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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
6 June , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

N'ilin: farewell to the fifth victim of Israel's army in less than one year
6 Jun 2009 - Villagers of the West Bank village of N'ilin and the neighbouring villages and other local and international supporters took to the streets on Saturday for the funeral of Akel Srour, 36 who was killed by Israeli military's gunfire in the village on Friday, during a nonviolent demonstration against the construction of the wall on the village's land. 

Soldiers, settlers, attack peace activists near Hebron
7 Jun 2009 - The Maan News Agency reported Saturday that Israeli soldiers and settlers attacked dozens of International, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists who were protesting against the settlers of Susia illegal settlement outpost, in the southern West Bank city of Hebron. 

PCHR prepares 936 lawsuits against Israel for war crimes in Gaza
7 Jun 2009 - The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based in Gaza, stated that Palestinian lawyers have prepared 936 lawsuits against the Israeli army for committing war crimes against the Palestinians during the Israeli war on Gaza. 

Gaza Man killed by ordnance while working in his land
7 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Saturday afternoon that a Palestinian man was killed and another was injured when an ordnance detonated near them while working in their land in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. 

Child dies of wounds sustained during Israel war on Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Palestinian medical sources in the Gaza Strip reported Saturday that a Palestinian child died of wounds suffered during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in which more than 1600 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed and thousands were wounded. 

Israeli settlers dedicate new outpost to Obama
6 Jun 2009 - In response to US President Barack Obama's plea to Israel to freeze new settlement construction, extremist Israeli settlers report that they have dramatically increased the number of settlement outposts in the West Bank over the last week, even going so far as dedicating one of the outposts “the Obama hut”. 

Obama postpones moving the US embassy to Jerusalem
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli sources reported that the US president, Barack Obama, decided on Friday to postpone moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for additional six months. 

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. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Report: Palestinians plan to file 936 lawsuits over over Gaza 'war crimes'
6 Jun 2009 - Cases include alleged IDF shootings of Gaza children at close range, Der Spiegel reports. 

With Israel in mind, Iran starts making new anti-aircraft missile
6 Jun 2009 - Tehran's defense minister says 'Shahin' surface-to-air missile has range of more than 40 kilometers. 

Fatah: Hamas carrying out mass arrests of our men in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Hamas doesn't confirm arrests, but says some Fatah men detained as suspected informers for Israel 

Palestinian killed in apparent accidental blast in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Man killed after picking up what was either a Qassam rocket or unexploded IAF ordinance. 

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. 

Ma'an News

New operation room in Nablus to monitor settler assaults
6/6/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – An operation room comprising international and local organizations has been established in the Nablus district in the northern West Bank to follow up with Israeli settler assaults on the Palestinians and their property. According to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring settlement activity in the northern West Bank, “The decision to establish an operation room came after a meeting at Jit village, west of Nablus, attended by international and Israeli human rights organizations. Those present discussed the recent settler assaults against the area, where vast areas of agricultural lands were torched. ”The operation room, according to Daghlas, comprises members of human rights organizations and activists who will monitor and record settlers’ violations of human rights, as well as watch military checkpoints. 

Israel demands enormous fees from families in Jerusalem
6/6/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – More than 90 Palestinian families from Jerusalem appealed for financial support to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Hatim Abdul-Qadir. The families are each being told they must pay between 20,000-200,000 Israeli shekels (5,000-50,000 US dollars) to the Israeli municipal council of Jerusalem in taxes and fines for a road built in 1998. The poor and working class families say they have no way to pay the fines, and have been threatened with court actions and jail time if they do not comply. The families appealed to for financial aid, or legal assistance. [end] 

Gaza boy injured in Israeli shelling succumbs to wounds
6/6/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – An 11-year-old Palestinian boy succumbed to wounds he sustained during an Israeli shelling of his family's home in the northern Gaza Strip on 5 January. Muhammad Zamlat of Jabaliya, was treated for weeks in under-equipped Gaza hospitals then transferred out of the Strip for further treatment. He passed away in hospital on 6 June. His father, 38-year-old Taysir, and grandmother, 70-year-old Khadija, were killed instantly and several of his brothers sustained wounds in the shelling. [end] 

