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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
20 November, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Troops Kidnap Five Palestinian Security Officers In Salfit
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 01:33, Israeli soldiers kidnapped on Friday morning five Palestinian security officers near the West Bank city of Salfit. Israel confirmed the arrests but did not provide details on the circumstances.

Barhoum: “Hamas Will Not Negotiate With The Occupation”
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 00:38, Hamas spokesperson, Fawzi Barhoum, stated on Friday evening that his movement will not negotiate with the Israeli occupation, as such negotiations give the occupier legitimacy to continue the violations.

Troops Attack Ni’lin Weekly Nonviolent Protest
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Saturday November 21, 2009 - 00:17, A Palestinian villager from Ni’lin village, near Ramallah, was injured, and several protesters suffered the effects of tear gas inhalation after the Israeli soldiers attacked the weekly nonviolent protest against the Annexation Wall.

Palestinian Child Wounded After Being Rammed By A Settler’s Vehicle
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Friday November 20, 2009 - 22:11, The Palestinian Police in Nablus reported on Friday evening that a 9-year old child was wounded after being rammed by a setter’s vehicle close to Za’tara junction, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Dozens suffered tear gas inhalation at the weekly demonstration in Bil’in
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Friday November 20, 2009 - 15:04, Residents of Bil’in village, central West Bank, gathered in a demonstration today, commemorating the 21st anniversary of the Declaration of Independence and condemning the ongoing expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

Villagers near Bethlehem stage a protest against the Israeli wall
IMEMC 20 Nov 2009 - Friday November 20, 2009 - 14:52, Villagers from Al Ma'sara, southern West Bank, along with their international and Israeli supporters staged a protest against the Israeli wall on Friday.

Ma'an News

Palestinian MK: 15,000 settlement homes awaiting approval in Jlem
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Member of the Knesset Ahmad Tibi said Israel's Jerusalem municipality is preparing to build 15,000 new housing units around the city, mainly in areas beyond the Green Line in occupied Palestine. "These plans are larger and more dangerous than the recent plans to build 900 housing units in Gilo," Tibi said during a phone interview on Friday. The MK called the plans common knowledge, saying "Everyone who follows up these issues knows that these plans exist," and explained they were just waiting for approval from the government, just like "what happened in Gilo," Tibi said. The plans are "a blow for the international community, the American administration and [US] President [Barack] Obama who should play his role to stop the Israeli chaos," that will result from the construction of so many new settlement homes, he said. 

Palestinian shot at weekly anti-wall protest
11/20/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli forces shot and lightly injured a Palestinian in the West Bank village of Nil'in on Friday, witnesses said. Sa'd Attallah Amira was reportedly taken to a hospital with moderate injuries. He was shot in the foot, onlookers added. Hundreds of village residents and international peace activists attempted to reach lands on the other side of Israel's separation barrier on Friday, but were stopped by soldiers standing guard. Israeli soldiers fired live bullets, tear-gas canisters, and a foul-smelling liquid on the demonstrators, they said. Salah Al-Khawaja, a leader of the Palestinian National Initiative and member of the village's Popular Committee, said "Israel's escalation in the Palestinian territories, the wall, settlement expansion, and arrests are aimed at imposing a reality on the ground. 

Gaza: PLC condemns Fatah threats to detain Dweik
11/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The office of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Gaza condemned what it called threats by the Palestinian Authority police forces to detain PLC Speaker Aziz Dweik, and a Fatah slander campaign against the Hamas official. "The attempts to harm Dweik are a clear expression of [Fatah's] fraudulent claims to partnership and democracy, and a negation of the values of political and social conciliation," the office of the PLC Presidency said in a statement Thursday. While no Fatah threats to detain Dweik have been made publically, officials have dismissed the PLC Speaker's attempts to coax a unity deal between the rival parties. Speaking in an interview with Egypt TV and earlier in an interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds two weeks ago, Dweik said that "By the end of the month you'll hear what will delight your hearts," in reference to ongoing political activity that would end the Hamas-Fatah rivalry. 

Hamas: PA forces detain seven party affiliates
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian Authority Security Service in the West Bank detained seven Hamas members during the last two days, leaders from within the party reported Friday. In a statement, Hamas said the seven were detained from Jenin, Salfit, Tulkarem, and Qalqiliya. The announcement follows news of Israeli detentions of PA Intelligence leaders from the Salfit area, who were reportedly engaged in fighting "anti-political" crimes. [end] 

US, Israeli officials keep mum on PA intel arrests
11/20/2009 - Ramallah/Nablus - Ma'an Exclusive - Israeli forces detained six Palestinians from Nablus and Salfit overnight including the commander and four officers of the Palestinian Authority Intelligence Services. High-level negotiations between Palestinian and Israeli officials have been ongoing since dawn in an effort to have the men released, with American officials entering the debate shortly after 11am local time, expressing "concern" over the Israeli actions, reportedly approved by Israeli government officials before the raids took place, Palestinian security sources said. Officials said the "next few hours" will determine whether or not the situation will escalate. The first detention took place during a raid on Aqraba village south of Nablus at 2am Friday, with Israeli forces breaking into the home of PA Intelligence Services Commander Muhammad Abdul Hameed Bani Fadel, 45. 

Palestinian schools mark Children’s Day; Israel boycotts
11/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Sports and music events hosted by UNIFEC and Right to Play will mark the 20th anniversary of Palestine's adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on Friday, the UN International Children's Day. Hundreds of children in Ramallah, Hebron, Jenin and Nablus will mark the occasion with concerts, road races, theater performances, football matches and kids games. In Israel, however, a decision by the Ministry of Education not to hold any special activities this year to mark Universal Children's Day, was pushed through earlier in the week, a Wednesday report from Haaretz noted. The Convention entered into force in Israel in November 1991, but Israel denies its applicability Palestinian areas, as with most other international treaties, according to Defense for Children International. The Israeli argument is that ratification of the treaty was intended for. . . 

Bil’in: Undercover Israeli police detain youth at workplace
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces invaded the village of Bil'in at 9am Thursday morning and detained a local youth involved in the weekly demonstrations against the Israeli separation wall, a statement from the local Popular Committee said. "In an escalation of the recent arrest campaign conducted by the Israeli military in attempt to crush the popular struggle against the Wall in the village, an undercover army unit invaded Bil'in this morning and arrested a local youth, 19 year old Mohammad Yassin," the statement said. The Popular Committee described the incident, saying a "civilian Isuzu pickup with undercover soldiers dressed as Palestinians" entered the village "searching for residents suspected of organizing and participating in the village's weekly demonstrations. " Yassin was reportedly detained from the car garage where he works as a mechanic. 

Gaza crossings sealed Friday as trend continues
11/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Despite being scheduled for opening, Gaza crossings were sealed on Thursday following a last-minute announcement by Israeli crossings authorities, Palestinian officials said. Raed Fattouh, a Palestinian border crossings official in Gaza, said the Israeli side informed him early Friday that the fuel, bulk goods and commercial goods transfer points would remain shut. The Gaza crossings continue to operate only five days a week. Crossings opened six days a week until the spring, when Israeli officials suddenly announced their closure and continued each Friday since. Operating fewer days a week means a general reduction in the amount of goods getting into Gaza, as there has been no marked daily increase in goods. On Thursday, Israel opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings to let in quantities of commercial aid, wheat, and animal feed while the Nahal Oz crossing for fuel remained closed. 

