VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 20 December 2013: Gaza: genocide, food insecurity, sewage flooding, and the usual IOF attacks on civilians

20 December 2013 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Gaza Still Flooded After Storm
IMEMC – Fuel donated by Qatar [Friday, December 20, 2013] Areas of the Gaza Strip are still struggling to cope with severe flooding of homes and businesses, reports +972. …

Fateh Official Denounces Escalating Israeli Violations
IMEMC – Member of the Central Committee of the Fateh Movement, Fathi Abu Eshtayya, denounced the ongoing Israeli assaults, and stated that the army has killed 31 Palestinians, kidnapped at least 500, and demolished 208 homes since direct peace talks between Tel Aviv and Ramallah were resumed in June of this year. …

Israel To Hand Over Remains Of 36 Palestinians
IMEMC – [Thursday, December 19, 2013] Israel said that it would be handing over, to the Palestinian Authority (P.A) in the West Bank, the remains of 36 Palestinians buried in the Numbers Graveyard. PA sources said Tel Aviv never officially informed it of this decision. …

Ma’an News

Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian, injure 5 across Gaza Strip
12/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian man was shot dead and five others were injured in a number of incidents across the Gaza Strip on Friday. Jihad Hamad, 24, was shot dead, and an unidentified man was injured after Israeli soldiers opened fire near Beit Hanoun crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. Gaza government spokeswoman Isra Almodallal confirmed the shooting, adding that they had….

Israeli forces detain 2 Qalqiliya men, clash with locals
12/20/2013 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday detained two Palestinian young men in the northern West Bank, witnesses told Ma’an. Locals said that Israeli military vehicles entered the village of Kafr Qaddum east of Qalqiliya at 2 a. m. , and that soldiers raided several houses. The soldiers arrested 21-year old Birzeit University student Ghaleb Hilmi Eshtawi and 20-year-old Muhammad Rajab….

Hezbollah to ‘punish’ Israel for killing of top leader
12/20/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned Friday that his Lebanese Shiite movement will “punish” Israel for the killing of a top leader earlier this month.” The killers will be punished sooner or later. . . Those who killed our brothers will not know safety anywhere in the world,” he said in a televised tribute to Hassan al-Lakiss, whose killing Hezbollah blamed on Israel despite its denials….

Jerusalem prisoner enters 26th year in Israeli prison
12/20/2013 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoner from Jerusalem named Bilal Ahmad Yousef Abu Hussein, 44, has entered his 26th year in a row in Israeli jails. Hussein was detained on Dec. 20, 1988, during the First Intifada, and was sentenced to 38 years in prison. He was 19 at the time of his detention. He was jailed first at Jalbou prison and later moved….

Israel frees prisoner detained 30 months without charge
12/20/2013 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities on Friday released a Palestinian prisoner from Hebron after keeping him in administrative detention for over two and a half years. Mahmud Issa Abed al-Hamid Masalma, 54, was released on Friday after spending more than 30 months in prison without ever being charged by authorities. Masalma was detained on Aug. 20, 2011 and was transferred to administrative detention because….

Interview with Ilan Pappe: An Israeli ‘New Historian’ and BDS activist
12/20/2013 – Frank Barat is an activist based in Belgium and is one of the former coordinators of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine . He recently conducted an interview with Ilan Pappe for “The Wall has Ears: Conversations for Palestine.” “The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine,” among many others. Much of Pappe’s work has focused on the 1948 expulsion of 7-800,000 Palestinians from their homes in….

Abbas to meet Monsour in Cairo to discuss peace talks, reconciliation
12/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be traveling to Cairo Friday and will meet with Egyptian President Adly Monsour Saturday, officials said. Palestinian Ambassador to Egypt Barakat al-Farra said that Abbas and Monsour will discuss the US-brokered negotiations with Israel and the latest developments in the region. Abbas will also meet with various Arab foreign ministers to discuss the status of….

Al-Arabi: negotiations at a critical stage
12/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Secretary General of the Arab League Nabil Al-Arabi said that negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis are at a critical stage. Al-Arabi said in a joint press conference with Palestinian foreign minister Riyadh al-Malki in Cairo that they are at a critical stage because of “Israel’s way of negotiating,” news agency Wafa reported. Al-Arabi added in the press conference that….

PA ready for reconciliation with Hamas ‘at any price’
12/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A senior PLO official said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority was ready for reconciliation with Hamas “at any price,” signaling a new openness to engage with its rival party amid deadlocked peace talks with Israel.” We are ready for reconciliation tomorrow,” Mohammad Shtayyeh told reporters hours after Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on President Mahmoud Abbas to form a unity….

Hamas secures housing for families displaced by storm
12/20/2013 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Authorities in the Gaza Strip on Friday decided to close emergency shelters after securing houses for all displaced people following a 4-day storm that caused widespread damage in the coastal territory, undersecretary of the Gaza Ministry of Social Affairs Omar al-Darbi told Ma’an. Authorities closed Abed al-Rahman Ben Awf School in Sheikh Ridwan in northern Gaza, the….

UNRWA warns ‘thousands’ at risk as Yarmouk siege enters 5th month
12/20/2013 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The United Nations’ Palestine refugee agency UNRWA warned that the lives of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp in Damascus were at risk due to the ongoing siege of the camp by Syrian regime forces. Commissioner General of UNRWA Filippo Grandi said that “humanitarian conditions in the besieged refugee camp of Yarmouk are worsening dramatically and that we are….

Palestinians in Syria reportedly banned from receiving remittances
12/20/2013 – DAMASCUS (Ma’an) — An employee of a money transfer service in Syria claimed that the Syrian government has issued a decision banning the sending of remittances to non-Syrians inside the country, a Palestinian organization said on Friday. An employee of a Western Union branch inside Syria reportedly refused to deliver money to a Palestinian refugee after his relative abroad tried to send it to….

Islamist ex-crooner releases song about Jesus
12/20/2013 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Just a week before Christmas, a former Lebanese pop star and heartthrob turned Islamist fugitive has released a song about Jesus. Once adored by women across the Arab world for his warm voice and good looks, Fadl Shaker gave up pop music in 2011, when he became a follower of a radical Sunni Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir. He grew his beard and….

