Vermonters for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel
Elections Archive - December 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) 31 December 2008: The Abu Areeda family
Palestinian Center for Human Rights 12/31/2011
      "Before my mother's death we used to be very happy on 1 January, have celebrations and visit people. Now we are all silent in the last hour of each year and on 1 January we don't celebrate the new year. We visit our mohter's grave. We remember."
     Around 23:30 on 31 December 2008, an Israeli warplane fired a missile at Najma Parc, a small green strip in the main street of the residential al-Shaboura neighbourhood in Rafah, killing two civilians and injuring dozens of others. Iman Abu Areeda (34) was one of the two casualties, killed by a piece of shrapnel that penetrated her brain. Seven members of the extended Abu Areeda family who were also in the house at the time of the attack were mildly injured by shrapnel. The Abu Areeda family was displaced for several weeks after the attack as the external walls in the front side of the house were destroyed. The internal walls and furniture were also damaged.
     It was about half an hour before midnight on 31 December when electricity in the area was cut. Iman went to cover her youngest son, Mohammed, who was sleeping in his room. As she was leaning over him, the missile hit a few dozen meters away from their family home. The shrapnel that came through the outer wall killed her. Iman left behind her husband Mahmoud Abu Areeda (now 39) and their 7 children: Majd (20), Randa (19), Basel (18), Hibba (14), Islam (12), Watan (9), and Mohammed (6).
     “My mother died when I was 15 years old. It was the age that I needed her the most. I was in shock and I couldn’t believe that she died. I still do not believe it. I felt like not going to school any longer but I pushed myself and kept going because I know she would have wanted me to do so,” says Iman’s second oldest son, Basel.
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Al Qaeda-inspired groups in Gaza
12/30/2011 - Israeli forces killed a leader of a Salafi faction in the Gaza Strip on Friday, the second such strike on Palestinian militants with al Qaeda ties this week. Here are some facts about the constellation of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis, who have challenged Hamas' rule in the isolated enclave. Groups -- Jaysh al-Islam (the....

[uruknet.info] Israeli ban on family visits to Gazan prisoners violates international law
Uruknet December 30, 2011 - Palestinian human rights organization Addameer condemned Israel's ban on family visits to prisoners from Gaza in Israeli jails in a press statement of 27 December. Israel prohibited these visits in June 2007 following the Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the capture of an Israeli soldier in June 2006. Addameer...

[uruknet.info] Israel strikes Gaza, threatens new war
Uruknet December 29, 2011 - Israel conducted another airstrike on Gaza overnight, this time destroying an Islamic Jihad training site in central Gaza with no casualties reported, Ma'an news agency reported. Israeli warplanes struck two targets in the raid, hitting another site in northern Gaza. Palestinian factions launched a rocket in retaliation that landed in southern Israel...

Riding Israel: A tragicomedy
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera.com 12/30/2011
      Senior political analyst explains why Newt Gingrich is no Tom Cruise, and why touting Israel is a mission impossible.
     The film "Mission Impossible 4" opened in US theatres in recent weeks, starring BMW, Apple and Tom Cruise. A two-hour-long commercial on steroids.
     If you are unfamiliar with it, Paid Product Placement (PPP) is a big thing in the movie industry.
     This is how it works: Hollywood places in its movies certain watches, cars or a laptop brands; preferably worn by George Clooney, driven by Angelina Jolie or placed in front of Meg Ryan. In "The Transformers", for example, GM’s Cameros lead with Megan Fox.
     PPP is indirect marketing that targets oblivious movie viewers, gender notwithstanding, Catherine Banning or Will Smith could be drinking Pepsi.
     The spirit and soul of a movie are sometimes compromised when its script and shooting are shaped by commercial, rather than artistic, considerations.
     PPP allows for extra budgets to produce costlier gimmicks that, in turn, bring more profit. "Mission Impossible", for example, has reaped $75m in the first 10 days at the box office.
     The same logic seems to apply to politics. PPP is one way to understand the sudden surge of Israel-schmoozing and Palestine abusing ahead of the US election.
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Exposed: UK university student claiming bias works for project of Israel pressure group
Electronic Intifada: 30 Dec 2011 - Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada London A worker at an Israeli media pressure group used her low dissertation mark as a post-graduate student at University of Warwick to smear a professor involved in Palestine solidarity activism this month.more

Republican Ron Paul fights 'anti-Israel' allegations
12/29/2011 - LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -- Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul defended his record on Israel Wednesday after a former aide said the congressman favored abolishing the nation." Dr. Paul is the most pro-Israel candidate in this race," campaign spokesman Gary Howard said in an emailed statement." He is the only leader who will stop sending tens of....

Washington Asks Israel to Release Marwan Barghouthi for Palestinian Elections in May
PNN - PNNAccording to Israeli army radio, the American government has expressed its desire to see Israel release the Fatah Central Committee member Marwan Barghouthi, sentenced to life imprisonment, to lead Fatah against Hamas...

Hamas likely to sit out on Palestinian Authority's presidential election in May
Ha'aretz - 29 Dec 2011

A nightmare that lasted three weeks; memories of Gaza massacre
Electronic Intifada: 29 Dec 2011 - Rafat Abushaban The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip Rafat Abushaban recalls how three years ago, Palestinians in Gaza united under the most terrible of circumstances during Israel’s 22 days of relentless bombing.more

PNC elections committee to start work
12/28/2011 - RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A committee responsible for Palestinian National Council elections will begin work on Jan. 15, PNC head Bilal Al Shakhshir said Wednesday. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have agreed to participate in the committee, Al-Shakhshir told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that this was considered to signal that the Islamist movements would join....

Fearing budget cuts, Israeli prisons dump electronic bracelets
Ha'aretz - 28 Dec 2011

Israel's impunity challenged by torture victim in Jerusalem
Electronic Intifada: 28 Dec 2011 - Jillian Kestler-D'Amours The Electronic Intifada East Jerusalem An important precedent was recently set that could challenge the entrenched system of impunity for Israeli interrogators who torture and abuse Palestinian detainees.more

Mashaal: Unity government needed to end division
12/27/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas chief in exile Khalid Mashaal said Monday that a unity government must be formed to end the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Speaking to Palestine TV, Mashaal said that Palestinian factions had agreed to a political program to which Hamas would adhere, albeit with amendments. The program....

Islamic Jihad Chooses Armed Resistance, Refuses Participation in Elections
PNN - PNNOn Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad renewed its rejection of the incoming Palestinian unity government and refused to participate in elections scheduled for May. Meanwhile, the Islamic movement Hamas agreed to continue reconciliation...

[uruknet.info] Palestinians to go ahead with UN statehood request
Uruknet December 26, 2011 - The Palestinian leadership and factions have agreed to ask and press for a vote on its demand for full statehood at the UN Security Council, said a top Palestinian official. Speaking to Gulf News, Bassam Al Salhi, the Secretary General of the People's Party and member of the Executive Committee of the...

Raw memories of war
Yousef M. Aljamal, Center for Political and Development Studies, International Solidarity Movement 12/27/2011
      Simply put, I hate war. I love peace, for I don’t live peacefully just like others. My youngest sister hates war too. She could never forget the sounds of American-made F16s raiding Gaza’s only Power Plant, burning it to ashes, which happened to be close to our house. I could not forget her screaming that was lower than the F16s’.
     Palestinians believe in peace. We hear about the so called the “peace process” in the news outlets and it’s never proper to discuss PR campaigns when we are talking about PEACE, that endless process. Bibi always preaches us on how to make peace, wherever he goes and whenever he talks. The idea of peace is turning to be ideal, nothing more. We believe in peace and justice. They can’t be separated as our bodies were during The Cast Lead. We don’t believe in their “peace” and abhor their apartheid-like style “shalom.” You see guys, evidentially we reject peace; we are rejectionist.
     Therefore, Palestinians deserve to be bombed. The other day, they refused to listen to the wise warnings of Tzipi Livi from Cairo as she repeated it several times: enough is enough! Pardon me; it was Gazans who had the right to repeat the ENOUGH stuff. We have a new Egypt. History does not go back again.
     On the very day of war, like many others, I was doing some reading for my final exams as some 60 strikes struck Hamas-run police stations all around Gaza. I was unable to recognize the locations of targets. Electricity went off as bombs were dropping over police stations and governmental buildings. I looked for news in people’s eyes, but could not come out with anything. They were extremely surprised at the big number of dead. Everyone was ready to accept the very notion of losing a friend, a neighbour or a relative. I learned that over 40 people, I know, were amongst the dead. Death was an acceptable thought for its smell was all around. -- See also: Center for Political and Development Studies
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Confronting intimidation, working for justice in Palestine
Electronic Intifada: 27 Dec 2011 - Ilan Pappe The Electronic Intifada If once you do not cave in, you discover that as time goes by, the ability of Zionist lobbies of intimidation around the world to affect you gradually diminishes.more

Assembly Time: Winter in Kabul
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Dec 2011 - By Kathy Kelly – Kabul Arab Spring, European Summer, American Autumn, and now the challenge of winter. Here in Kabul, Afghanistan, the travelers of our small Voices for Creative Nonviolence delegation share an apartment with several of the creative and determined "Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers" who’ve risked so much for peace here and befriended us so warmly over the past two years. Our apartment doesn’t have indoor heating or hot tap water. We bundle up, overnight, in blankets, quilts and sleeping bags, and the Westerners, unaccustomed to the indoor cold, wear at least five layers of clothing during the daytime. Tap water is contaminated, electricity shortages are frequent, and internet access is spotty, but compared to those who live in Kabul’s refugee camps, we’re ensconced in plenty of creature comforts. What’s more, we are warmed by a sense of shared purpose, our spirits high, building and exploring relationships which are...more

Rudd, Bonhoeffer and the War on Gaza
Palestine Chronicle: 27 Dec 2011 - By Vacy Vlazna For Christians, Christmas and New Year revivify reflection on core values - good will to all and peace for humankind. Between these two dates, on the 27th December, falls the third anniversary of Israel's infamous war crime - Operation Cast Lead which has left a legacy of enduring grief, trauma and disabilities for Gazan families. When reflecting on values that fortify and secure peace and goodwill, the religious values purported by political leaders, who hold life and death in their power, can comfort us and inspire a greatness of soul embracing love, compassion and justice. The year before he was elected Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, Australia's present Foreign Minister, wrote a powerful tome Faith in Politics exploring the relevancy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's religious principles on modern politics: "I argue that a core, continuing principle shaping this engagement [between a Christian and the state] should be...more

Fatah: Ready for elections, proud of achievements
12/26/2011 - RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Fatah movement said Monday that it is ready to participate in presidential and parliamentary elections in May 2012. Fatah spokesman Osama al-Qawasmi said the movement is proud of its national and political achievements and the sacrifices it has made to protect Palestinian unity."We believe that our people's.... Related: Zahhar: Hamas will sweep to victory in next elections

Abbas meets Hamas representatives in Ramallah
12/26/2011 - RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas met with Hamas representatives in his Ramallah headquarters on Monday to discuss the latest regional developments. Abbas discussed the recent Cairo meetings and possible formation of a new national council to give all Palestinian factions a chance to participate in reconciliation. The president expressed his satisfaction with the....