Settler runs over nine-year-old Palestinian girl
11/20/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - An Israeli car struck and injured a Palestinian girl near Nablus on Friday, according to Palestinian Authority police. The condition of the girl, nine-year-old Kefaya Najjar, was not immediately known. The Israeli army transferred Najjar to a hospital inside Israel, the police media office added. [end] 

France moves forward on plans to rebuild Gaza hospital
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Wednesday urged Israel to cooperate with France's pledge to rebuild Al-Quds Hospital in Gaza, which was destroyed during last winter's assault. Three Israeli missiles, two of them containing the incendiary agent white phosphorus, destroyed three buildings at the Red Crescent's An-Nur medical complex on 15 January. "By signing this agreement today, France intends to reiterate its support and solidarity to the people of Gaza and the fact that we have not forgotten them," Kouchner said in Jerusalem at a signing ceremony. "In Gaza like anywhere else, the important thing is that it gets done. This vital project finally needs to happen to help Gaza's people who have suffered so much from the fighting and who continue to suffer from the blockade," he said. 

Israeli media: Netanyahu hopes for final status agreement with Abbas
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is opposed to a recently reported two-phase peace deal with Palestinians, Israel's Jerusalem Post reported Friday. The report follows rumors in the Israeli media that the country's leaders were holding secret talks with Hamas on a two-phase peace deal, which Hamas denied. Thursday reports said Netanyahu was reserving comment on the issue until more information was available. A Friday article in the Jerusalem Post, however, said Netanyahu is interested in a final-status agreement, citing "courageous [Palestinian] leadership" as the reason behind a desire to resume talks with President Mahmoud Abbas before the leader leaves office. Netanyahu reportedly said a final-status agreement was preferable to an interim one where a Palestinian state would be created on temporary boundaries. 

Fox News: Hamas handed Israel 70 new names for swap deal
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - A Fox News exclusive alleged "the pieces are falling in place" for a swap deal to be completed before 27 November that would see 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israel released for a soldier captured by Gaza fighters in 2006. Published Thursday morning US Eastern time, the American news agency said Hamas, which has been at the front of swap talks, submitted 70 new names to replace those rejected by Israeli officials. The deal aims to be completed before the Muslim Eid Al-Adha, on the 27th. The terms of the Gaza-proposed swap deal would see 450 named high-level prisoners, including detained lawmakers, former fighters, women and children, released in addition to at least 550 other prisoners. Israel's refusal to release dozens of those named in the group of 450 caused the swap-talks to stall. 

Hamas: We’re not negotiating with Israel
11/20/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Friday denied that the Islamic movement was negotiating with Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas told BBC on Thursday that Hamas was participating in talks with Israel over the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders. But Barhoum insisted that Abbas' remarks were "an attempt to harm the movement's credibility, which has gained international sympathy by holding strong to its principles and defending Palestinians. " In an interview with Ma'an, the Hamas spokesman added that "any negotiations with the [Israeli] occupation would give it legitimacy over our land, people and holy sites, and cover up its crimes. . . Hamas does not negotiate with the occupation. "Concerning elections, Barhoum said there could be no talks without a reconciliation agreement. 

PA economy minister says ready to approve mobile deal
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Economy Minister Hassen Abu Lebdah insisted on Friday that the Palestinian Authority was willing to grant approval for a merger between two major mobile corporations. The board of directors at the Palestinian Telecommunications Company (PalTel) announced on Thursday that an agreement with Jordan's Zain Telecommunication Network had been cancelled. In a brief statement that followed a board meeting in Amman, PalTel announced that it had cancelled the summer agreement because Zain was unable to fulfill its basic conditions. In an apparent attempt to save the merger - billed as the largest in Palestine's history - Abu Lebdah notified the Zain representative and PalTel's board that the PA still intended to fulfill its side of the deal, he said. "We handed over the information they needed on 17 November, and registered Zain in Palestine before 16 November,. . . 

Twenty H1N1 cases diagnosed in Mecca
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Saudi Health Minister Abdullah bin Abed Al-Aziz Ar-Rabei'a said on Friday that 20 cases of the H1N1 virus had been diagnosed in Mecca. He said that of the 20 cases, 12 had recovered. Others were undergoing treatment, he added. At a news conference on Friday, Al-Aziz Ar-Rabei'a insisted that "the health of pilgrims is good. . . there is no epidemic. "While posters warning of the dangers of swine flu can be seen across Mecca and Medina, the lack of reported deaths deterred pilgrims from taking necessary precautions. Only a relative few wore protective masks in spite of the usual congestion during Hajj at the Prophet Muhammad's tomb in Medina or during the circumambulation around Ka'ba in Mecca, participants have told Ma'an. Six people have died as a result of swine flu in the occupied territories, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health announced this week. 

Ma’an airs second episode of EU quiz show ’Stars’
11/20/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an Network was scheduled to air the second episode of its popular quiz show "Stars" on Friday evening. The series, an EU-funded competition among Palestinian students, was to be joined by Birzeit University and Arab American University in Jenin. "Stars" begins at 7:50pm local time on Palestine satellite channel and Ma'an's partner networks:Al-Amal TV in Hebron, Bethlehem TV, Al-Quds TV in Ramallah, Amwaj in Ramallah, Watan in Ramallah, Nablus TV, Qalqilia TV, As-Salam TV in Tulkarem and Frah TV in Jenin. Nine Palestinian universities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip are competing to demonstrate which team has the greatest knowledge of the EU, with topics spanning culture, art, politics and economics. Presented by veteran television host Huda Kaddoumi, "Stars" is filmed in front of a live audience of the participants' peers, who also take part in the show. 

PA forces detain two for role in US dollar forgeries
11/20/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - Public Investigation and Intelligence services in Hebron arrested two citizens on charges of fraud and the possession of counterfeit banknotes with the value of 9,900 US dollars, police reported Friday. The information office of the Palestinian police said agents "lured the suspects" into an area of As-Salam Street in Hebron city and once they determined the men were in possession of the currency, which all had the same serial number, officers detained the two for questioning. During the investigation one of the two men admitted to purchasing special ink for their computer printer, which was used to manufacture teh forged notes. A second had previous infractions relating to forgery and fraud, police said. Colonel Ramadan Awwad said the two were transferred to the general prosecution for processing. 

Ha'aretz Defense page

Report: IDF arrests 5 Palestinian intelligence officers
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Officials include Mohammad Abdel Hamid, commander of intelligence in the West Bank town of Salfit. 

Jewish teen apprehended over Jerusalem stabbing of Arab man
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Assailant fled scene shortly after stabbing victim in stomach; police not yet clear on motive for attack. 

IDF strikes Gaza smuggling tunnels, weapons facility
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - IDF spokesman says strike carried out in response to a Qassam fired into Israel on the previous day. 

Border cops suspected of beating Arab in Jerusalem cemetery
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Pair suspected of striking man in East Jerusalem cemetery with truncheons and guns, as well as kicking him. 

Barak vows to fight IDF refusal, without cutting yeshiva funds
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Defense Min.: Government should mull steps to take against hesder yeshiva rabbis who preach refusal. 

Gaza charity offers $1.4 million for capture of IDF soldiers
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Hamas-linked group sent an e-mail calling on people living in Israel to try take soldiers hostage. 

