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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
3 September, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Abbas: “Coming days crucial in determining whether trilateral summit would take place”
4 Sep 2009 - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, stated Thursday during a meeting with Spanish government head, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapater, that the coming days are crucial in determining whether a trilateral meeting with U.S. President, Barack Obama, and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would take place or not. 

PPS: "Army kidnapped 63 Palestinians in August"
4 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) reported that Israeli soldiers kidnapped in August 63 Palestinians, including 14 students, 11 children and 8 patients. 

Officer who killed an Arab young man in 2006 sentenced to 15 months
4 Sep 2009 - The Israeli Court in Petah Tikva sentenced the Israeli officer who shot and killed and Arab Youth in 2006 to 15 months imprisonment, and 15 months of suspended sentence.  The deadly shooting took place on April 7, 2006. 

Israeli gunships attack fishermen while tanks invade areas of the Gaza Strip
3 Sep 2009 - Israeli navel forces opened fire on Thursday midday at Palestinian fishermen boats off Gaza City shore local sources reported.

The Israeli military kidnaps five Palestinians from the West Bank
3 Sep 2009 - The Israeli military kidnapped on Thursday five Palestinian civilians during pre dawn attacks targeting a number of West Bank communities.

Palestinian government forms a committee to follow-up on ‘Organ harvest’ issue
3 Sep 2009 - Hasan Abu Libda, secretary-general of the Palestinian Ministerial Council in Ramallah, stated that the Palestinian government formed a committee to follow-up on the ‘organs harvest’ allegations against the Israeli army. 

Gazas Ministry of Health accuses UNRWA of seizing medical equipment
3 Sep 2009 - The Ministry of Health, under the dissolved Hamas government in Gaza, accused the UNRWA of seizing medicine and medical equipments that belong to it. Hamas says that the UNRWA has Kidney machines and cancer medications that belong to the ministry.

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF commander in Gaza war: Officers must set moral standards
3 Sep 2009 - Colonel Hertzi Halevy: Troops who step out of line should be dealt with during battle, not afterward. 

IAF bombs tunnel linking southern Gaza to Israel
3 Sep 2009 - Gaza militants fire five mortar shells into west Negev; no casualties in fresh cross-border attacks. 

Steinitz: Shalit campaign doing more harm than good
3 Sep 2009 - Finance Min.: Protests ouside IDF chief's home look 'strange'; Hamas leaders head to Cairo for Shalit talks. 

Ahmadinejad: Iran will not bow to Western deadlines for talks
3 Sep 2009 - Hamas' Haniyeh called Ahmadinejad to urge him to stand up to the West after Iran approved hard-line cabinet. 

Israel summons Norway envoy to protest divestment from arms firm
3 Sep 2009 - Foreign Ministry to mull further protest steps; Norway divests from firm, Elbit, over ties to West Bank fence. 

Ma'an News

Israeli soldiers raid West Bank towns, seizing five Palestinians 3 Sep 2009

Hamas-allied police deploy heavily in Gaza following blasts 3 Sep 2009

US: Mitchell holds "positive" talks with Israeli officials 3 Sep 2009

Israeli government bulldozers demolish water wells near Hebron 3 Sep 2009

Gaza Health Ministry: UNRWA holding up shipments of medical supplies 3 Sep 2009

Report: Israel holds two on weapons charges 3 Sep 2009

Palestinian fighters 'shell Israeli targets' from Gaza 3 Sep 2009

Egyptian soldier accidently shoots self while on border patrol 3 Sep 2009

Abbas, Mubarak to discuss Hamas-Fatah unity 3 Sep 2009

Haniyeh's son joins Hamas leaders heading for Cairo 3 Sep 2009

Agriculture Ministry workers in Gaza 'went without paychecks' 3 Sep 2009

Bethlehem University: Classes to resume after two week strike 3 Sep 2009

Norway to divest from Israeli arms firm involved in West Bank wall 3 Sep 2009

"No yards to play in": East Jerusalem schools cramped, underfunded 3 Sep 2009

UN on Israel's Gaza blockade: A 'protracted denial of human dignity' 3 Sep 2009

Russian official confirms deal to sell fighter jets to Syria 3 Sep 2009

The National

Fasting exemption for football team kicks off debate in Egypt
3 Sep 2009 - Egypt's top religious institution allow the national football team to abstain from fasting before a decisive match.

