VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles 6 June 2014: Israeli film festival in London part of efforts to rebrand apartheid

6 June 2014 — VTJP


International Middle East Media Center

“Our Battle Is Not With Guns, Our Strike Continues”
IMEMC – Hunger Striking Detainees Affirm Steadfastness [Friday, June 6, 2014] In a letter sent by hunger striking Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, the detainees stated their strike, and their ongoing legitimate battle, is ongoing despite aggression, and despite their pain, suffering and illness. …

Palestine TV Denounces Israeli Invasion Of Its Jerusalem Office
IMEMC – The Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) strongly denounced the Israeli military invasion against its Jerusalem branch, during live broadcast, and the detention of two employees and a guest speaker. …

Injuries as Israel Disperses More Protests
IMEMC – Candlelight solidarity vigil held in Gaza At least ten protesters were injured across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, on Friday, as dozens engaged in demonstrations marking the 47th anniversary of the Naksa, when the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the Sinai peninsula were illegally taken by Israel in 1967. … 

Ya’alon Demands Abbas To Disarm Hamas, Control Gaza
IMEMC – Israel To Discuss More Sanctions On P.A Israeli Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, called on the Israeli Government of Benjamin Netanyahu to act on controlling the Gaza Strip, and to disarm the Hamas movement, along with other armed resistance groups in the coastal region. …

UN Committee urges end to Israeli practice of imprisoning Palestinians without trial
IMEMC – As 120 prisoners enter their sixth week of a water-only hunger strike, and the Israeli government announces plans to begin force-feeding the hunger strikers, a United Nations committee has weighed in on the issue that led the prisoners to begin the hunger strike – detention without trial or charge. …

Ma’an News

Israel police raid Palestine TV studios
6/6/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli police raided the East Jerusalem studios of Palestine TV on Friday and briefly detained three staff for questioning, a spokeswoman said.”Police carried out searches at the headquarters of the television channel, as part of an investigation into the content of its programm,” spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP.”Three employees were arrested, questioned and released,” she said, adding that “no programs were….

Conference in support of Palestinian prisoners held in Budapest
6/6/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoner Affairs in cooperation with the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society and the General Union of Palestinian Communities in Europe on Friday launched an international conference in Budapest in support of prisoners in Israeli jails. Lawyer Fadwa Barghothi, Deputy minister Issa Qaraqe, undersecretary of the ministry of prisoner affairs Ziad Abu Ein, head of the Palestinian Prisoner….

10 injured as Israel disperses protests across West Bank
6/6/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Ten Palestinians were injured including a photographer as dozens participated in protests across the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Friday to mark the 47th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Protesters in al-Arrub refugee camp north Hebron, in Bilin, west of Ramallah, in al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron, and in Jerusalem’s….

Israel army: Palestinian detained near Azzun trying to ‘stab soldier’
6/6/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Israeli army said on Friday that a Palestinian had been detained near Azzun west of Nablus for trying to “stab a soldier” after he was stopped in his vehicle during a patrol in the area. The army said in a statement that the patrol had “apprehended a suspicious vehicle for checkup” and during the inspection the man in the vehicle….

Watch: Israeli soldier knocked over by rolling tire
6/6/2014 – HEBRON (Ma’an) — An Israeli soldier was knocked over by a rolling tire during clashes in the village of Beit Ummar on Friday. During the clashes, two Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in the lower extremities, while dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation. In a video published on the Facebook page of popular committee spokesman Muhammad Ayad Awad, meanwhile, an Israeli soldier….

Israel’s new settlement push condemned internationally
6/6/2014 – JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israel unveiled plans for 3,200 settler homes Thursday in retaliation for the formation of a Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas and the international community. Tenders for nearly 1,500 new settlement houses and plans to advance some 1,800 others were issued just 72 hours after the new Palestinian government was sworn in, ending seven years of rival administrations in the West Bank and….

EU’s Barroso to sign controversial deal with Netanyahu
6/6/2014 – BRUSSELS (AFP) — European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso is to formally sign a controversial EU-Israel research program with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a visit starting Sunday. The outgoing head of the European Union executive will hold talks with Netanyahu on Sunday before taking part in a signing ceremony the next day allowing Israel to become the only non-European country to benefit from the EU….

Hundreds in Gaza attend candle-light vigil for prisoners
6/6/2014 – GAZA CITY (Ma’an) — Hundreds of Palestinians held a vigil on Thursday night at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in western Gaza City in solidarity with hundreds of prisoners on hunger strike against their detention without trial. Demonstrators held candles aloft and spelled out “The prisoners are in danger – support is a duty” with them on the ground during the protest, which was….

From our Facebook balconies, the dark heart of Yarmouk
6/6/2014 – Al-Shabaka is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to educate and foster public debate on Palestinian human rights and self-determination within the framework of international law. This policy brief is authored by Ahmad Diab, a Palestinian writer and Fulbright scholar currently working on his PhD at New York University. His interests lie in the intersection between literature, film, and power structures. – If Joseph Conrad….

Netanyahu congratulates Sisi on Egypt election victory
6/6/2014 – BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday congratulated Egyptian president Abdul Fatah al-Sisi on his recent election victory. Netanyahu telephoned Sisi to congratulate him and wished the Egyptians a peaceful and stable future, a statement from the Israeli PM’s office said. Sisi took 96. 9 percent of the vote in a recent election held nearly a year with less than….

Abbas, Peres to plant olive tree at Vatican ceremony
6/6/2014 – VATICAN CITY (AFP) — The Israeli and Palestinian presidents will plant an olive tree as a symbol of peace after an unprecedented prayer meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens on Sunday amid high tensions in the Middle East. The Vatican said it hoped the initiative launched by Francis, which will include Christian, Jewish and Muslim prayers and music, would have an impact on public….

Assad wins vote branded illegitimate by opposition
6/6/2014 – DAMASCUS (AFP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad won a new seven-year term with nearly 90 percent of a vote in a poll branded “illegitimate” by the opposition and a “non-election” by Washington. Assad said Thursday that “the high turnout was a strong message to the West and the countries implicated in the war on Syria.”Official figures put turnout for Tuesday’s election, which was….

