VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 3 January 2014

3 January 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Two Palestinians Wounded By Army Fire In Northern Gaza
IMEMC – [Friday Evening, January 3, 2014] Palestinian medical sources said that two Palestinians were shot and wounded by Israeli military fire east of the Jabalia town, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. …

Soldiers Kidnap A Young Woman In Jerusalem
IMEMC – [Friday January 3, 2014] Israeli soldiers kidnapped a young Palestinian woman in Bab Al-‘Amoud, in occupied East Jerusalem, allegedly after she tried to stab an Israeli soldier. …

Israel Carries Out Successful Missile Test
IMEMC – [Friday January 3, 2014] Israel has conducted, today, a successful experiment of the “Arrow 3” missile interceptor, the second of a series of missile tests being conducted jointly with the United States. …

Italian Aid Convoy Arrives In Gaza
IMEMC – An Italian solidarity delegation has arrived in the Gaza Strip, on Thursday evening via the Rafah crossing, in order to assess the humanitarian situation across Gaza’s five governorates and refugee camps. … 

Palestinian Teen Dies Of Wounds Suffered Thursday
IMEMC – [Friday January 3, 2014] Palestinian Medical sources have reported that a Palestinian teen has died of wounds suffered Thursday, after Israeli soldiers opened fire at an area in northern Gaza. …

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 elderly men dead, 9 civilians wounded by Israeli troops this week
IMEMC – In its Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, for the week of 26 Dec. 2013 – 01 Jan. 2014, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) found that an elderly Palestinian man died due to tear gas inhalation in Kofur Qaddoum village, northeast of Qalqilia, and a second elderly Palestinian man died as Israeli forces hindered his passage at a military checkpoint at the entrance of Ya’bad village, southwest of Jenin. …

Ma’an News

Gaza teen dies of wounds after Thursday border shooting
1/3/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Palestinian teenager died early Friday of wounds sustained by Israeli forces the day before in the northern Gaza Strip, medics told Ma’an. Palestinian medical sources identified the teen, who was shot Thursday at the Israeli border near Jabaliya, as 16-year-old Adnan Abu Khater. Ashraf al-Qudra, a spokesman for the emergency services in Gaza, said in a….

Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attack
1/3/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli war planes launched strikes against the Gaza Strip early Friday, the army said, shortly after a rocket from the besieged coastal enclave hit an Israeli area. A statement from the army said that “in response to rocket fire toward Israel,” its “aircraft targeted a terror infrastructure site in the central Gaza Strip and three concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip….

Teen arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly attempting to stab an officer
1/3/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Friday arrested a Palestinian teenager near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem for allegedly attempting to stab a border guard officer. Israeli police spokesman Luba Samari said that a 16-year-old girl from Jabal al-Mukkaber attempted to stab an Israeli soldier. During the arrest, a soldier was lightly wounded in the leg, Samari added. [END]

Freed prisoner’s health deteriorates
1/3/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — A newly released Palestinian prisoner suffered a major deterioration in his health conditions only days after being released from Israeli prisons, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said. Naim Shawamrah lost his ability to speak, fainted three times, and had several seizures on early Friday. Director of PPS’s Hebron office Amjad al-Najjar said that Shawamrah regained consciousness at dawn, and….

In photos: Hiking the ruins of Lifta
1/3/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Lifta is a Palestinian village that was mostly destroyed in 1948. Today, its ruins lie in Jerusalem’s western suburbs, overshadowed by the highways and skyscrapers far above. In the years following the Nakba, or “Catastrophe,” that led to the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes in what became Israel, the majority of the more than 400 depopulated villages….

Kerry in Palestine-Israel on new Mideast peace push
1/3/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders Friday as he pushes a framework for Middle East peace talks, amid growing tension on the ground. Kerry arrived in Israel Thursday and held talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, launching what is expected to be an intense four days of shuttle diplomacy between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Early Friday the….

Report: Erekat says he fears for Abbas’ life
1/3/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday that he feared President Mahmoud Abbas might be killed by Israel, according to an international Arabic newspaper. Erekat told Asharq al-Awsat that he had read letters from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman addressed to various European countries. He said the letters demanded the removal of Abbas, deeming him a danger to Israel.”The Israelis….

Abbas urges relief for besieged Yarmouk camp
1/3/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called on all parties involved to facilitate the entrance of supplies into the besieged Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in Damascus. Abbas stressed the need for relief “in order to save the lives” of the camp’s Palestinian refugees, who have been under a state of siege by Syrian regime forces since July. The presidential….

Israel, US carry out missile test during Kerry visit
1/3/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel and the United States carried out a joint missile test Friday, the defense ministry said, as US Secretary of State John Kerry pushed for a Middle East peace deal. The Israel Missile Defense Organization and US Missile Defense Agency completed a “successful” launch of the Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile system over the Mediterranean, a ministry statement said. The Arrow, designed to counter…. Related: Israel, US carry out joint missile test during Kerry visit

Analysis: On the ‘Jewish State of Israel’
1/3/2014 – John V. Whitbeck is an international lawyer who has advised the Palestinian negotiating team in negotiations with Israel. – News reports continue to suggest that one of the primary roadblocks to any agreement in the current round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations is the understandable Palestinian refusal to accept the Israeli demand that Palestine explicitly recognize Israel as a or the “Jewish State.” This is a legally and….

Israel, US carry out joint missile test during Kerry visit
1/3/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel and the United States carried out a joint missile test Friday, the defense ministry said, as US Secretary of State John Kerry pushed for a Middle East peace deal. The Israel Missile Defense Organization and US Missile Defense Agency completed a “successful” launch of the Arrow-3 anti-ballistic missile system over the Mediterranean, an Israeli defense ministry statement said. The Arrow, designed…. Related: Israel, US carry out missile test during Kerry visit

Medics: Israel’s Sharon in ‘slow, gradual’ decline
1/3/2014 – TEL AVIV (AFP) — Israeli former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s health was in “slow, gradual” decline on Friday, according to the hospital where he has been in a comatose state for eight years. It was the third straight day of reports that Sharon may be nearing death, with the 85-year-old’s health worsening Wednesday as he suffered serious kidney problems after undergoing….

Six killed as clashes erupt in Egypt
1/3/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — At least six people were killed on Friday in clashes across Egypt as police dispersed thousands of protesters demanding deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi be reinstated, officials said. The protests came after an Islamist alliance that backs Morsi called for demonstrations ahead of a new hearing on Wednesday in a trial against the ousted president. Three people were killed in Cairo, and three….