Zahhar: Hamas will sweep to victory in next elections
12/26/2011 - CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Senior Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar said Sunday that his movement would win a sweeping victory in upcoming legislative elections due in May. Zahhar said that Hamas would improve on their 2006 election victory, where they won 74 of an available 132 seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council. Hamas has not yet.... Related: Fatah: Ready for elections, proud of achievements

How Israeli MKs use Facebook to gauge their electorate's opinions
Ha'aretz - 26 Dec 2011

Politics and the challenge of perception
Paul J. Balles, Redress 12/26/2011
      A few years ago, I was fascinated by this very short story:
     One day a man opened the garage door, which startled a large butterfly. It flew immediately to its perceived escape, the circle-topped window where it frantically tried to exit through the invisible wall of closed glass. The man raised the third-car garage door in hopes of aiding its escape. This caused the butterfly to fly higher and higher and become entangled in a spider web.
     Fearful that it would remain entangled in the web, the man selected a long-handled broom to assist him escaping the tangled threads. At this, the butterfly returned to furiously pumping his wings and banging into the glass, which was, in his perspective, the pathway of escape, but remained his cage.
     That story had me thinking about how much the butterfly's behaviour was a paradigm for human behaviour.
     Not only butterflies have the problem of seeing new solutions. It's a challenge that applies to all creatures large and small, including humans.
     We only see what we want to see. We want to see what we already know. Realizations like these have fed the spread of the cliché "thinking outside of the box".
     The spread of the cliché highlights the fact that it's nearly impossible to change others’ perceptions of anything – of you, your favourite food, political candidate, TV programme or other pastime without a complete change in the way they think.
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Next year in Jerusalem
Jonathan Cook, Adbusters Magazine, Israeli Occupation Archive 12/26/2011
      If there was a moment defining the shift in Israel’s strategic position over the past year, it occurred in September when the Israeli embassy in Cairo was overrun by hundreds of Egyptian protesters, some armed with sledgehammers. A military plane, waiting across town, smuggled the ambassador and his family back to Israel.
     It was not quite the fall of Saigon. But it indicated how in a few months Israel had gone from a state adept at shaping its regional environment to one increasingly buffeted by forces beyond its control. After decades of dictating to its Arab neighbors, Israel looked for the first time confused and vulnerable.
     The primary cause of Israel’s discomfort is the Arab Spring, the tentative awakening of democratic forces in the Middle East. After the fall of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, the region’s autocrats have been forced for the first time to weigh the mood of their own peoples against the threats emanating from Israel and its superpower backer, the United States.
     Nowhere is the change more obvious than in Israel’s relations with the Palestinians. The past year has seen a dramatic reconfiguration of power between three elements of the Palestinian national movement.
     March saw a groundswell of popular activism in the occupied territories, especially among the youth, demanding unity from divided Palestinian leadership. The protests forced the two leading factions, Fatah and Hamas, into an uncomfortable reconciliation in early May. The incident indicated how quickly, in different circumstances, the gains from Israel’s long-standing divide-and-rule policy might unravel.
     The point was reinforced by a brief revolt by Palestinian refugees in May, on the anniversary of the Nakba, or the catastrophe of 1948 that came with the establishment of Israel on the Palestinian homeland.....
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Al-Wadiya: Social reconciliation meeting delayed until June
12/25/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions and representatives of independent figures said Sunday that a social reconciliation meeting scheduled for later on in the day will now take place on June 4. Independents chairman Yasser al-Wadiya said that the social reconciliation meeting has been delayed due to technical and procedural reasons. Some Palestinian factions....

BDS comes to Penn
Mondoweiss - (Graphic: pennbds.org ) The past few years have seen the BDS movement electrify campus activism – a bright spot on the landscape of Palestine advocacy. The movement has enabled students around the country to engage constructively with the big moral question of our era – apartheid in...

Salhi: Factions agree to further UN membership moves
12/24/2011 - CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Palestinian People's Party member Bassam Salhi said Saturday that Palestinian factions had agreed to support further moves to gain full membership at the United Nations. Salhi, speaking from Cairo, told Ma'an that during recent reconciliation meetings factions had also agreed to continue popular resistance against Israeli occupation....

Will Jerusalem cause a third Intifada?
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 12/24/2011
      This may be a journalistic hunch, but I have a feeling that we are about to witness an explosion in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, this time again over Jerusalem.
     In 2000, a Palestinian-Israeli human rights film festival took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Nazareth. The concluding event, during which the name of the winning film was to be announced, was scheduled for Ramallah. It never happened, as protesters against Israeli-Palestinian normalization marched towards the location of the event and forced its cancellation.
     The reason I relate this story is that this week, two similar events were canceled. For more than two years, Israeli and Palestinian peace activists have been working on an interesting concept: a Palestinian-Israeli confederation.
     The idea was translated into a draft constitution and elections were to be held for parliament and co-presidents earlier this month.
     Candidates and other speakers were scheduled to meet the public in three events, in Jerusalem’s Ambassador Hotel, at Talitha Kumi School in Beit Jala (the only location legally accessible to West Bank Palestinians and Israelis) and in Haifa. Sari Nusseibeh and Yael Dayyan were among the speakers. The first two events never happened as a result of consistent and angry protest by Palestinians.
     Another similar events was canceled this week. The Palestinian Israeli Journal had scheduled a conference at the Galaxy Hotel, in East Jerusalem, to launch its latest issue, titled “The impact of the Arab Spring on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
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Three years ago: A "normal morning" turns to horror in Gaza
Electronic Intifada: 24 Dec 2011 - Mohammed Suliman The Electronic Intifada London Three years ago, Israel began its savage 22-day long bombardment of Gaza. Looking back, Mohammed Suliman recalls that there seemed to be “no beginning and no end to the bombing.”more

Hamas says it plans to join Fatah-dominated PLO
12/23/2011 - GAZA CITY (Reuters) -- Rival Palestinian factions took a significant step towards reconciliation Thursday as the Islamist group Hamas said it planned to join President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization. Abbas held a meeting in Cairo with leaders from the factions, including Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal, where a committee was formed to prepare for....

Israel's treatment of women is hardly that of a democracy | Rachel Shabi
The Guardian 23 Dec 2011 - A 'dignified' dress code and gender segregation show Israel is fast becoming bigoted about dissent and difference While we've been distracted by alarmism over newly elected Islamist leaders enforcing hijabs and bikini bans in the Arab...

Haneyya: Reconciliation understandings should be implemented on the ground
PIC - Ismael Haneyya, the Palestinian prime minister has stressed Thursday that the understandings between Palestinian factions pertaining to national recompilations must be implemented on the ground.

Israel gangs up on Palestinians
Khaled Amayreh in occupied Jerusalem, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/15/2011
      Despite knowing that settlements have broken the peace process, Israel is forging ahead with plans to build new Jew-only colonies on Arab land.
     Taking advantage of the ongoing turbulence in the Arab world, the proximity of the US presidential elections, and the international community's manifest powerlessness to check aggressive Israeli unilateralism, the Israeli government has been stepping up hostile measures against the largely unprotected Palestinian community.
     The measures, which include the seizure of a large swathe of Palestinian-owned land for settlement expansion, wanton home demolition as well as unrelenting attacks and acts of vandalism against Palestinians and their property, are aimed at rendering unrealistic and impossible the goal of establishing a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state on the West Bank.
     The latest colonialist Israeli scheme would confiscate thousands of acres of mostly privately owned Arab land south of Bethlehem. This week, the Israeli occupation army approved the establishment of a new permanent settlement south of the Biblical city. The new settlement would include a large farm as well other infrastructure. It would also cut off the southern West Bank -- the Hebron region -- from the Bethlehem and Ramallah regions, putting an end to Palestinian demographic continuity in the vicinity.
     Virtually powerless Palestinian Authority (PA) officials described Israel's plans to build a new settlement as "outrageous". One PA official labelled the new expansion scheme as an "act of rape".
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Isikoff’s double standard on religion and politics
Mondoweiss - Adelson Last night on NBC, Michael Isikoff did a good piece on the new terrain in campaign finance since the disastrous Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. He focused on Super PACs, which help out a candidate unofficially and can collect unlimited contributions. One such...

Israel's siege punishing Gaza orphans
Electronic Intifada: 23 Dec 2011 - Eva Bartlett The Electronic Intifada Gaza City Charities are struggling to meet the needs of an estimated 53,000 orphans in the Gaza Strip; more than 2,000 children were orphaned during the 2008-09 Israeli war on Gaza.more

Report: Hamas agrees to join PLO
12/22/2011 - CAIRO (Ma'an) -- Hamas has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization in a move intended to bolster Palestinian reconciliation, The Associated Press reported Thursday. There was no immediate confirmation, but officials in Cairo said Hamas and Islamic Jihad expressed flexibility and indicated they would accept the PLO's legitimacy. The report came.... Related: Jihad official: PLO membership not final and Abbas orders elections commission after Cairo talks

Officials say PNI joined PLO at Cairo talks
12/22/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Officials from Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian National Initiative said late Thursday that they had accepted positions on an "interim leadership" of the PLO. Ayed Yaghi, a PNI leader, said the small faction joined the PLO and that it was a natural position to take. Yaghi told Ma'an....