Netanyahu: Israel is world's 'most threatened country'
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - PM notes faster economic growth needed to finance increasing burden of state's defense needs. 

Panel suggests scrapping bereaved parents' consent for combat service
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Subject arose following the death of Capt. Asaf Ramon in an IAF F-16 crash two months ago. 

IDF refusal will bring about Israel's collapse, warns Netanyahu
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Some 15 lawmakers sign on to proposal to curb army mandate; two soldiers jailed for pro-settler sign at base. 

Netanyahu: Israel is Iran's first target, but not its last
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - During navy tour, PM warns of Iran threat and visits boat that raided 'Hezbollah arms ship.' 

IDF troops hang sign at base: We won't evacuate settlers
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Move comes month after soldiers from same brigade waved pro-settler banners during graduation ceremony. 

Lieberman: PA playing ugly 'double game' with Israel
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - FM accuses PA of pressuring Israel to crush Hamas, then submitting complaints to international court. 

Turkey and Israel hold joint drill, in apparent ease of tensions
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Jordan also takes part in rescue exercise; Turkish daily 

Netanyahu: If Palestinians act unilaterally, so will Israel
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - PM tells Saban Forum there is no substitute for talks, appeals to Palestinians to negotiate at once. 

Report: Missing Iran general abducted by Mossad, being held in Israel
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Iranian website: Ali-Reza Asgari taken to Israel to get information about Iran nuclear program, Ron Arad. 

Iran MP: We could produce our own missile defense system
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Lawmaker says Iran will soon be able to produce system if Russia does not deliver S-300 air defense missiles. 

IDF Chief Rabbi: Troops who show mercy to enemy will be 'damned'
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Brig. Gen. Rontzki also tells yeshiva students that religious individuals made better combat troops. 

IDF chief: Army open to looking into Goldstone claims
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Ashkenazi says Israel must explain the war's justice as it is possible we will be forced to act again in Gaza. 


[] What does Israel have against a Palestinian stadium?
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - A friendly game between an Arab soccer team and a Palestinian team was supposed to inaugurate the new stadium being built in the eastern part of Al-Bireh, near Ramallah, at the end of the year. "Supposed to" because the Civil Administration, an arm of the Defense Ministry, has ordered that the work be halted and is...

[] Gazan farmers unable to work their land in buffer zone' 
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - Driving along the buffer zone, a military no-go area that extends along the entire perimeter of Gaza and borders Israel, is an eerie experience. A long, horizontal brownish strip of earth runs along the Wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. The desolate landscape is only dotted with the ruins of destroyed buildings, while a...

[] Hamas: We're not negotiating with Israel
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum on Friday denied that the Islamic movement was negotiating with Israel. President Mahmoud Abbas told BBC on Thursday that Hamas was participating in talks with Israel over the establishment of a Palestinian state with temporary borders. But Barhoum insisted that Abbas' remarks were "an attempt to harm the movement's credibility, which has...

[] Shooting the messenger
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - Shooting the Messenger, Al Jazeera's documentary on the deliberate killing and intimidation of journalists in conflict zones, has been nominated for a presitigious Emmy award. In the past, members of the media were considered to be neutral in time of war. They were much like paramedics in the sense that their main concern was not victory,...

[] Rabbi's Followers 'Terror Cell in Parliment'
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned. A move to stage the commemoration in Israel's parliament, the Knesset,...

[] Report: IDF arrests 5 Palestinian intelligence officers
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - Palestinian sources said Israel arrested five senior officials from the Palestinian General Intelligence Service in an overnight raid on Friday, Israel Radio reported. The officials include Mohammad Abdel Hamid, commander of intelligence in the West Bank town of Salfit. A Palestinian security source in Salfit said the arrests were apparently made in the wake of an...

[] Gaza: where is the buffer zone?
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - At 8:30 on November 15, a number of young men went as usual to the land near Gaza's northern border with Israel, intending to catch birds. Amjad Hassanain, 27, was among the bird-catchers hunting near the border fence when Israeli soldiers began shooting. The shots which missed the other bird-catchers hit Hassanain, grazing his shoulder. Cameraman...

[] Control the geography, control the people: Saed Abu-Hijleh in Toronto
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - ...The concept of territoriality also describes how the Israelis destroy the Palestinian environment. Deir Sharaf, near Nablus, is an example. There, Israel dumps its solid and hazardous waste in a former quarry, with no preparation and no regulation. There's an aquifer under the hill that is now landfilled. By controlling water rights Israel controls Palestinians. Part...

[] GCMHP: Gaza children need justice
Uruknet November 20, 2009 -- The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) said on Thursday that the deep wound that the children of Gaza were suffering due to the Israeli brutal aggressions could be cured only if justice is brought to those children. According to officials in the program, brining justice to the children of Gaza would greatly help cure that...

[] The New York Mets and the business of terrorism
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - When I first learned that the New York Mets were hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit Hebron Fund at Citi Field in support of the Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, I honestly assumed it was a joke, albeit a poor one. When I realized this was an actual, planned event, I...

[] Independent Sugar Union Leaders in Iran Now Behind Bars
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - The leaders of Iran's independent sugarworkers union are now in prison in the city of Dezful, serving sentences for their trade union activity. In a drive to destroy the union established last year by workers at the giant Haft Tapeh plantation/refining sugar complex, a court on October 12 sentenced 5 union leaders to immediate prison terms...

[] Tunnels provide lifeline for Gazans
Uruknet November 20, 2009 - While Israel maintains its blockade around the Gaza Strip, tunnels used for smuggling goods continue to provide a lifeline for the beseiged people living there. According to World Bank officials, 80 per cent of Gazas imports currently come through the tunnels, which has only increased the worth of Gaza's tunnel smuggling economy from $30 million in...

Palestine Telegraph

More illegal settlments in Jerusalem
West Bank, November 20, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - An Israeli lawmaker reveals plans to build several thousand new houses around Jerusalem Al-Quds despite worldwide condemnation of Tel Aviv's relentless settlement expansion.

Two injured as Israeli army fires at Peaceful demo
Europe, November 20, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Around 200 people participated today in the protest in Ni'lin against the Apartheid Wall, including a delegation of Scandinavian students.

Israel defends its "illegal" settlement expansion
Palestine, November 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli construction of 900 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem is part of a "routine building programme", an aide to the prime minister has said in reaction to US criticism.

Israel bombs Gaza food-tunnels
Gaza, November 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - Israeli warplanes have pounded a building near the town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip and destroyed two tunnels in the city of Rafah along the Egyptian border.

'My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza's Untold Story' by Ramzy Baroud to be Released Next Month
UK, November 19, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - A Gaza book, regarded as a ‘people's history of Gaza' which has won many endorsements prior to its release, will be marketed in the US as a ‘trade title', publisher and author said.

The National

Bad blood between Egypt and Algeria runs deeper than football
The National 20 Nov 2009 - Violence is latest incident in escalating diplomatic row between Egypt and Algeria, whose two World Cup qualifying matches this week inflamed decades-old tensions.

Army faces friction over evacuations
The National 20 Nov 2009 - Israel's leaders say the nation's security is in danger as longas refuseniks continue to defy orders to dismantle Jewish outposts in the West Bank.

Bekaa body may finally end hostage riddle
The National 20 Nov 2009 - Investigators are carrying out DNA tests on the remains of a man thought to be the journalist Alec Collett, kidnapped in Lebanon in 1985.

