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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
5 June , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Labor Party in Israel could face another split
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli sources reported Friday that the Labor Party could be facing another split that would shrink it further, as some labor party leaders, described as rebels, decided to form a new party. 

Fact finding committee leaves Gaza, disappointed over Israel’s lack of cooperation
6 Jun 2009 - The 17 members of the UN fact-finding committee, probing the latest war on Gaza, left the coastal region on Friday after probing the devastating effects of Israel’s war. Committee head, Richard Goldstone, said that Israel’s lack of cooperation is disappointing but will not decrease the importance of the UN investigation. 

Settlers attack, wound a Palestinian young man in Jerusalem
6 Jun 2009 - A 20-year old Palestinian man from Jerusalem was wounded on Thursday at night after he was attacked by a group of extremist settlers. 

Al-Ma'sara Demonstration Commemorates the 42nd Year of al-Naksa
5 Jun 2009 - Today, the weekly popular protest at al-Ma'sara, a village near Bethlehem, was again met by armed Israeli soldiers. The Israeli Occupying Forces had blocked the exit road of the village with razor wire, denying the people their right to access their fields. 

Israeli army kills one, injures 4 during non-violent demonstration in Ni'lin
5 Jun 2009 - During the weekly non-violent demonstration against the wall in the village of Ni'lin, in the central West Bank the Israeli army killed a 36-year old Palestinian man and wounded a Palestinian boy, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Three others sustained moderate wounds. 

Israeli military attacks Bil'in weekly protest injuring five civilians
5 Jun 2009 - Five protesters were injured and dozens suffered from gas inhalation when Israeli troops attack the weekly protest in Bil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. 

World Bank: Aid to Palestinians doesn't spark economic growth due to Israeli restrictions
5 Jun 2009 - The massive aid that has been given to the West Bank and Gaza had little to no effect on economic development, as Israeli restrictions on trade and movement haven't eased and continue to hamper Palestinian growth, the World Bank states in a new report. 

Three Palestinian Unions welcome Obama’s speech
5 Jun 2009 - The Government Workers Union, the Health Workers Union and the Teachers Union issued a press release welcoming the Cairo speech of the US president, Barack Obama, especially his statements on the two-state solution, rejecting settlements, and calling for ending the Palestinian suffering. 

Haniyya: “Qalqilia incidents placed unity talks on a crossroad”
5 Jun 2009 - Prime Minster of the dissolved Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyya, stated that internal Palestinian unity talks mediated by Cairo are now on a crossroad due to the incidents in Qalqilia, in which two Hamas fighters were killed by Palestinian security forces. 

PCHR Weekly Report: 2 Palestinians killed, 4 civilians injured by Israeli forces this week
5 Jun 2009 - According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, during the week of 28 May- 03 June 2009, two Palestinians were killed – one by Israeli troops and one by an Israeli settler. 4 Palestinian civilians, including two children and a journalist were wounded by Israeli gunfire. Israeli forces conducted 24 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank. During those incursions, troops abducted 19 Palestinian civilians, and turned two homes into military sites. Israeli forces positioned at military checkpoints in the West Bank abducted three Palestinians. 

Al Qassam brigades calls on fighters to treat Abbas’ forces the same as Israeli troops
5 Jun 2009 - The Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, issued a statement on Thursday calling on all fighters in the West Bank to defend themselves against the security forces of president Mahmoud Abbas, the same way the fighters counter the Israeli occupation. 

Jews of color protest denial of resources to Mizrahi culture in Israel
5 Jun 2009 - Members of "Achoti" (my sister), a feminist organization representing jews of color (Mizrahim-Jews who emigrated from Arab countries) and members of the Democratic Mizrahi Rainbow, came to the Jerusalem Theater this week to demonstrate a convention about culture in Israel. The activists held signs that looked like bank checks with names of cultural institutions and the amount of money given to each. One check (in the picture below), addressed to "Mizrahi culture" had no money on it and the wording "void" was added. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IAEA: New traces of uranium found in Syria
5 Jun 2009 - UN nuclear watchdog also says Iran expanded uranium enrichment to nearly 5,000 centrifuges. 

Israeli forces kill Palestinian protester at Na'alin rally
5 Jun 2009 - IDF says victim approached Border Policeman who feared for his life, fired at victim's legs. 

Report: Far-rightists threaten top IDF general
4 Jun 2009 - Army Radio reports GOC Central Command received death threats over removal of West Bank outposts. 

Three dead as Palestinian police, Hamas clash in West Bank
4 Jun 2009 - Gunbattle ensues as Palestinian police raid hideout of Islamic group in West Bank city. 

Settlers set fire to Palestinian field in West Bank
3 Jun 2009 - IDF lifts West Bank roadblocks, razes rebuilt settler outpost; Settlers: We won't yield to security forces. 

IDF declares Nablus area a closed military zone to keep out left-wing activists
3 Jun 2009 - Human rights organization slams 'totalitarian' decision, says ban meant to cover-up illegal actions. 

'Shas won't let government dry out West Bank settlements'
2 Jun 2009 - Interior Minister to meet with settler leaders, who seek his help in revoking construction freeze. 

Al-Qaida No. 2 urges Egyptians to reject 'criminal' Obama
2 Jun 2009 - Terrorist accuses Obama of waging 'bloody campaign against Muslims' in Pakistan's Swat valley. 

Ma'an News

Two injured at anti-wall rally in West Bank village
6/5/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Popular Campaign Against the Wall, held a festival against settlements in the West Bank on Thursday. The participants carried banners that expressed rejection of the occupation and settlement. Some of them read, "Obama: Look at Palestine after 42 years of occupation, No to settlements, No to the Wall," in addition to 1,000 Palestinian flags carried by demonstrators. The festival began with a large rally from the center of Bil'in, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, heading to the construction site of the wall where dozens of meters festival activities began by with the Palestinian national anthem, which was followed by a number of speeches. Ismail Id’eeq, minister of agriculture, said, "The Palestinian government must continue supporting the steadfastness of the residents on their lands,. . . 

