Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Elections Archive - November 2011
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The impact of the US-Israel alliance on propsects for peace, US foreign policy, and the integrity of your government. More..

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Israeli forces continue their campaign of widespread arrests in the occupied Palestinian territories - International Press Center photo

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Rescue personnel evacuating the wounded from the scene of the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on Monday, 3/17/2006. (Nir Kafri/Ha'aretz) Israeli Authorities Prevent Reparation of Major Electricity Lines
IMEMC - The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns the Israeli authorities from preventing technical crews from repairing one of the major lines that carries electricity from Israel to the Gaza Strip. The line has been disrupted for 13 days which has resulted in aggravating the electricity crisis affecting the Gaza strip, and increasing the power shortage by 37.3%. ...

Main power line to Gaza down for 13 days
12/1/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel is refusing to allow technicians to repair a main power line supplying the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Gaza's electricity company said Wednesday. Jamal Dardasawi said the line has been down for 13 days, exacerbating the electricity crisis in the coastal enclave. The Israeli government has not....

Invitations received for next Cairo talks
11/30/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) - Egypt has sent invitations to several factions to attend bilateral meetings with officials in Cairo ahead of general reconciliation talks on Dec. 20, two of the factions confirmed Wednesday. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Liberation Front confirmed receiving the invitations to send a delegation....

Palestine entry wins Intel engineering award
12/1/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestine won two engineering awards Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates. The district of Sharjah hosted Palestine for the 2011 Intel Science and Engineering Fair Award, selecting two titles in the electronics-communications and energy-transporation categories. Palestine's winning entries were a project on gas by Iman Qaraqe, a student from....

[uruknet.info] Main power line to Gaza down for 13 days
Uruknet November 30, 2011 -- Israel is refusing to allow technicians to repair a main power line supplying the Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Gaza's electricity company said Wednesday. Jamal Dardasawi said the line has been down for 13 days, exacerbating the electricity crisis in the coastal enclave. The Israeli government has not allowed technicians from the...

Boycott Israel campaign grows among UK unions, despite Zionist backlash
Electronic Intifada: 29 Nov 2011 - Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada London So many UK trade unions have now passed motions in support of the Palestinian boycott, divestment and sanctions movement that even the often conservative Trades Union Congress has been compelled to change policy.more

Morocco Gets Muslim Brotherhood PM
Palestine Chronicle: 30 Nov 2011 - By Eric Walberg – Cairo Morocco, with its 35 million people, where 1 in 3 are unemployed and poverty is widespread, has had multi-party elections since independence in 1956 without anyone taking much notice. Even Western Saharans get a taste of democracy from Rabat, however bitter. The Arab Spring and public protests, organized by the 20 February youth movement and the Islamist Al-Adl wa Al-Ihssane, suddenly made genuine elections an important weapon in the king’s arsenal. King Mohammed VI immediately announced a process of constitutional reform and a promise to relinquish some of his administrative powers. Following a referendum in July with 70 per cent turnout and (a suspicious) 98 per cent approval, the new constitution was ratified in September, and parliamentary elections held last week. In the new constitution, the king gives up his power to appoint the prime minister, agreeing to appoint the leader of the party winning...more

Israeli Authorities Prevent Reparation of Major Lines Providing Electricity to the Gaza Strip for the Thirteenth Consecutive Day
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Tuesday, 29 November 2011

As Israel cuts power, Gaza plunges into darkness
29 Nov 2011 - Palestine, (Pal Telegraph) - The energy authority in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a "punitive policy."

Yalla Peace: Democracy faces many challenges in Arab world
Jerusalem Post 29 Nov 2011 - The challenge of democracy is to overcome sectarian ties to vote for quality candidates of any ethnic background.

Anti-Arab laws and the appearance of democracy
Nadim N. Rouhana, Ma’an News Agency 11/29/2011
      The spate of anti-democratic bills recently introduced by the Israeli government has forced the issue onto the public agenda in Israel. This is so not because anti-democratic bills are new, but mainly because for the first time some of the proposed bills threaten democracy for Jewish citizens themselves.
     For example, proposals to limit foreign funding to local non-governmental organizations, changes in nomination procedures for Supreme Court justices, and the recent proposed amendment to the libel law (which the left views as anti-free speech legislation) have placed the anti-democratic trends at the forefront of the public's consciousness.
     It is vital that these current anti-democratic bills enter the public discourse. But if, even after the resistance we are witnessing from the diminished Israeli left, these bills are passed, an anti-democratic threshold will be publicly and undeniably crossed in Israel.
     It is also important to place these bills in the context of anti-Arab laws that have been introduced all along, but explicitly and extensively since the 2000 "October events" (when Palestinian citizens staged mass demonstrations against the killing of Palestinians in the occupied territories at the start of the second intifada).
     These new laws will reduce already limited avenues for Arab political participation within the Israeli system: parliamentary elections, NGOs' active participation in political life, and resorting to Israel's legal system, particularly the High Court of Justice.
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Attempts to break Gaza blockade won't stop, vows Freedom Waves activist
Electronic Intifada: 28 Nov 2011 - Michelle Gyeney The Electronic Intifada As the Australian delegate on the Tahrir boat with the recent Freedom Waves initiative, Michael Coleman recently confronted all of the barriers that the government of Israel could muster.more

Electronic Intifada: Israeli occupation forces demolish homes and mosque, arrest girls near Hebron
Palestine Solidarity Project 29 Nov 2011 - From Electronic Intifada: On 24 November Israeli occupation forces demolished two homes, a mosque and a barn, killing livestock, and arrested two young women in the village of Umm Fagarah, in the South Hebron Hills in the occupied West Bank. The incident was caught on video...

Palestinian Paradigm Shift
Palestine Chronicle: 29 Nov 2011 - By Stuart Reigeluth Despite the eruption of turmoil in the centre of Cairo, the Palestinian factions met in the Egyptian capital on November 24, to advance an agreement of national reconciliation. This accord is long overdue for the Palestinian people but it comes now more out of necessity for Hamas and Fatah — both of which seem to be drifting now towards a new paradigm. With changes underway in Syria, the headquarters of Hamas’s politburo may no longer be as secure as it has been when hosted for the past decades by the Assad regime in Damascus. For Fatah, the continual failure of peace negotiations with Israel has left PLO Chairman and Palestinian National Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, with little legitimacy and no leverage. Coupled with the cuts in funding from the United States to UNESCO (as US punishment for accepting Palestine as a member) as well as cuts to...more

On Power, Morality and Courage
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Nov 2011 - By Deepak Tripathi My reflections last week were about the United States grand strategy anchored in the energy resources and Israel’s defense in the Middle East. How that grand strategy, offering a validation for the Cold War in Asia and Africa, has lived on since the end of the Soviet threat two decades ago gives us plenty of food for thought. Merciless continuation of that grand strategy meant the same old policies of propping up corrupt, repressive dictatorships, which at long last brought the Arab Spring in late 2010, and which is now a bitter and bloody winter. New retaliation by Egypt’s ruling Military Council in recent days has created conditions for a second revolution in that country, whether it happens or not. The crowds at Tahrir Square are smaller than early this year. The Muslim Brotherhood, eyeing the parliamentary elections starting tomorrow (November 28), does not support the latest...more

Gunmen Detonate Egyptian Gas Pipeline
IMEMC - On Monday at dawn, a group of gunmen detonated an explosive on the Egyptian pipeline, which provides Israel and Jordan with gas. The explosion took place just hours before Egypt’s first legislative elections since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in the revolution earlier this year. ...

Official: Israel deliberately disconnects Gaza electricity
11/28/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The energy authority in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a "punitive policy." "The Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting a grid which provides 14 megawatts to the northern Gaza Strip," head of....

Saboteurs blow up Egypt's pipeline to Jordan, Israel
11/28/2011 - CAIRO (Reuters) -- Saboteurs blew up Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel on Monday, witnesses and security sources said, a few hours before the country holds its first free election since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February. The explosion struck the pipline west of el-Arish in the Sinai, witnesses said. There was....

Haniyeh calls new Tunisian PM, invites him to Palestine
11/28/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh telephoned the new Tunisian prime minster on Sunday to congratulate him on his election victory. The Gaza prime minister spoke with Hammadi al-Jabali and expressed his best wishes for the Tunisian people, a statement said. Haniyeh stressed that ties between Tunisia and Palestine will always be....

