||Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~
Land theft and destruction / Ethnic cleansing / Settlers /
More than 150 right-wing activists from the
Binyamin region began building a new outpost east of Ateret. "Despite
the building freeze issued by the government against the settlements,
and the construction of the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, the people
of Israel will continue to build and expand in the entire country," said
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, -- Head of Shari’a court of appeal in 1948 occupied
Palestinian land Ahmed Natour affirmed that 90 percent of the Islamic
Waqf (endowment) lands were confiscated by Israel at the pretext of the
absentee property law enacted in 1950s and were used for different
purposes. Judge Natour added that the rest of the Islamic holy sites and
Waqf lands were exposed to different violations by official parties
such turning the Palestinian graveyards into commercial projects.
A group of fundamentalist settlers torched on Saturday several farmlands
in Wad Al Maleh in the northern plains of the Jordan Valley in the
occupied West Bank. The torched lands were planted with wheat and
barley. Eyewitnesses reported that the Palestinian firefighters arrived
at the scene and prevented a bigger disaster. The Popular Campaign in
the Northern Plains reported that Israeli soldiers are aiding the
settlers in their attacks instead of stopping them, and that the army
obstructs firefighters and civil defense teams from reaching their
Hundreds participated in a march on Friday to protest the ongoing
construction of a new Palestinian city – Rawabi, by
the Palestinian Authority, on land slated by the government for nearby
settlements, north-east of Ramallah. The protesters, mostly settlers
from the Binyamin region, stressed that their protest was directed at
government policy. "This is not a local problem, this is about the tacit
agreement and acquiescence of the Israeli government to the laying of
foundations for a Palestinian state," the demonstration organizers from
the Binyamin Citizens' Committee said.
They may not have water or electricity, but several West Bank outposts
have gone wireless, and have started Facebook groups to disseminate
IDF will open Route 443 to Palestinians this week as it puts the
finishing touches on a new set of security measures along the key
highway. Under orders from the High Court of Justice, the road, which
links Jerusalem with Modi’in and Tel Aviv, will officially open to
Palestinian traffic on Friday, after almost eight years of being used
solely by Israeli drivers ... In recent weeks, the army has erected a
barbed-wire fence along the road and surrounding the Givat Ze’ev
settlement. It has also built a new checkpoint at the entrance to the
road that leads to Beit Ghur a-Fawka, where Palestinian cars will be
checked before being allowed onto the highway. Another checkpoint is
being set up at the entrance to the side road that leads to Beit Sirya.
...Most Palestinians are interested in using highway 443 for one reason:
to get to Ramallah. Ramallah is where the jobs are, and the road would
cut their commute to a fraction of what it is now. Therefore, it comes
as no surprise that this is the first benefit cited when asked about the
ruling ... "To drive to Ramallah it takes me two hours. Now it’s going
to take me two minutes," says Muhammed Dais, who works as a day laborer
to help construct the same barbed-wire fence that is meant to keep him
out of certain parts of the West Bank.
But Ankawi, Dais and Ankari won’t be getting to Ramallah on
highway 443 because the army plans to keep access to the city cut off.
In fact, according to the current army plan, full access to the highway –
that is, both an on ramp and an off ramp – will only be permitted near
the villages of Beit Sira and Beit Ur al-Fauka, west of Ramallah, and
exit-only ramps will open near Khirbeth al-Misbah – also west of
Ramallah – and A-Tira. The rest of the road will thus remain off-limits
... "The change for
the Palestinians is so minor that it hardly exists."
Activism / Solidarity
22 May - The hub of the Popular Struggle is winning friends and
influencing people from Galway to Genoa. Yesterday’s protest was
typically cosmopolitan. Report includes details of other West Bank
protests. "Every day now, not just Friday, we host foreign visitors,"
says Iyad Burnat, head of the Popular Committee in Bi'lin, "we explain
the situation and history. We have a permanent apartment for foreign
visitors and several students are completing their masters degrees on
the subject of our struggle."
tear gas in Nabi Saleh, record crowd in Sheikh Jarrah - personal notes
from Friday's demonstrations / Noam Sheizaf
...The soldiers are shooting the gas cans
directly at the protesters, and not in an arch, like I remember we were
taught to do it in the army (you can see this in a these videos from a
previous demonstration). Later, a Palestinian is injured after suffering
a direct hit in his face ... As Lisa Goldman notes, after Nabi Saleh,
Jerusalem seems like a peaceful afternoon get-together. But for me it’s
just as important, and I feel more at home here. Supporting the protest
in the West Bank villages is crucial, but I find it emotionally hard to
bear. After the last time I took part in it, it took me a full month to
mount the strength to come again. To have soldiers point guns at me and
fire tear gas is not only scary, but extremely strange. There is
something in this experience that shakes my world. After all, I’m still
an Israeli, and a reserve captain in the IDF for that matter!