Iraqi refugees fear expulsion from Syria
3 Sep 2009 - Damascus after the Black Wednesday' bombings and those who fled may be the ones to suffer. 

Refugees because the rains never came
3 Sep 2009 - As Syria's rivers dry up thousands of families face a fight for survival in squalid encampments.

Jewish settlers plan massive construction
31 Aug 2009 - Anti-settlement group says plans for 150 housing units in East Jerusalem are backed by the national and municipal governments.


Ahmadinejad gets cabinet boost
3 Sep 2009 - Parliament largely backs president's choices, including Iran's first female minister.

Education gap divides Jerusalem
3 Sep 2009 - Report says 5,000 Palestinian children in East Jerusalem will not attend school this year.

Palestine News Network

Occupying Israeli administration may legalize settlement outposts that even it deemed illegal
3 Sep 2009 - Tel Aviv / PNN – Some settlements in the West Bank, all of which contravene international law, may be deemed legal by the Israelis. The subject is settlement outposts that also contravene Israeli law, but the occupying administration is looking to retroactively legalize several as a meeting with the US administration on a settlement freeze nears.US President Barack Obama has heavily backed off...

Norway divests from Israeli arms giant Elbit Systems Ltd.
3 Sep 2009 - State-owned Norwegian investment fund The Governmental Pension Fund - Global has divested from Elbit Systems Ltd, one of Israel’s largest security and defense firms. The fund is Europe’s largest investment fund and held nearly 6 million US$ worth of shares in Elbit. The fund’s Council on Ethics explained in its recommendation, “Elbit supplies a surveillance system that is part of the separation...

Five Palestinians dead this week in separate Israeli attacks in Gaza Strip and West Bank
3 Sep 2009 - PNN – The well-respected Palestinian Centre for Human Rights issued its report for the period of 27 August through 2 September, noting that Israeli forces this week killed four Palestinians. Among the dead are two members of the armed resistance in the eastern Gaza Strip and two civilians, including a child, in both Gaza and the West Bank. At the same time...

Israeli raids continue in the middle of the night on town known for nonviolent resistance
3 Sep 2009 - Bil’in / Iyad Burnat - Shortly after 3:00 am on the first, Bil'in was again invaded. Four army jeeps and a military truck stormed the sleeping western Ramallah village with more than 50 soldiers in tow. Simultaneously Israeli forces raided three homes and arrested a teenager. Nineteen year old Abed Baset Mohammed Abu Rahma is now in an undisclosed location.In the second house...

Women refuse Israeli strip search at Ofar Prison, human rights organization takes case
3 Sep 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – The Israeli prison administration is forcing female visitors to strip completely before seeing family members at Ofar, a prison built on Ramallah lands. The Adalah Center demanded this week in a letter to the Israeli Prison Authority and the Ofar Prison that they put an immediate stop to the “humiliating physical inspection of Palestinians, especially citizens of East Jerusalem,...

Obama administration to intensify efforts to meet with President Abbas and Israeli PM in New York
2 Sep 2009 - Ramallah / PNN – US efforts are on the upswing to arrange a meeting with President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in New York. This will be the first gathering of Palestinian ministers and the Netanyahu government since its formation.The hoped-for resumption of negotiations takes place on the heels of the Israeli administration’s refusal to abide international law or US and Palestinian...

Hosted Ramadan evening in Gaza Strip refugee camp targets the most vulnerable 
2 Sep 2009 - Gaza / PNN – With the month of Ramadan strained in Gaza due to the siege, several families were hosted for the evening meal of iftar to break the fast. In Jabaliya Refugee Camp, just to the northeast of Gaza City, the Society for Rehabilitation in Jabaliya, funded by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE charity and UNRWA, a collective breakfast was...


OPT: Bleak Ramadan for Gaza residents
GAZA CITY Monday, August 31, 2009 (IRIN) - Ramadan, a festive time in many parts of the Muslim world, is bleak in Gaza because basic and traditional foodstuffs are unavailable due to the Israeli blockade, or out of reach due to soaring prices and poverty, according to officials.

MIDDLE EAST: Swine flu keeps Muslim pilgrims at home 
DUBAI Wednesday, August 26, 2009 (IRIN) - Far fewer Muslims than normal are undertaking the lesser pilgrimage known as ‘Umrah’ because of coordinated efforts by health ministers in the Gulf and beyond to counter the spread of H1N1 2009.

