VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 30 May 2014

30 May 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

Gaza Fisherman Shot & Injured by Israeli Forces
IMEMC – Settler car hit by gunfire near al-Ram Another Palestinian fisherman has been shot and injured by Israeli forces off the northern Gaza Strip, according to medical officials. Also on Friday, a car belonging to a Jewish settler was hit by “small arms fire” while traveling in the central West Bank, according to Israeli military sources. …

Abbas: Collaboration with Israeli Army, Secret Police is Sacred
IMEMC – Mahmoud Abbas, the de facto leader of the Palestinian Authority in the occupied West Bank, has told Israeli journalists and business people that his collaboration with Israeli occupation forces is sacred and would continue even if the PA forms a government backed by the Palestinian military resistance organization Hamas. …

Two Palestinians Kidnapped, Beaten, In Hebron
IMEMC – Eyewitnesses have reported that Israeli soldiers attacked, on Thursday evening (May 29, 2014], two young Palestinian men on Ash-Shuhada Street, in Hebron city, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank. …

Army Alleges Foiling A Bombing Attempt Near Nablus
IMEMC – [Friday, May 30, 2014] The Israeli army claimed that its soldiers managed to foil a suicide bombing attack , at the Za tara roadblock, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus. …

Settlers Invade Ush Grab Area, Near Beit Sahour
IMEMC – [Friday, May 30, 2014] A number of fanatic Israeli settlers invaded the Ush Ghrab area, east of Beit Sahour, apparently preparing to install a new illegal settlement outpost. The area, a former military base, is subject to frequent attacks by soldiers and settlers. …

Ma’an News

Dozens injured as Israeli forces disperse West Bank protests
5/30/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Dozens of people were injured on Friday as Israeli forces dispersed non-violent protests across the occupied West Bank. In Bilin, Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and stun grenades at protesters as they marched towards land confiscated by Israel’s separation wall. Participants raised Palestinian flags, posters of prisoners, and signs condemning the practice of administrative detention. The….

Leaflets calling for demolition of al-Aqsa distributed in Jerusalem
5/30/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – An extremist Jewish organization on Thursday disseminated leaflets in the Old City of Jerusalem calling for the demolition of the al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian residents said. The residents told Ma’an that as they left their homes in the morning they found thousands of leaflets in Hebrew scattered in all roads and alleys including the alleys leading to al-Aqsa Mosque. The….

Israel denies family of hospitalized hunger striker right to visit
5/30/2014 – RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli prison officials on Thursday rejected a request made by the family of a hunger striker to visit him in hospital, nearly a month after he stopped eating in protest against his detention without trial. The Palestinian prisoners’ rights association Addameer filed a request for the family of Abdulrazzaq Farraj, 51, to visit him at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba….

Hundreds pray in Jerusalem streets amid new Al-Aqsa restrictions
5/30/2014 – JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinian Muslim worshipers were forced to pray in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday after Israeli authorities imposed strict regulations on those wishing to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for noon prayers. Eyewitnesses said that scuffles broke out between worshipers and Israeli police guarding checkpoints in East Jerusalem as they pushed crowds trying to enter….

Israel: Soldiers arrest Palestinian with suicide belt
5/30/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel’s army said Friday that its forces in the occupied West Bank thwarted a suicide bomber found at a military checkpoint south of Nablus. A spokeswoman said a “Palestinian terrorist wearing an explosive belt under his coat” was captured before he was able to detonate it. She said the Palestinian was arrested and is under investigation. 1 ) palestinian / occupied….

Israel army: Settler car hit by gunfire near al-Ram
5/30/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army said on Friday afternoon that a car belonging to a Jewish settler was hit by “small arms fire” while traveling in the central West Bank. No injuries were reported as a result of the two shots, which hit the car while it was traveling near the Jewish-only settlement of Geva Benyamin near the Palestinian village of al-Ram, the….

Haniyeh: Unity govt disputes ‘under control’
5/30/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said on Friday that disputes about the formation of the unity government are “under control,” a day after a Hamas spokesperson warned that the process could still take days. The statements came a day after the PLO and Hamas said they were close to clinching a deal on the shape of the national coalition government….

Iran cyberspies created fake news website
5/30/2014 – WASHINGTON (AFP) — Spies based in Iran created a bogus news organization used for espionage since 2011 against US and Israeli military targets, security researchers said. A report released this week by iSight Partners says that more than 2,000 people are or have been targeted in the operation dubbed Newscaster, which uses a “front media outlet” called NewsOnAir. org. The operation appears to be “carried out….

Sisi sweeps election as Egypt military reasserts grip
5/30/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — Ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has scored a crushing presidential election triumph and consolidated the military’s grip, 11 months after the overthrow of the only Egyptian president not drawn from its ranks. Ninety-six percent of voters, at least 21 million Egyptians, chose Sisi, who deposed elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, with ballots counted from all but a handful of 352 stations….

Syrian regime rains barrel bombs on Aleppo
5/30/2014 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Syrian forces rained barrels bombs on Aleppo Thursday, as they pressed a campaign against rebels in the northern city where dozens have been killed this week, a monitor said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said jihadist fighters executed 15 civilians in the northeastern province of Hasakeh. The Observatory said two people were killed in one raid that struck the rebel-held….

Rival Libya cabinets meet amid political chaos
5/30/2014 – TRIPOLI (AFP) — Libya’s contested new cabinet convened for the first time Thursday, defying the outgoing administration, which refuses to hand over power and held its own session. Amid the political chaos in the largely lawless North African state, the High National Elections Commission announced that Libya is go to the polls on June 25 as planned. A source in new Prime Minister Ahmed….

