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MESA rallies to Gordon`s defenceRichard Silverstein - Tikun Olam - The Middle East Studies Association (MESA), the most distinguished professional group representing faculty who teach in the field of Middle East Studies, has written to Ben Gurion University president Rivka Carmi to protest against her attacks on Prof. Neve Gordon for publishing an L.A. Times op-ed endorsing the Global BDS movement. If you’ve been following this blog, the latest development is an orchestrated campaign to drive Gordon from his chairmanship of the political science department.30/8/2009
Gay filmmaker pulls out of TIFF in protestby John Greyson Source: staff / National "Greyson criticizes film fest`s Tel Aviv spotlight"29/8/2009
An Appeal to Israeli Filmmakers on their Visits AbroadBy Udi Aloni Open letter addressed to Gal Uchovsky and Eitan Fuchs "The Ambassadors: Are Prominent Israeli Cultural Figures the New Diplomatic Cadets of Minister Avigdor Lieberman? There is concern among left wing circles in Toronto and elsewhere that this event is the result of Israeli pressure to brand Israel as a democratic-enlightened state."28/8/2009
Germany mediating Israel-Hamas prisoner dealMa`an staff/Ali Waked/Ron Ben Yishai/Roee Nahmias - Ma`an/Y-net - German intelligence chief Ernest Uhrlau was said to be leading the mediation effort. Senior Hamas official Ayman Taha told Reuters on Tuesday that Germany’s intervention had helped move the talks forwards. Reportedly the Germans got Syria, Sudan and a number of European countries to agree to take in the released Hamas militants whom Israel wants to go into exile, under the condition that they return to their original place of residence after a year.26/8/2009
Lawyer: `No film of Shfaram lynch, no indictment`Dan Izenberg - Jerusalem Post - "If the film was lost, the indictments are baseless and illegal," attorney Ahmed Raslan told The Jerusalem Post. But Raslan said it is also possible that the police and the prosecution were concealing the film because it would hurt their case if they handed it over to the defense. The film might have shown that the defendants, even though they were present during the lynching, had nothing to do with it. 26/8/2009
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad says time is running out for peaceJames Hider - The Times (London) - The Palestinian Authority intends to bypass failing peace talks and establish its own de facto state within two years, Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Prime Minister, said. �After 16 years [of failed peace talks] why not change the discourse? We have decided to be proactive, to expedite the end of the occupation by working very hard to build positive facts on the ground, consistent with having our state emerge as a fact that cannot be ignored". 25/8/2009
Egypt media accuses Israel of zooming in on its water sources Zvi Bar`el- Ha`aretz - "From time to time, the claim is heard in Egypt that the government, in its search for additional sources of revenue, wants to sell water to Israel. Another contention stated by opponents of improved relations with Israel is that the latter is working with friends in Ethiopia to interfere with the sources of Egypt`s water. "We do not intend to sell water to Israel," Ethiopian minister of water resources Asfaw Dingamo reassured the Egyptians at a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart late last month. "After all, water doesn`t have wings and it can`t fly to Israel." 21/8/2009
Israel, Palestinians trade blame for peace deadlock YNET - "Day after US President Barak Obama renews call on parties to resume negotiations, senior Israeli official says, `Palestinian side has prevented return to talks by making unprecedented preconditions`. Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat rejects charge, saying, `Stopping settlement activity is Israeli obligation, not Palestinian condition`" 21/8/2009
Irish construction giant digs deeper in occupation Adri Nieuwhof The Electronic Intifada, "A recent acquisition by the Israeli subsidiary of brick and mortar giant Irish CRH has placed the European conglomerate under increased pressure from Palestine solidarity activists. Irish CRH, formerly known as Cement Roadstone Holding, owns 25 percent of the Mashav Group, an Israeli construction firm. Mashav recently announced that it will acquire Hanson Israel, a subsidiary of Germany`s HeidelbergCement. With the acquisition of Hanson Israel, CRH is further entrenched in violations of international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)."21/8/2009
Palestine`s sounds of music - VideoBy Zeina Awad in the Chouf mountains, Lebanon -Al Jazeera - " Nazzal, a 21-year-old Palestinian singer, had never left the Occupied West Bank before and had only known of Lebanon from films and news coverage. But on Wednesday night she joined the Palestinian Youth Orchestra (PYO) in a performance before a packed audience at the festival, 45km south-east of Beirut. "15/8/2009