ISRAEL-OPT: Travel restrictions in West Bank eased for Ramadan 
TEL AVIV Monday, August 24, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel has eased some of its travel restrictions for Palestinians in the West Bank during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) spokesperson’s unit.

Inter Press Service

ISRAEL: Madonna Applauded for her Silence 
TEL AVIV, Sep 3 (IPS) - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il, Hitler, the Holocaust, ecological disasters, poverty in Africa, wars around the world, Obama and Martin Luther King: the appropriate images were all there, an overwhelming backdrop on the huge stage for the Queen of Pop's rendition of her song, 'Get...

MIDEAST: Israelis Destroy Boats, and Lives 
GAZA CITY, Sep 3 (IPS) - Until Monday, Omar and Khaled Al-Habil were the owners of a 20m fishing trawler staffed by five or six fishermen at a time, but employing around 18 in cycles. But that morning the vessel came under heavy Israeli navy machine-gun fire, and then shelling....

KYRGYZSTAN: A New Great Game Begins 
BISHKEK, Sep 2 (IPS) - A U.S. base located just 40km from a Russian base - it can happen in Kyrgyzstan, a new focal point in the great geopolitics of Central Asia where China and Turkey are beginning to show their cards as well.

MIDEAST: Olmert's Peace Plan May Go Down With Him 
JERUSALEM, Aug 31 (IPS) - The State of Israel against the former leader of the State of Israel - for the first time, a former prime minister will soon be in the defendant's chair in a criminal court.

Stop The Wall

Mobilize for the seventh Week Against the Apartheid Wall
1 Sep 2009 - The Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, its popular committees and member organizations call on activists to launch a week of global mobilization against the walls of apartheid in the West Bank and Gaza from November 9 to 16 2009. See the full call here. [

Norwegian Pension Fund divests from Elbit Systems!
3 Sep 2009 - The Norwegian Pension Fund has announced its decision to divest $6 million from the Israeli firm Elbit Systems. The firm contributes surveillance technology to the Wall as well as military equipment to Occupation forces. This is an important victory for the BDS movement, and Elbit has been the target of a long campaign, with Stop the Wall working closely with Norwegian activists in the divestment effort. [

PCHR Latest

IOF Willfully Kill a Palestinian Child in al-Jalazoun Refugee Camp, North of Ramallah

PCHR Weekly Report

(27 Aug.- 02 Sep.  2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, IOF killed two Palestinian civilians, including a child, in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.  Two members of the 'Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas) were also killed in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas accused IOF of killing them.

International Solidarity Movement

IOF willfully kill a Palestinian child in al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the willful killing of a 15-year-old Palestinian child by Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). The attack occurred yesterday, 31 August 2009, near the entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. According to investigations conduced by PCHR, at approximately 21:30 on Monday, 31 August 2009, IOF troops stationed at a military observation tower inside "Beit Eil" settlement, north of Ramallah, opened fire at five Palestinian children who were near al-Jalazon UNRWA School, located near the southeastern entrance of al-Jalazoun refugee camp. One of the children, 15-year-old Mohammed Riad Nayef "˜Elayan, was wounded by three bullets to the chest. An ambulance from Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Ramallah attempted to reach the area. 

Israeli forces raid Bil’in, arrest one
9/1/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Shortly after 3am, Bil'in was invaded again. 4 Jeeps and a military truck entered the village with over 50 soldiers. The Israeli occupation forces raided three homes simultaneously and arrested Abed Baset Mohammed Abu Rahme (age 19). In the second house, they tried to arrest Yaseen Mohammed Ali Yaseen (21), but he was not at home. They left a military order for him to turn himself in by 9am the next day. In the third house, they wanted to arrest Mohammed Ahmed Yaseen (age 21), but did not find him at his home either. The soldiers acted very swiftly. As they encountered many international activists who stood in their way filming and challenging their action as well as following the movement of the jeeps, the soldiers threw tear gas and sound bombs to disperse them and clear the way. They also used a laser beam on some of the activists as a means of intimidation. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Campaign against assimilation of Diaspora Jews gets mixed reaction 
3 Sep 2009 - A day after mounting a scare-tactic campaign to prevent the assimilation of Diaspora Jews, the Prime Minister's Office and Jewish Agency received some 200 calls, most of them reporting names of Jews living abroad. ... 

