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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
30 August , 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Former Israeli Prime Minister to face trial on corruption charges
31 Aug 2009 - Ehud Olmert, who served as Israeli Prime Minister until March of this year, was indicted Sunday on charges of corruption, breach of trust, fraud, income tax evasion, accepting bribes, and a number of other charges. 

Jewish man stabbed to death in Jerusalem
31 Aug 2009 - Israeli sources reported Sunday that a Jewish Man was stabbed to death at a hostel in Jerusalem. The stabber is believed to be a Palestinian and the Israeli police believes that incident did not have any nationalist motives. 

Israeli religious schools found to discriminate based on race
31 Aug 2009 - The Israeli Education Ministry announced Sunday that it would cut funding to three state-funded religious schools because they refused to enroll Ethiopian Jews simply because they were black. 

Israel; Palestinians fire shells at the Western Negev
31 Aug 2009 - Israeli military sources claimed on Sunday that Palestinian fighters fired four mortar shells into the Western Negev; no injuries were reported. 

Palestine Radio: "Trilateral Abbas, Obama and Netanyahu meeting depends on full settlement freeze"
29 Aug 2009 - The Palestine Radio reported Saturday that the trilateral meeting between president Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President, Barack Obama, is totally based on an agreement regarding a complete freeze of settlement activities. 

Troops invade Bil'in, kidnap two Palestinians
29 Aug 2009 - Israeli soldiers invaded Bil’in village, near the central West Bank City of Ramallah, on Saturday at dawn, broke into a number of homes and kidnapped two Palestinians. 

Archbishop Tutu: "Arabs paying the price of Germany's crimes"
29 Aug 2009 - In an Interview with Haaretz newspaper, Archbishop Desmond Tutu stated that Israel must learn from the Holocaust that it cannot gain security thought fences, walls and guns. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Still no charges in IDF soldier's killing of Palestinian near Hebron
30 Aug 2009 - Sector commander describes the incident as 'a serious failure in moral and professional terms.' 

Hamas refusing to budge on terms for Shalit deal
30 Aug 2009 - Official: Hamas has rejected every request to exile some of the Palestinian prisoners to be freed for Shalit. 

Is Al-Qaida opening a Gaza front to counter Hamas?
30 Aug 2009 - Blasts at two sensitive Gaza sites spark speculation of conflict between Hamas and other radicals. 

Hamas leader vows to struggle for 'liberation of Palestine'
30 Aug 2009 - Group leader Meshal spoke to a crowd in Jordan, where he received condolences over father's death. 

Man behind Karine A arms ship sentenced to 20 years in jail
30 Aug 2009 - Court sentenced Fuad Shubaki to a reduced sentence, taking his advanced age into consideration. 

Ma'an News

Israeli warplanes strike northern Gaza
8/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli jets bombed a northern Gaza Strip building on Sunday morning. No casualties were immediately reported. The overnight airstrike "was in response to a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza into Israeli territory on Saturday morning," the country's military said in a statement to Ma'an. Israel claimed the building had housed the entrance to an underground tunnel. "The tunnel was intended to be used for an infiltration into Israeli territory in order to execute a terrorist attack against Israeli citizens or IDF [Israel Defense Forces] soldiers. " The statement went on to say that the building allegedly housing the entrance to the tunnel was located at about a kilometer and a half away from the border fence in the north. The latest attack came amidst increasing violence in the besieged coastal strip. 

Four homemade projectiles fired from Gaza
8/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Four homemade projeciles were fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, landing in Israel but causing no damage, according to the Israel Radio and the Jerusalem Post. The same reports said a warning siren that sounded was originally thought to be a false alarm. Police later confirmed the shelling, the newspaper said. No Palestinian group has yet claimed responsibility for the shelling. [end] 

De facto government detains 160 ultra-Islamists
8/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The de facto government has detained 160 supporters of the ultra-Islamic (Salafi) movement. According to a statement from Interior Minister Fathi Hammad on Sunday the families of the detainees will be allowed visits. He pledged that "the Independent Commission for Human Rights can visit the detainees and check up on their detention conditions. Anyone who will not be found guilty of any charge will be released. " Hammad explained that his ministry was carrying out a "recovery program" in order to amend the beliefs of the Salafi supporters. [end] 

Israel opens two Gaza crossing points for Sunday
8/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open two border crossings into the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday, the Kerem Shalom and Nahal Oz terminals, allowing small shipments of food, fuel and other goods. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian official in charge of liaising with Israeli authorities, said 122 to 133 trucks loaded with commercial goods and humanitarian aid would be delivered through the Kerem Shalom crossing. The shipment includes 300 calves. Meanwhile, the Nahal Oz terminal will be open to allow in limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel used to run Gaza Strip's only power plant, Fattouh said. He added that the Karni crossing, formerly the largest crossing point for goods, will be closed. 

Former PA official sentenced to 20 years over Karin A weapons ship
8/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - An Israeli military court sentenced former Palestinian Authority (PA) official Fuad Shubaki to 20 years in prison on Sunday for his role in arranging an alleged weapons shipment on the ship Karin A at the height of the Second Intifada. Judea Military Court handed down the sentence one month after convicting Shubaki of arranging weapons smuggling operations. Israeli forces seized the Karin A with some 50 tons of military equipment on board in the Red Sea in January 2002. Israel maintains the ship was bringing weapons to the PA. The Palestinian Authority and Iran denied any involvement in the affair. Shubaki, 70, was convicted of arranging the shipment of 1,000 and also helping to finance the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah. Shubaki, who has been held in PA and Israeli prisons for years, maintains that he is innocent of the charges. 

Israel to release prisoner to Spain for medical treatment
8/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe thanked Spain on Sunday for allowing a Palestinian political prisoner into their country for medical treatment. After the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs contacted several countries, Israel has agreed to release Al-Antir to Spain on the condition that he is prohibited from returning home for three years, the ministry said. Al-Antir is from the Gaza Strip. Israel jailed him under administrative detention on 13 February. The Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs said it pushed for his release because of his medical condition. Al-Antir suffers from an as yet undiagnosed disease. He is unable to move, eat or drink without assistance. His body is covered in lesions, and it has become clear that his health is declining by the day. 

