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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
13 July , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

FM Lieberman says President Abbas is weak; Abbas aids refute the remarks
13 Jul 2009 - The Israeli forging Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said on Monday that as the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas legitimacy as the leader of the Palestinians waned h raises his demands and toughens his position towards Israel.

Israel demolishes Palestinian-owned home in Silwan neighborhood of East-Jerusalem
13 Jul 2009 - Israeli forces destroyed parts of a house owned by Palestinians in Bustan, an area in the Silwan neighborhood of East-Jerusalem on Monday morning. The Israeli police had come in the afternoon a day earlier to give the owner of the house, Gamil Hemden Msalme, the demolition order and to inform him that the demolition would take place the next morning. 

Israel demolishes a Palestinian owned home and attack the family in East Jerusalem
13 Jul 2009 - The Israeli municipality of Jerusalem demolished on Monday afternoon a Palestinian owned home located in East Jerusalem and attacked the family that owned the house. 

The Israeli military kidnaps 3 civilians during invasions targeting northern West Bank
13 Jul 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped three Palestinian civilians on Monday during pre dawn invasions targeting northern West Bank communities.

Israeli settlers set fire and destroy 37 acres of Palestinian owned land in southern W.B
13 Jul 2009 - Israeli settlers set fire to and destroyed Palestinian owned lands on Monday that belong to villagers of Saffa near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. 

UK imposes embargo on arms exports to Israel
13 Jul 2009 - After a review on arms exports to Israel by the British government, the British Foreign Office has announced a partial arms embargo against Israel due to Israeli violations of British-Israeli security agreements.  The review involved 182 arms export licenses from Britain to Israel, 5 of which were cancelled due to violations of signed agreements. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Court to state: Raze West Bank outposts slated for demolition in 2005
13 Jul 2009 - High Court lambastes state for delaying demolition of 2 illegal West Bank settlement outposts for 4 years. 

ANALYSIS / IDF's top 3 generals now set sights on Ashkenazi's post
12 Jul 2009 - The competition highlights the generals' past positions, not how each would shape the future IDF. 

General decides to stay on after rival named deputy IDF chief
12 Jul 2009 - Yoav Gallant had been reportedly 'contemplating his career in the IDF' after Benny Gantz was picked. 

IDF chief during Lebanon War says he'd do it again the same
12 Jul 2009 - IDF sources warn of Hezbollah rearmament; MK: Hezbollah has more rockets, better range than in 2006. 

UN investigator: Gaza war report will be balanced
11 Jul 2009 - Richard Goldstone tells Channel 1 that report will also deal with 2006 abduction of Gilad Shalit. 

Top doctor slams group's first aid course for West Bank protestors
11 Jul 2009 - Dr. Yoram Blachar: Physicians for Human Rights is a 'radical political group disguised as a medical organization.' 

Hamas nabs two Islamic Jihad men preparing to fire mortars at Israel
11 Jul 2009 - Since Cast Lead, Hamas has arrested several militants trying to launch rockets from Gaza at Israel. 

Exposed: The bitter row over Barak's pick for deputy IDF chief
10 Jul 2009 - Benny Gantz only chosen for post after clash between Barak, Ashkenazi drew fire from media and army. 

Ma'an News

PA seeking release of sick prisoners from Israel’s jails
7/13/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners affairs said on Monday that it plans to launch an international campaign for the release of ill Palestinians from Israeli prisons. The campaign is to focus on the story of Ahmad Abdel-Fatah Hamzah Awad, who has been held for seven years out of a 40 year sentence, in a prison in the city of Beersheba. The ministry said that Awad urgently needs surgery to treat an irregular heartbeat. He also suffers chest pains, shoulder pain, numbness in his hands, and difficulty breathing. In a statement the ministry said that Awad’s condition has deteriorated severely this week, and that he has lost an alarming 10 kilograms of weight in this time. The ministry said that the number of sick prisoners is increasing by the day, many of them suffering from cancer, heart disease, visual impairment, kidney diseases and skin diseases. 

Gaza authorities: Galloway convoy expected by Wednesday
7/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – A convoy led by firebrand British MP George Galloway is expected to arrive in Gaza through the Rafah crossing by Wednesday morning, an official Commission for foreign delegations said on Monday. The de facto government’s Commission on delegations said in a statement that Galloway’s “Lifeline 2” project is likely to arrive at the Egyptian side of the crossing on Tuesday evening, and will enter the otherwise besieged Gaza Strip by Wednesday. The convoy of 255 US citizens is bringing humanitarian aid, duplicating Galloway’s last journey to Gaza last March, when the antiwar lawmaker donated 25,000 British pounds and a fleet of ambulances to the de facto Gaza government. According to the “Viva Palestina” group’s website, former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has flown to Egypt to join the convoy. 

Settlers torch Palestinian farmland in Safa
7/13/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli settlers from the colony of Bat Ayin set fire to Palestinian farmland in the West Bank village of Safa, north of Hebron, on Monday morning, the second such attack in two days. Israeli soldiers also barred firefighters from reaching the blaze for several hours, causing widespread destruction. On Sunday, Israeli residents of the illegal settlement of Bat Ayin set fire to olive, almond, and grape fields in the nearby town of Beit Ummar. Ma’an’s correspondent said that settlers burned 150 dunums (150,000 square meters) of farmland. The media spokesperson of the Tadamon Project in Beit Ummar, Muhammad Awad, said that settlers began burning the fields at 9am local time. Also on Sunday, the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture reported that a series of recent arson attacks by Israeli settlers has resulted in the destruction of 1,200 dunums of Palestinian land, primarily in villages near Nablus and Hebron. 

Israel rejects EU leader’s call to recognize Palestinian state
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's Foreign Ministry on Sunday called recent remarks by the European Union's foreign policy chief "dangerous," according to Israeli news reports. The top EU official, Javier Solana, had suggested in London on Saturday that the United Nations set a deadline for recognizing a Palestinian state even if Israel does not. But Israel's Foreign Ministry rejected the suggestion a day later, saying that various UN resolutions and other agreements "all cautiously determine that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be reached through negotiations by the sides. " "Israel has called more than once for the immediate renewal of the talks without preconditions," the Foreign Ministry added in a statement, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported. "Another demand setting an artificial deadline endangers and harms the chances of actually reaching a bilateral agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. 

Netanyahu: Palestinian refugees must never return to their homes
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged Palestinians to give up the right of return to their homes in what is now Israel as a precondition for a future peace deal. Speaking on Sunday evening at a ceremony marking the 105th anniversary of the death of Zionist leader Theodore Herzl, Netanyahu said "They [Palestinians] must abandon their demand to settle the descendents of Palestinian refugees in Israel and gradually 'eat away' at the State of Israel after a peace agreement is signed," according to Israel’s Ynet news website. In 1948, Jewish and Israeli forces expelled more than 726,000 Palestinians from their homes in the land on which the Israeli state was declared, according to United Nations figures. Today, Palestine refugees and their descendants are some 5. 5 million people. 

