VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 17 January 2014: The Imperator: Sharon's Catastrophic Legacy

17 January 2014 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Ban Ki-moon Launches Year Of Palestinian Solidarity
IMEMC – Israeli envoy angered General-Secretary of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, launched a new initiative on Thursday, calling 2014 a Palestinian Solidarity Year . According to the Palestinian News Network (PNN), Ban Ki-moon said that 2014 will be will be a crucial year for achieving a two-state solution, ending the occupation that was started in 1967, and establishing an independent Palestinian state which lives side by side with Israel. …

New Demolition Orders Served, Humanitarian Aid Seized
IMEMC – Israeli forces handed out 12 demolition orders, this Thursday, to Palestinians residing in the village of Sa’ir, in the southern al-Khalil hills close to Hebron. …

Australian FM Expresses Support To Israel s Illegitimate Settlements
IMEMC – Australian Foreign Minister said, in an interview with the Times Of Israel newspaper, that the international community should refrain from labeling Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal, and claimed that Israel has the right to build its settlements . …

Ma’an News

5 shot as Israeli forces disperse protests across West Bank
1/17/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured five Palestinian protesters with rubber-coated steel bullets and caused dozens more to suffer from excessive tear gas inhalation as they dispersed protests across the West Bank on Friday. The weekly protests against the Israeli occupation and separation wall were violently dispersed by Israeli forces in Bilin, al-Masara, Kafr Qaddam, and Tuqu. Bilin – In the village of Bilin in….

Israel troops open fire on Gaza protesters, 2 injured
1/17/2014 – GAZA CITY (AFP) — The Israeli army fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters near the border fence in the Gaza Strip on Friday, wounding two Palestinians, medics and an AFP correspondent said. Troops fired at some 300 demonstrators who were protesting against Israel’s destruction of farmland for its 300-meter buffer zone, the correspondent said. Two protesters were moderately wounded and taken….

6 Palestinian villagers injured as armed settlers attack Beit Ummar
1/17/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Six Palestinians, including a child, were injured in clashes that broke out after a group of Israeli settlers tried to raid Beit Ummar village near Hebron on Friday afternoon. Spokesman for the local popular resistance committee Mohammad Awad Ayyad said that Israeli forces attacked a funeral procession in the village as dozens of settlers, some armed, gathered near the graveyard. Settlers….

Israeli settlers farm on land confiscated from Palestinian village
1/17/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — Dozens of Israeli settlers accompanied by Israeli forces early Friday began farming on lands confiscated from Palestinian farmers in a village south of Hebron, a popular committee coordinator told Ma’an. Ratib al-Jbour said that the settlers began planting saplings on land that was confiscated from the village of al-Hathaleen. Approximately 150 dunams (37 acres) were confiscated months ago, he….

Clashes with Israeli forces spill onto Bethlehem main streets
1/17/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces spilled over onto Bethlehem’s Manger Street on Friday, after two weeks of daily confrontations in nearby Aida refugee camp. Local activist Salah Ajarma told Ma’an that clashes between protesters and Israeli forces took place in the area around Rachel’s Tomb on the main road leading through Bethlehem from….

Israeli forces injure 2, detain 3 in clashes east of Jerusalem
1/17/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured two Palestinian youths during clashes with protesters in Eizariya east of Jerusalem on Friday afternoon. During the clashes Israeli forces also detained three protesters after beating them severely, according to local activists. Hani Halabiyeh, a spokesman for the local popular resistance committee, said that clashes broke out at the Kabsa junction in Eizariya between local youths….

Israel PM complains of EU ‘hypocrisy’ on settlements
1/17/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the European Union Thursday for calling in ambassadors over plans for some 1,800 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu’s angry remarks come hot on the heels of a public spat between his defense minister and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who is energetically pushing Israel and the Palestinians toward…. Related:†Israel hits back at EU over settlement protest

White House intensifies political campaign for Iran deal
1/17/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House intensified efforts to placate political opposition to an interim Iran nuclear deal, as one influential Republican suggested delaying a vote on new sanctions until July. The Obama administration released an implementation agreement on the pact, which goes into force next week, to defuse claims it struck a secret back channel deal with Iran. Top US nuclear negotiator Wendy Sherman meanwhile….

Israel hits back at EU over settlement protest
1/17/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel called in European ambassadors in a tit-for-tat move Friday after four EU states lodged formal protests against the right-wing government’s drive to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the European Union of a “hypocritical” attitude toward the Middle East process, saying it should be more concerned by Palestinian militancy than Israeli housing…. Related:†Israel PM complains of EU ‘hypocrisy’ on settlements

On war criminals and heroes: The whitewashing of Ariel Sharon
1/17/2014 – Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant and the editor of PalestineChronicle. com. His latest book is “My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story.”- The death of former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon enlivened US media’s interest in the legacy of a man considered by many a war criminal, and by some a hero. In fact, the supposed….

Saadat re-elected as PFLP secretary general
1/17/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Ahmad Saadat was re-elected Friday as the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, with Abu Ahmad Fouad chosen as his deputy PFLP leader Rabah Mhanna told Ma’an that the leftist faction’s central committee and political bureau members were also elected after a seventh annual convention. Around half of the political bureau formation, which….

Hariri killing trial opens with Lebanon violence untamed
1/17/2014 – LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands (AFP) — The trial in absentia of four Hezbollah members accused of murdering former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri in 2005 opens at a UN-backed court on Thursday, with sectarian violence an undiminished threat at home. Nine years after the huge Beirut car bombing killed billionaire Hariri, leading to the exit of Syrian troops from Lebanon, and three years into Syria’s own bloody….

Syrian opposition meets to decide on peace talks
1/17/2014 – ISTANBUL (AFP) — The divided Syrian opposition will meet Friday in Istanbul to decide whether to join next week’s landmark peace talks, as its Arab and Western allies ratchet up the pressure for it to attend. On the eve of the National Coalition’s meeting, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a powerful plea to the exiled group to decide in favor….

Shells fired from Syria ‘kill 7’ in Lebanon town
1/17/2014 – BAALBEK, Lebanon (AFP) — Shells fired from war-torn Syria killed seven people, including five children, when they rained down on the Lebanese border town of Arsal on Friday, Lebanese officials said. The deaths came as at least 20 rockets and shells launched from Syria hit border areas in the eastern Lebanon Bekaa Valley, which has seen frequent violence related to the Syrian conflict.” Seven people were….