PA health minister visits cancer-stricken ex-prisoner
6/6/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian Minister of Health Fathi Abu Mughli on Saturday visited the governmental hospital in Beit Jala to check up on Palestinian prisoner Fayiz Zeidat, who was released from Israel’s custody after being diagnosed with cancer. “We are here to visit one of our heroes who represents the Palestinian struggle, which will eventually lead to establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” Abu Mughli said at the hospital near Bethlehem in the central West Bank. He highlighted that the Ministry of Health would provide the patient with any needed medical procedures that doctors recommend for his treatment, and said that he was greeting Zeidaton behalf of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. For his part, Zeidat spoke a bit about his and his fellow prisoners’ suffering in Israel’s custody. 

Israeli forces ’cracking down on violent settler activity’ in West Bank
6/6/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers closed down a non-violent protest in Hebron Saturday, declaring the area a “Closed Military Zone” and harassing international peace activists and Palestinians. The protest was against the expansion of the illegal Israeli Susya settlement of south of Hebron, which has recently added several caravans outside the initial settlement boundaries. “Preventing us from holding a sit-in is illegal,” said one Israeli activist who preferred his name not be mentioned. “It seems declaring an area a closed military zone can be done under the authority of any soldier in the West Bank,” he added. “Even worse than that,” he said, “the Israeli soldiers were racist and chased civilians from the scene. ”Verbal clashes and heated arguments erupted as soldiers barred protesters from entering the area, though soldiers claimed the area was closed because they feared vindictive actions from settlers targeting the protesters. 

Mysterious explosion in Gaza field kills one, injures a second
6/6/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – One Palestinian was killed and another was injured when an explosive device detonated in a farmer’s field in the Ash-Shahayda neighborhood in eastern Khan Younis on Saturday. Initial sources said the explosion was caused by unexploded ordinances left behind by the Israeli army during the war on Gaza over the winter. Later statements by Spokesperson of the de facto government interior ministry Eyhab Al-Ghussein, however, indicated the explosion may have been an accident. Muawieyah Hasaneen, head of Emergency and Ambulance Services in the Ministry of Health, identified the slain as 50-year-old farmer Samer Faraj Ad-Dughmah, and the injured as 50-year-old Ahmad Abu Duqa who was transferred to the local European Hospital for treatment. 

Clashes near Ni’lin as Israeli forces halt funeral procession of slain protester
6/6/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Clashes erupted as the funeral procession for the Ni’in man killed by Israeli forces Friday were prevented from reaching the burial grounds in the village on Saturday morning. Hundreds of mourners including several Palestinian leaders, clergy and political activists, left the Ramallah hospital with Yosef A’qel Srur’s body and took to the streets to accompany the man, shot in the chest with a live bullet by Israeli soldiers, to his grave. The procession chanted slogans affirming their belief in non-violent resistance and dedication to the struggle against the wall. The slain man was a 37-year-old father of three young children. Three others were injured by live bullets at the event, and were taken to hospital for treatment. When the funeral procession arrived to the entrance to the village, four Israeli military checkpoints were set up. 

Ma’an and Palestine TV to broadcast Israeli report on intelligence officers
6/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma’an - The Palestine Satellite channel and Ma’an news stations will broadcast a review and analysis of a recent Israeli program on intelligence officers infiltrating West Bank villages to collect information on men designated as “wanted” by Israel. The initial program was an investigative report on the intelligence officers charged with hunting down “wanted” Al-Qassam Brigades men, with the armed wing of Hamas. Interpreting and providing commentary will be Ma’an’s Chief Editor Nasser Lahham, well known for bringing Israeli news to the Palestinian public. [end] 

Obama delays moving embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
6/6/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – US President Barack Obama decided on Friday to delay the transfer of the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for six more months. Sources in the White House said US policy toward Jerusalem had not changed, and that the city’s future should be determined within the final-status negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The US Congress ratified the Jerusalem Embassy Act in October 1995, which states that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel. The act affirms that each country has the right to designate a capital of its choice, and Israel has chosen Jerusalem to be its capital. The act also states that the United States had to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than 31 May 1999. However, over the past decade, the decision has been delayed every six months due to the sensitivity of the issue. 

