||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land and property theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing|
...My discomfort increases as I begin to more fully understand the
situation, a situation which is almost literally on top of me. I look up
at a net hanging above the souk. It's full of garbage and other debris.
The Jewish settlers, who number about 500, have built homes above both
sides of the market street. I am told that the net is to protect the
Palestinians below from the garbage, urine, eggs and bleach routinely
thrown at them by the settlers. I can see evidence of the refuse in the
net right above me. One of the shopkeepers shows me egg stains on the
scarves he is selling. Hebron feels tense; in fact, it's the most tense
place I have ever been.
Sept - Tension is growing in the Arab quarters of East Jerusalem. The
city administration plans to allow the further demolition of Palestinian
houses. The human rights organization "Rabbis for Human Rights," which
vehemently champions the defence of Palestinian rights, has been
demonstrating against the demolition. Daniel Pelz reports
Activism / Solidarity / Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions
Here's an update from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee
on the case of Abdallah Abu Rahmah
a leader in the Bil'in protests against the Wall: The sentencing phase
in the trial of Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Bil'in
Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, began Wednesday at
the Ofer Military Court. Abu Rahmah was convicted of organizing illegal
marches and of incitement last month, but cleared of the violence
charges he was indicted for - stone-throwing and a vindictive arms-possession charge
for collecting used tear-gas projectiles and displaying them.
Ramallah – PNN – Israeli soldiers used tear gas and sound bombs on
Friday midday to suppress two anti wall protests in Bil’in and Nil’in
villages near the central West Bank city of Ramallah... Leading the
protest [in Bil'in] was a group of men who wore masks resembling Nilsson
Mandela, Martin Luther King and Abdullah Abu Rahama the local activist
who was arrested by the military eight months ago. Abu Rahma was
sentenced for two years in jail this week by an Israeli military court.
Israelis, and international activists in Bil'in demanded the release of
political prisoners from Israeli jails. Demonstrators wore masks of
local non-violent resistance leader Abdullah Abu Rahmah, who is being
held at Ofer military prison charged with incitement. Others wore masks
of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, organizers said ... Organizers said
troops then crossed the separation fence, and fired rubber-coated steel
bullets, hitting a young Palestinian in his back, while an Israeli
protester, Tali Shapiro, was hit in the leg by a tear canister. At a
simultaneous protest in Ni’lin village, in the Ramallah district, local
popular committee leaders reported that Israeli soldiers fired live
ammunition at protesters, injuring two, while others fainted from
tear-gas inhalation ... In Al Ma'sara, near Bethlehem, soldiers stopped
protesters as they headed towards the construction site of the
separation wall on village land after midday prayers.
Audio: 'They persecuted Ameer to keep us silent'
trial of Palestinian citizen of Israel and civil society leader Ameer
Makhoul resumes today in Haifa. Charged with espionage and other
trumped-up security allegations, Makhoul denies the charges and
maintains that "evidence" gathered by the state was obtained through
coercion. Last month The Electronic Intifada contributor Hyun Lee
interviewed Makhoul's wife, activist Janan Abdu, and Gabrielle Rubin,
media coordinator with Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights
in Israel about Makhoul's case.
Email Courtney, and have her perform My Name Is Rachel Corrie in your town or on your campus
The International Women¹s Peace Service (IWPS) is a team of
international female human-rights volunteers in Palestine who provide
accompaniment to Palestinian civilians (including farmers during the
annual olive harvest), document and non-violently intervene in
human-rights abuses and support acts of non-violent resistance to end
the Israeli military occupation and construction of the barrier
throughout the West Bank. IWPS is currently inviting applications from
women based in Australia and New Zealand who would like to join our team
of long-term volunteers. We are also inviting applications from women
who would like to work with IWPS on a short term basis.
following is an open letter to the Batsheva Dance Company from two
groups organizing a boycott of its upcoming shows in New York City: Dear
Batsheva Dance Company, We are a group of New York-based human rights
activists and artists calling for a boycott of your performances at the
Joyce Theater in New York City due to your collaboration with the
Israeli state and its Brand Israel campaign.
Launched in 2005, Brand Israel is a government public relations
initiative which uses cultural productions to distract from Israel’s
daily human rights violations.
