VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 5 February 2014: The cynical use of Palestinian workers in the SodaStream controversy

5 February 2014 — VTJP

News

International Middle East Media Center

Israel Approves 558 Settlement Units In Occupied Jerusalem
IMEMC – [Wednesday, February 05, 2014] The Israeli government of Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approved the construction of 558 additional units in illegal Israeli settlements, in occupied Jerusalem. …

Palestinians In Europe Conference to be held in Paris
IMEMC – Press Release The General Secretariat of the Palestinians in Europe Conference, the Palestinian Return Centre in London and the Palestinian Forum in France announced on Monday, 3rd Feb 2014, the launch and preparation for the 12th Palestinians in Europe Conference in Paris, France. …

Israeli Army Report Reveals Intelligence and Security Relations With Several Arab Countries
IMEMC – The official website of the Israeli army released an unprecedented report on Tuesday claiming that Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency has been cooperating closely with a number of Arab and Muslim countries on issues of security, intelligence and military exports. The collaborating countries include: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. …

Israel Illegally Confiscates 20 Dunams Near Bethlehem
IMEMC – [Wednesday, February 05, 2014] Israeli authorities decided to illegally confiscate around 20 dunams of Palestinian lands belonging to a resident of Ertas village, south of Bethlehem. …

Settlers Invade Two Neighborhoods In Hebron
IMEMC – [Wednesday, February 5, 2014] A number of Israeli settlers invaded Ein Sara and Ras al-Jouza neighborhoods, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. …

Army Demolishes Two Homes Near Jerusalem
IMEMC – Israeli soldiers invaded, on Wednesday morning [February 5, 2014], the town of Sur Baher, south of occupied East Jerusalem, demolished one home, and partially demolished another. …

Resident Injured Near Tubas, One Kidnapped
IMEMC – [Wednesday, February 4, 2014] A number of Israeli military vehicles invaded al-Far’a refugee camp, in the Tubas district, broke into and searched several homes, detained five Palestinians and kidnapped one of them. Soldiers also shot and wounded one Palestinian. … 

Ma’an News

Clashes erupt as Jerusalem municipality demolishes Palestinian homes
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Demolition teams from the Jerusalem municipality on Wednesday morning destroyed three Palestinian homes and forced a man to demolish his own home in East Jerusalem, leaving 28 homeless. Clashes erupted in one neighborhood following the demolitions, injuring 15 and leading to seven detentions, according to eyewitnesses. The first demolition was in the Beit Hanina neighborhood north of the Old City. Demolition….

Jerusalem municipality delivers demolition warrants in Silwan
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Five families in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem were give home demolition notices by Jerusalem municipality authorities on Wednesday, including some set to take effect within 48 hours. Director of the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center Jawad Siyam told Ma’an that Khalid al-Zeir and his father received demolition warrants, and three more warrants were delivered to other members….

Israel ‘okays plans for over 550 East Jerusalem settler homes’
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel on Wednesday pushed forward with plans to build more than 550 new homes in illegal settlements in annexed East Jerusalem, the city council said. In a statement listing “building permits that were approved” during a local planning committee session, it said permits were granted to private contractors to build 386 units in Har Homa, 136 units in Neve Yaakov and 36 units….

Israeli land authority destroys Bedouin fields in Negev
2/5/2014 – BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Bulldozers and tractors sent by the Israel Land Authority on Wednesday morning destroyed fields of wheat, barley and other cereal grains planted by Palestinian Bedouins in the Negev. Residents told a Ma’an reporter in the southern Israeli region that tractors plowed and destroyed crops that had been planted on lands belonging to the Huzayyil tribe, before moving to the….

Settlers cut down 100 olive trees near Nablus
2/5/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers on Wednesday destroyed over 100 olive trees in the Nablus district, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that settlers from Itamar cut down the olive trees in an open area in Wadi Yanoun, which is situated between Awarta and Yanoun villages. Jewish settlers….

6 Jerusalem Palestinians sentenced to jail, 4 for Hamas links
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The central Israeli court in Jerusalem on Wednesday sentenced six Palestinians from Jerusalem to jail time for various crimes including involvement with Hamas, participation in clashes at the Al-Aqsa compound, and attempting to buy weapons. All of the recently sentenced men have already been kept in Israeli prisons or under house arrest for extended periods of time up to two years….

Delegations visit Ein Hijleh protest as Israeli siege enters 6th day
2/5/2014 – JERICHO (Ma’an) — An archbishop, a European Union delegation, the PA minister of agriculture and an Israeli member of Knesset were among the solidarity delegations that visited the protest village of Ein Hijleh on Wednesday as a military siege of the area entered its sixth day. Israeli forces’ also cut off the water pipe leading to the main well in the protest village….

Israeli forces detain 5 young Palestinian men in Jerusalem
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces detained five young Palestinian men in the Old City of Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, a member of a local East Jerusalem committee of prisoners’ families said. Alaa al-Haddad told Ma’an that the five were stopped in the alleys of the Old City before they were beaten and detained. He identified the detainees as Khalil Tarhuni, Said….

Israel, US locked in spat over Kerry boycott remark
2/5/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel and Washington were at loggerheads on Sunday after senior Israeli figures attacked US Secretary of State John Kerry for warning of a growing boycott threat if peace talks fail. The latest spat erupted a day after Kerry warned of the potential economic impact on Israel if the US-brokered negotiations with the Palestinians collapsed, in which he made reference to “talk of boycotts….

Sweden says Iran nuclear deal possible in six months
2/5/2014 – TEHRAN (AFP) — Sweden’s foreign minister, the latest high-level Western diplomat to visit Tehran, said Tuesday that a comprehensive international nuclear agreement with Iran is possible within six months, media reported.”If there is a good will on both sides a deal is possible within a very ambitious time scale of six months,” Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said during a joint press conference with….

Egyptian police arrest 7 Palestinians in Sinai
2/5/2014 – EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) – Egyptian authorities said Wednesday that security forces detained seven Palestinians who were allegedly caught in the Sinai after they crossed the borders illegally through smuggling tunnels. Egyptian security sources told Ma’an in el-Arish in North Sinai that seven men aged 27-43 were arrested by traffic police in the Chalets area by the beach in el-Arish. They were….

Gaza ministry denies ordering arrest of militants firing rockets
2/5/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza’s ministry of interior on Wednesday denied media reports that the ministry had ordered security services to arrest militants launching rockets towards Israel, denouncing the rumors as “lies.””These are mere lies and falsifications and the minister’s office never released such a letter,” the minister’s office said in a statement. The statement added that….

Analysis: Iran is not the problem
2/5/2014 – Lawrence Davidson is a retired professor of history at West Chester University and the author of a number of books focused on the history of US foreign relations with the Middle East. – The investigative reporter and author Gareth Porter has recently published a book entitled A Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. According to Porter, there has never been a serious….