Palestinian shot dead by Israeli troops at West Bank protest
6/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A Palestinian demonstrator was killed and others injured after Israeli forces opened fire at an anti-wall rally in the West Bank village of Ni'lin on Friday. The slain Palestinian was identified as Yousef Aqel Sadiq Srour, 36, who was shot in the chest with live fire, according to medics at the scene. An Israeli military spokesperson initially denied that the soldiers used live fire, but later issued a statement justifying the man's death under the pretext that he "was a Hamas activist central to the weekly anti-separation fence protests," according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Meanwhile, at least three protesters were injured by Israeli fire in the Ramallah-area village, but it was not immediately clear if they had been shot with live fire, rubber-coated bullets or tear gas. However, witnesses said that the soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators. . . 

Israeli warships open fire at fishing boats off Gaza coast
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israel's navy fired on boats off the short of Gaza City on Friday morning, but no damage or injuries were immediately reported. Witnesses said the ships, which contribute to Israel's ongoing blockade of the besieged coastal strip, often open fire on vessels sailing near the coast, preventing a major source of income for Gaza's residents. [end] 

Settlers unveil new 'Obama' outpost in the West Bank
6/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli settlers established a new illegal West Bank outpost on Thursday, dedicating it partly to US President Barack Obama. The settlers, calling themselves the "Land of Israel Loyalists," named the outpost Oz Yehonatan, near Binyamin, but were calling part of it the "Obama Hut," according to the Israeli news agency Ynet. And according to a report from Israel's Arutz Sheva news agency, the outpost was named "in recognition of the president’s actions, which have led to a dramatic increase in the number of outposts being built throughout Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]. " Meanwhile on Thursday, Obama firmly rejected Israeli settlements built on seized Palestinian land in the West Bank. "The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. ""This construction violates previous agreements and undermines efforts to achieve peace. 

Israel releases mufti and PA minister of Jerusalem affairs
6/5/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli police released Hatem Abed Al-Qader, the Palestinian minister of Jerusalem affairs, along with a number of senior Palestinian officials who were detained for several hours on Friday near Jerusalem. Among the detained was Sheikh Mohammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories, as well as Demetri Deliani, a Fatah spokesperson. The men had been participating in anti-settlement activities and protests against land confiscation in As-Sawahira Ash-Shariqiya and Abu Dis. The two Palestinian areas are adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Qedar, near Ma'ale Adummim, both east of Jerusalem and built on Palestinian land. Abed Al-Qader told Ma'an's correspondent after being released that "these Israeli procedures will not stop us from continuing protests to defend the lands of the residents. 

UN fact-finding team departs Gaza via Egypt crossing
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Seventeen members of the team charged with leading the UN's fact-finding mission over alleged Israeli war crimes departed Gaza on Friday, according to a border spokesperson. A’del Zu’rub, spokesperson for the de facto government's crossings administration, confirmed that 14 left Gaza on Friday afternoon while three others left earlier in the morning. On Thursday night de facto Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh met with the head of a UN fact-finding mission, Justice Richard Goldstone, who is investigating alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. In the meeting, Haniyeh accused Israel of a number of attacks against Palestinians, the commercial siege and claims that Israelis are preventing Palestinians from "all life sources," in addition to shelling residential buildings, "killing mothers and children in cold blood" and using prohibited weapons, violating international law, and torturing Palestinian detainees. 

Soldiers seize Palestinian and his daughter in Hebron
6/5/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers detained a Palestinian man and his daughter for around two hours near the illegal Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba on Thursday. Local sources told Ma’an's correspondent that "while 50-year-old Abed Al-Karim Al-Ja’bari and his 22-year-old daughter Suhair were working on their land an Israeli military jeep loaded wth border guards came and detained them. " The Israeli settlers had previously erected a tent on Al-Ja'bari’s land, which was removed under orders from Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak. [end] 

Two Palestinians seized in Nablus-area village
6/5/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli troops detained two young men from Madama village south of Nablus after storming several houses on Friday at dawn. A member at the village council, Hassan Zyadeh, told Ma’an in Nablus that troops detained Bashir Zyadeh, 24, and Aktham Nassar, 22, after raiding their houses. [end] 

Report: Hamas says Shalit talks again underway
6/5/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The Hamas movement on Thursday confirmed that it is again participating in talks aimed at achieving a prisoner swap for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, according to the Jerusalem Post. The right-leaning Israeli newspaper quoted a Hamas official in the Gaza Strip saying that "a number of Hamas operatives" had been summoned by officials in Egypt in order to renew efforts toward reaching an agreement with Israel on a prisoner swap. Meanwhile, the same official refused to comment on a report from the Al-Hayat newspaper based in London that an official from the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, had been summoned for the talks. Al-Hayat also reported that Marwan Issa, a member of Al-Qassam, had traveled to Egypt for the talks in which Hamas has insisted Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for the soldier they captured in the summer of 2006 in a cross-border raid. 

