Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - March 2011
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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem’s visa revoked
Arieh Cohen, Jerusalem, AsiaNews 3/2/2011
      Israel’s Interior Ministry has revoked the permit for the Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, The Rt Revd Suheil Dawani, to live in Jerusalem, and has refused requests to reinstate it, in spite of protests by Anglican authorities in the West specifically the United States.
     The Bishop is a native of the Holy Land and has spent most of his life and ministry here, but cannot obtain either citizenship or legal residence in Israel, since he was born in Nablus, i.e. in the West Bank, which has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, but has not been annexed to Israel. East Jerusalem, on the other hand, where the Anglican Cathedral and Diocesan offices are situated, was also occupied at the same time, but Israel annexed it and considers it part of its national territory (although no other country in the world recognizes this annexation). Therefore, Bishop Dawani is considered by Israel to be a foreigner who can only visit – let alone live in – East Jerusalem with a special permit, which the Israeli authorities can either grant or deny at their sole discretion. In fact, even the original Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem, and their descendants, are considered by Israel to be foreigners who are no more than possessors of a residence permit, which Israel can revoke.
     Since the Bishop has of course remained at his post, in Jerusalem, without the permit, he could be arrested at any moment, be put on trial for being in Israel illegally, be sentenced to a prison term – or simply be forcibly removed from Jerusalem.
     This situation is causing deep worry to all the Churches in the Holy Land. Because of the representative function of the Churches in the Holy Land, on behalf of the world-wide Christian communities, and because of various personnel needs, a large portion of the bishops, clergy and religious serving in Jerusalem and elsewhere, come from other countries....
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A revolution against neoliberalism?
Abu Atris, Al Jazeera 2/24/2011
      If rebellion results in a retrenchment of neoliberalism, millions will feel cheated.
     On February 16th I read a comment was posted on the wall of the Kullina Khalid Saed ("We are all Khaled Said") Facebook page administered by the now very famous Wael Ghonim. By that time it had been there for about 21 hours. The comment referred to a news item reporting that European governments were under pressure to freeze bank accounts of recently deposed members of the Mubarak regime. The comment said: "Excellent news … we do not want to take revenge on anyone … it is the right of all of us to hold to account any person who has wronged this nation. By law we want the nation’s money that has been stolen … because this is the money of Egyptians, 40% of whom live below the poverty line."
     By the time I unpacked this thread of conversation, 5,999 people had clicked the "like" button, and about 5,500 had left comments. I have not attempted the herculean task of reading all five thousand odd comments (and no doubt more are being added as I write), but a fairly lengthy survey left no doubt that most of the comments were made by people who clicked the "like" icon on the Facebook page. There were also a few by regime supporters, and others by people who dislike the personality cult that has emerged around Mr. Ghoneim.
     This Facebook thread is symptomatic of the moment. Now that the Mubarak regime has fallen, an urge to account for its crimes and to identify its accomplices has come to the fore. The chants, songs, and poetry performed in Midan al-Tahrir always contained an element of anger against haramiyya (thieves) who benefited from regime corruption. Now lists of regime supporters are circulating in the press and blogosphere. Mubarak and his closest relatives (sons Gamal and 'Ala’) are always at the head of these lists. Articles on their personal wealth give figures as low as $3 billion to as high as $70 billion (the higher number was repeated on many protesters’ signs)....
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Right of reply: The Palestine papers revealed nothing
Saeb Erekat, Ma’an News Agency 3/1/2011
      A response to: "Till September: The PA’s Meaningless Deadlines"
     Ramzy Baroud fails to present the real picture of the Palestinian situation today. Characterizing the Palestinian leadership as a "self designated Palestinian leadership in the West Bank," Mr. Baroud wittingly ignores some facts while distorts others. In fact, it was Hamas that has refused until this day to sign the Egyptian brokered reconciliation agreement.
     The so-called "Palestine papers" have not revealed a single official agreement or document that offers concessions. Rather the majority of the documents were internal draft summaries of meetings taken in shorthand and intended for personal use only. Moreover, Baroud's failure to differentiate between official positions and explorations or polemical rhetoric during the course of negotiations shows a lack of knowledge or a deliberate distortion.
     A responsible and careful reading of the minutes and official Palestinian positions reveals that Palestinian negotiators were insistent on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The issues discussed were mechanisms by which Palestinian rights would be realized, rather than forfeited as claimed.
     For example, the Palestinian position on territory never deviated from the 1967 borders and illegality of settlements. However, there was a willingness to discuss Israeli and U.S proposals for land swaps, only if equal in size and value, as a possible way to establish the 1967 lines as a base line for borders given the complicated reality on the ground created by Israel's illegal colonial policies. -- See also: Till September: The PA’s Meaningless Deadlines
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How Palestine's uprising inspired Egypt's
Electronic Intifada: 2 Mar 2011 - In the 1990s, one could only whisper Hosni Mubarak's name. Political talk or jokes were avoided in phone calls. This year, millions of Egyptians fought for 18 days against their aging tyrant, braving the police troops firing teargas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. People in Egypt have lost their fear, but it did not happen overnight. Hossam el-Hamalawy comments.more

