Today in Palestine! ~ Headlines ~

Land Theft and Destruction
Benjamin Netanyahu: Israel to retain key West Bank settlement in any peace deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Friday that Israel would retain control of a large West Bank settlement under any future arrangement with the Palestinians.

Arab Israelis protest house demolitions (AFP)
AFP - Hundreds of people on Friday protested against the demolition of Arab-Israeli homes at a demonstration in the Israeli city of Lod, near Tel Aviv.

Israel fast-tracking Indian immigrants to subvert settlement freeze
The Israeli government is reported to have quietly approved the fast-track immigration of 7,000 members of a supposedly "lost Jewish" tribe, known as the Bnei Menashe, currently living in a remote area of India. Jonathan Cook reports.

Israeli Thuggery/Injustice
Jerusalem Court Fines Jerusalem Woman 20.000 NIS
After fundamentalist Jewish settlers took over her home in East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem District Court ordered a Palestinian woman to pay 20.000 News Israeli Shekel, and additional 7000 the prosecution.

Apartheid at the Israeli High Court, By URI WEISS

In 1992 the Knesset enacted Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty. This basic law speaks clearly about human dignity. It states explicitly: "All persons are entitled to protection of their life, body and dignity". And let it be emphasized: all persons, not just citizens, not just residents, and not just Jewish persons. However, Judge Aharon Barak's Supreme Court (sitting as the HCJ) has ruled that the law is applicable to Jewish settlers in the territories, but the question of whether it is applicable to their Palestinian neighbors has been left as "pending decision", i.e. an open question about which the need to decide has not yet arisen.

Activism/Solidarity/Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment
Court rules Sheikh Jarrah protests legal
Jerusalem Magistrate's Court rejects police demand to extend remand of 'unruly' leftist protestors; judge says freedom of assembly, expression is basic right which police must protect.,7340,L-3841189,00.html

Police vow to squash E. Jerusalem protests despite court order
Despite a court ruling to the contrary, Jerusalem police said Thursday that it plans on forcibly putting down on a left-wing demonstration against a Jewish takeover of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem.  Public demonstrations and protests by left-wing activists angry over the eviction of Arab families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah are legal so long as they do not disturb the public order and disrupt traffic, the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court ruled on Thursday.

Israeli campaign against Palestinian protest makes the ‘Times’ as Bil’in leader is arrested again, Adam Horowitz
On the day that Bil’in protest leader Mohammad Khatib was arrested for the second time in six months, the New York Times has finally caught up to the story of Israel’s ongoing campaign against Palestinian dissent. Isabel Kershner’s article, Israel Signals Tougher Line on West Bank Protests, gives an overview of the "creeping, part-time intifada" that continues to spread across the West Bank, as well Israel’s effort to quash it.

Former Knesset Speaker Avraham (Avrum) Burg Joins the Sheikh Jarrah Protests
In recent weeks, the ongoing weekly protests in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah have succeeded in making headlines both in Israel and abroad. Sheikh Jarrah is one of the most contentious neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, where Israeli settlers are gradually moving into the homes of Palestinian families, with the full backing of Israeli court decisions. In East Jerusalem, Jews can return to pre-1948 Jewish properties - but Arabs cannot return to pre-1948 Palestinian properties. This asymmetry creates not only great human suffering to the Palestinian families losing their homes, but also expresses unfathomable irresponsibility in the handling of a sensitive issue at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unilaterally creating facts on the ground while violating the human rights of Palestinian families is cruel, shortsighted, and reckless.

Let’s Not Forget About the Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, Joseph Dana
Let us not forget what Sheikh Jarrah is all about on this weekly day of protest. Sheikh Jarrah is about the families that live on the streets because of Israeli actions to take over their homes in favor of extremist settlers, backed by American money, that want to derail any possibility for peaceful reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians. Sheikh Jarrah is about Palestinians.

An Invitation to Cover a Demonstration in Lod
press release: - RCUV - Regional Council for the Unrecognized Bedouin Villages in the Negev "Friday, January 29th, there will be a large demonstration organized by the Peoples` Committee in protest of these policies of demolitions in the Arab neighborhoods of the city of Lod."

