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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
11 October, 2009


Ma'an News

Witnesses: Israeli agents disguised selves as press photographers
10/11/2009 - Jerusalem - Ma'an - A nongovernmental media organization expressed concern on Saturday about reports that undercover Israeli operatives are posing as photojournalists during Palestinian demonstrations against Israeli policies in Jerusalem. In a statement, Awad Awad, a photojournalist working with the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA), said that this concern arose from reports they received from residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood Ras Al-Amoud. Awad said Ras Al-Amoud residents told MADA that they saw Israeli agents carrying cameras and disguised as press photographers on Thursday and Friday. The same agents, the residents said, arrested young men who participated in the demonstration. Speaking to Ma'an on Saturday, residents of the area reported identical incidents. 

Israel continues to seal two of three Gaza crossings
10/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities decided to open the Kerem Shalom crossing on Sunday to allow food into the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a local Palestinian official. Raed Fattouh, a crossings representative, added that both the Nahal Oz and Karni crossings with Israel would remain closed. Fattouh said that the Kerem Shalom crossing would be open for 70-80 trucks carrying commercial merchandise and humanitarian aid. Israel and Egypt have maintained a debilitating blockade on Gaza since 2007, preventing all but a trickle of imports and exports, and banning the coastal strip's 1. 5 million residents from traveling. [end] 

PA drops security detail for envoy who criticized Abbas
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security personnel will no longer protect former Ambassador to Egypt Nabil Amr, the envoy told Ma'an on Sunday morning. "Palestinian security informed my personal bodyguards in Ramallah that they would have to hand in their weapons and end any relations with me," Amr said in a telephone interview from Cairo. The ambassador added, "When I asked the guards who was behind the decision, they said it was President [Mahmoud] Abbas's decision. " Amr had accused Abbas of being behind the Goldstone fiasco in Geneva last Friday. "How, in the shadow of such an affair, can Abu Mazen [Abbas] choose to travel around the world and not be with the people and explain to them what happened? " he said on Tuesday, referencing the president's frequent travel abroad. On Saturday, Amr said he was certain the order was a retaliatory move in response to those comments. 

Abbas reverses course on Goldstone report
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday evening that he has instructed his envoy to the United Nations in Geneva to seek a new debate in the Human Rights Council on the Goldstone report on alleged war crimes in Gaza. During a televised speech, Abbas confirmed reports from Friday that his government had completely reversed course on the 575-page report. "I instructed the ambassador to call for another exceptional meeting of the Human Rights Council to vote on the report, seeking to punish all who committed the most grotesque crimes against women and children in Gaza," Abbas said. The speech was the president's first formal address since it was revealed that his government delayed a vote in the Human Rights Council on Judge Richard Goldstone's report on violations allegedly committed during Israel's winter war on Gaza, which left more than 1,400 Palestinians dead. 

Hamas: PA holding brother of Al-Jazeera director
10/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The Hamas movement on Sunday accused Palestinian Authority security services of detaining Mahdi Khanfar, the eldest brother of Wadah Khanfar, the director of the Qatar-based news network Al-Jazeera. According to a statement released by Hamas, Khanfar was seized in his village Ar-Rama, near Jenin in the northern West Bank. The statement said it was the second time PA security had arrested Khanfar. The popular satellite network has recently aired reports which it says exposes President Mahmoud Abbas' role in delaying international action on a United Nations report on alleged war crimes committed during Israel's recent war on the Gaza Strip. In July, the PA briefly shut down Al-Jazeera's operations in the West Bank after the channel aired an interview with a dissident Fatah official who accused Abbas of plotting to assassinate former president Yasser Arafat. 

Sources: Hamas-Fatah agreement to be signed on 15 October
10/11/2009 - Cairo - Ma'an Exclusive - The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah will finally sign a reconciliation agreement on 15 October, effectively ending two years of disunity and violence that began in the summer of 2007. Ma'an has learned from informed sources in Cairo that the deal proposed by Egypt will be accepted by both parties without amendment. According to these sources, Hamas and Fatah will receive copies of the draft agreement by Monday at the latest, and its signing will be scheduled as follows. - Drafts will be handed to Hamas and Fatah within 24 hours. - Hamas and Fatah will sign the document on 15 October. - All other Palestinian factions will sign on 20 October. - Egypt will unilaterally announce that all factions reached an agreement on 20 October. - Mahmoud Abbas will issue a presidential decree on 25 October. - The decree will announce legislative and presidential elections scheduled for 26 June 2010. - A public inauguration of the unity agreement will be held after the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holiday. 

Hamas, PLO trade recriminations over Goldstone
10/11/2009 - Gaza/Ramallah - Ma'an - Palestine's rival factions traded accusations traded another round of recriminations on Sunday, laying bare the deep mistrust in the wake of the scandal about the Goldstone report on war crimes in Gaza. "Circumstances should be created to bring success to the Egyptian efforts to conclude a reconciliation deal, but the current atmosphere is one of outrage and anger because the postponement of the vote on Goldstone's report," senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan told Ma'an on Sunday afternoon. "Time is not right for a reconciliation deal," the Gaza-based leader added, casting doubt on what Egyptian sources reported earlier in the day, that Hamas and Fatah will sign the initial stages of a deal on 15 October. "The Egyptians understood the reasons behind request to delay" the unity talks, Radwan said. 

PA forces defuse Jordanian-era explosive device near Jenin
10/11/2009 - Jenin - Ma'an - The Fatah-allied Palestinian National Security Forces said they dismantled an explosive device uncovered in the village of Fahma, southwest of the West Bank city of Jenin on Saturday. The security forces said in a statement that the device was left behind by the Jordanian army before Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. The forces also said they acted on a phone call they received from a resident of the village, who said he found the explosives in a field near his home. [end] 

Settlers arrested as Israel evacuates outpost
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli soldiers shut down the illegal "Mitzpe Ami" settlement outpost early Sunday morning, during which 13 settlers who refused to leave were arrested, according to news reports. The Hebrew-language daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that soldiers presented the settlers with a "closed military zone" order, which was reportedly ignored. "[W]e will not be deterred by the army and police's disturbances and will continue to settle the place," the northern West Bank settlers said in a statement, according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, Palestinian firefighters on Sunday morning were still struggling to control a fire started by settlers on Saturday night in retaliation for the impending evacuation, according to Israel's military. 

