VTJP Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles: 24 April 2015

24 April 2015 — VTJP

Occupied Palestine and Israel: News and Articles


International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian Loses His Eye Due To Israeli Fire In Kufur Qaddoum
IMEMC – 24 Apr 2015 – Israeli soldiers used excessive force, on Friday, against the weekly protest against the Wall and Settlements in Kufur Qaddoum, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia, causing a serious injury to a young man who lost his eye; one was shot by a live round, and five others were injured by rubber-coated metal bullets, and many suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation. …

Israel Cancels Permits Of 200 Gazan Worshipers
IMEMC – 24 Apr 2015 – The Israeli Authorities canceled entry permits of the 200 Palestinian, from the besieged Gaza Strip, who were previously allowed to enter Jerusalem for Friday prayers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. …

Israeli Man Found Stabbed In Truck Of Fleeing Car in Jerusalem
IMEMC – 24 Apr 2015 – Israeli sources have reported that the police found an Israeli man in the trunk of a Palestinian car, and that the man suffered several stab wounds; the police said the attack carries criminal motives. …


Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian youth in Jerusalem 
AlJazeera 24 Apr 2015 – Israel claims young man was armed with knives and tried to attack soldiers, but his family says shooting was unprovoked.

Relief Web

Lebanon: Secretary-General Appoints Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland as Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon
Relief Web 24 Apr 2015 – Source: UN Secretary-General Country: Lebanon SG/A/1562*-BIO/4716* United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland as his Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, where he will serve as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development…

Syrian Arab Republic: Voices in crisis: A monthly insight into the human rights crisis in Syria, April 2015
Relief Web 24 Apr 2015 – Source: Amnesty Country: occupied Palestinian territory, Syrian Arab Republic “HELLO, I AM STILL ALIVE!” – VOICES FROM YARMOUK YARMOUK RESIDENTS DESCRIBE THEIR EXPERIENCES TO AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL The neighbourhood of Yarmouk in southern Damascus suffered another tragedy on 1 April when…

The National

Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh urges rebel allies to implement UN decisions
The National 24 Apr 2015 – The statement could be a nudge towards peace talks.

ISIL behind Riyadh police deaths, say Saudi authorities
The National 24 Apr 2015 – The attacker confessed to meeting a represenative of the group in the Saudi capital.

Syrian army general Rustom Ghazalah dies in hospital
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Ghazalah was declared dead nearly two months after he was admitted to the hospital with a head injury.

Indian butchers hope slaughter ban won’t apply to Jerseys
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Muslim beef traders suggest cows of foreign origin may not be held as sacred by Hindu majority.

Poland denies entry to pro-Putin bikers
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Night Wolves’ members were to ride from Moscow to Berlin to mark end of World War Two.

Italy arrests suspected bin Laden bodyguards, Peshawar bombers 
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Follows six-year investigation that began with a probe into illegal immigration.

From Hebron, Palestinian scarf resists… Chinese competition
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Meet a West Bank family producing kaffiyehs.

Armenia marks emotional centenary of Ottoman massacres
The National 24 Apr 2015 – World leaders joined in the ceremonies in the Armenian capital on Friday.

Three policemen arrested in India over rape and blackmail of Mumbai model
The National 24 Apr 2015 – Police in Mumbai have arrested three officers who allegedly raped a model in a police station and then demanded several thousand dollars as blackmail to keep quiet, a deputy commissioner said yesterday.

Fourteen migrants killed by train in Macedonia
The National 24 Apr 2015 – At least 14 migrants from Somalia and Afghanistan were killed in central Macedonia when they were hit by an international passenger train, officials and police said on Friday.