The legal legacy of a ‘hedonist’
The National 20 Nov 2009 - In an unprecedented case, the former prime minister Ehud Olmert faces trial for graft, while some of his ministers have been sentenced.


Football protests continue in Egypt
AlJazeera 20 Nov 2009 - Failing to qualify for World Cup, Egyptians demonstrate outside Algerian embassy.

Abbas confirms election delay
AlJazeera 20 Nov 2009 - Palestinian president says presidential and legislative elections will be postponed.

Lebanese singer sparks Nubian anger
AlJazeera 20 Nov 2009 - Egypt's black minority calls for Haifa Wehbe's "insulting" pop song to be banned.

Boycott targets settlement products
AlJazeera 19 Nov 2009 - Palestinian authorities seek to implement ban on goods made in Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Alternative Information Center

Extensive Israeli Campaign Against Palestinian Civil Construction Activities in Area C; New Demolition Orders Issued Against 60 Palestinian Houses, Apartments and other Civilian Facilities in the West Bank
Alternative Information Center 19 Nov 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces have escalated their systematic campaign against Palestinian civilian construction activities in areas under their full control according to the Oslo Accords signed by the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)...

Palestine News Network

Boycott targets settlement products 
PNN 19 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority has called on the public to boycott several large supermarket chains in the West Bank that carry Israeli products. The decision targets upscale markets in Ramallah, in an attempt to pressure the stores to discontinue the sale of fruits and vegetables grown and processed in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.According to the Palestinian authorities, customers are not aware...

EU 'dismayed' by Israel's decision to build new houses in Gilo
PNN 19 Nov 2009 - BRUSSELS (EJP)---The Swedish EU presidency voiced dismay after Israel decided decision on the construction of new houses in Gilo, in East Jerusalem. In a statement issued Wednesday, the EU recalled that “settlement activities, house demolitions and evictions in East Jerusalem are illegal under international law.” Such activities also prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and threaten the viability of a two-state...

Israeli aircraft hit Gaza after rocket attacks
PNN 19 Nov 2009 - JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli aircraft struck a weapons-manufacturing facility and two smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, in response to recent rocket attacks on Israel, the military said. Palestinian security officials reported no injuries.Israel went to war against militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza last winter to quash eight years of rocket and mortar fire that terrorized southern Israel and killed...

Obama says Israeli settlement building "dangerous"
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama ( put fresh pressure on Israel on Wednesday to curb its settlement projects, saying continued building could lead to a dangerous situation with embittered Palestinians. I think that additional settlement building does not contribute to Israel's security, I think it makes it harder for them to make peace with their neighbors, Obama told Fox News....

Palestinian families harassed in South Hebron
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - Israeli settlers in the South Hebron Hills of the West Bank harassed a Palestinian family walking home, then beat and robbed two internationals who accompanied them. The two young parents and their three small children were returning from the nearby city of Yatta to their home village of Tuba. At 11am they encountered two members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) just south...

Mideast: Ban Ki-moon deplored Israel's decision to expand settlements 
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - New York, 18 Nov. (AKI) - United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon deplored the Israeli Government's decision to expand Jerusalem’s Gilo settlement, stressing that it was built on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. “The Secretary-General reiterates his position that settlements are illegal, and calls on Israel to respect its commitments under the Road Map to cease all settlement...

France says Abbas 'indispensable'
PNN 18 Nov 2009 - French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has urged Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider his decision not to stand for re-election. After meeting Mr Abbas, Mr Kouchner said he was indispensable in resuming peace talks with Israel. Mr Kouchner is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to push forward stalled peace talks. Israel has been criticised by the US and UN...

Jerusalem Post

'PM wants Syria talks without delay'
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - Assad's top aide says Netanyahu rejected preconditions in message relayed by Sarkozy.

Arab World: A democratically elected puppet?
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - Hariri may have won the election, but Hizbullah decided how and when a new gov't would be formed.

Arrivals: Two matriarchs
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - Jeaninne Sternberg, 70From Hamilton, Ontario to Jerusalem, 2005.

'Arrested youth is serial Arab attacker'
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - Police suspect young man who stabbed Arab in J'lem Thursday was involved in other incidents.

'Don't believe Schalit disinformation'
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - IDF Spokesman Benayahu responds to reports of progress in talks, seems to rule out military option.

West 'disappointed' at Iran, but no new sanctions discussed
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - P5+1 meet to discuss Iran's refusal of UN-brokered deal, urge Teheran to reconsider its position; El-Baradei says he hopes Iran won't miss chance.

Israel urging world on Iran sanctions
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - 'Post' learns J'lem wants nuke fuel cycle capabilities denied, US against amending enrichment offer.

Netanyahu: I want final accord with PA
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - PM says courageous Palestinian leadership needed; PMO sources: 10-month settlement freeze soon.

Haredim, Intel seek kosher solutions for Shabbat
Jeruslalem Post 20 Nov 2009 - Deal would have seen only non-Jews work at J'lem plant on Shabbat; Rav Elyashiv tends to accept.


MIDDLE EAST/ASIA: Crunching the swine flu numbers 
IRIN DUBAI Wednesday, November 18, 2009 (IRIN) - More people have died from H1N1 influenza in Iran than in any of the 22 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region, according to WHO’s 14 November update.

EGYPT: Out of the slum and into joblessness
IRIN CAIRO Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (IRIN) - When government workmen came in a truck to take Ahmed Mohamed’s furniture to his new home just outside Cairo, the 32-year-old fisherman was overjoyed: His dream of quitting the slum where he had lived for years seemed to be coming true.

In Brief: Israel transfers calves to Gaza as a ‘humanitarian gesture’ 
IRIN TEL AVIV Sunday, November 15, 2009 (IRIN) - Israel’s Ministry of Defence has accepted agriculture minister Shalom Simchon’s request to transfer some 7,500 calves into Gaza for Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday on around 27 November this year and symbolised by the slaughtering of animals to distribute meat to the...

Inter Press Service

U.S.: Obama Returns to Greater Middle East Mess 
IPS WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (IPS) - As Barack Obama arrives home from his weeklong tour of East Asia, he confronts a growing list of ever more urgent problems in the Greater Middle East that he inherited from George W. Bush's "global war on terror".

MIDEAST: West Is East, When Israel Decides 
IPS JERUSALEM, Nov 18 (IPS) - Along a wall not about to come down - a hotel no longer a hotel, but an outpost.

Stop The Wall

Medic beaten, youth destroy fence in Ni'lin
Stop The Wall 20 Nov 2009 - More than 200 people participated in the protest that the Ni’lin popular committee organizes every week on Friday. In response to the recent tearing down of the Wall in both Qalandiya and Ni'lin, a large contingent of soldiers were waiting for the protestors, and immediately started fire huge amounts of tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets and also live ammunition. Despite this, a group of youth managed to cut up parts of the fence and partially damage the gate. [

Update on Mohammed's dentention
Stop The Wall 20 Nov 2009 - 58 days since his arrest, Mohammad remains imprisoned and under interrogation. He has not been charged, and the military courts continue to renew his period of detention. Following a two-week ban on any lawyer visits, which serve as Mohammed’s only contact with the outside world, contact has been reinstated. Today, Mohammed was finally been allowed to contact his family. [

PCHR Weekly Report

(12-18 Nov. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian child and wounded 6 civilians, including two children, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

International Solidarity Movement

Two injured in anti-wall rally
11/20/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - YNet News - Some 400 Palestinians, left-wing activists take part in weekly demonstration against separation fence's route in West Bank village of Naalin, say IDF violated law by dispersing crowd with sniper fire. Army says protestors were hurling stones. Two Palestinians were moderately injured Friday afternoon by Israel Defense Forces fire during the weekly rally against the separation fence in the West Bank village of Naalin, southwest of Ramallah. The army said the protesters hurled stones and rioted. Some 400 protesters, including Palestinians and left-wing Israel and foreign activists took part in the demonstrations. According to the protesters, the IDF violated the law by using live ammunition in the form of "tutu bullets" while attempting to disperse the crowd. The claim has not been confirmed by Israeli sources. Earlier, the IDF conveyed a message to the protestors that the demonstrations would be handled in an aggressive manner. 