Al-Maliki holds talks with Libya before UN debate on Goldstone
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki was in Libya on Saturday for talks ahead of a crucial meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding alleged war crimes committed during Israel's winter offensive in Gaza. On the sidelines of the Arab-Afircan Committee meetings in Tripoli, Al-Maliki met with Libyan International Trade Secretary General Mousa Kousa. A PA statement said Maliki thanked Libya for it efforts. Al-Maliki also met with separately Amr Moussa, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, and Morocco's Foreign Minister, At-Tayeb Al-Fasi Al-Fahri. "The meetings were fruitful and reflect the brotherly concern of Arab and African states for the deterioration in Palestine, and the consequences of Israel's irresponsible actions," Al-Maliki said after the talks. 

As Obama wins Nobel, anti-wall leader says Bush was robbed
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An anti-wall leader in Bil'in village suggested on Saturday that former US President George W Bush was just as worthy of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize as Barack Obama, who won on Friday. "Why didn't the committee give the prize to Bush? " asked Iyad Burnat, head of the village's Popular Committee Against the Wall, in a statement on Saturday. "I remember nine years ago Bush had a good speech about the establishment of a Palestinian state in the year of 2005," he said. "Why didn't you give the prize to this man at that time, and he got shoes instead? This is injustice!" "You worked very hard, eight years with killing children, starting wars and supporting the occupation, and they gave the prize to another man," Burnat added. "I am so sorry Mr Bush. " Turning serious, the official said he heard the news that Obama won on Friday after he "came home from our. . . " 

Egypt seizes explosives, fuel, migrants in the Sinai
10/11/2009 - Al-Arish - Ma'an - Egyptian police say they have seized 340 kilograms of TNT explosives and machine guns in two separate raids in the Sinai Peninsula, the AFP news agency reported on Sunday. The news agency quoted Egyptian sources saying the weapons were destined for the Gaza Strip. Earlier, Egyptian security sources told Ma'an that Egyptian forces detained 18 people who attempted to cross a barbed wire fence into Israel in search of work. According to the sources, the migrants were surprised when they were discovered by security forces and gave themselves up without a struggle. The detainees included six Eritreans, four Guineans, seven Ethiopians, and a woman from Sudan. The sources added that each person paid 1,000 to foreign smugglers who promised to help them enter Israel. In another incident, Egyptian announced that they seizing two smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt. . . 

Jordan seeks Palestinian tourist surge in 2011
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Jordan's Tourism Board is hoping for a major surge in 2011, according to its director, Maher Al-Qaryouti, who told Ma'an his ministry hoped Palestinians would make up a large portion of its target. In Amman, the official shared visit indicators for 2008-9 following a four-day press trip of the country's sites, which included Petra, Jarash, Karak, Madaba, Mt. Nebo and several others. Tourism is an essential component of Jordan's economy, he noted, which relies on the purchase of local products and traditional, handmade souvenirs in addition to lodging and related purchases at its ancient sites. Prior to the meeting in the capital, the board took journalists to the traditional place of Jesus' baptism at the Jordan River, as well as the monumental King Hussein Bin Talal Convention Center nestled in the heart of the Dead Sea's luxurious zone of five-star hotels and spas. 

Turkey cancels joint air force drill with Israel
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Turkey has called off an annual air force drill because Israeli jets were to participate in the exercise. The Israeli military said in a statement sent to reporters that the drill was delayed "indefinitely" because of Turkey's decision "not to allow the Israeli air force to take part. "The military also said it was informed of this decision several days ago. The sixth of its kind, the drill was scheduled to begin on Monday, with US, Italian, andNATO forces also participating. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, meanwhile, that the US and Italy both withdrew from the drill after Turkey requested that Israel be excluded from the maneuver. Israel Radio also reported that the drill was cancelled because the US and Italy pulled out. Turkey was once one of Israel's closest allies in the Muslim world, although relations are said to have cooled. . . 

Fayyad harvests olives with US envoy
10/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad joined US Consul General Daniel Rubinstein in the West Bank village of Abud, outside of Ramallah, to take part in the community's annual olive harvest. Rubinstein also met with the Palestinian Authority Minister of Agriculture and members of the local community. "The symbolism of the olive harvest to Palestinian identity and Palestinian political aspirations is clear, and I am pleased to be able to be here today to underscore US support for the Palestinian people," Rubenstein said in a statement after the photo-op olive-picking session. [end] 

Fatah Central Committee backs Egyptian deadline
10/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Fatah's Central Committee reiterated on Saturday its approval of the Egyptian call to sign a reconciliation agreement with Hamas as scheduled on 25 October, expressing astonishment that Hamas is seeking to delay an agreement. The committee met in Ramallah, where President Mahmoud Abbas asserted that a decree calling for presidential and legislative elections must be issued on 25 October in accordance with Palestine's Basic Law. The Central Committee also decided to call a meeting of Fatah's Revolutionary Council for 16 October in order to elect its secretary and complete appointing its new members as decided by the party's sixth congress. Abbas updated the committee on his Saturday visit by the US special envoy, George Mitchell, as well as national dialogue issues and the Egyptian call to sign an agreement on the 25th. 

PA minister denies saying foreign donors fund Hamas
10/11/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - The caretaker government's minister of national economy, Bassem Khoury, on Sunday denied statements on Hamas finances attributed to him a day earlier by the Paris-based newspaper Le Monde. The French-language report, published on Saturday, quoted Khoury as saying, "The [Palestinian] Authority continues to pay salaries to civil servants in Gaza; this represents half of our budget. Then these [non-Hamas] officials purchase goods that illegally entered via the tunnels, and on which Hamas receives a kind of tax. "Result: the finances of the Palestinian Authority are de facto VAT receipts, which were previously collected on imported goods to Gaza, while at the same time, Hamas doesn't know what to do with its money," the newspaper quoted him as adding. "European taxpayers should know that their money, because of this mechanism, ends up in Hamas' pocket. . . " 

Hamas official: Waiting for right time to sign unity deal
10/11/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Haya said on Sunday that Hamas had not dropped out of reconciliation talks, but was searching for the best time to sign an agreement. "Let our people be reassured," he told reporters in Gaza, "It's not Hamas who hasn't dropped its preconditions. ""The decision on conciliation is irrevocable, so we are pushing toward creating that atmosphere, searching for the best time to sign the agreement because it's for all of our benefit," he added. Speaking at a festival organized by the Student Senate at Islamic University, Al-Haya said that "Hamas has not given Egypt any date, and no particular date was agreed upon to sign the agreement; the dialogue is ongoing. "He added, "Conciliation is a lifesaver for all of us to lift the siege, open the crossings, empty the jails, and end political arrests. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 1.52% on Sunday
10/11/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks tumbled on the first day of trading on the Palestine Securities Exchange in Nablus on Sunday, as the Al-Quds Index dropped 7. 86 (1. 52%), to close at 508. 5. Trading volume for Sunday was 562,070 shares, a total value of 842,831. 01 US dollars over the course of 427 trades. The shares of 22 companies were traded. The shares prices of three companies rose, while those of 13 others declined. The top five gainers were QUDS by (4. 35%), ISBK by (1. 27%), NIC by (0. 25%). The top five losers were TRUST by (4. 87%), WASSEL by (4. 41%), ARE by (4. 00%), PIIC by (3. 13%), and LADAEN by (2. 94%). [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

ANALYSIS / Hamas incitement over Jerusalem fails to ignite West Bank
10 Oct 2009 - Hamas may declare a 'Day of Rage' over Jerusalem, but such days are rare nowadays in the West Bank. 

