VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 12 April 2014: Abbas’ move brings out Israeli racism

12 April 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Army Declares Nabi Saleh Village A Closed Military Zone
IMEMC – [Saturday, April 12, 2014] Israeli soldiers closed all entrances of the Nabi Saleh village, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah, and declared the village a closed military zone; a young Palestinian man was shot by a live round, while a woman suffered fractures after being assaulted by the soldiers. …

Erekat: Israeli Sanctions ‘Piracy’
IMEMC – The chief Palestinian negotiator in current Mideast peace talks called Israel’s decision to stop tax money transfers “piracy”, Al Ray reports from Gaza. …

49 Abducted in Israeli Police Action near Gaza
IMEMC – Israeli forces have launched a campaign of “sweeps” against Palestinians without permits, between Northern Gaza and the West Bank, in the lead-up to the Passover and Easter holidays. …

Peretz: Time to Settle Netanyahu Government’s Position
IMEMC – Via Hebew radio, Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection, Amir Peretz, strongly criticized, on Saturday evening, the right-wing ‘Jewish Home’ party, describing it as “the party of national hypocrisy”, with accusations of empathetic support for settlers, if even indirectly. …

Occupation Forces Shoot 2 Youth During Clashes in Aida Camp
IMEMC – Two Palestinians were injured, Saturday, during clashes between local youth and Israeli forces in Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem. …

Hebron: Attacks on Lands and Residents, Including Minors, by Soldiers and Settlers
IMEMC – Armed Israeli settlers attacked, on Saturday, Palestinian farmers and shepherds in lands to the east of Yatta in Hebron district, according to a local activist. …

Israeli Soldiers ‘Seize Tax Clearance Slips’ at Commercial Crossing
IMEMC – Israeli forces late Friday began to confiscate tax clearance certificates from Palestinian merchants at the main commercial crossing between Israel and the West Bank, according to Palestinian security sources. …

Settlers Burn Olive Trees West of Bethlehem
IMEMC – Israeli settlers burned down a number of olive trees at dawn, this morning [Saturday, April 12, 2014]. … 

Israel ‘Demolishes’ EU-funded West Bank Housing Shelters
IMEMC – Israel has demolished several European Union-funded humanitarian housing shelters in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem, an EU official said Friday. …

Ma’an News

Israel demolishes EU-funded West Bank housing shelters
4/12/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel has demolished several European Union-funded humanitarian housing shelters in a highly sensitive strip of West Bank land near Jerusalem, an EU official said Friday.”On April 9, three of some 18 residential structures were demolished. . . in Jabal al-Baba,” an area outside the sprawling settlement of Maale Adumim, a spokesman for the EU’s delegation to the Palestinian territories told AFP. The….

Israeli forces shoot 2 youths during clashes in Aida camp
4/12/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Two Palestinians were injured on Saturday during clashes between local youths and Israeli forces in Aida refugee camp north of Bethlehem. A local source said that the two young men were shot by Israeli soldiers during the clashes, one with a live bullet in the leg and the other with a metal-covered steel bullet. The source said that Israeli forces entered….

49 Palestinians arrested in southern Israel sweep
4/12/2014 – BEERSHEBA (Ma’an) — Israeli police forces have launched a “wide campaign” of arrests in southern Israel against Palestinians in the country without permits in the lead up to the Easter holiday. The police department of the Lakhish regional council of southern Israel said in a statement that in the last week 49 Palestinians had been arrested in the sweeps, including 28 at a construction….

Israeli forces declare Nabi Saleh ‘military zone,’ injure 2 people
4/12/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces surrounded the central West Bank village of Nabi Saleh and declared it a “closed military zone” on Saturday, subsequently injuring two Palestinian civilians, a local group said. The attack by Israeli forces comes a day after Israeli forces detained five — including two Palestinian women and three foreign journalists — and lightly injured a French journalist during a protest in the….

Unidentified gunmen fire at home of lawyer near Qalqiliya
4/12/2014 – QALQILIYA (Ma’an) — Unidentified gunmen early Saturday opened fire at a lawyer’s home in the northern West Bank, Palestinian security sources said. Palestinian security sources told Ma’an the assailants also set tires ablaze in front of the house of lawyer Jamal Arar in the village of Magharat al-Daba south of Qalqiliya. The suspects fled the scene without being identified, the sources said. [END]

Israeli soldiers ‘seize tax clearance slips’ at commercial crossing
4/12/2014 – NABLUS (Ma’an) — Israeli forces late Friday began to confiscate tax clearance certificates from Palestinian merchants at the main commercial crossing between Israel and the West Bank, Palestinian security sources told Ma’an. The sources said Israeli officers took clearance certificates by force from several merchants at al-Jalameh crossing in Jenin in an apparent effort to enforce the latest round of sanctions against….