Out on the town: Tel Aviv’s historic night scene
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Reform Jews urge Obama to recognize mass killing of Armenians as genocide
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Diplomats: First round of Iran talks indicate nuke deal possible by deadline
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Palestinian tries to stab police officers in Jerusalem and is shot dead
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

U.S. court tosses Palestinian lawsuit against charities funding settlements
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Israeli soldiers caught on camera pushing, throwing stone at photojournalists
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

This lawmaker won’t let the Gaza War be pushed under the rug
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Don’t worry, Israelis are the happiest people in the Mideast 
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Generic drugmaker Mylan says will go forward with hostile takeover of Perrigo
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Ultra-Orthodox youths attack Israeli army officer in Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

U.S. court upholds dismissal of libel suit by Palestinian president’s son
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Gay youth group reaches out to Arab minority in Israel
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Newly released documents show a darker side of Ben-Gurion
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Report: Satellite images reveal new Hezbollah airstrip
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Armenians mark centennial of genocide still disputed by Turkey 
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Israel refuses visa to South African cabinet minister en route to Palestinian Authority
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

French think terror suspect in thwarted church attack wasn’t acting alone
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Israel’s army is sacred, and any criticism is heresy
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Al-Qaida suspects may have been targeting Vatican
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Armenia marks centennial of killing of 1.5 million by Ottoman forces
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Tel Aviv mall denies entry to three Arab men
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

German parliament to label mass killing of Armenians as genocide
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Israel, the denier of another nation’s holocaust
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Tel Aviv resident found bound, stabbed in car in East Jerusalem
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Peres pulls out of Bank Hapoalim deal after public criticism
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Israeli army strikes targets in Gaza after rocket fired toward Israel
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

Chilean village a ghost town after volcano’s twin eruptions
Ha’aretz – 24 Apr 2015

No exit: An Israeli Arab city’s second-class status
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2015

Nes Ammim: A new milestone in Israeli racism
Ha’aretz – 23 Apr 2015

Jerusalem Post

Japanese man arrested for landing drone on PM’s office in nuclear protest
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Olympian and reality TV star Bruce Jenner identifies as a woman in ABC interview
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

United Nations to begin talks with Syrian groups in hopes to end conflict
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – Other key world powers would also be consulted, but not the militant groups Islamic State or Nusra Front, which are classified as “terrorist organizations.” 

Former Yemen president calls for political dialog to end war
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

UN chief urges Myanmar to address Muslims’ status ahead of vote
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

IDF troops shoot, kill knife wielding Palestinian near Jerusalem checkpoint
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said that border police fired warning shots into the air and then neutralized the man when he failed to heed their warning. 

AIPAC pushes Republicans to foster bi-partisan support for bill that would challenge Iran deal
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – “Our priority is to make sure the bill gets passed with the strongest possible bipartisan majority so that Congress is guaranteed the opportunity to pass judgment on the final agreement,” an AIPAC source said. 

100 Palestinian doctors authorized to work in Israeli hospitals, reversing intifada ban
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – Physicians are first to be given permits to drive to work inside Israel 

Man held in San Diego for Islamic State links to face trial in Minnesota
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

‘EU concerned over Likud proposals to weaken Israel’s judiciary’
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Statue of Liberty deemed safe after security sweep, NBC reports
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Obama vows ‘we’re going to review what happened’ in hostage death case
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

‘Hezbollah built airstrip for Iranian-made drones in Lebanon’
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Pentagon: Iran moves ships, reducing tensions near Yemen
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

NYPD bomb squad helping in security sweep of Statue of Liberty
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

‘Statue of Liberty, NYC’s Liberty Island evacuated’
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Family of American Jewish victim of US drone attack ‘disappointed’ in Obama
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Turkey says ‘rejects and condemns’ Putin calling 1915 Armenian massacre ‘genocide’
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Angelina Jolie scolds UN Security Council for inaction on Syria refugees
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – When asked about Jolie’s planned briefing, Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari responded: “She is beautiful.” 

New York transit agency may change rule to block ‘Killing Jews’ ad
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

UN aid chief urges Syria sanctions, Jolie pleads for refugee help
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Israel shocked by ultra-Orthodox mob assault of IDF officer in Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – The officer, who serves in an infantry brigade, was wearing an army uniform and a knitted skullcap that is the hallmark of the religious Zionist community. 

