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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
14 July , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Palestinian journalists detained at military checkpoint
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli forces detained five employees that were a part of a TV crew of the Watan Media Center at a military checkpoint close to the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday. 

Israeli tanks invades northern Gaza and open fire at residents homes
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli tanks and bulldozers invaded on Tuesday midday farm lands located in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli bulldozers destroy 4.5 Acers of Palestinian owned land in northern W.B
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli bulldozers have destroyed on Tuesday 4.5 Acers of Palestinian farm lands near the northern West bank city of Nablus.

Israeli settlers injures a boy in Hebron
14 Jul 2009 - A group of armed Israeli settlers attacked and injured a Palestinian child on Monday night in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The Israeli military kidnaps 12 Palestinian civilians from the West Bank
14 Jul 2009 - The Israelis military kidnapped on Tuesday 12 Palestinian civilians during invasions targeting a number of west Bank communities.

PM Fayyad committed to the Road Map
14 Jul 2009 - Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, said that his security forces will continue efforts to wrestle control over Palestinian-ruled areas in the West Bank in a way that would prevent Palestinian attacks inside Israel, based on the the U.S-backed road map peace plan of 2003

Heidelberg Cement attempts to divest from Israeli holdings
14 Jul 2009 - As the boycott campaign against what organizers call Israel’s 'apartheid policies' continues to grow, another company has announced that they are attempting to divest.  Heidelberg Cement, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of building materials, is trying to sell off its subsidiary company in Israel, Hanson Israel. 

Viva Palestina convoy from US to Gaza stopped in Egypt; hope to cross into Gaza Wednesday
14 Jul 2009 - A convoy of humanitarian aid from the US, including 47 vehicles, tons of medical supplies, and 120 caravan participants, has been stopped by Egyptian authorities at the Suez Canal.  The aid convoy is the second one organized by British Parliament Member George Galloway – the first successfully brought aid via a truck convoy from the United Kingdom earlier this year. 

FM Lieberman says President Abbas is weak; Abbas aides refute the remarks
13 Jul 2009 - The Israeli foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said on Monday that as the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas legitimacy as the leader of the Palestinians waned, he has increased his demands and toughened 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.

Ha'aretz Defense page

Israel blocks French envoys from Gaza to protest Shalit captivity
14 Jul 2009 - Consulate planned to send 15 to Gaza for Bastille Day, but did not submit request within allotted time. 

Charges dropped against settler filmed shooting Palestinians
14 Jul 2009 - Prosecution decides not to try Ze'ev Braude in order to prevent exposing evidence that might harm state. 

Israeli warships cross Suez Canal again
14 Jul 2009 - Egyptian FM: Crossing legitimate under Cairo-Jerusalem deal; move could be seen as warning to Iran. 

Explosions rock Hezbollah arms depot near Israel border
14 Jul 2009 - Lebanese official says fire caused series of explosions in storehouse holding weapons from 2006 war. 

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. 

Ma'an News

Palestine Media Forum: Israel must release eight imprisoned journalists
7/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - The Palestinian Media Forum and human rights and media organizations called for the immediate intervention on the continued detainment of eight journalists in Israeli prisons in a statement TuesdayThe journalists have been in prison for terms ranging up to nine months; some have been subject to solitary confinement and others have long since finished the sentences imposed on them following their detention, the report said. Those currently in jail are:Walid Khalid, Nizar Ramdan, Mohamed Al-Kik, Hasan Ar-Rgoueb, Amjad Al-Shwamra, Youisf Ja’as, Hussam Badran and Sami Asi; all from the West Bank. Beyond the detentions, the Media Forum noted, Israeli forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continue to harass and attack journalists on a regular basis. Treatment is especially brutal when journalists are covering protests against Israeli policies or incidents involving settlers. 

Palestinian TV crew detained at checkpoint
7/14/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – Israeli soldiers detained five members of a Watan TV crew at a military checkpoint near the West Bank city of Surda, outside of Ramallah on Tuesday. The Watan Media center said that Israeli soldiers held the crew (Nizar Habash, Nadyah Sarsour, Ibrahim Badwan, Khaled Melhem and Soliman Abu Srouer) at the checkpoint, confiscating their camera equipment and forcing them to sit on the ground. Hundreds of cars were also forced to wait at the checkpoint and Palestinians were prevented from leaving and entering Ramallah. [end] 

Boy hospitalized after Hebron settler assault
7/14/2009 - Hebron – Ma’an – A Palestinian boy, 14-year-old Jamil Abu Haykal from Hebron in the southern West Bank, was hospitalized on Monday night after he was assaulted by Israeli settlers from the Tel Rumeida settlement. Medical sources at Hebron’s Government Hospital said the boy suffered from several bruises asserting that his condition has stabilized. Tel Rumeida is one of the militant settler compounds in the heart of Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank. [end] 