Yemen intelligence officer, son shot dead
5/30/2014 – ADEN, Yemen (AFP) — A gunman riding on the back of a motorbike shot dead a Yemeni intelligence officer and his son in the southeastern city of Mukalla on Thursday, a security source said. The attack was carried out in broad daylight in the heart of the port city, capital of Hadramawt province, an Al-Qaeda stronghold, the source said. Colonel Salmin al-Obtani was the latest in….

UN calls for Lebanese election ‘as soon as possible’
5/30/2014 – UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — The UN Security Council expressed “disappointment and concern” Thursday that an election of a new Lebanese president has not occurred and demanded that polls be held without delay. In a unanimous declaration, the Council’s 15 member states urged the country’s parliament “to uphold Lebanon’s long standing democratic tradition and to work to ensure that presidential elections….

Sisi election win never doubted, but Egypt democracy questioned
5/30/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — The election of ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as Egypt’s president was never in doubt, with only a token challenger and the banned Muslim Brotherhood and liberal youth groups boycotting the vote. Preliminary results from this week’s two-day election, that was extended to three days because of low turnout, gave 96 percent of votes to the retired field marshal….

Monitor: Air raids on Syria’s Aleppo kill almost 2,000 in 2014
5/30/2014 – BEIRUT (AFP) — Barrel bombings and other Syrian government air raids on rebel districts of Aleppo and surrounding areas have killed 1,963 civilians since January, including 567 children, a monitoring group said Friday. A total of 283 women were also among those confirmed killed in the air strikes, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which relies on a network of medics and activists on the….

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli army arrest and beat two Palestinian men in Hebron
5/30/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – Khalil team, Hebron, Occupied Palestine – Thursday 29-May-2014. At approximately11pm yesterday evening in al-Khalil (Hebron), ISM activists went to checkpoint 56 where they had been told there was an ongoing incident. Palestinian eyewitnesses gave the following account: About an hour earlier, two Palestinians youths were detained by the Israeli army on the H2 [under full Israeli civil and security control] side of the checkpoint….

The occupation never sleeps
5/30/2014 – International Solidarity Movement – Nablus, International Women’s Peace Service, Deir Istiya, Occupied Palestine – Over seven families in Deir Istiya were rousted from their beds in the early morning today, some to the sounds of banging on their doors, others to fully armed soldiers in their bedrooms. Approximately 200 soldiers entered the village, closing off the main road and conducting raids until from1:30 till 4:00am. The….

Relief Web

Jordan: EU, UNRWA launch shelter rehabilitation project in Jerash camp
Relief Web 30 May 2014 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: Jordan, occupied Palestinian territory Amman Today, European Union Ambassador and Head of Delegation in Amman, HE Dr. Joanna Wronecka, Director of UN Relief and Works Agency (…

Syrian Arab Republic: Promoting quality education for Palestine refugee children against all odds
Relief Web 30 May 2014 – Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic Syria On 18 and 19 May, the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Syria field education programme held its annual…

The National

Hopes for Gulf Arab-Iran thaw ahead of Kuwaiti emir s visit
The National 30 May 2014 – Analysts say Tehran must show willingness to improve ties by changing policies such as military interference and nuclear programme.

Scientists discover compound capable of blocking Mers
The National 30 May 2014 – Researchers call for urgent testing of compound that appears to prevent viruses from taking over cells for replication.

Nearly 2,000 killed in Aleppo airstrikes this year
The National 30 May 2014 – Victims include more than 500 children and nearly 300 women, activist group says.

Turkey braces for first anniversary of Gezi Park protests
The National 30 May 2014 – Activist recalls special spirit at anti-development protest in Istanbul that sparked nationwide demonstrations.

Indian policemen fired for failing to act in rape case
The National 30 May 2014 – State chief minister who earlier ridiculed concerns over the gruesome crime orders two officers sacked amid growing nationwide outrage.

Recycled goods turned into treasures for charity
The National 30 May 2014 – The Upcycled Collection is an initiative to support the Philippine Community Fund, a charity which runs a school and livelihood programme for impoverished children and families in Manila’s dumpsites.

Philippine government will allow private sector to offer Arabic classes
The National 30 May 2014 – Recruiters have welcomed the decision to allow the private sector to conduct Arabic language and culture training for Filipina household workers as it will help ease a backlog.

Thai coup general says elections may take a year
The National 30 May 2014 – General Prayuth Chan-ocha says national reconciliation, writing of a new constitution and installation of an interim government have to come first.


Investigation into Ashkenazi reveals an ugly mix of army and politics
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Elie Wiesel: Netanyahu pressed me to run for president
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Israel’s desalination program averts future water crises
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

State Dept. confirms U.S. citizen carried out Syria suicide blast
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Fiction / My voice falls silent to the beating of my heart
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Renowned Israeli actress Hanna Maron dies aged 90
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

U.S.: Russia has withdrawn most troops from Ukraine border
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Putin tells Hollande Ukraine ‘bloodshed’ must stop
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Shavuot surprise: From cheese-filled calzones to lemon cheesecake
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Jewish graves defaced in Greece’s second-largest city
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Embattled U.S. Veterans Affairs secretary quits over healthcare scandal
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

How Britain protected bin Laden’s bagman
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

When Nicole Krauss was bullied in Jerusalem for being a U.S. Jew
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Report: Israel spied on Bill Clinton
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Israeli force apprehends Palestinian wearing suicide belt in West Bank
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Obama: Hillary Clinton would be a very effective president
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Second group of OSCE observers missing in east Ukraine
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer buys Clippers for $2 billion
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

Why the world should care about Scotland’s independence vote
Ha’aretz – 30 May 2014

PHOTOS: Caracal soldiers mark end of training with 20k march
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Stinking and rotten from the top
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Disturbed woman arrested after allegedly sleeping with hundreds of boys
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

‘Israeli troops use rubber bullets against IDF regulations’
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Woman, 69, needed stitches after being shoved by police officer
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Police recommend new charges against Olmert
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Behind the scenes: Netanyahu’s last minute, Wiesel-for-president scramble
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Was the Iranian threat fabricated by Israel and the U.S.?
Ha’aretz – 29 May 2014

Jerusalem Post

Middle Israel: Soldiers of fortune
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Ya alon s war on the Treasury offers Netanyahu an opportunity to offset some of the damage he sustained during the presidential election farce.