Palestinian says masked attackers tried to stab him
8/30/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - A Palestinan said he survived attempted murder in Qalandiya Refugee Camp in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday. Imad An-Nawaja told Ma'an that he and his son were at the entrance of the camp when a group of masked "outlaws" attempted to stab him with knives. He said that he and his son were able to escape. He claimed to have suffered a broken hand and bruises. An-Nawaja, who previously served as director of the anti-narcotic police in the city of Hebron, said had identified two of the perpetrators, and added that the security forces are searching for the group. An-Najwa is originally from the town of Yatta, south of Hebron. [end] 

Tourism Ministry signs two agreements with UNESCO
8/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khouloud Daibes, along with Luis Hakstaousen, the head of the UNESCO office in Ramalah, signed two agreements on Saturday promising assistance with cultural and heritage sites in the West Bank. Dueibes praised UNESCO for its commitment to working with the government in restoring the cultural heritage of Palestine. UNESCO Ramallah has an annual budget of 52,000 US dollars. According to Hamadan Taha, an official in the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the first project will be to provide technical assistance to the heritage museum in Dura. The second will include a variety of projects around the West Bank, including protecting the cultural heritage of the baptism site near Tafuh for 8,000 dollars, rehabilitating the Roman pool in Al-U'beideiyah for 8,000 dollars, and updating the mosaic laboratory in Jericho, as well as the ongoing renovation of Hesham's Palace. 

Refugee group wants UN to scrap Holocaust curriculum
8/31/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - A group of refugee camp committees in the Gaza Strip wants the United Nations to remove history of the Jewish Holocaust from its classroom curriculum. In a letter to director John Ging, the committees urged the refugee agency to scrap its program because mention of the genocide "confirms the Holocaust and raises sympathy for Jews. " Holocaust denial is not uncommon in Gaza's refugee camps, where many feel marking legitimate Jewish suffering discounts the injustices done to Palestinians displaced from their homes in 1948. Nevertheless, UNRWA's eighth grade curriculum includes an overview, as part of its course on human rights, of the estimated six million Jews killed in European concentration camps. It was thought that by explaining the plight of Jews in Europe before they arrived, Palestinians would gain sympathy for their suffering, as well. 

Netanyahu: No breakthroughs expected in prisoner deal
8/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday played down reports of progress toward a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas. "We are not facing a breakthrough tomorrow of the day after," Netanyahu told his cabinet at the opening of their weekly meeting. Regarding reported progress, he was quoted by Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper as saying, "The talks about it are unfounded. There are too many talks about [captured soldier] Gilad Shalit - and moreover, there is a lot of exaggeration and a lot of inaccurate information. "The German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday that Germany has given Hamas until the beginning of September to approve a reported deal. According to the report, the deal mediated by Germany's foreign intelligence service would require Israel to initially release 450 Palestinian political prisoners. 

Abbas to hold talks with Qatar’s prince
8/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to Doha on Tuesday evening to hold talks with Prince Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa II to discuss developments in the peace process, reconciliation efforts, and the Arab Peace Initiative. The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki said the meeting "will include sharing points of views and the agreement to seek comprehensive peace in addition to the Palestinian national reconciliation efforts which is being held in Cairo. " He also said that Abbas' visit to Qatar is part of a tour that will include meetings with other Arab leaders. The subject of the meetings is to discuss the state of current Palestinian affairs, including the results of the sixth Fatah conference, the meetings of the Palestinian National Council, and ongoing dialogue between Abbas' government and the Hamas de facto regime in Gaza. 

Egypt seizes 700 kg of explosives bound for Gaza
8/30/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Egyptian security forces claimed on Sunday that they foiled an attempt to smuggle 700 kilograms of explosives into the Gaza Strip through a tunnel. Sources in the Egyptian security said that the forces, acting on intelligence, found 500 kilograms of explosives in nine packages in an abandoned house about 100 meters from the Gaza border. The same sources claimed that during a raid on the house, smugglers fled the scene. In a separate raid, sources said, Egyptian forces raided a "weapons cache" near the border, seizing 200 kilograms of explosives. The security forces also said they arrested a suspected smuggler, Jamal Ibrahim Abu Madi, 44, of Palestinian origin. Madi is considered one of the major smugglers involved in the Gaza-Egypt tunnel industry. Egypt's security establishment is also continuing an investigation into three police officers who allegedly accepted bribes for smuggling goods through the tunnels. 

Ramallah police: Man freed minutes after kidnapping
8/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Ramallah police freed a kidnapped resident 15 minutes after he was seized on Sunday, according to a police spokesman. The police information office said they received a report of the kidnapping from the victim's wife. She explained that her husband was taken at gunpoint because he owed 30,000 Israeli shekels an unspecified acquaintance. The policed telephoned the kidnappers disguised as relatives who were ready to pay the man's ransom, they said. After meeting with the kidnappers, they seized the suspects and the victim following a brief car chase. [end] 

Fayyad: No one is above the law
8/30/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Prime Minister Dr Salam Fayyad affirmed the importance of the Judiciary's role in building strong state institutions during a visit to the Supreme Judicial Council on Sunday. Fayyad's Palestinian Authority has been criticized for holding political prisoners. Earlier this month President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the release of 200 Hamas members, but only 30 have been freed so far. Fayyad stressed the necessity of a strong and function Judiciary as part of a plan to build up state institutions in the next few years and to meet the needs of citizens with justice and fairness. He added that "the law applies to everyone and there are no exceptions. " President of the Supreme Judicial Council Issa Abu Sharar said, "We hope that the support will continue and provide more financial provision for the judiciary in addition to amend certain laws. "  

More pilgrims return via Gaza’s Rafah crossing
8/30/2009 - Al-Areish - Ma'an - Some 76 Umra pilgrims from the Gaza Strip returned on Saturday through the Rafah crossing with Egypt after completing Umra rites in Saudi Arabia, according to sources at the border. Egyptian authorities facilitated the entry of pilgrims, adding emergency staff at the crossing to speed up crossing measures, they said. Pilgrims who completed Umra began returning on Thursday as 397 crossed, with another 26 on Friday. The total number of Gazan pilgrims who left for Mecca for Umra had reached 2,144 by Sunday morning. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia agreed to receive 6,000 Umra pilgrims during Ramadan. Passports were sent to Jordan for visas, and once approved, the kingdom will ask Egypt to open to crossing once more during the Muslim holy month, Ma'an has learned. 