US students face jail time for disrupting Israeli official's speech
Electronic Intifada: 2 Mar 2011 - Eleven University of California students face criminal charges and possible jail terms for protesting and disrupting a speech by an Israeli official as the Orange County district attorney's office engages in what one of the students' attorneys calls "selective and discriminatory prosecution"more

World Social Forum puts Palestine solidarity into action
Electronic Intifada: 2 Mar 2011 - The Electronic Intifada contributor Stefan Christoff spoke with Palestinian civil society activist Ahmad Jaradat outside the Palestine people's assembly tent at the World Social Forum global anti-capitalist gathering.more

Libyan opposition prepares for offensive against Gaddafi
Electronic Intifada: 2 Mar 2011 - BENGHAZI, Libya (IPS) - As the defectors from the Libyan army organize the weapons they have recovered from Muammar Gaddafi's strongholds in the region, thousands of Libyan men are volunteering to join the soldiers in a possible attack on Tripoli to oust Gaddafi from power.more

INTERVIEW-Middle East turmoil seen inspiring Palestinians
Palestine Monitor: 2 Mar 2011 - * Senior Palestinian predicts new anti-Israel uprising * Says non-violent protests could bring swift results By Mohammed Assadi RAMALLAH, West Bank, March 1 (Reuters) - A wave of popular unrest in the Arab world will soon inspire Palestinians to wage non-violent protests of their own against Israel's 43-year-old occupation, a prominent Palestinian has said. Mustafa Barghouthi, who came second in a 2005 presidential election behind Mahmmoud Abbas, said the failure of peace negotiations over the past two decades would spur Palestinians to launch mass rallies against Israeli rule. Barghouthi said the turmoil in the Middle East showed how fast events were evolving, producing much quicker results than non-violent movements in India against British rule in the 20th century and that of Martin Luther King in the United States. "None of these leaders could move half the population over the period of two weeks to bring down a whole regime," he told...more

Another Tidal Wave is Needed
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Mar 2011 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington, D.C. The spark that the impoverished Tunisian fruit peddler, Mohammed Bouazizi, lit in his self-immolation act in protest for his mistreatment and humiliation by a policewoman is still ablaze within many of the Arab regimes anciens, regrettably abundant in the Arab World. Already two discredited presidents – Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia – have been kicked out of office and a third, the “delusional” leader of Libya, Moammar Gaddafi, is expected to follow suit anytime soon. Still, other Arab leaders are encountering similar unprecedented upheavals. A “day of rage” is now scheduled for March 11 in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian capital. Even Lebanon has had a similar demonstration last week that called loudly for the abolition of sectarianism in the country where all positions within the civil service are divided in accordance with a formula based on...more

The Arab Revolution and Anti-Imperialism
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Mar 2011 - By Daniel Renwick Tunisia falls. Egypt falls. Anti-imperialism gets a shot in the arm. Ben-Ali and Mubarak, who for decades acted as nothing but Western stooges, are forced from power and the global order trembles. Cracks emerge under our feet and we all wonder; what next? We are too close to these events to truly realise their magnitude. However, what must be made emphatically clear is that the global order stands or falls with the Pan-Arab revolution. The fighting in the Arab street is a transnational fight of epic proportions. While it is a fight for dignity, a fight for rights and a fight for fairness – these battles cannot be pitched without truly knowing one’s enemy – the forces of empire. While major encouragement can be found looking down the Arab street, forces of subversion have been in play from the very start. Variables are not liked by the...more