New Israeli legal campaign accuses Abbas of ‘terrorism’
4/12/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Right-wing Israeli political parties have begun a campaign to sue president Abbas for “war crimes” at the International Criminal Court in response to the Palestinian Authority’s recent decision to join international conventions and treaties. The campaign comes amid a near breakdown in ongoing peace negotiations between Israel and the PLO, and seeks to file legal procedures against Abbas accusing….

Oslo architect Ron Pundak dead at 59
4/12/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Ron Pundak, an architect of the 1993 Oslo agreement between Israel and the PLO, died at home of cancer Friday, aged 59, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. In the early 1990s, with the approval of then foreign minister Shimon Peres, Pundak and fellow Israeli academic Yair Hirschfeld forged a secret channel of communications with the PLO in Norway, at a time when such links….

White House: no US visa for Iran pick as UN envoy
4/12/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States said Friday it would not grant a visa to Iran’s newly appointed UN ambassador, who has been linked to the 1979 hostage crisis, threatening to cloud a gradual thaw in relations. Tehran says Washington’s objection to Hamid Aboutalebi is unacceptable and the situation appears to be heading towards stalemate, as well as posing a challenge to….

’86 dead’ as Syria’s Qaeda, allies repel ISIL
4/12/2014 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syria’s al-Qaeda affiliate and its allies have repulsed an assault by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on a town on the Iraqi border in fighting that killed 86 people, a monitoring group said Friday. Sixty of the dead were fighters of al-Nusra Front or its Islamist allies killed pushing back their ISIL rivals from districts of Abu Kamal….

IMF: Egypt to need more financial support
4/12/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — Egypt will need further international assistance to put its economy back on track despite receiving huge loans from Gulf Arab states, the IMF said Friday.”Egypt will need financial support which could come from its partners in the Gulf or, if the government wants that, from the IMF and from other international financial institutions,” Christopher Jarvis, the International Monetary Fund’s Egypt….

Gunmen attack Iraq deputy PM’s convoy, killing guard
4/12/2014 – BAGHDAD (AFP) — Gunmen attacked Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak’s convoy in the Abu Ghraib area west of Baghdad on Friday, killing a guard and wounding at least five, officials said. The attack on one of the country’s most senior Sunni Arab politicians comes less than three weeks before a contentious parliamentary election, the first since American troops left, which will….

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces arrest two ISM activists and two Israeli activists at demonstration in Hebron
4/12/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Khalil Team, Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday afternoon in al-Khalil (Hebron), approximately 70 people attended a demonstration outside the Rajabi building where four protesters were arrested, two ISM activists and two Israeli activists. Many different Palestinian groups working against the occupation organized the demonstration. The protest began after afternoon prayers in Hebron, many Palestinian activists, internationals, Israeli activists and members of the press….

Two Palestinians arrested during weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum
4/12/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | Kafr Qaddum, Occupied Palestine – Yesterday, Friday the 11th of April, during the weekly demonstration in Kafr Qaddum, the Israeli army arrested two Palestinian youths. As with every Friday, the demonstration [which has taken place since 2011] began after morning prayers with the people of Kafr Qaddum marching through the village to protest against the illegal settlement of Qedumim. Located on the hills South….

The National

Iran stands by choice for UN ambassador after US denies visa
The National 12 Apr 2014 – Washington’s refusal to grant Hamid Aboutalebi a visa could affect the future of negotiations between Tehran and world powers.

Bahrain explosion injures police officer in Shiite village
The National 12 Apr 2014 – “On-duty policeman injured in homemade bomb blast in Daih village,” the ministry said on Twitter late on Friday

UAE ambassador helps raise record sum for children’s hospital
The National 12 Apr 2014 – The annual fund-raising drive for Children’s National Medical Center was the most successful single charity event in the US capital’s history, the event’s organisers say, raising nearly $11 million.

Syria rebels, regime trade accusations over poison gas attack
The National 12 Apr 2014 – The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that people suffered from suffocation and breathing problems after the attack, apparently conducted during air raids that left heavy smoke over the area.

Malaysia flight’s co-pilot tried to make cellphone call-report
The National 12 Apr 2014 – The attempted call from co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid’s phone was picked up by a cellphone tower as the plane was about 200 nautical miles north-west of the west coast state of Penang.