Iconic Israeli actress Hanna Maron dies at age 90
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – One of Israel’s leading ladies, who lost a leg during a terror attack in 1970, dies in Tel Aviv on Friday.

State Department: US citizen was suicide bomber in Syria
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – United States confirms nationality of first American known to have committed suicide bombing in Syria on behalf of al-Qaida.

Obama, Kerry haven t given up on Israeli-Palestinian peace
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – US leaders still hopeful that peace can be achieved in the Mideast, despite speculation that America has pulled back, refocused energies elsewhere.

IN PICTURES: Jerusalem holds 3rd-annual ‘SlutWalk’ march
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Demonstrators take to streets in the capital Friday to rally against rape culture.

Paint it blue and white
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Tel Aviv gets ready for the Rolling Stones.

Kerry: Israel s reaction to Fatah-Hamas unity talks appropriate
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – US secretary of state says Jerusalem’s wait-and-see approach to formation of Palestinian reconciliation government is “appropriate.”

Public security minister lauds Border Police for thwarting suicide bomber
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Aharonovitch commends troops for “preventing an attack and saving lives” after forces detain Palestinian man wearing explosive belt.

Report: Israel tapped president Clinton’s diplomatic calls
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – British-Israeli political scientist plans to publish claims that Israel has continually spied on US officials; Israeli, US officials decline to comment.

Something to sing about
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Among the more interesting musical events this year are I Saw A Bird of Infinite Beauty music of and about birds.

Searching for the last Jews of Tunis
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – The small Jewish community in the country famous for the birth of the Arab Spring focuses on tradition but is proud to be Tunisian.

WATCH: Border Police stop terrorist en-route to suicide bombing at Tapuah Junction
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Palestinian man who approaches checkpost wearing heavy clothing, revealed to be wearing explosive belt.

PHOTO GALLERY: Israel’s female combat soldiers complete training with 20km march
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – In Israel’s ‘Caracal Battalion’, two-thirds of the combatants are women who serve in combat roles alongside men.

Analysis: Political circus, what should happen to the presidency?
Jerusalem Post 30 May 2014 – Some are in favor of a direct presidential election, eliminating unseemly wheeling and dealing in the Knesset, others argue this would challenge the prime minister’s power.

Israel, Iran wage cyber warfare in the battlefield of the future
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – What may begin as an enemy intelligence-gathering mission could later turn into a virus that disrupts military operations.

Ben-Eliezer, Itzik battle for runoff against Rivlin in Israel president race
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – With six candidates splitting the vote, it is seen as unlikely that anyone will garner the 61 votes required to avoid a runoff.

BDS backers rejoice after Gates sells shares of UK security firm with ties to Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – G4S is a multinational firm that offers services in the security sector.

Donetsk s 11,000 Jews live in fear of rising violence
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – The Jewish community, leaders stressed, is completely non-political and only seeks to maintain its members safety and security and to provide necessary services.

Amid storm over Ashdod graft, Katz vows to pursue port reform
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – The sea will open to competition, just as we opened the sky, Katz said, in a reference to the Open Skies agreement with the European Union.

We ve made a commitment here, says CEO of one of the world s largest law firms
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – Richard Rosenbaum, the Greenberg Traurig chief, is disarming with his upfront, down-to-earth, personable style.

Syrian opposition denies Nasrallah claim it collaborates with Israel
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – “The Syrian opposition deals with Israel as a usurper and occupier of Syrian land, rebel leader says.

Column One: Shimon Peres s legacy
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – The upcoming Peres-is-a-Superhero festival will just be the latest of the narcissistic, tasteless celebrations of this man, always choreographed expertly by Peres and his retinue of media groupies.

Into the Fray: The rout of the Right
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – The Israeli leadership would do well to bear in mind that commitment to the principle of democratic governance is not a suicide pact.

My Word: Pontificating on Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – Listen to Hebrew spoken on the streets and compare it to the fate of Latin and you ll understand part of the miracle of this city and of this land.

Another Tack: Proportional to the threat
Jerusalem Post 29 May 2014 – Any amateur sleuth, from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple to say nothing of seasoned forensic specialists can instantly detect what s wrong with this picture.

The Guardian

Israeli forces prevent suspected suicide bomb attempt
The Guardian 30 May 2014 – Man wearing explosives under heavy coat at West Bank checkpoint would have been first suicide bomber in six years Israeli forces have prevented what they say was the first attempted suicide bombing in more than six…

Inter Press Service

Low Turnout and Disenchanted Youth Blot Sisi s Victory in Egyptian Elections
IPS An empty polling station in Garden City, Cairo. Credit: Amanda Mustard By Annabell Van den Berghe CAIRO, May 29 2014 (IPS) With a result already known before the race started, many did not even bother heading to the polling stations and the streets in Cairo were unusually empty during the…


Palestinian children are not just statistics
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – When the episode of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain s popular TV show Parts Unknown filmed in occupied Palestine aired last September, I couldn t bring myself to join in some of my friends effusive praise on…

What Nazi Shootings Tell Me About West Bank Killings
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -..My experience with viewing films of shootings did, however, leave me with a well-trained, albeit non-expert eye that I use to critically evaluate films of disputed incidents. One thing I ve learned watching films of such material…

US collecting all cell phone calls in Afghanistan
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -WikiLeaks on Friday revealed that the US has been surveilling all cell phone conversations in Afghanistan as part of its SOMALGET mass data collection program. SOMALGET is one component of a broader NSA effort, including a program…