AlJazeera

Israel challenges EU anti-settlement stances
AlJazeera 17 Jan 2014 – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says four European states called over ‘one-sided’ view of settlement conflict.

Relief Web

World: Secretary-General to General Assembly: United Nations Should Not Have to Plead for Troops, Police, Assets While Victims of War and Poverty Suffer and Die
Relief Web 17 Jan 2014 – Source: UN General Assembly, UN Secretary-General Country: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, World, South Sudan (Republic of) SG/SM/15586 GA/11481 ORG/1577 Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon s remarks at an informal meeting…

Syrian Arab Republic: Impeding aid to besieged civilians in Yarmouk camp in Syria may amount to war crime Pillay
Relief Web 17 Jan 2014 – Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic GENEVA (17 January 2014) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay on Friday strongly condemned the repeated obstruction of convoys trying…

Syrian Arab Republic: How Much Longer?
Relief Web 17 Jan 2014 – Source: Foundation for Middle East Peace, American Near East Refugee Aid, UN Population Fund, War Child UK, Norwegian Refugee Council, UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs,…

occupied Palestinian territory: A fresh solution to Gaza’s water crisis
Relief Web 17 Jan 2014 – Source: UN Children’s Fund Country: occupied Palestinian territory By Catherine Weibel and Sajy Elmughanni Limited water supply in Gaza has long meant high prices and poor water quality for many residents, but the introduction of new desalination plants has brought…

The National

At least 16 dead, including foreigners, in Kabul attack
The National 17 Jan 2014 – Taliban claims responsibility for assault on eatery popular with foreign workers and affluent Afghans.

Obama puts curbs on US spying programmes
The National 17 Jan 2014 – US president says security agency will have to seek permission before searches of phone data and ends spying on foreign heads of state.

Syria offers Aleppo truce and prisoner swap ahead of peace talks
The National 17 Jan 2014 – Syrain foreign minister says offer is a sign of good faith ahead of peace talks in Switzerland next week, but opposition remains wary of attending.

Congress refusal to name PM candidate is to protect Rahul Gandhi
The National 17 Jan 2014 – More than following Congress tradition, Sonia Gandhi’s rejection of pleas to have her son Rahul named prime ministerial candidate is an attempt to distance him from the party’s failings, analysts say.

Suchitra Sen, India s Greta Garbo, dies aged 82
The National 17 Jan 2014 – Rich tributes paid to screen idol of Bengali and Hindi films who became a recluse after retiring in 1978.

Indian minister s wife found dead after Twitter adultery scandal
The National 17 Jan 2014 – Sunanda Pushkar’s body found in New Delhi hotel room two days after claims of adultery against her husband, India’s human resources minister Shashi Tharoor.

Sonia Gandhi refuses to bow to party pressure over Rahul PM nomination
The National 17 Jan 2014 – A day after she rejected a clamour within the Congress party to declare Rahul Gandhi as its choice for premier at polls due in May, Sonia Gandhi told followers there was no going back on the decision.

Israel summons European envoys after EU voices concerns about settler expansion
The National 17 Jan 2014 – Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called in the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain to stress to them that their perpetual one-sided stance against Israel and in favour of the Palestinians is unacceptable and creates the impression they are only seeking ways to blame Israel .

Ha’aretz

U.S. presses UNESCO on cancellation of Jews in Israel exhibit
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

The price of Ya’alon’s gaffe: U.S. to pressure Israel on Palestinians, Iran
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Lightning breaks finger off Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Russia steps up delivery of drones, guided bombs to Syria
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Obama bans eavesdropping on leaders of U.S. allies
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Between ’12 Years a Slave’ and Anne Frank: Steve McQueen sits down with Haaretz
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Saved from Saddam s basement, Jewish treasure trove to return to Baghdad
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

UN inspectors to visit Iran uranium mine off-limits since 2005
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Lapid: Tycoons should consult with economists, not rabbis
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

From the yeshiva to high-tech glory: Ex-Haredi Jews tell the tale
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Israeli radio host reined in after on-air jokes about Palestinians
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

UNESCO cancels Israel exhibit following Arab pressure
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Who left Raoul Wallenberg behind?
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Lieberman summons European envoys to Israel for censure
Ha’aretz – 17 Jan 2014

Sharon s way: force and deceit
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

There s no magic wand
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

Indict Rabbi Pinto
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

Israel Police rocked by second scandal involving sexual harassment
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

What Sharon and Rabin knew
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

Edith Zierer, Holocaust survivor saved by pope, dies
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

Nuclear researcher fired for connecting USB flash drive to work computer
Ha’aretz – 16 Jan 2014

Jerusalem Post

Nobel Prize winning professor announces run for president of Israel
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Israeli professor and scientist Daniel Shechtman, who teaches at the Israel Institute of Technology, won Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2011.†

Lebanon’s Hariri willing to share power with Hezbollah
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Former Lebanese PM Saad Hariri, currently in exile, says he is optimistic of deal that would unite Shi’ite and Sunni Muslim groups.†

Iran to have access to $4.2 billion in foreign exchange assets
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Iran has about $100 billion in assets all together; first phase of deal implementation, lifting some sanctions, to give access to limited portion.†

Report: Russia stepping up military aid to Syria’s Assad
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Sources say Russia supplied dozens of armored vehicles, drones and guided bombs to the embattled Syrian president.†

Syrian rocket fire on Lebanese border town kills 7
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Security sources say seven rockets hit field clinic, Syrian refugee camp around town of Arsal; 15 wounded.†

RCA says agreement reached with chief rabbinate
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Deal, which mandates automatic acceptance of RCA credentials, not formally signed yet; rabbinate refuses to comment.†

Netanyahu says if Rouhani agrees to recognize Israel, he would consider meeting him
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – In interview with Canadian TV, the prime minister says the Middle East is undergoing change and that many Arab states understand they are in league with Israel against Iran, Islamic radicalism.

