||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Settlers/ Land, Property, Resource Theft & Destruction/Ethnic Cleansing|
Mayor Barkat stages Silwan visit in opposition to Palestinian protest
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barakat made an unannounced visit to the Israeli
settlement projects of Wadi Hilweh district of Silwan today, where he
met with the projects’ leader David Beeri. Eyewitnesses report that
Barakat took a tour of the settlements with Beeri. The sudden visit
coincides with today’s protest march in Silwan in honour of
International Human Rights Day, attended by many Palestinian residents
of the village in opposition to Israel’s human rights violations.
Isolated clashes are still taking place in Silwan between Israeli forces
Israeli forces close Wadi Hilweh entrance to Silwan
12am, Saturday 11 December, Israeli forces have closed off the northern
entrance to Wadi Hilweh neighborhood in Silwan, adjacent to the
“City of David” visitors center. Israeli troops cite security concerns,
stating that a “suspicious object” was found close to the “Givati”
parkinglot contorlled by the Elad settlement association. It was later
discovered that the object in question was a small refrigerator. Israeli
police and settler guards have become a permanent fixture in the region,
creating a state of perpetual tension and frequently erupting in
to violence. Such incidents include an attack on Wadi Hilweh Popular
Committee member Ahmed Qaraeen, who was injured in front of the visitors
center by a settler visiting the “City of David” on 11 September 2009.
The perpetrator then went on to shoot a Palestinian child, Ameer Froukh,
causing a spate of clashes between Palestinian residents and Israeli
forces. Several attacks by armed settler guards and “City of David”
visitors on Palestinian children and their mothers have been documented
in Silwan. Israeli police checkpoints have become a regular fixture each
Friday in the village, seriously disrupting traffic on the Muslim holy
day, while large areas are closed down on Saturdays to mark the Jewish
holiday of shabbat.
Tibi: Banishing MP Abu Tir falls in line with Judaization of OJ
member of the Israeli Knesset Ahmed Al-Tibi has charged that the Israeli
authority's eviction of MP Mohammed Abu Tir from occupied Jerusalem was
a further violation of the international law.
GOD TV and the Jewish National Fund plant the Forest Of Hate, Max Blumenthal
In August, I witnessed the third demolition
of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Al-Arakib in Israel’s Negev
desert. It was a harrowing scene that I will never forget. And it has
been repeated five times since then, forcing the residents to sleep in
the open air while rebuilding their homes over and over. I knew at the
time that the Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that plants trees all around Israel, especially over destroyed Palestinian villages,
planned to establish a forest on the land that Al-Arakib stood. But I
didn’t know at the time that the financing for the forest came from an
extreme dominionist evangelical broadcasting network called GOD TV, or
that the forest, which already represented an insane plan since it was
going to fill an arid desert with non-native trees, would be called “GOD TV Forest.”
Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Non-Violent Bil’in Protest Leader Freed from Israeli Military Prison,Joseph Dana
A Palestinian Gandhi is free from Israeli jail! Bil’in’s Adeeb Abu Rahmah,
a non-violent protest leader sentenced to over 18 months in Israeli
military prison, is a free man. Detailed report on his release and
welcome ceremony in Bil’in will be posted tomorrow.
Adeeb Abu Rahma, a leader of nonviolent protest, is freed after 17 months in prison, Philip Weiss
What a beautiful smile! A Gandhi of nonviolent protest, Adeeb Abu Rahma,
has been released by the Israelis after two years in detention. You can
see Joseph Dana's picture of Abu Rahma holding his daughter as he leaves prison here.
And Hamdi Abu Rahma, who took the picture at left, reports: Bil'in
- Ramallah: Released by the Israeli Occupation Forces today from Ofer
Prison is central activist Adeeb Abo Rahma (age 40) who is from the
village of Bil'in, after being incarcerated for 18 months, and was
suspending from participating in any political activity for a period of
four years. Should Abo Rahma be caught within this period, he will be
fined 6,000 NIS on charges of incitement and obstructing the work of the
army as well as conducting peaceful demonstrations against the Wall in
Bil'in. MUST WATCH VIDEO.