Netanyahu offers key advisor role to settler leader
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered a prominent resident of an illegal West Bank settlement a top position as an advisor, settler officials say. Netanyahu’s office has neither confirmed nor denied that he appointed 60-year-old Pinchas Wallerstein, the director of the settlers’ Yesha Council. Reuters quoted a Yesha spokesperson saying Wallerstein "has definitely been offered the job," and was undergoing a vetting process. Netanyahu’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and other cabinet members are also settlers. According to Reuters Wallerstein has conditioned acceptance of the post on Israel continuing to reject US President Barack Obama's demands to freeze all construction in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to the same spokesperson. 

Israel to open all Gaza commercial crossings Monday
7/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Israeli authorities decided on Monday to open all three Gaza Strip commercial crossings, according to Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian crossings official. Fattouh asserted that 52 to 62 truckloads of humanitarian aid were supposed to enter the Strip through the Kerem Shalom terminal in southern Gaza, while limited quantities of industrial diesel and cooking gas would be sent through the Nahal Oz terminal. At the same time, several truckloads of fodder and wheat were scheduled to pass through the Karni crossing in the north. It is unusual for all of the crossings to open at once, ever since Israel and Egypt embarked on a near-total blockade of the Strip in June 2007. The quantities and types of goods allowed into Gaza have been subject to tight restrictions ever since. According to the UN and aid agencies some items, such as construction materials needed to rebuild from the recent war, are completely banned. 

Israeli authorities demolish Palestinian home in Jerusalem
7/13/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma’an – Israeli bulldozers on Monday morning demolished a Palestinian home in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of northern Jerusalem. Ma’an’s correspondent at the scene said the demolished home belonged to Alaa Shweiki, was 120 square meters in size and was inhabited by eight members of the Shweiki family. [end] 

Israel’s Transportation Ministry to ’Hebraize’ road signs
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel's transportation minister announced a plan on Monday to change English and Arabic street signs to reflect just their Hebrew names. "This government, and certainly this minister, will not allow anyone to turn Jewish Jerusalem to Palestinian Al-Quds," said Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported. The daily Hebrew-language paper, Israel's largest, reported Monday that the plan had been in the works for the past year. English and Arabic road signs for Israeli cities have in the past generally avoided alienating one side, in most cases calling the Palestinian capital Jerusalem in English, Al-Quds in Arabic and Yerushalayim in Hebrew, the three spellings commonly used in each respective alphabet. Some signs spell out the Hebrew version first, with the Arabic in parentheses. 

Israeli soldiers arrest Palestinian in Old City Hebron
7/13/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers detained a young Palestinian man near the Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron on the charge of possessing a knife. Local Palestinian sources told Ma’an that the soldiers assaulted the man, Anas An-Natsha, before arresting him and taking him to an unknown location. The Ibrahimi Mosque is located in the heart of Hebron’s Old City, and is in an area under direct Israeli military control. Half of the mosque, which is also thought to be the site of the tomb of the biblical patriarch Abraham, has been taken over by Israeli settlers. [end] 

Lawyers, rights advocates rally for judicial independence in Bethlehem
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Members of the Bethlehem lawyers union, police, human rights activists, and university students rallied in the city on Monday to show support for the independent Palestinian judiciary. Participants in the rally raised signs demanding continued judicial independence, and protection of judges against any outside intervention in their work. The rally stopped in front of Bethlehem court of first instance before they held a meeting with head of court judge Hazim Idkeidik. Idkeidik applauded stated the necessity of an independent judiciary and rule of law. He also highlighted that the Palestinian public has became more confident in the legal system, preferring it over older, extrajudicial means of exacting revenge and settling disputes. Answering a question about external intervention in the performance of judiciary, Idkeidik said ever since he became head. . . 

Israeli soldiers raid Nablus Shopping Festival headquarters
7/13/2009 - the Shopping FestivalNablus – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers raided the headquarters of the Nablus Shopping Festival in the West Bank village of Huwwara on Monday afternoon. Festival spokesperson Ali Daraghmeh told Ma’an that Israeli military patrols overran the area of the Huwwara municipality square, and ordered participants to remove banners and wall posters, and told organizers to cancel parts of the event. The general coordinator of the festival, Ali Barham, said that he was shocked at the raid, especially since Israeli officials explicitly and publically promised to ease Palestinian movement in the Nablus area in order to facilitate the festival. He said the raid was an attempt to cause the event to fail. In spite of the attack, he urged Palestinians to come to Nablus to participate in the annual summer festival. 

Palestinian human rights lawyer faces jail for alleged assault of soldier
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – An Israeli military court in the settlement of Ofer has charged Palestinian human rights lawyer Farid Al-Atrash with assaulting a soldier, sources said. On 15 April 2008 Al-Atrash attended a peaceful demonstration in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour, outside Bethlehem, at an abandoned Israeli military base called Oush Ghrab. The base is currently claimed by Israeli settlers as the location of a future illegal settler outpost, and the demonstration was an attempt to oppose the settlers' attempted takeover. Ma’an’s reporters observed Israeli soldiers attacking the Palestinian demonstrators, including Al-Atrash. A soldier attempted to take a Palestinian flag from the lawyer’s hands. When he refused, he was accused of attacking the soldier. He was arrested and then released later that day. 

UNDP begins removal of 420 tons of rubble in Gaza
7/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Palestinian bulldozers and construction vehicles began removing the rubble of the “Saraya” security compound in Gaza on Monday, more than six months after Israeli warplanes leveled it. The compound was destroyed by Israeli missiles on 28 December 2008, the second day of Israel’s assault on Gaza. Palestinian de facto government Ministry of Public Works vehicles were used in the project, which was funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Yasser Ash-Shanti said that the rubble removal operation will eventually clear the ruins of the public buildings, police stations, and security headquarters in Gaza City. Rubble removal is also underway at the ruins of the Wa’ad prisoners organization and a union building, he said. Ash-Shanti said that it would take multiple work crews (20 workers at each site) up to five months to complete the project. 

Palestinians offered cash to spy for Israel
7/13/2009 - Tulkarem – Ma’an – Intelligence agents have been offering young Palestinians cash bribes as incentive to spy for Israel during interrogation at military checkpoints near the West Bank city of Tulkarem. A number of Palestinians told Ma’an that Israeli officers stopped their cars and detained the Ennav and Jabara checkpoints. While detaining the Palestinians at the checkpoints, the intelligence men offered cash and permits to enter Israel if they agreed to collaborate. During the interrogation, the same young men said, they were asked about their income and social status. They were also asked to divulge their mobile phone numbers. After refusing to cooperate, the men were released but given letters summoning them for further interrogation at the Israeli military headquarters south of Tulkarem. The issue of collaborators is sensitive in Palestinian society, because information. . . 

