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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
21 December, 2009


International Middle East Media Center

Coordinator Of Stop The Wall Campaign Imprisoned By Israel
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 22, 2009 - 05:00, Jamal Juma’, coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, in Israeli jail – the latest in Israel’s attempt to silence Palestinian non violent resistance, Israeli security first summoned Juma’ for interrogation at midnight of December 15.

Israeli Ministers Meeting Ends With No Agreement On Shalit Deal
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 22, 2009 - 04:01, Israeli Sources reported Monday that Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, held a meeting with Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, Ministers Dani Yaalon, Dan Meridor, Benni Begin and Eli YIshai, and Israeli Army Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, but failed to reach an agreement on Shalit deal.

Israeli government admits to harvesting organs from dead Palestinians
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 22, 2009 - 03:04, The Israeli government has admitted that the practice of organ harvesting did occur in the 1990s, after a recording surfaced in which Dr. Yehuda Hiss, the chief pathologist of the Israeli forensics Institute, described in detail the harvesting of skin, corneas and other organs from Palestinians and Israelis without their family’s consent.

Sheikh Salah Banned From Jerusalem
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 22, 2009 - 02:14, The head of the so-called Home Front Command of the Israeli Military, Gen, Yari Golan, decided on Monday to ban Sheikh Raed Salah, head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, from entering Jerusalem for three weeks.

Israeli Soldier Killed During Training
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Tuesday December 22, 2009 - 01:53, Israeli sources reported Monday that a soldier of the Golani Brigade was shot in the head and died of his wounds during a training accident at a military base in the Golan Heights.

PLFP: Hamas Is Stalling National Unity Deal
IMEMC 22 Dec 2009 - Monday December 21, 2009 - 15:07, Abed Al Raheem Malouh, general secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, blamed the Hamas Movement for stalling an agreement on National reconciliation.

Ma'an News

Protesters denounce Egypt’s Gaza border wall
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Hamas supporters held a peaceful demonstration at Gaza's Rafah border crossing with Egypt on Monday, denouncing the construction of a steel wall along the border. Egypt's construction of the wall was exposed earlier in December. The barrier is planned to extend underground in order to cut off smuggling tunnels used to import goods made scare by an Israeli-led blockade. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri labeled the barrier a "wall of oppression and siege that will suffocate the residents of Gaza "¦ a wall of death. " He said Egyptian human rights groups and politicians should pressure their government to stop construction of the wall. An Egyptian security official told Ma'an that Egypt declared a state of alert along the border during the demonstration. Security forces were deployed to the area to prevent Palestinians from breaching the border. 

Family of man killed during Shalit capture wants body back
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The family of a Palestinian fighter killed in the operation that captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit said on Monday that it wants his body to be returned in a potential prisoner exchange. Speaking on behalf of the Farwana family, Abdul Nasser Farwana, himself a former prisoner, urged Shalits captors to demand the return of the remains of Muhammad Farwana, who was killed during the 25 June 2006 raid on a military position near the Kerem Shalom crossing. The call came amid news reports that Israel and Palestinian factions led by Hamas could be getting closer to a deal. The captors are insisting on the release of some 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit. Muhammad Farwana, 23, was a member of the Army of Islam, one of the factions that participated in the 2006 raid, which they dubbed Operation Scattered Illusions. 

Officials: Egypt should allow building materials into Gaza
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - The deputy head of the Palestinian power authority Kan'an Ubeid on Monday called for pressure on Egypt to open the Rafah crossing and to establish a crossing equipped to ship construction material into Gaza. Virtually no reconstruction has taken place in Gaza since the Israeli military offensive a year ago that devastated the coastal territory. Israel prohibits the import of building materials, including concrete, metal rods, glass panes, and pipes. The Rafah crossing into Egypt is designated for passengers only. Ubeid's comments came during a ceremony in Gaza launching a Reconstruction Council. He told Ma'an that pressure could be exerted on Egypt through peaceful demonstrations, the Arab League, or through direct negotiations with the Egyptian government. He also explained that the goal of the newly-established council is to unite all Palestinian efforts to reconstruct the Gaza Strip from the war. 

Israel extends detention of anti-wall campaigner Juma
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - An Israeli judge extended the detention of Jamal Juma, the Palestinian anti-wall activist, during a hearing on Monday, a spokesman said. Prosecutors demanded another 14 days of detention, but the judge ordered only four, according to Ghaith Hilal, a spokesperson for the Stop the Wall Campaign of which Juma is the coordinator. But Hilal said, it was "very likely" that he would be held beyond the four days. Juma is being held in West Jerusalem's Russian Compound prison on "suspicion of incitement," he said. Monday's hearing, in the courthouse adjacent to the prison, was the first time Juma saw a lawyer since he was detained by Israeli forces on 16 December, Hilal said. Juma is the latest of several high-profile figures from Palestinian civil society who have been jailed by Israel. 

Israeli incursion, shelling reported in Gaza
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Twenty Israeli military vehicles backed by Apache helicopters invaded the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday night, witnesses reported. Palestinians said they saw the vehicles operating in the Al-Ghoul area, northwest of Gaza City. Gunfire was also heard in the area. However, an Israeli military representative said he was "not familiar with any such operations. " Meanwhile witnesses also reported that an Israeli shell fell in the town of Beit Hanoun, also in the northern Gaza Strip. Muawiyah Hasanein, the head of the ambulance and emergency services in the Gaza Health Ministry said that no injuries were reported in the incidents. Earlier, on Sunday evening, armed Palestinian men affiliated with the PFLP and DFLP said they traded gunfire With Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip. A military spokesman said an Israeli patrol had come under fire near the Nahal Oz crossing. 

Two Gaza goods crossings open, one closed
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli authorities opened the Kerem Shalom crossing and the Karni crossing with the Gaza Strip on Monday, while keeping the Nahal Oz fuel terminal closed on Monday, a Palestinian border crossing official said. The official, Raed Fattouh, said 70-80 trucks of humanitarian aid and commercial goods would be allowed into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing, in addition to limited amounts of cooking gas and industrial diesel for the struggling power plant. Furthermore, Israel will allow 99 truckloads of wheat and animal feed through the Karni crossing, Fattouh said. On Sunday, Israel opened the Kerem Shalom crossing for imports, and one truckload of flowers grown in Gaza was exported. According to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, last week Israel allowed 615 truckloads of goods into Gaza, a figure equal to one fifth the weekly. . . 

Israel seizes four in night raids
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained four Palestinians overnight in the West Bank, the military said on Monday. A military representative said one "wanted" person was detained from the village of Jalbun, east of Jenin, one from Ramallah, and two from Beit Ummar, north of Hebron. Residents of Jalbun, a village adjacent to the Israeli separation wall, said soldiers entered the village in several vehicles and then surrounded the house of Yousef Abu Al-Rab, 32, a school teacher. The troops searched the house before taking Abu Al-Rab to an unknown location. The sources added that the Israeli soldiers threw stun grenades during the operation. Israeli forces also raided the villages At-Tayba, Al-Jumla and Rummana, also in the Jenin area, residents reported. Soldiers were also seen searching farmland near the separation wall in the same area. 

Gaza’s Christians pray they’ll reach Bethlehem
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - As pilgrims from across the world descend on the West Bank city of Bethlehem for Christmas, Palestinian Christians trapped in Gaza are left to pray that they will be allowed to attend this year's celebration. "Oh Lord of peace, grant our country peace, plant the fruit of love in our hearts and give us freedom. . . We want to live like everyone else. We pray in this feast that the Palestinian people would reconcile, the siege would be lifted, and we would be able to go to Bethlehem, the birthplace of our Lord. "These were the prayers sent up by Father George, the pastor of the Latin (Roman Catholic) Church in Gaza. Like 3,000 Gazan Christians, Father George is praying for a permit from the Israeli military to leave Gaza and visit Bethlehem. He also pointed out that this year Christmas marks the grim one-year anniversary. . . 

Israel ’confirms organ harvesting’
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Israel has confirmed that its forensic scientists in the 1990s took organs from dead bodies, including those of Palestinians, without their families' consent, an Israeli television report said. Israel's Channel 2 TV aired an interview on Saturday with the former director of the Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr Yehuda Hiss, in which he admitted to taking skin, corneas, heart valves, and bones from Israeli soldiers, Israeli civilians, Palestinians and foreign workers. The report appeared to confirm the premise of an article in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet, which caused an explosive controversy when it appeared in August. The article quoted Palestinians alleging that Israel returned their relatives bodies with their chests sewn up, suggesting organ harvesting. Israeli officials denounced the report at the time, labeling it "anti-Semitic," but did not comment on the specific allegations. 

