VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 22 January 2014

22 January 2014 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Dozens Of Students Injured At Al-Quds University
IMEMC – [Wednesday, January 22, 2014] Palestinian medical sources have reported that dozens of students have been injured at Al-Quds University, in Abu Dis town of occupied East Jerusalem, after dozens of Israeli soldiers invaded it. …

Soldiers Demolish Residential, Agricultural Structures, Near Tubas
IMEMC – [Wednesday, January 22, 2014] Dozens of Israeli soldiers have invaded a Palestinian community northeast of Tubas, in the central West Bank, demolishing agricultural and residential structures. …

Child Seriously Injured By Bomb Dropped By The Army
IMEMC – [Wednesday, January 22, 2014] Palestinian medical sources have reported that that a Palestinian child suffered serious injuries after a bomb, dropped by Israeli soldiers during training, exploded in his hands, in the Jordan Valley. …

Abu Rodeina Denounces Israeli Decision To Build 381 Units
IMEMC – [Tuesday Evening, January 21, 2014] Palestinian Presidency spokesperson Nabil Abu Rodeina denounced a recent Israeli plan to build an additional 381 units of illegal Jewish settlements in occupied East Jerusalem. …

Two Palestinians Kidnaped In Jenin, One In Ramallah
IMEMC – [Tuesday Evening, January 21, 2014] Israeli soldiers kidnapped two Palestinians at a military roadblock, near the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and one near the central West Bank city of Ramallah. …

Ma’an News

Settlers uproot hundreds of trees near Ramallah
1/22/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers uprooted over 600 recently planted olive and almond saplings in a village north of Ramallah on Wednesday, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a group of settlers from Givat Ariel and Maale Levona uprooted newly planted saplings in the village of Sinjil….

Foundation: Israeli excavations in Silwan demolish Islamic antiquities
1/22/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli excavations at the entrance to Wadi Hilweh in the Silwan neighborhood are destroying deep-rooted Islamic antiquities from the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphate eras, says a Palestinian Jerusalem-based group. The Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage highlighted in a statement that previous excavations adjacent to the area had demolished an Islamic cemetery from the Abbasid era.”The Israeli occupation has started….

Hamas lawmaker on hunger strike to protest detention
1/22/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hamas-affiliated lawmaker Sheikh Yasser Mansour entered his sixth day on hunger strike Wednesday to protest being detained without trial by Israel since November 2012. Yasser Mansour started hunger strike action on Friday in Israel’s Negev prison and is also refusing to take medicine, his brother Samir told Ma’an. Mansour, 47, was detained on Nov. 24, 2012, after….

Israeli forces raid Abu Dis campus, clash with students
1/22/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces raided the Abu Dis campus of Al-Quds University on Wednesday and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at students, witnesses said. Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that clashes began after Israeli soldiers positioned themselves in front of the main entrance to the university and began stopping students and asking for their identity cards. Israeli forces then began firing multiple….

Watchdog: Israel plans 261 settler homes deep in West Bank
1/22/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel on Wednesday moved forward with plans for 261 new homes in two settlements located deep in the occupied West Bank, a watchdog said, drawing strong European condemnation. It was the fifth such move in just over two weeks and raised to 2,791 the number of new settler homes announced since the start of the year, threatening to derail faltering US-brokered peace talks….

Egyptian army destroys tunnels, arrests suspected militants
1/22/2014 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) — The Egyptian army on Tuesday destroyed four smuggling tunnels on the Gaza border in a new military campaign, security sources said. The sources said that three tunnels were destroyed in the al-Shalafa area and a fourth in al-Duhniya area. Egyptian forces also arrested three suspected militants who allegedly had grenades with them. They also arrested a suspected militant in al-Sakaska….

Mourners bury 2 Palestinians after remains held 12 years in Israel
1/22/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinian mourners on Wednesday gathered for the funerals of two Palestinians whose remains had been held in Israel for more than 12 years, a Ma’an reporter said. A military funeral procession carried the remains of Fathi Ameera from nearby Rafedia Hospital to a cemetery in eastern Nablus, where he was buried. Samahna’s remains were taken….

Abbas to visit Russia Thursday
1/22/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Russia on Thursday and meet with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. A statement from the Kremlin said that Abbas and Russian officials would discuss bilateral relations between Palestine and Russia as well as the political situation in the Middle East. Abbas will also meet with Christian and Muslim representatives. [END]

Islamic Jihad: Hamas asked officials to maintain ceasefire
1/22/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas recently contacted officials in the Islamic Jihad movement to ensure the group observed the terms of a ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt in November 2012. Jihad spokesperson Daoud Shihab told Ma’an that Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh telephoned Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah Shallah and his deputy Ziad al-Nakhalah to ensure the group maintained the ceasefire. Egyptian….

Hamas criticizes appointment of new elections chief
1/23/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hamas on Wednesday criticized President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to appoint Samih Shbib as the new secretary-general of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission.”This decision contradicts the Cairo agreement which states that an elections committee should be formed in coordination” between factions, a Hamas statement said. Hamas called on Abbas to rethink the decision. [END]

Official: Gas deal requires govt approval
1/23/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — The head of the Palestinian energy authority said Wednesday that an agreement to build a power plant in Jenin requires the approval of the government. Omar Kittaneh said that contrary to what has been reported on social media the proposed agreement has “the cheapest prices in the Middle East”.”Despite not being part of the agreement, the government sets the condition….

Fatah official, Legislative Council members arrive in Gaza
1/22/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A Fatah official and two Palestinian Legislative Council members have arrived in the Gaza Strip to hold meetings with Hamas. Fatah official Fawhi Fattouh arrived in Gaza on Wednesday, while Legislative Council members Majid Abu Shammalah and Alaa Yaghi arrived Tuesday, a Fatah spokesman told Ma’an. Though Fattouh has no specific schedule for his trip, he hopes to….

Fiery exchanges over Assad fate at Syria peace talks
1/23/2014 – MONTREUX, Switzerland (AFP) — The biggest push yet to end Syria’s bloodshed was marked by fiery exchanges Wednesday as the warring sides and global powers clashed over President Bashar Assad’s fate at a UN peace conference. After a day of formal speeches set to be followed this week by talks involving the two sides, UN leader Ban Ki-moon urged Syria’s….

Syria sides gather as world powers push peace talks
1/22/2014 – MONTREUX, Switzerland (AFP) — Nearly three years after the start of their fierce civil war, Syria’s opposing sides gather with world powers in Switzerland Wednesday for the most serious effort yet to end the bloodshed. Meeting for the first time since the start of the conflict, the two sides could not be further apart as the “Geneva II” conference kicks off in Montreux on….

Ministry: Iraq air strikes ‘kill 50 militants’ in Anbar
1/22/2014 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Airstrikes against militant targets in Iraq’s restive western province of Anbar killed at least 50 militants, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Security forces “received accurate information and carried out painful and effective air strikes against terrorist gatherings in Anbar yesterday, January 21, that killed more than 50 terrorists,” a ministry statement said. [END]

‘Enough is enough, time to negotiate,’ UN chief tells Syrians
1/22/2014 – MONTREUX, Switzerland (AFP) — UN leader Ban Ki-moon told Syria’s warring sides Wednesday that the time had come for negotiations to end the country’s bloodshed, in closing remarks at a peace conference in Switzerland.” Our purpose was to send a message to the two Syrian delegations and to the Syrian people that the world wants an urgent end to the conflict,” Ban….