Tunisia’s PM-designate promises transparent elections
12/20/2013 – TUNIS (AFP) — Tunisian premier-designate Mehdi Jomaa, chosen to form a transitional government, promised Friday to do his utmost to ensure transparent elections and bring the country out of crisis, TAP news agency reported. Jomaa said
he would “favor the appropriate conditions for transparent and credible elections, the security of Tunisians and promoting the economy with the aim of emerging from the crisis” that erupted with….

Egyptian soldier killed, two injured in clashes with gunmen
12/20/2013 – CAIRO (Ma’an) — An Egyptian soldier was killed on Friday and two other soldiers, including an officer, were wounded during violent clashes between the Egyptian army and gunmen in Rafah, military sources said. The Egyptian army raided a stronghold of “jihadist elements,” the sources said, and “violent clashes occurred between the two sides.”Egyptian armed forces launched large scale military action against militants in….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestinian shot dead by Israelis on Gaza border: medics
Relief Web 20 Dec 2013 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 12/20/2013 15:49 GMT GAZA CITY, December 20, 2013 (AFP) – A Palestinian was killed on Friday by Israeli gunfire in northern Gaza near the border with the Jewish state, emergency services and the…

World: The 2014 UN appeal – Different process, greater needs
Relief Web 20 Dec 2013 – Source: Development Initiatives 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) REPORT SYNOPSIS This year’s United Nation ‘appeal’ document represents the…

occupied Palestinian territory: Flooding worsens Gazans’ plight
Relief Web 20 Dec 2013 – Source: Mennonite Central Committee Country: occupied Palestinian territory By Sheldon C. Good Dec. 20, 2013 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A week after torrential, cold rain battered the Gaza Strip, people in the al Nafaq Street area of eastern Gaza…

occupied Palestinian territory: Acción contra el hambre distribuye alimentos y material de higiene
Relief Web 20 Dec 2013 – Source: Acción contra el Hambre Country: occupied Palestinian territory · Cuatro días de fuertes lluvias han provocado el desplazamiento de más de 10.000 personas. · Acción contra el Hambre está distribuyendo alimentos y material de higiene a los desplazados y…

Syrian Arab Republic: Statement by the CG of UNRWA, Filippo Grandi, 20 December 2013
Relief Web 20 Dec 2013 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic Syria It has been one year since Yarmouk, the vast suburb of Damascus that was home to the largest Palestine…

The National

South Sudan president agrees to peace talks
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Delegation from African countries convinces Salva Kiir to hold talks with sacked deputy to end fighting that has claimed hundreds of lives in one week.

Erdogan expected to bounce back from corruption probe blow
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Turkish prime minister has been hurt by arrests of people close to him – and his government’s response – but his presidential prospects are still strong

European research on religious “fundamentalism” criticised
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Experts describe tone of WZB’s European survey as alarmist, saying proper interpretation of the findings on the attitudes of Muslims in Europe depended on comparison with other surveys.

First robot astronaut asks Santa for a toy rocket
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Footage released yesterday by the robot’s developers showed Kirobo performing its first mission in space, talking in Japanese with astronaut Koichi Wakata earlier this month to test unscripted, autonomous conversation functions.

Pakistan’s ghost schools fail the young
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Abandoned pupils are part of a growing education crisis in the country where, according to the United Nations, over five million children do not attend primary school.

Mayor among four shot dead at Manila airport
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Mayor Ukol Talumpa’s and his wife were declared dead on arrival at a nearby hospital along with the 18-month-old boy and a 25-year-old man.

Video: Those responsible for CAR violence must be held accountable- Power 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power visited the Central African Republic Thursday in a diplomatic mission to help end serve sectarian violence.

Video: Putin to pardon oil tycoon 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed to pardon one-time political foe and oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in a surprise act of mercy.

Video: Sixty-five hurt as London theatre ceiling collapses 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Sixty-five people are hurt after a part of the ceiling in a packed London theater collapses on top of the audience during a performance.

Video: Architect lays out plans for Capitol restoration 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Water leaks have caused cracks and rust in the U.S. Capitol building, prompting a major restoration project.

Video: Indian diplomat’s housekeeper ‘frustrated and disappointed’ – lawyer 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – The allegedly underpaid housekeeper of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, whose arrest caused a furor in India, is ‘disappointed by the focus of the media’, lawyer says. 

Video: UK jury finds two men guilty in killing of Lee Rigby 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – Two British men were found guilty of murder after hacking a soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street.

Video: Satellite bound for Milky Way launches in French Guiana 
The National 20 Dec 2013 – The European Space Agency launches its GAIA satellite on a mission which it says ‘will have the key to unlocking the Milky Way galaxy’

Ha’aretz

The last gatekeeper: A farewell to Moshe Lador
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Legume and grain soups for cold winter days
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Behind the scenes of Israel’s governing coalition, a theater of the absurd
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Helmsley Trust gives $22 million to Israeli institutions
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Obama: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Israel’s Oscar hopeful ‘Bethlehem’ fails to make shortlist
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

IDF kills Palestinian on Gaza border, 4 others wounded
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Hezbollah’s Nasrallah vows to avenge Israel for commander’s death
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Responding to reports it spied on Israel, White House says ‘all countries collect intelligence’
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Responding to reports it spied on Israel, White House says ‘all countries collect intelligence’
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Brandeis cuts ties with academic group over Israel boycott
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Prominent Israeli satirist Didi Menosi dies at 85
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

U.S., British intelligence spied on former Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Barak
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

When it comes to setting Israel’s borders, little is about security
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

We refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, says ex-Palestinian negotiator
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Jewish oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky free after Putin pardon
Ha’aretz – 20 Dec 2013

Cabinet approves Health Ministry rules on medical marijuana
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2013

The mother who trumped Israel’s draconian Orthodox conversion process
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2013

Israel’s top court halts rabbinical decree forcing woman to circumcise son
Ha’aretz – 19 Dec 2013

Jerusalem Post

2 Egyptian soldiers killed in clashes with ‘Supporters of Jerusalem’ terror group
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Three terrorists from al-Qaida-linked group killed in Sinai peninsula as Egypt continues crackdown in area. 