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Six powers urge Iran to reconsider nuclear deal
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Senior officials from six world powers expressed disappointment on Friday that Iran had not accepted proposals intended to delay its potential ability to make nuclear bombs and urged Tehran to reconsider. ...

Rabin-Clinton deal makes East Jerusalem freeze possible 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Under a precedent established by prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995, the prime minister is authorized to freeze construction for Jews in East Jerusalem. Following pressure from then U.S. president Bill Clinton, Rabin agreed to halt the expropriation of hundreds of dunams of land meant to expand the Jewish presence in East Jerusalem. ... 

Future rabbi shows Jewish boxers have more than a fighting chance
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Las Vegas, Nevada - Boxing is a sport for immigrants, for tough young men looking to make a living. Which is why it used to be a sport for American Jews. Before World War II, there were a number of superior Jewish fighters, like Benny Leonard, Barney Ross and Maxie Rosenbloom. But these days, the Jews in boxing tend to be promoters. ...

Abbas prods Brazil to help end Iran support for Hamas 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to convince Iran to put an end to its support for the radical Palestinian movement Hamas. ...

Convicts help rescue neglected Jewish cemeteries in Poland 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Nearly a dozen Polish prisons and detention centers have signed up their inmates to an unusual form of labor - rescuing overgrown, long-neglected Jewish cemeteries. ...

The Guardian

Israel Is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and its History by Rich Cohen | Book review 
The Guardian 20 Nov 2009 - Antony Lerman takes issue with a lop-sided critique of Israel With its laboured, punning title, you might expect Rich Cohen's book to be a propagandistic defence of Israel, perhaps arguing that, despite its detractors, the Jewish...

The pro-Israel lobby and antisemitism | Antony Lerman
The Guardian 20 Nov 2009 - C4's Dispatches has been branded 'antisemitic', but surely Britain's Jewish community can cope with reasoned scrutiny? The serious charges levelled by critics at the Dispatches documentary investigating the UK pro-Israel lobby amount to accusations of gross...

Letters: Feedback on Israel lobby inquiry
The Guardian 19 Nov 2009 - David Cesarani ( A frisson of conspiracy , 18 November), is absolutely right that our investigation for Channel 4, Inside Britain's Israel Lobby , was followed by a deluge of pretty horrible antisemitic comment on a range of websites....

A UDI won't mean Palestinian statehood | Victor Kattan
The Guardian 19 Nov 2009 - The Palestinian Authority lacks the support to issue another unilateral declaration of independence it should not be hasty The Palestinian Authority has been making some rather strange decisions lately. In October, it opposed the Goldstone report...

Israel's ultra-Orthodox out of sync | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 19 Nov 2009 - The Haredi community's legal challenge against Intel for operating on Shabbat is putting jobs at risk Following this year's summer of discontent in Jerusalem, trouble looks set to flare again in the capital in the wake...

Obama declines to set Guantnamo closure date in Fox News interview
The Guardian 19 Nov 2009 - President criticises Afghan government and Israeli settlement building, and says he won't read Sarah Palin's book Barack Obama has backed away from his pledge to close the US prison at Guantnamo Bay by the end of...

Obama opens up on Afghanistan decision during China visit
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - US president touches on various other issues facing his administration during interviews with TV networks President Barack Obama has said he is close to a decision on whether to dramatically increase the number of American troops...

Antisemitism and the reported world | Jonathan Boyd
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - C4's Dispatches on Britain's Israel lobby perpetuated the same old antisemitic myth and that has effects in the real world Apparently, according to Channel 4's Dispatches programme on Monday night , there are some wealthy Jews out...

Obama to announce Afghanistan plans 'within weeks'
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - US president says he is very close to making 'life and death' decision on extra troop deployment Barack Obama will make an announcement on sending extra troops to Afghanistan "in the next several weeks", he said...

Capping Israel's teen drinking | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 18 Nov 2009 - Binyamin Netanyahu may not like drunkenness among minors, but Israel's west-facing culture makes some level of it inevitable According to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel's teen-drinking problem is close to becoming an epidemic , in light of new data...

Ha'aretz National page

Twilight Zone / Mourning uprooted olive trees in West Bank villages 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - The old tractor sputtered up the hill, its engine seemingly about to expire, but its big wheels bumping across the rocky terrain. We stood in the back, swaying wildly, holding on for dear life. On the hilltop loomed the big antenna of the settlement of Yitzhar, whose houses lay on the other side of the hill. The very knowledge of their presence inspired dread. It was a glorious sunny day, the spectacular valley sprawling below. The houses of the Palestinian village of Burin lie in this valley, which lies between two hills: on one stands Yitzhar; on the other, Har Bracha, outside Nablus. ... 

Netanyahu: Government to choose one of four AG candidates 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Friday that the government will choose the next Attorney General from the four candidates suggested by a public search committee. ...

Aluf Benn / The Netanyahu paradox: All-powerful except in one area 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - "Governance? What kind of governance problem? There is one-person rule in Israel. The prime minister decides everything. He is a lot stronger than the president of the United States." ... 

Report: Jerusalem stabbing of Arab nationalistically motivated 
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - The Jerusalem stabbing of an Arab man by a Jewish teenager was nationalistically motivated, police sources said on Friday, also revealing that the 16-year-old had already been involved in numerous past incidents of anti-Arab violence. ...

Tel Aviv police solve murder of 67-year-old prostitute
Ha'aretz 20 Nov 2009 - Tel Aviv police arrested a homeless man Wednesday over suspicions he had murdered a 67-year-old prostitute, whose body was found over eight months ago near the city's central bus station. ...