Hamas: Factions agree on 6 reconciliation steps in Cairo
12/21/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Wednesday that Palestinian factions have reached agreement on six steps to be taken as part of ongoing reconciliation talks. In a statement received by Ma'an, Barhoum said that a committee composed of nine members has been formed to take charge of elections. The committee.... Related: PRC rejects dismissal from reconciliation talks and Abbas, Mashaal meet again in Cairo

PRC rejects dismissal from reconciliation talks
12/22/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Popular Resistance Committees and its armed wing on Wednesday rejected its dismissal in reconciliation talks based on the fact it is not a member of the PLO."Our existence as a faction is genuine and cannot be decided by a Palestinian faction or meeting or people. But it is.... Related: Hamas: Factions agree on 6 reconciliation steps in Cairo

Gingrich's nods to history don't impress scholars
12/21/2011 - MANCHESTER, NH (Reuters) -- "I'm speaking as a historian." It's a common refrain in Newt Gingrich's speeches, a not-so-subtle reminder of the image he seeks to build as a Republican presidential candidate: that of a serious thinker whose opinions are rooted in an appreciation of the past. From battle flags....

Main Salafist party vows to honour Egypt treaty with Israel
The National 21 Dec 2011 - A spokesman for Al Nour made the plea as voting resumed in the country's election, which has been marred by clashes between protesters and security forces that left 14 people dead this week.

Palestinian factions to meet in Cairo for reconciliation agreement
Ha'aretz - 22 Dec 2011

Palestinian factions agree on unified government
The Guardian 22 Dec 2011 - President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal finalise groundbreaking deal in Cairo after heated negotiations Rival Palestinian factions have agreed to form a unified government, which will be sworn in by the end of January....

[uruknet.info] Report: Hamas agrees to join PLO
Uruknet December 22, 2011 -- Hamas has agreed to join the Palestine Liberation Organization in a move intended to bolster Palestinian reconciliation, The Associated Press reported Thursday. The report comes as President Mahmoud Abbas met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo to put "final touches" on an agreement to reconcile the leaders' rival factions...

EI exclusive: UK charity with Mossad links secretly denounced anti-Zionist Jews to government
Electronic Intifada: 21 Dec 2011 - Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada London An influential UK charity denounced Jewish critics of Israel in secret reports to the government earlier this year, The Electronic Intifada has learned.more

The Duke of Nablus
Palestine Chronicle: 22 Dec 2011 - By Uri Avnery The name of Munib al-Masri has recently come up as a possible candidate for Prime Minister of a Palestinian national unity government. Not being a member of either Fatah or Hamas, he is acceptable to both. Al-Masri himself denies any such ambition. He says that he is too old (77), and that a younger generation of Palestinians should take over. He also says that he is quite content with his present situation. And so would you be. The West Bank city of Nablus nestles in the valley between two tall mountains, Ebal and Gerizim. Mount Gerizim is the more famous one, because it is sacred to the Samaritan people, who believe that God commanded the Israelites to build his temple there. For them, Jerusalem is just an upstart. Mount Gerizim, 881 meters above sea level, towers 330 meters above the center of Nablus. It is mentioned many...more

New Government Will Not be Formed Before Dec. 26
IMEMC - Member of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, Izzat Al-Rishiq, stated that the Palestinian factions met on Tuesday to discuss the implementation of the Unity Agreement, and decided that general elections will not be held before December 26th. ...

Palestinian factions walk out of Cairo meeting
12/20/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Eight Palestinian political factions have walked out of a reconciliation meeting meant to represent all parties after being told they could not participate because they were not part of the PLO. Sources who wished to remain anonymous told Ma'an that the Popular Resistance Movement, the Popular Resistance Committees.... Related: Hamas official cites progress at Cairo talks

Factions to address key issues in Cairo meeting
12/20/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian factions are scheduled to meet Tuesday mid-morning in Cairo to discuss the reconciliation deal signed in May, a Hamas official said. Ismail Radwan told Ma'an that among other issues, the parties will discuss the formation of an elections committee, the reactivation of the Palestinian Legislative Council, forming.... Related: Hamas official cites progress at Cairo talks and Palestinian factions walk out of Cairo meeting

Hamas official cites progress at Cairo talks
12/20/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A member of the Hamas political bureau said Tuesday that attendees at a meeting to discuss reconciliation postponed the decisive issue of PLO membership until later in the week. Izzat al-Risheq said "elections dates were discussed and agreed on forming a central elections committee. The committee is formed from one.... Related: Palestinian factions walk out of Cairo meeting and Factions to address key issues in Cairo meeting

Palestinian parties walk out of unity talks in Cairo
Jerusalem Post 20 Dec 2011 - Fatah delegation head tells eight factions they are not a part of PLO; factions include Popular Resistance Committees.

Settlers have carried out over 100 attacks on Palestinians in 2011
Mondoweiss - link to www.palestine-info.co.uk '--> link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to english.pnn.ps link to electronicintifada.net link to www.palestine-info.co.uk link to www.ynetnews.com link to www.aljazeera.com link to huff.to link to us.rd.yahoo.com link to us.rd.yahoo.com Jewish colonists carry out over 100 racist attacks on Palestinians in 2011...

Republicans on Israel-Palestine
Azmi Ashour, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/15/2011
      The party political game was always going to favour the Islamists over the revolutionaries, which puts a question mark above the legitimacy of the elections.
     On 7 December 2012, six Republican candidates for president (Ron Paul was not invited) appeared before the Republican Jewish Coalition (NRC) to campaign for Christian votes. There are Jewish Republicans, to be sure, but not enough to make a difference in this primary contest. No, the real prize that drew the candidates to the NRC event were the 40 per cent of Republican primary voters who are declared "born-again" Christians who fervently believe that Israel can do no wrong and that it is their religious duty to support any and all Israeli policies as a prerequisite to hasten the "Day of Judgement".
     The speeches were mostly filled with hysterical criticism of President Obama's "appeasement" of Israel's enemies and hyperbolic praise for Israel (with the exception of John Huntsman who, after a few pandering platitudes, spoke mostly about the economy-- and was greeted with "stony silence"). Because their remarks included such irresponsible charges and promises, I have included significant excerpts below in order to give a flavor of how out of touch today's Republican Party is from current Middle East realities:
     NEWT GINGRICH: "As president, on my first day in office, I will issue an executive order directing the US Embassy in Israel to be moved to Jerusalem as provided for in the legislation I introduced in Congress in 1995. The United States should explicitly reject the concept of a right of return for Palestinian refugees. The so-called right of return is a historically impossible demand that would be a demographic disaster and mean the end of the Jewish state of Israel. We are for a right to prosperity, a right to freedom, a right to the rule of law, a right to private property, but we must be totally opposed to a right of return. [And] the United Nations camps system must be replaced by a system of earned income and property rights to restore dignity and hope to every Palestinian."
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Eclectic new album highlights Israel's jailing of Palestinian children
Electronic Intifada: 20 Dec 2011 - James Edwards The Electronic Intifada Dublin Lost Youth - Songs of Solidarity, a new benefit album for a young Palestinian theater performer arrested and imprisoned by Israel on his way to tour Ireland, Scotland and England in 2005, has been released.more

Hamas at 24: Politics of Resistance in Changing Middle East
Palestine Chronicle: 20 Dec 2011 - By Ramzy Baroud Ever since Hamas emerged victorious in the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections, myriad public opinion polls revealed that its popularity in the Occupied Territories was on a steady decline. However, there are actually few indications that Hamas as a popular movement will be departing the Palestinian political landscape anytime soon. Ongoing talks in Cairo between Hamas and Fatah officials, sometimes involving the Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas himself, indicate that Hamas’ imprint is likely to be felt in political institutions like the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the near future. In the few weeks following the latest round of unity talks between Abbas and Hamas’ leader, Khalid Mesha’al, in Cairo, Hamas has outdone itself in commemorating its anniversary. The Gaza rally on December 14 was a stage for Hamas leaders to recount the achievements of their movement over the course of 24 years, including the number of...more

Independents, factions head to Cairo for reconciliation talks
12/19/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A delegation of independent figures and political factions headed to Cairo on Monday to hold reconciliation talks. The delegation of twenty independent figures included businessmen, academics, intellectuals, religious figures and public figures representing Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and in exile."The delegation, the biggest one since the beginning.... Related: Hamas, Fatah say cautiously positive after Cairo meet and Syria signs deal to let in Arab monitors

Fighters clash in Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
12/19/2011 - AIN EL-HILWEH, Lebanon (Reuters) -- Sporadic clashes broke out between armed factions in Lebanon's largest Palestinian refugee camp on Sunday after the bodyguard of an official there was killed, a witness and security officials said. Fighters supporting the mainstream Fatah party clashed with gunmen suspected of belonging to extremist Islamist parties, shooting at each....

Key Statements from the Last Iowa Republican Debate (December 15, 2011)
Arab American Institute 19 Dec 2011 - Just weeks away from the Iowa Presidential Caucus, Republican Presidential candidates met in Sioux City, Iowa to discuss everything from to economy to Ronald Reagan. Below are key quotes from the evening concerning Iran, Israel, Iraq, immigration and foreign policy in general. By Jamila Benkato

Interview: "Everyone can help Welcome to Palestine 2012"
Electronic Intifada: 19 Dec 2011 - Adri Nieuwhof The Electronic Intifada Large numbers of international activists plan to Tel Aviv as part of the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative to assert the right of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank to receive visitors.more

'Abbas is Fatah's only presidential candidate'
Jerusalem Post 17 Dec 2011 - Fatah leaders in West Bank appeal to Abbas to run for another term; "Abbas is the only one that can beat Hamas," senior Fatah officials says; Hamas, Fatah, to hold talks in Cairo to discuss reconciliation agreements.