UK government faces legal action over failure to investigate BT drones link
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – Legal charity Reprieve has threatened legal action against the British government over its failure to investigate the role of UK telecoms giant BT in facilitating covert US drone strikes in Yemen.BT has earned an estimated $23m…

Renowned Israeli Economist Predicts Economic Catastrophe for Israel
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -They say that economics is “the dismal science.” Frankly, I never excelled in math or science in school. That was my brother s field and he ended up a university chemist. But over the past decades, economics…

Over 724 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – War Crimes never stop in Iraq as Nouri al-Maliki continues to target the civilians in Falluja. Today? National Iraqi News Agency reports 1 civilian was killed and six more injured when Nouri bombed their Falluja home…

Right-left convergence? Phooey
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – Maybe because unlike most leftists I actually went through the experience of being a conservative, the prospect of a right-left convergence leaves me cold. This project has been around for a long time, exemplified by Justin…

What Nazi Shootings Tell Me About West Bank Killings
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -..My experience with viewing films of shootings did, however, leave me with a well-trained, albeit non-expert eye that I use to critically evaluate films of disputed incidents. One thing I ve learned watching films of such material…

Hunger strike in 5th week as activists call for pressure on Israel
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 — As hunger striking prisoners in Israeli jails began a fifth week of refusing meals, activist organizations on Saturday called on Israel to respect prisoners rights and end its policy of administrative detention.Some 125 Palestinian prisoners are…

Opinion How the US institutionalized surveillance
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014- Information is power. This is the logic – or at least the aspiration – behind the U.S. government s current approach to intelligence gathering: the more data (or metadata) in hand, the more control. The National Security…

Rachel Corrie s family appeals to Israeli Supreme Court
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – The family of slain American activist Rachel Corrie was at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on Wednesday to appeal a 2012 judgment made by a Haifa district court, which ruled that the Israeli military was not…

Guantanamo Prisoners Cleared for Release Continue to Be Punished for Being Yemeni
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – President Barack Obama stated in a speech in May of last year that he was lifting a “moratorium on detainee transfers” from Guantanamo Bay to Yemen so his administration could review each prisoner on a “case-by-case…

Iraqi resistance – Weekly report from Iraq (May 17 – 22 2014 )
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24 2014-May 17, three days of fighting in Khalideyah Island in AlAnbar province leaves behind 50 criminal government soldiers dead including commanders. In Saqlaweyah fighting 40 criminal soldiers dead, seven tanks destroyed, 6 armed vehicles,13 Hummers, and tens reported…

“What Happened to your Hand?”
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – On March 22nd 2013, Mohamad Walleed Qwareeq was near the local school in the northern district of the town of Awarta, located approximately 8 kilometers southeast of Nablus. Mohamad, 22 at the time, was with a…

Israeli soldiers harass Palestinian children in Hebron
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -Israeli occupation forces appeared in two videos, believed to be captured on Friday, harassing Palestinian children in Hebron, whilst Israeli settlers laughed and took photos of them.In one of the videos an Israeli soldier stole the children…

Israel revokes ID of 241 Palestinians in Jerusalem
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -Israeli authorities have revoked the ID of 241 Palestinians living in Jerusalem in the last two years, a human rights organisation has said. In a statement issued on Thursday, Al-Meethaq for Human Rights (MHR) said that this…

Israel Declares War On Palestinian Banks
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 -Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip use the Israeli currency, the New Israeli Shekel, for their daily business. However, as the peace negotiation efforts of Secretary John Kerry…

Skinny jeans, cockroaches and a kangaroo court-Mariam Barghouti s diary of a Palestinian in an Israeli prison
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – On April 11th, I was arrested in the village of Nabi Saleh and wrongfully charged with stone throwing as well as assaulting a soldier. The testimony of a 20 or so year old soldier was enough…

There is no veritable religious freedom here : Postcard from the Christian community in East Jerusalem
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014 – As Pope Francis controversial visit to Israel and the West Bank nears-he arrives via helicopter in Bethlehem on May 25th-Israeli authorities are placing occupied East Jerusalem under curfew. A two-kilometre area around the Holy Sepulchre and…

At Hebrew University, Arabic textbooks reflect a Zionist reality
Uruknet 30 May 2014 – May 24, 2014-At Hebrew University, the narratives in Arabic and Hebrew language textbooks glorify Zionism and blur out any sign of the occupation. The next step? Using force against Palestinian students who dare to protest that very narrative. Israeli Independence…

Syria News – May 23 , 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos)
Uruknet 29 May 2014 – May 23 , 2014 – By the end of Friday, Coordination Committees were able to document 36 martyrs including 2 children, 4 women, and 3 martyrs under torture: 14 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 12 in Damascus and its suburbs; 4…

Get the data: What the drones strike
Uruknet 29 May 2014 – May 23, 2014 -The Bureau is publishing, for the first time, data showing the types of targets that have been reportedly attacked by CIA drones in Pakistan. The research is a joint project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research…

Syria Protests May 23, 2014 : A Video Roundup
Uruknet 29 May 2014 –

Daily Star

Obama to meet Ukraine’s Poroshenko in Poland: US official
Daily Star 30 May 2014 US President Barack Obama will meet Ukrainian president-elect Petro Poroshenko in Poland on Wednesday, a US official said.

Palestinian team qualifies for Asian Cup
Daily Star 30 May 2014 Ashraf Al Fawaghra scored with a brilliant free kick to give the Palestinian team a 1-0 victory over Philippines in the final of the AFC Challenge Cup on Friday and a place in next year’s Asian…

War documentary Korengal explores the wages of combat
Daily Star 30 May 2014 Director and writer Sebastian Junger took audiences into a combat zone with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan in his first documentary and goes a step further in Korengal, delving into their psyche to explore the experience and…

YNet News

Egypt’s Sabahi contests presidential elections results
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – ….

Palestinian team qualifies for Asian Cup
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – ….

