"The so-called 'Palestinian autonomous areas' are bantustans...restricted entities within the power of the Israeli apartheid system."
   Nelson Mandela
   
   
Events: July 14: VTJP Meeting
  Articles
IDF court convicts Palestinian non-violent organizer, EU human rights def
Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine 10/23/201
     Israeli military court convicts Abdullah Abu Rahmah of obstructing a bulldozer building the separation barrier. His previous trial and imprisonment was followed closely by western governments.
     Abdullah Abu Rahmah, one of the central organizers of the popular resistance protests against the separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bil’in, was convicted of obstructing the work of a soldier by an Israeli military court this week. He will likely be sentenced to four months in prison.
     Abu Rahmah, who was recognized by the European Union as a “human rights defender” dedicated to non-violence, previously served over a year in prison for organizing “illegal marches” as well as for “incitement.” All political demonstrations are illegal for Palestinians under Israeli military law.
     +972 named Abu Rahmah “person of the year” in 2010. The choice was made, we wrote at the time:
     "Because he has become the face of the grassroots, unarmed resistance movement to Israel’s security barrier; because he is the person who has raised international awareness not only of the devastation caused by the barrier, but also the existence of a well-organized, non-violent grassroots opposition movement – one that brings together Palestinians, Israelis and international supporters in a joint struggle. Because he is the answer to the question, “Where is the Palestinian Gandhi?” (answer: there are many; and they are languishing in Israel’s jails). Because he has never wavered in his commitment to non-violence – not even after his cousin Bassam Abu Rahmah was killed by a high-velocity tear gas canister shot by Israeli soldiers directly at his chest; nor after his cousin Adeeb Abu Rahmah was arrested and imprisoned for participating in weekly demonstrations against the barrier that separates the people of Bil’in from their own farmland."
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Is it time to bypass governments in the search for justice?
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/23/201
     One of the conundrums about Israel is that the country's media often carries far more robust stories about the state than the many pro-Israel media outlets in the West. Discussions take place within Israel that are blocked or stifled by lobbyists in Europe and Americas; its activists appear to be more Zionist than the Zionist Israelis themselves. Indeed, such is the power of the zealots within the pro-Israel Lobby in the US that it more or less dictates Washington's foreign policy; it is inconceivable that any administration in America would be able to do anything meaningful in the Middle East which might have a negative impact on Israel.
     As Robert Fisk reveals in his book The Great War for Civilisation, the same holds true for defence matters. During his investigations over many years into the global arms industry, and his efforts to find out how and why a US-made Hellfire missile sold to the US Marine Corps ended up being fired by an Israeli helicopter at a civilian ambulance in Lebanon, killing two women and four children, Fisk was told by one senior US officer: "Anyone on [Capitol] Hill knows that challenging any [arms] transfers to Israel is not going to help their political career... The Israeli [sic] lobby is very, very powerful. It's not going to be criticised." (p968)
     In the space of the past few days, a Palestinian child was knocked over and killed by a Jewish settler in the occupied Palestinian territories, and a Jewish child (from America) was hit and killed by a car driven by a Palestinian. US state department spokesperson Jen Psaki called the killing of the Jewish child a "terrorist" act; she made no comment about the killing of the Palestinian girl. How many more children are going to be killed to satisfy Israel's apparently untouchable demand for "security" at the cost of innocent lives on both sides; before America stops being more Israeli than Israel.
     Despite its claims to be an honest broker for peace, the US is behind Israel 100 per cent and will never take a truly neutral stand in orde
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Ignoring the other side of the Palestinian story
George S. Hishmeh, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 10/23/201
     An unbelievable half-page advertisement appeared in the New York Times last Saturday that included key excerpts from a speech delivered by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on September 22 at The Cooper Union, a prominent New York-based university where Abraham Lincoln once spoke. A record number of students and guests, totalling about 800, attended the session, but regrettably, the country’s two leading newspapers — the New York Times and the Washington Post did not cover the event. The Cooper Union was founded in 1859 by a famed industrialist, Peter Cooper, described as a prolific inventor, successful entrepreneur and one of America’s richest businessmen at the time.
