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Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
For those interested in keeping up with events in Palestine/Israel, there is no better digest than VTJP.

VTJP Archives | VTJP 2009
23 April, 2009 Part Two


International Middle East Media Center

Army issues orders to stop the preparation work in Bethlehem for the Pope visit
23 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military issued issued orders on Thursday to stop the preparation work for the Pope's visit in Aiyda refugee camp in the southern West bank city of Bethlehem. 

The Israeli military conducts morning invasions in the west Bank and kidnaps right civilians
23 Apr 2009 - Eight Palestinian civilians were kidnapped on Thursday during Isralei military invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.

Five soldiers injured and 20 civilians arrested during clashes in Kufer Qassem village
23 Apr 2009 - During clashes between the residents of the Arab village of Kufer Qassem in the Galilee, central Israel, five soldiers were injured on Wednesday and troops arrested 20 local youth.

Israeli groups demand external investigation of Gaza offensive
23 Apr 2009 - Following the publication of the results of the Israeli army's investigation into Palestinian civilian deaths during the offensive against Gaza which called the issue an “operational malfunction”, several leftist and human rights groups in Israel have demanded an independent investigation. 

National Islamic Bank opens in Gaza
23 Apr 2009 - The National Islamic Bank opened a branch in the Gaza Strip and has started to offer services to the public with $20 million in start-up capital. It will be operating under Islamic finance laws. 

Hamas legislator released after two years in detention
23 Apr 2009 - The Israeli Authorities on Wednesday evening released legislator Ahmad Al Hajj Ali from prison. 

Suleiman invites Lieberman to visit Egypt
23 Apr 2009 - Israeli sources reported on Wednesday that Egypt’s Intelligence Chief, Omar Suleiman, who is also in charge of prisoner-swap and ceasefire talks with Hamas, invited Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Egypt. 

Despite "tension", Suleiman meets Lieberman
22 Apr 2009 - Egyptian Intelligence Chief, Omar Suleiman, met on Wednesday evening with Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman in Jerusalem. 

Lieberman: Arab Peace plan not acceptable because of refugee issue
22 Apr 2009 - Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said on Wednesday that he opposes the Arab Peace Initiative as it calls for the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees into Israel. 

Fourth Bil'in conference on non-violent resistance starts
22 Apr 2009 - The fourth Bil'in conference on Non-violent Resistance started on Wednesday with the participation of 150 people of many nationalities. 

Gaza City: Four injured as an unknown object explodes near them
22 Apr 2009 - Four Palestinian civilians were injured on Wednesday midday when an unknown explosion exploded near them at a market place in Gaza city.

Israeli army kidnaps eight civilians West Bank
22 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military invaded a number of West Bank communities on Wednesday and kidnapped eight civilians. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Lebanon charges ex-general with spying for Israel
23 Apr 2009 - Judge accuses four with supplying Israel with info on Lebanese military and civilian centers. 

Peres: China key to struggle against Iran nuclear ambitions
23 Apr 2009 - President discusses Mideast peace process, economic and technological cooperation with Chinese FM. 

Amos Harel / IDF's idea of 'proportionate' is a matter of interpretation
22 Apr 2009 - In Gaza, the doctrine was 'zero risk' to soldiers' lives, even when this meant harming enemy civilians. 

Barak: Gaza probe shows IDF among world's most moral armies
22 Apr 2009 - IDF inquiries find no instances of war crimes during Gaza war; B'Tselem: IDF must comply with UN probe. 

Sources: U.S. may drop AIPAC spy case
22 Apr 2009 - Trial of 2 ex-AIPAC lobbyists, accused of disclosing national defense secrets, has been postponed nine times. 

Hamas smuggling new arsenal into Gaza
21 Apr 2009 - Security sources: Anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, longer range rockets coming in through tunnels. 

U.K. to review arms exports to Israel in wake of Gaza war
21 Apr 2009 - Move follows pressure from British lawmakers; less than 1% of Israel's arms imports come from U.K. 

IDF troops detain two Palestinians infiltrating from Gaza
21 Apr 2009 - The Palestinians were detained for questioning after trying to slip through the central Gaza security fence. 

Ma'an News

Israeli Holocaust museum fires employee who mentioned Palestinians' Nakba 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The Israeli museum Yad Vashem has fired an employee who compared the trauma of Jewish Holocaust survivors to that of Palestinians who were expelled in 1948 from their land in what is now Israel, the newspaper Haaretz reported on Thursday. Jerusalem resident Itamar Shapira, 29, was relieved of his position as a teacher after a group of Jewish students from the settlement of Efrat made a complaint to the museum. Shapira told Haaretz that he had spoken to visitors about the 1948 massacre by Jewish militias of Palestinians at in the village Deir Yassin, which is near the present-day site of Yad Vashem. The ruins of the village can be seen as one leaves the museum. "Yad Vashem talks about the Holocaust survivors' arrival in Israel and about creating a refuge here for the world's Jews. 

Israeli soldiers detain busloads of schoolchildren for three hours 
4/23/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers attacked the teachers and children returning from a school trip in the West Bank town of Beit Ummar on Thursday afternoon. Upon returning from a trip to Ramallah and Jericho, Israeli soldiers halted the busses at the entrance to the town, ordering the children and teachers off the busses. The children were held for three hours before international human rights activists stationed in the village intervened. The presence of teachers and the children’s’ families also prevented the army from holding them longer. Witnesses said the soldiers “abused and intimidated” their detainees. The head of the Beit Ummar Municipality, Nasri Sabarnah, denounced the incident as “another crime on top of other Israeli crimes carried out against the residents of Beit Ummar. ”***Get breaking news from Palestine: Click to follow Ma’an on Twitter. 