Future Algeria president faces looming oil rent woes
The National 12 Apr 2014 – Algeria’s hydrocarbons sector employs just 3 per cent of the active population but generated 40 per cent of GDP and 97 per cent of export earnings.

Pakistan withdraws attempted murder charges against baby
The National 12 Apr 2014 – The case drew international attention and sparked ridicule against the Pakistani criminal justice system, after the toddler was photographed crying desperately while being fingerprinted in court.

Horrific injuries of Emirati hotel hammer attack victim
The National 12 Apr 2014 – One of three Emirati sisters attacked in their London hotel room by a man wielding a hammer has lost her left eye and has only 5 per cent brain function.


IDF officer dismissed for approving soldiers’ anti-Arab T-shirts
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

U.S. officials angry: Israel doesn’t back stance on Russia
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Palestinian figures remember Oslo architect Ron Pundak
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

The IDF pays more than Uncle Sam
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Ya’alon supports detention orders against right-wing extremists
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Netanyahu must curb Bennett and keep the peace talks alive
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Ukraine prepares armed response as city seized by pro-Russia forces
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Shula Zaken’s son: ‘Olmert turned his back on my mom’
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Shalom, ‘Oslo criminal.’ Late diplomat Ron Pundak was a peace hero
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Israeli hackers track anti-Israel cyber-attack perpetrators
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Spanish village called ‘kill Jews’ mulling name change
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

NATO’s media offensive makes Russia stop and think
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

NATO’s media offensive makes Russia stop and think
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

PA officials say talks will continue till April 29, but still no breakthrough
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Ukraine prepares troops in response to Russian ‘act of aggression’
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Vienna orchestra to return painting stolen by the Nazis
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Syrian state TV, rebels trade allegations over poison gas attack
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Im Tirtzu founder representing Yisrael Beitenu in Zionist elections
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Report: Phone call made after Malaysian flight made U-turn
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Scotland leader urges voters to support independence
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Ukraine stops gas payments to Russia until talks conclude
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

U.S. faces uneasy partners in its drive for Russia sanctions
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Talking dogs and behavior alerts: Israel police go high-tech
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Islamic Movement leader Salah convicted of obstructing police
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

19th century Carmelite monastery returned to public view in Haifa
Ha’aretz – 12 Apr 2014

Jerusalem Post

Envoys from 40 countries break matza in New York
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Diplomats learn about Passover traditions and discuss meaning of freedom at interfaith AJC Seder.

‘Pollard won’t be in Israel for Seder, but US taboo on his release has been removed’
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – American mediator’s return to US for Passover has put hold on Israeli agent’s release; Labor MK Shai: People in party “would have to be suckers to join coalition just to help negotiations on negotiations.” 

American academia bites the dust: Brandeis University’s historic mistake
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Ayaan Hirsi Ali has just been dishonored by Brandeis University, which withdrew its offer of a Distinguished Professorship because the Muslim Brotherhood in America mounted a successful campaign against the award. 

The Kana’ane case
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Hezbollah spares no vituperation or vehemence in its agitation for Israel’s obliteration; it spares no effort to inflict physical harm on Israelis. 

Passover: Free at last
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Every year as we approach Passover, the Jewish holiday which celebrates freedom, I struggle with the same question: what is the definition of freedom and how does it reveal itself in the context of the modern world in which we live? 

Neutralizing Rabbi Kalischer
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – The process of neutralization was not only a strategy of hassidic masters; it was also embodied in the response of Eastern European rabbis to the emergence of the Zionist idea. 

Titanic exhibit sailing to Tel Aviv in June
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Artifacts from the notorious ship to arrive in Israel 102 years after the passenger liner sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. 

Fugitive Israeli rabbi flees to South Africa
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Hassidic Rabbi Eliezer Berland arrives in Johannesburg in latest attempt to avoid arrest for suspected sexual harassment 

Despite State Dept. frown, Israel to continue responding to PA unilateral moves
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Gov’t official says purpose of responsive Israeli moves is to show Palestinians that “continued rejectionism will harm their interests.” 

UK opposition leader Miliband meets Abbas in Ramallah
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – British Labour head finishes 3-day Mideast trip; expresses support for Jewish homeland, slams West Bank settlement building. 

Syrian regime, opposition forces blame each other for chemical attack
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Opposition says Assad forces dropped toxins on town in central province; state TV claims al-Qaida-linked rebels responsible. 