Sa'ar: Netanyahu saving Israel from global isolation
3 Sep 2009 - Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar defended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against criticism from rightists on Thursday, following attacks on the premier over his apparent willingness to freeze West Bank settlement construction. ...

'Netanyahu to okay hundreds of new West Bank homes' 
3 Sep 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon approve the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements before he declares a moratorium on building in those locales, according to a senior government source. ... 

ANALYSIS / Israel-PA relations have never been so good 
3 Sep 2009 - Mohammed Na'if, a 14-year-old Palestinian from the Jalazun refugee camp near Ramallah, was killed Monday night by Israel Defense Forces fire after Na'if and another youth threw firebombs at the settlement of Beit El. ... 

Meshal expected to pay rare visit to Cairo for Shalit talks 
3 Sep 2009 - Hamas senior official Khaled Meshal is expected to arrive Saturday in Cairo for a round of talks with Egyptian officials, attended by the organization's top-brass from Gaza and Damascus. One of the topics will be a deal for the release of Gilad Shalit. ... 

The Guardian

The colonel's labyrinth | Raza Naeem
3 Sep 2009 - Muammar Gaddafi's revolution, voiding Libya of western powers, has been compromised by his recent appeasement of the west This week, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is celebrating 40 years at the helm of the Libyan revolution . In September...

Saving Staff Sergeant Shalit | Seth Freedman
3 Sep 2009 - Israel's loyalty to its soldiers means it is willing to take part in prisoner swaps. But negotiation has its limits For more than three years, Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit has been held captive by Hamas militants...

Obama must provide a 'peace horizon' | Petra Marquardt-Bigman
3 Sep 2009 - The Annapolis peace talks may have failed, but Barack Obama must try to maintain the positive momentum that now exists Even if it is just a coincidence, it is definitely noteworthy that both President Obama and...

A blueprint for peace in the Middle East | Carlo Strenger
2 Sep 2009 - Summits don't work in isolation: Obama's peace process must adopt the Northern Ireland model, inviting all parties to the table Obama's decision to tackle the Middle East early in his presidential term has been welcomed by...

Ha'aretz National page

Yossi Sarid / Divide Jerusalem, before we lose it forever 
3 Sep 2009 - Believers the world over do not believe the ape was their ancestor. They are correct - man is apparently descended from the wolf. A pack of Arab wolves lynched a Jewish man in Tel Aviv and a pack of Jewish wolves preyed on an Arab man in Jerusalem this week. They know no God, so what do we expect of the poor apes? ... 

Ethiopian students finally enrolled in Petah Tikva schools 
3 Sep 2009 - All children of Ethiopian origin were finally placed in various Petah Tikva schools as of Thursday, two days after the beginning of the school year. ... 

Ethiopian students affair shows prevalent racism in Israel
3 Sep 2009 - All of a sudden, we can say "racism." A shock wave has struck complacent Israeli society. A few dozen Ethiopian children were not accepted to religious schools in Petah Tikva. That is truly terrible, everyone tsked-tsked at the heart-rending picture of Aschalo Sama, a boy without a school. Even President Shimon Peres expressed shock. Everyone is permitted to be shocked; it is politically correct. ... 

Relief Web

Israeli military police begin probe into killing and wounding of Palestinians carrying white flags during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza
3 Sep 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

Humanitarian organisations deeply concerned about the ongoing water and sanitation crisis in Gaza
3 Sep 2009 - Source: Association of International Development Agencies, WASH Cluster

OPT: New report highlights educational poverty in East Jerusalem
3 Sep 2009 - Source: Integrated Regional Information Networks

YNet News

Settlers accused of assaulting Palestinian 
3 Sep 2009 - Residents of West Bank's Gilad Farm outpost accused of allegedly beating 56-year-old Ibrahim Tawil. IDF probing allegations 

Sa'ar at Likud function: PM safeguarding Israel's interests
3 Sep 2009 - 'Unlike us, Netanyahu sees the big picture,' education minister tells fellow party members amid reports of possible settlement freeze, 'He believes in what we believe in.' Kadima's Hanegbi: We must stand united in face of Iranian threat 