Donations for Surgery for Eymad Bornat of Bil`in - Urgent!
Eymad Bornat, a resident of the West Bank Village of Bil`in, photographer, father, and active member of the non-violent movement against the occupation, specifically the wall and settlements that take 56% of his village`s land for Israeli use, was badly injured a little over a year ago in an accident in which he was hit by a tractor while filming construction in the Modi`in Illit settlement, which stands to this day on Bil`in`s land. At the time of the injury he was in critical condition, but after 50 days in the hospital and intensive medical treatment he recovered. Now, a year later, he needs to undergo an additional operation in order to close his abdominal area, which was only temporarily closed previously for medical reasons. The operation will cost 22,000 shekels (the equivalent of USD $5,895), and he needs to pay this amount by this coming Tuesday!!

Israel kills top Hamas commander in Dubai - Hamas (Reuters)
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was killed on January 20, Izzat al-Rishq told Reuters in the Syrian capital Damascus.  Rishq said Mabhouh was an "important" member of Izz el-Deen al- Qassam brigades, Hamas's military wing named after a Syrian religious leader who fought British colonial forces in Palestine in the 1930s.  He said Mabhouh, who had been living in Syria since 1989, was assassinated a day after he arrived in Dubai but that Hamas could not say more at present about how he was killed.

Dubai police on manhunt for assassins
Senior official says local police have identified men who killed top Hamas member Mahmoud al-Bahbouh, but adds suspects believed to have already left emirate. Security sources say body had traces of burns, torture from electric shock. Hamas official in Damascus explains delay in death announcement aimed at catching Mossad agents.,7340,L-3841479,00.html

Brother of slain Hamas man: He was electrocuted and strangled
The brother of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was killed in Dubai last week, told Haaretz on Friday that he was certain that Israel was behind the assassination, and that Israel had tried before to kill his brother.

Israeli Tanks Shell Areas East of Gaza City
Israeli tanks shelled areas close to Gaza City and the borders with Israel, this Thursday afternoon.  Residents of Al Shojayia neighborhood reported the shelling of their homes and farm lands by Israeli tanks stationed at the nearby border line.   The residents added that tanks also targeted farmers while they were working on their land. Damage to property and homes were reported but no injuries.

Medics: Gaza fisherman seriously hurt by naval fire
Gaza – Ma'an – A Palestinian fisherman was injured overnight by Israeli warships, when they opened fire on a cluster of small fishing boats of the Rafah coast before sunrise on Friday, medics said.  Medical sources at Abu Yousef Najar Hospital identified the injured man as 39-year-old Wael Al-Bardawil, who arrived in critical condition after sustaining gunshot wounds to the back.

Israeli forces injure 5 during home invasion
Jerusalem – Ma'an – Israeli forces injured five members of the Awad family, including a pregnant woman, when an undercover force raided their home in the Shufat Refugee Camp on Thursday night, the family said.  Jamal Awad, director of the UNRWA office in the camp, said the forces entered his home on the pretext of pursuing a child fleeing the scene of crime that allegedly took place in the Pisgat Ze'ev settlement in Jerusalem.  The family refused entry to the force, which they said used tear gas and batons to force their way into the home. Jamal said that he, his son Muhammad, his pregnant daughter-in-law, and relatives Ashraf and Muammar were all injured in the assault.  All of the injured were transferred to hospital by Red Crescent ambulances. Medics said they were treated for mild to moderate injuries.

Israeli troops raid Qalqiliya, search home
Qalqilia – Ma’an – Israeli forces raided the northern West Bank city of Qalqiliya from two sides at dawn on Thursday, Palestinian security sources said.  Israeli forces entered the city from the north and east and stationed themselves in the Nazzal neighborhood in the city center.  During the operation, soldiers searched the home of Muhammad Adnan, a member of the Qalqiliya city council, as well as the homes of his brother and several relatives, the sources said.

Israeli Soldiers Detain Six Civilians from Southern West Bank
Six Palestinian civilians were detained by Israeli troops, on Thursday, during a number of invasions targeting southern West Bank communities.  Local sources reported house-to-house searches by Israeli troops that targeted people's homes at the old city of Hebron and the nearby Dura and Ithna villages in addition to Al Aroup refugee camp.  Among those six men taken by the troops today, were two men who were released from army detention centers two days ago. The army radio announced that those detained today were on its “wanted list, and that all six men were taken to military detention camps for questioning.