Turkish PM Erdogan threatens: Will ‘go after’ Twitter for tax evasion
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Erdogan’s comments come following Turkish ban on social media platform in March; YouTube ban in Turkey remains intact. 

Gal-On: Israeli coalition heads should be replaced to advance peace process
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Meretz chairwoman chides Netanyahu, Bennett, Liberman and Lapid, likening them to alternate take on Haggada’s 4 sons. 

Holiday In: Food for the Seder
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – How about making it a little easier on yourself this year? Order in at least some of the holiday dishes. 

Security and Defense: Delivering the most aggressive blow
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – The ‘Post’ joins an F-16C squadron at Ramat David Air Base for a peek into the life of its fighter pilots; as an integral part of the IDF’s long-range reach, squadron could play role in any strike on Iran. 

Not just for kids
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – The Haifa Children’s Theater Festival has a host of events the whole family can enjoy. 

It’s all about the meat
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – Gillis Beef in the Golan Heights is a sublime kosher dining experience. 

Telling it like it is
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – 10 reasons we’re mad about ‘Mad Men.’ 

Iran insists on pick for UN envoy, will challenge visa denial
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – The United States refused to grant a visa to Hamid Abutalebi, citing the envoy’s links to the 1979-1981 hostage crisis. 

Report: EU officials demand compensation for Israeli demolition of E1 structures
Jerusalem Post 12 Apr 2014 – European diplomats say the three buildings that were destroyed were “partially funded” by the EU.

Fading signals add urgency to search for missing Malaysian jet
Jerusalem Post 11 Apr 2014 – Officials optimistic that plane could be found soon; no new acoustic signals picked up; search area refined with help of earlier “pings.” 

Former US Marine Hekmati retried, convicted in Iran
Jerusalem Post 11 Apr 2014 – Hekmati originally arrested in 2011 in Tehran while visiting family; report claims Tehran secretly retried him after conviction was appealed. 

Billionaire Abramovich books entire Mitzpe Ramon luxury hotel for Passover holiday
Jerusalem Post 11 Apr 2014 – Chelsea Football Club owner will reportedly fly into Ben-Gurion airport on private jet with family, friends to celebrate festival in Israeli resort. 


Daily Star

Hezbollah develops new tactics in Syrian civil war
Daily Star 12 Apr 2014 The commandos infiltrated Syrian rebel-held territory near the Lebanese border, watching rebel fighters come and go from a two-story villa before slipping inside to plant a powerful bomb.

Attempted Libya jailbreak leaves 2 prisoners dead
Daily Star 12 Apr 2014 Libya’s justice minister says that an attempted jailbreak at a prison outside Tripoli left two prisoners dead.

Saudi end to girls’ sports ban welcome
Daily Star 12 Apr 2014 Human Rights Watch welcomed Saturday a recommendation by Saudi Arabia’s consultative Shura Council to lift the ban on sports in girls’ state schools.

Berlusconi senior aide arrested in Beirut
Daily Star 12 Apr 2014 Lebanon detains Berlusconi’s senior aide over Interpol arrest warrant, security source tells The Daily Star.

Stop The Wall

São Paulo protests Israeli apartheid
Stop The Wall – Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign iaw2014 In São Paulo, Brazil, activists held their first protest in front of the chain of “Spicy” stores to protest the sale of Sodastream products. As part of the global BDS campaign and the rising number of actions against SodaStream in particular, activists hels a…

YNet News

Biden to travel to Ukraine later this month
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – ….

Police report three officers injured during haredi protest
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – ….

Mortar shell explodes near Gaza security barrier
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – ….

Haredim protest arrest of yeshiva student near Bnei Brak
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – ….

White House ‘very concerned’ by Ukraine attacks
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – ….

Vienna orchestra to return Nazi-looted painting
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – In effort to redress its Nazi-era wrongs, the Philharmonic will return piece to heirs of the owner, Marcel Koch. ….

Anne Frank tree to be planted on US Capitol lawn
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – Sapling grown from tree Holocaust victim wrote about in her diary while in hiding will be planted on Capitol’s west front lawn in late April. ….

British opposition leader: I’m a ‘Jewish atheist’
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – Ed Miliband, currently visiting Israel, says while his Jewish origin will always be a part of who he is, he does not believe in God. ….

Spanish village called ‘Kill Jews’ to vote on name change
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – 60 families of Castrillo Matajudios to hold a special meeting on proposal to change village’s name to ‘Castrillo Jews’ Hill.’ ….