Chavez bashes Israel in Syria trip
3 Sep 2009 - Venezuelan president visits Damascus, says 'Israel has become a country that annihilates people and is hostile to peace' 

Egypt charges 13 with promoting Shiism
3 Sep 2009 - Prosecutors accusing Shiite cleric, 12 others group of receiving funds from Iran to promote 'extremist ideas to sow unrest in Egypt' 

New York: Haredim equate Jerusalem police with Nazis
3 Sep 2009 - Anti-Zionist Jews gather outside Israeli Consulate in Manhattan to protest treatment of religious Jews opposed to opening of parking lot in capital on Shabbat. 'Government, Jerusalem municipal government committing acts of brutality against religious Jews on scale not seen in last 65 years,' Satmar rabbi says 

PA to probe 'IDF organ harvesting'
3 Sep 2009 - Palestinian Cabinet Secretary-General Abu Libda says Authority will pursue legal action against Israel if suspicions prove to be true; 'organ theft goes against all values and creeds,' he says 

'Children of Tehran' challenge State bureaucracy in court 
3 Sep 2009 - Group of Polish holocaust survivors smuggled to Israel via Iran during WWII demand funds promised to them as part of German-Israeli reparations program signed in 1950s be funneled 

High Court: Why aren't laws enforced against Palestinians?
3 Sep 2009 - During session on Regavim movement's petition demanding explanation as to why construction laws are not enforced against illegal Palestinian structures, Supreme Court Justice Edna Arbel wonders how only three demolition orders issued in past 14 years 

Daily Star

Security forces arrest triple murder suspect 
3 Sep 2009

Lebanon's cabinet formation 'Gordian Knot' - analysts 
3 Sep 2009

Hizbullah silent over report that group got chemical weapons 
3 Sep 2009

Another round of cabinet consultations fails 
3 Sep 2009

Investment injection is a show of faith in Lebanon 
3 Sep 2009

Iraq challenges Syria to explain militant aid 
3 Sep 2009

Iran gets first woman minister as MPs back Ahmadinejad list 
3 Sep 2009

Israel reports decline in illegal settlement construction 
3 Sep 2009

Palestinian Information Center

Zionists resort to “black propaganda” to counter Hamas
3 Sep 2009 - Zionist and pro-Zionist internet websites are resorting to manifestly malicious black propaganda to counter increasingly successful media efforts exposing the evilness of the Israeli occupation.

Bahar: Releasing MPs from IOA jails allows reactivation of the PLC
3 Sep 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the PLC, has opined that the release of nine Hamas MPs from IOA jails was an opportunity to reactivate the stalled PLC.

Israeli settlers burn Palestinian agriculture lands, IOF arrest 5 Palestinians
3 Sep 2009 - Israeli settlers near Beit Ummar village in Al-Khalil district on Wednesday started fire in lands cultivated with fruitful trees owned by Palestinian citizens, locals reported.

Qabha: The PA and Israel coordinate to remove any threats to the Zionist project
3 Sep 2009 - Hamas official Wasfi Qabha, a prisoner in Israeli jails, stated that the security coordination between the PA and Israel is aimed to eradicate the forces that pose a threat to the Zionist project.

Radwan: Khouri-Shalom meeting supports judaization policy
3 Sep 2009 - The meeting in Jerusalem between Israeli minister Sylvan Shalom and Basem Khouri endorses Ramallah's recognition of the Israeli occupation's judaization of Jerusalem, said Dr. Ismail Radwan.

Taha: Mishaal in Cairo next Saturday
3 Sep 2009 - Hamas leader Ayman Taha has said that Khaled Mihsaal, the political bureau chairman of Hamas, is due to arrive in Cairo next Saturday at the head of a senior delegation.

Haneyya calls on Fatah to start fresh political relationship
3 Sep 2009 - Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya on Wednesday called on Fatah faction to forget the past and build a new relationship of political harmony.

Plans to file lawsuit against EU to abort its economic agreement with Israel
3 Sep 2009 - The European campaign for ending the siege declared its intention to file a lawsuit against the European Union (EU) in order to force it to end its economic partnership agreement with Israel.

Prisoners’ center: Israel’s refusal to release Ghoul violation of human rights
3 Sep 2009 - The prisoners’ center said that Israel’s refusal to release human rights activist Nazmi Al-Ghoul, who was arrested by IOF troops in 2009 without a legal indictment, is a violation of human rights.