Actress Hanna Maron dies at 90
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – ….

Obama says press secretary Jay Carney resigning
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – ….

Christians’ life in Israel not so wonderful
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – Op-ed: Pope’s visit was an opportunity to highlight distress and discrimination suffered by Christian community in State of Israel. ….

US announces effort to mark gay historical sites
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – ….

Historic Jewish community holds out on Tunisia Island
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – Despite the relatively tolerant Muslim environment, Jews living in Djerba Island feels that the community is too isolated with limited future prospects…..

Guatemalan town uses Nazi-inspired tactics to expel Jews
YNet News, 30 May 2014 – Over 30 Jews being evicted from San Juan La Laguna at local residents’ request. ‘Their customs aren’t like ours,’ mayor says. ….

Palestinian Information Center

Dweik: The Palestinian consensus gov‚¨ “!t to be announced next week
PIC – Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Dweik said the Palestinian interim unity government could be announced next week, most probably on Sunday.

Addameer denounces banning hunger strikers from family visits
PIC – Addameer for prisoners’ support and human rights association strongly condemned the Israeli decision to ban family visits for hunger strikers.

Israeli jailers isolate hunger striker, transfer others
PIC – The Israeli prison authority on Friday closed Nafha and Ramon prisons and banned the detainees from taking their daily recess in the courtyards.

“Battle of empty stomachs” going on for 37 days running
PIC – The Palestinian administrative prisoners entered on Friday, May 30, the 37th day of their open-ended hunger strike as many of them started to suffer from a serious decline in their health conditions.

Breathing problems among Palestinian civilians in clashes with IOF
PIC – A pregnant Palestinian woman on Thursday suffered from severe suffocation following heavy firing of tear gas canisters by the Israeli occupation forces near Al-Madares area in Tekoa east of Bethlehem.

Night vigil in Jenin in solidarity with Palestinian hunger-striking prisoners
PIC – A candlelit vigil was held on Thursday night in Jenin by youth groups in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners.

PA slammed over arrest of Palestinian advocate of prisoners‚¨ “! rights
PIC – Mohjat Al-Quds foundation for martyrs and prisoners on Thursday denounced the Palestinian authority (PA) security apparatuses for arresting prisoners’ rights activist Yassin Abu Lafah.

Shin Bet arrests member of Hamas’ Shura Council
PIC – The Israeli intelligence agency Shin Bet claimed on Thursday afternoon the arrest of member of Hamas’ Shura Council Mahmoud Ta’ma, 63, outside Palestine.

Abbas and Peres to visit the Vatican early next month
PIC – Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas and his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres will visit the Vatican to pray for peace at the invitation of Pope Francis.


World Briefing: Bombing Thwarted, Israeli Military Says
New York Times 30 May 2014 – Israeli troops on Friday detained a Palestinian man who was wearing a belt packed with explosives at a West Bank intersection that has been the site of previous attacks, Israeli military officials said.

World Briefing: Rebels and Tribesmen Clash in Yemen
New York Times 30 May 2014 – Clashes between Shiite rebels and tribesmen backed by national army units in Yemen have killed at least 12 people, security officials and tribal leaders said Friday.

American Suicide Bomber in Syria Is Identified
New York Times 30 May 2014 – An American blew himself up in a suicide attack in Syria has been identified by law enforcement officials as Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a man who grew up in Florida.

New Refugee Camp in Jordan Tries to Create a Community for Syrians
New York Times 30 May 2014 – Officials say the Azraq camp for Syrian refugees, in a remote, dusty expanse of Jordan, could grow even bigger than the Zaatari camp, which shelters more than 100,000 Syrians.

At War Blog: When a Young Spouse Becomes the Caregiver
New York Times 30 May 2014 – Over all, military caregivers today are younger than those of previous generations, have fewer support networks and are at a much higher risk for depression and suicide, a study shows.

Q. and A. on the Syrian Presidential Election
New York Times 30 May 2014 – The disputed vote to be held on Tuesday, amid a three-year conflict that has killed more than 160,000, is virtually certain to give President Bashar al-Assad a third seven-year term.

World Briefing: Director of Happy in Tehran Video Freed on Bail in Iran
New York Times 30 May 2014 – Sassan Soleimani, the director of Happy in Tehran, a viral YouTube rendition of a Pharrell Williams music video, was released on bail on Thursday.

World Briefing: Online Chats Between Sexes Denounced in Saudi Arabia
New York Times 29 May 2014 – A senior Saudi Arabian cleric has issued an edict against online chatting between the sexes.

U.S. Strategy to Fight Terrorism Increasingly Uses Proxies
New York Times 29 May 2014 – Even before President Obama s speech on a shift in antiterrorism strategy, the military began relying more on allied or indigenous troops to combat Al Qaeda and its affiliates.

Foreign Jihadis Fighting in Syria Pose Risk in West
New York Times 29 May 2014 – As many as 3,000 Westerners are believed to have gone to Syria to fight, prompting more aggressive efforts by governments to take action against domestic threats.

International Observers Find Egypt s Presidential Election Fell Short of Standards
New York Times 29 May 2014 – Two teams of foreign observers said the presidential election was marred by irregularities and a repressive political environment.

Abbas Seeks a New Government That Would Seal Alliance With Hamas
New York Times 29 May 2014 – The move could send Israeli-Palestinian relations into a tailspin and would disrupt any prospect of a resumption of American-brokered peace talks.