Islamic Jihad says Hamas stopping their rocket crews in Gaza
10 Oct 2009 - Group adds Hamas nixed a rally and arrested two of its members in dispute over Gaza mosque. 

Hamas says more babies born with birth defects since Cast Lead
10 Oct 2009 - Islamist group's health ministry says 'illegal IDF ordnance' caused higher numbers of birth defects. 


[] Turkey bars Israel from military drill
October 11, 2009 - Turkey has called off an international military drill because it opposed Israel's participation, Israeli defense officials said Sunday, a move that sent strained relations between the two nations to a new low. Turkey has long been the Jewish state's best friend in the Muslim world. But ties have deteriorated dramatically since Israel's war last winter against...

[] Israel War Deforms Gaza Newborns
October 11, 2009 - Um Abdullah dreamed for months of the day she holds her baby close to her heart and feel the joyful beats of his/her heart. But when the baby finally came to life, the young Gazan mother's heart was shattered to pieces by what the doctors said. "They told me my child's heart is not ok," Um...

[] The Washington-Tehran Deal on Enriched Uranium?
October 11, 2009 - There have been been few "scoops" for the mainstream media during the post-election crisis in Iran, but Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post can claim one this morning: "Iran four months ago discreetly contacted the United Nations-affiliated agency for nuclear energy to outline a worrisome situation: A research reactor in Tehran that produces medical isotopes that...

[] Obama and the Nobel Prize: When War becomes Peace, When the Lie becomes the Truth
October 11, 2009 - We are the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US in partnership with NATO and Israel has launched a global military adventure which, in a very real sense, threatens the future of humanity. At this critical juncture in our history, the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to...

[] Ashour: Israeli war created unprecedented birth deformities
October 11, 2009 - Director of Al-Shifa hospital Dr. Hussein Ashour said Saturday that the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip created birth defects in newborns never seen before. Ashour added that the rate of congenital malformations in July, August and September rose to more than 80 percent compared to the same period last year. He noted that a field...

[] Sources: Hamas-Fatah agreement to be signed on 15 October
October 11, 2009 - The rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah will finally sign a reconciliation agreement on 15 October, effectively ending two years of disunity and violence that began in the summer of 2007. Ma'an has learned from informed sources in Cairo that the deal proposed by Egypt will be accepted by both parties without amendment. According to these...

[] Port art: on the siege, on the massacre, on yearning for life
October 11, 2009 - In a small studio on a back lane in Gaza City, Salman Nawati hosts his first solo exhibition of paintings, accompanied by a video art installation. The works centre around life in the Gaza port, encompassing at the same time feelings from life under siege and from the Israeli massacre of Gaza. The colours are vivid,...

[] Iran executes juvenile offender
October 11, 2009 - ...He was a boy at the wrong place at the wrong time, where a fight ensued and another boy was killed. Premeditated? No. Accident? Yes. Self-defence? Perhaps. We will never know exactly what happened that day but what we do know is that he was 17-years -old when the incident took place. He was a juvenile...

[] Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children's Artwork
October 11, 2009 - Loss Of Innocence: Gaza children's artwork, is an exhibition of paintings and drawings done by children in Gaza following the Israeli 22 day assault earlier this year. The exhibition, supported by UNESCO Gaza office, was collated by Rod Cox who went to Gaza early this year with the British overland humanitarian convoy. He stayed through March...

[] Using Human Shields Equates Morality In Israel
October 10, 2009 - We hear it often said that the Palestinian militia groups,be it Hamas or otherwise, use "human shields" when attacking Zionist forces - this contention is typically broadcasted to the masses in order to deter any and all empathy from being dispersed to the Palestinians themselves. After-all, if the Palestinians are using human shields then why should...

[] A Voice Besieged in Al-Aqsa Mosque (Exclusive) Al-Aqsa Defenders Defy Israel
October 10, 2009 - Besieged between the hammer of the Israeli blockade, and the anvil of official Muslim silence, Al-Aqsa mosque is under an imminent threat of being stormed by extremist Jewish settlers. Since the very time extremist Jewish settlers have announced their intentions to storm Al-Aqsa during Sukkot, a seven-day Jewish festival that has started since October 4, Palestinians...

[] J'lem: Right-wing Jews antagonize locals under prayer pretext
October 10, 2009 - Hundreds of religious Jews marched toward the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, taking over the streets in the Old City in what was described as an in-your-face celebration of Shmini Atzeret, which falls a day after the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The celebration was viewed by Palestinians in the area as a provocative act. While many observant Jews...

Palestine Telegraph

Palestinians protecting Al Aqsa
Palestine, October 11, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Hatem Abdel Qader, the Palestinian official in charge of the Jerusalem file, said that hundreds of people camping out in Al Aqsa Mosque to save it from direct Israeli threats during Yom Kippur have been...

Advertise with us
The Palestine Telegraph is one of the most read online Papers in the Middle East.By Advertising with us, you will have thousands of hits directed to your websitse.   Our prices are moderate and you can judge. Contact us on: or...

On World Mental Health Day: A Call for Accountability and Action
Gaza, October 10, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Nine months after a ferocious military onslaught, and more than two years into an unrelenting siege, Gaza has reached the edge of an abyss.

Palestinians to hold support rally at al-Aqsa
Gaza, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Palestinian factions have called for a demonstration at the al-Aqsa Mosque and staging a general strike and protests throughout the nation to condemn the desecration of the holy site by Israelis.

Protests in Geneva over Goldstone's report
Gaza, October 9, 2009, (Pal Telegraph)-Scores of protestors from the Palestinian, Arab and European communities marched in front of the headquarters of UN Human Rights Council in protest against the decision to postpone the vote on Richard Goldstone's report which accuses Israel...

The National

Cairo makes doing business easier
11 Oct 2009 - New report from the World Bank on the obstacles to operating in 183 countries places Egypt in its top 10 list of reformers.

Tehran's unlikely nuclear envoy
11 Oct 2009 - Saeed Jalili, the chief negotiator in talks about Iran's controversial programme, has little diplomatic experience to fall back on.