G7 tightens defenses against Syria’s foreign fighters
6/6/2014 – BRUSSELS (AFP) — Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations decided Thursday to tighten defenses against the risk of terror attacks by European jihadists returning from the Syrian front.” We have agreed to intensify efforts to address the issue of foreign fighters travelling to and from Syria,” British Prime Minister David Cameron said at the close of a G7 summit. He said talks were taking….

Egypt brings in new law for legislative polls
6/6/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — Interim President Adly Mansour on Thursday passed a law for parliamentary elections guaranteeing at least 12 percent of seats to women and four percent to Egypt’s minority Christians. The legislative polls will be the fina
l stage of a “roadmap” to democracy announced by former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who himself was elected president last week. He unveiled the roadmap after….

Egypt imposes new penalties for sexual harassment
6/6/2014 – CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt approved new punishments Thursday for sexual harassment, amid rising pressure on authorities to fight the rampant phenomenon. Until now, Egypt has not had a law defining sexual harassment, despite more than 99 percent of women being subjected to some form of abuse, a 2013 study by the United Nations said. But outgoing interim president Adly Mansour approved a range of amendments Thursday….

Militants attack Iraq’s Samarra, sparking heavy fighting
6/6/2014 – SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) — Militants launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Samarra Thursday and occupied several neighborhoods, sparking house-to-house fighting and helicopter strikes in which dozens of people were reportedly killed. Security forces ultimately regained control of the militant-held areas, a senior army officer said, but the attack was yet another example of the long reach of militants in Iraq. On Thursday morning….

Unions slam ‘slave state’ Qatar, up World Cup campaign
6/6/2014 – GENEVA (AFP) — International unions on Thursday slammed 2022 World Cup host Qatar over the treatment of migrant laborers and condemned what they call the systematic exploitation of workers at sporting events worldwide.” Qatar is a slave state,” said Sharan Burrow, head of the International Trade Union Confederation. Speaking on the sidelines of the annual congress of the International Labor Organization — the UN’s labour….

FIFA’s Blatter ducks Qatar re-vote calls
6/6/2014 – PARIS (AFP) — Football chief Sepp Blatter resisted calls to order a re-vote for the 2022 World Cup on Thursday, saying no decision could be taken until FIFA completes a probe of Qatar’s winning bid. Speaking in Sao Paulo, Blatter declined to comment directly on mounting corruption revelations embroiling Qatar’s win at a controversial 2010 vote. Blatter said FIFA would make no….


Palestinian hunger strike passes 40-day mark
AlJazeera 6 Jun 2014 – Israel debates force-feeding Palestinian prisoners protesting their incarceration without charge or trial.

Relief Web

occupied Palestinian territory: Statement on the latest Israeli announcement on settlements (05 June 2014)
Relief Web 6 Jun 2014 – Source: European Union Country: occupied Palestinian territory Brussels, 05 June 2014 140605/04 “We are deeply disappointed that the Israeli Land Administration has published new tenders for 1466 housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West…

Syrian Arab Republic: G7 Leaders’ Communiqué, June 2014 – Foreign Policy
Relief Web 5 Jun 2014 – Source: European Commission Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Libya, Mali, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine Summary: 4 June 2014, Brussels – G7 Leaders’ Communiqué, June 2014 – Foreign…

The National

Awol British pensioner found at D-Day events in France
The National 6 Jun 2014 – Nursing home alerted Sussex police after 89-year-old went missing a day before 70th anniversary ceremonies in Normandy.

Barack Obama leads emotional D-Day tribute to veterans
The National 6 Jun 2014 – Allied assault on Normandy’s beaches shaped security and well-being of posterity, US president says at 70th anniversary commemoration.

Pakistan suspends news channel Geo over spy agency row
The National 6 Jun 2014 – Geo News had locked horns with the ISI after a prominent anchor of the television channel was attacked by gunmen in Karachi in April.

Putin and Poroshenko agree to work towards Ukraine ceasefire
The National 6 Jun 2014 – Russian president and Ukraine’s president-elect hold talks on sidelines of D-day commemoration in France.

Tracking returned Syria fighters a challenge for Europe
The National 6 Jun 2014 – German and French authorities knew Belgium shooting suspect had fought in Syria but were unable to keep track of his movements.

Afghan presidential front-runner Abdullah escapes assassination attempt
The National 6 Jun 2014 – The attack kills six civilians but Abdullah Abdullah is unharmed and speaks at a campaign rally.

Sikhs clash with swords on anniversary of India’s Golden Temple raid
The National 6 Jun 2014 – The clashes allegedly broke out after members of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) insist they be allowed to speak on the microphone first during ceremonies marking the 30th anniversary of the raid on the Golden Temple.


Is modern opera The Death of Klinghoffer anti-Semitic?
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Jordanian prince to be tapped UN rights chief
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Ban Ki-moon expresses concern over worsening health of Palestinian hunger strikers
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

U.S. court revives lawsuit over art looted by Nazis
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Police investigation ‘a death blow’ to Ben-Eliezer’s presidency bid
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Police investigation ‘a death blow’ to Ben-Eliezer’s presidency bid
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Bedouin women in Israel stand up to ‘The Man’
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Putin: Immediate ceasefire needed for talks on eastern Ukraine
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Mideast peace prayer not political meddling, says Vatican
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Hezbollah says landslide win means Syria rebels, west can’t demand Assad quit
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Asylum seeker thrown out of detention center after stroke
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Top presidential candidate Ben-Eliezer suspected of illegally receiving funds
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Hillary Clinton: I wanted to arm Syrian rebels, but Obama refused
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Israeli police raid East Jerusalem TV station mid-broadcast
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Netanyahu, Peres congratulate Egypt’s Sissi on election win
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Palestinian Authority condemns Australia for declaring East Jerusalem not occupied
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Jerusalem picked as ‘Islamic Tourism Capital for 2016’
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Israel building farm on Palestinian land
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Police suspect drunken fight in Netanya death
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

A Jerusalem haven for visitors from afar
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

JNF agrees reluctantly to limited transparency
Ha’aretz – 6 Jun 2014

Israel’s moral retirement
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Time for statesmanship
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

A coward posing as a macho he-man
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Some daylight on Western-style weekends in Israel
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Paying too much for insurance
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

14-year-old boy charged with burying bomb in Bat Yam park
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Kiryat Gat woman in teen sex scandal fit to stand trial
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Wheeling and dealing for Israel’s presidency: A guide
Ha’aretz – 5 Jun 2014

Jerusalem Post

Vatican insists pope not meddling in Mideast politics with Peres-Abbas invite
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas will pray for peace together following a surprise invitation made by Francis during his visit to the Holy Land last month. 