IAEA inspectors to visit Iran uranium mine
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – UN to visit uranium mine January 29, as part of interim deal, Iran TV reports; this is the first int’l visit since 2005.†

Liberman summons European envoys to reprimand them over anti-Israel ‘bias’
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – FM calls upon British, French, Italian, Spanish envoys to rebuke them for coordinated EU move to condemn settlement construction.†

IAI joins the cyberwarfare race
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Director of cyber programs discusses role of intelligence in countering threats

UNESCO delays exhibit on Jewish ties to Land of Israel: It could harm peace process
Jerusalem Post 17 Jan 2014 – Wiesenthal Center: Delay confirms to the world that UNESCO is the official address of the Arab narrative in the Middle East.

Hillary Clinton mulled green light for Israeli strike on Iran
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – Former US secretary of state suggested exploring benefits of unilateral Israeli strike, according to Obama administration official.

White House: World security hinges on success of Iran nuclear deal
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – Obama administration outlines Geneva technical agreement between world powers, Islamic Republic.

Prosor: UN a tool of Palestinian propaganda
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – United Nations chief Ban launches “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinians,” calling for “viable, sovereign State of Palestine”.

Harper to be feted in Jerusalem when he arrives
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – Canadian prime minister to make first Israel visit, arriving Sunday; Harper to meet with Abbas Monday in Ramallah.

Ashdod to close unfortified schools following rockets
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – Southern coastal city decides to call off studies for some 3,500 students following recent rocket fire from Gaza on nearby areas.

Column One: The truth hurts
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – The only parties whose lot is improved by the Obama administration s Middle East policies are Iran, the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Savir’s Corner: Coexistence of narratives
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is viewed and defined as a long-lasting historical one. In reality, it s a century- long conflict, not so much about history, but rather about its interpretation.

My Word: Farmer, fighter, politician, pragmatist
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – Politics is like a wheel; sometimes you re up, sometimes you re down. The main thing is to stay on the wheel, Ariel Sharon used to say.

iEngage: Looking past the walls
Jerusalem Post 16 Jan 2014 – The phenomenon of Filipina caregiver Rose Fostanes winning X Factor Israel is a moment of pride for some Israelis.

The Guardian

Israel summons European envoys to protest at ‘support for Palestinians’
The Guardian 17 Jan 2014 – Envoys from UK, France, Italy and Spain are called in after countries summoned Israeli ambassadors over settlements Israel has summoned envoys from four European states to protest against their “one-sided” stand in favour of the Palestinians,…

Inter Press Service

Syrian Crisis Threatens Development in Arab World
IPS At the Kawrgosik Refugee Camp near Erbil, in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, more than 200,000 refugees from Syria are being hosted by the regional government. Credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS, Jan 17 2014 (IPS) The widespread sectarian violence and ongoing military conflicts in several political…

Uruknet

Israeli considerations in the Syrian arena
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – …The truth of the matter is that there is an inherent hostility on the part of Israeli officials towards the establishment of a democratic government in Damascus which could bring about a change in the strategic…

The Special Ops Surge America s Secret War in 134 Countries
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 -They operate in the green glow of night vision in Southwest Asia and stalk through the jungles of South America. They snatch men from their homes in the Maghreb and shoot it out with heavily armed militants…

CIA Enlists Lawmakers to Maintain Edge in Turf War, Keep Authority to Launch Drone Strikes
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014- President Barack Obama s reported plan to shift control of armed drone operations from the CIA to the Pentagon has apparently been disrupted by lawmakers who have stepped in to help the CIA stay in the killing…

Geneva II against the background of fake coexistence and real coercion
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 -… Thus, with US collusion, the priorities have changed and political discourse has been transformed…The aim, it seems, is to deplete the revolution and bring it to its knees and rehabilitate Assad. This is something that we…

Illegal settlers attacked a mosque in the village of Deir Istiya
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – In the early morning of Wednesday the 15th January 2014, at 3:45 AM, the muezzin of the Deir Istiya village went from his home to the Abu Bakr mosque west of the village in order to…

Gaza s economy shattered by Israeli siege
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 -A recent report by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in Gaza says the Israeli authorities have closed Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) checkpoint, the Gaza Strip s only commercial crossing, for 150 days, 41% of…

Journalists in Iraq: their freedoms obliterated by laws and policies while their lives are continually threatened!
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – During 2013 members of the press who were killed or injured in Iraq climbed to alarming numbers, while freedom of the press was smashed between the hammer of armed militias and the anvil of the government….

Video: Andy Worthington, Todd Pierce and Steven Reisner Discuss Guant·namo and Torture in New York, January 9, 2014
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – I ll be reporting more details soon about events in Washington D.C. on the 12th anniversary of the opening of the prison (on Saturday January 11), and about my subsequent stay in San Francisco and the…

In addition to the siege and massacre by starvation, barrel bombs kill civilians in Yarmouk Camp
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – Janaury 16, 2014- Helicopters belonging to the Syrian regime dropped barrel bombs on Yarmouk Camp today, 16th January 2014, killing at least eight civilians and injuring many more, with residents still looking for survivors under the rubble, using rudimentary tools….

Obama Lets Congress, But Not Public, in On Iran Deal Terms
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – The Obama Administration has finally released the text of the P5+1 implementation agreement, but only to members of Congress, and say they don t intend to ever allow the general public to see it. The implementation…

Israeli soldiers get “addicted to power” over Palestinians, says new book
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 –The Israeli military teaches its soldiers not to think about the consequences of their violent behavior against Palestinians, a new book states. In Soldiering Under Occupation (Berghahn), Erella Grassiani analyzes confessions collected by Breaking the Silence, a…

Israel to destroy another Haifa neighborhood, evict Palestinian residents
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 16, 2014 – An Israeli municipality plans to demolish al-Mahatta, a historic Palestinian neighborhood in Haifa. It will be replaced by the expansion of an existing railway, new housing units, nightclubs and restaurants, among other venues designed to bring…

Taliban statement Remarks of Spokesman of Islamic Emirate regarding false report by AP
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 15, 2014 -The western news outlet (AP) published a report on Saturday which stated that officials of The Islamic Emirate had met some members of the Kabul regime in Dubai and tried to somehow give authenticity to its piece…

Net Neutrality: RIP?
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 15, 2014 – Candidate Obama promised to “support the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.” President Obama did woefully little to do so. He s waged war on free expression. He…

Syria News – January 15, 2104 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 15, 2104 – By the end of Wednesday, the coordination committees were able to document 68 martyrs including 5 women, 4 martyrs under torture and 3 children: 35 martyrs were reporeted in Aleppo; 13 in Damascus and its suburbs;…

Iraq: Ninevah province may soon request autonomy
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 15, 2014 -Ninevah Gov. Athil al-Nujaifi warned about the repercussions of the clashes between the army and the security services on the one hand and the Iraqi Sunnis in the province of Ninevah on the other, saying that the…

Hunger, death stalk camp near Damascus “There are no more people in Yarmouk, only skeletons with yellow skin”
Uruknet 17 Jan 2014 – January 14, 2014 – Children, the elderly and others displaced by Syria s civil war are starving to death in a besieged camp where women brave sniper fire to forage for food just minutes from the relative prosperity of Damascus….

