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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
7 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

France Concerned Over Abbas’ Decision Not To Run For President
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 07, 2009 - 01:30, French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, stated Friday that he intends to pressure Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, into altering his decision regarding not running for president in the upcoming Palestinian elections.

Gaza; Four Palestinians Wounded In Israeli Bombardment
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 22:54, Palestinian medical sources reported on Friday at night that four Palestinians were wounded when the Israeli army fired artillery shells at a group of residents near the Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City.

Fayyad: “Peace Process Credibility Requires Ending The Occupation”
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 22:01, Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Friday that restoring the credibility of the peace process with Israel requires ending the Israeli occupation and halting all Israeli settlement activities.

Un General Assembly Urges Israel To Conduct Credible Investigations Into War Crimes In Gaza
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 18:24, The United Nations General Assembly thursday, by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 18 against, with 44 abstentions, adopted a resolution giving Israel and the Palestinians three months to undertake 'independent, credible investigations' into serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed during the conflict in Gaza that broke in late December 2008.

Israeli troops attack the Nil'in weekly protest
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 15:48, The villagers of Nil'in, central West Bank, were joined by international supporters on Friday for the weekly anti-wall protest.

Two dozen civilians suffered effects tear gas inhalation at the weekly Bil’in protest
IMEMC 8 Nov 2009 - Friday November 06, 2009 - 15:47, Israeli troops attacked on Friday the villagers of Bil'in, central West Bank, along with their international and Israeli supporters. Two dozen civilians suffered effects of tear gas inhalation

Ma'an News

Several injured in clashes with settlers
11/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked the villages of Burin and Iraq Burin south of Nablus on Saturday afternoon. Ma'an's correspondent, reporting live from Iraq Burin village, said settlers threw rocks at Palestinians, leading to clashes. Israeli forces responded in force, injuring a number of Palestinians, including journalists. They were identified as Abed Ar-Rahim Al-Qosini and Aref Tufaha. Other settlers also threw rocks at Palestinians in Burin village, the correspondent said. [end] 

US activist jailed during Jerusalem settler takeover
11/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Ahlam Mohsen, 21, was arrested and was awaiting deportation for allegedly attacking a police officer whilea guest in the Al-Kurd home as it was taken over by Israeli settlers on Tuesday. The International Solidarity Movement reported Friday that Mohsen was visiting the Al-Kurd home when it was attacked by a group of Israeli settlers who succeeded in occupying part of the residence. Israeli police say the young woman attacked them, although ISM say their claims run "contrary to eyewitness accounts. "Some 30 settlers were seen entering the house and throwing the family's furniture into the street. The settlers refused to leave the building and Israeli police blocked members of the Al-Kurd family from entering the area. Witnesses also reported heated arguments between police and Palestinian residents. According to the ISM, several international activists were also at the scene, but only Mohsen was targeted by Israeli police. 

Hamas, Jihad urge Abbas to drop talks with Israel
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Hamas and Islamic Jihad both advised President Mahmoud Abbas to give up peace talks with Israel and focus his efforts on creating inter-Palestinian unity following the leader's announcement that he would not run for re-election on 24 January. Abbas announced his position on Thursday, blaming US unwillingness to take a strong hand with Israel, and Israeli insistence on continued settlement construction in Palestine. The outgoing president had harsh words for Hamas, whose Gaza Strip takeover he called the "worst thing" ever to happen to Palestinians. Responding to the criticism from Damascus, head of the Hamas politbureau Khalid Mash'al told Abbas to "throw the compromise project in the face of the US and Israel" because the route has "reached an impasse," while addressing a rally of Hamas supporters. 

Fatah: US bias left Abbas no choice
11/7/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - US leaders will have no one to blame but themselves for the consequences of President Mahmoud Abbas' absence come Janaury, Fatah said on Saturday. In a statement, spokesman Fayez Abu Aita blamed "the unfair and biased policy of the United States vis-a-vis the Palestinian issue" for the president's decision to retire. Slamming "the international community's silence over the [Israeli] occupation's crimes," Abu Aita said Abbas' address on Thursday night should have ended any ambiguity about his reasons for leaving office. "Everyone should take to heart the president's recent announcement," he said. "The Israelis must realize they will not find any Palestinian who will serve as cover for a policy of occupation. The US administration should be aware that if it wishes to continue its leading role in the region and world, it must serve as a neutral and impartial cosponsor of the peace process. 

UN chief to refer Goldstone report to Security Council
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The UN Security Council will begin discussions of the Goldstone report "as soon as possible," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday. "As requested by the General Assembly, I will transmit the report of the Fact Finding Mission to the Security Council," he told reporters in Kabul. "I would strongly urge the parties concerned to engage, without preconditions, to discuss this matter. "His announcement followed Thursday's overwhelming majority decision by members of the General Assembly to pass a resolution calling first for the endorsement of the report's call for independent investigations on alleged Israeli and Palestinian war crimes under the supervision of the secretary-general, and second for the report to be taken up to the Security Council. General Assembly President Ali Treki urged all sides to conduct credible investigations. 

MoH: Woman dies of swine flu in West Bank
11/7/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Ministry of Health announced the death of a woman of swine flu (H1N1) on Saturday afternoon. This is the second case recorded in the Palestinian territories due to the virus. Dr. As'ad Ar-Ramlawi said that a woman, in her 70s, was admitted to a hospital two days ago and died on Saturday afternoon shortly after she was diagnosed with H1N1. Ar-Ramlawi added that the number of people who infected with the disease has reached 892. [end] 

Fayyad: Israel won’t end occupation by itself
11/8/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - "Israel will never end the occupation of the West Bank," a suited up Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Friday as he prepared to run a road race supporting Palestinians with disabilities in Nablus. "The time has come for the international communityto examine the reasons behind the stalling political process," he told runners and students from An-Najah National University, only a day after President Mahmoud Abbas announced his retirement in a speech that had harsh words for the role of the United States, Israel and Hamas had in stymieing the realization of a Palestinians state. He said there was little credibility in the last process, because its goals of ending the occupation of Palestinian lands and ensuring Palestinians have the right to self-determination were never the goals of the Israeli side. 