Humanitarian Crisis
Weekly report on Israeli human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory 21 - 27 Jan 2010

Gaza Health Fact Sheet

Video: Child's eye: 'When it comes to toys, all my brothers think about is weapons'
Two young Palestinian girls - 15-year-old Reem and 10-year-old Ameera – describe their ongoing fears in the aftermath of last year's bombing of Gaza by Israel.

Testimony: Still in a tent a year after the war
The al-'Athamneh family lost its house during Operation Cast Lead, its orchards, and the taxis it operated. A year later, the family is living in a tent next to the rubble of its house and has no source of income.

Israel shuts down Gaza crossings as siege continues
Gaza - Ma'an – Palestinian crossings officials were told Friday morning that all goods transfer points into Gaza would be closed and remain closed until Sunday morning.

War Criminals
Goldstone member to EI: Gaza ambulance shelled "point blank"
I write concerning your report and photograph describing an attack on an ambulance by means of a "dart bomb" (Eva Bartlett, "Gaza's thin red line one year later," 22 January 2010). As a member of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict led by Judge Richard Goldstone, I examined this incident and offer a more precise term and also some analyses on the nature of the attack on the ambulance in question.

Did Israeli tanks carve a Star of David into Gaza?
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Sometime between 3-10 January 2009, Israeli army vehicles carved a Star of David measuring 60 meters into the soil of the southern Gaza Strip, according to a UN report released over the summer.  The issue was raised by South African jurist Richard Goldstone during an appearance on Wednesday at Yale University.

Political Developments and Diplomacy
Obama defends Israel, says he wants Mideast peace (AP)
AP - President Barack Obama says he's working to get the Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace talks.

President Obama challenged on aid to Israel, violations of Palestinian human rights in Tampa

"US President Barack Obama said on Thursday that the United States would always ensure Israel's security but that Washington must also pay attention to the plight of the Palestinians...."Last night in your State of the Union address, you spoke of America's support for human rights," said a university student, who added that she worked on Obama's campaign last year. "Then why have we not condemned Israel and Egypt's human rights violations against the occupied Palestinian people? We continue to support [Israel and Egypt] financially, with billions of dollars coming from our tax dollars."

Obama: Israel's Right hinders peace
Netanyahu, Abbas wish to advance on peace track but are held back by coalition partners, Hamas, Obama says in Florida town hall meeting; president says he will never waver from helping Israel keep its people safe.,7340,L-3841283,00.html

Netanyahu to U.S.: I'll free Fatah prisoners to boost Abbas
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to the release of hundreds of Fatah prisoners as part of efforts backed by the United States and Egypt to jump-start the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

‘PA’s corruption will enable Hamas to take power in W. Bank'
Dramatic warning delivered by Abbas’s former corruption-buster Fahmi Shabaneh; Fatah personnel even stole US money intended to improve its image ahead of 2006 elections.  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has surrounded himself with many of the corrupt officials who used to work for his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, and that’s why Hamas will one day take control of the West Bank, Fahmi Shabaneh, who was appointed by Abbas four years ago to root out corruption in the Palestinian Authority, said on Thursday.

Fayyad sees no agreement yet to resume Israel talks (Reuters)
Reuters - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Thursday there was no agreement yet to resume talks with Israel, and Palestinians would have no faith in a process which failed to halt Israeli settlements.

Q&A:  ''Hamas Accepts Existence of Israel Within 1967 Borders''
Mel Frykberg interviews MAHMOUDI RAMAHI, secretary-general of the Palestinian Legislative Council: RAMALLAH, Jan 29, 2010 (IPS) - Palestinian politics are at an impasse. The four-year term of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) ended on Jan. 25 with no new elections planned. Presidential elections, meant to be held last year, were also postponed indefinitely.