Spain moves one step closer to granting Sephardic Jews ‘right of return’
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – The Spanish government approved draft law allowing descendants of Sephardic Jews to seek Spanish nationality. 

IDF arrests Palestinian for allegedly attempting to stab soldier in West Bank
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – The incident occurred when an army unit on a routine patrol stopped a vehicle for a security check. 

PHOTO GALLERY: Remembering the D-Day landing, 70 years later
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – The free world pays homage to the young men who sacrificed their lives to defeat fascism in Europe. 

IT WAS A GAS, GAS, GAS: Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger bids farewell to Israel – in Hebrew
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – “Thanks to everyone in Israel for the wonderful reception,” Jagger tweeted in Hebrew. “It was a great concert and we will always remember it.” 

Reports: Ben-Eliezer allegedly received millions from businessmen, associates
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Presidential candidate was questioned under caution by police just four days before election. 

Peres to Sisi: Israel remains committed to peace with Egypt
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Outgoing Israeli president speaks with Egyptian president-elect; stresses Israel’s commitment to strengthening bilateral ties with Cairo 

Moroccan Berbers launch anti-Semitism watchdog
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Initiative comes amid a debate in Morocco about the North African country’s relations with Israel. 

Germany ‘very worried’ about Israel’s plans to advance settlement building
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Berlin says step taken by Israel in response to inauguration of Palestinian unity gov’t poses threat to efforts to resume peace talks. 

Analysis: Legal issues over rehabilitating Palestinian minors who commit crimes
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Why do the laws pertaining to Palestinian minors only provide for rehabilitation and meeting with a social worker post-conviction and not pre-trial? 

Ya’alon blasts ‘sweet talking’ Palestinian leadership
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Defense minister warns that unity government is presenting a facade that is not truly inclined to peace with Israel. 

Eilat – there’s more than the sea to see
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – There is so much to do in Israel’s southernmost city that a week is not enough. 

World leaders mark 70th anniversary of D-Day
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – France hosts 17 heads of state to commemorate operation marking Allied efforts to liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. 

‘EU rejects theory that Brussels Jewish museum gunman acted alone’
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – Mehdi Nemmouche, who allegedly murdered four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum on May 24, did not act alone, EU officials tell Lebanese newspaper. 

Steven Spielberg’s niece auditions for ‘The Voice’ Israel
Jerusalem Post 6 Jun 2014 – 25-year-old Jessica Katz participates in blind auditions for reality singing competition’s third season in Israel. 

Is Israel planning a unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank?
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – “Makor Rishon”: Netanyahu said that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach “a separation from the Palestinians.” 

Shapiro: Israel came to same decision as US did on PA unity government
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – US ambassador stresses that Jerusalem transferred NIS 500,000 in collected tax revenue to the PA on same day Fatah-Hamas government was sworn. 

Cyber age police-search powers bill passes first reading
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – The proposed bill, which passed on Monday, would in some instances be a radical departure from previous limits on searches. 

Israel boycott resolution fails at MLA convention
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – Opponents maintained that this resolution would have been the first step toward a full-blown boycott, divestment, and sanction- type decision. 

Jewish Democrats rally for Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential bid
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – Clinton says she has not made a decision whether or not to run for president, but expects to announce her intentions after the midterm elections. 

Into the fray: The wages of indolence, impotence and incompetence
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – As disappointing as the response of the West to the Hamas-backed PA government is, Israel bears much of the blame for the situation. 

My word: Spies and stories
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – Truth and fiction mix inside and outside the espionage world. 

Know comment: The big chill sets in
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – Aside from some supporters in Congress, and perhaps Canada, Israel stands alone in absolute opposition to the new-old government cunningly created by Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail

Savir’s corner: Pollution
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – In today’s Middle East, there is a dichotomy between moderate pragmatism and fundamentalist, nationalistic extremism. 

Column one: Ending Abbas’s winning streak
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – The time has come for Israel to stop playing this game, where the PLO gets to materially breach its agreements and so render them effectively null and void. 

A Jew or a Christian?
Jerusalem Post 5 Jun 2014 – Abraham Righetto was a converso from Iberia who had to figure out where it was safe for a descendent of converted Jews to go. 

The Guardian

George Brandis’s take on ‘occupied east Jerusalem’ comes under Labor fire
The Guardian 6 Jun 2014 – Attorney general had said the term was judgmental and should no longer be used by government Labor has queried why the attorney general, George Brandis, is intervening in sensitive foreign policy issues such as the Middle…

Inter Press Service

Syria’s Twin Jihads
IPS By Mona Alami BEIRUT, Jun 5 2014 (IPS) The war in Syria has brought back to the forefront the concept of ‘jihad’, with tens of thousands of fighters currently waging what they believe to be a religious war there. On both sides of the religious divide, Lebanese militants have relied…

Russia May Seek to Emphasise Peace Broker Role in Mideast
IPS By Pavol Stracansky MOSCOW, Jun 5 2014 (IPS) As the Palestinian unity government announced June 2 receives a cautious welcome from many world leaders, Russia’s support for the new body is providing the Kremlin with an opportune platform to pursue its foreign policy ambitions and strengthen its domestic ideology. Russia…

Palestinian Unity Causing Political Ripples in Washington
IPS By Mitchell Plitnick WASHINGTON, Jun 5 2014 (IPS) The announcement this week of a new Palestinian unity government was greeted with cautious optimism by most of the world, outside of Israel. In the United States, however, it set off political rumblings that threaten to swell into a storm. The decision…