Egypt: Palestinian reconciliation agreement postponed
11 Oct 2009 - The signing of a Palestinian reconciliation agreement set for October 25 has been postponed for several weeks . 

Recruiting the children of terror
10 Oct 2009 - Tribal leaders in Anbar province have warned that extremists influenced by the al Qa'eda terrorism network have resumed efforts to recruit children as suicide bombers.


Abbas defends Gaza vote delay
11 Oct 2009 - Palestinian president says delay in endorsing Goldstone report was for garnering more support.

Israel lifts Al-Aqsa restrictions
11 Oct 2009 - Restrictions on access lifted after more than a week of tensions at religious site.

Israel: Turkey cancels air drill
11 Oct 2009 - Nato war game in Turkey reportedly prevented by its objection to Israeli participation.

Death sentences for Iran protesters
10 Oct 2009 - Three people arrested during protests over disputed presidential poll are sentenced.

Palestine News Network

Likud member looking to rid Knesset of verbal dissenters
11 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / PNN – Palestinian member of the Knesset, Jamal Zahalka said today that a Likud member is looking to remove Arabs from the house. MK Danny Danon of the Likud Party is advancing a bill that would make freedom of speech a thing of the past. During the height of last week’s assault on Al Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian MKs protested verbally in...

Opening of second Book and Culture Fair in Jenin brings titles from romance to politics
11 Oct 2009 - Jenin / Ali Samoudi for PNN – The second annual Book Fair has opened in Jenin, organized by the Cultural Libraries Group. Governor of the northern West Bank province, Qaddura Mousa, was joined by Salam Tahir, Director of the Education and Book Fair, in welcoming dozens of people to the opening ceremony.Guests ranged from the Mufti of Jenin to the Secretary of the...

Signing of Hamas †Fateh document of reconciliation again postponed after years of strife 
10 Oct 2009 - Gaza / PNN - A delegation from Hamas was in Cairo this weekend to discuss the date of the impending reconciliation between the party and Fateh. Hamas has looked to a postponement after the leaders of the Fateh party and the Palestinian Authority put off the Goldstone report on the Gaza Strip that found the Israelis guilty of war crimes.It was suggested that...

Core group of Palestinians protecting Al Aqsa Mosque during heightened Israeli threat steps back
10 Oct 2009 - Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh for PNN – Hatem Abdel Qader, the Palestinian official in charge of the Jerusalem file, said that hundreds of people camping out in Al Aqsa Mosque to save it from direct Israeli threats during Yom Kippur have been able to go home. The Jewish holiday has now ended and Abdul Qader said that the end of the standoff...

Students and faculty have hours added to a 15 minute trip to university as Israelis confiscate land
10 Oct 2009 - Nablus / Amin Abu Wardeh for PNN – Palestinian activists have initiated a public awareness campaign to highlight the Israeli actions that have torn up their town 26 kilometers south of Nablus City. Three Israeli settlements now lie to the south of the city, imposed upon several villages, and are taking up some 80 percent of the land of Qaryut Village. The colonization...

Inter Press Service

MIDEAST: Another Nobel Message for Peace 
JERUSALEM, Oct 11 (IPS) - In the week of Nobel Prize announcements, the most intriguing comment from the Middle East came not, as one might have expected, as a straight reaction to the shock of U.S. President Barack Obama being awarded this year's Peace Prize.

MIDEAST: Muslims See Victory at Al-Aqsa 
EAST JERUSALEM, Oct 11 (IPS) - Clashes between Israeli security forces and protesting Palestinians have subsided as several hundred Muslims agreed to evacuate Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque following a deal brokered by the Jordanian Embassy in Tel Aviv Saturday.

Stop The Wall

Join the first global BDS Marathon! - October 16/17 2009
10 Oct 2009 - [ 

Villagers harvest tear gas, not olives, in Bil’in
10 Oct 2009 - Residents of Bil’in, joined by international and Israeli supporters, marched to Wall on Friday afternoon. In addition to chanting slogans and carrying flags, participants also carried sacks for the olive harvest. Protestors approached the Wall only to be forced back with tear gas and sound bombs. [

PCHR Latest

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied: Decision of Palestinian Leadership and International Pressure an Insult to the Victims

PCHR Weekly Report

(01- 07 Oct. 2009), information on boycott, divestment and sanctions
During the reporting period, a Palestinian child and an Israeli human rights defender were wounded by IOF gunfire in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank respectively.

International Solidarity Movement

ISM Nablus visits Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi on her release from prison
10/10/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - On Monday, October 5, 2009, a group of ISM'ers visited Linan Yosif Abo Gholbi in her extended family's home near Nablus, at the invitation of Tanweer, a grass roots organization based in Nablus. She is one of the 20 women prisoners who were recently released from Israeli prisons in exchange for a video from Hamas proving that Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in 2006, was still alive. Generations of Linan's family have been fighters and PFLP activists in the Palestinian struggle for justice. Many have died, many have been imprisoned. Her parents have spent years visiting their children in various prisons and at the moment one of her brothers is in jail. Linan's husband Amjad Mletod was killed in a battle with Israeli soldiers in 2004 and shortly after that Linan was arrested and their home demolished. Although they were married for 5 years, they were only able to live together for a year since Amjad was a wanted man. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel fears Gaza war damaged Turkey ties
11 Oct 2009 - Officials called an emergency meeting at the Foreign Ministry yesterday to discuss the crisis between Israel and Turkey, marked by the cancellation of a joint military exercise that was to include the Israel Air Force. ... 

Ankara's position /No more playing chicken with Turkey 
11 Oct 2009 - What is even more serious is that were it not for the support of the military the government would not have been able to make or implement such an important decision, which has put Turkey at odds with the United States, Italy and other NATO members. ... 

German and Israeli historians agree to study how textbooks portray each country 
11 Oct 2009 - Israel and Germany have agreed recently to establish a joint committee to study how school textbooks in each of the countries portrays the other country. ... 

What can the Mideast learn from the phenomenon of Obama?
10 Oct 2009 - Imagine a Jerusalem throughout which centers of learning and interfaith dialogue are built.

Abbas changes mind on delaying vote on Goldstone probe 
10 Oct 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he has instructed his envoy to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to resubmit a proposal for a vote on the Goldstone Commission's report on Gaza war crimes. ...

The Guardian

Letters: Obama is still our best hope of peace
11 Oct 2009 - Most people in the developing world exult that "one of us" got the Nobel Peace Prize ( Report , 10 October), but many are already asking what did Obama do so far to deserve it – or, to...

Palestinian reconciliation deal delayed by UN row
11 Oct 2009 - An agreement to reconcile bitterly divided Palestinian groups has been delayed for several weeks, Egypt's foreign minister said today. A deal was to be signed on 25 October, clearing the way for Hamas militants and the...