Saudis reject call for Israel tiesAl Jazeera - " Saudi Arabia has dismissed calls by the US government to mend relations with Israel to help restart peace talks between the Israel and the Palestinians. Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, said on Friday that Riyadh would not consider forging links with Israel until it agrees to withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territories.1/8/2009
YouTube : Bruno and Zionist propaganda?Sky News - " An alleged terrorist featured in the latest Sacha Baron Cohen film has told Sky News he was cheated by the producers of Bruno.For a man in hiding who moves from secret location to secret location, Ayman Abu Aita was easy to find...Abu Aita is now suing both Baron Cohen and Universal Pictures. We asked Universal for a response, they have yet to get back to us. "1/8/2009
Mashaal: Hamas Can Speak with ObamaPaltoday - Hamas is interested in opening a dialogue with the Obama administration because its policies are much better than those of former US president George W. Bush, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said on Sunday. Mashaal denied that Hamas was seeking to impose strict Islamic rule in the Gaza Strip, saying religion should not be enforced through coercion. 18/8/2009
My son won`t be a combat soldier!Amos Doron - Yediot Aharonot - The IDF has ceased to be the people`s army, located at the heart of the national consensus, and has become the exclusive preserve of specific sectors. I am not willing to see my son carry out police duties among a civilian population and be exposed thereby to derision and humiliation from groups of lawless settlers. I am no longer willing to put my own child at risk while thousands of yeshiva students of his age are avoiding service legally and openly. 18/8/2009
Did Netanyahu drop demand for recognition of Israel as `Jewish state`? Akiva Eldar - Haaretz - Just when Netanyahu relaxed his position (or did he?) in the matter of the demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish people, Arab Knesset members rose up against Israel`s definition of itself as a Jewish state.18/8/2009
`New U.S. plan calls for demilitarized Palestine` Haaretz - Obama, Mubarak to discuss initiative which also drops Palestinian right of return, says Al-Quds Al-Arabi. 18/8/2009
Too gung-ho? Israel military rabbis draw criticismMatti Friedman - Associated Press\ The State - "’Under Rontzki`s command, the rabbinate is giving the conflict a religious overtone, and they are also using their free access to soldiers to work toward political goals,’ said Michael Sfard, an attorney for Yesh Din, an Israeli human rights group. Those goals, critics like Sfard say, include making sure the West Bank, claimed by the Palestinians as part of their future state, remains in Jewish hands for good”17/8/2009
Human Rights Watch, Israel in war of wordsYnet - " Following IDF`s dismissal of report on Palestinian civilians shot dead during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza despite waving white flags, rights group accuses Israeli government of waging propaganda war `instead of responding to report`s findings by making false allegations` "14/8/2009
The Other Side of IsraelSusan Nathan - ZNet - And Israel likes to present itself to the world as a vey united society, but infact the truth is that it is only united if there is a war. Although there are worldwide hundreds of thousands of Jews who think like me, when it comes to the isue of war our voices are sandbagged by the government`s. And so it is very easy for people worldwide to think that there are no voices of Jewish dissent inside Israel. In fact it is not true. 13/8/2009
Labor Minister calls for releasing BarghouthiSaed Bannoura - IMEMC - "Braverman added that releasing Barghouthi could boost the power of ‘moderates who support peace talks with Israel`." 12/8/2009
Israel aids its needy Jewish students more than Arab counterparts Or Kashti - Haaretz - "... "educationally needy" Jewish students receive anywhere from 3.8 to 6.9 times as much funding as equally needy Arab students." 12/8/2009
Fatah official: We won`t dance to Lieberman`s tune Ali Waked - Ynet - "Tirawi was elected to Fatah`s new leadership despite his independent views – considered by some of the veteran members to be too independent." 12/8/2009
Countdown: The arms race between Israel and IranAl Jazeera - " As mutual fear, mistrust and polarisation increases between Iran and Israel, an arms race between the two sworn enemies is gathering momentum. Central to this is the Russian-made S-300 missile system. It is one of the most advanced multi-target anti-aircraft missile systems in the world today and air power experts say it represents a formidable defence against conventional aircraft...Lieberman had a bargaining chip: If Russia went ahead with the sale to Iran, Israel might continue to provide hi-tec weapons to neighbouring Georgia. " 8/8/2009