Israel sentences Palestinian former deputy PM to six months in prison 
4/23/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Palestinian former deputy foreign minister Nasser As-Sha’er has remanded to six more months in administrative detention by an Israeli military court, his attorney said on Thursday. Attorney Fares Abu Hassan said Ash-Sha’er’s would petition to overturn decision, which was issued by a court in the settlement of Ofer. The Israeli army seized Ash-Sha’er and nine other senior Hamas leaders, including several members of parliament, in an overnight sweep in on 19 March. Israel reportedly carried out the raids in an attempt to pressure Hamas to speed negotiations toward a prisoner swap. Administrative detention is an Israeli policy under which so-called “security prisoners” can be held nearly indefinitely without charge or trial. More than 40 members of the Palestinian parliament, the Legislative Council (PLC) are held in Israeli prisons. 

Palestinian citizens of Israel riot as military invades village with demolition orders 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - Hundreds rallied against Israeli forces as they entered the village of Kfar Qassem intending to demolish a greenhouse owned by Palestinian citizens of Israel Wednesday night. The village, just west of the West Bank city of Tulkarem on the Israeli side of the separation wall, was the scene of an estimated 400-strong riot that successfully staved off the demolition of the building, currently under construction. Israeli sources said five officers were hurt by villagers who threw stones at the troops, while border police arrested four locals. [end] 

Qalqiliya-area village faces 'constant settler harassment' 
4/23/2009 - Qalqilia – Ma’an – A band of armed Israeli settlers and soldiers damaged houses and other property in the village of Jit, east of the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Wednesday, in what local sources say is part of a pattern of attacks. Local human rights Coordinator Zakarieyah As-Seda said, “The residents and their property are continually attacked by the settlers who prevent people from accessing to their lands, stealing the crops, cutting the trees, burning land and attacking homes. ”As-Seda also said that Israelis from a settlement outpost called “Havat Gilad” are notorious for attacking Palestinians in the area. He said the attacks included “throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles” on the road to the nearby village of Huwwara. He said the residents have filed multiple complaints with the Israeli police, who did not stop the attacks, which he alleged took place according to an “organized schedule. 

Israeli army shuts down preparations to bring pope to refugee camp in Bethlehem 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers attempted to stop the work of a committee preparations for a visit by Pope Benedict to Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Thursday morning. The press officer for the official Palestinian committee to welcome the Pope to the camp, Munjid Jado, said five Israeli military vehicles entered the camp and stopped the committee from working, questioning them and videotaping them. The workers had been erecting a stage in an open area in between the camp and the Israeli separation wall, which partly encircles the camp. Jado said in a statement that camp official Ibrahim Abu Srur then arrived at the scene. He was told by the soldiers that Aida camp lies in Area C of the West Bank, under Israeli military jurisdiction, and that the committee would therefore need a special permit for its activities. 

Rights groups: Military investigation into Gaza abuses 'not credible' 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Human rights watchdogs accused the Israeli military on Thursday of using its internal investigations to whitewash allegations that it committed war crimes during its recent offensive on the Gaza Strip. "The investigative results make clear that the Israeli military will not objectively monitor itself," said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, one of the organizations that responded to the results of an internal military investigation released on Wednesday. "The conclusions are an apparent attempt to mask violations of the laws of war by Israeli forces in Gaza. Only an impartial inquiry will provide a measure of redress for the civilians who were killed unlawfully,” said Stork in a statement. Human Rights Watch, along with Israeli and Palestinian human rights organizations are calling for Israel to comply with the UN-backed investigation headed by Justice Richard Goldstone. 

PFLP chief, in message from prison, chides PA for jailing fighters 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The imprisoned Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Sa’dat, leveled criticism at the Palestinian Authority on Thursday for jailing members of armed resistance groups. "It is impossible to demand freeing the detainees [from Israeli prisons] while the Palestinian prisons are full of prisoners jailed for resistance background or internal disputes,” he said in a message smuggled from his cell in Israel's Ashkelon prison. “The slogan of ‘loyalty to the prisoners,' which the rhetoric of political, rights and social organizations is full of, is less than what is needed. "he said. “Loyalty to the prisoners requires first to provide them and their resistance with political protection since they are prisoners for a just cause and a legitimate resistance. ”Regarding national unity talks between rivals Hamas and Fatah, he. . . 

Five hundred settlers enter Nablus residential area to pray at Joseph's Tomb 
4/23/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Five hundred Israeli settlers prayed at Joseph's Tomb, in the heart of Nablus’ residential Balata neighborhood late Wednesday night. The settlers were accompanied by Israeli military patrols, who had informed Palestinian security there would be “Israeli security activity in Nablus” Wednesday night, but did not specify the area. The order meant Palestinian security had to withdraw from the streets, according to an agreement between the sides. The settlers, and their accompanying security patrol, remained at the tomb until dawn on Thursday. Israeli media sources reported that the area had been vandalized with graffiti images of "a blood-dripping sward over a Star of David" and swastikas sprayed over the walls. Reports said the settlers blamed the Israeli army for removing their permanent military presence from the tomb in 2000. 

Israeli troops raid Tulkarem, question university students 
4/23/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Israeli troops raided the western and southern areas of Tulkarem and stormed Khaduri University student resident buildings overnight Wednesday. Palestinian security sources said the troops were accompanied by Israeli intelligence officers who searched the Az-Zabadi and Abu Darna and Al-Hamudi buildings in the western neighborhood in Tulkarem and the Nasif building in the southern neighborhood. Students living in these buildings were questioned. No detentions were reported. [end] 

Three Israeli soldiers injured in accident near Jenin 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Three Israeli soldiers were injured when their jeep flipped over during a military operation south west of Jenin, in the northern West Bank on Thursday. According to Israeli media reports, the men sustained mild injuries and were taken to a hospital in the town of Kfar Saba. [end] 

Hamas calls Israeli report on Gaza killings a Nazi-style whitewash 
4/23/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – An Israeli report labeling the killing of 21 civilians including children the result of “malfunction” was condemned by Hamas on Thursday as proof that the Israeli army is operating under a new “Nazi policy. ”The report, which found by and large that the Israeli army had acted “morally” and within the bounds of international law, described the death of the Ad-Daya family in Gaza as a “malfunction” and a “mistake. ”Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan called the report a sign of a new “Nazi policy” constructed in an effort to justify Israeli crimes. He accused Israel of trying to “whitewash its offenses in front of the international law. ”Radwan added in a press release that Israel is trying to mislead and deceive the international community and cited its use of white phosphorus bombs in heavily populated civilian areas as proof of the “massive crime they committed during the war on Gaza. 