Today in Bil’in, Hamde Abu Rahme
Silwan demonstration marks International Day of Human Rights
A protest march was held in Silwan today to mark International Human
Rights Day. Residents marched in protest to Israel’s ongoing violations
of Palestinian rights such as land confiscation, arrests and targeting
of minors, home demolitions and bureaucratic discrimination preventing
Palestinian residents from building on their land. The demonstration
also focused strongly on political “exile” punishments against
Palestinians in Jerusalem, such as that of Adnan Gaith, Secretary
General of Fatah in Silwan, who was recently issued an order banning him
from Jerusalem for 4 months. Said one demonstrator to Silwanic: “The
Israeli authorities are trying to enforce a policy of banishment from
Jerusalem against Palestinians in Silwan. This is not only happening to
prominent figures such as Adnan Gaith, but also used against dozens of
detainees, both children and adults, who are sentenced to house arrest
outside their homes in Silwan village.” A higher number of Israeli
troops were stationed in Silwan since the morning. Clashes erupted
between troops and Palestinian residents following the march,
concentrated in the areas of Wadi Rababa, Ein Silwan and the entrance to
Stop the Wall Campaign receives Human Rights Defenders Award to mark Human Rights Day
Dec 12, 2010-- This week celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the
establishment of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark it,
the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR), along with
An Najah University and the Independent Commission of Human Rights,
organised an event entitled ‘Speak Up! Stop Discrimination’
A BDS Debate at Princeton, with J Street, JVP, and Max Blumenthal (this Wednesday)
Wednesday (December 15) I will debate/discuss the Boycott, Divestment,
and Sanctions campaign with Jewish Voices for Peace Executive Director
Rebecca Vilkormerson and J Street U Director Daniel May at Princeton
University. Princeton’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter
recently attempted to pressure the school into offering an alternative
in the cafeteria to Sabra Hummus, an Israeli product made by the Strauss
Group, which has sponsored the IDF’s Givati Brigade (see heartwarming
Givati t-shirts here). They failed to get the votes they needed,
(I don’t know why more students didn’t vote for an alternative solely on
health grounds, since Sabra contains the carcinogenic, extremely
unhealthy preservative sodium benzoate), but in my opinion the SJP kids won by forcing the community
to debate the occupation and discriminatory nature of the Israeli state.
The debate I will participate in on the 15th represents, in my opinion,
the role BDS has played in fostering a more open discussion about the
Following local pressure, Adidas reconsiders sponsorship of Jerusalem marathon
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat decides to hold the first Jerusalem
International Marathon in March 2011. He gets Adidas to sponsor the
event. An Israeli runner registers and then discovers that the route
runs through some of the most egregious examples of discrimination and
dispossession in East Jerusalem: Sheikh Jarrah, Issawiya, the Shufat
Refugee Camp, Jabel Mukaber and Sur Baher (see map on right.)
Abuse of Palestinian Children
B'Tselem: Caution: Children Ahead - The Illegal Behavior of the Police toward Minors in Silwan Suspected of Stone Throwing
investigation conducted by B'Tselem shows that, during the past year
(November 2009 to October 2010), at least 81 minors from Silwan have
been arrested or detained for questioning, the vast majority on
suspicion of stone throwing. The arrests and detentions followed
confrontations between Palestinians and settlers in the neighborhood,
where there is great tension resulting from the taking of control of
houses and archeological sites by settlers.
Israel attacked for arrests of hundreds of children, Jonathan Cook
JERUSALEM // Israeli police have been criticised over their treatment
of hundreds of Palestinian children, some as young as seven, arrested
and interrogated on suspicion of stone-throwing in East Jerusalem. In
the past year, criminal investigations have been opened against more
than 1,200 Palestinian minors in Jerusalem suspected of hurling rocks at
Israeli soldiers or Jewish settlers, according to police statistics
gathered by the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI).
That was nearly twice the number of children arrested last year in the
much larger Palestinian territory of the West Bank.
Siege/Rights Violations/Restriction of Movement
Specialists: The siege on Gaza imposes harsh psychological effect on people
Local and international psychologists and human rights activists have
urged Thursday the international community to pressure the Zionist
entity into lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip.
Forced Evictions - Assessing the Impact on Palestinian Women in East Jerusalem
issued a report highlighting the gender-specific impact that Israeli
policies in East Jerusalem have on the lives of Palestinian women. The
report calls upon Israel to end forced evictions and home demolitions
and makes recommendations to the international community and
other actors to alleviate the situation of affected Palestinians.
U.S. State Department Recognizes Palestinian Rights on Human Rights Day
DC) December 10—In response to a question posed by the US Campaign to
End the Israeli Occupation at today's Human Rights Day Town Hall held by
the State Department, the Obama Administration acknowledged that Israel
should be held to the same human rights standards as every other
country, and that Palestinians are entitled to their full human rights
enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Human Rights Mean Nothing in Bil'in
International Human Rights Day became a savage irony yesterday in
Palestine as peaceful protestors were tear-gassed, shot with
rubber-coated steel bullets and arrested for their efforts.
TJP Liberty Report from Gaza 'Story of Areej' - Ken O'Keefe Dec. 7, 2010
Areej is a 4 year old girl from Sabra in Gaza. She is an orphan whose
father was a killed by an Israeli bomb. She has a skin condition that is
undiagnosed but worsened severely during the Israeli invasion of Gaza
in 2008-2009. Although it is inconclusive, Areej's neighborhood was one
of the worst hit by white phosphorus bombs, a blatant war crime as yet
unpunished. At the end of the video there is information about how to
make donations directly to her family and help her with possible medical
attention in Europe or elsewhere.