Obama: America’s bond with Israel unbreakable
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - America's bond with its Israeli ally is unbreakable, US President Barack Obama reiterated in a prerecorded speech marking the anniversary of late Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin's assassination by a right-wing extremist 14 years earlier. In remarks broadcast to a crowd of thousands in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, the US leader also told Israelis that they would not find true security so long as Palestinians suffered hopelessness and despair. "America's bonds with our Israeli ally are unbreakable," Obama said. "We will never waver in defense of Israeli security and we will never lose sight of our shared purpose: A just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine and the Arab world, one that respects the dignity and security of every human being. " Rabin was "the brave soldier who devoted his life to defending Israel but who said that the only battle which is a pleasure. . . 

Police: Allenby slow ahead of Hajj, 4 fugitives arrested
11/7/2009 - Jericho - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority security forces said they arrested four Palestinians attempting to flee from criminal charges by crossing out of the West Bank and into Jordan over the past week, the police media office announced Saturday. Charges outstanding on the detained men ranged from money laundering to theft. Police said they had hoped to slip through the border during what is usually a busy period, with Muslim pilgrims exiting the West Bank to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj. Police noted, however, that traffic at the border was lighter than usual for this time of year. According to the media center, 6,729 passengers departed for Jordan last week, including 102 foreigners and 18 Israeli ID holders, while6,180 arrived into the West Bank, including 96 foreigners and 37 Israelis. Also crossing the Allenby Bridge this week were the 25 of the 34 Israeli tourists injured. . . 

PA tourism minister surveys mosaic restoration project
11/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khouloud Daibes visited the Riwayah museum in the Bethlehem Peace Center on Saturday to check on the progress of a mosaic restoration project set to launch next month. The mosaics, set chronologically, will narrate the history of Palestine through the lens of Bethlehem from its development under the Byzantine empire through to the Mamluk period. The project will become a permanent fixture of the museum. The museum is a continuing project under the wing of UNESCO in cooperation with Minister Daibes, the Municipality of Bethlehem and the Peace Center. The mosaic exhibition is funded by Norway, as part of the mandate of the museum to offer long term-exhibitions of historical and scientific interest. The museum one day hopes to hold comprehensive archives of the ancient, medieval and modern history of Bethlehem, offering interactive. . . 

Gaza interior minister: Israel won’t attack soon
11/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israel has no immediate plans to attack the Gaza Strip, according to Fathi Hammad, the minister of interior in the de facto government, in a statement on Saturday. "The ministry does not expect that the Israeli occupation army will make another war in the coming days," he said. Hammad added, "The ministry, despite the simplicity of its military equipment, is ready to protect the home front, as it did during the last war. " Israel's army attacked Gaza in a devastating three-week assault last winter, killing some 1,400 Palestinians. The armed wings of Hamas and other militant groups killed nine Israelis. In remarks at the opening of a new police station east of Gaza City, Hammad announced that his ministry would award in a Strip-wide contest the best bureau 40-50,000 US dollars. Police stations will be judged on "dealing with citizens and outstanding performance," he said. 

Israeli media: Abbas mulls dissolving PA
11/8/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli media reported late Saturday evening that President Mahmoud Abbas may declare the peace process dead and make moves toward dissolving the Palestinian Authority. The Jerusalem Post, an English-language newspaper, quoted PA officials in Ramallah as saying the president would not make a final decision until it was clear all other efforts to moderate Israel had failed. Meanwhile, there were other reports that Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had reached a secret understanding with US President Barack Obama's administration over unilaterally declaring statehood. The move would add legitimacy to the already internationally recognized status of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as occupied territory, and cement the right to self-defense. The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported that the suggestion was being taken seriously enough that Israeli. . . 

Fayyad runs Nablus road race
11/7/2009 - The day after President Mahmoud Abbas announced his impending retirement, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad delivered a speech to participants of the first Nablus Road Race, supporting Palestinians with disabilities. Fayyad told listeners that the international community had to realize Israel would never voluntarily end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and that the country must be held to account and made to abide by the international resolutions stating the right of Palestinians to have a state on the 1967 boundaries, with its capital in East Jerusalem. The Prime Minister announced a plan in August that would see Palestinian state institutions built up over the next two years in preparation for the unilateral declaration of statehood. Despite Palestinian support for his plan, Fayyad has not been named. . . 

Fatah leadership meets amid Abbas backlash
11/7/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Fatah's Revolutionary Council will meet on Sunday evening to discuss the consequences of President Mahmoud Abbas' resignation, said member and spokesman Fahmi Az-Zarir on Saturday. In a statement, he said the council would discuss the "dangerous and critical situation facing the Palestinian cause. "Az-Zarir also said the party leadership would seek to convince Abbas to change his mind and seek a second term in office during elections called for 24 January 2010. [end] 

Police: Corpse found in northern West Bank
11/7/2009 - Qalqiliya - Ma'an - Preventive security services in Qalqiliya found a body on a farm south of the city on Saturday afternoon. The preventive service pointed out that they reported the incident to the Investigation Department of the Palestinian police who immediately went to the scene. Investigators checked the body, which they determined was of a young man in his mid-20s. There was no ID on the body, police said, and it was clear he had died several days earlier. The General Investigation Department at the Qalqiliya police department opened a criminal investigation into the circumstances of the incident, operating on the assumption that he was killed. The body was taken to the governmental Darwish Nazzal Hospital for review by the General Attorney's Office, which will determine whether an autopsy is warranted. 