This is the film-makers description: Today, the villagers of Nabi Salah
suffered another severe visitation of Israeli Occupation Forces violence
where one protestor, Kamal al-Rimawi, was hit in the face with a tear
gas projectile breaking one of his facial bones and some teeth
necessitating his hospitalization in Rafidia Hospital, Nablus, where he
is presently recovering. Village houses were commandeered and tear gas
projectiles were fired through the windows into three causing fire
damage to the curtains, scorch marks to the walls...
23 May - The northern West Bank village of
Iraq Burin demonstrated against the Israeli annexation of their
farmlands today, resulting in the injury of one local protester by a
tear gas projectile. Tear gas canisters landing on dry grass sparked
bushfires in the hot climate, causing further damage to the contested
farmland that villagers struggle to reach ... It was last year that the
people of Iraq Burin began gathering to defend their village each
Saturday due to the violent attacks instigated by settlers of Bracha
each week, during the Jewish holiday of Shabbat. Now, with the village’s
pro-active – and non-violent – resistance to the aggression, no
settlers have been sighted on the land of Iraq Burin for over five
Saturdays now. The result is clear evidence of popular resistance in
action, and what successes it can achieve in Palestinian communities
living under occupation.
A nine-member team of doctors from the US arrived in the West Bank city
of Hebron last Saturday for a week of plastic and reconstruction surgery
on children with cleft lip and palate deformities, a statement read.
Turkey – 22 May, 2010] Amid cheers and waving of Turkish and
Palestinian flags, the second ship to join the Freedom Flotilla left
Istanbul this afternoon. Sponsored by the Turkish humanitarian
organization, Insani Yardim Vakfi (IHH), the ship will carry 600
passengers to Gaza as part of the 'blockade busting’ flotilla. It joins
eight other boats coming from three other countries carrying 10,000 tons
of supplies to the Palestinian people, supplies that have been denied
to them by Israel.
ALGIERS: A freighter ship set off from Algiers port yesterday for Turkey
in an act of solidarity with the Palestinians and to join the 4th Life
Line Convoy that will head towards Gaza a few days later. The vessel
carried more than 44,000 tons of aid for Gazans collected through a
solidarity drive in which several institutions, businesspeople and
Algerian citizens pitched in, the coordinator of the 4th Life Line
initiative in Algeria Ahmed Ibrahimi said at a press conference
biggest attempt by international aid groups to break the Israeli siege
on the Gaza Strip has gotten underway. Nine ships under the banner,
Freedom Flotilla, began their journey to Gaza on Saturday, despite
warnings from Israel that they will be stopped for "breaching Israeli
law". The biggest of the nine ships set off from Istanbul,
Turkey, heading to the south western city of Antalya where two other
Turkish ships will be waiting to join the convoy. The three ships will
then travel to the waters off Athens and Crete to rendezvous with the
other six, before making the four-day journey to Gaza.
23 May - Dozens of vessels sailed yesterday from the Herzliya marina to
the beach near Tel Yona, west of Rishon Letzion, in a fleet organizers
said was a response to ships that set sail yesterday from Turkey, bound
for the Gaza Strip. "This is a civil initiative and is not connected to
any political group," one of the organizers, Mati Freiman, said ...
Defense Minister Ehud Barak signed an order closing off the zone 20
nautical miles from the Gaza shoreline. The defense establishment said
the navy would prevent the fleet from arriving at the Gaza port, but
added that for operational reasons they would not say where the ships
would be intercepted.
I the commodore of the flotilla of eight or nine vessels preparing to
head straight from Cypress to the Gaza coast near the end of May, I’d
want Joe Meadors next to me on the bridge. He’s joining the flotilla.
Joe’s one of the survivors of the brutal Israeli attack on the U.S.S.
Liberty, for which Joe’s previous skipper won the Congressional Medal of
Honor. Joe says "It’ll be like old home week."