Destroyed Palestinian village outfitted with 1,000 JNF trees memorializing Denver couple s dead dogs
Mondoweiss – Ron Werner (third from left) and Jim Hering (in white shirt) with friends at the Hertz JNF Ceremonial Tree Planting Center in Neot Kedumim. (Photo: JNF) When Ron Werner, head of the board for theJewish National Fund (JNF) Mountain States region, turned 50 this week he…

On Jerusalem Day, thousands of settlers celebrate conquest of the city and say Kahane was right
Mondoweiss – Thousands of Israeli youth march on Jerusalem Day, marking the 1967 Israeli conquest of the city. (Photo: Allison Deger) On Wednesday, May 28, over 10,000 Israeli youth, hailing predominately from settlements in the West Bank, marched in the annual Jerusalem Day parade commemorating the Israel s victory…

Violence of Jewish power in Jerusalem has poisoned the Jewish community Forward reports
Mondoweiss – Today we have an excellent report from Allison Deger on the Jerusalem Day demonstration by rightwing Jewish zealots in the Old City. And look here: the Forward also has published an account documenting the racism at the rally that several folks have passed along to me….

In Brussels whodunnit, Netanyahu irresponsibly claims anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic motive
Mondoweiss – As you can see on the video above, at 3:27 p.m. last Saturday afternoon May 24, a young man in a baseball cap and sunglasses entered the Brussels Jewish museum, produced a Kalashnikov from a bag, and calmly fired into a gallery from a doorwaybefore departing…

Palestine Today: A little cleansing here, a little expulsion there
Sabbah report 30 May 2014 – The protocols of the heroes of the Israelis army, as they discuss how to expel Palestinians from their land, give any anti-Semite true fodder. Continue reading í! The post: Palestine Today: A little cleansing here, a little expulsion there appeared first on Sabbah Report ß Sign…

Why boycotting Israel is important and necessary
Sabbah report 30 May 2014 – DePaul students don’t want their tuition dollars invested in weapons manufacturers who supply the Israeli government, army and prison services. Continue reading í! The post: Why boycotting Israel is important and necessary appeared first on Sabbah Report ß Sign up for our FREE newsletter ß

US man was Syria suicide bomber
BBC 30 May 2014 – A US man carried out a suicide bombing in Syria, in what is thought to be the first such attack by an American citizen, the state department confirms.

VIDEO: How do you stop antiquities thieves?
BBC 30 May 2014 – The BBC looks at new efforts being taken in Egypt to stop antiquities being taken from the country’s ancient sites

VIDEO: West Bank’s first female bus driver
BBC 30 May 2014 – Najlaa Asia overcomes patriarchal attitudes in the Palestinian territories to become the first female bus driver in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.

Agudath Israel Defends Rabbi’s ‘Heresy’ Attack on Open Orthodox
The Foward Breaking News 30 May 2014 – Agudath Israel has leaped to the defense of Rabbi Yaakov Perlow, who called the Open Orthodox movement heretical and criticized non-Orthodox Judaism. Click here for the rest of the article…

Migrants face squalor in Libya jail
BBC 30 May 2014 – Illegal migrants’ journey ends in Libya jail or morgue

Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis Urge Women To Police Family Internet Use
The Foward Breaking News 30 May 2014 – Ultra-Orthodox rabbis warned a crowd of 10,000 women about the dangers of the Internet, while addressing them through a one-way mirror in Brooklyn. Click here for the rest of the article…

Hamas Official Admits Funding Temple Mount Riots
The Foward Breaking News 30 May 2014 – A senior Hamas operative said that the group is paying young Arabs to harass Jews at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel s domestic security service announced. Click here for the rest of the article…

Netanyahu: Settlement Freeze in West Bank Due to American Pressure
The Foward Breaking News 30 May 2014 – sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he suspended construction in West Bank settlements because of American pressure, an Israeli news site reported. Click here for the rest of the article…

Is it possible to be a millionaire poet?
BBC 30 May 2014 – What happens to creativity after you get rich?

VIDEO: The ‘secret’ uprising on Saudi coast
BBC 30 May 2014 – In a special investigation for the BBC’s Our World, Saudi journalist Safa Al Ahmad has gained unprecedented access to film in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province as the Shia community reacts to a violent government crackdown.

Al-Jazeera journalist held in Egypt
BBC 30 May 2014 – A female freelance journalist working for the satellite news network al-Jazeera in Egypt is under arrest, the interior ministry says.

Half of Yemen on the verge of starvation: UN
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – Nearly half of Yemen’s population is going hungry, the UN’s food agency warned Friday, saying it was scaling up its aid to the impoverished country. More than 10 million of Yemen’s some 25 million inhabitants are either severely food insecure — meaning they require food assistance…

VIDEO: Syria’s Nouri denies ‘stooge’ claims
BBC 30 May 2014 – Hassan al-Nouri, one of the men running in the presidential election in Syria, says he is “strong competitor to Assad”.

Hamra s historic pub, the Captain s Cabin, turns 50
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – Andre Toriz, owner of Beirut’s historic pub “The Captain’s Cabin,” poses behind the bar. (Photo: Marc Abizeid) Andre Toriz, owner of Beirut’s historic pub “The Captain’s Cabin,” poses behind the bar. (Photo: Marc Abizeid) When their wives could no longer tolerate them bringing their friends over…

Saudi Arabia’s hidden uprising
BBC 30 May 2014 – Reporting under the radar on Saudi Arabia’s protests

Week in Photos (May 24-May 30)
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – Bahraini women mourn during the funeral of Sayed Mahmud Sayed Mohsin (portrait) in the village of Sitra, south of the capital Manama, on May 24, 2014. (Photo: Mohammed al-Shaikh-AFP) Bahraini women mourn during the funeral of Sayed Mahmud Sayed Mohsin (portrait) in the village of Sitra,…

A new Turkish aggression against Syria: Ankara suspends pumping Euphrates water
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – Top: “The decrease in water levels” Bottom: “Tishrin Dam” (Photo: Al-Akhbar) Top: “The decrease in water levels” Bottom: “Tishrin Dam” (Photo: Al-Akhbar) The Turkish government recently cut off the flow of the Euphrates River, threatening primarily Syria but also Iraq with a major water crisis. Al-Akhbar…

Syrian exiles in Lebanon voting frenzy
BBC 30 May 2014 – Chaos as Syrian voters in Beirut face more than one choice

Outcry over shoe on sacred site
BBC 30 May 2014 – Outrage over picture of a shoe on a Saudi holy site

Aleppo barrel bomb toll nears 2,000
BBC 30 May 2014 – Almost 2,000 people have been killed by Syrian government air attacks in the northern city of Aleppo so far this year, activists say.