Gaza Muslims prepare for annual pilgrimage
11/7/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Muslims intending to leave Gaza for Saudi Arabia on the annual Hajj pilgrimage will depart on Tuesday, said Abdullah Jabru, undersecretary of the de facto Ministry of Religious Affairs, in an interview on Saturday. Jabru denied reports there were "any obstacles to this year's Hajj. . . facilities are available on both the Egyptian and Palestinian sides [of the Rafah border crossing]. " "The only technical issue is the lack of planes, and the small size of the ones we have," he added. "New planes will be rented to speed up transferring pilgrims from Al-Arish Airport to Saudi Arabia. "Regarding passports, Jabru said that some 1,090 were received from the printing office in Ramallah, including 950 that arrived on Friday night. "We'll receive more of them soon. " Jaser Mashukhi, a spokesman for the Rafah crossing, said 2,300 passports had been printed, "although the. . . " 

Ha'aretz Defense page

U.S. top brass: Nuclear Iran is existential threat to Israel
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Mullen: Getting into a conflict with Iran, I think would also be incrediblyn destabilizing. 

Lebanon authorities detain 'arms ship' crew for questioning
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - After Israel releases ship found to be carrying tons of weapons apparently to Hezbollah, crew questioned in Beirut. 

Israel threat to attack Iran is not a bluff, deputy FM says
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Danny Ayalon tells Sky News that Iran conduct regarding international efforts is bid to 'buy time and procrastinate. 

Lebanon source: Israel working with Islamists to hurt Hezbollah
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Lebanese official says Katyusha fired last month was arranged with Israel, to make Hezbollah take blame. 

Netanyahu: Iran's shipment of arms to Hezbollah - a war crime
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - PM responds to seizure of hundreds of tons of weapons believed to be Iranian shipment to Hezbollah. 

ANALYSIS / Arms ship seizure just another battle in the secret war with Iran
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Israel shouldn't congratulate itself too much for intercepting hundreds of tons of weapons apparently meant for Hezbollah. 

WATCH: Video of Israel Navy commandeering arms ship
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Ship believed to be carrying tons of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah, disguised as civilian cargo. 

Israel Navy chief: Hezbollah-bound Iran ship carried hundreds of tons of arms
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - The Antigua-flagged ship was raided by the Navy not far from the coast of Cyprus before dawn Wednesday. 

Police call off search for terrorist feared loose in Israel
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - The highest level of alert has been declared by security forces in the Sharon plain. 

ANALYSIS / Israel preparing public for a new war in Gaza
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Hamas has used the lull in fighting with Israel not only to restore, but improve its capabilities. 

B'Tselem: IDF probes alleged cases of harm to civilians in Gaza
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - B'Tselem reports that IDF is examining 21 cases of violence against civilians during Operation Cast Lead. 


[] Obama: America's bond with Israel unbreakable
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - America's bond with its Israeli ally is unbreakable, US President Barack Obama reiterated in a prerecorded speech marking the anniversary of late Israeli President Yitzhak Rabin's assassination by a right-wing extremist 14 years earlier. In remarks broadcast to a crowd of thousands in Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, the US leader also told Israelis that they would...

[] Video: Palestine Pre-1947
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - The old lie that palestine was dry desert waiting for a people is just that--a lie. This clip for all people to see the Beauty of the Palestinian People before they were ethnically cleansed and murdered and made into refugees by the State of Israel...

[] Good Riddance, Abbas
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - ... We are left with no other conclusion than this: that the so-called peace process with which Abbas has been indelibly associated, albeit as the Israelis' junior assistant, was calculated to produce exactly these results. The very first step of the Oslo process, undertaken with Abbas's assent in 1993, was to fragment and separate the occupied territories...

[] Rabab'ah: Israel's future wars will be over water resources
Uruknet November 7, 2009 -- Dr. Ghazi Al-Rabab'ah, a professor of political science at the university of Jordan, stated Saturday that Israel's future wars against Arab countries would be over water resources. In a press statement to the Jordanian Al-Arab Alyawm newspaper, Rabab'ah said that the first war would be in the Jordan basin area in the Lebanese Shebaa farms. He...

[] Israeli Closures on Jerusalem Old City
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - After Israeli provocation in Al-Aqsa Mosque late September, trepidation of religious Jews trying to intrude and take over the Islamic holy site had been brought out. October was a time of raised tension in Jerusalem and its neighbourhoods. During the last month sporadic skirmishes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians took place due to intensified presence of...

[] Israel's New Generation Of Conscientious Objectors
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - "We cannot ignore the truth - the occupation is a violent, racist, inhumane, illegal, undemocratic, immoral and an extreme condition that presents a mortal danger to both peoples... We, who were educated on the values of liberty, justice, honesty and peace, cannot accept it." So reads the letter declaring the refusal of 150 students to join...

[] IOF troops open fire at farmers in northern Gaza
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian farmers while tending to their lands north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, local sources reported. A source in the area told Quds Press that the IOF soldiers fired an artillery shell then opened machineguns at the farmers east of Jabaliya in northern Gaza Strip...

[] Obama Fails in Middle East
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he will not run for reelection is the exclamation point on the utter collapse of the Obama adminstration's Middle East policy. Launched to great expectations -- the appointment of George Mitchell, Obama's Cairo declaration that the plight of the Palestinians is intolerable -- it is now in complete...

[] Iran: 109 detained at opposition rally
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - Iranian police have detained 109 people for "disturbing public order" during an opposition rally this week, the official IRNA news agency reported Saturday. Azizollah Rajabzadeh, a security spokesman, said 62 of those detained have been handed over to judicial authorities for trial and the rest have been released after questioning. "Police detained 109 people who disturbed...

[] Ni'lin demonstrators topple 8 meter tall concrete wall
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - 20 years to the fall of the Berlin wall: Demonstrators toppled 8 meters tall concrete wall in Ni'ilin. Three protest marches were held today in the West Bank to mark the 20th anniversary to the fall of the Berlin wall, which has been declared an international day of action against Israel's barrier. In Ni'lin, the 300...

[] Gaza's Open-air' Winter 
Uruknet November 7, 2009 - Nine-year-old Mohamed is trying hard to keep the tent door closed against the freezing winter winds. "A new winter has come," Mohamed told in a desperate voice. "Again, we will live in dark and cold weather. We will be sinking in rainwater." The Gazan boy is living with his family in a tent since their...

Palestine Telegraph

Abbas Announces He Will Not Seek Re-Election
West Bank, November 5, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has decided not to run for the presidency in elections next year, according to reports from Ramallah.