Vienna Philharmonic posthumously strips Nazis of awards
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – The symbolic move follows the Philharmonic’s publication earlier this year of details of its conduct during the Nazi era. 

Report: US, UK spied on Olmert, Barak in 2009
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – The Guardian cites British intelligence document indicating that surveillance was conducted against Israeli leaders, other allies. 

Hezbollah chief vows to ‘punish’ Israel over killing of key aide
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Nasrallah accused Israel of assassinating Hassan al-Laqqis, a senior operative with the organization, earlier this month. 

West prefers Assad over Islamists in Syria, Russian FM says
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Russia has been Assad’s most important supporter during Syria’s civil war, blocking Western-backed efforts to condemn him at the Security Council. 

Palestinians say IDF kills Gazan near border fence
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – A 22-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by the fence near Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. One source said the man was there trying to catch birds. 

Workers at Ashdod port strike over safety vests
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Port union declares strike after 2 members of workers’ committee were suspended; labor court to discuss issue on Sunday. 

Internal Islamist feud in Turkey threatens stability of Erdogan’s government
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Rift between Turkish PM and US-based cleric weakens Erdogan, as security forces now target his allies. 

Man who poured hot tea on MK Tibi to be taken to psychiatric evaluation
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Suspect is mentally ill and had no intention to harm anyone, lawyer says; Tibi: There’s wild incitement against Arab MKs. 

US Senate c’tee passes bipartisan US-Israel energy bill
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Cooperation enhancement bill to foster partnership on developing natural gas, alternative fuels on all levels. 

Putin pardons jailed Jewish tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Russian president’s gesture seen to ease critics of human rights record; oil tycoon jailed since 2003 on fraud, tax evasion charges. 

Liberman to Chinese FM: Israel is serious about peace
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Foreign minister calls on Palestinians to refrain from taking unilateral actions that hurt peace efforts. 

‘Iran has nuclear fuel reserve to last four years’
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Iranian nuclear chief says six-month freeze won’t hinder the country’s nuclear program; “Iran is the winner of the Geneva deal,” Salehi adds. 

Ramle boy tells his mother he was attacked by Arab kids because he is Jewish
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – 10-year-old says two Arab peers hit him after he confirmed to them he was Jewish; police: Complaint still under investigation. 

Analysis: Why didn’t the A-G appeal the Liberman verdict?
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – In the ongoing battle over the prosecution’s image and whether it goes beyond its boundaries, he might have drawn less attention to this defeat if he had kept his explanation limited to the belief that an appeal would not succeed. 

Former Bush adviser joins NGO to press Israel to let former agent testify against Bank of China
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2013 – Kenneth Wainstein to aide Shurat Hadin after Israel pulled support from case citing protection of national security secrets. 

Post-storm poll: Government won’t function better in next disaster
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – The poll found that 52 percent do not think the government will function better, 28% believe it will, and 20% had no opinion. 

Palestinians to Chinese FM: Pressure Israel to make peace
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – On the wall, during the joint Israeli-Palestinian meeting with Wang, were the words “Joint Efforts for Peace” and the etching of a dove. 

Be prepared!
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – While there is no indication that the snowstorms that battered the country last weekend are likely to become a regular phenomenon, global warming could well bring more extreme weather conditions and new challenges. 

Into the fray: Infuriating, insidious, immoral
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – With gathering momentum a new approach—egregious and evil—is emerging as latest endeavor to breathe life into rapidly expiring feasibility of so-called “two-state-solution”. 

My Word: Under the weather
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – The snow storm is called Alexa, but knowing its name didn’t make it seem any friendlier. 

The EU and Israel: Much ado about love
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – Boycotting West Bank products and AHAVA cosmetics. 

What if Abbas says the magic words?
Jerusalem Post 1
9 Dec 2013 – Will Netanyahu be forced to violate Israel’s redlines and withdraw to the Green Line? 

Column One: The Left against Zion
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – The Left’s doctrinaire insistence that Israel is the root of all evil is not limited to campuses. 

Military force only remaining option to stop Iranian nukes
Jerusalem Post 19 Dec 2013 – Iran is unlikely to take seriously any red line Obama might lay down now on building nuclear weapons. 

The Guardian

Palestinian killed near Gaza-Israel border
The Guardian 20 Dec 2013 – Gaza official says Odeh Hamad shot in the head after three bird hunters wounded by Israeli gunfire in separate incident A Palestinian health official says a man has been killed and three others wounded by Israeli…

Uruknet

Israeli forces kill 1 Palestinian, injure 5 across Gaza Strip
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 20, 2013 — A Palestinian man was shot dead and five others were injured in a number of incidents across the Gaza Strip on Friday. Jihad Hamad, 24, was shot dead, and an unidentified man was injured after Israeli…

Detainee ejected from courtroom at Guantanamo trial
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 20, 2013 -One of the five Guantanamo detainees facing a possible death sentence was repeatedly ejected from the courtroom during the military commission hearing at the US base when he shouted that he had been tortured by the authorities….

Military Resistance 11L2 War Banks and Lobotomies
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – AFGHANISTAN THEATER: US foreign fighters suffered 12 combat casualties during the weeks ending Dec 11 as the total rose to 40,277. The total includes 21,323 dead and wounded from what the Pentagon classifies as “hostile” causes…

Iraq s sectarian militias assume larger role
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013- ilitiamen in Iraq do not only carry weapons, they also wield religious, moral and economic power over their social environment. They play the role of neighborhood governors in times of peace and murderers in times of war.Mohammed,…

Two Palestinians killed, several wounded, in overnight Israeli raids
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013- An Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp late Wednesday, 18 December, was followed by a second incursion before dawn in Qalqilya, killing two Palestinians and wounding several others. While press reports differ, the incidents highlight…

Palestinian prisoners suffer lack of heating and winter clothing
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails complained of Israeli brutal practices and violent search operations despite the winter storm that has doubled their suffering due to the shortage of blankets, winter clothing and heaters. The prisoner Ahmad Freihat,…

Iraq s sectarian militias assume larger role
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013- ilitiamen in Iraq do not only carry weapons, they also wield religious, moral and economic power over their social environment. They play the role of neighborhood governors in times of peace and murderers in times of war.Mohammed,…