Ultra-Orthodox Jews gang up on IDF officer in Mea Shearim section of Jerusalem
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Liberman lashes out at South Africa after Israel denies visa to Communist minister
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

UK boy, 14, appears in court over ANZAC day attack plot
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Netanyahu, Liberman meet for further coalition talks
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Al-Qaida suspects may have been targeting Vatican
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

Rivlin lays wreath at ceremony for fallen soldiers of Australia, New Zealand
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

UN welcomes EU migrant plan, says test is whether lives saved
Jerusalem Post 24 Apr 2015 – 

The Guardian

Palestinian man killed in incident at Jerusalem checkpoint
The Guardian 24 Apr 2015 – Man who was wielding two knives shot dead by Israeli troops Israeli troops shot and killed a young Palestinian man wielding two knives on Saturday when they gave chase after he tried to attack the troops…

‘I thought the boat was my only chance’
The Guardian 24 Apr 2015 – Ali Sandeed, a Syrian-Palestinian refugee living in Lebanon, describes the misery and despair that drives so many migrants to risk their lives fleeing to Europe About a year ago, I planned to pay a smuggler to…

Labor party NSW right faction in push for stronger resolution on Palestine
The Guardian 24 Apr 2015 – Exclusive: Faction considers bringing motion to ALP national conference in response to Binyamin Netanyahu declaration there would be no Palestinian state The New South Wales right faction of the ALP is contemplating bringing a stronger motion…

Daily Star

Saudi Arabia foils ISIS bomb plot, says group hatched in Syria
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Saudi Arabia said Friday it had foiled a bomb plot by ISIS and blamed the jihadis for shooting dead two policemen in the capital earlier this month.

Moderation key to fighting extremism, Hariri stresses
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri vowed on the fourth day of his visit to the U.S. to fight extremist forces whether they came from Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah, stressing that moderation is the key to confronting religious…

Family member confirms Rustom Ghazaleh’s death
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 News emerged Friday that the powerful former head of Syrian military intelligence in Lebanon Rustom Ghazaleh, a key suspect in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has died.

First female driving instructor still enjoys job
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Of all the driving instructors out giving lessons on a sunny afternoon in Bir Hassan south of Beirut, only one is female.

Rainy winter won’t solve water shortages
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Lebanon witnessed an exceptionally wet winter in contrast to the severe drought which the country saw last year, a development which many hoped would help solve the country’s chronic water shortage.

Terror suspect testifies on car bombs sent to Lebanon
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Naim Abbas, a Palestinian belonging to an Al-Qaeda-linked group charged in connection with two bombings in Beirut’s southern suburbs, told a military court Friday about how he sent explosive-rigged vehicles from Syria’s Qalamoun region to Lebanon.

Armenians mark genocide centennial
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Tens of thousands of Lebanese of Armenian origins marched in the suburbs of Beirut Friday, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide and vowing never to forget the atrocities committed against their ancestors by the…

Rebel seizure of Syrian border post hits exporters across region
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Syrian rebels’ seizure of the main frontier crossing with Jordan has dealt a heavy blow to the Damascus government’s efforts to revive a once thriving export trade crippled by civil war, and is also hurting businesses…

Saudi response to oil glut: pump more
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 Saudi Arabia has a response to the global surplus of oil: Raise output to near-record levels and then pump even more.

New ideas to end the Palestine stalemate
Daily Star 24 Apr 2015 What should we make of these developments related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that occurred Thursday?

YNet News

Palestinian shot dead after attempting to stab Border Police officer near J’lem
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – ….

Night train kills 14 migrants ‘sleeping’ on Macedonia tracks
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – ….