Israel: The Army Will Fight the Next Battle Soon in Gaza Strip
Gaza, November 4, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Gabi Ashkenazi, chief of staff of the Israeli Army, made a statement this week that "the army will come back to face the rocket launching stages in the overcrowded areas and fight in cities, villages,...

PRC sends a Parliamentarian delegation to Palestinian Refugee Camps, meets Syrian President
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) coordinated a delegation of parliamentarians to the Palestinian Refugee Camps in Syria. The delegation included a number of MPs and MSPs who investigated the living conditions and suffering experienced by...

Jewish Extremists "Manics" attack Palestinian family in Jerusalem
London, November 4, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - A group of Jewish "Manics" extremists, broke into the closed part of Al-Kurds house which owned by an 85-year-old Kurd woman in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied east Jerusalem. The extremists attacked the house,...

The National

Hizbollah agrees to cabinet proposals
The National 7 Nov 2009 - After five months of wrangling, Lebanon's incoming prime minister Saad Hariri may announce his new administration 'this weekend'.

Abbas move seen as gamble with US
The National 7 Nov 2009 - Mahmoud Abbas's decision not to run again for president of the Palestinian Authority sparks speculation from across the world about his motives.

Lebanon agrees on government
The National 7 Nov 2009 - Hizbollah says Lebanon's opposition has agreed to a proposed government line-up, a possible end to negotiations following a June general election.

Painting a kinder picture of Syria
The National 6 Nov 2009 - Damascus's envoy to the US uses modern art to win over prickly diplomats and dodge difficult questions.

From pariah to power broker – a renewed identity for Damascus
The National 6 Nov 2009 - As Europe looks to Turkey to help bridge a divide with the Muslim world, Syria hopes to cement its position as a regional power broker.

Fatah looks to the past after Abbas
The National 6 Nov 2009 - Marwan Barghouti, serving five life terms, is touted as successor to Abbas and unite Palestine.


Lebanon nears unity government
AlJazeera 7 Nov 2009 - Lebanon's political opposition agrees to latest cabinet line-up under Saad Hariri.

Supporters urge Abbas to run again
AlJazeera 6 Nov 2009 - Rallies held in Ramallah to press Palestinian president to stand in January poll.

Iran rejects nuclear deal, MP says
AlJazeera 7 Nov 2009 - Politician's remarks are not Tehran's official response to uranium swap, official says.

Gaza report to go to UN top council
AlJazeera 6 Nov 2009 - Ban Ki-moon says he will pass on Goldstone Report to UN Security Council.

Alternative Information Center

Israeli Military's Investigations Into Operation Cast Lead Focus on Individual Soldiers, Not Unlawful Policies
Alternative Information Center 6 Nov 2009 - Military Police investigations involving Operation Cast Lead According to the Israeli Judge Advocate General’s Office, since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) has opened 23 investigations into incidents that took...

Executive Summary of The Economy of the Occupation Bulletin 20-21: Cast Lead: Israel Attacks Gaza 
Alternative Information Center 6 Nov 2009 - The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008, to 18 January 2009, was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second Intifada began. According to the UN, 1,434 Palestinian...

Palestine News Network

Jerusalem Post

Abbas threatens to dismantle PA, declare peace process failed
Jeruslalem Post 8 Nov 2009 - PA president looking for US pressure on Israel over settlement building; disgruntled leader prepares for Jan. elections despite will to quit.

'Obama, Netanyahu to meet on Monday'
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - US president cancels GA address to participate in Fort Hood memorial; Barak en route to US for talks.

Cellphone alert system expected in 2 yrs
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - "There is no longer a need to set off a nationwide alert," senior officer tells 'The Jerusalem Post.'

My Word: Family ties and binds
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - The GA must discuss how to make the US's Jewish communities relevant to Israel and vice versa.

India deepens defense ties with Israel to tackle threat of terror
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - Indian Chief of Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor arrives in Israel for talks with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.

Zahar: Israel serious about Schalit
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - Hamas official compliments current government's conduct; says Hamas is ready for deal now.

Analysis: Lessons for dealing more effectively with Iran
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - The US would do better to negotiate bilaterally.

Russia: More Iran sanctions possible
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - Top Iranian MP: UN-backed deal to enrich fuel abroad "whether gradually or all at once" is called off.

Lebanon: Factions agree on unity gov't
Jeruslalem Post 7 Nov 2009 - After four-month deadlock, Hizbullah agrees to join Lebanese Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri's coalition.

Inter Press Service

POLITICS: On Nuke Disarmament, It's Still "You First" 
IPS UNITED NATIONS, Oct 31 (IPS) - Is the ongoing controversy over Iran's nuclear programme helping to advance the United Nations' agenda on nuclear disarmament? To a number of diplomats and experts who have participated in past U.N. discussions on the spread of nuclear weapons, the answer is, yes – although...

MIDEAST: Abbas Produces a Dubious Twist 
IPS RAMALLAH, Nov 6 (IPS) - U.S. and Israeli failure to take either Palestinian rights or Israeli settlement expansion seriously has placed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) in an untenable situation, which could seriously damage peace prospects.

Stop The Wall
Stop The Wall 8 Nov 2009 - On November 9, 1989, the popular protest of the people of East Germany brought down the Wall in Berlin. Today,in Palestine and across the world people are fighting to tear down a Wall – much longer, much higher and not built along borders but along the lines of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. See the full list of actions organized as part of the seventh Week against the Apartheid Wall. [
Stop The Wall 8 Nov 2009 - More than 200 protesters attended the weekly Friday demonstration against the apartheid wall in Ni’lin today. Sheikh Salah Mohammad Tayeh lead the prayer which traditionally marks the start of the Friday demonstration. He spoke about the importance of popular struggle and resistance for the liberation of Palestine. [

International Solidarity Movement

British activists blockade Carmel Agrexco
11/7/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Indymedia UK, 6 November 2009 - Activists blockade in solidarity with Palestine - At about 6 o'clock this morning a group of London students and international activists, including members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), blocked the two gates leading to the depot. The activists seek to raise awareness of the UK's continued role in the purchase of goods produced in Israel's illegal settlements in the West Bank as well as Carmel Agrexco's role in the sustenance of Israel's illegal expansionist activities in Palestine. The blockaders have urged companies dependent on Carmel Agrexco's supplies, and therefore inconvenienced by this and previous blockades, to seek out new suppliers and, in so doing, show that Carmel Agrexco's continued support for Israel's aggression in Palestine will not be allowed to continue. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Israel to coordinate with U.S., U.K. and France to ensure Goldstone veto
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Israel will coordinate with the U.S., U.K. and France to ensure the Security Council vetos Arab countries' resolutions on the Goldstone report, Israeli officials told Haaretz. ... 