More than 100 die as Iraq forces battle Qaeda in Anbar
1/3/2014 – RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) — More than 100 people were killed Friday as Iraqi police and tribesmen battled Al-Qaeda-linked militants who took over parts of two Anbar provincial cities, announcing one an Islamic state. Parts of Ramadi and Fallujah, west of Baghdad, have been held by militants for days, harkening back to the years after the 2003 US-led invasion when both cities were insurgent strongholds. Fighting began….

MSF says 5 staff members ‘taken by group’ in north Syria
1/3/2014 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Five staffers from Doctors without Borders (MSF) have been taken from a house in northern Syria by an unknown group, the medical humanitarian group said Friday.” MSF confirms that five members of its staff were taken yesterday night from an MSF house in the north of Syria by a group, apparently for questioning,” spokeswoman Samantha Maurin said in a statement. It was unclear….


Closure calls after Palestinian embassy blast
AlJazeera 3 Jan 2014 – Call for removal of compound after illegal weapons discovery and death of ambassador in booby trap blast.

Palestine News Network

Hebron Hosts 2nd Conference Entitled “Together against the Occupation and Racism”
Palestine News Network

International Solidarity Movement

Clashes for two days in the Palestinian city of Hebron
1/3/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team, Hebron, Occupied Palestine – At approximately 11. 30am yesterday morning, Israeli forces detained a 13-year-old boy at Bab Al-Baladiyye in Khalil (Hebron). After a short period of time the young boy was released and a group of Israeli soldiers invaded the old city of Hebron, harassing residents and demanding identification from a number of Palestinians. The group of Israeli soldiers started….

One Palestinian arrested during demonstration in Kafr Qaddum
1/3/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team, Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – Today, at the weekly Kafr Qaddum demonstration, Israeli soldiers and border police violently suppressed the protest and arrested a Palestinian citizen. Clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli soldiers erupted after the Friday prayer when the Israeli military began bulldozing pre-made stone barricades and military police jeeps drove into the village. Israeli soldiers fired many tear gas canisters….

Protest march towards the Dead Sea
1/3/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team, Jericho, Occupied Palestine – On the 1st January, at approximately 12pm, 40 Palestinian and international activists attempted to march towards the Dead Sea in an effort to protest against the proposed Israeli bill to annex the Jordan valley. Israeli forces prevented the demonstration from reaching the shore, in response the protesters held speeches demanding for the liberation of Palestinian prisoners and reiterating that the….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestinian youth shot by Israeli troops dies
Relief Web 3 Jan 2014 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 01/03/2014 08:36 GMT GAZA CITY, January 3, 2014 (AFP) – A Palestinian youth shot by Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip has died of his wounds, a medical official said on Friday. The…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel: Stop Threatened Eviction of Palestinians
Relief Web 3 Jan 2014 – Source: Human Rights Watch Country: occupied Palestinian territory Defense Minister Should Overturn Unlawful Order (Jerusalem, January 3, 2014) – Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon should overturn the imminent forced displacement of 23 Palestinians from 3 families from their homes near…

World: The use of force in armed conflicts: expert meeting
Relief Web 2 Jan 2014 – Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: World Contemporary IHL challenges: Use of force and non-international armed conflicts The ICRC recently published a new report on the “Use of Force in Armed Conflicts”. The outcome of an expert meeting…

occupied Palestinian territory: Kerry in Israel on new Mideast peace push
Relief Web 2 Jan 2014 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 01/03/2014 02:43 GMT by Jo Biddle JERUSALEM, January 3, 2014 (AFP) – US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders Friday as he pushes a framework for Middle East…

The National

100 dead in fierce battle for Ramadi and Fallujah
The National 3 Jan 2014 – Iraqi security forces and Sunni tribesmen killed 62 Al Qaeda militants in Ramadi, and 32 civilians also died in fighting that began when the Shiite-led government demolished the main Sunni anti-government protest camp on Monday.

Indian PM will step down and says Modi is a ‘disastrous’ candidate
The National 3 Jan 2014 – In disclosing his political plans after a decade in office, the outgoing premier threw his weight behind Rahul Gandhi, the 43-year-old heir to India’s Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, as the next head of the Congress party and the country’s next prime minister.

Palestinian protesters tell Kerry to go home
The National 3 Jan 2014 – Hours before the US secretary of state was to meet the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, a crowd of several hundred took to the streets of Ramallah, chanting “Kerry, you coward, there’s no place for you in Palestine!”

Tests prove held man is top Saudi militant linked with Iran embassy attack in Beirut
The National 3 Jan 2014 – Majid Al Majid is the suspected chief of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which claimed it carried out a deadly November 19 double suicide bombing at Iran’s Beirut embassy that killed 25 people.

Sharon faces multi-organ failure, says doctor
The National 3 Jan 2014 – Ariel Sharon, 85, who has been in a coma for eight years after a devastating stroke incapacitated him at the peak of his political power, was fighting and was not in pain, said Dr Zeev Rotstein, the director of Tel Hashomer hospital near Tel Aviv.

Four dead after Cambodian police fire on protesters
The National 3 Jan 2014 – The four were killed and 20 others were wounded in a southern suburb of the capital when police fired AK-47 rifles after several hundred workers blocking a road south of Phnom Penh began burning tires and throwing objects at them, said Chuon Narin, the deputy Phnom Penh police chief.

South Sudan peace talks begin but the fighting goes on
The National 3 Jan 2014 – Fighting intensified as the army moved on a key rebel-held town, even as government and rebel negotiating teams gathered at a luxury hotel in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.