PA boycott of settlements
- A few jars of spicy Yemenite sauce and a couple of boxes of date
spread – that's what the Palestinian Finance Ministry inspectors managed
to find during a raid last Thursday on supermarkets in the West Bank
city of Ramallah. Inspectors held over 200 raids in Ramallah alone, in
an effort to enforce a new law that prohibits the sale of products
manufactured in the Jewish settlements.
Ramallah - All Palestinian women currently working in Israeli
settlements should consult the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of
Social Affairs in their districts to fill applications for alternative
employment with Palestinian institutions, the minister said Saturday.
Majida Al-Masri told the Ma’an radio network that an application form
was designed and distributed to all the ministry’s branches and women
can commence the process of finding new work on Sunday.
RAMALLAH - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday
urged Palestinians to boycott products from Jewish settlements in
the West Bank, but said this did not apply to items made elsewhere in
Israel. "It is not necessary, under any circumstances, for us to consume
goods originating from settlements that were established on our
territory," he said in Ramallah, where he met members of the
movement that organised the boycott.
nucleus for suicide bombers, the West Bank city of Jenin is now the
focus of a Palestinian campaign to boycott goods produced by Jewish
settlers in the occupied territories. ''We are sick of wrestling with
the Israelis, now we are here to play chess,'' says Qadoura Mousa, the
Governor of Jenin. ''We have had enough.'' ''The boycott is an important
measure of the will and the patience of the Palestinian people,'' Mr
Mousa told The Age. ''It must succeed. We have to show the Israelis that
they cannot continue to occupy our land illegally without
Land of Israel Lobby has called on Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz
to close air and sea ports to Palestinian goods following a boycott on
products from settlements issued by the Palestinian Authority.
Detainees / Deportees
Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs on Sunday approved
a bill aimed at aggravating the conditions of Hamas prisoners jailed
in Israel in a bid to pressure the Palestinian organization to advance
the talks for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit's release ... The bill
will now be brought to the Knesset for a preliminary reading with the
coalition's support. The exact changes in the prisoners' conditions will
be determined later on.
..."The occupation will not succeed in obtaining its goals – just the
opposite. This decision will only cause Hamas to add to its conditions,
not to relinquish them. The decision reflects the occupation's inhumane
conduct towards Palestinian prisoners," he said. He added that Israel
had retreated from previous agreements and thus caused the negotiations
over kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit to fail.
The report, compiled by Abdul Nasser Farawana, said the detainees
include two Fatah Palestine Legislative Council members, ten Hamas
lawmakers, and the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine ... Under all legal precedents, lawmakers are
immune while sitting in office. Israel has violated this legal norm both
by jailing Palestinian PLC members in the West Bank and passing laws
within the Israeli Knesset removing Palestinian-Israeli members'
immunity under the pretense of spying for an enemy state.
Assad Ursan, 58, joined Palestinian Fatah's Algeria branch and recruited
Israeli Arabs in Europe to carry out attacks in Israel ... None of the
attacks he was involved in ended with Israeli casualties. Ursan decided
to return to Israel in 2008 and was detained for questioning upon his
arrival in the country. Shortly after police investigation he was
charged with the alleged crimes.
Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, released in 2004 after 18 years
in prison for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets, began serving an
additional 3-month sentence on Sunday for refusing to carry out
court-mandated community service.
Nativity Church deportees exiled to Gaza said the
Palestinian Authority had failed to pay their rent for the fifth
consecutive month on Sunday. Deportees' spokesman Fahmi Kan'an said he
was appealing for the third time to President Mahmoud Abbas to give
directives on the rent's payment.
Violence / Aggression
young Palestinian worker sustained gunshot wound injuries on Sunday,
after Israeli forces reportedly opened fire at a group of workers in
Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said Muhammad Sa'dallah, 19,
was hit by Israeli machine-gun fire, as workers collected stones and
rocks for construction, left behind by Israel forces following the
evacuation of illegal Gaza settlements in 2005.
An Israel Defense Forces soldier was moderately wounded Friday by
Palestinian sniper fire in the northwestern Negev, near the border with
the Gaza Strip. The soldier, a tracker in the Givati Brigade, was
transported to Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva for treatment. He was shot
while securing a road near Kibbutz Nirim, where two Palestinians from
the Strip had infiltrated the border earlier in the day. Troops killed
the two Palestinians, who apparently intended to carry out terror
attacks in Israel ... Before dawn on Friday, Israel Air Force fighter
jets bombed targets across the Gaza Strip in what the IDF said was a
response to the launching of a Qassam rocket earlier in the week. The
Israeli warplanes, according to the IDF Spokesman's Office, struck two
tunnels in Gaza's south as well one in the north. Gaza militants fired a
Qassam rocket into Israel Wednesday, causing no casualties or damage.