Abbas sets May 4 as date for Palestinian general elections
Ha'aretz - Mahmoud Abbas says a unity government made up of technocrats from both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas will be formed to prepare for the elections.

Egypt gas pipeline explosion - video
The Guardian 28 Nov 2011 - Saboteurs are being blamed for twin explosions that hit Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel just hours ahead of the country's first free election since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted

[uruknet.info] Official: Israel deliberately disconnects Gaza electricity
Uruknet November 28, 2011 -- The energy authority in the Gaza Strip on Monday accused Israel of deliberately disconnecting the main electricity grid to the coastal enclave as part of a "punitive policy." "The Israeli occupation uses security pretexts to justify disconnecting a grid which provides 14 megawatts to the northern Gaza Strip," head of the energy...

Palestinian president sets May 4 election
YNet News, 28 Nov 2011 - Mahmoud Abbas sets date for general elections that are meant to end the division....

Egyptians cast their votes in Tel Aviv
YNet News, 28 Nov 2011 - Candidate's attempts to have Egyptian citizens living in Israel blocked from....

Additional blast in Egypt pipeline to Jordan, Israel
YNet News, 28 Nov 2011 - Hours before Egypt elections security forces report explosion west of el-Arish....

A message in the sand: ‘We will not allow gas exports to Israel’
Mondoweiss - As Egyptians headed to the polls this morning for their first free elections in years the newly repaired Sinai pipeline that delivers gas to Israel and Jordan was attacked for the second time in less than a week. The video above is from the  pipeline explosion...

Reconciliation is a promising step towards peace
Hani Abuishaiba, Ma’an News Agency 11/28/2011
      By signing the agreement deal between Fatah and Hamas earlier this year, the Palestinians have exploded the status quo that has prevailed in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
     The recent meeting between Abbas and Mashaal has shed light on what appears to be a good level of seriousness to start implementing the principles of the agreement: Reforming the PLO, preparing for elections, and building an independent Palestinian State.
     Since the 2007 fallout, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority, headed by Abbas, has shunned the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip while negotiating with Israel. Furthermore, the PA has worked closely with the United States to train responsible security forces and develop an accountable, uncorrupted government.
     So why reconciliation?
     The formalization of the agreement with Hamas has spelled the end of the institution-building program under Prime Minister Salam Fayyad; better known in Western media outlets as Fayyadism. By doing so, President Abbas turned his back on the prospect of US-brokered peace talks with the Israeli government while failing in his diplomatic offense at the UN corridors to win recognition of a Palestinian state.
     With that in mind, reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a substantial step on the path towards peace and democracy. Let's face it and be realistic.
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Private security guards kill with impunity in East Jerusalem
Electronic Intifada: 28 Nov 2011 - Jillian Kestler-D'Amours The Electronic Intifada Silwan According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, 350 private Israeli security guards are currently employed in East Jerusalem by private security firm Modi’in Ezrahi, which is subcontracted by the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Construction, to protect 2,000 settlers living illegally in the occupied territory.more

Attempts to break Gaza blockade won't stop, vows Freedom Waves activist
Electronic Intifada: 28 Nov 2011 - Michelle Gyeney The Electronic Intifada As the Australian delegate on the Tahrir boat with the recent Freedom Waves initiative, Michael Coleman recently confronted all of the barriers that the government of Israel could muster.more

On Power, Morality and Courage
Palestine Chronicle: 28 Nov 2011 - By Deepak Tripathi My reflections last week were about the United States grand strategy anchored in the energy resources and Israel’s defense in the Middle East. How that grand strategy, offering a validation for the Cold War in Asia and Africa, has lived on since the end of the Soviet threat two decades ago gives us plenty of food for thought. Merciless continuation of that grand strategy meant the same old policies of propping up corrupt, repressive dictatorships, which at long last brought the Arab Spring in late 2010, and which is now a bitter and bloody winter. New retaliation by Egypt’s ruling Military Council in recent days has created conditions for a second revolution in that country, whether it happens or not. The crowds at Tahrir Square are smaller than early this year. The Muslim Brotherhood, eyeing the parliamentary elections starting tomorrow (November 28), does not support the latest...more

Israeli officials threaten to cut electricity and water if Palestinians form unity government
IMEMC - The Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister told reporters Saturday that the Israeli government is considering cutting off the Gaza Strip’s meager supply of electricity and water if the Palestinian Authority manages to form a unity government. ...

Egypt elections: Battle of 'eye' versus 'scales of justice'
The National 27 Nov 2011 - Egyptians today and tomorrow will begin choosing a new representative government, with 55 political parties and scores of individual candidates in the running.

Issacharoff and Harel / Arab Spring elections boost democracy, and Israeli fears
Ha'aretz - Egyptian parliamentary elections that begin Monday are expected to result in victory for an Islamic party - in this case, the one affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood

Hamas: Palestinians won't form interim government before elections
Ha'aretz - Senior Hamas official says Abbas and Meshal reached quiet understanding during meeting last week in Cairo; deal would remove major obstacle to reconciliation efforts.

ISRAEL: Not When Desert Is Home
IPS "Anyone who lives sees, but he who moves sees more," a local Bedouin proverb has it. Caught in a web of roads and fences, electric cables and pylons, closed military training grounds and trails of Air Force jets, Bedouin Israelis have long been reduced to a half-hearted life of immobility....

Hamas: Palestinians to skip interim gov't
YNet News, 27 Nov 2011 - Gaza official says rival Palestinian factions to keep West Bank, Gaza Strip....

Palestine, Arab unity are main challenges facing Arab Islamists
PIC - There is no doubt that the outcome of recent elections in Tunisia and Morocco is good news for the Palestinian cause.

MP Adwan: Islamists' win in Morocco will be in favor of the Palestinian cause
PIC - Palestinian lawmaker Atef Adwan said the victory achieved by Islamists in the Moroccan parliamentary elections would have positive effects on the Palestinian cause.

This is how Palestinians spent their Thanksgiving…
Mondoweiss - link to electronicintifada.net '--> link to www.imemc.org link to english.aljazeera.net Video: Israeli forces violently ethnically cleanse Bedouin homes in Beit Hanina, Ali Abunimah A video taken today by Palestinian photojournalist Fadi Arouri shows Israeli occupation forces demolishing the homes of Palestinians in the village of Beit...

Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza
11/26/2011 - JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government." The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon....

Factions urge Hamas, Fatah to implement reconciliation
11/26/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian political factions in the Gaza Strip on Saturday applauded the reconciliation meeting between President Abbas and Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal. A meeting between the Fida party, the Palestinian Liberation Front, the Arab Liberation Front and the Palestinian Popular Struggle Front confirmed that there was a need to implement what....

[uruknet.info] Israel threatens to cut off power, water to Gaza
Uruknet November 26, 2011 -- Israel warned on Saturday that it would cut the supply of water and electricity to the Gaza Strip if rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas form a unity government. "The foreign ministry is examining the possibility of Israel pulling out of the Gaza Strip in terms of infrastructure," Deputy Foreign Minister Danny...

Egypt's ElBaradei willing to head cabinet
YNet News, 26 Nov 2011 - Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei is prepared to drop his bid to be head of state if he is asked to lead a transition government to steer the country to ... ....

Abu Marzouk: Next Hamas-Fatah meeting on 18 December
PIC - Hamas and Fatah delegates would meet in Cairo on 18 December to agree on a number of issues including formation of the elections committee, Dr. Mousa Abu Marzouk said on Saturday.

In photos: Israeli forces raze buildings across the West Bank
11/25/2011 - Israeli forces razed buildings across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, including a mosque, solar panels providing electricity and a children's rabbit hutch, witnesses said Thursday. The UN humanitarian affairs office says 488 Palestinian buildings have been demolished in 2011 displacing 887 people from their homes, more than twice the number in the....

Official: Islamic Jihad will not participate in elections
11/26/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Islamic Jihad will not take part in upcoming Palestinian elections, a leader in the Islamist movement, Nafeth Azzam, said Friday. The heads of Fatah and Hamas agreed in principle to hold elections in the near future, but a date was not set during the negotiations Thursday in Cairo, officials said. But....

Islamic Jihad: The future of Palestinian people requires thorough deliberations
PIC - The Islamic Jihad movement welcomed the agreement to end the discord between Hamas and Fatah after a meeting between the leaders of the two factions in Cairo on Thursday.