Aoun: Beware of repeating the presidential sin of 2008
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – MP Michel Aoun (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) MP Michel Aoun (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) In the absence of any serious external intervention to end the stalemate concerning the presidential elections with the major powers limiting their efforts thus far to issuing a UN Security Council statement calling…

Turkish forces dismantle Kurdish roadblock with tear gas, water cannon
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – A Kurd runs away after throwing a molotov cocktail on a riot police vehicle on May 26, 2014, at Lice in Diyarbakir, as Kurdish protesters clash to protest against construction of a new police outpost in Kurdish-dominated southeastern Turkey. (Photo: AFP – Ilyas Akengin) A Kurd…

Arsonists set fire to six cars in southern Lebanon
Al-Akhbar News 30 May 2014 – Unidentified arsonists set fire to six vehicles on the eastern outskirts of Lebanon’s southern city of Tyre overnight, state media reported. The National News Agency said civil defense forces had rushed in to douse the flames which left charred two Mercedes, three BMWs and a “Rapid”…

Fayrouz should have been a public space
Al-Akhbar Blogs 30 May 2014 – I truly believe that our molested citizenship and crippled national identity will only be able to heal in public spaces, in real time and real place. It s less conceptual, less ideological, less rhetorical and more tangible. This blog post might sound similar to another I wrote…

The fig leaf and the justice of the strong
Al-Akhbar Opinion 30 May 2014 – Al-Akhbar Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Amin speaks to the STL via videolink. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Al-Akhbar Editor-in-Chief Ibrahim al-Amin speaks to the STL via videolink. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) After all the scandals, mistakes, resignations, leaks, suspicions and laws passed in accordance with the political winds, after compromising civil…

Patriarch Rai meets with SLA collaborators
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 May 2014 – Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai (C) blesses Arab Israeli followers of the Maronite community during his visit to the Our Lady of Rosary Parish in the Old city of Acre in northern Israel on May 29, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Menahem Kahana) Lebanese Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai (C)…

Syrian elections: Lebanese prejudice rears its ugly head
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 May 2014 – Syrian expatriates living in Lebanon cast their ballots in the country’s presidential elections at the Syrian Embassy in Yarze east of Beirut on May 28, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Joseph Eid) Syrian expatriates living in Lebanon cast their ballots in the country’s presidential elections at the Syrian Embassy…

Al-Akhbar chief walks out of “illegitimate” STL hearing
Al-Akhbar Politics 29 May 2014 – Ibrahim al-Amin speaks on a cell phone inside Al-Akhbar’s Beirut office after walking out of his STL session. (Photo: Al-Akhbar) Ibrahim al-Amin speaks on a cell phone inside Al-Akhbar’s Beirut office after walking out of his STL session. (Photo: Al-Akhbar) Al-Akhbar editor-in-chief Ibrahim al-Amin appeared briefly…


Hunger strike is the only choice left for Palestinian prisoners
Jessica Purkiss, Middle East Monitor (MEMO)5/30/2014
Ahmed Rimawi was arrested at the age of 17. He has been in an Israeli prison for 1 year and 7 months- kept behind bars without charge and without trial.
He is now the youngest of an estimated 125 to 200 Palestinian prisoners residing in Israeli jails on a mass hunger strike – Israel’s access restrictions means an exact number is difficult to ascertain. They are protesting the practice of Administrative Detention – a policy that has ensured Ahmed, and many other prisoners, remain incarcerated with no idea why.
“On his way to the school the Israeli soldiers stopped him,” said his mother Um Ahmed from her home in a village outside Ramallah, West Bank. “After holding him at the checkpoint for 24 hours, they took him to prison. They kept him there for 6 months, then 6 months, then another 6 months, and we still don’t know why,” she said.
Under Administrative Detention, Israel can detain an individual for up to six months, which can be renewed an indefinite amount of times. Detainees are not informed of the reasons of their detention; neither are their lawyers- their files are classified as ‘secret.’ There are currently 183 Palestinian prisoners in Administrative Detention.
Ahmed has reached his 31st day of hunger strike. His mother is growing more concerned as the days pass. She worries as both a mother, and a wife- for Ahmed’s father Ishraq is also on hunger strike. Serving a 19 year sentence in the same jail as his son, he joined the strike within hours of discovering Ahmed’s participation.
According to Um Ahmed, a lawyer managed to visit her husband yesterday, however the whereabouts of her son is unknown. Her husband has an infection in his colon which has prevented him from taking salt- a lifeline for the long term hunger strikers.more..e-mail

The Israel that could have been in Argentina
Uri Avnery, Redress5/29/2014
During his short visit to Israel, Pope Francis laid a wreath on the grave of Theodor Herzl.
That was not a usual gesture. Foreign heads of state are obliged to visit Yad Vashem, as did the Pope, but not the grave of Herzl. It is not like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris.
So why Herzl s grave? Obviously, this gesture was intended to emphasize the Zionist character of the state.
Herzl was the founder of modern political Zionism. He is officially called the Visionary of the State . His is the only picture decorating the Knesset plenum hall. If we had saints, he would be St Theodor.
Probably Francis did not give another thought to this gesture. If so, it s a pity. The Argentine Pope could have found a lot of interest in this colourful Viennese journalist and playwright.
Because if Herzl had had his way, Francis would have been greeted by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Spanish. He would have honoured Herzl s grave in the Jewish state somewhere south of Buenos Aires.
If Francis had never heard of this episode, he is not the only one. The vast mass of Israelis has not either. It is not taught in Israeli schools. It is hidden, rather shamefully.
Uganda as Israel
Israelis know about Uganda . Shortly before his early death, Herzl was invited by the British government to implement his ideas in part of British East Africa (actually, it was the Kenyan highlands, a plateau with a mild climate, which later became a part of Kenya.more..e-mail