Gaza: Kerem Shalom open on Friday for goods
6/5/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - Israel will open the Kerem Shalom crossing for the access of goods into the Gaza Strip on Friday, keeping the Karni and Nahal Oz crossings closed, according to an official. Crossings official Raed Fattuh told Ma’an that the Israeli side will allow the transfer of 55 to 63 truckloads of aid and goods for the commercial and agriculture sectors, among them three trucks loaded with cement needed for the water authority. Fattuh added that the Israeli side will keep the Nahal Oz and Karni closed. [end] 

Haniyeh meets with UN fact-finding mission head Goldstone
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – De facto Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Thursday night met with the head of a UN fact-finding mission investigating alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. The Hamas-affiliated leader met Justice Richard Goldstone, and the two discussed claims of Israeli aggression toward Gazans and allegations of war crimes in the latest assault on Gaza, in addition to the ongoing siege. Haniyeh accused Israel of a number of attacks against Palestinians, the commercial siege and claims that Israelis are preventing Palestinians from "all life sources," in addition to shelling residential buildings, "killing mothers and children in cold blood" and using prohibited weapons, violating international law, and torturing Palestinian detainees. The Hamas prime minister said the Israeli war on Gaza that began in late December 2008 was "humiliating to humanity itself and. . . " 

PA returns three Israelis who entered Jericho by mistake
6/5/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – An Israeli newspaper reported Friday that Palestinian Authority forces returned three Israelis who entered Jericho by mistake on Thursday night. The PA forces took the three Israelis temporarily into custody, before releasing them to Israeli troops in the area. The Israeli soldiers reportedly held the three for investigation, as it is illegal under Israeli law for the country's citizens to enter regions designated Area A, which includes the eastern West Bank city. [end] 

UN fact-finding team leaves Gaza Strip via Rafah
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A team charged with leading the UN's fact-finding mission over alleged Israeli war crimes departed Gaza on Friday, according to a border spokesperson. De facto government spokesperson Adel Zu’rob said on Friday morning that four members of the UN f team left Gaza through the Rafah crossing in the south. He added in an interview with Ma’an that the American CODEPINK group left the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, also through the Rafah border with Egypt. Meanwhile, 11 Palestinian patients returned to the Gaza Strip after finishing treatment at Egyptian hospitals, the crossings official added. [end] 

PA: Israel didn’t remove military checkpoints as claimed
6/5/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel's military did not in fact remove two military checkpointsnear the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Friday, Palestinians sources told Ma'an. Israel had claimed that it removed the Rimonim and Bir Zeit roadblocks located in the Binyamin region, near Ramallah. In a statement, Israel said the alleged removal of the checkpoints would serve as a gesture "which would significantly improve the daily life of Palestinian civilians in the Judea and Samaria [West Bank] region. " "The Rimonim roadblock, located east of Ramallah was completely removed yesterday, allowing free passage from the city to the Jordan Valley area. The Bir Zeit roadblock, located north of Ramallah, which was also removed yesterday, now allowing quick passage from the city to the villages to the north," the statement went on to say. 

Hamas protests killing of two affiliates in West Bank
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Hamas movement organized rallies in protest of the deaths of two of its affiliates in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Thursday. The protesters took to the streets from mosques in Gaza City, heading to an open field at the Strip's Palestinian Legislative Council building. The protestors carried banners with slogans against Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, amidst calls for revenge for the killing of the two Al-Qassam fighters. [end] 

Hamas: PA detained seven affiliates in the West Bank
6/5/2009 - Salfit - Ma’an - The Hamas movement on Thursday said Palestinian Authority security services detained seven affiliates in the West Bank in recent days. The group said in a statement, "The security services detained Sa’id Sabry and Amar Saman from Qalqiliya, Mokdad Abo-Jehesha from Hebron, Layth Al-Autely and Yousif Al-Malah from Tulkarem, Sabry Thokan from Nablus, and Al-Sheikh Mahmoud Sawlhafrom the town of Kafr Ra’y near Jenin. " The PA, which strenuously denies that it arrests people for political reasons, has not commented on this report. The claims come a day after three people were killed in a shootout between Hamas gunmen and PA officers who attempted to arrest them in the city of Qalqiliya. 

Fatah leader praises slain officer, threatens Hamas
6/5/2009 - Nablus - Ma’an - During the funeralfor Palestinian Authority police officer Riad Zein Al-Deen, who was killed in Qalqiliya on Thursday, Nablus Fatah leader Haytham Al-Halabi affirmed the movement's pride for "the martyr. " A daylong standoff between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas gunmen ended with three people dead in the West Bank city of Qalqiliya on Thursday, two of them affiliated with Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades. Al-Halabi promised the slain officer that he and all Fatah members would be "loyal to his and all martyrs’ blood" and that Fatah "won’t deviate from its goal to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. " Al-Halabi sent his first message to Fatah affiliates as he urged them to show discipline and to let the law take its course, rather than seeking justice for the death of the police officer by a grenade thrown from Hamas gunmen in the northern West Bank city on Thursday. 

Fatah: Hamas preparing for West Bank coup attempt
6/5/2009 - Ramallah - Ma’an - Fatah spokesperson Fahmi Al-Zareer described what happened in Qalqiliya on Thursday as the beginning for a coup in the West Bank, comparing it to the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007. A daylong standoff between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas gunmen ended with three people dead on Thursday, including two Hamas gunmen and a police officer. Al-Zareer called on all Fatah affiliates to be cautious and vigilant in light of what he called "Hamas' plans and plots. ""The Hamas movement, which uses weapons against the Palestinian National Authority, is taking us toward ground zero. . . We have to prepare for a coup in the West Bank," he said. "Hamas has committed countless crimes of murder mutilation against the Fatah security services in Gaza. We reject all these crimes and we will resist them within the law since the alternative option is chaos, which Hamas seeks," he said at a news conference in Ramallah on Friday. 

Fatah official denies reports Abbas ordered dialogue to fail
6/5/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Senior Fatah official Ibrahim Abu An-Naja denied media reports on Friday suggesting that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas might have intentionally thwarted unity talks with the rival Hamas movement. An-Naja, Fatah's representative to the conciliation committee in Cairo, said the statements, which were published in the London-based Al-Hayat and quoted a Hamas official, are baseless. Concerning demands for an internal conciliation committee to begin its work immediately, Abu An-Naja said that "the Fatah movement agreed on this proposal from the start," adding that "it's Hamas that determined that this will be a one-time package. " He added in statement sent to Ma’an that "the conciliation committee was asked to meet in Gaza last week," but that "all of the representatives of the factions attended - except for Hamas. 

The National

Christians could be kingmakers
5 Jun 2009 - With the Muslim vote largely predictable in Lebanon's elections, most of the attention is focusing on the Christian vote.