The Train of Palestinian Reconciliation Reaches One More Station
IPS Palestinians during a sit-in before the former prime minister Ismael Hanyia’s house to support Palestinian reconciliation. Credit: Khaled Alashqar/IPS By Khaled Alashqar GAZA CITY, Jun 4 2014 (IPS) The formation of a new Palestinian government between Fatah and Hamas announced on Monday is an important station on the path to…

Israel in Political Isolation Over New Palestinian Government
IPS Israel is the only country to have rejected the alliance between former rivals Hamas and Fatah. Credit: Zack Baddorf/ZUMA Press/IPS By Thalif Deen UNITED NATIONS, Jun 4 2014 (IPS) The United States’ decision to “work with” the new Palestinian government has virtually isolated Israel: the only country so far to…


For Past 20 Years, Israel Spied on U.S. Communications During Syria, Palestinian Peace Talks
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 31, 2014 – Jeff Stein reveals another Israeli spying bombshell, reporting on an upcoming book by Anglo-Israel political scientist, Ahron Bregman, who has transcripts and copies of Israel-intercepted communications between Syria s leaders and Pres. Bill Clinton. At the…

Salt and Water
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 31, 2014 -With Palestinian political prisoners now more than one month into an ongoing hunger strike, daily solidarity events and direct actions are being held across Palestine. The hunger strike began in April against Israel s continued use of…

Syria News – May 30 , 2014 (Warning: Graphic Videos) 
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30 , 2014- By the end of Friday, the coordination committees were able to document 96 martyrs, among them 8 women, 13 children, and 3 martyrs under torture: 65 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 12 martyrs in Damascus and its…

Ethnic cleansing by other means
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – The term Nakba has become, understandably, a sacred entry in the Palestinian national dictionary. It will remain probably the principal way in which the terrible events of 1948 will be commemorated and recollected in years to…

Spokesperson: Libya s Haftar will follow in Sisi s footsteps 
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014- Renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar has welcomed former Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi s victory in Egypt s presidential election and hinted he may run for office in Libya, according to his spokesperson. “Haftar will follow in…

Tony Blair walks away laughing from Iraq inquiry says mother of dead UK soldier
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – 30 May 2014 – …The mother of a 19-year-old soldier killed in Iraq has said she feels sickened by the decision to publish only partial extracts of the Blair-Bush exchanges before the war. Rose Gentle, whose son Gordon was killed…

USA Devoted to Illegal Killing from a Distance
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – By all rights, the EU and the rest of the world are protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin s annexation of Crimea and his use of violence. But there is also reason to protest against the…

Israel s First US Espionage and Smuggling Network
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014-Newly declassified postwar Naval Intelligence files shine new light on a little-known chapter of U.S.-Israel relations. Massive supplies of American WWII military surplus under liquidation by the War Assets Administration were an irresistible target for Israel s government-in-waiting…

Unnecessary and Disproportionate: How the NSA Violates International Human Rights Standards
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – Even before Ed Snowden leaked his first document, human rights lawyers and activists were concerned about law enforcement and intelligence agencies spying on the digital world. One of the tools developed to tackle those concerns was…

Book Review. Unmanned: Drone Warfare and Global Security by Ann Rogers and John Hill
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – As writers and analysts for one of the military s key journals – Jane s Intelligence Review – Ann Rogers and John Hill, the authors of this new book on remote warfare have respectable military credentials….

Lawfare in retreat as Israeli colonel drops case against union
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 -Israel s strategy of using lawyers and courts around the world to harass Palestine solidarity activists appears to be coming totally unstuck. Two such high-profile “lawfare” cases hit the rocks this week.An Israeli army colonel yesterday dropped…

Covert US Military Training Goes to Africa
et 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 -With everyone s attention focused on the European elections or President Barack Obama s speech at West Point or the Ukraine, a story by Eric Schmitt in The New York Times on Tuesday may not have caught…

Weekly Report On Israeli Human Rights Violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (22 – 28 May 2014)
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – Summary: Israeli violations of international law and international humanitarian law in the oPt continued during the reporting period (22 – 28 May 2014).Shooting: During the reporting period, Israeli forces wounded 8 Palestinians, including 7 civilians and…

Give Thanks An Ode on Whistleblowers and Revolutionaries 
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 -May 27th marked exactly four years of prison time for whistleblower Chelsea Manning.Four years for releasing documents disclosing torture and abuse by US and allied forces: rape, whippings, electric drills used on body parts, waterboarding, beatings, murder….

The Israeli-Palestinian Talks Were Set Up to FailWhat s Mine is Mine; What s Yours is Negotiable
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – “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…

Afghan Elections: Pick Your Poison
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 -No human being wants to be ruled by their people s murderers. Forgiveness through restorative justice may be possible, but being ruled by murderers is asking for too much. Yet, that seems to be the Hobson s…

Iraqi resistance – Weekly report from Iraq (May 23- 29, 2014 ) 
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014- …The humanitarian situation in the period May 23-27 involved barberic bombing campaigns especially targetting civilians and residential homes in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah where tens of civilians are reported to have fell martyred or injured….

Radio: Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo with Linda Olson-Osterlund on KBOO FM in Portland
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – Last Thursday, on the eve of a global day of action on Guantánamo, I spoke to Linda Olson-Osterlund on KBOO FM in Portland, Oregon. Linda and I have spoken many times over the years, and it…

Syria Protests May 30, 2014 : A Video Roundup
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – 

The Force-Feeding of Mr. Dhiab Compassionate Torture 
Uruknet 6 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – On May 23, 2014 a federal court entered an order permitting the folks at Guantanamo to continue force-feeding Abu Wa el Dhiab so that he won t die. Mr. Dhiab, a Syrian national, was captured in…

The New York Times and Obama s Afghanistan Draw Down Selling the Never-Ending War on Terror 
Uruknet 5 Jun 2014 – May 30, 2014 – Mark Landler s “US Troops to Leave Afghanistan by End of 2016” was the lead story in the New York Times on Wednesday, May 28. Landler reports President Obama s decision to reduce troop levels from…

Daily Star

Tunisia efforts to eradicate torture ‘disappointing’: UN
Daily Star 6 Jun 2014 A senior UN official on Friday criticised Tunisia’s efforts to eradicate torture, which was widespread under the former regime ousted in a 2011 revolt.