Egypt's Suleiman invites Lieberman to Cairo 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Director of Egyptian Intelligence General Omar Suleiman completed a round of talks with senior Israeli officials in Jerusalem on Wednesday, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Israeli radio described the meeting as “businesslike and friendly,” noting that it concluded with an invitation to Lieberman to visit Cairo. Egypt had previously stated they would be unwilling to meet with the right-wing ultra-nationalist Lieberman, but the meeting was apparently requested by Suleiman himself. Lieberman offended Egypt when he said that President Hosni Mubarak “can go to hell. ”According to reports official meetings with Israeli Defense Minister Barak and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu were held in advance of meetings with the controversial Lieberman. 

Jordanian King calls for Arab/Islamic task force to back-up US peace efforts 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an/Agencies - King Abdullah II of Jordan called for the formation of an Arab/Islamic task force charged with backing up the US in efforts to reach a peace deal in the Middle East on Wednesday. The call came following a meeting between the King and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. "We are ready to shoulder our responsibilities," King Abdullah said after commenting on the large role Washington has played in the search for Middle East peace. He said a serious and speedy set of negotiations to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should be launched, and highlighted his support of a two-state solution along the lines of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. For her part, Pelosi outlined the US commitment to continuing their efforts in the region, and affirmed the necessity of a strong partner in Jordan. 

Mashal to British MPs: "If we find another way to end the occupation – we'll use it" 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - “Resistance is a means to an end,” Hamas leader in exile Khalid Mashal told British members of Parliament via videoconference Wednesday. The question-and-answer session was arranged by British MP Clare Short, who recently visited Mash’al at his office in Damascus along with several other lawmakers. The Wednesday meeting, rescheduled after a Tuesday failure of the video-link network, was help in a conference room in the British Parliament building in London. During the videoconference Mashal stressed the necessity of pressuring Israel to put an end to its occupation of the West Bank and its siege on Gaza. He explained that “if we [Palestinians] find another way to end the occupation – we will use it,” but noted that all efforts to seek help from the international community had failed. The Hamas leader stressed the party position that it will recognize. . . 

Hamas rebuffs Clinton's demand that it recognize Israel 
4/23/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas harshly criticized on Thursday a comment by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the US will not recognize Palestinian government unless the Islamic movement recognizes Israel. “We will not deal with or in any way fund a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel” and abided by earlier agreements with Israel, Clinton told the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday. Clinton said that for now, the US would not discourage unity talks between the Hamas and its main rival Fatah. “We want to leave open the door that that can happen,” she said, referring to the possibility Hamas may change its positions. “We’re not betting on it. ”On Thursday Hamas slammed these remarks as “failed blackmailing attempt to pressure Hamas in way that. . . 

Report: Egypt threatening to step down as Hamas-Fatah broker 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Egypt has threatened to withdraw its sponsorship of Palestinian unity negotiations if rival parties Hamas and Fatah do not reach an agreement soon, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Thursday. According to the newspaper Al-Masryoun, if no agreement is reached before the end of May, Cairo will no longer play the role of broker in the unity talks. The paper quotes Egyptian official sources saying that Cairo is pressuring the factions to “accept references to the peace process” as a part of a unity deal in order to secure international recognition for a transitional government. Hamas has so far rejected any platform for the proposed government that involves recognition of Israel. According to Al-Masryoun, Egyptian mediators are making the argument that if a Palestinian unity government accepts the peace process, it could undercut Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin. . . 

Mubarak: Lieberman not welcome in Cairo 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israel’s controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will not accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a proposed visit to Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said on Thursday. "Some say. . . that [Netanyahu] will bring his foreign minister with him," Mubarak said during a speech marking the anniversary of the end of Israel's 15-year occupation of the Sinai Peninsula in 1982, according to AFP. "The Israeli prime minister is coming alone. His cabinet chief will come with him. He will not bring any other minister with him," Mubarak said. These remarks followed reports that Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who is in charge indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas over a prisoner exchange, invited Lieberman to Egypt after meeting him in Jerusalem. Ultranationalist Lieberman is viewed unfavorably by Egypt, one of. . . 

Fatah, Hamas trade accusations over incident at Al-Azhar University in Gaza 
4/23/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Fatah movement accused Hamas of planting explosives the vicinity of Al-Azhar University in Gaza and, allegation denied by the Islamic movement on Thursday. Ramallah-based Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Za’arir, claimed Thursday that Hamas members broke into the campus and surrounded the building containing university president’s office. He said 45 students and staff were inside the building at the time. “Fatah denounces this incident,” he said, “It sees that it is the duty of all those involved in the humanitarian, nongovernmental, and factional organizations to stop Hamas attacks. ”“This incident came after a group of Fatah affiliates distributed posters in support of [Hamas-Fatah] dialogue… in addition to posters of Jerusalem as the capital of the Arab Culture in addition to other posters,” said Za’rir, who did not give details on the alleged bomb plot. 

Union leader: PA should press donors in order to pay salaries 
4/23/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The leader of the union of civil servants chided the Palestinian Authority (PA) on Thursday for suggesting that workers’ salaries could be delayed again in May. Union head Bassam Zakarnah said, “Employees should not live in anxiety waiting for their salaries in order to afford staying alive. ”The PA admitted on Wednesday that it is facing a severe financial crisis as a result of states failing to follow through on pledges made at a donor conference in Sharm Ash-Sheikh, Egypt in early March. The PA minister of planning says that only 2. 2 billion US dollars had been delivered of 7. 7 billion promised. Zakarnah urged the PA to press donors to make good on their pledges. He said employee have “high confidence” that the Ramallah-based caretaker government can overcome the current crisis as it has in the past. 