Preparing to put pressure on' 
4 Jun 2009 - Palestinians are pleased with support for statehood while an Israeli observer sees Obama's speech as a signal to get tough on settlements.

Buying votes just a part of the price of democracy
4 Jun 2009 - Those tasked with ensuring Sunday's elections in Lebanon are fair are fighting against a tradition of dirty tactics.

Lebanon dismisses fears of outside influence in electoral result
3 Jun 2009 - Sunday's election in Lebanon will be fairly democratic and free from undue Syrian interference, according to Rami Mortada, a senior Lebanese official in Damascus.


Israel welcomes Obama speech
4 Jun 2009 - But government ignores US president's call to stop settlement expansion.

IAEA reports on Iran and Syria
5 Jun 2009 - UN nuclear watchdog says Iran has increased its production of enriched uranium.

West Bank raid sparks deadly clash
4 Jun 2009 - Policeman killed in clash sparked by police raid on suspected Hamas hideout.

Iran rivals spar in live debate
3 Jun 2009 - Presidential candidates trade insults in televised broadcast.

Israel steps up defence drill
2 Jun 2009 - Population heads to air-raid shelters as nation practices "doomsday" scenario.


OPT: Sewage warning to swimmers, fishermen
GAZA CITY Friday, June 05, 2009 (IRIN) - The World Health Organization (WHO) in the Gaza Strip, in conjunction with the Gaza health ministry, began a public awareness campaign this week to warn swimmers and fishermen of raw sewage discharges, and the potential dangers.

OPT: Gaza building project experiments with clay, rubble 
GAZA CITY Thursday, June 04, 2009 (IRIN) - In the face of the ongoing Israeli ban on imports of building materials Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are looking at new building methods, and one project is using clay and rubble. 

Inter Press Service

EGYPT: 'Obama Talks Democracy, Endorses Dictatorship' 
CAIRO, Jun 5 (IPS) - Egyptian officials are lining up to praise U.S. President Barack Obama's address to the Islamic world delivered in Cairo Thursday. But local campaigners for political reform say the speech was disappointingly light on the issues of democracy and human rights.

MIDEAST: Lebanese Polls Closely Watched by U.S. and Region 
WASHINGTON, Jun 5 (IPS) - After emerging from a political crisis last year, the Lebanese people will head to the polls Jun. 7 to determine the composition of the new parliament. A variety of foreign powers, including the U.S., will be watching closely, waiting for the electoral results before they...

US-MIDEAST: Hamas Leader to Obama: Deeds, Not Words 
DAMASCUS, Jun 5 (IPS) - The head of Hamas’s political bureau, Khaled Meshaal, gave a qualified welcome here Thursday to the big speech that Pres. Barack Obama addressed to the Muslim world in Cairo.

MIDEAST: 'Lay Down Your Pain, Lay Down Your Arms' 
JERUSALEM, Jun 5 (IPS) - U.S. President Barack Obama drew widespread, if in some quarters, guarded praise from around the region as he labelled the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, Israelis and the Arab world the No. 2 issue (behind the extremism of a minority of Muslims) that needs addressing...

Stop The Wall

Another killed in Ni'lin
5 Jun 2009 - Occupation forces shot and killed Yousef Sadiq Srour during a demonstration against the Wall this afternoon in Ni'lin. He was shot in the chest with a live bullet while he was trying to remove an injured person from the front lines of the demonstration. Soldiers attacked Ni'lin in the morning, shooting at villagers who were in the midst of praying with tear gas and live ammunition. Four other people were shot with live bullets today; three were hit in the leg and the fourth in the kidney. [

April in Jerusalem
1 Jun 2009 - In the month of March, four homes were demolished in Jerusalem, displacing four families totaling 26 people. The residents of Jabl al-Mukabr, for instance, saw one house destroyed in the neighborhood as well as the issuing of several new demolition orders. Settlement work also continued in Jabl al-Mukabr, where Occupation forces are creating a new settlement in the heart of the community. To the east of Jerusalem, 12,000 dunums were confiscated to further tie major settlement blocs together. [

PCHR Latest

PCHR Condemns Arrests of Hamas' Members and Supporters in the West Bank; Director of the Office of PLC Members from the Change and Reform Bloc Continues to be Detained

PCHR Welcomes Arrival of Human Rights Council Mandated Independent Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza

PCHR Weekly Report

(28 May- 03 June  2008)

International Solidarity Movement

Israeli forces kill Palestinian demonstrator in Ni’lin
International Solidarity Movement - Friday, 5 June 2009 at 2:50pm: Israeli forces have killed a demonstrator in the West Bank village of Ni'lin. The Israeli army shot Yousef Akil Srour, aged 36 years in the chest with 0. 22 caliber live ammunition. He was dead upon arrival to Ramallah Hospital. Yousef Akil Srour is the 5th Palestinian to be killed by the Israeli army in Ni'lin during a demonstration against the theft of his land for the construction of the Annexation Wall. Israeli forces shot Mohammad Mouslah Mousa, aged 15 years, in the lower chest shortly after shooting Srour. He was taken to Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah. Additionally, the army shot another 3 demonstrators today with 0. 22 caliber live ammunition; one in the leg, one in the side and one in the shoulder. As of Friday, 5 June 2009, Israeli forces have shot 35 people with live ammunition during demonstrations in the village of Ni'lin. 

Infant dies as Israel prevents him from leaving Gaza Strip to undergo medical treatment in East Jerusalem
International Solidarity Movement - Al Mezan - 5 June 2009 - Al Mezan Calls for Immediate Lifting of the Siege on Gaza - At around 7. 30am on 3 June 2009, seven-month-old Zein Ad-Din Mohammed Zu'rob died in the intensive care unit at European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis. Medical sources at the hospital reported to Al Mezan that he died as a result of respiratory system and heart failure. According to Al Mezan investigations, Zein's family obtained a medical referral for him to undergo medical treatment at Al-Maqasid Charity Hospital in East Jerusalem for 30 days starting from 18 May 2009. On 20 May 2009, Zein's family went to Al Mezan's office in Rafah where they authorized Al Mezan to pursue the case and assist with efforts to secure a permit for the child and his family to travel to Jerusalem. 