Brothers detained during Gaza war released
12/21/2009 - Gaza - Ma'an - Israeli officials released Gazan brothers Saed and Ibrahim Kassab from prison Sunday, after both served nearly a year in administrative detention. The brothers, from the Zaytoun neighborhood in Gaza City, were detained by Israeli soldiers during that country's war on the Gaza Strip which began on 27 December 2008. The men were taken during raids into area when Israeli troops entered the Strip during the ground invasion on 3 January. The brothers were held without charge, the Wa'ed Detainees Association reported on Monday. The men were received by their friends and family at the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. [end] 

Al-Aqsa member sentenced to 5 years in jail
12/21/2009 - Nablus - Ma'an - The Israeli military court in the settlement of Ofer sentenced Yousef Dabak, from the village Tayasir near Tubas, to five years in prison on Monday for membership in the Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah. Dabak was also fined 3,000 shekels. After being listed on Israel's "wanted" list for five years, Dabak was detained on 4 December 2007. [end] 

Knesset to question health minister on organ theft
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - The Knesset has approved a request for the former Israeli health minister to answer lawmakers' questions about the unauthorized harvesting of tissue from dead bodies by Israeli personnel in the 1990s. An Israeli television report confirmed on Saturday that Israeli physicians took corneas, heart valves, and bones from Israeli soldiers, Israeli civilians, Palestinians and foreign workers at the Abu Kibir forensic institute. The demand for questioning came from Ahmad Tibi, a prominent Arab-Palestinian member of the Knesset. "I broached this issue some years ago through questioning the former Health Minister Nissim Dahan. Some days ago, I spoke about it, and Ma'an and the Arab and international media have quoted me," Tibi told Ma'an in an interview. "Looking at the importance of the new developments that were revealed by Israeli Channel 2 and the sound. . . 

Reports: Israel seizes East Jerusalem youth in raid
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Israeli forces detained a young Palestinian from East Jerusalem on Monday evening, news reports said. The youth was arrested during a raid on his house in Kafr Aqab. An M16 assault rifle and other weapons were found during the operation, and the unidentified Palestinian was taken for interrogation, reports said. [end] 

Israeli ministers hold marathon Shalit talks
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an/Agencies - Seven senior Israeli cabinet ministers met on Monday morning for the fourth time in 24 hours to discuss a potential prisoner exchange with Hamas. According to Israeli news reports, the seven meet late into Sunday night to discuss the terms of a potential deal, which could see the release of captured soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Also on Monday, Shalit's mother, Aviva urged the ministers to approve a deal, saying their rejection would sentence him to death. "Everyone voting needs to realize that his vote could bring about one of two results, a death sentence for Gilad or his release from captivity," she told told Army Radio. "This is a difficult day, but I hope it will end with more encouraging news. 

Japan to fund solar power plant in Jericho
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Caretaker Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed two agreements worth a total of 23 million US dollars with the government of Japan on Monday. Japan's representative to the Palestinian Authority (PA), Naofumi Hashimoto, also signed the deals. One "non-project" agreement for 16. 7 million dollars was intended "to alleviate the PA's financial difficulties," according to the Japanese representative. The other agreement is a grant of 6. 7 million to build a photovoltaic power plant in the West Bank city of Jericho. The plant will be the first of its kind in the West Bank. It will be connected to the city's power grid in the future to an agro-industrial park Japan wants to build in the Jordan Valley under its "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" initiative. 

PA to follow up on organ harvesting allegations
12/21/2009 - Ramallah - Ma'an - Israeli organ harvesting, settlements, climate change and Christmas topped the agenda of the Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet meeting on Monday, in which ministers joined together in calling the Bethlehem Christmas tree a symbol of Palestinian unity and peace. On the recent reports in the Israeli media allegedly confirming the theft of Palestinian organs in the 1990s, the PLO Central Council delegated Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe to launch an investigation into the issue and follow up with the government. The appointment was followed by a unanimous condemnation of the reported acts, and a call on the international community to help protect the rights and dignity of Palestinian prisoners. The cabinet sent thanks to the EU for their firm statements against the continued construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, and requested that the union take practical steps to see the construction halted. 

PFLP: Hamas stalling national unity
12/21/2009 - Hebron - Ma'an - The leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) accused Hamas of holding up a national unity deal on Monday. Abdul Rahim Mallouh, the PFLP's deputy secretary-general said Hamas' refusal to sign Egypt's proposal for reconciliation with the rival Fatah party was stalling a deal. Mallouh said in an interview with Ma'an radio that Hamas was not alone in calling for amendments to the plan, but he said other factions accepted the proposal. In October Fatah signed Egypt's proposal, which called for an interim governing committee that would take control of the Gaza Strip from the Hamas government there. Hamas said the proposal was unfair and would potentially disarm its militant wing. Mallouh's statement comes amid escalating tensions between Hamas on Fatah. In an interview with Ma'an radio on Sunday, Fatah leader Azzam Al-Ahmad urged Palestinians in Gaza to rise up and overthrow Hamas. 

Bethlehem police say ready for Christmas
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Palestinian police in Bethlehem completed preparatory drills and safety training Monday, after which local Police Chief Khalid Tamimi declared the forces ready for Christmas. Tamimi released a statement saying the police were prepared to work with all levels of the Palestinian security teams to ensure that Christians, pilgrims and visitors to the holy city would be able to enjoy the season safely. Protocol for this year's celebrations was planned incooperation with religious, governmental and non-governmental organizations, Tamimi said, noting all sides were excited and ready to receive the floods of celebrators in Manger Square. On 24 December police escort the Latin Patriarch of Palestine and Jordan Fouad Twail as he enters Bethlehem from the northern entrance via Manger street an then up through Star Street and on toward the Nativity Church. 

PSE drops: Al-Quds Index down 0.74% on Monday
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - Stocks fell on the Palestine Securities Exchange in the West Bank city of Nablus on Monday. The Al-Quds Index closed at 487. 14, decreasing by 3. 61 points (0. 74%). Trading volume was 570,540 shares, traded a total value of 597,969. 94 US dollars, in 261 trades. The shares of 23 companies were traded. The share prices of five companies rose, while nine declined. The top five gainers were AHC by 5. 00%, NSC by 3. 70%, LADAEN by 3. 23%, UCI by 1. 49%, and PCB by 1. 41%. The top five losers PRICO by 3. 85%, AIG by 3. 70%, BOP by 1. 89%, NIC by 1. 76%, and PIIC by 1. 45%. [end] 

Report: Syrian teen killed in north Lebanon shooting
12/21/2009 - Bethlehem - Ma'an - A teenager was killed when a bus carrying 25 Syrian passengers came under fire in northern Lebanon at 2am on Monday, the country's National News Agency (NNA) reported. The agency identified the casualty as 18-year-old "Abdullah A. A. "The shooting took place in the town of Deir Ammar, on the highway between Akkar and Tripoli. The report comes a day after a high-profile summit in Damascus between Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in which the two hailed strengthened relations. [end] 

Ha'aretz Defense page

IDF soldier dies in freak training accident in Golan Heights
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Pvt. Mor Cohen, 19, dies after being hit by a bullet fired by another soldier during urban combat drill. 

Islamic Movement head banned from entering Jerusalem
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - IDF orders 3-week ban 'to maintain public peace and order;' Ra'ad Salah will be able to appeal order. 

Netanyahu's brother-in-law: Free Shalit through war, not talks
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Hagai Ben Artzi argues with Noam Shalit; Ron Arad's wife: Bringing Shalit back home is Israel's 'moral duty.' 

IDF reservists declare solidarity with ousted hesder yeshiva
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Reservists hang sign claiming 'We are all Har Bracha;' settler activist: 'We have surprises' for the IDF. 

Egypt raises alert as Hamas plans to protest new Gaza barrier
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Cairo says Gazans have been shooting at Egyptians installing the underground metal barrier in recent weeks. 

Renegade hesder rabbi capitulates in row with IDF
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Rabbi Melamed agrees to denounce political demonstrations by Israeli soldiers in uniform. 

Hamas: We're helping foreign lawyers prosecute Israelis
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Militant group giving U.K. lawyers info on war crimes allegedly committed by Israel leaders, AFP reports. 

IDF: Leaked memo on settlement freeze was just a draft
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - IDF memo obtained by Haaretz: Raids and air surveillance will be among tactics used to enforce freeze. 