Senior Fatah leaders to visit Gaza Friday
2/5/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — A delegation of four Fatah officials is scheduled to visit the Gaza Strip on Friday, an official from the movement said. A Gaza-based member of Fatah’s Central Committee, Amal Hamad, told Ma’an that the delegation will review the situation of Fatah in the coastal enclave. The delegation will consist of Nabil Shaath, Jamal Muheisin, Sakhr Bseisu….

Syria unrest spills into Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon
2/5/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – As more and more Palestinian refugees flee Syria, living conditions in Lebanon refugee camps are worsening, particularly in Ein el-Hilweh in the coastal city of Sidon. A senior Fatah leader in Lebanon says unemployment rates in Palestinian refugee camps has neared 80 percent. Speaking to Ma’an, Munir Maqdah highlighted that about 25,000 Palestinian refugees who fled Syria are living….

White House calls on Egypt to free Jazeera journalists
2/5/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House on Tuesday called on Egypt to free three Al-Jazeera television journalists who have been held for more than a month, reportedly in harsh conditions. President Barack Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney said the detention of the journalists was “of deep concern” to the US administration.”The restrictions on freedom of expression in Egypt are a concern, and that includes….

Barrel bombs kill 8 in Syria’s Aleppo
2/5/2014 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian army helicopters dropped barrel bombs on Aleppo Tuesday, killing at least eight people as they pressed a bombing campaign launched in mid-December, a monitoring group said. The ongoing regime campaign against Syria’s one-time economic hub drew a harsh comments from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who called it barbaric. More than 150 people have been killed over the past….

Jordan’s other refugees feel forgotten
2/5/2014 – AMMAN, Jordan (IRIN) — Just like thousands of refugees arriving in Jordan, Jacob Khamees experienced violence, hunger and fear in his home country.”I still remember when they attacked us, killed the animals and burned the fields,” he told IRIN. But unlike the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled violence and instability in Jordan’s neighbors, Iraq and Syria, and who have often….

AlJazeera

Israel gives permits for 550 settlement homes
AlJazeera 5 Feb 2014 – City municipality approves plans for hundreds of new homes in three neighbourhoods of occupied East Jerusalem.

Is ‘Brand Israel’ under threat?
AlJazeera 5 Feb 2014 – As the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement gains traction, how will the country deal with the pressure? 

Palestinian Center for Human Rights

PCHR Demands Immediate Investigation into Death of Girl While Treating her with Quran
Palestinian Center for Human Rights

International Solidarity Movement

A long, bloody January in Gaza
2/5/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Rosa Schiano, Gaza, Occupied Palestine – It was a bloody beginning of the new year for the Palestinians of Gaza who, in addition to suffer from more and more difficult socioeconomic conditions, continued to face Israeli military violence. During the month of January, there have been many attacks in the areas along the separation barrier surrounding the Gaza Strip, several incursions of Israeli….

Israeli forces raid Ein Hijleh as villagers remain steadfast
2/5/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – 4th February 2014, Popular Struggle Coordinating Committee, Jordan Valley, Occupied Palestine – Large amounts of Israeli forces and Border Police have made several attempts to raid the reclaimed village of Ein Hijleh and in return the villagers stopped their forced advancement into the center of the village. There were many cases of teargas suffocation as well as an injury in the leg resulting from a teargas….

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Israel approves plans for 550 Jerusalem settler homes
Relief Web 5 Feb 2014 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory 02/05/2014 15:23 GMT JERUSALEM, February 5, 2014 (AFP) – Israel pushed forward on Wednesday with plans for more than 550 new homes in three settlement neighbourhoods of annexed east Jerusalem, the city council…

occupied Palestinian territory: EUPOL COPPS delivers training to Palestinian Police to enhance drug awareness
Relief Web 5 Feb 2014 – Source: European Union Country: occupied Palestinian territory Bethlehem, February 05, 2014 Bethlehem – EUPOL COPPS anti-narcotics experts delivered training to 21 Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) officers to enhance their capabilities in safely identifying types of drugs and suspected addicts. The…

Syrian Arab Republic: Polio vaccination starts in Syria’s besieged Yarmuk camp
Relief Web 5 Feb 2014 – Source: Agence France-Presse Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic 02/05/2014 11:02 GMT BEIRUT, February 5, 2014 (AFP) – Polio vaccination has begun in Syria’s besieged Yarmuk camp, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said Wednesday. The once bustling…

occupied Palestinian territory: Warm Clothes for Gaza Flood Victims
Relief Web 4 Feb 2014 – Source: American Near East Refugee Aid Country: occupied Palestinian territory Five-year-old Majed could hardly contain his glee when he tried on the warm jacket he received during ANERA’s distribution of clothing appropriate for cold weather. “It makes me warm. I’m…

occupied Palestinian territory: Palestinian healthcare leaders discuss major problems facing East Jerusalem hospitals
Relief Web 4 Feb 2014 – Source: World Health Organization, European Union Country: occupied Palestinian territory Key issues facing hospitals in East Jerusalem were in focus as the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network (EJHN) held its third annual conference last week. Areas of focus included financial sustainability…

The National

Despite increased US aid to Syria rebels unity remains elusive
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Saudi Arabia is adopting a policy increasingly independent of the US when it comes to arming Syria’s rebel forces.

Syrian rebels say US increasing aid to pressure Assad
The National 5 Feb 2014 – The injection of funding from Washington comes on top of a major push by Arabian Gulf states to finance rebel operations in the southern region of Syria, including the war to control the capital, Damascus.

Delhi’s dirty air alarms experts as official do little to cut pollution
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Studies show that the levels of carcinogenic matter in the Indian capital’s air is between three and eight times the acceptable healthy standard.

Saudi law targets foreign jihadis 
The National 5 Feb 2014 – The nature of modern terrorism is individual and messainic. That makes it more essential that both the root and the branches of the scourge are tackled

String of bomb attacks hit Baghdad, killing at least 33
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Wednesday’s bombings, including a suicide attack, ripped through religiously mixed areas of the Iraqi capital during morning rush-hour.

Gaza farmers use herbal remedy to cure economic woes
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Looking for blockade loopholes, five Gaza farmers are growing herbs, most in greenhouses on land where Jewish settlers used to raise the same crops until Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Libya destroys Qaddafi-era chemical weapons
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Libya has successfully completed the destruction of the chemical weapons stockpile built-up by slain leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Tougher enforcement of Jordan shisha ban sparks public outcry
The National 5 Feb 2014 – Under a decision based on a 2008 law that was not previously enforced, the Jordanian government has announced that by the end of 2014 the licences of more than 5,000 establishments that serve hookahs will be revoked.