Confrontations broke out Sunday morning between
young Palestinians and Israeli forces in the northern West Bank city of
Qalqiliya, entering in a three-vehicle military convoy, locals
said. Witnesses said the military vehicles entered the city from the
north, stopping shortly near the Al-Quds Open University campus, where
young Palestinians gathered and pelted them with stones, attempting to
force the convoy out.
Twenty Palestinians hurled stones at the fence surrounding the
settlement of Karmei Tzur, south of Bethlehem. IDF forces and security
guards fired teargas and dispersed the gathering. In a separate
incident, some 30 Palestinians gathered near the West Bank village of
Burin and hurled stones at IDF soldiers posted in the area. The soldiers
responded with teargas. No injuries or damage were reported in either
Woman sustains mild injuries when Palestinians throw stones at taxi
travelling near Qalqilya; her husband fires several shots at nearby
Blockade / Gaza
Israeli authorities are expected to open only one crossing into Gaza to
permit the transfer of aid and food on Sunday, a Palestinian liaison
official said. Authorities told the official, Raed Fattouh, that the
southern Kerem Shalom crossing could see between 104 to 144 truckloads
of humanitarian aid and commercial goods, in addition to limited
quantities of domestic-use gas and industrial diesel, needed to power
Gaza's sole power station.
A U.N. agency says about three-quarters of the damage inflicted by
Israel's war on Gaza more than a year ago has not been repaired or
rebuilt. Israel continues to bar construction material from entering
Hamas-ruled Gaza as part of an overall blockade of the territory. The
U.N. Development Program said in a report Sunday that Gazans have
carried out small-scale repairs worth $173 million with recycled rubble
or material smuggled through border tunnels. The report says the
international community has been largely sidelined in the reconstruction
effort. The U.N. can do little because it refrains from buying smuggled
20 men, some carrying assault rifles, tear up large plastic tents and
burn storage facilities two days after unknown group accuses UN of
promoting immorality in religiously conservative enclave. Hamas
government condemns attack ... Two days earlier, a previously unknown
militant group, "The Free of the Homeland," issued a statement
criticizing the camp's organizer, the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency (UNRWA), for, "teaching schoolgirls fitness, dancing and
3 May - In a place where war now claims many more civilian victims than
military, it's about time that the unarmed decided to fight back. To my
friends in Gaza, with admiration: God bless the Palestinian who, armed
with nothing more than courage, plants a flag. The Gazan who, week after
week, marches to the front line and without a shred of cover, stands in
the face of soldiers, gas guns, machine guns, threats and helmets,
warning shots and shots to kill – armed only with conviction and a
rectangle of cloth on a stick. And who, in so doing, plants the seed of
an idea. God bless this new armed struggle. We have declared a 300 meter
wide swath of your land near our fences and walls, a No-Man's Land.
You, your flag, the reaction of our soldiers, all of it teaches us that
the war between us has turned all of the Holy Land into no man's land.
developments / Diplomacy
Netanyahu denies Wall Street Journal report that Palestinian negotiators
offered to match, and even double the amount of West Bank land Abbas
was willing to relinquish during talks with Olmert's administration in
2008 -- Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday accused the
Palestinian Authority of embarking on the ongoing proximity talks with
Israel without any intention of actually reaching direct peace
In an in-depth interview with the Los Angeles Times, Israeli Arab MK
Ahmed Tibi criticized Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, saying that as
opposed to late Austrian extremist Jorg Haider, who was "an indigenous
politician who was racist against foreigners," Lieberman is an
"immigrant politician [Lieberman was born in Moldova] who is racist
against the indigenous [Palestinian] people...."
PA President stresses that Palestinians are still committed to the
positions they presented in response to Olmert's offer in 2008 ...
Olmert had proposed to Abbas that Israel would annex 6.5 percent of the
West Bank, in return for 5.8 percent on the Israeli side of the Green
Line as well as a corridor linking the West Bank with the Gaza Strip. In
expressing his views on the borders of a future Palestinian state,
Abbas told the U.S. envoy that the territory must be identical to that
of the 1967 borders - 6,200 square kilometers. Abbas also noted that the
Palestinians were willing to accept border adjustments in which Israel
would annex no more than 1.9 percent of the West Bank territory, in
exchange for similar territory inside Israel.