Deceit watch out, goodness is the new normal
YNet News, 12 Apr 2014 – Firms and brokers that claim their clients’ best interests are their number one priority, whilst simultaneously making commissions, need to question themselves and their integrity more deeply. ….

Palestinian Information Center

Three young Jerusalemites badly wounded after brutal attack by Jewish settlers
PIC – Three Palestinian young men at dawn Saturday suffered wounds and bruises when a horde of Jewish settlers, from Pisgat Ze’ev settlement, attacked them with knives and physically assaulted them.

Hamas calls for defending al-Aqsa Mosque
PIC – Hamas has called for defending al-Aqsa Mosque in light of Israeli settlers’ intention to break into the mosque next Monday, warning the occupation of its aggression and violations in holy sites.

Prisoner Abu Hamid starts hunger strike protesting isolation
PIC – Palestinian captive Mohammed Naji Abu Hamid has started a hunger strike in Israeli captivity protesting his solitary confinement.

New Palestinian deaths in Syria, two killed under torture
PIC – Four Palestinian refugees were proclaimed dead on Friday, two of them were killed under torture in a Syrian jail, according to the action group for the Palestinians in Syria.

IOF raids Jenin, clashes erupt in al-Khalil
PIC – The Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) have raided at early morning hours on Saturday different neighborhoods in Jenin, where they conducted combining operations and fired sound bombs.

British pressure group making efforts to prevent Livni from entering UK
PIC – Pro-Palestinian British activists demanded their government to prevent Israeli minister of justice Tzipi Levni, accused of committing war crimes in Gaza, from visiting Britain next month.

Hamas delegation discusses Palestinian developments with Lebanese officials
PIC – A delegation of Hamas Movement has met on Friday with the Lebanese Information Minister Ramzi Jarih in his office in Beirut.

IOF soldiers wear shirts threatening Nablus inhabitants
PIC – T-shirts reading “Let Every Arab Mother Know That Her Son’s Fate Is In My Hands!” were printed on shirts for Israeli soldiers, Yediot Ahronot Hebrew newspaper revealed on Friday.

IOF kidnaps Palestinian after shooting him in Bethlehem
PIC – Israeli Occupation Forces have kidnapped on Friday evening a Palestinian young man from Aida refugee camp north of Bethlehem, south of the occupied West Bank, after being shot and seriously injured. 

Abu Marzouk calls on PA to end its security collaboration with Israel
PIC – Member of Hamas’ political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk said that the most important step which the Palestinians must take in order to face the challenges is to stop the security cooperation with Israel.


Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Acceding to Geneva Conventions Benefits Palestinian Cause”
WAFA – 12 Apr 2014

Palestine Monetary Authority Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Sweden Central Bank
WAFA – 12 Apr 2014

Israeli Forces Arrest Three People, Settlers Storm Towns in Hebron
WAFA – 12 Apr 2014

Israeli Forces Severely Beat Four Minors in Hebron
WAFA – 12 Apr 2014

Newspaper Review: Possible Deal to Extend Negotiations Focus of Dailies
WAFA – 12 Apr 2014

PEX Report: Index Remains Down
WAFA – 9 Apr 2014


Syria, rebels blame each other for reported poison gas attack
LA Times 12 Apr 2014 – The chemical strike, said to have taken place in the village of Kfar Zeita in Syria’s Hama province, caused scores of injuries, reports say. BEIRUT — Each side in the Syrian conflict blamed the other Saturday for an alleged poison gas attack that reportedly injured…

Damascus and Rebels Trade Blame in Gas Attack
New York Times 12 Apr 2014 – The attack on a rebel-held Syrian village reportedly sickened more than 100 people. 

Diplomatic Memo: Lingering Power of Hostage Crisis Short-Circuits Iranian Nominee
New York Times 12 Apr 2014 – Washington’s decision to deny Hamid Aboutalebi, Iran’s choice for its next United Nations ambassador, a visa highlights the distrust that still infects the United States-Iran relationship. 

In Jordan Town, Syria War Inspires Jihadist Dreams
New York Times 12 Apr 2014 – Jordanian analysts and Islamists estimate that 800 to 1,200 Jordanians have gone to fight in Syria, more than double the number who fought in Afghanistan or Iraq. 

U.S. Says Iran’s Pick for U.N. Envoy Won’t Get a Visa
New York Times 11 Apr 2014 – The administration made its position clear after Congress passed a bill to block Iran’s nominee, who participated in the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis. 