Barak and Egypt intel chief discuss Hamas, peace talks
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Defense minister reiterates need to prevent Hamas from boosting its weaponry, including rockets. 

Gazans shoot at Egyptians building underground border barrier
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Officials say no one hurt in incident, which was fourth such shooting since construction on barrier begun. 

One strike could have ended Iran nuclear program in 2004
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Had the Isfahan been bombed, Iran would have lost large quantities of raw material for uranium enrichment. 

Rabbis unite against Barak in IDF-yeshiva row
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Hesder yeshiva heads launch blistering personal attack after Defense Min. ousted rabbi from IDF program. 


Christians of Palestine Decry 'Absence of All Hope'
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - ...Palestinian Christian leaders, representing churches and church-related organizations, meeting in Bethlehem, the birth place of Jesus Christ, which is under the Israeli military occupation since 1967, have launched a "landmark campaign" aimed at enlisting Christians worldwide in proactive efforts to end the occupation of Palestinian territories. The unprecedented initiative, called "Kairos Palestine-2009: A moment of truth,"...

US aid to Israel in fiscal year 2010 at $2.775b
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - US foreign aid to Israel will rise by US$225 million in fiscal year 2010. Israel can spend up to 25% of the sum for defense purchases. US President Barack Obama signed last week the foreign aid budget law for 2010 which includes the granting of US$2.775 billion in security aid to Israel. US foreign aid to...

Letter from Gaza
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - ...Now, my father is in one country and I am in another, while my mother is trapped in the West Bank, unable to travel for fear of never being allowed back. Thankfully, my brother and sisters are able to cross into Jordan, where we may see each other, but our family has been torn apart and...

GYPT Under Pressure to Stop Life - Line Convoy to Gaza !
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - There are no legitimate reasons for Egypt to block the aid convoy of drivers and emergency vehicles to enter Gaza via the Egyptian border.To even assume that the Egyptian authorities would think of such an ill deed against convoys of Human Rights activists - adding more anguish to it's suffering Muslim brothers and sisters and their...

Gaza's civilians still unable to rebuild one year after 'Operation Cast Lead'
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to back their words with effective action to secure the ending of the Israeli blockade which is preventing reconstruction and recovery, say a group of 16 leading humanitarian and human rights groups in a new report released today (22 December) ahead of the anniversary of...

Free Jamal Juma'! - Free the anti-Wall prisoners!
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - Jamal Juma' was arrested by Israeli authorities on December 16. This arrest follows the imprisonment of Mohammad Othman, another Stop the Wall activist, and Abdallah Abu Rahmeh, a leading figure in the Bil'in popular committee against the Wall, as well as dozens more that are currently in prison for their action and advocacy against the Wall....

The World's Betrayal of Gaza One Year on Gaza Massacre
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - Despite the passage of an entire one year since the cruel Israeli onslaught against the people of the Gaza Strip, the international community has done very little to remedy the effects and aftereffects of the Nazi-like Israeli campaign. Under the rubric of fighting Hamas, the Palestinian Muslim liberation movement, the Israeli army on December 27, 2008,...

Gaza's Christians pray they'll reach Bethlehem
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - As pilgrims from across the world descend on the West Bank city of Bethlehem for Christmas, Palestinian Christians trapped in Gaza are left to pray that they will be allowed to attend this year's celebration. "Oh Lord of peace, grant our country peace, plant the fruit of love in our hearts and give us freedom ... We...

Coins and bombs
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - coins from Palestine, before the Nakba, before the occupation, before the siege, before the massacre. History and beauty remain in Palestine, despite Israel's effort to erase the history, the memories, the life...

British bill to protect Israelis from prosecution
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - The British government will introduce legislation early in the new year to stop Israeli ministers and officials facing arrest for war crimes every time they visit the UK. The move is intended to calm Israeli fury after Tzipi Livni, the opposition party leader and foreign minister at the time of the Gaza invasion a year ago,...

Egypt Says It Will Block International Gaza Freedom Marchers
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - On December 31, together with more than 1000 peace advocates from around the world, I'm planning to join tens of thousands of Palestinians in a march in Gaza to the Erez border crossing to protest the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and to demand international action to relieve Gaza's humanitarian crisis. Unfortunately, it appears that the Egyptian...

Israel Admits Stealing Palestinian Organs
Uruknet December 21, 2009 - ...Ahmed Teibi, a member of the Israeli Knesset and head of the Arab nationalist Party, insists that the new evidence incriminates the Israeli army and government. "If such is what they are willing to admit, imagine how much they are concealing," he told Teibi says the revelations amounted to irrefutable evidence proving that Israeli doctors...

Palestine Telegraph

CIA working with Palestinian security agents‏
Ramallah, December 21, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank. Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned. Less than a year after Barack Obama signed...

Israeli Cabinet Discuss Prisoner Deal
Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE AR-SA MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Palestine, December 21, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - Today morning, senior Israeli cabinet ministers convened for the fourth time for discussions on a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas, this would free Gilad Shalit after more than three years in captivity. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other six ministers met today:...

Occupation Authorities Free Two Detainees from Gaza
Gaza, December 21, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) -Wa'ed society for detainees and liberated announced that the Israeli forces released two detainees after imprisoning them for a year in the Israeli detention yesterday. The two detainees, Mohammad Kasab and Ibrahim Kasab, are brothers from Al-Zaytoon neighborhood in Gaza.   Wa'ed society revealed in a statement that the two detainees were arrested within...

IOF Detain 4 Palestinian Citizens from West Bank
West Bank, December 21, 2009, (Pal Telegraph) - The Israeli occupation forces detained 4 citizens from the west Bank governorates at dawn today. Local sources clarified that the Israeli occupation forces raided Ramallah, Jenin and Hebron governorates and arrested a citizen from Ramallah governorate, another from Jenin governorate and two from Beit Ummer village in Hebron governorate.

Clashes with Special Israeli Forces in Biet Hanoun
Gaza, December 21, 2009 (Pal Telegraph) - At a late hour of yesterday night a Special Israeli Forces sneaked into Biet Hanoun, in north Gaza Strip and clashed with the Palestinian resistance. The resistance fighters repulsed the force who invaded the industrial region, in east of Biet Hanoun, by opening the fire of their machine guns. Fierce clashes took place...

The National

Hariri's visit stokes old fears in Lebanon
The National 21 Dec 2009 - The Lebanese prime minister faces widespread internal resistance in attempting any reconciliation with President Assad and Syria.

Gaza underground on schedule to beat Egypt's wall
The National 21 Dec 2009 - The new barrier at Rafah has prompted angry protests from Gazans, who depend upon the network of tunnels for vital supplies. But the smugglers just scoff.

Irsaeli ministers meet over prisoner swap
The National 21 Dec 2009 - The prisoner swap would see hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released for a captured soldier, Gilad Shalit.


Israel deadlock over prisoner swap
AlJazeera 21 Dec 2009 - Marathon meeting of security cabinet ends without agreement on Shalit swap deal.

Iran 'holding bin Laden relatives'
AlJazeera 21 Dec 2009 - Al-Qaeda leader's son says Tehran has detained six of his relatives since 1997.

Gazans rally against Egypt wall
AlJazeera 21 Dec 2009 - Hamas supporters protest against wall aimed at blocking smuggling tunnels.

Syrian worker shot dead in Lebanon
AlJazeera 21 Dec 2009 - One person killed and several wounded after gunmen fire on bus carrying labourers.

Alternative Information Center

Jamal Juma’, Coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, In Israeli Jail
Alternative Information Center 21 Dec 2009 - Israeli security first summoned Juma’ for interrogation at midnight of December 15. Hours later, they brought him back to his home. Juma’ was handcuffed while soldiers searched his house for two hours as his wife and...

Palestine News Network

Israel admits to organ thefts 
PNN 21 Dec 2009 - Israel has admitted that it harvested organs from the dead bodies of Palestinians and Israelis in the 1990s, without permission from their families The admission follows the release of an interview with Jehuda Hiss, the former head of Israel's forensic institute, in which he said that workers at the institute had harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from Israelis, Palestinians and...

Palestinians spend half a billion dollars a year on Israeli settlement products
PNN 21 Dec 2009 - Hassan Abu Libdeh, the Palestinian Minister of the Economy with the Fateh-led de facto government in the West Bank, told a meeting of the Nablus Chamber of Commerce Sunday that, according to his figures, Palestinian people living in the West Bank and Gaza spend over five hundred million dollars a year on products from Israeli settlements. These settlements are Israeli-only developments constructed...