MP Galloway to bring Hugo Chavez on next Gaza visit
7/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Member of the British House of Commons George Galloway told the press Monday he was planning to organize a new solidarity convoy to Gaza that would include Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Galloway was in Egypt Monday to support the US Viva Palestina anti-siege convoy, which is scheduled to enter the Gaza Strip through its Rafah crossing along with 200 American solidarity activists. The MP explained that he would continue to organize solidarity convoys, calling for lifting the siege imposed on Gaza. He revealed that Israeli lobbyists had sent three requests to US Attorney General Eric Holder trying to stop the convoy,which were all rejected. Galloway also refuted Israeli accusations that he was pro-Hamas. "I was never pro-Hamas, yet I am pro-democracy, through which Hamas rose to power. 

UK bans transfer of certain weapons to Israel
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - The United Kingdom has decided to ban certain military supplies to Israel, its Foreign Ministry announced on Monday. Following an internal investigation announced by Foreign Minister David Milliband in April, the UK determined that it could no longer sell Israel certain parts for naval vessels, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on Monday. Britain's regulations for licensing military applications for sale abroad include clauses that prevent the transfer to rogue regimes. "We do not grant export licenses where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression," said a statement from the country's embassy in Tel Aviv on Monday. The country will still sell Israel all but five of its 182 licensed arms exports, Reuters quoted an official as saying, but will specifically withhold parts for the naval Saar 4. 

PA, PLO dismiss Lieberman attacks on Abbas
7/13/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Both the president's office and Palestine Liberation Organization responded in force to attacks by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Monday. Chief PLO negotiator Dr Saeb Erakat said the comments critical of President Mahmoud Abbas were an attempt to deflect attention from Israel’s refusal to implement its prior commitments and obligations. "By criticizing the presidency of Mahmoud Abbas, Israel’s Foreign Minister is hoping to deflect attention away from Israel’s refusal to implement its obligations under the Road Map, including a comprehensive settlement freeze," Dr Erakat said in a statement. "I doubt such diversion tactics will wash with the international community, and certainly do not deserve much attention from those of us who are committed to peace," the top PLO official added, noting that he stands ready to negotiate with an Israeli government committed to peace. 

Israel says PA will likely postpone January elections
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Palestinian elections scheduled for January 2010 will likely be delayed, according to a report quoting Israel's military on Monday. The Jerusalem Post quoted a senior Israeli military official who said that the Palestinian Authority preferred to postpone the elections scheduled for next January to 2012. Hamas has repeatedly condemned the PA, which is led by the US-backed President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, for delaying previous elections. It maintains that since elections were postponed, Abbas' term technically ended in Januaryof this year and that he is no longer the legitimate president of Palestine. Parliamentary elections were originally scheduled for January 2009 but were held off allegedly to make room for an internal Palestinian reconciliation agreement, which has never materialized despite Egypt's attempts to broker a deal. 

Hamas and Fatah to hold evaluative meeting in Cairo on 18 July
7/13/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – Hamas and Fatah officials will hold an evaluative meeting in Cairo on 18 July to examine the results of contacts made by Egypt, a Hamas official said Monday. A delegation from Egypt visited Ramallah earlier this week, and the two sides will evaluate the results of that meeting, according to senior Hamas leader and member of the movement’s delegation to Cairo Ismail Radwan. Radwan told Ma’an that all unresolved issues would be handled, starting with politically motivated detentions, and how to prevent them for the duration of the talks. The Hamas official asserted that the major obstacles to the dialogue were arrests, the Palestinian Authority's alleged security coordination with Israel, and the presence of foreign intervention in Palestinian affairs. Radwan blamed Fatah for being "unserious" toward reconciliation, while asserting that Hamas has been willing to take the needed steps to reach a national consensus. 

Dust storm could postpone second Iraq-Palestine football match
7/13/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Palestinian national football team’s flight from Irbil, in northern Iraq, to Baghdad was postponed for three hours on Monday due to a massive dust storm that has blanketed much of the country. Palestine is scheduled to play a second match against Iraq in the capital. Iraq won the first match in Irbil on Friday 3-0. It was Iraq’s first home game since the US-led invasion in 2003. Sources close to the Palestinian team in Iraq asserted that weather is very bad, and visibility could make the flight risky. [end] 

Health Ministry: Two new H1N1 cases diagnosed
7/13/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced on Monday that two new H1N1 (swine flu) cases had been diagnosed in the West Bank. According to Dr As’ad Ramlawi, director of medical care in the Palestinian Health Ministry, two Palestinians from Ramallah and Nablus, recently arrived from the US, were diagnosed with H1N1. The latest diagnoses bring the total number infected in the West Bank to 78. Meanwhile on Sunday, the de facto government's health minister, Bassem Na’im, declared that the Gaza Strip was free of H1N1. Na’im told a meeting of the Hamas parliamentary bloc that two suspected cases later tested negative for the disease. He said, however, that the Ministry of Health had taken precautionary measures to deal with H1N1, including forming a joint committee including several ministries. 

The National

Israel rejects EU deadline proposal
13 Jul 2009 - The European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana says a date should be set for a two-state solution.

Brothers divided by Gaza rivalry
12 Jul 2009 - Nidal and Ismail share a home and family ties despite deep ideological differences.

Israeli tourists desert Sinai 
11 Jul 2009 - Wary of terror attacks, Israelis are avoiding the Peninsula, leaving Bedouin business owners wondering about their livelihoods.

Elite unit mooted for West Bank security
10 Jul 2009 - Israel may support the Palestinian Authority in its attempt to set up a special force to reduce casualties.

New chapter for Syria-Saudi relations
10 Jul 2009 - Analysis: Saudi Arabia's decision to send an ambassador to Syria is a clear sign that a new chapter really is beginning.


Iran offers G8 new issues to debate
11 Jul 2009 - Tehran restates plan to present points for discussion at nuclear talks with West. 

'Israel scuttled' Shalit's release
10 Jul 2009 - Egyptian leader advises Israeli officials to avoid openly discussing soldier's release.


OPT: Gaza-Egypt crossing to open three days a month 
GAZA CITY Thursday, July 02, 2009 (IRIN) - Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border opened briefly on 25, 26 and 27 June allowing Gaza patients in need of emergency care, students, and foreign visa holders to exit. 

ISRAEL-OPT: By the numbers 
TEL AVIV Tuesday, June 30, 2009 (IRIN) - A new report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) paints a grim picture of life in the Gaza Strip: insufficient housing, damaged infrastructure, limited access to clean water and the discharge of raw sewage into the sea. 

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu cases on the rise
DUBAI Thursday, June 25, 2009 (IRIN) - The number of cases of the A(H1N1) virus, otherwise known as swine flu, is growing in the Middle East, with many new suspected and confirmed cases in the past few days, but so far no one has died of the disease.

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Israel and EU Clash Over Settlements 
RAMALLAH, Jul 13 (IPS) - The Israeli Foreign Ministry's concern over an "unusually harsh statement" by the European Commission over Israel's settlement policy indicates a growing unease between Israel and the EU.

MIDEAST: Fine-Tuning the Cold War 
JERUSALEM, Jul 13 (IPS) - Ambiguity - is it the watchword for all involved in the issue over whether Iran goes nuclear, especially in light of the ongoing political uncertainties that engulf the Islamic Republic?