Syria News – December 19, 2013 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -By the end of Thursday the Coordination Committees were able to document 134 martyrs including 23 children and 17 women: 47 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs, 40 in Aleppo, 18 in Homs, 6 in…

Pilgrims Attacked Again in Iraq; 73 Killed, 121 Wounded
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – As the Arbaeen observance draws nearer, Shi ite pilgrims remain easy targets for insurgents. The pilgrims often travel to Karbala on foot, making them exceptionally vulnerable. In addition, Iraqis will often provide refreshments to traveling pilgrims,…

If You Believe the Government, You re Stupid 
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 18, 2013 – Everyone who watched John Miller s “60 Minutes” segment on the NSA should follow it up with this story involving Morley Safer – who, at 82 years old, is still a correspondent at “60 Minutes”: In…

Senators: CIA Misleading Public Over Secret Torture Report 
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – U.S. senators openly castigated the Central Intelligence Agency on Tuesday for delaying the release of a long-awaited report on torture and secret prisons during the Bush era. Despite earlier comments that the committee, which commissioned the…

Expected Budget Cuts Won t Cure the Deadly AFRICOM Disease
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – Although the cancerous U.S. military presence in Africa has radically metastasized in recent years, funds for these operations may be in jeopardy because of the Congressional budget process. Reuters reports that U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) may…

Government U-turn on torture inquiry promise “scandalous”
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – Commenting on the publication of the preliminary work of the Gibson Inquiry into UK rendition in torture, and the announcement by Cabinet Office Minister Ken Clarke that the Government will no longer hold a judge-led inquiry…

Britain s Involvement In Torture And Kidnap Truly Shocking 
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -Britain s involvement in kidnap and torture is “truly shocking”, a senior Conservative backbencher has concluded.On Thursday Sir Peter Gibson published the findings of his aborted inquiry into the complicity of British intelligence agencies in torture. It…

Blood on their Hands, Blood in their Mouths: Corporate Media Collaborators in Mass Murder
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – …The US corporate media routinely utilize their unfettered stranglehold on the airwaves to loudly bang the drums of war. Instead of providing the politically dumbed down masses with information that would expand their understanding of critical…

Remembering Palestinian mental health pioneer Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – It s hard for me to believe that it was in 2002 that Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, the legendary
Palestinian mental health pioneer, visited Chicago and spoke at the International House.It seems like yesterday. Although that is…

As Judge Rules NSA Surveillance “Almost Orwellian,” Obama Prepares to Leave Spying Program Intact
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – A federal judge ruled Monday the National Security Agency s bulk collection of Americans phone records “almost certainly” violates the Fourth Amendment s prohibition against unreasonable searches. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon described the NSA s…

Jabhat al-Nusra Leader “We Will Achieve Victory Soon” (Video)
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – In his first-ever TV interview, the leader of the insurgent faction Jabhat al-Nusra, Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, has told Al Jazeera Arabic, “We will achieve victory soon.”… Al-Joulani said Jabhat al-Nusra wants consultations with Muslim scholars who…

The Palestinian National Movement Advances
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – The advocacy of a Legitimacy War approach to the Palestinian National Movement for self-determination and a just peace is basically committed to Hegelian categories of conflict, shifting its energies away from Marxist forms of encounter based…

Libya out of spiralling violence
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – This past year brought a marked increase in violence throughout Libya, which does not bode well for this Arab Spring country. Violence began to escalate following the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the end of…

John Kerry s framework proposal sets the stage for the Gazafication of the West Bank 
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -In recent days, US and European diplomats have been engaged in a frenzy of activity on the Israeli-Palestinian front, before they settle down for the usual two-week Christmas hibernation.A sense of urgency looms because Washington is supposed…

Israel refuses to allow construction material into besieged Gaza Strip
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -Ignoring a UN demand, Israel s Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has refused to allow construction and other raw materials to enter the besieged Gaza Strip, Maariv reported on Wednesday. The newspaper said that Yaalon rejected the UN…

Corporate media keeps US citizens in the dark Pakistan Outs Three US CIA Station Chiefs in Three Years
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -For the third time in three years, a CIA station chief has been outed in Pakistan, a country where the CIA is running one of its largest covert operations. It s a remarkable record of failure by…

Racist ringleaders 2013: Israel s war on Africans intensifies
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -Twelve months have passed since The Electronic Intifada published “The dirty dozen: Israel s racist ringleaders.” My article was a catalogue of the Israeli officials and cultural figures most responsible for the persecution of the country s…

Defying US pressure, Netanyahu pledges to continue building settlements
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 -Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Wednesday his government s commitment to continue building and developing Israeli settlement projects, without any interruptions.Netanyahu said: “We are building continuously. We will continue building and developing everywhere, including the…

Doing Business The CIA and the Washington Post
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – News media should illuminate conflicts of interest, not embody them. But the owner of the Washington Post is now doing big business with the Central Intelligence Agency, while readers of the newspaper s CIA coverage are…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (12- 18 December 2013)
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013 – Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (12 – 18 December 2013). Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian and wounded…

Hamas PM calls for unified Palestinian government with PA
Uruknet 20 Dec 2013 – December 19, 2013– Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of the Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip, invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday to a meeting to discuss the formation of a unity government.In a speech he delivered to the…

Daily Star

Obama says Snowden leaks caused ‘unnecessary damage’
Daily Star 20 Dec 2013 President Barack Obama said Friday he welcomed a debate on the role of the National Security Agency, but that leaks by Edward Snowden had caused “unnecessary damage” to US intelligence capabilities.

Obama tells Congress ‘no need’ for new Iran sanctions
Daily Star 20 Dec 2013 President Barack Obama urged US lawmakers Friday not to impose new sanctions on Iran, warning that this could derail diplomatic efforts to curtail Tehran’s nuclear program.

Oh come all ye last-minute shoppers
Daily Star 20 Dec 2013 A glance at the agenda for the Christmas sales this month at galleries, gift shops and private ateliers spread across the Beirut area is enough to overwhelm and send one sprinting for the malls.

Four things to know about the Bundesliga
Daily Star 20 Dec 2013 Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich are in Morocco seeking to win the Club World Cup title, so Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund have an opportunity to make up some ground in the last round before the winter…

YNet News

US adds new charges against bin Laden son-in-law 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – ….

Obama: Now is not the time for new Iran sanctions
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – ….