The je ne sais quoi of Netanya
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Teenager murdered in Petah Tikvah
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Winning wars, losing hearts: IDF enters battlefield of public opinion
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

13 people killed in Egypt clashes
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Toddler seriously wounded in south Tel Aviv stabbing
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Israel denies it killed most of the AMIA bombers
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

African migrants in Israel plan strike to protest government policy
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Report: Palestinian youth wounded by IDF dies of wounds in Gaza
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

McCain: Netanyahu has ‘serious concerns’ over Kerry proposal
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Call my blof: Rightist Israel party tries its hand at political satire, but the joke’s on them
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

After Netanyahu meeting, Kerry says ‘both leaders recognize consequences of failure’
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

After Netanyahu meeting, Kerry says ‘both leaders recognize consequences of failure’
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Kerry set for Ramallah meeting after three-hour session in Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Under America’s watchful eye, Israel successfully tests Arrow III missile shield
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Israel needs an indefinite security presence in the Jordan Valley
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Israel killed most AMIA bombers, ex-envoy to Argentina says
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Ariel Sharon’s days are numbered, hospital director says
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Lieberman praises Kerry’s peace efforts, warns of day after deal
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

As Israeli cities engulf nature, greens step up fight
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Stereotype of rich French immigrants au contraire to reality
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

The EU’s offer still stands, despite the Israeli government’s resounding silence
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Hezbollah moved advanced anti-ship missile systems into Lebanon, U.S. officials say
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Rejecting two states means endangering Israel – and the Diaspora
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

The manhunt against asylum seekers
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Israel refuses to let Gaza woman visit sick mother whose medical report says ‘Palestine’
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

Netanyahu reaching point of no return
Ha’aretz – 3 Jan 2014

With rainfall aplenty, Israel to rely less on expensive desalinated water this year
Ha’aretz – 2 Jan 2014

Bibi meises (Netanyahu’s tall tales)
Ha’aretz – 2 Jan 2014

Let’s talk about circumcision
Ha’aretz – 2 Jan 2014

Jerusalem Post

Thirteen Egyptian protesters killed in clashes with police
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Islamists have demonstrated every day since gov’t declared Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group last month. 

Drunk man stabs baby in head near Tel Aviv Central Bus Station
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Suspect in stabbing was very drunk and mentally disturbed police say; baby taken to hospital on a ventilator. 

14 challenges for Netanyahu in 2014
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Heading into the new year, the prime minister faces a myriad of tests: Keeping his coalition together, the peace talks with the Palestinians and getting a good deal on Iran are just the beginning. 

Arab girl, aged 16, attempts to stab border police officer in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Teen is from east Jerusalem; a second officer is lightly hurt during scuffle to bring suspect under control. 

Four Egyptian protesters killed in clashes with police
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Islamists have demonstrated every day since gov’t declared Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group last month. 

Hundreds of Palestinians protest Kerry’s visit in Ramallah
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – In advance of his meeting with Abbas and his attempt to advance the peace talks, crowds of Palestinians chant for Kerry to go home; Separately, McCain meets with Netanyahu, says PM has serious concerns about Kerry plan. 

At halftime in peace talks, US mulls moving the goal posts
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Washington hopes that, similar to interim deal forged in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear program, a framework that offers real prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace will tempt skeptics, hopefuls. 

Liberman: Peace deal must be based on Israeli security, stable Palestinian economy
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – FM meets with Kerry, US senators to discuss peace process; raises “next-day” issue of return of refugees to any future Palestinian state. 

Slow deterioration in functioning of Sharon’s vital organs, says hospital
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Hospital chief sees former premier as facing his last days; comatose 85-year-old suffers blood infection, remains in critical condition. 

Defense Ministry: Missile shield system passes 2nd flight test
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Trajectory interceptor system is being designed to defend Israel against possible threats of long-range ballistic missiles. 

Security analyst: Hezbollah continues transferring arms from Syria to Lebanon
Jerusalem Post 3 Jan 2014 – Shi’ite militant group is moving long-range Scud D missiles capable of hitting deep into Israel, ‘The New York Times’ reports. 

Ex-Israeli envoy to Argentina: Israel killed most perpetrators of AMIA, embassy bombings
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – Former ambassador Itzhak Aviran accuses Argentine gov’t of not doing enough to probe 1990s Buenos Aires terrorist attacks. 

Chief Rabbinate says Orthodox rabbis abroad appointed ‘without any criteria’
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – NTA criticizes rabbinate’s process on recognizing foreign Orthodox rabbis, says will demand greater transparency. 

Into The Fray: The gutting of Zionism
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – Future historians are likely to point to the current government as inflicting the most devastating blow to the spirit of, and the belief in, the Zionist enterprise. 

My Word: The Selfie Generation
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – According to Oxford Dictionaries, which voted it “International Word of the Year,” “Selfie can actually be traced back to 2002. 

Parshat Bo – Living a ‘miracle’
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – This week’s Torah portion – Parshat Bo – is similar to the previous one, Parshat Va’era, in the abundance of miracles that defy the laws of nature. 

Savir’s Corner: 2014 – a make or break year?
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – The one political conflict that threatens international security and will be high on the 2014 agenda is the Israeli-Palestinian one. 

Column one: ‘The New York Times’ destroys Obama
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – Last week, the Times published account of Benghazi terrorist strike, criticizing Obama’s counterterrorism strategy and his policy in the Middle East. 

Up to 7,000 foreign jihadis fighting in Syria, new study finds
Jerusalem Post 2 Jan 2014 – Majority come from Arab countries; volunteers undergo radicalization, continue terrorist activities in countries of origin. 

The Guardian

Ariel Sharon’s final mission might well have been peace | Jonathan Freedland
The Guardian 3 Jan 2014 – As one of Israel’s founders he had the credibility to give up occupied territory – and even to face the demons of 1948 In truth, Ariel Sharon’s journey ended long ago. Eight years have passed, almost…


Letter to George W. Bush: The Sociocide of Iraq
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – …Today, Iraq remains a country (roughly the size and population of Texas) you destroyed, a country where over a million Iraqis, including many children and infants (remember Fallujah?) lost their lives, millions more were sickened or…

An Interview with Max BlumenthalInside Israel s Apartheid State
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – …Goliath is the first on-the ground, journalistic portrait of the real Israel that has been whitewashed and covered up by the mainstream American media. The book reveals a society overrun with extremism, with open racism emitting…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (26 Dec.- 01 Jan. 2014)
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (26 December 2013 – 01 January 2014). Shooting: During the reporting period, an old Palestinian man from Kofur…

Israel s West Bank torture regime
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – Janaury 2, 2014 – The slow disintegration of living conditions in the West Bank continues apace. But this is no natural disaster or complicated economic malaise. This is a very deliberately created policy, one designed and implemented by a state…

It is time to take a stand
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014- The Syrian situation is deteriorating quickly, for reasons that include the intervention of strangers in the conflict, an intervention which was not desired by the Syrian people, who were seeking to deliver their demands to the president,…