Ahava is owned by entities deeply involved in Israel's settlement
project in the occupied West Bank. Activists are fighting to show it
can't hide its dirty side -- Walk into any Ricky's store, a beauty shop
chain in New York, and you will find a shelf filled with Ahava products.
For $28, you can buy mineral toning cleanser; for $22, Dead Sea liquid
salt; and for $9, purifying mud soap. The products made by Ahava (which
means "love" in Hebrew) seem innocent enough, perfectly enticing for
anyone fond of beauty products. But looks can be deceiving.
and bath salts are stirring up controversy over at the Sacramento
Natural Foods Co-op, where a fraction of its 12,000 owner-members is
moving to boycott products that come from Israel. The boycott is being
pushed by the Sacramento Boycott, Divestments, Sanctions Working Group.
The group says the boycott would end when Israel stops its Gaza
blockade, exits the West Bank, grants Arab Israelis the same rights as
Jewish Israelis and lets Palestinian refugees return.
A four-member United Nations panel probing Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound
flotilla has received Turkey's investigative report, a UN envoy said on
Friday."The panel has said that it had received Turkey's own
investigative report together with its appendices," said Robert Serry,
UN's special coordinator for the Middle East. Serry said the panel would
begin examining the reports after Israel submitted its own.
An aid boat destined for Gaza set sail Saturday from the Syrian port of
Tartous, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported. State Minister
for the Syrian Red Crescent Basahr Al-Shaar said the ship will bring 650
tons of humanitarian aid, including 40 tons of medical supplies, and
will travel to Gaza via the Egyptian port of Al-Arish
London, England (CNN) -- A survivor of the fatal Gaza flotilla incident
in May headed out Saturday on a new convoy to bring medical supplies to
the Palestinian territory. Kevin Ovenden departed London on Saturday
morning with about a dozen vans and more than 30 international
volunteers as part of the Viva Palestina Lifeline 5 convoy. Two other
convoys were being organized at the same time from Casablanca, Morocco,
and Doha, Qatar, his group said. The three convoys will aim to meet in
Syria before traveling together to Gaza, organizers said.
The Siege (Gaza and West Bank) / Restriction of movement / Humanitarian / Human rights
Steps away from the Mediterranean, Gaza markets are suffering from a
fish shortage ... Some entrepreneurs have started local fish farms to
make up for the fish inaccessible by sea. Ibrahim Qannan shows what the
farms look like, and the challenges they face. Filmed for a series of
short features broadcast during the holy month of Ramadan, Lina
Ibrahim's story aired as part of the program Hay Baladna (This is Our
Country), which highlights the challenges and successes of Palestinians
in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and cities now in Israel. The programs
are broadcast on the only Palestinian satellite channel in Israel, and
can be viewed in homes across the Middle East.
"There is no real change yet," says Marwan Kishawi. "But they say that
this week the Israelis will allow the first new cars into Gaza in over
three years." Until now the only way to get a new car was to order one
to be smuggled in the tunnels from Egypt. But this week, Mr Kishawi says
two trucks of spare parts were allowed into Gaza for the first time in
years. But he has not seen the parts yet. He says there is a lot of
bureaucracy and paperwork to get the parts into Gaza. Mr Kishawi says he
has not sold a new car since 2006. "It will be exciting if it happens,"
he says, his smile suggesting he'll believe it when he sees it.
Medics reported that 12 injured workers were rescued Friday from two
tunnels under Gaza's border with Egypt. Civil defense crews evacuated
six workers after they reported being suffocated by gas in an
underground tunnel near the Salah Ad-Din gate south of Rafah. The six
men were transferred to the Abu Yousif An-Najjar Hospital in Rafah for
treatment. A seventh man who remained trapped in the tunnel was rescued
on Friday afternoon, and during the rescue two others were found in the
underground terminal, bringing the total number of casualties from the
incident to 10. Three trapped workers were also rescued from a second
tunnel which had collapsed in the Al-Brazil neighborhood on Friday
...Indeed, Gaza's police force may be one of the more unusual ones
patrolling the world's streets. The force is administered by the tiny
territory's Interior Ministry, which in turn is run by the Hamas
government ... Most of their police cars are unusable, crushed or burnt
carcasses after last year's Israeli air and land assault. They try not
to get too ambitious with their training, they say, because there is
always the possibility of another attack from above. And yet, in a
region known for its police states, Gaza's police force is somewhat of
an anomaly. In neighboring Egypt, for example, the police are so
notoriously corrupt and inefficient that they are rarely called upon by
civilians to resolve day-to-day crises. But Gaza's citizenry frequently
ask the police to mediate everyday disputes, particularly family feuds,
which authorities say can often turn violent.