[uruknet.info] Israel gangs up on Palestinians
Uruknet December 16, 2011 - Taking advantage of the ongoing turbulence in the Arab world, the proximity of the US presidential elections, and the international community's manifest powerlessness to check aggressive Israeli unilateralism, the Israeli government has been stepping up hostile measures against the largely unprotected Palestinian community. The measures, which include the seizure of a large...

West Bank Village Steps up Protests Against Israel’s Theft of Land
Intifada-Palestine: 17 Dec 2011 - Palestinians in Kufr Qaddoum demand access to their farmland, October 2011.(Wagdi Eshtayah / APA images ) Ben Lorber    The Electronic Intifada For approximately five months, the residents of Kufr Qaddoum have united to demonstrate against the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim and... more

Assailed on Facebook for Tel Aviv gig, British musician Joker appears to back out
Mondoweiss -   Joker announces what seems to be a decision to cancel Tel Aviv concer The following report came to us from London Rhymes with Palestine , a musical group that does Palestinian advocacy: Joker, a dubstep [electronic] musical artist from Bristol in the UK, recently announced he...

West Bank Village Steps up Protests Against Israel’s Theft of Land
Ben Lorber, The Electronic Intifada, Intifada-Palestine 12/16/2011
      For approximately five months, the residents of Kufr Qaddoum have united to demonstrate against the illegal Israeli settlement of Kedumim and the Israeli military’s closure of their village’s main road. Kufr Qaddoum, a West Bank village so old that, according to legend, Abraham was circumcised there with an axe, has since 1976 been plagued by Kedumim, a 3,000-inhabitant Israeli settlement that now surrounds the village on five hilltops. Kufr Qaddoum’s main road, which passes through Kedumim to link the village to Nablus, was closed by the Israeli military in 2003.
     “The people of Kufr Qaddoum used this road long before the settlements came,” said Murad Shttaiwa, spokesman for the demonstrators. “Before 2003, we could drive through the settlement with no problems. Between 2004 and 2005, after the road was closed to cars, we walked through the settlement with no problems.”
     In 2005, the road became closed to foot traffic as well. Before the new, indirect route to Nablus was constructed in 2008, “we used to walk and drive down unpaved dirt roads around Kedumim, but the settlers would still throw stones at cars and people,” Shttaiwa explained. “We would not react to it … for three years, we used to travel on a road made for animals.”
     Now that Kufr Qaddoum’s main road is closed to villagers, a 13-kilometer straight journey to Nablus has turned into a 26-kilometer detour through a busy West Bank artery. “Three people have actually died trying to get through the main road,” Shttaiwa said, “because they were ill in ambulances, and the soldiers wouldn’t let the ambulance through."
     Taking the closures to court
     When the road was first closed in 2003, villagers organized a single demonstration. “It was very peaceful,” Shttaiwa said. “The people left work and came, took their cars to where the barrier is [on the road], and then just sat and talked. We spoke with the soldiers and the soldiers stated to us that the road will eventually be opened.” -- See also: Source: Electronic Intifada
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Factions warn of 'last chance' ahead of unity talks
12/16/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian political groups have called their upcoming meeting in Cairo the last chance for implementation of a reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas. Seven months after the agreement was signed in the Egyptian capital, the factions say nothing has moved on the ground to implement the terms of the deal....

Further violence against prisoners as the second stage of the swap deal begins
Shahd Abusalama, Palestine from My Eyes 12/16/2011
      As the second stage of the swap deal begins, Israeli jailers escalate their violations of the simplest rights of the Palestinian political prisoners behind bars and exercise more violence against them. Such are the typical actions of typical Zionist soldiers.
     A statement I have heard repeatedly from all my friends who are former prisoners, every time I have asked about how Israeli torture impacts the prisoners’ spirits, is that “Israeli jailers never keep a sense of stability inside prisons. They expose prisoners to extremely difficult situations tying to depress their spirits. However, they always fail at achieving their inhumane aim. Their cruelty brings more strength and will out of the prisoners. No matter how strong those armed and heartless jailers are, our barehanded prisoners are stronger in spirit.”
     On Tuesday, 13 December, a savage group of armed Israeli jailers broke into section 10 of Eichel prison and attacked prisoners aggressively. They sprayed tear gas and pepper powder into the detainees, which resulted in several injuries and cases of suffocation. They summoned additional military units to break into all 13 rooms of the section. Adding more savagery, they confiscated all the detainees’ possessions, dragging away TV, fans, banning them from the cafeteria, and cutting off electricity and water, leaving Eichel Prison isolated from the outer world.
     Rebelling against this violent aggression, the prisoners reacted by chanting and banging on doors. Our strong-willed detainees have started a short-term hunger strike protesting the unjustified attack, and threatened to take serious protest action, like refusing to stand up for the daily count, in objection to Israeli soldiers’ brutality and arrogance.
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The daily ordeal of getting to school in Hebron
Electronic Intifada: 15 Dec 2011 - Ben Lorber The Electronic Intifada Hebron Palestinian schoolchildren and their teachers face violent settler attacks and Israeli army movement restrictions in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.more

Florida governor visits, with jobs on his mind
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 - Israel has emerged as issue in US elections because "Americans overall are extremely supportive of Israel," Scott says.

Gingrich versus the Palestinian Authority
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 - "The American congressional candidates were correct in criticizing the PA for promoting terror."

IEC board approves deal with Tamar partners
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 - Israel Electric Corp. chairman says deal is "perhaps the largest agreement ever signed in the Israeli economy."

Analysis: Palestinian rivals united by drift
Jerusalem Post 15 Dec 2011 - With elections overdue, questions over the legitimacy of both Fatah and Hamas are only likely to increase.

Take Action - Tell the RNC to Dissociate from Gingrich’s Remarks
Arab American Institute 13 Dec 2011 - Last week, Republican Presidential Candidate Newt Gingrich said that the Palestinian people were �an invented people.� Once confronted with those remarks in Saturday�s Republican debate in Iowa, Gingrich did not backtrack, but actually took it a step further, describing the Palestinians as �terrorists�:

Worse than Gingrich’s ’invented’ comment
Daoud Kuttab, Ma’an News Agency 12/15/2011
      In September 1993, the prime minister of Israel at the time, Yitzhak Rabin, wrote to PLO chairman Yasser Arafat:
     "In response to your letter of September 9, 1993, I wish to confirm to you that, in light of the PLO commitments included in your letter, the government of Israel has decided to recognise the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and commence negotiations with the PLO within the Middle East peace process."
     The letter was proof of Israel and PLO mutual recognition, which ushered in the Oslo Accords signed on the White House lawn on Sept. 13, 1993.
     The Palestinians sought and received recognition with many sacrifices. Negating or denying the existence of the Palestinian people after the government of the state of Israel recognized it shows how low some US presidential candidates have reached.
     While Newt Gingrich’s comments to a Jewish media outlet that Palestinians are an invented people was pretty bad, even worse was what happened (or didn’t) afterward.
     The statement made on the eve of the pre-Iowa Republican primaries brought immediate response from Palestinians. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi questioned whether someone making such a statement has what it takes to become the president of the United States of America. Other Palestinian officials correctly identified the statement as green light to Israelis to carry out ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.
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US Fear and Loathing over Spy Drone
Palestine Chronicle: 14 Dec 2011 - By Ismail Salami - Tehran In what seems to be nothing but US-style barefaced arrogance, President Barack Obama has demanded the return of a spy drone which violated the airspace of the Islamic Republic but which was to the humiliation of the US officials downed by the Iranian army. The top-secret RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which was used by Washington as part of the covert operations the US officials have already vowed to conduct inside Iran, was hunted down by an electronic ambush and landed with a minimal degree of damage over the city of Kashmar about 140 miles inside Iran. Consciously blind to the realities of Washington's abysmal policies, the Western media treated the report with a predilection for suspicion and disbelief and used the somewhat innocuous-sounding term 'reconnaissance drone'. However, when Pentagon later acknowledged the “mysterious loss of a surveillance drone”, they had no choice but to face the...more

Legislator Taken By Israeli Army In Ramallah
IMEMC - On Wednesday at dawn, Israeli soldiers kidnapped an elected Palestinian legislator, identified as Ayman Daraghma, from Ramallah. Daraghma is a member of the Hamas Change and Reform Bloc, the largest bloc at the Palestinian Legislative Council. ...

Poll: Most Palestinians want elections in May
12/14/2011 - RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The results of an opinion poll released Wednesday show that the vast majority of Palestinians in the occupied territories support holding elections in May, state media said. Some 85 percent of Palestinians support the current election schedule, according to the Arab World for Research and Development poll cited by Wafa, the....

Clinton: Gingrich Palestinian comment not helpful
12/14/2011 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Newt Gingrich's comment that the Palestinians are an "invented people" was unhelpful, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday, saying the Republican presidential candidate had realized this. Gingrich, a former speaker of the US House of Representatives, stirred controversy on Friday when told the Jewish Channel cable television broadcaster he....

Israelis and Americans are invented peoples: response to Newt Gingrich
Alternative Information Center - Last week, United States Republican Presidential candidate claimed that the Palestinian people are " invented ," sparking a firestorm of controversy. Here, Mitchell Plitnick takes Gingrich to task, arguing that both Israel and America are "invented," and cautioning...

