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Articles Archives - October 2010
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Monday, October 18, 2010
New Israeli Report: Israeli Banks are Principal Beneficiaries of the Illegal Settlements
Tali Shapiro, Pulse 10/18/2010
      According to a new report by Who Profits, a research project that exposes Israeli and international corporate involvement in the occupation:
     “The banks are well aware of the activities carried out with their financial assistance.”
     A report published today by Who Profits exposes the financial support provided by Israeli banks to illegal Israeli settlements and the direct involvement of Israeli banks in control over the Palestinian banking market. The report, “Financing the Occupation,” investigated the involvement of Israeli banks in the economy of occupation:
     Israeli banks provide the financial infrastructure for all activities of companies, governmental agencies and individuals in the continuing occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights. The services provided by the banks support and sustain these activities. [p.4]
     Merav Amir, Who Profits Research Coordinator, said today:
     Our research provides evidence that the banks are well aware of the types and whereabouts of the activity that is being carried out with their financial assistance, and exposes the ways in which they are supporting illegitimate activities that violate international law.
     Who Profits from the Occupation is a research project initiated by the Coalition of Women for Peace, an Israeli feminist peace organization. This project is dedicated to exposing the ongoing Israeli and international commercial involvement in the sustainability of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land. -- See also: Who Profits: Financing the Israeli Occupation - Full Report (PDF)
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Just another futile Friday in Bil’in?
Greg Wilkinson, Ma’an News Agency 10/18/2010
      Business as usual? Weekly ritual? Sporting event? A bit of all three, but more than that.
     Nobody injured, nobody killed, this week. Mercifully. No ground lost or gained, but nearly 100 people walking, talking, shouting singing in the sun, behind a Palestinian flag toward a boring line of metal fence – no Great Wall of Israel, just a stupid obstacle to little things like justice, peace and people's land.
     What's the message of this march? Get out, we've said it before and we'll say it again. Free our prisoners, and one in particular this week. Abdullah Abu Rahmah was jailed for a year three days ago. His daughter is somewhere in the crowd, with a picture of her dad. Abdullah in prison, Bassem dead ... same family.
     And me, from Wales, UK? What am I doing? And the other internationals who make up a third of this week's ritual march. And the Israelis? They're here too, on both sides of the fence. I can only speak for myself. In 1956, in Lebanon, a few months before the Suez war, I met a young Palestinian refugee. We ate up a month's meat ration in his family's one-room refugee-camp house, and he gave me a book called Palestine is our Business. True enough, I thought when I read it, then forgot it for nearly 50 years.
     The last time I got a whiff of teargas was in Paris in 1968, and the formula seems to have stayed the same. That also goes for Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, here, there and everywhere. Our old terrace house in Swansea looks over the sea. Too cold for me, but my wife, who still swims in it, says "Why don't you swim where it's warm?" Gaza perhaps, when that's open as a tourist resort.
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The Non-Jewish Immigrant Loyalty Oath
Gary Leupp, Dissident Voice 10/16/2010
      The State of Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State
     On October 10, the Israeli cabinet approved a law requiring all non-Jewish immigrants to Israel to swear loyalty to “the laws of the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” Up until now they’ve merely pledged loyalty to “the state of Israel.” Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demands that the Palestinian Authority headed by President Mahmud Abbas recognize Israel as a “Jewish state” as the precondition for even a six-month suspension of Israeli settlement construction on the West Bank (to say nothing of serious negotiations towards the establishment of a Palestinian state). Up until now the PA has said it will “never” recognize Israel as Jewish by definition. But on Wednesday a top Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official, Yasser Abed Rabbo (who apparently has a sense of humor), stated, “Any formulation the Americans present–even asking us to call Israel the “Chinese State”–we will agree to it as long as we receive the 1967 borders.” This is an apparent effort to call Israel’s bluff, since the Israeli leadership has no intention of ever withdrawing to the 1967 borders, which exclude East Jerusalem.
     But it is interesting and pleasing to note that many Israeli Jews are up in arms about the cabinet decision to force non-Jewish immigrants to pledge loyalty to a “Jewish state.” These include former Foreign Minister and head of the opposition Kadima party Tzipi Livni (Kadima) who calls the decision “politics at its worst,” adding, “The delicate and important topic of a Jewish and democratic state has turned into commercialized politics, and it is totally unnecessary. The central thing we need to protect is Israel’s existence as Jewish and equal for all of its citizens.” Minister of Welfare Isaac Herzog (of the Labor Party) calls it a step towards fascism. Even Likud Ministers Benny Begin and Dan Meridor warn it will harm relations with Israeli Arabs. Writer Sefi Rachlevsky, who organized a protest against the law, declares: “At the moment that you ask that everyone agree to this same belief, you are a fascist state,” adding, “every national catastrophe begins with decisions like this.”
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ADL's demonization of student activism denounced
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2010 - As members of several student groups working for justice in Palestine, we affirmatively state that the ADL's characterization of our campus educational efforts and activism about Israeli injustices against Palestinians as "biased" is a disingenuous and misguided attempt to vilify students who criticize Israel's occupation, which denies Palestinian human rights and self-determination.more