Prison rule sees women barred from bringing small children to lawyers meetings
7/14/2009 - Gaza - Ma’an - A prison administration decision made under former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is being appealed by Palestinian prisoners’ rights groups as a violation of basic freedoms. The decision prohibits mothers whose young children are imprisoned with them, from taking their children with them during lawyers’ visits. Last week, Fatima Az-Zak was informed she would have to leave her five-month-old son in her prison cell during her visit with a lawyer from the group “Jerusalem Soul. ” When the lawyer learned of the reason Fatima was unable to make the visit, he protested with the prison administration at the Shalom facility. [end] 

Israeli bulldozers raze Palestinian farmland near Nablus
7/14/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Israeli military bulldozers razed more than 18,000 square meters of farm land belonging to the village of Urif, south of the West Bank city of Nablus on Tuesday, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank. Daghlas told Ma’an via telephone, “Since this morning, Israeli bulldozers razed 8,000 square meters in Khallat Az-Zeit south of Urif, and 10,000 more west of the village in Maris Asira. ”The village lies near the illegal Israeli settlement of Yitzhar. [end] 

High Court to hear two cases challenging 2007 state of emergency decree
7/14/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The Palestinian high court in Ramallah is hearing two cases this week which contest a 2007 presidential decree giving the civil court authority over military matters, and military courts control over some civil affairs. The first is an appeal by lawyers against the military court, contesting the legality of applying the Revolutionary Law of the Regulation of Trials of the Palestine Liberation Organization, enacted in 1979 and modified in 2007, to civilians. On 6 July 2007, during the thick of internecine fighting between Fatah and Hamas supporters and shortly before Hamas forces took over the Gaza Strip, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbasreleased a presidential decree that suspended Basic Law 2 and expanded the authorities of the military judiciary to include “crimes that endanger the public safety, including:Crimes against officials, employees, institutions. . . 

Israeli army: Car accident not caused by stone-throwing
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel’s army announced a West Bank car accident that left three Israeli settlers injured was not caused by Palestinian stone-throwing as earlier reports claimed. An Israei driver lost control of his vehicle near the village of Kfal Haris, ouside Nablus, late on Monday night, according to the website of the Israeli daily Haaretz. The newspaper earlier reported that the driver lost control after the car was hit with stones thrown by Palestinians who were attending a wedding party. Later reports said no such incident occured. The Israelis were driving through the town on their way back from praying at the site believed to be the burial of Joshua Bin Nun, the biblical conqueror of Canaan. One of the Israelis was moderately to seriously wounded, the other two lightly injured. They were evacuated for treatment to Beilinson Hospital in the Israeli city of Petah Tikva. 

10 Palestinians detained overnight
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli forces seized 10 Palestinians during raids throughout the West Bank Monday night, according to the military. The Israeli army did not disclose where the raids took place. Palestinians reported that three people were detained from the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. According to Muhammad Awad, the spokesperson of the Palestine Solidarity Project, an organization stationed in Beit Ummar, Israeli soldiers, accompanied by dogs, forced their way into several houses. Awad identified the detainees as Ibrahim Khalil Sabe Sabarneh, 30, Yehyah Ali Rashid Khalil, 17, Muntaser Yousef Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Ayyash, 18. Separately, Israeli troops detained a 16-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem at a roadblock in the Ras Khamis neighborhood of north Jerusalem. He was held on the charge of planning to stab an Israeli police officer at another roadblock in nearby Shuafat. 

Report: Israeli Bedouin teen wounded by bomb blast
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – A Bedouin boy was reportedly injured when a bomb he was carrying exploded on Tuesday morning, near the town of Zimirt, in the Negev desert in Israel. According to Israeli rescue services, the teenager climbed a tree and then fell, causing the bomb to explode, injuring him in the stomach. He was hospitalized. [end] 

Israeli family enters Ramallah, is handed back to Israel
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Palestinian security forces handed an Israeli family who entered Ramallah on Monday night over to Israeli forces, according to Israeli reports. The sources said Israeli and Palestinian Authority forces coordinated to safely transfer the family back into Israel. [end] 

Obama to US Jewish leaders: Israel must rethink policies
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – US President Barack Obama told leaders of American Jewish groups he is committed to Israel but the country must rethink its policy on illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. The comments came during an hour-long White House meeting with 16 leaders representing the Jewish pro-Israeli establishment. Notably, the meeting was also attended by Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director of J Street, a pro-Israeli organization that has taken more liberal positions on issues such as settlements. In addition to the stalled the Middle East peace process, the meeting also reportedly addressed fears over Iran’s nuclear program. Obama told the leaders that he wants to help Israel maintain a Jewish majority by reaching a two-state solution, but said that the country would need "to engage in serious self-reflection," according to news reports. 