Social Safety Net Reform Project has supported the Palestinian
Authority in developing and managing one of the most advanced cash
assistance programs in the region. It is also designed to be expanded
during crises if needed. The project, after merging with another
initiative backed by the European Union, has provided cash transfers to
more than 63,000 poor families using an effective poverty-targeting
mechanism and database.
Violence / Aggression & Provocations
The Documentation and Research Unit at the Jerusalem Center for Social
and Economic Rights (JCSER) reported Saturday that the Palestinian
resident from Jerusalem who was shot by an Israeli soldiers in Tel Aviv
on September 14 was bound before he was killed. The center said that
Hazim Adel Abu Al Dab’at, 22, from Al Thoury neighborhood in East
Jerusalem was shot to death after being forced to the ground while
cuffed. The report contradicts the statement of the Israeli police
Israeli forces burst into the home of a senior member of Hamas early
Friday morning and killed him with three bullets to the chest, though
few Israelis know anything about it ... The killing took place just a
day after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left the area
following two days of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian
leaders. And it came just hours before Israelis celebrated Yom Kippur,
the holiest of Jewish holidays. As a result, there was almost no news of
the killing in Israeli media
17 Sept - On August 29, 2010, Martin Indyk wrote an op-ed in The New
York Times entitled “For once, hope in the Middle East”. When I read
it, I felt I should respond with an article that sheds light on the
issues which Mr. Indyk has chosen to ignore. One of the premises he
based his analysis on was that violence has receded in the Middle East
in the past two years compared with the 1990s. Here, like most Western
officials and journalists, Indyk ignores daily and persistent Israeli
violence against Palestinians for the past sixty years which has risen
to record levels in terms of the number and ferocity of Israeli crimes
against Palestinian civilians in the past two years, particularly in the
city of Hebron.
Israel's Arab helpers
Palestinian Authority Security Forces detained slain Hamas leader Iyad
Shelbaya seven times in the past two years, Gaza government spokesman
Taher An-Nunu said Saturday. The repeated detentions, which followed an
11-month period in Israeli prison starting in 2003, An-Nunu said, was
akin to collaboration with Israel on the part of PA security. On Friday
morning in the northern West Bank governorate of Tulkarem, the
38-year-old Shelbaya was killed in his Nur Shams refugee camp home by
three gunshot wounds to the neck and chest. An-Nunu accused the ruling
West Bank party Fatah, of providing Israel with a "cover" for the
killing, which Israeli military officials said Friday was under
Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) on Friday condemned the killing of
a Hamas commander by the Israeli forces in the West Bank. "This is a
dangerous escalation weakening the credibility of the negotiations which
are already shaking," Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a
officials in the West Bank said [accused?] Palestinian Authority
security services officers of detaining 22 members and affiliates from
across the West Bank. While Ma'an could not independently verify the
detentions, rights organizations like the Palestinian Center for Human
Rights cataloged hundreds of detentions since 30 August, when
Hamas-affiliated militants killed four Israeli settlers driving in the
West Bank. On Friday, Hamas officials said PA forces were targeting the
family and friends of officials elected in 2006 to the Palestinian
Legislative Council under the Hamas bloc.
...The Palestinians hope to utilize Abbas' trip to carry out what they
describe as a "smiles and appeasement campaign" among America's Jewish
community, in efforts to raise sympathy and support among U.S.
Jews. Abbas' senior advisers were also trying to secure an interview on
the popular channel Fox News.
The An-Nasser Salah Ad-Din Brigades said fighters launched three
projectiles from east of Rafah toward Israeli targets in the western
Negev on Saturday morning. The militant unit, part of the Popular
Resistance Committees in Gaza, said the projectiles were launched toward
Israeli forces operating in the area. A statement from the group said
no injuries were identified ... Almost a dozen other projectile launches
reported by the Israeli military have not been claimed by Gaza
factions. Israeli forces have launched three separate rounds of
airstrikes targeting what officials said were weapons smuggling tunnels
and Hamas training facilities.