Jordanian diplomat tapped to be new UN rights chief
Daily Star 6 Jun 2014 Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations has been nominated as UN high commissioner for human rights, to replace South Africa’s outgoing Navi Pillay, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

Hundreds freed in Syria prisoner amnesty: monitor
Daily Star 6 Jun 2014 Hundreds of Syrians have been released from government prisons after an amnesty granted by President Bashar al-Assad to mark his re-election this week, a monitoring group said Friday.

YNet News

Insurgents fight Iraqi forces in city of Mosul
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – ….

Europe’s Jews grapple with ‘new anti-Semitism’
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – Biggest threat to Jews today is seen as coming not from a resurgent far-right, but from a tiny, angry minority among Europe’s millions-strong Muslim community. ….

Clinton White House had concerns about Rwanda
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – ….

Netanyahu’s opponents and allies sense weakness on Palestinian unity
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – Op-ed: The PM has reached a new low in influence on world leaders who welcomed the new Palestinian government, while his cabinet attacks him for ‘walking on eggshells’; meanwhile, Labor’s Herzog has a plan of his own. ….

UN to tap Jordan’s ambassador as new rights chief
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – ….

Man on witness list in Jewish sites deaths charged
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – ….

Cellphone operator reveals scale of gov’t snooping
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – ….

After Brussels attack, Amsterdam tightens security at Jewish institutions
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – Mayor of Dutch city says move acting on advice of anti-terrorism office, attack ‘conceivable’ in wake of shooting at Jewish Museum in Belgium. ….

In Netanyahu era, president is seen as alternative PM 
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – Op-ed: Any political person elected president will want to be Shimon Peres, otherwise he will be thrown into the garbage can of history. ….

Justice for Hamas, Fatah victims costly, elusive
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – Next step in Palestinian reconciliation is compensation for hundreds killed and wounded in fighting that culminated in the 2007 Hamas takeover of Gaza. ….

Ban urges sides not to take unilateral actions on the ground
YNet News, 6 Jun 2014 – UN secretary-general calls on Israel to heed international calls to freeze settlement construction after reports it issued 1,500 new building tenders. ….

Germany extends Holocaust pensions for Jewish ghetto workers
YNet News, 5 Jun 2014 – German parliament votes in favor of paying full benefits to some 40,000 Holocaust survivors forced to work for Nazis. ….

Palestinian Information Center

IOA approves plans to build 1,800 new settlement units
PIC – The Israeli civil administration on Thursday evening approved bids to resume the construction of 1800 settlement units in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Palestinian administrative hunger strike going on for 44 days
PIC – Friday, June 6 marks the 44th day of the hunger strike which the Palestinian administrative detainees have launched to protest their illegal detention without indictment or trial.

926 Palestinian refugees killed in Yarmouk camp
PIC – About 926 Palestinian refugees were killed in Yarmouk camp in Damascus from the outset of the Syrian revolution till the end of May, according to the action group for the Palestinians of Syria.

Mass rallies overseas to support Occupied Jerusalem kick off
PIC – Massive marches are to be staged on Friday and Saturday to support Occupied Jerusalem and the holy Aqsa Mosque in more than 80 cities across the globe.

Hamas: Emir of Qatar pledges to pay Gaza employees’ salaries
PIC – The Hamas movement said that Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani pledged to help the newly formed Palestinian national unity government pay the salaries of its employees in the Gaza Strip. 

Hamarsheh sentenced to 8 months in Israeli jail
PIC – Salem Military Court sentenced Thursday afternoon Reem Hamarsheh, the wife of activist Adnan Hamarsheh, to eight months in prison.

PA forces arrest five Hamas supporters, summon three others
PIC – PA security forces continued arrest campaigns targeting Hamas’ supporters throughout West Bank towns and cities just a few days after the formation of unity government.

Erdogan congratulates Abbas on national reconciliation
PIC – Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas received Thursday a telephone call from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who congratulated him on the Palestinian national reconciliation. 

Rights center documents testimonies from children tortured by Israeli security
PIC – Adalah center sent an urgent letter to the Israeli Attorney General demanding an end to all violations against Palestinian children during their arrest and interrogation by Israeli security personnel.


UK Deplores Israeli Decisions on Settlement Expansion
WAFA – 6 Jun 2014


P.O.W. Deal Gives Qatar a Victory, and a New Test
New York Times 6 Jun 2014 – There is much on the line for Qatar, which has wagered its already weakened reputation on keeping the Taliban militants out of sight and under control. 

World Briefing: Syria: Drought Adds to Woes, U.N. Says
New York Times 6 Jun 2014 – The supply of safe water in Syria is now one-third of the level it was before March 2011 when the civil war began, Unicef officials said. 

Saudi Arabia and Iran Reach Out Tentatively
New York Times 6 Jun 2014 – With the Persian Gulf region still in tumult, there have been surprising signs that Tehran and Riyadh are looking to temper their destructive rivalry. 

Openness on Israeli Issues Seen in Survey of Iranians
New York Times 6 Jun 2014 – Some 40 percent were found to support giving up any ability to produce nuclear arms in exchange for lifting sanctions. 

Middle East: Syria: Assad Praises Election and Iran
New York Times 5 Jun 2014 – President Bashar al-Assad brushed off criticism of his re-election and praised Iran’s nuclear program. 

Israel Expands Settlements to Rebuke Palestinians
New York Times 5 Jun 2014 – Israel said the proposal for about 1,500 units was a response to the creation of a unity Palestinian government. 

$21 Million for Selling Parts to Iran
New York Times 5 Jun 2014 – Fokker Services had been accused of more than 1,150 violations of American sanctions on Iran and Sudan through the illicit sale of aircraft parts. 