Pacific castaway survivor’s family in El Salvador rejoices to regain long lost son
The National 5 Feb 2014 – The family of a Salvadoran fisherman who says he survived at least 13 months at sea in an open boat had thought he was dead after losing touch with him eight years ago and are calling his astonishing story of survival a miracle.

Ha’aretz

Denver Nuggets’ owner signs deal with Israeli ticket app
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Around Israel, a cold weather sport gets a warm welcome
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Israeli education minister’s creed: God, the Holocaust, and the military
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Dallas man sues rabbi for using home as synagogue
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Hebrew University professor named as Israel’s chief scientist
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Sources: AG wants to drop charges against Daphni Leef
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Army investigating psychiatrist’s handling of suicidal soldier
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Bar-Ilan research finds holding heals preemies
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

When hunger trumps satisfaction
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Kerry, Jews were also refugees in ’48
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

In wake of Verete affair, Israeli civics teachers wary
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Comptroller blasts state for neglecting restitution of Jewish property in Arab states
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Kerry: I won’t be intimidated by Israeli attacks against me
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Kerry: I won’t be intimidated by Israeli attacks against me
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Israel anti-boycott bill pulled ahead of N.Y. Assembly vote
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Reform leader demands Netanyahu reprimand MK
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Dutch pension fund ABP won’t divest from Israeli banks
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Student who singled out ‘leftist’ teacher gets big ‘like’ from culture minister
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Settler advocacy group posts video mocking Kerry
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Reform Jews ‘not Jewish,’ says Knesset law committee head
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

A victory for transfer
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

What if the boycotters don’t isolate Israel?
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Court indicts Jerusalem man for rape of American tourist
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Stop talking up the boycott
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

As snow storm continues, U.S. Northeast struggles to cope
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Jerusalem court charges 4 Palestinians in planned wedding hall attack
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Red Cross stops providing emergency tents to Palestinians in Jordan Valley
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Three settlers first to be charged in ‘unprovoked’ anti-Arab attack
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Israel issues 558 permits for East Jerusalem housing
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Memo to Jewish groups: You can’t effectively fight BDS if you don’t fight settlements too
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Israeli security force official, Palestinian hurt in West Bank clashes
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

How Europe is speed-dating Iran
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Two female anteaters move to Ramat Gan
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Two Israeli combat pilots jailed for storing maps on smartphones
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Coke’s Super Bowl TV ad sparks digital U.S. civil war
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Ministers to mull bill annexing all West Bank settlements
Ha’aretz – 5 Feb 2014

Making the poor transparent
Ha’aretz – 4 Feb 2014

Funding cuts for Haredi draft-dodgers finally puts an end to Knesset foot-dragging
Ha’aretz – 4 Feb 2014

Reconcile with Turkey
Ha’aretz – 4 Feb 2014

Israel fails to implement dozens of laws
Ha’aretz – 4 Feb 2014

Jerusalem Post

A shot across the bow: The High Court’s ruling on haredi subsidies
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Of the haredim who could be drafted, who number as many as 50,000, only around 3,000 are impacted, and only by a reduction of around $70 a month. 

Tshuva denies eviction of 130 Givat Amal families is wrongful
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Spokesman says families lack property rights, claims Tshuva being blackmailed. 

Bayit Yehudi: Lapid will fold on imposing criminal sanctions for haredim who avoid army service
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Shas MK proposes bill to withhold subsidies from institutes of higher education where the number of students who don’t serve in IDF is greater than 20 percent. 

Supreme Court set to reject Abutbul’s appeal
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – J’lem court ruled in December that Abutbul committed fraud in his mayoral election win; decision would pave way for new election in Beit Shemesh. 

PM’s Office: Netanyahu spent 25% less on his homes in 2013
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Announcement comes 3 months after Netanyahu criticized for spending tens of thousands of shekels on water bills, scented candles and flowers. 

US and Iranian diplomats trade barbs ahead of talks
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Zarif: US diplomat Sherman has ‘hindered’ diplomacy. 

Egyptian intelligence report: Israel had 36 spying stations in Sinai
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Six suspects arrested are Israeli citizens, two of which are Israeli Arabs and the other 4 are suspected intel. officers. 

Protecting all workers’ rights
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Israel must recognize its complicity in the plight of foreign workers and do substantially more to protect the rights of these vulnerable people. 

Laying tefillin: An anti-feminist movement
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Judaism has a concept of religion which actually takes the traditional roles of women into consideration. 

The key to peace for Israelis and Palestinians is… identity
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Thanks to Kerry, the two sides are close, perhaps closer than ever to such a new vision that will make peace possible. 

Encountering peace: The moment of truth
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Netanyahu as the leader of the right wing in Israel is the ideal political leader to make the deal with the Palestinians. 

Candidly speaking: Friends of Israel must speak up now
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Our ability to cope with failed peace efforts, however, should not preclude us from presenting our positions with strength. 

Oxfam vs SodaStream
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – It makes no difference to Oxfam that hundreds of well-paid Palestinians work right alongside Israeli counterparts at SodaStream. 

Yishai calls for general higher education cuts after court rules against haredim
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Shas MK proposes bill to withhold subsidies from institutes of higher education where the number of students who don’t serve in IDF is greater than 20 percent. 

Giant Dutch pension fund ABP declares no reason to exclude Israeli banks
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – After Danske Bank decides to boycott Bank Hapoalim, ABP fund says it sees no reason to stop its relationships with three Israeli banks; fund says publicity on Israel boycott led it to explain its non-boycott decision. 

Early universe ‘heated up’ earlier than previously believed
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Tel Aviv University researchers suggest cosmic heating may offer a way to directly investigate the earliest black holes. 

Awards in fight against human trafficking
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – President Peres, PM Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni attend awards ceremony for outstanding individuals in the fight against human trafficking. 

Early childhood counseling line for parents opens in Arabic
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Program includes free telephone hotline offering consultation for parents regarding the care and education of young children from birth until age six. 

Rejecting US remarks on nuke program, Iran FM says Fordow, Arak are non-negotiable
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Sherman, chief US negotiator to Iran nuke talks, questions need for some of Iran’s most controversial sites. 

Eating poisonous, store-bought lupine seeds sent little Uri to Rehovot hospital
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Lupine seeds are sold in shops and are usually been properly processed, but some are not, and many people pick the blue-flowered plants that they find outdoors and are careless about handling them. 

Health Ministry to recommend all pregnant women be tested for HIV
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Every year, some three or four babies are infected with HIV; testing pregnant women has been recommended by the WHO and other important health authorities. 

An Iranian nuclear deal – now for the real challenge
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Serious statesmen must grapple with the fact that the degree of difficulty of their mission has been compounded by Iranian double-talk and limited leverage caused by the crumbling of sanctions. 