Health ministry: UNRWA holds big quantities of medicine
3 Sep 2009 - The health ministry has disclosed that UNRWA was holding big quantities of medication allocated for the ministry for long months, charging that many patients died as a result of their shortage.

Los Angeles Times

Israelis and Palestinians talking again after months-long freeze 
3 Sep 2009 - The two sides discuss the West Bank's promising economic recovery, and aides to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas say he's willing to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a limited thaw of a frosty relationship, Israeli and Palestinian officials held their first high-level meeting in months Wednesday and discussed ways to bolster a promising economic recovery in the West Bank. 

Iran says it's ready to reopen nuclear talks 
2 Sep 2009 - The Islamic Republic's top nuclear negotiator says Tehran has updated its proposals for talks on its atomic program. Western powers, Russia and China are to meet to consider additional sanctions. Iran's top nuclear negotiator said Tuesday that the country was prepared to resume talks with world powers over its contentious nuclear technology program and that it had prepared a package of proposals for discussions. 

Once-legendary Fatah figure makes a comeback 
1 Sep 2009 - Mohammed Dahlan, driven into exile and blamed for 'losing Gaza' to the forces of Hamas, has once more maneuvered into the Palestinian movement's inner circles. He ran the Gaza Strip like the Godfather, dispensing brutal punishment and benevolent largess. But that was before his summer of disgrace, two years ago, when Hamas militants drove out his armed followers and allowed looters to pick apart his seaside villa. 

New York Times

Iran News Agency Reports Prisoner Died of Abuse
31 Aug 2009 - The admission, if it is confirmed and leads to punishment, could shore up support for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei among clerics. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Gaza: Cleric Denounces Possible Holocaust Education
31 Aug 2009 - A Hamas spiritual leader said Monday that teaching Palestinian children about the Nazis’ murder of six million Jews would be a “war crime.” 

Jerusalem Journal: Religious-Secular Divide, Tugging at Israel’s Heart
2 Sep 2009 - The opening of a parking lot underneath city hall has helped start another round of what local residents call the “Sabbath wars.” 


Naomi Klein, David Byrne, Jane Fonda, Danny Glover, Ken Loach, Wallace Shawn and many others support protest of Toronto Film Festival
Mondoweiss - 3 Sep 2009 - Over 50 directors, artists and critics have come out in support of John Greyson’s decision to pull out of the Toronto International Film Festival . In an open letter to the Festival titled "Toronto Declaration: No Celebration of Occupation," the signers say: In 2009, TIFF announced that...

Another step forward… Norway divests from company that serves separation wall
Mondoweiss - 3 Sep 2009 - The Norwegian government has now divested its pension funds of holdings in Elbit, an Israeli arms manufacturer that provides surveillance equipment for the separation fence. "We do not want to finance a company in such a way contribute to breaches of international humanitarian law," said Finance...

NYT explains PEP: ‘Leftwing’ Jews are ‘passionately’ pro-Israel
Mondoweiss - 3 Sep 2009 - The New York Times says it "condensed" this interview with Norman Podhoretz , presumably because he was longwinded. I am going to condense it further and leave out most of Podhoretz’s answers, which are slippery and old school, and keep the questions. Note the point of view...

Dumped by Ahava, Kristin Davis sticks with Oxfam
Mondoweiss - 3 Sep 2009 - Gawker says that Ahava, the beauty company that operates in the occupied West Bank, has dropped Kristin Davis as a spokesperson– weeks after Oxfam was said to have dropped Davis as a spokesperson because of her association with the occupation. This dustup would seem to be...

Take a look at the Israeli government ad that says intermarried Jews are ‘lost’
Mondoweiss - 3 Sep 2009 - You can see the Israeli government-paid ad that says that intermarried Jews in the United States are "lost" here . Look at the poor Feldman’s and Fine’s and Jacobs’s pictured in the ads, most of them young men. This could be a big story, if the media...

Norwegian Pension Fund Divests from Israeli Military Giant Elbit
Alternative Information Center - 3 Sep 2009 - The Ministry of Finance has excluded the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. from the Government Pension Fund – Global, on the basis of the Council on Ethics’ recommendation. The Council on Ethics has found that investment in Elbit constitutes an unacceptable risk of contribution to serious...