Abbas, Mashal, Meet in Cairo, Affirm National Unity
IMEMC - Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Hamas Political Bureau Chief, Khaled Mashal, met in Cairo on Thursday, affirmed Palestinian national unity and partnership. An understanding was reached to hold legislative and presidential elections in May 2012. ...

Palestinian rivals deeply divided over strategy
11/24/2011 - CAIRO (Reuters) -- President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khalid Mashaal in Cairo on Thursday to try to revive a reconciliation pact signed seven months ago but still not implemented. The deal had aimed to end a four-year rift that has split the Palestinians ideologically and geographically. Here are some facts about the issues dividing them.... Related: Abbas, Mashaal: We agreed to work as partners and Abbas and Mashaal to set date for elections

Palestinian factions set election date
AlJazeera 24 Nov 2011 - Abbas and Meshaal agree to hold polls in May following meeting in Cairo to iron out Hamas-Fatah differences.

A new era for Palestine's factions
The National 24 Nov 2011 - Leaders of Fatah and Hamas say they have managed to iron out their differences and turn over a new page in their strained relationship.

Abbas, Mashaal meet in Cairo, agree to 'work as partners'
Jerusalem Post 24 Nov 2011 - Although PA president, Hamas leader report "positive" talks, they fail to agree on formation of Palestinian unity gov't; pair agree to May 2012 elections, release of each other's detainees.

Hillary Clinton aide at the helm of Amnesty International USA
Voltaire Network 23 Nov 2011 - Suzanne Nossel, former assistant to Richard Holbrooke in his capacity as UN Ambassador and currently Hillary Clinton's Deputy Assistant for International Organization Affairs, has been selected as the new Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. In the discharge of her duties at the State Department, she...

US Republican candidates pick foreign policy advisers
Voltaire Network 23 Nov 2011 - Herman Cain is advised on foreign policy issues by: • J. D. Gordon • Roger Pardo-Maurer • Mark Pfeifle John Huntsman's advisers are: • Richard Armitage • C. Boyden Gray Newt Gingrich has selected a strong team, mostly hailing from the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC)...

US Republican candidates pick foreign policy advisers
Voltaire Network 23 Nov 2011 - Herman Cain is advised on foreign policy issues by: • J. D. Gordon • Roger Pardo-Maurer • Mark Pfeifle John Huntsman's advisers are: • Richard Armitage • C. Boyden Gray Newt Gingrich has selected a strong team, mostly hailing from the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC)...

Goebbels' disciples tackle Syria
Voltaire Network 23 Nov 2011 - Professor Domenico Losurdo pinpoints several inconsistencies in the Western rhetoric against Syria. They reveal that the problem is not where we think it is and that the discourse aims to justify a war, not to report the facts. What is the nature of the conflict that...

The problem is not reconciliation
Ghassan Khatib, Bitterlemons 11/21/2011
      Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced last week that he plans to meet the head of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, on November 25 to discuss two issues. First, the leaders will discuss the future and challenges facing the Palestinian cause, and second, they will explore the prospects for reconciling the two factions they head and implementing a reconciliation agreement signed in May.
     This announcement opened the door to analysis and speculation by journalists and commentators, as well as reactions by politicians. Probably the most dramatic response came at a November 21 meeting of the Israeli inner cabinet, which decided to continue withholding taxes collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority as a form of punishment for the Abbas-Meshaal meeting. Otherwise, there really wasn't any official negative reaction from other governments or leaders.
     Palestinians, on the other hand, as well as regional and international commentators, have been fervently debating what this announcement means. The first subject of the coming meeting (and from Abbas' point of view the most important topic overall)--the challenges facing the Palestinian people--has not received a great deal of attention. What has stirred the most commentary, in fact, is the possibility of Hamas-Fateh reconciliation.
     There is no doubt that there is a lot of public pressure on both these factions to end their differences. There is a consensus among the Palestinian public and political factions, in addition to the wider Arab public, that reconciliation is a priority and a prerequisite for achieving other things. (Indeed, reading the document that was issued by the membership committee of the United Nations Security Council in response to Palestinians' application for member state status, the Hamas-Fateh divide and Hamas' control of Gaza were among the main justifications given for the committee's negative reply.) Another recent development that attracted a great deal of attention was Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's statement urging the factions to reconcile and, at the same time, pressing them to agree on a new prime minister.
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A love story, a Palestinian story
Electronic Intifada: 23 Nov 2011 - Lina al-Sharif The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip Lina al-Sharif’s story is one of love that knows no boundaries and all started with a friendly debate on Twitter.more

To reconcile is the only option for Palestinians
The National 23 Nov 2011 - Strained relations with the primary benefactors of Hamas and Fatah could ultimately unite the dividing factions.

[uruknet.info] Barack "Money Bags" Obama Can't Run on the 99 Percent Ticket
Uruknet November 22, 2011 - Remember 2004, when the cash-poor Democratic candidates were evicted from the campaign like vagabonds by ABC News? One measure of the impact of the Occupy Wall Street movement is that candidates will be compelled to explain to voters why they are so popular with Wall Street. This poses a special quandary for...

Ron Paul: Why does Israel need our help?
YNet News, 23 Nov 2011 - During foreign policy debate, republican presidential candidate says would not....

Is it possible to have a unity government with zero risks?
Maher Abukhater, Bitterlemons 11/21/2011
      If there is going to be a Palestinian unity government, what will that mean for Palestinians and the peace process?
     Concerning the peace process, Palestinians in general would say: "what peace process?" No one seems worried about impacting a peace process that is obviously long gone.
     As for the Palestinian people, the issue is more serious. On the one hand, a unity government would lead to reunification of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which means strengthening the home front in light of a bleak and uncertain future. In general, there is strong support for this move.
     But, on the other, there is apprehension concerning its ramifications on Palestinian daily life.
     The United States and Israel are warning that a unity government that includes Hamas would have serious long-term negative repercussions on the Palestinian people in general, and that makes people stop and think.
     It wasn't long ago that Palestinians experienced what this means. Tens of thousands of Palestinians went for more than a year without pay when main donors suspended their aid following Hamas' victory in the 2006 legislative elections and its subsequent formation of a government headed and run by Hamas members.
     If it hadn't been for handouts and charity from the European Union and some Arab countries that allowed people to put food on the table, the outcome would have been disastrous. Even the short-lived unity government between Fateh and Hamas that came to salvage the situation was not enough to convince the West to end these sanctions and allow a resumption of aid.
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The ‘Palestine Paper Leaks’ and the Sacralization of Jerusalem City Space?
Salim Tamari, Jerusalem Quarterly File 11/23/2011
      Autumn 2011
     Even before the crusades, Jerusalem had an enchanting hold on people’s imagination. Visitors imposed their aspirations, inner anguish, and dreams on what they saw as an eternal sacred city, whereas the worldly city was at great variance and often in contradiction with these imageries. Indeed, this vision of the city of God has always been in contrast with the living physicality of the city. As revealed in the leaked “Palestine Papers,” this view of the metaphoric Jerusalem has been adopted in the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
     This policy brief examines the historical origins of the sacralization of Jerusalem and how it has obscured changes on the ground affecting the city’s current state and its future. It appeared recently in al Shabaka, the electronic Palestinian Policy Network.
     Jerusalem and the “Palestine Papers”
     The “Palestine Papers” revealed that Jerusalem occupied a central position in the implicit agreements between President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.1
     They demonstrate that the PA has moved considerably from positions held at and since the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference. Previous Palestinian and Arab positions on Jerusalem were based on UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 242, passed after the June 1967 War. The resolution considers East Jerusalem occupied territory and its status no different from that of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or the Syrian Golan Heights. Moreover, the “land for peace” arrangement that is at the heart of UNSCR 242 also applies to East Jerusalem.
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Quixotic candidate challenges oligarch rule of Jewish group
Jerusalem Post 22 Nov 2011 - Retired physicist from Beersheba claims Euro-Asian Jewish Congress won't consider him as a leadership candidate because he doesn't have enough money.

More transparency needed in picking Supreme Court justices
Jerusalem Post 21 Nov 2011 - Freedom of information advocates: Publish names and details on candidates.