Seventh Annual Israel Anti-Apartheid Week
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Mar 2011 - By Stephen Lendman Apartheidweek.com announced that the Anti-Apartheid for this year will be held in over 60 cities worldwide, including: Adelaide, Al Quds, Amman, Amsterdam, Bard (NY), Basel, Beirut, Belfast, Berkeley, Bern, Bethlehem, Bilbao, Birzeit, Bordeaux, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Cape Town, Cleveland, Denver, Dublin, Dundee, Durban, Edmonton, Gainesville, Gaza, Geneva, Grahamstown, Haifa, Houston, Ireland, Johannesburg, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Le Mans, Lille, Lillehammer, London (Ontario), Lyon, Melbourne, Mexico City, Miami, Midwest, Montreal, Nablus, Naples, Nazereth, Neuchatel, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, Peterborough, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Providence, Regina, St. Louis, Stellenbosch, Sudbury, Toronto, Utrecht, Yaffa, and Zurich. Other cities not officially part of IAW may also participate, including major ones involved before. Launched in Toronto in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, it's held annually to support calls for Global Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) until Occupied Palestine is free. Last year's IAW was "incredibly successful" with over 55 participating cities...more

American Intervention in Libya
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Mar 2011 - By Ali Younes – Washington, D.C. According to high level sources here in Washington, the U.S government is about to take a decision, or already made it, to intervene directly in the Libyan crises by having its warships dock at the Libyan eastern ports. This mean that U.S ground forces, Marines and support units will establish Forward Operating Bases (FOB) in coastal Libyan cities to coordinate with the Libyan “opposition" and establish a parallel Libyan government in the event that the regime of Moammar Qaddafi did not fall or toppled in the coming days. This action will require, however, an immediate UN coordination and a legal cover from the UN Security Council to place Libya under stricter provisions of Chapter 7 of the UN charter that authorizes the use of force against a member state. Moreover, If Libya is placed under clearer and stricter language of a future UNSC resolution;...more

What Really Happened in Gaza?
Dissident Voice: 2 Mar 2011 - The Israeli attack on Gaza in December 2008/January 2009 and the subsequent investigation and unequivocal condemnation by a United Nations team led by Judge Richard Goldstone of Israeli conduct before and during what the Jewish State calls “Operation Cast Lead,” have radically altered the way many view Israel’s brutal occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. Gaza and Goldstone have also caused many to question the 18 year-old US-sponsored Israeli/Palestinian “peace-process” which never produces any positive results. The Goldstone Report: The Legacy Of The Landmark Investigation Of The Gaza Conflict Edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner, and Philip Weiss Foreword by Desmond Tutu Introduction by Naomi Klein, Nation Books, 2011.  449 pp., $18.95 (paperback). Here in Central New York, some local activists in the Syracuse Peace Council started the group Central New York Working For A Just Peace In Palestine & Israel as a direct result of the invasion of...more

Speaking to J-Street, but for Who?
Dissident Voice: 2 Mar 2011 - Mona Eltahawy who takes pride in being “the first Egyptian journalist to live and to work for a western news agency in Israel” was a big hit at this year’s J-Street gathering. This is a video of her opening remarks at the racist, Zionist group’s 2011 conference. Eltahawy, unlike Ray Hanania and James Zogby, two other Arab-Americans who enthusiastically promote J-Street, does speak Arabic with native ability and closely followed the Egyptian revolution. Therefore, when she told the audience “not one anti-Israeli or anti-American sentiment was expressed” during the uprisings in Tunisia, and Egypt (11:40), she was knowingly making a false statement. While the immediate demands of the Tunisians and Egyptians were naturally focused on domestic issues, the tyrants’ relationships with the Zionist entity, and American support for these autocrats were on the minds of the millions who took the streets to demand not only an end to dictatorship, oppression,...more

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