Stormy weather adds to plight of Gaza's refugees
(Ma’an) – Homes of Palestinian refugees living in camps in Gaza have
suffered serious damage from the stormy weather which hit the region
over the past two days, civil defense officials said. Heavy rain
cracked the densely populated homes built of bricks and asbestos by
UNRWA after the expulsion of 1948.
Please Help the Enrichment Learning Program at the Cave Dwellers Village Umm-Fakra
Dear Friends, We are appealing to you to ask your assistance in
operating a learning enrichment program for the children of the
cave-dwellers’ community of Umm-Fakra. For the last two years we have
assisted in conducting an enrichment programs for children in the Bedouin communities of Umm El-Kheir,
bordering on the settlement of Carmel. In light of the positive
experience with such programs, and in response to a local initiative –
we would like to assist in opening yet another center of learning
enrichment programs for children in South Mount Hebron, this time in the
locality Umm-Fakra. The annual cost for the first pilot year is estimated at only $4,000 or 3,000 Euro.
The Villages Group is able to offer tax-deductible donation via partners in the US and UK (see our donation link for details).
Gaza’s Green Roofs of Herbs and Vegetables
According to the BBC, Israel has for many years restricted entry to and
exit from Gaza, but it intensified its blockade of Gaza in June 2007
when Hamas took over, causing severe shortages. The dire situation in
Gaza has already pushed the population towards more resilient energy
supplies such as solar energy for electricity, solar ovens and electric cars.
At is stands, the majority live in severe poverty and 80 percent are
food-aid dependent. “We grow on our roof because we are farmers but
have no land now,” says Moatassan Hamad, 21, from Beit Hanoun in the
northern Gaza Strip in an IPS article.
“Our family is large and thankfully what we grow feeds us. Cabbage and
eggplants in winter, and endochriyya [a plant used for making soup] and
chili and garlic and onions in summer. And other things that we can
sell, like flowers and palm tree seedlings.”
Photography - Tilde De Wandel
Racism and Discrimination
Public invited to inform on those renting to Arabs
supporting rabbis' letter on halachic ruling against renting to Arabs,
initiative gives number so public can give names for 'list of disgrace.
Israeli Chief Rabbi Orders Shop Owners Who Employ Jewish Girls Not to Hire Arabs
I couldn’t have made this up myself if I’d tried: the rabbis of the largely Yemenite city of Rosh Ha-Ayin (English), including the chief rabbi, declared a ban on hiring Arabs at stores which employ Jewish girls.
I swear to you, it’s true. If you’d told me this story came out of
Pakistan or Kandahar I might’ve believed you, but no, it’s from Israel’s
Racism clouds Israel student poll
Arab students of Israel's Haifa University have stepped up complaints of
discrimination on student body election day. The minority group says
they are under-represented in the college's student union and do not
have the same rights as their Jewish peers. Sherine Tadros reports from
Haifa University. Sherine Tadros reports from Haifa University.
[December 10, 2010]
Family of Israeli patient insults Palestinian paramedic on duty
– A Palestinian paramedic said he was verbally abused by relatives of
an Israeli patient from Beit Fagan, a neighborhood of west Jerusalem.
Fadi Badarna, who holds an Israeli ID card, works for the Red Star of
David ambulance service and in the intensive care unit of Hadassah
Hospital in Jerusalem. He told Ma'an he was trying to resuscitate a
patient who had lost consciousness when the man's relatives surrounded
him and told him "You are a dirty Arab, and you are
not authorized to make decisions."
IOF troops assault old woman, arrest her son
Israeli occupation forces (IOF) stormed a Palestinian home in Doura
village, south of Al-Khalil, and detained a young man after battering
his mother and injuring her.
Detainees (held by Israelis and the PA)
27 detained at Allenby crossing
-- Palestinian Authority police said officers stationed at the Allenby
crossing between the West Bank and Jordan detained 27 Palestinians
wanted for fraud and other crimes, according to a weekly round-up of
activity at the crossing. The 27 were detained from 8,221 who traveled
into Jordan during the week, including 86 foreign nationals
and 30 Israeli ID card holders. Ambulances transported 29 patients to
Jordan for medical treatment.
Relatives say PA torturing Jihad detainee
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- An Islamic Jihad supporter detained by the
Palestinian Authority was hospitalized as a result of torture, his
family said Sunday. Relatives of Muhammad Jamal Sa'di said he was
detained 12 days ago by PA preventative security forces in Jenin, and
that he has been tortured by interrogators every day, a statement from
the movement said.
Knesset Approves New Law Preventing Detainees From Meeting Lawyers For Six Month
Committee of the Israeli Knesset decided on Monday to approve a new
draft submitted by the Israeli Interior Minister, Yitzhak Aharanovitch,
in which he demanded that Palestinian detainees, imprisoned on
nationalistic/political grounds, should not be allowed to meet their
lawyers up to six months after their arrest, the Maan News Agency
Strong winds uproot tent housing detainees at Negev prison
winds uprooted and tore up a tent housing detainees at the Negev prison,
prisoners there said, adding that other sections of tents in the
prison are under threat of similar incidence.