Syrian opposition urges probe into torture charges
1/22/2014 – MONTREUX, Switzerland (AFP) — The Syrian opposition, backed by the United States, on Wednesday called for an international inquiry into allegations of mass torture and killings of detainees held by the regime.”We have to stop this spiral of violence. We do call for an international inspection to visit places of detention and see the facts of torture that our citizens face every day,” Syrian opposition….

Iraq PM calls for ‘stand’ against Anbar militants
1/22/2014 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Iraq’s prime minister called Wednesday for residents of restive Anbar province to “take a stand” against anti-government fighters, as air strikes were said to have killed 50 militants. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s call came as government forces pressed an offensive against militants, including those affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who overran parts of….

AlJazeera

Israel approves more illegal settlement homes
AlJazeera 22 Jan 2014 – Government approves 381 new homes near Ramallah, bringing to 2,530 the number of new homes signed off this year.

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

Israeli Navy Forces Arrest 2 Fishermen off Beit Lahia Shore and Seize Fishing Equipment
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

Photos and video: Israeli forces’ gunfire blocks Palestinian farmland in Gaza
1/22/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – Resistenza Quotidiana, Sil | Gaza, Occupied Palestine – Since the Zionist occupation forces’ bulldozers had destroyed part of Khaled Qudaih’s field in Khuza’a, east of Khan Younis, he and his family went out to sow it again. The military responded with about half an hour of gunfire, threatening to strike Qudaih directly if he had not moved away. Qudaih had sown wheat a little less….

Relief Web

Syrian Arab Republic: UN agency calls for urgent aid delivery to besieged Palestinian refugee camp
Relief Web 22 Jan 2014 – Source: UN News Service Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic 22 January 2014 – As world leaders meet in Montreux, Switzerland, seeking a political solution to the crisis in Syria, the United Nations is calling on all parties in…

occupied Palestinian territory: Floods and a harsh winter in Gaza, but hope is still alive
Relief Web 22 Jan 2014 – Source: Oxfam Country: occupied Palestinian territory Recent floods in Gaza drove thousands of people from their homes in the harshest winter in years. But outgoing Oxfam media officer Karl Schembri, in his final blog at the end of four years…

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel hits Gaza as fears rise of new conflict
Relief Web 21 Jan 2014 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 01/22/2014 09:48 GMT by Sakher ABOU EL OUN GAZA CITY, January 22, 2014 (AFP) – Increased violence in and around the Gaza Strip, where an overnight air strike killed a Palestinian militant, have…

The National

Syrian peace talks kick off with little sign of compromise
The National 22 Jan 2014 – There was little sign of compromise during the first day of peace talks between the regime of Bashar Al Assad and the Syrian opposition.

Turkey sees fresh purge of police and judiciary
The National 22 Jan 2014 – Hundreds of police officers were sacked or reassigned in Turkey on Wednesday, along with dozens of judges and prosecutors in the latest crackdown on opponents of the government.

Syria talks could bring about modest gains, say analysts
The National 22 Jan 2014 – US officials have said that that the initial talks will focus on establishing confidence-building measures, including ceasefires in certain cities so that humanitarian aid can reach starving and battered civilians.

Rouhani projects a friendly image in Davos while his opponents stir at home
The National 22 Jan 2014 – The moderate president will use his speech to attract global business after winning an easing of some economic sanctions but in Tehran his hardline opponents are fuming after failing to prevent the striking of a landmark accord that took effect on Monday. 

Bangalore’s Bullet bikers at the forefront of India’s riding boom
The National 22 Jan 2014 – Growth of the Royal Knights club is in direct proportion to renewed interest in the revered Royal Enfield Bullet – and the number of rupees available for leisure spending, writes Samanth Subramanian, foreign correspondent

First designed in the UK decades ago, the Bullet is still thriving in India
The National 22 Jan 2014 – The Bullet first appeared in India 60 years ago but in recent years Royal Enfield of India has expanded beyond India’s borders and sells its three brands — including the Bullet — in more than 20 countries.

War of words: UN chief’s heated exchange with Syrian foreign minister
The National 22 Jan 2014 – Walid Al Muallem trades sharp words with Ban ki-moon as he spoke well beyond a 10-minute limit Mr Ban had requested.

Taqa ‘convinced’ Kurdish oil will reach international markets
The National 22 Jan 2014 – Expected launch of Kurdish exports later this month via a newly operational pipeline connecting the semi-autonomous region to a Turkish port has ignited anger in Baghdad.

Sunanda Pushkar drug overdose death not suicide, says Indian minister’s stepson
The National 22 Jan 2014 – NEW DELHI // The wife of a prominent Indian politician died from stress and the wrong medication — not suicide, her son said in media reports Wednesday, the latest twist in a case that has captivated the country. The death of Sunanda Pushkar has got front-page coverage and top billing on India’s 24-hour news channels since her body was found in a luxury hotel in New Delhi last week, a couple days after she apparently tweeted that her husband, Shashi Tharoor, a top government official, was having an affair with a Pakistani journalist. 

Taiwan pair jailed for train bomb plot bid to manipulate stock market
The National 22 Jan 2014 – A Taiwan court Wednesday jailed two men for a bizarre plot in which they planted suitcases containing petrol and cyanide on a train and in a politician’s office hoping to profit from the investor panic they thought would ensue.

US east coast slammed by heavy snowfall
The National 22 Jan 2014 – The north-eastern US shivered amid heavy snowfall and far below average temperatures today in a storm that grounded thousands of flights and triggered traffic chaos.

In pictures: US east coast blizzard
The National 22 Jan 2014 – The northeastern US shivered amid heavy snowfall and far below average temperatures Wednesday in a storm that grounded thousands of flights and triggered traffic chaos.

Porsche-driving British expat causes outrage over ‘poor people’ Facebook comments
The National 22 Jan 2014 – Anton Casey, a 39-year-old senior wealth manager in the financial sector, apologises after comments referring to public transport commuters as ‘poor people’ sparked an online furore.

Assad regime set free extremists from prison to fire up trouble during peaceful uprising
The National 21 Jan 2014 – Syrian intelligence agencies released Islamist militants from prison to deliberately subvert a peaceful uprising and ignite a violent rebellion, according to a former regime security official.

In pictures: Former Saidnaya prisoners turned rebels
The National 21 Jan 2014 – A look at former regime prisoners turned Islamist anti-Assad fighters.