Daily Star

Migrant Community Center offers culinary tour
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 The dining scene in Beirut can be a bit monotonous how many more sushi restaurants and hipster burger diners can this city support?

Three killed in Egypt as police, Islamists clash: security
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 At least three people were killed in clashes in Egypt Friday as police dispersed protesters loyal to ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, security officials and the health ministry said.

Palestinian, Belgian films among Oscar nominees
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 The Academy Awards recognized tales of struggle, suffering and love in the foreign-language category Thursday, nominating five films from Europe, Asia and the Middle East, including a bluegrass-flavored Belgian drama and a tale of tragic romance…

Taliban kill 3 TV station staff in Pakistan
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 Taliban gunmen killed three men working for a private television station in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi on Friday, the station and the Islamist militant group said.

Egypt Islamists, police clash ahead of vote results
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 Clashes between Egyptian police and Islamists killed at least two people Friday, as the country awaited results of a constitutional referendum billed as a popular endorsement of President Mohammad Morsi s overthrow.

Russia steps up military lifeline to Syria’s Assad: sources
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 In recent weeks Russia has stepped up supplies of military gear to Syria, including armoured vehicles, drones and guided bombs, boosting President Bashar al-Assad just as rebel infighting has weakened the insurgency against him, sources with…

French 15-year-olds travel to Syria for jihad: father
Daily Star 17 Jan 2014 Two French 15-year-olds have left France to join Islamist militants in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of their fathers and the Toulouse prosecutor said on Friday.

YNet News

UN: Aid blockage in Syria could be a war crime
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – ….

France presidential advisor meets Hezbollah official in Beirut
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – ….

Kerry insists no place for Assad in Syria’s future
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – ….

Transcript: Obama’s full speech on NSA changes
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Full text of US President Obama s speech on National Security Agency data collection programs, as provided by White House….

Obama promises not to monitor heads of states, governments of friends and allies
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – After massive diplomatic debacle, Obama announces massive rehaul of NSA, promises not to ‘monitor communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.’ In bid to rebuild trust, he ‘instructed national security team to work with foreign counterparts to deepen coordination and cooperation’ ….

UN: Nuclear deal with Iran to cost $8.2 million
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – ….

Lebanon’s Hariri says could share power with Hezbollah
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Son of slain premier Rafik al-Hariri, whose assassination was widely blamed on Hezbollah, says he’s now ready to share power with rivals if that’s what it takes to help Lebanon ….

Syria: 7 killed as regime says it’s ready for cease-fire, prisoners swap
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Heavy battles raged between Syrian government forces and rebels near border with Lebanon as Syrian government say it is ready for cease-fire ….

‘Yitro’: The aroma of love†
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – The most important principle be human, lend a supporting hand, once in a while do good for those around you remains, perhaps rightly so, outside of the Ten Commandments, and it needs to be engraved into our hearts ….

Lapid: We need to get rid of the Palestinians
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Finance minister tackles numerous pressing issues in Tel Aviv event, says settlements should be funded until evacuated, rabbis should not meddle in issues unrelated to halacha, ‘his brother’ Bennett was demoted to ‘cousin’ ….

New bill seeks to expose MKs’ offshore bank accounts
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Following Globes report on Netanyahu’s bank account in Channel Islands, MK Merav Michaeli proposes exposing all offshore bank accounts held by public officials, says ‘while procedure is legal, it is proper for public to know about it’ ….

Heaven on earth or heaven and hell?
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – A life lived striving for a place in afterlife may miss opportunities to impact humanity positively while alive in physical form, resulting in missed opportunities for both individual and humanity ….

Ariel Sharon’s bad legacy
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Op-ed: We didn’t bid farewell to a charming private person, but to a military leader who sent soldiers to unnecessary wars and controversial prime minister ….

Lieberman fights back: Summons EU ambassadors for rebuke
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – After Israeli ambassadors to Britain, France, Italy, Spain were called for protest regarding West Bank construction, Israeli FM summons ambassadors from same countries to be reprimanded in Jerusalem over ‘biased, unbalanced’ stance ….

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels claim responsibility for Lebanon blast
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Suicide car bombing in Lebanon kills three, injures over 40. Al-Qaeda affiliated group claims credit for attack ….

Gaza’s teens prepare for battle with Israel
YNet News, 17 Jan 2014 – Hamas trains its youth for next fight against Israel with teen boot camp teaching how to shoot rifles, crawl under barbed wire, jump through burning tires. ‘Will know how to overcome Israeli army’ says 15-year-old student ….

Drugs and dreams of paradise: Hezbollah and al-Qaeda in Syria
YNet News, 16 Jan 2014 – Analysis: Drugs and radical religious indoctrination go together a little too well in Syria’s true battle over the hearts and minds of young men enlisted to join ranks of radical al-Qaeda inspired groups. Dr. Yaron Friedman analyzes the rise to power of Hezbollah and new al-Qaeda-linked group, claiming they pose a bigger threat than the Syrian conflict itself ….

Palestinian Information Center

Jewish settler assaults two Palestinian kids in Yabud town
PIC – A Jewish settler physically assaulted two Palestinian minors from Yabud town, south of Jenin, and threatened to kill them during their presence near the illegal settlement Hermesh.

IOA releases minister Abu Arafa and MP Totah
PIC – The Israeli occupation authorities released on Thursday evening the former Minister of Jerusalem Khaled Abu Arafa and MP Mohammed Totah from the city of Jerusalem after 24 months in detention.

Hamas warns of Israeli plan to grab lands surrounding Ibrahimi Mosque
PIC – The Hamas movement warned of the occupation authorities’ intention to seize lands surrounding the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of al-Khalil.