Hungarian Jews set to ‘physically hinder’ Neo-Nazi rally in former synagogue
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Ultra-nationalist Jobbik party set to hold rally; two more Jewish groups declare boycott of Government’s Holocaust commemorations. 

Jerusalem named nation’s leader in supporting intellectually disabled
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Study released by Akim finds capital has highest population of intellectually disabled in country. 

A fresh constitution: A new reality on the Egyptian street
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – The latest referendum results in favor of the new Egyptian constitution are completely in line with the clearly observable shift in Egyptian society against the Muslim Brotherhood and political Islam. 

Rates of hospital emergency room visits in Israel stable in recent years
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Higher rates of emergency room visits were reported in Jerusalem and Haifa regions and lower rates in the south. 

IAF widens probe into illegal cell phone use by pilots
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – A total of 14 pilots have been sentenced for storing sensitive and classified data on personal cellphones, violating strict data security rules. 

It turns out something is cheaper in Israel…fruits and vegetables
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Bananas, at NIS 5.46 per kilogram in Israel and NIS 3.60 per kg in the US is an exceptional finding of the survey. 

Knesset meeting on establishing special Christian-Arab representation turns ugly
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – MK Zoabi thrown out of Knesset meeting for implying a Christian Arab who supports bill deserves violence. 

Cleaning workers to receive NIS 1,000 bump in pay, benefits
Jerusalem Post 5 Feb 2014 – Economy Minister Bennett tells ‘Jerusalem Post’ that raising wages of the contract workers was the most important decision he’s made since he became a minister. 

The Guardian

Israel approves 558 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem
The Guardian 5 Feb 2014 – Palestinians accuse Israelis of undermining peace talks by giving permission for construction in three West Bank settlements Jerusalem municipality has approved building plans for 558 new homes in the occupied West Bank. A municipality spokeswoman said…

Daily Star

Iraqi efforts to block Iranian overflights ‘not enough’: U.S. official
Daily Star 5 Feb 2014 The Iraqi government needs to do more to prevent Iran from flying weapons and fighters through its airspace en route to Syria, a U.S. official told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Syria’s Assad making gains, Kerry admits
Daily Star 5 Feb 2014 US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was making gains on the ground, but he denied US policy in Syria was failing.

French minister hits back at US on Iran business ties
Daily Star 5 Feb 2014 A visit to Iran by a 116-strong delegation of French business figures is “a bet” on the future and not “business as usual”, France’s finance minister said Wednesday, brushing off US criticism of the trip.

US to advise Iraq on securing oil infrastructure
Daily Star 5 Feb 2014 The United States is to provide Iraq with technical support to help it secure its oil export infrastructure, which accounts for the lion’s share of government revenues,officials said Wednesday.

Germany voices concern over Egypt media freedom
Daily Star 5 Feb 2014 Germany’s foreign minister voiced concern Wednesday over media freedom in Egypt, which has detained a number of Al-Jazeera broadcast journalists accused of being part of a “terror cell”.

YNet News

US criticizes Chinese maritime claims
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – ….

Kerry admits Syria’s Assad making gains
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – ….

Thank goodness Likud is in power
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – Op-ed: What would have happened had the Yamit region not been evacuated by Begin, had Gush Katif not been evacuated by Sharon, had it not been Olmert who offered the greatest concessions to the Palestinians? ….

Hagel orders renewed focus on US military ethics
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – ….

Knesset produces film defending circumcision 
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – After Council of Europe uses Jewish director’s documentary to specify risks of religious ritual, Israeli parliament creates film featuring Jewish and Arab hospital directors voicing their support for medical advantages of circumcision ….

United Nations thanks Hollywood amid fight to save Syria’s heritage
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – ….

State TV delays scheduled address by Iran’s Rouhani
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – ….

The Rabbinate’s Michelin guide
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – Op-ed: Kashrut reform shows that when it comes to protecting public Jewishness, there’s endless jobs. If only the same were true for public safety ….

Anne Frank’s newly recovered toys go on display
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – The famed Holocaust-era diarist gave her prized marbles to a non-Jewish friend for safekeeping before going into hiding from the Nazis ….

An EU boycott could be good for Israel
YNet News, 5 Feb 2014 – Op-ed: Thanks to the US dollar, European boycott threats could achieve the opposite outcome and improve Israeli export revenues ….

Israel’s security is no illusion
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Op-ed: Kerry should be reminded of what happened to terrorists who murdered our athletes in Munich – Israel settled score with every single one of them ….

Blue-on-blue tragedy: The tough questions
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Were Givati soldiers properly briefed? Were they given the rules of engagement for operating near a friendly force? Did the Givati soldier ask permission to open fire? ….

Military experts: NATO is very effective compared to UNIFIL
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – According to Israeli military experts, Abbas’ suggestion to deploy international troops at future Palestinian state could be effective in maintaining security, depending on troops’ capabilities, authorities ….

Asylum seekers’ protest persists
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Protest declared by asylum seekers in south Tel Aviv continues to draw hundreds of supporters ….

Document reveals disagreement, division in Gaza
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Previously-posted rocket-prevention forces withdrawn over weekend due to disagreement between Hamas’ military wing and its political leadership. Forces were redeployed after involvement of Haniyeh, Meshaal ….

17 years since helicopter disaster: Wound that will not heal
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Raya Effner, mother of Staff Sergeant Avi Effner who was killed in the 1997 Israeli helicopter disaster, will never forget the night when two Yasur helicopters collided over She’ar Yashuv in northern Israel ….

Russia: Syria to remove chemical weapons by March
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Comments came after US criticizes Assad on for slow pace in moving ammunition out of country for destruction ….

Assad continues Instagram posting in midst of violence: ‘Damn, he got style’
YNet News, 4 Feb 2014 – Upcoming three-year anniversary of Syrian civil war marked with stylish pictures from ‘the most handsome president that I know’ ….

Palestinian Information Center

Jewish settlers chop down 250 olive trees
PIC – Jewish settlers chopped down 250 olive trees to the north of Aqraba village, south of Nablus, on Wednesday.

IOF soldiers raid Aroub refugee camp, detain citizens
PIC – Israeli occupation forces (IOF) raided Aroub refugee camp, north of Al-Khalil, on Wednesday and detained a number of citizens and beat them up.

Israeli police attack a woman and one of al-Aqsa guards
PIC – Israeli policemen attacked on Wednesday morning a Jerusalemite woman, Um Tariq Hashlamoun, and took her to a police station in the occupied city for questioning.

Serious Israeli violations against detained children
PIC – Following her visit to Megiddo prison, lawyer Hiba Mosalha revealed Israeli violations and ill-treatment policy against Palestinian minors in Israeli jails.

Family of elderly detainee appeals for her release
PIC – The family of an elderly woman detained in Israeli jails appealed on Wednesday to all authorities to intervene to release her.