ACLU Appeals Decision Upholding NSA s Mass Surveillance
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – The ACLU filed an appeal on Thursday in New York challenging the dismissal of our lawsuit against the NSA s mass call-tracking program. Through the program, the government collects records on every call made and received…

One in four US drone deaths in Pakistan are civilian , report suggests as Washington and London face growing pressure to cut programmes 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Nearly a quarter of those killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan could have been civilians, a report claims. With Washington and London facing growing pressure to cut drone programmes, the figures are certain to inflame…

Chance of a Century : International Investors Flock to Tehran 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 -Since the West reached a landmark deal with Iran on its controversial nuclear program late last year, many Iranians are hoping for an end to sanctions. Western companies are also gearing up do big business… It looks…

2014: Failure of Palestinian Authority, BDS Success to Continue
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 -2013 was a year in which the so-called peace process charade was allowed to continue, leading Palestinians on yet another futile journey of broken promises. Meanwhile, the Israeli colonial project in the West Bank and East Jerusalem…

Sunni fighters repel army in western Iraqi cities
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Sunni Muslim fighters clashed on Thursday with Iraqi troops trying to regain control of two western cities, in a serious escalation of their confrontation with the Shi ite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.Tension has been…

Israel s Red Herring: A Military Presence in the Jordan Valley
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – I ve predicted failure for Secretary of State John Kerry s push for peace negotiations and a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of the (many) reasons past efforts to “broker” a deal have failed is…

Iraq snapshot – January 2, 2014. 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014. Chaos and violence continue, the New York Times played people for fools on Benghazi, today they rewrite history on Iraq, media watchdog Greg Mitchell idiotically reTweets the Times, Nouri assaults Anbar, children are being killed, where did…

Dear New York Times Editors: If Snowden Is a Whistleblower, What Is Chelsea Manning?
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 -The New York Times Editorial Board is to be highly praised for finally publishing a strong defense of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, one which not only urges clemency but also labels him a whistleblower. But, it…

Car bomb kills at least five in Hezbollah district of Beirut
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – A car bomb killed at least five people in Hezbollah s stronghold in southern Beirut on Thursday, the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Shi ite and Sunni targets in Lebanon. Several other cars…

Elderly Palestinian man dies after alleged tear gas inhalation
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Hundreds of Palestinians took part in a funeral march today for Said Jasir, an 85-year-old man from the West Bank village of Kfar Qaddum.According to Palestnian medical sources, Jasir died after the Israeli army shot tear…

No breakthrough and no agreement in the Middle East, Indyk says- anonymously 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – “We re not expecting a breakthrough on this trip,” Martin Indyk, the State Department s mediator on the conflict, said today in a supposedly-anonymous briefing on this week s urgent round of peace talks in Ramallah…

Michigan students demand divestment as administration brags about Israel ties (Video) 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Student activists at the University of Michigan have called for the administration to divest from companies that profit from Israel s occupation, apartheid and settler-colonial policies. The university has rejected formal calls for divestment twice since…

Israel “tried to brainwash us,” says Druze pioneer who refused army service
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – Several Palestinian citizens of Israel from the Druze religious community are in prison for refusing to serve in the Israeli military. “How can I serve in Israel s occupation army?” said Seif Abu Seif, an 18-year-old…

In West Bank settlement, the state is legalizing lawlessness
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 – If one had to choose a musical theme for this High Court of Justice hearing, it would have to be the famous whistle of “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” If one had to choose…

Freed Palestinian prisoner hospitalized in bad condition
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 2, 2014 — Freed Palestinian prisoner Naim Shawamrah was hospitalized late Wednesday due to serious deterioration in his health condition, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said. Shawamrah was taken to an emergency room in Dura south of Hebron Wednesday night,…

Syria News – January 1, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2014 – By the end of Wednesday the Coordination Committees were able to document 112 martyrs including 13 women, 10 children and 6 martyrs under torture: 44 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 32 in Damascus and its Suburbs;…

Released Palestinian Prisoners Aren t Free
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2014- What country is a modern day Sparta? Which one lives by the sword? Which one deplores peace and stability? Which one threatens an entire region and beyond? Which one ignores rule of law principles? Which one has…

The NY Times Incorrections 
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2104 – …Corrections are supposed to happen in newspapers when they print factually incorrect information or perhaps because of failures in copy editing like typos, misspellings and so on. What seems to have happened here is that someone…

War From Above
Uruknet 3 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2014 – Drone aircraft, which we first heard of as weapons of war used by the United States in foreign lands, are now poised for a full-scale invasion of the skies above the US itself. On December 30,…

Observations from Occupied Palestine: Gaza
Uruknet 2 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2014- …The manufactured layers of crisis rendering life in Gaza utterly unbearable, and dangerous, have continued to escalate while at the same time, the media black-out on Gaza continues. From my experiences in the Strip, including meetings with…

Immediate threat of eviction of a Palestinian community in the Jordan Valley
Uruknet 2 Jan 2014 – January 1, 2014 – Khirbet Ein Karzaliyah is located in the northern Jordan Valley, some three kilometers southwest of al-Jiftlik and some twenty kilometers east of Aqraba, on lands belonging to Aqraba. For about 25 years, it has been home…

Daily Star

Israel denies killing Buenos Aires bombers: media
Daily Star 3 Jan 2014 Israeli officials Friday denied claims by a former envoy that Israel had killed most of those behind bombings at its embassy and Jewish charity offices in Argentina in the 1990s, media said.

Key Syria opposition bloc reaffirms peace talks rejection
Daily Star 3 Jan 2014 A key group within Syria’s mainstream opposition National Coalition reaffirmed Friday that it will not attend peace talks slated for later this month in Switzerland.

YNet News

US moves to appeal surveillance ruling
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – ….

Israel: Didn’t kill men guilty of Argentine blast
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – ….

Kerry, Abbas meeting in Ramallah concludes
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – ….

Gaza: Two Palestinians hit by Israeli fire near border fence
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – ….

Father, infant daughter attacked near TA Central Bus Station
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – ….

Shalom, Luxembourg: Jewish culture guide
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – Although small in numbers, Luxembourg’s Jewish community is proud yet well integrated into society. With a lengthy history, spanning well over a millennium, this small European country is definitely worth a visit ….

The bad Jews who deserve a boycott
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – Op-ed: Academic boycott of Israel is remnant of some people’s conviction that Jews are inherently bad ….