Madonna arrives in Israel ahead of Tel Aviv concerts
8/30/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - Pop queen Madonna landed her private jet in Israel on Sunday ahead of two concerts in Tel Aviv. The concerts, in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park, on Tuesday and Wednesday, are a part of the last leg of Madonna's global Sticky and Sweet Tour, which she launched in August of last year to promote her most recent album, Hard Candy, which received a mixed reception. Arriving from Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, Madonna planned an afternoon tour of holy sites in Jerusalem. She was accompanied by 250-stong entourage. Unconfirmed reports suggested that efforts were underway to arrange meetings between the pop star and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. Madonna was last in Israel in 2006 when she marked the holy day of Yom Kippur with other students of the Jewish mystic tradition Kabbalah. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.64 points
8/30/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Palestine Securities exchange in Nablus fell on Sunday, with the Al-Quds Index closing at 501. 84, a decrease of 0. 64 points (0. 13%). Trading Volume for Wednesday reached 404,168 shares for a total value of 567,857. 15 US dollars, over the course of 285 trades. The shares of 22 companies were traded. The shares of 13 companies rose, while those of seven others dropped. [end] 

The National

Olmert indicted on corruption charges
30 Aug 2009 - Ehud Olmert is indicted on three counts of corruption, becoming the first ex-premier to face criminal charges.

US denies making deal with Israel
29 Aug 2009 - The United States has denied reports that it is in the process of agreeing to compromise on its position that all Israeli settlement construction should be completely frozen.

Attack on Saudi royal highlights terror risks
29 Aug 2009 - Saudi Arabia tries to play down the attempted assassination of Prince Mohammed bin Naif.

Jordanian trial sends message to Iran
28 Aug 2009 - The prosecution reflects concern in the kingdom about the growing support for Islamic militant groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas.


Israel's Olmert charged with graft
30 Aug 2009 - Attorney-general indicts former Israeli PM on corruption charges.

Hamas: Shalit deal remains elusive
30 Aug 2009 - Palestinian official plays down rumours of breakthrough in talks on Israeli soldier.

Palestine News Network

Ghoui and Hanoun families say they need the continued support of solidarity marches in Jerusalem
30 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - Dozens of Jerusalem residents were joined by foreign and Israeli peace activists on Saturday night in the new weekly solidarity march. “Steadfast in Jerusalem” began last week with the pledge it would become a weekly event. Demonstrators walked together from Damascus Gate in the Old City, through Nablus and Salah Addin Streets, until they reached...

Launch of international campaign in solidarity with the children of the Gaza Strip
30 Aug 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With half of the population of the Gaza Strip children, some three quarters of a million Palestinian kids are under Israeli siege. Partners for Peace and Development and the International Committee to Lift the Siege on Gaza are undertaking a “campaign of solidarity with the children in the Gaza Strip who are suffering due to Israeli blockade.”A spokesperson for...

The city of Qalqilia is imprisoned †no place for the living or dead 
30 Aug 2009 - Qalqilia / Mustafa Sabri for PNN – The northern West Bank city of Qalqilia is surrounded by the Wall. More than 35 square miles of its land has been taken. The city surface area is not large enough for the living, let alone the dead.There is no room for additional graves. The Municipality of Qalqilia has screamed out several messages of SOS to...

Nonviolent action on Na’lin land: Iftar in a threatened area near the Wall
29 Aug 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – The Ramadan evening meal, iftar, was served in by the nonviolent Palestinian resistance in Na’lin Village. The western Ramallah town is well-known for its weekly demonstrations against the Wall, and so for Saturday’s Ramadan meal hundreds of people from the town broke bread on confiscated land.International activists also came, along with representatives of local institutions and civil society, at...

Family solidarity tent and Ramadan prayers at Al Aqsa draw Palestinian official
29 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – The Ghaoui family is one of dozens newly displaced as the Israeli administration in the occupied city replace Palestinians with settlers. A solidarity tent is a common site in besieged neighborhoods like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah. This week the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, joined the Ghaoui’s and other families who have been forcibly...

Despite summer heat and military restrictions, thousands pray at Al Aqsa on first Friday of Ramadan
29 Aug 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN - Thousands of worshipers reached Al Aqsa Mosque for Friday prayers suffering from fatigue. Temperatures were high on the first Friday of Ramadan, and crossing the Israeli military barriers that surround the city was difficult.The Islamic Waqf estimated that about 80,000 worshippers filled Al Aqsa Mosqu and the courtyards, gathering under the shade of trees to...

Western Ramallah town hit again early Saturday, two more arrests 
28 Aug 2009 - Bil’in / PNN - Early this morning Israeli forces again invaded Bil’in Village. The frequent night raids are the stuff of daytime protests that bring international supporters to Palestinian activists who are normally rallying against the Wall and settlements. Around 3:30 am Saturday several military jeeps entered the western Ramallah town through the gate in the Wall, and from the neighboring villages of...


YEMEN: Worsening drought threatens herders 
SANAA Sunday, August 30, 2009 (IRIN) - Severe drought in Khawlan District, 70km east of the capital Sanaa, since mid-2007 has forced local herders to sell some of their sheep to buy fodder for the rest.

SYRIA: Cleansing the olive oil business
DAMASCUS Thursday, August 27, 2009 (IRIN) - Syria’s huge olive oil industry is leaving its mark on the environment. Waste products from olive oil processing mills which are not properly disposed of are causing soil and water pollution, and killing plant and animal life.

YEMEN: IDP camp situation worsens
SANAA Thursday, August 27, 2009 (IRIN) - The humanitarian situation in IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in war-ravaged Saada and neighbouring governorates in northern Yemen is worsening due to a lack of basic services - water, sanitation and food - UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Ann Veneman said in...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: In a Rotten State 
GAZA CITY, Aug 29 (IPS) - Abu Abed can't make a profit, and although 54 years old, he still has not married. "I can't pay my rent, I can't afford a wedding."

MIDEAST: Can Final Peace Deal Overcome Settlements Roadblock? 
WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration - perhaps the president himself - will reportedly be launching a new round of authoritative Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations sometime during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly session, which is scheduled to start in New York on Sep. 15.

MIDEAST: 'United' Jerusalem Has Two Faces 
EAST JERUSALEM, Aug 28 (IPS) - Israel says "united" Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of the Jewish state. However, a quick walk across the Green Line which marks the international border dividing the two parts of the city reveals a city very much divided.

MIDEAST: Obama Steers the Peace Train On 
JERUSALEM, Aug 27 (IPS) - It isn't formal yet, but it's bound to be soon - within the coming six weeks, Palestinians and Israelis will again be sitting down around the peace table.

Stop The Wall

Join the annual Palestinian olive harvest!
26 Aug 2009 - The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign and its popular committees are coordinating collective efforts to safeguard the annual olive harvest and are calling on volunteers to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities and join in the harvest, which will begin 15 October 2009. [

Ni'lin pushes soldiers back on the first Friday of Ramadan
29 Aug 2009 - On the first Friday of Ramadan, more than 150 people attended the weekly march against the Wall, reaching the new concrete barrier that protects the fences and sensors. Protestors stressed that the Palestinians are one people, and what the Israeli government is doing here is not different from what is happening all across Palestine, from Jerusalem to Ni’lin. [

PCHR Latest

Israeli Escalates Violence: At Least 4 Palestinians Killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip

PCHR Weekly Report

(20 - 26 Aug.  2008), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed 3 Palestinian civilians, including a child, and wounded 9 others in the Gaza Strip.  Another Palestinian is also missing.  In the West Bank, one Palestinian civilian was wounded.