Israeli piracy continues unabated - six more fishermen abducted
International Solidarity Movement - Fishing Under Fire - 4 June 2009 - Gazan territorial waters - At around 9 am, six Palestinian fishermen were abducted by the Israeli Navy whilst fishing in Palestinian territorial waters. The fishermen are reported as being; Adham Al - Habil 21, Mohammed Al - Habil 20, Ahmed Al - Habil, Maher Abu Sultan 25, Mohammed Al - Arayshi, and Sadam Bakar. The fishermen embarked from Gaza port at 8 am, in a trawling vessel owned by Abu Adham. At around 9 am when they were 3 miles from shore, and 0. 5 km south of the "K" area (a designated no-fishing area in the Oslo Accords), they reported that an Israeli gun boat had approached, fired at them, and demanded that they turn of the boats engine. Communication with the fishermen was then lost. It is believed that all of the fishermen have been abducted, and that their boat has been seized. 

Palestinian teen injured in Bil’in rally
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - 4 June 2009 - A 13-year-old boy suffered a rubber-bullet head injury Thursday, during an anti-security fence rally in the Palestinian village of Bil'in, located near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The boy was rushed to the Ramallah hospital in moderate condition and is said to be undergoing surgery. Anti-security fence demonstrations are a near-weekly occurrence in Bil'in, usually taking place on Friday. This week's rally, however, was moved up because of US President Barack Obama's Cairo speech. Hundreds of Palestinians and peace activists gathered in the Palestinian villages and demanded Obama make Israel end the occupation, disassemble settlements and take down the security fence. Soon after the demonstration began, Palestinian protestors clashed with IDF Border Guard forces. The forces used crowd control measures - tear gas, stun grandees and rubber-coated bullets. 

The military attack Bil’in weekly protest injuring five civilians
International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee - 5 June 2009 - Five protesters were injured and dozens surfed from Gaza inhalation when Israeli troops attack the weekly protest in Bil'in village near the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday. Residents of Bil'in and their international and Israelis supporters marched from the village center after the Friday midday prayers. They were joined by scores of Fatah movement members from the Ramallah district. The protesters demanded the halt of the Israeli illegal settlements and the construction of the wall; they also held Palestinian and banners demanding US president Obama to translate his words into actions. Ra'ed Radwan secretary general of Fatah movement in the Ramallah district said that Fatah movement will continue to resist the Israeli wall and settlements. 

Palestinian protester killed during Na’alin rally
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz - 5 June 2009 - Palestinian officials reported on Friday that a Palestinians demonstrator had been killed during the weekly anti-separation fence rally near the West Bank town of Na'alin. Palestinian medical officials said 36-year-old Yusuf Srour had been killed by Israeli forces. Medics said Srour was hit in the chest by a live bullet and another protester was wounded when soldiers fired at protesters. Srour died minutes later, Mohammed Shahwan, a doctor on the ambulance called to the scene, told Reuters. An Israeli military spokesman said troops had opened fire when protesters threw stones at them in the village, but denied that the troops had used live ammunition. However, an IDF spokesman said, an investigation has been launched into the incident. Na'alin is the scene of weekly protests against the continuing construction of an Israeli barrier that has cut through the village. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

EU seeks to increase pressure on Israel for settlement freeze 
5 Jun 2009 - The European Union is considering using its trade clout to bolster U.S. pressure for an Israeli freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank, diplomats said on Friday. ...

Obama postpones U.S. embassy move from T.A. to Jerusalem
5 Jun 2009 - United States President Barack Obama on Friday postponed moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by an additional six months, Israel Radio reported. ...

Clinton: No proof Bush administration approved settlement growth 
5 Jun 2009 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dismissed on Friday reports that Israel and the Bush administration had an understanding under which Israel could keep expanding settlements on the West Bank. ...

Obama: Buchenwald is the ultimate rebuke to Holocaust deniers
5 Jun 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday at the Buchenwald concentration camp that the facility "is the ultimate rebuke" to those who deny the Holocaust. ...

Bosnia Jew seeks to reverse ban on running for president
4 Jun 2009 - A Bosnian Jew and an ethnic Roma have appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to overturn laws that prevent them from running for president. ...

The Guardian

Michael Tomasky: Why the settlements?
5 Jun 2009 - I've been thinking about why Obama has fastened onto the settlements issue vis a vis Israel as opposed to some other thing -- right of return, the violence in Gaza, what have you. I suspect the...

Obama in Cairo: Is Obama's change simply cosmetic? | Khaled Diab
5 Jun 2009 - Obama may gain some trust, but America's deceptive belief that it is not an empire condemns its leader to repeating old mistakes Obama's masterful Cairo speech is an eloquent sign that Washington is under new management,...

Obama in Cairo: Obama did not forget Israel | Petra Marquardt-Bigman
5 Jun 2009 - Even hawkish Israelis could agree that Obama's Cairo address to the Muslim world offered a 'vision of a better world' Anyone in Israel who is unhappy with Barack Obama's speech in Cairo will have a hard...

Obama in Germany speaks of Middle East confidence
5 Jun 2009 - • US president uses visit to build on Cairo speech • Talks with Angela Merkel focus on global recession Barack Obama today signalled the start of a new push for peace in the Middle East following...

Ha'aretz National page

Beit She'an man suspected of killing wife in front of their kids
4 Jun 2009 - A Beit She'an man was arrested early Friday on suspicion of stabbing his wife to death, in front of their children. ...