Israeli demolition campaign in occupied Jerusalem
PIC – Israeli bulldozers started since the early morning hours Wednesday a large demolition campaign against Jerusalemites’ homes in Sur Baher, Jabal Makbir, and Beit Hanina.

Palestinian citizens wounded in clashes at Far’a camp
PIC – A number of Palestinian youths and an Israeli soldier were wounded at dawn Wednesday during clashes that erupted in the Far’a camp, to the northeast of Nablus.

Palestinians in Brazil call on PA to stop the negotiations
PIC – The Palestinian community in Brazil called on the PA leadership in Ramallah to halt the “futile” negotiations with the Israeli occupation, and to adopt the option of resistance in all its forms.

More Palestinian refugees die in Syria camps
PIC – The Action Group for Palestinians in Syria said that four Palestinian refugees died on Tuesday, three of them in the Yarmouk refugee camp of starvation and lack of medical care.

WAFA

Ashrawi Condemns Israel’s Latest Settlement Units, Home Demolitions
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

EUPOL COPPS Delivers Drug Awareness Training to Police
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Two more Homes Demolished in Jerusalem
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

PEX Report: Index Resumes Upward Trend
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Israel Hands Demolition Orders for Five Silwan Houses
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Army Expels 35 Families from their Jordan Valley Homes
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Tulkarm TV Stops Broadcast after Israeli Threats
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Youth Shot and Injured during Clashes in Tubas
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Court Upholds Demolition Order against Makeshift Homes
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Municipality Demolishes Two Houses in Jerusalem
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Statistics: Industrial Production Down in December, but Up in 2013
WAFA – 5 Feb 2014

Misc

Fragile accord raises hope for residents trapped in Syrian camp
LA Times 4 Feb 2014 – Some residents have begun leaving and some aid is trickling into the long-besieged Yarmouk camp in Damascus. YARMOUK, Syria — They emerged from a dim alley called Rama Street, some carried on stretchers or pushed in wheelchairs, others dragging bulging suitcases as they looked for…

Iran sanctions remain despite nuclear deal, U.S. officials say
LA Times 4 Feb 2014 – The interim pact has led to Iran visits by Western businesses. Any that flout sanctions will be punished, U.S. officials tell a Senate panel. WASHINGTON — Obama administration officials insisted to a Senate panel Tuesday that a temporary deal meant to curb Iran’s nuclear program…

Syria-trained U.S. militants pose threat, officials say
LA Times 4 Feb 2014 – Counter-terrorism officials worry that Americans returning after fighting with Al Qaeda-linked groups in Syria will launch attacks in the U.S. WASHINGTON — More than 50 U.S. citizens have joined extremist groups that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, and some have returned to…

Syria: At least 50 Americans have joined extremist units, U.S. says
LA Times 4 Feb 2014 – WASHINGTON — At least 50 Americans have joined the mix of extremist groups that are fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad, and some could try to mount terrorist attacks at home, U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday.

Iraqi Tribes to Take Lead in Falluja Fight, U.S. Says
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Brett McGurk, a top State Department official, provided new details about the Iraqi government’s effort to regain control of a key Sunni city now occupied by jihadists. 

World Briefing: Israel: Final Approval Is Given on East Jerusalem Apartments
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – The 500 new apartments are in neighborhoods, in territory Israel captured during the 1967 war and later annexed, that are considered illegal settlements by most of the world. 

Kerry Plays Down Criticism From Israeli Officials, Citizens
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday brushed off Israeli criticism of his Middle East peace efforts, saying he has been “attacked” with bullets in the past and would not be intimidated by words. 

Baghdad Journal: Preserving Routine Amid Rising Violence
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Bombings have ebbed but have never retreated over the years in the working-class Shaab area of Baghdad. 

Russia Opposes a Humanitarian Resolution on Syria
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Russia’s United Nations ambassador says Moscow is against a U.N. Security Council resolution that would push for greater humanitarian access to Syria to deliver desperately needed aid. 

Egypt Army Chief Sisi Says Will Run for President: Report
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Egyptian army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said he will run for president, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported on Thursday. 

Qatari Court Rejects U.S. Couple’s Request to Return Home
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – The court said the verdict in the case against Matthew and Grace Huang, accused of starving their adopted African daughter to death, would be announced March 27. 

U.S. Eases Rules to Admit More Syrian Refugees, After 31 Last Year
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – President Barack Obama’s administration announced on Wednesday that it had eased some immigration rules to allow more of the millions of Syrians forced from their homes during the country’s three-year civil war to come to the United States. 

Iraqi Efforts to Block Iranian Overflights ‘Not Enough’: U.S. Official
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – The Iraqi government needs to do more to prevent Iran from flying weapons and fighters through its airspace en route to Syria, a U.S. official told lawmakers on Wednesday. 

Yemen Gunmen Kill 4 Soldiers, Commander
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Security officials say gunmen have attacked an army patrol near a gas export terminal in southern Yemen, killing four soldiers. 

U.N. Expert Says UAE Judicial System Controlled by Executive
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – The judicial system of the United Arab Emirates is “under the de facto control of the executive branch of the government”, a U.N. envoy said on Wednesday, expressing concern about reports of prosecutors being influenced by state security services. 

Iran: US ‘Wishes Won’t Come True’ at Nuclear Talks
New York Times 5 Feb 2014 – Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday that Washington’s “wishes are unlikely to come true” in talks between the Islamic Republic and world powers over its nuclear program, the government’s latest apparent attempt to deflect criticism from hard-line skeptics who say that President Hassan Rouhani will give up too much for too little in upcoming negotiations over a final comprehensive deal. 

Bill targeting Israel boycotters introduced in Maryland
Mondoweiss – Senator Joan Carter Conway. (Photo: Algerina Perna/Baltimore Sun) The New York measure aimed at academic groups boycotting Israel is stalled for now , but a similar bill has emerged in Maryland. Authored by State Senator Joan Conway Carter, the Maryland bill bars public universities from providing funds…

‘Haaretz’ analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel
Mondoweiss – Haaretz photo caption:”An ad starring Scarlett Johansson. Indirectly, she’s influencing the shekel, analysts say.” (Photo by SodaStream Frame grab) Rafi Gozlan, the chief economist at Leader Capital Markets , one of Israel’s top investment banks, is speculating that the threat of boycott and sanctions…

Defense Ministry wants NIS 750m budget supplement
Globes Main News – The government might issue a bond to be repaid from land sales of vacated IDF bases.

Fruits and vegetables cheaper in Israel
Globes Main News – The Agriculture Ministry says prices are lower than in the US and Western Europe.

Leumi requires Europeans to show tax documents
Globes Main News – The process has begun with customers at Leumi Private Bank in Switzerland.