Report: Israel increases use of torture in interrogation centers
PIC – The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) escalated its violation of international laws and human rights conventions in its jails and interrogation centers, human rights report said.

Sit-in in Jerusalem in support of Yarmouk refugee camp
PIC – Dozens of people have staged a sit-in in occupied Jerusalem on Thursday at the Red Cross headquarters in support of Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.

Captive leader Ibrahim Hamid ends his hunger strike
PIC – The committee of Hamas prisoners announced that captive leader Ibrahim Hamid has ended his hunger strike, which lasted 8 days in protest at his transference to an isolation cell in Ohli Kedar jail.

IOF arrests two Palestinian boys from al-Khalil at dawn Friday
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) arrested at dawn Friday two Palestinian boys near the town of Yatta, south of al-Khalil southern the occupied West Bank.

PA forces arrest two university students
PIC – The PA security forces continued arrest campaign against Hamas’ supporters and cadres in the West Bank, arresting two university students in al-Khalil and extended the detention of another one.

Settlers storm Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
PIC – Hundreds of Jewish settlers broke into Joseph’s Tomb Friday morning in Nablus under heavy Israeli military protection to perform rituals.

Hamas: The Nablus shooting incident a “natural reaction” to the settlers’ crimes
PIC – Hamas said that the shooting of an Israeli settler’s car on Wednesday in Nablus was a natural response to the daily violations committed by Israeli soldiers and settlers against the Palestinians.

Misc

Syria proposes cease-fire ahead of peace talks
LA Times 17 Jan 2014 – Kerry reacts with skepticism to the initiative outlined in Russia. Opposition is still wavering on whether to go to Switzerland. BEIRUT With the U.S.-backed opposition mired in disputes, Syria’s government on Friday proposed a limited cease-fire, a prisoner swap and measures to speed aid…

Israeli settlement expansion plans set off diplomatic row
LA Times 17 Jan 2014 – JERUSALEM — The foreign minister of Israel summoned the ambassadors of four European nations Friday to complain about what Israel sees as their countries’ pro-Palestinian bias.

Syrian government submits plan for truce, prisoner swap
LA Times 17 Jan 2014 – BEIRUT — The Syrian government Friday said it had presented plans to its Russian allies for a cease-fire in the northern city of Aleppo and an exchange of prisoners with the opposition in advance of peace talks next week in Switzerland.

Nuclear Deal Sets Off Many Feelers Toward Iran
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – With sanctions scheduled to ease soon, potential investors from Europe are meeting with Iranian officials, but no one seems near to sealing a deal.

U.S. Chides UNESCO for Putting Jewish Exhibit on Hold
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – The United States on Friday criticized UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural arm, for postponing an exhibition about Jews and the Holy Land due to complaints from Arab member states.

The Lede: Twitter Suspends Hamas Accounts
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – The accounts were used by the militant wing of the Palestinian government to directly communicate with the Israel Defense Forces during at 2012 bombing campaign.

Nuke Agency: Iran Monitoring to Cost $6 Million
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – The U.N. nuclear agency estimates that monitoring Iran’s compliance with terms of the nuclear deal Tehran reached with six world powers will cost $6 million (4.4 million euros.)

At Least Four Killed in Clashes Across Egypt
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – At least four people were killed as clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and police flared up across Egypt on Friday, security sources said.

French 15-Year-Olds Travel to Syria for Jihad: Father
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – Two French 15-year-olds have left France to join Islamist militants in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of their fathers and the Toulouse prosecutor said on Friday.

Syria Proposes Cease-Fire in Aleppo
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – The proposal appeared to be an effort by the government to show good faith before a peace conference next week aimed at ending Syria s civil war.

Cameraman Freed in Egypt Says Authorities Mistook Him for Jazeera Staff
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – An Egyptian cameraman arrested this week filming for the Associated Press (AP) was released on Friday, the news agency said, adding that authorities appeared to have mistaken him for an employee of Al Jazeera television.

Clashes Between Troops and Tribe in Yemen Kill 5
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – Military and security officials in Yemen say fighting in the country’s south between the army and tribesmen has killed five people.

Case Against Hariri Bomb Suspects Gives No Motive: Defense
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – Lawyers for four suspects accused of a 2005 bomb blast that killed Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others accused prosecutors on Friday of relying on circumstantial evidence and of having established no motive for the attack.

The Lede: A.P. Cameraman Released on Bail in Egypt
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – An Egyptian cameraman who was arrested this week while covering the constitutional referendum in Egypt for The Associated Press was released on bail on Friday.

Israel Summons 4 Envoys With Complaints About Bias
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – The Foreign Ministry told ambassadors from France, Britain, Italy and Spain that their countries had shown bias in favor of the Palestinians.†

Lebanon’s Hariri Says Could Share Power With Hezbollah
New York Times 17 Jan 2014 – Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri says he is now ready to share power with his rivals Hezbollah if that’s what it takes to help Lebanon finally form a government after nine months of political deadlock.

Cary Nelson, the AAUP, and the privilege of bestowing academic freedom
Mondoweiss – Cary Nelson (photo: Don LaVange ) One of the most prominent US voices against the academic boycott of Israel is Cary Nelson, professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2006 to 2012, Nelson served as the president of the American Association of University…

Guard the state, no surrendering to Kerry right-wing Israeli campaign
Mondoweiss – Under the photo of John Kerry is the word against in green and under Menachem Begin, for. †In green it says, A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty. Then follows (which is not in the above image) a Begin quote: Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel,…

New film group to fund alternative narratives that change US understanding of ME
Mondoweiss – Men in Flames, a historical image featured at Fajr Falestine s site A group of filmmakers has launched an initiative to make more movies about Palestine and change the American narrative. It s called the Fajr Falestine fund , and seeks to raise funds for experimental narratives about the…

While you were neutral about Yarmouk
Mondoweiss – Ruined buildings in the Yarmouk refugee camp, summer 2013. (Photo: Reuters) While you were insisting on neutrality about Yarmouk, the Syrian regime dropped barrel bombs on it. Mohammad Al Far. Husam Abo Ahmad. Mohammad Tafori. Mohammad Suhaib Al Qides. Ala a Fr’j. These men are all dead. Mohammad…

