued to build the apartments in high-demand areas.

‘NYT’ covers historic American boycott vote by quoting 3 Israelis attacking it
Mondoweiss – Omar Barghouti The New York Times today concedes the changing reality in recognizing that the boycott-Israel movement is growing. But it does everything it can to undermine the movement’s impact. The boycott vote of the of American Studies Association is on front page of New York…

Podhoretz leaves 92d St Y stage after saying Swarthmore Hillel deserves ‘to be spat upon’
Mondoweiss – Podhoretz It’s happening: the split between the rightwing Israel lobby and left-center lobby has begun to widen, and last night neoconservative John Podhoretz stormed off the stage of the 92d Street Y in New York after Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street criticized Israel’s actions as providing…

Dankner’s lawyer: We’ll consider an appeal
Globes Main News – On the question of Moti Ben-Moshe’s sources of capital, Adv. Ram Caspi said: The judge acted wisely in telling the Securities Authority to check.

Slight fall in poverty
Globes Main News – The latest National Insurance Institute report shows that Israel still has the third highest rate of poverty in the OECD.

Knesset to ratify Cyprus sea border agreement
Globes Main News – The new law defines Israel’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone as stretching to a distance of 200 miles from the coast.

Arrests at Tel Aviv water co Mei Avivim
Globes Energy & Water – Over 20 people, including senior managers, have been arrested in an investigation of bribery and fraud at the municipal water corporation.

Industrial Buildings sells Bangkok project stake
Globes Main News – The comany will receive NIS 240 million for 32% of the MahaNakhon project in central Bangkok.

Israeli Protestor Disrupts Jerusalem Symposium on Richard Wagner 
The Foward Breaking News 17 Dec 2013 – A crazed Israeli protester, angered that a symposium on Tuesday focussed on Richard Wagner, Adolf Hitler’s favourite composer, disrupted a public discussion at a Jerusalem concert hall before police removed him. Click here for the rest of the article…

U.N. Security Council Condemns Killing Of Israeli Soldier 
The Foward Breaking News 17 Dec 2013 – The United Nations Security Council condemned the killing of an Israeli soldier by a rogue Lebanese soldier on the border between the two countries. Click here for the rest of the article…

Ethiopia: Israel Still Bars Blood Donations From Ethiopian Born Israelis 
allAfrica.com 17 Dec 2013 – [Addis Standard]This is Ethiopian-born Israeli Lawmaker Pnina Tamano-Shata, who was barred from donating blood at a parliamentary blood drive for sheer reason of her origin.

Africans Returned to Israel Detention After Protest 
The Foward Breaking News 17 Dec 2013 – Hundreds of African migrants gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem protesting Israel’s policy of detaining asylum seekers were put on buses back to a detention facility. Click here for the rest of the article…

Tunisian leader hopeful amid protest 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki tells the BBC his country is doing “quite well” despite protests at a lack of progress since the Arab Spring.

Family of Murdered Teenager Urge U.S. Court To Reject Israeli Attempt To Silence Witness 
The Foward Breaking News 17 Dec 2013 – Lawyers for the family of an American teenager killed in a 2006 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv urged a U.S. court on Tuesday to reject an attempt by Israel to muzzle a witness in an anti-terrorism case, court documents showed. Click here for the rest of…

Car bomb blast near Hezbollah base 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – A car bomb explodes near a Hezbollah base in eastern Lebanon causing injuries, with conflicting reports on whether it was a suicide attack.

Taxi driver lynched at Egypt protest 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Islamist protesters killed a taxi driver who tried to drive through a demonstration in northern Egypt, officials say.

Central Africa: UN Chief – Syria, Car Are World’s Top Dangers 
allAfrica.com 17 Dec 2013 – [VOA]U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has cited armed conflict in Syria and the Central African Republic as the two most serious crises facing United Nations agencies around the world today.

Egypt constitution poster mocked 
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The authorities in Egypt have had an unfortunate start in their attempt to publicise the referendum on a new draft constitution.

UK doctor ‘murdered’ in Syrian jail 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – British doctor Abbas Khan has been “in effect murdered” by the Syrian authorities just days before his expected release from jail, Foreign Office Minister Hugh Robertson says.

Israeli police attack African immigrants protesting detention 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Israeli plainclothes police arrest an African asylum seeker near parliament in Jerusalem on December 17, 2013 during a protest against detention at an “open” prison. (Photo: AFP – Menahem Kahana) Nearly 200 African asylum seekers demonstrated Tuesday in Jerusalem against their detention at a new Israeli…

Aleppo hospitals ‘overwhelmed’ 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Aleppo hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties after a wave of recent air strikes which killed more than 100 people, Medecins Sans Frontieres says.