INSI: Syria most dangerous country for media in 2013
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – ….

Palestinian film ‘Omar’ shortlisted for Academy Awards
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – ….

2 killed in Yemen riots 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – ….

With power comes responsibility 
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – Jews, women have often been victims of those in power. Ethical test for feminism and Zionism is if we can stop perceiving ourselves as victims, begin to take moral responsibility for things being done around us and under our sponsorship ….

God created me gay
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – Op-ed: ‘Why must I lie, be afraid and hide?’ Religious teen writes to Habayit Hayehudi MKs ….

Florida jails to offer kosher alternatives
YNet News, 20 Dec 2013 – Court ruling reinstates kosher meals for inmates with ‘sincere religious basis’ despite state’s claim that program is too costly ….

Palestinian Information Center

Moscow pledges to thwart attempts to disarm Israel of its nuclear weapons
PIC – Hebrew press sources reported that Moscow had pledged to confront any attempt aimed at disarming Israel of its nuclear weapons.

IOF shoot 2 Palestinians in Gaza
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) shot and injured two Palestinian men, north and south of the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA services in WB camps shrink due to its employees’ strike
PIC – 5, 000 employees working for the UNRWA in the occupied West Bank have continued their open-ended strike for the third week, in protest at their low salaries.

Islamic Jihad slams Israel’s assassination of Saadi
PIC – The Islamic Jihad Movement held the Israeli occupation fully responsible for the assassination of NafieSaadi, one of its resistence fighters in Jenin refugee camp.

Int’l committee to break the siege calls for emergency relief for Gaza
PIC – The international committee to break the siege on Gaza urged human rights groups, the Arab and Islamic countries, and the international community to send emergency aid to the storm-hit Gaza.

Cancer patient Yousri Al-Masri faces death in Israeli jail
PIC – The Palestinian prisoners society warned that cancer patient Yousri Masri, detained in Eshel prison, may die after a serious deterioration of his health condition due to the Israeli medical neglect.

Jerusalemite detainee Bilal Abu Hussein enters 26th year in Israeli jail
PIC – Palestinian prisoner Bilal Abu Hussein, 44, entered his 26th year in Israeli detention on Friday.

PA court extends Bani Odeh’s detention for two weeks
PIC – The magistrates’ court in Tubas city extended on Thursday the detention of Samer Bani Odeh, 44, for two weeks after being arrested from his home on Wednesday evening.

Misc

Lebanese singer stirs controversy with ‘love’ of Hezbollah chief
LA Times 20 Dec 2013 – BEIRUT — An iconic Lebanese singer has stirred controversy by expressing her love for the leader of the Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah.

Britain agrees to destroy part of Syria’s chemical stockpile
LA Times 20 Dec 2013 – LONDON – Britain will help eliminate Syria’s chemical stockpile by taking and destroying 165 tons of substances that could be used to make highly toxic nerve agents, British officials said Friday.

Two Egyptian soldiers, three militants killed in Sinai firefight
LA Times 20 Dec 2013 – CAIRO — An Egyptian army raid meant to snare a wanted Islamist turned into a fierce firefight that left at least two soldiers and three militants dead in the volatile northern Sinai Peninsula on Friday, the military said.

Senate Bill Threatens Nuclear Deal, Analysts Say
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Political analysts say legislation that threatens Iran with tough new sanctions could undermine an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program. 

Libya Militias Fleeing Cities, Leaving Chaos
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Civilian protesters and armed groups have chased militias from Tripoli and Benghazi for the first time since the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011. 

Video Raises Worries of Britons Fighting With Syria Militants
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – An Internet video surfaced this week depicting a masked man in Syria with a working-class British accent, urging British Muslims to travel there and join one of the most radical Islamist rebel militias fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad. 

Yemen Deaths Test Claims of New Drone Policy
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – The reported deaths of innocent people in a wedding procession this month illuminated the reality behind the rhetoric of the Obama administration’s new drone policy. 

Drive for Syrian Peace Talks Resumes in Geneva
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Syria’s government and opposition have committed to take part, but Iran’s participation remains blocked by the United States, said the United Nations special envoy for Syria. 

Libyan Intelligence Official Killed Outside Home
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Gunmen shot and killed a top Libyan military intelligence official Friday outside his home in an eastern city known as a stronghold for an Islamic extremist militia, the latest
in a string of assassinations targeting government officials and others. 

Syria Most Dangerous Country for Media in 2013, 126 Dead Worldwide: INSI
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – A total of 126 journalists and other media workers around the world have died on the job this year, with Syria the most dangerous place to work for the second year in a row, the International News Safety Institute said on Friday. 

Pakistan’s Musharraf in U.N. Appeal to Try to Halt Treason Trial
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Lawyers for former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf on Friday appealed to the United Nations to intervene and help prevent him being tried for treason, saying he faced a “show trial”. 

Difficult to Have Iran at Syria Peace Talks: U.S. Official
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – A senior U.S. official said on Friday that it was “difficult to imagine” Iran attending Syrian peace talks next month as it had not endorsed the June 2012 communiqué calling for a transitional government and was providing military support to Damascus. 

Brahimi Says He Could Work Around Iranian Absence From Syria Talks
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Iran remains a sticking point in plans for a conference to end the conflict in Syria, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Friday, with the United States still refusing to agree to Iran’s presence when talks begin on Jan 22. 

Gaza Official: Israeli Fire Kills Palestinian Man
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and wounded three others in separate incidents Friday in the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian health official said. 

Iran, Six Powers Extend Expert-Level Talks to Saturday
New York Times 20 Dec 2013 – Iran and six world powers have extended expert-level talks in Geneva on the implementation of a landmark deal obliging Tehran to curb its nuclear program for at least one additional day, diplomats said on Friday. 