Israeli army invades northern Gaza
PNN 21 Dec 2009 - Local sources report that twenty Israeli armored military vehicles, accompanied by Apache helicopters, invaded the al-Ghoul area in northern Gaza early Monday morning. Residents also reported Israeli shelling in the town of Beit Hanoun, also in northern Gaza. No injuries have yet been reported from either incident. The invasion comes after Israeli troops allegedly exchanged fire with fighters from the Popular Front...

Jerusalem Post

Barkat gears up for Silwan plan protest
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - Claimants: Contract between J'lem municipality and architect Safdie marred by conflict of interests.

Gov't gives green light to continue talks with Hamas
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - As cabinet ends what was meant to be a final marathon discussion, PMO says only that Israeli negotiators are instructed "to continue efforts."

Encountering Peace: Change in Gaza is possible
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - If we want a regime change in Gaza without reoccupying, we must change the hearts and minds of Gazans.

Cracks emerge in hesder unity as rabbis eye faithful
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - Some yeshiva heads say announcement made at Or Etzion meeting is not aggressive enough to get through to Barak.

'Dubious arrest led to rape nightmare'
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - "How could this happen in Israel?" asks mother of American teen oleh after son's alleged prison ordeal.

New archeological discoveries in Jerusalem reveal Jewish life during Second Temple period
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - Descending deep into the underground excavations in Jerusalem's Old City, the air gets thick. It's humid. And it's dark.

J'lem community associations fight Barkat's closure decree
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - All 28 of the city's community administrations are the grassroots connection between neighborhood residents and the bureaucracy of City Hall.

'Don't release terrorists to W. Bank'
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - Gov't, IDF officials warn mass release of security prisoners would boost Hamas and endanger Israel.

Fatah cracks down on Hamas officials
Jeruslalem Post 21 Dec 2009 - Reports of impending prisoner swap spur new measures by PA against Hamas figures in W. Bank.

Inter Press Service

IRAN: Domestic Conflict Shifts into Higher Gear 
IPS HONOLULU, U.S., Dec 16 (IPS) - Although the tumult that has gripped Iran since the contested Jun. 12 election has never abated, two recent occurrences have highlighted the further sharpening of internal conflict and the government's inability to restore stability in the face of creative ways the opposition has learned...

JORDAN: Palestinian Refugees Live Out Lives in Limbo 
IPS AMMAN, Dec 21 (IPS) - Music enlivens the yellow taxi as it traverses the Jordanian capital. A small Palestinian flag hangs from the rearview mirror. Jihad, the cab driver, says his father fled here from the Palestinian West Bank in 1948.

PCHR Weekly Report

(10- 15 Dec. 2009)
PCHR During the reporting period, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian in the Gaza Strip and wounded 3 others in the West Bank.  

International Solidarity Movement

Gaza Freedom March is determined to break the siege
12/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Gaza Freedom March - 1,360 International Delegates appeal to Egypt to let the March proceed - Citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us on December 20 that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,360 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now. Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we've encountered"”and overcome–before. No delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12 months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. Some had their buses stopped on the way. 

Israeli army forces children and teachers to walk an hour from school after confiscating truck
12/22/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Christian Peacemaker Teams, 20 December - Masafer Yatta/South Hebron Hills – On Sunday, December 20, the Israeli army disrupted transportation of children and teachers from Al-Fakheit school to their homes. The Palestinian driver, accompanied by one CPTer, was on his way to pick up children and teachers after school when, at about 1pm, soldiers in a Humvee followed and stopped the pickup truck used as a school bus. The soldiers confiscated the driver's ID, searched the truck and personal belongings in it, and ordered that the driver follow them to a field south of Jinba. Because the soldiers refused to allow the truck to take the children to Jinba, teachers and students had to walk an hour through the hills to get there. The headmaster reported later that two children became ill from the heat and required medical attention. 

Tell President Obama to demand that Israel free Bil’in nonviolent leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah
12/21/2009 - International Solidarity Movement - Jewish Voice for Peace - On December 10, 2009 at 2am, the Israeli military surrounded the Ramallah home of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, a high school teacher and the Coordinator of Bil'in's Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, and arrested him. Abu Rahmah is among the leaders of the West Bank village of Bil'in's nearly five-year nonviolent struggle of protests, lawsuits and boycotts aiming to save the village's land from Israel's wall and expanding settlements. Abdallah Abu Rahmah joins Mohammed Othman from the village of Jayyous, Adeeb Abu Rahmah from Bil'in and many other Palestinians who are currently jailed by Israel for working for justice. Tell President Obama to demand that Israel free Bil'in nonviolent leader Abdullah Abu Rahmah!-- Links: Send your letterand Jewish Voice for Peace

Ha'aretz Diplomacy page

Gilad Shalit must be freed at any cost
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - It is not difficult to understand the agonizing decision facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers. It would be very hard to accept a negative decision on their part. Gilad Shalit must be freed at any cost, all the more so because the actual cost is lower than the one bandied about by those who oppose the release. ... 

Source: Israel hands Shalit deal response to mediator
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Israel has given a German mediator its response to Hamas demands involving the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the return of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, a source close to the negotiations said on Monday. ...

Rights groups: World has betrayed the citizens of Gaza
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - The international community has betrayed the people of Gaza by failing to end an Israeli blockade to allow the territory to be rebuilt, a group of 16 rights groups said in a report on Tuesday. ...

Graphic novel on IDF 'massacres' in Gaza set to hit bookstores
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Fans say graphic novelist Joe Sacco has set new standards for the use of the comic book as a documentary medium. Detractors say his portrayals of the Palestinian conflict are filled with distortion, bias and hyperbole. ...

Analysis / Threats, pressures and concessions on way to Shalit deal
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - The "forum of seven" ministers met in Jerusalem Monday evening for another session, the fifth in less than two days, to prepare for a decision on a prisoner trade to bring home kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is inclined to support the agreement, though with several conditions. Netanyahu has the support of most senior defense officials. ... 

The Guardian

Help end Gaza blockade, aid groups urge EU
The Guardian 21 Dec 2009 - The EU should commit itself to ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip and put its relations with Israel on hold pending tangible progress, 16 humanitarian and human rights organisations say today in a report marking...

Nazareth dwelling discovery may shed light on boyhood of Jesus
The Guardian 21 Dec 2009 - Finds suggest Nazareth was an out-of-the-way hamlet of around 50 houses, populated by Jews of modest means Israeli archaeologists today unveiled what could be the remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that can be dated...

Israel's friendly football fans | Seth Freedman
The Guardian 21 Dec 2009 - Not all football supporter crews are allied to the hard right Hapoel Ultras fans are among those on the left who fight racism As in England and throughout Europe, most Israeli football teams have a hardcore...

Doctor admits Israeli pathologists harvested organs without consent
The Guardian 21 Dec 2009 - Israel has admitted pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others, without the consent of their families a practice it said ended in the 1990s it emerged at the weekend. The admission, by the former head...

Letters: CIA links to the torture of Palestinians
The Guardian 20 Dec 2009 - Reports that CIA agents may be helping their Palestinian security counterparts to torture prisoners ( Special report , 18 December) are bad enough. What is more of a concern to me, though, is that Palestinians, for so long...

Letters to God: Jerusalem's faithful delivery of messages from the world
The Guardian 20 Dec 2009 - Every year, Israel sorts and blesses 1,000 prayers and pleas mailed to holy city In a postal sorting office beside a bakery on an industrial estate in Jerusalem, hundreds of letters are carefully set aside for...

Gaza must be rebuilt now | Jimmy Carter
The Guardian 19 Dec 2009 - We can wait no longer to restart the peace process. The human suffering demands urgent relief It is generally recognised that the Middle East peace process is in the doldrums, almost moribund. Israeli settlement expansion within...

Ha'aretz National page

Israeli scientists: Prehistoric Hula Valley residents ate fish, nuts 
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Scholars and scientists long believed that people started eating fish "only" 40,000 years ago, but new archaeological findings have revealed that hundreds of thousands of years before that, human ancestors were catching and consuming fish in the Hula Valley, which is known even today for its fish ponds - albeit artificial ones. ... 

'Psychological immunization' found effective against swine flu fear
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - "Psychological immunization" is an effective way of minimizing public fear of a swine flu epidemic, according to new research recently completed at the Tel Hai Academic College. ... 