Poll: Palestinians Want Elections

Coordinated American-Israeli effort working to smear critical voices
Joseph Dana, +972 Magazine 12/13/2011
      Last Friday evening, B’Tselem employees were busy sending out press releases and compiling media kits detailing the use of tear gas by the Israeli military in the West Bank. For the past ten years, B’Tselem has been one of the only Israeli organizations documenting routine violations of military and civilian law by Israeli soldiers. On Friday, an unidentified Israeli soldier shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian protester, with an American-made tear gas canister, who was throwing stones at armoured military jeeps in the village of Nabi Saleh. The military claims this was an ‘exceptional’ incident but the facts show that it is not.
     Due to the great fear of factual discourse regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there is an unprecedented attack taking place on the free flow of information underway in Israel and the United States. In Israel, organizations like B’Tselem have been targeted with anti-democratic legislation in the Knesset. Even former Israeli combat soldiers brave enough to openly talk about their experience in the West Bank and Gaza are labelled terrorists and marginalized in society. Israel’s democratic safeguards, for the Jewish citizens of the country, are eroding at an astonishingly fast rate. Some might argue that this was bound to happen in a country which deprived the democratic rights of 1.7 million citizens since its inception.
     The seamlessness of the occupation, its entrenchment and maintenance, is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic. Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich’s recent comments regarding the “invention” of the Palestinian people confirm that those who wish to defend or at least ignore Israel’s occupation are increasingly interested in the elimination of the Palestinian people from American minds. Surprisingly, or maybe not, this corrosive thinking is now a component of the US presidential election.
     Supporters of Israel’s current polices have renewed efforts to smear journalists and policy pundits who engage in factual discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Josh Block, former hit man of AIPAC, was exposed last week as leading a campaign of conservative journalists to smear journalists as “anti-Israel” and “borderline anti-Semitic”....
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Ex-top US aide offers insight into Iran
Mitchell Plitnick, Asia Times 12/15/2011
      WASHINGTON - In his first public address since departing from the White House, Dennis Ross, former top Middle East aide to United States President Barack Obama, called for increased sanctions on Iran, a careful approach to new Arab regimes and a low-key stance in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
     Speaking to an audience at the strongly pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near Policy (WINEP) [1], Ross indicated that the Obama administration was keeping all options open and would take further steps, up to and including the use of force, to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
     "[A nuclear Iran] poses a threat to vital American security interests," Ross said. "A nuclear Iran will trigger a regional arms
     race and undermine non-proliferation ... It will lead to a situation where people can't afford to wait."
     "President Obama has said all options are on the table. Force is not the first choice, but it is on the table, and time remains for diplomacy and pressure," he stressed.
     On the recent electoral victories of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ross said that the Brotherhood had "evolved and are not the same as the Salafists", the fundamentalist Muslim group that placed a strong second to the Brotherhood in the first round of parliamentary elections earlier this month.
     "We should not view [the Brotherhood] as we have in the past, though we should keep a wary eye and not dismiss their ideology."
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Separated as prisoners, reunited in Gaza on release
Electronic Intifada: 14 Dec 2011 - Pam Bailey The Electronic Intifada Gaza Strip The story of Samer Abu Seir and Loai Odeh — two men who met in Israeli prison and have remained friends ever since — speaks to the experience of so many others.more

No Gaza link to Eilat attack, spokesman says
12/13/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The government in the Gaza Strip reiterated Tuesday that no Palestinian factions based in the enclave were involved in August's attack on Eilat in southern Israel. Interior Ministry spokesman Ihab Ghussein was responding to speculation on Israeli websites that said Israel had determined it was 12 Bedouins who....

Israel’s threat to cut Gaza water supply would be "complete catastrophe"
13 Dec 2011 - Gaza, (Pal Telegraph) - “Taking our water is not like taking a toy. Water is life, they cannot play with our lives like this,” said Maher Najjar, deputy general director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility of the recent Israeli threat to cut electricity, water and infrastructure services to the occupied Gaza Strip.

Statement of AAI Chairman George Salem on Newt Gingrich
Arab American Institute 12 Dec 2011 - The statement by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich that Palestinians are an "invented people" is perhaps a new low in the campaign rhetoric of presidential hopefuls. A review of maps going back to the 16th century � and any serious review of history going back centuries...

The Republicans and the Palestinians
Robert Fantina, CounterPunch 12/13/2011
      Racism, Genocide and Business as Usual
     As each election approaches, few candidates miss making a trek to worship at the altar of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC). There they pay homage, hoping to be anointed with the generous largess that that organization dispenses, mainly through its many fallen angels.
     The most recent pilgrim to this unholy site is Republican presidential candidate wannabe Newt Gingrich, serial adulterer, egomaniac and blowhard extraordinaire. There, bowing before one of the gods of the almighty dollar, he verbalized what his fellow worshippers have vaguely hinted at, but always practiced. Said the adoring Mr. Gingrich: “Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman empire.” He further expounded: “I think that we’ve had an invented Palestinian people.”
     Mr. Gingrich chooses to ignore that this ‘non-state’ is referenced in the Old Testament.
     One might well imagine a Native American leader saying: “Remember, there was no United States country. It was part of the British Empire. I think we have an invented United States citizenry.”
     The following day, Mr. Gingrich defended his words. “Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists.”
     Mr. Gingrich is not known for his thoughtful considerations of the issues facing society today. Nor is he noted for his honesty and integrity....
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West Bank village steps up protests against Israel's theft of land
Electronic Intifada: 12 Dec 2011 - Ben Lorber The Electronic Intifada Palestinians in the northern West Bank village of Kufr Qaddoum have been holding regular protests against the Israeli occupation and settlement encroachment.more

New film documents resilience of Bedouin village destroyed 30 times
Electronic Intifada: 12 Dec 2011 - Nora Barrows-Friedman The Electronic Intifada Jillian Kestler-D’Amours talks to The Electronic Intifada about her new film focusing on the Bedouin village of al-Araqib and the women, men and children who resist displacement by the Israeli government and the Jewish National Fund.more

Newt Unleashes His Tetrodotoxin at the Palestinians
Palestine Chronicle: 13 Dec 2011 - By William A. Cook 'Remember there was no Palestine as a state. It was part of the Ottoman Empire. And I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community…' -- (Newt Gingrich, Fox News. December 10, 2011) Many “Newts” produce toxins, the rough skinned Taricha, for example, produces enough to kill an adult human, and while all “Newts” go through a metamorphosis from tadpole to lizard, few expected that metamorphosis to reach human form in the person of the front running Republican candidate for President, Newt Gingrich. This Newt avoided the Vietnam War draft while studying for his degrees, then accepted a position as an historian and geographer at West Georgia College, a position he lost when his colleagues denied him tenure. A resourceful man, Newt ran for a congressional seat numerous times before capturing the 6th...more

PLO official invites Gingrich to Palestine
12/12/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- PLO official Hanan Ashrawi on Monday invited US Republican Newt Gingrich to visit Palestine as her guest, after the presidential candidate said the Palestinian people were "invented.""I personally offer to host Mr. Gingrich," Ashrawi said in a statement. In an interview Friday with the Jewish Channel, Gingrich said Palestinians were....

Lieberman: Russia elections not perfect but such errors also occur in Israel
Ha'aretz - FM comments on bill proposing to ban mosques from using loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayers, saying the proposal was 'legitimate,' has 'precedents in the West.'

Newt Gingrich calls Palestinians 'terrorists' – video
The Guardian 12 Dec 2011 - Leading Palestinian officials have rounded on the Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his description of Palestinians as an "invented" people and "terrorists"

How Low Can US Candidates go Pandering for Money …
Intifada-Palestine: 11 Dec 2011 - “Like America’s national interest, Palestinians are sacrificed by the average voter’s indifference and the utter moral impotency at the highest elected political office in the face of the strongest US foreign interest lobby .” By: Jamal Kanj * The American election signifies... more

I was Mustafa Tamimi
Refaat Alareer, In Gaza, My Gaza! 12/12/2011
      Fifteen years ago I was Mustafa Tamimi. Two months before that it was a relative who had his skull smashed by an explosive bullet from an Israeli sniper. Later that same week another neighbor lost his eye. Before and since then, the same situation has been repeating itself again and again: an armored jeep, a soldier armed to teeth, a tiny figure of mere flesh and bones, and a stone smeared with blood on the side of the road. That’s the saga of Palestine. That’s our tale, full of injustice and oppression, whose hero struts and frets and whoever gets in his way is doomed. But we get in his way anyway.
     The pain the two rubber-coated bullets caused I can’t feel now. They do not hurt. But the grinning face of the Rambo-like Israeli soldier still does. I was mature enough then to realize that those were enemies, our enemies who are messing up everything in our lives. (I did not need anyone to teach me that by the way because I have eyes that see and ears that hear). Never had I thought then that those soldiers were sometimes doing the occupation thing for “merry sport”. Despite the glaring gazes, the frowns that left their faces wrinkled and the beatings some of my friends and I had for just being there, I had the impression that the Israeli soldiers who hit a Palestinian boy spent their nights mooning about what they did. They apparently did not. And that grin was the proof. And Mustafa Tamimi’s the most recent walking (had not he been put down) evidence.
     Yet, I blame Mustafa.
     Yes, he is to blame. He is to blame for believing deep in his heart that those trigger-happy soldiers may not shoot directly at him and if they do they might not shoot to kill. He is to blame for not armoring his body with shields of steel. He is to blame for fighting for his rights. 10 thousand dead Palestinians in the past ten years or so prove without doubt that when Israeli soldiers shoot they shoot to kill and when they aim, they aim to hit... -- See also: In Gaza, My Gaza! and EI: No miracle yesterday in Nabi Saleh: Mustafa Tamimi murdered
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Key Republican Statements from the Iowa Debate
Arab American Institute 12 Dec 2011 - By Jamila Benkato On Saturday December 12, Republican candidates (with the exception of Jon Huntsman) met in Des Moines, Iowa for a debate on issues ranging from job creation to Israel. Below we have pulled the most interesting quotes from the debate regarding immigration and the...