Presbyterian Church to vote on divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation of Palestine
Jewish Voice for Peace – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Rabbi Alissa Wise, alissa@jvp.org , 267-357-4314 www.JewishVoiceforPeace.org Presbyterian Church to vote on divestment from companies that profit from Israeli occupation of Palestine. Jewish leaders support growing movement to divest from Israeli occupation. [June 5, 2014. New York] At its biennial General Assembly, June 14…

Brookings offers Palestinian perspective, without Israeli ‘balance’ — in Qatar
Mondoweiss – Barghouthi Brookings is having a conference for the 11th annual  US-Islamic World Forum in Doha next week. I see some excellent speakers.  Issandr El Amrani is on one panel; and there are a number of Palestinians on a Palestine  panel on June 10 , including speakers who are…

Houston stadium security detains soccer fan for waving Palestinian flag as ‘racial slur’
Mondoweiss – Buthayna Hammad Last Sunday, Palestinian-American Buthayna Hammad attended a soccer match at BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston’s downtown 22,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, home to the Houston Dynamo. About 15 minutes after the game started Hammad was approached by the head of Compass Stadium’s security Nathan Buchanan. Soon she encountered a…

Meet Aryeh King: The brash right-wing settler bent on evicting Jerusalem’s Palestinians
Mondoweiss – Settlement fund leader Aryeh King. (Photo: We Are All Yitzhar/Facebook.com) When the phone call came as we were driving to the Qalandia checkpoint separating Ramallah from Jerusalem, I grew worried. I thought the Israel Land Fund (ILF) was about to cancel my appointment with Aryeh King,…

Shmuel Rosner’s RX in the NYT: Occupation forever
Mondoweiss – Reuven Rivlin I find this New York Times op-ed by Shmuel Rosner,  “Don’t Annex the West Bank,”  pretty radical. Here are its main points: 1. The settler right of Uri Elitzur and left of Reuven Rivlin are ready to annex the West Bank and grant citizenship…

Teju Cole explains (and shows) that one side has been dispossessed in Israel and Palestine
Mondoweiss – Teju Cole, the Nigerian-American novelist, has published a diary of his trip to Israel and Palestine at the Financial Times. It contains this hugely helpful statement, an understanding that I believe any clearthinking person visiting the countries must reach: How does one write about this place?…

Jewish safety in Europe and Muslim safety are interconnected
Mondoweiss – French police released this image of alleged Brussels killer Mehdi Nemmouche The murders at the Jewish museum in Brussels nearly two weeks ago have heightened concerns about Jewish safety in Europe, as we noted earlier this week . Here are two interesting perspectives on that issue. One…

US is ‘pushing privately’ on settlements, as reporters point out nothing has ever come of that
Mondoweiss – At the State Department briefing yesterday , the United States once again described the post-unification Palestinian government as a “technocrat
ic” government. I.e., it is not about to launch violent attacks on Israel. But the reporters’ questions were about the Israeli announcement of 1500 more settlements . When is…

Yet Another Iron Dome Failure: Mistook Syrian Fireworks for Missiles
Tikun Olam – In this blog, I’ve regularly recounted the multiple failures of the Iron Dome missile defense system.  Yes, the very same one the U.S. has invested nearly a billion dollars in financing on Israel’s behalf.  In a fraud that is all too common for complex U.S. weapons…

Meeting the West Bank’s tech start-ups 
BBC 6 Jun 2014 – The trials and triumphs of West Bank tech start-ups

Pope Francis Insists Not ‘Meddling’ in Mideast Peace 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Jun 2014 – Pope Francis hopes an unprecedented meeting of the Israeli and Palestinian presidents at the Vatican on Sunday can help end “eternal negotiations” and lead to peace but he has no wish to meddle in Middle East politics, the Vatican said on Friday. Israel’s Shimon Peres and…

Egypt: Egypt Urges More Job Opportunities in Arab Labor Market 
allAfrica.com 6 Jun 2014 – [Egypt Online]Egyptian Manpower Minister Nahed Ashri called for increasing job opportunities for the Egyptian labor in Arab markets.

Egypt: Saudi King Congratulates Egypt’s Sisi On Presidency 
allAfrica.com 6 Jun 2014 – [Egypt Online]Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud made on Thursday a telephone call to President-elect Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi.

Germans Expand Pension for Ghetto Slave Workers 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Jun 2014 – The German Bundestag unanimously passed legislation approving back payments of so-called ghetto pensions for Jewish survivors. The law, reflecting years of negotiations, was approved by the Federal Cabinet in April and sent to the Bundestag. It requires retroactive payments of a few hundred euros per month…

Israel Congratulates Al-Sisi on Egypt Election Win 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Jun 2014 – The prime minister and president of Israel both spoke with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Friday to congratulate him on his victory in Egyptian presidential elections and to stress the importance of bilateral ties. The separate phone calls came two days before Sisi was due to be…

Morocco Berbers Build Better Ties With Jews 
The Foward Breaking News 6 Jun 2014 – A group of Moroccan Berbers launched an organization dedicated to fighting anti-Semitism and to strengthening cultural ties with Israel. The Moroccan Observatory for the Fight against Anti-Semitism founded last week is headed by Berber minority rights activist Omar Louzi, according to a report Thursday on the…

ISIS ‘kills seven children’ in Syria 
BBC 5 Jun 2014 – Seven children were among 15 civilians summarily killed by jihadist rebels in a feud with Kurds in the north, Amnesty International says.

Sanayeh Garden: The privatization of public spaces 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – A large crowd gathered on Sunday to participate to the Grand opening of the renovated Sanayeh Park in Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) A large crowd gathered on Sunday to participate in the grand opening of the renovated Sanayeh Park in Beirut,…

Week in Photos (May 31-June 6) 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian protester following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the West Bank town of Tulkarem (Photo: Jaafar Ashtiyeh – AFP) Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian protester following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel…

Nasrallah: Syria’s election exposed Western hypocrisy 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Hezbollah supporters gather in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil to watch a televised address by Hassan Nasrallah, the movement’s chief, to mark the 14th anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon. (Photo: AFP – Mahmoud Zayyat) Hezbollah supporters gather in the southern Lebanese…

Beirut bikers urge ministry to reverse night ride ban 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Beirut bikers, fuming over a recent decision to ban nighttime riding in the Lebanese capital and its outskirts, are calling on the government not to implement the curfew due to go into effect next week. Hundreds of riders have joined anti-curfew Facebook groups that have sprung…

Battle against domestic violence in Lebanon takes another step forward 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Women take a heroic pose during a Kafa protest in Lebanon on February 24, 2013. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Women take a heroic pose during a Kafa protest in Lebanon on February 24, 2013. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Lebanon’s law against family violence was enforced for the second…

World Cup raises foreign flags, Lebanese questions 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Multitude of flags hang in support of their respective football teams in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup in Lebanon on June 4,2014. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Multitude of flags hang in support of their respective football teams in anticipation of the 2014 World Cup in Lebanon…

Week ahead: Iran back in the congressional spotlight 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of June 9.