International Solidarity Movement

Ni’lin demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Around 250 Palestinian residents, alongside international and Israeli solidarity activists, gathered in Ni'lin to demonstrate against the Apartheid Wall around 12:30. Demonstrators marched towards the site of the Wall chanting slogans against the Occupation. Israeli forces used tear-gas grenades, sound bombs, tear-gas canisters and live ammunition against the unarmed protesters. Despite the excessive use of weapons from the Israeli army, no demonstrators were injured. The protest finished around 4:30. After a prayer was held in the Ni'lin olive groves, demonstrators marched towards the Wall with tires and flags. Before reaching the Wall, Israeli forces stationed on Ni'lin's land shot tear-gas canisters at the protesters. A smaller group proceeded to the 8-meter high concrete blocks that run the length of where the previous fence was built. 

Ni’lin holds Iftar in olive groves
8/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Today, the Popular Committee of Ni'lin invited members of the Popular Committee of Bil'in and international and Israeli solidarity activists to join in the breaking of the fast with the residents of Ni'lin. The women of the village had prepared food for this occasion which the men brought to the field at sunset. Long plastic sheets were stretched out on the ground for people to sit on and to place all the delicious dishes. It was only the men, however, who were eating in the field, the women were meant to stay at home. The atmosphere was festive. Once everyone finished eating, some of the men spoke about the situation in Ni'lin, the land lost to the Occupation and to the Apartheid Wall. 

In a rotten state
8/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Eva Bartlett, Inter Press Service - 29 August 2009 - Abu Abed can't make a profit, and although 54 years old, he still has not married. "I can't pay my rent, I can't afford a wedding. "His shop, roughly 3m by 4m, costs him more than 3,500 dollars a year in rent alone. His wares are laid out on tables on a busy pedestrian street in the Saha market area in Gaza City. The goods, plastic toys and running shoes imported from China, were brought in via the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt, at a high price. One large bag of grain filled with the cheaply made toys cost 30 dollars to purchase, but the tunnel trip added another 70 dollars to Abu Abed's expenditures. "I can make maybe 20 dollars when I sell these toys, but that will take two or three months. " Now that the month of Ramadan is under way, festive decorations and toys are among his stock. 

Sheikh Jarrah residents demonstrate against house evictions
8/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Sheikh Jarrah residents demonstrate against the ethnic cleansing of East Jerusalem - Two events were held in East Jerusalem on the evening of Saturday, 29th August, to condemn the recent eviction of two Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, as well as the continuing colonization and land confiscation in the city, practices which are illegal under international law. A protest organized by the Coalition for Jerusalem was held at 20:30 in front of Damascus Gate just outside the old city, attended by both Palestinians and Israelis as well as international activists. This was followed by a candlelit march of about 30 attendants of the demo, through the streets of East Jerusalem towards the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. The march was terminated in front of the recently occupied house of the Al-Gawi family in the neighborhood, in the street where the family has been living and sleeping ever since. 

Bil’in demonstrates against the Apartheid Wall
8/30/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Bil'in Popular Committee, 28 August 2009 - Three injured and dozens were suffocated with tear gas during their participation at Bili'n weekly demonstration against the apartheid wall and the construction of settlements on Bili'n lands. Three protesters: Rani Burnat, Omar Attamemi, and Zuhdya Alkhatib were lightly wounded. The demonstration started at the center of the village directly after the Friday prayers, with participation of international and Israeli peace activists. In addition toQais Abu Laila (PLC member) and a number of other comrades and members of the Palestinian National Council from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Mr. Abu Laila and his comrades have met with representatives of the popular committee and listened to a clear explanation of them on the experience of Bil'in struggle during the past four and a half years. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Is the crisis in Israel-Sweden relations coming to an end?
30 Aug 2009 - Is the crisis in relations between Israel and Sweden coming to an end? That is what Italy's foreign minister, Franco Frattini, would like to believe. In a telephone conversation with Haaretz, Frattini said he recently met with his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, and the two agreed that at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers later this week, they will work to pass a resolution making it clear that the EU, under the Swedish presidency, strongly condemns anti-Semitism and will take action against any manifestation of it on the continent. ... 

What the new era in Japan might mean for Israel
30 Aug 2009 - The immediate consequence of the opposition's sweeping victory in Japan's elections yesterday will be psychological - it will create an atmosphere of optimism that could strengthen the economy. Such optimism will be fleeting if it is not followed by concrete results. ... 

Cheney advocated attack on Iran, but Bush wanted diplomacy
29 Aug 2009 - Former U.S. vice president Dick Cheney told Fox News Sunday ...

Hamas accuses UN of plan to teach Gaza kids Holocaust 'lies'
29 Aug 2009 - Hamas condemned the United Nations on Sunday over the international body's apparent plan to teach Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip about the Holocaust. ...

Netanyahu refutes claims Shalit deal just days away
29 Aug 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denied reports of a breakthrough in talks with Hamas to return captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, and said people should not expect a deal to be brokered in the coming days. ...

The Guardian

Germany in talks to help secure release of Israeli soldier Shalit
30 Aug 2009 - Intelligence officials negotiating swap-deal between Israel and Hamas, says German news magazine German intelligence officials are involved in a new effort to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured near Gaza more than three years...

Damaging Israel's priceless assets | Antony Lerman
29 Aug 2009 - Netanyahu's demonising of human rights groups – and European funding of them – does disservice to a proud Jewish history With the left in Israel in disarray and unable to mount any effective opposition to the...

Letters: Back to the future in the Middle East
27 Aug 2009 - Jonathan Freedland offers no hint of a solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, only unhelpful brooding over much-disputed interpretations of the past ( Comment , 26 August). While he mentions the dispossession of the Palestinians, he...

Playing ball on the West Bank
27 Aug 2009 - Basketball is popular among Palestinians, but the conflict in the region means the league there lacks competitors. So US players have been invited over to make up teams. Film-maker Hannah Murphy reports from the bleachers It...

Ha'aretz National page

Olmert indictment / Why are the charges so serious?
30 Aug 2009 - 1. Ehud Olmert embarked yesterday on the battle of his life against serious charges which present him as a thief, a liar and a serial grafter. The dry language of the Jerusalem District prosecution, drowned in details, tells a fascinating story of the complex connections of a senior Israeli politician who traveled abroad a great deal with businessmen, Jewish organizations and corporations. ... 