Israel’s serious concerns about legal action due to flotilla massacre, Yaniv Reich
has tried hard to justify its violent overtaking of the humanitarian aid
convoy to Gaza last spring. In particular, it has turned to convoluted, somewhat tortured interpretations
of international law, which it claims provides legal cover for the
brutal mission. Israel was just enforcing a blockade according to
maritime law, or so the argument goes, when its Gandhi-like commandos
were mercilessly attacked by Muslim extremists. This mantra has been
accepted uncritically by the Israeli public
Supreme Court annuls PA decision to postpone local elections
-- The Palestinian Supreme Court in Ramallah on Monday annulled
a decision by the Palestinian Authority cabinet to postpone local
elections. On June 10, the PA indefinitely postponed municipal
elections scheduled for July 17 following a closed-door cabinet meeting,
a move condemned by Palestinian factions and civil society groups as
undemocratic and illegal.
Supreme Court's decision as a democratic victory
National Initiative praised the decision of the Supreme Court judge who
declared that the government's decision to postpone local elections was
invalid. The main priority is to now determine a new date for local
elections and that is to take place not only in the West Bank, but also
in the Gaza Strip. Dr. Barghouthi, the Secretary General of the
Palestinian National Initiative stated that this marks an
important day in Palestine and for the restoration of democratic life.
PA: Clinton should have blamed Israel
Ramallah disappointed Israel not held accountable for stalemate in
peace process. Ashrawi: How can we believe Americans if they couldn't
get Israel to restrain settlement building.
Palestine turns to UN in battle for statehood
Is recognition the road to a republic? With direct talks derailed,
Palestinians are looking to the UN as a means to establish statehood.
Brazil and Argentina announced this month that they recognise Palestine
as an independent state, and other Latin American countries have
signalled they will follow suite in the coming months. Now Palestinian
leaders are looking to the United Nations for an official declaration
recognising Palestine along its 1967 borders. But as Al Jazeera's
Kristen Saloomey reports from New York, the victory of official
statehood could be largely symbolic.
Israel: Settlements not an obstacle
Despite talks with Palestinians being deadlocked over issue, Israel's envoy to US says building is not blocking peace.
Israel: PA must change school curriculum
Sunday that it does not expect a final settlement with the Palestinian
Authority (PA) until the Ramallah-based administration completely
changes the Palestinian educational curriculum. Minister of National
Infrastructure Uzi Landau made statements to the Hebrew Israeli
radio that his state cannot ignore current Palestinian curricula
"because they promote violence against Israel and do not help
Palestinians accept the existence of the Jewish State."
Israel PM welcomes US back-down on settlement curb (AP)
Israel's prime minister on Monday welcomed Washington's decision to
abandon its call for an Israeli freeze on settlement construction,
saying the United States now understands Israel and the Palestinians
must instead address the major issues that divide them.
Visiting U.S. envoy Mitchell to push Israel for stance on core Mideast issues
Obama administration expects Netanyahu to take a position on core issues
such as borders and refugees in coming weeks; Mitchell also due to hold
talks with PA President Abbas.
Jordan to U.S.: Find new formula for restarting Mideast peace talks
Australian FM during visit to Jordan: Israeli settlement activity must
cease because it undermines the effectiveness of the peace process.
Germany: Media reports on Palestinians 'false' (AP)
The German government says reports are false that Germany proposed a
resolution for the EU to recognize an independent Palestinian state
within a year if no peace agreement is reached by then.
Jordan appeals to Iran to improve relations [Post wiki PR]
Jordan's King Abdullah urges European Union to take a greater role in
ensuring the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
US House Approves Large Increase in Military Aid to Israel
funding for most aspects of the US government at 2010 levels, the US
House agreed Wednesday evening to increase military aid to Israel
Israel denies Vanunu travel permission
prevented a former nuclear whistleblower from receiving an
international prize in Germany for work towards promoting disarmament.
Mordechai Vanunu, who revealed details of Israel's secret weapons
program 24 years ago, was to be awarded the Carl von Ossietsky Prize in
Berlin on Sunday. According to a spokesman for the International League
for Human Rights, the group has now decided to cancel the ceremony and
hold a protest rally on behalf of the former nuclear technician instead,
As Israel's water crisis worsens, push for desalination gains strength
Instead of reinstating the controversial drought tax, the cabinet
decided to allow consumers to use more water, above which the price will
Suspected Israeli neo-Nazi arrested in Kyrgyzstan
to Israel, 'first neo-Nazi in Israel' to be tried like other members of
his neo-Nazi gang - Patrol 36 - which terrorized Tel Aviv.
Nixon blasts Jews as 'obnoxious' in tapes
Newly-released White House audio tapes reveal former US president made
disparaging remarks about Jews, Irish, Italians and black Africans;
Kissinger said it was no concern of US if Soviet Jews were gassed.