The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
said fighters with their National Resistance Brigades evaded an Israeli
military ambush in the Gaza Strip overnight. A statement from the group
said operatives east of Wadi Al-Salqa in the central Gaza Strip were
fired on by forces.
'Peace talks' / Political/Diplomatic news
team member Nabil Sha'ath said Friday night that the last day of
September would be the turning point for fledgling peace talks. While
officials have disputed the actual end of the settlement construction
moratorium - some saying 26 September and other saying 30 - Sha'ath
pegged the end of the month as the final date for negotiators to
determine whether or not they would walk away from the process.
Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and US Mideast envoy George Mitchell
discussed a possible meeting with US President Barack Obama when the
Lebanese leader visits Washington on 21 September, a Lebanese newspaper
reported Saturday. Beirut's daily An-Nahar newspaper said the issue was
discussed as Mitchell extended the latest round of Israel-Palestine
peace talks with visits to Syria and Lebanon, where [he] met with UNIFIL
forces operating in the area since the end of the 2006 Israeli war on
the south of the country.
Israeli officials sent a letter of complaint to the UN Secretary General
and Security Council over what was claimed as complicity between the
Lebanese army and Hezbollah forces, the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper
(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President
Bashar al-Assad met in Damascus on Saturday, two days after Assad held
talks with a U.S. envoy about the prospects of renewing peace
negotiations with Israel. The meeting suggested that Iran wants to keep
close tabs on Syria's relations with the United States as Washington
presses the secular ruling hierarchy in Damascus to distance itself from
the Islamic Republic.
Jerusalem (AP) - Israel came to a virtual standstill at sundown Friday
as Jews began observing the start of the holiest day of the Jewish
calendar, the 25 hours of fasting and contemplation known as Yom
Kippur. Though most Israelis are not religious, Israel all but shuts
down for the duration of the fast day. There are no TV or radio
broadcasts, businesses are shuttered and the streets are so devoid of
cars that thousands of children take advantage of the day to ride their
bicycles down highways.
We reported on Richard Silverstein’s initial fears of Nwe Israel Fund's new guidelines, that they would bar funding to those who opposed Israel as a Jewish state. Then it looked like compromise language was in the works. Finally,
the guidelines are out, and they call instead for grantees to support
Jewish self-determination within the state of Israel.
Ethiopian woman fought for four years to be recognized as a Jew
refusing rabbis' demands to undergo conversion procedures and was even
forced to postpone her wedding. Last week, the Great Rabbinical court in
Jerusalem declared she will be able to bathe in a mikveh prior to her
wedding and ruled there will be no record of her undergoing a procedure
to return to Judaism.
World Bank approved a grant dedicated to support the Palestinian
Authority's government budget on Thursday, a report from the body said.
Although the report criticized optimistic growth numbers it said were
"largely thanks to external financial aid," and noted "critical private
sector investment remains hampered by restrictions on movement of people
and goods," the funds were dedicated to the government budget, and not
the private sector.
Analysis / Opinion / Human interest
Israel's ambassador to the U.S., Michael B. Oren, argues in his Sept. 15
Times Op-Ed article that Israelis want peace, and I believe him.
They've said so often enough. But the Israelis want lots of other things
too. For instance, they want the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In
addition, they want the Palestinian aquifers situated beneath the West
Bank, and they want to preserve their racial privilege in the Jewish
state. They also want to shear the Gaza Strip from Palestine. Most of
all, the Israelis want Palestinian quiescence in the face of Israeli
wants. Those wants have made the two-state solution impossible to
following is a response to Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren's September
15th editorial in the Los Angeles Times: Imagine that you are a parent
who sends her children off to school in the morning worrying whether
they will be arbitrarily stopped, stripped nearly naked, and in most
cases returned back home from an Israeli checkpoint without any redress
process. Imagine that, instead of going off to college, your children at
age 18 are stripped of their dignity and honor and continue to remain
colonized until they die ... Picture all of that and you will begin to
understand what it is to be a Palestinian. And you will know why all
Palestinians have desperately striven for peace for more than sixty
The former U.S. president also criticizes Bill Clinton, writing that
Israeli settlement building in the West Bank was especially rapid under
his administration. -- In his new book, former United States president
Jimmy Carter criticizes President Barack Obama over his policy on
Israel's settlement freeze, writing that the President has backed away
from his initial commitment to a complete halt to building in West Bank
settlements. The Associated Press purchased a copy of Carter's book,
White House Diary, on Friday, ahead of its release Monday.