Galilee communities: We're not racist, we just don't want Arabs 
4 Jun 2009 - Residents of the Misgav bloc of communities in the Galilee consider themselves to be liberal, peace-loving people who support coexistence with their Arab neighbors and even root for Bnei Sakhnin, the soccer club based in a nearby Arab town considered a prominent symbol of that community. Which is why they were shocked this week when proposals raised at local council meetings to accept only applicants who shared their Zionist principles drew negative headlines and criticism for alleged racism. ... 

Olmert's prostate surgery in New York deemed a success 
3 Jun 2009 - Former prime minister Ehud Olmert underwent surgery in the United States yesterday to remove a cancerous growth from his prostate. ...

TV personality Dudu Topaz attempts suicide in prison 
3 Jun 2009 - Television personality Dudu Topaz attempted to commit suicide in his Abu Kabir detention facility cell overnight by injecting himself with insulin, an Israel Prison Service spokesperson said early Thursday. ...

Are teachers introducing Nakba to students against state's wishes?
3 Jun 2009 - An educational kit on the Nakba [catastrophe] - the Palestinian term for what happened to them after 1948 - is being disseminated among teachers throughout the country. It was developed by Zochrot, a non-government organization, and is meant to serve the Jewish educational system for pupils aged 15 and above, and includes history plus literary and personal views on the Nakba, as well as discussion of the ways the issue has been sidelined in public discourse. ... 

Relief Web

UN Asian and Pacific Meeting on Question of Palestine to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, 8-9 June
5 Jun 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Sewage warning to swimmers, fishermen
5 Jun 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

OPT: UN Gaza probe to hold hearings locally and in Geneva 
5 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 27 May - 02 Jun 2009
5 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

President Obama's remarks at Cairo University, Egypt - Seeks a new beginning between U.S., Muslims based on mutual respect
5 Jun 2009 - Source: Government of the United States of America

Obama Mid-East speech supports rights, democracy
5 Jun 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

Three killed in Palestinian gunbattle 
5 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Assistance to the Palestinian people: Report of the Secretary-General (A/64/78–E/2009/66)
4 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Economic and Social Council, UN General Assembly

YNet News

PA source: Obama to put pressure on Israel
5 Jun 2009 - (Video) Senior Palestinian official tells Ynet that US president plans to impose track towards two-state solution by the end of 2009

More undeclared uranium discovered in Syria
5 Jun 2009 - International Atomic Energy Agency finds traces of processed uranium at second site in Syria, leading to fears of covert nuclear activity

Mitchell to visit Middle East, may go to Syria 
5 Jun 2009 - US special envoy first to met Palestinian aid donors in Oslo before heading to meet Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Egyptian leaders

IDF: Man killed in Naalin was Hamas operative
5 Jun 2009 - Ongoing security investigation into death of Palestinian anti-fence protester reveals he was known to security forces

Palestinian protestor reportedly killed in West Bank
5 Jun 2009 - Demonstrators say Israeli security forces fire tear gas grenades before weeky Naalin demonstration even begins, try to enter house without seizure order

Iranian cleric: US must change policies towards Iran
5 Jun 2009 - Senior ayatollah says first step of new phase between Obama and Muslims must change in policy towards Israel

Obama: Ahmadinejad should visit Buchenwald
5 Jun 2009 - (Video) Survivor Elie Wiesel, accompanying president, appeals to US leader to 'bring peace and security to Israel'

Lieberman seeking to ally with Russia
5 Jun 2009 - Foreign ministry states overt agenda to expand, deepen ties with Kremlin but insists alliance not intended to offset Israel's existing relationship with US, despite recent tensions with Obama administration


Testimony: Sixty laborers detained in refrigerator compartment
25 May 2009 - On 9 May, more than sixty Palestinians, in an attempt to enter Israel without a work permit, squeezed into a truck's refrigerator compartment. One of them related to B'Tselem that police stopped the truck, found the workers, and then made them remain insi

Daily Star

US hopes Iran's elections will help break ice 
5 Jun 2009 - Whatever the outcome of Iran's June 12 presidential election, the Obama administration hopes Tehran will then end months of stalling and respond to Washington's overtures for better relations. Whether the winner is firebrand anti-American incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or his more moderate key rival.

IAEA: Uranium found at second site in Syria 
5 Jun 2009 - The UN nuclear watchdog has discovered traces of processed uranium at a second site in Syria, the agency said on Friday, heightening concern about possible undeclared atomic activity in the Arab state. The International Atomic Energy Agency has been examining US intelligence reports that Syria had almost built a North Korean-designed nuclear.

Obama hopeful of Middle East peace progress this year 
5 Jun 2009 - US President Barack Obama expressed hope on Friday of making serious progress in Middle East peacemaking this year and said Israelis and Palestinians had to "get serious" and make tough compromises. On a visit to Germany, Obama repeated his call for Israel to halt settlement expansion in the West Bank.

Iran's Rafsanjani to file suit against Ahmadinejad 
5 Jun 2009 - The family of Iran's ex-president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani will file a legal case against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for remarks about members of the family during a television debate, Rafsanjani's brother told the Mehr news agency on Friday. The legal complaint will be filed by the Rafsanjanis after the June 12 presidential election, Mohammad Hashemi said.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian at West Bank barrier protest 
5 Jun 2009 - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man on Friday in a confrontation with stone-throwing protesters in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian hospital officials said. Medics said Aqel Srour, 35, was hit in the chest by a live bullet and another protester was wounded when soldiers fired at protesters in Nilin, a village near the city of Ramallah.

Israel razes Palestinian encampment in West Bank 
5 Jun 2009 - Israeli troops tore down shacks, tents and greenhouses belonging to 19 Palestinian families in a West Bank encampment Thursday, displacing dozens of people, Palestinian officials said. An Israeli official said troops took down 16 tents pitched in a military training zone, and that residents were ordered to leave for their own safety.

Obama's Islamic homage wins praise from Muslims 
5 Jun 2009 - The tone of respect was set from the opening lines of President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world. "Assalamu Aleikum" - Arabic for "peace be upon you" - he said, triggering applause from the crowd at Cairo University and bringing nods of approval in places like a coffee shop in the Occupied West Bank town of Ramallah. 