Obama cancels Jewish Communities GA address 
Ha'aretz 8 Nov 2009 - Despite being slated to speak at the United Jewish Communities General Assembly on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday that he will instead be attending the memorial service for the American soldiers recently killed at Fort Hood, Texas. ...

PM heads to U.S., under threat of Palestinian statehood declaration
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - Concerns are growing in Israel's government over the possibility of a unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence within the 1967 borders, a move which could potentially be recognized by the United Nations Security Council. ... 

U.S. top brass: Nuclear Iran is existential threat to Israel 
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Michael Mullen, said last week in Washington that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel. ... 

Comment / Israel's apartheid is worse than South Africa's
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - The shock that gripped the shrunken peace camp following Hillary Clinton's statement that the settlement construction freeze is not what we thought it would be, but rather what Benjamin Netanyahu thought it would be, is reminiscent of other shocks generated by American peace plans ever since the 1960s. ... 

The Guardian

Hezbollah gears up for new war
The Guardian 7 Nov 2009 - Fighters rearm and reinforce positions in valleys amid fears that Israel is about to launch attack on Islamic group Hezbollah is rapidly rearming in preparation for a new conflict with Israel, fearing that Benjamin Netanyahu's government...

Charity makes us who we are | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 6 Nov 2009 - Thankfully, the citizens of Tel Aviv are not as callous as national leaders when it comes to practising one tenet of the Jewish faith At governmental level, Israel's attitude towards the 17,000 African refugees living in...

Video: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has 'no desire' to run for re-election
The Guardian 6 Nov 2009 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas voices disappointment at Washington for 'favouring' Israel over peace talks row

Palestinian president: A dream turned sour
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Whether he makes good on the pledge he made last night not to stand in next year's elections , or whether he is eventually persuaded to stay, the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, has had enough already. And...

Palestinian presidency: Likely candidates
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - If Mahmoud Abbas follows through with his threat and does not stand in the next Palestinian presidential elections the most likely candidate to replace him is probably Marwan Barghouti, a popular Fatah leader who is now...

Grave blow to fading hopes of a two-state solution | Ian Black
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Posters in Gaza, ruled by Mahmoud Abbas's enemies in Hamas, already scorn the Palestinian president as being "on the dustheap of history"." His announcement last night that he does not wish to contest the next elections...

Mahmoud Abbas will not seek re-election as Palestinian president
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Leader of Fatah movement, seen as a moderate by the west, to sit out forthcoming election according to reports in West Bank The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, announced tonight his surprise decision not to run in...

Hezbollah, Iran and Syria disown arms shipment
The Guardian 5 Nov 2009 - Israel displays hundreds of tonnes of weapons it says were bound for Lebanese militia disguised as bulldozer parts Hezbollah and its Iranian and Syrian backers have flatly rejected Israeli claims that a shipment of arms and...

Ha'aretz National page

Rail workers suspected of robbing employee carrying company cash
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - Two senior Israel Railways employees are suspected of involvement in the robbery of a courier transporting fare money collected from train stations, and then fleeing with the wrong bag. ... 

Israel Air Force One? / State considering official plane 
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - The Prime Minister's Office and the Finance Ministry are looking into buying a plane, the Israeli equivalent of Air Force One, to serve Israeli leaders on their official trips around the world. ... 

Police confiscate drugs, counerfeit goods in raid on convenience stores 
Ha'aretz 7 Nov 2009 - Hundreds of Israel Police officers raided dozens of convenience stores across Israel over the weekend and arrested 64 people suspected of selling drugs, paraphernalia and counterfeit music and clothing. ...

WATCH: Protesters breach West Bank separation barrier
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - The weekly demonstrations against the West Bank separation barrier in the towns of Bil'in and Na'alin, which take place every Friday, reached new heights this week when activists, seeking to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall, knocked a part of the barrier over. ...

Man allegedly threatens to kill the culture minister 
Ha'aretz 6 Nov 2009 - A 38-year-old man from the central town of Ramat Gan was charged on Friday for threatening to kill the Sports and Culture Minister Limor Livnat. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Press conference by UN GA President on Human Rights Council report on Fact Finding Mission on Gaza Conflict 
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Department of Public Information

Lebanon: Eleventh report of the UN SG on the implementation of SC resolution 1701 (2006) (S/2009/566)
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Security Council

OPT/Israel: Stop East Jerusalem home demolitions
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: Human Rights Watch

ECHO Operational Strategy 2010: Middle East and Mediterranean
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department

OPT: USAID West Bank/Gaza mission program achievements - Week of 26 Oct 2009
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: US Agency for International Development

OPT: UN vote on Goldstone report a defining step for accountability, says Amnesty International
Relief Web 6 Nov 2009 - Source: Amnesty

YNet News

India: Israel check security in Goa
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - Indian police say travel warnings prompt Israel to inspect security level in city, nearby Chabad centers 

Hamas commends Israel for Shalit efforts
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - 'Current gov't continuously occupied with swap deal, in contrast to former gov't,' says Hamas official 

ElBaradei suggests Turkey store Iran's uranium 
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - IAEA chief proposes Iran store enriched uranium in Turkey until Russia provides it with nuclear fuel 