Palestinians are planning to make Netanyahu sweat [Political Theater]
it appears that the Palestinians have the White House sympathy market
cornered and returning to the indirect talks will help them get even
US' mixed signals in brokering Middle East peace talks
States cannot bring peace to the Middle East on its own, was the
message from Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, saying it was
up to the Israelis and Palestinians to forge a deal. While Barack Obama,
the US president, promised to outline a way forward, Clinton highlighted
a plan to revert to indirect talks, sending out mixed signals on how
the US plans to break the deadlock in negotiations. Early
this week the US dropped a bid to persuade Israel on a new freeze on
settlements in the West Bank, and increased military aid to Israel in
its recent budget. Al Jazeera's Patty Culhane reports. (Dec 11, 2010)
Al-Asha’l: Oslo’s PA only serves occupation
Dr. Abdullah Al-Asha’l said that the dissolution of the PA should become
a Palestinian national demand, so that the confrontation can return to its natural state.
Friedman seeks to blame Palestinians for breakdown of talks, Philip Weiss
David went down in 2000, Arafat was blamed, famously. Well the failure
of the Obama peace talks are clearly in Israel's lap this time. Tom Friedman is trying to change the optics by blaming both sides, over and over, in a form of rhetorical bludgeoning...
Thomas Friedman, barometer of a biased mainstream middle, Yaniv Reich
My dear aunt (of letter fame)
loves to think of me as biased. I have devoted a decade or two to the
patient explanation of why this opinion of me is false, and demonstrably
so. But in her mind, my stubborn focus on human and civil rights means
that I care more about Palestinians than Jews, simply because objective
reality is characterized by many times more violations of Palestinian
rights by Israelis than the reverse. Today, she sent me Thomas
Friedman’s latest op-ed in the NY Times as an example of an unbiased
article, which is tough on both the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships
and therefore, somehow, more respectable in her eyes. This striking
assertion—that Friedman of all people is unbiased—provides a perfect
“teaching moment” because it exposes how normative claims to “moderate”
and “unbiased” operate.
671 ‘New York Times’ readers recommend letter calling Israel a ‘fascist state’ that is dragging us down, Philip Weiss
One of those signs that is sure to send a chill through the Israel lobby. A couple of days ago Roger Cohen did an anguished Op-Ed
for the New York Times about the American Jewish community's intolerance
of criticism of Israel, even as Israeli leadership is destroying "the
Zionist dream." The column brought an outpouring of comments, about 238 so far.
The Jewish community begins to embrace… the Goldstone Report!, Philip Weiss
I went to the Rabbis for Human Rights conference
in New York this week, and my chief impression was that the Jewish
community is warming up to the Goldstone Report 15 months late. Maybe
this is the effect of the boycott movement, which is a bridge too far
for the J Street Jews who dominated the conference-- but what I saw was a
growing awareness that Israel has exhibited contempt for others'
judgment of its actions and that the community effort to shut down the
Goldstone Report a year ago only enhanced Israel's isolation from all
norms of conduct (filling the sails of the boycott movement).
The unholy alliance between Israel`s Right and Europe`s anti-Semites
Adar Primor--Oy Europe! Its official arm, brave and mighty, was extended
to us in the form of the dozens of firefighters and firefighting
aircraft dispatched to battle the Carmel blaze. Its other arm - the
outcast, disobedient one - came to ignite fires whose damages cannot be
predicted. These took the form of the very unholy alliance between
figures on Israel`s right and extreme nationalists and even anti-Semites
in Europe that is gaining momentum in the Holy Land.
Desperately seeking a U.S. plan for peace
and Salam Fayyad tried and succeeded in neutralizing Hamas, reining in
terror and imposing law and order in the West Bank while accelerating
economic development despite all the obstacles.
Obama’s Failure Prompts Media Discussion of One-State Solution, Alex Kane
President Barack Obama’s failure to secure another 90 day settlement “freeze”
Israel could prove to be a clarifying moment. It has immediately
prompted media discussion of the disintegration of the two-state
solution and the reality that Israel could become an apartheid state (leaving aside the fact that Israel is already one).
When Japan and Lebanon Go Crazy For Palestine
On May 8, 1972, members of the Palestinian Black September Movement
called William Nassar’s group (two guys and two girls) hijacked a Sabina
airliner during its flight from Brussels to Tel Aviv. Upon landing, the
hijackers demanded the release of 100 Palestinian revolutionary fighters
thrown in Israeli dungeons, in exchange for the 100 passengers
on-board. The Red Cross requested an extension for the ten-hour
deadline, and to allow them to provide food and water to the passengers
until the hijackers’ demands were met. The requests were granted, and
the cost was their demise. The Red Cross had knowingly sent the food
with Israeli commandos disguised as airport ground staff. The shooting
led to the injury of some passengers, the death of the two Palestinian
men and unknown number of Israeli commandos, and the injury and arrest
of the two Palestinian girls (given life sentences).