New study unit on pre-state fighters proves controversial
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - The Education Ministry is introducing a study unit on the 12 underground fighters who were hanged or committed suicide in prison during the British Mandate in Palestine. ... 

At Jerusalem court, ex-PM Olmert denies all corruption charges 
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Former prime minister Ehud Olmert denied on Monday all of the corruption charges filed against him in a indictment filed earlier in the year, in his first public response to the allegations. ...

Immigration cops break into Tel Aviv church to nab illegal migrants
Ha'aretz 21 Dec 2009 - Immigration officers from the Oz task force broke into a church in South Tel Aviv on Monday and arrested illegal migrants, causing significant damage and breaking the ceiling. ...

Relief Web

Exchange of notes concerning non-project grant aid to the Palestinian Authority
Relief Web 21 Dec 2009 - Source: Government of Japan

OPT: Al Mezan and the Palestinian Bar Association conclude specialized lawyers training on IHL in Gaza
Relief Web 21 Dec 2009 - Source: Al Mezan Center for Human Rights

OPT: Israel to step up crackdown on settlement growth
Relief Web 21 Dec 2009 - Source: Agence France-Presse

YNet News

Mashaal: All female prisoners to be released in swap
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - Hamas leader says detainees slated for release in Shalit deal include notorious females 

Shalit meeting ends without decision
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - Israel's top ministers fail to reach decision on Shalit swap following lengthy meeting Monday night; ball is now back in Hamas' court. Earlier Monday, Shalit campaign activists vow to remain outside PM's Office at night to 'Help Bibi make right decision' 

Carter apologizes for 'stigmatizing Israel'
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - Former US president offers US Jewish community heartfelt apology for any contribution he may have had to Jewish nation's negative image 

Sheikh Salah banned from Jerusalem
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - IDF issues order against Islamic Movement leader, who was indicted for participating in riots at Temple Mount 

Shalit deal: Supporters, objectors gather in J'lem
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - Karnit Goldwasser arrives at PM's Office to support Shalit family; Sarah Netanyahu's brother arrives to express objection to deal 

Shalit deal: Moment of truth nears
YNet News 21 Dec 2009 - Senior ministers convene for fifth meeting in past two days ahead of final decision on Gilad Shalit swap; Fox News says PM Netanyahu toughened stance, changed his mind about releasing some prisoners to West Bank 

Daily Star

Top Israeli ministers meet again on prisoner swap deal
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Top Israeli ministers gathered for a fourth time in two days on Monday for a crucial meeting on a prisoner swap with Hamas that would see hundreds of Palestinians freed for a captured soldier. The seven senior ministers of Israel's security cabinet convened at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office to debate the conditions of the swap for the Israeli serviceman, held in the Gaza Strip for more than three years.

Israeli ex-PM Olmert pleads not guilty in graft trial
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday pleaded not guilty, denying all the graft charges against him in the first case of its kind in the history of the Jewish state. "In the name of my client, I would like to categorically deny all charges against him," Olmert's lawyer Elie Zohar told the court, according to Israeli media.

Tehran's nuclear negotiator calls for atomic arms ban
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Iran's chief nuclear negotiator called for a global nuclear weapons ban on Monday but insisted all nations - including his own - have the right to develop nuclear energy. Visiting Tokyo to meet with senior Japanese officials, Saeed Jalili said his country's nuclear program is for civilian purposes, although the US and other nations fear its goal is to produce weapons.

Palestinian refugees in Jordan live out their lives in constant 'temporary' limbo
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Music enlivens the yellow taxi as it traverses the Jordanian capital. A small Palestinian flag hangs from the rearview mirror. Jihad, the cab driver, says his father fled here from the Palestinian West Bank in 1948. "Thank God almighty, life is good for me here and I can offer my family a decent life," he says. "While my father was Palestinian, I feel today Jordanian and I hold the Jordanian nationality.

Mauritania steps up security for foreign visitors
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 The Mauritanian government has taken "all necessary measures" to ensure the safety of foreign visitors, the official AMI news agency announced Monday after the disappearance of two Italians. "The Mauritanian authorities wish to reaffirm that they have taken all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of foreign nationals," AMI said, without giving details of the steps taken.

Egypt's Brotherhood elects new leadership amid internal rift
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has elected a new leadership amid deep divisions over future strategies and ways to confront a persistent government crackdown, the group's leader said Monday. The Brotherhood - though officially banned - is the largest and best organized opposition force in Egypt, with 20 percent of parliament seats.

Auschwitz sign thieves detained, not neo-Nazis
Daily Star 22 Dec 2009 Polish police detained five men on Monday for stealing the metal sign that hung over the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, and said they were common thieves, not neo-Nazis. Last Friday's theft triggered widespread outrage, especially from Israel and Jewish groups, amid fears of a political motive. The sign, which carries the German motto "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work makes you free"), is a powerful symbol of the Holocaust committed by the Nazis against the Jews.

Palestinian Information Center

Hundreds of Gazans protest against steel wall building near Salahuddin terminal
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Hundreds of Palestinian citizens participated in a sit-in organized by Hamas near Salahuddin terminal on the Palestinian-Egyptian borders in protest at the building of a steel wall on Gaza borders.

Wahidi: The steel wall poses a serious threat to Gaza aquifer
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Palestinian groundwater specialist Nizar Al-Wahidi warned that the building of a steel wall on the Palestinian-Egyptian borders poses a serious strategic threat to the groundwater aquifer in Gaza.

Preventive security officer: CIA agents copy our apparatus's computer files
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - A preventive security officer in Ramallah has said that CIA agents periodically copy all files in his apparatus's computers that contain data on detainees and their confessions.

Hamdan: Lifeline-3 a message to the world
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Osama Hamdan has said that the "Lifeline-3" aid convoy to the Gaza Strip is a message to the world that the Israeli siege is a crime that should come to an immediate end.

Yildirim: Five Turkish boats to break the siege on Gaza next year
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Bülent Y?ld?r?m, president of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, has said that his Foundation would buy five boats with the intent of sending relief material to the beleaguered Gaza Strip.

Galloway slams Arabs for not organizing aid convoys to Gaza
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - British lawmaker George Galloway, who is leading an aid convoy to the besieged Gaza Strip, expressed his dismay at the absence of the Arab role in organizing aid convoys to Gaza.

Armed Israeli settlers open fire at Palestinian farmers in Beit Ummar town
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - A number of Palestinian farmers on Sunday afternoon miraculously survived a gunfire attack by a bunch of armed Israeli settlers near the town of Beit Ummar, north of Al-Khalil.

Resistance fighters engage advancing IOF troops in northern Gaza
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Palestinian resistance fighters engaged special Israeli forces east of Beit Hanun town in northern Gaza Strip at dawn Monday, local sources told the PIC reporter.

Mousa: Ahmed's statement a blow to national unity
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - Hamas MP Yahya Mousa strongly denounced Fatah official Azzam Al-Ahmed for calling for a popular uprising against the Palestinian government in Gaza, saying that it dealt a blow to national unity.

Obama approves $500 million in aid to Abbas’s authority
PIC 22 Dec 2009 - The Israel Today newspaper said that Barack Obama signed, before his departure to the global climate summit, the foreign aid budget for 2010, which includes $500 million to the Palestinian Authority.

Los Angeles Times

Iranian dissident cleric's funeral draws huge crowds 
LA Times 22 Dec 2009 - The streets of the holy city of Qom see a mix of protest and mourning as tens of thousands attend the funeral of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, who had become a vocal critic of the government. Tens of thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets Monday in Iran's main theological center and clashed with pro-government militiamen during the funeral of the country's top dissident cleric, Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri. 

Iran's Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, prime defender of the protest movement, dies 
LA Times 20 Dec 2009 - Ceremonies and mourning for the senior dissident cleric, 87, raise the specter of turmoil as they will occur during a time of emotionally charged religious rites in Iran. Thousands of supporters of Iran's most senior dissident cleric marched through streets in his hometown and descended upon the country's main theological center today to mourn his passing just days before the climax of a politically charged religious commemoration. 

Egypt's barrier along Gaza border called 'wall of shame' 
LA Times 21 Dec 2009 - The underground barrier meant to prevent smuggling shows that Egypt is siding with Israel, Arab commentators say. 'It is like a total obedience to the American recommendations,' a Cairo editor says. An underground barrier to prevent tunneling by smugglers along Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip has been dubbed a "wall of shame" by Arab writers and politicians who charge that Cairo is siding with Israel in isolating the 1.5 million Palestinians living in the seaside enclave. 