Middle East: a Belgian solution? | Khaled Diab
11 Oct 2009 - Northern Ireland offers one model for Israeli-Palestinian peace. But a dose of Belgian pragmatism wouldn't go amiss either George Mitchell's reappearance on the Middle Eastern scene earlier this year has reignited speculation as to whether he'll...

US charm offensive aims to persuade Israel not to attack Iran over nuclear weapons development
10 Oct 2009 - US charm offensive aims to persuade Israel not to attack Iran over nuclear weapons development Amid increasing fears of an Israeli strike against Iran, America will this week press Russia to support a threat of tougher...

The world through a lens
10 Oct 2009 - Lions have been brought through Gaza's tunnel network – two at least – and lines of lowing calves. When Hamas blew down the Israeli-erected metal wall that once separated the Strip from Egypt, camels were hoisted...

Nobel peace prize: A call to action
9 Oct 2009 - The day that Henry Kissinger picked it up, satire was said to have died. When the Nobel peace prize was awarded to Barack Obama yesterday something different expired – the idea that the accolade is for...

A Nobel prize for hope | Amjad Atallah and Daniel Levy
9 Oct 2009 - The awarding of the Nobel prize to Barack Obama is a timely boost for his efforts to bring peace to Israel and the Middle East President Obama's efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel...

Barack Obama's Nobel prize earns mixed reaction
9 Oct 2009 - Residents of Kabul, Baghdad and Jerusalem voice reservations at US president's award Kabul For the crowd gathered for a second day of festivities at one of the Afghan capital's garish wedding halls this afternoon there was...

Ha'aretz National page

Is the Netanyahu-Barak team good for Israel?
11 Oct 2009 - The first call Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made after U.S. President Barack Obama completed his speech in Cairo last June was to his Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who was in Washington at the time. Calls to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Likud ministers were made only later. ... 

Ex-police chief Karadi opposed rape charges against Katsav
11 Oct 2009 - In a few weeks, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss is due to release his report on police-ordered wiretaps under the auspices of the State Prosecutor's Office, including those used in the case of the illicit kiss by former minister Haim Ramon, in which the police were accused of acting improperly. As part of the comptroller's probe, politicians, legal experts and police officers provided testimony about wiretapping and other sensational cases, which Haaretz recently obtained. ...

Knesset's winter session opens with a cool coalition 
10 Oct 2009 - The Knesset begins its winter session today, and the event is expected to be cooler than usual, as the most heated debates - over the state budget - ended in April, when a two-year budget was passed. Other contentious issues, such as the Israel Land Administration privatization reforms and the "Mofaz law" (which lowers the bar for splitting parties and creating new factions) were passed at the end of the summer, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition seems as stable as it has ever been. ... 

Peres to Muslim clerics: Israel will fix injustices at holy sites
10 Oct 2009 - President Shimon Peres on Sunday vowed that Israel would work to "correct the injustices" experienced at Muslim holy sites. ...

Relief Web

Statement by EUSR Marc Otte in Bethlehem Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) HQ
10 Oct 2009 - Source: European Union

OPT: Week in review - Aqsa siege lifted as Goldstone fiasco continues
10 Oct 2009 - Source: MIFTAH

OPT: No concessions from Abbas; Erekat regrets Goldstone decision 
10 Oct 2009 - Source: Deutsche Presse Agentur

YNet News

Deputy foreign minister: Avoid crisis with Turkey
11 Oct 2009 - Day after tensions with Turkey reach new level with cancellation of joint air force drill, Jerusalem sources try to calm political atmosphere, and Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon says, 'Our interest is not to reach friction, crisis with Turkey, who we consider important strategic partner' 

Mashaal: Abbas leading us to doom
11 Oct 2009 - Parallel to Palestinian president's speech in Ramallah, in which he defended deferral of vote on Goldstone Report, Hamas head in Damascus Khaled Mashaal accuses Abbas of lying, 'taking bribes from the Americans' 

Abbas demands UN discuss Goldstone Report
11 Oct 2009 - Following much pressure, Palestinian president announces he instructed delegate in Geneva to demand vote on Gaza war report 'in order to prosecute those who perpetrated crimes against our children and women' 

Minister Braverman: Grant foreign workers' children citizenship
11 Oct 2009 - Minority affairs minister says deporting children of foreign workers will blemish Israel, calls on prime minister to grant them citizenship 

Worshipers leave Temple Mount
11 Oct 2009 - Police say dozens of Muslims entrenched in al-Aqsa Mosque already left on Friday, but hundreds of Muslims say they remained in mosque for nine days 'to protect it with our bodies from extremist Jews'. Chairman of Higher Arab Monitoring Committee blames 'Israeli occupation' for situation 

Peres says Israel will fix violations of Muslim holy sites 
11 Oct 2009 - During official ceremony Islamic court president claims Muslim holy sites suffer violations. 'If there are violations we are obligated to fix them' President Peres replies 

Iranian officials: Our missiles are ready
11 Oct 2009 - Revolutionary Guards' Air Force chief tells Fars news agency Iranian Sajjil missiles capable of handling any attack or serious threat from enemy state. Meanwhile, Iran's aerial defense commander says, 'We'll produce dozens of new antiaircraft missile systems' 

Feiglin: If I'm captured, don't negotiate my release 
11 Oct 2009 - Hardline Likud member sends letter to Defense Minister Barak, says 'we must not buy one person's freedom in exchange for risking the lives of many and encouraging additional abductions' 

Daily Star

Clinton warns Iran on nuclear negotiations
11 Oct 2009 - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that international powers would not wait forever for Iran to prove it was not developing nuclear bombs. British foreign minister David Miliband, whom Clinton met in London, said Iran would never have a better opportunity to establish normal ties with the rest of the world but that it had to start behaving like a "normal country."

Iran sentences 3 people to death over vote unrest
11 Oct 2009 - A court has sentenced three people to death over street unrest that erupted after Iran's disputed election in June and links to exiled opposition groups, an Iranian news agency reported on Saturday. ISNA news agency, citing the head of the public relations office of Tehran provincial court, did not identify those condemned, giving only their initials.

Israel lifts restrictions on access to Al-Aqsa
11 Oct 2009 - Israeli police on Sunday lifted restrictions on access to occupied Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, a flashpoint site holy to Muslims and Jews that was cause for clashes and tensions for more than a week. Amid the tensions, Israel a week ago closed access to the site, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and to Jews as the Temple Mount.