Tunisian leader hopeful amid protest 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki tells the BBC his country is doing “quite well” despite protests at a lack of progress since the Arab Spring.

Syrian rebel shelling injures four in Lebanon 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – At least eight grad rockets fired from Syria struck residential neighborhoods and an army outpost in Lebanon’s northeastern Hermel district on Tuesday, injuring four people and causing damage to shops, Al-Akhbar ‘s correspondent in the Bekaa said. Two soldiers were rushed to a hospital after a…

Lebanon’s “Minister of Asphalt” Resigns: Public Works Overflow With Corruption 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – These words may pass unnoticed by those who are not following the issue, but anyone who goes to Daliyeh today will see that the ministry’s works have stopped. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah). These words may pass unnoticed by those who are not following the issue, but anyone…

Qatar makes world’s largest flag 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – The Gulf state of Qatar creates a flag the size of 14 football pitches, breaking the world record, as part of festivities to mark its national day.

Father seeks 1m Facebook ‘likes’ as dowry 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Yemen father seeks 1m Facebook ‘likes’ for daughter’s marriage

Ghazi Aridi: Too Big for His Britches 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 17 Dec 2013 – On Aridi’s bookcases and desk, there are hundreds of small scraps of paper and even smaller notebooks. He records everything. He safeguards secrets in a way that no one but him can decipher. (Photo: Haitham Al-Mousawi). On Aridi’s bookcases and desk, there are hundreds of small…

Jumblatt Falls Into Costly Chouf Property Trap 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Druse leader Walid Jumblatt, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at his house, in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday July 1, 2011. (Photo: AP – Hussein Malla). Druse leader Walid Jumblatt, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at his house, in Beirut, Lebanon,…

US academic boycott worries Israel 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Israel dismissed as “radical leftist” a group of American scholars that has decided to boycott it but worries that other academic forums in the United States could take similar action, the deputy Israeli foreign minister said on Tuesday. The American Studies Association (ASA) on Sunday became…

Car bomb blast near Hezbollah base 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – A car bomb explodes near a Hezbollah base in eastern Lebanon causing injuries, with conflicting reports on whether it was a suicide attack.

Tunisians rally on third anniversary of uprising 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Tunisian men wave the national flag as they gather to mark the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled deposed president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Sidi Bouzid’s Mohammed Bouazizi square on December 17, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Fethi Belaid) Tunisians gathered Tuesday at the…

Syrian children, father killed in Jordan refugee camp accident 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Two Syrian refugee children and their father died of their injuries on Tuesday after a cooking gas cylinder exploded in their tent in a camp in Jordan, officials said. The explosion happened in the Zaatari camp, 10 kilometers east of the northern city of Mafraq, which…

Fierce clashes kill 26 in South Sudan 
Al-Akhbar News 17 Dec 2013 – Fierce battles raged on Tuesday in South Sudan’s capital Juba, witnesses said, as troops loyal to the president fought off an alleged coup in the world’s youngest nation. The continued gunfire, including the sporadic firing of heavy weapons, resumed in the early hours of Tuesday and…

Taxi driver lynched at Egypt protest 
BBC 17 Dec 2013 – Islamist protesters killed a taxi driver who tried to drive through a demonstration in northern Egypt, officials say.

‘Others will face Lockerbie charges’ 
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The man who has headed the FBI for the past 12 years has told the BBC he expects “others will be charged” over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

VIDEO: Tunisian rapper: ‘What have we gained?’ 
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – Tunisian rapper pessimistic three years after Arab Spring

Egypt constitution poster mocked 
BBC 16 Dec 2013 – The authorities in Egypt have had an unfortunate start in their attempt to publicise the referendum on a new draft constitution.

Why Doesn’t Israel Eliminate Hezbollah Now? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 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…

The Emotional Propagandist: A Conversation With BBC Journalist Adam Curtis 
Al-Akhbar Series and Features 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 Politics 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…