Jerusalem affairs office to remain open thanks to Qatar funds
7/14/2009 - Jerusalem – Ma'an – Qatar will finance the legal affairs office in East Jerusalem under Hatem Abdul Qader following a long period with sporadic funding from the Palestinian Authority. Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and former member of the newly appointed caretaker government in the office of Minister of Jerusalem affairs, Abdul Qader announced the funding Tuesday. Abdul Qader, who resigned his role as Palestinian Minister for Jerusalem Affairs in late June, complained bitterly over the PA refusal to fund the office in Jerusalem that advocated on behalf of Palestinians in the area facing evictions and home demolitions. Abdul Qader returned on Monday night from Amman, Jordan, where he finalized the agreement with Qatar. The funding will pay for the medical bills of Palestinians whose health insurance was revoked by Israel, tuition for students at Al-Quds and Al-Quds Open universities. 

Report: Israeli warships cross Suez Canal
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – Two Israeli warships crossed the Suez Canal from the Mediterranean Sea into the Red Sea on Tuesday, Egyptian sources reported. Sources in the Suez Canal Authority said that an Israeli warship traversed the canal last month for the first time since Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty 30 years ago. The ship reportedly went to the Red Sea then returned to the Mediterranean. Israel has not confirmed the report. [end] 

World Bank donates 33.5 million USD for Gaza reconstruction, other projects
7/14/2009 - Ramallah – Ma’an – The World Bank signed contracts with the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday to pay 33. 5 million US dollars for development projects, including reconstruction in war-torn Gaza. The agreements were signed in the office of Palestinian caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah in the central West Bank. Fayyad (himself a former World Bank economist) and acting director of the World Bank Dina Abu Ghayda signed six agreements to reconstruct some of the areas of the Gaza Strip by the Israeli military offensive last winter. Together the projects will cost 21. 5 million US dollars which the World Bank will provide. The projects are as follows: 3 million dollars for electricity, 5 million for emergency services, 3 million for water, 3 million for municipal services, 3 million for NGOs, and 5 million for higher education.

Blair sees ’improvement’ in Nablus
7/14/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – Quartet Envoy Tony Blair said he believes the situation in the Nablus is improving on a visit to the beleaguered West Bank city on Tuesday. The former UK prime minister currently represents the grouping of the US, UN, EU, and Russia in the Middle East peace process, but his mandate is limited to improving the Palestinian economy and institutions. Blair’s visit to Nablus came one day after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who pledged to take steps to ease the Israeli military occupation’s crushing effect on the Palestinian economy and civilian life in the West Bank. Specifically, Netanyahu pledged to allow the new Palestinian mobile phone company Wataniya to begin operating within a month. On Tuesday Blair said the operator could be working within two weeks. While in Nablus Blair met governor Jamal Muheisin and civil society leaders. 

Israeli envoy holds first renewed meetings with Egyptian intelligence over Shalit
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli officials said former Mosad agent and swap-negotiations envoy Hagai Hadas concluded his first meeting in Egypt Tuesday. Hadas met with head of Egyptian Intelligence Omar Sulaiman in a renewed effort at mediated negotiations wtih factions in Gaza currently holding captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Talks stalled under former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert after he refused to release the 450 listed prisoners demanded by Hamas and other factions in exchange for the soldier. The deal put forward by Gaza factions demands the release of 450 Palestinian lawmakers, party members, activists, long term prisoners, woman, and personalities held in Israeli prisons. In addition to the specialized list of prisoners up to 1,000 others, to be chosen by Israel, would also be released. 

PA allegedly arrests four Hamas members
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem – Ma’an – The Hamas movement saidFatah-allied Palestinian Authority (PA) forces arrested four members of the Islamic movement in the West Bank on Tuesday. The movement said in a statement that the members were arrested in Ramallah and Qalqiliya. [end] 

Gaza: At least a week until secondary exam results
7/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an – The Ministry of Education in Gaza will need a week to 10 days to finish scoring the Tawjihi Palestinian secondary school exams, Minister Mohammad Askoul announced on Monday. Askoul said in an interview with Ma’an that there is no date set for the announcement of the results of the important college-placement test. He said that the ministry is close to finish scoring the tests. “We are in the last steps. We need between a week to ten days and when we are done we’ll announce the results of the Tawjihi exams,” the minister said. Palestinian students took the tests this year from 8 June until July 1. [end] 

Islamic Jihad will not join new government; will stay involved in politics
7/14/2009 - Gaza – Ma’an –Islamic Jihad will not join the new Palestinian government but will remain part of the Palestinian political structure, announced senior Islamic Jihad leader Muhammad Al-Hindi on Tuesday. Al-Hindi was adamant that the party would not be assuming a new role, saying it has “always been a part of the political structure,” following media commentary claiming the step was a new level of political engagement for Islamic Jihad. Participation in Palestinian politics is more than joining the government and participating in elections, Al-Hindi said, noting Islamic Jihad was and continues to be a full participant in the Cairo unity talks. [end] 

PLC member says Nablus amusement park 'unsafe' after three children injured
7/14/2009 - Nablus – Ma’an – An inquiry into the injury of three people including two children at a Nablus Municipality amusement part was demanded by member of the Palestinian Legislative Council Dr Najat Abu Baker on Tuesday. Last week a six-year-old girl fell from one of the rides at the Jamal Abdel Nasser Park amusement park, fracturing her skull and sustaining severe bruising and internal bleeping. One week before that a Ferris Wheel collapsed, lightly injuring half a dozen children and severely injuring two. Abu Baker said she travelled to the park for a personal inspection. She described the equipment and games as “old” and “unsafe,” and noted the staff showed a great lack of experience when dealing with the rides. “These machines need to be tested and maintained by experts,” she said, and demanded to know who had authorized the park. 