There is no question that the United States has a relationship with
Israel that has no parallel in modern history. Washington gives Israel
consistent, almost unconditional diplomatic backing and more foreign aid
than any other country. In other words, Israel gets this aid even when
it does things that the United States opposes, like building
settlements. Furthermore, Israel is rarely criticized by American
officials and certainly not by anyone who aspires to high office.
peace negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials are
unlikely to end, let alone reverse, Palestinian dispossession. The power
imbalance between the sides is simply too great. While Canada could be
part of the solution, so far it has been part of the problem.
Brooklyn-Jenin: On the banality of good and evil / Udi Aloni
and his family will accompany us throughout the next posts; so will the
remarkable and inconceivable tale of how Mustafa became one of the
prominent voices in the struggle for the Palestinian woman's rights.
But, unfortunately, like in any other truly, remarkable story in
Palestine the occupation spoils it all, or almost all.
Includes short film "I am Black as well" by Ayed Fadel, Maryam Abu Khaleid, Mustafa Staidi.
yet another round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks crank up, here's
something that the intractable parties on both sides might consider:
Neither country is going to have much of a future if they persist in
driving their kids crazy. It's hardly a secret that children and war
don't mix, and there is nothing that should shame us more than seeing
kids hurt or killed in the pointless battles the adults around them
wage. But children who escape without a visible scratch are being
scarred too, and a new, three-year study of 1,500 Arab and Israeli young
people shows how bad the damage is.
Stoler, the Willy Brandt Distinguished University Professor of
Anthropology and Historical Studies at the New School for Social
Research, endorses BDS: As
someone who has worked for some thirty years as a teacher and student
of colonial studies– on comparative colonial situations, colonial
histories, and the violent and subtle forms of governance on which
colonial regimes rely, it would be difficult not to describe the Israeli
state as a colonial one.
...A war had broken out. The Egyptians and the Syrians had launched an
attack on Israel. Yom Kippur, by far the holiest day of Judaism, 37
years ago today (according to the Hebrew calendar). SINCE THEN, on every
Yom Kippur we remember that fateful day. Impossible not to. It was a
watershed in our life and in the history of Israel, a formative event
for the entire Semitic region. Today, as on every Yom Kippur since, the
quiet, the silence in the streets, encourages us to think. As a witness,
I have the urge to testify.
...UK author Mischa Hiller's first novel Sabra Zoo is told through the eyes of a young man named Ivan. Sabra Zoo follows
the adventures of this son of a Dutch mother and Palestinian father who
serves as an officer in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in
Beirut during the most intense period of Israel's invasion of Lebanon.
For some time now, David Grossman has been describing his writing as a
means of survival, as a way of no longer feeling a victim in the
"disaster zone" of the seemingly eternal conflict that
is Israel-Palestine ... To the End of the Land tells the story of
Ora, who leaves her home in Jerusalem to walk across Israel to Galilee,
in order to avoid the "notifiers" who might arrive at any moment to
inform her of the death of her son. It is the trip they had planned
together to celebrate his discharge from military service ... To the End of the Land is
a chronicle that loops back through Ora's memory and history to cover
every war since the founding of Israel in 1948. Ora believes that Israel
has no future: "It doesn't really have a chance, this country. It just
JERUSALEM (AP)—In one of the Middle East’s key flashpoints, a group of
Israelis and Palestinians are putting aside their differences and
teaming up on the sports field to chase a common goal. The Judean Rebels
is the first West Bank team in Israel’s amateur American football
league. Most of the players are Jewish Israelis, many of them West Bank
settlers, but five are Palestinian.