     The advertisement was sponsored by Churches for Middle East Peace [link follows], but neither would the president of this nonprofit organisation, former ambassador Warren Clark, reveal the cost of the advertisement nor would the staff of New York Times respond to calls in this respect. However, a year-old announcement put the cost at more than $30,000 (Dh110,340).
     The Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a non-profit Washington-based advocacy organisation and composed of a coalition of Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches. Its objective is to influence American policy “in ways that will bring justice and peace for all people and countries in the Middle East”. Abbas’ remarks were blunt, describing to his American audience the situation at home clearly and forthrightly: “The people of Israel live today as our occupiers and without a permanent vision of a peaceful coexistence with their very closest neighbours. Not acceptable. My people in Gaza live under siege by Israel, without freedom of travel, or of trade, with 80 [per cent] of them now reliant on foreign aid and in constant fear of being randomly bombed. They live locked in an open-air prison. Not acceptable. To date, Israel maintains Gaza’s air space, territorial waters, electromagnetic sphere, population registry and the movement of all goods and people. The relatives of the very people in Gaza that Israel just killed
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The process of reconstructing Gaza
Lamis Andoni, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 10/22/201
     As usual, whatever Israel fails to impose by war, it tries to achieve by means of the subsequent agreements, and the reconstruction of Gaza agreement under the supervision of the UN is no difference. It is the manifestation of international complicity in not only solidifying the siege, but also using it to eliminate the resistance, using the UN as a cover.
     The expected competition over bids, which are subject to Israeli veto, opens the door wide open for, not only Palestinian and international warlords, but also to the main Israeli companies at the expense of the affected families. These companies always take a significant share of the profits, as they deal with importing construction materials to the besieged Strip.
     We all know what is going on. It is a repeat of the reconstruction process of Gaza after the 2012 war, but with new restrictions that allow Israel to gather detailed information about Gazan families and institutions and to have the process of rebuilding the homes destroyed by the bombing subject to Israeli supervision. Hence, Israel can disrupt or completely hinder reconstruction. According to the agreement signed by the Palestinian Authority and the United Nations, the reconstruction of housing in Gaza is subject to inspection and monitoring according to specific conditions, including "Israel's security considerations with respect to the use of building materials that have 'dual uses'"; i.e. materials that Israel suspects may be used to build rockets or explosives, and these materials may include cement, iron and plastic, according to Israel's contraband list.
     It is clear that Israel wants to use the "reconstruction" process to not only firmly root the blockade under UN sponsorship and through the PA, but also as a means by which Israel can punish the people of Gaza. This is possible because, based on the monitoring and inspection permitted by the agreement, Israel can prevent the reconstruction or repair of any Palestinian house, building, or institution which it accuses of being affiliated
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Feminist scholars to Obama: End prosecution of Palestinian survivor of sexual torture
Electronic Intifada: 24 Oct 2014 - Rasmea Odeh’s story encompasses some of the most urgent feminist struggles of our times.
Haj Sami Sadeq and the struggle for Al Aqaba
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   Al Aqaba is a small Palestinian village located in the northern Jordan Valley, home to around 300 residents. Since 1999 Haj Sami Sadeq has been the mayor of this town, facing a constant struggle...
Nearly ten years after store closures, old city of Hebron still suffering
Palestine Monitor: 28 Jan 2013 -   This report is the second in a new Palestine Monitor series on life in the Old City of Hebron (known in Arabic as Khalil). The Palestine Monitor will publish one report a week on...