One ton of expired dates destroyed as Ramadan approaches
7/14/2009 - Hebron - Ma’an - More than one ton of expired food was destroyed by Palestinian Authority customs agents after officials discovered the goods were not approved for sale by the health ministry. Officials said most of the expired goods were dates smuggled into Palestinian cities from the Israeli settlements dotting the West Bank. Most of the goods are suspected to come from the settlements north of Bethlehem. The mass import of dates in the West Bank shops comes ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, which will see most West Bankers fast from sun-up to sun-down from 21 August to 19 September. It is traditional to break the day-long fast with dates and yoghurt, so date sales will soar over the coming weeks. Ministry of Health officials called on residents to take care and check the expiry dates of goods when they are Ramadan shopping. New Israeli-Palestinian software initative to stimulate economic growth
7/14/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - "I think its about getting everything you can do on your computer to work on a web page. . . something like that anyways," said G. ho. st supporter and Middle East Envoy to the Quartet Tony Blair. Blair, along with former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin's daughter Noa Rothman were the high-profile backers for the IT project, which launched its live version of G. ho. st, a free web space where users can upload files from their desktops and access the information including updated programs and software from anywhere with an internet connection. The project, three years in the making, was funded by the Benchmark Capital Fund and Noa Rothman's foundation, and hired Palestinian and Israeli developers trained in local universities to push forward the development. "It was a program aiming to bring some of the prosperity and skills to Palestinians that have brought success to the Israeli [IT] industry," one organizer said. 

The National

Netanyahu's substitute for sovereignty
14 Jul 2009 - Israel's prime minister hopes to persuade Palestinians seeking statehood to settle instead for economic and diplomatic peace'. 

Egypt divided by film of beaten wife
14 Jul 2009 - Reviewers and former fans target the actress Mona Zaki as they disparage a new movie that explores the suffering of women in contemporary Cairo.

Israeli ships may have crossed Suez
14 Jul 2009 - Two Israeli navy ships make a rare crossing of Egypt's Suez Canal, from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

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.


Iran hangs 'Sunni rebels'
14 Jul 2009 - Thirteen members of Jundallah group put to death in city of Zahedan, state media says.

Jordan sentences al-Qaeda fighter
14 Jul 2009 - Court hands down death penalty to man involved in killing of US diplomat.

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


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: What Do You Call It 
JERUSALEM, Jul 14 (IPS) - What's a name, what's in a road name? History, ideology, nationalism.

MIDEAST: Israeli Spy Ring Threatens Fragile Peace 
RAMALLAH, Jul 14 (IPS) - The UN Security Council has warned that the existence of a large Israeli-run espionage network in Lebanon could threaten a fragile peace established between the two countries following the end of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.

EUROPE: A Year On, Sarkozy's Euromed Struggles 
CAIRO, Jul 14 (IPS) - A year ago Monday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched the Union for the Mediterranean, or Euromed, a grouping of European Union nations plus 16 non- EU Mediterranean states. Since then, critics say, the initiative has made little tangible progress.

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.

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. [

Forced out and knocked down: house demolitions to hit the West Bank
14 Jul 2009 - A wave of house demolition orders has been distributed across the West Bank. The houses threatened are being issued the orders on the pretext that they are in Area C, in which Palestinians are not allowed to build. Inhabited and under-construction homes, storage structures and other infrastructure face destruction in the districts of Salfit, Hebron and Qalqilya. [

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

Campaign to release Palestinian activist arrested in Bil’in
International Solidarity Movement - Adeeb Abu Rahme, a leading Palestinian non-violent peace activist was arrested in the weekly Bil'in demonstration against the Apartheid Wall (see the video, Adeeb is the protester in the orange shirt with the mega-phone). The Israeli military is charging Adeeb with "incitement to violence," a charge that could bring a serious jail term. This charge is the culmination of a new attempt to "break" the non-violent resistance in Palestine by targeting the leaders of the non-violent protests. Adeeb is currently in detention and will be taken in front of a military judge on Thursday, 16 July 2009. The military prosecutor intends to request for Adeeb to remain in detention until the end of the proceedings against him. This could mean months or a year in military prison for Adeeb, who is the sole provider for his family of 9 children, wife and mother. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Did an Israeli anesthetic cause Michael Jackson's death? 
14 Jul 2009 - United States federal drug enforcement officials have contacted Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals - the maker of the powerful anesthetic Propofol - as part of their investigation into Michael Jackson's death. ...