We shall overcome: Israel’s adherence to human rights principles 
Yesh Din, Written By Yossi Gurvitz, +972 Magazine 12/18/2013
Israel declares itself to be a light unto the nations. It also violates 15 of the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When Israel was established, its founders made sure to emphasize, in its Declaration of Independence, the universal values of Jewish tradition: “The State of Israel […] will promote the development of the country for the benefit of all its inhabitants; will be based on the precepts of liberty, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel; will uphold the full social and political equality of all its citizens, without distinction of race, creed or sex; will guarantee full freedom of conscience, worship, education and culture; will safeguard the sanctity and inviolability of the shrines and Holy Places of all religions; and will dedicate itself to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.” Later on, the Knesset voted to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Furthermore, Israel is in the habit of calling itself “the only democracy in the Middle East”, and since its earliest days, its leaders were partial to the term “a light unto the nations.” As we mark Human Rights Day, we should examine whether Israel stands by the high rhetoric of its founders, and whether it fulfills the Declaration of Human Rights.
As every person living here knows, assuming their eyes are open and hearts are not blocked, Israel and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have a rocky relationship. In the beginning of 2010, Gideon Sa’ar’s Ministry of Education decided to stop teaching the Declaration at schools (Hebrew), since it informs tender children of their right to convert to another religion and even, heaven forbid, live somewhere other than Israel. However, this is just a minor problem; reading the text of the Declaration shows that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories violates 15 of its articles. Given that there are only 30 of them, that’s quite impressive.
Let us begin. The first violation comes with the first operative article of the Declaration, Article 2…. more.. e-mail

Detained Prawer protester speaks 
Tarabut – Hithabrut, Alternative Information Center 12/17/2013
Activist Eldad Zion is one of 13 protesters against Prawer still in Israeli detention
“I have friends of all colours and genders. I love them all, and from each and every one of them I have learned what matters most in my life. I am a feminist and a democrat. I strive to make it possible for ever more people to participate in democracy, so that it will be present in all areas of life and not just within the confines of liberal democracy – a radical democracy where everyone can make their voice heard.
A few years ago, as part of my activism in the Tarabut-Hithabrut movement, my political home, I became aware of the conditions of the Negev/Naqab Bedouin. I became curious and wished to learn more. As someone who grew up in Israel, what I knew about Bedouins was mainly that they make “Druze pita bread” and live in tin shacks in the Negev/Naqab. I didn’t know about their rich culture and the history of their struggle for recognition. And mainly, I didn’t know that they are one of the most oppressed groups in Israel, a group that is struggling for their lands, their right to education, health and housing, a group whose tragedy did not end with the ceasefire agreement of 1949.
In the discussions I lead during my classes on the topic of morality, I insist that the most problematic position, from an ethical point of view, is the position of one who stands idly by in the face of injustice.
Because I see the Prawer Law as an unjust law, I came out on Saturday, November 30th, to a solidarity visit in the “freedom tent” in Rahat, and afterwards to the protest itself in the Hura junction. I went despite the fact that I was extremely late in submitting school-related assignments and despite the fact that I have a pile of tests that I had to check. The protest in the Hura junction was legal, but from the first moment, it appeared that the police wanted some “action.” Tension was in the air. — See also: Tarabut – Hithabrut more.. e-mail

For Arab citizens, Israeli government suffers from split personality 
Ron Gerlitz, +972 Magazine 12/16/2013
Ten years after the Or Commission was formed to investigate the deaths of 13 Arabs protesters at the hands of Israeli police, the government is taking contradictory steps toward implementing its findings.
“The earth shook during the events of October 2000.”
These are the words that introduced the Or Commission recommendations, published exactly ten years ago. The commission was formed to investigate the violent clashes between the police and Israeli Arabs during October 2000, the most violent between the government and Israe
l’s Arab citizens since the establishment of the state. The events lead to the death of 13 young Arabs at the hands of the police, as well as the death of a Jewish civilian who was killed after a rock was thrown at his car. The Or Commission stated firmly that “Israel’s Arab citizens live in a situation in which they are discriminated against as Arabs” and that “the state must work to wipe out the stain of discrimination against its Arab citizens, in its various forms and expressions.”

But ten years on, has the stain been erased? Has it faded or become smaller? Has the state even tried to erase it? Based on an ongoing monitoring of government policy towards Arab citizens, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that when it comes to implementing the commission’s recommendations, the government has taken contradictory steps, as if it suffered from split personality disorder.
The Or Commission found that the events were the result of deeply rooted factors, among them the systematic and structural discrimination against Israel’s Arab citizens. It stated unequivocally that the state has not “done enough to grant equality to its Arab citizens and do away with occurrences of discrimination and deprivation,” and recommended that one of the government’s main goals must be “achieving real equality for Arab citizens.”…. more.. e-mail