Palestine Telegraph

Convoy Update: Ambulances and Medical aid to Gaza
London, April 23, 2009 - As part of its activities, The European Campaign to End the Siege in Gaza (ECESG), is restlessly preparing, in race against time, a convoy of medical aid to Gaza.

US hampers Palestinian unity govt with Hamas
Washington, April 23 (Pal Telegraph)- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday the United States would not deal with or fund a Palestinian government that included Hamas unless it met three international conditions. "We will not deal with nor in...

Hamas hints at extending its term in Palestinian parliament
Gaza Strip, April 23, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A senior Hamas leader hinted Thursday that the radical Islamist movement would extend its term in the Palestinian parliament if no agreement was reached with the rival Fatah party, dpa reported. If an agreement...

Four Palestinian fishermen abducted, 2 boats stolen by Israeli Navy
Gaza Strip, April 21 (Pal Telegraph) - At least 4 Palestinian fishermen were abducted and 2 fishing boats stolen today by the Israeli navy in yet another act of piracy.

UN: Gaza's post-war environmental problems growing
Gaza Strip, April 21 (Pal Telegraph) - Environmental hazards in the Gaza Strip, such as sewage contamination, have intensfied since Israel's recent war on Hamas there because even basic infrastructure repairs are stalled by an ongoing border blockade of the territory, the...


Israel defends army's Gaza conduct
22 Apr 2009 - Israel rejects claims it violated international law during three-week war.

UN seeks to salvage racism summit
21 Apr 2009 - Declaration calling for tolerance adopted after Iranian's leader speech attacking Israel.

Hamas accused of killing rivals
20 Apr 2009 - Human Rights Watch says torture, maimings and executions took place during Gaza war.

Iran plans fast appeal for US 'spy'
20 Apr 2009 - Iran's judiciary orders reporter's appeal to be dealt with "carefully and quickly".


OPT: Signs of worsening malnutrition among children 
GAZA CITY Tuesday, April 21, 2009 (IRIN) - Rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Gaza, compounded by the recent 23-day Israeli offensive, have increased the threat of child malnutrition, say UN agencies, health ministry officials and healthcare NGOs in Gaza. 

In Brief: United States approves rapid avian flu test 
DAKAR Friday, April 10, 2009 (IRIN) - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a test that can detect the deadly H5N1 virus in humans through throat or nose swabs in 40 minutes. Current laboratory analyses that detect the avian flu strain can take up to four hours for confirmation.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: Iran Hits Back at U.N. Chief Over Racism Meet 
UNITED NATIONS, Apr 22 (IPS) - An indignant Iran has lodged a "strong protest" over critical statements made by two senior U.N. officials against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at an anti-racism conference in Geneva early this week.

RIGHTS-US: Senate Report Casts Grim Light on Bush Era 
NEW YORK, Apr 22 (IPS) - Pentagon interrogators continuously ramped up their abusive techniques against prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq and Afghanistan in a vain attempt to establish a link between the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. on Sep. 11,...

RIGHTS-US: Border Policies Need Overhaul, Group Says 
WASHINGTON, Apr 22 (IPS) - Getting into the United States – even for citizens, let alone immigrants and other visitors – is a notoriously difficult process. But a new report says that the questioning, detention, and oft-extended searches are going too far, especially when they are trampling on the basic...

MIDEAST: Iran Hands Israel a Gift 
JERUSALEM, Apr 22 (IPS) - Just when it seemed that the international community was gearing itself up to put pressure on the new Israel government to engage the Arab world and the Palestinian Authority seriously on peace, Iran's president hijacked the moment. But, in again lashing out against Israel, he...

Stop The Wall

Friday protests and a Saturday funeral
21 Apr 2009 - This Friday, Basem Ibrahim Abu Rahma was martyred in Bil’in, where he was shot during a protest. Soldiers also attacked several other anti-Wall demonstrations in the West Bank, wounding scores of people. In these past months, the deaths of Abu Rahma, along with Arafat Khawaja, Mohammed Khawaja, Ahmed Mousa and Youssef Amirah are not isolated examples of “unauthorized fire” or protocol breach, but rather reflect a violent, institutionalized military policy. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Condemns Attack on PLC Member Sheikh al-Beetawi

PCHR hold Minister of Health in Ramallah accountable and calls on Palestinian President to Intervene

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 -08 April  2008)
During the reporting period, IOF killed two activists of the Palestinian resistance in the Gaza Strip and one civilian in the West Bank. They also wounded 16 Palestinian civilians, including two children and two journalists, in the West Bank. Three of these civilians were wounded by Israeli settlers in a joint attack with IOF.

International Solidarity Movement

Diary: East Jerusalem evictions
International Solidarity Movement - Rami Hannoun keeps watch overnight in case the Israeli authorities come to evict the families - 22 April 2009 - The Hannouns are one of three families who have had been ordered by an Israeli court to leave their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. The families, refugees who lost their original houses when they were occupied in 1948, say they were allowed to build new houses on land allocated by the United Nations under Jordanian administration. A Jewish organisation, the Committee for Sephardic Jews which operated during the British mandate in Palestine, claims ownership of the land it says it lost during riots before 1948. The Israeli foreign ministry, the prime minister's office and the Jerusalem municipality all declined to comment on the case, saying the dispute was a "private matter" between citizens argued out in court. 