The Elders Visit Palestine/Israel 
Alternative Information Center - 3 Sep 2009 - The Elders visited Israel and the Palestinian territories for the first time as a group from 25-28 August 2009. As an independent and non-affiliated group, the Elders do not participate in any negotiations but are supportive of the current peace talks. The timing of their visit...

Did Leviev's Empire Succumb to Boycott?
Alternative Information Center - 2 Sep 2009 - On 31 August 2009, Lev Leviev, the sixth richest Israeli according to Forbes Magazine , convened a press conference and announced that his company Africa Israel will be unable to meet its financial obligations and repay its debts on time. Leviev's debt is estimated at nearly Euro...

“This is Israel Here, not Palestine”
Alternative Information Center - 31 Aug 2009 - While the U.S. administration and the main EU Foreign Ministries seem to be in favor of slowing down the colonization process of occupied or annexed territories, the Israeli government is still responding to those efforts with a flat refusal.

Lower Education in Israel 
Alternative Information Center - 31 Aug 2009 - A direct line connects the plans of Israeli Minister of Education Gideon Sa’ar, as published in the weekend newspapers in run to for the opening of the school year, and the remarks of Rivka Carmi, President of Ben Gurion University, in response to the article of...


Electronic Intifada
Why Israel is after my son
3 Sep 2009 - The persecution of Palestinian citizens inside Israel is not a new phenomenon. Yet, for me, this time it hit home. The Israeli intelligence agency Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet, accuses my son Rawi Sultani of "contact with a foreign agent" and "delivering information to the enemy." Both are grave security offenses in Israeli law. Fouad Sultani comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Faithful warned against buying "occupation dates" this Ramadan
2 Sep 2009 - Israel's largest produce exporter, Agrexco, is once again under fire because of its dates produced in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. This year, the company's dates arrived in time for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, during which faithful Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset and traditionally break their fast by eating a date. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Liberation, not a fictitious Palestinian "state"
2 Sep 2009 - From 1994 to 2006, more than eight billion US dollars were pumped into the Palestinian economy, making Palestinians the most aid-dependent people on earth. The PA received this aid ostensibly to build Palestinian institutions, improve socioeconomic development and support the creation of an independent state. The result however is that Palestinians are more destitute and aid-dependent than ever before, their institutions are totally dysfunctional, and their state remains a distant fantasy. 

In Jerusalem, separate and unequal
1 Sep 2009 - OCCUPIED EAST JERUSALEM (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 boundary dividing the two parts of the city reveals a city very much divided. Most of West Jerusalem is clean, well cared for and far more opulent than the poorer east. The streets of East Jerusalem are filled with litter, piles of uncollected garbage, potholes and vermin. 

In Gaza
recent and past martyrs: Gaza Ramadan day 13
3 Sep 2009 - His murder was just another passing name in the news. Fisherman killed in the north of Gaza by Israeli navy shelling. Decapitated by the blast. Another gruesomely martyred Palestinian. The world somehow expects it over there. But beyond being a statistic in the tally of Palestinians lost to Israeli targeting, Mohammed is the 4th close family member to be killed in three years, not including cousins or other relatives. Preceding him were one brother, and his mother and a nephew, the latter 2 killed together on their farmland. With them was another brother who survived the ground-to-ground missile. His legs didn’t, however. Another brother was seriously injured by Israeli army...

Palestine Chronicle
A UN Special Focus on Gaza Under Siege 
3 Sep 2009 - By Stephen Lendman - Chicago In August 2009, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a special report titled: "Locked In: The Humanitarian Impact of Two Years of Blockade on the Gaza Strip." It focuses on import and export restrictions, the travel ban on "livelihoods, food security, education, health, shelter, energy and water, and sanitation." It explains how violence and human rights abuses increase the suffering of 1.5 million people. Following Hamas' January 2006 electoral victory, all outside aid was cut off. Sanctions and an economic embargo were imposed, and the democratically elected government was falsely accused of being a terrorist organization and isolated. Stepped up repression followed as well as IDF attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, property destruction, and more. Gazans have been imprisoned ever since. In silence, the world community sanctions Israeli crimes and shares guilt for their commission. In June 2007, Israel placed the Territory under siege and imposed an unprecedented blockade on nearly all movement and supplies in and out of the Strip, "triggering a protracted human dignity crisis with negative humanitarian consequences." At its heart is the "degradation (of) living conditions," the erosion of livelihoods, the lack of vital services in the areas of health, water, sanitation and education, and the collapse of essential infrastructure in the wake of Operation Cast Lead. Over the past several months, Israel allowed in only small amounts of vital goods and services, far below quantities essential enough to relieve a grave humanitarian crisis. Despite the urgings...