Shalit campaign: We're ready to resume activity
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - Head of campaign for captive soldier's release says activists 'ready to return, make our voices heard'. Hamas source says group may ease demands for swap deal to display success as Abbas admits failure through retirement 

Fatah considers reverting to popular warfare
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - Senior operative says Abbas' retirement may force Fatah to resort to violent protests, stone-throwing 

Iran refuses to send enriched uranium abroad
YNet News 7 Nov 2009 - Head of Iranian parliament's national security, foreign policy committee Alaeddin Borujerdi tells ISNA news agency, 'Option of giving our enriched uranium gradually or in one go is over now' 

Daily Star

Palestinians in no rush to succeed Abbas as president
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 Younger Palestinian leaders were in no rush on Friday to step into the shoes of President Mahmoud Abbas after he said he did not want to run for re-election in January. Making clear Abbas' Fatah movement is, so far, unwilling to take the 74-year-old president at his word, none of the men seen as potential successors threw their hats into the ring after Ab bas' announcement Thursday.

Turkey ready to oversee new Syria-Israel peace talks
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 Turkey is ready to oversee a new stage of secret peace talks between Israel and Syria, resuming a role it had played until last year, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said here Friday. Historically Israel's only friend in the Middle East, Ankara has in recent years served as a conduit for diplomatic exchanges between Israel and its arch foe Damascus about improving relations.

UN assembly votes for Gaza war probe
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 Israel on Friday rejected a UN General Assembly resolution urging an investigation into a report saying that war crimes were committed in Gaza, and condemned the world body vote as "completely detached from realities." In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response to Thursday's vote that Israel "maintains the right to self-defense," and would "continue to act.

Norway drops investigation into Israel's Gaza war crimes
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 Norwegian prosecutors announced on Friday they would not pursue war crimes charges against Israeli officials, including former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, over the Gaza Strip offensive. Six Norwegian lawyers brought a case against Olmert and nine others in April for alleged offenses during the conflict in December-January.

Hamas grants visas to 4,500 Gazans for hajj
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 Hamas said Friday it is allowing Muslims to leave the Gaza Strip on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca after blocking them last year because of a Palestinian political dispute. "The first wave of around 1,000 hajj pilgrims from the Gaza Strip is now traveling to Egypt through the Rafah border crossing," Hamas religious affairs minister Taleb Abu Shaar told AFP.

Iran to give IAEA more details on nuclear fuel plan
Daily Star 7 Nov 2009 The UN nuclear watchdog has asked Iran to explain evidence suggesting the Islamic Republic's scientists have experimented with an advanced nuclear warhead design, while Iran said it is preparing to give more details on its response to international proposals for supplying nuclear fuel. Citing what it describes as "previously unpublished documentation" from an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) compiled dossier.

Palestinian Information Center

Rabab’ah: Israel’s future wars will be over water resources
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ghazi Al-Rabab’ah, a professor of political science at the university of Jordan, stated Saturday that Israel’s future wars against Arab countries would be over water resources.

Bahar calls for endorsing Goldstone report at UNSC
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Dr. Ahmed Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian legislative council, has asked the Arab and Islamic countries to exert more efforts when the Goldstone report is tabled at the UNSC.

IOF troops open fire at farmers in northern Gaza
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian farmers while tending to their lands north of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, local sources reported.

Families in Al-Khalil appeal for transferring political prisoners from Jericho
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Families of Palestinian political prisoners in Al-Khalil appealed to all officials and human rights organization to get their sons and husbands imprisoned in Jericho transferred to Al-Khalil.

Zahhar: Abbas should have declared failure of settlement process
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Dr. Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, a political bureau member of Hamas, said that former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas's decision not to nominate himself for PA presidency was an internal Fatah matter.

Palestinian independent figures discuss reconciliation issue with Haneyya
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - A group of national independent figures met on Friday with Palestinian premier Ismail Haneyya and discussed with him every avenue towards the achievement of national reconciliation.

Israeli court turns down appeal by two detained PLC deputies
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - The Israeli military court in Ofer has turned down an appeal by two members of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) against extension of their administrative detention.

Resheq to Abbas: The national cause is bigger than all Palestinian leaders
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Ezzat Al-Resheq stated Saturday, commenting on Mahmoud Abbas’s last speech in which he declared his intention not to run for office, that the national cause is bigger than all Palestinian leaders.

IPA separates Palestinian detained twins
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - The Ezzat family appealed to the human rights groups and all those concerned with prisoners' affairs to pressure the Israeli prisons authority (IPA) into bringing its two twin sons to one jail.

Mishaal calls on Arabs to stop their peace efforts and adopt open options
PIC 8 Nov 2009 - Khaled Mishaal called on the Arab states to freeze the settlement process and adopt the policy of open options, stressing that the solution lies in returning to the real national options.

Los Angeles Times

Fort Hood shooting suspect endured 'big pressure,' uncle says 
LA Times 8 Nov 2009 - The uncle says Nidal Malik Hasan was a sensitive man who faced ethnic taunts and was haunted by soldiers' wartime disabilities. Hasan was not political, his relatives in the West Bank say. When Rafik Ismail Hamad last traveled from the West Bank to visit relatives in the United States, he was struck by the pressures one of his nephews was facing. 

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas says he won't seek reelection 
LA Times 6 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority president cites a lack of U.S. support for demands that Israel freeze settlement expansion. His decision is seen as a bid to push Israel toward compromise. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection next year, citing a lack of U.S. support for his conditions for resuming peace talks with Israel. 

New York Times

Israeli Asks Abbas Not to Step Down
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Appealing to the president of the Palestinian Authority, who announced that he would not seek re-election, the Israeli president said: “Don’t let go.”

Call White House, Ask for Barack
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Until the Palestinians and Israelis are serious about the peace process, the United States should get out of the picture.

Young, Talented and Unhappy Playing Basketball Overseas
New York Times 8 Nov 2009 - Jeremy Tyler, 18, left high school in San Diego to play basketball in Israel. His goal is to be drafted by an N.B.A. team in two years, but for now he is struggling. 