ISM Summer Campaign 2009: Defend the Land and Jerusalem
International Solidarity Movement - The International Solidarity Movement is issuing a call-out for internationals to volunteer as field activists and office workers in the West Bank, Gaza, and occupied East Jerusalem this summer. Whether you can come for only few weeks or several months, your presence is needed to support Palestinian communities who are nonviolently resisting the Israeli occupation. The summer campaign, which will run from June 6th until August 15th, aims to challenge the continued theft of Palestinian land for the rapid expansion of illegal Israeli settlements and their infrastructure in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Volunteer training sessions will be held every week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. More information about joining ISM in PalestineBelow are some of the actions ISM volunteers can anticipate this summer. . . 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Iran slams UN for silence on Israel's 'abhorrent crimes'
22 Apr 2009 - Iran warned United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon against "double standards" on Thursday after he deplored anti-Israeli comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a UN conference this week. ...

Clinton: Israel risks losing support on Iran
22 Apr 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautioned Israel's right-wing government on Thursday that it risked losing Arab support for fighting any threats from Iran if it shuns Palestinian peace talks. ...

Obama: It is our duty to prevent another Holocaust
22 Apr 2009 - President Barack Obama paid tribute Thursday to the memory of Jews murdered in the Holocaust and said it is the duty of the living all over the world to end such atrocities forever. ...

Livni urges EU: Don't halt EU-Israel relations upgrade
22 Apr 2009 - Opposition chairman Tzipi Livni conveyed a message to European Union leaders on Thursday, urging them not to freeze a planned upgrade of relations between Israel and the EU. ...

Clinton: Any Palestinian gov't must recognize Israel
22 Apr 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that U.S. President Barack Obama's administration will not deal with any Palestinian government that fails to meet the principles for peace set forth by the international community, namely renouncing violence and recognizing Israel's right to exist. ...

The Guardian

Jerusalem's mayor defends demolition of houses in Arab area
23 Apr 2009 - Nir Barkat rejects international criticism and says east of city could never be capital of Palestinian state Israel's mayor of Jerusalem defended the demolition of houses in the Arab east of the city today and insisted...

Hillel Schenker: Holocaust Day: The images that shape us
23 Apr 2009 - On Holocaust Memorial Day, history shows Israel a path between surrender and fight – 'dealing with the devil' to save lives As the sirens sounded on this year's Holocaust Memorial Day , I stood for two minutes...

Roy Greenslade: The Times vindicated over Gaza 'white phosphorus' stories
23 Apr 2009 - The Times has been vindicated for running stories about the use by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) of white phophorus in Gaza. It has secured a significant admission that IDF troops did use white phosphorus during...

Seumas Milne: What credibility is there in Geneva's all-white boycott?
22 Apr 2009 - The Iranian president's repugnant rhetoric doesn't give Israel's sponsors the right to cry foul when it's called racist What do the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy and Israel have in common?...

Ha'aretz National page

Netanyahu, Steinitz unveil economic rescue plan
22 Apr 2009 - Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz unveiled on Thursday a rescue plan for Israel's "plummeting" ecomony. ...

Worshippers find Swastikas spray-painted on Joseph's Tomb
22 Apr 2009 - Worshippers who arrived at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus Wednesday night were shocked to discover the Jewish holy place defaced by anti-Semitic graffiti depicting swastikas and a Star of David dripping blood. ...

Five Border Policemen hurt in clash with Arab town's residents
22 Apr 2009 - Five Border Policemen were wounded on Thursday in a clash with hundreds of residents of the Israeli Arab town of Kafr Qasem. ...

MK Cabel: Barak has brought Labor to its worst defeat ever
22 Apr 2009 - Labor secretary-general Eitan Cabel on Thursday accused Ehud Barak of bringing his party to its worst defeat ever, as a bitter row between the erstwhile allies intensified. ...

Yad Vashem fires employee who compared Holocaust to Nakba 
22 Apr 2009 - Yad Vashem has fired an instructor who compared the trauma of Jewish Holocaust survivors with the trauma experienced by the Palestinian people in Israel's War of Independence. ... 

Relief Web

EU reinforces ties with its neighbours and continues to support their reforms
23 Apr 2009 - Source: European Commission

OPT: Gaza's unfinished business
23 Apr 2009 - Source: International Crisis Group

Quarterly Regional Humanitarian Funding Update, 1st Quarter 2009
23 Apr 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Gaza's unfinished business - ICG report
23 Apr 2009 - Source: International Crisis Group

Hamas hints at extending its term in Palestinian parliament
23 Apr 2009 - Source: Trend

OPT: IDF admits operational mishaps in Gaza
23 Apr 2009 - Source: Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Coalition letter to United Nations Security Council members in advance of the debate on children and armed conflict
23 Apr 2009 - Source: Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers

OPT: Over 2,000 tonnes of food, 5 ambulances shipped to Gaza during April
23 Apr 2009 - Source: Kuwait News Agency

YNet News

Miami names Shalit honorary citizen
23 Apr 2009 - Florida solidarity: Miami honors kidnapped soldier for loyal service in defense of Israel

Israel marks Earth Hour
23 Apr 2009 - Israelis join effort to save environment; Jerusalem deputy mayor walks out as female dancers take stage

Clinton: Palestinian gov't must recognize Israel
23 Apr 2009 - US secretary of state promises House appropriations committee 'no aid will flow to Hamas or any entity controlled by it', says Washington won't deal with any Palestinian unity gov't that fails halt violence against Israel, recognize its right to exist

Livni to EU: Don't link upgrade of ties to peace
23 Apr 2009 - Opposition leader says EU-Israel ties should not depend on government's willingness to talk to Palestinians

Mubarak to Iran, Hizbullah: Beware the wrath of Egypt
23 Apr 2009 - Egyptian president says will not allow 'regional powers opposing peace' to destabilize Cairo's regime, 'bring region to brink of abyss'; confirms Prime Minister Netanyahu was invited to see him, but without Foreign Minister Lieberman


Testimony: Settlers assault young pregnant Palestinian
22 Apr 2009 - On 10 April, Roqaya al-Hazalin, together with a group of women and children, were grazing sheep near their village, in the Hebron District. According to her testimony, four armed settlers with sticks approached them. The other shepherds she was with ran a

Independent apparatus needed for investigation of Operation Cast Lead
21 Apr 2009 - On 22 April, the results of Israel's military investigation of Operation Cast Lead were published, indicating that dozens of innocent civilians were killed due to what the army referred to as "rare mishaps." In response, human rights organizations pointed

Daily Star

Iran ready for 'constructive' nuclear talks 
22 Apr 2009 - Iran said on Wednesday it welcomes "constructive" talks with world powers, as the United States warned Tehran could face "crippling" sanctions if such talks failed to end Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. In an official statement, Iran said it believed discussions could resolve disputes between the Islamic Republic and the West.