Iran Secretly Convicted Former Marine, Lawyer Says
New York Times 11 Apr 2014 – The lawyer said his client, Amir Hekmati of Michigan, might be freed after serving three years of his 10-year term, which would be in August. 

Amid ‘climate of fear’ at Vassar, president comes out against ‘action and protest’ re Israel
Mondoweiss – Vassar President Catharine Hill, at this site Three weeks ago I did a piece on tensions at Vassar College over a class trip to Israel and Palestine whose itinerary struck many as oblivious of the occupation. The Students for Justice in Palestine chapter picketed the class…

The Jewish community must not embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Mondoweiss – Ayaan Hirsi Ali. (Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET) The fracas over Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis shows that Israel devotees cannot distinguish friend from foe. For obvious reasons, Jews should not count Islamophobes among our friends. It’s Pesach again and our people still aren’t quite getting the holiday’s…

Israel’s brand rides high on NPR
Mondoweiss – Melissa Block Do you ever feel that you’re having no effect whatsoever on the issue? I had that feeling, listening to two recent pieces on public radio where Israel’s brand was riding high. First WNYC, the New York public radio station, did a piece on women…

Dershowitz plays McCarthy, and John Dingell is labeled ‘anti-Israel’
Mondoweiss – (Photo: Sun Sentinel) An unbelievable story from the Forward saying that the liberal Zionist group J Street has failed to gain the endorsement of a committee that considers new members for the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations because of its supposedly anti-Israel positions….

Land seizures– near Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin and in Jordan Valley
Mondoweiss – Land, property theft & destruction / Ethnic cleansing Israel to confiscate vast area of Bethlehem village land BETHLEHEM (Ma‘an) 10 Apr – Israeli authorities on Thursday morning announced a decision to confiscate about 1,000 dunams (250 acres) of private Palestinian land in the town of al-Khader south…

New Price Tag Attack Demands Muslims Vacate Dome of Rock in Order to Rebuild Temple
Tikun Olam – Price Tag flyer demanding Muslims vacate Dome of the Rock to prepare for Temple sacrifices Yesterday, two enterprising fellows committed a price tag attack on the Temple Mount, where they hung flyers demanding Muslims vacate the premises during the Passover holidays so Jews might do some…

Claims of new gas attack in Syria 
BBC 12 Apr 2014 – Opposition groups accuse government forces of a poison gas attack on Kafr Zita village in Hama province but the government blames jihadists.

Egypt gives Gaza the cold shoulder 
BBC 12 Apr 2014 – Gazans suffering effects of Egypt’s drive against Muslim Brotherhood

Iran anger over US visa refusal 
BBC 12 Apr 2014 – Iran insists it will not replace its new envoy to the UN after the US refuses a visa to the diplomat over alleged links to the 1979 hostage crisis.

Will the Future Movement abandon its favored candidates once again? 
Al-Akhbar Opinion 12 Apr 2014 – A handout picture distributed by the Lebanese Forces on April 4, 2014 shows Lebanese Christian leader Samir Geagea (C) and his wife and Parliament Member Setrida Geagea (C-L) attending a press conference in Maarab, northeast of Beirut. (Photo: AFP-Lebanese Forces/Ayoub) A handout picture distributed by the…

“I looked outside my window and there it was, a civil war…” 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – George Samarjian used to smuggle bread to those under siege in West Beirut during the Israeli occupation of the second Arab capital since the Nakba. They say that he used to call his besieged friends on the other side of Beirut and ask them about the…

HRW praises Saudi proposal to lift ban on girls sports 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – Human Rights Watch welcomed Saturday a recommendation by Saudi Arabia’s consultative Shura Council to lift the ban on sports in girls’ state schools. On Tuesday, the council recommended that the longstanding ban, relaxed in private schools last year, be ended altogether, state media in the medieval…

Fighting in Syria sparks new cultural scene in Damascus 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – Syrians walk past a decorated wall that won the Guinness World Records award for the largest mural made from recycled material, on March 31, 2014 in Damascus’s al-Mazzeh neighborhood. (Photo: AFP-Louai Beshara) Syrians walk past a decorated wall that won the Guinness World Records award for…

Egyptian health minister escapes bomb attack near hospital 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – A crude bomb exploded on Saturday near a newly built hospital just minutes before it was inaugurated by Egypt’s health minister, security officials said, adding that there were no casualties. The device went off in the city of Kaft, 630 kilometers (around 390 miles) south of…