Why the US & Israel May Agree to Bombing Iran
Franklin C. Spinney, CounterPunch 12/12/2011
      Shaping the Popular Psyche in America's Post-Information Era
     The arguments for attacking Iran are crazy, like those for attacking Iraq in response to 9-11. But that does not mean such an attack by the American and/or the Israelis will not occur.
     Indeed, I think the political pressure for such an attack is increasing. My reasons for saying this are as follows:
     On 11 October, Patrick Seale wrote a very important essay, Will Israel Bomb Iran. Seale described secret internal deliberations in the Israeli government over the twin questions of (1) how short a time window existed for Israel to launch a sneak attack on Iran and (2) how to suck in the United States into supporting such an attack, even if an Israeli attack was launched without US approval or if the US was kept in ignorance beforehand? Seale, who is extremely well connected and very knowledgeable on the Middle Eastern affairs, also reported the Americans knew of the Israeli discussions, and the idea of Israeli decision makers thinking their window of opportunity was closing was causing alarm in Washington.
     Seale did not address the speculative question of whether or not Israel, motivated by the opportunities implicit in the US election cycle, was running a ‘perception shaping’ operation on the Obama Administration and/or Obama’s opponents in the Republican party.
     Also on 11 October, the US Attorney General Eric Holder held a spectacular press conference announcing the FBI had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States on US soil and to attack embassies of unnamed third countries. But the story was full of holes, and as I argued here, it smacked of a botched sting operation or, even worse, a false flag operation, perhaps by the Israelis or the Saudis. The story quickly lost its traction and vanished, but the impression was planted in a sound-byte-addicted popular psyche.
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Arab League condemns Gingrich’s Palestinian remarks
Ha'aretz - League official handling Palestinian affairs says Republican presidential candidate’s statement that Palestinians an ‘invented people’ was ‘irresponsible and dangerous.’

Newt Gingrich condemned for calling Palestinians 'terrorists'
The Guardian 11 Dec 2011 - Palestinian officials say Republican frontrunner's claim children are taught to kill in textbooks is based on Israeli propaganda Leading Palestinian officials have rounded on the Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his description of Palestinians as...

Free media helping to define US presidential race
Daily Star 11 Dec 2011 From late-night comedy shows to cable news interviews, free media exposure has proved influential in defining the Republican presidential candidates and setting the dynamics of the primary race, especially for lower-tier hopefuls lacking cash for TV...

No miracle yesterday in Nabi Saleh: Mustafa Tamimi murdered
Electronic Intifada: 10 Dec 2011 - Linah Alsaafin The Electronic Intifada Ramallah Linah Alsaafin witnessed the murder of Mustafa Tamimi at the hands of the Israeli army who had invaded Nabi Saleh village.more

Fayyad: “Gingrich’s Statements Cheap And Disgraceful”
IMEMC - Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, stated Saturday that the statements of U.S. Republican Presidential Candidate, Newt Gingrich, are cheap and disgraceful. The statements of Fayyad came after Gingrich stated on Friday that the Palestinians “are an invented people”. ...

Gingrich calls Palestinians an 'invented' people
12/10/2011 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- US Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich thrust himself into controversy on Friday by declaring that the Palestinians are an "invented" people who want to destroy Israel. The former speaker of the US House of Representatives predictably sided with Israel in its decades-old dispute with the Palestinians but took it a step further in.... Related: Gingrich remarks 'demeaning and ridiculous' and Fatah, Hamas condemn Gingrich remarks

Moussa: Israel must change after Arab Spring
12/10/2011 - VIENNA (AFP) -- This year's Arab Spring uprisings should effect the whole region, including Israel, Amr Moussa, the former secretary general of the Arab League and a candidate for the Egyptian presidency, said Friday."We are seeing a historic and serious change," Moussa said at the World Policy Conference in Austria's capital....

Gingrich: Palestinians an 'invented' people
YNet News, 10 Dec 2011 - US Republican presidential candidate says Hamas, PA represent 'enormous desire....

PLO, Fatah Criticize statements by US Presidential Candidate

Israel’s threat to cut Gaza water supply would be “complete catastrophe”
In Gaza: 10 Dec 2011 - *Gaza’s sole power plant still maimed by Israeli bombing in 2006. GAZA CITY, Dec 9, 2011 (IPS) -By Eva Bartlett** [re-published at Electronic Intifada ] “Taking our water is not like taking a toy. Water is life, they cannot play with our lives like this,” says Maher Najjar, deputy general director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility ( CMWU ) of the recent Israeli threat to cut electricity, water and infrastructure services to the occupied Gaza Strip. “Everything will be affected: drinking and washing water, sewage and sanitation, hospitals, schools and children,” says Ahmed al-Amrain, head of power information at the Palestinian Energy and National Resources Authority ( PENRA ). The Israeli Electric Company provides 60 percent of the Strip’s needs, paid by Palestinian customs taxes collected by the Israeli authorities. Gaza buys 5 percent from Egypt and tries to generate the remaining 35 percent at Gaza’s sole power plant, maimed by the 2006 Israeli...more

Israel mortified over Lieberman's latest gaffe
12/9/2011 - JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli officials were squirming in embarrassment on Friday over remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman after he described Russia's contested parliamentary elections as "free and democratic." Lieberman's comments, which were reported by Russian news agency Itar-Tass, come as Moscow struggles with a wave of protests over allegations of vote....

Newt Gingrich: Palestinians are an 'invented' people
Ha'aretz - U.S. Republican presidential candidate differs with official U.S. policy that respects the Palestinians as a people deserving of their own state based on negotiations with Israel.

MIDEAST: Life Without Water a Growing Threat
IPS "Taking our water is not like taking a toy. Water is life, they cannot play with our lives like this," says Maher Najjar, deputy general director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) of the recent Israeli threat to cut electricity, water and infrastructure services to the occupied Gaza Strip....

[uruknet.info] Gaza: Life Without Water a Growing Threat
Uruknet December 9, 2011 - "Taking our water is not like taking a toy. Water is life, they cannot play with our lives like this," says Maher Najjar, deputy general director of the Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) of the recent Israeli threat to cut electricity, water and infrastructure services to the occupied Gaza Strip. "Everything will...

Hamas is right in insisting on election guarantees
PIC - Hamas' demands for meaningful guarantees that would ensure free and fair elections have drawn some consternation among Palestinian Authority (PA) officials, especially Fatah leaders.

Gingrich Suggests a Reversal of Mideast Policy
New York Times 9 Dec 2011 - Newt Gingrich’s statements go beyond what other conservative Israeli leadership and Republican candidates have said, with experts noting that they might be counterproductive to establishing peace.

Israeli army officers 'urge government to strengthen PA'
12/8/2011 - TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Senior Israeli army officials say the Israeli government should strengthen the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority to avoid Hamas gains in elections next year, the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv reported Thursday. Israeli officers advocate giving more permits for Palestinians in the West Bank to work in Israel, approving job creation programs and....

Report: Hamas insists national vote in East Jerusalem
12/8/2011 - TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Hamas is adamant that East Jerusalem take part in any upcoming national election, Israeli media said on Thursday. Citing a senior Palestinian source, Israeli daily Haaretz said Hamas is using the condition to avoid elections that might push them from power in the Gaza Strip, knowing Israel will not.... Related: Hamas denies seeking guarantee of Jerusalem vote

Hamas denies seeking guarantee of Jerusalem vote
12/8/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Hamas dismissed a report in the Israeli press Thursday that it was demanding certain preconditions be met before agreeing to hold national elections for a new government. Israel's Haaretz daily reported Thursday that Hamas was demanding Jerusalem be included in any future election, something Israel could block, as.... Related: Report: Hamas insists national vote in East Jerusalem

Israeli Court Rules to Expel Palestinian MP Attoun to Ramallah
PNN - PNNOn Wednesday, the Israeli Conciliation Court decided to expel Palestinian Legislative Council member Ahmad Attoun to Ramallah. A previous Jerusalem council member, Khaled Abu Arfah, said that Attoun refused to sign on...

FM: Russian elections were free, democratic
Jerusalem Post 8 Dec 2011 - Foreign Minister says Israeli observers found no problem with Russian elections criticized by world leaders as fraudulent.

East Jerusalem Palestinians Must Vote, If Not in PA Elections Then in Israeli Ones
Tikun Olam - Avi Issacharoff has penned another one of his stenographic reports that could’ve been dictated (and very well might’ve been) by the right wing political or military leadership.  In it, he claims that Hamas and the PA will demand that in the coming Palestinian elections Hamas be...

Toward a true paradigm shift in Palestine
Ramzy Baroud, Ma’an News Agency 12/9/2011
      The Palestinian uprising or intifada of 1987 remains the single most significant triumph of popular mobilization in Palestinian history.
     The first intifada, as it is commonly known, had, once and for all, placed the Palestinian people as a collective on the political map of a region that previously had room only for Israeli Merkava tanks and US "peace envoys."
     The Arab body politic had been led by mostly powerless leaders, and Palestinian factions with multiple allegiances were led by men with numerous nom de guerres.
     Not discounting the fact that some of the Palestinian factions had, in fact, contributed to the long and arduous struggle for Palestinian freedom, a chasm had long existed between the larger mass of the Palestinian people and those who claimed to represent them.
     The intifada tried to change that unsettling paradigm. It transported the struggle away from Arab capitals back to Palestine, and more importantly, involved ordinary Palestinians in the campaign to end Israeli occupation.
     The parties that represented the traditional "players" in the conflict faced an unprecedented situation in a conflict that had previously been determined almost solely by Israel’s military might, enabled by US unconditional support and Arab acquiescence.
     But this time around, no bullets were deadly enough, no US support was generous enough, and no political submission was demoralizing enough to stifle the spontaneous calls of freedom made by ordinary Palestinians.
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Towards a True Paradigm Shift in Palestine
Dissident Voice: 8 Dec 2011 - The Palestinian Uprising or Intifada of 1987 remains the single most significant triumph of popular mobilization in Palestinian history. The First Intifada, as it is commonly known, had, once and for all, placed the Palestinian people as a collective on the political map of a region that previously had room only for Israeli Merkava tanks and US ‘peace envoys’. The Arab body politic had been led by mostly powerless leaders, and Palestinian factions with multiple allegiances were led by men with numerous nom de guerres. Not discounting the fact that some of the Palestinian factions had, in fact, contributed to the long and arduous struggle for Palestinian freedom, a chasm had long existed between the larger mass of the Palestinian people and those who claimed to represent them. The Intifada tried to change that unsettling paradigm. It transported the struggle away from Arab capitals back to Palestine, and, more importantly,...more

US candidates back Israel, threaten Iran
12/7/2011 - WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Republican presidential candidates rattled sabers against Iran and skewered President Barack Obama for being soft in his support for Israel on Wednesday as they vied for the backing of Jewish Republicans. One by one, the major contenders for the Republican nomination to face the Democratic president in 2012 told the Republican Jewish Coalition....