[a minority of one? self-delusion personified]
An initiative to integrate east Jerusalemites into National Service is
stirring up the local Arab population and challenging city hall
-- Nusseibah Khattib, a Muslim Israeli-Arab from the village of Barta’a,
hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for weeks. Small wonder.
Iraq / Other Mideast
Excerpt: A leading Iraqiya Party member today announced a deal that
could finally break the elections deadlock paralyzing the Iraqi
government. Influential Shi’ite cleric Abdel Mahdi al-Karbalai seemed to
be referring to the deal when he told parishioners there were "signs of
a breakthrough" and "glimmers of hope." Meanwhile, 10 Iraqis were
killed and 20 more were wounded in the latest attacks. Also, an American
soldier was killed in a non-combat incident in Iskandariya.
English - An Amnesty International report says tens of thousands of
Iraqi detainees held without trial in Iraq, remain at risk of torture.
/ Aswat al-Iraq: A leading member of al-Iraqiya said on Friday that her
bloc has reached an "initial agreement" with the Iraqi National
Alliance and the Kurdistan Alliance to have Adel Abdulmahdi as prime
minister and Iyad Allawi as president while the Kurds will get the
parliament chairmanship. "The agreement came as natural reaction for
attempts to marginalize al-Iraqiya, the INA and the Kurdistan Alliance
under the government of Nouri al-Maliki," Aliya Nusseif told Aswat
al-Iraq news agency.
...The waves of violence that swept the country since the 2003
U.S.-led invasion played a major role in increasing the illiteracy rate
in Iraq, said Walid Hassan, Ministry of Education spokesman. "The high level of illiteracy since the invasion is mainly because children drop out of schools in order to work and support their families after they lost everything in the war," he said in the statement.
WASHINGTON — When Lt. Col. Dave Wilson took command of a battalion of
the 4th Brigade of the 1st Armored Division, the unit had just returned
to Texas from 14 months traveling some of Iraq's most dangerous roads as
part of a logistics mission. What he found, he said, was a unit far
more damaged than the single death it had suffered in its two
deployments to Iraq.
BEIRUT: An armed clash erupted in Beirut’s southern suburbs as a result
of a family dispute, a well-informed security source told The Daily Star
on Friday. Twelve shots were fired in the town of Ghobeiry in the
scuffle that pitted members of the Mikdad family against those from the
Karaki family. The source said that members from Hizbullah resolved the
dispute and ordered the armed men to evacuate the area before the
arrival of the Lebanese Army. There were no casualties.
A state-run newspaper on Friday defended a decision to publish a doctored photograph putting Egypt's president
front and center at Mideast peace talks in Washington, saying it was
meant to illustrate Hosni Mubarak's key role.
Pakistan / Afghanistan
Opponents of the Iraq War frequently criticized the Bush administration
for continuing and then escalating that war even in the face of large
majorities which opposed it, culminating in the furor that erupted
Dick Cheney, asked about war opposition, contemptuously dismissed
public opinion as irrelevant with his infamously candid: "So?".
Yesterday,a new NYT/CBS poll
54% of Americans believe that the U.S. "should not be involved in
Afghanistan now," while only 38% believe "the U.S. is doing the right
thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now."
15 Sept - The Associated Press does an important story
an intensive drone strike campaign by the US military since September
2 in southern Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s North Waziristan that has
left 60 persons dead, among them innocent civilians. On Tuesday
alone, US drone attacks targeting
militants killed some 15 persons in the village of Dargah Mandi village
on the outskirts of Miranshah, N. Waziristan’s main city.
Afghans elect a new parliament on September 18, the result can already
by spelled out since the party-less system ensures the return of 249
individuals unbound by allegiance to any group, without a clear vision
for the country's future, and whose only leverage is to block the
government. Electoral fraud will be rife - and the crowning absurdity is
the voting system. - Aunohita Mojumdar
Afghans have cast their ballots in crucial parliamentary elections, held
amid attacks across the country by Taliban fighters who sought to
derail the vote. At least 10 people were killed in the violence
unleashed by the Taliban on Saturday, prompting many Afghans to stay
away from the polls. The Taliban claimed to have launched more than 100
separate attacks on the day, firing rockets in several cities and
targeting a convoy carrying the governor of Kandahar, the Taliban
heartland in the south of the country. The governor was not injured in
the attack. Despite the spate of attacks, Afghan security officials said
overall security during the polling day had been better than expected.