Madonna tours Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem
30 Aug 2009 - The Material Girl has opened a visit to the Holy Land with a spiritual touch. ...

Olmert becomes first premier to face trial
30 Aug 2009 - For the first time in the history of the State of Israel, a person who served as prime minister will sit on the defendant's bench. The State Prosecution filed charges Sunday against former prime minister Ehud Olmert, attributing to him a litany of violations that include accepting bribes, fraud, breach of trust, falsifying documents and income tax evasion. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Appeal No. MAAPS001, 2009-2010 - Programme Update No 1
30 Aug 2009 - Source: IFRC

Al Mezan, Adalah and others petition Israeli Supreme Court to order National Insurance Institute to transfer disability payments owed to Palestinian workers in the Gaza Strip immediately
30 Aug 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Israeli planes hit suspected Gaza tunnel building 
29 Aug 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

YNet News

Man stabbed to death at Jerusalem hostel
30 Aug 2009 - West Bank Palestinian kills Jewish man following day-long dispute at Geula neighborhood hostel; suspect apprehended 

Former PM Olmert indicted 
30 Aug 2009 - Olmert to face multiple corruption charges including fraud, breach of trust, falsifying corporate records, receiving illicit benefits and tax evasion. Indictment of former premier a first of its kind; unifies Talansky, Rishontours, Investment Center cases. Defense team: No evidence of wrongdoing 

Hamas slams UN over 'Holocaust classes' in Gaza 
30 Aug 2009 - Islamist group condemns UN for planning to teach Palestinian children in Gaza about Nazi atrocities. 'We refuse to let our children study a lie invented by the Zionists' says Hamas 

Haredi protestors destroy car in Jerusalem 
30 Aug 2009 - Rioters protest social services' involvement in 'starving mother's arrest. Court grants police appeal against release of 11 detainees arrested during capital's parking lot riots 

At least 2 mortars fired towards Sderot
30 Aug 2009 - Shells discovered near Gaza security fence; police search for more landing sites; no injuries reported 

Cheney: I supported strike on Iran 
30 Aug 2009 - Former US vice president tell Fox News, 'I thought talks could not succeed unless Tehran really believed we were prepared to use military force,' but says he was overruled by Bush. Adds: Release of US journalists by Bill Clinton 'big reward for bad behavior on part of North Korean leadership' 


Testimonies: Settlers filmed attacking shepherd near Susiya
26 Aug 2009 - On 10 Aug. '09, settlers attacked a Palestinian shepherd from Khirbet Susiya and stabbed a B’Tselem worker who photographed them. The victims identified the assailants and filed a complaint with police, who were given all the footage of the event.

Testimony: Settlers assault Palestinian shepherds
26 Aug 2009 - On 4 July '09, near the Avigail outpost, settlers assaulted two shepherds from Shu'b al-Buttom, attacked their sheep and destroyed property. Police arrived only hours later and believed the victims only when shown a cell-phone video of the assault.

Daily Star

Hizbullah MP urges 'consensus, resistance, reform' 
30 Aug 2009

Fadlallah warns against accepting 'humiliating' concessions for Israel 
30 Aug 2009

Merrill Lynch keeps Lebanon debt at 'Market Weight' 
30 Aug 2009

Australia confirms arms bound for Iran seized in UAE 
30 Aug 2009

Iran restricts hajj pilgrims over swine flu fears 
30 Aug 2009

Iran welcomes 'positive' IAEA nuclear report 
30 Aug 2009

Israel ups illegal settlement activity in East Jerusalem 
30 Aug 2009

Iraq airs 'confession' of militant who says Syria trained him 
30 Aug 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Mishaal reassures Jordan that Hamas rejects the "alternative homeland" scheme
30 Aug 2009 - Khaled Mishaal stated Saturday that his Movement is adherent to the Palestinian refugees’ right of return and rejects "the alternative homeland" scheme.

Abbas's militias kidnap father of wanted youth, son of MP
30 Aug 2009 - Security forces loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas kidnapped six Palestinians in 3 districts including the father of a wanted youth as a hostage until his son gives himself up.

Female ex-detainee reveals suffering of her prison mates in Hasharon
30 Aug 2009 - Ex-detainee Sabrin Abu Amara, recently released from Hasharon prison, said that the female prisoners in this jail are living in harsh incarceration conditions in the holy month of Ramadan.

Taha: Next round of national dialog decisive
30 Aug 2009 - Ayman Taha, one of Hamas's leaders in the Gaza Strip, has said that the forthcoming round of Palestinian national dialog in Cairo would be decisive and comprehensive.

Health ministry: 100 types of medicine out of stock
30 Aug 2009 - The Palestinian health ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Sunday that 100 types of medications were out of stock in the ministry's stores while 55 other kinds were about to run out.

Massive march in support of Jerusalem and Aqsa leaves Damascus for Quneitra
30 Aug 2009 - Thousands of people participated on Friday in the march of “To the Aqsa Mosque” which headed from Damascus to the Syrian city of Quneitra.

Jibril: Hamas under pressure to drop names from prisoners' exchange deal
30 Aug 2009 - Hamas is under big pressure to remove the names of Palestinian prisoners of the 1948 occupied Palestine from the prisoners' swap deal, Ahmed Jibril, the secretary general of PFLP-GC, revealed.

Thousands of mourners attend funeral of Mishaal’s father
30 Aug 2009 - Thousands of mourners attended Saturday afternoon the funeral of Abdelrahim Mishaal, the father of Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mishaal in Amman, the Jordanian capital.

Resistance fighters survive IOF air raid
30 Aug 2009 - Palestinian resistance fighters survived an Israeli air raid at an early hour on Sunday that targeted their position east of Gaza city, local sources said.

QB says its ready for any Israeli aggression
30 Aug 2009 - The military wing of Hamas Movement, the Qassam Brigades, has confirmed on Saturday it was ready to block any Israeli aggression on the besieged Gaza Strip.

Los Angeles Times

Hard-line Iranian prosecutor fired 
30 Aug 2009 - Iran's new judiciary chief ousts Tehran prosecutor-general Saeed Mortazavi, who organized the trials against postelection protesters and opposition figures. A moderate is named to the post. Iran's new judiciary chief ousted the hard-line prosecutor behind the ongoing trials against opposition figures in Tehran, replacing him with a relatively moderate newcomer from the provinces, an Iranian news agency reported Saturday. 