[uruknet.info] Protesters Reject Concessions By Egypt's Military
Uruknet "Our demands are clear," said Khaled El-Sayed, a protester from the Youth Revolution Coalition and a candidate in the Nov. 28 parliamentary election. "We want the military council to step down and hand over authority to a national salvation government with full authority."...A youth group that played a key role in the anti-Mubarak uprising said it...

Judges Selection Commission gets first Arab rep
YNet News, 22 Nov 2011 - The Israeli Bar Association elected Attorney Khaled Hosni-Zoabi as its representative to the Judges Selection Commission, alongside Attorney Rachel Ben-Ari, Ynet learned ... ....

Darawi: Government, the PLO and elections top the agenda of Abbas-Mishaal meet
PIC - Head of the Palestinian Studies Centre in Egypt, Ibrahim al-Darawi, said that there were three issues that top the agenda at the meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mishaal on Thursday in Cairo.

Soldiers make room for settlers to attack peaceful Palestinian demonstration
Mondoweiss - link to www.alternativenews.org '--> link to www.alternativenews.org '--> link to www.philstar.com link to www.imemc.org link to www.imemc.org link to www.maannews.net link to www.richardsilverstein.com link to www.maannews.net link to electronicintifada.net link to www.alternativenews.org link to www.upi.com link to www.maannews.net link to www.maannews.net link to www.imemc.org link to...

Are the Freedom Rides a detour for the struggle?
Electronic Intifada: 22 Nov 2011 - Linah Alsaafin The Electronic Intifada Last week, six courageous Palestinians attempted to defy racism, segregation and apartheid by boarding Jewish settler-only buses in the hopes of reaching Jerusalem, a city off limits to Palestinians in the West Bank. However, the symbolic, media-friendly act — and its debatable relevance to the average Palestinian — begs some important questions.more

Source: Egypt's army council seeking new PM
11/21/2011 - CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's military council is seeking agreement on a new prime minister before it accepts the resignation submitted by the cabinet of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, a military source told Reuters on Monday. The source said no formal announcement would be made until the ruling military council had agreed on the candidate....

Shulman to lead Euro-Asian Jewish Congress
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2011 - Vadim Shulman is the sole candidate for president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.

Analysis: Abbas and Mashaal can unite
Nasser Lahham, Ma’an News Agency 11/21/2011
      All the elements of success are in place for the upcoming meeting between Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief in exile Khalid Mashaal. Both leaders have realized after five years of bloody infighting and rivalry that unity and reconciliation are inevitable, while sailing further into disagreement would be a mistake.
     Those who benefit from the division relished the chance to create an illusion they called disagreement and frequently maintained that conciliation was impossible. But the meeting, scheduled for this week, might put an end to their illusions and reveal them to be nothing more than personal concerns and anxieties.
     The Palestinians as a people were never divided: it was only political forces in Ramallah and Gaza who were in dispute. Even that dispute between political forces was not uncontrollable like the ongoing unrest in other Arab countries.
     No matter how bitter the past years were, it is time we learned lessons and repaired the rift, especially as both rivals have strong leaders capable of bridging the gap.
     President Mahmoud Abbas has made reconciliation one of his own political goals. Despite Hamas’ criticism of him, the movement is aware that he wants to implement reconciliation as soon as possible.
     Last summer Abbas proved he had Palestinian chemistry and despite his extravagant use of tactics and his exaggerated pragmatism, he is still capable of steering the wheel toward an independent national decision. Further, he expressed willingness to go to Gaza immediately after a reconciliation agreement was signed, along with the former Arab League secretary-general Amr Mousa and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. -- See also: Erekat: Jordan king visit to encourage unity
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The anguish of a Gaza cancer patient in Cairo
Electronic Intifada: 21 Nov 2011 - Rami Almeghari The Electronic Intifada Cairo Palestinians in Gaza needing urgent medical care are left with few treatment options because of Israel’s four-year-long blockade. Patients who are able to reach Egypt are oftentimes unable to afford or access treatment that can save their lives.more

Panel fails to name new justices to Israel's Supreme Court bench
Ha'aretz - Candidate list to be reopened with room for a more diverse group of candidates, particularly those from Jewish families of Middle Eastern or North African background.

3 killed, 200 hurt in Cairo as troops impose crackdown
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2011 - Rallies sparked by army’s bid to retain power after elections; Israeli expert: Military no longer seen as serving the people.

C'tee fails to pick new Supreme Court judges
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2011 - Lack of consensus among Judicial Selection C'tee over candidates means meeting ended without appointments, a new list to be drawn up.

Judicial C'tee to discuss justice appointments
Jerusalem Post 20 Nov 2011 - Committee to decide on approval of candidates to Supreme Court, including nominations of judges Zvi Zylbertal, Dvora Berliner and Noam Sohlberg.

Palestinian president to seek unity government deal with Hamas
The Guardian 20 Nov 2011 - Israel warns Mahmoud Abbas against striking agreement with his factional rival Khaled Mashal at meeting this week in Cairo The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will meet the Hamas leader, Khaled Mashal, in Cairo this week to...

[uruknet.info] Report: "Palestinian Village Condemned To Live In Darkness"
Uruknet November 20, 2011 - After the "Seeba" Spanish organization managed to install Solar Panels at a Palestinian village in the West Bank, known as Amenzil, and for the first time its residents managed to have electricity, Israel issued a military injunction ordering the residents to remove the Panels. The village never had power, but after the...

Abu Zuhri: Fatah backtracked on its insistence on Fayyad
PIC - Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that Fatah faction agreed on the idea of choosing someone else other than Salam Fayyad to head the next Palestinian government.

Bachmann comes to Manhattan for Zionist org’s Brandeis dinner
Mondoweiss - Michele Bachmann Zionist politics makes for such strange bedfellows. Michele Bachmann, the rightwing Minnesota congresswoman and presidential candidate, will be addressing the Zionist Organization of America in New York tonight, alongside Glenn Beck and Benjamin Netanyahu. It's that all-important NY primary... And the new rightwing coalition...

Iran and the I.A.E.A.
Seymour M. Hersh, The New Yorker 11/18/2011
      Very little new information in the I.A.E.A. report
     The first question in last Saturday night’s Republican debate on foreign policy dealt with Iran, and a newly published report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The report, which raised renewed concern about the “possible existence of undeclared nuclear facilities and material in Iran,” struck a darker tone than previous assessments. But it was carefully hedged. On the debate platform, however, any ambiguity was lost. One of the moderators said that the I.A.E.A. report had provided “additional credible evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon” and asked what various candidates, upon winning the Presidency, would do to stop Iran. Herman Cain said he would assist those who are trying to overthrow the government. Newt Gingrich said he would coördinate with the Israeli government and maximize covert operations to block the Iranian weapons program. Mitt Romney called the state of Iran’s nuclear program Obama’s “greatest failing, from a foreign-policy standpoint” and added, “Look, one thing you can know … and that is if we reëlect Barack Obama Iran will have a nuclear weapon.” The Iranian bomb was a sure thing Saturday night.
     I’ve been reporting on Iran and the bomb for The New Yorker for the past decade, with a focus on the repeatedly inability of the best and the brightest of the Joint Special Operations Command to find definitive evidence of a nuclear-weapons production program in Iran. The goal of the high-risk American covert operations was to find something physical—a “smoking calutron,” as a knowledgeable official once told me—to show the world that Iran was working on warheads at an undisclosed site, to make the evidence public, and then to attack and destroy the site.
     The Times reported, in its lead story the day after the report came out, that I.A.E.A. investigators “have amassed a trove of new evidence that, they say, makes a ‘credible’ case” that Iran may be carrying out nuclear-weapons activities. The newspaper quoted a Western diplomat as declaring that “the level of detail is unbelievable…. "
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Report: “Palestinian Village Condemned To Live In Darkness”
IMEMC - After the “Seeba” Spanish organization managed to install Solar Panels at a Palestinian village in the West Bank, known as Amenzil, and for the first time its residents managed to have electricity, Israel issued a military injunction ordering the residents to remove the Panels. ...

France Says it Supports Reconciliation, Government to be Headed in Gaza
PNN - PNNFrench Foreign Minister Bernard Valero told the newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on Saturday that the French government supported a reconciliation agreement between Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas. Meanwhile, an advisor to Hamas...

Supreme Court president may scuttle controversial package deal to allow nomination of justices
Ha'aretz - Dorit Beinisch expected to seek expansion of list of candidates for High Court appointment; judicial selection committee may also make temporary court appointments to relieve case load until permanent candidates chosen.