Israeli military denies committing war crimes in Gaza 
22 Apr 2009 - The Israeli military said Wednesday that its internal investigations concluded it did not violate international law during the Gaza war, bluntly deflecting war crimes allegations by human rights groups. Rights activists renewed their call for an independent inquiry, saying the military was "incapable" of looking at "the whole range of violations."

Hillary Clinton moves to strengthen ties with Libya 
22 Apr 2009 - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Tuesday for stronger ties between the United States and its former foe Libya, during a meeting with a son of Moamar Gadhafi, the Libyan leader. "We deeply value the relationship between the United States and Libya," Clinton told several reporters as she received Mutassim Gadhafi, who serves as his father's national security adviser.

Fiance of US reporter jailed in Iran defends her 
22 Apr 2009 - An Iranian filmmaker, who said he is engaged to the American journalist jailed in Iran for allegedly spying for the US, defended his fiance as innocent in an open letter and begged Iranian authorities to release her. The letter by Bahman Ghobadi, circulated by an Iranian human rights group, described 31-year-old Roxana Saberi as an intelligent.

Watchdog cites corruption in Palestinian territories 
22 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian territories saw some improvement in public finance management in 2008 but corruption in other areas was still high, a Palestinian transparency group said in its annual report on Wednesday. The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity said that while there was more transparency in disclosing the finances of the Palestinian.

Firms run by Abass' sons get lucrative US contracts 
22 Apr 2009 - Firms run by sons of President Mahmoud Abbas won US government aid contracts to repair roads - and America's image - in the Palestinian territories, previously undisclosed documents show. A review by Reuters of internal US government records about aid programs in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hillary Clinton avoids making waves as America's top diplomat 
22 Apr 2009 - When President Barack Obama chose Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state, skeptics foresaw trouble: a clash of ego and ambition, a conflict of policy priorities between former campaign rivals. But it hasn't worked out that way. He has taken the lead on foreign policy and she has dutifully followed.

Palestinian Information Center

IOA demolishes Palestinian home south of Jerusalem, 4 others near Nablus
22 Apr 2009 - The IOA demolished a Palestinian house without prior warning in the Sal'ah area, south of occupied Jerusalem, Wednesday morning at the pretext of unlicensed construction.

Swedish institutions donate to "Hope" convoy
22 Apr 2009 - A number of Swedish institutions have donated two ambulance vehicles and two trucks loaded with urgently needed medical equipment to the "Hope" convoy heading to the Gaza Strip.

MP Halaika: Mishaal's speech at House of Commons turning point
22 Apr 2009 - MP Samira Al-Halaika has stressed that the British House of Common's invitation to Khaled Mishaal, the Hamas leader, to deliver a speech was an indication of a new turning point.

Hamas: Fatah is directly involved in campaigns to eliminate our cadres in WB
22 Apr 2009 - Hamas stated that Fatah faction is directly involved in the campaigns to eliminate Hamas in the West Bank and mislead the public opinion about what is really going on there.

Prisoner defense center: IOA decided to force detainees to wear orange uniforms
22 Apr 2009 - The Palestinian center for the defense of prisoners strongly denounced the IOA for deciding to impose by force the orange uniform on Palestinian prisoners in Jalbo jail.

MP Jarrar lambastes world community for ignoring Israeli detention of lawmakers
22 Apr 2009 - MP Khaleda Jarrar has lambasted the world community for remaining silent towards the Israeli detention of Palestinian lawmakers including PLC speaker Dr. Aziz Dwaik.

Norwegian lawyers to sue Israeli leaders for war crimes
22 Apr 2009 - A galaxy of Norwegian lawyers is expected to file a lawsuit on Wednesday with the Norwegian attorney general against Israeli leaders who committed war crimes during the last war on the Gaza Strip.

Hebrew press: Calm mediation resumed
22 Apr 2009 - Calm negotiations between Hamas and the Israeli occupation authority with Egyptian mediation have resumed, Hebrew daily Ma'ariv reported.

Abu Marzouk: We will go to dialog with open hearts and minds
22 Apr 2009 - Hamas Movement will go to the national dialog talks in Cairo with open hearts and minds and will seek to end the new round of dialog with success, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk said.

Bahar urges parliaments to pass national legislation to prosecute Israel
22 Apr 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the acting speaker of the PLC, called on all Arab, Islamic and international parliaments to work hard to introduce new national legislation to prosecute Israeli war criminals.

Los Angeles Times

Boyfriend of U.S. journalist jailed in Iran waits, hopes 
23 Apr 2009 - Kurdish Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi doesn't want to leave Iran until his girlfriend, Roxana Saberi, is freed on appeal. He partially blames himself for her imprisonment. His girlfriend is in jail for espionage and acclaimed Kurdish Iranian film director Bahman Ghobadi is thinking about packing up his scripts and editing equipment and heading to Europe. He is tired, he says, of censors and Islamic politics intruding upon his life and art. 

Israel army clears itself in Gaza war 
23 Apr 2009 - The IDF says an investigation found the military acted in accord with international law in its offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Human rights groups have called for an independent probe. The Israeli military said Wednesday that internal investigations concluded that the army "operated in accordance with international law" throughout last winter's war in the Gaza Strip against Hamas fighters who terrorized Israeli civilians and, according to the army, exploited Palestinians as human shields. 