Hamas: PA must return to unity talks before Israel peace
Gaza – Ma'an – Hamas warned of "dangerous consequences" if Palestinian Authority officials return to peace talks with Israel, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told reporters Friday.  President Mahmoud Abbas was the explicit target of the warning, and was told of the danger of returning to peace talks with Israel before Palestinian unity is achieved, as US pressure to return to negotiations mounts.

No ray of hope for Palestinian statehood: Moroccan PM (AFP)
AFP - Moroccan Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi said Thursday he currently saw no hope for the creation of a Palestinian state, as he paid an official Thursday visit to the Polish capital Warsaw.

King Abdullah: Jordan wants no part of West Bank

King Abdullah of Jordan said Friday his country does not want to rule the West Bank and that the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the only viable option.

King Abdullah, Peres meet to discuss Mideast peace
Jordan' King Abdullah told President Shimon Peres on Thursday that he was worried about the standstill in the peace process which could affect the entire region.

Swedish mayor blasts Zionism
Malmo mayor equates Zionism with anti-Semitism, urges Jewish community in city to distance itself from Israeli attacks on Gaza population; Swedish Jew says situation in town getting worse every year.,7340,L-3841278,00.html

Other News
Gaza gov`t: Fatah leaders must apply to Hamas for Strip visit permits
Ma`an News Agency, Bethlehem - "De facto Interior Minister Fathi Hammad announced new regulations for Fatah members intending to visit the Gaza Strip. Henceforth, Hammad said on Friday, Fatah leaders will need a permit issued by the Gaza government before they are allowed to enter the Hamas-controlled area."

Palestinians irate over new Jerusalem tram (AP)
AP - Jerusalem's first light rail starts test runs this spring, with its sleek silver cars gliding across the city and promising to relieve the perpetual congestion.

Researcher: Israel destroyed Palestinian books

Tens of thousands of Palestinian books destroyed after Israel's establishment, Ben-Gurion University researcher says.,7340,L-3841252,00.html

How Israel Can Help Stop the Flow of Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds
Browsing for diamond jewelry off Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, you can't tell by looking where the diamonds in the store windows come from. But experts can. And those same experts have affirmed that diamonds from the Marange fields of eastern Zimbabwe are mined under highly abusive conditions - the latest "blood diamonds" of the twenty-first century.

Analysis/Op-ed/Human Interest
Will he, won't he, join the dance?, The Palestinian president is in a pickle
A YEAR after he promised to put peace between Israel and the Palestinians near the top of his agenda, Barack Obama is still struggling to get negotiations going again. His envoy, George Mitchell, has been shuttling between Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, and Mahmoud Abbas in an effort, so far in vain, to lure the Palestinian president (pictured) back to the table. What more can he do?  Mr Mitchell has veered away from trying to clinch deals over such big issues as the dismantling of Jewish settlements in the West Bank or devising ways of sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem. Instead he has been trying to get both sides to take more modest measures to build confidence: an exchange of prisoners; a deal to let cement into Gaza (hitherto banned because it may, say the Israelis, be used to build launch-pads for rockets); and Israeli agreements to give back a bit more land to the Palestinians and to stop its forces raiding Palestinian towns in the West Bank.

Anti-Israelism: Why Zionism Doesn’t and Can’t Get It
There is no doubt it. More and more people all over the world, and probably many of their governments behind closed doors, are beginning to see the Zionist state of Israel for what it really is – not only the obstacle to peace but a monster apparently beyond control; and they, more and more so-called ordinary folk everywhere, are beginning to turn against it.  That explains why Prime Minister Netanyahu is leading Zionism’s hysterical call for the world to stop demonizing Israel.

Khalil Nakhleh: “Contested histories, contested narratives”: What kind of nonsense is this?
Numerous books and articles have been written guided by the main thesis that the reason for the prolonged and intractable conflict between Israel and Palestine is that there are two "contested" histories (of Jews and Arabs in Palestine), and two "contested" narratives. The word "contested," in this sense, means that both narratives are equally valid and have equal legitimacy, and that all alternative readings and interpretation of it, and all attempts to question it, are "subjective," "very personal," "irrational," "not credible,""unreliable" and "removed from history." This is, in my view, total nonsense.