New Iran sanctions could strengthen Revolutionary Guards, experts warn
11 Oct 2009 - Tougher sanctions against Iran that the US and its allies are considering to pressure it over its nuclear program might only strengthen its hardline president and the Revolutionary Guards, boosting the elite force's economic and political muscle, experts warn. The Revolutionary Guards has already worked its way into virtually all aspects of Iran's economy.

Israel: Turkey calls off joint air force drill
11 Oct 2009 - Turkey has canceled an annual joint air-force drill that was to have taken place this week because it opposed Israeli participation, the Israeli military said Sunday, in the latest sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries. Turkey, a secular country ruled by an Islamic-oriented party, had long been Israel's best friend in the Muslim world.

Amnesty off the table for Honduras coup leaders
11 Oct 2009 - Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and the interim government have agreed to create a joint cabinet and ditch an amnesty for coup leaders,  negotiators announced. But the de facto government have imposed new restrictions on the media to further control the flow of information about the country's political crisis.

Palestinian Information Center

Shallah: Abbas’s step against Goldstone’s report torpedoed reconciliation
11 Oct 2009 - Dr. Ramadan Shallah, the secretary-general of Islamic Jihad , stated that Abbas’s decision to delay Goldstone’s report torpedoed the reconciliation efforts and took everything back to square one.

Hayya: Hamas never retracted is reconciliation decision
11 Oct 2009 - Dr. Khalil Al-Hayya, member of Hamas's political bureau, has affirmed that his Movement did not retract its decision to conclude national reconciliation but was waiting for the opportune moment.

Israeli intelligence agent threatens to liquidate Sheikh Salah
11 Oct 2009 - An Israeli intelligence agent has threatened to liquidate Sheikh Ra'ed Salah, the leader of the Islamic Movement in 1948 occupied Palestine, while escorting him to detention a few days ago.

Muslim worshipers foil fresh attempt to storm the Aqsa Mosque
11 Oct 2009 - Palestinian worshipers holding vigil inside the Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem on Sunday foiled an attempt by a number of Jewish fanatics to storm the holy site.

FPJ calls for developing plan to expose Israel’s crimes in Jerusalem
11 Oct 2009 - The forum of Palestinian journalists (FPJ) called on all free Palestinian and Arab media institutions to develop an urgent plan intended for exposing Israel’s crimes in occupied Jerusalem.

Abbas's militias detain brother of Al-Jazeera director
11 Oct 2009 - Security militias loyal to Mahmoud Abbas continued their arrest campaign in lines of Palestinian citizens for their political affiliation and detained the brother of Al-Jazeera TV channel's director.

Ashour: Israeli war created unprecedented birth deformities
11 Oct 2009 - Director of Al-Shifa hospital Dr. Hussein Ashour said Saturday that the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip created birth defects in newborns never seen before.

IOA deprives 5 Ramallah villages of potable water
11 Oct 2009 - The IOA has been depriving five Palestinian villages west of Ramallah city of drinking and irrigation water for almost five months, Fathia Al-Reemawi, the chairwoman of the Bani Zeid villages, said.

Resheq: Hamas cannot ignore Abbas scandal and go to reconciliation
11 Oct 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq said that Hamas insisted on postponing the reconciliation agreement because it cannot turn its back on the popular and official outrage caused by Abbas-gate.

Hamas: No concrete results for Mitchell's visits
11 Oct 2009 - Hamas has described US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell's visits as "formal" and had no concrete results except speaking about a return to negotiations.

Los Angeles Times

Israel Gelfand dies at 96; Russian mathematician 
11 Oct 2009 - His research laid the mathematical foundation for the imaging abilities of MRI and CT scanners. Israel Gelfand, the Russian mathematician whose research laid the mathematical framework for the imaging abilities of MRI and CT scanners and who did crucial work in a host of more esoteric fields, died Monday at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. He was 96. 

In Iran, 2 get death sentences for postelection uprising 
11 Oct 2009 - The sentences are the latest sign that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hard-line camp is intensifying efforts to block another round of anti-government rallies. Iran announced Saturday that two people have been sentenced to death for joining the nationwide uprising after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in June, when hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters clashed for weeks with police and paramilitary forces. 

New York Times

Tehran Plans to Execute 3 Protesters of Election
10 Oct 2009 - Death sentences for three prisoners, whom the Iranian authorities link to terrorist groups, have been attacked by international human rights groups. 


Israel: Stop Blocking School Supplies From Entering Gaza 
10/11/2009 - Human Rights Watch - Blockade Deprives Students of Paper, Pens, Textbooks - (Jerusalem) - Israeli authorities should immediately lift restrictions that have left students in Gaza's public schools without textbooks and the most basic school supplies, such as notebooks and pens, Human Rights Watch said today. Israel severely limits imports into Gaza of a wide variety of basic goods, from food to construction materials. More than a month into the school year, the Israeli restrictions have caused severe shortages that leave students unable to afford supplies such as notebooks. Students are obliged to share or take turns studying from used textbooks and workbooks. Some did not receive any books for this year's classes. Supplies smuggled through tunnels underneath Gaza's southern border with Egypt have failed to make up for the shortages caused by Israel's arbitrary restrictions on imports of educational materials. 

Turkey bars Israel from military drill 
10/11/2009 - Uruknet - AP - JERUSALEM — Turkey has called off an international military drill because it opposed Israel's participation, Israeli defense officials said Sunday, a move that sent strained relations between the two nations to a new low. Turkey has long been the Jewish state's best friend in the Muslim world. But ties have deteriorated dramatically since Israel's war last winter against Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip, which killed hundreds of civilians. Turkey, a secular country ruled by an Islamic-oriented party, strongly condemned the Israeli offensive. Tensions soared after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a high-profile conference where he confronted Israel's president over steep Palestinian civilian casualties. Turkey's surprise cancellation of the air force drill, which was also to include the U. 