Israelis to open Nablus checkpoints 24 hours a day
6/6/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israel has officially informed the Palestinian side that some military checkpoints surrounding Nablus in the northern West Bank will be open 24 hours a day starting on Saturday. According to Luay As-Sa’di, director of the Palestinian Civil Liaison Office in Nablus, Huwwara, Shavi Shomron, and the At-Tneib checkpoints will be open 24 hours for pedestrians, while they will open from 5am to midnight for vehicles. Meanwhile, the Awarta checkpoint will be open until midnight, and Beit Furik checkpoint will be open untill 11pm. “Checkpoint 17 north of Nablus will be completely removed within a few days, according to information from the Israeli liaison department,” he added, confirming a previous Ma'an report. 

New Palestinian telecom company considering pullout
6/6/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an/Agencies - A new company awarded a telecommunications license to operate in the Palestinian territories is asking for its money back, according to a Saturday Reuters report. The new phone company, Wataniya Palestine, is demanding that Israel agree to open up radio frequencies that it promised would be available to boost operations, officials confirmed Friday. The company was notably challenging the mainstay Palestinian Telecommunications Company (PalTel) and its monopoly on the Palestinian market but now appears to be considering dropping the deal due to Israel's refusal to cooperate. Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair pressed Israel to release the frequencies as a way to invigorate the Palestinian economy and boost support for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who's chief financial advisor is the would-be CEO of the new company. 

Students debate conflict at Jericho model UN conference
6/6/2009 - Jericho – Ma’an - The Palestinian Academy for Security Sciences (PASS) launched a model UN conference on the Middle East under the supervision of the chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, and his assistant, Nayif Jarad on Saturday morning. The conference addressed students in conflict resolution classes and presented educational materials about negotiations, civil engagement, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy. Heads of delegations from the European Union, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Israel, Chna, the United States, Iran, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Russia, Syria, Palestine, France, and Lebanon gave two-minute briefings about their countries’ standpoint toward the region’s conflict. The students then took on the roles of diplomats representing the countries for two hours, and discussed how to deal with conflicts and crises through dialogue. 

Palestinian citizens of Israel to gain access to Qalqiliya
6/6/2009 - Qalqiliya – Ma’an – Israel's government announced on Saturday that it would begin allowing Palestinian citizens of the country to enter the West Bank city of Qalqiliya. "Palestinians from inside Israel will be allowed to drive their private vehicles to Qalqiliya starting Saturday," the Palestinian Civil Affairs Department in the West Bank governorate said in a statement. The department also noted that two Qalqiliya checkpoints, the District Coordination Office (DCO) east of the city and Galoud to the south, will be removed in their entirety on Sunday. It is generally illegal for Israeli citizens to enter West Bank cities, especially with their own private vehicles, but the Israeli government occasionally makes exceptions for Palestinians who also hold Israeli IDs. 

In Paris, Sarkozy and Obama press for Palestinian state
6/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - French President Nicholas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama reiterated calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state on Saturday. Sarkozy reportedly backed Obama's call earlier this week for a settlement freeze in the West Bank following the meeting Paris, and Obama said he wants to see "serious, constructive" peace talks between Israel and Palestine. "Progress would mean the parties involved. . . are in serious, constructive negotiations towards a two state solution," Obama said, according to news reports. "I do not expect that a 60-year problem is solved overnight, but as I have said before, I do expect both sides to recognize that their fates are tied together," he added. Obama also vowed to continue his "tough diplomacy" with Iran while Sarkozy noted he was troubled by some of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's "insane statements". 