Goldstone and Gaza
New York Times 6 Nov 2009 - The dispute over the Goldstone Report will continue, but Gaza needs help right now.

U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - The U.N. is expected to endorse a report that found evidence that Israel and Palestinian militants had each committed war crimes during last winter’s Gaza conflict.

Israeli Navy Captures Arms Shipment
New York Times 5 Nov 2009 - Officials say a cargo ship captured off Cyprus was carrying weapons for Hezbollah but offered no proof.


Israeli Military's Investigations Into Operation Cast Lead Focus on Individual Soldiers, Not Unlawful Policies
Alternative Information Center - 6 Nov 2009 - Military Police investigations involving Operation Cast Lead According to the Israeli Judge Advocate General’s Office, since Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza, the Military Police Investigation Unit (MPIU) has opened 23 investigations into incidents that took place during the operation.

Executive Summary of The Economy of the Occupation Bulletin 20-21: Cast Lead: Israel Attacks Gaza 
Alternative Information Center - 6 Nov 2009 - The Israeli military offensive against the Gaza Strip from 27 December 2008, to 18 January 2009, was the most violent and deadly offensive by Israel since the second Intifada began. According to the UN, 1,434 Palestinian residents of Gaza were killed by the Israeli forces, and...

Government of Israel Postpones Elections in the Abu-Basma (Bedouin) Regional Council , Until the Minister of Interior Decides "They are Ready"
Alternative Information Center - 5 Nov 2009 - Thanks to massive efforts by the leadership of the residents in the unrecognized Bedouin villages in the Israeli Negev, six years ago the Government of Israel started a process of recognizing the Bedouin villages. The Government created the Abu-Basma Regional Council, to govern these villages, and...

Wolman: Wright mucks up Gaza
Mondoweiss - 7 Nov 2009 - The New Yorker sent Lawrence Wright, its Pulitzer Prize winning staff writer, over to Israel and Gaza to report on "What really happened during the Israeli attacks?" I’m not sure what the reason was for the question mark, unless it was a hint not to take...

Bernard Avishai has publicly rejected ‘the demographic threat’ argument
Mondoweiss - 7 Nov 2009 - The other day I wrote a post on liberals and racism following from the J Street conference. I mentioned Bernard Avishai in the post, and he had this response. I respond to Avishai below. He goes first : You write: “The feeling that flowed through the J...

Read the ‘New Yorker’ for the pictures
Mondoweiss - 6 Nov 2009 - I still have to read the Lawrence Wright piece on Gaza in the New Yorker . From a friend who has: It’s a reasonably well-meaning report, yet badly organized and haphazardly conceived–passing in and out of the Shalit story and Operation Cast Lead. No forward motion, no...

Hurry ‘60 Minutes,’ before you’re scooped
Mondoweiss - 6 Nov 2009 - From a Jewish publication in Britain : Channel 4’s flagship investigations programme, Dispatches, is to probe what it calls “one of the most powerful and influential political lobbies in Britain” — the pro-Israel lobby. According to Channel 4’s official pre-publicity, “despite wielding great influence among the highest...

Goldstone: ‘If Gaza isn’t collective punishment, what is?’
Mondoweiss - 6 Nov 2009 - Brandeis site has report on the debate between Judge Goldstone and the mustachio’d Dore Gold last night. [Dore] Gold called the report "the most serious and vicious assault on the State of Israel since" U.N. General Assembly passage in 1975 of a resolution declaring Zionism a...


Remembering Yitzhak Rabin 
Uri Avnery, 11/2/2009
      "We must make peace with Hussein," he told me. "After he has signed, I don’t care if the king is toppled." Like Shimon Peres and many others, he entertained the illusion that the king would give up East Jerusalem.
     I told him that I could not follow the logic of this line of thought. Let’s imagine that the king signed and was then overthrown. What next? The PLO would take over a state extending from Tulkarm to the approaches of Baghdad, in which four Arab armies could easily assemble. Was that, I asked, what he wanted?

     A year before the Oslo agreement, I had a meeting with Yasser Arafat in Tunis. He was full of curiosity about Yitzhak Rabin, who had just been elected prime minister.
     I described him as well as I could and ended with the words: "He is as honest as a politician can be."
     Arafat broke into laughter, and all the others present, among them Mahmoud Abbas and Yasser Abed-Rabbo, joined in.
     For the sake of proper disclosure: I always liked Rabin as a human being. I especially liked some traits of his.
     First of all: his honesty. This is such a rare quality among politicians that it stood out like an oasis in the desert. His mouth and his heart were one, as far as is possible in political life. He did not lie when he could possibly avoid it.
     He was a decent human being. Witness the "dollar affair": when his term as Israeli ambassador in Washington, D.C., came to an end, his wife Leah left behind a bank account, contrary to Israeli law at the time. When it was discovered, he protected his wife by assuming personal responsibility. At the time, unlike today, "assuming responsibility" was not an empty phrase. He left the prime minister’s office. more.. e-mail

Terror State: Israel and the Bevin Bomb Plot 
Brendan Montague, 11/5/2009
      The word "terrorism" in today’s society has become soldered permanently to the phrase "Muslim extremist".
     The publication of The Defence of the Realm, the Authorized History of MI5, offers a useful reminder of the real history of terrorism in the Middle East.
     The author, Christopher Andrew, who has not typed a single line of text which would have the censors nervous, offers the chapter: Zionist Extremists and Counter-Terrorism.
     The section begins with the observation: "The terrorists came not, as later in the twentieth century, from Palestinian or Islamist groups but from the Zionist extremists of the Irgun Zvai Leumi and the Stern Gang..."
     Andrew adds: "In March 1946, B3a [of MI5] received information from a ’reliable’ source in Palestine, in ’direct contact’ with the Stern Gang’, that ’terrorists are now training their members for the purpose of proceeding to England to assasinate members of His Majesty’s Government’.
     Beat the Dog
     "The wartime track record of Zionist terrorists ensured that such reports were taken seriously. In November 1944 the Stern Gang had assinated the British Minister of State in the Middle East, Lord Moyne, and Zionist extremists had made several attempts to murder the British high commissioner for Palestine, Sir Ronald MacMichael."
     It is a matter of historic record that the leader of Irgun, Menachem Begin, blew up the British Palestine HQ in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem with 500 pounds of explosives packed into milk-churns. Andrew states in passing that Begin was "the future prime minister of Israel".more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Sussex University students vote to boycott Israeli goods
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - Students at the University of Sussex, England have voted to boycott Israeli goods. The decision follows the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, which calls upon the Israeli state to respect international law and end the occupation of Palestine. In a campus-wide referendum, 56 percent of students voted in favor of the boycott. 