Haim Saban, friend to Israel and Democrats 
22 Apr 2009 - The media mogul finds himself entangled in the controversy surrounding Rep. Jane Harman. Even in a town of bigger-than-life personalities, media mogul Haim Saban stands out -- lion-like in demeanor, furiously determined and unshakably loyal to those people and causes in which he fervently believes. 

New York Times

Israel Says Actions in Gaza Not War Crimes
23 Apr 2009 - Israel’s conclusions of several internal investigations into its military’s conduct countered criticism of its actions and accusations of war crimes. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Hints About Commuting Sentence of Journalist
21 Apr 2009 - A statement from the judiciary spokesman said that the eight-year prison term for an American-Iranian journalist may be reconsidered during her appeal. 

Iranian Calls Israel Racist at Meeting in Geneva
20 Apr 2009 - The remarks at a U.N. conference on combating racism prompted European delegates to desert the hall. 


His name was Basem 
Mohammad Khatib, Bil"™in Popular Committee Against the Wall and, ISM 4/20/2009
      His name was Basem, which means smile, and that is how he greeted everyone.  But we all called him "˜Pheel’, which means elephant because he had the body the size of an elephant. But Basem had the heart of a child. 
     He loved everyone, and because of his sweetness and ability to make us laugh, everyone loved him. Basem was everyone’s friend: the children talk about how he would play with them, scare them and then make them laugh. He would tend the garden in the playground and bring toys and books to the kindergarten. The old ladies in the village talk about how he used to visit, to ask after them and see if they needed anything. In the village, he seemed to be everywhere at once. He would pop in to say hello, take one puff of the nargila, and be off to his next spot. The morning he was killed he went to the house of Hamis, whose skull had been broken at a previous demonstration three months ago by a tear gas canister projectile - the same weapon that would kill Basem.
     Basem woke Hamis and gave him his medicine, then off he went to visit another friend in the village who is ill with cancer. Then a little girl from the village wanted a pineapple but couldn’t find any in the local stores. So Basem went to Ramallah to get a pineapple and was back before noon for the Friday prayers and the weekly demonstration against the theft of our land by the apartheid wall.  Pheel never missed a demonstration; he participated in all the activities and creative actions in Bilin. He would always talk to the soldiers as human beings. Before he was hit he was calling for the soldiers to stop shooting because there were goats near the fence and he was worried for them. Then a woman in front of him was hit. He yelled to the commander to stop shooting because someone was wounded. He expected the soldiers to understand and stop shooting. Instead, they shot him too.

Solving Palestine While Israel Destroys It 
Kathleen And Bill Christison, CounterPunch 4/15/2009
      Obama’s Bubble of Ignorance
     To a greater degree than perhaps ever before, Washington today is engulfed in denial about Israel and its stupefying behavior, about its murderous policies toward the Palestinians, about the efforts of Israel and its U.S. defenders to force us to ignore its atrocities. Blinders have always been part of the attire of U.S. policymakers and politicians with regard to Israel and Israeli actions, but in the wake of the three-week Israeli assault that laid waste to the tiny territory of Gaza -- an assault ended very conveniently just before Barack Obama was inaugurated, so that he has been able to act as though it never occurred -- the perspective from which Washington operates is strikingly more blinkered than ever in the past.
     At a symposium on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Middle East Policy Council just days before Obama took office, Ali Abunimah, a sharp Palestinian-American commentator who runs the website, declared frankly that Washington exists in a bubble of ignorance and denial. While the rest of the world, particularly at the level of civil society, is talking about war crimes tribunals for Israeli leaders and about sanctions against Israel, Abunimah observed, Washington and those world leaders beholden to it are trying to move ahead as if nothing had changed. “We have to expect,” he said, “that the official apparatus of the peace-process industry -- the Hillary Clintons, the Quartets, the Tony Blairs, the Javier Solanas, the Ban Ki-Moons, the whole panoply of official and semi-official Washington think tanks -- will carry on with business as usual, trying to make believe that, through their ministrations, a Palestinian state will come into being.” But in the real world, this state won’t happen, he said, and the time has come to speak frankly about what is going on.
     So far, three months into the Obama administration, there is little evidence that Obama sees clearly or is ready to speak frankly. Another very savvy Palestinian political commentator and activist, Haidar Eid, who lives and endures Israel’s constant punishments in Gaza, recently told an interviewer that the international reaction to Israel’s Gaza assault was like the reaction to some kind of natural disaster -- as if no human hand had had a role in the destruction and nothing but money and aid was required to resolve the problem. As if, he said, the disaster had not been “created by the state of Israel to annihilate the Palestinian resistance and Palestinian society.

Electronic Intifada
Film review: Kindness as vengeance in "Heart of Jenin"
23 Apr 2009 - After his young son Ahmad was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp in 2005, Ismail Khatib was propositioned by the Israeli doctor treating his son: would Ismail wish that his son Ahmad's organs be donated to children (in Israel) who needed them? The Electronic Intifada's Maureen Clare Murphy reviews Heart of Jenin , a documentary about the Khatib family's experience. 

Canadian musician Leonard Cohen urged to cancel Israel concert
22 Apr 2009 - The following is an open letter from the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine to Canadian musician Leonard Cohen: Your songs have been part of the soundtrack of our lives -- like breathing, some of them. But we can't make sense of why you've decided to perform in Israel in September this year. 

Signs of worsening malnutrition among children
22 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Rising poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in Gaza, compounded by the recent 23-day Israeli offensive, have increased the threat of child malnutrition, say UN agencies, health ministry officials and healthcare non-governmental organizations in Gaza. 

Some Gazans allowed to cross into Egypt
22 Apr 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - Rafah crossing, Gaza's only official border crossing into Egypt, opened to a limited number of Gazans on 18-21 April. Some 1,600 medical patients, students and business people crossed into Egypt. Some 400 were turned back by the Egyptian authorities, according to the Gaza interior ministry, and thousands remain stranded on both sides of the border. 