Iran's Ahmadinejad urges prosecution of opposition leaders 
29 Aug 2009 - The Iranian president appears to be defying Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who had taken a more conciliatory stance toward dissenters. The U.N. nuclear watchdog issues latest report on inspections. Iran's hard-line president Friday demanded the prosecution of top opposition leaders, raising the political temperature anew just a day and a half after supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sought to cool tensions in a conciliatory speech. 

Nuclear drive a casualty of Iran's turmoil 
28 Aug 2009 - Experts say Tehran is unlikely to speed up its program, giving the U.S. and its allies more time to work with. Iran's political crisis could prevent the nation from making any swift move to ratchet up its nuclear program, said analysts and officials, giving President Obama and Western allies more time to grapple with the issue. 

New York Times

Nuclear Agency Says Iran Has Bolstered Ability to Make Fuel but Slowed Its Output
28 Aug 2009 - The slowdown puzzled inspectors, and Iran offered no clues about whether technical problems or political considerations accounted for its action. 

France and Germany Warn of New Iran Sanctions
27 Aug 2009 - Two European leaders raised the possibility of tougher measures if Iran does not show a willingness to negotiate on its nuclear program. 

Bilin Journal: In Village, Palestinians See Model for Their Cause
28 Aug 2009 - A group of famous left-leaning elder statesmen visited Bilin, a West Bank village that is a symbol of Palestinian civil disobedience, and told protest organizers how much they admired their work. 


Rabbis Meeting to Consider a Ban on Selling Houses to Arabs 
8/29/2009 - Arutz Sheva - (IsraelNN. com) Hareidi and national-religious rabbis will meet Monday in Jerusalem to discuss ways of dealing with the Arab influx into Jewish neighborhoods in northern Jerusalem, as well as the purchasing of agricultural land in the Galilee by wealthy foreign Arabs. The rabbis are expected to call for an end to the phenomenon of sale of land and houses by Jews to Arabs. The organizer, Aryeh King, who heads the Israel Lands Fund, told Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service that he is hoping to see the rabbis issue a pronouncement that sale of land and houses to Arabs is forbidden. The need for the conference arose, King said, after he began receiving numerous complaints from residents of northern Jerusalem neighborhoods who told of religious Jews who sold their homes to Arabs. King hopes that the rabbinical statement which will be issued Monday will be signed by prominent rabbis like Shmuel Eliyahu 

Gazans expect Israeli siege halt amid new tunnel collapse deaths 
8/29/2009 - China View - GAZA, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Gaza Strip residents on Friday expressed resentment after three people died in a smuggling tunnel collapse under the borderline between the Hamas-ruled enclave and Egypt. "This is unreasonable and unbelievable. Every week, or every few days we hear about tunnels that collapsed and people are killed. There has to be a solution to put an end to these disasters," said Abdel Fatah Abu Jazzar, a resident of Rafah Town. Gaza emergency chief Mo'aweya Hassanein told reporters that three people of the same family were killed early Friday in an underground smuggling tunnel that collapsed in southern Gaza town of Rafah. Witnesses in Rafah said the tunnel collapsed after an underground sewage pipe blew up, adding two were pulled out dead and that one who was critically wounded died later in the hospital. Rescue workers pulled out three more workers who could hardly breathe and sent them to the hospital. Searching is still going onfor the missing, according to the witnesses. 

Hamas, Islamic Jihad slam PLO’s upgrading decision 
8/29/2009 - China View - GAZA, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Gaza ruler Hamas and the less influential Islamic Jihad movement on Saturday protested against a decision to reform and upgrade the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) made by its executive committee. The two movements, which are not represented in the PLO, said the decision violates earlier commitments that the organization should be rebuilt and expanded to include all factions under a national agreement. The PLO, which groups the main Palestinian nationalist factions, is recognized by the international community as the "sole and legitimate" representative of the Palestinian people. Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, said the decision was a unilateral attempt by Fatah, President Mahmoud Abbas's party that dominates the PLO, "to boost the organization's current status" and "is not based on a national Palestinian agreement. " 

MK Tibi: Judicial committee discriminates against Arabs 
8/29/2009 - Ha'aretz - MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) slammed the Judicial Appointments Committee on Saturday for not selecting even one Arab among 21 newly appointed district court judges this week. "The court system is infected with inequality in relation to Arab citizens, both in its rulings and in its workforce," he said, adding that the committee discriminates against Arabs. Tibi, who heads the Knesset's parliamentary inquiry committee on the integration of Arab employees in the public sector, found that Arabs make up just 7 percent of all judges in the country and constitute less than 3 percent of all court employees. Of the 21 district court judges who were appointed on Thursday, 18 of them were already judges and three of them were lawyers. 

Netanyahu ’doesn’t care what Britain thinks of Israel’ 
8/29/2009 - The Independent - Leading members of Jewish community say Israeli premier's visit to UK was a 'missed opportunity' - The editor of The Jewish Chronicle has accused Israel's Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, of not caring about British public opinion after he refused to give any interviews during his visit to London last week. In a comment piece in the newspaper, Stephen Pollard – though essentially supportive of Mr Netanyahu – concludes of his office: "The truth of it is that for all they moan about coverage of the Middle East, they don't actually care. They don't care if Brits end up thinking they are warmongers. They don't care if they are losing the PR war. And they don't care if those of us who do care are left fuming at their wilful refusal to do anything to help us counter Israel's appalling image. " Mr Netanyahu's three-day trip included meetings with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and President 

Palestinians say full settlement freeze is precondition to new peace talks 
8/29/2009 - Christian Science Monitor - A lead Palestinian peace negotiator says the demand for a full settlement freeze – not a partial one – is a precondition to resuming peace talks. But a meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas is still possible in September. - CAIRO - A senior Palestinian peace negotiator says the terms of a proposed Israeli deal to restart the peace process, leaked to the press this week, are unacceptable. But he did not rule out a meeting at the United Nations next month between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. In Germany today, Mr. Netanyahu said that no new agreement to stop settlement building has been reached. The proposed Israeli deal to temporarily freeze settlement expansion in the West Bank, with exceptions made for all of East Jerusalem and what Israel calls the "natural growth" of existing 

Israel accepts German-mediated Shalit swap deal: report 
8/29/2009 - Yahoo! News - BERLIN (AFP) – Israel has accepted a German-mediated prisoner swap deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to which Hamas has yet to respond, Germany weekly Der Spiegel said in its edition to appear Monday. " The German secret services have recently been holding talks with the Israeli government and Hamas. The aim is to obtain the exchange of Gilad Shalit against several hundred Palestinian prisoners," Der Spiegel said. The Israeli government of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted the proposal which would see 450 Palestinian prisoners released and Hamas has until early September to respond, Der Spiegel said, without citing sources. Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants including from Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, in a cross-border raid in June 2006. Successive Egyptian efforts to broker a prisoner exchange deal have floundered. 

