Home
Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Articles Archives - April 2010
Go to Daily View
 
Select Day:
 Articles Archives
 
See VTJP on TV!
 
 
The US Role
The impact of the US-Israel alliance on propsects for peace, US foreign policy, and the integrity of your government. More..
 
   
     

This webpage uses Javascript to display some content.

Please enable Javascript in your browser and reload this page.

Dr. Ilan Pappe. (Nir Kafri, Ha'aretz)

This webpage uses Javascript to display some content.

Please enable Javascript in your browser and reload this page.


Thursday, April 1, 2010Top of page
Out From the Shadows
Philip Weiss, The American Conservative 4/1/2010
      AIPAC confronts its worst fear: daylight
     In that radical handbook on the workings of American society, the Wizard of Oz never recovered once Dorothy pulled back the curtain of her own innocence. One would like to believe that AIPAC will never recover from a brutal spring that has exposed its real interests to the American public. Even supporters of the Jewish state have criticized the American Israel Public Affairs Committee for fully taking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s side in his battle with Barack Obama over settlements, and during its recent annual conference, the lobby looked wobbly and defensive.
     Yes, there was the usual procession of weak-kneed politicians professing love for Israel, not to mention AIPAC board members explaining how they cultivate “relationships” with the powerful. Yes, Sen. Chuck Schumer gave a bloodcurdling yowl, Am Yisroel Chai—the Jewish people live!—as he pledged to be Israel’s guardian. But a large shift in American policy and opinion has left the lead institution of the lobby exposed, and worse, mocked.
     AIPAC was taking on water before its VIP-studded conference began in late March. Important supporters of Israel in the media, including Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and David Remnick of The New Yorker, questioned whether reflexive support for Israel’s right-wing policies served the American interest, echoing the view of Gen. David Petraeus that the Palestinian problem is our problem in the battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East.
     AIPAC designed its conference to defeat this understanding in Washington. Still it crept in and panicked the faithful. Alan Dershowitz and executive director Howard Kohr gave fiery speeches that sought to puncture the new conventional wisdom. It is “bigoted” to suggest that Israel is hurting the U.S. in the Middle East, Dershowitz said; the Arabs hate us because they hate freedom....
more.. e-mail

For Israel’s Arabs, Land Day is our narrative and our justice
Ahmed Tibi, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/1/2010
      I remember the events of Land Day 1976 in particular detail. I was taking part in the demonstration in the center of Taibeh, just opposite the taxi station, when police began dispersing us with clubs, then shot and killed one of the demonstrators, Rafat Zohiri, in cold blood.
     As on all such days marked by the Arab population of Israel, discussions on Land Day revolve around the question of Arab citizens’ place in Israeli society and also on our insistence on commemorating Nakba Day, Land Day and the riots of October 2000 every year.
     These are important symbols of our existence on this land and of our civil rights, but most Jews see in this commemoration signs of the “isolationism” and the “ungratefulness” of the Arab population.
     The simple truth that most refuse to recognize is that the root of the problem is not in the commemoration of these events, but rather in Israel’s ongoing discriminatory and exclusionary policies against the Arab population.
     On Land Day, we protest against the widening policies of Judaization and the harsh inequalities in land distribution and residential expansion.
     The facts speak for themselves. While a majority of the land was owned by Arabs when the country was founded, most property has since been expropriated. Only 2.5 percent remains under Arab ownership – even though Arabs comprise 20 percent of the population.
     As time goes on, the amount of land allocated to Arab citizens only shrinks, due to expropriation and Israel’s reticence to expand areas under Arab jurisdiction. -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

The Armageddon Lobby: Dispensationalist Christian Zionism and the Shaping of US Policy Towards Israel-Palestine
Rammy M. Haija, Holy Land Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal 5/1/2006
      May 2006
     This article investigates the history of contemporary Christian Zionism in the United States and the impact of this movement on US policy issues related to Israel-Palestine. Dispensationalist Christian Zionists, often described the ’Armageddon lobby’, make up the largest voting bloc in the Republican Party and have become a mainstay in US politics. More recently, the Christian Zionist lobby has had a profoundly damaging impact on the Israeli-Palestinian ’peace process’ as well as creating a conspiracy of silence regarding Israeli offensives in the occupied Palestinian territories. Though the ’Armageddon lobby’ has been successful in its efforts as a pro-Israel lobby, its influence is in fact counterproductive to Israel because the lobby hinders the prospect of Israel living in peace because of their policy of deterring the progression of negotiations.
     1. Introduction to Christian Zionism
     While the alliance between America’s Christian Zionists and the pro-Israel lobby has been in existence for decades now, more recently it has become critical to examine this dynamic relationship because of the current volatile state resulting from the current Palestinian Intifada (uprising). With nearly 10 per cent of US voters declaring themselves as Zionist or dispensationalist [End Page 75] Christians, and another 35 per cent constituting mainstream Christianity, the Christian Zionist lobby has targeted both voting pools for its purpose of assembling a pro-Israel constituency among American voters through the promotion of biblical and dispensationalist doctrine.
     There are many names and titles for the Christian Zionists in the United States. Some call them the ’Armageddon Lobby’, others have referred to them as the ’Christian AIPAC’. These nicknames are minor examples of the motives and unconditional support for Israel among the Christian-Right, which have made it an instrumental actor in a pro-US policy towards Israel....
more.. e-mail

Activists burst AIPAC conference's bubble
Electronic Intifada: 1 Apr 2010 - Outside the Washington Convention Center, together with activists from CodePink, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Avaaz, Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, we tried to bring a little reality to the AIPAC policy conference bubble. We carried signs and banners calling for respect for international law and human rights, an end to the siege of Gaza, Israeli apartheid and US taxpayer funding of war crimes.

Holy Fire At "300" Checkpoint
Palestine Monitor: 1 Apr 2010 - Following the call of Orthodox organisations in Palestine, Palestinian Christians tried to celebrate the Holy Fire last Saturday in Jerusalem by crossing the ‘'300'' checkpoint (separating Bethlehem from Jerusalem). All the photos by FLV and J.S. Video realised by J.S. More than 150 demonstrators joined the rally, asking for freedom of religion and movement and protesting against the restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities. As the protesters approached the metal gate, the only soldier standing was astonished and was not able to stop the demonstrators to cross into the other side. The march continued inside the checkpoint were the police tried to close a gate. A bit further a police jeep and border police men stopped the march which, after dialogues and arguing, decided to return back in direction of the checkpoint. 16 people were randomly arrested by Israeli Border police: Israeli forces released 4 Israelis and an American student. Israel...

AIPAC: Telling A Whopper
Palestine Monitor: 31 Mar 2010 - The theme of this year's annual policy conference for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was 'Israel: Tell the Story.' And it was quite a story that AIPAC wanted to tell. The conference aimed at imparting to the over 7000 attendees 'an intimate understanding of the many ways that Israel is making the world a better place,' with a focus on peacemaking and innovation. According to the AIPAC web site, conference goers will also 'meet Israelis who rush to the scene of natural disasters in far away lands because they believe that to save one life is to save the whole world.' No mention was made of the 1400 people killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza. Against a backdrop of creative blends of US and Israeli flags and icons, the three-day conference in Washington DC included plenary speeches by former Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni and Secretary...

A Truthful Voice of the Palestinians Resonating Throughout the World
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Apr 2010 - Dear Friends, Readers and Supporters of the Palestine Chronicle, As we launch the first bi-annual fundraiser for 2010, the drums of war are again threatening the civilian population of Gaza. Now, more than ever, there is an urgent need for a voice that speaks the truth from Palestine. We believe that peace and justice in Palestine is key to peace and stability in the entire Middle East - even the world - thus the nature of our content. We take great pride in the fact that the Chronicle has never accepted (nor sought) funding from any governmental, political or factional group or organization. We are adamant regarding our independence. But this also presents the challenge of supporting ourselves, and that’s why we come to you, twice a year, to ask for your financial support to back us for another six months. Our goal is to raise $12,000 in the month...more

The Lobby vs. America: Netanyahu's Lies and the Spineless Politicians
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Apr 2010 - By Ramzy Baroud As I listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address an animated crowed of supporters on March 22, I felt physically sick. The man has already displayed time and again a complete lack of moral sense or ethical framework in his words and actions. In his recent arguments, he once again twisted history, manipulated facts and fabricated his own selective, self-interested and highly questionable narrative. Netanyahu, a colonialist from a faraway land, also had the audacity to convince himself and a few others that he had legal, moral and historic rights over my land. While I am the son of a Palestinian family rooted in Palestine since time immemorial, Netanyahu is the son of an immigrant from Lithuania. While he giddily robs more Palestinian land in Jerusalem, I live in exile. Netanyahu was addressing the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The ‘powerful’...more

The Middle East Goes to Hollywood
Palestine Chronicle: 1 Apr 2010 - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. From the beginning the White House's announcement of 'indirect talks' between Israel and the Palestinians felt like entering a theater rather than sitting down to a real negotiating table. The gap in perceptions was immediately noticeable. US and Israeli officials spoke of a breakthrough and returning to direct negotiations as quick as possible, political speak for continued disagreement on settlements and Jerusalem, among other issues. Meanwhile Palestinian and Arab League officials warned, whether they meant it or not, that this was America’s last chance to adopt an equal position to the conflict. But everyone shared a commonality - desperation - that drove them to act. As March transpired it became evident that people around the world had walked into a multiplex, not a singular theater. We aren’t watching one show, but a handful running simultaneously. One version plays the US-Israeli “crisis,” another the “fake...more


Friday, April 2, 2010Top of page
The Lobby v. America
Ramzy Baroud, CounterPunch 4/2/2010
      Netanyahu’s Lies and the Politicians Who Swallow Them
     As I listened to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu address an animated crowed of supporters on March 22, I felt physically sick. The man has already displayed time and again a complete lack of moral sense or ethical framework in his words and actions. In his recent arguments, he once again twisted history, manipulated facts and fabricated his own selective, self-interested and highly questionable narrative. Netanyahu, a colonialist from a faraway land, also had the audacity to convince himself and a few others that he had legal, moral and historic rights over my land. While I am the son of a Palestinian family rooted in Palestine since time immemorial, Netanyahu is the son of an immigrant from Lithuania. While he giddily robs more Palestinian land in Jerusalem, I live in exile.
     Netanyahu was addressing the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). The ‘powerful’ lobby group encompasses a large conglomerate of rightwing Zionist politicians and lobbyists and is seen by many as the most instrumental platform that influences – and, to a large degree, controls - US foreign policy regarding Palestine, Israel and the entire Middle East.
     AIPAC is dangerous for many reasons. For one, it’s not a lobby group in the conventional sense - meaning a group of well-paid lobbyists harassing US Congressmen with telephone calls with the hope of advancing the agenda of their benefactors (in this case, the state of Israel). The pro-Israel lobby has actually grown and morphed into a political body that is embedded within all branches of the US government, as well as the media, academia and elsewhere. It is no secret that the neo-conservative cliques of politicians who engineered, steered and to an extent continue to influence US war policy are in fact a mere component of the same ‘lobby.
     While Jewish communities in the US may not be united in their support of the largely rightwing and hawkish Zionist lobby groups, both major political parties in the US and all branches of the government stand in complete support of Israel....
more.. e-mail

Ramallah is not Palestine
Sandy Toalan, Le Monde Diplomatique, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/1/2010
      Despite condemnation over Jerusalem and Gaza, Israel has boasted of improved conditions in parts of the West Bank. Yet Ramallah, with its coffee bars and restaurants, is far away from Area C, with its refugee camps, roadblocks, military patrols and harassment, where nothing much has changed
     In Ramallah, on a sliver of land inside the occupied West Bank, it’s possible to imagine what Palestinian freedom might feel like. Major Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints are down or unmanned, allowing drivers who used to be stalled, fuming, to travel nearly unimpeded from Jericho, up the ancient hills to Ramallah, and on to Nablus in northern Palestine. Inside this fragment of a fragment of land, the economy is picking up, as shipments of soap, olive oil, vegetables, soft drinks and even local beer move smoothly to their West Bank destinations. Bloomberg has noticed that the area shows an annual growth rate of 7%.
     Here, in the political and commercial centre of the West Bank, a relative sense of ease and prosperity has emerged as new shops and bars serve well-educated and discerning customers. “World-class vibrant beats in the evenings and fine-dining at all times,” reads the Facebook page for Orjuwan, a popular Ramallah lounge. “Preserving essential ingredients of traditional Mediterranean cuisine from Palestine and Italy, our classic dishes are reinvented to gourmet standard in a fine dining experience…”
     Welcome to Liberty Enclave, where residents experience a taste of prosperity and rising quality of life in this small but significant part of Palestinian West Bank society. Unencumbered by scores of roadblocks, or by delays caused by the arbitrary decisions of teenaged soldiers, these Palestinians can now enjoy a modicum of freedom to move about and do business....
more.. e-mail

Moving beyond the peace process
Dina Ezzat, Al-Ahram Weekly 4/1/2010
      Dina Ezzat reports on the regional challenges and opportunities that were the focus of this week’s Arab summit.
     Contrary to the expectations of many, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi proved more or less the perfect chair for the Arab summit that convened under his presidency in Sirte on Saturday and Sunday. "He was exceptionally disciplined," commented one Arab diplomat who attended the summit.
     The Libyan leader declined to attack other Arab leaders, whether present at the summit or not, and was uncharacteristically silent when it came to unpredictable demands. The latter, though voiced tactfully, were left to Arab League Secretary- General Amr Moussa.
     Moussa’s most challenging proposal to the Sirte summit was his call to adopt a new Arab neighbourhood policy that will allow for new regional arrangements bringing together the Arab League with other Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, southern European and African states.
     "I suggest that you decide to establish an Arab Neighbourhood Zone that includes these states," Moussa told participants.
     With the support in Sirte of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the secretary-general of the Arab League suggested that the first phase of the policy should be the accession of Turkey to the proposed regional alliance.
     Closer cooperation with Turkey, or with Chad, Senegal and the countries of the Mediterranean and southern Europe, is not a subject of disagreement among Arab countries.....
more.. e-mail

Four Palestinians injured during Land Day protests in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 2 Apr 2010 - Four nonviolent demonstrators were shot at close range with live ammunition by Israeli soldiers during six simultaneous protests throughout the Gaza Strip commemorating Land Day. Three of those injured come from Khozaa, a village east of Khan Younis in Gaza's south. The fourth, from Deir al-Balah, was participating in a peaceful demonstration east of Meghazi, central Gaza.

Film review: Pastoral resistance in "This Palestinian Life"
Electronic Intifada: 2 Apr 2010 - This Palestinian Life , a 28-minute documentary, surveys rural resistance in occupied Palestine: in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, in the Jordan Valley, and in the south Hebron hills. The film was made by Egyptian-German journalist Philip Rizk, who lived in Palestine from 2004 to 2007, talking with those struggling under the daily violence and oppression of Israel's occupation, and recording their stories. Max Ajl reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Rajmohan Gandhi Visiting the West Bank
Palestine Monitor: 2 Apr 2010 - The Palestinian National Initiative cordially invite you to participate in the visit of Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi, the grandson of the notable Indian leader and peace activist Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Rajmohan Gandhi will be travelling to the Palestinian Territories on April 4, 2010. The grandson of the late Indian leader and notorious freedom fighter, will be reconfirming his solidarity with the Palestinian people and the legitimate resistance to the unjust occupation. Accompanied by Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Mr. Gandhi will visit several areas and engage in many meetings in the cities and villages of the West Bank. This will allow him to witness first hand some of the most important signs of the Israeli policies of racism and apartheid. Mr. Gandhi's presence will support the Palestinian steadfastness and facilitate in establishing an independent and democratic national state on its own territory. We warmly welcome you...

Meetings To Decide Further Industrial Action In West Bank Education Sector
Palestine Monitor: 2 Apr 2010 - The decision on whether to restart university strikes in the West Bank will be re-evaluated after a meeting on Friday, according to Dr Amjad Barham, head of the council of the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees. The council association will meet to discuss whether there is a need for further strikes. It was announced on March 20th that striking action, which had been ongoing, would be suspended for 10 days. The decision had been made in order to give the Ministry of Higher Education time to meet union demands. The likely outcome of Friday's meeting remains cloudy. “ Nobody can say anything now” , commented Barham. An announcement after Friday's meeting as to whether further action will be taken is expected. Union demands are as follows: 1. An increase in salary in accordance with the rise of the cost of living as of 1 September 2009 in...

Savage Decade
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Apr 2010 - By Deepak Tripathi The inaugural decade of the new century will be remembered for two phenomena above all: the savagery of human nature, and the United States, the world's sole hegemon, going rogue, and taking other nations with it. As we were about to leave the twentieth century, and many in the West were enjoying unprecedented prosperity, the prospect of a clash of ideologies was becoming a reality. Instead of the 'menace' of communism, the neoconservatives and the religious Right in the United States had found another enemy in radical Islam. It was one of the supreme ironies that the confrontation would be between President George W Bush and the ideology that his father George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan had promoted in their fight against Soviet communism when they were in the White House during the last phase of the Cold War. Having seen off the 'Soviet threat', the...more


Saturday, April 3, 2010Top of page
Fayyad subverts right of return
Iqbal Jassat, Ma’an News Agency 4/3/2010
      "Fayyad just gave away your right of return," I read on the Twitter page of Electronic Intifada editor Ali Abunimah yesterday, leading me to access a link and discover that indeed, the Palestinian Authority prime minister has done the unforgivable.
     In an interview with Akiva Eldar of the Israeli daily Haaretz, Fayyad made the following comment in response to a question about refugees: "Of course, Palestinians would have the right to reside within the State of Palestine."
     The Palestinian state he refers to is what many analysts have come to regard as no different than apartheid South Africa’s version of "independent homelands" for blacks, commonly referred to as Bantustans. It is within the confines of this oxymoron that Fayyad envisions the return of refugees – not to the land from where they were forcibly uprooted.
     This is a blatant subversion of a fundamental right of Palestinians in the diaspora, millions of whom have been living in miserable conditions for more than 60 years as stateless refugees. Their right to return – guaranteed by international conventions – has remained sacrosanct.
     As Abunimah correctly tweets, Fayyad has no right to waive the hopes and aspirations of victims of a terrible ordeal perpetrated by the founders of the illegitimate state of Israel through massacres and ethnic cleansing. These brutal policies have remained and have been applied at regular intervals by successive Israeli leaders.
     Both the colonial foundations and apartheid character of Israel testify to its illegitimacy. Dispossession and dismemberment resulting from the enforcement of colonial practices paved the way for a migrant population of European Jews to establish a Jewish state on the ruins of Palestine.
more.. e-mail

Another forlorn summit
Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah, Al-Ahram Weekly 4/1/2010
      With Israel continuing settlement expansion and Arabs clinging to a path proven fruitless, something has got to give.
     Palestinians reacted with a combination of ambivalence and disenchantment to the outcome of this week’s two-day Arab summit in Sirte, Libya. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who participated in the summit, voiced general satisfaction, describing the conference’s decisions as "good and reasonable". He particularly praised the decision to allocate $500 million for Jerusalem, saying he hoped it would be implemented soon.
     Abbas also welcomed the summit’s decision to give American-led efforts to restart the stalled peace process a "chance", saying that the "exhaustive approach we are adopting towards the cause of peace is necessary so that we won’t regret anything we should have done and didn’t do." Regardless, it was clear that on the "street level" reactions were negative, spurred by widespread disillusionment with the Arab League, especially its notorious failure to formulate a meaningful Arab stance on the Palestinian question.
     Palestinian frustration in this regard stems in part from a collective feeling that whatever decisions Arab leaders adopt at their summit meetings remain largely within the "realm of rhetoric" and don’t rise to the level of being serious challenges to Israel’s efforts to Judaise East Jerusalem and efface the city’s Arab-Islamic identity. Most Palestinians have come to interpret the mediocrity of Arab summits as either a failure to understand reality in occupied Palestine or as an expression of a shrinking commitment by the Arab world to the Palestinian cause.
     This attitude was expressed by the Islamic Liberation Party, an emerging Islamist force, which accused Arab leaders meeting in Libya "of betraying Jerusalem as you have always done". Even Hamas, which is not particularly eager to burn bridges with Arab regimes, criticised the summit for "doing next to nothing to end the criminal siege on the Gaza Strip".....
more.. e-mail

Zionists against Zion?
Shahid Alam, Al-Ahram Weekly 4/1/2010
      Zionists are eager beavers, but all the chewing in the world won’t help if the forest rots.
     Certainly Zionists have worked hard and cleverly for their successes, but their cause has been greatly advanced at each stage by the logic of imperialism itself and the way a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamicate meets its needs.
     Zionism created a geopolitical realignment of great importance. It fused two forces of the Western world, previously at odds -- Christians and Jews -- and turned them against the Islamic world.
     At every stage in its history, Israel has ratcheted up its power by unleashing forces, negative forces, that it has then turned to its advantage. Power, intelligence and luck have played into this.
     Israel’s birth radicalised important segments of the Arab world, creating anxiety among Arab Jews about their future. Israel fanned this anxiety, with help from agent provocateurs -- aided unfortunately by myopic Arab policy -- to force a Jewish flight from the Arab world. As a result, Israel doubled its Jewish population -- and fighting force -- within a few years after its creation.
     Arab nationalism, if properly harnessed and directed, could end the Western and Jewish state’s hegemony in the Middle East. Defiantly, seemingly unafraid, Israel actually took steps to fan this nationalism and use it to push the US to embrace Israel, firmly and openly, as the West’s bulwark against the Arab world. The plan worked, and by the late 1950s, if not earlier, the US was unswervingly on Israel’s side.
more.. e-mail

'Hold Me Back!' – But Will Israel Attack Iran?
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Apr 2010 - By Uri Avnery – Israel 'Hold me back!' is a part of Israeli folklore. It reminds us of our childhood. When a boy has a scuffle with a bigger and stronger boy, he pretends that he is going to attack him any moment and shouts to the spectators: “Hold me back, or I am going to kill him!” Israel is now in such a situation. We pretend that we are going to attack Iran at any moment and shout to the entire world: “Hold us back or…” And the world does indeed hold us back. It is dangerous to prophesy in such matters, especially when we are dealing with people not all of whom are wise and not all of whom are sane. Yet I am ready to maintain: there is no possibility whatsoever that the government of Israel will send the air force to attack Iran. I am not...more

Fayyad's Subversion of Right of Return
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Apr 2010 - By Iqbal Jassat – Pretoria A tweet on twitter by the editor of the Electronic Intifada Ali Abunimah 'Fayyad just gave away your right of return' alerted me to access the link and discover that indeed, the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister has done the unforgivable. In an interview with Akiva Eldar of Haaretz, Fayyad made the following comment in response to question about refugees: “Of course, Palestinians would have the right to reside within the State of Palestine”. The Palestinian State he refers to is what many analysts have come to regard as no different to apartheid South Africa’s version of “independent homelands” for blacks, commonly referred to as “Bantustans”. It is within the confines of this oxymoron that he envisions the return of refugees – not to the land from where they were forcibly uprooted! This is a blatant subversion of a fundamental right of Palestinians in the diaspora,...more

Holiest Days behind the Wall
Palestine Chronicle: 3 Apr 2010 - By Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D. On this Great and Holy Friday, Christians in the Holy Land feel like crying out the same words of our Lord and Savior, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.” (Mark 15:34) Especially since September 2000 there has been no change on the ground from the awful military occupation that strips people from their very basic human rights. And at the same time seeing all our hope in Christ who offers eternal life, we remember the most important words of all, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34) Thus on this most holy day, we must forgive that we live behind the huge Apartheid Wall that keeps us as prisoners in an open space. We must forgive that there are 600 military checkpoints all around us. We must forgive that all the natural resources, the roads,...more


Sunday, April 4, 2010Top of page
The limits of Israeli infiltration
Galal Nassar, Al-Ahram Weekly 4/1/2010
      Differences between the West and Israel form at least a narrow corridor for the Arabs to exploit.
     That Israel’s relations with the West have entered a completely new phase is easy to spot. Britain, author of the Balfour Declaration, has expelled an Israeli diplomat over the use of forged British passports in the assassination of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai several weeks ago. Tensions between London and Tel Aviv have rarely been allowed to spill into the open. Yet in the course of this unprecedented diplomatic flare-up an Israeli Knesset member referred to the British as "dogs or even worse, since at least dogs are loyal".
     France, also angered by Israel’s use of forged French passports, has taken the matter to court. But even aside from the barely suppressed French and British fury over the Al-Mabhouh incident, European-Israeli relations have begun to worsen. Evidence to this effect can be seen in the increasingly frequent visits by European officials and politicians to Gaza in order to plead for the lifting of the Israeli blockade and in the suits being brought against alleged Israeli war criminals in European courts. Mounting European intolerance of Israeli injustices against the Palestinians has also been expressed in resolutions against the apartheid wall and in the European Court of Justice ruling that products originating from Israeli settlements are not entitled to the same preferential treatment accorded to Israeli products under the European Community-Israeli Association Agreement. Europe’s academic community has attempted to boycott Israel universities based in the occupied territories. However, perhaps the sharpest European slap was the European Parliament’s recent endorsement of the Goldstone Report, accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza.
     Even US-Israeli relations, which have long been much closer and more critical to Israel’s political, military and economic strength, have begun to show signs of strain.....
more.. e-mail

Spinning Cast Lead
Jane Adas, The Link, November - December 2009, Americans for Middle East Understanding - AMEU 11/1/2009
      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit injustices.”
     Voltaire was writing in 1765 about people who commit atrocities in the name of religion. But governments, acting through politicians and pundits, can rally people to commit injustices, or at least to cheer on those who are sent to do violence in the name of the people. Remember yellowcake from Niger, mobile biological weapons factories, and clandestine meetings in Prague? These were some of the subterfuges intended to link Saddam Hussein to the atrocities of 9/11. Remember Operation Iraqi Freedom? “We have nothing against the people of Iraq”? “The United States does not torture”? Such slogans were designed to keep our consciences and our common sense drowsy.
     These kinds of propagandist stratagems have been used from the beginning of the Palestine/Israel situation. Some of the mantras don’t work as well as they used to. Who today believes Palestine was a land without people or that Israel is a tiny David facing an Arab Goliath? But many are still in vogue, for instance “The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is the most moral army in the world” and “Israel has repeatedly stretched out its hand to peace, but has never found a partner on the other side.”
     These days Israel is deploying an array of tactics to neutralize the many critical reports that have come out in the wake of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on Gaza last winter, especially the Goldstone Report commissioned by the U.N. Human Rights Council. Israel’s reactions, obediently echoed by even the Obama administration, offer a case study in techniques of damage control, in Hebrew “hasbara:” deny, justify, de-contextualize, obfuscate, smear, deflect, make us all forget about it, make us believe absurdities. -- See also: PDF version
more.. e-mail

Americans and Palestine
James Zogby, Al-Ahram Weekly 4/1/2010
      For a large portion of Americans, the balanced facts of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are not known.
     A new poll out this week shows that while Israelis retain strong US public support, Americans are deeply concerned that the continuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict puts US interests at risk across the Middle East. The public, therefore, supports President Barack Obama’s stand against Israel’s settlement plans. These are but a few of the top line findings of a Zogby International poll of 2,471 Americans conducted 17-19 March 2010. The poll, commissioned by the Arab American Institute, had a margin of error of 2.0 per cent.
     Upon closer examination of the poll’s findings, observations can be made pointing to lessons that should be learned. Israeli ratings are high, but dropping; so are the Palestinians. In 2009, 71 per cent of Americans had a favourable view of Israelis with only 21 per cent rating them unfavourably. In 2010, the favourable/unfavourable ratings have shifted to 65-29 per cent. This is largely due to a significant drop among Democrats who now hold a 42 per cent favourable, 49 per cent unfavourable view of Israelis. The Israeli prime minister’s rating among Democrats is an even worse 20-63 per cent.
     During this same period, however, the US public’s attitudes towards the Palestinians and their president, Mahmoud Abbas, have also declined. In 2009, Palestinians were viewed favourably by 25 per cent of the public and unfavourably by 66 per cent. Today the favourable/unfavourable ratio is 21-73 per cent. Abbas’s ratings during the past year have also declined to where he is now seen favourably by only 14 per cent of the US public.
     These abysmally low Palestinian numbers point to their continuing failure to engage public opinion in the US. While the Israelis aggressively project their story, the Palestinians -- and Arabs in general -- do not....
more.. e-mail

Checkpoints
Palestine Monitor: 17 Dec 2010 - “The right to freedom of movement provides that people are entitled to move freely within the borders of the state, to leave any country and to return to their country.” Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. December 10th, 1948 Movement Restrictions: The Facts By September 2008 there were 699 closure obstacles in the West Bank– approximately 130 of these have been added after the Annapolis Conference began in November 2007. 630 of the obstacles have been identified: trenches (3%), partial checkpoints (3%), earth walls (7%), road-blocks (11%), road barriers (12%), checkpoints (12%), road gates (16%) and earth mounds (36%). 74 % of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely. In the period from April to September 2008 the weekly average of flying (or random) checkpoints was 89. Due to...