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Preliminary figures showed 3.6 million votes were
cast in Afghanistan's parliamentary poll on Saturday, election officials
said, after polls closed on a day clouded by security and fraud
concerns. The figure represented around 40 percent of the maximum
possible votes at all polling stations that were open. However 1,561
polling centres out of a planned 6,835 could not be opened because of
United Nations has made a fresh appeal to raise an additional $1.5bn in
humanitarian aid to help Pakistan recover from crippling floods that
have displaced millions of people. The appeal, the largest-ever disaster
appeal in UN history, was announced on Friday by Ban Ki-moon, the UN
Islam in America
A coalition of four Jewish groups, backed by a wide array of peace and
justice organizations, held a demonstration Sept. 16 outside the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance in New York, denouncing the organization’s opposition to the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan.
YORK — Some Muslims who were initially indifferent about a proposed
Islamic center near the World Trade Center site are now rallying around
the plan, partly in response to a sense that their faith is under
assault. A summit of U.S. Muslim organizations is planned for Saturday
and Sunday in New York City to address both the project and a rise in
anti-Muslim sentiments and rhetoric that has accompanied the debate over
Many of America’s most prominent political leaders were induced to
comment on “International Burn A Koran Day”—a high profile provocation
proposed by a Christian-Zionist preacher with a small congregation in a
small town in Florida.
When U.S. General David Petraeus spoke out against the proposal, the
issue immediately gained an international profile as did Pastor Terry
Jones who quickly became an international celebrity. One need not dig
deep to identify who may have advised General Petraeus to grant a global
profile to a provocation consistent with Israeli goals for the region.
AlJazeera English - We look at the global media obsession over the Quran burning story
Detroit - Police announced today they've identified the person
responsible for the burning of a Quran outside an East Lansing mosque
that sparked violence in India. The individual, who has not yet been
named by police, voluntarily surrendered Wednesday after police
announced a $10,000 reward for tips in the case.
school superintendent apologized yesterday for allowing middle school
pupils to participate in a prayer service during a field trip to a
Roxbury mosque last spring. The apology to parents was made after a
group that has been critical of Islamic Society of Boston Community
Center - New England’s largest mosque and Muslim cultural center
-released a 10-minute video featuring footage of Wellesley pupils bowing
their heads during a prayer service. The group, Americans for Peace and
Tolerance[!], received the footage from a mother of one of the pupils,
its director, Dennis Hale, said yesterday. [See http://isbcc.org/ for
the mosque's official reply to this story, including:"By skillfully
cutting and pasting clips out of context, the producers of this video
have knowingly misrepresented the actual events ... Far worse is the
accusation that the spokesperson not only invited students to pray but
that she also instructed them how to pray. There was absolutely no
invitation or expectation that students would join in the prayer. In
fact, they were instructed to be seated and to remain silent as they
observed the prayer, so as not to disturb the worshipers."]
This second article tells the stories of 27 prisoners seized in
Afghanistan, mostly in December 2001. A handful are reportedly
significant figures in the Taliban, and most of the rest were either
transferred to US custody after a massacre in a fort in the northern
Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, or were seized after the Battle of Tora
Bora, a showdown between al-Qaeda and US forces in the mountains near
Jalalabad. Noticeably, only a few are accused of any serious involvement
with al-Qaeda or terrorist activities (although these claims are
themselves dubious), and three others have lost their habeas corpus
petitions. It is also worth remarking that the majority of the men
discussed in this chapter are Yemenis, and that many have presumably
been cleared for release by President Obama’s Guantánamo Review Task
Force, but are waiting to see if the President will, at any point the
future, lift the unprincipled moratorium on transfers to Yemen that he
announced in January.
Former Australian Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mamdouh Habib was last month
again denied his right to a passport by the Labor government on the
grounds that he was "likely to engage in conduct that might prejudice
the security of Australia or a foreign country". The foreign minister
has wide-ranging powers under Section 14 of the Australian Passports Act
to deny or cancel passports on that basis. Since 2001, more than 40
Australians have had their passports cancelled under Section 14.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda