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Articles Archives - April 2010
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Monday, April 19, 2010
Boldness vs. Bullets At The Gaza Border
Max Ajl, Truthout 4/19/2010
      The razor-wire and concrete frontier between Israel and Gaza is intermittently interrupted by remote-controlled metal observation towers equipped with motion sensors. When the sensors detect something, the metal petals atop the towers peel back, blooming. A small bloom means the interior camera is peering around. A big bloom occurs when the people controlling the machine guns inside the turret are thinking about blasting someone.
     On Tuesday, in a border area near Atatra, a neighborhood in Beit Lehiya in northern Gaza, the top only opened a little - just looking around. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) software operator saw us nearing the border, perhaps 200 Palestinians and seven internationals. The Palestinians marched, boisterously and peacefully, holding a banner reading "No for the security wall and we call on international society for urgent intervention to stop the Israeli violations of Palestinian rights."
     The bigger group of them stopped maybe 150 meters of the border, well within the Israel-decreed buffer zone. The bolder youth surged forward, to the first string of barbed wire, maybe 25 meters from the border, then around it, past the ring road, then nearly to the border fence. There they defiantly planted a Palestinian flag. They climbed on top of a metal structure, maybe formerly used for transmitting electricity, and planted several Palestinian flags. I mentioned to another international, Rada, that "someone was going to get shot," we were so close to the border. I guessed wrong, luckily. And there we waited. We didn’t wait too long.
     First one jeep, then two, then three, drove up in a tremendous hurry. IDF marksmen rushed from the jeeps and took up sniping positions on a sand-dune overlooking the enemy: in this case peaceful Palestinian demonstrators clustered on their own land, with a few international witnesses, and a lot of clearly visible press wearing blue flak jackets.
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New Military Order 'Infiltrates' Palestinian Rights: A Statement by Kairos Palestine (DOC)
Kairos Palestine 4/18/2010
      (Jerusalem 18.04.2010) Kairos Palestine expresses its outrage and dismay about a new Israeli military order that will categorize tens of thousands of Palestinians living in the West Bank as “infiltrators” – ostensibly because they lack the proper permits – and give military officers sweeping control over their deportation. We condemn this action and call upon churches worldwide to publically demand the revocation of the order regarding “Prevention of Infiltration” (Amendment No. 2) issued by the Israeli military authorities.
     The new order (signed in October 2009 but not publically released; scheduled to take effect on April 13, 2010) amends an order issued in 1969 after Israel officially occupied the West Bank and Jerusalem. The new amendment redefines an “infiltrator” as “a person who entered the Area unlawfully following the effective date, or a person who is present in the Area and does not lawfully hold a permit” (amendment to section 1.1.B), making him/her:
     a) subject to almost immediate deportation,
     b) potentially subject to a jail term of up to seven years, and
     c) responsible for funding his/her own detention and deportation.
     Furthermore, the military may delay an individual’s appearance before an appeals committee for up to eight days, despite the fact that it may command his/her expulsion within 72 hours of the order, which means, in effect, that people may be deported without any kind of legal hearing (cf. Amendment to section 3 C.D).
     Who exactly will the Israeli military target as “infiltrators”? As Amira Hass of Ha’aretz reports, “the order’s language is both general and ambiguous” about this matter. Indeed, the Israeli NGO HaMoked, Center for the Defense of the Individual, remarks that the declaration is so vague that it could permit “the [Israeli] military to empty the West Bank of almost all of its Palestinian inhabitants.” -- See also: Ha'aretz: IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank and HaMoked (PDF)
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How Obama Must Deal With Israeli Avoidance Methods
Nadia Hijab, CounterPunch 4/16/2010
      Difficult and More Likely to Succeed
     As Barack Obama seeks leadership of the nuclear nonproliferation cause this week, the long shadow cast by the Arab-Israeli conflict is close by. And a proliferation of peace plan advice is coming his way, inspired by reports that his administration may be planning to issue its own plan.
     So far, the heaviest hitters’ advice is that from former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former Congressman Stephen Solarz, in their jointly written editorial in The Washington Post. They call on Obama to make a dramatic gesture: To travel to Jerusalem with world leaders and declare a four-point plan. This would, they argue, make it possible for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to deal with their recalcitrant elements.
     I hope the president doesn’t listen to them. On the face of it, the Brzezinski-Solarz plan-for-Obama’s-plan looks eminently reasonable and even-handed, with bitter pills dished out to "both sides." But it puts the United States in a needlessly exposed position.
     It is one thing for former government representatives to airily dismiss international law as regards Palestinian refugee rights in exchange for an Israeli agreement to share Jerusalem, which is not legally Israel’s to share. It is quite another for the highest American official to do so.
     The United States should indeed have a clear idea of its bottom line because it simply cannot leave the matter to be negotiated by the two sides, given the vast imbalance of power. But it should not publicly announce a peace plan. What it should publicly announce is that it will not recognize any changes Israel has made beyond the Green Line, and that it will encourage its partners to do the same.
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Beit Sahour: a microcosm of Israeli colonization
Electronic Intifada: 19 Apr 2010 - Har Homa settlement's impact on the Palestinian community has been devastating, with the town of Beit Sahour now dominated by the ever-expanding settlement. While many are aware of Beit Sahour's famous nonviolent resistance during the first Palestinian intifada (1987-1993), less well-known is how Israeli rule continues to choke the town. Ben White reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Palestine's first independent think tank launched
Electronic Intifada: 19 Apr 2010 - Last week, Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network, was launched ( www.al-shabaka.org ). Al-Shabaka, which means "The Network," is the first independent strategy and policy-related think tank for Palestinians and by Palestinians.

Medical solidarity with Gaza: in conversation with Mads Gilbert
Electronic Intifada: 19 Apr 2010 - Ahead of the English publication of his book Eyes in Gaza (co-authored with Dr. Erik Fosse), Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert recently spoke with The Electronic Intifada contributor Stefan Christoff about what he witnessed during Operation Cast Lead, Israel's three-week long assault on the Gaza Strip starting in December 2008, during which more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed and thousands more injured.

Global Peace and Justice Groups Threaten Israel's Legitimacy
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman Working pro bono for Israeli government agencies, the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute (RI) provides "real-time strategic decision-making" support in areas of national security and socioeconomic policy. Saying global peace and justice groups threaten Israel's legitimacy, its recent series of articles, policy papers, and presentations counterattacked - a combination of damage control and rethink despite legitimate criticism showing Israel delegitimizes itself, and no amount of policy paper makeover will change it. Only Israel can do that, but in its 62 year existence never tried. In a January 28 brief, RI said Israel: "face(s) a dramatic assault on the very legitimacy of its existence as a Jewish and democratic state. While the ideological framework for this delegitimacy was solidified after the first Durban" World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, "the trend (got) a boost by the perceived lack of (political) progress, coupled with Operation Cast...more

Israel's Stooges Battle for British Votes
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Apr 2010 - By Stuart Littlewood - London We can already see how disastrously the US election turned out, not just for Americans but the rest of us also. "The US president is simply the voice of the Zionist parasite," writes a friend in Norway. "It is sickening and frightening that Obama is seen toeing the Zionist line. "Zionism has the US administration and other western governments by the balls." Well, that's certainly the way it looks. Last month Israel's prime minister Netanyahu slapped America in the face by approving more illegal settlements during vice-president Joe Biden's visit. What did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton do? She repeated the pathetic mantra: "We have an absolute commitment to Israel's security. We have a close unshakeable bond between the United States and Israel and between the American and Israeli people". Clinton completed her surrender to the Israeli terror machine by sharing the AIPAC Conference platform...more

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