Public to pay NIS 500m to save Hadassah
Globes Main News – Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America will transfer only $19 million a year to the hospital.

GetTaxi US CEO: We’re not afraid of Uber
Globes Main News – Jing Herman tells “Globes”: They tried to defraud us we’re considering legal action.

Israel and apartheid: a response to Hirsh Goodman
Mondoweiss – Palestinian men walk through Huwara checkpoint near Nablus. (Photo:Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90/Times of Israel) Read more: IDF arrests Palestinian carrying two bombs at checkpoint south of Nablus | The Times of Israelhttp://www.timesofisrael.com/idf-arrests– In a recent New York Times opinion piece Hirsh Goodman wrote: After decades of arguing that…

Bearing witless
Mondoweiss – Entering occupied Bethlehem, 2010 Elisa Strauss has a piece in The Forward about how she checked out of the Israel issue because she was turned off by the propaganda she got on Birthright and from Hillel, even as she was seeing the wall in Palestine. Excerpts:…

Employees acquire Nokia Solutions Israel
Globes Main News – Atrinet will develop software defined networks and network functions solutions.

New Microsoft CEO knows Israel operations well
Globes Main News – Israel operations are based on technology in fields close to Satya Nadella – cloud computing and infrastructures.

Elbit Systems wins $23m IDF simulator contract 
Globes Aerospace & Defense – Elbit Systems will operate and maintain the training systems for five years.

Time to take stock of West Bank economic damage
Globes Main News – The government has made it clear businesses and investors will pay the price of boycotts.

Lapid: We’ll stop stipends for yeshiva students
Globes Main News – The High Court of Justice issued an injunction banning stipends to yeshiva students whose IDF enlistment has been deferred.

No Russian salvation for Israel Chemicals
Globes Main News – Reports in the Russian media say that the potash cartel will not be reconstituted.

Israeli private equity deals hit 3-year low 
Globes Macro Economics – 44 private equity deals amounted to $2.2 billion in 2013.

Oh hey, you forgot the Palestinian flag
Mondoweiss – Food Palestinian Flag (photo: Shirien) I think it can get confusing for a lot of Palestinian children growing up in the US. At least for me, anyway. I was hella confused as a kid. I come from a family of Palestinian refugees. My families on both…

58 angry, selfish, foolish Jews don’t understand: AIPAC speaks for Israel
Mondoweiss – Lori Lowenthal Marcus The American Jewish community is opening up more and more, and it’s up for grabs, between rightwing and liberal Zionists (with a few non-Zionists jumping in too). The latest news: The rightwing Israel lobby, which is aligned with AIPAC, is slamming a letter…

Israeli Knesset Member Says The Reform Movement is ‘Not Jewish’ 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Feb 2014 – Israeli lawmaker David Rotem, who heads an influential Knesset committee, said the Reform movement “is not Jewish.” Click here for the rest of the article…

Israel approves East Jerusalem homes 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – Israeli officials give final approval for 558 apartments in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem, in a move Palestinians say could derail peace talks.

Hungary Jews Reject State Money for Holocaust Anniversary Events 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Feb 2014 – Several Jewish organizations in Hungary as a form of protest will not accept government grants for memorial events marking the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust. Click here for the rest of the article…

Eyal Golan ‘Sex With Girls’ Charge Dropped 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Feb 2014 – The case against Israeli singer Eyal Golan for allegedly having sex with minors was closed due to a lack of evidence. Click here for the rest of the article…

Egypt: Saudi Arabia – We Are Fully Supporting Egypt 
allAfrica.com 5 Feb 2014 – [Egypt Online]The Saudi Crown Prince and First Deputy Premier Prince Salman Bin Abdul Azizi said Saudi Arabia will continue to offer every possible support to Egypt whose security and stability concern Arabs as a whole.

VIDEO: Syria misses weapons deadline 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – Syria has missed its deadline to ship all chemical weapons out of the country. Rajesh Mirchandani reports.

UN details abuse of Syria children 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – A report shows children have endured “unspeakable and unacceptable” suffering during the conflict in Syria, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says.

Is New York Anti-Boycott Bill in Trouble? 
The Foward Breaking News 5 Feb 2014 – The New York State Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill intended to prohibit colleges from using any state money to fund groups that boycott Israeli universities. Click here for the rest of the article…

‘I played basketball for Gaddafi’ 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – ‘I played basketball for Gaddafi – and almost lost my life’

Baghdad bombings leave 33 dead 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – At least 33 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a series of bombings in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, officials say.

Libyan school hit in grenade attack 
BBC 5 Feb 2014 – At least 12 children are injured in a grenade attack at a school in the Libyan city of Benghazi, officials say.

Playground bomb wounds children in Libya’s Benghazi 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Libyan youths stand next to blood stains and torn shoes at the scene of a blast that rocked a primary school in Libya’s restive second city Benghazi during playtime on February 5, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Abdellah Doma) A bomb rocked the playground of a primary…

Gunmen kill four soldiers in southern Yemen 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Unidentified gunmen shot dead four Yemeni soldiers Wednesday in an attack on a military vehicle in the southern Shabwa province, an official said. They opened fire as the vehicle headed to an army checkpoint near the port of Balhaf gas-export terminal. “The attack killed four soldiers…

The Shadow Witness 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 5 Feb 2014 – Youssef Abdelke never drew still lifes (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Youssef Abdelke never drew still lifes (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Youssef Abdelke never drew still lifes. This was contrived by academics and critics. He portrayed the dormant volcano, ever since his famous charcoals became impressed in our imagination….

Exodus of Businessmen From Syria 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Syrians gather with their belongings on the rebel controlled side of the Bustan al-Qasr checkpoint in the district of Aleppo on February 3, 2014. (AFP – Baraa al-Halabi). Syrians gather with their belongings on the rebel controlled side of the Bustan al-Qasr checkpoint in the district…

Israel to build 550 illegal settler homes in east Jerusalem 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Israel on Wednesday pushed forward with plans to build more than 550 new homes in illegal settlement neighborhoods of annexed east Jerusalem, the city council said. In a statement listing “building permits that were approved” during a local planning committee session, it said permits were granted…

Deadly explosions hit Baghdad 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Iraqis look up as the smoke billows from the first floor of a building that was hit in an explosion in the business district of Sinak in central Baghdad on February 5, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Sabah Arar) Three explosions in Baghdad, including one opposite the…

Warring Syrian rebel groups sign truce deal 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – The jihadi Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham has signed a truce deal in Syria with an Islamist rebel brigade involved in a widespread armed backlash against it. The deal signed Tuesday between ISIS and Suqour al-Sham was posted online on Wednesday. It calls for “an…

Turkey-Syria border remains vulnerable 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Increased patrols along the Turkey-Syria border do not provide full security.