Relief Web

OPT: Gazan farmers unable to work their land in buffer zone' 
Relief Web 20 Nov 2009 - Source: Oxfam

Palestinian children mark 20th year of UN rights treaty with video testimony
Relief Web 20 Nov 2009 - Source: UN News Service

OPT: Protection of civilians weekly report, 11 - 17 Nov 2009
Relief Web 20 Nov 2009 - Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

OPT: Israel, Egypt squeeze Gaza tunnel business
Relief Web 19 Nov 2009 - Source: Reuters - AlertNet

OPT: Concluding its work for session, Fourth Committee approves 11 more drafts, bringing to 28 total number of texts forwarded to UN GA
Relief Web 19 Nov 2009 - Source: UN General Assembly

OPT: Improving delivery of justice for juveniles: European Union signs MoU with Ministry of Social Affairs
Relief Web 19 Nov 2009 - Source: European Commission

YNet News

UN committee targets Iran's rights violations
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - General Assembly's human rights committee adopts resolution urging Iran to halt persecution of political opponents following country's disputed presidential election 

Tehran opens laughter workshops
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Iranian capital's city council hopes to lighten mood left in city following post-election crackdown by opening laughter classes – despite it being frowned upon in Islamic law 

6 powers press Iran on nuclear issue
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Six world powers say Tehran did not respond positively to IAEA proposal on uranium enrichment, urge Iran to 'reconsider opportunity offered by this agreement, to engage seriously with us in dialogue and negotiations' 

Israel to send first warship to NATO naval force
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Ship to join Active Endeavor force, aimed at curbing terrorism in Mediterranean. Dispatch marks upgrade in Israel-NATO ties 

ElBaradei advises West not to impose sanctions on Iran
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - UN nuclear watchdog chief urges Tehran to agree fuel deal by year, says plan is rare chance to defuse mistrust over its nuclear program 

Israel, Egypt squeeze Gaza tunnel business 
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Israel attacks by air, and Egypt attacks on ground. As business becomes increasingly risky, tunnels closing at rapid pace, smugglers' incomes drop 

2 moderately injured in anti-fence rally 
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Some 400 Palestinians, left-wing activists take part in weekly demonstration against separation fence's route in West Bank village of Naalin, say IDF violated law by dispersing crowd with sniper fire. Army says protestors were hurling stones 

Israel arrsets 5 PA intelligence officers
YNet News 20 Nov 2009 - Five officers in Palestinian General Intelligence Service detained near West Bank village of Salfit. Palestinians say efforts being made to secure their release. Estimates are that arrests likely connected to PA investigation of collaborator 

Daily Star

Abbas confirms Palestinian vote to be postponed
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January will be postponed, confirming that he has accepted advice not to hold the vote. Abbas, speaking to BBC Arabic, said the Palestinian leadership would take measures to avoid a constitutional vacuum - although he did not spell these out.

35 Egypt police hurt as soccer violence simmers
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 Protesters hurled stones and firebombs at riot police near the Algerian Embassy in Cairo on Friday, leaving dozens of officers injured and triggering a diplomatic spat following a crucial soccer match. Several hundred demonstrators took to the streets following reports of attacks on Egyptian fans in Khartoum soon after their team missed out on a place at the 2010 World Cup finals to bitter rivals Algeria.

Iran has 'not responded positively' to nuclear offer
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 Major world powers expressed disappointment Friday that Iran has "not responded positively" to a plan for resolving the standoff over its nuclear program or agreed to new talks. "We are disappointed by the lack of follow-up" to understandings reached when the six powers met with Iranian officials in Geneva on October 1, they said in a statement after a meeting in Brussels.

Winter of discontent ahead for Gazans living in damaged homes and tents
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 Tens of thousands of Gazans living in tents and damaged homes face a wet, cold and miserable winter as Israel's blockade of the coastal territory continues to prevent the importation of building and reconstruction material. During the last few weeks Gazans were given a brief reprieve from the oncoming winter as an unseasonal snap of warmish.

Torture and killings rife in Yemen, says UN watchdog
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 The United Nations Committee against Torture called on Yemen on Friday to end the widespread torture of detainees and investigate allegations of unlawful killings by its security forces. It voiced concern at reports of grave violations "committed in the context of [Yemen's] fight against terrorism."

Mediating role wins kudos for Ankara among Arabs
Daily Star 20 Nov 2009 Turkey's efforts to solve regional problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the dispute over Iran's nuclear program have enhanced its standing among its Arab neighbors, a report said on Friday. About three-quarters of Arabs believed Turkey should be more active in tackling the region's problems, according to the study by the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic., Turkey's efforts to solve regional problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or the dispute over Iran's nuclear program have enhanced its standing among its Arab neighbors, a report said on Friday. About three-quarters of Arabs believed Turkey should be more active in tackling the region's problems, according to the study by the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic.

Palestinian Information Center

Halaika: Israeli plans to destroy the Aqsa Mosque in final stages
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - Palestinian MP Sameera Al-Halaika of Hamas’s parliamentary bloc in the PLC has warned Friday that the Israeli schemes to destroy the Aqsa Mosque were in their final stages..

Abbas’s militia kidnap seven Hamas’s supporters, IOF troops kidnap two others
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - The US-trained and financed PA security forces in the West Bank have arrested seven supporters of Hamas Movement in different parts of the West Bank over the past couple of days..

Bahar: Abbas and Fatah conspire against the Palestinian people and the PLC
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - Palestinian MP Dr. Ahmad Bahar, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian parliament said Friday that the legislature would continue its functions till a new parliament is elected..

IOA plans to build seven huge settlement suburbs in Occupied Jerusalem
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - The Quds information center has disclosed Thursday that the Israeli occupation authorities have prepared the blueprints for seven settlement projects in the occupied city of Jerusalem..

GCMHP: Gaza children need justice
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - The GCMHP said on Thursday that the deep wound that the children of Gaza were suffering due to the Israeli brutal aggressions could be cured only if justice is brought to those children.

ADU: Egypt would allow entry of Adahi meat into Gaza Strip during Eid
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - The emergency and relief committee of the Arab Doctors’ Union (ADU) has revealed that the Egyptian authorities would allow the entry of 200 tons of canned meat into the besieged Gaza Strip..

Nasr: Hamas adheres to national reconciliation with clear political vision
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - Mohammed Nasr, member of Hamas’s political bureau, has stressed Thursday that his Movement was and still is keen to end the Palestinian political rift and to achieve national reconciliation.

PA police arrest journalist
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - Palestinian Authority (PA) police have arrested Walid Suleiman, a Hebron-based journalist on suspicion of “inciting against the PA” and “undermining vital Palestinian interests.”

Israeli bulldozers demolish Palestinian building in Issawiya town
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - Israeli bulldozers demolished Wednesday afternoon a Palestinian residential building in Aqaba neighborhood of Issawiya town, northeast of occupied Jerusalem.

IOA allows limited quantity of cooking gas in Gaza for the first time in a month
PIC 20 Nov 2009 - The Israeli occupation authority (IOA) has allowed entry of a limited quantity of cooking gas into the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for the first time in a month.

Los Angeles Times

Egypt recalls envoy from Algeria over soccer violence 
LA Times 20 Nov 2009 - The move follows attacks on Egyptian fans after Algeria's victory in a World Cup qualifying match in Sudan. Egypt has recalled its ambassador to Algeria after Egyptian soccer fans were attacked by their Algerian counterparts following the two countries' playoff match in Sudan in the 2010 World Cup qualifications, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry announced Thursday. 

Nuclear fuel won't go abroad, Iranian says 
LA Times 19 Nov 2009 - Comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki may be a dismissal of a U.S.-backed plan, or an attempt to haggle. Iran's foreign minister vowed Wednesday that his nation wouldn't allow any of its enriched uranium supply out of the country, the most definitive statement so far on an international proposal to exchange the bulk of Iran's nuclear material for fuel rods fitted for a Tehran medical reactor. 

New York Times

Real Estate Shopping Is Used as Political Theater on Jerusalem’s Contested Ground
New York Times 19 Nov 2009 - The conundrum of Jerusalem was fully in evidence as a Brooklyn lawmaker talked of buying into a Jewish apartment complex in a Palestinian neighborhood. 