Hamas: Next Palestinian government will be located in Gaza
Ha'aretz - Hamas PM adviser states that Hamas will support Palestinian efforts to receive UN recognition; says goal of all Palestinian factions is a state on 1967 borders with capital in Jerusalem.

[uruknet.info] US Presidential Elections: GOP Candidates Advocate Torture
Uruknet November 18, 2011 - At last week's debate, Republican presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michelle Bachman defended waterboarding. Cain said, "I don't see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique," which is what the Bush administration used to call its policy of torture and abuse. Bachman declared, "If I were president, I...

From US South to Palestine, Palestinian Freedom Riders Change History
Intifada-Palestine: 19 Nov 2011 - Nour Joudah    The Electronic Intifada Palestinian Freedom Riders were arrested while challenging Israel’s apartheid road system. ( Ahmad Gharabali / AFP Photo ) I grew up with two stories, two histories, and in many ways, two countries. From the age of 5 until... more

Imneizil demolitions: 'Hanging between the ground and the sky'
11/18/2011 - International Solidarity Movement - Jenna Bereld, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank - The solar panels in the village of Imneizil, near Hebron, became effective almost two years ago,  improved the living conditions for about four hundred inhabitants in the village, but recently  residents learned that the Israeli army issued a demolition order for the solar power installations."When the electricity.... Related: Threatening the light of the village - Click here for more images and Destroying Palestinian Solar Plant

Security and Defense: In a jam over precision munitions
Jerusalem Post 17 Nov 2011 - The IDF is upping its anti-jamming capabilities and investing in alternative systems as the threat increases that Israel’s enemies will be able to use electronic warfare to wreak havoc with its satellite-guided weapons.

Worker dies in a Gaza smuggling tunnel
PIC - A Palestinian worker on Friday morning died as a result of being electrocuted while working in a smuggling tunnel at the Egyptian Gaza border.

Imneizil demolitions: 'Hanging between the ground and the sky'
Jenna Bereld, International Solidarity Movement 11/19/2011
      The solar panels in the village of Imneizil, near Hebron, became effective almost two years ago, improved the living conditions for about four hundred inhabitants in the village, but recently residents learned that the Israeli army issued a demolition order for the solar power installations.
     “When the electricity came, we could have light at night. So right now, we could sit with our friends in the night, and we can see each other,” said 25-year-old Nihad who has seen her life change since electricity become available in Imneizil. She talks about how the school now has access to computers and printers, and how radio and TV have connected the village to the rest of the world. Now they have washing machines, and refrigerators that make it possible to store food.
     Nihad gives her 3-year-old son a hug and states that she also has a four-months’ baby at home.
     ”Earlier, women used to go to Yatta to have an ultrasound. It is far away and it costs a lot of money to go there. Now, those who are pregnant can have ultrasound here at the clinic.”
     Before the installation of solar panels, the village had no electricity, and the evenings were sparsely lit by dangerous kerosene lamps and candles. A few households had access to diesel generators that were used at parties and weddings.
     The solar cells that have been installed cannot satisfy the village’s full electricity needs, but it is sufficient for moderate household consumption, and the needs of the school, health clinic, and common water pump. During the day people are trying to limit their consumption for the school to have enough electricity. -- See also: Threatening the light of the village - Click here for more images and Destroying Palestinian Solar Plant
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Israel shuts down Palestinian groups in Jerusalem
Electronic Intifada: 18 Nov 2011 - The Electronic Intifada The recent forced closures of Palestinian nonprofit organizations in Jerusalem is an example of the Israeli authorities’ continued attacks on the city’s Palestinian identity and their attempts to maintain control over occupied East Jerusalem, according to local human rights groups.more

Israel may target Iran civilian infrastructure as part of military strike, report says
Ha'aretz - U.S. security sources quoted by The Daily Beast claim Israeli forces plan to use electronic warfare to shut down Iranian electrical grid, cellphone networks.

90-year old woman and her daughter die in apartment fire
Ha'aretz - Blaze breaks out in the women's apartment in Ashkelon, southern Israel; most likely caused by electric appliance left on overnight.

PSP, independents key to AUB polls
Daily Star 17 Nov 2011 March 14-backed student candidates at the American University of Beirut appeared headed to win more seats than rival March 8 in the university’s Students Representative Council during Wednesday’s election.

Talk of reconciliation heats up
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 11/17/2011
      Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said this week that he was quite happy to step down from his position in order to remove any obstacle in the way of Palestinian reconciliation.
     It is not the first time he made such a statement, but this time it is politically important, and timely.
     Fayyad's statement comes as the PLO's efforts at the UN Security Council failed to produce any positive results and talks of reconciliation have once again heated up.
     The Islamic movement Hamas has been insisting on a candidate other than Fayyad to head a unity government. Fatah, on the other hand, has publicly insisted on having him as premier, due to the high regard the West has for him.
     However, with the UN process having reached a dead end, insisting on the former World Bank official is futile. President Mahmoud Abbas did not wish to add to the difficulties he was facing by arriving at a unity government with Hamas at the same time that the PLO was trying to neutralize Israeli and US objections.
     Now that the UN process has come to a halt, it is understood that Abbas will move fast to reach common ground with his Islamic opponents.
     While Fatah and Hamas are likely to move quickly if the Fayyad "obstacle" is removed, it is not clear whether the premier’s willingness to give up his position will solve some of the deeper differences.
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Palestinian Authority: “New Unity Government Will Not Include Fayyad”
IMEMC - After talks between the two major Palestinian political parties Hamas and Fatah on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority announced that elections will be held in May, and the interim government which will rule between now and then will not include currently appointed Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. ...

Iran expert: U.S. elections increase likelihood of Israeli strike
Ha'aretz - Former State Department official says Israel may feel it has more room to act alone in an election year, and may only inform the U.S. after the planes take off.

Fatah: Fayyad remains candidate for PM of Palestinian unity government
Ha'aretz - Fatah parliament member Faisal Abu Shala says that the PM issue will be decided during the Abbas-Meshal meeting in Cairo next Friday.

Legal sources: Unlikely that former Israel President Katsav will be pardoned
Ha'aretz - Former president Katsav's 7-year conviction for rape, other sexual offenses upheld by Supreme Court last week; Katsav to Israeli press: I curse the day I was elected president.

Gantz: A major attack against Gaza a matter of time
PIC - The Israeli army's chief of staff Benny Gantz said a new large-scale war against the Gaza Strip to strike the infrastructure of the Palestinian resistance factions is a matter of time.

Gaza Lives On
Al Jazeera.com 11/16/2011
      The Israeli blockade may have taken a heavy toll on Gazans, but this film reveals life and hope among the devastation.
     Since 2007, most of the approximately 1.5 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have suffered gravely from an intensified land, air and sea blockade imposed by Israel.
     The blockade, deemed illegal by the United Nations, was implemented after Hamas, a Palestinian faction labelled a terrorist organisation by Tel Aviv, took control over the territory and ousted Fatah officials from power in the battle of Gaza.
     After more than two decades of tight sanctions and even though Israel eased the restrictions on non-military goods in 2010, the blockade continues to take a heavy toll on Gaza's civilian population, with many essential and basic goods banned from being exported or imported. This has led to rampant poverty and a massive unemployment rate in Gaza.
     But Gaza once had thriving economy and was a major exporter of key staple foods, including fruits and vegetables, to countries across the world. Israel's policies since the occupation, however, have forced the vast majority of Gazans to rely on foreign humanitarian aid for survival.
     According to the UN, about one-third of Gaza's arable land and 85 per cent of its fishing waters are totally or partially inaccessible due to the Israeli blockade.
     Abu Anwar Jahjouh, who has worked as a corn seller for the past 15 years and lives in the Shati refugee camp in Gaza, says it is a daily struggle to scrape out a living: "Back in the 1960s, we used to export oranges...."
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Poland's growing Palestine movement faces anti-Semitism smears
Electronic Intifada: 16 Nov 2011 - Ewa Jasiewicz The Electronic Intifada Despite attacks and slander, the Palestine solidarity movement in Poland is pushing ahead and is able to influence media coverage and popular education on Palestine.more

From US South to Palestine, Freedom Rides change history
Electronic Intifada: 16 Nov 2011 - Nour Joudah The Electronic Intifada This week, with the Palestinian Freedom Riders taking a page from the US civil rights movement and defying Israel’s segregated road system, my histories and my homes merged in a new way.more

Palestinian Authority: New unity government will not include Fayyad
IMEMC - After talks between the two major Palestinian political parties, Hamas and Fatah, on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority announced that elections will be held in May, and the interim government which will rule between now and then will not include current appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. ...