In Iran, a blind musician leads the way for a women's orchestra 
LA Times 20 Dec 2009 - Ali Jafarian teaches music to young women in Shiraz -- his blindness giving him access he couldn't have otherwise. Together they practice the slow, sad rhythms and searing melodies of Iranian music. Every Friday, the young women gather at the blind man's home in a fading district of a sleepy city once famous for its poets and wine. They unpack vessels of wood, string and stretched hides. They cradle them in their arms. And as the afternoon wears on, they fill the alleyways with song. 

New York Times

News Analysis: Lebanon Drama Adds Act With Leader’s Trip to Syria
New York Times 21 Dec 2009 - Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s trip to Syria had historical echoes for many Lebanese, and epitomized their national story. 

Iran Charges 12 at Prison Over Death of Protesters
New York Times 20 Dec 2009 - The Iranian authorities acknowledged for the first time that at least three protesters had been beaten to death in prison after the disputed June presidential election. 

Lebanon Talks With Syria to Bolster Ties
New York Times 19 Dec 2009 - Lebanese officials said they expected that the two leaders would try to strengthen cooperation and assert the importance of guaranteeing Lebanon’s stability. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Iran: Opposition Web Site Disrupted
New York Times 19 Dec 2009 - Computer hackers disrupted an opposition Web site and Twitter late Thursday and Friday, identifying themselves as the Iranian Cyber Army and posting anti-American messages in English. 

World Briefing | Middle East: Lebanon: At Least 11 Die as Ship Sinks
New York Times 19 Dec 2009 - Rescue workers searched stormy waters off Lebanon on Friday after a cargo ship sank, killing at least nine crew members and leaving dozens missing. 

Amin el-Hafez, Baathist Leader of Syria in 1960s, Dies
New York Times 19 Dec 2009 - He nationalized Arab-owned banks, the country’s oil and mineral resources and other industries before being overthrown in a coup in 1966. 


Gaza Freedom March is determined to break the siege
12/21/2009 - Gaza Freedom March - 1,360 International Delegates appeal to Egypt to let the March proceed - Citing escalating tensions on the Gaza-Egypt border, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry informed us on December 20 that the Rafah border will be closed over the coming weeks, into January. We responded that there is always tension at the border because of the siege and that if there are any risks, they are risks we are willing to take. We also said that it was too late for over 1,360 delegates coming from over 42 countries to change their plans now. Although we consider this as a setback, it is something we’ve encountered—and overcome--before. No delegation, large or small, that has entered Gaza over the past 12 months has received a final OK before arriving at the Rafah border. Most delegations were discouraged from even heading out of Cairo to Rafah. 

Help end Gaza blockade, aid groups urge EU
12/22/2009 - The Guardian - The EU should commit itself to ending the blockade of the Gaza Strip and put its relations with Israel on hold pending tangible progress, 16 humanitarian and human rights organisations say today in a report marking the first anniversary of the war. Amnesty International, Oxfam International, Cafod, Christian Aid, Medical Aid for Palestinians and 11 other agencies criticise Israel for banning the import of materials urgently needed for reconstruction but also lambast world powers for not doing enough to help after last year's three-week Cast Lead offensive, in which some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed. Israel has the right and obligation to protect its citizens fromindiscriminate rocket attacks, the report says. But "punishing the entire civilian population of Gaza for the acts of a few is a collective punishment which is unacceptable and violates international law". 

IDF, US National Guard to share defense ideas
12/21/2009 - Jerusalem Post - In face of the growing missile threat against Israel, the IDF Home Front Command and the US National Guard have decided to exchange liaisons to enable a steady exchange of information on civil defense, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The decision to send a liaison to the US from the Home Front Command was approved by the General Staff and OC Home Front Command Maj. -Gen. Yair Golan several weeks ago. The officer, who will hold the rank of lieutenant-colonel, will be stationed in Washington and serve as a permanent liaison to the National Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the military command responsible for protecting the American homeland and supporting local, state and federal authorities. Sources in the Home Front Command said on Sunday that the officer, who will also represent the Defense Ministry's National Emergency Management Authority, would be sent to the US in the coming weeks. 

OCHA: 11 Palestinians Injured in Week
12/21/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - JERUSALEM, December 21, 2009 (WAFA)- Office for the UN Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA) said that the Israeli military activities from December 9-15, 2009 affected civilians while 11 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces. The OCHA report said this week, Israeli security forces injured 11 Palestinians throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, compared to a weekly average of 17 Palestinian injuries since the beginning of 2009. Five Palestinians were shot and injured by live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets during the weekly anti-Barrier demonstrations in Ni’lin village (Ramallah). Following the demonstration, the Israeli army closed the partial checkpoint (a checkpoint staffed on an ad-hoc basis) at the entrance of the village for seven hours, preventing movement through the checkpoint. 

New York Carolers Sing for Boycott of Leviev
12/21/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - New York, NY, December 21, 2009 (WAFA)– On a snowy Saturday afternoon, forty-five human rights carolers serenaded Madison Avenue shoppers with familiar holiday tunes outside the storefront of Israeli diamond and settlement mogul Lev Leviev, but their lyrics called for the boycott of Leviev’s companies. The New York protest took place against the backdrop of a growing arrest campaign by the Israeli military against Palestinian protest and boycott activists from West Bank villages where Leviev has built settlements. Ethan Heitner from Adalah-NY commented, “Today in New York City we celebrated the many victories of the international movement to boycott companies like Leviev’s that support Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. At the same time, we’re angry that our Palestinian colleagues, like Mohammad Othman from Jayyous, Abdallah Abu Rahmah from Bil’in and Jamal Juma’ from Stop. . . . 

Activists Raise Second Billboard for Palestine
12/18/2009 - P U L S E - On December 10th the Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel erected its second billboard in plain sight of all passing traffic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In April 2009 the excellent Mondoweiss posted a piece about the appearance of a billboard in New Mexico urging Americans to tell congress to stop funding Israel’s war machine with their tax dollars. In addition to highlighting the inspirational quality of this important and creative form of activism, Philip Weiss also noted that one of the members of the Albuquerque-based Coalition to Stop $30 Billion to Israel (the group responsible for the campaign) had also stated that he was a defecting member of the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Perhaps even more inspiring is the fact that even though the billboard was brought down after a barrage of complaints by the usual suspects, the Coalition continued to raise funds and successfully erected their second billboard on December 10th. 

Prisoner swap talks enter critical phase in Israel
12/22/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP, JERUSALEM – Marathon top-level Israeli meetings ended early Tuesday without announcement of a decision over whether to accept Islamic militants' demand to swap 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for a lone Israeli serviceman. A decision to pay that lopsided price for 23-year-old Sgt. Gilad Schalit could reshuffle Mideast politics in unpredictable ways and possibly ease a punishing blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Netanyahu and six Cabinet ministers convened after nightfall Monday, the latest in a series of sessions over the past two days in a frenzy of activity that suggested a deal could be close. The group was divided, however, with some ministers opposed freeing Palestinians convicted in fatal attacks, arguing they could kill again. After more than four hours of talks, Netanyahu's office released a statement early Tuesday saying only that instructions were given to the negotiating. . . . 

Valdai Conference opens at Dead Sea to discuss prospects of peace
12/21/2009 - Earth Times - Amman - Prominent politicians and experts from around the world opened a meeting on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea Monday to discuss the potential for the Arab-Israeli peace process. The two-day Valdai Conference is organized by the Russian Information and News Agency (RIA Novosti) and the Russian Council on Foreign and Defence Policy (CFDP). The conference, convening for the first time in the Middle East, was first held in 2004 on the shores of Valdai Lake in Russia as a platform for Russian politicians to discuss international issues with their foreign counterparts. The meeting held under the motto Middle East 2020: Can a Comprehensive Peace be Achieved, is being attended by participants from Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia, Turkey, the United States, Britain and France. 

Japanese minister discusses Mideast peace in Jordan
12/21/2009 - Earth Times - Amman - Japanese State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Koichi Takemasa on Monday discussed the prospects of resuming peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians during separate meetings with Prime Minister Samir Rifai and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, according to an official statement. "The prime minister praised Japan's backing to the two-state solution, its call for the cessation of Israeli settlement activity and its support for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees," the statement said. The Jordanian premier said that his country was keen on boosting economic cooperation ties with Japan. Japanese businesses have a good chance of contributing to the implementation of key projects in Jordan, foremost the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal, a railway connecting Jordan with the oil-rich Gulf region and nuclear energy projects in the country, he added. 