‘Bo’: Let my sisters go
YNet News, 3 Jan 2014 – Open letter to rabbi who asks us to stay behind wall separating men and women in prayer ….

More than 100 US universities combat ASA’s decision to boycott Israel
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – List of schools against organization’s decision to isolate Jewish country’s academic institutions continues to rise. Other colleges expected to tag along when offices reopen after winter holiday ….

Cleared for publication: Police arrest suspects in Bat Yam bus blast
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – Shin Bet, IDF, police detain 14 men suspected of involvement in last week’s explosion. Sami Harimi went to pray in mosque in Jaffa, then boarded bus, placed bomb ….

Jerusalem united in eye of beholder
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – Op-ed: Release of terrorists from east Jerusalem under claim that they are not ‘Israeli’ holds a glaring mirror to our face ….

Malaysia’s Islamic authorities seize Bibles as Allah struggle deepens
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – Islamic authorities seize 321 Bibles that used word Allah to refer to God. Citizens worried growing fanaticism may inflame ethnic, religious tension in Southeast Asian country ….

Protesters call for Pollard’s release outside peace talks scene
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – 300 demonstrators gather outside Metzudat David Hotel in Jerusalem, the spot of Kerry-Netanyahu meeting, calling American refusal to release convicted spy hypocrisy ….

PM tells Kerry PA not devoted to negotiations
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – Secretary of State’s tenth visit to the region since taking office last year; will meet with Netanyahu and Abbas ….

5 dead in blast that hits Hezbollah area south of Beirut
YNet News, 2 Jan 2014 – At least 10 wounded in Haret Hreik neighborhood, cars set ablaze ….

Palestinian Information Center

Family of released prisoner accuses Israel of causing him incurable illness
PIC – The Family of Naim Shawamreh, a Palestinian prisoner released by Israel on Tuesday, has accused the IPS of deliberately injecting him with a chemical substance that caused him an incurable illness.

Hamas: The Egyptian interior minister’s accusations are false and unfounded
PIC – The Hamas Movement categorically denied Egyptian claims that it had provided military training and logistic support for members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas urges Egypt to stop incitement against Palestinians and their resistence
PIC – The Hamas Movement called on the Egyptian authorities to stop the campaign of distortion and incitement against the resistance and the Palestinian people.

Islamic Christian authority: Israel insists on Judaizing every part of Jerusalem
PIC – The Islamic Christian authority said that Israel’s intention to establish a “heritage village” on Azzeitoun Mount reflected its persistence in Judaizing every part of Jerusalem.

Hamas condemns Beirut explosion
PIC – The Hamas Movement strongly condemned the deadly bombing in Beirut Suburb on Thursday.

Israeli media: Al-Qassam improved its rocket capability 
PIC – Israeli media outlets have recently re-focused on Hamas’ military power, saying that its military wing has improved its medium-range rockets that hit Tel Aviv one year ago.

Israel launches overnight aerial attacks on Gaza
PIC – Israeli warplanes bombed several areas of the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, with no reported causalities, according to the Palestinian information center (PIC) reporter in Gaza.

Gaza teen dies of wounds sustained in IOF shooting
PIC – A Palestinian young man from Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip died on Friday morning of serious injuries he sustained after being shot by Israeli soldiers.

1,873 Palestinian refugees killed in Syria till the end of 2013
PIC – The action group for the Palestinians in Syria said that 1,873 Palestinian refugees had been killed in Syria since the start of Syria’s conflict and until the end of 2013.

Italian solidarity delegation visits Gaza
PIC – An Italian solidarity delegation on Thursday evening entered the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing after a delay that lasted about eight hours.


Distrust hinders U.S.-Iraq fight against resurgent Al Qaeda militants
LA Times 3 Jan 2014 – The militants are seeking control of two of Iraq’s major cities, while also playing an increasingly large role in Syria’s conflict. WASHINGTON — With insurgents linked to Al Qaeda battling for control of two major Iraqi cities, long-standing suspicion between the Obama administration and the…

Deadly Violence Erupts During Rallies Across Egypt
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – At least 13 people were killed as violence broke out during Muslim Brotherhood marches just days before a planned referendum on a draft constitution. 

Returning of Refugees to Bulgaria Worries U.N.
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – The United Nations refugee agency urged European countries to stop sending back asylum seekers, many of them originally from Syria, because they face poor treatment in Bulgaria. 

Fleeing the Bombs in Aleppo, Syria, and Ending Up in New Jersey
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – A Syrian family is in the vanguard of what is expected to be a small but gradually growing stream of refugees from the country’s war resettling in the United States this year. 

World Briefing | Europe: Italy: More Migrants Rescued at Sea
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – The Italian Navy has rescued more than 1,000 migrants from boats trying to reach Europe in the past two days, Italian authorities said Friday. 

The Lede: Videos of Fighters and Air Raids in Iraq’s Anbar Province
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – Al Qaeda-affiliated groups battled security forces and tribal fighters in Anbar province. 

The Lede: Syrians Protest Assad and Islamist Militants
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – Video and images posted online by Syrian activists appeared to show that anti-Islamist protesters took to the streets in the city of Aleppo and in rural areas near the Turkish border on Friday. 

Mystery in Hezbollah Operative’s Life and Death
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – The assassination of Hassane Laqees, Hezbollah’s master technician and logistics expert, has exposed a convulsing region’s tangled and shifting alliances and enmities. 

Iraq Fighters, Qaeda Allies, Claim Falluja as New State
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – After what appeared to be a morning lull, Sunni fighters destroyed the Police Headquarters and mayor’s office as violence resumed. 

Clashes Between Syrian Rebels and Qaeda Fighters
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – The fighting punctuated a growing schism between seven homegrown rebel groups and a powerful Qaeda affiliate. 

World Brief | Middle East: Palestinian Teenager Dies of Wounds From Israeli Gunfire
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – The Israeli military said the teenager was one of a group of people who vandalized the fence between Israel and Gaza and ignored warnings to move back. 

At War Blog: Reclaiming Fatherhood After Afghanistan
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – After two combat tours in Afghanistan, an infantry rifleman readjusts to civilian life — and the paternal role he left behind. 

Explosions Hit Syrian Gas Pipelines, Electricity Cut
New York Times 3 Jan 2014 – Explosions hit two large Syrian gas pipelines on Friday near Damascus and the central city of Homs, cutting electricity supplies around the capital and in Mediterranean provinces, officials and activists said. 