The Process of Reconstructing Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 23 Oct 2014 - By Lamis Andoni As usual, whatever Israel fails to impose by war, it tries to achieve by means of the subsequent agreements, and the reconstruction of Gaza agreement under the supervision of the UN is no difference. It is the manifestation of international complicity in not only solidifying the siege, but also using it to eliminate the resistance, using the UN as a cover. The expected competition over bids, which are subject to Israeli veto, opens the door wide open for, not only Palestinian and international warlords, but also to the main Israeli companies at the expense of the affected families. These companies always take a significant share of the profits, as they deal with importing construction materials to the besieged Strip. We all know what is going on. It is a repeat of the reconstruction process of Gaza after the 2012 war, but with new restrictions that allow Israel...
Phantoms of the Past: Britain’s Vote on Palestine is a Nonstarter
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Oct 2014 - By Ramzy Baroud It would be intellectually dishonest to reflect on the British House of Commons’ vote of Monday, 13 October, on a Palestinian state without digging deeper into history. Regardless of the meaning of the non-binding motion, the parliamentary action cannot be brushed off as just another would-be country to recognise Palestine, as was the Swedish government decision on 3 October. Unlike Sweden, and most of the 130 plus countries to effectively recognise Palestine, Britain is a party in the Middle East’s most protracted conflict. In fact, if it were not for Britain, there would be no conflict, or even Israel, of which to speak. It is within this context that the British vote matters, and greatly so. As I listened to the heated debate by British MPs which proceeded the historic vote of 272 in favour and 12 against, phantoms of historic significance occupied my mind. When my...
Disorganized Reflections at Al-Shejaiya Ruins
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Oct 2014 - By Haidar Eid A Hanounite woman sits on a rock in the middle of what once was a home that contained dreams, hopes, and desires! My ghost wipes her tears and weeps along with her I stand over the ruins of a house in the eastern part of al-Shejaiya neighborhood. My ghost stands over the remains of a similar house in Beit Hanoun village. I peer into the horizon. Most probably the dead body of a martyr lies under the rubble where I stand; she could not respond to the Israeli “warning” comprised of several artillery shells, missiles from a reconnaissance drone, followed by another missile shot from an F16, a warplane made in the United States of America – a gift to the Palestinian people, part of the USAID. “Wow! Cool!” In this house, a woman lived with her husband and two sons and two daughters. Both house and...
The Politics of Empire – Book Review
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Oct 2014 - Reviewed by Ludwig Watzal (James Petras, The Politics of Empire. The US, Israel and the Middle East, Clarity Press, Atlanta 2014, 196 pp.) The Israeli military went again on a rampage against the ghettoized people in the Gaza strip. The last time, they “visited” the walled-in strip at the turn of the year 2008/09, they slaughtered 1,400 Palestinians. In 2014, they killed over 2,100 Palestinians, 80 per cent civilians, injured over 10,000, made over 300,000 homeless and ravaged the infrastructure. Israel’s patron, the US Empire, did not lift a finger in 2008/09; neither did it this time. This one-sided relationship is analyzed by James Petras, an award-winning author and Professor Emeritus, in a global geopolitical perspective. In 2000, “the imperial military and ideological apparatus for direct intervention was firmly in place.” 9/11 seemed godsend. The objectives of the planned serial wars “were defined by their principal Zionist and militarists architects”...
Stop the Killing
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Oct 2014 - By Kathy Kelly On August 9, 1983, three people dressed as U.S. soldiers saluted their way onto a US military base and climbed a pine tree. The base contained a school training elite Salvadoran and other foreign troops to serve dictatorships back home, with a record of nightmarish brutality following graduation. That night, once the base’s lights went out, the students of this school heard, coming down from on high, the voice of Archbishop Oscar Romero. “I want to make a special appeal to soldiers, national guardsmen, and policemen: each of you is one of us. The peasants you kill are your own brothers and sisters. When you hear a man telling you to kill, remember God’s words, ‘thou shalt not kill.’ No soldier is obliged to obey a law contrary to the law of God. In the name of God, in the name of our tormented people, I beseech...

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