Lebanese authorities make arrests in UNIFIL incident - Summary
12/21/2009 - Earth Times - Beirut - The Lebanese army arrested on Monday arrested "a group people" allegedly involved in vandalizing vehicles belonging to United Nations Interim Forces in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL), a Lebanese security source said. Unknown assailants earlier Monday slashed the tyres of several vehicles belonging to the UNIFIL employees in the southern Lebanese port city of Tyre, the source said. The incident was being investigated by the Lebanese army and UNIFIL, according to UN spokesman Andrea Tennetti. UNIFIL is based in the border town of Naquora, about 20 kilometres south of Tyre, where the peacekeeping force also has offices. UNIFIL has monitored the country's southern border with Israel since 1978. Its troop levels swelled to 13,000 in the aftermath of the July 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese Hezbollah movement. 

Iran minister stresses relations with all Lebanon factions - Summary
12/21/2009 - Earth Times - Beirut - Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki concluded a one-day visit to Beirut on Monday, emphasizing his country's wish for good relations with Lebanese of all sectarian persuasions. At a press conference at the Coral Beach Hotel at which he extended an official invitation to Premier Saad Hariri to visit Iran, Mottaki said: "We stress Lebanon's ability to achieve the independence of its position and we want good relations with all Lebanese factions. " "Lebanon. . . can benefit from the regional and international atmosphere. The communication between countries laid the grounds for Lebanese rapprochement, and this should be an example to follow to resolve the region's issues," Mottaki said. Mottaki, who arrived earlier Monday, held talks with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier Saad Hariri and Lebanese Foreign Minister Ali Chami. 

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood settles leadership dispute
12/21/2009 - Earth Times - Cairo - Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's largest opposition movement, has settled an internal dispute over its leadership, the group's leader announced Monday. In a statement sent to reporters, the Brotherhood's "supreme guide," Mohammed Mahdi Akef, said that Essam al-Arian, commonly identified as a "reformer" within the group, had been elected to the group's executive council, ending what had reportedly been an acrimonious dispute within the group. The announcement ends months of speculation and debate that has pitched older leaders and those from the countryside against younger and more urban leaders. The selection of a new executive committee represents a closing of the group's ranks ahead of elections for a new supreme guide due to take place in January, and ahead of the 2010 parliamentary elections. In October, Cairo's independent daily al-Masry al-Youm touched off a flurry. . . . 

PM Signs 2 Financial Agreements with Japan
12/21/2009 - WAFA - Palestine News Agency - RAMALLAH, December 21, 2009 (WAFA)- Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signed today two financial agreements, the sum of $23 million, with the Japanese government represented by the Representative of Japan to the PA Mr. Naofumi Hashimoto. The Non- Project grant aid of $16. 7 million is extended as a part of international supports to alleviate the PA financial difficulties. This grant will procure some products critically needed for daily economic activities. The environmental program grant aid of $6. 7 million is extended to implement the project to introduce a solar photovoltaic power plant for the first time in the West Bank. It will be connected to the power grid of Jericho city to supply electricity to the city and in the future to the agro-industrial park to be established under the Japanese initiative of “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” as well. 

Israel declines to approve prisoner swap deal for now
12/21/2009 - Yahoo! News - JERUSALEM (AFP) – Top Israeli ministers on Tuesday ended a fifth round of talks in two days declining to commit to a prisoner swap with Hamas that would see hundreds of Palestinians exchanged for a captured soldier. The seven senior ministers of Israel's security cabinet convened at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office to debate the conditions of the swap for Staff Sergeant Gilad Shalit, held in the Gaza Strip for more than three years. " The prime minister and the ministers have given instructions to the team of (Israeli) negotiators to continue their efforts with a view to Gilad Shalit returning to his home safe and sound," a statement from Netanyahu's office said, without elaborating. Israeli public radio said the statement meant that Netanyahu was for the moment refusing to approve the deal which would have seen Israeli negotiator Hagai Haddas present it to the German mediator who has been conducting indirect talks between Israel and Hamas. 

Former Israeli premier Olmert pleads not guilty
12/21/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP, JERUSALEM – Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert is pleading not guilty to charges of illegally accepting funds from an American supporter and double-billing Jewish groups for trips abroad. Olmert spokesman Amir Dan says Olmert and his office chief, Shula Zaken, denied all charges at the Jerusalem district court Monday. The accusations relate to offenses allegedly committed during Olmert's time as Jerusalem mayor and Cabinet minister, but emerged when he was prime minister. He eventually resigned over the allegations. The 63-year-old Olmert left politics when Benjamin Netanyahu became prime minister in March. [end] 

First Jesus-era house discovered in Nazareth
12/21/2009 - Yahoo! News - AP, NAZARETH, Israel – Just in time for Christmas, archaeologists on Monday unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus' childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of around 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood. Archaeologists and present-day residents of Nazareth imagined Jesus as a youngster, playing with other children in the isolated village, not far from the spot where the Archangel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the boy. Today the ornate Basilica of the Annunciation marks that spot, and Nazareth is the largest Arab city in northern Israel, with about 65,000 residents. Muslims now outnumber Christians two to one in the noisy, crowded city. The archaeological find shows how different it was 2000 years ago: There were no Christians or Muslims, the. . . . 


Letter from Gaza 
Mohammad Alsaafin, Ma’an News Agency 12/21/2009
      I’m writing to you as friends, colleagues, members of the media, acquaintances and activists. Some of have never met me; others have heard parts of the story I am about to tell. However, I do believe that all of you may have an interest in reading this "“ it is a story that needs to be told. 
     I am a Palestinian refugee, from the village of Fallujah which lies between Gaza, Hebron and Asqalan. I’ve never been allowed to visit Fallujah; my grandparents were exiled from there in 1949 (a year after the founding of Israel) and took refuge in the Gaza Strip. My father and I were both born in the Khan Younis refugee camp-he a few years before Gaza was occupied by Israel, and I a month after the outbreak of the first intifada. My dad married a woman from the West Bank-they had met and fallen in love while they were both studying at Birzeit University, and when I was two years old we emigrated to the UK where he received his Phd.
     Fourteen years later, in 2004, we all returned to Palestine to live in Ramallah. Now British citizens, my parents were determined that my three siblings and I would forge a stronger connection to our homeland than we ever could living abroad. At first, the transition was made easier by the fact that our foreign passports gave us the freedom of movement that was denied to other Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. For me, this reality was shattered when in late 2005 I attempted to cross the River Jordan from the West Bank to visit my aunt in Amman. The Israeli border agents told me that I could not pass, because I had an Israeli issued Gaza ID. Under Israeli military rules, this meant that I could not ‘legally’ be present in the West Bank because the Israeli occupation had mandated that Palestinians from Gaza could not enter the West Bank, and Palestinians from the West Bank could not enter Gaza. This policy had been in force since the early 1990’s, but was applied with increasing severity after the outbreak of the second intifada. more.. e-mail

Partition in Palestine is still the issue 
Henry Lowi, Redress 12/21/2009
      Only a democratic revolution will achieve justice
     Henry Lowi argues the case for a democratic revolution to overcome partition, to decolonize Palestine, to overthrow the Zionist regime, and to open up the prospects for peace, democracy and coexistence.