'Hold Me Back!' – But Will Israel Attack Iran?
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Apr 2010 - By Uri Avnery – Israel 'Hold me back!' is a part of Israeli folklore. It reminds us of our childhood. When a boy has a scuffle with a bigger and stronger boy, he pretends that he is going to attack him any moment and shouts to the spectators: “Hold me back, or I am going to kill him!” Israel is now in such a situation. We pretend that we are going to attack Iran at any moment and shout to the entire world: “Hold us back or…” And the world does indeed hold us back. It is dangerous to prophesy in such matters, especially when we are dealing with people not all of whom are wise and not all of whom are sane. Yet I am ready to maintain: there is no possibility whatsoever that the government of Israel will send the air force to attack Iran. I am not...more


Monday, April 5, 2010Top of page
The Palestinians are winning the legitimacy war – will it matter?
Richard Falk, Redress, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/5/2010
      Ever since the Balfour Declaration in 1917 gave the formal approval of the British government to the establishment of “a Jewish homeland”, profound issues of legitimacy were present in the conflict recently known as the Israel-Palestine conflict.
     This original colonialist endorsement of the Zionist project has produced a steady erosion of the position of the Palestinian people on historic Palestine, which dramatically worsened over the course of the past 43 years of occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. It has worsened due to an oppressive military occupation by Israel that involves fundamental denials of rights and pervasive violations of international humanitarian law, and because Israel has been allowed to establish “facts on the ground”, which are more properly viewed as violations of Palestinian rights, especially the establishment of extensive settlements and a separation wall constructed on occupied Palestinian territories in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. These developments have been flagrantly unlawful, and made the whole treatment of the Palestinian people illegitimate, as well as the occasion of continuous intense and pervasive suffering.
     For decades, Palestinian political forces have exercised their right of resistance in various ways, including the extraordinary non-violent Intifada of 1987, but also engaging in armed resistance in defence of their territory. The Palestinians definitely enjoy a right of resistance, although subject to the limits of international humanitarian law, which rules out deliberate targeting of civilians and non-military targets. Such tactics of resistance challenge Israel at its point of maximum comparative advantage due both to its total military dominance, achieved in part by large subsidies from the United States, and to its ruthless disregard for civilian innocence. -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

The Strange Love Affair of the U.S. and AIPAC
Dan Lieberman, Dissident Voice 4/5/2010
      Imagine you are a representative of the highest government agencies. You encounter a group that places a foreign power above your own government’s interests and redirects and undermines your policies. Would you go to their convention, popularize them, obsequiously placate them and demonstrate you mean no harm to their sinister behavior?
     Sounds incomprehensible?
     United States State department officials and congressional leaders have been doing the incomprehensible for years. U.S. State Department officials, senators and house representatives have regularly attended the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) conventions. Although the U.S. Executive Department signaled a hardening of relations with Israel, its officials spoke to and listened to AIPAC during the week that inaugurated the new spring of 2010.
     Why, and for what reason, do government officials cater to AIPAC? Don’t they know AIPAC’s inglorious history and its one-sided purpose? Actually, government officials have many reasons to distance themselves from AIPAC and no reasons to associate themselves with an organization whose thrust depends upon spurious reasoning and outrageous statements.
     The Dwight Eisenhower and Jack Kennedy administrations and the 1964 Fulbright Investigation Committee tried to declare groups representing Israel’s interests to be foreign agents. Deceptive maneuvers, ambiguous and modified election laws dragged charges through the courts and temporarily resolved the issue in favor of AIPAC. Nevertheless, government officials should realize there is meaning and significance to the charges and any support for an accused agency undermines reputable administrations.
more.. e-mail

Analysis: 'The Centrality of Jerusalem'
Yousef Munayyer, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/2/2010
      If international law matters to any American president, it ought to be President Obama who has taught constitutional law.
     Israel’s supporters are wrong to downplay the significance of illegal settlement activity as innocuous building in "Jewish neighborhoods" of Jerusalem. Contrary to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s claim that "building in Jerusalem is the same as building in Tel Aviv," according to international law and longstanding U.S. policy, building in East Jerusalem is the same as building in Jenin - or any other city in the occupied West Bank.
     Despite all its remonstrating, Israel stands isolated from the entire international community over occupied East Jerusalem. Israel has no legitimate sovereignty on any inch of land beyond the Green Line, regardless of what they call it. As one European foreign minister recently stated: "I think I can say very clearly that Jerusalem is not Tel Aviv." Legally speaking, this rebuke to Netanyahu’s bluster is correct, and the U.S. knows it.
     Those who watch this conflict closely know that Israeli settlement expansion in Jerusalem has the potential to destroy the two-state solution and precipitate a third intifada. It is no minor matter. Nor was the timing of the announcements of 1600 new Jewish homes in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo during the visit of Vice President Biden, or of 20 more units for a site owned by an American funder of Netanyahu just hours before the prime minister was to meet with Obama.
     Netanyahu rejected U.S. calls to halt settlement expansion and his Interior Minister, Eli Yishai -- the same man who started the fracas when Biden visited -- also seems determined to continue flouting the Obama administration.
more.. e-mail

Israel destroys Gaza dairy for second time
Electronic Intifada: 5 Apr 2010 - It was not a chemical plant, nor a nuclear facility, nor a manufacturer of weapons of mass destruction. But almost all the rubble of the entirely destroyed factory was covered in white, with white chunks everywhere. These were pieces of cheese, butter and yoghurt -- some of the products made by the Dalloul dairy factory in southern Gaza City. The Electronic Intifada correspondent Rami Almeghari reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.

Israel's "Iron Dome" system aims to pacify, not protect
Electronic Intifada: 5 Apr 2010 - Israel's Iron Dome program has been controversial from its inception in 2005. Besides the nationalist economic motive, Israel's efforts at intercepting rockets and mortar shells are products of Israel's pacification industry. Iron Dome is intended to be a checkpoint of sorts, one that attempts to erase or obscure the resistance of the Palestinians warehoused behind the walls of Gaza and the West Bank by intercepting projectiles. Jimmy Johnson comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Israel gags news on extrajudicial killings
Electronic Intifada: 5 Apr 2010 - RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) - An Israeli journalist remains under house arrest and another lives abroad, after they broke news on Israeli undercover units carrying out assassinations or "targeted killings" of non-combatant Palestinian political opponents. Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site "Walla," was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli military documents during her compulsory military service.

Five Year Old War Victim Samar Wage Juridical War On Israel
Palestine Monitor: 5 Apr 2010 - Operation Cast Lead killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and ripped apart hundreds of families in Gaza. One of these is that of Khalid Abed-Rabbo. In a cold blooded execution he lost two daughters and saw a third severely injured, as well as his mother. The human rights organizations Adalah, Al-Haq and Al Mezan appealed to the Israeli Military Advocate General in June 2009 demanding an investigation. Article written by FLV. 7 January 2009: ten days after the beginning of the Gaza massacre ‘Operation Cast Lead' Israeli soldiers drove into the Ezbet Abed-Rabbo neighbourhood, located east of Jabalia town in the north of the Gaza Strip. Using loudspeakers they ordered inhabitants to vacate their houses, including Khalid Abed-Rabbo, his mother, wife and three daughters. Carrying white flags, Khalid and his family stood in front of their house. Approximately fifteen metres from the house, an Israeli tank was stationed; on top of...

Breaking The Blockade On Gaza
Palestine Monitor: 4 Apr 2010 - Istanbul, Turkey – Following months of preparation, a coalition bringing together a number of organizations and movements working to break Israel's illegal blockade on Gaza was announced yesterday in Istanbul. The coalition, comprised of the Turkey-based IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi) organization, the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), the Greek Ship to Gaza campaign, the Swedish Ship to Gaza campaign and the Free Gaza Movement, will launch a flotilla of ships laden with cargo, media, parliamentarians, celebrities and activists to Gaza next month. The flotilla will be composed of at least eight vessels, including three cargo ships, and will set sail from European ports starting on May 3, reaching the port of Gaza later in the month. Over 500 passengers from more than 20 countries will take part, and over 5,000 tons of cargo, including cement, prefabricated housing, other building materials, medical equipment, and educational supplies will...

Al-Nakba Denial: Concealing Catastrophe
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Apr 2010 - By Tammy Obeidallah On May 15, 1948, one day after the British mandate over Palestine ended, the Jewish state of Israel was officially created. That date marked the beginning of a 62-year exile for 750,000 Palestinians, who along with their descendants now comprise the world’s largest refugee population at nearly five million people. Palestinians and people of conscience all around the world commemorate al-Nakba, meaning catastrophe in Arabic. The Palestinian population within what is now Israel—one quarter of which are internally displaced from villages decimated by the Israeli army and Zionist militias—mark al-Nakba by marching through the places where their villages once stood. The protest marches do not sit well with the establishment in the “Middle East’s Only Democracy.” In 2008 World Likud Chairman Danny Danon called for a ban on the annual Nakba Day procession. He demanded authorities arrest any Arab leader speaking against Israel and its institutions, as...more

Abu Mazen's Bantustan: Will Fatah Challenge Israel's Ghetto Policies?
Palestine Chronicle: 5 Apr 2010 - By Iqbal Jassat How do you define a geographic location whose borders, security, natural resources, public planning, public works and infrastructure, trade, industrial development, air and cyberspace are not in its own control? To name it a “Bantustan” would be being polite to those who retain effective or empirical authority over all these matters. For in the South African context the concept of “Homelands” which resulted in ethnic autonomous zones known as “Bantustans”, while having many parallels with the Israeli model of a Palestinian “state”, is somewhat tame! Indeed, the Zionist scheme for a Palestinian ghetto is far worse. It is in fact far removed from basic characteristics that define sovereignty. It thus astonishes one that the Palestinian Authority [PA] fails to comprehend what many first year students of political science would grasp with ease: a ghetto is a ghetto is a ghetto! That the PA would still aspire for...more


Tuesday, April 6, 2010Top of page
On 'dual loyalty'
Stephen M. Walt, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/2/2010
      Last week, the online journal Politico published a story by reporter Laura Rozen on certain divisions within the Obama administration on Middle East policy. What made the story especially explosive was a quotation from an unnamed administration source describing senior White House aide Dennis Ross as being "far more sensitive to Netanyahu’s coalition politics than to U.S. interests."
     As one might expect, this statement raised the old specter of "dual loyalty," and from several directions. Critics of Ross suggested that he was guilty of it, while defenders complained that he was being tarred with a familiar anti-Semitic slur. Indeed, Rozen subsequently updated her story with a statement by NSC chief of staff Denis McDonough defending Ross and underscoring "his commitment to this country and to our vital interests," an obvious attempt by the administration to head off the issue before it gained traction.
     How should we think about the "dual loyalty" question, either in this context or in many others? To me this is a tricky issue that ought to be handled with some delicacy, and we ought to employ a different vocabulary to discuss it.
     One might start by remembering that the phrase "dual loyalty" has a regrettable and sordid history, given its origins as a nasty anti-Semitic canard in old Europe. Accusing anyone -- and especially someone who is Jewish -- of "dual loyalty" is bound to trigger a heated reaction, and for good reason. Furthermore many people believe patriotism (i.e., love of one’s country) is a profoundly important value, so any behavior that seems to be at odds with that principle carries powerful negative connotations. In a world where nationalism remains a potent doctrine, casting doubt on anyone’s loyalty is a serious charge.
more.. e-mail

Palestinian minority denied Israeli nationality
Jonathan Cook, Ma’an News Agency 4/6/2010
      Nazareth - A group of Jews and Palestinians are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognised as "Israelis," a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state.
     Israel refused to recognise an Israeli nationality at the country’s establishment in 1948, making an unusual distinction between citizenship and nationality. Although all Israelis qualify as "citizens of Israel," the state is defined as belonging to the "Jewish nation," meaning not only the 5.6 million Israeli Jews but also more than seven million Jews in the diaspora.
     Critics say the special status of Jewish nationality has been a way to undermine the citizenship rights of non-Jews in Israel, especially the fifth of the population who are Palestinian. Some 30 laws in Israel specifically privilege Jews, including in the areas of immigration rights, naturalisation, access to land and employment.
     Palestinian leaders have also long complained that indications of "Arab" nationality on ID cards make it easy for police and government officials to target such citizens for harsher treatment.
     The Interior Ministry has adopted more than 130 possible nationalities for Israeli citizens, most of them defined in religious or ethnic terms, with "Jewish" and "Arab" being the main categories.
     The group’s legal case is being heard by the supreme court after a district judge rejected their petition two years ago, backing the state’s position that there is no Israeli nation.
     The head of the campaign for Israeli nationality, Uzi Ornan, a retired linguistics professor, said "it is absurd that Israel, which recognises dozens of different nationalities, refuses to recognise the one nationality it is supposed to represent."
more.. e-mail

Peace for Israelis and Palestinians? Not without America’s tough love
Jonathan Ben-Artzi, Christian Science Monitor 4/1/2010
      An Israeli student - and nephew of Benjamin Netanyahu - explains why the US should act on moral outrage over Israel’s discriminatory policies before it’s too late.
     More than 20 years ago, many Americans decided they could no longer watch as racial segregation divided South Africa. Compelled by an injustice thousands of miles away, they demanded that their communities, their colleges, their municipalities, and their government take a stand.
     As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
     Today, a similar discussion is taking place on campuses across the United States. Increasingly, students are questioning the morality of the ties US institutions have with the unjust practices being carried out in Israel and in the occupied Palestinian territories. Students are seeing that these practices are often more than merely “unjust.” They are racist. Humiliating. Inhumane. Savage.
     Sometimes it takes a good friend to tell you when enough is enough. As they did with South Africa two decades ago, concerned citizens across the US can make a difference by encouraging Washington to get the message to Israel that this cannot continue.
     A legitimate question is, Why should I care? Americans are heavily involved in the conflict: from funding (the US provides Israel with roughly $3 billion annually in military aid) to corporate investments (Microsoft has one of its major facilities in Israel) to diplomatic support (the US has vetoed 32 United Nations Security Council resolutions unsavory to Israel between 1982 and 2006).
more.. e-mail

Lawsuit challenges Israel's discriminatory citizenship definition
Electronic Intifada: 6 Apr 2010 - A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognized as "Israelis," a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country's self-declared status as a Jewish state. Jonathan Cook reports.

Gaza students to Margaret Atwood: reject Tel Aviv U. prize
Electronic Intifada: 6 Apr 2010 - Students in the Gaza Strip urge Canadian author Margaret Atwood to support the Palestinian campaign for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and reject a prize at Tel Aviv University that would be an "inadvertent nod to Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing and genocide" and help cover up the university's role in Israel's crimes against the Palestinian people.

Bringing Palestine to the US Social Forum
Electronic Intifada: 6 Apr 2010 - While existing conditions have fueled the grassroots movement aimed at delegitimizing racist policies and shattering Israeli impunity in order to realize Palestinian freedom and dignity, they have yet to establish Palestine as an integral component of the social justice movement's agenda in the US. Doing so requires that the pro-Palestinian movement build meaningful alliances with other organizations, communities, movements and individuals that are also struggling to achieve social justice. Andrew Dalack comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Under the beautiful valley
Electronic Intifada: 6 Apr 2010 - While the world's eyes are riveted to the diplomatic arguments over Israel's settlement facts on the ground, Israel is covertly tightening its grip on Wadi Hilweh and al-Bustan neighborhoods in Silwan in a literally underground fashion. Danny Felsteiner writes from occupied East Jerusalem.

Gandhi's grandson applauds non-violent protest
Palestine Monitor: 6 Apr 2010 - Gandhi applauded what he described as Bil'in's "modern struggle," adding that "the whole world knows of Bil'in's activists, and it is a model for modern popular resistance. There will come a day when the Israelis learn that their settlements and separation wall vanish and will be destroyed as a result of the injustice and tyranny they practice." He added that "It is our duty to awaken the international community, and to call attention to what is going on in Palestine, and seek support for the Palestinian people and their just cause." Received by members of the local village council and the Popular Committee Against the Wall, Gandhi and his delegation heard committee member Muhammad Al-Khatib speak of Bil'in's form of non-violent resistance during the past five years, highlighting its achievements and the participation of international activists and sympathizers who "played a major part in this resistance." The popular committee screened...

Financial Times: Israel knows Apartheid Has No Future
Palestine Monitor: 6 Apr 2010 - After decades of military rule over Palestinians and theft of our land, Israeli leaders are increasingly seeing the writing on the wall. They are at least acknowledging reality, if not yet grappling with the consequences. In 2007, Ehud Olmert, then prime minister, declared: “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.” More recently, making a similar point, Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, said “as long as between the Jordan and the sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic . . . If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a bi-national state, and if they don't, it is an apartheid state.” But when do the “ifs” of Mr Olmert and Mr...

Why There Are No 'Israelis' in the Jewish State
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognised as 'Israelis', a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state. Israel refused to recognise an Israeli nationality at the country’s establishment in 1948, making an unusual distinction between “citizenship” and “nationality”. Although all Israelis qualify as “citizens of Israel”, the state is defined as belonging to the “Jewish nation”, meaning not only the 5.6 million Israeli Jews but also more than seven million Jews in the diaspora. Critics say the special status of Jewish nationality has been a way to undermine the citizenship rights of non-Jews in Israel, especially the fifth of the population who are Arab. Some 30 laws in Israel specifically privilege Jews, including in the areas of immigration rights, naturalisation, access to land and...more

Palestine/Israel: Rule by Law or Defiance
Palestine Chronicle: 6 Apr 2010 - By William A. Cook 'Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine … His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated… the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the (Balfour) Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded IN PALESTINE … His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.' -- (Command Paper 1922, from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, 1996–2000). The above statement was approved by the Council of the...more


Wednesday, April 7, 2010Top of page
What Makes an Israeli
Jonathan Cook in Nazareth, CounterPunch 4/7/2010
      Citizens Classed as Jewish or Arab Nationals
     A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognised as “Israelis”, a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state.
     Israel refused to recognise an Israeli nationality at the country’s establishment in 1948, making an unusual distinction between “citizenship” and “nationality”. Although all Israelis qualify as “citizens of Israel”, the state is defined as belonging to the “Jewish nation”, meaning not only the 5.6 million Israeli Jews but also more than seven million Jews in the diaspora.
     Critics say the special status of Jewish nationality has been a way to undermine the citizenship rights of non-Jews in Israel, especially the fifth of the population who are Arab. Some 30 laws in Israel specifically privilege Jews, including in the areas of immigration rights, naturalisation, access to land and employment.
     Arab leaders have also long complained that indications of "Arab" nationality on ID cards make it easy for police and government officials to target Arab citizens for harsher treatment.
     The interior ministry has adopted more than 130 possible nationalities for Israeli citizens, most of them defined in religious or ethnic terms, with “Jewish” and “Arab” being the main categories.
     The group’s legal case is being heard by the supreme court after a district judge rejected their petition two years ago, backing the state’s position that there is no Israeli nation.
more.. e-mail

Being named in the face of state censorship
Mya Guarnieri, Ma’an News Agency 4/6/2010
      Somewhere in Europe, Sonya Mousa is breathing a sigh of relief.
     Or so I’m guessing. I’ve never met or spoken with Sonya Mousa. But, last week when I was wrapping up my coverage of the Anat Kam case - the Israeli journalist under secret house arrest since December over allegedly leaked military documents - and thinking about using a pseudonym, this was the first name that came to mind.
     Issues around the state-imposed censorship rules, and the fact that other journalists involved in the case were now living abroad in secret exile made me at concerned about my safety.
     I’d been monitoring Kam’s situation for quite some time. I watched blogs and tweets about it go up, only to be pulled down, for the past month. When the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) followed in blogger Richard Silverstein’s footsteps and broke the story in English, I contacted my editor; "It’s a risk," I told her, "but let’s do it."
     There was a week before the article would run, so I had time to think about whether or not my name would be on it.
     I asked the editor if we could go without an author, just in case; she said no. There is the option of a pseudonym, she added. I’ve written under several in the past, mostly to provide cover for interviewees who feared prosecution or social stigma.
     I consulted with several lawyers. One told me that as a citizen of Israel I’d be breaking the gag-order and risk punishment. But, he added, as someone writing in English for a foreign publication it was unlikely that I would actually become a target.
more.. e-mail

Hamas Rule in Gaza: Three Years On
Prof. Yezid Sayigh, Crown Center for Middle East Studies 3/31/2010
      More than a year after Israel’s Operation Cast Lead against Gaza, and with the crippling siege well into its fourth year, the rule of the Islamic Resistance Movement/Hamas over the narrow strip of territory looks set to endure. Fortuitous circumstances and the mistakes of others, rather than the coherence of its own policies, played a major role in the early consolidation of the “de facto” government headed by Hamas prime minister Ismail Hanieh; but a stable system is emerging nonetheless: one that often proceeds through trial and error, but which also shows considerable adaptability and a marked learning curve. Much of the government’s success in building a functioning public administration is due to its close, in some respects seamless relationship with Hamas, but that relationship also brings unexpected dilemmas and challenges in its wake. Above all, Hamas fears repeating the mistakes of its rival, the long-dominant Fatah, with respect to its symbiotic relationship with the Palestinian Authority: Fatah, it believes, was drawn by the mundane needs of governing daily life and the desire to preserve power into compromising on national goals—and Hamas sees Fatah and the PA as so closely bound together that the fate of the one determines the fortunes of the other.
     The relationship between Hamas and the Hanieh government is a complex one. The assertion of exclusive control over Gaza in June 2007 left Hamas with a clear opportunity to press ahead with its Islamic agenda and to wage unremitting “armed resistance” against Israel—and with no good reason not to do either, as the collapse of the short-lived national unity government with Fatah removed any ostensible constraint. Since then, Hamas has found itself in a subtly ambiguous relationship with respect to its own government: It is not a real pposition—at least in the way opposition is commonly understood—yet it impedes the ormalizing tendencies that accompany being in power. For its part, the Hanieh government is caught, like many other governments in the region, between the practical exigencies of overnance, on the one hand, and attempting to neutralize internal challenges by upholding both the militant political discourse and the Islamist social ideology of its core onstituency, on the other.... PDF version -- See also: PDF version
more.. e-mail

US military aid to Israel violates domestic, international law
Electronic Intifada: 7 Apr 2010 - Since the US government gives no military assistance to any of the Palestinian resistance groups, the question with regard to US military aid and transfer of weapons applies only to Israel. Should the US government, based on international and domestic law, cut military aid and cease the transfer of weapons to Israel? Nahida H Gordon comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Sinan Antoon: "I think of myself as a global citizen"
Electronic Intifada: 7 Apr 2010 - Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi-born poet, novelist, filmmaker and assistant professor at New York University. His novel I'jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody and his collection of poems The Baghdad Blues are written with great sophistication and a haunting sense of irony. Similarly, his 2003 documentary About Baghdad captured the terror and exhilaration of Iraqis after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and the early months of the US occupation. The Electronic Intifada contributor Dina Omar interviewed Sinan Antoon about his work and experiences.

Rajmohan Gandhi Commends Non-Violent Resistance
Palestine Monitor: 7 Apr 2010 - Rajmohan Gandhi ended his two-day visit to the West Bank on Monday, with a public lecture and discussion at the Friends Boys' School, Ramallah. Gandhi, who is a research professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois, spoke on various issues related to Israeli occupation, which he had been able to witness firsthand whilst visiting. In particular, he spoke of the need to awaken the international community to the reality of life in the Occupied Territories. Photo: Lazar Simeonov “ I cannot disturb the Almighty ”, he said, “ but I can disturb the sleep of the international community.” A key theme running through his lecture was patience. He exhorted the Palestinian people not to become disheartened if occupation is not immediately overcome. “ The Soviet Union crumbled, South African apartheid crumbled, and the occupation of Palestine will also crumble ”, he...

Barghouthi: ‘the day of student engagement against Jim Crow is coming'
Palestine Monitor: 7 Apr 2010 - Today my friend James North called and asked, Who is Mustafa Barghouthi? Because Barghouthi has a wonderful piece in today's Financial Times explaining why BDS is so necessary to Palestinian freedom, when violence beckons at every hand. I said that Barghouthi, a physician of enormous personal restraint, is the Martin Luther King figure of the current political map. Restrained by nature, accommodating, but slowly radicalizing, cerebral but engaged, and always willing to hear the other side. And basically ignored. Jon Stewart put him on television here with Anna Baltzer last year; and oh yes, Robert Simon got him on 60 Minutes. But I don't understand why we don't have major profiles in our press of this noble figure who has been called by the urgency of the moment, and has responded by putting himself fully on the line. New York Times, please cover Barghouthi; he's a natural. The structural problem...

No Time for More 'Quiet Diplomacy' with Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Apr 2010 - By Joshua Brollier A favorite professor of mine once told me that the more you learn about history, the more you realize how little you really know, and how much you still have to learn. Last night, I was both moved and angered to further learn about the ongoing destruction and blockade of the Gaza strip. The award winning Palestinian journalist, Mohammed Omer, showed photographs and told us many moving stories about his life and experiences in Gaza. These stories included the demolition of Mohammed’s home and loss of his brother and neighbors. Many of the tragic experiences Mohammed shared occurred before the election of the Hamas government, the siege of Gaza and last year’s Israeli offensive, Operation Cast Lead. Mohammed described a major shift in Israeli military policy after Israeli settlements in Gaza were closed, in 2005. Following the “disengagement,” Israeli air strikes increased and carried out house demolitions....more

'The Worst Diplomatic Crisis in Decades'?
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Apr 2010 - By Sayed Dhansay 'The worst diplomatic crisis in decades.' These were the words used by Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, recently to describe the perceived rift between Israel and the Obama administration over Israel’s illegal settlement policy in occupied East Jerusalem. It started when American Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel at the beginning of March to launch “proximity talks” between Israel and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas. After 14 months of stalled negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians following Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza, Abbas had finally received the go-ahead from the Arab League to restart talks with Israel. Though the US routinely uses its veto power to shield Israel at the UN and has never taken concrete measures to curb its colonisation of Palestinian land, official US foreign policy purports to favour a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines. On the very...more

Airline Travel Still Rambunctious
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Apr 2010 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington D.C. A very good friend, a classmate of mine in the fifties when we were both students at the American University of Beirut, called me from Germany last week abruptly announcing that he and his German-born wife will not be coming to Washington in June as promised. His reason was the screening that U.S.-bound travelers face at American consulates and before boarding or disembarking from planes on arrival in the U.S. My friend, who has been living in Germany for over 50 years and is a full-fledged German citizen said his wife was not allowed into the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt because she had a cell phone in her possession. She asked the officer whether he could hold on to it until she finishes her interview but he said was not allowed to do so but she could place it in a public kiosk...more


Thursday, April 8, 2010Top of page
Israel knows apartheid has no future
Mustafa Barghouthi, Ma’an News Agency 4/6/2010
      After decades of military rule over Palestinians and theft of our land, Israeli leaders are increasingly seeing the writing on the wall. They are at least acknowledging reality, if not yet grappling with the consequences.
     In 2007, Ehud Olmert, then prime minister, declared: “If the day comes when the two-state solution collapses, and we face a South African-style struggle for equal voting rights (also for the Palestinians in the territories), then, as soon as that happens, the state of Israel is finished.” More recently, making a similar point, Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister, said “as long as between the Jordan and the sea there is only one political entity, named Israel, it will end up being either non-Jewish or non-democratic ... If the Palestinians vote in elections, it is a bi-national state, and if they don’t, it is an apartheid state.”
     But when do the “ifs” of Olmert and Barak no longer describe a possible future, but the current reality? Apartheid is here. There is one set of Israeli laws applied to Palestinians in the West Bank and another set applied to Jews in the West Bank. Israeli settlers live illegally in beautiful subsidized housing on stolen Palestinian land while we are relegated to smaller and smaller bantustans.
     I believe, even today, in the importance of the two-state solution. But with every passing day I see what can only be described as Israel’s dogged determination to block such an outcome. The time has come to tell Washington that the viability of the two-state solution is being destroyed on Barack Obama’s watch. President Obama inherited this difficulty from his predecessor. But old problems have become Obama problems.
     When Washington fails to act decisively towards this festering conflict, it is in fact acting decisively. Billions of American taxpayers’ dollars continue to flow to Israeli coffers. And American diplomatic capital is still spent to shield Israel from world censure.
more.. e-mail

America let the genie out
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 4/8/2010
      The taboo was finally broken and the genie is out of the bottle, despite some attempts to force it back. America’s military leaders have had enough and decided to speak out about the liability that a hardline Israel causes to America’s national interest.
     Popular American General David Petraeus finally said the words that many have been saying behind closed doors for decades during his address to the senate on 16 March. The statement of the star-studded general, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is hindering the US ability to advance its interests in the Middle East, puts the American blind support for Israel in direct opposition to the country’s most sacred institution, the military.
     To be fair, hints to the effect of Petraeus’ statement have been leaking out of Washington for some time now. President George W Bush and his secretary of state Condoleezza Rice made the opening salvo in this direction when they said publicly that the creation of an independent Palestinian state was in the interest of the United States.
     US President Barack Obama made the same statement several times, including in his historic talk at Cairo University. Indeed, that statement is where Obama’s policy started from. But for some reason, American assertions over their interest in the establishment of a Palestinian state, did not resonate in the US or with the Israelis. Some Palestinian and pro-Palestinian forces in the US attempted to build on the sentiment, but for the most part that effort didn’t register in the American landscape.
     But when a top US military general responsible for the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans spells it out for the senate, people stop and listen.
     In part because many of the right-wing pro-Israel or Christian fundamentalist forces consistently praise the army and have also been pushing for Petraeus to run for president, it is difficult for them to criticize his recent statements.
more.. e-mail

Can there be Free Elections under Fatah?
Khalid Amayreh, Ma’an News Agency 4/8/2010
      The American-backed Fatah group has been demanding the organization of general elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as soon as possible, but the demands do not appear to reflect a genuine concern about democracy.
     Fatah officials and apologists argue that elections represent the only exit from the present political deadlock in the Palestinian arena, including the enduring rift between Fatah and the Islamic movement, Hamas.
     However, in the absence of real guarantees for truly free elections, the raucous blather about elections by Fatah, or any other Palestinian group, remains an expression of deception and hypocrisy.
     Today, the PA regime in the West Bank is more or less a police state apparatus. Human rights and civil liberties are virtually non-existent as the PA security agencies exercise absolute control over all aspects of life. People are unceremoniously fired from their jobs at the slightest suspicion regarding their political or ideological orientations. And the justice system is in a state of chronic paralysis due to the often wanton interference by the security apparatus.
     Since 2007, hundreds of Hamas-affiliated or simply Islamic institutions have been closed and Islamic-oriented officials sacked and replaced by Fatah loyalists. In many cases, capable and highly skilled teachers and civil servants were dismissed only to be replaced by others whose main qualification was their membership in Fatah.
     When the victims appealed to the courts for redress, they were told their dismissal was justified due to "security reasons." Thus, it seems unflinching loyalty to Abbas is necessary for survival.
     Basic rights for Palestinians, however, are also subsumed by the government’s rubric of security coordination with Israel.
more.. e-mail

"Racism" charges dropped against Scottish solidarity activists
Electronic Intifada: 8 Apr 2010 - Five Palestine campaigners who contested the relevancy of a "racially aggravated conduct" charge in relation to their protest against Israel's blockade of Gaza had all charges against them dropped today. The campaigners, all members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC), had interrupted the August 2008 Edinburgh Festival concert by the Jerusalem Quartet.

Israel knows apartheid has no future
Electronic Intifada: 8 Apr 2010 - After decades of military rule over Palestinians and theft of our land, Israeli leaders are increasingly seeing the writing on the wall. They are at least acknowledging reality, if not yet grappling with the consequences. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi comments.