Round up all the usual suspects (the peace process in pictures)
Mondoweiss – The State Department put out a few photographs from the first day of John Kerry’s tenth trip to Israel and Palestine today. I’m posting a few of them, below. We need better captions! Improve. Jan. 3 meeting with rightwing Republican Senators John Barrasso, John McCain, and…

Tomorrow in NY, 21 groups will call on Egypt to open gates to Gaza
Mondoweiss – Egypt’s side of Rafah border crossing Brooklyn for Peace has announced a protest tomorrow afternoon at the Egyptian consulate in New York calling on the country to open Gaza. Notice that 21 groups are signatories. Facebook link is here . From the press release : Please join us…

Barak’s ‘generous offer’ at Camp David: bantustans and military checkpoints
Mondoweiss – Barak, Clinton and Arafat at Camp David Today, excerpts of an important 2001 piece by Jerome Slater, “What Went Wrong: The Collapse of the Israeli Palestinian Peace Process” (which appeared behind a firewall in Political Science Quarterly) were published a t The American Conservative , by Scott…

‘Camera’ takes credit for ‘NYT”s craven corrections
Mondoweiss – Yesterday we did a post on the extensive corrections the New York Times made to an innocent review of Mohammed Assaf’s American concert tour. The Times replaced the word “Palestinian” with Arab in reference to pre-48 cities, Haifa, Safed, and Jaffa. And it removed Israel’s responsibility…

Israel aims to silence growing international criticism with Texas A&M deal in Nazareth
Mondoweiss – From left: Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp, Israeli Education Minister Shay Piron, Shimon Peres, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. (Photo: AP) Two months ago officials from Israel and Texas made an unexpected announcement, unveiling an ambitious plan to build in Israel the first…

Avigdor’s triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
Mondoweiss – Avigdor Liberman and Tzipi Livni in January 2013 (Photo: Flash90) The Israeli officials who gathered at West Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel on June 21, 2008 had an idea to float: some Palestinian villages who sit partially in Israeli territory would be given to a future Palestinian state….

Hezbollah Smuggles Advanced Missile Systems into Lebanon
Tikun Olam – Hezbollah missiles deployed in Lebanon Both the Wall Street Journal (firewall) and N.Y. Times are reporting that Hezbollah has transferred some of its most advanced weaponry from warehouses inside Syria, where it’s been stored, and moved it into Lebanon. Hezbollah has done so despite multiple Israeli…

Update: Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor holding pens during freezing storm
Mondoweiss – (Updated with new graphic from Carlos Latuff “A #cartoon to @Mondoweiss – #Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor during freezing storm”) : Israel cages Palestinian children in outdoor during freezing storm (Graphic: Carlos Latuff ) Once again Israel has been accused of torturing children. This time the state…

Not Afraid to Look 
Rachel Corrie Foundation 3 Jan 2014 – Please join the Rachel Corrie Foundation’s kick-off Martin Luther King memorial weekend with an (early) 7 am skype call January 18th with our comrades in Gaza City, Edinburgh, and London! These three cities are concurrently displaying a photo exhibit, Not Afraid to Look: In Loving Memory…

UK calls for Libya ‘murder’ probe 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – The UK government calls on Libyan authorities to conduct an investigation into the “murder” of a British man and New Zealand woman found dead on a beach in western Libya.

Deaths at Egypt Brotherhood protests 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Egypt’s health ministry says 11 people have died after pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters clashed with police.

Shot Palestinian ‘dies of wounds’ 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – An 18-year-old Palestinian dies of his wounds a day after being shot in clashes with Israeli soldiers near the northern Gaza border, doctors say.

Egypt: FM Condemns Terrorist Blasts in Beirut, Mogadishu 
allAfrica.com 3 Jan 2014 – [Egypt Online]Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy condemned the Thursday car bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, which left four people dead and 66 others wounded.

Palestinian Protests Greet John Kerry in West Bank 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Jan 2014 – Palestinian protesters on Friday condemned the latest efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to advance peace talks with Israel, using chants evoking the Arab uprisings and telling him to go home. Click here for the rest of the article…

We Killed Most Argentina Bombers, Israel Envoy Says 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Jan 2014 – Israel has killed most of the people responsible for the 1994 deadly bombing at a Jewish community building in Buenos Aires, a former Israeli ambassador to Argentina said. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel Soccer League Ends Ban on Kippahs 
The Foward Breaking News 3 Jan 2014 – Israel’s soccer association suspended its ban on wearing kippot for its minor leagues following protests by athletes and politicians. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Egyptian Interior Minister Holds Brotherhood, Hamas Responsible for Recent Violence 
allAfrica.com 3 Jan 2014 – [Focac]Cairo -Egyptian Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim accused on Thursday the Muslim Brotherhood and the Palestinian Islamic Movement of Hamas of committing the recent terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Israel ex-PM Sharon ‘deteriorates’ 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – The condition of Israeli ex-PM Ariel Sharon – who has been in a coma since 2006 – shows “a slow and gradual deterioration”, doctors say.

VIDEO: Battle for western Iraq cities 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Two cities in western Iraq are reportedly still partly under the control of Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda.

North Lebanon library torched 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – A decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli was torched late Friday, a day after a sectarian scuffle, a security source said. “Unknown assailants torched the Saeh Library in Tripoli, destroying two thirds of some 80,000 books and manuscripts…

Analysis: Beyond sectarian conflict in Iraq 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Why violence in Anbar province goes beyond sectarian conflict

UK calls for Libya ‘murder’ probe 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – The UK government calls on Libyan authorities to conduct an investigation into the “murder” of a British man and New Zealand woman found dead on a beach in western Libya.

Deaths at Egypt Brotherhood protests 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Egypt’s health ministry says 11 people have died after pro-Muslim Brotherhood protesters clashed with police.

Shot Palestinian ‘dies of wounds’ 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – An 18-year-old Palestinian dies of his wounds a day after being shot in clashes with Israeli soldiers near the northern Gaza border, doctors say.

Ancient Egyptian brewer’s tomb found 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – The tomb of a brewer who served an ancient Egyptian court more than 3,000 years ago is discovered in the city of Luxor.