De facto government catalogues continued Gaza siege; demands action
6/6/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – It is not enough to open Rafah “once in a while” and transfer “drips” of aid and commercial goods into Gaza, Spokesperson of the de facto administration of the crossings, Adel Zu’rub said on Saturday. Rafah was last open for Gazans on 16-18 May, and only patients and aid workers have passed through the crossing since then. Israeli crossings have been likewise shut, with minimal amounts of aid getting into the Strip, and only a handful of patients, visitors and aid workers being allowed in and out of the area. “The Egyptian side must to everything it can to ensure Rafah is open consistently,” Zu’rub said. Egypt has the power to alleviate the pressure of the siege on Gaza, he added. Zu’rub innumerated the aid, commercial and human transfers in and out of the Strip over the past few days as follows: Saturday: All crossings shut down / Friday: 51. . . 

Cairo to invite Palestinian factions for comprehensive dialogue
6/6/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Egypt will invite all Palestinian factions for another round of comprehensive dialogue in another attempt to address unresolved issues, said Ramzi Rabah, member of the politburo of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) on Saturday. Rabah asserted that the DFLP delegation, which participated in previous Cairo talks, learned while in Egypt that the Egyptians intend to hold multi-factional talks rather than the previous strategy of inviting Hamas and Fatah for bilateral talks. He maintained that Hamas and Fatah must put aside partial interests, international, and regional pressures which hamper the formation of a larger Palestinian agreement. Rabah highlighted that recent Hamas-Fatah clashes in Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank revealed the dangers and repercussions of rivalry amongst the Palestinians, asserting that the five Palestinian national dialogue committees must resume their mission. 

Gaza forces detain men suspected of ’collaboration’ with PA
6/6/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The de facto government’s Interior Ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Saturday it detained suspects accused of collecting information about Hamas’ leadership for the Palestinian Authority and the Ramallah-based Palestinian caretaker government. A statement from the Interior Ministry said, “Endeavoring to maintain security and order, and to protect citizens and their property, and since 'criminal' groups continue to disturb peace before and during Israel's war against Gaza, security services have doubled their investigations and seized several suspects. " Initial investigations, the statement added, revealed these "criminal" groups were plotting new crimes against political leaders and resistance fighters. 

Soccer: Palestine ties Chechnya 2-2
6/6/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma’an - Palestine tied Chechnya in a 2-2 soccer match at the Ar-Ram stadium in the West Bank just south of Ramallah on Saturday. The Faisal Al-Husseini stadium was packed with thousands of soccer fans, including some senior officials like head of the Palestinian Olympic Federation Jibreel Ar-Rjoub. The Chechnyan soccer team arrived in Ramallah on Thursday and was received there by senior officials of the Palestinian soccer federation. [end] 

At least 25 Palestinians injured as bus flips near Dead Sea
6/6/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - At least 25 Palestinians were injured after their minibus flipped over on Highway 90, north of the Dead Sea, on Saturday morning. Palestinian security sources said the 25 workers were travelling in a Ford minibus, which has a regular capacity of 13 riders. Likely due to its heavy load, the minibus flipped on the road east of Jericho and 25 were injured, three seriously. The three seriously injured Palestinians were taken for treatment to hospitals inside Israel, while the 22 moderately hurt were transferred to a governmental hospital in Jericho for treatment. Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service was called to the scene, according to Israeli news reports, and the road was blocked off. Week sees heavy death toll from road accidentsOn Friday, two road accidents saw four killed and 14 injured in the West Bank, and another Palestinian killed Thursday in the southern West Bank. 

The National

A plea from the forgotten people
6 Jun 2009 - Correspondent's notebook Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees in Syria are waiting to be resettled. For most of them, returning home is not an option.

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.


Iran 'steps up' nuclear programme
5 Jun 2009 - UN nuclear watchdog reports increase in Tehran's production of enriched uranium.

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

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.


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

LEBANON: Hizbullah Punching Above Its Numbers 
BEIRUT, Jun 6 (IPS) - Understanding Lebanon's complex political system is no easy task. In a relatively small country of about four million, Lebanon has more than 18 religious communities and dozens of active political parties. The sectarian political system divides the 128 seats of parliament between 10 of those...