Two Prisons
Palestine Monitor: 8 Apr 2010 - One of The Palestine Monitor's photographers, Brady Ng, visited two prisons that have interesting histories, but have ended up in very different states. There is a building in the Russian Compound in Jerusalem that has lived several different lives. Once a hostel meant for Christian pilgrims during the Ottoman period, it later became the central prison of the British Mandatory authorities. Now, it is a tourist attraction, operating as the Museum of Underground Prisoners, commemorating the activities of the Jewish underground — the Haganah, Irgun and Lehi — during the period leading up to the establishment of the State of Israel. What was once the Central Prison in Jerusalem in the Russian Compound is now the Museum of Underground Prisoners, operated during the British Mandate of Palestine. Mandate document. Items on display in the museum. "Palestine Pamphlet (restricted): Terrorist Methods and Booby Traps." The gallows. In al-Jiftlik, a Palestinian town...

They've Stolen Our Road!
Palestine Monitor: 8 Apr 2010 - We sat with Jamal and Susan and in their home in Shufa. Their seven children peeped in from time to time, daring each other to go and speak to the foreigners. Jamal explained how the road to their village has literally been stolen by some Israelis who live in a nearby illegal settlement. We already knew about this, because our taxi-ride to Shufa had been interrupted by a huge earth mound and some concrete blocks in the road. We had to get out and walk the last mile up a steep hill. This stretch of road is now solely for the use of the settlers, who use it to get to their settlement from the main road. The Israeli army will not allow Palestinians to use the road except on foot or on a donkey. Photo: Peter Balaam The road was built in 1950 by the Palestinians. In 1987, the...

Jewish American Organizations Defend Israel's Humiliation of America
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Apr 2010 - By James Petras “The Government of Israel has insulted the Vice President of the United States, and spat in the face of the President … they wiped the spit off their faces and smiled politely … as the saying goes: when you spit in the face of a weakling, he pretends that it is raining” - Uri Avnery Israeli Jewish journalist, March 13, 2010. “We (Israel) possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets … most European capitals are targets of our air force … the Palestinians should all be deported. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago, (January 2010), it was 33 percent and now according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent”. - Martin Van Crevel Israeli, professor of military history at Hebrew University at Jerusalem and top adviser...more


Friday, April 9, 2010Top of page
The Dark Underbelly of Israel’s Security State
Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice 4/9/2010
      Anat Kamm: Spy or Whistleblower?
     What is misleadingly being called in Israel the “Anat Kamm espionage affair” is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state.
     Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life — or rather the state’s demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying.
     Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel’s security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too.
     This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial.
     Not a word about the case leaked in Israel until this week when the security services, who had won from the courts a blanket gag order — a gag on the gag, so to speak — were forced to reverse course when foreign bloggers began making the restrictions futile. Hebrew pages on Facebook had already laid out the bare bones of the story.
     So, now that much of the case is out in the light, what are the crimes committed by Kamm and Blau?
     During her conscription, Kamm copied possibly hundreds of army documents that revealed systematic law-breaking by the Israeli high command operating in the occupied Palestinian territories, including orders to ignore court rulings. She was working at the time in the office of Brig Gen Yair Naveh, who is in charge of operations in the West Bank.
more.. e-mail

Visiting the Galilee and north Palestine
Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD, Axis of Logic 4/7/2010
      A short description and a 7 minute video on a two-day trip to the Galilee, North Palestine. It was strangely uplifting to spend two nights and three days in the Galilee, North Palestine. We visited good friends, made new friends, saw 3000 year old olive trees, walked in the ruins depopulated villages, and shopped and ate in Palestinian towns which survived 62 years of colonial apartheid. We crossed from Bethlehem to occupied East Jerusalem with a wave of an Israeli soldier’s hand (who did not bother to check papers of an Israeli car. A few minutes later we crossed the Green line (borders before 1967) that is neither marked or guarded. The imaginary green line had long disappeared since Israeli colonies go deep into the occupied West Bank. But in the areas of West Jerusalem, we could still see many signs of the three dozen Palestinian villages depopulated since 1948. Then taking "route 6" north. This highway was built on newly confiscated Palestinian village lands. Over 530 Palestinian towns and villages were depopulated. The remaining 130 villages and towns had most of their land taken and now the remaining Palestinians who comprise 20% of the Israeli population live on about 2% of the land while the Jewish population controls the rest (which is mostly Palestinian property). When we take the whole of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza included), we see that Palestinians who remained (some 50% of the population is restricted to less than 10% of historic Palestine. Thus access to land is nearly 9 folds more to the Jewish population (most of it not native) even without the return of refugees. We visited devastated Palestinian villages like Iqrit (a catholic christian community of which only the church remains), Al-Zeeb (a fishing muslim community where the mosque and the few remaining buildings are converted for recreation of Israelis), and Al_Bassa (that used to be a thriving mixed town of Christians and Muslims and was filled with Jewish immigrants initially from Bulgaria and is now called Shlomi). more.. e-mail

Israel’s choice of lawlessness and defiance
William A. Cook, Redress 4/6/2010
      Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine…
     His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated … the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the [Balfour] Declaration referred to, do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a home should be founded in Palestine… His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is not part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State. (Command Paper 1922, from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School, 1996–2000).

     The above statement was approved by the Council of the League of Nations, thus establishing the legal charge for the British Mandate government. Together with the Sir Richard C. Catling papers, held in a Top Secret file in the Rhodes House Archives at Oxford University, to be released later this spring from Macmillan in the “Introduction of the plight of the Palestinians”, this declaration recorded by the Avalon Project graphically demonstrates how the Zionist-controlled forces within the Jewish community defied the legally established authorities in Palestine. This defiance continues to the present day.
     Today’s “spat” between friends, as reflected in the hassle between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, forces reconsideration of America’s support of the defiant Israeli government, not because the halting of the settlements is the crucial issue but because America’s president has lost face, America’s reputation around the world has plummeted and the dangerous position our military face as a result of Israel’s belligerence threatens the United States’ security, as head of the US Central Command General David Petraeus testified before Congress in March this year.
     It is becoming manifestly clear to everyone that the United States cannot be the broker for peace in the Middle East, but it can be a participant or consultant to an appropriately designed United Nations policy committee created to complete the “partition plan” established in Resolution 181 in November 1947....
more.. e-mail

Play shows that for Gaza women, everything is not fine
Electronic Intifada: 9 Apr 2010 - It takes an Arab to live in the midst of political divisions, years of siege and occupation, and still say, "everything is fine." Specifically, it must be an Arab man. Ask any woman in Gaza and she will tell you the opposite. That is, at least, the main message that comes across so clearly in the latest play staged in the Gaza Strip bearing the name " Kull Shi Tamaam " (Everything is Fine), written by local playwright Atef Abu Seif -- a prolific author from Jabalia refugee camp. Sami Abu Salem reports from the occupied Gaza Strip.

Journalist whistleblower faces life imprisonment, or worse
Electronic Intifada: 9 Apr 2010 - What is misleadingly being called in Israel the "Anat Kamm espionage affair" is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state. Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life -- or rather the state's demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying. Jonathan Cook analyzes.

Deir Yassin's inextinguishable fire
Electronic Intifada: 9 Apr 2010 - "Deir Yassin," the imperishable words of my grandmother continue to resonate with me each day for she made me promise to never forget, and that's a promise I intend to keep to her. Dina Elmuti writes on the anniversary of the Deir Yassin massacre.

A new political option for confronting Israel
Electronic Intifada: 9 Apr 2010 - There is a nonviolent political option out of the current "peace process" impasse. A new political strategy would involve recognizing this basic shortcoming and demand a return to legality, in effect a return to the days before the 1991 Madrid Conference which launched the past two decades of futile "negotiations" and accelerated Israeli colonization. Hasan Abu Nimah comments.

Indoctrinating Israeli Youths to Be Warriors
Palestine Chronicle: 9 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman The modern roots go back to Zionism's founding at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897, its program being: "Establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Eretz Yisrael." Five decades later, it was accomplished by dispossessing indigenous Palestinians, denying them the right to their land, creating a new Jewish identity, legitimizing Jews as rightful owners, and using superior military force to assure it against defenseless civilians, no match against their powerful adversary. Leading up to and after its War of Independence, Israel stayed politically and militarily hard line, negotiating from strength, choosing confrontation over diplomacy, naked aggression as a form of self-defense, and occupation to seize as much of historic Palestine as possible to secure an ethnically pure Jewish state - policies called "Israelification (and) De-Arabization" to preserve a "Jewish character." In his book, "The Making of Israeli Militarism, Uri...more

The Strange Love Affair of the US and AIPAC
Palestine Chronicle: 9 Apr 2010 - By Dan Lieberman Imagine you are a representative of the highest government agencies. You encounter a group that places a foreign power above your own government's interests and redirects and undermines your policies. Would you go to their convention, popularize them, obsequiously placate them and demonstrate you mean no harm to their sinister behavior? Sounds incomprehensible? United States State department officials and congressional leaders have been doing the incomprehensible for years. U.S. State Department officials, senators and house representatives have regularly attended the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) conventions. Although the U.S. Executive Department signaled a hardening of relations with Israel, its officials spoke to and listened to AIPAC during the week that inaugurated the new spring of 2010. Why and for what reason do government officials cater to AIPAC? Don't they know AIPAC's inglorious history and its one-sided purpose? Actually, government officials have many reasons to distance themselves...more

US Jewish Organizations Defend Israel's Humiliation of America
Palestine Chronicle: 8 Apr 2010 - By James Petras “The Government of Israel has insulted the Vice President of the United States, and spat in the face of the President … they wiped the spit off their faces and smiled politely … as the saying goes: when you spit in the face of a weakling, he pretends that it is raining.” -- Uri Avnery Israeli Jewish journalist, March 13, 2010. “We (Israel) possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets … most European capitals are targets of our air force … the Palestinians should all be deported. Two years ago, only 7 or 8 per cent of Israelis were of the opinion that this would be the best solution, two months ago, (January 2010), it was 33 percent and now according to a Gallup poll, the figure is 44 percent." -- Martin Van Crevel Israeli, professor of military history at Hebrew University at Jerusalem and top adviser...more


Saturday, April 10, 2010Top of page
IDF order will enable mass deportation from West Bank
Amira Hass, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/11/2010
      A new military order aimed at preventing infiltration will come into force this week, enabling the deportation of tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank, or their indictment on charges carrying prison terms of up to seven years.
     When the order comes into effect, tens of thousands of Palestinians will automatically become criminal offenders liable to be severely punished.
     Given the security authorities’ actions over the past decade, the first Palestinians likely to be targeted under the new rules will be those whose ID cards bear home addresses in the Gaza Strip – people born in Gaza and their West Bank-born children – or those born in the West Bank or abroad who for various reasons lost their residency status. Also likely to be targeted are foreign-born spouses of Palestinians.
     Until now, Israeli civil courts have occasionally prevented the expulsion of these three groups from the West Bank. The new order, however, puts them under the sole jurisdiction of Israeli military courts.
     The new order defines anyone who enters the West Bank illegally as an infiltrator, as well as “a person who is present in the area and does not lawfully hold a permit.” The order takes the original 1969 definition of infiltrator to the extreme, as the term originally applied only to those illegally staying in Israel after having passed through countries then classified as enemy states – Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.
     The order’s language is both general and ambiguous, stipulating that the term infiltrator will also be applied to Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, citizens of countries with which Israel has friendly ties (such as the United States) and Israeli citizens, whether Arab or Jewish. All this depends on the judgment of Israel Defense Forces commanders in the field. Related: Source -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

’The worst diplomatic crisis in decades’
Sayed Dhansay, Ma’an News Agency 4/10/2010
      "The worst diplomatic crisis in decades."These were the words used by Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, recently to describe the perceived rift between Israel and the Obama administration over Israel?s illegal settlement policy in occupied East Jerusalem.
     It started when American Vice President Joe Biden visited Israel at the beginning of March to launch "proximity talks" between Israel and the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) of Mahmoud Abbas. After 14 months of stalled negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians following Israel’s devastating attack on Gaza, Abbas had finally received the go-ahead from the Arab League to restart talks with Israel.
     Though the US routinely uses its veto power to shield Israel at the UN and has never taken concrete measures to curb its colonization of Palestinian land, official US foreign policy purports to favor a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.
     On the very first day of Biden’s visit however, Israel announced the construction of 1,600 new settlement homes in yet another illegal housing project in occupied East Jerusalem. The controversial announcement attracted a storm of international criticism, triggered riots across the occupied West Bank and was seen as an insult and affront to Biden. Prominent columnist Akiva Eldar questioned in the Israeli daily Haaretz how Israel could "spit in Biden’s face" in such a manner.
     The Middle East quartet also weighed in, denouncing the Israeli move with a strongly worded statement, while one of America’s top defence officials, General David Petraeus, also entered the furor. In an unusually stark political comment from a military official, Petraeus warned that Israel’s intransigence was harming American interests and endangering the lives of American soldiers throughout the Middle East.
more.. e-mail

Noam Chomsky, Gilbert Achcar: On the Legitimacy of the State
Stephen R. Shalom, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/9/2010
      An excerpt from Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar, Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice, edited by Stephen R. Shalom (expanded edition), Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers, 2009, pp. 143-148.
     Shalom: There has been much debate regarding the legitimacy of the Israeli state. To what extent is Israel a legitimate, or an illegitimate, state?
     Chomsky: I don’t think that the notion of legitimacy of a state means very much. Is the United States a legitimate state? It’s based on genocide; it conquered half of Mexico. What makes it legitimate? The way the international system is set up, states have certain rights; that has nothing to do with their legitimacy. Every state you can think of is based on violence, repression, expulsion, and all sorts of crimes. And the state system itself has no inherent legitimacy. It’s just an institutional form that developed and that was imposed with plenty of violence. The question of legitimacy just doesn’t arise. There is an international order in which it is essentially agreed that states have certain rights, but that provides them with no legitimacy, Israel or anyone else.
     Achcar: We could put the question in another way. If one tries to define the origins of the Israeli state, the formula that comes to mind is the title of a famous piece by Maxime Rodinson, Israel: A Colonial-Settler State? It points to a fact that is built into the history of the state; of course, one could say the same of many states. (Chomsky: Most.) But then you have the factor of time: Israel is a very recent colonial-settler state, and it is based on the expulsion of the original inhabitants of Palestine, not on genocide like the United States. Ironically, states based on genocide are in a more comfortable position. Not from the moral point of view, of course, but from the political point of view, in terms of the existence of a challenge to their legitimacy. In the case of expulsion, those expelled continue to challenge the state’s legitimacy; in the case of genocide, those who might be challengers have been wiped out.... Related: Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice -- See also: Perilous Power: The Middle East and U.S. Foreign Policy. Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice
more.. e-mail

Israel Shapes Its New Message
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. The US-Israeli spat has reached a temporary conclusion. Israel has no intention of halting construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, as both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat recently revealed. The White House correspondingly went silent for Passover and the peace process remains frozen until further notice. Whether US officials have truly pressured Israel to the limit or we’re watching an elaborate show remains uncertain, though many indications lean towards stagecraft over statecraft. A new ?crisis? looms in the near future, whenever Jerusalem comes to a head again, or Gaza, or something completely new. But whatever the case, America and Israel have transitioned from defending themselves to damage control. Having won its battle, Israel is already deep into a re-branding campaign. One example was a recent Haaretz report by Zvi Bar'el explaining how a third intifada plays into Israel’s hands...more

The Dark Underbelly of Israel's Security State
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook -Nazareth What is misleadingly being called in Israel the 'Anat Kamm espionage affair' is quickly revealing the dark underbelly of a nation that has worshipped for decades at the altar of a security state. Next week 23-year-old Kamm is due to stand trial for her life -- or rather the state's demand that she serve a life sentence for passing secret documents to an Israeli reporter, Uri Blau, of the liberal Haaretz daily. She is charged with spying. Blau himself is in hiding in London, facing, if not a Mossad hit squad, at least the stringent efforts of Israel's security services to get him back to Israel over the opposition of his editors, who fear he will be put away too. This episode has been dragging on behind the scenes for months, since at least December, when Kamm was placed under house arrest pending the trial. Not...more

Can Lebanon Come in from The Cold
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By Franklin Lamb More than six decades after their expulsion from Palestine, Lebanon's unwanted refugees just might be granted some basic civil rights. Part I: Hiba's Story, Ein el Helwe Palestinian Refugee Camp, Lebanon Granting even the most elementary and normally taken for granted civil rights to Palestinians in Lebanon won't be easy and it may not be pretty. Yet there is undeniable and growing Lebanese and international resolve for Lebanon's politicians to end a dark bleak chapter in Arab brotherly relations. The disturbing paradox of Lebanon depriving its refugees of the most elementary civil rights, some of which are even granted Palestinians by their arch-nemesis, the Zionist occupiers of their own country, is increasingly being condemned in Lebanon. In addition, there is the gaping contradiction between the sweet words and the clarion trumpeting calls by groups wanting to liberate Jerusalem and all of Palestine and enforce the internationally mandated...more


Sunday, April 11, 2010Top of page
Fayyad’s big gamble
Uri Avnery, Ma’an News Agency 4/11/2010
      I met Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister, two weeks ago, and was again impressed by the calm and modesty he radiates.
     Generally, I meet him at demonstrations, such as those at the Bi’lin fence. This time, too, there was no opportunity for more than a perfunctory handshake and a few polite words.
     We appeared together at the Land Day event in a small village near Qalqiliya, whose name is known only to a few: Izbat Al-Tabib. The village was established in 1920, and the occupation authorities do not recognize its existence. They want to demolish it and transfer its extensive lands to the nearby Alfei Menashe settlement.
     We were surrounded by a large group of respectable personalities – the heads of neighboring villages and officials of the parties that belong to the PLO – as well as the inhabitants of the village. I could speak to him only from the rostrum. I entreated him to strengthen the cooperation between the Palestinian leadership and the Israeli peace camp, a cooperation that has weakened since the assassinations of Yasser Arafat and Faisal Husseini.
     It is impossible not to like Fayyad. He radiates decency, seriousness and a sense of responsibility. He invites trust. None of the filth of corruption has stuck to him. He is no party functionary. Only after much hesitation did he join a small party (the Third Way). In the confrontation between Fatah and Hamas, he does not belong to either of the two rival blocs. He looks like a bank manager – and that is what he indeed was: a senior official of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
     The 58-year old Fayyad is the very opposite of Arafat, who first appointed him as finance minister. The Ra’is (Arabic for head or chief) radiated authority, the prime minister radiates diffidence. Arafat was an extrovert, Fayyad is an introvert. Arafat was a man of dramatic gestures, Fayyad does not know what a gesture is.
more.. e-mail

Indoctrinating Israeli Youths to Be Warriors | Dissident Voice
Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice 4/8/2010
      The modern roots go back to Zionism’s founding at the First Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland in 1897, its program being:
     “Establishing for the Jewish people a publicly and legally assured home in Eretz Yisrael.”
     Five decades later, it was accomplished by dispossessing indigenous Palestinians, denying them the right to their land, creating a new Jewish identity, legitimizing Jews as rightful owners, and using superior military force to assure it against defenseless civilians, no match against their powerful adversary.
     Leading up to and after its War of Independence, Israel stayed politically and militarily hard line, negotiating from strength, choosing confrontation over diplomacy, naked aggression as a form of self-defense, and occupation to seize as much of historic Palestine as possible to secure an ethnically pure Jewish state – policies called “Israelification (and) De-Arabization” to preserve a “Jewish character.”
     In his book, “The Making of Israeli Militarism, Uri Ben-Eliezer says writing about Israeli militarism involves “ventur(ing) into an intellectual minefield,” given Jewish history under the Nazis and the perception of Israel as a safe haven. Yet decades of Arab-Israeli conflict produced seven full-scale wars, two Intifadas, and many hundreds of violent incidents.
     Ben-Eliezer believes that, beginning in the 1930s, militarism “was gradually legitimized within the Yishuv, the Jewish community in Palestine, then within the new state (was) crystallized into a value, a formula, and an ideology.” Over time, it acquired a dynamic of its own, then during the 1948 war, it “acquired full legitimacy” and became decisive in setting policy.
     Politics and militarism were wedded to create a militaristic view of reality. Thereafter, it was institutionalized to where “the idea of implementing a military solution to (political problems) was not only enshrined as a value in its own right but was also considered legitimate, desirable, and indeed the best option.”
more.. e-mail

Indispensable IslamOnline must not fail
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 4/11/2010
      A widely popular Islamic website has been, until very recently, an undisputed success story. IslamOnline arrived at a time that millions of Muslims needed a common platform and a unifying outlet. Here was a website that neither shunned nor alienated. Its influence was upbeat and positive, rather than destructive or divisive. While it wasn’t an apologetic outlet, it reached out to patiently and progressively present Islam and Muslim issues to the world. These were understood and communicated by hundreds of scholars and qualified journalists, who toiled day and night from their Cairo offices.
     Then something happened to abruptly bring the noble mission to an end. The success story suddenly became a terrible nightmare for hundreds of IslamOnline’s principled employees. The website remained online, but it was barely updated. Instead, videos were circulated on youtube, showing tired-looking IslamOnline staff chanting in the lobby of their building in Cairo. They were demanding the return of their editorial freedom and rights. They were calling for justice. These bright journalists, some of the finest in the region, should have been sitting behind their computers screens writing, editing and managing "live dialogues" between inquisitive readers and learned scholars. Instead they were seated on the floor with signs and banners, shouting in coarse voices.
     Something had gone horribly wrong.
     Hadeel Al-Shalchi tried to explain in a recent Associated Press report: "The Qatari government has forced out the moderate leadership of a popular Islamic Web site and plans to reshape it into a more religiously conservative outlet, former employees of the site said."
     According to the AP report, "The site was thrown into turmoil when the owners attempted to change its approach, prompting 350 of its workers in Cairo to go on strike. Management in Doha then cut off their access to the site and have been updating it with news articles but not the diverse content IslamOnline is known for, said the former employees."
more.. e-mail

affecting and affected
In Gaza: 11 Apr 2010 - Abu Basel (right) is one of the long-termers, having served over 20 years as a medic in Gaza. “Who will take care of people if not us? Someone has to do this work. Without medics, who will care for the injured? Everyone has something to contribute,” he replied to the question: why do you do such dangerous work. Dangerous work.  Being a medic hardly seems dangerous…anywhere else.  But in a place like Palestine, medics have to contend with more than tending to the injured or bringing in the dead.  They have to be aware of Israeli soldiers’ shooting, shelling from Apaches, F-16s, tanks, the sea… Having spoken with Abu Basel many times during and after the Israeli massacre of Gaza last year, I thought I’d heard most of his horror stories. He is a calm man, when not driving the ambulance, and relates all his stories in the same laid-back...

Checkpoints
Palestine Monitor: 17 Dec 2010 - “The right to freedom of movement provides that people are entitled to move freely within the borders of the state, to leave any country and to return to their country.” Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. December 10th, 1948 Movement Restrictions: The Facts By September 2008 there were 699 closure obstacles in the West Bank– approximately 130 of these have been added after the Annapolis Conference began in November 2007. 630 of the obstacles have been identified: trenches (3%), partial checkpoints (3%), earth walls (7%), road-blocks (11%), road barriers (12%), checkpoints (12%), road gates (16%) and earth mounds (36%). 74 % of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely. In the period from April to September 2008 the weekly average of flying (or random) checkpoints was 89. Due to...

Indispensable IslamOnline Must Not Fail
Palestine Chronicle: 11 Apr 2010 - By Ramzy Baroud A widely popular Islamic website has been, until very recently, an undisputed success story. IslamOnline arrived at a time that millions of Muslims needed a common platform and a unifying outlet. Here was a website that neither shunned nor alienated. Its influence was upbeat and positive, rather than destructive or divisive. While it wasn’t an apologetic outlet, it reached out to patiently and progressively present Islam and Muslim issues to the world. These were understood and communicated by hundreds of scholars and qualified journalists, who toiled day and night from their Cairo offices. Then something happened to abruptly bring the noble mission to an end. The success story suddenly became a terrible nightmare for hundreds of IslamOnline’s principled employees. The website (IslamOnline.net) remained online, but it was barely updated. Instead, videos were circulated on youtube, showing tired-looking IslamOnline staff chanting in the lobby of their building in...more

Was Israel Ever Legitimate?
Palestine Chronicle: 11 Apr 2010 - By Jeff Gates The history of Israel as a geopolitical fraud will fill entire libraries as those defrauded marvel at how so few deceived so many for so long. Those duped include many Jews who—even now—identify their interests with this extremist enclave. Israeli leaders are wrong to worry about “de-legitimization.” They are right to fear that a long-deceived public is fast realizing that Israel’s founding was key to an ongoing deception. The Invention of the Jewish People did not begin with Shlomo Sand’s 2009 bestseller by that title. There was no Exile says this Jewish scholar. Nor was there an Exodus. So how could there be a Return, the core premise of Israeli statehood? If this patch of Palestinian land never rightly belonged to a mythical Jewish People, what then for the legitimacy of the “Jewish homeland.” And for that depiction by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour in his November...more

Israel Shapes Its New Message
Palestine Chronicle: 10 Apr 2010 - By James Gundun - Washington D.C. The US-Israeli spat has reached a temporary conclusion. Israel has no intention of halting construction of settlements in East Jerusalem, as both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat recently revealed. The White House correspondingly went silent for Passover and the peace process remains frozen until further notice. Whether US officials have truly pressured Israel to the limit or we’re watching an elaborate show remains uncertain, though many indications lean towards stagecraft over statecraft. A new ?crisis? looms in the near future, whenever Jerusalem comes to a head again, or Gaza, or something completely new. But whatever the case, America and Israel have transitioned from defending themselves to damage control. Having won its battle, Israel is already deep into a re-branding campaign. One example was a recent Haaretz report by Zvi Bar'el explaining how a third intifada plays into Israel’s hands...more


Monday, April 12, 2010Top of page
Divesting Is The Right Thing To Do
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, CounterCurrents 4/12/2010
      Dear Student Leaders at the University of California – Berkeley,
     It was with great joy that I learned of your recent 16-4 vote in support of divesting your university’s money from companies that enable and profit from the injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and violation of Palestinian human rights. Principled stands like this, supported by a fast growing number of US civil society organizations and people of conscience, including prominent Jewish groups, are essential for a better world in the making, and it is always an inspiration when young people lead the way and speak truth to power.
     I am writing to tell you that, despite what detractors may allege, you are doing the right thing. You are doing the moral thing. You are doing that which is incumbent on you as humans who believe that all people have dignity and rights, and that all those being denied their dignity and rights deserve the solidarity of their fellow human beings. I have been to the Ocupied Palestinian Territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid. I have witnessed the humiliation of Palestinian men, women, and children made to wait hours at Israeli military checkpoints routinely when trying to make the most basic of trips to visit relatives or attend school or college, and this humiliation is familiar to me and the many black South Africans who were corralled and regularly insulted by the security forces of the Apartheid government.
     In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime. Students played a leading role in that struggle, and I write this letter with a special indebtedness to your school, Berkeley, for its pioneering role in advocating equality in South Africa and promoting corporate ethical and social responsibility to end complicity in Apartheid....
more.. e-mail

Martin Kramer, Harvard and the Eugenics of Zion
Jeff Klein, CounterPunch 4/12/2010
      Genocidal in Effect, If Not Intent
     People were outraged when Martin Kramer’s support for measures to limit the births of “superfluous young men” among Palestinians in Gaza was circulated in the US recently. Kramer, Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and lately a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, had made the remarks in a presentation at the annual Herzliya Conference in Israel in January. Pro-Palestinian activists and human rights supporters called his proposal an incitement for genocide; students at Harvard argued that such racist ideas had no place at their University.
     Readers may judge for themselves whether Kramer’s proposal was “genocidal in effect, if not intent” – to paraphrase the words of former Harvard President Lawrence Summers in another context. However, few commentators have taken note of just how commonplace it is to encounter a discourse of eugenics in contemporary Israel. Kramer’s proposal is not some aberration of current right-wing Israeli politics: “Demographic struggle” is a theme which pervades the whole history of the Zionist project. Such a peculiar obsession is perhaps not surprising, given the movement’s adoption of a 19th century European racialized concept of Jewish identity, joined with the religious/tribal definition of Jewishness by matrilineal descent. It is an outlook embedded in the very DNA of modern Zionism.
     From the start, Zionists were committed to demographic victory over the Arab population of Palestine. Ideologists like Israel Zangwill could repeat the old catchphrase about “a land without a people”, but more practical Zionist leaders were aware that Palestine was already densely populated by indigenous Arabs. Until 1948 the hope was to achieve a majority in the territory of the British Mandate through Jewish immigration. Among other things, this was why Zionists showed so little interest in saving European Jewry -- unless it facilitated their immigration to Palestine. David Ben-Gurion famously said “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”....
more.. e-mail

Hiba’s Story
Franklin Lamb, CounterPunch 4/12/2010
      Can Lebanon Clean Up Its Act?
     Ein el Helwe Palestinian Refugee Camp, Lebanon
     More than six decades after their expulsion from Palestine, Lebanon’s unwanted refugees just might be granted some basic civil rights. Granting even the most elementary and normally taken for granted civil rights to Palestinians in Lebanon won’t be easy and it may not be pretty. Yet there is undeniable and growing Lebanese and international resolve for Lebanon’s politicians to end a dark bleak chapter in Arab brotherly relations.
     The disturbing paradox of Lebanon depriving its refugees of the most elementary civil rights, some of which are even granted Palestinians by their arch-nemesis, the Zionist occupiers of their own country, is increasingly being condemned in Lebanon. In addition, there is the gaping contradiction between the sweet words and the clarion trumpeting calls by groups wanting to liberate Jerusalem and all of Palestine and enforce the internationally mandated Right of Return (UNSCR 194), while at the same time appearing to avert their eyes from the very ones seeking to return and who exist in abject squalor, humiliation and indignity, thus appearing to tolerate their brothers and sisters’ degradation. These contradictions are motivating an expanding panoply of Lebanese leaders, civil society organizations, side by side with local and international NGO’s, to demand civil rights legislation from the current Cabinet and Parliament. What civil rights advocates seek is compliance with basic international law and indeed Lebanon’s Constitution, both sources of law mandating civil rights for Palestine refugees including the right to work and to own a home.
     In plenty of Lebanese neighborhoods, polite society often avoids the subject of ‘haydoulik’ (‘they’) when a foreigner mentions the teeming and squalid Palestinian camps, or brings up the subject of yet another local media or NGO’s report detailing the alarming and accelerating deterioration of the world’s oldest and largest refugee population. Close to half of Lebanon’s Palestinian refugees are crammed into 12 camps and 27 unofficial ‘gatherings’....
more.. e-mail

Sabreena da Witch: the first lady of Palestinian R&B
Electronic Intifada: 12 Apr 2010 - It was Sabreena da Witch's first time performing tracks from her self-produced album A Woman Under the Influence . When her performance had concluded, the Palestinian hip hop artist, also referred to as the "First lady of Palestinian R&B," left the Toronto crowd wanting much, much more. Tania Tabar writes for The Electronic Intifada.