Eric Alterman declines request to debate Max Blumenthal at Brooklyn College
Mondoweiss – Columnist and author Eric Alterman. (Photo: Center for American Progress/Flickr) Brooklyn College professor and Nation columnist Eric Alterman has declined to debate author Max Blumenthal over the question, What would a just settlement of the Israel/Palestine issue be, and how can it be brought about? This…

When a Jew gets 5/3 of a vote&
Mondoweiss – Kleiman Mark Kleiman, a UCLA Professor of Public Policy, is against the lunatic warmongering Iran sanctions bill, and good for him. He’s a blogger, and started a post for the Washington Monthly : If you re a constituent of, or a contributor to, [he named the 16 Democratic…

Elephant waddles through room. NYT doesn t see it
Mondoweiss – African landscape. Savannah, trees, mountains and cumulus clouds, foregrounded by red dirt road typical to sub-Sahara area. An especially-tubby elephant is waddling around the living room in today s New York Times article about the Senate bill to increase sanctions on Iran just as the U.S. is…

In Syria, few conciliatory signs as peace talks loom
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – Absence of overtures in Damascus, as peace talks near

Israel Rabbinate Reaches ‘Historic’ Deal With American Orthodox
The Foward Breaking News 17 Jan 2014 – The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has reached an agreement with the main American Orthodox rabbinical association to automatically accept letters from council members vouching for the Jewish status of Israeli immigrants. Click here for the rest of the article…

Nuremberg Trial Flea Market Trove Headed for Chabad Center
The Foward Breaking News 17 Jan 2014 – Documents from the Nuremberg Trials recently found in a flea market in Israel are to go on display at the Chabad Jewish Educational Center in Berlin. Click here for the rest of the article…

Morocco: HM the King Holds Private Meeting With President of the State of Palestine
allAfrica.com†17 Jan 2014 – [MAP]Marrakech -HM King Mohammed VI held on Friday a private meeting with President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas.

VIDEO: ‘Time to stop this hypocrisy’
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the EU of pro-Palestinian bias in criticising plans to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Why are congressional Democrats considering new Iran sanctions?
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – Is Congress wrong to want more pressure on Iran?

Israel berates ‘pro-Palestinian EU’
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – Israel summons the ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain to accuse their countries of hypocritical pro-Palestinian bias .

Filipina ‘X Factor’ Sensation Rosa Fostanes Can Only Work as Caregiver in Israel
The Foward Breaking News 17 Jan 2014 – Rose Fostanes, the Filipina caregiver who won Israel s X Factor, better not give up her day job yet. Click here for the rest of the article…

UN ‘Jewish Israel’ Show Scrapped After Arabs Complain
The Forward Breaking News 17 Jan 2014 – Complaints by Arab states led the United Nation s cultural arm, UNESCO, to cancel the opening of an exhibition on the Jewish presence in the land of Israel. Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel’s ‘Restrictions’ on Palestinian Academics Under Fire But What Is Truth?
The Forward New 17 Jan 2014 – Israel took flak at recent academic conferences over its supposed harassment of academics at Palestinian universities. But are the claims true? Click here for the rest of the article…

STL defense dismisses prosecution’s “circumstantial” evidence
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – The defense counsel of four Hezbollah members accused of planning the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri dismissed evidence presented by the prosecution over Thursday and Friday as unverifiable “observations.” Prosecutors offered nothing new during their opening arguments, the defense team said at…

Blocking aid to Yarmouk camp may be war crime: UN rights chief
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – Syria’s repeated obstruction of aid convoys to the besieged Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus might be considered a war crime, UN rights chief Navi Pillay said Friday. “Impeding humanitarian assistance to civilians in desperate need may amount to a war crime,” Pillay, the UN…

Week In Photo (11 January- 17 January)
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – An Egyptian woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote at a polling station during the second day of voting on a new constitution (Photo: AFP / STR) An Egyptian woman shows her ink-stained finger after casting her vote at a polling station during the second…

Syrian National Coalition under pressure to decide on peace talks
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – Members of the external Syrian opposition, the Syrian National Coalition, gathered in Istanbul on Friday to vote on whether to attend peace talks next week with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, under heavy pressure from Western backers to endorse negotiations. With just five days to go, the…

Who Pulls the Strings of the Islamic Front s Shura Council?
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – A member of jihadist group Al-Nusra Front stands in a street of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Baraa Al-Halabi). A member of jihadist group Al-Nusra Front stands in a street of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on…

Lebanon: Hermel Attack Missed Its Target
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – A pictures shows the aftermath of a car bomb explosion which went off the previous day in front of the main government administration building in Hermel, a stronghold of Lebanon’s Hezbollah near the border with Syria, on January 17, 2014. (Photo: AFP – STR). A pictures…

Israeli forces open fire on Gaza protesters, two wounded
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – The Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters near the border fence in the Gaza Strip on Friday, wounding two Palestinians, medics and an AFP correspondent said. Occupation forces fired at some 300 demonstrators who were protesting against Israel’s destruction of farmland for…

Pro-Mursi protester killed in police confrontation
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – At least one person was killed in clashes in Egypt Friday as police attacked protesters who support ousted Islamist president Mohammed Mursi, security officials said. Police clamped down on protests in several cities, firing tear gas at the Islamists who aimed fire works at the riot…

The Rash Verdict
Al-Akhbar Opinion 17 Jan 2014 – Saad Hariri is attending the trial in absentia of four Hezbollah members accused of assassinating his father in a massive car bomb explosion in downtown Beirut on February 14, 2005. (Photo: AFP – Jan Hennop). Saad Hariri is attending the trial in absentia of four Hezbollah…

Prosecution: Assassins anticipated Hariri’s fateful route
Al-Akhbar News 17 Jan 2014 – Prosecutor Norman Farrell of Canada takes notes on the first day of the delayed trial into the murder of former Lebanese Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague on January 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Toussaint Kluiters) Prosecutor Norman Farrell…

Syria proposes prisoner exchange
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – The Syrian government says it is ready to offer a prisoner exchange with rebels, as the opposition meets to discuss attendance at peace talks.