The Israeli-Palestinian Talks Were Set Up to Fail
Alain Gresh, CounterPunch5/30/2014
What s Mine is Mine; What s Yours is Negotiable
The negotiations had to start with a decision to freeze settlement construction. We thought that we couldn t achieve that because of the current makeup of the Israeli government, so we gave up, a senior official in the Obama administration told Nahum Barnea of the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot (1) about the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. (He asked to remain anonymous.) We didn t realise Netanyahu was using the announcements of tenders for settlement construction as a w
ay to ensure the survival of his own government. We didn t realise continuing construction allowed ministers in his government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks. & Only now, after talks blew up, did we learn that this [the building of 14,000 dwellings] is also about expropriating land on a large scale.

When asked if he was surprised to discover the Israelis didn t really care what happened in the negotiations, he replied: It surprised us all along the way. When [Moshe] Yaalon, your defence minister, said that the only thing [US Secretary of State John] Kerry wants is to win a Nobel Prize, the insult was great. We were doing this for you and for the Palestinians.
Though all Barnea s sources are anonymous, he had access to all US officials, and especially to Martin Indyk, President Barack Obama s special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The main argument can be summed up as we [the US] did not know . They didn t know what settlement meant; they didn t know that the Israeli government was not interested in negotiating.
Is that credible? How, after being involved in the peace process for four decades, could the US, Israel s main ally, not know? Is it possible that Kerry can have devoted so much energy to resolving this conflict flying to the Middle East so many times, holding hundreds of hours of talks….more..e-mail

US Water Wars in the Middle East
Garikai Chengu, CounterPunch5/27/2014
A New Age of Hydro-Imperialism
Water is to the twenty-first century what oil was to the twentieth century: the commodity that determines the wealth and stability of nations.
People who think that the West s interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria are only about oil are mistaken. Broadly speaking, Western interest in the Middle East is becoming increasingly about a commodity more precious than oil, namely water.
According to the U.S.-based Center for Public Integrity, Western nations stand to make up to a US$1 trillion from privatizing, purifying and distributing water in a region where water often sells for far more than oil.
Although over two thirds of our planet is water, we face an acute shortage. This scarcity flies in the face of our natural assumptions. The problem is that 97 percent is salt water. Great for fish, not so good for humans. Of the world s fresh water, only one percent is available for drinking, with the remaining two percent trapped in glaciers and ice.
Put differently: if all the water on earth was represented by an 11-litre jug, the freshwater would fill a single cup, and we can only access the last drop.
Nature has decreed that the supply of water is fixed; all the while, demand is rising as the world s population increases and enriches itself. By 2030, climate change, population growth, pollution and urbanization will compound, such that the demand for water globally is estimated to outstrip supply by forty percent.
Increasingly, for water to be useful, it needs to be mined, processed, packaged, and transported, just like gold, coal, gas or oil. Unlike oil, there are no substitutes, alternatives or stopgaps for water.more..e-mail

Syrians Flock to Vote in Lebanon& But Not in The West
In Gaza: 30 May 2014 – Tens of thousands of Syrians flocked to the Syrian embassy in Beirut on May 28. Voting was extended to a second day due to the large numbers. Credit Eva Bartlett/IPS By Eva Bartlett **first published at IPS; blog version slightly longer BEIRUT, May 30 (IPS) Roughly three kilometres north of Beirut s Syrian embassy in Baabda, Syrians crammed in one of an endless stream of buses, exited and continued on foot. The masses opted to walk the remaining few kilometres rather than sit in a traffic jam generated by the tens of thousands flocking to vote. Clogging the main street leading to the embassy, vehicles of all sorts many decked out with posters of President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian flags sat waiting to inch forward. Those on foot moved faster than the halted traffic, and the many long-haul truck drivers gave up, rigs pulled off to…more

On What the Pope Taught
Palestine Chronicle: 30 May 2014 – By Richard Falk I am not surprised that there are such contradictory reactions to Pope Francis recent visit to Palestine and Israel. To begin with, there are sharply divergent views about the Catholic Church, and the papacy itself. Understandably for some, the complicity of the Catholic hierarchy with the shocking prevalence of sexual abuse by priests of young boys seems institutionally discrediting in the extreme. The anti-modern cult of celibacy and a failure to allow women to participate equally in the life of the Catholic Church furthers undermin
e its moral authority given the changing realities of the 21st century. Beyond this there are questions raised about Pope Francis s own past, whether he was far too passive during the time of the dirty war in Argentina, and too slow to favor the humane treatment of homosexuality. He has always chosen a simple life for himself, dedicating his pastoral efforts to benefit…

Historic Syrian Election Brings Multitudes of Voters
Dissident Voice: 30 May 2014 – On 28 May 2014, expatriated Syrian nationals in numerous countries flocked to Syrian embassies to begin the voting process in a presidential election. With all its potential flaws, perhaps even inherent flaws, this quintessential element of democracy is still the most effective means of finding consensus. As the saying goes, you can t please all the people all the time. Thus elections provide an opportunity for peaceful compromise. But to work, democracy requires participation. President Bashar al Assad is being challenged by Maher Hajjar and Hassan Nouri, even if sneered at by those who label them as merely symbolic candidates. Yet instead of offering strong opponents to al Assad, those aligned with the opposition parties of the Syrian War have boycotted the election, calling it a mockery , a parody , a joke . Likewise, many expats have been unable to vote because their host countries have either closed their Syrian Embassies or…more

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