Iran welcomes ’positive’ IAEA nuclear report 
8/29/2009 - Yahoo! News - TEHRAN (AFP) – Iran welcomed on Saturday as "positive" the UN atomic watchdog's latest report on its nuclear programme, but vowed to continue enriching uranium. " Fortunately the current IAEA report has been more positive than the earlier ones due to the new approach of the Islamic republic," the head of Iran's nuclear energy organisation Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by state television's news website as saying. The International Atomic Energy Agency said on Friday in a study obtained by AFP that Iran has slowed production of enriched uranium and agreed to tighter monitoring of its enrichment plant. Tehran has also granted UN inspectors access to a research reactor long out of bounds, the restricted report revealed. Enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear fuel, but can also become the fissile material for an atomic bomb. 

2 bombs explode in Gaza compound, outside mosque 
8/29/2009 - - Security officials: 2 bombs explode in Gaza City's main security compound, outside mosque - AP News - Security officials say bombs have exploded inside a security compound and near a mosque in Gaza City. The two explosions appear to be revenge attacks against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers. The officials say they defused two more bombs hidden in the compound on Sunday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to speak to reporters. Nobody was injured in the attacks. There were no immediate claims of responsibility. However, a shadowy group loyal to al-Qaida called Jund Ansar Allah, swore in August to attack Hamas security compounds and mosques in retaliation for a deadly shootout with Hamas. Twenty-eight people died in the gunbattle. Hamas officials were not available for comment. 

IAF testing new Black Hawk models
8/30/2009 - Jerusalem Post - In an effort to upgrade its attack helicopter fleet, the Israel Air Force is conducting flight tests with a new version of the Black Hawk utility helicopter that has been equipped with offensive air-to-surface missile launchers. -- Israel has several dozen Black Hawk helicopters - called Yanshuf - which it began receiving in the 1990s. Made by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the helicopter was designed in the 1970s as a utility tactical transport aircraft for the United States Air Force. The helicopter can carry a squad of a dozen troops with equipment or alternatively carry over one ton of equipment. The US has a variant of the Black Hawk that is used for special operations and is equipped with Hellfire missiles, an automatic cannon as well as 70mm rockets. The arming of the Black Hawk is being done jointly by the IAF, Sikorsky and several local defense contractors. 

’IAEA hiding incriminating evidence’ 
8/30/2009 - Jerusalem Post - Despite the publication of a critical report on Iran's nuclear program, senior Israeli diplomatic officials are accusing the International Atomic Energy Agency of "hiding critical information on Iran's nuclear progress," the Foreign Ministry said Saturday. IAEA officials said Iran was stonewalling the agency about "possible military dimensions" to its program. In the report, the IAEA said it has pressed Iran to clarify its uranium enrichment activities and reassure the world that it's not trying to build an atomic weapon. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said in a prepared statement that the latest IAEA report, released Friday, "accuses Iran of defying [UN] Security Council decisions, but at the same time hides actual Iranian violations on its path toward military nuclear capability," "This is a harsh report, but it does not reflect all the information possessed by the IAEA on Iranian 

Germany in talks to help secure release of Israeli soldier Shalit 
8/29/2009 - The Guardian - Intelligence officials negotiating swap-deal between Israel and Hamas, says German news magazine - Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem - German intelligence officials are involved in a new effort to secure the release of an Israeli soldier captured near Gaza more than three years ago. Gilad Shalit, 23, is believed to be alive and held in Gaza by Hamas, the Islamist militant group which took part in his capture in June 2006. German intelligence officers are now trying to negotiate a deal for his release between Israel and Hamas. Der Spiegel, a German news magazine, reported that officers from Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND, had been working on the case since mid-July and had presented a new offer to Hamas under which 450 Palestinian prisoners would be released once Hamas had freed Shalit. Israel would release another round of prisoners at a later date. 


Is the PLO playing with the Palestinian national cause? 
Khalid Amayreh in occupied Palestine, Desert Peace 8/28/2009
      Despite rhetorical denials, the PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA), which Fatah constitutes the backbone of both, are moving steadily toward adopting positions that would effectively compromise inalienable Palestinian rights and might even lead to the liquidation of the Palestinian cause.
     The reported PLO propensity to “deal positively” with dubious “peace plans” that would obliterate Palestinian rights should alarm all patriotic Palestinians.
     After all, the Palestinian cause is not the property of unelected politicians who think they have a carte blanch to behave as they see fit with regard to such fundamental issues as the right of return and Jerusalem .
     Unfortunately, the signs and signals that keep coming from the PLO and PA quarters don’t auger well for the future. Hence, the urgent need to speak up and warn these unelected leaders against playing with fire.
     First, there is the so-called Fayyad vision or plan for creating a Palestinian state with temporary borders under the Israeli occupation, a state that would very much look like a Judenrat (Jewish community council under the Nazi occupation of Europe ). How else can one honestly relate to an entity that is completely void of sovereignty, freedom and the most elementary requirements of statehood?
     Fayyad, an economist-turned-politician at Washington’s urging seems to think that building a sound economic base with international support would be sufficient to transform the vision of statehood from dream to reality.
     However, the man who reportedly had described himself as “George Bush’s man in Palestine” wouldn’t tell us how it is possible to build a sound economic base in a country that continues to languish under a Nazi-like military occupation which tightly controls every aspect of Palestinian life. more.. e-mail

A fable, a film and a fraud: the Israel lobby’s information fraud 
Paul J. Balles, Redress 8/28/2009
      Paul J. Balles looks at how Israel and its worldwide lobbyists, aided by a complicit Western media and abetted by politicians afraid of being destroyed by the lobbyists, is getting away with blue murder while an indifferent public turns the other way.
     In one of Aesop’s fables, a man and a lion travelled together through the forest. They soon began to boast of their respective superiority to each other in strength and prowess. 
     As they were disputing, they passed a statue carved in stone, which represented "a lion strangled by a man." 
     The traveller pointed to it and said: "See there! How strong we are, and how we prevail over even the king of beasts." 
     The lion replied, "This statue was made by one of you men. If we Lions knew how to erect statues, you would see the man placed under the paw of the lion." 
     That’s the fable. Now for the film. 
     The American Jewish Committee has released a hard-hitting 5-minute film dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict entitled "No: the real obstacle to peace." 
     The film asserts that the main hurdle to peace in the region is not settlements or land or borders, but rather the idea that Jews have "no right to a state in a territory where they have lived throughout history".
     If the Palestinians were one-tenth as good at distorting reality, creating propaganda and controlling the media as the Zionists are, they wouldn’t have to say "No" to every so-called offer of peace made by the Israelis.
     The Israelis, like the man boasting about the statue of the lion he strangled, have developed abhorrent abilities to strangle the Palestinians. The fraud comes with the ability to distort the truth. more.. e-mail