LEBANON: Women Battle for Citizenship Rights 
BEIRUT, Jun 6 (IPS) - One can be born in Lebanon and live here all one's life, and still not be a Lebanese citizen. Lebanon is one of few remaining countries in the Middle East where a mother is unable to pass citizenship to her children.

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...

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. [

Boycotting in Qalqilya
6 Jun 2009 - On Wednesday, Palestinian students, activists, professors and politicians gathered in Qalqilya to discuss the boycott movement in the West Bank. Some 70 people attended, a majority of them students, to present ideas and assess the current successes as well as the obstacles to moving BDS forward in their schools and communities. [

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 Weekly Report

(28 May- 03 June  2008)

International Solidarity Movement

8216;IDF troops were never at risk in Naalin’
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - 6 June 2009 - Palestinian sources told Ynet Saturday that contrary to an IDF statement, the man killed during a Friday clash between Palestinian demonstrators and IDF forces in the town of Naalin, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, posed no danger whatsoever to the troops. Akal Srur was killed by Border Guard fire during the riot. A subsequent military inquiry said that Srur, a known Hamas operative, attacked soldiers as part of a large group. Nevertheless, Ahmed Amira, who said he was standing by Srur when he was shot, told Ynet that the soldier who shot Srur was in no danger: "The soldier was to our right and Akal was running to the left to help an injured man"¦ when he was shot in the heart. "Amira also negated the IDF's claims that veiled men were present at the rally: "It's possible that some people covered their faced because of the tear gas, but there were no such men in Friday's rally. 

Playground for bombed kindergartens in Gaza
International Solidarity Movement - Sunday 7th June, 10:00, Erez checkpoint - More than 750,000 children are incarcerated without a trial in Gaza - the largest prison in the world. It is forbidden to send toys and playground equipment into Gaza. The Israeli authorities define even paper and crayons a "Security Hazard". In defiance of this obituary and cruel regulation, a delegation of Israeli and American feminists, residents of neighboring towns, the clownish doctor Patch Adams and the Israeli Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army (ICIRCA), will travel on Sunday to the Erez Checkpoint. We will come to the sealed crossing armed with Slides, Swings, Kites, Magic castles and similar deadly weapons, in order to pass them through to the besieged and bombed kindergartens in Gaza. The action is organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel) and Code Pink (USA). 

Settlers attack Palestinian vehicle with rocks, wounding four, and set fire to land in Qalqiliya district
International Solidarity Movement - International Women's Peace Service - 1 June 2009 - Palestinian critically injured by settler during attack on a bus. - On Monday, June 1st, settlers from the Havat Gilad settler outpost in the Qalqiliya district of the West Bank reportedly attacked a minibus transporting 17 Palestinians to their jobs in Israel, critically injuring one. The settlers later burned an estimated 100 dunams ofPalestinian land, leaving scorched earth and trees. At approximately 4:30 a. m. on Monday a busload of 17 Palestinian men, mostly young and all with Israeli work permits, was stopped on the road near the entrance to Qedumim settlement by an estimated 50 settlers, who proceeded to throw rocks at the vehicle. Four workers were injured, one critically, and he remains in hospital. The workers said Israeli soldiers werejust 50 metres away from the settlers at the time of the attack. 

War crimes in Gaza: Palestinian lawyers take on Israel
International Solidarity Movement - 5 June 2009 - Four months after the war in Gaza, Palestinian lawyers have prepared 936 lawsuits against the Israeli military over alleged war crimes. Some of the cases could soon be tried at Spain's National Court under universal jurisdiction. Four months after the war in Gaza, Palestinian lawyers have prepared 936 lawsuits against the Israeli military over alleged war crimes. Some of the cases could soon be tried at Spain's National Court under universal jurisdiction. When Iyad al-Alami wants to survey the fallout of the Gaza war, he simply has to step out of his office and walk up the stairs to the top floor of the building where he works. There, piles of shrapnel, twisted missile shells and massive armor-piercing shells are stored. New material is added every day, filling the boxes that cover the floor and are stacked along the walls. 