Ha’aretz

Bill aims to name streets in Arab towns
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Germany conditions high-tech, science grants on settlement funding ban
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Deal seen in Thai-Israeli surrogacy crisis
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Despite demand, Israel bars asylum seekers from working as builders
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

The big lie about refugees’ ‘secret plan’ to take over Israel
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Rohani: Iran, U.S. could turn animosity into friendship
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

What is a bunny doing in Mandela’s ear?
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

French comedian arrested for alleged assault
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Byzantine-era church, mosaic uncovered in southern Israel
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

UN kicks off international year of solidarity with Palestinians
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

The Israel-lovers club of Canada and Australia: White, Conservative and Christian
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Two toddlers die after Jerusalem home sprayed for pests
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Kerry: Assad stands for himself, not for Syria
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

PBS deems Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman ‘women who make America’
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

How one Israeli minister used Madonna for self-promotion
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Netanyahu and Rohani make peace – on the Zurich tarmac
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Vatican bank asks Italy to normalize ties after reforms
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

EU envoy slams Netanyahu’s accusations: We’re not biased against Israel
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Israel arrests Al-Qaida recruits trying to bomb U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Harper’s overblown Israel lovefest
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Next goal of Shas leader’s daughter: Israeli presidency
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

The only ‘leader’ who speaks for American Jews on Iran is Barack Obama
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Netanyahu to meet with Google, Yahoo chiefs at Davos
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Syria war crossing into Lebanon, bringing with it Al-Qaida style jihad
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Peres: Palestinian recognition of Jewish state ‘unnecessary’
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Two reported dead as police clash with protesters in Ukraine
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

White rock inexplicably appears near NASA Mars rover
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Israel kills two Gaza militants, including one behind rockets during Sharon funeral
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Russia hacked hundreds of companies, says security firm
Ha’aretz – 22 Jan 2014

Israel’s military dictatorship in the West Bank
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2014

ORT director who threatened to fire ‘political’ teacher was active in Habayit Hayehudi
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2014

Don’t punish a teacher for doing his job
Ha’aretz – 21 Jan 2014

Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu, Rouhani to take stage separately in Davos today
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Iranian president says possible to turn more than 3 decades of enmity with US into friendship if both sides make effort. 

Three al-Qaida recruits in J’lem nabbed for planning ‘large-scale bombings’
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Shin Bet arrests men recruited by Gaza operative working for al-Qaida chief; ‘They planned to bring foreign terrorists,’ says security official. 

Israeli billionaire sells Congo oil rights for 300 times purchase price
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – In a deal criticized by transparency campaigners, businessman Dan Gertler sold a Congo-based company to the government for $150 million. 

Interior Ministry to expand work permits for foreign students
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – The idea is to create a “green path” for academics coming to Israel, making it a more attractive destination for international students. 

Orthodox day schools to allow women to don tefillin at daily minyan
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – The controversial decision a sign of the times and improvements in gender equality, school principal says. 

Israel advances plans for 642 new settler homes
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – The new plan comes as Israeli delegation in Washington to discuss peace process with Kerry; Palestinians consider continued settlement activity detrimental to peace talks. 

Lapid: Press the world to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – FM suggests Israel should take advantage of Syria’s poor image to ask int’l community for recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan. 

Municipalities slammed for local violence, vandalism
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – New report says displays of public disorder and vandalism are costing the state in the range of NIS 3b. 

Canadian PM lays cornerstone for Hula bird sanctuary
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Stephen Harper also receives honorary doctorate from TAU for being “an exemplary world leader”. 

UN to host March of the Living exhibit
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Unique photo exhibition to open on January 28, the day after Holocaust Remembrance Day, at UN headquarters in New York. 

Washington Watch: What’s in a name?
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – A more serious infection of racism is a major reason for another long-overdue name change in the nation’s capital. 

Inside Out: Anticipating boycotts and rockets
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – In the balance between those two more realistic alternatives, most Israelis will probably support ending the occupation, if not in hope of the carrot then in reasonable fear of the stick. 

Yesh Atid mulling presidential race
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Faction to begin deliberations next week on which candidate the party should support in race to succeed President Shimon Peres. 

Fundamentally Freund: Gush Katif, Past and future
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – In longing to return to Gaza, Jews are driven by the natural and healthy ambition that any nation has to put down roots in the same ground where its ancestors lived for millennia. 

Encountering Peace: A very personal statement on peace
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – There is only one solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict – two states for two peoples. 

Terra Incognita: Holding hate accountable
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – People are encouraged these days to take on causes… and then direct anger at those they see as being politically different. But this is armchair hatred, directed against unseen enemies. That is the easy way. 

Indignation is not a policy
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – We need to fear a public atmosphere that gives sanction to decisions whereby certain crimes, or worse, certain groups of offenders, are no longer subject to due process. 

Knesset panel demands public be included in gas reception decisions
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Call regards placement of facilities, which will receive and treat gas from offshore drilling rigs to Israel’s shores.

Tapping a reservoir of teachers
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – In the Arab sector, there are too many teachers for the available teaching positions; in Jewish schools, the opposite is the case. A new program seeks to redress the balance and change cultural perceptions en route. 

Abbas ready to meet with PM, says INSS
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Full interview with PA president to be aired next week at annual security conference in Tel Aviv. 

WATCH: UN chief Ban tries to quiet Syrian FM at peace talks
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – After speaking for more than double the allotted time limit, Ban Ki-moon tells Walid al-Moualem to conclude comments. 

State: 2,500 migrants left Israel voluntarily in 2013
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – “Policy designed to tell Africans who cannot be sent back now that Israel will not make staying easy.” 

Man of many wars
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Ariel Sharon cast an indelible imprint on the annals of the Israel Defense Forces. 

Hungarian PM defends controversial WWII memorial
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – “Hungary has to date failed to face up to the role it played in WWII and in the extermination of Jews,” left leaning Hungarian faction member protests. 

Sharon’s ideological metamorphosis
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – According to David Landau’s new biography, the two-state battle is not yet over, and Sharon could yet emerge the winner. 

Ariel Sharon vs. Time: A personal perspective
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – I went from reporting stories to becoming a part of the story – and I didn’t enjoy it at all. 

Watch: Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick discusses 2-state solution
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Jpost Senior contributing editor, set to speak at Annual Jerusalem Post Conference in New York in April, sits down for interview with JPost TV News. 

Bottoms Up: First Palestinian white beer hits market
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – For the first time, the alcoholic beverage, White Beer, is now locally brewed by the Taybeh brewing company in Ramallah. 

Haifa Metronit suffers from lack of supervision, says Shapira
Jerusalem Post 22 Jan 2014 – Shapira’s report identifies deficiencies in management, implementation and supervision involved with constructing the Metronit infrastructure. 

The Guardian

Israel air strike kills two in Gaza
The Guardian 22 Jan 2014 – Israel says one of the men killed in Beit Hanoun had fired rockets across the border during Ariel Sharon’s funeral last week Israel killed two Palestinian militants in an air strike on Gaza on Wednesday, blaming…

Inter Press Service

Syrian Spillover Deepens Lebanese Divide
IPS Heavily damaged and destroyed buildings on the frontline in Tripoli’s Jabal Mohsen area. Credit: Shelly Kittleson /IPS. By Shelly Kittleson TRIPOLI, Lebanon, Jan 22 2014 (IPS) In northern Lebanon’s largest city, Tripoli, Syria Street cuts through neighbourhoods that back opposite sides of the war raging in Syria, 30 km away….