Egypt's Islamists claim most seats in run-off vote
12/7/2011 - CAIRO (Reuters) -- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood said on Wednesday it won most seats in a first-round parliamentary vote, with early tallies suggesting liberals had backed some of its candidates to block hardline Salafis. The Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which has promised to work with a broad coalition in the new assembly....

Hamas demands Palestinian elections be held in East Jerusalem
Ha'aretz - Israel expected to object to May presidential, parliamentary elections taking place in East Jerusalem; Senior Palestinian source accuses Hamas of trying to torpedo election.

U.S. Presidential candidates slam Obama's Israel, Iran policy at Republican Jewish Coalition
Ha'aretz - GOP Presidential hopefuls accuse Obama administration of being soft on Iran and hard on Israel; Gingrich, Bachmann say would move U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Lieberman: Russia elections were fair and democratic
Ha'aretz - Foreign Minister meets with Putin in Moscow, discusses Mideast security matters and urges him not to support unilateral steps by Palestinians at UN.

Former IDF chief candidate denies vow to support Barak on Iran strike
Ha'aretz - In meeting with State Comptroller, Maj. Gen. (res.) responds to claims that the Defense Minister backed his candidacy over his views on a possible military actions against Iran's nuclear facilities.

Republicans talk tough on Iran, vie for Jewish vote
Jerusalem Post 7 Dec 2011 - US presidential candidates meet Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington; Gingrich: I would move US embassy to J'lem.

Republican candidates appeal to pro-Israel vote at coalition forum
The Guardian 7 Dec 2011 - Candidates call for tough sanctions against Iran's nuclear programme while bashing Obama's Middle East foreign policy Republican presidential candidates made a prolonged pitch for the pro-Israel vote on Wednesday with calls for regime change in Iran...

Israelis in panic after Egypt's Islamists won first round of election
PIC - 06/12/2011 - 04:21 PM

GOP presidential candidates offer red meat on Israel at Republican Jewish Coalition forum
Mondoweiss - Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke earlier today at the Republican Jewish Coalition's presidential forum (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images via The Guardian ) Six Republican candidates for president, minus Ron Paul , addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition's (RJC) forum today , and gave the audience...

‘Politico’: battle has begun for the soul of the Democratic Party over love affair with Likud
Mondoweiss -   Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama addressing AIPAC in 2008 (above). Is the Democratic Party consensus on Israel splintering? A very important piece at Politico : Ben Smith acknowledges the tremendous significance of critics of Israel inside two Democratic Party establishment-linked orgs. Two of the...

Panetta: Israel & Palestine must ‘Get to the Damn Bed’
Dr. Ashraf Ezzat, Intifada-Palestine 12/6/2011
      (ALEXANDRIA, Egypt) – In remarks made at the Brookings Institution in Washington on Friday, Panetta said: “The problem right now is we can’t get them [Israel's leaders] to the damn table to at least sit down and begin to discuss their differences.
     “We understand the concerns of Israel, we understand the concerns of the Palestinians.
     “If they sit at a table and work through those concerns and the United States can be of assistance in that process, then I think you have the beginning of what could be a process that could lead to a peace agreement.
     “But if they aren’t there, if they aren’t at the table, this will never happen. So first and foremost get to the damn table.”
     One is obliged to say that Panetta’s statement reflects nothing less than sound and timely thinking. And I’m sure he is proposing this entirely innovative and unprecedented idea for the interest of both the Israelis and the Palestinians and that the call for both parties to get together and work through their fears is not just one of the usual American stunts prior to the upcoming presidential elections.
     But then again, what is the point of getting them together, no offence intended here, but what will they be talking about? Land for peace? Well, the Palestinians almost ran out of that item, they have no more land they can offer in exchange for peace.
     East Jerusalem? Out of the question … West Bank? No, that is Samaria and Judea now. The refugees .. what about them? they will remain refugees. Gaza, that’s the junk yard of the region … who would want to live in a junk yard, crammed in dirty slums.
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New Pappe book highlights plight of forgotten Palestinians
Electronic Intifada: 7 Dec 2011 - Asa Winstanley The Electronic Intifada Historian Ilan Pappe addresses the plight of Palestinians who remained in the new State of Israel following the Nakba in The Forgotten Palestinians. The Forgotten Palestinians: A History of the Palestinians in Israel Manufacturer: Yale University Press Part Number: Price: $30.00more

Former prisoner, PFLP leader: hunger strike "made revolution in the prisons"
Electronic Intifada: 6 Dec 2011 - Ben Lorber The Electronic Intifada Hebron Abdel-Alim Da’na, a leader of the PFLP and a professor at Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron, speaks to Ben Lorber about his experience in Israel’s prisons.more

Russia United, for the Time Being
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Dec 2011 - By Eric Walberg - Cairo With a 60 per cent turnout, United Russia's solid 49.5 per cent plurality in the 4 December Duma elections, giving it 238 of the 450 seats, is the envy of any Western political party. But it is nonetheless a disappointment after its 2007 sweep, where it gained over two-thirds of the seats. Very, very few parties ever approach the magic two-thirds that lets them ignore the opposition and change the constitution, and Prime Minister and president-virtually-elect Vladimir Putin even put a positive spin on the results: “This is an optimal result which reflects the real situation in the country,” Putin, 59, said coolly. “Based on this result we can guarantee stable development of our country.” (He will be recrowned president in pro forma elections 4 March.) Post-Soviet Russian politics over the past two decades has been a rollercoaster. Until the founding of United Russia in...more

Towards a True Paradigm Shift in Palestine
Palestine Chronicle: 7 Dec 2011 - By Ramzy Baroud The Palestinian Uprising or Intifada of 1987 remains the single most significant triumph of popular mobilization in Palestinian history. The First Intifada, as it is commonly known, had, once and for all, placed the Palestinian people as a collective on the political map of a region that previously had room only for Israeli Merkava tanks and US ‘peace envoys’. The Arab body politic had been led by mostly powerless leaders, and Palestinian factions with multiple allegiances were led by men with numerous nom de guerres. Not discounting the fact that some of the Palestinian factions had, in fact, contributed to the long and arduous struggle for Palestinian freedom, a chasm had long existed between the larger mass of the Palestinian people and those who claimed to represent them. The Intifada tried to change that unsettling paradigm. It transported the struggle away from Arab capitals back to Palestine,...more

Interns needed
B'tselem 6 Dec 2011 - B'Tselem is seeking interns for our communication department. Candidates should be fluent in English. A working knowledge of Hebrew is a benefit. Internships include field work and study tours to of human rights issues in the West Bank. For further information please contact Zvi Shulman at: zshulman@btselem.org.

Israel can never steal our heritage
Electronic Intifada: 6 Dec 2011 - Rana Baker The Electronic Intifada Gaza City We Palestinians have nothing to cherish more than our roots and ancestral identity. And no matter how hard it tries, Israel can never take our heritage away from us.more

Netanyahu calls for Likud vote in move linked to US outlook
12/6/2011 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a snap Likud party leadership vote, officials said on Monday, a contest he is expected to win and which could pave the way for an early national election in Israel. Some commentators said Netanyahu was quietly preparing for the possibility that US President Barack Obama, with....

Fatah official: No progress on unity deal
12/6/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian reconciliation has failed to advance despite a recent meeting between Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and Fatah leader President Mahmoud Abbas, a Fatah official said Monday. The official, who participated in the meeting but spoke on condition of anonymity, told Ma'an the talks were promising but said bold.... Related: Palestinian factions to visit Cairo for reconciliation talks

Palestinian factions to visit Cairo for reconciliation talks
12/5/2011 - GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Palestinian political factions are due to meet with Egyptian officials in Cairo this week to discuss implementation of the reconciliation deal. Delegations from the Palestinian People's Party and Palestinian Democratic Union departed on Monday for meetings in the Egyptian capital, and a Democratic Front for the Liberation of.... Related: Fatah official: No progress on unity deal

Op Ed: Democrats or Republicans, Same Old Stance on Israel
PNN - by Mousa al-Shanteer As the upcoming presidential election approaches, many politicians are beginning to overemphasize their support for Israel. Sadly enough, this support isn’t confined to either the Democrats or the Republicans,...

Islamists look to extend gains in Egypt parliamentary elections
The National 5 Dec 2011 - In the individual contests, all but four of the 56 seats up for grabs went into a run-off vote being held yesterday, with about 20 of them being contested between FJP and Nour candidates.

'Israel worried over Islamist gains in Egypt'
Jerusalem Post 5 Dec 2011 - But J'lem respects elections, Barak says; Islamists seek gains in run-off vote; 52 of 56 individual candidate seats still up for grabs.

Netanyahu calls for snap leadership ballot, eyes U.S. outlook
Daily Star 5 Dec 2011 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a snap Likud party leadership vote, officials said Monday, a contest he is expected to win and which could pave the way for an early national election in Israel.

Islamists need to be vigilant, not euphoric
PIC - The sweeping victories Islamist political parties have scored in recent elections in a number of Arab countries should grant the Arab masses a lot of confidence in pursuing their goals.