Islamic Jihad movement said Sunday that it would not ratify the
Egyptian-sponsored unity document, poised to end inter-factional
rivalry, even if Hamas were to ratify the deal.
The Hamas government's Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmad Yousef
called for face-to-face dialogue with the American government and the
people of the United States. Coming on the heels of news that the Hams
government had sent letters to the Obama administration outlining its
official policy on Israel, resistance and borders, the move came as a
landmark in the de facto government position vis-a-vis the United
American lawmakers have overwhelmingly backed a proposal to provide
Israel with $205m (£142m) to speed up the deployment of a short-range
anti-missile system. The US House of Representatives voted 401-4 in
favour of President Barack Obama's plan to fund Israel's Iron Dome
project, designed to protect the country from rocket and artillery shell
attacks ... The anti-missile system is designed to thwart attacks by
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and Hizbollah in Lebanon by
blowing up rockets in mid-air.
An interministerial committee is set to recommend this week that
Interior Minister Eli Yishai grant permanent resident status to children
of foreign workers who have been living in Israel for more than five
years, who came to Israel before the age of 13, and who are in the
school system. The committee's recommendation, which was in preparation
for a year, will affect 1,200 families of foreign workers.
The Interior Ministry's ad campaign against employing illegal foreign
workers while Israelis are left without jobs is misleading, according to
the head of the Israel Hotels Association. In a letter written last
week to Sharon Kedmi, director general of the Industry, Trade and Labor
Ministry, IHA head Shmuel Zurel protested the campaign ... "For a long
time we have been desperate for some 4,500 workers in hotels in Israel,"
International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is making dreams come
true for hundreds of Bedouin children in the framework of "Cycling in
Fellowship in the Desert." Some 120 teenagers from the Abu Basma
Regional Council were among the many Israelis that took part as equals
in the challenging cycling event on Saturday, May 15, using the bikes
they received as gifts on Passover.
Waterways remain sullied due to failing sewage systems and
waste from Palestinian cities. They also need a fresh dose of water
after years of poor rainfall ... The report decries the fact that
separate water-treatment associations for Jewish and Arab communities
are currently in charge of stream cleanup
Jewish woman was assaulted in Beersheba after an ultra-Orthodox man
spotted imprint lines from a tefillin on her arms ... Raz was asked by
the man two times if the imprints that he noticed on her arms were from
tefillin. When she answered that they were, he attacked her, kicking and
strangling her. He also screamed “women are an abomination.”
Israeli archaeologists say workers have uncovered an ancient pagan altar
while clearing ground for construction of a hotly disputed hospital
emergency room in Ashkelon. They say the discovery proves an ancient
cemetery at the site that has been at the center of protests by
ultra-Orthodox Jews does not contain the graves of Jews.
Analysis / Opinion /
Let us imagine the dream-country of most Israelis - without criticism,
neither from within nor from without. It speaks in one voice and is
eternally united, with devotion and cohesion; all-Jewish, that goes
without saying. It stands unanimously behind its government, every
government, and also, of course, behind its army, the Shin Bet security
service and the Mossad espionage agency - Israel's heroes. There is not
even a single "snitch," no human rights organizations or peace
movements, no nonprofit associations and no critical reports that are
published here, or, heaven forbid, abroad. Its press never criticizes,
never exposes, never investigates, publishing nothing but praise and
admiration for the government and the state. But now let's answer
truthfully. Is that really the country we wound want to live in?
Moreover, would the world that is always-against-us appreciate and like
Israel better if that was how we looked and spoke, uniform and devoid of
Ahmad Tibi, a member of Israel's parliament, talks about why he thinks
democracy in Israel applies only to Jewish citizens, why he'll never
accept Israel as a Jewish state and why he'll never leave. ...In what
way don't Jewish and Arab citizens have equal rights?
discrimination in every field of life except one. There is one man, one
vote. In elections, all are equal. But in budget allocation, industry,
education, land, religious places, employment there are huge gaps
between the Jewish majority and the Arab minority.