Dahiyeh Residents Blame Saudi for Recent Bombing 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – The bombing does not compare to the one in Roueiss, which was much more devastating and killed dozens of people. Thursday’s bomb was smaller by comparison, reportedly containing 20 kilograms of TNT. (Photo: Haytham El-Mousawi). The bombing does not compare to the one in Roueiss, which…

Milestone vote begins in Tunisia 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Tunisia’s national assembly begins voting on a long-delayed constitution with the hope it will be adopted by the third anniversary of the uprising.

Militants ‘still hold Iraq cities’ 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – Sunni militants linked to al-Qaeda are reportedly still in control of parts of two cities in western Iraq following days of fierce fighting.

Haret Hreik Bombing: Nothing Is Beyond Description 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Lebanese forensic experts and Army soldiers inspect the site of a car bomb that targeted Beirut’s southern suburb of Haret Hreik on January 03, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid). Lebanese forensic experts and Army soldiers inspect the site of a car bomb that targeted Beirut’s…

Four killed as clashes erupt in Egypt 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Men extinguish a police vehicle on fire on January 3, 2014 after it was torched by protesters using petrol bombs in the upscale Maadi neighborhood of Cairo, following clashes between supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, police and opponents. (Photo: AFP – Khaled Kamel) Men…

Lebanese Army Captures ‘Emir’ Behind Iran Embassy Attack 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – All emotions were present, so concretely that none of them are beyond description. Even anger was here, overcoming the men who were trying in vain to keep civilians away from the blast site to facilitate rescue efforts. (Photo: Haytham El-Mousawi). All emotions were present, so concretely…

Bahrain accuses Iran of training opposition militants 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Bahrain accused Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Friday of providing opposition militants with explosives training in order to carry out attacks in the Gulf kingdom, announcing that it had arrested five suspects. Bahrain is ruled by the Al-Khalifa dynasty, which has been in control for more than century….

Week In Photo (28 December – 3 January) 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Etibar Elchiyev poses with 53 metal spoons magnetized to his body during an attempt to break his own Guinness World Record for “Most spoons on a human body” in Tbilisi (Photo: Vano Shlamov – AFP) Etibar Elchiyev poses with 53 metal spoons magnetized to his body…

Syria: Aleppo Defeats Death With Theater 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Rebel fighters stand on top of a tank confiscated from pro-regime fighters in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on December 21, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Mohammed Al-Khatieb). Rebel fighters stand on top of a tank confiscated from pro-regime fighters in the northern Syrian city of…

Tunisia starts voting on new constitution 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – Three years after the revolution that sparked uprisings across the Arab world, Tunisia’s parliament began voting on Friday on a new constitution that will help put its turbulent progress to democracy back on track. Finishing the charter is a key step before a caretaker government takes…

DNA confirms identity of suspected Beirut suicide bomber 
Al-Akhbar News 3 Jan 2014 – A Lebanese woman walks on January 3, 2014 past the site of a car bomb that targeted Beirut’s southern suburb of Haret Hreik the day before. (Photo: AFP – Joseph Eid) A Lebanese woman walks on January 3, 2014 past the site of a car bomb…

The continuing evolution of Al-Qaeda 3.0 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – A revived al-Qaeda is effectively filling vacuums created by autocrats and failed reformist governments, who are planting the seeds for the next generation of recruits.

Ankara suspected of arming jihadists in Syria 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – Turkish security discovered a truck full of weapons en route to Syria, creating yet another controversy for the Erdogan government.

Israel ex-PM Sharon ‘deteriorates’ 
BBC 3 Jan 2014 – The condition of Israeli ex-PM Ariel Sharon – who has been in a coma since 2006 – shows “a slow and gradual deterioration”, doctors say.

What you should know about Turkey’s AKP-Gulen conflict 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – The recent AKP-Gulen split in Turkey has surprised many in the country and turned old allies into enemies.

Israel delays settlement bids during Kerry visit 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – For the duration of the US secretary of state’s latest visit, the Israeli government will avoid announcing new bids for settlement construction.

Israeli legislature battles over Jordan Valley 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – Labor Knesset member Hilik Bar has presented a bill against annexing any territories within Judea, Samaria and Gaza, heading off a proposed annexation of the Jordan Valley.

Ariel Sharon’s decisions shaped today’s Israel 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, the founding father of the settlements, realized one day that the burden of the occupations was far too big, and initiated the historic disengagement from Gaza.

Can Iran’s private banks make a difference? 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – The Iranian government will need to enact policies to support private banks for Iran’s private sector to grow in 2014.

Resolution of Anbar crisis requires security, political coordination 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – Baghdad must combine security and political efforts to bring an end to the current crisis involving al-Qaeda and the Sunnis in Anbar province.

Unregulated hunting threatens Iraqi bird populations 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – While Iraq has long enjoyed a rich heritage of hunting, modern techniques and a lack of regulation are severely diminishing certain native species and harming the environment.

All Arabs look to Egypt for hope 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – The Arab countries are stuck in bloody conflicts and only Egypt has the culture and history to be the Arabs’ inspiration for hope.

Israeli high-tech deals totaled $7.6 billion in 2013 
Al-Monitor 3 Jan 2014 – According to new data on Israeli high-tech deals in 2013, the average deal size for an Israeli startup stands at $170 million — the highest amount in the past decade.

VIDEO: Is this world’s most expensive soap? 
BBC 2 Jan 2014 – A Lebanese family-run business claims to have produced the world’s most expensive soap infused with gold and diamond powder.


Judenrein or Judaized? A false choice for the Temple Mount 
Nicholas Saidel, +972 Magazine 1/3/2014
The conflict over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount has been a sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for nearly 15 years. But as time goes on, it becomes clearer that the zero-sum game between Muslims and Jews is but a grim reflection of the reality of the occupation.
Imagine religious Jewish and Muslim pilgrims praying together at a shrine venerated by both communities. Imagine Jewish and Muslim custodians of the shrine working cooperatively to preserve the site and its religious artifacts, and to ensure that all who come for worship can do so freely and without fear for their safety. This may all sound surreal to those following the Temple Mount controversy which is once again simmering, yet this example of harmonious co-existence was the reality for many centuries during medieval times in places such as the Prophet Ezekiel’s shrine in Kifl, Iraq.
The Temple Mount, which was captured by Israel in the 1967 War yet is administered by the Islamic Jordanian Islamic Waqf, is arguably the holiest site in all of Judaism. It is the ground upon which the First and Second Temples – for over 1,000 years the epicenter of all Jewish life – once stood. For Muslims, the courtyard is called the Noble Sanctuary, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, both of which are interwoven into the tale of Muhammad’s night journey from Mecca to Jerusalem on his winged steed al-Buraq, and ultimately, his ascension to heaven. While Jews are allowed to tour the grounds of the Temple Mount, the Waqf has imposed a ban on Jewish prayer.
The crux of the current Temple Mount debate is two-fold: should Jews be given the right to pray on the Temple Mount; and what can be done to better protect and preserve Jewish artifacts on the Temple Mount? At first blush, it seems only fair to allow Jews to pray there and to allow Israeli archeologists to care for relics of religious significance. It is, after all, under Israeli control (for now) and Muslims are free to pray there – so why not Jews? Such bizarre circumstances leave one wondering why such ostensibly reasonable requests for equal access and religious rights have gone unmet? What is preventing a solution comparable to Kifl. more.. e-mail