MIDEAST: Succession Issues Face Key U.S. Allies 
WASHINGTON, Jul 12 (IPS) - Two key U.S. allies in the Arab world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are now both facing succession crises that may absorb, or even split, their political elites. This promises a period of political unpredictability ahead in both countries.

POLITICS: Behind Detainee Release, a U.S.-Iraqi Conflict on Iran 
WASHINGTON, Jul 12 (IPS) - The release Friday of five Iranians held by the U.S. military in Iraq for two and a half years highlights the long-simmering conflict between the U.S. and Iraqi views of Iranian policy in Iraq and of the role of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)...

Stop The Wall

New report on Israeli aggression against Palestinian communities released
13 Jul 2009 - , a joint report from Stop the Wall Campaign and Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association examines Israel’s policies of arrest, detention and violent repression against Palestinian Popular Committees engaged in the struggle against the construction of Wall. Five years after the International Court of Justice’s landmark advisory opinion declaring the illegality of the Wall being constructed in the occupied Palestinian territory, the attention of those committed to the principles of international law should turn to the plight of those attempting to resist the Wall’s construction. [

New report on the impact of the Wall in the West Bank
9 Jul 2009 - Today, The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) and the Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, issued a joint report entitled 

PCHR Latest

(12 July)  PCHR Denied Access to Clients Detained in ISS Prisons in Gaza

PCHR Denied Access to Clients Detained in ISS Prisons in Gaza

PCHR Weekly Report

(02 - 08 July  2008)
On Thursday, 02 July 2009, Israeli troops positioned at the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east of Gaza Valley village, fired three artillery shells at the area.  One shell landed a few meters away from the house of Kamal 'Abdul 'Aziz Abu 'Aayesh, 52, nearly one kilometer away from the border

International Solidarity Movement

Transportation Ministry to Hebraize road signs
International Solidarity Movement - YNet News, 13 July 2009 - Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz recently ordered a change in roadside signs across Israel's highways so that the all names appearing on them in English and Arabic would be a direct transliteration of Hebrew. For example, the sign directing drivers to Jerusalem would read Yerushalayim, Nazareth will become Natsrat and Caesarea will become Kesariya. Arab names are to be changed accordingly. The Transportation Ministry has been working on the project for over a year and says its main purpose is to create uniform roadside spelling for more than 2,000 names of cities, towns and villages. Current road signs, says the ministry, reflect the vast changes and development in Israel's highways, and as such there are many variations of places' names. Caesarea, for instance, appears as Caesarea, Qesarya, Qesariyya and Ceysaria. 

Chicago activists drop 88 banners across city protesting Israeli eviction and demolition of Palestinian homes
International Solidarity Movement - Monday, July 13th 2009, 5am: In perhaps the largest campaign of its kind in Chicago's history, over a dozen activists dropped 88 banners across Chicagoland this morning decrying Israel's policies of evicting or destroying Palestinian homes. Each banner represents one of 88 Palestinian homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan that have received demolition orders from Israeli authorities. Today's banners were dropped as part of an international day of action on July 13th in solidarity with Palestinian families facing house evictions or demolition in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem. In addition to Chicago, demonstrations and actions are planned for San Francisco, New York City, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Glasgow, and Jerusalem. Chicago's action saw banners being hung from highway overpasses, bridges, and from the roofs of buildings. 

Disguised Israeli forces arrest two Palestinians during Ni’lin demonstration
International Solidarity Movement - July 13, 2009 - Around 80 Palestinian residents, alongside Israeli and international solidarity activists, gathered to demonstrate against construction of the Apartheid Wall in Ni'lin on Friday. After the weekly prayer, demonstrators marched to the Wall, chanting slogans against the Occupation and theft of their land. Upon arriving at the site, protesters cut the illegal fence with cutters. Israeli forces shot tear-gas canisters at the protest, but individuals continued to destroy the fence. In response to the military violence, young Palestinian men threw stones and paint at the military vehicles driving below the Wall. Demonstrators managed to cut through the fence and placed boulders and a burning tire on the road to prevent military vehicles from driving close by and attacking. The demonstration ended abruptly when approximately 10 members of Israeli special forces, disguised as participants with masked faces pulled out pistols and telescopic batons. 

Palestinians organize a picnic protest near Susiya outpost
International Solidarity Movement - On Saturday the 11th of July, solidarity activists of Ta'ayush and inhabitants of Susiya (South Hebron Hills) organized a picnic of resistance next to the outpost of the settlement of Susiya. Activists from the ISM, Tayyoush and Palestinian residents gathered to non-violently protest the illegal outpost. The action was planned for 8am, but two buses with Tayyoush activists driving from Jerusalem were held for approximately two hours at a checkpoint. At 10am, around 50 Palestinian, Israeli and international activists gathered near the outpost to have a picnic as a means to challenge ongoing illegal outposts on Palestinian-owned land. On the way to the land, the activists were stopped by Israeli forces. They were able to walk around the soldiers and set up their picnic near the outpost. Israeli soldiers surrounded the picnic area and began to hassle the activists. 

International activists continue protests at Rafah border
International Solidarity Movement - 12 July 2009 - We are actually 16 people in our camp with mainly Egyptian activists. Yesterday afternoon, the Egyptian authorities put barbed wire at the door of the bathroom and cut the water, so now, we have no more access to the bathroom. Chris says : "Fortunately, I managed yesterday morning to take a shower, after climbing over the bathroom iron gate, so now we will keep dirty. I'm happy to be here again, because this is, may be, the lonely place in the world where you can feel free. We are moving freely, we are challenging the Egyptian authorities, Israel and the worldwide community and we ask them to lift this infamous siege. " ¯We are waiting the Galloway convoy which has been stopped by the Egyptian authorities at the Moubarak Peace Bridge checkpoint. It is a shame to see how Americans civilians are treated by the Egyptian authorities. 

NST: Fighting the Palestinian cause
International Solidarity Movement - P. Selvarani, New Straits Times - P. Selvarani speaks to Free Gaza Movement chairperson Huwaida Arraf to discover a woman determined to see an end to violence. She could have lived a blissful life as a successful lawyer, raising a nice, happy family in the Land of the Free. But social activist Huwaida Arraf, a first generation Palestinian-American, instead found her calling helping free her people. For the past 10 years, Huwaida has often found herself staring down the nozzle of an Israeli army Uzi submachine gun, roughed up, handcuffed and thrown into jail "” all in her quest to free Israeli-occupied Gaza and provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. A lesser mortal would have caved in under such pressure and atrocity but then Huwaida is no ordinary woman. 