Prevent Alstom from building the Haramain Express Railway
International Solidarity Movement - Saudi Arabia awarded French company Alstom a multi-million dollar contract for the construction of Haramain Express Railway, to link the holy cities of Makkah and Madina. Alstom is in violation of international law for its part in the construction of the Jerusalem Light Rail, which will link illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem) with the city of Jerusalem. The construction of the light rail is part of a wider Israeli policy to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from Jerusalem and turn permanent the illegal occupation of the city. The decision by the Saudi Arabian authorities is in violation of its own international commitments. The Arab League barred member states from dealing with companies involved in the construction of Jerusalem Light Rail project. The Saudi contract sends a signal of approval for Alstom's actions in Jerusalem and 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

WATCH: Anti-Israel protestors rally outside Washington embassy
6 Jun 2009 - A coalition of anti-Israeli organizations held a mass rally opposite the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, in the wake of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech in Cairo earlier this week. ...

Hezbollah eyes victory over pro-West camp in Lebanon vote
6 Jun 2009 - Lebanese voters face a stark choice Sunday between renewing the mandate of a pro-Western coalition or handing power to a Hezbollah-led alliance that could bring international isolation and new conflict with Israel. ... 

ANALYSIS / Would Hezbollah win make war with Israel more likely?
6 Jun 2009 - Talal Suleiman, editor of the important Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, estimates that about $1 billion will be spent on Sunday's election in Lebanon. He's not referring to the official sum in the state budget, or to the $20 million invested in election supervision. A billion dollars is the amount he believes the candidates have spent on buying votes - an average of $5 million per candidate, says Suleiman. ... 

Iraqi general tells of Arab armies' admiration of IDF
6 Jun 2009 - This week Benjamin Netanyahu gave a reason to believe - finally - that he's right about something, if the reports are true: that Barack Obama is determined to oust him from office. Netanyahu clearly hopes Obama will take a firm stand against North Korea's Kim Jong-il and Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khameini. But if the U.S. president surrenders to Netanyahu on construction in the settlements, what chance does he have against Pyongyang and Tehran? ... 

U.S. may propose immediate talks on West Bank borders
6 Jun 2009 - Senior U.S. officials, including special Mideast envoy George Mitchell, say they might propose immediate talks on setting the West Bank's borders, in view of Israel's opposition to a freeze on settlement construction. Such a move would determine which settlements will remain in Israel in a final deal establishing a Palestinian state. ... 

The Guardian

A war of water | Jens Toyberg-Frandzen
6 Jun 2009 - Environmental problems in Israel and the Palestinian territories can't wait for the resumption of peace talks The water spouts from a broken pipe, forming a perfect circle before it is dispersed by the wind and falls...

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...

Ha'aretz National page

Police: Entertainer Dudu Topaz paid private eyes to snoop on attack victims 
6 Jun 2009 - Entertainer Dudu Topaz hired private investigators to gather information on media personalities in order to plan his attacks, police said. ... 

Six cops hurt by rocks thrown by Haredi protestors in Jerusalem
5 Jun 2009 - Stone-throwing Haredim protestors lightly wounded six police officers Saturday during a demonstration against Jerusalem's decision to open a municipal parking lot on Shabbat. ...

Brideless in Gaza: Hamas gets into matchmaking business
5 Jun 2009 - At 29, Tahani is considered a spinster by the standards of deeply conservative Gaza. So in her search for a husband, she turned for help to the best in the marriage business: the Islamic militant group Hamas. ...

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. ... 