How Syria sank into all-out civil war
BBC 17 Jan 2014 – How the Syrian war has come to last so long

VIDEO: Where religious hostility is on the rise
BBC 16 Jan 2014 – Middle East shows ‘sharpest rise’ in religious hostilities

The Story of Two Armenians Arrested by ISIS
Al-Akhbar Politics 16 Jan 2014 – Opposition fighters prepare to storm the headquarters of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in the Bab al-Neirab neighbourhood of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on January 7, 2014.(Photo: AFP – Medo Halab). Opposition fighters prepare to storm the headquarters…

Iran: Is Bread Connected to the Nuclear Agreement?
Al-Akhbar Politics 16 Jan 2014 – An Iranian couple takes photographs on the shore of the Chitgar lake in western Tehran on December 20, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Atta Kenare). An Iranian couple takes photographs on the shore of the Chitgar lake in western Tehran on December 20, 2013. (Photo: AFP -…

Prosecution: Hariri’s killers stalked him for months
Al-Akhbar Politics 15 Jan 2014 – Prosecutor Norman Farrell of Canada takes notes on the first day of the delayed trial into the murder of former Lebanese Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague on January 16, 2014. (Photo: AFP / POOL – Toussaint Kluiters) Prosecutor Norman…

Articles


Of negotiations and high treason: Israel-Palestine peace
Susan Abulhawa, Al Jazeera 1/16/2014
The corrupt PA is incapable of achieving the dignity of Palestinian self-determination.
No good for Palestinians will come of the current Middle East talks. Worse, harm seems likely. These negotiations threaten to undo years of work by Palestinian civil society and solidarity partners around the world who have been working tirelessly for a just peace. Their work has been done -principally- through global nonviolent resistance campaigns such as the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions campaign (BDS), the Russell Tribunal, and mounting popular local and international protests, among other tactics.
What we are hearing is that US Secretary of State John Kerry has presented both parties with an interim agreement to “serve as a framework for continued negotiations towards a permanent agreement”. The “final status agreement” would be “based on the 1967 borders”. Concrete concessions with profound implications are being demanded of the Palestinians, but not so for Israel, which is “negotiating” on territory, rights, and resources that already belong to Palestinians.
Much of this rhetoric is familiar, as it is recycled from the failed Oslo Accords, in which an agreement was reached exacting permanent Palestinian concessions in exchange for promises of Israeli reciprocity that never materialised. Thus, Palestinians are now being sold the same lie they bought 20 years ago. This time, the concessions demanded of Palestinians amount to a complete relinquishment of our rights as a native people, in exchange for the same empty promises and pocket change from the EU and US to sustain the status quo a little longer, enough time to permanently alter the landscape and complete the economic, political and social engineering of the Palestinian population towards the goal of permanent impotence, in which profound divisions, corruption, and dependence preclude the emergence of organised impactful resistance.†more..e-mail

The Israeli Imperator
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch†1/17/2014
The Real Sharon
In the middle of the 70s, Ariel Sharon asked me to arrange something for him a meeting with Yasser Arafat.
A few days before, the Israeli media had discovered that I was in regular contact with the leadership of the PLO, which was listed at the time as a terrorist organization.
I told Sharon that my PLO contacts would probably ask what he intended to propose to the Palestinians. He told me that his plan was to help the Palestinians to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy, and turn Jordan into a Palestinian state, with Arafat as its president.
What about the West Bank? I asked.
Once Jordan becomes Palestine, there will no longer be a conflict between two peoples, but between two states. That will be much easier to resolve. We shall find some form of partition, territorial or functional, or we shall rule the territory together.
My friends submitted the request to Arafat, who laughed it off. But he did not miss the opportunity to tell King Hussein about it. Hussein disclosed the story to a Kuwaiti newspaper, Alrai, and that s how it came back to me.
Sharon s plan was revolutionary at the time. Almost the entire Israeli establishment including Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Defense Minister Shimon Peres believed in the so-called Jordanian option : the idea that we must make peace with King Hussein. The Palestinians were either ignored or considered arch-enemies, or both.more..e-mail

Theses on Zionism
Harry Clark, CounterPunch†1/17/2014
A Response to Joseph Massad’s Theses on Zionism
This is a response to Joseph Massad s Theses on Zionism in Electronic Intifada on December 9, 2013.
I.
In pre-modern times, Jews lived in separate communities, governed by their religious authorities, with corporate rights and obligations, determined by royal or aristocratic authority. The Enlightenment and emancipation ended the subjugation of west European Jews to Judaic authorities, and to gentile regulation. Jews were admitted, gradually but inevitably, to full citizenship in their states of residence, equal to their fellow citizens. The US was created on a modern, liberal basis, with no trace of pre-modern Jewish status. Anti-semitism existed but liberalism was the pr
evailing trend before World War I. In modern terms, Jews became a religious minority, or secular citizens. Jews embraced modernity whole-heartedly. Western Jews became some of its leading proponents; east European Jews emigrated by the million from oppressed, traditional societies to the US.

II.
Zionism was a response not only to anti-Semitism but to liberal modernity. Zionism opposed the assimilation and integration of Jews, and held that anti-Semitism was irrevocable and natural. The Jews comprise a distinctive element among the nations under which they dwell, and as such can neither assimilate nor be readily digested by any nation. We must give up contending against these hostile impulses [anti-Semitism]. Resistance is a waste of time and energy. The civil and political emancipation of the Jews is not sufficient to raise them in the estimation of the peoples. The proper, the only solution, is in the creation of a Jewish nationality, of a people living upon its own soil, the auto-emancipation of the Jews; their return to the ranks of the nations by the acquisition of a Jewish homeland. (Leon Pinsker, Auto-emancipation) more..e-mail