Judge Advocate General to B’Tselem: 0.22-caliber bullets are not crowd-control measures
International Solidarity Movement - B'Tselem, 9 July 2009 - The army does not classify 0. 22 inch caliber bullets as a means to disperse demonstrators or quell disturbances, the Israeli Military's Judge Advocate General, Brig. Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, informed B'Tselem. Since the end of 2008, security forces in the West Bank have used 0. 22-caliber bullets as an additional means, along with the firing of rubber-coated metal bullets and tear-gas, to disperse demonstrators. In addition, in media statements the IDF Spokesperson referred to 0. 22-caliber bullets as a crowd-control measure. As a result of the use of 0. 22 bullets, at least two unarmed Palestinians were killed: on 13 February 2009, "˜Az a-Din al-Jamal, age 14, in Hebron, and on 5 June 2009, "˜Aqel Sror, age 35 in a demonstration in the village of Ni'lin. Dozens of persons have been wounded, some seriously. 

Israel phone firm’s West Bank wall gag fails to amuse
International Solidarity Movement - The Washington Post, 12 July 2009 - A television advert for an Israeli cellphone firm showing soldiers playing soccer over the West Bank barrier has sparked cries of bad taste and prompted Arab lawmakers on Sunday to demand it be taken off air. The jaunty commercial for Israel's biggest mobile phone company Cellcom makes light of Palestinian suffering and shows how far Israelis fail to understand their neighbors, critics said. The company stood by the ad, however. It shows a ball falling on an Israeli army jeep from the far side of a towering wall. A game ensues, back and forth with the unseen Palestinians after a soldier dials up "reinforcements," including two smiling women in uniform, to come and play. The advertisement made by McCann Erickson, part of U. S. Interpublic Group, ends with the upbeat voiceover: "After all, what are we all after? Just a little fun. 

Viva Palestina convoy updates
International Solidarity Movement - Viva Palestina, 12 July 2009 - The Viva Palestina members who spent the night in their buses at the Suez Crossing after being stopped by Egyptian authorities on July 11 have now rendezvoused in Cairo with British Member of Parliament George Galloway and former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who has rushed to join the convoy following her deportation from Israel on Wednesday. Galloway, McKinney and the Viva Palestina leadership have been working with Egyptian and U. S. authorities to expedite the passage of the convoy over the Suez Canal and into Gaza. Egyptian authorities have held up the convoy claiming that it has not acquired the necessary travel permits from U. S. officials in order to cross into Gaza. But the convoy sent copious documentation, on request, to several Egyptian state officials before even setting foot in Cairo. 

Copenhagen demonstrates in solidarity with East Jerusalem residents facing evictions and demolitions
International Solidarity Movement - International day of solidarity with East Jerusalem residents facing eviction or demolition of their homes. Demonstration in front of the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen. At 8. 30 in the morning on Monday 13th of July Scandinavian activists showed their solidarity with the Palestinians in East Jerusalem facing eviction or demolition of their houses by putting up 6 tents in front of the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen. The Danish police showed up after less than ten minutes, took the details of the activists, and ordered the manifestation to move to the opposite side of a busy street away from the Israeli embassy. The police moved the manifestation a second time further away from the Israeli embassy on demand from the employees of the embassy. The 6 tents raised in front of the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen symbolize Palestinians in East Jerusalem threatened with eviction or demolition of their houses. 

U.K. hits Israel with partial arms embargo over Gaza war
International Solidarity Movement - Ha'aretz, 13 July 2009 - Britain has slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4. 5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year. Britain's Foreign Office informed Israel's embassy in London of the sanctions a few days ago. The embassy, in a classified telegram to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, said the decision stemmed from heavy pressure by both members of Parliament and human rights organizations. The embargo followed a government review of all British defense exports to Israel, which was announced three months ago. In total, the telegram said, Britain reviewed 182 licenses for arms exports to Israel, including 35 for exports to the Israel Navy. But it ultimately decided to cancel only five licenses, all relating to the Sa'ar 4. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Netanyahu: Palestinians could achieve more if they cooperated
13 Jul 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair on Monday to discuss ways to improve the Palestinian economy. Netanyahu told Blair that the Palestinian residents of the West Bank could reach greater achievements if only they were to increase their cooperation with Israel. ...

Tensions soar between Israeli UN delegation, Al-Jazeera
12 Jul 2009 - The ongoing tension between the Israeli delegation to the United Nations and the Al Jazeera bureau at the international organization headquarters has reached new heights recently. ...

Obama invites U.S. Jewish leaders to White House meeting 
12 Jul 2009 - The meeting comes amid tense Israel-U.S. ties over Obama administration pressure to halt settlement construction.

France to retry suspects of anti-Semitic murder 
12 Jul 2009 - A Paris appeals court on Monday ordered the retrial of members of a gang found guilty last week of kidnapping and torturing to death a young Jewish man, on the grounds that their sentences were too lenient. ...

Will Israel grant asylum to fascism?
12 Jul 2009 - Click here for more articles by Bradley Burston ... 

The Guardian

Britain revokes arms licences for Israeli navy guns
13 Jul 2009 - Exports of spare parts halted in response to Gaza Strip attacks in December-January Britain has revoked export licences for weapons on Israeli navy missile boats because of their use during the offensive against the Gaza Strip....

Defending the indefensible settlements | Richard Silverstein
13 Jul 2009 - To counter US opposition to Israel's settlements, Israel's American supporters are adopting a new, defensive strategy A former insider at Aipac has spilled the beans on a major secret initiative by The Israel Project (TIP) designed...

Netanyahu turns to Nazi language | Peter Beaumont
10 Jul 2009 - The Israeli prime minister's use of the word 'Judenrein' is a cynical attempt to skew the fight over West Bank settlements There are words with meanings corrosive as acid. Heavy with the stench of historic crimes....

The Press TV pantomime | Seth Freedman
13 Jul 2009 - The Iranian-funded TV station Press TV pretends to be a reputable, impartial broadcaster. In reality, it is anything but When Press TV was launched two years ago, Yvonne Ridley , one of the station's presenters, was effusive...

Ha'aretz National page

18th Maccabiah opens / 'it's amazing, everyone's Jewish' 
13 Jul 2009 - The opening ceremony of the 18th Maccabiah - the largest one to date - began Monday evening in Ramat Gan. ...

One of FBI's 100 most wanted apprehended in Tel Aviv
12 Jul 2009 - A newly-created task force dealing with illegal immigration arrested one of the FBI's 100 most wanted criminals on Sunday when they apprehended Micky Louis Mayon in Tel Aviv. ...

Maccabiah opening celebrations begin in Israel 
12 Jul 2009 - Netanyahu and Peres attend opening ceremony for 'Jewish Olympics,' that take place every four years.