Iran nuclear talks could benefit from shift in Israel 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Would Israel consider a nuclear deal with Iran similar to the 1974 and 1975 Egypt-Israel disengagement agreements?

UN report details “raft of horrors” inflicted on Syrian children 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – The body of a child lies on the ground in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo following a reported Syrian government forces air strike on February 4, 2014. (Photo: AFP – Zein al-Rifai) The Syrian war has caused “unspeakable suffering” to children, who have been tortured,…

Syrian Kurdish groups split over autonomy decision 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – In a move that sparked controversy among Kurdish groups, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) announced the formation of an autonomous government in three towns in northern Syria.

Murmurs in Dahiyeh: Yes, We are Afraid 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – After a string of suicide bombings, life in Dahiyeh is not the same as before (Photo: Haitham Moussawi). After a string of suicide bombings, life in Dahiyeh is not the same as before (Photo: Haitham Moussawi). After a string of suicide bombings, life in Dahiyeh is…

Turkey needs ministry of women’s affairs 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Not only would a ministry of women’s affairs help to integrate Turkish women into politics, it would boost the country’s economy.

Two men beheaded in Saudi Arabia for drug smuggling, murder 
Al-Akhbar News 5 Feb 2014 – Saudi authorities on Wednesday beheaded a Pakistani for smuggling drugs and a national for killing a compatriot, the interior ministry said, bringing the number of executions in the kingdom this year to nine. Mohammed Asharaf Ramadan was caught attempting to smuggle into the kingdom an amount…

Erdogan’s Germany visit all about Turkish politics 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s trip to Berlin was a political show for his audience back home and is not likely to affect Turkish-German relations.

Armed groups, regime fight for control of eastern Syria 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – In addition to fighting the regime, opposition factions fight amongst themselves for control of Syria’s oil-rich eastern region.

Iran, Israel and the politics of gesture 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Iranian and Israeli officials are listening to each other at international conferences.

Israel reviews gas ‘exports’ to Palestine 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Leviathan Gas Partners signed a deal for the sale of gas to the Palestinian Authority, and now the Israeli Ministry of Finance is debating whether it is an export transaction with a foreign state, or a sale deal within the domestic market.

Israeli singer with right-wing views denied lifetime award 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Despite xenophobic statements by singer Ariel Zilber, the Israeli right blames the left of persecuting him over the decision to award him a lifetime achievement award.

Satirical Turkish site on trial for insulting religion 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Turkish prosecutors are busily pursuing “insults” to Islam, while hate speech against Jews and Christians goes largely unnoticed.

Iraqi vendors diversify supplies in response to Syria, Anbar conflicts 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Military operations launched in the Anbar province, located along the Syrian border, have disrupted the import of goods from Syria, leading Iraqi vendors to turn to other states to import goods.

Abbas keeps options open with gesture to Iran 
Al-Monitor 5 Feb 2014 – Senior Palestinian officials from Ramallah have recently visited Damascus and Tehran, suggesting President Mahmoud Abbas is exploring other options if US-brokered peace talks with Israel fail.

Al-Qaeda and ISIS: The Renunciation of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi 
Al-Akhbar Politics 4 Feb 2014 – A rebel fighter carrying a weapon rides his bike on February 3, 2014 in a street in the northeastern city of Deir Ezzor. At least 36 people were killed on February 2, 2014. (Photo: AFP- Ahmad Aboud). A rebel fighter carrying a weapon rides his bike…

Articles


The cynical use of Palestinian workers in the SodaStream controversy 
Larry Derfner, +972 Magazine 2/5/2014
As a rule, Palestinians working for Israelis in the West Bank hate the settlements and the occupation. But they have to feed their families, so they swallow their pride.
Supporters of the occupation have found a new set of spokesmen: the Palestinian workers at the West Bank factory owned by the Israeli company SodaStream, of BDS and Scarlett Johansson fame. Reporters from The Christian Science Monitor, The Telegraph and other media outlets talked to some of the 500 Palestinians employed at the Mishor Adumim plant, and quoted them saying they were against the boycott. It was threatening their livelihood. They would have a hard time finding a job at a Palestinian-owned company and no chance at all of finding one that paid as well as SodaStream, which, they said, treated them fairly.
“Palestinian workers back Scarlett Johansson’s opposition to SodaStream boycott,” read The Monitor’s headline. “’We need 1,000 SodaStreams around here,’” read The Telegraph’s, taken from a quote by a Palestinian contractor at the plant.
These were news stories in highly reputable media, their treatment of the issue was balanced, the quotes from the Palestinians – many taken while they were outside the plant – seemed credible. To people who don’t understand the occupation (and they include even intelligent, informed, liberal-minded folks like Johansson), this is very persuasive testimony. And so the hasbaratists have jumped on it. Honest Reporting, one of the most successful of the many pro-Israel, anti-Arab “media watchdogs,” stamped the Palestinians’ accounts all over its website in posts such as “Fighting BDS – SodaStream Workers Speak Out” and “SodaStream shows that BDS is the real obstacle to peace,”
Butter wouldn’t melt in these propagandists’ mouths. To understate things, it is rather cynical using those Palestinian workers as a weapon against the boycott and, by extension, on behalf of the settlements and occupation…. more.. e-mail

What does Bibi actually want? 
Noam Sheizaf, +972 Magazine 2/4/2014
Finally recognizing the pressure over the Palestinian issue, Netanyahu seems to be negotiating for ‘an agreement with the world.’
What does Bibi want? I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that question. With so many attempts to decipher him – in interviews with his proxies, accounts by former employees and analyses by pundits – speculation over the Israeli prime minister’s true intentions should have been recognized as an Olympic sport by now. TIME magazine had no problem twice posing the exact same question — will Netanyahu make peace – on its cover, 16 years apart.
The answer is hidden in plain sight: There is no master plan. The status quo, this ambiguity regarding the future, crisis management style – that’s Netanyahu, for better and for worse. His qualities do have an up-side: Bibi, now Israel’s second-longest-serving prime minister, behind the state’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion, is also one of the most restrained leaders this country has known. Except for one short Gaza campaign, he has never launched a military operation or war.
His restraint is a matter of personality but also in line with the Revisionist movement’s political tradition, whose leaders never wanted to reshape the region with war and diplomacy the way the Labor Party did.
Also on the Palestinian issue, maintaining the status quo is a strategic decision Israeli conservatives made to replaced their hopes for “Greater Israel,” which was prevalent on the Right until the Second Intifada. According to this line of thinking, context and conditions in the Middle East change, and eventually an opportunity will emerge for Israel to maintain control of all the land from the sea to the Jordan River…. more.. e-mail

Iran is not the problem 
Lawrence Davidson, Ma’an News Agency 2/5/2014
The investigative reporter and author Gareth Porter has recently published a book entitled A Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare. 
An impressively written and researched work, it is also frightening in its implications. For if Porter’s allegations are accurate, it is not Iran that the American people should fear — it is their own politicians, bureaucrats and an “ally” named Israel.
According
to Porter, there has never been a serious nuclear weapons program undertaken by Iran. This is a conclusion that is supported by the heads of all American intelligence agencies reporting annually to Congress.