Cory Booker joins 13 other Senate Dems in bucking Obama on Iran-war bill
Mondoweiss – Senator Booker Did you think Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and Richard Blumenthal were going to turn the page on blue state neoconservatism? Wonder no more. All the Democratic New York and New Jersey senators, plus Blumenthal of Connecticut and Robert Casey of PA, have signed…

IDF Chief Threatened Journalist With Espionage for Exposing Rampant Military Corruption
Tikun Olam – Before you begin reading this major scoop, I want to tell you where you won’t find this type of reporting. Not in the New York Times, nor Haaretz, or even The Nation. Hell, you won’t even read it at Electronic Intifada. Only here . That’s where…

Hedge fund billionaire funds group with eyes on Islamic holy site in Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – The Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Photo: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons) Henry Swieca is a money man. The New York-based billionaire made his fortune by co-founding Highbridge Capital Corp., a hedge fund that boasted clients like the American International…

The settler’s welcome
Mondoweiss – Adam retweeted this, so it’s SFW. Maybe we need a caption contest? From Scott Roth, when he and Alex visited Ariel settlement last March: One of the best moments of ’13 was this. The welcome @Mondoweiss received at Ariel University. pic.twitter.com/dXhOdHpsgi — Scott Roth (@scottroth76) December…

Coen brothers and Bob Dylan went to Zionist summer camp
Mondoweiss – Joel (l) and Ethan Coen Terry Gross interviewed the Coen Brothers the other day for their new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, and there was a lot of Jewish geography, i.e., Jews talking to Jews about what social milieu they’re from in the U.S. The Coen brothers…

Lessons in desert blooming
Mondoweiss – “This life as a simple citizen and laborer has its benefits not only for the person himself but perhaps also for his country. After all, there is room for only one Prime Minister, but for those who make the desert bloom there is room for hundreds,…

Palestinian officials come out in support of BDS movement after Abbas’ disavowal
Mondoweiss – Mahmoud Abbas and Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 2006. (Photo: AFP/Fati Moalusi) The Palestinian embassy to South Africa has come out in support of the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. The embassy’s position on the movement was released over a week after Mahmoud Abbas…

Israel’s endless enemies — the dangerous myth in Ari Shavit’s book
Mondoweiss – Ari Shavit. (Photo: Spiegel & Grau/NPR) It is hard to think of another long-standing conflict in which the irrefutable facts, long well-known to anyone who has seriously studied the issue, seem to matter less than in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The latest, and in a number of…

Rachel Maddow calls out AIPAC for pushing war with Iran
Mondoweiss – Rachel Maddow, MSNBC Props to Rachel Maddow. A day after we knocked her for failing to mention AIPAC’s role in pushing war with Iran, she took on the lobby last night in blasting the Democratic senators who are trying to derail the Iran deal. “A vote…

David Brooks comes out against the occupation
Mondoweiss – David Brooks My new theme is that the Israel lobby in our country is regrouping around J Street and a program of withdrawal from the West Bank in order to fend off the looming threat to Israel, the anti-Zionist left. To make this shift, the lobby…

Beinart’s (colonial) Jewish (imperial) democratic state
Mondoweiss – Peter Beinart This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To
read the entire series visit the archive page . Peter Beinart’s latest attempt to enter the Israel fray comes with his analysis of the American Studies Association boycott resolution . …

VIDEO: Revisiting Gaddafi’s former home 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Ahmed Maher has been back to Tripoli to ask Libyans if they feel there has been any progress in their country.

Farmers in Palestine Deeply Affected by Massive Snow Storm 
Palestine Solidarity Project 20 Dec 2013 – While the historical snow storm that hit the central parts of Palestine as well as Syria and Jordan made for some epic snowmen, the storm, which we know caused a humanitarian crisis for Syrian refugees throughout the area as well as a catastrophe for Gazans left…

US blocks Iran presence at Geneva II 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Diplomats preparing for Syrian peace talks next month have failed to agree on whether Iran should attend, the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria says.

VIDEO: Iran ‘unwelcome’ at Syria peace talks 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – International negotiators have failed to reach an agreement on whether Iran should be invited to Syria peace talks in Geneva next month.

Israel Prime Minister Targeted by U.S. Spying, New Edward Snowden Leak Says 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Dec 2013 – The office of an Israeli prime minister was targeted by British and U.S. spies along with a senior European Union official and German government buildings, according to the latest leaked documents from Edward Snowden published on Friday. Click here for the rest of the article…

Palestinian killed in northern Gaza 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian has been shot dead in northern Gaza by Israel troops, Palestinian sources say.

Joint Media Statement: Embassy of the State of Palestine to South Africa and BDS South Africa 
Global BDS 20 Dec 2013 – Recent comments made in South Africa by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation), regarding the boycott of Israeli settlements and products, seem to have been taken out of context and misconstrued by some members of the media and members of the…

Egypt: Dialogue Between Egyptian, Iranian FMs Going On At Different Levels – Diplomat 
allAfrica.com 20 Dec 2013 – [Egypt Online]Dialogue between the Egyptian and Iranian foreign ministries is going on at different levels and is progressing but more time in needed, especially as relations between the two countries have been severed for more than 30 years, said head of the Egyptian mission to Iran…

Israel’s De Facto Partition of Jerusalem Creates Forgotten Arab Neighborhoods 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Dec 2013 – Israel’s uneven treatment of Arab and Jewish neighbourhoods, creates a de facto partition of Jerusalem, the holy city at the epicentre of the Middle East conflict. Click here for the rest of the article…

Europe Lawmakers Push Back on Circumcision 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Dec 2013 – Encouraged by Israeli diplomats, parliamentarians from the Council of Europe have submitted a motion opposing an earlier resolution condemning ritual circumcision of boys. Click here for the rest of the article…

Richard Falk Slammed for ‘Slouching to Holocaust’ Remark on Israel 
The Foward Breaking News 20 Dec 2013 – Canada has called for the removal of a top U.N. official who accused Israel of having “genocidal intentions” against Palestinians. Click here for the rest of the article…

VIDEO: Revisiting Gaddafi’s former home 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Ahmed Maher has been back to Tripoli to ask Libyans if they feel there has been any progress in their country.

US blocks Iran presence at Geneva II 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Diplomats preparing for Syrian peace talks next month have failed to agree on whether Iran should attend, the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria says.

VIDEO: Iran ‘unwelcome’ at Syria peace talks 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – International negotiators have failed to reach an agreement on whether Iran should be invited to Syria peace talks in Geneva next month.

VIDEO: The conflict between Shias and Sunnis 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen looks at the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims and explains why sectarian conflict has erupted again in the 21st Century.