With worldwide Palestine solidarity and the BDS movement
growing in strength, Israeli propaganda efforts intended to counter the
'peace with justice' call have also come under the spotlight. We've seen
Reut's 'delegitimization' report, crass campus hasbara, and a host of
other initiatives (both 'engagement' and 'offensive'). With that in
mind, a new article
in The Jerusalem Post makes for interesting
reading: "In 2001, IDC Herzliya students Gur Braslavi and Ariel Halevi
won the Oxford Union Debating Competition for teams from foreign
countries. Nine years later, their joint company, Debate Ltd., was
chosen to carry out the Israeli government’s new public diplomacy
initiative. The company recently took on a contract to conduct 200
workshops in which its instructors teach regular Israelis the arts of
rhetoric and persuasion. If the pilot proves successful, it will likely
be extended and multiplied. By creating an army of amateur ambassadors,
Israel hopes to counter negative media portrayals and improve its image
abroad ... Where the ministry is really focusing its attention, though,
is on filling the ranks of Israel’s hasbara army. “We have created a
cadre of 50 notable people, leaders in their field, who have taken upon
themselves to help represent Israel proudly,” said Plot. The list
includes professional athletes, actors, actresses, successful business
executives, artists and other public figures."
(EUGENE, Ore.) - Hypocrisy
never is more obvious than when given a stage to look like something it
isn't. That happened in mid-May in St. Louis, and it raised a question:
Why is the world's longest ongoing persecution-- that of the Palestinian
people-- ignored when the St. Louis Holocaust Museum chooses to
recognize victims other than Jews? In its 15th anniversary year, the
museum and its Learning Center have announced plans for an expanded
permanent exhibit. It is to "shine its light," according to the
Associated Press, on victims of other holocausts: Rwanda, Darfur,
Bosnia, Myanmar and the Congo. It is a surprising new approach for a
group of people who for the past six decades have kept proprietary
possession of the holocaust concept, reserving for only themselves
horrors they suffered as victims of the Nazis in World War II. Now they
seem ready to share-- but only partway.
Oppenheimer of Ir Amim (City of Nations) came to New York to try and
correct Netanyahu’s garbage. She didn’t meet with AIPAC, she met with
the New Israel Fund, then me and Jared Malsin (of Palestine Note) at the
Metro Diner on the Upper West Side. She's on a cross-country tour. I
don’t know why this passionate, articulate woman isn’t speaking at
Jewish community centers and synagogues, but as I told her, it's just a
matter of time. The Jewish community in the US is waking up to the
horrors of the Israel project, maybe too late for anyone to do anything
about it, but it is at last paying attention to Jews (Peter Beinart), as
it ignored Jimmy Carter. “We would like to change the discourse about
Jerusalem among the Jewish population," Oppenheimer said, and promptly
smashed three "myths" about Jerusalem-- that it's above politics, that
Israel has only been doing in Jerusalem what it's done there for 43
years, and that Muslims have equal access to the holy sites. They don't.
They need blasted permits. They can't get into Jerusalem, most of them.
by US transplant Herb Keinon says it all.
Israel is a domestic issue. Of course we never see a story that connects
the dots so explicitly in the American press, for anyone to read: that
Obama's arduous "charm offensive" on Israel (do you really want to have
lunch with Elie Wiesel?) is all about domestic considerations, including
Jewish money ... As one source that was on the receiving end of the
Obama administration’s outreach put it, the administration has changed
its tone because it is “worried about losing the Jews.”
By Ian Black. Two excellent new books describe some of the tricks and
dilemmas of this trade. Hugh Pope left the field after nearly 30 years
reporting for British and US news agencies and papers. Hello
Dutch journalist Joris Luyendijk tells the story of his
five years in the region in a breezy but self-critical account of "one
journalist's search for truth". Pope's book Dining with Al Qaeda
terrific on spice-scented bazaars, maddening border crossings, sinister
secret policemen and sexual mores in unlikely places – as well as
Islam, democracy and other staples.
In a world of
synthetics and polyesters, third-generation J'lem merchant Bilal
Abu-Khalaf sells hand-woven silks, cotton and gold-threaded cloths
... His fabrics are used to make robes for Christian
priests, Muslim imams and haredi Jews ... Abu-Khalaf’s ancestors came from Kurdistan with
Saladin, the Muslim warrior, during the Crusades. His grandfather
opened his shop in 1936 and his father and uncles later took it over.
Amazing photographs - Ms. Castelnuovo has been documenting the
conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis for more than 30
years, 17 of them as a contract photographer for The New York Times
based in Jerusalem.