Ticking time bombs: Hezbollah in Gaza and Palestinians in Syria
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – Analysis: Hamas betrayed Iran over Syria and then Yemen, finding a new patron in Qatar, but Iran will not give up control so easily, and has now anointed who it hopes will be Gaza’s new rulers, and they are even more violent and dangerous. ….

Pakistani human rights activist shot dead in Karachi
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – ….

UN chief concerned about attacks on peacekeepers in Mali
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – ….

Statue of Liberty evacuated after suspicious package report
YNet News, 24 Apr 2015 – ….

Israel’s melting pot: One school, 23 nationalities
YNet News, 23 Apr 2015 – The Sharon Middle School in Ra’anana has a student body that represents 23 different nations with 87 students who are new immigrants to Israel. ….

From Haredi family to female fighter
YNet News, 23 Apr 2015 – Hodaya Levi, from ultra-Orthodox home, receives ‘Medal of Excellence’ on Independence Day from President Reuven Rivlin. ….

Memories of presidents: Israel’s first ever Independence Day 
YNet News, 23 Apr 2015 – President Reuven Rivlin and predecessor Shimon Peres recall the hope, joy and fear that accompanied the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948. ….


American Naval Force Off Yemen Gets Credit After Iranian Convoy Turns Away
New York Times 24 Apr 2015 – Pentagon officials said the deployment — and Iran’s apparent response — had lowered tensions in the regional proxy war between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. 

Syria Remains Silent on Intelligence Official’s Death
New York Times 24 Apr 2015 – Reports had simmered for weeks that Brig. Gen. Rustom Ghazali had been severely beaten in an internal government dispute. 

World Briefing: Saudi Arabia Says ISIS Helped a Militant Who Killed Police Officers
New York Times 24 Apr 2015 – The man accused of killing two police officers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, received guns, cash and instructions from the Islamic State, Saudi officials said. 

U.N. Refugee Official Calls Situation in Syria and Iraq ‘Unsustainable’
New York Times 24 Apr 2015 – António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, and other officials painted an increasingly grim picture of the crisis in the region. 

Combatants for Peace responds to Memorial Day report
Mondoweiss – Combatants for Peace sent in the following response to Dan Cohen’s April 23, 2015 report “ Marking Memorial Day in Tel Aviv with Kahanists and Combatants for Peace “: Dear Dan Cohen, We are glad you had the chance to participate in our Memorial Day ceremony…

Thorny issues
Mondoweiss – There is too much to read. Every piece on the Internet I happen to come across, whether a literary review, a news analysis or a political commentary, is pregnant with potential for something I should write about. Didi and I are on a flight, each reading…

‘Celebration of ethnic cleansing is intolerable’: Baltimore JVP crashes ‘Israeli Independence Day’ party
Mondoweiss – The following press release was sent out by the Baltimore chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace: Yesterday, members of the Baltimore chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace interrupted a Yom Ha’Atzmaut party held at a downtown bar, denouncing it as a celebration of ethnic cleansing and confettiing…

Herzog lost Israeli election because he didn’t have blood on his hands — Shalev
Mondoweiss – At an event on the Israeli elections at the Manhattan JCC last month (March 19th in this list of podcasts, 1:13), an audience member asked why Isaac Herzog of Labor lost the election when polls were showing Labor and its Zionist Camp partnership doing very well–…

EU must take stronger action to sanction Israel following high court decision banning boycott
Mondoweiss – The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad. Some 16 European foreign ministers…

Shaken by the war on Gaza, Palestinians in Israel gather for March of Return
Mondoweiss – Yesterday, an estimated 5,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel and Jerusalemites participated in the March of Return in an open field overlooking the Sea of Galilee and above a valley where ruins of the village of Hadatha are scattered. Organized annually by the Association for the Defense…

Knife-Wielding Palestinian Killed by Israeli Troops 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Apr 2015 – Israeli troops shot and killed a young Palestinian man wielding two knives on Saturday as they gave chase after he tried to attack the troops near a checkpoint in the Jerusalem area, police said.