The reconciliation train is back on track, but beware of further derailment
Oraib Rantawi, Middle East Monitor (MEMO) 12/5/2011
      The obstacles remain huge but conciliation must not be derailed.
     The meeting in Cairo between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal can be best described as "an important step in the right direction", not least because reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas appears to be more likely. It has set the stage for dialogue which, it is hoped, will move beyond discussion about power sharing towards the development of strategies for action on a national level.
     From what we understand, the Cairo meeting looked at three main issues: a unified action programme; consensus about the forms of the national struggle (and on this it was noticed that Abbas and Meshaal agreed on the right of return, self-determination and state-building on the 1967 borders with a capital in Jerusalem); and agreement on the structuring of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation as the unified and sole representative of the Palestinian people. The two men also agreed on the slogan "Peaceful Popular Resistance" in the spirit of Tahrir Square in Cairo, Habib Bourguiba Street in Tunis and Change Arena in Sana'a.
     The reconciliation meeting should not be seen in terms of winners and losers; everyone left Cairo as a winner, especially the people of Palestine. Theirs is a just cause and they are now in a win-win situation.
     Hamas has moved towards Fatah and the PLO programme; Fatah has moved towards what might be called "Hamas resistance". The Islamic Resistance Movement started to accept the concept of a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem years ago, and has sent many signals out in this regard, albeit with "ifs" and "buts". Fatah, the PA and the President may have taken the option of popular resistance before now, but did not take it forward very seriously. However, in Cairo, the two parties' positions crystallised in a consensus about the way forward, including the rebuilding of the PLO and the PA.
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Joint resistance strategy
Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly 12/1/2011
      Finally, the leaders of Hamas and Fatah appear to be reading from the same page.
     Hassan Ouda, 21, was unable to call his mother on his cell phone because of the heated debate between his colleagues on the bus on their way to university Saturday morning. They were discussing statements by Ezzat Al-Reshq, member of Hamas's politburo, after a meeting between the group's chief Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo. It was the first time that Hamas declared its support for "peaceful resistance" against the Israeli occupation. The students were divided over Al-Reshq's declaration which marked a clear shift in the group's position that had previously insisted on armed resistance as the only means to liberate Palestine.
     It was clear that the majority of students supported the statement. Indeed, agreement between Meshaal and Abbas to focus on peaceful resistance or "popular resistance" is the most significant understanding that Fatah and Hamas have reached since a rift opened between them after the Oslo Accords were signed in 1993. Publicising this agreement confirms what Al-Ahram Weekly reported last week that the meeting between Meshaal and Abbas would essentially focus on reaching consensus on a joint political agenda in the coming phase.
     Hence, although Meshaal's meeting did not result in an announcement about the identity of the candidate who will form the next government, agreement on prioritising peaceful resistance in the coming phase demonstrates flexibility in Hamas's position. At the same time, Fatah's admission that negotiating with Israel is no longer viable and that the next phase requires that the reconciliation agreement is implemented to augment the ability of Palestinians to isolate Israel on the international stage indicates that the leaders of the Palestinian Authority (PA) have finally realised the futility of negotiations and settlement.
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South African activist: "Palestine casts light on our own history"
Electronic Intifada: 5 Dec 2011 - Adri Nieuwhof The Electronic Intifada South Africa A South African activist working for the global boycott movement against Israeli apartheid connects the ongoing anti-colonialist struggles from Johannesburg to Palestine.more

Israel jails asylum seekers, labels them "infiltrators"
Electronic Intifada: 4 Dec 2011 - Jillian Kestler-D'Amours The Electronic Intifada Tel Aviv An amendment to Israel’s “Prevention of Infiltration” law will mean prison time for asylum seekers and their children — as well as for those who offer them humanitarian aid.more

Egyptian election sends shiver through Israel
12/3/2011 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel is preparing for a more precarious future with neighbor Egypt where Islamist power appears to be a rising tide forecast by Israeli leaders at the beginning of Arab unrest 10 months ago. Already preoccupied with the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the widely predicted electoral triumph for mainstream and ultraconservative Islamist groups in.... Related: Israel: Egypt has 'no alternative' but to keep peace

Israel: Egypt has 'no alternative' but to keep peace
12/3/2011 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel voiced deep concern on Saturday at the electoral rise of Islamism in Egypt but urged the Arab power to consider it had "no alternative" to maintaining its peace accord with Israel. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which had been curbed under former President Hosni Mubarak's US-backed regime, expects to win.... Related: Egyptian election sends shiver through Israel

Cartoonist sparks outcry as Egyptians tally vote
12/4/2011 - BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Brazilian cartoonist whose caricatures against the former regime of Hosni Mubarak won him praise in the Arab world is now in the spotlight himself amid Egypt's divisive election. Carlos Latuff's latest illustration, pointing to a sharp surge in support for Islamic candidates, was not received favorably....

Egyptian election results 'disturbing' says Israel's defence minster
The Guardian 3 Dec 2011 - Early successes for Muslim Brotherhood prompt Ehud Barak to voice fears that international treaties will not be respected Israel's defence minister, Ehud Barak, has said that initial results from Egypt's parliamentary elections are "very, very disturbing"....

[uruknet.info] Next Israel will ban oxygen from Gaza
Uruknet December 2, 2011 - Reading the news online now I see Israel disapproves of the Hamas-Fatah moves toward reconciliation, Israel vowing to cut off water and electricity to Gaza. [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...

Palestinians will have to wait for another year?
Daoud Kuttab, Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN) 12/1/2011
      Leaders have a habit of creating expectations for their people; these are higher in the case of groups that suffer from injustice.
     Not wanting to set precise time limits, leaders sometimes say elections will take place in the winter of the coming year, in the first half of the following year, and similar such vague dates.
     Palestinians, still waiting for a state of their own, free from the yoke of an unjust colonial military occupation, probably received the highest number of promises that never materialised. They started at the beginning of the 20th century, when British leaders promised Arab leaders that Palestine will be free and independent (while at the same time promising Jews a homeland in Palestine); then, throughout that century and in the 21st, record books were filled with unfulfilled promises to the Palestinians.
     The most recent, totally useless was the promise made by US President Barack Obama from the UN rostrum. Speaking at the opening of the winter session of the General Assembly, in September 2010, Obama said: “When we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations - an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.”
     Not only did the Obama administration join previous US governments in making false and unfulfilled promises, it also began an active campaign to ensure the failure of a UN Security Council resolution dealing with that very issue.
     The past year was yet another in which the international community has failed to end a military occupation that the Security Council unanimously rejected in 1967. UN Security Council Resolution 242 declares in its preamble the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war”.
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Tristan Anderson civil suit delayed as new evidence emerges
Electronic Intifada: 3 Dec 2011 - Charlotte Silver The Electronic Intifada A civil suit filed by the family of Tristan Anderson, a US activist seriously injured by the Israeli army during a protest, has been delayed due to the revelation of new material evidence.more

Netanyahu shattering the myth of Israeli democracy
Electronic Intifada: 3 Dec 2011 - Jonathan Cook The Electronic Intifada Nazareth It takes some chutzpah — or, at least, epic self-delusion — for Israel’s prime minister to be lecturing the Arab world on liberalism and democracy at this moment.more

Japan supports rural communities in West Bank
12/2/2011 - RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Japan on Thursday granted funding for two projects to support rural communities in the West Bank. At his office in Ramallah, Japan's representative to the Palestinian Authority Naofumi Hashimoto signed contracts to fund a compost production plant in Jericho and to supply a Jenin village with electricity. The production....

Egypt election results: vote turnout hits record 62 per cent
The National 2 Dec 2011 - A wide majority of the individual contests will go into a run-off next week because no candidate gained an outright majority.

Netanyahu to Livni: Only elected Israeli goverment should negotiate with Palestinians
Ha'aretz - PM's comments come following meeting between Opposition Leader and PA President Abbas; Livni: Your government should negotiate instead of bringing on Israel's isolation.

Former A-G Mazuz on list of Supreme Court candidates
Jerusalem Post 2 Dec 2011 - List includes women, Sephardi and Arab Christian candidates, including Katsav trial judge.

Israeli Settlers Harass Released Prisoners, Threaten Them With Death
Intifada-Palestine: 2 Dec 2011 - Brendan Work      The Electronic Intifada    West Bank Human Rights Israeli settlers harass released prisoners, threaten them with death Brendan Work The Electronic Intifada West Bank 1 December 2011 Hani Jaber, 36, conducts an interview in a safe location away... more

Obama and Israel’s Security
Intifada-Palestine: 2 Dec 2011 - by Alan Hart If American election campaign funders who support Israel right or wrong formed a circle and demanded that President Obama stand naked in the middle of it while they sang Hava Nagila (“Let us rejoice”), I am sure he... more

Soldiers Attack Detainees In Nafha Prison
IMEMC - Israeli soldiers attacked on Thursday several detainees held in the Nafha detention camp, in the Negev Desert. In a letter sent to Husam Society, the detainees said that they have been without electricity since more than three days. ...

PCHR Welcomes Elections in Egypt and Tunisia, the Dawn of Arab Spring
Palestinian Center for Human Rights Thursday, 01 December 2011

Beinisch: MKs, ministers are delegitimizing Supreme Court
Jerusalem Post 1 Dec 2011 - Supreme Court president says politicians are conducting a deliberate campaign of incitement against the court; Former A-G Menahem Mazuz on new list of Supreme Court candidates.

Israeli Occupation Forces Demolish Homes and Mosque, Arrest Girls Near Hebron
Intifada-Palestine: 1 Dec 2011 - Submitted by Ali Abunimah - The 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... more

Wolf Blitzer will host surging Paul, but Republican Jewish Coalition won’t
Mondoweiss - As Alex Kane notes above, Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican, has been barred from next week's Republican Jewish Coalition forum of the candidates. Adam Kredo : Paul was not invited to attend the RJC's candidates forum because the organization - as it has stated numerous times in...

After missteps on aid to Israel, GOP candidates set to prove their devotion
Mondoweiss - The GOP presidential hopefuls, minus Ron Paul, will attend the Republican Jewish Coalition's forum next week ( Photo: RJCHQ.org ) Soon after Republican presidential candidates Rick Perry and Mitt Romney suggested in a debate that U.S. foreign aid--including to Israel--should start at zero , campaign statements were issued by...

Book review: Putting occupation's profiteers in the dock
Electronic Intifada: 1 Dec 2011 - David Cronin The Electronic Intifada Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation is required reading to understand how some enterprises are accomplices to murder. Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation: Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine Manufacturer: Pluto Press Part Number: Price: $33.00more

Israeli settlers harass released prisoners, threaten them with death
Electronic Intifada: 1 Dec 2011 - Brendan Work The Electronic Intifada West Bank Israeli settlers have put prices on the heads of Palestinians who were freed as part of the recent prisoner swap.more

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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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