Iran defiant after US denies visa to proposed UN envoy 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – An undated handout picture released by the official website of the Iranian president on April 11, 2014 shows Tehran’s newly appointed UN ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi who has been denied a US visa. (Photo: AFP / HO / President.ir) An undated handout picture released by the official website of…

Death and humiliation: The journey of Palestinian workers to Israel 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – Israeli police check ID’s of Palestinians on a checkpoint in an alleyway leading to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound on March 16, 2014, in the Old City of Jerusalem. (Photo: AFP-Ahmed Gharabli) Israeli police check ID’s of Palestinians on a checkpoint in an alleyway leading to the…

Pakistan drops attempted murder charges against baby 
Al-Akhbar News 12 Apr 2014 – This photograph taken on April 3, 2014 shows a Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old toddler Mohammad Musa on a bail bond in Lahore. (Photo: AFP / STR) This photograph taken on April 3, 2014 shows a Pakistani lawyer taking the thumb impression from nine-month-old…

Lebanon: Does the Future Movement still have pull in Tripoli? 
Al-Akhbar Politics 11 Apr 2014 – A Lebanese army vehicle carrying Lebanese soldiers is deployed on the street of the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on April 2, 2014 in the first stage of a plan aimed at quelling deadly Syria-linked violence in the city. (Photo: AFP-Ibrahim Chalhoub) A Lebanese army vehicle…


Netanyahu gains popularity as peace talks collapse 
Dimi Reider, +972 Magazine 4/12/2014
The prime minister’s personal popularity goes up, while the Likud and Habyait Hayehudi gain seven more seats between them if elections were tomorrow. The Left loses four seats. Coalition troubles aside, ‘peace’ remains electorally toxic. 
The biggest losers from the collapse of the peace talks are the pro-peace parties, a Haaretz weekend poll suggests – a finding unlikely to delight those hoping Netanyahu would swap his hard-right coalition partners for more moderate ones.
According to the poll, conducted soon after the peace talks went into a spiral due to a cancelled prisoner release and the newly announced settlement building plans – Kerry’s “poof” moment – Netanyahu’s personal approval rating went up from 40 percent to 45 percent since mid-February. His faction, Likud-Beitenu, would get five more seats if elections were tomorrow (37 seats instead of 32 in February). Habayit Hayehudi, openly annexationist and home to Construction Minister Uri Ariel whom Kerry indirectly blamed for scuttling the peace talks, would get 15 seats instead of 12.
The main centrist block in the coalition, Yesh Atid, which neither did nor said anything of substance about the peace talks, manages to keep to the 14 seats it had in February, and the popularity of its chairman, Yair Lapid, improved a little bit from dismal to appalling (from 18 percent in February to 25 percent today). Lapid is still the most unpopular figure in Israeli politics (67 percent think he’s doing a lousy job as finance minister), with Yesh Atid continuing to be the Liberal Democrats to Netanayahu’s Tories – enablers and disposable lightning-rods.
If anyone thought this was an opportune moment for the opposition parties to raise the Oslo flags once more and ride triumphantly into power / join demurely at the tail of Netanyhu’s train to the White House lawn, the slump in popularity of all the remotely pro-peace parties would suggest otherwise: “pro peace” remains the single most toxic brand in Israeli politics…. more..e-mail

Resistance…The road to restoring the rights of the Palestinian people 
Farouk Al-Kaddoumi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/10/2014
The Palestinian cause is going through a crucial time in history due to the successive events in the region and the results of the Arab Spring and, more importantly, due to Israel’s acts of organised terrorism against the Palestinian people and the massacres it has and continues to commit, against the Palestinian cities, villages, and refugee camps, in addition to the unjust siege imposed on our steadfast people in the Gaza Strip.
However, despite the fact that the resistance has made prominent political achievements that have influenced Israeli society, it has also raised anxiety and fear amid the Israelis. The resistance has also proven to the world, through the Palestinian people’s Intifada and valiant resistance, that their rightful homeland is Palestine and that they have the potential to defend their land with all their power, making the Zionist enemy give up the idea that the land belongs to Israel and that it has the right to seize it.
The resistance has also caused the international public opinion to stress its absolute support for the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state due to the Palestinians’ insistence on their rights and their resistance.
The European Union issued the Berlin Declaration in 1999, which called for “the establishment of an independent sovereign Palestinian state that coexists with Israel”. This was followed by the former US President George W. Bush’s Road Map, although the essence of his vision was removed by his archenemy Ariel Sharon, the Road map was lost through procrastination and stalling.
The Arabs made their initiative in 2002 but Sharon buried it after destroying the Jenin refugee camp. Despite this, the Arab governments and the Arab League continue to stick to it. more.. e-mail

Palestinian political prisoners pay the price of freedom 
Jamal Hussein, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/12/2014
The issue of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees held in Israeli jails continues to inflame the Palestinian public. Numerous events and activities take place throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, mainly in Gaza, to show solidarity with the prisoners in their call for freedom and in their demands t
o improve conditions inside.