Obama: Iran post-election protests could hinder nukes talks 
14 Jul 2009 - U.S. President Barack Obama hinted that the Iranian elections and the ensuing violent demonstrations could adversely affect the negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. ...

Holocaust survivor gets PhD for thesis on roots of Auschwitz 
13 Jul 2009 - At the ripe age of 81, a Holocaust survivor from Haifa has received a PhD for a thesis showing how Auschwitz-Birkenau began as a camp for coerced laborers working for a mismanaged Nazi industrial project. ...

New Shalit negotiator holds first round of talks in Cairo
13 Jul 2009 - The new Israeli envoy charged with negotiating for the released of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit held his first round of talks with Egyptian mediators on Tuesday. ...

Abbas allies denounce rumor president plotted against Arafat
13 Jul 2009 - Supporters of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have dismissed allegations that he once plotted against his late predecessor Yasser Arafat, calling the accusations a smear campaign to wreck party unity. ...

The Guardian

West Bank cancels Leonard Cohen concert in protest against Israel
14 Jul 2009 - Palestinian hosts call off Canadian singer's gig amid claims it was a hollow attempt to 'balance' Tel Aviv performance A Leonard Cohen concert planned in Ramallah on the West Bank in September has been cancelled after...

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...

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

Charges dropped against settler filmed shooting Palestinians 
13 Jul 2009 - The State Prosecution said Tuesday that it was dropping charges against a resident of Kiryat Arba who was caught on film shooting at two Palestinians in the West Bank last December. ...

Israel revives bill to require referendum on Golan pullout
13 Jul 2009 - A cabinet panel has endorsed a bill that would require parliamentary approval or a national referendum before any pullout from Syrian territory, an official said on Tuesday. ...

Jerusalem mother suspected of starving her toddler for months 
13 Jul 2009 - Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators rallied on Tuesday against the arrest of a Jerusalem woman suspected of starving her toddler son over a period of several months. ...

Relief Web

Food Insecurity Level in the West Bank (June 2009)
14 Jul 2009 - Source: WFP

OPT: Refugee stories - European Commission improves lives of ex-Gaza refugees in Jerash camp
14 Jul 2009 - Source: UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

OPT: Food security monitoring survey in the West Bank (Jan / Feb 2009) - Draft
14 Jul 2009 - Source: Food and Agriculture Organization, Palestinian National Authority, World Food Programme

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

YNet News

Soldiers say received orders to shoot first, worry later in Gaza war
14 Jul 2009 - Breaking the Silence activist group presents report of testimonies from Gaza offensive in which soldiers say destruction, civilian casualties were direct result of IDF policy. Army: Testimonies are general, anonymous, and unreliable

IDF soldier charged with rape
14 Jul 2009 - Indictment says soldier tied woman soldier to bed in his room, then forced himself on her; defendant says he was engaged in consensual sexual relationship with complainant 

FBI's wanted man says his Jewish girlfriend is pregnant
14 Jul 2009 - Mickey Louis Mayon, arrested in Tel Aviv for hate crimes committed in US, asks to remain in Israel

Israel to test Arrow missile on US range
14 Jul 2009 - Pentagon official says move will allow testing of defense missile on longer range than Mediterranean

Mother suspected of starving toddler son
14 Jul 2009 - Neturei Karta member apparently suffering from Munchausen syndrome arrested after security cameras catch her disconnecting malnourished son from feeding tube; toddler's condition improving; Jerusalem welfare office set ablaze in protest of arrest 

Police: Case against Lieberman solid 
14 Jul 2009 - Investigators present AG Mazuz with findings, according to which there is sufficient evidence to indict FM for money laundering, fraud, breach of trust 

Hadas holds first Egypt talks on Shalit
14 Jul 2009 - Netanyahu's new envoy to talks on captured soldier meets with Egyptian intelligence chief


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 

Daily Star

Iran hangs 13 members of Sunni rebel group
14 Jul 2009 - Iran hanged 13 members of a Sunni rebel group on Tuesday for killings and attacks in a volatile southeastern region of the country, but they were put to death in prison and not in public as initially planned, official media reported. The execution of a 14th member of Jundullah (Soldiers of God), a brother of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi.

Aide: Iran reform leader to set up new political front
14 Jul 2009 - Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi will create an umbrella group made up of reform-minded political parties, a top aide told the Associated Press on Tuesday in the most concrete indication yet of how he will move forward after a government crackdown crushed street protests.

Syria upholds jail terms for 12 dissidents
14 Jul 2009 - A Syrian appeal court has upheld 30-month jail terms slapped on 12 opposition figures who called for democratic reforms, a human rights group said on Tuesday. “The appeal court rejected the motion submitted by defense lawyers for the opposition figures who signed the ‘Damascus Declaration,’” said the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Obama meets with US Jewish leaders on Israel, Iran
14 Jul 2009 - President Barack Obama told Jewish leaders Monday that eight years of US-Israeli unison in demanding Palestinian concessions has produced no results and asked leaders to give him time to try his tactics for Middle East peace. Obama assured 16 Jewish leaders that the US remained steadfast in its commitment to Israel’s security.