The international community's final test
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2010 - Negotiations between two unequal parties cannot succeed. Success in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations requires a reasonable balance of power, clear terms of reference and abstention of both sides from imposing unilateral facts on the ground. None of that existed in the talks that were re-initiated in September. Mustafa Barghouthi comments.more

JNF plants trees to uproot Bedouin
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2010 - The Electronic Intifada contributor Arwa Aburawa spoke to Ra'ed al-Mickawi from Bustan, a green Bedouin organization, and Alice Gray an environmental expert based in the West Bank to find out more about the role of greenwashing in the Israeli occupation of the Naqab desert.more

Remembering Furkan Dogan
Electronic Intifada: 18 Oct 2010 - Furkan Dogan was an American, a young American of only 19 years when on 31 May a hail of Israeli bullets ended his life on the Mavi Marmara Turkish humanitarian aid shipmore

The Children Of Balata: Putting Faces To Statistics
Palestine Monitor: 18 Oct 2010 - According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Balata's 0.25 sq km area is home to more than 23,600 registered refugees, although the true population could be much higher. The camp was formed in 1950, designed for 5,000-7,000 people. For it's 23,000+ occupants, the camp has one food distribution center, one women's program center and one community-based rehabilitation center. The camp is plagued by water shortages and sewage treatment problems that cause hygiene problems and lengthy droughts. Written and photographed by Brynn Utela. The camp is the home to thousands of children. 40% of Balata's population are under 15. Another 20% of Balata refugees are aged 15-24, meaning that two-thirds of Balata's occupants are under 24. Balata's has one UNRWA health centre. There are eight other health centres in the camp not affiliated with the UNRWA. With only four schools and few opportunities within the camp for enrichment...more

Award Winning British Film Director Boycotts Israel
Palestine Monitor: 18 Oct 2010 - Mike Leigh had been due to teach classes at the Sam Spiegel Film & Television School (SSFTS) in Jerusalem next month, but has pulled out following the Israeli government's amendment to the Citizenship Act. Leigh had been expected to lead the 'Great Masters' programme at the prestigious institution from November 20-27. In a letter to SSFTS director Renen Schorr, he outlined his reasons for the cancellation. "As you know, I have always had serious misgivings about coming, but I allowed myself to be persuaded by your sincerity and your commitment," Leigh wrote. "And it is because of those special qualities of yours that I am especially sorry to have to let you down. But I have absolutely no choice. I cannot come, I do not want to come, and I am not coming. "Eight weeks after our lunch, the Israeli attack on the flotilla took place. As I watched the...more

The State of Bla-Bla-Bla
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Oct 2010 - By Uri Avnery Will Germany enact a law that demands that every Turk aspiring to citizenship swear allegiance to the 'German Federal Republic, the Nation-State of the German People'? Sounds like a ridiculous idea. Will the US Senate adopt a law that would compel every candidate for citizenship to swear allegiance to “The United States of America, the Nation State of the…” Of whom? “The American People”? “The Anglo-Saxon People”? “The Christian People”? An absurd idea. But the Knesset is about to enact a law that demands from every non-Jew who desires Israeli citizenship to swear allegiance to “The State of Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish people”. It seems that our benighted law-makers do not see anything questionable about this. And there already hovers in the air a bill that demands that all Israeli citizens, or perhaps only the non-Jewish ones, swear allegiance to this Nation-State of the Jewish...more

Israeli Police Look to Settlers to Fill Ranks
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Oct 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth As US-sponsored peace talks have stalled over the issue of settlements, Israel's national police force has revealed that it is turning to the very same illegal communities in its first-ever drive to recruit officers from among the settlers. The special officer training course, which is chiefly aimed at discharged combat soldiers, includes seven months of religious studies in an extremist West Bank settlement. The programme has provoked widespread concern among Israel's 1.3 million Palestinian citizens, a fifth of the population. "The police have already repeatedly demonstrated their hostility to Palestinian citizens, but this move proves that the authorities want to extend and deepen our oppression," said Jafar Farah, the director of Mossawa, an advocacy centre for the Palestinian minority. "Is it really credible that these religious extremists who have been educated to hate Palestinians in the West Bank are going to behave differently when they...more

Mainstreaming the Extreme Rightwing
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Oct 2010 - By Ralph Nader The strong case that Eric Alterman's book What Liberal Media? made in 2003 against the propaganda-style claim by rightwingers, that the mass media has a liberal bias, is an expanding understatement. Just read recent issues of The Washington Post and The New York Times to see the most extreme reactionaries getting the kind of coverage their publicists love. Just last Sunday in the October 10, 2010 New York Times, two very lengthy features appeared on the rancid Ann Coulter and the blogger Pamela Geller—a grotesque anti-Semite against Arabs who flaunts her sweeping bigotry as a badge of pride. Geller even called herself a ‘racist-Islamophobic-anti-Muslim-bigot’. One veteran reporter called the sprawling two page feature, with all of twenty color photos “an advertisement.” Anyone with such open and flaunted hatred against Jews would either be ignored or slammed paragraph by paragraph with denunciations consigning the sick character into media...more

Articles Archives - October 2010

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