‘Washington Post’’s new blogger promptly calls for force against Iran, Philip Weiss
Washington Post has replaced the American Enterprise Institute as the
primary hub of neoconservative arguments for U.S. aggression in the
Middle East. AEI operated during a Republican administration, the Post
operates in a Democratic one. Old wine in a new bottle. Jennifer Rubin,
the latest hire, fresh from Commentary magazine: we should begin to
make the case and agree on a feasible plan for the use of force. When
there is a credible threat of force -- not occupation
or invasion, but strikes sufficient to hobble Iran's nuclear program,
military and Revolutionary Guard -- the decision-making calculus may
change. What of the notion that the nation will rally around the flag if
Should Bob Woodward be arrested? (updated), Stephen M. Walt
One on One - Zbigniew Brzezinski
cyber attacks on Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar after it published WikiLeaks
documents were condemned Friday by Hizbullah and the Journalists Union. A
statement by Hizbullah said the party expressed its
solidarity with the publication and considered the hacking of its
website “an attack on freedom of opinion and expression,” and called on
the government to take measures to prevent such cyberattacks from
recurring Al-Akhbar has published leaked US diplomatic cables connected
to a number of Arab countries, and has speculated that individuals in
Israel or Arab countries might be behind the attacks. Separately, the
attacks were also condemned by the Journalists Union and the group Media
The former US national security adviser and geostrategist shares his experiences and views with Riz Khan.
Hariri to call for Cabinet session, 'false witnesses' on agenda
BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri agreed
Friday to call for a Cabinet session for next Wednesday in a move aimed
at ending the month-long government paralysis, political sources told
The Daily Star. A political source, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said that invitations will be sent to the ministers Saturday.
Hizbullah official: Tribunal akin to Middle Ages court
BEIRUT: A high-ranking Hizbullah official said Friday the Special
Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was comparable to a court established during
the Middle Ages and added that those wagering on the UN-backed tribunal
to deal a blow to the resistance were deluding themselves.
Tribunal spokesperson latest to resign
BEIRUT: Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) spokesperson Fatima al-Issawi
announced Sunday her resignation from the Netherlands-based court,
citing "professional reasons." "I announce my resignation as a
spokesperson for the STL for professional reasons," Issawi said in a
statement delivered to the state-run National News Agency.
If War Comes; Israel vs Hezbollah and Its Allies
13/12/2010 "In all probability, it would be a major conflict, one fought
over extensive areas of Lebanon, Israel, and probably Syria, featuring
large military forces executing complex operations and resulting in
substantial casualties (military and civilian) as well as major
infrastructure damage in all of the countries involved.” This is how
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) veteran, Jeffrey White, pictures the
coming war between Israel and Hezbollah and its allies in his new book,
If War Comes : Israel vs. Hezbollah and Its Allies, published by the
Washington Institute for Near Eastern Affairs, September 2010. In this
60-page focus, White offers “a meticulously calculated forecast of the
future war” that will “bear little resemblance to the 2006” Israeli
aggression on Lebanon. Instead, he continues, this conflict is likely to
be broader and much more intense; certainly Israel’s most serious war
since 1973, and one that the IDF would have to win, with the potential
to transform the wider region both militarily and politically.”
Ain al-Hilweh residents mark 194 anniversary
SIDON: Residents of the Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp marked
Friday the anniversary of the 1948 UN General Assembly resolution that
called on Israel to allow the return of refugees to their homeland.
Participants in the sit-ins said Israel, backed by the West and the
implicit collaboration of Arab regimes, had ignored the implementation
of international resolutions, which could only be brought about by
resistance movements. Some residents said Hizbullah’s weapons were a
guarantee to the implementation of Resolution 194. “Hizbullah’s arms
will prevent the settlement of Palestinian refugees and their case will
remain open as long as a peace deal is not signed with Israel with the
enduring resistance in Palestine keeping our hopes alive,” said Hassan
Awad, who took part in Friday’s protest.
Suicide bomber kills 2 Shiite pilgrims in Iraq (AP)
An Iraqi official says a suicide bomber has killed two Shiite pilgrims
north of Baghdad during an important religious ritual for the Muslim
Women, elderly among 17 slain in Iraq suicide blast
suicide bomber blew up his car Sunday outside government offices west
of the Iraqi capital, killing 17 people, including women and elderly
people waiting to collect welfare checks, officials said. Six police
officers were among the dead in the latest strike on the provincial
council compound in the Anbar province capital of Ramadi.
Arab, Kurdish women kidnapped in Iraq city
KIRKUK: Two groups of kidnappers seized female relatives of a top
Kurdish policeman and an Arab tribal chief within hours in and around
the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk, police said yesterday. Kirkuk's
provincial police chief blamed the kidnappings in the ethnically-mixed
city on the release from jail nearly two months ago of five women linked
to Al-Qaeda that he admitted had been a "mistake.
Remaining Christians in Iraq’s Mosul living under constant fear
Many Iraqi Christians in the northern city of Mosul have fled mounting
violence there, but those remaining say they fear for their lives.