Kerry s Quest for an Israel-Palestinian Peace: What You First Need to Know
Scott Mcconnell, The American Conservative†1/3/2014
The early reports from John Kerry s latest trip to the Mideast, to try to breathe life into the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, are unpromising. Few informed observers expected otherwise. Prime Minister Netanyahu treated Kerry to a lecture on the savagery of the Palestinians who would celebrate the freeing of prisoners accused of committing acts of terror. I assume Kerry did not remind Netanyahu that Israel has elected two former terrorists as its prime ministers. Foreign Policy today ran an interesting book excerpt on Israeli terrorism and the British intelligence services. In the immediate post war period, when Britain lacked coal and food, Zionist terrorism was perceived by British intelligence as its primary threat.
These are atmospherics: Netanyahu wishes to signal to his cabinet and supporters that no serious negotiations will be forthcoming, that they need not worry, Greater Israel is in good hands. Kerry will look for any faint sign that the continuation of ongoing negotiations are not, as they have been for more than twenty years, a cover under which Israel can proceed with colonizing the West Bank and a slow motion ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem.
Required reading for any attempt to understand the what is at stake in the negotiations is the work of Jerome Slater, a SUNY-Buffalo professor who has written perhaps a dozen methodical, careful, footnote-rich essays on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His work is a model of how much one can do with a scholarly temperament and wide and careful reading in freely available English sources. One always comes away from a Slater essay enriched whether it is a topic one thought one understood (the failure of Oslo Camp David negotiations) or knew little about (the nearly successful Israeli-Syrian negotiations of the early 1990’s).
I recently read What Went Wrong: The Collapse of the Israeli Palestinian Peace Process, which appeared (behind a firewall) in Political Science Quarterly in the summer of 2001. (The essay is available online to subscribers and those with access to various academic data bases). I ve not seen anywhere a more careful and substantial debunking of the main talking points of Israeli hasbara…. more..e-mail

Backlash against boycotting Israel’s universities reeks of hypocrisy
Electronic Intifada: 17 Jan 2014 – Supporters of Israeli apartheid feign concern for the oppressed. more..

In new book, Palestinians, Israeli Jews reflect on history of ethnic cleansing
Electronic Intifada: 17 Jan 2014 – The fundamental premise of Zionism is the understanding, rooted in a traumatic past, of Jews as ongoing victims of outside aggression, says a new book. more..

The Imperator: Sharon’s Catastrophic Legacy
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jan 2014 – By Uri Avnery In the middle of the 70s, Ariel Sharon asked me to arrange something for him a meeting with Yasser Arafat. A few days before, the Israeli media had discovered that I was in regular contact with the leadership of the PLO, which was listed at the time as a terrorist organization. I told Sharon that my PLO contacts would probably ask what he intended to propose to the Palestinians. He told me that his plan was to help the Palestinians to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy, and turn Jordan into a Palestinian state, with Arafat as its president. What about the West Bank? I asked. Once Jordan
becomes Palestine, there will no longer be a conflict between two peoples, but between two states. That will be much easier to resolve. We shall find some form of partition, territorial or functional, or we shall rule the territory together. …
more

America s Israeli Senators : Iran is Not Yet off the Hook
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jan 2014 – By Dr. Ludwig Watzal Neoconservatives and Zionist lobbyists from the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and their allies on Capitol Hill driven by the right-wing Israeli government are trying everything to sabotage the agreement between Iran and the five UN Security Council members plus Germany. This unholy alliance tries to drag the Obama administration into another Middle Eastern war. These lobbyists have raised the stakes so high that Iran s only alternative to war would be unconditional surrender. After the Iranian government has agreed to normalize its relations with the West, US extremists demand not only a continuation but a tightening of the sanctions screw. The newly introduced Menendez-Kirk Iranian Sanctions Bill (S. 1881) can be seen as a roadmap to war with Iran. The Democrat Menendez and the Republican Kirk seem both on the payroll of AIPAC; they receive campaign money that makes them susceptible to a particular policy….more

Palestinian Film Nominated for Oscar
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jan 2014 – Palestinian film, Omar, has been nominated for an Oscar, making it the second-ever film from Palestine to compete for the prestigious film award. The nomination came on Thursday morning when it was announced that it will contest in the best foreign language film category and will go up against Italy s The Great Beauty, which has already won a Golden Globe award. Other films vying for the award are The Broken Circle Breakdown from Belgium, Denmark s The Hunt, and Cambodia s The Missing Picture. The film s director, Hany Abu-Assad, told Al Jazeera that his film has the potential to help the world understand Palestine. It is an example of the kind of attention for a film from a certain area to bring further attention to the rest of the area it belongs to. Like Iran in recent years where people did not know much about the Iranian cinema or the narrative of…more

Iraq: Devastating Dossier Alleging British War Crimes Lodged with ICC
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jan 2014 – By Felicity Arbuthnot London A devastating two hundred and fifty page document: The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003-20083 , has been presented to the International Criminal Court, and could result in some of Britain s leading defense figures facing prosecution for systematic war crimes the (London) Independent on Sunday has revealed . The dossier charges that: those who bear the greatest responsibility for alleged war crimes include individuals at the highest levels of the British Army and political system. Among those named, states the Independent, are two former Defense Ministry supremos, Geoff Hoon and Adam Ingram, Defense Secretary and Minister of State for the Armed Forces, respectively, under Tony Blair s premiership, during the planning and invasion of Iraq and for most of the UK s occupation. General Sir Peter Wall, head of the British Army is also named. Shocking allegations have been compiled…more

How Not to Be in Solidarity with Palestinian Refugees in Yarmouk?
Palestine Chronicle: 17 Jan 2014 – By Omar Shaban Statements of solidarity with Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk are emerging one after the other. Albeit very late as it took some groups 200 days to assemble the courage to announce to the world that they are aware of the crisis that has befell the camp. However, what is characteristic and outrageous in these statements is the evident lack of any willingness to hold the Assad regime accountable for this inhumane siege and premeditated starvation of the refugees. For example, the US Palestinian Community Network issued a statement that expresses great concern regarding the escalating crisis. Logically, an expression of great concern must be accompanied with an examination into why does one express concern about a thing or an event. Something somewhere must have happened to trigger an emotional and intellectual exercise of concern, and this something must be elucidated very clearly. In the case of the Yarmouk…more

Israel: Divide-and-Conquer in Nazareth?
Dissident Voice: 17 Jan 2014 – Mounting efforts by Israel to divide its large Palestinian minority along sectarian lines have heightened fears that the Biblical city of Nazareth may be about to return to the scenes of violent clashes witnessed 15 years ago. Tensions in the city, the hometown of Jesus and a destination for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, have risen sharply in recent months after the Israeli government unveiled plans to encourage Christian school leavers to serve in the military. Although Nazareth and its surrounding villages are home to the bulk of Israel s 130,000 Palestinian Christians, the city itself has a Muslim majority. The local leadership has accused the government of Benjamin Netanyahu of pursuing a colonial policy of divide and rule towards the country s 1.5 million Palestinian citizens, who comprise one-fifth of the populat
ion. Netanyahu is playing a very dangerous game, seeking to inflame tensions so that he can pit Christians…
more

More material available from Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel – www.vtjp.org
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