UN vote overwhelmingly supports Goldstone report
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - A 575-page blistering report by Justice Richard Goldstone detailing war crimes in Gaza last winter is refusing to die despite an aggressive Israeli smear campaign to kill it. The report, which was favorably voted by the 47-member Human Rights Council in Geneva last month, received overwhelming support Thursday in the 192-member General Assembly. The vote was 114 in favor and 18 against, with 44 abstentions. 

Gaza students organize for justice
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - In order to find sustainable alternatives to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict a new group calling itself the Justice Makers has been formed across the law departments in Palestinian universities. Two of the founders, Mohammed Eliwa and Yousef al-Nouri, are both fourth-year law students from al-Azhar University in Gaza. "The Justice Makers is about finding new ways within the international justice system to forward our case," al-Nouri explained. Biana Zammit reports from the occupied Gaza Strip. 

Israeli soldiers, settlers violate Palestinian women's rights
Electronic Intifada: 6 Nov 2009 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Palestinian women continue to suffer abuse and denial of basic human rights at the hands of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is in flagrant violation of Israel's obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). 

In Gaza
peak hour
4 Nov 2009 - Children swarming the streets coming from school, men and women going to market, people employed as traffic police, police –many who worked for the former government and continued with the current government –people on bikes, in taxis, afoot… These were the scenese when Israel began dropping bombs all over Gaza on December 27 and kept it up for the next 22 days, indiscriminately targeting civilians at a peak hour, in their homes, schools, cars, mosques, kindergartens… Think of these children, and justice for Palestinians.  And ask, what more than supporting the Goldstone report (important, but certainly not marking Israel’s first violations of international human rights) can we do? … BDS :...

Palestine Chronicle
Israel, Hamas and Rockets: Time to Pummel Gaza Again?
6 Nov 2009 - By Steve Breyman From December 27, 2008 through January 18, 2009, Israel waged war on the Gaza Strip. Twelve to fourteen hundred Palestinians were killed, including many women and children. Thirteen Israelis were killed; several by friendly fire. Nearly a third of Gazans were left without running water. Tens of thousands were left homeless. The physical structures of Hamas rule were left in ruins. Hundreds of greenhouses and factories were destroyed. The declared rationale for the assault was the launching of the glorified bottle rockets known as Qassams into southern Israeli towns like Sderot. The February 2009 national elections in Israel likely played a role in the timing of the attacks, six months in the planning. Each side blamed the other for breaking the uneasy ceasefire in effect for six months prior to the winter hostilities. Rocket fire had dwindled to near zero during the lull. Hamas considered the November 4, 2008, Israeli raid on a Gaza tunnel a major violation of the truce, and fired rockets and mortars in retaliation. Back-and-forth exchanges continued until Operation Cast Lead—called the Gaza Massacre in the Arab press--was launched on December 27. The UN’s Goldstone Report rejected Israel’s claim that it acted in self-defense against the rockets. Instead, the Report found the offensive “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population.” Hamas too was accused of war crimes for failing to discriminate between military and civilian targets. The fallout from the Gaza assault and the Goldstone and other...

Iran's Would be American Interlocutors
6 Nov 2009 - By Franklin Lamb- Beirut On November 4, 2009, the 30th anniversary of the student takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini gave a speech which is being much discussed in Washington DC. The source of some of the angst at the While House and the State Department according to Congressional sources was that “the speech suggests that the Iranian government may be doing what it’s done many times over the past seven years. Which is to say that Iran may appear to agree, then hedge, then disagree, then appear to agree again somewhat, then pull back again, then ask for more time to consider details of the proposal, then finally present a counter-proposal, then say it wants cooperation but has serious doubts about the reliability of the other side and then say it will never give up on its rights, and on and on its goes.” Iran’s Complaint While omitting Iran’s take on recent events, some on Capitol Hill wondered if Iran’s Wali al Fique (supreme leader) was playing to his base or was using the speech to communicate directly and seriously with the Obama administration. Presumably he was doing both. Aytollalh’s Khameni’s words were pointed and clear. He declared that Tehran may reject any talks backed by Washington because it is not to be trusted. He acknowledged that the US wanted to negotiate with Tehran “but its talks were full of threats."… "Every time they have a smile on their face, they are...

Two States or One: The Moment of Truth
6 Nov 2009 - By John V. Whitbeck In the wake of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s public praise for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 'unprecedented' attitude toward continued Israeli settlement expansion, Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, calmly rolled out a verbal bombshell at a November 4 press conference in Ramallah. In the wake of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s public praise for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 'unprecedented' attitude toward continued Israeli settlement expansion, Saeb Erakat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, calmly rolled out a verbal bombshell at a November 4 press conference in Ramallah. Erakat noted that now may be “the moment of truth” for the Palestinian leadership and raised the possibility that “the two-state solution is no longer an option and maybe the Palestinian people should refocus their attention on the one-state solution, where Muslims, Christians and Jews live as equals.” This statement just might signal a turning point in the long, frustrating search for peace with some measure of justice in Israel/Palestine. Throughout the long years of the perpetual "peace process", deadlines have been consistently and predictably missed. Such failures have been facilitated by the practical reality that, for Israel, "failure" has had no consequences other than a continuation of the status quo, which, for all Israeli governments, has been not only tolerable but preferable to any realistically realizable alternative. For Israel, "failure" has always constituted "success", permitting it to continue confiscating Palestinian land, expanding its West Bank colonies, building Jews-only bypass roads and...

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