ISRAEL: 'Avatar' and the Palestinian blues
Mer-Khamis confirmed the incident and added in the newspaper Maariv: "No one dares to make the real analogy. 'Avatar' is one of the bravest films made. It portrays the occupation, but people aren't making the analogy. Many would like to be like the blue people but don't understand the meaning. This is why people got angry at the movie theater. It is no secret that I think the Israelis are occupiers and the Palestinians occupied. Israel sits forcefully on lands that belong to others and this is exactly what the movie is talking about."

Thursday: 7 Iraqis Killed, 21 Wounded
At least seven Iraqis were killed, including a suspected al-Qaeda operative, and 21 more were wounded in new violence. Meanwhile, Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani said the controversial ADE-651 bomb detector would be removed from service if tests prove it to be useless. Also, Britain awaits the testimony of former-Prime Minster Tony Blair tomorrow at the Iraq Inquiry.

EXCLUSIVE...Blackwater's Youngest Victim: Father of 9 Year-Old Killed in Nisour Square Gives Most Detailed Account of Massacre to Date
Today a Democracy Now! exclusive report from Jeremy Scahill about a nine year old boy, shot in the head and killed by Blackwater in the infamous Nisour Squre massacre. His father, who is suing the private military contractor, provides the most detailed eyewitness account of the massacre to date. Scahill has conducted an in-depth investigation of the massacre and of nine-year old Ali Kinani’s death. He files an exclusive report with Rick Rowley of Big Noise Films.

US citizens detained in Iraq
Two US citizens have been arrested in Iraq and are now being held by the Iraqi army, Al Jazeera has learnt. Sources tell Al Jazeera that their passports show the two had visited Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Lebanon, where the two men are said to have met members of Hezbollah. Josh Rushing reports from Irbil in Northern Iraq.

Tony Blair braced for grilling over Iraq war (AFP)
AFP - Former British prime minister Tony Blair faces a public grilling Friday over his decision to wage war on Iraq, seven years after a bloody conflict that still divides his country.

Blasts Cast Doubt Over Election Security Plan
Multiple explosions raise fears that upcoming ballot will be marred by further attacks. By Khalid al-Ansary and Ali Karim in Baghdad (ICR No. 321, 28-Jan-10)

Halabja’s Unfinished Business
I remember March 16 as if it was yesterday.   I remember the roar of military aircraft overhead, hiding in my family's shelter with family and friends, and emerging hours later to find twisted, deformed bodies lying in the street. I remember people crushed under buildings and crying for help. And I remember the black smoke from the napalm bombs, which billowed into the sky as we fled on foot to Iran. I was eight years old.

Kurdish War of Words
Political tensions escalate sharply as parliament and police investigate series of attacks on opposition figures. By Shorish Khalid in Sulaimaniyah (ICR No. 321, 28-Jan-10)

Hariri in Cairo: Hezbollah Is Partner in National Unity Gov't
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri concluded on Thursday a two-day official visit to Cairo by holding a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a day after he declared from the Egyptian capital that Hezbollah is a partner in the Lebanese national-unity government.  Lebanon's PM arrived in Cairo on Wednesday on his first official visit to Egypt. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ali Shami, Economy Minister Mohammad Safadi, Information Minister Tarek Mitri and other officials. He was also accompanied for the first time by his wife Lara, who lives in Saudi Arabia with the couple's three children. "Threatening any part of Lebanon is a threat against its government which will act on this basis," Hariri warned following his meeting with the Egyptian President. He said that there would be a unified Arab stance towards the Israeli threats.

Israeli threats against Hezbollah target Lebanon: PM (AFP)
AFP - Israeli threats against the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah are threats against Lebanon itself, the country's Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a visit to Cairo on Thursday.

Spain takes command of UN force in Lebanon (AFP)
AFP - Spain on Thursday took over from Italy at the head of a 12,000-strong United Nations peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon that was set up in 1978 to monitor the country's border with Israel.

Father of plane crash victim dies in Lebanon from grief
Beirut - The father of a Lebanese national who was among those killed in the Ethiopian plane crash, died Friday from a heart attack caused by his grief, Lebanese media reported Friday.  According to the reports, Jirji Assal was admitted to Bitar hospital in Batroun, north of Beirut, after suffering a heart attack, but later died. His son Albert Assal was one of the passengers on the plane, but his body had not yet been recovered.