Ashour: Israeli war created unprecedented birth deformities 
10/11/2009 - Uruknet - Palestinian Information Center - GAZA, (PIC) -- Director of Al-Shifa hospital Dr. Hussein Ashour said Saturday that the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip created birth defects in newborns never seen before. Ashour added that the rate of congenital malformations in July, August and September rose to more than 80 percent compared to the same period last year. He noted that a field medical team recorded observations indicating that the incidence of congenital defects of infants born from mothers who were near to locations exposed to direct bombardment during the war is higher than those born in the less vulnerable areas. " There are several indicators linking the high rate of deformities and the Zionist occupation forces’ use of white phosphorus, which directly affects pregnant mothers and babies," the doctor underscored. In another context, MP Jamal Al-Khudari, the head of the popular committee 

Israel War Deforms Gaza Newborns 
10/11/2009 - Uruknet - Islam Online - GAZA — Um Abdullah dreamed for months of the day she holds her baby close to her heart and feel the joyful beats of his/her heart. But when the baby finally came to life, the young Gazan mother’s heart was shattered to pieces by what the doctors said. " They told me my child’s heart is not ok," Um Abdullah told IslamOnline. net from her bed in Gaza City's Shefa Hospital. " They said it was not properly developed. " The young woman was pregnant when Israel unleashed its brutal war on the Gaza Strip in December. She lived in Gabal Al-Rayyes, one of the areas which saw many of Israel’s massive air strikes. More than 1,400 people, including 437 children and hundreds of other civilians, were killed and 5,450 wounded in three weeks of air, sea and land attacks. A comparison of the months July, August and September in 2009 to the same period of the last year has found that the 

Using Human Shields Equates Morality In Israel 
10/10/2009 - Uruknet - Political Theatrics - We hear it often said that the Palestinian militia groups,be it Hamas or otherwise, use "human shields" when attacking Zionist forces – this contention is typically broadcasted to the masses in order to deter any and all empathy from being dispersed to the Palestinians themselves. After-all, if the Palestinians are using human shields then why should we feel sorry for them – right? Now,how many of you have heard of Israel’s use of human shields? Not many I assume. But yes, Israel does indeed use and has used human shields – including most recently in the Gaza 'Operation Cast Lead’ massacre. Human Rights Watch claims that the IDF (i. e Israeli Defense Forces) used Palestinian civilians as human shields during the 2002 Battle of Jenin. The Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem reported that "for a long period of time following the outbreak of the second intifada, particularly 

VIDEO - PA’s Goldstone block linked to tape 
10/10/2009 - Uruknet - Aljazeera. net, October 7, 2009 - A videotape is behind the decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to delay the vote on a UN report accusing Israel of war crimes during its offensive on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian news agency has reported. Quoting what it called reliable sources, Shahab news agency said on Tuesday that PA representatives at a meeting in Washington had initially rejected Israel's request not to endorse the report and were determined to stick to this position. But, the agency added, Brigadier Eli Avraham played a videotape showing a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister. The meeting was also attended by Tzipi Livni, Israel's former foreign minister. The video reportedly showed Abbas trying to convince Barak to continue the war on Gaza, while Barak looked hesitant, although Livni appeared to be in support of the plan, Shahab quoted its sources as saying. 

Ki-Moon Assures Abbas his Support to Extraordinary Session of UNHRC 
10/11/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - RAMALLAH, October 11, 2009 (WAFA)- UN Secretary General , Ban Ki-Moon assure President Mahmoud Abbas his support to the Palestinian stance regarding the fulfillment of the first stage of the Road Map, mainly halting the settlement activities including the natural growth. He also affirmed his support to the President concerning his demand to have an extraordinary session of the UN Human Rights Council to adopt the Goldstone Report on the Israeli War against the Gaza Strip as well, the support of the Report in UN Security Council debate of the Report on October 14. The President also demanded the Secretary General to put in order an official investigation regarding statement s of Richard Falk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a special UN rapporteur on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, in which he falsely accused President’s sons of possessing the Wataniya telecommunications Company. 

Theophilos III: Our Solidarity with Al Aqsa Expresses Fraternal Ties 
10/11/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, October 11, 2009 (WAFA)- Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, and Jordan, Theophilos III, said “his Patriarchate solidarity with the Al Aqsa Mosque, which is under the continuous Israeli attacks, is stemming of our adherence to Umari Treaty and an expression of our fraternal ties with Muslims, especially in the Holy Land. ” In Church of the Holy Sepulcher for the Sunday Mass the Patriarch denounced the Israeli siege which was imposed on the worshipers in Al Aqsa Mosque. He Stressed that, on behalf of all Orthodoxies in the Holy Land, denounce banning the access of both Muslim and Christian worshipers to Al Aqsa mosque as well to the Church of Sepulcher. Patriarch Theophilus considered defense of Jerusalem is an essential part of Christian deep faith, and the Orthodox Church. 

Palestinian reconciliation deal delayed by UN row 
10/11/2009 - The Guardian - Associated Press in Cairo - An agreement to reconcile bitterly divided Palestinian groups has been delayed for several weeks, Egypt's foreign minister said today. A deal was to be signed on 25 October, clearing the way for Hamas militants and the more moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to cooperate in rebuilding war-damaged Gaza and preparing for Palestinian elections in the first half of next year. The two sides have been divided since Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip from Abbas's forces in June 2007. Since then there have been rival Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank. Egypt has been trying to broker a deal to reconcile the groups and push them toward a power-sharing agreement. The division has also complicated efforts to revive stalled peace talks with Israel. Egyptian foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, would not name the Palestinian faction 


Loss of Innocence: Gaza Children’s Artwork 
Anne Candlin, Uruknet 10/11/2009
      Loss Of Innocence: Gaza children’s artwork, is an exhibition of paintings and drawings done by children in Gaza following the Israeli 22 day assault earlier this year. The exhibition, supported by UNESCO Gaza office, was collated by Rod Cox who went to Gaza early this year with the British overland humanitarian convoy. He stayed through March and April to work with schoolchildren on this project. Younger children, taking part in a psycho-social therapy project, and older children at a Girls High School were asked to illustrate what they had actually experienced and what they hope for the future.
     The paintings show the destruction of apartment blocks, mosques, ambulances and civilians, through the use of helicopters, planes, drones, phosphorous weapons, bulldozers and direct fire from soldiers. The sun, trees, birds and Gaza cry. Gaza sends an SOS and the world simply stands still and looks on. A Dove of Peace, in one painting, sails in a boat over a Desert of Indifference. As a result of Operation Cast Lead over 300 children were killed, many more injured, 1400 children orphaned of at least one parent, 30% of children suffer serious mental health problems and all the children are traumatised. Not surprisingly, the children say that what they dream of for the future is freedom and peace.
     The launch of the exhibition took place in the cathedral on Saturday 26th September. The Cathedral Dean welcomed everybody and Professor Victor Merriman from Liverpool
     Hope University, gave a remarkable and inspiring keynote speech. Rod Cox guided people around the exhibition adding interesting personal anecdotal material to each painting. A wonderful team of volunteer stewards have patiently watched over the precious paintings from 8am-6pm every day for the duration of the ten-day exhibition. -- See also: YouTube movie about the paintings and Liverpool Cathedral's page about the show more.. e-mail