DFLP rejects proposed changes to unity deal
11/15/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Talal Abu Tharfieh, member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine's political bureau, says the DFLP rejects any changes to the May 4 reconciliation deal. He demanded a meeting between all the factions who signed the stalled deal in order to discuss its implementation. He said the.... Related: Official: Fatah, Hamas reach agreement on key issues

Palestinian reconciliation remains uncertain as Fatah, Hamas agree on elections
Ha'aretz - Under the agreement, a caretaker unity government will be established in the coming weeks that will exclude current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Fatah, Hamas agree to establish caretaker government without Palestinian PM Fayyad
Ha'aretz - Rival factions to hold elections on unity government in May; Fatah-Hamas dispute posed major obstacle to UN Security Council decision on Palestinian membership.

EU body rebukes Turkey over media curbs
Daily Star 15 Nov 2011 European Union candidate Turkey needs to change its attitude toward media freedom and laws under which more than 50 Turkish journalists languish in Turkish jails, the head of the Council of Europe human rights body said...

Palestinian official: Rivals agree on election
Daily Star 15 Nov 2011 A Palestinian official says the rival Fatah and Hamas movements have agreed to hold elections next May in what would be a major step toward ending a four-year rift.

Fatah, Hamas agree on May election
YNet News, 15 Nov 2011 - The rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas have agreed to hold elections next May, a senior official said Tuesday, in what would be a major step toward ending a ... ....

Gaza Gateway provides a closer look at the siege on Gaza
Mondoweiss - link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.maannews.net link to silwanic.net '--> link to www.alternativenews.org link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to us.rd.yahoo.com link to www.maannews.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk link to mondoweiss.net link to theonlydemocracy.org link to electronicintifada.net link to jews4big.wordpress.com link to www.forward.com...

Israel arrests "Freedom Riders" challenging apartheid road system
Electronic Intifada: 15 Nov 2011 - Jillian Kestler-D'Amours The Electronic Intifada Jerusalem Several activists were arrested by Israeli forces today while attempting to ride segregated buses serving illegal Israeli settlements.more

Interview: Hunger strikes created "new sense of solidarity"
Electronic Intifada: 15 Nov 2011 - Maureen Clare Murphy The Electronic Intifada In an interview with The Electronic Intifada, activist Janan Abdu describes how Israeli prison authorities tried to break the spirits of political prisoner who recently went on hunger strike, including her husband Ameer Makhoul.more

Destroying Palestinian Solar Plant
Palestine Chronicle: 15 Nov 2011 - By Stuart Reigeluth With international attention focusing on the Palestinian UN bid, the prisoner swap and the absurd US response to UNESCO accepting Palestine, a much smaller event but no less revealing has been largely overlooked: Israel wants to destroy a Spanish-sponsored solar power plant in the West Bank. The solar plant is not particularly big — as far as solar plants go. This is nothing compared to China's massive solar farms, but it does provide electricity for 40 Palestinian families, a school and a medical centre in a town called Emnaizel, south of Hebron in the West Bank. The Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development helped cover the costs of around ¤300,000 and the Spanish association, Seba (Servicios Energeticos Basicos Autonomos), helped with the installation in 2009. Israel claims the trouble has to do with the location. The solar panels in Emnaizel are located in Area C of the...more

Fayyad may stand down to progress unity deal
11/14/2011 - RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in the Ramallah government signaled on Monday that he is ready to step aside to help Palestinian political reconciliation and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections. The departure of the US-educated former World Bank economist, 59, would be a concession by President Mahmoud Abbas, leader of the....

Egyptian women fret as 'modesty' becomes election issue
Jerusalem Post 14 Nov 2011 - Islamist presidential candidate sparks fears as he calls for veil, bikini ban.

[uruknet.info] Heritage Oil chief recruits former Tory candidate for access to Libya's reserves
Uruknet November 14, 2011 - Tony Buckingham, the British former soldier of fortune who heads Heritage Oil, the exploration firm, appears to have sought assistance from a would-be Conservative MP to get a foothold in Libya, following the role of UK forces there in installing the new regime. According to leaked correspondence, Buckingham - with another ex-special forces soldier,...

Fayyad ready to quit to promote reconciliation
Daily Star 14 Nov 2011 Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad signaled Monday he is ready to step aside to help reconcile the two rival factions of the Palestinian national movement and pave the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.

Rabin’s legacy
Michael Warschawski, Alternative Information Center 11/13/2011
      On the hollow words that followed Yitzhak Rabin's assasination and the dangerous men who speak them--Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak
     On Saturday, the 12th of November, the murder of Yitzhak Rabin was commemorated in the Kikar Malkei Israel Square for the fifteenth time. Only 10,000 people bothered to attend to hear the hollow words and nostalgic songs.
     It is difficult, of course, to say what would have been if Rabin hadn't been murdered, taking with him, perhaps, what appeared to be the beginning of a peace process. What is certain is that the murderer's hands critically injured this process. In the wake of Rabin’s murder, one prime minister after another who had incited against Rabin--and through their wild incitement armed Yigal Amir--took power. And they will continue to control the country for a long period because an alternative simply does not exist. Peace Now is dead, as is the Labour Movement and Meretz. Two of the captains of what was dubbed, prior to Rabin’s murder, as the “peace camp” are today starring on centre stage: Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak--two serial traitors who made escaping a sinking ship a considered act, but not without critically harming the ship prior to their jump.
     Shimon Peres--who immediately following the murder of “his friend Yitzhak," whom he hated vehemently--called for “unity of the people” and acted tirelessly to return legitimacy to the camp of the murders, today sits in the President’s house. Despite his advanced age and the seemingly symbolic role which characterizes his position, he continues to take an active role in guiding state matters, not necessarily for the better. Prior to being elected President, Peres managed to defect from the sinking Labour Party. And concerning Ehud Barak, he also ran away from the Labour Party after completely destroying it, and in exchange he received tenure as head of the Ministry of Defence.
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Mel Levine / Obama has kept Iran threat at bay, and U.S. Republicans know it
Ha'aretz - Apparently, the Republican candidates for president, led by former Governor Romney, have been so busy talking with each other that they have somehow developed an alternative universe of facts.

Netanyahu postpones controversial bill on vetting Supreme Court candidates
Ha'aretz - Attorney General says bill infringes on freedom of expression and is unconstitutional.

Obama has kept Iran threat at bay, and U.S. Republicans know it
Ha'aretz - Apparently, the Republican candidates for president, led by former Governor Romney, have been so busy talking with each other that they have somehow developed an alternative universe of facts.

Lawyer, dentist associations hold elections in north
Daily Star 13 Nov 2011 March 14 and March 8 candidates split the vote in a Sunday election for two new members of Tripoli’s Bar Association.

Republicans vow to stop Iranian nuclear bomb
Daily Star 13 Nov 2011 Republican candidates vowed on Saturday to stop Iran from developing an atomic bomb if they became president but differed over how to do it in a debate that tested their knowledge of world hotspots.

Republican candidates argue on Iran
YNet News, 13 Nov 2011 - In foreign policy debate, presidential hopefuls promise to stop Islamic Republic....

Hamas: Unity for elections, not to emulate Fatah
11/12/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas will not become a carbon copy of rivals Fatah after their reconciliation deal, but welcomes the prospect of Palestinian elections, senior party official Mahmoud Zahhar said Saturday. Hamas will not negotiate with Israel, Zahhar said in an Eid al-Adha celebration in Gaza City. The May deal between Hamas and....

PA confirms Abbas, Mashaal to meet this month
Jerusalem Post 11 Nov 2011 - Fatah and Hamas leaders to meet in Cairo to discuss upcoming elections, Palestinian Authority news agency reports.