Hizbullah and Iran, As`ad Abukhalil
I was watching a news show yesterday in which Lebanese journalist, Rafiq Khuri was talking. I really like this man: he is knowledgeable, funny, erudite and is a great conversationalist. He knows Arabic poetry very well, and was a sounding board (at a very early age) for `Asi Rahbani, regarding his plays and songs. He was a staunch Arab nationalist (his family is Syrian) and later changed like most in the Lebanese press. He now edits Al-Anwar: which is a Lebanese mouthpiece for the sons of Zayid. It does not sell in Lebanon but the sons of Zayid are loyal to the Furayhah family which peddled UAE propaganda early on. But politics aside, I always like to listen and read Rafiq Khuri. He was analyzing Iran and Hizbullah and it struck me how many people don't get the exact nature of relations between Hizbullah and Iran. Let me explain: up until Hasan Nasrallah (in and in the late 1990s to be exact), Hizbullah was a mere arm of Iran in Lebanon. Under Subhi Tufayli and even `Abbas Musawi, the party was a mere tool of Iran. But that has changed with the rising stature of Nasrallah. I mean, in the equation between Hizbullah and Iran, Nasrallah is a much bigger figure than Ahmadinajad. Can you imagine Ahmadinajad issuing orders to Hizbullah? I can't. The relationship has changed and Hizbullah under Nasrallah has a much bigger room of maneuver than is widely assumed. It is clear (and this is based on analysis and on information) that Hizbullah is left to decide what it wants to do. It is not that Hizbullah just waits for orders from Iran, which it used to do in much of the 1980s. The notion that if Iran is attacked, Hizbullah would immediately start launching missiles at the Zionist entity is absurd. Hizbullah will decide largely on its own calculations. The relationship has become much more complicated. Nasrallah in Iran is considered by all to be senior to the Iranian president himself (but not necessarily to the Supreme Guide). Get that? [end]

U.S. and Other World News
Howard Zinn, US historian and activist, dies aged 87
The American historian, playwright and author of the bestseller A People's History of the United States, which presents a leftist view of US history, has died.

Howard Zinn: Israel and America Terrorize the World
There is something important to be learned from the recent experience of the United States and Israel in the Middle East: that massive military attacks, inevitably indiscriminate, are not only morally reprehensible, but useless in achieving the stated aims of those who carry them out.  The United States, in three years of war, which began with shock-and- awe bombardment and goes on with day-to-day violence and chaos, has been an utter failure in its claimed objective of bringing democracy and stability to Iraq. The Israeli invasion and bombing of Lebanon has not brought security to Israel; indeed it has increased the number of its enemies, whether in Hezbollah or Hamas or among Arabs who belong to neither of those groups.

Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train
IN THIS SCENE: Dr. Howard Zinn discusses his experience as an Air Force bombadier in WWII. Near the end of the war Zinn is asked to bomb a small town in France that has a lasting impression on him.  ABOUT THE FILM: In these turbulent times, Howard Zinn is inspiring a new generation. This acclaimed film looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author. Following his early days as a shipyard labor organizer and bombardier in World War II, Zinn became an academic rebel and leader of civil disobedience in a time of institutionalized racism and war. His influential writings shine light on and bring voice to factory workers, immigrant laborers, African Americans, Native Americans and the working poor.  Featuring rare archival materials and interviews with Zinn and colleagues such as Noam Chomsky, You Can't Be Neutral captures the essence of this extraordinary man who has been a catalyst for progressive change for more than 60 years.  Narrated by Matt Damon. Featuring music by Pearl Jam, Woody Guthrie & Billy Bragg.

CIA Man Retracts Claim on Waterboarding
Well, it's official now: John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about. Kiriakou, a 15-year veteran of the agency's intelligence analysis and operations directorates, electrified the hand-wringing national debate over torture in December 2007 when he told ABC's Brian Ross and Richard Esposito  in a much ballyhooed, exclusive interview that senior al Qaeda commando Abu Zubaydah cracked after only one application of the face cloth and water. "From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."