Israeli troops told ‘shoot first, worry later’ during Gaza war
14 Jul 2009 - Some of the Israeli soldiers who took part in Israel’s recent war on Gaza say they were urged by commanders to shoot first and worry later about sorting out civilians from combatants. Accordingly, they soldiers say, the force went into Gaza with guns blazing. Israel has rejected charges by Amnesty International.

Palestinian Information Center

Hamas slams Fayyad’s remarks about protection of Israel’s security
14 Jul 2009 - Hamas said that Fayyad’s remarks about the need for deploying PA security forces in the West Bank cities to protect Israel were recognition that his arrests are aimed to liquidate the resistance.

Islamic-Christian front calls for urgent emergency plan to support Jerusalemites
14 Jul 2009 - The Islamic-Christian front urged the Arab League and the organization of the Islamic conference to develop an urgent contingency plan to strengthen the steadfastness of Jerusalemites.

Prisoners' club: Hadarim slashes bread ration to Palestinian prisoners
14 Jul 2009 - The Israeli prison authority in Hadarim has reduced by two thirds the ration of bread provided for the Palestinian prisoners, the Palestinian prisoners' club said on Tuesday.

IOF troops bulldoze Palestinian lands
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Tuesday advanced into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanun amidst indiscriminate firing and bulldozed agricultural lands, eyewitnesses reported.

Hamas: Fatah's attempt to adjourn dialog session reveals attempt to obstruct it
14 Jul 2009 - The Hamas Movement on Tuesday said that Fatah's attempt to postpone the seventh round of dialog talks in Cairo served as an attempt to obstruct dialog and evade its prerequisites.

Masri: Dahlan’s remarks verified what was revealed by Qaddoumi
14 Jul 2009 - MP Mushir Al-Masri stated that the remarks made by Mohamed Dahlan days ago about the ability of Fatah faction to control Gaza during two hours confirmed Farouk Al-Qaddoumi’s statement.

IOF troops detain 10 Palestinians
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli occupation forces rounded up ten Palestinians on Monday night in various West Bank areas in line with their daily raids and arrests of Palestinian citizens.

Citizen’s refusal to sell his house ends with its demolition in Silwan
14 Jul 2009 - The IOA bulldozed the house of a Palestinian citizen in Silwan town after he had refused to sell his house to Zionist settlement societies.

Abu Salem: Palestinian lawmakers suffer from Israeli policy of suppression
14 Jul 2009 - MP Ibrahim Abu Salem, an ex-detainee in Israeli jails, said Monday that prisoners and lawmakers in Israeli jails suffer a lot as a result of the policy of torture practiced against them.

Netanyahu: Recognizing Jewish nature of Israel key to peace
14 Jul 2009 - Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has underlined that recognizing the Jewish nature of Israel was the key to peace in the Middle East.

Los Angeles Times

Iran opposition leader, wife visit slain man's family 
14 Jul 2009 - Mir-Hossein Mousavi and his wife are swarmed by supporters near the home. His plans to form a political front wins the backing of powerful cleric Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and a key conservative. Iran's leading opposition figure and his wife emerged Tuesday night to pay their respects to the family of a 19-year-old man slain during recent weeks of violence, according to witnesses and reports on news websites. 

Slain Iranian teenager becomes symbol of protests 
14 Jul 2009 - Sohrab Aarabi, 19, had gone missing June 15 during an election protest. Authorities finally handed over his body to his mother, who says she will not remain silent. Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral Monday of 19-year-old Sohrab Aarabi, a quiet young man whose body was returned to his family after nearly a month of frantic searching by friends and relatives. He had disappeared June 15 during a protest against the disputed reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

President Obama addresses Jewish concerns 
14 Jul 2009 - He tells American Jewish leaders who are concerned about the public disagreements between Israel and the U.S. that such disputes are useful in the pursuit of peace. Some are not convinced. A private meeting Monday held to ease tensions between the White House and American Jewish leaders included a pointed exchange as President Obama said public disagreements between the U.S. government and Israel are useful in the pursuit of Middle East peace, several participants said. 

New York Times

Iran Executes 13 It Calls Sunni Rebels
14 Jul 2009 - Thirteen members of a Sunni Muslim rebel group were hanged Tuesday morning in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan, the Iranian state news agency reported. 

2 Somali-Americans Charged With Aiding Terror
13 Jul 2009 - Federal officials unsealed an indictment in Minneapolis on Monday charging two young Somali-Americans with providing material support for terrorism. 

Clerics Fault a Mute Iran as Muslims Die in China
13 Jul 2009 - Their comments often seemed aimed at the Iranian government’s own conduct during the crackdown after the disputed June 12 election. 