Palestinian killed in northern Gaza 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – A Palestinian has been shot dead in northern Gaza by Israel troops, Palestinian sources say.

Clashes between militants and army turn deadly in Egypt’s Sinai 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – Militants killed two Egyptian soldier in a gunfight in the Sinai peninsula Friday, as police in Cairo clashed with protesters demanding the reinstatement of deposed Islamist president Mohammed Mursi, security officials said. The two soldiers, both conscripts, died when a gunbattle broke out after the troops…

Nasrallah commemorates assassinated Hezbollah commander 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – Lebanese supporters of Hezbollah watch its chief Hassan Nasrallah, giving a televised speech on the December 4 murder of a top member of the movement, Hassan al-Laqqis, in Beirut on December 20, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Anwar Amro) Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah eulogized slain commander Hassan…

Huthi-Salafi clashes kill several in no
rthern Yemen 

Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – Nine people have been killed in fighting that was ongoing Friday in northern Yemen between Huthi rebels and Islamists backed by local tribes, a tribal source said. Huthi rebels have been battling the Sanaa government for nearly a decade in the remote Saada province. “Seven Huthis…

Will Geneva II Consolidate Western Alliance With Assad? 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 20 Dec 2013 – Syrians look at the aftermath of an airstrike on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo on December 15, 2013.(Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Khatieb). Syrians look at the aftermath of an airstrike on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo…

Hezbollah warns Israel over killing 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – The head of Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, says his movement will “punish” Israel for the killing of a senior commander.

Syria’s Eastern Ghouta: A Chaotic Conflict of Brigades 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – TOPSHOTSA wounded Syrian woman walks with her children following airstrikes on a rebel area of the war-torn northern city of Aleppo on December 15, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Khatieb). TOPSHOTSA wounded Syrian woman walks with her children following airstrikes on a rebel area of the…

Week In Photo (14 December – 20 December) 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – Workers construct stands for the 2014 Winter Olympics spectators in Krasnaya Polyana near the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on December 14, 2013. (Photo: Mikhail Mordasov – AFP) Workers construct stands for the 2014 Winter Olympics spectators in Krasnaya Polyana near the Russian Black Sea…

Interim PM pledges to bring Tunisia out of political crisis 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – A newly appointed Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa arrives to meet Tunisian Constituent Assembly President Mustapha Ben Jaafar (not pictured) on December 18, 2013 in Tunis. (Photo: AFP – Fethi Belaid) Tunisian premier-designate Mehdi Jomaa, chosen to form a transitional government, promised Friday to do his utmost…

Invisible and Visible Spaces 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – A double wedding in Turkmenistan, 2005. (Photo: Sheryl B. Shapiro) A double wedding in Turkmenistan, 2005. (Photo: Sheryl B. Shapiro) The following is the full text of the introductory chapter to The Veil: Women Writers on its History, Lore, and Politics. The book, edited by Jennifer…

Floods, blockade and political rifts deepen Gaza misery 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Floods exacerbate Gaza suffering, fuelled by blockade and rifts

Barrel bombs a sign of brutal Syria war 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – The crude weapon dropped from the sky in Syria’s merciless war

Eight charged in sweeping Turkish corruption case 
Al-Akhbar News 20 Dec 2013 – Istanbul prosecutors have charged eight people with corruption and fraud and placed them in pre-trial detention as part of a sweeping probe into political corruption that has shaken the Turkish political establishment, media reports said Friday. The eight are the first to be formally arrested out…

VIDEO: ‘I lost all three sons in bombings’ 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – The BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil meets a father in Baghdad who lost all three of his sons in two separate car bombing incidents

Sharpening Sunni-Shia schism bodes ill for Middle East 
BBC 20 Dec 2013 – Sunni-Shia split set to define years of conflict in Middle East, writes Jeremy Bowen

VIDEO: Were the Arab uprisings successful? 
BBC 19 Dec 2013 – BBC News asked people from Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia for their opinions on whether the Arab uprisings worked.

Washington Shakes Hands With Al-Qaeda Ally in Syria 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Dec 2013 – Syrian-Kurdish refugee families receive aid food at the Quru Gusik (Kawergosk) refugee camp, 20 kilometers east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on December 19, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Safin Hamed). Syrian-Kurdish refugee families receive aid food at the Quru…

Jerusalem Residents Omitted From History 
Al-Akhbar Politics 19 Dec 2013 – TOPSHOTSSnow covers the area next to a section of Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank village of Al-Ram on the outskirts of Jerusalem on December 14, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Ahmad Gharabli). TOPSHOTSSnow covers the area next to a section of Israel’s controversial separation…

Articles


When Israel Was Apartheid’s Open Ally 
Lenni Brenner, CounterPunch 12/20/2013
The Peculiar Relationship
Jimmy Carter’s book, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid, has opened up much of the American public to serious discussion of Israel’s realities. He’s no expert on Zionist history, but the Anti-Defamation League and other pro-Israel propagandists must now work 25 hours a day, 366 days a year, trying to discredit equating Israel and apartheid South Africa.
Curiously, Carter only mentions South African apartheid 3 times. He relates how, on his 1973 visit to Israel,
“General Rabin described the close relationship that Israel had with South Africa in the diamond trade (he had returned from there a day or two early to greet us) but commented that the South African system of apartheid could not long survive.”
He also tells us that,
“Israeli leaders have embarked on a series of unilateral decisions, bypassing both Washington and the Palestinians. Their presumption is that an encircling barrier will finally resolve the Palestinian problem. Utilizing their political and military dominance, they are imposing a system of partial withdrawal, encapsulation, and apartheid on the Muslim and Christian citizens of the occupied territories. The driving purpose for the forced separation of the two peoples is unlike that in South Africa — not racism, but the acquisition of land. There has been a determined and remarkably effective effort to isolate settlers from Palestinians, so that a Jewish family can commute from Jerusalem to their highly subsidized home deep in the West Bank on roads from which others are excluded, without ever coming in contact with any facet of Arab life.”
And he presents the 3 unattractive options in front of Israel’s public. One is
“A system of apartheid, with two peoples occupying the same land but completely separated from each other….” more.. e-mail