Daycare center removes Arab child due to Jewish parents` pressure " Israel Moshkovitz- YNET - Arab couple files lawsuit against mother they say pressured daycare center owner to kick their child out of center `because she is an Arab`...on D.`s first day at the daycare center, many parents, lead by the defendant Neta Kadshai, waged a war of "slurs and efforts aimed at having D. removed from the daycare center, making it clear that the defendants children will not be in the same center as an Arab girl". 7/8/2009
Fatah congress delegates call for probe of Arafat`s deathAli Waked - YNet - Late Palestinian leader`s death center of attention on second day of Fatah congress being held in Bethlehem. Delegates weigh holding special vote for Gaza Strip members unable to attend congress 6/8/2009
Legitimising Lieberman Antony Lerman - Guardian - "His aggressive rightwing Zionist rhetoric, racist demonisation of Palestinians and Arab-Israelis, shameless political populism and the tide of corruption allegations now close to engulfing him are all depressingly and dangerously familiar features of a broken system." 5/8/2009
Abbas`s Party Holds ConventionLinda Gradstein - Washington Post - "...launching the party`s first congress in 20 years -- and its first ever in the West Bank. More than 2,000 delegates from around the world have gathered here to choose a new party platform." 5/8/2009
Peace Building, Peres Center for Peace Uri Blau - Haaretz - " At present, it is almost impossible to find current or former Peres Center employees who are willing to speak openly about what is going on there. "It`s a small world and a small clique," Y. says, trying to explain this reticence. "If you`re planning to stay in the peace industry and people find out that you `betrayed` them, you`re screwed." Another employee says the center possesses "a very clear hierarchy, which in a certain sense resembles that of a security establishment." Earlier this month, for example, all the employees were summoned to a meeting at which Pundak informed them, among other subjects, about the "catastrophe" looming for the center in the form of an article in Haaretz Magazine. It was known, he said, that someone from the center had spoken to the reporter; he instructed the staff not to do so. 22/8/2009
Meanwhile in the Negev...1) Nuri el-Okbi: The JNF behaves as if there is no law 2) Amos Gvirtz: Don`t say we did not know 4/8/2009
Abbas: Peace is our choice, resistance our rightMa`an News - Much of Abbas` opening speech was historical, highlighting specific moments in Palestinian history, including a 1981 truce between PLO guerillas and Israel that followed 15 days of clashes. He also recalled the 1988 Declaration of Independence passed at a meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Algeria, which he called a “brave decision.” 4/8/2009
South Africans accuse visiting Israeli colonel David Benjamin of war crimes in Gaza ISM/Yahya`s Political blog - It is asserted that Lieutenant Colonel David Benjamin, a long time member of the Israeli Army`s judicial branch and himself born in South Africa, was involved in approving the army`s use of white phosphorous at Gaza during the December 2008 offensive - an act in violation of International Law and causing horrifying death and mutilation among Gazan civilians. Limmud, the South African group which invited him to lecture at its conference, stated its belief in the freedom of speech and therefore in the right of a representative of official Israeli positions to be heard. 11/8/2009
Jewish leaders in Boston defend dissident Israeli consul amid uproar James F. Smith/E.B. Solomont - Boston Globe/Jerusalem Post - Nadav Tamir, Israeli consul in Boston, aroused a storm with his confidential memo accusing the Netanyhau government of "causing strategic damage" in its handling of relations with the US and eroding American public support for Israel - for which Foreign Minister Lieberman asked him to resign. 11/8/2009
Awesome Weekend - 31 July 2009On Friday, July 31, 2009, Channel 2`s popular TV program, "Awesome Weekend," parodied Bibi Netanyahu`s ridiculous efforts to show the world and Israelis the reality of the conflict. The two segments in which Jews meet a Palestinian present the Zionist narrative (on the Nakba and the Apartheid wall) in the most derisory manner. Most of the responses to the video on the program`s web site were, as expected, racist, insulted and angry at the leftists. Below, find the English translation of the Video.9/8/2009
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