The Palestinian ministry of detainee affairs says that more than 5,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli jails across 23 prisons and detention centres, many of them without trial or charge, under administrative detention, a military procedure which allows suspects to be held without charge indefinitely. Some of the prisoners have spent nearly 30 years locked up because of their struggle against the Israelis and their support for their cause for national liberation.
Former freed prisoners have said that it is not possible to reach a peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis without ending the issue of prisoners forever.
Atef Abu Saif, a former prisoner and editor of Seyasat magazine, said that the issue of Palestinian prisoners is one of the most important felt by every citizen. Statistics show that more than one fifth of Palestinians living in the occupied territories have spent some time in prison and many have paid the price of freedom.
“Any liberation of this country Palestine has to lead to the prisoners’ freedom. Palestinian prisoners are political prisoners, so anyone who supports freedom and human rights, and the rights of nations, ought to contribute to the release of these prisoners.” Abu Saif added.
For the first time in the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since 1948, the year 2013 witnessed Palestinian political detainees winning their freedom through face-to-face struggles with their jailors in Israeli prisons and detention centres. more..e-mail

Abbas’ move brings out Israeli racism 
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 4/10/2014
The decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to sign 15 international treaties brought further proof of Israeli racist attitudes towards the Palestinians.
Public statements by senior Israeli officials, as well as commentaries and analyses by Israeli pundits show angry reactions to the Palestinian move, something akin to the anger one would read about when slaves did not show enough respect and actually dared “suggest” that they wanted to be free.
The Israeli prime minister set the tone during the start of the weekly Israeli Cabinet meeting. He argued that Palestinians can only get their coveted state through his style of negotiations and based on his conditions, including his new demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz joined the attack with a diatribe reflecting a slave-owner mentality: “Truth be told, Mahmoud Abbas is spitting in our faces. The Palestinian Authority exists thanks to us. Not only because of the Oslo Accords, but because of the funds we transfer them, and the security we give them. Otherwise, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as they control Gaza, would also take down Abbas and take over Ramallah.”
Other Israeli officials made similar remarks. Settlements representative in the Cabinet Neftali Bennett mocked the Palestinian president’s UN move: “If he wants to go to the UN, I will buy him the ticket and there he will face a personal lawsuit for war crimes.”
The Israelis are not signatories to the Rome Convention, which created the International Court of Justice, an institution the Palestinians have not signed up to. more.. e-mail

In One Word: Poof!
Palestine Chronicle: 11 Apr 2014 – By Uri Avnery Poor John Kerry. This week he emitted a sound that was more expressive than pages of diplomatic babble. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee he explained how the actions of the Israeli government had torpedoed the “peace process”. They broke their obligation to release Palestinian prisoners, and at the same time announced the enlargement of more settlements in East Jerusalem. The peace efforts went “poof”. “Poof” is the sound of air escaping a balloon. It is a good expression, because the “peace process” was from the very beginning nothing more than a balloon full of hot air. An exercise in make-believe. John Kerry cannot be blamed. He took the whole thing seriously. He is an earnest politician, who tried very very hard to make peace between Israel and Palestine. We should be grateful for his efforts. The trouble is that Kerry had not the…more

The Zionist Propaganda Surrounding Sderot
Dissident Voice: 12 Apr 2014 – Ed Miliband, UK Labour Party leader and younger brother of former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband David Miliband, has just been on a visit to Israel and occupied Palestine. Ed, who is Jewish, is a wannabe prime minister. And he may succeed in taking the top job next
year if Agent Cameron continues annoying the voting public. A BBC report tells us that Miliband and his wife Justine “were shown where the rockets are fired which rain down on this Israeli town of Sderot. “They visited a playgroup which looks like many you would see in the UK, until you realise the kids are playing inside instead of outside as they would not be safe under the deep blue sky and are only so under a roof of reinforced concrete.” The BBC, as usual when reporting on Israel, jettisons journalistic principles and fails to present a balanced, factual picture. How…

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