Attack on Berkeley divestment bill dishonest and misleading
Electronic Intifada: 12 Apr 2010 - A coalition of nearly 20 Jewish groups, ranging from the right-wing David Project and the Jewish National Fund to the liberal J Street, is distributing a misleading statement condemning a Student Senate bill calling for divestment from the Israeli occupation at the University of California, Berkeley. They refer to the bill as "dishonest" and "misleading" and "based on contested allegations." Yet it is their letter that is both dishonest and misleading. Sydney Levy and Yaman Salahi comment.

Talking Palestine to power
Electronic Intifada: 12 Apr 2010 - It is indeed possible for all of us to "squeeze out of reality some of its potentialities," the reality that University of Melbourne Professor Ghassan Hage has said is found in those utopic moments that come from challenging our own thoughts, fears and biases. In that space lies the untapped power we seek, to speak the truth without fear or favor. Sonja Karkar comments.

affecting and affected
In Gaza: 11 Apr 2010 - Abu Basel (right) is one of the long-termers, having served over 20 years as a medic in Gaza. “Who will take care of people if not us? Someone has to do this work. Without medics, who will care for the injured? Everyone has something to contribute,” he replied to the question: why do you do such dangerous work. Dangerous work.  Being a medic hardly seems dangerous…anywhere else.  But in a place like Palestine, medics have to contend with more than tending to the injured or bringing in the dead.  They have to be aware of Israeli soldiers’ shooting, shelling from Apaches, F-16s, tanks, the sea… Having spoken with Abu Basel many times during and after the Israeli massacre of Gaza last year, I thought I’d heard most of his horror stories. He is a calm man, when not driving the ambulance, and relates all his stories in the same laid-back...

IDF Bid To Expel West Bank Palestinians Is A Step Too Far
Palestine Monitor: 12 Apr 2010 - A new military order will take effect this week, enabling the army to deport tens of thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank and prosecute them on infiltration charges, which carry long prison terms. The order, uncovered by Amira Hass in Haaretz yesterday, bears the signature of Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni in his previous capacity as commander of the Israel Defense Forces in Judea and Samaria. The order's vague language will allow army officers to exploit it arbitrarily to carry out mass expulsions, in accordance with military orders which were issued under unclear circumstances. The first candidates for expulsion will be people whose ID cards bear addresses in the Gaza Strip, including children born in the West Bank and Palestinians living in the West Bank who have lost their residency status for various reasons. This would be a grave and dangerous move, unprecedented during the Israeli occupation. For years, Israel...

Cultural Cartography: “Ramallah: Work and Days”
Palestine Monitor: 12 Apr 2010 - Building up fragments of everyday life piece by piece – a martial arts class, rows of nargila in a shop – “Ramallah: Work and Days”, a photo exhibition by Jorge Perez, on show at Al Hoash in Jerusalem, stitches together a bigger picture of daily life in the West Bank's most international city. It is a process one might call cultural cartography, since it charts a map of the socio-economic contours of life in Ramallah. Perez himself, in the text accompanying the exhibition, likens it to a “ visual mosaic that captures a pulsing city of contrasts”. “Amjed making sfiha. I like how relaxed and direct his gaze is and the fact that he keeps working while I photograph him.” Each photo, each individual “ fragment “of city life is personal, sometimes intimate. This was not as a result of a conscious decision to work stealthily; rather, he explains that...

Deport the Palestinians to Where They Came From – Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Apr 2010 - By Ahmed Amr It was bound to happen. The Israelis have decided to opt for outright ethnic cleansing. As of April 13, 2010 - the Israelis military will be accorded the power to deport any Palestinian or any foreigner in the West Bank if their papers ‘aren’t in order.’ The IDF has already made it clear that the order will not apply to Israeli citizens in the West Bank - you know - the illegal Jewish settlers. In fact, if you are Mongolian and can produce a faded newspaper clip announcing your grandfather’s bar mitzvah - that will be sufficient documentation to acquire immediate Israeli citizenship and get a red carpet reception when you relocate to the occupied territories. They’ll even provide you with subsidized housing if you take them up on the offer. However, if you happen to be of the Palestinian persuasion, the IDF won’t worry if you’re...more

Alarming Racism in Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman Mossawa means equality, the Mossawa Advocacy Center promoting it for Israel's Arab citizens - about 1.5 million, comprising 20% of the population. Established in 1997, it "strives to improve the social, economic and political status of (Israeli Arabs), while preserving their national and cultural rights as Palestinians." It also promotes gender equality "in all spheres of society." Its September 29, 2009 press release headlined the "High Follow-up Committee for Arab citizens (an organization representing Israeli Arabs) call for a general" October 1 one-day work stoppage to protest deteriorating conditions they face, and Israel's failure "to bring justice to the families of the 13 Arab victims that were killed by security forces during the events of October 2000," the start of the second Intifada. The Committee asked all Arab institutions, organizations and businesses to honor it in opposition to Triangle and Negev area home demolitions; Galilee and Triangle...more

Israel, War and Water
Palestine Chronicle: 12 Apr 2010 - By Jim Miles There is a global crisis emerging concerning the allocation, uses, and abuses of fresh water. This is a combination of misuse by humans and the increasing violence and changing frequency of various weather conditions as the global climate heats up. Along with the heating are other factors such as the acidification of the oceans as they uptake more carbon than the life forms living there can deal with it in such a short time span. Agriculture becomes threatened, potable water for domestic use becomes scarcer, and although fresh water should be a right enshrined in the UN Charter, it is increasingly becoming both a military and corporate target. Intersecting with the water crisis is the current economic situation with the rising economic power of India and China and their roughly 2.5 billion population making increasing demands on energy and food resources. Oil is at or near its...more


Tuesday, April 13, 2010Top of page
Why are American taxpayers subsidizing the violent actions of Israeli settlers in the heart of a Palestinian city?
Chippy Dee, Desert Peace 4/13/2010
      “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, in between the Palestinians, and then another strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.” - Ariel Sharon to a British journalist at Israel’s National Press Club in 1973
     On March 24th, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jews Say No, and Brooklyn for Peace sponsored a meeting held at the GLBT Center in Greenwich Village. The subject of the meeting was put in the form of a question: Why are American taxpayers subsidizing the violent actions of Israeli settlers in the heart of a Palestinian city? The city referred to is Hebron, but the same situation exists in other parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Money raised through 5013C (non-profits) allows organizations that fund illegal settlements to raise millions of dollars from American donors, which is tax deductible to the donors, thereby encouraging giving. Since 2001 there has been over $190 million transferred from American non-profits to settlements (see following link, quoted by JVP). These American contributors are changing the political reality in the area by facilitating the taking of land for Jews-only housing and contributing to the misery that has become part of Palestinian life on the West Bank in an effort to drive the Palestinians out.
     The Hebron Fund, a non-profit in New York, supports the violent Jewish colony in Hebron that has turned the lives of the 150,000 Palestinian residents into a living hell. The Israeli human rights group, B’tselem, calls the Hebron colony an ongoing war crime.
     The first speaker was Adam Horowitz, co-editor of Mondoweiss.net. He said that Mondoweiss has been covering the issue of this fundraising in the US since 2008. He became interested in the subject when he read an article about an event that had just taken place on the West Bank. The Israeli military evacuated 250 religious Jews from the Ar-Rajbi House which had become known as the “House of Contention” in Hebron. Rather than fight the Israeli military, the Jewish colonists attacked Palestinians. -- See also: American 501(c)(3) Foundations That Directly Support Illegal Settlements (PDF)
more.. e-mail

Richard Falk: 'I believe that Hamas should be treated as a political actor'
Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 4/9/2010
      Richard Falk is the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967. In 2001 Falk served on a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Inquiry Commission for the Palestinian territories with John Duggard. He is also an American Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University with a long and distinguished career in academics, politics and law. He recently gave this exclusive and revealing interview to the Middle East Monitor’s Dr Hanan Chehata.
     HC: Following your appointment as UN Rapporteur to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2008 you traveled to Israel in order to begin your investigations. Can you tell us a little more about how you were received by Israel?
     RF: I was denied entry and expelled at Ben Gurion Airport when I tried to enter Israel for the purpose of carrying out my duties as UN Special Rapporteur. These duties consist mainly of reporting on Israeli compliance with human rights obligations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and include duties of compliance with respect to international humanitarian law. Israeli authorities confined me for more than 15 hours in a detention cell with five other detainees before putting me on a plane. I was given no explanation beyond that my expulsion order came from the Israeli Foreign Ministry that had objected to my appointment from the outset. As my itinerary on the West Bank had been previously submitted to the Israeli embassy in Geneva, and as visas had been granted to the two UN employees assisting me on the mission, it seems clear that Israel wanted to have the incident at the airport rather than tell me in advance that I would be denied entry. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and other UN officials did object to the Israeli refusal to allow me to do my job as Special Rapporteur. It should be pointed out that the UN Charter in Article 2(2) requires Members to cooperate with the UN in carrying out its functions, and that this duty is reinforced by an international treaty outlining this duty of cooperation.
     HC: You were denied entry into the OPT. Have you been allowed at any point to enter the territory? If not, how have you been able to do your job?....
more.. e-mail

Israel’s ’crisis of legitimacy’
Jared Malsin, Ma’an News Agency 4/13/2010
      I know something about how Israel’s security forces treat journalists they view as hostile. In January, I was held for over a week in a dingy detention center at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport before being deported.
     Before I was detained, I was interrogated in a spare, windowless office in the airport about news articles I had authored in my two and a half years working in the occupied West Bank for the Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
     At one point, the security officer, a woman with piercing blue eyes who never identified herself, paged through the contacts in my cell phones, demanding that I provide information about sources, colleagues, and friends whose numbers I had stored. I refused.
     She set the phones down on her desk and I, without thinking, reached for them. She stopped me. "In this office, you have no rights," the interrogator explained. I didn’t see the phones, like the rest of my possessions, until I was expelled to New York eight days later.
     So it’s natural that I’ve been following and investigating for weeks the case of Anat Kamm, the Israeli journalist and former soldier who has been under secret house arrest for months over allegations she leaked military documents, and Uri Blau, the reporter who reportedly used those papers to expose a West Bank assassinations program that violates even Israel’s own laws.
     Like me, Blau, a reporter for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, also finds himself unable to return to Israel.
     I’m not Israeli, and Blau’s situation is different and, in important ways, much more severe than mine. But I believe I can empathize, on some basic level, with the Kafkaesque turn his life has taken.
more.. e-mail

Grassroots organizer targeted by PA, Israeli forces
Electronic Intifada: 13 Apr 2010 - Mousa Abu Maria, co-coordinator of the grassroots Palestine Solidarity Project in the occupied West Bank village of Beit Ommar, was used to the sound of boots running on the ground and surrounding his home in the middle of the night. But when Abu Maria looked outside the window this time, it wasn't Israeli forces shouting at him to come outside. Nora Barrows-Friedman reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Film review: Surreal struggle in Michel Khleifi's "Zindeeq"
Electronic Intifada: 13 Apr 2010 - Michel Khleifi, the celebrated director of Wedding in Galilee , turns the camera inward in his 2009 feature film, Zindeeq (the meanings of which include "atheist" or "freethinker"), featured at the opening of the annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival this Friday. It is Khleifi's first feature film in 14 years; his most recent film was the 2003 documentary he filmed in collaboration with Eyal Sivan, Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel . The Electronic Intifada's Maureen Clare Murphy reviews.

Journalist threatened with extradition, arrest by Mossad
Electronic Intifada: 13 Apr 2010 - An Israeli journalist who went into hiding after writing a series of reports showing lawbreaking approved by Israeli army commanders faces a lengthy jail term for espionage if caught, as Israeli security services warned at the weekend they would "remove the gloves" to track him down. Jonathan Cook reports.

Belgian bank financing Israeli settlements
Electronic Intifada: 13 Apr 2010 - BRUSSELS (IPS) - Dexia, a major Belgian-French bank, is continuing to finance Israeli authorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories almost a year after it indicated that it would cease providing loans to illegal settlements. In May 2009, Dexia promised that it would not lend any fresh money to councils representing Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.

affecting and affected
In Gaza: 11 Apr 2010 - Abu Basel (right) is one of the long-termers, having served over 20 years as a medic in Gaza. “Who will take care of people if not us? Someone has to do this work. Without medics, who will care for the injured? Everyone has something to contribute,” he replied to the question ‘why do you do such dangerous work?’ Dangerous work.  Being a medic hardly seems dangerous…anywhere else.  But in a place like Palestine, medics have to contend with more than tending to the injured or bringing in the dead.  They have to be aware of Israeli soldiers’ shooting, shelling from Apaches, F-16s, tanks, the sea…of being detained at military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank or during Israeli invasions into Gaza. Having spoken with Abu Basel many times during and after the Israeli massacre of Gaza last year, I thought I’d heard most of his horror stories. He is a...

Barghouthi to OECD's members: don't approve Israel's membership!
Palestine Monitor: 13 Apr 2010 - “ These new military amendments adopted by Israel to an order that dates back to 1969, represent a very dangerous measure from the perspectives of both content and timing”. With these words during yesterday's press conference Dr Mustafa Barghouthi condemned the new military order issued by Israeli authorities, which demands that all residents of the West Bank including those who were born there obtain an Israeli issued permit. “Entering the area “unlawfully” means somebody who is in the area without any order issued by the military governor of the area” underlined lawyer Raja Shahadeh, who explained the legal issues connected with the definition of “infiltrator”. Under new amendments the term implies “that the person who has been accused of being an “infiltrator” is automatically considered guilty and must prove his innocence”. Dr Barghouthi, who compared the military orders to the laws in effect preventing Palestinians from returning to their lands...

Spooked Wild In The Jordan Valley
Palestine Monitor: 13 Apr 2010 - Nobody can deny it: the Jordan Valley is one of the most beautiful places of the West Bank, except for the people who live in it. Classified as Area C, Israeli occupation forces have imposed harsh restrictions on building and movement. Inhabitants, like the Bedouins of Al-Hadidiyeh, have become hunted on their own lands, spooked like wild animals. Written and photographed by FLV. For generations, long before the 1967 war that led to the occupation of the West Bank, the Bedouins of Al-Hadidiyeh let their sheep graze on their land, in the north of the Jordan Valley. These shepherds are very poor and have almost no food. But they do not complain, since this has always been the nature of their lives as shepherds in the Jordan Valley. They only want one thing: to be left alone. This desire was a reality for many decades. Under the British mandate in...

Mossad Operation Threatened against Reporter
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An Israeli journalist who went into hiding after writing a series of reports showing lawbreaking approved by Israeli army commanders faces a lengthy jail term for espionage if caught, as Israeli security services warned at the weekend they would 'remove the gloves' to track him down. The Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, said it was treating Uri Blau, a reporter with the liberal Haaretz daily newspaper who has gone underground in London, as a “fugitive felon” and that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Options being considered are an extradition request to the British authorities or, if that fails, a secret operation by Mossad, Israel’s spy agency, to smuggle him back, according to Maariv, a right-wing newspaper. It was revealed yesterday that Mr Blau’s informant, Anat Kamm, 23, a former conscript soldier who copied hundreds of classified documents during her military service, had...more

The U.N. Partition Plan and Arab 'Catastrophe'
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Apr 2010 - By Jeremy R. Hammond The following is excerpted from The Rejection of Arab Self-Determination: The Struggle for Palestine and the Roots of the Arab-Israeli Crisis, by Jeremy R. Hammond. Click here . In 1947, Great Britain, unable to reconcile its conflicting obligations to both Jews and Arabs, requested that the United Nations take up the question of Palestine. In May, the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created by a General Assembly resolution. UNSCOP’s purpose was to investigate the situation in Palestine and “submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine”. At the time, the U.N. consisted of 55 members, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Palestine by then remained the only one of the formerly Mandated Territories not to become an independent state. No representatives from any Arab nations, however, were included in UNSCOP.[1] Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia...more


Wednesday, April 14, 2010Top of page
Talking Palestine to Power
Sonja Karkar, Dissident Voice 4/14/2010
      Today, there is no excuse for not knowing the truth about Palestine, especially what is happening in Gaza. Even taking into account the disinformation spread in mainstream media, there are enough glimpses one gets of a ravaged Gaza and a brutalized people that should compel us to ask questions. There are enough websites and blogs easily available for anyone to learn more, even if it requires sifting through and evaluating the available information. Certainly, the alarm bells should be ringing when our political leaders declare undying fealty to Israel or cavalierly wear it as a badge of honour, despite the documented reports of Israel’s war crimes by human rights groups and official enquiries.
     But the world lacks courage from government leaders, acquiescent mainstream media, non-governmental organizations dependent on government support, academics looking for tenure, and populations too long fed on a diet of Zionist myths. People are terrified of being labelled anti-Semitic, a mendacious charge against anyone criticizing Israel. Palestinians too, afraid of being further shunned and disadvantaged in countries that give them refuge, so often remain silent. Not only do people fear repercussions, but speaking the truth or even just hearing it has a way of taking people out of their comfort zones. They fear their troubled consciences may require them to act and so they bury their heads deeper into the sand where they hope even the sounds of silence might be extinguished.
     This, then, is the challenge for advocates the world over. How does one talk Palestine to power if one cannot even talk Palestine to the people who are in fear of the powerful?
     In the face of media saturation with Zionist viewpoints and the new “Brand Israel” campaigns, many wanting to advocate for Palestine might feel defeated, but time and again we see that the power of one can be enormously effective.
more.. e-mail

The Boomerang Effect
Gilad Atzmon, Dissident Voice 4/14/2010
      In case you didn’t know, in Britain the Holocaust is part of the National Curriculum. Thanks to the ‘The Holocaust Educational Trust’ our children are guaranteed to learn how bad the Nazis were. This is probably much easier for our kids to acknowledge than to look into the ways in which the embarrassing legacy of the British Empire reverberates throughout almost every contemporary disastrous conflict on this planet. It is deemed far easier for our kids to learn about Anne Frank than to absorb the fact that Britain is directly responsible for the robbery of Palestine and the Palestinian ordeal. Learning about Auschwitz is also far easier than accepting the devastating reality created by Britain’s latest illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a colossal crime which has cost more than 1.5 million innocent lives so far. Thanks to The Holocaust Educational Trust we can brush history and our current crimes aside. Learning about the bad Nazis is far easier on our children than learning about the complicity of Britain in the holocaust. I guess that toughening British immigration laws to stop Jews escaping to Britain in the 1930s is not a prominent chapter in our kids’ text books.
     The Holocaust Educational Trust was established in 1988 says their official website. “Our aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.”
     Wonderful, I think to myself. My 9 year old son told me that a Shoa guru visited his school recently to talk about the holocaust. My son raised his hand, he wondered whether the lesson of the holocaust could be applied to the Palestinian ordeal. “We are not here to talk about politics” answered the ‘trusted’ trained Shoa mentor. For my son the message was clear: The Jewish people’s suffering is universal, other people’s suffering is ‘politics’.
     “The Trust” says the website “works in schools, universities and in the community to raise awareness and understanding of the Holocaust, providing teacher training, an outreach program for schools, teaching aids and resource material. One of our earliest achievements was ensuring that the Holocaust formed part of the National Curriculum for History.”
more.. e-mail

The U.N. Partition Plan and Arab 'Catastrophe'
Jeremy R. Hammond, Dissident Voice 4/14/2010
      In 1947, Great Britain, unable to reconcile its conflicting obligations to both Jews and Arabs, requested that the United Nations take up the question of Palestine. In May, the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) was created by a General Assembly resolution. UNSCOP’s purpose was to investigate the situation in Palestine and “submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine”.
     At the time, the U.N. consisted of 55 members, including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Palestine by then remained the only one of the formerly Mandated Territories not to become an independent state. No representatives from any Arab nations, however, were included in UNSCOP.1 Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia requested that “The termination of the Mandate over Palestine and the declaration of its independence” be placed on the agenda, but this motion was rejected. The Arab Higher Committee thus announced it would not collaborate, although individual Arab states did agree to meet with representatives from UNSCOP.2
     UNSCOP’s investigation included a 15-day tour of Palestine, splitting time between visits to Arab and Jewish communities. Seven days — nearly half that same amount of time spent touring Palestine itself — were spent touring Displaced Persons (D.P.) camps in Germany and Austria and witnessing the plight of the Jews there.3 The proposal to visit the D.P. camps passed by a vote of six to four with one abstention, despite the objection from two members that it would be “improper to connect the displaced persons, and the Jewish problem as a whole, with the problem of Palestine”.2 More time was spent visiting D.P. camps than the total number of days spent visiting the Arab nations neighboring Palestine and meeting with representatives there.
     Public hearings were held in which 37 representatives were heard, 31 of whom were Jews representing 17 Jewish organizations, but with only one representative from each of the six Arab states.4....
more.. e-mail

An immaculate conception?
Electronic Intifada: 14 Apr 2010 - The Palestinian Authority is pregnant! Indeed, it is the unelected and American-imposed Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who is pregnant. He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in a recent interview that "the time for this baby to be born will come ... and we estimate it will come around 2011." Unlike females of the human species but like female whales, the gestation period for male Palestinian collaborators with the Israeli occupation extends at least to two years. Joseph Massad comments.

Film review: Uncovering truth and humor in Edward Salem's "Impunity"
Electronic Intifada: 14 Apr 2010 - Edward Salem's is not a conventional documentary in the sense that it doesn't offer any one or series of narratives for the audience to follow. Impunity is instead best appreciated as a profound ethnography on the coping mechanisms of a people under siege and in the aftermath of the massive destruction of Operation Cast Lead. Jimmy Johnson writes for The Electronic Intifada.

A silent killer in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 14 Apr 2010 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - "You feel very sleepy and dizzy. You put your head down and all you want to do is sleep. Everything feels very peaceful, you are not even aware what is happening and if there is no immediate intervention you are dead within minutes," Enaam Abu Nada told IPS.

endless casualties of Israel’s “buffer zone”
In Gaza: 14 Apr 2010 - Mahmoud Shawa, 19, was shot just below the knee by an Israeli soldier during a non-violent demonstration against the Israeli-imposed ‘buffer zone’ near Nahal Oz border crossing. He was rushed to the Shifa Hospital bleeding heavily. Although in great pain and having lost a considerable amount of blood, Shawa was able to clarify that, no, the Israeli soldiers did not give any warning before they shot him in the leg. The bullet, entering and exiting just below Shawa’s left knee was clearly intended for his kneecap, paralleling the injuries of two of four demonstrators shot by Israeli soldiers on March 30 in two separate Land Day demonstrations. One year earlier, Wafa An Najar, 17, was ‘kneecapped’ as she and her family returned to the site of their home, destroyed during the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009. As Wafa stood roughly 800 metres from the border in Khoza’a, southeast of...

Would You Buy Stolen Goods?
Palestine Monitor: 14 Apr 2010 - The British umbrella body of trade unions, the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has launched a campaign calling for an import ban for goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The campaign was launched together with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, a campaign based in England which aims to raise public awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the struggle of the Palestinian people. Launching a leaflet - Would You Buy Stolen Goods? - and a briefing for unions to promote the campaign, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'Israeli settlements are built on stolen Palestinian land and are illegal under international law. By confiscating land and resources, and encouraging conflict, they make life a misery for ordinary Palestinian workers and their families. And as Israel's recent announcement of yet more settlement building shows, they are the biggest obstacle to resuming peace talks. It's easy for us to feel powerless...

Restoring What Settlers Destroyed
Palestine Monitor: 14 Apr 2010 - Qarawat Bani Hassan, in the area of Wadi Qana, between Salfeet, Nablus and Qalqiliya (North of the West Bank); Palestinian, international and even Israeli activists have begun to restore ancient wells and a collapsed cave that were destroyed eight months ago by Jewish settlers from the Nofim settlement. The Palestinians want to enjoy the wonderful area as a family park, where the spring of Neweitef al-Majur, central source of water for the village, is located. All pictures by FLV. The spring of Neweitef al-Majur finds its source in the natural hills around Qarawat Bani Hassan. The israeli settlement of Nofim, founded in 1986, now home to over 100 families, is located onj the top of the hill. Abdul Kahim Raayn, the mayor of Qarawat Bani Hassan, explains to everyone what they have to do. “We will not let the Israelis take our spring, like it has already happened in many...


Thursday, April 15, 2010Top of page
Did Banned Media Report Foretell of Gaza War Crimes?
Jonathan Cook, Dissident Voice 4/15/2010
      Publish investigation, Israeli MP demands
     An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008.
     The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead.
     In a highly unusual move, according to reports in the Israeli media, the army ordered the Haaretz newspaper to destroy all copies of an edition that included Mr Blau’s investigation after it had already gone to press and been passed by the military censor. The article was never republished.
     Mr Blau has gone underground in London after the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, demanded he return to Israel to hand back hundreds of classified documents they claim are in his possession and to reveal his sources.
     He published several additional reports for Haaretz in 2008 and 2009 that severely embarrassed senior military commanders by showing they had issued orders that intentionally violated court rulings, including to execute Palestinians who could be safely apprehended.
     Haneen Zoubi, an MP who previously headed an Israeli media-monitoring organisation, said it was “outrageous” that the suppressed report was still secret so long after the Gaza attack. She is to table a parliamentary question to Ehud Barak, the defence minister, today demanding to know why the army suppressed the article and what is preventing its publication now. Mr Barak must respond within 21 days.
more.. e-mail

Gazans Gassed By Silent Killer
Mel Frykberg, Inter Press Service, CounterCurrents 4/13/2010
      GAZA CITY, Apr 13, 2010 (IPS) - "You feel very sleepy and dizzy. You put your head down and all you want to do is sleep. Everything feels very peaceful, you are not even aware what is happening and if there is no immediate intervention you are dead within minutes," Enaam Abu Nada told IPS.
     Abu Nada is one of the lucky ones who lived to tell the tale. In February the aid worker and her 20-year-old daughter Nevine were working in their Gaza city apartment near a generator, to provide emergency electricity, when they were both overcome with carbon monoxide poisoning from it.
     What saved Abu Nada and Nevine’s lives, according to doctors, is that Nevine had eaten a meal not long before they started breathing in the toxic fumes from the generator.
     Her digestive system reacted strongly to the poisoning of her blood, which was taking place without her knowledge.
     "Nevine started complaining of a vicious headache. She was sweating and vomiting and collapsed on the floor. I tried to get out of my chair and open the door to call for help but I was almost paralysed and my body was too weak. All I could do was bang feebly on the door," recalls Abu Nada.
     "Eventually I managed to attract the attention of my son who rushed us both to hospital where I spent the night and was given an injection, oxygen and medicine. I’m still recovering from the ordeal. My sight has been affected and I ache all over," Abu Nada told IPS.
     Israel’s siege on the Gaza strip, enforced since Hamas took control of Gaza in June 2007, has resulted in chronic fuel and electricity shortages.
     These have caused rolling blackouts which seriously threaten the delivery of emergency services provided by hospitals and waste water treatment plants amongst others.
more.. e-mail

Accelerating Fascism in Israel
Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice 4/15/2010
      Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arabs never had rights in a state affording them solely to Jews. Now even they’re at risk as democratic freedoms fast erode on their way to extinction; to wit, free expression, a right without which all others are endangered. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, incompetence, and abuses of power.
     Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental democratic values, more rhetoric than fact given its persecution of journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz’s national security reporter Uri Blau.
     Kam (held under house arrest since December) will be tried in mid-April for passing confidential documents she removed while stationed in IDF General Yair Naveh’s office during her mandatory military service. Blau, fearing assassination or a judicial lynching, is now hiding in London.
     Two (internal security) Shin Bet gag orders (code name “Double-Take”) were judicially implemented to silence press discussion, on October 8, 2009 and on January 1, 2010 for 90 days, now partially lifted.
     They’re on grounds of harming national security, damaging the investigative process, and the ability of prosecutors to prove criminal liability. Part of it is cited in an undated April Tikun Olam article headlined, “Anat Kam Gag Order Published for the First Time,” stating:
     ….publication about the investigation or that it even exists (is prohibited), and on the judicial discussion of the matter and legal decision rendered by the court which has been and will be conducted….
more.. e-mail

Did banned media report foretell of Gaza war crimes?
Electronic Intifada: 15 Apr 2010 - An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. Jonathan Cook reports.

Adding torture to injury
Electronic Intifada: 15 Apr 2010 - GAZA (IPS) - It was bad enough that Ahmad Asfour was severely maimed by an Israeli drone strike outside his house on 9 January 2009. But, his search for advanced treatment landed the journalism student, now 19, in Israeli prison where he remains.

Film review: Missed opportunities in "Checkpoint Rock"
Electronic Intifada: 15 Apr 2010 - Sometime early this decade the Israeli army issued a military order banning Palestinian musicians from using simile and metaphors. This order also prevented them from singing about anything but the occupation. Ok, that's not actually true. But if your only contact with Palestinian music was through the documentary Checkpoint Rock you could be forgiven for coming to that conclusion. Jimmy Johnson reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Israel's manufactured outrage over a presidential palace
Electronic Intifada: 15 Apr 2010 - Israel's hysterical reaction -- and the US support of it -- to the building of a Palestinian Authority presidential compound on a street named after a Hamas military commander, is hardly surprising. Of note however is the double-standard exhibited by Israel and its patron, the US. The assumption throughout is that Israel's actions are just, defensive and in pursuit of peace for all. Conversely, Palestinian actions are aggressive and evil, and worthy of worldwide condemnation. Stephen Maher comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Settler Harassment: VIDEO ROUND-UP
Palestine Monitor: 15 Apr 2010 - According to OCHA's weekly “Protection of civilians” report, “since the beginning of 2010, 22 Palestinians have been injured as a result of settler violence in the West Bank”(1). But settler violence consists of much more than injuries. Here are few recent events that exemplify what the daily life of Palestinians living close to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be like. Written by J.S. East Jerusalem : Sheikh Jarrah Palestinian house ocuupied by Israeli settlers in Sheikh Jarrah Photo: Brady Ng Clashes between settlers and Palestinians occur frequently despite the frequent police presence in the area. The following video was filmed by an ISM peace activist at the end of January: In the same place, visits to an expropriated house are organised in front of the protest tent that the stolen family erected. Following the closures imposed on Palestinians in Jerusalem, several confrontations erupted in the month of March: flyers...