Uruknet

Cloud-Dwellers: Class War Victors Get Higher on the Hog
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – On Monday, the New York Times featured, on the front page of its website, a long piece of giddy gush about the latest trend in luxury hoteling: super-suites for the super-rich, costing up to $28,000 a…

Syria s Polio Epidemic: The Suppressed Truth
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21,2014 – One way to measure the horrific suffering of Syria s increasingly violent war is through the experience of Syrian children. More than one million children are now refugees. At least 11,500 have been killed because of the…

Hopes for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation grow, despite ongoing repression
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014-Suad al-Najjar and Khitam al-Muqayyad are two grieving Palestinian mothers from the Gaza Strip. Their sons, Tariq and Muhammad, were killed in 2007 as a result of the divisions between Fatah, the faction of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud…

The Surveillance State Lives Government of Spies
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014– President Obama has some nerve. He opened his speech on NSA spying by likening his surveillance regime to Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty. How insulting! They were helping people resist government tyranny, and the British…

First UK legal challenge to CIA drones blocked by Court of Appeal
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – An unprecedented attempt to discover if UK officials are complicit in CIA drone strikes in Pakistan has been stopped by the Court of Appeal. The court ruled that a case being brought by a Pakistani whose…

In Palestine, A History of Dispossession
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – Increasing acts of violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been repeatedly denounced. Together with the increasing number of settlements being built on Palestinian land, those acts of violence betray justice and…

Peace groups should criticize Kerry too
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – …Yet those same groups should understand the danger in an American plan so biased that it would force Abbas to reject it, or one that would completely discredit the Palestinian president. They should also understand the…

Snowden Calls Russian-Spy Story “Absurd” in Exclusive Interview
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014- Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor turned whistle-blower, strongly denies allegations made by members of Congress that he was acting as a spy, perhaps for a foreign power, when he took hundreds of thousands…

Ignoring Human Rights Watch report, NYT suggests 15-year-old goaded Israeli soldiers who killed him
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – Isabel Kershner reports for the New York Times on a strike by UN relief workers in the West Bank that is stoking tensions inside Palestinian refugee camps. Outside the [Jalazoun] camp s main entrance, youths were…

An open letter to Stephen Harper, agent of colonialism, injustice and hypocrisy
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21, 2014 – ….It is not my intention to debunk every single thing that you ve said in front of this illegitimate body of Zionist politicians. However, I will outline to you, step by step, how the Palestinian movement…

Israel PM threatens to teach Hamas lesson very soon 
Uruknet 22 Jan 2014 – January 21,2014 — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday threatened to teach Hamas a lesson “very soon” after recent cross-border violence. “We foil terrorist attacks when we identify that they are in the making and we respond against those…

Syria News – January 20, 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 21 Jan 2014 – January 20, 2014 – By the end of Monday the Coordination Committees were able to document 119 martyrs including 15 children, 10 women and 20 martyrs under torture: 46 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 20 in Hama; 17 in Idlib;15…

Daily Star

Congress must raise debt cap by late-February: Treasury
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 The US Treasury said Wednesday that it would run out of money by late February if the US Congress did not increase the country’s borrowing limit.

China says all issues on table in Syria talks, including Assad’s role
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that talks to end the war in Syria should cover all topics of concern to the two sides, including the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

White House fails to back Russian Olympics security
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 The White House stopped short of expressing full confidence in Russia’s Olympics security operation on Wednesday following a call between presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.

Iran’s Rouhani says possible to overcome animosity with U.S.
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday it was possible to turn more than three decades of enmity with the United States into friendship if both sides made an effort.

EU envoy: Israel will pay price for settlements
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 A senior European official on Wednesday painted an alarming picture for Israel if Mideast peace efforts fail, saying the country could face deepening economic isolation if it presses forward with construction of Jewish settlements.

Hawkish McCain likens Obama to Jimmy Carter on Syria
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Senior US lawmaker John McCain accused President Barack Obama on Wednesday of risking a Middle East regional conflagration by failing to show leadership on the crisis in Syria.

Syria needs support to negotiate but “terrorism” must end: ambassador
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said on Wednesday that Damascus needed support to negotiate with the opposition to implement a 2012 Geneva communique that calls for a transitional government but said that “terrorism” must also…

Kerry says plenty of ways for Iran still to join Syria talks
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday left the door open for Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks, saying Tehran could make a difference in ending the conflict.

Iraq PM calls for ‘stand’ against Anbar militants
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Iraq’s prime minister called Wednesday for residents of restive Anbar province to “take a stand” against anti-government fighters, as air strikes were said to have killed 50 militants.

Iraq says air strikes ‘kill 50 militants’ in Anbar
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 Air strikes against militant targets in Iraq’s restive western province of Anbar killed at least 50 militants, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

Syria missile attack kills 10 as peace talks open
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 A missile attack Wednesday on an opposition area in northern Syria killed 10 people, including five children and three women, as peace talks opened in Switzerland, a monitoring group said.

‘Enough is enough, time to negotiate,’ UN chief tells Syrians
Daily Star 22 Jan 2014 UN leader Ban Ki-moon told Syria’s warring sides Wednesday that the time had come for negotiations to end the country’s bloodshed, in closing remarks at a peace conference in Switzerland.

YNet News

UN expert: Central African Republic at risk of genocide
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – ….

Argentine president to speak after long silence
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – ….

Iran nuke talks to restart next month
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – ….

Hawkish McCain likens Obama to Jimmy Carter on Syria
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – ….

China says all issues on table in Syria talks, including Assad’s role
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – ….

American war weariness? Think again!
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – Op-ed: Americans should remember that while wars are not intrinsically desirable, they are needed to protect the values we cherish ….

Ukraine to cash in on Jewish pilgrims?
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – Bill submitted to Ukrainian parliament suggests charging Breslov Hasidim $100 a day for visits to Rabbi Nachman’s tomb in city of Uman ….

IDF targeting ‘freelance rocket launchers’
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – Analysis: Instead of automatic response against Hamas, Israel’s new policy focuses on targeted assassinations of individuals directly involved in rocket fire ….

‘Leftist’ teacher must not be fired 
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – Op-ed: As long as they don’t incite hatred or racism, teachers have every right to voice political opinions in school ….

Jewish groups in Hungary oppose 1944 memorial
YNet News, 22 Jan 2014 – Government urged to cancel plans to erect large statue seen as part of efforts by to blur responsibility of Hungarian officials, security forces in deportations of Jews during Holocaust ….

IAF strikes in Gaza: Terrorist, another man killed
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – In joint IDF, Shin Bet operation, IAF jets kill 22-year-old terrorist from northern Gaza who was involved in numerous rocket fire incidents towards Israel recently ….

Ya’alon: Don’t enlist haredim through coercion
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – At ceremony marking 15 years to IDF’s haredi battalion, Defense Minister Ya’alon warns against punishing haredi men who don’t enlist: ‘You have proven it is possible to integrate military service with religious observance’ ….

Israel embraces Canadian Prime Minister; Palestinians need convincing
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – As tensions increase between Israel, Europe over ongoing settlement constructions, rollercoaster relationship with American, Israel gives warm welcome to Canada’s prime minister ….