Relief Web

Palestinian tensions simmer after West Bank killings
6 Jun 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

OPT: Week in review - Internal violence mars Obama optimism
6 Jun 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: Israeli "Cast Lead" campaign - UN Commission shocked after inquiry
6 Jun 2009 - Source: Missionary International Service News Agency

OPT: Unexploded bombs threaten the reconstruction of Gaza
5 Jun 2009 - Source: UN Mine Action Service

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

YNet News

Israel proposes joint US-Israeli team monitor settlements 
6 Jun 2009 - Despite increased pressure from Washington, Jerusalem officials say Israel will continue to build within exiting boundaries of settlements. Alongside this however, they stress government willing to accept Palestinian state with limited authority over security issues 

Tel Aviv protest calls to end occupation
6 Jun 2009 - Leftists mark '42 years of occupation' by marching under slogan: 'End the occupation – start living'

Israel wants Syria condemned over uranium findings
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli atomic commission responds to IAEA report on suspected additional Syrian nuclear site

Left-wing activists evacuated from tent built opposite outpost
6 Jun 2009 - Dozens of left-wing, Palestinian activists erect tent opposite Jewish outpost on lands claimed by Palestinian family, later removed from the area by IDF troops

Fatah says Hamas arresting its men in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Hamas website says Palestinians loyal to Fayyad arrested as suspected informers for Israel

Man killed by ordnance in Gaza
6 Jun 2009 - Palestinians say one dead, one injured from explosion of Israeli ordnance in agricultural field

Saudi FM wants US to press Israel by cutting off aid
6 Jun 2009 - Saud al-Faisal tells Newsweek US aid should come with condition that Israel 'make reasonable concessions' to Palestinians

Iran: UN report shows nuclear work peaceful 
6 Jun 2009 - Tehran claims new International Atomic Energy Agency report proves its atom ambitions non-military. UN agency says Islamic Republic has significantly increased production of low-enriched uranium


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
6 Jun 2009 - I personally witnessed numerous demolitions when I was eleven years old. The demolition, or blowing-up operation, would begin with declaring the village a closed military zone.

SIL: Internationalizing the city of Jerusalem is rejected
6 Jun 2009 - The Supreme Islamic League in the occupied city of Jerusalem said Saturday that any attempt from any party to internationalize the city was strongly rejected, and would be opposed with firmness.

Abu Obaida: QB is ready and would retaliate to IOF aggression
6 Jun 2009 - Abu Obaida, the spokesperson of the Qassam Brigades, said that the group would retaliate to the IOF troops' aggressions on the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and the West Bank in the way

Bahar: The PA ignores the roadmap’s part related to settlement activities
6 Jun 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar stated that the PA implements the roadmap plan through hunting the Palestinian resistance fighters while ignoring that this plan stipulates an end to all activities of settlement.

Zu’rob: There is no information about Egypt’s intent to open the Rafah crossing
6 Jun 2009 - Spokesman for Gaza crossings Adel Zu’rob stated Saturday that the Rafah border crossing is still closed and there is no new information about Egypt’s intention to reopen it in the coming days.

Palestinian wounded in Israeli gunboat attack
6 Jun 2009 - Israeli gunboats opened heavy machinegun fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, to the south of the Gaza Strip, on Saturday wounding a Palestinian, local sources reported.

Hamas: Storming the house of martyr Ayyash is a cowardly act
6 Jun 2009 - Hamas strongly denounced the PA security apparatuses for ransacking the house of martyr Yahya Ayyash, one of Al-Qassam most prominent leaders, describing what happened as a “cowardly act”.

Hamas: Resistance against occupation will continue
6 Jun 2009 - Hamas Movement issued a statement in the West Bank on Saturday mourning the death of Yousef Akel, 37, who was killed by the IOF on Friday while taking part in a peaceful anti-wall demonstration.

Palestinian factions: Resistance legitimate right
6 Jun 2009 - Five Palestinian resistance factions condemned in a joint statement on Friday Ramallah's security forces killing of Qassam Brigades commanders in Qalqilia.

HRW: Israeli crimes in Gaza, Lebanon shame on humanity
6 Jun 2009 - Richard Dicker, the director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program, has described the Israeli war crimes in the Gaza Strip and south Lebanon as a shame on humanity.