Relief Web

OPT: Muslim Aid Team returns after successful mission to Gaza
13 Jul 2009 - Source: Muslim Aid

OPT: UNRWA receives US$34 million from Kuwait for Gaza refugees
13 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Informe anual de 2009 sobre las políticas de la Comunidad Europea en materia de desarrollo y ayuda exterior y sobre su aplicación en 2008 - Highlights
13 Jul 2009 - Source: European Commission, European Union

Rapport annuel 2009 sur les politiques communautaires en matière de développement et d'aide extérieure et sur leur mise en oeuvre en 2008 - Highlights
13 Jul 2009 - Source: European Commission, European Union

Annual report 2009 on the European Community's development and external assistance policies and their Implementation in 2008 - Highlights
13 Jul 2009 - Source: European Commission, European Union

Israel rejects EU call for Palestinian state deadline
13 Jul 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

Ditchley Foundation lecture by Javier Solana: Europe's global role - what next steps?
12 Jul 2009 - Source: European Union

OPT: Refugee stories - Goal for friendship
12 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

YNet News

Children risk their lives in Gaza's smuggling tunnels 
13 Jul 2009 - Recent study shows more than half 16,000 people smuggling food, shoes, toys, refrigerators, ovens and even cars from Egypt into Hamas-ruled territory are under 18; 'I'm not scared of Israeli air strike; Jews are our enemy,' says 15-year-old Anwar 

Detained Palestinian admits stabbing attack plan
13 Jul 2009 - Bethlehem resident caught trying to infiltrate Jerusalem with 16-centimeter knife; two other Palestinians who tried to enter capital with him released 

Man wanted by FBI arrested in Tel Aviv
13 Jul 2009 - Micky Louis Mayon wanted in US for belonging to KKK, torching cars belonging to federal judges; Interpol says he's been residing in Israel illegally since 2008 

Hamas: Israel distributes libido-increasing gum in Gaza
13 Jul 2009 - Islamist group claims Israeli intelligence operatives transfer merchandise to Gaza dealers that increases sex drive, even encourage them to distribute them free of charge in order 'to destroy' young generation. Affair exposed after young girl chews gum, complains of bizarre side effects

Iran's Rezai: We need unity against Israeli strike
13 Jul 2009 - Defeated conservative presidential candidate warns Islamic system may face 'collapse' unless it embraces change; calls for unity 'to get success in nuclear negotiations, to defend country against possible strike by Israel' 

Syria to EU: Israel obstacle to peace
13 Jul 2009 - FM Moallem tells EU Mideast envoy Otte that Jerusalem's policy of continued blockade of Gaza, settlement expansion hindering peace efforts; stresses importance of European role in achieving comprehensive agreement based on 'peace for territories' formula 

Olmert aide faces indictment in double-billing affair
13 Jul 2009 - Prosecution says has sufficient evidence to try Rachel Raz-Risbi, who served as travel coordinator for former PM during his stint at Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry; 'As public servant she is held to higher standards,' State says 

Police: 10% of youth use drugs
13 Jul 2009 - Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch presents Knesset with troubling data on drug use in Israel, with total number of 320,000 users abusing 5 tons of heroin, 4 tons of cocaine and 3.5 tons of hashish per year


Judge Advocate General: 22-caliber bullets not meant for dispersing demonstrators
8 Jul 2009 - For several months, security forces have been using 22-caliber bullets to disperse demonstrators, killing two unarmed Palestinians and wounding dozens of persons. However, in response to a letter from B'Tselem, the judge advocate general stated that this 

High Court orders harsher indictment in Ni'lin shooting
30 Jun 2009 - In July '08, a soldier shot a handcuffed detainee in the presence of his commander, yet the two were charged only with “unbecoming conduct”. Today, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in favor of changing the indictments to reflect the gravity of the 

Daily Star

Britain revokes five arms licenses to Israel because of Gaza offensive
13 Jul 2009 - Britain has revoked several licenses granted to British companies to sell weapons parts to Israel because of concerns over their use in Israel's recent war on the Gaza Strip, British and Israeli officials said Monday. The decision, which an Israeli official said applied to parts for missile boats.

'Further unrest can lead to Iran's disintegration'
13 Jul 2009 - The defeated conservative candidate in Iran's disputed presidential polls warned the government and opposition protesters that more post-election turmoil could lead to the country's disintegration. In remarks published on his website, Mohsen Rezai urged the other two defeated candidates - both of them reformists - to drop their push for a new vote.

British Embassy staff had key role in unrest, claims Iran daily
13 Jul 2009 - An Iranian government newspaper said Monday a detained local employee of the British Embassy played a key role in post-poll unrest last month and his arrest shed new light on Britain’s “subversive activities.” The Iran daily, seen as close to hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, identified the employee as Hossein Rassam and said.

Israel rejects EU call for Palestinian state deadline
13 Jul 2009 - Israel on Monday rejected a European Union call for the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state by a certain deadline even if Israel and Palestinians fail to agree on a peace deal. “A peace agreement can come only following direct negotiations and cannot be imposed,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told public radio.

Key US allies face succession issues that may split political elites
13 Jul 2009 - Two key US allies in the Arab world, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are now both facing succession crises that may absorb, or even split, their political elites. This may mean a period of political unpredictability is ahead in both countries. It may well also complicate President Barack Obama’s Israeli-Arab peace diplomacy.

Unjustly jailed Palestinian declares Sleiman a 'hero'
13 Jul 2009 - Released prisoner Youssef Shaaban described President Michel Sleiman as a "hero" Monday for ordering his release after 15 years in prison. Lebanon's president on Friday ordered the release of the innocent Palestinian who spent 15 years in prison after he was convicted of assassinating a Jordanian diplomat, Omran al-Maayta in Beirut.

Venzuelan ambassador hosts reception for independence day
13 Jul 2009 - Zoed Karam, the Venezuelan ambassador to Lebanon, played host at a dazzling reception on July 6 in celebration of the Republic of Venezuela’s 198th anniversary of independence. More than one hundred distinguished guests attended the two-hour-long celebration at the Venezuelan Embassy.

Palestinian Information Center

Barhoum: Meeting next Saturday to evaluate Fatah's commitment
13 Jul 2009 - Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, has said that a meeting in Cairo next Saturday would evaluate the commitment of Fatah faction to previously approved understandings.

Chairperson of APU to raise question of detained MPs at int'l platforms
13 Jul 2009 - Huda Amer, the chairperson of the transitory APU, has declared her support for the issue of Palestinian MPs detained in IOA jails and vowed to raise their question at all international platforms.

Israeli minister changes Arab names of Palestinian cities
13 Jul 2009 - Israeli minister of transportation and road safety Yisrael Katz has ordered a change in all Arab names of Palestinian towns and cities that appear on signs on the streets into Hebrew names.

Hayya: Fatah informed Arab parties it was not interested in reconciliation
13 Jul 2009 - Khalil Al-Hayya, the political bureau member of Hamas, has revealed that Fatah faction was not interested in a successful conclusion of the national dialog to end the internal Palestinian rift.

IOA tears down Jerusalemite home, Sheikh Salah warns of accelerating judaization
13 Jul 2009 - Israeli occupation authority (IOA) controlled municipality of Jerusalem on Monday sent its bulldozers to the home of Alaa Al-Shobaki in Beit Hanina north of occupied Jerusalem and tore his house down.

Ahrar appeals for release of seriously ill Palestinian prisoner
13 Jul 2009 - The Ahrar center for prisoners' studies has appealed to all human rights organizations and Médecins Sans Frontières to immediately demand the release of Palestinian prisoner Ahmed Awad from IOA jails.