Did Banned Media Report Foretell of Gaza War Crimes?
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. In a highly unusual move, according to reports in the Israeli media, the army ordered the Haaretz newspaper to destroy all copies of an edition that included Mr Blau’s investigation after it had already gone to press and been passed by the military censor. The article was never republished. Mr Blau has gone underground in London after the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, demanded he return to Israel to hand back hundreds of classified documents they claim are in his possession and to reveal his sources....more

Obama Takes a Small Step
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Apr 2010 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington D.C. Benjamin Netanyahu has done it again. The Israeli prime minister has dug his head this time deeper into the sand on the eve of the international conference on nuclear security held in Washington, for fear that Turkey, Egypt and others would raise the issue of Israel’s unmonitored nuclear arsenal. Typically, this extremist right-wing Israeli government took two missteps in an attempt to divert international attention over the absence of Netanyahu from the 47-nation conference initiated by President Obama. Israel was only represented by a cabinet minister at this largest assemblage of several heads of state in the U.S. capitol in 60 years as when President Theodore Roosevelt helped launch the United Nations. Much to Obama’s credit, the world leaders in their final statement endorsed his call for securing vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. But missing from the communique was any suggestion as...more

Dispatch from China: Number 15 Has Left the Building
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Apr 2010 - By Ramzy Baroud Li Changchun is often referred to as one of the most powerful men in China, in Asia and, increasingly, in the world. He is a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China's Central Committee. On April 8, he awaited our arrival at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Between him and I stood a group of newspaper editors from throughout Asia, along with giant pillars, thick walls and a strict protocol that had to be followed to the letter, or to the number. Yes, to the number. I was Number 15. I needed to remember this fact at all times. I also needed to be constantly aware of the identities of Number 14 and Number 16. This was to ensure the lineup was adhered to without fail wherever we were - whether lining up outside the Great...more


Friday, April 16, 2010Top of page
Begin was right, deportation is a Nazi policy
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 4/16/2010
      There is a reason for the fact, that in modern times laws are written by representatives of the people to whom they are applied: Governments and parliaments come and go, but laws often outlive them.
     Except in dictatorships, laws are not written by the executives who enforce them or the judges who interpret them. Even some totalitarian rulers create a symbolic legislature, made up of people’s representatives to write new laws into existance. Laws were not mean to be written by foreign rulers, and certainly not by foreign military rulers. Well, everywhere except in the occupied Palestinian territories.
     When the Israeli army occupied Palestinian lands in 1967, the Israeli military commander issued an order giving himself the sole right to legislate for the people under his army’s control. Military order number one combined executive, legislative and judicial powers regarding Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Since then, thousands of laws have been issued by successive military commanders who single-handedly amend existing laws or issue totally ones without discussion, debate or even a public announcement.
     The orders are issued in Hebrew and the Palestinian public is by and large unaware of their existence.
     As a responce, the Palestinian human rights organisation Al-Haq began, in the 1980s, the hard work or translating and publishing these laws. One of the co-founders of the human rights organization, Raja Shehadeh, wrote an entire book on the process of Israeli control of the West Bank. The mechanisms of occupation, he wrote, turn around the concept of the "rule of law" to "rule by law."
     This long introduction is meant to highlight the Kafkaesque legal structure that Palestinians under occupation are subject to. They have an elected Palestinian parliament whose laws are argued by civilians coming from the communities where the laws are to be implemented....
more.. e-mail

Analysis: 'Ethnic Cleansing By Any Other Name'
Yousef Munayyer, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/15/2010
      Background
     The West Bank has been occupied by Israel since 1967. Israel maintains authoritative jurisdiction over the happenings in the West Bank via its military apparatus. Decisions governing the simplest aspects of Palestinian life, from traveling from one area to another to building a home, ultimately lie under the jurisdiction of the Israeli Military’s High Command in the West Bank. In October of 2009, amendments were made to military orders governing the legitimate presence of persons in Occupied Palestinian Territory. The changes, effective six months after the signing of the orders, are beginning to take effect. It is important to note that Palestinians are not in control of the Palestinian population registry. Israel maintains strict control over this database and continues to do so. It is because of this that Israeli authorities can determine the residencies of Palestinians and only through the Israelis can the Palestinian Authority issue identification documents.
     Changes in Israeli Military Orders
     The main changes come as amendments to the Israeli Military Order No. 329 titled “Order Regarding Prevention of Infiltration” which was signed into effect two years after the occupation began in 1969. This order defines so-called “infiltrators” as persons who “enter the Area knowingly and unlawfully having been present in the east bank of the Jordan, Syria, Egypt or Lebanon.” In 1969, prior to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, infiltrators as defined by this order were persons entering the West Bank from enemy states. The amendment to this order, order number 1650, signed in late 2009 changes this definition to “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.” [emphasis added]
     The original order also defines a “resident of the Area” as a “person whose permanent residence is in the Area.” The new order eliminates this definition, apparently leaving determination of residency in the hands of military commanders.
more.. e-mail

Israel Targets Ha’aretz
Jonathan Cook, Nazareth, CounterPunch 4/15/2010
      "A Shin Bet State"
     An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008.
     The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead.
     In a highly unusual move, according to reports in the Israeli media, the army ordered the Haaretz newspaper to destroy all copies of an edition that included Blau’s investigation after it had already gone to press and been passed by the military censor. The article was never republished.
     Blau has gone underground in London after the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, demanded he return to Israel to hand back hundreds of classified documents they claim are in his possession and to reveal his sources. He published several additional reports for Haaretz in 2008 and 2009 that severely embarrassed senior military commanders by showing they had issued orders that intentionally violated court rulings, including to execute Palestinians who could be safely apprehended.
     Haneen Zoubi, an MP who previously headed an Israeli media-monitoring organization, said it was “outrageous” that the suppressed report was still secret so long after the Gaza attack. She is to table a parliamentary question to Ehud Barak, the defense minister, today demanding to know why the army suppressed the article and what is preventing its publication now. Barak must respond within 21 days.
     She said publication of the article was important both because Israel had been widely criticized for killing many hundreds of civilians in its three-week assault on Gaza, and because subsequent reports suggested that Israeli commanders sought legal advice months before the operation to manipulate the accepted definitions of international law to make it easier to target civilians.
more.. e-mail

"In the eyes of the state, we don't exist here"
Electronic Intifada: 16 Apr 2010 - In addition to destroying homes in three areas of the West Bank this week, Israeli forces this week invaded villages inside Israel and bulldozed and handed out further demolition orders. Nora Barrows-Friedman reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Did banned media report foretell of Gaza war crimes?
Electronic Intifada: 15 Apr 2010 - An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. Jonathan Cook reports.

necessity and defiance
In Gaza: 16 Apr 2010 - Mohammed Abu Jerrad, 12, works with his older brother and 4 others to gather their wheat.  Although it is still somewhat early for harvesting, the family hopes to harvest their 5 dunams quickly, preferring the early harvest over the possibility that Israeli soldiers will demolish or lit afire their crops, as they have routinely done in the past.  [One such incident occured in Johr Ad Dik last May , when Israeli soldiers shot incendiary devices into ripe wheat and barley fields, setting nearly 3 km, 200 dunams, of crops and fruit trees afire.] Abu Jerrad’s 5 dunams lie roughly just over 300 metres from the border, along which Israeli military tower and remote controlled machine gun towers loom.  From these towers, Israeli soldiers regularly shoot on farmers , workers gathering rubble and scrap metal for construction uses, and civilians on the land. This plot of wheat is on rented land. “We grow...

Is US Embassy in Lebanon Squandering Its Diplomatic Immunity?
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Apr 2010 - By Franklin Lamb - Beirut Tensions are rising in Lebanon between elected representatives in Parliament, 'Unity' Cabinet members and the American Embassy, as the 27th anniversary of the attack 1983 attack on the US Embassy approaches and the Embassy issues another warning for Americans to leave Lebanon. On March 29, 2010 the US Embassy instructed Americans not to travel to Lebanon citing 'safety and security concerns." Simultaneously it warned those who are in Lebanon to seriously consider leaving. Advising that, Lebanon, placed on a US list of 14 countries "linked to Terrorism" following the Christmas Day attempted aircraft bombing near Detroit, has "the potential for a spontaneous upsurge in violence , US citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks, as Embassy personnel may not be able to aid them in case of conflict." The "Warder Warning" to American...more

Accelerating Fascism in Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arabs never had rights in a state affording them solely to Jews. Now even they're at risk as democratic freedoms fast erode on their way to extinction; to wit, free expression, a right without which all others are endangered. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, incompetence, and abuses of power. Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental democratic values, more rhetoric than fact given its persecution of journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz's national security reporter Uri Blau. Kam (held under house arrest since December) will be tried in mid-April for passing confidential documents she removed while stationed in IDF General Yair Naveh's...more

Did Banned Media Report Foretell of Gaza War Crimes?
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. In a highly unusual move, according to reports in the Israeli media, the army ordered the Haaretz newspaper to destroy all copies of an edition that included Mr Blau’s investigation after it had already gone to press and been passed by the military censor. The article was never republished. Mr Blau has gone underground in London after the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, demanded he return to Israel to hand back hundreds of classified documents they claim are in his possession and to reveal his sources....more


Saturday, April 17, 2010Top of page
Deir Yassin’s inextinguishable fire
Dina Elmuti, Deir Yassin, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/16/2010
      “They will not criminalize us, rob us of our true identity, steal our individualism, depoliticize us, churn us out as systemized, institutionalized, decent law-abiding robots. We refuse to lie here in dishonor!” - Bobby Sands, Provisional Irish Republican Army
     It’s as if the very moment I passed by Bab al-Amud or Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, I was transported back in time to a forbidden place, a place I was forced to feel as though I was illegally trespassing through just by gazing at it, a place now belonging to others. “This place you talk about no longer exists. It’s been long gone.” That’s what they continue to say with such impunity and disregard, but those sentiments of deterrence wouldn’t stop me. They never had before, and they wouldn’t stand a chance now. I was determined to go back, to see it all again with my own eyes, to capture every sight so the memories would be engraved in my head forever, despite any and all pretentious constructions that would be made without our permission. Despite all the renovations and reconstructions to make it “their own,” it would always be Deir Yassin to me.
     “Deir Yassin,” she says with a sadness, a sense of loss in her eyes each time she speaks of the atrocious day she lost her home. “Deir Yassin,” she says with a childlike innocence in her voice as she recalls sweet memories before her entire world was completely denatured by evil. “Deir Yassin,” the imperishable words of my grandmother continue to resonate with me each day for she made me promise to never forget, and that’s a promise I intend to keep to her.
     I followed the imperiously-placed road signs leading to Givat Shaul until the memories began flooding back, one by one. With no place to park, I took the chance of leaving the yellow-plated car on the side of the road, near the abandoned blue fence so I would be able to step back in time on foot. In the cool breeze of that afternoon, standing on the ledge overlooking the Har HaMenuchot cemetery in scenic view of the Jewish Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, I inhaled deeply and digested the view of what was now known as Givat Shaul. As I stood there taking in the surreal surroundings of Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem, I was overcome by emotions as the tales of my grandmother soon came to life right before my very eyes. -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

Water - driving Israel’s need for more land and more power
Jim Miles, Axis of Logic 4/13/2010
      According to Amnesty’s 2009 report, accusing Israel of denying Palestinians water: Some 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities have no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevents them from even collecting rainwater. In contrast, Israeli settlers, who live in the West Bank in violation of international law, have intensive-irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools. Numbering about 450,000, the settlers use as much or more water than the Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.
     There is a global crisis emerging concerning the allocation, uses, and abuses of fresh water. This is a combination of misuse by humans and the increasing violence and changing frequency of various weather conditions as the global climate heats up. Along with the heating are other factors such as the acidification of the oceans as they uptake more carbon than the life forms living there can deal with it in such a short time span. Agriculture becomes threatened, potable water for domestic use becomes scarcer, and although fresh water should be a right enshrined in the UN Charter, it is increasingly becoming both a military and corporate target.
     Intersecting with the water crisis is the current economic situation with the rising economic power of India and China and their roughly 2.5 billion population making increasing demands on energy and food resources. Oil is at or near its peak, and while it may not be noticeable in the near future, its increasing scarcity and difficulty with extraction will cause the price to rise inexorably, creating further economic hardship and alternate demands on the environment.
     Global Warring
     A new text by Cleo Paskal [1] highlights the intersection of these environmental, economic and political crises and how they will redraw the world map. Her writing is not of the apocalyptic nature, not describing the horrors of a post-nuclear holocaust period nor the horrors of the survivalist’s imagination when the economy and the environment tank together and suddenly we need to become self reliant in a much more primitive sense.
more.. e-mail

A Bailout For Arms Dealers – US Aid and the Israeli Budget
Rela Mazali and Jesse Bacon, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/15/2010
      The Only Democracy in the Middle East?
     The US Congress has shamefully abdicated its oversight role in US foreign policy and has become an apologist for the worst policies of the Israeli Government, all the while sending Israel billions of dollars in aid. Fortunately activists are not waiting for the US Congress to act. They are staging their own investigation, a first of its kind event.
     ....Yotam Amit, one of the organizers, asked New Profile, a feminist, anti-militarist movement in Israel, to provide background information about the link between US aid and undemocratic aspects of Israeli society. The following piece is based on an ensuing exchange of emails between Amit, Rela Mazali, a founding and active New Profile member (and frequent contributor to The Only Democracy?) and co-editor Jesse Bacon, incorporating excerpts from a seminal study by Israeli sociologist Shlomo Swirski, “The Burden of Occupation,” which can be downloaded in full here.
     For years now, groups such as the US Campaign to End the Occupation have been trying to show how US aid reduces US social spending, New Profile works in Israel to make a somewhat analogous argument. While the $3 Billion in official US Aid is vastly more then we give any other country, the impact on Israeli’s spending is obviously much greater.
     Based on various studies and, in particular, Shlomo Swirski’s “The Cost of Occupation,” we suggest that the direct effect is not the repeated slashes in Israeli social spending, but rather a camouflaging of the fact that these slashes are the neoliberal policy of choice benefiting the economic and security elite, under the guise of necessary “security spending.” According to Swirski,
     "It can be said that the American administration allowed Israel to conduct its military operations against the Palestinian Authority under highly favorable domestic political conditions. The government was not forced to strain the local capital market or to raise taxes, steps that would have distressed Israel’s more affluent stratum...." -- See also: Chicago Hearing Summary and Source
more.. e-mail

Film Review: Simone Bitton's investigative documentary, "Rachel"
Electronic Intifada: 16 Apr 2010 - One of a filmmaker's primary roles in any inquiry is to illuminate the topic of the narrative through entertainment, information, posing challenges or any other kind of engagement. Simone Bitton's Rachel , a new documentary about the death of International Solidarity Movement activist Rachel Corrie, struggles to do this. Jimmy Johnson reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Tuba: Israeli Police Forces Ransack Houses
Palestine Monitor: 17 Apr 2010 - On Wednesday March 31st, Israeli Special Police Forces entered the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills and ransacked two homes. Two white vehicles drove into the village at around 10am. A third vehicle, a van, was parked outside the village. Ommar Abu Jundia, a Tuba resident, came out of his house and was searched by the forces who had by now disembarked and approached on foot. / The house of Ibraheem Abu Jundia after the search on March 31st. Photo courtesy of Christian Peacemaker Teams Abu Jundia was told to remove the rest of his family from the house, which was then searched aggressively by the police. The same thing happened to his brother, Ibraheem. “ They asked me to close the cave and follow them to the other one“, says Abu Jundia. “ They took everyone and started searching the cave.” The lead-up to events on March 31st...

Accelerating Fascism in Israel
Palestine Chronicle: 16 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman Occupied Palestinians and Israeli Arabs never had rights in a state affording them solely to Jews. Now even they're at risk as democratic freedoms fast erode on their way to extinction; to wit, free expression, a right without which all others are endangered. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, incompetence, and abuses of power. Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental democratic values, more rhetoric than fact given its persecution of journalist Anat Kam and Haaretz's national security reporter Uri Blau. Kam (held under house arrest since December) will be tried in mid-April for passing confidential documents she removed while stationed in IDF General Yair Naveh's...more


Sunday, April 18, 2010Top of page
A Nation Behind Bars: Palestinian Political Prisoners In Israeli Detention
Reham Alhelsi, My Palestine 4/17/2010
      While the whole world demands the release of the Zionist soldier Shalit, who was captured by Palestinians while he was on a mission to kill and destroy, the so-called "free world" continues to ignore that the Zionist entity holds a whole nation hostage. The Palestinian people in occupied Palestine have been held hostage by a brutal military occupation, confined to ghettos build on their own lands. Some 2.5 Million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are captives in their own homes, towns and villages, with military checkpoints locking them up, controlling and limiting their movement. 1.5 Million Palestinians are held hostages in the open-air prison Gaza, not allowed to leave even for urgently needed medical treatment. In addition to that, there are over 8500 Palestinians locked up behind bars in Israeli dungeons. These 8500 Palestinians unite occupied Palestine from the River to the Sea; they unite Jerusalem with Yafa, Jenin with Ara, Hebron with Nazareth, Gaza with Akka. These 8500 Palestinians unite families, unite the pain, unite the hope and unite the struggle for freedom. Almost every Palestinian family has had at least one family member detained by Israel. Almost every Palestinian family has been abused by Israeli soldiers while visiting their loved ones. Almost every Palestinian family has known the pain of waiting, the fear of what might happen behind bars, the hope for a near release and a safe return home. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of detention, has felt it directly through its members. Every Palestinian family knows the meaning of freedom, for we pay the highest price for the sake of this freedom, and we love our freedom, we cherish our freedom and we yearn for our freedom and would always fight for it.
     Since 1967, Israel detained some 750,000 Palestinians, including 12,000 women and tens of thousands of children. During the First Intifada 116,000 Palestinians were detained. Since the beginning of Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, 70,000 Palestinians were detained, including 900 women and 8000 children. On average, 9000 Palestinians are detained yearly, including 700 children. Alone during the first 3 months of 2010 Israel detained more than 1400 Palestinians, including 90 from Gaza (18 were fishermen and 1 child), 400 from Jerusalem and 7 female detainees....
more.. e-mail

Global Peace and Justice Groups Threaten Israel’s Legitimacy
Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice 4/18/2010
      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 socio-economic policy.
     Saying global peace and justice groups threaten Israel’s legitimacy, its recent series of articles, policy papers, and presentations counter-attacked 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 Lead in Gaza,” followed by the damning Goldstone Report.
     Groups “making the fundamental delegitimacy” claim want to internationally isolate Israel and ultimately turn it into a pariah state by:
     – demonizing it in public protests, the media, on campuses, and through events like the annual Israel Apartheid Week and World Social Forum, asking its affiliates to excommunicate Israel;
     – promoting the Global BDS Movement (boycott, divestment and sanctions) in areas of the economy, academia, culture, sport, and security; at risk is it achieving equivalency between Israel and apartheid-era South Africa, yet legitimate critics, including Jimmy Carter, accuse Israel of being worse than apartheid; and....
more.. e-mail

The Myths of Liberal Zionism – Book Review
Dr. Ludwig Watzal, Bonn, Palestine Chronicle 2/7/2010
      Yitzhak Laor, The Myths of Liberal Zionism (London: Verso, 2010) 162 p.
     The book deals with the deep contradictions within Israeli society, the fact that a large majority of the population supports the brutal oppression of the Palestinian people, and the role of Israeli intellectuals and their counterparts in the West, particularly in France, in justifying the ongoing colonial Endeavour in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan (and Iran).
     By stigmatizing an anti-racist attitude these “liberal” Israeli intellectuals try to delegitimize any criticism of atrocities the West has wrought upon the people of the East, the Muslims.
     According to Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism, the Jewish state was designed as a Western bulwark against the “barbarians” of the East. The “normalization of the Jews", so the Zionist reasoning, meant going to the Orient, the East and establish their own state in order to solve the European problem of anti-Semitism. “The colonized Jews now tried to free themselves by colonizing others.” This kind of thought finds its famous expression in Ehud Barak’s characterization of Israel as a “villa in the jungle“.
     According to Yitzhak Laor, a famous Israeli poet, novelist and political activist, "Liberal Zionism” is a myth and a contradiction in terms because Israeli “liberal Zionists” believe that millions of Palestinians can be removed from their land, denied their human rights, fenced in so-called homelands or in huge "ghettoes”, and even killed in the name of a Jewish and democratic state.
     The majority of Israelis see themselves as “Westerners” and therefore part of the West. The creation of a “New Man” which finds its expression in the “sabra” cult, can teach much about the “ideological makeup of the new Jewish society” that settled in Palestine, so the author. Laor describes some traits of this “New Man”: courage and sacrifice, boldness and arrogance (“Israeli chutzpah”). Furthermore, the “sabra” is described as “a victim of circumstances, or a victim of cruelty of the generation before him, or the [cruelty] of Jewish history...."
more.. e-mail

necessity and defiance
In Gaza: 16 Apr 2010 - Mohammed Abu Jerrad, 12, works with his older brother and 4 others to gather their wheat.  Although it is still somewhat early for harvesting, the family hopes to harvest their 5 dunams quickly, preferring the early harvest over the possibility that Israeli soldiers will demolish or lit afire their crops, as they have routinely done in the past.  [One such incident occured in Johr Ad Dik last May , when Israeli soldiers shot incendiary devices into ripe wheat and barley fields, setting nearly 3 km, 200 dunams, of crops and fruit trees afire.] Abu Jerrad’s 5 dunams lie roughly just over 300 metres from the border, along which Israeli military tower and remote controlled machine gun towers loom.  From these towers, Israeli soldiers regularly shoot on farmers , workers gathering rubble and scrap metal for construction uses, and civilians on the land. This plot of wheat is on rented land. “We grow...

Checkpoints
Palestine Monitor: 17 Dec 2010 - “The right to freedom of movement provides that people are entitled to move freely within the borders of the state, to leave any country and to return to their country.” Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. December 10th, 1948 Movement Restrictions: The Facts By September 2008 there were 699 closure obstacles in the West Bank– approximately 130 of these have been added after the Annapolis Conference began in November 2007. 630 of the obstacles have been identified: trenches (3%), partial checkpoints (3%), earth walls (7%), road-blocks (11%), road barriers (12%), checkpoints (12%), road gates (16%) and earth mounds (36%). 74 % of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely. In the period from April to September 2008 the weekly average of flying (or random) checkpoints was 89. Due to...

Tuba: Israeli Police Forces Ransack Houses
Palestine Monitor: 17 Apr 2010 - On Wednesday March 31st, Israeli Special Police Forces entered the village of Tuba in the South Hebron Hills and ransacked two homes. Two white vehicles drove into the village at around 10am. A third vehicle, a van, was parked outside the village. Ommar Abu Jundia, a Tuba resident, came out of his house and was searched by the forces who had by now disembarked and approached on foot. / The house of Ibraheem Abu Jundia after the search on March 31st. Photo courtesy of Christian Peacemaker Teams Abu Jundia was told to remove the rest of his family from the house, which was then searched aggressively by the police. The same thing happened to his brother, Ibraheem. “ They asked me to close the cave and follow them to the other one“, says Abu Jundia. “ They took everyone and started searching the cave.” The lead-up to events on March 31st...

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

Baroud's 'Freedom Fighter' is an Icon
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Apr 2010 - By Jim Miles My Father Was A Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story. Ramzy Baroud. Pluto Press, London, 2010. Ramzy Baroud has written what should become an icon of historical-cultural writing for the people of Palestine. My Father Was a Freedom Fighter is an amazingly powerful and wonderfully well written tapestry of the modern history of Palestine, combining a family history focussed on the individual of Ramzy's father Mohammed with the overall history of the Jewish-Zionist/Palestinian-Arabic conflict in the area. The latter evolves at two levels: the first as was most visibly seen and understood by Mohammed Ramzy; the second encompasses the larger view of the 'near' Middle East as revealed by historical records. It is a highly emotional read, ranging from bitterness and anger to outright laughter - and books seldom if ever make me laugh. The bitterness and anger is obvious from Mohammed's personal history of dispossession, poverty,...more

A Birthday Present
Palestine Chronicle: 18 Apr 2010 - By Uri Avnery Yesterday I went to the health clinic to get a vaccination. It was a pleasant day, sunny but not too hot. The trip to the clinic and back, including the waiting, took just over an hour. During this time, I had the following experiences: The taxi driver told me that years ago he was living next to Asher Yadlin, the man at the center of a major corruption affair in the 70s, which was uncovered by my magazine, Haolam Hazeh. "How we were shocked then!" he exclaimed, "we did not believe that such a thing was possible! And look what's happening now!" He meant the scandal around the huge Holyland housing project in West Jerusalem, involving a former prime minister, two former mayors and an assortment of business tycoons and senior officials - a bribery affair a hundred times bigger than the Yadlin business. While waiting at...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


Monday, April 19, 2010Top of page
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.
more.. e-mail

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)
more.. e-mail

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.
more.. e-mail

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


Tuesday, April 20, 2010Top of page
Declare Independence. Free Israel. End the Occupation.
Bradley Burston, Ha’aretz 4/20/2010
      Shimon the Tzadik, the righteous, the just, the saintly, was one of the last of the Great Knesset. He used to say: The world continues to exist because of three things: Torah, Worship, and Acts of Lovingkindness. - Talmud, Pirkeh Avot
     SHEIKH JARRAH, East Jerusalem - It’s taken us years and years, but we’ve finally realized the dream of every Israeli.
     It was my wife who noticed. "I really like this," she said one Friday as we left the house, "getting out and going to a foreign country every weekend."
     Our fellow Israeli Jews, inveterate world travelers that they are, literally go out of their way to avoid this place, which is called East Jerusalem. Some steer clear because it scares them, others simply because it feels so, well, foreign.
     In the end, what they miss out on, is the view from here. If just once they’d make the trip. On a clear day, they could see their own future.
     This is not just any neighborhood of East Jerusalem. Just as the settlers here, with their Baruch Goldstein celebrants, are not just any settlers, nor the anti-settlement protest held here each Friday, a demonstration like any other.
     More than any other area of the Holy Land, this is the place where Israelis gather regularly to declare their independence from Occupation.
     Here, because Sheikh Jarrah is where the settlement movement has come to die. The settlement named for Shimon the Just, is where the Occupation has begun to write its own ending.
more.. e-mail

Independence Day: 26,6356; 3,500, 1,500, 1,455
Baha Hillo, Ma’an News Agency 4/19/2010
      On 19 and 20 April, Israel will mourn what is says were 26,653 Israelis killed in the past 150 years, 22,682 of which were soldiers.
     The Day of the Fallen Soldier sees hundreds of thousands lay flags on the graves of their lost loved ones, and the Minister of Defense Ehud Barak will speak at official ceremonies around the country.
     Yom Hazikaron as the Israelis call it, begins with silence and sirens that mourn the deaths of soldiers, but when the mourning is over, the celebration begins. The celebration of Israel’s ‘strength,’ and of all the wars it has won: a celebration of racism and apartheid.
     That the day of the fallen soldier, and the celebration of the so called victories of the state of Israel are celebrated during the same week as the Holocaust Memorial Day, is a travesty. The narrative string that starts with the Holocaust, passes through the death of those who fought for the state, and ends in celebration.
     It is the Zionist narrative, it takes the Holocaust out of Europe and brings it to the Middle East, with Israelis declaring that they must defend the state, that Zionists must rally and defend against the enemy, this time the Arabs.
     By juxtaposing the Holocaust Memorial Day with Israel’s Yom Hazikaron/Independence Day, the Arabs become those who are denying Jewish existence. In fact, however, it is the very same narrative that denies Palestinian existence.
     The way the story is told means that when Palestinians assert their right to exist, they activate a constructed binary that somehow denies Jewishness.
     Palestinians everywhere have to put up with the reality of being oppressed, expelled, occupied, divided, fenced in, controlled and so on, without being allowed to commemorate their miseries, or , god forbid, try to repair them. This is very clear when it comes to certain historic events like the Nakba (the Catastrophe of 1948).
more.. e-mail

Iran’s Disarmament Conference: The Power of Logic
Eric Walberg, Dissident Voice 4/20/2010
      The logic of power is still overriding the power of logic, quipped the head of Iran’s Atomic Organisation Ali Salehi at the “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapons for None” disarmament conference in Tehran last weekend. He was referring to US foreign policy, in particular, nuclear. Taking this elegant formulation a step further, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says nuclear-armed states such as the United States should be removed entirely from the IAEA and its Board of Governors. Iran’s president called for the formation of a new international body to oversee nuclear disarmament, or at least the reinvigoration of the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).
     Twenty-four foreign and deputy foreign ministers and official representatives from 60 states, including China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Iraq, and Turkey came to Tehran, with the glaring exception of the US and Israel, though they were invited along with everyone else. The conference was a direct reply to Washington’s refusal to invite Iran to its own Nuclear Security Summit last week, which attracted the attention of 47 leaders, and focused — more cynically — merely on international control of all nuclear-related activity.
     Obama’s conference was limited to efforts to protect weapon-usable nuclear materials (notably spent fuel from Ukraine) to safeguard against nuclear terrorism, and endorsed Obama’s call for securing all nuclear materials around the globe within four years to keep them out of the grasp of terrorists.
     This is an echo of the 1946 Baruch Plan by the US to force a prostrate world into accepting US control of nuclear power/ weapons. A threadbare demand by the only country which has actually used nuclear weapons in battle — against innocent civilians. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei said, “The one and only nuclear criminal in the world now falsely claims to be fighting against the spread of atomic weapons but has definitely not taken and will not take any serious action in this regard.”
more.. e-mail

Video: US Jews break Israel's "Law of Return"
Electronic Intifada: 20 Apr 2010 - As US Jews, we have an automatic right to Israeli citizenship under Israel's "Law of Return," while many Palestinians have not been able to return home in over 60 years. It is not right that we may "return" to a state that is not ours while Palestinians are excluded and continuously dispossessed.