In Gaza
in the kitchen:Gaza Ramadan day 9
30 Aug 2009 - In my friend’s kitchen tonight, I learned some of his mother’s secrets for simple but fantastic dishes. Eggplants, thickly sliced, were lowered into a sizzling pan of cooking oil, browning to a melted perfection. Hot chili peppers got a brief dip in the oil and were then pulped in a mortar and pestle, along with a head of garlic and, later, lime juice. I’ve arrived too late to see the steps to the tomato and onion stew, but gather it began with sauteed onions and whole cloves of garlic, with pureed (fresh) tomatoes added later. One of her sons, Z, is yet married (though he wants to marry), lacking the...

Palestine Chronicle
What We Palestinians Need
30 Aug 2009 - By Dr. Mustafa Barghouti Irrespective of what political settlement is ultimately embraced, Palestinians need a unified strategy for confronting and overcoming Israeli racism, apartheid and oppression. Palestinians have only two choices before them: 1) either to continue to evade the struggle, as some have been trying to do, or 2) to summon the collective national resolve to engage in it. The latter option does not necessarily entail a call to arms. Clearly Israel has the overwhelming advantage in this respect in both conventional and unconventional (nuclear) weapons. Just as obviously, neighboring Arab countries have neither the will nor ability to go the military route. However, the inability to wage war does not automatically mean surrender and eschewing other means to wage struggle. As powerful as it is militarily, Israel has two major weak points. Firstly, it cannot impose political solutions by force of arms on a people determined to sustain a campaign of resistance. This has been amply demonstrated in two full-scale wars against Lebanon and, most recently, in the assault against Gaza. Secondly, the longer the Palestinians have remained steadfast, and the greater the role the demographic factor has come to play in the conflict, the more clearly Israel has emerged as an apartheid system hostile to peace. If the ethnic cleansing of 1948 and the colonialist expansionism describe the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Israeli state, the recent bills regarding the declaration of allegiance to a Jewish state and prohibiting the Palestinian commemoration of the nakba more...

Resolving the Displaced Persons Problem
30 Aug 2009 - By Dan Lieberman Negotiators have continually debated the Middle East crisis without regarding the elephant in the room - the Palestinian displaced persons. Rather than being portrayed as victims, these dispossessed persons are often perceived as perpetrators, as if they caused their own ordeal and should shoulder the responsibility for their fate. It's time to pay attention. The solution of the Middle East crisis starts with those who have suffered the most, continue to suffer and should be relieved of their suffering. The solution of the Middle East crisis starts with the Palestinian displaced persons. No matter how far 'negotiations' go, the displaced person solution will be the show stopper. Overcoming the problem at the beginning permits the show to continue. Saving it to the euphoric 'end' predicts neglect or a severe compromise that will endanger all previous agreements. Place the refugee situation in its proper context. Israel did not permit Palestinians who left or were evicted during the 1948 and 1967 conflagrations to return to their homes and lands. Assets, businesses, property and household items were confiscated and the owners were not reimbursed. Israeli historian Benny Morris summarized the evictions well: "I feel sympathy for the Palestinian people, which truly underwent a hard tragedy. I feel sympathy for the refugees themselves. But if the desire to establish a Jewish state here is legitimate, there was no other choice. It was impossible to leave a large fifth column in the country. From the moment the Yishuv was attacked by the...

Appeasing Israel - At What Cost? 
28 Aug 2009 - By Jeff Gates Barack Hussein Obama's June 4th speech in Cairo was awaited with keen anticipation by a global population of 1.3 billion Muslims outraged at the abuse that Zionism has long inflicted on its neighbors—with U.S. support. Ten weeks have since passed. The potentially positive impact of his remarks was immediately offset when he appeared the next day at the Buchenwald death camp in Germany. The timing of that Holocaust photo-op resolved all doubts about who stage-manages this presidency. Media attention immediately shifted back to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In the lead-up to the Cairo speech, Obama’s White House handlers enabled this right-winger to proclaim—from the White House—that peace with the Palestinians ranked a distant second to Tel Aviv’s concerns about Iran. Soon after the Cairo speech, Netanyahu reluctantly referenced a “two state solution”—though only under duress from Middle East envoy George Mitchell. Obama quickly portrayed as an “important step forward” this grudging referral to an agreed-to strategy. In truth, Netanyahu announced several giant steps backward. Rather than agree to negotiate a two state solution, he set preconditions certain to preclude two states, leaving nothing to negotiate. Again negating the potentially positive impact from Cairo, Obama praised the Israeli leader even as he insisted that Palestinians recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” where Jerusalem as “Israel’s capital will remain united.” Netanyahu also insisted on Israel’s right to colonize even more Palestinian land by expanding the very settlements destined to preclude a viable Palestinian state. By applauding this defiant...

Organ Theft Affair: Israelis Boycotting IKEA
28 Aug 2009 - By Kristoffer Larsson Swedish photojournalist Donald Boström has really infuriated the Israelis and its supporters. On August 17, Sweden’s most widely circulated newspaper, Aftonbaldet, carried an article by Boström entitled 'Our sons plundered for their organs.' The usual suspects immediately cried 'anti-Semitism,' claiming that the old blood libel accusation has been brought to life again. The Israelis have even threatened to sue him. Such reactions were anticipated, however. Innumerable hate mails have found their way into Mr Boström’s inbox since the publication, including death threats. More surprising is that Sweden’s ambassador to Israel, Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, issued a condemnation of the article. It was 'as shocking and appalling to us Swedes as to Israelis,' the ambassador claimed in a press release that was later withdrawn, having attracted criticism from the Swedish foreign ministry as well as from the government. On top of that, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has demanded that the Swedish government renounce the article, something which would be unconstitutional in Sweden. A statement from Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman managed to tacitly draw the attention to—you guessed it!—the Holocaust: “It is regrettable that the Swedish foreign ministry does not intervene when it comes to a blood libel against Jews, which reminds one of Sweden’s conduct during World War II when it also did not intervene.” (I would urge Lieberman, himself a hard-core racist, to read Lenni Brenner’s excellent 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis.) Lieberman’s Swedish counterpart Carl Bildt blatantly refuses to cave in: “As a member...

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