’Freedom Waves’ will continue
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 11/11/2011
      Another mission accomplished, or so it seems. Israeli navy ships have managed to thwart yet another civil society "provocation" (as described by a spokesman for the Israel Embassy in Dublin).
     Thus the 27 activists from nine countries aboard two boats were rounded up and hauled, along with their 'provocative' medical supplies, to the Israeli port of Ashdod.
     It was a successful operation conducted by a well-equipped navy, one that is credited for sinking numerous Gaza fishing boats, while forcing fishermen to swim naked back to shore. Of course, one can hardly address such valor without mention of the May 2010 attack on the Mavi Marmara, which killed nine Turkish activists and wounded many more.
     But unlike the disordered attack on the Mavi Marmara in international water, the interception and boarding of the two boats -- one Canadian and the other Irish -- was swift, well-organized and supplemented with all the necessary soundbites to indict unarmed humanitarian activists and absolve an 'elite' navy force.
     The boats were stopped between 60 and 90 kilometers from the Gaza coast. The Electronic Intifada had provided a live map, which followed their course shortly after they departed the Turkish port of Fethiye on Nov. 2. The map showed the boats were still in international waters when the Israeli army made contact on Nov. 4. The Israeli military also admitted that the interception happened in international waters.
     But all that matters little. The Israeli government is not a strong believer in boundaries. It is an occupation power, with military and espionage operations that reach far and wide, crossing Gaza to Damascus, Washington to Dubai.
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Hamas should say "NO" to elections under occupation
PIC - Holding elections under the Nazi-like Israeli occupation is an exercise in futility and political stupidity. It wouldn't advance the Palestinian cause even one centimeter forward.

Global week of action against Israel's wall in the West Bank
11/9/2011 - International Solidarity Movement - Nora Barrows-Friedman, The Electronic Intifada - Since the beginning stages of Israel's implementation and continued construction of its illegal wall in the occupied West Bank nearly ten years ago "” and compounded with the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) ruling in 2004 that the wall is in violation of several international laws "” activists....

Israel Factor: Only Romney better than Obama
Jerusalem Post 9 Nov 2011 - See what our panel thinks of the candidates one year before the November 2012 US presidential election.

Food shortages make Gaza residents rely on aid at Eid
Electronic Intifada: 9 Nov 2011 - The Electronic Intifada Gaza City International aid organizations donate fresh meat, clothing, and assistance to thousands of families in the Gaza Strip for the Eid holiday, as child malnutrition and deep poverty levels rise due to Israel’s strict blockade.more

Organize Palestinian arms in coordination with Army: PLO official
Daily Star 8 Nov 2011 Fatah Revolutionary Council member Khaled Aref called Tuesday on Palestinian factions to organize and control their arms in coordination with the Lebanese Army and security authorities...

Medical treatment delayed for hours after army shoots boy in the eye
Electronic Intifada: 8 Nov 2011 - Brendan Work The Electronic Intifada Ahed Wahdan, who recently turned 15, lost his right eye when he was shot in the face by a high-speed tear gas canister fired by an Israeli soldier.more

Why is an Israeli soldier worth more than a Palestinian child?
Electronic Intifada: 8 Nov 2011 - Dana Halawa The Electronic Intifada While the world focused on one freed Israeli soldier, no one considered the suffering of more than 160 Palestinian children who remain in Israeli detention.more

Abbas, Mashaal to meet to discuss Palestinian elections
Jerusalem Post 7 Nov 2011 - Aide to Abbas tells 'The Jerusalem Post' that the elections could be held as early as March next year.

[uruknet.info] Internet Freedom Threatened -
Uruknet November 6, 2011 - Candidate Obama promised to "(s)upport the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet." As president, his FCC and congressional extremists threaten it. On May 12, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D. MN) introduced "S. 978: A bill to amend the criminal penalty provision for criminal infringement of a copyright,...

Voters Experience Stress on Election Day, Study Finds
New York Times 7 Nov 2011 - Researchers found Israeli voters had higher levels of hormones associated with stress and making snap decisions.

Israel's vandalism of Palestinian heritage
Electronic Intifada: 7 Nov 2011 - Abe Hayeem The Electronic Intifada Amongst the fallout of Palestine’s admission as a member state, Israel’s warning that it “will now reconsider its cooperation with UNESCO ” is the biggest irony.more

[uruknet.info] Electricity won't reach Um Fagarah
Uruknet November 5, 2011 - Um Fagarah and Al Fakher are small villages whose economy has been heavily affected by settlers' attacks targeting their main source of income: sheep. The villages consist of a handful of caves, tents and some stone constructions. Despite being surrounded by illegal settlements and outposts to which the government of Israel provides water, electricity...

Israeli forces and settlers try to drive away Um Alfagara residents
11/5/2011 - International Solidarity Movement - Aida Gerard, International Solidarity Movement, West Bank - On Thursday November 3rd at dawn, 8 military jeeps with around 25 soldiers and one bulldozer arrived at Um Alfagara. The bulldozer immediately began to demolish six pylons built for bringing electrical wires from the nearby village of Attwani to Um Alfagara. The bulldozer worked a couple of....

LF, Kataeb supporters maintain grip on NDU
Daily Star 4 Nov 2011 Student candidates supportive of the Lebanese Forces, the Kataeb (Phalange) Party and their March 14 allies swept student council elections at Notre Dame University Friday...

King Abdullah Names Brother as Saudi Arabia Defense Minister
New York Times 5 Nov 2011 - Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, 76, is seen as a possible candidate to someday rule the nation.

The UN and the future of Palestine
David Finkel, Solidarity, Israeli Occupation Archive 11/3/2011
      “You can’t make this stuff up,” the Prime Minister of Israel lectured the UN General Assembly. Binyamin Netanyahu was referring to the history of Libya under Qaddafi, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein, chairing UN Commissions on Human Rights and Disarmament respectively.
     Something else you can’t make up: A visiting foreign head of government receives a rare invitation to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress, where he proceeds to mock U.S. policy as stated by the President of the United States. In response, virtually the entire Congress explodes in rapturous applause, jumping up and down — members of the president’s party and the opposing one alike, with perhaps fewer than a dozen exceptions — like 525 trained chimpanzees in front of the television cameras.
     Has this ever happened before in the U.S. Congress? Has anything like it been seen in the history of any parliamentary system on the face of the planet?
     That is what happened when Netanyahu came to Washington on May 24. At that moment, it was clear that president Obama’s frequent appeals for halting Israeli settlements to restart the “peace process” were a dead letter.
     Netanyahu returned prior to the September 23 session of the United Nations General Assembly, where Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Mahmoud Abbas would present the appeal for UN recognition of Palestinian statehood. When asked to respond to Republican candidate Rick Perry’s description of president Obama’s “naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous” policy toward Israel, Netanyahu pointedly declined to comment. -- See also: Source
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Chemi Shalev / U.S. election campaign 2012: The year of talking dangerously
Ha'aretz - The upcoming U.S. presidential campaign looks increasingly likely to produce an all-out, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners political conflagration in the Jewish community - with Israel taking center stage.

Perry would back Israel strike on Iran nuke sites
YNet News, 4 Nov 2011 - US Republican presidential candidate says he would support Israel through....

Israel’s UNESCO fiasco
Abe Hayeem, Israeli Occupation Archive 11/4/2011
      Despite the machinations by Israel and the US, there was great joy expressed at the UNESCO Assembly when Palestine was voted in as a member state
     Like thwarted spoiled bullies, both Israel and the US reacted with theatrical pique and fury. The US, never applying sanctions against Israel’s decades- long war crimes in Gaza and the OPT’s by suspending its steadfast cornucopia of billions in aid and arms, immediately withdrew its $80 million contribution to UNESCO as a collective punishment. In addition Haaretz reported that it will “consider new legislation to impose additional restrictions on American funding of the UN, threaten cutting aid to the Palestinian Authority, and slash military assistance to key foreign countries in retaliation to their support for the Palestinian bid for full UN membership.” The US is bound by law to cut the funding to any UN body involved with recognition of a Palestinian state, even at the risk of harming its own and international interests
     Israel went even further, using the settler-type “price tag”. Haaretz reported the possibility of Israel “imposing sanctions on the Palestinian Authority… increasing settlement construction, and halting the transfer of tax money which Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority.” Israel announced the go-ahead for yet another 2000 homes in East Jerusalem, using illegality and theft of land to punish a democratic vote in favour of the Palestinians, as it did with the democratic election of Hamas in 2006 (www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-it-is-israel-s-right-and-obligation-to-build-in-jerusalem-1.393341).
     Israel’s warning that it “will now reconsider its cooperation with UNESCO” is the biggest irony. Like its relentless impunity to international and humanitarian law and UN resolutions, Israel had disregarded all the warnings by UNESCO ever since its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem not to change the status of the historic Old City and its environs. -- See also: Ajazeera: The UNESCO mess by MJ Rosenberg and YouTube: Celebrations as Unesco vote to give Palestinians full membership
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Egypt and the IMF: 'Topple Their Debts'
Palestine Chronicle: 4 Nov 2011 - By Eric Walberg – Cairo The Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt's Debts was launched at the Journalists' Union 31 October, with a colourful panel of speakers, including Al-Ahram Centre for Political & Strategic Studies Editor-in-Chief Ahmed Al-Naggar, Independent Trade Union head Kamal Abbas, legendary anti-corruption crusader Khaled Ali, and the head of the Tunisia twin campaign Dr Fathi Chamkhi. Moderator Wael Gamal, a financial journalist, described how he and a core of revolutionaries after 25 January started the campaign with a facebook page DropEgyptsDebt. The IMF offer of a multi-billion dollar loan in June was like a red flag in front of a bull for Gamal, and their campaign really got underway after that, culminating in the formal launch this week, just as election fever is rising. “Just servicing Egypt’s debt costs close to $3 billion a year, more than all the food subsidies that the IMF harps about, more...more