UK imposes some restrictions on sale of arms to Israel
13 Jul 2009 - Following a review of defense exports to Israel the British government decided to cancel five export licenses out of 182 reviewed, according to a report in the Haaretz newspaper.

Qaddoumi: Abbas, Dahlan involved in poisoning Arafat
13 Jul 2009 - Farouq Qaddoumi, the head of PLO's political department, has charged that Mahmoud Abbas, the former PA chief, and Fatah MP Mohammed Dahlan were involved in poisoning late PA chief Yasser Arafat.

Israeli occupation hands demolition orders to Aisawiye residents
13 Jul 2009 - Municipality workers of the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality on Sunday distributed demolition notifications to residents of Aisawiye village, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

Jewish settlers burn Palestinian olive groves
13 Jul 2009 - Jewish settlers from the Beit Ayin settlement on Sunday burnt large areas of Palestinian cultivated lands planted with olives, almonds and grapes in Beit Ummar village, Al-Khalil district.

Los Angeles Times

After a long absence, pro-Mousavi cleric Rafsanjani to lead prayers 
13 Jul 2009 - Former President Mohammad Khatami reportedly will also attend Iran's weekly keynote sermon Friday. The reformists' return to the event can be seen as a challenge to hard-liners or a sign of a truce. A powerful cleric who has been a driving force behind the opposition movement challenging the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will lead Friday prayers this week after a two-month absence that was considered a sign of conflict within the Iranian establishment. 

Advisor to Iran supreme leader calls for tolerance of dissent 
12 Jul 2009 - The cleric urges the government to reach out to protesters, even as a top military official warns that troops are willing to sacrifice their lives to quell unrest. A top advisor to Iran's supreme leader Saturday urged the country's establishment to be more tolerant of dissent, even as military officials stepped up their rhetoric in the latest signs of divisions created by the marred reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad one month ago. 

New York Times

Candidate Declares Iran May Face ‘Disintegration’
12 Jul 2009 - A statement issued by a candidate in the recent presidential election showed that a government crackdown and warnings have not stifled dissent. 


Israel rejects EU deadline proposal 
The National - RAMALLAH // Israel yesterday rejected a proposal by Javier Solana, the EU’s foreign policy chief, that the international community should set a deadline for Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and prepare its own proposal for a solution in the meantime. “Peace must be built, not imposed,” Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, told Israel Radio by way of response. “I don’t think this is the position of the European Union. This is simply personal: Javier Solana is about to retire, by the end of the year he will quit his position and his replacement is meant to come. ”Mr Solana had suggested in a lecture in London on Saturday that should Palestinian-Israeli talks fail to reach a conclusion by an internationally set deadline, then “a solution backed by the international community should be put on the table”. Furthermore, he added, “a UN Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two-state solution” and accept a Palestinian state as a full member of the United Nations. 

U.K.: We revoked Israel arms licenses, but it’s no embargo 
Ha'aretz - The British Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed Monday that the United Kingdom has revoked a number of arms export licenses to Israel following the Gaza war, but insisted that the move did not constitute a partial embargo. " There is no partial U. K. arms embargo on Israel," the embassy said in a statement to Haaretz. "U. K. policy remains to assess all export licenses to Israel against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria. " The statement came in response to a Haaretz report that Britain had indeed slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel, refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4. 5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year. What do you think about the embargo? Join the debate on the Haaretz. com Facebook groupThe embassy added: "We reassessed these licenses against the US. . . " 

Palestinians Doubt Sincerity of Netanyahu Offer for Talks - July 12, 2009 - Netanyahu Demands Palestinians Abandon Right of Return - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today offered immediate peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “to advance the peace process. ” Palestinian officials have called for Israel to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank as a precondition of talks, which Netanyahu has been unwilling to accept. Abbas again rejected the offer of talks without the settlement halt. Top negotiator Saeb Erekat said he did not believe that Netanyahu’s offer was a serious attempt at a peace deal, saying it was part of Israel’s public relations effort with the West. He added that the Palestinians would not accept any US-brokered deal that allowed Israel to continue settlement construction. The US and other Western governments have called on Israel to halt the settlement expansion, and the European Union 


The Essence of the Regime 
Uri Avnery, CounterPunch 7/13/2009
      From Captain Koepenick to Netanyahu
     Every German child knows the story of the Captain of Koepenick.
     The scene is 1908 Germany, with the Second Reich at the peak of its power, ruled by a Kaiser who is almost always decked out in a splendid military uniform.
     A shoemaker named Wilhelm Voigt is released from prison, after doing time for fraud. He needs a passport to get a job, but felons cannot obtain a passport.
     The shoemaker goes to a masquerade shop and puts on the uniform of an army captain. He commandeers a squad of soldiers that happens to be passing in the street. They do notice some irregularities in his outfit but dare not disobey an officer.
     The “captain” marches the soldiers to the little town of Koepenick, a suburb of Berlin, arrests the mayor and confiscates the safe, which contains blank passports. Later the police have no great difficulty making out who committed the outrage, and it is not long before he is arrested.
     When an adjutant announces the news to the Kaiser, the court holds its breath. After a tense moment or two, His Majesty bursts out laughing. All of Germany laughs with him, along with the rest of Europe.
     The “Hauptmann von Koepenick” became a legend, because his adventure threw into relief the very essence of the regime: in the militarist Germany of the time, just before World War I, military rank meant unquestioned authority.

Bill Robinson vs. the ADL Thought Police 
Jeff Gates, Uruknet 7/13/2009
      When sociology Professor Bill Robinson stared down the Anti-Defamation League, it looked like a victory for academic freedom. Yet was it? Robinson was portrayed as an anti-Semite because he sent an email to students featuring a photo essay critical of Israel that had circulated online for weeks. While University of California administrators dallied, the ADL and its international network turned up the heat?signaling academics worldwide they could be next.
     It looked like progress when the faculty at UC Santa Barbara urged "changes in procedures to avoid improprieties and abuses in the future?." But was it? By then the ADL campaign had created the intended chilling effect. This silencing campaign was featured news for five time-critical months while a newly elected U.S. president was reassessing U.S.-Israeli relations. How can anyone calculate the full extent of the damage?not only to Robinson?s reputation and to the stature of the University of California but also to national security?
     So where?s the victory? Clearly Robinson deserves acclaim for resisting pressure as the ADL deployed its most seasoned operatives, including Marvin Heir, a rabbi at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. Only an investigation can identify who mobilized the donor community that threatened UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang with the withdrawal of funds.
     What was the motivation for this high profile intimidation campaign? Was the ADL driven simply by the discomfort that two students voiced on their receipt of his email criticizing Israeli policy? Or did the ADL network have its sights on a broader strategic goal?

Electronic Intifada
Is Israel guilty of piracy?
13 Jul 2009 - When the Israeli navy seized the Spirit of Humanity and its 21 passengers on 30 June, did the commandos commit acts of piracy under international law? Civil rights attorney Radhika Sainath argues that the laws of piracy should not be selectively applied to poor Africans who hijack huge tankers belonging to rich corporations, but enforced against Israel as well. 