Mideast Peace Talks Hang in Balance Over Abbas
New York Times 19 Nov 2009 - The Israeli security establishment is alarmed over the possible departure of President Mahmoud Abbas, whom it considers a true moderate. 

Plan to Expand Jerusalem Settlement Angers U.S.
New York Times 18 Nov 2009 - Israel said it had advanced plans to expand a district of Jerusalem that Palestinians also claim, a move likely to complicate the White House’s efforts at peace talks. 

A Mideast Truce
New York Times 17 Nov 2009 - Peace between Israelis and Palestinians is unattainable. The wounds of the past decade are too deep.


Extensive Israeli Campaign Against Palestinian Civil Construction Activities in Area C; New Demolition Orders Issued Against 60 Palestinian Houses, Apartments and other Civilian Facilities in the West Bank
Alternative Information Center - 19 Nov 2009 - Israeli Occupation Forces have escalated their systematic campaign against Palestinian civilian construction activities in areas under their full control according to the Oslo Accords signed by the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1993. Areas classified as Areas C in the West...

J Street seeks to undermine BDS
Mondoweiss - 20 Nov 2009 - We’ve been following J Street’s attempts to counteract the growing BDS movement. First there was its aborted release of a public letter criticizing the Toronto Declaration . Then there was the workshop at its student conference called “ Reckoning with the Radical Left on Campus: Alternatives to...

The Atlantic gets Einstein wrong, twice
Mondoweiss - 20 Nov 2009 - " How Einstein Divided America’s Jews ," an article by Walter Isaacson in the current Atlantic magazine is a curious little piece, inaccurate by what it says and perhaps moreso by what it omits. The headline is simply untrue (Einstein did not divide America’s Jews) —...

When the Mets support the Hebron Fund the terrorists win
Mondoweiss - 20 Nov 2009 - (NY1 reports on Wednesday’s protest outside the baseball commissioner’s office ) Jews Against the Occupation’s Aaron Levitt writes in Electronic Intifada about how the Hebron settlers should be considered terrorists, and the work on the Hebron Fund is supporting terrorism: I have witnessed this behavior by men...

the public interest?
Mondoweiss - 20 Nov 2009 - From the JTA : Canada’s opposition Liberal Party is crying foul after the ruling Conservatives mailed out flyers extolling themselves as stronger supporters of Israel. Related posts: The National Interest, and the Israeli interest Shocker: ‘New York Public Library’ to Become ‘Schwarzman Public Library’ 3 Jews in...

Joe Lieberman doesn’t answer the only question
Mondoweiss - 20 Nov 2009 - Nahum Barnea in Yedioth Ahronoth. Can’t find it online yet: Grand Park is the most luxurious hotel in Ramallah. On Sunday afternoon, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad held a press conference there. About 20 local reporters, security people, Fayyad, US Senator Joe Lieberman and others from...


Bantustans and the unilateral declaration of statehood 
Virginia Tilley, Electronic Intifada 11/19/2009
      From a rumor, to a rising murmur, the proposal floated by the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) Ramallah leadership to declare Palestinian statehood unilaterally has suddenly hit center stage. The European Union, the United States and others have rejected it as "premature," but endorsements are coming from all directions: journalists, academics, nongovernmental organization activists, Israeli right-wing leaders (more on that later). The catalyst appears to be a final expression of disgust and simple exhaustion with the fraudulent "peace process" and the argument goes something like this: if we can’t get a state through negotiations, we will simply declare statehood and let Israel deal with the consequences.
     But it’s no exaggeration to propose that this idea, although well-meant by some, raises the clearest danger to the Palestinian national movement in its entire history, threatening to wall Palestinian aspirations into a political cul-de-sac from which it may never emerge. The irony is indeed that, through this maneuver, the PA is seizing -- even declaring as a right -- precisely the same dead-end formula that the African National Congress (ANC) fought so bitterly for decades because the ANC leadership rightly saw it as disastrous. That formula can be summed up in one word: Bantustan.
     It has become increasingly dangerous for the Palestinian national movement that the South African Bantustans remain so dimly understood. If Palestinians know about the Bantustans at all, most imagine them as territorial enclaves in which black South Africans were forced to reside yet lacked political rights and lived miserably. This partial vision is suggested by Mustafa Barghouthi’s recent comments at the Wattan Media Centre in Ramallah, when he cautioned that Israel wanted to confine the Palestinians into "Bantustans" but then argued for a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood within the 1967 boundaries -- although nominal "states" without genuine sovereignty are precisely what the Bantustans were designed to be. more.. e-mail

Defying Israeli Genocide at Home (in School) And Abroad (in Court) 
Mohammed Omer, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 11/1/2009
      Although ignored by much of the Western media, a battle which echoes the biblical story of David and Goliath is taking place in The Hague. In the modern-day version, young David is personified by a soft-spoken 15-year-old girl named Amira Alqerem. Goliath takes the form of the world’s fourth most powerful, nuclear-armed military state: Israel. At stake is victims’ rights the world over and the international commitment to “never again.” It is this commitment—as well as to international law, as laid down in the Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—that Amira is asking the International Criminal Court (ICC) to recognize and uphold.
     The teenager’s story begins in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 14, 2009, in the waning days of Israel’s murderous “Operation Cast Lead” assault on Gaza. Residents of the Tal Al Hawa neighborhood, her family awoke to the sound of a missile smashing into their home, killing Amira’s 42-year-old father, a shoe industry businessman with permission to enter Israel on business, and injuring her in the leg. With Amira wounded, her 16-year-old sister and 14-year-old brother left her in the damaged home and went to seek assistance. Both were killed by another Israeli missile before they could return to Amira. For several days the injured teenager lay in the rubble beneath the veranda, surviving on water dripping from a partially functioning faucet and drifting in and out of consciousness. Finally, realizing that help would not come to her, she stumbled to her father’s dead body, hoping his cell phone would work—but it no longer did.
     Looking out at the rubble of her former neighborhood, the young girl recognized a journalist’s home which was still standing. Painstakingly, dragging her injured leg, she made her way to the door, found it open and entered. Inside she found water bottles and clothing. Weak, she lost consciousness again. She was saved when the home’s occupants returned and discovered her. more.. e-mail

Breaking the vessels 
Jeff Halper, Ma’an News Agency 11/20/2009
      The Palestinian Authority will not unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state. In fact, the whole issue seems a misunderstanding. 
     Concerned that the US has backtracked on a two state solution based on the 1967 borders and that Israel was getting the world used to the "fact" that the settlements and the wall, rather than ’67 borders, now defined the parameters of a future Palestinian state (on only 15 percent of historic Palestine), the PA simply wanted the Security Council to reaffirm that principle.
     "What should we do while the Israeli government is busy with fait accompli actions," asked PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, "but to turn to the Security Council to preserve the option of two states? We want the Security Council to declare that the two-state solution is the only option and that it would recognize the state of Palestine on the ’67 borders and to live side by side with the State of Israel."
     The PA hoped, perhaps even expected, that the US would go along. Through an escalation of rhetoric this simple clarification became the basis of speculation, against the background of President Mahmoud Abbas’ threatened resignation, that the Palestinians would attempt to force the hand of the international community and announce the establishment of their state.
     But what if it did happen? What if Abbas would actually announce the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, ask the nations of the world to recognize it and then apply for admission to the UN? more.. e-mail

Electronic Intifada
Tribute to terror leader Kahane planned by Israeli legislators
Electronic Intifada: 20 Nov 2009 - A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned. Jonathan Cook reports. 