Palestinian Information Center

The 1967-war revisited (Part 1)
5 Jun 2009 - Even before 1967, the Israeli army had been carrying out routine incursions into the West Bank, destroying poor people’s homes and killing innocent civilians..

IOF troops kill Palestinian anti-wall demonstrator injure many others
5 Jun 2009 - IOF troops on Friday killed a Palestinian man at Nilin and wounded five others at Bilin during the weekly anti-wall demonstration at these two villages near Ramallah.

Haneyya: Palestinian dialogue at road junction; urges Egypt to intervene
5 Jun 2009 - Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haneyya said on Thursday that the Palestinian dialogue was at a cross-roads and could be jeopardized by the unpatriotic practices of the security forces.

Palestinians factions say: perpetrators of Qalqilia massacre must be prosecuted
5 Jun 2009 - Five Palestinian resistance factions have held Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas, and his "illegitimate" Prime Minister Salam Fayyadh fully responsible for the two massacres in Qalqilia..

Raja urges PLO factions to lift political cover off Abbas's gangs
5 Jun 2009 - Anwar Raja, the prominent political figure in the PFLP-GC, said on Thursday that the events in Qalqilia city should propel the PLO factions to lift the political cover off the "tyrant" group..

Bahar: Abbas-Fayyadh authority is an Israeli tool against Palestinian resistance
5 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian legislature has warned the Abbas's security forces in the West Bank not to direct their guns to the Palestinian resistance fighters..

Resheq: Obama's speech biased to Zionist entity in essence
5 Jun 2009 - Ezzat al-Resheq, member of the political bureau of Hamas, said that although Obama's speech to the Muslim world was soft-toned towards his movement it was biased in favour the Zionist entity.

Israeli occupation praise Abbas's security men for killing resistance fighters
5 Jun 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority has expressed extreme satisfaction at the success of Abbas's security men in assassinating Qassam resistance fighters wanted by the IOF for a number of years.

Palestinian psychologists: 98% of Gaza children lost security due to war on Gaza
5 Jun 2009 - Palestinian psychologists have warned Wednesday that 98% of the Palestinian children in Gaza Strip were suffering of psychological traumas, and feel unsafe due to the brutal Israeli war on Gaza.

Gov't committee against siege invites Obama to visit Gaza
5 Jun 2009 - The government committee against the siege on Thursday invited US president Barack Obama to visit Gaza Strip to see for himself the amount of suffering of one and a half million besieged Palestinians.

Los Angeles Times

Lebanon gears up for general elections 
6 Jun 2009 - Expatriate Lebanese and observers are flooding into the nation for Sunday's vote. A victory by a coalition led by the militant group Hezbollah could have international ramifications. Along narrow streets and terraced mountain roads, tens of thousands of Lebanese troops have spread out. At Beirut's airport, Lebanese who live abroad continue to flood in, eager to vote in Sunday's general elections. 

Obama speech gets mixed reactions in West Bank 
5 Jun 2009 - In one Palestinian family, a father hears words of hope but a teen sees trickery. Jewish settlers fear an infringement of Israeli sovereignty. Abdul Saafan, his wife and 51 children and grandchildren live on a fault line of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, squeezed into two modest homes smack up against a Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron. Six months ago an enraged settler wounded Abdul Saafan and his son Hosni, who were unarmed, in a shooting near their home. 

An Iranian family is impressed, but words on women's rights divide them 
4 Jun 2009 - Minutes before President Obama was to speak, Tehran English teacher Hengameh Khamoushi was on the phone with her husband, beseeching him to come home to watch it on television. 

New York Times

News Analysis: Obama Placing Mideast Hopes on Containing Settlements
5 Jun 2009 - The Obama administration has selected Israeli settlement building in occupied lands as the issue that could begin to untie the Gordian knot of the conflict. 

In Lebanon Vote, Stark Options, Complex Choices
5 Jun 2009 - Christians are divided between a Hezbollah partner and a pro-American alliance in the parliamentary election. 

World Briefing | Middle East: West Bank: 3 Die in Clash Between Hamas and Police
5 Jun 2009 - Two Hamas militants and a Palestinian Authority policeman were killed Thursday in a shootout in the West Bank city of Qalqilya. 


Electronic Intifada
Gaza building project experiments with clay and rubble
5 Jun 2009 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IRIN) - In the face of the ongoing Israeli ban on imports of building materials Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are looking at new building methods, and one project is using clay and rubble. Local Palestinian non-governmental organization Mercy Association for Children began building a school for handicapped children in Gaza City on 24 May to test a recently developed method using clay blocks, salt and rubble. 

Obama in Cairo: A Bush in sheep's clothing?
5 Jun 2009 - Once you strip away the mujamalat -- the courtesies exchanged between guest and host -- the substance of President Obama's speech in Cairo indicates there is likely to be little real change in US policy. It is not necessary to divine Obama's intentions -- he may be utterly sincere and I believe he is. It is his analysis and prescriptions that in most regards maintain flawed American policies intact. EI's Ali Abunimah comments. 

Despite Israel's efforts, Palestinian festival celebrates literature
4 Jun 2009 - For many Palestinians, the month of May is associated with the commemoration of the Nakba. But with the increasing popularity of the arts in Palestine, the second annual Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) harmoniously unfolded to the final days of spring, a time also for lavender and lilies. The Electronic Intifada contributor Sousan Hammad reports on PalFest, and how it was shut down by Israeli authorities in Jerusalem. 

Palestinian farmers use permaculture to challenge occupation
4 Jun 2009 - A groundbreaking permaculture project in the West Bank is under threat -- for the second time. Sarah Irving finds out how an alternative agriculture movement is trying to find solutions to some of the problems caused by Israeli military occupation and colonization. 