Unfortunately, this repeated determination has been scorned by the politicians and poorly reported by the media. As a result the American people lack the knowledge to independently judge Iranian actions as regards nuclear research, and so can be led to erroneous conclusions by those pursuing their own political or ideological ends or, as in the present case, the intrigues of a foreign government. 
Needing an Enemy 
Following the end of the Cold War, the U.S. foreign relations, military and “defense” bureaucracies quickly focused on the issue of terrorism. 
And well they might, for their own policies of backing all manner of right-wing dictatorships had identified the U.S. as an enemy of almost every resistance movement on the planet. These wrongheaded policies provoked violent responses, including the attacks of September 11, 2001. more.. e-mail

Cornering a Brave Palestinian Man of Peace 
Nicola Nasser, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 2/5/2014
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands now at a crossroads of his people’s national struggle for liberation and independence as well as of his political life career, cornered between the rock of his own rejecting constituency and the hard place of his Israeli occupying power and the US sponsors of their bilateral negotiations, which were resumed last July 29, despite his minesweeping concessions and backtracking “on all his redlines.”
Unmercifully pressured by both Israeli negotiators and American mediators, the elusive cause of peace stands about to loose in Abbas a brave Palestinian man of peace-making of an historical stature whose demise would squander what could be the last opportunity for the so-called two-state solution.
To continue pressuring Abbas into yielding more concessions without any reciprocal rewards is turning a brave man into an adventurer committing historical and strategic mistakes in the eyes of his people, a trend that if continued would in no time disqualify him of a personal weight that is a prerequisite to make his people accept his “painful” concessions.
The emerging, heavily “pro-Israel” US-proposed framework agreement “appears to ask the Palestinians to accept peace terms that are worse than the Israeli ones they already rejected … that it would all but compel the Palestinians to reject it,” Larry Derfner wrote in The National Interest on this February 3.
Abbas “rejects all transitional, partial and temporary solutions,” his spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said on last January 5, but that’s exactly what the leaks of the blueprint of the “framework agreement” reveal.
Reportedly, the international Quartet on the Middle East, comprising the US, EU, UN and Russia, meeting on the sidelines of the Munich security conference last week, supported US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to commit Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to his proposed “framework agreement.” more.. e-mail

Rising above Vengeance: Salt and Terror in Afghanistan
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Feb 2014 – By Kathy Kelly In late January in a room in Kabul, Afghanistan, I joined several dozen people, working seamstresses, some college students, socially engaged teenagers and a few visiting internationals like myself, to discuss world hunger. Our emphasis was not exclusively on their own country’s worsening hunger problems. The Afghan Peace Volunteers, in whose home we were meeting, draw strength from looking beyond their own very real struggles. With us was Hakim, a medical doctor who spent six years working as a public health specialist in the central highlands of Afghanistan and, prior to that, among refugees in Quetta, Pakistan. He helped us understand conditions that lead to food shortages and taught us about diseases, such as kwashiorkor and marasmus, which are caused by insufficient protein or general malnutrition. We looked at UN figures about hunger in Afghanistan, which show malnutrition rates rising by 50 percent or more compared with…more

Iraq near Implosion: The ‘Bad Years’ Are Back
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Feb 2014 – By Ramzy Baroud As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry hurried to his helicopter ready to take off at the end of a visit to Iraq last year, it was becoming clearer that the Americans have lost control of a country they wished to mold to their liking. His departure on March 24, 2013 was the conclusion of a ‘surprise’ visit meant to mark the 10th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. Ten years prior, the US had stormed Baghdad, unleashing one of the 20th century
s most brutal and longest conflicts. Since then, Iraq has not ceased to bleed. Kerry offered nothing of value on that visit, save the same predictable clichés of Iraq’s supposedly successful democracy, as a testament to some imagined triumph of American values. But it was telling that a decade of war was not even enough to assure an ordinary trip for the American diplomat….
more

Cornering a ‘Brave Palestinian Man of Peace’
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Feb 2014 – By Nicola Nasser – Bir Zeit, West Bank Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas stands now at a crossroads of his people’s national struggle for liberation and independence as well as of his political life career, cornered between the rock of his own rejecting constituency and the hard place of his Israeli occupying power and the US sponsors of their bilateral negotiations, which were resumed last July 29, despite his minesweeping concessions and backtracking “on all his redlines.” Unmercifully pressured by both Israeli negotiators and American mediators, the elusive cause of peace stands about to lose in Abbas a brave Palestinian man of peace-making of an historical stature whose demise would squander what could be the last opportunity for the so-called two-state solution. To continue pressuring Abbas into yielding more concessions without any reciprocal rewards is turning a brave man into an adventurer committing historical and strategic mistakes in the eyes of…more

Re-Emerging Islamic Civilization – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Feb 2014 – Review by Jim Miles (From Postmodernism to Postsecularism – Re-Emerging Islamic Civilization. Eric Walberg. Clarity Press, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. 2013.) In his introduction, Eric Walberg states, “The main purpose of this book is to help the reader to understand the alternative map which Islam offers.” This is both a literal and figural map, an alternative to the imperial and neo-colonial boundaries that divide the Islamic world, and an alternative viewpoint to that of the imperial driver of capitalism. This offer includes “realigning ourselves with Nature, and rediscovering humanities’ spiritual evolutionary path…without abandoning the vital role of reason.” This path along this alternate view is created strongly, with an obvious sympathy for the parts of Islam that are little known to the capitalist imperial view. It is a fully comprehensive path, leading the reader through time and through not just the Middle East, but on into Northern Africa, the Sahel, South…more

Misread Telexes Led Analysts to See Iran Nuclear Arms Programme
Dissident Voice: 5 Feb 2014 – (IPS) — When Western intelligence agencies began in the early 1990s to intercept telexes from an Iranian university to foreign high technology firms, intelligence analysts believed they saw the first signs of military involvement in Iran’s nuclear programme. That suspicion led to U.S. intelligence assessments over the next decade that Iran was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons. The supposed evidence of military efforts to procure uranium enrichment equipment shown in the telexes was also the main premise of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s investigation of Iran’s nuclear programme from 2003 through 2007. But the interpretation of the intercepted telexes on which later assessments were based turned out to have been a fundamental error. The analysts, eager to find evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons programme, had wrongly assumed that the combination of interest in technologies that could be used in a nuclear programme and the apparent role of a military-related institution…more


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