Surrogacy supporters rally in front of interior minister’s home
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – Relatives, friends of same-sex couples holed up in Thailand awaiting passports for their babies born through surrogacy demonstrate against Minister Sa’ar, say ‘Gideon, your baby is at home but ours is not’ ….

Chile: Israelis thrown out of national park for lighting fire
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – Two years after South American country accused Israeli backpacker for causing massive wildfire in Torres del Paine National Park, Israelis are once again kicked out of park for violating ban on fire ….

Iran sends warships to Atlantic
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – Islamic Republic says warship, helicopter carrier were sent for 3-month voyage that will for first time operate in US-adjacent Atlantic Ocean ….

Four dead in suicide bombing in Beirut Hezbollah stronghold
YNet News, 21 Jan 2014 – Lebanese security source says 20 people wounded in explosion; blast occurred meters from site of car bombing earlier this month that killed five people ….

Palestinian Information Center

Geneva Talks must consign Assad regime to dustbin of history
PIC – With Syria virtually completely destroyed by its own regime, the murderous gang of Bashar el-Assad has finally accepted to hold talks with the opposition in an effort to reach a peaceful solution.

Around 160 Israelis including soldiers desecrate the Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Dozens of Israeli settlers escorted by army soldiers defiled the holy Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday morning.

Jewish settlers destroy 600 seedlings financed by Red Cross
PIC – Jewish settlers destroyed 600 olive and almond seedlings in a Palestinian village, south of Nablus city, on Wednesday morning.

Haneyya: It is about time to end division
PIC – Gaza premier Ismail Haneyya has said that it was about time to get over internal division and to turn it to past history.

IOF soldiers raid West Bank towns and arrest citizens
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday night raided different regions in the occupied West Bank and arrested a number of citizens.

New excavations in Silwan to build biblical center
PIC – The Aqsa Foundation revealed in a report on Wednesday that the occupation has begun new excavations in Wadi Hilweh in Silwan, only few tens of meters south of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Jewish settlers attack cemetery in Jerusalem, farmlands in al-Kahlil
PIC – Jewish settlers have attacked Maman Allah cemetery in occupied Jerusalem, which includes the remains of companions of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Islamic landmarks.

Gaza: Palestinian factions criticize resumption of negotiations with occupation
PIC – Representatives of Palestinian factions condemned the resumption of the negotiations between the PA and the Israeli occupation, and called for achieving the reconciliation and ending the division.

Jenin: IOF storms Misalya village and fires gas bombs at citizens
PIC – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed on Tuesday evening Misalya village, south of Jenin, and fired gas bombs at citizens.

1,700 housing units to be built in occupied Jerusalem
PIC – Israeli municipality of occupied Jerusalem declared on Tuesday its intention to establish 1,700 new housing units in a neighborhood south of the city.

WAFA

Palestinians Confront Settlers near Nablus
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Students Injured in Clashes with Israeli Soldiers near Jerusalem
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Israel to Turn Over to Family Remains of Son
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

PEX Report: Almost $4M Worth in Day’s Trading
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Army Raze Land near Hebron
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Child Injured by Explosion near Nablus
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Prisoner May Lose Leg, Life if not Treated, says Prisoner Club
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Army Demolishes Structures near Tubas
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Elderly Man Suffers from Tear Gas Inhalation
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Settlers Uproot 800 Olive Seedlings near Ramallah
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Two Palestinians Killed in an Israeli Air Strike on Gaza
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Israeli Forces Arrest 6 People, including 2 Minors
WAFA – 22 Jan 2014

Misc

Israel says it broke up Al Qaeda plot to bomb U.S. Embassy
LA Times 22 Jan 2014 – JERUSALEM — Israeli intelligence officials said Wednesday that they had arrested three Palestinians with links to Al Qaeda who were planning a campaign of terrorist attacks across Israel, including a plot to bomb the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Egypt remains deeply divided as anniversary of Mubarak’s fall nears
LA Times 22 Jan 2014 – CAIRO — As Egypt prepares to mark the third anniversary of the uprising that toppled longtime autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, planned remembrances of what seemed a euphoric moment of national unity are instead putting the country’s angry divisions on display.

Israel kills two in Gaza strike targeting ‘terrorist operative’
LA Times 22 Jan 2014 – An Israeli airstrike killed two people in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, including a man identified by Israeli security forces as a militant who fired rockets across the border last week during former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s funeral.

UAE convicts 30 Islamists of backing banned Muslim Brotherhood
LA Times 21 Jan 2014 – The highest court in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday convicted 30 Islamists of establishing an “international branch” of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in the wealthy Persian Gulf federation, a case slammed by rights advocates as politically motivated and marred by a catalog of legal…

Egypt State Violence at ‘Unprecedented’ Level Since July – Amnesty
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Egypt has seen state violence on an “unprecedented scale” since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi last July following mass protests again his rule, Amnesty International said in a report on Thursday. 

Morocco Amends Controversial Rape Law
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Morocco’s parliament on Wednesday unanimously amended an article in the penal code that had outraged people by allowing a rapist to escape prosecution if he married his underage victim. 

Egypt Charges Renowned Scholar With Espionage
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Emad Shahin, a political scientist, was charged along with senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood with conspiring to undermine Egypt’s security. 

China Says All Issues on Table in Syria Talks, Including Assad’s Role
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that talks to end the war in Syria should cover all topics of concern to the two sides, including the future of President Bashar al-Assad. 

Israel Orders Migrants to New Detention Facility
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Israeli authorities have begun ordering hundreds of African migrants to report to a new detention center in the country’s southern desert while it seeks to find them a place to settle and offers incentives to leave, an official said Wednesday. 

India Foreign Minister and Kerry Discuss Diplomatic Row
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – The United States and India could soon reschedule a visit by the U.S. energy secretary that was cancelled because of a diplomatic row, New Delhi said after foreign minister Salman Khurshid met his counterpart U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday. 

Kerry Says Plenty of Ways for Iran Still to Join Syria Talks
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday left the door open for Iran to participate in Syrian peace talks, saying Tehran could make a difference in ending the conflict. 

Israeli Airstrike Kills 2 in Gaza
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – One of the dead was a member of the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, which vowed to retaliate for the Israeli attack. 

Syria Needs Support to Negotiate but ‘Terrorism’ Must End: Ambassador
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Syria’s envoy to the United Nations said on Wednesday that Damascus needed support to negotiate with the opposition to implement a 2012 Geneva communique that calls for a transitional government but said that “terrorism” must also end. 

UN Chief’s Bungled Iran Invitation Hurts His Role
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Ban Ki-moon made a rare effort at solo diplomacy when he invited Iran to join this week’s Syria peace talks, but it backfired, raising questions about the effectiveness of a U.N. secretary-general better known — and often criticized — for his reserved and scripted style. 

Mixed Syrian Town Finds a Frigid, Divided Peace
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – While much of the rest of Syria burns in an increasingly sectarian civil war, this religiously mixed town on the Mediterranean coast has weathered outbursts of bloodshed before settling — for now — into a frigid, divided peace. 

EU Warns Israel, Palestinians of the Cost of Peace Failure
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – Both sides of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks risk paying a high price in losing European Union trade and aid if negotiations collapse, the EU ambassador to Israel said on Wednesday. 