HeidelbergCement tries to sell West Bank mines as legal, boycott pressures grow
13 Jul 2009 - HeidelbergCement, one of the world's largest manufacturers of building materials, is reportedly trying to sell its Israeli investments as it has become the target of legal action because of its activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Adri Nieuwhof reports for EI that the move comes amid growing pressure by the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement on transnational companies profiting from Israeli occupation. 

Argentinian singer urged to cancel performance at Israeli festival
11 Jul 2009 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) is writing to express its grave concern about your upcoming appearance in the "Festival Argentina-Israel" in Israel on 14 July. As an artist with a great following because of your commitment to justice, we are writing to urge you to cancel your participation in a festival sponsored by a state that is complicit in some of the worst human rights abuses of our modern era. 

The victory of defeat
10 Jul 2009 - While Israel has been buying yet more time with Washington in bickering over a paltry settlement freeze, it has been forging ahead with the process of creating two Palestinian territories, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, that, despite supposedly emerging from occupation, are in reality sinking ever deeper into chronic dependency on Israeli goodwill. This is creating a culture of absolute Israeli control and absolute Palestinian dependency, enforced by proxy Palestinian rulers acting as mini-dictatorships. Jonathan Cook comments. 

In Gaza
resisting by living
13 Jul 2009 - Walking the sandy lane through the As Samouni district of Zeitoun it was obvious that little had changed, nothing had improved, half a year after the Israeli attacks on Gaza which killed 48 from the Samouni family in a series of Israeli targeted shooting and shelling of the civilians. A bulldozer had just begun the work of pushing aside the piles of broken homes, sifting, dumping, clearing away memories of life and death. But the latter remain, present in every demolished building, in the paths between homes, in the razed farmland, in the absence of family members. In Mousa Samouni ’s house the memories of death are stronger. The Israeli...

Palestine Chronicle
Left and Islam: Thinking Outside the Secular Box
13 Jul 2009 - By Gilad Atzmon – London "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." -- Karl Marx 1843 Before I launch into a disclosure of liberal and leftist delusional treatment of religions, Islam and Palestine in particular, I would like to share with you a bad racist joke. Beware; you may not want to share this short tale with your feminist friends. An American female activist who visited Afghanistan in the late 1990s was devastated to find out that women were marching 15 ft behind their men. She soon learned from her local translator that this was due to some religious guidelines that ruled [this is the way we show] respect for the ‘head of the family’. Once back in America the devastated activist launched campaigns after campaigns for women's rights in Afghanistan. As it happened, the same devoted activist visited Kabul last month. This time she was amazed to find a totally different reality. Women were actually marching 30 ft ahead of their husbands. The activist was quick to report to her headquarters in America: “The Women rights revolution is a great success here in Afghanistan. While in the past it was the man who marched in the front, now it is the women who takes the lead.” Her Afghani translator, who overheard her report, took the activist aside and advised her that her interpretation was totally wrong. “The women” he...

Israeli Dr. Strangelove Taunts 'Goyim'
13 Jul 2009 - By Ira Glunts Dr. Uzi 'Strangeglovitch' Arad mocked proponents of a Palestinian state and taunted advocates of an Israeli/Palestinian peace process this week in a revealing interview published (1) on Friday, July 10 in the Israeli daily, Ha'aretz. Dr. Arad also made provocative remarks about blockading Iran and retaining much of the Golan Heights. Uzi Arad is the national security advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and is considered to be one of the most influential foreign policy advisors and powerful voices in the current Israeli administration. In the interview, Arad sarcastically alluded to any possible Palestinian state as an entity that would be limited to producing its own stamps, parades and carnivals. When interviewer Ari Shavit summarized Arad's derogatory and dismissive characterization of a future Palestinian state as "an American peace event with Hollywood trappings," the security advisor did not contradict the description, but rather bemoaned the lack of a capable Palestinian leadership and claimed that "even the moderates among them do not want a settlement." Dr. Arad then expressed a ludicrous racist view that Palestinian leadership is "genetically" incapable of understanding the conflict from Israel's point of view. He further described the late President Yasser Arafat as "vulgar." Uzi Arad is a Princeton-educated acolyte of Hermann Kahn, a man Arad calls the original Dr. Strangelove, a "Jewish American genius," and a "salient nuclear hawk" who advocated the "feasibility of nuclear wars." Arad, who describes himself as a devotee of Kahn, which includes being a nuclear hawk, wrote a...

The Goldstone Commission on Gaza
13 Jul 2009 - By Shafiq Morton – Cape Town When the most recent Goldstone Commission, appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council, announced its intentions to probe human rights violations and the possibility of war crimes during Israel’s 22-day invasion of Gaza, it did not exactly set the media on fire. Nor did its lukewarm response in Israeli and Palestinian circles help much either, with Goldstone being described as a “passing cloud” by an Israeli spokesman, and Israel predictably refusing to recognize the commission. Then there was the fact that Israel had already officially exonerated its forces in the invasion. It had contended there were no deliberate attacks on Palestinian civilians, and that there were only isolated mistakes leading to the deaths of 21 unarmed combatants. How this fits in with the internationally-agreed death tally of about 1,400 Palestinians (with over 900 being unarmed civilians) is difficult to say. The BBC reports that ten Israeli soldiers (four by friendly fire) and three civilians died in the conflict. In Gaza, the idea of the Goldstone Commission was received with resignation. Too many international commissions had come and gone in Gaza without promise, so was there really any reason to get excited about this one? However, in the corridors of Israeli officialdom and the United States there was just enough edginess to hint that Goldstone was an influential enough figure to make the truth embarrassing. Indeed, if any legal figure had the prerequisite gravitas on Gaza, it had to be Justice Richard Goldstone. He...

'Reckless' to Sail in International Waters
13 Jul 2009 - By Stuart Littlewood – London I thought I would share this with you. Britain's foreign secretary David Miliband - or rather, someone on his behalf – has written to me about the government’s response to Israel's hijacking of the mercy ship Spirit of Humanity on the high seas and the outrageous treatment of six peace-loving British citizens (including the skipper), en route to Gaza not Israel, who had their gear stolen or damaged and were thrown into Israeli jails. The letter contains the usual wet and meaningless expressions like deplore and press and raise the issue, which are the familiar hallmark of Foreign Office mentality. And I’m told it is "reckless" to travel in international waters. It should, of course, be safe – and would be if the high and mighty Western allies, always talking big against terror, were to enforce maritime law and rid the Eastern Mediterranean of marauding Israeli pirates. Miliband’s spokesman says: "The Israeli Navy took control of the Spirit of Humanity on 30 June, diverting it to Ashdod port in Israel. All those on board, including six British nationals, were handed over to Israeli immigration officials. British consular officials had good access to the British detainees and established that they were treated well. The Israeli authorities deported the detainees on 6 July." Treated well? That’s not what the peaceful seafarers say. They were assaulted, put in fear of their lives and deprived of their liberty for fully a week - a long time in a stinking...

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