Gaza Fishermen and the Sea: Sharing a Common Sorrow
3 Sep 2009 - By Ayman Quader - Gaza Everyday in the news, I hear about the suffering of the Gaza fishermen - one was killed, others wounded, and the Israelis are firing on still others. And I wanted to shed a light on their pain. So I went to the main Gaza port. While I was there, I realized how sad the sea and the fishermen are. Boats are stuck and fishermen are looking at the sea with no hope. The Palestinian fishermen have been consistently harassed by the regular Israeli attacks on them, as they abuse the fishermen for pursuing their livelihood. Furthermore, they are prevented to work for far distances inside the sea. The allowed distance for them is just around 4.5 Km. Unfortunately, once they reach that distance, they find themselves under Israeli fire. Around 3000 fishermen are now despondently jobless and in a real tragedy. The tragedy began with the complete blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. The fishermen are prohibited from going to a deeper and richer area of fishing, and they have been dramatically affected with these restrictions from the Israeli navy forces. Indeed, they now have very low incomes with which to feed their families. Ismael Kalilo is a 65-year old fisherman in Gaza City, who has spent 50 years of his life in the sea, and now lives in the Beach Camp. "I am totally satisfied to be a fisherman in Gaza, but completely exhausted by the conditions imposed on us." The aged fisherman is...

Dream as Nightmare
2 Sep 2009 - By Jeremy Salt - Ankara In the Guardian recently , Carlo Strenger launched yet another defence of Israel as the democracy in the Middle East. His defence of himself is that he opposes 'many of Israel's policies' and fights the occupation 'day by day' but this is only the occupation of land seized and plundered in 1967 and not the land seized and plundered in 1948. Much of this land was never allocated to the state of Israel in the first place and the sovereignty conferred on Israel gave the Zionists no right to take it from its owners. Had they remained, a different kind of democracy would have developed in Palestine, one in which the indigenous people would have retained control of their land through the ballot box. That was why they had to go. Nothing less democratic can be imagined than the denial of the right even to live in the land of one’s birth. The Palestinian ‘refugees’ did not ‘emigrate’. They were not fleeing an oppressive political system. They were the majority and they were hounded out of their country because only without them could the ‘democracy’ known as Israel come into existence. Mr Strenger implies that Palestinian Muslim or Christian citizens of Israel enjoy the same rights as Jewish citizens. Of course they don’t. Free speech and the right to vote are not the sum total of democracy. Institutional and structural racist discrimination against ‘the Arabs’ extends from the top to the bottom of Israeli society. It...

US, Israel Versus Iran: The Nuclear Chess Game
2 Sep 2009 - By Dr. Elias Akleh Since 2003 Iran has been coerced into playing a nuclear chess game against US and Israel. Western media outlets have been playing the part of cheer leaders for the American Israeli side, preparing the observing masses for the expected American Israeli 'checkmate' move against Iran. Not a single day passes without the description and analyses of a tactical move, with each analysis ending with the question of when, rather than if, the Israelis would bomb Iranian nuclear facilities. Israeli Moves In their annual meeting, on February 18th 2009, Israeli military leaders officially declared Iran as their number one strategic enemy in the region, and that the alleged Iranian nuclear arms program constitutes an “existential threat” to the state of Israel. They declared the elimination of the Iranian nuclear threat a top priority for the Israeli military and political leaderships. Yet the Israelis seem to differ regarding the method of dealing with the Iranian threat. One group, represented by Barak, Netanyahu, Olmert, and Lieberman, called for a military strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities. Such a strike, they claim, would at least set the Iranian nuclear program back by ten years. They site Israel’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in June 1981, and the bombing of alleged Syrian Al-Kibar nuclear facility in September 2007 as safe and effective solution to any nuclear threat. They claim that since Western countries, especially US, and the neighboring Arab states are opposed to Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s attack would receive...

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