Princeton Students Narrowly Reject Divestment Referendum 
The Forward New 24 Apr 2015 – Princeton University undergraduates have narrowly defeated a referendum on divestment from Israel. The 52%-to-48% vote was the first time all students at an American campus were allowed to vote on the issue.

Getting aid to a war zone in a swarm of drones 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – The plan to get aid to Syria in a swarm of drones

Portugal Priest Cited for Saving Dozens of Jews From Holocaust 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Apr 2015 – Israel and Portugal honored in Lisbon a deceased priest who last year first received recognition for saving dozens of Jews during the Holocaust.

South Africa: Nzimande Latest South African to Be Denied Israeli Visa Over Pro-Palestinian Stance 
allAfrica.com 24 Apr 2015 – [The Daily Vox] There was a diplomatic kerfuffle when higher education minister Blade Nzimande was denied a visa by the Israeli government on Thursday.

South Africa: Outrage After S African Minister Denied Entry to Israel 
allAfrica.com 24 Apr 2015 – [Al Jazeera] Johannesburg -The government of South Africa has expressed outrage after Israel’s decision to deny a visa to Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande.

South Africa Minister Barred by Israel From Visiting West Bank 
The Foward Breaking News 24 Apr 2015 – The Israeli government denied a South African cabinet minister a visa to visit the Palestinian territories.

US Lawmakers Quietly Advance Legislation to Penalize Boycott of Israel 
US Campaign to End the Occupation 23 Apr 2015 – Common Dreams interviews Policy Director Josh Ruebner on the Senate Finance Committee passing anti-BDS legislation.

Yemen ex-leader appeals for calm 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – Yemen’s former president calls on his Houthi rebel allies to withdraw from territory they have seized in return for a halt to Saudi air strikes.

IS posts ‘health service’ video 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – Islamic State appears to have released a promotional video for its own health service featuring NHS-style branding and an Australian doctor.

Saudis say ‘killer’ was IS agent 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – Saudi Arabia says a young man arrested for the murders of two police officers has confessed to acting on orders from the Islamic State jihadist group.

Will Iran review bill survive the Senate? 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of April 27.

Qatar casts size aside with assertive foreign policy 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – Tiny Qatar bolstering image with assertive foreign policy

‘Over 100’ children killed in Yemen 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – At least 115 children have been killed in a month of fighting and air strikes in Yemen, UN children’s agency Unicef says.

Former Iran negotiator: Better ties with US impossible 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – Former Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili argued that the US and Iran cannot have ties because of America’s policy to “consolidate its leadership over the world.”

Africa blog: Islamic State strengthens ties with Boko Haram 
BBC 24 Apr 2015 – Islamic State and Boko Haram strengthen ties

The Islamic State’s Baathist roots 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – Although the presence and strength of former Baathist officers in the Islamic State is unlikely to revive pan-Arab nationalism, it has implications for a strategy to counter the Islamic State and eventually stabilize Iraq.

Gaza’s employee crisis derails latest reconciliation attempt 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – Tensions are continuing to worsen within Palestine’s consensus government over the issue of the Gaza employees, who still have not been paid.

Public outcry pushes Peres to cancel bank deal 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – With banking system reform in the offing, the lobbying contract of former President Shimon Peres with Bank Hapoalim delivered a serious blow to his image.

‘Unnatural’ porn becomes ticket to jail in Turkey 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – The Constitutional Court’s decision to ban pornography featuring “unnatural sexual behavior” has confounded Turkey and provoked average people to speak out about sex.

Turkish pilgrims to Jerusalem face backlash 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – Turkey’s Department of Religious Affairs elicited protests from an unexpected quarter when it added Jerusalem to its Umrah pilgrimage.

Beirut’s little Armenia keeps tradition alive 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – People of Armenian descent living in Lebanon strive to preserve their culture, working in traditional sectors and passing down their heritage to the younger generations.