Gil Scott-Heron: don't go to the moon
Electronic Intifada: 20 Apr 2010 - In an open letter to musician Gil Scott-Heron, The Electronic Intifada's Matthew Cassel urges him to cancel his upcoming concert in Tel Aviv: "Your scheduled concert in Tel Aviv is in direct violation of the call by Palestinian civil society for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. A similar boycott, which you full-heartedly supported, was called for in South Africa and helped bring an end to apartheid in that country."

El Al sued for racial profiling
Electronic Intifada: 20 Apr 2010 - Two Palestinian citizens of Israel have won $8,000 in damages from Israel's national carrier, El Al, after a court found that their treatment by the company's security staff at a New York airport had been "abusive and unnecessary." Jonathan Cook reports.

Israeli forces besiege Prisoners Day commemoration
Electronic Intifada: 20 Apr 2010 - BEIT UMMAR, occupied West Bank (IPS) - A young Palestinian man died in Israeli custody as hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of villages and towns across the West Bank and Gaza to commemorate Palestinian Prisoners Day on Friday, 16 April.

Book Review: Norman Finkelstein's "This time we went too far"
Electronic Intifada: 20 Apr 2010 - Despite Israel's attempts to spin its 2008 Gaza invasion, global public opinion of Israel has sunk to an all-time low. In his latest book, "This Time We Went Too Far ," Norman Finkelstein argues that Gaza marked a turning point in public opinion reminiscent of the international reaction to the 1960 Sharpeville massacre in South Africa. Ziyaad Lunat reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

“Occupied Palestine, Dexia involved”
Palestine Monitor: 20 Apr 2010 - Since 1967, Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank (and Gaza). But besides the military occupation of the Palestinian territory, Israeli authorities have been building and expanding settlements, on Palestinian land, confiscating properties and destroying daily life of several communities. How does this process work? Why has a financial group like Dexia invested in activities related to settlement expansion? Intal, a Belgian solidarity movement, produced a short documentary illustrating the nature of Dexia's relationship with settlement construction. The filmmakers, Bruno and Pierre Lempereur, spent three months touring the West Bank. Palestine occupée - Dexia impliquée | Israël koloniseert - Dexia financiert from intal info on Vimeo . The video is part of a Belgian campaign called "Occupied Palestine, Dexia involved " http://www.intal.be/fr/campagne/pal... Further info about Dexia on: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDet... http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=50988 http://www.imemc.org/index.php?obj_...

Why Israel Should Not Be Allowed To Join The OECD
Palestine Monitor: 20 Apr 2010 - The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) does exactly what its name suggests. The group, established in its current form in 1961, states that its mission is essentially "to help governments and society reap the full benefits of globalisation, while tackling the economic, social and governance challenges that can accompany it." It claims to be " committed to democratic government and the market economy" and it aims to bring together like-minded governments from around the world to: " Support sustainable economic growth; Boost employment; Raise living standards; Maintain financial stability; Assist other countries' economic development; Contribute to growth in world trade". Further, it "provides a forum where governments can compare and exchange policy experiences, identify good practices and promote decisions and recommendations." The OECD now has 30 member states with plans to add new members soon. In May a vote will be held in which it will be decided whether or...

Remembering Janet Lee Stevens, a Martyr for Palestinian Refugees
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Apr 2010 - By Franklin Lamb This letter was written to Janet Lee Stevens on the 25th anniversary of the Sabra & Shatila Massacre, on Sept. 14, 2007, from Martyr's Square, Shatila Camp Dearest Janet, It's a very beautiful fall day here in Beirut today. Twenty-five years ago this week since the massacre at the Palestinian refugee camps at Sabra-Shatila. Bright blue sky and a fall breeze. It actually rained last night. Enough to clean out some of the humidity and dust. Fortunately not enough to make the usual rain created swamp of sewage and filth on Rue Sabra, or flood the grassless burial ground of the mass grave (the camp residents named it Martyrs Square, one of several so named memorials now in Lebanon) where you once told me that on Sunday September 19, 1982, you watched, sickened, as families and Red Crescent workers created a subterranean mountain of butchered and bullet-riddled...more

The Arabs, Weak by Choice
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Apr 2010 - By Hasan El-Hasan Nation-states living in the area from Morocco to Iraq including the Arabian Peninsula share a distinct culture and history, and speak Arabic, albeit with hundreds of dialects. Arab nationalism is "ingrained in the soul of Arab individuals based on the sentiments of a glorious past", but Arab unity today is needed to deal with challenges posed by the twenty-first century Orientalism. European colonialists divided the region, planted the State of Israel, drew the borders and supported its ruling regimes after stripping them of their Arab legitimacy in favor of tribal and local nationalism; and the region remains hostage to its imperialist past. Each state within this region has developed its own realities, laws, culture and history that have grown over the years, and developed its own interests which in many cases are not shared by others. The establishment of a strong union of these nations that can...more

New York Airport 'Blind' to El Al Racial Profiling
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook - Nazareth Two Israeli Arab brothers have won $8,000 in damages from Israel's national carrier, El Al, after a court found that their treatment by the company’s security staff at a New York airport had been 'abusive and unnecessary'. Abdel Wahab and Abdel Aziz Shalabi were assigned a female security guard who watched over them at the airport’s departure gate for nearly two hours, in full view of hundreds of fellow passengers, after they had passed the security and baggage checks. Later, El Al’s head of security threatened to bar Abdel Wahab, 43, from the flight if he did not apologise to the guard for going to the toilet without first getting her approval. Abdel Aziz said he had been humiliated and “cried like I’ve never cried before in public”. Although surveys of Arab citizens, who comprise one-fifth of Israel’s population, show that most have suffered degrading...more

End Occupation Then Start Negotiations
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Apr 2010 - By Sam Bahour US President Barack Obama is about to take a political leap on the Palestine/Israel issue. Many American presidents took similar leaps and each and every one of them fell flat on their faces. The leap is the launch of a new US peace initiative that promises, yet again, to bring the stubborn Palestinian-Israeli conflict to an end. Obama would be well advised to learn from all the other infamous US initiatives as he frames his own. There is absolutely nothing news-breaking in the news of a fresh US peace initiative. Palestinians and Israelis have been on the receiving end of so many such plans that they can usually accurately predict the content before they receive them. This time, however, expectations are not so clear. The way Obama has been dealing with this issue since taking office has been far from traditional. The hope is that the substance...more


Wednesday, April 21, 2010Top of page
Israeli Military Orders 'in Breach Of International Human Rights Law,' Warns Un Special Rapporteur
United Nations Office at Geneva 4/19/2010
      GENEVA – The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, Richard Falk, warned Monday that two Israeli Defense Forces Military Orders* may be in breach of the fourth Geneva Convention and violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
     Mr. Falk noted that “a wide range of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law could be linked to actions carried out by the Government of Israel under these Orders, with particular gravity in the event that young persons become victims of their application.”
     “The Orders appear to enable Israel to detain, prosecute, imprison and/or deport any and all persons present in the West Bank,” noted the Special Rapporteur, basing his concern on Israel’s new definition of the term ‘infiltrator:’ “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.”
     “Even if this open-ended definition is not used to imprison or deport vast numbers of people, it causes unacceptable distress,” the UN independent expert said. Mr. Falk further noted that “it is not at all clear what permit, if any, will satisfy this Order.”
     “Illustrative of the potential for cruel abuse,” he said, “is a provision of the Order requiring the person deported to pay the costs of his or her deportation, and suffer confiscations of property if unable to pay.”
     Mr. Falk warned that deportations under the two new Orders could take place without judicial review, and that detained persons can be imprisoned for 7 years, unless able to prove that their entry was lawful, in which case they would be imprisoned for 3 years.
more.. e-mail

Palestinian Women and Children Behind Zionist Bars
Reham Alhelsi, My Palestine 4/17/2010
      On a beautiful March day, I was on the way to school in Jerusalem when the bus I was in was stopped at Ras Il-Amoud. The soldiers got into the bus, told everyone to get out and told the bus driver to turn and go back from where it came. Some passengers started arguing with the soldiers, explaining they had jobs or classes to go to, but the soldiers didn’t want to know about that and started shouting and beating those present with their clubs, including me. We were school children and were not a threat to armed soldiers, nevertheless a number of us were arrested for daring to tell the soldiers to stop beating us. We were handcuffed and loaded into military jeeps. On the way, we were forced to bend our heads down the whole trip and the only thing I could see were the boats of the soldiers. When the jeep finally stopped, we were ordered by the soldiers to step down and as I looked around me I realized we were in a military camp. The soldiers told us then to stand in a certain place, turn our backs to them and kneel on the ground. We were still handcuffed. Opposite me I could see the mountains of Jerusalem and I realized we were in the Abu-Dees military camp which occupied one of the hills. We weren’t allowed to sit but half kneel which was very painful. And as we half-knelt there, near each other but not able to talk to each other, the soldiers started throwing small stones at us. They were laughing and talking in Hebrew while throwing the stones. I didn’t understand what they were talking about, but I figured they were betting who would hit which one of us and where. I don’t remember how long this “game” lasted, but I remember how painful the kneeling was, how painful the stones were when they hit my head and how I wondered what would happen to us, what they would to us here alone in this military camp with no Palestinian around. Every now and then I would talk a quick peep at the hills in front of us and I would think about my parents and what they were doing. We tried comforting each other silently by touching our feet. We didn’t talk for we weren’t allowed to do that, but whenever someone near me touched my foot with theirs, it was like telling me: don’t worry, we’ll get through this, and I would return the gesture. After seemingly long hours, maybe in the afternoon, we were loaded back into the jeeps, ordered to lower our heads again and a new journey started. When this second journey ended, we were in one of the detention centres.... more.. e-mail

Another Palestinian Journalist persecuted for criticizing the PA
Khalid Amayreh, Uprooted Palestinians 4/21/2010
      Muhannad Salahat, 32, is another Palestinian journalist victimized by the Palestinian Authority Mukhabarat or General Intelligence. Earlier this month, Salahat, who lives in Amman, Jordan, but has a home in the northern West Bank town of Nablus, had to spend 14 nightmarish days in the custody of the Palestinian Mukhabarat in Jericho where he was thoroughly abused for criticizing the PA, especially its so-called security coordination with Israel.
     Following his release, Middle East Monitor had the chance to interview Salahat. The following is a verbatim translation of his testimony on the treatment he received during his detention in Jericho. Salahat can be contacted on the following email address. salahatm@hotmail.com [This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.]
     "On 18 March, as the bus I was riding from Amman arrived at the Allenby Bridge, which is under Israeli control, we proceeded to the Palestinian Authority Inspection Terminal where the minibus stopped for identity checking. Soon, I saw the bus being surrounded on all sides by policemen. One of them boarded the bus, carrying my passport in his hand and shouting "Where is Muhannad Salahat." As I said "yes," the policeman asked me to disembark and accompany a number of other policemen to a nearby room where all my personal items and luggage were taken from me. Then I was taken rather unceremoniously to another room without being informed why. However, I understood that I was being pursued by the PA General Intelligence. At that point, I was able to call my family to tell them that I was being arrested. As soon as I ended the call, which lasted only for one minute, my mobile phone was confiscated.
     "Then I was taken to a third room, and a large Ford van stopped nearby and three armed young men dressed in plain clothes, got off the car, and asked me to stand up with my face toward the wall. They warned me against looking at them. A fourth person, armed with an Ak-47, stood behind, training his gun toward me...."
more.. e-mail

Gil Scott-Heron: don't play apartheid Israel!
Electronic Intifada: 21 Apr 2010 - The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is gravely disappointed by the announcement that well-known, progressive artist Gil Scott-Heron is due to perform in Israel on 25 May. We call upon Mr. Scott-Heron, a member of United Artists Against Apartheid in the 1980s and a featured singer on the breakthrough song "Don't Play Sun City," not to play apartheid Israel.

Hamas vows to carry out more executions
Electronic Intifada: 21 Apr 2010 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - The Hamas authorities in Gaza have vowed to carry out more executions of those on death row despite intense international criticism and condemnation from both Israeli and Palestinian human rights groups.

Is the US-Israeli 'Special Relationship' in Danger?
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Apr 2010 - By Kim Bullimore If one were to believe the almost breathless reports coming from the Israeli, US and other corporate media, a major ruction in US-Israeli dealings had occurred and the demise of their "special relationship" was imminent. According to the media, this was triggered by the announcement on March 9, by Israel's interior minister, Eli Yishai, that Israel would build 1600 new Jewish-only homes on occupied Palestinian land. The announcement was made just as US Vice-President Joe Biden began a four-day "good will" tour of Israel. The visit by Biden, a staunch Zionist, was widely seen in both the US and Israel, as well as internationally, as an attempt to boost the stalled Middle East "peace" process. Biden's visit coincided with the March 8 announcement of George Mitchell, US envoy to the Middle East, that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Israel had agreed to resume "indirect" negotiations or...more

Will Netanyahu Open his Ears?
Palestine Chronicle: 21 Apr 2010 - By George Hishmeh - Washington DC Israel, like a child, always sees itself blameless, thanks to its traditionalist supporters, including some key members of the well-entrenched American Jewish community, who cannot see the light of day as if they are blindfolded. Here is one prominent example (and there are many) where the author of a full-page advertisement, costing tens of thousands of dollars, and which appeared in key U.S. papers, made a fool of himself this week, even as some fellow Jews recognized. Elie Wiesel, a prominent Holocaust survivor and a 1986 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is the author of the ad titled 'For Jerusalem,' where he expresses his attachment to the city and yet has never chosen to live there. In the ad, which reportedly has been paid for by a friend and which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has supported, Wiesel makes outrageous claims. He says, 'Contrary to...more


Thursday, April 22, 2010Top of page
21st Century Mass Expulsion
Nasim Ahmed, The Palestine Telegraph, Palestine Telegraph 4/23/2010
      Briefing on the Israeli Order regarding Prevention of Infiltration (Amendment No. 2) and the Order regarding Security Provisions (Amendment No. 112) passed on Tuesday, April 13 2010.
     Behind the euphuism, ’prevention of Infiltration’ lies a horrible truth which Israeli officials are trying desperately hard to conceal. This simple truth is a truth that has been cardinal throughout Israel’s existence and continues to do so. It’s a truth that connects the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and the recent military order that would result in the forced expulsion of many thousands of Palestinians. It’s the truth that Israel was founded on a policy of systematic population transfer and it has been committed to this policy ever since its inception.
     This simple fact is a natural outcome of Israel’s central creed, ’redemption of the land with as few of the indigenous people as possible’. Since its inception its central creed has been efficiently carried out through modern methods of population transfer and land appropriation. This explains why, even as rhetoric and politics change, expulsion and dispossession continue through various methods.
     Its strategy commenced with a total denial of Palestinian as a people. Since than over many decades, Israel has developed and refined policies to disperse imprison and impoverish the Palestinian people, in a relentless effort to destroy them as a nation. It has industrialized Palestinian misery through ever more sophisticated systems of curfews, checkpoints, walls, permits and land grabs. It has transformed the West Bank and Gaza into laboratories for testing the infrastructure of confinement, human resolve and the limits of human despair.
     Throughout history Israel rarely missed an opportunity to implement its core principal of population transfer and it has relentlessly pursued this course through its many wars, creeping colonization in the form of settlement building, a regime that combines occupation, apartheid and colonization.
more.. e-mail

US may soon send ultimatum to Israel
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 4/22/2010
      An analysis of the most recent ABC TV interview with former US President Bill Clinton reveals a fascinating development in Washington. The Obama administration finally decided who the culprit in the Arab-Israeli conflict is, and it’s not the Arabs.
     When asked by reporter Jack Tapper about US plans for the Middle East, Clinton said Washington plans to "do something to deprive both sides of any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations."
     While the plan, as Clinton explained it, will affect both Israel and Palestine, it puts the blame for the stalemate clearly on Israeli shoulders. The argument against the administration putting forward a peace plan, Clinton said, is that the current Israeli government "almost certainly would reject it."
     Clinton, whose second-term administration is said to have forced Netanyahu, in his first term, out of power, clearly understands the risks of trying to influence the internal dynamics of a country like Israel.
     Reflecting on that risk, Clinton told ABC News that it could "make us look weak." But the Obama administration, Clinton said, "may decide it’s more important to have clarity and to do something that will be an action-forcing event to put them [Arabs and Israelis] back to the table."
     Translation: it is time to announce to the world what is required for peace in the Middle East, no matter who ends up looking like the obstructionist party to the conflict.
     A US peace plan that is fair and reasonable would certainly have many ordinary Israelis and Palestinians cheering. It could cause some major damage to right-wing Israeli political forces that came to power as a result of eight years of former US president George Bush’s so-called war on terror.
more.. e-mail

Bad Faith in the Holy City
Rashid Khalidi, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/15/2010
      The Israeli government’s announcement in March that it would further expand East Jerusalem settlements was just the latest in a decades-old series of calculated slights to the United States.
     Since 1967, virtually every time a U.S. envoy has arrived to discuss the fate of the West Bank or Gaza, the Israeli government of the day has bluntly shown who is really boss, usually with a carefully timed unilateral expansion of Israel’s presence in the occupied territories. Since the 1970s, Israel has illegally settled close to half a million of its citizens in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, not to mention building a barrier mainly inside the West Bank on Arab-owned land that is longer and taller than the Berlin Wall.
     Given that for a year the Obama administration has sought a settlement freeze in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, it is impossible to interpret the latest announcement of settlement expansion in the city as anything but a provocation. (The alternative explanation -- that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot control his own government -- cannot be taken seriously.) As if on cue, an obedient majority in Congress issued a letter demanding that there be no public discussion of U.S.-Israeli differences. This, however, has not ended the controversy.
     Although this episode has revealed that some things never change, it has been unusual in the sense that U.S. administrations usually take great care to avoid offending the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (known as AIPAC). Yet, this year, senior officials suggested that unconditional U.S. support for Israel, far from serving U.S. national interests, may in fact jeopardize them. The Israeli paper Yediot Ahronot reported that Vice President Joe Biden said as much to Netanyahu in March; the message was reiterated in a statement by Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in the congressional testimony of the head of the United States Central Command, General David Petraeus, who argued that “Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples [in the region].”
more.. e-mail

Right of return not negotiable
Electronic Intifada: 22 Apr 2010 - Washington insiders are now touting a misguided Obama-dictated plan to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Most recently, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Stephen Solarz took to the pages of The Washington Post to float the idea of an imposed peace, which largely undermines non-negotiable historic Palestinian rights. As a Palestinian, I believe that any plan that seeks to sacrifice our inalienable human rights to ensure race-based majorities in Israel will fail. Ahmed Moor comments.

Veolia tries to spin its involvement in the occupation
Electronic Intifada: 22 Apr 2010 - By participating in the touring Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition , the French transnational company Veolia Environnement is attempting to spin its image that has been tarnished by the exposure of its involvement in the Israeli occupation. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada.

watching the invasion unfold
In Gaza: 22 Apr 2010 - It was an early morning, farmers relieved to have harvested the 6 dunam (1 dunam is roughly 1000 square metres) field of lentils planted 5 months ago in Al Faraheen borderlands.  The village, east of Khan Younis, includes land cut off to farmers by the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”.  That technically 300 metre no-go zone stretching south to north along Gaza’s border with Israel actually extends far beyond the few hundred metres, up to 2 km in some areas where Palestinian civilians have been shot, injured or killed, by Israeli soldiers while on their land. Abu Qater Tabbash has 100 dunams of land he can no longer access, he says, because it lies in the buffer zone. The land he worked today, along with 5 women from his family, is rented land.  Their crop will not pay off, but it will provide lentils for the family and hay for their animals....

"Occupied" Pollution
Palestine Monitor: 22 Apr 2010 - There are 121 settlements in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. In many of these, violence against the local Palestinian population is common. In a number, however, it is pollution that is a major problem. Waste-water pollution from settlements destroys crops and trees, pollutes ground and drinking water supplies, and damages land and harms wildlife and the communities dependent on it. Palestine Monitor examines 3 cases. Elqana Just north of Route 5, near Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, downhill from the Israeli settlement of Elqana, a pipe pumps foul-smelling domestic waste-water from the settlement into a Palestinian valley. The land is owned by farmers from the nearby town of Az Zawiya. The waste water also flows into a river that acts as a water source for the town. Uphill, two large tanks denote the water clarification plant whose construction is ongoing. The plant's construction, a venture by the Ministry...

2010: Palestinian Prisoners Day
Palestine Monitor: 22 Apr 2010 - There are currently more than 7.000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Hundreds are being held in administrative detention. 17th of April was the Palestinian Prisoners Day. Hundreds of Palestinians took part to the rallies organised across the West Bank and Gaza. Palestine Monitor's photographer, FLV, takes a look to the commemoration held in Ramallah. Since its occupation of the Palestinian Territory in 1967, the Israeli authorities systematically violate the most basic rights granted by international and human rights conventions through inhumane treatment, restrictions on movements, killings, deportation, and detention. According to the PCBS, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: more than 19,000 Palestinian were under administrative detention in Israeli jails since year 2002. According to the data of the Palestinian Ministry of Prisoners and Ex-prisoners, Israel has detained since 1967 more than 760,000 Palestinians including about 70,000 since the Aqsa Intifada. The data shows that 315 of current prisoners were...


Friday, April 23, 2010Top of page
Israel’s Enabler in the U. S.
Esam Al-amin, CounterPunch 4/21/2010
      Wiesel is simply “a terrible fraud.” -- Noam Chomsky
     Every now and then Israel’s enablers in the US embark on a public campaign to apply as much political pressure on US policymakers as they can possibly get away with. Elie Wiesel , a Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel laureate, is one of those apologists that Israel employs when it is in trouble.
     Wiesel ’s disgraceful history of dismissing the suffering of some in favor of others is well documented. The late historian Howard Zinn called Wiesel’s refusal to include the suffering of non-Jews at the hands of the Nazis at the Holocaust Museum, along with exhibits documenting Jewish suffering, one of the most “shameful moments” in recent memory. In that episode, Wiesel described the inclusion of the terrible affliction of non-Jews by the Nazis in the Museum as an attempt to “falsify reality” and that such calls were tantamount to “stealing the Holocaust from us.”
     Two months ago, Wiesel’s name was on a full-page ad in the New York Times, urging atrocious and lethal actions against Iran because of its nuclear energy program. On April 18, a Wiesel-endorsed ad ran in several prominent U.S. dailies, including the NYT and the Washington Post, tackling the issue of Jerusalem because of the public spat between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government.
     Since one can hardly think that Wiesel is ignorant of the facts, the number of deliberate lies and misleading information included in the ad was astounding. He asserted that Jerusalem “belongs to the Jewish people,” while dismissing its Islamic and Christian dimensions. His rationale was that Jerusalem was mentioned in the Torah “more than six hundred times,” while “not a single time in the Qur’an.” Such an ignorant statement demonstrates not only a total lack of knowledge regarding Islamic scriptures but also a distortion of history.
more.. e-mail

From Jerusalem, an open letter to Elie Wiesel
Just Jerusalem, Ma’an News Agency 4/24/2010
      We write to you from Jerusalem to convey our frustration, even outrage, at your recently published letter on Jerusalem. We are Jewish Jerusalemites – residents by choice of a battered city, a city used and abused, ransacked time and again first by foreign conquerors and now by its own politicians. We cannot recognize our city in the sentimental abstraction you call by its name.
     Our Jerusalem is concrete, its hills covered with limestone houses and pine trees; its streets lined with synagogues, mosques and churches. Your Jerusalem is an ideal, an object of prayers and a bearer of the collective memory of a people whose members actually bear many individual memories. Our Jerusalem is populated with people, young and old, women and men, who wish their city to be a symbol of dignity - not of hubris, inequality and discrimination. You speak of the celestial Jerusalem; we live in the earthly one.
     For more than a generation now the earthly city we call home has been crumbling under the weight of its own idealization. Your letter troubles us, not simply because it is replete with factual errors and false representations, but because it upholds an attachment to some other-worldly city which purports to supersede the interests of those who live in the this-worldly one. For every Jew, you say, a visit to Jerusalem is a homecoming, yet it is our commitment that makes your homecoming possible. We prefer the hardship of realizing citizenship in this city to the convenience of merely yearning for it.
     Indeed, your claim that Jerusalem is above politics is doubly outrageous. First, because contemporary Jerusalem was created by a political decision and politics alone keeps it formally unified. The tortuous municipal boundaries of today’s Jerusalem were drawn by Israeli generals and politicians shortly after the 1967 war.... Source: Just Jerusalem -- See also: Just Jerusalem
more.. e-mail

My Investment in Israel
Vijay Prashad, CounterPunch 4/21/2010
      Are You an Anti-Semite?
     I’m not Israeli. I’m not Palestinian. Nor Jewish, nor Arab, nor Muslim. I’ve never been to Jerusalem, nor Ramallah. I’m not sure if I’ll ever go there. I have no relatives who live there, no family who ever went there, or came from there. I have a friend who lives there, but I only knew him when we were children in Calcutta more than forty years ago. I don’t remember what he looks like.
     It is a fair question: why do you care so much about Israel and the Palestinians? If you care about humanity, why not concentrate on the Great Lakes of Africa, where close to six million people have been killed between 1998 and the present in what is called Africa’s World War? [The six million figure is from the International Rescue Committee. It is contested by the Human Security Project, whose own numbers suggest that the excess mortality in the Congo is less than one million]. Of course I care about this war, which is far greater in scale than what is ongoing in Gaza and the West Bank (the total Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories is less than the maximum estimate for mortality in the Congo, and the lower estimate is twice the population of Gaza). I do not see the Israeli exertions in the Occupied Territories as especially different from the U. S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance.
     My investment in Israel is, however, not simply the same as my interest in other injustices, in other places. There is a particular set of reasons why I am invested in the struggles of the Palestinian against Israeli excesses:
     (1) As an American.
     For several years now I’ve been on the board of the National Priorities Project (nationalpriorities.org). We collect federal data to show how poorly our taxes are spent by the government, with so much more on guns than on anything else....
more.. e-mail

Travel ban imposed on Palestinian leader in Israel
Electronic Intifada: 23 Apr 2010 - This morning, the Israeli Border Police prevented Mr. Ameer Makhoul, the Director of Ittijah - Union of Arab Community-Based Associations inside Israel, from leaving the country. Makhoul, who also serves as the head of the Popular Committee for the Defense of Political Freedoms, received a prohibition order from leaving the country upon his arrival to the Jordan River Crossing.

Israel winning its war on goats
Electronic Intifada: 23 Apr 2010 - GAZA CITY, occupied Gaza Strip (IPS) - Nine-year-old Ismail spends every afternoon herding his family's flock of sheep and goats, a scraggly group of roughly 20 animals. They live in a shanty house district near Tel al-Howa in Gaza City, where growth is sparse to non-existent.

scouring for grazing grounds
In Gaza: 23 Apr 2010 - (IPS) – Nine-year-old Ismail spends every afternoon herding his family’s flock of sheep and goats, a scraggly group of roughly 20 animals. They live in a shanty house district near Tel el Howa in Gaza City, where growth is sparse to non-existent. “I walk all over to find food for the animals,” he says, swishing his stick to move them along. His and other flocks can be found throughout the Strip, walking city streets and scavenging vacant lots where rubbish has accumulated, scrounging for any edibles. On a back lane near Gaza’s Rimal district, Abu Mohammed and two of his sons herd 15 goats and sheep. “We live on the north end of Jalah Street. We walk everywhere to find food for our sheep,” Abu Mohammed says. He watches as his flock strays into a small, broken-walled vacant lot and head for the overflowing garbage bin. There are some tree...