In Gaza
Nicer times 4
5 Jun 2009 - I try to remain open to the beauty of Palestinian life in Gaza. It’s hard, when most encounters vocally or visibly tell of suffering, suffocation, dreams lost.  The other day, stopping in a shop to buy phone card refill, the shop owner told me dogs have more rights and live better than Palestinians. So when I come across the joys of life celebrated, I grasp and share, try to convey that amazing unextinguishable Palestinian spirit of life, defiance, resistance, love… * sunset from the bottom floor balcony of the Commodore hotel, where we’d gone for a meeting with the latest Codepink delegation. As I appreciated the sunset, the music from the...

Palestine Chronicle
Obama's Historic Speech – A Post-Mortem
5 Jun 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck President Barack Obama's much anticipated speech in Cairo was truly astounding. After all the months of lead-up and hype, few could have imagined that this speech would contain nothing of substance. Surely Obama would feel the need to announce some new initiative on at least one of the major matters of concern to the Muslim world. Perhaps a decision to develop a fully fleshed-out plan for a two-state solution, unilaterally or with the Quartet and/or the Organization of the Islamic Conference (King Abdallah of Jordan's "57 Muslim countries" willing to make peace with Israel), dealing with all the difficult issues, and to present it to Israelis and Palestinians as the last best chance for peace based on partition and the acceptance of Israel by the Muslim world. Or perhaps an international conference involving all concerned regional parties to seek solutions to the interlinked problems involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and/or Iran. Surely he had to have some hopeful surprise up his sleeve. Wrong. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There were, of course, many eloquent mood-music paragraphs and a smattering of quotes from the Holy Quran (as well as the Bible and the Talmud). Obama obviously believes that America's unchanged objectives with respect to the Muslim world are more likely to be pursued successfully by being polite and complimentary than by being rude and intentionally insulting. But the mood-music paragraphs dealt with atmospherics or the past. When it came to the present and the future and to concrete matters of...

Political Options for Jerusalem's Future
5 Jun 2009 - By Dan Lieberman – Jerusalem Israel's latest strategy for complicating the peace process is to delay discussions of Jerusalem's future. Steering debate to other agendas enables Israel to establish more "facts on Jerusalem ground," which consists of annexing lands, constructing bypass roads and housing and preparing for the decisive moment that will allow expansion of the Maale Adumim settlement and the development of the E1 corridor. From a Palestinian perspective, the extensive E1 corridor will join settlements in a ring that separates East Jerusalem from the West Bank. This corridor will divide the northern and southern West Bank and will impede direct transit between Palestine Bethlehem, which is south of E1 and Palestine Ramallah, which is north of E1. Construction of the E1 corridor, portions of which are owned by Palestinians, could prevent the formation of a viable Palestinian state. The serious aspect of the Israeli maneuver has not gone unnoticed by the Jerusalem activists who support a peace process that has legs and will arrive at a destination. A panel of Jerusalemites expressed their convictions in a meeting organized by the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information ( at the Ambassador hotel in East Jerusalem on May 20, 2009. Dr. Gershon Baskin, CEO and founder of the IPCRI, chaired the meeting. Meron Benvenisti, well known iconoclastic political commentator and a former deputy mayor of Jerusalem, Rami Nasrallah, Director of the International Peace and Cooperation Center, and Sarah Kreimer, Associate Director of Ir Amim, constituted the panel. The incendiary content...

A Dialogue for Reconciliation
5 Jun 2009 - By Deepak Tripathi The upheaval in America’s relations with the Muslim world after 9/11, as well as its content and language, make the eagerly-awaited address by President Obama in Cairo on June 4 an event of great significance. Speculation in recent weeks had focused on how different Obama’s message would be from that of his predecessor, George W Bush. That it would be different was not in doubt. Obama had spoken of the unclenched fist meeting the extended hand soon after his inauguration as president. Recent speculation had centered on the vision and its detail. Those expecting were not disappointed. The reaction fills the spectrum of opinion. A revolutionary speech has several essential qualities. It must address major problems of the day and generate widespread interest. It must inspire hope and be a pointer to long-term solutions. A revolutionary speech touches the lives of ordinary people, effortlessly overcomes ethnic, racial, religious divides. Its call is for fairness and justice. It must be without extreme language. The time and the place have to be right. Obama’s address in Cairo addressed two of the biggest problems of our time. One, the Israeli-Arab dispute, at the heart of which is Israel’s festering conflict with the Palestinians. The other, the estrangement of Muslims that has grown to frightening proportions in recent years, no less due to the ‘clash of civilizations’ theory that had found abode in the Bush White House. These two problems, one caused by a historic injustice, the other of George W...

Resistance - Book Review
5 Jun 2009 - By Ludwig Watzal - Bonn Alastair Crooke, Resistance. The Essence of the Islamist Revolution, Pluto Press, London 2009. With the failure of the 'war on terror' and the mess into which the Bush administration has led the United States, it is time for the new President Barack Hussein Obama to revise US policy from scratch. All the decisions which Obama has taken regarding Guantanamo (not to speak of Bagram), torture, extraordinary renditions, secret prisons, and random surveillance of emails and telephones, have been half-hearted. Obama does not talk constantly about the war on terror anymore, he just keeps on waging it. The new President appears increasingly as a Bush-light version: plenty of rhetoric but hardly any change. “Looking forward” should not be Obama’s sole concern but also “looking back” to assess the damage the Bush-warriors have done to the heart and soul of the United States and to bring the instigators to justice starting from the man in charge, downward. In the ongoing debate on torture Obama has already lost out to former Vice-President Dick Cheney, the person primarily responsible for the whole malaise and the Kafkaesque situation in the country. Just as important as restoring the rule of law to America and repairing the ruined reputation of his country, is the normalization with the Islamic world. Widespread anti-Muslim obsessions, not only among the ruling elite and the media, but also within the American population, must be repudiated and stigmatized as racist. In his Cairo speech he has pledged to...

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