Brahimi Says Both Syrian Sides Ready to Discuss Aid, Prisoner Swaps
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Wednesday that both of Syria’s warring sides are prepared to discuss improving access for aid supplies, prisoner swaps and local ceasefires. 

EU Envoy: Israel Will Pay Price for Settlements
New York Times 22 Jan 2014 – The European Union’s ambassador to Israel says a burgeoning movement to sanction Israel over its construction of West Bank settlements will gain steam if the current round of Mideast peace talks fails. 

Gov’t bond issue in London vastly oversubscribed
Globes Main News – The Finance Ministry issued a 10-year €1.5 billion bond with a yield of 2.932%.

State Comptroller municipal report overlooks biggest cities 
Globes Macro Economics – The State Comptroller only examined health hazards and parking in Jerusalem and only parking in Tel Aviv.

‘Blood bubbles’ — mainstream media turn on SodaStream and Scarlett Johansson
Mondoweiss – “Set the bubbles free! Palestinians can wait…” (graphic: Stephanie Westbrook (@stephinrome) SodaStream is suddenly facing widespread criticism in the media for making its seltzer devices in the occupied West Bank. The day after we published Rachele Richards jaw-dropping graphic of Scarlett Johansson drenched in red with sparkling bubbles in…

IDF Tel Hashomer pollution could expose residents to cancer 
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Years of pollution allegedly originating from the IDF Tel Hashomer base is liable to expose residents of nearby Kiryat Ono to carcinogens.

New missile system to defend communities near Gaza
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Rafael is developing Iron Beam, a high-energy laser system for very-short-range defense.

Wed: Teva down on flat market
Globes Main News – Teva fell on the day’s biggest turnover and Strauss Group reported the biggest loss on the Tel Aviv 25 Index.

Psagot to invest NIS 300m in Carasso Real Estate projects
Globes Main News – Psagot will acquire 50% of several neighborhood commercial centers that Carasso Real Estate will build over the next two years.

Tel Aviv court dismisses Amdocs suit against T-Jat
Globes Main News – Judge Anat Baron: T-Jat’s managers agreed that the claim against them would be included in the US arbitration.

Ministerial c’ttee proposes more high-tech IPOs
Globes Main News – The committee recommends financing high-tech companies via the TASE, encouraging IPOs by large companies, and public VC funds.

Cracks in the alliance: Is there finally daylight between Israel and the US?
Mondoweiss – Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Reuters) Things have come to a strange state of affairs when Washington regards Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, as the voice of moderation in the Israeli cabinet. While Lieberman has called the soon-to-be-unveiled US…

Email your president, tell him to protest the cruel removal of Palestinians from their lands in Hebron Hills
Mondoweiss – David Shulman and fellow activists use olive branches to protest settlers’ destruction of Palestinian trees (graphic: Ta’ayush) David Shulman is a leading writer in Israel and the U.S. who posted this report from a wrenching day of activism in the Hebron Hills at the Ta’ayush website ….

The blind alley of J Street and liberal American Zionism
Mondoweiss – J Street founder Jeremy Ben-Ami speaking at the group’s conference in 2012. (Photo: J Street) Since its founding six years ago, J Street has emerged as a major Jewish organization under the banner “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” By now J Street is able to be a partial counterweight…

Ben-Moshe: Dankner is recycling lies
Globes Main News – Moti Ben-Moshe was responding to Nochi Dankner’s court motion to void the transfer of IDB to him and Eduardo Elsztain.

Thornburg sells Check Point stake for $800m
Globes Main News – The US private equity fund sold its entire 6.1% stake in the company.

A double standard on ‘terrorism’
Mondoweiss – n a 1994 exchange of letters Bush and Sharon agreed that all the major Israeli settlement blocs would remain in Israeli hands, and that the Palestinians would never achieve their internationally-guaranteed right of return. The lobby isn’t just rotten politically, it’s rotten intellectually. It demands one-sided…

Media rises against lobby: Obama ‘outraged’ by Schumer/Gillibrand/Booker deference to Netanyahu
Mondoweiss – Schumer The sanctions bill that would derail the Iranian deal has exposed the Israel lobby as never before. It’s getting a lot of coverage on the Mainstream media. Peter Beinart takes on the Jewish “leaders” in a report in Haaretz : “The new Iran sanctions effort, claims…

We stand in solidarity with African refugees in Israel
Jewish Voice for Peace – Jewish Voice for Peace stands in solidarity with the tens of thousands of African refugees in Israel , who have been organizing , marching , protesting , striking , and demanding their rights . We also stand with the many Israelis who honor and remember the terrible history of the Jewish people…

‘Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you’ — Premier’s biblical promise in Jerusalem
Mondoweiss – Political leaders who ardently and obsessively love and support Israel have many motivations. You have the Jews who have an ethnic and/or religious loyalty to the place and whose personal devotion also usually reflects the views of their Jewish constituents. Two that come to mind are…

Gov’t to market 11,800 apartments in Modiin
Globes Main News – Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Housing Minister Uri Ariel have signed an agreement with the Modiin Municipality.

Teva petitions US Supreme Court over Copaxone ruling
Globes Main News – Teva expects the Supreme Court to hear the case in April, a month before the Copaxone patents expire.

Settlements Generate Virtually No Economic Activity
Tikun Olam – Like the Ancient Mariner, Israel is forced to wear the settlement albatross around its neck You will hear Israel’s boosters brag about the Mediterranean Miracle that is the Israeli economy. ‘Start-Up Nation’ and the like. But you’ll hear virtually nothing similarly-claimed regarding the settlements. Over the…

Israel ‘arrests al-Qaeda cell’ 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – The Israeli Shin Bet security service arrests three alleged members of an al-Qaeda cell , who, it says, were targeting the US embassy.

Gulf over Assad blights Syria talks 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – The first day of a major Syrian peace conference in Switzerland ends amid bitter divisions over the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

Nuclear deal keeps Iran’s floundering economy afloat 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Nuclear deal keeps Iran’s drowning economy afloat

VIDEO: Blair on prospects for Syria talks 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Quartet Representative to the Middle East, Tony Blair, discusses the situation in Syria as a major peace conference begins.

South Africa: Ariel Sharon, Apartheid South Africa and Mutual Military Interests 
allAfrica.com 22 Jan 2014 – [Daily Maverick]The death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has renewed debate about his legacy, but there’s been little on its South African component.

Egypt: Lt. General Sobhi Meets His UAE Counterpart 
allAfrica.com 22 Jan 2014 – [Egypt Online]Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Sedqi Sobhi met on Monday 20/1/2014 his visiting UAE counterpart Lieutenant General Hamad al-Rumaithi and his accompanying delegation.