Delegitimating Israel 
Andrew Levine, CounterPunch 1/3/2014
The Logic of Regime Change
Now that American and European saber rattling has quieted down, Iran’s (aspirational) nuclear weapon no longer seems quite the “existential threat” it used to be. For this, we have Russian and Iranian diplomacy to thank.
Of course, Israeli saber rattling continues unabated. Existential threats keep Israel’s Jewish citizens more or less united and its international supporters on board. The Iranian bomb is especially useful because, being spectral, it is safe as well as effective.
Existential threats to Israel work magic on public opinion throughout the global West. This makes it easier for Western governments, the American government especially, to provide Israel with diplomatic, military and economic support.
They are inclined to do this anyway of course, for both domestic political and geostrategic reasons. But the aid is indispensible, and the Israelis take no chances.
Existential threats also keep “charitable” donations flowing in from private Jewish and evangelical Christian sources.
Indeed, the great fear in Zionist quarters is that without the specter of an Iranian bomb or its functional equivalent, “diaspora” Jews will drift away and dispensationalist Protestants will be less eager than they now are to squander their time and money hastening the end days – when Jews who do not accept Christ will be cast into Hell for all eternity.
The diminution of the Iranian threat is not the only matter of concern to Israel’s leaders. There is also the no longer deniable fact that the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is gaining strength in the United States…. more.. e-mail

American movement for equal rights and justice in Palestine gains momentum 
Dr Sarah Marusek, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/22/2013
As the New Year approaches and we step back to reflect upon 2013, it becomes increasingly obvious that cracks are emerging in Israel’s most special relationship.
While the
occupation of Washington continues uncontested, more and more Americans are carving out other spaces of resistance that challenge the hegemony of the Zionist narrative and confront Israeli occupation and apartheid. These efforts are starting to rupture the deeply entrenched political and ideological frameworks that enable the US government to spend vast public resources to help Israel oppress the Palestinian people, without any public backlash.

There is still an extremely long way to go, but there is no doubt that Zionists in the US and Israel are beginning to see that the writing is indeed on the wall.
Last week, members of the American Studies Association (ASA) voted to endorse the boycott of Israeli academic institutions by a margin of two to one. While largely a symbolic move, the decision generated widespread media coverage debating the issue from both sides, with mainstream newspapers like the New York Times calling it a “milestone achievement” for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005.
The newspaper quoted a leading Israeli scholar who said: “It’s almost like a family betrayal… It’s very grave and very saddening that this [has happened], particularly so in the US.”
In response, Brandeis University and Penn State University at Harrisburg have withdrawn their membership of the ASA. Last month Brandeis also suspended its relationship with Al-Quds University after the Palestinian university’s condemnation of a student rally deemed offensive to Israelis was, well, not quite condemnatory enough…. more.. e-mail

Will Lebanon Survive in 2014? 
Franklin Lamb, Beirut, CounterPunch 1/3/2014
Should It?
Another week, another terrorist bombing. It’s beginning to look a lot like that here in Lebanon these days. Another apparent suicide bomber detonated a car rigged with explosives in the southern suburbs yesterday killing at least five people and injuring at least 77. The health ministry released a statement just a short while ago reporting that an additional 67 people were treated in hospitals for wounds and released, while 10 people remained hospitalized with more severe injuries.
Many who thought their team and its local and international supporters were invincible appear to be rethinking recent events. More are realizing that their enemies are also skilled and fearless fighters and not at all afraid to die for their religion, or related causes, and may well be growing in number as they view the results of their handiwork.
Yesterday’s explosion is the fourth bombing since last July in Beirut’s southern suburbs known as Dahiyeh. It targeted al-Arid Street two blocks almost directly behind the office of the Sabra-Shatila Scholarship Program (SSSP) near the old Al Manar building which re-located after being repeatedly bombed by US funded Israel forces in 2006. Some preliminary reports indicate that a 20 kilogram bomb was used in the explosion hidden and then detonated inside an olive green Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The latest information this morning comes from Hezbollah security guys who guard our building (and my motorcycle—bless them for both favors!) and who have been visibly present throughout Dahiyeh for the past six months, ever since the spate of neighborhood bombings began. People in South Beirut tend to believe that al-Qaeda-linked groups are responsible for this latest in a series of attacks and some point to the recent reports from UPI and other media that Al-Nusra leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani and Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have ordered their fighters specifically into Lebanon for the sole purpose of fighting and destroying Hezbollah.more.. e-mail

Last Palestinian family vows to remain as Israel gentrifies historic Haifa neighborhood
Electronic Intifada: 3 Jan 2014 – The Abbas family has lived in Haifa’s Wadi al-Siyah for more than 100 years. more..

Israel Aims to Silence Growing International Criticism with Texas A&M Deal in Nazareth
Dissident Voice: 3 Jan 2014 – Two months ago officials from Israel and Texas made an unexpected announcement, unveiling an ambitious plan to build in Israel the first branch of an American university, at a probable cost of $100 million. The greatest surprise of all was the location: Texas A&M University, one of the biggest in the US, is set to open its new campus in Nazareth, a town of 80,000 in the Galilee, home to the largest community of Christians in Israel and the unofficial capital of the country’s Palestinian minority. Israe
l hopes to accomplish several goals from the venture: silence international criticism for its having the highest levels of poverty and inequality among the advanced economies; drive a wedge further between Palestinian Christians and Muslims; stymie efforts by Palestinians in Israel to win educational autonomy; and strike a powerful blow against mounting pressure from the movement for an academic and cultural boycott. Since Israel’s…

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