Saturday, April 24, 2010Top of page
Yasher Koah, Judge Goldstone
Larry Derfner, Jerusalem Post 4/22/2010
      What the South African Jewish community did last week was shameful.
     Judge Richard Goldstone, talking last October with a group of liberal North American rabbis, explained why he agreed to head the UN’s investigation of the war in Gaza.
     “I knew,” he said, “there would be strong and negative opposition to my doing it on the part of members of the Jewish community and particularly with the government of Israel and its supporters in Israel and the Diaspora. But I really felt that to live with myself and to live with my own conscience, I couldn’t justify having gotten involved in the investigations in many other countries and because I was Jewish refuse to use the same norms and the same principles in relation to Israel.”
     I don’t think there is a single Israeli or Diaspora Jew in a high position of leadership today who understands what Goldstone was talking about. What he was talking about, plainly and simply, was moral courage.
     It’s not here. It’s not what Israel is about, not what Diaspora Jewry is about, certainly not the leadership, and not the followers, either, who want to stay inside the warmth of the consensus. To be a good, patriotic Zionist Jew today, you have to pour out your wrath on Goldstone. A “small man,” was how President Shimon Peres described him. An “evil” man, a “traitor,” was Alan Dershowitz’s description.
     As far as I’m concerned, neither Peres nor Dershowitz nor any of the legions of other proud, patriotic Zionist Jews who’ve ganged up on Goldstone are worthy of carrying his briefcase.
     He is the absolute best of the Jewish tradition. He stands up for justice, he stands up for the oppressed and he speaks truth to power – no matter who holds the power and no matter what it costs him. This is one of the great Jews of our time....
more.. e-mail

US warms to strike on Iran
Victor Kotsev, Asia Times 4/23/2010
      "With sufficient foreign assistance, Iran could probably develop and test an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] capable of reaching the United States by 2015," claimed a Pentagon report that was declassified on Monday. The almost simultaneous timing of two key recent revelations - this and Israeli accusations that Syria had transferred Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon - has contributed to a fresh escalation of tensions in the Middle East and to speculation that the stage is being set for a military show-down.
     The war of words has become particularly harsh, and threats are now being exchanged openly between the United States and Iran: the first salvo since President Barack Obama’s inauguration, and a troubling development. "We are not taking any options off the table as we pursue the pressure and engagement tracks," the
     Pentagon’s press secretary, Geoff Morrell, said this week. "The president always has at his disposal a full array of options, including use of the military ... It is clearly not our preferred course of action but it has never been, nor is it now, off the table." Days ago it was revealed that the US military was actively preparing for war against Iran. “The Pentagon and US Central Command are updating military plans to strike Iran’s nuclear sites, preparing up-to-date options for the president in the event he decides to take such action," CNN reported on Monday.
     The Iranians, meanwhile, have embarked on a show of force of their own. “Iranian armed forces on Sunday displayed three generations of modern home-made ballistic missiles in military parades marking the country’ Army Day," Fars News reported. Last week, the agency quoted the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, as saying, "As I have already announced, if the US attacks Iran, none of its soldiers [in the region] will go back home alive."
more.. e-mail

Israel, a New Decade
Ran HaCohen, Antiwar.com 4/10/2010
      The deep racism of the Israeli psyche is on the rise. The 1990s, at least in hindsight, marked some liberalization of the public discourse; the first decade of this century crushed it, and now the mildly critical, left-liberal discourse hardly exists in the mainstream. No wonder the liberal left has just 3 seats out of 120 in the Knesset; all the other parties are various shades of right-wing, far right, or fascism (except the small outcast "Arab" parties). The racist mindset can be observed in the most trivial daily situations, like my elderly neighbor, when told I saw someone peeping at my window the other night, instinctively reacting with a single question: "Have you seen whether it was a Jew or an Arab?"
     I turn on the television just before dinner. Prime-time. An Israeli series: "The Pilots’ Wives" ("Meet the Women behind Our Heroes", said the promo), interrupted occasionally by a commercial depicting a soldier missing his mother’s soup ("disclaimer: the actor is not a soldier"). After the series, a short public service broadcast showing a group of young men, each in turn boasting his military service, until they notice one of them – a violent zoom-in – keeps quiet; the message is clear. Then the news, with at least one public relations item pushed by the military: "teen-age girls eager to become fighters", "a remote-control watch-and-shoot system on the Gaza fence", "a unique glimpse into a top-secret air-force base" or the like. Not to mention the real news, be it about the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Iran, or even the billions of terrorists disguised as miserable African refugees allegedly waiting on the Egyptian border to inundate Israel: all these issues, and many more, are predominantly managed and framed by the military.
     The military service has been made a major issue in Israeli public discourse. Not that the army is short of soldiers: on the contrary, the number of recruits requesting "to serve their country" in combat units is at record level. Nevertheless, uniting the nation around the military as the ultimate good is a goal in itself, especially when it implicitly excludes the Israeli-Palestinians, who are not conscripted.....
more.. e-mail

What threat did I pose the Israeli soldiers?
In Gaza: 24 Apr 2010 - The latest in a growing number of non-violent protesters shot by well-armed Israeli soldiers, three unarmed demonstrators –two Palestinians and one international–were injured this afternoon by Israeli soldiers’ firing with live ammunition at a protest east of El Meghazi, central Gaza Strip.  One week prior, Mahmoud Shawa, 19, was shot just below his knee by an Israeli soldier while demonstrating near the Nahal Oz crossing, eastern Gaza.  March 30, four Palestinians were shot by armed Israeli soldiers while participating in non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”.  Three of the four were injured by bullets or bullet shrapnel to their legs, while the fourth was shot in the head. *[photo: Emad Badwan] Bianca Zammit, 28, from Malta was one of three injured by the Israeli soldiers’ shooting today. Zammit, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) colleague was standing roughly 3 metres to my left, both of us roughly 50 metres from...

Three-Day Bil'in Conference ends with a protester badly injured
Palestine Monitor: 24 Apr 2010 - This Friday protest marked the end of the Fifth Bil'in International Conference for Palestinian Popular Resistance. The conference, entitled “Khalas! We are winning!” was held from Wednesday to Friday and saw the participation of more than 300 people, including speakers of all Palestinian political parties, Israeli activists and delegations from all over the world. During yesterday's rally an Arab Israeli protester, Emad Rezqa was injured by a high velocity tear-gas canister fired at his head by Israeli Army. Despite the fact that the rally was entirely peaceful, demonstrators reported that soldiers showed an indiscriminate use of violence, firing and shooting directly at the faces. Dozens suffered from tear-gas inhalation and 5 demonstrators were injured. Dr Mustapha Barghouthi, the General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative and Luisa Morgantini, former Vice-President of the European Parliament took part into the rally. / Demonstrators marching Photo:FLV / A French delegation Photo:FLV / Demonstrators marching towards the...

Earth Day In Israel: Apartheid Showing Through the Greenwash
Palestine Monitor: 24 Apr 2010 - On April 22, as part of the global Earth Day celebrations, homes, offices and public buildings in 14 Israeli cities turned out the lights for one hour in an effort to "increase awareness of the vital need to reduce energy consumption." The Earth Day celebrations included scenes of green fields, wind generators and rainbows projected on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Green Globes Award ceremony recognizing "outstanding contributions to promote the environment" and a concert in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv powered by generators running on vegetable oil as well as volunteers on 48 bikes pedaling away to produce electricity. The irony was not lost on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza who have been living with daily power outages lasting hours on end for nearly three years due to the Israeli siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (...

Earth Day in Israel: Apartheid Showing Through the Greenwash
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - By Stephanie Westbrook On April 22, as part of the global Earth Day celebrations, homes, offices and public buildings in 14 Israeli cities turned out the lights for one hour in an effort to "increase awareness of the vital need to reduce energy consumption." The Earth Day celebrations included scenes of green fields, wind generators and rainbows projected on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Green Globes Award ceremony recognizing "outstanding contributions to promote the environment" and a concert in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv powered by generators running on vegetable oil as well as volunteers on 48 bikes pedaling away to produce electricity. The irony was not lost on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza who have been living with daily power outages lasting hours on end for nearly three years due to the Israeli siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities...more

From Neptune to Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - In excerpts from a speech prepared for the Hetherington Memorial Lecture, Ramzy Baroud argues for a history of the people, by the people and for the people. By Ramzy Baroud Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune. -- Noam Chomsky My name is Ramzy Baroud, and I am from Neptune. In actual fact, I am a Palestinian from Gaza. And I am a Palestinian from other places too, places that no longer exist. Sometimes it's not who you are but where you come from that shapes your identity, your moral convictions, your sense of purpose, your priorities in life, and eventually who you become. We Palestinians are cursed in many ways, but blessed in others. We live in a constant state of physical loss and spatial bewilderment. We know where we belong physically...more

Israel's Open Secret: Nuclear Armed and Dangerous
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman For many years, Israel's open secret is that it's one of eight known nuclear powers, including America and Russia with about 97% of the world's arsenal according to Helen Caldicott in her book "Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer." The others are Britain, France, China, India, Pakistan, and Israel - North Korea a declared but unverified one. In her January 20, 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal article titled, "Obama and the opportunity to eliminate nuclear weapons" Caldicott wrote: "The Cold War is over, but the threat of nuclear war is not. Little progress has been made since 1989 when the Berlin Wall collapsed. In fact, the threat of nuclear annihilation has escalated. In 1972, when 5 nuclear nations....signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, they agreed to rapidly disarm. They have done the opposite," resulting in a greater than ever threat, the Pentagon's new Nuclear Posture Review and US-Russia deal...more

What Anglicans Need is Another Tutu
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - By Stuart Littlewood - London My ears pricked up when I heard the Archbishop of Canterbury was planning a visit to Gaza last February, and Lambeth Palace (his headquarters in London) was "actively engaged in humanitarian relief and advocacy". I asked for more information. Whom would he meet? Would he see the health minister? Would he sit down and talk with elected prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, man of God to man of God, Mr Haniyeh being an imam? I’d like to be a fly on the wall at such a meeting. Would he "do Gaza proud by spending a generous amount of his time with senior members of the Islamic faith"? And would he look up Fr Manuel Mussallam, the redoubtable old priest who was a mainstay of the Christian community thoughout Gaza's darkest hours and tells it straight? His office didn't reply. Looking at his website again now, I...more


Sunday, April 25, 2010Top of page
Sowing hate and reaping death
Rami Elhanan, Occupation Magazine 4/18/2010
      Shalom and good evening.
     My name is Rami Elhanan. Thirteen years ago, on the afternoon of Thursday the fourth of September 1997, I lost my daughter, my Smadar, in a suicide attack on Ben-Yehuda street in Jerusalem. A beautiful sweet joyous 14 year old girl. My Smadar was the granddaughter of the militant for peace, General (Ret.) Matti Peled, one of those who made the breakthrough to Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. And she was murdered because we were not wise enough to preserve her safety in Matti’s way, the only correct and possible way – the way of peace and reconciliation.
     I do not need a Remembrance Day in order to remember Smadari. I remember her all the time, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 60 seconds a minute. Without a pause, without a rest, for 13 long and accursed years now, and time does not heal the wound, and the unbearable lightness of continuing to exist remains a strange and unsolved riddle …
     But Israeli society very much needs Remembrance Days. From year to year, like clockwork, in the week after Passover, it is drawn into the annual ritual: from Holocaust to the Rebirth of the nation, a sea of ceremonies, sirens and songs – an entire people is swept into a whirlpool of addictive sweet sorrow, eyes tearful and shrouded; mutual embraces accompanied by `Occupation songs` and sickle and sword songs [1] against the background of images of lives that were cut short and heart-rending stories … and it is hard to avoid the feeling that this refined concentration of bereavement, fed directly into the vein, is intended to fortify our feeling of victimhood, the justice of our path and our struggle, to remind us of our catastrophes, which God forbid we should forget for a single moment. This is the choice of our lives – to be armed and ready, strong and resolute, lest the sword fall from our grasp and our lives be cut short.[2]
     And when all this great sorrow is dispersed with the smoke of the barbeques, [3] when Israelis return to their daily routines, I am left enveloped in great sorrow. I miss the old good Land of Israel that never existed, and I have feelings of alienation and estrangement that keep increasing with the passage of years, from war to war, from election to election, from corruption to corruption.
more.. e-mail

Photostory: 'Occupied' Pollution
Palestine Monitor 4/22/2010
      There are 121 settlements in the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem. In many of these, violence against the local Palestinian population is common. In a number, however, it is pollution that is a major problem. Waste-water pollution from settlements destroys crops and trees, pollutes ground and drinking water supplies, and damages land and harms wildlife and the communities dependent on it. Palestine Monitor examines 3 cases.
     Elqana - Just north of Route 5, near Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, downhill from the Israeli settlement of Elqana, a pipe pumps foul-smelling domestic waste-water from the settlement into a Palestinian valley.
     The land is owned by farmers from the nearby town of Az Zawiya. The waste water also flows into a river that acts as a water source for the town.
     Uphill, two large tanks denote the water clarification plant whose construction is ongoing. The plant’s construction, a venture by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Company of Economy of the Local Administration, should halt the sewage flow. But there is a twist: the sewage plant is being built illegally, not merely under the international law that is roundly ignored in the West Bank, but under Israeli law. It was constructed on two dunams of expropriated land.
     Sign in Elqana detailing construction works on water clarification plant. Translation: “The local council of Elqana is pleased to announce that the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Company of Economy of the Local Administration operate upgrading and widening of the sewage plant of Elqana. The construction of the sewage plant is done for the benefit of residents.”
     The Land Project of Israeli NGO Yesh Din specialises in serving petitions against constructions in the West Bank that are illegal under Israeli law. In a similar situation over a year ago involving the settlement of Ofra, near Silwad, the project served a petition to the Israeli courts to halt construction of a water treatment plant. The plant was built without permits on illegally expropriated Palestinian land at a cost of 8 or 9 million NIS.
more.. e-mail

End Israel lobbies’ pervasive and damaging influence in US politics
Debbie Menon, Redress 4/23/2010
      Debbie Menon argues that Washington’s support for Israel is tragic, immoral and extremely damaging to Americans given that US “congressional representatives continue to put Israel’s interests before the interests of Americans”.
     In a recent article in the journal Foreign Policy entitled “Petraeus wasn’t the first”, Mark Perry describes succinctly the opposition to US support for Israel, the rationale for this support and how American publishers cover it up.
     The article is extremely valuable reading, recommends Alison Weir, the executive director of the website If Americans Knew. “It corrects misconceptions that so many Americans have on the causation of US support for Israel, including even some who are otherwise well informed on Palestine,” she asserts.
     Mark Perry is correct in all respects. He quotes Joe Hoar, who remind him that it’s all old history. “What’s the news here? Hasn’t this been said before?” and hasn’t it all been done before?
     Indeed, have humans ever learned from history? I think it says something about the nature of our species when you reflect that Albert Einstein once said that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
     Key elements of the US government have always opposed the concept of a Zionist Israel, ever since the state and defence departments advised President Harry Truman not to sign up to the Zionist project, which he nevertheless did but with reservations, qualifications and conditions that were immediately ignored.
     But none of these key elements of governance has influence over the Zionist-controlled US corporate press, entertainment, academic and public (mis)information media (and the corporate and business advertising budgets that drive them) where the roots of American public opinion are planted....
more.. e-mail

What threat did I pose the Israeli soldiers?
In Gaza: 24 Apr 2010 - The latest in a growing number of non-violent protesters shot by well-armed Israeli soldiers, three unarmed demonstrators –two Palestinians and one international–were injured this afternoon by Israeli soldiers’ firing with live ammunition at a protest east of El Meghazi, central Gaza Strip.  One week prior, Mahmoud Shawa, 19, was shot just below his knee by an Israeli soldier while demonstrating near the Nahal Oz crossing, eastern Gaza.  March 30, four Palestinians were shot by armed Israeli soldiers while participating in non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli-imposed “buffer zone”.  Three of the four were injured by bullets or bullet shrapnel to their legs, while the fourth was shot in the head. *[photo: Emad Badwan] Bianca Zammit, 28, from Malta was one of three injured by the Israeli soldiers’ shooting today. Zammit, an International Solidarity Movement (ISM) colleague was standing roughly 3 metres to my left, both of us roughly 50 metres from...

Earth Day In Israel: Apartheid Showing Through the Greenwash
Palestine Monitor: 24 Apr 2010 - On April 22, as part of the global Earth Day celebrations, homes, offices and public buildings in 14 Israeli cities turned out the lights for one hour in an effort to "increase awareness of the vital need to reduce energy consumption." The Earth Day celebrations included scenes of green fields, wind generators and rainbows projected on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Green Globes Award ceremony recognizing "outstanding contributions to promote the environment" and a concert in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv powered by generators running on vegetable oil as well as volunteers on 48 bikes pedaling away to produce electricity. The irony was not lost on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza who have been living with daily power outages lasting hours on end for nearly three years due to the Israeli siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (...

In the Name of Zionism
Palestine Chronicle: 25 Apr 2010 - By Uri Avnery - Israel Israel is a Zionist State. Everybody knows that. There is no (Jewish) politician in Israel who misses an opportunity to repeat this. Last week, when we celebrated the 62nd Independence Day, we were flooded by a deluge of patriotic speeches. Each of the Ciceros, without exception, declared his total commitment to Zionism. By the way, when it comes to the Zionist character of Israel, there is complete agreement on this between the leaders of Israel and their enemies. The Iranian big-mouth declares at every opportunity his conviction that the “Zionist regime” will disappear. Arabs who refuse to utter the name of Israel speak about the “Zionist entity”. Hamas and Hizbullah condemn the “Zionist enemy”. But no one of them – friends and enemies alike – spells out what it means. What makes the state into a “Zionist” one? For me, this is Chinese. I mean,...more

Earth Day in Israel: Apartheid Showing Through the Greenwash
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - By Stephanie Westbrook On April 22, as part of the global Earth Day celebrations, homes, offices and public buildings in 14 Israeli cities turned out the lights for one hour in an effort to "increase awareness of the vital need to reduce energy consumption." The Earth Day celebrations included scenes of green fields, wind generators and rainbows projected on the walls of the Old City in Jerusalem, the Green Globes Award ceremony recognizing "outstanding contributions to promote the environment" and a concert in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv powered by generators running on vegetable oil as well as volunteers on 48 bikes pedaling away to produce electricity. The irony was not lost on the 1.5 million residents of Gaza who have been living with daily power outages lasting hours on end for nearly three years due to the Israeli siege on the coastal territory. The Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities...more

From Neptune to Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 24 Apr 2010 - In excerpts from a speech prepared for the Hetherington Memorial Lecture, Ramzy Baroud argues for a history of the people, by the people and for the people. By Ramzy Baroud Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune. -- Noam Chomsky My name is Ramzy Baroud, and I am from Neptune. In actual fact, I am a Palestinian from Gaza. And I am a Palestinian from other places too, places that no longer exist. Sometimes it's not who you are but where you come from that shapes your identity, your moral convictions, your sense of purpose, your priorities in life, and eventually who you become. We Palestinians are cursed in many ways, but blessed in others. We live in a constant state of physical loss and spatial bewilderment. We know where we belong physically...more


Monday, April 26, 2010Top of page
Israel’s big and small apartheids
Jonathan Cook, Ma’an News Agency 4/26/2010
      The text of a talk delivered to the fifth Bil’in international conference for Palestinian popular resistance, held in the West Bank village of Bil’in on April 21:
     Israel’s apologists are very exercised about the idea that Israel has been singled out for special scrutiny and criticism. I wish to argue, however, that in most discussions of Israel it actually gets off extremely lightly: that many features of the Israeli polity would be considered exceptional or extraordinary in any other democratic state.
     That is not surprising because, as I will argue, Israel is neither a liberal democracy nor even a “Jewish and democratic state”, as its supporters claim. It is an apartheid state, not only in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but also inside Israel proper. Today, in the occupied territories, the apartheid nature of Israeli rule is irrefutable -- if little mentioned by Western politicians or the media. But inside Israel itself, it is largely veiled and hidden. My purpose today is to try to remove the veil a little.
     I say “a little”, because I would need far more than the time allotted to me to do justice to this topic. There are, for example, some 30 laws that explicitly discriminate between Jews and non-Jews -- another way of referring to the fifth of the Israeli population who are Palestinian and supposedly enjoy full citizenship. There are also many other Israeli laws and administrative practices that lead to an outcome of ethnic-based segregation even if they do not make such discrimination explicit.
     So instead of trying to rush through all these aspects of Israeli apartheid, let me concentrate instead on a few revealing features, issues I have reported on recently.
     First, let us examine the nature of Israeli citizenship....
more.. e-mail

Hunger Strike by Palestinian Prisoners Cuts No Ice
Mohammed Omer, Inter Press Service 4/24/2010
      GENEVA, Apr 24, 2010 (IPS) - Raed Abu Hammad, 27, was allegedly kicked to death by Israeli prison wardens on Apr. 16. This while Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been on hunger strike since Apr. 7 to press for better treatment.
     Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs in the United States-backed government in the West Bank, Issa Qaraqi, said at a press conference on Thursday that an Israeli autopsy showed that Hammad had been kicked hard in the lower back.
     Qaraqi based his statement on a report he had received from a Palestinian doctor who was present at the autopsy.
     However, spokesman for the Israel Prisons Service, Yaron Zamir, maintains that results from the autopsy were still awaited. ‘’The claims made in relation to the prisoner dying after having been beaten are unfounded, untrue and misleading,’’ Zamir said in a statement.
     Qaraqi, who spoke with IPS over telephone, said that his ministry would be making a formal complaint in the Israeli courts asking for an immediate, in-depth investigation into the cause of Hammad’s death.
     Apr. 17, the day after Abu Hammad was fatally kicked, is observed in the Palestinian Occupied Territories as ‘The Day of Palestinian Prisoners’.
     The estimated total number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, detention centres is 7,500. Among these are, 330 children under the age of 18 years, 37 female prisoners and 15 members of the democratically elected legislative council and ministries.
     The prisoners are distributed in more than 18 prisons and detention centres across Israel and the West Bank, the biggest are the Negev Desert Prison and Ofer Prison, or what was formerly Incarceration Facility 385, close to the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
more.. e-mail

U.S. Nuclear Option on Iran Linked to Israeli Attack Threat
Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service 4/23/2010
      WASHINGTON, Apr 23, 2010 (IPS) - The Barack Obama administration’s declaration in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) that it is reserving the right to use nuclear weapons against Iran represents a new element in a strategy of persuading Tehran that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites is a serious possibility if Iran does not bow to the demand that it cease uranium enrichment.
     Although administration officials have carefully refrained from drawing any direct connection between the new nuclear option and the Israeli threat, the NPR broadens the range of contingencies in which nuclear weapons might play a role so as to include an Iranian military response to an Israeli attack.
     A war involving Iran that begins with an Israeli attack is the only plausible scenario that would fit the category of contingencies in the document.
     The NPR describes the role of U.S. nuclear weapons in those contingencies as a "deterrent". A strategy of exploiting the Israeli threat to attack Iran would seek to deter an Iranian response to such an attack and thus make it more plausible.
     The new nuclear option on Iran has emerged after a series of public statements over the past year by senior officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden, suggesting the administration would tolerate an Israeli option.
     Both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations had said the United States "reserves the right" to respond with nuclear weapons to the use of chemical and biological weapons in an attack on U.S. forces or its "friends" or "allies".
     A contingency plan called CONPLAN 8022-02, adopted in November 2003, aimed at destroying an adversary’s nuclear weapons or nuclear facilities, included the option of using earth-penetrating nuclear weapons to destroy deeply buried facilities.
more.. e-mail

Israeli forces shoot two Palestinians, international activist in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 26 Apr 2010 - At a nonviolent demonstration on 24 April attended by 150 persons against the forceful cessation of farming within what Israel defines as a "buffer zone," two Palestinian demonstrators and one international activist were shot without warning.

Book review: Edward Said's commitment in conversation
Electronic Intifada: 26 Apr 2010 - The new book The Pen and the Sword -- a collection of five interviews with Said conducted between 1987 and 1994 by David Barsamian, the founder of Alternative Radio -- serves partly as a memoriam for Said himself and for the generation he represented. Robin Yassin-Kassab reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Gaza's calm determination
Electronic Intifada: 26 Apr 2010 - To preserve my sense of purpose, and keep the Palestine struggle from becoming a lifeless abstraction, I need periodically to recharge my moral batteries by reconnecting with the actual people living under occupation and by witnessing firsthand the unfolding tragedy. From each trip I invariably carry away a handful of stark images that I fix in my mind's eye to dispel the occasional hesitations about staying the course. When the memories begin to fade I know it is time to return. Norman Finkelstein writes in this excerpt from his new book, This time we went too far

BNC Calls On Trade Unions To Urgently Intervene With Their Government To Stop Israel From Joining The OECD
Palestine Monitor: 26 Apr 2010 - Occupied Palestine, 22 April 2010 – In a few days Trade Unions will commemorate the achievements of the labor movement. The origins of the International Worker's Day date back to the 1886 Chicago protests where police killed several workers marching to demand their rights. Every week, Palestinian human rights defenders march in their villages protesting Israel's encroachment of their land. The Israeli army also greets them with live ammunition, indiscriminately killing many. Despite these crimes, Israel continues to be rewarded by the international community, this time with the prospects of membership in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) calls on Trade Unions to use the significance of May Day to intervene with their governments to block Israel's membership to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) until it complies with international law and OECD standards. It is expected...

Al-Walaja: Defending Palestinian Land From Bulldozers
Palestine Monitor: 26 Apr 2010 - A sit-in protest was organised in the West Bank village of Al-Walaja (south of Bethlehem) on Sunday against the ongoing construction of the Wall, which was resumed last Thursday. Approximately 200 Palestinian, Israel and international demonstrators tried to block bulldozers uprooting an olive grove, sitting in the place where the bulldozers staged. Israeli soldiers attacked demonstrators: among them, Dr Mustafa Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative who declared that “despite the attempt of Israeli authorities to weaken and interrupt the protest, the non-violent struggle will continue weekly rallies to stop the construction of the Apartheid Wall”. Here what's happened. / Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo: Palestine Monitor Photo:...

Syria's Scuds, Israel's Security and One Big Smokescreen
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Apr 2010 - By Ali Jawad In the self-sensationalising world of modern media, some truths are better witnessed than told. Over the past fortnight, major media outlets have converged on Syria’s alleged delivery of scud missiles to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah. By examining how the story first came to limelight, as well as the manner in which media sources have uncritically covered the story, one can begin to notice the vastly degenerated state of today’s media and its deeply polarising effects. On 11th April, Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai Al-Aam broke the ‘scud missiles’ story. Relying solely on American sources, the author Husain Abdul-Husain claimed that both western and Israeli intelligence had uncovered the training of Hezbollah fighters in Syria in the use of scud and surface-to-air missiles. This, we are told, occurred sometime during last summer. Subsequent to the alleged discovery, the article adds, Israel threatened Syria through official Turkish and Qatari channels...more

Israel's Big and Small Apartheids: Meaning of a Jewish State
Palestine Chronicle: 26 Apr 2010 - By Jonathan Cook Below is the text of a talk delivered to the fifth Bilin international conference for Palestinian popular resistance, held in the West Bank village of Bilin on April 21. Israel’s apologists are very exercised about the idea that Israel has been singled out for special scrutiny and criticism. I wish to argue, however, that in most discussions of Israel it actually gets off extremely lightly: that many features of the Israeli polity would be considered exceptional or extraordinary in any other democratic state. That is not surprising because, as I will argue, Israel is neither a liberal democracy nor even a “Jewish and democratic state”, as its supporters claim. It is an apartheid state, not only in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but also inside Israel proper. Today, in the occupied territories, the apartheid nature of Israeli rule is irrefutable -- if little...more


Tuesday, April 27, 2010Top of page
Jerusalem colonization, Western apathy
Ahmed Yousef, Ma’an News Agency 4/28/2010
      The Israelis are instigating a Jewish holy war staged in Jerusalem. They are playing a superb game of propaganda painting the Palestinians as the real fundamentalists, despite that the Knesset has more active right-wing political parties than any state in the civilized world. It’s a strategy that has caught the West by surprise as they continue to react with template disappointment.
     Successive governments have supported colonization for decades; yet Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent moves have all but dispelled the façade of a secular rationale. Unfettered, expedited settlement construction in Jerusalem, with images of soldiers traipsing through Islam’s third holiest site in army fatigues, mark a new low for the Israelis, yet equally indicate a new level of brazen physical and psychological aggression that will result in a new intifada.
     Netanyahu and the extreme right feel it is time to goad Palestinian Christians and Muslims into reacting with force (which has happened with minor riots in the past few weeks). Much of the Arab and Islamic world are limited to flaccid objections, following in the footsteps of the United States and the European Union who similarly are not interested in punitive measures. The "Bibi Plan," therefore, is for Palestinians to rebel, face overwhelming military might, and lose Jerusalem once and for all under the premise of security concerns.
     Yet this time, the violence will take on a distinctly religious theme. Although Jewish notions of holy war have been in play since the 1960s, albeit ill-covered by the media, Netanyahu has made official, and partially public, the premise that Jerusalem is proprietary to Judaism; and the use of this territory by gentiles is a privilege and not a right. Extremist religious and nationalist groups that play roles as coalition partners are vocal about this view, but rarely has a ruling party been as emboldened in acting upon this view as the current Likud.
more.. e-mail

Egyptians View Construction of Gaza Wall As Evidence of Government’s 'Hypocrisy'
Joseph Mayton, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 4/27/2010
      April 2010
     ACCORDING to eyewitnesses reports cited by local Egyptian newspapers, the underground steel barrier between the Egyptian and Gazan border was near completion in early February. While the Egyptian government never either confirmed or denied the wall’s construction, pictures and testimonies from the area have said the cement is, literally, pouring into the ground.
     For many in this North African nation—the Arab world’s most populous—the move to erect a wall in a U.S. and Israeli-backed attempt to end the smuggling of goods into the besieged Palestinian enclave has left a sour taste in the mouth. Egyptians, especially activists, have noted quite openly on Twitter and other online networks that the wall represents the Egyptian government’s “hypocrisy.”
     “We have always been told that Palestinians are our brothers and sisters,” said opposition activist Omar Fagr, “but when we go out to support them, the government here [in Egypt] arrests us and imprisons us. How can they say one thing and then go do another?”
     Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip after ousting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ security services following a bloody, U.S.-backed coup attempt in June 2007, Israel and Egypt have imposed an economic blockade on the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza. The siege has forced Gazans to find other avenues for obtaining essential goods, such as cooking oil, petrol, butter and other foodstuffs. Smuggling tunnels that run beneath the Sinai desert landscape have become one of the few means of getting supplies to Palestinians, but Tel Aviv and Cairo want this to end, insisting that the tunnels are used to smuggle weapons.
     Palestinians involved in smuggling, however, have told the Washington Report that the 100-foot-deep wall will not stop the movement of goods into Gaza.
     “We are not going to be stopped by a wall,” said one smuggler, who asked not to be named. “Since when has that done anything—because we are talking about the lives of our families and friends here.”
more.. e-mail

Living Conditions in the Jordan Valley
Dr. Hisham Awartani, This Week in Palestine 4/5/2010
      The Palestinian population of Al-Aghwar region is estimated at around 40,000 people, living mainly in Jericho (20,000 residents), 3 refugee camps, and 15 villages. The population has not witnessed any increase during the past three decades despite the fact that the rate of natural growth in this community is one of the highest in Palestine. Evidently, the rate of emigration to other West Bank towns (and to external destinations) has proceeded at such high rates that it totally offsets the increase in natural growth.
     Underlying the dynamics of population shifts is a mix of profound socio-economic factors. Living conditions among the Palestinians who dwell in Al-Aghwar region are probably the worst in Palestine. The poverty levels are well in excess of 60 percent, mainly due to severe restrictions imposed on access to land and water resources. Furthermore, this region is particularly vulnerable to the severe losses caused by occasional natural disasters, such as floods, frost, and hail storms.
     The economic demise of Al-Aghwar region has worsened considerably in the wake of the severe restrictions imposed on movement to and from other parts of the country since the year 2000. The tourism sector has been almost totally destroyed, which has entailed devastating consequences on many firms, especially hotels, restaurants, and transportation firms.
     In addition to sharply declining income levels, the living conditions in Al-Aghwar region have deteriorated further as a consequence of severe setbacks in the quality of vital services available to local inhabitants. Housing conditions are among the worst in the Middle East, whether on account of crowdedness or hygiene. This is a direct result of the very strict restrictions imposed on construction activities, especially outside the boundaries of the existing Palestinian towns. Despite the abundance of water resources in the region, the amount and quality of water available for drinking and house use are unsatisfactory.
more.. e-mail

US hegemony, not "the lobby," behind complicity with Israel
Electronic Intifada: 27 Apr 2010 - Many of Israel's critics blame an "Israel lobby" for the near-total complicity of the US in Israeli annexation, colonization and cleansing programs in the occupied West Bank. However, the lobby thesis does little to explain US foreign policy in the Middle East. Stephen Maher comments for The Electronic Intifada.