Israel steps up its assassination policy in West Bank 
Jessica Purkiss, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/19/2013
Bashir Habanin’s house is full of the things he has made. As a professor of Décor at Khadoury Technical College in Tulkarem, West Bank, he was always making furniture to decorate the home he shared with his parents and siblings.
On 7 November, after leaving his job at the college, he was late coming home to the family house in Merka village, Jenin. His father, Sami Habanin, was not worried or even surprised, for his son had many friends in Ramallah and often came home late after visiting them.
However at around midnight, an Israeli military force appeared at the front door. For two hours they questioned the family and searched the home. The soldiers, according to Sami, also searched Bashir’s room, opened his closet and suitcase and read some of his Arabic books. They asked for Bashir’s whereabouts and what he had been wearing when he last left the house.
At around 2 am the soldiers left without an explanation.
An hour later, Sami’s brothers informed the family that at 7 pm the previous day, Bashir had been killed.
On the night of 7 November, Israeli soldiers shot him dead by the Za’tara checkpoint, south of Nablus city. Sami was told that Bashir was killed while he was crossing the checkpoint heading to Ramallah. He had reportedly been shot seven or eight times, two shots in the chest area and the rest in the lower parts of his body.
According to an IDF spokesperson: “On November 7 after nightfall, a Palestinian terrorist fired directly at civilians waiting at the Tapuach junction bus stop. The security personnel on the site responded to the shots, eliminating the threat….” more.. e-mail

PHOTOS: Gaza’s streets remain flooded a week after storm 
Activestills, +972 Magazine 12/20/2013
The UN reports that 10,000 people were displaced in the record-setting storm and that it could take another week to clear the flooding.
A week after record-setting winter storms pounded the Middle East, areas of the Gaza Strip are still struggling to cope with severe flooding of homes and businesses. Gaza City residents reported that local government officials were slow to respond, had few available resources and showed little evidence of advanced planning. Instead, most immediate assistance was provided by community members who organized fishing boats and other makeshift watercraft to rescue people from their homes.
This week, Palestinian police and local officials coordinated efforts to help families recover belongings from their homes and restricted access to flooded neighborhoods to deter looters. Prior to the storm, 12-hour blackouts and the lack of fuel to run generators had initially l
imited the ability of civil defense forces to pump water from flooded areas. These conditions, due to the Israeli siege and Egyptian cooperation which closed trade through tunnels on the southern border, were somewhat mitigated by the entry of 450,000 liters of fuel paid for by Qatar to restart Gaza’s sole power plant.

However, UNRWA spokesperson Chris Gunness on Saturday said that large regions of the Gaza Strip were a “disaster area” and called on the international community to lift the Israeli blockade in order to allow recovery efforts to proceed. “Any normal community would struggle to recover from this disaster. But a community that has been subjected to one of the longest blockades in human history, whose public health system has been destroyed and where the risk of disease was already rife, must be freed from these man made constraints to deal with the impact of a natural calamity such as this.” more.. e-mail

Angel Face and the Open Prison 
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 12/20/2013
Israeli Racism
Seeing her face on the TV screen, one is struck by her beauty. It is the face of an angel, pure and innocent.
Then she opens her mouth, and what pours out is vile and ugly, the racist message of the extreme right. Like seeing a cherub parting its lips and revealing the teeth of a vampire.
Ayelet Shaked may be the beauty queen of the present Knesset. Her name is enticing: Ayelet means gazelle, Shaked means almond. But she is the instigator of some of the most outrageous right-wing initiatives in this Knesset. She is also the chairwoman of Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home faction, the nationalist-religious party of the settlers, the most radical rightist party of the current government coalition.
Her latest exploit is a bill which is now being debated in the Knesset, which would levy a huge tax on donations given by foreign “political entities” to Israeli human rights associations, those who advocate a boycott of Israel (or of the settlements only), the indictment of Israeli officers accused of war crimes in international courts, and more.
All this while immense sums of money are flowing from abroad to the settlements and their supporters. A large share of these sums is practically donated by the US government, which allows their exemption from US income tax as philanthropic. Much of it comes from American Jewish billionaires of dubious repute.
In a way, this Gazelle is the face of an international phenomenon. All over Europe, extreme fascistic parties are flourishing. Small despised fringe groups suddenly expand into large parties with a national impact…. more.. e-mail

Storm exacerbates sewage crisis in Gaza 
Electronic Intifada: 20 Dec 2013 – Health and environmental fears rise as authorities face numerous problems at once. more..

Gaza: genocide, food insecurity, sewage flooding, and the usual IOF attacks on civilians
In Gaza: 20 Dec 2013 – “Israeli officials have confirmed to Embassy officials on multiple occasions that they intend to keep the Gazan economy functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis.” “Israeli Naval Forces stationed off Beit Lahia shore in the northern Gaza Strip opened fire at Palestinian fishing boats in 4 separate incidents while sailing between 600 meters and 3 nautical miles. Israeli naval forces also confiscated 24 fishing nets.” [Source: PCHR] Israeli troops kill one, injure three in Gaza border firing Dec 20, 2013 A Palestinian citizen was reported killed in an Israeli firing near the Beit Hanon (Erez) crossing in northern Gaza Strip. Medical sources identified the killed as O’dah Hamad, 22. Earlier on Friday, Israeli forces stationed near the border fence east of Jabalia and Khan Younis fired afternoon towards Palestinian youths, injuring three. “Two youths in their twenties were moderately injured in the…more

Alain Finkielkraut, Jews, and Immigration
Dissident Voice: 20 Dec 2013 – Along the second half of the 20th century many Jewish intellectuals, activists and artists positioned themselves at the forefront of Western advocacy of immigration and multiculturalism. Occasionally we were also expected to believe that immigration, tolerance, pluralism and multiculturalism are intrinsic to Jewish culture and thought. But as the West became gradually aware of the scale of Israeli racism and intolerance towards migrant communities, more than just a few intellectuals were courageous enough to point at a clear discrepancy between the progressive ideas Jews claim to represent and what their Jewish State happens to be. There aren’t many countries that are more anti-immigration than Israel. The Jewish State is also very selective when it comes to multiculturalism. Israel happily integrated humus and falafel into its cuisine. It even let a few juicy Arab swear words into its emerging Hebraic dialect but it
has been far less enthusiastic about Palestinian mourning…
more


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