In Gaza
Bassem Abu Rahme, killed in Bil’in protest against the Wall, rest peacefully
17 Apr 2009 - Bassem Abu Rahme, white t-shirt, photo Active Stills I take time to mourn the death of Bassem Abu Rahme , the 18th to be murdered , along with scores injured, while protesting  against Israel’s illegal annexation Wall in the occupied West Bank.  The death and injury toll at the hands of the Israeli occupation forces includes minors, countless local residents, journalists , and many Israelis and internationals.  The oft- militarily-besieged village of Bil’in is one of countless villages in the path of the annexation wall Israel has constructed for so-called ’security’ reasons, stealing Palestinian lands, and lives, in the process. * Picture: Palestine Monitor According to the Bil’in village website , Basem was shouting to...

Palestine Chronicle
The Travails of Israeli Occupation
22 Apr 2009 - By George S. Hishmeh Many a Palestinian finds it inexplicable, if not unbelievable, that Israelis - most of whom came from Europe, where some of their relatives or ancestors suffered shocking atrocities at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War - could in turn continuously inflict cruelty or even kill indiscriminately as they usurped the Palestinians’ homeland, inch by inch, over the past 60 years. The walkout earlier this week of various Western envoys when outspoken Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blasted Israel for its “racial policies” was an anticipated development. But all attending the UN conference on racism held in Geneva should understand that the Israeli mistreatment of Palestinians, whether those under occupation or within Israel, now about one-fifth of the state, is abominable by any standard and remains a legitimate concern for all, especially those in the Middle East. The growing number of international condemnations of the deplorable Israeli invasion of the densely populated Gaza Strip is supported by the findings of various UN officials and human rights organizations which, like the Western media, were denied access to the besieged region during the merciless and indiscriminate Israeli air raids. Israel, for example, has so far refused to cooperate with a UN investigation into the alleged war crimes that its troops have committed there. Regardless of the Iranian president’s performance, it behooves the world community, particularly the Western powers, to rein in Israel, since its expansionist policies continue unabated. The continued Western silence is disgraceful, especially that...

I Am in Love with Clare
22 Apr 2009 - By Gilad Atzmon Heroic ex Cabinet Minister Clare Short was criticized today over the Parliament's invitation of Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to address MPs and Peers via a video-link up. Needless to say, Short's initiative is the right thing at the very right time. However, Israel’s response must be noted. It is either pathetic or amusing. I let the reader decide. Israel’s ambassador accused those behind the event of delivering a “slap in the face” to moderate Palestinians “seeking a peaceful solution”. One my note that “slap in the face” is the most the Palestinians can wish for as far as Israelis are concerned. Noticeably, Israel used the most devastating tactics to punish the Palestinians including starvation, WMDs, White Phosphorous and other methods. A “slap in the face”, is no doubt, a move in the right direction. Israel also accused former Labour Cabinet Minister Ms. Short of “undermining the Middle East peace process.” This is not a joke. The Israelis who just a month ago performed a merciless genocidal campaign in Gaza, dare criticize an attempt for an open dialogue as an assault on the “peace process.” Ambassador Ron Prosor said: “Hamas's charter states categorically that: 'There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad'.” I wonder, what is Prosor’s interpretation of the “Israeli solution” because as far as we can see, it is no less than an Old Testament murderous plundering of the Palestinians and their land. It would be interesting to hear what Ambassador Prosor’s interpretation...

Moral Bankruptcy of the Media: Slumdog for Sale?
22 Apr 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed – Dubai Danny Boyle couldn’t have come up with a more perfect cast and production to bring Vikas Swarup’s obscure novel to life in Slumdog Millionaire. The movie celebrating the rags-to-riches story of Mumbai’s poorest captured the global imagination, bringing its makers critical acclaim as well as the box office windfall. But the Slumdog saga is far from over. Rubina Ali, the 9-year old Muslim girl who was picked up from Mumbai’s slums to play a young Latika, the female lead in the movie, finds herself at the centre of an emotional drama that would make Bollywood proud. British tabloids’ infinite appetite for news that sells is legendary. From using arresting pictures of buxom babes in their birthday suits to peeping into royal bedrooms, the cutthroat tabloids stop at nothing. This past week, Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tried to ‘buy’ Slumdog star Rubina for £200,000 or Dh1.08 million by approaching her father Rafiq Qureshi as a “shaikh from Dubai.” Now, as a journalist I know this makes for a compelling read; what we in the media call a great ‘human interest’ story. And I am not surprised the News of the World went to town with the story splashing it across its front page with a banner headline: SLUMDOG STAR FOR SALE. Rubina’s father, however, insists he never offered to sell his daughter or give her away in adoption. He says the ‘shaikh from Dubai’ must have misunderstood him. And I believe him. Not...

Moving Beyond Two States
22 Apr 2009 - By Miko Peled United States envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, kicked off a visit to Israel restating the US commitment to the Road Map and the Two State Solution. However, both of these options have become irrelevant and it is time for the administration to seriously study the possibility of the two nations living together within a single democratic state. This is an option that moderate parties on both sides have discussed for decades, only to be silenced by more militant forces that see this as a zero sum game. The one state option speaks of a single secular democracy between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea within which Israelis and Palestinians would live as equal citizens. This would elevate the rights of Palestinians to those of Israelis it will finally allow the two nations to stop bleeding and begin building. It is an ambitious proposition that Israel and its supporters will surely resist at first. However, judging by the facts on the ground, this may well be the only option available for the two nations. In preparation for renewed US involvement in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, Israel's newly elected Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu announced his opposition to establishing a Palestinian state. Israel's newly appointed foreign minister went even further and announced that there will be no more peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Adopting a tactic clearly designed to give them room to negotiate, the two are positioning themselves as far to the right...

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