Los Angeles Times

In Germany, Obama strikes an urgent note on Mideast peace 
6 Jun 2009 - Saying that 'the moment is now' to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, President Obama announces he is dispatching special envoy George Mitchell to the region. Reporting from Washington, Dresden, Germany, and Jerusalem -- President Obama declared Friday that "the moment is now" to settle 60 years of conflict in the Middle East as he sought to stoke momentum for negotiations a day after his address in Cairo that both inspired hopes and rattled nerves across the region. 

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. 

Iran nuclear program advancing, U.N. agency says 
6 Jun 2009 - The IAEA issues two reports. One says Tehran has boosted its supply and output of reactor- grade nuclear material, the other points to the discovery of unusual uranium particles in Syria's capital. Iran has significantly boosted its supply and output of reactor-grade nuclear material, according to a quarterly report issued Friday by the United Nations' arms control division. 

New York Times

News Analysis: Obama Pins Mideast Hope on Limiting 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. 

Iran Has Centrifuge Capacity for Nuclear Arms, Report Says
5 Jun 2009 - A week before Iran’s presidential election, inspectors said the country had sped up its production of nuclear fuel and increased its number of installed centrifuges to 7,200. 


Galilee communities: We’re not racist, we just don’t want Arabs 
Ha'aretz - 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. [end] 

Hamas Leader to Obama: Deeds, Not Words - DAMASCUS — 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. " The speech was cleverly written in the way it addressed the Muslim world… and in the way it showed respect to the Muslim heritage," Meshaal told IPS in an exclusive interview. "But I think it’s not enough. What’s needed are deeds, actions on the ground, and a change of policies. "[end] 

Gaza Victims Want Justice 
Islam - GAZA CITY - The gruesome moment can never go away from Wael al-Samuni's mind. " They killed our children, our relatives," the 35-year-old Gazan father told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Saturday, June 6. " They destroyed our houses. Why? We don't know. " Samuni lost 29 relatives, including his son, daughter and mother, in a deadly Israeli attack in Gaza in January. " We want to rebuild. As for the dead, may God watch over their souls," he said from a tent he calls home, filled with whatever belongings he could salvage. [end] 


Israel is controlled by religious fanaticism 
Shulamit Aloni, Ha’aretz 6/4/2009
      Not very long ago, during Rabbi Meir Kahane’s racist rantings, the late writer and journalist Amos Elon gave me a copy of a letter Lord Rothschild sent to Herzl in August 1902. In the letter, Rothschild explains why he refuses to support the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. He writes that he "should view with horror the establishment of a Jewish colony pure and simple; such a colony would be Imperium Imperio; it would be a Ghetto with the prejudice of the Ghetto; it would be a small petty Jewish state, orthodox and illiberal, excluding the Gentile and the Christian." 
     Nevertheless, and despite phenomena like Kahane, the hope prevailed here over the years that Rothschild’s harsh vision would prove false; that Israel would indeed "ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex," and "guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture," as stated in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State. 
     Time has passed and many heirs to Kahane have arisen - not only among a greedy and savage multitude but also among "the public’s chosen representatives" in the Knesset and government. The latter are busy preparing blatantly racist laws and sending armed police to thwart Palestinian-initiated international cultural events because the regime believes the Arabs of the Land of Israel, the native Palestinians, are not worthy of being called human beings....

Obama Fuzzed Up Reality in Speech 
David Swanson, 6/5/2009
      President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo probably did a world of good. It was packed with noble sentiments and some truth-telling. But imagine how much more good would be done if all the best parts of it corresponded to reality.
     If we treated people around the world with "respect," would we continue occupying their nations against their adamant desires?
     If we truly "seek no military bases" in Afghanistan, why are we building them on such massive scale?
     And why are we locking up hundreds of people there whom Obama hopes to keep outside the rule of law and never bring to trial (or at least he’s fighting for that power in court and recently declared that he possessed it), people who will not all die any time soon?
     If we respect the Iraqi people, why must our president tell them they are better off now? Why not ask them whether they think they are better off?
     ....If we do not "accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," why do we fund them, and why do we accept every existing one?
     If we respected the people of Gaza, wouldn’t our president accept an invitation to visit there and acknowledge the responsibility of having paid for the weapons that caused the destruction?

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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