Islamic singer agrees to remain jailed in Michigan (AP)
AP - A prominent Islamic singer accused of concealing ties to a terrorist group was duped into believing the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development worked only for needy people, his lawyer said Thursday.*

US-backed Taliban payout could prove unpopular

The US is endorsing a plan to provide financial incentives to Afghan Taliban fighters to lay down their weapons. Barack Obama, the US president, wants to begin drawing down troops by next year and the proposal could help him achieve that goal. But, while many Americans want the war to end, the idea of paying the Taliban could turn out to be unpopular. Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan reports. (29 Jan 2010)

US businesses urge Obama to resist Iran sanctions bill

US business groups warned the White House on Tuesday that congressional plans to expand US sanctions on Iran threaten to significantly undermine US economic and security interests.,7340,L-3840202,00.html

Does the name 'Abdelaziz' rattle you?
It did rattle a lot of Obama supporters who came to listen to and to applaud Obama's corporatist policies in a town hall in Tampa. Who would have believed that this name would be so unpopular in Florida? Listen for yourself. Laila Abdelaziz, a Palestinian student at Tampa University, is strongly booed by the audience after merely stating her name and affiliation: audio track. Obama then has to calm the audience down. Mind you, this blatant racism comes from the most "progressive" sector of the U.S. electorate, Obama's politically involved base, people who self-selected by attending this town hall meeting.

Obama: the Middle East has obviously plagued the region for centuries, As`ad Abukhalil
"The Middle East has obviously plagued the region for centuries." If Bush came up with this dumb observation, he would widely mocked. Obama should be equally mocked for this dumb statement. But play the whole clip and see how awful, cowardly, nervous, and stupid he sounds in the answer he gave. Every day, Obama provides me with justifications to oppose him from the very beginning. I wonder how all those leftists I know feel about him now, domestically and internationally.  [end]

the bodacity of hope, Philip Weiss

Everyone is talking about Obama’s meltdown in Tampa yesterday. When a student who had worked for his campaign asked him about Palestinian human-rights. There is the president’s inane temporizing as he tried to collect his thoughts–turning to another youth and asking if he had gotten those beads in New Orleans–and then a phrase that George W. Bush could have come up with, "The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries…" Till finally Obama had mentally assembled a few hollow phrases that did not answer Laila Abdelaziz’s question. Adam Horowitz says that it is the first real gotcha moment he has seen with Obama, and it came from a young Arab-American.

'Bin Laden' blames climate change on US
A new audio tape said to be from al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden blames global warming on the US and other industrial nations.

African, Arab world to hold first meeting since 1977
* Yemen, Somalia and Sudan to be on agenda
* Last meeting held in Cairo in 1977
* Libya's Gaddafi to host summit in October

Riz Khan - UK universities and radical Islam
In this edition of the Riz Khan show we speak with Professor Anthony Glees who claims that dozens of Britain's universities have become bases for known terrorists.

US occupation troops shoot and kill Afghan cleric near Kabul
A U.S. soldiers shot and killed an Afghan cleric as he drove Thursday with his young son near an American base on the eastern edge of occupied Kabul.

Afghan villages form local militias

War-weary villagers in the northern province of Kunduz in Afghanistan have been left to battle the Taliban alone. In villages across Kunduz province, residents are forced to form their own local militias in a bid to protect their families and keep the Taliban at bay. Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, said his country must reach out to its "disenchanted brothers" in an effort to stabilise the war ravaged nation during his address to a one-day international conference on Afghanistan's future in London. Karzai and officials from more than 60 countries are meeting this week to examine ways to bring an end to nearly a decade of war in Afghanistan. Al Jazeera's David Chater reports on the security vacuum left behind by German troops and Afghan forces who have failed to protect local residents in Kunduz. [January, 28, 2010]

Autocracy-lite in Jordan | Chris Phillips
The Arab Middle East is the least democratic region in the world and it is getting worse, according to Freedom House's latest Freedom in the World report. Only Morocco, Kuwait and Lebanon now pass as "partly free" while Yemen, Bahrain and Jordan have this year regressed into the same "not free" group as all the other Arab states. Jordan's relegation is particularly alarming.
For further information contact Shadi Fadda

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  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
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YEAR 2004