The CIA’s kill teams were modeled on Israel’s hit squads 
Newsweek - Don’t Shoot - A ferocious dispute between the CIA and congressional Democrats centers on an ultrasecret effort launched by agency officials after 9/11 to draw up plans to hunt down and kill terrorists using commando teams similar to those deployed by Israel after the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, according to a former senior U. S. official. Officials of the CIA's undercover spying branch, then known as the Directorate of Operations, on and off over the last several years repeatedly floated and revised plans for such operations, which would involve sending squads of operatives overseas, sometimes into friendly countries, to track and assassinate Al Qaeda leaders, much the same way Israeli Mossad agents sent assassins to Europe to kill men they believed responsible for murdering Israeli Olympic athletes, the former official said. 

Netanyahu: Palestinians could achieve more if they cooperated 
Ha'aretz - 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. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks backed by a quartet of international mediators - the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia - are currently frozen. Netanyahu's office said in a statement following the meeting between Netanyahu and Blair that "efforts and decisions are being made to accelerate the economic development in the area. . . and to provide relief to the Palestinian residents. " The prime minister promised Blair that Israel would take action to facilitate the launching of a new cellular phone network in the West Bank by the end of this month. 

Tensions soar between Israeli UN delegation, Al-Jazeera 
Ha'aretz - 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. The Arab network's chief UN correspondent, Khaled Dawoud, has accused the Israeli delegation of discriminatory policies and harassment. The Israeli diplomats, for their part, have accused Dawoud of disruptive behavior and of exploiting press conferences and events with Israeli officials as a podium to bash Israel. UN sources have expressed concern that the overt hostility between the network and Israel during January's Operation Cast Lead might be repeated. The Israeli consulate in New York has since received several complaint letters from Dawoud, whose "pugnacious language raised a few eyebrows," consulate sources said. Dawoud complained that he was treated unfairly comparing to other New York-based reporters, 

Israeli warships cross Suez Canal again 
Ha'aretz - Two Israel Navy warships made a rare crossing of Egypt's Suez Canal on Tuesday, heading from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea in a voyage that could be seen as a warning signal to Iran. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that the crossings were legitimate in accordance with an agreement between Cairo and Jerusalem. One of the ships, the Hanit, had reportedly already crossed the canal both ways in June, in what a port source called the first case of a large Israeli warship using the strategic waterway. However, this was not possible to confirm officially. The other ship to cross on Tuesday, the Eilat, was named after a destroyer sunk by Egypt with the loss of 47 lives shortly after the 1967 Six Day War, the source told AFP. Israeli defense officials said that two missile boats did cross the canal, but they spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the matter. 

Israel and EU Clash Over Settlements - Mel Frykberg - RAMALLAH – 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. The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, said that Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank was strangling the Palestinian economy and forcing Palestinians there to become more dependent on foreign aid. " It is the European taxpayers who pay most of the price of this dependence," read the July 6 EC statement. According to the EC, expropriation of fertile Palestinian land for the settlements, the settlers-only bypass roads which serve them, and the hundreds of West Bank checkpoints manned by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have stunted Palestinian economic growth. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that $509 million 

Britain revokes 5 arms export licenses to Israel - Britain revokes 5 arms export licenses to Israel, cites concerns over conduct during Gaza war - 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 in the Gaza Strip, British and Israeli officials said Monday. The decision, which an Israeli official said applied to parts for missile boats, does not appear to affect Israel's military capabilities significantly. But it was symbolic given the international outcry against the Israeli military's conduct during the three-week war early this year. While recognizing Israel's right to defend itself, Britain has characterized Israeli actions during the bruising war as "disproportionate. " An Israeli official said Britain canceled five licenses that applied to Saar-class missile boat parts after reviewing 182 licenses in all. 

Hamas: Israel distributes libido-increasing gum in Gaza 
YNetNews - 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 - Is Israel targeting the Palestinian population in Gaza by distributing libido-increasing chewing gum in the Strip? A Hamas police spokesman in the Gaza Strip Islam Shahwan claimed Monday that Israeli intelligence operatives are attempting to "destroy" the young generation by distributing such materials in the coastal enclave. . . Shahwan added that the police have recently seized large amounts of drugs and alcohol attached to the underside of automobiles passing through Erez crossing. The automobile owners admitted receiving help for smuggling the materials from Israeli intelligence operatives. 