Israeli forces shoot at Gaza bird-catchers, farmers
Electronic Intifada: 20 Nov 2009 - On 15 November at 8:30am, a number of young men went as usual to the land near Gaza's northern border with Israel planning to catch birds. Amjad Hassanain, 27, was among the bird-catchers hunting near the border fence when Israeli soldiers began shooting. Eva Bartlett reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

The New York Mets and the business of terrorism
Electronic Intifada: 20 Nov 2009 - When I first learned that the New York Mets were hosting a fundraiser for the nonprofit Hebron Fund in support of the Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, I honestly assumed it was a joke, albeit a poor one. When I realized this was an actual, planned event, I still found it almost impossible to believe. This is because, even aside from the devastating impact of settlement expansion on the prospects for peace in the region, I have had the misfortune to see the fruits of the Hebron Fund's labors. Aaron Levitt comments for The Electronic Intifada. 

Book review: A Palestinian century in a poet's life
Electronic Intifada: 20 Nov 2009 - My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness bills itself as "A Poet's Life in the Palestinian Century." To better understand Adina Hoffman's biography of the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, however, consider it: "A Palestinian Century in a Poet's Life." But this syntactical slip doesn't discredit Hoffman's work. By deftly stacking shattered recollections atop dusty stones of history Hoffman has built a literary landmark -- not only is My Happiness the first English-language biography of a Palestinian writer, it offers an evocative biography of pre-1948 Palestine. Mya Guarnieri reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

In Gaza
where is the buffer zone?
19 Nov 2009 - At 8:30 on November 15, a number of young men went as usual to the land near Gaza’s northern border with Israel, intending to catch birds. Amjad Hassanain, 27, was among the bird-catchers hunting near the border fence when Israeli soldiers began shooting. The shots which missed the other bird-catchers hit Hassanain, grazing his shoulder. Cameraman Abdul Rahman Hussain, filming in the vicinity, reports having seen the group of bird-catches head north. “We were near the former Israeli settlement of Doghit,” said Hussain, referring to the area northwest of Beit Lahia in Gaza’s north. “I had gone to the border area to photograph a young bird-catcher. We were about 400...

Palestine Chronicle
Tribute to Kahane Planned by Israeli Legislators
20 Nov 2009 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organisation, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned. A move to stage the commemoration in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is being led by Michael Ben-Ari, who was elected this year and is the first self-declared former member of Kahane's party, Kach, to become a legislator since the movement was banned 15 years ago. The US Embassy, in Tel Aviv, has sent a series of e-mails to Reuven Rivlin, the parliamentary speaker, asking that he intervene to block the event. According to US officials, pressure is being exerted on behalf of George Mitchell, the US president Barack Obama's envoy to the region, who is concerned that it will add to his troubles as Israeli and Palestinian leaders clash over a possible move by the Palestinians to issue a unilateral declaration of statehood. Some Israeli legislators have warned that Mr Ben-Ari and his supporters are gaining a stronger foothold in parliament, in an indication of the country's increasing lurch rightwards. "Ben-Ari and the advisers he has brought with him are unabashed representatives for Kach and Kahane's ideas," said Ahmed Tibi, an Arab legislator and the deputy speaker. "What we have is in effect a terrorist cell in the parliament." Kahane, a US rabbi who emigrated to Israel in the early...

Hizballah in War and Peace
19 Nov 2009 - By Nicholas Noe Four and a half years after Syrian troops were unexpectedly cajoled out of Lebanon, and more than three years after the end of a (nearly) "open" war with Israel, the Shi'ite movement Hizballah appears not only militarily stronger, as many of its enemies attest, but also politically and ideologically more secure, confident and, to a certain degree, coherent. Indeed, as far as Hizballah is concerned, the March 14 movement that helped kick the Syrians out and that managed to maintain a narrow parliamentary majority in last summer's election (reportedly with the help of more than $750 million in Saudi financing) has effectively ceased to exist. There is, quite simply, no domestic power right now that can substantially challenge or even "contain" Hizballah's independent arsenal--all the more so since there is also no credible external power to provide the kind of support that would be vital in such an effort. Reconciliations and "thawings" with nearby Damascus are instead the order of the day, as Saudi and Egyptian power in the country retreats and regional differences sharpen around the unexpectedly swift decline of the "settlement camp" as a whole. These external factors, of course, have greatly helped in solidifying and clarifying Hizballah's overall position. But as key theoreticians in the party, including its current head, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, have long argued, the main existential danger threatening the movement's twin goals of fully liberating Lebanese territories and hastening the demise of the Jewish state of Israel (setting aside the threat...

What's Faith Got to Do With it?
19 Nov 2009 - By Aijaz Zaka Syed - Dubai Just when relations between the United States and the Islamic world appeared to be improving slowly but decisively, thanks to President Barack Obama, it seems we are back to square one. The Fort Hood shooting, allegedly by a second generation Arab American army psychiatrist killing 13 US Army men and women, has in one swift move undone all the hard work by Muslim Americans to bridge the gulf with mainstream America. Since Obama took over, the US media and officials have been uncharacteristically restrained, avoiding references to religion in discussions and comments on the war on terror. All that is history now. For the no holds-barred US media and the shrill Republican neocons, it's as though Fort Hood has opened floodgates to all the anger, hatred and sheer malice towards Muslims pent up for sometime. From personally blaming Obama for the attack to blasting politically correct pantywaists who are inviting the 'Islamofascists' to take over Christian, white America, the media and the bored Republicans have pounced on the usual suspects like hungry wolves. Kosher Joe Lieberman, who once dreamed of being the first Jewish president, wants the US military investigated for "dereliction of duty". Republican Peter Hoekstra vows to unmask "cover-ups in the White House." Columnist Michelle Malkin blasts the US Army for its "blind diversity" that embraces a faith like Islam, which "equals death." Another Jewish columnist Jonah Goldberg argues, "there's a powerful case to be made that Islamic extremism is not some...

Zionist Control of Britain's Government: 1940-2009
19 Nov 2009 - By William A. Cook 'After so many years of setting the tone, bribing UK politicians and controlling the BBC they (Zionists) are used to being untouchable.' (Gilad Atzmon, “Britain Must de-Zionist Itself Immediately,” Nov. 17, 2009, MWC News). This week the British people listened to the Daily Mail’s Peter Oborne present, on Channel 4, his devastating account of the Jewish lobby’s control of their government. Now we know that virtually all the principal politicians in the UK of both parties, like their brothers across the lake in our House and Senate, take “contributions” from the Israeli lobby machine ensuring that the Anglo-American mid-east policies follow the dictates of the Israeli government. Gilad Atzmon responded to this report in his article “Britain must de-Zionise itself immediately,” noting that this control has been in place for so many years the lobby feels “untouchable.” How many years are “many” one might ask? In 1941, the High Commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, Senior Palestine Mandate officer for the British Mandate forces in Palestine, sent the following “Top Secret” “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence” to the Secretary of State, dated October 16th, a report prepared by The Palestine Police, Criminal Investigation Department: The memorandum illustrates—indeed, brings into full limelight—the fact that the Mandatory is faced potentially with as grave a danger in Palestine from Jewish violence as it ever faced from Arab violence, a danger infinitely less easy to meet by the methods...

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