Online activists launch ‘SisiMeter’ to track new president’s record 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – As Egyptian President-elect Abdel Fattah al-Sisi prepares to be sworn into office June 8, most citizens expect modest promises in light of the country’s current crises.

Turkey finally designates al-Nusra a terrorist group 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – Turkey’s Council of
Ministers designated Jabhat al-Nusra a terrorist organization the day Syria held its presidential elections.

Yemen sinking ‘worst this year’ – UN 
BBC 6 Jun 2014 – The UN reports the deaths of 62 people off the coast of Yemen in what it says is the worst sinking incident in the region this year.

Palestinian unity government “discrimination” causes skirmishes in Gaza banks 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) chairs the first meeting of the new Palestinian unity government in the presence of Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (L) in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 2, 2014. (Photo: AFP-Majdi Mohammed) Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) chairs the first meeting…

Suicide blasts, clashes kill 36 in northern Iraq 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – Twin suicide bombings targeting Iraq’s Shabak minority and fighting between security forces and militants killed 36 people in the northern province of Nineveh on Friday, officials said. Provincial capital Mosul is one of Iraq’s most dangerous cities, with well-entrenched militant groups carrying out almost daily attacks….

AUB confirms resignation of university’s president 
Al-Akhbar News 6 Jun 2014 – AUB President Peter Dorman speaks at a conference on the university’s campus on April 9, 2013 in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo: Haitham Moussawi) Updated at 3:00 pm: The American University of Beirut confirmed on Friday afternoon that its president, Peter Dorman, will be stepping down, in an…

Journalism is no crime 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – An incident in which Turkish police harassed a CNN reporter on air while he was reporting about Gezi Park anniversary events has highlighted the government’s misguided approach to media.

AKP on warpath against American-Turkish Council 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been attacking the American-Turkish Council for not taking a hard-line stance in support of the party, threatening the loss of a powerful voice for Ankara in Washington DC.

What can we learn from Assad’s victory? 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – Although many in the international community have called President Bashar al-Assad stepping down from power a first step to a solution for the country’s crisis, the overwhelming support he received in recent elections shows that it’s necessary to reconsider solutions involving Assad.

Threat of division hovers over Libya 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – With the emergence of threats against the residents of Misrata, Libya, fears are emerging of the possible creation of two governments in the country.

Lights out on Maliki’s electricity promises 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – Ali al-Fayyad, deputy head of the Iraqi parliament’s Energy Committee, said he’s hoping the private sector steps in to ease the electricity crisis that the people have suffered from for decades, especially in the scorching summer months.

EU counterterror head warns about long-term danger of jihadists 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – During an interview with As-Safir, the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said the danger of jihadists returning from Syria to their home countries is real, especially after a recent attack executed by a former jihadist in Brussels.

Transitional justice fails in Iraq 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – After the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, measures to implement transitional justice have been largely unsuccessful.

Sinking ties with US linked to Netanyahu’s political fortunes 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – A drop in US-Israel ties has provoked a domestic political crisis for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who faces challenges from Avigdor Liberman and Naftali Bennett.

Saudi reform could include elected legislature 
Al-Monitor 6 Jun 2014 – The kingdom would benefit from initial reforms, including an elected national assembly rather that an appointed consultative council and the release of political prisoners.

The fight against fundamentalist recruitment of Palestinian youth in Ain al-Hilweh 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Jun 2014 – Children playing in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Children playing in Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp near the southern port city of Sidon, Lebanon. (Photo: Marwan Tahtah) Vulnerable, impoverished, socially excluded, politically marginalized, and without hope for…

New details shed light on the Aleppo Prison siege 
Al-Akhbar Politics 5 Jun 2014 – A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on May 22, 2014 shows the entrance to the Aleppo prison after Syria’s army broke a siege of the prison, cutting off a major rebel supply route in the main northern city of Aleppo. (…


A struggle against Israeli soft power 
Jim Miles, Asia Times 6/6/2014
      BOOK REVIEW: The Battle for Justice in Palestine by Ali Abunimah 
     With the latest round of US-led peace talks being dead, what happens in Israel/Palestine? Settlements will continue to be built, dispossession will continue against Palestinians, slowly the “apartheid” context of Israel will become more and more obvious. 
     While the peace talks were in process, The Battle for Justice by Ali Abunimah was published and pre-emptively indicated that the peace process is/was essentially over and done with regardless of ongoing talks. The main context of the book is of the elements of apartheid and the associated boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS) that is sending disconcerting messages to all the pro-Israeli/anti-Palestinian two staters. 
     Not that a two-state solution has not been possible in the past, but that it is beyond being a possibility now, leaving essentially two solutions, a single apartheid state (the considered de facto state as it is now) that is proclaimed to be Jewish, or a state with democracy inclusive of equal rights for all its citizens. 
     In the preface, Abunimah indicates that the Palestinians are winning – not necessarily on the ground where settlements, annexation, blockades, and military rule remains – but winning in the general knowledge of the world from the impact of the BDS movement. The real indicator to this are the many methods and great amount of money and time that is being used to discredit the BDS movement in particular within the US. 
     As the US is Israel’s largest benefactor, the work starts with a comparison of Israel and the US, not the usual demographic statistics…. more.. e-mail