There are no exact figures on those who have stayed behind, but most of
them are low-income Christians who simply cannot afford to emigrate.
Many Christians have been killed, several churches bombed and houses
blown up in the past few months. The main source of fear for the
remaining ones is that they have no idea of who is fueling the
anti-Christian violence in the violent city.
Iraq National Alliance gets 16 ministries
parties agreed to allocate 16 ministries including two sovereign
ministries to the National Alliance, an informed source told Alsumaria
News. Al Iraqiya List is expected to get nine ministries while
Kurdistan Parties Coalition will get four ministries, the source said.
Kurdish 'self-determination' call sparks Iraqi ire (AFP)
AFP - Iraqi Kurdish leader Massud Barzani's recent call for
self-determination for his people has drawn the ire of the country's
Sunni and Shiite Arab leaders, who argue that it presages a break-up of
Ali Hilli, founder of Iraqi LGBT
Video: Ali Hilli, founder of Iraqi LGBT, talks about the threat facing minorities in post-war Iraq.
Iraqi Contemporary Art Influenced By War And Exile
Driven out of war-torn Iraq and dispersed around the globe, Iraqi
contemporary artists - struggling to maintain a unique presence from
under the umbrella of "Middle Eastern art" - are regrouping in Dubai and
exhibiting art that reflects the complex relationships they have with
WikiLeaks cables: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU
Vatican diplomats also lobbied against Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and wanted 'Christian roots' enshrined in EU constitution
Cable: Syria told Iran it would not join war with Israel
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Syria's government told Iran that it would not join
the Islamic Republic or its proxy Hezbollah in a war with Israel,
according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable. The Dec. 22, 2009 cable,
among thousands published by WikiLeaks in recent weeks, covers the visit
at the time to Syria of four high-level Iranian officials and the
signing of a defense memorandum of understanding, ostensibly a show of
solidarity as the West closed ranks to isolate Iran because of its
suspected nuclear weapons program. "Syria reportedly resisted Iranian
entreaties to commit to joining Iran if fighting broke out between Iran
and Israel or Hezbollah and Israel," said the cable, signed off by Chuck
Hunter, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Syria, and quoting
a redacted source. "XXXXXXXXXXXX said Iranian officials were in Syria
'to round up allies' in anticipation of an Israeli military strike. 'It
(an Israeli strike on Iran) is not a matter of if, but when,'
XXXXXXXXXXXX said, reporting what Syrian officials had heard from their
CIA’s honeypot Wikileaks mirror readily reveals it was set up by CIA
Looks like the CIA created a “honeypot” wikileaks mirror at wikileaks.psytek.net, presumably to see who is downloading the leaks—but they screwed up the anonymization.
Assange lawyer says US spying indictment imminent
attorney says he's not been allowed to meet with his client London
lawyer, Mark Stephens, told Voice of Russia, the Russian government's
international radio broadcasting service, that British officials will
not allow him to meet with Julian Assange until the day before a Dec. 14
Ron Paul defends Assange, blasts neoconservatives
Common sense rarely breaches the ideological cushion that insulates the US congress from reason. Here is a rare instance.
Ron Paul Defends WikiLeaks On House Floor (VIDEO)
wake of the recent WikiLeaks document dump, Representative Ron Paul
(R-Texas), the self-styled libertarian crusader who's spent the past
half-decade building up a massive grassroots following, has emerged as a
principal voice in support of the transparency that WikiLeaks has
provided. In a speech on the House floor yesterday, Paul held forth at
length on the controversy.
Retired CIA Officer Defends Julian Assange
Retired CIA officer Ray McGovern (who came out in defense of Julian Assange back in August)
Swiss bank investigated after freezing WikiLeaks account
GENEVA — Swiss authorities are investigating if the banking arm of Swiss
Post violated secrecy rules by divulging that it had closed WikiLeaks
founder Julian Assange's account, media reported on Sunday. "We are
investigating if, in relation to the Postfinance press statement, there
has been punishable action," Hermann Wenger, examining magistrate of the
Bern-Mittelland region, told SonntagsZeitung.
US Poll: People Behind WikiLeaks Should be Prosecuted
The survey found that 70 percent of Americans think the leaks are doing
more harm than good by allowing America's enemies to see confidential
and secret information about U.S. foreign policy.
Assange's prosecutor denies ulterior motive
founder Julian Assange is still in custody in a British jail while his
legal team prepares to fight his extradition to Sweden, where he is
wanted for alleged sexual misconduct against two women. Al Jazeera's
Nazanine Moshiri has travelled to Stockholm to speak to Claes Borgstrom,
a lawyer for the two women, who denied any political motivations behind
the allegations. Borgstrom said the high-profile case is actually
pouring much unwanted attention on his clients. [December 10, 2010]
US Assange indictment `unconstitutional'
A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says any prosecution of
the whistleblowing website in the United States for espionage would be
unconstitutional. But Jennifer Robinson denied reports that Assange's
legal team believe a US indictment over WikiLeaks' release of thousands
of classified US diplomatic cables is imminent.