Palestinian Killed By Electric Shock In Rafah Tunnel
IMEMC - Palestinian medical sources reported on Wednesday evening that a Palestinian man was killed by an electric shock while working inside a siege-busting tunnel on the border with Egypt, in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. ...

Welcoming Palestine to UNESCO
Richard Falk, Al Jazeera 11/2/2011
      With Palestine getting full membership to the UNESCO, it also serves as a political reminder of its bid for statehood.
     It may not ease the daily pain of occupation and blockade or the endless anguish of refugee status and exile or the continual humiliations of discrimination and second class citizenship, but the admission of Palestine to membership in UNESCO is for so many reasons a step forward in the long march of the Palestinian people toward the dignity of sunlight! The event illuminates the path to self-determination, but also brings into the open some of the most formidable obstacles that must be cleared if further progress is to be made.
     The simple arithmetic of the UNESCO vote, 107 in favor, 14 opposed, 52 abstentions, and 21 absent fails to tell the story of really one sided was the vote. Toting up the for and against votes obscures the wicked arm twisting, otherwise known as geopolitics, that induced such marginal political entities as Samoa, Solomon Islands, Palau, and Vanuatu to stand against the weight of global opinion and international morality by voting against Palestinian admission as member to UNESCO. This is not meant to insult such small states, but to lament that their vulnerability to American pressure should distort the real contours of world public opinion. Such a distortion makes a minor mockery of the idea that governments can offer adequate representation to the peoples of the world. It also illustrates the degree to which formal political independence may hide a condition of de facto dependence as well as make plain that voting within the United Nations System should never be confused with aspirations to establish a global democracy in substance as well as form. As an aside this consistently compromised electoral process within the UN System demonstrates the urgency and desirability of establishing a global peoples parliament that could at least provide a second voice whenever global debate touches on issues of human concern.
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Egypt 'will not allow' new war on Gaza
11/3/2011 - EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian security officials have expressed concerns after recent violence in Gaza despite Cairo's efforts to secure a truce between Israel and Palestinian factions. Security officials said Wednesday that Egypt "will not allow" a renewed Israeli operation against Gaza, in light of changes since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak....

Political prisoner: Hamas deal a "great step forward"
Electronic Intifada: 2 Nov 2011 - Ameer Makhoul The Electronic Intifada Gilboa Prison The prisoner exchange deal was a major achievement for Hamas and a great step forward for the Palestinian people, particularly the prisoners’ movement.more

'Islamists' on Probation: Western Reaction to Tunisian Elections
Palestine Chronicle: 2 Nov 2011 - By Ramzy Baroud Following Tunisia’s first fair and free elections on October 27, the Western media responded with a characteristic sense of fear and alarm. For many, it seemed that the ghost of the Islamic menace was back to haunt ‘Western values’ throughout the Arab world. The narrative employed by media outlets was no more than cleverly disguised Islamophobia, masquerading as genuine concern for democracy and the welfare of women and minority groups. The victory of the Ennahda (meaning Renaissance) Party was all but predictable. Official results showed that the party won more than 41 percent of the vote, providing it with 90 seats in the 217-member new Constituent Assembly, or parliament. To quell fears of Islamic resurgence, leading party members seemed to direct their message to outsiders (the US and Western powers), rather than the Tunisian people themselves. Ennahda’s Secretary General Hamadi Jebali, slated to be the next prime...more

[uruknet.info] Israeli torture traders exhibit in Paris
Uruknet October 31, 2011 - An Israeli company selling instruments of torture and repression has been given refuge at a Paris arms fair, six years after it was expelled from a similar event in London. Electroshock shields were one of the items offered by TAR Ideal Concepts at the Milipol exhibition in the French capital earlier this month, a...

Syria, Assad and the right-wing connection
Ibrahim Hewitt, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 11/1/2011
      Since the very beginning of the Arab uprisings earlier this year, the leaders of dictatorial governments at the centre of the storms across the region have raised the spectre of "Islamists" in the struggle to stay in power. "We're the best you're going to get," is the message. Initially, this was also the mantra of some governments in the West, fearful that after years of supporting dictators in the name of "stability", a euphemism for "we can't let politically adroit Muslims take control", Western governments and their allies found themselves faced with the possibility of having to deal with or worse, actually back, Muslim Brotherhood-led regimes. After years of touting democratic values around the Middle East, the awful thought dawned on Washington and London that the rejection of the democratic will of the Palestinians in 2006 which brought Hamas to power couldn't be repeated in Tunisia, Egypt and... Well, Libya is another matter; it has oil, so NATO bombers were wheeled out to "protect civilians".
     Syria is another awkward case; no oil or other minerals worth committing the lives of NATO troops to defend, and no real friend in President Basher Al-Assad, a dictator marginally more benign than his late father but a dictator nonetheless. Calls for Western Libya-style intervention have so far been ignored, despite the slaughter of thousands of anti-regime protestors calling for free and fair democratic elections. Why is this so? Articles in the right-wing Telegraph group newspapers over the past few days give us a clue as to why the West remains extremely reluctant to "protect civilians" being killed by the government in Syria in stark contrast to the way NATO rushed to bomb the Gaddafi regime in Libya into submission.
     The articles have been written by arguably the most aggressively anti-Muslim and anti-Islamist journalist writing in Britain today. Andrew Gilligan was granted what is trumpeted as Bashar Al-Assad's "first interview with a Western journalist since Syria's seven-month uprising began"; an "exclusive interview", in fact. That alone should raise some eyebrows; what on earth is Assad doing, giving such a scoop to a right-wing pro-Israel newspaper group by speaking to such an anti-Muslim hack?
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UNESCO funding cut over Palestine vote may harm US economy
Electronic Intifada: 1 Nov 2011 - Jim Lobe The Electronic Intifada Washington, DC The administration of US President Barack Obama announced Monday that it would immediately cut US funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, just hours after UNESCO ’s governing board voted overwhelmingly to grant Palestine full membership.more

Shafiq al-Hout memoirs provide warts-and-all history of PLO
Electronic Intifada: 1 Nov 2011 - Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada My Life in the PLO : The Inside Story of the Palestinian Struggle , the memoirs of the late Shafiq al-Hout, is historically sweeping, politically critical and fascinating throughout. My Life in the PLO: The Inside Story of the Palestinian Struggle Manufacturer: Pluto Press Part Number: Price: $29.00more

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Israeli soldiers stop the crew of a Palestinian ambulance. Click for more information about the treatment of Palestinian ambulance crews by the Israeli army - International Middle East Media Center photo
Mossawa - The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens of Israel
Mossawa, The Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel, was established in October of 1997 as a Non Governmental Organization. Mossawa works to promote equality for ArabPalestinians within the borders of Israel.

Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information
General information from the PA

Palestinian Information Center
Hamas news site

Palestinian National Initiative - Al Mubadara
The main objective of the Initiative is the realization of Palestinian national rights and of a durable, just peace. Both of these objectives can be best achieved at this juncture through the establishment of a national emergency leadership, the immediate implementation of democratic elections at all levels of the political system, and reform of political, administrative, and other institutional structures in order to meet the needs of the Palestinian people.

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