     ”All the ‘friends of Palestine’ have made their peace with Partition. They do not challenge it. They can live with it. They can agitate politically without reference to it. But the workers and farmers of Palestine, and the refugees in the camps, need a programme to overcome Partition, to decolonize Palestine, to overthrow the Zionist regime, and to open up the prospects for peace, democracy and coexistence.”
     Sunday 29 November was the anniversary of United Nations General Assembly Resolution (UNGAR) 181, the “Partition Resolution”. Partition remains the elephant in the room. No one wants to talk about it. 
     The supporters of the so-called “two-state solution” don’t talk about Partition because they don’t question the justice of Partition or its inevitable consequences. They recognize the State of Israel’s “right to exist”. Like the supporters of UNGAR 181, they deny the right of the people of Palestine to exercise sovereignty over Palestine. 
     What about the dissident supporters of the so-called “one-state solution”? They don’t turn their minds to how one gets from here to there. They somehow believe that a democratic one-state solution will fall from the sky, peacefully, without revolution. That is why these same well-meaning people attribute no role to the actual social and class forces living under Israeli rule and suffering from Israeli rule in besieged Gaza and the refugee camps..... more.. e-mail

Yad Va Shame on you! 
Gilad Atzmon, Redress 12/19/2009
      Debunking anti-Semitism studies and Yehuda Bauer in particular
     Gilad Atzmon questions the foundations of Israeli Holocaustist Professor Yehuda Bauer’s pseudo-theories on the causes of anti-Semitism and his belief that Jews must always seek influence and domination.
     ”Judaism and Zionism are both saturated with racism. [Prof. Yehuda] Bauer is right to argue that Jews are not a race, but Jewish ideology – both secular and religious – is racist and supremacist to the bone."
     Holocaust studies is an emerging pseudo-intellectual, academic trend. It basically allows rabid Zionists to elevate their discussions about “what is really wrong with the Goyim [Gentiles] into a university qualification. I recently learned about the “Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of anti-Semitism”. I also learned about a similar institute at the University of London.
     “anti-Semitism studies” has the potential to be a valuable field of research if it could, for example, elaborate and scrutinize Jewish culture and history in order to grasp what it is that evokes anti-Jewish feelings. It could try to establish if there is a Jewish ideological, political or cultural pattern that may be amended. 
     In fact, early Zionists1 tried to dwell on the subject. They tried to diagnose the “cause” of anti-Semitsm so that they might learn why it invariably and repeatedly matured into host cultures regarding Jews as a parasitic force. Early Zionists insisted that aliya would bring about a new productive, ethical and civilized new Jew. more.. e-mail

Grassroots activist and human rights defender Jamal Juma' arrested
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2009 - The arrest of Jamal Juma' is the most high-profile case within an intensifying campaign of repression of grassroots mobilization against the wall and the settlements. Initially only arresting local activists from the villages affected by the wall, the Israeli authorities have recently begun to shift their attention to the detention of internationally-known human rights defenders. 

Audio: "For us, olive trees are a matter of resistance"
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2009 - Planting olive trees is a matter of resistance for the Arab Group for the Protection of Nature, a non-profit organization based in Amman, Jordan. The organization began in 2003 with the goal of replanting one million trees on Palestinian land. By 2008, they achieved this goal and now hope to plant one million more trees in Palestine. Gretchen King reports. 

EU remains cozy with Israel, despite the headlines 
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2009 - BRUSSELS (IPS) - Israel's relations with the European Union were tense for most of 2009 -- if newspaper headlines are to be believed. In the past week, a British court drew fierce criticism from Israeli politicians after it issued an arrest warrant for Tzipi Livni, the former Israeli foreign minister, following a complaint that she had authorized war crimes in Gaza. 

PMRS's conference on World Aids Day 
Palestine Monitor: 21 Dec 2009 - On the occasion of the World AIDS Day, Palestinian Medical Relief Society held and organized a conference in the West Bank city of Hebron, focusing on prevention and fight against HIV/AIDS. The event brought together the President and founder of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society, Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, the Director of Women's Health Program, Dr. Khadija Jarrar, Director of PMRS Clinics, Dr. Mahmoud Baragheeth, the Director of the PMRS in the Hebron area, Dr. Othman Abu Sabha, and several representatives from the Ministry of Health and community-based organisations. After welcoming all participants, Dr. Barghouthi reviewed the role played by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society over the last thirty in providing medical services to remote areas and reducing health diseases in Palestine. “PMRS's role – said Barghouthi in his maiden speech – has acted in fully supporting Palestinian people, especially those communities who are affected by the construction of the Apartheid...

What is the Aim of the Gaza Freedom March? - Interview
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Dec 2009 - By Bianca Zammit - Gaza As the days of December 2009 draw in, two events which each have a role to play in world peace draw closer. The first is on the 27th and is commemorating the start of the 22 day attacks on Gaza, an operation which targeted unarmed civilians, schools, hospitals, journalists and emergency staff. The second, The Gaza Freedom March will take place on the 31st. The Gaza Freedom March is a historic moment, the magnitude of which has not been seen in Palestine since 1967. Chiseled on the lessons learnt from South Africa' struggle for liberation against apartheid and from Gandhi' Satyagraha approach during the campaign for India' independence, the Gaza Freedom March is walking in the same shoes. In order to find out more about the Gaza Freedom March I met up with Dr. Haidar Eid, a member of the Steering Committee for the March in Gaza. What is the aim of the Gaza Freedom March? The goal of the Gaza Freedom March is to commemorate Gaza 2009. In January 2009 right after the end of operation Cast Lead we were all faced again by the deadly hermitic siege. The March is calling for an end to this siege. How did the Gaza Freedom March come about? In June CodePink led a delegation into Gaza and they started talking about a march. I was contacted by Palestinian solidarity groups from around the world and asked for my opinion. I liked the idea but it required...

A Call from Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Dec 2009 - This week marks one year since Israel began its attack on the Gaza Strip: a year since phosphorus bombs, dime bombs and other weapons of death and destruction were unleashed on a defenseless civilian population. A year since the people of the world demanded that Israel end its attack on Gaza. In this Israeli war of aggression on the occupied Gaza Strip, many of our civilians were massacred by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing, condemned by UN experts and leading human rights organizations as war crimes and crimes against humanity. This assault left over 1,440 Palestinians dead, predominantly civilians, of whom 431 were children. Another 5380 Palestinians were injured. We, the 1.5 million Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip, the overwhelming majority of whom are refugees who were violently expelled from our homes by Zionist forces in 1948, were subjected to three weeks of relentless Israeli state terror, whereby Israeli warplanes systematically targeted civilian areas, reduced whole neighborhoods and vital civilian infrastructure to rubble and partially destroyed scores of schools, including several run by the UN, where civilians were taking shelter. This came after 18 months of an ongoing, crippling, deadly hermetic Israeli siege of Gaza, a severe form of collective punishment described by John Dugard,the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights as “a prelude to genocide.” The war on Gaza was predicated and advocated for by Israeli generals and politicians. Matan Vilnai, ex-Deputy Defense Minister of Israel, told Army Radio during “Operation Hot Winter” (29 February 2008): "They will bring upon...

Palestine Chronicle: 20 Dec 2009 - By Uri Avnery This week I enjoyed an hour of happiness. I was on my way home, after collecting William Polk's new book about Iran. I admire the wisdom of this former State Department official. I was walking on the seaside promenade, when I was seized by a desire to go down to the seashore. I sat down on a chair on the sand, sipped a coffee and smoked an Arab water-pipe, the only smoke I allow myself from time to time. A ray of the mild winter sun painted a golden path on the water, and a lone surfer rode on the white foam of the waves. The shore was almost deserted. A stranger waved at me from afar. Some passing youngsters from abroad asked to try my pipe. From time to time my gaze wandered to far-away Jaffa jutting out into the sea, a beautiful sight. For a moment I was in a world that was all good, far from the depressing items that were prominent in the morning paper. And then I remembered that I had felt the same way many-many years ago. It was 68 years ago, in exactly the same spot. It was also a pleasant winter day, facing a stormy sea. I was on sick leave, after a severe attack of typhoid fever. I was sitting on a deck chair, warming myself under the gentle winter sun. I felt my strength coming back to me after the debilitating disease, I forgot the far-away World...

The Source of America's Wars
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Dec 2009 - By Maidhc Ó Cathail 'One reason neocons have been able to sow so much mischief is that they feed into deeply embedded American beliefs about democratism and 'chosenness.'" -- Paul Gottfried. Americans feeling let down by Barack Obama’s escalation of the war in Afghanistan should take careful note of those who welcomed yet another “surge.” It might help them to identify the source of their seemingly endless wars. For instance, in a recent Washington Post opinion piece, William Kristol described Obama’s West Point speech as “encouraging.” It was “a good thing,” he said, that Obama was finally speaking as “a war president.” But if the comments on the Post website are anything to go by, few ordinary Americans take Kristol’s armchair warmongering seriously anymore. After all, as one poster quizzically asked, “A column by William Kristol the neocon that was wrong about everything from 2000-2008?” Although Kristol, like the rest of the neocons, “erred” about Iraq’s WMDs and Saddam’s links to Al Qaeda and 9/11, it would be a fatal error indeed to dismiss him as a fool. In order to understand what motivates Bill Kristol’s professed hyper-patriotism, with its consistently disastrous prescriptions, it’s worth recalling how his father, Irving Kristol, reacted to Vietnam War critic Senator George McGovern. The presidential contender’s proposed cut in U.S. military expenditure would, according to the “godfather” of neoconservatism, “drive a knife in the heart of Israel.” “Jews don’t like big military budgets,” the elder Kristol explained in a Jewish publication in 1973. “But...
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