JNF in the Jordan Valley: Colonization Now 
Tarabut – Hithabrut 8/1/2013
In the Jordan Valley, colonization is based on the exploitation of scarce resources, such as water, for the benefit of the Israeli settlements specializing in export agriculture. For several years the area was cut off from the rest of the West Bank, and currently Palestinian communities holding on to their land are under threat of deportation. The Jewish National Fund is a major actor in the colonization of the Jordan Valley. We are publishing an updated report based on fresh evidence gathered by activists. 
The Jordan Valley covers some 30 per cent of the area of the West Bank along it eastern border. The area is inhabited by approximately 65,000 Palestinians (as of 2009). The colonization of the Jordan Valley began already in the late 1960s; now ca. 10,000 settlers live in 37 Israeli settlements whose economic mainstay is agriculture for export. The settlers – who now comprise less than 15% of the area’s population control 860 thousand dunams (86,000 hectares) – that is, almost 50% of the Jordan Valley.1
Water and Exploitation
To understand the true dimensions of the exploitation of natural resources in the dry Jordan Valley by the Israeli agricultural settlements, one needs to look at access to water: The Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley use one quarter of the annual water consumption of the entire Palestinian population of the West Bank, some 2.5 million people.
Since 1967, Israel has taken control of most of the water sources in the Jordan Valley, allocating them to the almost exclusive use of settlers in the area. Over-extraction of water by the settlers and the discriminatory allocation of water resources in the northern West Bank have contributed to drinking water shortages and a sharp decline in lands under cultivation for Palestinians…. more.. e-mail

Taking direct action against Israel’s racist marriage law
Electronic Intifada: 17 Dec 2013 – Love in a Time of Apartheid challenges the deliberate divisions to which Palestinians are subjected by Israel’s racist citizenship rules. more..

Prawer protesters beaten, threatened with rape by Israeli police in Haifa
Electronic Intifada: 17 Dec 2013 – Young Palestinians describe abuse at Day of Rage demonstration. more..

Beit Sahour: Boycott is Historically Palestinian
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Dec 2013 – By Ramzy Baroud As the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement continues to grow, and thus Israel’s international isolation, one must remember that the boycott is an authentically collective Palestinian strategy that is rooted in history. The BDS debate is at such an advanced stage that it has indeed surpassed all expectations. A few years ago, many of us were attempting to push the boundaries of the debate, but were faced by so much resistance, even from groups and movements that were viewed as progressive. The situation has now changed in such an evident way amid constant news of western governments, companies and academic institutions either joining the boycott or deliberating the possibility of doing so. However, one ought to be reminded that the boycott is not an alien strategy invited by outside actors, as it is itself rooted in nearly a century long fight for Palestinian rights and collective…more

With You They Will Climb The Mountain – With Them You Will Reach The Summit
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Dec 2013 – Yasmeen and Mutussam are two Palestinian adolescent amputees who took the challenge to climb Mount Kilimanjar; Ibrahim Nasrallah, the Palestinian writer, will accompany them to support their journey and in support of the project Climb of Hope. By Ibrahim Nasrallah More than ten years ago I wrote my poetry collection “The Mirrors of Angels” about a Palestinian child who was killed by an Israeli tank shell in Gaza. The whole collection dedicated to this child was an imaginary biography of a four-month-old baby who was not given a chance to walk due to oppression, injustice and death. I wrote it trying as much as I could to create a text that would not allow them to kill her once more. This collection left a deep impression inside me; it was difficult, tiring and painful for me at an emotional level, and made me think then that I would never write…more

The Importance of Mass Solidarity
Dissident Voice: 17 Dec 2013 – Brother Gilad Atzmon recently wrote a piece entitled “The Sycophantic Palestinian Solidarity Movement.” The article deals with famous musician Roger Waters and his criticism of the treatment of Palestinians by Israeli Jews and the subsequent fallout. Among the supposed crimes of Waters was using the “J word” — as Atzmon refers to it. A special rule seems to be in play whereby Jews must not be referred to as Jews, and when referring to Jews (or or non-Jews) who support the state of Israel, the the term to be used is “Zionists.” I do not recall a similar distinctive rule being in place during World War II when Nazis were referred to as Germans or even “Jerrys” or “Krauts.” It is axiomatic that all Germans were not Nazis, just as all Jews are not Zionists. I am also unaware of particular outrage to the term “Americans” being used when criticizing…more

Gazans Suffer Genocide under the Israeli-Egyptian Siege
Dissident Voice: 17 Dec 2013 – “The world has forgotten Gaza, its women and children. The blockade is as bad as the war; it’s like a slow death for everyone in Gaza. We are paying the price for disputes between different powers. Isn’t that shameful? The world has lost its humanity,” said Attiyeh Abu Khousa , a resident of Gaza. At this time of year the mainstream media abounds with stories of how ordinary people across the world are preparing for the upcoming Christmas holiday. One story people will not hear about is the desperate plight of the 2 million people trapped within the Gaza Strip where malnutrition, darkness, cold and suffering abound. The people of Gaza are being crushed under the Israeli blockade which severely restricts essential supplies coming into the strip. Israel refuses to allow building materials into Gaza meaning that people left homeless by successive Israeli military attacks cannot rebuild their homes. The number…more

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