How come Iraq’s population has been rising? 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Why Iraq’s population seems to keep growing – despite the war

Israel plans another 261 settler homes, as attackers uproot 600 West Bank trees 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – Israel on Wednesday moved forward with plans for 261 new homes in two illegal settlements located deep in the occupied West Bank, the Peace Now settlement watchdog said. That same day, Israeli settlers uprooted 600 trees belonging to Palestinian farmers in the West Bank, Ma’an news…

Ahmad Taha Group Behind Hermel and Haret Hreik Blasts 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – The explosive device consisted of an estimated 20 kilograms of TNT attached to two mortar shells, wrapped in a metal frame, and fitted with metal balls to cause more civilian deaths. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) The explosive device consisted of an estimated 20 kilograms of TNT attached…

Egypt’s Islamists call for 18 days of protests 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – An Islamist alliance backing deposed president Mohammed Mursi called for 18 days of protests from Friday, as Egypt on January 25 marks three years since the revolt that ousted his predecessor. The Anti-Coup Alliance said in a statement on Wednesday that protests will last until February…

Lebanon: 45 Days of No Rain Hits Farmers and Residents 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – Current demands for water are almost 900 million cubic meters per year, including 630 million cubic meters for agriculture. (Al-Akhbar). Current demands for water are almost 900 million cubic meters per year, including 630 million cubic meters for agriculture. (Al-Akhbar). A water crisis is on the…

Police detain bearded Beirut musician over “terrorism” suspicions 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – Police on Wednesday briefly detained a local musician in the southern suburbs of Beirut after apparently suspecting him of being a terrorist because of his beard and “salafist” clothing, a day after a suicide blast killed four people in the area. But Hussein Sharafeddin, also known…

Hermel car bomb death toll rises to six 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – A man who was wounded by a car bomb in eastern Lebanon last week died from his wounds on Wednesday, the Lebanese National News Agency reported. The passing of Hussein Nasreddine brings the death toll from the attack up to six. A tweet by Naharnet from…

Lines of the Game: Geneva II to End the Syrian Opposition? 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 22 Jan 2014 – General viewof the assembly taking part in the so-called Geneva II peace talks next to UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi (L) on January 22, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Fabrice Coffrini). General viewof the assembly taking part in the so-called Geneva II peace talks next…

NGOs: Syrian humanitarian crisis “worst of our time,” slam Western inaction 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – A Syrian man begs for money with a child at Istiklal Avenue on January 22, 2014 in Istanbul.(Photo: AFP – Bulent Kilic) Seven major aid and human rights groups on Wednesday described the humanitarian crisis in Syria as the “worst of our time,” slammed international inaction…

VIDEO: Egypt constitution is “anti-freedom” 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Former Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) minister, Yehia Hamed, tells HARDtalk a proposed new Egyptian constitution is “anti-freedom”.

Militants killed in Gaza air strike 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Two Palestinian militants are killed by an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian and Israeli officials say.

Victims’ relatives take the stand at Hariri murder trial 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – Relatives of victims killed in the 2005 Beirut blast that targeted former premier Rafik Hariri took the stand for the first time at The Hague-based Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on Wednesday, describing how the deaths impacted their lives. “My father lost his teeth because of…

AUDIO: Syria pours scorn on torture report 
BBC 22 Jan 2014 – Bassam Abu Abdullah, a spokesman for the Syrian ministry of information, gives his views on how the country’s conflict can be ended.

Turkey removes 96 judges and prosecutors, 470 police officers 
Al-Akhbar News 22 Jan 2014 – Turkey has reassigned almost 100 prosecutors and judges and 470 police officers in a new purge as parliament began a debate on controversial government legislation to rein in the judiciary, local media reported Wednesday. The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) removed 96 judges and…

Low expectations in Syria Geneva talks 
BBC 21 Jan 2014 – Syria’s bitter enemies to meet in Geneva, but with different visions for peace

US-Iranian accused of jet data theft 
BBC 21 Jan 2014 – An Iranian-American engineer is indicted for attempting to ship stolen documentation on a high-tech military plane to Iran, authorities say.

Syria: Caliph’s ‘Convert or Leave’ Pact Revived for Christians 
Al-Akhbar Politics 21 Jan 2014 – A Syrian Christian, assists a disabled elderly woman in the courtyard of Mar Elias House, a church hostel for the indigent in the old City of Aleppo, on September 16, 2013. (Photo: AFP – Jm Lopez). A Syrian Christian, assists a disabled elderly woman in the…

Lebanon: Israel Violates Border to Retrieve Spy Equipment 
Al-Akhbar Politics 21 Jan 2014 – A picture taken from the Lebanese village of Adaysseh shows Israeli soldiers patrolling along the Israeli-Lebanese border on January 20, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat). A picture taken from the Lebanese village of Adaysseh shows Israeli soldiers patrolling along the Israeli-Lebanese border on January 20,…

Articles


The Blind Alley of J Street and Liberal American Zionism 
Abba A. Solomon and Norman Solomon, CounterPunch 1/22/2014
The Contradictions of Israeli Exceptionalism
Since its founding six years ago, J Street has emerged as a major Jewish organization under the banner “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace.” By now J Street is able to be a partial counterweight to AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. The contrast between the two U.S. groups is sometimes stark. J Street applauds diplomacy with Iran, while AIPAC works to undermine it. J Street encourages U.S. support for “the peace process” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, while AIPAC opposes any meaningful Israeli concessions. In the pressure cooker of Washington politics, J Street’s emergence has been mostly positive. But what does its motto “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” really mean?
That question calls for grasping the context of Zionism among Jews in the United States — aspects of history, largely obscured and left to archives, that can shed light on J Street’s current political role. Extolling President Obama’s policies while urging him to intensify efforts to resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, the organization has staked out positions apt to sound humanistic and fresh. Yet J Street’s leaders are far from the first prominent American Jews who have struggled to square the circles of the moral contradictions of a “Jewish state” in Palestine.
Our research in the archives of the American Jewish Committee in New York City, Johns Hopkins University and elsewhere shows that J Street is adhering to — and working to reinforce — limits that major Jewish organizations adopted midway through the 20th century. Momentum for creation of the State of Israel required some hard choices for groups such as the influential AJC, which adjusted to the triumph of an ideology — militant Jewish nationalism — that it did not share. Such accommodation meant acceding to an outward consensus while suppressing debate on its implications within Jewish communities in the United States. more.. e-mail

Is there finally daylight between Israel and US? 
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, Redress 1/22/2014
Things have come to a strange state of affairs when Washington regards Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister, as the voice of moderation in the Israeli cabinet.
While Lieberman has called the soon-to-be-unveiled US peace plan the best deal Israel is ever likely to get, and has repeatedly flattered its chief author, US Secretary of State John Kerry, other ministers have preferred to pull off the diplomatic gloves.
The most egregious instance came last week when Moshe Yaalon, the Israeli defence minister, launched an unprecedented and personal attack on the man entrusted by President Barack Obama to oversee the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.Scoundrel’s insults
In a private briefing, disclosed last week by the Yedioth Aharonoth newspaper, Yaalon called Kerry “obsessive and messianic”, denounced his peace plan as “not worth the paper it was written on”, and wished he would win “the Nobel prize and leave us alone”.
Yaalon could hardly claim he was caught in an unguarded moment. According to reports, he has been making equally disparaging comments for weeks. Back in November, for example, an unnamed “senior Israeli minister” dismissed Kerry’s ideas as “simply not connected to reality… He is not an honest broker.”
On this occasion, however, Washington’s response ratcheted up several notches. US officials furiously denounced the comments as “offensive” and demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly slap down his minister. more.. e-mail