Bedouin Camp in the Jordan Valley demolished 
Amelia Smith, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 6/5/2014
      Israeli authorities have separated communities in the Jordan Valley from each other through a series of military firing zones and checkpoints, making it difficult for them to come together to resist.
     Last week 70 protestors from the Jordan Valley gathered outside the UN office in Ramallah and delivered a letter to Ban Ki-Moon: “We write to you to ask urgent action against Israel’s systematic policy of forced transfer and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people, in particular the Palestinian farmers and Bedouin communities and communities located in the so-called Area C of the occupied West Bank,” posed the letter.
     The protests began after the houses and animal enclosures of thirteen families in Abu Al Jaj Refugee Camp in the Jordan Valley were demolished. It was said that their homes were too close to the Israeli settlement Ntsuwah.
     Some 20 years ago, under the Interim Agreement, the West Bank was divided into three areas A, B and C. Most of the Jordan Valley falls under Area C, over which Israel has retained almost complete control. Israel severely restricts Palestinian construction and development in Area C yet Israeli settlements, closed military zones and nature reserves make up around 94 per cent of the Jordan Valley.
     Palestinians living there are pushed out through demolitions, military harassment, and limitations on resources and movement. In 2014 alone 248 structures were demolished, 492 people displaced and 802 Palestinians injured by the Israeli army.
     “Their ongoing prerogative is to ethnically cleanse the area,” says Rasheed Khderat, co-ordinator of the Jordan Valley Solidarity Campaign. more.. e-mail

Israeli film festival in London part of efforts to rebrand apartheid 
Ben White, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 6/2/2014
      An Israeli embassy-sponsored film festival is set to take place in London later this month, part of efforts to ‘rebrand’ an apartheid state increasingly the target of international boycotts.
     SERET 2014 was launched earlier this year at an event hosted by Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub. According to a report on Alondon.net – whose editor-in-chief Anat Koren is one of the festival’s co-founders – Ambassador Taub “spoke about the role the Festival plays in providing a platform for spreading a more accurate picture of Israel across all communities”.
     Taub welcomed the inaugural event in 2012 as a means of presenting “the real Israel”, where “people can express themselves…in an atmosphere of freedom, tolerance and diversity”.
     Speaking alongside Taub at March’s launch event, SERET 2014’s programme director “said that the founders saw themselves as informal ambassadors for Israel”. Israeli actor Romi Aboulafia contrasted the festival with the “manipulated” picture presented of Israel by the media.
     Another SERET co-founder, Odelia Haroush, was previously the marketing manager of the Ahava shop in Covent Garden that closed following sustained protests by Palestine solidarity activists. Haroush has presented the film festival as a direct response to the boycott campaigners.
     Using culture to normalise or hide Israeli apartheid is a long-standing strategy of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and lobby groups…. more.. e-mail

The Palestinian Unity Government Will Shape Its Own Fate 
Rami G. Khouri, Agence Global 6/4/2014
      BEIRUT—The Palestinian national unity government of technocrats headed by Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah that was sworn into office in Ramallah Monday is rich in irony and opportunity. It offers important new possibilities, if key actors respond reasonably, rather than hysterically.
     The new government’s own policies will be telling of what it might portend for the Palestinians’ hopes of ending the Israeli occupation and siege of the West Bank and Gaza through negotiations, and moving towards the birth of a viable independent state. The most critical criterion of its success or failure will be its ability to achieve a series of priorities for the Palestinians in the occupied territories and in the diaspora. These include forging a stronger sense of genuine unity among Palestinians, holding parliamentary
elections in six months’ time, improving day-to-day living conditions in the occupied territories, and shaping a clear diplomatic and resistance policy vis-a-vis Israel that is supported by a strong majority of Palestinians who act politically through the revived institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). 
     This government came into being because the separate policies of both Fateh in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza had reached dead ends, and both groups had been steadily losing support and even legitimacy among Palestinians. Fateh’s bold policy under President Mahmoud Abbas of negotiating endlessly with Israel in the context of Washington’s Israel-leaning mediation has proved fruitless. Hamas’ policy of armed resistance and building institutions at home has also failed to improve living conditions and opportunities for ordinary citizens. 
     Israel’s reaction has been predictably hostile, promising not to deal with the new government and to impose punishments. We have been through this before, without any meaningful results from the Israeli boycott. Ironically, Israel is now in the same position the Arab world assumed in September 1970, when Arab leaders declared at the Khartoum summit their three “no’s”: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.” more.. e-mail

Why did The New York Times ignore Palestine’s Christians during Pope’s visit?
Electronic Intifada: 6 Jun 2014 – Is the “journal of record” supporting Israeli strategy to strip Palestinian Christians of their identity? more..

Millions of Arabs Will Return
Dissident Voice: 6 Jun 2014 – After the collapse of the Israel-Palestine talks in April, and the creation of a National Unity government in Palestine on June 2, Israel reacted harshly. A Smash and Grab policy was immediately announced by government ministers. Expectedly, the following day, the expansion of West Bank Jewish settlements was announced. Less expected was the disclosure by settlers of an ongoing Scare and Rule campaign. Bar Lev Line Scare and Rule is a useful subset of the more standard Divide and Rule. Scare people against an imaginary enemy and they will commit any atrocity in the name of the unholy state. “The Mexicans killed two soldiers in Texas,” the State may claim and deliver the militia. If the report is later found wrong, with the victims being just two squalid squirrels suffocated by the summer sun, it will not make any change; the goal would have been achieved. Bar Lev Line, Bourgeois…more

The Tragedy of Omar
Dissident Voice: 6 Jun 2014 – One of the most important Palestinian feature films ever, Omar , is the deepest expose of the diabolical nature of the Israeli occupation and the inhuman situation imposed on Palestinians by the Jewish State. It also throws light on the tragic and depressing Palestinian struggle against a sophisticated, demonic enemy — an on-going battle that so far has led nowhere. In his latest film, Palestinian director Hany Abu Assad sets Omar (Adam Bakri), a young freedom fighter in an impossible, yet common, Palestinian dilemma, caught in a devastating triangle between his patriotic commitment, romance and the omnipresent Jewish State – a brutal, Orwellian, Big Brother that sees everything, knows everything, sets people against each other and controls everything through a network of collaborators even within the resistance. Once captured by the IDF and being subject to some horrendous physical and mental torture by Israeli intelligence, Omar is set into a hellish…more

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