Excerpt: At least three Iraqis were killed and nine more were wounded in
light violence just a day after a significant bombing in Khalis.
Also, two U.S. soldiers were killedin separate location in northern
Iraq. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Workers Party
(PKK) said that four rebels were killed and five more were
wounded during Turkish air strikes on northern Iraq.
the Palestine Hotel in central Baghdad, Tahseen Salim is drawing a
cutter along a pane of glass, trimming it down to size. He and his team
of glaziers have been working here every day for four months now. On 25
January a massive car bomb detonated outside the Palestine.
Lebanon and Israel
Group's leader Hassan Nasrallah tells crowd via video link: One of our
most important responsibilities is to foster the history of the
Israel began its yearly home-front security drill on
Sunday, as Hezbollah began mobilizing along the Israel-Lebanon border
in response to the exercise, various news agencies reported. The drill,
named Turn Point 4, is expected to last five days across Israel
GOC Northern Command issues calming message to residents of north as
Israel launches 5-day homefront defense drill to prepare for possible
Largest ever home front exercise begins
Sunday to evaluate preparedness for various scenarios, including rocket
attacks, planting of dirty bomb and hazardous material incident. 'Our
enemies consider home front to be Israel's soft spot,' IDF source says
There should be no confusion between the threat and the exercise that is
carried out every year in May, and a threat of immediate war in the
South Lebanon went to the polls today with Hizbollah-backed candidates
running uncontested in mainly Shiite areas, as the militant group’s
archfoe Israel held a defence drill across the border. Areas under
Hizbollah control settled the electoral race by consensus, with several
candidates withdrawing to make way for others backed by Hizbollah and
its fellow Shiite ally Amal.
to reports that President Mahmoud Abbas would consider the deployment
of NATO forces along a future Palestinian state's borders, Jordan denied
suggestions that it would deploy troops in assistance, officials said
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman arrives in Damascus,
apparently in light of Americans' dissatisfaction with Syria's conduct.
According to American official, Kerry and Assad discussed 'regional
Syrian President Bashar Assad said the West must realize that the Middle
East has changed and the previously used language, policies and
approaches toward the region are no longer acceptable on Sunday.
other world news
"Clearly, and bluntly, the state law is racist and discriminatory
against so-called 'illegal immigrants' crossing the borders from the
South, namely from Mexico," said Simon Ortiz, a Native American studies
professor at Arizona State University, in reference to SB 1070. "Many
of the border crossers are Indigenous peoples who are directly affected.
Without any doubt, the law is wrong-headed; it targets people who fit a
certain profile." Indigenous and American Indian Studies scholars say
that SB 1070 and the recent passage into law of HB 2281, which bans the
teaching of ethnic studies in public schools, are violations of human
Few issues highlight Barack Obama's extreme hypocrisy the way that
Bagram does ... Apparently, what Obama called "a legal black hole at
Guantanamo" is a heinous injustice, but "a legal black hole at Bagram"
is the Embodiment of Hope ... UPDATE II: Guest-hosting for Rachel
Maddow last night, Chris Hayes talked with Shayana Kadidal of the Center
for Constitutional Rights about the Bagram ruling and Obama's hypocrisy
on these issues, and it was quite good, including a video clip of the
2006 Obama speech I excerpted above:
the drone war in Pakistan’s rugged frontier finally come home? Was
Faisal Shahzad, the bumbling Times Square bomb maker, a blowback from
the Obama administration’s increased use of killer robots? David Sanger
of The New York Times asks the question, and the New York Post says an
"anonymous law enforcement" source claims Shahzad was driven to his act
after witnessing drone attacks in Pakistan.
House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is in Israel for the weekend for a
private visit. Emanuel is likely to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, but a final date for their meeting has yet to be set.
CNN recently published an article entitled Study: Threat of
Muslim-American terrorism in U.S. exaggerated; according to a study
released by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, “the terrorist threat posed by radicalized Muslim-Americans
has been exaggerated.” Yet, Americans continue to live in mortal fear
of radical Islam, a fear propagated and inflamed by right wing
Islamophobes ... The data simply does not support such a hasty
conclusion. On the FBI’s official website, there exists a chronological
list of all terrorist attacks committed on U.S. soil from the year 1980
all the way to 2005. That list can be accessed here (scroll down all
the way to the bottom). According to this data,
there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than
Islamic (7% vs 6%). These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in
the name of their religion.
|For further information contact Shadi Fadda