Recognizing Israel as a Jewish State is like saying the US is a White State 
Juan Cole, Informed Comment 1/6/2014
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is adding a fifth demand to his negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas: That the Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.”
For Netanyahu’s demand to make any sense, he first has to define “Jewish.” “Jewish” has a number of possible meanings. It can mean “those recognized by Talmudic law as members of the Jewish ‘race’ via maternal descent.” The latter is the legal definition of Jewishness in Israeli law itself, and for this reason we must presume that it is what Netanyahu has in mind. It can also mean “adherents of the Judaic religion,” and we can explore those implications, as well.
Of the some 6 million self-identified Jews in Israel, about 300,000 are not recognized as “Jewish” by the Chief Rabbi and there is no prospect of them being recognized as Jewish any time soon. They were allowed to immigrate to Israel because they had at least one Jewish grandparent, but if their mother was not Jewish neither are they.
So if Israel is a “Jewish” state, is it a state for these (largely Russian and Ukrainian) “non-Jewish” Jews? Many of them are Jewish by religion, but not all are. None of them are Jewish by the Talmud.
It is worse. Genetic testing of European Jews (Ashkenazim) shows that most women in that community are descended from European Christians who converted to Judaism when they married into the Jewish merchant community, which was likely established at Rome and then points east from about 800 CE (A.D.) If the Grand Rabbi took haplotypes seriously, most Ashkenazi Jews would have to be declared “not Jewish” by the Talmudic criterion, since their mothers do not have the distinctive patterns in their mitochondrial DNA showing descent from the inhabitants of the ancient Levant. more.. e-mail

US rationale for turning to Iran 
Osama Abu Irshaid, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 1/21/2014
The interim agreement between Iran and the P5 +1 world powers (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China and Germany) in Geneva on November 24 last year, which saw restrictions imposed on its nuclear programme in exchange for a slight easing of sanctions, was a surprise and shock to observers, not least to America’s main allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Was this the United States re-defining its alliances and roles in the Middle East? It looked like it, with more rumours about Washington’s gradual withdrawal from the region, due to strategic exhaustion after more than a decade of wars that have sapped its economy and drained its capabilities. Such a move would free the US to deal with the most important challenge that threatens its status as a top global economic force, after the growth of China in the Asian-Pacific region.
So what was America’s rationale for turning to Iran? To understand this we need to look at the background to the US rapprochement with Tehran.
It is worth noting that Barack Obama was elected president of the United States in late 2008 on a programme in which he vowed to put an end to US military adventures that marked-out his predecessor, George W. Bush, and plunged the country into debt. Under Obama, we were told, US foreign policy sought to decrease militarisation and lean more towards international cooperation rather than unilateral action.
The America inherited by Obama in 2009 was different from that which Bush inherited from Clinton in 2001, both in terms of prestige and strategic international reputation, and in terms of its economy and internal unity. Furthermore, Obama inherited a depleted America in two main conflict zones, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as an ill-defined “war on terrorism”. Meanwhile, there was barely any time for decision makers to deal with the real strategic challenges facing the United States. more.. e-mail

Palestinian Refugees: The Terrifying Case of Yarmouk
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jan 2014 – By Rana Abdulla Of all the privations in the modern world, some of which can be overcome, admittedly with difficulty, such things as the lack of electricity and gas for heating or cooking although we take for granted are not necessarily prerequisites for a life of sorts, yet all would agree, what cannot be endured in any measure is the deprivation of water, food and sanitary conditions. Such is the lot of Palestinians in the Yarmouk refugee camp. Dehydration, disease and penury are daily reality for a people the world has forgotten or seem to little care. To see a child die of starvation, any child let alone one of your own is a sorrow no one should ever bear, yet this is an everyday occurrence in the Yarmouth refugee camp. People in Yarmouk camp in Syria are forced to consume grass, leaves, animal feed and literally anything they can…more

Not in the Name of Canada: Harper Drips Platitudes, Hypocrisy, Double Standards and Lies in Knesset
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jan 2014 – By Jim Miles Canada’s Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, spoke today in front of the Israeli Knesset. It was a short speech , beginning with homilies, platitudes, and economic references and then turned towards the righteous values he deems paramount in both Canada and Israel. In his introduction he talked about Jewish Canadians, “[Jewish Canadians] are also immensely proud of what the people of Israel have accomplished here, of your courage in war, of your generosity in peace, and of the bloom that the desert has yielded, under your stewardship.” Notice that he only referenced Jewish Canadians in his speech. There are many Canadians who would consider the statement to be hypocritical if not an outright lie. Courage in war is arguable, considering the overall propensity of Israel to use preemptive attacks on neighboring countries and to use the military to control the occupied Palestinian territories. Beyond that, the Israeli use of…more

An Open Letter to University of Maryland President, Dr Wallace Loh: Stand up for Academic Freedom in Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jan 2014 – By William James Martin To: President Wallace Loh Office of the President University of Maryland College Park, Md 20742 Dear President Loh; I have read your response to the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions. I fact, if reports are correct, you said: “We firmly oppose the call by some academic associations—American Studies Association; Asian-American Studies Association—to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Any such boycott is a breach of the principle of academic freedom that undergirds the University of Maryland and, indeed, all of American higher education. “Faculty, students, and staff on our campus must remain free to study, do research, and participate in meetings with colleagues from around the globe. The University of Maryland has longstanding relationships with several Israeli universities. We have many exchanges of scholars and students. We will continue and deepen these relationships. “… . To restrict the free flow of people and ideas with some universities because…more

Intimidation of John Kerry
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Jan 2014 – By Jamal Kanj Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon articulated publicly what Israeli leaders say privately: Give us your tax money, weapons and your veto power but “leave us alone.” He called the US peace efforts “not worth the paper it is printed on,” and accusing US Secretary of State John Kerry of being a glory hound “messianic” and “inexplicably obsessive.” His statement – likely with the tacit approval of Israeli prime minister – was quintessential Israeli tactics to publicly influence American policy, and it did. Receiving the message loud and clear, Kerry cancelled a visit scheduled this week to the region. Failing to commit the Israelis on a written framework agreement, his aides are already talking about extending the negotiation past the April deadline. Each of Kerry’s visits was greeted by an Israeli policy decision to undermine his efforts. Since last July it has authorized building 7,500 “Jewish only” homes…more

An Open Letter to University of Maryland President, Dr Wallace Loh 
Dissident Voice: 22 Jan 2014 – January 20, 2014 President Wallace Loh Office of the President University of Maryland College Park, Md 20742 Dear President Loh; I have read your response to the ASA boycott of Israeli academic institutions. I fact, if reports are correct, you said: We firmly oppose the call by some academic associations—American Studies Association; Asian-American Studies Association—to boycott Israeli academic institutions. Any such boycott is a breach of the principle of academic freedom that undergirds the University of Maryland and, indeed, all of American higher education. Faculty, students, and staff on our campus must remain free to study, do research, and participate in meetings with colleagues from around the globe. The University of Maryland has longstanding relationships with several Israeli universities. We have many exchanges of scholars and students. We will continue and deepen these relationships. … To restrict the free flow of people and ideas with some universities because of their…more

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