UNESCO resolutions raise Palestinian hopes 
Al-Monitor 24 Apr 2015 – New UNESCO resolutions raises Palestinian hopes for more effective thwarting of Israeli violations of Palestinian land through illegal settlements and violation of historic sites.

Morocco’s disappearing movie theaters 
Al-Monitor 23 Apr 2015 – Despite booming movie production, action is needed to save what is left of the Morocco’s old movie palaces.

Egyptian businessmen rattled by new regulations 
Al-Monitor 23 Apr 2015 – The Egyptian government has upset the local business community with the issuance of regulations for laws imposing a 10% tax on stock market profits and restricting dollar deposits.

MEK leader to testify before Congress 
Al-Monitor 23 Apr 2015 – Maryam Rajavi will discuss the threat the Islamic State poses to members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) at Camp Liberty.


Thousands return to destroyed Palestinian villages in Israel 
Natasha Roth, +972 Magazine 4/24/2015
The March of Return, which coincides with Israeli Independence Day, calls for the right of return for Palestinians who were expelled from or fled the land in 1948. 
Approximately 10,000 people of all ages — mostly Palestinian citizens of Israel — took part in the 18th annual March of Return Thursday, on the land where the destroyed Palestinian village of Hadatha once stood. Setting out under an ominous sky, the demonstrators walked across the lands of the former village, wearing keffiyehs, waving flags and singing. The looming tempest eventually broke, but the march continued unabated.
The March of Return, which always coincides with Israeli Independence Day, commemorates the Nakba and calls for the right of return for Palestinians who were expelled from or fled the land in 1948. The destination changes each year, to one of the more than 400 villages that were destroyed during or following the war. Hadatha, which is located southwest of Tiberias in the Lower Galilee, had around 600 inhabitants before being depopulated across May and June of 1948; now, the area consists of wild fields and scattered groves of trees.
As the rain subsided, the march — organized by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People (ADRID) — congregated in a field where a stage and sound system had been set up along with photo and art exhibitions, gift stalls, and tables laid out with booklets and posters. Amid music, chanting, dancing and speeches, a one-minute moment of silence was held in memory of Palestinians who have been killed during the struggle for national recognition and rights. A number of Knesset members from the Joint List were present, including MKs Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi.
“These are Israeli citizens. They have Israeli identity cards. And they remain in this country,” explained Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh. “They fled during the war from one village to the next one. And they were not allowed to return.” more.. e-mail

Europe’s Feeble Efforts to ‘Punish’ Israel 
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, CounterPunch 4/24/2015
Labelling Settlement Goods
The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad.
Some 16 European foreign ministers sent a letter to the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, calling for the EU to label clearly Israeli settlement products to alert shoppers to their true provenance.
Yair Lapid, Israel’s former finance minister who is widely regarded as a moderate, angrily phoned Mogherini to warn that major European states were calling for a “de facto boycott of Israel”. He described the letter as “a stain” on the EU, adding that Israel’s economy could face “disaster”.
EU foreign ministers were no less persuaded of the punitive nature of their proposal. Labelling settlement goods would, they wrote, be “an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy” and vital to preserving the two-state solution.
In truth, however, the letter simply continues Europe’s feeble and muddle-headed policy in the face of Israel’s intensifying efforts to entrench the occupation.
After years of internal debates, only a small majority of the 27 EU states has been able to agree on the most ineffectual measure imaginable against products made on land and using resources stolen from the occupied Palestinian population. more.. e-mail

Netanyahu and the Ministers 
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 4/24/2015
Cats in a Sack
It is a rather disgusting spectacle.
The Israeli Right has won a crushing election victory. (On closer examination, the victory was not quite so crushing. Indeed, there was no victory at all. The crushing victory of Likud was achieved only at the expense of other rightist parties.)
The Rightist bloc together has not advanced at all. To form a majority coalition, it needs the party of Moshe Kahlon, the majority of whose voters are more leftist than rightist. Kahlon could easily have been persuaded to join a leftist coalition, if the leader of the Labor Party, Yitzhak Herzog, had been a more resolute personality.
Be that as it may, Binyamin Netanyahu is now busy trying to construct his government.
That’s where the disgust comes in.
A fight is going on. A fight of all against all. A fight without rules or limits.
Everyone wants to be a minister. Everybody in Likud and the other prospective coalition parties. Politicians galore.
And not just any minister. Ministries are not equal. Some are more prestigious, some less. One cannot compare the all-important Ministry of the Treasury (already promised to Kahlon) with the Ministry of the Environment, despised by each and all. Nor the Ministry of Education, with its thousands of employees (teachers and such) or the Ministry of Health (with its multitudes of doctors, nurses and what not) with the Ministry of Sports (hardly any employees). more.. e-mail

Robbie Williams rocks Tel Aviv and the boycott 
Ewa Jasiewicz, Al Jazeera 4/23/2015
Robbie Williams’ performance in Tel Aviv helps normalise settler colonialism, war crimes, and apartheid in Palestine.
I hadn’t planned on this when I walked into the monthly London Palestine Action meeting but, when a cultural boycott action was suggested and ideas were thin on the ground, I volunteered to subvert Robbie Williams’ hits and Be Him, outside UNICEF HQ in London. Come again? UNICEF Karaoke against Robbie Williams.
Ok, so, Robbie Williams, global superstar and ex-Take That member, and “good guy” by his own admission, is UNICEF’s Children’s Ambassador. This means he visits UNICEF projects which support children around the world and raises the profile of UNICEF’s work, earning them more funding and improving their work.
Makes sense so far. But, he is also going to play Tel Aviv in May, which he has already said he’s looking forward to, comparing those asking him not to go – the BDS Movement and Palestinians all over the world asking him to boycott – as irrational people like some who wouldn’t like him to play Stoke-on-Trent.
Brand Israel 
Tel Aviv isn’t Stoke-on-Trent. And being a cultural icon, isn’t an accident, and it isn’t neutral. The Israeli government knows this and the power of popular culture. Its Brand Israel project has seen the National Ballet, Opera and Theatre commissioned into the service of being ambassadors for the state. International pop stars are also commissioned into that role, whether they like it or not, and reportedly offered giant sums of money to play Tel Aviv. — See also: UNICEF Karaoke against Robbie Williams more.. e-mail

Mahmoud Darwish and the intimacy of Israel’s occupation
Electronic Intifada: 24 Apr 2015 – Everything — down to “our coffee cups” — is stolen away in the poet’s final works. more..

Poem: “No search, no rescue”
Electronic Intifada: 24 Apr 2015 – To the families and lovers at the bottom of the sea, trying to reach Europe. more..

Why won’t Sydney University admit its professor Jake Lynch has been cleared of anti-Semitism?
Electronic Intifada: 24 Apr 2015 – By not announcing the results of an official probe, a leading Australian college is tarnishing the reputation of staff and students who advocate a boycott of Israel. more..

Professors for Israel try to Shut Down Lancet
Dissident Voice: 24 Apr 2015 – Academia is far from the bastion of free thinking and free speech it would like to claim for itself, as a newly confected “row” involving the leading medical journal The Lancet confirms. Recently Southampton University in the UK caved in on hosting an important conference examining Israel and international law, following an intensive campaign of intimidation from Israeli apologists. Now some 400 medical professors are blackmailing Reed Elsevier, publishers of The Lancet, by threatening to boycott its publications unless the company sacks editor Richard Horton – or as they duplicitously phrase it, “enforce appropriate ethical standards of editorship”. By refusing to publish papers or peer review them, the professors, including five Nobel winners, hope Reed Elsevier will capitulate from fear that such a boycott might bring it to its knees. Why target Horton? Because he has committed the cardinal sin of transforming what was once a sleepy academic publication into a journal dealing seriously with global health issues, including…more

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