MIDEAST:Israeli Spy Ring Threatens Fragile Peace 
Inter Press Service - Mel Frykberg - RAMALLAH, Jul 14 (IPS) - The UN Security Council has warned that the existence of a large Israeli-run espionage network in Lebanon could threaten a fragile peace established between the two countries following the end of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. Lebanon's citizens and its security establishment have been rocked by the arrest of over 30 Lebanese military and police officials, some of them top- ranking officers, who are allegedly part of an Israeli spy ring which has been operating in the country since the early 1990s. Twenty people have so far been charged, some in absentia, while another ten are under investigation. Despite the ceasefire between Lebanon and its southern neighbour, the former considers itself still technically at war with Israel. Treason in Lebanon is punishable by death. A growing list of double agents has been exposed over the last few years as part 


Hamas’ Choice 
Ali Abunimah, CounterPunch 7/14/2009
      Recognition or Resistance in the Age of Obama
     In a major policy speech on June 25, 2009, Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political bureau, tried to do what may be impossible: present the Islamist Palestinian resistance organization as a willing partner in a US-led peace process, while holding on to his movement’s political principles and base.*
     This is the dilemma that every Palestinian leadership, and perhaps almost every liberation movement, has eventually had to confront. It is a choice between recognition and legitimacy, as political scientist Tamim Barghouti has pointed out (in a paper given at the Annual Symposium of the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University on the theme: "Palestine and the Palestinians Today," April 2-3, 2009, Washington, DC.)
     According to Barghouti, the old-guard Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leadership, when confronted with the same dilemma, chose recognition and forfeited its legitimacy, opening the way for Hamas to emerge. Now it is the turn of Hamas: the price demanded by the US and its allies for Hamas to be taken as an interlocutor is the abandonment of the very principles on which the movement built its mass support.
     Meshal’s nearly hour-long "address to the Palestinian people and the world" was billed as a response to the speeches of US President Barack Obama in Cairo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in June.
     In his Cairo speech, Obama called for Americans and Muslims to engage in a "sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground." If he is serious about that, he -- and others -- should pay close attention to what Hamas is saying to domestic, regional and international audiences. Meshal’s goals -- very much in tension -- were to show that his movement is ready to do business with the US, set out political red lines, reassure the movement’s supporters and Palestinians generally and deal with internal Palestinian divisions.

Netanyahu’s substitute for sovereignty 
Jonathan Cook, The National 7/15/2009
      JENIN // The reality of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promises of “economic peace” for the Palestinians is nowhere under greater scrutiny than in Jenin, the northern West Bank city being aggressively promoted as a potential model of co-operation with Israel.
     Once known as the City of Martyrs for the high number of suicide bombers it despatched into Israel, Jenin was the site of a savage battle in 2002 as the Israeli army reoccupied much of the West Bank.
     Israelis find it hard to forget that this was where they suffered the biggest loss of life in a single battle – 23 soldiers killed retaking the city. Palestinians find it hard to forgive the bulldozing of Jenin’s large refugee camp, and the killing of 56 inhabitants in a few days.
     But today Jenin, the first Palestinian city to be sealed behind Israel’s separation wall, is being feted – at least by Israel – as a successful experiment in peacemaking.
     The Palestinian gunmen who once roamed the streets are gone, replaced, by day, by lightly armed Palestinian security forces trained in Jordan by a US general, Keith Dayton.
     Israeli soldiers, meanwhile, have unfettered access to the city between midnight and dawn, though nowadays, say local people, the army rarely makes incursions.
     For Mr Netanyahu, Jenin represents his best hope of persuading Washington that an “economic and diplomatic peace”, as he referred to it at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, rather than full statehood, will satisfy the Palestinians.
     The process of easing restrictions began before Mr Netanyahu’s tenure in March. Last year, Ehud Barak, then as now the defence minister, called Jenin a “great success” in what was widely interpreted as a test of Palestinian readiness for limited statehood on Israeli terms.

Electronic Intifada
Israel and EU clash over settlements
14 Jul 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (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. The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, said that Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank was strangling the Palestinian economy and forcing Palestinians there to become more dependent on foreign aid. 

Breakdance breaks out in the Gaza Strip
14 Jul 2009 - Breakdance, the hip hop dance style that began on the streets of New York City more than 30 years ago has become popular with youth all over the world, even breaking through the tight Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. Rami Almeghari reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Music, The New York Times and the politics of a Palestinian state
14 Jul 2009 - "Just as it is apparently impossible for the President of the United States to visit the Middle East without a corresponding visit to Buchenwald, it is apparently also impossible to have a news article on Palestinian humanity without a corresponding reminder that Arabs do not understand the Holocaust." So writes Belén Fernández in a comment on how The New York Times covers the work of Palestinian musicians. 

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. 

In Gaza
14 Jul 2009 - I’m reading about the 3 Israeli tanks and 2 military bulldozers which invaded Beit Hanoun land earlier today, Israeli soldiers razing land and burning 5 dunums of farmland, according to local witnesses. Meanwhile, I’m vaguely aware of the hum of Israeli warplanes that have been polluting Gaza’s skies for the last 10? 20 minutes…? I don’t know exactly, at some point awareness of them occurs, then fades away…all is normal. An explosion. Distant attack or sonic boom? People outside continue as before, so it is a sonic boom. And as I type, I again become aware that the roar of Israeli warplanes is overhead again. So we’ll wait for the...

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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