The things that make for peace 
Timothy Seidel, Electronic Intifada 10/11/2009
      As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes." Luke 19:41-42
     Dominus Flevit on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem is the name of a church and a site of pilgrimage for many Christian travelers to the "Holy Land." Literally, Dominus Flevit means "the Lord wept" in Latin and is remembered as the site where Jesus stopped to look out over Jerusalem to weep and ask this striking question to all who would follow him.
     An unavoidable question: Do we recognize the things that make for peace? Are they right in front of us, hidden from our eyes?
     The language of peace often surrounds us. In a place like Palestine, the language of peace gets thrown around on a regular basis. One can see it when surveying the expanding colonization of the occupied West Bank in recent decades, in particular during those times of "peace" process. Or when one passes through an Israeli military checkpoint and is greeted with "shalom" -- the Hebrew word for peace. And one also encounters it on the International Day of Prayer for Peace, where Palestinian Christians and Muslims alike gather to resist the daily violence they experience through prayer and protest.
     When I read a text such as this one from Luke’s gospel, I cannot help but feel like Jesus is speaking directly to me, to us. Indeed, these words are a challenge to all of us who would make use of the language of peace.
     This is a subversive text. And it reminds me of a story about what the language of peace in Palestine-Israel looks like, a story from Hedy Sawadsky, a relief worker with the Mennonite Central Committee in the Middle East in the 1960s who was challenged by a Palestinian woman: "what you’re doing here is fine, but it is only band-aid work ... go home and work for peace and get at the root causes of evil and war." more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
The things that make for peace
11 Oct 2009 - I continue to struggle with not being cynical about the situation in Palestine and in Gaza in particular. It is not a healthy place for me to be, spiritually or emotionally. But the Gaza Strip is a heart-breaking catastrophe in so many ways and the people there have been suffering for so long. It makes me think about the ways that we in the US are irrelevant -- in the sense that it is less about what we need to do and more about what we need to stop doing. Timothy Seidel comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
port art: on the siege, on the massacre, on yearning for life
11 Oct 2009 - In a small studio on a back lane in Gaza City, Salman Nawati hosts his first solo exhibition of paintings, accompanied by a video art installation. The works centre around life in the Gaza port, encompassing at the same time feelings from life under siege and from the Israeli massacre of Gaza. The colours are vivid, as are the images and ideas. By far the most intriguing piece is a tactile painting of a simple Palestinian hassaka (a small rowboat sized fishing boat), overturned and strewn amidst the clutter of a destroyed and decaying harbour. The artist uses fishing net in the painting; the frustrations of Gaza’s over 3500 fishermen...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel Mulls Banning Islamic Movement
11 Oct 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth The Israeli government announced yesterday it would consider banning Israel's Islamic Movement at the next cabinet meeting, in a significant escalation of tensions that have fuelled a fortnight of bloody clashes in Jerusalem over access to the Haram al Sharif compound of mosques. The move followed the arrest of the movement's leader, Sheikh Raed Salah, on Tuesday on suspicion of incitement and sedition. Police accused Sheikh Salah of calling for a religious war" in recent statements in which he warned that Israel was seeking a takeover of the Haram, which includes the al Aqsa mosque. Sheikh Salah was released a few hours later on condition that he stay away from Jerusalem for 30 days. The decision was widely interpreted as a move to damp down a possible backlash from Israel's 1.3 million Palestinian citizens, many of whom regard the sheikh as a spiritual leader. Police were deployed in large numbers throughout Jerusalem yesterday. An Islamic Movement spokesman, Zadi Nujeidat, told the Haaretz newspaper: "We will continue our activities and call for a continued presence in and around the mosque. We are used to arrests." The move against the Islamic Movement follows a series of pronouncements from Sheikh Salah, echoing statements from Palestinian officials in the occupied territories, that have infuriated the Israeli government. This week he called on Muslims who could reach the compound - access to which has been heavily restricted by the Israeli police - to "shield the [al Aqsa] mosque with their...

Premature Peace 
11 Oct 2009 - By Jim Miles When I first saw the headline, in Rob Kall's OpEd News, I thought 'This is a joke.' However on further checking the joke on the web - through sites as diverse as al-Jazeera, the Globe and Mail, the Christian Science Monitor, Reuters and others - it became obvious that this was not a joke, but a farce. I do not think there is much a I can really add to what has already been said about the prize going to Obama as many commentators have reflected my sentiments quite accurately, but I could not resist doing something to get my personal bewilderment/anger about this farce out of my system by writing about it. According to the Norway Post: Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts. The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations. Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting. Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened, the Committee says. The comments are mostly about talk: "a new climate.diplomacy.dialogue and" all about ideas that have not happened on Obama's watch. What you do speaks so loud, I can't hear...

Obama Awarded the Nobel Prize for Making War With Muslims
11 Oct 2009 - By Abid Mustafa On October 9 2009, US President Barack Obama was awarded Nobel Peace Prize for astounding services in the name of world peace. In its statement, the Nobel Committee said he had "created a new climate in international politics. ... Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future." It continued, "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." Usually awards are conferred upon people when they have accomplished something tangible and not for mere pledges to achieve meaningful results. In Obama's case he has neither achieved peace nor has he undertaken efforts to establish the foundations for world peace. On the contrary, he is a warmonger and a crusader who is spearheading America's war against Islam and the Muslim world. No sooner had Obama received the prize for peace he convened his war council to discuss how best to wage war in Afghanistan. "The president had a robust conversation about the security and political challenges in Afghanistan and the options for building a strategic approach going forward," an administration official told AFP. One of the measures Obama will endorse is to increase the number of US soldiers deployed in Afghanistan. This will be on top of the huge number of private security contractors that already...

US 'Personality Assassination' of a Palestinian Ally
11 Oct 2009 - By Nicola Nasser The report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, which the head of the mission, Judge Richard Goldstone, presented to the Human Rights Council (HRC) on September 29, prematurely plunged the Palestinian Authority (PA) in a short –lived euphoria over what it first envisaged as a political prize that would hit two major birds of its political adversaries simultaneously, namely the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu and its Palestinian rival Hamas. But the report has backfired to put the very survival of PA’s presidency of Mahmud Abbas in the balance and make both adversaries come out winners with Abbas himself as the only looser, thanks to the blundering of the U.S. Administration of President Barak Obama, who seemed to shoot his own diplomacy in the legs by undermining the leadership of the only rubber – stamping ally of his country among the Palestinian polity, and “threatening” as well his own “global public diplomacy options” and “scrupulously graduated approach to whatever passes for a Middle East Peace process (according to Ian Williams in Foreign Policy in Focus on September 23, 2009). On April 3, the HRC adopted (following the adoption on January 12, 2009 of resolution S-9/1 by the HRC at the end of its 9th Special Session) a legislation sponsored by Cuba, Egypt and Pakistan, representing the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), the Arab League (AL) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) respectively, and established the UNFFMGC “to investigate all violations of international...

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