Palestinians resist threat of eviction in Jaffa
Electronic Intifada: 27 Apr 2010 - Amidst the crater-filled roads, crumbling art deco houses, Jewish-Israeli filled hummus joints and flashing blue lights of passing cop cars, Palestinian citizens of Israel are struggling to grasp onto the last neighborhood of Jaffa to remain a Palestinian majority -- Ajami. Carmelle Wolfson reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Israel's Big And Small Apartheid
Palestine Monitor: 27 Apr 2010 - Israel's apologists are very exercised about the idea that Israel has been singled out for special scrutiny and criticism. I wish to argue, however, that in most discussions of Israel it actually gets off extremely lightly: that many features of the Israeli polity would be considered exceptional or extraordinary in any other democratic state. That is not surprising because, as I will argue, Israel is neither a liberal democracy nor even a “Jewish and democratic state”, as its supporters claim. It is an apartheid state, not only in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, but also inside Israel proper. Today, in the occupied territories, the apartheid nature of Israeli rule is irrefutable — if little mentioned by Western politicians or the media. But inside Israel itself, it is largely veiled and hidden. My purpose today is to try to remove the veil a little. I say “a...

Tony Blair, Very Close to Being Indicted for War Crimes
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Apr 2010 - By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky While on a speaking engagement in Malaysia organized by "Success Resources Company", former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was the object of an articulate protest movement demanding his indictment for war crimes. This was no ordinary protest. Tony Blair has been accused of war crimes in a legal initiative led by the country's former Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. A War Crimes Tribunal as well as a War Crimes Commission were set up integrated by renowned jurists. Documentary evidence of war crimes committed by Blair and Bush has been carefully compiled and collected since 2006. The prosecution is led by several of Malaysia's most prominent lawyers. Dr Mahathir in a public statement "expressed disgust at the companies that had sponsored Blair's visit here. 'How can you sponsor and get advice from a liar? Do you also intend to lie in carrying out your business?' he asked." (...more

Imprisoning Palestinian Women
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman A July 2008 Fact Sheet Series titled, "Behind the Bars: Palestinian Women in Israeli Prisons" was jointly prepared by the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Palestinian Counseling Center (PCC), and Mandela Institute. Along with background information, it covered Israel's obligations under international law, prison conditions where they're held, medical neglect, and their educational rights restricted or denied. Relevant International Laws Protecting Prisoners and Civilians in Times of Conflict, Including Women The 1949 Third Geneva Convention applies to prisoners of war, replacing the 1929 Prisoners of War Convention. It broadened the categories of persons entitled to prisoner of war status and precisely defined the conditions and places of their captivity - especially with regard to allowed labor, financial resources, required treatment, and rules of judicial proceedings. It specifically prohibited acts of: -- "Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel...more

Born in Deception
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Apr 2010 - By William A. Cook As Israel attempts today to gloss over the reality of its birth 62 years ago with a sweeping public relations campaign extolling the miraculous “resurrection” of ancient Zion in contemporary times, a new nation seeking only peace with its neighbors, it might be enlightening and valuable to examine the truth. On May 14, 1948 President Harry S. Truman received a letter from the Jewish Agency for Palestine announcing the impending proclamation of the independent republic of Israel (Harry S. Truman Library, document filed August 22, 1949). That date marks not only the beginning of the State of Israel but, sub missa voce, the assumption by the State of Israel of the calculated, systematic and determined ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population of the land of Palestine that had been the business of “The Consultancy” and its agents before May 14, as identified by Dr. Ilan Pappe...more


Wednesday, April 28, 2010Top of page
When will time run out for a two-state solution?
Yousef Munayyer, The Guardian, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/28/2010
      Among those involved in the Middle East peace process industry there is much talk about "time running out" for a two-state solution.
     Recently, the same sentiments were echoed by the US state department, reflecting a shift in the way the Obama administration is publicly talking about the conflict.
     On more than one occasion, the state department and other Obama administration figures have said that "the status quo is unsustainable". Notice again the element of time.
     Time has been running out for a two-state solution since the beginning of Israel’s colonial enterprise in occupied Palestinian territory in 1967. Yet despite this reality, analyses of the situation continue to repeat this now-meaningless cliche year after year, decade after decade. It seems that, to many, time in the Middle East can be magically be suspended. Gravity, in this war-torn region, ceases to affect the inverted hourglass.
     The idea that time is running out presupposes some actual threshold beyond which time will actually have run out – a midnight hour when the Cinderella-style fantasy of a two-state solution wakes up to the embarrassing reality of facts on the ground.
     However, we never hear analysts specify where the threshold lies – at what point Israeli actions of settlement construction and expansion are considered to have finally tipped it over the edge. Without this, the two-state solution becomes the consummate zombie, very much alive in the policy discussion despite being long dead in reality.
     The reluctance to draw a line is founded in fears that the line may have already been crossed..... -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

A Middle East Peace That Could Happen (But Won’t)
Noam Chomsky, TomDispatch, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/28/2010
      The following is an excerpt adapted — with a new beginning by the author — from Noam Chomsky’s latest work, Hopes and Prospects, which can be pre-ordered today.
     In Washington-Speak, “Palestinian State” Means “Fried Chicken”
     The fact that the Israel-Palestine conflict grinds on without resolution might appear to be rather strange. For many of the world’s conflicts, it is difficult even to conjure up a feasible settlement. In this case, it is not only possible, but there is near universal agreement on its basic contours: a two-state settlement along the internationally recognized (pre-June 1967) borders — with “minor and mutual modifications,” to adopt official U.S. terminology before Washington departed from the international community in the mid-1970s.
     The basic principles have been accepted by virtually the entire world, including the Arab states (who go on to call for full normalization of relations), the Organization of Islamic States (including Iran), and relevant non-state actors (including Hamas). A settlement along these lines was first proposed at the U.N. Security Council in January 1976 by the major Arab states. Israel refused to attend the session. The U.S. vetoed the resolution, and did so again in 1980. The record at the General Assembly since is similar.
     There was one important and revealing break in U.S.-Israeli rejectionism. After the failed Camp David agreements in 2000, President Clinton recognized that the terms he and Israel had proposed were unacceptable to any Palestinians. That December, he proposed his “parameters”: imprecise, but more forthcoming. He then stated that both sides had accepted the parameters, while expressing reservations. -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

A question for Aaron Miller
Stephen M. Walt, Stephen M. Walt 4/28/2010
      If you’re feeling cheerful these days and would like to be brought down to earth, go read about the Greek financial crisis. Or you could read Aaron David Miller’s essay in the current FP. It is a disheartening read on several levels: Miller is in effect saying that the peace process is dead, yet his analysis also unintentionally illustrates the myopia that has doomed U.S. efforts for twenty years or more.
     Miller is by all accounts a decent and fair-minded individual and a dedicated public servant. I’ve had a few interchanges with him over the past few years and have found him to be both thoughtful and genuinely on the side of peace. But while I share his pessimism about the future, his account of our current situation is rife with blind spots and contradictions. And it is strangely silent on the most telling question of all: What will we do when "two states for two peoples" is no longer possible and everybody is forced to admit it?
     Miller’s main message is that the United States simply lacks the capacity to advance the peace process at present. Give up the "peace process religion" he suggests, it just ain’t gonna happen. He offers a familiar laundry list of obstacles (divisions among the Palestinians, the dysfunctional nature of Israeli politics, the absence of strong leaders, other regional issues looming larger, the United States is now chastened by its difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.). But none of these elements explain why the United States cannot exercise the enormous potential leverage that it has over the relevant parties.
     Miller admits that "domestic politics" (i.e., the Israel lobby) constrains what the U.S. government can do on these issues, but he insists that the lobby "does not have a veto over U.S. foreign policy." Yet in the very next paragraph, he writes "we’ve lost the capacity to be independent of Israel, to be honest with it when it does things we don’t like, to impose accountability, and to adopt positions in a negotiation that it might depart from Israel’s." Gee, how come? Sounds a lot like a veto to me. And if you read the fawning speech that National Secuity Advisor James Jones gave at WINEP last week, it’s clear that Obama & Co. believe that it is still politic to appease the lobby whenever they can.
more.. e-mail

UC Berkeley set to vote on historic divestment bill
Electronic Intifada: 28 Apr 2010 - On Wednesday 28 April, the UC Berkeley Student Senate will make a final attempt to pass a bill calling for divestment of university funds from companies that profit from Israel's war crimes and occupation of Palestine.

Israel finds allies in Europe's Christian fundamentalists
Electronic Intifada: 28 Apr 2010 - Flip through any issue of a major newspaper from the past decade and it is a safe bet you will be confronted with a warning about the dangers of religious extremism. So how could the mainstream media have failed to notice the growing influence of fundamentalists on the European Union's relations with one of its nearest neighbors: Israel? David Cronin analyzes for The Electronic Intifada.

Palestinian prisoners hunger strike for better treatment
Electronic Intifada: 28 Apr 2010 - GENEVA (IPS) - Raed Abu Hammad, 27, was allegedly kicked to death by Israeli prison wardens on 16 April. This while Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been on hunger strike since 7 April to press for better treatment.

humanity: Ahmed Deeb is killed
In Gaza: 28 Apr 2010 - *[photo: Max Ajl] Ahmed Deeb before he bled to death from the Israeli-fired explosive bullet which severed his femoral artery. 4:57 pm April 28 An SMS informs me that the young man from Sheik Radwan who was shot by an Israeli soldier today is dead. A visit to Shifa hospital confirms it. Ahmed Deeb , 21, was among protesters closest to the border fence at the former Nahal Oz crossing, east of Gaza City, when he was targeted in the leg. The ‘dum dum’ bullet hit his femural artery, exploding inside and severing it, causing massive bleeding, said Dr. Abdullah el Attar at Shifa hospital. Life is short, the saying goes. But in Palestine that expression is literal, and everyone knows it. The demonstraters, proud and fearless, delight in being on Palestinian land rendered off-limits by Israeli authorities, going as close as possible to the fence, dressing the fence with the...

Screenshot Of The Separation Wall
Palestine Monitor: 28 Apr 2010 - Some say you can't decorate it, others see it as a form of political protest. A fact is that the Separation Wall, with a total length of some 760 km, offers an ideal outlet for activists, street artists, tourists, and locals to express themselves. The British guerrilla graffiti artist Banksy used the grey and concrete wall built by Israel through the West Bank as a canvas to give free reign to his thoughts. Palestine Monitor's photojournalist FLV explored the wall in two sites, Qalandiya (Ramallah) and Bethlehem. His images show how graffiti can be a tool of expression, somewhere between art and political engagement. The anonymous Banksy once told a reporter from the English newspaper The Guardian, that the wall is illegal under international law and essentially turns Palestine into the world's largest open prison. And with some sense of humor he added: “It also makes it the ultimate activity...

Gaza: Protesting Under Fire In The Buffer Zone
Palestine Monitor: 28 Apr 2010 - A Palestinian youth, Ahmad Sliman Salem Dib, aged 19, died in the last hour at Shifaa Hospital, Gaza City. Earlier this morning, Dib was injured by Israeli fire, while attending a demonstration near the border fence with Israel, east of Gaza City, to protest the imposition of “no-go” zones by Israeli armed forces. Video from B'Tselem: In the video, filmed by Muhammad Sabah, B'Tselem's Gaza field researched, a group of Palestinians and Internationals is seen walking from the al-Shaj'iya neighborhood, east of Gaza, towards the Israeli border fence. The youths reach a distance of a few dozen meters from the border, facing an Israeli military post. A soldier is seen near the post, observing events. None of the protesters are armed. The video shows a group of youths, some of them are throwing stones at the military post. There is a sound of one shot. The injured youth is seen...

The Price of Peace
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Apr 2010 - By George S. Hishmeh – Washington Why has the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, accepted an invitation to come to Washington shortly to discuss ways to overcome the hurdle placed by Israel before Palestinian-Israeli negotiations can resume? The impression here is that the U.S. and Palestinian positions are not far apart on the steps that ought to be adopted by the hawkish government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before serious peace negotiations can begin. It is mind boggling, certainly for the Palestinians, to believe that if Israel is really sincere about its desire for a final settlement then why does it continue to come up with obstacles like starting new housing projects in Arab-owned areas of Jerusalem or insists that a sovereign Palestinian state should be demilitarized and accept an Israeli military base alongside the River Jordan which separates Palestine from Jordan with which Israel has a peace treaty? A...more

Fomenting Armageddon: Jerusalem's Colonization and Western Apathy
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Apr 2010 - By Dr. Ahmad Yousef The Israelis are instigating a Jewish holy war staged in Jerusalem; and they are playing a superb game of propaganda painting the Palestinians as the “real” fundamentalists, despite the fact that the Knesset has more active right-wing political parties than any state in the civilized world. It’s a strategy that has caught the West by surprise as they continue to react with template disappointment. Successive governments have supported colonization for decades; yet Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu’s recent moves have all but dispelled the façade of a secular rationale. Unfettered, expedited settlement construction in Jerusalem, with images of soldiers traipsing through Islam’s third holiest site in army fatigues, mark a new low for the Israelis; yet equally indicate a new level of brazen physical and psychological aggression that will result in a new intifada. Netanyahu and the extreme right feel it is time to goad Palestinian Christians and...more


Thursday, April 29, 2010Top of page
National Public Radio’s (NPR) Pro-Israeli Bias
Stephen Lendman, Dissident Voice 4/29/2010
      Since established in 1970, NPR ignored its public trust in favor of privilege, corporatism, militarism, imperial wars, and Israel’s vilest crimes, including collective punishment, illegal occupation, targeted killings, land theft, dispossessions, home demolitions, crop destruction, mass incarcerations, torture, violence, and the 2008 – 09 Gaza war inflicting mass deaths, permanent injuries, vast devastation, and human misery against defenseless civilians, imprisoned under siege since June 2007, and afflicted by a dire humanitarian crisis as a result — exacerbated by conflict and intermittent attacks, issues NPR ignores or understates.
     It’s notorious for its biased, shoddy reporting, pseudo-journalism, creeping commercialism, distracting non-news, and deceiving listeners it’s public, non-profit, and impartial. Savvy media consumers know better and tune them out for delivering the same slanted coverage found on major networks and in broadsheets like the New York Times, Washington Post, and others — grossly favoring power, and when it comes to Israel it’s interests matter. Palestinian ones don’t, so news is carefully filtered to distort facts, and report lies that when repeated enough become truths.
     In its May/June 2004 issue, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) asked “How Public Is Public Radio?” in examining its guest list choices — on all issues (including Israel), mostly government officials, corporate think tank representatives, professionals representing their interests, and other elite sources, the public comprising a tiny 7%.
     “For a public radio service intended to provide an independent alternative to corporate-owned and commercially-driven mainstream media,” it said, “NPR is surprisingly reliant on mainstream” sources, the public nearly entirely shut out, and when included they’re largely nameless “people in the street,” quoted in one-sentence sound bites with no impact.
     In December 2001, FAIR’s Seth Ackerman discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “Illusion of Balance” along with a companion November/December 2001 “Study of NPR’s Coverage of Deaths in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
more.. e-mail

Fair Trade and the Palestinian Context
Shadi Mahmoud, This Week in Palestine 4/29/2010
      Although Palestine is the most active country in fair trade in the whole Arab region and Middle East, as demonstrated through its prominent role in the First Arab Fair Trade Forum held by the Palestinian Fair Trade Network (PFTN)* in Amman in December 2009, the term “fair trade” is still unfamiliar to many Palestinians. According to the World Fair Trade Organization (the WFTO), fair trade is “a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It also contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the South.”
     Given that we Palestinians have been suffering from brutal occupation for almost 62 years, the concept of fair trade comes naturally to Palestinians, by instinct; it was neither a foreign concept learned abroad nor was it imported or imposed from the outside. The fair trade movement in Palestine started as a spontaneous relief intervention during the first Intifada (1987-1993), at a time when Israeli-imposed curfews, mass arrests, and widespread unemployment caused extreme economic hardship for many Palestinians. During that period, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) started to support and spread the concept of household economies and rural productive cooperatives. PARC began a “Home Garden” programme that distributed seedlings, seeds, and sheep to thousands of poor and marginalised rural families who were living under the Israeli-imposed siege and curfew. Then it started to assist those co-operatives in selling their produce in Palestinian cities.
     During that time, fair trade in Palestine was relief work. Today, however, fair trade has grown tremendously to become an important means for achieving sustainable development. It has become a culture that helps the poor avoid humanitarian aid and earn a living in dignity.
     In 1993, PARC established a separate fair trade department in order to better organise the Palestinian fair trade movement and to expand the movement’s reach into international fair trade markets for the benefit of thousands of disadvantaged small-scale farmers and women in rural areas of Palestine....
more.. e-mail

Israel’s tyranny of the majority is dangerous
Gideon Levy, Haaretz, Israeli Occupation Archive 4/29/2010
      The only democracy in the Middle East is perhaps unique, but it’s doubtful if it’s the real thing. Results of a poll published in Haaretz yesterday reflect what has been known for a long time: a combination of ignorance, a basic lack of understanding and a fascist mood. An ill and dangerous wind is blowing toward a government that is threatened with collapse.
     According to the poll, which was conducted by the Tami Steinmetz Center for Peace Research at Tel Aviv University, there is a clear, solid anti-democratic majority. It’s a majority that wants to punish people who expose wrongdoing by the military, and it’s not willing to allow human rights groups to operate freely. It’s a majority in favor of punishing those who call for a boycott on Israel, and it wants heavy sanctions against journalists who reveal information about immoral acts committed by the Israel Defense Forces.
     Punishing and punishing, and delighting in the silencing of the critics – that’s what the people want. That’s their opinion. Of all the real and manufactured dangers lurking against Israel, this is the greatest, most real and most immediate.
     Take accountant Haim Yoavi-Rabinovich in the Anat Kamm case. He called for the arrest and trial of Haaretz’s publisher, Amos Schocken, for blackmail and treason, no less. “Kamm is not a spy, she’s a traitor,” Rabinovich wrote, calling for Kamm to be punished accordingly, too. It can be assumed that in the view of people like him, an execution in a public square would not be an excessive punishment.
     Rabinovich is not alone. His ideas are all over the Internet and have attracted plenty of support. But he’s not the problem. The likes of him exist in every proper, civilized society. The problem is that in the Israel of 2010 almost no system remains to halt this dark and ignorant Rabinovichism and defend freedom of expression, which 98 percent of the respondents in the survey, believe it or not, said is important to them. -- See also: Source
more.. e-mail

Caterpillar equipment used in extrajudicial killing near Hebron
Electronic Intifada: 29 Apr 2010 - On Monday 26 April 2010, Israeli occupation forces killed a Palestinian man, Ali Ismael Ali Swaiti, 45, in Beit Awwa in the West Bank district of Hebron, after demolishing a house while he was inside. Israeli occupation forces claim that Ali Swaiti had been wanted for several years.

Volvo equipment: Israel's weapons to destroy al-Walaja homes
Electronic Intifada: 29 Apr 2010 - On 16 April, approximately 100 Palestinian villagers and internationals walked towards the construction site of Israel's wall in the occupied West Bank village of al-Walaja, four kilometers northwest of Bethlehem. Adri Nieuwhof reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Villages contaminated by settlement sewage
Electronic Intifada: 29 Apr 2010 - BEIT UMMAR, occupied West Bank (IPS) - Residents of this Palestinian village refuse to buy the idea that the flood of raw sewage from the adjacent Israeli settlement of Kfar Etzion, that destroyed vineyards and contaminated their drinking water, was an accident.

The South Reduced: How News Promotes Mistaken View of the World
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Apr 2010 - By Ramzy Baroud I am not good at flying kites. But during a recent visit to the Olympic Village of Beijing, I felt compelled to do so. Despite the cold and late hour, there were many kite runners around me. A salesman insisted that I try my hand before committing to any purchase, and I did. Once I finalized the purchase of ten small kites, I shared the one I was already flying one with a most adorable boy. He thanked me, then asked me not to play with his hair. Earlier, at Tiananmen Square, I had watched throngs of people giddily roam the vast expanse, snapping endless photos in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace, in the Imperial City and around every monument in the Square. A formation of about 10 soldiers was suddenly in tatters when I asked if I could take a photo with them. Their...more


Friday, April 30, 2010Top of page
The Future of Palestine: Righteous Jews vs. the New Afrikaners
Professor John J. Mearsheimer, Jerusalem Fund for Education and Community Development 4/29/2010
      It is a great honor to be here at the Palestine Center to give the Sharabi Memorial Lecture. I would like to thank Yousef Munnayer, the executive director of the Jerusalem Fund, for inviting me, and all of you for coming out to hear me speak this afternoon.
     My topic is the future of Palestine, and by that I mean the future of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, or what was long ago called Mandatory Palestine. As you all know, that land is now broken into two parts: Israel proper or what is sometime called “Green Line” Israel and the Occupied Territories, which include the West Bank and Gaza. In essence, my talk is about the future relationship between Israel and the Occupied Territories.
     Of course, I am not just talking about the fate of those lands; I am also talking about the future of the people who live there. I am talking about the future of the Jews and the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens, as well as the Palestinians who live in the Occupied Territories.
     The story I will tell is straightforward. Contrary to the wishes of the Obama administration and most Americans – to include many American Jews – Israel is not going to allow the Palestinians to have a viable state of their own in Gaza and the West Bank. Regrettably, the two-state solution is now a fantasy. Instead, those territories will be incorporated into a “Greater Israel,” which will be an apartheid state bearing a marked resemblance to white-ruled South Africa. Nevertheless, a Jewish apartheid state is not politically viable over the long term. In the end, it will become a democratic bi-national state, whose politics will be dominated by its Palestinian citizens. In other words, it will cease being a Jewish state, which will mean the end of the Zionist dream.
     Let me explain how I reached these conclusions.
     Given present circumstances there are four possible futures for Palestine....
more.. e-mail

Israeli tourism maps annex Palestinian lands
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 4/30/2010
      Special US envoy George Mitchell has visited the area, armed with a special letter from President Barack Obama to the Palestinian president reiterating what seems to have been a US-Israel understanding that the proximity talks will take place soon.
     The Palestinian side is keen this time not to waste time on talking for the sake of talking, or based on the idea of incremental negotiations. Palestinians are determined to tackle the issue of borders first and walk back from that to how to implement the establishment of the Palestinian state. In meantime the Israeli tourism ministry (in its most recent maps) has unilaterally annexed Palestine to Israel and has omitted the existence of many Palestinian communities. While the West Bank is not marked nor mentioned as the West Bank, it is listed as Yehuda and Samaria. The Gaza strip, however, is demarcated with the words “Azza (Gaza) strip.”
     Until now Israel, which has been preventing the realization of a Palestinian state, has given attention to symbolic issues. Why, Israeli propagandists asked, do Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel in the various images, maps and publications that they espouse? Why is their no demarcation showing the green line that separates the West Bank from Gaza? Why do maps of the areas west of the Jordan River never mention Israeli towns, such as Tel Aviv, while highlighting the nearby Yaffa? Why even when the West Bank is marked on the maps, the word Israel is not printed on the Israeli territory?
     Palestinians have often responded by asking what the borders of Israel are. Do they include or exclude Jerusalem? Do the Israelis in fact accept Palestinian statehood at the same time that they are asking Palestinians for recognition of Israel? Yet despite the rhetoric, Palestinians quietly made the shift and followed the advice of their international friends to make changes on maps and especially in textbooks.
more.. e-mail

Americans remaining ill-informed is inexcusable
Paul J. Balles, Redress 4/30/2010
      Paul J. Balles comments on the ironic misfortune that, despite having all the technology to be informed, Americans remain generally ignorant bystanders amid an increasingly antagonistic Congress and a biased, sloppy and uninformative media.
     Lately, partisan politics in America has been running amok. The two-party system seems more antagonistic than usual. The Republicans and Democrats have never been soul mates, but they’re not usually this contentious.
     My father, a staunch conservative and I, a rebellious liberal, discussed and debated the issues that defined American politics until we both knew where we would stand firm and where we could compromise.
     As a follower of congressional efforts to legislate and avoid legislating when one party wants to scuttle a bill, I have never seen so much total failure to compromise as witnessed in the current Congress.
     In family arguments, we never experienced such absolute rejection of the opponents’ position that the US Senate in particular has experienced recently. They seem unable to resolve any of their conflicts.
     Judging from the attention given to the congressional melees by the media, one would think that the public cares about what their representatives are up to.
     Not so, says columnist Joe Bageant. "As I see it, there is no ’will of the people’ mandate. Hell, the people want more cable channels, fried chicken buckets and someone to tell them there really is a free lunch."
     All one needs to do is listen to a few of the comments made by some of the more vocal congress people to understand why the general public use their remotes to change channels.
more.. e-mail

Book review: a different sort of journey in "Touch"
Electronic Intifada: 30 Apr 2010 - From the very first page it is evident Palestinian author Adania Shibli's new book Touch will be a different sort of journey, one that cannot be immediately defined, if at all. Patricia Sarrafian Ward reviews for The Electronic Intifada.

Pro-Israel group monitoring, intimidating Columbia faculty
Electronic Intifada: 30 Apr 2010 - A student group at Columbia called Campus Media Watch, backed by the pro-Israeli media monitor the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), recently violated university regulations while urging students to "report" on allegedly biased utterances by Massad and other professors, according to faculty members and students. Jared Malsin reports for The Electronic Intifada.

Israel's Choice: Make Peace Or Disappear
Palestine Monitor: 30 Apr 2010 - The student senate at Berkeley University in California recently passed a resolution calling for divestment from Israel. Prof. Judith Butler, the feminist theoretician, expounded to the enthusiastic audience on her new "Jewish" vision, which calls for renouncing the State of Israel. In this way, the intellectual elites once again expressed their strong belief in the theological principle whose basis is opposition to Western culture. For these intellectuals, the Palestinians' struggle against Israel symbolizes the heroic uprising of the rejected and oppressed against the conquerors who have deprived them of their humanity and delegitimized their local narratives. And in this mythological and theological arena, there is no chance whatsoever of holding a sane debate based on facts and common sense. Treating Israel as the worst representative of Western colonialism is particularly ironic given the Jewish people's minuscule size and Europe's virulent anti-Jewish history. Neither Russia's control of the Chechens, Irish grievances...

An Open Letter To UC Berkeley Students
Palestine Monitor: 30 Apr 2010 - Dear Berkeley students and the ASUC Senate: I commend the effort of the wide coalition at Berkeley to pass the Bill in Support of UC Divestment from War Crimes. American students can play a powerful role in Palestinian liberation by supporting divestment from companies that enable the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territory. I urge you to seize this moment as an opportunity to help secure Palestinian freedom and a just peace, but most particularly as an opportunity to help Palestinian students you may never meet. These students struggle to achieve their educational aspirations under an occupation that blocks opportunities and destroys dreams. Embrace your freedom and your incredible opportunities at one of America's finest schools by doing your utmost to protect the many Palestinian students working by candlelight in Gaza to reach where you are today. The war crimes they were subjected to by the Israeli military in 2008-2009...

Insulting the Memory of an Anti-Apartheid Activist
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Apr 2010 - By Vivian Tabar In recent years, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) has announced its plans to rebuild a section of the Birya forest, located in the Galilee, and to name it after the late Coretta Scott King, the renowned civil rights and anti-apartheid activist and wife of Martin Luther King Jr. The Coretta Scott King Forest is being built as part of ‘Operation Northern Renewal,’ a $400 million JNF campaign that aims to rebuild its forests in the North that were destroyed during Israel’s brutal assault on Lebanon the summer of 2006. Approximately two million trees were reported to have been completely burned or damaged beyond repair by Hezbollah’s Katuysha rocket fire across Lebanon's southern border. The initiative, a joint partnership with Afro-American churches in the United States, is designed to “strengthen ties between blacks and Jews.” According to a JNF press release, the forest will stand as a “tribute...more

National Public Radio's Pro-Israeli Bias
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Apr 2010 - By Stephen Lendman Since established in 1970, NPR ignored its public trust in favor of privilege, corporatism, militarism, and Israel's vilest crimes, including collective punishment, illegal occupation, targeted killings, land theft, dispossessions, home demolitions, crop destruction, mass incarcerations, torture, violence, and the 2008-9 Gaza war inflicting mass deaths, permanent injuries, vast devastation, and human misery against defenseless civilians, imprisoned under siege since June 2007, and afflicted by a dire humanitarian crisis as a result - exacerbated by conflict and intermittent attacks, issues NPR ignores or understates. It's notorious for its biased, shoddy reporting, pseudo-journalism, creeping commercialism, distracting non-news, and deceiving listeners it's public, non-profit, and impartial. Savvy media consumers know better and tune them out for delivering the same slanted coverage found on major networks and in broadsheets like The New York Times, Washington Post, and others - grossly favoring power, and when it comes to Israel it's interests matter....more

Why Mr. President? Open Letter to Mahmoud Abbas
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Apr 2010 - By Nidal Azza (This open letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was first published in Arabic by Ma'an News, Palestine, in early March 2010.) Since the adoption of the strategy of the “peace of the brave” which seeks to achieve Palestinian rights through negotiations, Palestinian officials have never missed an opportunity to raise the demand for the international community to intervene and ensure respect of its international law and UN resolutions. And while the Palestinian leadership had limited its own strategic options in the public relations battle around the peace negotiations, the demand for enforcement of international law preserved a certain “logic” in midst of the general deterioration, in particular the disintegration of the Palestinian political system. However, what is puzzling in light of this strategy is the fact that Palestinian officials have recently challenged sincere international bodies and figures who have identified Israel's regime as one that combines belligerent...more

Select Day:

 

Archives | Art | Articles | Background | Books | Boycott | Cartoons | Chemical War | Children | Contact | Donate | Elections | E-mail Us | Events | Film | Home | Letters | Links | Maps | Mission | Music | Videos | News | Performance | Photos | Poetry | Polls | Prisoners | Products | Search | Take Action | The US Role | The Wall | Together

To receive a once-daily e-mail digest of our News and Articles content, write to
OccupationNews-subscribe@yahoogroups.com or visit
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OccupationNews/join
See example: Occupation News

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the material posted on this site are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the webmaster or Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel.

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Top of page