Assange is a 'political actor' - not journalist, US says
not a journalist. He's not a whistleblower," State Department spokesman
PJ Crowley said. "He is a political actor. He has a political agenda."
WikiLeaks Congressional Hearing Set for Dec. 16
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a Dec. 16 hearing on the
potential application of U.S. espionage laws in relation to WikiLeaks,
the committee announced on Friday, marking the first such hearing to
address the website's recent release of classified U.S. diplomatic
Assange is held in cell where they once held Oscar Wilde, Philip Weiss
And Assange is as shocking to the old information order as Wilde was to
the sexual order. It's amazing to me how many old-school journalists are
trashing this guy, who has delivered more information about how the
world operates than anyone, ever. The New Republic is filled with bitter
condemnation, Todd Gitlin of the Columbia Journalism School is against
Assange. This is one of those historical Which side are you on, moments.
Glenn Greenwald has been carrying on the good fight at Salon-- "pure authoritarianism--" and Naomi Wolf has bravely called Assange's captors the
police. It's true that the territory that Assange has discovered
is a scary one, but it is bound to make civilization better. Think of
it; the U.S. has lost its way, we are involved in two brutal occupations
halfway around the world that are alienating all Muslims, three
occupations if you count Israel's of Palestine, and journalists here are
against learning more about it.
WikiRebels – the documentary
Exclusive rough-cut of first in-depth
documentary on WikiLeaks and the people behind
it! From summer 2010 until now, Swedish
Television has been following the secretive media
network WikiLeaks and its enigmatic
Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange.
Beyond the leaks
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, on the long-term effect of the US embassy files leak.
Inside Story - WikiLeaks and the craft of journalism
As Wikileaks continues to feed media outlets with thousands of
classified US diplomatic cables, how serious is the threat by WikiLeaks
to other media outlets? And how is WikiLeaks shaping the media industry?
Is it the beginning of a new media form?
WikiLeaks may make the powerful howl, but we are learning the truth
WikiLeaks has offered us glimpses of how the world works. And in most cases nothing but good can come of it.
Inside Story - WikiLeaks special: Assange: hero or villain?
Assange and his whistle-blowing site WikiLeaks continue to make
headlines - with daily revelations continuing, even though Assange is
himself now behind bars. Is he a hero or a villain? Can he be held
legally accountable? Are the revelations on his site endangering lives
or are they simply embarrassing for the US government? And what of
freedom of expression? Inside Story will be dealing with all these
issues and more in a series of programmes over the coming week. We begin
with the fundamental issue of freedom of speech and information.
Cables Reveal Background of Pro-Dictator U.S. Policy, Ted Rall
the Soviet collapse in 1991 U.S. policy toward Central Asia
was transparently cynical: support the dictators, screw the people. As
the U.S. stood by and watched, corrupt autocrats looted the former
Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
Dissidents were jailed, massacred--even boiled. Well, actually, the
U.S. was anything but passive. They negotiated deals for oil and gas
pipelines. They rented airbases after 9/11. They poured in tens of
millions of American tax dollars--all of which wound up in secret bank
accounts belonging to the dictators and their families. Meanwhile,
average citizens lived in abject poverty.
U.S. and other world news
7 Afghan civilians killed by US-led airstrike in Paktia
The attack took place in Zarmat district in Paktia province on Saturday
as a group of Afghan road construction workers were working on a
project, a Press TV correspondent reported. Reports say local people
have gathered at the site of the attack and there is extreme anger over
Afghans hold anti-US rally
angry Afghans have taken to the streets of Gardez city to protest
against the rising number of civilian casualties at the hands of US-led
Drone attacks victims left helpless: CIVIC
ISLAMABAD: At least 2100 civilians were killed and various others
injured during 2009 in the ongoing war on terror, dronre attacks and
activities against the terrorists, according to a report released by a
US non-government organistation. According to the report by Campaign
for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC), the bereaved families of these
people have been left helpless without any proper succour provided to
them. The conflict in Pakistan has exacted an immense toll on
civilians, but the US and Pakistani governments, aid agencies and even
military officials pay little attention to their plight says a US
pressure group which works for civilian victims caught in armed
Egypt democracy advocate: Opposition will unite
democracy advocate Mohamed ElBaradei said he is pushing to unify the
country's opposition groups to build enough numbers for pro-reform
protests after parliamentary elections marred by widespread allegations
Egypt's Mubarak says elections were fine
Hosni Mubarak said Sunday that Egypt's recent parliamentary elections
in which his party won a smashing victory were largely lawful despite a
'Ticking time-bomb' of UAE diabetes
The UAE has the second-highest rate of diabetes in the world.
Joshua Stanton: Muslims Become Integral to American Seminaries
as an institution that trains Muslim American clergy remains in
discussion, Muslim students are now becoming valued as essential
participants in divinity and seminary programs across the United States.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda